Monday, October 29, 2012

Almost Outta Here

What a day! It wasn't smooth or very pretty - it certainly wasn't as efficient as I like - but I'm packed and ready to head out in the a.m.  I had to get labs and the doc hadn't ordered them correctly. I ran errands, came back, they still weren't in. They had me wait for 5 min which turned to 20,  BUT WE GOT IT DONE!!!!! He wanted it done before Halloween and I won't be here on the 31st. In retrospect I really should have done it on Friday - my bad.

I went to make prints I need to take on the plane and had forgotten to load them on the flash drive. ::snort:: A great benefit to all this driving back and forth is I had downloaded quite a few podcasts and I  was entertained.

I'm packed - this may be a record to be packed the night before.  Every decision seems monumental when you've had as many unexpected extended trips as I have....but I finally just decided to throw things in and go for it. ::grin::

Michael showed true love by chasing me down with a plate of stir fry veggies topped with cashews. He told me to EAT...and I realized I'd not eaten today. Oops.

It was great to talk to Jared this a.m. Stacia ran errands with me. Good kids one and all. We're blessed.

I'm off for the PWOC International Training Conference in Nashville, TN.  It will be a full week. It will be a blessed week. It will be a refreshing week.

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

Jared Today

Stacia and I had fun chatting with Jared this a.m. He was happy to be out of the ICU but disappointed he wasn't able to go home today. I assured him hospitals don't keep tri-care patients without a cause as tri-care is notorious for paying what they think is realistic and not paying the rest. ::snort::

He may get to go home tomorrow.

The boys are planning on moving next weekend.

He's missing more and more work.

He's getting further behind in school.

And he is starting to feel better. We talked about the possibility of not getting a 4. this semester, and possibly going to school for a week or two without work to ease back into full time at work and full time at school. All I could offer was mommy advice...he's an adult and will make his choice.

Praying God grants health and wisdom as he recuperates.

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

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Zander Trains Yuuki

This series of photos is pure fun. Zander attempts to train Yuuki to eat her lunch and leave his alone during our hike yesterday. 

This is MY organic-Vita Cost granola bar! 

I've got my eye on yours.....

Yuuki makes her move

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

Oriase Gorge - Fall 2012

We've had ten years of assignments which took us to locations with VERY little fall season.  In AK it lasted about 3 days (maybe it was 2 weeks) and in TX it never really got that crisp, leaves turning color thing where we lived. 

We love the four seasons in Northern Japan. Honestly, winter could be a wee bit shorter - but we love it all.  We decided to drive up Oirase Gorge yesterday and view the fall color....little did we know that the 27th  and 28th were the days the gorge would be closed to automobile traffic. We took the detour which took us to the top of the gorge and we began hiking. It was LOVELY to be able to hike in the roads with nothing to worry about except motorcycles and tour buses. I THINK folks bought tickets and then either hiked up or down the gorge and took the bus back to their starting point. We couldn't read the signs and had no real idea of what the plan was so we just hoofed it. 

We didn't see Americans on the hike - and that's too bad as it is the perfect day to do the gorge. We did find it funny when we were lunching by the "big falls"  tour groups would come by this national treasure and take our family photo instead. ::snort:: Michael said it is probably because we are a large family. I feel like we're a small family these days...but it may have been. 

We did see another couple on our way back to our car....and we found out some friends were up there some Americans got to enjoy the day. 

Here are a "few" photos (culled from over 200 shots).

We stopped at the "top" of the detour to grab a few shots and let Yuuki stretch. It was hard to get people photos and stay on the right side of the barrier - but I attempted it.....

After we saw a Japanese couple hop the barrier, we did too, and Nolan snapped this. 

Arielle stayed near the car with Yuuki

We stopped at a few spots on our way DOWN to the little ferry landing and the top of the gorge. 

This is my "What is he doing now" look

Amazingly clear water
 This is the start of our hike down the gorge

I LOVE the kids' cooperative expressions. LOL 
Would serve them right if this became
the Christmas photo!

The manhole covers in Japan intrigue me. I've captured them in several spots. Each has it's own local flavor. 

We stopped here for lunch. Yes. 

Beautiful lunch spot

Hmmm.....come to think of it my sweatshirt is fairly loud for this culture...maybe THAT is why we had so many photos taken. LOL 

Zander was chatting away about Samurai while he did this and many men stopped to take his photo - before I told him, "STAY on the path!" 

Many were off the path for art's sake. Zander was the only sword-wielding Samurai. 

Lots of artists spend the day here
Not sure what this says but the ghost caught my attention

 Back at our starting point!

This was a great day. For any lucky enough to have another fall in Misawa, I recommend  watching for the days the roads are closed and go on up next year. 

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

Jared's Update

I was surprised when this showed up on my Facebook page. It seems one of my FB friends went to visit Jared and got a photo of him for me. Only a Mama's heart would know how much I enjoyed seeing his photo.

Just heard Jared is OUT OF ICU. His temp and heart rate are normal. He has no more IV's. His blood pressure remains high - but that's doable. He hopes to go home in a day.

As Bre wrote, "Thanks for praying, please pray for continuing healing that would be supernaturally fast and then supernatural ability to get caught back up on homework when he is physically capable."

Choosing Joy!

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

Friday, October 26, 2012

Talked with Jared

Ah! Talked with Jared and we're figuring out this time thing. It's early Friday a.m. in TX - late Friday night here. We'll call him last thing at night and first thing in the a.m. and get reports at both ends of his day.  

He is still in the ICU. They had hoped to move him yesterday but decided to keep him where he was. He reports he's had several visitors  (in the ICU ::snort::) and  the nurses were getting confused as they thought each was his mother.  Then in the evening Steve and Debbie showed up. He told them these were his surrogate parents.  He's put them on the paperwork so they can get medical info. If he ever goes dark again we'll still have someone able to get the info to us. ::snort:: 

He's doing much better. His heart was high - spiking to 255. They've given him drugs to bring his heart rate down and that seems to be part of the concern. It is now averaging a bit high but in a much better range. He is still getting breathing treatments every couple of hours. 

He reports he has a "million IVs," is woke up every hour, doesn't like the breathing treatments at all - but he's feeling much better.  He has a nasty cough. 

They hope to move him out of ICU today. We'll call when we wake up in the a.m. which will be 5 or 6 p.m. his time and see how the day went. 

I am guessing he'll have reports of his own as soon as he can get a laptop. 

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

Facebook to the Rescue

 Ah - and there were more Jared updates Facebook. Obviously - FB is better than the phone. LOL

Josiah confirms  vitals are normal.

Debbie, our friend in San Angelo, writes:
 "Steve and I went to see Jared yesterday and boy did he look a lot better. He is definitely on the road to recovery. He was even joking with us. "

There you go - if he's joking - he's feeling better.

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

Jared Update

We have not been able to reach Jared or the hospital today. We're staying up to try to call early in the a.m. TX time. We did see this from Bre's facebook timeline so she must have reached him.

"Brother update: all of his vitals are normal and they are moving him out of ICU in the morning! Praise the Lord! Thanks for all the prayers...please keep praying him through;)."

We plan to stay up late tonight which will be very early Friday a.m. TX time (I believe).  In any event, if we don't reach him, I'll call in the surrogates.

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Quick Jared Update

Jared has been moved to the ICU (this is a good step), his heart rate was stabilizing last I heard and his fever was going down - 104. The Dr on this shift did not feel we need to fly home. He said he's a "Sick dude, but in the right place." We will see what the morning in TX brings and make decisions then.

 This is all good....and yes, I don't much like being this far away...but he's got some great brothers and surrogates there....we trust them all to keep us informed and let us know if the Doc is downplaying....

Another prayer request the boys  moving....Jamin will now be at a Regional Race and Jared is out of commission. This is a lot to fall on Josiah...though he's a great Cuya!
Jared on a happier day with Gov. Perry and Jamin

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

"Tell Mom..."

I'm flying again in 5 days. Of course, we all began to remember my recent trips and wonder what would happen this time....then prayed it through and shook off the feeling. 

Jared has been sick.  He emailed on Sunday it was the first time for him to be sick without me nearby to take care of him - and I thought of  buying a ticket.  He went to the college clinic days ago and they said,  "You have some sort of infection. Take these and wait a couple of days." 

Yesterday, Josiah took him the UCC as his fever was 102. They gave him meds and told him he had an infection. Last night Michael and I couldn't sleep and saw Jared had said he had a 104.5 fever. Kept praying.

Josiah got home from work and found Jared's fever was 106. He took him to the ER. He called our family friends,Steve and Debbie, and they met them at the hospital.  Debbie works at the base's clinic and knows the tri-care/med procedures well.

She, Josiah and Shelby just called. The doctor has admitted him. He will be in at least 3 days. He is getting breathing treatments. He has pneumonia.  The official word is he's, "One sick boy." The message we received is we will need to fly home to "make decisions"  if he isn't improving within 24 hours.  I expect him to improve!

Josiah just messaged to send me this photo. He was getting treatments and his heart rate was over 200...and he had a message for Mom.

He doesn't appreciate tubes in his nose

"Tell Mom I'm wearing clean underwear."

They are settling him into a room. I waited on hold for over 37 min and then decided to leave my number for them to call if anything changes. They're busy.

Specific Prayer Requests: 

  • Jared's fever and symptoms respond to the meds
  • Jared is at peace about work and missing classes
  • We're at peace that God has this - though we're here

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

Ringo (Apple) Adventure

Christie talked about the Apple Man last year. Dawn and Deb talked about the Apple Man at lunch a couple of Sundays ago. Dawn brought us some apples on Saturday.... and today....after running back to base for Arielle's retainer..... she and I went on an Apple Scouting Adventure.....

We knew it was "right by the train tracks." We drove down to the station and took each road that crossed the tracks. I thought Christie had said there was an apple on the building. I told Arielle I didn't want to resort to knocking on doors and asking for apples. 

Finally.....I spotted these as I swerved around a parked truck....looked promising. 

Apples have been expensive at the commissary. $8 - $9 for a small bag with about 6 apples in them.  They've also been dry and leathery. We LIVE in the middle of apple growing country....we parked and walked back. We could see the apple as the other vehicles had left. 

The Apple Man came out with a knife and sliced and diced all sorts for us to try. I picked some really SWEET, CRISP, JUICY ones. I laughed when he wrapped up the apple he'd cut and put it back in our box. 

Arielle has missed being able to bite into an apple....we both grabbed one and indulged on the way home. We were smiling big, enjoying our apples, when we looked up and saw a fellow driver watching us and laughing. It made his day to see our delight in the local apples. 

I purchased the mid-priced apples....Y1600 ($20.58) and got 56 apples. That's a savings of approximately $43-$61 on this amount of apples.  I'm happy. Maybe you have to live here and know how expensive produce is to appreciate this post. LOL 

Who says eating healthy in Japan will cost your entire COLA? 

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


FINALLY - after two appointments where they opted to leave them on - TODAY Arielle's braces came OFF! 

Trying to find a BEFORE shot and noting that Arielle didn't do a lot of full smiles for photos before braces...hadn't realized that before -  she's always had a beautiful smile. 

July 2010

You can sort of see here - she had several cross bite issues going on, a tooth turned sideways etc. 
May 23, 2010

DURING....this a.m. 
October 24, 2012 - Last moments with braces 
 Arielle was METICULOUS with her dental routine after hearing all the horror stories of brown teeth and broken bands etc....she did all they asked her today...

I took her by the commissary today where I purchased her very first SNICKERS bar in over 2 years!

Oct 24, 2012

Even better than a Snickers! 
We'll go back in this afternoon for her retainer...and back in for youth and AWANA...been awhile since we've had a 3 trip to base day. 

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

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Krista's New Job

Another Adult Gherkin update! 

We are thrilled how God worked out the circumstances for Krista to be able to quit her college job and follow her heart to a job which brings her provision, fulfillment and allows her more time to pursue her ministry as the Children's Pastor at Lively Stone Fellowship. Krista is working with a local school district. 

Just look at the beautiful spot where Krista works. 

Krista writes: 

The little girl I work with is amazing. Even though she has many challenges she keeps a positive outlook on life. She and I get along well. I meet her at the bus and see that she gets safely to class and into a chair. Her moving from her wheelchair into a chair is a new thing. She is so excited to be allowed to sit in a normal chair! (She has Brittle Bone Syndrome). 

After she is settled,  I  work on grading papers and answer questions any of the kids might have. When it is time to leave the class room for PE, Recess, Music, Reading groups, or other things I accompany her and make sure she stays safe in the hallways and other locations.

During recess it is always fun and yet a challenge to come up with games that are fun, involve her peers and keep her safe. So far the popular games have been jump rope (she and I are the only people who can swing jump ropes double dutch style ;-) and a form of kick the can. We always play on the side slab of pavement, because I can more easily control the environment i.e. keep balls and more rowdy kids out. The downside of this is that the pavement is not well maintained and is rather rough. This has resulted in some of the children that play with us to get hurt when they fall (it is a when with this age group). They all understand that "H" can not take her wheelchair on the grass and they continue to  deal with the higher risk. (Don't you LOVE this? In a recent FB post Krista asked for suggestions for games a child in a wheelchair could play with her peers. Leave suggestions in the comment section and I'll get them to Krista.)

I also am teaching two reading intervention groups. "H" has her groups at a table in the same room so I get her situated and then go and work with the children I teach at our table. This is nice for her because she gets a little independence. It is also nice for me because it gives me something to fill the two big empty gaps when I was just sitting. The children I teach are all sweet. I think I have finally mastered there names but it took a while, not to remember them but to remember which went with which child.

No "Krista Post" would be complete without some sort of nod to the UofO Ducks....

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

Kite Flying

We are determined to make the most of the rare treat of having Michael home on a Saturday. You may have noted we did not go on a field trip this week. We had planned to go to Hakkoda as a family - but remembered Michael was duty chaplain on Friday night. ::snort::

After the pinata Michael mentioned it would be a fun day to go fly kites. We got in touch with Dawn and Elizabeth and set out.....It turned out to be rather UNPREDICTABLY wind, gusts of wind....but it was still a fun outing.....

These two enjoyed the time to play....I observed a few issues to work on with Princess Chatterbox. Funny to watch what happens when two extroverted girls get together.....good stuff to learn now.  Elizabeth is in Japanese school and so only has every other Saturday off.

C'mon Mom we're tired of photos! 
 Dawn has cool camera which has a switch that allows you to turn the camera around and see what you are taking. If she ended up with better photos than mine, I'll share them later. This was with us and the girls but the girls were cut out in all the ones I took.

 I did not know Dawn is vegan until our tea part and it's been great fun to ply her with questions. She is very patient.

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