Thursday, August 15, 2013


Nope, haven't found that "Christmas feeling" yet. ::snort::  It's o.k. I will love this area....I will make friends...I will grow in this "pause."  Opening the boxes makes it  all so "final."  We really have moved...and yes, moving from AK was hard as well.  Loving well leads to a glorious sorrow...quite honestly, I find myself wondering if I have the emotional reserves to love deeply knowing I'm leaving in 2 years....I suspect God will grace me with the energy to love well - that's my life mission.... 

I spent 13 hours today unpacking.  

Michael and Nolan ran to town - which turned out to be two towns - to find all the supplies they need to put up the projector and such.'s going to be nice. We'll get the family room put together in no time when the projector and speakers are up. BTW conduit is WAY more expensive in America than it is at Homac in Misawa. 

The kitchen was my priority.....all the boxes are unpacked, widgets are stored etc. I  will not hang things on the walls until our last shipment gets here and I can eyeball everything! Michael got home about the time we were finishing the kitchen. He came bearing a roast which right into the crock pot. 

This kitchen IS huge....I think I burn calories preparing a meal in it. Arielle and I put EVERYTHING out on counters before we started stowing it this time. We want functional. I think we've got it. 

While the men were gone I kept the other three takes a lot of effort to keep Stacia and Zander moving in the right direction. Yuuki hid in her kennel. Silly dog. We also organized the garage and made progress on bedrooms...a bit. 

Arielle got all the games put away...and I think I have a chest coming which can house the blankets.....table clothes can go in the BUTLER'S PANTRY - why didn't I think of THAT before? 

Stacia and I painted conduit for Michael and Nolan's project

Mid-afternoon nap in the family room

These two were so worn out I gave in and let them soak...

Michael and Nolan continue to work 

I'm disappointed in how much damage I am finding. The desks that can't be reassembled....I knew my floor lamp was taken apart and put in a small box...but this was a surprise. 

My step tansu....

I suppose I'll finally submit paperwork and get "something" as all the little things are adding up...

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

Christmas - I think NOT - well Maybe!

*Note this post may sound like whining. If it does, show us a bit of grace! I have a need to be 'real' as future generations of Gherkins need to know that WE weren't ALWAYS perfect. 

I COULD simply say, "Bre went home to OR. The movers arrived with all our things from Japan." Simple and short...accurately documents 14 August 2013 for family posterity....

(Fuzzy photo but I snuck out of the family prayer circle to get a photo as Yuuki cracked me up - she seemed to think we gathered for her benefit!) We wished Bre God-speed as she headed up the interstate. It made me happy to know she has friends in Redding and stopped to visit with them.

Everyone has been reminding us today would be "like Christmas."  I've said that myself in past moves. Traditional Christmas - eagerly waited  and prepared for,  full of expectations, a bit chaotic, a bit messy...but all in all exciting.

12 crates today - more in a few weeks

These guys were GREAT 
We had expectations of moving day. Of course we expected our things to arrive. We expected a thing or two to be broken. We expected a crowd to feed. We expected chaos and clutter. We expected long days of hard work to follow the advent of the movers.  We expected no remorse as we said goodbye to house camping and slept well on our own beds for the first time since May.We expected the youngers would be happy to find their old toys and widgets.

We also expected when our things arrived we'd feel the excitement of "home." Arielle notes  we are a military family  and wherever we are IS home (she was born months after we entered and knows what she speaks of). This happens quickly....not so much this time. It's more than the  Ninevah thing.... We KNOW God moved us to CA. We have been warmly welcomed. We look forward to getting to know folks better. However, we love Japan. We know God is calling us back to Japan. This two year assignment feels like a "pause" and we've yet to discover what God would have us do in the pause.

I recognize my sense of adventure, my attitude, drives the family atmosphere and ready acceptance of  change. I, and the family, are consciously choosing joy. Oh, no PYOC or Club....God has something new for us to explore. Oh, very limited crunchy food at the commissary (which is only open 4 days a week)....we are justified in exploring local stores. Oh, it's HOT here...praise GOD for warmth.  Even in the midst of choosing joy I've observed a dogged stubbornness not to write or voice CA as "home" in myself and a couple others around here.  We LOVE what we are seeing. We ARE excited to explore further.  It seems disloyal to call CA home. Home is Japan.

We expected our "things" arriving would make this feel like "home."  It was to be like Christmas....and like Christmas we had unmet expectations.

Arielle and I decided it felt more like Halloween and we'd been tricked! ::snort::  I realized with sudden clarity I am TIRED of packing and unpacking. We've been living out of suitcases and UNPACKING to repack since May.  In the best of times I don't really enjoy packing and unpacking.  I unpacked the first box and expected the rush of, "Hey....look at this...." but felt instead, "Oh, LORD, how many boxes are there to unpack????"  I seriously began a pile of stuff to take directly to Goodwill.

We did NOT expect to find customs violations - popcorn in the cushions.

We did NOT expect to find International stow-aways - dust bunnies all the way from Japan.

We did NOT expect to find two great eating spots with amazing customer service right up the road!

Nevertheless, Christmas or Halloween, it's the day the Lord had made...and we rejoiced.

Our movers were AWESOME....they respected the home. They respected our things. They worked hard - and it was hot. Several told me we were "great"  and they were thankful for everything we did to make their job easier.

They were interested in our story... the younger two made sure they knew ALL our family stories....even down to the fascinating tidbit you can hear everything Mom and Dad say in their room throughout the house (vents).  Stacia was happy to point out Mommy and Daddy can take showers at the same time in this house.  (Um...she seems to think the dual shower heads makes this possible and that it was impossible in other homes.)::snort::

They laughed with us about how WELL the Japanese packers take things apart. DESKS in small, tiny boxes....and along that appears several of the desks will have be replaced because they took off the hardware for the keyboard  to slide in and out and it can't be put back together again according to our mover and Michael.

The first unexpected event of the day was when THIS small piano (as opposed to the big one which will arrive in a couple of weeks) would not fit in it's designated spot. Measured wall to wall just fine...but the devil is in the baseboards.....I told them to leave it that way and we'd think about it.

Love the kid that made it functional....

 Games - not sure they will all fit in the two  high cupboards...but maybe...

 ACK forgot the black container is full of games too

The love seat DOES fit in its designated alcove in the "master suite."  But it really feels awkward there and cramps the entry the Gherkins and I decided to move it...and our dressers, bookshelves and bed....while Michael considered the challenges of the projector and surround sound. They explained the love seat could be shaped into a "V" and moved through the narrow doorway.

 Yes, I did EVENTUALLY suggest they stand it on end to move it through the doorway...but first we enjoyed laughing and I enjoyed the break.  Nolan would like to find a spot to place it where we'd have a reading nook. I had a recliner at the top of the stairs in Misawa and they enjoyed reading there away from all. I don't want to buy another chair....but maybe we can find an isolated reading nook for the love seat. Until then it sits in the master bdr.

We made sure all beds were assembled and made.

Michael and Nolan installed blinds in the boys room. They look great. 

The rest of us began unpacking boxes in the kitchen. Arielle and I are visual. We opted to unpack it all and set it out so we can SEE how much space each item will need. We really need that hutch to arrive - not sure how we collected so much China in Japan.

I left Arielle alone for a few minutes and came back to this.  I do plan on taking her to a doctor to make sure this is "normal teen sleeping,"  and not narcolepsy or lack of iron.

We unpacked from 3:00 - 9:00 p.m.  We'll spend the next few days with our noses firmly attached to the grindstone.

It IS fun to watch a home unfold.  We enjoyed about 20 minutes in the hot tub together at the end of the day. Stacia is turning into a great conversationalist. She really curbed her desire to talk non-stop and asked each of us to share a story. It was fun.

I went to sleep last night still disturbed at my reluctance to use the "home" word.....and God gently reminded me this a.m. Japan is not my home....Jesus is my home. "Lord, YOU have been our home in all our generations!" Psalm  90:1

He is about good things in the "pause."   I can't even imagine all He has planned at this moment in time. I won't rush the pause.

Our family word of the year is "Courage." This year's verse spoke loudly and clearly this a.m. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Trick or Treat? Halloween or Christmas?  It's an attitude we can choose! ::wink::

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