Archive for the family Category

New Pictures on flickr

Posted in boys, family on 13 July 08 by mikevc

I have uploaded some new pictures on flickr from the playground that Letitia helped build with the Kool-Aid Man and Reverand Run.  You can watch this little video on it.  Jeff found it and noticed that L. was in at at 0:47.  You can also see her sitting down talking to Cayce behind Reverads Run’s left shoulder at 0:12-0:14.  Anyway,  we went there Saturday and played and swam in the pool next to it.  We also have some grainy pics from the party at the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink, one of mine and my siblings haunts when we were J and T’s age.

Izzy Doing Fine

Posted in boys, dog, family on 3 July 08 by mikevc

I realized I left this hanging.  Izzy is doing great.  She is fully recovered and is a mischievous little puppy.  I think we caught it early enough that we were able to stop the Parvo in its tracks.  She seemed to be completely better on the third day.  We had been bracing for a miserable week.  We were even able to stop the IV treatments early she did so well.  So, she is doing great healthwise.  Now, we need to work on the jumping on people–especially the boys.  She was so excited to see everyone when we woke up this morning that she knocked Tobe over and scared him a bit.  Oh well, we much prefer that to where she was a couple of weeks ago.

Izzy Update

Posted in family, Izzy on 21 June 08 by mikevc

Not wanting to jinx anything, I will be cautious in saying that things seem to be looking up for Iz. When I woke up this morning and came into the kitchen, she scurried off of the couch and came to me. She had hardly moved from her spot of the sofa for two days. On top of that, I noticed her food was gone, which would be the first food she had eaten in a while. It might have been eaten by the cat. Letitia and I (mostly Letitia-I just held the bag) gave her the first home IV today (she had already gotten one at the vet). After this, she again got tired and lay down for quite a while.

Several hours later, she got up and was somewhat hyper–for a sick dog at least. She went into the kitchen and drank her water, which she hadn’t done either–we had been giving her water via a syringe. Then, she went to the backdoor and went outside. She stayed out there for a while running around. I brought her inside and she still ran around exploring the house for the first time. I asked her if she wanted to take a walk and she rushed to the door with me. We walked (or, she walked me) for quite a ways. We went all the way to Jonah’s school and back (several blocks). Even though it started to rain, she didn’t want to go home; she still wanted to run around. Once she got home, she played fetch for half an hour with an old stuffed animal of Tobe’s (Boots from Dora the Explorer) with the boys and I. I don’t want to be overly optimistic but she did not look or act like a dog with a 50% chance at survival.

Since then she has eaten half a bowl of her special food and has not vomited since returning from the vet. So, she is resting quietly now. And, we hope that things are definitely looking up for her.

New Pictures and Flickr

Posted in boys, family, pictures on 20 April 08 by mikevc

My brother Otrops was very kind and sent us a Flickr membership since we had hit the 200 mark (the limit for free accounts). So, I am trying to do a better job taking pictures of the boys. I uploaded a number of pictures on Flickr just now. So, if you want to see the boys at Earth Day, Toby’s Open House, or enjoying an Astros game, check it out on my Flickr account.

Astros Fun

Posted in baseball, boys, family on 20 April 08 by mikevc

I have not written much the past few weeks. Busy, busy, busy with the opening of the new Cenral Library (under 40 days left). I have been having a lot of fun at Minute Maid with various family members. Toby and I went to a Tuesday $2 game last week. Toby was quite good at screaming “Go Astros” and “Lose Cardinals!”. After the first two innings we spent most of the time in the SqueezePlay playground. He slept through the final three innings. Cardinal 5, Astros 3.

Last Saturday, I was given tickets from a co-worker with season tickets who could not make it out. So, Letitia and I went sans kids. It was quite fun and we had great seats. I think I can convert L. to a fan if I bring her to more games with just the two of us. Marlins 0, Astros 5.

Today, we used the kids discount coupons from being members of the Astros Buddies Club. We cleaned up on “stuff”, ironic when you consider how hard we are working to get rid of the “stuff” that is overtaking our small house. We all got free caps, Jonah and T. both got another free cap and a hamper for joining the Buddies Club. Jonah waited in line and got a Lemonade Day backpack and–as part of signing up–got to get one item autographed by Jeff Bagwell. We got a mini-bat for Jonah. You can see him with Bagwell here. This picture was taken just as Jonah is telling him where he should sign the bat. I am afraid that all of the good work that was done in getting L. to become a fan was undone at this game because of the crowd’s (and her husband’s?) reaction (I think the phrase “mob-like” was used) to a terrible call (everyone in the stadium knew Spilborghs dropped the ball and Spilborghs knew he dropped the ball; we were in the bleachers and saw it clearly; judge for yourself in the video).

Anyway, I have been having a lot of fun at some entertaining and competitive games despite the Astros dismal–as usual–early season standings.

My First Baseball Weekend in ’08? Almost

Posted in Astros, baseball, family, illness on 3 March 08 by mikevc

I have been looking forward to this weekend for quite a while. This weekend was to be the first weekend of that most wonderful time of the year: baseball season. Now, I know that the pros don’t actually get underway until the end of the month, but last week was the start of spring training games and this weekend was the always fun College Classic at Minute Maid Park, including my alma mater (UT Longhorns) and my childhood favorites/school I wish I had gone to (Rice Owls). This is a 3 day event w/ 3 games each day. My plan was to catch five games: all the games the Owls and UT played, especially the Saturday night game when they played each other. Well, fate had other plans.

On Thursday (actually Wednesday night), I was hit with the flu. I left work early on Thursday and haven’t been back. The really sad thing is I took Friday off to catch some baseball and then take my wife out to dinner for her birthday. Needless to say, none of this happened. Not only was I sick but I had one kid recovering from and one just coming down with the flu. Friday and Saturday were both complete washes. I was miserable both days. But there is some good news:

For the wife: Even though we haven’t gone to her birthday dinner at Cafe Montrose yet, her friends did manage to finagle (btw, in a completely unrelated comment other than the word “finagle” made me think of it, I love the name Finagle-a-Bagel, which was a bagel shop all over Boston) her some tickets for the Livestock Show and Rodeo Annual BBQ Cookoff, which she has been wanting to go to for the past ten years. It sounds like she had fun but the inevitable happened. As the only one of the four in our house who had been free of the illness, she returned from the event sniffling and miserably ill.

For me: I did make it to the College Classic today. My wonderful wife allowed me to go even though she was sick and the boys seemed to recover. I had hoped to catch the Rice-Texas Tech game and the UT-UHouston game. I made it through the first one before I realized I wasn’t fully recovered yet. Exhausted, I headed home after one game. On the bright side, the Owls won all their games and I got a parking space on Texas Avenue right outside the park.

One last plea to the folks at Minute Maid or Drayton McLain or someone: Next year please keep the Astros FanFest and the College Classic on the same weekend. It just feels like more of an event that way and allows us ‘Stros fans to get into that baseball mode early in the year. I really don’t like that they separated the two this year. Plus, I am going to be in Minneapolis when the FanFest is held this year. I shouldn’t complain I will get to spend Opening Day with the Twins and Angels: my first AL Opening Day.

More Pictures!

Posted in boys, family, Jonah, Toby on 13 November 07 by mikevc

sf.jpgFor those who care about such things, I posted several shots of the family on a trip to Northern California for Auntie Ing’s wedding from Summer 2005. Toby found an SD card that had a couple hundred pictures on it that apparently never made it to flickr.

I remember the trip well for photographic reasons. We were there for roughly two weeks but the pictures are only the last four or five days. At a Fourth of July festival, I was playing with settings on my then relatively new camera as we waited for the fireworks to begin and I accidentally deleted all of the pictures documenting the first half of our trip–including the wedding (and some fun hiking, birding, and kayaking).  I tried to make up for it by snapping a picture every chance I had in the remaining days in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and the trip to the Jelly Belly factory.

Visit my flickr account to takea gander at what the boys looked like two years ago.

Van Campens in the US

Posted in family on 21 October 07 by mikevc

In a fit of boredom, I somehow ended up on I started doing a bit of poking around and found a ton of info on the Van Campens going all the way back to Gerritt Jansen VanCampen, about whom the only piece of information known is that he was married 29 January 1658 (or ’59) and had a son named Jan Gerritsen VanCampen before 1661 in Ulster County, NY. It looks like the family spent a lot of time in New York counties close to PA. At some point in the 19th century, it looks like the VCs moved into Ohio, where my parents were born and married. It was only in the late 1970s that they–and, in turn, my dad’s parents–moved to TX.

Fascinating stuff for me if for no one else. Here is Gerritt Jansen’s descendency, my Granddad is Victor Lee (9 generations out). I am the second “Living VanCampen”(11) listed as a child of Jack Dennis VanCampen (10).

In addition I discovered that my relatives were quite active in the Revolutionary War. I knew a lot about Major Moses but was not aware of the others, including his brothers. One of my distant uncles (Abraam) was apparently well acquainted with John Adams. Here is a quote concerning Abram Van Campen from The History of Cattaraugus County, New York (1879):

His old stone mansion on the Delaware was the seat of unbounded hospitality. It was here that the distinguished patriot, John Adams, notes in his diary, after driving in his coach from home, on his way to Philadelphia, that, “when I arrived on the Delaware, I always stopped several days to rest with ‘Squire Van Campen.”

Clearly, I have run out of ways to waste time and postpone sleeping. Interesting, nonetheless.

Blogging Van Campens

Posted in family on 18 October 07 by mikevc

All of the Van Campen offspring (1970s edition) are now blogging.  My sister has just started a blog called The Adventures of Jude and Squiggly McGee, named after and prominently featuring her newish baby (he is an amazingly cute little guy) and his favorite toy.  As Otrops points out, we are all not only bloggers but WordPress bloggers–interesting, no?  He notes that his spouse is getting on the blog bandwagon soon as well.  I know L. started but I am not sure what happened with her blog.

History – An Important Subject

Posted in family, nostalgia, Uncategorized, video games on 9 September 07 by mikevc

mario.pngI recently discovered an app in facebook that connects to NES Cafe, which is a site that emulates the old Nintendo Entertainment System. Not only that it has virtually every game ever made for the system. Thus, I have discovered over 1000 ways to take a trip down video game memory lane…and, I am taking my son with me. It is somehow fitting since these games roughly correspond to my musical nostalgia posting of the past few weeks.

punch.pngSo, in the name of education–in particular History (of Video Games)–Jonah and I have been playing every iteration ofducjhunt.png Mario (Super, Brothers, Dr., vs. Luigi, you name it), Punch Out, Excitebike, and a bunch of games I never played. I am floored at how terrible the graphics and controls are–especially compared to what is out there today. I remember this stuff being cutting edge in 1990. That is probably a trite observation, but I remember that to us this stuff was 1000% beyond the Ataris and Intellivsions of eight years prior. My son can’t distinguish between any discernible differences in quality between the two eras. Oh well, the perils of aging.

Extra credit for whoever can identify all 3 games pictured here.