Saturday, December 29, 2007

"Christmastime Was Here"

The girl's Christmas shoes:
This Christmas we especially had fun with how excited the kids were about everything. The boys had been anticipating the big day for awhile. On Christmas Eve afternoon, Isaiah asked Elijah to come play something; to which Elijah responded, "I think I'll just wait here for stockings."Adriana really got into opening presents and would squeal with joy.
The boys favorite gift were toy guns (given by their uncles and completely unsanctioned by Mommy) that made loud shooting noises. They also got some more pretend tools including safety glasses.
(He's going to kill me for that photo one day.)
Adriana got many girlie gifts. She's been wearing her tutu and princess jewelry all over the house,
using her baby bottles to keep her stuffed tiger hydrated,
and giving her brother's miniature army men rides in her new baby stroller.
My hubby blew me away with wonderful photography gifts, one of which was a new lens I was trying not to covet. I made him be my first photo subject with it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Unless there is a Sieb Fam event of colossal proportions (such as Adriana deciding to potty train herself tomorrow), this will be my last post until after Christmas.
I wanted to show you two photos of the kids that we used as Christmas gifts for Steven's family.

Our prayer is that your holiday has fresh meaning. May you find joy in the fact that God loved us so much that He chose not to leave us in our sin, but to send His Son to pay our debt and to reconcile us to Him. May you rejoice in the hope that Christ came not for Christmas but for Easter.
May you each have a....

Saturday, December 22, 2007

"Jolly Old [Dead] Nicholas"

Warning: If you still believe in Santa Clause, read no further.

From the beginning, we decided we didn't want our kids to believe in Santa Claus. It's not that we're Santaphobic. Our kids own a Santa hat, and enjoy television specials like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Our thought was that if they believe in both Santa and Jesus; then one day find out that Santa isn't real, what will they think of all we've told them about Jesus?
Here's where the tricky part comes. We didn't want our kids breaking the news to other children who believe and spoiling the joy that the other parents wanted to their children to have in that idea. But kids have big mouths. The solution we came up with was to tell our kids about St. Nicholas explaining that he was a kind man who lived many years ago and is now called Santa. We thought the idea was brilliant since then they wouldn't tell others that Santa wasn't real. We told them this; and inevitably, the questions came. Here a sampling of last year's conversation:
"So, Santa's real?"
"Well, he was a real person who lived a long time ago. But the Santa you see in the mall is just a regular man dressed up; the real St. Nicholas isn't around anymore."
"So, he's dead?"
"Uh..." (alarms go off in my head) "Well, yes he is."
"Who shot him?"
"Nobody shot him."
"Then how'd he die?"
"I believe he died of old age."
Fast forward to last week in Michigan at a party with my sister-in-law's two little nephews. (Yep, you see where this is headed.) The kids were all playing together when one of the little nephews came running out to his mother.
"Mom, is Santa Claus dead!?!"
So, I obviously had to have an emergency meeting with Isaiah. I explained that many kids believe in Santa, and that it's what their mommies and daddies want them to believe. I continued to explain that it is not our place to contradict them if they talk about Santa. I told him that it's probably better not to say anything at all about Santa to other children.
Indignantly he replied, "Mom! Why would parents tell their children something like that!"
Great. I've created a self-righteous Santa Claus expert. This parenting thing is so much harder than I ever dreamed.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Small Favor

Our sweet niece, Trinity, is a baby contest, and I'm doing my proper auntly duty of soliciting as many votes as possible.

See, she's so cute; you'd want to vote for her even if she wasn't my niece!

To vote clink on this link to
You do have to make a free account if you don't already have one.
Then under "'Cute Winter Hat, Baby!' Photo Contest" click "vote for your favorite."
Trinity's entry id is: 2370900005
You can vote up to 5 times each day.
After voting, be sure to raise your "Alyssa's true friend o-meter" up a notch :o)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Card

Right now it's actually fun to get the mail; beautiful Christmas cards fill our mailbox.
Thankfully, I was able to complete the yearly task of getting ours sent out. I have nine aunts, seven uncles, and 38 cousins. Add on top of that my husband's family and our friends, and you have a rather long Christmas card list. To make things a bit easier, I've kept the recipients to two categories: family and friends that live out-of-state.
So, to rest of you dear friends, here's your Christmas card. It may arrived in a more unconventional way; but in a season of celebrating the perfect gift of God's Son sent to rescue us from our sin, we're also grateful for the gift of your friendship. We love you!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our Michigan Christmas

We just got home from a trip to Michigan to celebrate Christmas with the Sieb side of the family. It was also our first time meeting our new niece/cousin. Here are a few photos from our time there..
Grandpa and Adriana playing a tune:

One of Grandma's many creative ideas for playing- nailing golf tees into foam:

The cousins with Great Grandma and Grandpa Sieb (affectionately known as the "Great Punkins):

Trinity & Adriana with Great Grandma Spas:

Daddy and his girl:

The whole family:

Playing by the water fountain at Detriot Metro Airport:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Here was my to-do list before flying out to Michigan tomorrow to visit Steven's family:
  • cleaning
  • packing
  • blog a catch-up birthday post
It's definitely the list of a 21st century mother.
Here are birthday photos of Steven's 30th and Aunt Hannah's 18th. I'm keeping the writing to minimum here since I still have a few last things to finish from the rest of my to-do list.
Reading a homemade birthday card from the boys:
Goofing around with Uncle Josiah:
Birthdays mean lots of games:
When Grammy pulled out the cake, Adriana (who has been to a record number of birthday parties in her 17 months of life) excitedly shouted, "Cookie! Cookie!"

Counting 18 candles:

Sunday, December 9, 2007

More Winter

A couple more winter photos...

Isaiah sporting a goofy 80's hat...

Winter Wonderland...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

One of the things we were really excited about when we bought our home was the fireplace. My favorite thing about it is the cozy feel it emits; my kids' favorite thing about it is the fact that marshmallows can be roasted over it. The new tradition that we started this year was having a full "fireplace meal" the evening after we've put up the tree. The boys got a big kick out of roasted hot dogs; toasted cheese; and, of course, some gooey marshmallows.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


One of the many things I love about Virginia is that it holds out on winter as long as possible. Taking a walk in 70 degree weather the day before Thanksgiving puts a smile on my face. But winter has finally arrived; and at my house, everyone but me is excited about it. Before you judge me on my lack of winter spirit, try adding 20 minutes of bundling children before any of your outings...
Yesterday morning to my boys delight, we awoke to an entire 1/2 inch of snow (a big deal around here). Of course playing in it, and the mud that lies below it, was absolutely necessary. After almost an hour of blowing up inflatable sleds, making sure everyone had used the potty, layering my children, and using every ounce of muscle power to put on boots that a manufacturer never actually checked to see if a foot could enter into, my boys were ready.

Cleaning off the van for Momma:

As a watched my boys giggling, sledding, and making 4 inch snowmen, it was all worth the effort. And when we awoke to another 1/2 inch of snow this morning, I found myself excited.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Train Tracks

One of our favorite parts of Burke Lake Park was the abandoned little train track complete with a mini depot. The kids spent a lot of time running up and down the tracks shrieking with delight.
A quick pose:

"See ya, Mom!"

Looking at the birdies:

Climbing up on the little windmill:


Let Me Quote You On That

I'm breaking from the park photos to share a couple recent quotes before I forget them...
Adriana held a book and led me by the hand to the spot where we usually read. She asked me, "Ah you weady?"
Elijah was driving with me to go get our haircuts. Out of the blue he told me, "I hope I'm good while I get my haircut."
Isaiah reminded me this morning of how he been naughty and gotten into the cookie sprinkles container.
"You might wanna' put those someplace where I can't them," he suggested.
"I think you should just obey me and not touch them again," I respond.
He thought for second, "Hmmm...good point."
This morning Elijah was throwing a fit, and I sent him to his bed until he calmed down. Adriana was very intrigued by the situation.
She came to me and said, "Waah-waah...Jijah!"
She went and pointed her finger at Elijah, emphatically demanding, "No cry!"

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Burke Lake

After having my first Photoshop purchase stolen, I had my second one shipped to my parents house. Thankfully, it arrived safely; and now I am having way too much fun with it.
Here are a couple of photos from when we took the kids to Burke Lake Park the other week. It was our first time there, and it is our new favorite park. We can't believe we've lived so close to it for almost five years now and never knew what we were missing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I threw together this collage of my son. They are all from an "all three kids portrait" we tried to do. You would think with me pulling the camera out so often that the little nut might have a clue how to smile nicely.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving and Decorating

We spent a fun Thanksgiving at my parents. My brother was home from college and my brother-in-law got over his stomach virus in time so that the entire clan could be there. My boys spent the morning watching the parades and the evening scarfing down Grammy's delicious food. We were also sure to get a walk in the schedule since the temperature was hanging out in the 60's.
The next day was a first for us as Steven, my mom, and I headed out for some Black Friday shopping. The deal of the day was the jacket I bought myself at Macy's for $2.49!
Today, we stuck to our little family's Saturday-after-Thanksgiving tradition of getting our home decorated for Christmas. Isaiah woke up early this morning, and Steven went down to tell him that he needed to sleep some more.
"Dad, I'm so excited to decorate the Christmas tree," was his sweet explanation.
Later (as in- 6:40 a.m.) I went down to begin the day (their decision, not mine). I greeted Adriana with a playful, "Good morning...why do you like to get up so early?"
Isaiah gently corrected me, "Mom, have you forgotten that it's a holiday; and people can get up whenever they like?"
The boys were enthusiastic helpers as we put up the ornaments. Their Grandpa and Grandma Sieb give them their own ornaments every year, and they are proud to be in charge of making sure each one get a nice spot on the tree.
Adriana spent the time in awe of the tree, repeatedly saying, "Pretty! Pretty!" When we first plugged in the lights she went up to them and tried to blow them out (somebody has been to one to many birthday parties...).
As we admired and talked about the nativity at the end of the day, Isaiah posed a question, "I was just wondering, why was Jesus born on Christmas instead of Thanksgiving?"

Still No Photos

We are still photo-less at the SiebFam blog, but this time for a slightly more interesting reason. The Photoshop package was stolen off of our front porch. After we saw that the tracking posted its arrival yesterday, Steven played detective to try to get to the bottom of what had happened. We had had another package stolen off our porch a month ago but didn't realize it until almost two weeks after the incident. This time we were determined to take it more seriously. Steven talked to the post office and neighbors and even had a home visit from a post office manager. The postman confirmed that the package truly had been left on our doorstep, and a neighbor told us that they had seen the package but noticed it was gone a little while later. We ended up filing a police report.
It feels strange to have something stolen from you. Beside having some yard-salers pilfer a few trinkets from my table, it's something I've never experienced. It is such a wonderful opportunity for me to step back and realize just how amazing God's grace truly is to a sinner like me.
I was able to download a free trial of Adobe Lightroom so I'll be posting our Thanksgiving pic. But I still have the photos piling up...I guess it's back to ebay for me...gotta' get that Photoshop...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Where Are The Photos?

It was noted that photos have been absent from the postings this week. There is a reason. When I did my sister's senior photos and a family portrait for a friend of mine, I decided to do the free month trial of Adobe Photoshop CS3 (a dangerous idea). The effect of the trial was exactly the one Adobe intended for it have. Now I can't photographically live without it and can't bear to post-process with my trial up. Since I have a photography job coming up this weekend and hope to get more, I decided to invest the money I earned from photographing to buy Photoshop CS2 (almost the same). I was able to go on ebay and get it for less than half it's original price, but now I'm just waiting for it to arrive in the mail. When it comes, I'll share some photos of Steven's 30th birthday and other ones from our visit to Burke Lake. Until then, here's one last photo (from my CS3 month) of my adorable second born.

Thanks for all the encouragement I've received about my photos. You guys have been so kind, and it means a lot.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


One of the many beauties of parenting is that you get to re-experience childhood. Before you become a parent, you've forgotten what a thrill going down the slide can bring, just how silly the hippopotamus at the zoo is, what fun Legos are, or how many different imaginary things a stick can be. Parenting brings those things back to life.
Recently I've been introducing my boys to many of the books and movies that were favorites of mine as a child. I teared up again when we read about the Ingall's dog Jack dying, and fell in love once more with the Anne of Green Gables movie. (Julie, that made me miss you.)
Beyond the sentiment, do you know how absolutely hilarious it is to watch, "Sound of Music" with a 4 and 5 year old boy!? It was their first time. Elijah called it the "Captain Movie"; and while Maria wandered around the Von Trapp grounds at night, asked why she was not in bed at "dark time".
When the children are let in the abbey gate to see Maria, Isaiah asked if the nuns were going to "lock the children inside." Later, when Georg was about to confess his love, he clapped his hands over his ears. When asked why, he told me, "I don't want to hear him say, 'will you marry me!'" Those same hands went over the eyes when the inevitable kiss arrived.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I can't get over the vocabulary differences between my boys and girl. I was reading an animal book to Adriana the other day and was remembering how much better the boys, by her age, could imitate the sounds. While Isaiah could clearly tell you everything "gobble-gobble" to "hee-haw," Adriana will tell you that a cat says "Ow" and just defaults to "woof-woof" for most of the other animals.
Now words, on the other hand, are a completely different story. Adriana vocabulary at 16 months is better than Elijah's on his second birthday. To my surprise, the girl has already moved on to short sentences. After carrying the remote around for a little while the other day, she said, "I put back now;" and walked over the drawer to fulfill her promise. Later, she was looking for her father and called out, "Daddy, Daddy, Where ah you?" She seems to have some innate need to communicate....a definite female.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Big 3-0

Happy Birthday, my love!!


The other afternoon, I asked Isaiah to calm down.
"Mom," he explained, "boys are crazy!"
And, oh, don't I know that to be a fact!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Harvest Carnival

Every year on Halloween, our church does a great job of transforming two levels of their building into a carnival. There are about 20 different games, a moon bounce, an enormous blow-up slide, judges awarding prizes for the best costumes, and lots of candy. My boys get so excited about the event and about dressing up. This year Grandpa and Grandma Sieb gave the boys some exciting costumes to wear. They were James and Thomas the tank engines- two favorite characters at our house. Adriana received an adorable bunny outfit and was quite pleased when she saw herself in the mirror.

Now the costumes are in our "dress-up" basket to be enjoyed for many a cold afternoon. The candy sits in a grocery bag in our cupboard, and I've set two important ground rules to prevent past problems.
1.Only one piece per boy after lunch and dinner.
2.Mommy is not allowed to steal any of it.