Sunday, May 29, 2011


Saturday marked the first graduation at North Paulding ever. It was bittersweet. While I have only taught these kids for two years, the relationships formed are still special. High school is so different from middle in the sense that I see these kids all year long instead of 9 weeks at a time. Even the kids I only taught for a year still come back to my class and hang out-- I have seen them grow over the past two years and I am excited for them to go to college, or at least their next stage in life.

As a teacher, we were also required to attend graduation-- in our gowns and hoods. My hood had a brown lining with royal blue and a red stripe to denote my degree and college.

The ceremony was a nice one and the weather seemed to cooperate-- it was quite pleasant.

before we walked out to the field: me, Mrs. Ford, Mrs. Conely, Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Long

Dr. Preston and Dr. Teirce leading the seniors down the hallway-- Dr. Preston broke out into a dance

Rachel and Annaleise

Me and Laurien

Katie and the Chorus waiting to sing the National Anthem

Walking in
Afterwards, me and Katie

Me and Kelly

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


This is just a spring update on Weston....

Weston is binky free. He no longer requires the use of a pacifier for naps, bedtime, or fussy time.

Weston can run.

He will point at airplanes in the sky and wave at passing cars on the street.

He will eat just about anything, but his favorites are steak and broccoli.

Weston LOVES the water-- bath, sprinkler, pool-- you name it, he loves it.

Weston can say Momma, Dadda, GO, "here you go," which also doubles as "dan doh"-- thank you.

Weston loves the ladies and can flirt like there's no tomorrow!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bird feeders

When we lived in our apartment, we had two bird feeders outside on our deck. Ever since we moved into the house, we have wanted to put up feeders, but never got around to it. Recently, we bought two rather large feeders and filled one with a "songbird" mix and the other with "fruits and nuts" mix. We were worried we wouldn't get many birds or that it would take them a long time to figure it out, but we were wrong. We have seen so many different types of birds-- we even had some humming birds come up to the feeders-- therefore, we promptly went out and bought a humming bird feeder.

Weston loves looking at the birds-- almost as much as we do. It's so crazy how much we love our birds!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


My sister is now the mother of SEVEN amazing children. Baby Josephine joined the Cullom clan on May 2, 2011. I took a personal day to be at the hospital when she was born and I'm so glad I did. Tracy was taken back for a c-section and we waited. Everyone did very well and Josephine and Tracy are super healthy!

They are home now-- didn't even have to stay in the hospital any longer than normal. She looks like the perfect combination of Luke and Laine. I suppose Tracy and Lee really had a set of triplets, but Josephine was a few years late.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Garbage Trees and then Some

One of the covenants of our neighborhood HOA states that our garbage can should not be visible from the street. However, there is no place for us to keep our garbage can that is not in view of the street. If you remember, last year, Matt built a rather nice area for our garbage can just on the side of the house. This year, we started talking about how to conceal it from the street. It may take a few years to be in compliance, but we are trying....

We decided to create a flower bed around the garbage "pad" and plant some small trees so that as they grew, they would obstruct the view of the can from the street. We planned and priced everything before making the large purchase, and while I was away one Saturday afternoon at a friend's baby shower, Matt planted (and cleaned up) everything!

Before-- you can see in the grass where we painted the layout of the trees

All of the building/planting materials ready to go

The holes were dug as well as an outlying trench that bricks will be sunk into

two down, two to go

We even bought a rain barrel that attaches to the downspout to catch rain so that we can later use it to water the garbage trees in the hot Atlanta summer

Weston enjoyed playing in the dirt

... and enjoyed helping daddy pour sand over the brick edge

This is what I came home to!

Recently we have noticed Weston enjoying sitting in his pile of pillows on the floor. At one point we had to take his car seat out of the car to wash the padding and kept the shell of the seat in the den for him to play with. We watched as he would gather toys to take them back to his "seat" continually. Once we had to put the car seat back in the car, we thought it'd be nice if he had a chair of his own.
He will occasionally sit in it if his shows are on, but most of all, he enjoys climbing all over it!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Our prayer and God's mercy are like two buckets in a well; while the one ascends the other descends. - Mark Hopkins


I don't know if he always intended it to be a prayer or if he cried out for mercy as involuntarily as a sailor swears at the sea. No matter the situation: good, bad, frustrating, joyful, Granddad always asked for mercy. This past Tuesday, April 5th, he was granted mercy.

This past fall Matt, Weston and I went to visit him with my Aunt Susan and Nana. After helping him sit down, Susan said to him, "Look Dad, it's baby." His response, "Well I'll be damned." I chuckled a little, glad that Weston could brighten his day, even if just for a fleeting moment. That was the last time I saw my Granddad.

Though what I remember most about Granddad are the little things throughout my life... and the not so little things.

He served us, he scolded us, he taught us.

He mixed me my first drink, a "Granddad Special." It was special-- it had cherries in the bottom! As children, my cousins and I climbed the swiveling bar stools and sat on our knees to peer over the rounded bar in the basement-- Granddad on the other side tending it. He mixed a little bit of this with a little bit of that, added two cherries and served us a round of Granddad specials. They were gone in a matter of seconds; our arms stretched out for another, we usually got it.

The playhouse in the backyard had a low sloping roof. We were not allowed to climb the roof-- makes sense now, but back then Granddad got so mad when he caught us climbing the playhouse roof. So we made sure to stay just below the peak of the roof so not to be seen. I don't know why we climbed the roof. Maybe it was just to see if we could get away with it.

I know he just wanted the best for us-- when he wasn't mixing drinks or scolding us for doing something stupid, he was always trying to teach us something: silly German Songs about a musician, respecting our elders-- especially military service men and women, Civil War history during a road trip, and even how to ride a bike.

Nana was at the beauty shop getting her hair done, when Granddad took the training wheels off of my bike. By the time she got home, I was a two wheel rider! I don't remember him holding my seat or giving me any sort of pep talk, but I remember he was there. He knew I could do it (otherwise he wouldn't have taken off my training wheels), and maybe just knowing that he had faith in me gave me the courage to ride my bike sans training wheels.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Even though we will miss him, he will always be with us because he helped mold us into the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren we are today.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

For my Sister, from my Students

Today, while my students were working, I asked them a hypothetical question for them to mull over... then I came back and collected their answers. Here's the question....

<> If you were in bed for weeks-- and you have access to your computer and a TV-- what would you do?

1. Watch Twilight and Titanic
2. Read all of the Harry Potters... and Hunger Games
3. Paint a new picture every day
4. Play Words With Friends on your phone (just like scrabble)... Susan, Sarah, Martha, Sheila, Vicky, and I are all currently playing, so let us know when you sign up and we can play together. Just to warn you... Martha's kind of a beast.
5. Make friendship bracelets
6. Have the ultimate LOST marathon-- you're life will never be the same
7. Create and play your very own Sims game
8. Learn Arabic... or French
9. sleep
10. Play Tycoon games-- especially roller coaster tycoon, that way you can forget you are in bed
11. Netflix
12. Facebook
13. Get caught up on phone calls you have been putting off, though 5:00-6:00 is already taken
14. Do some random research, hot topics include, but are not limited to: underwater basket weaving, and camel spiders
15. angry birds
16. Update your iPod-- try listening to music from the year you were born
17. play Mad Glibs -- the Mad Libs equivalent
18. Diagnose Charlie Sheen
19. Set up a Panera card
20. Plan your wedding if you could do it all over again-- and had no budget
21. Complete a Rubik's Cube
22. Plan a party and include a compatible playlist
23. Learn all of the President's names in order
24. Teach yourself to French braid your own hair-- You Tube has TONS of tutorials
25. Play the state "game." Write down all of the states from memory until you don't miss any. Then learn all the capitals.
26. Watch Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
27. Learn Sign Language
28. Design shoes on
32. Make matching family t-shirts
33. Read the entire Bible
34. Write to Ellen Degeneres and try and get on her show
35. Take a picture every day you are in the hospital so that you can create a scrapbook (can be digital) for Joey, so she knows exactly what you are going through for her... plus the book that you're going to write needs some pictures.
36. paint your nails-- try colors you would normally never go for
37. Try your hand at Origami. I learned how to make a fish last week.... needless to say, I have a bajillion fish in my room now hanging from the ceiling. SO get good at one thing and see if the nurses will hang them from the ceiling.
38. Prank Calls are always fun...
39. Create a new "Where I'm From" Poem-- then post it on your blog.
40. Fish tail braids are VERY in right now-- teach yourself on You Tube
41. Spider Solitaire
42. Download every free App. on your iPhone
43. Legos! They're endless fun
44. Call every radio show and try to enter EVERY contest they run

okay, so today's list is a TAD more than 7. Now get on it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

For my Sister

Many of you know, because you are my family, that my sister, Tracy, is pregnant. Right now she is 31+ weeks and is bed-bound in the hospital until baby Joey joins the family. In light of that, Tracy this is for you...

Things to do while in bed... and unable to get out.

1. Write a letter, or several. It's a lost art, and I love getting handwritten mail.

2. Knit. Even if you've dabbled in the past... now you can get really good and learn to make socks!

3. Write a book. You're going to be there for a while (we hope-- only because that's what's best for Joey)

4. Read a book. You can create a Nook account on even if you don't have a nook-- you can read on your computer. If you do ever get a Nook, your library will be automatically linked.

5. Surf the Web. Check out This website asks you to list what you like and dislike to help find interesting websites for you. It can become addictive because you can find truly amazing information about the things and activities you love.

6. Blog. You haven't done it in a while, heck, I haven't done it in a while, but you are better than I am, so get to it!

7. Get caught up on your TV. can be your best friend-- watch past/current seasons of your favorite tv shows or find new shows to follow. (community is well worth the laugh)

That's it for now... just 7. Maybe tomorrow I'll have 7 more for you. Maybe I will continue to have 7 ideas for you for the next 7 days. I think 7 will be your lucky number.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Busy -almost- Spring

SO many things have been keeping us busy these last few weeks and into the next few. I haven't even really had time to take any pictures. Here's the rundown of our lives so far and things to come...

Within the last month or so, I have taken on the roll as Secretary for our neighborhood's HOA. With that comes what seems to be weekly board of directors meetings as well as our annual HOA meeting with all the homeowners yesterday. It has been a very slow, and at times, very difficult transition from the old board to the new board, but we have been making a lot of progress and hopefully will make a big difference in the perception of the other homeowners this year.

Aside from the HOA, I am still gainfully employed, and love my job very much. Though the spring brings on a lot of shows, competitions, and contests that I have to beg and plead my students to finish work for. They are currently working on submitting work for the Paulding County School District show this month. Unfortunately, none of our student work was selected to be in the Dogwood Festival-- there's always next year. Since we were struck with some very severe winter weather the week after coming back from Christmas break, our school district decided to cancel our February break and another teacher furlough day to make up for the already missed days. That means no breaks what so ever from the 3rd week in January until the 2nd week in April. The kids (and I'm sure some teachers too) are going to get stir crazy!

Matt is still enjoying his job as well, though he moved back 15 minutes in his work schedule so that means he doesn't get home until around 7. That doesn't leave a lot of Weston time in the evening, but he's usually up before Matt goes to work, so they get some good father-son quality time in the morning.

Today Matt made some shelves for our golf bags to hang on the wall in the garage on either side of the garage doors, and underneath the bags, he made a shelf for our golf shoes as well. Last weekend we were able to play a round together (first this year), and while neither of us really shot a good score we each came out with some personal bests. I actually scored lower than Matt on the course, but he got an EAGLE on a hole! We were bother really excited!! Here's hoping our game improves over the summer.

To help our game, and our physique, we are starting P90x (again), but this time we have a plan. March 1st we started the Ab Ripper video of P90x and have been doing it every other day and plan to continue this for a whole month. April 1st we will start the entire P90x routine and continue the Ab Ripper bonus every other day. We both just felt the first time we tried to start P90x, our core was not strong enough to really complete a lot of the other parts of the work out. So our goal is to strengthen our core before beginning so we can get the most out of it. Please wish us luck, especially in April (we will probably need all the encouragement we can get)!!!

That's about it for right now.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The end of Feb Recap!

So it's the end of February and I haven't posted in a LONG time (sorry). We have been very busy... starting with going to see Thomas the tank engine at the train show at the Cobb Galleria with some great friends of ours, the Wolkows.

Darren and Tobin playing with the slot car train

Tobin in the VERY back of the train-- Weston was just a little too little to ride by himself, maybe next time Thomas comes to town.

There's Tobin!

Darren enjoyed the festive free hats!

Matt carried Weston in our new backpack carrier--- but he got a little fussy, so Matt bought and pieced out a giant pretzel for him to munch on-- he was satisfied

Matt also gave Tobin an Oscar Meyer Weenie Whistle... note to Matt-- loud "treats" need to be parent approved first.

There was a kids play place that just had a pile of plastic train tracks and a bunch of trains for the kids to play with-- Weston enjoyed playing with Thomas

He also enjoyed tearing up other kids' train tracks

Jamon just enjoyed conquering the mountain of tracks!

Weston made up for breaking this kid's tracks by "sharing" with him every single train he picked up. They hugged and made up-- but I wasn't quick enough with the camera to capture that moment

We also went to the Zoo with Tracy and Lee and their brood when my Dad and Carrie were in town last weekend.
Weston loves hanging on Dad's back!

Ryan, Laine, MC, Tracy, Luke, and Jake watching the flamingos

Ryan showing Matt and Weston how to attract the birds in the bird house-- they gave out sticks with seeds on the end. We didn't attract any birds, but on the plus side, no one was pooped on either

Sara's favorite part of the zoo-- the warthogs.

Sara had SOOOOOOOOO much fun at the Zoo. She often clung to the fences at each exhibit and cried when it was time to move on.

Ryan was being a good cousin and let Weston tug and pull and take his hat

Matt took Weston to the petting zoo-- he liked the cross eyed goats... until a pig bit Matt! Seriously-- Matt was hog bit

Afterward we enjoyed a low country boil at the Culloms-- the best way to feed a mass of people. It was so yummy.

Notice Matt's face.... then notice the lone potato rolling off the table. He was devastated

But he got over it. We found we prefer Dungenous crab over snow crab for the boil

cousins at play

This was just Weston being really cute one morning

I'm a WALKING boy! He is so proud of himself every time he takes a few steps on his own. It's precious!

***I apologize for the over use of the exclamation point in this post. Everything way just so exciting this month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!