Thursday, September 29, 2011


Friday! Woot! Pizza and a movie. I think we'll watch Prince of Egypt tonight. It seems a fitting conclusion to week 3 of TOG Ancient World.  I'm sad that I've been sick and we've not gotten our lapbook or pharaoh masks done....but I'm a bit surprised with me feeling so lousy all week   - only schooling 2 days  - that the younger ones got a full week of school in. This makes me think  when all else is stripped out of our schedules homeschooling is a piece of cake. I will think about much more AFTER November. ::snort::  Maybe I'll have enough time after the "regional gig" (as some are prone to call it) is up to start an enrichment co-op for the kids.....something that I wish we had here. 

Today we all worked on our Japanese or "Akiko San" homework. We were to open this darling bag of panda snacks....

....and write down every emotion we see on the Panda's faces....guess what words we'll be working on next week???? ::grin:: We found 8 - Akiko San said we'd find 9. The poor thing was in love, scared, happy, sad, get the idea. 

They tasted good too - if you're local - go buy yourself a bag in the name of education. LOL

My flu seems to be gone except the ache...and a bit of dizziness. The Cold has moved from my head/ears/throat to my chest....and I am not appreciative.... I AM taking lots of rest time....and I'm trusting I'll get into full conference swing next week.  Things really are moving along fine...I don't need to kill myself....I need to rest so I can go 100% next week. . . or so my family keeps telling me.

I'm taking advantage of being DOWN to read (click covers for links).

I'm reading this.... before I put it in the PWOC library....

and 3 in the PWOC Book club selection series

And this... anyone local reading this and want to meet to discuss it? 

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Operating at 40%

I got up did a full day of school, tried to do a bit of work on Conference, had a quick regional Skype, got dinner in the crock pot, let the kids loose in the hood and collapsed on the couch. I got up in time to set the table, cut some watermelon (a treat for us over here) and serve dinner. 

Akiko San came tonight. She spoke of goodbyes and that made me sad. 

Other thoughts or insights from the day:

  • Emergen C and Airborne are now my drinks of choice
  • Does anyone else have a child  who picks up a book and starts working anywhere...this causes confusion when mom is suffering with flu induced mania
  • Stacia asked to "work out". I shortly heard - huffing, gasping and singing at the top of her lungs "God is GREAT, he Is AWESOME." I guess that's not TOO terrible of an impression for a middle aged mom to leave with her youngest. ::snort:: 
  • I'm really tired. Going to bed and hoping to feel 50 or 60% tomorrow. 

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I don't DO SICK

I've been sick since Monday....but I made it to the main appointments each day and spent the rest of the day in bed. 

Picked Mike up on Monday.

Ten international tickets were purchased  - and $9,000.00 worth of yen purchased (involving many stops).  

PWOC Bible Study was led. 

Volunteer Dinner attended and spoke at (not sure what I SAID as I couldn't read my notes because I was dizzy).

Orthodontist and clinic appointments kept.  And I SLEPT... a I'm up - but I'm going to spend the afternoon down, I think. 

Today, with nothing on the schedule but school and Japanese tonight....I am able to get up and not throw up.... We've been up, done school, taken care of a bit of business...meatballs are in the crock pot and I plan to nap until dinner time.....

Operaring at about 40% today.

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

We're Rich

Stacia loves to help me!  Today she excitedly showed me boxes and boxes in the dining room.

"We think these are PWOC STUFF!" 

How right she was....she loved opening the boxes....

It was fun to watch her excitement both for the books and for the opportunity to be involved in serving. 

We have started a PWOC library here in Misawa. We of the board knew it sounded like a good idea...we were thinking of the great material we'd like to get to women, but the difficulty in scheduling all the studies AND locating the material up here. Our thought was to stock some books on key topics so if some want that in a session when we AREN'T offering say a study on marriage we can direct them to some good resources. 

BUT we've discovered something more...ladies are EXCITED to have a spot to share their Christian books when they are done with them. Our base library doesn't stock many Christian books. The nearest Christian book store is thousands of miles away. This has been a great way for women to read a book and share with others....and a great way to fill the need as we were blessed with funding to buy brand new books in a variety of genres. 

We've already started the library but having this influx of books will be GREAT.  We have books on marriage, Christian living, parenting, single parenting, step families, church history, study helps, apologetics, fiction, suspense, biographies (for KIDS and moms), a few books for kids......exciting. 

As Stacia excitedly exclaimed as she unpacked box after box, " Books....PWOC BOOKS.... we're RICH WITH BOOKS!"  If you're local check out the selection under the windows in the conference room. There are instructions to borrow a book right there under the window ledge. 

If you happen to live in the states and have current Christian books you are done with, I'm willing to read your book and give it a new home. 

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Girls Trip....

Here is the Reader's Digest Version of the last few days.  I'll be writing numerous posts about our trip....but here are the facts for those who want it QUICK. 

Girls Weekend.....

Due to Typhoon #15 or Typhoon Roke (depending on which media you are watching) the Express way to Tokyo was covered in mudslides. We had to take a "small detour".....

This was the view on our 6 hour detour....we inched along...the great thing about this is no one got motion sick. Instead of arriving at 3:30 p.m. we arrived at 9:30 p.m. We finally arrived in....

I LOVE this city. I find more to enjoy each time we go. Two local friends, Twyla  and Kristen, were on this trip too....and the P family from was a fun time.  It was filled with friend time, family time...

We found  adventures.....

We did our nails, watched movies and ate chocolate.....

We swam....

We played tourists. 

We RULED the subway system! (I did not take this photo)

We Shopped.....picked up Christmas gifts...

I found myself more aware of spiritual undercurrents on this visit and spent quite a bit of time in prayer.  More stories and photos later. Tonight - bed. 

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Gift of Love

Stacia has been talking for two weeks about how much she loves being my "travel buddy!" 

We leave tomorrow for Tokyo. The thing is - I have been feeling increasingly uneasy about the trip....but Michael, Jared, friends all think this is a good thing for me to do. Get back in the saddle, step on the fear, travel to Tokyo without the family and see that nothing huge will happen. ::snort:: 

We had  a girls trip planned in March....we were supposed to go the weekend after I got home from my Tokyo Trip.....then we had that quake and tsunami and the flights were cancelled. I've not wanted to go anywhere without all of us together. 

Tonight I got home at 9:30 from MOCA.....and decided it really was time to pack. I started a movie downloading and went up to my room. 

I discovered a gift of love....Stacia at work...I did repack... after all I DO need a swimsuit (though I can't find the bottoms), and t-shirts with dress slacks are exactly my style.....Yes, this trip is important. Michael and Jared are right. It will be good for me to see natural disasters don't happen every time I leave the kids. 

One gift of love deserves another. I've decided to leave the lap top at home. ::GASP:: I know if I take it, I will be up early and late working and I'd rather spend these days with the girls (and the other PWOC gals that are going too - what a hoot!).  I WILL have the ipad so I can check mail...but I won't be blogging or working on the many irons in the fire....they can wait until Monday a.m. 

Kids' movie is downloaded, Stevie Wonder downloaded, bags packed....time to call it a night. 

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Tonight was the first night of MOCA. MOCA is a new outreach of PWOC (are you keeping up with the military speak? If not, click military buz above for translations. )

MOCA stands for Moms of College Aged - as in kids (we allow moms of Seniors - Moms of 98 yo).   Over the summer I began to realize mom's with children stateside is a demographic which we were missing.  We got chaplain approval. Ruth, a great friend who happens to be the PWOC Prayer Coordinator, agreed to help get it off the ground.

SWEET FELLOWSHIP tonight. Seven of us sharing our children, our hearts with each a safe environment. All agreed to commit to pray daily for each other's children and for our hearts as we are so far apart.  Several have seniors this year and I know the transition will be  much easier with a group of praying sisters who understand surrounding them.  Really....this is a whole new stage of parenting and it's a joy to offer each other support.

We agreed we want to meet monthly. We're trying to pick a good night. We don't want to conflict with any other chapel this point there is PWOC on Monday night, Book Club and PMOC on Tuesday, AWANA on Wed,  and Friday has PWOC Crafty Gals every other month and Date Night really....all those "once a month" things will add up if we aren't careful. We'll find a appears either Thursday or Friday.

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Visiting Reese

It was a WILD and CRAZY day.

The weather is wild.....two trees down, flooded streets as I drove home this evening.

We got school  done for the week - and that is QUITE an accomplishment given the pace of this week and the fact that we are taking Thursday and Friday off. We rock.

The girls and I got ready for a trip to the big town.....

Stacia LOVES to go play with Reese!

We ran errands. Lots going on with the end of the Fiscal Year at the chapel....and getting our gals all set to travel to conference. 

We took Jared to a job interview. 

Everyone kept forgetting to remind me of errands this week.....I hit on a great plan today. 

"Stacia, remind me to get gas and I'll buy you a candy bar at the gas station."

"Arielle, remind me to go to the pharmacy and I'll buy you a brownie." 

It worked. 

Tonight was MOCA - I'll blog that separate! I got out of there and ran by the chapel to see Tina, our amazing and slightly harried Fund's guru.

I got home and decided to download a new movie to the ipad for the long bus trips coming up this weekend. 

Good day - need to sleep soon. We have to be at the bus at 06:30. 

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kyle and Erika Move In

Erika - my fellow Earthquake/Tsunami adventurer - and her husband Kyle are getting ready to PCS.  During our infamous adventure in Tokyo Erika had wondered how her fish fared in the Earthquake. She also commented that they'd need a new home when she and Kyle PCS'd.  The movers come tomorrow.

Tonight....we brought their fish to our home. We've decided two of the four fish have to be named Kyle and Erika....we're still debating which one will be which and why....stay tuned.

OK - still not a puppy - but we're all excited to have pets again.....though Zander has mentioned several times that our fish only live two days. NOT SURE WHY HE THINKS THAT!

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


After Stacia's recent infamous phonics lesson, we were thrilled to pick this up on base.....

It's writing on paper, in an envelope, with stamps on the corner and we picked it up at the post office. It's a L....L....Letter!

Grandma G came through.....and I'm looking for ways to be sure she receives more "letters".....for those who a matter of fact all her birthday cards WERE electronic or given to her by family here. ::snort::

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

I Said No

Life always gets a bit hectic when Michael is gone. I pick up some of his commitments (teaching Sunday School class),  the kids are home alone (which makes it harder for me to be out and about as I feel much better about them having Daddy time than I do about them being alone), I don't sleep as well......

I knew going into this week, it would be a crazy one. I have something every night of the week on the calendar AND the girls and I are leaving for a 4 day trip at 0 dark thirty on Thursday. Regional Conference Prep pace has picked up. Many new things have begun (school year, Bible Studies, ministries, Sunday School). Hair cuts, doctor appointments.... I should have known I couldn't keep this pace with Michael gone....but I'm nothing if not valiant (and a bit dense).

I've been determined to blog more - this meant saying no to hourly FB updates. ::snort::

I'm determined to keep a steady pace in school  - this means saying NO to hourly email checks.

I'm determined to keep a balance of relationship and  service...this meant saying YES to onsen....and restructuring my FB time.  ::snort::

Last night I was up until 12:30 a.m. answering emails that collected all day.

This a.m. we headed in to the base for Bible Study (20 min drive), as we neared the base I realized I'd left my ID at home. This added 40 min to the a.m. and made  us  late. Thank GOD for lovely women who realized I hadn't shown up when I would normally show up and set up my study (it was GORGEOUS) as well as the homeschool room (Arielle runs it).  Later I forgot to pick up my thyroid meds. I began to suspect it was time to say no to tonight's outing and stay home.

The thing is I LOVE our monthly book club. This month's book was quirky, silly, and yet had some profound thoughts in it and I looked forward to sharing with all. {The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow}

I scrolled through status updates and caught one titled, "I said no." I thought - "Yeah, maybe I should read this, I probably should stay home." I read the linked article. Good thoughts. I decided I really wanted to go and would go anyway.

 As I continued to debate tonight's activity a friend who is moving called. We are adopting her fish. We need to get them tonight or tomorrow. Tomorrow already has 3 appointments and 2 trips to I went about figuring out how to add getting fish to the schedule....I clearly remembered, "I SAID NO."  I could say YES tonight (something I dearly wanted to be able to do) but it would add craziness to tomorrow.

I SAID NO! It was downright liberating! muhahahaha  I know it's a small thing, but it was big for ME to say no to a women's activity...afterall I love my PWOC Peeps. I'm also a bit of an extrovert and am recharged by spending time with these ladies...but I knew early this a.m. I should say no...and I'm thankful the Holy Spirit stayed with me until I followed through.

The truth is saying no at appropriate times allows me to say yes to more of my 5% activities.

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Youth Mission Trip

Misawa's PYOC/Cross Training (Protestant Youth Group) took another trip to Miyako. Their mission was to take 1000 kilos of rice down to the area, and to play with kids - displaying the love of Jesus in action to an area stricken by the earthquake/tsunami. 

They ran into an unexpected delay on the way down. Evidently the rice got the better of the tire. LOL

The kids amused themselves while waiting.  (Nolan in green, Arielle in tie dye and Jared in the brown.)

Unloading rice in Miyako.

At the school the kids played ball.....

...worked on crafts...

...told a Bible Story, Lance speaks Japanese.....
Miss Kim to the right is the kid's youth leader and is really getting them involved in some great things. 

and loved on kids.  (Jared has a new friend)

We wondered, as we were shaking so often here in Misawa, if they would be feeling them even more as they were "in the zone."  The kids report that they didn't feel them at all. LOL 

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Intimate Delight

"Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. Without it no church can be a New Testament church in any strict meaning of the term. But exposition may be carried on in such way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and  unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts. " 

A.W. Tozer, "The Pursuit of God," p 9-10. Emphasis mine.

We can fall into several errors towards the Word.

  • Devalue it's place in our life and base our "faith" totally on emotion, others words, and experience
  • Become focused on a didactic knowledge of the Word and fail to be spiritually nourished by it
The Word of God is meant to
  • Be a conversation with God
  • Introduce us to God
  • Nourish us
  • Assist in our transformation into His image
  • Provide a pattern for life
  • Wash and cleans us
  • Correct us
  • Reprove us
  • Teach us 
  • Train us in righteousness
  • Equip us for every good work to which He calls
  • Give us great peace
  • Keep us from stumbling and being offended as we surrender to the Lord of the Word

We must avoid either neglecting the Word or treating the Word like an academic subject. We need to approach the Word expecting to hear from the God of the Word. We need to learn to practice conversational/relational reading of the Word. As we do our "Bible study" truly will become an intimate delight.

May your Bible study bring you great intimacy and delight, may you be nourished, fed, changed by the time you spend with God interacting with His message to you.

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Last night I prayed I would not be awaken by shaking....funny thing is at 04:44 I came WIDE AWAKE....sure there was a

in my bedroom.   I am using a new ap  - Textfree. It's great. I chose a stateside number and now I can text my folks and the kids FREE - and they can text back. I wasn't sure it was needed - we DO have Skype and Facebook....but thought it would be fun to try. The kids really like being able to's that sort of society. So....since the iPad is always chirping at me, I wanted distinct sound to go off when I received a text. I chose a mooing cow....and at 04:44 I discovered I'd forgotten to turn off the volume on the ipad. LOL

Today was the first day back to RE (Sunday School) for the fall. Everyone enjoyed their new classes....from Stacia to myself.

I volunteered in our services 3 & 4 year old ministry today. I started the day teaching an adult class on parenting and then moved to loving on the younger set.

I was very proud of Zander who chose to stay in the service and sit with Ch and Jenn R rather than come play in the nursery!

It's been raining all day.....and I really do enjoy the sound of rain. I also love snuggling up at home.  We decided to grab some lunch and then head home to spend the day "inside".

The Lakeview Grille is on base. It overlooks the lake and is a great spot to sit and visit. It's usually quite quiet. We wanted quiet today - or at least I did. LOL I love their gourmet garlic chicken pizza. I'm lucky Jared does too - we manage to finish a pizza off between the two of us. LOL 

We stopped by the Post Office and discovered several school texts had arrived. Stacia was the most excited. While the rest of us worked on lesson plans, printed out lapbook material etc...she worked on explode the code. She wants to finish the book she's on so she can start the next ones.  I discovered a grievous gap in her education. 

"I'm thinking of something that is sent in the mail. A person writes a message on paper and puts in an envelope with a stamp on it."

She thought. "A package email?" (We usually get packages when we stop at the post office. Most our mail comes stamps).


"A newsletter." 

"Warm."  ::grin::  

Arielle visited with friends outside. 

The younger two romped around a bit outside. 

Jared and I stayed focused on school. 

Mike Skyped. We miss him. 

I worked on a few SMALL conference projects. 

And we shook - at least a couple of times this afternoon - 5.9 and 4.9. 

I AM going to try to keep the blog up a bit more regularly once again. I've slowed down for several reasons - TIME, a few intense things to work through which I didn't feel should be shared, Facebook seduction....but I've realized anew this is a Family Keepsake and I need to give it more time than the quick bursts of "socializing" on Facebook. 

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Shake, Shake Shake

Michael is gone.

There are some things which are just "right". We should not shake when Michael is gone. There are shaking parts of the day and sleeping parts of the day. It is plain rude for the shaking parts to intrude on the sleeping parts of the day.

This is how our morning went.

4:26 a.m. a LONG 6.3.....did I say it was long? Long enough for me to wake up, figure out what it was, wonder if it would quit, try to remember where Mike left the NEO folder,  and realize we were still shaking. Not particularly violent this time though.... a lot of swaying. I like that better than the jarring ones. Nonetheless, I reached over and grabbed the ipad to check Facebook.


I suppose to confirm I was not crazy and was in fact shaking in my sleep.....and also, with Michael gone, I knew he wouldn't be recalled, (duh) but if there WERE a tsunami warning  there would be loud speakers declaring this on the base. I could rely on  friends to post helpful tidbits such as,  "do not go to the ocean," and "tsunami coming - run for the base". ::snort::  I realize I have a fun imagination, but I wasn't simply being fanciful...I did hear something on the public loud speakers out here in Oriase.

But THEN we kept having them. I wonder why it's been silent for nearly a month and then so many so close together. Ah well....this is the norm and the stillness worries me more than an occasional swaying.

For those at home wondering....if they say Iwate-ken  or Sanriku Oki or Aomori or Misawa-Shi - those will be felt by US....if they are over about 4...usually.  The numbers on the right in the above chart are the Japanese system....the others are the international numbers.

This is a time lapse map that is plain ole fun to visit when we're "busy".  You can get a feel for it by going to the site and when it loads clicking 12 or 24 hours and watching. This shows we DID have 6 over 5 between around 4:30 and 7:30 a.m. and one smaller one at 10:16 a.m. To find us....see the main island the most northern label is "morioka" and we're about 1/4 in north...

The older three kids are down actually in this area today on a mission trip.  I had wondered how the young ones would respond to waking up early to take them to the bus....that was solved by the shaking. ::grin::

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

No Photos...

...just words.

Sermon on the mount - surprised at how much I'm learning - thought I KNEW this one. ::snort::

School - lots of it.

Laundry hung - forgot to bring in tonight. Oops.

Found discussion questions for "Grace Based Parenting". Downloaded, thought some more about our upcoming Sunday School class.

House cleaning - a fair bit.

Recharge, reflect, restructure...the process has moved to family life.  We're contemplating some changes.....chore time AFTER school before the mad dash to roam the hood with the pack.  I will say, "NO," to guilt at needing help. They do  NOT have to help me because I'm too busy with "ministry". Learning life skills is me and to them in the future as they learn work ethics and livings skills to be productive adults. Somehow I've lost sight of this in the last two years. I so badly wanted to "prove" the kids would not suffer by "my schedule," that I took over all their chores and left them with much more free time than our kids usually have. LOL

Started reading a family read aloud tonight - Cat of Bubastes by GA Henty.

Spent two hours on women's ministry projects. Today was regional - focused on the upcoming conference.

Cooked dinner - such as it was.

Akiko san is sick and cancelled.....but that is o.k.

Spent the "saved" hour and a half surfing for fun lapbook resources for Zander and Stacia.

Several dear friends from the past have been on my mind and in my prayers a lot today....

Time to rest.....

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We're Finding Our Stride

I'm not sure WHY it seemed like a great idea to start a NEW year of school the same week we started a NEW month (monthly meetings), kicked off Monday night Bible study, and Tuesday a.m. Bible study. 

In a strange sense it was wise. If we can maintain a full week of school THIS week, we should be able to maintain the pace any week. We're on track. 

We're studying ancient Egypt and the kids  really like the change of pace from the 21st century.

Today was an admin day.

I renewed vehicle registrations.

I filled out 3 pages of paperwork for the girls. ::grin::

I ran to the chapel to sign some unexpected paperwork.

I ran by the BX for a few more school supplies.

I ran by the commissary - for real food. I caved and bought Halibut and began to think a move to AK wouldn't be terrible. LOL

We did another full day of school (to include a couple of booklets for our science lapbook).

I made hair appointments.

I made an orthodontist appointment.

I made a follow up appointment for Nolan and found out I have to wait until Friday to make a follow up for myself.

I Skyped about regional conference. I emailed about regional conference. I read and was BLESSED by workshop descriptions from workshop presenters.

I continued to hunt for biographies of Homer and Virgil.

We went to the beach for a couple of hours. The day was beautiful and I know the colder weather will soon be here. The beach always carries a touch of melancholy since the tsunami and all the damage...but we went.

Jared found a DARLING little glass float here the last time he was here....

Watching Jared search among the rocky places 
and the trash...reminds me that life is like this....often we find treasure as we navigate the rockiest most unpleasant of spots. 

Today I just fond an old traditional geta.

Though really, I found my treasure in renewing my commitment to choose joy, to be willing to be willing, to allow God to be God....and to trust that He will be manifested. Surrender. 

I made a chicken dinner at the request of Zander and Stacia. 

I inputted a big PWOC library order. Amazon keeps freezing when I try to check out. 

The timing between Japan and SC are just not right and I don't think I can stay up to wait to hear from Michael......hopefully we'll connect early tomorrow a.m. 

I'm going to go read a bit....

Choosing Joy!
©2011 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...