Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow! Real snow!

The weatherman is currently a hero at the Campbell house. For once, he predicted snow and it happened. As Lizzy said, "This is the most snow I remember in my whole life." We did get about 6-7 inches as we slept Friday night and through the morning hours on Saturday.
We haven't attempted to get out, but we did get to watch our neighbor's jeep do some unplanned donuts in the road. The entire neighborhood is a sheet of ice, so I'm not sure what tomorrow will look like for us. It may be day 3 at home. Which, I certainly don't mind!
Needless to say, the bigger kids have had a blast tramping through it for the last 2 days. Abe, not so much! He didn't like the little bit we got last year, and it doesn't appear to be growing on him too much. Here are some photos from the weekend:

This is Abe's attempt to avoid the drainage grate.
Abe with his, "And why are we out here?" look.

Typical boy, cover yourself in it!
By the time it we came to believe that it was really going to snow this time, there were no sleds left in Raleigh. So, we improvised with our trash can lid!

The one thing Abe did enjoy was licking the snow.

1, 2, 3, GO!

Abe got a face plow at the bottom. This did not help to raise his enthusiasm any.
Just before we drug Abe home, crying!

Lily and Isaac


Lily's 6th Birthday Party

Lily turned 6 this month and she wanted to celebrate with a flower party. So last Friday, that's just what we did. Flowers are the perfect theme for a January party, right? Well, I suppose it's better than a pool party! Here are some photos of her big day:

Flower cookies

Flower centerpiece

A plethora of pops!

Mini-dirt cakes
Birdhouses decorated by the party guests.
I think she's ready for the camera to go away!

Make a wish!
All the Garden Gang!

Sock it to Lottie

For those of you who weren't raised in a Southern Baptist Church, you may have never heard of Lottie Moon. She was an amazing women who served as a Southern Baptist missionary to China over 100 years ago. She literally gave 40 years of her life to see the gospel shared with the Chinese people. Her story is amazing.

Every year at Christmas time, the International Mission Board of the SBC takes up an offering named after Lottie Moon. Southern Baptist Churches all across the world contribute during the month of December and this money is used to fund the needs of missionaries all over the world.

This year, the staff of Kidztown decided that we wanted to be intentional about educating our kiddos about the work and the needs of our SBC missionaries. So, we launched a campaign called, "Sock it to Lottie." We challenged the kids to raise $1500 for the Lottie Moon offering. We knew it was a small part of our church's $40,000 goal, but we wanted the kids to be challenged to do their own small part.

We kicked it off on a Sunday and a Wednesday night by inviting IMB missionaries who are currently at our church to share about their work. One couple serving in the Netherlands, and a single gal who recently finished a term in Uganda shared their stories, photos, and passion with our K-5th graders. The kids really responded well. Then, Ryan and Randy challenged them to do what they could to fill a sock with spare change and hard earned dollars to contribute to the Lottie Moon offering. The kids were told that if they met the goal, Ryan and Randy would be slimed.

Well, the kids took it on and blew away the original goal, raising over $3,500! So, on January 10th, Ryan and Randy paid up and got slimed at all 3 services. They were good sports and we all got a laugh at their expense. I think they look good in slime, don't you?

Christmas Season 2009

It's now the last day of January, and I'm finally going to blog about Christmas. I realize that if anyone is still reading this blog, you are probably way past caring about our Christmas. But I want it recorded here for my own selfish purposes. Like I've said before, it's one of my only ways of recording our family happenings these days, so I am going to get it down while I still remember some of what happened.
Abe made Christmas lots of fun this year. He was at the perfect age for still being in awe of all the lights and sparkle without having the "gimmee attitude" that children seem to struggle with as they get a little older. We all enjoyed watching his delight and surprise at so many of the holiday details.
We didn't get out as much as usual, because the entire family was sick in December. We had a round of the cold/flu followed by a round of strep throat. When it was all said and done, Ryan was the only one who didn't have to resort to antibiotics. We had to cancel quite a few commitments that we usually look forward to at Christmas time. But, we got to spend lots of time together between naps and Tylenol doses, so that made for some good memories. One of the funnest things we did was making some simple "gingerbread" houses. We used graham crackers, empty milk cartons, and tons of confections to make for an evening of fun. Each of the kiddos made their own house, and fun was had by all.

Lily's house.
Isaac in mid-construction. He's holding his bag of "mortar"

Abby's house, complete with a spearmint tree.

Lizzy's place, with a delicious fishpond,

We didn't make it to Christmas Eve service as we still had some fevers, but Grammy and Pa did come and spend the night. Christmas Day, everyone rallied enough to enjoy gift opening and some stocking sweets. We enjoyed a simple Christmas dinner since none of us had regained our normal appetite. It was a quiet day at home.

Grammy sewed us new stockings this year. Rather than hanging them by the chimney with care, we chose to stack them on the stairs.
This looks like a ridiculous amount of stuff. But, believe it or not, our kids opened 3 boxes each from us and 3 from Grammy. Of course, when you multiply that by 5 and add a couple of packages per adult, it adds up. Nana and Pap came a few days later and brought load number 2!

The kids all ripped through their stockings quickly and decided to come and help Abe with his. He loved all of the new trinkets and would have been satisfied to stop with the stocking loot.

Here's Lizzy with a classic, the "Easy Bake Oven." Of course, in our "green" world, it's much harder to find the required 100 watt light bulb than it was when I was a kiddo.

Here are the boys, relaxing after the big event.

You know everyone feels lousy when you end up throwing out 1/2 of a Birthday cake! It's the thought that counts, right?

One of my favorite memories of this year's gift-giving involved Abby and Lizzy. For YEARS they have been asking for hamsters. The answer has always been an emphatic NO! They didn't even bother to ask this year, because they knew that we would never concede. Well, on the 23rd, as Ryan and I were finishing the wrapping, we had to face the fact that we had nothing for the girls that we were excited about. There simply wasn't a "WOW" gift for either of them. So, on a last minute whim, we decided to give them hamsters. We decided to hide the hamsters through the night and just wrap the hamster balls we bought for them.

Lily went with me to pick them out, and she was hysterical. When we went into Petsmart, she looked at me like I had three heads and said, "Are you serious? Are you really serious?" Then finally she asked, "Does Daddy know about this?" She was delighted. On the way home, she was giggling constantly and she offered a prediction about what would happen the next morning. She said, "Lizzy will scream, and Abby will cry." She nailed it! I posted the clip of that moment at the end of the blog.

Here is one of the little guys. They are cute, but they are high maintenance!

We were supposed to go to KY for a few days after Christmas, but Ryan's parents took pity on us and our pitiful state and came to NC instead. We enjoyed a simple visit from them for several days, and we finally began to feel better around New Year's.

Lizzy and Pap playing a game of Guess Who?

We spent New Year's Eve at the Nemitz House, which has become our tradition. Then, New Year's Day, we held our 2nd annual pajama day. We had a wonderful family day, playing with all of the new toys. We ate enough that day to make up for our previous days of soup and crackers. Here are some photos of the fondue we ate as we closed out the season with a final showing of "Elf."

Hamster mania!