Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Meeting Our New Crew

We got to steal away our new (and old) crew who were at orientation. We took them down to the most famous Memphis BBQ restaurant, the Rendezvous. One of them dared to order unsweetened tea. It's not served there.
 It was really fun for our teen girls, as they had some school buddies who were there with their families.
 It also happened to be the birthday of my friend B. We turned it into a big celebration party! The gals on either side of B drove in for the day. H, on the left, will be Sweet Cheeks' teacher next year. J, on the right, is our precious friend who taught Firstborn in 2nd grade, helped her make a keepsake quilt, and mentored her.
 We walked downtown by the trolley for a bit, then went to get some ice cream for B's birthday. We presented our new female staff with a scarf from Turkey. Don't they look sharp?
 And not to be outdone, here are our new guys with their new Turkiye t-shirts.

Out and About in Memphis

We managed to squeeze in a dinner double date with CC's sister and her husband. He's a busy man this time of year with his basketball ministry. We never even think about where to's just always sushi!
 And then we popped down to Southaven, MS, to meet our new teachers while they are in orientation. I always get to see some of my old buddies who still work at my former school. A is a good friend. I taught her son many years ago when I was a Fish, not yet a Campbell. In fact, I lived in their home for a short time to make my commute to school shorter. She always reminds me of some of the useful things I did while living at her house, like after we mowed the grass and the mower would not quite get under the rabbit cage, I used scissors to trim the grass. She also reminds me of how I taught her that when in the shower and washing long hair, you can just grab the loose hair and stick it on the shower tiles to get it off of you. I am so glad I could impart such useful tips and tools for homemaking.
 Then Aunt S (CC's recruiter) and I took these girls down to our Home Office for a short tour. Here they are posing as recruiters at the Singapore calling desk. I think if folks on the other end of the line could see them, they'd sure accept, don't you?
 It was a long, but fun, day out. Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of our new staff.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Starting out Memphis

We started out our time in Memphis with a Saturday drive down, a greeting and unpacking at our host home, and then a fun dinner with our Campbell side. 

Being at our home church is a real highlight for us. Here are the girls with cousin C in the hallway of the church where CC and I promised forever. He also went to elementary school here.

We had a fun surprise that Aunt B got to come to our church. It is so weird when Turkey life and US life collide. 

Right after church we took off for camp. This would be Sweet Cheeks first time away at camp. Cousin C had her back! These are her sweet counselors. One told us she didn't mind a non-air conditioned cabin because they didn't have AC at home. I think she's built for the job of taking care of my baby, don't you?

Cabin mates and new friends.
And the I dropped off Miss Middler. It would be her last year. Immediately her new counselors grabbed her for a hug and assured her they'd be BFF's by the end of the week. Her cousin buddy T is a boy, so she was on her own for making new cabin friends.
I'll wait for a later post to wrap up camp and how it went, but I will say one child said goodbye by clinging to me and saying she would miss me. Another one said, "Bye, love you, are you leaving yet?" Any guesses which one?

Soccer Camp

My sis-in-law is a great networker and is always thinking of others. She helped me sign the kids up for a soccer camp, a great way to turn the tv off and practice their skills during the summer. Here's Twinkle with her cousin C.

Firstborn visited a friend in Chattanooga, but Miss Middler played with the middle schoolers and did great. 

They had a great week! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Burgess Falls State Park

Though we had a boat malfunction while at the lake and had to change our plans, it turned out to be full of fun and family time. We ended up at Sonic for 1/2 price shakes..."Everyone grab a cousin, choose a flavor, and split a large shake!" ...and snuggle time (Twinkle Toes has asked me multiple times over the years, "Can we get one?" I have a feeling she'll be running an orphanage somewhere in Africa one day!) ...

We decided to drive over to Burgess Falls State Park, picnic, and hike to the waterfall. My sweet mom and dad and little LL.

No one had rented the pavillion and since we are up to 19 folks, we pretty much looked like a church group anyway.

 This will no doubt be one of my favorite summer shots. After just a couple of weeks, the twins are speaking English and loving their forever family. I asked if I could get a picture and the little guy threw his arm around Big sweet. I have another shot where Big Ben has his eyes open, but this one captures the true joy in cousin J's heart better.
 And then there's Big Ben's happy response.

The falls were beautiful.

 I was super proud of my dad who went at his own pace, but completed the long hike in the intense Tennessee heat.

Wow, sorta reminds me of an Adam and Eve backdrop. Only we have on clothes!

Do you ever wake up and remember you married your perfect mate? I do that everyday.

We came back and packed up. Then, CC, Grandad, Twinkle, Firstborn, and I stayed on an extra night. The next day we drove to Dayton, TN, to let Firstborn see Bryan College. It was her first ever college visit. (HELP ME, how is this happening???!!!) While there, we drove to Dr. Rodger's clinic in the same town. There, my father was delivered in 1941. It is now a gift shop, but the entrance to the second floor clinic still bears Dr. Rodger's name. The downstairs was a soda shop and is the spot where the famous Scope's Trial plan hatched, at a small round soda shop table. My dad remembers eating chocolate pudding at the table as a boy. I think his mom, who was seen by Dr. Rodgers for her entire pregnancy and delivery for $300, would be proud to see her son now and his grandchildren.

June Lake Weekend

Once Campbell Clansman and the other two Campbell Clanskids got to the USA on Father's Day, we enjoyed our first week up in middle Tennessee. Sweet Cheeks and Big Ben had swim lessons. They learned so much! We think maybe SC can graduate from lessons. Big Ben has decided he's got it now and has been swimming like a fish ever since. Last year he was using life jackets and floats, but he's ditched them now.

The following weekend we went to the lake. What a fun time getting to know our new nephews, newly arrived from the Congo. They are little miracles, and we love them so much. We feel like a complete bunch now, the grandkids make up a baker's dozen.

Here's a few lake shots. Sweet Cheeks pretty much looks the same as she did when she was 2, at least in a big ol' lifejacket she does.

 One of the new twins wanted to try that big float behind that big boat with his daddy. Everything is new to them. It's made me appreciate all we have with a fresh perspective.
 I think maybe I'll show this on the wedding slideshow for both the girls in the back.
This summer what I keep hearing is that Miss Middler has changed the most.

Darlin' kids, enjoying summer. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Flying Over the Pond

We flew out the next morning. Three kids came with me. Two kids waited and flew with Campbell Clansman later in the week. We got to fly our first leg with a set of school grandparents who had come to visit their family. It was so much fun to have a buddy to fly to Germany with!

 In the Germany airport, we found some decent reclining seats.

The backpacks chock full of coloring books and markers came out.

Big Ben was my traveling buddy, while Sweet Cheeks sat with Firstborn. My kids are super at travelling! I appreciate so much their flexibility to fly 24 hours, even when they are tired.

We were very tired, but made it safely home to family. There's nothing like that first hug and the hope of a whole summer ahead!

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