Monday, December 31, 2007


This is what is bringing Amanda some of her greatest joy these days. Amanda loves babies and is an amazing mother to them. She is also loving having another girl in the house.

Now playing: Brandi Carlile - Someday Never Comes
via FoxyTunes

Matthew Bradley

As our children grow we get to see more and more of who they are as people. We are getting to know Matthew lately. When he isn't screaming at his brothers for taking things out of his hands or telling them what is "mine", he is a hilariously fun little boy. When he gets his belly laugh going, it is enough to keep a smile on your face for a long time.----------------
Now playing: Brandi Carlile - Fall Apart Again
via FoxyTunes

Caleb Joseph is 4-years-old

One of my favorite parts of each of the boys birthdays this year has been our breakfasts out together. When we are sitting at the Cobblestone Cafe over a coffee and hot chocolate I always say to myself, "Why don't I do this more often?" This was again my sentiment as I saw the smile on Caleb's face as he wolfed down his French toast, bacon and cocoa.

We had a great weekend of celebrating Caleb. He was very excited to be the one to open presents all by himself. In September, he has to sit by while Ben and then Matthew open presents during their birthdays. Now it was his turn.
One of the other highlights of this weekend was Caleb joining us in "our class" at church. After 4-years-old, our church has kids sit in the service. It was one of the things that drew us to our church. It is a great (and at times difficult) thing. For instance, when we start to sing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and Ben looks down at me and smiles because he knows that one, it is very encouraging. We wouldn't get that type of thing if they were somewhere else. Caleb is still a little young to be there, but he will quickly catch on.

It is easy to celebrate such a beautiful and sweet person as Caleb. We love him so much and thank God for the many blessings that he brings to our family.

Now playing: Brandi Carlile - What Can I Say
via FoxyTunes

Friday, December 28, 2007

New kicks

Here's a pic of my new kicks.

A Very Large GOD

I have been gripped lately by how comforting, exciting, restful and amazing the thought of our all-powerful, all-knowing, all-controlling, all-initiating our God is. These thoughts have been shaped mostly by the teaching of Pastor John, but also by a few other resources.

When we were in Alpena for Thanksgiving, Mom gave me a few books. One of them was Climbing the Heights a devotional compiled by Al Bryant. It was my dad's book, given to him by his Aunt Hilma and Uncle Max. (Great names!) I took it mostly because of that, but it has proven to be a great way to start my mornings, filled with thoughts like this from this morning.

Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path.
-Psalm 27:11

"God only is holy, He alone knows how to lead His children in the paths of holiness. He knows every aspect of your soul, every thought of your heart, every secret of your character, its difficulties and hindrances; He knows how to mold you to His will, and lead you onwards; He knows exactly how each event, each trial, each temptation, will tell upon you, and He disposes all things accordingly. The consequences of this belief, if fully grasped, will influence your whole life. You will seek to give yourself up to God more and more unreservedly, asking nothing, refusing nothing, wishing nothing, but what He wills; not seeking to bring things about for yourself, taking all He sends joyfully, and believing the "one step" set before you to be enough for you. You will be satisfied that even though there are clouds around, and your way seems dark, He is directing all, and that which seems a hindrance will prove a blessing , since He wills it."
-Jean Nicolas Grou

Another great book that I just got for Christmas is The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan prayers and devotions. I read the following prayer at the Dave Nagel Christmas dinner. Afterwards, I said to Dave, "Say what you will about Reformed theology, but the part that I love about it is that it is all about Christ initiating and doing the work. If my salvation and relationship with God were left up to me, I would fail every time."

What shall I render to thee for the gift of gifts,
thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
my redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
his self-emptying incomprehensible,
his infinity of love beyond the heart's grasp.
Herein is wonder of wonders:
he came below to raise me above,
was born like me that I might become like him.
Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to him he draws near on wings of grace,
to raise me to himself.
Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
he united them in indissoluble unity, the uncreate and the created.
Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with now will to return to him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
he came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost,
as man to die my death,
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for me.
O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds, and
enlarge my mind;
let me hear good tiding of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father;
place me with ox, ass, camel, goat,
to look with them upon my redeemer's face,
and in him account myself delivered from sin;
let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart,
embrace him with undying faith,
exulting that he is mine and I am his.
In him thou hast given me so much that heaven can give no more.

My prayer for each of you is that God might, through Christ, draw each of you unto himself in a greater and deeper way, maybe for the first time; and that we might all respond, through grace, with great joy, obedience and exaltation.


I was out last night experimenting with my new camera. I had on my new Converse All Stars and I felt like I was in college again. It was a fun night.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New camera at the Gammons' house

If you read often, you have read my laments about our old Sony camera. As far back as Halloween I reference my hope of getting a digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera. Amanda came through in a HUGE way this Christmas! She got me a Nikon D40x. It is a great camera! Already I have been able to take some really fun great pictures. I am so looking forward to exploring this unit. Thanks sweetheart!

New photos from Christmas

There are new photos on our Picasa page from Christmas. Check them out.

Now playing: Ryan Adams - Two Hearts
via FoxyTunes

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Gammons family. We have so enjoyed a few days of celebrating our Lord's birth. We hope that you have been surrounded by friends and family as we have. If not, I pray that you have been especially surrounded by Christ's love.

Now playing: Ryan Adams - The Sun Also Sets
via FoxyTunes

Monday, December 17, 2007

Molly at 5 months (approximately)

This is our little Honey Bunny! It has been an amazing five months. Molly has been a great addition to our family, one that we thank God for daily.

Christmas shopping at the Mall of America

If you were thinking of a nice quiet place to finish up your Christmas shopping on one of the last Saturday's before Christmas, the Mall of America would not be somewhere that I would recommend. Nevertheless, Amanda, Molly and I ventured down to the MOA this weekend. We left Ben and Caleb with Dave and Joni and Matthew stayed with Grandma Shube. (Thanks!) It was actually not as crazy as I thought it might be. We did opt for the valet parking though. ($7 well spent.) When people are waiting for others to pull out of their spots, you know it is a busy day at the mall. I took Molly and walked around the whole first floor and then the whole third floor before we met Amanda for lunch. I had a Nathan's hot dog, mmmm! It was a pretty relaxing morning. Once we hooked back up with Amanda though things started to get stressful. Everywhere that we needed to go either didn't have what we wanted or the line was out the door. We were able to get almost completely done with shopping though. Gregg and Allison come this week and then Christmas will be in full swing. I am looking forward to having some time off of work and being with family.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Winter in Minnesota

Winter in Minnesota is one of those things that must be embraced. It certainly isn't going anywhere. As the boys get older we are getting better and better at this. I always enjoyed winter in Alpena: skating, sledding, skiing, getting into accidents with my new driver's license.

Yesterday we went sledding with Dave and Brad. It was a lot of fun. I got some great videos and photos. Caleb and Ben both loved it. Caleb fizzled out toward the end, but Ben would have stayed for another hour. We are looking forward to doing more outside activities when Gregg and Allison come up for Christmas. Bring your long johns.

Now playing: Indigo Girls - Tried To Be True
via FoxyTunes

Friday, December 7, 2007

Neko Case

If you like female artists like Patty Griffin, Karin Bergquist (Over the Rhine), Gillian Welch, and Emmylou Harris, but also like a little rock and roll turned up to "11", you'll love Neko Case. She is considered one of the best female alt-country performers around. She croons like Karin Berquist, but howls like Springsteen. I love her artistic expressions. Her songs are not just the typical love songs or topical songs. They are more works of art with great description.

I discovered her through Paste Magazine and found out that I liked her through the music that she and her label give away on the net. (Why don't more artists and labels do this?) If you'd like to check out Neko, get some of her music here, here, here (a great live show), or here (NPR live concerts podcast). On the NPR live concerts podcast you can also download a great show from a band that Neko plays with, The New Pornographers. They are a great band. After you've listened to all of this, let me know what you think.


Now playing: The National - Start A War
via FoxyTunes


One of the most important things for the sanity of the boys and thus our sanity is that the boys have some time outside every day to burn off some energy. This is really easy in the summer. We just send them outside and say, "Don't kill each other." Since the cold weather has come to Minnesota this has become much more difficult. When they finally do get outside after layers and layers, the boys really love it. The other night while I was out shoveling the driveway, the boys and I played for about an hour and a half. It was great. The funniest part of the boys playing outside is that Matthew can hardly walk once he gets his clothes all on (think A Christmas Story.) You can see the rest of our December pictures here.

Now playing: The National - Apartment Story
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Crazy Caleb

One of the things that we have noticed lately about Caleb is that his little mind is always running. He makes connections with concepts so quickly and it is a lot of fun to watch this happen. Yesterday Amanda told me this story.

Our church recently started a new campaign to pay off our campus' building and to begin some other work. They call it Treasuring Christ Together. We have talked to the boys about this and how we can be involved. Amanda was talking with Caleb about church and money and how we should all try and give some of our money to God. His response was, "Yeah! And then maybe I can have TWO snacks." We got a pretty good laugh out of that.

Now playing: Los Straitjackets - Sleigh Ride
via FoxyTunes

Monday, December 3, 2007

America's Cheapest Family

When we were in Alpena, somehow Amanda and my mom got on the topic of saving money. Mom, as she is oft to do, went to the World Wide Web. She found the book called America's Cheapest Family. I haven't read the book, but from the book report that I got here are some highlights.
  • The family is a mom and dad and their four kids. They home educated their kids. They never come out with it, but Amanda said she thought they were Christians.
  • The family paid off their first home in 9 years.
  • They grocery shop once a month. It takes them five hours, using coupons and walkie talkies to communicate.
  • The book outlines lots of ways to pinch pennies, cut corners and get lots of deals.
Amands said that she really enjoyed the book. She whizzed through it. So it looks like its time for some belt tightening at the Gammons house. If you're interested in reading the book, I'm sure Amanda would pass it along.