Sunday, August 31, 2014


Way too much time has elapsed since I've hosted a giveaway on the blog. 

Yesterday at market, I found this beautiful set of polished shell earrings and a necklace.

Leave a comment by Tuesday, 11:59 p.m. Central Time, to include your name in our very scientific drawing.  I'm so thankful for the blog community that encourages and prays for our family, and this is just a tiny way to say thanks.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sweet Saturday

The joy of friendship!  We love coordinating our time in Honiara with the only other SITAG family in country with children.  Being in town at the same time means slumber parties where we swap boys and girls and I get a room full of five beautiful girls watching Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" (the 1957 version with Julie Andrews) late at night.

Then those beautiful girls were awake bright and early to make pumpkin donuts, because we have to work hard to pretend that Autumn is just around the corner.  Being in town at the same time also means joint trips to Honiara's Central Market.  Going to market often feels like going out to fight because you are pushing your way through crowds, guarding your purse, and hauling huge, heavy baskets full of food.

But the market is also full of God's creation of a variety and colorful abundance of people and food.  Market is a feast for the eyes as well as a feast for the tummy.  And this morning, I had a great friend along to share conversation and the kilometers on the SITAG vehicle.

Most of the bell peppers we find here are called capsicum on this side of the world and are much smaller than we are used to buying in America.  So when I found some good sized peppers at market this morning, I was willing to pay a little bit extra because I knew exactly what I wanted to make for supper.  My former meal plan went out the window!  My sweet friend helped me pick out the best peppers, and she and I both came back to SITAG with plans for stuffed peppers.

I pulled out my mama's stained recipe for meat loaf, and Katherine and I made supper together.  I love seeing Mama's handwriting, what a great gift for me and my family.  Sweet Saturday, indeed!

Friday, August 29, 2014

When we stay in Honiara, we get to do lots of extra things in addition to working with the Lavukal.  I serve on the Children's Education committee, and this afternoon we had a big cleaning party to help tame the dust in the Educational Resource Center (ERC).
Our two amazing house cleaners, Betsy and Rosina, also joined us to wipe off ever single book in the ERC children's room.  And sometimes, it's hard not to take a peek a read and page while you are checking for bugs. 

One of the other great things about living in Honiara is that we get to meet all sorts of really neat people.  Two very smart guys from the IT department at JAARS visited Honiara this week.  We enjoyed spending time with them and hearing their stories.  They laughed (and pulled out hair in frustration) about how slow our internet is.  You hit "send", then go take a shower.  Then you can move on to the next step and hit "send" again before you go brush your teeth and shave, etc. 
We love how God knits hearts together so very quickly and how He uses the Body of Christ to fill in our weaknesses and make life better!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Special Morning Tea

Yesterday afternoon, I had a kitchen full of beautiful girls laughing and decorating a cake.
Sarah led the class.  She is so good with younger children.
The girls were working on a very special surprise cake to help us celebrate a very special lady today.
This morning we joined the rest of our SITAG family for morning tea.  Morning tea is a normal, everyday break around 10 to grab a cup of tea or coffee and sit down to visit for a few minutes with anyone who happens to be in Honiara.  Sometimes we have visitors from other countries, sometimes national translators are around, sometimes employees and translation advisors drop in.
But this morning was anything but normal, it was a special surprise time of thanksgiving for Cynthia's return, initiated by sweet Betsy, one of SITAG's faithful employees.  Cynthia really made an impact on the employees here while she lay in the hospital bed close to death.
After a few songs about God's faithfulness, we gathered around Cynthia to thank God for her past and to pray for her future here in the Solomon Islands.
And then, like all good people of God, we celebrated with a table full of good things to eat!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Frangipani Ice Cream Factory Field Trip

We joined another family for a field trip to the Frangipani Ice Cream Factory this morning.  Our new friend, Mary, did a great job of showing us around and answering all of our questions.

Everybody donned protective gear before we entered the factory.  I couldn't take pictures inside, but we were fascinated by the whole process.  Much of their work is still done by hand, like their "chocolate bomb" dipped cones and the waffle cones cooked one tablespoon at a time on a waffle maker and wrapped quickly on a cone form to harden.

At the end of the tour, we just had to sample the ice cream treats and pick up some to take home.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Anticipating a miracle...

Almost two years ago, one of our SITAG colleagues med-evacuated from Honiara.

We didn't know if she would live or die,

and her recovery was long and hard.

We've been waiting and waiting and waiting.   But she has chosen to return to the Solomon Islands.
And this afternoon, we saw a miracle as she stepped off the plane.
And all of the waiting was worth it as we watched God's grace walking toward us.

Welcome back, Cynthia!  The sweet fragrance of your frangipani necklace mimics the sweet fragrance of Christ that you exude.

We're so glad you've come back to join our SITAG family again!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday bits and pieces...

Just a quick check-in this morning.  Before Aaron left for the village, we enjoyed brunch with these amazing Wycliffe Associates who are in Honiara for a few days.  Have I mentioned how much we love WAs?

We've been talking to Aaron on the radio twice a day, and village e-mail has been working beautifully, too.  Here's a tiny summary of Monday's work with the translators:

"Twas a good day.  Not so much in dealing with Translation stuff, but lots in just sharing together, making a better team of all of us, better men, followers of Christ.  We wrestled with lots of stuff...   Had a really good time exploring Matthew 18:15-17 together and how our cultures approach the life application of that scripture differently.  Even identified how Lavukal culture veers a bit differently from this passage of scripture and the need to have Holy Spirit expose for us the ways Lavukal culture needs to adjust to have God redeem it.  Good stuff."

 Aaron is also trying to work on a cross-cultural miscommunication between one of my friends in the village and me.  I have a friend in Marulaon who wanted to have a special gift made for my mom and for Gayly because they came to visit us in the Marulaon.  Two beautifully carved coconuts showed up with a friend from Marulaon on the Kosco last week, carved by a man in another Lavukal village.  But we are being asked to pay quite a bit of money for them as our part of the "gift"!  So we are trying our best to maintain good relationships yet not set bad patterns for the future.  Would love prayers for wisdom on this situation!

Yesterday, a cruise ship arrived in Honiara for a few hours.  It was a ship from Paul Gaugin Cruises, and we felt kind of special that it stopped in our little out of the way corner! 

Hope everybody's week is of to a great start.  We expect two visitors from JAARS today, and a precious colleague finally returns to SITAG today after leaving the country for a medical emergency two years ago.  And Aaron should be home sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday morning!  Lots of great things to look forward to this week!  What's coming up for you?


Sorry about the e-mail that appeared earlier and any confusion it may have caused.  I have no idea how that text moved from my e-mail inbox to our blog!  Our dear friends have finished their New Testament here in the Solomons and are moving to a different ministry.  We are NOT resigning from Wycliffe and are busy working here in the Solomons to help the Lavukal get a Bible in their own language.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

This morning God gave us calm seas for Aaron's trip to Marulaon.  We drove down to the wharf early to find a place on the Kosco for Aaron & the guttering, hardware, and pipes he is taking for Fly Harbour School's rain tanks.

The landing crafting Phoenix was "next door" loading.  This ship is the one our colleagues here often take out to South Malaita.

This cutie was eating a few cookies for breakfast while last minute passengers flooded the ship.

Everybody got last minute hugs an kisses from Aaron.  Except me, since men and women can't display affection in public.  I had already gotten my goodbye hugs and kisses at home.

Aaron called from the boat around 10:00 saying the boat was finally pulling out, only an hour later than the scheduled time.  He will be meeting with the Lavukal translators tonight and all day tomorrow.  Then on Tuesday, he hopes to lead a language development workshop with our Marulaon community.  The Kosco should return on Wednesday morning, so Aaron will have a very brief stay in the village this time.  We appreciate prayers for him and the translators!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  Colossians 2:6-7
Overflowing because:
-best friends are together again
-it's Friday afternoon and the week's grades are finished and recorded

-of a precious namesake influenced by a godly woman
-my parents made me take typing in high school, so now I can type really fast as I "chat" in real time with friends and family back in the States

-a morning rainbow started our day

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ninety Years

"Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.  Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come."  Psalm 71:17-18

Happy 90th birthday, Pop!  Even though we are so far away, we are thankful for you and the generations of Choate men you have influenced.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

After a long day of school, I needed to get outside in the few minutes I had left before it was time to fix supper.  The sun had started it's afternoon descent and made these frangipani petals glow.

Its all a matter of keeping my eyes open.  Beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will sense them.  The least we can do is try to be that creation need not play to an empty house.  ~Annie Dillard

Monday, August 18, 2014

Honiara Woman's Daybook

Just for today...Monday, August 18
From the learning rooms...Benjamin hopes to be starting new piano books this week, and he is working on solving equations with x's on both sides this week in Algebra.  He and Sarah will be studying Kingdom Fungi this week in biology and reading Jane Eyre for literature, while Sarah tackles powers an exponents in Algebra 2.  Olivia will be studying Korea this week (for a great picture book, check out "The Firekeeper's Son" by Linda Sue Park), the muscular system, and reviewing fractions.  And Katherine gets to practice measuring things in meters and learn more about trees and how they grow.
One of my favorite things...Biff's B-52 coffee.  Coffee in one hand and Bible in the other, such a nice way to start the day!
A heart of thankfulness...for friends who work so hard to keep in touch.  Ann worked so hard while I was in the village to make sure the blog stayed up and running, and when we are here in Honiara she still sets aside time to stay connected.  And Gayly, my other encourager, uses her abundant energy and resources to pour into our family in other ways.  I love the way God made these two beautiful women who are so totally different.  They are my "Aaron and Hur"!
Outside my window...I can just see Gela on the horizon and we have beautiful blue skies with bright sunshine today.
Pondering these words...Contentment does not come through changed circumstances it comes through a transformation o the heart.  ~Mimi Wilson
From the kitchen...trying new recipes.  We have three sets of families at SITAG who are gluten free, so tonight we are trying red lentil and squash curry soup and later this week we'll make a layered eggplant and polenta casserole.

A few plans for the rest of the week...colleagues from the village should arrive tonight and we get to provide supper for them, Wednesday, I'm hoping to meet with an administrator at the International School to line up testing (PSAT, ACT, & SAT) for Sarah in the very near future, Thursday, I'll be going to buy seedlings to put in a raised bed here in Honiara, Friday, a couple of Wycliffe Associates are coming to Honiara & we're looking forward to spending time with them, Sunday, Aaron leaves for a few days in Marulaon.
A peek into my corner of the world...the fading lilies around the corner of the house.