Monday, June 30, 2008

a bowl full of carrots and a friday night splash down

Days of peas without any allergic reactions has allowed us the opportunity to introduce other items to Ada's menu. Carrots and then Sweet Potatoes. I believe she enjoyed these even more than the peas. Imagine that. These orange tinted vegetables sure leave a lasting impression. From cutlery to epidermis everything is orange. Thankfully, so far, it has come out of all cotton substances. On another note, vegetables have been much easier on her little tummy than rice cereal alone.

We have found bibs don't do much and have resorted to putting a straight jacket in the form of a hand towel around Ada while she eats. It makes for less of a mess and a much easier clean up. We knew we had to do something different when the first several times a bath took the place of after dinner dessert.

A shot to show that Ada does not mind the mush or the straight jacket.

For the former lifeguards, Friday night was shark cafe.
A wonderful time at the pool with wonderful friends. Okay, so it is really hard to get six to look at the camera. This is the kiddos with their future babysitter Sara Catherine, then Ada, Anna, Jenna, Addie, and Gabe. This is such a precious group of kids. A group that you desire your own child to model after. Thanks for playing you all. We had lots of fun. Hi to Foy and Abby! We are sad we missed the two of you!

Also, Baby Boom 2008 is extending into 2009. Gabe and Addy are going to have a little bro/sis expected to arrive January 2nd. I am actually hoping he/she will arrive in December to complete the 2008 Calender :) Congrats you all! Are these two not adorable?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

cardboard testimonies

With coming in contact with this subject twice this week, I thought I would share. At my sister Jennifer's church, Grace Calvary Chapel in Soddy Daisy, several people shared their cardboard testimony this past Sunday. The concept really did not come alive for me until Robin just so happened to send me this YouTube clip:

Are your eyes dry? How humbling to see the transparency that each person gave. Would I be able to stand before others, so vulnerable, sharing my cardboard testimony? What does my cardboard testimony say? I suppose I have several. There are many things that I have surrendered to and received freedom from, however there are things I hold on to. In some areas I have stamped the front of my cardboard and part of me wants to hold on while the other fights for the cardboard to be turned over so full freedom is present. What does your cardboard testimony say? Could you do what these people did?

on a much lighter note

In a search for the website to complete the hyperlink in the post above I found a surprise shot of my sister and brother in law. Ada's Aunt Jennifer teaches the middles school youth at Grace Calvary Chapel. I found it too funny not to share.

Friday, June 27, 2008

i scream you scream. we all scream for ice cream (and other food for thought)

My family is obsessed with ice cream. Always have been. We have a Mayfield following and everyone has a favorite. Jennifer's favorite is Mint Chocolate Chip. Suzi salivates over Chocolate Marshmallow and I am partial to Extreme Moose Tracks. Dad and Mom love everything in between. As I have mentioned before. If you want to be a Campbell you HAVE to love ice cream.

I understand that not everyone in the nation has the opportunity to finish a bowl of Mayfield's ice cream. It is a regional favorite. The Mayfield Dairy Farm is in Athens, Tennessee approximately 45 minutes from Chattanooga. We would love Mayfield Ice Cream no matter what vicinity it decided to occupy in the U.S. , but are very proud it is station so close to home. We also hold it close to our hearts. Mayfield Ice Cream saved my daddy's life. . .

Our family farm has not always been the most gentle to its caretakers. Almost twenty years ago a tractor flipped and the result was the loss of our Granddaddy's life. A couple years later our own father was also in a tractor accident. Coupled with several other severe ailments our father's bicep had been ripped off. Literally. Graphs from his leg were taken to resurface the area. He spent weeks in an oxidation tank in hopes that the body would accept the limb once again. After many prayers Dad had a full recovery. It was thought that he would not be able to fully use his right arm again, but odds were proven wrong. While we attribute all glory to God, we do like to joke that Mayfields saved our dad's life. With all the mangling that went on with the flipped tractor there were no broken bones. The calcium from the surplus of ingested ice cream had so strengthened his skeletal system that not one snapped.

So as you can see, we love ice cream for a multitude of reasons. This ideology has been incorporated in my "new" immediate family lifestyle. Jimmy has also developed a passion for the creamy cold substance. Last year when Mayfield (marketing geniuses) had an election for their newest flavor, Jimmy campaigned for Blueberry Pie Ice Cream (the end winner) by giving a persuasion speech in his Toastmasters club. So it has been explained that we adore ice cream and Mayfields, BUT since pregnancy the devotion has deviated to Ben and Jerry's. During pregnancy at least semi-weekly I would partake in Ben and Jerry's Half Baked. That is a pint (yes, I would eat a full pint) full of yummy goodness. Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Creams with Fudge Brownies & Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Need I say more.

Now to the present. Okay, one more tangent. Jimmy does our weekly grocery shopping. Every Sunday night you can find him walking the aisles. Yes, I gave up my grocery shopping privileges months ago when I would get snagged by every marketing strategy out there. I should know better I have the degree, but that possibly makes it worse. I want to "reward" a company for its marketing perfection by placing its newest consumer product in my grocery cart. Unbeknownst to them I was saying congratulations to a job well done and then upon arriving home saying, "But, Jimmy, look at that packaging. Pure. Genius." So now Ada and I wait patiently at home knowing there is a surprise in the near future. This week even Jimmy could not say no to the newly packaged 99 cent cup of sweet goodness.

Jimmy is so sweet. Two for me and one for him. His intentions, not mine. So while we devoured ice cream, Ada had her first round of non cereal "solids". Peas. Why chose the repulsive (in my opinion) mush of green? My thinking was that if we introduce the nastiest first then for Ada's taste buds it is only up from there. Once she decides something else tastes better there may not be any turning back to what I like to call liquid hulk (peas). So far the strategy has worked, though in baby land eating ones words does come more often then expected. Here is a little, okay, a very long (5 minute) "clip" of Ada's first bites. MelDust-Jimmy obviously loved the bib :)

Lastly, with an email invite titled "a proposed lunch date bc life will be changing very fast very soon" 5 girls accepted an invitation to Southern Star. One girl had a baby 4 months ago, two due in July, one in September, a four month old and a partridge in a pear tree. So with one preggo hoping for a spicy wrap to bring on labor a nice lunch outing came to a completion. One down. Three to go.

Kristi (July), Melissa (hopefully any moment-her desire and mine too), Katie (September) and Ada. Sorry, Kristi, I guess your hand was up after all. I guess I was focused on the little pale munchkin in the direct sunlight.

Are these not three of the cutest pregnant bellies you have ever seen. You girls could be maternity models. We missed our Nashvillian girls Becca and Jessica.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

butterflies and penguins and sharks oh my!

The Bradberry's so graciously invited us along to a complimentary trip to the Tennessee Aquarium. Anna Kate showed us the ropes since it was her second time in one day.

This is a touch and feel tank that features stingray and shark.

Some of our stingray friends that we all neglected to touch. (I personally was thinking germs)

Is that an owl or a butterfly sitting on Chris' head? You can really see the butterflies self-defense mechanism in this shot. (If you decide to go the the aquarium be sure to contact Chris in regards to what kind of hair regiment he uses. Whatever it is the butterflies loved it.)

It was fairly lonely in there with the creepy Spider Crab. I don't want to meet up with that guy in my dreams, you?

Look, its Bruce! Another guy that is not part of my dreamland fantasies.

This guy, on the other hand, is welcome anytime. We love you Crush. Where is Squirt?

How does Ada measure up? At 25 inches she is the height of a Gentoo Penguin!

Checking out the creatures that are just her size.

Penguin see. Penguin do.
I don't know who these people are, but they sure are pale. That one chick should NOT be wearing a skirt. Her legs are blinding.

Thank you Chris, Amy and Anna Kate for the generous invite. A.K., Ada is happy to have had her first Tennessee Aquarium experience with you. Assuredly this is one of many visits. Maybe even a little season pass action next year!?!

The Moncriefs took a mini stroll downtown after our aquarium tour. I love our city.

The Market St Bridge that re-opened last year after an extensive renovation.

Pathway to the sightly Hunter Art Museum.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

family ties

This weekend consisted of fun filled days with the family. We had a cookout/pool party at my sister Jennifer's house. I did not do a very good job of taking consistent pictures of everyone, but here are a few of my random favorites:

We like to have fun. I never said that we are actually normal. Ha! Aunt Suzi on the trampoline.

This is Preston (9) zipping through the wooded dirt bike trails in his backyard. Preston has been riding a dirtbike since he was THREE years old. Three. I am so impressed. Many Many kids have not even thought of riding a non-motorized bike at that point. It is impressive and at three looked hilarious. Uncle 80's Mark has also ridden his whole life so apparently it is in their genes.

Cutie Roman (3) having a blast in the pool.

The previous was Preston by land. Now we have Preston by sea or air which ever way you would like to look at it.
Little does Conner (4) know, he is about to partake in some milk that came from a source other than a cow. It is goats milk. I also knowingly tasted it for the first time this weekend. It was actually really good, but due to the mental factor decided that a sip was just enough for me.

We three girls sang P&W songs with Jennifer as the accompaniment.

The next day we headed to Granny's farm over in the valley.

Mimi and her grandchildren: Peyton Carli (7), Preston (9), Ada (4mths) and Roman (3)

Other random photos from our farming adventures:

I love my family so much it hurts. Ada is so blessed to have so many wonderful cousins to look up to. I am very thankful for our weekend together.

P.S. Is anyone else REALLY bad at popping popcorn? It NEVER fails. I always burn one bag before getting one right. This has been going on for years. Hopefully Ada will not inherit my popcorn popping skills. (Random, I know. I just popped two bags. Multiple because, of course, I burnt the first)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

daddy days

With primarily spending time with Jimmy's Dad on Father's day, Ada and I decided to delay Jimmy's Father's Day surprise. On Tuesday night we began the grand unveiling.

In January of this year Jimmy had printed off a recipe from Food Network's website with the intentions of making his own granola bars. The recipe has been pinned up on the refrigerator since January, the 18th to be exact. Perhaps it was a subtle hint and Jimmy was hoping that I would make them for him. Here it is exactly five months later, Ada and I decided to take the "subtle hint" and make the granola bars. We did make one alteration to the recipe since I walked out of the grocery without buying wheat germ. In its place we added Ada's rice cereal that Daddy Jimmy enjoyed so much in this video post. Here is our final product:

They were very easy and turned out very well. The receiver was very pleased and said he enjoyed them even more t than the cliff bars he religiously partakes. In addition to taste, Jimmy also favored this fresh version for being less costly.

In addition to the granola bars, Ada and I purchased a couple of gifts for Daddy. The fun was in the haphazard wrapping paper combination used in an attempt to get rid of random scraps and also in finding inconspicuous places to hide the packages around the house. We had fun with Daddy playing Hot & Cold while he searched around the house for his new treasures.

After all treasures had been found, Daddy wanted to play with his greatest treasure of all by taking her on a walk.

Ada says: What is this thing?

Who cares. I love it!

During daddy days we also took a Thursday night trip to the pool where we were virtually the only people there.

Two more surprises wrapped up a week of daddy days. The first may seem insignificant to some, but those of you who know my dislike of cooking up animals will understand. Sauteed Halibut with Citrus-Basil Sauce was the dish. Lucky for us :) 24 hours latter the seaside scent is still reminding us of what we had for dinner last night. Aside from this week, we have always prepared fish on the grill. I think we will stick to that standard in the future.

The surprise that completed Jimmy's first Father's Day:

To My Daddy-

I am so blessed to have you as my daddy. I love how you play with me and come home early from work so you can see me. I can't wait for you to show me all kinds of neat things as I grow up. You are the BEST daddy ever and I love you sooo much!

Love your little girl-