2011 Dennie Resolutions

Well, here goes-our list of resolutions for the year 2011


1. Weigh less than 190 at Christmas

2. Read through the Bible

3. Take a hot air balloon ride


1. Have 6 family nights, 6 game nights and 6 movie nights throughout the year

2. Weigh less that I do now

3. Pray with the kids before each meal


1. Go ice skating

2. Play with our family

3. More movie nights


1. Go play putt-putt

2. Go bowling

3. Go swimming


1. Play with Mom and Dad

2. Learn go to the potty (Mom helped with this one)

3. Play with Reagan, Anderson and Campbell


1. Learn to walk

2. Meet Cinderella

3. Sleep in a bedroom with her sister


Here are our 2010 resolutions and how we did on them:


1. Lose 30 pounds-achieved 6/24 and failed 6/25-12/31

2. Read 6 books-failed (he did read 3 possibly 4)

3. Fix the front flower beds-achieved 6/19


1. Exercise 3x a week-achieved and failed (I did for a few months)

2. Read to the kids everyday-achieved (well, most days)

3. Cook a meal every other week-better but still failed


1. Learn how to read so I can read to Graham, Anderson and Campbell-achieved (she is doing really well reading)

2. Play games-achieved

3. Draw more pictures-achieved (just ask Ms. Stacy at school)


1. Go bowling-failed

2. Go to a fire station-achieved 1/9

3. Make a snowman-achieved 2/8


1. Stop screaming-failed…miserably

2. Talk more-achieved by June

3. Fly on an airplane-achieved 3 plane trips


1. Learn to eat cereal-achieved 5/28

2. See lots of states-achieved (21 total-Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Texas)

3. Have a first birthday party-achieved 12/21

IKEA Excursion plus more: December 31, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

(click here for a video)

Well the night wasn’t as restful as we had planned.  I must have been excited about shopping and stayed awake until 2 and then as I was getting tired, I noticed Anderson was sitting up.  I crawled down to help him with his covers and he said that he couldn’t sleep (he had been snoring only a few minutes ago).  Anyway, we laid on his sleeping bag until 3 and then he had to potty-which didn’t wake up Graham but did wake Campbell who screamed until she had milk, which woke Reagan up for a few minutes.  After all was quiet again, Anderson and I ended up in the other bed.  By 4, Anderson had finally gone to sleep when Graham started whimpering “daddy, daddy” at home we would have ignored him but here it was the most pitiful thing ever.  I took Graham and his milk to Robby and they went on to sleep and then I finally did a little after 4.  We were all stirring by 7:45 and out to eat breakfast pretty swiftly.

The breakfast was big and the kids were thrilled.  Waffles, omelets, yogurt, bacon, cinnamon rolls, muffins, eggs, french toast, granola, potatoes and juice-makes for some pretty happy kids.  They were shoveling it in as quick as we could get it to the table.  All around the breakfast area, they have lots of fountains that have pennies in them.  Reagan asked if you make a wish does it really come true.  I said, well sometimes it does.  She said if her wish didn’t come true she would say “humph, I wasted my money on that wish and it didn’t come true!”  Graham can’t get over how big the hotel is and how high the elevators go.  That is all that he can talk about during the day…of course, everywhere we have been today, we can still see our hotel when we are getting in and out of the car. 

We were at IKEA a little bit before 10 when they opened.  Reagan and Anderson were ready to go to the play area.  But since Graham isn’t potty trained he couldn’t go.  It bothered him last time we were at an IKEA but this time Robby told him they were going to “class” and that we had candy and he had no problem seeing them go away!  We found what we had come for-table for the living room, lamp for the den and living room, a storage cabinet for Graham’s room (which they didn’t have in stock) and even a light fixture for the kitchen.  We even found lots that we didn’t come for-lots of storage containers, a moose that has on a pair of socks, light bulbs and even a lamp that we don’t know where we will put. 

After we checked out and stuffed the car full, we went back in for lunch around 1.  Kids meals were free so everyone had just what they wanted-mac and cheese for the boys and pasta for Reagan.  Campbell had had so much shopping that she had fallen asleep in the stroller.  She was a pretty patient shopper but she likes to keep moving.  It did help that there were a million people in the store today and she had plenty to look at.  Graham isn’t that patient of a shopper.  We had to keep him contained in the shopping cart and feed him candy for the whole hour that Reagan and Anderson were playing. 

After lunch, we came back over to the hotel.  Usually, it takes forever to get the kids to put on their clothes or change clothes but where they saw there bathing suits they were naked and suited up in no time at all.  Then they had to wait on Robby and me to blow up all the floatees-1 ring, 1 big blue ring and 6 armies.  We went downstairs and were the only ones in the pool for awhile.  The water was decent temperature-everyone really enjoyed it.  Reagan and Anderson are getting very brave.  Anderson had even improved since we had been swimming last time.  Graham on the other hand didn’t want us the throw him and kept swallowing lots of water unlike last time.  At one time though, he did have me take off his ring because he wanted to go under the water like Dad.  We tried but he didn’t close his mouth!  After a while swimming, I inched over to the connected hot tub and held on to Campbell while she floated in the other pool and soon the other 3 and Robby had come to the hot tub too.

Back in the room, everyone had baths which took quite a while.  Graham was getting into everything so Robby laid down with him and within 3 minutes they were both snoring.  We finally woke them up and everyone got ready to leave for the evening.  On the way out, they were having the Manager’s Reception downstairs with free drinks and cokes.  So we stopped for a few minutes before driving a few blocks to the California Pizza Kitchen to pick up a BBQ pizza for us and a cheese pizza for the kids.  We also picked up a few pieces of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.  While we waited on the pizza, we had planned on walking through the Disney store but it had already closed so we just watched the people ice skate for a few minutes.

Back in the room, we started our New Year’s Eve Celebration.  We began with a few pictures-notice the cowboy hats-we are in Texas!  (and I didn’t have any New Year’s hats).  Then we had a few coloring pages for the kids to do while we prepared the pizza.  We all ate our pizza and the excitement was building for the countdown.  After we finished the pizza, we worked on our resolutions for 2011 and discussed how well we had done on accomplishing the 2010 resolutions-I will post a list of them tomorrow.  We counted down at approximately 7:54.  We had the streamers ready but they missed fired-not surprising considering they had been shaken for the last hour.  After shouting Happy New Year, we opened up a big container of cookies that we had bought for the occasion.  I had told the kids that they could have one and then they could get another one.  Graham must not have understood because he would get one, take a bite, put it back and then get another one.  He must have truly though that it was a sampler platter.  The kids called all of the grandparents to tell them about the day and wish them a Happy New Year.  They then had a few pieces of candy-Campbell saw them, crawled across the room, pulled up and stuck out her hand until she was given a bite too. 

We put on our pajamas and everyone went to bed-3 of the 4 are in a new spot tonight so hopefully tonight will be more restful!  

IKEA Excursion plus more: December 30, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

(Click here for video)

Tuesday night, Robby mentioned driving to Dallas for the New Year Holiday and since I had some IKEA gift cards to spend, I jumped on it.  We were out to eat when he thought about it and once we came home he quickly booked our hotel-we were IKEA bound (actually, Frico Texas bound)
With only one day to pack and plan, the kids were still ready to get on the road as soon as they woke up.  Anderson was the first one up and was ready to put on his clothes when I mentioned it.  Graham was asking about the hotel as soon as Robby lifted him out of bed. 
Pretty soon after breakfast, the kids were looking out the door waiting on Nonna and Pops to come over and they saw Grandpa’s truck pull in the driveway.  They couldn’t have been happier because within a few minutes, all the grandparents were there and everyone had the full attention of one person.  They loved it. 
Nonna brought me a piece of chocolate pie and some fruit for the kids and Grannymom brought a big tin of popcorn.  I immediately ate the pie, the kids had 3 bowls apiece of popcorn for a snack and they had the fruit in the car as their lunch.  When the grandparents were all here, they all ended up in the garage watching everyone ride scooters, bikes and trikes.  I spent this time to run back and forth between the house and the car to load up as much stuff as I could.  After everyone left, Campbell had her morning nap and everyone else played and then watching a movie as they devoured the popcorn tin.
Robby was home around noon and we loaded up and were on the road a little bit before 1.  The kids were going strong and we were only asked about how much longer a few (hundred) times.  We tell them how much longer in Arthur movies-so when we left it was 10 Arthur movies left but the time seemed to pass well and soon we were saying only 2 movies left.  We stopped in Texarkana for a Sonic drink and bathroom stop.  Everyone got their own drink so it was not a surprise when we had to stop a few more miles down the road for another bathroom stop. 
Campbell usually takes a long afternoon nap but I guess she was to excited about going to Texas because she didn’t take a nap until the last 45 minutes in the car.  Graham has a quick snooze but was only asleep for 30-45 minutes himself.  Everyone did very well and we were nearing our supper stop in pretty good time.
We ate at Pappacitas and everyone was on their best behavior.  The wait was fairly short but we did have time to go to the bathroom before our name was called.  The music in the bathroom was so noisy that Graham put his hands over his ears but within a minute or two he was dancing the salsa while waiting on everyone to finish.  We had chips, salsa, cheese dip (which Graham ate his weight in), mac and cheese and quesadillas for the kids and lots of enchiladas for Robby and me.  We all could have split one dish but ended up stuffing ourselves.  Though the kids must have been hungry because Robby get the beans in front of Campbell quick enough, Anderson ate most of his mac, Reagan loved her beans and Graham was stuffing it in his mouth so quick his fork wouldn’t work that fast so he had to use his hands. 
Most of the trip down here, Graham had been on hotel watch pointed out the hotels.  Needless to say, he was very pleased when we finally found our hotel.  We are at an Embassy Suites-and if you look at our pictures of the kids in the room, you can see why Robby picked this hotel…IKEA is right behind us.  Oh, happy day!  After getting to the hotel, we found our room-stocked with two pack n plays, extra blankets and sheets (what could be better).  We walked around and scouted out the breakfast area (which Reagan is excited about-though she is disappointed that we are only staying for 2 nights instead of 10 as we did on our last vacation)  The boys were thrilled with our glass elevator ride to the 12th floor and back down to our 7th floor room. 
After our walk through, we talked to Nonna and Pops on the computer and then everyone took a turn talking to Grannymom and Grandpa on the phone.  Then it was time for bed-Graham in one pack n play in the bathroom, Reagan and Anderson in their sleeping bags in the front room and Campbell in her pack n play with them….
But someone has just started pulling up and did this repeatedly in their crib because it caused Reagan and Anderson to laugh hysterically.  Eventually, the big kids were moved to the bedroom area and at last it was peaceful in the room.  A big day tomorrow, shopping, swimming, eating and ringing in the new year.

Dennie Kids: December 29, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Anderson and Campbell had their check ups this morning.  Dad was able to go with us and we needed all of the help we could get.  The kids were good but we do tend to get a little noisy waiting in the exam room.
  • Campbell’s ears were all good but she still needed a prescription for her bottom.  She didn’t want Dr. Martin to look at her or listen to her but did fine.  She did immediately scream when she was given her three shots but calmed quickly when Mom picked her up (though she was still a little mad)
  • Anderson talked to Dr. Martin and even said we wore our helmets when he rides his bike (he doesn’t-but we don’t ride much) and he said that apples were his favorite veggie (Mom needs to work on that concept but she was at least relieved that he didn’t say candy!”
  • Anderson had three shots-two in one leg and one in the other.  He flinched and cried a little but held it together.  Though Reagan and Graham looked on in horror-they were holding on to each other as they watched the nurse poke him and then as a tiny bit of blood dripped from his leg they started getting upset.  (Graham has been talking about Anderson’s blood dripping for the rest of the day)
  • And if Anderson hadn’t enough, Mom and Dad opted for him to have his blood drawn for an allergy test.  Dad went in the room with him as Mom and the others waited outside.  (Brought back bad memories for Mom of when Anderson was a baby and they had to retake his blood and the lab people couldn’t take it and they stuck and stuck and stuck him)  They told Anderson they were going to take his “muscle juice” out.  Dad said he flinched but then was fine but Dad saw just as the nurses when his blood stopped coming and they had to do the other arm.  When he walked out and saw Mom, he just looked pitiful.  But after 3 stickers (that he said he wasn’t going to share but he decided to anyway) and a juice box he was better.
  • Getting in the car, Anderson said that he was a “hurt boy” and couldn’t get into the car without help and then he couldn’t buckle without help.  Mom decided that a trip to Grannymom’s would make him feel better.  Then while Mom was running to Kroger she must have still been feeling bad, because she left with a few gallons of milk and a bike!  (it was on clearance)
  • Coming home and riding the bike for a few minutes in the garage-it is just the right size for Anderson now (and will work for Reagan for a bit).  Graham screamed for about an hour at naptime and Reagan and Anderson got into a fight so everyone was sent to their real beds for nap.  And then a miracle happened….everyone fell asleep-sound asleep and Mom packed like a packing fool!
  • Dad coming home and taking us all out to eat at Sams.  Anderson had an icee that he was owed and claimed it quickly.  While we were out and about, Graham told Mom and Dad that he would see them later and that he was going to take them back to jail!
  • After a few more stops we were home and everyone was tucked in bed…with visions of Dallas dancing in their heads 

Dennie Kids: December 28, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Getting a move on things early this morning but we didn’t even have anywhere to go.  We were finished with breakfast and reading magazines by 9
  • Mom read some many books and magazines this morning that she finally had to stop because her voice was getting a little hoarse. 
  • Campbell spent her morning trying to pull up on things (her first time to really do this).  She succeeded at the train table, bathtub and the doorstop in Mom’s room (which was quite surprising and entertaining to watch since it is just an inch off of the ground)
  • During Campbell’s morning nap, we built a log cabin, played the oreo cookie game, worked a US puzzle and played hopscotch twister.  After all of that, Mom still had time to fix lunch before she woke up
  • Reagan is still going on her reading book (we are now moving ever so slowly because it has gotten harder).  Anderson wants his turn too but Mom isn’t starting it yet with him so he just retells the stories to Mom and acts like he is reading and he gets so proud of himself.
  • Reagan has now decided that she likes her naptime alone and not with Anderson so she opts to sleep on the floor of her room until time for a movie.  But Anderson falls asleep immediately if he is in Mom’s bed alone so he only gets a very short nap until Reagan comes back in. 
  • A snack and movie after nap and then out to Kroger.  We browsed the Christmas aisle but then scurried out when Anderson started riding the bikes up and down the aisle.  Next stop was Cheeburger Cheeburger.  They ate their burgers (a tiny bit) but they swallowed up the milkshakes.  Everyone was screaming for more-especially Campbell.
  • On the way home, the kids are watching a movie and then we hear Graham’s voice…”Simon says, put your hand on your head.  Simon says, put your hand down.  Simon says, put your hand in your mouth.  Put your hand down.”-Dad tried to ask him where he plays Simon says but he didn’t know.  Craziness.

Dennie Kids: December 27, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Dad went to work this morning and the rest of us hurried around to get our clothes on so we could go shopping.  Even though we were ready early, we didn’t manage to leave the house until after 10.  Campbell was too busy eating, Reagan was busy playing with her zhu zhu pet and the boys were busy with the stomp rocket
  • We shopped a little at Walmart buying containers so Mom could put all of our tiny little pieces out of Campbell’s reach but we also made a trip through the Christmas stuff.  Mom found the perfect paper plates for Campbell’s birthday party next year.  Then she spotted the napkins and Reagan was ecstatic about the find.  She was just beside herself when the paper cups showed up too.
  • Back home, Campbell had a nap and Mom worked on the den while everyone else worked against Mom.  Eventually, the den and Christmas presents were fairly well put up (except for one laundry basket).  We had lunch next, read lots of book but the kids seemed to only remember the part of one when a man had a clothes pin on his nose
  • After lunch, we tried to read some more-Graham went upstairs to watch the fish in his room and Reagan and Anderson started wrestling with Campbell.  Mom shut the book and sent everyone to bed-Anderson and Reagan ended up in separate rooms and Mom eventually had to wake Anderson up when Reagan wanted to watch a movie (he smiled, looked at Mom and said “I just needed a little short rest”)
  • Dad was home soon and supper was soup and cheese dip for everyone.  The kids spent the rest of the evening playing.  Graham did ask if Belle could come in and open her Christmas present.  Dad said yes and brought her in but Reagan and Anderson didn’t see her come in.  So Mom in her meanness encouraged Dad to let Belle go near them…even though Belle just passed them by they stood up, screaming and running.  Mom and Dad were laughing so hard they were crying and Reagan and Anderson were so upset they were crying.  Reagan said she thought it was a big brown bear. 
  • After everyone calmed down and changed their pants (ha) the kids enjoyed petting Belle and opening her Christmas present.  Campbell set in her seat the entire time and just watched everything with her big blue eyes. 

Videos from Christmas 2010

Click here for video #1 - Brock's Christmas (Dec. 24, 2010)
Click here for video #2 - Christmas morning at our house (Dec. 25, 2010)
Click here for video #3 - Christmas morning at our house (Dec. 25, 2010)
Click here for video #4 - Dennie's Christmas (Dec. 25, 2010)

Dennie Kids: December 26, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Since church was later this morning we had plenty of time to eat breakfast.  Campbell had most of a pop tart and all of a waffle-she is feeling much, much better.  Reagan was thrilled that she was able to wear her sparkly Christmas dress again and the boys were not to pleased that Mom put them in their sweaters again-they get so hot!
  • Dad had to get to church early so we had a bit of time to play.  We listened to the music, found Pops, had our own little Dennie storytime at the library, rode in the elevator, looked at the nativity scene and found Nonna before dropping off everyone off to their classes-it was pretty easy this morning since Nonna was working in Graham’s class
  • After church, we all headed to Nonna’s house to eat and play.  The kids are still pretty revved up from all of their gifts and were going strong.  After lunch, Reagan told Mom that there was something in her back tooth-Mom noticed something else and sent Reagan to the mirror.  She then she saw it too-she had lost her second bottom tooth.  Nonna and Pops immediately went to work searching through the 3 ears of corn she had eaten but as Mom walked by she saw the tiny tooth in her chair.  Reagan was delighted with her new missing tooth and started singing “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth”-just a day late 
  • As soon as we came home, everyone went to bed.  Reagan and Anderson were in Mom’s room but after resting Mom turned on Princess and the Frog and Anderson decided he just wanted to go to his room.  He ended up taking a long afternoon nap
  • Reagan woke up in time to see Grannymom and Grandpa-they came over for a few minutes.  After they left, Reagan got to work on her Magic Fabric maker.  She was pretty pleased and made 2 things.  Mom and Dad got to work on taking down the Christmas tree. 
  • When Campbell woke up from her nap, she was in her pack n play fussing.  Graham came running to Mom shouting “get her out of her cage!”  After quite a bit more work and quite a bit of help, most of the house was back on order after Christmas (all except one room where Mom just shoved our Christmas presents)
  • A late supper and then bed for everyone-Reagan is trying her hardest to get Anderson to stop talking so they can go to sleep and the tooth fairy can come by

Merry Christmas: December 25, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

Click here for video #1 - Christmas morning at our house (Dec. 25, 2010)
Click here for video #2 - Christmas morning at our house (Dec. 25, 2010)
Click here for video #3 - Dennie's Christmas (Dec. 25, 2010)

Graham was the first one to stir this morning with his yell “Momma, I want outta here”-over and over again til Dad came and brought him to our room.  Of course, he didn’t know that it was Christmas Day so he just laid in bed while Mom and then Dad took their showers.  Graham had his milk and had started watching his movie.  He didn’t remember about Santa but he sure remembered that Grannymom, Grandpa, Nonna, Pops and Jason were all coming over to eat cinnamon rolls.  Next was Anderson and Reagan waking up around 6:45.  Reagan thought Santa had come but still thought it was Christmas Eve.  She was ready to go downstairs though and check things out.  Anderson was just getting cozy in the bed with his milk when Dad finally came back upstairs with Campbell and the okay to head downstairs.
Last year, Reagan was disappointed because Santa didn’t have what she had asked for-but this year he did-a Lalaloopsy doll!  And she was very pleased.  Everyone was.  As Anderson walked down the stairs, he put his hands on his head and screamed.  Graham was so excited about his Stinky.  It took Anderson a minute to see his roundhouse but then he was delighted.  Reagan and Campbell briefly noticed the kitchen but quickly moved on to other things!  (Thought they did play with it quite a bit this afternoon) 
We took turns opening presents-some of the highlights were backpacks, toothbrushes, candy and socks for all.  Reagan got her Lalaloopsy, a magic fabric machine, my little pony, strawberry shortcake, hopscotch twister, hello kittys and a blanket.  Anderson opened his roundhouse, a turn table, lincoln logs, a train, pictureaka game and a spaceship/space station to share with Graham.  Graham had his stinky, a train, a space vehicle, gator golf and an oreo cookie game.  Campbell had quite a few sets of felt food, a purse, stacking cups and a Snow White doll.  Dad had a new tv waiting for him, lottery tickets, extension cords and an icee maker.  Mom opened an ikea gift card, two bags, granola, a picture frame and two shirts.
It did look like Toys R Us had thrown up in the living room by the time that we were finished.  The kids were overwhelmed and we did spend more of the day opening things.  Reagan has pretty much opened everything with only one thing left.  Anderson has a few things that he doesn’t even know that he opened.  It was a pretty good mix of presents.  The favorites are probably the Lalaloopsy, roundhouse and stinky but they have all spent quite a bit of time playing with the spaceship-at one time today, all of the my little ponies were taking a ride on it.
Mom had made 100 cinnamon rolls and around 8:30 everyone showed up to have a few.  Pops had to bring his coffee pot so we had plenty of coffee and plenty of cinnamon rolls.  The kids enjoyed showing off their presents and everyone enjoyed the cinnamon rolls.  After everyone had left, Dad took a nap while Jason helped everyone build a new train track.  They worked and worked on getting one just right and really enjoyed it.  Graham did join Dad on the couch and wanted to put on Mom’s new snuggie-her and Dad have matching ones. 
Campbell had a short nap and before we knew it, it was time to load up and head to Dana and Brad’s house for Christmas lunch.  The kids each took one of their toys but didn’t really want to get them out since they were much more interested in what Lilly and Cash had.  Santa had been good to them too.  During lunch Graham started saying that he wanted to go to his house.  Eventually, Mom and Dad noticed the Cash had on a mask and Graham was just scared.  After Cash took off his mask and showed Graham that he was just him, he calmed down and decided to stay a little bit long.  After lunch, the kids had plenty of time to play but soon it was time to come back home for a quick rest.  
Back at home, everyone had a rest and then rushed around to make to to Grannymom’s house for presents and supper.  Les, Shelley, Josh and Zach were already there and the kids were getting anxious. Soon Lilly and Cash arrived and we started passing out presents.  30 minutes later we were still passing out presents but finally started-going oldest to youngest.  It was a long time to wait between turns but the kids did well.  The kids ended up with alot of loot-a pillow pet, zhu zhu pets, legos…tons of stuff.  The favorite for the boys was the stomp rocket.  Reagan’s favorite will be her zhu zhu pet but she sure did enjoy the “boy toy” of the stomp rocket.  After presents, we had soup and sandwiches-but the kids were too busy begging Mom to open more and more presents for them.  Anderson was looking for more crackers and Aunt Shelley told him that Uncle Les finished them off.  He promptly told her that that was not funny.  They did all enjoy watching Aunt Shelley put together Zach’s light brite-but since there were 5 kids watching and helping, Zach didn’t want to play too long with it.
Soon it was time to go but they weren’t ready at all.  We made it home and read our last night of what God wants for Christmas.  Tonight Reagan opened up the present of what God wants for Christmas and it was a mirror (me is what she should have saw) but Reagan was quite perplexed about why God wanted a mirror for Christmas. 
It was a great Christmas and now it will take about 3 weeks to get the house back into order!

Christmas Ornament Countdown -Merry Christmas

It's is Christmas Day so instead of one ornament to look at, you get two!  (Actually, mIMG_0807y math was a little off and I still have 2 to tell you about from this year)

The first is the flag from Fort McHenry.  We first saw this flag at the Smithsonian in DC and then we saw the spot that it hung at Fort McHenry.  Robby, Reagan, Anderson and Graham braved the rainy weather to go and climb around on the fort.

(Click here for pictures from the trip)

The next ornament is from the beginning of our DC to Maine adventure.  Our very first stop and we just had a little bit of time to make it there and tour the place.  The Air and Space Museum at Dulles closed only a few hours afteIMG_0816 r our plane landed so we beat it over there and made it in plenty of time.  The kids enjoyed seeing the planes and were impressed with the space ship.  It was a great first stop to a great trip!

(Click here for pictures from the trip)

Trash to Treasure

I had seen this on a few blogs and thought the girls needed a new spiffy kitchen.  I finally found a suitable nightstand and snatched it up.  I was a little uneasy wondering if my 6 dollar nightstand from Savers could look as cute as the pictures I had seen of this project but it didn’t disappoint.

Of course, we didn’t take any before pictures but just imagine a dark brown old nightstand with one drawer missing-that is what Robby saw when I brought it home.  Soon, the plans were drawn and I started gathering my supplies and getting my handyman on board.  I think that James was doubting the plan at first too (I did have some doubts after it was all painted white) but he did an awesome job.  Of course, I can’t do any of the handiwork but he did it just like I would want. 
He cut the hole for the sink, put on a back board, installed the faucet (a screaming deal on amazon-shipped for 13 bucks), hung the shelf, pictures, hooks and chalk board.  Also, he took the front off of the drawer and made it into an oven drawer along with putting on a new handle.  I am sure there is something that I have forgotten but it did turn out pretty great -- all for about $40!

Oh, I can’t wait for Reagan and Campbell to see it!

Christmas Eve: December 24, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

It was a pretty lazy Christmas Eve morning.  Everyone slept well and Campbell continues to feel better each day.  She even ate today-the first time really all this week.  The highlight of the morning was baths before breakfast.  The big kids in one tub and the little ones in the other.  Graham could have stayed in the bathtub forever playing contently by himself.  Mom couldn’t get over how much he seemed to enjoy the bath today.  Campbell enjoys the bath as long as you aren’t spraying her down. 
After getting on clothes, everyone headed downstairs to eat.  The boys are on a pop tart kick right now and Campbell and Reagan love their jelly toast.  Mom had some Christmas cards for everyone to finish coloring.  After that they played for awhile and then the fussing started.  Since we were going to have a long day, Mom thought that an early morning rest time might be in order.  Campbell and Graham went to sleep without a fuss and Reagan and Anderson rested quietly on Mom’s bed.  When they all got up, we couldn’t hold them off any longer because they were ready to go to Nonna’s house and open presents.
Beebee and Papaw were there and waiting on us and everyone seemed hungry when we arrived.  Nonna’s chocolate pie was excellent but the kids favorites were the baked beans.  Campbell did enjoy the pinto bean salad.  The kids all ate decent-but were too interested in going to play.  Actually, all Anderson could think about was getting up in the attic to look for the model train set that Jason had 30 years ago.  He soon forgot about this when Pops mentioned present time. 
The kids all helped pass out presents and they took their jobs pretty seriously.  We hadn’t really talked about taking turns but they did so without a problem.  Reagan was pretty adamant that the oldest was to go first and she started rattling off the order.  Mom reminded her that Papaw was the oldest so he would be the first one.  That still made her the first of the kids so she was pleased.  The favorite gifts were Belle doll (Reagan), Pops’ shot gun (Anderson), train track (Graham), Sleepy (Campbell), money (Robby) and the rolling cart (Tara).  We quickly tore through a pile of presents larger than the state of Rhode Island!  As soon as the kids would open something they were ready to take it out of the box.
Nonna had everyone an outfit or two in a box to open.  Anderson opened his, made a face and then promptly put the lid back on.  He did say thank you when Mom prompted him but clothes were not his thing. Though Reagan and Graham seemed pretty excited about their clothes.  Even though he wasn’t happy about his clothes, he was interested in his shoes he got-which is odd because he could have cared less about trying them on in the store.  I wish I had a video of him putting the lid back on the box-trying his hardest to be polite!
After a little bit of playing and snacking, it was time to go to church.  Dad had a packaged on the porch at home so him and Graham ran home to take a load and get the box out of the rain.  They made it back just in time and we all piled in the car.  Since Graham had been with Dad he didn’t get to get out of the car.  So when he started screaming as we were leaving, Mom was trying to tell him we were coming back and yada yada yada.  Finally, she asked what was wrong since he kept screaming (we were already all the way down Nonna’s street).  He said “Daddy got my fingers”-Mom looked and his fingers were smashed in the door.  She hurdled the seat as Dad was opening the door. He was fine and escaped without a bruise but was a little shaken.  Mom worked on calming him down and changing his clothes on the way to church.
At church, they had child care but who wants to go to class on Christmas Eve.  So everyone went with us.  The kids did great-it did help having almost 2 adults per child.  Reagan bounced between Nonna and Grannymom.  Anderson spent most of his time in Pops’ lap-sleeping the last half.  Graham was pretty much all over the place and Campbell enjoyed it all but was a squirmy thing.  She did raise both of her hands during the music once. 
When it was time for candles, Reagan was down the row from Mom but Mom could tell she was thrilled to do her own candle.  Graham and Dad worked together on a candle.  Anderson had just woken up but he didn’t want to do a candle.  Their little eyes were wide open-seeing the candle light fill the church
Millie and Carter were in the hall so everyone played with them for a bit.  As we were pulling out of the parking lot, Reagan said “wait, we didn’t go to classes, this is the best church day ever”-she seemed to like skipping class!  Graham was worried that Dad knew the way back to Nonna’s house but we made it just fine.  We attempted a group photo and had a snack before playing a bit more and then putting on pajamas. 
At home, we threw out our reindeer food for Rudolph and all of the others to eat.  It looked like snow falling in the pictures but it was just oats, red hots and glitter (yes, I let my kids touch glitter)  Dad even threw some on top of the house so the reindeer could see it better.  Once inside we worked on our Santa cookies.  Anderson opened the box with the Wise Men in it and everyone took a turn pulling down Santa.  Tonight was the big night, Santa fell into the chimney.  While we waited on the cookies, Dad read Twas the Night Before Christmas. 
It is funny the nights that everyone goes to bed without a fuss…and this was one of those nights.  They are so excited about Santa coming in the morning.  Mom did remind them about not being able to wake up before 7-hopefully, someone will remember.  Anderson is very worried though that Santa doesn’t know what a round house is.  He said that if he doesn’t know what it is then he can’t get it for him.  Mom tried to assure him that Santa could probably find one on the internet.

Christmas Ornament Countdown -1 Day Til Christmas

We stumbled upon the Seashore Trolley Museum and it was one of the highlights of the trip.  We IMG_0810 had a short drive that day and Robby nor I could find something to fill our time with.  I finally found a blub about a trolley museum in one of our books but then when we googled it on the road, it looked like it was outside.  Since it was misting, we hesitated but did decide to just go and look in.  Along came a downpour so we ran in and bought our tickets.  They said the trolley was leaving in a few minutes so we boarded a trolley and road the line, then we did it again in another trolley.  Next we walked through huge trolley barns where we could climb on the trolleys.  The boys had the time of their lives.  Such a neat memory.

(Click here for pictures of the trip)

Videos from Campbell’s Birthday Party

A few days late but I’ve posted a few videos taken at Campbell’s 1st birthday party!

(click here for video #1) (click here for video #2)  (click here for video #3)

Dennie Kids: December 23, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

Click here for a video

  • Since Dad was off today, everyone was downstairs following him around this morning.  Before long we were heading out for a little last minute Christmas shopping.  We even stopped at Kroger and Dad ran in.  He later came back out with a shopping cart full but then Mom had to go in because Dad had forgotten to get the only 2 things that were on his list!
  • We ran by Grannymom’s so Mom could work a little bit on one of the girls’ presents (more on that another day).  Cash was over and the kids enjoyed playing monster with him.  Grannymom and Grandpa came over to our house for lunch-more soup.  Graham was so glad to have an excuse to get the card table out-he loves putting it together
  • Yesterday, Mom was calling Anderson her “hero” because he had seen Campbell near the edge of the steps and he called Mom while placing himself between her and the steps.  Today, Reagan had to do the same thing.  Mom is going to have to put a lock on that gate so Graham can’t open it himself and leave it open.
  • Reagan and Anderson worked on their train track in the living room and then worked on a Christmas project until it was time for naptime.  Anderson had to go to bed a few minutes early but he must have been tired because he didn’t put up a fuss.  Reagan did some of her workbook and Graham screamed forever until he finally calmed down for his nap (unusual but Dad being home might have changed his routine)  Campbell slept well but she had spit up pretty good at needed a bath when she woke up.  Her tummy still isn’t 100% and now her little bottle is sore too
  • Going out to look at Christmas lights.  Our first place was Burns Park.  The kids were amazed at all of the lights.  Campbell was even talking.  The favorites were the light tunnel and the snowflake tunnel.  Next was a quick bite to eat at Sonic and then to the capitol.  We weren’t going to get out since it was late but decided to anyway.  The kids enjoyed the snowflakes and the bridge.  Reagan was interested in the marble walls and wondered how they didn’t slip down.  Anderson was intrigued with where the “judgers” sat.

Christmas Ornament Countdown -2 Days Til Christmas

I had read about Ogunquit Maine in one of our kids travel books.  It looked beautiful and since IMG_0809 we were passing nearby on our DC to Maine adventure, I thought that we should stop.  The town was quaint and the beach was pretty incredible.  It was so shallow the kids could have waded out a long ways-except the water was ice cold!  They didn't seem to mind too much and had a blast.  It was such a good time, that I thought we needed an ornament to remember the fun before we left town.

(Click here for pictures from the trip)

Dennie Kids: December 22, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • The kids spent the first part of the morning playing tent in the kitchen.  Mom put the big black sheet over the table and we had our sleeping bags down too.  The even had breakfast in there.  Everyone finally had to get out a few minutes after Campbell came along….
  • Campbell’s tummy is still not back to normal.  She abundantly filled her diaper and many parts of the kitchen floor (including their tent) this morning.  Other than a few messy mishaps, she is pretty much back to her old self.  We will see though how the night goes since she has taken her new antibiotic tonight
  • Grannymom called and asked if we wanted to go to Rock Creek (she only gave us a 15 minute warning) but we managed to all get our clothes on (Mom was the only one ready), unlaod the dishwasher and pick up downstairs before leaving.  Trust me, that is some pretty quick moving.  The kids move fast when you mention Rock Creek
  • We weren’t the only other ones with that idea.  Along with Lilly and Cash, Reagan had Noah and Alyssa Kate from her class to play with and Graham had Caroline from his class to play with.  At one time, Mom was able to count 50 people at the bottom so at least 80 were there.  Pretty wild but Campbell had a blast sliding down the tiny slide.  Once you put her up there, she would scoot, scoot, scoot to the edge and then slide down. 
  • When we made it home, we had our lunch, said our Bible verses, did a worksheet and even worked on a Christmas project (Mom is thinking that this one isn’t going to work out either-poo).Sometime during the middle of our project, Mom looked over and Campbell was snoozing in her chair.  She had missed her morning nap and now was pretty tired.  We just let her sleep there until it was time for nap and then she was moved to her bed-and she still was the last one up.
  • Dad came home during nap time and everyone was glad to see him.  We ran a few errands this evening and even ended up at Burger King and the kids were able to slide a few times.  There was a birthday party happening there-Reagan was more interested in watching the girl open her presents than anyone else.  We were sitting so close to the party that Mom thought they might just get a piece of cake or a goodie bag to take home
  • Coming home for a few minutes of play time.  Anderson and Reagan used his nerf gun to shoot down Mom’s nativity people.  Oh, well, at least they were playing nicely together-even if they were shooting the 3 Wise Men.
  • I forgot to mention, the other day, Dad brought home flowers for Campbell’s party and Anderson so them and shouted “are those for Mom?” and then he made a big deal about bringing them in and handing them to Mom.  He might just be quite the lady’s man.

Christmas Ornament Countdown -3 Days Til Christmas

We stumble upon so many neat things on our trips and this was one of those events.  At the New IMG_0820 Orleans Jazz NHP they were having a jazz concert.  We decided to sit down and listen for a few minutes and soon the park ranger brought tambourines for the kids to have.  They played their tambourines and danced to the music.  And when it was over, they even received jr. ranger badges.  No one has yet noticed, the missing tambourine, so it is now the largest ornament on the tree.

(Click here for pictures from the trip)

Happy Birthday Campbell: December 21, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

(click here for video #1) (click here for video #2)  (click here for video #3)

  • Everyone woke up and got ready pretty quick today-this was the last day for school for Reagan and Anderson for the break.  Of course, when Mom told that to Anderson he said “for forever?” thinking he was completely done with school.
  • Graham and Campbell went to Nonna’s house.  Graham didn’t mind when Mom left but Campbell wasn’t too pleased.  Though as the morning wore on, Graham told Nonna many times that he wanted to go to his house!
  • Mom picked up Reagan and Anderson and then everyone had lunch at Nonna’s house.  And since it was little Campbell’s birthday, we celebrated with a pink cake (one made just like Reagan’s 1st birthday cake at Nonna’s house).
  • Campbell knows when the party is about her and she perked up for the photo op!
  • Everyone came home and played while Mom did some final preparations for the party (ie worked like a dog)  The kids
    played until Campbell was to exhausted to stay up so then it was time for naps for everyone. 
  • Reagan, Anderson and Graham were the first ones awake (since 2 out of 3 of them never went to sleep).  They watched Mom for a little bit work on the cake and then they watched a few movies until it was time to change clothes.  Mom let the birthday girl sleep as long as she could since she still doesn’t feel that well. 
  • Mom called the doctor today and they did call in another antibiotic that might be easier on her tummy.  We will pick it up tomorrow and hopefully it will help.  Mom was very happy that she was able to keep everything down during her party!
  • A little bit before 6 the party guests started arriving for Campbell’s “soup-er” birthday party.  Jason was first, followed by Grannymom, Lilly, Grandpa, Nonna, Pops, Cash, Dana, Brad, April, Ethan and Jacob.  We had the happy birthday banners and cake up. 
  • Since it was a soup party, we had sausage and potato soup and creamy red bell pepper and tomato soup along with cheese paninis and crackers.  For dessert we had not one but two cakes.  The first was a decorated cake shaped like a Campbell’s soup can and then second was a cake made out of tomato soup. 
  • When we sang to Campbell, she tried her hardest to blow out the candles.  She didn’t quite make it but had plenty of help with them.  And the help was also around when she was opening her presents.  She knew everyone was watching her and was quite pleased with herself.  Her favorites were the dog, doll and the little trains.  And everything else was quickly claimed by the other 3.
  • After everyone left, we cleaned up and sat down to pull our Santa and do our What God Wants for Christmas box.  Reagan made a countdown chain at school and she was beyond excited to realize that she was able to pull to pieces down today.

Christmas Ornament Countdown -4 Days Til Christmas

Our New Orleans trip was a spur of the moment trip and we packed a lot in.  Bourbon street, IMG_0819 a ferry ride, the aquarium, lots of good food and a swamp tour.  The kids learned one thing during the swamp tour-alligators eat hot dogs and marshmallows.  The alligators were hard to see sometimes but the kids intently looked and watched.  We did see a few big ones-big enough that Dad started making the kids sit in the boat and not stand up-didn't want the alligator to eat any Dennie kids!

(Click here for pictures from the trip)

Dennie Kids: December 20, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • After everyone was in bed, Mom was in the kitchen and heard that dreaded sound coming from Campbell.  Mom jumped up, ran in and yuck!  Mom picked Campbell up (holding her at least 3 feet away from herself) and as they made it to the den (right in front of Dad) poor Campbell exploded again!
  • So Campbell had a bath and then Mom set her down in the kitchen while Mom worked.  Campbell just laid in the floor (looking all pitiful) until she was sick again!  Mom was sewing and when she jumped up to help Campbell her sewing project was in her hand…and then she used it to catch Campbell’s mess. 
  • After a clean up, everyone headed on to bed-especially since Mom was now finished sewing!  Campbell went to sleep without a fuss but Graham woke up quite a few times during the night.  He was just ready to wake up. 
  • Thankfully, we were able to sleep in Dad woke up a few minutes before it was time for him and Reagan to leave for school. They made it just as her class was going to the hallway to sing.
  • Campbell woke up feeling okay (she is still not 100% but better than she has been)  Mom thinks the antibiotic and all of the snot (sorry) are messing up her tummy.  But she still has that cough.  Mom called the nurse today but she said to give it another day or two.  Though Campbell did perk up later in the day
  • Anderson and Graham spent the morning following Mom around and helping her clean the bathrooms.  Anderson told Mom that he would sweep and when ever she came back into the bathroom she would catch him looking at himself in the mirror while lifting the broom like a weight-craziness!
  • Soon it was time to get in the car to pick up Reagan and then we were off to the Wonderplace.  Reagan said that waiting on Mom in the carpool line was “easy peasy lemon squeezy”  Graham was so excited when he saw Reagan coming to the car. 
  • We met Dad and headed into the Wonderplace.  This was the first time that Campbell was big enough to crawl around and do what she wanted.  She stayed with Dad in the baby section forever.  Then she ended up playing in the grocery store area with the rest of the gang.
  • Reagan’s favorite was the grocery store, Anderson loves the cars and trains but seemed to spend alot of time at the sand today, Graham doesn’t really have a favorite yet but enjoys it all.
  • Campbell donned her birthday hat and we sang Happy Birthday to her.  She knew she was the center of attention and she ate it up.  She smiled, clapped and had a big time.  After everyone else blew out her candle she rounded her lips like she was going to blow it out
  • All good things must come to an end and Campbell caused us to leave a few minutes early.  After Dad left, Mom told the kids when we would have to go but just a little bit before then, Mom reached down to pick up Campbell…but she was soaked!…and it wasn’t pee!  Needless to say, we headed to the car and scurried on home
  • Campbell had a bath and then Graham and Campbell took a nap.  Anderson and Reagan were going to get to stay up in Mom’s bed but since they had a fight about who could move the bicycle in the garage (pushing and shoving) they were sent to different rooms for nap time.  Mom took advantage of the quiet time and worked on Campbell’s cake.
  • Before Dad came home, we worked on a little Christmas project and after Dad got home, we finished our gingerbread house.  The kids could have added candy to eat forever.  They loved it.  Next year, we are going to buy the little ones, so everyone can have their own house. 
  • Our plan was to eat a Chilis but the 45 minutes wait scared us off.  So we just made our order to go.  After the ride home when Campbell decided to spew we were thankful that we were in our car and not inside the restaurant.  (This probably was due to the fact that Mom had given her a bottle on the way to Chilis and Dad gave her one, not knowing of the earlier one, while Mom was waiting for the food)
  • Reagan was not pleased that we were not eating at a restaurant so after we came home the Dennie Restaurant was opened for business (actually it was opened after Mom gave Campbell a bath and after Dad cleaned the car seat).  Dim lights, a black sheet, 3 candles and some music was all we needed to open the restaurant.
  • Reagan said that the Dennie Restaurant was the best she had ever eaten out (except for the peanut place)  The kids ate all of their food and even begged for Mom to open the restaurant another night.  It is just the little things in life! Thought if you look at the pictures, you will notice that the boys decided to take off their shirts-that is something we don’t often do in restaurants.
  • Mom knew Campbell didn’t need anything to eat but also knew she needed some food to possibly help her medicine stay down….didn’t work!  She is on a pretty good 11 pm spew pattern for the last 3 nights.  But after a bath she is just as happy as she can be.  Hopefully, the poor little thing will feel lots better in the morning.

Christmas Ornament Countdown -5 Days Til Christmas

Carlsbad Caverns was a fun part of our New Mexico trip.  The caverns were huge and a little IMG_0814 spooky.  So big and I was a little concerned that they were going to have a power failure.  The highlight was using the restroom down in the cave-they did have bathrooms down there-I didn't make my own!  This little ornament is a viewer thing-if you put it under the light all of the stalagmites and stalactites glow-pretty cool.

(Click here for pictures for the trip)

Dennie Kids: December 19, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Last night, Campbell had had a bath but when Mom went to check on her around midnight (Dad was still up working on his internet connection) she needed another bath.  The poor thing had coughed until she was sick.  After the second bath, she looked better, smelled better and must have felt better because she was ready to play!  She stayed up with Mom and Dad and played until 1 (no wonder she was tired today)
  • Reagan, Anderson and Dad getting ready for church in their Christmas duds.  Reagan was so proud of herself and her dress.  Dad said that she received tons of compliments.  She was eating it up!
  • Graham wanting to stay right beside Mom most of the morning and wanting her to hold him too.  Mom was still able to get a few things done-mostly because Campbell took a 2+ hour nap.
  • Graham asked about going to Grannymom’s a zillion times and even tried to save some candy to show her-so Mom decided to head to Grannymom’s house a few minutes early.  Campbell had just woken up and was felling good-her eyes aren’t nearly as puffy as they were yesterday
  • Reagan, Anderson and Dad showed up in time for lunch and then everyone had a few minutes to play before coming home for rest time.  Mom ran a few errands and as soon as she came home, Dad and Reagan headed out for a few more errands
  • After supper, we attempted out first gingerbread house as a family.  The goal was for us to build it tonight and decorate it tomorrow night.  The kids helped and it was standing when everyone went to bed.
  • We played a few more minutes and then it was bedtime…Anderson had a long nap today so he is still going strong!

Christmas Ornament Countdown -6 Days Til Christmas

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, Robby and I went ziplining in Colorado.  It was indescribable.IMG_0797  We had a blast and ziplined for hours and even had a gourmet lunch.  There wasn't anything at the gift shop for our ornament so we used the carabiners they gave us for our water bottles.  I guess we could have put our water bottles on the tree-hmmm, might have to check into that.  Anyway, we would recommend this trip to anyone-awesome.

(Click here for pictures from the trip)

Dennie Kids: December 18, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Graham woke up a few times in the middle of the night coughing but Campbell slept soundly.  Though when they woke up, eyes were matted shut and puffy, noses were crazy snotty and everyone felt a tiny bit warm.  So Mom, Graham and Campbell were waiting outside the clinic before 8.
  • By 8:30, Mom and the crew were headed home.  The ear that Graham said hurt had an ear infection-the doctor called it “a horrible one.”  Little Campbell had infections in both ears.  Mom and Dad think this might be her first.  Everyone was taking their first dose at lunch time.  (3 of the 4 Dennie kids are now on antibiotics-Reagan is the other since someone in her class had whooping cough)
  • Graham went with Mom to pick up the medicine and he even wanted to go out again with Mom and Reagan when they ran a few errands.  Anderson realized that if he chose to stay home, he could keep on his pajamas all day long and since he is a pajama boy he didn’t leave the house today.
  • This afternoon, we made up a few batches of reindeer food for Santa’s reindeer to eat.  We used Mom’s special recipe (things she had in the pantry): oats, red hots and glitter.  We will spread it over the yard so the reindeers will stop here. 
  • Dad had been patiently waiting since noon for his Dish man and internet man to come.  The Dish man finally came at 4 and stayed with the family until after 8.  He even had to climb into the attics-which meant Mom and Dad had to empty the pantry and empty Graham’s closet. 
  • Mom couldn’t take anymore of that excitement so she left to go grocery shopping.  Reagan and Graham couldn’t decide if they were going or not.  They changed their minds quite a few times and when they settled on not going-Mom ran out of the house before anyone could have second thoughts. 
  • Everyone stayed at home and ate on the little card table (since the table was full of Mom’s pantry items).  The boys and Campbell had macaroni and Reagan had a sandwich.  Soon Mom came home and worked on cutting everyone’s fingernails
  • Next was bath time.  Mom had to do something to stop Anderson from following the Dish man around the house,  Anderson had his tools too and was working just as hard as the Dish man.  After everyone was cleaned, medicined up, suctioned and wiped down-they all looked like the felt better.
  • Since the man was still working, Campbell ended up back in our bathroom.  Her little eyes were so puffy today that she looked pitiful but other than being a little bit tired, she has felt pretty well. 
  • After pulling Santa, it was time for bed.  Anderson was out quick and Reagan was waiting for him to go to sleep so Mom would unplug their tree so she could turn on her glow bracelet.

Christmas Ornament Countdown -7 Days Til Christmas

Roswell, New Mexico was a quaint little sad town.  At one time, it was probably IMG_0811 a thriving town but now the Alien museum was the town's attraction.  It is one place that if you are in New Mexico-you just have to go through.  We took a few pictures, bought our alien ornament and headed on down the road.

(Click here for pictures from the trip)

Dennie Kids: December 17, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Mom had just told the kids that it was going to be a pajamas day when Ms. April called so we kicked it up in to high gear to get ready.
  • Reagan was delighted when she came downstairs.  One of Mom’s friends had sent over some clothes so Reagan was dressed in new clothes from head to toe. 
  • Before we left, everyone was encouraged to pick up a few things (possibly for a candy reward) and the house was straighter than it had been in forever
  • Meeting Jacob and Ethan at the Laman Library to see the trains.  On the way, Mom had the GPS on and Graham asked if we were going to a hotel.  He was disappointed that we weren’t.
  • We had to search out to find the trains in the library but it was worth the find.  There were 2 model trains going around many different tracks.  The kids had a blast-especially the boys.  After Reagan watched for a few minutes, she was ready to go back downstairs to color on the coloring sheets she had seen.  The boys could have stayed forever.
  • After the library, we headed to Walmart and Sams.  We picked up plates for Campbell’s birthday and then waited on our medicine while eating hot dogs.  We then walked around looking for Dad a Christmas gift-batteries, a Christmas plate and a lazy susan were all suggested.  We couldn’t settle on anything so will have to work on it some more. 
  • Taking Anderson back downtown to meet Dad at work.  He had to go back to the Nutrition Center to re-do his brain lab.  The poor guy could have cared less about hitting the button when he saw flowers on the screen today.  That is the same thing that happened the other day. 
  • He didn’t get to slide afterwards, but Dad did buy him a Sonic drink and then they went back to Dad’s work for awhile.  He colored, shot a rubber band gun, explored the kitchen area and thought it was cool Dad could eat breakfast in a tall chair at work.  Big time stuff for a little boy!   He did not want to leave and Dad could not wait to leave!
  • Dad and Anderson coming home and then everyone heading out to pick up a pizza and then dropping by Nonna and Pops to eat.  Nonna and Pops were wondering if we would all be wearing matching shirts telling news when we arrived, but no, we just needed a place to eat our pizza!
  • Hanging out with Pops and Nonna until bedtime.  Poor Campbell and Graham’s colds have gotten worse today.  They both have coughs, runny noses and yucky eyes.  Graham did tell Dad that his ear hurt tonight so hopefully we can get in to the doctor tomorrow.
  • After we left Nonna and Pops, we decided to try Skype-ing with them. The kids thought it was so funny to see them on the screen.  They watched us pull our Santa down and soon everyone was in bed…and little coughing is happening now!

Christmas Ornament Countdown -8 Days Til Christmas

We drove a little over an hour to see the Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  IMG_0805 It was beautiful scenery and would have probably be a hiker haven but there wasn't too much around and the gift shop was tiny.  I can be pretty creative with my ornaments (golf ball, syrup bottle, tambourine) but this was the first patch I have ever had.  Glad we went there since we are on a quest to see most of the National Parks.

(Click here for pictures from the trip)

Dennie Kids:December 16, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Dad left for work early this morning so everyone was scrambling to get up and ready on time since we were all sleeping when he left.  We did make it everywhere on time-even though Mom had to go back home to fetch the camera
  • Graham and Campbell spending the morning at Grannymom and Grandpa’s house.  They had a big time-Campbell spent her day eating everything Grannymom could give her and Graham enjoyed reading lots of stories
  • Reagan and Anderson had their Christmas parties at school.  Mom left work early (don’t tell Dad) to go.  She spent her time bouncing from room to room for the parties.  Reagan’s class ate fancy cookies, played a bell game and colored a picture.  Anderson’s class decorated cupcakes, played pin the star on the tree and grabbed something out of the stocking
  • Reagan left her class with handfuls of goodie bags from all of her friends.  She later asked why Mom was there and didn’t have goodie bags for everyone (Mom didn’t know that was the thing to do)
  • Picking up Graham and Campbell from Grannymom’s house and coming home to read a few stories.  Before long, the backpacks came back out and were filled with their stuff and they were boarding the plane to Alaska (yesterday, Reagan told Graham that he couldn’t bring his sandals to Alaska-Mom had packed them in his bag since they were the first shoes she grabbed)
  • Nap time for the little ones while Reagan and Anderson played.  Mom had to run to the doctor real quick for a check up so Grannymom came over.  While she was there, everyone played a few games. 
  • Soon Mom was back and everyone was ready to go outside and play.  They braved the cold for a little bit and then back inside we went to put on pajamas.  After supper, Dad came home and Mom left for Bunko. 
  • This evening everyone played, watched a movie and pulled Santa down.  Graham and Campbell have pretty good little colds and are both coughing machines.  It is all quiet now so hopefully everyone will rest well.
  • I forgot to mention the other day at the Nutrition Center, the clinician asked Anderson to “hop up on the scale”-and he did…all 50 pounds of him hopped on the scale!

Christmas Ornament Countdown –9 days til Christmas

Oh, Mesa Verde!  I have never been so scared of falling off a ladder or so aIMG_0804fraid that Robby is going to get stuck!  On our way there, we were stopped on the park road for construction-and we were stopped so long that Robby and I both fell asleep.  My eyes popped open just at the time the other cars started to go-thankfully no one had to honk at us!  Oh, and I didn't fall off of the ladder and Robby didn't get stuck!

(Click here for pictures from the trip)

Dennie Kids: December 15, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Pajama morning for all of the Dennie kids.  Mom and Dad had eye doctor appointments so Nonna came over to play for a few minutes.
  • On a side note-Mom and Dad have always thought it was strange that their contact prescription is the same.  But today, Mom was a little bummed that her prescription changed from Dad’s prescription even though her eyes had improved.  But after Dad’s appointment he called to say that his eyes had improved too and their prescription is still the same…weird stuff
  • Everyone doing a worksheet that Dad printed off.  They had to glue to people and animals to different spots on the paper.  Mom was quite surprised that Graham did it without a problem.  Anderson didn’t want to do it at first but he did is correct too. 
  • Nonna stayed and played for awhile so she was able to read books to Graham who only sits still for Thomas books, color with Reagan who wrote a zillion stories to read to Dad, play trains with Anderson who loved making new tracks and cuddling with Campbell who loves any attention that she can get!
  • Lunch at our card table and chairs.  The boys got the table legs out and started using them as swords before Mom found them and encouraged them to put the table together for lunch.  Everyone at lunch and then continued sitting at the table while Mom read book after book
  • Playing airport before nap.  Look at the pictures-do you notice their backpacks are under the seats?  Anderson is busying himself reading a magazine.  Graham kept asking for the snack lady and he sat in his seat forever-must have thought he was buckled in!
  • Nap time for Campbell and Graham.  Reagan and Anderson worked on their workbooks and then read a few more stories before resting for a minutes or two.  Then everyone worked on getting their clothes on for church-it is tough changing out of your pajamas when you have had them on until 4 in the afternoon
  • Beating Nonna to church tonight and then enjoying dinner with Nonna, Uncle Jason, Bro Paul and even Pops for a few minutes.  Next it was time for Cubbies.  Graham made an ornament in his class and as Mom was dropping off Campbell she had a huge pouty face!…pitiful!

Christmas Ornament Countdown –10 days til Christmas

Since we love the National Park sites and since Central High is part of the park systemIMG_0808 , we thought that we should take a visit there.  Grannymom and Grandpa joined us and the kids enjoyed the visitor center.  It started to rain but we were able to take a walk to the corner to look at Grannymom's old school and Jenna's current school.

(Click here for pictures from the trip)

Dennie Kids: December 14, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • School day for everyone this morning.  Dad encouraged Graham to tell his teachers about Chuck E Cheese-and he walked in his class screaming about his trip to Chuck E Cheese.  He was so excited that he forgot to fuss
  • Reagan and Anderson having a big day at school and then at Nonna’s house.  Reagan made 3 more angels to add to the 150 that she made yesterday.  On the way to school she said that she had made too many yesterday and wouldn’t make that many angels today.  Mom was shocked and said that she had thought they could make a garland out of the angels.  That was all Reagan needed to say she would make as many as she could.  As soon as she came home, we got to work on her garland. 
  • Graham had a big day-they had a party at his class.  Mom had to send PB and J sandwiches.  His teacher said that they even went outside-but they didn’t last too long because all of the kids started crying wanting to go in…I bet!
  • Campbell had a quick nap when she came home but then she was up and ready to help make a Christmas project (which failed).  Everyone helped and it was quite a mess. 
  • After the clean up, we were working on putting pictures in order from smallest to biggest and biggest to smallest.  This was simple for Reagan so Mom told her that she could be “the checker.”  Graham stood up and screamed that he wanted to be the checker.  He walked to Campbell and started lifting her shirt to smell her diaper.  He thought Mom wanted him to be the diaper checker!
  • Dad was home a little bit late, so we were all eating and reading when he came home.  Afterwards, we played and played until it was time to put on our pajamas.  Reagan did manage to change her clothes 13 times before she finally found pajamas.
  • Tonight was the first night that Campbell pulled Santa down.  She was pretty pleased with herself.  After that, it was bedtime prayers.  Oh, I wish you could hear Graham say his prayers.  It goes something like this: “my turn, my turn, THANK YOU GOD! THANK YOU.  Mommy? (yes reply Reagan and Anderson) Thank you me? (yes reply Reagan and Anderson)  Thank you God….and on this continues until Mom or Dad have to encourage him to say amen.

Christmas Ornament Countdown –11 days til Christmas

Arches National Park.  It was incredible.  It did seem to take a long time toIMG_0803 get there and there was lots of traffic and lots of people.  We didn't even think we would have time to see the most famous arch (shown on the magnet) but we went with plan B.  We drove to our spot and the parking was nuts.  After driving around twice, we parked and got out.  As we headed on, Robby called out to come on this trail instead-it was perfect.  There were no crowds and after a short little hike, we came upon the most beautiful double arches.  It was amazing.

(Click here for pictures from the trip)

Happy Birthday Anderson: December 13, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • It was birthday day for Anderson so Dad even took off of work to celebrate all day long with us.  Though Anderson didn’t feel all that hot-he has a pretty good cough which almost sounded similar to his asthma attack a few months ago.  Mom had his doing his breathing machine off and on all day and even called for an appointment but they didn’t have one.  He would say he didn’t feel all that well and then in a few minutes he would perk up.  But he still had a pretty good birthday.
  • Dad took Reagan to school this morning.  And she must have used every piece of paper there to color on-she even said that she found some paper on the floor and colored on it too.  Maybe Mom should buy the girl some colors! Ha!
  • Campbell spent her morning getting into the tupperware cabinet, following the boys around the house, playing with her crawl through house and destroying the train track.  She stays right up with everyone else. 
  • Anderson and Graham spent their morning playing with all of Anderson’s birthday presents still.  When Mom picked up Reagan from school, they came home for lunch and then everyone played with the parachute.  When we do this, Campbell crawls underneath it and stays there just kicking her feet
  • During nap time, Dad and Reagan ran some errands and Mom woke Anderson up.  He was coughing pretty good, so she woke him up before he made himself sick.  Before long it was time to leave for the evening adventure.
  • Dad had a few errands to run so we ended up at the mall.  As we were eating our Chick-fil-a, Santa walked past us and waved.  And then right behind Santa was a police officer on a segway.  Reagan said “maybe it’s a parade”
  • Our next stop was Chuck E Cheese.  Anderson picked it as his special place to go to.  About 3 visits ago, Dad bought a ton of tokens and we have just been going back spending our tokens and not eating there.  We did the same tonight.  The kids had a blast.  Dad passes them out the money when ever the ask and they feel so big doing any game they want.
  • At one point, Anderson was asking “who has the bank?” –he was trying to find who was holding the tokens.  After playing and earning lots of tickets, we cashed them in from the tonight and from the last few visits. 
  • Did you see the pictures of Reagan and all of the tickets she won?  (We are taking her to Vegas-seriously, in February)  Guess what she was able to buy with those….a tootsie roll and a fruit roll up!  Everyone left with 2 items and you would have thought they had won the lottery
  • When we arrived home, it was cake time.  Since we had a spare dino cake from the birthday party, Anderson had more candles to blow out.  They ate their cake and climbed into bed.  All is quite upstairs (no coughing) so maybe everyone will sleep well tonight

Christmas Ornament Countdown –12 days til Christmas

This is the magnet/ornament from Capitol Reef National Park.  I think IMG_0801 it is one of my favorite parks right now.  It had the canyons and mountains and it also had an orchard.  My plan is to go back and pick some fruit some time.  In the orchard area, there was a little farm house-which sold apple pie.  Whenever I see this ornament, it makes me want to go and have some apple pie.

(Click here for pictures from the trip)

Dennie Kids: December 12, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • A very, very early morning church day.  Mom and Dad had a breakfast to go to-so breakfast for the kiddos was a quick run through Burger King.  Mom did sit Campbell on the counter and shoved yogurt in her little mouth before they left.
  • At church, Graham was about to walk into the early class with Reagan and Anderson and then backed out saying he wanted to go to his class.  Of course, when we got there, he had changed his mind again.  He did finally walk into the class with Reagan and Anderson and they all had a fun time coloring pictures and building block towers
  • Mom came and picked everyone up so they could go and see Pops in the kitchen.  He gave everyone some juice and then they met some people with Dad.  Before long they had all found some muffins and were having another snack.  Of course, they all thought church was over but it was only just beginning-so they headed to their Sunday School classes
  • After church, Nonna had lunch-she had cooked 2 lunches today-tacos and chili so the kids had plenty to choose from.  Anderson was delighted that he had a birthday cupcake with candy cane sprinkles on it.  He has really been eating this birthday stuff up.  After playing for awhile, it was time to take a few pictures since they all had on some Christmas clothes
  • Next was home for a nap-Anderson’s nap was about 10 minutes long so after Mom had made 5 trips up and down the stairs, he was allowed to come downstairs to watch tv.  Graham was next and Reagan (who rarely sleeps anymore) slept like a rock!
  • We all had supper and then headed back to church.  Campbell went to her class with a tiny bit of fuss.  Everyone else sat in church and listened to the choir perform.  When the XCL8 choir performed, the kids were intrigued.  Graham was about to hyperventilate from excitement.  He clapped his hands, stomped his feet, waved his arms-he could have watched them forever. 
  • We hung out in the hallway for a few minutes after we snuck out at intermission and then came home for bed.  Since Anderson has a tiny bit of cough (along with everyone else).  Mom made him do the breather while him and Reagan watched a movie.