- We slept in a bit longer today than yesterday but still have to get moving pretty quick. Some ate breakfast first, some put on clothes first and some kids played on the ipad first. So it was a bit confusing but eventually everyone got everything done and we were out the door.
- The first stop of the morning was Robby dropping off me, Reagan, Anderson and Graham at Nonna's house. We were riding in a family car-and let me tell you that was a highlight of the day for the kids. They wanted to know where the trunk was, if that was a limousine and many other questions about the car. When I told them that we should have bought a car like that instead of the big van they agreed for a bit and then Reagan decided that she liked the big van better because we had more room in it. And Anderson agreed with her and added that we also had two tvs in the big van.
- Robby took the little 3 to Grannymom's house and then met up with us at the funeral home. The kids did excellent during the service. Anderson asked how long it was going to be and Pops told him that it would short but if Pops got up then Anderson could get up too. Well, when the guests started filing out, Pops did get up to catch some family and Anderson thought that he was going to get to get up as well.
- And spending so much time at Roller Chenal lately, reminded Robby and I of the brief time that we worked there. So many things you probably didn't know about these Dennies. Those were definitely the before kid days.
- Hank did very well speaking during the service and I hope the kids are old enough to have a few memories of today and a few memories of Papaw. So after the service, we loaded back into the family cars and this is when things really got exciting. The police escort! Whenever that motorcycle would fly by our car to catch up to the front, the boys would just squeal.
- And then at the cemetery, the kids sat quietly and then the Navy people played taps and then folded the flag. They folded the flag right in front of the boys and they took in every single detail of this. At the end they gave the flag to Hank who then gave it to Beebee. Later in the day, the boys tried on Hank's hat (official word is cover, I learned today). When Graham had the hat on, he saluted and it was the slow salute that he saw today. Precious. My boys, especially Graham, love Hank and can not get enough of him (just the way Jason was in when he was little)
- We had lunch at church with the family (80% of these people I could not tell you their first names). Actually Jason and I have decided that when we have to plan a funeral, you will have to put on a name tag that includes how you know us.
- Grannymom and Grandpa brought the little 3 to lunch to eat with all of us. Then I took Grannymom, Grandpa and Campbell back to their house. I had a few errands to run before our trip-tomorrow is all day packing day. Any bets on if it will all get done? I then picked up Campbell and we headed home-Keaton and Whitman were napping. And Robby and I tried to briefly nap.
- Most of the afternoon was spent looking at a lady bug. At Grannymom's house, Campbell had looked for a lady bug early in the day and then we went back to Grannymom's house, a lady bug landed on her window. Reagan and Campbell looked at that ladybug all day long-they would go into my bathroom and close the door. That bug was still alive tonight and I can not believe it-seriously, it must have 9 lives.
- After cleaning up briefly at the house, we went to Nonna's house to eat some more meat. Meat trays are the funeral food of choice. The kids played for awhile and then we headed home. Pops brought Sonia and everyone else over to see the house (even though it was a mess). They stayed around and talked for awhile and then headed back.
- It was a pretty good day-the kids received lots of compliments all day long-but this evening they were pretty rowdy. I guess they have to burn off a bit of energy sometime during the day. Maybe they will sleep well tonight!
(click here for today's pictures)
(click here for today's pictures)
|Whitman's Baby Dedication|
- After such a busy day yesterday, we topped it today with an even busier day. Whitman was the first one up-having a bottle with Robby around 6 and then having another with me right after. My boy is starting to drink two bottles right in a row each time that he eats.
- I heard the kids a bit before 7 and told them that they could go to the toy room and heard the klump, klump, klump of feet down the hall. The probably could have stayed there all day long. But soon I was calling them down for breakfast. We finished off my two bags of doughnuts today and I even had to grab some cereal for all of my hungry kids.
- Every day when I get out of the shower, I wrap my hair in a towel. It usually doesn't bother Campbell but on Sundays she gets very concerned. She kept telling me "you can't wear that on your head." Of course the more that she says this the more that I try to convince her that I am in fact going to church with a towel on my head. Later Reagan walked in and I just had on my shirt. She said "is that a dress?" And since a silly question deserves a silly answer I replied with "yes, do you think it is too short?" Poor Reagan hem hawed around until she finally said "maybe a little."
- We made it to church a bit early and Anderson was so ready to get to his class. But we made him wait until time but as soon as I said that he could go, Cash and he ran out of my room to go to class. One thing that is nice about Anderson's class is that I can peek in and check on the behavior of Anderson and even Cash today. They were all perfect (as far as I could tell) today.
- After Sunday school, I ran to the church library to grab some movies for our trip. Most of their movies were 30 minutes but I was able to find a few that were at least an hour. I need many hours worth of new movies for the kids on our Houston trip. So I will have some movies and will have to get more...I will also have to get packing sometime soon as well.
- During church, the kids were great. And during announcements they talked about church next week. Our church is only going to have one service and then everyone will go shopping for the needy. And they finished their announcement by saying that there would be no Sunday school because of this next week. I leaned over and told Anderson that I wish we would be there but we wouldn't because we would be out of town and he said "that is why I want to come next week because there is no Sunday school."
- We had lunch at Grannymom's house. We had sent her home with leftovers from the soccer party and we pretty much devoured them. I could eat a hot dog every day and I guess that the kids could too. The kids didn't mind loading up to leave Grannymom's house and actually they were pretty good all day long. It was a much smoother day that I had imagined it being.
- The next event was Papaw's visitation. Graham was very interested this morning if today was the funeral or the place where Papaw's body was. I remember not seeing many dead people as a child but the kids were pretty bent on seeing Papaw's body. So I took the big 3. The birthday cards that they had made for him were in the casket with him and they were pleased by this. Earlier, Nonna even had Graham sign his card.
- Seeing the cards made Graham ask again if Papaw saw the cards which I again said that he did (I really don't know but I like that answer better than him possibly not seeing their prized cards). Anderson wasn't too interested or just wanted to get out of there because he quickly asked if could go and find Pops. And Reagan turned to Nonna after looking at Papaw and said "I had always wondered what a dead person looked like." She continued with "I kind of thought it was just bones." So my eldest thought we were going in the room to look at Papaw's skeleton. Oh, to know exactly what kids think about everything.
- Of course, as soon as we walked into the room with Papaw's body, I started my speech about that just being Papaw's body and that Papaw was really in heaven. I was just telling Robby that I am sure they were rolling their eyes at me since they have heard me say that a few times lately. Somethings you just want to make sure that their little minds understand.
- My Graham was so happy to see Hank (my uncle). He ran across the room to give him a hug. After about all of the meeting and greeting that the kids could take, Robby took them back to Grannymom's house. They were all good and spoke when spoken to-well, most of them anyway. At one point, I looked over and my Campbell was laying in the floor watching the video of pictures. She wasn't really in the way so I let her stay there.
- Back at Grannymom's house, Robby put Keaton down for a nap and with her cup of milk she was out in just a few minutes. But Campbell also needed a nap and wasn't as keen on taking a nap as Keaton. So Robby laid down with her for a few minutes. They were still snoozing when I came back in and in just a few minutes, Robby left for a meeting and I started getting the crew ready for the parent commitment service at church.
- Everyone changed shirts or dresses and I even put on a dress for the event-my new dress for Maradee's wedding along with some cowboy boots (it is a Texas wedding!) Once at church, we found a room to play in and after a few minutes went for a walk through of the service. As soon as we walked into the church door, Keaton saw Pops and shouted "Pops! Pops!" continuously until she was able to run down and see him.
- We really only had time to potty, change a few diapers and feed Whitman a bit and it was time for the real thing. It went pretty quick-as in it was all over by 6:10! Aleta read the names, the preacher held the baby and off we went. The kids did well following Robby as instructed. He held Whitman and I held Keaton-I was continuously shoving candy in Keaton's mouth so she wouldn't start shouting at Pops this time.
- It went well and then we headed to Nonna's house-she has a few tons of food to eat. Reagan was thrilled with all of the meat, Campbell loved the fruit and Anderson was tickled with macaroni and cheese. Beebee was over along with Hank, Sonia, some relatives from Indiana and another cousin that I haven't seen in years. It really is too bad that people only get together like that when there is a death. Makes me want to make an effort to spend more time with people-so party at my house!
- Tonight with all of those folks at my mom's house, Anderson went to play in the toy room (he still loves those g.i. joe toys). But Graham sat near Hank listening to every word that he said. I told him that he could go and play but he was content where he was. Reagan was in and out and my Campbell was the life of the party! That child thrives on attention.
- It was well after bedtime when we made it home tonight-not as late as last night though. I laid out more dressy clothes for tomorrow much to Anderson's chagrin. He made sure that I understood that he had worn his Sunday clothes all day today. I told him I understood but we wouldn't have to wear them next Sunday for church and he was pleased with this. I didn't mention that he would have to wear them for a wedding next Sunday though! So sneaky!
(click here for today's pictures)
|Soccer Party at the house!|
- Whitman ate around 3 this morning and then we all slept until 7ish. Keaton was the first one up and her and Robby laid in her room for a bit before getting up. Then all the kids and Robby and I were all in our bed. It didn't last for too long because before I knew it, Robby was outside weed eating.
- And before too much longer, I was outside setting up tables while still in my pajamas. Though in my defense, the house was straight and the kids were dressed so I had been busy. I pulled out my secret weapon when I went inside. I wanted the kids to stay in while I went out so I turned on Wipeout (the secret weapon). They were in awe of that show-though they then attempted to play it in the living room.
- Before too long, it was time for the soccer party to start. We had invited the girls team and the boys team and ended up having a crowd. We didn't have a ton of folks show up but it was all people that we knew so it was nice. I think everyone had a relaxing time-the food was good. Pops was our hired chef and the rest of the grandparents were there as Dennie kid crowd control.
- The kids enjoyed playing with their friends-on the swings and in the dirt. But the highlights were the games Robby invented on the fly. Walking with a cup on your head and even pulling out the standby of an egg toss. The kids all love an egg toss-they always get so excited.
- After our guests left and we cleaned up, it was time to clean up the kids-6 showers (Cash was our number 6 since Whitman was eating with Grannymom) The kids then played for a few minutes until it was time to go again.
- Our next stop was Raymar Fields for the End of School Bash. We could have stayed there all evening-inflatables, tug of war, sack races, cake walk, hamburgers, hot dogs, snow cones, hula hoops, face painting. The kids had an awesome time. They started on the inflatables, hit up the snow cones and then went to the cake walk. 6 Dennies walking around the cake walk-we were bound to win. And win we did-we came home with practically a whole box of little debbie treats.
- There was also tug of war where all of my crew were drug across the grass by two bigger boys and they loved it. Then a sack race and hula hooping before loading up for our next stop. I had brought shirts for the kids to change into if they were too nasty sweaty-Anderson was the only one who was dripping sweat. I even had my fabreeze ready to go if I needed to use it.
- We had supper at the McGuires and all of the kids spent most of their time playing outside. They all must have been starving because they all ate a good supper and then couldn't get enough supper. And after all of that playing, they were nasty again so we had to give another round of showers once we came home.
- Even with one extra tonight, showers were quickly and everyone was tucked into bed in no time at all. Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day-our bags for the day are all packed and sitting by the door-hope I haven't forgotten anything.
(click here for today's pictures)
|A hat kind of day!|
- Whitman ate around 6 and then snuggled with us in bed until we heard the others upstairs. I jumped out of bed and laid Whitman on a blanket in the floor-that way the kids would lay by him and not by us in our bed. Sneaky, aren't I?
- After breakfast, it was time for school-the last day! Really, we have finished up everything so they just had a few things to do. The most fun thing was cleaning their desks with shaving cream. Only one child didn't want to do this-silly Reagan. She has never liked anything like shaving cream, any lotions or creams. I am now putting neosporin on her ears as well and it gives her the heeby jeebys.
- It didn't take long to finish school and clean up a bit. So we loaded up and headed to Grannymom's house. My Graham wanted to read his reading book to Grannymom today. I had gone on and on about how good he was doing (and he really is) so he wanted to show off a bit.
- When I left there, I ran to Target to pick up a few things-including a bathing suit (gag!) Then to my weekly grocery shopping trip. While there, I bought a clearanced loaf of cinnamon bread. I had a piece (or two) after loading up the car and the kids devoured the rest of the loaf during their snack time.
- They were watching a movie and when I delivered their bread, Campbell was already asleep. So I just laid her piece of bread beside her. Graham came and asked for more bread and then Anderson came and asked for more. After they had all gone out to play, I went in to wake up Campbell and there she lay still sound asleep. But she only had 1/4th of her slice of bread left-those silly boys ate their sleeping sister's snack.
- Let's jump back in the day a bit though. After Grannymoms we came home. The big kids had a brawl while getting out of the van and it made me furious. I sat them all in time out while I emptied the car and put up my groceries (a good 30 minutes). And then they practiced getting in and out of the van the proper way. They had to do it 5 times but Graham tried to crawl over Reagan so they had to do it another time. The kids were tired and hot when they finished-don't worry they weren't too hot. Whitman and I were sitting in the back of the van observing.
- We then picked up the house while Graham had his daily fit. I finally had enough and told him to sit in Robby's office and wait on his daddy to get home. Graham lucked out because Robby was home in about 30 minutes. His bottom didn't luck out though! But afterwards, he was his happy self again.
- The kids played outside this evening while Robby struggled with all of his lawnmowers. I was inside working in the kitchen. The kids even gave up on Robby and came in for their showers, supper and were even in bed before Robby made it in-after all it does take a while to push mower a 2 acre yard!
(click here for today's pictures)
|Hat Day at School!|
- Today was hat day at Graham's school. He had originally chosen to wear a Stetson cowboy hat (nothing but the best for my Graham-a 200+ dollar hat!) But this morning he changed his mind and asked for his plan B. So the first thing I did this morning was to take the cowboy hat which was sitting by the door back to the attic and replace it for a huge sombrero. Graham had become concerned that someone else would have a cowboy hat and he was sure no one else would have a sombrero-and indeed they didn't.
- Robby took Graham to school with Keaton and Campbell. We had to wake both of those girls up this morning after staying out late. After dropping him off, they went to Sams to pick up a few things. They shopped and even had a bit of breakfast at Sams. All went well until it was time to leave and the bottom fell out. Robby said that he just pressed on and ran quickly to the car.
- Back at home, we worked on our next to last school day. One of Reagan's drawers today just had a note that said organize the crayon and pencil buckets. And would you believe that this caused a meltdown? I thought she would enjoy this task-kids really just keep you guessing.
- Soon Robby and the girls were home and we quickly worked to finish school and then start our little outing. We picked up Graham and then stopped by McDonalds to grab lunch. Then we had lunch with Nonna and Pops at their house. Robby was pretty glad that we left since he had a pretty big conference call...and as much as he likes working from the closet or hiding out in the car while trying to work, he is able to accomplish a bit more when we are gone.
- After leaving Nonna and Pops house, we went to see Beebee and Papaw for Papaw's birthday. The kids had worked very hard on birthday cards for him and were so proud to give them to Beebee. Papaw was sleeping-his sister was there along with us and some others and I said that he was sleeping through his party. Anderson replied with "we will have to tell him all about it."
- As we left today, my dad said that there was no way to tell how much longer my grandpa had (already being cared for by hospice) and he continued that it could be 3 months or tomorrow. Little did we know that just a few hours after we made it home, my grandpa passed away. Robby called the kids over to him since we were all outside and told them the news. The kids were fine and the big ones remember Grannymom's brother dying so they were familiar with everything. Graham, my thinker, had only one question-when is Papaw going to be buried? Anderson said "it was good that we saw him on his birthday." And my sweet Reagan said "do you think Papaw saw our cards?"
- Later during the day, I was quizzing Campbell "where is Papaw?" "In heaven" she replied. "Who else is in heaven?" "Jesus" she said and I asked who else was there. She said God. I told her that Papaw wasn't sleepy anymore and was singing to Jesus. She said "so he doesn't have a bed?" I started to answer her and her deep thoughts continued with "I saw a lizard outside."
- We were outside most of the afternoon. Robby was working on one thing and couldn't get it to cooperate. So the kids and I picked up some rocks from the rock man's piles. We assume he will come and use them sometime soon-but if not, I will just pinterest my project and do it myself (a recipe for a disaster!)
- By the time we all came in, we were all pretty wet and muddy. Everyone had shower before supper which was quesadillas. A few days ago I mentioned that I had made tortilla stuffing to freeze and I must say that it was a hit (delicious and easy to pull out and slap on a tortilla)
- We then made a coca cola cake to cap off the day. While we waited for the cake we watched Let's Make a Deal. It wasn't as thrilling as the Price is Right but it still held the kids interest. Then it was time to eat that cake and it was delicious! Just enough sugar to help the kids sleep soundly!
(click here for today's pictures)
|5 weeks, 1 day!|
- So yesterday the kids slept in but that wasn't the case today. They were more than ready for the day. We did have one little crisis this morning when Campbell told Graham that he was going to school today. Poor Graham's eyes were huge when he asked "really Momma?" I reminded him that this was Wednesday and he didn't have school but he was pretty uneasy for awhile worrying about school. Didn't help that when we were in the van, someone asked if we were dropping Graham off first.
- My shower used to be the first thing that happened in the morning but lately I am scrambling to take a shower when school is going on or after their breakfast. And that was the case today, after everyone ate I told them to put on their clothes and they would have time for a movie before we left.
- I had planned to jump in the shower while they were doing this but soon I was doing girls hair, putting medicine on Reagan's ears, dressing Keaton and Whitman and getting Anderson a shirt that matched. And back to those earrings of Reagans-that girl is so proud of them and she truly believes that everyone that sees her will stare at them. Mike said something about them tonight and she just grinned from ear to ear. Getting her ears pierced has made her so crazy proud that it makes me want to take her back and just get something else pierced too (kidding)
- We left at 8:45 and zipped downtown for the Museum of Discovery. We were there Saturday but our buddies were going today so we went again. We had the perfect parking spot on Saturday but I knew that wouldn't be the case today so we picked up Robby who dropped us off and picked us up. Candice had the same idea as us and it sure made things easier. I can not normally parallel park but parallel parking a 15 foot long van would probably prove to be impossible! (or possibly comical to others!)
- We weren't the only ones who were at the museum today-I counted 4 bus loads while we waited on the others to arrive. Thankfully, it wasn't really that crazy and by the end of our trip, the place was empty. The kids were well behaved-even though our group nearly got kicked out of the museum. There was an overzealous grandma who must have been frazzled by the 300 school kids and took it out on our group (mainly Sara who took the fall for the rest of us). I'm not saying the kids were perfect but it was all uncalled for. However the kids were a bit rowdier than they were when Robby was with us. I am not sure exactly why that is-maybe I should start wearing a belt like their Daddy.
- We had our lunch at the museum and then walked to the park at the river for a few minutes. That park creeps me out since I can't keep my eyes on everyone and just have to hope that they come back each time they go through a tunnel. It was a bit easier today with 3 other moms constantly watching out as well. The kids all did well, stayed near us and had a great time.
- My driver came to pick us up and we headed home, leaving Reagan to spend the afternoon with Kennedy. The little ones had a nap when we made it home and the others watched a movie, played in boxes, played Doggie Doggie Who has the Bone and colored some. And soon it was time for Robby to come home.
- We had supper at Kennedy's house and the kids were eerily calm tonight. I guess they were tired from the day. They played downstairs most of the time and played pretty quietly and only briefly played upstairs. Though my Campbell spent more time sneaking brownies than playing!
- Once at home it is pretty amazing how quickly we can get 6 kids into bed. Now just to get in bed myself!
(click here for today's pictures)
- At 7:30 this morning, we were all still snoozing happily away. Graham and Campbell came down together followed shortly by Anderson but Reagan and then Keaton joined us soon. I ran upstairs to grab Graham's clothes and checked the breakfast menu on the way down so I could give Graham his choices.
- I had my doubters (Robby) and I know we are just on day 2 of the menu but I think this silly breakfast menu is going to work out well for us. They get so excited-today was yogurt and toast. Thrilling, I know! It hasn't proved to be less work for me but I do feel better that they aren't eating pop tarts every morning (though our new options may not be much healthier or cheaper). But we are at least expanding breakfast food repertoire.
- Robby and Graham made it to school and work in plenty of time and the rest of us had our breakfast and then started to school. Reagan finally finished that list of games and puzzles-5 pages. I am think that maybe I promised a bit much saying we would play each and every one of them this summer.
- I am sure that I often sound like a school slave-driver but seriously, the kids have had only minimal school work this past week. But one of Anderson's tasks was to put 100 numbered popsicles sticks in order. After 1 hour, he had 14 of them in order. Seriously! What was he doing? I have no idea. Finally, I figured out that he really had no idea how to do it efficiently-lay them out and then divide them into smaller groups to find them easier. I just forget that I have to teach them everything!
- And I guess that I can say that it was a good day when there was only poop on the floor once during the day. Ha! Keaton did leave the school room at one time and then came back saying "poo poo." I quickly smeller her and no smells so I forget about it. A few minutes later, I walked into the hallway and discovered that the child was right and my diaper putting on abilities must be lacking. I called for Reagan and told her to "stand right here." She said "why? what's that?" Thankfully, the catastrophe that could have been was avoided!
- We even read science and geography today for school. I unfortunately stopped reading those after Whitman and never started again. Hopefully, I will do much better at science and history next year. I, like most people, always have such grand plans and then don't follow through with them like I should.
- This afternoon we went to Grannymom's house to pick up Graham. I let the kids get out and they played a few games of "go fish" before we headed back at home. Everyone played outside once we made it home-everyone but Keaton. She fell asleep in the car and had her nap in the crib upstairs (no, we haven't moved her yet-we are just chicken!)
- After playing outside, a few movies and then going back outside the kids had a pretty busy afternoon. When Robby came home for a few minutes, they all decided to go back outside. Since he was leaving and backing out, I went out while holding Whitman to corral the kids. Whitman loved being outside and even looked right at me (or past me but I like to think he was looking at me) and just smiled. Of course, I didn't have my camera but his grins are getting more and more common. Hopefully soon I can get a good picture of them.
- After swinging on the tire swing and a game of baseball with the neighbor kids, I drug everyone in for showers. There is really only one neighbor kid that I like and feel "ok" about my kids being influenced by-so I am that mom that is always outside within ear shot or I am constantly poking my head out the door or waving through the windows. I hope that doesn't mean that I am a "helicopter mom" but if it does, so be it. I still have much training to do with my kiddos before I stop hovering over them.
- Training-kind of like teaching them to eat spaghetti without their being noodles all over the floor. How can 2 boys get spaghetti noodles 5 feet from their seats while I was in the kitchen with them. At least, they all helped really well when it was time to clean up.
- Some days I am really good about taking pictures and other days we are waking them up or hurrying around at bedtime to take them. I still wouldn't change our "pictures every day" plan but it does get crazy sometimes. Though today, I think that my few good pictures of them was worth the wait.
- Without Robby, the bedtime routine still went as well as can be expected. I told the kids every thing that we are going to do for the next week and when I was finished Reagan said "you will have to tell us all of this again."