Friday, October 31, 2008

Goin' Buggy

I had a lot of fun making Halloween costumes again this year. The best part was, I only had to buy elastic, wings for Maddie, and antennae for Gwyn and Lana. I think the total cost was about $12. The kids were tickled pink with their costumes.

IMG_9988 EMGL bugs

I made Everett's spider costume from Cary's Master's grad gown. This wasn't an original idea--my creative mother did the same thing for my brother Jim when he was little. I decided to make Gwyn's ladybug outfit like a poncho when I found two precut red circles in my stash. These photos were taken at the Trunk or Treat at church.

IMG_0026 Ev spider IMG_0036 G ladybug

Maddie butterfly and Lana bee:

IMG_0024 M butterfly IMG_0038 L bee

To complete the family theme, Cary and I were bug catchers.

I love letting the children have fun trick-or-treating, but I really don't like ANY of the spooky stuff associated with it. Being so caught up in our own Campbell family brand of fun, Cary and I didn't really anticipate the scary things the kids would encounter on the two streets we walked yesterday. I was a little bit at a loss as to what to say to four innocent little children about the green man with needles sticking all overIMG_0030 Lana bee his head, or the army lady with the grotesque mask. They don't completely grasp what is real and what is not yet. I guess if I would have been on my toes, I would have asked the woman to remove her mask so that the girls could see the face underneath. I know that I can't isolate my children, and that I need to educate them, but if I was wearing a scary mask and saw little ones coming, I would rip it off before they even saw me. (I wouldn't wear one in the first place.)

All in all, we had a great time. When I went to kiss Everett goodnight, he told me he was scared--of monsters in the dark and of having bad dreams. I reassured him and told him that if he was scared, he could pray. As I walked back downstairs, I could hear him praying. What a sweet boy.

Here are some more photos from our neighborhood trick-or-treat night.


This one was in our neighbor's living room. (Lana did not want to be in the picture.)


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nobody loves you...

I am the firstborn in my family, and was also the first grandchild on my mom's side of the family. Mom told me that shortly after she brought me home from the hospital, she took me over to my great-grandparents' house, where my grandparents, great-granparents, and mother all huddled around me ooh-ing and aah-ing and gawking at me. My Pap-pap said to me: "You poor thing. Nobody loves you!"

This scene, though I certainly only remember it from my mother's accounts, was brought to mind this Sunday. We were sitting at church, waiting for the meeting start when my dad came and sat down. One by one, the girls noticed his presence, gave him a sweet hug, and sat on his lap or as close as they could get. They remained there for quite a while, occasionally jockeying for position.

I turned to my dad and said: "Poor grandpa. Nobody loves you."

We have the privilege of sitting with my parents at church nearly every Sunday, and there is a lot of love in our row.

I tried to sneak a picture with Cary's cell phone, but was just a little late. They had finally started to disperse. At least this gives some idea.

1026081021 LGM grandpa

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The 'do

Here's my new 'do.

DSC01448 new do


           And my pumpkin.

         DSC01442 Mandy pumpkin

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm NOT ready for this

but it seems that my girls are. They have not been napping. Instead, Maddie and Gwyn have decided that taking the sheets off their bed is a fun and important thing to do. Once they accomplish that feat, they start on their clothing, including diapers. When I tell them not to do it any more, they very sweetly say "Okay Mama" and then do it again the next day. Lana is in a seperate room, and perfected the clothing and diaper removal long ago. She is past that and on to just staying awake and sometimes crying.

I remember when Everett was at this stage. We kept a small bookshelf in his room so that he would have something to do quietly when he wasn't sleeping, but had to remove it because he started tearing pages. We also had one poo incident involving walls, carpet, and one carefully "painted" board book. Thankfully this was not repeated! I remember that one of his favorite activities was completely taking his bed apart (sheets, mattress cover, and mattress all on the floor) and "surfing" on his bed. I finally gave in and decided that this would be his special time with me.

Well, he has been a good helper and little friend during those couple of hours for a long time now. I don't want to give up that time each day! I think that I will keep taping diapers and put some quiet toys in the girls' room and hope for some "quiet time" each day, but I can see that my break time is coming to a close.

[Cue sad music]

PS--I finally got my summer haircut today! I will post pictures after I style it for myself. Beauticians never do it quite the way I would.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A big day for Everett!

Today was Everett's first day of preschool. I waited too long to sign him up, so he was on a waiting list, but I'm happy with this start date. Before he could go to this preschool, he had a developmental screening. I had a hard time not beaming a couple of times during the screening. At one point he was asked to tell what a banana was. Everett replied, "It's a curve, like a crescent moon"... I was also happy to see him do his very first drawing of a person. I wish I could have kept it. I had thought it a bit strange that he had never before attempted to draw a person, but his first try was great. I'll try to get him to do it again so I can post a picture here.

Here's our little guy waiting outside the school:

DSC01427 first day

There are eight children in his class, and it looks like a fun place to be. My only concern was that all of the other children seemed to be at least a year younger than him. He's a big kid, but he looked really big compared to everyone else. I'm happy that he will have this opportunity, and I'm sure he'll learn some things. I think the main benefit will be the chance to interact with other children his age (or a little younger) and develop some better social skills.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Family Night

Since I have been slacking on keeping the digital camera charged and accessible, we took photos of the last two family nights with my cell phone.  It's always handy!

Last week we decorated pumpkins.  Here are our cheesy faces:

EverettMaddieCaryGwyn (& Lana) 

I was busy helping everyone else, so my pumpkin isn't decorated yet.  (We've made a tradition of having one for each of us.)  Lana happily decorated her pumpkin, then pulled everything off of it.  She was too absorbed to have her picture taken.  I have my phone set to say "Say cheese" before it takes a picture.  Maybe I should change it...


This week, we went to my parents house to rake leaves.  The kids had a blast!  Last year the girls weren't too sure about it, but this year they just jumped right in.

1020081820a ELGM1020081820b GLM









1020081826a EMLWe each got a turn being buried in the pile.

The kids loved that part, and were quite happy to bury me.  They got into that job with gusto!





1020081849 MLEG

After we had loaded and dumped the last wheelbarrow full, Cary gave the kids a ride to the van.

Maddie and Everett are in back, Lana and Gwyn in front.

We love family night!  And I love fall.  I have always loved it--the beauty of the turning leaves, the nice temperatures, the thought of happy holidays to come--but it also brings back a lot of happy memories from when Cary and I were dating.  I really enjoyed watching the children having so much fun today.  We're making some happy memories for them too.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Several times, I have thought about buying an inexpensive slide for the children. I have even looked on craigslist, but never found what I was looking for. In the absence of a "real" slide, the kids have come up with their own fun (and free) ways to slide.

The Everett Slide

DSC01363 Everett slide DSC01364 Everett slide

The Dada Slide

DSC01418 Dada slide GLM

Cary, (Gwyn), Lana, Maddie

DSC01419 Dada slide GLEM

Gwyn, Lana, Cary, Everett, (Maddie)

I love Gwyn's little curl in front!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall Projects

We were told to expect the first frost tonight, so today the kids and I did some harvesting.  We picked two bags of peppers, some broccoli, tomatoes (green and red and in-between), and swiss chard.   The girls were eager to help, and enjoyed sampling as we went--especially the tomatoes!

I am happy to have little helpers.  We have started a bit of a chore system around here.  The girls set the table for lunch and dinner.  Everett unloads the silverware from the dishwasher and helps with lots of other things throughout the day.  We're starting small, but we're starting!  Gwyn really loves to help me with the cooking, and today Maddie was my best garden helper.  Here she is with the main stalk of a broccoli plant.  I broke off most of the branches so she could carry it to the compost pile):

DSC01422 M broccoli

The last (and first) time we had a garden, I cut the first heads of broccoli, and then let it go to flower thinking that the little florets produced afterwards wouldn't be worth it.  This time I cut the broccoli faithfully throughout the season, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that between our four plants, we had enough for at least one meal per week all summer long.  They grew to be like little trees, with a trunk nearly as thick as my fist.  Definitely worth it!

This year I also made my first forays into preserving what we grew.  I learned by trial and error, but that is for another post.  I am proud of my stocked shelves and freezer.


I posted a photo long ago of our torn-up porch.  The remodeling project has been progressing slowly and is finally starting to look really nice.  Unfortunately, just as I was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I discovered two boards that had been eaten by insects--probably termites.  Needless to say, I was UPSET, and a bit discouraged.  I really hope that the damage is minimal, and can be taken care of without ripping up the porch that I have put so much time and effort into.  I hate to even think of the hours I have spent out there.

This week I have spent some time on my roof, painting window frames just outside of the room where the children were playing.  They were a little bit concerned at first, but I reassured them that I was being very careful.  Let's see... 8 windows down, 10 to go.  I'm averaging 1-2 per day, but the weather is getting a little cold for painting.

DSC01430 DSC01435


So what are your fall projects?

Sunday, October 12, 2008


We've had a visit, we've been sick, and now we're trying to recuperate from a nasty computer virus. I'm also trying to get as much done as I can outdoors before the weather gets bad. (I'm mostly working during naptime, but I have also resorted to painting in the dark. I just don't think these kids are ready for paint yet.)

I'll do a real post soon--I promise!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Young Stalwarts

4 children + 4 shots + 4 blood draws = no tears!

Yesterday we took the kids in to get flu shots and their Hemoglobin levels tested. I had told them in advance that they would be getting a shot, and that it would hurt a little bit, but that it would help them to stay healthy. Everett was a little apprehensive, but when the time came, everyone did great! There wasn't a single fuss. Cary and I were in awe.

Here are their stats:

birth weight: 9 lbs.
now 4 yrs. 11 months old
50.5 lbs. 94th percentile
44.5" 83rd percentile

birth weight: 3 lbs. 9 oz.
now 2 yrs. 7 months old
26.5 lbs. 20th percentile
32.5" under 3rd percentile

birth weight: 4 lb.s 4 oz.
now 2 yrs. 7 months old
31.5 lbs. 75th percentile
35.25" 27th percentile

birth weight: 4 lbs. 8 oz.
now 2 yrs. 7 months old
32 lbs. 79th percentile
35.5" 33rd percentile

According to their weight/height ratio, even Lana is "at risk for becoming overweight". HAHAhahaha

Our pediatrician's office normally does a finger prick test for the Hemoglobin, but this time they sent us across the street to a lab to get it done. When our turn came, I was a bit shocked when the tech pulled out the equipment necessary for a blood draw. I realize now that I probably could have insisted on the finger prick, but at the time I was somewhat flustered and just trying to make it as stress-free for the children as possible, given the situation. Once again, they were all little troopers. They were a little apprehensive, but didn't make a fuss.

I hated to see them going through it. I held each one on my lap as it was done. Afterwards, Cary and I decided that our brave little children deserved a special treat, so we took them to Wendy's and had a frosty for dessert. It actually turned out to be a really pleasant morning (except watching the kids get poked), because we were all together and happy.