Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Minion Door

My girls offered to help me get my classroom ready. We really have come a long way, from my needing to 'keep an eye on them' to my kids decorating my classroom! 

They had their own idea, and I let them go to it! 

And pretty soon I had an adorable Despicable Me minion door! 


My daughter has started to create her own style, with no input from me. I think I like it! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First Day Photos

Well, we made it back to our city. A week of getting back into our sleep routines, unpacking our bags, organizing the house, hanging with friends in the park (for the kids), and one last day of visiting a Turkish water park followed. Soon, it was time to start inservice. Our week together as a staff was personally very encouraging for me. I found that I was able to very gently peel off a few "band aids" and let some heart scabs start to heal. The "gang" this year (my fellow teachers/staff) have really given off such a sweet spirit. His mercies are new every morning, and every school year. And for that I am thankful. My kids were so helpful, taking turns babysitting little brother and sister while I was in meetings, calling to ask what they should start for dinner, keeping the laundry folded and house picked up. It really blessed me. It was crunch week, and they came through for me. 

We started on a Thursday. Sweet Cheeks was up before 6AM, dressed and eating breakfast, ensuring no one overslept on the first day. We left in plenty of time to get our traditional first day pictures. My dad took pictures of me holding up my grade level, we carry that tradition on. 

Firstborn began high school. She's just wonderful. She's started Turkish this year. They had a discussion about how important "bread" is to the Turkish meal. Her teacher commented on how some American 'breads' are like cakes and how yummy they are. She came home that night and baked banana bread for her class. She is so happy this year with her lineup of teachers. I am so thankful for good teachers! 
Twinkle Toes is in junior high this year. She's as tall as me, straightening her hair, running with her big sis these days. I know she will make me proud this year! 
And how can my little baby girl be finishing elementary this year? When we got here, she was only 18 months. We put her in a crib we borrowed from the home we stayed in. She quickly discovered it had amazing springs, and she could nearly bounce out of it. She's still bouncing! 
This little girl is in my class this year. That makes my heart very happy. So far, she's enjoying her daughter/student status to the fullest. 
And this little guy needed a slight readjustment after 2 days of school. WE put him in K4 again, as he is a September birthday, and we had determined all along to let him repeat K4. But after prayer and being approached by the teacher, we decided to go ahead and let him move up to K5. He is so happy. His first day picture originally had 4 fingers held up. We told him over the weekend he was moving up to K5. Every time I picked up the camera this weekend, he held up 5 fingers. I think someone was happy! 
And so the year began for the Campbellclankids! I plan to post more about my classroom and the traditional first day march around the school, but had to get these on here! How has the adjustment to the new school year been for you? 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Grands Photo

We did a quick photo shoot with the cousins and Grandparents...
 the Campbellclanskids and Grandparents...
 And the whole bunch.
 I did not take any photos on our flight home. But my husband and children insisted on not only making me Turkish breakfast in the morning, but taking a photo of me jetlagged, too. So here I am.

Finishing America

Our final week in America was rushed, but fun. I realized (thanks to CC checking my flight schedule) that I had one less day than I thought. So I hit the ground running on errands and last minute purchases to pack. We managed a few fun things. Here's my brother and his younger son at a football camp we stopped by one day.
We also got to meet up with my cousin and her daughter for a swim day.

We  had one last lake weekend, complete with some homemade ninja costumes.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Beginning of the End of Summer

We enjoyed dinner out with  my folks (somehow I didn't get a picture) and with my brother and sis-in-law before CC had to head back to Turkey. We tried to hit an Indian restaurant, but it was closed on Mondays. We went across the way to a Thai and sushi place. Do you think I could start twisting my children's straw wrappers like this for them each night? I didn't think so.
 My brother and sis-in-law. She's been my buddy since 8th grade.
 CC and me!
 This was CC's yummy Thai green curry. We first had this in Singapore and the love still exists.
 I ordered a curry with scallops.
 And all too soon, the next day or so, it was time to get CC off on the plane. Big Ben mistakenly thought CC was just coming home to pick up a few things, then join us again. He requested his wooden sword multiple times, until we realized his confusion.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lake Weekends

We had some fun weekends at Center Hill Lake this summer. There are 11 kids, so we devised a plan to take turns on the boat, with a group swimming by the shoreline. I think for some of the little ones, that was the favorite part.
 The lake house provides a great place for the cousins to spend time together. This group created a hip hop dance for us!
 Tube rides, skiing, wake boarding, knee boarding....they are all learning so many skills!
 Even Sweet Cheeks!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Clean Fun

I feel almost certain these girls had no idea I was photographing this.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Miss Middler's Piercings

This summer was Miss Middler's turn to get her ears pierced. After 2 big sisters in years past miraculously were transported to Wal Mart in the middle of the summer, with a cousin riding along, giggling in the backseat, at the very age of "almost 12," Miss Middler figured out what was happening to her before we ever got out of the car.

CC has gone along every time. He wants to make sure they mark her holes in the right place!
She was very brave!

Beautiful! And growing up! (And, I might add, this is the same girl who's been hauling dead trees to build a fort in the forest behind our house! Don't let the earrings fool you, she's a tomboy at heart!)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Slip N Slide N Rip

Nothing says summer like slip n slide with cousins! We actually had one broken one from last year, but CC linked it to a second for a super long slide.

One day while CC was working on something outside, he heard 'rip.' A few seconds later, another 'rip.' He checked his pants, no rips, so he just ignored it. Later, my mom was washing clothes and found the the seat of his boxers! She safety pinned a little note inside that said, "POW!" I died laughing...and when CC found his note, he laughed, too, and thanked for alerting him before he tried to wear them again!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Memphis to Nashville

We ended up our Memphis time with some fun family memories. We ate out sushi with D and K. How did I forget to take a picture? (We've decided sushi is the tradition, no need to choose anymore.) We also had a lovely steak dinner out with Mimi and Grandad. When you know your time is very limited, you become a very intentional person. I have had friends tell me over the years, "That looks fun." or "We live in the same town, but hardly ever do that." Don't take folks for granted! Call your mom, dad, sister, friend and schedule something!

We decided our last family meal for summer of 2013 in Memphis would be Thanksgiving! Holiday ham, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and Sister Shubert rolls. mmmm. Yes, in July.

We said our goodbyes to our Memphis family and headed up to Nashville to finish our time there. Upon arrival, Sweet Cheeks had her Nashville birthday with the number 8 in gumballs.

 Grandma bakes a cake for every kid during the summer, and we sing happy birthday to them! For Sweet Cheeks, it really is a birthday month.

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