Saturday, January 31, 2009

The things they say

Children say the funniest things! While I wish I had time to document all the hilarious things that come out of the mouths of my boys, there were a few from yesterday that struck me as funny.
While wiping the peanut butter off Bryce's face after lunch I commented on what a cute face he has to which he replied, "Don't say cute, mom. Cute is a bad word." Apparently he is too mature for such doting from mommy.
Later, while playing together with his 101 Dalmation toys, I picked up one of the plastic dogs and said in a little puppy voice to the toy that Bryce was holding, "What's your name?" Bryce looked at me (trying not to roll his eyes) and said, "Dogs don't talk mom, they say 'woof'."
That afternoon on our way to run an errand I told the boys that we needed to stop to get gas because we were almost on empty. The boys, I've gathered, must think that I put off filling up the tank until the last possible minute because Grant said, "But mom, we're going pretty fast still" as if we ordinarily rolled into the gas station on nothing but fumes.

My baby boy

My baby boy is six months old now which means that he has officially entered my favorite baby stage (6-9 months). While I love babies at all ages and stages, I've narrowed down these three months as my "favorites." At this age babies are very interactive, smiling, laughing, starting to babble, small but not extremely delicate, chubby and cuddly, but (perhaps most importantly) not yet mobile. So, in my opinion, it makes for a very fun three months.

Davis has always been characterized as a happy baby. When I tell people this I follow it up with, "I mean he's an especially happy baby." I realize that my opinion may be affected by the fact that he is my fourth baby and perhaps I am more laid back than I was with my first or even second child. But, really, he is such a happy baby. This past week I took him in to the doctor after several nights of waking up during the night (he has slept through the night since he was six weeks old--8-10 hours without waking--see what I mean!). Low and behold he had two ear infections, poor little guy. The doctor must have commented at least three times during the appointment how surprised she was at his content and happy demeanor with his ears looking the way they did. Yes, I am am very grateful for such a happy baby boy (and experienced enough to appreciate it).

This past Sunday Brian and I participated in a baby dedication service at our church. During the service parents stand at the front of the church with their child and promise to God and before the church to raise their child in His nurture and admonition, acknowledging that children are a blessing from the Lord. As parents, we commit to do all that we can to teach, train and encourage Davis in the Lord but know that it is ultimately his decision as to whether he will accept Christ's forgiveness and make Him Lord of his life. It was a special day of reflecting on the huge blessing and responsibility of parenthood. Our pastor read the meaning of Davis' name, "Beloved Son," and the scripture that we chose for him. Psalms 86:11&12 "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart, I will glorify your name forever."

Monday, January 26, 2009

In the words of a little boy...

As the mother of boys, I am enjoying experiencing life from the vantage point of a little boy. The video clip below, if you haven't already seen it, is a touching story from a little country boy. While boys can be rough and tough, they can also be sweet and sensitive and this radio segment shows just how the Holy Spirit (I believe) spoke to one little boy.
Note: You will want to turn off the music on the icon at the bottom of the page before viewing.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Strike! (well, almost)

Yesterday we made the most out of a day off of school with a trip to Bowl America. Gramma watched the two little ones while Aunt Susie and I took Grant and Bryce to the bowling alley. It was the boys' second time bowling and the first time for me in a long time, so we made good use of the gutter guards. Everyone had a blast and we wrapped up the afternoon with ice-cream at McDonald's, or "Happy Donald's" as Bryce calls it.
Quote of the day:
Opening the the doors into the bowling alley, the stench of cigarette smoke hitting the air, Bryce said, "I smell something (referring to the smoke)" to which Grant answered in a matter of fact way, "It smells like bowling!"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Grant!

This past Tuesday our oldest son, Grant, turned six. We had a fun week of celebrating this big milestone. On the eve of his birthday, I explained to Grant that six years ago he was in my tummy. On the evening of January 12th I went into labor and daddy took me to the hospital where he was born shortly after midnight on January 13th. Somewhere in that conversation I must have said something about how much he has grown, because I later learned that he somehow got it in his head that at the instant he turned six he would have a tremendous growth spurt.
Later that night after the boys had been tucked in, Brian went to settle down Grant and Bryce (they share a room and the anticipation of the birthday was apparently causing a sleep delay). When Brian opened the door to their room Grant was laying on his bed, arms stretched up, and exclaimed excitedly, "Look, dad, my sleeves are already shorter!" As if his arms were literally stretching out as his birthday approached. The following day Grant explained to me that when he was five he was this tall, holding his and at eye level, and now that he was six he was this tall, hand at the top of his head. I didn't go on to explain exactly how "growing up" works, but we'll hope he figures it out eventually.
On the morning of his birthday I woke the boys with a special treat: birthday pancakes (pancakes with a candle for the birthday boy). This is a new tradition for us, but a fun way to start the special day. All the boys had fun singing "Happy Birthday" at 7 am and Grant was kind enough to allow Bryce and Carter a turn at having a candle in their pancakes as well. We brought in cupcakes for his class at school where Grant was crowned the birthday boy for the day.
The big event, however, was the Pirate Adventure birthday party on Saturday. We do "big" parties for the boys every other year, so this was the first party that Grant was truly able to anticipate. He was so excited to be having his friends come over to celebrate with him. I tried my hand at cake decorating and managed to pull off a pirate ship cake which actually turned out looking like a pirate ship (I figured it could be a wrecked pirate ship if it didn't turn out so well). We served a pirate lunch of peg-legs (corndogs), goldfish crackers, cannon balls (grapes) which the kids could eat with those little sword toothpicks, and cocktail shrimp for the pirate parents. The little buccaneers played "pin the X on the treasure map", colored a pirate, and went on an amazing treasure hunt, organized by Gramma, which ended in the uncovering of a real treasure chest with the loot of party favors for all the kids. Grant thoroughly enjoyed the day.
The pirate ship cake (with gummy sharks in the water--watch out!).
Grant blew out the "cannons."

All the little buccaneers.

Mommy and Daddy with the birthday boy.

Gramma leading the treasure hunt.

The treasure map, complete with the clues the kids found on their hunt.

Grant with his new Bible.

Grant and his friend Jacob (aka: Darth Vader and a Clone Trooper) sporting Grant's new costumes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sippy cups and speech impediments

I can tell that Carter (our two year old) is getting the hang of being a big brother by this scene that I observed:

Carter coaching, while leaning over Davis, "Say moult (milk), Day-dis! Say moult!" as he gently (sort of) offered his little brother a sip from his beloved Lightning McQueen cup. This instruction went on for quite some time.

Fortunately, Davis is a very patient little brother.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

An apple a day...

Yesterday we had a HUGE culinary milestone in our family. You see, our Carter has been a picky eater (and I mean extremely picky) for as long as I can remember. I don't know where we went wrong as parents, but as I mentioned in a previous post, I have nicknamed him our "pantry kid" as he seems to like eating only things that come out of the pantry (i.e. crackers, cereal, Nutrigrain bars, cookies, peanut butter). Bryce and Grant were never like this. He will eat healthy cereals and doesn't seem to be displaying any signs of malnutrition, but except for the occasional raisin or bite of applesauce and once in a while a little carrot covered in Ranch dressing, he is anti-produce. Yep, that's right. No fruit or vegetables for Carter. Carter's food preferences have brought about many stressful meals at our house with screaming, crying and lots of tears (from him, although I have felt like screaming or crying many times) and have often ended with Carter being banished to his room. I have tried everything to get him to branch out from his approved menu, to no avail. The pediatrician says that he is strong-willed. I would have to agree. No amount of bribing (I will give you a cookie if you try pea), pleading (it's so yummy, look at so and so eating it!) , tricking (won't you eat it with a toothpick, it's fun that way!), disguising (apple pie--that counts, doesn't it?), reading Green Eggs and Ham, even a trip to the strawberry patch (they were fun to pick, but eat--no way!) could get him to even consider trying something new. I knew if he would only taste it he would find out that it is good. I finally came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to get Carter to eat anything. I would just have to stop making it a battle. I would offer and not push. He would not be allowed to eat only junk food, but he was going to have to decide that he was missing out. He could not be coerced. So, for weeks now I have been offering Carter a slice of an apple on his plate (or another fruit) for at least one meal a day. The first hurdle was to get him to be OK with the "distasteful food" being on his plate. This was no small feat. But, after a while, we got there. Then for the past few weeks he has been watching everyone else in the family enjoying their fruit while his sat on his plate untouched. I didn't say a word, I just kept putting the slice of apple on his plate and dumping it in the trash can after every meal, wondering how long it would take to see teeth marks on a piece. Then yesterday it happened. We were all eating lunch at home as a family and I sliced a couple of apples up and distributed them among the family members with Carter getting his one, skinny slice. While talking with Brian, I glanced at Carter and noticed him munching on his apple. I discretely pointed out the surprise to Brian. Then, before we knew it, Carter was asking for MORE apples! We couldn't believe our ears! He even asked for thirds, devouring almost an entire apple! I felt like doing cartwheels! It was certainly a big milestone for our "pantry kid." And, at the very least, gave me some encouragement to keep on offering.
The experience with Carter brought to my mind the verse "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." (Psalm 34:8). The Lord has offered himself to us--for us. He doesn't push. He doesn't force. He doesn't coerce. He patiently keeps offering. But we have to taste. We have to actively participate. Abundant life is ours for the taking. We have to seek after him.
This led me to the question, "Am I tasting?" The Lord has so much he wants to give me, but so often I choose to do it my way rather than turning to him. He is good and I can trust him. He desires the best for me and loves me more than I can imagine (Jeremiah 29:11-13).

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Nags Head and New Year's

This past week we were able to tag along with our friends, Greg and Joy, on a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was a relaxing vacation (as relaxing as it gets with six children under six) and a fun time for all. Their girls seem to be a calming force on our testosterone-heavy brood. While there Greg introduced us to the world of Rock Band, we visited the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, saw the Wright Brothers National Memorial, and roasted marshmallows around a bonfire on the beach.

We caught this shot in the 30 seconds all 5 were entertained by Playdough.
With Brian and I on drums and bass, it was more of a comedy act than a band.

All the kiddos.

Claire and Grant petting the sting rays.

My two astronauts (Bryce and Grant at the Wright Brothers Museum).

Bryce standing at the monument. He is holding a photo of the monument.

Our two fams.

Roasting marshmallows for s'mores. DE-li-cious!

We came back from the beach in time for our fifth annual New Year's Eve dinner at the Japanese steakhouse with our friends Sandy and Juliana. We started this tradition back when we each had only one child. We enjoyed a kid-free evening (except for Davis) while Grant and Bryce spent the night wtih Grammy and Pappy and Carter received some individual attention at Gramma and Granpa's. After dinner we went to Sandy and Juliana's house for football and movies until the ball dropped. It was a fun time with good friends and to top it all off, their neighbors set off fireworks when the clock struck midnight. It was a surprisingly good show! It was a fun way to close out 2008. We look forward to seeing what God has in store for us in 2009.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Football fanatic

When my Aunt Trish sent me this video I laughed out loud. For anyone who has ever watched a football game with my, should we say, animated husband I'm sure you would agree this could so happen at our house.
After Thursday night's Orange Bowl victory for Virginia Tech, I had to post this on my blog.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


The week of Christmas was full of fun times celebrating the holiday with family. The week began with a trip to Williamsburg for an early Christmas with John and Karen (Brian's parents). Fun Aunt Tara and Archie also drove in for the day. We had Karen's traditional ham and pineapple casserole (so good!) and opened presents around the tree. The following day we braved the cold weather to take in the beautiful sights of Colonial Williamsburg.

Bryce and his Lego creation. He loves his new Legos.

Carter looking at a new book from Grammy and Pappy.

Batman p.j.'s from Aunt Tara.

Bundled up in Colonial Williamsburg.

Later in the week we had a visit from Uncle Jake and his fiancee, Jessica. They brought over some fun gifts for the boys including an awesome army helicopter which has been one of Grant and Bryce's favorite Christmas gifts.

Jake holding Davis and Jessica.
On Christmas Eve we ate dinner at a restaurant with my parents, Ron and Cathleen, my brother, Eric, and my sister, Susannah. We then did a Christmas light tour before heading to our house for a gift exchange. Gramma is always good at picking out toys for the boys and they are enoying the new additions to their Thomas the Tank Engine collection.

Our attempt at a gingerbread house.

Granpa and Davis.

Eric with some new VCU gear.
Christmas day we opened presents at our home with the boys in the morning. The gift opening process took much longer than I had anticipated as the boys wanted to get each toy out of the box after it was opened and put it together. Midway through we had the Little family traditional Christmas morning cinnamon buns and then finished unwrapping the presents. Brian and I enjoyed the boys excitement as they opened their gifts.

Where is Carter?

There he is!

Grant and his new driver.

Carter holding a candy cane. This was perhaps his favorite gift. That's right, even with all the toys he liked the candy cane the best. Twelve for a$1. Now that's a good deal. If only I'd known this before Christmas.

Bryce with his new Virginia Tech hat.

Davis in his new (to him) exer-saucer.

Carter trying on his new Superman pajamas.

Brian holding his new driver.
Later that day we went to my Aunt Trish and Uncle Jim's house in Williamsburg for the annual Waagner family Christmas brunch. Trish has hosted the brunch for more years than I can remember (a feat I can't imagine with three kids!) and it is an event the entire family looks forward to each year.

My cousin, Jordan (one of Trish's daughters), holding Davis.
It was our first Christmas as a family of six and we were blessed to be able to share the celebration of Jesus' birth with so many friends and family.
Happy first Christmas, Davis!

Our little photographer

These are pictures taken by Grant. It's always interesting to see what will pop up when we download photos.

His Darth Vader toy.

Bryce (I think he was asking for a turn with the camera).

Christmas festivities

It's been a fun and memorable Christmas at our house and as the season comes to a close and the tree comes down there are several Christmas memories that stand out. We enjoyed the anticipation of the big day and were able to participate in a few seasonal activities with the boys that made Christmastime especially memorable this year.
In early December we were able to go to a Living Nativity pageant with our friends Joy and Greg. Their church put on a great production with live animals and lots of music. Carter, in particular, was captivated by the singing. Right before it began, just like in a book or a movie, snow began to fall and gently fell throughout the program adding to the ambiance of the event. The nativity was 'just right' for our combined crew of six children under six.

Our friends Greg and Joy.

Another fun Christmas happening was making gingerbread cookies. This is a family tradition passed on by my mom and is now part of Christmas at our house. We do simple gingerbread men; the boys help me roll out the dough and they enjoy doing the decorating (and snacking) with M&Ms. Yum!

Brian took Grant and Bryce to a manger build hosted by our our church and sponsored by Noble Warriors Ministry. Grant and Bryce had fun hammering and putting together a life-size manger. It was a fun activity for Daddy and the boys and a great reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. The manger is on display in our family room and has even held a "real" baby Jesus (Grant and Bryce's idea, of course).

Apparently at our house it's not the shepherds or the wise men who visited baby Jesus, but rather Superman and Batman.