Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas traditions...

I'm stealing a few quiet moments while the boys are napping (okay....laying quietly, but I'll take it!) to jot down a few little traditions that we have. These are just the fun - we've always done them - traditions....

* Chocolate Advent Calendars - I buy the ones imported from Germany. I can always find them at Nino Salvaggio's but just today I saw them at Meijer! There are some made here in the good 'ole USA, but I lived in Germany as a kid and these are just like the ones I had as a kid.

* Chocolate coins - I need to stop by CVS and grab some! They must go in the stockings with the....

* Oranges. I only know one person who eats his Christmas orange (that's Uncle Dave!) but there's always one in the very toe of each stocking.

* New coloring books....left out....meant to be used before the parents are coherent on Christmas morning.

* Candy Canes on the tree....these are put on the tree on Christmas eve after the kids go to bed.

* Sugar cookies...Joel does these with the kids. I really don't like to bake cookies, and he enjoys it.....and they LOVE it!

*After the Christmas eve service, we always drive around and look at lights. For the past few years we've driven down Jefferson from Roseville through Grosse Pointe....lots of beautifully decorated homes!!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas letter 2009

Many of you will receive this in the mail, but I thought I'd post it here too (for my sake, if for no other reason.)

Dear Family and Friends,

Merry Christmas! Is it really possible that yet another year has passed? Christmas NEVER came this quickly when I was a kid!

Camden is 6 now and is following his father's footsteps when it comes to his love for Tigers Baseball. Many summer nights he fell asleep listening to games on his radio. It's hard to believe that our oldest is halfway through 1st grade! He is a quick learner and is really developing a love for geography. He even asked for a globe for his birthday this summer.

Josiah gave us quite a scare this year. In the summer of 2008, I discovered a strange bony bump on Josiah's left leg. It was originally diagnosed as a ganglion cyst (very common), but this summer the bump grew dramatically. In August we took Josiah to the University of Michigan Hospital at the advice of our pediatrician. The bump was diagnosed as an Osteochondroma, which is a benign tumor. We had an MRI done in September to make sure that the tumor is in fact, benign, and that it is not affecting the growth of the leg. Having confirmation that our little boy is okay was a huge relief! We are so thankful that God chose to protect our son from some major medical issues! Josiah continues to be our little ball of energy --who knew that 4 year olds could be so active?-- but we are so thankful that he is healthy and able to keep us busy.

Trevor is 2 now and thinks he can do everything his brothers do. He talks non-stop (can't imagine where he gets that!!) and loves to cuddle with his mom. I'm relishing every minute because I know the day is coming when kisses and cuddles aren't so freely given.

This summer we were able to travel to New Hampshire for the first time in 3 years. We enjoyed taking the boys to the ocean (my sister, Jen, did a photo shoot for us there). The boys enjoyed playing with Grandma's dogs and learning how to shoot guns at Grandpa's house. It was great to see family and to catch up with dear friends!

The Lord continues to use ministry to teach us and help us grow. We've been working with our teens for more than 6 years now, and we love them dearly! We consider it a privilege to serve the Lord with our lives.

Please join us as we slow down and remember what Christ did for us on that very first Christmas so long ago. It's amazing to think that He sacrificed for us, to give us life eternal! May you have a blessed Christmas!

Love,

Dawn for the Gearharts

Year in Review 2009

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
**I sewed Josiah's costume for the Christmas program. NEVER thought I'd be doing that!
**We had our first true medical scare with Josiah and the tumor on his leg. I'm so thankful that everything is okay!!

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Didn't make any. Kinda pondering a few for this coming year. Not resolutions, per se, but changes nontheless.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My nephew, Thiago, was born in March.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Joel's Papa Cummins met his Savior face to face in August.

5. What countries did you visit?
None, maybe we'll change that this year....oh wait...we did go to Canada for an afternoon in May....

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Organization - I think I'm being swallowed by my house!

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Wow, this year has been full of lots of ups and downs. No specific dates though.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
This sounds silly, but just making it through the year. Sometimes we get bogged down with so many things....I'm welcoming 2010 with open arms!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not documenting more about my kids. I know one day I'm going to regret not recording more.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I fell in February (right before snow camp!) and hurt my leg...and it took forever to heal. Illness....we still haven't figured out all the thyroid stuff....

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our van. Not my favorite make/model, but it meets our needs and I'm thankful for it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Joel's. I don't know anyone with the character of my husband. I love him dearly and truly appreciate the way he trusts God and seeks His direction.

13. Where did most of your money go?
Wells Fargo Bank.

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Camp at Northland. I love taking our teens to camp and spending the week with them. We have the best teens and they really are a huge blessing!

15. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Complete in Thee and Holy Darkness, Blessed Night

16. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Don't know if I'm either, really. There are lots of things (not known to others and shall not be revealed here) that make me sad. There are other things that thrill my soul. I'm generally a pretty happy person, but everyone has their days.

17. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Slowed down and just enjoyed my kids. I'm gonna do more of that this year.

18. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Miss my family, especially my siblings.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
24...

20. What was the best book you read?
Hidden Power...a pretty good read about the influence that presidential wives have had on their husbands.

21. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't watch a lot of movies.....but I can tell you that Night at the Museum was a complete waste of an evening.

22. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
I like to blend in and not stand out in a crowd....

23. What kept you sane?
Prayer. Lots of it.

24. What political issue stirred you the most?
Healthcare (most people would probably answer this way right now.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We just wanted coffee....

My friend and I had plans to meet for coffee yesterday. She and her husband recently moved away and they are back this week to do a few things and spend Thanksgiving with family. So, we made plans to meet at a local coffee shop....one I had never been to, but she had. When I arrived I found out something sad: it was closed. Permanently. There was an orange sign posted to the front door stating that the establishment had been closed for failure to pay their taxes. Sadness!!

So, we climbed into her car to check out the navigation system. We were hoping for a good recommendation - you know - some obscure, locally owned spot. Guess where we ended up??? Not obscure at all - but good coffee (and food, of which we had none)....yup, Panera.

We walked into the restaurant, glad to at least be moments away from finding a cozy booth and chatting for a while. When I walked up to the register, the girl who was working began to take my order. Then she walked away. Are you kidding me? How hard is it to get 2 cups of coffee? Another (very kind) girl came and helped us, and when my receipt printed only half of it showed up? It was quite the comedy of errors. Alas, we were finally able to start sipping and gabbing.

I haven't known my friend for very long. She is smart and funny, independent and talented. Although we've only known each other for a short while (in fact, this was our first cup of coffee together!!) we share a kinship in heaven. We had a great time together, and I'm really going to miss her!

So, dear friend, when you read this...know that I'm only a letter or phone call away. I look forward to hearing of your business success (and I know you'll be successful!!) and of how God blesses you and your husband as you take on this new adventure!



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Distance


For most of my adult life, I have not lived near my side of the family. For a short time we were in Watertown while Jen was there, but then we came to Michigan. For the past 6+ years, we generally get to see my parents once a year (maybe) and even then it's only for a day or two and is usually accompanied by a big event, like a wedding or a funeral. We've taken 2 vacations to NH (3 years apart), been to a few weddings, and seen family as they pass from one location to another. Thanksgiving and Christmas are celebrated with the help of Verizon and the United States Postal Service.
So today, I'm thankful for technology. Since I don't have the luxury of spending near the time I'd like with my family, I'm at least happy that with the push of a button I can have Jen on the phone with me. I can hop in the car and be at Jim's house in 3 hours (he's lives the closest to me). I can call Bob and Mandy late at night because they're in a different time zone and it's not late there. I can call Crystal and relive some of my Melford days. I know my Dad will probably call the next time he's on the road and my Mom almost always calls on her way home from work on Wednesdays.
What are YOU thankful for today?

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm thankful

I'm a list-maker. That's partly because without a list, my brain ceases to function! If I write something down, I am more apt to remember it and get it done. Well, I'm going to list out some things that I'm thankful for. I may add to this list in the coming days....

I'm thankful for (in no particular order):

1. Beautiful weather in November
2. Being blessed with 3 boys who are healthy enough to be busy and make my house a mess
3. Joel - trust me when I say I got the better end of the deal here!
4. A home to live in
5. A thriving PartyLite business
6. Our teens - I can honestly say that I love every one of them
7. Coffee
8. Chapstick - currently my favorite is Yes to Carrots
9. The freedom I have as an American citizen
10. The men and women (some family members included) who serve/have served to give me
that freedom.
11. The small voices echoing from the next room as I type this
12. Chocolate
13. Direct guidance from the Lord in circumstances that we cannot orchestrate ourselves
14. My siblings

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

So I think I want to be a more faithful blogger. No, I KNOW I want to be a more faithful blogger...I just need to do it!

Stay tuned....

Monday, November 02, 2009

Top Ten Reasons.....

....to host a PartyLite show in November

10. We have the BEST candles

**You truly get what you pay for! Our candles burn completely and with less soot than our competitors!


9. 40% Free Host Credit with a qualified show and 2 bookings! Ask me for details!


8. 5 dozen tealights for $15 - your choice of fragrances. Awesome for burning around the holidays or giving in a gift!


7. 5 Fabulous host specials - keep for yourself or give away. Our hosts get our best prices!


6. Select up to 4 Jar Candles for only $10 each when you have a $500 show


5. Every guest receives a box of votives for FREE with their purchase!


4. 27 guest specials that are up to75% off - perfect for getting that Christmas list completed.


3. Our NEW penguins come with FREE tealights!


2. When a guest spends $40 they can choose ANY item in the catalog for Half off! That's my discount!

1. We now have "Two Sisters Gourmet" to serve as refreshments - AND you can redeem your host credit for FREE TSG items too!


Contact me for more info, or check out my website: www.partylite.biz/dawngearhart

Friday, August 14, 2009

So true....

We are a moment,
You are forever.
Lord of the ages
God before time

We are a vapor,
You are Eternal
Love everlasting
Reigning on high

Holy, Holy
Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Highest praises, honor and glory
Be unto Your name
Be unto Your name

We are the broken
You are the Healer
Jesus, Redeemer,
Mighty to save

You are the love song
We'll sing forever
Bowing before You
Blessing Your name.

Holy, Holy
Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Highest praises, honor and glory
Be unto Your name
Be unto Your name


Thursday, July 02, 2009

O Great God

I know, I know. I've been MIA for a long time now. Life has continued on, Trevor had a birthday and we've even been on vacation and camp already! Sometimes it feels like life keeps moving and I'm just standing still, watching it all happen.

Anyways, I've got lots of posts in my head, and maybe they'll make it from my head to this blog. For right now, I want to tell you that I LOVE the new Pettit CD and the new Galkin CD....both are excellent. Here are the lyrics to one song, O Great God.

O great God of highest heaven
Occupy my lowly heart
Own it all and reign supreme
Conquer every rebel powerL

Let no vice or sin remain
That resists Your holy war
You have loved and purchased me
Make me Yours forevermore

I was blinded by my sin
Had no ears to hear Your voice
Did not know Your love within
Had no taste for heaven’s joys

Then Your Spirit gave me life
Opened up Your Word to me
Through the gospel of Your Son
Gave me endless hope and peace

Help me now to live a life
That’s dependent on Your grace
Keep my heart and guard my soul
From the evils that I face

You are worthy to be praised
With my every thought and deed
O great God of highest heaven
Glorify Your Name through me

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Homemade Pizza Recipe

Several of my friends have asked for my pizza recipe. I must be honest and tell you that the crust recipe is not originally mine - it is from a collection of family favorites that my mother in law gave me when Joel and I were engaged. The sauce recipe is one that I've tinkered with for a few years. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Pizza Crust: I've made this using the dough cycle on my bread machine, but now use the dough hook on my kitchen aid. You could always knead it by hand, but I'm too lazy!

1 1/3 Cups hot water
2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast (equivalent of 1 package, but I buy my yeast in bulk)
4-5 Cups flour
2 tablepoons of oil (I use Olive oil, and sometimes add a tad extra)
2 tablespoons of honey (do the olive oil first, then use the same spoon for the honey and it will all come out of the spoon very easily!)
A dash of salt.

Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead until smooth and elastic. You may need more water or flour depending on the humidity levels in your home. Add more water or flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed.

Let dough rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch down and divide, the roll out for crust. This recipe makes enough dough for 2 large pizzas.

Sauce: I'm giving approximations because I rarely measure when I cook (unless specifics are needed, like the dough recipe). You may need to adjust for your own personal preferences.

1 Can (15 oz) tomato sauce
Italian spices
Fresh garlic (I use a garlic press)
Oregano
Sugar
Olive Oil

Crush 2 cloves of garlic, mix with some italian spices and about a tablespoon of oregano. Heat in a sauce pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, 1/8 cup of water and about 1/3 cup of sugar (s0metimes a little more...Joel likes it sweet). Once hot and bubbly, stir in tomato sauce. Heat thoroughly. I do this all in one sauce pan (I hate using too many things to accomplish such a small task.)

Enjoy!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Waiting on Wheels

I never realized how much I really appreciated my minivan. Seriously! We bought the van just before Josiah was born, nearly 4 years ago. In case you haven't heard what happened to our vehicles......
In February, Joel's car was hit by a drunk driver. Thankfully, no one was hurt (the car was parked in front of our house). Two days later we were able to pay off our van with our income tax return. We took the check from the insurance company and set it aside, looking for a good deal on a commuter car for Joel. The day they towed the car away was a sad one. That was the car I bought when Joel and I were engaged!

In early March, Joel and I drove to the Wilds for the Youth Worker's Conference (an amazing, wonderful week!!!). We arrived home on Saturday and then the next Tuesday night I drove to Cleveland. My sister in law, Angel, was going in for a C-section...my mom was visiting...so I took the boys to see the family. Besides, I wanted to meet my new nephew, Thiago!

I left my house at 9:00 Tuesday night and drove straight to Cleveland. It's almost exactly 3 hours from my front door to my brother's house. The kids were in their PJ's and slept most of the way. When I arrived in Cleveland, I realized that I had forgotten the kids' shoes at home!! Mom and I figured that we'd just stop at Target for crocs on our way to the hospital...no need to spend a fortune on shoes for a quick trip, right?

So, Wednesday morning we get up and get ready to head to the hospital. Once Jim called, we got the kids' coats on and I went out to move the van from the street to the driveway since my kids were shoeless. There was one problem...the van didn't want to move. Oh, it started fine and all and went in reverse just like always. After waiting about 25 seconds, it finally shifted into drive and I pulled into the driveway. That's when I noticed that there was transmission fluid all over the place (the van had been in the driveway all nice...Jim moved it when the left that morning for the hospital.) Hmmmm......

So, I called my Dad and then headed to the gas station for a quart of transmission fluid while my Mom called my grandpa. Grandpa recommended my Uncle Vernon (he's a mechanic) so we called him. I ended up driving the van to Drellishaks Auto Car where they discovered that part of the transmission had crashed throught the differential and caused the leak. Cost of repair: $2000. Ugh. On top of that, my Uncle discovered another issue that would cost about $1000 to fix. The van wasn't worth that much!! Now what? I'm stranded in Cleveland, my kids have no shoes, and my van is done forever. My Grandpa showed up and I unloaded my van into his trunk...3 car seats, a host of toys and cds....and then I sold the van for $100 to the man from the local transmission shop.

Since that moment, we've not had a vehicle. A lady from our church was very kind and has let us borrow one of her vehicles while we look. Amazingly, God has provided money for us to purchase a van with cash...and hopefully we'll have that van this weekend. Waiting has been difficult! I really liked the ease of getting three kids in and out of a van. I didn't like having to make a big financial decision with Joel 200 miles away (though he was right in the mix of things thanks to cell phones!!)....but I had no choice. For what it's worth, I didn't cry about it all until I was safely home, had the kids tucked in bed and then thought about it all.

Then I laughed. It was only a vehicle. There are certainly worse things, more stressful and difficult things than losing 2 vehicles in one month!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Great Song!!

I just heard this song for the first time today. It's not new, although it's new to me....and it's beautiful. The lyrics are below. Click the title to go to a webpage and hear it.

Holy Darkness, Blessed Night

Holy darkness, blessed night,
heaven's answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,we embrace your holy night.

1. I have tried you in fires of affliction;
I have taught your soul to grieve.
In the barren soil of your loneliness,
there I will plant my seed.

2. I have taught you the price of compassion;
you have stood before the grave.
Though my love can seem like a raging storm,
this is the love that saves.

3. Were you there when I raised up the mountains?
Can you guide the morning star?
Does the hawk take flight when you give command?
Why do you doubt my pow'r?

4. In your deepest hour of darkness
I will give you wealth untold.
When the silence stills your spirit,
will my riches fill your soul.

5. As the watchman waits for morning,
and the bride awaits her groom,
so we wait to hear your footsteps
as we rest beneath your moon.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chick Fil A

Check this out...gotta love that Chick Fil A!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What Josiah thinks of Mommy

This is a cute idea. Copy this note, ask your kid the questions and write them down exactly how they respond.
1. What is something mom always says to you? You're my favorite 3-year-old!
2. What makes mom happy? When I obey
3. What makes mom sad? When I pitch a fit
4. How does your mom make you laugh? So, so pretty.
5. What was your mom like as a child? You was riding in a car
6. How old is your mom? Um...firty one
7. How tall is your mom? Um...so bigger
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Staying here
9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Play
10. What is your mom really good at? Picking up
11. What is your mom not very good at? Pitch a fit, making sandwiches
12. What does your mom do for her job? pick up glasses, work in the office
13. What is your mom's favorite food? Pizza, Peanut butter and jelly
14. What makes you proud of your mom? Because I wuv my momma
15. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Santa
17. What do you and your mom do together? Make pizza
18. How are you and your mom the same? our eyes.
19. How are you and your mom different? mom, I'm taller to your arm!
20. How do you know your mom loves you? Because
21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? To pick up Camden from school

What Camden thinks of Mommy

This is a cute idea. Copy this note, ask your kid the questions and write them down exactly how they respond.
1. What is something mom always says to you? Thank you, Hello, and What do you want for breakfast.
2. What makes mom happy? Obeying, cleaning up toys without being told
3. What makes mom sad? disobeying,
4. How does your mom make you laugh? Silly things like making really crazy faces.
5. What was your mom like as a child? Happy
6. How old is your mom? 31
7. How tall is your mom? Very tall
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Wash dishes and go grocery shopping
9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Play or do something fun
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Doing silly tricks, very silly tricks
11. What is your mom really good at? Washing dishes
12. What is your mom not very good at? Sleeping in a crib, crying
13. What does your mom do for her job? PartyLite
14. What is your mom's favorite food? Green Beans
15. What makes you proud of your mom? When you snuggle with me
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Wilbur (from Charlotte's Web)
17. What do you and your mom do together? Snuggle, wash dishes
18. How are you and your mom the same? We say the sames things, like "hello" and stuff like that.
19. How are you and your mom different? Our hair is different, you have blue eyes and I have brown eyes, I'm a boy and you're a girl.
20. How do you know your mom loves you? You give me hugs and kisses and snuggle, you say that!
21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? Grocery shopping

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ramblings

I'm selling my kids to gypsies...no really....here's a rundown of what they've done today:

1. Got out the playdough and played on the living room carpet.
2. Fed color blasted goldfish to the couch. At least they were nice enough to crumble the fish into tiny bits.
3. Cleaned out my nightstand and deposited contents on the floor. Did same for jewelry pouch on top of my jewelry box.
4. Added noise by turning on Joel's alarm clock radio.
5. Fed color blasted goldfish to Josiah's bed. Once again...nice enough to crumble and smoosh the fish.
6. Cleaned out my wallet and left me to find the contents.
7. Tried to reorganize my life by rearranging my planner.
8. Used a laundry detergent cup to empty water from toilet onto the bathroom floor.
9. Took a vitamin D capsule (from my room) and squished it...leaving sticky vitamin residue on little bitty hands.
10. Poured a cup of water onto my bed.

If I'm bald the next time you see me, you'll know why.

In other news, Joel and I are getting ready to head south for a week. We're heading to The WILDS for the annual Youth Worker's Conference. This will be our third time and we are looking forward to learning what God has for us! It has been such a time of refreshment and renewal!
PartyLite is going very well! I truly love my job (both the pay and the flexibility) and am looking forward to a promotion in the near future! Our company is doing well, despite the economy.
Jen is coming here for part of her Spring break and I'm really looking forward to it. My boys just adore her and she's kinda fun to have around :)

I'm ready for Spring.

Sorry for the disjointed thoughts, but sometimes that's how the day goes. :)