Sunday, July 31, 2011

One and a Half!

Little Miss is eighteen months old now and she is overflowing with personality. This is a very fitting photo of her--on top of the kitchen table! She greets everyone she sees with a big "Hi!" and a smile and oftentimes wants to show them her shoes (she is already a big fan of shoes). She doesn't know a stranger and she loves to be the center of attention. Her favorite words are "daddy," "ball" and "thank you" and her favorite foods are grilled chicken, oranges, green beans and ice-cream. She loves to chase a ball as much as she loves to try on shoes and she does her best to keep up with her big brothers. We still call her Claire-E affectionately and we all love that she is generous with her hugs and kisses. At her eighteen month check-up she weighed 20lbs. 4oz. (5th percentile) and was 31 inches tall (25th percentile). You can usually find her getting into some kind of mischief but she redeems herself with big smiles and laughs and sweet snuggles at bedtime. Yes, we are over the top in love!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On Having a Daughter

Eighteen months ago we welcomed Claire Elise into our family. And my world was forever changed.

Having a daughter is still sinking in. Every day I am reminded of what a blessing it is to have to have this precious girl in our family. I say a prayer of thanks when I pick baby dolls up off the floor or put a bow back in her hair for the umpteenth time. I treasure all things girl. I have savored every moment of shopping in the girl section at stores, learning to make hair bows and do girl hair, pulling tights over chubby legs, dresses and monogrammed diaper covers, dolls, and all things pink.

All of these things were so very much desired and I am overwhelmed and overjoyed that dreams have become a reality. And yet, somehow, it is a little sad as well. Even though I longed for the experience of having a daughter, I had learned to embrace the oh-so-adventurous path of being a mom of all boys. Five Guys and Me--that was me. There is a certain camaraderie among those who share in this calling and it is such a privilege to be included in the exclusive Mom of All Boys club.

And yet I am glad and very much willing to travel this new road that the Lord has me on. Through the somewhat unique format of our family, the Lord drew me closer to Himself. We all have things in our lives that turn out differently than we expect them to. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, sometimes just different. But, God showed me how he gives "good gifts" to us and that it is when I am willing to let go of my tightly clenched fists on what I want that I am able to receive those good things that He wants to give me.

Thank you Lord for all good things and for the hard things through which you allow us to know you better. Thank you for all five of my precious children and for this newest joy of having a daughter.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above..." James 1:17

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

You're playing too rough when...

The other day I caught myself matter-of-factly explaining to my boys that when someone gets a nosebleed they are playing too rough.

This was completely new and astounding information to them.

Interpreting boy language

"Mom," boy casually mentions, "my ear hurts when I burp."

The above statement can also be interpreted as "Your son has double ear infections."

Who knew that ear pain intensifies with burping?

Now that I have four boys, I do.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fun Times in June

The month of June was a busy one in the Little household. We celebrated Father's Day, our 11th anniversary, and my birthday, visited several places, ended the school year, and summer officially began.

Grant has been enjoying golf. He has been able to play in a few Junior Virginia State Golf Association tournaments which has been a fun experience for him.

We always enjoy getting together with friends. At the beginning of the month we were able attend a cookout with our friends the Moodys and the Sheltons. Among the three families we have 12 kids ages eight and under. It's a fun time!

Bryce finished up his golf classes at First Tee for the spring session. We were all able to join him for his last class. Way to go Bryce!

I enjoyed the last few days of just having the preschoolers home while the older two were at school. Susannah was able to join us for an outing to the park.

I was able to be a chaperone on Grant's field trip to Meadow Farm Museum. It was so interesting to hear how this farm operated in the 1860s. The kids even got a turn doing laundry 1860s style--whew!

Carter and I went on a field trip to the Science Museum. He especially liked the trains outside.

While the little ones were with Grammy and Pappy Brian and I were able to take the oldest three fishing and then to the river. It was a very fun day. Carter amazed us all at his fish catching expertise and the boys thoroughly enjoyed splashing around in the river.

Brian and I celebrated our 11th anniversary. What a wonderful eleven years it has been! We enjoyed a nice dinner out together to mark the occasion. The Lord truly blessed me with an amazing husband. I love you honey and I pray that God gives us many, many more anniversaries to celebrate!

All the kids enjoyed our family day in Williamsburg.

June 17 was my birthday and the last day of school. I had been driving the boys back and forth to school but on this day they requested to ride the bus home. They knew about the neighborhood tradition on the last day of school. All the parents greet the kids at the bus stop with water balloons, water guns, and silly string as they come off the bus. It's so much fun!

Grant and Bryce had a great year at school. We are so proud of them and are looking forward to beginning a new adventure in home education in the fall.

My little girl is growing up. Here she is eating breakfast like the "big kids." Look at that mouth open wide!

On Father's Day weekend we took my dad, a.k.a. Grandpa, to the Richmond Zoo for the first time. My parents gave us zoo passes this year for Christmas and the kids and I have enjoyed adding the zoo to our rounds of excursions. It was fun to visit with Grandpa and Gramma!

I can't say enough about what a great dad Brian is. He is a hands on, proactive and fun father. He is always looking to provide learning opportunities, memorable experiences and life training for our children. He is also a great example for them. The kids adore him and rightly so. For Father's day we gave him and new pair of sunglasses and he, along with his dad, took Grant and Bryce to the U.S. Open on Saturday. It was a fun day for all four guys.

This is actually a photo taken off tv. If you look in the lower righthand corner you can see Grant and Bryce sitting in front and Brian standing with a white shirt and red hat on. John (Brian's dad) is in the background too I believe.

Aunt Tara and Archie visited from Florida. It was so good to see them. We also had our friends from VT, the O'Connors, come and visit for a night. With the exuberance of seven little boys in the house I forgot to snap a photo!

Pappy was able to caddy for one of Grant's golf tournaments. It was cool that they accidentally dressed alike!

Bryce and I went on our kindergarten graduation trip (I did this when Grant graduated from kindergarten as well). We went to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg and then to the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News the following day. We had a wonderful time! Bryce put in a full day at Busch Gardens. We stayed until closing and must have walked at least 10 miles that day. I put him in charge selecting what to ride and we rode everything he could get on at least twice! We also enjoyed visiting the Virginia Living Museum and will definitely be going back. It was special trip to have two whole days just me and Bryce. Bryce is a true joy. He amazes me with his humor, whit and smarts. He has grown up so much this year and has turned into such a sweet boy, kind to his mom and dad and his siblings (for the most part, that is). I love you so much Bryce Daniel! Happy kindergarten graduation!

On June 28th I was able to help welcome baby Joel into the world. My friend Erin invited me to be in the delivery room with her as she labored and delivered her third little boy. It was such a privilege to be a part of the special event. I truly enjoyed witnessing the miracle of birth. What an amazing Creator we serve!