Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall Pinata

Stacia picked out a pinata in July for her August birthday. We ended up having her party in September.  It rained the day of the tea party. TODAY was a nice day. Michael was home. We headed for the common area...and a crowd gathered.  We're becoming the pinata family in the neighborhood - the kids all love it - from the pre-schoolers to the high-schoolers. ::grin::
Stacia got first shot at it

Michael enjoys these as much as the children

Most of today's gang




Knocked to her knees by a butterfly
 After all the kids had had a turn at it blindfolded.....we took the blindfold off and let Stacia go at it again.

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

Beach Bonfire


You May be a Redneck if....

Back story - We've been trying to remember how this idea took root in our family. I believe Jared mentioned wanting to burn a math or science book when he was done with it. I replied that we could surely do that. We've noted bonfires are common on the beaches here...and anything that can burn is burned. You need to KNOW that before you judge us in the photos below...because 1. when in Rome do as the Romans and 2. This is OUR family - we have a strange sense of fun and I don't think we are in danger of miscommunicating our respect for education....OK with those disclaimers in place....

We decided last night was THE night for a beach bonfire. We  planned to have weekly bonfires this summer....invite friends...but our summer went awry.... 

The girls happened to have a couple of broken down dressers that needed to be re-purposed. We also had a broken down wooden video rack and a stack of old consumable workbooks from the previous year of school.  Sounds like BONFIRE to me! 

Michael bought s'more fixings and after dinner we headed out. It was beautiful. There were two other groups out doing the same....well burning various other things. ::grin:: 

The books made great starter, the video rack supplied wonderful kindling and the dressers burned long and well. We DID stay until it was all burned out, covered in sand and out!  No garbage left on the beach....however, if you happen to find a spare American math or phonics page on the beach this week, please pick it up for us. 

 Isn't that a cool wind break? For those who have heard Michael's sermon illustrations of throwing various gun-powder-filled items in a bonfire - please know he is NOW a responsible father of nine! We've just started Astronomy and the star-gazing on the beach was phenomenal.

I know it's disturbing...but consider this...Zander pointed out the Romans would burn their children's toys when they progressed from childhood to youth....we considered this to be that sort of rite of passage. . . progressing from one school year to the next! When Nolan threw the book below in (Easy Grammar - Jr High) it reminded me that Zander is doing well enough with phonics I think I can order Easy Grammar 3/4 for him by mid-year. LOL 

This was great fun for the kids....."maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh"

Give a gal her brother's cell phone when he graduates and you just LOSE her!!!!!!!!!!

Fireworks are a popular summer pastime in Japan. We hadn't used up our stock....and this was a great spot to do it....At this point Yuuki approved....

We discovered she really does not like fireworks! 

Fireside thoughts....

No photos of s'mores as I was busy trying to assemble melted marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers without adding sand to the mix! ::grin:: I plan to have a s'more party when I get back from Conference....because while they do have sugar (which I'm avoiding) they CAN be vegan.  Who can really resist the lure of fire and chocolate?

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

Dinner Intervention!

I continue to search for recipes which allow me to feed my family without having to cook two meals. Sometimes I simply eat the veggie dishes....but as this has become a lifestyle change and not a six week fast...there are times I'd like to eat more than roasted veggies or a salad or beans and rice.  Do note if you ever invite us to your home for dinner,  I am more than satisfied with a nice salad and your veggie side need to cook a separate meal for me...your conversation is filling. ::wink::

I spend much more time in the kitchen lately. One night I made turkey meatloaf for them and vegan tamale pie for me.....small pies - I made 4 and have 2 in the freezer for future meals. Michael opted to eat one of them instead of meatloaf. They were good - but in the future I will use MORE filling, add some olives.....I'll try a few more recipes.

I'd been promising Nolan I'd make Country Chicken Pot Pie for over a month. This is one of my favorite meals in the world...but is not vegan.


I made Vegan Pot Pie for myself...I have no clue why it made so MUCH this time.....I ate a small one, had some for lunch and then froze the rest. I used almond milk and broth this time and it was a bit more like the Chicken Pot Pie...I think the chick peas know... psychologically!  ::snort:: 

The points of this post are:

  • I OBVIOUSLY need a whole wheat pie crust intervention. ::blush:: WHY can't I get a whole wheat pie crust that WORKS? I used to make great pies! HELP. 
  • I'd love suggestions for meals which I could make which would be EASY for all of us - one main dish instead of two.  Feel free to offer your suggestions.  I've come up with a lentil casserole, soups, meatless spaghetti (but they don't really love that). I've also found some which I can make and "add meat and cheese" for the others (lasagna, vegetable calzone, spaghetti, pizza). 
  • If you are vegan  I'd love your tips for cooking with a family which is not vegan...though they are trending to meat as a "condiment" and eating more and more veggies.  Note, I'm still researching the soy question for those with thyroid disease and so am not eating soy products at this time. 
Before commenting that Veganism is unhealthy or sharing other assumptions, please read this. I eat this way as it is what is working and my doctor is fully on board. I've now lost 33 lbs and my cholesterol, blood pressure numbers are great. I am SO close to a normal BMI. I am having labs every 6 weeks (trying to get OFF meds) and I'm sure if I'm about to die from lack of protein Doc will catch it. 

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


A simple glimpse into our homeschool one day this week.....

 We moved the antique table upstairs as we only need one table in the dining room now. The boys really enjoy it in their room. Zander likes staying in the room to do table school - coming down when he needs help.

I knew this would be a good reading nook at the top of our stairs...I thought it would be for me until Yuuki took it over...Arielle doesn't mind. ::grin:: 

The belt on our elliptical wore out and so I've been using a variety of workout DVD/TAPES for the past three weeks. Stacia likes doing them with me....and this day she continued on for the "strength" training after the cardio part.  I'm hoping the part is here by the time I get home from conference....I can do videos a few more weeks. 

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


5 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp sea salt
4 1/2 tsp dry yeast
2 C warm water (warm not hot)

Mix all together.

Knead for 3 - 4 min.

Allow the dough to rest for 10 min.

Shape dough into desired sizes and bake in 375* for 5 - 7 minutes.

Allow to cool, freeze in freezer bags OR top with toppings. When ready to bake bake at 375 - 400* for about 10 min.

Makes 2 large pizzas or 18 mini pizzas. I found this recipe at Heavenly Homemakers.

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

Week's Recap

This was a fairly busy week...and I find myself READY for a weekend.

We had the typical line up of PWOC/PCOC, PYOC, study group, school et al. To this we added AWANA for Stacia and Zander.

It's been a rather stressful ministry week on base...and as this isn't a private diary that's enough said. Thanks for those of you who pray for our airmen. Your prayers are appreciated.

Nolan needs 5 random blood pressure we did that three times this week.

We all got hair cuts.

Arielle took the PSAT.

I had three ministry Skypes and a fourth planned for 07:00 tomorrow.

Akikosan was able to make it over on Thursday night - the first real lesson we've had since June.

I've been trying to get a few things done ahead for my upcoming I made pizza dough to freeze. They'll just need to top and bake to have homemade pizza when I'm gone.

The younger ones and I finished Zoology and did the first lesson of Astronomy today.....which means they can skip science when I'm gone and still be ahead of the curve.

We had planned to go with the Rau family to Hakkoda tomorrow...unfortunately, we remembered this afternoon that Michael is still duty chaplain.....he isn't preaching Sunday so we'll have to come up with something fun to do with our Saturday....we don't often have a Saturday to enjoy together. ::grin::

We had great fun tonight - better than movie night. Blog to follow...probably tomorrow a.m.

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