Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chris's fish!

Chris LOVES fishing at the lake~ and his Pop Pop has already taught him well. Chris woke up early to go fishing on the boat- and caught this fish. The fish really did hit Chris's fishing pole and he pulled it in. He has a picture to take to show and tell tomorrow- and I'm hoping all goes well... and that he leaves off the part about the blood and guts and filleting it with Pop Pop:)

Thanksgiving Part 2:)

After celebrating Thanksgiving with the Pearson/Smiths, Brendan and I made the trek to Smith Mountain Lake. Brendan's parents live right on the lake and we're lucky enough to get to see them all the time... Although, I must admit that for some reason, we're much better at making the trip during the summer months- could it be warm water, jetski's, boats, and a free vacation home?:) We spent the entire weekend at the lake and had such a good time. I got to be my normal self, and enjoy the extra help at the lake- I slept in late, showered in peace, went shopping without the kids, and passed a little girl on to her Gram when she was awake for hours at night... Addison- we need to work on this darling! The kids had a great time- and Chris has already started asking people for Christmas presents because Gram and Uncle Sean already gave he and Addie "early" presents- He now thinks everyone should do this. One of the coolest things about this Thanksgiving was that Brendan's Grandma flew in to join us- She came down from New Jersey and the kids loved seeing her- Eventhough they don't see her that often, they definately know her and love her sooo much and it was cute to see. Gramma is in her 80's and even made a trip to the arcade with us to play skee-ball- she doesn't miss a thing. Joanie had the best Thanksgiving meal- or should I say meals- we feasted for 3 days straight- and if anyone knows Joanie's cooking~ you know that wasn't good for the diet! I'd love to report that the visit ended on a great note... but remember that stomach bug that I was lucky enough to dodge... well, I think we passed it down to the lake... Sorry Sean and Gramma:(

You made the slog!

My family thinks I'm the coolest for creating this blog... Isn't there a saying that making fun of someone is the highest form of flattery? Maybe not- but regardless of how much they make fun of the slog a.k.a. Shelley's Blog, I know they enjoy it:) My oh-so-cool cousins wanted to pose for a picture to make my infamous blog:)

Now, if you are in a picture, that means I get to talk about you... We'll start from top left to right... First there's Lauren and Kevin- Lauren, Kevin is looking a little old- Just kidding:) That's my uncle Butch doing the classic homecoming pose with Lauren. Need I say more... Then there is Paige- Paigie is sporting the Miley Cyrus pose... She's a freshman at Radford, beautiful, and probably having enough fun for anyone reading this... I'm starting to get old and she makes me feel it- eventhough I could probably outlast her partying, I can tell she's starting to censor her debacles when she tells me what she's been up to- I'm losing my coolness... Then there is Dean Alex and Alexis- They are both beautiful and have model bodies that I'm so jeaous of... and they think the world of my kids... and they are both Hokies- how can you not love them? Last- in the front row is the gayest couple of them all- J.D. and Rebecca- the sweetest, good-hearted people around~ but when I think of them, I think opposites attract. "Bak Bak" is the quietest, shyest girl (until you get to know her- she's become one of "us"- does that scare you Rebecca?:)) so it sometimes blows my mind that J.D. doesn't cause her to sweat- He's the type of guy that you never know what he's going to do- He's the first to karaoke, the first to get the party started... so I'm sure Bak Bak wants to run and hide at times- but she's always there for him:)

Family Tradition

Almost every family I know has family traditions... whether it be going to church on Easter Sunday, or celebrating a holiday with a special dessert, or passing a pine cone turkey. Yep, you heard me- a pine cone turkey. Words can't express how special this turkey is. Deanie made it in preschool- and Dean is now a Senior at Virginia Tech. Every year, this turkey has graced our Thanksgiving day table. The legend goes that each year the turkey is passed from my Aunt Linda, to my Aunt Jackie, to my mom... and whoever has the turkey gets the pleasure of hosting Thanksgiving dinner the following year. We couldn't quit this year- Linda gladly "passed the turkey" to Jackie- and she's just so thrilled to get it- I mean- who doesn't love hosting over 30 people for dinner... and leftovers for the next three days?:)

Thanksgiving Part 1:)

We started off our Thanksgiving day celebration with a huge family dinner at my Aunt Linda's house. She was the "hostest with the mostest" and held a feast for 32 people!!! It was so delish and we had a great time:) I am so thankful for my family! I am so, so, so thankful that my grandparents were at dinner- This past year, my Nanny found out she had lymphoma- but battled it like a trooper... She went through chemo and radiation, lost her hair, and if you could see past Pappy at the head of the table- you would never know it- she looks wonderful:) We ate way too much, and Chris and Addie loved the attention from everyone- Chris's favorite part was playing video games with Averey- and for those of you following the blog- yes, that is Averey Lee, my little cousin that used to run away from me... Now he loves me- and check out how handsome he is:) Oh- and he is keeping the family tradition going- he made the basketball team- looks like the kids and I will be making some trips to see him play:)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Then and Now

This past year has flown by!!! I can't believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the holidays are almost here... Oh, and yes, I've decided to be one of those annoying people to put Christmas decorations up in November! I always make fun of those people... but mine are going up tomorrow- I like to take them down on New Year's, so I figure we might as well enjoy them for a month! I'd like to write a sappy post about how thankful I am, but honestly, I don't have the time... We're leaving for the lake tomorrow after Thanksgiving dinner with my family and my "to do" list is a mile long. Since I babble about them all the time, you know that my kids are my life- and I can't believe how fast they are growing up~ I am sooo thankful for them... but I wish they would stay little longer~ This is Addie in last year's Thanksgiving dress now worn as a top!

3 down, 1 to go...

Knock on wood- we're the house that never gets sick... But boy have we been hit hard these past few weeks. First Brendan was sick, then Addie and Brendan, and now poor little Christopher has this nasty bug. We've had it coming from both ends- sorry, maybe TMI... and Chris set the record for throwing up tonight:( I ran to the store to get him Ginger Ale and applesauce like I used to get when I was sick- and he thought having soda was great:) Chris asked to go to bed- so you know he's not feeling well- So far, it's been a 24 hour bug, so let's hope that's true for Chris, and let's hope I don't get it because that would mean no Thanksgiving for me:( Cross your fingers that he's better in the morning- I hate seeing my babies not feeling well... I had out the camera and asked Chris to show me how he was feeling... and this is what I got in true Chris fashion.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Chris had quite the weekend~ He was so happy for Daddy to be home... He worked outside with Daddy, and then had another special outing. Jenna and Eric took Mage and Chris on a date to the movies... Watch out Uncle E, Loverboy Chris could be moving in:) He worked really hard this week and can now write his name. He could do his letters, but didn't get "writing in a line." Now he can do it... but he's officially going to go by Chris.... I don't think we'd have writing Christopher down by first grade:)

Little Miss Everything

Poor Addie Tay... She was sick this weekend- not just not feeling well, but barfing her gut up sick. Bless her heart. I felt so bad for her- but she recovered so fast and is back to her normal self. As you can see, she is quite the little Daddy's girl... I found her sound asleep with him... and with "Piglet" and "Baby."- Wow, we have such original names for our lovies:) Oh, and I just had to share the picture of her reading. She would read books all day long if we'd listen to her. Yes, she already likes to read to us- she even points her finger as she reads the page- too cute:)

P.S... We are still rocking to sleep... and she is not showing any signs of going back to wanting to go to sleep on her own.

Dear Eric,

Dear Eric,

You are such a wonderful brother and I love you so much. You have always picked out wonderful girls, BUT if you mess this one up, I will personally kill you. Team Jenna foreva-eva:)
No pressure.
All my love~

Your favorite sister in the entire world,



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mage the Model

Isn't he a cutie:)

You're fired...

Let's just say that I'm so glad I wasn't taking pictures for someone that I didn't know today! Sarah (my sister-in-law), my mom, and I got together to try and take a picture for my mom's Christmas cards tonight~ She puts all four grandkids on her card to show them off:) We had a great idea of plugging Christmas lights in and having the kids in matching jammies (thanks Nona). Well, it was a great idea until Aunt Shelley couldn't work her camera. And it was a great idea until the kid's wanted to put the electric lights in their mouths. And it was a great idea until we realized we had four kids under the age of 4 that wouldn't look at the camera. And it was a good idea until Aunt Shelley's backdrop fell... on Mage's head. Now in my defense- I can't take indoor pictures- I have no idea what I'm doing with lighting, etc... I bought some cheesy fabric to throw up as a backdrop and I had this ghetto way of jerry rigging the fabric to things with metal clips. The metal clips had nothing to clip to in Todd and Sarah's basement- so, I decided to put things on top of the fabric on a bookcase to weigh it down. Genious idea... until the fabric is pulled by the kids and the Mickey Mouse telephone that was once a weight comes crashing down on Mage's head. He only had a little knot and mild concusion... j/k but after it happened, he suddenly wanted to be a model and take pictures the rest of the night. Too bad the other three kids were so over it. Nona wanted to try hitting the other kids in the head with the Mickey Mouse phone because that had turned Mage into the perfect poser... but Sarah and I didn't think that was a good idea. Although it might have made for a good night's sleep... soooo kidding:)

I guess we'll try, try, try again. At least the kids had a great night. Todd and Sarah's basement is like Toys-R-Us, so the kids had a great playdate. We enjoyed dinner and are counting down the hours until Daddy is home... He's en route back from Rome, Italy. Yes, Rome!!! Or as my cultured children like to say "Rome-a-noke." Chris wanted to go to work so bad with Daddy this week- he knows Rome-a-noke is right by Gram's house, so he was ready to go;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another day in paradise...

Paradise... did I just say that? It hasn't exactly been paradise at the McCullers household the past few days~ Ya win some and lose some, right:) For starters, Brendan was sick- I think he almost had the flu~ but is finally feeling better. Now the rest of this post may sound more like a vent from a tired Mommy... Chris has been a handful the past couple of days... he's always a handful- but in a sweet, good natured, loving way. I'm happy to report that the sweet, loving Chris has now returned (knock on wood), but the past few days were extremely trying. Every little thing set him off, he was moody, sensitive, whiney... should I go on? Then, on Monday, his teacher had "the talk" with me... She said that he had had a rough day in school~ That he was the leader in his class and that every kid looks up to Chris... but that meant when he had a bad day, the whole class had a bad day. After talking with her, she did reassure me that he is usually so well-behaved and sweet, but that he just wasn't listening. Chris has since informed me that a bug flew in his mouth and told him to be bad. It's all the bugs fault. He also told me he was mad at his teacher because he said his favorite color was blue and she said it was pink. It has now come out that the teacher was passing out paper and gave Chris a pink piece- He wanted blue, and she said "Ya get what ya get, and you don't throw a fit." Brendan and I think he may have been fighting off being sick, or that may just be us making excuses as to why he was being so bad:) Today, he was still having a no good, very bad day- and again said the bug was in his mouth. When I tried to get it out, it had moved to his stomach, so Addie and I did "surgery" and removed the bug. Chris is back to himself:) Oh, and we also read the story Pinochio~ I think my son may have a wonderful imagination:)

And remember how I brag about Addie being so great. My troubles don't stop with her. I rocked Chris to sleep until he was 2 1/2 years old- every single day and I loved it. When Addie was born, she always liked to nurse and then just be put in her bed. She has never been a "cuddler"- she's the type of girl that likes to get in HER bed and sprawl out and go to bed on her own terms (which has always been in less than two minutes). I had mixed feelings about that- I missed cuddling with her like I did Chris, but I'll have to admit, she made it so easy so I could spend time with Chris before bed. She really has been such an easy baby... until last week. We had done the normal bedtime routine- baths, brushed our teefers, and read our books. After her books, she looked up at me and wanted to be cuddled- of course I wasn't going to miss out on that, so I rocked her to sleep- It was all good... until the next night. She wanted to be rocked to sleep. And the next night. And the next night. And the next night.... I'm not just talking about a few minutes... 45 minutes of straight rocking and singing~ Don't get me wrong I love that she wants me- but it was so easy... and to start this at 18 months, what did I do!?
I guess on days like this, I try to remember...
"So tell me how to stop the years from there a secret someone knows?
I'll never catch all the memories I'm chasing...I'll never be ready to let go."

Even on days that I'm about to pull my hair out, when I look at them so innocent in their beds, I am so thankful that I'm able to magically remove any bugs that may be telling my child to be awful, and I will always "rock rock" away:)
"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my babies you'll be."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Church and Nona and Papa's

This week has been full of blessings... I said a special prayer with a really inspiring woman this week, and I'm sure I will share more of my journey with all of you in the future. I know that faith can be a touchy and personal topic, but having children has opened me up to many things. I grew up going to church and have always been a believer, but looking back, sometimes I was too busy being interested in the boys in my youth group and the social aspect, than learning the stories and lessons:) Brendan and I have been your typical family that has put off finding a church because there always seems to be an excuse- we'd rather have the extra sleep, we have errands to run, we're out of town, etc... but we really want to find a home church where we can grow and learn- and we think it's important to raise our children in a Christian environment. Today, we visited a new church and fell in love with it. It reminded me so much of my church growing up, and we had a great time... the kids loved it too. Chris made a pillow out of rocks because they were learning the story of Jacob... but I'm sad to say, he didn't get to bring it home because he and the other boys in the class decided to break them on their heads... I think it was a good fit for him- sounds like the boys were being boys:) We even ran into my old youth group counselors and it was soooo much fun catching up:) Oh the memories!

After church, we stopped by my parent's house and hung out... maybe we were killing time before naptime:) Of course I pulled out my camera~ Chris and Addie LOVE their grandparents... So, Will and Joanie~ be ready for me to take lots of pictures over Thanksgiving- I know you are just so excited about being on my blog (ha ha). Oh- and check out Lil' Miss Addie's outfit- it was mine when I was little:)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Addie's first haircut

Today, we took Addie to get her first haircut- she is just growing up way too fast! It's a little shorter than I wanted~ but we had to trim it up. Maybe it's because I grew up in Arcola, but I was paranoid about her having a mullet because the back was growing so much faster than the sides... Now that it's evened up- grow baby grow:)

She couldn't have been better~ she sat all by herself, perfectly still the entire time~ At times, she had her serious face, but she loved being the center of attention- and Daddy, Mommy, and Brother were all watching:)

Afterwards, Chris got his special time, too... We drove around searching for Star Wars, The Clone Wars- it's the cartoon version and just came out this week. After striking out at two Red Boxes, we found it at Blockbuster~ so he's getting to stay up late right now to watch it with Daddy. Yes, I have Star Wars nerds living in my home... but it's their "special thing" and so cute.

Chris and Add...

The past few days have flown by... I watched the twins a lot, so Brendan had Daddy Duty the past couple of days. Then, this morning, I actually had a mommy's day out with Sara, Mrs. C, and my mom. We ventured to the Christmas Marketplace at the Dulles Expo Center to the craft fair- how old are we- we actually enjoy craft fairs! They had some cute things- and I might have bought more if I didn't have such bad luck... I bought a garlic dipping sauce- and it slipped out of my hand and shattered in the restroom- oops... but I bought another:) And then, we had bought these personalized magnets and I left them at a random booth- so before I had even arrived home, Brendan received a call that a lady had my package at booth 385 (my phone number was on the bag since it was being personalized)... so needless to say, he knew I had been shopping! It's funny how things work out- who would have ever thought that I would be best friends with my mother... I call her 10 times a day (literally)... and love her so much- I remember in high school, Sara was picking me up on my road b/c I was "running away"- and now we're picking our moms up for a day out because we truly enjoy their company- crazy:)

Here are some pictures of Chris and Addie- In one picture, they are in matching jammies- their "bones" as they like to call them... that glow in the dark. I can't begin to tell you how close they are. They are never without each other, and when they are, they seem lost. It was so cute~ Tonight, Brendan and I were putting away groceries, and I told him to look in the family room. They were sitting on the couch together, and Chris reached down and smelled Addie's feet, and then said "poo-tinky."- This is a random game we do for laughs in the McCullers household. He did it a couple of times, then kissed her, and then they continued on with their cartoon. Those are the moments I live for- just too precious:)

Oh- and the other picture is of the two of them at the top of Chris's bunk bed... Don't worry- I was right there... Addie Tay has learned to climb to the top~ so I think the ladder needs to move to storage before we have an ER visit!