Monday, February 25, 2008

Dear friends & family,

Sorry we have not been posting as schedule over the last couple of weeks. Martha spent a lot of time organizing pictures for a post and then faced some technical difficulties. She would've finished the post last week but we have been in Hobart.

We stayed with Pastor Ian Smith and his wife Mary. I had a wonderful opportunity Friday to take a chapel at the Seabrook Christian school. I also took the Communion preparatory service Saturday night, the Communion, the services, and a Youth Group meeting. We drove back Monday in time to visit some families from another church and a family visiting them from Grand Rapids. It was a blessed time.

Today, Tuesday, has been a good but busy day-and it is barely half over. Chatting with family, four loads of laundry, cooking a few dishes for various activities, several phone calls, e-mails, internet searches, and a little bit of everything talking with the US consulate in Melbourne in regards to Martha's immigration and name change, and baby's birth certificate, social security number, and passport. All we have left is for Martha to finish with family, continue some cooking, watching a pregnancy exercise video, pack for the drive down to Hobart, and go to the library. I will finish this post, cook dinner, review for the Bible study, and then we're off to the Bible study.

Wednesday we hope to visit Port Arthur. Thursday a few families from the congregation in Hobart, and then Friday through Sunday the SPC church camp.

Lord willing their will be more posts coming next week and their should be plenty of pictures.

Thanks for your patience.

Love through Christ,

terry & Martha

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hello all. Please forgive the lack of a post last week. A few things prevented: I was out visiting on the day I usually post, I became fascinated with the time-consuming joy of enhancing photos on the computer, and then Blogger was wretchedly slow on several occasions when I began uploading these photos and finally gave up for the day in sheer frustration. Now that they're up I hope you'll enjoy the parade of pictures and excuse all the experimentation with matting, blurring, and cropping.

And for all who commented on the last post with kind and thoughtful words of advice and encouragement - thank you very much! I had meant to reply to the comments earlier but did not get to it. Please be assured that I read and appreciate each one. I'll try to be more on top of keeping up with comments in the future. 

What's like a picnic with a friend? My friend Jeannette invited me a while ago to trek out with her to the two-mile train tunnel near Lilydale and have a picnic there together. We had a lovely time, and I appreciated the break with normal routine very much. Though the day's schedule ended up being stretched a bit (we left after 2pm rather than the planned 10am), the whole adventure was filled with fun fellowship.

Here is the feast set before us... bread and ham, mortadella and salami, tomatoes and cucumbers, crackers and cheeses, mocha brownies and pineapple... it was truly lovely. And with artistic flair, Jeanette whipped out the candlesticks from the back of the car. No, they were not lit; they were just there for the effect. A meal that is beautifully presented accents the pleasure of its taste with the pleasure of its sight. This was a double feast! 

Jeannette also had a few leis in the back of her car for a rainy day - or in this case for a sunny day. When she brought them out, the festivities began! Unfortunately, I only have a few goofy pictures of her which I would not put online without express permission, so that's it for the picnic expedition. In the background, though, you can see the train track that we followed into the tunnel. While in there, we enjoyed experimenting with the special acoustic qualities of the structure. It's a great place to warble.

"Back at the ranch," the harvest has been continuing, though it is now nearly at an end. The long-awaited day came last week when Terry decided the sweet corn was ready to be picked. Look at those kernels! Hurrah! It's ripe!

Here's a pile of the green-sheathed golden corn heaped on our back porch. Half the stack went to friends from church, and the rest was packed away into the freezer... except for a few ears ready for supper.

Terry couldn't wait till it was cooked to sink his teeth into it. There's nothing like sweet corn fresh from the garden!

Peter Rabbit would be delighted with all the carrots that grew. Some got longer than others, but they all have a lovely, sweet crisp taste that size doesn't change.

The cherry tomatoes have thrived and produced beautifully as well as the big tomatoes. It is amazing to taste the difference in home-grown tomatoes; they are so sweet that it is not hard to believe that they are a fruit after all. 
And now for the next installment of the Klaver home and furnishings for faraway family who want to see what it looks like in our wonderful wee house in Tasmania.

Here's a view of our bed with the quilt Terry's mom made for us. She even let me pick out the pattern and fabrics with her. It turned out to be absolutely gorgeous, as you can see. And above it, the canopy Ava helped me with is installed, thanks to our friend and elder Pat Connors. It consists of some sheer midnight chiffon draped over a bar above the bed and then through two rings on either side. It's high enough that it certainly won't ever get in the way when sitting up, and still adds a bit of soft elegance to the bedroom. I'm so happy with how it turned out. Sorry that a full view of the canopy and the bed is practically impossible to capture... but hopefully you get the idea. 

Here's the print that Terry and I got in Maui just before we left. We had been amazed by all the art in local galleries; Maui is apparently an art center on the scale of Paris and New York due to the volume of rich tourists and entranced artists who spend time there. However, we almost despaired of finding anything we liked that would be affordable. But God directed us just before we left to an amazing deal on this print which the artist retouched personally. It is opposite our bed and a wonderful reminder of our island honeymoon. The idea of having two sconces for candles had long been a dream of mind which also seemed impossible to fulfill, but a few weeks ago I was delighted to find these two - and at a reasonable price, too!  My skillful husband spray painted them black, and Pat kindly helped install them amid warnings of house fires and smoke alarm problems. So far, though, they have served beautifully and caused no problems at all.

Here's an ingenious twist on the wreath idea (haha - get the pun?)... and it was only $3 on a post-Christmas sale at Jenerick. The candle was the same price, and altogether the idea of a vibrant dry wreath really struck my fancy. It is currently resting atop a toy box / window seat that we have in the living room. It will likely be useful to have something on hand for the young one to occupy himself with when we are spending family time or having visitors in the living room.

Here's the lovely fountain Terry and I found after hunting high and low for something small, splashy, and affordable. Most fountains on the market seem to be made for rich men's gardens. But God graciously allowed us to find something suitable, and I was delighted. I love fountains. The shells are all native to Tasmania, except for the spiny ones in the back which we bought in Maui.

The theme of shells continues with the little glass candle-holders we found in Ross one day. And this beautiful verse is a good reminder of the essence of our identity - the beloved of God as evidenced in Christ's payment for our sins, and those who seek to live in that love for Him and for our neighbors.

Here is the organ our friend Lorraine gave us. It is now in the living room so I can play on occasion as Terry reads. I'm not trained in classical music, and when I was younger I learned to play on a piano, but on the organ I can manage my way through most Psalters and hymns given enough time. I enjoy doing that.

Here's the book case where my books and our cd's are kept. The study's shelving was too full to accommodate more than Terry's library. My collection was rather haphazard, and includes some Bible study books, baby books, recipe books, and mostly literature books from school days. 
Here is the table where our meals are had; it can be expanded to seat six when we have guests.
 And finally, a gorgeous summer rose, tinted with the irresistible warmth of sunrise. This photo was not touched up at all; God's coloring of this piece of art is perfect, isn't it?