Merry Christmas!

Christmas is fun. This year I (Ingrid) am getting the maximum out of the time of Advent! I arrived home December 3rd to enjoy lazy days all the time until next semester, which starts in January. Nothing beats unlimited time to make Christmas stuff in front of the fire place. It is really good to be back home and spend time with mammy and daddy. They are jolly good as always, maybe even more than usual, in fact. Our living room has been extended into a large and bright place with room for plenty of people, and lots of free space if daddy wants to invite mammy to a dance or two in the evening. On the level below they have built a room with glass windows from ceiling to floor. Yesterday we bought curtains together for the living room, so things are really getting finished now, after more than a year of construction and remodelling.

Mum and dad Ingrid Solbjørg Magnar

Last summer my parents went on a romantic bicycling trip along the Mosel River and they have also been sailing together with my aunts Liv and Sigrun, and their “boys”. Mammy remains the children's hero at school and daddy's hero at home. And I think it is quite mutual: Mammy is the hero of cooking, decoration, and female charm, which daddy values; while daddy is her hero that brings home firewood from the forest, puts up curtains with perfect precision, and tells strange stories that he comes up with all the time. Good match, the two of them!

The reason why it is extra much fun to come home to my parents this year, and the reason for my long vacation, is that I took leave from my theology studies this fall. Jørgen (who is at least as handsome as before) and I attended DTS (discipleship training school) arranged by YWAM (youth with a mission). Our training took place in Montana (USA) for three months, followed by two months of missionary work in Nepal. The training was superb. In Nepal we got the opportunity to walk to Annapurna base camp, go by bus for 90 hours altogether, eat lots and lots of rice and lentils, meet people who had never heard about Jesus, pray for people, and watch our entire team grow closer to God. We learned about Jesus, the world, one another, and ourselves. In short, I have experienced six exceptionally great months, which has inspired me to get back to my studies with a renewed understanding of the importance of studying God's word.

My sister, Solbjørg, has been away from Bergen the last six months, staying in New Zealand to work on her PhD. She will return late January, so this will be our first Christmas without the entire family gathered. It already feels strange not to have Solbjørg around; we miss her a lot! From our Skype conversations and the pictures she sends, it seems that she is doing fine in Auckland. In addition to research, she does hiking, swimming, and dancing, and she has made many new friends. We all look forward to her homecoming early next year.

Magnar, my favourite brother, has secured the fort – our apartment in Bergen – together with two other “boys” from the dancing group. It is easy to see that they have a great time together. I am a little worried that Magnar does not want Solbjørg and me back in the apartment. One can understand that boy movies and boy food and el-piano in the living room is much preferred compared to girl movies, girl food, and scented candles. But, after all, we are family, so I still believe that he will let us in again. Magnar still dances, and he takes active part in the activities in Norkirken (The North Church). He tests out new ways to trim his beard, and he competes in NWERC (North Western European Regional Contest) in the field of algorithms. Programming of some sort, I think. All I know is that he is really good at it – and a very nice brother to Solbjørg and me.

Now Christmas is very close, and I am very happy about that! I believe we will get snow, too. And it is awesome that Jesus was born. Think about that: God became man. He takes part in our lives. It opens up so many perspectives...

The Myrtveits wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!