Tuesday, June 29, 2010

taking a moment...

I am sitting at my usual little workspace but the walls around me are bare, boxes are towering over my head and the truck will be loaded and gone by this time tomorrow. So, before I tackle the remaining task of sorting, tossing and boxing all the packing left-overs (cleaning liquids, candles, food, the odd socks that appeared when the dresser was moved...) let's just take a minute to breathe, shall we?
How about these views of Cathedral Rock in Sedona...
Cathedral Rock, Sedona AZCathedral Rock, Sedona AZ
Isn't that light just gorgeous? We picnicked and explored there one evening; the kids swam (some by choice, some by slipping) and we watched the sun set over those gorgeous red rocks.
Cathedral Rock, Sedona AZCathedral Rock, Sedona AZ
The Schultz fire broke out in Flagstaff just after the smaller Hardy fire that caused so much wedding day drama. We watched this one grow in the blue sky as we drove to the Grand Canyon. Sad and frightening yet in a way so beautiful, don't you think?
Shultz fire in Flagstaff, AZ June 20,2010
Shultz fire in Flagstaff, AZ June 20,2010
The Grand Canyon was almost too much to take in from our tiny human vantage point on the rocky ledges. Shawn wanted to find a plane to soar through the landscape. I wanted to make my way down a trail to explore the colors and shapes and see that river up close. But it was good to stand there and be reminded of just how small we are, how Great is our Creator and how amazing that He would be mindful of us.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon
I don't really know how to sum up the trip except to simply say it was beautiful. From the landscape to the wedding to the hugs from friends and family and the breather it provided in this crazy month...it was marked by love and grace. Beautiful.
Exhale, return to packing...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

a story to tell their grandkids...

I snapped these photos of Hannah and Casey at their wedding rehearsal Friday night at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona -when they had no idea what was in store for the coming day!
Hannah and Caseythe rehearsal
Saturday afternoon I had taken the first few photos of Hannah's beautiful dress freshly unveiled in her room and the rings waiting patiently on the dressing table when we received word that everyone was evacuating the hotel.  We looked out the window and saw smoke blowing across the lawn, the white chairs, the arch...was this really happening?  Outside in the parking lot it became clear there would be a wedding, no doubt about that, but it would not be at Little America where a wildfire was burning dangerously close.  I wish I had words to do justice to the events that unfolded over the next few hours.  At one point Shawn was leading a group of guys through the smoke to commandeer the chairs and arch (bring in the Marines!) Hannah's cousin, Monica, was calling all her local connections and making things happen.  Hannah's parents, Don and Mary, were laughing about "the list" that had up till then been oh-so-crucial but suddenly was being thrown out completely as God proved who was really in control of this day!  A little wild fire wasn't going to stop the celebration.
almost timewedding at sunset
As Mary prayed with a circle of loved ones in the smoky parking lot, she reminded us of the first miracle Jesus performed -at a wedding.  The unwavering faith and trust we witnessed in the Campbell's through the day was inspiring. Cell phones were buzzing, jokes were cracking, prayers were lifting and good things were happening.  Within hours, we had rooms at a new hotel, a gorgeous ceremony location secured, a restaurant willing to host the perfect reception and most important and beautiful to see- family and friends working together to make it all happen out of their love for Casey and Hannah.  We saw such joy...amidst just a teensy bit of chaos!  It was truly beautiful in every way.
the beautiful bride

You can read the story as it was told in the Arizona Daily Sun and check out the other pre-wedding photos I posted on Flickr!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

and our cup overflows...

calm watersplaytime
"catch!"summer sunset from my porch
cleaning out, moving onthe marsh
"are you gonna stop me?"a saturday morning
Amidst the storm of frustration, tears, stress and emotion swirling through this month of happenings, we have seen moments of calm. Peace. Beauty. Quiet. Laughter. Fun. Learning. Inspiration. Encouragement. I could go on and on but...oh so much more to be done before my head reaches the pillow. We have one more day of our Classical Conversations practicum (which has been incredible!) then we head to Arizona for six days packed with family gatherings, a wedding and hopefully a step or two out onto the sky walk. We will be back just in time to greet our packers and watch them dismantle the home we spent six years creating. I am promising to look forward over these remaining days of chaos. I will remind myself that it isn't the pots full of flowers or the pictures just-so on the walls that make my home -it is those hands, grasped around a table, any table. They are home to me and we're in this together. So let the adventure continue...

Friday, June 11, 2010

anyone? anyone? *updated

can anyone identify it?look what we have now!
Last week, Tristan caught a pretty little red and black caterpillar. He put it in his bug jar...the bug jar that has housed (and killed, I'm afraid) many a ladybug, beetle and firefly. Assuming this poor caterpillar would go the way of the others, we decided to take his picture then release him but when we opened the jar he was gone. Instead we found the most interesting cocoon ever! It looked like a piece of jewelry all shiny silver and gold. Incredible!
letting him gowhat is he?
So he stayed in the jar, hanging from the lid until yesterday when he emerged a pretty little orange butterfly. When he began to look ready to move, we coaxed him out of the jar and watched him test his new wings then fly away.
ready to flyfreedom
So, now we need your help! We've tried to identify him using this neat bug guide but with no luck so far. Want to give it a shot? Think you can help us find out what kind of butterfly we had? We'd sure love to know!

*We got an answer! Through the butterflies and moths website, I contacted a Dr. Fauske of the Department of Entomology in Fargo, North Dakota (of all places) and his quick response was this-
"Your butterfly is a Variegated fritillary, /Euptoieta claudia/. Its caterpillar feeds mainly on violets, but also passion flower and flax (will accept some other plants as well) and they have multiple generations per year in the U.S. They emigrate northward every season from the southern United states and have not yet arrived in North Dakota for the season, whereas at your location they have already had time to produce a new generation."
After thanking him sincerely for helping a homeschooling mama out, he went on to recommend what he called the single best book for butterfly identification in North America, Butterflies of North America by Ken Kaufman. I'm thinking I will take his word for it -him being the expert and all. You know how I love a good book recommendation!
So, thank you, Dr. Fauske -we're off to discover the many other butterfly species in our backyard!

Monday, June 7, 2010

more on june

summer movers...lovely lily
magnoliaspink hydrangeas
the lily potgardenia
the orange tree that refuses to dieovercrowding is allowed in my garden

It looks and feels like summer already in these parts. I did absolutely no planting or garden rearranging this spring as I usually do but looking around now I realize I wouldn't have needed to (need...not want). After four years in this house, the garden seems to have reached that happy place of being content and full, even over-full in places, asking only a little watering and weeding in exchange for jars upon jars of cut blooms. This was the first year that I didn't add anything or move anything or attempt-to-grow-then-kill anything. I have simply let it be, soaked it up and dreaded saying goodbye. Oh a few things will be going with me such as that potted plant there by the fire pit. (Do you recognize it? It's my miracle orange tree! It's back again!) Some things will be passed on to gardening friends and the rest...well the rest will be left to the mercy of the elements and our future renters. Renters we do not have yet. Renters who have yet to even view the inside of my oh-so-clean-and-tidy home. Renters who have yet to relieve me of the cleaning and tidying so I can get on with the packing and mess-making! But I'm not a bit stressed by that or anything. Ahem. Actually, I'm trying real hard to follow my husbands lead on this one. He is so confident that God will provide the renters we need in time. He is trusting and waiting to see how it will all work out because he believes fully that it will. all. work. out. Today he sent me this from his iPhone. It reminded me to stop worrying and have a little faith and you know, to chill out, woman! It's just not up to me. Like all those flowers that will continue to grow as long as God sends the sunshine and rain. He sends the sunshine and rain, for crying out loud...I'm sure He can send a nice family to rent our home. Perhaps even one that loves to garden...

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think...! Eph3:20

Saturday, June 5, 2010

the weekend...again

Wasn't it just Saturday?  This morning my littlest and loudest woke me at 5a.m. and I was puzzled and confused by my husbands presence....shouldn't you be getting up? I thought. Did we remember to set the coffee pot? Why are you still sleeping?
I changed a diaper, made a bottle and put Kate back to bed before I realized it -Saturday.  Oh thank goodness.  And back to sleep I went.
Now, the pancakes have been made and eaten, the kids dressed, the kitchen...well, I'm not sure about the current state of the kitchen (and don't care to know) and it's on to tackling the to-do list.  First, I leave you with some photos from our overnight on the boat last weekend. I believe it's becoming an end-of-May family tradition (We're Aggies, so if we do something twice it is officially a tradition, right?)
ok kids, go play...sleeping quarters
bubbleson-board entertainment
we survived!285

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

hello, june.

five afloat
We had such a fun and full long weekend.  We took the kids to their first baseball game in Kinston, did some shopping in Wilmington, ate shrimp in Surf City, and sailed around the New River inlet.  Today I'm having trouble remembering where I am, what day it is and what I should be doing.  It's only because of Christy's help with the kids and her amazing homemade iced coffee that we all made it to nap time.
I'm sitting at my little workspace now listening to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader coming from my son's room and the thunder outside and attempting to face the reality of June.  I have so many photos to catch up on, new software to install, old photos to back-up...oh right and a house to clean and eight loads of weekend laundry to put away and three kids to mother and this little thing called a PCS looming entirely too close for comfort (that's Permanent Change of Station -the military likes to make everything sound complicated and dramatic).  There's more.  We're traveling to Arizona for a wedding and family reunion (oh the pictures! I think my hard drive just groaned out loud).  We're attending a three-day Classical Conversations practicum.  We're enjoying a garden full of flowers and making last trips to the beach and spending time with such dear friends...oh help. I can't even begin to face that one.  Not with dry eyes, anyway.
Who would I talk to about requesting a few extra days being added to this month's calendar?  Better yet, could I just add my neighbors to the packing list along with one very large and beautiful hydrangea that I can't possibly leave behind...?
Oh, June.  You're going to be a tough one aren't you?
june blooms
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