Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 Christmas Memories

Ever notice how the things that are meant to be good is twisted and turned around to be bad? The one day a year that we celebrate the birth of Jesus, surrounded by joy, peace, giving and family has become a hallmark season greeting that's filled with stress, debt and family squabble? Don't let me get started on what Easter has become either!

We prayed against the cultural norm this year. Here are the Highlights from Christmas 2010. The anecdote of stress...

Silly potluck dinner
with my couples small group

Micah and Caelan sing their heart out
to their first joint Christmas concert.

Our good friends, Karen and Michael, (remember my Seattle trip?) came with all sorts of bribery for the boys: A pop up Knight castle, a bigger-than-life Transformer for Micah and a new Spidy outfit for Caelan. Precious!

Our annual tradition of
seeing the National Christmas Tree
in 28 degree cold....

and having yummy pizza

Christmas morning and the BIG Gender reveal of Baby Boy Ring...but first before the stocking stuffers, the reading of the Christmas story to the boys.

...and later, family time with lots of gifts for the children

Of course my niece
is going to get a princess dress,
new shoes, and her tiara
from her auntie Soryda!

And since we spent Christmas with my side of the family this year, we had a traditional Cambodian Christmas meal. Mouth watering...steaming Cambodian noodle soup [kuh-theah] with a tall glass of chilled iced-coffee.

Cambodian steamed pork puns [Num Paow].

And my sister-in-law baked like nobody's business.
She's a wonderful addition to the family, is she not?

We hung out for the rest of the day relaxed, played board games, watched Avatar and the kids napped and ate the yummy food all over again for dinner. It was a wonderful stress-free Christmas.

Look at cool-cat Caelan. :) We look forward to adding to our growing family next Christmas!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

We're having a............

Inside this little red box holds the answer to the Ring family's newest addition. Will the Rings have My Three Sons or will we have a new Princess to dethrone mommy?


.......okay, just to add a little more suspense, here's my mom's reaction, who by the way, has been praying fervently for a baby granddaughter.

In the quiet of Christmas morning, the four of us sat down together to open the little red box. My heart was racing. I was prepared for God's best....

Another drumroll....will the sock be pink or blue? Micah is going to have a little....

BABY BROTHER!!! IT'S A BOY!!! My face simply says it all: I knew it! We're having another son. It is truly the best Christmas gift we could ever ask for.

So, how was the moment of truth? Well, as predicted, I did mourn a little throughout the day. The fixation on a little girl is somewhat ridiculous when I think four years ago, we weren't sure we could EVER have children. But, I gotta be honest. In these twenty weeks, I let myself think about how much fun it would be to have a daughter, a little girl that I could see myself in just as I see my husband in every move our boys make. A little girl whose long hair I could braid and who I could take shopping and play princesses with. A wedding I could have planned! Ha.

But it was ALL God because the disappointment faded quickly. Being the mom of two easy, loving, sweet, little boys who at this stage want their mommy all the time - I can't explain the special bond I have with Micah and Caelan, it warms my heart to know there will be a third little man. And for the three brothers, I see an adventure of capes and sabers and a time when these three men will be so close to each other that they will not only be brothers, but the best of friends.

I am happily surrendered. Patrick, of course, is STOKED!!! On to the sequel of Bringing Up Boys!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Days of Giving

On the 5th day of Christmas....more from 12 days of Giving

The kids gave a goat to a family in Africa. If this inspires you, you can go to Compassion International, where they connect you to with a child in a developing world to help end poverty in the life of that child.

One mosquito net costs $10.00 and could help preventable, yet deadly diseases like malaria. So, on the 6th day, they decide to give several of the the mosquito nets, too. Micah said that this boy will be able to read better that way.

On the 7th day of Christmas, they made rice crispy Christmas wreath treats for the kids in their preschool co-op and gave them to all their friends. They packaged and tied each one up with string.

On the 8th day, they gave some toys to the Marine Corp's Toys for Tots. This was meaningful because they had to choose a toy that they themselves would want, so it was much harder to "give" it away. Micah chose a remote control robot transforming car - his favorite. Caelan chose Play Doh Fun Factory. He kept saying "mine", but he did end up giving it away.

They wrapped it up themselves and then we went to the local drop off, and they said the whole time, "We're giving our favorite toys to the poor." You can't know how proud I was of them.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Team Pink or Team Blue?

So, we had our ultrasound today and the baby is..............we don't know. Yet.

I had the sonographer put a blue or pink sock in a Christmas gift box and we may open it on Christmas morning. With no gifts to each other this year, this would be our only and best gift. Still undecided if we'll do that. We at first wanted to wait and just find out as a surprise in the delivery room, but several things sort of changed a long the way.

1. My heart is changing. I'm not harboring any secret gender preferences. Everyone knows I can admit it -- I REALLY wanted a girl!!! Go team Pink! But strangely it has gone from pink dresses and tea parties to getting excited about the prospect of having three boys. My three sons. My new blog title will be Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Patrick, who wants son #3, for the purpose of increasing the male ratio in our household---did sell me a great advantage. He said when it's time for the boys to go camping, hunting, racing, whatever we do -- you'll have the whole house to yourself. Spa day. Hmhhh...THAT could sway me! So, the only reason to wait was so I wouldn't have 20 weeks of disappointment if it were a boy and now I think that issue no longer exists.

Also, I started my first signs of all-over itching. Not good news. The itching during pregnancy is a strong sign that I will be a candidate for cholestasis again which means, like my last pregnancy, I will be getting an ultrasound every 72 hours until I'm full term. The likelihood that at one of these ultrasounds a technician isn't going to mess it up for us--- and let the cat out of the bag---is very slim.

3. Finally, if it's a girl, I get a pink princess shower. Enough said. Don't want to be robbed of all the pink I can get my hands on.

Moment of truth. I will be very honest that I will be initially disappointed, I'm sure, if it's not a girl. I'm just human and in my fleshly desires. But, after two minutes of really thinking about it - how could I possibly be disappointed in God's choice of who He foreknew and created? Who he's purposed for manhood or womanhood? Is it all about me or Him? The miracle of a child is all I need to focus on and stay grateful and remain content. The desire is for this little one to go to full term and be a healthy baby. Just giving myself a pep talk.

Personally, I think it will be a boy. Don't know why...maybe because the world could use some more strong, courageous, Godly men. Maybe God knows we can't afford a girl. I would need to start working for sure. :) Maybe two divas in this household will be too much to handle. Yeah, I think it's the latter.....

Okay, so enough mumbo jumbo - we all know the cheer -- GO TEAM PINK!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Little Role Play?

Sometimes, the kids just do funny things, so we just have to get them on video. These clips are about 20 seconds long and should give you a chuckle.

Here is Caelan's impersonation of a Jungle Fury Power Ranger (for reference - these Power Rangers wear their sunglasses at night and are experts in martial arts.)

And Micah tops it with his costume-less
Pirate impersonation.
You'll have to forgive us that he's doing it
in his underwear.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Twelves Days of Giving

On the first day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me....

This Christmas, a new idea fell afresh on us. It is better to give than receive! After much heart work that the Lord was showing us through our abundance living in America, we felt we had to do Christmas a little differently this year. So, a friend of ours suggested 12 Days of Giving for the kids to give them a better understanding on what Christmas truly is about. Brilliant!

On the first day of Christmas, Micah and Caelan gave to...

"The man ringing the loud bell" says Micah.
Or the Salvation Army.

On the second Angel Tree,
the largest ministry that reaches out to the
children of incarcerated parents. Our giving
was a gift card at Walmart.

On the 3rd day, gently used coats
to needy kids.

On the fourth day, they made
home made gifts to their teachers
in Community Bible Study. To say
thank you and Merry Christmas.

As a plug for newest hobby, daddy let mommy buy some Stamping Up stuff and within ten creative minutes, I was able to take 1 candle and 2 boxes of chocolate and create personalized custom gifts with the kids for their teachers. Stay tuned on more of my Stamping Up creations! And for more ways the kids are doing 12 Days of Giving.....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Top 10 Things that are OKAY not to share with your kids.

  1. Your private potty time.
  2. Your cheesecake.
  3. That, believe it or not, you want to yell way more than you do.
  4. Your space underneath your desk (which is for your leg room ONLY.)
  5. That you get incredibly psyched to go grocery shopping by yourself.
  6. That, no, you really don't want to hear the same song sung again.
  7. That you don't eat nearly as many vegetables you give them.
  8. Your bubble bath.
  9. Why mommy begs grandma to come over a lot.
  10. Your rationale for because I said so.
Yes, I'm having a rough morning. Can you tell? Pray, pray for me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Patrick's Birthday Celebration

We celebrated another Ring male birthday this winter. First, Caelan in October, then Micah in November, and Patrick in December. Busy, yet joyful season. Patrick will tell you that he didn't want much fanfare, but I think he secretly enjoyed the friends and family who came over (at the last minute invitation) to celebrate him, and the yummy fare.

We had tender beef tenderloin with a horseradish cream. Really, the whole nine yards! For his birthday cake, his favorite: Boiled spiced cake with Penuche icing. It tastes much more delicious than it sounds.

We did something interesting at dinner. Everyone got a little piece of paper with a question to answer about themselves. A little get to know you. Mom had the best question: What's one thing you like about Patrick? She gushed about her one and only son, and it was fun for everyone else to add their two cents about Patrick, too. I know it encouraged him a lot.

Happy Birthday darling! From the woman that loves you and admires you greatly. The day you were born was a blessing.