Tuesday, December 29, 2009


From Lucy Ruth

When we named Molly's middle name after her great grandma Pearl, I wrote a post about why we made that decision.  When we were deciding on names for our newest Gammons girl, we new from the start that we wanted to have her middle name be Ruth.  It holds a few significances: Shirley's (Amanda's mom's) middle name is also Ruth and my grandma's (Dad's mom's) name was Ruth.

I could celebrate so many things about my grandma.  She was lavish with her love.  She would open the windows and "air out" the house for days before we came for a visit.  My love of sweets is an inherited gift.  Breakfast at her house was either Froot Loops or pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream.  Everything that my mother knows and that I would eventually learn about hospitality we learned from Grandma.  When people were in her home, she served them.  I loved to sit next to her and touch her wrinkly smooth skin and wonder at her big bicep.  She played with us.  She touched us.  ("Do you need an adjustment?")  She payed us endless attention.  She laughed.  Her life ended too soon.  When my dad died, it broke her heart and began her downward path.  She and Grandpa died within a month of each other.

The thing that I will always be thankful to her and Grandpa and especially to God for though, is the heritage of faith that she and her family have given to me and my family.  I love Jesus because Grandma loved Jesus.  My mom became a Christian, I think, through the love of my dad's family.  I can still hear her reading Our Daily Bread and a psalm from the KJV around the breakfast table.  That made an impression.  When I pull the Bible out after dinner, I think of her.

My hope for Lucy Ruth is that some day she will grow into the kind of lavishly loving, always serving, ever laughing, woman of God that my Grandma Ruth was.  I wish my dad were alive to know how important he and his family are to me.  I was 19 when he died.  Too young to have figured any of this out.  I look forward to the time, through God's grace, when I can introduce Grandpa Don and Great Grandma Ruth to sweet little Lucy Ruth Gammons.  Maranatha!  Come Lord Jesus.

You can see some more photos from the last few days by clicking on Lucy's picture below. 

Lucy Ruth

Happy Birthday, Cal Joe

Six years ago we a got a great Christmas gift.  Caleb is the life of the party at our house.  His creativity, care and excitement are his best attributes.  I am excited to see what this year holds for our little Caleb Joseph as he moves from a preschooler into the life of a kid.  We love you Cay!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Lucy Ruth Gammons

Today, out of his unwarranted grace and mercy, the Lord has richly blessed us with our newest daughter, Lucy Ruth Gammons.  She was born through cesarean section at 1:54 PM.  She weighed 6 lbs. 15 oz.  (our smallest yet.)  Amanda is doing well.  We are all thrilled.  Thanks for praying for us.  More pictures to come.


1:00 PM.
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What are you doing for Christmas?

Here's our tentative schedule.
  • Christmas Eve service at church
  • Christmas morning at home
  • Christmas with Amanda's family
  • Having a baby
Merry Christmas to you and yours.  May God draw you to himself as you celebrate the birth of our savior.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gammons Annual Christmas Lights Tour

Friday night we went out to do our annual Christmas lights tour. We usually just drive around and see what we can come up with. This year, I checked the listing in the Star Tribune. I wish I would have brought my camera. There were some pretty good ones. I'll list our couple of favorites and make a few comments.

Shoreview (These are both close to church and both worth seeing.)

303 Snail Lake Rd.: Light display synchronized to music courtesy of the Borowick and Jensen families. Food-shelf donations are being collected, and you can preview at www.mnlightshow.com.

492 W. County Road J: Rich and Tina Haavisto have pumped up the holiday spirit with 74 different inflatables to decorate their yard and house. (There were so many blow-up things in their yard, there was not room for anything else. This symbolized the spectacle of Christmas.)

If you have seen these or are planning on it, let us know what you think.


Yesterday morning the boys and I went down to our neighborhood rink to do some ice skating. I spent some time trying to teach the boys and then I decided to do some skating of my own. I flew up and down the ice. The next thing I new I was in the back of an ambulance and eventually in the ER.

The boys performed exceptionally. Ben and Matthew stayed by me and helped me to get up. Caleb ran for help and got some of the neighbors to come and call 911. He even remembered our phone number so they could call Amanda.

It was a concussion, but not much more (as you can see from Ben's picture above.) I was able to go to church this morning, but I feel like someone has beaten me up. I'm thankful for God's gift of ibuprofen. It may be a few days until I'm back out on the ice.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Why I Blog

I blog for my family.

I blog for my friends.

I have found that the main benefit of blogging for me is that when I see my family or friends in person I get to skip the normal first portion of conversation. They don't have to ask, "So what have you been up to?" They already know. This why I appreciate when my family blogs. It helps us go just a little deeper than we would have otherwise. I blog about my thoughts too for this reason. It helps promote deeper conversation when I see my friends and family.

If you're not family, you're always welcome. If you're not a friend I see that often, you're welcome too. Family and friends, keep up the blogging. I love it and it helps me feel more a part of your lives.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Favorite Picture

I love the innocence in Matthew's face. That's who he is all the time. I love the interest in Aunt Loretta's face. That's who she is. I love the light.

Read Alouds--The Door in the Wall

We just finished Marguerite De Angeli's The Door in the Wall. It was okay, but I would have to say that it was our first real miss from our home school curriculum's read aloud list. I think the boys liked it but it was hard for me to plod through. It is the story of a medieval boy in England. His father is off fighting the Scots, his mother is a hand maid to the ailing queen and he is left to be taken care of by a monk and a traveling minstrel. The last three chapters were the most exciting. I'll let you read it for yourself and see what you think.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Small Groups

Here are Abraham's 5 reasons he doesn't like to be in a small group.

1. It’s another church service.
2. You’re either in or out.
3. Quitting feels like breaking up.
4. Kids equal chaos.
5. I’d rather be by myself.

How about you? Are you in a small group? Why or why not? Let it fly.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hymn of the Week--Angels, From The Realms of Glory

This was one of our HOTW's last Christmas. It is a good one. I love when a Christmas hymn bids me "come and worship." I want that to be my main goal and end at this time of year. I am easily caught up in many other things. This hymn keeps me focused.

Hymn of the Week
Angels, From The Realms of Glory
Words by James Montgomery
Music by Henry T. Smart

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.


Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Quotes: I'm gonna hold she

Amanda was putting Molly to bed the other day and she pointed at the baby in Amanda's belly and said,
I'm gonna hold she and she's not gonna cry.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tante Comes to Minnesota

This weekend my sister Tricia came to see us. It was so good to have her. It was difficult for her to leave Alex and the kids behind and we missed them, but it was fun to have just her. When Amanda and I were first married we lived in the same town as Tricia and the three of us would hang out all the time. Amanda said after Tricia left that we missed Alex and the kids but it was like old times having just her around. We so appreciated Alex handling the kids all by himself all weekend so Tricia could be with us. Living so far away from all of my family, we don't get to see them as often as we'd like. These moments together are treasured and help us get through the long absences.

We love you Tricia and Alex. Thanks for making the effort!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hymn of the Week--Who Is He In Yonder Stall

Last week Abraham posted the request, "Recommend some Christmas music that most of us have never heard of." Shube recommended the hymn Who Is He In Yonder Stall? I had never heard of this carol, but I have listened to it a lot this week. It is great. I even sent a request (I've never done this before.) to Pastor Dan that we might sing it together some time during advent. I hope that you enjoy it too and that it helps you worship the "King of Glory!"

Hymn of the Week
Who Is He In Yonder Stall
Words and music by Benjamin R. Hanby

Who is He in yonder stall
At Whose feet the shepherds fall?
Who is He in deep distress,
Fasting in the wilderness?


’Tis the Lord! O wondrous story!
’Tis the Lord! the King of glory!
At His feet we humbly fall,
Crown Him! crown Him, Lord of all!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Read Alouds--White Stallion of Lipizza

As I've mentioned before, sometimes when we pull a book out of our read aloud pile, I am skeptical. I was with this one. Who wants to read a story of a little Austrian boy who want to grow up to ride the famous white Lipizzaner stallions? Answer: my little boys and I do. White Stallion of Lipizza by Marguerite Henry is a story more about dreams and the struggles to make them come true than about the white stallions. Hans Haupt (I struggled with the German names and words through out this book.) wanted to ride the Lippizaners from the first time he saw them. But he was only the son of a baker.

There are so many levels of a good children's book. I know the kids appreciate the good story. I hope that from time to time they get a little further down and recognize the deeper themes. This is another one that I would recommend.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hymn of the Week--O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Welcome to the season of Advent. Since coming to a church where we celebrate Advent I have grown to love and appreciate this time of year even more. I love the fact that Advent is about looking back and remembering the way that God has kept his promise to the world by fulfilling his many prophecies in Christ's first advent. I also love how we look ahead to Christ's second advent and all of the joy and consummation that it will bring.

This week's hymn is definitely a looking back. Can't you hear the expecting Jews longing for their messiah, longing for deliverance from their oppressors? There is lamentation here. I join them longing for Christ's return. But like the psalms of lamentation, the chorus reassures and celebrates, "Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel." This is our hope this Christmas, that Christ will come to us in our fears, will come to us in our pain. Long with the exiles for our Emmanuel.

Hymn of the Week
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Words from the Latin
Music from Veni Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.