Friday, September 30, 2011

Airport Run

This afternoon, we went to meet a friend at the airport.  Honiara's Henderson Field allows you to go on top of the building and watch the people as they come off the airplane.

 The noise was deafening as planes came and went, but honey joys made it a little bit easier to wait.  Yum!

And you have to bring signs to accompany the cheers when your friend walks off the plane.

Since the plane was an hour and half late, we passed the time crocheting...

reading books ...

and perusing the plaques commemorating WWII.

But the wait was worth it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SITAG this week

Although SITAG is a tiny entity, lots is going on this week. 

The volunteer team from Bundaberg leaves this week.  They have been such a blessing to SITAG!  Bundaberg was the home of Florence Young and the place where Solomon Islanders were "blackbirded" in the late 1800's to work on sugar cane plantations, so this group has a special connection to the Solomons.

A good friend of ours flew from the States to spend a few days in Honiara before he heads out to Munda.  The whole Roviana Bible is almost completely translated!

Another friend from Australia will be flying in on Thursday to work with the Literacy Association of the Solomon Islands (LASI), and yet another friend will be flying in from PNG on Friday to return to her work with Scripture Use after attending the Pacific Orientation Course.

Our current SITAG house sits attached to another small apartment and on top of a conference room.  In the conference room below, a friend works with Adapt-It to translate into the Fataleka language.  He says:

"We finished the second part of the translation principles in a week and a half and now we have started to draft the book of Mark. Because the Fataleka language is so closely related to the Kwara’ae language that already has a New Testament, we are using a computer program that enables them to translate from the Kwara’ae New Testament."

Outside our house, Max helps keep SITAG in good shape while his new baby girl and wife rest at their house next door to the Translation Center.  And on one side of our building, Patson works to install some window treatment for the small apartment,

while our SITAG director makes sure the internet is working on the other side of the apartment.

There is so much going on here, I don't even know half of it, but we are so thankful to play a small part in the work of Bible translation in the Solomon Islands.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Indulging a whim...

"Of all modern notions, the worst is this:  that domesticity is dull.  Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. 

But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where man can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment, or indulge in a whim. 

The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of rules and set tasks." -- G.K. Chesterson

Our whim this morning was yogurt and granola parfaits for breakfast...outside.  How did you indulge your whims today?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Katherine

Oh, my girl turned four today!  We celebrated by sharing cake, ice cream, popcorn, and peanuts with the other SITAG families.

Uncle Jan was part of the festivities last year in Brisbane, and he made it to the party this year as well. 

 Sarah did most of the work to give her little sister a great party.  She painted faces, organized the games like the peanut roll,

and made the cupcakes (whose cute wrappers came in a care package from a friend) and birthday cake.

The highlight of the day was typing back and forth with Aaron who is still in Bangkok.  Katherine truly delights us and continues to be a gift of joy to our family.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Update on Naomi

Naomi and I spent all morning at the hospital yesterday.  One of our SITAG "aunties" watched the kids for me and made sure they did their schoolwork, and Sarah made gingersnaps to share with the hospital staff.  First we went to the ENT who performed a hearing test on Naomi and found that she has trouble hearing low registers in her left ear.  Since her ear is still stopped up, the ENT thinks Naomi's hearing will return when her ear pops.

Then, amidst power outages, we waited almost an hour and a half for her ten o'clock appointment for her abdominal ultrasound.  The doctor who did her scan (he is 'Are'Are, where some good friends of ours work), found nothing abnormal.  We took the results of her appointments back to try and find Dr. Elizabeth at the other end of the hospital.  She was busy in another ward, so we left a note asking her to call us at the house.  Now, we're just waiting to see what she says. 

Naomi and I grabbed a bite to eat, and tackled the grocery list.  I was really hoping that somebody had come in on the Kosko and brought some fresh crab to Honiara's Central Market.  I found some urio (coconut crab) and asked where they were from - SCORE!  The were from the Russells, and I was able to practice a tiny bit of Lavukaleve, build a new relationship,  and walk away with two nice crabs.  The crabs found their way into some seafood gumbo that we enjoyed for supper (along with the auntie, and her husband, who ended up watching the kids a lot longer than we had anticipated).  The day was super full, but good.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You are Invited

Better late than are invited to participate in Wycliffe's Forty Days of Prayer focusing on Bible translation from start to finish.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


We are so thankful for seven men and women who have come from Australia to spend a week in Honiara working on electrical safety, hardwiring new internet connections...

...learning how to motu (it's a Honiara tourist attraction, don't you know?!?)...

...and painting inside one of the SITAG houses.  They have worked and sweated and it has been our joy to get to know them!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


What do you do when a friend from PNG brings a bag of marshmallows as a treat?  You make two different kinds of rice crispie treats, of course!  A long time ago I read a great idea in Elizabeth George's "A Woman After God's Own Heart".   She suggested that one way to treat your family extra special is to always double whatever you are cooking to give to somebody else and give the 2nd portion to your family.  So, one of the plates went to the SITAG staff meeting, and one stayed in our house.  My great family definitely deserves the treat!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Honiara Woman's Daybook

For Today...Monday, September 19

Outside my window...low, gray clouds and high humidty, it was like running through soup this morning, come on rain!

I am thinking...about my husband and his upcoming workshop in Bangkok.  I'm am so excited for him to have this opportunity.  His schedule is posted on the bulletin board so we can know what he is doing, although I haven't adjusted for the four hour time difference.

From the learning rooms...swinging around the world to discover what was going on outside Europe after the fall of Rome; Sarah - writing a definition essay, continuing to measure area & volume; Benjamin -  scientific and expository writing, math review; Olivia - using vivid vocabulary and avoiding tired words, weight in pounds and ounces; Katherine - Autumn books and activities

I am thankful  I feel like a broken record, but the ability to sit down and type in REAL TIME still amazes me.  If we had a better internet connection, I'd be video Skyping every day!  What a gift to be able to keep friends and family close.

From the kitchen...toast, eggs, and cantaloupe for breakfast, then the meal plan took a turn for the worst.  The umalau I meant to use in the green soup had all gone bad, so I moved supper (an enchilada kind of dish from a mix somebody sent us) to lunch, and I think we will just eat watermelon and peanut butter on rice cakes for supper

I am reading...just finished "The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Schafer and Annie Barrows

I am hoping...and praying that we get some answers for Naomi this week.  Vomiting and staying in bed all day isn't very much fun for her.

I am creating...birthday party plans for Katherine (can she be turning four already?!?)

I am hearing...Katherine singing as she swings, the SITAG work crew down below hammering and sawing on some project (so thankful for those guys!)

Around the, spicy-scented candles to help us pretend that Autumn is on its way

One of my favorite things...grape kool-aid

Pondering these words..."God is not offended by our humaness.  He made us and He knows that we get distracted."  --Marilyn Wilson and Shelly Cook Volkhardt

A few plans for the rest of the week...taking Naomi back to the hospital on Thursday for an abdominal scan and a follow-up appointment with the ENT, hopefully hosting some volunteers that just arrived from Australia if Naomi feels like seven extra people in the house

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...the gorgeous moon setting in the West while the sun rose in the East last week.  Sarah grabbed the camera and snapped away.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sweet Sabbath

"Thanksgiving is a spiritual exercise, necessary to the building of a healthy soul.  It takes us out of the stuffiness of ourselves into the fresh breeze and sunlight of the will of God." 
--Elizabeth Elliot

Flexing my muscles in thanksgiving for:


-for strong, happy, and healthy children who adore their daddy

-a splurge of peach cobbler and ice cream to send Aaron off to Bangkok

-finding somebody we know down at the wharf this morning to take a copy of the new Lavukaleve prayer back to Marulaon for corrections

-the coolest critter EVER, with a striped face, a turquoise body and orange intestines

-the perfect afternoon to have a farewell picnic at the airport while we waited for Aaron to board the plane

-a hilarious rendition of "mother-may-I" that had the whole family laughing out loud

-a game of hide and seek among siblings

-Naomi, who was strong enough to get out of bed for a little while and come to the airport with us

-kites flying in the wind

-a Skype message telling me Aaron arrived safely in Brisbane, the first leg of his journey

Friday, September 16, 2011

Time is a flying

We've been staying busy this week celebrating Naomi's 19th birthday, learning lots in school, attending SITAG meetings, and enjoying company.  Yesterday afternoon, Katherine helped me prepare chillaquillas to share with three amazing translators who are in the Solomons for a few weeks.

 Earlier this week, Naomi's test results all came back normal, so Dr. Steve sent us to a consulting physician.  We met with Dr. Elizabeth this afternoon at the hospital where we learned that she speaks Sa'a.  She was very complementary of the SITAG translation advisor who worked on Sa'a and even said that he knew the language better than she did!  After an examination, Dr. Elizabeth sent Naomi to the ENT department at the hospital.  The ENT found no infection and suggested that Naomi use a saline rinse in her sinuses in addition to steaming them and scheduled a follow-up appointment for next Thursday.  Dr. Elizabeth also ordered an abdominal scan next week to see if she can locate the source of the abdominal pain Naomi is experiencing.

So, after four hours in the hospital, Naomi and I drove to the pharmacy to pick up a new antibiotic and then head back to the house.  A BIG thank you to those of you praying for our adopted daughter, Naomi.  She is still in lots of facial and abdominal pain and continues to take high doses of painkillers and sleep most of the time.  We are so thankful for the doctors and nurses here in Honiara who are working hard to discern the cause of Naomi's pain.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Honiara Woman's Daybook

For Today...Monday, September 12th

Outside my playing on the SITAG trampoline, the wind kicking up white caps on the ocean, the mint I left with a friend trying to leap the boundries of it's pot on the porch

I am thinking...about taking a short nap

From the learning rooms...back to school today!  Reading "Across a Dark and Wild Sea" by Don Brown and "Marguerite makes a Book" by Bruce Robertson as we learn about the painstaking art of making books.  Studying the Byzantine empire and refraction/reflection.  Sarah - writing different kinds of news articles, measuring area and volume; Benjamin - writing a biography, ratio and proportion; Olivia - "be" verbs, water cycle, addition & subtraction of kilograms and grams; Katherine - letter U

I am thankful for...washing machines, ceiling fans, friends with food, some of the little comforts that make SITAG feel like a resort whenever we return from the village

From the kitchen...blintzes for breakfast, pizza pasta salad for lunch, and meat and potato quiche for supper

I am reading..."What Good is God?" by Phillip Yancey

I am hoping...and praying that Naomi's doctor's appointment gives us some answers today

I am creating...oh, this one always stumps me!  Hoping to get back to the snowflake stitching soon, but right now I'm just creating a nourishing home for my family.  I love my job!

I am hearing...the squeak of the trampoline and young voices outside the window

Around the house...almost unpacked!

One of my favorite things...undistracted time with my husband

Pondering these words..."How good it would be if we could learn that God is easy to live with.  He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust.  He may sometimes chasten us, it is true, but even this He does with a smile, the proud tender smile of a father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the one whose child He is." -- A.W. Tozer

A few plans for the rest of the week...celebrating Naomi's 19th birthday tomorrow and getting Aaron ready to leave for Bangkok on Sunday

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...Katherine taking a bath and having fun in Marulaon when the last of the evening light was streaming through the windows

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Race Day

We hadn't anticipated being back in Honiara for this year's FlySolomons Marathon and Fun Run.  But when we came back a week early, Benjamin and I decided to enter the 5K even though we hadn't been training for it like we did last year.  We joined several SITAG friends and enjoyed a fun morning of racing!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Market Morning

Honiara's Central Market offers such a great variety of foods!  This is what a normal shopping trip to market looks like for our family.  This morning, I picked up three cantaloupes, two watermelons, lettuce, tomatoes, bananas, limes, green beans, wing beans, a pumpkin, Chinese cabbage, ginger, three pineapples, a pomelo, and four green coconuts.  Now that we've been in the Solomons almost three years, Lavukal are beginning to recognize us when we are in Honiara.   I was hailed by a lady from the Russells who had brought in coconut crab and some seaweed.  I bought a couple of coconut crabs from her and gave them away to one of the families that works for SITAG and is expecting a baby any day.  We are SO thankful for the amazing fresh foods we can buy here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Update on Naomi

Many of you have asked about Naomi and have indicated that you are praying for her.  I took her to the doctor yesterday.  He has been treating her since her arrival in Honiara, and we can e-mail him when we are in Marulaon.  He took a culture from her ear, ordered blood work, a facial x-ray, and a chest x-ray. 

Now, in Honiara, these all mean going to the hospital.  I sooo wish I'd taken my camera to share the view from the hospital.  First, we had to go to the cashier's window to pay for each of the tests.  Then, we went to have her blood drawn and to drop off the swab from her ear.  Each of the departments is in a row around one of many open courtyards.  After that was finished, we went to the x-ray department.  We saw a fat, black rat while we waited on the bench outside.  Finally, we got the x-ray films and drove back to the doctor's office.  The results of the culture and the blood work should be in early next week, then we'll be back to see Dr. Steve.

Thanks for your prayers for our "adopted daughter"!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

 Wednesday, September 7

Wednesday morning, we woke up early and began preparing for the Kosko's arrival.  We heard from a SITAG friend that the ship's radio wasn't working, so we didn't know if they would report in at the scheduled times for all ships.  We scheduled a radio sked with SITAG for 9 a.m.  If we didn't come up on the radio, then SITAG would know we were on the ship. 

We were ready by about 7 a.m., and thankfully, just after 9:00, Kosko was able to somehow report that it expected to arrive in Marulaon around 12:30 p.m.  This gave us several hours to visit with our friends and walk around the village - one of my favorite things to do!  I started walking towards the point and found Katherine and Mary playing by the water's edge.  They were banging nuts on the coral.

A few yards down the beach, I found my friend, Sylvester (yep, it took me a long time to match her name with her face).  She was rinsing off shark meat and planned to make a stew with it.

Next, I went over to Grace Delight and Kiko's kitchen.  They were finishing up a batch of lisa, the lime that goes with betelnut.   Last week, they went over to a small island near Marulaon and harvested live coral (I asked to go, but they wouldn't take me).  Then, they burned it and left it covered up for a week.  Finally, they took the white powder that remains and sifted it well.  Lisa stores up to a year in an airtight container.  According to Kiko, you know it's a good batch of lisa if your mouth turns bright red and burns when you chew your betelnut!

I visited with several other friends and received requests to buy material and yarn in Honiara so my friends can make food covers.  Then, I returned to our pile of boxes on the beach to find Sarah high in a tree admiring the gorgeous orchids.  She borrowed the camera to take this picture.

And Benjamin found his own perch to await the Kosko.

Finally, around 12:20, we heard the first shouts of "Koooskoooo!" and watched the green ship pull around the corner of the island.

We had already lined up a motor canoe to take us and all of our boxes out to the canoe, so we were surprised to see it head off with a different passenger before it came to pick up Aaron and our cargo.  But the canoe finally came back to pick up the rest of us, and we waved goodbye to Marulaon as we bounced over the waves.  Thankfully, the Kosko waited for us, and God gave us great weather and calm seas.

The kids scrambled up, then I passed Katherine up the ladder to Aaron.  We have never boarded the Kosko from a motor canoe before, and I have now added climbing up a narrow ladder in a skirt to my repertoire of activities.

Passengers had already been traveling on the boat since the day before, yet several of them were gracious enough to scoot over and make room for our family.  The girls pulled out their books, and Benjamin grabbed a deck of Phase 10 cards.

Always vivacious, he taught several new friends how to play the game and kept them occupied for a couple of hours.  We finally arrived in Honiara about 8:30.  Naomi really wasn't doing well, so some friends helped carry her to a SITAG car and took her back to the house with Katherine and Olivia while the rest of us carried boxes and waited for Aaron to pay for the shipping charges.  Finally, we arrived in yet another SITAG house to lots of hugs and some pizza being kept warm.  We couldn't have asked for a better trip!