One of our phrases in Pimsleur was "Ueno ekki wa doco desu ka?" and the kids kept saying, "When we EVER use THAT phrase in Misawa?"
Well - not in Misawa but it came in handy today. Our waiter this a.m. suggested we go to Ueno Koen (park). We'd head to Ueno Ekki (station), then we could see nature, museums, zoo, play.....
I was thrilled to be able to lead everyone from New Sanno to Hiroo station. I realized I've had some experiences they've not had yet...Tokyo, subways, metro train, shinkansen.... At the train station I was able to use the famous phrase, UNDERSTAND THE RESPONSE (couldn't do that a year ago), and make the correct response back. Below the kids and Chris are about to step on to their first Tokyo subway.
He could have SAT but loved this stance.....I think he's made for big city life. LOL
Tokyo is an AMAZING city with some STUNNING architectural features.
There were LOTS of them.....all around....
See them in the background here too....
More Water Lily/Locusts in the background there...TALL....not sure WHAT this shrine was for...but since it had a pair of glasses on it - I figured it must be meant to help aging women who need readers. LOL
This magician/illusionist was great
At one point he called out Jared...empty can, smashed, straightened, sealed and FULL of coke...
All that walking in the sun made everyone TIRED. They are all asleep except for Stacia and Zander. Mike, Jared and Nolan will attempt to summit Fuji tomorrow. Chris and I will find something of interest to the kids.
Michael worked long hours on an exercise (Mon - Tuesday) and then getting things caught up from a DV the week before and exercise...as well as prepping for us to spend 5 days of leave.
Wednesday, I had a mammogram scheduled...but the clinic had mixed up. There was no radiologist on hand. Sort of necessary. I had decided to redeem the day by having lunch with Ruth, a friend just back from the states and then a pedicure with Jenn, friend I'm just getting to know. When the mammogram was cancelled it turned into a terribly indulgent day with no "yuck" in it. LOL
Much of my week has been spent with emails and Skypes as we prepare for Asia's PWOC conference.
It has been a joy to work with the workshop application team to pray over the conference and the presenters and topics. The three of us are very excited at the way this is shaping up. As scheduled we'll have 15 workshops. Combined with the anointed worship and general sessions....and the otter like touch we're working to bring to the mix... honestly....I think this conference is going to bless our women. I think there will be something for all.
Friday, I took Stacia and Arielle to get pedicures. The ladies loved having Stacia in there and she really loved it as well. Unfortunately, I left home without my phone or camera (two items I always carry these days). I'll have to snap some photos of their feet - Stacia MIGHTY PLEASED. I know this is frivolous for a 6 yo - but honestly - can it hurt for her to love feminine touches? And it is simply something you do in Asia. I remember such in the Philippines.
I discovered on Friday that my ID was expired. Since we were traveling SATURDAY this was vital. I had just enough time to get it renewed - only because the office showed great grace and mercy.
Jared came home from his month-long gig living the high life.
Saturday, bright and early we left for Tokyo. Michael had promised Jared they would climb Fuji and this is IT if it is going to happen. They won't be climbing next year before we PCS. Our plan:
Day 1 Travel - pick up Chris
Day 2 Sight See
Day 3 Fuji for some and sight seeing for others
Day 4 TOKYO DISNEY (our kids have never done Disney)
Day 5 - Travel - drop Chris off at air port
Chris? Did I say Chris? Chris is a friend from our college days. She was in our wedding. We love catching up when we can. The last time we saw Chris and Kevin I was pregnant with Stacia and we were in AK. Her son works for an airline (YES - grand idea) and so Mom and Dad get to fly very cheap.....Chris is a mighty prayer intercessor and has a goal of interceding for Japan while here....and I'm thrilled.
BTW I'm falling in love with Tokyo. I could be happy HERE for 3 years.....dreeeeeeeam, dream, dream....
This summer our local PWOC tried something new. We usually break for the summer. This summer we planned a variety of activities. One week was a "drop in study". Our spiritual life chair is awesome. She found a DVD study that has various Bible Study teachers and wrote discussion questions. She alternated facilitators of the group discussion. This meant no one was committed "all" summer...and lots of new women led a group. Good on both counts.
One week a month we had Japan 101. We had a children's program with a variety of learning centers. Even our pre-school/ toddler crew enjoyed Japanese crafts and videos. For the adults there were hand outs and a panel discussion. This format was fun and beneficial for newcomers as well as those of us who had been in country a while. It gave us the chance to sit and share the great things there are to do around here. We discovered that doing this in June and July may not be the best option. August and September would probably be better....giving newcomers a chance to settle in to a home.
One week a month we went off base and searched for adventures as a group. This was GREAT and showed how truly easy it is to find fun and adventure in Misawa.
The final week each month was Breakfast and Prayer. Tuesday PWOC had Breakfast and Prayer. Tara, our Spiritual life Chair, has done a great job of changing up these breakfasts each month. This month, after breakfast and corporate prayer, we participated in a prayer walk. We put various prompts and prayer focus' around the room. The women came in and went through the walk at their own pace. This was a wonderful way to incorporate individual prayer in our group setting.
Personal confession and forgiveness
Cross, suffering, redemption
Salvation of unsaved friends and loved ones
At this wall we wrote prayer needs and promises/ encouragement from the Word
Below I've captured the promises/Scriptures to share. Several really ministered to me as we cleaned up - I have several sticky notes in my Bible and thought it would be fun to create a virtual sticky note.
God's peace which passes all understanding Phil 4:7-8 (x3)
Do not let your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me Jn 14:1
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord Col 3:23
Effective prayers of a righteous "woman" can accomplish much James 5:16
I am with you to the ends of the earth
My sheep know my voice; they will not follow a stranger Jn 10:4, 5
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb 11:1
The joy of the Lord is our strength
All things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose
Wisdom - James 1:5
The prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick James 5:14 - 15
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the sou! Psalm 19:7
Lord you search and know me.
Our momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond our comprehension - 2 Cor 4:17
We have received a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude Heb 12:27
I will never leave you nor forsake you Joshua 1:5
Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Lord, you have been our dwelling place through all generations Ps 70
How great are you O sovereign Lord! There is no one like you and there is no God but you as we have heard with our own ears. 2 Sam 7:22
Prayer - To bring glory to God in all that we do - I Cor 10:31
He has more than enough for me
I Peter 3:1-4 - Wives be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of thier wives, be chaste, respectful, clothed with the hidden person of the heart, with imperishable beauty of a gentle, quiet spirit.
This year's parish picnic was FUN! We had one out at the park the first summer we were here, the chapel lot last year, and this year we were out at a park on North base again this year.
Service outside on bleachers.
PMOC grilled. PWOC set up and cleaned up. Actually....my gals (and kids) ROCKED. I wanted to clean the bird poop and such off the tables....THEN we cleaned bugs, frogs, leaves and such out of the bathrooms. LOL
The service was great, it's always fun to have the whole parish together for a service. The weather was PERFECT...not raining, not hot or humid. School starts on 30 August so everyone is coming home....and it was fun to catch up with friends I've missed during the summer. Great venue for catching up. Another highlight was our FIRST registration to attend Asia Region Conference. This was a great way to spend the day.
At the end of a very "work intensive" week, Michael suggested we meet to attend the Obon parade. This was a fun family outing. We picked Jared up and brought him along too. Here are a few photos from the parade.
Stacia - just one of the crowd
Each float is pulled by long lines of people - some of them a bit more serious about the work than others
"Thank you for your Support ~ Bonds of Friendship" - the community here really does seem to appreciate all the efforts of the base community to be of help
Drummers - watch video to hear
Hydraulics raise and lower parts of the floats to navigate traffic lights etc
Last week we were honored to have the PACAF Command Chaplain in town. This means he's a level UP from local....he oversees all the chapel operations in the Pacific (AK, HI, Guam, Japan and Korea).
Our Wing Chaplain is TDY (out of town) and so it fell to Michael, the Deputy Wing Chaplain and Sgt. W, our NCOIC, to play host. I think they did a great job.
This meant they spent hours of extra duty. Ate out with Ch. D and Sgt. U every night, took them down to show them the tsunami damage, provided briefings etc. The entire chapel staff put in many extra hours to host DVs for the week. They done good!
For ME it meant I ate out three times last week with them and various groupings of staff members. LOL I also got COINED - yes another USAF command coin. ::snort::