Monday, December 22, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas night before Christmas and all through the Little’s house
Not a creature was stirring, except for Gretchen’s computer mouse.

The stockings were hung by the fireplace and waiting to be stuffed
By Brian and Gretchen who had shopped enough!

The boys were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Christmas bliss danced in their heads.

Brian was upstairs and trying to sleep,
Wondering if the ACC title the Hokies would keep.

When from the computer arose such a clatter,
Brian came down to see what was the matter.

The moon shone through the window telling of late,
“Keep it down!” insisted Brian, “or the boys will awake!”

When what to our wondering eyes did appear?
A Christmas letter telling everything we did this past year!

With so many paragraphs about a year of activities,
Too many stories about ourselves, the busy bees.

More words than a dictionary spewed forth from the printer.
Brian whistled and whispered and read through the letter.

“With New Years came the news that we were going to have a baby,
And then Grant turned five in the middle of January.

Brian ran the 10K in April, and we enjoyed a pleasant Easter,
With egg hunts and family and warmer weather.

In May, Brian went to Asia and was eating crazy food.
While Gretchen was seven months pregnant chasing our wild brood.

Brian read on about Grant playing golf in the spring,
And a trip to the farm for strawberry picking.

To the pool and the beach with the Moores in the summer,
Where the boy’s daring stunts worried their mother.

In July our fourth son was born: Davis Parker.
Grant, Bryce and Carter love their new little brother.

Then Carter turned two and learned how to scream,
Unless he was eating crackers, brownies or ice-cream.

Grant started kindergarten in early September.
Apple picking and superhero costumes, a fall to remember.

Bryce playing soccer and saying funny things,
Special times with family and hosting Thanksgiving.

The boys in their fun and crazy ways
Have brought more joy to our lives than we know how to say.”

But really, our letter was just about our family,
We had almost forgotten to acknowledge the three.

Three kings that came from afar with their gifts,
To worship a new King whose glory our spirits would lift.

The angel who told the shepherds the news of the baby, our Savior,
Whom they could find laying on hay in a manger.

This new babe, our King and our Savior, Behold,
This is the story that on Christmas should be told.

So our best efforts worthless, we happily remembered,
To leave Jesus out of Christmas would be absurd.

He is the reason we have the things that we do
He is the Great Gift Giver and Provider for you.

He gave us His Word. He completed his quest,
That provides our Salvation with only one request.

That we believe in His name as Creator of all,
That we receive His forgiveness and answer His call.

His invitation is most miraculous now,
As we see Him, our King, laying next to a cow.

How could it be? That our King was thus treated?
He wants you to know that your best is not needed.

He’s calling to you, and I imagine He’s said,
“Merry Christmas to you, your ransom has been paid.”

Merry Christmas and All Our Love!
Brian, Gretchen,
Grant, Bryce, Carter & Davis

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Christmas song, Bryce rendition

I am not at all musically inclined, but I love Christmas music. I play it in the car Thanksgiving through New Year (at a minimum) and "Away In a Manger" or "Silent Night" are the typical bedtime lullabies in December.
While sitting at the table eating lunch yesterday, Bryce held up a slice of apple from his plate and pointed out, "Mom, it looks like a heart!" He then said, "It's like 'Heart! The Herald Angels Sing!'" and went on to sing "Heart! The Herald Angels Sing". I just smiled and said, "Yes, that's right Bryce, 'Heart! The Herald Angels Sing.'"

Sweet I love yous

My house is not as tidy as I would like for it to be at the moment, I have spit-up on my clothes, there are still Christmas gifts yet to be purchased, and I am writing this while holding a fussy baby, but I am so grateful for all the Lord has blessed me with, especially my four little boys.
Grant, our five year old, has been exceptionally sweet lately. He was upstairs playing in his room a couple of nights ago and came down with a surprise for Brian. He pulled out the Magna-doodle from behind his back to show his daddy what he had written:

Yesterday afternoon while I was sitting on the floor Grant wrapped his arms around my neck and said, "I love you, mom!" I love getting hugs from my boys, especially when they initiate the hug. I casually said that that's what I want for Christmas, lots of hugs. Then as I tucked the boys in last night, Grant opened his arms wide and said, "Mom, I have a present for you!" It took me moment to realize that he had remembered what I had said and was offering a big hug as an early Christmas present.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We've enjoyed 'decking the halls' this past week in preparation for Christmas. The boys have had fun putting up lights and decorating the tree. Yes indeed, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house...

The boys were supposed to be helping untangle the lights.

Of course both Grant and Bryce got a turn putting the star on top of the tree.

Once the tree was decorated it was on to wrestling!

Even Davis got in on the festivities.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekend funnies

We had a funny moment in the car this weekend as we drove to Five Guys (a burger joint) for dinner. Five Guys is well-liked by the guys in our family (at least the oldest four) and is a frequent destination during a "Daddy's day" (when Brian takes the boys out for the afternoon or evening). So, it was indeed a rare occurrence for all six of us to be headed there. On our way Grant inquired, "Where are we going?" To which Brian answered, "Five Guys." The response from the boys was not the "Yeah!" we had expected but instead Grant saying, "But mommy can't go. She's a girl!" Bryce chimed in, "They will call the police to get her!" Brian stuck up for me and did his part to convince the boys that girls are allowed at Five Guys. It's not just for guys. I guess this is what comes of being outnumbered five to one!
On Sunday afternoon Brian took Grant, Bryce and Carter out to get a Christmas tree. We are some of the dwindling clientelle of live Christmas trees. I guess I'm old fashioned or perhaps I just love the smell of pine. Anyway, when they returned home Grant walked in the door with a big grin on his face and said, "Mommy, the tree fell off the car!"
You see, it was a bitterly cold day and very windy (Brian wanted me to be sure to include this part). After picking out the prettiest tree available at Lowe's and doing his best to tie it on top of the van, Brian and the boys headed home (we have learned that while the kids are young we will take a break from tramping through the tree farm hunting for the perfect tree to cut down ourselves and stick with Lowe's or Home Depot--but that's another story). Apparently, after they made the second turn out of the parking lot the tree didn't make the turn. Brian pulled over to retrieve the tree and a man with a pickup truck stopped behind him and kindly offered to put the tree in his truck and follow Brian home. So, our tree made it's way to our house in the back of a pickup escorting Brian and the boys. Brian thanked the 'good samaritan' for his assistance and Grant, Bryce and Carter were very grateful that their Christmas tree made it home.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sweet sayings

Soon after their arrival, all four of our boys have received a hand knit blanket from my dear friend, Melissa. They have been special gifts; with each pregnancy I have anticipated the coming blanket and they have been much-loved by the boys. Bryce, in particular, is quite fond of his "blankie" and continues to sleep with it every night (in fact, he has to have it to go to sleep). Bryce's blanket is noticibly showing its four years of cuddling and while not nearly as pretty as it was four years ago (the once soft green color is now rather dingy and it is quite tattered around the edges), it couldn't be more loved.
The other night while Brian was tucking Bryce in he crawled up in his bed, hugged his blanket and said in all seriousness, "Daddy I love you. I love you like I love my blankie." Those were sweet words to Brian. Bryce is rarely so verbal with his affection and Brian realized that to be put in the same category as his dearly loved blanket was a huge compliment.
We both got a chuckle out of Bryce's comment when Brian relayed the story to me downstairs. It was a fun parenting moment as well as a special memory to cherish.