Thursday, May 30, 2013

Today's fun

Now that packing is behind us....I'm working on getting the children and me to Korea for a week. I've gotten the paperwork signed, have us on the waiting list for a Monday flight and have rooms reserved in Seoul for 4 nights. I'll need to find lodging for the other 4 nights when we arrive!

Arielle and I are about to head out for her 16th Birthday trip with a few friends.

Michael and the youngers will settle in for pizza...and a movie on the laptop?

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

The New Norm

"I could have slept until noon, Mom!"  Yep, Stacia LOVED sleeping on her FMO bed rather than her futon of the past four years. 

"The whole house is basically like a BIG hotel!," is Zander's nearly constant refrain since FMO delivered.  (Editor's note: I reminded the kids this afternoon that it is NOT a hotel and HOUSEKEEPING is not going to pick up after them.)

Some have asked if we are camping out for the next seven weeks. Not really. The Air Force has what is called TLF - Temporary Living Facilities. You are allowed to stay in these when you arrive and leave a new assignment. Often it's for a couple of weeks up to a month. When we moved HERE we got stuck for three months in TLF while we waited for a home.  Misawa evidently allows active duty families only 5 days in the Misawa Inn when they leave. BUT you can get loaner furniture from FMO and if you want you can also check out packages of dishes provide your own linens. It's really pretty nice. We opted to keep some of our own dishes and such and have a last minute shipment of under 1,000 lbs the day before we move into the Misawa Inn. 

Library/computer/school room has become the suitcase room! 

A friend and I have been talking about going to Hachinohe for months. She called and wanted to do it before she is packed out early  next was the day. Off we went. It is always an adventure...but we eventually did find the  Hachinohe Cement Factory.....

Why would two American women want to visit a cement factory? Because it has been turned into a big complex of recycle (thrift)/antique type shops.....fairly reasonably priced. Ms M. was able to purchase some great finds. *I* had just packed out yesterday...but I was aware I had another 1,000 lbs leaving on 10 July and I CAN mail things to America if we are over our weight I dreamed of several doll sets, chests and mirrors.....I bought just a couple of things....

Akikosan told me one of these shows a famous prison and the other a famous road to a temple.....

I'm happy with this....and it will house jewelry....I can easily mail it to CA. 

We backtracked to town to enjoy lunch at an Organic Buffet....a nutritarian's dream.  Hinano is right beside a great onsen and close to Toys R Us. 

Stacia's flower girl dress cute. Akikosan was here for the great reveal and said she'll go with me to a spot in the mall which does good's ok for length but quite a bit big around the top. If they can do the alterations we'll have it done here to fit....if not....I'll order a smaller size. 

We enjoyed a couple of hours with Akikosan and all are now settling in for another wonderful night's sleep on our FMO furniture. Tomorrow will be another busy day...a new adventure for Arielle and me, trying to work details for a possible trip to Korea on Monday. We shall see. 

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Life Amidst the Boxes

Mike met our packers on base to pack up his office. We had a little more of a relaxed start around here....I am still guarding the wifi modem......and happy to see it's left in the "library" amidst the boxes.

We were thrilled they left our beds in tact AFTER ALL last night....though it DID make extra work to have stripped them in anticipation of them being taken apart the first day (as we'd been told to do). ::grin::

We're all working to stay in the moment...enjoy our weeks left (7 as of today) in Japan....we share with each other honestly...and in unguarded moments these are the types of photos we seem to be collecting as reality begins to move closer to our determined joyfulness.  Yuuki was happy to have her bed in the middle of the chaos. 

  You just take a quick nap, Arielle, I'll stand guard! 

An hour into packing they let us know they didn't think they'd get done. They had insisted they'd be done in 1 1/2 days...and so we had scheduled delivery of our FMO (loaner) furniture for this afternoon. We let them know FMO was scheduled for the afternoon...they said they'd try...they called in reinforcements...and with 12 - 15 in the house....things began to move quickly.  Though we spent the day in leisurely, reading, visiting with neighbors.

The men from FMO showed up just as the last items were being loaded on to the moving truck. This gave me time to sweep the edges of rooms before new furniture was brought in. 

We've discovered Stacia has an ingrown toenail and I DREAD what this may mean. UGH. 

I hate to admit what happened after the packers were gone and the furniture delivered. We all succumbed to our first real bout of moving self-centeredness. The kids had spent the past two days playing with friends while Michael and I dealt with the house situation.....we wanted to set up the new furniture, make beds, put things from the "secured locations" back into the house and SLEEP.  The kids, however, wanted to go to BASE for Club Beyond and AWANA. I'm not sure any of us handled the conflicting plans well...but in the end...grace prevails. I ran the kids to base....we had plenty opportunity to practice forgiveness and grace. I dropped the two olders at club, took the two youngers to dinner, Stacia had AWANA and I put my foot down at driving Zander home and then back to base again to pick the rest up. He came with us for AWANA Awards night. I enjoyed a brief catch up with Dawn and then we drug ourselves home. 

Arielle and Nolan helped me unpack the laundry room (as we really NEED to a functioning laundry facility). Arielle and I stayed up and rearranged the furniture in the living room and chatted. 

I would like to fit a trip to Korea in for the kids before our move...and so I'm trying to figure out looks like maybe the 3rd....and that means I am very behind in planning. LOL 

Seven weeks left in Japan. 

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Monday, May 27, 2013

It BEGINS...Day 1

I woke early this morning to find Zander sleeping on the love seat in the living room.  This clued me in to fact he was processing "the move." He woke up as I finished my quiet time and we chatted about moves and change...and why he was sleeping in the living room. 

He sums it up well, "I'm excited to move, but I don't want to leave here!"

We were pretty confident we were ready for the packers.....

Cupboards, closets, laundry room and shower rooms sport nifty red "do not enter" signs cut out by Stacia.

We waited. They were late. My mind flashed back to the last time our packers were late. It was the second day of our pack out from Anchorage, AK. Happens our packers went out after packing the first day to a well known watering hole, got drunk, decided a mid-night climb would be fun...fell down the died, others in hospital....

Today, they were just late as they were doing a quick ship pack out for another family.  Eventually five men showed up.  This is actually our NEIGHBOR'S home and packers. I got lots of Ethan holding time today - YES. 

Yuuki is ever watchful! 

We decided to keep her bed...and the kennel is secured for the flight.  She seems to think we are all crazy! 

The kids settle in to watch...and then they went over to a neighbor's to play, have a picnic and enjoy themselves.....

Zander was driven to walk home and watch the packers "touch everything." This is bothering him....but it is good for him to be around to watch the transition. Change can be hard. He did a great job cleaning out the kayak for the movers.
Four crates and a Sofa Crate were sealed and ready to go today. A few being that the boxes don't seem to be marked by was too late to do anything about it when we noticed....the other Michael took care of....unwrapped shepherd's crook (garden hangy thing) packed with a projector's a long trip...some things don't do well with a steel rod inserted into them. ::snort:: 

After lunch, 5 - 7 more packers showed up. I really can't say how many were in the house...more than 8 less than 15....things got hopping.

Ahem.....this wall art caused great merriment...and I had to run and get Michael to deal with the situation as they took a hammer to our bed....they take things down to tiny pieces...the bed gave them trouble and so they took off ALL the hardware...the coat rack is now about 6 inches get the idea. The movers are going to LOVE putting all the furniture back together on the other side of the move. ::grin:: 

We were told REPEATEDLY we "have very heavy furniture." Our furniture IS bigger than the typical Japanese furniture but not bigger than most American furniture...we did buy a step tansu....anyway they got it all packed, lugged down the stairs and crated. 

 One of our neighbors brought dinner over....what a blessing. It was great to sit outside and sort of picnic. Nolan came down with a fever and headache and spent the day on a mattress in his room.  He was sorry to miss dinner - but there's plenty for tomorrow too.  Note, Yuuki doing her best to talk to Zander about sneaking her some cheese laden food - she doesn't get any.

It was a productive day. Michael and I enjoyed the time to talk. He kept up with the Spurs highlights and game replays online and I read out in the driveway in a rocker! 

The highlight of my day was Lacey driving by so we could hug goodbye before she attempted to fly home to CA. I love my gals.

They took a break every hour and a 1.5 hour lunch break...left at 4:00 p.m. but they STILL got a lot done. Tomorrow they'll begin at Michael's office and then finish here at the house. 

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


We are ready for the packers to show up bright and early in the morning. 

The day began with more sorting....(ship now, ship July 10th, pack in the suitcases, give to missionaries, take to a thrift store, call the garbage company). 

Our garbage man LOVES us. We've heard HORROR stories about how expensive it is to throw things away. Zander has run out to meet the truck twice a week for over a year.....he takes our garbage out to them, exchanges greetings, and bows.  It looked like we'd experienced a minor explosion when they showed up today as we were "sorting." The plan was to CALL the garbage company and arrange a special pick up - but they asked if we wanted them to haul things away. They took EVERYTHING we'd sorted for garbage. They also told us they will do the same for us each pick up day until we leave...but I can't imagine generating too much more garbage. They took a driveway full of stuff for Y2000 ($20). 

We are now 50 days out from our plane day....but we aren't going to dwell on THAT.  Here's a few shots from the day....

Some may remember the story about a trip I took with the children to America. One night in the hotel Zander let me know he'd put a snake in a bucket in our garage. I alerted Michael and Jared which resulted in a wild search. The conclusion was he must have dreamed it - there was no snake. He agreed he must have dreamed it. This story, however, was forefront in my mind when I reached up and found THIS...

I screamed.....they laughed.  I'm not sure we'll ever know the full story. The kids assure me THIS skin is one they found on a walk through the rice fields. 

Yuuki continues to stay close to HER things....

We worked.....

We've cleared the shower rooms and laundry room for stuff we don't want them to take now. We've made little red "do not enter" signs for doors and cupboards we don't want packed. We've purchased a couple of cases of water, muffins and chips. We've packed clothes...we've TRIED to get  my new laptop to access my OLD luck. 

In family circle tonight Michael told the kids, "We're about to begin the marathon!" We pointed out we've been running since January....he agreed...this is the final lap or two. 

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Farewells, Bonfires and Moving Madness

I do not think we could have fit one more bit of fun  into Jared's short trip home.  He's winging his way to TX as I write.  It was a short trip - but it was a great break for us in the midst of moving madness....and it was good for him to get to come home to Japan one last time. I believe we needed to see him and he needed to see us. ::grin::

Michael realized last year, due to the abrupt circumstances of his departure, Jared didn't have a "final" week at chapel. He had volunteered in seen and unseen capacities for three years. Michael gave him the "God coin" today at the airport.

 When Jared left for college he planned to be back to see us before we moved. Today, he knew this may well be his last time in Japan. This gave the leave-taking a different feel.

In a God-coincidence, he ended up sitting next to the husband of a gal I mentor. They had a great talk to Haneda, rode the bus across Tokyo together and Jared hopped on the plane for MN and TX.


 This was taken just after they bowed to the plane....

Jared's final moments in Misawa.....

We planned to spend the day preparing for our packers and attend  church this evening....about 2:00 p.m. - as we were nearing a need for a break - I remembered there was a combined service today. It turned out well as we needed to focus on getting ready today. We deliberately did NOT focus while Jared was here. I am glad the kids and I have worked on this daily for weeks before his visit or we'd be in a world of hurt now.   For our mid-afternoon break we decided to use up a science kit rather than packing it.

If the mentos don't work....try water and a bike pump. This little car was so impressive we decided not to throw out the kit. LOL

We packed for three more hours and then loaded a bunch of burnables into the van for our "end of the school year" bonfire. We also found fireworks which can't be shipped.  Yuuki had been following us around all day...we were never out of her sight. She seemed a bit perplexed by all the  activity. She was very happy to jump in the van with us and head for the beach.

Arielle texted a couple of friends that we were at the beach - come and bring marshmallows - and they did. It was a fun way to end a busy day of moving madness....We'll keep at it all day tomorrow and we should be all organized (things to ship now, things to ship July 10th, things to go in our suitcases, things for the missionaries, things for the thrift store, things for the garbage) before they arrive Tuesday a.m.

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Unleash the Monster

This day took a twist when Michael and I needed to run down to the hospital at Hachinohe to visit a few troops. 

Jared went to visit with a friend. 

We unleashed the moving monster while he was out.....

We valiantly tried to subdue the moving monster when Jared returned.....picked up some pizzas and a souvenir Jared wanted and settled in to end our night laughing with Tim Hawkins.

Jared will fly out tomorrow a.m. and we'll spend tomorrow and Monday finishing up the "organizing" portion of this move...sure would be easier if the thrift store were still open.

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...