Monday, July 28, 2014


After the fourth, after the camp girls returned, after CC and his dad canoed the Buffalo, we were all back in Memphis together for one solid week. It was wonderful!

We picked up the camp girls. I missed them so much. I didn't even want to sign them out, then pick up, as I was instructed! I just had to go hug first. Miss Middler went to camp only knowing her cousin, but since he is a boy, they weren't in the same cabin. She makes friends everywhere she goes. I had told her it was her job to keep an eye on Sweet Cheeks, since it was SC's first time at camp. When I picked Miss Mid up, I said, "Did you take care of your sister?" Her friends said, "You have a sister?" I laughed.
 Sweet Cheeks did just fine. She said she cried a little at bedtime, but just didn't tell anyone, and by morning she felt fine. Sigh. The beginning of the send off we all face as moms has begun.
 These sweet girls fell in love with Miss Middler so much, they tried to climb in as stowaways.
 After church, we all gathered at K's house for lunch. This was not posed, but as I took it, I happened to think that it looked very much like some type of family or Sunday School brochure!
 We had a perfect day, the kind that you realize as you are having it, it is rare. The weather was beautiful. Everyone felt healthy and strong. My cup is full.


 Hideouts with towels and pool chairs.

  We all were in the pool and played water volleyball. This day was a memory I will never forget!

Fun on the Fourth

We had such a fun fourth. CC and his dad took a fun trip together to canoe the Buffalo River in Arkansas. Meanwhile, we hung out with family. Here's CC's sweet sis and her husband and daughter. They took us to the Collierville fireworks.
 We had 2 at camp, 1 on a river, and here's the rest of us. We were cold! Memphis? July? Cold?

 We spent the day with K's (CC's sis) family, who I have not seen since her wedding in 1998.

 The girls found a couple of crafts on Pinterest and decorated the backyard for us.
 Big Ben found a big cousin to hang with!
 Here's CC's mom and K's mom-in-law. Sweet ladies and sweet day of fun!

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.

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