Saturday, August 31, 2013

...And it STILL Echoes!

Day 2 of our 4 day weekend.....Michael and Nolan worked all day....they began here....

I love this wall glad we went Asian in our Living Room
 They also hung a mirror, stained glass window, and a couple of other photos in the living room. Yes, Michael DOES fix all the nail holes each time we move.

Here is the main wall in our room...some of our favorite lighthouses. We'll have to find a couple more in CA.

I went with an onsen theme in the master bathroom....I have another photo coming which I'll hang in here too.  I also have a collage of 4 4x6 photos to hang...but I discovered one of the panes was missing it's glass and I need to return it.

A closer look...these make me smile. I'm glad Mary and Becky were so patient as I took photos.  I really like these new-fangled floating mat frames....they'll match any house we move to in the future. LOL  If any of my onsen buddies want their own onsen photo let me know which one and I'll email you the file.

 This photo inadvertently has a couple of folks in's our new family past time to search to see how many we can find. ::snort::

I handled these instructions out at one of our PWOC retreats. It makes me smile with many happy memories when I see these.

IT STILL ECHOES! We don't have a single thing to add to the room.......and it still echoes. ::snort::  The kids love to demonstrate. If you visit, be sure to ask.
As we worked we realized this is not a child proof home. Our baby is eight...but I always have lots of young moms I need to think this through. The kids told me they always keep the little ones so busy it won't be a problem. As I think back over mentor group and various ones who've visited...this is true.....hmmmm.

We will either play tomorrow or try to find a car. We really need a car. The kids and I are getting cabin fever. I know we're spoiled. I think we'll feel much more "at home" when we can begin to explore and go places during the day. There isn't a bus that comes out to our town - at least not one I've discovered. I suppose we could hitch hike. ::snort::

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

Friday, August 30, 2013


We woke sad not to be going to Crescent City, but determined to choose joy. With four days to focus, we decided to FINISH the house before Tuesday. Surprised? ::wink::

The day began slow...all slept in...except me. I opted for an early morning hot tub session with Jesus. I discovered the hot tub feels much more like an onsen if you turn off the jets....much more peaceful.   Michael turned the heat up last night and it was awesome this a.m. Steam rising....birds chirping.

When all got up - we worked.  Michael and Nolan hung the blinds in the study. The rest of us then got the table and copy machine in place. We also moved the patio stuff from the front of the house to the back...and moved the garden cart back out of the living room to the patio. LOL

 They kept working in the living room while the younger two and I unpacked the workshop area.

I discovered I could order photos online and pick them up at Sam' I edited a "few" photos and ordered. Michael and Nolan hung the black out curtain in the dining room.

This house has way more walls than our other homes. We began to consider what to do....I moved all the lodge/pine stuff to the family room. We now have two living areas and I had a few Asian things so we went with an Asian theme (Japan, Philippines, Korea) in the living room....we realized we needed MORE photos for that room. I asked a couple of friends about ordering prints from them and found a few. Michael suggested I look through OUR photos. We DID take some great photos in Japan.

We took a break and went out for dinner at Home Town time we go there we are hit anew with how strange Americans can truly be. One note to American women in general...If it doesn't ZIP - don't wear it....and even if it it does zip - it may not fit!

With our tummies full we headed over to Sam's to pick up photos, made a quick run through Lowes and then on to Walmart for frames.....The kids and Michael found a couple of movies in the cheap bin. We put one on and Arielle and I set to work framing photos....

Photos for the living room 

  The Master Suite has to be at least 500 square feet....we have had a beach/lighthouse theme in our room for years.....we kept that....but for the ginormous bathroom I wanted to go with an onsen theme. I found three onsen photos in our files..and the instructions I had printed about using an onsen at a PWOC retreat.

The wall in our sleeping area  is BIG and Michael suggested I print up the lighthouses we liked in Japan....
Tomorrow, we'll hang photos. 

We'd appreciate your prayers as we go car shopping this weekend. 

Personal note - the greeter lady at Sam's recognized me. The check out clerk at Lowes remembered Michael. We ran into a friend from PWOC a couple of times tonight. The waiter was SURE he knew us - he didn't. ::snort:: BUT it is fun to be running into people we know...or who at least recognize us. THAT'S been hard...big box stores where no one really cares if you are there are not....over neighborhood markets. 

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

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Transforming a House to a Home

It seems we've been house-bound and working on "nesting" for AGES...but when I scroll back through the blog I realize we've been incredibly busy and its not been THAT long. ::grin::

We continued to work on the house both Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.   We took a break Wednesday morning and headed to PWOC.  This means we drove in with Michael at 0700.  Zander and Stacia are enjoying the home school enrichment are they enjoying it. This is a blessing for them to be able to connect with other kids once a week.

This is a sight I've not  often seen on a base....cows...evidently we lease or share or something the land around the base to local ranchers. Love it.

I had an interview after PWOC and then headed to Walmart to pick up Nolan's prescription. The base doesn't carry it....too much paperwork. Walmart orders it in...BUT they discovered the doc hadn't confirmed his part maybe soon.  ::wink::

I came home and was motivated to tackle the boxes in the garage. We'd really finished boxes in the house. A quick call confirmed Michael did not want us to unpack his tools for him.  Nolan and Arielle put shelves together....and we did it. EVERY BOX IS UNPACKED (with the exception of tools)! The end is in sight...and the garage looks more organized than any garage we've ever had before. LOWES loves us...

We have so much space. I find myself looking around and breathing thanks...."Why God? Why are you blessing us so greatly?"  We've never had this much room and this space is incredibly usable for our family. I'll have to post an official home tour when we're done.  We have enough room to leave this chess set out  made for Michael, by Krista, years ago at Elmendorf (now JBER). 

Hard to see..the living room has a big hutch, piano, two couches, step tansu ends, 2 desks and a shelf that we don't need  and it still looks big.....but it's looking finished too.

We were blessed last night to be invited to a lovely family's home for dinner. It was a SWEET night of fellowship.We all enjoyed playing with their little darlings....and Zander and Stacia enjoyed a bonus of swimming. They enjoyed telling the older ones as we drove up, "Oh, WE know these kids from PWOC."  Dinner was FANTASTIC... I'd told Rachel about my weird eating thing so she wouldn't be offended if I only ate the salad...and WOW...two amazing salads and grilled eggplant too. I decided the doc allowed once a month splurges and the homemade ice cream was the perfect time to splurge.

We've been working hard to have the house "done" so we could go visit Michael's mother this weekend. We've been eagerly watching for the trailer's registration tags. I sent the check to the AK DMV on 29 July. Last night the VAN'S tags arrived - I renewed online with them last week. The trailer expired before we got our new address loaded into their system so we had to do it the old fashioned way.  This a.m. I spent hours on hold and with the DMV trying to figure it out. Bottom line - they don't know. Our check is gone. We'll have to send them another one. We won't have tags for the trailer tomorrow.  I've been researching options for this weekend. Disappointed - determined to choose joy this weekend wherever we are.

I ordered this year's Tapestry of Grace books while on hold.

Some will remember the trick certain young men played on me when Michael was deployed....I meant to get two of them back this a.m. It was a bit alarming for Arielle.

This was a much pleasanter sight. LOL 

I enjoyed a Skype visit with Krista this a.m. We gave her a tour of the home. She's a good sport. The kids were a bit fussy - so I had them help me move Michael's dresser and the love seat in our room (he wanted it move around I'm not simply crazy).  We also moved carpets around. I like both carpets but  I LOVE this was in our room but I like it down here. Though now I'm worrying about people walking on it with muddy shoes.
Arielle and I hung photos and a clock in the school room and my "Japanese" quilt in the living room. Nolan and Zander moved pro gear and Goodwill boxes to the garage. Zander climbed to the top of the cupboards in the kitchen to place a few things for me.  NOW they are playing wii.

Arielle and I are still discussing the best way to fill these "squares". The problem is they are soo big....My thought was a big canvas with Josh 1:8,9 on it (our word of the year). We plan to use the screen from the projector as we halved I can make that sort of big...but I'm not sure you'll be able to read the words.
I saw this last night and LOVED it..I could make ours bigger....but again would you be able to read the words? I've had fun brainstorming the words I would want to use...and I think I'll try to create it even if it won't look this snazzy and I don't use it "up there".  The frame Arielle is holding is 20X27. The biggest print I can make at Sam's is 20x30....I'm trying not to spend $ on pieces I won't need in a small home.

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

Monday, August 26, 2013

All Our Stuff....

is finally in one place...our house!!!!  Now the downsizing can really begin. Watching eight  GIANT dish pack size boxes of Christmas Decor being unloaded  reminded us WHY we quit doing Christmas "American Style." ::snort::  We're still talking about how to do Christmas this year as  we'll have a houseful expecting "Christmas"....but I'm pretty sure I am NOT going to kill myself putting up all these decorations....pretty sure I'm going to bless a few thrift stores. We've come to really enjoy our laid back, non-stressed, worshipful Christmas' the past four years.

Michael got the cutest look on his face when he saw his Craftsmen tool chest, air compressor and box after box marked "tools" come off the truck.  He looked at me and said, "I have the Christmas feeling." There you have it - finally - the "Christmas feeling" everyone promised us. (Mostly I'm feeling overwhelmed - but that is my typical Christmas feeling. ::snort:: )

Arielle said she got the Christmas feeling when she saw THIS. 

I nearly got the feeling when I saw the hutch placed in the living room....nearly.

My boyfriend can hook up appliances in his sleep. ::wink:: 

 I got the excited Christmas feeling when I unpacked this book...."The Encyclopedia of Cooking," c. 1949.  I need to repair the binding. This was my Grams' and it's filled with her writing....made me get teary excited.....her Divinity Recipe....

Thanksgiving Dressing Recipe

Mrs. Morisette's Angel Food Cake Recipe

Arielle was with me as I unpacked. We've been talking about Grams a lot the past few weeks. She died before Arielle was born. I've shared how Grams taught me to bake bread, and pies....and how she could paint and sew and was a Bible Study teacher....I guess we'd never told her we named her after not Mabel...but Arielle...Lioness of God. She approved of the Dessert Cookbook which was Grams'.

This is my is full of handwritten recipes, 1/2 written letters to my mom when she was on the mission field.....the front says "keep 1965 receipts"..... Yep - the Christmas feeling. I'll downsize, but things like these we'll store.

Disbelieving horror - "What is it?" 

From before our  Nutratarian Days. ::snort:: 

It took them a couple of hours to unload our things. Michael and the boys got busy hanging things and putting a workshop space together. I headed to Lowe's....Arielle worked in the school room/library and began unpacking glassware....They tell me this will feel like a living room "soon."  Do you see the COUCHES?!! YES....and the room still feels huge with all our stuff in it.....Maybe I'll leave the boxes. ::snort::

After dinner we,  someone ok *I* discovered our "garborator" doesn't like artichokes!  Michael has it all up and running.....I'm starting a compost bin.

Plenty for the kids and I to do tomorrow.....

We discovered the movers, four years ago, unpacked all but two of my memento storage boxes and threw things into a giant box.....  As we sorted through we found all sorts of things....and these two items are about to become Stacia's favorite for playing dress up. After 29+ years of marriage I think I can allow that. LOL  The kids have heard the story about what happens when a bride with a big veil gets too close to the unity they can picture it. LOL 

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

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bird B Gone

Michael woke up early to a call from the Command Post and a surprise counseling session...a bit tricky in our one car-ness state.

The rest of us went to chapel....

Then we headed across to the next town...looking for lunch and the RIGHT HARDWARE. ::snort::

Michael bought these...hmmm....Scary...but it is a "Professional Bird Control Product!"

I'm afraid they're going to skewer themselves...Michael says they're not that dumb. HE'S not been here listening to them fly into our windows all week....repeatedly.  ::snort:: 

That perplexing shortcut I discovered - 20 min one way and 12 the next? Turns out the speed limit is 35 mph on  much of the road - and I didn't see the signs going home. There ARE a lot of orchards out that way. In any event if you drive the whole thing thinking the speed limit is 55 mph you can make good time. LOL 

WE MADE NEIGHBOR CONTACT - again....and learned yip and yaps real name....and he has idea for our pigeons too. He told us the dogs can "bark a bit, but when they know you - they'll stop."  

We discovered the MICE are under the hot tub....we are now redeploying all mouse traps to the hot tub. 

MOVING TIP - never wash a garage floor with bleach unless you know what  has been used on it previously.....airing garage at 10:30 p.m. 

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

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Will we EVER be done?

I'm not sure. 

Another full day of "arranging" and "hanging." Michael was home today and THIS is why he asked I wait and let him do our room.....Our room is NOT done. 

Hanging pictures for Michael involves stud finders, tape measures, tacks, string and levels..... While he was so occupied, to get me out of his hair make the best use of our time, he sent me to Lowes to get some hardware to fix the sliding keyboard shelf on our desk and pick up a mattress for Stacia. 

He KNOWS sending me to Lowes is like me asking him to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond and pick up a specific item. It strikes terror into my heart. It takes me HOURS and I ALWAYS come back with the wrong item.  However, it was our chance to get out of the the girls and I headed to Lowes and Sam's with Michael's lists. 

I still don't feel comfortable driving the van - or driving at American speeds. I comforted myself by saying over and over, "If I can drive in Tokyo, I can drive in CA." We were on the top of a narrow bridge (and those who remember where I was during the earthquake may remember I really don't like driving on high bridges any longer), when it HIT me. I turned to Arielle and said, "Arielle, I NEVER DROVE in TOKYO! I took the subway." ::snort:: 

She laughed and said, "I wondered about that." 

I was excited to discover a shortcut to Sam's....20 min going and 12 min coming has been 25 min. I'm not sure why the time difference. 

I found everything at Lowes AND discovered old men like to give me their names and addresses in CA. He promised to come right to my home and help me with these repairs. I really DID look clueless. He also told me he built an airplane from a kit....that did sound know...I have the Boyfriend at home. 

Next was Sam's. Lord HELP ME! Arielle proudly commented, as we left the store, that I lasted much longer this time before the stress of over-stimulation and uber-choices sent me scrambling for the peace of the van. I grabbed a mattress we needed for Stacia and slid it to the front of the store....I didn't have to look at anyone or see anything.  I'm pretty sure the flirting at the check out, the wild bench pressing of said mattress and talk of salaries had little to do with me...and much to do with Arielle.  ::gasp:: 

Back at home Stacia was THRILLED beyond measure with her "American Futon."  This is a girl who likes all the wrinkles to be out of her bed. 

Her room mate likes to make a nest that's "all snuggly." 

That hardware I was sent out for? I got the wrong thing...and my man friend INSISTED it was the right hardware. ::sigh:: 

We're trying to be "DONE" before labor day so we can  play. 

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

Friday, August 23, 2013


The kids and I are making an all out effort to do EVERYTHING we can without Michael's help before the weekend. This not only eases his stress, but keeps us from going stir crazy in the house. We haven't had time to find a car as each spare moment is used for settling in.   My hope is we'll be so unpacked when the rest of our stuff arrives, we can quickly finish and go enjoy Labor Day weekend. 

We didn't touch the master suite. Michael doesn't buy the philosophy of Rose and me: "crooked means personality." He said he won't fuss about anything around the house. I ASKED him if he'd prefer I not do our room. He said he doesn't want 50 lbs of painting falling on him while he sleeps. I then asked about the wall decal and he sweetly said, "Why don't you let me help with that." SO.....I didn't touch our room today either.

I also didn't find the photos from MOPS. I am going to simply go to the photography sites of  friends and order new photos....then I can get bigger ones too.

The day began with two lovely hours discussing how God works in our lives with a sweet friend/mentor. She encouraged me not to rush the work God is doing in my life. It was fun to discuss where we see God calling us after the Air Force. God only knows how He will get us there. It will require more changes in our lives than I really want to contemplate right now. This time of preparation is essential. I am not lazy or selfish. I am carefully following where He is leading so I am able to faithfully  minister to my family and am prepared for the new calling/mission which He is placing on our hearts.

I broke out the moving whip and we sprung into action after the skype.  We had a couple more wall decals to put up.  This one is not a verse....but I know it will make me smile when I'm in the laundry room - and that is often.

I thought this was great for the school room 

Speaking of school rooms - the boys put the table together. I moved a few pieces of furniture into the closet....then loaded big things like globes, microscopes and such to the top of the closet, and I unpacked 12 more boxes. I moved the remaining 11 boxes to the far side of the room in the hopes that the movers will put the coming shelves right in place (remember we started with over 50 book boxes and many others in here). This also leaves room for the coming books to be put on the other side of the room so we don't have to move things twice as we did this time. I really can't do anything else in here....Michael could set up the desk top - but the desk is still broken.
 I also:

  • Ordered beaded curtains and tie backs  for the girls
  • Shopped for a patio curtain - really I did
  • Ordered the curtain rod and tie backs for the patio door
  • Got distracted shopping for patio gazebos with curtains
  • and by investigating Japanese style onsens in Northern CA - who knew? 
  • and by looking for a Japanese language course at Arielle's request. She's done Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur...she wants one that will make her "fluent"
  • Finally, I just clicked and ordered some curtains which should work
Since I couldn't think of a single moving thing to do.....the girls were free to bake a big cookie in Stacia's birthday Hello Kitty Pan. Jamin, she thought of you and told me you gave her this pan. 

We've had pizza and salad. The older ones are all reading which is bugging Stacia. I'm about to put Peter Pan on the big screen and we'll settle down to wait for Michael to get home. 

Shew - we've been busy this week. 

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