Thursday, January 26, 2012

Touring Manassas

Yesterday, Susane and I toured Manassas and learned about First Manassas (Battle of the Bull Run) and Second Manassas.  The weather was gorgeous and it was a great day for walking around and imagining. We did a walking tour, watched a movie, did a driving tour and visited with a gentleman who was a civil war buff and overheard our conversation at one spot. 
Henry house in the background

Judith Henry (85) was the only civilian casualty

A legend is made - Stonewall Jackson

Stonehouse served as a Union Field Hospital in both battles

Stone Bridge - see the old and new on the arches







We also stopped by a Family Christian book store. Alas, I have very little room in my carry on....but it was fun to make a list to order online. LOL  And just because I snap photos of amusing things in Japan - check this out. 



Seriously?

Because nothing says grace and peace like chocolate
We also ate at Ruby Tuesdays and visited Target. Came back to the hotel to talk, snack and watch Anita Renfroe. 


Off on another day. 


Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yuuki Photo of the Day

Just in case you think yesterday's photo was a fluke....here is Yuuki last week evidently doing Arielle's homework....a new twist on the dog ate my homework? ::grin::


Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Missing De'Etta and Yuuki Pic of the day.

It has only been a day, but we are all missing De'Etta/Mom muchly.  Looking forward to having her home.

In the meantime, the kids did school, scholarships, SAT, cleaned out the fish tank, and played in the snow. 


Yuuki used the opportunity to get on facebook and do a little internet surfing - well we think she did; OK, maybe she did; alright, it looks like she could have...  Anyway here is the Yuuki photo of the day.

Michael

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Medium

I really must work to find the balance between a running escort through immigration up to the gate and a 15 hour layover. 

Narita EX was late....but I ran through ticketing, security and immigration - and on to the plane...amazing really how fast that CAN be done if you have airport employees with walkie talkies by your side.
Fun day of people watching
Safe in Dallas and waiting to board for the last leg of this trip. I think I'm home free now. lol


Edit - Susane picked me up as I walked to the baggage area....successful completion of travel day. 


We spent the evening talking, went to dinner, and enjoyed an American onsen (aka hot tub).

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fun Cookie

From a local vending machine....


Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Yuuki Photo of the Day


Taking a nap on Stacia's futon. Yes, she DOES roll up in the blanket like this....and I swear she hacked up a giant hair ball this week.....strangest thing. 


Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Where Have I BEEN?

No, not traveling. 

In fact the Gherkins and I have been fairly well stuck in the house. It's been a snowy, icy week and the Gherkins mounted an insurrection. They let Michael know they don't want me driving on the roads and they don't want to ride with me either. ::snort:: I'm a kept woman, totally dependent on a man to drive me around....yeah - OK - I'll let them get used to being STUCK in the home for another week (while I'm in VA) and then I bet they'll be ready to take their chances with me again.

Worked GREAT for me. Michael drove us in on Tuesday and we did PWOC, meetings, hair cuts and Bible studies...and we were HOME the rest of the week. I love home.

We baked. We cooked. We got 3 weeks of school done in 3 days of school - how's THAT for child labor? ::snort::  I missed two events I really wanted to be at...but as I'm gearing up to be gone all this week - it was NICE to be grounded.
All this staying at home is hard work!

I know - I can hear the question...."If you were SITTING at home - WHY didn't you blog?" ::grin::  Well.....read above - 3 weeks of school with the younger set in 3 DAYS of school...gives me great peace as I travel. They'll do table school and we'll be fine with couch school.

  • I updated our PWOC regional blog and moved it to blogspot. 
  • I deleted thousands and thousands of emails from the yahoo group which was the main forum of  Asia Region Board discussion from 2009-2011. 
  •  I added new board members to the yahoo list. 
  • I hosted a Skype with Asia Region's presidents
  • Interviewed a new board member
  • Had several other regional ministry Skypes..... 
  • Waded through email traffic you wouldn't believe
  • Sent in an International blog post
  • Collected, edited and sent in Conference testimonies and photos to PWOCI
  • Spent hours creating a Slide and graphic for Asia's TnT (which we didn't use in the end) ::snort:: 
  • Began making sense of 300 Conference evaluations (Conf and Workshop)
  • A host of local odds and ends 
  • Played with kids
  • Built a sledding hill
  • Made dozens of English muffins 
  • Continued reading the Word chronologically as well as the New Testament with family and region
  • Worked on grading 
  • Updated Jared's transcript
  • Emailed friends
  • Wrote a board report for next week's International Board Meeting....and then had to pray through the fear of leaving home after remembering what happened soon after the LAST board meeting. ::snort:: 
  • Walked with Yuuki


Did I mention we did  lots of snuggling, reading, schooling and living? And....Oh yeah.....
Jared got glasses! 
Don't judge me....this IS my baking drawer...and it WORKS for me this way.....but I don't usually find Krista's (24) nerf gun in the drawer! Zander is thrilled she mailed this to him.  Guess he figured it was a safe spot.


Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mail Call

It's always fun when Michael comes home and needs help unloading the van.....and Tuesday was a good mail day.... Cards from G'ma Mary and G'Pa Earl.....a missionary newsletter (Love ya, Tammy)....


A package from Krista FULL of Cosmos Corn....really if you live where it's easy to get this stuff you need to try it. Even Zander can eat it. Nothing fake in it at all...not necessarily HEALTHY (does have needless calories after all) but not fake.  There was also an ipod cover for Michael's classic ipod and a PURPLE survivor bracelet  (do you know what those are?) for me....The bottle in the back is NAR. It's a pomegranate syrup from Turkey. Krista - did you say they mixed it with oil for salads and marinade for veggies and fish?


My Emeril Al Clad pans arrived too! They do everything but mix the dinner up. ::grin:: Yep - happy with the choice and glad Michael pushed me to order some regardless of the price....

NOW if he'd just push me to buy an ipad3. . .


Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

School Daze

The older three children are pretty much doing "Straight up Tapestry of Grace" - which is an honors program if done as written.  


The younger two are doing Tapestry of Grace - Tweaked. ::snort::

Two things we've added to our recent school schedule are:

Crunches, planks and bridges before couch school.  Why? Because Zander and I can use the toning up, and it's never too early for Stacia to stay fit.  Zander does twice as many as me - NOW.  This also sort of helps Zander deal with wiggles and transition into couch school.

Stacia wants to learn the books of the Bible. Christie L sent  this link to Go Fish's  Bible Book Bop. I watched it, ripped it to my hard drive (is THAT the right terminology?) and we're listening to this each a.m. between table and couch school too. Stacia is winning this competition....seems she's had some outside help from Michael...memorizing old school.  Memorizing Acts 2 is how Michael and I developed a friendship which turned into a 28 year marriage...and counting....the man is good at memorizing. ::wink::

Zander is doing GREAT after our extended traveling and Christmas break. I was worried he would have lost ground but he's actually reading BETTER.....I'm praying this is the light bulb moment we've come to expect somewhere between 8 - 10. Have I mentioned lately, "Better Late Than Early," by Dr. Raymond Moore lately? Wow - THAT'S an OLD book. I remember hearing he and Dorothy when we lived in Portland in the 80's. ::grin:: In any event he and his studies gave us the courage to "wait" for the moment with our children that didn't "take off" at 3. LOL

I do believe the older set are going to get a full week of school done....and the younger set are going to get 2 1/2 weeks done. NOT BAD for a 3 day school week!  The older ones are caught up - younger ones and I are about 4 weeks behind due to our 8 week traveling/Christmas break....but we're closing the gap quickly.


Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter Warrior - Year 3

Two years ago, nearly to the day, the older boys were home and saw a news clip about the Winter Warriors of Korea.  That led to this.  They did the same in 2011, but I can't seem to pull up that post. 


Yesterday, someone said, "It's about time for the annual winter photo." I knew...but was still surprised.....living life in the Testerzone.....with plenty of T-Poisoning going around....and think TWO of them are missing. LOL

The girls and I dutifully bundled up to brave the cold so we could document this....
Oops! No Flash (twice)... maniacal laugh

Zander even agreed to take his shirt off this year - Goecker Tough! 


Love Zander's push up style....bet he and Nolan are wondering if growing up is all it's cracked up to be!



Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Sledding Hills, Snow Fortresses and Learning Ops

Wow - it simply snowed and snowed and snowed....and I don't know if we are expected to get more. It snowed so much that my CHILDREN, my DAUGHTER with NERVES OF STEEL, has asked if we can all ride in with Michael to PWOC tomorrow instead of me driving....and MICHAEL has said he'll bring us home after haircuts and go BACK to base to get Nolan after drama rather than have me drive.  I AM a wimp....but this is beyond normal winter driving conditions.  I know BRAVE women who haven't ventured out all weekend. 


Today was Day 3 of a 3 day weekend. Day 1 we traveled home from Tokyo. Day 2 was chapel. Day 3 Michael had a MLK service, and some extra drop in appointments before he could get out. 


The kids and I, however, played....baked...worked on turning this blog into a book....Good fun!  We aren't sure WHERE this thing came from but a BIG, lit snow plow came by late last night and left a lot of snow at the end of our driveway.....the kids had plans to use it to add to our sledding hill and to build a fortress. 
Digging out the entrance to the igloo at the base of the sledding hill

Woot - it's looking respectable after all this snow

Nolan says it's a great hill

I prefer to stay inside and make hot chocolate



Foresight to have left the planters out - chocolate coolers

A fortress
Also on the agenda today was the start up of "routines" involving a healthy life style. I made a great dinner too....and ate just the right amount of it. 


I had a 2 hour long ministry skype. 


We've had a situation here since we've moved in. A boy who simply likes to manipulate Zander's lack of social skills. The mom has been on my door step drunk and yelling before so really there isn't much that can be done here. We've tried. I was encouraged when he came today and started to taunt Zander. Zander did NOT respond. This is HUGE. Usually Zander either lashes out physcially or breaks down emotionally...neither great responses. I didn't realize this boy was out there. Later I heard that he had come over and begun to say that Zander needed to go somewhere else because he didn't want to play with Zander.  Again - Zander didn't respond (which a few months ago made this boy and his mother mad because Zander won't respond to questions and "deadlines").  The OTHERS my  kids and neighborhood kids told him, "This is Zander's yard. If you don't want to play with him, you can go play somewhere else."  I felt like parenting is hard and I can't find the right balance in the situation...but friends helped me to see that it was GOOD for our kids to speak up and not let someone bully someone who interacts with society in a unique way (OK - already - my alphabet child). I think that's true. What this boy has been doing is not o.k. Zander has fought this battle (with the aide of Mike and I trying to talk with parents and give him pointers) for two years....it was nice for others to come to his aide today.....and we'll keep looking for ways to help Zander process the strange social cues coming his way. 


I'm now blogging while coffee cake for tomorrow's PWOC bakes...then I'm sleeping. 


Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Yuuki Photo of the Day


Yuuki is not 100% thrilled with the snow.....today Arielle took her out for a walk and she promptly fell into the deepest ditch out there. Arielle said she couldn't jump out...just the tip of her white tail was sticking out of the ditch....Arielle climbed in and pulled her out. LOL 


Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yuuki Photo of the Day


Yuuki can be a bit of a distraction during Family Circle....Tonight Stacia asks us, "Pray Yuuki has a good day tomorrow." ::big grin:: This dog is a becoming a wee bit pampered, me thinks. 

For the past couple of days Stacia has been worried that Yuuki needs friends. She used to LOVE to go get her hair cut so she could play with Reeses and Lucy, Barb's dogs. She told me again this a.m. "Mom, you need to call Ms. Barb, and ask her if Yuuki and Reese and Lucy can be friends. I'm going to have to tell Reese that I still love her but I have my own dog now. ....but Yuuki doesn't have any other dogs in our house to be friends."....Not sure if she's concerned for Reese's feelings or angling for another dog. ::snort::

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Snow and Quakes - We're Home!

Evidently - THIS is what light snow looks like here in Misawa... Little Home on the Rice Paddies.....

Still snowing.....

I have no idea how much we have.....but I know I had three clean steps off my patio last night....

AND an earthquake last night too....I woke up thinking, "I wish I lived on base so the roads would be clear,".....now I'm thinking, "I'm glad I live off base so I can shovel when *I* think it makes logical sense!" ::snort:: 

Guess we're going to have to get up and get ready to dig ourselves out for chapel.


Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Yuuki Photo of the Day

Since I was traveling and you didn't get Yuuki photos of the day......I'll post a few here....Yuuki playing with her new pink flamingo from Joyful Honda in Tokyo.  


Stacia was trying to play with the flamingo and Yuuki.....


Stacia ran to tell me Yuuki was doing this....




I'm learning the video feature on this new camera. 
video




Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

We Drove Into Winter

It took us 2 hours to get from Yokota AB to the Tohoku Toll Road....is this normal?  We went down 16 to 3 to the Toll Road.... We did enjoy the scenery....
Can you make out the Katakana?
Lunch ....well.....we stopped at one stop and couldn't find "chicken on a stick".....we stopped at another stop and Stacia found some bread with "mystery meat" in the middle. She approved. Zander begged to try these from the vending machine. I gave in - but drew the line at hot dogs from the vending machine.

Complete with a salt packet
Mike and I settled for a box of Cherrios, cashews and yummy oranges....not really liking to try mystery meat.

As we drove along I began to dream of hikes, the beach, Shipwreck, driving up to Towada etc.  I struggled to remind myself it was NOT spring even if there was no snow in sight, crops in the field.....but STILL it shocked me when 3 hours from home THIS showed up on the side of the road.  The roads were still completely clear.

Isn't the snow man cute? I'm not sure what the sign says...."Beware of moving snowmen?" ::snort:: We assumed from the conditions it was warning us that there was snow ahead....which there was....1 1/2 hours from home.....



Our road - back in Oirase
 We can tell from the size of our sled hill (turned igloo?) that it's been snowing the past three days. The warm spring-like weather of Tokyo is quickly becoming a fading dream.....

Yuuki welcomed us with jumps, howls, licks.....We always bring gifts home for the kids....but this time the star of the show was Yuuki. We got her a nice soft, furry, fluffy cushion for her chair...and a pink flamingo.....

It's good to be home. We've got a bit of dinner on the table. Michael went to base to pick up Jared and clean the rental van. We'll turn it in in the a.m.  We DID buy Kung Fu Panda2 and Spy Kids 4 for the kids at the BX in Yokota....so we'll settle in for a bit of family movies....and try to SLEEP and get ready for chapel tomorrow. LOL

There were many highlights of the trip.....visiting Joyful Honda, seeing Mel and Tracy again, the retirement, Molten Lava dessert with the Moreys....but the best thing of all was 18 hours of discussion in a van with my boyfriend. I suspect we've used all our words up for a year or so...but it was GREAT.

Psssstt.....a secret....seeing the  warmer weather of Tokyo is testing this tropical gal's resolve to love the Northern winter. ::snort::

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...