Friday, December 30, 2011

Boxing Day

Patrick:  Is this when they box up all the crap from Christmas back to the stores?
Soryda:  No.  I think they watch Boxing all day on TV in England.  

We had no idea.  So, we waited to see Halys, my British sister-in-law and asked.  We were both surprised.
Halys:  Boxing day is when all the servants in England would box up leftovers from Christmas and take it back to their families for their Christmas feast, the day after Christmas.

Learn something new every day!  Here's how we spent Boxing Day:

My brother and sister-in-law made the best looking kids.  The tallest is Luca, then Gabe and Lily-pants, the only princess.  The cousins had a great time just playing all day long.

It's tough being the only girl because Micah and Caelan usually center all their time about Gaby.  On occasion, Caelan will take tea with Lily.

But wow, I can't tell you how wonderful it is to buy for little girls.  A shopping cart full of groceries was a huge hit!

Then after a yummy noodle soup luncheon made by older brother (usually made every Christmas by my mom), was enjoyed by all.  After lunch, we left the kids with grandma and went on a double date!

Fighting Tysons Corner mall traffic was stressful, but was it ever worth it.  We saw Mission Impossible 3 in IMAX and it was incredible!

My heart was racing a mile a minute.  Came back and had a great dinner with nothing to box up because we ate everything.  We can box up great memories for spending Christmas together the day after Christmas!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twas the Night - Christmas Eve and Day

Twas the night before Christmas Eve and all through the house, slept all the boys and me, except for my spouse--- who was wretching by the toilet from some food bug.  No Feliz Navidad for him.


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, we added a new stocking named Tristan, who was an answered prayer.


 We hosted Christmas Eve, and although the church was full, Patrick led a devotional at home that wasn't too dull.  I played the guitar and we sang carols not too long.  The children sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, which was their best song.

At the celebration, we all donned on hats.  The two who looked the best were Heather and Pat.  (Sorry Patrick, I had to make the rhyme work!)


That night, the children were nestled all snug in their beds while visions of chocolate covered oreos, peanut butter cups and marshmellows wreaths danced in their heads.  Mommy actually liked baking the cookies!

The next morning they came down and didn't even notice things weren't the same.  Went straight past the tree and started playing their video games.  (We thought we should be happy our kids weren't so materialistic, but C'MON....where's the magic of Christmas?)

The rest of the day was filled with opening gifts at Grandma's place.  The kids got so much fun stuff and each had smiles on their face. 

We ate a yummy brunch after all the gift exchange fun.  On the menu was potece, fruit soup and sticky buns!


Micah enjoyed his gifts, but loved most spending time with grandpa playing chess.  Happy Christmas to all and we wish you the best!

(More on Boxing Day-the Day after Christmas with my side of the family!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Best of Christmas 2011 Part 1

Some scenes that are unfolding this Christmas....

Mommy and baby NEVER get a photo together, so here's one of our first ones.  He's been alive since April.  The third child always gets the shaft.

The kids from Micah and Caelan's preschool homeschool g0t together to sing christmas carols at a local nursing home.  I was so very proud of them!  Thank you Kelly for organizing this.

We made friends with Ms. Helen who asked us to come back and visit.  It was a great opportunity for us to talk about God's heart for the widows, orphans and poor.  Micah asked, "Is she lonely?"  and immediately said we should come and visit her.

We made some ornaments with the kids, using their fingerprints.  Amy and Natalie came over for Christmas craft day with their kids and here's what we came up with:

This picture has no real Christmas significance except I couldn't pass up showing you a cute picture of Tristan at Christmastime.

So, we're to worship the baby Jesus, but the boys started chanting "All Hail Optimus Prime..." and they even created the worshippers.  Creative, but kinda freaky.

 So blessed to become part of a small group at Reston Bible who are pretty wacky.  And love Jesus, too.  Insane.

Quickly becoming one of my favorite Christmas moments.  It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

I was feeling a little unmotivated this year to decorate the tree.  Maybe because I'm all decorated out from moving.  Believe it or not, the Energizer Bunny Decorator has run out of steam.   But when I started to pull out the ornaments, my spirit was lifted up as I remembered some of the wonderful memories we have kept over the years.  For the boys, when you read this one day you will know the ones that are most special to your mom.

I have to share the coolest one first.  Check out the glitter writing.

So these two ornaments were packed in a bag together.  Patrick made this ornament in 1968 when he was two.  Look at the initials.  S.S.  In the same bag, there was another one made when he was seven years old in 1973.  When I first pulled these out our first Christmas together -- I thought for sure we were meant to be! I was Soryda Seng who was born in 1973!!   It was destiny. :)

Here's one his late grandma Marion gave him as a child.
She is thought of much at Christmastime.

This one always brings a smile.  Caelan has one too.
And if we're lucky (or I'm hinting the reader who buys this)
we will get one for Tristan, too!


And my friend Michelle who got married around Christmastime, gave out these ornaments as favors.  They chose a horse because they owned a farm in Clifton.  Funny thing about that is that I wasn't even invited to the wedding.  Patrick was and invited me as his guest.  Little did I know that the bride would end up being one of my favorite people and dearest friends!

This was a cute one my Mother-in-law gave us the Christmas after we visited them in Cape May and went up the lighthouse.  Lots of winding stairs!


I'm becoming quite fond of this ornament below.  It's the plainest one on the tree.  I gave one of these to all my girlfriends last year as a reminder that it doesn't matter how fancy your tree is or how much you do,  God sees the heart and sees through all that stuff.  So, worry less about the "doing" of Christmas, and focus on the reason that we celebrate it.  I can't put this one up without that reminder, it's great!

The King of Kings who sits upon the Throne, humbled himself as a man and was born in a lowly manger.  He came to serve and to die as a ransom for many.  This one came with the nails that hung him to the tree.

When I start to get anxious about the gifts to buy, and having the house ready for guests, and all the time it takes to make casseroles and baked goods for others, I am reminded gently that joy is in the giving because the Lord gave us the greatest gift we could ever have.   He gave us the Savior of the world.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Getting Hot in the Kitchen - Patrick's Birthday

After 8 years and 3 kids, it's important to keep the love alive and not fall into the hum drum of married with children.  So instead of the usual birthday dinner, we decided to get hot in the kitchen. Get your heads out of the gutter, we took a cooking class!

On the menu was Braised Chicken with Caramelized onions and peppers.  Patrick is searing our chicken!  Then you add the rice, and stew it with tomatoes.  The dish is topped with fresh basil and huge chunks of cheesy Parmesan.

Our side was a Spinach salad with heirloom tomatoes and shallots.  Patrick really enjoyed making his own vinaigrette: one part vinegar, two parts olive oil and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard.  And a little sugar and fresh ground pepper.   For dessert, I whip up a chocolate mousse with macerated (fancy term for add sugar and white wine) strawberries.

And voila!  You have your finished dish to enjoy!

We bought a bottle of their wine and had a great dinner for part 1.

Part 2 dinner was on his real birthday, Tuesday, where the kids got to celebrate their daddy.  On that menu was grilled lamb chops, sauteed spinach and um..Pillsbury crescent rolls.  C'mon, I'm a lot of things, but a baker I am not. 


To prove my point, You can ask Patrick later how I totally messed up the boiled spoiled spice cake.

We did a lot of good eating.  To the most adoring husband and loving father I know.  Happy Birthday Patrick.  I thank God for you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turning Five Makes a Happy Camper

I'll admit it. I cried like a little girl this morning.

Awkwardly, in front of all four of my boys who were looking helplessly at each other and didn't know what to do. Well, I'm not ashamed. It's not every day that my oldest son turns five. Five is like a rite of passage! I saw flashes --the first time I laid eyes on him in the delivery room, and then the first time he walked, and the first time he read a word out loud all flashed in front of me...and I just lost it. Tears of joy. Funny thing was...Caelan came up to comfort me and said, ", I'm five too." It was really sweet.

Micah celebrated his birthday on Tuesday with his friends and despite efforts to do a party at Pump It Pump or Chuck E Cheese (all venues that are technically easier for mommy), he chose a party at home and the theme? Camping.

Daddy built the coolest tent with leftover trim from our other house project. :)

To kick off Camp Micah, the kids made their own personalized camp bracelets.

We tried to do Micah's favorite things. He loves, loves, loves BUGS.
Miss Shannan helps them with their crafts.

One thing both Micah and Caelan love is soup. So, we incorporated the story of stone soup into his camp site. All the kids got to drop in vegetables, the stone, and the spices. I didn't know how it would go over, but they were so mesmerized by the story. It was a total hit. Note: Awesome faux fire (with fan and tissue paper) built by daddy, too.

Afterwards, they surprisingly all ate the soup. Some asked for more. I wonder if hearing the story made them so much more into the soup.

To balance our meal, we had roasted fruit on a stick and not-so-hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows. And you can't go camping without the s'mores! Super thanks to my sous-chef Michelle G. for preparing all of this!

Daddy took off from work to celebrate his son. He said I won't ever remember those two hours at work, but I'll remember I was there at my son's fifth birthday. The best two hours of vacation ever spent!

Everyone seemed to have a good time...the princesses, the dalmatian, the Fireman, Batman, Spidy...and even Tristan!

Happy fifth birthday Micah-man.
What a huge milestone! We love you so much.