Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Pondering these words..."But at the heart of worship is rest -- a stopping from all work, all worry, all scheming, all fleeing -- to stand amazed and thankful before God and his work. There can be no real worship with out true rest." Mark Buchanan
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Around the house...construction paper turkeys, maps of Canada's provinces & territories going up as we get ready for a very short unit about Canada, mounds of cooking bananas that Margaret brought us yesterday
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
When we moved into this house in Marulaon, the family who lived here before us blessed us by the many things they left. We found dishes and linens, toys and schoolbooks, and chalkboards. Who knew that plain, unassuming chalkboards would be such a blessing!?! We didn't paint them or decorate them, we just hung one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen/dining/living area.
One of the lessons I learned last year during our village living stay in
The bathroom chalkboard displays our "to-do" list for the day, as well as a Bible verse or a poem. Yesterday, my list looked like this (but I didn't finish it all, as usual):
-plant bell pepper seeds
-wash throw rugs
-fix green bean poles
-wash front louvers
-sweep and mop
-make banana cake for market
-wash Olivia's sheets
-prepare Camper's oatmeal
I usually ask the kids to illustrate the scripture or poem. Lately Olivia has been asking to choose the verse. At first, she was choosing memory verses from school like the Golden Rule. Then she chose a verse from Psalms that shocked me. It talked about sinners and the wrath of God. Last night, she chose Isaiah 1:28-29, "But rebels and siners (her spelling) will both be broken and those who forsake the Lord will perish. You will be ashamed of your sacred oaks in which you are delighted..." I asked her why she chose those verses and she said, "I picked it because we need to know not to do bad things." My kids are my best teachers!
The front chalkboard displays the meal plan and verses about giving thanks. Sarah chose to illustrate the verse that is on the board right now. "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6 When I asked what the propping stick was in her picture (we see them all the time here, especially on the papaya trees), she said it represented Jesus since we are supposed to be "built up in him". I'm continuing to learn the impact that surrounding ourselves with scriptures makes on my family and on myself, and I feel like I'm taking baby steps with God using chalkboards and my children as my instructors
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
I am hoping...that I can get out more and visit with the neighbors. I'm really finding it hard to get everything done with school and the house and still have any time to walk around.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This is how Katherine spent the time while I was peeling umalau and watching Felta work. Eileen loves Katherine and was watching her use the peeler (something they don't use here) on the umalau. All of the ladies adore playing with Katherine, feeding her, and talking Lavukaleve with her. When I finished with the food, I found Katherine asleep on Eileen's shoulder.
Yesterday, Felta came by and asked Sarah if we liked to eat crab. Of course, Sarah told her yes, so Felta asked her to bring a dish and fill it with fresh. Aaron went with Sarah to fetch the crab, and he came back with our dish full as well as another big dish full. She is so generous! You can see our small dish compared to her big dish in the picture.
This morning about 8:30, Daisy came by and said the ladies were waiting at the market for me. Last time we stayed in Marulaon, market met on Wednesday afternoons, but now it meets on Wednesday mornings. I was so thankful she came and told me. We were able to buy some bananas (now I can make banana cake for market on Saturday), a huge watermelon, a pineapple, and some umalau, all in the rain :]
Felta came by again while I was deciphering language with Pogo. She said that her brother had just caught a big fish and would we be interested in buying it? She even offered to cook it for us over hot stones so it would be ready by tonight. So, I spent a couple hours this morning watching and learning how to cook a huge meo (tuna). I took down the big basket of umalau that we bought this morning and asked Felta to motu (cook over hot stones) the umalau, too, so we could all share it tonight.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
This moving back and forth stuff is so hard. We love living here, but it always takes us a little bit to remember that the "rules" change every time we switch houses. Our neighbors around us can hear every little thing we do since the louvers are always open. With no ceilings, the house isn't sound proof at all. The reflective layer inside the roof line takes a tiny amount of light and brightens the whole house. And any noise in our room can be heard anywhere in the house. So getting up early in the mornings before the kids wake up is really hard because we wake them up no matter how hard we try to be quiet and keep things dark.
The little girls from the neighborhood still love to watch me hang up laundry and name the owner of every piece I hang up. They just giggle!
I've been told several times since we came back how fat I've gotten :-) It's a good thing I'm secure in who God made me to be! Felta was laughing that she and all her friends were whispering about me when I got off the boat last Sunday. I just tell them that I didn't have a garden in Honiara, and now I'll work hard and be thin again.
Our oven is also having difficulties. Part of our training last year was cooking over an open fire, but right now the stove top still works. The pilot light is on, but the whole element won't light to heat the oven. So no baked goods for us right now! This might be really good for my waistline...
Even our daily schedule has to adjust to living here in Marulaon. We've been surprised at how much the angle of the sun changes and how much earlier the sun is rising now than when we were here in April. By 5:30, the sun is well on its way up. The bell for morning prayer has been ringing consistently at 5:50. So everybody is up and moving early, and we eat breakfast around 6:30 when Aaron gets home from morning prayer. Then the "bucket brigade" begins. We still have to pump water by hand from the big rain tank on the ground to the small tanks on the roof. So, it's easier to bring in buckets of water to wash dishes and clothes. I do love my twin tub washing machine that my sweet husband bought for me! Aaron put wheels on the bottom of the washing machine's cart (which he built last time we were here), so now it's much easier to move the machine over to the shower drain when it's time to wash clothes. We all haul buckets of water to fill up the washing machine, wash !
dishes, and refill the toilet tank in addition to taking turns pumping water as part of our morning routine. I try to have laundry and daily cleaning finished up by 8:30 so we can start school. The house girls usually come around 8:00 (though Felta came at 7:00) and stay for four hours. School usually finishes up around 2, and the kids play outside. I try to get outside and visit with neighbors and work on language until about 4. Radio sked is at 4:30 with SITAG in Honiara, and then we eat supper at 5:00. Evening prayer usually starts between 5:30 and 6:00. Then it's cleanup and bedtime routine and crash!
Even with the difficulties of adjusting to living here again and trying to learn the language and culture, I still LOVE it here! Watching the moon rise over the Pacific Ocean thrills me. God is so good to provide friends and food and more than we could possibly ask or imagine. Our village is sooooo beautiful! Our kids love to swim with goggles and admire the coral and the myriads of ocean creatures that live there. I'm constantly reminded of His grace to me and learning to extend grace to myself and to my family as we live in a cross cultural situation.
Last night we enjoyed our traditional mac and cheese (with tuna and dehydrated peas thrown in). Three times now, and it's a tradition! Hard to believe this is just our third time out here, it sure feels like home.
One of the first things we did today was check out our garden. The beans were almost finished, but I was able to harvest enough for a couple of batches for us to eat. The umalau is ready now, the obikola won't be ready until Christmas or later. The chinese cabbage is all gone, but we've heard it was beautiful, and Sarah Kiko told me that she was able to sell six heads at the market. I told her to keep the money. We have one pineapple that should be ready soon. When we had the big weeding day in April, the pineapple plants were uprooted because mosquitoes like to live near them. The tomatoes are finished, and all but one of the watermelons are gone. Many people have told us that they think boys came and stole the watermelon because we had lots of them that just disappeared. If we had come back in October according to the original plan, we could have enjoyed the food, but I'm thankful that our neighbors were able to enjoy it.
Felta is helping me this week with the house and the yard. She has such a sweet spirit and a perpetual smile, and she has been here since we first came in April. Her husband and oldest daughter (five years old) stay out West while Felta stays here in Marulaon with her baby, Doris, who is a year and a half old, and her mother. Our community is very matrilineal, so it's very common for a woman to be surrounded by her daughters and grandchildren. Men frequently "marry in" and move to the village of the wife. Land passes down through the women, too. I know lots of families where the husband and wife live in separate places, but it works here because families all work together to watch the children, cook, garden, clean, etc. I'm so thankful for the help that these ladies give me! It's nice to have in the house (especially when we first come back and have to wash every dish, dust every book, wash every sheet, etc.), but their work in the yard is invaluable! I have no idea !
what their idea of a nice yard should be. Felta worked a long time this morning tidying up our yard, picking up trash, and weeding. I imagine we'll tackle the garden when she comes back on Wednesday.