Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's ONLY Wednesday?

I drove with Michael to base today and kept the van. I was able to go to the fitness center and get a work out in....which was nice. 

The kids and I  decided to take advantage of having wheels and go explore our area. We didn't find a thing we set out to find. We did discover the Yuba City Airport, a big amphitheater, lots of corn and cows.  We found THESE on our doorstep when we came home for lunch. Thanks, Valerie. We're sorry we missed you and the girls. 

Our big goal for the day was to go back to base and get our laundry done before we picked up Michael.  It was hot and run down...but functional. We have clean clothes.

We saw our first coyote as we left the housing area. Unfortunately, a truck hit it just as we saw it. 

I said earlier today on Facebook I really needed a date night but didn't think it would happen until after our trip. When we got home Michael asked where I'd like to go. We put  pizzas in for the kids and headed for Chipotle. YUM - vegan bowl....very good. 

There was a little store next door which sells and repairs phones. We went in and discussed phone options....we really don't want a two year contract....burned too often on those with our lifestyle.  You don't WANT to know how much it cost us in Japan to leave at the "wrong time". LOL Still researching. 

We stopped at Sam's club and decided we'll go back tomorrow night and pick up some furniture. I want a futon before Bre gets here. She needs a mattress and we plan on getting one anyway.

We hit Lowes and came home.....This cracked us up....doesn't show up well - but our 15 pass parked next to a really tall truck. Michael said, "We aren't in Japan any longer are we?"  He suggested you could drive many Japanese cars under the truck. ::snort::

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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Yip, Yap and Ugly

Woot! Today I met Laura. Laura has been a Facebook friend since we found out we were moving to Beale and is the local PWOC president. She came bearing home-canned spaghetti sauce made from her freshly picked tomatoes, SHOWER HOOKS (my children rose and blessed her name), a gift from PWOC and her vacuum and long-handled duster for us to borrow until Thursday. 

It was a great way to start the day. 

I called several places and was finally able to find an indoor, place with room - and friendly folks - to board Yuuki for a bit.  It's a vet hospital in town and they'll  most likely become our vet. Two birds with four phone calls. LOL 

We learned today that after-lunch walks are not predictable in CA. Arielle is not sleeping - she's sun bathing. ::snort:: 

We found yet another park.....

Yuuki pulled up to a tree, laid down in the shade and made it clear she didn't want to budge. Luckily we were a block from home. I was thirsty as she drank all my water.

Summer Reading

Nolan did what I could not do. He climbed on the camp chair and was able to reach the cobwebs in the bottom of the high window. He couldn't reach the top - but that appears to be unreachable until ladders are unpacked. ::snort::

In Family Circle we read Luke 14:26-35 and discussed what it means to be a follower/disciple of Christ and what it means to count the cost. It was a good discussion.....

However, the best mommy moment came when Zander shared, "I think if God shut the mouth of a lion for that man in the Bible, he could shut Yip, Yap and Ugly's mouths too."  We prayed the dogs either shut up or our ears are shut up. ::snort::  It's 10 p.m. and they are still yapping.

We need to get to know our neighbors...which we will do when we return. We need to know the dogs' names, maybe that will help to settle them.

After family circle Michael trounced Zander in a game of Acey Deucy. He had won Nolan the night before. I joked  I would play him and win....and I did. I rolled about 8 Acey Deucys and many doubles. Great fun.

The kids taught me a Japanese card game they learned on their trip south last month - Dohoku or Dofuku....It was pretty fun. (South in Japan that is).

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

Spa People....

The pretty purple colors tell a story. The first night in the spa, I felt sting-y and got a bit of a red burn. My silver Japanese courage necklace also turned black where it had been in the water. 

We adjusted. 

The next time I noted Stacia's new purple suit had lost its color.

We added more water tonight...and I need to buy a car over the phone so I can find a pool store and buy something new for this Gherkin soup. ::snort::

Maybe we aren't spa, we can figure this out. We'll figure it out by Thursday because Bre - the elder Gherkin - is coming to visit and is bringing her suit. She's going to drive to the WEDDING with us. ::grin::

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

Monday, July 29, 2013

First Monday!

Michael went to work.

I baked my first item in the new house.

We had breakfast. Trying to get a feel for where furniture will go. 

I put the broom to good use and tackled  cobwebs…unfortunately there are a few windows far higher than I am – even with the extension and standing on a camp chair.  We unpacked all the bags - which means we found the farewell quilt shown below (I didn't read it). This photo shows Stacia on the landing of the 2nd floor - to the right are the art squares and the windows with cobwebs (inside) and pigeon poop (outside) are higher still. 

Arielle needed some alone time… the rest of us went to explore the neighborhood. 

We are blessed with a MUCH cooler day today. Still lots of sun but really pleasant for walking. We found a bigger park a few blocks away.  The boys noted this is the perfect set up for Bunko! 

Zander willingly showed Stacia how to go down the pole. She decided to wait "until she's 8."

We heard chickens in a back yard....and since we have dogs barking all day long on either side of us...chickens may not be too noisy. ::snort:: 

Stacia sat in the hot tub for hours....don't worry about the "heat"....I didn't turn the heater on and the water was at 80 degrees.  We've discovered she's like Krista - she bronzes rather than burns. She'll be stunning in white in a week. 

As we unpacked I found a few more "last minute" items for the mantel.....the glass floats Stacia and Zander found on our last trip to Cape Shiriya, the Sayonara doll the chapel gave us at our farewell (I'm still not reading it), and the memorial flag from Dad G's funeral.

Our first dinner in our home...salad, artichokes, roasted asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, fruit salad and popcorn chicken.

Japanese style 
 No, they are not giving us their rapt attention during family circle....they are watching the PIGEONS...which we've discovered have a NEST above our high window...that explains a lot.  We will go to war when we are settled...we're also tracking down some mice. LOL

Finally, please pray for our adjustment to our new home. We are thrilled with the house. Moving in to the house brings home the reality that we are NOT simply traveling, we won't be going home in a week or two....and this has been hard....especially (today) for Arielle and me. Another prayer request is we find a used car which will work for us and get good gas mileage. It will help when we can explore the area, while Michael is working. ::wink::  I'm finding it really difficult to drive a 15 pass van after driving small Japanese cars at slow speeds for four years. I'd love to find a Nissan Prairie Joy in the states. LOL 

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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Happy and Sad at the Same Time

I woke up today in our new home. That made me very happy – and a tad bit sad as I remembered our home in the rice fields of Misawa and our neighbors.

It made me happy to have my first cup of tea in our new home. I happened to have this one tea cup from our Korean trip….and I found a pot to boil some water. LOL

I was alarmed to discover I’d forgotten to buy a shower curtain. In Japan you have shower ROOMS – no curtains. It had totally slipped my mind.

We attended our first service today at the Valley Chapel at Beale.  We really loved chatting with folks. We look forward to getting to know the faces and names we met this morning. That made us happy…but it was happiness tinged with sadness. We missed the familiar faces from the past four years.  I noted there were only two youth besides ours (at least that I saw from my seat). It made Arielle miss her friends.
We were invited to lunch with a family from chapel and that made me happy….but we got out of the chapel too late to join them. That made me sad.

We went to Sizzlers. Sizzlers is the restaurant where I met Michael’s parents for the first time. Happy memories…tinged with a bit of sadness as Dad G won’t be going to Sizzlers with us again. I got a text from Mom G which read “@ Sizzlers – proceeding to Buffet.” That made me smile.

We are learning to make the most of our trips to town – it’s at least 25 minutes to anything from our home. ::snort::  We were in Yuba City so we decided to stop by Target for some home essentials (shower curtain, toothbrush holders, garbage cans…).  We headed to Wal-Mart for the things which Target didn’t have and for a few more grocery items (those things I didn’t need Sam’s Sizes).

It made me happy to see Michael sneaking Internet on his ipad at Target and Wal-mart…and I’m anticipating “blazing fast” wifi in the home by tomorrow night.

It made me happy to see little homey touches coming to life.  It made me laugh to discover I forgot to buy the shower hooks.
Shower brought to you by AT/T
It made me really happy when Michael was able to get the adhesive residue off our front windows.

It made me happy to see Yuuki in her new bed (with old blanket). It made me disgusted to see her corner a frog and go after the poor thing.

It was a joyous surprise to find a bit of color in our yard – not sure what type of plant this is.

It made me happy to see old family routines returning to our lives.
Note the square alcoves above their heads

It made me happy to see new family routines beginning…..

Bring your suits if you visit. Michael says I can’t do this onsen style. I warned him it’s sure to happen so he’s thinking of how to get some privacy back here. ::snort:: We need to fine tune the chemical levels - it was a "bit" strong tonight. 

It made me happy to be transported back to Japan in my memory as Arielle and I sat in the hot tub… made us both sad to think of dear friends we’ve shared onsen soaks with in the past years.

You truly can be incredibly thankful, joyful, happy and sad at the same time. It’s a familiar feeling.

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

Saturday, July 27, 2013

House Camping

Today we moved in to the house which will be our home for at least the next two years.  We were less-than-thrilled to see the neighborhood watch at our place. 

After unloading the van we wanted to find a spot for dinner and shopping. We were at a loss without Google…but then I found the phone book. I told the kids they could look up local attractions in the yellow pages…”really?” Oy vey – holes in their education! ::snort::

We decided on Hometown Buffet (good for vegans and cannibals  carnivores) and Sam’s Club. We smiled for our alien looking membership cards (camera is out of kilter) and proceeded to shop….We usually have some food in our shipment but this time we packed NO food items at all.

The younger three enjoy catching and releasing after getting a good look…..

It was late by the time we had things unloaded…and tomorrow is our first day at Beale chapel. We SHOULD go to bed. Michael and Arielle started settling down for the night – the others and I walked around the neighborhood.  

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

Friday, July 26, 2013

Decorating conundrums

I have a video of the closet to show you....but my computer says it's running low on memory each time I try to load it. We have a fantastically HUGE walk in closet as well as a normal closet in the master bedroom suite. I'd like to reclaim the space in the suite.  I loved Jen's room and I think I may make my own spot in the closet. ::snort::

My other decorating conundrum is this...what would you do with this spot if you didn't have art work...and I don't want to buy any to live in a home for two years..... Would you leave it as is with nothing, put something else up there???? This is high in the ceiling of the living/dining room. I assume it's for art? As it has lights shining on it.....

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


I often heard complaints about the size and selection at the  commissary in Misawa. It was much bigger than the one at Goodfellow AFB.  I checked out the Beale commissary's small too. This is the entire natural foods selection. Some of our favorites from Misawa are not here. ::snort::
Not to worry - the difference is I can still shop via vitacost and I have many other stores to select from in the area. LOL

 We visited the club for lunch today (WOW - MUCH more expensive than Misawa and much less selection - what's with THAT????). I noticed the vegetable panini  option. I asked for it without the cheese. He offered to sub other cheese. I explained I don't eat cheese.  He made me a wonderful panini with tons of asparagus on it....and told me I can ask for him to make a vegan panini even if they aren't on the menu. SCORE....better than the grilled chicken salad without chicken of yesterday - aka bowl of iceberg lettuce.

These two enjoyed playing in the sprinkler outside our trailer....the only other kids in the camp were drawn to us. If we were all staying here a bit longer I think they'd have new friends. Another homeschooling family. They are moving 45 minutes away....I was hoping maybe the same neighborhood. ::grin::

We packed again today....this time to move from the trailer into our new house. We'll finish packing, pack up the trailer, take the trailer to storage and move into the house tomorrow.

We CLEANED at the house today. I was proud of the kids. We discovered where the mice were living. We set off spider bombs. We scrubbed tubs and showers and sinks....washed baseboards and walls and railings...replaced filters...and scrubbed appliances....we are going to LOVE our new home.  We're excited to  "move in" tomorrow and begin house-camping.  We have a few more projects but we can work on them while we live window tracks, behind appliances (Michael pulled out the fridge and stove which led to me begging for a reprieve),getting rid of wasp nests up high by our front door, and cleaning pigeon mess off the high windows and front of house.

She WAS washing walls in the boys' room...the floor was too exciting

All of our sleep patterns are off. We are used to the sun going down between 4:30 - maybe 6:00 p.m.  The sun here doesn't go down until much later....and so we are constantly realizing it's 10:00 p.m .and we're still out and about. Tonight we got home at 11:30 p.m.  

Arielle mentioned being ready for dinner and we thought it would be fun to head into Roseville for dinner,  a quick look around, and to buy spider bombs. I LIKED Roseville - but I think I'll do more of my shopping locally if I can find options. I hope to visit the area at least monthly...but not weekly.  Too much gas.....I want to save my gas $ to explore California. 

Like Owner Like Beagle? 

I made lots of videos. I thought it would be a good time to tour the house (before things are in place). Michael pointed out my comments accomplished the same thing seeing the furniture would (here is where the electric keyboard will be, here is where the printer will go...). ::snort:: 

A productive day.

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

Culture Shock Tidbits

 We're sure to have bigger and more profound thoughts on this - but here are our random thoughts. 

We've looked repeatedly - there are no buttons to call your waitress in America. This was Stacia's job and she misses it.

If your baked potato doesn’t arrive with you meal – don’t patiently wait for it to come out. Assume the chef forgot.  In Japan, food comes out piecemeal as it is served.

Chopsticks really DO make eating noodles easier…..

Beware of scantily clad old men sitting in doorways at night.

“All the bathrooms are Western style, Mom.”

“Gross! Where are the squatties? I’m not putting my bum there!”

Beale AFB has a phobia about “hand hygiene”….stations ALL over the base with antibacterial gel….several in the chapel, every office, every building…..what’s up with this?

When I asked Stacia why she’s not talking to people she responded, “You warned me not to talk to strangers.” 

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

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Getting Acquainted with Beale

We’ve been occupying ourselves doing laundry, organizing the trailer, taking care of “move in” things for the house and acquainting ourselves with the base and local cities.

Good sport - helped me shuttle laundry back and forth

We’ve learned the GPS sometimes gets creative in the routes it advises. At least the instructions are in English. 
Others have obviously come this way.

In our wanderings we’ve seen lizards, ANTS (lots and lots of little sugar ants), pigeons, owls, rabbits, deer, frogs, turkey and hawks and beautiful sunsets.

This photo could work for "culture shock" too....the sign before the light said, "One lane bridge" and/or "narrow bridge." Shoot - this is a highway by Tohoku standards. We are use to smaller than this being two way.

Fam Camp 

I had to convince Stacia and Zander this was NOT swimming water. I had planned to take them to the base pool, but without a car and with the heat....walking was out of the question.

We enjoyed the AC in the Fam Camp lounge when the heat went into triple digits and our AC went on the blink in the trailer. Imagine living in a can of spam in the desert and you pretty much have the idea.

Ah, indulgence without sticker shock!

Driving to the Housing Area...can you imagine how pretty the rolling hills will be when they turn green? 

Michael's office is in the Foothill Chapel in the housing area

We enjoyed dinner with a couple of chapel staff families. I enjoyed the time to visit with Barbara and Valerie and look forward to getting to know both (and many others) in our time at Beale.

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