Our 2018 “Christmas” Letter

We’re lame.

One of the most eventful and travel-packed years for the Googers and we do not get a Christmas card or Christmas letter out. That’s what happens when you move, change jobs, live with your (Hans’) sister and her family for five months, renovate a house, run into problems renovating said house, move into that house, continue running into problems, and likely have more things to address. The Christmas card got cut for time and budget reasons. There was a moment—we had it lined up—where we were going to get pictures and get the party started, but the weather was bad that day and we never rescheduled because that is how 2018 has been.

Here’s your Christmas/New Year’s blog post:

Where to start? Well, our new house has gutters now. That’s nice. It needed gutters; but you probably didn’t come for the gutters or updates on them. You are probably curious about the family. We have updates on them, too.

First, the travels. From May until July we traveled to Kentucky (Hans is a Dr. now, but not the kind people really care about), to Texas, to Tennessee, to Virgina, to Washington DC, to Georgia, and back. Then we sold the house and moved to Texas. Hans got a job as a pastor at a church in Spring—Genesis Community Church—thus the move. From July until early December we lived with Hans’ sister and her family as we got adjusted—we pray they have recovered (in fact, they were awesome). Then, in December we got into our house.

All the kids are in the same elementary school, which sits at the front of the neighborhood. Ethan’s favorite things: recess is longer, no uniforms, and he can play basketball at said recess. Asher? Same. Abram? That his music teacher puts chapstick on his hand and calls it a “smelly.” Abram now will not leave the house without a big Ziploc bag full of chapstick. “My lips will never be chapped,” he says.

Both to give us something to do in a new city and give the kids other kids to meet (not to mention they both wanted to), Ethan and Asher played baseball for the first time. What did we learn? It rains a lot in Texas in the fall. Basically half the games got rained out and/or rescheduled. (By the way, who in the WORLD schedules 8pm Little League games on school nights? Crazy people.) Another thing we learned? Baseball is a sport with a HIGH entry cost—gray pants (but not too gray), navy socks, black socks, a belt, a helmet, a bat, a bat bag, a glove, etc. One time we couldn’t find Ethan’s glove so Hans ran to Academy to get ANOTHER glove. Shortly thereafter we found the missing glove in the bushes.

The new house has a double oven so Courtney makes twice the cookies. The old house had a double oven, too, but we didn’t tell you last year so we can now make that tidbit sound like new news. She’s also really loving the new king-sized bed because she can say “goodnight” to Hans and then not see him again for eight hours (more like five hours with how late she stays up).

In other news, Hans was pulled over for a traffic violation for the first time in his life this year. The speed limit on the main boulevard in the neighborhood? TWENTY. Fewer things are worse in the world of transportation than a posted speed limit of twenty in a place that is not a school zone. Luckily, Hans got a warning from the officer and the ability to tell the kids that he, too, gets pulled over. (“What does ‘pulled over’ mean?” asked Abram.)

A lot happened this year. Much more than the letter contains, but not much more that you’ll be interested in. The synopsis: we’re alive, baseball is expensive, chapstick is cheap, we live in Texas, and God is good.

We hope to be back in card and letter form in 2019. Until then, here’s a picture of us from the first night in the house:

A Great Christmas Song

Most people who hang around me long enough can figure out my sense of music and movies, so it is no surprise that I like this song. It’s a Gungor song from their Christmas album. I think you should hear it (though I can’t ensure you’ll enjoy it, I think you will).

We never run out of songs to write and sing about our great salvation.

The Journey of the Christmas Card

Christmas cards went in the mail last week, and a few are going in this week. Christmas cards are an interesting phenomenon. I don’t remember getting many growing up, and I don’t remember our family doing one. Now we spend weeks preparing them (and by “we” I actually mean the Googer fam) and actually have a spot in the house to display the ones we get. We also keep the cards we received in boxes for that magic day when we . . .look through them, I guess. (?)

So, if you did not receive it, or haven’t received it, here it is!

Googer Card Front 15


(You’ll notice that it is the same picture that now sits to the right on this page, as each year I usually take some part of the Christmas picture photo shoot and make it the image on the blog.)
Continue reading “The Journey of the Christmas Card”

Four Reasons I Love Our Christmas Eve Service

It’s here again. Without fail, December 24th comes and we have our Christmas Eve services. Christmas Eve was always fun growing up. We’d go to a Christmas Eve service with family, then I’d go over to Evan’s house and stay there playing video games late into the night. The same things happen now, except replace my family growing up with my own wife and children; replace Tomball, TX with Baton Rouge, LA; replace services I attend with services I lead; and replace Evan with . . . well,  you can’t replace Evan.



I am obnoxious with the staff and folks from The Chapel about how much I enjoy these services—some reasons noble and some a little more selfish. Here are my top four . . . Continue reading “Four Reasons I Love Our Christmas Eve Service”