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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Christmas, Present

My friends, Christmas 2012 has come…and just barely passed. For most of us, the lights and tree are still lit up and looking dandy. The stockings might be emptied, and re-hung. The corner of the kitchen where you stash extra cookies and cake is probably still overflowing. And the toy box is most definitely looking a little on the crazy side. The guests have headed back to their corners of the world, and you are enjoying the last few days off of school for the little ones. Here in the Pacific NW, we didn’t get any snow, but I’m not sure that matters – I can’t seem to pry the kids out of their rooms. They hide in there, giggling together, huddled over the gifts that thoughtful family members found for them. As the kids get older, Christmas just get more fun. They are able to enjoy their gifts, and the rituals of the day, just a little more.

Before I forget, I need to write down two tips, so I can remember them for next year.

1) Lo Gung and I tried to follow the adage “Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.” Four gifts for each child. To keep track of what I had wrapped, I labeled each gift according to its portion of the rhyme. As Siu Jeun (my four-year old) went to open each gift, we would read to him the writing on the package. “Oh, this is from Mommy, and it’s something to read!” He immediately responded, “Oh! It’s a book!” Then, when he opened it and found a book…he didn’t throw it on the floor in a crying fit. He accepted it, and moved on to the next gift. What a happy accident!

2) Santa got smart – he brought “fruit ropes”, plus a few pieces of chocolate, for each stocking. (Fruit ropes are a product from Clif Kids – look like licorice, but they are made of dried fruit puree.) Again, the issue at hand is Siu Jeun. When he sat down to eat the entire contents of his stocking, I didn’t feel like I needed to stop him.  A pile of fruit puree is a whole lot better than a pile of high fructose corn syrup and red dye #40. (You may disagree – I’m simply going with what I know to be true of my kids.)

 

A sneak at the stockings before the kids woke up. 

 

The tree, pre-present demolition.

 

I could have sworn the kids left two pieces of peppermint bark out for Mr. Clause. Someone must have come by and eaten one. *erp*

 

The kids leave out food for the reindeer every year – a snazzy little concoction of raw oats and glitter. The oats are to eat, and the glitter makes it visible by the glow of Rudolph’s shiny little nose. 

 

Perhaps my most genius move this year. All of my husband’s family is out-of-state, or country, so we use the post man to deliver most presents between us. This year, I decided not to risk ruining the surprise for whatever person opened up the brown boxes. We simply put all the packages in front of the kids on Christmas morning, with Daddy manning the scissors, and figured out which presents belonged to who. The kids got to open more packages, and Lo Gung and I were BOTH surprised by our gifts. Win!

 

Christmas morning. Just digging into the stockings. We do that first, and then dine on Li’l Smokies, pancakes, and orange juice. It’s tradition!

 

The kids both get new PJ’s every year, opened on Christmas Eve. This year, we found this adorable set for Ming Wai on Zulilly.com. Matching PJ’s for her, and her dolly. Precious! 

 

 

Wishing all of you a very merry Christmas season, and an amazing New Year!

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Thanksgiving, 2012

Thanksgiving, in my family, has always meant food. Lots of food. We have done it potluck style for as long as I can remember, so nobody is too stressed when we all finally get together in the afternoon. Dad roasts a huge turkey and makes the stuffing. He saves the juices for Grandpa, who is the official Gravymeister. Auntie Ann makes Jell-o, because the kids love it and their mothers (read: I) am too disorganized to make a dessert that requires 5 hours of refrigeration. The various other salads and sides are divided up between whoever is left. This year, because I was 7 months pregnant, I took the easy road out. I opted to host, because that meant I wouldn’t need to follow my kids around and make sure they didn’t break anything. My (awesome!) twin sister came over and helped move the heavy stuff (tables, chairs, benches) to get ready for the dinner. At the last minute, I threw together a batch of french bread…but that’s hardly any work at all.

I’m pretty much a genius. Easiest Thanksgiving EVER.

Of course, once the meal is done, the real celebrating can take place. It is time to simply sit, and digest…and we do that with GUSTO.

From LoLo Life 2012

Grandpa, of course, is the pro. That is his throne, every year. If you want to talk to him, YOU go to HIM, not the other way around. He’s earned it. (The gravy alone gives him King rights for the day. Yum!)

From LoLo Life 2012

The table is deserted, save the lone (gag) centerpiece provided by my little brother, and some big red cups.
(Quick story – Apparently, there’s this girl who thinks my brother is awesome. She’s, obviously, a genius. So, a few days before Thanksgiving, she presented him with an entire Seattle’s Best chocolate turkey, on a bed of raffia and truffles. He graced our table, and finally met his demise the next week at my little sister’s Art studio.)

From LoLo Life 2012

Some of the boys set up shop on the couch and played Halo 3. It’s a bonding experience, right?

From LoLo Life 2012

Siu Jeun decided to join the Big Boys, but he was just no match for turkey-induced sleepiness and the soothing sounds of gunfire. He passed out after about 5 minutes.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays…I hope yours was fabulous and delicious as well!

(I realized that I took zero pictures of the ladies. We were there, but….well, after a feast like that, it’s best to give the lady folk their privacy. Which is a shame, because my cousin brought her new baby and I was too busy cuddling her to take a picture! But she is beautiful.)

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Happy Easter, Y’all

Today was like a roller coaster, to say the least. It started off (literally) with an epic tantrum from a naked 3 year old at 6:45 in the morning. (I’ve decided – that is NOT my favorite way to wake up. Take a note, world.) Calming that down took too long, which meant we were almost late for church. Said 3 year old then did not want to go to the children’s class, so I had to calm him down, then rush off to Sunday School to do an assigned reading. Many friends stopped me to see how I was doing (I had surgery on Monday…did I mention that??!). After church, we had our Easter Egg hunt, and then I banished the munchkins to their rooms/playrooms/outside/ANYTHING THAT LET ME SIT IN PEACE, and I rested up and made a ham for tonight’s dinner. (I made up a glaze using root beer, orange juice and molasses. Pretty tasty!) Tonight we loaded up the car and took off for my sister’s house for a 20-person Easter feast. Ok, so today doesn’t sound so epic. I’m just tired – it’s my first day, post surgery, of NOT taking a nap or at least laying down for a few hours. So. Here’s some pretty pictures!

 

 

 

Those pictures are all pretty good…but this next one, I think, will be blown up and framed on the wall.

Keep calm, and let your freak out, y’all.

 

Happy Easter!

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Valentine’s Day!

A month later! MORE than a month later!

Whatevs. I have cute pictures of the kids, so…here we go.

Between my twin sister and I, we have five kids. Of those five children, we have yet to send even one off to school. To make up for the lack of fun that is eating paste and chasing boys on the playground (that’s pretty much what I remember from preschool!), we hold parties for all of the holidays we can think of. The awesome thing is, the kids have nothing to compare it to, so as soon as we pull out the sprinkles, we’re instantly elevated to Rock Star Mom status!

Valentine’s Day was no different. There were cookies, from a mix. (Sometimes, when the kids are cooking with me, Quick is better than Good!) The kids smeared them with frosting, then decorated them with sprinkles. (Watching them decorate the cookies was like watching a Personality Test. Siu Jeun ate more than he got onto his cookie, and ended up abandoning his cookies without a bite. His sister was careful to stick each sprinkle to the cookies before devouring the whole plate. I have no idea what that says about them.)

Later, the kids and I made valentines.

Siu Jeun…is hiding nothing. Nothing, I tell you! If you can’t see it, it’s not there!!

Ok, well maybe it IS there, but you can’t prove a thing.

That night, we set up a “fancy” dinner. A steaming pile of peaches, frozen fresh last summer, braised root vegetables, and corned beef. Why corned beef? Why NOT corned beef! (Ok, well…it’s meat, and that’s a rare thing in our house lately. It’s all veggies, all the time, folks. Oh, and? It’s red. *grin*)

 

Ming Wai was thrilled that I left her use one of our water goblets for this meal, and Siu Jeun was just happen he got to have some of the sparkling apple cider.

 

I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day!

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Wishing all of you a very merry holiday season, and a happy new year!!

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Halloween, 2011

Halloween has come, and gone. The pumpkins are still on the porch, tempura paint dripping off in the damp Pacific Northwest weather, waiting to be baked, pureed and frozen for another holiday baking season. The decorations have all been boxed up and stored in the garage for another year. The costumes have been worn, washed, and returned to the dress up box.

Halloween Day this year was spent in festivities, arts and crafts, and…candy. Lots, and lots of candy.

 

Lo Gung’s office hosted a party for the kids, which they thought was just grand.

I think Siu Jeun was in love with all the fancy ladies…and their huge bowls of candy.

Ming Wai decided to spread Halloween cheer in a Ladybug Girl costume, while Siu Jeun spread fear and….good works…as a Pirate Super Hero.

 

The evening was hours of (candy) hunting and gathering. First at our church, in a Trunk or Treat setting, and then in our neighborhood. (Trick or Treaters with longer legs might have visited the 20+…a bit quicker than my two munchkins did. Oh well. It was good exercise, and they slept like the dead that night. Pun intended.)

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Pumpkins, LoLo Style

 

On Monday, the kids and I took ourselves off to pick out this years’ pumpkins. I let the kids choose any pumpkin they liked…and I’ll be darned if those kids didn’t both say, “I want one I can carry, Mommy!” And that’s how we came home with two pumpkins the size  of cantaloupes. When I chose my pumpkin, I went for a little more heft. (I cook up my pumpkins every year after Halloween, and I like to have lots of pumpkin to work with!)

 

Monday night, we decorated. Since I cook my pumpkins, we hardly ever carve them – I don’t want to give mold a chance to get its foot in the door. I set out the art supplies, and let everyone choose their weapons.

 

SJ went for the paint.  

I’d like to point out here that this is the first time SJ has kept all of his paint on his project, instead of his face. There is hope for craftiness to flourish in this house again!

 

Lo Gung decided to go the ModPodge route.

  

Ming Wai went for the paint. As she painted, she said, “I’m going to paint a princess pumpkin, with beautiful princess paints in princess colors.”  She carefully added splotches of paint all over that pumpkin.

 

Halloween is fast approaching – how are you decorating this year?

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