Saturday, June 19, 2010

Celebrating Ten Years

This past week Brian and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. It has truly been a wonderful ten years. I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I reflect on the past ten years and can sincerely say that I am exceedingly blessed to have Brian as my husband.
Brian has amazed me in every aspect. Brian desires to please God in all he does; I am grateful for a husband who pursues a close walk with the Lord. Brian puts my needs above his own and sacrificially cares for me. He is an intentional father to our children and seeing him as a dad has brought about an even deeper love and respect for him. He is kind and affectionate and finds creative ways to help me and show love to me.
To commemorate our anniversary, we had a special date night planned. My mom was scheduled to watch the kids for the evening and Brian was going to surprise me with the venue. After getting in the car, Brian announced that he had dinner reservations at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. This was significant because sixteen years ago, after I spent a summer abroad on a missions trip, we had a date at this very restaurant. It was definitely dining at its finest. We enjoyed the meal and the ambiance and then as we were finishing up Brian handed me an envelope and explained that he had written a letter to me. As I read the letter, I realized what a special gift this was. Three handwritten pages from the person I love most detailing what he loves most about me. As I finished the letter Brian put a little gift box on the table and said that he had a "little" something for me. We had agreed that we weren't doing gifts. To my amazement and complete surprise I opened the box to find a beautiful diamond ring. Brian designed the setting to symbolize the six different things he had mentioned in the letter. I was overwhelmed by Brian's thoughtfulness and this gesture of his love for me. It was a special night and one of our most memorable dates ever.
I am immeasurably grateful for my husband, Brian. What a wonderful ten years it has been...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


This past week my sister, Susannah, graduated from high school. I am so proud of her and I very much enjoyed attending her graduation ceremony and sharing in this special event. Susannah graduated with honors and while in high school enjoyed playing field hockey and being a member of several show choirs, among many other activities. Susannah is a blessing to all who know her. She is an amazing young woman and I am honored to call her my sister and friend. Congratulations Susannah!

Claire cheered for Aunt "Su-Su" as she crossed the stage to get her diploma.
We love you Susannah!
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion..." Philippians 1:6

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Claire is blessed to have two amazing, godly women for grandmothers. They are both enjoying the new experience of having a granddaughter.

Claire and Grammy Little (photo taken end of April)

Claire and Gramma Waagner (photo taken end of May)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Regarding Bryce

Brian and I were talking the other day about how we want our children to know that they are valued as individuals. In a larger-than-average-size family the "group mentality" is a challenge to overcome. As a family we are a team, so to speak, but with individual players who are gifted with unique personalities, strengths and abilities. We want our children to know that they don't just make up a part of our family, but are an integral piece of our family. Our family would not be the same without them. We love them as individuals and God has a plan and purpose for each of their lives.
So, today I write about our second-born, Bryce.
Bryce's name means 'active and alert' and we have found it to be a very fitting name. He is full of energy, inquisitive, and always up to something. Among our brood he is the first to attempt a daring stunt, try a new food, talk to a stranger, figure something out, or do something that I never would have thought I needed a rule against doing. He adds a lot of character to our family.
This year Bryce and I have enjoyed doing preschool (we call it "Happy School") at home. I have treasured our one on one time in the afternoons while the younger ones are sleeping. Bryce has been a joy to teach. He very much enjoys learning. In April we finished Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. This is not the most entertaining curriculum, but being goal oriented, Bryce had been counting down to lesson 100 since around lesson 12 so he was thrilled to finish the book. Bryce reads amazingly well for a five year old, is a whiz at math, and enjoys art as well. He is looking forward to kindergarten next year!

Bryce has displayed a gentle side lately with his younger siblings. He is very sweet to his youngest brother, Davis, and makes sure he is well taken care of. Bryce also has been especially affectionate to his little sister as of late and likes to tickle her cheek and reminds me that "she has my eyes" as he's heard us say.

Bryce's hugs are typically scarce. Like many boys, he is not the affectionate type. He will surprise me with a peck on the arm when he is sitting beside me, he'll occasionally blow me a kiss and flash me a smile, or give me a random quick hug when I'm not expecting it, but most of the time Bryce doesn't even give me a kiss at bedtime. I have learned to accept this. This is just Bryce. Bryce does show affection in other ways and if I wait on him to give it willingly it is so much more meaningful than a forced hug.

He was asking me to get out the blocks recently. After requesting the blocks several times, I finally pulled out the box from the storage room for him. A few minutes later he told me he had a surprise for me in my room. On my nightstand I found this:

He had used the blocks to prop up the "I love you mom" sign he had made. And that is worth a thousand hugs.

So, I am grateful for Bryce and for each of my children and the ways they as individuals make our family into who we are.