Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Hope For My Boys

I have been very limited over the last year or more in my times of uninterrupted thought, times when I have energy to vision for myself and my family, to hope and ponder what God has for our future.  With life beginning to settle down, I am once again finding this gift.

Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my boys and what I hope for their growing up years to be.  Ben is about to turn 9-years-old.  There's no turning back.  We're about to get in the thick of it.  Ben will remember everything from here on out.  Amanda is reading a book that my mom sent entitled Boys Should Be Boys by Meg Meeker.  I pulled the following from Amazon which said it was on the back cover.

* Why the most important factor in shaping your son's behavior isn't "peer pressure" (it's you)
* How to preserve your son's innocence (and why it's essential to help him grow up)
* Why boys need less, not more--whether it's computer games, organized sports, or lessons
* How to talk to your son--the pitfalls that moms and dads face
* Why it's not normal for teenage boys to be moody and rebellious
* Why teaching your son about virtue isn't an option, it's a necessity

Pretty much the gist of it is (from what Amanda has told me) that what boys need most is their fathers and to be pushed to be adventurous and given the time and freedom to take those risks.

I was talking with a good friend last week about this topic and about how when I was younger I had many fun and memorable experiences. Many of them were us getting into trouble. For instance, we used to drive around town with one of us on the roof of my parents Olds 88. They would lay across the roof and hold on. Anyone of us could have fallen off there and died. Probably not the best idea, but it was a great story to tell afterwards. I told my friend last week that I hoped that my boys would live lives that would lead to great stories that would also honor and glorify God.

I think one thing that has happened in the last four or so decades is a shift from fathers being the primary early influences on boys to mothers be that influence. Mothers naturally are more worried about the personal safety of the boys. How many of us have heard mothers (and even fathers now) say to their kids at a playground, "Johnny, careful or you're going to get hurt."? I want my boys to be put into situations where the worst thing that could happen to them is that they might get hurt or die. I think that boys are put and putting themselves into situation where the worst thing that could happen is for them to lose their souls.
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?
Mark 8:36
If your boy is downstairs on his computer all day, he's probably not going to get hurt.  But there's a good chance he could lose his soul.

One of my new favorite artists is Andrew Peterson.  The song below talks about boys living lives where there is a tale to tell.  This is the kind of life I hope for my boys.  This is why we moved to the farm.  This is why I push them to work.  This is why I push them to read amazing stories.  This is why I pray for them.  "The joy in the journey is enough to make a grown man cry."  Ben, Caleb, Matthew, I look forward to your telling the tales.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Live blog the Minnesota State Fair

Mark Seeley and Gary Eichten doing a live broadcast at the MPR booth.  It's fun to see the people who you listen to on the radio.

Matthew checking out a newborn calf at the Miracle of Birth center.  Matthew LOVES the animals.

This is my new tractor.  I WISH!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Over at Justin Taylor's blog, he had a couple of great posts about grace.  First, enjoy the Blind Boys of Alabama's version of "Amazing Grace" set to the tune of "The House of the Rising Sun."  I love the guttural tones and the idea that God has changed the song for those of us who have escaped the brothel (The House of the Rising Sun) to sing about his amazing grace.

Second, watch this scene from the 1998 film Les Miserables.  I love what the bishop says in the very last seconds.  I am Jean Valjean.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fighter Verse Songs Blog

Our church uses a program called Fighter Verses to memorize scripture.  One of our good friends is part of a group that writes songs to help facilitate the memorization of these verses.  They have a blog as well that talks about application of the week's verse.  I have been doing a little writing there for the past few weeks.  If you'd like, go on over and take a look.  You can also hear this weeks corresponding song.  Fight Verse Songs blog.

Weekend Project

Our pond had been looking pretty rough.  It was so full of algae that Gregg commented that it looked like you could walk across it.  We had wanted to get some sort of aeration system for a while.  We had someone out from Dulcet Fountains in Minneapolis.  They recommended a few products and we went with a floating aerating fountain.  After some pretty simple assembly on Friday night, Saturday morning I jumped in the pond, staked it out and we were in business.  It's already gotten rid of almost all the algae and it's pretty too.

Country Living: Overalls

When I posted about the kids selling our excess produce, my sales consultant suggested that they purchase some overalls.  What do you think?  Could you pass up buying some cukes from this sales team?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Waning of Summer

It seems as if summer is begin to give up the ghost.  Amanda has been daily trying to take advantage of the limited amount of free days with the kids.  Sooner than later they will begin school and their days will be packed with math, reading, history and handwriting.  We are still looking forward to the state fair which will officially end our summer.

Today Amanda took the kids up to one of the local state parks to climb the bluffs along the St. Croix River.  It's a great place and the kids love it.  I wish I could have been there.  Amanda sends me photos like this throughout the day to keep me involved.  Happy end of summer everyone.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Future Entrepreneurs

Fresh cucumbers, 25 cents.  That's what the sign said on Saturday morning in front of our house.  We've been getting a bumper crop of cukes out of our garden so we told the kids to set up shop at the end or our driveway. It was a ton of fun to watch them all out there.  At first they didn't do a great job of customer service.  After my brief lesson though, they were off and running.  They sold through their stock and made almost $8.00.  My favorite quotes from the morning were when Caleb said to a woman, "If you see us out here again, be sure to stop."  Then the next day Caleb asked Amanda, "Can we only sell cucumbers on Saturday?"  I think he may have the itch.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


As we were all taking family photos at my mom this week, Caleb decided to have a little fun.  I pulled three photos to give you an example of his antics.  He was like this in most of them though.  I would love to get into his mind and see what he was thinking during all of this.  I love this kid.  He's a barrel of laughs.

If you don't know Caleb very well, he doesn't really have a lazy eye.  Compare to the family pictures below.

Gammons Family Reunion

We had a nice time with my family in Alpena and were able to get some pictures of our ever expanding family.  Thanks to everyone for making the long trip up.

Monday, August 1, 2011


We're growing things at our house.  We came home yesterday to see that our garden did great over the week we were gone.  Two bags full of cucumbers, corn as tall as me, tons of tomatoes on the vines and the watermelon pictured below.

July Update

I read a while back that a blog is updated at least every day or two.  If you don't update that often, then you're just a website.  Amanda suggested that due to my lack of updating, I pull down this website.  I don't think I'm ready to do that yet.  I actually have quite a few posts ready to get up.  Look for those early this week.

To get started, here's a quick July update.

We celebrated the 4th of July with a great party and a mess of friends at our house.

We celebrated Molly's fourth birthday.  I loved go out for breakfast with her.  The cousins all got together to celebrate at Micky D's.

Lucy's hair got long enough to put into pig tails.

We spent the last week in Michigan at my mom's house with my siblings and their families.  There will be more to come on that, but here's a teaser.

We look forward to continuing to share our lives with you in this way.  Thanks for checking back.  Thanks for reading.