Monday, November 26, 2012

Liam is 16 Months Old

Missed a few months of updates on Liam's achievements and developmental skills so here we go.

Signing: he can sign "more", "please", and "thank you". He does the sign for more the right way, but he has his own method of signing please and thank you. It's precious! He says the word for more but won't say please and thank you yet.

Words: Liam knows several words now. The ones we hear most are: eat, more, night night, Back (for Jack), Mama, Dada, Bye Bye (and waves), apple, wow, cracker, snack, hot, and ball. He has several words that he says that we have no clue what they mean yet. He talks up a storm.

Favorite TV Shows: Backyardigans, Fresh Beat Band, Sesame Street, and Barney
 He dances All. The. Time. Really, he does. He dances to music on the TV, in the car when the radio is on, to the music in his head as he walks and plays.

He still takes two naps a day. Unless he's at mom's morning out. Then he gets one nap when we gets home.

He has been sleeping with a blanket now. He loves to snuggle with it.
 He sleeps all night. Normally about 12 hours.

He wakes up so happy in the mornings. He sings and talks to himself when he wakes up for about 30 minutes. Then we start hearing "Mama! Dada!"

 He loves the park. He thinks he's a big boy and tries to climb to the top of the big slides. He has no fear when it comes to the playground.
 Favorite snacks are grapes, animal crackers, apples, honey nut cherrios, and vegetable sticks

He listens to us now. Well, sometimes. He understands us at least. Some days he'll choose to listen and other days he won't. He understands take/bring ____ to mom/dad, give it to Jack, go to your chair, go to your bed, get your blanket/ball/cup, sit down on your bottom, pick up your leg/foot, and several other phrases.

The only animal sound he knows is Quack. We say "what does a duck say?" and Liam answers "quack quack." We need to work on animal sounds more.
He likes to use a spoon and fork to eat, but he's not very good at it.

He loves giving big, open mouth kisses when you ask.

His hugs are the best.

He has 8 teeth in the front that are all grown in and two molars on top that are poking out. 

Size 3 diapers, 18 mo clothes, 5 shoes

He is absorbing so much lately! He is our little parrot when it comes to learning new words. He loves to laugh and will do just about anything to make us laugh with him. He's such a sweet little boy! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Latest Sewing Creations

I've been having so much fun with my sewing machine lately! I've been trying out some new things and I've bought a lot more appliques to embroider.

One thing I've started doing is making my own burp clothes. The Gerber ones are great, but they are expensive so if I'm giving it as a gift or trying to make some money off it, it's not really worth it. So I bought a towel from Walmart and cut it up and add fabric. It works great and it seems like it would be super absorbent!

I made my first hooded towel the other day for a little Bama fan.

A friend asked me to help with her family's Halloween costumes. I think the shirts turned out cute!

I have several friends who are on their second babies now so I was able to start doing some big/lil sibling shirts.

One of my favorite things that I've made lately is this cute little gown for a new little sister!

I've done several appliques lately. Most are for the holidays but I can do just about anything! Keep those orders coming in! :)

Farmer Liam

We went with some of our neighbors to visit a farm/pumpkin patch at the end of October. We had looked at a few and decided that this farm was more age appropriate. It was called Country Critters. It had a petting zoo with farm animals, a horse ride, tractor ride, pumpkin patch, story time area, bounce houses, a playground, and lots of cute things to take pictures on. Liam had such a good time!

He's excited about being a farmer and driving a lawn mower!
Playing inside the wooden train.

On a tractor ride!
He liked the big tractor.
First time in a bounce house and he loved it! We had to make him get out.
Playing on the stage decorated as a farm.
He wasn't too interested in the pumpkins, but he sure loved that stick.
Still holding on to the stick.
Hitting pumpkins with his stick.
family photo
First time to ride a horse! He did so good holding on!
Playing with the farm animals.
He had such a busy morning!

Liam's Trip to Ohio

Back in September, Daniel went to Nicaragua for a week on a mission trip, so Liam and I decided to go see some family that he's never met.

We flew from DFW to Birmingham and spent a few nights with my parents, then flew to Ohio. We stayed with my grandma in (one of) the houses he grew up in. The first night we had dinner with a bunch of family that came over to Grandma's. Liam met his older twin cousins and had fun playing with them.
Most of the family at Grandma's
They definitely have some Hamilton genes in them.
The next day we went to eat lunch with a bunch of the family at Spaghetti Warehouse and then Aunt Anne, Aunt Karen, Cousin Robin, Liam and I went to the Akron Zoo. It was Liam's first visit to the zoo!
He loves water
by the end, he was ready to go.
The next day we spent with grandma and Dad. I don't remember what we actually did and I don't have any pictures to remind me.
On Thursday we took Liam to a park and had a picnic with my dad and grandma. He loves slides and swings.
The ground is tire scraps. Akron used to be a big tire town.
On Thursday evening we all went over to my Aunt Karen's and had dinner together. We celebrated my dad's 60th birthday too!
Aunt Anne and Uncle Butch
New Cousins! :)
My cousins and their boys - Dan, Robin, Josh and Jake
Cousin Keith and Aunt Sue
Grandma Hamilton
So glad we got to spend time with this side of my family! Thanks for letting us come!

Monday, November 5, 2012

So what do we do now?

As the saying goes, when God closes a door, he opens a window.

We are currently looking for our window. Most all of you who read this blog know about our desire to serve in international missions and to live overseas - specifically in South Asia. We moved to Fort Worth with the intent of Daniel going to seminary and getting a degree focused on international church planting and going with the SBC mission board for at least 3 years. We started the process with the anticipation of going to training in January. We missed the deadlines (because we were never told the deadlines) and got pushed back to April. This setback made me very sad and upset because we had nothing really keeping us in the US after December, but God gave us peace about staying in the US longer and we welcomed the extra months to spend with our family. We worked towards finishing our paperwork and there were still a few things that were up in the air about us being able to leave in April. We emailed our consultant last week and he told us it was too late to go in April that it was July now. I emailed a few more questions and he told us that we actually had until November 27th. Then I emailed him a few more questions this week and he said the earliest we can hope for at this time is October for training - which would mean not actually being overseas until late spring/early summer 2014. Frustrating to say the least.

One of the main requirements to go with this organization is that within the last two years we had to have shared the gospel with someone and that person have come to know Christ within a year of us sharing with them. Daniel had that. I did not. I really didn't share the gospel a lot until this past spring. God convicted me and I began to share with a lot of people. Random ladies at the park, people I sat by on the airplane, doing door to door evangelism with my church, etc. But I never saw any decisions from those conversations. It was either a "no" or the person said that they were already a  believer (and it's not my call as to whether they are or not - I'm just told to be faithful in sharing). And before any of you start telling me how silly that requirement is, I know, and I've heard that from everyone, but it is a requirement nonetheless and they have to have standards. So that's that.

Another issue for us was Daniel's weight. He is by no means "fat" but they want him to lose 17lbs and he has to keep if off for 3 months before they will move us forward.

 I had told Daniel when they started talking about July that I felt like God was closing the door. I cried a lot. I prayed a lot. I told Daniel that if they pushed us back until July that we weren't supposed to go with them. Then we get the email that it will now be October at the earliest. I cried even more. It's so hard to watch God close a door that you've been working toward for the past 3 years. I'm crying as I write this. We've watched friends at the seminary breeze through the process and know when and where they are going before we were even allowed to talk about it. Everyone knows that we want to be overseas. That's all we've ever talked about. Whenever we meet people we tell them that we want to be missionaries. I just don't understand. We've had this all planned out and we knew where God was taking us. And now we have no clue. We're in limbo.

We feel like our time in Fort Worth has ended. Daniel will change his concentration and get a different degree (the original degree requires us to go overseas for at least 2 years and that's obviously not happening at this time). He will most likely take some online classes next semester, possibly through a different seminary.  Daniel wants to work for a church. Missions, church planting, pastoring, discipleship, whatever. He'll start sending out his resume soon. We would love to continue on with CARES in a different location too.

Our pastor asked us on Sunday if we were at peace about this situation. We said yes. And he said that it's much better to not know what you're doing and be at peace about your situation in life than to not know and not be at peace. He had a point. We are thankful that God has given us a peace about what's going on and that we can trust in Him to provide our next step.
Will you pray with us?
Pray for our ministry as a family.
Pray for our upcoming move to wherever.
Pray for our job situation and finances.

"Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give the glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!" -- Psalm 115:1

"For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!" -- Psalm 117:2

"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged." -- Deuteronomy 31:8

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Long Weekend in Mississippi

Back when we had Liam's birthday party, two of Daniel's college friends' wives mentioned they would be having a baby shower in Starkville (Daniel's college town) one weekend in September. We immediately blocked that weekend off so we could go spend time with everyone in Starkville. We hadn't been there in 2 years. We invited my mom to come since she was just about an hour away and she came to visit and help with Liam. We stayed in a hotel across campus which was so nice because we could go on walks around the campus at night.
Roadtrips to Mississippi have changed in the last few years. :)
 We got there late Thursday night and getting Liam to bed was quite an ordeal since we were all in one room and there was no way to keep him from seeing us. He eventually went to bed though. On Friday, my mom and I drove to Columbus (my college town) and saw my friends Jenna and Maeghan, walked around the W (Mississppi University for Women, my alma mater) and visited my old BSU director.
Liam playing on the W's campus
We shopped for a while in town and ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Cafe on Main. We drove back to Starkville and ate dinner at Old Venice (the place where Daniel and I had our first date! and where Daniel had his birthday meal for his 4 years of college). Saturday morning we got up and went to City Bagel for breakfast with Stacey and Zach. Saturday for lunch, we had the baby shower for Cari and Laura Beth at The Grille. I got to see so many girls that I made friendships with while dating Daniel. I also went to church with most all of them. It was really nice to catch up with everyone!
Laura Beth with lil Shelby on the way! (She's here now, I can't wait to meet her!)
Cari and baby Addison on the way!
When lunch was over, Daniel, Liam, and I went to FBC's playground to meet up with Lana (one of my college friends) and her husband and son and we let the boys play while the adults chatted.
Lana and John Mark - he is a week and a half younger than Liam.

We headed to our friends' tailgate after that. We found my friend Rachel Clair and got to catch up for a few minutes. Zach and Stacey had given us tickets for the game that night, so we sent Liam back to the hotel with my mom and we went to the game.
Ready to ring his cowbell!
One of Daniel's lifelong dreams. :)
Sweet friends Zach and Stacey who gave us tickets to the game. They will always have a special place in our heart because they played a big part in the beginning of our relationship.
My mom and her favorite grandson.
We left a little early so we could go get sushi at Umi's (one of our favorite places to eat besides Old Venice). We got it to go and went to Katie's house to visit with her. I spent MANY nights at Katie's when I would stay in Starkville too late and didn't want to drive home at night.

We headed back to the hotel for the night and Sunday morning we got up and drove to Hattiesburg to stay with Emily and Justin and their little girl. The kids had so much fun together! They were so cute! Lydia and Jared came over that night for dinner so we got to see them. So many people in one weekend!
Eden Grace and Liam playing.
Totally their idea. Really.
Lydia and Jared - they are going to be awesome parents!
Trying to get everyone to cooperate. Fail.
There are two babies in this picture! Emily is due in December and Lydia in November.
We really did get to see *just about* all of our close friends from our college days! I wish I had taken pictures with everyone.

Before we headed home we stopped by Pelahatchie to meet our new baby cousin, Ian! Isn't he handsome?
Baby Ian

Such a blessed weekend!