Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas party

I've come to the conclusion that you can take a group of teenagers, give them a place to hang out for awhile, sling some food at them, and provide a few simple things to do, and they will be happy.

Today we had about 20 juniors and seniors from school over--just invited any who wanted to come after school was out at noon. It was an interesting mixture of kids, not at all a typical group who hangs out together at school. I asked with trepidation if any of them wanted to paint ornaments, figuring they would think it was "uncool" to do so. The girls immediately said yes, and after awhile even some of the boys decided to paint ornaments too! Meanwhile, some of the others played Scattergories and then Guesstures while an older movie played in the background, and after awhile went out and shot baskets. They grazed on chips and rice krispie bars, with a little fudge thrown in after awhile. They came and went all afternoon, for about five hours.

And they all seemed to have a great time.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Year of Jubilee

Today I start my "year of jubilee."

I asked Mike if he was going to trade me in on two 25-year-olds. He said we're both too old for that.

I wonder if being in a "year of jubilee" means that I can lie fallow for a year?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Final Product

I don't think I ever posted the final photos of the new porch.

We will enjoy some nice times out there when the weather is warmer! And with the record setting temps. of this December, we ate out there last night--all four of us, around the card table. No furniture yet!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Orion and the beauty in the heavens

This year I have a group of students who are very interested at learning the constellations and their positions in the sky. (Some years there is more interest than others.) It's always exciting to have young people come in to class in the mornings and say "I saw it last night!" One night I got a phone call from a student--I had told him it was OK to call--and he said "I'm outside, and I can't find the Great Square--can you show me where it is?" So I went outside and guided him to find it in the overhead sky. They're really getting the picture and seeing the beauty of how the pattern works throughout the night and throughout the seasons.

I always love the first time I see Orion each year. It's like an old friend returning. Of course, when it first comes up in late November and December, it's lying on its "back," as if the picture above was turned 90 degrees counterclockwise. That picture is an overexposure of Orion in the night sky; it's easy to see how Betelgeuse (upper left corner) is a red star, and the Great Nebula of Orion is easily visible in the sword. Those wouldn't be as visible to the naked eye.

Each time I see Orion for the first time in the evening autumn sky, I am reminded of the great and majestic testimony of our universe--how our great God planned and put all this in order, and set the earth spinning and revolving in perfect harmony so that life could thrive. It is an annual and beautiful reminder to me that underneath me are His everlasting arms.