October 30, 2014

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Hey, you looking at me?

  • Yesterday at Beebee's place, this was a bit of our conversation:
    • Anderson (to me): When you die, I will get your house.
    • Tara: Nope.
    • Anderson: Yep, that is how it was in Bible times.
    • Tara: It is not Bible times.
    • Anderson: I still get the house.
    • Tara: No, we will have to sell it for our cruise around the world and then to buy the rv.
    • Anderson: Huh?
    • Tara: The rv that we are going to park in your driveway.
    • Anderson: Where are you going to eat?
    • Tara: You will cook for me.
    • Anderson: I am not going to cooking school.  
    • Beebee: You know when Papaw and I got married, I couldn't cook anything.
    • Anderson: Did you go to cooking school?
    • Beebee: No.
    • Tara: When your Daddy and I got married, I couldn't cook anything and I still can't.  
    • Reagan: Yes, you can.  You can make sandwiches.
    • Graham: Sometimes she burns them though.
    • Campbell: Those are grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • You can see why some days I think I am losing my mind.  But back to today, Whitman and Keaton all helped take Campbell to school.  While they were gone, I worked as hard as I could for the others to get their school work done.  That just wasn't happening.  I don't know what Anderson does all morning long but it sure is not school.  And poor Reagan her math is now multiplying big numbers like thousands times hundreds (2,496 x 683).  Really?  I am sure that is necessary but is it time to teach her how to use a calculator?  Each time she misses a problem, I try to help her do it and then when I look at the correct answer, I am wrong too.  
  • Graham finished his school in time to watch the news while Robby ran.  Whitman hung out in his pack n play snacking away.  Yesterday, he would watch Robby run and just laugh at him. When I called Graham downstairs to work together he was none to pleased that he was having to stop watching the news-his father's child.  
  • Robby ran out to pick up lunch and he took the kids.  So I did some speed baking and made some monkey bread (to give away which was pure torture for the kids not to be able to eat it. They have only had monkey bread once and that was at Christmas.)  I cleaned the shower, started laundry and ironed some of those blasted perler beads.
  • Nonna had picked up Campbell and they had spent their afternoon making cookies.  I came to pick her up with Keaton and Whitman.  When it was time to leave, Bro. Paul was stopping by their house.  So I rushed the kids out of the door and even said "hurry, let's get out of here" as I was buckling them in.  Later on the way home, Keaton asked "is John Paul a bad guy?"  I guess she didn't realize I was just trying to hurry and get out the door but she thought we were trying to get away from that Bro. Paul man.
  • Back at home, the kids watched movies and went in and outside.  I worked on Campbell's clothes.  I really thought that she had wanted to help with the clothes but no, she didn't care and played with Keaton.  I did get her to help a bit at the end.  This means that I now have 5 kids down on clothes change out and only 1 more to go (Keaton) and that should be done tomorrow (maybe!)
  • And speaking of Keaton....this evening we loaded up and went to Chick Fil A to get our free meal.  The kids climbed out of the car one by one and I looked around and didn't see Keaton.  I asked "where's Keaton?" and Reagan, who sits by Keaton, looked at me blankly.  My heart practically leaped out of my chest.  In 2 seconds, I had already imagined us speeding back home which takes 20+ minutes while trying to call anyone who lives closer by.  Robby and I exchanged worried glances as Reagan then added "oh, she is asleep."  I could have vomited! Needless to say, that child didn't leave our sight for the rest of the night.  (I mean, really, I guess we could leave someone at home.  We don't put the kids in the car anymore, if we did then we would check for shoes.  Hopefully, their seat mate would mention that they aren't there.  But the good thing is that Robby and I usually make a circle through the house picking up, looking for phones and turning off lights before leaving so hopefully then we could find the wayward kid.)
  • Dinner was uneventful-well, a stranger did comment on seeing us at Baptist.  I thought about offering him by autograph but thought that might be too forward.  The other night at Chick Fil A, Graham eyed the drinks sitting on the table.  He slowly and slyly grabbed the largest drink and started drinking it.  Robby and I watched him carefully as he realized that the cup he thought was coke was full of water.  He acted like he had just drank a sip of vinegar.  The child was much more cautious tonight about what cup he grabbed.
  • And then as soon as Robby had finished the Bible story, Graham asked a question.  Robby had just finished talking about their being One True God and only one way to heaven.  And Graham's hand shot up.  Robby acknowledged him and Graham said "if you stand on your tip toes, will your head hit that fan."  It is so good to know that they are listening!

October 29, 2014

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Doesn't everyone dress up at Target?

  • The kids lost their kindles a week ago or maybe it was even longer than that.  But anyway, this was the day that they received them back and this caused us to almost oversleep today and miss Bible study. Instead of the boys coming to our room at 7 when they woke up, they ran to the closet and found those kindles and played happily until we finally stirred.
  • They didn't get to play on those too long because it was time to get ready and eat our breakfast before leaving for Bible study.  The morning was going splendidly and we had left about 2 minutes after when I would like to leave.  Then after driving about 4 miles from the house, I heard those dreaded words: Mom, I don't have my shoes!  
  • Seriously?  What do my children think we mean when we say "go put on your shoes."  If it was Keaton or Whitman I wouldn't have turned around because they don't really need them.  And if it was Graham, Reagan or Anderson I would have debated not turning around just so they could learn a lesson.  But the shoeless child was Campbell so we did turn around and since Robby was home, he met us in the driveway with those shoes.  I should just probably keep an extra pair in the car.  I could get a size that most everyone could wear and just stash them like I keep a few pairs of extra clothes in the car.
  • Thankfully, that extra trip didn't slow us down and we made it to Bible study on time.  The kids all delighted in carrying in their Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  I had planned on doing 2 boxes this year but decided that we had enough stuff so we ended up doing 4.  I tend to hoard things that I think would be shoe box worthy during the year and my friends would laugh me out of the room if they knew that I now already have a box to stash shoe box stuff for 2015. It is a sickness that I have.
  • After Bible study, I had planned on going to the park but since none of the other girls were going to the park I wasn't sure what to do.  Robby was going to bring us lunch but since I wasn't sure of my plans he didn't and this greatly displeased my children.  I royally messed up there and to top things off, it wasn't Sonic happy hour so that just made them more upset.  We did go and see Beebee first and since she wasn't at lunch it did work out well.  We were home and eating lunch by 1 so it did make our afternoon seem longer-long enough for me to have a 30 minute nap!  As soon as my alarm went off, Campbell came and asked to sleep beside me. Oh, I wished we could have.
  • But we had places to go-Target to get flu shots for Anderson and me.  The initial plans were to go Chick Fil A to use our receipt from the other day but after waiting on our shots, we didn't have time.  Anderson was my brave guy and didn't even flinch with his shot-I am sure that I did.  I do hate flu shots-why do they have to make your arm so sore?  
  • We did pick up supper at McyDs on the way to church and ate in the diner.  The kids then scurried off to class and Robby and I passed the evening doing puppet shows and reading magazines.  Back at home, everyone changed into their pjs and we all had a bit of a snack before bedtime.  

October 28, 2014

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An afternoon of decorating...

  • Such a rainy, fall day-I just love days like this and it was a perfect start to the day.  Even though we could tell that people were awake upstairs, Campbell was the only one who came downstairs to snuggle with us in our bed.  
  • Soon though, we had to get her ready for school and of course, Keaton wanted to go with Robby so off they went.  This was another big day for Campbell at school so she was ready to leave.
  • I declared this poptart day for everyone so my big people could eat in the school room and get to work.  I only had until 10 before I had to leave so we needed to get school done quickly. By the time I had finished working with everyone, it was already 10.  
  • So I put Whitman and his snack in the pack n play upstairs so he could watch Robby run.  Keaton and Graham (who had already finished school) were up there too and Reagan and Anderson were downstairs working hard.  
  • At 10, I did run out of this place so I could get to Campbell's fall party.  She was so proud to have me there and Ms. Stacy said that she had looked for me out the window most of the day.  That was probably true because one of the first questions that she asked me was "what car did you come in?"
  • Campbell was the cutest child in her class and she was so excited to pass out her goodie bags to her friends.  I brought a game "pumpkin ring toss" and it is amazing how excited the kids can get over a lame game-it all just depends on how exciting you make it sound.  
  • Back at home, the crowd was buzzing about tonight and all the people coming over.  We went to the grocery store so we decided we should have a party-Nonna, Pops, Grannymom, Grandpa, Jason, Lilli, and Cash all came over.  A few minutes before our family supper, I asked Robby if maybe we could turn it into a birthday party really quickly.  But I guess people would have needed presents for that!
  • Until then, we had lots to do to get ready for tonight.  But first, there were Halloween gingerbread houses to decorate.  We had 2 houses that survived (from last year's clearance rack) so we had a girl house and a boy house to decorate.  We started with 3 houses and after Reagan did some quick math, she decided that she wanted to be partners with Whitman-that sneaky little girl trying to do it all by herself.  Unfortunately, she ended up with Campbell and Keaton as partners but she kept them busy on the sides and back so everyone stayed happy.
  • My boys worked and worked on their house.  The kids were at the table decorating and Robby and I were at the bar trying to cook-by the end my kitchen was trashed.  But not only was the kitchen filthy, the kids were covered in black and green icing.  At one point, Robby looked up and Keaton was squeezing the black icing onto her hand and licking it off.  
  • We then had a bit of time for the kids to watch their tv shows and then the family started arriving.  Everyone was so excited that Lilli and Cash were there but everyone also seemed to be excited about supper-bbq, au gratin potatoes, salad, baked beans and oreo delight.  Robby didn't really love his new bbq recipe but it was worth a try and it did feed a crowd.  
  • After we ate, there was time to chat and time for the kids to play.  Then everyone left and we quickly picked up and then showered the kids (half of them had already had showers this afternoon but had them again.  Whitman does get showers often because it is pretty easy to contain him in the shower.)  Then it was Bible story and bedtime around here-tomorrow is another busy day!

October 27, 2014

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Making art and more art...

  • If we didn't have to get Campbell to school in the morning, we all might still be in bed right now.  My Campbell was ready though to go to school today because she was the snack helper.  And this was the best of all days because not only did she bring the snack but she was also the line leader.  Oh, happy day!
  • Usually on our rushed Mondays, I make the kids eat their breakfast in the school room since it is just cereal and we can easily vacuum it up (Mondays just happen to be vacuuming day as well.)  But today we had left over donuts so that caused everyone to eat in the kitchen thus getting a later start than normal for school.
  • My Reagan and Anderson just piddle the morning away-she messed with Whitman and Anderson just stares.  This drives me batty-if they would just do their work they could be finished and we could all be happy!  Today, I tried not to nag them about working and this left quite a bit of work for them to do this afternoon.  That though didn't seem to bother either one of them-they just sat down and quickly finished their work before 1:30 after lunch.  I guess that is fine so we may just start doing that.  
  • We had lunch and did a bit of reading.  We also read before lunch usually from 11:15-12 and this is probably one of my favorite parts of school.  Now most days the kids behavior is a bit lacking during this time causing me to further lose me mind but if they do listen then we really all enjoy that time.
  • This afternoon, I ran around doing chores along with the kids but all they could think about was when Whitman was going to go to bed so they could pull out those perler beads.  I tell you, my children are obsessed with those beads.  That is all that they want to do all day long-Robby suggested that we try to sell them!  Ha!
  • During nap time I worked on changing over Whitman's clothes.  Keaton napped some but woke up really early so I let her be my helper.   If she asked one question, she asked me a zillion questions.  She is so excited about when we are going to switch over her clothes.  I have everything ready to do Campbell's clothes switch but she wasn't here today so her clothes will have to wait for another day.  
  • Before I knew it, my Campbell was walking in the door.  Robby and her were home and we quickly scurried around to get ready to go to Chick Fil A.  I put Campbell to work on her Cezanne painting while everyone else found clothes.  
  • We ate at Chick Fil A since today was their repeat day-eat there today and show your receipt this weekend and eat for free.  That sounded good to us and to lots of other people since it was really crowded there!  The kids enjoyed playing on the playground and we enjoyed drinking our milkshake after supper-that is, until Whitman figured out what we were passing back and forth.  When they baby signs "more" and starts waving his arms, you just have to oblige him and let him have some.
  • When we made it home, the little kids had a shower while the big kids did a school box.  Then it was Bible story time.  Robby had give then kids a challenge to find out what prophet we were reading about and what fed him in I Kings 17.  So everyone had read the verses themselves and written down their answers.  I did help Campbell when she came home.  This afternoon, Keaton told me that she wanted me to read her Bible to her.  I said okay thinking that she was talking about one of her books and I asked her where it was.  She looked at me and said it was with all the other Bibles.  So she went and found her Bible and we read all about Elijah, then I said "let's read something from Proverbs" and she said "I'll do that later."

October 26, 2014

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  • Robby's allergies were bothering him last night so he didn't sleep well but I sure did-never heard him at all.  So he was the first one up and soon everyone else was awake as well.  The kids quickly put their clothes on so we could leave for church....
  • Or maybe they were excited about leaving for donuts.  We stopped at Shipleys on the way to church and Robby came out with bags and boxes full of donuts.  For the kids he had glazed-they were hot, they were delicious and they were better than Krispy Kreme.  We had never had hot donuts from Shipleys.  He also had doughnut holes for them which made Whitman very happy.  But I was made happy by the chocolate filled donuts he had for me-those are delicious.
  • As you can imagine, by the time that we made it to church, we all had sugar all over ourselves.  Seriously, we were all covered in donuts-as in I should have brought a change of clothes for everyone!
  • The main reason we had donuts was because the big 3 had a contest at church for who could bring the most candy for GS Fest.  It was the boys against the girls and the boys lost.  I didn't really think that was fair since the kids aren't the ones buying the candy and who wants to see other kids enjoying a doughnut in front of you while you can't have one.  But they made it right and the girls had donuts and the boys had doughnut holes so everyone was happy.
  • After church, we went to Grannymom and Grandpa's house.  The grownups and Whitman happily crowd around the kitchen table while the kids took over the dining room table.  Soon we will be able to ship Whitman to the dining room to fend for himself too!  Some weeks the kids are quiet and subdued and other weeks they are not-this was one of those weeks.  Loud or not, they enjoy being with their cousins and they always have a good time so that is what matters.
  • We didn't stick around for too long after lunch because the afternoons on Sunday are oh so short.  Once at home, the kids finished a movie from Redbox while Whitman and Keaton napped.  When it was time to head to church, we woke them up and had to change Keaton's sheets since she wet the bed.  I guess she is just out of her normal routine because when we made it home, she only made it to the bathroom floor.  Oh, well that is why we have Fantastic and a washing machine.
  • The kids went to choir and my Campbell was so, so excited about singing in big church.  I do think that she was the most adorable child up there-I couldn't really see her since there was a little girl much taller in front of her!  Ha!  She was the proudest child to be up there singing-she has been waiting for years to be able to sing in big church like her brothers and sister.  
  • Reagan, Anderson and Graham were up next and if I do say so myself, I think those kids are pretty great too.  They sand one song and then they sang Amazing Grace-loved that.  Then it was sermon time.  Campbell had a bit of trouble sitting still during church this morning so I wedged her in between the edge of the pew and me and she did much better tonight.
  • Dave had us doing a bit of Bible drill during the sermon.  Campbell enjoyed trying to find the right numbers and Reagan thought it was like a contest so she sure rushed to find each verse.  Anderson started trying to keep up but then he just slammed his Bible and was done.  
  • The kids so wanted to play on the playground after church but it was dark so we headed home for ice cream truck.  If you want my children to do things quickly (like put shoes up, laundry away and put on pajamas) then you just bribe them with ice cream.  I guess I would do all that quickly if someone was bribing me with ice cream!    

October 25, 2014

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Fun times at the World Cheese Dip Championship!

  • The kids were up until after 10 last night and Robby and I were up until almost 2 so it is no wonder that everyone was tired this morning.  We were all still awake and going strong before the clock struck 8.  Keaton is usually one of the first kiddos down the stairs each morning.  I think that whoever wakes up first goes and asks her if she is awake each morning.  This of course wakes her up so indeed she is awake and can accompany them downstairs.  I guess the kids are not used to being alone so they do not like to go anywhere or do anything by themselves-even walk down the stairs to our room.
  • Robby served up breakfast while I had my shower and soon everyone was ready for the big event of the day-the World's Cheese Dip Championship.  Before we left, Grannymom and Grandpa arrived.  They worked on staining our shed (they knew we were going to be gone but came anyway to work-maybe they wanted to work without any interruptions!)  The kids all got to see them for a few minutes but they were excited to leave too.
  • I did run into the dollar store for a minute.  It was suggested to bring muffin tins to hold the cheese dip samples.  I only have one huge muffin pan (yep, probably should put that on my Christmas list)  Of course the dollar store was out of muffin tins so I ended up buying just some plastic baskets that would hold chips and samples-they worked out well because one set of baskets were small enough for the kids to hold while filled with their cheese dip samples.
  • We went in the back gate right at 11 and the crowds weren't bad at all.  We again pointed out the Dennie lesson to the kids of getting to places right when they open.  As soon as we walked in, we ran into another family with 6 kids.  The mom said "this is where big families come, isn't it?"  We agreed with her since kids 10 and under are free!
  • Once we grabbed our bags of chips, we started in order and grabbed four samples of cheese dip.  One booth had very nice decorated cookies that she gave the kids, another had lollipops and one even had very, very spicy chips that I tried.  About 4 samples was all that we could manage at a time while pushing Whitman, watching the kids (who were perfect) and making sure that they didn't spill their samples.  So we then found a spot in the shade and had a seat on the ground to pick a winner.
  • We had 4 wooden chips to distribute among our favorites, so we decided to vote on one each time that we stopped to eat.  We all agreed that we liked the first sample the best-poor Whitman's momma gave him a super spicy sample which caused him to gag, eyes to water and to look like he was choking.  After that I only handed him his cookie to eat and tiny chips with no cheese dip on them and he was much happier!
  • The kids took our chip to the first booth and then we started again.  This time we had 4 more samples and our favorite (my all time favorite) was the cheese dip by City Year.  So after our second round of samples we went to vote for City Year's cheese dip.  
  • There were enough competitors to even had another round of samples.  By this time though the kids had filled up and were not too interested in eating anything else.  Now they did enjoy passing around our drink and finding any candy that they could at the tables.  One of our final two votes went to the cheese dip people that had come from San Francisco.  I figured that you should get points just for coming that far and the last Dennie vote went to a bbq chicken cheese dip. 
  • Now, I will tell you that although the cheese dip festival was lots of fun and we will certainly go back each and every time that we can, I do think that our cheese dip beats any of those that we had.  We use Debbie Dillon's recipe and it is pretty wonderful.  Then there is the other cheese dip that we make that is made with cream cheese and not velveeta-that is a good one too.  Anyway, so one day if you are the World's Cheese Dip Championship and you see a sign that reads "Dennie Family Cheese Dip" then please vote for us.
  • After we had eaten our fill or even more than our fill, we headed back home.  It wasn't long before Reagan's ride came to pick her up.  She was headed to the circus with Cate-Cate and each of her sisters were able to invite a friend to the circus.  My Reagan had a great time and even came home with a huge cup that blinks-what more could a girl want!
  • While she was gone we piddled in the yard and house.  Robby helped stain some and eventually mowed some.  Anderson played with the neighbor boys and Graham did too some. They also watched the football game as closely as they could while it was on.  The little girls helped me fold laundry and then played hard outside.  Whitman had a nap and then went outside to play.  That boy really loves playing outside and can keep himself pretty well occupied-he now really loves the dirt pile (the same dirt pile that Robby so wanted to get rid of when we moved here as provided my kids with hours and even days worth of fun.)
  • Finally, we all came in and the girls and Whitman had showers while Robby cut the boys hair. Whitman's hair cutting days are coming soon but just not today.  After the girls had their clothes on, they started playing "Ms. Tammy."  Campbell was the one doing the hair fixing so she probably should have been the only Ms. Tammy but Keaton was determined that she should be called Ms. Tammy too.  So Ms. Tammy fixed Ms. Tammy's hair until the boys had completed their showers.  
  • After this, we quickly gobbled down supper and then we got the call that the circus was over so we went to pick up Reagan.  She joined us and then we all went to the grocery store. Grocery shopping with our 6 lovely kids is not the ideal situation but the kids did fine-two trips to the bathroom, someone fell down at least 4 times (no injuries though), 1 kid didn't want to sit in the shopping cart so was held the entire time, 1 shoving match, 4 crackers eaten, 2 games of chase and nearly 200 bucks spent.  
  • Once at home, the kids quickly put on their pjs and had a snack, Reagan had her shower and supper all while Robby and I unloaded.  Then it was shortly bedtime for all the crew while Robby and I whipped up a quadruple recipe of chicken spaghetti!

October 24, 2014

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Loving the big slide at GSFest!

  • This morning Whitman was one of the first few up.  He actually started fussing soon after the others came downstairs. He usually will just talk in his bed until we come to get him.  I quickly got ready and then let the troops wake him up. Whitman did calm down when they got him out of bed but he wanted me to hold him until we made our breakfast.
  • Today was made muffins for breakfast-they were good but 2 packages only made 11 muffins.  I guess I might just have to start making my own muffin batter and freezing it.  That way, I could get a muffin and Whitman could have more than 1 (today he ate Keaton's leftover muffin).  
  • I had pretty much filled their boxes with easy stuff (or at least I thought it was fun and easy!) so school was finishing up by 10ish.  I put Whitman in the pack n play and the rest of us sat around him while I read.  My Graham almost lost his GS Fest visit during our reading.  Oh, that boy gets me sometimes!  Campbell and him feed off of each other sometimes-gracious me.  I wanted to load them all up and drop them off at the pumpkin patch!
  • After our reading, we started on our Cezanne pictures-we started painting a still life of apples. So it will be interesting how those turn out-if they do at all!  Soon it was lunch time-today's lunch was a hit: mac and cheese, tomato soup and croutons for the soup.  The croutons were the biggest hit-we finished the entire bag!  
  • Then I delayed chores so we could work on switching over Reagan's clothes.  We had pretty much everything ready so we just had to organize and narrow down a few things.  Reagan's rejects, I threw to Campbell to try on and Keaton was trying on anything she could get her hands on.  She thought all of those clothes were hers and had made herself a pretty good stack of clothes.  Then she could not understand why I would not let her keep any size 8 clothes.  
  • Afterwards, it was nap time and the big kids worked on their perler beads during their movie.  My Anderson made a tow truck, a cross, a football and goal post, an elf and some other things that I ironed and then he started working on an eagle.  He definitely spends the most time on those silly beads.  
  • I guess that Whitman wanted to get in on the bed act today.  Robby told me that Whitman had just gone into the school room but I didn't think anything about it.  A few minutes later, Reagan walked into the kitchen crying.  I asked what was wrong and she said that Whitman had dumped her beads-the new beads that she bought with her birthday money.  All 2000+ of those beads had been perfectly sorted.  So I called an all hands on deck and everyone came to help. We worked and worked and worked some more-we sorted until it was time to leave and we even had to leave in a hurry (we will be able to finish tomorrow-hopefully).
  • I dropped Whitman off at Nonna's house and Robby picked up pizza.  Then we sat in the parking lot at church eating our supper and watching the people come in.  Eventually, we got in line for GS Fest and soon were in the gates.
  • We headed over to the kid area and the slides were the first ones to do.  Then the little swings, the little roller coaster and then the fun house.  Next the big kids did the house of mirrors while the little girls did the ladybugs.
  • After that we split up (I don't like doing that though) but we needed to cover some ground.  Keaton and Campbell rode the motorcycles and Reagan, Anderson and Graham got in line for the ferris wheel.  Poor Graham-he wasn't tall enough so I took him back down to Robby.  He was able to ride the cars with the girls.  I felt sorry for him but he does take things like that all in stride-us Dennies are just short!  
  • After the ferris wheel, we all met back up and had a drink and then played the carnival type games followed by a quick run on the jumpies.  Then it was back to the carnival games before leaving Robby there to work his 9-12 shift.  At Nonna's house, my Keaton and Campbell ran into potty and I got a sleeping Whitman out of bed and put him in his car seat.
  • Whitman never woke up as I changed his diaper and put him into bed at home.  The others looked at their candy and then had a drink before brushing their teeth and heading to bed.  I finished our James and the Giant Peach book before saying goodnight to them.  I am sure they were asleep quick since it was a bit after 10 when I came downstairs.