Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Underneath the stars
Just a simple man and wife
somewhere in the dark
his words cut the silent night

Take my hand for the child
That you carry is God's own
And though it seems the road is long,

We're not that far from Bethlehem
Where all our hope and joy began
For in our arms we'll cherish him
We're not that far from Bethlehem

Let us celebrate
As the Christmases go by
Learn to live our days
with our hearts near to the child

Ever drawn, ever close
To the only love that lasts
And though two thousand years have passed

We're not that far from Bethlehem
Where all our hope and joy began
For when our hearts still cherish him
We're not that far....

We're not that far from Bethlehem

Song by Point of Grace

Sunday, December 20, 2009

On bullets and birthdays

I know I haven't been super active on my blog lately. There are a few reasons for that, one being that coming back from Kenya is proving harder than I thought it would be. Not so much missing it, though I DO, very much. (Huh... just remembered that I dreamed I saw my friend Janet from Korr in the middle of a herd of camels meandering through Gastown last night. Weird). There's just other stuff that I'm not even sure how to talk about, let alone write about. Life is still good, just hard.

Oh, and today marks four months that I've been home! Crazy!

So here are some updates, bullet-style.

* I'm on holidays!!! Good heavens sakes alive, I was going nuts last week. Just super worn out and my brain was having far more malfunctions than usual (hehe). I haven't had an extended period of rest since summer 2008. So yeah, I'm tired! Good thing it's Christmas holidays and I have two weeks off to rest... oh wait, I don't... let me introduce you to bullet number two.

* I'm going to Saint Louis! The AIM Canada office called me about two weeks ago to ask if I'd like to go to Urbana, a huuuuuge missions conference held every three years. They wanted a Canadian rep at the booth for the conference. Five hours a day at the booth, and after that I get to take in the seminars and the city (me and 23,000 other people! Yeah, Urbana is HUGE). So at 4am on December 27 I'm headed to the airport and flying to Missouri! I'm excited! (And for economy rate I get to fly back on business class! Booyeah!) I'll be taking my laptop FOR SURE, because of bullet number three.

* Pictures! Good gracious, I have thousands of photos from my trip I have barely touched yet. And a book I've promised to make about the Tirrim project. And slideshows/presentations about my trip to make. And I was planning on working on all that over the week that I'll be at Urbana. Hmm... maybe I can do both??? I'll have time on the planes and lots of time when I'm not at the AIM booth, right? Ach, I know me. I'll want to jam in every seminar I can to take advantage of being at Urbana. It's been really hard to work on the photos and the presentation this fall because of bullet number four.

* (side note - is anyone getting the impression that these bullets and 'smooth transitions' are more of an excuse to be lazy and not write properly? No? Good, I didn't think so.) Bullet number four. My computer is a dinosaur. And it's suddenly come to the realization that "Hey, wait, dinosaurs are extinct!" It is making every effort to join it's counterparts in extincty-ness, and, despite my best efforts to the contrary, it is winning. It started with all the sites I log into and tell my computer to remember not remembering me anymore. I have to enter my user and password every. single. time. Then Firefox started randomly shutting down on me. Really fun. Mid email, mid reading, mid video - BOOM. Crashes. But the MOST fun is when my computer just randomly turns off. It restarts itself, but it takes forever, and whatever I was working on is gone. See why working on pictures from Kenya scares the crap out of me? No way no how am I going to risk losing ANYTHING (and yes, I have them backed up. Twice. On two different external hard drives. So really I shouldn't worry, but it just makes doing ANYTHING really, really annoying.). And then there was that time a few days ago when the computer crashed totally, didn't turn back on (in fact, I couldn't GET it back on), and started making this weird beeping siren-y noise that took a full 30 seconds to stop even after I unplugged it. Um, hello, Santa? Got any brand new computers in your sack for me?

How appropriate. No sooner had I typed that last question mark and hit "save" (thankfully I've learned to save every three seconds!) did Mr. Compysaurus Rex die on me again! It came to life again, except now I'm the one who feels like roaring!

BUT, in other news... today is a birthday (an anniversary?)! A milestone, if you will! I've been blogging for FIVE YEARS!

Here's my first post! It's riveting. (What can I say, I was a newbie!) :) But five years has brought a heck of a lot! New friends, new jobs, learning to do a little bit of blog designing, stalkers, changing schools, heartbreak, a trip to Africa, lots and lots of learning... it's definitely been fun (well, except for the heart break and the stalker bits!).

So Happy Birthday to HelloHillary! I truly do love this crazy tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful, beautiful life!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I knew it was Christmas time because...

Miss Hillary's class has been working on "stretchy sentences" and "wow words" lately, using a variety of tactics. One is the framework below...

I knew it was Christmas time because
On Monday I saw one...
On Tuesday I saw two...
On Wendesday I saw three...
On Thursday I saw four...
On Friday I saw five...
... and that's how I knew it was Christmas!

The kids have to finish the sentences by picking a Christmas THING, telling what KIND of thing it is, and telling what is was DOING. (Adjective - subject noun - verb phrase, for all you grammar nuts!)

For example: On Monday I saw one green Christmas tree glowing in the window.

I've given the kids licence to be creative and silly, provided the objects are Christmasy type objects and the sentences make sense. And they CRACK me up! Here are a few of the best...

I knew it was Christmas time because...

On Monday, I saw one angry Christmas tree jumping on a nerd.
On Tuesday I saw two live snowballs burying Santa in the snow.
On Wednesday I saw three chocolate reindeer eating each other.
On Thursday I saw four "chuddy" (chubby) gingerbread men running from people who want to eat them.
On Friday I saw five flying snow angels sticking their fingers in their noses.

On Monday I saw one shiny Christmas tree running away from people.
On Tuesday I saw two teeny weeny snowmen melting in a desert.
On Wednesday, I saw three funny, chocolatey reindeer shaking fairy dust to bring Santa to town.
On Thursday I saw four humoungous snowflakes crushing elves.
On Friday I saw four bad Santas stealing presents from teachers.

On Monday I saw oneround Snata laughing "Ho! Ho! Ho!"
On Tuesday I saw two bright green Christmas trees dancing in the school.
On Wednesday I saw three plain stockings running away from Sanata (complete with picture of an angry Santa saying, "Get back here!")
On Thursday I saw four little snowflakes walking down the hill.
On Friday I saw five itty bitty reindeer dancing in a field.

On Monday I saw one glittery snowflake dancing to the ground.
On Tuesday I saw two cheeky red and green mice in stockings nibbling on cheese.
On Wednesday I saw three gigantic Santa reindeer practicing thier take off.
On Thursday I saw four skinny bald Santas yelling at each other.
On Friday I saw five fat tall Christmas trees giving high fives to me.

And THAT'S how I knew it was Christmas.

How do YOU know that it's Christmas?