Tuesday, December 18, 2007

christmas letter

Below you will read Tracy's inaugural edition of a "Family Christmas Letter". She demanded that I keep the last section included where she talks about me. When I asked why she did not also write anything about how wonderful and beautiful she is, Tracy's answer had something to do with how much I talk about her on the platform all the time. Apparently this was her turn to get me back. She is such an amazing woman...I guess I'll let her take over my blog for this week.

So here it is. Read and enjoy:

Well, this is a year with some ‘firsts’ for the Gorveatte Family. Hopefully every year has some ‘firsts’, otherwise life gets boring!

A major change in our life has prompted us to write our first official Christmas Letter! I always enjoy receiving letters and updates from friends and family around the country, but never thought of doing one of our own. We hope you enjoy the first...maybe there will be more to come!

In January of this year, we went to Disney World for the first time. I (Tracy) had never been to Florida, so I was very excited to see what all of the hoopla was about. We had 2 wonderful days at Disney, but even better was the time we got to spend with the Gorveatte extended family. Having all 28 (one niece, Sara wasn’t there) of us together doesn’t happen very often, so it was a real treat.

Joel bought his first road bicycle In January and starting training for ‘the Big Ride’ in September. This spring he put more than 1,000 miles on his bike, and then...we moved about 2 weeks before the 400 mile Dalmac ride through Michigan. We were all bummed for him because he had worked so hard. He was quick to find fellow bikers at our new location, so Joel still rides when he can make time. You should see him in his biking outfit – very cute!

As some of you may know, we moved to the great state of Alabama at the end of the summer. It is somewhat of a homecoming for Joel after having lived here in Tuscaloosa as a child.

We had been in Lansing, Michigan since we left college 12 years ago, so this is the first time we’ve ever had to say goodbye to our church family and start our journey with a new church family. The moving process is never fun, but all went well. Despite the horrendous real estate market, God did what only He could have done – our home sold within one week without a realtor! Throughout the process, God has proven His faithfulness over and over again.

We’ve been blessed by the great folks at First Wesleyan Church in Tuscaloosa, who have been very welcoming. Our Faith Church family is now being led by Brandon & Jennifer Bruce, and we couldn’t be happier for them all. We know that while the process of leaving was difficult, the Lord has great plans for Faith & The Bruces.

We are really enjoying the yummy Southern cuisine – BBQ, ribs, catfish, sweet potatoes, pecan pie (and the list could go on and on). This has prompted another first….Joel and I have been jogging. Southern cuisine isn’t know for being low-fat (I really want to see Paula Deen’s cholesterol count)! So, we try to jog together a few evenings a week around the neighborhood. No marathons are in our future, but a couple of miles here and there give us some quality time together.

For the first time, Kate (now 10) and Seth (now 7) are giving basketball a try. They have their first game after the New Year, so they’re busy practicing. We are still homeschooling, and it’s still working well for us all. Kate is into listening to her iPod, emailing buddies, reading, and spending time with new friends. Seth still loves to draw, tell jokes and create things (new superheroes, video games, etc.). They both had their first visit with an orthodontist, and it looks like braces are in our future – yikes! They have transitioned very well since the move and have taken it all in stride. We are so proud of them and feel very blessed to have such great kids.

Joel and I will be celebrating our 13th anniversary in just a few weeks, and if it’s OK to brag, I will. I am a very blessed woman to be married to such a wonderful man. His words are sweet, his heart is mine, most of his jokes are funny, and his shiny bald head is so handsome! How blessed I am!

This concludes the Gorveatte Family update for 2007. Our hope for our family and yours in 2008 is that we have a better understanding of who Jesus is, have hearts more willing to serve, and have some great ‘firsts’ to share next year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

christmas guarantee

Thursday, December 06, 2007

supernatural video

During our Sunday series "Supernatural", we used this video as part of the teaching. Didn't Grant do a fantastic job directing and editing?

If you're wondering about the "spirit images" behind me, there is a really special way that we captured that effect. We bought a very special filter for the camera lens and then prayed really hard for angels to appear.

OK, maybe it was just a "green screen" computer trick, but it still worked great!

Monday, December 03, 2007

new running shoes

The weather has been really nice this fall. This weekend was the first of December and the weather was 70+ degrees. You would think that the conditions would be great for cycling. And Saturday I did get a chance to mountain bike on some aggressive trails (I only tumbled like 3 times!)

However, from day to day it is frustrating to see how quickly darkness approaches. Alabama is at the very beginning of the Central Time Zone. It is literally pitch black outside by 5:15pm. And the roads around here are not such that cycling after dark would be a wise thing to do.

Compounded by the fact that my schedule, has not allowed alot of time for it, I have not been getting hardly any time in the saddle. The result? My lack of fitness has made me feel pretty "blah".

So in the last 2 weeks, Tracy and I have tried to do a little running/jogging. This is a first for both of us. I have never owned a single pair of running shoes in my entire life. But I had been saving up my birthday money and that's what I ended up buying.

Running is something that we can do after dark. The dog enjoys the leash time. We can circle around the neighborhood (with cell phone in hand) and the kids are fine at home (Kate's a pretty responsible young lady). And I especially like that it is something we can do together.

We'll see how it goes. I don't expect to run (or even walk) any marathons any time soon. But at least the dog is enjoying the exercise!