Saturday, December 29, 2007

Death of a Christmas tradition

Christmas was different for me this year, but it was good. It's always wonderful. It's definitely my favorite holiday, and a long standing favorite day out of the whole year. I've been thinking about what makes this day so special for my family, aside from the pat Bible answer, "It's Jesus' birthday." I think it's because I'm a person who loves traditions. I take delight in doing things over and over again every year - things I can come to count on and look forward to. My family doesn't have a whole lot of traditions that I've been able to anticipate over the years...except for Christmas. Christmas has always been the same, it's always been a happy time, and it's always held great traditions. This year was just as fabulous...except for the end of one of our family's Christmas traditions...
The breakdown of our Christmas goes like this: dinner at Nandy's house on Christmas Eve with all of my dad's side of the family, then opening presents over there, and sitting around talking and loving on each other :) Christmas morning, having a Christmas breakfast of big, fat cinnamon rolls at my parents' house, then opening presents there, and playing a combo of Christmas music and any CDs anyone got in their stockings while using, trying on, or playing with our new stuff. Then we all pack up and head to Dallas to have Christmas lunch and spend the rest of the day with my mom's side of the family, including her parents, my three aunts/uncles, my four cousins, and their families. The "adults" sit at one table and the "kids" sit at another, and we always have the same basic assortment of foods: ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, some kind of slightly congealed fruit jello thing, green beans, rolls and pecan pie. We open presents after lunch, and then we play all kinds of board games: Spinner, Chicken, Trivial Pursuit, Uno, etc. Sometimes after this, a bunch of us go back into Granny and Grandpa's room and get out the old family videos and watch them on their little TV. And finally...the Christmas tradition that came to an end this year: the Adult vs. Kids Kickball Game. My Granny's front yard is small, and the kickball we always used was actually a small, thin rubber ball (like the ones you begged for in the grocery store as a kid - NOT an actual kickball). When we were little, the adult men (my dad and two uncles) along with the adult women (my mom and her two sisters) played against the six cousins. My dad and uncles would kick our tails by kicking the ball all the way into the yards of neighbors 3-4 houses down. By the time we reached the ball and threw it back it, they'd ran all the way around the bases. We cousins tried our best to keep up, but always lost, up until I (the oldest cousin) turned about seventeen. The rest of the cousins were 16, 15, 14, 12, and 8 at that time, and the boys were old enough to kick the ball several houses down just like their dads. We finally won a game that year and were more ecstatic about that win than all of our Christmas presents put together. We played a few more years, and husbands and wives of the cousins entered the game. And then this year, Bennett, the first (and only, so far) of the fourth generation, joined the scene. The kids are adults themselves now. So as you can probably guess, our annual kickball game did not take place. Nobody brought a change of shoes and clothes, and the kickball was flat. Bennett had to be taken care of, and none of the "kids" brought up the idea of playing. So there's the death of my family's Christmas tradition.
It made me wonder how many other traditions will die out as our family dynamics continue to change. It also made me want to start new traditions for my own family - for Bennett, for the next generation. Here are some things I'd like to do with my own family that I've never done before: sing Christmas songs, read the story of the birth of Jesus on Christmas day, drink eggnog, watch a specific Christmas movie every year (maybe on Christmas Eve), getting a new ornament for Bennett every year that holds significance or is symbolic. So next year, before Christmas rolls around, I'm going to map out a plan for starting new traditions to replace the old ones :) Hopefully that way I won't be quite so sad the next time I experience the death of a Christmas tradition.
I'd really like to know what special and unique Christmas traditions you guys have with your families (but don't share if you don't want to risk the possibility of me stealing your ideas for my own family).

**Christmas pictures coming soon!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Ode to Mimi

Today is my mom's 50th birthday. So here's 50 things I love and appreciate about her, in no particular order.

1. She's a wonderful Mimi to Bennett.
2. She taught me about God and nurtured my faith growing up.
3. She took me and Joe to church all by herself for years before my dad started going again.
4. She has NEVER raised her voice at me, snapped at me, or been sarcastic or harsh with me. Not once the whole time I was growing up, which I honestly believe to be something just short of a miracle considering what a pain I was.
5. She's been faithful and submissive to my dad, even in tough times.
6. She NEVER complained about her job as a mom and all the stuff she did for us.
7. She never made me feel silly or juvenile, even when I was :)
8. She let me learn from experience and subtle guidance, rather than clubbing me over the head with advice I didn't want or ask for. I learned SO much more this way.
9. She instilled in me my love for music and the arts by playing piano and drawing/painting all
through my childhood.
10.She totally gets my ridiculous, weird sense of humor and I get hers too - which means we have each other to laugh at really dumb stuff with.
11.She takes REALLY good care of herself physically, which has also been a good example.
12.She's a great daughter. She has always honored her parents and goes out of her way for them now that they're older.
13.She has always been my absolute biggest fan.
14.She's an AMAZING listener, which is great since I've talked too much since I was around 3.
15.She was an AMAZING teacher (before she retired). She was constantly getting stopped in public places by old or current students that just had to get a hug from Mrs. Driggers. She literally became a legend at FWC and students would still come back from middle school and high school to visit their 5th grade teacher.
16.Her patience seems to never end.
17.She's really good at decorating.
18.She has amazing willpower: instead of going on meds for her cholesterol, she read a book on
naturally controlling it and literally eats NO fats, sugars, etc. She's pretty much a super-healthy vegetarian now, and it totally regulated her cholesterol without meds. She's been doing this for almost a year now.
19.She volunteered and really wanted to watch Benito for me while I work at YCW 2 days a week.
20.She gives, gives, gives to people all the time. She gives her time, her money, her energy, etc.
21.She's a wonderful daughter-in-law. She's attentive and really cares about my dad's family.
22.She decorates festively for all the holidays, which is fun for everyone who comes to visit.
23.She loves and accepts and treats Michael like he were her own son.
24.I know she'll be there for me no matter what I go through, what choices I make, or what happens to me.
25.She's really smart but doesn't flaunt it.
26.She's ridiculously good at math.
27.She's content serving and being a part of God's church behind the scenes. She doesn't need
recognition for what she does.
28.She's a good, loyal friend.
29.She takes care of Joe and is SO patient and loving with him,
30.She's humble.
31.She's a good cook.
32.She spends her money wisely (good example to me).
33.She doesn't sweat the small stuff.
34.Great taste in music.
35.She's crazy - in a good way :)
36.She takes good care of my dad.
37.She's so good at being a wife, my dad still tells her he scratches his head about how he got her to marry him.
38.She's really good at Christmas shopping and making gifts personal.
39.She watches football with my dad all day long, just to be with him.
40.She has pretty eyes and pretty hair and was nice enough to give them to me.
41.She doesn't take herself too seriously.
42.She's not materialistic.
43.She's comfortable in own her skin - always has been.
44.She always took care of our pets growing up, even though we were supposed to. Maybe she
shouldn't have, but the alternative was a starving dog which isn't really fair to the dog.
45.In college she always sent me totally awesome care packages for finals week, birthdays, etc.
46.She's the master of finding insanely hilarious and creepy cards for all occasions.
47.She doesn't get stressed - or if she does, I don't know about it.
48.She's beautiful.
49.She buys cool stuff for Bennett.
50.She gives great advice when I ask for it.

I LOVE YOU MAW!! Happy Birthday! 50 years of the world being blessed by you.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Benito at one year

Okay, I've been asked by a few people now about my Benito's growth, development, etc., so here it is:

Verbal -- Bennett talks ALL the time. He tells me things, asks questions, makes observations, etc. Unfortunately, I only understand him when he uses the words I recognize! Here are the words I've officially recognized that I know he understands, that are pronounced pretty well, and are used in proper context: bye, hi, duck, dog, outside, what's that?, there, up, close door, ball, socks, hungry, Elmo, Joseph (his uncle - yes, of all names he chose the most difficult of all to say first!). He's not saying dad or mom yet :( but I'm hopeful and can't wait till he does!
--He mimicks words and sounds he hears other people make.
--He also makes animal noises: duck (he also quacks at penguins, grackles, and a few other birds), cow, and lion/tiger. He has a DVD he loves to watch (Baby Praise) and he starts quacking right before the ducks come on the screen. It's pretty cute.

Physical -- He started walking on his first birthday, which was pretty special. He doesn't walk all the time, but numerous times a day will take anywhere from 5-10 steps. He seems to only do it when necessary, like when he wants something up high or at his eye level. He got a ride and walk lion (Fisher Price) for his birthday that he LOVES, and he walks all over the house with it. --He also dances to his favorite songs.
--Over the past month he's started cuddling with me during his Praise Baby DVDs for about 15-20 min., which is WONDERFUL because he's not really a cuddler by nature. So I get my daily fix :) This happens during his "witching" hour, usually around 4-5pm when he's kinda cranky.
--Things he really enjoys doing these days: going for walks in the stroller, taking baths and playing with his toys in the bathtub, reading books, opening and closing cabinets, doors and drawers, going to the park, playing with his toys, playing with Sophie and Dolly (his dogs), and playing with his little friends during play dates.

Learning -- Bennett has books that are his favorites and has favorite pages within those books. --As I said before, he's fascinated by animal sounds, so we get out his Noah's Ark and go through the animals a lot. For Christmas he's getting one of those wheel-spinny things that makes the animal noises, and also a Fridge Farm, so he'll definitely be set!
--I was really surprised when I started a new game with Bennett. I got three cups and placed an object under one of the cups. I moved and scrambled the cups and Bennett still knew where the object was EVERY time! This is supposed to take kids a while to get the hang of, so I was pretty proud that he caught on right away.
--He's also started trying to put things together rather than just take them apart and knock them down (i.e. he likes to put the cap back on water bottles for me and nests his stacking cups he just got for his birthday from Grandma).
--We're also working on getting rid of his bottle once and for all and drinking our milk in a sippy cup like a big boy :)

Fun stuff -- Bennett loves to take his socks off. One time when I came in to get him from his nap, he'd taken off his socks AND his pants and thrown both onto the floor.
--He also loves to press the buttons on the TV, but gets in trouble for it. When he's doing something he knows he's not supposed to, I can almost hear him thinking and weighing his options - whether or not it's worth a swat.
--Bennett loves to help load the dishwasher, to throw clothes in the dryer, and take his diapers out of the diaper drawer and talk about the Sesame Street characters on them, and then put them back in the drawer again.
--He can't stand wearing hats or shoes either, so I wait until the last minute to put on either one.
--He also loves "escaping" when he's still naked after a bath. He crawls SO fast, which is hilarious because he has a total ghetto booty (I should print this off and use it as blackmail when he grows up).
--When we go on play dates Bennett almost always smacks the other kids he's playing with on the head. I don't think it's an "I don't like you" kind of thing. It seems like he's excited or wants to play with them but doesn't really know how.
--He got his first haircut today. I pretty much just cut off a bunch of his curls because it was starting to look like a mullet and people were mistaking him for a girl all the time.
--Last thing: Bennett will beg food off of ANYbody ANYtime, even if he's just eaten and there's no way he's hungry. He makes the funniest begging sounds. It's cute now, but I know sometime soon I'm going to have to nip it in the bud.

Okay, so that should do it for a while. My Benito in a nutshell.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Penguin Party

Bennett had a great party with his friends and family. We did a penguin theme. I decided on that after I saw some really cute invitations at Target. For months after Bennett was born I called him my fat little bird (hence his being a rooster for Halloween), and I thought since after a year old he's technically a toddler and moving on from bird-hood, I'd do one more "fat little bird"-type thing. I also thought it made sense doing penguins being the Christmas season and all :) So anyway, we ordered a penguin cake from Texas Star Bakery (if you've never had one of their cakes, you should definitely try it). It's where we had our wedding and groom's cake done. They can make pretty much anything you want them to and it's absolutely delicious.
Now I'm not ordinarily a naturally creative person, but I felt pretty good about the way our little shindig came together. We had balloons and cake and a little Christmas tree with snowflakes. We also had Bennett's one year pictures out that he'd had made the day before (I also highly recommend the Picture People at NE Mall. They have great props, their prices are good, and you get your pictures back like 15 min. later).
Bennett's great-Nandy was there and great uncle and aunt and several little friends, along with my best friends from college, LB and Molly. We ate cake (Bennett made a decent mess with his smash cake), opened presents, and played with a ridiculous amount of toys. He got the COOLEST present EVER from his great Granny and Grandpa - a soft, realistic looking spring horse that talks and sings! Bennett LOVES this thing! He begs me to make him sing his "giddy-up" song and then bounces along. This horse is going to last him till he's 4-5 years old (or until he loses interest - whichever comes first). Granny Grandpa admitted they got a little carried away but he's their first great-grandchild and they said every boy should have a spring horse :)
So anyway, the party was great, and surprisingly stress-free (I don't really enjoy hosting parties and get-togethers - it typically stresses me out - I'd much rather help somebody else host at their house). It ran so smoothly. So thanks to all of you who went and for all of you reading who don't really care about all this but are keeping in touch with what's going on with the Campbells :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

kick in the pants

Okay, so I'm totally kicking myself in the pants. For those of you who don't know, I chose the title of this blog cause music is one of my serious passions in life. I love it. I love to listen to it, perform it, compose it, record name it and I like doing it. For the past few years, certain aspects of my music have faded or been placed on a back burner, but I've recently begun writing/composing and recording again for several different reasons and I'm LOVING it. It's like part of me has come to life again. So here's where I'm kicking myself...I play the guitar and a tiny bit of piano, but I played the flute for years and years a long time ago and was actually very good, and I had this AMAZING flute. I mean we're talking kick-butt top of the line kinda thing. It was a Miyazawa (Mee-yah-zah-wah - not that you care), which is a hand made flute from Japan. They're gorgeous with BEAUTIFUL tone quality and they're about $2000+ a pop. My dad bought it for me in high school because at the time we thought I would possibly make the title "flute player" my profession for maybe that was a ridiculous notion, but I sure did love playing. Then life moved on, the flute got stuck in the closet on a top shelf, and eventually as Michael and I were making wedding plans, we needed/wanted some cash, so what did I do? That's right. I SOLD my Miyazawa!! For about half of what it was worth. I can't even remember what we even used the money for.

Oh, Miyazawa...let me count the ways!

Fast-forward to now. Of COURSE I have this crazy itch to play my flute again now and to possibly add some background flute tracks to the recordings I'm working on. So I've been hopping on eBay every couple of days looking at all sorts of flutes (but mainly one just like I had before), knowing I can't REALLY buy one because Michael would permanently maim me. So instead I sigh and I do some numbers on paper and come to the conclusion that I can save up and buy a Miyazawa sometime in the in about 5 years. Yikes.
So the lesson to be learned here is that we are stupid and impulsive when we are young and that we don't realize the important or valuable things until they're long gone (if this doesn't describe your pubescent years, it certainly describes mine). If there's another thing I've learned, it's that I (unfortunately) learn by making big, fat mistakes. Some mistakes hurt a LOT worse than others. But for now, I'll keep day-dreaming and pining away for my little Miyazawa. *sigh*

Up and coming blogs:
1. Bennett's birthday party and pictures
2. Ode to Mimi
3. Bennett's development updates
4. Posting my recorded songs for your listening pleasure (as soon as I can figure out HOW)
5. Let's clean house
6. Death of a Christmas Tradition

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy Birthday, Bennett!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BENNETT!! I'm so proud to be your mommy and I praise God for you!

I went to work today so Michael took off work to spend this special day with our little boy. Apparently Bennett's diet subsisted of cheerios, carrots and burritos....why am I not surprised? :) Michael took lots of pictures and the two of them dressed up in their matching Ohio State football jerseys (Michael is a HUGE Buckeyes fan). When I first saw the two of them after work, I died laughing. They were just SO cute!
We're not doing a whole lot today for Bennett's birthday because he's having his party on Saturday (from which there will be more pictures and news to follow, I'm sure), but he'll get to open a couple of presents :)
The COOLEST thing about today (aside from the fact that a year ago today I became a mommy and the world was blessed with such a sweet baby boy) is that Bennett officially started WALKING!! He was taking steps and standing up independently, but he took off today for his daddy and walks all the way across the room now! It's so special that it happened on his special day! I just couldn't be prouder - I'm certain if I were wearing something with buttons, they'd all be popping off :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007


All right all you mothers out there...I need some advice. ESPECIALLY if you happen to be a mother of a strong-willed child. Because as it turns out, my child is becoming more assertive and strong-willed by the minute.
When Bennett wants something and I tell him "no," sometimes he smiles at me or stares at me with a knowing look, then turns around and does what he wants anyway. He gets a swat when this happens. This was pretty standard for a while, but now it's getting to where he throws mini tantrums (throwing his head back and crying or screaming) when he doesn't get what he wants right away, like going outside. He's gotten to where he whines a lot when he's not instantly gratified, too. I would say this is just a phase and he'll grow out of it, but it's been a few weeks and it persists, so my question to all of you expert, veteran mommies is, "What do I do?" Do I give him swats for whining or fit throwing? Do I ignore it? Do I put him in his bed? Some of all of it? I'd REALLY like to know what you guys have done and what has worked well in your families. I didn't realize that the older your child gets, the more complicated things get discipline wise (naive, I know). This stuff may seem like no big deal, but my fear is that he'll be two or three years old before I know it and become a child who doesn't obey or is disrespectful because I didn't begin implementing basic discipline standards at an early age. As a Kindergarten teacher, I prided myself on my consistency and high standards in classroom management and discipline, but when it comes to my own one year old, I feel uncertain. I've always been a "trust my instincts" kind of gal, but I'm finding my instincts are falling short this time around! Input would be greatly appreciated.
Oh, and if you have any suggestions for good books to read on the subject, I'd love that, too.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

God breathed

I've been keeping a little book/mini-journal of scriptures that pertain to my current experiences, struggles, and delights in life so that I can work on memorizing them and applying them to situations where I find I need a sword. It's small enough that I can carry it around with me and add to it when I come across new ones at church or bible study or in my own personal study. I thought I'd share because I've struggled for years with a good system for committing scripture to memory and I never seemed to have the right scripture for the right time when I needed it. This is working out really well for me and God is using it to richly bless me. I thought I'd share a few more scriptures I've recently written down that have served to lift up my head, give me courage, convict me, or bring me comfort...hope some of you can use them.

"So humble yourselves under the might power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you."
-1 Peter 5:6-7

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not destroy you."
-Isaiah 43:1-2

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them."
-Romans 8:28

"So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for He will never fail you."
-1 Peter 4:19

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.'"
-Jeremiah 29:11-13

"Don't be afraid, for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!"
-Daniel 10:19

Gobble Gobble

More thankfulness:

16. loyal friends

17. Holy Spirit to guide, give peace and wisdom, protect, and seal my salvation

18. beautiful music

19. disposable diapers

20. white hot chocolate at Star Bucks

21. falling leaves (as long as I don't have to rake them)

22. having the freedom to own, read, and share a Bible

23. my job

24. having a reliable car

25. taste buds

26. my Nandy's cooking on Thanksgiving

27. good sales in the stores since Christmas came 2 months early this year

28. the innocence of children

29. the ability to stay home with Bennett this year

30. cold weather

31. heavy coats, hats and mittens

(and remember not to hop/lumber onto the scale for a few days, as this may only lead to tears)

Monday, November 5, 2007


I'm putting on my thankful pants. Here goes:

I am thankful for....

1. Antibiotics (me and mine have been sick on and off for two weeks, but we're all better now :))
2. hair dryer (my hair is nappy without it)
3. my Bennett-Buster
4. my perfect, fun part-time job at YCW that lets me get out of the house and have a break and feel professional, but not for too long, or I'd miss my little buddy.
5. Target (a.k.a. the Wal-mart upgrade)
6. brownies
7. milk to drink with brownies
8. having a gym membership to apply myself to after eating brownies with milk
9. Fall feeling like Fall this year
10.Beth Moore parents church cell phones, digital cameras, laptops...beautiful things
14.TEXAS (although when prompted, I couldn't say specifically why - darn that TX. pride!)
15.pretty flowers

That's enough for today. More some other day.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Trick or Treat

Bennett's first Halloween was short and sweet. He handled his rooster costume better than I thought he might (he doesn't appreciate having things on his head), although he drew the line at my attempt to paint his nose orange (ended up smeared all over his face and hands). We took him to Fall Fest at RHCC and mostly pushed him around in the stroller, greeting other friends we knew. Bennett seemed to be in shock (maybe from all the people combined with the constrictive costume) most of the evening, just staring and sucking his fingers. The highlight of the evening was the petting zoo, where he greeted his fellow roosters and hung out with his friend, Cason.

Rooster on the stairs.

Getting ready to go.

Watching the big kids in the bounce house.

Rooster meets roosters.

Bennett kept yanking on Cason's mane.

Side note: Today is Nov.3rd. I went to Garden Ridge, and what did I see? CHRISTMAS STUFF EVERYWHERE! Not only that, but the music playing throughout the store was a Christmas-country song called "I sure do love those Christmas cookies, sugar." This is stinkin' annoying. What happened to Thanksgiving?? What happened to continuing to use/decorate in fall motif and colors until AFTER Thanksgiving?? I'm feeling quite Scrooge-ish about the whole Christmas season right now...why, you ask? Because it's NOT the Christmas season yet!!! Am I right, or am I right?? Christmas is my favorite time of year, but this is getting ridiculous. I want time to ponder my thankfulness and the things I am thankful for (which will most likely be my next post). I want to see leaves and turkeys and cornucopias! I want to procrastinate my Christmas shopping as long as possible and scramble with only 2-3 weeks left to go (because it's more fun that way!), rather than be reminded at every turn the day after Halloween that it's time to drink eggnog and put up the red and green lights. Yuck. End side note.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Help! I need somebody! HELP! Not just anybody! (singing the Beatles)

Okay, I SERIOUSLY need some help with my blog! I've tried to figure this out on my own but am at a loss! How do I get the names of other blogger friends to show up on my main page so I'll have links to them and can go straight to their blogs? For example, on almost all of my friend's pages, there's a list of names off to the side of people who either subscribe to their blog or they subscribe to theirs (not sure which, but would like to be able to see who subscribes to my blog, too). Who out there has a nugget of computer-savvy wisdom to offer??

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Social butterfly

Here's an update on my little Benito, the social butterfly. We've had lots of play dates and fun activities lately (which might explain why he's sick now - yuck!). Here are a few pictures of some of our get togethers. We were planning on going to the rockin' Flower Mound pumpkin patch we keep hearing so much about, but with Bennett having his first ear infection and the cooler weather (which I'm LOVING), it's time to slow down and regroup a bit first. So we'll settle for going to the pumpkin patch next year, when he might actually get something out of it and interact with the things to do and see. We'll hit it all big again next week at Fall Fest on Halloween, where my buddy will be appearing as "The Most Adorable Baby-Rooster You've Ever Seen or Could Ever Hope See in Your Whole Entire Life." (For those of you who think a rooster is quite a random Halloween costume, ordinarily I would tend to agree, except that when he was teeny tiny, I used to call him my "fat little bird," which I still call him occasionally. So it's personal, it fits, and it really is a SUPER cute costume!)

Bennett and Sage.
We went to the
zoo with the
Demaree ladies.

Bennett and Mr. Gorilla stared at each other for a while. We left when Mr. Gorilla started eating his boogars (how DO you spell boogars? I keep getting spell checked!)

The Swaynes came over with their baby boy, Lukas. Bennett kept hitting him on the head. Such a friendly child.

One of Bennett's friendly,
sharing moments.
Yay, son!

More random pictures that I like...

Bennett likes
to read books
up to 15-20
minutes a day
now! Makes
a teacher-mom
proud! :)

Another staring
Bennett won.
He makes
Dolly nervous.

He found Mommy's drink.

Helping Mommy
unload the dishes.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Blessed be the Name

Oh, dear Lord You are GOOD to me!
The Lord in His wisdom and sovereignty gave me a message tonight at church that was tailor-made. I had chills and tingles all evening long, from the scriptures used, to the songs that were sung, to the message being preached. Don't you just LOVE it when He does this in His faithfulness for His children? Unbelievable how He provides for and comforts His children in the midst of storms and strife. Tonight was about the Lord's sovereignty and His omnipotence. About how He is God in heaven and He controls EVERY thing. He gives and takes away. A song was sung tonight which has been my favorite for a long time and I think will continue to be no matter how many times we sing it at church or I hear it on the radio. Bennett danced to this song when he was in my tummy, which was pretty amazing since he was a quiet baby in the womb for the most part. And, not coincidentally, his name means "blessed," as I most certainly feel I am. So here are the lyrics that I hold in my heart, which apply to just about any circumstance of life I will find myself in (or that anyone will)...

Blessed be Your Name,
when I'm found in the desert place.
When I walk through the wilderness,
Blessed be Your Name.

Blessed be Your Name,
when the sun's shining down on me.
When the world's all as it should be,
Blessed be Your Name.

Blessed be Your Name,
on a road marked with suffering.
Though there's pain in the offering,
Blessed be Your Name.

And another song, called Everlasting God

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord,
wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord.

You are the everlasting God,
the everlasting God.
You do not faint,
You won't grow weary.

You're the defender of the weak.
You comfort those in need.
You lift us up on wings like eagles.

Just so all of you reading know, this blog is not intended to evolve into a collection of sermons by yours truly. But how amazing to be spoken to by the Spirit of the Lord through His Word. At this time and place in my life, I can't help but share. Bear with me. Next time around I'll post some pictures, funny anecdotes, etc., that people are so entertained by in the blogging world :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

perfect in weakness

This blog may not make much sense to many of you, but thank you in advance for reading and caring :)
I have been at a crossroads in life for a while now - months and months in fact - just waiting for God's timing and for Him to speak to me as He does so faithfully. I've been pushing and struggling and questioning and accepting and swallowing more than I thought possible for a VERY long time. There are so many factors involved in this, some extremely painful and others full of miraculous joy. I've been hearing the same messages of faith and spiritual growth from several different arenas and am attempting to soak it all in and make it part of the image of Christ that He intends me to be. The Lord has revealed specifically applicable and important messages that pertain to my personal circumstances over and over again for the past several months. I'm in the middle of a season of stretching and growth and warfare that sometimes feels will break me. I can practically document the growth God is blessing me with (even when I don't feel very blessed and a lot of times the Lord's definition of blessing looks and sounds different from my own). The Lord's strength in my weakness has NEVER been made so apparent in my life as it is now. I don't know if any of you can relate or have ever been here, but I'm in the middle of spiritual warfare - a battle that I don't even completely understand and can only let the Spirit lead me through. I'm leaning so heavily on the Lord and cry out with thanks that He is my rock, He is holy, and He cannot be shaken. I am praying fervently for God's continued protection and His strength and His armor (which "coincidentally" Rick has been preaching about for a few weeks now). For those of you who understand parts of this, I appreciate your prayers and your support. For those of you who don't, thanks so very much for the friend you are to me. Come what may, my friends are another one of those many-splendored blessings in my life and you give me strength.
I declare that I will continue to draw my sword and immerse myself in my Lord and continue to fight and grow and pursue His will.
Scriptures that have proven powerful and effective in my recent and on-going journey:

"The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him." --2 Chronicles 16:9

"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith."
--1 Peter 5:8-9

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
--1 Corinthians 13:1-7

"Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good."
--Romans 12:21

"As a Father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how weak we are, He remembers that we are dust."
--Psalm 103:13-14

"No power in the sky above or in the earth below - indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."
--Romans 8:39

Saturday, October 6, 2007

100 things

I'm not planning on blogging every day or claiming to have remotely enough to interest myself or others with that frequency, but bear with me since this is all new to me and still lots of fun! I'm stealing a post I saw from Haley's blog, 100 things about me you may not know. So here goes....
1. My favorite color is violet.
2. I've lived in 7 different cities in Texas.
3. All of my extended family (minus an aunt and two cousins) live within an hour of my house.
4. My favorite holiday is Christmas.
5. On Christmas at Granny's we have a kickball tournament: adults vs. kids
6. I LOVE red hair.
7. I bite my nails.
8. I pop/play with my ear when I'm tired.
9. I LOVE to swim but don't go underwater because I got a double ear infection years ago and it
messed up my ears a little.
10.I have to wash my hair everyday or it's beyond gross.
11.I like dressing up fancy.
12.I played the flute for 6 years before I started singing and planned on playing professionally.
13.I started out as a music major at Harding.
14.One dream of mine is to either adopt or foster children all our lives.
15.Another dream of mine is to record my music in a professional studio.
16.I write my own music on guitar and piano and play it occasionally for my family.
17.I have the itch to have another baby.
18.Michael and I want to have 4 kids or maybe more.
19.I love drawing and wish I'd taken more lessons.
20.The cello is the most beautiful instrument EVER and someday I WILL learn to play it.
21.I stole a little stuffed bunny when I was 6 years old and got caught - got the spanking of my
22.I've never broken a bone.
23.I'd never had stitches until a year ago when I sliced my hand using a knife to open a
cinnamon roll can - ridiculous.
24.I was a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do a LOOONG time ago.
25.I was fat when I was younger - lost 30 lbs. my senior year of high school.
26.Milk is my favorite beverage.
27.I'm not all that fond of chocolate.
28.My greatest fear growing up was that I'd never be married.
29.I've been married a bit over 4 years.
30.I didn't enjoy being pregnant all that much the first time - I was impatient - but I think I'll
really enjoy it the next time around since I know what to expect.
31.My hair keeps getting darker and darker...sigh.
32.I'm not as naturally social or as much of an extrovert as I used to be.
33.I want to go to Greece and see the things Michael saw the whole semester he lived there.
34.I don't really like TV or being hooked on TV shows.
35.I love watching animated Disney movies.
36.Pride and Prejudice is hands down my favorite book of all time.
37.I love decorating and cleaning our home and making it feel nice.
38.I don't think I'm a very good host in my home when others come over - it stresses me out.
39.I care too much about what other people think.
40.I LOVE thunderstorms.
41.I'd like to live in a big city and be a "city girl".
42.I am extremely offended by Oprah Winfrey and her luke-warm, vague, paganistic views on
life and spirituality and her free-love acceptance of all practices and beliefs in our worldly
culture (oh, don't get me started!! It's a soap-box a mile high!)
43.I am no longer a customer of HomeDepot due to our recent paint problems. Lowe's is my
new home improvement best friend.
44.I want a new used car but recognize that this will not become a reality for several years.
45.I love our house.
46.I have finally come to the point in my life where I actually ENJOY exercising.
47.My mom is my best friend.
48.I like teaching little kids, though when I was little I insisted I would never be a teacher.
49.I had a black lab named Pete and a poodle named Pierre (the French form of Peter) when I
was little.
50.My parents are really cool.
51.All four of my grandparents were still alive until my PawPaw died this summer.
52.My favorite flower is the white rose.
53.I don't like lipstick or lipgloss. It feels gross.
54.I'm very particular about the way my socks feel on my feet.
55.My teeth are crooked because I stopped wearing my retainer.
56.I collect cute earrings and bracelets.
57.I love the smell of a candle but always forget to light them.
58.I'd much rather be cold than hot - you can always put on more clothes but can only take so
many off!
59.My favorite season is fall.
60.I'm no good at math.
61.I'm a pretty good writer.
62.I'd like to write a novel someday.
63.I LOVE to read.
64.I'm a good speller.
65.I edit Michael's papers for school (he's getting his masters at UNT).
66.I'd much rather fly than drive.
67.I have to eat my steak with ketchup.
68.I now eat baked potatoes with plain yogurt instead of sour cream - much healthier and
tastes almost the same.
69.I hate the zoo (but will sacrifice so my son can go - in cooler weather it's not so bad).
70.I hate ice skating.
71.I love roller skating.
72.I wish I had a bicycle, though I'm not sure I'd actually use it :)
73.I want to be a missionary in China someday.
74.I'm not a big fan of the outdoors.
75.I prefer vegetables over fruits.
76.I'm trying to eat healthier.
77.I work 2 days a week and stay home with Bennett the rest of the week.
78.I type fast.
79.I'd like to work for the State Board of Education someday and try to make a difference.
80.I like shoes but don't have a ton of them.
81.Jazzercise helped me lose all of my pregnancy weight.
82.I listen to KLTY.
83.I'm conservative with my money.
84.I really like cheesecake.
85.I really like banana pudding.
86.I like food too much.
87.My parents are fantastic grandparents.
88.I'm having SERIOUS trouble thinking of anything else to write.
89.My favorite teacher ever was my 6th grade English teacher, Mrs. Benton.
90.I'm a planner and organizer.
91.I have awesome friends.
92.I want to visit California, New York City, and Montana - never been.
93.I highly recommend cruises for vacation.
94.This is getting REALLY old - if I'd known it would take this long I wouldn't have done it.
95.I like my church.
96.I write in a journal (have since 6th grade).
97.I'm in an AWESOME Bible study right now: Beth Moore study on Daniel
98.I'm a Texan through and through.
99.I'd like to live somewhere I've never lived someday, just to see what it's like.
100.My eyes were blue until I was 5 years old - at some point they turned green - not sure

Friday, October 5, 2007

I've joined the bloggers

I have decided to join the network of blogging. Lots of other stay at home moms do this stuff so I figure I can do it too for a while and see if I like it. Most of you reading this should already know my history, my family, my basic likes/dislikes, etc., so I won't bore you with such information. I will begin with something OH so exciting to the Campbell household this week. We FINALLY got our new bedroom furniture on Wednesday! The whole process of re-doing our bedroom has been nothing short of a nightmare. It started with $100 and 10 hours work worth of Venetian Plaster paint (DON'T do it!! I'm seriously considering putting a "jeers" in the FW Star Telegram about the Home Depot we went to!), the last can of which was totally the wrong shade as the rest of the room. A few days ago my mom and I re-did the entire room with normal paint in a gold shade...much less work, much less money, and ALL the same color - thank you Lowe's! The following day, after having made 4 phone calls harrassing the people we bought our furniture from, we finally had all but the bed delivered (5 weeks late, but here at last!). So now, minus the beautiful headboard and footboard (which will be delivered in another week), I am sitting here in our newly remodeled bedroom, enjoyed the aesthetically pleasing attributes it has to offer...patting myself on the back for the 4 years of patient endurance I've exercised with white, bare walls and 25 year old chipped, faded, fake furniture. It was WORTH it!! If I can figure out how to attach a picture, I will. Bennett (my 10 month old) suddenly finds himself spending a LOT more time in this strange new room since mommy loves to sit and sigh and enjoy the newness of it all. (Kudos to Crysty Kimberlin for inspiring me to sit down with Michael and have a heart to heart about our ghetto-fabulous room that is now nothing more than a memory).