Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I am wearing...comfy, cotton clothes and tennis shoes to make my trek around the neighborhood
I am currently reading...loads of Agatha Christie left in our flat (Mrs. McGinty's Dead, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd...)
From the kitchen...LOVING cooking old familiar recipes and finding new ones with ingredients that we can't find in the Solomons
One of my favorite things...the laughter of my children, and I'm hearing it frequently these days!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
We enjoyed learning how ginger grows and is harvested, then we crossed the street and observed a macadamia nut factory. Then Karen and her mom picked us up and drove us to their home so we could spend time with their precious family. I love having friends all over the world!
Monday morning dawned cold and rainy. We had planned to go strawberry picking, but instead we headed to a local mall to do some shopping for our house in the village. Then, we returned to the flat in Brisbane. Tuesday morning, another doctor's appointment and another cool, rainy day. Every around us has been apologizing for the weather, but we are loving it! It's cool enough to snuggle up in a quilt and read books and to drink lots of hot chocolate.
Wednesday morning, I had an eye appointment and learned that it's almost time to get bifocals, Thursday was the morning for fasting and blood work, and this morning, I had loads of dental work done. Tonight, we will celebrate Katherine's third birthday with friends who are flying in this evening - perfect timing! It's hard to pick a favorite part of the trip so far, but I think it just may be eating strawberries and broccoli every day.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Breaking news! Sarah and I decided that since only four people left comments, we would send all four a care package. So, all of you be looking for a package from the Solomons in about three weeks.
Monday, September 13, 2010
From the kitchen...cleaning out the pantry and fridge (again), seems like we just did this
Sunday, September 12, 2010
In 2008, thanks to some great friends in Kansas, we learned about road racing and just how fun it can be to get together with friends and train for a race. We are on opposite sides of the world this year, but we have new colleagues here who decided to run with us.
Back in May, Joanna and another SITAG mom started walking together. Not long after, the other mom found an exercise program called Couch to 5K. Pretty soon, she and Joanna started training together just to be healthy. Around June we saw a poster advertising a half marathon here in Honiara. The event included a 10K, 5K, and a 2K fun run. With our great experience before, we decided that the whole family would train for the September 12th race.
This included a little bit of uncertainty of how well we would be able to race train in the village, but thanks to a little soccer field in the village, our family was able to get out and train, sometimes dodging tree roots and frogs along the way. Joanna and I alternated mornings and Sarah, Benjamin, and Olivia would run with one or the other of us.
We got the idea to include some of our colleagues here in Honiara, knowing how fun it was to run with friends. At first it looked like no one would join us, but by the time we returned to Honiara in August, three other families were training as well.
So, after months of preparing, the big day finally arrived. I couldn't believe it. Joanna and I were slated to run in the 5K, and Sarah, Benjamin, and Olivia were running the 2K. Several of their SITAG agemates were running with them (and one dad to keep an eye on them). We all had no real aspirations for greatness. I was wanting to be able to run and have my knee do better than last time. Joanna was shooting for 44 minutes. Sarah, Benjamin, and Olivia, I think, were just out to have fun. I decided to register Joanna and myself in the more mature age category. Thus, we competed with only 30-39 year olds instead of the open category which would have pitted us against teens and twenty-somethings, too.
Now for the celebration. When Olivia started out, she was great. The throng at the start got her a little bit flustered, but she quickly recovered. Unlike her sibs, though, she had no running buddy. Benjamin was with her for a minute, then I decided that Olivia was more important than proving something about myself. So for the first kilometer, Olivia and I ran side by side. I encouraged her all of the way, knowing that she would have to make the turn for home and run her last kilometer alone. Man, that was hard, leaving her. I was pretty sure she was going to walk the whole way back. But when I heard her story later, she said she decided to just run until she got to the fence, then she would know she was almost finished. Turns out, she finished 4th in her category, girls 2K. I am so proud of Olivia for finding strength inside of her that she may not have known was there.
Benjamin won one of those awards that is priceless. He and three other boys were a running machine. As Olivia and I approached the turn-around point, who are the first people we see coming at us from the other direction - Benjamin and his SITAG buds. They were looking good, too. One of the boys was a little in front of Benjamin and the other two. Turns out, that boy won first place (way to go!). The reason Benjamin's award is priceless is because it comes in the form of the honor and respect his parents give him. Coming to the end of the race, two of the boys gathered steam for the big finish. We know that Benjamin had plenty of zoom in him, but first hanging back with Olivia and then deciding to stay back with a slower friend, Benjamin finished 4th by one second. I am so proud of my boy for the selflessness he showed today!
Sarah is not the greatest athlete, but she always has a great attitude. Unfortunately, she seemed to wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Come race time, all was fine. She and a buddy were at the start hand in hand, ready to go. The race starts, and all of the sudden
we look down the road and Sarah is coming backwards, basically stopped and saying something about bleeding. She was holding her hand out, and I hear Joanna telling her to just keep going. This was all within the first 20 meters or so. I was too busy getting Olivia going that I really didn't think much about Sarah after that.
At the end, I see my amazing #1 child with a huge scuffed up knee and a couple of spots on her hand. But she was all smiles and talked about the race. Turns out she and her friend (who stayed with her despite the spill) were in the top three. We are so excited for her, especially with her literally rough start.
SITAG racked up lots of great finishes - I think the crowd was ready for the SITAG crew to leave.
What an amazing morning!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
God gave us "Auntie Karen" here in Honiara, and her birthday was yesterday. As part of her ministry, Karen teaches literacy classes to a group of ladies. Conspiring together, the SITAG moms and the literacy class decided to celebrate and surprise her!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
-beautiful rainbows (we've enjoyed several lately)
-friends who drop by unexpectedly and accept the invitation to stay for supper
-girls learning to crochet
-a great exercise buddy who encourages me yet pushes me to do a little bit better each time we run
-my mom's recipe for chocolate cinnamon cake and the ingredients to make it