Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?
And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be impossible with God.
And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Homily on the Annunciation to the Holy Virgin Mary
Today did Gabriel, who stands by God, come to the pure virgin, bearing to her the glad annunciation, "Hail, thou that art highly favoured! And she cast in her mind what manner of salutation this might be. And the angel immediately proceeded to say, The Lord is with thee: fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favour with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? " Shall I still remain a virgin? is the honour of virginity not then lost by me? And while she was yet in perplexity as to these things, the angel placed shortly before her the summary of his whole message, and said to the pure virgin, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
Happy Feast of the Annunciation!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
1 C white sugar
1 C flour
½ C milk
1 t vanilla
1 t baking powder
1 (No. 303) can tart cherries
¾ C sugar
Spread batter in 8X8 or 9X9 pan. Bring the can of cherries and ¾ cup of sugar to a boil and pour slowly over batter. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until pudding is golden brown. Serve with milk, cream, ice cream or whipped cream. (Ron likes it with milk poured over it).
This is really sweet, so you might want to add only 1/2 Cup of sugar to the cherries. Don't use cherry pie filling, but tart canned cherries.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Those perfect moments often happen when this little guy is around. He spent the night. Sometimes he is a stinker. He doesn't want to do what I tell him, or he wants me to do everything for him and gets huffy when I won't. He likes to have his own way and might have a meltdown when I tell him no, we can't go buy a new toy car or get food from McDonalds again. But he gets over it quickly, and so do I, because we cannot bear to be angry with one another.
Most of the time we get along great, and I love being with him, watching him play, listening to him talk and sing, playing with him. I brought him back home with me today after we visited Gran, and we played in the backyard. He wanted me to be "Mr. McDonald's man" and he was "Mr. Customer." He would drive up to the ladder on the playset in his Fred Flintstone car and order something, and I would pass his order out through the "window." He thought it was great fun, and kept coming back around, ordering all sorts of wonderful things I wish they had at McDonalds. Here he was having apple slices and raisins and some peach tea.
He's getting a bit too big for his little car, but he still likes to ride in it. Today he would leave "McDonalds" and let his car roll down the hill.
The scent of my tea olive is perfuming the whole backyard, so it's really nice to be out there. Reece wanted to help me with whatever I was doing. We put the puppies in their yard and gave them food and fresh water, cleaned out the pool skimmer and watered my container garden this morning before going to Gran's.
We gave the puppies fresh water again when we got back from Gran's because they had gotten it muddy and dirty. I kept wondering how that happened, and today while we were playing McDonald's, I saw how. Sister took one of their hard rubber toys and very deliberately dropped it into the water container. Then they both looked at it for a minute before one of them took it out again. When I checked, the water was muddy again. I have to change it several times a day to keep it clean.
Mom's hip is doing better since she started on the meds the physician's assistant prescribed. She only has to take one at bedtime, and it helps her all day long. I'm so glad she is getting some relief from the pain.
Hoping your day had a few perfect moments!
Monday, March 14, 2011
When I found out that we were going to Japan in the late 1980s, I didn't really want to go. It was never one of places I hoped we would be sent. I wanted to go to Italy or Germany. But off we went, and what a culture shock!
We left warm, sunny Hawaii where the air smelled of flowers and the ocean to a place where it was gray, cold and rainy every day for the first month or so that we were there. The skies were gray, the buildings were gray, the roads were gray, the kids were all in mostly navy blue uniforms, the men wore dark suits, carried briefcases and rode the trains, the women wore sweaters and skirts and sensible shoes and rode bicycles with baskets to do their daily shopping at the market. The cars were new, and usually white. Only Americans drove old cars, and we could buy them from a Japanese guy named Blackie for only a few hundred dollars. When we left Japan we gave the cars away to friends.
We arrived at Narita Airport at night, and rode a bus to Camp Zama, a few hours away. I fell asleep on the bus and woke up to see store awnings inches from my window as the bus sped through the narrow streets of a town. Arriving at Zama, we were greeted by our sponsor family, who had a spaghetti dinner waiting for us in our temporary quarters in Building 780.
It was so gloomy that we didn't know we could see mountains in the distance until weeks after we arrived. One day the smog lifted and the skies were blue, and there were mountains!
It took awhile, but as the weeks and months went by, I grew to love Japan and the Japanese people. We were warned not to accept housing at Sagami Depot, several miles from the main post. But guess where we wound up? It was really a good place for us, because we were away from the "politics" and the fishbowl of the main post. I was never a typical officer's wife and didn't enjoy the "socialization."
Because we lived away from the main post, I was forced to get out and about, unlike some of the women who lived on post. I learned to drive on the "wrong" side of the road in a car whose controls were on the "wrong" side. We had some harrowing rides in the beginning, and learned to navigate using landmarks since we couldn't read Japanese.
I became good friends with a Japanese woman named Masako. Masako wanted me to know the real Japan, and she took me on many trips, tours and outings. She invited me to her home, where her 90 year old mother-in-law greeted me at the door and got down on her knees to bow all the way to the floor in the entryway. I was never so honored and touched! We had a delicious lunch in their little kitchen.
Masako and I went to the Kabuki Theatre several times, we went up into the mountains on a bus tour and stayed overnight in a hotel situated on the top of a volcano which was still moderately active. You could feel the floor move. We slept on thick futons on the floor in our yukata, and when we woke in the morning, Masako looked as if she had not moved an inch all night. Her hair was still in place, her yukata tied perfectly and unwrinkled. My yukata was all wrinkled and undone and my hair askew.
Our family took lots of trips, too. Kelly and I went on a bus tour to Kyoto and had such a wonderful time. We saw Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavillion, Nijo castle with the nightingale floor, and lots of other wonderful sights. We squeezed through the nostril of the big buddha in Nara, and fed the deer in the park. Kelly had a line of deer following her around as if she was a pied piper, and then a group of Japanese teenagers all wanting to have their picture taken with her because they thought she looked like an American movie star. :o) We bought a special kind of Macha from a street vendor that was so delicious, and we've never been able to find any tea like it since.
I remember a train ride up into the mountains with Ron and Josh, who was in 3rd or 4th grade at the time. As we went higher and higher and left the cities behind, we began to see thatched roof houses, and Josh was so thrilled by them that he would point them out excitedly. The people on the train are usually very reserved, not looking at one another, but absorbed by their newspapers or their own thoughts. But Josh's enthusiasm was contagious, and soon they were watching him, smiling at his delight and watching for thatched roof houses themselves. :o)
We got off the train at a little village at the top. It was so pretty, and we went into a small cafe for lunch. Josh ordered udon noodles, and slurped them up while using his hashi (chopsticks), just like the Japanese. A man and his son came in, and they were so surprised and delighted to see the little American boy eating noodles just like them.
We went skiing in the Japanese alps, we took our boys scouts to a park where there were monkeys that would come right up and try to steal things from you. I didn't like them much--too aggressive. We went to cherry blossom festivals, Bon Odori festivals, mochi poundings, drum shows. Ron and I traveled to Hong Kong with a group from Zama. So many memories. Sometimes it felt as if we were living in a dream.
I lost contact with Masako when we came back to the States, but she has been on my mind and in my heart so much these past few days. I don't think the area where we lived was affected much by the earthquake and tsunami, but I know her heart is aching for those whose lives have been so dramatically changed and for her beautiful Japan.
My oldest son met the girl he married while we were in Japan. They were high school sweethearts, and when we came home, she enrolled in a college not far from us. Her mother is Japanese, her father American. Her father died in Japan of a heart attack. He was at an employee picnic in one of the parks. Her mother lives here now, but still has family in Japan. I hope they are okay.
Please pray with me for Japan and the people there. Thank you!
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I've had the best day. Reece spent the night, and he was so sweet all day long today. His mom called this afternoon to see if I could stay with him and Aubrey for a couple of hours while they took the youngest two girls to a birthday party. So I kept Reece until around 3:30, then we went over there to babysit. I took some pics of his little sisters.
I got to hold and love on the gorgeous Gina. She is such a sweet baby.
Cyrise had put Camryn's soft, curly hair in a little ponytail. She looked so cute and like a "big girl."
She came real close to me and was looking directly into the lens. She made me laugh so hard.
Aubrey is so beautiful that she takes my breath away.
She is also a zany little tomboy sometimes.
They love each other and are very close. I pray it will always be that way in their lives.
Gina, one more time. She is a yummy baby.
I'm so blessed to be their grandmother.
This one is lettuce. It doesn't look a bit like lettuce to me, it looks like little sprouts of grass. But it's lettuce. Maybe I'll be able to have a fresh homegrown salad soon!
This one is a morning glory. I'll be moving them to spots on each side of the dog yard gate as soon as they are big enough to vine. They are supposed to be pastel colors.
Everything else seems to be thriving, too. So far, so good. :o)