Estimated reading time: 9 minute(s)

I must begin this look back at 2006 with a short commentary on what we just stayed up to witness as a family on our TV. The Ball Drop. Every year it’s the same thing… ridiculous people saying ridiculous things (for hours!) while surrounded by a million other ridiculously dressed people waiting for the clock to hit 12:00 (or, if you observe military time, 24:00 or 0:00… whichever one it is…) πŸ™‚

Why do we get soooo excited about the clock changing from 11:59 to 12:00? What’s so cool about going from one calendar to the next? Why is everyone so hyped up about a day where the only significant event is that the last digit of the year gets upped by one?

I guess the only thing I could come up with was that we love new beginnings. It’s fun to get a new house, a new car, a new job, a new baby, new… you name it. We like new. So, every new year represents life: made new. It’s a new chance to do things we missed in the previous year, to right wrongs, to accomplish unreached goals. It’s just a do over in a way. New start.

So, I do get it… but the hype (to me) is just silly. If you like it… well, I’m glad you do. πŸ™‚

Now, let’s take a look back at 2006 for the Campbell family.

January 2006

  • Bills Fired their GM Tom Donahoe, they kept the coach, but then he left. They also brough in Marv Levy. It was a busy couple months at the beginning of 2006 over at the Buffalo Bills Review (my Bills podcast and website…)

February 2006

  • Jen & I led the singing for a Couple’s Retreat at a place down in Pennsylvania. We weren’t sure what to expect, but it was nice. Great food (in great quantities!) and we met some nice people. We’re actually returning for the same event this coming February! πŸ™‚
  • Kirsten turned two! She’s a fun, cute, loving little girl! I’m so glad God added her to our family (even though I wasn’t prepared for the news of her “arrival” when Jen told me we were going to have another baby…) πŸ™‚

March 2006

  • Julia Gayle Campbell entered the world on March 11th – a very good day. All went smoothly, which was such welcome news when we had lost the previous baby at about 11 weeks into the pregnancy. Julia was my previously mentioned highlight of 2006. πŸ™‚
  • I sprained my ankle on March 22nd. I was playing basketball early in the morning, before anyone woke up (because I was in charge of the three older kids for that two weeks, while Jen recovered from having the baby) and I twisted it really badly. It has took me most of the rest of the year to fully recover!
  • Ooo! I think this is the month we got our Mac Mini, too! We hooked it up to our living room TV to act as our digital video hub, and our TV viewing has been radically changed! πŸ™‚

April 2006

  • This was recovery month! My ankle, Jen’s body, and the whole adjustment to a new baby thing. This was our fourth, though, so it was a bit easier? πŸ™‚
  • For some reason, April’s calendar was filled with lots of get togethers. Many for business, but a lot more dinners, and other fun nights with friends. (How does that mesh with my first memory from April???) πŸ™‚

May 2006

  • The main thing I remember from May was the Sabres! They were in the playoffs, and not just that… this young team of unknowns was dominating! They were fast, they could score like crazy, and they never gave up. Add to that an amazing rookie goal tender, and it was quite a playoffs for the Sabes! We lost in 7 games in the Conference Finals to the eventual Stanley Cup champs, the Carolina Hurricanes. It was so fun, they even hooked Jen! Now we can’t get enough of this WINNING Buffalo team… πŸ™‚
  • Oh, I do remember that I spent a LOT of time in this month (and likely in April) putting my book (which became two books!) together for a summer release.

June 2006

  • The first of two books was released near the end of this month. Life In The Rearview Mirror was my second published book, and first of two I would release in 2006.
  • The summer was YARD WORK time. We did a TON of work to our yard this year. We cleaned out decades of garbage along the edge of our entire property and created some nice “flower” beds which our neighbor helped us fill. We moved dozens, perhaps hundreds? of rocks from our yard to various other (more organized) places. We even had some help from a friend and reshaped most of our back yard, covering over a huge pit of rocks and other rubble… making a nice, big, flat, open yard! Of course… I thought this would take a month, but it spanned May to… maybe October??? It was the year of yard work!
  • We returned to our 6th straight VBS at Fairmount Christian Church in Mechanicsville, VA with our friends the Raines family. They asked us to lead the music for the teens in 2001, and for some reason they keep asking us to come back! πŸ™‚ It is an annual event we look forward to annually. πŸ™‚ (This time, there were no near-death experiences…)

July 2006

  • Just a couple weeks after the first book hit the public market, my second book (maybe the one I was more excited about) came back from the printers! There’s The Steeple… Here’s The Church is a collection of writings sort of chronicling the last year or so of our life re-evaluating our place in “the church” and what exactly “the church” is. That process has been going on for years, but the book captured writings from the year 2005. Definitely another highlight of 2006…
  • In July, we got to attend two different family reunions on Jen’s mom’s side of the family. That was pretty cool. It was really interesting that even Jen’s mom didn’t know a lot of the people! They do that every year though, so perhaps we’ll make it to another one soon? Always nice to meet up with kin… πŸ™‚
  • Ian attended his first Apple Camp (two, actually!) He got to learn how to make movies on an Apple (learn, and do!) and then he learned how to make a website, too! We posted it here. He had a blast! πŸ™‚
  • Somewhere during this summer, I also became an Authorized Apple Business Agent! That was a fun accomplishment for me, and has continued to be a fun bit of extra income and a way to be part of the “Apple family”! πŸ™‚

August 2006

  • Somewhere around here we found out that we were going to be having another baby! We waited until an October visit with my sister to divulge that information to other folks, with our previous track record of losing a baby in 2004. It was kind of early, but we were exicted to add another member to our family!!!
  • The summer (specifically July/August) also saw the return of THE BILLS SEASON! That meant pre-season football, pre-season Bills Reviews, and even a COUPLE visits to Training Camp! The kids loved it, and I’m already looking forward to next year! πŸ™‚ I was even offered a chance to write for the Buffalo Bills website! They gave me a blog in the fan section of the site! Awesome!

September 2006

  • Bills Football began again for real. The BBR was in full swing…
  • The annual Walker Family reunion was again held over the Labor Day holiday. πŸ™‚
  • We got to see several of our college friends when we attended the alumni weekend for Cincinnati Christian University (used to be Cincinnati Bible College, when we were there…) It was a lot of fun to see everyone. We all had lots of kids, so it was harder to have meaningful conversations sometimes, but overall it was a really great weekend. Plus, we got some Skyline! πŸ™‚
  • We hosted a new friend for a couple nights in our home: Wayne Jacobsen. Some friends (a couple different friends, from a couple different places) had recommended his books, and we discovered that they were a big help to us… he just put thoughts into words for a lot of the things we had been thinking through over a couple years’ time. So, it was nice to get to spend some time with him at our house at the end of September.

October 2006

  • Alex turned FIVE! He was 5 on October 5th this year, so we had a fun birthday with lots of fives in it. We did five fun things involving the number five.
  • October 2006 was also our 9th wedding anniversary, and Jen’s 32nd birthday! We had fun celebrating both of those days… in fact, we celebrated Jen’s bday by visiting Gettysburg and then Washington DC, where my sister just moved to in September. It was a nice little (short) family vacation. And I think, a nice birthday for Jen. πŸ™‚
  • I also got to do an interview with Steve Tasker (a former Buffalo Bill) in October. Interviewing the players from those Super Bowl teams – the teams that made me a Bills fan for life, I think – has been a definite bonus of doing the Bills Review
  • We trick-or-treated on Halloween night right in our own neighborhood! First time we had gotten to do that! It was so fun to walk around our town, with the people we live next to… was just fun. πŸ™‚

November 2006

  • We took another trip to Ohio, this time for Thanksgiving with my parents (and other family). A nice time, as usual. πŸ™‚
  • November is my birthday month… I turned 32 at the end of Nov 2006. I caught up with Jen. πŸ˜‰

December 2006

  • We crammed 7 holiday concerts into 8 holiday days. Was like the “good ol’ days”! Actually, it was a lot of fun.. more than I expected it to be. A great way to kick off the Christmas season.
  • In the month where we lost Jen’s older brother, Jeff (Dec 4, 1998), we found out that we had lost our baby, due to join our family in May of 2007. We got the news at a routine doctor visit when we could not hear the baby’s heartbeat. All had seemed very normal up till then. The baby had been just fine. We were well into the “safe zone”… we were just blind-sided, and I am still recovering. Losing one baby was hard, two is harder, and I’m sure Jen’s parents would attest that losing a son at age 36 was exponentially harder. This even obviously put a bit of a damper on 2006 πŸ™
  • We wrapped up 2006 with a visit to my parents place in Ohio again. For the first time since Ian was born (1998), we spent Christmas day with my family. That was nice and different. Glad we got to do that.

Well, I know there are probably LOTS more things that we did in 2006 that either seemed too “routine” to post, or that just slipped my mind as I did this broad, sweeping overview of an entire year of life. Certainly it was a good year… and a hard year all the same. But I’d have to say the main thing I will remember from 2006 is the continued journey of learning to live everyday life with a Father who loves me completely, in everything that I do. He’s still working on helping me understand that, but I think that this past year that was a major focus … just learning to live life everyday loving the people he has put around us, and learning to abide in him in all that we do. It has defintely been a life-changing year… if nothing else, at least in our daily/weekly patterns. That has been both challenging, and extremely freeing and rewarding.

This was fun. Thanks for reading along. If you got all the way to this part, you’re either a fast reader, or a good friend. Or, bored? πŸ™‚ Anyway.. glad to have you along.

I wonder what 2007 has in store…

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