Wednesday, November 7, 2012


This year our Halloween was pretty quiet.

We did carve pumpkins, which did get a little rowdy. That's pretty much the norm though.

The boys didn't Trick or Treat this year. Connor went to a concert a few days before Halloween where his friends who are in a band were playing. He dressed up for that. The day of the concert he texted me from school and asked if we could go to "Savers" (a thrift store) after school and quickly run in and find him a costume to wear to the concert. Nothing like waiting until the last minute Con! Anyway we did pick him up after school ran to Savers and this is what he came up with.

Kind of creepy, I know. But I have to say it was one of the cheapest, most painless costumes he has ever had. Connor has always loved Halloween but he drives himself (and us) crazy every year trying to come up with the perfect costume and he is never ever completely satisfied!! Anyway I guess he had fun with this one.

Alex didn't really dress up. He just got a funny hat and some furry gorilla like gloves to wear. He wore them to school. He has never been into Halloween that much, especially the dressing up part.

Here are some pictures of our Pumpkin Carving adventure...................

Alex has a real sensitivity to the smell and feel of the inside of the pumpkin. Of course his brother knows this and loves to torment him.

Alex showing Connor that he can hold the Pumpkin goo in his hand without gagging...

A real fight did actually break out before it was all over with but hey we got it done!

This is Alex's. 

This is Connor's
Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2012

My husband my hero

A few days ago I was walking the dogs. It was about 10:30 in the morning. One of our regular stops is an area behind a grocery story that's kind of open. We like to let them off the leash and give them a chance to run.

Well, on this day there was a cat hiding in the bushes. She probably ran into the bush when she saw us coming. I didn't realize she was there. Next thing I knew the dogs found her. The poor thing was running for her life as I shouted at the dogs to stop. She ran up into a tree way up high. I hooked up the dogs and left thinking once she saw we were gone she would feel safe to come down and make her way home. I had seen this cat around a lot. A couple of times with a couple and their little kids, so I knew she had a home.

Later in the afternoon, Mark and I took the dogs for another walk. This was about 4:00pm. I was telling Mark the story of the cat as we approached the same area where the dogs had chased her. I pointed up into the tree telling him that was where she ended up and I couldn't believe it when I saw she was in the same spot!! My heart sank. I was hoping maybe we spooked her and she just ran up but by the way she looked I feared she had been up there since this morning. It was really high and the branches were a little small. Mark and I agreed that we would go run our errands and come back by in about an hour, if she was still up there we would know she had been there all along and try to figure out a way to help her down.

Well a little later we drove by and she was still there, by now she'd probably been there for 6-7 hours.

So I asked Mark what we should do. I asked if people really called the Fire Department to rescue cats from trees or was that just something you read in sweet children's stories? If I recall, he just looked at me like "we are not calling 911". I guess we could have called animal control. I said I would start going door to door to try to find the cats owner and maybe they could get her down. Mark said "no" and that he would climb up and get her. Now I was worried about the cat AND HIM!! But up he went.

It was not an easy task. The Cat was of course frightened to death and kept clutching the branches. At the same time Mark was trying to keep his balance and not let the cat claw him. On top of everything, Mark is very allergic to cats. Anyway, slowly but surely they both made their way down.

Mark tossed her into my arms and I gently placed her on the ground. She cautiously started walking away. Slow and stiff and first and then took out running for home.

Mark and the cat made it out unscathed (except for a couple little scratches on Mark's arm).

And that is one of the many many reasons my husband is my hero :)

The end.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Alex - Outdoor Ed

Do you remember a few years ago when Connor went to Outdoor Ed? You can look back at those pictures HERE.

I dropped Alex off at the school in the morning so that he could board the bus that would take him to Estes Park where he would spend 2 1/2 days.

I was excited for him and a little nervous to be sending my "little boy" (yeah right) off into the wilderness by himself. A few days before, he and I had taken our handy dandy "packing list" and off we went.

1. Hiking boots? Check (which he hardly even wore.. I couldn't have picked that one)

2. Extra socks? Check

3. Rain poncho? Check (another item I was sure would never see the light of day or rain as it were, haha, there is just nothing cool about a rain poncho for a 12 yr old boy)

4. Whistle? Check!! (My favorite item. I have always been terrified of losing a child in the wilderness, I think that would be one of the worst things that could happen, of course he thought it was the silliest thing ever to have to wear it, even after I explained how it could come in handy. I don't think he was convinced but at least he took it)

5. Two (yes two) disposable cameras? Check! (Mark and I agreed we would probably not see any pictures and would be surprised if the camera's made it home, but hey it was on the list and who knows he might surprise us.)

6. A silent reading book? Check! (This had to be my favorite. Can you imagine 5-6 boys in a room by themselves, up in the mountains, taking time for silent reading??) I think I literally laughed out loud when I read that one.  Although Alex told me that one boy (bless his heart) did want to read and continually asked the others to quiet down so he could read. This is the same boy who wanted lights out at 7 pm because he was tired. I would have to guess he was probably good and wore his rain poncho and brushed his teeth at least twice a day every day too. (Probably even let his dear mom walk him to the bus and not drop him in the parking lot, more on this below).

7. Deodorant? Check!!  (I think this one was actually underlined! HAHA. Again imagine 5-6 boys in a room after a day of hiking and running around. I may or may not have reminded Alex of this several times to which he finally said "Mom, you are repeating yourself"!! Okay, it's just that as much as I love stink)

So now he was ready. I took off work a couple of hours so I could take him to the school where they were all meeting up to get on the bus. As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed that some parents were walking their kids to the buses, others just dropping off. I told Alex I would park and walk him to the bus (ok I admit, I said it mostly for his reaction, haha) I knew good and well he wouldn't want me walking him to the bus and hugging him good bye in front of everyone. Something about 12 year old boys (at least mine) they don't like their Mom's hanging around. Anyway, I relented and pulled in to a spot near the back so no one would see me giving him a hug. I was really doing just fine with everything until I went to hug him and he stopped mid embrace and looked at me and said "Hey Mom, I'm taller than you"!  Then came the waterworks. I guess it was all I had in me to not dwell too much on the fact that going off on his own on his first middle school trip meant he was growing up. But then for him to say that. Anyway, he looked at me kind of funny like "why are you crying mom"?  He slowly backed up and waved and said "Well....bye mom" and walked away. Just left me there looking like a crazy person with tears rolling down my face!

I have a feeling he was thinking that he didn't know what his crazy mom's problem was but he had to get away before one of his friends saw what was unfolding. LOL!

Maybe one day, when he has kids of his own, he can look back and understand what all the hubbub was about, or maybe not. Either way kiddo, you are stuck with me.

Turns out he had a great time. When I picked him up at the end, he dove in right away, animatedly telling me all about it! Not even one mention about my breakdown ;)

Unfortunately he didn't get any pictures (who would have guessed that one ?)

Alex turned 12!

 Alex celebrated his 12th birthday on September 1st.

He chose to "hang out" with friends most of the day. Then Grandma and Grandpa took us out to dinner  at Red Lobster (Alex's choice). Mark was out of town so unfortunately he wasn't there but we had a really nice dinner.

At Red Lobster, listening intently to something Grandpa is telling them.

HAPPY 12TH BIRTHDAY ALEX!! WE LOVE YOU!!                

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Guess who's shaving?

A few weeks ago the boys were getting ready for school. I overheard  Connor telling Mark that he needed to shave. My ears perked up. I heard them discussing it and Mark helping him and giving him instructions on the proper way to shave.  The next day Mark came home with this razor so Connor could have his very own.

I know it sounds like a little thing and I am aware I can be a little overly sentimental but these are the kinds of  milestones I would think about when Mark was fighting for his life. There were times when I was afraid he wouldn't be here to teach the boys these kinds of things.

I'm so grateful he is.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Catching up...

I have some catching up to do...

I don't know where the summer went but it really zipped by.

Just to bring you up to date because I know you are dying to know what the heck the Campbell's have been up to ;)

Well you don't have to hold your breath any longer.

Guess what? I had a birthday! We were lucky to receive 4 tickets to one of the Bronco's pre season games, generously given to us by friends.

Mark ended up going out of town for work so the boys and I ventured out on our own. We had a great time, even though the Bronco's lost :(

I know you can't tell from the picture but the boys were happy to be there.

My birthday dinner, yum.

More to come................

Sunday, September 9, 2012

And they are off!!

The boys started school a few weeks ago.  Alex is off to middle school and Connor is off to High school. It seemed a little surreal dropping them off on the first day, half way between their two schools. Alex went one way towards his school with his back pack and skate (long) board, looking pretty confident for his first day of Middle school, although I'm sure there were some nervous feelings bubbling just under the surface.

Connor walked the other direction towards the high school. Once he was a few feet from the car his demeanor changed and he fell into stride along a couple of his friends that were walking up. I was thinking, there he goes, into his own world that we really have no control over. It's his life for the next few hours, he makes the decisions and choices that will mold and shape him into the man he is on his way to becoming.

I have to say, I felt differently this year. Normally, every year when I drop them off for the first day of school I get emotional. This year I felt almost numb and over the past few weeks I've realized what I was feeling, if I'm being honest, was fear. It's scary to see them growing up so fast. I know I should be excited for them but as a mom it's hard to push away all the thoughts of what could happen. These are such important years and there are so many temptations surrounding them. It's hard not to focus on the "what ifs".

On the other hand, I know at their core they are both good people, smarter and more confident then I ever was at that age, that's for sure!

You just have to hope and pray that you've put enough good stuff in there and given them enough direction to make good decisions. Of course they are going to make mistakes, that's the way we learn. Every time they walk out that door, I just hope they come back safe and sound and that mistakes that are made are just painful enough to help them grow but not enough to damage them for life.

So on that note, here are some pictures of the first day............

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Goodbye Daddy

My daddy,  just a few weeks before he passed away. I'm so glad I got to hear him play his guitar and sing one last time.

It was the phone call in the middle of the night I had been dreading. My brother calling at 2:30 in the morning, this can't be good. "Bon" he says, I'm at the hospital with dad, it's not looking good. Next thing I know Mark is beside me on the bed with a knowing look and a supporting arm around me. Jerry and I talk a little about the circumstances. He had rushed dad to the hospital when he called him and told him he was having a hard time breathing. Jerry wanted to call an ambulance but dad wanted Jerry to drive him.

I told Jerry I would gather my thoughts and call him back. I hung up the phone. Cried in Mark's arms for a moment, then he said "you need to go". I said "I know". But I must have just sat there trying to absorb everything. This is it, I may never see my Dad again. It's quite a shock when you actually realize someone so dear to you, who can never ever be replaced is leaving you. Mark was so good as he always is in emergency situations. As I stared in my drawer trying to figure out what to pack. He said just pick out 3 days worth of clothes... 3 pairs of underwear, 3 shirts.... etc.

I pretty much just tossed some items in a bag along with some toiletries. Then Mark told me to go gas up my car and then go get coffee in that order. He repeated the coffee thing a couple of times. I think he was afraid I wasn't awake. His calm  but firm voice really helped me take each step. He knew I was worried and  a little in shock and he knew just how to handle me. I guess you know those things after 25 years of marriage :) I love that man.

I go get gas (and coffee) and I'm on the highway heading to Kansas. A trip I've probably taken a hundred times but now driving by myself in the middle of the night. I was on a mission though. I wanted to be there to hold my daddy's hand one more time and tell him how much I love him and good bye.

Mark calls to check on me, he's worried about my night blindness (I can't imagine why). He said "you don't see well at night do you?" I said no. He advised me to turn on my bright lights and just turn them down when a car is coming towards me so I don't blind them. It worked great, I could see the road.. that's always a plus, haha. He thinks of everything.

My brother called and told me the doctor didn't know how much longer they could keep reviving Dad because every time they brought him back he was in worse shape. I asked him if they knew I was on my way and could be there by noon? He said he had told them.

I also spoke to my sister Julie along the way. We talked about dad and it was comforting to hear her voice.

Well dad was on life support when I arrived around 12:30. We spoke to the doctor in the quiet room. I was a little alarmed when I first saw the doctor because he looked about Connor's age. I thought this is the man who is going to help us decide the next steps in my Dad's life? But, as soon as he started speaking I knew he was beyond qualified and told us just what we needed to know. If it was his Dad he would let him go. He had been without oxygen way to long to have any quality of life.

So we told the doctor we needed to talk to our sister and then we would let him know our decision.  We all talked and cried over the next hour or so, we all knew there was only one right decision, what dad would want. For us to let him go and be at peace.

We told the doctor our decision and without saying it in those words he told us we were doing the best thing. He said it was very unselfish of us because a lot of people let there loved ones linger on in that condition because they can't bare to let them go. We couldn't bare to see dad like that.

They removed life support around 4:00pm that afternoon. We didn't know if he would go right away, so we were preparing ourselves. Dad lived for 4 hours. I think the nurses were pretty amazed. I wasn't surprised because dad was a strong man and always achieved more than what the doctors expected of him.

My brother, his girlfriend Ina, my niece and I were with dad until his last breath. I held his hand and stroked his face. I'm so thankful I was able to talk to him at the end and let him know how much I loved him. Also to be able to be right there when he made the transition and left this earth forever. I felt honored.

The next day my brother and I went to Dad's apartment to try and figure out what to do and try to grasp the fact that he was really gone. Shortly after we arrived there, I don't know why but for some reason I opened a drawer in a table he had knick knacks on. I don't know if it was my intuition or dad guiding me but it was one or the other to make me open that particular drawer right at that moment.  Inside were 3 copies of the same poem. Each paper had a different decorative heading but the same poem. I knew instantly that dad meant them for us three kids. Jerry, Julie and I. I even knew from the colors and patterns who was meant to get each one.

This was the one for me.  I knew this was my copy but it hit me a couple of weeks later why mine had the 2 birds and 2 hearts. I believe it was meant for me and for Mark.

This is what it said...

When tomorrow starts without me
and I'm not there to see.
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
all filled with tears for me.
I wish you wouldn't cry the way you did today, while
thinking of the many things we didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
as much as I love you.
And each time you think of me
I know you miss me too.

So simple but profound. Dad knew just what to say. I've read mine many times since that day and it has brought me comfort. I know that's what he intended. That's my Dad.

I miss him every day. I miss the sound of his voice on the phone. It's so hard for me to believe sometimes that he is really gone and my life will just go on without him. It will go on but never the same. There will always be a void but I'm so thankful I had him as long as I did.

Love you Daddy.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Alex graduates!

It's hard for me to believe Alex will be going to middle school and Connor to high school. Wow how the  time flies! In a way it's a relief to be all done with elementary school, on the other hand I can't help but be a little melancholy to not have any kiddos in grade school any more.

Alex had a little continuation ceremony on the last day of school. It was quite a year for him. He grew a lot, in every way. I honestly think he's going to love middle school!

So proud of you Alex. As I watch you mature I see the man you are growing up to be. A young man with integrity who is very strong in himself and his convictions but very sensitive and respectful of others. Reminds me of another man I know :)

                                Congratulations Alex!!

Alex and his teacher. 

The three musketeers

Chatting with friends before the ceremony

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mark's Birthday/Mountain Biking

For Mark's birthday he and the boys went to Keystone to mountain bike. They had a great day! When they came home we celebrated with cake and ice cream

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Alex's Talent Show

For the past 3 years Alex has wanted to participate in his schools talent show. It never worked out before because one... is drums were in storage :( or we just couldn't get it together in time. Well, this year it finally worked out. Alex and his friend Korey started practicing weeks ago. Korey on the guitar and Alex on the drums.

They did all their practicing over at Korey's. Korey on the guitar and Alex on the drums. They actually made up their own song/routine.

I hadn't heard it before the night of the show. I knew they were both good musicians but honestly I was a little nervous for them. They would be playing in front of the whole school and you know how kids can be.

Well I had no reason to worry. They were AWESOME!!  I was so happy to hear that their class was cheering them on and they received compliments all throughout the day.  They are Rock Stars.. what can I say??

So we went to the night performance for parents and family and they did really great. I tried to get pictures but they aren't great. Alex is wearing a Cookie Monster hat :)

Congratulations Alex and Korey!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mother's Day

I hope all you Mom's had a great Mother's Day...

We had a good day. We went to a movie. We saw "The Avengers". It probably wouldn't have been my first pick (haha) but it was something we could all see together. Actually it was a lot better than I expected. And you want to know the best part? The new Cappuccino machine at the theatre!!!   I mean having quality time with my three boys :) (but the cappuccino was great too)

Later they gave me some great gifts... including this bracelet that I love. The blue crystal represents Alex's birthstone, the purple is Connor's, the 2 little paws are for Skylar and Max of course (our other 2 kids) and the middle one represents Mark even though it's not his birthstone.

Check out this cake Mark bought. Don't you just love that picture? I do :)

Thank you boys for a wonderful Mother's Day! Being your mom is the hardest, most exhausting, challenging  BEST job in the world :) Thank you Mark for putting so much thought into my day, as always... you are the best!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Movie Premiere

So last night was the big Movie Premiere! Connor's movie he's been working on most of the school year was finally done and ready to view. It was pretty amazing. The school really made it into a big deal. They made to be like a real movie premiere. We were pretty impressed and had a wonderful night.

So, first we pull up to the school and they have a big spotlight and a sign for the movie and a sold out sign. The movie sold out!! I was pretty surprised to be honest but they sold out really quick.

When we walked in they had a red carpet. The cast stood there and greeted people as they came in. They also had photographers like the paparazzi and interviews being conducted. They even grabbed Mark and I for a quick interview that was displayed on the big movie screen. I don't think that embarrassed Connor in the least (haha).

Connor was interviewed on the big screen too. When asked about his clothing he informed the interviewee that his shirt and and tie were from TJ Maxx, (true), the cardigan was a last minute addition he borrowed from his female friend Jamie. ( I would have never thought of him wearing a cardigan but I guess he pulled it off.. so funny). Then he added that his jeans were from Goodwill, which I will have you know that they DID NOT. I paid good money for those at JC Penneys! It's his other black jeans that I bought at Goodwill! HAHA

We were really proud of Connor. He put in a lot of long hours and hard work making the movie and I have to say it paid off. The movie turned out great.

It was based on "The Breakfast Club" movie from the 80's. Connor played the part of the "criminal" whose name was "Bender".  You could tell he had a lot of fun playing that part and it was so fun to watch.

So with no further ado.. here a few pics. I wish I had taken more but I was so caught up in the evening I didn't  (wish you were there Mom to take pictures, you are so good at that!)

Connor and cast greeting people on the red carpet
This is where people could get there picture taken with the cast
This was the cast (minus one) taken with the drama teachers (directors) and Tech teacher who put the whole thing together. I have to say for lack of a better word they are Awesome at what they do!
and..of course I just had to throw this one in. Am I lucky or what??

Mark ordered this Cup cake/Cake for Connor.