Thursday, December 31, 2009

10 years ago

Ten years ago it was the Y2K "scare" and ringing in the new year was a little scary but whatever. I remember the night well; my parents had a party and I spent most of the evening with my bestest friend Jennie. It was also her 18th birthday (yes she is a tax baby). We were pretty good kids, never did anything bad or got in trouble, at least that anyone knew about. Once though we had a bit of rum in our cherry Coke before going to our college English class. I'd bought a little bottle on a cruise in Mexico where the drinking age was 18. Woohoo! Anyway on New Years Eve 1999 we decided to try one of my dad's cigars, since we were both of age to smoke. I was very uncool about it, and took a drag (or whatever it's called) and tried to blow the smoke out of my mouth whilst still holding the cigar in my lips. The cigar fell out and burned me on the hand. Very uncool!

That story isn't the point of this post...

My point is 10 years ago I was 18, a senior in high school, planning on attending the UW in the fall, and really had no responsibility whatsoever. The idea of not being 18 and instead being 28 with a husband and 3 kids (almost) seemed so far in the future it wouldn't even be worth considering. But that's my life now. A lot of responsibility, lots to do, lots to consider. And I love it. God is good and I'm learning more through my daily tasks than I even could imagine as an 18 year old.

I imagined 10 years ago if I did have any kids by now I'd also be working full or part time and would be busy busy outside the home, with kids in classes and camps, etc. But now I look at our calendar and it kind of looks like we don't do least compared to the idea I had in my head of what busy is. We aren't always going places, but we are very busy inside our home.

I'm not really sure that was the point of this post either...I think I'm just rambling. So nevermind, but Happy New Year!


Friday, December 25, 2009

We wish you a merry bleemp blomp

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! We are thankful for God's grace and humility that He would come as a tiny little baby to save us from our sin.

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus
" 1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christa]" style=" line-height: 0.5em; ">[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

We haven't joined the bandwagon with Christmas cards this year, but we did get a visit from Kermit and wanted to share the Christmas cheer.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Checking In

Hey Blah g people

It may look like we've fallen off the face of the planet; it's been too long since our last post. Rest assured we are alive and well! According to my pregnancy ticker, we have 50 days until Baby Boy, affectionately nicknamed "Stagcock," is set to arrive. I'm thinking it'll be more like 35-40 days, since I was two weeks early with Amelia. I can already tell my body is getting ready to expunge this one. We spent about 2 hours in the doctor's office yesterday running tests because I was having lots of contractions and back pain. Of course, they seemed to disappear when I was sitting in the comfy testing chair with the monitors around my belly. Haha Stagcock you silly! My OB also did a test to see if I would likely go into real labor in the next few days, and it was negative. I suspect the contractions were caused by stress and me freaking out over nothing. Whatever the reason, I'm glad he's not looking to emerge just yet.
Here are some photos of my 32-week belly! Enjoy!
Caley took this one.
Here's my view!
Yeah baby!

God has been working in our hearts and we have been busy listening to Him and how He is teaching us. We are mostly prepared for this new bundle, physically anyway. I'm having a harder time adjusting to the thought of having three kids, since I grew up imagining I'd only ever have two. Thankfully though, God is patient and loving and is teaching me things in His timing, not mine. I'm continually learning the meaning of Eve's curse in the garden, "To the woman he said, 'I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you,' " Genesis 3:16. Pain isn't always bad, it teaches us. I'm also learning that we are sanctified through childbearing and it keeps happening even after the baby is out and running around. These are all good things God is teaching me and I'm thankful to be in this situation where I can learn more about God and His love for me.

We can't wait to meet "Stagcock"!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Boys Who Can Shave

In a recent sermon by Mark Driscoll, he discusses adolescence and how it's not really a life stage as much as something our culture has created to defer responsibility. Adolescence is loosely defined as being the time between childhood and adulthood. The problem however, arises that it's debatable what makes one an adult, thus adolescence is lasting longer and longer. From the Wikipedia article on adolescence, "This transition involves biological, social, and psychological changes, though the biological or physiological ones are the easiest to measure objectively. Historically, puberty has been heavily associated with teenagers and the onset of adolescent development. In recent years, however, the start of puberty has had somewhat of an increase in preadolescence (particularly females), and adolescence has had an occasional extension beyond the teenage years (typically males). This has made adolescence less simple to discern." View this clip:

More thoughts to come...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

20 weeks
25 weeks
28 weeks
We can't wait to meet this little guy!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

This week Bill and I were laying on the couch, sick and unable to do much. Caley came downstairs and started rubbing Daddy's feet and he asked, "Caley, why are you so nice?" To which she replied, "That's the way Jesus made me. Jesus died for sin so we can be with him."

Being sick all week was made worth it when we were able to see Jesus transforming her heart through loving others.

Thank you Jesus for this chance to spend time with Caley and Amelia, snuggling on the couch watching movies and reading books.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

cowboy beans, cracklin wood, red hot coals, it's all good

Here's some pictures of the firepit progression!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall and Firepits

We had a wonderful fall day yesterday. We visited Bill at work and the trees lining the road to his office were absolutely beautiful so we just had to collect some leaves.
We also had our first fire in the new firepit! (More pictures on the process forthcoming.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I went to kindergarten with a little girl named Allison. She had been diagnosed with Down Syndrome and she was one of my best friends. I remember going to her birthday party that year. Unfortunately we lost touch in the later grades because she repeated kindergarten while I moved ahead. When I was in high school she was in the life skills classroom and it always warmed my heart to see her at school.

Children with Down Syndrome are the same as everyone else- they have thoughts, feelings, and opinions. I believe children with Down Syndrome are a gift to us from God so that we may know more about who God is. I pray that He would bring more people such as Allison into my life so that I may know Him better through loving His people.

These stories are so beautiful, and I hope more people would see it. Pass it on!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


We're heading into the 6th month of this pregnancy and my glucose cocktail is hanging out with some friends in our liquor cabinet. Yeah baby I can't wait to pound some of that glucose down! Woohoo!!

A few weeks ago I felt like I was ready for this baby to be here so I can snuggle him and all that cuddly newborn stuff. But then this weekend I felt thankful we have a few more months to prepare. The list of things to do before he arrives is getting pared down, but it's still a semi-long list.

It feels like he rolls around a lot, like all day long. I think I felt him move as early as 12 weeks, and now he is constantly reminding me "I'm here! I know you're busy with my sisters but I'm here Mommy!" I can't wait to see how God uses this little boy as he turns into a man.

Friday, September 18, 2009

For Missionary Moms!

My friend Ashley from Campus Crusade at UW is now a missionary in Russia and started a cool website for mamas:

I'm flattered to share that she asked me to be a regular contributor on her site and write about once a month, primarily on the subject of homeschooling!

The first article is up today, check it out if you're interested!

I feel like I should also include that I really appreciate Ashley's site because her articles aren't just about missionary families in foreign countries, all Christians are missionaries to the world! This is a concept our church really pushes, that we are all "on mission" whether we're living in Siberia or Lynnwood, reaching lost people for Jesus.

Tag! You're It!

I got tagged by my friend Ruth in a blogger cooking chain letter. It's not really a chain letter, hopefully I won't be getting a lot of stuff in the mail, but it is a fun game. The game involves me choosing an ingredient from the recipe she posted here and making a dish with that ingredient. I also need to tag 4 friends. The ingredient I chose is sugar! Sweet!

The recipe I'm sharing is from a Cooking Light magazine and it's fabulous and easy. We're actually eating it tonight! (I think I've made this for you Ruth!) This recipe uses brown sugar, not white like Ruth's recipe, but whatevs.

Sweet Orange Salmon
Eight ingredients combine in a spice rub that would also be good on pork tenderloin medallions. Serve with orange wedges.

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Cooking spray

Preheat broiler.
Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture over both sides of salmon fillets. Place salmon on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil for 8 minutes or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.
4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet)

So, I'm tagging Tamara because I know she'll make something fabulous, Karina who hopefully will find a recipe including bacon, Ashley a missionary in Russia who may treat us to some native cuisine, and Kim who has the cutest girlie twins ever!

Have fun ladies!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


One of my goals during this pregnancy was to stay in better shape than during my previous pregnancies. I was a little nervous because in my experience being pregnant during this time of year has been difficult. In my pregnancy with Caley I found it difficult to stay active because during the summer I felt sick and in the winter it was so cold and dreary and I felt like a 30-week prego whale.

But this time I decided to try to continue running and the end of the running road would be the IronGirl race. And the race was today! So at nearly 19 weeks I ran a 10k with a friend and it was so fun! Exhausting, but fun. I finished in 1hour, 11 minutes (search for me here). Longer than previous races, but my goal was only to finish without having to walk.

God is so good and I feel blessed to have stayed healthy through this pregnancy. With his grace I may run (or walk fast) occasionally through the rest of the pregnancy.

Thank you Jesus for a healthy body, supportive family, fun encouraging friends and a beautiful day for a race!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bill is the best daddy ever. Last weekend he spent most of Saturday building a birdhouse with Caley. It was a "daddy date." They came up with the design and Caley helped nail and paint. Afterward she helped him work in the garage, which she was very happy to do!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Oh Boy!!

We found out today that little Gerlach #3 is a BOY!!

We are surprised, amazed and blessed. It's a weird feeling, although we already have two amazing kids whom we love, we are entering new territory.
Here are some pictures of our little man. We can't wait to meet him!!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Dear Beef People,

I have been wanting to write for some time, to thank you and praise your absolute brilliance in hiring Matthew McConaghey to do your radio ads. And I'm not being sarcastic, this is genuine love for your new commecials. Genius, pure and simple. I am a meat-eater, and enjoy burgers and steaks and really anything that comes from a cow. But when I hear your recent commercials, with Mr. McConaghey's slow Texan drawl, my brain switches from, "I could go for a burger" to "All I want is a big fat burger!" It's pure genius. Women want Matthew McConnaghey and men want to BE Matthew McConaughey.


Satisfied beef eater

(You can hear one of the ads here and read other's reactions to the ad here. Just make sure you can get some beef after because you're going to want some.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Meet my new friends, Baking Soda and Vinegar

Okay, this post might just put me in the "crazy" category because I'm blogging about home cleaning again, but this one is so easy and frugal it needs to be shared.
I really hate cleaning the toilets and the showers. We have 4 toilets and 3 showers, which means lots of stinky mess and soap scum. In search of something less toxic and cheaper than fancy cleaners and toilet tabs, I discovered the wonder of vinegar and baking soda. Now washing the shower is actually fun (in a homemaker-saving-money sort of way)!
Here is a website with more helpful ways to use vinegar and baking soda. Happy cleaning!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Amelia was singing the ABC song today and here's how it went:

Now I know my ABC's

Next time won't you sing with me!

Book Review: The Mommy Survival Guide

For our anniversary I told Bill I wanted some books by Barbara Curtis. They came in the mail and within two days I read "The Mommy Survival Guide." Since I had reviewed another book by Curtis, I figured it would be good to review this one too. Maybe reviewing books will become a regular blog thing for me.

This book was highly enjoyable for me to read, and Barbara Curtis is quickly climbing up my ladder of favorite authors. My favorite feature about this book is the super short chapters. The books is medium length--190 pages--and there are 30 chapters, but each one is no more than 8 pages long. Barbara puts her experience as a mommy and expertise as a writer to great work. The chapters are organized into subcategories such as "The sooner you surrender, the better," and "A little bit of Mommy goes a long way." Each chapter has a quick tip, word of encouragement, or resource as well. She lists helpful websites, recipes, games to play with kids, Bible verses, and quotes from famous people. At the end of chapter 5, "It came to pass, not to stay," there is a recipe for Toads-in-a-Hole which is an egg cooked in a piece of toast. The next day I made it for the girl's breakfast and they ate it up fast!

Many of her topics are somewhat counter cultural, such as saying it's okay to win and lose, and that boys and girls are really different and how (in general) the public school system has changed to avoid competition and favor girls over boys, labeling stereotypical "boy" behavior (being more active, etc) as bad. From page 63: "Some 'experts' read the active, more assertive behavior of boys as indicating a propensity to violence. But this line of thinking shows a lack of respect for the unique qualities God has built into boys--the qualities that will someday make them men."

I found a lot of encouragement in this book as well, and she brings it back to Jesus often. One afternoon I was an emotional wreck (pregnancy hormones perhaps?) and I sat down to read more of this book and got to chapter 23: Desperate Motherhood. From page 140, "But what happens when you come to the concusion that you're responsible for making a mess of things? What happens when you take stock of where you are as a mother and you don't like what you see? What happens when you feel you've failed, that you made the wrong choices or that you never tried hard enough?" When I read this and the rest of the chapter, I felt like Jesus, through Barbara's writing, came alongside me, making me feel less alone in my role as a mother. I have support but sometimes it does feel very alone on a bad day. Either my attitude or the kid's is off (more often it's me that's the problem!) and I just feel like a failure. It was encouraging to read in this chapter, "For anyone headed in the wrong direction--or who just needs to tweak a few things to become a better mother: Every day is a new opportunity to make a fresh start." I am thankful that Jesus always brings a new day for me to follow him in everything, including my role as a mother.
As with Barbara's other book I reviewed, I highly recommend reading this book for any woman, new or not-so-new to motherhood. Thank you Jesus, for speaking through Barbara to me while I read this book!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

No sheep were harmed in the making of this birthday party.

For Amelia's birthday we had a sheep party. 20 kids 4 and younger and their moms in the neighborhood park turned into a great party for Amelia. We are certainly blessed to be part of a community with so many young children that have become my girl's best friends. The kids made sheep out of hand prints and played "Stick the wool on the sheep." Thank you friends for blessing Amelia with lots of fun toys and clothes, and especially for coming to the party!

For the cake, I chose to make sheep cake pops. I got the idea from the Bakerella blog while researching sheep cakes. I chose one of the most difficult types of cake pops to start with, and these sheep definitely had a learning curve. The concept is fairly simple but me being without any kind of culinary education except knowing how to read blogs on the internet, it turned out to be quite an ordeal. But the end product was much enjoyed by the party guests and mighty tasty! The directions are on this Bakerella entry. I had to freeze the pops to make it easier to dip, I think I may have used too much frosting or something.

For the coating I used white non-pareil sprinkles, a candy blackberry for the face, cut up licorice for the legs and little licorice for the ears. For the noses I used Easter egg sprinkles. I almost wanted to use sheep meat instead of crumbled cake, but that would have been a little violent, let alone more expensive. Ironic too. Some of the sheep looked a little, um...slow because of their misshapen bodies or weird-facing legs. My rationale for this is that sheep aren't the smartest of animals so it's okay if they don't look perfect. As Pastor Mark Driscoll has said, "The smartest sheep is still just a sheep."

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Dear Amelia,
Today you are 2 years old and today we celebrate that God has blessed us with having you in our family. You are so busy! You are such a little talker and imitator of all around you. You love to sing songs and give kisses and you especially love your sister Caley. We know that you will be a wonderful big sister.
Love, Mommy, Daddy, and Caley