Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Another Fun Afternoon Made Possible by Margin...

Have you ever simply been unmotivated? That was me today. 

I woke up early and it took me longer than I thought to prepare the "Lovin Japan" post...just as I was heading to the Word, Jared Skyped. That was awesome. 

After that I needed to work out - but couldn't get motivated. I finally did. 

We got some school done...and then Stacia and I ran to the "Strawberry Produce Market" up the road and met a friend and her daughter.  We bought the girls a treat from the bakery - which neither was overly fond of...maybe I'll pack a treat next time - got them a drink from the vending machine and headed for the little tables in the greenhouse with the banana trees, pineapples, figs and mangoes. 

 We took time to explore the chickens, pony, bunnies and rabbits. Finally, we sat in this little enclosure and introduced the girls to the foot onsen.

This provided time for Lisa and I to touch base.  We've not done that in far too long. I hope our conversation encouraged her - it encouraged me.

Tonight is AWANA and PYOC. I'll be taking Stacia and the older ones in. Zander is not sure he wants to continue with AWANA - he makes some valid points. He has agreed he will continue to memorize the word, regardless.

Michael left for work this morning feeling ill. So he'll be home with Zander...and I think I'll find somewhere on base to spend a couple of quiet hours...or maybe I'll take a towel and hit an onsen....

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

Lovin Japan ~ Japanese Food

I'm consolidating many "favorite entries" to one entry today....though I'm sure other food entries will make the Lovin Japan list in a featured slot.  FOOD....many of these dishes can be purchased in the states - but they simply taste better in Japan. ::grin:: 

As a rule, meat is a condiment....presentation is fantastic....meals are unhurried (who can eat fast with chopsticks?).  Here are some of our favorites....some of the recipes can be found under the Yummy Eats tab.

To this very long list....add daikon, a host of veggies and dishes of whose names we haven't a clue, onigiri, pickled veggies, spicy ginger on the side of plates, random eggs cracked over burgers, soup, rice....and "cute food" which deserves another post. 

Zander's First Ramen experience in 2009

Krista's First Bowl of Ramen 


Bre's first plate of Yakisoba  

Yakisoba from street vendor

Veggie Gyudon (personal creation)

Tamanegi Gyudon - Egg, Green Onion Beef Bowl 
kimishowota via photopin cc
Gyudon - Beef Bowl
9stars via photopin cc
Cheese Rolls  (made with camembert cheese I'm told)

Yakiniku - the exception to meat as a condiment rule
kenleewrites via photopin cc

Curry Rice
jetalone via photopin cc

Nikujaga (Steamed Meat and Potatoes)
I Believe I Can Fry via photopin cc

On our trip to the south of Japan I determined to try Okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake...it's name loosely translated means "What you like" - or as you like it ...fried. I discovered there are many versions...very few of them are vegetarian - though I did find a recipe to make vegetarian okinomiyaki. I always planned a separate post....but I'm going to throw the photos in here. 

Okonomiyaki - Miyajima style

Okonomiyaki - Osaka Style
pyrografica via photopin cc
pelican via photopin cc
lestaylorphoto via

I'm hungry now. 

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

Lovin Japan ~ Earthquakes

2510 since 3-11-2011.... I debated about posting this item on "the list"....given what we've experienced here it doesn't seem right to say we "love" earthquakes....but earthquakes - frequent; big and small - have been a part of our time in Japan...and some of us will miss them....and so today...on this day after some were kept awake with three earthquakes in the early a.m. .....

I'll post this...we will miss the sense of awe, wonder, and zest that rattlers bring our way.....and the email alerts telling us where the rattler was centered and how big it was...6.1 last night. 

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

We are Thankful....

that Stacia is feeling better....she was happy and sassy when we got home from PCOC. It was also nice to have a bit more quiet than is the norm the last two days...just keepin it real!
Stacia sleeps on a futon 
I was thankful to get a workout in before PCOC today - and about 1/4 of the way into the morning I realized I probably didn't need a workout today - my PCOC sweeties will take care of that for me on Tuesdays.

 Wow...God is blessing us with lots of new children. Nolan and I  are thankful for a full room of preschool children...and a fun day with no escapees. Nineteen in the big fellowship hall is much more enjoyable than 19 in a classroom. LOL

I am thankful for lunch with Nolan at Cheese Roll - just the two of us. He was gracious to eat all the chicken from my yakisoba for me.  We made a flying run through the commissary and headed home.

We were thankful the weather was great today. We opted for an outing to the "Statue of Liberty Park." Trees have tiny buds....I am DETERMINED to drop all we are doing when Cherry Blossoms bloom this year...and yes, I'm praying we DON'T get a thunder storm the night they bloom this year.

Um - this is an unusual sight

Stacia and Zander were thrilled to have all the walking paths to themselves. We also walked into the residential area behind the park. 

Zander wasn't quite as thrilled with the roller slide. 

Yes, a Kindle and a good series were the right birthday choices. 

We are thankful for spring days in Misawa...and for lovely encounters out and about in Japan.

We have begun working through the parables of Jesus in Family Circle now that Lent is over. I am thankful to FINALLY have children all the right ages to sit still and fully participate in family devotions. It took decades...it's a nice place to be. ::wink::

Michael seems to be coming down with Stacia's bug...prayer appreciated.

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

Roasted Asparagus Salad w/ Chickpeas and Potatoes (Vegan)

This Susan's recipe from Fat Free vegan. Check out her site if you are looking for vegan fare - or just some yummy, healthy side dishes to go along with your meat. 

Observant readers will note there are no chickpeas in this photo. I've been trying a variety of roasted chickpeas and was OUT...I used cashews and it was a hit. 

2 medium gold or red potatoes, about 10 oz
1 C cooked Chickpeas
1 bunch asparagus (stateside bunch - about 12 oz), trim and slice into 1 in pieces
1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
2-3 cloves of garlic - unpeeled (I used much more)
1/2 C fat-free balsamic vinaigrette, such as Susan's Balsamic-Raisin Dressing 
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

*spice up with herbs, red pepper flakes, olives

Preheat oven to 425*.

Cook potatoes until tender but still firm - any way you choose. Allow to cool slightly and cut into 1 inch cubes. Place in serving bowl along with the chickpeas. 

While taters cook, spread the asparagus on a baking sheet and sprinkle the onion over it. In a corner of the sheet, place the unpeeled garlic cloves. Roast until asparagus is tender yet still crisp, about 15 minutes, stirring once after 7 minutes. Remove from oven. 

Set the garlic aside to cool and put the asparagus into the bowl with the potatoes. 

Peel the garlic, mash it and stir in the salad dressing. 

Pour the dressing over the asparagus mixture. Stir gently to combine. 

Season with herbs, salt and pepper. 

Notes: Makes two large one pot meal servings; or four side servings. 

Nutritional Info based on two servings: per 1/2 recipe: 303 cal, 21 cal from fat, 2.6 g total fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 10.7g fiber, 14.5g protein. 

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