just for fun

More unofficial shots from the wedding

Richard and I love taking photographs, but we’re glad not to be on the hook for the official wedding photography. That seems kind of daunting. Franny asked me to take some of the “getting ready” time because she wasn’t sure her official photographer would have time to do that after taking the before-wedding menfolk photographs. The official photographer did arrive in the suite, but here are some I took before she arrived.

curling iron


patrice combing

While Franny was getting her hair curled, Patrice was combing the flower girl’s hair. She was trying to be good, but Tricey was tugging.

fran hand l

In addition to helping Franny, I also take orders from Katie, Franny’s Mom. She gave me a list of photographs that she wanted ME to take: her children, her grandchildren, she and her children, the whole family. I told her I expected that the wedding photographer would be taking all those combinations, but I reckon Katie knows that she knows where I live and will DEFINITELY get copies from me. But that wedding photographer. That’s Franny’s business. So, here goes.

Young children

Kanika “Niecy” Young, Francene Rolstad, and Navondyl “Vonda” Young.
Young Lee grandchildren
Patrice “Tricey” Lee, Haley Young, JaVon Young, K’breouna “Bre” Barnes, Amani Lee, and Kazerick “Rashad” Young.

Four Youngs

Franny, Vonda, Katie, Niecy.
Vonda and Tanyika
Vonda and Tanyika Young.

Next, I did a few candid shots during the official wedding photographer’s session.
Fran and kids

Tricey, Franny, Amani.
Niecy holding tired Rashad

Niecy and Rashad.

Finally, the groom, Mark, gets to join in.

more tired Rashad

More tired Rashad.
R asleep standing up

Asleep standing up.
getting the bustle
Three bridesmaids and one extra helped with the bustle so Franny could dance unencumbered. You can’t see just how delicate an operation this was. There were eight little loops, I think, and they were very tiny.

A Wedding in St. Paul

My best friend from childhood is getting married today in St. Paul. Richard and I are here to celebrate with Francene and Mark as they begin their new life together. Here are some photos from the first day.

Here’s Francene with two nieces in the background.
Bre and Katie
Francene’s mother, Katie, with granddaughter, Bre.
Melba, a friend from New York who will be maid of honor.
Marvin, a friend of Mark’s. The men had a serious game of dominoes going at the back table.
Robert, who is Francene’s sister Niecy’s fiance.
NaVondyl, who is Francene’s brother. And our sometimes nemesis from days gone by.
Vonda and Richard
Vonda and Richard talking about housing, credit, deals in Mississippi, etc. In other words, shop.

Spur of the Moment Corsage Making

At nearly the last minute, my senior son, Graeme, arranged to take a friend, Elizabeth, to prom. This left me with the unanticipated task of finding a corsage. I looked at one floral shop, picked up something that looked pretty old ladyish, and took it to the counter to ask: Is this all you have for corsages?

Is it for prom? the florist asked. Yes.

“All the girls want wrist corsages now. They’re over there — starting at $39.99.” Seriously?

I love Elizabeth. Been knowing her since she was a kindergartner. But, she’s a sensible girl, and couldn’t possibly want one of those ugly (to me) and expensive wrist corsages. So, on the spot, with about 5 hours until the prom, I decided I’d make one myself. Maybe even out of fabric.

Elizabeth and I have been working on a purse together. There’s a pile of fabric that she chose on my sewing table. With Pinterest, Youtube, and craft bloggers out there, I can do this!

wrist corsage

After I browsed the internet a little, I decided that the flowers in my yard would make a nice wrist corsage. I gathered the bits of ribbon I had on hand. I took a basket into the yard and picked azaleas of various sizes, and some hawthorn. I improvised a bow and started arranging flowers. The crisis came when I considered what kind of glue to use to hold it together. In the end, I used craft glue. I also sewed a few of the blooms in place. It was ready with an hour or so to spare so I put it in the fridge.

The next day when I asked my son whether Elizabeth was embarrassed because she had a homemade wrist corsage. No, all the girls are into that kind of stuff now. Yes!
E and G prom
Here they are together.
Here’s Graeme, being all formal.
Here’s Zaliyah, another friend who came over for photos.
all three
Here are all three.
campbells 3
Graeme with Richard and me.
Nichols 3
Lisa Nichols with her daughter, Elizabeth, and her son, Ryan. (Not picture are the two Yuans. Senior was working and Junior was running track.)

g and e as fifth graders

And because I just couldn’t resist, here’s a photograph of Graeme and Elizabeth on the day they finished fifth grade. They are pictured with Liz Sharlot, a spokesperson for the MS state department of health.

Images Through Time

I love the way photographs become part of us. They shape our memories and become a lens through which we see the present and the future. Here’s a photograph my mother took of me with Francene Young in May 1981 on the day we graduated from the ninth grade. Now, Franny lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. She’s engaged to be married, and came home to shop for dresses with her Mom and sister. I joined them.
Sarah Franny 9th grade graduation
I spent most of my time shooting video and stills — most of which won’t see the light of day for a very long time because Mark is not allowed to see. I wish there was a way to block one person from seeing a video or photo. At one point, the consultant took a picture of the two of us. Franny leaned down and in.
Sarah Franny dress shop
Then, we decided to reverse our longtime height imbalance. I hopped on a chair.
Sarah tall

My Sister’s Latest Scholarly Article

My sister, Emilye, spent the academic year in Atlanta (instead of Rochester, NY). One of the happy consequences was that we got to see her more than we usually do. We also got to see early drafts of one of this year’s projects, an article on school desegregation for the Oral History Review.

My Mom and I gave her our impressions of the early drafts, and helped her track down some information. Now, I have the published version. It is titled “White Privilege, Black Burden: Lost Opportunities and Deceptive Narratives in School Desegregation in Claiborne County, Mississippi”.

Emilye, who teaches history at Geneseo College, said I can distribute it to people who are interested. Please send me an email if you want a .pdf copy.
Em, Mom, and MeEmilye and Patty Crosby, Sarah C. Campbell.

Science Olympiad with Chastain Middle School’s Team

I spent Friday at the Science Olympiad on USM’s campus with the Chastain Middle School team. Once again, our team members had a great time, shuttling between events, enjoying fascinating displays, playing soccer on the grounds, and visiting Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and the gameroom.
tower 1
My third son became the second in the family to participate in the “tower” event. The big question was whether this original design would hold all the sand.
tower 2
The sand went in at a steady pace.
tower 3
tower 4
more sand!
tower 5
Congrats! and Phew!
static ballM.E., enjoying the static ball.

electronics display

A cool part of the electronics display.

Julie and M.E. keep a fan blowing by keeping the electricity flowing by touching.

S and JS., back from her first event, talking with J., who came along with her mom, Sherrye Biglow, the Chastain Science Olympiad Coach.

TriumphC. telling her Dad, Raymond, about the terrific job her team did in the Experimental Design event. Congrats to C., M.E., and R., for their third place medal.

making rocketLast minute adjustments to the bottle rocket. C. and A. made a good showing, especially with their spare rocket!

more rocket prepMore duct tape.

reliefS. having some downtime after two back-to-back events with J. Congrats to S. and J. for their third place medal in Rocks and Minerals.

ready to launch bottle rocketC. and A. getting ready for launch.

watchingT., S., and J. watching the bottle rocket competition.

plain one winsThe spare rocket outperformed the pretty one.

soccer downtimeA bunch of the boys played soccer for a hour in the afternoon. Then, D had a round with J.

doneThe day is done.

me at sci olyJulie took this of me with her phone. I was knitting the time away in the holding room.

Beginning a Fortnight of Competitions

‘Tis the season of school competitions. I drove to the Coast for the State Science Fair on Tuesday and spent much of today at Hardy Middle School for the semi-finals of the Middle School Challenge Bowl Competition.

three amigos
Here is G, my eldest, a junior, with two Murrah teammates, both Seniors.
with stokes
With their teacher/coach, Mr. Jeffrey Stokes.
on stage
The Chastain Middle School Challenge Bowl team on stage at Hardy Middle School after defeating Northwest Middle School in a second round match. My youngest, D, is at far left.
team photo with Coach
Full team, including alternates, with Mrs. Roberta Hagler, teacher and coach.
crazy pic
crater lake
Kicking himself for a missed answer. Crater Lake, maybe? Mt. Hood?

Chastain Science Quiz Bowl Team

I traveled with Chastain Middle School’s Science Quiz Bowl Team to Columbus, Mississippi, for a competition. My youngest son was the captain of the Chastain “A” team.

Chastain A teamOur family has had at least one child in this competition for the last four years. I was proud of both of Chastain’s teams. The “A” team was undefeated through 8 rounds, and lost to Tupelo in the semi-finals. One of the big wins was against cross-town rival St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. The “B” team, with three of the four members complete novices, didn’t win any matches, but they came awfully close, and we anticipate good things for them next year.

b teamThank you, David Blount, for this picture of the “B” team.

last minute reviewI appreciate the work Mrs. Roberta Hagler has put into preparing science quiz bowl teams across the years. This year, Mrs. T. McKenzie helped out, and accompanied the team to Columbus. Thank you.
boys studying

Some napkins for me

I’ve been making napkins as gifts for family members and fundraisers, but I never have gotten around to making some for me. Until now.


I’m so eager to use them, I’m thinking about organizing a party. Or, maybe I’ll just put them out for an everyday meal.

A Birthday and First Day of School

We had a huge milestone around here last week. D, our youngest, turned 13. So, a house full of teenagers! Here he is with his snickerdoodle cake, the first one I’ve made in a long time. (N typically bakes the cakes around here; I don’t know what happened to him.)
d bday 13

The next day, all three boys started school. D headed off for his first day as BMOC at CMS. He is very glad to be the only boy in the car in the a.m., and I am enjoying having him be the only one up with us in the early, early shift.
d first day

Here’s N, preparing for his first day of High School. His first school day without a uniform since second grade.
n first day

And, now for the most experienced of our school goers: G. Getting ready for his junior year. He’s looking forward to a very challenging schedule.
g first day

As for me, I’m enjoying having the house to myself. I have been filling my days with shopping for school supplies, meeting plumbers, tree cutters, etc., and, generally trying to clear the mountains of paperwork that accumulate around here during vacations. Here’s to fall!