Friday, September 26, 2008

As previously promised

I wrote a few days ago about how Molly loves the animal sounds book. Here is the previously promised video. Matthew chimes in at the end. See another version here.

Economic perspective

If you have been worried about the economy (I mean if you haven't been under a rock for the past two weeks) you should check out this article from Christianity Today by Dave Ramsey. As always, he offers a cool-headed perspective on the times.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

End of September Update

Life is good right now at the Gammons' house. We have much to be thankful for. I'll share a few highlights.
Matthew and I went out for breakfast for his birthday. Matthew is growing into such a nice person. Three has been a difficult year for both of his brothers, but I am not sure if we will have a similar time with Matthew. I so enjoyed my time with him. How could I not? (See picture below.)The other highlight of the last week has been Caleb's conquering of his fear of riding his bike! Caleb was very nervous about learning to ride. He didn't want to fall. My mantra with him while we struggled together was, "Caleb, I want you to do the hard thing." I didn't care if he learned to ride a bike or not. I just did not want him to give in to his fears. Yesterday when I got home from work, he was so excited to show me what he and Amanda had done. I am so glad that Amanda and I are on the same page about things like this. I know some moms would just baby their boys. Not Amanda, she jumped right in there and worked with him for two hours. But Caleb was the one to do it. I am proud of him. Now we have two bike riders. Two to go.

See more pictures here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hymn of the Week--I Will Sing of My Redeemer

Last week, this hymn came on the iPod and Matthew looked at me and said, "I like this song, Daddy." I knew it needed to be this week's Hymn of the Week. We have been enjoying it. It may need to go for a couple of weeks though for us to get it down pat.

Hymn of the Week
I Will Sing of My Redeemer

Words by Phillip P. Bliss
Music by George Stebbins

I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross He suffered,
From the curse to set me free.


Sing, oh sing, of my Redeemer,
With His blood, He purchased me.
On the cross, He sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt, and made me free.


Fair trade music? That is what these artists are purporting. If you go to, you can see a list of artists that are "giving" away their music. You can download the music by either sending a message about the music to 5 e-mail addresses or by paying any price you want. I have downloaded three albums (Sorry to those who have gotten the e-mails.) There doesn't seem to be any catch.

The group of artists is headed by by Derek Webb, formerly of Caedmon's Call. He has given away his music before in other formats. I am not a huge fan of his music but I love his philosophy of art and music. The one album that I have really enjoyed from NoiseTrade is Kate York's Sadly Love. I had heard some of her music before and enjoyed it. You should definitely give it a try. Listen below.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Introverts and Extroverts

Last week I pointed out to Amanda that we definitely have both introverts and extroverts in our family. On that day, Molly was sitting on her play table playing with her doll house, Ben was his bedroom playing Lego and Caleb and Matthew were hanging out together. Caleb hates playing Lego by himself. He is always asking Ben to come and play with him. Caleb is definitely our extrovert and I think Matthew is as well. They both really enjoy being with people. Ben and Molly really need their alone time. It will be interesting to see how these personality differences develop throughout the years.

Happy Birthday, Matthew!

When Matthew was born I remember wondering how he would fit into our family. We already had these two crazy fun characters and I wondered just who this new little person would be. Matthew has been such a gift to our family. He is completely different from his two brothers (no surprise.) He is very tender and compassionate. He tells Amanda and me that he loves us a lot. He loves to cuddle Molly. He also LOVES sports and balls. He is going to be our athlete. When we asked him what he wanted for his birthday he said a football and chapstick. When he saw the jersey that we gave him (above) he was very pleased. He wore it Saturday and he had to wear it yesterday when the Vikings played. We had a great weekend celebrating the boys' birthdays. You can see the photos here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

6 years of Benjamin

He was our first.
We were thrilled, scared and excited.
He grew, stopped screaming and started smiling.
We grew too in our love for him.
Brothers and a sister were added,
But his place in our heart was sealed.

Benjamin turns six-years-old today. Last night we built a fire, played frisbee and told stories. It has been a sweet gift to enjoy spending time with our kids. Benjamin is such a pleasant person, interested in learning, enjoying being close. He likes reading, is interested in shipwrecks,video games and extreme sports.

Tomorrow we will celebrate his birthday with our yearly breakfast out. I can't wait!

Molly's back

Molly got shots a couple of weeks ago and did not react well to them. She got clingy and crabby. The last few days she has been back to her old self. She is so much fun. She loves to look through the animal board books. When she gets to the lion page she looks up and ROARS. I've got to get that on video. See some other September pictures here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

To wish list or not to wish list

My wish list publication has raised some questions. Here is my mom's comment from an earlier post.

"I'm so glad you like the thermos. It's not exactly an exciting gift, but came right off of your kaboodle list. I, for one, am a big fan of gift lists. I know the excitement of a surprise is lost, but you do get what "you always wanted" and it saves trips to the store to return the gift you didn't want or like. Or, worse yet, it keeps you from pretending you like something and then stashing it in the closet and hoping that the giver doesn't notice. I'd be interested in hearing how others feel about wish/gift lists."

In my opinion, a wish list is definitely second best. The best way to receive a gift is from a person who is involved in your life and who knows what you would like. This is also the most fun way to give a gift. It is great when you know the person is going to love your gift. Unfortunately our communities and families are fragmented to the point that this intimacy is difficult if not impossible. Gift giving has become expected, scheduled, mandated and formalized. What do you think? To wish list or not to wish list?

For those who have asked for gift lists and for those who use them, please don't take offense to this post. I wish we were all closer together so that we wouldn't need wish lists. But alas, that's not the way that God has written it. So, wish list if you will or don't wish list if you won't.

A cup of coffee

There is something beautiful about a cup of coffee: the taste, the smell, the conversations that it loosens. A colleague brought me a sample of Caribou Coffee the other day and it has been sitting on my desk, scenting my whole office. For my birthday, my mom got me the thermos pictured above. It is great. It has allowed me to transition this morning from one travel mug full to more than half a pot in my real mug. It is a huge thermos but it makes me feel very blue collar. I look forward to many enjoyable mornings with it on my desk. Thanks Mom!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hymn of the Week--The Doxology

A few weeks ago we were at Dave and Joni's house and we sang the doxology before lunch. I noticed that the boys didn't know this one. It instantly made my list for our next HOTW. This is as classic a hymn as there is. At Ripley Blvd. Baptist Church, where I grew up, this song was sung every week as the ushers came forward and right before Pastor Tim prayed to "bless both the gift and the giver". Our church and most in America don't sing it any more. This week at the Gammons house we'll be bringing it back.

Enjoy my recent favorite version of the Doxology below.

Hymn of the Week
The Doxology

Words by Thomas Ken
Music by Louis Bourgeois

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

My Kaboodle update

I just learned from a comment on my previous post about Kaboodle that you can now put things from other websites on your list. So, I have canceled my Kaboodle account and gotten back on the Amazon train. I did also set it up so that it doesn't ruin any surpises. It won't tell me what has been purchased three weeks before my birthday or anything in the month of December. Amanda told me that it was obnoxious to put your wish list on your blog. I hope that's not how it comes off.
My Wish List

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Kaboodle

I have always been disappointed in Amazon's wish list capabilities. I actually am getting to be disappointed in Amazon in general. It is great for books, but when you want to purchase other things, it is cumbersome. It would be better to just go to the source for the other items. To that end I started a couple of Kaboodle wish lists today (one for me and one for gift ideas for the fam.) I know, I know, none of you are sitting at home wondering what you could buy for me. But we do have some birthdays and holidays coming up in the next few months. I thought this would be a good way to spread the word. The great thing about it is that I can direct you right to the website that you would want to buy from. You can also just use it a resource to see the kinds of things that we're all into right now.

I've also put a slide show of both of the list on the right hand side of the blog. Check 'em out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Guys' Weekend VI

Last weekend I traveled to Plymouth, Indiana for the annual get together of my friends from college. It was a great weekend of camping, swimming, and hanging out by the camp fire. It is great to be with people who I've known and who have known me since I was 19. We will be together again (minus one) in October when we all travel to Washington state for Ken's wedding. He is the last of us to get married and I am very excited for him. It was a great weekend with great friends.