S: Tammie's 50th Birthday 2011
BC: Made by: Larissa with lots of love
FC: To: My Mom
1: Mom, As I began to plan your 50th party I realized that because of the life you and Dad have dedicated yourselves to, there was no way for you to be able to celebrate with all of your close friends and family. They literally span the entire globe. Therefore, I decided that I would try my best to give you a taste of how much you mean to so many people. In this book you will find letters and photos from a lot of the people who have been so important to your life, and who have been blessed by you. I hope you enjoy and treasure this. I love you. -Res
2: To My Honey, Since the first time I saw you at Santa Rosa Bible Church you have been the most beautiful woman in the world! I remember your long wavy hair and then when you accepted my hand in marriage, wow. Every time I visit the California coast you are on my mind darling. Then, there was Bosnia, a time of family togetherness in ministry and home. You were the epitome of a Godly helpmate. All the initiatives you took, the women’s ministry, children’s ministry, PeaceCrafts and Area Leader, no grass grew under your feet!! You are what Proverbs 31:29 describes: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Do you know one thing I love about you honey? You are always trying to improve! Studying Scripture, leading “your” women, going vegan , whatever it takes to improve you are there. I love you for that! As you celebrate your young 50th, I am so excited to see what the future holds for us together. I love you honey! You are my best friend. With much love, admiration & affection, Art
5: Dear Mom, Where do I even start? How could I possible put into a letter how much you mean to me? You are my biggest role model, my inspiration, and my best friend. Your close walk with the Lord is such an example for me and all those around you. What a legacy you have left behind you. Wherever God has taken you in the world, you have devoted yourself to His Word and discipleship. How privileged I am to have you for a Mom. One time, we were lying in bed together (I must have been 12) and you said to me, “Larissa, if something would happen to me, you know what would be the most important thing for you to do?” “What?” “Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, mind and soul.” This godly example has been set before me for 22 years... and I thank you for that. Mom, you are everything that I want to be- lover of God and His Word, discipler/mentor, ministry leader, a true Renaissance woman, beautiful, fun, active, inquisitive, intelligent, lover of learning, articulate, spontaneous, flexible, and hilarious! You have been teaching me how to walk in righteousness since I was a little girl, and my life is overflowing from the blessings you have poured into me. How could I even thank you enough? Some fun memories of us: sharing a super awesome fish bedroom, you, dad and I going down to the CA coast for our family dates (before and after you guys got married), listening to Dr. Laura in the car, planning our movie nights in Bosnia by going to the videoteka, making popcorn, and getting all settled on the couch that pulled out, you reading out loud to Lucas and I our books for homeschool, making cinnamon rolls for Christmas or long road trips, finding you every morning with your coffee, breakfast and bible, dancing around the living room together to Barry Mantilow when I was young and Jennifer Hudson more recently, but most of all, I love all the memories I have of us spending hours talking about anything from boys, to healthy eating, to the Lord- these are some of my most cherished times. Thank you for the blessings, love, and support. Thank you most of all for loving God with all your heart, soul and mind- you are such a glorious display of Christ through your deep satisfaction in Him for all those around you. I love you.
7: Mom I just want to thank you for being there for me. You have helped me with school, problems and equations. Even though you are getting older you go run and do bike rides, that’s sooooo much fun for me because I get a lot of memories. Mom, I don’t know what I would do without you. You help me every day, just wanted to say, I LOVE YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lucas
8: We Love you! From your Mom and Dad
9: To our dear daughter, When you hold the beautiful little daughter in your arms, the first child that God blesses you with, you don’t fully realize the journey God had planned for her and the destinations He has in mind.The first grandchild—what a delight for your dad’s parents. They had about given up on their only child getting married, let alone living to see that grandbaby they doted on! You had the most beautiful wardrobe of dainty, lovely little dresses given by your delighted grandparents. What a blessing that God only allows us to live a day at a time and have no idea what the future holds. You left the States at eleven months to not return to live there for longer than a year until after high school graduation. Normal life for you became living among Filipinos first and then later with tribal people in the jungle. People were fascinated by the “white” child and were always touching, pinching and petting you which you endured so well. Normal for you growing up was eating snake, frogs, wild honey, bits of brown sugar (given you by the people) small crabs and fish. Normal was having playmates that were tribal, learning to swim by putting a rock on your back under water, watching out for snakes, scorpions and various other critters. Normal was watching monkeys play in the trees and hornbills loudly proclaim their presence. It was having the freedom to discover God’s world in an environment free from the “trappings” of modern civilization. Memories were made up of: birthday parties with the whole village attending to partake of popcorn and cake; washing clothes, bathing and swimming in the river; watch “TV” our resident spider spin her web each night; dad and mom taking you to exotic places; hiking to other villages; playing ball on the airstrip together with our dog “Lady”; learning to cook and bake; helping mom with medical work; evening family devotions; sitting with the people on logs and worshipping the Lord together. Flying off to school in Manila became a regular part of your life as we watched you grow from girlhood into a young woman. How hard to let you go, yet knowing this was part of the cost for us and the benefit for you. All these things God used to shape your life to become the strong, godly and delightful woman you are today. You have focused on the potential God has in the life of others and have invested yourself in those lives no matter where God took you. How blessed we are to have a daughter who loves God, loves His Word, her family and people.
10: Dearest Tamra, It is the big 50...can you believe it? Happy birthday. May your day be the new leaf of the rest of your life. The last 50 years have shaped you into an amazing woman who has touched and affected so many people. It will be fun to see what the next 50 do. May the Lord make you more and more like Himself and may you finish well. I am privileged to be your little sister and friend. I love you will my whole heart. Leann | From Your Sister
11: Dear Tammie, Happy 50th. Hope your birthday goes well, and you have lots of fun with it. Hard to believe that time has flown so quickly. Hope that you last even longer in your ministry. I hope that you have figured out by now, at your 50th, which way is left and which way is right without looking at your arm. Love, David and Adriana | From Your Brother
12: My dear friend Tamarica, You made it...to another decade that is...MY decade!!! (Don't remind me that I'll soon be exiting this decade.) But then, this letter is not about me, but about you! Yep, 50 years old. Take a good long look at that my friend....half a century. Whew! It's a milestone for sure! When I think about our time together in Zenica, that only accounts for 1/5 of your life!! Such a short amount of time, yet so filled with rich, memorable moments!! Honestly, I don't know how I would have made it through those years without you! We laughed, cried, screamed and prayed through those years, didn't we? I have so much I want to say, but instead, I will send pictures--like they say, a picture paints a thousand words! I was surprised by just how few pics I have of you my friend!! Hopefully, these will bring memories to your mind...not all of them great, but all of them precious!! I love you my dear, dear friend and I look forward to heaven when we will be able to sit and talk and talk and talk and talk...forever!! OXOXOXO Jacque
13: Hi Tammie, You are about to enter a new decade where many of your friends are already there. You will experience more aches and pains, less sleep, more gray hair, and less energy. I know. I speak with experience!! I am so excited that God allowed our paths to cross over 10 years ago. One of the first meals that you fed us (and all of them were delicious!!) in Sarajevo was beef stroganoff. My kids told me that it looked like dog food. Your enthusiasm for the Lord and for life is encouraging to me, but I could never keep up with you and your energy. You had sooo many great ideas. I am glad that I was able to be a part of a few of them. I think the ministry that meant so much to me was the co-op. My girls learned so much from the different courses that were offered. And the field trips!!! How can you top a field trip to Hungary, Greece, or Italy/Switzerland? Your family is special to us. I am glad we got to vacation together back in 2001. After waving goodbye to the boat we were supposed to be on heading to Mlet, God led us to a campground where you could keep your vacation costs to a minimum and on the same campground there was a place for us to stay that had beds and a kitchen. We were closer to each other than we would have been on Mlet. And all those stepsto get down to the beach. That was such a special vacation for us. I am thankful to God we had a house that was big enough to have people stay at our house. Most people used it as a stop over. But you guys always came to see us and hang out with us. We loved going into town, going to the Nasice zoo, eating meals together, and just having fun. Your easy-going attitude worked well with our family. The time you had to come stay with us while it was too dangerous to be in Zenica was special. - sharing meals, homeschooling time, and fun times. And now I will end this letter to say that we love you and your family. Time might pass without talking with each other, but the friendship will always be there. Thank you for being my friend. Love, Donna P.S. We heard “Hit the Road, Jack” recently and Jesse says to me, “I always think of Mrs. Arreguin and Uncle Rob when I hear that song.” That was the best area conference we attended.
14: My dearest Tammie, What do I say to the woman I look up to the most? Tammie, you have had such an impact on my life that I can never express to you in just a few simple words. I credit you to my strong walk with the Lord. You took the time to disciple me when I was a "baby" Christian. Now I disciple others. Your life is a true example of what a woman of God is. I am so very, very thankful for you! Now for the funny stories! There are lots, so here it goes: Remember when we went hiking in Yellowstone and went in a big (I mean BIG, like a mile or two BIG) circle? We ended up on the road and got a ride from Holly to our destination.I like the time when we were in Austria and we were all scraping our Euros together (every last penny) to eat then when we returned to the home we were staying you found about 40 or 50 Euros in your wallet. You are so funny! Remember France? Our hotel/warehouse accommodations, the train rides, my dad's ticket not working (so he had to crawl under the counter) , the down-pour at the Eiffel Tower and of course the Louvre. Yes, we got separated in the The Louvre and you sent Lucas to find us. The only problem was...he got lost too! How about traveling from Pompeii back to Rome...the cozy (like sardines), on our feet for 2 hours, train ride...no National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in Italy! Well Tam, we've traveled the world together and are still on speaking terms :) I have enjoyed all of our excursions (and million museum visits) from Bosnia to Rome to the Swiss Alps and back to California again. You have been such a blessing to me and my family. I LOOOOOVE you Tam! Happy 50th birthday!
15: Happy 50th Birthday Tammie! It is hard to believe you are "at that age already". As we continue to say, " Where has the time gone"? As hard as it is to accept, it only gets harder. I turned 60 last month and unfortunately I am starting to feel "older". On to more pleasant things. We go back a long way. Often Julie talks about babysitting Larissa starting when she was 20 months old, I think, or was she 2? She says "I still can't believe they let me watch Larissa when I was only 12. Yet there was always an adult there at the house". She learned lots and gave her confidence. You have been such an encouragement to me. First of all, a younger woman wanting to be my friend. Secondly, believing in me to teach the ladies in Bosnia how to make dolls when I had never made one before. Also, giving me the opportunity to travel to Bosnia by myself which was completely out of my comfort zone. Then I had to present a report to the Missions committee. All that was scary, but good for me and God helped me through. You have been an example of a Godly woman to me by your continual trust in Him. Thanks for that. You have listened to me over the years when I needed a listening ear or when you were just interested. I am expecting you will have a fabulous birthday. You are loved. Enjoy the day, the week! | From: Liane Green
16: I chose this picture because it was taken the night you left for Bosnia | Happy Birthday Tammie! Wow your 50 and still look only 30! I am so thankful for the friendship we share, and all the time you spent with me before you moved to Bosnia. I couldn't believe you always wanted to cook for me every time I dropped by. Remember the night my family was mad that all I made was a pot of beans and you dropped by and ate beans and cornbread with me? I couldn't believe someone else liked my beans besides me! I can still hear your laugh especially at the couples retreats with our hubbies and friends. Awesome times that I will always cherish. Hope you have a fabulous 50th! We Love you Always! Vicky and Family
17: Dear Tammie, Happy 50th Birthday! What a great occasion. Though we are on opposite ends of the East Coast, know that I think of you and your family often. I miss our days in Orlando, chatting, sharing meals, and asking you about all/any physical ailments. You were such a God-send to me in Orlando! During Story, you saved me so many times and helped me stay sane when I was stressed. What a joy it was to work with you! And what a friendship birthed out of that. You are such a huge part of my life as a “real world adult”: starting off on my own and then preparing to get married and serving in ministry. You’ve spoken so much truth into my life and I am so appreciative of you. There are things that you’ve said to me that I will never forget and have really shaped my thinking, my approach to marriage, family, faith and ministry. Where would I be without you?? I know the year that we had in Orlando together was just the beginning of a life time friendship. Thanks for everything! I want to be you when I grow up. Love you! Happy birthday! – Elyse (and John too)
18: Zeljka | >
19: Happy 50th birthday! What an exciting time of celebration for you! I don't know if you remember or not, but we actually met in the summer of 1998 when you first arrived in Sarajevo. I was nannying for the Eslers, but had no idea my life would be so connected to Bosnia or to you in the future. Fast forward 5 years and I was the newbie in BiHpretty much as green as they come! As I think back to who that young girl was I often shake my head and marvel at your patience and grace with me! You took me under your wing, made me apart of the family (something I desperately needed, especially that first year), entrusted me with your kids, and mentored me in ministry and MKs. There are several things that I learned from you: *The importance of rest. I was amazed when you would take a day off or the afternoon off and just hang out in your pjs and read a book or watch a movie. Then of course the next day you were off and running at 110kph. However, I needed to watch someone take intentional down time to help me learn that it is okay to do this and it is also healthy! | *Who needs a cookbook? You added a pinch of this and a handful of that and came up with delicious meals! This has impacted my cooking drastically! Now I am a firm believer in the power of fresh garlic and I mainly use cookbooks as suggestions for meals. *Travel while you can. You challenged me to use my single time to see what I could of Europe and to have new experiences. I have a million photos and lots of happy memories as a result. And yes, it is harder and more expensive to travel after you're married and have kids. *Keep learning. You were always reading something new and researching something else. I read many of your books and enjoyed them. I continue to try to keep learning now. *Love MKs for who they are and try to understand them. Getting to know MKs has been a great joy for me (including your own amazing kids). They are so close to my heart and who knew I would have one of my own some day? *Take the lead and over communicate. Your purposeful mentoring with the coop was truly helpful. I thought back to your pieces of advice often. Thanks for entrusting the coop to me when you left BiH. What incredible experiences I had as a result--and I grew greatly as a person too! *Use your common sense and the godly foundation you've been given. You spoke such words of life to me as you handed the coop to me. By communicating your admiration for the solid way my parents raised me and the "good head on my shoulders" God had gifted me with, you helped me to believe in myself and what God could accomplish through me. I've reflected on your words often during times of self-doubt and they have encouraged me. Tammie, thanks for the love of your family, your delicious food, your hospitality and parties, your encouragement, and your mentoring. Now, that we rarely see each other, thank you for your prayers. You've played an important part in my life. I'm grateful for you. Many blessings, Kisses and Hugs, -Tiffany Kavedzic
20: Thanks for all the good talks, laughter, fun good Mexican food, and friendship in Bosnia. You're a special lady and be blessed to be that blessing to me and others! I love you so much and miss you so much. 50 Birthday hugs and dutch kisses from your Dutchie Jo!! (Okay and Rodney, Lisa and Sarah too!)
21: Fifty Years a Fountain – Tammie Sparkling and bright Bringing joy, laughter and delight into this world Beautiful and magnetic Drawing people to her unawares with her warm appeal Refreshing and restoring Renewing those she touches with just her presence Clear and pure Imaging a reflection of the goodness of God Movement and energy Flowing constantly with vitality and eternal productivity Connected and sourced Drinking deeply from the Living Water | From Connie Baker | Dear Tammie, I have been blessed for the last 28 years to have experienced ALL of the above from you, my dear friend. May your fountain remain flowing with passion and great happiness for MANY more years! Happy 50th! I love you dearly. | - Connie
22: Dear Tammie, I don’t even know how to put into words how blessed I feel to know you. I was suffering so much when I first met you, and you cared about me and what I was going through before you even really knew me. I can’t believe how much time you spent with me on the phone before we had even met face-to-face! Joining Bible study and sitting under your teaching has changed my life completely. God used you (and continues to use you!) in such a mighty way to show me His love, His truth in the Word, my hope that is in Christ, joy that doesn’t have anything to do with life’s circumstances, and a passion for Him that had been missing from my life. Your love for the Word has been contagious, and the more I’m around you the more I want to learn!!! If I hadn’t gotten connected with you and our Bible study group, I truly don’t know where I’d be today. Thank you for seeing my potential, and showing me that I can serve Christ NOW, not when I have it all together some day in the future, which will never come in this lifetime anyway! You don’t know how much your love and support, and that of the team you connected me with, have kept me going through so many struggles. In everything I have faced, you have pointed me to Jesus. I love you so much, as my “spiritual mom,” and also my friend. I want to be a passionate teacher of the Word, and theologian, just like you are. I want to challenge women and help them to love God more, and to glorify Him in their lives. You have also taught me so much about being a mom, and I hope that my children will have the love and respect for me that yours do for you, and even more importantly, that I will train them in the Lord and that they will have a strong faith like your daughter Larissa. Thank you for giving your heart and so much time to me, the other women of the church, and our children. Great is YOUR reward in heaven for serving Him faithfully, even through your darkest days. You are such an inspiration and encouragement to me always. I love you | -Jen Gage
23: -Ellie Cook | Dear Tammie our Fearless Leader, Thank you for coming onto CrossPointe like a whirlwind. Thank you for being willing to get super involved in the lives of so many women. Thank you for being so truthful and honest. Thank you for teaching me to be more honest with The Lord (who is more and more becoming my dear Friend) more honest with others and with myself. Each day you are making a powerful impact on society. Whenever you feel overwhelmed or wondering why you do what you do, go to that quiet place, your 'closet' and get recharged from the One who can grant you peace like no other. Have a very happy birthday with lots of celebrating in the outpouring of God's goodness. Your sis | Women's Bible Study