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Archive for June, 2012

OKC Zoo :)

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Hola again!

I hope everyone is enjoying the blog entries. I try to make them as fun/entertaining as they can be while keeping them real.

So on Friday (22 June) my Aunt Darlyne (my mom’s aunt) came and picked me up at my grandma’s house. I stayed Friday night with her. Friday she took me to the OKC Zoo and on Saturday, we went downtown and saw the OKC memorial. I’ll tell more about the memorial later. Since we saw the zoo first, that’s what’s being told about first. :)

Aunt Darlyne came and picked me up around 10:00 on Friday morning. We wanted to get to the zoo before it got too hot out.

This rhino wasn’t being very cooperative with me. I tried several times to get a good picture of him but it never worked.

This bird was really pretty but for some reason, the camera wanted to focus on the cage and not the bird itself.

This reminds me of the song “I wanna hippopotamus for Christmaaaaas. Only a hippopotamus will doooooo!!” :D

Finally Ms. Hippo decided to come out of the water.

No, this isn’t a real turtle. The sign beside it says that the surface may hot. And yes, the surface was hot. It was 91 degrees outside.

I’m not sure what type reptile this is, but I know it is in the lizard family….but that’s all I know.

Here is his/her head.

Not sure what this reptilian is specifically.

Crocodile cave. I thought crocodile’s were just a bit larger than this but I guess not.

How can anyone look at any type of living thing and not know that there is a God? I mean, be honest now. All of this complexity and beauty cannot (CANNOT) come from a bunch of bacteria.

Flock of flamingos. Are they called “flocks”?

Yes, this one IS real…and real big, too.

I saw a real peacock….and it was a live peacock at that!

He was gorgeous!

I can almost hear Jeremiah Logan saying, “It’s a rhino!!”

We just thought this sign was a bit funny.

No, the rhino wasn’t charging. It was walking very leisurely towards the shaded areas.

Here is the sleeping lioness. I tried to get the head but there wasn’t a good spot to get to take the picture.

Here comes Mama now!

All the deer! I heard one lady say, “Hey, we eat those” and her kids said, “Mama! That’s Bambi! We eat Bambi??” I just laughed at the whole conversation.

Why does my camera feel the need to focus on the fence? Well, I still like the picture.

I think she was reaching for a leaf or something.

I have no idea what type of fowls these are. Any takers?

I don’t remember the name of these, either. I know, I have a horrible memory. Just ask my family members :)

Roadrunner! These are quick little rascals!

This is one of the Great Horned Owls.

I told Aunt Darlyne, “I’d really hate to make this dude mad…”

Aunt Darlyne told me that our cousin Tori has never actually seen the badger. Here it is, Tori!! I got several shots for you of the badger.

I didn’t realize just how large bison were…now I know! :)

I loved the color of the bear’s fur. It has been bleached by this summer’s sun.

When he/she finally got out of the water, this is what he looked like…

I also love waterfalls.

I hate snakes….why do I get pictures of them?

This snake was following Aunt Darlyne’s finger.

I would love to be best buddies with this guy.

Wouldn’t you like him to be your bodyguard?

This is where the otters were but since the otters were sleeping in the shade, I just took a picture of the scenery.

First I got this picture:

Then I saw this view:

Our national bird: the Bald Eagle.

 

I asked my Aunt Darlyne how to pronounce this and she told me but….I kind of forgot the pronunciation. It’s Indian (American Indian) but that’s all I can tell you.

These dudes look like someone I DON’T want to play games with.

Ya’ think??

For some reason, this name just struck me as being slightly amusing….Great Escape Circle. Escape from what? The apes??

I took some pictures of some random quotes placed throughout the zoo.

Minus the fence (you may not be able to see it), this would be pretty scenery. It’s pretty with the fence, but even prettier without it.

 It was pretty warm out and quite a few of the animals were sleeping. Well, at least resting. A few of the gorilla’s were looking at us.

This guy (I’m assuming it’s a male) looked like he waved at us. This is also where Aunt Darlyne and I met a guy who heard when I said something about Japan and he said, “Oh is that where you’re from?”  I said yes then said, “Well, I live there. I’m from America but I live in Japan.” We stayed there for just a couple minutes talking to him then we all moved on.

This was the leader of the group. I love the coloring of the silverbacks.

This gorilla was looking a little angry.

“Hang loose, dude!”

And finally the leader decided to get up…at least partially.

The orangutan was just as lazy as the gorilla’s.

Another funny sign title. That’s not any bachelor I’d look at for a life companion.

A penny for your thoughts?

One of the monkey’s started climbing the rope when there was a good sized group of people standing by the window.

He obviously thinks something is just a little on the humorous side.

 

I thought this was neat and interesting. In case if you can’t read it (I’m having trouble reading it myself, even with my glasses on), it says, “Siri, our youngest chimpanzee, sustained an unintentional injury from an adult female. As a result her right forearm had to be amputated by the zoo veterinary staff who partnered with a human orthopedic surgical team. Siri has adapted very well and continues to grow stronger proving that she is a brave and spirited little chimp.” Isn’t she cute??

The Elephant Pavillion area of the zoo was huge and very pretty.

Mama and baby were playing in the water trying to keep cool. It was so cute! The baby “Malee” kept trying to get on Mama’s back to push her under the water.

Finally this female got tired of playing and went to find something to eat.

This is where the alpha male stays. They wanted to make sure that he didn’t hurt the baby and the females so they are only allowing through-the-fence trunk contact right now.

Yeah, that’s his backbone.

Here’s a closer look.

Look at those tusks!!!

Well, I think I’m going to stop here for today. I’ll finish up on the pictures after I get back from Roatan and then I’ll have even more pictures to share with y’all. :)

God bless and y’all have a good day!

Rachel

OKC, here I come!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Konnichi wa!!

How is everyone doing? I hope all of you are doing well in each of your states/countries.

So the title may be just a little misleading. For those of you who don’t know ( I think the majority of you do know), I am already in OKC. I have been here since June 12. My grandma had surgery on a disc in her neck and I wanted to be here to help her out a bit. So I left Japan on 12 June and arrived in OKC also on 12 June about 1 hour after my departure time. :) I know it sounds confusing and it sort of is, but anyway, other than a few little bumps in the road ( ie. getting lost in St. Paul airport), I made it safely to OKC without missing any flights. Since my grandma, whom we call Dah (long story about how she got her name) didn’t know I was coming (yes, I wanted to keep it a surprise), Aunt Tommie came and picked me up from the airport. We got to Dah’s house, unloaded my luggage, and set it just inside the house so I’d be ready for when Dah came home from work. We thought we heard the garage door once but it wasn’t. Well, it was a garage door, but not Dah’s. Anyway, a few minutes later, after calling my mom to let her know I had arrived safely and after settling down a few minutes. We heard the garage door….the correct garage door. So Aunt Tommie got up, started the video camera, and I sat on the couch just chilling. When Dah walked through the door, I calmly looked up and said, “Hi Dah!” with a wave. Dah was like, “Oh my gracious! What are you doing here?” By the time she finished, I was over there giving her a hug. It was pretty funny! The video is too big of a file to put on here, but maybe I can find a way to get it here on the website pretty soon.

So, that night we went to a place called Boomerang’s Grill (somthing like that) and I got some spicy Buffalo chicken. The next night, however, we went to a place called Pioneer Pies (delicious!!) and we all got the soup and salad meal.

 

Yes, I did go healthy and I got the vegetable soup. And no, I didn’t use any of that butter on the plate.

On my first Sunday here, I went to Southern Oaks UPC, which is pastored by Brother Mark Parker. During the Sunday School session, I went in with the youth class. The youth leader/teacher is the Parker’s youngest son, Andrew.

 I didn’t know if anyone would think that I was crazy for taking pictures or not, so I waited until right as we started praying to take a couple pictures.

During the main service, I thought I heard a different instrument than what I saw. When I leaned over just a bit and looked forward, I saw what it was Brother Parker playing. Sorry the picture is a bit blurry.

This is Southern Oaks…well, the sanctuary at least.

One of the musicians did a special during the offering time. He was really really good!

That day at church, there was a family there that are missionaries to Russia (various places there). I won’t mention the name just for privacy purposes but just in case if they ever see this, I just want to tell y’all that it was so good to be able to meet y’all and to be able to listen to your stories.

After church I was privileged to be able to spend time with the Parker’s and the missionaries. Sister Parker asked if I was busy after church and that if I wasn’t busy would I go out to eat with them and the missionaries. I wasn’t busy and I’m always up for spending time with other pastors/missionaries and hearing their stories. And plus, the missionary’s kids are were SO adorable!! The youngest one was just talking to me and on the way back to the table, she said, “I want to hold your hand.” I said, “Okay, you can hold my hand if you want to.” Then she looked up at me and said, “Will you sit by me?” I said, “If you want me to sit by you then yes, I’ll sit by you.” She said, “Okay, you’re sitting by me.” She was SO cute and I loved being able to play with her listening to her stories. :)

Anyway, the restaurant we went to was Saltgrass Steakhouse. It was GOOD!!! So country-looking :)

Yes, I was also healthy here and got a buffalo chicken salad.

After church that night, after I got home and changed clothes, Dah wanted some ice cream. So we all got in the car and drove to Braum’s (who, by the way, I think needs to go global) to get some vanilla ice cream. We also grabbed a few banana’s while we were there. Dah already had fudge sauce at home and this was our creation…

Yes, it was very tasty!

The next day, around lunch time, Dah asked me if I wanted Sonic for lunch. My reply was, “I wouldn’t complain” with a huge grin on my face. So we drove down to Sonic (actually, since Dah can’t drive, I’ve been driving her around). Yes, it’s been a year since I last had Sonic and I was savoring every bite.

My favorite thing here is the chicken wrap (yes, grilled not breaded).

There have been a couple different “firsts” for me this trip back. One of them you’ll hear about later, but this is the first “first”.  Dah showed me how to make a chocolate pie. Actually, she gave me the recipe (which I did put on my ipod) and watched me do it. This is the end result:

By the end of the night, this is what was left. There isn’t as much gone as what it looks like…I promise! :)

One of the afternoon’s last week, I walked down to the pond out by the front to feed the ducks and just to sit on the bench for a bit. I took several pictures down there as well.

For some reason, I have a fascination with clouds. Not that I like to study clouds or anything, I just think the white clouds up against the blue sky look gorgeous at time. Add some other structures in there, (ie.: Houses, street signs, etc,) and…sometimes I have odd fascinations, but oh well!!

Aunt Tommie had made some tapioca pudding for Dah one night and I found out that my favorite afternoon or “right before bed” snack was chocolate milk and pudding. Yum!!

Dah and I went to Wal-mart one afternoon to get a couple groceries and when I saw the size of the japaleno’s, I was like “Whoa!! Those things are HUGE!!” The smaller peppers shown here are about the size that we can get in Japan on base.

And my parents and my boyfriend will be very happy about this. I cooked a Japanese stir-fry one evening. Rice and everything.

Well, that’s all I have from my first week and a half in OKC. My next couple entries will be about the OKC Zoo and the OKC Memorial. I’ll have those done in the next day or two.

Much love and many thanks for all of your prayers,

Rachel

父の日お目出度うご座います!!!

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Hello everyone!!

Before I post anything about what’s been happening recently, I want to say to all of our dad’s a great big

父の日お目出度うご座います!!!

Happy Father’s Day!!!

And a shoutout to all of the amazing father’s that I know and that have played major parts in making me who I am today: my dad (a.k.a. Brother Pounders, Pastor Pounders, or Daddy), Chris and Justin (my brothers) , Brother Hampton, Brother Burris, Pastor Smith, Brother Lucas, Brother Datsomor, Papa Russell, Uncle Maurice, Uncle Cory, Uncle Monty, Uncle Tom, Uncle Cecil, Uncle Jackie, and Brother Porter. All y’all are super awesome and I am super blessed to have all y’all in my life! Oh yes, one more Father that none of us should forget about: God!! :D

Happy Father’s Day!!!!