March 5, 2015

Who's the scary man with the shovel?

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  • We had made sure that the kids knew even though it had snowed and snowed last night, we were still going to do a bit of school and eat our breakfast before going out to play.  We heard people stirring pretty early but no one came downstairs for a while.  Earlier this year, we thought that it would not snow at all this year and we even laughed about buying our sleds and never going to get to use them but how wrong were we.  I guess this is our 4th or 5th round of sleety/snowy weather this year and I just love it!
  • I made chocolate chip muffins with my secret recipe this morning and they were delicious.  The only bad thing about muffins is the recipe only makes 12 so that leaves pretty much none left over for Robby and me.  Keaton didn't eat two and I think Reagan left a crumb or two so we all were able to eat breakfast.
  • We didn't have a snow day from school today but after the kids did math and phonics, we all headed back out in the snow.  And even though I really, really love seeing the snow it just takes a bit of putting on gloves and hats and everything else for me to mentally note that I never plan on taking my crew skiing.  And it reminds me that I am so thankful for our mudroom-that room has been covered with gloves, hats, scarves, coats and wet clothes all day long today.  
  • My Whitman escaped from me today while I was trying to get him ready and I found him in the middle of the other kids, who were putting on their hats and gloves, but Whitman was only wearing his feetie pajamas which were unzipped and his snow hat-but he was still ready to go outside!
  • I guess the sun caused it to not be crazy cold out today but the kids' gloves get wet pretty immediately so their hands were always freezing.  Poor Whitman's hands were the worst and his gloves were soaking wet-mainly because he was shoving snow in his mouth as fast as he could.  I put my good gloves on him once and he wasn't happy about wearing giant gloves but the next time I tried, he kept those on him until he finally convinced Robby to take him in.
  • So we had Whitman with giant hands but we also had Reagan and Graham wearing walmart bags on their feet.  Their tennis shoes seem to quickly absorb water so I thought the bags might help them some-well, it just made things very slippery.  Of course Reagan's ankle/foot is still hurting from her Rock Creek fall yesterday, she was quite entertaining to watch and spent most of her time outside crawling around on her knees.  (I know that she did hurt her foot but she is a bit of a drama queen!)
  • We had a few snowball fights and then started a bit of sledding.  We went down the side of the yard but it took a lot of pushing to get a path that would work and this wasn't the best sledding we have had on Jacqueline but it was pretty good.  And after everyone else went in, I pushed Graham over and bump that caused him and his sled to go airborne which made it the best day ever for him.  So I had to push Anderson and Graham about a hundred more times before we finally came inside.  
  • Everyone then worked school while I made lunch and then shortly after our late lunch all school work was done.  Playing in the snow and a school day all in one trashes the house so we had to work on just downstairs before nap time.  The boys opted to go outside for a bit this afternoon but they were only out for about 3 minutes before they came back in-we caught them and asked what was wrong and Graham was cold.  I found him more pants and another pair of gloves and that did help them stay out for about 12 more minutes.
  • The afternoon was kind of quiet around here but the evening was certainly full of excitement.  I had made a crock pot supper and was pretty anxious to try it but was not looking forward to all of the comments that my meal would receive.  Robby quickly nipped it all in the bud and said that those who ate all in their bowl (really about 2 Tablespoons) would get to stay up 15 minutes later and have a snack.  
  • My Graham always talks big and no matter what we have always says that he loves it but he is just all talk.  Tonight was no different, he was the last one to finish and spent half time time trying not to gag.  I was telling Robby how healthy our meal was tonight and he said "I know"-he wasn't crazy about it either.  And since I am not a big sweet potato fan I would probably agree but it was pretty good (sweet potatoes, applesauce and chicken)
  • Reagan was the first one finished and she went to sit by Keaton and fed and encouraged Keaton as she ate her bowl of food.  Seriously, she had hardly nothing in their bowl but Reagan encouraged and cheered and prodded Keaton on.  I will say it again, the kids can be mean to each other some time but they sure do take care of each other too-especially when dessert is involved.
  • So everyone did get to stay up an extra 15 minutes-so we did put Whitman to bed and let them watch one more alligator show.  And we even had a special dessert-I wanted to make crumb cake cookies but I guess everyone thought I had done enough cooking for the day and wanted a break from my cooking!  So Robby opted to make a peanut butter rice krispy something or another and it was devoured by all!  Then it was time for lots and lots of tooth brushing!  

March 4, 2015

Working together!

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  • We had missed Bible study the last 2 weeks due to the weather and though I slightly hoped that the weather would have come in much earlier than expected and cause us to miss, my kiddos did not agree.  They could not wait to go to Bible study and as usual on Wednesday mornings, everyone is very helpful getting ready and doing their chores (seriously, I wasn't being sarcastic.)
  • I did decided to clean the potties this week-the kids can only "clean" them so long before they really need a good cleaning.  The boys emptied most of the trash cans, Keaton and Campbell did a few but they also folded all of the napkins and hand towels in the clean laundry pile while Reagan put away a bit of folded laundry.  
  • We started listening to Little Town on the Prairie on the way to Bible study and though I try not to get there too early and my kids weren't all the first ones in their classes but I am certainly one of the first few in the sanctuary for the opening.  I tried not to feel too bad about being early but it sure was nice to just sit quietly for about 3 minutes before Bible study started.
  • After Bible study it was pouring, so I held Candice's baby while she got her car in the pouring rain.  Then I went to get my car while Jodee stayed with my kids-it really does take a village!  On the way to Rock Creek, the kids told me all about their Bible stories.  During my class, the teacher always tells what the children are learning about and she said that it was Jesus calming the storm (one we have just read about in the morning, at night, had a Sunday school lesson about it and a Wednesday night lesson about it).  I could just see Campbell and Graham's teachers opening their Bibles and starting the story and my kids burst out "oh no, not this one again!"  I don't think that happened-or at least I hope that didn't happen.
  • When we arrived at Rock Creek, it was raining so I dropped the kids off.  Told them to stand inside and wait and I drove off to park thinking that everything would just be perfect...wrong!  I was walking to the door when Reagan came running out to me.  What in the world was she doing?  She started saying that Graham was screaming and crazy and indeed he soon burst out of the building in a panic.  Upon closer inspection blood was dripping down his chin-he had banged into Keaton's head.  
  • I grabbed him and quickly dodged into a bathroom trying not to cause too much of a commotion (know that a commotion had already been made!)  I washed him up and he just kept saying "my ooth, it gonna all ut"  Once I deciphered his message, I told him to open his mouth and quickly pulled a tooth that was very loose last night and then tried to pull another tooth that the bump into Keaton's head had almost knocked out (that tooth though is tightening back up some-crookedly tightening back up!)
  • There were about a zillion little people playing there but we pretty quickly ran them off.  Our injuries didn't end with the almost 2 lost teeth, Reagan fell and hurt her foot.  She limped and crawled on it for the rest of the day (it is still a bit swollen tonight) and Campbell fell and hurt her knee and she caused quite a scene for an injury with no blood.
  • After all of that, I was surprised that I even thought about going to visit my grandma, but we pressed on and fought the rain and headed there.  Beebee was getting her hair fixed so we didn't stay too long-just long enough to eat most of her candy.  On some days my grandma talks really, really quietly-so quiet that I can barely hear her only after asking her to tell me again over and over.  Of course the kids are there too being noisy but I have decided that maybe I am the one losing my hearing.
  • By the time we made it home, Keaton, Whitman and Campbell all were asleep.  The girls woke up when we pulled into the garage but Whitman slept on until supper time.  The rest of us did some books, did our science and then watched a bit of tv.  During their tv time, Anderson pulled out a wooden car to build and Reagan worked on some of her paper dolls.
  • I spent my time-afternoon and most of the evening watching the weather.  This sleet has been crazy-thunder and hitting the windows so hard that it was hard to hear in our living room.  Craziness! (and I love it!)  Sweet Campbell looked out the window this evening and said "I hope Daddy gets home safely" and just as soon as she said that there were his headlights and he was home-apparently he made it home just before the roads did get crazy bad.
  • The kids had supper and we let them play.  Eventually we all ended up playing the wii upstairs.  Robby and I did get concerned about the lights going off so we heated up our supper and ate upstairs too.  I was pretty surprised that no one asked us to sleep upstairs-hopefully we won't have to!
  • After we had the kids good and crazy pumped up, we put them to bed-I know they were exhausted from our busy day so hopefully everyone will sleep well tonight!

March 3, 2015

Roller Skating Buddies!

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  • School morning for Campbell again and at least today Campbell was able to eat most of her breakfast at home and not in the car.  As she was putting her shoes on, she did ask for one more piece of toast.  I tried to make it but before the bread was even warm, I had to pop it out of the toaster so I could get it to her before Robby pulled out of the garage.
  • Yesterday, Campbell forgot to give Ms. Stacy a present that she had made for her.  Campbell remembered today and gave her teacher a perler bead creation.  I am sure that Ms. Stacy was very happy with her Star of David but I might need to encourage Campbell to make something else for her teacher.
  • Back at home, my boys did much better today during school.  I did stay pretty close by and was quick to correct them today.  It is just so nice for the house to quiet for a few minutes occasionally during school time.  Even though it is quiet, I know that doesn't mean that they are always working but it at least sounds like we are working when it is quiet.  
  • I haven't mentioned what the kids are doing school wise lately so let's see: Graham is doing simple carrying in math (38+44), Reagan has now learned all of her cursive letters (maybe just lowercase) in her handwriting book, Anderson has been working on multiplication and knows his 0s, 1s, 2s, 5s, 9s, and 10s, Campbell is over halfway finished with her reading book, Keaton's favorite part of school is doing her homework from Mr. Milan (her Sunday school teacher) each Monday and Whitman matched scrabble tiles to the letters in Keaton's name today as I sat stunned watching him.
  • I put Whitman down for a little nap today while we did our together work and then I had the kids do their few chores while I served my treadmill time.  When I was finished, they were all sitting in the living room playing their kindles waiting on my to get lunch.  We had our lunch and as soon as Keaton put her last bite in her mouth, we climbed in the car.  
  • Nonna had picked Campbell from school but we came to pick her up and drop of Keaton and Whitman.  When we pulled into Nonna's driveway, Whitman started yelling "buckle, buckle"-his polite way of saying "someone get me out of this car."  Keaton and him were so excited to go play with Nonna and Pops during the afternoon.
  • And my others were so excited to get to skating.  We arrived close to 2 and by 2:30, Campbell and Graham were already exhausted.  Can you imagine how tired they were at 4:30 when we left.  Everyone is getting much better at skating-Anderson is probably the best but will still use the skate aid (pvc walker) if one is around, Reagan is doing good too-good enough that she was able to hold Campbell's hand and help her, Graham needs the skate aid but is improving and Campbell, bless her, she would grab that skate aid and fly for about 30 steps and then fall flat on her face over and over again.  By the end, she made 2 laps around the floor without any help and she was the last Dennie with skates on-she just wouldn't stop!  
  • On the way home, we met Robby at the gas station and we both filled up our cars.  Then he offered to take some people home-my tiredest two kids quickly volunteered-Campbell and Graham.  Since it was National Pancake Day, Robby went home and whipped us up some waffles (we prefer them to pancakes!)  
  • Supper was almost ready when my crew made it home from picking up Whitman and Keaton.  Nonna said that Whitman was playing in the water and his shirt became wet.  She took it off to dry it but he would none of that.  He wanted his "Elmo" on (Elmo shirt) and he let Nonna know about it.  Every morning when I pull out his clothes, he says "choo choo" asking for his Thomas shirt.
  • After eating, all of my sweaty skating kids had showers and then we watched a bit of the alligator show from last night-nothing like watching some guys shoot up some alligators before bed!

March 2, 2015

Come along for the ride...

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  • Again, I sure hated to wake up Campbell for school this morning but as soon as she was awake enough to understand that it was Ms. Stacy day, she was down the stairs in a flash.  We were running late enough today that she ate her breakfast in the car-she even ran out of time and didn't get to eat half of her cutie orange.  
  • Back at home, the rest of us started the day with our Bible reading, breakfast and then school work.  My Reagan quickly started to work but my boys didn't do so well.  I urged, guided, redirected and everything else I could do to kindly get them to work and it would work for a few minutes but then they would soon be fooling around again.  That didn't go over too well with me so I politely explained that they would not watch any movies today or play their kindles-that did quickly get their attention.
  • At 11, we did our together work while Whitman napped-not really napped, he was above us in Keaton's crib jumping up and down the entire time.  Then I let the boys work on some more of their school work until lunch time.
  • We had our lunch and read.  After lunch it was chore time.  We do chores every day after lunch and usually I do my best to keep Whitman in his seat until we have picked up most everything around the house.  Sometimes I am able to do this but it is the only way to give us a fighting chance to get the house picked up for at least a few minutes.  
  • In absence of electronics for the boys, they quickly pulled out some craft projects which drew everyone to the school room for a time and then they moved to the kitchen to make a huge domino track.  I was letting Whitman stay up a bit longer than usual-until he ran towards the kitchen table full of their dominoes.  We all grabbed him just in time and I ran him upstairs for his afternoon nap.
  • The afternoon did fly by for me-Reagan said it lasted forever for her probably because she was all alone watching her movies.  I did let the boys along with Whitman, who didn't nap very long, watch the show I was watching while I was on the treadmill.  Pretty much during that entire time, Keaton was bringing toys up into the bonus room, pulling out games to play and getting food for Whitman.  She is quite the little helper but quite the little mess maker!
  • Campbell had spent the afternoon with Grannymom, Lilli and Cash and even got to play at Rock Creek for a bit.  She had a blast and was ready to get home-she quickly found Reagan and joined her watching a movie.  It wasn't too long though before we had supper ready.
  • I know I have mentioned it before but some meals are a hit and some are not.  Our chili was a hit for some-Campbell didn't touch hers, Reagan cleaned her bowl, Anderson wouldn't eat any until Robby took all of his corn out, Whitman spit out a bean when I put it in his mouth and Keaton and Graham ate most of theirs.  My non-chili eaters better learn to like that chili since there is half a crockpot left...maybe I will save it for the snow day coming up!
  • The kids migrated to the school room after supper and a few showers.  That was fine except Whitman stared grabbing the paint and running through the house.  He usually takes the markers and runs around and that is bad enough but tubes of paint was much worse.  I finally tackled him enough times that he gave up on his beloved paint.
  • We had been watching Duck Dynasty some in the evenings but we have caught up, so we watched some crocodile killing show-it was definitely eye opening and I am betting that at least 1 Dennie will have a nightmare tonight!

March 1, 2015

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Pigtails and Ice Cream!
  • On very few days do the kids sleep in a bit but when they do it always seems to be on a day that we have to get up and get ready to go somewhere.  It was after 8, when I quietly went into their room.  Keaton was the first to wake up and quickly climbed out of her bed and then Graham was up pretty quickly too. I told them that if they hurried downstairs they could lay by Robby for a minute before getting ready.
  • My Reagan was the last one to wake up and had to scurry around to get her clothes on this morning (as always!)  But we all did make it to church in plenty of time...plenty of time to eat lots of candy.  We went in a new door and the greeter passed out a piece of candy to the kids.  Then we found Nonna and Pops and his pocket was full of candy and then to Grannymom and Grandpa's side and there was more candy.  Maybe Robby or I should have been a dentist!
  • Anderson went to the Discover class today.  The kids were asked to bring a shoebox and there had been much debate over what was going in that shoebox-many things had been suggested-anything from his feelings to a bunny.  It was none of those but just a place to put all of his papers.  Sounds like it was a pretty neat class-they learned about tithing and even had their first Lord's Supper.
  • Lilli and Cash went to with us to Sunday school while Dana finished the marathon.  Then we all went to Grannymom's house for lunch.  My Keaton cleaned her plate and across the room, my Whitman didn't touch his and the others were all somewhere in between.  
  • At home, some napped and some didn't but all that didn't really matter because in no time at all, it was time to turn around and head back to church.  Tonight we had choir and the Barnabas Project meeting and then big church.  Campbell was pretty restless during church tonight (as usual on Sunday nights). 
  • Maybe she was just ready to get home so we could all have our ice cream truck.  The kids still love picking out their favorite treat-even though our ice cream selections are getting a big slim. Tomorrow is another busy day and Robby has mentioned to the kids that skating may be on Tuesday so he expects excellent behavior-we will see if that works!

February 28, 2015

Building a Monster Truck!

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  • We woke up to the sounds of the boys and Cash in the living room playing their kindles.  I don't think that it was crazy early but it is amazing how loud they can be just sitting on the couch.  It was fine though and we went on back to sleep for a few minutes.
  • Soon though we fed all the boys-waffles and pancakes-and then loaded up for our day out.  Robby said that he did have a brief moment of panic after we had left the house thinking that we had left Keaton.  I hope someone would have said something though but there was no worries because she was at Grannymom's house.
  • Our first stop was to drop Cash off and pick Reagan, Campbell and Lilli up-he had a basketball game early this morning so we made a switcheroo with him for Lilli.  Then we ran in to pick Keaton up from Grannymom's house-yesterday, we backed into Grannymom's driveway so maybe Whitman wouldn't notice where we were (he still did) but today, he was fine with pulling out of Grannymom's driveway because she gave him a bit of candy.  
  • We went to Lowes to build monster trucks.  They had a kids clinic and it was pretty neat-this was our first one to go to but we will definitely go again sometime.  You had to pre-register so Lilli wasn't able to do one but we sure needed her help with Campbell.  Keaton was too young to do one but she didn't care because Reagan helped her hammer a nail or two.  (My Keaton had the most beautiful smile but for the last few months, she has lost her smile-hopefully it will come back soon!)
  • Everyone had lots of fun hammering their trucks and if you can imagine 30 or more kids hammering then you understand the headaches that Robby and I left with (not really)  Whitman was a perfect little boy and sat in the shopping cart watching and listening to all of the noise.  After we left there, we drove across town to do a few mystery shops and then we went in and ate at Wendys.  The kids drew quiet a few looks at the restaurant since they were spread out across 3 different tables-but we managed to get out the place without spilling any drinks (a win!)
  • Then I was the one who was dropped off at the grocery store-we needed to do some major shopping so the thought was that I could do some speed shopping while Robby and the kids dropped Lilli off and then they came back and joined me.  Any few minutes kidless at the store is very helpful and today, we had a big task-using one specific coupon: spend 200 dollars and get 20 off.  I started keeping up with what I had spent and was at about 60 dollars total when I ran into Robby who had just arrived and pottied with the kids and was already on his way to filling his buggy.  Surprisingly, even with out 6 distractions we were pretty close to 200-208 before taxes.  And then with our coupons the bill was closer to 160!  Can't beat that!...except on the way home, Robby and I thought of at least 3 things that we should have bought but had forgotten about.
  • Once at home, we unloaded the groceries while the kids played.  Now we knew that we should have had those kids helping up but sometimes things are just easier to do them yourselves! Things were all put up in time for the Razorback ballgame.
  • Robby, Campbell and I went to the bonus room to watch the ballgame.  Even though Robby was rooting the hogs on the first little bit, Campbell and I were sound asleep well before halftime.  There is just something about that bonus room that makes me fall asleep pretty instantly and my Campbell and I could have probably slept there all evening long.
  • When the game was over, we had supper and ended it with rice krispy treats for dessert. Then it was shower time for everyone and as usual lately, time for the wii.  Tonight Campbell played a few rounds and then her and Keaton and I played a few board games.  Whitman sat right beside us lining up pieces and trying his best to play along with us.  At the end of the evening, everyone fell into bed from exhaustion after such a long day. 

February 27, 2015

AH, I love you too!

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  • Around 3 I heard lots of talking over the monitor.  I quickly went up the stairs to calm whoever was awake before everyone else was woken up.  It was Campbell who was awake-she said that she had a bad dream.  I asked what it was about and she matter of factly said that Graham went to jail.  A few weeks ago, her dream was that her Uncle Jason went to jail so I wasn't too surprised.  But for some reason this just caused me to get tickled thinking of my little Grahammy in jail.  That probably didn't help in the calming of Campbell.
  • For some reason, my kids woke up at 6:20 this morning. Robby eventually called Reagan downstairs and she climbed into bed with us.  I think everyone else thought that she was in trouble but we just had her come downstairs so she could rest more since she is the only one who wanted to be sleeping-well, her, Robby and I.
  • We had our breakfast and then started on school.  The second day in a row of no phonics and no math during school so that just makes my crew very happy.  The kids did quite a bit of work together-matching states and capitols and a speed round of geography.  Campbell and Keaton even had some work together-matching letters, being read to by Anderson and putting the alphabet in order with Anderson.  I know that the more people who are in school here at the house will be more for me to do...or maybe I need to work more on delegating some of the teaching to my big kiddos.  They have already taken over reading Campbell and Keaton's weekly reader each week and with Campbell starting kindergarten I will have to really think about what others can help with.
  • At 11, I put Whitman in bed for a quick nap and the rest of us migrated up to the bonus room.  The kids climbed on the couch and all covered up (It was cold in our house today-I turned up the heat once but should have even more.  I did have no idea how cold it really was outside).  I read to everyone for about an hour and it was one of those fleeting moments during the day that everything was pretty perfect.
  • Lunch was next with more reading.  After everyone helped pick up the kitchen, we did a Picasso face.  Each month we have an artist to do and one kid does their drawing/painting on a canvas.  I picked Anderson to do the canvas and his drawing was so gentle that it was even hard to see his picture.  On the other hand, Campbell's was bright and bold-I did draw a few lines for her though.  Next month will be Jackson Pollock so that will be fun...and a mess!
  • The afternoon seemed to drag and drag.  The kids did their normal thing but Whitman didn't cooperate with me.  He refused to take his nap so I moved him to the bonus room so he could watch me on the treadmill.  I was watching a decorating show but that seemed to un-nerve Whitman so I switched to a cartoon.  This quickly brought Campbell and Keaton up the stairs for the reminder of my treadmill time-the only reason I even got on that blasted thing was because it was freezing in this house and I needed to warm up.
  • My Campbell and Reagan really thought that afternoon was dragging too-they were anxiously waiting to go to Lilli's house for the evening and my boys were waiting on Cash to come over.  As we were about to pull out of the driveway, I remembered my phone in the house.  I went to get it and saw Grannymom had left a message about Keaton spending the night at her house.  I threw some clothes in a bag and had one more happy little girl.
  • We dropped off the girls and picked up Cash.  Then we went to eat-the big boys were perfect.  But the music playing above us really spoke to Whitman-he sang and sang!  Thankfully, we were only at Wendys so the crowd wasn't bothered.  I would put my hand over his mouth and he would laugh and then sing louder.  That child talked and talked the entire time we were there-mainly he talked to a lady at a neighboring table.  When we got him home, I kiddingly looked at him and told him that his daddy and I wanted to talk to him about his behavior at the restaurant.  He leaned his head back and just laughed!  Yep, he soon went to bed!
  • Anderson, Graham and Cash started playing the wii just about as soon as they walked in the house and we have not heard from them at all.  I am even debating making them go to bed (not really).  I do wonder how long they could stay up playing that silly thing-probably as long as I could stay up on the computer each night.  They are having a good time so all is well here!