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December 31, 2011

That's not to say that I don't love receiving as well!

I AM BLESSED in so many ways, I received so many amazing Christmas and Birthday presents - but a couple truly touched my heart, made me smile and brought out a few tears as well!

Chris gave me this on Christmas morning -

A whole case of Boones Farm Snow Berry Creek - he even had the kids wrap it!
He gets me and I love it!

My baby's gave me this -

Charlie Browns Christmas book - it is a recordable book, they read the story and now I can listen to them read it to me for years!
They get me and I love it!

My parents gave me this for my Birthday -
It is a leather cuff with a metal plate that is engraved with "LIFE IS GOOD"!
Now my Mom will say "of course you love it you picked it out!" to which I would say "I know but when I said to them "I love this bracelet" they never hesitated, they didn't ask if I was sure they just bought it for me!" So don't ruin the moment Mom!
They get me (not sure they always understand how I work) but they knew it was me and I love it!
Happy New Year with many blessings!

December 28, 2011


I really do, especially when you think you have found the one gift that is going to make the recipient genuinely smile and warm their heart!
My big thing on giving is to give what the person wants, something that reminds you of them - NOT something you think they should want!

I made this book for my FIL:

Campbell Family Farms 2011

Basically I spent from January 1 thru December taking pictures of everything that we did - of course I took thousands (seriously thousands) of pics so then I had to sort thru them all and pick the ones I wanted to use - it ended up being 68 pages - I could of made it so much longer but practiced "some" restraint!  The really neat thing about this was also that Chris knew I was making it for his Dad and he kept hinting how he would like a copy so my Mom surprised him with his own copy that he didn't know he was getting!

For my MIL - I took pics of her 7 grandkids and framed the prints!

Click here to view these pictures larger

For my parents I took pics of their 11 grandchildren made them a Shutterfly book of the pictures and then let my Mom choose her favorite then I had it printed on canvas to hang above their fireplace!

Click here to view this photo book larger

She choose this pic -

Here is what it looks like hanging above her mantel!
I had it printed at a place in Gunnison, Co - The Sign Guys and Gal - I have had several canvases printed by them and love their work and they are extremely reasonably priced!

And no your eyes are not deceiving you - 7 of my Mom's grandkids are identical to all 7 of my MIL grandkids - remember we have that whole brother sister marry brother sister but it's all legal thing!

December 25, 2011

Joy To The World

The Lord is come

Merry Christmas

And I tried for 2 hours (seriously) to turn the video the right way but have given up so just close your eyes and enjoy the music
This was last night at The Eck Family Christmas - that is my brother introducing Cole as "Coleman Vonludwig" - you may feel sorry for me now!

December 20, 2011

December 20, 1969:This Day In History.

On this day many things happened throughout time. 
The Louisiana Purchase was completed - 1803
Thomas Edison privately introudced his light bulb - 1879
The movie "It's a Wonderful Life" had a preview showing for charity for the first time - 1946
Jennifer Campbell, a well known blogger and excellent mother came into the world -1969
Casey Campbell failed an AP world history final, and aced her spanish 2 exam -2011

Can you believe I aced my spanish final? I was proud of mys---IT'S MY MOM'S BIRTHDAY! 

Let's take a look at the life of this inspirational genius shall we? 

We all go through tough times in our life. But Jent had it bad! An inside look at her early years here.
Don't judge! Everybody goes through awkward phases, her's just happens to be cuter than all of ours!
Here our star is, learning her place, the kitchen! She's a fabulous cook, baker, and candlestick maker! Kidding about the candles, but if she wanted to Jent could. She can do anything!
Ah yes, big hair. Even my mom falls for the fads! Here she is being awarded her state FFA degree. I must get my talents from her ;)
Even the best people in the world have identity problems. Big leap into the future here, my mom is now married and having an identity crisis. #sarcastic
Jent's life is always in the fast lane! ... except for when she is watching from the bleachers!
Here is an example of the "I love taking pictures of myself" Phase! But man can my madre pull it off. She's one hawwwtt momma!
Jent doesn't let 3 kids slow her down, no way. She hiked along way this day in her camo pants that only she can pull off these days! #beingserouis
3 kids later and still that good looking?! <-- True dat!

She's a hard workin' momma thats for sure!
I interviewed my mom a couple days back. 
"If you could describe your highest achievement how would you?"
Jent: "My daughter, the eldest one of course, is just so... amazing. I did such a great job raising her, and now she makes me proud everyday!" 
Those weren't her exact words, but I'm sure it goes something like that! 
On a deathly serious note though, the 3 of us work super hard to make her proud!
Another phase of life, Aussie hats. But she rocks it man!

That is the life of my mom, my role model, the awesomest person ever. Thanks for reading, and sign the petition to make Jen's birthday a national holiday! 


December 19, 2011

My Boy Is 9!

I still can't believe it has been 9 years since he was born!  We had his birthday party yesterday afternoon and go figure that for the 5th time out 9 years he chose a John Deere theme!

Now we are off on another year of adventure with this growing boy - he is really into building things with wood so he got several tools for his birthday and a gift certificate to Lowes for lumber - and after "Santa" nixed the miniature UPS truck, the conference chairs for meetings in his room and a Tempur-Pedic bed - you should see what "Santa" decided on for this 9 year old boy!

December 14, 2011

By George I Think They Get It!

We are blessed, always have been in more ways than one - well unless you ask the oldest she will recount Christmas of '98, when the hog market tanked - she was only 2 so I am not positive she remembers - but every time they complain about not getting something they "NEEEEEEED" they are forced to relive that year and am pretty sure they have been traumatized by our story's!

Anyway - every year our church puts up an Angel Tree - you know where you pick "ornaments" with wants and needs of children and family's that could you use a little extra love this time of year - we have always tried to help, (our church is amazing if you aren't there to pick your ornament the first Sunday it is up they are usually all gone) from the time I had my first kid I tried to pick an ornament the same age as her - my goal was to personalize who I was buying for to grasp that these people were asking for necessities as presents - as the kids got older they were instructed to pick an ornament with an age the same as theirs - so that as they were shopping they could relate and hopefully get an understanding of how lucky they were - most of these kids needed clothing for Christmas!

So this is how it works:
1. Each of my kids is to pick an ornament off the Angel Tree close to their age (sometimes this is not always possible but they can usually get close)
2. They are given the budgeted amount of cash, their list of what their child needs and turned loose (you know what I mean - and we usually go to Wal-Mart where there is lots of choices and you get more bang for your buck)!
3. They have to pay the cashier - they see how much each item costs and the total - and yes some years we have had to put things back and yes they always ask if they get to keep the change - the answer is always "NO" - they should spend as much as they have on the person they are buying for - if you have a little extra buy some Christmas candy!
4. I make the kids wrap the presents!  They must wrap neatly and be presentable - I always say "If you were only getting one present wouldn't you want it wrapped neatly and with tissue paper inside not just thrown in a box, so that it looked like someone really put care into your present?"

OK so this year we got to Wal-Mart and my oldest says to me:
"Mom this kid only wants pants and a shirt - I brought some of my own money would it be alright if I buy him a toy too?"

I CRIED right there in the middle of Wal-Mart, I did - she looked at me like I was insane and said "MOM what the heck are you doing your embarrassing me?"  - I thought to myself "OH thank God it is my kid and this is not just a dream" - seriously I had my doubts!

I looked at her like she was insane and said:
"Don't be an idiot - of course you can spend some of your own money - that is the whole point of this - for you to learn to give to others!"  Yeah I really said that, it is me after all!

SHE GETS IT - I truly think they all 3 do and that makes my heart smile!

I also have to close with the story of wrapping the gifts - I am also the person that has to be called every year at the last minute from the person who organizes the Angel Tree with the question: "Hi Jent we really need to get the presents out to the family do you think maybe you could bring yours over to the church they were supposed to be here last Sunday!"

So last night after I hung up the phone I hollered for the kids to come wrap the presents, the oldest looks at me and says: "I really have a lot of homework, I don't have time!"  I looked at her and simply said "Wow that sucks how about I hang on to your laptop so that you aren't tempted to watch movies or surf the net and can stay focused on your homework!"

She wrapped the present!

Side note:  Chris informed me last night that I may of scared some you with my last ranting post - that was totally not my intention, while I probably am someone to be feared (just ask my kids), in that post I was merely stating my utter shock that so few people were interested in winning a FREE cookbook - however in your scared state I have to say that each and every comment forced my ego to grow a size bigger and made my heart very happy - and also allowed me to find some of your blogs that I didn't know about so THANK YOU!

December 10, 2011

Fine if that's the way you want it!

I am OK with that -for some reason I am not taken seriously as a cooking/recipe blogger, very few people out there comment on my recipe posts and even for this free giveaway not many people signed up - FREE people, what's not to like about FREE!  But I will take it as a challange and I will prove to anyone out there - HELLO is anyone out there? - that I can cook, I can bake and by gosh I am good at it!

But first things first - my Gooseberry Patch Church Supper cookbook give-away -


I so wish I could send all of you who entered a copy, it is a really good cookbook - Thanks to those who entered!

Buttons I will mail your cookbook out Tuesday - ENJOY!

But back to this challenge that has been set before me -

while I can do this:

Sleeve a cow!

Medicate livestock!

Clean out a leg pit (not just sit for a picture as it would appear)!

Help my kids with show calves!

Sweep out a bin!

Wash hog barns!

Run the grain cart!


Raise these 3 houligans!

Love this guy with all my heart!

Work pigs, but much to Chris' dismay I don't - I tell him if he ever becomes incapcitated I will do that chore but until then he can (and he can teach the kids, at this rate I hopefully will never have to do it again)!

I am the family chauffer!

But I am also pretty good cook and baker (if I do say so myself - which I just did)!
I have been known to make things like:

Chocolate cows!

Cakes that taste better than they look!

Homemade ice cream to die for - thanks to my Dad!

My chocolate chip cookies are demanded far and wide by young and old alike!

Mac and cheese that is so creamy and good you forget about the calories, which are too many to count!

A pot roast that will melt in your mouth!

Fried chicken that tastes like your great grandma made it herself!

I am the grill master at our house - when we were first married we splurged and bought some really good steaks, we were young and nieve and thought the man should do the grilling, he went out, put the steaks on, went back out, flipped them over, went back out, brought them in - we cut the top burnt layer off, we cut the burnt bottom layer off - I went back out with raw (much thinner) steaks and started the grilling over again - while Chris may not excell at grilling, but he is the champion of all champions at eating - he will eat anything I cook and never complains!

The biggest problem for me with a cooking post is that I suck at taking pictures of food - and that probably won't change but like everything else I do I will forge ahead and worry about the details later - just know that even if the pictures of the food aren't so good I promise that the taste is delicious!

So now that you know what I can do I am still not any good at cleaning (and it doesn't matter how much you challenge me Chris) that is just not one area I don't ever have a desire to excell at so you can also ignore the messy kitchen in the background of the food pics!

December 9, 2011

When our kids leave home . . .

. . .Chris says he is going to sneak in their houses late at night and turn on all the lights!

. . .I am going to show up at random times during the day, raid the refrigerator and cabinets and then complain that they have nothing good to eat and maybe they should go to the grocery store more often.

. . .we are going to visit, each enter a different door and not close either one of them!

. . .sneak in and take showers and then hide the wet towels in the closet and deny that we used them and pretend we have "no idea" how they ended up in there "cause we sure as heck didn't do it"!

. . .Chris is going to turn the thermostat up when no one is looking!

. . .when I sneak in to take a shower I am going to scatter dirty laundry all over the house!

. . .I am going to eat a snack in their bedrooms and leave the dirty dishes partially hidden so that they don't find them for weeks!

. . .when I walk in their house I will randomly take off one shoe in the middle of the room and then walk to another room and take off the other shoe - then when it is time to leave I will "look" on the ceiling for it and complain that I can't find them!

. . .I will get a big glass of ice and make sure several cubes land on the kitchen floor and not pick them up, so that they will melt and leave little puddles.

. . .when I visit I will help myself to a glass of milk and leave the jug on the counter for hours!

. . .when they invite me over for supper I will show up early ask what we are having roll my eyes and paw thru the refrigerator and make myself a ham sandwich while they are preparing the meal and then say "I'm not really hungry".

. . .when asked we will gladly help to feed any livestock they have - then we will not feed until we have our pajamas on and then complain, stomp out to the barn and proceed to spill feed everywhere and defiantely forget to turn the barn lights off.

. . .leave empty pudding cups and spoons on their nightstands and then complain that there are no clean spoons to eat my next pudding cup with!

. . .when they complain about all these things I will laugh a maniacal laugh, show them this blog post and tell them I have been planning this for years!

December 7, 2011

WW: Hoosier Beef Congress With Us

So excited, headed up to Indy to set up stalls and we are not all 5 riding in a single cab pick-up truck!

Setting up fan cage and arranging bedding - yes they have to do the work!


Team Fitting Contest - they placed 3rd overall - not to shabby since it was their first fitting contest ever!

Pep talk - all my kids have always talked or sang to the calf in the ring!

Headed into Showmanship - for the first 5 years they show I make them do showmanship after that it is their decision - my middle will do showmanship forever, my oldest not so much - once she completed her 5 years she was done, she will work all day in the barn but hates the ring!

In the make-up ring!

LOVE THIS - I just happened to look up and he was telling her she did a great job and kissed her forehead!

Waiting for the youngest 2 to go in the ring - we had been up since 3am washing calves and grooming - I couldn't wait to go back to bed!

In the make-up ring!

Pep talk from Dad!