When Life Gives You Lemons…

Ian Campbell and his Lemonade StandOr, even when it doesn’t. Lemonade still tastes great. Who doesn’t love a nice, cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day?

For a while now our kids have been excited to set up a lemonade stand in front of our house and sell to anyone who might happen by on a warm day and be willing to pay them a small fee for a cold cup of the lemon drink. They are nearly always greeted with warm smiles and over generous customers and have a great time while they’re at it. Not just because they are making money, but during the whole process: figuring out how much the ingredients will cost, what materials to use (card table, check… large piece of plywood covered with paper for a sign, check… signs at the nearest intersections, check) and then even adding items for sale, as our daughter is wont to do. (She often has a companion yard sale on the lemonade stand days.)

But this time, it was serious.

With a little help from Dad, Ian set to work on a design, and figuring out what the materials would cost for a real lemonade stand. I helped him think through how to anticipate what he would need, design-wise, and then we went shopping at Lowe’s for the lumber, paint, and other supplies.

I actually thought he would be excited to do it on his own, but the supplies sat for a few days on our porch. Curious, I asked if he was waiting for me to help him, and when that was the case, I was glad to join in on the project. It was definitely a fun thing to do together!

But Ian certainly did the majority of the work on this project. From start to finish.

From the measuring and cutting, to the assembling and painting (and even the lettering—see below) Ian had a vision, and the determination, and he stuck to it. (Thanks to some extra freedom in his daily schedule from Mom, too!)

The big event that helped push along the completion of this project is a really large annual gathering in our tiny home town. Every July, tens (if not hundreds?) of thousands of people from all over the world descend on Palmyra, NY for the Hill Cumorah Pageant only a few miles from our house. Knowing that was coming, bringing with it a ridiculous increase in potential customers, was a great motivating factor for getting the stand ready for use.

Some friends of ours had set up a lemonade stand of their own last year in a prime location for all of this visiting traffic, and in speaking with them last week, we both thought it would be fun to set up a schedule of “shifts” at the lemonade stand and have the whole week of the event covered. Great plan! They offered some of their resources, and Ian offered his stand (they even gave him a donation toward his building costs!) and we set to work on finalizing the last few details. (Like, getting permission from the business who owns that property, and determining when to have people at the stand, how much food and drink to have ready, etc.)

It’s quite an operation!

The first day went really well. Each family took a four-hour shift, and exhausted their entire supply of baked goods, as well as the lemonade… twice! Our friends had the good idea of selling bottled water, too. That went pretty well. (Ian is thinking next time he’ll write to a bottled water company and get a big cardboard sign to advertise that water is being sold, too!) All in all, both sets of entrepreneurial kids did quite well on their first busy Saturday of selling.

Sunday was a day off, and the Monday was definitely slower, but that was expected. Supplies have been bought for the whole week, and great profits are anticipated by all. 🙂

The coolest thing about all of this is how much it has been initiated by our kids (Ian especially, but don’t discount 8-year-old Kirstie. She loves it, too!) and how much work they are putting into making it a success. If you could have seen them waving in the cars today…

They are learning the value of hard work. They are learning the rewards of labor. (And have already enjoyed spending some of their rewards on things they love.) Ian is working toward paying for some of the sports he wants to play this fall, and has been learning how investing a little money (buying supplies, materials, etc) along with a good bit of sweat, work, and time, can (when done correctly) reap very profitable results. Definitely gaining some good business sense in all of these endeavors.

If your kids get the itch to launch their own lemonade stand (or something similar) I highly recommend encouraging their urges. Don’t do it for them! Be a resource, a cheerleader, even a helper if that is needed. It’s fun to watch them invest themselves in these projects and see the rewards of doing so.

Watch out world. Ian Campbell Enterprises is just getting started! 🙂

A Birthday Party

Yesterday was a special day in our home.

February 25th is not a date we celebrate annually, but in the year 2012, it was a day we celebrated our oldest daughter Kirsten.

It was a day that she has been waiting for—quite literally—for years.

It was her first, real, official, honest-to-goodness birthday party! (And it was to celebrate the completion of her 8th circuit around the sun!)

What bad parents!!! Who doesn’t give their daughter a birthday party until they turn eight??? Well, probably a fair question. And, really, I don’t have any single particularly satisfying answer. Somehow, it’s just worked out that way.

But after a tiny bit of convincing required by Dad and Kirsten to win over the Mom (it really didn’t take much …) we scheduled, schemed, invited. Then we shopped, cleaned, decorated, prepared… and partied!

As I mentioned, for a few different reasons, Kirsten has managed to avoid having her own party over the years. She’s even managed to avoid going to others’ parties. A big part is just that she is pretty young, but somehow it’s just never worked out. Another big factor in her own lack of birthday parties is that we often combine her celebration with that of her two sisters whose birthdays are 11 and 13 days later. It makes for a big fun party, but not one for just Kirstie.

Yesterday, she finally got her wish! 🙂

She was all smiles for days before, most all day today, and I got one of the biggest smiles of all time from her as I was saying goodnight to her in her bed, and I asked if she had a good day. (I already knew the answer, but it was nice to see it shine through in her beautiful smile.)

Eight years ago this Tuesday we were blessed with our first little girl. She is beautiful, caring, sensitive, bright, aware, tender, fun, clever, curious, and incredibly precious. My life would definitely not be the same without her in it.

It was a great day, celebrating our little girl. I am thinking it will be remembered for many days to come. (Days going on years.) And I’m guessing she’s going to want to do this again. 🙂

I already can’t wait!

Imitation: The Highest Form of Flattery

Tonight at the dinner table, our youngest boy—who bears a good deal of physical resemblance to his Daddy—was particularly tuned in to my every move. He was watching (and mimicking) everything that I did. When I leaned forward onto my elbows to rest my head in my hands and wipe the tired of the recent past from my face, so did Cam. Whichever way I moved, just about any posture I assumed, Cam followed to near perfection.

It didn’t take me long to notice, and when I did, well, I was certainly heartened by his quite evident love for his me, his Dad.

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, and I guess maybe “they” are right.

Paul also said that the people whom he introduced to Jesus should “imitate [him] as [he] imitate[s] Christ”. That thought came to my mind, and I hope that’s just as easy for them to see and to follow as my physical motions at the table.

The best part was when, once he knew that I knew he was imitating me—though for this moment, I had momentarily forgotten—I moved my dish aside, being done with my food. Moments later, Cameron moved his dish in front of me. Typically, when this happens it means he’s refusing to eat more (even though he probably still should). However, once I saw where he had placed it, it was exactly the same amount to his right as I had placed my dish! 🙂

Still makes my face and heart smile as I recall and type the story here. Such a sweet boy.

In truth, it happens quite often, the imitating. More than I’d like. Often I’m quite glad for it, and I hope that it continues. But other times it’s too revealing. It can be unpleasant to hear the way your tone returns to your ears through the mouth of your biggest 2-year-old fan. But, a mirror can also be your best friend. I am thankful for the mirror that my kids can be for me.

Firstborn son, Ian, is more like me than I admit at times. He is creative, talented, gregarious, frequently charming, and also stubborn, confident to the point of arrogance, and often unteachable. At times, I am like all of that, too—the good and the bad.

During a recent clash of our similar personalities, where I felt (maybe incorrectly) that I needed to press Ian on his apparently unteachable/rebellious position or attitude toward me at that moment, I asked, “Ian, what is going on? Why are you being like this right now? Why do you have no humility at all?” He quickly responded, “I really have a hard time being humble!”

Slightly taken aback by his astute observation and open admission, I paused, but only slightly.

Though there was only a slight moment in which Ian’s words were allowed to resonate, his sister, Kirsten—more than five years his younger—managed to slip in the kindest, and perhaps most profound words of encouragement recently spoken in our home.

“That was humble, Ian.”

The kindness and pure, caring heart revealed both by her choice of words and her delivery of them, as well as the depth of understanding of the concept of humility that was evidenced by her quick assessment is overwhelming to me. In the midst of what had been a very draining, tense, frustrating series of moments for me (and everyone else, I think) she spoke such words of life that I had to encourage her, “Kirstie, I think those were the wisest, kindest words I’ve heard spoken here today. Thank you.”

There is beauty in our brokenness. In the moments where we are weak we can be lifted up. Either by someone else who is somehow less weak for that moment, or by God himself whose grace makes us strong, even—especially?—when we are weak. Sometimes the truth of that is revealed in the words, from the heart, of a seven year old girl, or by the actions of a two year old boy.

I hope that I am mostly characterized by a love and grace—toward my kids (and wife) directly, as well as toward every person that I might interact with—that overflows from the Life I have in me in Jesus. I am not him, and I can not be perfect. I will choose poorly, I will fail. But even in my brokenness, I hope that my kids will get to follow my example as I follow Jesus. Even in the way that I handle the images I see in the mirror: be they glass, or flesh.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Perhaps children are the highest form of imitation.

This day, I am so thankful for the mirrors God has given me.


Bible references above are from 1 Corinthians 11, and 2 Corinthians 12.

City Living… Or Not.

We Campbells live in a thriving rural metropolis.

Nestled on the outer eastern edge of the once-vibrant technology town of Rochester, NY—R.I.P. Kodak—our town is home to nearly seven thousand people of various ilk. This is the place to be if you want to experience cultural, ethnic, religious, and economic diversity. We’ve got it all!

But for some reason, Kirstie decided this week that she wants to live in NYC.

“I am going to live in New York City some day,” she proudly announced to her Mom. “I just really want to live up high in the air, overlooking the city,” she explained to her Dad.

Neither Mom nor Dad can even stand the thought of visiting the Big City, so the expressed hopes and dreams of our seven-soon-to-be-eight year old daughter were (more than) somewhat repulsive to us. “New York City, eh?” we slowly pondered a loving response, “Well, that’s a long time from now, so we’ll see what God has in store when that time comes.”

(We were at least partially, and quite deftly, employing the fine art of deflecting/distracting from/deferring the less than desirable, far-off dreams of young children.)

Fast-forward to bed time.

It was a very windy night. This strangely warm winter has seen a few brief cold spells, and each time they’ve come, they were ushered in by a fierce wind. This night’s wind was particularly powerful—and noisy!

As I was hugging and kissing the girls, tucking each under their warm, fuzzy blankets, I could tell that the wind was very much on their minds. The house was creaking and various scraping noises could be heard on the street outside as sundry items were dragged great distances against their will by the forceful gusts.

“God,” I began, “Please protect this room tonight and its inhabitants from anything that might harm them in this wind.” I started to go into detail about what things God could protect us from, but at the first break in my thoughts I was interrupted.

“Do you think there could be a tornado?” Kirsten asked, with a hint of real concern in her voice.

“No, Kirstie,” I reassured her, “There really aren’t any tornadoes here where we live. It’s pretty crazy, but pretty cool, huh?”

The three girls nodded, and verbally affirmed my mostly rhetorical question.

A moment later, after giving some thought to what I had said, Kirsten asked, “Are there tornadoes in New York City?”

Jumping at the chance, I quickly replied, with great conviction in my voice, “Oh yes! There are always tornadoes in New York City. Really bad ones! All the time!!

“Dad!” Kirstie scolded, in the way only Kirstie can do. Her twinkling eyes looked up and met my big, silly-Dad smile.

I was still smiling at my innocent, yet clever, yet loving jab at my oldest daughter’s earlier proclamation, when the brief silence was interrupted by her younger sister, Julia.

“I am never going to live there!” she said in her very tiny, very matter-of-fact tones.

Caught a bit off guard, I enjoyed a deep belly laugh—we all did!—and then I gave Julia a big hug and said, “That’s my girl!”

If you know Julia, you know that this was perfect is so many ways! She knows what she wants, and she just says it!

I love seeing the personalities of our kids shine through, even at the earliest ages. Julia is a very “black-and-white” person; very matter of fact. And she’s incredibly cute! That response was just quintessential Julia, far beyond what I can relay in a few sentences.

I don’t know if we swayed Kirstie any that night, but we all did have a great laugh. She might still be on a mission to live in the big city. Or not. Time will tell.

But one thing’s for sure: Julia is never gonna live there!

Thankful

There are days that it’s incredibly hard to see the good side. Where you’re so completely overwhelmed by the crushing weight of sadness, or failure, or just plain pain that you can’t see a way out of and seems it will never end.

For whatever reason, we’ve had more than our share of those around here lately.

But last night as I was putting the four youngest kids in bed, for some reason I decided to start (quite randomly) naming things that I was thankful for. “Thank you for Mom… and for (insert sibling name here)…” was how I began. Then I began just literally saying any word that came to mind. Some things I saw around their room, or then any related item or word. It quickly exploded into a fun game of who can think of the most random thing to be thankful for!

And the neat thing was, it worked.

The kids were not that excited to go to bed last night, but that little exercise lightened their hearts, and perhaps enlightened mine.

I found it was easy to rattle off all sorts of “good” things that we can be thankful for. Stars, trees, the sun, the moon, Grandmas & Grandpas, other friends we love, books, paper, paint, carpet, air conditioning, and so on. So I began intentionally thinking of “bad” things. (Or at least, weird things to be thankful for.)

“Thank you for toilets. For bottoms. For toilet paper.” Emma (our three-year old) picked right up on that, “Thank you for pee pee… AND poo poo!” And then I actually made myself say, “Thank you for HOT days.” (Reasoning in my mind that, though I loathe and detest the heat, I do love a good, juicy tomato … and they rather enjoy hot days.)

This seemed to work for all of the kiddos from the youngest (just about 2) who would grunt his approval with a little, “mmm hmm” after every word or phrase I’d say, to the room full of his three sisters all spitting out random words as fast as they were able to fit them in. It really was incredible!

It made me think of a book that Jen asked me to read, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Jen reads her blog, and so decided to purchase her book, and was challenged (in a good way) to try to change her perspective on life, as Ann has tried to do. It’s kind of a “glass half-full vs glass half-empty” idea, but a bit different. Her challenge was just to write down 1,000 things that you are thankful for. A few each day.

I think we may have hit about 400 last night alone! 🙂

There are so many things that we can be thankful for. It really just depends on your perspective. If you can come at life looking for goodness, you’ll often (usually) find it. If you’re expecting bad, you’ll usually end up there.

So maybe try it tonight. Putting kids to bed… after they are in bed… on your way home from work… just let you brain bounce from one thing to the next and speak it out, “Thank you for _____.” Not just things that God directly gave us, necessarily, but think about the things that are part of our everyday lives, and how they help us. We really do take much of life “for granted”, as they say. Doing so lifted my spirits last night, and four other tiny spirits.

Perhaps it can lift yours, tonight, too.

Little Smiles Along the Way

Hey.

It’s been a good while since I’ve gotten to sit down here and write out a thought or two as they pass through my head. (This site is called “Greg’s Head” after all, so it should live up to its name every now and again…) I don’t really feel that I have the time to sit and do so now—dishes to wash, kitchen to clean, work to do—but I almost feel I really can’t not.

(Nice double negative there.)

Tonight I noticed something on our bathroom sink. It was a shriveling up leaf that our daughter, Kirsten, had harvested not too long ago. It was likely discovered on a walk with Dad and some of her siblings. She found it interesting, and, as is her wont, she “collected” it. (It makes me smile even as I write this down to think of her various “collections”. She’s quite good at it!)

Something in me recognized that this is the stuff of life. Not the bills I am constantly juggling. (Definitely not the Bills who play football… yikes!) Not the job that I do, nor the every day schedule of life.

But within that daily framework come these moments. These pieces of who we really are. The times we stop to notice things, to enjoy the things that we really enjoy. And tonight, even though my precious daughter Kirstie is 100 miles away from me at her Grandma’s house… the beauty of her innocent love for life refreshed my spirit a bit, and has placed a recurring smile on my face.

Whether it’s a leaf, or a piece of pavement from the never-ending road construction in front of our house, or a nut, or a cool bug, or a stick, or any other sort of thing she fancies that I, or most other busy older people would consider no different than what we through in our trash bins … it signifies something deeper. Purer. The essence of life.

God built this place for us. He made it for us, and us for it. Too often we get caught up in the stuff that we’ve built (or that is building us) and we lose sight of the simple “treasures” that are around us. They can be as simple and ordinary—and, in most tangible ways, meaningless—as the leaf sitting on my bathroom sink…

Or, they can be as profoundly amazing as the daughter God made from me who reminds me to smile along the way. (And gives me plenty of smiles along the way, too.)

Thanks, Kirsten. And I hope you are smiling about something wonderful tonight.

Kirsten’s Daily Schedule

Kirsten's Daily Schedule

This was just too cute not to share.

Today I found this piece of paper on our kitchen table. It would seem that Kirsten is as fond of lists as Mom (or at least, becoming so). Jen is absolutely a lover of lists, and perhaps this little paper is evidence of that budding love in Kirsten!

The cutest part is how much she loves having email, too 🙂 Her older brothers both have their own accounts on our family iMac, and just Sunday Kirstie got her own, too! She’s very excited, and loves that she has her own email (mostly for sending pictures and notes to her Grandmas) 🙂

It sure is fun growing up! (Until you actually get to the grown up part, then you wish you weren’t any more)

But for now… for Kirsten… it’s fun! 🙂

(What is extra fun is that this schedule may have also been inspired by her Uncle Andy who was just here for a visit on Friday and Sunday. I think he’d be rather fond of a schedule that was: TV, nap, Check my Email, TV.)

A Few Things I Love

Tonight I was noticing several things I love about our family, and I just wanted to write them down.

I love that our family reads. I mean really reads. We took our customary Monday walk to the library this afternoon (with MOM this time, since Grammy & Grandpa were here to stay home with the sleeping babies!) and each time we go to the library we can’t get less than a dozen books! (To be fair, there are MANY of us in this house…) And, when we get home, each kid finds a seat in the living room and begins devouring their new literary treasures. So great.

And then tonight, after giving the babies a bath, I asked Emma to pick out a book and read while I helped her older sisters get cleaned up themselves. I found her a very thick story book (with pictures) and once I showed her what a neat book it was she got very excited and ran to her bed to start reading it. Five or ten minutes later, she was still sitting on her bed, happily “reading” her book. She’s two!

All day long we are reading. Separately, together, doesn’t matter. And often we are telling one or more of the others something we’ve found interesting from one of those books. I love that our family reads.

I love that our family loves music. Tonight after the reading fun, we were finishing up getting ready for bed and I just decided to sing a couple songs with the girls. I didn’t think anyone was picking up on it, so I stopped after a verse of one song. A few moments after I was done, a tiny voice expectantly asked from her bed, “Sing more, Dad?” I looked over to see Emma, face and eyes beaming, slightly tilting her head… how could I say no? I sang another verse and she just giggled when I finished. She loved it!

So, I grabbed my guitar and we sang a few songs together in our extended bedtime routine. As soon as I grabbed my guitar, Emma found her little clay flute (from Argentina) and started playing that. Next thing I knew, she was out of her bed, standing in front of me waving her arms and dancing “ballet” with me. 🙂 She invited her sisters, and without much hesitation, the other two girls were doing the same!

We belted out the chorus, “How great is our God, sing with me, how great is our God!” until it was really time to be done. I put the guitar down and hugged each girl good night. As Emma was waiting her turn she continued to belt out, “How greaaaaaat….. is Goooooooooood!” And of course, always with a giant smile on her face.

Just beautiful.

And, just a day or two ago, we decided it was time to enjoy some other people’s music. And to enjoy it loudly. (I think I have passed along a great love for very loud music to my children from their Grammy, whom I believe still enjoys feeling her music!) We were boogying to some Michael Jackson (from his album Off The Wall.) Even Cam, our now one-year-old little guy was smiling, laughing, and dancing!

I love that our family loves music.

I also really love that our family knows God. Really knows him. Not just about him, or the concept of God. But that they think of him as a person, as I have come to know him in my adult life. I mean no slight to my parents (I am especially thankful for them today, too, as we’ve gotten to spend the last two days with them) but I do not recall growing up knowing the reality of God in our everyday life. Where he is part of our everyday thoughts, and speech, and actions. Not just doing “God” things either—like going to church, reading the Bible, and praying—but that he’s just part of who we are; we, the Campbells. I hope that will be a great foundation for all of our kids to have full and rich lives lived with and through him.

It’s been fun to watch it developing already. My morning reading with the boys involves reading some scripture (varying amounts) and then talking about it as we go. I love hearing their reactions, and thoughts, and questions… and then just working through them together. Me not necessarily teaching… more facilitating, and learning just as much as they are as we go.

There’s more, but this is already getting long. No way I could present an exhaustive list here. Perhaps I’ll pick up this thread again later, but suffice it to say… I just plain love my family. 🙂

Do A Great Job, Not Just An ‘OK’ Job

This afternoon, what started out as some outside playing time, turned into the great deforestation project of 2010. While the boys and I were tossing the football around, Grandpa decided to climb up on top of their fifth-wheel camper and clear off some things. Well, that reminded me of a few low-hanging tree branches I had wanted to cut down. One thing led to another and before we knew it, all five of us were deep into an hour or two of some pretty intense yard work!

First, I cut down the branches I wanted to bring down. The boys thought that was fun and helped remove the limbs I brought down. I spied a few more that I wanted to cut, so I did that. My dad suggested a few more that could use trimming… and then while our neighbor was outside with us, I saw/remembered a dead tree that needed to be cut down with a chainsaw. It just so happens our neighbor has a chainsaw! 🙂 (And it just so happens my Dad is quite experienced with such implements, having his own tree cutting business a few decades ago.)

So… it was on.

We even got the neighbor on the other side of our property involved. It was a deforestation party! We brought that tree down, and a couple other fairly large branches that were hanging over the house next to our property (from a tree on our property). It was definitely a good bit of work, but quite fun.

I was pretty impressed that all three of the oldest kids were not just being helpful, but even happy to be helping, enjoying themselves. Once the cutting was done the yard was pretty full of felled limbs, branches, twigs, walnuts, leaves, and other clutter. There was a good deal more work to do.

I spotted a bunch of smaller branches strewn across our driveway that had fallen from the branches being dragged to the big pile, and decided to offer some encouragement to the helpful young workers.

“Now be sure to get all of these smaller branches, too guys. It’s a bit more work, but let’s make sure we do it. Let’s make sure we do a great job, not just an ‘OK’ job.”

As I said it I thought, Hey… that’s what I always try to say to them, in many more words! I remember my Dad saying, “Do it right the first time,” and so I have repeated that a time or two. Or ten. Or fifty. But really the heart of what I’m wanting to say is to just always do your best. Never cut corners. Never settle for less.

Do a great job, not just an ‘OK’ job.

I don’t think that’s common. At least, not in our current American culture. Do you? Do you see people around you doing everything with excellence. Trying to do their job (or really, anything they do) with greatness, not just the minimum effort and results? Perhaps it’s our educational system that passes “satisfactory” as the standard, or just a natural cycle of a society. Not sure, but I am hoping that such an attitude toward anything we undertake will be how we Campbells are known.

Today that worked pretty well. 🙂

What things are part of your family identity? We have a few others. And there are some that we are still working on passing along/training into our kids. It will be interesting to see what our efforts—and maybe even more so, the unintentional stuff we are passing along—looks like in our kids and their families down the road. Till then we’ll keep reaching for the great, not just the OK.

The Family That Reads Together…

Time Pirate by Ted BellI absolutely love reading with my kids. Love it. I think I especially love reading stories that stretch out over days and weeks (even months in the case of some longer books the boys and I have read together, like Oliver Twist, and Nick of Time). The pure joy of entering new worlds every time you crack open the book and smell the fantastic aroma of time worn pages, or brand new pages for that matter.

I love reading, period.

The boys and I are currently reading Time Pirate by Ted Bell. It’s an historical adventure (a fictional adventure story set in an historically accurate setting) so it brings up plenty of questions about true stories from the past. The two “Nick McIver adventures” books have been set near World War II, as well as some time in the 18th century (he’s a time traveler, so… that helps for exploring several historical eras). We’ve also touched on WWI since the people Nick looks up to (his Dad, and his older friend, Gunner) served in that war. Nick rebuilt and learned to fly a Sopwith Camel bi-plane from WWI, which means we also are learning about flying (and sailing in the previous book).

There’s so much to learn, and it’s fun doing it!

Here’s a list of books (not comprehensive) that are currently in progress in the Campbell home (Dad & kids reading … Mom has a whole list of her own to add – maybe she’ll comment?) 🙂

  • Time Pirate by Ted Bell
  • The Story of Winston Churchill by Alida Sims Maklus
  • Voyager: an adventure to the edge of the solar system by Sally Ride
  • The Sun and Other Stars (from World Book’s Solar System & Space Exploration Library)
  • Galaxies and the Universe (from World Book’s Solar System & Space Exploration Library)
  • The book of Acts (Today’s English Version) by Luke (and God…)
  • Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen (I read this with only the girls)
  • Anything and everything by Mo Willems! (He’s great!)

As I said, that’s not comprehensive… perhaps it would be fun to share a more comprehensive list? If you’ve not noticed it yet, there is a list of books that I am currently reading (and sometimes I’ll share videos/movies/TV that I am watching there as well) linked at the very top of this site. (Or just click here.) You can also see (when I’m feeling ambitious and keep it up to date) a few of the current reads along the right sidebar. But those don’t always include books that I’m reading with the kids. Perhaps I’ll share some of our favorites as a new page there: Books I’m Reading With the Kids.

One thing is for certain: BOOKS are definitely part of the Campbell family identity!