Saturday, June 30, 2012

colorado bound

last summer
We're on the road to Colorado! A week in the mountains alongside good friends and all our crazy kiddos, seemed like the perfect way to escape Florida's July humidity (that's our crew above, together last year). And judging from this week's weather maps, the high mountain elevations are the only place to escape the heat right now. It has been eight long years since Shawn and I set foot in our beloved Colorado Rockies with four month old Tristan in tow. Way too long. It fees like we are headed home (if only we could stay.)
As I'm sure you know, wildfires have been tearing through the state. We would love it if you would pray for our vacation, but MUCH more importantly, for the city of Colorado Springs and other areas affected by fires. My parents are on staff with an organization called The Navigators, headquartered in Colorado Springs. While the administration buildings and historic Glen Eyrie conference center have been completely surrounded by the Waldo Canyon fire, they have (so far) been miraculously protected. Some amazing firefighters held a line of protection around a great portion of  Eagle Lake Camp, but the true losses there are yet to be known, and many staff families have lost their homes completely. The destruction has been terrible and heartbreaking, so please pray for Colorado!
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."  Psalm 91:1-2

Thursday, June 28, 2012

at least there are flowers

more orange zinnias
Zinnias and sunflowers hover over dying squash and bug-eaten beans, allowing me to at least appreciate the look of my garden. You know, from far away. Where you can't see the dead things.
sunflower in the rain
And nothing beats a bright spot of living color at the table on a gray and rainy afternoon. One of the main reasons I grow flowers outside, is so that I can enjoy them inside.
garden inside

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

the veggie garden

These pictures make it look like I have a beautiful, thriving, vegetable garden, but that's not really the case. Not at all.
cucumber plant
I actually have a struggling, dying, wilting, diseased, bug-eaten garden. The flowers are happy -zinnias, sunflowers, and marigolds are keeping things cheery, just not edible. (What color is your thumb if you can grow flowers but not vegetables?)
Obviously a few edible things have come out of it, some cucumbers, a pepper (yes, just the one), carrots (that had a strange rubbery texture and bitter taste), lots of basil, and two tomatoes that I salvaged just before the plants keeled over dead. Dead I tell you. Sigh.
So it's not a total loss at all, just not a success either. The corn and beans are toast, but zucchini and tomatoes have been re-planted and new mushroom compost added (Thanks, Grandad!) So if I can figure out my pest problem and not have everything drown in another three-day rainstorm, we might have a good summer harvest yet. Or maybe just these deceivingly pretty pictures.
Time will tell.

Monday, June 25, 2012

the day my middle girl danced

keeping busy
Last weekend we attended Kenna's dance recital. I wish I could show you more pictures of her on stage (but I have a thing about not posting pictures of other people's children online without their permission.) I wish I could show you how perfectly she knew the steps, how she pointed her toes, and held her arms straight while her classmates, I must say, were kind of flailing all over the place. Yes, of course I'm biased, they were cute as can be, and honestly she could have flailed all over the place too and I still would have loved every second of it. She's five, that's what I expected, but she didn't flail. She was amazing.
And she has no idea.
She simply did the steps like she was told even though she really wanted to be backstage playing the princess dress-up game on my phone. She danced the dance she had practiced a hundred times on a stage that wasn't what she had hoped for (a tv studio stage is kind of a let down after watching your cousin dance in a historic theater with bulb lights and balconies!) My girl with the disney princess face, lit up that stage and took her mama completely by surprise.
Earlier in the week, as I sat with my own mom in the studio during dress rehearsal, I was telling her how "over it" I already felt when in came to dance. "I am not cut out to be a dance mom", I said. Kenna wants to try gymnastics or soccer and I'm ready for a sport that doesn't involve $80 a pop costumes and classes I don't get to watch and recitals I get to watch only if I can fork over $50 for tickets. I'm happy to let her move on. During those hours of waiting backstage and moments of unease as I looked at my five-year-old with her made-up face and painted lips, it was easy to say no more.
After seeing her dance, well, it wasn't as easy.
I had realized it wasn't just about the dance, and I knew it was worth it. It was worth it to see how she had been a cheerful learner, how well she had obeyed her teacher, how she had worked with classmates to present something beautiful, how she shared her toys with them backstage, how she had smiled so big when she asked, "Did Daddy see me?"
I'm proud of my daughter and what she accomplished. I'm in awe of her beauty and sweetness. I'm glad we had this experience. I'm a middle girl mom so thankful for the gift of my own middle girl, praying that I can mother her in a way that is glorifying to the One that created her and loves her more than I ever will. More than I... when already every day that I love her, I love her more than I ever thought possible.
onstage dress rehearsal
{my backstage view at dress rehearsal - kenna is front row, second from the right}
dad & his dancer

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


giant melting ice cream sundae
Who decided that the middle of the day, in June, in Florida, was a good time to build a gigantic ice cream sundae?
I'm just not sure they thought that one through.
(And then they actually tried to offer us spoons! Ew.)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

we pretty much think he's awesome because...

like ducklings
:: he leads, we follow
:: he plays, we laugh
because I said so & the stinkeye
:: he lays down the law with them, they give him the stinkeye (then we hide our faces and laugh at the stinkeye)
:: he looks tough, he's really just silly putty in their hands
me & him
:: he loves us, we love him

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

happy 41 years pappy & grams!

Last summer I took some pictures of Pappy and Grams for their 40th anniversary...
40 years
(aren't they adorable?)
And today it was featured on Pioneer Woman Photography!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

family faces

the big kidsthaddeus
kenna mariesweet kate
smiley beaurori's pool
keltenbaby girl
Where to even begin with all those family pictures? Well, with faces of course (and one baby bump.) I so wish my sister, Lisa, could have been with us. There are two cousins and yet another baby-girl-belly missing from this bunch. In case you lost count, that makes ten grand kids and two more on the way. Yeah, we're kind of a prolific family.

Monday, June 11, 2012

take me away

sail away sail away sail away
Thanks to the past two days of solid, non-stop, down-pouring, drenching rain, I managed to finish editing, uploading, and sharing all those photos I took in May at my sister's house (yes, all one thousand sixty four). My parents and siblings now have the joy of sifting through the six hundred and eight that remain to find their favorites and keepers (y'all have fun with that.) I however, do not think I will be sitting back down at my computer for at least a week!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

billions of wonders

"People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea,
at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars;
and they pass by themselves without wondering." -Saint Augustine

{Psalm 139}

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

weekend visitors

Over the weekend we had a short but sweet visit with good friends. Since we are conveniently located half-way to Disney World, they were able to stop over for a day of fun at the beach. And what a day!
We had the most beautiful beach weather ever. The Gulf was calm, clear, and free of stinging wildlife, and the air was breezy and cool. It couldn't have been more perfect for swimming and paddle boarding with the kids.
I am so glad we got to share such a gorgeous day with these guys. Our visits are too few and far between. We'll do it again soon though -we owe ourselves a better group photo!
family fun

Friday, June 1, 2012

the Major

Major C
It's a big day in the Campbell house. Shawn left for work wearing Captains bars on his uniform for the last time (or his "costume" as Tristan continues to call it.) The rest of us broke from our usual pjs till lunchtime routine so we could join him at the squadron for his promotion ceremony. Half-way there, a confused Kenna looked up and said "oh, I thought it was church day!"
reciting the oath
The CO rattled off the whole oath in one breath and then Shawn followed suit.
I think they wanted to be as Marine as possible there on that Navy base.
Tristan and I pinned on Shawn's gold oak leaves...
with the CO
...and then the Marines had a good laugh at the fact that we pinned them on sideways.
Dad & his crew
I remember the day he left for OCS like it was yesterday, and now here we are, twelve years, three deployments, eight moves, three kids, and a whole lot of great memories later. I wouldn't trade it for anything (and it's a good thing since we have a lot of years still to go!) I am so proud of this man and all he has accomplished.

Congratulations, Shawn. I love you!
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