Monday, February 28, 2011


Here is the new 2,000 raintank that we will hook up to our church in Marulaon. It will service about six villages in the West Russells. Thanks to donations from this generous church and gifts given in memory of this amazing man...
...we were able to buy the raintank, guttering, nails, etc. and pay for the shipping on the Bikoi 2. The village will provide the timber, time and energy needed to build a platform for the tank and attach the guttering to the church roof. We are so excited to be able to offer water to quench our neighbors' physical thirst in addition to the Living Water to quench their spiritual thirst. Thanks to so many of you who gave to help out the Lavukal!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

E-mail in Marulaon

Our friend, Joy, has written on her blog about how she checks e-mail in her village in Papua New Guinea. We get to omit steps seven and eight since SITAG is such a small entity, but the rest is the same for us. For our first month in the village, we will be the only team out. Just a reminder, please don't send forwards or attachments or anything other than a short text message to us while we are in Marulaon. We have a CPS number at the bottom of our screen. The number stands for Characters Per Second -and our number regularly sits between 18-32, when it works. So, please send us e-mail, we certainly miss the contact while we are in the village, but please keep it short and sweet!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bikoi Update

We should be in the village right now, but we're not! Late Friday afternoon, Aaron talked to the Bikoi office and learned that no ship would be going out to our area on Sunday. Here in the Solomons, plans change hourly, but the Bikoi shipping company has very graciously given us permission to ride aboard their cargo ship, Bikoi 2, and to take all of our stuff (including a 2,000 gallon raintank) with us. The ship is scheduled to leave whenever it gets full, and the crew thinks it should be full sometime mid-week. The adventure continues!

Friday, February 25, 2011

more Wyclife Associates

Wycliffe Associates volunteers continue to work on the new Translation Center and to bless SITAG with their servant attitudes. This is three quarters of a team currently working on the building...
...and this is the other valuable quarter.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Honiara Woman's Daybook

For Today...Monday, February 21, President's Day

Outside my window...rain, sweet, cool rain!

I am fast our time in Honiara has gone. We don't feel quite ready to head back to the village yet.

From the learning this week. Next week, we'll begin Cores 6 and 1 in Marulaon.

I am thankful for...International Mother Language Day

From the kitchen...Sarah making a "Lincoln Log" to celebrate President's Day

I am hair down for a change. It's cool enough - whoohoo!

I am reading...and trying to finish all of the books I've started during our last two months in Honiara

I am hoping...that our gardens and house in Marulaon have faired well in our absence

Pondering these words..."Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1-2 -- certainly a challenge for me as a wife and mother

I am hearing...rain, Sarah and Katherine in the kitchen, a cat mewing on the porch

Around the's kinda quiet since Aaron took Benjamin and Olivia into town with him for some last minute shopping (including a new foam mattress!)

One of my favorite things...friends who are such servants and who making plans to come out to Marulaon and tackle some projects

A few plans for the rest of the week...finish the kids' school schedules for our three months in Marulaon, finish packing and taping boxes, picking up some friends from the airport

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...Katherine building her "Letter I" ice cream cones

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sweet Sabbath

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, stengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7
-the creativity and boldness of my children as they explore different mediums (this one is Sarah's version of an Alexander Calder mobile)
-knowing that God is in control even if we currently can't find a ship to get us and all of our stuff out to Marulaon next Sunday
-piano/scripture memory recitals using my old books (30 years ago I was using Olivia's current piano book) and hearing lots of improvement due to my children's diligent practice
-a sweet sister-in-law whose birthday is today

-yummy cookies (thanks for the mini M&Ms, Nanny and Poppa) and coffee to enjoy during the piano recital

-a soft, gentle rain that lasted all afternoon and into the night, slowly refilling the almost empty SITAG raintanks and cooling down our steaming temperatures

-Honeyville and the amazing variety of food their products provide for our family in the village (thanks, Oma and Opa!

-great kids who have...once again...jumped into the packing process with fervor and good attitudes

Saturday, February 19, 2011

And the winner is...

BS, a precious friend from Memphis! Be looking for a package from the Solomon Islands in about four weeks.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy birthday, Babra!

Some of you may remember Babra, my first Pijin tutor. She has returned from two years of school in Australia and is preparing to attend school in Fiji with the hopes of becoming a doctor. We were so happy that she came back to Honiara and even happier that she let us throw her a birthday party! Auntie Karen and Auntie Caroline came too, and we enjoyed pizza (at Babra's request) and birthday cake.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Sarah decided that it just wasn't right for me to always put pretty pictures of models smiling for the giveaways. So, to please my girl...

This white shell necklace would be great for a child or it would also work as a choker for an adult. I have field tested each giveaway item! This necklace also has a matching bracelet. If you are interested in putting your name in the drawing, please leave a comment by midnight CST, Friday, February 18. As always, we are so thankful for our amazing friends and family all over the world who encourage us and uphold us in prayer!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Honiara Woman's Daybook

For Today...Monday, February 14, 2011

Outside my window...a little breeze blowing the spider webs that span from tree to tree and catch the sunlight filtered down between the leaves

I am thinking...about Ann's words so appropriate for Valentine's Day (and for every day)
From the learning rooms...finishing up Sonlight Cores 5 and K this week which means we're finishing our study of Africa, Katherine tackles letter I this week (guess we are going to have to drive to Frangipanni Ice for ice cream!)

I am thankful for...God's guidance.

From the smoothies for breakfast, a double date for lunch, and polpettone for supper. Trying this recipe for the first time from "Sacred Feasts: From a Monastery Kitchen"

I am reading..."An Island Garden" by Celia Thaxter, illustrated by Childe Hassam. My mom found it at a library book sale, and this book is a feast for the eyes!

I am hoping...that apples finally show up this week. It's my last chance to can - I've learned not to try to can during the last week in Honiara.

I am the "life-medium of the moment". "Jump into the life-medium of the moment, whether it's oatmeal or beach sand or Dr. Suess' rhymes or the soup you're making for dinner." --Valerie Schultz
Noticing that...the humidity was down this morning. Usually when I exercise in the mornings, dew covers the plants on the side of the road and the distant islands are hazy. But today, the plants were dry and I could clearly see Savo and Ngella across the ocean. Yay for lower humidity!
Pondering these words..."Every day I ask God to lead me in his work with eyes wide shut -- constanly open to the needs and challenges and unceasingly shut in prayer." Women of the Harvest
On my mind...beginning to prepare for furlough. Even though it's more than a year away, we have to begin making decisions and reservation for housing now. Please begin praying for Aaron to have wisdom concerning school at GIAL in Dallas and that God will provide our housing, transportation, and financial needs.

I am gathering sack lunches and quickly finishing school as we head out the door for our date

Around the house...flags from different countries in Africa printed from here, a new puzzle spread out on the table sent by a kids' group from a church in Fort Wayne

One of my favorite things...sharing dessert with my hubby

A few plans for the rest of the week...enjoying more precious company, refilling the gas cylinders, getting the prescriptions for all of the antiobiotics we will take out with us, picking up the new 2000 gallon rain tank for Marulaon and hopefully shipping it out to the Russells early

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...Sarah's treats for our SITAG neighbors

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sweet Sabbath

"He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God." Psalm 50:23

-for friends who drop in for a minute and end up staying for games and lunch. We're so glad Henk and Margreet are here!

-for continuing to celebrate our five senses and for being amazed at our heightened awareness of God's gifts

-for huge and amazingly camouflaged moths that make my kids run and grab the camera in awe of God's creation (photo courtesy of Sarah)

-for creative kids who had a blast making mobiles in the style of Alexander Calder

Saturday, February 12, 2011


This is the first time we have tried dehydrating in the Solomon Islands with the SITAG dehydrator. With pineapples so plentiful and cheap, we dehydrated nine of them in twelve trays in the dehydrator earlier this week. When broccoli showed up on an air freight shipment, we decided to splurge and buy a little bit to dehydrate and take to Marulaon in a couple of weeks. God is so good to give us treats like broccoli way out in the village.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Translator Selection

Last Friday, Kiko called to say she was in Honiara. She called on a cousin's husband's cellphone, and the call quickly dropped before we had a chance to visit. I knew where she was staying, so I called her back only to find the land line was out of service. We had company walking in the door, so I didn't try again until Saturday. I got the same message telling me that the land line was out of service, so I called information. The lady who answered the phone informed me that the number had been disconnected last August, but she could give me the cell phone number. My first thought was, "This would never happen in the States!", but I wrote down the cell phone number anyway.
I debated whether or not to call, but my friendship for Kiko finally won over my timidity to call the cell phone of a man I've only met once. He answered, I introduced myself, and soon discovered that Kiko was right there. We enjoyed a great chat and decided that our family would come down to the wharf to see her off on the Bikoi.

Early Sunday morning, our family wove through the throng of people bearing a water bottle straight from the freezer (cold water - lafi lomisa - is such a treat for our friends) as a gift for Kiko. Not only did we find Kiko, but we found Chief Leonard as well! This turned out to be a real blessing, because Aaron was able to catch up on what the Translation Committee had been doing in our absence. Aaron discovered that the committee is planning to meet on Sunday to choose translators, and he was able to discuss some details with Leonard about future training and workshops. God's timing is so good!

Watching the Bikoi pull away from wharf without us onboard was very strange! But it will be our turn soon enough. Aaron was able to send a public service announcement on Solomon Island Broadcasting Company for all Lavukal translators to meet this coming Sunday for the selection of translators. Please, hold them up in your prayers as they seek God's design for the Lavukal Bible translation project.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My guy

I'm so proud of Aaron for sharing his knowledge with the guys here for the Translation Principles workshop. He has always been such a great teacher! (Aaron even tutored me through high school calculus and physics.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


It's rambutan season!

After I said something to the kids about eating "eyeballs", Sarah politely passed on any more rambutan. But the other three scarfed them down until the pile was gone. Guess we need to get some more next time we go to market.


And the winner is...

Margaret C! Please drop me an e-mail at joanna underscore choate at sil dot org and we'll work out the best way to get the bracelet to you. Enjoy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Honiara Woman's Daybook

For today...Monday, February 7, 2011

Outside my window...dark, rainy, and lots of dogs howling

I am thinking...about how much we are enjoying Pearable's "Lessons in Responsibility" for boys and girls

I am praying for...Aaron as he helps teach in the Translation Principles workshop this week

I am tuck kids in bed

From the learning rooms...Olivia beginning Singapore 3A for math, continuing our study of Africa, Katherine finishing up her Five Senses unit, making a mobile in the style of Alexander Calder

I am thankful for...Wycliffe Associates who come to the Solomon Islands to give of their own money, time and energy to further Bible translation

I am much better I feel when I've gone to bed on time the night before!

From the kitchen...Olivia will make French toast for breakfast in the morning, and I'll make teryaki chicken for supper

I am reading..."Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen

I am hoping...that apples show up in town this week so I can preserve them (although I passed on some apples that came in on air freight, US$2-3 an apple is too much to pay!)

I am to nurture my family while we are in Marulaon

On my dad and my sister-in-law's upcoming birthdays. I haven't mailed any presents yet, sorry!

Noticing that...rainy season is soooo good for me! Cooler nights and full rain tanks mean a happier me.

Pondering these words..."And so I learned that what makes any calling noble is its being commanded by God, and what makes anything good is its being given by God; and that honest contentment consists not in persuading ourselves that our things are the very best in the world, but in believing they are the best for us, and giving God thanks for them." Elizabeth Rundle Charles, "From Dark to Dawn"

I am hearing...rain dripping outside, what a nice sound!

Around the house...lots of ants that seem to be carnivorous, meat attracts them in swarms!

One of my favorite packages. I know I say it a lot, but we are so encouraged by the thoughts and prayers behind every box.

A few plans for the rest of the week...dehydrating lots of pineapple and a little bit of broccoli that just came in on air freight, enjoying plenty of company as we finish up our time in Honiara, celebrating an early 50th birthday of a SITAG friend

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
a great couple from Australia who have been helping with the new Translation Center and with the Educational Resource Center's library

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sweet Sabbath

"Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver....but you brought us to a place of abundance." Psalm 66:8-10, 12b

-creative kids who turn fingerprints into masterpieces (can you tell we've been watching Tchaikovsky's ballet "Sleeping Beauty"?)
-a simple reminder to enjoy my daily routines

-way cool blisters that grow when my finger collides with a spoon drizzling hot caramel sauce (the kids think it looks like I have a grub on my finger!)

-the sound of young voices murmuring the beginning of Colossians 1 as we still play catch up and pray for grace in our ambitious undertaking

-cool rainy days when cyclones brush the Solomons to enjoy lattes with my kids in ruby red mugs

-Katherine's wild mop of hair that matches her vivacious personality

Henk and our crew in 2009

-God's amazing timing. We lost electricty (which means running water, too) Monday when a small branch fell across the line that connects our house to city power. A precious WA couple arrived last Friday, so Henk (yep, the same Henk who helped with the Marulaon house), was available to tackle our electrical problems. The Solomon Island Electrity Company had the electricity back on just in time for our company to eat supper with fans and lights. You can follow their Solomon Island adventures here.

-the sound of the pressure cooker hissing as food is preserved for our next trip to Marulaon

Saturday, February 5, 2011

At the breakfast table...

Katherine: Humming Colossians 3:20, "Children, obey your parents in everything..."

Me: Sitting across the table from Katherine, "Where are your parents?"

Katherine: very seriously, "Ummm, in the village!"

Home is where the heart is!

Friday, February 4, 2011


Our local carver, Roland, has come by recently with some beautiful bracelets. So, we just have to share! If you would like to wear this hand-made work of art, please leave a comment by midnight CST, on Monday, February 7.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Post Office Memo

A BIG thanks to all of you who have sent pillow cases for the new Translation Center! We have enough linens now, and the new building will be dedicated in March. Our family will be back in Marulaon, so we will miss the ceremony. But no housing would be available because so many special people will be coming to help SITAG celebrate!
The Honiara post office has begun to place a tax on the value of the contents of packages. So, just a reminder that if you would like to send us a care package (and we are so thankful for the encouragement!), you can put "no commercial value" or NCV in the space that requests the value of the contents. We will not be selling the wonderful things that come inside our boxes. Although, semi-sweet chocolate chips would probably bring in a lot of money on the SITAG black market!