June 27, 2012

My Adoption Internship

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , at 7:30 pm by Tamara

I mentioned here how one of the things we were concerned about if we want overseas was the timing of my internship.  Three years ago I decided to go back to school for my degree in Psychology: Christian Counseling through Liberty University Online.  I finished my coursework in May (YAY!!) and then needed to complete an internship in order to graduate.

I was pretty stressed out about trying to find a position.  I have a hard time asking for help when I have nothing to give in return (I know, I know: pride), plus I felt rather insecure/ridiculous looking for a counseling internship as an undergrad student. I was also really unsure how it was going to work with Berean, since Adam’s working three jobs and not available much to watch him.  And, honestly I was resenting having to be away from Berean, even if only part-time.  I love staying at home with him!

So, frankly, I put off looking until way too late, and was really down to the wire.  I started praying hard that God would help me find an internship where I could both really learn something and really serve Him.  Praise the Lord he’s faithful even when I’m not, because he graciously answered my prayers to help me find a position.  Through a long, unlikely string of people that stretched over several states, I was connected with a non-profit that provides support services for orphans and adoptive/foster families.

I’ve been doing all sorts of stuff, from interviewing adoptive families, to researching grants, to soliciting donations, to helping deliver meals.  Tomorrow I find out about doing some work with an agency that uses animals in therapy, which I am REALLY excited about.  I think animal-assisted therapy could be fantastic for kids with attachment disorders.  In July I get to sit in on the CORE adoption training that Colorado requires for potential adoptive parents, which is another huge blessing because it’s a costly training and they’re letting me attend for free.

Our most recent big event was a night where foster and adoptive families dropped off their kids for a one night VBS-like program.  The goal was to give them a much-needed night off and hopefully relieve some pressure so that they can keep providing quality care and loving homes and avoid a failed placement.  We had about 50 kids and 20 volunteers, and I think it was a smashing success!

One thing I’ve been hearing consistently is that practical things like a meal or a night of babysitting can be a huge help.  One amazing adoptive mother of several children who’ve had a lot of struggles to overcome put it this way, “You can get so emotionally and mentally overwhelmed by the struggles your family is going through that just the thought of fixing dinner is completely overwhelming.  Sometimes just having a few meals delivered or someone helping you clean your house is enough to help you feel like you can face another day and not give up and send the child back into the system.”

It makes perfect sense to me.  When you’re going through a very emotionally demanding situation, it’s almost like your brain and spirit are dedicating so much of your strength to getting through it that there’s very little left over for practical, everyday things.  We understand this when it comes to things like grieving a lost loved one or giving birth, but I think we can miss how intense adoption can be and how much we can help and support adoptive families.

Something another mother said hit me like a ton of bricks: “It can be very hard to ask for help when you need it, because there can be a feeling that ‘You got yourself into this’ so you aren’t allowed to say you’re struggling and ask for help.”  That statement just about bowled me over.

I’ve been learning a lot from these adoptive parents and I want to write about it, but it’s kind of intimidating, because 1) I haven’t adopted (yet!) so I can’t speak from experience, and 2) I recognize that everyone’s experience is different, and some things I write about might be dead-on for some adoptive parents and completely in left-field for others.

But…adoption and orphan care are things I care about, and that I firmly believe we as the Church are called and commanded to do.  So I think it’s good to think and dialogue about it, even if I don’t get everything right.  And secondly, my internship supervisor asked me to write about it.  So I don’t really have a choice.  ;)

At any rate, hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll be posting more thoughts, both what I’m hearing from adoptive parents and what I’m studying in the Word.  If you have adopted or fostered, feel free to comment with your thoughts and experiences!  And if you know someone who has adopted or fostered, why not see if you can drop off a meal and watch the kids for an evening (or whatever else they need!)?  : )

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June 25, 2012

Life Update

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , , , , at 11:29 pm by Tamara

It may be hard to tell from the last few posts, but my life really isn’t a book (or a review of a book).  So I guess I should give a life update before I write the next two book reviews I have planned….

You’ve probably already guessed it, but we aren’t going to be going overseas this fall.  As I mentioned here, once we started the application process a bunch of reasons not to go suddenly popped up, and we were left trying to discern whether that was God speaking or just life being life or the enemy being the enemy.  We were concerned about the timing for several reasons, such as our desire to have more kids sometime in the next few years (and the possibility that I’d have to come back to the states if I needed another c-section), and the fact that we’d have to raise all our support in the summer, which is when I also needed to complete my internship for my degree.

Also, right when we were turning in our applications we found out that Adam’s mom’s cancer had started progressing faster than expected.  She was diagnosed with chronic lymphatic leukemia a while back, but told it would be ten years or so before she would feel any symptoms or need treatment.  Unfortunately, her check up showed it was progressing faster than they expected, and they said she would probably need to start chemo within the year.  I promised Mom I wouldn’t be dramatic when I wrote about this, but you can imagine how difficult it was for all of us to hear that!  She very much stressed to us that she wanted us to follow God wherever he was leading us, but it was definitely a new factor in our decision process.

So, we did a lot of praying and talking with people we trusted, and finally decided that we should wait at least a year before trying to go overseas.  Ironically, a few days after we decided that, the organization got back with us and told us that they didn’t think they had quite the right placement for us.  So that closed that door!

I had very mixed feelings about that.  My first reaction was to be very thankful that God had clearly closed the door and confirmed our decision to wait.  Unfortunately, other emotions followed quickly on my thankfulness’ heels!  Chief among them was a deep feeling of rejection.  “Why didn’t they want us?  What’s wrong with us?”  And that quickly transitioned into “Why doesn’t GOD want us?”  It’s baffling to me that God clearly calls us to “Go into all the world” and says “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few,” but then when we say “Here am I!  Send me!” he says…”No.”  What do you do with that?

So I had to take a few weeks to really wrestle with some things I believe in my head but had to come to grips with in my heart.  A big one was that God’s love for me has nothing to do with my usefulness to Him.  And that closing one door doesn’t mean He’s given up on me and doesn’t want me anymore.  That He loves me fiercely and unconditionally and considers me as valuable as His own Son, and that will never change.

Once I had some peace in my heart about that whole mess of emotions and lies and truth, it was pretty much back to my old reaction: “Alright, Lord, thank you for clearly closing that door.  But, now, where is your open door?  I’m very thankful for clear ‘No’s,’ but where is your ‘Yes?’”

And…you’ll have to wait for a future blog post about that, because we’re not exactly sure about the answer yet!  We are sure, though, that God doesn’t have us here for no reason.  We don’t want to just be here because we aren’t “there” (wherever there is); we believe God has a reason why we are HERE, NOW.  So we’re trying to be faithful with what’s on our plates right now and keep our eyes open for what God wants to do in and through us right now.  There are a couple things on our radar screens, but this is getting long, so I’ll save them for later.

Mom has had a couple of doctor’s appointments since then, and we’re very thankful that she’s found some fantastic doctors.  They are still thinking she’ll need to start chemo sometime before the end of the year, but say there are some positives about where her condition stands now, such as that she’s still considered stage one.  So we’re waiting, praying, and trusting God.  I’d really appreciate your prayers!!

Thanks for reading, caring, and praying for us!  I can tell you are.  : )

March 15, 2012

Vision and Questions for the Future

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , , , , at 8:54 pm by Tamara

“Let me explain–  No, there is too much.  Let me sum up.”  (Name that movie!)

It’s a long story that I’ve shared bits and pieces of, but the summary is that Adam and I have been seriously praying about the possibility of going overseas for two years to do ministry.  We’ve sent in our applications so that we can talk with the organization, find out more about the opportunity, and go from there.  (Incidentally, the application is part of the reason for the lack of block posts lately: too much other writing for the application and school!)

Ever since we started the application process we’ve been blindsided by a bunch of reasons NOT to go.  We’re still processing them, trying to discern if any of them are God saying “Wait” or if they’re just life being life, or the enemy being the enemy, or what.  It’s exhausting and discouraging, but also a good lesson in trust and learning to listen to the Father.  We’re really in limbo so I can’t say what’s going to happen, but if I don’t at least mention it now and we do decide to go, you’ll all think it came out of thin air, so I’m mentioning it!

At any rate, that’s not the real point of this post, just the background.  Here’s the point: I get prayer updates from someone doing ministry in a dangerous part of the world, and they recently had some people visit the region to see about maybe coming to minister there.  This was in a recent update from my friend, and it just about made me cry, because I can so relate!  I can’t share my friend’s name, but they gave me permission to post this.  If you’re in the same boat, I hope it’s encouraging to you, too!

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“Some call them vision trips. Others say they’re survey trips. Whatever the name, it’s all about breathing the air, walking the ground, and wondering if you could do it. Could you make this move? Could you live here, in this stranger than you’ve ever imagined place? It’s about putting your real self and your shimmering dreams before others you may have met only through email, if at all. It’s about listening to what’s said and what’s left unsaid. Its about pushing back the doubts and fears and straining to hear our Father’s voice.

“I am always awed at the courage of vision-trippers. It’s a journey of pure faith; flying face-forward into the abyss. It’s knowing that you’re called but wondering who, if anyone, will receive you. And if they do receive you, will they be glad for it? Will you find a home with the little band, the team you’ve agreed to join? Will you make good decisions? Do you really know who you are? Are you ready? And if you do come, will anyone back home support you? Will people really pray? Will they give? Will they remember you? Will it be enough? And who said you could do this, anyway? Who said you had anything to give? Why don’t you just stay home? Isn’t there enough work to be done there? And how could you take our grandchildren so far away? What about your career and your retirement – and a hundred other challenges?

“This is why I’m always awed at the faith of vision-trippers. These are folks who’ve started the journey. Who’ve stood up and bravely said; ‘I want to go.’  They have some partners who’ve said; ‘I believe in you.’ Who pray and give – who invest in the brave dream that’s not yet been fulfilled. They’ve completed applications and joined an organization. They’ve prayed their hearts out and started counting the cost. They’ve stepped headlong into a spiritual battle the likes of which they’ve never experienced before. The enemy rises up in rage. “Who do you think you are!?!” With weapons of doubt and fear, he would stop us in our tracks if God were not with us. This is why I love vision-trippers. I love their sheer courage and trembling faith. The next steps are clear; join a field-team, raise support and go. If you know any such people, cheer them on. Celebrate their journey. Enjoy the overflow of their faith.”

January 1, 2012

Farewell, 2011!

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , at 12:18 am by Tamara

What an eventful year 2011 has been!  Here are some highlights and some of my favorite pictures.

January: Six months pregnant, we flew to Wisconsin to visit Adam’s family and celebrate a late Christmas.  They threw us a baby shower while we were there, and it was so fun to see so many friends and family!  Next we flew straight to Arizona for a Larson family reunion.  Thanks to weather we almost didn’t make it, but finally rolled in a day late.  Again, it was so fun to see family!  About this time, Adam decided to switch his major from Pastoral Counseling to Bible Exposition, and we started to wonder if we should move.

Somehow this was the only family picture I got in Wisconsin!

Some (not all!) of my extended family at our Christmas reunion

Cousins!

February: Back in South Carolina, we celebrated Adam’s 25th birthday when I took him on a surprise weekend away in North Carolina.  We spent a day hiking around the waterfalls in the mountains (being careful not to get TOO far away from the car since I was almost eight months pregnant!)  Then we visited the Biltmore Estates in Ashville and wandered around downtown Ashville a bit (before the pouring rain started).

Looking Glass Falls, North Carolina

The Biltmore Estates

March: Nesting kicked into full gear as we anticipated our baby’s due date.  I still worked at the bookstore, spending all day bending down to shelve books.  Some days I felt like just staying down on the floor once I got all the way down there!  My mom came a few weeks before the due date, and we treated ourselves to pedicures, planted the garden, and waited for baby!

Nine months pregnant!

April: Baby’s due date came and went, and while I was thankful he wasn’t born on April Fool’s Day, I was so ready to meet him!  Finally, on April 11 they induced me, and on April 12 Bear  was born!  There are no words to say what a wonderful gift we received that day.  He is worth all the misery of pregnancy and labor a million times over.  And, we decided he was just waiting until both Grandmas could be there, because (thanks to his late arrival) Grandma H. arrived a couple hours before he was born!

First Family Picture!

Coming home from the hospital

May: Grandma H. and Grandma L. went home, and we settled in to life with a newborn.  We got our first smiles from Bear and fell more in love with him every day!  Adam proved to be wonder dad, and would get up in the middle of the night to change Rean and bring him to me as I stumbled out of bed.  Sleep deprivation and all, we LOVED being parents!

Smiles and Giggles!

Ready for safari!

June: We flew to Colorado for my sister’s wedding.  Bear was eight weeks old, and while I was apprehensive about flying alone, he did amazing!  Adam flew out a few days later and we had a blast at the wedding and loved introducing Bear to his Grandpa L., aunts, uncles, and old friends.  Back in South Carolina, we celebrated my 27th birthday.

At the wedding

My favorite birthday gift

July/August: We had been questioning our future direction ever since Adam decided to change his major, and having Bear made us miss being near family even more.  After a lot of prayer we decided that, since Adam was no longer pursuing a degree that was specific to the school in South Carolina, he wanted to transfer to a seminary closer to family.  There aren’t any seminaries near Adam’s family, so we decided on one in Colorado and started preparing to move.  We made sure to take Bear to the ocean (my favorite part of South Carolina!) and he was pretty impressed with the sand and waves.

Three months old

The ocean–one of my favorite places in the world

My favorite place, with my favorite boys!

September: We spent most of our “free time” working on projects around the house, getting it ready to sell.  I was still absolutely loving getting to be a stay at home mom with Bear, who got cuter every day!

Five months old, first solid food!

Date night

Time to say goodbye to our beloved little house.

October:  We said goodbye to our house and a few wonderful friends in South Carolina and hit the road.  We decided to visit Wisconsin “on the way” since Adam had a few weeks before he had to start his new job in Colorado and Bear still hadn’t met the H. side of the family.  We got to meet our new nieces and nephew who had been adopted from Colombia, South America in February.  We relished every moment spent with Adam’s family and our Wisconsin church family!

Six Months Old

Little Bear Meets Old Bear

Grandma and Grandpa H and the Grandkids

November: We arrived in Colorado!  For the first time since Bear was born we had family members close by to hug, cuddle, play with, babysit, and admire our sweet boy!

Playing piano with Grandma L

Thanksgiving Dinner, 2011

December: We celebrated Bear’s first Christmas, and the first time Adam has been in Colorado for Christmas with my family.  It was so fun to watch Christmas through the eyes of a baby, and to be near family!

Bear’s First Christmas

Christmas with a baby is so fun!

Cutest, sweetest little boy in the world. We are so blessed!

All in all, 2011 was a year full of new adventures and God’s care and faithfulness through it all.  I can’t wait to see what God has for us in 2012!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

November 14, 2011

Beautiful Things Out of Dust (A-la-carte life update)

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , , , , , at 3:28 am by Tamara

For those of you wondering if we fell off the face of the earth, the answer is yes.  Thankfully, (after a stop in Wisconsin) we landed in Colorado.  Whoo hoo!  I’m pretty sure my stress level was supposed to decrease after the move was over, but that has not been the case.  I’m not sure if it’s really exploded or if it’s just cumulative stress of the past six months, but I’m kind of freaking out about life.

We haven’t found an apartment yet, mostly because we’re trying to figure out exactly what our income is going to be.  Adam’s looking for a second job, and possibly a different first job.  We’re also, believe it or not, considering the possibility of (gulp) taking the leap into full time ministry, which would (gulp) require raising support.  Anyway, I feel kind of suspended in the air with no place to land.  I’ve heard husbands freak out without a job; I think wives freak out without a home.

School wise, I’m taking a rather difficult philosophy course right now.  I’m pretty sure that times in life where one is emotionally and mentally depleted are NOT good times to take challenging, thought-provoking philosophy courses.   It is definitely adding to my stress level.

As for NaNoWriMo…sigh.  I’ve managed to keep at it so far, in spite of great adversity (the day it began was the day we started driving to Colorado, so I wrote the day’s word quota that night in a dark hotel room with a husband, two dogs, and a crying baby in the background, in spite of a dead computer, a broken desk chair, and a semi-truck rumbling outside the window.  That’s dedication).  Unfortunately, I feel like I’m drowning in life right now, and the stress is brutally draining the life blood out of my creativity.  I’m not sure if I’m going to make it this year or not.  We’ll see.

The upside of life right now is wonderful, adorable Bear.  He just turned seven months old.  I can’t believe it!  Where has the time gone?  He has been an absolute angel through all the chaos of the past month.  He had his first cold while we were visiting Wisconsin (so traumatizing!  He didn’t like it much, either), and just got his first tooth a week ago (my baby is growing up too fast!!)  I can’t believe how sweet he was during the trip in spite of a cold, cutting a tooth, meeting a ton of new people, and having his entire life turned upside down.  He’s really been amazing.  He’s getting much more comfortable and confident meeting new people and being in new situations.  We LOVED getting to see family and friends in Wisconsin on the way here, and finally introducing them to Little Bear.

So, all that to say…I don’t know.  Adam and Bear are my parachutes in life right now.  I feel like I’m just hanging onto them as we fall through the air to land…who knows where.  But, as long as they’re wherever we end up, I’m sure it will be okay.  God has always come through for us in the past; I think maybe all this stress and uncertainty is a chance to put into practice what we’ve learned about Him in the past when He’s come through in fast, glorious ways that far exceeded our expectations.  Things don’t seem to be falling into place very well right now, but the story’s not over, and God hasn’t changed.  I have two mantras lately.  1) “Stress is pressure incorrectly handled,” and 2) this song:

September 16, 2011

Go West, Young Family!

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , at 10:15 pm by Tamara

I’ve put off writing this for three reasons: 1) I can’t think of a clever/exciting/funny way to say it, 2) It’s hard to hold a baby and type with one hand (as I’m doing now), and 3) I’m afraid as soon as I post it something will change.  But oh well.  So, guess what?  We’re moving to Colorado!!

I wrote here about some of the reasons we started thinking about moving, and we’ve decided we’re going to move.  It’s taking all my self-control not to add an “I think” or “Hopefully” after that pronouncement because there are so many details still up in the air.  And then there’s always this: Proverbs 16:9  “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”  And then there’s the fact that I get a little weepy every time I think about leaving our beautiful home!  But that’s the downside.  The upside(s):

Grandparents, aunts, and uncles!  Rean’s spectacular adorableness just shouldn’t go un-admired.  There have been countless times I’ve ached to have them here for some new milestone or cute antic of his.  Also, can you say…”date night?”  Because I can, once I add “babysitting” to the end of it!  I am so excited Rean will get to know his extended family.  I only wish the Wisconsin side of the family would be there, too.  L

I’m also excited that some of my high school friends seem to also be migrating back to Colorado.  It will be so fun to get reacquainted with them!

I think the seminary will be just what Adam wants.  It sounds like the professors and academic record are just stellar, so I’m excited.

And in case that’s not enough upsides…did you notice what state I said?  COLORADO!  Rocky Mountains!  Need I really say more?

The deciding factor was that earlier this week Adam was offered a transfer with his job.  Thank you, Lord!  After two months of frustration that I won’t elaborate on because it still raises my hackles, he was finally able to talk to the right people, which quickly resulted in a glowing letter of recommendation for him, two phone interviews, and a “When can you start?”  We’re still working on the answer to that question, but we’re hoping within the next 1-2 months.

It definitely doesn’t seem real yet—I don’t think it will until we’re driving away.  Now we have to pray our house will sell, which is kind of a discouraging topic since a) The two years we’ve been here clearly fall short of the 5-10 years we thought we’d be here when it was bought and b) Have I mentioned I love our house??  But, God is providing so far (the provision of the house in the first place was rather miraculous), so I’m praying for another miracle.  I wouldn’t mind your prayers on that front, either!

I’ll try to keep updating as we get the details worked out…but for now: Colorado, here we come!

This will soon be my view when driving around town. Aaaaaahhh! So lovely!

August 31, 2011

Decision Making

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 11:45 pm by Tamara

Well, we’ve decided we want to move to Colorado!  (I wrote here about the reasons we were thinking about it, in case you missed it.)  Unfortunately, wanting to move and moving are two very different things.  We have been waiting for weeks for Adam’s job to tell him if he can transfer, and haven’t heard a thing.  Every time we ask they just say they’ll call person X, Y, or Z and see what’s going on.  I am getting really, REALLY frustrated.  He’s applied for some bus driving jobs, but they won’t consider his application until he has a Colorado driver’s license.  There are a lot of openings and he’s qualified for them, so we could just move and hope he gets hired, but that sends my warning lights screaming dire predictions about ending up broke and living in our parents’ basement for the next five years.  Yikes!  So yeah.

We were also having trouble for a while getting our questions answered by the school.  They weren’t answering calls or e-mails, which was weird and stressful.  Then there was a mix up when we were trying to contact the realtor…etc etc.   Pretty much as soon as we made the decision to move, everything ground to a halt.  It’s been quite the contrast to our move here, where the doors just flew open.  I confess it’s made me wonder AGAIN “Are we doing the right thing??”

At first I was praying “Lord, if this is your will, please open the doors.”  Which sounds good enough, but the more I think about it, I don’t know that it’s the best way to make decisions. Biblically speaking, easiness isn’t really the hallmark of God’s direction.  Paul said once that “a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:8).  So apparently there can be a “wide door” and difficulties at the same time.  On the other hand, there’s Jonah who could easily have said “Oh look!  God provided a ship for Tarshish!  And He provided the money for me to buy my ticket!  It must be his will!”  And clearly that was the exact opposite of God’s command.

I’m not saying we aren’t praying for God to provide the things we need to follow Him.  But I am rethinking my “open doors” guidance thoughts.  I confess I’m discouraged, but realizing that facing some roadblocks or speed bumps shouldn’t make me give up or automatically decide we’re “out of God’s will.”  We’re still pressing forward, while at the same time carefully listening in case God wants to tell us to do something else.  All our reasons for going still seem wise and it doesn’t violate any moral command, so we’re going to keep trying.  I would really appreciate prayer for wisdom and, yes, that (unless He has some reason He doesn’t want us to go that He hasn’t told us yet) that God will provide the things we’ll need to make it work.

This seems appropriate to insert here:

August 1, 2011

Baby Discoveries

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , at 5:35 pm by Tamara

I absolutely love being a mommy.  I’ve been wanting to blog about that for a long time now, but I just despair at ever coming up with words to say how much I love this little boy!  It’s easier to blog about being a bad mommy, because if I can’t get across just how badly I’ve failed, I’m okay with that!  But I would really, REALLY like to be able to express how much I love Berean, and how much fulfillment (more like overflowing-ment) I feel in being his mommy.   Really,  I feel so much contentment filling this new role—I love our simple little routine of eating, sleeping, playing, changing diapers, folding baby laundry, snuggling away tears, exploring new things…even getting up seven times in one paragraph to put a binkie back in his mouth.  (smile)

Now look here, Doggie. You are going to get in my lap!

He is in such a fun phase right now.  He’s starting to get more mobile and a lot more coordinated.  I am just fascinated watching him figure out that he can impact things.  Figuring out cause and effect is a huge developmental milestone, and when you’re a baby the effect of everything from gravity to muscle response is a whole new world!  On a more philosophical note, my biggest pet peeve is apathy, and my biggest fear is being ineffective.  Few things frustrate me more than seeing something I think should change and not feeling able to change it, so I have a LOT of sympathy for babies.  Even if it’s something as simple as

not being able to reach a toy or being stuck in an uncomfortable position or unable to get your binkie back in your mouth…how frustrating!  Watching Rean get frustrated when he thinks something should change and then discover that he can impact his surroundings is so exciting to me.  I love the proud smile he gives me when he rolls over and I lavishly praise him, or the open-mouthed fascination on his face when he’s spinning the rattle on his jumperoo, or the way he giggles when he’s playing with his toes, even his grunts and squeals of aggravation when he’s tired of being on his tummy.  I know I’m watching him just beginning to realize that he can change the world.

It may sound sappy, but it gives me chills!  Who knows what he’ll accomplish?  And not just big mountain-moving things, but who knows all the little ways he could encourage or inspire another, stand up for truth when it’s not popular, shed a little light in the darkness….  I just feel so fascinated and blessed to get to watch and participate in his life.

September 18, 2010

Life-Changing Moment

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 11:12 am by Tamara

You will never believe who waved at Adam and I the other day.  At first all we could see was a fuzzy blur, then what did we see but a little face, and a little waving hand!  A picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll just post this (scroll down):

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Introducing: Baby Hamill!!

Lord-willing, April 2, 2011 will bring not only spring flowers, but a new little twig on the Hamill/Larson family tree!  We are SO THRILLED and praising God for this little miracle!

: )  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)

July 6, 2010

My Birthday (Or, Knightley Eats Cake)

Posted in Water Droplets, Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , at 10:15 pm by Tamara

My birthday was last week, and I have officially obtained the ripe old age of twenty six.  (Whew!)  Adam made it a great day, although we missed our family terribly!   This was the third birthday I’ve spent away from my family (I spent my 20th birthday in Russia and my 24th birthday in Afghanistan), but it was the first time I was stateside and not with them.  I share a birthday with my wonderful Father-in-law, Rick, which has been a lot of fun and also earned me the nickname “Tami-Ricky.”

We went to see an acoustic Jonny Diaz concert (he sings “More Beautiful You”), which we really enjoyed.  He not only put on a great show musically, but he was hilarious.  There was a comedian there, too, but he was honestly funnier!

Jonny Diaz singing "More Beautiful You"

Jonny Diaz

Adam, sweet man that he is, bravely ventured to make me my birthday cake.  Knightley helped by keeping the floor clean during the process.

Adam and Knightley make the cake

Mr. Knightley

Ran out of frosting for "Happy Birthday," so he abbreviated. lol!

He was worried

But it was wonderful!

Adam was really concerned about the edibility of his creation, but I can attest that it was wonderful!

Mr. Knightley apparently was very sure the cake would turn out wonderfully, and also very convinced that his hard work helping make it deserved a sample.  I think the following picture sequence speaks for itself:

"That looks good. Can I have some?"

"Just a little taste--" (Notice the tongue!!)

"Knightley!" "...What?"

"But, but, but...."

"You...ate it, Mom!" I've never seen him look so disappointed!

He got to lick my fork at the end. I'm a sucker.

Such a funny puppy–he always keeps us entertained.  It was a fun birthday, and God even sent me this beautiful present to end it:

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