Saturday, October 30, 2010

Loadin' Up

This afternoon, we loaded up the SITAG truck once again and drove down to the wharf for the fastest "load the Bikoi" session ever! God has really provided for our weary bodies and minds by giving us generous friends to provide lots of meals and to help us clean today. What a gift!

We'll leave for the Russell Islands about 4 p.m. CST Saturday afternoon (8 a.m. Sunday morning our time), and we would appreciate your prayers for safe travel and calm seas.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Celebrating letter C

Gotta have carrot cake with cream cheese icing, especially when Sarah makes it!

Covering a cardstock "C" with cotton balls just after they raced the cotton balls down the hall by blowing on them

a letter-sorting activity, Sarah and Olivia helped make the "clothes"

and Benjamin helped paint with cars, followed by a car wash, of course!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Honiara Woman's Daybook

For today...Sunday, October 24 (finished Wednesday, October 27)

Outside my window...the morning sun is catching the spider webs strung across the tree outside my bedroom window. The big red ants are lighting up like jewels as they crawl across the tree branches - God's creation never fails to amaze me!

I am thinking...about all of the packing we have to do and feeling like I want to crawl in a hole. Honest, all-about-me feelings, I know.

I am thankful best friend, lover, provider, box packer, and shoulder to cry on. Aaron continues to be a rock for me and the kids during this season of great transition. He is a great physical representation of our Heavenly Father.

I am praying for...lots of people coming and going from Honiara this week

I am wearing...denim skirt, blue denim/sequin flip-flops I bought at a second hand store in Brisbane, and a black t-shirt that says, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice, & perform with the ENMU Choir" from some dear college friends.

I am creating...lots of "to-do" lists, jars of food, and an "open-me-first" box for Marulaon

I am miss keeping in touch with all of our family and friends. We don't anticipate having e-mail this trip out to Marulaon.

I am hoping...and praying for calm seas on Sunday. We're out of Bonine!

I am hearing...the album "Until the Whole World Hears" by Casting Crowns, this music is like cold water sent from a distant land to our weary souls (Proverbs 25:25). Thanks, Ann.

I am give thanks in all circumstances. It wouldn't hurt to remind me. Frequently.

From the learning rooms... no school this week. Usually, I just give the kids Thursday and Friday off, but we are feeling rather swamped this time with only three weeks to switch from Brisbane to Marulaon.

From the from the freezer! So glad we had a cooking bonanza last weekend. Just before we leave, our thoughtful SITAG friends will host us and provide physical and emotional refreshment.

Around the house...chaos

On my mind...shepherding my precious children.

Noticing that...I've worn a blister on the base of my right index finger from cutting so much pumpkin to can.

Pondering these words..." filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ." (Eph. 5:18-21)

So, being fill with the Spirit results in 1) musical joy, 2) universal gratitude, 3) loving submission to each other's needs (From John Piper's "Taste and See")

One of my favorite things...Katherine's sweet exclamations. This morning, when we added a little cream to her coffee, she said "That's amazing!" Her words are finally becoming clear and easy to all of the three languages that she speaks.

A few plans for the rest of the week...canning the apples Aaron brought home yesterday, finishing up school plans for Marulaon, mailing the last of the Christmas packages, digging through my in-box, packing and cleaning, getting on the Bikoi Sunday morning - it's resumed its former schedule!

Here is a picture I am sharing...

Benjamin really needed a haircut, and he wanted a mohawk for just a few minutes. Isn't he handsome?!?

Celebrating Autumn

We're trying to pretend that the leaves are changing colors and that the temperatures are dropping, when in reality, we're headed into summer and the hottest part of the year.

Celebrating autumn has been short and sweet - a few books, a few crafts, but lots of fun! I can't wait to introduce my kids to a "real" autumn in a couple of years, but right now, we're so thankful for our tropical paradise with its incredible flora and fauna.

With a little help from Sarah, Katherine created a hilarious story about her oak leaf creature, "Pink". He even traveled to Singapore and to Arkansas!

Monday, October 25, 2010

And the winner is...

Adam and Ruth! (Better late than never) Lisa, we'll send you a mug, too, as the runner-up. And the rest of you? Well, you never know what might show up from the Solomon Islands in your mailbox. Thanks to all of you who cover us in prayer and continue to remind us of your love with e-mail and snail mail - we couldn't be here without you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Just a small giveaway this time, and it's a little corny, I know. If you would like to be the first of your friends to own an "I love Solomon Islands" mug, then leave a comment by midnight CST, Friday, October 22.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Around the house

Aaron did a hunk of the village shopping today. Forty 500 gram bags of sugar...

...forty kilos of rice...

...forty-four kilos of flour, including the two hard to find RAT PROOF buckets!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Honiara Woman's Daybook

Thanks to Peggy for encouraging us to slow down record our lives each week.
For today...Monday, October 18

Outside my skies, kids running around on the basketball court to get the wiggles out, a "foster dog" on the porch

I am thinking...about both of grandfathers' birthdays this week. One of them will be eighty and the other will get fresh flowers on his grave.

I am thankful amazing family that continues to pull together as a team to make this life we live a treat

I am wearing...a deep red A-line skirt, white t-shirt, gold filigree ball earrings that Aaron's mother gave me for Easter when I was in college

In the learning room...reading a biography of Gandhi as we continue studying India, celebrating fall with some leaf activities, Benjamin about to finish up his math book

I am ask for God to turn my heart toward His statutes and not toward selfish gain and to turn my eyes away from worthless things. (Ps. 119:36-37)

I am going...on a date with my husband for lunch today (thanks to some gracious WAs)

I am currently reading..."Taste and See" by John Piper

I am hoping...that a new shipment of carrots and apples comes in this week, it's time to can!

On my mind...the obvious, getting ready to go back to Marulaon

Noticing that...the sun comes up much earlier now, just a little after five it's getting light, I guess even eight degrees south of the equator spring means more light

Pondering these words..."He makes the light yoke of Christ still lighter, not by lessening duty, but by increasing its ease through familiarity." --Hannah More

From the kitchen...oatmeal for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch, quiche for supper and s'mores for desert (thanks, Julie)

Around the screens going in (so long, mosquitos!)

One of my favorite things...vintage chintz snack sets
From my camera...

this is what happens to Ranch seasoning packets in the Solomon Islands when we don't use them fast enough...they become a solid brick!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sweet Sabbath

"Stand up, stand up for Jesus;
Stand in his strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you,
You dare not trust your own.
Put on the Gospel armor;
Each piece put on with prayer.
Where duty calls or danger,
Be never wanting there."
-George Duffield
-old favorite hymns to encourage and convict
-seven-year-olds who love Dvorak's New World Symphony (especially the 3rd movement!)

-tax-refund checks waiting for us when we returned from Brisbane

-friends who provide the blessing and fellowship of a meal

-two brown-eyed-girls creating together (and enccouraging the whole crew to make hats)

-the gift of electricity
-a great weekend of the whole family working together to cook, bake, and freeze and help prepare for the crazy two weeks ahead
-sermons sent by friends across the ocean

-two friends from Marulaon who dropped by last week to visit and to let us know that our house and garden are both doing great and the rain tanks are full!
the papaya tree just outside our house in Marulaon full of baby papayas in August

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Celebrating Letter B

Bowing for B

Biscuits Before Baking

Blowing Blue Bubbles

Bringing Birds into the "Letter B Birdhouse"

Baking Banana Bread

We began celebrating letter B while we were in Brisbane since we had such an abundance of B foods. Almost every morning, we ate berries and yogurt. We also cooked a couple of our favorite recipes. We devoured them so quickly that I didn't get any pictures! We are having a Blast celebrating the letter B.

GranMollie's Blueberry Cobbler

3-31/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (sprinkle over blueberries)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, beaten
6 Tbsp. butter - melted
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Rinse blueberries & drain. Place in bottom of 10 x 6 glass baking dish. Mix next 4 ingredients until it resembles corn meal, lumpy. Distribute flour mix over the berries & top with butter. Combine cinnamon & sugar & sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Do not overbake.

Orange Beef and Beans
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. grated orange peel
3/4 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak, cut int othis strips
1 Tbsp. canola oil
3 cups fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 pepper
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp. orange juice
(garlic to taste)

In a large bowl, combine sugar and orange peel; mix well. Add beef; toss to coat. In a large non-stick skillet, stir fry beef in oil for 5 minutes or until browned. In a microwave safe dish, cover and cook beans in water for 3-5 minutes on high; drain. Add beans to skillet; cook, stirring constantly until tender. In a bowl, combine the cornstarch, ginger and pepper. Stir in the soy sauce and orange juice until smooth. Pour the sauce over beef and beans; toss to coat. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minutes or until thickened. Makes four 1 cup servings.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

When missionary kids get bored...

...they build a fire, heat up some stones, and make kora (scalloped local potatoes with thick coconut cream). All by themselves.

And, yes, we let them play with fire and knives.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We love Wycliffe Associates!

Wycliffe Associates are the best! Not only are they working on the new translation center (which will be dedicated in March), but they also help fix other maintenance issues around SITAG. This morning, Jim climbed waaaaay up high the scaffolding that he built last week beside our current house and repaired some issues created by a falling branch. He said we almost lost power, but he caught the problem quickly. Thanks a bunch to all of the men and women who volunteer around the world to help support Bible Translation, especially those of you who are about to come on a short-term trip to Honiara!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Certificate in Translation Workshop

This week, the last of the Certificate in Translation (CIT) workshops begins at SITAG. These men have been working hard for four years doing university level work to help them become better Bible translators. We're so proud of them and all of their hard work! Please continue to pray for them and for their teachers during the next two very busy weeks.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Marulaon update

Chairman Hensi called this morning to ask if he could swing by and visit and borrow some money for the Bikoi fare tomorrow. Seems like a really good friendship is devolping! While they visited, Aaron learned that my garden is doing great and that Marulaon has enjoyed plenty of rain since we left, so thanks to those of you who have been praying for those requests! He also learned that the picture dictionary work is continuing in our absence and that the Lavukal are very excited about the upcoming literacy workshop. In addition, Hensi informed us that the Bikoi has raised their fare considerably and quit going to Marulaon. They now only stop at Yandina, which is in the East Russells.
If we continue to take the Bikoi, not only would we have to pay more for our tickets, but we would have to buy petrol for two motor canoes to get to Marulaon. This more than doubles our transport costs. Other cheaper and slower ships also stop at Yandina, but not on a regular schedule, so we will have lots of options to consider as we get everything ready for our trip to Marulaon at the end of October. We are not worried about finding a way to Marulaon, but we would appreciate your prayers for us to have wisdom and to follow God's leading for the best shipping options.

Family Photo Shoot

It's time to turn in our family photo for the SITAG calendar, so we had some fun taking pictures on the basketball court this morning.
This weekend, we're still unpacking, planning for the three weeks we still have left in Honiara, and trying to let our bodies catch up from our whirlwind time in Brisbane.

I love the sounds of laughter as my goofy family posed for the pictures and as the kids took their turns behind the camera!

"One generation will commend your works to another; they will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousnes." Psalm 145: 4-7

Back to real life...

Life in Brisbane...

Life in betelnut spit on the side of the road

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Playground Pics

While we travel back to Honiara, I'll share a few pictures of one of the highlights of our trip - the playgound (the first one in two years) at McDonalds!
Sarah was too old to play, but the other really enjoyed themselves.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Brisbane Woman's Daybook

For today...Wednesday, October 6

Outside my window...a beautiful tree full of purple blooms, bulldozers tearing down a building across the street with great cacophony.

I am thinking...about how expensive everything is here in Australia
I am thankful for...the persistent dentist who finally figured out what was causing me all of that pain, and he fixed the problem, too!

I am wearing...braided hair, beaded red earrings, a white t-shirt and a deep red and white patterned swirly skirt I found at a second-hand store here.

In the learning for a few days while we transition back to Honiara.

I am remembering...sweet times with a friend in Memphis who just passed away yesterday. Margaret, we love you and are praying for you and your family.
I am fly back to Honiara tomorrow.

I am currently reading...a couple of mysteries by P.D. James that are in the apartment.
I am hoping...that we can get everything ready for the next trip to Marulaon in just three weeks.

On my mind..."The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love..." (Zeph. 3:17 RSV) How I need the renewal of His love flowing through me and the victory He gives.

Noticing that... Katherine is loving her new "Laundry Day" lacing beads from HABA.

Pondering these words..."What we need is a big picture of a great God who is utterly committed to joyfully demonstrating his greatness in doing us good. That is, we need to see the majesty of God and know the splendor of God overflowing toward us with exuberant omnipotence. It is not enough to believe that God is big and strong and fearsome - which he is. We must experience this magnificence as the explosion of God's uncontainable zeal to satisfy his creatures by showing them himself." --John Piper

From the kitchen...oh, we've had fun in the kitchen here in Brisbane. Lots of baking and lots of veggies and fruits that we can't get in the Solomons. Today, it's just leftovers as we clean out the fridge.

Around the house...the all too familiar sight of action packers full and waiting to go.

One of my favorite things...the sweetness and familiarity of falling asleep with Aaron's arm across my back

From my camera...the huge tree hanging over the driveway and shedding its fragrant blooms on the clothes hanging on the line

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Aaron

Saturday, we tromped down the hill to wait at the bus stop and make our way into town to celebrate Aaron's birthday.
We're getting pretty good at navigating public transportation here in Brisbane, and it was a quick two bus rides to make our way down to QPAC for the ballet.

A thoughtful friend provided the resources for us to attend "Don Quixote" - I told Aaron the ballet was eye candy. We took in every detail (especially the pit orchestra - ah, the memories). What a treat!

Aaron and I bought our "nice" clothes at a second-hand shop here in Brisbane, and his shoes made it just long enough to get home. We walked home, changed clothes, and then walked to a local bakery where we enjoyed wood-fired pizzas. They had live music since it was a Saturday night, and the restaurant sang happy birthday to my beloved when the cake and its sparkling candles was brought in.

Queensland Museum

Friday, our family enjoyed a day exploring the Queensland Museum. It's been so long since we've gotten to take the kids to a museum, and we had a blast!