Wednesday, December 24, 2008

James' Baptism

On December 14th, we had James baptized at Church Creek Presbyterian. I am thankful to be back in the church where I grew up and having my child baptized in the same place I was. It is an encouragement to me to see God's faithfulness to his covenant promises to me, as I trust in those same promises for my son. It was wonderful to have both sets of believing grandparents there to witness it as well.

"And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after
you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you
and to your offspring after you. " Genesis 17:7

Anna Ruth's 3rd Birthday

Anna Ruth turned 3 on December 6th, but I am just now posting some pictures from her little party we had with the grandparents. Anna Ruth's 3rd birthday party was Winnie the Pooh theme. Lita got her a Pooh birthday balloon, which she loved and is still floating in her room. Memaw made her an amazing Pooh birthday cake. And she received a stuffed Tigger, which made her bounce around just like him. She also got a kitchen, shopping cart, a cash register, and dress up clothes, shoes, and jewelry.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our hopes for our son

A few thoughts on James Elijah Hamlin’s name: First, James is my father’s (middle) name. His discipline did not seem pleasant at the time, but it was for me a seed that produced for me a harvest of (albeit very far from perfect) righteousness in God’s due time. I am very thankful for his (and my mother’s) training and prayer for me.

James was also the brother of Jesus, the leader of the Jerusalem church after Christ’s resurrection, and the writer of the book of James. James’ direct involvement in the church is documented in Acts 15:13-21, and 21:18-25. In both cases, James is concerned with the law of Moses and its continuing significance for the believer. He understood that the Law’s character was abiding because it reflected the abiding character of God. His concern was for the holiness of the church. This is also evident in his letter to the church at large. True faith and the flesh cannot continue to and should not begin to be allowed to coexist. James’ concern is evident in his opening exhortation:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (Jas. 1:5-8 ESV)
In the above paragraph is introduced the central target of James’ letter, that of double-mindedness in the church. Faith in Christ and adopting the goals and ethos of the world and the flesh are ultimately mutually exclusive. James saw the new Baal for what it was, a false god who was tolerant of faith in Christ in so much as it was a dead faith.

Similarly, Elijah served Israel at a time when this sort of syncretism was alive and well.
And Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." And the people did not answer him a word. (1 Kings 18:21)

So what do we want from James Elijah Hamlin? We want him to be conformed to the image of Christ in such a manner as to become more-and-more a man of single-minded purpose. We want him to put his sin to death, even culturally acceptable sins, as sin will otherwise be killing him. We also want him to courageously work for the holiness of the church, even if in such work, he may be called a “troubler of Israel” (18:17) “so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed” (Heb. 12:13).

What will he need for this task but confidence in and reliance upon our Lord Jesus Christ? In contrast to the double-minded prayer described in chapter 1, “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” (Jas 5:16-18)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

James Elijah Hamlin

Our son, James Elijah Hamlin, was born on Friday, November 14, at 12:53 p.m. He weighed 7 lbs 2 oz. and measured 18.5 inches long. He is such a sweetie and seems pretty laid back, but hates getting his diaper changed.
I was awake during the c-section, so I got to give James a little kiss right after they cleaned him up.
Right before we left the hospital, we got this shot.
This is a cute close up of James at home.
Anna Ruth enjoyed finally meeting her little brother!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Bit of Early Christmas Spirit...

Tonight Rich worked late, so I decided to try and get the house in order while I didn't have any distractions. I cleaned the bathroom, and tidied up the house while listening to music. After I was finished, I listened to Josh Groban's Christmas CD, Noel, while drinking egg nog. My justification is that dairy products are supposed to help you sleep better, since they contain tryptophan. And, of course, the baby really likes eggnog, so I have to give it to him.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hall-of-Famer Daddy

Last month, Rich was inducted into the Fort Dorchester Athletic Hall of Fame, and we had a fun evening going to the ceremony and the football game that followed. Rich's parents and my parents also attended and made sure to cheer loudly when they introduced Rich during the halftime ceremony. Anna Ruth also enjoyed seeing her Daddy being honored, and she kept pointing at him and saying, "There's Daddy!" She also was a good fan during the football game, clapping and cheering when people around her did. Below is a picture of the five inductees with Rich on the far left.
I know our little boy will be proud to have a hall-of-famer Daddy!
By the way, only 5 days to go!!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

One Week

Just thinking about how in one week I will have a new son, and I can't believe it! I'm really excited about this new little life.
I am posting some pictures from my baby shower back in October. It was a wonderful time with family and church friends. We were blessed with so many things for the baby, and I felt very loved by all those who celebrated with me.

the beautiful cake that Mrs. DeVries made

Anna Ruth cuddling with Memaw

Mom and my 3 sisters (who were all able to come into town for the weekend)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Luxurious Leisurely Evenings...Gone in 8 Days

Last night was a leisurely evening, and I suddenly realized that in a very short amount of time, I will not be able to relax as soon as Anna Ruth goes to bed. I will have another child to care for who will need to be fed and changed and held even after we get the energetic almost-three-year-old off to sleep. I decided to cherish those few hours and did something I haven't done in a while--color. Yes, you read that right; one of my favorite things to do to chill and relax is color in my adult coloring books. That may sound a little off-color (pun intended), but it's not what it sounds like. I have two coloring books with really neat 3-D designs and archi-scapes, and they are so much fun to color with colored pencils.
Here are some examples of my creations:

The only things that could have made the evening a little better are a glass of wine and an electric pencil sharpener.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Nine days to go!!

Today is an important day, not only because I have just 9 days to go until my baby is born, but also because we now know who will be the next president of the United States. Even though I was prepared for this outcome, it is still quite a bit of a blow and also very sobering to think about. My first thoughts are that God is still in control, He knows what's best, and is working all things together for good for those who love Him. But if I let my mind wander from that, it can be very scary to think about what kind of country I am bringing this child into. It makes me more determined and resolved to raise him and Anna Ruth to be godly people who can be salt and light in this increasingly anti-God nation. It makes me more dependent on God for the wisdom and strength to do that.
I can still rejoice in the birth of this baby, trusting in God's covenant promises and knowing that God will do mighty things to use him for his kingdom!

We went to the children's museum downtown, and one of the playrooms was a mini Publix. Anna Ruth loved pushing the cart around and "shopping" like Mommy.

Another exhibit was the water room, and Anna Ruth enjoyed pouring water through the mills and watching it spin.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Countdown Begins...

10 DAYS!
I just found out that my c-section has been re-scheduled for November 14 instead of November 17. So, the countdown until the baby boy gets here has begun sooner than expected. As of today, it is 10 days until we get to see his little face and hold him in our arms. We are all really excited, but especially me because of how uncomfortable I am. The nerve pain in my legs combined with pressure on my bladder makes me wake up every 2-3 hours throughout the night. As a result, I'm feeling the effects of not getting any deep REM sleep. I know that once he's born, this will be the feeding scheule anyway, but as soon as he begins sleeping for 5 hour stretches, I think I'll feel like a new woman!

As part of the countdown (though not always related), I will be posting pictures that I've been meaning to post anyway. Check back everyday for an update and new pictures!

Anna Ruth and I at the Columbia Zoo at the beginning of October.

Anna Ruth riding Clifford, the big red dog at Chuck E Cheese's (and yes, that's a fake smile).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

All in a Day's Work

Today was some absolutely wonderful weather here in Charleston. It was actually a little too chilly to head to the neighborhood pool, so we just decided to do a little work outside. I vacuumed out both of our cars, and then Anna Ruth and Rich washed them. Anna Ruth loved being able to help. (She's in that stage where she wants to help with EVERYTHING, and sometimes her "help" is a lot more work than it is helpful. But I know I just need to persevere through it, so that she can learn and that way actually be a help to me later--but I digress.) She and Daddy had a great time scrubbing, getting bubbles everywhere, and getting pretty soaked.

We ended the day with some grilled hamburgers, fries, and ice cream cones. Anna Ruth immensely enjoyed her cone (she's finally learned to appreciate cold ice cream), and experimented with a new look. Don't you just love the mustache and goatee?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wearing Mommy's Shirt

I was rummaging through some of my old keepsakes and ran across a little Texas A & M University shirt that my Aunt Francine, who attended there, gave me when I was just a wee little thing. (Funny, because Rich actually ended up being an RUF intern there, as well.) When I pulled it out I thought, "Hey, this looks to be about Anna Ruth's size." Right when I showed it to her, she immediately wanted to wear it as a nightgown. I just had to get a picture of her in it to show my mom and aunt. Hey, Anna Ruth may not have my looks, but at least she can wear my hand-me-down clothes. :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A great giveaway!

Here is a link to a great giveaway, and I was entered twice for linking to it from my blog.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

For my mother-in-law

The menu tonight consisted of Calico Beans and Hoe Cake Bread, both of which are recipes given to me by my mother-in-law. This was my first time trying them out, and I had to give her a couple calls with questions. She hadn't made the bread in years, so she wanted me to take some pictures of the process. First off is a picture of the calico beans, which turned out great. They have a nice sweet flavor to them, are easy to make, and cheap, too!

Of course, Anna Ruth wanted to help with the special meal, and she wanted me to get a picture of her with the bread before it went in the oven. ...And the final product!

Everything turned out well. Thanks Anne!

P.S. If you would like the recipes, let me know!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Church Creek Presbyterian's own John Olson making headlines

Our pastor, John Olson, is causing quite a stir in the media. Check out the story here.
(After the video loads, click on the play button on the bottom.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Anna Ruth loves cousin Sullivan

They had a lot of fun together when we kept him for a day. Sullivan enjoyed pushing around the stroller, especially with Anna Ruth in it.
And they had a fun time on the wagon ride. (While I sweated profusely pulling their weight on a hot morning!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Time to catch up

I have been soooo bored with our blog lately, so I'm sure y'all have been, too. I've been trying to stay updated, but it never seems to work out. So, I'm resigned to the fact that from time to time I will have to do these "catch-all" posts with lots of different things all combined. But hey, at least I'm getting these pictures out there. Not that I'm very sure people are actually checking anymore.
Anyway, the summer has been busy and flying by very quickly with birthdays, anniversaries, family visits, VBS, and fun outings. Rich celebrated his 29th birthday on June 21 and is now enjoying the last year of his twenties. We enjoyed an awesome meal complete with an amazing margarita at Juanita Greenberg's in downtown Charleston. If you come visit, you've gotta go, and if you live here and have never been, shame on you!
My oldest sister and her brood came down here for July 4th weekend, and we had fun (and the kids had even more fun) swimming and grilling out.
the Hamlin fam dressed up for Independence Day
Daddy and Anna Ruth love swimming together
Anna Ruth and cousin Sullivan attempting a hug

On July 9th, Rich and I celebrated 4 blissful years of marriage and enjoyed an evening out while his parents kept Anna Ruth.
The Happy Couple

I volunteered my time and energy to help out with VBS at our church this year, and I was assigned to be The Craft Lady. A lot of work and planning went into getting the crafts ready for the kids, but everything was so much fun. It was very rewarding to see the kids' faces and hear their ooohs and ahhs when they walked in the room and saw what craft we were making each day. And before each craft, we explained how it correlated with the Bible lesson for the day. The children were all extremely receptive and participated well. The week was tiring, but lots of fun for me and for Anna Ruth.

The 3-5 year-old group on the last day

Just today, my mom, dad, mother-in-law, and Anna Ruth and I visited Rosebank Farms where they have fresh produce and seafood, flowers, a petting zoo (the main attraction for us), a small museum, and art displays. Anna Ruth loved all the animals, especially the mule (which she called a horse) and the ducks and roosters that were roaming freely. Here are some highlights of the day:

The horse/mule named "Blue Belle"

Anna Ruth standing in front of the miniature horse

(shortly after, he tried to eat her ponytail)

One FAT pig

One of the more interesting exhibits

Anna Ruth kept talking about riding on the horse, and though we weren't allowed to take rides on the real one, we found this metal one which satisfied her just as well.

Anna Ruth having a seat and drinking some much-needed refreshment

(Did I mention the 108-degree heat index?)

And now I think I'm finally caught up! Are you tired of reading yet? OK, good. I'm tired of typing and sitting here while the pictures take forever to upload. Adios for now.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Reunion Recap

I just wanted to write a recap of the first-ever 10-year Charleston Christian School (CCS) reunion. When Rich and I found out we were moving back to Charleston, I realized that it would be a great time to organize a reunion for my 8th-grade class, since May 2008 marked 10 years from our graduation. I began searching for my classmates, and found out that many of them are still in the Charleston area and were very interested in coming. I also realized that there were students who had been in our class for many years, but did not end up graduating with us that also were excited about the idea of seeing people again. So, it ended up being more of just a CCS reunion rather than specifically 8th-grade class. (which was great!) Anyway, the reunion was held at my house to lend a more intimate setting, and we all had a great time talking about old times and remembering stories from our days at CCS. We had BBQ sandwiches, chips, potato salad, beer, some really nice wine (provided by Mandy DeVries, who is a specialty specialist for EarthFare), and a variety of desserts. We partied late into the night, and the last guests left around 12:30am. We felt like the evening was a success, and everyone agreed that we would NOT wait another 10 years to get together again!
Below is a picture of those who attended (including spouses and significant others of the CCS-ers).
(Standing, from left to right): Greg, Mindy DeVries, Ian, Mandy DeVries, Ashley (Deaton) Russell, Jon Russell, Brian Muller, Michael Campbell, Rob Moller (cut off, unfortunately)
(Seated, from left to right): Lauren Edewaard, Stephanie Blanton, Olivia (Moller) Hamlin, Rich Hamlin, Joe Faust

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's a Boy!!!

We just returned from our 18 week doctor's visit and ultrasound, and we found out we're having a little boy! Everything else looked perfect, too, so we're thankful for that. Anna Ruth is getting used to saying "baby brother" and is talking about "giving him a kiss on his little cheek." Here's one picture that shows his face and body outline pretty well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Waterfront Park

Ok, so this is a little bit late, but things have been busy around here (well, to tell the truth, it hasn't been that busy, but I've been so tired) and it's taken me forever to get these pictures off the camera. I guess to start the story I should mention that my Dad usually has a summer job, but this year it didn't pan out, so he's been taking the summer off involuntarily. BUT, it has been good timing, since his past school year was so rough. Anyway, since he doesn't have a job, he was able to come with Mom to spend time over at my house. The week that these pictures were taken we decided to have an outing downtown, which included shopping and lunch at Waterfront Park. We thought Anna Ruth would love splashing around in the pineapple fountain, but her unpredictable self decided that she was scared and did not want to set foot in it. So, we got this picture of her in front of it, and that about sums up the experience.
We ate our lunch over where the swings are (in the shade), and then swung (swang?) for a while with a cool breeze refreshing us. Here's a pic of Dad and me with Anna Ruth and then one of Anna Ruth with Lita and Pop-Pop. Did I mention how great it is being back in Charleston with parents around?