Thursday, May 29, 2008

friday nights

We have instituted Friday Dinner and a Movie Nights in the Campbell house. Last week I was looking for a way out of cooking so at around 4:30 I asked Shawn if he would humor me and get everyone in the car. He looked wary but curiosity won out.
I drove about 5 minutes down the road to our first stop -where else - the strawberry patch. I know what you're thinking (Again?!) but Shawn hasn't been yet! Besides, the berries are still ripe and just $1.15/lb so why not? After a quickly filling our basket and completely staining one tiny purple dress, we were off to our next stop.

Another 5 minutes down the road, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, is a tiny Mennonite bakery and bulk store. There we purchased a glass bottle of milk, a hunk of pepper jack cheese and a loaf of Sourdough bread just minutes out of the oven (Seriously, we could not have timed that one better).
Back home we had a totally messy carpet picnic and then a showing of The Lion King.
Tristan got the best seat in the house...

This Friday, Shawn and I might have a real dinner and a movie date while Tristan and Kenna hang out with my parents who just arrived last night! Shawn is now officially on post deployment leave so we are going to enjoy some time with Grandad and Yiayia and then sneak away for a couple of days to sail, drink iced coffee, wander around coastal towns and have actual conversations that don't include words or phrases like, potty or poopy or tell your sister sorry.
This should be nice!

Monday, May 26, 2008

sailing ABCs

Athwartships. Batten. Clew. Daggerboard. Ease. Forestay. Gunwale. Halyard. In Irons. Jibe. Keel. Luffing. Masthead. Navigation. Outhaul. Port. Queasy. Rudder. Spinnaker. Telltales. Unrig. Vang. Windward. X. Y. Z. (I can't think of any x y or z terms but I'm sure they exist!)
There are so many fun words associated with sailing and so many of them make you want to use a growling pirate voice which is OK when you have a four year old boy.
We learned a lot this weekend about sailing. For instance, just because it is May don't assume it will be warm and sunny and how to say things like jibe ho! Also, how not get knocked in the head by the boom after someone yells jibe ho! Most importantly, we found out we make a great sailing team and we really want to share this with our kids.
We have lived on three different coasts in the last 5 years and every time we spend a day on the waterfront or even just drive over the river we feel a pull. We want to be out there. We've learned a little, but we know there is so much more. We want to find the X Y and Z, and we want to find them together.

But we're going to need a bigger boat.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

blue sky days

Today is gorgeous, warm, and perfect for sailing. Obviously.
Today I am home, indoors, waiting for one child to finish his lunch while the other sleeps the day away in her crib. Yesterday, the kids were happily playing at a friend’s house while Shawn and I were sitting on a dock in our swimsuits, wrapped up in blankets and towels, learning about the great adventure that is sailing in the freezing rain. We enjoyed it thoroughly but at the same time wanted desperately to be indoors and warm.
Shawn is out enjoying day 2 of sailing class on his own since there were no sitters to be found this holiday Sunday. We will all troop out later to join him (if little sleeping beauty ever decides to wake up -why does she only sleep this long when I don't want her to?) Hopefully we will do some trading off between boat time and kids-on-dry-land time so we can both become expert sailors in a day. Is that expecting too much? Right.
Well, I will let you know how the sailing goes. At least I know I’ll have a chance to take some pretty pictures of boats and blue skies.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008


*Driving. In the passenger seat.

*Jogging. With my new ipod play list, including the song, I'm Yours by Jason Mraz (more of a skipping tune but I must have punched repeat for 2 miles today).

*Swinging. Tristan finally learned (with dad's help) that swinging is not so scary after all!

*Waking. For early, early mornings at the dining room table with Shawn.

*Hearing. "Mahmmy! Mahmmy! Mahmmy!" It's Kenna's new thing and I love it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

more on sand

In answer to Sara's that picture of Shawn, the lump on top of his helmet is a pair of big goggles. This is why a pair of big goggles might come in really handy in the desert...

How would you like to see that coming at you?! I'm guessing he took this picture just before ducking into a tent for cover...or at least putting on those goggles to continue watching the sand storm roll in.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

happy birthday Grandad!


stars and sand

We're headed to the beach today. I think Shawn is OK with going to play in the sand since he won't be wearing this or carrying that...

A former Texas A&M quarterback-turned Marine Corps JAG officer was in the desert with Shawn and passed on a Texas flag when he arrived. I thought the picture Shawn took of it in his tent looked pretty cool...

Speaking of Texas, we'll be making a visit in a few weeks! The next month will be full of sailing classes, a trip to Texas, a family conference in the Pennsylvania mountains and plenty of lazy days at home. Shawn is home and summer is this is nice.

Friday, May 16, 2008

garden update

Having Shawn around has given me a little extra time to stop and smell the roses. Every day something else begins to bloom or some long forgotten bulb sends up a shoot to remind me where I put it.
Remember my poor diseased Ligustrums? They are looking (and smelling!) much better these days...

Yellow Stella deOro Daylilies are already blooming their little hearts out. The dwarf mix I have planted along with them has yet to show their pinks and purples but I think they are just days away. I love those festive orange Daisies behind them that are taking over the flower bed. I just can't remember their name at the moment...

An Asiatic Lily mix getting ready to bloom looks like a bunch of Muppets all hanging out around the deck. I don't know the name of this plant so we'll just call him 'Animal'...

And the wildflowers are blooming! They are small and some seem to want to hide out a little while longer, but it's a good sign. In a couple more months we will have masses of color...

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Tristan had his first shooting lesson with Dad. Mom is still not sure how she feels about it, but he asks a lot of questions about why Marines carry guns so it was a good opportunity to address his curiosity and talk a lot about gun safety. Together, they shot up that Pepsi can and then I suggested balloons, remembering how my dad used to string them up across the backyard for us kids to shoot...

I think I still prefer guns of the brightly colored plastic water shooting variety...

And the fun just gets funny when you catch Dad with his head in a bubble...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

almost there

Tonight I set a small fire in my oven...I "don't do legos right"...the fence has fallen down again...and we're under a tornado warning. Hurry, Shawn. Hurry!

mama Day

I still sometimes wonder just how she managed it, since I recall we didn't exactly make her job easy. She raised four kids who love the Lord, love their parents and love each other...

...then and now...

Mom, you truly are the best and we love you!
Happy Mother's Day!

"We will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
His power and the wonders He has done."
Psalm 78:3-4

Thursday, May 8, 2008


These past few days leading up to THE day have been mostly routine and uneventful. It has been the usual thing -preschool, dentist, errands, trips to the park, and meals with friends- until today. Today it hit me. Today I went into full panic mode.
It came on much like those nesting urges you get when you’re pregnant. Suddenly I had to clean the entire house, top to bottom, and I could not stop or rest until it was done. I scrubbed, bleached, vacuumed, organized and filed what felt like seven months worth of mess all the while feeling seven months worth of emotions.
I finally tackled the closet, putting my clothes back on my own side, wiping the thick layer of dust off Shawn’s shoes, pulling out his favorite shirts to be ironed. As I was working, I picked up a pile of his t-shirts that haven’t moved since he left. They smelled like the beach - like sunscreen and summer. They smelled like the vacation we took for Shawn’s pre-deployment leave nine months ago. We spent an incredible week in Turks and Caicos in August just before Shawn left for two months of training in California. He came home for a weeklong goodbye in October before heading to Iraq. No wonder the shirts never got washed or put away.
Nine months ago, Tristan was 4 inches shorter and still slept with a pacifier. In fact, we sent his pacifiers to Iraq in Shawn’s first care package and Tristan has been turning into a “big kid” more and more every day since. Nine months ago, Kenna had no teeth or climbing skills and still rode backwards in the car in her infant carrier. They have grown and changed so much and while I have kept Shawn informed of every milestone and achievement I can’t help but think he is in for a shock. We all are.
So, there you have a few of the rambling thoughts that go through one’s mind as she scrubs crayon marks off the toilet. Right now, Shawn would tell me not to over-do it. After all, look where he’s coming from. At its dirtiest, our house would still be a welcome sight to his sand weary eyes. Nevertheless, I have no control over this instinctive need to prepare and I know soon I will gather my family together in our cozy nest to hide out and enjoy being whole once again.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

wildness in a crystal vase

Some Maple leaves, something unidentified, some sort of wild Magnolia...
Unfortunately, I found out these heavenly scented white blooms don't last when cut, but for one day my living room smelled amazing! There's always something new and interesting in the Wild Wood to bring indoors, and I may drive someone crazy at the Native Plant Society with emails asking for identification help.

Monday, May 5, 2008

at last!

I have waited and waited for this. The Peony is blooming!
Something else we have waited and waited for -Shawn's return -will be happening just one week from today! Latest word is now saying Monday the 12th...and the countdown continues.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

air show

Smoke and stunts are great but they are no match for The Big Iron we are so proud of...

It would have been nice to have our favorite pilot with us at the show to answer the endless questions of a curious little boy but at least I was able to say "very soon, daddy can answer that for you!"
The latest "official word" is telling us we will be welcoming Dad home on the 13th. Days and times usually change as the big moment gets closer but at least we are close. We are so close!

Friday, May 2, 2008

a farmer's hands

berries for jam

Yesterday we left the house with every intention on going to the grocery store. Half way there, however, there is a big white sign with a big red strawberry painted on it that we just couldn't pass by...

After picking some berries and visiting the new piglets, Nice Grampa Farmer even took us for a little ride around the property on his golf cart to see the chickens and turkeys and bee hives. On such a perfect spring day this was way better than the grocery store...

We now have two fresh jars of jam and a good supply of berries for snacking...but no milk or toilet paper. So today we are off to the store again.
I think I better take another route.
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