Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Review

A quick recap of 2010 in the McLelland Family...




We had a vocabulary lesson and I wrote a letter.

 Caleb is a hero

 Caleb hits the pool

Benjamin makes a basket

 Benjamin's personality shines through

18 months and still droolin'
 and we learned that sometimes 


Caleb raises $575 for Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida

Caleb started KINDERGARTEN!

and I'm not perfect

We met the Faces of Spina Bifida all month long



Well, maybe that wasn't such a quick review after all!  It's hard to sum up an entire year!
Here's to 2011! 
Can't wait to see what the New Year brings.

For me, a new year, means a new blog.  Yep, I started a new blog a couple of days ago.  Not sure what I am thinking!  It is very different from this blog, it's not centered around my kids, or Spina Bifida, or my life as a mom and wife.  It is more about my faith.  For those of you that are interested...feel free to hop on over and check it out.  It's still a work in progress but it is up and running...sorta :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Well it has been a busy few days for the McLelland family.  Lots and lots of pictures are coming your way!

Our church had a candlelight service on Christmas Eve.  Caleb and Benjamin went into the service with Glenn and I which made things very interesting.  Caleb did great, thanks to the noise reducing ear muffs I bought him (picture coming) but Benjamin was another story.  I guess a 2 year old isn't much interested in sitting still and listening to a sermon on the birth of Christ.  I feel sorry for the poor family sitting in front of us, hopefully Christmas Eve wasn't their first visit to our church...they may never come back because of our crazy kid!  I finally took Benjamin out of the service and into the hallway.
Here's Benjamin checking out one of the Christmas trees at church.  Seriously, how cute does he look?  And so grown up in that sweater!!

Here are the noise reducing ear muffs....
 I've mentioned before that Caleb is very sensitive to loud noises due to hydrocephalus.  And while he has gotten better as he has gotten older, there are still some situations where the noise is just too much for him.  I bought these Peltor ear muffs recently and Caleb gave them a test run at the Christmas Eve service, which was quite noisy.  The ear muffs worked GREAT!!  They really help to reduce the sound, making it much more tolerable for Caleb.  Just maybe I can take the kid to a movie now!!

Now on to Christmas morning...
Benjamin didn't really know what was going on.  I think having a birthday so close to Christmas kinda makes opening more presents seem like old news.  He mostly just wanted to eat breakfast!  After a couple of pancakes and some eggs he was ready to play with his new toys!

Caleb on the other hand, was quite ready to open gifts!
 I bought several Halloween costumes on clearance and they made for great gifts.  One of the things in Caleb's stocking was a mini etch-a-sketch.  The kid LOVES it!

This was the BIG gift, complete with a red bow!
When Caleb walked outside and saw it, he said "It's a JEEP!!"  So cute.  Benjamin keeps calling it a "hummer".
Of course it was in the 20's Christmas morning so Glenn and I were absolutely FREEZING.  The boys didn't seem to mind though.

Benjamin sat in the Jeep with Caleb until he started to drive, then he wanted "out".  I guess he didn't like Caleb's driving.  Benjamin and Caleb also got some Lightning McQueen slippers.

Look at that smile!  So happy driving his new Jeep.  Seeing that big grin makes the 2 hours it took putting the thing together well worth it.  Well Glenn was the one that spent 2 hours assembling the Jeep...I just put on all the stickers :).
Hopefully Benjamin will decide it's safe to ride with Caleb and I can get some pics of him sitting next to his "bubba".

Christmas afternoon we went to see Gammy, Grandpa Al, and Aunt Rachel.
There are no pictures of Benjamin opening gifts, I think he was just over the whole present thing.
Caleb got a really nice art set, with tons of crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint, etc.  He loves it.  Caleb colors daily so the art set was a perfect gift.

And he (we) got this....
 Caleb's favorite thing to do at their house is play Mario Kart, so he (we) now has his (our) own Wii, complete with Mario Kart.

 And today the boys had another Christmas with Grandma and Bill.  
 Benjamin got another Thomas the Train set.  The boy officially has enough trains to keep him busy for a good while!  He loves it!

 Grandma and Bill knew that Caleb was getting a Wii from Gammy and Grandpa Al so they picked him up a couple of games.

 Caleb wanted to try the Monster truck game first.  He loves crashing into things so this is the perfect game for him.  He would crash the monster truck into trash cans and just belly laugh about it.  He was cracking himself up! Too funny.

 Benjamin playing with his new train set.

So, all-in-all the boys made out like bandits this Christmas...and they haven't even had their Christmas with Grandpa Joel yet!!  Good grief, what am I going to do with all these toys?  We may have to add onto the house to make room.

I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas as well.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our Advent Adventure: Day 23

Well our Advent Adventure is winding down...only a couple of days left.  

Here is what we did today.
I know it doesn't sound like much but the boys were super excited.
I knew Glenn's work had 2 very big and very pretty Christmas trees that the boys would love.

Seriously big tree!  This tree was outside of the building.

The ornaments on this tree were twice as big as Benjamin's head...which is saying a lot because the kid has a big head.

This was the tree inside.  I just thought it was gorgeous.

Me and my boys in front of the tree.  
I've given up on Benjamin ever looking at the camera and smiling. I'm pretty much restraining him in this picture because he was determined to run around like a maniac.

Checking the tree out from the second floor.

The boys had a blast at daddy's work.  It's so funny how the simplest things are so enjoyable to young kids.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Benjamin turns 2 and Caleb's Christmas Party/Playdate!

Yesterday Benjamin officially turned 2 years old.  My baby isn't a baby anymore!!  Oh good grief, it goes by so fast.  We had Benjamin's birthday party a couple of weekends ago but I still wanted to recognize his actually birthday with a gift.
We got him some Thomas the Train stuff.  He is really into trains right now.  Doesn't he look so grown up?
Most of you are probably familiar with Benjamin's dramatic arrival into the world but if your not, take a minute to read about his birth.

For our Advent Adventure Activity today, Caleb had a Christmas Party/Playdate with his buddies.
I didn't tell Caleb about it until he opened the door and we read the note.  He was very excited about having his friends over.

The boys ate pizza and I made some Christmas cut-out cookies for them to decorate.  That was a lot of fun...and really messy!  Nathan was my favorite, he took the cookie decorating very seriously.  Caleb just slopped his icing on and devoured it!

I made a special #2 cookies for Benjamin to decorate.

We also did a small gift exchange for the boys. It was really cute seeing them sitting by the tree, ripping open their presents. 

My favorite picture is of all 4 of our boys sitting together in the front yard.  We were trying to recreate a picture we took almost 4 years ago.
It was such a blessing to get our boys together...we don't do it near enough. It's so fun watching them talk to each other and play together.  I know these friendships are going to be a very valuable part of their lives.

Here is the picture we were trying to recreate:
 This was taken before we knew Nathan.  Our boys were about a year and a half here.

All 4 boys together for the very first time!
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