Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Christmas Letter

One of my favorite family traditions is writing the Wagner Christmas letter, I love letting all my friends and family know that my kids are better than theirs. So here is our letter, Merry Christmas.

One of the blessings this time of year is the chance to connect with our family and friends and reflect on the past year. We are grateful for all the experiences we had in 2010.

Marcus is seven and in the first grade. He is living a double life at the moment. He is a delightful, eager student by day and a pesky , little brother by night. His brothers deny any role in teaching him his annoying antics and are the picture of patience with him. Marcus loves reading, math, art, and soccer. In February, he started piano lessons and is the only person in the family who can play our piano. He especially likes to play while we are on the phone or trying to sleep.

Travis is eleven and in the fifth grade. When he is not skulking around the house dressed in camouflage with his Nerf guns, he can be found playing with his huge collection of Legos. He is looking forward to attending middle school next Fall because he is sick of wearing uniforms and likes older girls. He enjoys math and science and is happy to have the same teacher he had last year. In November, he earned his "Arrow of Light" in Cub Scouts and is now an 11-year old Boy Scout. He played two seasons of soccer this year and could be seen running around on the fields in his day-glow, green cleats.

Nathan turned 15 and started High School. So far, he is having a much better experience in high school than his parents did. His favorite classes are JROTC and band. Every day he brags about how awesome he was in JROTC, how many push-ups he did, and how fast he ran. He also started attending Seminary, an early morning church class for high school students. His parents appreciate that he wakes himself up every morning at 5:00, even though he doesn't like to. He is a Life Scout and should be thinking about his Eagle project, but that is very hard to do when his phone is constantly buzzing with text messages.

Diane is ecstatic to have all the boys in school ALL day, but the time goes by so fast. Some of the highlights of Diane's year include: Attending a doll convention in Philadelphia, talking Bert out of his "Man Cave" so she could finally have a sewing room, and expanding her online business. She joined a gym for the first time ever, and works out early in the morning while Nathan attends Seminary. She was recently called as the Primary Secretary at church and is still very involved in Cub Scouts.

Bert will be finishing his time as the Commanding Officer of VR-61 in February. The Navy took him many places including a recent trip to Chile. Bert was selected to command another Reserve unit at Whidbey Island. He continues to fly with Alaska Airlines and has been flying to Hawaii quite a bit. The rest of the family is jealous, and are trying to talk him into taking us there soon.

We enjoyed a short trip to Juneau, Alaska this Summer. It was something that Diane had wanted to do for years since her family left there when she was 12 years old. We saw a glacier, a glory hole, took a tram ride up a mountain, watched spawning
salmon and ate salmon berries. The trip meant a lot to Diane.

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Love the Wagners

Friday, December 3, 2010

Trying to Catch Up

What the Wagners did from Halloween through Thanksgiving

Travis was an Army guy and Marcus was Indiana Jones.

Nathan was a retired Navy SEAL.

I convinced Bert to wear his "Lederhosen" because some of my friends said that they would pay money to see him in short pants. He did attract a lot of attention.

Bert was not at all cold during Trunk or Treat.

Travis turned 11, and Marcus turned 7. Happy Birthday boys! They did not mind at all that they had to share a birthday cake.

Travis convinced Marcus that he really wanted Legos for his birthday.

The boys had a 6 day weekend over Thanksgiving because it snowed on Monday. They were thrilled, me, not so much.

Lucky for us, the snow cleared enough for the whole family to make it to our house for Thanksgiving.

The little kid table

Two turkeys

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Summer In One Blog Post

Here it is, a little less than a week until Thanksgiving, and I am just getting around to blogging about the Summer of 2010.

Summer is usually not my favorite season. I know that makes me different than most people, but I find that Summer never lives up to all the expectations I put on it each year. As I went through all the pictures I took this past Summer though, I decided it was a better than average Summer.

We started Summer vacation by clearing out all of our three upstairs bedrooms in preparation for new carpet. In the Wagner house, new carpet also means scraping off the popcorn ceilings, retexturing the ceilings, and painting the rooms. The living room looked like it could be in an episode of "Hoarders" . It stayed that way for several weeks. Speaking of "Hoarders", I'm obsessed with the show. I'm ashamed to admit that I love watching it and judging.

While our house was in chaos, we enjoyed the 4th of July parade in Oak Harbor.

We all froze our buns off watching the fireworks at City Beach.

Our annual family picnic was at Fort Casey this year

Second cousins

The mess spread into the family room the day before the carpet was installed because we had to clear out our closets. I don't have any pictures of the new carpet, but it looks like the carpet in this picture. Whoever thought of putting dirt-brown carpet (that would be me!) in our house is a genius.

Travis, Marcus and Bert went crabbing on our neighbor, Mr. Phil's boat.

I discovered the perfect way to torture a 6-year-old. In April I bought this bucket playset at Costco. He loved it and wanted to open it right away. I told him he had to wait until the first day we went to the beach. Otherwise the parts would have been scattered all over the house, the yard, and the neighbor's house and yard. For a week after I bought the bucket, Marcus would lay on the floor, stare longingly at it, and moan and groan, "Ahhhh! I want to go to the beach sooooo bad!" I finally put the bucket out in garage to spare us all. He was so excited when it was finally warm enough to go to the beach.

Double Bluff Beach, Marcus used his bucket toy for probably two minutes at the beach that day. The boys always love playing in all the driftwood forts.

Travis and Cooper with the new skim boards.

Picking strawberries at Bell's Farm

Cub Scout Twilight Camp, Marcus was a Tag-a-Long.

Travis was a Webelo and loved his marshmallow gun. I loved finding dried-up little marshmallows all over the house.

Building a catapult to launch marshmallows

During the same week as Scout camp, we had our house painted (photo taken a couple of days ago after a messy windstorm, because I forgot to take one earlier)

I took the boys down to Seattle one day. Going to the Space Needle was on our bucket list.

Over $50.00 later, we can check that off our list.

Lunch on the waterfront

The Merry-go-round was so exciting!

Running off some energy at the Seattle Center before our long drive home.

Back to Double Bluff, Nathan and Brendan made this sand fortress with Marcus' sand toys only to watch the tide come in and wash it away.

Marcus and the huge fish he caught at the fishing derby

Camping at Deception Pass, Travis making our dinner

I am so proud of myself, I camped for two whole nights in a row! I realized that I forgot my toothbrush the first night and had to go home and get it the next day. I may have taken a shower while I was home, and I might have felt a little like a cheater, but I was able to stand myself the rest of the time out there so the guilt was worth it.

Travis earned his Webelo badge

At the end of August we went to Juneau, Alaska, but I already blogged about that.