Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dear friend's and family,

Martha and I have returned home from a busy week of traveling and Bible studies.

We have been all over the island with some friends of ours who have been visiting from Chilliwack, BC. We had a marvelous time with them getting to know more about the history and scenic beauty of Tassie. Lord willing, you guys will be able to see some of the pictures in the coming days- sorry about the delay for those who have been waiting with belated breath for said pics.

Our friends Bert and Jan Stam arrived in Tas on Saturday March 8 and they flew back to BC Thursday the 20th. We had an opportunity to spend the weekends with them and toured Tassie with them the 17th-20th. There fellowship was a blessing ans was catching up about things in Chilliwack HRC.

The Lord help held for the Bible studies and sermons in the midst of this blessed but busy time. In the Tuesday night Bible study we continued working our way through Colossinas. We had our 19th Bible study on Colossinas and we covered 4:2-6. The Wednesday night monthly "Puritan Bible Study" with the friend in Low Head (almost an hour North of Launceston) we began considering the doctrine of the church. The study was a quick serve survey of some historic issues with the doctrine of the church and the puritans, the relevance of those issues for us today, and a consideration of some of the Bible's pictures of the church and extreme value of the church to Christ and thus it should be to us as well.

Well this is all for now.

The Lord's blessings to all.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This post's pictures were put together on February 19th. However, one particularly stubborn picture resisted being put up on the web, so the whole post was postponed for much longer than we intended!

After that week, we did some traveling and visiting in Hobart, Terry preached there and took chapels, we went to the SPC church camp, we crashed at home, we got visitors from Canada, Martha had a happy 21st birthday with friends, and we are now back into life here in full swing. That's the short version of the last few weeks' goings-on, anyhow. 

This coming weekend and the first half of next week will be also be spent with our Canadian visitors as we join them for some sightseeing around the island. It's wonderful to have Bert and Jan Stam here in Tasmania.

These first pictures are from an outing to the beach at Bridport that Terry and I took on the 14th. Why on the 14th of February, one might ask? It seemed like a good day for it. :D Here is an old pier extending into the surreal blue of the ocean... too picturesque to pass up!

I am happy to be out in the sunshine with the fresh salt air around me and my beloved there with me.

Terry was quick to settle in on our blanket with a good book. A cat curled up by the fire couldn't be more comfortable, I think. I love how the vivid scrub contrasts boldly with the muted colors of rock and sand and the pervasive blues of sky and sea.

The view to the right includes a haze of mountains under a low horizon of faraway clouds.

No, Terry's not working on a sand castle. He's gathering some sand for me to use in house decor, specifically for filling two vases into which I put some artificial greenery. What a sweetheart!

On the left-hand side, a scrubby tree shelters a shady spread of sand enclosed by rock.

Terry is looking at... some unknown treasure discovered on the beach. It wasn't gold, though, or I would have remembered it.

Another view of the scrub. Olive-green is predominant in the Australian landscape overall, we find, where greens are to be seen. And that's all for the sea shore.... it was a lovely spot and we look forward to returning some time.

In further culinary adventures...

We found that the amount of tomatoes in the garden was becoming overwhelming. Dennis Miller had kindly donated bottles with lids, rubber rings and clasps to store fruit in. So I thought about stewing the tomatoes and bottling them, or just preserving the fresh fruit itself. But I have not yet been able to screw up the courage to attempt the complicated-looking processes outlined in various cookbooks... not by myself. Visions of shattered glass and tomatoes all over the kitchen float morbidly through my mind. No, maybe next year. So instead, the tomatoes got cut up for tomato soup! The flavor is really as good as the color.

Butter, onions, and herbs simmer in the pot. No more pictures were taken, but when the soup had been combined and processed and returned to the pot with heavy cream, the whole pot was full almost to the brim. After one supper of tomato soup, we thought about the evils of not having a chest freezer and the blessings of having friends with whom we might share our abundance. Accordingly, dinner on Sunday with a family of six resulted in a much reduced pot of soup coming home, the contents of which took just one more delicious meal to finish off. Terry now firmly believes in the virtues of homegrown tomatoes and declares that homemade tomato soup has no comparison with the canned stuff.

A box of potatoes was also garnered from the garden this year. No need to buy for a good while; these taters will keep for a good while in the cupboard.

Finally, an exciting development at the Klaver household in February was the visit of an amiable praying mantis. Of course, our guest was first invited into a glass room so that our interaction would not be hindered by the restlessness sometimes caused in six-legged creatures by too much freedom. However, our fair friend was not quite comfortable in his new accommodations. We think he's not used to sitting this way.

So we let him out by our back door to allow him to exhibit more fully his purpose in showing up so unexpectedly there.

Before long, it became clear that he really just wanted to enjoy the challenge of a steep vertical climb in the warmth of artificial light. We were happy to oblige, seeing we were able to provide the coveted equipment for that exciting exercise.

He got a foot or two stuck in the web and we saw him valiantly working on this problematic obstacle with his mandibles, but Terry helped him to speedily overcome it by tearing away some webbery with a camellia bush leaf that was handy. Before long, hurrah! He made it to the top!

And having reached the summit after such peril, he gravely resumed his habitual praying position.

That's it for now, folks. We look forward to putting up some Hobart pictures in the near future. God bless you all.