Friday, July 30, 2010

it's mean...friday!

Pajama's at noon, bare tummies, stuffed animals lined up "for their meeting" (I'm not sure, you'll have to ask Kenna) and swim goggles in the bathtub...important things! Who needs to know what day it is?
For the past month, Shawn has been on leave (a.k.a. home with us) so every day feels like Saturday around here. We have enjoyed lazy, three-cup-of-coffee mornings, bike rides to the pool, mid-week visits to museums, projects galore, finding a new church, getting to know our new (wonderful!) neighbors and community...oh right and that little issue of moving our household from one state to another and all that.  Details, details.
Shawn does still have a job and that job will be resuming next week, so we feel a bit like school kids on their last days of summer vacation.  The good news is Shawn's new job is located about three minutes from home (rather than the hour and a half he was driving before!) and will have normal hours (even many short days, and no deployments!)  Actually, from what we hear, this job (it's a school, really) is considered a year-long breather for military families who have been enduring long days, flight schedules and deployments. Sigh. Did you hear that?  It was the sound of a ton of bricks falling from my shoulders. That felt nice.
So while our vacation may be coming to a close, we are thrilled to be entering this year of rest. family. time. together.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

raising readers

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents"  ~Emilie Buchwald

"read book" she said
Yesterday, as I was lifting a yawning, puffy-eyed, baby girl from her crib after nap time, she reached out towards her bookshelf and said "read book" as clear as can be.  Those two sweet words warmed my heart almost as much as the first time I  heard "mama"!  So, my baby (who is less baby every day) chose her book (three books) and we cozied up on the couch to read them (flip through them, twisting and turning them to all angles while pointing and saying many, many words of which I understood maybe four). And then I took her picture, of course.
"read book" she said
There are some new books on the shelves (and under beds, and in the couch cushions, and on the stairs...) as we are preparing for a new school year and the kids have already been diving into them with eager minds, eyes and hands.  They are so fun to watch with their books and reading together is definitely one of the highlights in my everyday.
I think reading aloud and having the opportunity to study great literature from the very beginning with my kids is and will forever be one of my favorite things about home schooling.  They aren't the only ones receiving an education here!
Do you have any favorite storybooks in your house?  Memories of great books in your past that have you scanning used book shelves for a familiar old copy?  We're always on the hunt for good reads so do share!

"We shouldn't teach great books, we should teach a love of reading." ~B.F. Skinner

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

window shopping

windows 1
Hello, my name is Kelli. I buy old windows.
I do so love old, beat-up windows.  The older and more beat-up, the better.  You can find stacks of these white ones at most any flea market or antique shop for cheap.  I think I paid around $3 for them?  Then they sat in my garage for a while as I tried to figure out what exactly my plan for using them had been.  I realized I never really had a plan, just a bad window buying habit so I put a couple of them out in our garage sale where they were promptly knocked over by a gust of wind and broken.  Huh.
windows 2
I had saved back a few, however,  knowing that one day that plan would come to mind and they came with us to Virginia padded in brown paper and tape. Sure enough, all it took was plopping me into a house with so many white walls to get the decorating juices flowing.  Shawn found the perfect shade of avacado-ey green which I happily and messily painted on and sanded off (like I said, the more beat-up, the better -we can't have that paint looking all new and shiny!)
windows 3
The result? Color -and a whole lot of character- on those Great White Walls of ours!
Oh, and what is Shawn working on in that first photo, you ask?  Well, that's another project for another post...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

the box fort

the box fort
It was 98 degrees today. With a million percent humidity.
The heat wave is sticking around for a few more days at least.  Sticky.
Even the pool water was hot.
little legs in the box fort
So if we aren't at the pool, you can find us here in our Box Fort.
With its spy holes and windows and random cardboard shapes taped to its sides
(those are very important, just don't ask us why).
the box fort

Tomorrow the high is supposed to be 95 degrees.  It might thunderstorm.
Yep, we're staying right here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

recent babbles from katie-kate

sweet katie face
"I'm hungry" Now that she's figured this one out, we hear it all the time. It was her first full sentence and the cutest thing about it is the way she seems to work so hard at making the words come out of her mouth clearly.

"I'm sorry!" said to Kenna while sweetly patting her head after beaming her in the face with Tristan's toy light saber. Now she seems to think it is a sort of game. Hit Kenna on the head, say sorry, hit Kenna on the head, say sorry...

"cookie!" I'm surprised this one took her so long.

"peas! peas! peas! peas! peas....!" Said over and over again with a lot of spit and drool as she simultaneously makes the baby sign for "please". Usually she is asking for food.

"mak?! mak?! mak?!" Asking for milk, also as she makes the baby sign. Over and over and over...

This one also loves to dance.  Maybe I'll catch that on video for you soon.  We've witnessed her literally explode out of a sound sleep into her dance moves in the car when the radio suddenly blared  too loudly.
She may be little but she makes her presence known and life is never dull (or quiet) with Kate around.

Monday, July 19, 2010

touristing | D.C.

We drove into the city one day last week on a mission to visit the Natural History Museum.  We passed this sculpture outside the National Gallery of Art as we walked along the Mall but as it was very hot and Shawn was kind of one-museum-minded that day, we moved on quickly and I didn't catch the name or artist.  I snapped a picture and later, after searching and searching, managed to figure out that it is "Graft" by Roxy Paine (what would I do without Google?)
can I plant one in my garden?
Shawn and I have been to the Smithsonian museums before and knew it would be a different experience altogether with three small children...
Natural History Museum
Thank goodness for the "children's discovery room", some $6 slices of pizza and all those dinosaur bones.  I think they would all be happy to go again (and I will be packing a cheap sack lunch).  On our way back to the car we stumbled upon a farmer's market, much to Shawn's delight. Can't you tell?
D.C. farmer's market
OK, so maybe I am the only one in the family able to appreciate a farmer's market on a 98 degree summer day with children in tow who badly need naps...but what a great spot there with the Archives building in the distance and they had such pretty flowers...
zinnias at the farmer's market
...and now I am kicking myself for not bringing some home.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Touristing | The National Museum of the Marine Corps

Is touristing a word? Well, it is in my head and as long as we live here I think you'll be seeing it quite often on this blog because we plan to do a lot of touristing this year.
Yesterday we visited the Marine Corps museum. Impressive, to say the least.  I love how the building design is so very Marine Corps with it's massive stone walls bunkered in the hillside.  It also beautifully mirrors the shape of the Iwo Jima memorial...
Marine Corps MuseumMarine Corps Museum
I loved the rotunda with the famous quotes engraved on the walls and the mast reaching up through the glass...
the marines have landed...Marine Corps Museum
It was moving to see the Iwo Jima flag (from the second raising)...
the Iwo Jima flagamen
It's good to be at The Crossroads again.  The history and tradition of the Marines is rich here and I am so proud when I look at my husband and know what a great story he plays a part in.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

on furniture, flowers and friends

Being in a new house has a way of motivating me to do all the little decorating projects I've been putting off.  I painted and recovered an old chair I got for $15 on my birthday.  I realized too late that I never took a "before" photo of my chair so I dug this one out of the archives.  It's more fun anyway because it also has my sweet friends in it (whom I miss so very much already).
friends and our finds
And now that old chair looks like this...
my new old chair
The fabric came from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Sew Love Fabrics.  They have the best selection and incredibly fast shipping (I got my order in two days!)
We used the same paint on our beat up old coffee table and now it looks like new as well.  Today I looked at it's bare, shiny surface and realized how much I miss my flowers.  I went hunting around outside and found some things for a vase and now my table looks like this...
my new favorite corner
Proof that you can always find something worth bringing in.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

a move-in checklist

First things first -flowers on the porch- check.  Meet the neighbors -check. In Kenna's case this means greeting the puppies next door since she spends most of her time lately being a puppy herself (walking on all fours through the grocery store, making me play fetch with her at the park...yes, we get a few funny looks).
home is where...meeting the neighbors
Unpack -check.  Tear down and dispose of all the boxes you, well, they make great slides in our incredibly steep yard!
Observe the local wildlife -check.  So far we've enjoyed watching deer (including this teeny fawn peeking over the hill), ground hogs, turkeys, a nutria and Kate.
local wildlife"kate, say cheese!"
Spend as much time at the pool as you can -check (especially when all those pesky boxes are hanging around the house).  When you are at home, spend it grilling hot dogs on the porch -check (but don't get caught hogging the banana pudding).
enjoying our poolwhat?

Friday, July 9, 2010

sweet summer

ruffles in the breeze
That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape lay as if created in all the freshness of childhood.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
tristan & kenna

...see more of this set on Flickr

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

goodbye, Topsail

The Campbell household is finally back online but we are still digging our way out from under the boxes and packing paper and peeling those annoying numbered stickers off of the furniture (and our feet). So before I can get around to loading some recent pictures of our new home, I'll share some final shots of North Carolina...
Topsail BeachKenna at Topsail Beach
Kate at Topsail BeachTristan and Kenna at Topsail Beach
Topsail BeachTopsail Beach
A spur of the moment drive to the beach in the midst of packing turned out to be the perfect escape and a bittersweet goodbye to one of our favorite places.  When we first moved to North Carolina over six years ago, it was our first home.  We welcomed our sweet baby boy into the world just after arriving and he came to live at the beach with his clueless parents and the dolphins.  We made a tradition of walking on the beach every New Years day that we could, no matter how cold.  It has been a place for leaving notes and finding peace and making so many memories as our family has grown by one, two, three little souls.  There will be other beaches to play on and live by of course, but this one will always hold some of our most precious memories.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

moving week

moving daypassing on the chocolate mint
This is what my house looked like earlier in the week -belongings in boxes, plants in mini-pots for sharing and dirt -a lot of dirt! I should have taken a picture of what came out from under all the furniture and appliances. Ew. So, while Shawn was watching over the packing process, I was spending the time at Christy's house down the street. Away from the dirt and sad boxes. This is what her house looked like...
Christy's gardenChristy's garden
Christy's gardenkelli's garden in christy's house
Good place to be right? Moving has never been so refreshing! The kids were able to play together for three days straight and us moms had a pretty good time too. We even managed to get away with girlfriends for some antiquing, farmer's marketing and lunching on the water. It would have been perfect if not for the goodbyes. We spent our last night in town at Christy's house where we were able to take part in one more OCF Bible study and then stayed up late chatting and playing Tap Fish. I'm not sure who was acting more silly...the four kids upstairs in bunk beds or the adults in the living room.
four kids one bed...playing TapFish
the Good Book and the good scotchbuddies
Now, I'm sitting in a (very small) hotel room with three (suddenly very large) children. We are in the process of checking in, getting keys and awaiting the moving truck here in Quantico. I am so glad to be here and so excited for what this year holds but still a little sore from the painful goodbye. And now I'm out of words.
chocolate mint and moscatomoving day
I have a lot of photos to share yet and I know I'll be taking more as we settle in and explore our new home so I'm thinking I'll be keeping the posts pretty short and sweet for a while. Many pictures, few words...
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