Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yuuki Does Halloween

Yuuki LOVES Halloween. I wasn't home last year for Halloween. I was in Nashville, TN at the last PWOC International conference. I arrived early for board meetings and the start of selecting the last International board. Ah, the memories. I do miss the chance to connect in person with military spouses from around the world.

ANYWAY - I missed last Halloween and hadn't considered how Yuuki would respond to a parade of visitors. The ONLY time she barks or howls is when someone comes to the door. She seems to take it as her duty to warn us all......and she had a blast last night. We thought about putting her in a room...but you are knocking on our door....and it IS Halloween...the maniac barking, howling dog added to the fun for the night.

Someone would ring the bell...she would howl, race from the family room (where we were watching The Music Man) to the door, and then shower the trick or treaters with slobbery licks and wagging tail.  I tried to catch her on video but didn't really get the full fun.

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

Park Day

I know many of my friends in a bubble. I didn't know most of them as children. I don't know their extended families. I will live at the same location with them no longer than 3 years. Our friendships occur in a snapshot of time; though many continue long-distance. This is part of the military lifestyle. I suspect it is true of many segments of our population these days. Nonetheless, it is  a privilege to get to know a piece of a new friend's history - to meet a sibling, parent or grown child, to see photos of past assignments or childhood, to be trusted with past memories.....

Today the girls and I met Stephanie and her mom at the Purple Park.  I hope to be the Grannie who travels the world to visit grand kids someday. LOL  I enjoyed meeting Abby's grandma (Stephanie's mom).

I neglected to take any adult photos - but this time I did get photos of more than Arielle sitting at the top of the slide. ::snort::
Sarah and Arielle

Sarah, Arielle, Stacia and Abby

Adam was tuckered out by the excitement
Arielle pushed hard this week as she was set to babysit tomorrow morning. She got her school work done. I pushed hard with Alex and Stacia so I could play in the a.m. One of the little boys Arielle was to watch has the bug....and so we will have a day free of book work to fill tomorrow...though Nolan will have book work....ah, the possibilities.

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

Monday, October 28, 2013

The COLD has Arrived

I cannot BELIEVE this feels cold...but it does. ::snort:: We didn't get rain - but it was chilly this a.m.

The kids insisted the house was FREEZING...though it never got below 72* inside.  It was pretty humorous to watch everyone do school bundled in blankets and huddled under their covers. 

I visited the audiologist today. Our hope was she would answer the question, "Does he mumble or am I deaf?" It appears I am not deaf. It doesn't necessarily follow that he mumbles, however. She said as we age our brain slows down and we are unable to process as many sounds at a time unless we concentrate. Um....deaf...slow brain....not sure how I feel about these results. I only KNOW  it feels like I'm underwater all the time and my ears are constantly popping. There is no fluid in this is me. 

I stopped by Sunflower Natural Foods on my way home. It's much smaller than New Earth or Whole Foods....but it's closer. It has a neighborhood feel to it. I found organic produce and wheat berries. 

Arielle requested soup. It makes me happy to know it will  get cold enough around here for soup to be welcome. She suggested I make enough for us to put lots in the freezer for future lunches. 

EVERYONE ate this - no fat - lots of was vegan...and they ALL ate it. I'm happy.

This is how we study the Middle Ages. We make chocolate castles - because OF COURSE everyone ate chocolate castles in Medieval times.

The inspection has begun on base....this may be the last one of Michael's career....that's something to celebrate. ::snort:: 

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

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Another Week Begins

This is what our Sunday morning looked like. Right before service Stacia said those dreaded words, "Mom, I can taste throw up in my throat." Um - YUCK. 
 We really live too far from base to take her home - would have been home a bit and had to come back. Michael preached and Stacia and I rested in the van.  Michael wanted to be dropped off at home with Stacia after service. He has a full week coming up.

The kids and Michael had tried Dancing Tomato last week while I was in TX. They liked it so we went back today. The waitress remembered them. Oh the humor. Nolan and Zander EACH ordered a big pizza. I said, "There is no way you can EAT that."  The waitress looked at Nolan and said, "He ate it all last week." ::snort:: Arielle and I had Veggie Calzone minus the cheese. Yum.

THIS chocolate lasagna seemed like a candidate for a splurge....chocolate cookie crust, nuts and coconut, ice cream, whip cream, chocolate, more nuts.....we ordered one to share.  Arielle and I took delicate bites.

The plate seemed to move towards Nolan. He said gravity had shifted. ::snort:: 

Properly fortified, we headed to Sam's club and bought lots of produce. Our weekly box from the farmer is over for the season.  They didn't have squash but we got a lot of fruit, artichokes, onions and asparagus. I also bought a pack of Clorox wipes and Lysol to kick the germs Stacia is producing. 

I found my phone....between our mattress and the side's fully charged again. 

We spent the late afternoon watching The Hobbit and now we're ready for a new week. 
Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Finding Beauty

We often heard others say, "There's nothing to do," when we lived in Misawa. We never had that problem. There were gorgeous parks within minutes, plenty of beach options within 7 min, mountains and a gorge full of nature within an hour..... It's ironic I find myself feeling that way HERE. In San Angelo there was geocaching,  walking along several rivers, lots of it seems the big past time is shopping.  I really dislike shopping. It doesn't fit well with our commitment to live on 50% of Michael's salary. ::snort::

The morning was filled by Japanese with  Ryu and Kim and waiting for Jamin's Conference race results. As we waited we plotted a course for the rest of our day. EVERY suggestion involved 2 - 4 hours of travel or shopping. I begged we look for a few places near BEALE where we could enjoy nature, hike, play, shopping! We're open for suggestions, y'all! I do not plan to live in the past, or develop a discontented attitude....I just need to find some things we ENJOY doing which are nearby.

Jamin was disappointed with his race results. We were disappointed with him. It was not his best time - and we were all surprised....YET...he made all conference. He'll have two weeks to train hard and rest well and show everyone what he has at NCAA Div 2 regionals. I'm so very proud of the young man Jamin has become. He's a winner.

I remembered a park "under the bridge." We all remembered oodles of soccer fields, but it seemed there may be water down there....Michael suggested we stop by  and then head to Sam's club....I begged to skip the shopping. We did. ::grin::

We found beauty - under a bridge with lots of traffic - but beauty.

Though I thought, "No Swimming" was posted, this rope told a different story. I began to look for a platform...Michael found it....

Arielle perfected the tree crawl....

Success - sort of - she's not at the end

 I would love to know what was in Zander's mind at this moment. 
She wouldn't be coaxed to stand on the platform...but did well to get out there....She yelled down to me  she thought this would be a good spot for an engagement proposal. I found her observation quite odd. I must quiz her further on this matter. ::snort::  I sure love these two. 

Sparkly water - took a bit to convince the youngers it WASN'T gold! 

We left the bridge park (not sure what it's really called) and decided to explore historic Marysville. I WAS excited to find the Yuba County Library!  We found The Candy Box and broke our  "no shopping" edict. We discovered a restaurant, The Brick, which has several vegetarian items on it's menu. Vegetarian is good as we can say, "no cheese please" and be vegan! We also found the Bok Kai temple....which provided strange solace on a day when several of us were missing Misawa.

I came home from Texas to a  shocking turn of events. Stacia has decided to be healthy too. I asked her what that meant and she said, "No Meat or dairy or chips and work out!" On a daily basis only 2 of the 6 of us at home are real "meat and potato" eaters. I'm toying with making more meatless two meals a day can be wearing. I'd say the three are more "nutritarians" and I'm more vegan - but we're all healthier than we were last August.

I love being home with these five. I do find my mind running to the four I left in TX on Wednesday....and the two in OR.....

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

Catching Up with Life

Getting back into our "home routine" has taken a bit of work. We pressed hard and we managed to finish the week strong in school. It helped that PWOC was cancelled and we hadn't invited anyone over during the week...we barricaded the doors and put our noses to the grindstone.  We haven't done all the science or hands on history I had planned.....

Of course, we DID make time for a bit of fun. 

Stacia and I were partners in this game - and we roundly lost

I lost my phone and we've been scouring the house. We've followed every suggestion I've received on Facebook....over and over. 

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Eucharist? Unique Family Circle

It's good to be home. Yes, HOME. Coming back to CA underscored for me the truth that home is not a location - it's people. Home IS where Michael and the home-bound Gherkins are. 

The funniest moment today came during Family Circle. I'm working hard to condense truth to bite-size portions  meaningful to our older children and also our younger children. This week are we studying Jesus, as the Bread of Life. 
Via Google Images
Somewhere in the discussion the Eucharist was mentioned. The discussion continued. Stacia entered it by explaining that Yuuki is named Yuuki....and sometimes we call her Yukasaurus or Yuukichan....she continued on....and finally Michael asked her how this tied in to our discussion. (Are you ready?)

Well - Mom said we could study the Euchasaurus.... ::snort:: 

We jumped back into school today. Arielle and Nolan had helped Stacia and Zander continue through the past few days...and I'm thankful. It will make it much easier to catch up after these few slower days.  Stacia even FINISHED her 2nd grade math book and is now officially a 3rd grader. 
We promptly put the book in our recycling bin....we teased Stacia that it would be recycled and come back as her 4th grade math book. ::wink:: 

This is a day lived in transition. I'm embracing family life here in CA. I'm more aware of family life in other parts of the country....and my mind and heart keeps zipping back to TX and over to OR. 

While I was gone Michael purchased and set up an elliptical. That was great fun. They also bought  a new game....I'm excited to play it with them....but today I had to work out as I didn't get it done before school. 

Dinner was turkey meatloaf for the carnivores...and a black bean loaf for the  vegans or nutritarians.   I also roasted some asparagus and turned one of our abundant squashes into garlic/onion oven baked fries, made a salad and served fruit.  Stacia informed me when I got home  she is vegan now. I asked her what that meant and she said she doesn't eat meat or milk or cheese. 

I'll close with a sample of our patio art. This is Rainbow Larry drawn by Stacia. 

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

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Traveling Tuesday

We fit in a few more hours of visiting between Jamin and Jared's classes yesterday. Josiah had the morning off and we all congregated at his and Shelby's apartment. Of course, this disrupted Shelby's college/work schedule...but she valiantly plowed ahead.

After watching Shelby, talking with Steven and Jamin (who are taking online classes), and visiting with Deja (who attended a home school workshop by Debra Bell and discussed homeschooling and technology), I am thinking about IF and HOW I may want to utilize technology more in our home school. Maybe another post...

I left San Angelo at 2:30 p.m. (MST) and arrived in Sacramento at 7:30 p.m. (PST).  It is nice to be home.

I took no photos today....but here's a photo I took in July which I didn't properly identify because at that point Izaak and Bre were not dating.
Dakota is Izaaks son, Izaak is Bre's man, Bre, Me, Nadia is Nate & Heather's
daughter, Stacia 

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

Monday, October 21, 2013

Magnificent Monday

I lived this day fully.

I spent a bit of time with Josiah and Shelby this a.m. Shelby is finishing her college via online courses AND she works five hours a day from home via the computer. It seemed kind to clear out when Josiah went to work so she could start her college work week off strong.

10:00 a.m. found me sitting at Hastings enjoying an "Adult Play Date," versus our typical "Power Play Dates," with Deja. Yes, Hastings is a bookstore.... they also  have great drinks and scones...and comfy couches. The perfect place to sit and steal a bit of time in the midst of a very rushed trip.  It's always great fun to visit San Angelo and will be as long as Doug, Deja and their family are around.

I zipped over to Jamin and Jared's apartment at 11:30 p.m. We enjoyed a bit of lunch and power visiting. ::grin::  Jamin ran out to a class and I visited with Jared.

2:00 I took Jared to a meeting at ASU.

2:05 Jamin and I headed out again with Cody for more walking and talking.  Cody has a sweet disposition. I never would have imagined Corgi and Husky but it works in Cody.

 This photo shows it is GREENER in San Angelo than it is in our part of California. I'm not so sure the Beale area is prettier than San Angelo.  This is not a cultivated park. It's a field....and the brownish/red in the middle are wild flowers. The best part of the walk was the conversation.

3:00 p.m. Jamin left for practice and I picked up Jared from ASU. He had two hours before he had to be at his next meeting. We spent the time well. He treated me to a drink at Starbucks. We sat outside and I enjoyed more meaningful conversation with an adult son. GOOD TIMES.  Jared looked sharp today in his suit and ASU student government shirt and tie. Alas, I didn't take a photo.  I dropped him off at ASU for a 5:00 p.m. meeting.

Jared's been a champ with this procedure. He can't take Tylenol etc with the heart meds he's on and the docs didn't order anything else.  He's not complained....and I know it hurts. He's also not complained about having to be driven all over....and today he commented  I'd not been able to take him to college and so this was my chance to do that. Great way to look at it.

Back across town Shelby was finishing her work day, Josiah was home from his work day and the three of us went out to dinner.  They live near the River walk and I hadn't made it to the river yet. I was surprised at all the changes being made to the area. I really liked parts of it. I snapped a few photos.

Shelby left many sweet touches in the guest room and bath for me. She could open a bed and breakfast. It's been a joy to spend time with Josiah and Shelby in their home. I LOVE having a new daughter.

Jared called at 8:00 p.m.; we picked him up and brought him to Josiah and Shelby's. Jamin called at 9:00 p.m. when he was done with tutoring and he came over too. It was fun to sit around and visit.....suddenly it was 10:30 p.m.

We cheated on the driving restriction and decided to let Jared drive himself home - 10 hours early. I'm sure it felt good to have that bit of freedom back.

If all Mondays were this full of friends, family and great conversation I would love them much more. ::snort::

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

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sensational Sunday

I watch the "boys'" hectic schedule of college, work, sports....and I am  glad I'm not in college. LOL   Jamin has about 100 hours of his week scheduled between classes, student tutoring for the history dept, cross country work outs and working.....and in two short months he will graduate!

We caught up with each other this a.m. He took Cody and I to the cross country track. It was an incredible joy to walk and talk.....He then put in 4 hours of tutoring and  we all went to dinner: Josiah & Shelby, Jamin, Jared and Steven (family friend's son who is Jamin and Jared's room mate).

Cody is a Corgi/Husky.... he's great fun. 
Josiah and I took Jared's car to have the oil changed for him. They have trouble finding the time to get over there. I was surprised at how long it took to get the oil changed.....but while there I ran into some friends - Arielle - Ashley and her mom. 

Jared was fed up with staying home by this afternoon and went out with us to dinner. He'll do about 1/2 a day tomorrow and then try to start back to classes  on Tuesday. 

I ran into Lois and family while we had our Sunday Evening treat at Fro Yo's.

Josiah and Shelby and I spent some time catching up this evening. It's a blast having a daughter in law. 

I have a ticket to fly home Tuesday night.

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

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Jared Update

Shew. Yesterday was a long day. We showed up at the Hospital at 11:30 a.m.   We read and signed all sorts of horrendous sounding consents.....  David and Joyce from Goodfellow Chapel showed up at this time. What a blessing it was to see their smiling faces, hug their necks and receive their encouragement. They called later in the day to let me know that Pat was familiar with our doctor and he is a good one.

Jared spent the last 20 minutes of the wait before going back  watching the winner in the best College Speech  contest from Constituting America.

Grab those family moments whenever you can - shoot the older two have never been in the ER/ ICU

The procedure was about 1.5 hours long. The docs came out and told me that Jared has no blockage at all. I asked why the tests show restricted blood flow and they said the test is right 90% of the time and Jared must be that 10% where it's wrong. I'm not 100% at peace with that answer....but it's the one we have right now. The heart cath is the definitive test and it showed nothing.  I don't think there are other tests to run.

We were about ready to go home when Jared all of a sudden turned gray with blue lips. I went into the hall and let them know and WOWZER things moved quickly.  He was put back in bed, inclined with his head down, given meds to speed up his heart, given another IV and we stayed another 3 hours.

We did come home last night. Because Jared is an adult and Jared is stubborn. He did not want to spend another night in the hospital. I slept on the couch so I could be nearby.....and recited, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be...." most the night in my head. I thought of sneaking up the stairs and peeking into his room....but I settled for keeping the phone near by. 

He's sore today. That's typical. He's walking a bit, sitting a lot....we watched the missing Star Wars episode so I now know how all the characters fit together.  I've still not watched the 6th one - so I may do that when I get home. 

Skyping with the CA Gherkins

I love San Angelo. LOVE IT. 

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

Friday, October 18, 2013


Our word for the year is "Courage."  You can read more about that in the side bar.

Today, I'm remembering Josh 1:9, "Be strong and courageous. Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

I'm praying for clear answers by tonight on Jared's condition.

Yes, Michael, it is good to be here.

We don't know how long I will stay. We'll talk more after we hear what the doctor sees and determines today.  I could be home by mid-week next week....I could be here for a couple of weeks.

We'll go to the hospital at noon. His heart catheterization  is at 2:00 p.m. It could take a few hours. I'll update when I can.

My short, sweet, concise prayer today is, "Father, be glorified." Easy to breathe in and out...keep breathing. (Jn 12:27-28)

Today I'm thankful this procedure no longer requires open heart surgery! Viva la technology.

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

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Random thoughts of Thankfulness I'm having on this travel day:

  • It's a short drive to the airport from our home
  • It's much easier to travel alone when you are 100% able to read the signs and understand the PA messages
  • I'm thankful to be able to get to any family member in one day
  • Arielle is the cooking Ninja...roast, squash, asparagus and more! 
  • I made every connection
The ticket I thought I had booked was to take me from Sacramento to LAX, to Denver, to Seattle, to Dallas to San Angelo. I'd arrive at 9:15 p.m. When they handed me my boarding passes in Sacramento I noted that I was arriving in San Angelo at 9:15 p.m. - just checked the last one to make sure I'd eventually get where I wanted to be.  I went to the gate at LAX and it said "Dallas"....what? I checked - yep, I was on this flight. The ticket agent had changed it so that I did NOT have to go to Denver and Seattle.  I decided I wasn't asking more questions - I was getting on the plane to go to Dallas rather than Denver. LOL 

It was great to see Shelby and the boys. 

Prayer Requests:
  • Jared's procedure tomorrow
  • Jamin has the flu - this is not good this close to conference....regional etc. 
  • Stacia is worried about me being gone.....she told me "No one here UNDERSTANDS it's important for me to PLAY and I need to talk to them." 
Choosing Joy!

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wacky Wednesday

I stayed home from PWOC today as I needed a down day to focus on school....but it didn't work out that way. 

I agreed to run Arielle to the DMV (which IS school) - only to find she has to finish a driver's ed before she can get a permit. I went back in again to ask how she was supposed to do the driving portion of driver's ed without a permit? This was an honest question as everywhere I've driven you don't drive in driver's ed without the permit. I was told she needed a pink slip from "the school"  - you can see where THIS went. They saw our Driver's Ed curriculum but want a certificate - so we'll deal with this and go back. 

We headed to Lowes as we were out....and Michael was with us.  We heard from Jared that his appointment with the cardiologist was delayed due to an emergency. 

What can it be? Microwave or Toaster oven? 

Yep - this was my biggest decision at this point of the day. Inside is a wrap with humus, orzo, rice, garlic, shredded carrots, pepper and nutritional yeast...yum.

Look what came in a huge UPS box - Yuuki's science diet

About this time we heard from Jared. The doctor shared the most recent test has shown the blood flow to his heart is restricted; when he works out it's nearly non-existent. This is not good. They are doing a heart catheterization on Friday. If that is all that is needed, he'll be up and in class by Monday. They may need to put a stint in if it is congenital and do the balloon treatment if they find plaque in his arteries. Either of those will probably lead to a bit longer recovery time.  They plan to find out what is restricting the blood flow. He said something has narrowed the arteries....either congenital or plaque. May I say how happy I am that Jared requested a stress test - which seems to have led to him being assigned a new cardiologist? He has a much better rapport with this doctor. This cardiologist says it's not normal for a 19 yo to have his symptoms and they need to they did. Praise Jesus.  I find it hard to believe he'd have plaque - we do not eat the Standard American Diet around our home, he works out, he's not overweight, his labs are normal....congenital I can see....he's had light headedness and pounding headaches when working out hard for years. We've seen docs several times and been told, "Buck up - that's sports" and that his blood pressure was fine.  The freak injuries he got at the start of every season the last few years may well have been the hand of a gracious God making sure he was where he could get treatment before passing out on a field.  Or maybe he's been sneaking big macs, fries and shakes on us....we'll soon know. 

This call led to lots of mayhem. I have a one way ticket to TX.....we tried to figure out how to get the kids there with me - but it won't work.  Josiah and Shelby have offered me lodging. Margie, a friend in San Angelo, has offered me the use of her van. I will fly out of Sacramento early tomorrow and arrive in TX late tomorrow night. 

Packing is not my thing. I loved Stacia's observation as she helped me pack tonight, "I'm not familiar with your style of packing."  

Arielle cooked dinner tonight. I'm lining her out with dinner ideas and lesson plans. Well.....o.k. this is what I lined her up with....I called things out to her and she made note of them on the board. 

Look what Michael made for me! He'll make two more to put on the wall in the middle.....this is in our butler pantry. It's shaping up. 

Which reminds me I should go pack some tea....To think Toaster Ovens were my big focus earlier much to be thankful for.....flight connections, transportation and lodging, a doc who kept looking, being able to be with the boys on Friday, a home that feels like home (yes, it happened)'s good, really good....and God will continue to watch over my Gherkins. I know He will. 

A dear friend has pointed out how God watched over them when I was stuck in Tokyo and they were experiencing a giant quake and such.....He's still watching over us. Yes, He is. 

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

Family Circle - Help Us Brainstorm

We've toyed with various methods of "family devotions" or family circle through the years. It's been hard to find something with depth which fits the age ranges of children we have.  It's also a passion we have to make sure our children know how to study the Bible, to find and verify truth. We've overwhelmed our kids; we've underwhelmed our kids. We've not been impressed with many of the sugar coated devotionals written for the young, proof texting gives Michael and me hives, and many of the resources currently available for Bible study don't  teach a person to dig out truth for themselves (adult Bible studies included). Many of the more inductive studies are too far above a young child's ability and/or will bore one to tears. Our lofty ideals have moved us to inaction more often than I'd care to publicly admit.
2008 - Westcliffe, CO - all 9 Gherkins

We LOVE to inductively work through a book of the Bible  in a small group. We've tried that with varying measures of success in family circle - the ultimate small group. We realized a chapter a night was too much for Stacia's attention span...and to study well. We slowed down - read, observe, interpret, apply....lots of discussing.  The pros of this is  it allows us to tailor our discussion to the ages in our family circle. Michael, our resident theologian, and myself (Precept trained Bible study leader for over 20 years) are fairly familiar with the Bible and have been able to lead without much hubbub.  It's been better than the prepared things we've tried. It's getting the kids into the Word for answers instead of studying what another tells them the Word says.  It was a bit haphazard and we wanted more structure. 

We started a study of the Parables of Jesus this year. We thought it would take about 9 weeks. Our original thought was to use this time to research to find something published which met our needs.  Um.....we added things in, spent a bit longer here and there and certainly didn't make it six nights a week. Have you noticed how you must CONTEND for evenings at home these days? There is nothing "magical" about evenings - other than its the time of day we're all semi-conscious and at home together (if we contend for the evenings). I feel it important to do this as a family, and not simply add it to school.

We used this chart. We began by discussing how to accurately interpret a parable. This was info Michael and I had at our fingertips from Bible school and Precept training...but it's readily available online. Simply put, we discussed how one can get "way off" if they try to apply each element of a parable, or come up with new doctrines based on each element of a parable. In each parable we looked for the main point Jesus was making.  We took a night to discuss WHY Jesus taught in parables.

Our format was simple: read a parable, discover the main truth being presented, discuss that truth and what the original audience may have thought Jesus  meant, determine what walking out that truth in OUR lives would look like.   A few notes about the chart: I haven't read the site - I was simply looking for an easy list as we began.  I have NO IDEA of their doctrinal bent. We didn't always think they'd started and ended the reading in logical spots (anyone who has been in Bible study with us will not be shocked at that). Context is king and we took time to develop the context of each before and after the text.

This worked. It wasn't too much for our younger ones and it was meaningful for young adults and adults. The end of the list of Jesus' parables drew near and we'd still not researched nor found the published format which would work for us.
1991 - Hardin, MT Bre, Krista, Cy, Jamin 
We've decided to continue our format. We are spending the next eight weeks (at least) looking at the "I Am" sayings of Jesus from the gospel of John.  I will flesh it out a bit more than we did with parables. Our goal is to spend a week on each saying. Michael will help me with background material and resources, but he's busy at work so much of the prep will fall to me. We will continue with our inductive reasoning of the passage, we'll discuss what it meant to the audience and what it means to us, I'll give the kids homework on some nights to bring back to the following family circle, we'll add in activities, video clips, games.... The older kids will be assigned parts of the study to facilitate - this teaches them how to dig in with the purpose to share. We're slowing the pace as we believe these sayings will introduce Jesus to our children in a meaningful way - and we don't want to rush that introduction. It's always exciting for mature believers to stop and take a fresh look at Jesus as well. Nothing beats multi-generational small groups for fresh discussions.

If you happen to have resources which you think would go along with our study, please share them! This won't be perfect, but it's the next step in our family circle.  Here's the working out line....I'm currently finishing week one and looking ahead to ideas for activities, videos etc for Week 2 and following weeks - and studying cross references etc. Again - I'd love your input.  I'm sure there are published studies out there that may do the same thing....but this is working well for us at this point. BTW I realized there are seven signs in John which point to the seven I am sayings.....we'll fill our time.

Week 1 - I Am - Main point - Jesus introduces God in the flesh to the crowds
  Purpose of Introductions
  Kids present list of I Am statements about themselves
  Look at the audience
  I AM in the Old Testament
  I AM in the New Testament
  * I would like to have the kids do a scavenger hunt (mainly for fun) with I AM statements which need a signature..... I AM a nurse; I AM a Mom; I AM a native Californian.....but we are wondering if this activity is safe in a civilian community in CA? I know we did it on base, in a small Texan town? Opinions?

Week 2 - I am the bread of life

Week 3 - I am the light of the world

Week 4 - I am the door/gate

Week 5 - I am the good shepherd

Week 6 - I am the resurrection and the life

Week 7 - I am the way the truth and the life

Week 8 - I am the true vine

We may throw in a couple of other sayings I am King (John 18); I am the Alpha and Omega (Rev 1)...

I'm thinking a unit on How to Study the Bible may follow this but we have eight to ten weeks to contemplate the next phase. 

Seriously, I need to go study I AM and not blog any more this a.m. 

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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tremendous Tuesday

The day wasn't all about Jamin so let me begin by saying this:

We did a bit of school. I attended a staff lunch (Greek feast prepared by Mrs. S). I tried out an elliptical. I picked up meds. Michael worked. Kids received this week's produce. Jared took his hardest mid-term. Please continue to pray for his focus as he attempts tests in the midst of doctor call backs and medical tests. I threatened Jared to take one of his brothers to his next cardiologist appointment or I would call in either Deja or Roy to accompany him.   ::snort::

But today - Jamin RAN. We had hoped he'd break the university course record....and he ran well...but it was muddy.... he tripped right at the end so didn't take first - but DID come in second. He almost broke the course record......this is his senior year.  Jamin has a great attitude, "all things considered, I'm pretty happy with my race. Couldn't have asked God for much more than a competitive race against one of the best milers in the conference."

I always told him his tendency to OCD was a character strength God would use for His glory. It's paying off with  training.  He has now finished in the top 10 in every meet this season.

On to conference - 10 days! I think the experts are predicting the team to get 2nd or 3rd in conference.

Proud of his season - and he's running with a training injury - which will be taken care of after the season ends.

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

Monday, October 14, 2013

Marvelous Monday

Today is a Federal Holiday and Michael had the day off. We took advantage of it to meet Matt, Rachel and Kids at Bishop's Pumpkin Farm.   The morning was cool and we could  pretend it was a typical fall day...for a couple of hours. ::grin:: 

This was a day of firsts! For all four of these it was their first trip to a pumpkin patch or corn maze. It was Stacia's first trip to a petting zoo - well the first she remembers; we didn't make it to petting zoos in Japan. 

We started the day wandering through the petting zoo. 

This boar was fun. He was making alarming sounds, which I mimicked. He responded. 

I told everyone we'd reached an understanding...I promised not to eat him or his relatives and he promised not to eat us. 

Classic family shot....two looking normal, one picking her nose, one looking the other way and I have no clue why I'm laughing.

We even enjoyed the train. This little train takes you around the grounds - which was a fun way to see it all.

It's been 14 years since we've lived near a real pumpkin patch or corn maze. I told them I need photos of them in the Pumpkin Patch since we'd missed those infant shots. 
Stacia (8)

Nolan (14)
Ours with the S's boys - Joy had run off

Um....who needs spelling for leadership? 

Stacia (8)
Zander - 11
 Joy discovers hay is lots of fun

Arielle likes it too

The big kids tried jumping....

Then everyone did....Seth and Nathan sort of face planted in the hay

The apple cider is awesome....but these aren't ALL's job is to hold the drinks 

Next up was the corn maze! I am SO glad we had Matt and Michael with us. I'm not sure Rachel and I would have found our way out. ::snort::  I was sorely tempted to pluck a few ears of corn. 

Nah, we would have found a group to follow...but it was very comforting to know  no matter which way we went the guys would be able to figure out what this map meant.  I wish there had been an observation tower so we could have seen the maze from above as we did the tanbo/rice art last year in Inakadate. 

Here's a shot I found online - but I don't think it's this year's. 

Moment when the men took over navigating from the kids

So fun to have little ones to carry

We see the exit! We made it! 
A hay ride was the perfect way to rest our weary feet. It also showed how expansive the farm really is. We let the kids each get a pumpkin to bring home in honor of the first trip to a real patch.

I want a truck like this
A funny thing happened in the corn maze, on the hay ride, in the pumpkin seems my phone was self-dialing and calling all sorts of people. Oops. I apologize if you are one of them.

It was a lovely day. Spending time with Matt and Rachel's family reminds me of what it was like when we had 8 kids at home....their kids stair step right below our younger four the opportunity to be the older four. LOL

Back at home all but Zander tried and approved of Caramel apples. I discovered  we've not tried many pumpkin or caramel things - they aren't Michael's favorites....but maybe I will explore for the rest of us. LOL

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