Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Baby G

Hello everybody. This is Chad. This is my first ever attempt at blogging, so bear with me a little bit. I decided to wait until I have something good to tell before actually blogging. No fluff for me. So here it is. Erin is pregnant!!! That's right, we're having a baby. I am so excited I can't think about our new child without smiling. I can't look at Erin for an extended time without thinking "oh my gracious, she's pregnant" as if I forgot. This is too much fun.

I also want to let you know that my sister Brigitte and her husband Kevin have been trying for about 5 years to have a baby with no fortune. They called us a couple of months ago to tell us that they have a baby on the way. God is so gracious. It was fun on Christmas morning to call our parents and let Anna Kate tell them that mommy has a baby in her tummy. (She wants a girl baby by the way). Turns out that my sister called on Christmas morning to tell them that she felt the baby kick for the first time. How fun!!!

So what do you call a real live person when you don't know if you're having a boy or a girl? "It"? Most people would agree that is not fun or accurate. So my Dad decided last time to just call the baby Dexter until we decided on a name. Dexter didn't seem so pleasant when we found out we were having twin girls. So when Erin called Becky (of Kevin and Becky fame) to tell her we're expecting, Becky said "do you mind if I just call it baby G?" I love it. That's much better than Dexter (no offense Dad).

So I am offering a prayer of thanksgiving for our new baby G.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I Miss My Husband!


So, Chad's in West Virginia doing a Chick-Fil-A Grand Opening. He left Sunday and will get back NEXT Sunday. Here's what we know so far: We miss Daddy! The kids miss playing basketball with him at night and crawling all over him. I miss his company. The kids miss being bounced in their beds at night. I miss the way he get into bed on my side and warms it up for me so I don't have to climb into cold sheets. Now that's chivalry! We miss him bad...and it's only been two days. We have 5 more. Stink.

But we made a "Count Down Until Daddy Comes Home" calendar. So every day we get out our crayon and scratch off another day. Soon they'll all be scratched off and he'll be home!!!

We miss you Daddy! Posted by Picasa

Thoughts on Advent

Good morning, friends! Do you love the cold weather, or what? I have had the most fun ever getting in the Christmas spirit. I think we've had a different kind of soup every night for the last week. I always love cold weather food. Mmmmm. I love walking in from outside into my warm, cozy house. I love snuggling on my couch with my sweet kiddos and watching White Christmas for the 10th time this season-and it's only December 6th! I love reading the Christmas story with my kids and watching them learn and be able to answer my questions when I ask them about it. Like, "What did the angel say to Mary? What was her baby's name to be? What is so special about her baby? Who came to see baby Jesus?" We have had a blast really working through Christmas this year. Chad and I know that there is a way to do Christmas in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. There is a way to celebrate with your kids that doesn't turn them into little materialistic monsters, constantly revising their wish lists. But what does that look like? How do you create excitement in your kids about something that really is very abstract for them at this point?

So, I'm a researcher. I've heard about Advent. Even lit candles a few years. I've never known the significance of it or fully understood it. So I started to research. My first stop was the Desiring God website (www.desiringgod.org). There is a terrific radio interview with Noel Piper about traditions during the Christmas holidays. I totally recommend it. I began to understand that the word advent means 'coming'. The season of Advent is to celebrate the coming of Christ. We celebrate and reflect on the people of the Old Testament who hoped and longed for the Messiah to come. We also celebrate the fact that Christ is coming again. I also began to understand that Advent isn't a set thing. There aren't special Advent verses that you must go by, neccessarily. It is just the act of celebrating and reflecting. It starts 4 weeks before Christmas. Each Sunday you light a candle and read scripture, turning your heart toward the coming of Christ. Focus on the Family has a list of scriptures that you can use to read everyday with your family (28 days leading up to Christmas). As I read through those scriptures I got so excited. I read about a world who was longing for a new king. They were so oppressed and longed to be delivered from their sins. They were without hope...except for the hope of Messiah. They prayed and longed and begged God to send the promised One. Then I read about an angel appearing to a young girl. She would have a baby. How would this be? A long donkey ride, no room in the end. And finally, a tiny king being layed in a manger. The long awaited king. Glory to God in the highest!
I'm understanding how to create this excitement in my kids. They can understand sad people. As I read the scripture to them each day they can understand that the people were sad. The people want a new king. They know what it means to wait. They can understand that the people were tired of waiting. I think that if this is built and built for a week or two they might be thrilled to see that the king is finally here! They finally have a king and a Saviour. And He's a tiny baby. I'm really excited about this new understanding. My prayer is that the Lord would grant my children some small measure of understanding. And that this understanding would build and build. That they will understand the significance of this new king...what He came to save the people from.

Merry Christmas, Friends! We love you guys.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Max's Thanksgiving

So, you know I'm a school mom now. For those of you who haven't really thought about it, I have a 6 year old. That means that I pack a lunch each morning. I get him on the bus. We do "homework" at night-time. We pay allowance if he does his chores without me asking. The whole deal. A real live six year-old. Don't you remember being 6? I do. It's a blast. It's early enough that school is still fun. You don't have homework. You have "homework". And you have parties at school. How cool is that? A party at school. Everybody is crazy. There's special food. Your teacher wears her tennis shoes and a holiday sweat-shirt. And best of all, she forgets the rules for the day. Remember? Well, Max had a school party. Let me tell ya. His school party was so much fun. His class acted out the first Thanksgiving. They each got to choose to be either a Pilgrim or an Indian. Max chose to be a Pilgrim so that he could shoot a gun. Then he changed his mind and wanted to shoot a bow and arrow. Back and forth, back and forth until the big day. He stuck with his instinct and was a Pilgrim. He was the best little Pilgrim I've ever seen.

He got to be the Pilgrim that looked through the paper towel roll and say (or sign, rather!), "I see land!" It was the best.

Next came the Thanksgiving Feast. Ms. Nutt let the class vote on what they wanted to have so it was quite a feast. There were slices of turkey meat, cheese, chips, pickles, apples and milk. Max and I decorated cookies for dessert. Each child had made their own place mat. All eleven of the Signing Pilgrims and Indians sat down to enjoy the feast. About midway through...catastrophe. Ms. Nutt left to get something from another room. It was just me and the kids and a little girl BARFED all over the Thanksgiving Feast!!!! I panicked. Tried to stay calm while she continued to throw up. I got the trash can and moved her to the bathroom while trying to get all the little deaf kids to quit signing, "HaHaHaHa!!!" I went to the bathroom with the little girl and my sweet, servant of a son got the KLEENEX BOX and started cleaning up the mess with his bare hands. GROSS!! I was trying to tell him to quit touching it without traumatizing the poor sick girl. Whew. It was quite an event! But it was so much fun. And Max had the time of his life.

Happy Late (of course) Thanksgiving From the Gerlt House!!!!

Thankful for Thanksgiving

So, it's a week or so past Thanksgiving. I'm still thankful. We had such a blessed Thanksgiving. We spent the weekend in Crane. What fun to be a Momma D and Papa's house. You can bet that there was good food. And we had a great time being together.

It's sort of funny when I go to Mom and Dad's house. I "check out" mentally. It's like I'm so relaxed that I just forget how to do things. I get up late...somebody else feeds my kids breakfast...someone else gets their clothes on...What? Huh, did you need something? I was reading a magazine. After dinner is over I just want to lay down. Dishes? Huh? I don't know what it is. I turn into a bum. A complete bum. So I tried a little harder this time to stay a bit connected with reality. I still was completely relaxed. But I tried not to be RIDICULOUSLY relaxed...and turn into a total sluggard. It was a good holiday. I love Thanksgiving. It has all of the good qualities of the Christmas holidays without the rat race. No gifts to buy. No greedy little kiddos begging to open "just one present". You still get all the good food. Fun family. And a few football games to watch. Good times.