Monday, October 31, 2016

Honestly, our kids have been dreading this day.  The day we begin reading "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens. 
 
 
 
But...introduce a lovely recording (complete with British accent) of this classic by LibriVox, add afternoon tea with ginger scones, and the whole atmosphere changes from dismay to celebration!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Swim



 
So grateful for a chance to rest and play on a Sunday afternoon.
 


Especially with some of our favorite people!


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Reading Aloud


When the mess of lunch is cleaned up, and everybody's bellies have been nourished, then it's time to nourish our minds with good books.  I love how Katherine's drawing captured my weary legs propped up on the coffee table. 
 
 
Over the years, the time of day has changed to meet the needs of our family, we no longer have a baby that needs a quiet house to take a nap. The anchor of reading aloud still helps hold our family together, no matter where we are living.  

Friday, October 28, 2016

A little night music...

 
"Everyone comes to the table as equals, as human beings who are in need of connection and nourishment.  We give and receive food and our stories become channels through which our souls touch one another."  ~Grace P. Cho
 

Two of the hardest things for me while living overseas are 1) being so far away from our families and 2) missing the musical performance opportunities we enjoy in America.  Both of those things I put on the altar every single day.  But God, in His sweet way of lavishing grace on us, has surrounded us with adopted family here at SITAG and given us some options to make music together.


Tonight, a few of our colleagues joined us for a small recital, just to hear what the kids had been working on for the last month here in Honiara. 


How many adults do you know that would give up their Friday night to come hear a beginning cellist?  Or to sing in a trio from Mendelssohn's Elijah?


 I'm super proud of our kids' hard work in keeping their music going, even when the circumstances are less than ideal.  And our audience was so very gracious.


We thanked them with the currency of food:  soup and salad and Sarah's homemade rolls slathered in garlic butter.


And they paid us right back with a high exchange rate in the currency of laughter and the sweet knitting of hearts.


"Sacred and surprising things happen when we gather around a table and share food made with love and by our own hands."  ~Shauna Niequist


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bible Week in Honiara

 
 
SITAG has a table at the "Bible Week" celebrations this week, and each of us here in Honiara have signed up for an opportunity to talk to people about God's Word in their heart language.
 

The big language map of the Solomon Islands drew in some people, and the recordings of the Bible in different languages attracted others.
 

We had some great visits with people about topics like using old language words with deep meaning in the Bible translations as one older gentleman pondered the balance of using those old words that only have meaning for his generation but not for the younger generation because of language change.


Several hard copies of Bible sold, but it was also exciting to watch our tech-savvy colleague give people the Pijin Bible on their phone!
 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Revisiting Contentment

A willing acceptance of all that God assigns and a glad surrender of all that I am and have constitute the key to receiving the gift of a quiet heart. Whenever I have balked, the quietness goes. It is restored, and life immeasurably simplified, when I have trusted and obeyed.” ~Elisabeth Elliot
 

Living cross-culturally means I'll never quite understand my neighbors, and they will never quite understand me. I pray that God will fill me with His love for the people around me and give me insight into their way of life. At the same time, I pray that I will choose thanksgiving and contentment in the place God has planted me.



 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Honiara Woman's Daybook

 

Just for today...Monday, October 24
 
Pondering these words..."Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers...."  Phil. 4:6 MSG

I am hearing...Sarah practicing voice.  I love listening to her voice slowly mature and look forward to her being able to study with a real teacher again when we return to America.
 
On my nightstand..."Made in America" by Bill Bryson.  I bought it in the airport in Brisbane, and it's fascinating!


Crafting in the kitchen...we tried Willow Bird's Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread Pudding this weekend, and it was fabulous.  Certainly hit the "We Miss Autumn" spot!
 
A peek inside my world...our family and a few SITAG friends participated in the G'Day Solomons Fun Run Saturday morning.
 
 
 



We had a beautiful view for the race!

 
From the learning rooms...Katherine is learning about decimals, Olivia is racing through world history in the mid-1800s, Sarah and Benjamin are finishing up government as we come to the end of the semester next week.
 
One of my favorite things...listening to Katherine read out loud to me, especially when we're snuggling.
 
Outside my window...this was the scene over the weekend. 
 
 
SITAG decorated a float for the parade that opened Bible Week here in Honiara.


John 3:16 was printed in every language in the Solomons that has a translation,


and the blank pages represented languages, like Lavukaleve, that don't have scripture yet.
 

We didn't go to the parade and the opening ceremonies, but the SITAG employees won first prize with their float!  Super proud of them and all of their hard work.  We love our employees, they are the ones who really keep things running smoothly around here.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sweet Sabbath and Spiders


 
 
While Olivia and I were outside hanging clothes on the line this morning, she noticed some spiders hanging in a huge web between the mango tree and the starfruit tree.
 
 
She counted ten of them, and we think they are banana spiders or some type of Golden silk orb-weaver.  "Larger relatives occur in the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and Madagascar.  Banana spiders like high humidity and relatively open space."  We've certainly got the high humidity!
 


We also discovered that, like many other animals, these spiders exhibit sexual dimorphism.  The male and the female are drastically different in size and in coloring.  What a beautiful way to start our Sunday morning, reveling in God's creation.


"There is no grudging in God's benevolence; He does not measure out his goodness as an apothecary counts his crops and measures his drams, slowly and exactly, drop by drop.  God's way is always characterized by multitudinous and overflowing bounty." 
~F.B. Meyer

Saturday, October 22, 2016

This is happening outside in the driveway right now...



 



So grateful to our SITAG colleagues who share life with us here in Honiara.

Friday, October 21, 2016

PSAT Trip to Brisbane

 
Benjamin needed to take the PSAT, and the closest place for him to take it was Brisbane.  So once again, the family drove out to Honiara's airport Tuesday morning.
 
 
 Aaron and the girls waved us through the door for passengers,


then they headed upstairs to the roof

 
to do school and to wait for Benjamin and me to walk across to the plane.
 
 
There's something about hearing somebody cheer for you that just makes your day!  Benjamin worked on physics homework while we flew across to Brisbane.
 

Early Wednesday morning, one of our colleagues drove us to the testing site where Benjamin took the PSAT alongside seven other students.  God worked out all of the details to have this American test offered in a place and time where we could attend. 
 

While Benjamin used his brainpower, I sat and visited in a coffee shop with an American couple whose daughter was also taking the exam.  There are so many interesting people in this world!  When Benjamin was finished, we ate a quick lunch and he enjoyed a caramel milkshake. 
 
 
Then we caught the train over to the eye doctor's office to pick up our new glasses. 


Thursday was full of shopping for exciting things like printer ink and silicon muffin pans.  I'm especially thankful for a nice apartment to rest our weary heads and for the amazing woman, Liz, who keeps it ready for people who work in Bible translation around the world.  I really enjoyed the quiet mornings as the sun peeked in the kitchen window.


Then it was time to turn around and come back home to reunite Team Choate.


Friday afternoon, we stepped off the plane to a loud welcome from on top of the airport.

 
And since public display of affection isn't socially acceptable here, we hopped in the vehicle and hid our "welcome back" kiss behind Aaron's hat.  It's good to be home.