Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday - final stretch

Today's goal is to live in the present. The girls have two full days left and will leave here Thursday a.m. (Wed night in the states).  Thus the title...the final stretch of blog catch up and the final stretch of this visit with Bre and Krista. 

I took off from PWOC.....Krista, Zander and I went in and did some set up and then I took them to breakfast. Bre and the rest were sleeping when we left. 

We did some BIRTHDAY SHOPPING for Arielle and then I dropped Krista and Zander at the Weasel's Den for batting practice and I ran to the doc.

Dr report - I'm now quite hyper- thyroid. Over-medicated...I was instructed 6 weeks is  not 6 months and I must be back in 6 weeks. I explained I had ministry projects, lost two months with Michael's situation (which she knew) and traveled. I will be back in 6 weeks. It would appear my thyroid is jumping around a lot - and THIS explains my insomnia. I now take one yellow pill for two days and a pink pill on the third day. I CAN remember this.... She didn't want me to go completely back to yellow as that put me way over the 1-2 range - 4.8. Today I was still quite a bit below the 1 but not as much as the last visit when I was only on pink.

We spent the afternoon getting things the girls wanted to take back to the states.

We had one of Bre's favorite dinners - BBQ meatballs.  Michael made one of his famous cakes for Arielle and I ran to pick Jared up from work.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Cape Shiriya - May 21

Michael took leave on Monday so we could have a full day as a family. Jared had to work in the evening, but the rest of us headed up to Cape Shiriya.  It was gorgeous! We had never been up and seen the ponies this early in the year....and Krista found a float and Michael found two - small ones - the cute size. 

 Note Bre at the top of the rocks - with her PURSE! ::snort:: She said the ONLY thing that would get her over her fear of heights was getting Stacia to the top. That'll preach!

 There are lots of trucks on the beach harvesting this - figure it's the mystery ingredient in sea food ramen.


Michael impressed Zander (who is always hunting for perfect sticks) with this piece of bamboo. 

 Float nestled in the midst of this thing. 

See the hooks? Big fishing lure....

Evidently the house was there before the freeway was built...so it goes around it. 

We were a bit of a sensation here...and took all the seats....wonder what it would have been like if the three missing Gherkins were with us. LOL 

Krista enjoys her first bowl of ramen. 

Our haul of the day! 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Post Retreat - Lake Towadako

The town was strangely quiet when the 60 American women left....the girls and I wandered down to the lake. Krista hadn't seen "The Maiden" yet - or the nekkid ladies as we call them in our family. History tells us an artist dearly loved his wife. She was schizophrenic and died in middle age. Out of his great love he sculpted this statue of her - nekkid - and it is now a monument visited by tourists from all over. We've discussed other ways of displaying great love for middle aged wives should the need ever occur in this family. ::grin::

There were still a couple of snow piles in Yasumiya - Krista and Arielle  had to climb them - of course.

Sadly, our families traditional hike to the Hagen Das vending machine revealed it had been removed. Arielle was up to the  task and found a replacement in an apple ice cream stand. The vanilla, apple twist is to die for!

We stopped at a restaurant ladies told us about on our way home.....once through the gorge! We had a bit of a wait - well worth the wait in my book!

We returned home in time to grab the rest of the kids and head to the 1700 service. A full weekend, a blessed weekend.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Kingdom's Treasures 2012

Another beautiful year at Yasumiya up on the shores of Lake Towadako! 

It's hard to know what to say about a retreat. Working behind the scenes you see it from a different perspective than others...this was a great retreat. We had 57 women and 4 babies attend... ::grin:: The babies were incredibly well behaved! ::wink:: Fun memories include onsen visits with new friends, late-night talks with Ruth and Akikosan, hiking the gorge with friends, Bre and Krista hosting the high school girls in their room for a night (gaining Arielle sleep over experience, as we don't do sleepovers) and taking them out to Karoke at 10:30 - 11:30 p.m. - in Yakatas. Good times.....

And above all - the move of God in our midst...in tiny details, in big details, in worship and still times of solitude, in teaching sessions....it was what we prayed for - and more!  

Our theme was Kingdom Treasures: Spiritual Disciplines. Four of our women, Tara (Prayer and Fasting), Christie (Hospitality and Service), Terri (Worship and Confession) and myself (Secrecy, Silence, Solitude and Surrender) spoke on various Spiritual Disciplines.  The retreat was planned so that there would be small group interaction as well as a session just to go off alone and spend time with God. This session - Sanctus Diem (Holy Moments) -  had a booklet I created with input from Tara and Renee B from afar, full of  prompts to practice what had been preached. LOL 

I especially loved having my daughters along - three of them. Yes, when asked we welcomed young women to come to our retreat. They had their own small group and really enjoyed the time together and the depth of the messages.  We also had at least four babies and they were a JOY. 

Susan drove the 2 hour trip with her gas cap on top of her car. LOL 

Decorations - Lacey and Cassie did a great job!
Each speaker got one of these pictures! Wonderful!

There were little surprises at our place for each session
The photos were gifts for the small group leaders
Greeted by friendly smiles from Lisa and Stephanie

Krista was a huge help with slides.....a HUGE help. 

Quiet moments alone with God - I think this should be built into every retreat schedule!

Great to have Bre along - and check out the cool bag!

Babies were a big hit at meal times

Susan, Amanda, Kara and Tara

Jess and Katelyn

Ruth and Melissa

Melissa, Kodi, Ruth and I hiked the Gorge during our free time. Others took a lake cruise, rode bikes,  set in coffee shops or onsens.

Ruth tries to beat the self-timer as we all cheer her on

Our five young women chose to bike as a small group

Saturday night Terri talked about worship and we prayed for those who are moving in the next few months, and those who are staying. We planned extended worship after the speaking and prayer. At one point  our worship leader, Raye June, gave the Microphone to BreAnne and Stephanie and they continued to lead us....seamless, really. A picture to me of how the worship is not about those up front...I felt Raye June truly LED us to worship....regardless of who was up front....Personally, it was an incredible gift for me to hear my daughter worshiping again....I miss that. Krista and I admitted to both hiding when Raye June set loose with her wandering mic. ::snort::

Several went up and led....concluding with our young women...and it was powerful to see. Legacy....our focus this year has been Intimacy, Simplicity and Legacy. Retreat, in many ways, illustrated legacy to me. Women stepping out in new roles because of the mentoring they'd received this year. Young women asking to be part of the move of God in our midst....and blessing us with their participation. New moms able to attend with their babies....And yep, I teared up as these five beautiful young women led us into worship...seamlessly...no fan fare...just found themselves up at the front with the mic and we followed them....

Raye June (L) and Tara (R)
 Tara has been my VP Spiritual Life and I will desperately miss her
 Visiting after the service...this is the g-rated photo I can post to remember this hilarious exchange!

Susan (L) was our retreat coordinator this year, Tara was her assistant and they built a wonderful team! I do think the three of us are a good team! 

Personally, I grew much from preparing my sessions on secrecy, silence (ahem), solitude and surrender. I love that someone caught me using my glasses as a pointer with my mouth wide open. ::snort::

 It was a joy to be able to invite Akikosan this year. She acted as a translator and go between with the hotel. She shared a room with Ruth and I.

Cherry Blossoms were still blooming - the camera can't catch it but up the hill the white spots were more cherry trees. Rain was fore casted for the weekend but the weather was, once again, GORGEOUS. God shines His favor on us. 

If I receive more retreat photos, I'll edit this later....note I did not take all of these photos. Everyone loaded their photos to my laptop.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...