Time does not stop

How can two weeks go by so quickly?

Not only did time not stop, it flew.

Even though we were just getting ready for Christmas (just washing the Thanksgiving dishes it seems like), now we are preparing to welcome in the new year on the road, to reflect and celebrate together.  The new year! 

We will lift glasses of bubbly, play killer speed scrabble, hopefully get to play in some snow, and enjoy the time we have together. 

And while some are watching the Rose Parade and every possible bowl game on New Years Day, I will go further north to take Madelaine back to school.

Goodbyes are not getting any easier, but maybe time will move as quickly this quarter as it did during these precious two weeks together?  I can only hope and pray.

But tonight we celebrate, laugh, give thanks, and celebrate some more.

Happy New Year to you!

The Friday Clive

"You needn't worry about not feeling brave. Our Lord didn't - see the scene in Gethsemane. How thankful I am that when God became man He did not choose to become a man of iron nerves; that would not have helped weaklings like you and me nearly so much."

Christmas photo shoot

Setting the stage.

(Or being a totem pole.  Not sure.)



Nice again.

The annual, "How do I use this timer feature?" challenge.
Not like this!

Merry Christmas!

And the crowd goes wild.

The Friday Clive

Among the ox (like an ox I'm slow)
I see a glory in the stable grow
Which, with the ox's dullness might at length
Give me an ox's strength.

Among the asses (stubborn I as they)
I see my Savior where I looked for hay;
So may my beastlike folly learn at least
The patience of a beast.

Among the sheep (I like a sheep have strayed)
I watch the manger where my Lord is laid;
Oh that my baa-ing nature would thence
Some woolly innocence!


Another debate year has begun, and so has the success.

Well done, son!

And well done, Auburn Debate Club!

The shortest day of the year

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.

by Susan Cooper
(HT: Donna, via wonderful Quiet Life Comment Section member Jep)

It is hard to believe that yesterday was the shortest day of the year. When I am sick, time does not fly. And when I am sick and I haven't finished my Christmas shopping and I am on the couch and unable to blow my nose even though I should be able to blow my nose for an hour without running out of a reason for blowing my nose? Well let's just say I totally forgot that it was the shortest day of the year.

But it was. And today, as I finally dragged my slug body out to get a few more things done before Christmas, I realized how hard it is for me to remember that life will not always be what it is right now. When I am sick, I cannot imagine being well. When it is raining, I cannot imagine that the sun will shine again.

But yesterday was the shortest day of the year, which means that today is longer. And tomorrow will be longer. Time passes, things change. I might even feel better tomorrow. I might actually be done with Christmas shopping before Christmas. These are all very encouraging facts.

And now the days start tipping toward the light, toward length of days and summer's warmth. And even though today is another rainy day, and I still can't blow my nose, and I have to do my Christmas shopping despite how I feel, I am filled with thoughts of light and hope.

The people walking in darkness 
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness 
a light has dawned. 
Isaiah 9:2

I love ...

these girls.  So much.

Twenty-five years ago today...

...there was a young man and a young woman on a beach in Montara, California. The sun had set, the picnic dinner had been delicious, and they were talking about their recently discovered differences. The young man concluded the discussion with, "Well, that doesn't seem insurmountable. Want to marry me?" At first the young woman thought he had said, "Isn't it a merry evening?", but it quickly became clear that The Question had been popped. An enthusiastic "yes" was the answer, and here we are twenty-five years later.

~Not quite twenty-five years ago~

So much changes in twenty-five years, but after all this time I am more aware than ever that saying yes to this man was the best decision I would ever make.  I am grateful.


The Fourth Sunday in Advent

I am not worthy, O Lord and Master, that You should enter under the roof of my soul; but since You in Your love for men do will to dwell in me, I take courage and approach. You command I will open wide the doors which You alone did create, that You may enter with love as is Your nature, enter and enlighten my darkened thought. I believe that You will do this, for You did not banish the Harlot who approached You with tears, nor did You reject the Publican who repented, nor did You drive away the Thief who acknowledged Your Kingdom, nor did You leave the repentant persecutor (Paul) to himself; but all who had been brought to You by repentance You did set in the company of Your friends, O You Who alone are blessed always, now and to endless ages. Amen.

~St. John Chrysostom~

God With Us

A sign shall be given
A virgin will conceive
A human baby bearing
Undiminished deity
The glory of the nations
A light for all to see
That hope for all who will embrace
His warm reality

Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us

For all those who live in the shadow of death
A glorious light has dawned
For all those who stumble in the darkness
Behold your light has come

Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us

So what will be your answer?
Will you hear the call?
Of Him who did not spare His son
But gave him for us all
On earth there is no power
There is no depth or height
That could ever separate us
From the love of God in Christ

Our God is with us
And if God is with us
Who could stand against us
Our God is with us

by Michael Card
from the album Joy in the Journey

"The implications of the name 'Immanuel' are both comforting and unsettling. Comforting, because He has come to share the danger as well as the drudgery of our everyday lives. He desires to weep with us and to wipe away our tears. And what seems most bizarre, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, longs to share in and to be the source of the laughter and the joy we all too rarely know."
- Michael Card

HT: Grace (thanks again for your lovely email)

The Friday Clive

"Something really new did happen at Bethlehem:  not an interpretation but an event.  God became Man.  On the other hand there must be a sense in which God, being outside time, is changeless and nothing ever "happens" to Him.  I think I should reply that the event at Bethlehem was a novelty, a change to the maximum extent to which any event is a novelty or change: but that all time and all events in it, if we cd. see them all at once and fully understand them, are a definition or diagram of what God eternally is.  But that is quite different from saying that the incarnation was simply an interpretation, or a change in our knowledge.  When Pythagoras discovered that the square on the hypotenuse was equal to the sum of the squares on the other sides he was discovering what had been just as true the day before though no one knew it.  But in 50 B.C. the proposition "God is Man" wd. not have been true in the same sense in wh. it was true in 10 AD. because tho the union of God and Man in Christ is a timeless fact, in 50 B.C. we hadn't yet gt to that bit of time which defines it."

I Orienteering Meeting of Gouveia - advertisement

After having organized the Portugal O'Meeting 2009, which was a recognized success, CPOC (my portuguese orienteering club) is now organizing the I Orienteering Meeting of Gouveia that will take place on the 5th and 6th of February 2010 in the highest portuguese mountains, "Serra da Estrela".

The competition will be constituted by a Long Distance in a rocky maze...

(sample of the Long Distance map)

...and a Mixed Distance event (middle with transition to sprint - NOC2010 style) in a fast forest map and a tricky village map (plus a Open race on Saturday evening).

(sample of the Mixed Distance event maps)

You may find the English version of the Buletin nº1 by clicking here.

CPOC has already received participation intentions by World-class Orienteerers such as Olav Lundanes, Ionut Zinca or the Austrian National Team so we now think that we have all the ingredients to a memorable event.

Official "I Orienteering Meeting of Gouveia" website here.
Official "I Orienteering Meeting of Gouveia" Facebook page here.

So, see you in Portugal, soon...

Morning musings

The view from where I sit is sparkling with sunshine and clear skies.  The bare tree branches outside are a stark silhouette, and the moss of the lower branches glimmers like Hobbiton in the morning light.  I can feel the chill of the day seeping through the old window frames in this lumbering house my daughter calls her home during the school year. It is good to be here.

She is packing, and soon she and I will join all those who have left town for Christmas holidays.  Driving alone yesterday, with only Jan Karon's new novel to keep me company (and a welcome phone call...thank you, Carol), I was eager to just get here, for time to move faster than possible.  Now I am ready for time to slow, stop if it cared to.  I am so glad to be together.

The dirt on the windows makes for lousy pictures, the age of the glass causes the clarity to wobble, too. But I love being on this bed, looking out at these trees, seeing the sunshine sparkling in the Eugene sky, and having Madelaine bustling away around me.

Yes, if time could stop. Just for a bit.

Jane Austen

Jane Austen was born on this day in 1775, and I am so glad she was.  Happy Birthday, dear Jane!

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery."

"There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart."

"There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort."

Noite de Natal da Escola

No dia 14/12/2010 foi realizada a Programação de Natal na Escola. Foi um momento muito marcante e bonito.
Tivemos a presença do Coral Vozes do Arco-Íris da Escola e o Coral da Igreja São João Batista, regidos pela professora Marielli Costa Beber.
O PastorCleudimar Robson Wulf  da Igreja Evangélica Luterana também trouxe uma mensagem sobre o significado do Natal e sua importância.
A professora Carla Almeida da turma 42 organizou a apresentação de um teatro sobre o Nascimento de Jesus.
Para encerrar os alunos, em conjunto, cantaram uma música e a aluna Neidi, da 8ª série, também teve uma participação especial cantando a música "Noite Santa".