Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Houston Legacy

Harley Shephard Houston & Lucille Elizabeth Schubert Houston

Married November 7, 1948


I recently read a blog written by a friend where he told the story of his grandparents. He explained how, over the nearly fifty years together, they held strong in their marriage, even with all of its ups and downs, good times and bad, sorrow and happiness. Then my friend pondered the question of why marriages today don't seem to last and thrive like those of yesterday. What did those marriages have that today's marriages do not? What is it that kept couples together then that do not today? Why is it easier to walk out on a marriage today than to stay together 'in sickness and in health, through good times and in bad'? My friend also asked that his readers consider the stories of our own grandparents, so here is mine...

Harley S. Houston, a small-town Iowa farm boy, full of life and faith.

Lucille E. Schubert, a corn fed country girl, sweet and full of grace.

While their families lived in the same area and they both attended high school together, though my grandmother actually a year older than my grandfather, they did not start dating until after graduating. In fact, they did not start dating officially until after my grandfather returned from serving as a Marine in WWII. While he was in the marines he was stationed somewhere near the Philippines, and my grandmother and her friends would write letters to the boys from home. I heard stories growing up that somewhere in my grandparents old farmhouse was hidden a stack of mail tied together, aged from years of love and dust, and covered in memories, the letters they shared during the war. I used to tease my grandmother that I would someday find the letters and read them, to which she would reply that she either didn't know what I was talking about, or say she had moved them to a new spot. 

When my grandfather returned from the war, he asked my grandmother to marry him, and they began their lives together on November 7th, 1948 by vowing to love and honor each other all of their lives, in front of family and friends joined together at the church that my grandfather's ancestors helped to build, and where my grandfather's parents were married as well. 

Through the years my grandfather worked hard as a farmer, raising cattle, kids and crops, and through it all my grandmother was by his side as his helpmate in every sense of the word. If he needed help, she was there, ready and eager to lend a hand. The only task on the farm that I never saw my grandmother help with was moving the cattle from one pasture to another, when my grandfather would let them meander down the lane and into the next open gate, all-the-while my grandmother hid in the house, starring out the window watching a few of the cattle wander into her yard and trample her flowers. It was usually during this scene that I heard her mutter, "I don't know why your grandpa does this! He knows I hate it when he moves them and they get in my yard!" 

But even as she would say those words, they were spoken with a tone of love and with respect for his duty as a farmer. 

I never witnessed my grandparents have a fight-ever. Sure, they exchanged challenging looks from time to time, and little disagreements, usually on whether to finish watching the news after supper or switch to Wheel of Fortune. I also never once saw either of them treat the other without respect. Words were carefully thought through and said in a loving manner. 

I can honestly say that the first time I ever saw someone read their Bible outside of church that it was in the home of my grandparents. Their's usually sat on their end table in the living room, between their rocking chairs, and usually left open or marked on a particular page. I sometimes wonder if I were there today, and that end table still existed, and that Bible still marked, what passage it would be on. My grandparents were also the first people that I noticed prayed before every meal, even if sometimes it was a simple, "Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest. Let this food to us be blessed," a family favorite. 

When I look back on my life and my journey of faith, I cannot hit replay without watching scenes like the above mentioned play out. My grandparents were the cornerstone to my faith in Christ, and He, I believe, was the cornerstone of their marriage. And with that said, I believe the reason they stayed together, in love, for nearly sixty years, without leaving each other's side, even till the end when my grandfather passed away in the Spring of 2002. 

What have they taught me or what can I take from them and apply in my marriage?

1. Their faith in Jesus Christ. He was, I believe, the center and focus of their marriage. Along with praising Him at home, they never missed a chance to worship Him on Sunday in the very church they were married in.

2. Their endurance through trials. They grew up during the Great Depression, they were in high school during WWII, and married just before the 1950's. They lost family, lost parents, lost brothers. At any point, they could have given in, thrown in the towel, walked away or walked out like many couples do today, but they endured-together.

3. Their commitment to one another. They supported one another, loved one another, respected one another. My grandmother was my grandfather's helpmate-she served him and her family first, always putting herself last. 

Unlike a lot of families in the world today, I'm very grateful that I can look back on the lives of my grandparents with love and joy and rejoice in the life they shared together, and pray that Alan and I might have the same marriage, built on the same principles that held them together for over half a century. 


Author's Note: The same Christmas that my grandmother passed away, as we were cleaning out her things, we found a stack of mail, aged with love and dust, and covered in memories. My mom and I have begun to read a few of them, and I can't wait to read the rest and watch the story of my grandparent's love be revealed...


Monday, February 22, 2010

Mommy's Letter to Isaac

Dear Isaac,

Today Mommy fed you and laid you down for your afternoon nap. Then she went into the kitchen and started making lunch. Since the George Forman wasn't working quite right, she decided to make the hamburger on the stove. After placing the patty on the skillet, she noticed a bit of smoke and realized something was on the burner, but no big deal. She turned around to get something, and turned back to find a LOT of smoke so she turned on the fan, turned off the burner, and removed the skillet...

Then the burner caught on fire!!!! Mommy panicked and grabbed the bag of flour in the cooking cabinet next to the stove to smother the flames (the fire extinguisher was farther away in the hall closet and knowing the cook-books were about to go up in flames too, mommy tried to think fast. 

After she got the flames smothered out with the flour, she noticed more smoke coming from the oven, and opened it to realize that the flour that fell through to the oven itself was starting to smolder because Mommy forgot she left the oven on broil after baking her french fries to go with her hamburger.

With all the smoke in the house, Mommy then started fanning the door open and shut trying desperately to get the smoke to calm down a bit. Then she realized that the smoke detectors would probably start going off, and that it might scare you and definitely wake you from your nap, so she went around the upstairs taking them down and removing the batteries. (Grandparents: Don't worry, they are back in place and in working order).

Well, Mommy was able to get the flour all cleaned up and cleaned the oven as well, and it works just fine. She's not sure what was on the burner that caught fire, but is interested in learning where one can purchase new burner plates as they didn't clean up very well. Daddy came home and told Mommy that since it was Ash Wednesday, if I really wanted some ash to put on my forehead that I could have dug some out of the fireplace. Mommy's friend Shawna called and sang "Chim-Chiminey" to her on the answering maching.

And through it all...you slept :). Peacefully. Quietly. Without any disturbance, you slept :).

But Mommy did stop and take a moment to thank God that those flames were quickly put out and we were both safe and unharmed :).

I love you, Isaac! I promise to not burn anything else in the near future ;).



Rub-a-dub-dub a Chub in the Tub!


Rub-a-dub-dub a Chub in the Tub :D



gettin' ready for my dip in the water



Yay! Bathtime is over and time for my baby massage!!!


Ok, pj's, passifier and I'm ready for bed!




...and now he looks like mommy...

Alan put Isaac down for a nap and he was fast asleep. He came in a few minutes later to check on him,

and below is what he found...

Isaac's First Boo-Boo :(

I was clipping his little nails, and accidentally clipped his little finger :( It was just the skin, and didn't bleed, but is sore, poor guy :( Mommy feels REALLY bad!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Playing Catch-Up on the Blog

We've been a busy bunch here at the Gerlings, so this is my attempt to play catch-up on some recent Isaac activity...

A couple of highlights:

~Isaac wore his first Hawkeye gear. We were so proud ;).

~Isaac's first Valentines day!!!! The Weddle girls babysat so that we could go on a valentines date. We tried the new Radina's for a cup of java and a sweet treat, however the atmosphere was very busy and loud...not exactly what we were looking for. So, instead we headed out for a drive in the country for our date day. When we returned and picked up the little man we found some fun pictures of him on the camera!!

~Isaac and I attended our very first MOPS meeting over at another church. We met lots of other moms, had some fun fellowship, and best of all it was SPA day!!!! Yay!!! The picture speaks for itself, but Isaac was OUT when we got home. When he finally woke up about 30min later I went to put him in his swing only to smell something horribly wrong. Let's just say it was an emergency bathtime!!!!




Thank you, Grandma Sherry and Papa John, for my awesome Valentine's day gift! I'll share the chocolates with Mom and Dad because otherwise I'll just have to gum at them ;)

I gave my first Valentines gift to Miss Anna for watching me so Mom and Dad could go out. She loves chocolate covered espresso beans!!! Mr. Clark was there too, so I had a friend!


Mommy & me on Valentines. I was sad because I had to leave Miss Anna's.

On Saturday mornings I've been skyping Gma Sherry. I love technology <3

Me, conked out after mommy took me to MOPS. When I woke up, mom found a stinky little suprise that I made for her :). It meant an emergency load of laundry and bathtime early today!

I like smiling. Smiling's my favorite.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hey, Mr. Postman...

As I was rocking Isaac this morning after his feeding, the doorbell rang. I quickly got up, with child in hand, did a quick check to be sure I looked at least a bit normal (aka, no spit-up, hair not too wild), heard another ring and harsh knock, and opened the door to find the postman with a package for us that accidentally got delivered to our neighbor. He was slightly miffed that I didn't answer on the first ring, then noticed Isaac and let out a heavy, "Oh...I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you..."

So what did we get from the nice (not) mailman?? A gift from cousin Pierce!!! HUGE THANK YOU!! It's adorable and will be perfect for him :).


thank you SO MUCH Amy, Jon & Pierce!! We love it!!

Spring Fever!

I have spring fever something FIERCE! I love being outdoors, and am going nuts inside, so to burn some energy while Isaac was on his playmat I cleaned and organized his closet. I did not take a before picture because it was just that bad!, but here is the after shot...


ahhh....much better :)

...something new...

Isaac was a bit cranky-very sleepy, but refusing to sleep, didn't like being rocked, done playing, so I tried something new: the baby carrier ;). I thought he might be too small yet, so I haven't used it, but a friend who has a son 2 days younger than Isaac said she uses hers already, so I gave it a try. The results speak for themselves ;). That, and he helped me fold 3 loads of laundry and put it away!!!

...10 minutes later...



Mom and Dad had their very first official date night, complete with babysitter for me, last saturday night.

What: First Date Night

Who: Miss Anna and her family babysat me!

Where: I got to go to the Weddle's, and mommy and daddy went to dinner at the Hy-Vee deli (woot-woot!), then grocery shopping, then ran   errands at Target with the coupons mom found when she finally went through the bag she got at the hospital. After their date, they came back to pick me up and we got to finish watching the KSU vs. KU game with everyone.

Here are some pictures of me with my very first babysitter...





Jodie's Top 5

My Top 5 Things I Need To Get Through The Day:

1. My morning coffee.

2. Isaac's playmat and swing (ok, so two things, but they both serve the same purpose-entertain child and give my arms a rest!)

3. Simply Noise!! www.simplynoise.com plays continuous white noise for when he sleeps. ...I guess that means by default I need my laptop and internet too...

4. Pandora.com-Music, for both me and Isaac. I hate silence, and the house is too quiet when daddy is gone at work, even though Isaac is starting to coo and chat with me now :)

5. Prayer.

My Guess at Daddy's Top 5 Things To Get Through The Day:

1. Nightly walk on treadmill with episode of Star Trek/Stargate/Star Something

2. Daily reading of emails and Drudge Report.

3. Music. Mainly from Rhapsody while at work....although mommy can steal it and sign in at home which kicks daddy off!

4. Logos. (His techy Bible if you will. Again, by default that means laptop and internet.)

5. Crystal Light packets for his bottled water.

....I shall update later and we'll see how far off I was on daddy's top 5...



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

isaac first 2 months

Photo book of Isaac's first two months. View below or click on the link to Shutterfly :)


Click here to view this photo book larger