March 31, 2015-Happy Birthday Whitman!

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Celebrating Whitman's 2nd Birthday!

  • We woke up fairly early this morning and Robby and Campbell were off to school after our breakfast of toast and yogurt.  She was a bit peeved at me because I wouldn't let her have a 3rd piece of toast and Graham felt the same way.  I just poured everyone another cup of milk and they did soon forget about wanting more toast.  (I am out of fruit so I couldn't offer that up-our fruit situation is always feast or famine around here and right now we are completely out of fruit.)
  • School started off wonderfully and then it wasn't so wonderful anymore.  My Graham-bless him!  His handwriting is horrible and he holds the pencil all crazy.  Part of all of this probably is that his little mind just goes so fast.  Anyway, he told me he couldn't hold the pencil right so I got the little pencil holder helper for him to use and he didn't really like that.  I stayed calm like a crazy woman and Graham went nutzo.  I just left the room and let him release some steam-after about an hour of this, he finally calmed down and came back to the school room.  I guess that will be my new approach-completely ignore his wrong behavior.  
  • But once my Graham did calm down, things were fine again (except for the constant questions about not using the little pencil holder helper which I ignored.)  Even will all of that mess, we were still finished with school a few minutes before lunch.  
  • After lunch, we picked up and then Anderson found a game for us to play.  I drew out a bracket for us to use in our little game and everyone played happily-seriously, that rarely happens.
  • At some point during the day, I put my hand on the hole in the wall that Grandpa and Robby's repair work has left.  I was trying to decide if it was worth a patch or a new picture to hang over it.  Keaton saw all of this and told me "God will heal that wall."
  • The afternoon went by fairly quickly with Whitman napping, my treadmill time, the kids movie time and then quite a bit of time working on the train rice krispy treats.  Before too long, it was time to load up to start celebrating Whitman's 2nd birthday!
  • Due to a pretty good deal, his party was at Playtime Pizza.  Reagan said that it was like his party was for all of his brothers and sisters more than him!  Even though his brothers and sisters all had a blast, Whitman had a great time too!  We started off in the party room and then we all hit the buffet.  After the real food, we stared on the ice cream.  
  • Whitman opened his presents and he racked up-2 trains, a blanket, a grill set, a bear, cars, a Bible book, pull ups, a truck, pajamas and an outfit.  Like always, he had lots of help on his gift unwrapping but he didn't seem to mind-he did notice when we hauled the presents out to the car afterwards.  He wanted to leave with those presents-he will be happy in the morning when he wakes up and sees them all laid out on the fireplace (if I was a good mom, I would take them all out of the boxes but that is what older brothers and sisters are for) but then he will probably be upset when after seeing his new loot, I whisk him off to Bible study.
  • After presents, we had his rice krispy cake.  I think he liked it and that sweet boy tried his best to blow out the candles.  I am sure that he will get some more practice over the next few days.  Then it was game time-and games we played.  
  • The first stop was the go carts-Lilli, Cash, Reagan and Anderson all drove.  Graham, who was too short to drive, rode with Pops and then me.  Keaton rode with Dana and then on the next round Campbell and Robby rode together and raced Jason and me.  Then it was bumper cars for Campbell and bowling for Whitman and Keaton while the rest of us played laser tag.  The girls whooped the boys but it was a workout for sure-that was my first time to play laser tag since high school (it was some type of lock in and Robby was one of our leaders-I think he even liked me then...or maybe it was my friend Christy.)
  • After the big games, the kids had 60 minutes of play time on the machines and they played and played and played until Robby said that it was time to leave.  The place closed at 9 and we were still picking out prizes!  The kids all had a blast and were exhausted!
  • Campbell headed home with Nonna and Pops to spend the night and the rest of us headed to our home for quick showers.  They were all still hot and thirsty so we gave them something to drink and then tucked everyone in.  I am sure that they are worn out!
















March 30, 2015

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  • We woke up right on time this morning and just a few minutes after 7, Campbell came downstairs, peeked into our room and said "I am going to play; come and get me when it is time to get ready."  The last few days she has become pretty obsessed with playing with the wooden trains.  She makes a track and then plays with it until Whitman destroys it.
  • Whitman destroying things and making messes is pretty much the theme around here these days.  He managed to pour a box of cereal out twice today.  The first time was kind of cute but the second time, it just lost its charm.  Of course, I was pretty mad at myself for cleaning it up and then not putting it back up where he couldn't get it.  And yes, I did put most of the cereal back in the box (my carpet was vacuumed today so we will consider it clean enough.)
  • I had been a bit worried about school today since the kids had their week off.  Things went fairly well-Reagan was a bit distracted by Keaton and Whitman and then Reagan and Graham had a pretty good fight over who was going to use the computer next.  I told them to solve the problem quickly and they didn't so this caused a bit of drama.  
  • We are at that point in school where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I am even starting to plan for next year a tiny bit.  My favorite part of school is opening up all of their new books-that is and has always been so excited to me.  
  • We had our lunch and then started on our chores.  I was walking up the stairs and heard the doorbell ring.  Of course this immediately caused all of the kids to run to the door and I shouted "I will get it.  Do not open the door."  And what did I hear just seconds later-the front door opening.  I was about to beat a child when I rounded the corner and saw Nonna and Pops at the door.  Anderson had seen them and of course opened the door for them.  They were in the neighborhood (plant place down the road) and stopped by for a few minutes.
  • They left and we finished our chores and the next thing I knew Campbell was home.  Grandpa had brought her home and he started to work on moving an upstairs thermostat.  Soon Robby was home and a plumber was here as well.  All of this activity caused some mayhem here and we were barely able to get out the door for soccer practice.  I had actually let time get away from me and had to  throw supper at the kids as we were backing out of the driveway.  
  • Campbell's team with Robby as her coach practiced first.  She did pretty good during practice and had fun.  When it was over, she told me that she wanted for her practice to be longer.  The boys practiced next on another field.  I think they did good and I hope that they were respectful.  I tried to watch them and Reagan's team practice at the same time but I really saw none of either one.
  • By this time, my Whitman had had enough.  We had only brought one ball and he would get upset whenever one of the big kids would take the ball from him.  So pretty much during the practices he was fussing or running away.  At least during practice it is pretty much fine for him to run across field after field.  Now I do not know at all what will happen during game days-I am just afraid that it will not be pretty.  
  • Once we made it home, it was shower time and then bedtime for my Dennie crew.  Tomorrow is a busy day so my kiddos need their rest!

March 29, 2015

Our very own princesses!
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  • The kids didn't take too long to get ready his morning. Yesterday, I had gathered everyone's clothes and this morning before I climbed into the shower, I laid everyone's clothes out so they would know what set to wear.  Each Sunday when I am in the shower at least 2 people come and ask "is this mine?"  Today, I was ready for that and things were perfectly laid out...except they weren't-I had switched the boys shirts and pants.  No peaceful shower for me!
  • Today was a crazy day-Robby practically needed a flow chart to explain to the kids who was going where, when and why today.  He was the first car to leave for church so he could be at the Lord's Supper passer outer meeting and the boys went with him.  We were just minutes behind him.
  • Anderson's first official Lord's supper was today so I had him sitting on the end by me.  Campbell and Reagan then ended up beside me and that was not well thought out on my part at all.  I could tell that Reagan was doing the egging on but she would just look at me like she wasn't doing anything and since I didn't think I could whack her across the back of the head during church, I couldn't really do much to stop things.  And again today, if Campbell asked me twice if church was almost over, she asked me 10 times-each time louder than the time before.  
  • Robby kept Whitman's class during church and I taught Reagan's class and soon we were on our way to Grannymom's house for lunch.  The kids all ate really well and then it was time to begin celebrating Whitman's birthday.  He is very familiar with the birthday song since there is always a birthday around here.  He can even sing Happy Birthday a little bit but he isn't too familiar with blowing out the candle.  Either way though, he did enjoy the attention and we better practice the candle blowing out!
  • Campbell and Keaton had a princess birthday party for Hayley this afternoon and their fairy godmother's Dana and Lilli went to work on their hair.  Dana took them over to her house and when I picked them up they were the cutest things ever.  Seriously, they were all sparkly and their hair was just princess like.  We took pictures there and then I even ran them back by Grannymom's house so she could see the little princesses.
  • My girls had a blast at the birthday party-Elsa was even there...the real Elsa.  Elsa sang some songs, they did a dance, they played a game, Elsa read a book-really fun birthday party.  I don't think that I am biased but my girls were the cutest little things there.  
  • And my Campbell took such care of Keaton-making sure she was in line with her, skipping around with her and during the game when Keaton lost, Campbell said "it's okay."  And then when Campbell lost the game, she was to reach in a bag and get a piece of candy-she snuck out 3 and then gave one to her little sister.  
  • After the party, we rushed Campbell to choir and then met Robby and the others who were already at choir.  Keaton went to her class and she said that she went to the playground with Whitman.  Then she told me that he was poopy on the playground.  I asked if his teachers changed him and she said "I took care of him."  I don't know what that means but I assume it means that she told his teachers.  I love that she takes care of her not-so-baby brother!
  • Church tonight and then it was hair cut time for the boys-they truly needed it.  While they were getting their hair cut, Reagan and the little girls helped me straighten the house.  (Reagan did most of the work!)  Then it was ice cream truck time-and we even pulled out all of the new ice cream!  Big time stuff here at the Dennie house!

March 28, 2015

Can you see it? I can see it!
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  • After the kids came to our bed the third time telling us how they were starving, we decided that we should get out of bed.  Now during this time, we had up to 3 people jumping on us at a time. The other kids headed to their kindles this morning but Keaton was the one that stayed in bed with us.  Finally I let Keaton go and wake Whitman up and once he was up, he immediately started trying to pull me and then Reagan out of the bed.  He was ready for someone to take him to the kitchen to get his breakfast-but we had to wait on our cinnamon rolls to bake before eating.
  • Robby took the girls to Grannymom's house for a bit to work on her taxes.  Robby said that they played really well there and even did quite a bit of doll house play.  Back here, my boys (all of them) mostly sat on the couch playing on their kindles.  I did the dishes and laundry and then decided that at least Whitman shouldn't rot out his brain so I read him a few books on his kindle.
  • Then we headed upstairs to play with his trains and the boys eventually followed.  We played for a long while upstairs.  While we were playing, Whitman found a toy man that his leg was coming off.  He would bring the toy and I would put the legs back on over and over again. When I stood up to run downstairs, I teased him and pulled my leg behind me saying "look, my leg is off too."  He quickly jumped up and made me put my foot back on the floor.  
  • Robby and the girls came home with lunch.  After lunch, Robby went on a treasure hunt in the yard-he was looking for water pipes (for a new yard hydrant and the water turner offer).  He dug through our old pictures and through some pretty impressive logic on our parts, he was able to find the needles in a haystack and found those pipes pretty quickly.  Of course all of this activity (him in the yard bundled up with a shovel, me on the porch looking at the picture directing him to move this way and that way) caused lots of excitement to the kids and many migrated outside.  To bad this treasure hunt wasn't for real treasure-I think we might be pretty good treasure hunters.
  • Soon after this Keaton and Campbell were playing upstairs with Whitman.  I heard him cry briefly and then I heard the girls bringing him down the stairs.  He had hurt his leg or something.  I looked at it, pushed on it, tugged at it and he seemed fine but when I put him down he would limp just a bit.  This limp progressed throughout the day and by bedtime the boy (who could jump and run seemingly normal, he could also stand only on his sore leg and put weight on his leg climbing up the stairs) was walking practically dragging his leg.  It is the oddest thing but hopefully all will be better in the morning.  Part of me thinks he is really hurt but part of me thinks that he thinks his leg has come off like the toy he played with earlier in the day.  
  • Grannymom and Grandpa came over to see Robby's digging work.  Grandpa and Robby worked on a few things-my favorite was fixing the handles on the doorknobs.  The kids have probably heard some colorful language from me as those doorknob handles have fallen off on my toes over and over the past few weeks.  Though the doorknob in the school room was often taking off by me so no one (Whitman, Keaton and Campbell) could not go in the school room closet!
  • After they left, the kids eventually ended up outside playing soccer.  They can not wait for practice to start on Monday.  They weren't able to finish their game because I took my boys to the grocery store to pick up a few things and to restock our ice cream truck supplies.  We buy ice cream things for their snack/reward on Sunday nights.  That ice cream is just for Sunday or another night if we have to miss our Sunday treats.  I am not that great at spending a bunch of money so Robby gave me an amount and told me that I had to spend that much on their ice cream.  The boys had a blast picking things out-they loaded the buggy up.
  • And I had a blast shopping with them.  When we have all of the kids, you just can't let them really help because that is just too many helpers and that makes things crazy.  But with my boys, I let them push the shopping cart, put things in the buggy, put the items on the cart and even carry our pizza back to the car.  (Yes, hamburgers for lunch and pizza for supper-we are bad, bad people especially when you count the cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  It is Saturday after all! Don't judge-quinoa will be eaten here next week!)  Anyway, I could get used to having my workers with me.  They probably didn't like shopping with me though because I made it in to one big economics lesson!
  • When we came home, we ate and then started showers by all.  After our showers, we watched the new Annie movie.  We all piled into the bonus room-at the end of the movie was a kiss and both of my boys "ewww"-ed and turned their heads but Whitman sat mostly still for over an hour of the movie watching it.  He would put his hands over his face each time that Ms. Flannigan came on the screen but other than that, he was perfectly still.  He did go to bed before the movie was over and Keaton was sound asleep before it finished as well.  So my kids all went to bed late and tired tonight!  Hope we can all wake up on time!

March 27, 2015

This ice cream is COLD!
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  • Oh, the last day of spring break and we even celebrated by sleeping late and having muffins for breakfast.  Some folks weren't crazy excited about the muffins but I was and they were devoured so I count that as a win.  
  • We did our little bit of school work-more work on their upcoming oral reports, some reading, Reagan worked on her writing, Graham did handwriting, Anderson read to me and Campbell made a game for Keaton while Whitman showed off his skills with some wooden puzzles.  For some reason, we finished earlier than we had all week so they pulled out their kindles and even did a bit of cleaning before lunch.
  • The boys were probably relieved that I didn't have laundry for them to do.  The other day, I realized that my boys had not a clue about how to put away their laundry so I declared that would be their job for a long bit.  I knew that I had been mainly having Reagan put away the laundry after I folded it but she does such a good job but I guess it is time for someone else to learn that skill.
  • At lunch, we read a few more library books.  I realized that I have nearly 60 books checked out right now.  I love getting lots of library books but I really, really like turning them in so I have been on a quest to read as many as possible.  
  • The afternoon was spent most relaxing around here.  I did my treadmill time and the kids watched tv and played on their kindles.  Keaton did cuddle up with me on the couch and we snoozed for a few minutes.  I thought she was sound asleep but as soon as I got out from under her, she woke right up.  
  • Supper tonight was at Denny's!  How fun was that-and silly me, I forgot the camera.  I am not sure the kids thought it was as fun as I did-the Dennies going to Dennys.  We ordered what seemed like a lot of food but by the time we divided it up, I was having to gobble it up so I would have something left on my plate.  All of the kids had said they wanted bacon but when they saw our sausage they ate it.  Graham was finished with his pancake and starting on mine by the time I had opened my own silverware.  Reagan saw my hashbrowns and said that she wanted to try those and Robby was on the other end of the table fighting them off of his cinnamon pancakes.  And even though Whitman ate all of his lunch, he kept pointing to my pancake, Robby's pancakes or the bacon saying "this one" "this one" until he was given some of that one!  We did all have enough food...but just barely!  
  • Next up was to Walgreens for passport card photosfor our little drive in Canada and Niagara this summer.  We had a bit of a wait so we had to walk up and down the aisles so the kids wouldn't go nuts.  My photo makes me look like I am 50 and Robby's makes him look like he is a criminal-yep, they are really that bad! 
  • Then we were headed to Grannymom's house to do her taxes.  I was telling Robby that I should have brought her sign and that jogged Robby's memory that he needed his computer so home we went.  We had our ice cream at home and then it was bedtime for my crew.  
  • One child-the blonde one-got into a bit of trouble before bedtime.  That child is a mess and was pretty devastated that she didn't get to hear the Bible story tonight.  She is lucky she doesn't have to sleep in the bonus room tonight or the shed!

March 26, 2015

Teaching the young!
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  • It was a pretty slow start to the morning here.  I let the kids pretty much pick out their own breakfast but I did pull out some of our leftover fruit from last night and they pretty much devoured it. Whitman sat in his chair for nearly an hour while everyone else ate, while I cleaned the kitchen and then while I worked in the kitchen with Anderson.
  • Today we did just a bit of our planned Spring Break schedule.  I told the kids to pick 2 of the 4 things on their list that they thought I would really want them to accomplish today.  I don't know if Graham was testing me or not but he asked if I would want him to put together his metal car and read to Keaton.  I told him that no, both of those things sounded pretty easy and fun and I wanted him to do something a bit harder.  He grinned at me and went off to work.
  • By the time I had my shower, it was time to load up and leave for today's spring break activity-a movie.  I was just surprised as you were when Robby suggested it-it's not Thanksgiving, why would we be going to be a movie?  We dropped Whitman and Keaton off at Grannymom. Keaton was able to choose what she did and she quickly picked Grannymom's house.  I think that she was thinking that she was going to have to sit through something like another play at the rep like the other night.
  • We saw Cinderella and it was really great.  I am not a huge movie fan (like my eyes even got a bit heavy during the previews) but this was lots of fun.  Everyone enjoyed it-or maybe they just enjoyed the popcorn and coke that Robby continued to bring to them (free refills).  Campbell would occasionally lean over and tell me who were the bad guys.  The kids were surprised that it was still daylight when we left the movie-we did go at lunch time.
  • Next up was back to Granymom's house to pick up the others.  We stayed there for a bit and then headed home.  The kids watched a few movies while Whitman napped.  I looked for Easter clothes, painted a bit and folded a pile of laundry taller than Keaton.
  • Soon we were eating supper and Robby went to the coaches meeting at church.  While the kids ate hot dogs, mac and cheese and fruit I read and read to them.  Then we caught up on some of our game shows-Price is Right and Wheel of Fortune.  Since Robby still wasn't home yet, we watched one more short movie before going upstairs.  He arrived right at Bible story time and was able to tuck everyone in for the night.

March 25, 2015

Dennie Family Restaurant was Open Tonight!
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  • Last night when I asked Keaton and Campbell where they were going to sleep-with Lilli or Reagan in the bonus room or in my bedroom-Campbell looked at Keaton and said "do you want to sleep in the scary bonus room?"  I said that the bonus room wasn't scary and then Campbell said that when she slept up there before she was really scared.  I then asked her "so you are going to sleep in our room?" and she quickly responded that no, she was going to sleep in the bonus room with Lilly and Reagan.  That little Campbell was trying to make sure her little sister didn't sleep upstairs with them.  It didn't matter though because Keaton was asleep way before everyone else was.
  • At one point during the night, Keaton did climb in bed with me.  I don't know how long she had been in bed with me but I put her back in her pallet around 6 and before too long, we were all up for the day.  We made cinnamon rolls for the girls and one little boy. Lilli had a camp to go to today so the kids couldn't play for too long-they had just started a game of Sorry when it was time to load up.
  • We dropped off Lilli at her house and picked up the boys.  They had already had a full morning playing outside and my Graham was already tired, tired.  As soon as he climbed into the car, he started yelling at Reagan.  Soon though everyone was calm-we were listening to Little Town on the Prairie and we got to a really good part.  Everyone asked me to turn it on as soon as we sat down in the car all day long.
  • I drove by the library but it was still closed so we headed on to see Beebee.  She was quite surprised to see us so early on a Wednesday but was happy that we were there.  As soon as I put Whitman down on the floor, he ran to Beebee's candy bucket.  Keaton was quick to run to Beebee and ask if they could have some candy.  I guess it was 10 that we were there and it was the absolute perfect time to visit Beebee-because her tv was turned on and the Price is Right was starting.  My kids watched it intently and only stopped to briefly talk to Beebee or shove more candy into their mouth.  During the summer, I will do be my best to show up during Price is Right every day.  On the way out, Anderson counted all of the rooms that had Price is Right on.
  • Next stop was the library-I had about 30 books to turn back in and about that many more to pick up.  The kids helped me find some more books to read during our lunches and then it was off to the checkout process.  Checking out at the library has always been the hardest thing ever with my crew but we made it successfully today and the buzzer didn't even beep when we left!  (It worked so well possibly because Whitman was strapped down in the stroller.)
  • We had about 30 minutes before we were to meet April and her crew at Sonic so I thought a brief stop at Nonna's house to use her restroom would be a lot easier than having to go to the Sonic potty.  So we all climbed out and ran in quickly-I had already told my crew that we would not be having a Sonic smorgasbord like we had last night.  I guess Reagan realized this and asked Nonna for a drink so our potty stop turned into a drink stop as well.
  • Soon though we were back in the car on our way to Sonic.  The kids were happy to be back there and probably could play there every day.  Campbell and Keaton loved having Hayley there to play with them.  We were able to play quite a while and then it was time to head home.
  • We had lots to do at home-first on the agenda was showers for all to wash that Sonic sand off.  Then a few chores followed by some work on our restaurant.  We worked on the menus and planned who was doing what during our Dennie restaurant evening.  This took quite a bit of discussion and debate-thankfully, we were able to get everything all solved and then the kids had a bit of down time before our big evening started.  
  • They had down time but I didn't.  Since Reagan had decided that Whitman needed a recipe to contribute to our restaurant I made his homemade ice cream to go along with Keaton's chocolate chip cookies that she helped me make last night.  
  • All of our recipes were from the Duck Dynasty book I had checked out from the library.  Campbell was the next one to start working on her food-fruit salad. She poured the cans for fruit in and chopped bananas while I cut up the strawberries and grapes (Nonna cup up the cantaloupe when she arrived.)  Anderson was next in the kitchen and made his macaroni and cheese.  Then that is when things became busy in the kitchen-Graham started working on his waffle batter and Reagan started cooking her hot chocolate (though it has now been determined that she isn't that greatest at stirring anything on the stove-good thing she didn't get burned splashing hot chocolate all around the room)
  • Nonna and Pops arrived followed by Jason.  And then it was finally restaurant time-we were seated and then Reagan passed out the menus and taking our drink orders.  Next up Campbell took orders for the fruit salad followed by the boys taking orders for their items.  Graham did have the most difficult order taking to do-waffles, syrup, whip cream, strawberries and/or chocolate chips along with sausage.  He did great and everyone enjoyed their supper.
  • Whitman's favorite was the fruit salad and the mac and cheese was pretty great.  Reagan didn't like her hot chocolate as much as she thought she would-it possibly wasn't as hot as she would have liked it but it sure was rich.  Once the dishes were cleared, then the dessert happened.  This was Keaton's turn and she went around asking everyone what they would like and Reagan followed her taking notes.
  • The dessert was delicious-cookies and ice cream.  But our day of cooking left us with lots of leftovers-mac and cheese, fruit salad, ice cream and a few cookies.  I guess all of that will be lunch tomorrow-sounds healthy enough.  
  • Nonna, Pops and Jason stayed a little bit and once they headed home the kids changed into the pjs and went to bed.  Hopefully they can catch up in a bit of their sleep tonight.