Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  Eph. 2:10

These GIAL students came over last night to eat supper and visit - what a blast!  We're so thankful that God gives us the opportunity to get to know people and hear their stories.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Just for today...Monday, August 27
Outside my window...three tiny ant hills formed a smiley face outside our back door.  My observant Sarah found them, she always finds the positive side of things.
I am thinking...about our Lavukal neighbors.  We are hoping to send some beginning readers that were requested by a school teacher.  Better get started stockpiling books if the school hopes to have the books when classes begin in January!
From the learning rooms...Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, Louis XIV, King Philip's War, Shah Jahan & the Taj Mahal
A heart of thankfulness...for the traffic that added an hour to our return trip last night, because it gave me more time to work on my embroidery.
From the kitchen...English muffins for breakfast, kiwi & cucumber chicken salad for lunch, ham & bean soup tonight with apple crisp for dessert
I am cello callouses develop quickly.  My amazing husband has been working hard to give me some quiet time to practice.  It feels so good to have short fingernails and sore fingertips!
I am cleaning up breakfast in the kitchen, the washing machine spinning, Benjamin singing, sounds of a normal Monday morning
One of my favorite things...staying home.  Today won't be one of those days, but busy days make the stay-at-home days even sweeter.
Pondering these words..."Abiding allows the Lord to bring interesting people, worthy activities, and valuable things into my life in the right way, at the right time, and for His purpose."  ~Cynthia Heald
Looking ahead...a meeting this morning to see if our family has any video that will help with a GIAL video, company tomorrow night (two students from GIAL), Thursday night I'll drive the three big kids to get fitted for their Southwest Children's Chorus uniforms, and hoping for a date Friday night (if we can get a babysitter) to go see Agatha Christie's "Black Coffee" on stage
A peek into my corner of the world...Katherine practicing her memory verse.  I love hearing kids hiding God's Word in their hearts!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sweet Sabbath from Grice, Texas

"It requires the greatest effort and produces the greatest humility to receive anything from God; we would much sooner earn it." 
~Oswald Chambers
I feel like I've been overwhelmed by God's giving this weekend as we visited a sweet church in East Texas and finally witnessed the transformation of a bloggy friend into a real life friend.  Just a few of His gifts:
 -sweet food (we even got the recipe!)...

and sweet fellowship

-a beautiful place to start my Sunday morning, along with my four-year-old side kick...

...and a great view of the pasture just out the back door

surrounded by God's gorgeous creation everywhere I turned

-willing servants to cut up strawberries for breakfast

-a new set of friends, knit together because of our love for the Lord

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Day Full of Family and Friends

 At eight o'clock this morning, our phone rang.  I knew it wasn't Aaron, because he was in class.  It was my brother!  He lives in Houston, but came up to Dallas for business.  His meeting had been cancelled, and he was wondering if he could visit with us.  Whoohoo!  School immediately shrank to just math and science, and we soon drove to the light rail station in Dallas to pick him up.

What a lovely day of making music, reading books, playing croquet, just hanging out together.

After lunch, Sarah's friend joined our family, and the two of them whipped up some raspberry fudge and some yummy lemon bars in the kitchen.  What a great day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Texas Woman's Daybook

For today...Monday, August 20

Outside my window...our patio chairs and glass table minus the glass.  The storms over the weekend toppled the table and shattered the glass.  Aaron called a glass store and they said it would cost more to repair the table than it would cost to buy a new one.

I am thinking about...our Lavukal neighbors.  The windy time of year should be finishing up this week or next, making rain possible again. 

From the learning rooms...Thirty Years' War, Sarah: Working with intergers; Benjamin: Triangles and 4-sided figures; Olivia: addition & subtraction of decimals; Katherine: making sets of ten

A heart of thankfulness...for this house.  It is such a big, lovely place (with a huge parking lots for bike riding, too) to help us fill back up.

From the kitchen...pull apart cinnamon apple rolls & veggie sausage this morning, tonight we'll enjoy beef stew and frosty peach pie for dessert.  It's fun to eat healthy foods that taste great, too!

From my bookshelf...time to read has been almost non-existent lately, so I'm still working on "Galileo's Daughter".  It is a mighty thick book, and I'm choosing to spend my time pouring myself into my family and friends.  One day, I'll finish it or turn it back in to the library.

I am dig out of my inbox soon!

One of my favorite things...soap paint

Pondering these words..."Self-control is managing our attitudes, feelings, and actions so they serve our long-term best interests and those of others.  Self-control comes to people who learn discipline and social skills.  It increases in those who accept God's grace in their lives and who seek to know and apply divine truths in a disciplined manner."  ~Richard Walters

Looking ahead...making cookies to send to the Dallas Baptist University open house where our church will have a booth this evening, the Women's Ministry at church kicks off tomorrow night, church on Wednesday night, company on Thursday night, and we go to Gilmer, Texas, over the weekend to worship with Antioch Baptist Church (and so I can finally meet Ava!)

A peek into my corner of the world...Katherine reading Biscuit books to her doll, Anna, on the front porch this morning

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sweet Sabbath

"Our hurried, stressful, busy lives are unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of celebrating life itself.  Somehow we must learn how to acheive momentary slow downs, and request from God a heightened awareness of the conception that life is a happy thing, a festival to be enjoyed rather than a drudgery to be endured.  Life is full of perks, if we train ourselves to perceive them." 
~Luci Swindoll

A few of the "perks" we're celebrating this weekend:

-friends to share the afternoon playing croquet

-watching dads play a game with their children

-impromptu practice sessions for Aaron's upcoming recital

-belonging to a church that gives Bibles to incoming 1st graders and prays over every student and teacher in the congregation

-a Sunday School teacher who teaches year after year and loves to see her students grow more like Jesus

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Morning

I just walked in the kitchen and found these two cooking breakfast.

What a great way to start the weekend!  (Don't worry, no four year old bellies were harmed in the cooking of the bacon.)


"In truth a family is what you make it.  It is made strong not by the number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future as individuals and as a unit."  ~Marge Kennedy

Friday, August 17, 2012

GIAL Ice Cream Social

The Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL), where Aaron is finishing his MA in linguistics, does a great job of nurturing there students in the midst of all of the learning that takes place.

Last night, we drove up to school for a great time of fellowship and ice cream.  We found new faces and familiar faces and renewed our gratitude for this school and the staff that make an impact around the world.

As usual, I found Aaron serving, scooping ice cream for everyone who came through the line.

And an unexpected treat - finally meeting Crystal with whom we've been corresponding for a while.  She'll be headed to Papua New Guinea next year!

"I am wealthy in my friends." ~William Shakespeare

Thursday afternoon, our good friends from the Solomon Islands came for a visit.  God's perfect timing allowed our furloughs to overlap for six months with our houses just minutes from each other.

Love those "biking beauties"! 

Sarah led a cooking workshop and helped the girls use her old Easy-Bake Oven (I wish I'd kept mine!)  to make tiny cakes for a tea party.

The boys played "Lost Treasure", one of Aaron's favorite games growing up.  I suppose that makes it vintage.

We feel soooo wealthy in our friends!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

For today...Monday, August 13
(finished Wednesday, August 15)

Outside my window...much needed rain this morning (Wednesday).  It's the first time we've seen rain since we've moved to Texas.  Two big pots of lantana sit in the back yard next to a table and chairs, and Aaron brought home a surprise this morning - a double hook for a bird feeder and/or potted plants.  What a great guy.

I am thinking...about my mother-in-law.  Her birthday is today (Monday)!

From the learning rooms...we're starting full throttle today with North American settlers, Japan, and West Africa in the early 1600s.  Back to school means a very busy Mama.

A heart of thankfulness...for all of the people who have been praying for my back pain.  I still walk slowly & gingerly sometimes, but I feel so much better.

From the kitchen...yeast waffles for breakfast and tamale pie for supper tonight (it's Sarah's turn to be head chef)

From my bookshelf...still working on Galileo's Daughter.

I am hoping...that the box we sent to the Solomon Islands gets there before Ezekiel leaves on Sunday so he can take things back to Marulaon village.

I am creating...goals to grow a healthy & hearty family during our furlough.  Starting with this race on Labor Day weekend.

I am hearing...Rostropovich playing Beethoven's Twelve Variations on a Theme by Mozart (using Papageno's aria from The Magic Flute).  It's a duet for cello and piano and my newest favorite.

watermelon fellowship after church last night

One of my favorite things...a church family.  I didn't realize how much I had missed having one until we got settled here in Cedar Hill.  Wow!

our pastor enjoyed the watermelon, too!

Pondering these words..."Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop."  ~Ovid

Looking ahead...the Missions Pastor from our church is coming over for lunch today, then we have swimming with friends tomorrow afternoon,

When I take three days to finish filling out all of the prompts,
I get to include more pictures.  My little fish
enjoyed swimming with Miss Krystan on Tuesday.

the kids audition for the Southwest Children's Chorus Wednesday afternoon, friends/supporters coming for supper Thursday night, Aaron's school has a big ice cream social Friday night, and the swimming friends coming for lunch on Saturday.  Looks like it's going to be a great week!

A peek into my corner of the amazing husband who is biking to school (five miles one way) at least once a day.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sweet Sabbath

"Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me."  Psalm 66:16

-He provides great friends to show us around Costco (definitely culture shock!), to lend a listening ear, and to share their pool and their kids as we continue to adjust

-He also provides friends who encourage me to see life from God's perspective, so from my morning vantage the dumpster looks beautiful because the sun is rising behind it and because we don't have to burn our trash in this country

-I never get tired of the family God has given me.  They have ALL been very supportive of working hard to love the Lord with all of our mind, soul, and strength.  We are counting everything we put in our mouths and working hard to strengthen our bodies while we are home on furlough so we will be physically ready to return to the Solomon Islands next year.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Starry Messenger

Our family has been studying Galileo in both science and history, so we decided to have a little bit of fun today!  We made star shaped cookies,

I'm reading Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel as the grown-up component to our study.  I love homeschooling!  I learn so much and have fun, too, all while our family does "school".

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I was outside reading my Bible this morning.  The temps at night have been dropping to about 80 with a little breeze, so sitting outside is quite pleasant.  Usually, I'm less distracted if I'm outside away from things like dirty laundry that needs to be washed, birthday cards that need to be sent, etc.  But this morning I found myself watching two crows chasing a huge yellow moth.  They weaved back and forth across the parking lot and finally ended up in a cedar tree in the corner of the yard.  I couldn't see who won the race, but I'm going to pretend the beautiful moth won.  I like rooting for the underdog.

In my Chronological Bible, the entry for today was Daniel 1 and 2, and I was prompted to pray for all of the participants in the Old Testament/New Testament survey in Honiara this week that they would be "showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed quick to understand, and qualified to serve" and that God would give them "knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning."  I guess that would be a great prayer for this time of year with so many people going back to school.

Last night, a sweet couple from our church brought us a meal and stayed to enjoy it with us.  I love watching God work!  Friends of ours from SITAG have been attending the same church while on furlough, so this couple has been getting an earful about the Solomons for several years.  This thoughtful couple seemed to be able to read our minds.  They were such a blessing to us, bringing laundry detergent as a housewarming present.  And they brought strawberries (!!!) because they had learned that strawberries are not available in the Solomons.  God used our SITAG friends to "train" other friends to be an extra blessing to us.  Wow - that's just like God.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


...for SIX library cards on my keychain.  Katherine is thrilled to own her first library card!  However, I can only put twelve books on hold for each card.  Two cards full, four to go.