Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Santa the Spy

For Christmas Ristow had asked Santa for a pair of Spy Gear Night Vision Goggles.
He couldn't wait for Christmas morning to see if he got them. We spent Christmas with Christopher's family in Ohio so Ristow made sure we sent Santa an email to let him know to bring his goggles there.
Christmas morning Ristow runs down to see his stocking and presents and sure enough there is the box of night goggles. He eagerly opens them up and the box is EMPTY! I could not believe it. We were all very upset, especially me. We told Ristow that the elves probably just forgot to put them in the box. Luckily there were plenty of other presents to distract him.

So yesterday morning Ristow woke up and found this letter from Santa by our fireplace.

So Santa was the Spy! Ristow was so excited to get his Night Goggles, he wore them almost all day long! Better be sure to leave a light on for Santa next time!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ice Skating

Today I took Ristow ice skating for the first time. It was great. He bounced in his seat with excitement the whole way there. We waited in a huge long line to get into the rink and then another line to get skates. It was all worth it to see his face when he stepped onto the ice. He absolutely loved it! He wasn't too bad at it either. We managed 3 laps and only 3 falls and he even passed some first time adults creeping along the wall. I would call it a success seeing as how he wants to go back tomorrw and do it again ;) though one of his favorite parts was oogling over all the hockey gear in the skate shop.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Day Fun

We had our first snow of the season this past weekend and Monday was Ristow's first snow day of the year! So we bundled up, which seemed to take an eternity, and headed out the door. Well kind of. First, I had to find warm clothes that fit for both kids, Jessica was in boots two sizes too big for her and luckily Ristow had just gotten a bag of warm clothes the next size up from a friend. Then I headed to the shed to get the sled out, but the lock on the shed was frozen solid. Back inside for a cup of warm water. I finally get the sled out and go to get both kids out the door. Jessica, of course, now has a dirty diaper. Undress the bundle, change, bundle back up.
Are we ready?
Jessica is beside herself with excitement as we go out into the white wonder, though she seemed to have difficulty smiling due to the fact that her new winter coat was squishing her face ;)
Ristow got on the sled first and Jessica fought to get out of my arms and onto to sled with Ristow. After the first time down our tiny hill. Jessica was crying, not because she didn't LOVE it but because I was making her get off so I could take the sled back up! She and Ris went down the hill about 10 times and every time they got to the bottom Jess would want more. She has become my little adventurer. The kids had fun and now we await the next snowfall because of course the snow was all melted by this morning. That's Tennessee for you.

Here is also a picture of Jessica "helping" string the lights for the Christmas tree!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Family Pictures

Over Thanksgiving weekend when Jimmy and his family were visiting, Mom arranged for a wonderful photographer to come and do family photos. Unfortunately it was the same weekend as the OSU Vs. Michigan game that Christopher had planned on going to for months. So needless to say my family was missing a key element in the pictures. Bri was wonderful enough to give us a separate time when we could all be together for pictures. That time was today, between when Ristow got off school and Christopher had his next client, a 30 minute window in 30 degree weather. Freezing cold! We all dressed for pictures and we figured we could whip off all our coats for a two minute period and see if we got anything. Well Bri managed to get some fabulous pictures!
I still can't believe how great they turned out and before all of our noses turned red from the cold.
Thanks Bri!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Party Central

December is a busy and joyous month in the McClintock household. We have the privilege of celebrating both of my beautiful children's birthday in one weekend!
Ristow turned 6yrs old this past Thursday and he had a LEGO party here at the house on Saturday. It was lots of fun! I had made Lego invitations, Lego Cake, Lego party favors, the kids played Lego games and of course he got lots of Lego presents! It was a big success and most important, Ristow loved it!
Sunday we celebrated Jessica's 1st birthday! I was thankful to be able to use most of the same decorations since everything was primary colors and made a #1 cake for Jess. She did pretty well opening presents. She got a pink shopping cart which she pushed all over the house! She did not care for her cake but she sure loved the strawberry ice cream that came along with it ;)It was a ton of work and hopefully I figure out how to make it a bit easier with practice. We have got lots more years of double birthdays ahead of us! I was glad to have the McClintocks here visiting to help with the kids and party stuff.
We also managed to squeeze in this past weekend: Seeing The Rocketts perform, Breakfast with Santa, Seeing lights at the Opryland Hotel and putting up the rest of the outdoor Christmas decorations. It was quite a weekend.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


We were blessed to have my brother Jim and his wonderful family join us for Thanksgiving this year. We spent great family time just hanging out and watching the kids all play together. It was so cool to watch them and see them truly enjoy each other.
We did so much, from Thanksgiving dinner to Wii competitions, from High Tea (just us gals) to a movie afternoon, from hugging and talking by the fireplace to sharing meals and laughing with the kids during family photos. It was a visit full of memories and great times and I am so thankful that they braved the 11 hr trip down from PA. They truly made this holiday special for us.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mazes and Marathons

Wow, what a weekend. Great weather, great time together as a family, great time with friends, just wonderful.
Yesterday Christopher worked on our leaf maze in the front yard. We are that family that despises bagging leaves, so instead we systematically arrange our leaves into a fun maze for Ristow and his friends to run in. Our leaves look neat and are yard looks pretty cool, it's a win win for everyone ;)

Today Ristow ran his first real mile. He has run bits and pieces of a mile before but not known what that distance really looks like. (heck, how many of you know what that distance really looks like? on foot anyway ;)
He did great. Christopher ran with him at a loop at a nearby park. It was so cute watching father and son running together. Ristow signed up for the kid's Country Music Marathon this year. He has to run 25.2 miles between now and April and then he gets to run the last mile on the course of the Country Music Marathon with a group of kids from schools across Nashville and cross the finish line! Needless to say, he is super excited to cross the same finish line that his Dad crosses each year! I am so proud of both my boys ;)

Meanwhile, Jessica played in a Hippo!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Date Night

Whenever we get a chance to go out for date night, we take it! Most times it is my parents who are gracious enough to watch my children, for which we are very thankful.
Once a month we are part of a babysitting swap with 3 other families. This past Saturday we were able to drop the kids off at the swap and then go on a double date with my parents. We had such a nice time. It was nice to be able to have actual conversations with them and not have the kids interrupting. We went out to dinner at Bonefish Grill. It was AMAZING! I think I talked about how good the food was more than anything else. Mmmmmm. If you have one near you and haven't tried it, I highly recommend it.
It was so nice to know that the kids were having a fun time and we were able to just enjoy one another. We talked, we laughed and had a great time.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I am the Wife of an Ironman

Being the wife of an Ironman means that for the last 7 months I have sacrificed our family time for my husband's training schedule. I have spent extra time and money grocery shopping to feed Christopher his 5000 calories a day making sure nothing had high fructose corn syrup or enriched flour in it. I have spent many an evening watching Christopher fall asleep on the couch within minutes of getting home because he has spent everything he had on training and work.
I have also never been more proud of someone. I have never experienced the level of joy and pride while watching an athletic event as I did on Saturday, as Christopher completed his Ironman! The smile on his face and knowing how much went into being able to do this brought me to tears. Then I looked around at the 2,000 other athletes who had given up so much to accomplish so much and the tears flowed harder. You could see the pain, the story, the joy, the commitment in each person's eyes as they ran by.
From the man with one leg hopping through the sand to start the second lap of his swim, to the woman who missed the swim cut off by less than a minute and was forced to quit. There were stories upon stories out there that day. I loved every minute of it.
I made a sign that I held up during the Marathon that said "You are Strong". I don't know if anyone got encouragement from it, I hope so, but I know many people looked and read it and one guy passed and jokingly said "it should say "You are Tired"!"
Another older man running by slowed down and asked "Do these shorts make my butt look big?"
One of other wives and I assured him that he looked "hot" with big smiles on our faces. It was great to see so many people leaning on their sense of humor to make the run more bearable.
One of the best things about the race bibs at Ironman is that the athletes name is printed on the front making it easy for spectators to cheer and encourage by name. It is a personal way to make people feel special and that someone else cares about their race along with them. Cheering at the Ironman is an experience all its own. Your heart breaks at the hurt and your heart flies with the successes. Watching athletes come down the last bit to the finish and seeing the look of relief and pride on their faces was so rewarding. Knowing they completed the 2.4mile swim, the 112mile bike and the 26.2mile run and they were about to join the elite group and be called an Ironman.
And then I saw him. The love of my life running towards the finish with a huge smile on his face. My favorite part was hearing the announcer over the loudspeaker say. Christopher McClintock....You are an Ironman!
It was all worth it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sometimes you just gotta laugh to keep from crying

Today Jessica has been throwing up. Poor thing, but other than that she is doing ok. No fever or anything else. So after multiple baths and lots of laundry I decided that we would go for a walk. She loves riding in the stroller and I needed to get out too.

We get down to the end of the street and it starts to downpour out of nowhere. My street has never seemed so long as when you are running with an baby in an umbrella stroller (which work NOTHING like an umbrella) in the pouring rain. Then when we finally make it to our driveway I push the stroller up over the curb on the drive and all of the sudden the stupid stroller lives up to its name and collapses like an umbrella with my child still buckled into it. AAAARGH! So now I have a crying, wet, sick baby and am dragging the stroller behind me through the yard into the house.
As soon as we get inside, the rain completely stops and the sun comes out, Of Course!

That is when I toss my hands up into the air and shake my head and laugh. A little bit of crazy keeps us all able to relate to one another a little better ;) We all have silly frustrating days that remind us of how human we are. (Some people unfortunately more than others) On those days we must remind ourselves of of how blessed we truly are despite the crazy moments of life.

Oh No! Did I really just hear what I think I did?.......Off to clean up more puke ;)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Joys of Fall Break

The Fall is a beautiful time of year. The colors and changing temperatures are a sign of the changes in life and how things appear to be gloriously preparing for a restful winter. It is a time to oooh and aaaah at the trees and crunch in the leaves and complete the harvest.
Ristow had Fall break this past week and I took advantage of it by taking the kids on a road trip. We visited families, loved on new babies, shared times of refreshing with friends allowing our children to play and to know one another. It was a great week. The kids traveled well and slept even better. I was able to share with Ristow some of my favorite childhood fall experiences and memories.
Here are a few pictures of our trip. We wished we would have had another week as there were many other dear ones we would have loved to see.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Place of Refuge (for Hermit Crabs that is)

Yesterday I get a call from my friend Melanie. She had been on a trip to the beach this past weekend to be with family and said that they had collected shells on Saturday. Now, one of those shells was crawling around her car! Yes, a hermit crab. She asked if she could bring it over (because I am such an expert now on hermit crabs hehe)

Mel and the crab arrived and I had a salt water soak all set up for him, after all, he had been in a ziploc bag in her car since Saturday. He came out after a few minutes and was very cool looking. He has striped legs and is bigger than any of my land crabs.
Mel leaves only to return a few minutes later with the ziploc bag of shells. One of the other shells is grabbing the bag! Another Crab!

I prepare another bowl for the second crab. Luckily I had a spare cage from my past Hermit Crab fiascoes. So now I have my three in their regular cage and two more in another. Well the striped crabs from the ocean really need special care, online it said you have to create a subtropical environment for them, yeah right. I call Mel and then she calls the Aquatic store down the street, who (thank goodness) is going to take the ocean crabs and care for them.

So last night was the first night we had to turn on the heat. The poor crabs need the warm temperature and I didn't have a heat lamp for them. So I put them in the bathroom by our bedroom where it is warmer by the vents. All night I heard those crazy crabs!
The crabs are leaving today, so I will have a vacant cage again. And seeing as how I am such the expert now, I am happy to accommodate any future displaced crabs. ;)

I tried to take a picture of the Striped Crabs but it seems they are a bit camera shy. Here is a pic I found online of what they look like.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not Quite Ready for Mobility

Over the course of the last 3 weeks, Jessica has perfected the creep and the crawl. She crawls everywhere on all fours and creeps along furniture standing up. Today I learned that she has also perfected the climb. I left her playing in the living room to get her a bottle and when I came back she was halfway up the stairs. AAAAAGh! I am so not ready for this. Looks like a new gate goes up today. I am also very aware of the need for baby proofing all of a sudden. Cupboards are emptied in a flash and things pulled off table before you can blink. She is fast like lightening and super strong.
She is growing and developing so fast. I had always heard that the second one picks things up faster but oh my goodness. She is 9 1/2 months and all this has come about in just a few weeks. She has also popped out 3 new teeth in the last 2 weeks, totaling 7.
I am so excited for her and her development, I just don't think I was prepared for it all so fast. We are having lots of fun. Even Ristow is a fan of her new abilities. Except he thinks that because she can crawl over and climb on him that now she is his new wrestling partner. We still have to work on that one ;)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Karate Lessons

Last night Ristow had his first Karate class! He had a private lesson with the instructor last week and yesterday he was testing to get his first belt (white). Christopher was able to take him and got to watch. Ristow really seemed to like it and do well.

So the 3 things that Ristow had to work on over the last week besides his punches, kicks and blocks were....
1. Respect skill - looking people in the eye when they are talking to you
2. Discipline skill - standing still when spoken to and saying "yes, Sir"
3. Black Belt Timing - Doing things when needed, obeying the first time you are asked

Seriously? This is awesome. I have been trying to get Ristow to do these things for a long time and now all we have to do is give them ninja type names and all of sudden he wants to do them ;)Super!

He goes again on Thursday and is really excited to go back. I am so glad that we have found something that he can be a part of and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Appliance Obituary

I got back last night from a wonderful weekend away with friends to find this lovely Obituary written and posted on our Dishwasher. My husband is SO creative..........

August of 2010 HotPoint went to be with the Lord after some drainage complications and an encounter with an angry repair man. Living well past his years, he was a very reliable and dependable dishwasher who made his mark in the early nineties cleaning the lasagna encrusted dishes that lead his former owners to open a very successful Italian Restaurant.
He was later put out to pasture to live the rest of his days with a family that didn't require as much from him except the occasional Protein caked blender and some sippy cups.

He is survived by the Whirlpool Refrigerator of 7 years and GE Stove and Oven of 2 years. He will be missed.

Funeral and Extraction Services will be held Thursday, September 9th at 632 Monte Carlo Dr. And filling the hole in the counter (but not in our hearts) will be a 2010 Maytag JetClean that the owner got an amazing deal on. Services rendered by the Home Depot.

This is how I found out that Christopher bought us a new dishwasher over the weekend. ;)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

McClintock Family Reunion 2010

This past weekend we enjoyed some family time with the McClintocks at our yearly family reunion. It was a great time with multiple celebrations. Friday we had a baby shower for Christopher's sister Amy who is due with a precious baby girl next month. Saturday we had the family reunion and celebrated Grandma's 93rd birthday. It is a good time to catch up with each other and find out what everyone has been up to. Though there never seems to be quite enough time to talk to everybody. I am so thankful for the fun and loving family that I have married into. Not many people get blessed with two great families!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Big Man at The Bus Stop

Today is the day! Ristow's first day of Kindergarten. We are all so excited for him, but his biggest thrill was that he was going to get to ride the School Bus!
Getting ready this morning he hardly ate any breakfast. I thought this was because he was too excited to eat, then he says "My friend told me that I have to eat a string cheese on the way to the bus stop to be all set for school." So sure enough, he had to take a string cheese to eat while waiting for the bus, though his little friend isn't even in school yet ;)
One other little girl was at the bus stop waiting. His eyes lit up as he heard the bus coming and he couldn't wait to get on. The bus driver was wearing a Hawaiian print shirt and a big smile. He said all the kids call him English, because he's English. Ristow found his seat, the doors closed and we waved goodbye. I never thought I would be one of those super emotional mom's on the first day of Kindergarten, but I have to confess that walking back to the house, my eyes teared up and I cried with pride at the little man I am watching grow before me!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Even at 5:00am, after not very many hours of sleep, laying a baby in the bed with me and then being kicked the face by said baby, there is still something that can make me smile....

Yep, that sweet face. The way she smiles from ear to ear when she sees us in the morning, the way she shares her open mouthed excitement at the feel of her first ride in a swing, her sweet contemplation of the world around her, I love them all!
And yes, even at 5am, after a quick sigh that she didn't sleep later, I smile too and am so thankful for this precious daughter laying next to me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Appreciation of the Arts

For the last few nights, when I have been giving Jessica her bedtime bottle, we have been sitting in her dark room with just her night light on. It is a night light that was given to me as a gift a number of years ago and I love it. It has artwork created by Frank Lloyd Wright on it called Saguaro Forms. Jessica has gotten into the habit of taking a few sips of her bottle and then she stops and leans forward onto my leg and tips her precious little head to the side and smiles at the night light. She looks at it in such amazement. Then she takes a few more sips and repeats the peaceful admiration of the light. Now who knows if it is her own little way of stretching out bedtime, as you can guess that drinking her bottle takes quite an extended period of time, or if it is just a newly found appreciation of the Arts.
I am going to go with the second option and sit and enjoy admiring the night light right along beside her.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Beauty of Development

July was a month full of development. Development is defined as growth or a way in which things are improving.

With a new baby it is easy to see the ways she is developing and changing and this past month brought exciting ones. I am happy to report that Jessica is no longer on her prevacid medication and we are no longer having to go to our reflexologist every week as she is not longer spitting up profusely. It has been a month full of NOT having to change my clothes 3 times a day and NOT having to keep blankets and burp cloths all over the house and NOT having to worry about if she got her medication. I have to admit that I eased into the change quite easily and really haven't thought about it until today when I was looking through my prayer journal and realized what was different. So I praise God for little one's development and growth of their digestive systems.
She is also developing her sense of humor and laughs when she makes me laugh. I am so thankful for her and the beautiful little 8 month old that she is.

I have also seen development in Ristow. Besides getting his third loose tooth, he is growing in his understanding of the world and conversation and caring for others. He is getting ready to start Kindergarten on the 12th of this month and will be riding the bus like a big kid. He is really excited. I am eager to see all of the different types of development that start to change in a couple of weeks.

Also in July, Christopher and I took a vacation to Jamaica to celebrate 10 years of marriage. It was a vacation that brought refreshment and reconnection and grew us closer to one another. Development can be displayed in many ways.
As our lives continue to change, which is inevitable, I pray that the change is a developmental change that continues to lead to improvement and growth. Growth in our relationships, growth in our spiritual journey and growth in our love for one another.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Princesses and Kings

We went to my friend's daughter's princess birthday party this weekend. I was suddenly immersed in a pretty pink princess world yet to be discovered with Jessica being only 7 months. Now we are not just talking a few balloons and princess plates and cups. My friends has never been known to skimp on a birthday party. There was a little throne for pictures upon arrival, a huge painted mural, castle cake, crown shaped sandwiches, princess shoe shaped cheese, and decorations galore. At one point during the party they had all the kids stand at the door to head outside to the "ball" and one by one each child was announced and proceeded down a red carpet to go and dance amidst a sea of bubbles under the tent they had set up. The children were all dressed in royal attire, princess costumes everywhere and she even had royal robes/capes made for the boys to wear to be kings.
It was such a sight to see as each child was made to feel so special. I absolutely loved the princess feel of the party. Even the boys strutted their stuff coming down the red carpet. Everyone likes to feel beautiful and dashing once in a while. We like to feel special and loved and that we are worth the fuss. I know that I was made to feel that way growing up and I am so incredibly thankful for the family I was blessed to grow up in. So many people don't get that opportunity to grow up knowing that feeling. I think that is why I love birthdays so much, because it grants us that opportunity to tell someone that they are worth it, that they are special and we are glad they were born. Whether it is with a party or gifts or just a hug, people need to know they are loved and appreciated. Hopefully my little prince and princess will know without a doubt how wonderful I think they are and how special God has made them!