On These Pages Are The Stories Of Our Family We Go Together ! Welcome To The World As Viewed Through Our Eyes
Lynette .......... Caedmon .......... Libby .......... Tom

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Letter 2006

Christmas 2006

Dear Family & Friends,

As usual, our year was packed with exciting adventures. Life is never dull in our household…and this year brought even more change & excitement. Of course, our biggest change was the arrival of our son, Caedmon. We were warned repeatedly that having a baby would change things, but no one could adequately explain what a wonderful change it would be. Despite sleepless nights and the other joys of parenting an infant, we have thoroughly enjoyed parenthood and can’t imagine life without Caedmon. Seven months have passed and we have a very active baby on our hands. We love watching him learn and grow, and we’re trying to really savor these days before he starts moving about on his own…time to baby proof the house!

Speaking of houses, that’s another area of change around here. In February, we bought some land and began the process of building our “dream home.” We moved into an apartment near the project site in August and are definitely looking forward to moving into our new home sometime this spring. We’ve had lots of fun designing the house and watching it take shape. And of course, we made sure to have enough room for anyone who wants to visit!

What else have we found time to do? Those two life changes have certainly kept us busy! However, in the spring, we led a Bible study (Crown Financial) at church. We both thoroughly enjoyed our weekly interaction with a great group of people and the life lessons that we were reminded of once more. We’ve also found some time to travel…yes, Caedmon is already a seasoned traveler! Could you expect anything less from a member of our family? Most of our travels this year were to visit family & friends (Pittsburgh, New York, South Carolina, Seattle, and Calgary), but we also got away to island paradise (Kauai, Hawaii). Lynette & Caedmon are on the go daily – mom & baby exercise class, Bible study, swim lessons and even sign language! Tom stays busy with work but when he’s home, he really enjoys spending as much time as possible with Caedmon and also, making decisions and plans for our new home. He has a great gift for envisioning creative ideas for making our home special.

As our letter to you is nearing its end, it is hard to believe that it is Christmastime already. I (Lynette) have to admit that the thoughts of decorating, shopping, and all of the associated Christmas chaos were a bit overwhelming & almost burdensome to me this year. Usually I relish the opportunity to decorate and begin as soon as possible, but this year I only decided to do it so that when we look back at pictures of Caedmon’s first Christmas, it will actually look like Christmas. However, as I began to decorate the tree, I looked over at Caedmon and saw his face alight with awe as he took his first glimpse of the lights and ornaments. It reminded me that this is a holy day that we are celebrating. All of the glitter & sparkle are meant to remind us of who were celebrating – Jesus! My sweet baby’s face reminded me that I needed to find the joy in worshiping our Savior instead of getting caught up in the stress of what the world has made a very secular season. Ahhh, what we can learn through the eyes of babes… I look forward to celebrating this time with him and look forward to teaching him and reminding Tom & me of this assured truth - that the brightly packaged gifts that we give and receive during this Christmas should point us towards the love of God. The greatest and most beautiful gift was already been given to us over 2000 years ago “packaged” in the form of a babe. Let us read these words as if for the first time through the eyes of a child, reflecting anew and letting truth permeate our hearts… “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ”That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. “ “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” ~Isaiah 9:6, Philippians 2:10-11, John 3:16

With love,
Tom, Lynette & Caedmon

Dear C-boy

December 25, 2006

Caedmon, Your are now 7 ½ months old. A whole year has passed by! I’ve been wanting to write to you since you were born, but never seem to find the time. It’s Christmas morning (the 4th since I met your mom, our 3rd as a couple). Lynette is still sleeping. Let me recap some of the highlights of the year…

You were born on May 10, 2006 – 6 pounds 8 ounces at 19 ¾ inches, at Methodist Medical Center in Texas. Your mom carried you to term 39+ weeks. For several weeks beforehand, we thought we needed to do a Cesarean Section because you had turned several times during the pregnancy (from breech to transverse to breech, but eventually back to normal). Your mom had to be induced due to decreasing amniotic fluid. I had wanted to place the labor epidural for your mom, but was out-maneuvered by my partners at work. The 1st epidural placed by one of them did not work (actually it was unknowing and dangerously placed in the subdural space – I had my syringes of vasopressors to hemodynamically resuscitate your mom after the test bolus essentially dropped her blood pressure to almost zero! Thank God I was prepared. Your mom was so stoic she underwent cervidil induction (for about 12 hours) and another 6-8 hours of pitocin induction before I replaced the epidural myself when our friend (and your mom’s obstetrician) – He was a few years behind me and did his residency at the hospital I work at – that is how he & I got to know one another) thought we were going to need a C-section due to failure to progress. We played Christian music from our computer all through the night. However, after the 2nd epidural was placed, you were vaginally delivered within an hour or so. Your mom finally knew what a proper epidural felt like! What a blessing and joy you were when you were born – we had been praying and waiting for you. Your mom reached for you as soon as you were born and although she was very tired, she looked so happy, her face so beautiful, cheeks so warm and rosy. Your eyes were so bright when you were born. You laid there taking everything and everyone in. You were perfect!

We brought you home just under 24 hours later to our 1st home in the city. Our parenting lessons were just beginning. Here’s a tip for you – if you have a son and get him circumcised before you bring him home, don’t check out of the hospital early like we did… cause once the local anesthesia wears off, boy oh boy – you cried and cried all night long! Get some sleep at the hospital and let the nurses take care of the baby for a night. For about 3 months you were colicky. You would cry without any provocation and we’d try to be tough and let you cry it out within reason. Magically, the colic went away and from about 3 months onwards, you slept 10-12 hours a night pretty routinely. (We do believe you sleep so well because we let you cry it our initially. Some other moms we know don’t let their babies cry for long and their babies still aren’t sleeping through the night. – that’s another tidbit for you in the future) Your mom and I were so thankful for that! She loves you so much Caedmon. She breastfed you for 5-6 months before her milk supply dropped off. She was sad at that because of the benefits that breast milk conferred, but by that time your first 2 front lower teeth were coming in and it would have been tough for her to keep breast-feeding you anyways – your teeth were sharp!) You’ve been a good eater so far. Your mom read a lot about making baby foods from scratch. We pretty much fed you organic formulas and organic baby. Your happy smiles greeted us every morning. We learned about diaper changing, bath time, dressing you, feeding you, playing, etc. Your mom took you to Baby Sign Language classes and Swimming classes starting from about 6 months of age. A lot of other friends who had babies were having lots of professional pictures done, but I talked your mom into keeping that at a minimum. I liked our own pictures of you – they seemed more life-like and not so posed. However, we did get some professionally done by a photographer from church when you were 6 weeks old. Also, to our surprise we have got some good pictures of you from Target. I just heard you begin to wake up – you let out a babble or two. You aren’t talking in words yet, but you are close – you can make all sorts of noises (ma-ma, da-da, ne-ne, and you have been putting your lips together and spitting lately!). You can sit so well by yourself. We love playing with you and cuddling with you so much. Your mom will be awake soon. I’m on 3rd call today and I hope I won’t be called in. Because of my work schedule, we couldn’t travel to be with family. Your mom is a bit saddened by this. I don’t mind being by ourselves, but your mom has always enjoyed the company of friends and family during this season.

This past year, I have been let down by my partners at work. After you were born I wanted to slow down and work less, but my partners didn’t warm to the idea. We didn’t quite see eye to eye, and their final thought was that it would be easier for the group to let me go and find a new person who was willing to take call and work full-time than for them to allow me to work part-time (we never have enough people, because of our practice location – so the group was fantasizing about being able to recruit so easy). To decrease my stress, your mom and I took you with us to Kauai, Hawaii in October to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary and again just 2 weeks ago – yes we are very blessed to have the means to do so. By the way just so you know, we were there also in October 2005, you were there too – you just weren’t born yet!). Anyway, I decided to hang in there after looking for a new job. I didn’t feel any clear direction from God at the time. We were also in the process of building our new home in the suburbs. Our city house did not sell as quickly as we had hoped – if all goes as planned, the home will be officially sold 4 days from now. We’ve been living in a apartment since August 2006. The new home we are building in conjunction with our friends Ashley & Amy Hodge. Ashley was our Crown Financial Ministry leader when we took the class for the 1st time. We have since taken it 2 more times and the last time, your mom & I co-led it along with one of our other church acquaintances. The Hodges are building across the street and immediately one house to the left. These home builds are an attempt to get one step close to financial freedom and be biblically wiser stewards of God’s money. The lesson we learned was that our 1st home, though beautiful, cost us more than we should have spent. I was too na├»ve when I bought it. It was a beautiful old home on an irregularly shaped ½ acre of land built in the early 1930’s with so much charm in a tree lined established old neighborhood. The upkeep really was painful to our bank account. We don’t have green thumbs so we were paying to keep the lawn & sculpted garden maintained, water bills, the continuous old home breakdown repairs, dog bills, etc. The life lesson here… unless you are prepared to take care of a large piece of land, don’t do it! Our new home will be on a much smaller piece of land, but it’s going to be an amazing house when completed – we’re actually going to have way more space inside. It’s a custom home from scratch and your mom & I planned and designed every part of it!

All of these events have kept your mom and I very busy. We can not imagine our lives without you. The greatest gift to us has already been given – God came in the form of Jesus and saved us from death. I have not been in the right frame of mind this season. The consumerism has dominated my motives, and the house build, and work issues have kept me from focusing living my life for Jesus. I hope that I can pass on good traditions in the future to you that will enable you to see this season correctly for what it truly is… a remembrance and celebration for the miracle God performed in sending Jesus to all mankind. That the consumerism is of man, for purposes not compatible with who we are as Christians in this world not meant to be our ultimate destination. Our goal is Heaven. Our perspective must be towards eternity with God. We will have much to talk about when you get older on this topic. I look forward to it Caedmon. The 2nd greatest gift was your mom to me… and the 3rd greatest gift is YOU to us. We look forward to celebrating today - firstly in praise of Jesus, secondly in thankfulness of our marriage, and lastly in joy of your 1st Christmas… Merry Christmas 2006 Caedmon!

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Dear C-boy

January 1, 2006

Happy New Year son! Yes, my son, Caedmon. Lynette, your mother, has now been pregnant with you for 22 weeks. Our original plan was not to find out about your sex till you were born. However, your mother thought it would be such a wonderful surprise for me to surprise me on Christmas with the news. A few weeks ago when we went for her OB check-up, she had an ultrasound picture of you sealed up in an envelope. She had placed the envelope in a box and wrapped it up with Christmas wrapping paper. She had to wait all these weeks for me to open up the gift before we both found out you were going to be a boy! We laughed with joy that early Christmas morning. Our friends and family are so excited to know (they have been asking for several weeks). Of course, God knew at the beginning when He made you. Now that I know, I begin the great challenge of preparing to raise a son. It is somewhat scary and daunting as I think about it, but I am looking forward to it. I think about my life and my deficiencies. I never felt like my dad defined for me what it meant to be a man, but I believe he did the best he could and knew how to. I had to figure it out for myself and I made many mistakes, costly ones, along the way. He had other worries… such as providing for a family in a strange new country. He didn’t know a whole lot about what was going on in my life (mainly because I kept it that way), though he was a very hard worker and a great provider for the family. Perhaps it was the cultural difference between him as an Asian immigrant and me being raised in America. I kept him and the rest of my family at a distance because I wanted so much to “fit in” as an American boy. I never saw much outward show of emotions in my family, romance between my parents was never on public display. We always went to church every Sunday. We were blessed that they instilled a foundation of knowing God in us. With that, no matter how lacking they were and no matter what we felt we were missing in our upbringing, they instilled the one true strength they knew we could always rely on to never fail… the love of God. We (my younger brother and sister, who by the way are fraternal twins 3 years younger than I), were raised to excel in school and given the gift of achieving for ourselves in life something that my parents never had the opportunities for themselves. They, along with my 3 aunts, and paternal grandmother (we all lived together in the same house) raised us together, to give life to the lives that they never had… to fulfill the dreams they never knew they had or dared to dream for themselves. They did the best they could. My dad did the best he knew how. Now, I get to do the best I know how… except I don’t know how yet. But I do know where to begin, just like my parents did. In life, no matter what may come Caedmon, always begin with God. I can’t wait to show you and teach you about the mystery of God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. I am learning still about Him. It’s a new year today. I get the chance to rededicate myself to a closer fellowship with the Lord. Your mom, gave me a one year bible as a Christmas present. I plan on diligently going through it in the coming year. I have begun reading books on parenting and being a dad (so far I have read JC Ryle’s “Duties of Parents”, Robert Lewis’ “Raising a Modern Day Knight” and I’m currently in the middle of James Dobson’s “Bring Up boys”). Your mom is preparing too. She loves you and I so much. We are so lucky and so blessed to have her. Your nursery room is being prepared so lovingly. She is planning on so many personal touches. She is sewing your bedding herself. She’s been reading to you and exposing you to classical music. Books (ones she had as a child and new ones she’s bought) are being gathered for you. She’s picked out clothes for you, furniture, rugs, toys, etc. You are much loved. I’m beginning to prepare to know you. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go,even when he is old he will not depart from it.” I have quite a year coming up. I’m your dad. I’m going to teach you to love God firstly, to love and protect you mother, and to be a man… a modern day knight.
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