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Family news

Well, it all comes down to one word: grandparents! Kris and I are slotted for the grandparent role come this October. Lukas gave us a call a couple months back to say that Annika was pregnant and that we would be grandparents. We were, of course, elated. Then about two weeks ago, while we were at the other end of the world, they wrote to us to say that the baby would be a boy. We purchased our first baby gifts when we were in South Africa (a wee Orlando Pirates shirt and a Springbok infant sleeper – two South African sports teams).
Any advice for new grandparents?
And, more good news, this time from Laura: Laura applied and was chosen to be the gifted coordinator at her school. She’s “bursting with excitement.”
And, yet more good news from Annika is that she is now working for Buffalo Hearing and Speech — she tutors preschool children with learning disabilities and other special needs.
And one more, Mark is going to DePaul University in the Fall.

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Bruce Gerencser

posted June 2, 2008 at 1:27 am

Enjoy the grandkids. My wife and I are up to three now, and we thoroughly love being grandparents.
One piece of advice…… wise in what you offer as “parenting” advice. Sometimes…… just have to shut-up :)
For me, having grandkids is an opportunity to be a better “father” than I was when the kids were little. I was too busy with my real love……..the Church. The Church proved to be a unreliable mistress…….so I will not make that same mistake with my grandkids.
You are older too……….much wiser, I hope. It is amazing what I tolerate from the grandkids that would have been real trouble for my perfect preacher’s kids. My sons wonder “who is this man?” :) Nothing like the mellowing old age brings.
God bless you and yours.

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posted June 2, 2008 at 4:02 am

No advice – just congratulations to all concerned.

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Jim Martin

posted June 2, 2008 at 4:39 am

How wonderful! I am very happy for you and Kris.

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posted June 2, 2008 at 5:03 am

First, you’re not old enough to be grand parents (at least Kris isn’t anyway… :)
Second, congratulations!
Third, feed him lots of candy, and let him stay up way past his bed time.
(At least this is how my kids’ grandparents see their role… :)
Again, congrats!

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posted June 2, 2008 at 5:06 am


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posted June 2, 2008 at 5:18 am

Share your love for birdwatching with him and send lots of little letters in the mail – my kids love getting grandparent letters (I gather there are many miles between your houses).

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Scott M

posted June 2, 2008 at 6:07 am

Congratulations! Find small things you can do again and again each year as the years pass. Our granddaughter lives a long way away. But each year, working with her mother, we’ve picked out and bought her birthday decorations. There are other little mini-traditions with our granddaughter, but that’s one example. Be aware when the opportunity to establish one presents itself.

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Michelle Van Loon

posted June 2, 2008 at 6:16 am

Mazel Tov to all in the clan!
You’re going to love being grandparents! It’s big fun.
The greatest gift you can give a grandchild is something you’re no doubt already doing – praying for him. A grandparent’s prayer is unique intercession of a child’s Number One fan and cheerleader. Those prayers are similar to the kinds of prayers you prayed (and still pray) for your own kids. Without the direct primary responsibility parents have for provision, discipline and nurture, a grandparent gets to share a unique and powerful friendship with a grandchild.

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John Frye

posted June 2, 2008 at 7:10 am

Congratulations, Scot and Kris! You will be wonderful grandparents. We have six–4 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. There exists a different and beautiful bond between grandparents and the grandkids. We are happy for and with you! :)
Advice? Enjoy and enjoy.

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posted June 2, 2008 at 8:22 am

Congratulations! So much good news in your family.
Here’s some advice from the daughter’s perspective: spend as much time with your grandkids, especially as they get older. They don’t remember the younger years so much (except with pictures, so take lots of pictures and home videos!), but will cherish the memories as they age (so will the parents). Share your faith with your life and words–they will come to you in moments of need and will always remember your example. Share your hobbies–it creates a special bond between you two. As mentioned above, create some traditions–every day and spiritual ones, especially if you live apart. One grandma sends a little Valentine card and a dollar EVERY year. The other one calls frequently and they will talk on the phone catching up.
That being said, grandparents will be grandparents. I’ve “fired” my mom a few times when she’s watched our kids ;-), but I don’t know what I would do without her continued support in my role as a parent–she reinforces with our kids what we’re teaching them.
(I doubt this is a problem for you, but is in parts of my extended family and for many other people, so I’m mentioning it.) Don’t forget about your kids (I’ve heard it’s easy to do for grandparents!)–let your grandkids see the love you have for your own kids.

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Michael W. Kruse

posted June 2, 2008 at 8:53 am

Congratulations! So much good news.
Great pic of you two.

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posted June 2, 2008 at 9:35 am

One bit of advice: crocs are great for kids. :)

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posted June 2, 2008 at 10:06 am

Great post!! Yeah for news! Minor correction…I’m not a tutor I am a Special Education teacher who travels to different sites.
Other then that…no advice for the two of you, we think you will be fab grandparents!!!

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Dana Ames

posted June 2, 2008 at 10:41 am

It’s a joy to share good news- grateful with you for all the goodness springing forth!

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Erika Haub

posted June 2, 2008 at 11:11 am

I can’t say enough about how I have appreciated my own parents’ willingness to make travel to see our kids one of their highest priorities (since we live a few states away). They have been so good at coming down often enough to help my kids have a relationship with them that does not feel distant.
Oh, and the other thing I have SO appreciated is that my mom got a hold of the basic baby and toddler stuff that we need when we visit (pack-n-plays, booster seat, etc.) and they keep these items in the garage so they are ready for us to use when we arrive (and we don’t have to bring everything with us on the plane). Also, they arrange to borrow car seats and strollers for us to use when we come as well. Traveling with little ones can be challenging (especially with airline stuff now) so it is great to relieve some of that burden of transporting a bunch of stuff.

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posted June 2, 2008 at 11:45 am

Congratulations! You guys are having grandchildren … my oldest just turned 13…. Lord willing, I will live long enough to be able to enjoy watching my own grandchildren grow up!
Advice? Hmmm … in conjunction with current thoughts about the importance of “intentionality” and “being present” in the lives of your loved ones, here goes:
Please forget the candy, really. No “cool” grandparents need to “buy” their grandchildren! Supporting the “rules” of their home environment is an act of grace and mercy to your son and daughter-in-law — and an example of honor and respect to your grandson! There are plenty of other ways to make visits to Grandpa and Grandma special. :)
Learn to see through your grandson’s eyes and listen to him and his stories and interests. Mom and Dad’s ears will get very tired, so look for every opportunity for him to tell you what’s going on.
Make a journal for him of your times together when he is small — yes, include all the pictures — so he can learn what your time together meant to you!
Make another journal (to be shared with all your grandchildren) of both of your lives when you were kids and beyond — things that you did and learned from; about your birth families and family histories; about your hopes and dreams as kids, young people … each stage … and tell them how your dreams have turned out. You’ll tell him (them) lots of those stories over the years, but it will be priceless for them to have it in writing. (You might want to start that right now, actually…. 😉 )
Do everything you can to support absolute rest and recovery and bonding for Annika and the baby that first month after delivery. Her main focus needs to be recovery for herself and bonding and caring for her new son. Our world goes way too fast and that time cannot be retrieved if it is lost. There is enough sleep deprivation ahead to not really focus on recovery, and what a terrible mistake that can be!
Well, that’s about all from Ma Brown! 8) My second son is an October birthday (actually on Halloween morning!), and I have an amazing picture of him in a little pumpkin outfit he wore as we trick or treated around the hospital’s nurses stations that evening. Pumpkin pie instead of birthday cake … with pumpkin ice cream … YUM!
Blessings all around!

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Rick Just

posted June 2, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Congrats! You may have heard that Todd and his wife Melissa had a little boy on Mother’s Day – Owen Patrick Just. Doing JUST fine. Eric and his wife had a boy last August so we are grandparents twice. Nothing like it. You’ll love it. By the way – we aren’t old enough to be grandparents are we? Seems like just yesterday our boys were playing ball together.

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posted June 2, 2008 at 4:26 pm

What great advice from so many with experience! You will be terrific grandparents and I love the idea about journaling about your life. What a great idea especially for one who loves to write.
Can’t wait to meet the new little McKnight myself!

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Ted M. Gossard

posted June 2, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Yes, Congratulations!
We’re in the same boat as Tiffany is soon to have a baby girl. So it will be a first for us, as well.
I’m sure you’ll make great grandparents!

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posted June 2, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Not being a parent nor grandparent, the only advice I can give that might be helpful is to keep your fountain pens away from him until he’s at least twenty. :)

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posted June 2, 2008 at 6:54 pm

Congratulations brother.

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posted June 2, 2008 at 6:59 pm

Congratulations, grandparents-to-be! You will be awesome, I’m sure!
The advice given above has been wonderful. I would add 2 things just to keep the wit alive…give your grandson the noisy gifts (to be kept at his home) and if there’s anything ornery Lukas did to you all when he was a child, teach your grandson to do it to his daddy! Ha! (If it is appropriate, of course!)
Love well, visit often, and enjoy!!! Congrats!!!

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Andie Piehl

posted June 2, 2008 at 7:15 pm

WOW! Just you all wait; you will find a depth of love you didn’t know possible when you get the grandkids. Also, I want to second the advice about not giving advice unless it’s asked for, and then, don’t expect that it will be followed. :)
I’ve decided if I were allowed, I ask for the grandkids first. I’m doing much better at that than I did at parenting.
Blessings to you and Kris; I’m so happy for you all!

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Dianne P

posted June 2, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Hey Scot,
Congratulations!!! Jessica just had our first grandbaby in April, so I guess those LHS athletes are out there being bountiful.
Advice? I’m sopping up every piece of wonderful advice here for being a long-distance grandma. The only one that I can think of is – organize your online photos early and often. And be sure to print a few to show around. The volume of pictures is overwhelming. We’ve been happy with picasa – the google photo service.
Wonder? I can’t believe that grandparents aren’t just talking about their grandchildren 24/7. The whole thing just takes my breath away. What a gift from God – on a whole other level than one’s own children.
Sports? Yes, yes, yes. Our little one received outfits for the Jets, Mets, Cubbies (of course), Phx Suns, Indians, and Univ of Va. And football season is coming up. Plus various balls – baby size. We’re thinking she set the record for sports outfits at a baby shower – if so, that’s a record that Lukas might aim to shatter.

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posted June 2, 2008 at 11:22 pm

No advice – just congratulations. In South Africa we call you “oupa” (Grandpa) and “ouma” (Grandma), and we say: “Baie geluk oupa en ouma.”

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Scot McKnight

posted June 3, 2008 at 5:14 am

That’s a “lacher” statement.

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posted June 3, 2008 at 9:43 am


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John S

posted June 3, 2008 at 7:05 pm

One piece of advice: give the proud parents at least a year before asking them when they’re having another one! :)

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Linda Gilmore

posted June 4, 2008 at 11:12 am

Congratulations! Being a grandparent is the greatest. Our first grandchild (a boy) arrived in January and we’ve fallen head over heels for the little guy. And it’s so neat to see your children become parents. It brings out new qualities in them.
Enjoy this wonderful new stage of life!

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Brad Cooper

posted June 5, 2008 at 7:06 am

Being one of the main “ex-offenders” (?….we’ll see…), I just had to count (Ha!), I counted just over 400–not including the smilies! 😉

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