Our love letter back home…


Love is the Beauty of the Soul St. Valentine

Hoi from the Gerngross family! We are sending our LOVE from the Netherlands! Just six months ago, our boots and hearts were in Texas where we were speaking and reading in English, driving our Expedition to and from baseball or dance, eating Chick-fil-a, shopping at HEB, and spending as much time as we could with family and friends. Now, Dutch is our new learned language, we ride our bikes to and from school or activities, we eat fresh bread from the bakkerij (bakery) with a slice of cheese or salami from the slagerij (butchery), we shop at the market for seasonal fruits and vegetables, we explore this new world as a family or enjoy koffie en koekjes (coffee & cookies) with the locals. What a journey this move has been for our family!

Trust and trust alone should lead us to love. St. Therese of Liesux

Some days I don’t feel courageous enough for living and raising a family in a foreign country, other times I feel unbelievably fearless and confident. It’s those days that I am forever grateful for the strength the good Lord up above has given me and my family. I look back at how far we have come and what we have accomplished…together! We truly felt called to take this leap of faith and trust in Him. In turn, it has lead us to LOVE the road we are on and trust this path He has laid before us.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18

Lance’s new loves are riding his bike everywhere he goes (even on school field trips), meeting new friends, writing in his journal, soccer, schnitzel, chocomel, koffie and Dutch conversation after mass each Sunday, taking the training wheels off his sister’s bike and teaching her to ride, giving mom the confidence to get back on a bike, bonding with his brother, and positively embracing the new Dutch culture and language with zeal. (10 years old)

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Corinthians 13:7

Lane’s new loves are riding his bike to school, coming home for lunch each day, playing soccer with the big kids, ijs (ice cream), market days, visiting all the nearby boederijen (farms), ice skating, Sinterklaas, becoming closer to his brother, and being so proud to be the first in the family to have tooth fairy visits in two new countries…Netherlands & Italy. (7 years old)

Jesus is my Anchor. Hebrews 6:19

Maci’s new loves are scarves, boots, face paintings at festivals, singing in Dutch, teaching her sister this new language, using Euros to buy her favorite fruits and vegetables at Market, riding her bike without training wheels, inviting friends over for pretend tea parties where mom doesn’t understand the conversation, celebrating with fresh fruit tarts for birthdays, and her teacher Juf Els. (5 years old)

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. Corinthians 13:13

Mary Kate’s new loves are stroopwafels, her new friend Jill, riding on the back of mama’s bike, her pink umbrella on hand each day for unexpected Holland rain showers, pannenkoekenhuizen (pancake houses), speeltuinen (play grounds), eagerly sending her siblings off to school with lots of hugs and kisses, and her Dutch music class with mommy. (3 years old)

Love is patient. Love is kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Royce’s new loves are the Friday fish markets in Boxtel, being the kids’ Religious Education teacher, finding new running routes along nearby farms, discovering a new culture, seeing the kids overcome their new challenges, Holy Mass in new languages, philosophical & political discussions, less work travel and evenings at home with the family, and positively knowing that we are Texans through and through. My new loves are the kids’ school and their teachers, our cozy Dutch home, autumn in the Netherlands, bicycle rides, our Catholic church with Father Joe, fresh market finds each Saturday, koffie in tiny teacups, meeting new mommy friends from all over the world, Wednesday afternoon playdates with Fatima and her family, the amount of family time we have with each other, and days where Lane comes home with a big grin, “Today was the BEST day ever, mom!”.

Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love. Mother Theresa  

We send our love, hugs, and St. Valentine wishes from this far away, low lying land, the Netherlands!

With LOVE in Christ,

The Gerngross Family






















  1. MIDGE BRADEN says:

    Dearest Netherland Gerngross Family, I’m not much on sending cards so that’s why you have never received one from us. But we always enjoy every card we get from all the Gerngross family members and their families. I just wanted to say how impressed I am with you, Jessica, to take on a move like yours. You must be a wonderful Mom, not to say the father figure isn’t awesome too. I envy you the adventures you must be having. The wonderful sights, history, cultures and so many other things I don’t have room to mention must be the most exciting wonderful experience everyday. I can’t tell you how great I think it is for your family to be there. Although I’ll bet the grandparents are sad, I know I would be. (I have always wanted to go and stick my hand in the mouth of that face.) Your children must be making the most wonderful memories. Memories that will be with them forever. They are all beautiful! But I don’t see any of that red hair! LOL Out of three daughters and 7 grandsons, 1 great grandsons their came one, the great-grandson, with red hair. Of course I include Genna and Matt’s mine too so I really have 10 grandsons. I can hardly wait ’til they move closer. Anyway…..I am in awe and total envy of you and the opportunities you are providing for family. You all seem to have overcome entering and living in a foreign land. I envy your faith as well. You are such a strong woman and mother. I am very happy also to be able to visit the area through you pictures. I will be checking it often for the experiences through your eyes IN those pictures. Didn’t mean to ramble so I will say goodnight (it is here anyway) for now and wish you great days ahead. Oh…sorry I took so long to get on here. I seem to be more behind every day. Sincerely, Midge

  2. MIDGE BRADEN says:

    That was supposed to be THERE CAME ONE. Dadgum auto correct!!! Lol

  3. MIDGE BRADEN says:

    Well me again. I meant to ask a favor of you. I collect key rings and since I will never get over there would you please pick up one for me? I will be glad to send you the money. It would be awesome to have one from a foreign place. Thanks, Midge

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