Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for May, 2008

Mother of the Year by Micca Monda Campbell

10th May 2008

Mother of the Year

 Micca Monda Campbell

 “Her children
arise and call her blessed; her husbandalso, and he praises her.”
  Proverbs 31:28

I long to be a godly wife and mother, but my efforts to become this
‘ideal’ woman stated in Proverbs can leave me grieved and depressed.

I felt especially defeated the year my youngest son started kindergarten. In
Tennessee, kindergarteners follow a scattered schedule the first two weeks of
school where half of the class attends one day and the rest comes the following
day. It helps them adjust. For me it brought confusion.

On Tuesday, I took my son to school, kissed him good-bye, and headed home
to work.

was busy at the computer when the telephone interrupted my pace. ‘Hello?’

‘Mrs. Campbell, this is Parker’s teacher. I was wondering who would be picking
him up from school today.’

Stunned that I had forgotten my child, I jumped in the car and raced to the school.
He stood on the sidewalk holding his teacher’s hand with tears in his eyes and
REJECTION stamped across his heart. I took him home, apologized profusely, and
made his favorite meal for dinner. I felt like the worst mother ever.

we returned to school. All was going well until I was, once again, interrupted
by the phone. I hadf orgotten to pick up my child not once, but twice in the
same week!

sped to school on two wheels. This time he was standing with the room mother,
who was obviously a true Proverbs 31 Woman. As she helped him buckle his
seatbelt, I tried explaining myself.

‘You’re not going to believe this, but I did the same thing earlier this week.’

‘Yeah, I know.’ She replied bluntly.

I felt I’d been labeled a ‘bad mother,’ and I felt like a complete failure.

Later that same year, God encouraged me as a mother when ParentLife
magazine named me one of eight ‘Mothers of the Year!’ Parker’s reaction to this
surprising news was, ‘If they lived with us for a while, they’d probably reconsider.’

Those were my thoughts exactly. In fact, I asked my husband how I could be given
such a great and undeserving honor. With wisdom, he shared that maybe it was
God’s way of saying I’m doing better than I think.

His wisdom helped me put things into perspective. God never said I had to
be perfect. That was my expectation. He never said that I wouldn’t make
mistakes or a wrong decision every now and then. Again, that was my hope. I had
assumed that the Proverbs 31 lady did everything right and I was suppose to as
well.The problem was, with all her great accomplishments, I never considered
her ‘not so good’ side.

I let the bad out weigh the good. Perhaps the ‘Mother of the Year’ award was
God’s way of saying, ‘Hang in there. You’re doing better than you think, and I’m
not the only one who notices.’

Despite my many mistakes, perhaps my children will some day arise and call
me blessed.

The next time you need encouragement, let God whisper to your heart: ‘I hear
when you pray for your children, and I’m there when you teach them about who I
am. I watch you love, care, and sacrifice for them. You’re not perfect, but hang
in there. You’re doing better than you think.’

Lord, help me to be the mother my children deserve. Encourage my heart when I
feel like a failure. Erase my errors from the hearts and minds of my children.
Instead, help them to see Jesus in me, Amen.

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Wisconsin Adventure with Kristine & Josiah, part 1

9th May 2008

Whew… how did it get to be Friday already??  Ag, there was so much I wanted to blog about, but I’m not even sure where to start!  After a crazy busy week, Josiah and I flew out yesterday afternoon.  A nasty line of thunderstorms and tornados had just blown through, but my flight was right on time. 

I was loaded down with luggage… my suitcase was 51.5lbs (luckily they let me through without the $50 charge!), my backpack – which I was wearing on the front – was packed full and VERY heavy, Josiah was on my back in the backpack, and I checked the carseat.  Getting through security was a HUGE hassle, with sippy cups rolling around, Josiah fussing, shoes getting misplaced.  I was frazzled before we even reached the plane! 

But that was the toughest part of the trip.  Josiah was amazingly good for me, very obedient, happily entertained with a Little Einsteins episode on my new iPod (I won it from a survey I filled out!!!).  Then he sat in the empty seat next to us (I didn’t buy a seat for him, just picked the LEAST desirable seat on the plane – back row by the bathroom, right next to the engine – in the hopes that no one would be next to us.  Woohoo – it worked!) and watched a DVD, played with his train, colored, and snacked.  He couldn’t have been any better.  I was so pleased!  I even got to enjoy some worship music on my iPod while he was watching his DVD player.  After we got off the plane, we had to wait for our backpack carrier, which had been gate-checked, and the woman who sat in front of us raved about how good he’d been.  Several other people commented on how they didn’t even know there was a small child on board.  Way to go, Josiah!  He enjoyed seeing the airplanes, too, but he was really focused on finding a "hopcoter", though there were none to be seen.

In Chicago, we were at the gate right next to the escalator to the baggage claim, and then our baggage claim was the first one we came to, and our suitcase and carseat were waiting.  When I asked a lady with a luggage cart which door to tell my grandma to pick us up at, she offered to take our stuff to the curb for us.  SWEET! 

The only hassle was that my Grandma (80years old) and Charlie (90years) didn’t wait for me to tell them which door I’d be at.  They ended up getting lost and finally parking in a parking garage, and I had to find them.  Amazingly – I’m sure a small miracle from God – they were in the garage directly across from where I was waiting, just up a level.  So, with J on my back, and a 30+lb backpack on my front, I pulled my heavy suitcase and dragged the carseat across 4 lanes of traffic, over the curb, to the elevator and up to my Grandma.  Hm.  Not exactly how the "cell phone waiting lot" was supposed to work!! 

Josiah went right to sleep after a quick dinner at a highway Oasis, and I drove the 3 hours to Platteville, Wisconsin.  Long, tiring but smooth journey, and we got in at 1:30.  J and I were in bed by 2.  Unfortunately, he was awake throwing up at 3:15 🙁  I got him cleaned up and tucked into my bed, rinsed off the dirty stuff so it wouldn’t stink up the room.  He did throw up one more little bit, but slept hard until 7am.  Poor guy.  I didn’t get much sleep, though.  And this morning, he had diarrhea again.  We’re waiting on word from the pediatrician from a stool sample, so HOPEFULLY – please pray!! – we get some answers so we can stop the nasty cycle!!  I can’t handle him being sick on this trip!

Today was a good day, though, and Josiah seemed to feel fine.  We napped this morning, played, walked around outside, and finally, a friend of my sister and Hal’s babysat Josiah, while my mom & Dad, Grandma & Charlie, Aunt Carol & Uncle Jim (here from Arizona), Hal & his parents, and I all attended the "pinning" ceremony for Anna’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy graduation.  She was one of the featured student speakers.  She did wonderfully.  I’m so glad I was able to be there.  I’m so proud of her!

We had a nice dinner of grilled chicken here before a small graduation party.  Josiah and I came home early with Grandma & Charlie for a good night’s sleep.  Busy day tomorrow with the actual graduation.  Pray that Josiah stays healthy!

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As the Pedals Turn – Anniston Criterium

5th May 2008

I’ll just post Brian’s race report here, so you can enjoy his recap!

My race was insane. The call-ups were like a "who’s who" of criterium
racing. Kirk O’Bee, current US Pro crit national champ, Hilton Clarke,
Ivan Dominguez, Frank Pipp, Rashaan Bahati, and a bunch more. Toyota
United, Healthnet, and Bissell all had their A teams — but overall
the race was actually kind of small with less than 60 riders. I had an
OK start on the second row with the guy just in front and to the left
struggling to get into his pedals. I was in about 15th going through
the first two corners. The pace was not too, too fast but before I had
a chance to attack for the first lap prime, somebody else did and
everybody gunned it going down the hill into the third corner. I was a
little nervous not having had a chance to pre-ride the course and I
lost ground going into that corner coming out of it in probably 30th
or worse. By the time we made it around two more times I found myself
getting closer and closer to the back of the pack. Ivan Dominguez was
hanging out back there, too and I rode near him for the first few laps.

The pace was very fast and strung out everywhere except that third
corner, which was slower on some laps — but there were definitely
laps where we took that corner at over 30mph. I wouldn’t be surprised
if our average speed for the race was close to 30mph — I’ll have to
download the data when we get home to check. Even with the fast pace,
a group of 10 riders got away on about the tenth lap. Let’s just say I
wasn’t in any position to try to go with them. In fact I was hanging
on for dear life at the back of the group — which I think was
actually harder than riding near the front considering the whiplash
effect of turns 2 and 4. All the major teams were represented — but
the pace didn’t slow down right away. We went insanely fast for the
next 5 laps or so and then right when I was near the snapping point,
the field basically sat up between turn 1 and 2 and then basically
cruised the rest of the lap at 25mph — which was just enough time to
give me a chance to recover and actually move up to about a mid-pack
position going through the S/F.

I struggled some with Turn 3 as people would pass me going into the
corner and then it would be hard to carry momentum through it. When
the break finally lapped us, the pace shot up again and there were
several counter attacks so the pace would be fast on some laps and
then slower on other laps. Kristine says they were throwing out primes
on every other lap during that part of the race, but I was
concentrating hard on positioning, etc… and didn’t even notice them.
With about 20 laps to go, the pace shot up again as the big teams
started positioning for the final sprint.

But then with 12 or 13 laps to go, I was somewhere in the top 20 going
around Turn 2 and the people at the front sat up. I saw this as a
great opportunity to attack to move my position up — but when I
attacked and the front was still going slow, I found myself with a
huge gap on the downhill. Taking Turn 3 by myself was a lot more fun
than trying to negotiate it in the pack. I had a pretty good gap and
Frankie Andreu announced my name and our team going through the S/F!
At this point, Rashaan Bahati (Rock Racing) and John Murphy
(Healthnet) were also off the front chasing to "unlap" themselves. I
managed to bridge up to Rashaan after 3 or 4 laps, but he was cooked
and I stayed away one more lap before the field caught back up with
about 7 or 8 laps to go. It was awesome to be off the front of the
field with so many people from Birmingham cheering! Thanks!

The pack was strung out as it came by me, but I had enough adrenaline
so close to the finish of the race to ramp it up and hold on towards
the back of the pack for the next few laps. With 1 to go, a rider in
front of me gapped off on Turn 2 and I couldn’t go around him. I ended
up working with him to chase almost back on before the real sprint
started and then passed a bunch of people who had sat up for the
sprint. I think I may have finished somewhere in the mid to lower 30’s.

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Manic Monday Fly-by!

5th May 2008

Starting a crazy busy week here.  We’re still dealing with intermittent stomach/intestinal issues here.  That means mountains of laundry are waiting to be taken care of, just after I got last week’s massive piles taken care of.

Brian raced in Anniston, AL and Roswell, GA (outside of Atlanta) Saturday and Sunday evenings.  Great races, LOADED with pros (like 70% of both fields).  Hugely impressive that he finished, and he even had several laps in both races where he was off the front of the pack leading.  I got really excited and screamed really loud.  🙂  We stayed at a nice hotel in Atlanta on Saturday night, actually getting good sleep, a wonderful breakfast, a nice swim in the pool, and a relaxing morning.  Even with some sickness to deal with on the trip, it was a good, fun time, and not-too-stressful. 

I’ve got a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Leadership Luncheon today, since I’ll be the Discussion Group Team Leader.  I’m really excited, because I have been very blessed by the ministry of MOPS.  If you haven’t been to a MOPS group and you’re a mom with young kids, I can’t recommend it enough!  Here’s where you can find a group near you…

We’re also going to try to make these cute butterfly cupcakes for Analise to take to preschool tomorrow.  I’ve never tried anything so fancy, so we’ll see how it turns out! 

Josiah and I are leaving on Thursday for 12 days in Wisconsin visiting my family.  Both my sisters are graduating, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  It’s going to be a busy, crazy trip, and I wish more than anything Brian and Analise could come too, but Josiah and I will have a good time. 

Enough from me.  Gotta shower and move laundry.  Happy Monday!

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