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.)