Monday, December 31, 2007

Katie's Christmas Countdown, Part 3

video

I didn't get this posted before Christmas, so consider this part of your New Year countdown.

(And yes, that is John Denver & the Muppets playing in the background...my most favorite Christmas album, much to the chagrin of my husband.)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas from the McCullochs

[The following is a reprint of our 2007 Christmas newsletter written by Adam.]

Every December in recent memory, Mary and I have been (happily) bombarded by Christmas photos and newsletters from our family and friends. This year we decided to join the movement and contribute our own. We hope this will give you a brief overview of the past year, a snapshot of what we are currently doing, and a glimpse of our plans for the future.

2007 was a year in which I (Adam) finished my third and final year of full-time seminary education. I only have one more class which will be completed in January. It’s hard to believe that I am finally making my way to the end of my formal education. It is a good feeling, and I trust that the Lord will use this education in whatever ministry He might have for me in the future. As for now, I am currently looking for full-time work in the Louisville area.

Mary has continued to work from home part-time as the administrator for a tutoring company. The owner of the company is one of my best friends from college and a fellow seminary student. Needless to say, he is a great boss, and Mary enjoys working for him. I also work for the company as a tutor, and we are very thankful that the Lord has provided us with these jobs.

In addition to this job, Mary also began a Bible study with several Chinese women from our apartment complex. Our apartment complex is very close to the University of Louisville and, consequently, is filled with international students. She has had a great opportunity to welcome these women into our home and share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible study has recently ended, but great friendships have been developed and many seeds have been planted. Please pray that the Lord would continue to give us fruitful relationships where we live.

Aside from these commitments, Mary spends the vast majority of her time with Katie who turned two years old on December 3rd. At the beginning of the year, she was just learning how to walk, and now she loves to talk and sing and maintains a running commentary on everything she sees or does. She is a tremendous source of joy, not only to us, but also to everyone whom she meets. (You can experience her for yourself here.)

As for our future plans, we feel at this time that the Lord would have us stay in Louisville. We believe that God has given us a desire to go back to East Asia and serve full-time, but we do not think that now is that time. We do hope that the Lord will lead us back to East Asia within the next several years. Until then, we trust that through investing in our church and community here, the Lord will mature us and prepare us to enter what could be a very intense and demanding situation overseas. We know that God is faithful, and we trust that He will direct us where He pleases.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy this Christmas season and experience God’s grace in your lives.

With love,
Adam, Mary and Katie

Monday, December 17, 2007

2007 Family Portraits

Now that most of the Christmas cards have been sent, I can finally reveal another sampling of the photos I mentioned in an earlier post. Thanks to Christy Garner of Currahee Graphics for taking these fantastic photos! The rest of the pictures from the shoot can be found here.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday, Katie!

The week started off with Birthday Pancakes
(notice Katie's crazy birthday hair):
video

Later in the week, I attempted my very first character cake (thanks, Krista!). Can you tell who it is?

As you can see from the picture below, Katie thoroughly enjoyed her cupcake. Sadly, however, she had no clue who the cake was supposed to look like! The night ended on a sour note, however, with a busted eyebrow and an upset toddler.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

On being the mother of an almost 2 year old

I write on the eve of Katie's 2nd birthday. In anticipation of "the big day" the last few weeks, I've been thinking a lot about motherhood, specifically about being Katie's mommy. So, as a public declaration of love for my daughter, I thought I'd share some of these thoughts as well as a sneak preview of some photos we had taken several weeks ago. (I'll post the rest once the Christmas gifts have been distributed to family!)

The foremost thought in my mind these past few weeks is what a JOY it is to be her mother. The past 12 months of her life have been so much fun. Week by week I've gotten to witness the many incremental changes in her development, the teeny ones that only a mother would notice (e.g. "She just made an 's' sound for the first time!" or "I didn't know she knew the words to that song!"). Then there would be those days when she seemed to have become an older, different child overnight. It seems like yesterday that I was trying to guess what her grunts and cries meant. Now I'm having real, actual conversations with my child...that she's initiating!

Here are a few of my favorite things about my daughter:
  • She LOVES to sing and even tries to sing along with us at church even though she has no clue what the words are. It's hysterical because she sounds just like most people sound when they're singing along to a song but then hit a section where they don't know the words! You know what I'm talking about....

  • She calls the "ABCs" the "HIJs."

  • Whenever she sees a picture of me from my wedding day, she gets an ecstatic expression on her face and shouts, "Mommy Princess!"

  • Her favorite song is "The wise man built his house upon the rock" although she calls it the "Wah-wee song." She even does the motions (as seen in the photo on the left above).

  • When she pretends to cook (which she does often) and you ask her what she's making, she usually says either "rice" (which is weird because she hates rice) or "cupcakes." When you ask her what kind of cupcakes she's making, she says (without hesitation) "doughnut cupcakes," a response which is without a doubt inspired by her many trips with Daddy to the doughnut shop a block away.
I could go on and on, of course. But I need to go to bed so I can make sure to get up early enough to fix pancakes for breakfast. Why pancakes? Because when I asked her what she wanted to eat on her birthday, that's what she said!

More pics to come tomorrow!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Helped by prayer

I have always loved the story in Exodus 17 in which Aaron and Hur hold up Moses' arms during the battle with the Amalekites. It is such a powerful illustration of how God has designed us to depend upon other people when we are weak.

I recently experienced something that reminded me of Moses' need for Aaron and Hur. I have been going through a season of spiritual dryness, and this past week I had reached a very low point of doubt and despair. After Thursday night, however, things were different.

So what happened on Thursday that changed things? Thursday night is when my women's group from church meets. After our study we have a time for prayer requests and accountability. I shared with these sisters my struggle and they prayed for me. And that changed everything. I was having a hard time believing that God actually heard my prayers, but it was not hard at all for me to believe that God not only was hearing but would actually answer the prayers of my sisters! This increased my hope and my faith, that God would indeed restore to me the joy of my salvation. And then He actually started answering their prayers....my own hard heart started softening. What an encouragement to have more faith.

I'm not at all saying that when you get your friends to pray for you that your life will be instantly fixed. But I am saying that the Bible tells us what to do if we are struggling and it comes with a promise: "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." I can personally attest to the truth of this verse (James 5:16), and I encourage anyone who is struggling and feeling hopeless to tell someone and have them pray for you. I love how Paul states his need in 2 Corinthians 1:11, "You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many."

I dedicate this post to Ashley, Bethany, Krista, Laurel, Melanie, Cindy, Lindsay, Lauren, and Tracy. Thank you, dear sisters, for your love and prayers. I also want to thank my husband who is a continual source of encouragement to me, especially in his patience towards me!

I'll end with one of my most favorite quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together:

"The Christian needs another Christian who speaks God's Word to him...The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain, but his brother's is sure."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Happy Hallowbirthformation Day!

October 31st means many things to me-

-celebrating Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, and Soli Deo Gloria

-avoiding all the scary decorations that mark my least favorite American holiday (I disliked Halloween even as a kid...well, except for the candy part)

-and attending the birthday party of one of the most precious little girls at our church (the birthday girl is the princess to the right of the Roman soldier) Here's how we spent our Hallowbirthformation Day:
"The Frog and the Ladybug went to the dance..." (doesn't that sound like a children's song?) It seemed sort of wrong to take our toddlers trick-or-treating....
we all knew who would actually eat the candy....and finally....Katie-bug the Ladybug!
She is STILL talking about the party and everyone's costumes 4 days later!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Big Night in the McCulloch House

Yes, dear friends and family, blogging has come to this...

Katie went poopoo in the potty for the first time tonight!

It was really unexpected. As she was getting ready to take a bath tonight, she looked me in the eye and announced, "I poopoo" and proceeded to walk over to her potty chair and actually do what she said she was going to do! Adam and I went crazy with wild praise, of course. Our little girl is growing up.

And for my single and/or childless friends who think I'm nuts for writing a post about this....just you wait. You'll get it one day. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lindsay's Mexican Cheese Ball

Two weeks ago a good friend of mine came over and showed me how to make her famous Mexican Cheese Ball. It is always a hit wherever she takes it. (I got the picture below off Google...I wouldn't recommend serving this cheese ball with carrots and celery....go for party crackers.)

Lindsay's Mexican Cheese Ball

2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 T butter
1/8 t salt
16 oz. cream cheese
4 stalks green onions, chopped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 packet taco seasoning
1/4 cup picante sauce

Heat butter and pecans in skillet over medium heat until roasted. Sprinkle salt on and stir. Set aside.

In medium bowl combine cream cheese, onions, cheddar cheese, taco seasoning, and picante sauce. Put entire bowl of mixture in freezer for 5 minutes or until firm.

Form cheese mixture into ball and coat with pecans. Keep in fridge until ready to serve.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cousins

Adam, Katie, and I travelled to Maryland this past weekend to visit family. Here are the results of our attempts to get a nice picture of all the cousins:

Classic.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm it.

I've been "tagged" by my friend Jamie. Below are the requested 7 funny/crazy/strange things about myself. And now I'm tagging Cari and Laurel.

1. When I was in 9th grade, some friends and I were almost arrested for playing tag at an elementary school. The funny part was what the cop said when he was questioning us: “Are you carrying any guns, knives or…….CHINESE STARS?” (looking dramatically at my friend Sandy who was Asian)

2. I watched Baywatch religiously when I was in 7th and 8th grade because I had a major crush on Hobie.

3. I'm obsessive about clean fingernails. That may be why I'm a compulsive nail-biter (if they're short, they can't be dirty!) And I'm pretty sure that by constantly cleaning Katie's nails, I'm contributing to some sort of neurosis that will manifest itself when she reaches adulthood.

4. In China I was nearly attacked in a restroom stall (more appropriately, a squatty potty stall) by a horde of Chinese elementary school students who wanted to see how the foreign teacher used the bathroom.

5. For a period of about 3 years, the hum of my brain (what I heard in my head when I wasn’t thinking anything in particular) was "MMMBop.”

6. I also love to brush my teeth. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have socks on your teeth. Plus, I’m paranoid about bad breath.

7. I've seen the movie Waiting for Guffman around 100 times. My love for this movie almost prevented Adam from marrying me.




Monday, October 15, 2007

Cheaper than Southwest????

Yes, folks, it's true.
In one recent case, a flight booked on the McCullochs' very own travel website everycitytravel.com was even cheaper than Southwest!


In light of the upcoming holidays, I just wanted to put out a friendly reminder that the next time you need to book a flight (or hotel, cruise, rental car, etc), please stop by our travel website as you do price comparisons.

If you need help booking travel, don't hesitate to contact us at adam@everycitytravel.com.

Also, definitely get in touch with us if you ever need to travel overseas. Adam can typically find rates a hundred dollars cheaper by using one of our consolidators (don't ask me what a consolidator is, I just know it works).

(And if you're interested in finding out how we actually make money off this, go here or here.)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

McCulloch Quote of the Week

"I finally see the difference between you and me. A guy would never think, 'Oh, I can't wait to buy some small gourds to put in a bowl in order to decorate my bookcase.'"


-said by Adam in response to Mary's excitement over her recent purchase of said "small gourds" (6 for $2!)




Saturday, October 13, 2007

Huber Farm: Take One

Now that fall has finally arrived in Louisville, Adam, Katie, and I decided to travel to Starlight, Indiana this morning to take our second pilgrimage to Joe Huber's Orchard & Winery. It's a pretty popular local attraction about 30 minutes north of Louisville. You can pick your own produce or shop at their farm market (that also sells amazing breads, cookies, jellies, etc). Our stated objectives were to get a pumpkin and buy some Christmas gifts. My secret aim, however, was to take advantage of the great photo opps. We managed to accomplish our main objectives, but our photos had some pretty sad results:

Thankfully, Katie and I are going back to Huber's this Thursday with some friends from our church. Hopefully we'll have better luck with photos then. My still life photos today fared a bit better than the others:

Fall is here, and I am happy. I think I'll go eat some of the pumpkin bread I made this week and drink some cider. And maybe eat some of the apple butter we bought today. Hooray for fall!

Sunday, October 7, 2007