Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas photo shoot

Feeling bad about not having any professional photos of my children and being inspired by my friend Emily to take advantage of natural lighting, I recently set out to do a Christmas photo shoot of the girls similar to the one I did when Katie was one year old (see any family resemblance?). I feel pretty good about the results (especially after using to tweak them. I love this makes it nearly impossible to take a completely irredeemable picture!) Enjoy the photos! And Merry Christmas!

Click here to view these pictures larger

Monday, December 21, 2009

9 months old! and also what 4 year olds talk about

Caroline turned 9 months old yesterday. Unbelievable, and yet she totally seems like a 9 month old to us. She loves to laugh and smile and "talk." She even started waving last week! She is on the verge of taking off crawling but can get around pretty well by scooting backwards or maneuvering while sitting. Her favorite food is broccoli (and Cheerios of course), but you should watch this girl go after the little florets we give her! She also is developing quite the little attitude: she is a very happy baby most of the time and plays by herself very well, but if you take a toy away from out! She's also very clear about when she's done eating and has quite the swat to tell you.

Here are the stats from her check up today: 18 pounds (50th), 27 inches (25-50th). Her weight percentile is down a bit because she hasn't been too interested in nursing. She may be weaning herself which is kind of a bummer--not only because I had hoped to nurse her until she was a year, but also since I'm not sure she can drink as much out of a cup as she needs to in order to get her daily requirements. So, please pray for CG when she comes to mind, that she will be getting enough liquid nutrition.

Katie also had her 4 year check-up today. She's been pretty nervous about the shots, even though at her 3 year old check up she cried because she didn't get any shots (oh, the power of band-aids). Today she got 7 shots, and wow, what a brave girl she was. She is now 35 pounds and 40 inches tall (a gain of 5 pounds and 4 inches since last year).

As for what Katie's been up to these days, she's really into jokes and riddles. She loves this great blonde joke (one of my favorites) and laughs hysterically at the end, even though I am quite certain that she has no idea why it's so funny (even after I've tried to explain the humor to her). She especially likes knock knock jokes and has finally nailed the timing on the "interrupting cow." When she was first starting out with them though, her rendition would go something like this:

KJ: Knock, knock.
Me: Who's there?
KJ: Orange.
Me: Orange who?
KJ: Banana.
Me: Banana who?
KJ: Don't cry it's only a joke.

As with most 4 year olds, Katie is still very much into imaginary play. It gets a little out of control though when she wants to play "the Boxcar Children pretending to be Peter Pan and Wendy." Really, Katie?

She also says incredibly funny things by accident all the time. The other day she was playing "magic wand" but at one point reported that her wand wasn't working. I told her that she should try saying the magic words, thinking she would say something like "Bibbity-bobbity-boo." Instead, she points her chopstick (I mean, wand) at a toy frog and said, "Oh, little frog, won't you please turn into a horse?" At least she's learned something from Barney!

Finally, the other day when she was exhibiting her usual cuteness, I grabbed her by her shoulders, looked her square in the eye and said, "Katie McCulloch, I just love you. You are so much fun and so smart and so creative." To which she replied with a great big smile, "Aren't you glad you had me?" Yes, Katie, I am.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pinkalicious Party

Because the playgroup Christmas party was on her actual birthday, we decided to have Katie's birthday party on Friday the 4th. Now you may recall that at Katie's birthday party last year, she requested that her next birthday party included more kiddos. Attempting to be an attentive mother, I took note of this, and so this year we invited every girl we know who is over the age of 2. 12 little girls attended, and it was so much fun! (And thankfully did not take place in our home but in the church basement.) Katie had decided several months ago that she wanted a Pinkalicious party. 'Pinkalicious?' you ask. Yes, Pinkalicious. It was a simple party--one hour long, one game of musical chairs, a little time for dancing, some sugar cookie decorating, necklace making, and, of course, a dramatic reading of Pinkalicious. Every guest wore pink and took home one of the many cupcakes you saw in the photos yesterday. I think it was a success, but it would not have been possible without the hands-on help of Adam, his friend Josh, and our neighbor Krista...thanks, y'all!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Birthday

Katie's 4th birthday was this past Thursday. Wow, I can't believe that I'm the mother of a 4 year old! If I'm honest though, Katie has seemed more like a 4 year old than a 3 year old for some months now. She is a sweet and smart little girl, and I am so happy that she is my daughter. She says the most hilarious things....but that's a blog for another day.

We started the day with chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and the opening of one present--a mega-art supply kit featuring the Disney princesses (way to go, Aunt Jen!). You gotta love a kid who eats half of a chocolate chip pancake and says, "I'm done. This is too rich." Of course, her mommy finished it off for her!

We then headed off to our church for our playgroup's annual Christmas party. Tons of fun with friends as always.
We had a relaxing afternoon, and then headed off for Katie's secret surprise destination! Across the river to Indiana and on to....the Bass Pro Shop! Katie seriously loves this place...all kinds of taxidermied animals and a massive fish tank. But today's trip included a holiday special...a visit with Santa. Katie knows that Santa is just a story that we like to tell at Christmas, but she was still excited to see the man himself as well as his reindeer. I was a little nervous about how she would do when her time came...a couple years ago she totally freaked out when a Santa at Wal-mart talked to her. All I could think of the whole time was this scene from a Christmas story (and of course this one too). Her turn came and she did just fine. I think she told him she wanted roller skates or maybe a tutu. You can't tell in this picture, but in the one taken by the Bass Pro Shop, Santa has the grumpiest looking face ever! Hilarious! And I love how Caroline is eyeing his sleeve, surely thinking, "Hm, how can I get this stuff into my mouth?"
Fun at the Bass Pro Shop was followed by dinner at McDonald's (her request), and then home for pink cupcakes and presents!
And as if that day wasn't awesome enough, the next day was even better! Part two of her birthday tomorrow...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving thanks

Returned last night from our whirlwind Thanksgiving Tour....3 nights in Martinsburg with Adam's whole family followed by less than 24 hours in Richmond in order to attend my 10 year high school reunion! It was great to see all of our family on both sides (minus grandparents) plus high school friends whom I had not seen since graduation! Much to be grateful for....especially surviving sleeping in the same room with both of my children for several nights!
And now for a few shots from our trip....thanks to Adam's mom giving us her old camera that was exactly like our old one (except that it works)! Hooray!

Katie was into all things pilgrim this year, including my old pilgrim costume.
Quote of the trip: "Is that what she normally wears?" --Adam's dad, only half-kidding upon seeing Katie in her pilgrim costume (are we really that weird???)
And finally, I have to pass along one of the funniest things I have ever read in my entire life. Seriously. Read the whole thing. And let me publically thank my sister-in-law for not sending me a letter like this before Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Friends in November

November has flown by! I can't believe Thanksgiving is just a week away and that Caroliner will be 8 months old on Friday!

The highlight by far has been getting to see my dear friends Jaclyn and Blake and their precious little baby Lilly (who is one week younger than Caroline even though she looks a month older!) Isn't Lilly beautiful?????!!!!

We've also had a good time with our sweet downstairs neighbors. Their little boy is a week older than Caroline.
Here are some other fun photos from September taken by another friend whose little one is about one week younger than Caroline.
[One final note--I would love to post some video footage, but sadly the video feature is one of the recent parts of our camera that is malfunctioning. First, the LCD screen. Then the USB port and video function. Yesterday I realized that the zoom no longer works. Clearly, our camera is systematically falling apart. It's like watching a dying person's organs fail, one by one. Sigh.]

Sunday, November 1, 2009

An Un-Happy Halloween

Sadly, Halloween this year involved a feverish three year old pathetically asking to go to bed at 6:30pm. So no trick-or-treating for our little Nurse. We were super-sad to miss out on the awesome birthday party we go to every year (Happy BDay, Mags!), but none of us was in any shape to be around other people. Thankfully, Adam and I are feeling a lot better today (after 1 week of it!), and Katie should be feeling much better tomorrow (if her sickness is on the same schedule as ours). It's been a rough week for us here, but we're thankful that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Even though she didn't get to go trick-or-treating last night, Katie did get to a couple weeks ago at our Zoo's Halloween party. So here are some shots of Nurse Katie with some friends from church and, of course, my little pumpkin. (PS: it was absolutely frigid that night at the zoo. And that is MY old nurse outfit she's wearing...thanks, Mom!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Flashback: Apple Orchard!

Back in September, the playgroup took a trip to a local apple orchard. It was a blast. And it resulted in a jar of homemade apple butter and my first apple pie!


Having learned that our camera's USB port was no longer functional and a repair would cost $250, a friend of mine kindly made me aware of the existence of memory card readers! $12 later, we're up and running again!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

6 months old and other items of note

Yeah, yeah, yeah, this update is long overdue. I've been holding off in hopes that my camera will decide to start speaking to my computer again...apparently they are in a fight and until they reconcile I can't upload the zillions of fun photos I have on our camera! Anyone out there have a Sony USB cable they want to let me borrow?

Anyway, the update. Caroline turned 6 months old on September 20th. I've been reminded once again of why I always tell people that I wish babies were born being 6 months old. Don't get me wrong, I love babies. But I also like sleep and normalcy, which (at least for my kiddos) don't seem to become a dependable part of my life again until they are 6 months old. Once we got back from the beach I decided to (finally) cut Caroline off from the milk supply during the night. It took about 3 weeks to get the message that it's not really worth waking up in the middle of the night for a pat on the back, but she finally gets it. Now, after a talking to from her pediatrician, I've got to start weaning her off being swaddled. I know, I know, she's way too old for that. But because the miracle blanket works so well, both my children have been somewhat addicted to being swaddled. I stopped swaddling Katie around 3 or 4 months, but have been much lazier with Liney. I'd attempt to put her down with one or both arms out of the swaddle but would wimp out when she still wouldn't be down after 30 minutes. I'm going cold turkey now though, and she finally fell asleep for her afternoon nap after 45 minutes of fussing about it. Let's hope this doesn't mess up the good things we had going at night!

The Beanie has also entered the world of solid food eating. For months she has been looking longingly at our food, and even now would rather have a bite of my taco instead of rice cereal or pureed sweet potatoes. She's doing well so far, her favorite by far being mashed up avocado...probably because it's the closest she's come to eating what we eat! She had her 6 month check up today and is proportional in every way...75% in height (26.25 in), weight (17lbs), and head circumference.

In Katie news, she is totally on the brink of being a 4 year old. She just seems so grown up to me--so tall, so girly, with a complete mind of her own. She is, however, is a total mini-me. Which is kind of fun but also kind of bad. Fun because she enjoys doing the things I enjoy (like listening to Little House in the Big Woods and Little Women on cd), bad because she sins in the same ways I do (grumbling, greediness, etc). Pray for her. And me.

KJ continues to say things that regularly crack us up. This morning, for instance, I asked her if she wanted to go on a "w-a-l-k." (I spelled it out because that's normally what Adam and I do, even though she long since figured out what w-a-l-k spells. Like a dog, right?) Well, she thought that was fun, so she began spelling out everything for me. For example, as she offered me her plastic tea cup, "Would you like a sip of my k-s-a-g-y?" To which I replied, "Oh, lemonade, yes, please." Or later, "I'm going to be a x-j-m-r-q for Halloween." "Remind me what that spells, Katie?" "Nurse." "Of course." All of this was pretty amusing in and of itself, but then she said something that had me rolling for a good five minutes: "Mommy, can we go to the K-Y-E-S today?" "Where is that, Katie?" "The YMCA."

As for the grown-ups in our household, Adam is LOVING his counseling classes. They are super-challenging, in a really, really good, non-intellectual way. Not that they are not intellectually challenging, but they are infinitely more spiritually/emotionally challenging. I can already see a huge pay-off in his own life, which has overflowed to me.

We have our in-depth interview with "the company" this Thursday. Pray for us!!!! Pray that we would be given the green light to go on to the next step in the process, and if not, that we would trust the Lord's hand in our life.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Seafare (Litchfield Beach, Part 3)

A trip to the beach is never complete without a visit to one of the ubiquitously advertised seafood buffet restaurants (or at least not for my brother-in-law).
You know it's a good sign when the restaurant's take-out car looks like it's about to be hijacked by a gigantic lobster. (There was also a crab the size of a tank climbing up the side of the building.)

Just as advertised, there were over 100 items on the buffet, including crab legs, which is why my brother-in-law was so intent on dining at the Seafare. Thankfully, I managed not to partake in the all-you-can-eat aspect of the buffet. My nephew, on the other hand, enjoyed making a special concoction at the dessert buffet, but neither he nor his father seemed pleased with the results.
Note the classic "kid plate" at the bottom of the picture: chicken finger, mac and cheese, french fries, and the token broccoli floret to appease the mother's guilt.

By far, the best part of our visit to Seafare was the live mermaid. Yes, a live mermaid. Given Katie's obsession with all things Peter Pan, you can imagine her excitement when we were greeted by a scantily-clad college student with a fake mermaid fin upon arriving at the restaurant. In case you can't imagine, here's a picture:
[Former CO'ers: even though this restaurant was less than a mile away from the old Land Lubber Lodge, I can't imagine why this job was never an option for us at the Summer Beach Project, can you? Perhaps Matty B wanted to spare us the bewildered looks that would mark the face of future employers upon reading "Mermaid" on our resume. I hope at least the water was warm in her "lagoon."]

Katie and her cousins managed to eat at least some food before racing back to interview the mermaid. At least it kept them busy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Today in the Blogosphere

Most of the time (for me, at least) the internet, particularly the blogosphere, is an endless temptation to waste time, yet surfing remains justifiable because of the few times it actually benefits me through spiritual encouragement and keeping in touch. Today was one of those awesome days when I found several blogs to be especially encouraging/challenging, so I thought I'd pass them along to you.

Grace Enough, from Lisa Law
Imitation, from Hannah Murray
Encouragement for Weary Mothers, from Passionate Homemaking

Finally, even though it wasn't posted today, my friend Jenny linked to an incredible blog the other day. If you ever need a kick in the complacency pants, check it out.

Litchfield Beach, Part 2

Here is a picture of the beautiful Patrick Alexa house in which we stayed in Litchfield-by-the-Sea. The rest of our pictures can be found here. (Family: you should be able to order photos through that site.)

I've also posted a video of an awesome impromptu dance party that erupted one afternoon. Don't they remind you of the dancing kids in the Charlie Brown Christmas movie? Who do you think is the best dancer?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Litchfield Beach

We got back late last night (1:30am) from 4 wonderful days with Adam's family at Litchfield Beach, SC. Over the next few days I'll post about different parts of the trip, but for now, here's an overview slideshow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Trip to Richmond

Last week the girls and I ventured to Richmond to visit my family. It was my first time flying with two children, and minus Adam at that. Thanks to God answering the prayers of many, the journeys there and back went amazingly! It's encouraging to know that our girls are great travelers in view of our potential future of long plane rides back and forth from East Asia.

We had a great time visiting my family. In the slideshow below, you'll see photos of Caroline with her Uncle John and Aunt JJ, visiting my friend Shannon and her two precious boys, our trip with Grandaddy and Lola to the Richmond Children's Museum, and our trip with Grandmommy to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. More can be found here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just had to link....

If you are a mom and a blogger, read this. Thanks, Maggie!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A must-read article

A dear friend of mine with whom Adam and I taught when we lived in China sent me a link to a very important article she found in the NY Times. For those of you who have Chinese friends here in America, this is a must-read. If any of my Chinese friends are reading this, please read this article as well. This is a message that must get out to the Chinese community here in America.

This friend also sent me another interesting article about a study that concluded that different cultures read facial expressions differently. Very interesting piece, especially regarding emoticons. :P (for good measure)

(I'm secretly hoping that by linking to her very outdated blog, my friend will get the hint that she needs to start blogging again.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why I don't read novels

I was recently reminded again why I don't read novels. Because once I start one, I can't stop reading it!!! Novels take over my life: instead of sleeping, I read; instead of working out during my daughter's swim lesson, I read. When I'm not reading, I'm daydreaming about reading, and when the book finally ends, I experience a crushing loss of identity and purpose. Unless, of course, the book I just finished is one in a series, in which case my addiction can be fed until the series runs out.

This is why I never made it past the fourth Harry Potter book. The initial reason was that I went to China and didn't want to carry all the books with me. By the time I got back, I had become aware of the time I lost whenever I read novels and so was able to resist resuming the Harry Potter series. I must say though that I was very tempted to get back into them when the final book came out, but I eventually decided that feeding and clothing my family was probably more essential and that their basic survival would be put into jeopardy if I had picked up Books 5-7. But I digress...

So what has happened to remind me once again of the danger of novels? It started last year with two books by Anne Rice. Yup, the vampire lady. I never would have dreamed that I would ever be reading one of her books, but she apparently became a Christian (Catholic) several years ago and began to work on a series of novels about the life of Jesus, written from his perspective. I found out about them when Adam was assigned to read one of her books for one of his New Testament classes. The professor assigned the first one (Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt) because of her thorough research and depiction of life as it might actually have been during that time. It was a phenomenal book, and I quickly requested from the library a copy of the second one (Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana). Fortunately for my family's sake, she is still working on the third one, and so I was able to return to normal life soon after reading #2.

I read a few novels between then and now (The Good Earth by Pearl Buck, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, and I even started Moby Dick but never finished) but none of them consumed me until I borrowed The Kite Runner from a good friend. I can't remember a more gripping, heart-renching book. I finally stayed up late to finish it last night, but as in the previous nights I laid awake thinking about the book for an additional hour after I closed its cover. Everyone I know who has read The Kite Runner tells me that Khaled Hosseini's other book (A Thousand Splended Suns) is even better. To be honest, I'm not sure I could handle another of his books so soon. I feel that I still have much to absorb as The Kite Runner sinks in more deeply. For now, I will pray for Afghanistan and its people that God would bring peace and justice to this nation and deep healing to its people.

She reads!

Yesterday Katie read real, actual words: sit, sat, set, sob, and sun. Just a few weeks ago, she wrote her name for the first time. The process of learning a language (both orally and visually) amazes me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Please pray for my friend

My dear friend Laura has an extremely urgent prayer request. Please join us these next three days in praying that the cases for the two Ethiopian boys they are trying to adopt will pass before the Ethiopian court closes for the rainy season. Thanks in advance for joining us in being a persistent widow and an annoying neighbor!

Friday, August 14, 2009

How to get perspective

I love my girls. How can you not after witnessing all their cuteness in recent blog posts?

But because their mommy is a sinner, I sometimes lose perspective and, instead of enjoying them for who they are, I become annoyed at the quirks that mark this stage of life (like playing Peter Pan to the point that I'm unsure that my 4 month old will be able to recognize that her name is Caroline and not Michael or Tinkerbell).
I hope I'm not the only mother out there who struggles with this (otherwise I probably sound like a great big jerk...which I actually am which is why I believe in Jesus). Anyhow, in the chance that there may be other moms out there who can relate to my struggle, I'd like to share a strategy I recently adopted for helping me number my days and put my children's fleeting childhoods into perspective. (Note: this may only work for mothers of girls.) Here it is. Just at the moment you're about to pull your hair out, stop whatever you're doing, connect your iPod to the biggest speakers you have in your house, hold your crying 4 month old in your arms and grab the hands of your whiny 3 year old, and dance your heart out to Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman. I doubt you'll be able to make it through 45 seconds of the song without bawling like a baby and repenting of every harsh word you've spoken and bad thought you've thought towards your children. Try it, and let me know if it works on your bad attitude like it worked on mine.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to school and other updates

Ah, it's that time of year eraser scent, brand-new sneaker squeaks, and freshly sharpened pencils. Back to school. Incredibly, schools in our county started today. I'm still not used to the mid-August start date; where I grew up, school began the day after Labor Day. So, even though I love the fresh-start feeling that this season brings, I was still a little taken aback this morning when I heard the school bus barreling over the speed bumps in our apartment complex.

This was the summer that wasn't really summer for the McCullochs. Since Adam graduated in May of 2008 and has been working full-time since, there was no definitive beginning of summer which consequently made it feel like summer never happened. Even though we've had beautiful weather this summer in the 'Ville, I rarely spent much time outside, mostly out of laziness at the thought of hauling both girls around and messing with Caroline's feeding and napping. Ho hum. Thankfully, we have a beach trip with Adam's fam at the end of August to look forward to! It will actually be the first time Adam and I have ever been to the beach together (outside of a few hours spent at Rockport Beach). So even though Adam's classes begin next week, our beach trip will hopefully wring out of August a few more weeks of summertime freedom.

Wait, what's that you say, Mary? Adam's classes?
Yes, my dear reader, Adam's classes. For those of you who don't know, Adam is returning to Southern this fall to begin a ThM in Counseling, and we couldn't be more excited. As some of you know, the last four years haven't been the most sunshiney of our lives. Although they have been tough, we are beginning to see how the Lord has been using them to work in us, shaping us and molding us. In addition to His work in us, we are excited to report that we are also seeing Him beginning to work around us as well. It has been so awesome to see how the Lord directed Adam to pursue this ThM, gave me a heart that was fully supportive, and opened all the right doors and provided all the right means at all the right times. As a result of Adam's trip in May, it became more apparent that a ThM in counseling would not only be extremely useful in what we desire to do but that it could also open more doors than a MDiv alone.

We are still in the process of applying to go back overseas, and it appears that, even with the financial setbacks facing our company, our timeline to return to East Asia is aligning well with the conclusion of Adam's degree. We're hoping to make it to the final step of the process by December in order to go to training/orientation sometime next summer. Please join as we pray with these things in mind.

So, it's back-to-school time for the McCullochs, and as I've said before, I really love the fresh start that a new season offers. Appropriately, John Piper expressed a similar sentiment in his blog today.
And now, your reward for making it through this wordier post:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Our real ballerina

A new dance studio opened up near us, and today they offered a free sample class to recruit students for the fall. As you can imagine, Katie was all about it. Thanks to some friends, we put together the outfit and were ready to go.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fun times!

Someone loves the exersaucer....

And someone can sit supported......while we laugh hysterically when she falls over!(Notice the pile of baby books strewn on the bed. I hate them all. I've finally figured out why the Baby Whisperer, whom I used to love, now infuriates me. Despite all she says, her book is clearly intended for bottle-fed babies. I still like her in general, but I laugh out loud now when she instructs me to add 1 ounce to each feeding. New moms, don't let her get to you too much....)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

4 months old!

Caroline had her 4 month check-up today. She's 15 pounds, 13 ounces (85th percentile) and 25 inches long (75th percentile). Praise God for a healthy baby!

Here are some recent photos:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Odds and Ends

Many apologies for the long drought of Caroline/Katie news...I know that's the only reason you read this blog!

We went up to Michigan for July 4th weekend to visit Adam's grandmother. It was great to introduce her to Caroline.

Caroline is 16 weeks old and is such a sweetheart. She started laughing a couple weeks ago and laughs most often when you clap her hands for her. She also loves singing (or at least listening to mine). She's discovered her feet and spends much of her time lying on a blanket grabbing them. Her hand coordination has developed overnight and today she amazed me with her "batting" skills. Two weeks ago she was weighing in around 15 pounds. Her 4 month check-up is next week so we'll see what the official stats are then.

We did a photoshoot last week, with Caroline wearing my grandmother's christening gown. We did a similar one when Katie was a baby. You can see the close family resemblance, although Katie was 12 weeks in her picture, and Caroline was 15 weeks.

Katie continues to amaze me with her quick wit and increasing maturity. I recently discovered that she is able to sit through chapter books...super fun. We read Charlotte's Web first and finished The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe today. While she's definitely still into Peter Pan, reading these novels have added some more characters to her repetoire (Fern, Susan, Lucy). She's also gotten really good at coloring and is staying in the lines more and more!

We've had some funny conversations lately. Here are some of my favorites:

After Ricky and Staci's wedding, I was telling Katie about the decorations and the dresses and flowers. I started asking her what she wanted at her wedding. She said she wanted pink flowers and purple bridesmaids' dresses. Then I asked her what songs she wanted played during the ceremony. She paused in very serious contemplation and responded, "Jesus Loves Me, Jonah and the Whale...[dramatic pause]...and the Itsy Bitsy Spider." You better believe I'm going to remind her of this when it comes time to plan her real wedding!

Earlier this week we were reading through a Genesis storybook and got to the part about Adam naming the animals. Pointing to the pictures of giraffes, I asked Katie what she would have named them (assuming she would make up some kind of nonsense word). After thinking for a moment, she answered, "Flora and John." Classic.

Finally, I'm still laughing about the post my friend Hannah had up on her blog last week. Happy birthday, Han and Happy Anniversary, Jenny!

Friday, July 10, 2009

I went anyway.

Not even Adam could keep me away from free fast food.
I did feel kind of ridiculous going by myself with my two small children. It's the kind of thing I would have easily done in college or with a group of people. I think I was well overdue for a pride-killer though. The Lord took care of that in full measure by allowing me to run into our downstairs neighbor on our way to the car AND one of my favorite church families at the Chick-fil-A (who were not dressed up for the occasion). And yes, my 3 month old is dressed like a cow in order to get free food for her sell-out father. Verges on child abuse, I know. The picture doesn't even show the cow ears I scotch-taped to her head.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Yes, this Friday is National Cow Appreciation Day.....dress up like a cow from head to toe and get a free combo meal from Chick-Fil-A! Oh, yeah, the McCullochs are so there. Thanks for the scoop, Lisa! Pictures to follow.

**Updated: Unfortunately, the McCullochs will not be participating in National Cow Appreciation Day after all. I forgot that my husband is a stick in the mud and unwilling to humiliate himself for free waffle fries.**

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Slugs, Bugs, and Lullabies

Also known as our new favorite CD! One of my best friends from college recently sent it to Caroline (thanks, Jaclyn!), but I'm pretty sure Katie and I are enjoying it more than she is at this point. I love Andrew Peterson anyway, but it is so fun to listen to these songs because you can totally picture how they must have written themselves in his home.

Katie's favorite song is "Tractor, Tractor" mostly because I think it talks about a carriage going to the ball. What cracks me up though is how on target that song is with 3 year old humor. The stanzas are pretty standard: Tractor harvesting the wheat, Backhoe digging up the dirt, Firetruck zooming down the street, etc. Then after the song is over, Andrew Peterson interrupts Randall Goodgame with his own rendition in which he mixes all the words up: Firetruck going to the ball, Backhoe flying to the moon, etc. Katie was absolutely hysterical. Almost as hysterical as the first time we read Caps for Sale. I love kid humor.

My favorite song is "You can always come home." I was actually first introduced to it through a Veggie Tales video called "The Wizard of Ha's." It's the retelling of the Prodigal Son story through a veggified Wizard of Oz medium (one of their better movies, in my opinion, and I am not a huge Veggie Tales fan). It's a precious song, one that I hope to sing to my kids often, because it is so true. I hope its message stays in their hearts forever.

There once was a man who found him a treasure
Buried out under a tree.
He sold all he had just to own it forever.
The treasure is you, you see.
I love you today, and I love you tomorrow.
I love you as deep as the sea.
I love you in joy, and I love you in sorrow.
You can always come home to me.

There once were some sheep safe on the farm,
And one little lamb got loose.
The shepherd went out and carried it home.
That little lamb is you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Edamame and Bean Salad with Shrimp and Fresh Salsa

My new summer fave! My mom introduced it to me, but I think my SiL originally found it in Cooking Light. It can be done without shrimp too.

1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1 cup chopped cooked small shrimp
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
3 T chopped red onion
2 t minced jalapeno
1 T chopped fresh cilantro (I used way more than this b/c I love cilantro and needed to use some up)
1 T lime juice
1 T olive oil (extra virgin is best)
1/4 t salt

Cook edamame according to package. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
Combine edamame, shrimp, beans, tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno. Combine remaining 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over edamame mixture and toss gently to combine. Cover and chill.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Visitors from the East

This past weekend my dad, stepmom, and grandparents came to visit! It was the first time they had seen Caroline. I think they liked her:

I think they had fun with Katie too:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sisterly love

These photos are from a few weeks ago when Adam's dad and stepmom were here. I think Caroline was 8 weeks she is 11 weeks!

Neither one looks very sure about the arrangement in this picture, do they? Caroline: "Uh, I'm really not sure I'm comfortable with this."

Caroline: "Yeah, this is what I was afraid might happen." Caroline: "Get me outta here!"

Friday, June 5, 2009

Life in Neverland

I'm pretty sure that there were about two full years of my childhood that I spent pretending I was Wendy from Peter Pan. Just ask my mom.

I now realize my mom's true motives in bequeathing to my daughter my beloved "Wendy dress" as well as bringing Disney's Peter Pan DVD with her when she came to visit in April. Payback, anyone? Katie now lives and breathes Peter Pan. All day, every day, we are chased by the crocodile, running from Captain Hook, flying with Tinkerbell, and cleaning up after the Lost Boys. At first it was sweet and even flattering that my daughter would enjoy the same imaginary world that I had loved as a child. But, if I'm honest, the meltdowns that occur when the Wendy dress has to be removed or when I just want her to be Katie for awhile and not Wendy or Tiger Lily are starting to get a little old. Thankfully, I've had some breaks from Neverland since we've had a number of visitors and they get the privilege of being inducted into Katie's Neverland.

Grandma Sue was the most recent visitor to become a citizen of Neverland. I guess she caught the bug herself given the contents of the package we received yesterday. See for yourself:

Princess Tiger LilyWendy