Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Aaron came home today with tickets for the Kosco, which plans to leave next Tuesday, May 6th, at 6 p.m.  Even if the ship stays for a long time at the first port, we should get in sometime in the middle of night since Marulaon Village is the second stop.  The fine print on the ticket says "subject to changes without notice".  We're keeping out a few school books and freezing a casserole just in case we don't leave on Tuesday!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Honiara Woman's Daybook

Just for today...Monday, April 28
One of my favorite things...New Testament dedications
Pondering these words..."I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God."  ~Helen Keller
Creating in the kitchen...Sarah made Date Pinwheel Cookies for the Advisory Committee meeting today that Aaron attended
Around the house...a birthday care package to take out to the village.  You never get too old to celebrate birthdays!  Thanks, Mama, for planning far enough ahead for me to get the package before we leave Honiara.
On my bookshelf..."The Blessing" by John Trent and Gary Smalley
A few plans for the rest of the week...CHED meeting tomorrow afternoon, then handing over SITAG responsibilities and lots of packing.
A peek into my corner of the world...limes waiting to be made in refreshing juice.  Or maybe they will go into lemon cheesecake morning buns, or both!


Thursday, April 24, 2014


I've been re-reading my well underlined copy of "The Power of a Positive Mom".

"The positive affirmation we give our children is the gasoline we put in the tank of their car.  The car has value whether we put gas in the tank or not; but if we want the car to go somewhere and stay in good condition, we need to fill it up with quality fuel.  Our kids have great value.  The more we fill them with the fuel of encouragement, the more energy they will have to reach their goals and follow their dreams."  ~Karol Ladd 

Especially in the chaos of packing and moving, I needed the reminder to "fill up" my kids with encouraging words.  It's too easy for me (and for them) to focus on each child's shortcomings.  So for the next little while, each of my precious treasures has a personalized vehicle with a pocket for kind and encouraging words.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Honiara Woman's Daybook

Just for today...Wednesday, April 23
Around the house...packing up like we know when the ship is leaving just so we are ready when it makes a last minute plan to go out to Marulaon Village.
From the learning rooms...watching National Geographic's "The Search for Kennedy's PT 109"
A heart of thankfulness...for friends that made an unexpected and very quick back to Honiara.

Crafting in the kitchen...Sarah made California Date-Nut Tarts for snacks for the ladies Bible study this afternoon.  Yummy!
A few plans for the rest of the week...wharf trips tomorrow and Saturday, carding books in the Educational Resource Center tomorrow, and generally shutting down everything around here in preparation for going back to the village.
Pondering these words... "Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant?  Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God." 
Isaiah 50:10

A peek into my corner of the world...saying "yes" when my six-year-old asks me to fix her hair in five ponytails

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day

A colleague shared this fun website with us, and we thought Earth Day was the perfect time to try it out!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Weekend

Easter Music
by Margaret Wade Deland

Blow, golden trumpets, sweet and clear,
Blow soft upon the perfumed air;
Bid the sad earth to join our song,
"To Christ does victory belong!"

Oh, let the winds your message bear
To every heart of grief and care;

Sound through the world the joyful lay,
"Our Christ hath conquered Death today!"

On cloudy wings let glad words fly
Through the soft blue of echoing sky:

Ring out, O trumpets, sweet and clear,
"Through Death immortal Life is here!"

Friday, April 18, 2014

Flexibility, Fun, and Family

 Yesterday afternoon, Aaron was supposed to deliver some fuel to a ship so our colleagues could deliver portions of AreAre scripture on Easter weekend.  Unfortunately, he discovered that this particular ship doesn't carry small containers of fuel, you have to send a 200 gallon barrel.  So, the SITAG family sprang into action!
A few phone calls later, several of the SITAG guys assembled to practice their flexibility and put together the pieces of the fuel and barrel puzzle so that an empty barrel could be produced to send out to our colleagues in the village.  Did I mention that these guys had about an hour to make everything happen before the boat left?

God smoothed the way once they arrived at the ship.  A new AreAre friend waded through the crowd on the ship to find somebody going out to our colleagues' village and willing to keep an eye on the barrel of fuel.  A huge thanks to our SITAG family who dropped what they were doing to help out a team in the village - flexibility, fun, and family all crammed into an hour!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On Monday, we called some of our colleagues who live in "The Loft" on SITAG property.  Their current home sits high above SITAG and commands a gorgeous view of both the sunrise and the sunset, with the Pacific Ocean stretching in between.  We wanted to know if we could come eat a picnic supper on their porch in hopes of seeing the lunar eclipse as the moon rose.
On our way over to their house last night, we passed by a group of Wycliffe Associates working like busy bees.  Our friends had ordered 1000 copies of Old Testament stories in Kwaio several weeks ago.  They want to have these booklets available for the New Testament dedication this weekend.  When they went to pick up the books Monday, only between 300 and 400 were ready. 
Those that were ready were stapled in the wrong order.  The books were supposed to go out on a specially chartered ship Monday night, but they couldn't go in their current state.  So these sweet people were taking out each staple, rearranging the pages, and re-stapling so that some of the books could go on a different ship (and more cargo costs would have to be paid).
The group of Wycliffe Associates had a streamlined assembly line going, so we continued our walk over to the best "seat in the house" for the lunar eclipse.  We even had pretty paper plates that had just arrived in a care package from my mother-in-law, so our picnic was both tasty and lovely.
Unfortunately, the clouds kept the moon covered during the entire moon rise.  So, we didn't see anything amazing in the sky, but we did enjoy some fabulous fellowship!  And we enjoyed a good night's sleep last night, which is NOT a given here.  With windows open all night long, you never know if the band is going to be practicing till all hours of the night or if the dogs in the neighborhood are going to plant themselves outside your window and howl (they always seem to begin around 2:30 a.m.).
But last night was peaceful, and we got up and running this morning going in several different directions.  Benjamin went walking with a SITAG "uncle", Aaron and I went to use the SITAG gym (a second hand treadmill and a second hand elliptical machine stuck down in an office), and Sarah opted to stay home and fix breakfast burritos for everybody.
After school, the girls made Easter basket cupcakes (thanks to the jellybeans my mom sent!) to share with our SITAG neighbors.  Aaron has been in town all day long working on getting the registration and insurance for the newest SITAG vehicle.  With traffic all backed up and each office in a different location, he just called to say that he wasn't going to be able to complete everything today.  I think he'll be home in time for supper, and we will have a houseful tonight with eight Wycliffe Associates joining us!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Honiara Woman's Daybook

Just for today...Tuesday, April 15
Outside my window...and down the road, Eastern Guadalcanal is still struggling to recover from extensive flooding.  SITAG is looking for ways to help.
From the learning rooms...already on Week 31 for school and into the 1940's.  Our book basket includes some great books for all ages this week:  "Mercedes and The Chocolate Pilot" by Margot Theis Raven, "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers:  Duke Ellington" by Mike Venezia, "Duke Ellington:  The Piano Prince and His Orchestra" by Andrea Davis Pinkney, "The Little Riders" by Margaretha Shemin, "The Butterfly" by Patricia Polacco, "The Harmonica" by Tony Johnston,  "Snow Treasure" by Marie McSwigan, "Escape from Warsaw" by Ian Serraillier, "The Little Ships:  The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk in World War II"  by Louise Borden, "Baseball Saved Us" by Ken Mochizuki, "The Four Story Mistake" by Elizabeth Enright, "Twenty and Ten" by Claire Huchet Bishop, and "A Boy's War" by David Michell.
A heart of thankfulness...that Aaron was the only one who vomited last night.  A healthy family is a gift, and I don't take that gift lightly.
Crafting in the kitchen...over the weekend, we enjoyed a white chocolate cheesecake thanks to a care package from a friend
Even the littlest ones scarfed down the sweet treat while the rest of us learned how to play "golf".

Hearing...Elgar's cello concerto and his Serenade for Strings as the kids finish up their independent work.
One of my favorite things...real friends.  The kind of friend that helps wash dishes, even if it's his birthday.
A few plans for the rest of the week...trying to catch a glimpse of the lunar eclipse, which will be around sunset tonight for us, enjoying the company of a Wycliffe Associates team tomorrow night, making lots of hot cross buns to share on Thursday, and then slowing down so we can celebrate Easter weekend thoughtfully
A peek into my corner of the world...love watching the SITAG dads!  Every one of them plays hard and loves on our amazing SITAG kids.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Many of you have contacted us about the earthquake in the Solomon Islands this morning.  This website is great way to find information about the many earthquakes in our area.  We are all just fine here in Honiara, you can see on the earthquake map that we are well away from the recent earthquakes.  We watched the coffee slosh in the coffee pot, but really felt no ill effects at all here at SITAG.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Trips to the wharf and to parliament

Yesterday, our family loaded up our sweet friends and finally took them down to the wharf to catch a boat.  We planned to stay all day at the wharf.  Traffic is still crazy because the "new bridge" (as opposed to the "old bridge" that washed away) is still being repaired and slowing down traffic.  I snapped this picture as we drove across the bridge:

Everybody helped unload the truck and save our friends' spot on the ship that wasn't scheduled to leave for six more hours.  The other mom and I went and bought fish and chips for lunch, and then she and I headed to market to buy fresh produce for her family to take to the village and for my family to take back to the house.  Prices are double for many things like bananas, papayas, & leafy greens, and some things are next to impossible to find, like green beans.

Everybody packs in like sardines to travel on the boat, this family of six won't have much more room than these four girls took up while they were playing paper dolls.  When the ship's warning horn blew just after six o'clock, we said our goodbyes, hugged necks, and drove home.

While our two families were at the wharf, the rest of our colleagues were at the parliament house for a celebration of the Kwaio New Testament.  We sent a cake to help out with refreshments since we couldn't be present for the ceremony.  I'll let our sweet friend and the Kwaio translation advisor tell her story:

"On Thursday, we had a ceremony at the National Parliament building.  The Prime Minister and many of the members of Parliament attended. 
The Kwaio NT was placed into a display that holds all of the completed Solomon Island NTs. 
I shared a story of how the translation had impacted someone’s life and read a passage in Kwaio. 
 One Kwaio worker at parliament talked to us during the refreshment time and said that he had been suspicious of the translation and didn’t think that it would sound like real Kwaio but that when he heard me read it, tears began to flow as he heard the Bible in his language and realized that it did sound “sweet” to his ears. 
He said that he felt convicted to be a part of the OT translation project.  We hadn’t planned on having a ceremony at parliament, but we are so thankful for the chance to do this and so thankful for the response of many of the members of Parliament.  Praise the Lord!"

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Decision Fatigue

My sister recently shared a fascinating article about "decision fatigue". I never knew there was an official name to the brain fog I feel as the day wears on or as the week approaches Friday.  And the article supports my decisions to do things like make a daily routine, a meal plan and a school schedule so that things run smoothly even when my brain is fried.  An excerpt from the closing paragraph of the article:

People who structure their lives so they conserve their willpower have more self-control, Baumeister suggests. This means they don’t schedule non-stop back to meetings; they avoid all-you-can-eat buffets and they create habits that regularly decrease the mental effort of making non-stop choices. “Even the wisest people won’t make good choices when they’re not rested and their glucose is low,” Baumeister points out. That’s why the truly wise don’t restructure the company at 4 p.m. They don’t make major commitments during the cocktail hour. And if a decision must be made late in the day, they know not to do it on an empty stomach.
I would love to hear what everybody thinks about this article!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Honiara Woman's Daybook

Just for today...Tuesday, April 8
Outside my window...lots of sheets and mattress pads on the line.  Trying to maximize the sunshine since it is still interspersed with bands of clouds and rain.
On my bookshelf...hoping to get started on "Holy Habits" this week, but my reading time has been super scarce.
Around the house...it's been so damp lately.  I discovered these lovely specimens growing on the end of our kitchen cabinet.  But at least I have a kitchen.  I talked to someone at market whose house was still standing, but she had lost her outside kitchen.

Pondering these words..."How does God enable us to be content?  He infuses contentment into us through His Word.  As it seeps into our minds, it transforms us.  Just as a cup of tea gets stronger when we give it time to steep, so w become more content when we spend time in God's Word and allow it to seep into our lives, transforming us to be like Him.  ~Linda Dillow
From the learning rooms...Sarah finishes Geometry this week with much rejoicing, we've come through the Roaring 20's with fun books like "The House in the Mail" by Rosemary & Tom Wells and "America's Champion Swimmer:  Gerturde Ederle" by David A. Adler, and now we're enjoying reading through the 1930's with books like "Franklin and Eleanor" by Cheryl Harness, "Saving Strawberry Farm" by Deborah Hopkinson, "Dust for Dinner" by Ann Turner, "When Marian Sang" and "Amelia & Eleanor Go for a Ride" both by Pam Munoz Ryan, and "Lou Gehrig:  The Luckiest Man" by David A. Adler
A few plans for the rest of the week...last week we hosted this sweet family for their "last meal" before they went to the village.  The cyclone changed their plans.

So we get to host them again this week!  We're also looking forward to spending time celebrating a colleague's birthday tonight (a rare treat when you usually live on different sides of the Pacific Ocean), meeting the Wycliffe Associates team that is arriving today (I just heard their plane fly overhead), taking friends to the wharf on Thursday and camping out with them all day because of the bad traffic caused by the damaged bridge, and picking up a returning team at the airport on Friday.
Noticing that...Benjamin has finally passed Sarah in height.  People have often asked if there were twins since Benjamin was toddling around.  It's a milestone, folks!  All three of Sarah's younger siblings will probably pass her in height.
A peek into my corner of the world...

After Henk finished building the sound studio, the SITAG kids were called into action to test its "soundproof-ness".  Much enthusiasm infused the process as the decibels were registered each time the air horns sounded in a different location.  Great science lesson!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Weekend Wonders

Some people around us are digging out from the devastation of the flood this weekend.  Most of us are working with our local churches to provide assistance to those outside of our immediate circle of influence.  Some of our colleagues have posted their pictures and thoughts about the flood.  Another of  our colleagues estimates that we've received over 30 inches of rain in the last few days.  Dallas gets an average of 35.65 inches of rain a year.

Honiara's airport was closed due to the runway being underwater, but we went ahead with the farewell party for Henk and Margreet on Friday night.

We enjoyed lots of goodies and fellowship, but my favorite part of the evening was when we gathered round and prayed for this amazing couple who continue to come and pour out their lives for people living in the Solomon Islands.

"Uncle Henk" will be sorely missed!  Their flight was canceled on Saturday, so we enjoyed playing games and eating cookies together Saturday afternoon, an unexpected treat.  But finally late Sunday afternoon they were able to get on a plane to leave the Solomon Islands.
One last goodbye at the airport before our friends flew off to catch a plane early Monday morning so they could attend a New Testament dedication in Vanuatu.  Hopefully, it won't be too long before we get to work and play together again!