Monday, September 30, 2013

Lavukaleve Review Answers

Here are the correct answers:
 Uvikola vofulune.  (I'm plucking cassava.)  This verb works for plucking Chinese cabbage or for plucking your eyebrows, too!
(Liss, you had me laughing about hot dogs attached to shooting stars!)
Manioko okwine.  (I'm cooking papaya.)

Leus elauva!  (Go sweep the trash!)

Ui ehatariva!  (Cut the food!)

Lisa and Margaret, you were the closest with half of your guesses correct!  I'll get your purses in the mail as soon as I can.  Thanks for playing along!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sweet Sabbath

"Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it.  Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.  Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.  Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.  Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.  Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder.  Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality." 
Romans 12:9-13 (The Message)
We love celebrating birthdays and spending time with our SITAG family, "good friends who love deeply".  This afternoon, our house looked a lot like the house in Pat Hutchins funny picture book, "The Doorbell Rang".  I was too busy having fun to take pictures.
People just kept dropping by for a chat, and it didn't take long for every crumb of Sarah's chocolate chip cheesecake to disappear.  We ended up with a full table, full tummies, and full hearts.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Uncle Jan" Day

One of the things we did to make Conference a little bit more fun was to dress up.  Our last day of Conference, we dressed up like SITAG's director, "Uncle Jan".  Even Katherine got into the act by wearing one of Uncle Jan's shirts and making a mustache.

Can you spot the real "Uncle Jan" amongst all of the imposters?  (Hint, Katherine is sitting on his lap.)

Thank you from SITAG

A HUGE thank you from all of us at SITAG!  Our Conference is finally over, and we have felt the prayers of many people around the globe.  Aaron and I have been elected to more committees than ever

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mango Blossoms

For the last couple of weeks, the mango tree behind our house has been in full bloom.  Every morning when I go outside to hang up clothes, I can hear the bees buzzing as they enjoy the delicacy of mango flowers.
God's creation fascinates me.  The blossoms are dropping to the ground and reminding me of pecan fronds that cover the ground in Spring back home.  When I bring in sheets that have been drying on the line, they are covered in tiny yellow mango blooms!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Katherine's Birthday

Our sweet Katherine turned six today. 
In the midst of a very busy Conference, we still found ways to celebrate our girl.

Last year, we got to celebrate with this friend.

Katherine is blessed to have two other SITAG girls who are almost exactly the same age.

Sarah made a lovely pink lemon cake, and we invited some of the same friends who helped us celebrate in Brisbane in 2010 to come over for the evening festivities.

Our evening closed with each of us praying for Katherine.  It was a blessing to this mama's heart to hear siblings and "aunts and uncles" pray for our girl. When we are so far away from family, it's a gift to have the continuity of the same people celebrating year after year.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sweet Sabbath

"Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.  Let all that I am praise the Lord may I never forget the good things he does for me."  Psalm 103:1-2 (NLT)
Praising him for just a few of the good things He has done for us:

-For a sweet SITAG couple who is co-coordinating Conference with us.  Their servant hearts shone today as they served sloppy joes at lunch.

-For the "church staff" this morning, who didn't even plan their matching outfits.

-For all of the drink mixes, hot and cold, that were donated to make SITAG's Conference just a little bit sweeter.  Especially my mom and Ava.

-For my hometown Starbucks and their donation of Vias.  Because sometimes you just need to pour the instant coffee straight into your mouth.

-For multiple generations worshipping together this morning

-For National Ice Cream Cone Day, lovely people to celebrate with us, and fun books like "The Sundae Scoop" and "Ice Cream Cones for Sale"

-For Passion Fruit ice cream, with real passion fruit seeds, five of the six of us chose this flavor

-For the hotel swimming pool that doesn't cost but a few dollars a head


-For siblings who still love and laugh together

-For a little girl who is fearless, tries new things and brings our family much joy

Friday, September 20, 2013

Porch Pillars and Friends

"Friends are the pillars on your porch. 
Sometimes they hold you up, sometimes they lean on you, and sometimes it's just enough to know that they are standing by."  ~Anonymous

Thankful today for the friends that are holding me up (and praying for me) during this incredibly busy week of SITAG's Conference!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Leftover Fish Recipe

We have discovered what to do with leftover fish in our house:  make Finnish Fish Pie from the "The Great Scandinavian Baking Book" by Beatrice Ojakangas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup cooked, mashed potatoes or 3/4 cup instant mashed potatoes and 3/4 cup water
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 cup cooked rice
1 pound filleted fresh herring or smelts, or codfish or haddock fillets
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh or dried dill weed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg, beaten
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill or 2 Tbsp. dried dill weed
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl or work bowl of food processor with te steel blade in place.  With a pastry blender or fork, or using on/off pulses on the food processor, bend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Gently mix in the cream; gather the dough together into a ball; wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat the broiler and place the salmon on a baking sheet covered with foil.  Broil 5 inches from the source of heat for 5 minutes on each side, brushing both sides with the melted butter.  Cool.  Carefully cut the fish into 1/2 inch slices.
Mix the remaining butter with the rice; season with salt and fresh dill.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.  On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough to a rectangle and trim to measure 12x16 inches.  Place on baking sheet.  Spread half the rice mixture down a 3-inch-wide strip the length of the pastry.  Top rice with fish slices.  Top fish with the remaining rice.  Lift pastry up over the filling, moisten the edges, and seal.  Turn over so that seam side is down.
Mix the egg and water to make a glaze and brush pastry with the mixture.  Decorate with the pastry trimmings cut into shapes and pierce pie with a fork to make steam vents.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.  Serve slices with a sauce made by mixing the melted butter, lemon juice, and fresh dill.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Preparation for SITAG's Conference

Some of our colleagues gathered together yesterday afternoon to help decorate the SITAG truck.
We wanted to welcome everybody flying into Henderson Field today.  Eleven people are flying to Honiara to attend SITAG's Conference, and six are coming by ship.

We split coconut leaves and stuck beautiful frangipani flowers on the spine of the leaves.

And we also curved the coconut branches over to frame the entrance to the truck.
Even though SITAG's Conference doesn't officially begin until Thursday night, we feel like it begins today!  The kids had a short day of school, and we left SITAG mid morning to drive to the airport to welcome the first batch of visitors from America.
Some of the visitors are back to serve as Conference pastor and encourager.  We can hardly believe they want to come back again after serving SITAG in 2009 and 2011.
Some of the visitors were stepping into their very first taste of the Solomon Islands as they came to serve our children during Conference.
A truckload of happy visitors and kids pulled out of the airport parking lot, and the kids got off to join the parents as we paused for a quick lunch
before returning to the airport to wait for the next airplane.  This plane was coming from Australia. Everybody we were welcoming was a familiar face to SITAG.  It was like waiting for family!
After an hour's delay (so glad we brought school books!), the plane finally landing amid darkening clouds.
We cheered and waved as each of our colleagues (I'm so glad we call them friends, too!) stepped off the plane.  Hard to believe that it's been two years since sweet Naomi lived with us.  It will be so nice to have her living so close by again! 
Then we all scurried down the steps to wait for everyone to clear customs.
While we waited, one of my adorable "nephews" found a butterfly that stayed perched on his hand for a while.
What a treat in the middle of the chaos!  We finally got all of the people and luggage into the SITAG vehicles.  Delightedly, Caroline also returned this afternoon, so we made a quick stop to pick her up. 
The clouds were gathering and moving our way rapidly, and I left a load of laundry drying on the line.  I pulled into SITAG just as the first drops splattered against the windshield, sped out the door and across several yards to begin yanking clothes off the line beside my amazing children (who had also just arrived in the truck).  Between my colleagues and my kids, we got the mattress and the clothes inside just as the deluge hit.  Whew -  Good teamwork!