Sunday, November 30, 2008


We're still here! But where did the week go? It seems we just got here and yet this morning we find ourselves collecting stray socks and sippy cups and getting ready to haul our bags back down the three flights of stairs in "Lily's skyscraper" (as Tristan likes to call it). The snow has just begun so we have enough time to enjoy the view and take a walk before we begin the long drive home.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Chicago! The big kids and dads are enjoying the holiday parade in VIP bleacher seats downtown right now so turn on WGN and look for Jon, Shawn, Tristan, Lily and Thaddeus in the 2nd set of bleachers! The moms and Kenna are home in a warm (and quiet!) kitchen cooking a gourmet turkey meal. Of course we are both pregnant and a little scatter brained so we have warned the family that some part of this meal may not go as planned -but so far so good! Pictures are being taken, food will be enjoyed, the city will be explored and eventually I will get around to many posts sharing the fun!
We are missing and thinking of our families and friends celebrating all over the country today and wish you a beautiful Thanksgiving Day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Emma, Nathan & Maggie

Snow, evergreens, twinkle lights, festive red dresses and black patent's starting to look like Christmas around here! Barb was willing to brave the cold for these fun shots of her kiddos. They sure kept me warm as I chased them around the farm with my camera. These kids may be small but they can move fast! I do hope these photos bring some fun holiday cheer to their daddy, Charlie, in Iraq.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

gift giving solved

We draw names in my extended family for Christmas gift giving. This has been such a fun tradition and I think we all enjoy shopping for one great gift for someone rather than stressing over buying for everyone.
This year, Shawn and I have Christie and Jon (my sister and brother-in-law). We were really stressing over what to get them until I found this great pattern on Ravelry! Oh and then as an added bonus, we'll do a photo shoot so they can show them off...

Jon's birthday is on Christmas day and it's really not cool to give one gift for both, so I think this will do. I really like that these are sweaters that you can tuck in to your pleated pants. Genius...

See you soon, Jon and Christie!

Friday, November 21, 2008

watching flurries

It snowed again today.
Not enough to stick or even catch on camera but enough to watch.
And be amazed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

and just like that...



Uh-oh. My feet are next...

We had snow flurries yesterday.
Actual snow flurries, all day. Here.
Is winter really closing in so soon?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

congratulations stick

Did you know the stick was recently inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame? I think the only other "non-toy" item inducted has been the cardboard box. I often find sticks in the back of the car, in Tristan's pockets, in the washing machine, even in his bed. When we play outside his first order of business is to find a good solid stick to serve as weapon, race car, horse, bug catcher or any other one of a million things his creative mind comes up with. What took the Hall of Fame so long to notice the merits of this little piece of nature? Tristan could have told them long ago that it beats a yo-yo or a slinky any day!

Monday, November 17, 2008

happy birthday new mama

I can't believe you have a son, Lisa. I know this birthday will be one to remember. Have a wonderful day of staring at Josiah's sweet little face!
Happy Birthday, sis!

(photo by Brian..because they are SO far away...)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

the belly of the ball

Every year the Marine Corps celebrates November 10th across the world with cake cutting ceremonies and Birthday Balls. I may complain about needing to find a sitter or drive to whatever far-away location the unit has chosen this year but in the end I enjoy it. I enjoy the chance to see my husband in those sharp dress blues, to get dressed up and feel human myself for a few hours, to listen with pride to the Commandants annual speech and, of course, to watch that one ever-present retired couple, she in her sequins and he in his kilt, tearing up the dance floor. It may be an adults-only affair but I realized this year that I have managed to take every one of my babies to a Marine Corps birthday ball! I am so proud of Shawn, the honorable Marine Corps history he is a part of and the chance to pass this legacy on to our children.

(photos by Shawn and Brittney -our wonderful friend who watched the kids!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

welcome sweet Caleb

Caleb Everett Capps arrived yesterday, November 14th, 2008!
He is 7lb. 6 oz. of precious little boy.

Caleb's daddy got to witness his birth via video-conference from Iraq.
Congratulations Shawn and Elaine!

We have been eagerly awaiting this little guys arrival for so long, I simply have no words right now for what a joy it was to see him in his beautiful mama's arms. Now we are going to count the days till we get to see him in his proud daddy's arms as well.
Please join me in praise for Elaine and Caleb's health and safety and prayer for Shawn's safe and speedy return home to his family!

More pictures will be here, of course!

Friday, November 14, 2008

baby blues

Don't Peter and Anna have the most beautiful blue eyes?! I absolutely love taking pictures of friends and their children. I love it even more when I know there is a daddy in Iraq who will treasure the sight of those precious faces.
More adorable photos of Christy and her kiddos are here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


A few bits of Fall that we have picked up. Our little nature table reached its limit but that hasn't stopped us from picking up more...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

holiday preparations

I'm getting ready for Thanksgiving. While some people are buying cranberries and turkeys, I am buying wool! This lovely bunch will be delivered in person to my sister Christie when we arrive on her Chicago doorstep this coming holiday. I found a great deal on this yarn so we have plans to make cozy blankets for the next set of cousins in our bellies. Our first children are five months apart, our seconds are seven and our thirds should arrive within two months of each other -coming close behind youngest sister Lisa's firstborn. (I think our parents are proud of the grand baby factory they managed to produce!) I love that our kids are all so close in age, I just wish they could see each other more often. Someday I hope we can find a way to live closer together but at least the long drive should give me time to make this little guy...

Actually, I think the drive is long enough to make about ten of this little guy. Oh boy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

another birthday

Happy Birthday Josiah David!
Our newest little nephew was born at 12:40a.m. today,
November 10, 2008!
Congratulations Brian and Lisa. We love you, we miss you, we are wishing a whole country didn't sit between us right now. Patiently awaiting photos...

Happy Birthday Marines

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.
-from the Marine's Hymn
Happy Birthday Marines.
November 10, 1775

Saturday, November 8, 2008

fall colors

It was a sad day a few weeks ago when I looked outside and realized the world had frozen overnight. It snuck up on me, that first freeze, and the resulting brown and wilted flowers that were so bright just a day before. Consolation came a few days later when the trees began to react to the changing temperatures. Yellow, gold and red towering in the woods, they have more than made up for the lack of flowers in the yard.

Friday, November 7, 2008

november sail

Sunday morning we drove over the big bridge on the New River and saw the water dotted with white sails and shimmering under a warm sun. It was not a day to rush home for naps after church, no sir. This kind of day in November you don't pass up. You go sailing.
We invited a friend, grabbed a pizza, stuffed some jackets in a bag, headed to the marina and the day did not disappoint. We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather. We had blue skies, cool but not cold air, just the right amount of wind and Kenna didn't fight wearing her life jacket once! (Though there may have been a few altercations over who got to sit in Dad's lap at the wheel and one tumble in the cabin resulting in a busted lip).
It was nice to have a day of fresh air to enjoy before the gray and drizzly days that followed it this week. And our Thankful Tree gained a new leaf.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I was tagged by Robin for this one. The rules -go to My Pictures, open the fourth folder, open the fourth photo, share. Well, I opened my fourth folder (August 08) and the fourth folder in that folder (August 23) and then I just picked a photo I liked and hadn't already shared since I posted some of them already.
I want to go to the beach now -not to swim, it's cold -just to play. I love the beach in cold weather. There are no umbrellas, scattered toys, coolers or blaring radios, just an expanse of white fading into an expanse of blue. We like to have the beach to ourselves as we build castles and collect stones washed smooth by the sea. It's in the cold weather that we most often see dolphins playing in the surf. They like the quiet too I guess.

Monday, November 3, 2008

the thankful tree

Just look at all the Fall on that table! The colors and bits of nature found in Autumn can inspire all kinds of fun projects. One in particular we have started is our first Thankful Tree. There has been a tradition in the Campbell household that I just love and wanted to continue in our home. Every year, Grams cuts out a big paper tree trunk and hangs it on the wall. Nearby, you are sure to find a basket of fall leaves, a marker and some tape. Daily, throughout the Thanksgiving season, family members and friends are encouraged to write something they are thankful for on a leaf and add it to the tree. It grows and grows and with it our awareness of just how blessed we are. Tristan helped me glue bits of brown paper bags together to make our tree trunk and everywhere we go lately we keep an eye out for good thankful leaves. We'll have to post more photos as our tree grows. I have always loved Grams' Thankful Trees and today I am thankful for the chance to share her gift with my children!

I will praise God's name in song and glorify Him with Thanksgiving.
Ps 69:30

Saturday, November 1, 2008

mom my ride

I finally had to admit that there was just no way I could fit one more child into the backseat of my dear old Subaru. I am now a mini-van driving soccer mom. I have mixed feelings about that. I wouldn't trade my awesome kids for a smaller car or any other title though - no way! - so I guess it doesn't matter how I feel about that. I must say, this new mom ride is nice. It didn't take long for the leather and the DVD and the power doors and the extra ten feet of space between my neck and Tristan's feet to convince me.
I have to point out that as I took this picture I was more interested in getting that pretty little Maple tree to show through the doors while Shawn was glued to the owner's manual in the front seat. I had to convince him that I really am happy with the car, but unlike him, pretty trees will always hold more fascination for me!

When you have a few minutes to laugh your head off, watch THIS.
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