Thursday, April 30, 2015

“Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.”       ~ Catherine M. Wallace

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


This space will be quiet for a while since we are moving from the Solomon Islands to America for an undetermined amount of time to have Sarah's heart checked out.  Last time we transitioned to our passport culture, we learned some good tips at our Wycliffe re-entry program.  We're being intentional about implementing some of them this time:
1) Go through transition with people who experiencing similar circumstances.  We are traveling with another SITAG family who has children about the same ages as ours.  This will give us people to engage in conversation who understand exactly what we are thinking and feeling.  Especially important for our Third Culture Kids!  And because several of you have asked...
What are the Characteristics of TCKs?

There are different characteristics that impact the typical Third Culture Kid:
  • TCKs are 4 times as likely as non-TCKs to earn a bachelor's degree (81% vs 21%)
  • 40% earn an advanced degree (as compared to 5% of the non-TCK population.)
  • 45% of TCKs attended 3 universities before earning a degree.
  • 44% earned undergraduate degree after the age of 22.
  • Educators, medicine, professional positions, and self employment are the most common professions for TCKs.
  • TCKs are unlikely to work for big business, government, or follow their parents' career choices. "One won't find many TCKs in large corporations. Nor are there many in government ... they have not followed in parental footsteps".
  • 90% feel "out of sync" with their peers.
  • 90% report feeling as if they understand other cultures/peoples better than the average American.
  • 80% believe they can get along with anybody.
  • Divorce rates among TCKs are lower than the general population, but they marry older (25+).
    • Military brats, however, tend to marry earlier.
  • Linguistically adept (not as true for military ATCKs.)
    • A study whose subjects were all "career military brats"—those who had a parent in the military from birth through high school—shows that brats are linguistically adept.
  • Teenage TCKs are more mature than non-TCKs, but ironically take longer to "grow up" in their 20s.
  • More welcoming of others into their community.
  • Lack a sense of "where home is" but often nationalistic.
  • Depression and suicide are more prominent among TCK's.
  • Some studies show a desire to "settle down" others a "restlessness to move".
2) Position yourself to maximize resources on your return to your passport country.  We are intentionally staying in Dallas for a few days so we can take advantage of Wycliffe's central hub for Bible translation there.  Our supervisors are there, financial advisors are there, fellow colleagues are there - we should be able to have all of our questions answered in one place.  We can also remind ourselves of what it's like to drive on the right hand side of the road and to shop for groceries in America in relative anonymity!
3) Don't forget to have fun as a family in the midst of the chaos of transition.  We will be playing a lot in the next week, making memories together while we still have each of our precious children at home, and easing the heart ache of saying goodbye to so many people and places that we know and love.
We really appreciate the grace that we know will be extended to us while we make the transition back to America for a while.  If we forget to look you in the eyes while chatting, just know that in the Melanesian context, one doesn't make eye contact.  Our clothes may not always match, either.  But when you've lived in a village and learned to recognize your friends by the few clothes they own, a full closet ceases to be important.  We're looking forward to hugging lots of necks and enjoying the good things that God places in our path!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sweet Sabbath

"Connecting with those we love is like soul food.  It's not that we don't have tasks to do, but rather that we don't fill up with tasks at the risk of starving our relationships."  ~Lysa TerKeurst

This last week has been crazy busy.  We've welcomed SITAG teams as they arrived in Honiara at both the wharf...

and the airport.

All of the sudden, SITAG is bursting at the seams with kids!  Seventeen kids between the ages of four months and fifteen years.

SITAG held a series of meetings that began Thursday evening and ran through this morning, and we are trying to pack up and get ready to leave the country.

We found it very easy to "fill up with tasks at the risk of starving our relationships".

 Instead, our SITAG family drew us in, and we prayed together and worked together and played together.

And it was soul food.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Until we moved to this side of the globe, I didn't really know much about the involvement of Australia and New Zealand in World History.  But the more we live here, the more thankful and excited we are to learn about the role these countries (and others in the South Pacific) have played.  Today marks the 100th anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli.  According to ANZAC Day article on Wikipedia, "In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies."  

We're in the middle of meetings this weekend here at SITAG, keeping us busy from morning 'till night, but I wanted our family to celebrate just a little bit anyway.  While in Melbourne, Sarah and I found a sweet picture book based on a true story, "The Anzac Puppy", by Peter Millett and Trish Bowles.  Finding books for young children that discuss dark subjects like war can be difficult, but this book introduces heart rending subjects beautifully.  And with a happy ending, I might add!

We were familiar with ANZAC biscuits, but Naomi's family introduced us to ANZAC slice (bar cookies in our North American dialect) and shared their yummy recipe:


1 1/2 cups rolled oats 1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup SR flour 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 1/4 cups desiccated coconut 175g butter (just over 1/3 cup), melted
2 Tablespoons golden syrup 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Grease a 20cm x 30cm (9 x 13 in) lamington tin. Cover the base with baking paper, extending it over two opposite sides. Combine oats, sifted flours, sugar and desiccated coconut in a large bowl. Add butter, syrup and water, mix well. Press the mixture into the lamington tin; press on flaked coconut. Cook in a moderate oven, 180° C (350° F) for 40 minutes or until firm. Cool in pan before cutting.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mantaniko Falls

 Aaron and the three musketeers hiked with some of our SITAG family to make some memories at  Mantaniko Falls today.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Honiara Woman' Daybook

Just for today...Monday, April 20
From the learning rooms...finishing the school year TOMORROW!  So proud of my kids who have worked hard and done so well. 
On my bookshelf..."The White Man's Burden:  Why the West's Efforts to Aid the West Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good" by Williams Easterly.  It's on loan from my friend, Roxanne, and I think this book will be my reading on the trans-Pacific flight.
Pondering these words..."Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.  Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way....Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification."  Romans 14:13, 19

One of my favorite husband passing his Lavukaleve language exam!  He still has a long way to come in his speaking fluency, but he is reading and hearing the language better and better.  Augustine and Jerald walked to SITAG in the rain to help with the test.  Love these Lavukal guys.
Crafting in the kitchen...taco salad tonight.  We've been cooking and freezing tons so we don't have to cook during our last week here in Honiara, and after Aaron's test this afternoon and SITAG's team meeting, I was ready for something easy from the kitchen.  So thankful for SITAG's deep freezer to help ease our transition next week!
A few plans for the rest of the week...three teams are arriving tomorrow, one by boat and two by plane.  On Thursday, a group of adventurous people (including four Choates) will go on a hike to a waterfall and float the river back down to Honiara.  Thursday night, SITAG will begin several days of meeting together, and Aaron will lead the worship for our gathering.  We'll have meetings all day Friday and Saturday.  And somewhere in there, we'll be packing and getting ready for our departure from the Solomon Islands on April 30.
A peek into my corner of the world...we got to host a birthday brunch yesterday for this sweet lady.  SITAG has four members with birthdays on April 19.  That's a lot of birthdays considering how small our branch is.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturdays are for...

...taking a trip to the airport to welcome back SITAG family

...looking for that one special person amongst the crowd

...hearing two-year-old giggles

...catching the giggles yourself because they are contagious

...throwing your arms around your best buddy piggyback rides 

...making impromptu trips to the ice cream shop on the way home

...hanging out with friends

...being goofy together

...trying new ice cream flavors

...creating ice cream moustaches

...creating even more ice cream moustaches

...coming home and starting the fire to cook cassava pudding

...grabbing the bush knife and cutting several banana leaves

...checking on the fire

...playing with the dog

,..playing with kittens

...layering the cassava and coconut cream in the pan

...heating up the kitchen with your spouse

Thursday, April 16, 2015

 My sweet Katherine has been fighting a cold all week, so this is what her school room looked like:

I've enjoyed the extra snuggles during school, but I'm so thankful she was feeling well enough today to go to the airport this afternoon with our SITAG family to greet some much needed administrative help from Germany.  We're excited to welcome Dieter to team SITAG!

Tonight was Olivia's night to cook, so as soon as she got home from the airport, she started in on food prep.  She also was cooking ahead for a tea party tomorrow, so she spent the rest of her day in the kitchen.  Her seared Asian tuna steaks turned out beautifully!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Aaron is home!


We picked Aaron up from the wharf around 9:00 this morning after his all-night ride on the Kosco.  He took a few pictures Monday while he was in Louna Village working with the translation team.  Hiva, the translation committee chairman, and Leonard, also a member of the committee and the canoe driver, observed the translation team hard at work.

Somebody else was obviously hard at work, too.  Look at those gorgeous huge red snappers!

After staying up until midnight Sunday night and working all day Monday, the translation team was treated to a beautiful sunset Monday evening as the water taxi dropped everybody off in their home village.

Thanks so much to everybody who was praying for Aaron's fast and furious trip out to the Russells.  Next item on the list is his language exam, so please keep praying!