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Happy Father's Day Tom!

The kids were ALL at Camp last week and we finally were all back together for a couple of hours yesterday.  I was able to wrangle a picture because it was Father's Day :)

We tried to go boating but Frederick wasn't feeling well (doesn't look it in this picture but by then he'd had some food, rest, and medicine) so Frederick and I stayed back at camp and the others (plus a friend) went out to the lake.

There were a few gifts:

A UTC DAD t-shirt and grill cover.
(Margaret is there. . .hidden by Marie)

Reflecting, as I often do in the early morning, I came upon this:
November 17, 1998 - probably about 6 a.m.  I know we became parents when we started caring for my body and the child growing inside, but this was the last picture taken of "just the two of us".  My mom, dad, and sister were all there that morning. . .we had arrived at the hospital sometime before 5 and at this time the baby was still named "Amy Robert" -- ha!
Our firstborn arrived at 6:32 that morning and Tom became a father (and what we couldn't imagine then. . .we would do this three more times in the next five years!)

Our first look at. . .our SON.  Of course, as is his family tradition, taking Tom's name as his middle name. . .and giving me my "Robert" (after my god father - Robert Heil)

And here were these two boys, twenty-three months later when our precious daughter came along :)
And now he got to experience fatherhood with both a boy AND a girl!!!

Fatherhood has certainly suited Tom -- he jumped in and has never looked back :)  THIS is a perfect picture, capturing it all (before digital age these are tough to dig up!) --
We were a little more relaxed the third round (the day after Memorial Day 2002):
Here she is. . .girl #2!!  She didn't even have a name yet. . .and in the end, an hour or so later, Tom "won" -- she was definitely an "Erin" -- not a Megan or Sarah like I thought she would be.

And the day after Labor Day the following year we did it a fourth time:
The wonder just doesn't go away. . .
This one named after both of his grandpas. . .our fathers. . .

Greeting cards are too sappy, too trite. . .Tom is ALL those things and more.
You could say he has a "mini me" -- but that guy TOWERS over him now -- ha!  He's following Daddy's footsteps into the engineering field.
Marie is the most like him personality-wise -- she is kind and wise and smart.
Margaret and he have a "special" relationship because he was around (read:  unemployed) when she was a baby and they bonded in that special way that very few daddies and babies get to do.
Frederick and Tom physically have nothing in common but their brown eyes -- ha -- but this summer they are getting to grow closer (tennis and PS4 Star Wars) since the other three are away.  It is such a special time for them.

Tom leads our family, following Jesus, showing us love, working hard, taking care of house things and car things and boat things, is financially responsible, helping with homework, housework, and yardwork.  He is probably not going to cry with you over a broken relationship but he will FIGHT to the death for you if someone puts you in danger.  He is fearless, strong, discerning and smart.

Happy Father's Day Tom. . .God has sure blessed these kids with the best earthly father possible!


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