Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ice Rink - Near Home

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Happy New Year!

To celebrate we stopped by the local ice rink. People were pretty excited about the holiday, everyone saying Happy New Year and chatting. They also set off fireworks from right on the ice, and we heard a big display will go off tonight at midnight. So the girls are pretty excited about New Years. And so are our Mongolian neighbors, and now maybe we are too.
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No Skates her size, so Lydia settled for ride on a chair/sled.
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Friday, December 22, 2006

Mystery in Christmas Madness

Considering the slower pace of life here, you might expect us to be less hurried that all the bustle I imagine in North America at this time of year. Maybe we are. But at least by Mongolian standards, this week feels like a blur, and it's not even over yet. We had guest in town last night for dinner. This afternoon was the girls' Christmas program at school. Tomorrow is our school's Christmas party. It happens to be scheduled for the exact same time as the C&MA project center Christmas party. This is the place where all the cross stitch and quilting work is done, where our health clinic operates, and where some of our collegues have offices. So we don't yet know how to be in two places at once. But we're having friends over afterward!

Then we have church Sunday. Dinner at friends Sunday night. And then we're invited to another Church Christmas celebration at 3pm Christmas day.

We were talking to some Norweigen people lately, and they painted a relaxing picture of Christmas in their country. It sounded like all the parties were actually AFTER Christmas.

You know that lull that comes after all the presents are ripped, and gifts are returned? You kind of think to yourself...What do I do until New Years? I submit to you the answer: Have your Christmas party! And enjoy some time away from all the bustle before we celebrate Christ's coming to revel in the mystery and wonder of it.

Think about if someone said to you first this morning: "you will see a baby laying in an farm animal's dinner?" That would be a strange thing to say. Not as strange as seeing that sight just as it was told. The awe of Jesus is not so much that he was laid in a manger, or that it was prophesied exactly so we wouldn't miss it. His mystery is in Who He is. And when the world seems crazy and erratic, we can find our peace again in remembering who we are not in how much we give, receive, shop or socialize. We can find our place again in remembering Whose we are. Recall His mysterious birth, as a reminder and historical precursor to our spiritual birth and remember your wonder at that first glimpse of a life lived in faith and peace.

Thank God we're not hosting a Christmas party. Maybe next year. After Christmas!

I enjoyed reading something on the mystery of God lately. Have a look.

Monday, December 18, 2006

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Well good news and bad news. On our way to school last week we saw a portable fence being erected in the shape of an oval. The next day there was dirt heaped up all around the outside of the fence. And then we figured it out. The hose was stretched over the fence from a nearby apartment, filling up this fenced area like a huge bathtub. They craned in a little building with a chimney coming out of it, and poof, an instant Ice Rink.

Now when we walk home from school we see kids having a big go on the ice. We tried to join in one day, but found they didn't have kids sizes. Probably the only one of us that could be fitted for skates would be Renee. I guess if we break down and go skating in our boots over Christmas break, Renee will lead the way.