Saturday, June 25, 2011


We are moving!!!!  No, we did not get a new house....We are just moving to a different home for our blog.  Sorry to confuse you!  Here is our new address:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Aunts

This week we were blessed with a visit from my Aunt Dianne.  She came down to visit so we can get a jump start on a very top secret project that will result in a birthday gift for my grandfather who will turn 80 in April.  More to follow on this project case he and my grandma read the blog.

My aunts are all very special to me.  I have so many wonderful memories with each one of them.  So I want to take the time and let them know what they mean to me.

Tante Sofi - You have taught me how to be strong in the face of anything.  Thank you for demonstrating to us how to live each day to the fullest and enjoy the blessings surrounding us. 

Tante Terry - You have taught me how to be consistent and constant (two important lessons I took with me into the classroom over the past few years).  You have an incredible sense of style and through your relationship with Mom, you have taught me what a treasure sisters are. (I love you, Liesl!)

Tante Vickie - You have taught me how to be appreciative.  You inspire me because you are 100 times more athletically gifted than I am.  And I love how you can get the attention of everyone in the room.

Tante Erica - You have taught me how to be patient and find humor in all situations.  And you have taught me resourcefulness (an example is the story of when you babysat me as a baby and put Mom's sweatshirt on to comfort me). 

(back) Vickie, Erica, Mom
(front) Sofi, Terry

Aunt Dianne with my cousin Juli and me

Aunt Dianne - You have taught me how to put others before myself by your example of selflessness.  You are quick to give and slow to take.  You are so generous with all that you have.  You have also taught me how to carefully pay attention to the needs of others, even when they don't express them.

Aunt Dianne with Colt

Aunt Debbie and me
Aunt Debbie - You have taught me how to do so many things, and I love that we share so many of the same passions.  You have taught me to appreciate where we come from, family history, foot phones, and photography.  And blueberries.

Aunt Debbie with Colt

Aunt Carey and me
Aunt Carey - You have taught me how to be loyal and resourceful.  You have so many creative ideas that magically come to life.  You are also a great blessing to me to hear my frustrations with all things in life, something I especially appreciated when I was in my first years teaching.


Aunt Carey and Colt

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for blessing my life. I wish we could see you more frequently.  I love you all.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Before this year, when I was still teaching, I thought I loved Saturdays.  I could sleep in some (since I didn't have to leave for work at 6:20 am), I could spend time with my husband, the house would get clean, and (in the fall) we could watch college football.

Now that I am home with Colt all week and my "wake up" doesn't have to happen until the little boy gets up, I have found that I actually love and appreciate Saturdays even more.  Why? 

Because of my wonderful husband.  And my sweet baby boy.  Even though I get to spend time with Colt all week long, it is much more fun to spend the day with BOTH of the men in my life.  I appreciate the times we have together much more than I did before; I truly took for granted the time Jason and I got to spend together, and I especially took for granted all of the things he did for me. 

Not anymore.  I could never again take for granted how he helps with the housework.  Don't get me wrong, he has ALWAYS done most of the heavy housework (especially the floors - which I HATE), but after having Colt I have realized what a blessing it is.  I could never again take for granted how he drops off and picks up the dry cleaning now.  I used to (only because the cleaners was on my way to work); now he makes sure it gets done so I don't have to make an extra trip out.  I could never again take for granted how he does ALL the yard work, helps make the beds, brushes and bathes the dogs, and a million other little things around the house. 

Saturdays just have a different meaning to them now.  Sure, we still watch all the college football we can in the fall and clean house.  But now Saturdays are about us as a family of three - not just the two of us.  I love watching Jason play with Colt and make him laugh like NO ONE else can.  I love that Jason babysits so I can run out and get a pedicure or a massage.  (I REALLY love that).  And I love spending time with friends and family on Saturdays.

Hopefully, today will be another great, productive Saturday for the McCulloughs full of laundry, vacuuming, and playing with the baby.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Smells Good!

I love scented candles.  I love it when the kitchen smells like I have been baking yummy goodies all day long (even when I haven't).  But I have truly found something better than candles.

Thank you to my dear sister Liesl for introducing me to Scentsy.  These little things are fantastic!  Instead of candles, these are flameless warmers with scented bars that melt.  I have seen plenty of warmers before, but I haven't been crazy about the scents available.  Until now.

Ever since Liesl started selling Scentsy, my house always smells great - despite having two indoor dogs, Jason's gym bag, and baby diapers around.  The warmers look great - very decorative that match every room of the house (yes, I literally have a warmer in every room except the dining room and that is only because I don't have a surface on which to put one). 

My sister is also very thoughtful and she sends me scents she knows I would love. 
Currently in the house (though not all burning at once):
Pumpkin Pie (office)
Leather (game room/"man cave")
Honey Pear Cider (guest room)
Satin Sheets (master)
Clean Breeze (laundry room)
Pomegranate (kitchen)
Fried Ice Cream (guest room #2)
Newborn Nursery (Colt's room)

The house may not actually BE clean.  But it smells good.

And if you are interested in discovering Scentsy for yourself, you can check out Liesl's website at

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dinner "Party"

I feel truly blessed that Jason and I are surrounded by loving family.  We are constantly reminded of this blessing - through a Valentine's card for Colt from Aunt Carolyn, through old pictures posted on Facebook, through the ever-ready "free" babysitting service offered by Jason's parents, and through countless text messages, phone calls, and emails. 

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss my family (none of them live in the Houston area), but in the same breath, I say a prayer of thanksgiving that my husband's family is close, and I have been a part of that family since the moment I met them.  It would take an entire day to write just 1% of what they mean to us.

Tonight, we are having Jason's parents over for dinner.  They do so much for us.  Gamma and PaPa babysit almost every weekend, they keep our dogs when we go out of town (and they keep one of them when I am home by myself because he is too strong for me to handle on a leash), and they have made dinner for us a countless number of times (including for me last week when Jason was in Louisiana).

The Menu: Crawfish Bisque, Salad and French Bread Croutons, and Blackberry Cobbler

[I must thank my friend Nancy for the bisque recipe.  My husband has said that I am allowed to cook ANYTHING that she gives me the recipe for because it is all so wonderful.]

1 - 1 1/2 pounds frozen crawfish tail meat
10 oz. tomato sauce
16 oz. milk
16 oz. heavy cream
6 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/3 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3-4 Tbsp. flour
2-3 Tbsp. minced garlic
salt to taste
cayenne pepper to taste (usually about 1/2 tsp. for us)
1/3 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup cooking sherry

1.  Melt butter in a heavy pot.  Saute onions, celery, and bell pepper in butter.  In a separate pan, heat together milk, cream annd tomato sauce until very hot.

2.  Once the vegetables are half cooked, lower the heat and add flour to make a roux.  Cook, stirring constantly for about 1-2 minutes.

3.  Add the hot milk and cream mixture to the roux, stirring continuously.  Add the minced garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Add the frozen crawfish.  Continue cooking until the crawfish is heated through. 

4.  Add the fresh chopped parsley (save a little bit to garnish the top) and the cooking sherry last; cook for about 5 additional minutes. Serve with crusty bread (I make French bread croutons with day-old bread).

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

One of our favorite recipes, adapted from several recipes to our tastes.  And the leftovers are fantastic.

1 whole chicken (I prefer to use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 package (8 oz.) dried pasta
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped (these can be omitted for those who don't like mushrooms, but we love 'em)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (if desired)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 (4 oz.) jar pimentos, drained
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1.  If you are cooking your own chicken: cook the chicken in seasoned water over medium heat.  Remove the chicken and let cool slightly.  Shred or cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. 

2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  For extra flavor, cook with chicken boullion, broth or left over water from cooking the chicken.  Drain the pasta.

4.  Saute the vegetables in butter and olive oil.  Reduce heat to low and stir in salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.  Stir in soup, cooked pasta and chicken pieces. Add 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese and pimentos.  Stir together until all ingredients are blended and cheese is melted. 

5.  Adjust seasonings and pour mixture into a large greased baking dish.  Top with remaining cheddar cheese.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.  Remove from oven and top with Parmesan cheese and toasted almonds.  Bake 5-10 more minutes. 

***We serve this with crusty French or Italian bread and salad.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Past 5 Months (part 3)

Month 5:
Colt still sleep through the night and eats like a champ, though we are down to four feedings a day instead of five.  He is now eating rice cereal (loves it), peas (likes it), squash (likes it), pears (LOVES it), and apples (loves it). 

We are slowly introducing new flavors to him, and then I will be trying my hand at making homemade babyfood for him, which I am VERY excited about. 

Getting ready to make pears.... the new baby food maker!
He plays on his tummy a lot of the time, and rolls very well from his back to his tummy, but he hasn't mastered rolling from his belly to his back yet.  At his four-month check-up, he did great with his shots again (still no fever or side effects), and we weighed in at 15 lbs. 14.5 oz. (75th percentile) and was 25 inches long (70th percentile).  He is still a big boy!  Great Grandpa Quick and Mommy's cousin Mandy came to visit, so that was fun for him to snuggle with some different people. 

He loves playing in his jumper (though we have to keep a box under it since he isn't quite tall enough to reach the floor yet) and his walker (he loves standing on his tiptoes and there isn't any walking going on yet). 

He can sit up unassisted for about 15 seconds before he slumps over, and this month he discovered his toes.  He tries desperately hard to stick his feet in his mouth.  He also discovered how to spit this month and gets tickled at himself when he sticks his tongue out and spits.  He also had two teeth come in this month - the first one broke through on January 15th and the second one broke through this morning (February 6th).  Right now, he is sitting in his swing attentively watching the Super Bowl in one of his cute football outfits.  He looks quite satisfied with the Green Bay touchdown.