We had been wanting to go to the Hoop Dee Doo Revue for awhile now and we were fortunate enough to go this October. It was a blast and my Graham even went on the stage for the last number. It was really lots of fun. I did have a hard time finding an ornament for this stop but I did manage to find a pin. My thought is that maybe next time at Disney if I buy I pin, I could also get a lanyard to hang a few of them on to the tree with.
Here is the post from that day.
(click here for today's pictures)
|Brain lab day for Miss Campbell!|
- My movie stars woke up ready for the day. More than one child asked "are we filming today?" I am afraid that this show business lifestyle has gone to Keaton's head. When she was walking out of her class tonight, her teacher called out "bye movie star." And Keaton turned around knowing that it was her being talked to and waved as she said "bye bye."
- This morning was another early one since Campbell had to be at the nutrition center bright and early. Robby took my car with all of the kids but Campbell and I took his car. He dropped off his crew at Grannymom's house. And Campbell and I went to the Nutrition Center and when Robby passed by there on his way to work, he switched out our cars.
- Reagan, Anderson and Graham all had school work to take with them to Grannymom's house (we have got to get a bit of school work done this month!) They did that, played on Grandpa's ipad and had lots of fun.
- Whitman spent his morning eating everything that he could. I am not sure if he ate any crackers at Grannymom's house but he sure enjoyed some tonight. Today he was starving and hardly spit up. But yesterday all he did was spit up-Robby thinks that he might have been nervous about having to act.
- My Campbell did as well as I could ever expect at the Nutrition Center. Brain lab lasts forever and a day and she wiggled her way through it. Actually, I was pretty sure they were going to ask if she could do it again for them. One of the tasks during brain lab is for her to hit a buzzer each time she sees a flower on the screen-she was so interested in that buzzer that she hardly ever looked at the screen. I started to worry if she has attention deficit disorder.
- Later in the day when she was doing the psych testing, the lady asked "when is it dark?" Campbell said "8:00" True, very true-in the summer time at least. At one point the poor psych lady was asking Campbell questions and she was answering them...all while sitting under her desk!
- The whole visit took forever. No one seemed to be in a hurry except for me! They didn't understand that I had hours worth of laundry at home. When we finally finished, we went to Grannymom's house and the kids had a snack and then we all headed home.
- As soon as we made it home, the little ones went to bed and the big guys started on more school work. I just asked for them to do 3 boxes-Graham started on subtraction which he gets but doesn't quite understand what numbers go where. Reagan and Anderson did their spelling and english which I feel like we are behind on.
- After a bit of work, I let the kids watch a movie while I worked on that blasted laundry. Aww, it wasn't really that bad-just yesterday's clothes. Oh, yes that was when all 8 of us changed clothes 3+ times. Ay, ay, ay! I did finish most of it and had the kids help put it in their drawers.
- Soon it was supper time and time to work on everyone's hair for crazy hair night. Robby had the clippers in his hand and was about to give the boys a mohawk like last year but then thought maybe we shouldn't do it since there is more commercial making tomorrow. Not that no one would notice but we didn't want to see if they would. Thankfully, we had hair chalk and they were given a good hair chalking. Reagan did her hair as well and so did Campbell....
- Of course all of that hair chalk meant showers tonight when we made it home from church. It was nearly 9 when the kids finally made it to bed after showers, ice cream truck night and pulling our Santa count down. They were some pretty tired kiddos!
Man, apparently we bought a lot of ornaments on the same day of our trip this September. I have wanted to go to the Big Texan in Amarillo since I first saw the signs on the interstate. Of course, I decided not to eat the steak this time (since I really do not care for steaks.) Maybe because it was after 10 that we ate but the food was really good. It was a really fun stop and next time I am in Amarillo (don't really know when that would be) we will stop again.
Again here is the post from that day.
Again here is the post from that day.
(click here for today's pictures)
|Quiet on the set...|
- Some days, more than others, you just know that there are no words to adequately describe our day. And this was definitely one of those days. A few weeks ago, Dana called to ask if I would help her out in a commercial. She implied that we were just going to be the guinea pigs so I accepted. Turns out, we are not the guinea pigs-we are the stars. Well, one of four stars.
- Today was day one of filming for the 1/4 of a 30 second commercial spot and a 3 minute web story. I woke up at 5 this morning and wasn't able to go back to sleep-that never, ever happens. I guess I was excited about all of the commotion that would happen here today.
- We all had no idea what to expect and we had made that clear to the kids. We had also tried our best for them to understand that we were going to do what was asked with a smile on our face. I opened their door at 6:45 and Anderson popped up and asked if it was time to get up. And as Graham was coming down the ladder, he asked "are they here yet?"
- We had our breakfast and the kids played while waiting on the folks to arrive. Dana had given me a clue that there would be about 20 people at the house and she was indeed correct. I am going to list a few of the well over 25 people that I can remember-make up lady, prop girl, 2 photographers, 4 camera people, 2 sound guys,creative director, art director, Dana, an account executive, interview lady, 2 grips, at least one boss lady and a boss man. Actually, every few hours, I would see a new face pop up. It was insane-and we loved every minute of it!
- So folks started trickling in and soon I had to change my clothes (one of many, many wardrobe changes) and was sitting down for my hair and make up to be done. The first shot was of Reagan and Keaton looking at a puzzle and then Graham, Anderson and Campbell looking at a huge map. Oh yes, this map was surrounded by many, many pictures-our pictures-that they had printed. Then the whole family did a few happy moments on the couch-think pillow fight.
- Let's just say that every room of my house was touched. The crew had coffee and ate in the garage, filming in the laundry room, mud room, bonus room, stairwells, toy room, living room, kitchen and school room, lots of wardrobe changes in my closet, the hair lady in my bathroom, sound guys in my bedroom, lighting guys lurking with huge things outside of each window, some equipment in the kids room that I don't even have a clue what it was.
- Of course, each room that we went into had been slightly rearranged-couches moved, my snowmen moved, maps hung. But the most amazing was when I entered the kitchen to take some shots of me making the kids sandwiches. They had my bowls, my plates and everything needed to make sandwiches-their food but all of my containers. Robby looked on the camera as we were filming and said that he had no idea our kitchen looked so good. We had joked that they were going to come and see our kitchen and decide that it was too white and to cinder blocky for filming! Apparently if you have zillion dollar cameras things look really good.
- Next up was my interview-oh joy! I really thought they were going to take what I had talked about on the phone and give me a script of things to say. Nope, it was a real live interview. Of course I was greatly prompted. So I was sitting on a bar stool in my kitchen-I could see 6 guys standing where my table usually is, 2 guys in my bedroom, a living room full of people listening and about 4 people that I could see out of the side of my vision. Oh and yes, my fridge was filled of pictures of my kids that they had printed.
- I stumbled my way through the interview hoping that I sounded at least intelligent. The poor interview lady had gone all through my blog so we have many things to talk about-Baptist hospital, traveling, service projects, homeschooling. I had to reword her question into my answer which was okay but then I also had to make some sense while trying to answer her questions. If I stumbled on my words then we had to start over with her rewording the question. It seemed like it lasted forever but really wasn't too bad.
- I was probably pretty distracted by everything going on during the interview-a light shining through one window, big things outside covering up the other windows, they turned off my fridge and heat so there would be no extra sounds, they duct taped the kids mouths closed to keep them quiet, one man even took his shoes off, everyone was given water-mine even with a straw so I wouldn't mess up my make up. Oh, kidding about the duct tape-the kids were upstairs in the bonus room with Robby, Pops, Grannymom and Dana-seriously, I do not think we could have survived if we didn't have all of the help that we had.
- Soon we finished the interview, I joined the others and I think that we had lunch. Lunch was catered from the restaurant down the road-Downhome Catering. It was chicken spaghetti along with some vegetarian options including sweet potatoes which Whitman really loved. The crew eats well-coffee, drinks, lots of snacks, a big lunch though I didn't see the dessert area. I don't think that it was there but my kids sure did figure out where the food was and were often seen running to and from the garage with snacks in their hands.
- After lunch, the kids filmed going up and down the stairs and in and out of doors. They did this over and over and over again. We did a few scenes in the school room-2 children working quietly and 2 wrestling in the back ground. It was all real life! There were shots of the kids upstairs in the toy room, kids brushing their teeth, us putting the kids to bed and even Robby and I sitting on the couch acting like we were doing the blog. Unfortunately, I couldn't have my computer since it was white or I was going to type this blog while filming.
- Just imagine Robby and I sitting closer together than normal on the couch with our computers in our laps with 15 people staring at us and 2 cameras up in our face. "Look at his screen" "Show him something on your computer" "Move your eyes around" As I am sitting here now, I am surprised that there still isn't someone in this house-they were everywhere. And as people started leaving, you would think everyone was gone but then someone would come from a room wrapping cords up.
- One of the scenes that I did was in the laundry room. Imagine everyone crowded into my laundry room. I had to walk through the mud room while holding a laundry basket, pick up laundry on my way there, catch some laundry that the kids throw down to me, flip the light switch on and then put some laundry in the dryer. Oh and the dryer had a big ole camera glaring right at me in it.
- Soon it was time to drive around a bit in the car-imagine the kiddos acting like they were asleep, wearing their headphones, singing, playing a game-imagine a huge camera mounted on the dashboard-imagine a car following behind us-imagine a man crouched in the back of the van. We drove around a few times once stopping so they could film us getting in and out of the van and then running home to change into short sleeved shirts to do it all again.
- At one point, they did tell Robby to do some doughnuts in a parking lot. He did until Graham's car seat that they had propped up to make it taller fell over. Little did we know the poor director guy in the back got a bit car sick during that incident.
- Once we made it home, the had set up the tree house with cameras and lights. So the kids ran over there to play and be filmed a bit. They were in their element because they could just run and swing with little directions involved. With the 25+ folks, huge production truck and at least 15 cars in the driveway even neighbors were asking what was going on.
- After a bit of playing outside, they were sent inside for a wardrobe change into pajamas while they did some pictures of Robby and me. Seriously, we saw the video they took of us-so artsy fartsy but great. Us holding hands walking through the tall grass with the sun at our faces. Then they photo guys took some pictures (they said they took 3 or 4 thousand pictures today-yep, 3 to 4,000.
- Back inside, there were a few more takes and then the long awaited take-for the kids at least. The prop lady had made a big ole fort in the bonus room. She had found their flashlights and the fort was big enough for all 6 Dennie kids. Imagine all 6 of the kiddos in a fort after a long, long day of shooting a commercial with no nap for Keaton and a tiny one for Whitman. I guess they got what they needed.
- The final shoot was Robby and I loading the dishwasher. As the clock struck 5, the folks started loading up and racing out of here. But before they left, they were all very, very complimentary of the kids. I hated to see those folks go-they were polite (offering me their coats, helping me in and out of the van), helped the kids (picking Whitman up, helping kids in and out of the car, walking Keaton inside) and really worked at keeping the house in good condition.
- We really hated to see them go. And my Campbell really, really hated to see the hair and make up lady leave. My blonde haired baby always seems to take up with women with blonde hair and she really took up with the hair and make up lady. After a quick straightening of the house and sweeping the floor, the house was back to normal. We do need to vacuum really well but that will be for another day (a day when we have a better vacuum cleaner-we never seem to buy a good vacuum cleaner)
- Dana stayed for a bit to help gather clothes for Thursday's wardrobe changes while Lilly and Cash played with the kids. When they left, we had our supper and the kids talked about the day. Reagan said she loved being on the camera (oh, no! Remember she does want to be that Price is Right model!) Anderson's favorite part of the day was when Cash showed up this afternoon. Graham said he liked "filming." I can tell you that Campbell liked having the attention of all the folks here-she is not easily forgotten! And Keaton enjoyed having Dana to dote on her today. My Whitman probably enjoyed having Grannymom with him during the day.
- After supper, I worked some on the house while the kids watched tv and then it was bedtime. They all went to bed early but if they feel the least bit like me, they were exhausted!
Man, we can find such unusual stops on our trips and Tinkertown was certainly one of them. An old man saving and creating "treasures" from his junk. Made me want to go home and get rid of stuff but Tinkertown was pretty enjoyable and a must see if you are nearby. We really had a good time there and there was lots of things for the kids to see. Before we made it home, Robby had ordered a book about Tinkertown and I devoured it in just a few days.
This post mentions our stop there.
This post mentions our stop there.
(click here for today's pictures)
|Birthday week for Anderson!|
- The kids were hoping that the roads would have been too bad for Robby to make it in to work today-Robby was hoping the opposite and ready to see some place other than this house. He made it fine without any problems.
- We had our little breakfast and then started school. For some reason, it wasn't that great of a morning. Graham had a pretty rough morning as did Campbell. Robby can calm and redirect Graham easier than I can. With me, his behavior just escalates. Today I did send him to my bedroom until he could calm down and then I had him work on cleaning his desk out before starting back on his work. The kids love cleaning their desks-seriously, they love it. It is a necessary evil because the room looks trashed with the contents of 4 desks out on the floor but eventually, we do get things back together.
- My poor kiddos have been straightening and picking up all day long "for Aunt Dana's people." I think they are getting tired of hearing that and they might just remove her Christmas present from under the tree. I am using this commercial filming that is to happen her as a good motivator. We haven't worked on closets because I have run out of time but if I just had a few more days.
- We had our lunch-turkey, beans, mac and cheese and some crackers. I was getting plates out and Graham said "please not peanut butter." So I rummaged around until I found something else. Of course as soon as lunch was over, I found the ravioli in the pantry-that would have been a lot easier.
- Then it was back to straightening-I guess it sounds like I am kid slave driver or house obsessed. But seriously, I spent most of my day straightening with a few light chores just so this place doesn't get crazy messy. It is probably good for the kids to help a bit with things-or they will resent me forever. Either way, makes today easier!
- As we were finishing picking up, I saw a well dressed man in the back yard-I knew it wasn't my meter reader since he is a big, bright colored shirt wearing man who parks in the yard by the picnic table. Then I saw another and another and another man. I briefly thought we were going to be robbed by a bunch of good looking fellows with clip boards. They seemed pretty interested in the swing set, trees and back of the house. It didn't take long for me to realize they were Dana's folks coming to scout out the house some. I offered for them to come in to snoop around but they declined and headed to Pinnacle (we are going to be filming there on Thursday)
- Soon the kids were putting on coats and heading out. I made it clear that I was not going to go out today and even tried to convince Keaton to drink some milk and take her nap. She declined and headed out. After about 5 minutes, she was back inside pulling at her coat telling me that she wanted some milk. That girl was tired!
- Whitman had his nap and when the kids came in they had to have showers. They were soaking wet-I had watched them throwing ice, knocking ice off of things, trying to carry a huge ice chunk up to the tree house, sledding on a tiny hill and even sledding on their bottoms. When Campbell climbed in the shower her bottom was bright red. I thought she was having a huge allergic reaction until I realized her rear was freezing cold!
- We read science, they watched a movie and then Nonna and Pops came over with supper. The kids were happy to see them and had a zillion questions for Nonna wearing her sunglasses (eye surgery). Now Campbell saw Pops come around to open the door for Nonna and get her out of the car. Campbell said "maybe her arm is sore too and she can not open the door."
- We had pizza and even celebrated Anderson's 7th birthday with a huge cupcake a few days early. But the kids were most excited about getting to play with Nonna and Pops for a bit. My Graham even made sure to clean up the bonus room before he came downstairs when everyone left-love that stinker!
- After a bit more cleaning, it was soon time for bed for my group of soon to be movie stars! Wish us luck tomorrow-I am sure it will all be interesting!
On our way home from this years road trip in September, we stopped at the midpoint of Route 66. Not a whole lot was happening there but a pretty fun place to stretch our legs for a few minutes. Just a few days earlier we had been at the ending of route 66 in LA and next year we hope to complete the journey and find the beginning in Chicago.
Here is the post from that trip.
Here is the post from that trip.