Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ringing in the Christmas Season

Saturday was our school's Christmas Fair. I enjoyed helping, as did my three older girls. Here is Miss Middler posing with Santa and his elves.
Our tradition is to set up our tree and decorate the house the weekend after Thanksgiving. We usually need to get it set up quickly, as we host the staff Christmas party soon after that. There were no complaints; it's one of the kids' favorite things to do. I pulled out the tree skirt and did the yearly hand prints. Sniff. It's actually the last one, I think.
He didn't mind getting his hand painted green nearly so much as he minded getting his baby foot painted baby blue when he was just 3 months old.
I'll keep this forever, even when his hands are bigger than mine. What traditions do you have to prepare for Christmas?

Monday, November 26, 2012


Just wondering if he could make a career of it.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving at our House

We had such a nice thanksgiving. The big boss man (CC) gave us the whole day off. I spent all morning cooking, but I loved it. Here was our Thanksgiving table. I didn't quite have enough real plates, so I let the two little Turks use plastic/segmented ones. They are happy as long as all 4 sections are filled!
 B brought this adorable turkey fresh veggie tray. And Ranch. It's got to have Ranch, you know?
 After a wonderful meal, we played the wii, hung out, played "draw something" wirelessly with the person across the room. Then we ended with dessert and a game of Clue: Secrets and Spies.
 This team won...ace spies, it said.
 And then I requested a time delay photo of everyone who came to our home for Thanksgiving (our family, 2 sweet single gals on staff, and one of our high school seniors). Time delay photos stress me out. Look at my smile, totally fake and stressed.
 We decided to do a silly one, but CC didn't hear us say that while he was clicking the button.
 And then we decided to do a serious pose. But about 10 seconds before this picture, Big Ben decided he wanted to do what his dad was doing. He ran to the camera, looked in the viewfinder, helped click the timer button, dashed back, caught his foot on the rug, busted face-first right in front of the camera, hopped up with a grin on his face, and still (almost) made it into the picture. So, for a few of us, the serious pose was impossible.
I love thanksgiving! How was yours?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What I Am Thankful For...


 My girl, who used to be this little.
 My little boy.
 My oldest daughter.
 My family and husband.
These girls.
I am thankful for these and more. And most of all, I am thankful for God, who gave it all to me. What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cooking Sisters/Brother

Sunday was cold and dreary. After church and our usual lunch with friends, we came home and just stayed put. Twinkle Toes offered to bake with her littlest sister. I thought it was a wonderful idea...time together for the two of them, plus baked goods for our dinner desserts this week. (Yes, that's a missing tooth you see.)

 They chose to make sugar cookies. They didn't take the easy road; I  think sugar cookies are hard to make!
And it was all fun and games, licking the batter and posing for pictures...until....
they invited Big Ben to join. He treated the entire process like play doh playing, was completely covered in flour at one point, and just kept eating the dough.
 But you know what? You only have a chubby little boy for a short time. One of these days, he'll be taller than me, have a deep voice, and most likely still be eating my cookie dough. That thought made the (enormous) clean up job just a little bit easier.

Monday, November 19, 2012

T-Shirt Quilt Making

Years ago my sister-in-law took t-shirts from CC and me (from high school and college days) and put them into a quilt for us. We sleep with it, oh, about 8 months of the year! I have always wanted to do this for my kids, as they have so many cute, memory-filled t-shirts...shirts that Aunt Boo had monogrammed for them, shirts from camp, shirts that say Singapore, tie-dyed shirts made with cousins. So, we started collecting. For whatever reason, I decided to start with Big Ben, the littlest Campbell. I think it perhaps eased my sadness when my little tubby outgrew his baby t-shirts to know I would once again see them in a quilt.

I started with a basic plan of how big. I cut all my strips so I could just keep going once I started.
 And this is what I put together. The strips are red bandana, demim, and a black gingham. There are so many sweet memories associated with this. Superman, Spiderman, and Batman all make an appearance. There's the Stuart plaid pj's, trains, hummers, monster trucks. It all says little boy growing up to me. Unfortunately, the one person who, at first, did not appreciate this, is Big Ben, the one for whom the quilt was made. He wanted his t-shirts back, when he saw them and remembered them. I told them they were too small; he said that I may have shrunk them. ! But then I was able to convince him that instead of tossing them out, he could snuggle up to all his favorites every night. He was happy. I still need to get a nice backing and the batting to finish it.
 At the very last minute, CC brought me an old pair of boxers that he wanted included. Evidently, they are the true original Campbell tartan. Of course they needed to be included. He'll carry the family name, after all.
 And here's one fella that hopes I'll keep pulling out the scraps.
 Day after day.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Missin' Babies

God has really ministered to my spirit this week, especially in light of studying Daniel and Babylon. We are living in a modern day Babylon. One of my earliest school memories is the bulletin board my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. McManus, put up the first week of school. It had a giant lion and said, "Dare to be a Daniel." That is my prayer for my life. I want to be a Daniel. He outlived/outlasted many kings and rulers. Sometimes he was elevated, sometimes not. I am sure he was hated. But he kept doing the right thing day after day. May it be said of me!

And now, why am I missing babies??? My friend Angie posted this picture of her baby girl. I suppose it's the round face, chubby cheeks, toothless grin. It was enough to really make me miss having a baby at home. So, readers, what makes you miss having a baby? And if you do have a baby at home, what are you enjoying the most?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veterans' Day!

My sweet OBU friend Lisa posted this picture of her son.  I had to have it, and she granted me permission. It's beautiful, isn't it? And it speaks some of what is lodged in my heart this week. I just want to say thank you to this man, Mr. Albert Richardson, not only for serving our country and losing his arm in battle, but also for being part of a generation that held a moral line in our country for a very long time. Thank you, older generation, for upholding marriage between man and woman, for staying married, for taking us to church, for reminding us that God made us and gave us our freedoms. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Low Place

This has been a hard week. There are a couple of issues I'm dealing with here that are difficult. Then, Wednesday morning I awoke at 4:30 to watch the results coming in. At that point the candidates were tied. Within an hour or so, right before I headed out to school, the decision was made by the American people.

For some, voting is just an opinion...What do you think? What is most important to you? For me, it is a conviction. I firmly believe that we are held responsible for how we vote and for weighing which issues would be most most important in God's eyes. I realize some would argue that changing America into a more socialized country, so that we can help the poor, is just as crucial as giving a chance at life to an unborn baby. I disagree. (And beyond that, I philosophically do not agree with taxing people to help the poor. It's not charity, then. It creates a dependency over which most in poverty never overcome. By turning this job over to the government, we, as a church, have abdicated our responsibility to care for the poor. It's no longer "giving;" it's just "taking." Aren't we told to give "hilariously" (KJV) as unto the Lord? Taxation isn't hilarious giving. And in addition to that, it is also inefficient.)

And so, I believe, this is a sad day in America. I am generally an optimist, but there is a deep place in my soul that genuinely believes this is a mistake from which we won't bounce back. This is the next step down an inevitable path.

I came on to work, downtrodden. I walked into B's office, and we both burst into tears at the sight of the other, both realizing anew that the America we loved as children is no more. But it occurred to me at that moment how thankful I am that I am not alone. God is always with me, but he's even given me Biblically like-minded friends, even in a foreign country. Where there is a remnant, there is hope.

And the next bright spot in this dark week is that it has forced me deeper into God's Word to find the reminders that He is there. He is in control. He is able. He will judge. He will return. Who God is makes all the difference in this old world.

Thank you for reading my thoughts, eeyore-like as they are. May God be glorified in your little corner of the world, and may He be in mine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day Thoughts

This is what I thought of, in the middle of Sunday night, and posted on my Facebook account. May God be glorified regardless of the outcome of today, but here is what I wrote as to what influenced my voting decision:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Twinkle Toes Turns Twelve Part II

And so the girls did what all 12-year-old girls do at sleepovers. The painted nails. Painted, as in, every fingernail was a different color. I wisely opened the windows prior to the opening of the nail polish remover.
And then everyone curled up and watched "Courageous." This movie has such a positive message about dads taking responsibility before God for their families. Only one of the girls had seen it before.
And speaking of dads taking responsibility, three cheers for CC, who got up and flipped pancakes for a lot of young women! One of the American gals said, "You make HOMEMADE pancakes? These are so good." How else does one make pancakes? I think I have been overseas too long to answer that question.
The party ended at 10AM. We were bushed. Secretly, CC kept saying, "T minus 2 hours and counting." As the guests left, they each got a bottle of nail polish that read, "Thank you for coming to my party and for being my friend." Indeed, we are thankful for friends. And for our beautiful 12-year-old daughter.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Twinkle Toes Turns Twelve

My second daughter turned 12 last week. I woke up the morning of the party with a panic-stricken heart. I know, I know, we talk about how much they've grown, how much they are changing, they aren't so little anymore...but this was a full-blown panic attack. We just got here in Turkey. She was just 3 years old. Wasn't that just yesterday? Little sprouts of pigtails on top of her head....? Sleeping with lamby....? Hiding in the clothes hamper when she couldn't fall asleep at night...? Where did it all go?
Almost every girl in her class got to come over, minus the two traveling. I had to laugh at the mix of girls. The night before the party, one mom called to ensure I would not be serving pork! (No worries there...when I do serve bacon...about once every 2 months, my own family only gets 2 pieces of the ration!) At the party, one gift she opened was baby carrots, string cheese, and bacon! (This was from her friend who has US Base access and sometimes lets Twinkle Toes share her American lunch at school.)

I must say it was pretty wild and crazy. And we haven't even gotten to the sleepover part yet....

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