Category Archives: Family Update
A post a from Barry this year:
Pam is so much busier than I of late that this should have been on my plate right along. Here it is, Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years yet again, and there is so much to be thankful for, and we are, thanking God in this season for every remembrance of every one of you.
Pam is busy with and flourishing in using her teaching and shepherding gifts as Minister for Women at Bethlehem Baptist’s North Campus location. Very full days and weeks but loving it. And she loves being Mimi and spending as much time as she can with Benjamin, Avery, Anders, and Henry. They grow so quickly!
Matt and Ali are in Denver, Matt with Medtronic and Ali busy serving their neighborhood school and together trying to keep up with Benjamin (almost 7) and Avery (4). They are becoming quite the Spanish speakers! We are so grateful that Avery continues to do well with her Cystic Fibrosis and is an energetic trooper, with retriever Kota her treatment buddy (consider Cystic Fibrosis Foundation if looking for a worthwhile charity!)
David and Emma and Anders (March 2017) and retrievers Wilson and Bergen are in Rochester with David already into his 3rd year as an otolaryngology (ENT) surgical resident at the Mayo Clinic. Emma is a tennis professional at the Rochester Athletic Club and Anders keeps them both busy! Praising God for the anticipation of Baby #2’s arrival in April 2019!
Sara and husband David Merritt are closer, living in Grant, between White Bear Lake and Stillwater. Henry (June 2017) keeps them hopping with work days sending Dave to Faegre Baker Daniels as an Intellectual Property attorney and Sara to 3M where she recently took a position in a new division that poses new challenges but a little less international travel, which is good as they have Baby #2 on the way as well, expected in June 2019.
Jacob, living in Richfield and working at Spok in medical communications had a big summer/Fall, proposing to his girlfriend Krista Smith in a big way on the St Croix River on a blistering hot day in September – and we are thrilled to report that she accepted! (whew – we love her!) Looking forward to an August 2019 wedding (hopefully a little cooler than engagement day!) Krista is a nurse at United Hospital in St Paul and a Young Life leader. Jacob loves working with youth at Eagle Brook Church’s Blaine campus, where they both attend.
I continue in my work with the frail elderly, visiting about 7 long-term care facilities with my geriatrics group Genevive as a staff geriatrician. I love this population of folks who have done so much for us, their kids and their country. I receive much more from them most days – object lessons in love, perseverance, resilience – than what I am able to bring to them. It is humbling work and I’m blessed to do it. I love being a Papa with Mimi to the little ones, and am so blessed by a good and gracious God through all the kids and our amazing in-law kids.
We can’t thank God enough for all of you – you are in our hearts, prayers, and memories this Christmas and always. May Emmaunuel – the God with us at that first Christmas – bless and keep you all now and in the year ahead.
Summer 2011 Updates
In addition to the wonderful news of our first grandson on the way, here is what is going on in the lives of the rest of our kids:
JACOB had an incredible summer of ministry at Camp Shamineau, coming home last week with many wonderful memories and stories of God at work in the lives of the boys he counseled. A special joy was to have Korey in his cabin group one week. Korey is the younger brother of Karl, Jacob’s best friend who died of cancer in 1997. Jacob will return to Bethel this week.
SARA graduated from Bethel University in May, moved home with us in June and began a job search. When 3M offered her a full-time job, she put the pursuit of the MA on hold for the time being. Wedding planning is just one of the fun activities we have together! DAVE is heading back to Virginia for his last year of law school, and they are making decisions on where they will live after the wedding in June next year.
DAVID is working full-time at Cabela’s and is pursuing a career in medicine, almost making it into UND Medical School this year. (he was the next on the waiting list!)
EMMA completed her Masters in May and is joining the Tennis Coaching Staff at UND, along with her teaching and coaching at the club and working as a manager at Starbucks. WILSON, their lab, is super-excited for the hunting season.
Grandson #1 On the Way!
Matt and Ali announced this week that a little Larson boy will join our family in January! What exciting news! We are thrilled to be grandparents! We are praying for this little guy already, and for Matt and Ali as Ali wrote this on her blog:
After declining all of the genetic testing for our baby, I somehow decided that it would be okay to get screened for the cystic fibrosis gene – it was a simple cheek swab that would tell me if I was a carrier for this disease or not. Seemed pretty easy! The odds of even being a carrier are 1 in 30, so I figured I may as well find out. With no family history of cystic fibrosis that I could find, I was pretty shocked to learn two weeks later that indeed I was a carrier of the gene (a recessive gene, hence the lack of family history). I was told not to worry, the chances that Matt had the gene as well were again 1 in 30 (so the chances of us BOTH having it were extremely small), and we both had to be carriers for any child to be born with the disease. And so, Matt dutifully went in to the doctor’s office, got his cheek swabbed, and waited.
Two weeks later, I got the call from my OB that – odds be damned – Matt is indeed a carrier of the CF gene as well. Who would have known? This information was followed shortly with something along the lines of…”this means that your baby has a 1 in 4 chance of being born with CF…”, “keep in mind that there’s a 75% chance that your baby will be born healthy…”, “some CF gene-carrying parents choose to do IVF for future children so as to make sure the gene is not passed on…”, “I’d like you to make an appointment with a high risk OB just for a consultation…”, and some other stuff that is all a little blurred at the moment. One in four. That’s all that kept running through my head.
After many many, many tears, I came home and did a little research about CF (feel free to visit http://www.cff.org) and was happy to learn that many CF kids go on to live happy, generally healthy lives, but sad to read the staggering fact that “the predicted median age of survival for a person with CF is in the mid-30s.” Wow…
I’m not quite ready to talk about this all that much, but I did want to get my thoughts out there for now (the tears don’t come as easily as when I say it out loud). Matt and I are both digesting/processing all of this information and praying that our baby, with CF or not, is happy and healthy. We trust that God has a plan that is bigger than our own, both now and in the future, and that our baby is in His hands for the next five months (and forever). As a friend was gracious in reminding me, I feel comfort that God is more powerful than me or any doctor. And as she has offered to pray with Eph. 3:20 in mind (“now to Him who is able to do IMMEASURABLY more than all we can ask or imagine…”), so too do we. No matter what, we know that he/she will be incredibly loved by the two of us and by the amazing friends and family surrounding us.
This week, Ali wrote:
We are also learning to be grateful in this precarious situation we’ve found ourselves in. We trust that God is at work in all of this, and despite the unknown future, we are grateful for the little one growing and developing at this very minute. We are grateful for the lessons in patience, trust, love, and grace that we continue to be learning through all of this. And though we did not love hearing some of the news at this week’s appointment with the high risk doctor, we were SO grateful to find out the sex of our little peanut early!
May Flowers and Foxes
Along with May flowers, we have all kinds of celebrations happening in our family!
JACOB is finishing his first year at Bethel, wrapping up the studies and choir, and is looking forward to being a camp counselor this summer at Camp Shamineau, near Motley, MN.
SARA is busy applying for jobs, interviewing, finishing her senior thesis, and studying for finals. Her last Bethel Choir concert is tonight at 7:30pm in Benson Great Hall. It has been such a joy to have both Sara and Jacob singing together under the leadership of Dr. Dennis Port. While there will be tears of sadness tonight, we look forward to many more wonderful concerts! On Monday, May 9 at 8:00 pm, Sara will have her Senior Voice Recital in Benson Great Hall. We would love to have as many family and friends there as possible! Baccaaureate is May 20th and Commencement will be May 21st at 4:00 pm. Sara is graduating with two majors: Biochemistry/Molecular Biology (B.S.) and Chemistry (B.A.). In addition, she has already begun her Master of Arts in Teaching through Bethel University College of Adult and Professional Studies.
DAVID is waiting to hear from medicals schools and working full-time at Cabelas. He is gearing up to host a party for…
EMMA is graduating from UND with her Masters on May 14th! She has had a very busy year of research, writing, teaching at UND, working at Starbucks and teaching tennis. We are planning to drive up to Grand Forks for the celebration on Sunday, May 15th. David and Emma will celebrate 3 years of marriage in July!
MATT continues his work at Medtronic, leading worship at their church and playing in a few bands, but the BIG news is that MAY 30th, Memorial Day, is the JEOPARDY! show…be sure to watch that day, wherever you are!
ALI is working on obtaining her Master in Teaching, and has just received word she will be student teaching in Denver Public Schools, just a few blocks from their house. Matt and Ali recently celebrated their 2nd wedding anniversary and are planning a trip to Minnesota in June.
BARRY is getting used to his new job, still misses patients and aspects of the old job, but more time to be home has been wonderful! PAM is loving her new part-time job as Ministry Assistant for Women’s Ministry at Bethlehem Baptist Church and continues her volunteer roles in Vernacular Video Mission International.
We had a fox family move in across the street, and you can view video here.
Merry Christmas from the Larsons!
2010 has been an event-FULL year for our family and we are grateful to God for His grace and mercy in all that has transpired! We began 2010 with a mission trip to the Philippines that was amazing for Barry, Jacob and I. Shortly after returning, we announced our plans to leave Austin for the Twin Cities. Barry had accepted a position with Geriatric Services of MN, where he is now caring for the frailest of the elderly in settings where they need to be seen: long & short term care facilities on the north and west sides of Mpls. We began our move to Mounds View in May, Barry started working in June and I bounced back and forth for a few weeks, and then settled in July.
Jacob (18) ran the 4 X 800m in the State track meet (his relay team crushed the AHS records!) and graduated from AHS in June. He worked all summer at the municipal pool in Austin, saving up for Bethel University, where he is now a freshman. He is loving college, especially singing in the Bethel Choir. Festival of Christmas was fabulous!
Sara (21) is newly engaged (12-19-10) to be married to Dave Merritt! (son of Bob and Laurie) The date will be announced sometime later. Sara is a senior at Bethel double-majoring in Chemistry/Biochemistry, is a TA and alto section leader for the Bethel Choir. Dave is in his 2nd year of law school at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and is planning to start his career with Faegre & Benson in Mpls.
David and Emma live in Grand Forks, ND with Wilson, their yellow lab. David (23) works full time for Cabela’s and is applying to medical school. He and Wilson love to hunt together! Emma (23) is teaching an undergraduate class at UND and working on her Master’s thesis, in addition to teaching/coaching tennis and supervising at Starbucks.
Matt and Ali live in Denver, CO with Lincoln, their “little stinker”! Matt (27) is employed by Medtronic in the neuroscience division and leads worship at Denver Community Church (DCC) around once a month. He also plays with Ali’s dad, Chip, in a band. Ali (29) resigned from her job in mid-2010 to begin a Masters degree in Education. It is quite a change for her, but she is loving the learning and the challenge. Ali will turn 30 on Dec 25!!
We are LOVING being closer to our family in the Twin Cities, but miss our dear friends in Austin! We think visitors are fantastic, so please plan to come see us!
If you comment and leave your email, I will send you our new address.
Big Transition Ahead….
The Larsons are in the midst of one of the biggest transitions in our lives….here is the letter that Barry sent out to his patients a few weeks ago:
A very good and gracious God led me and my family to Austin almost 22 years ago and blessed me with the opportunity to work at the Austin Medical Center in a great community. The largest part of that blessing is each of you, the people I have been honored to know and serve.
In easily the most difficult crossroads of my life to date, I have made the decision to bring to a close my practice at AMC effective this spring. While many factors of necessity enter into such a decision, primary is changes in my family and the desire to be closer to them in the northern Twin Cities area as they, and I, grow older.
Words cannot adequately express how much each of you mean to me and indeed how privileged I have been to be a part of your lives. The trust and patience you have shown, the laughter as well as the tears we have shared are all a part of the precious memories I take with me. You all helped this kid doctor grow up and were the best teachers I could have had. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I will be joining a somewhat more limited geriatric focused practice in North Minneapolis called Geriatrics Services of Minnesota. It will be a definite change and new challenge in many ways I am sure.
Thank you for your understanding and I ask for your prayers for me and my family in this transition time. Thanks for your support of Austin Medical Center and Mayo Health System going forward- your care is in good hands.
So, there it is! We made this decision with much prayer, and are trusting that God will guide us in the steps ahead. Barry’s last day at AMC will be May 14, and he will begin his new practice on May 24. We have begun the process of down-sizing, packing up and sprucing up our home in Austin for a sale after Jacob graduates. We have also signed a purchase agreement on a new townhome on the New Brighton-Mounds View border. The closing date is set for May 21st, so hopefully we can have a few things moved in there before Barry starts his new job. There will be a lot of driving back and forth this spring and summer!
We would sure appreciate your prayers for us in this huge transition in our lives!
Larson Christmas Letter 2009
God’s blessings poured out on us at Jesus’ birth, remind us of His blessings all year! It has been a wonderfully busy year for our family, and we look forward to anticipation of all the things God has in store for us next year! Here’s a glimpse into 2009:
Barry’s mom, Loraine, went home to be with the Lord on February 2
Matt and Ali were united in marriage in beautiful Boulder, CO, March 28. They came home to Austin in August, and we gathered the whole family together. (Those times are rare and precious!) They purchased their first home in October…and were with us Thanksgiving this year instead of Christmas.
David graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in Bible/Theology in May and we celebrated Mother’s Day with Emma’s family, too! David made ALL-AMERICAN in the pole vault at Nationals! David and Emma celebrated their 1st Anniversary July 12! In August, they moved from Wheaton, IL to Grand Forks, ND, where Emma is pursuing a master’s degree and playing competitive tennis for UND. David is working at Cabela’s and also for Grace Baptist Church in college ministries. He will start a new job with disabled persons in January. Emma is recovering from knee surgery (Nov 20) and is hoping to get back on the tennis courts soon.
Sara was selected as Miss Minnesota First Runner-Up in June! We are so proud of all her accomplishments. She gave up her Miss Capital City title in October and is in her junior year at Bethel, majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Jacob sang in the ALL-STATE CHOIR Concert at Orchestra Hall, February 14…WOW! His 4X800m relay team advanced to the STATE FINALS in June! And at the end of July, his soccer team WON the MYSA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP! Jacob’s high school soccer team made school history by advancing to the STATE High School SOCCER TOURNAMENT in October. He will graduate from Austin High School in June and would like to attend Bethel next year.
Pam’s trip to teach in English in China was postponed due to H1N1. Now, the facility (Shamineau East) is having further difficulties with the government and the trip is cancelled.
Barry, Pam and Jacob are leaving for the Philippines Jan 29 and returning Feb 10…yes, we will miss the Super Bowl…. We will be heading up into the rugged mountainous jungles of Northern Luzon to do multiple film showings with Vernacular Video Ministry, and also a medical outreach partnership with a group of doctors, dentist, nurses and others from Manila. We will be in Mapayao, which is as far as we can go since the road was washed out during the recent typhoons.
Please PRAY for us! Pray that we would have the strength and energy to be effective helpers. (jet lag can be rough!) Pray that we will be the aroma of Christ to hurting people. Pray that many will see Jesus through the films, through our love, and that they will turn to Him and trust in Him. Pray that we will return with a greater love and passion to reach unreached people.
We are not asking for any help with the cost of the trip, but we would like to invite you to help with some vital equipment for the ministry there:
- We are hoping to raise $2500 for an iMac computer system which will enable the team to edit new productions and to produce some children’s videos (dubbing from VVMI’s partner in Guatemala)
- We would also like to have enough funds ($1000) for a projection system that will be used to spread the Gospel through video, in the rugged Mountain Province.
- We have also been asked to bring children’s vitamins, desperately needed since the typhoon.
If you would like to contribute to any of these needs, you can DONATE online at GiveMN.org or send a check to VVMI, PO Box 37, Austin, MN 55912 (memo: iMac or MP) or send vitamins to our home address.
TRUE TEAM STATE
The Austin Packer Boys Track Team has done it again! They are the repeat champions of their section and have the opportunity to compete in the MN True Team Track and Field Championships in Stillwater, MN on Saturday, May 16. You can click on the link to take you to the schedule. Jacob will be competing in the first and the last running events! He runs the 4 X 800 m relay and the 4 X 400 m relay! Here (click this link) are the directions to the meet, if you want to come and cheer!