Monday, December 17, 2012

A little bit of Christmas

Christmas is almost here and I am so excited!!  Christmas truly gets better every year.  I love starting new and keeping old traditions with my growing family.  I love that Brent is getting to the age where I feel like I can really teach him about the true meaning of Christmas.  Here is a little bit of Christmas that has been going on in the Cutrell home...

 The Christmas train is a BIG hit around here.  It's the whole reason Brent rushes to put the Christmas tree up.

This is year 2 of collecting my Willow Tree Nativity Scene.  I get to add to it every year for my Christmas from Brandon.  This year I added the wismen.  I just love this Nativity set.  It is so simple, peaceful, and beautiful. 

I think as part of my "nesting" this pregnancy I am crafting a lot.  I enjoy a good craft but not nearly as many as I have taken on in the last 6 months.  I made these red burlap wreaths for my front door.  I look forward to reusing them for other occasions besides Christmas.  Red is such a good, versatile color.  I'm thinking of turning them into NC State Wreaths at some point ;) 

This is our 2nd year having "Elfie" in our home around Christmas.  Brent has lots and lots of questions about this guy.  Every morning when we find him Owen points, laughs and says, "There's Elfie. He's silly" in the cutest little 2 year old voice.  LOVE IT! 

 We are repeating our 24 books of Christmas again this year.  Each morning the boys unwrap a new Christmas book and we read it.  Over and over again. :)

 We visited Santa at the mall this year.  Brent has asked for a real shooting gun, a real motorcyle, and a my little pony.  Odd combination if you ask me.  I've had to help him with his list a bit.  Owen cared nothing for Santa. He just wanted a candy cane.

This is our kid-friendly "Little People" Nativity set.  I used this for our first Family Home Evening Lesson about Christmas after Thanksgiving.  Brent was so into the story and asked me to tell it to him again the next day.  The day after that he used the characters to tell me the story.  Warmed my heart to hear him telling the story of Jesus' birth.  This is how he likes to set the scene up.  He says that everyone wants to look at baby Jesus.  I think he gets it.


Sunday, December 16, 2012


Brandon and I took Brent to his first ever college sports game last night.  Trust me, I am being modest when I say it was a hit.  We knew that Brent would love all the people, the lights, the music, etc.  We had no idea how much he would be into the game.  Brandon and I made a decision around 4 years ago to disconnect cable TV at our house.  We felt like we didn't really have time for TV ever since Brent was born plus not to mention there are only 2 channels worth watching on all of TV.  Because of this, Brent hasn't really been exposed to college sports.  He knows that Brandon and I are big State fans and he plays along with us but now, he's hooked.

Ever since last night he's been running around the house saying, "Wolfpack in the house!!!" and "This is OUR State!".  It's so cute.  Brandon is such a proud Daddy ;)

 Pre-Game nap.  Post-Game looked the same.

One of the reasons we decided to take him to a game so young is because we had a suite.  One of the many perks of Brandon's job.  Endless food, drinks, private bathroom, space to walk around.  Perfect for taking a young child with lots of energy. 

 Although I have to say, for once in Brent's life, sitting was not a problem.  He went straight to a seat and watched the entire game.  Every time State scored he would jump out of his seat and yell, "Yay! We won!"

Brandon was doing his typical narrative throughout the game and Brent would chime in every once in a while and feed off of what Brandon was saying.  He would repeat it or call out one of the team members names and send them words of encouragement.   

We won!!  Happy Daddy and happy Brent!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Giving Thanks

We started a new Thanksgiving tradition this year.  I have heard a lot of different variations of ways to teach your children to "give thanks" especially around Thanksgiving.  I chose to keep it really simple with a jar and post-it notes.  Starting 10 days before Thanksgiving Brent and Owen would tell me something they are thankful for.  I would write it on the post-it note with an explanation of why they were thankful for this thing, and then they would put it in the jar.  Brent helped Owen with his input by telling him words he knows how to say.  Here are a few of my favorites!

  • Blankie-"Because when you don't have a blankie, you'll be sad because you can't cuddle with it"
  • Clothes-"So we can wear them and not be naked" (so true)
  • Trees-"So the birds have some place to live"
  • Mama-"Because if we don't have a Mama we'd be all alone" (my favorite!)
  • Jesus-"When we don't have Jesus, mean guys come into our house and kill us" (this one seems a little harsh but I think the point is, Jesus protects us :)

As far as Thanksgiving goes, we spent it with Brandon's family.  We enjoyed our time spent with family eating way too much tasty food.  Pretty sure the baby (aka, my stomach) doubled in size over the weekend.  This is the only picture I got of the weekend.  But it's a good one!  We went hunting with Brandon one day.  This was Owen's first time and he had a blast driving the truck and running around in the woods.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Vollmer Farm, Finally!

We have been trying to visit Vollmer Farm ever since they opened this season back in September.  Colds, stomach bugs, rain, soccer games, you name it.  Everything has gotten in the way!  Last weekend when Hurricane Sandy was passing through and life seemed to slow down around us I figured I'd take advantage of only a 30% chance of rain.  So we slipped off to Vollmer Farm and had a BLAST. 

Here are the highlights:

 "Hay Ride" on the way to the fun stuff

 Owen's fav part: BY FAR the animals

 Lots and lost of corn! Yes, he did try to eat it.  We also caught him drinking out of the rabbits water bottle.  So gross!

The underground slide was one of Brent's favs.  The rougher the better! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


In preparation for Baby #3, we moved Owen into Brent's room last week.  The original plan was to transition him into a toddler bed first in his own room and then bunk him with Brent.  We are down to 5 months and counting until Baby #3 gets here and I really don't feel that Owen is ready to get out of the crib yet.  So, per our pediatrician's suggestion we moved the crib into Brent's room.  And that is why they get paid the big bucks. 

I can not BELIEVE how smoothe this transition has been.  I was totally prepared to have to go into their room 20 times before they fell asleep and find Brent in Owen's crib.  Nope. Not one peep.  Both asleep in minutes.  I was in shock.  I actually said to Brandon, "there is no way it was just that easy".  So they have been roomies for about a week now and it's like they've always shared a room.  The only downside is, Brent's room has these really high ceilings with a huge arch window that isn't covered so Owen gets up when the sun comes up.  I am currently working on something to solve this problem.

So, I may have snuck into their room after they fell asleep just to take a picture.  So sweet!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Perfectly Fall Day

I realize it has been fall for a couple weeks already but today just felt like a perfectly fall day!  The sun was shining, temps in the 60s.  Perfect for long pants and longsleeves.  My Fav!  I'm not much for carving pumpkins right now seeing as I would have to do all the work.  The tracing, the cutting, the digging of the seeds (Brent refuses), etc.  So we picked out these adorable little guys to decorate our pumpkins with.  They are perfect for small kids.  No knives, no mess.  Yay for fall and all it's accessories!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Baby Boy!!

We knew this day was coming.  The signs started a couple months ago.  Shouting the word "NO" as a response to every question asked.  Tantrums at home. Tantrums at church. Tantrums at stores.  Tantrums everywhere over everything.  Less interested in eating and more interested in playing (haha, right.)  Who am I kidding, that will never happen to Owen. But the rest are true.  I make it sound really miserable to be the mother of a toddler.  Actually, it's awesome.  I love this little kid so much and he brings endless amounts of joy and laughter to our family.  Really, he is a trip.

My favorite things about Owen?  I love that Owen is going to grow up and be some sort of musician, dancer, musical artist of some sort some day.  All you have to do is put on some music, clap your hands, or even just tap out a beat and this kid literally drops whatever he's doing, and DANCES.  And if he knows the song, he sings along.  It is the most entertaining thing I have ever seen a little kid do (I know, I am WAY partial.) 

I love that Owen is such a "loner".  And I mean this in a totally good way.  He does not want to be the center of attention (which is a very good thing with Brent as his older brother).  He would much rather go off in a corner or another room and quietly play.  EVERY mother needs a child like this.  It is WONDERFUL!  Self-entertaining is a talent and a blessing.

My most favorite thing of all??  Owen is sweet and cuddly and fluffy and a Momma's Boy.  I never feel deprived of affection when this little guy is around.  I hope and pray that he never outgrows this (good luck, I know).

So Happy 2nd Birthday to a special little boy! I can't wait to see you continue to learn and grow!

 Happy Birthday Breakfast Favorite for Owen.  Candles in a donut.  And Owen ate the most out of everyone at the table...3 donuts.

 This was Owen's gift from us.  A BIG hit for both boys if I might say so myself.

 The Birthday Lunch Spread. 

 Little Miss Scarlett :)

 Owen tasting one of his new toys.  He still puts EVERYTHING in his mouth.  It's embarrassing the things this child has eaten.

 Do you see me stiff-arming Brent?  As I mentioned earlier, one of my children (ah-hum, Brent!) has a need of being in the middle of everything and today was a struggle for him.  Gift opening time consisted of me dragging Owen out of the playroom every couple of minutes (where he was alone) and pushing Brent away so Owen could open his own presents.

This is where I turn into a crappy Mom because my camera died and this is the last picture I got.  We were getting ready to do cake time.  However, I do LOVE this picture because the expression on Owen's face combined with the fact that he has my dad in some sort of collar grip is just hilarious to me!  I wonder what is going on in his mind.  Something along the lines of, "Ok old man, bring me my cake!".  Love this kid!!!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

4 Going on 14

Dear Brent,

       Yesterday was your birthday and you turned 4.  Now, usually I would say, "I can't believe you're 4 already!" But honestly, I have felt like you were 4 for a while now.  You are so grown up in the way you talk and how sweet you are with Owen.  Don't get me wrong.  You are still the typical out-of-control, ball of energy, little boy you've always been.  You just seem so mature with your deep questions and intellectual conversations.  I love this about you.  Although exhausting at times (why Mommy?), you are always eager to learn and absorb everything like a sponge.
      By far, my most favorite character trait you have right now is being a good big brother.  You aren't perfect, but have come such a long way.  I love how you are so encouraging to Owen and constantly call him "buddy".  "It's ok buddy"  "You're doing good buddy".  LOVE it!!
      You are still tough as nails but recently we have been able to see a different, more sensitive side of you.  It has been nice to see you this way (even if it doesn't stick).  It's so much fun to watch you explore your talents and try new things.  You love to run!, swim, and play any kind of sport.  You are just starting to sight read some and are picking it up so fast!  It is such a joy to teach you and watch you get excited about learning new things.
     We love you so much and feel so blessed that we are your parents!!

                                                                                                                 Love,  Mommy

     We gave Brent the option this year of having a birthday party at home with friends or going to the waterpark with family.  He chose to go to the waterpark "Wet N' Wild" in Greensboro.  We had a BLAST!  I'm pretty sure we will go back every year.  My mom, sister, Brandon's sister, and her girls came with us.  We also had another family from church meet us out there.

For those of you who don't know, Brandon has a HUGE mouth.  This is the one physical trait Owen took from him.  Kara bet him he couldn't fit the whole cupcake in his mouth...and he did.

They have a perfect little kiddy area.

Lazy River


Brent and Kara

This is one 4-year old who actually gets excited about new clothes and shoes.  He definitely has his own style and I pretty much am not allowed to have an opinion on the matter anymore.

Brandon has done an excellent job brainwashing encouraging Brent to become an NC State fanatic.  The color "red" is no longer "red".  It is "NC State red".

His present from us this year was a big boy basketball goal.  The first words out of his mouth when he saw it, "Wow! That really is a BIG basketball goal!"  He has been outside playing basketball pretty much ever since.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beach Week

Last week was our "Cutrell Family Vacation".  We went to Kill Devil Hills and stayed in a house on the Beach with all of Brandon's family.  We spent our time...

Playing with cousins...

Swimming in the pool...

Soaking up the sun...

Visiting the Grave Digger Monster Truck Store...

...and the Museum

Lots of hours on the beach...

Relaxing in the hot tub...

and taking much needed naps :)

Owen's favorite part was the hot tub.  He thought it was a huge bath tub with endless bubbles.  Brent's favorite part was the pool where he learned to swim from one end to the other.  I enjoyed spending 7 straight days with my family.  Brandon looked forward to down time catching up on the Olympics and other sports (we don't have TV at our house right now).  It was a great week and we always look forward to it every year!

Here is a video of Brent swimming.  He didn't quite make it all the way this time but by the end of the week he was able to swim all the way across.  I'm so glad he is learning to swim this summer!  It makes me feel a lot more comfortable around water.