2014 Dennie Resolutions

Making 2014 Resolutions!
Well it is that time of the year again and time for us to post more resolutions!  And if you read them, then you can help keep us on track. (Good luck with that!)  Here they are:

1. Lose 40 pounds in 40 weeks.
2. No cokes for 5 days a month.
3. Take the family camping.
1. Exercise 2 times a week.
2. More reading and less electronics for the kids and me.
3. Learn how to make bread.
1. Learn how to write in cursive.
2. Learn how to make breakfast or lunch for everyone.
3. Play a game with the whole entire family.
1. Learn how to write in cursive.
2. Play putt-putt.
3. Go to Disney World.
4. Play a sport.
5. Have all happy days until next Happy New Year.
1. Play any kind of sport.
2. Go to Disney World.
3. Play putt-putt.
1. Learn the alphabet including the sounds they make.
2. Learn numbers.
3. Play putt-putt.
4. Learn to swim as well as the others.
1. Play putt-putt.
2. No more diapers.
3. Learn the alphabet.
1. Learn to walk.
2. Learn to say "mama."

Robby's resolutions:1. Not drink coke for 80 days. (failed-I think he did this for 1 day)
2. Weigh less than 200 pounds at some point. (failed-he did start off well exercising)3. Go on outings with each child two times during the year. (failed)Tara's resolutions:1. Weigh less than I do now.  (accomplished-I was 26 weeks pregnant at the time)2. Less ipad/phone/movie time for the kids.  I know that seems like one for them but really all of that is my responsibility. (I think I failed at that one-I am going to try again this year)
3. Finish baby 6's Christmas stocking in time for Christmas. (accomplished just in the nick of time)Reagan's resolutions:1. Learn to swim. (accomplished)2. Go shopping with Nonna. (accomplished)
3. Get her ears pierced "maybe." (accomplished)
Anderson's resolutions:1. Learn to ride a bike. (accomplished)
2. Go to Disneyland. (accomplished)
3. Play putt-putt. (accomplished)
Graham's resolutions:1. Drink more coke. (unfortunately accomplished)2. Learn to ride a bike. (accomplished)
3. Count to 100. (accomplished)
4. Learn to swim. (accomplished)
Campbell's resolutions:1. No more pull-ups. (accomplished)
2. Know her ABCs and all of their sounds. (failed)3. Go on a trip. (accomplished)
4. Ride on an airplane. (failed)Keaton's resolutions:1. Talk more. (accomplished)
2. Know her ABCs. (failed)3. Sleep in a room with all the big kids. (accomplished)

December 31, 2013-New Year's Eve!

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Ringing in the New Year!

  • As you would probably guess, our wake up time this morning was even later than our wake up time yesterday.  It is a wonder that we even get out of bed at all anymore!  I had to send Keaton and Campbell upstairs to wake Reagan up at 9:30.  The rest of us had already had breakfast and I was sending the boys to start on school.
  • We finished school at noon and then had our lunch.  Today I read a bit more of our Brighty of the Grand Canyon book-also known as the book that will never end.  I am expecting us to finish it in the year 2015 sometime.
  • So our lunch prayer was by Campbell.  She thanked God for our food, thanked Him for her momma that takes care of everybody and then she said "God make our church bigger so boys and girls don't have to go to Lilly and Cash's church."  I quickly explained that we wanted for boys and girls to go to a church so they could learn about Jesus and that it didn't matter what church they went to as long as they were able to learn about Jesus there.  Reagan and Anderson must have had the opportunity to make a commitment to pray for the church during our building campaign.  Reagan said she made that commitment but Anderson said he didn't because there was no way that he could remember to pray for the church every single day.  Though he is the one that has remembered to pray for the church "to grow" every single day.  And I guess that this has rubbed off on Campbell.  
  • After lunch, I had the kids help pick up for a bit and then we played a new game from Christmas-Mastermind.  Every single time that Anderson or Campbell had to pick a sequence that Reagan made, they would guess it on the very first guess.  But poor Reagan was the unluckiest little girl out there.  Won't be taking her back to kiddie Vegas anytime soon.  
  • Keaton was asleep during this game and Whitman happily watched from the exersaucer.  My Keaton is so funny lately-she talks all of the time.  The kids, against my wishes, have picked up saying "oh shoot" and Keaton says that too.  She also says "hi dude" and other crazy things like that.  You just never know what she is going to say these days.
  • Speaking of Keaton, yesterday while we were at kiddie Vegas and sitting and eating, Keaton started saying "stuck, stuck."  Reagan tried to help her and looked at Robby in that "I need help" look.  Robby stood up and tried to help unstuck Keaton's body from the chair.  Then he gave me that "I need help" look so I went to help while holding Whitman.  Keaton was started to make a bit of a commotion by now being stuck at her waist in the back of the chair.  I quickly went to put Whitman down in the stroller and then rushed back to help with Keaton.  Robby gave her a pretty good jerk but she just moaned and it didn't make a difference.  The only other option that I knew of was to pull the girls pants down and try a big jerk again-thankfully it worked!
  • Afternoon snack and then all the sleepers woke up and my crew was so excited about tonight New Year's Eve party that they could hardly stand it.  Seriously, you would think this is the most exciting time of the year.  Well, I do have to say that my Dennies have one rocking new year's eve party.
  • The party started for me when Robby arrived home from the dentist-I was glad to see him but I was especially happy to see the chinese food that he brought home for me.  I devoured it before everyone else ate their food-sometimes it is just nice to eat in peace :)
  • Then the party really started with pizza for supper in the bonus room.  The kids were then able to choose our next activities by picking from a set of bags containing the next activities.  Glow sticks and then a game were next.  Followed by a movie and lollipops.  In the middle of the movie, we stopped to decorate cookies.  Then we finished our movie and made smores and ate key lime pie.  The next big adventure was poppers-not many kids get to shoot fireworks in the house.  A few pictures and then the last movie of the night.
  • Last year, we let the kids stay up all night.  Well, until 2 when Robby suggested turning off the tv and resting our eyes for a bit.  This year we were a bit wiser about this and plan on calling it a night as soon as this movie is over.  We did make our resolutions this year and I will update about those in just a few minutes.  
  • Whitman has been asleep for awhile and hopefully Keaton will fall asleep during this movie.  She is a bit skittish tonight after we did the poppers.  Hmm, I guess that I am a bit skittish too after a whole package of poppers going off in the house!

December 30, 2013

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Mama, we won!

  • My kids are sleeping so late these days and I love, love it.  Yet, I know that we have to grow up next week and start waking up at a decent time.  Robby and I are already starting to wonder if we can make our early morning flight in a few weeks.  We will need a wake up call-or even a few wake up calls.
  • It was nine-ish when I was getting the kids breakfast. I urged anyone that wasn't eating waffles with syrup to go to the school room and start working.  School seemed to go quickly today and we were finished by 11:30-now, the kids are still doing review math, review spelling, review english and we are not doing history and science yet-still taking a break for the Christmas holidays.
  • After school, I helped Reagan make a pretty complicated rainbow loom bracelet.  It would have been a tad bit easier but her silly loom had a crack in it and was broken by the time we finished.  (I wrote the company today-3rd company that I have had to contact since opening up Christmas presents)  Despite the broken loom, we were still able to produce a pretty cool bracelet and that child couldn't have been happier.
  • Next up was lunch in the living room.  We ate in there because it was freezing in the rest of the house-yes, I could have turned up the heat but eating lunch on a blanket with the little heater blowing on us was much more fun.  We read a few stories and then we played one of Graham's new games-Race to the Treasure.  It was so much fun-able to play it right out of the box, not too hard for the kids and we all worked together not against each other.  We were whooping and hollering during the game and Whitman just laughed at us from his seat that we had pulled into the living room from the kitchen.
  • Then the boys opened up their playdoh type dinosaur activity.  It was lots of molds to make a town and cars with some type of clay.  Then the dinosaur comes through and smashed everything that they made.  Perfect boy toy. 
  • While the boys were doing this, I worked on trimming everyone's fingernails.  Then I painted the girls nails (that is one of my resolutions)  Graham decided that he wanted me to paint his toenails and since I had black out, I did.  And after I painted about 3 of his toenails, he wanted me to take it off.  He kept saying "I don't want to look like a girl."
  • We had just finished up our nails, when Robby came home.  I was getting ready to put the little 2 into bed but Robby suggested that we take the kids out for the evening.  We didn't tell them where we were going so they had many guesses-Chick fil a, McDonalds, Burger King, Krispy Kreme.  We tried to suggest other places-library, dentist.  But they could tell that it was someplace special by the way we were acting about this surprise.  
  • Where did we take them?  Vegas for Kids!  Playtime Pizza.  We were able to finance this trip with a small loan-ha!  It was so worth it-all of the kids had a blast.  When we turned into the parking lot, Graham started screaming "oh, oh, oh!"  We walked around the place to get the lay of the land.  And then we explained that everyone would get to do one big idea and a few little things.
  • The first activity was eating supper.  We let the kids eat whatever they wanted from the buffet-most choosing croutons, peaches and pizza-the meal of champions.  This was after all the beginnings of our New Year's Eve celebrations.
  • Next up was bowling for Keaton.  She was so worried about anyone else touching her bowling balls that she wouldn't even stick around to see where her ball went.  She would turn right around before her ball hit any pins trying to pick up the next ball.  Keaton did let everyone else have a turn and the boys were so sweet to try their best to help her out since most of her balls slowly, oh so slowly went down the lane. 
  • Then it was laser tag time.  Anderson had said that he wanted to play laser tag for his birthday and this was such a delight for him.  Robby, Reagan, Anderson and Graham played.  The lady told Campbell, Keaton, Whitman and I that we could go inside and watch so I was thrilled to observe this.  It was quite the site-there was a height requirement but they were told that if they could wear the vests then they could play.  The vest and gun were pretty heavy but it was no problem for Anderson but little Reagan and Graham did have a harder time.
  • Laser tag lasted for 10 minutes and they ran, shot and hid the entire time.  My boys were so sweaty when it was over and they had a blast.  The score said that Graham was in 3rd place but we do believe that his vest malfunctioned some time during the event so that probably froze his score.  His vest stopped lighting up but he kept running and playing.  Robby was 4th place and I am not sure about Reagan or Anderson.
  • Then we went downstairs for Campbell's big activity-go carts.  We waited in line and she was so excited but as soon as we sat down in the double car, she started crying.  She desperately wanted to sit in the driver's seat.  I tried to explain that she couldn't reach the pedals and told her she could steer but by the time the man tightened her seat belt, she couldn't even reach the steering wheel.  When we first took off form the gate, she said "I wanted to go fast." But seconds later, we were zooming around the track.  I did crash into a girl twice but really she deserved it-getting in to my way and all.  We were speeding so quick that I felt like I had to put my arm around Campbell so she didn't just fly out of the car.  She loved it yet being 4, she didn't really understand that was her big thing and she wanted to do everything else.  
  • Everyone then was able to play little games but some of those little games won us tickets-some lots of tickets (like when Anderson won 150 tickets on a spin) and some a few tickets (like when Reagan played the same game and only won 4)  Or when Robby won over 200 in Let's Make a Deal and then Reagan and I won 7!  We were combining everyone's tickets so a win for one was a win for all of them.  A few rounds of skeeball for everyone before we cashed in on all of those tickets.  
  • So what does over 900 tickets by at Playtime Pizza?-a tiny doll, 2 balls, 3 pixie sticks, a ring, handcuffs, 5 lollipops and 4 sets of dracula teeth.  Graham told me that he had 2 things he could keep from the day-dracula teeth and a ball.  I then tried to tell him could take his memories with him as well.  That boy just started at me like I was speaking greek.
  • We did finish off our almost 4 hour stay there with ice cream and some dessert before heading home.  As soon as we were home, we put on pjs and the kids watched a Let's Make a Deal while I worked on the never ending laundry.  Then it was bedtime but right before Reagan did pull a tooth that had been wiggling around for a month! We did write the tooth fairy a note asking for her to come tomorrow night instead of tonight.  I guess Reagan wanted for the tooth fairy to join our New Years Eve party tomorrow night.

December 29, 2013

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Protectors of the Legos!

  • Church morning and when we went to bed, Robby said that we didn't need to set an alarm because the kids would certainly wake us up in plenty of time.  I went ahead a set my alarm just in case-my alarm actually doesn't wake me up, it just wake Robby up and then he has to wake me up.  The alarm went off at 8 which left us exactly one hour to get this family out of the house.
  • By the time that I got out of bed, we had closer to 50 minutes so my shower was quick.  The kids were starting to stir but I had to go upstairs to make sure everyone was actually putting on clothes and not playing with the legos.  I got the big 4 dressed and went down to start on hair while Robby dressed Keaton.  The kids helped cart breakfast to the car and someone dressed Whitman (I don't remember if it was Robby or me but he did go to church wearing clothes and not his pjs!)
  • Campbell wasn't too pleased with going to her class this morning and we had debated bringing her into big church but little miss difficult was sent to class.  She indeed had fun and we were able to enjoy the service much better.  I was asked multiple times if church was almost over and during the final prayer Reagan leaned in and said "this is the longest prayer ever."
  • Oh, and during the sermon the preacher was talking about his children comparing their Christmas gifts with others.  Reagan leaned in and said "While he is talking about that, did you know that so and so all got ipads?"  She didn't act to envious but she wanted to make sure that I knew that.
  • Lunch was at Grannymom's house and the highlight today was seeing the gerbils that Lilly and Cash bought after Christmas.  I believe that all of the Dennies except Keaton touched them and thankfully none of my crew mentioned anything about getting a gerbil after we left.  Reagan and Lilly did work on a bracelet and Reagan was pretty pleased that she was able to show Lilly.  Reagan even made some more bracelets once she came home-tomorrow we are going to make another type (hopefully!)
  • Once at home, the kids watched a few movies while Robby and I had a nap.  Somehow during our nap the kids continued to ask us questions-help with the kindle, ipad turn, who's movie turn is it, more milk, more snack, baby's awake.  We thought we had everything ready so we could snooze for a bit-we had their snacks and milk ready but apparently that was not enough today.  
  • When Whitman did wake up, he helped me do some laundry while we watched the kids last tv show with them.  Then Robby cut the boys hair and I cut his hair before everyone had showers.  Then we had supper and Robby sent the kids upstairs to work on their lego creations.
  • For today, our new lego storage system really works-you should see the stage complete with lights, microphone and ladder that Reagan made for her girl.  And Graham made this awesome snow plow to use for the snow that is to fall tonight (I don't really know of any snow falling tonight though)
  • Then we had ice cream truck night and a story before bed.  About 2 hours later, Keaton called to tell us that she was wet and Reagan had me try to pull her tooth in the bathroom-I couldn't so maybe the tooth fairy will have to visit us tomorrow night instead!

December 28, 2013

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Thursday Night Crew Reunion

  • Yesterday as we were cleaning some, Robby turned on some black gospel music. Whitman was crawling around in the room when a deep male voice started singing. That baby stopped and started staring at the tv. He clapped his hands, he swayed, he acted like he wanted to sing along and the child even raised his hands.  Robby and I were both watching him and had never seen anything like it.  
  • Also yesterday, since Anderson was spending the night at Nonna's house, his bed was empty.  Graham and Campbell both wanted to sleep in his bed and Reagan graciously volunteered to sleep in the top bunk so they could both sleep on the bottom beds.  
  • Around 1:30 when Robby and I just went to bed, we heard someone going to the bathroom.  About 10 minutes later, we heard a bit of a commotion from upstairs.  Soon that bit of commotion was loud enough that I went running up the stairs.  We could hear something about "in my bed" but we weren't sure who was saying what.  
  • I opened the door and could first see Graham.   I went to him and started telling him that he was fine and was sleeping in Reagan's bed.  He cried "she's in my bed."  And I told him that no, Campbell was in Anderson's bed.  Again he said "she's in my bed."  Then I looked over and sure enough, Campbell was laying right beside him.  I guess that when she returned from the bathroom, she climbed over her brother to get into Reagan's bed thinking that she was sleeping there.  I moved Campbell back to Anderson's bed and said a little prayer on my way back downstairs that everyone stayed in their beds for the rest of the night!
  • Thankfully, not only did they all stay in their bed but they stayed in their beds for a long, long time. Long enough that we have probably now created a bad habit of sleeping late and who knows what we will do when real life starts again.  
  • We debated for awhile but finally decided that we probably should take Whitman to the Saturday clinic.  The child had slight ear infections earlier in December and we took the antibiotics.  When he had finished those meds, his runny nose started again.  And since this last week he has been pulling at his ears, we took him in.  
  • I left Reagan, Graham and Keaton at home working with Robby.  And I took Campbell with me since she has been a bit of handful for the last few days.  Today when we were at Sams she said "is this the place where I got in trouble last time?" meaning last night (and the answer was yes, that is where she got into trouble last night-and at Home Depot and in the car and at home...)  Anderson missed out on all of this fun because he was still at Nonna and Pops' houses-going to Chuck E Cheese, watching tv, going to IHOP, playing legos, getting doughnuts-I have always said that he would be the best only child.  
  • Whitman was completely healthy at the doctor's office.  She did give us another round of antibiotics and told me to call if his nose and all didn't clear up or started back after this medicine.  Some days I have thought that Whitman was feeling better but others (like today) I have felt that he was a bit miserable.  I will be really ready to get that little guy healthy.
  • Back at home, Robby was slaving away with his 2 big helpers.  They worked pretty hard and the place was already looking better when I made it home.  I started working too and the kids watched a bit of tv.  While Robby touched up some paint, I worked in the bonus room.  I didn't want to put the kids presents up if they hadn't really played with them yet, so I just piled them all in the pack n play in the bonus room.  And while I did that, Reagan made her first rainbow loom bracelet.   She was so proud of her self-I hate I didn't take a picture.
  • Soon all of this evening guests started arriving-for a total of 17 kiddos at the house and 27 in all. Kyle, Joie, Brian, Jacqui, Amber, Todd, April, Jaymie and everyone's kids were here.  There were plenty of salty and sweet things to eat and we ended up eating most of the evening long.  
  • The kids did great playing together-they ranged from 8 months to 9 years old. No one really got hurt and the house wasn't too crazy bad.  Yes, you can see the after picture of the toy room but it was picked up in about 10 minutes so that is pretty good in my book.  
  • We took a group picture and after it was over, Anderson said "I got some good faces in those pictures Daddy."  I love it when their little personalities show through.  Later during the evening, Anderson came up to me and whispered "the girls are locked in the bathroom."  Well, that sounded interesting enough for me to go and check that out.  And sure enough they were indeed locked in the bonus room bathroom.  I tried to use the key but couldn't open it with the key and Reagan and Kennedy couldn't unlock it from the inside.  So I went and had Robby go and try to rescue them. They were fine and no one seemed to be concerned.  It didn't take any time for Robby to open the door and out walked Kennedy, Reagan, Camryn, Campbell, Laynie and Hayley.  We never found out what all of them were doing in the bathroom together in the first place. 
  • When everyone left, we picked up and were soon putting the kids into bed.  It was a late night but the kids had a blast and so did we.

December 27, 2013

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Time for bed!

  • We acted like today was Saturday because we all loafed around all morning long.  It was nearly nine when we finally served breakfast.  Then we started on school-I do use that term loosely.  I told the kids that we weren't going to do it all but I that I did want them to work for awhile.  While I did spelling with the big kids, Graham did his work with Robby so we were all able to zoom through school today finishing most of our stuff.  
  • Then we started to work on "operation clean this house" but unfortunately the more we worked, the more mess we made.  Robby and I started to work on his closet and that lasted for a couple of hours.  We moved all of our small kitchen appliances into that closet and tried to move quite a few things out.  Of course Whitman was our constant helper-chewing on cords, tearing tape off of boxes and inspecting everything that we threw his way.
  • The other children had migrated outside-sometimes outside is a wonderful thing.  They were taking turns with the remote control cars (we guess, we never heard any screaming)  The entire time that we were working, they were playing-now I did have to pass out lunch outside and we had to continue to encourage them to stay outside while promising them that Robby was coming out soon.  
  • I was feeding Whitman so I missed my picture opportunity-actually, we forgot all about pictures until bedtime.  I could hear everyone screaming but it was no cause for alarm.  We had finally pulled out the extra remote control helicopter (we gave one to Anderson last birthday and it broke and we never got out the spare that we had bought)  After the helicoptering, it was time to shoot the bb gun some more.  Reagan was excited that she had knocked down a can-Robby said she was aiming at the table but shot a can.  Either way, she was so happy!
  • Showers for everyone was next and soon Nonna and Pops arrived to pick up Anderson for the evening.  We had plans tonight but they were moved to tomorrow.  Nonna also brought a zillion clothes that my aunt sent for us.  I started to go through them when they left but didn't finish before we left for the evening-when we left this house tonight, if a thief had come in he would have turned right back around thinking that we had already been robbed.  This place was trashed and is still a bit of a mess-a bit better though.
  • Our mission tonight was food for tomorrow and lego storage.  We succeeded on both-Home Depot, Sams with supper there and Walmart.  Back at home, instead of picking up and going to bed, we let the kids watch a movie or two or three while Robby and I worked on hanging some shelves and getting some lego storage together.  People with just a few kids have lots of legos so just imagine how many we have here!  Hopefully our new system will work, if it doesn't I already know what I am going to do with all of the bins that I bought.
  • We finished a bit before 10 and the kids were so tired and we were too.  They went to bed and we picked up for a bit before finally setting down.

December 26, 2013

A little afternoon shooting...

(click here for today's pictures)

(click here for a quick video from yesterday morning as the kids found their stockings)

  • Well, to tell the truth, I almost had as much fun today as I did yesterday.  When I finished writing last night, we had just finished our movie and then we watched a short movie before everyone going to bed-or going to their sleeping bags.  Within just a few minutes everyone was asleep-sound asleep.  Robby and I played on our computers for a bit but we quickly were tired with the sounds of all the kiddos snoring away. 
  • We didn't wake up until after 7 and it is pretty sweet waking up with everyone around.  Anderson was the first one up and he climbed onto the couch with me for awhile.  Then when Keaton woke up she joined us.  I asked her about where she slept and she was so proud that she had slept in her sleeping bag.  
  • Soon I was sitting in the floor working on legos with Graham.  He really wants to do them and can follow the directions and put them together but occasionally he will miss a step or put something in the wrong place so it was easier for me to stay nearby.  While I was working on this, I played Anderson in a game of checkers.  He did really well and we were almost finished when our game board get tipped over.  He didn't seem to care-it happens a lot here!
  • Whitman came upstairs and joined us but he couldn't be put down on the lego filled floor.  Robby took him downstairs after awhile and they started working on our breakfast-pigs in a blanket and cinnamon rolls.  Breakfasts are getting to be pretty good around here.  
  • After breakfast, the kids did a few boxes of school and then Campbell and I started on her craft project.  Soon though Graham and Anderson were begging to do their dinosaur digging gift.  Graham has been asking and asking to do his but I have been putting him off knowing that it was going to be a mess.  But since there were 2 kiddos wanting to do it, I relented and soon Reagan was pulling out her rock finding kit.  I did stop helping Campbell to go and get them all set up and then I came back to C.  After a few minutes, she said "I should have done my rocks too."  I told her that we could and we both headed to the kitchen.
  • So these dinosaur bone and rock finding kids were pretty neat.  Each kit came with a block of gypsum that had dinosaur bones or pretty rocks hidden inside of it.  They came with a tool and a brush and the kids had to chip, bang, pound and scrap to get the things out.  It took them forever and made a mess in my kitchen that I will be cleaning forever.  That chipping, banging, pounding and scraping created a thick layer of dust that spread everywhere.  They had the most fun finding their stuff and it was pretty hard for them to do.  
  • The boys were able to finish their excavating and we even put together their dinosaur bones.  The girls gave up after awhile so I bagged up their mess to do at a later date.  I have decided that every few weeks for school we are going to have a project day to work on all of our projects.
  • I worked on cleaning the kitchen while Robby and the kids did a bit of video game playing.  Soon that was over and we picked up a few things-all of the gifts are in the bonus room and it looks like a toy store up there.  We tried to put a few things up but will just have to do a bit every few days.  Tomorrow's task is to figure out better lego storage.  
  • Soon the kids gladly helped us drink a few cokes so we could have some cans to shoot out with Anderson's new bb gun.  The kids were delighted to do this and when it was over, it was like there had been a party at our house with cans scattered all over my kitchen bar.
  • Robby set up the cans and gave the kids some instructions and they started shooting.  Meanwhile, I brought Whitman outside and put him in the wagon.  While I was inside getting the camera, Reagan ran into get a paper towel because Whitman was playing in dirt in the wagon.  She was working on cleaning it when I came out.  He had it on his hands, on his feetie pajamas and when I got closer, it smelled nasty-like poo!  They wagon was under the shed upside down so I don't know how there could be that in there but I do think it was.  I jerked that boy up and took him to the kitchen sink.  He probably thought that I was going to water board him because I not only washed his hands but also his mouth.  After a change for him I quickly hurried out to see what I had missed.
  • Everyone still had their eyes when I came back out.  They were all gathered around watching each other shoot the gun.  Anderson got it and was occasionally able to hit a can.  The times that he didn't hit a can, he would say that he probably did and we just didn't see it.  Um, okay. 
  • The remote control cars were working outside as well during our shooting session.  The cars did really well outside and day 2 of them not being broken so that is pretty good.  The kids were so happy to be outside for a bit.  Though after a while I asked Keaton if she wanted to have her milk (which is code for take a nap) and she said yes and kissed her Daddy bye.  
  • Soon, we were scurrying around trying to leave for the evening.  We decided to eat at Chuys and needed to get there before the dinner rush-table for 8 in a busy restaurant-ha!  We didn't have to wait at all and were soon enjoying our food.  The kids were perfect and we got our eating out fix for awhile.  
  • After supper we went to Target and bought some wrapping paper for next years presents.  The kids walked around and saw many thing that they would like to add to their Christmas lists-yes, they have figured out how many days until Christmas next year.  
  • The next stop was to pick up Grannymom and Grandpa for a ride to see the capitol.  The kids enjoyed seeing the tree and Graham was pretty curious about how they got it into the building.  And then there was also a Golden Book display which the kids found interesting.  Soon we were headed back to the house to wrap up another great day.

December 25, 2013 - Merry Christmas

(click here for today's pictures)
Merry Christmas!

  • We thought briefly this morning that Christmas morning was going to come early for this little Dennie house.  Graham called out around 5:30 but Robby was able to calm him just over the monitor.  But at 7:00, every one was awake upstairs and ready to come down those steps.  Robby got things ready in the living room and I snatched Whitman out of bed and to the living room everyone headed.
  • This year each kiddo had one present from Robby and me, one present from Santa and one present that another sibling had bought for them plus a stocking crammed full of little goodies from Santa.  I had been very conflicted this year about this not being enough yet knowing that it was way more than enough.  Note to self: This was the perfect amount-no more next year!  When you take into count that is 3 gifts per child, plus 4 for me and 1 for Robby then it adds up to 25 presents under our little tree.  
  • I am sure that you are hanging on the edge of your seat wanting to know what everyone received.  So here goes.  Robby's stocking was full of presents but he only had one present under the tree.  That present was the Slushie Magic that he dropped me off at Kroger to run in and buy for him.  I seemed to have run out of time to finish my gift buying for poor Robby.  I even had him running around picking up things while he should have been working on Monday.  
  • And it was probably a good thing I had him out shopping that day, because that is when he probably remembered that he needed to pick up a few things for my stocking along with a few presents for his beautiful bride.  I racked up with a mixer (I wanted one), a pencil sharpener and Disney music (so we can have the Disney magic all of the time!)
  • My sweet Reagan received an art kit from us, a rainbow loom from Santa and barbie legos from Graham.  Anderson opened a remote control truck from us, a bb gun from Santa (I believe that Santa has lost his ever loving mind!) and a big box of Knex from Whitman.  Graham got his remote control monster truck that he has been wanting from us, a Duck Dynasty vehicle set from Santa and legos that move from Anderson.  Campbell opened up some Frozen little people from us, a big doll from Santa and My Little Ponies from Reagan.  Keaton received little horses from us, a tea set from Santa and a leap frog toy from Campbell.  Whitman could have cared less about the whole morning because he was so exhausted from us waking him up but he received a Bible from us, a big box of legos from Santa and more legos from Keaton.  
  • I do think that the kids could not have been more excited or more pleased with all of their gifts.  I worried that they were looking around for more when we finished and only Campbell was (after all she is 4)  Santa did bring a big gift (the game table) last year but since the crew needed nothing at all this year, there was no big gift this year.  
  • Reagan has said that her favorite was the art set but I do not think that she has even opened it yet.  The older that she gets the smaller her presents get and the less toys that there are.  That is just a part of growing up but she has plenty of things to do now with all of her art supplies for the rest of the year.  Anderson was pretty pumped about his bb gun but legos are what he loves doing.  (They stress me out because they build them and then they come apart and are never build again.  It shouldn't bother me because they do play with them building their own creations for hours upon hours.)
  • Graham loved, loved, loved his remote control car and Campbell probably liked their cars more than her gifts.  But she did like her doll but really took up with her baby doll that Beebee gave her last night.  Santa had stuffed a doll sleeping bag in her stocking so that was fun.  Keaton doesn't really care about any of her gifts-she just likes looking at what everyone else is doing.  She also enjoys her baby doll from Beebee.  And well Whitman's favorite gift from Christmas is the wrapping paper and all of the tiny bits of trash that have ended up on our floor from the massive amounts of unwrapping and deboxing that has taken place here.
  • Soon it was time for me to stop putting stuff together and taking things out of boxes and get into the kitchen and start working.  I made monkey bread and Robby made pigs in a blanket for breakfast.  Soon Jason, Nonna, Pops, Grannymom and Grandpa all showed up to see what the kids had gotten and to eat breakfast.  The kids were so excited to see everyone, show off their new toys and to have a few extra hands to assemble everything.  
  • Everyone enjoyed breakfast-once we could convince the kids that monkey bread was really good and not yucky as it sounds.  The grands stayed a while and Keaton and Campbell ended up going home with Grannymom for a few minutes.  They were so happy to leave with their babies and their little sleeping bags.  And while they were gone we started picking up around here for a few minutes.  Before we knew it we were running late and loaded up our trash in the back of the car.  
  • We were half way to Dana's house for lunch when Robby realized that the car sounded a bit funny. He looked around and saw that the back door had been open the entire trip.  I guess he was in a bit too much of a hurry to close the door.  Seriously, none of us noticed that?  He quickly shut the door and didn't think that anything had fallen out. Later when he was getting rid of our trash he did think that he was short one huge bag of trash (no, we didn't see it on our way home so I guess that he was mistaken or it rolled into someone's driveway-Merry Christmas to them!  A bag of Dennie trash!)
  • At Dana's house we had another delicious meal and the kids loved showing off a few of their presents and playing with all of Lilly and Cash's presents.  The kids played inside, outside and even in the garage.  They could have played and stayed for the rest the afternoon but alas we had other places to go.  Last year, we had to hurry and leave Dana's house because the ice was starting.  On the way home, we knew that we should have bought a generator because the trees were already hanging down low with the beginnings of the ice.  Thankfully, the sun was shining on this Christmas morning.
  • After leaving Dana's house, we went to see Beebee.  She was in a good mood and was pleased with her presents from us-especially her calendar.  She of course was happy to pass out candy and money to the kids.  We stayed as long as we could-Robby and I were about to die from heat exhaustion because it was crazy hot in her room.  Once we left, we did stop by Nonna and Pops house to check out their dessert level.  Their dessert level was adequate when we came and in need of replenishing when we left.  
  • Once back at home, the lego building and present assembling started again in full force-but not by Robby or I.  We did what most folks probably do on Christmas night-take down our tree!  Ha!  All of our Christmas stuff is packed neatly away in the attic ready for next year.  Yep, I know we are crazy but now we don't have that to dread.  Actually, we were able to put everything up and shower all of the kids but Whitman in 2 hours.  That is pretty good.  Of course the kids kind of go a bit nuts without constant supervision and everyone had zillions of request for us to do while we were trying to finish.
  • Soon though Robby was vacuuming and all of the presents were neatly displayed in the bonus room (I have displayed my presents since I was little and am now trying to pass on that tradition)  The kids brought up their sleeping bags, pillows and blankets to the bonus room and Robby and I did too!
  • While he was getting the last few things straight downstairs, we opened up a game from Nonna's house and started playing it.  The kids enjoyed playing it and then we watched a movie upstairs.  Whitman watched most of it while sitting in his pack n play playing with all of his new toys.  The movie is over now and the credits are rolling-it is nearly 10 and Whitman is the only one who is asleep.  
  • Who knows what the next plans are-we will probably bed down all in the bonus room.  I guess we are trying to relive last year's ice storm.  Though tonight Anderson asked how many nights we would sleep in the bonus room and the answer is only 1 night in this room and then back to our regular beds.
  • This was another great Christmas day and this little family is pretty blessed!  Hope your Christmas was as wonderful as ours.

Christmas Ornament Countdown: Merry Christmas!

Our first trip to Idaho was many years ago.  We were still trying to mark off seeing all 50 states and since we were in Utah, we drove up to spend a night in Idaho to check it out.  We spent the night in Twin Falls, Idaho near where Evil Kneivel jumped over the Snake River.  We also saw a rock called Balanced Rock that we climbed up near even though it was crazy windy.  This was the first trip, that we really realized that they are many things to see no matter where you stop.  You just have to find your own adventure in life....and looking around this Christmas day, I feel that we have done pretty good finding our own adventure.  Who knows what the next year will hold for us but this year was a wonderful year-filled with many adventures.

If you have been reading my Christmas ornament posts, thanks for reading them.  I hope you have enjoyed walking down my memory lane.  I quickly counted 65 ornaments on my list that I haven't put on the blog yet, so I guess you will have to read more about my ornaments for a few more years.  Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.  Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2013-Christmas Eve

(click here for today's pictures)

Christmas Eve at the Brocks
  • After staying up late last night, we thought that the crew would sleep in late but that was not the case.  Our one late sleeper, Reagan, was at Lilly's house.  The boys were easily entertained this morning with their kindles, lego building and fort making.  My slumber was finally interrupted by their fort making since I do have some awesome fort building skills (I wish!)
  • We served up breakfast to the hungry crew and really, the next thing I knew it was time to pick up the girl and trade in the boy.  I am not really sure what anyone did this morning-we worked around the house some and played some.  The kids played mostly and even watched a bit of tv.  It was a pretty relaxing morning.
  • We all piled in the van to go and get Reagan from Lilly's house.  Well, actually I told everyone to put on their shoes and had gotten them a snack for the car.  Robby and I continued working in the house trying to pick up a few things and wake the baby up.  About 10 minutes later, I realized that the house was quiet and I didn't know where the kids were.  They were all in the van-eating their snack quietly.  I should pass out snacks each and every time that I want for the kids to get into the car quickly.
  • On our way home, we dropped all of the presents off at Nonna's house.  Campbell was pretty confused why we were not headed straight to church when we left Nonna's house and turned toward our house.  We again explained the plans to eat lunch, play and then church.  Sometimes the kids can remember every single thing that you say to them and other times nothing get through to them!
  • At home, we made ham and cheese croissants for lunch and read the last bit of our What God Wants for Christmas.  While the kids ate, I worked on the last of our Christmas mad libs with them and Robby read it to them.  Robby and I both loved mad libs when we were little and the kids really seem to like them.  I probably should have bought some for Christmas.
  • The afternoon was just as restful as the morning.  Robby and I were talking about what you could do daily to make things seem more like Christmas each and every day.  We didn't come to any conclusions but if you have any ideas let me know. It just seemed so relaxful....maybe it was the Christmas music playing throughout the house or the candles....or who knows. 
  • I had thought that Keaton would have gone to her class tonight but Robby suggested that she come to big church with us.  She was in awe of the whole thing.  Keaton just looked and looked around the entire time.  I do not think that she had ever been in church so everything was new to her.  Reagan was so proud to sit by her and hold her hand as we walked to our seats.  
  • Meanwhile, sequestered on the other side of Robby was Campbell.  She did very well in church but she is just Campbell-full of life!  The preacher man had the kids go down to the front.  Keaton wasn't going at all and Campbell didn't want to.  But we did kind of push Campbell on out into the aisle and she quickly caught up with her brothers and sisters.  I could see my kiddos sitting down front all side by side listening closely-couldn't be prouder.  They are so cute how they take care of each other sometimes.
  • All of my crew was anxiously awaiting the "singing and candle part" of the service.  As soon as Jeff wrapped up his sermon, my 5 kiddos bent down and picked up their candles.  Keaton had not a clue about what was going to happen but soon her eyes were wide watching the candles glow-and she was even humming along.  Robby tried to snap a few pictures and watch Campbell at the same time.  Let's just say the lady in front of Campbell should be thankful that she was wearing non-flammable clothing.  Actually, I should dress all of the kids next year in non-flammable clothing.  
  • Then we were on our way to Nonna's house.  The kids were so, so excited and could hardly wait.  I had told them that we were going to eat supper first and before I knew it and before Nonna had half of the food out, Anderson had picked up his plate and was taking the tops off of the pans preparing to fill his plate.  At first we thought that he must have been hungry but we soon realized that wasn't the case.  He was ready to get the eating part out of the way so we could start the good part-the present part. 
  • While we were eating, Graham asked if we could just eat dessert after opening the presents.  It is rare that any of the Dennie kids want to skip dessert.  We told Graham that was a good idea and we finished Nonna's delicious supper.  Nonna said that she had to put the food up before presents and I said that we would work on our reindeer food while she did that.  Anderson wanted to help Nonna finish her task as fast as she could, so he said "we can help clean up the kitchen."  That would have been so sweet if he didn't have an ulterior motive.  
  • Then it was finally present time.  My Campbell was so funny-every single thing that she opened, she acted like it was her favorite thing ever.  But the funniest part was poor Graham.  His first present that he opened was the same thing as something he had gotten last night (though he decided that he wanted to keep two of them) and then his second present was underwear and socks.  Meanwhile, on the other side of the room Anderson was opening up a huge bow and arrow set.  You could just see poor Graham looking at his brother thinking that maybe he HAD been on the bad list!  Ha!  Don't worry though-Graham was soon opening up his bow and arrow set and his brother was soon opening up his underwear!
  • The kids racked up and so did we.  Here is what I can remember from tonight: Robby-door stops, curved shower rod and tools.  Tara-picnic blanket, flashlight, book and lotion.  Reagan-a pillow, legos, hair stuff and a scarf.  Anderson-bow and arrow, legos and some plane toys.  Graham-bow and arrow, legos and hex bugs.  Campbell-baby doll, legos and lots of crafts.  Keaton-legos, baby doll and hair stuff.  Whitman-diapers, computer and a ball.  After opening the presents the kids were ready to really open them.  So we opened quite a few boxes to play with while we finally had that dessert.  
  • Soon though it was time to load up the car and head home.  Everyone put on their pajamas and I read Twas the Night before Christmas while Robby and Pops loaded up the car.  Jason looked up and saw that Santa was in Canada and my Graham knew that it was time to go.  He was even urging everyone to get into the car so we could beat Santa to our house.
  • Once home, we sprinkled reindeer food for the reindeer and then went inside to pull our Santa countdown.  We took a few pictures and then it was bedtime for the crew.  I think they were tired but they were also pretty wired....but I heard nothing from them on the monitor-they sure don't want to miss Santa.   

Christmas Ornament Countdown: 1 Day until Christmas

In 2006, we went to Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein and Switzerland.  It was quite a trip-we even bought a portion of a Jaguar while we were there.  It is nice to say that you own a Jaguar (even if it is just the fender of one in another country!)  This trip was also our first real experience with a GPS and that thing even drove us up a sidewalk to the front door of a castle.  This little ornament used to make a coo coo sound but alas there are 6 kids in this house.

Here is the link to this trip.

December 23, 2013-Dennie Circle Christmas

(click here for today's pictures)

Dennie Family Circle!
  • After Robby and I stayed up until 2:30 last night, we were pretty slow getting around this morning.  Oh, why did we stay up so late?  Well, Robby was working on Anderson's picture book for the year and I was perusing the internet.  Either way, that is a bit late for us old fogies.
  • I do believe that Graham was in our bed by 7:15 and was playing his kindle.  Anderson was not far behind him but not everyone was up until nearly 8.  The plan was to start the leftover redbox movie from last night as soon as we started stirring but the kids were fairly quiet and I started doing a few things so it was well after 8 before we started the movie.
  • Everyone was very excited about watching this movie and that meant that they watched it quietly-while I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off doing everything that I could think of to get ready for the day, evening and even tomorrow.  That silly movie lasted a really long time and I accomplished most of what all I wanted to finish.  
  • The next activity was picking out the presents that would go to Grannymom's house.  I didn't want to leave anyone's presents so I gave the kids a list for them to mark off names as they found presents.  This was a big hit and they all enjoyed doing this.
  • Then it was cookie making time.  I had originally planned on letting everyone mix their own half batch of cookies themselves but I wasn't really sure how to divide things up (and how many dishes would that be?)  So we just made 2 big batches of cookie dough and everyone helped. 
  • After the dough was mixed, everyone had their own floured area to roll out their dough.  I tried to explain things to the kids and give them a few pointers-more flour, spread it out, NOT THAT MUCH FLOUR, not too thin, LESS FLOUR-can you tell that my kiddos liked scooping out the flour?  Really if you ate one of our cookies from today, you would think that the only ingredient was flour.  
  • Reagan and Anderson were all about cutting out shapes with the cookie cutters.  Graham could do it but needed a bit more help and was often frustrated.  Campbell did surprisingly well and Keaton was just happy playing with her dough and cutting it with a knife. After they cut out their cookies, they put them on their own cookie sheet which was then baked.
  • While the cookies were baking, I heated up leftover croissants and the kids ate them while I read a few Christmas stories (while running to the oven every 8 minutes to take cookies out)  Keaton, Campbell and Graham were so excited that the next thing we did after lunch had to be decorating those cookies.
  • I had laid everyone's cookies out on their spot with the table full of icing and sprinkles.  They worked and worked and worked.  Reagan even made a gingerbread Grannymom and Grandpa.  I am just always amazed at the things they enjoy doing and can do well.  Now most of the cookies that were made wouldn't win a cookie decorating contest but they probably tasted decent and more importantly they were made with lots of love.
  • Now let's talk about the mess that this created.  I had only thought that the gingerbread houses created a mess.  The kids really did well and helped me clean after we had cut out the cookies.  They all started cleaning and picking up before I even had to ask.  But after an hour of decorating cookies with unlimited sprinkles, there was not much space on our floor that did not have sprinkles on them.  I started picking up and cleaning and ended up sweeping 4 different times and there are still sprinkles and cookie dough on the floor.
  • Jason called and was nearby so he dropped by.  The kids were happy to see him and so was I.  While he played with everyone, I ran around doing my laundry, re-cleaning the kitchen, getting ready for tonight and even re-re-cleaning the kitchen.
  • After Jason left, Keaton had herself a nap and Whitman did as well.  The others did a bit of school and then watched most of a movie.  Soon it was time to head to Grannymom's house to meet Robby and the rest of the Dennie family for circle Christmas.
  • The kids were excited about presents but weren't too anxious.  I did overhear Graham say today that he was excited about opening presents tonight but Anderson told him "Christmas is not all about presents."  Well, with a tree full of presents tonight, even Anderson was pretty excited!
  • Around 6, we started passing out presents and then the opening begin.  The kids all waited patiently for their turn to open presents-this year we started with the oldest and went to the youngest.  So my Keaton had forgotten that she had presents to open when it was her turn.  Robby told her that it was her turn and she jumped up and immediately started opening her present.  
  • Everyone racked up.  Here are just a few things received tonight (I am too lazy to go upstairs and look at what I can't remember)-Robby-fire extinguisher, food chopper and a few gift cards.  Tara-tervis cup, brownie batter scoops, a big bag and cloth napkins.  Reagan-a bag, a few crafts and art books.  Anderson-cars, checkers, another game and dinosaur bones.  Graham-telescope, pick up sticks, another game and a boy craft.  Campbell-chutes and ladders, construction paper, blocks and a mini pillow pet.  Keaton-a pie game, playdough, a purse and socks.  Whitman-diapers, diapers, cups, and map so we can keep track of his states like everyone else. 
  • The kids played and played after opening presents-the girls played with one of Lilly's presents but the boys played with a football koozie.  That was the big hit so all 5 boys played in half of Grannymom's garage with that koozie until they were hot, sweaty and worn out-pretty perfect.  
  • We ended up taking Cash home and leaving Reagan in his place.  Once home, we let the boys play for a bit but soon it was well after 10 and we tired to get everyone to sleep.  Campbell wasn't happy that she wasn't sleeping by Cash so after her fuss, we sent her to our room to sleep.  Soon Keaton joined her and I guess that they are both in their sleeping peacefully now....at least I hope they are!

Christmas Ornament Countdown: 2 Days until Christmas

This ornament is from the Mall of America.  Our first trip there was in 2004 when we were on a layover on our way to Hawaii.  We took a train from the airport and rode a few rides in the indoor amusement park.  It was pretty fun-we didn't have any kids at the time and I never would have imagined that 7 years later, we would come back with 5 kids.  In 2012, we not only rode a few rides, we rode every ride that the kids were tall enough to ride. They had a blast and still talk about that trip.

Here is the link to the last Mall of America trip.  

December 22, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
Group Photo!

  • The kids were the first ones up this morning and I very quickly ended up on the floor since my girls had taken over my spot.  As soon as my head hit that pillow on the floor, Keaton was on one side of me and Campbell was on the other.  I just love those 2 little shadows!
  • It didn't take too long before we were all ready and taking a family picture.  Robby and I decided that the pictures with just the kids look better than the pictures that we are in.  And we have also decided that the kids are rapidly outgrowing that little bench.  
  • Church was uneventful even though it was the Lord's supper.  The kids have sat through the Lord's supper before and we had discussed it before but there is probably always one child that has to be carried out of the church screaming on Lord's supper day and I am always relieved when that child is not my child.  
  • Worship care wasn't too taxing today since we only had one child in our class-our own.  We stayed in the class rocking and playing with Whitman.  We even let him have multiple crackers and then we even let him eat the crumbs off of the floor.  Then we were able to leave a few minutes early to start picking up everyone from their classes.  
  • When I picked Anderson up, he was playing a game on the stage.  All of the December birthday's were playing a marshmallow game and it appeared that Anderson's team won the game.  
  • It was just a short ride to Nonna's house where we had lunch and then the kids played for awhile. Nonna did have a huge purple cupcake for Campbell's birthday and my Campbell was so proud of that cupcake.
  • Back at home, we immediately started picking up the house.  The kids helped make their beds and pick up some but the stellar picker upper today was my Graham.  He cleaned the bathroom sink until it was spotless and when he was told to pick up the living room, he did it perfectly!
  • Laryn, Alicia and Shannon and all their families came over tonight.  Reagan, Anderson and Graham were in heaven playing with the older kids.  Whitman loved Sarah Ashley and Keaton decided that she wanted to go home with Alicia.  Everyone stayed until nearly 10 and when they left, we all quickly picked up.
  • Robby and I finished the kitchen while the kids were getting into bed.  You know that they are tired when they are all laying in bed when you go upstairs to tuck them in.  This was the first day of our Christmas celebrations and it was a very good start.

Christmas Ornament Countdown: 3 Days until Christmas

This ornament is from 2008 and was one of my favorite trips and favorite little towns (Littleton, NH).  I can remember so much about the day of that trip but for some reason I can remember nothing about the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway.  I do remember that our next stop was too see a train on the side of a the road which made Anderson's day.  But the tramway-nope, no memories at all!  Good thing I bought an ornament-maybe looking at it might jog some of my memories.

Here is the link from that day of travels.  

December 21, 2013-Happy 4th Birthday Campbell!

(click here for today's pictures)
Happy Birthday Campbell!

  • The first thing we did this morning was to wish Campbell a Happy Birthday and she asked "when are my friends coming over?" and "What does my pinata look like?"  I gently tried to explain that she had already had her birthday party on Tuesday but she continued asking about her friends.  Finally, I distracted her with enough talk about her party and presents that she might possibly have understood that today we were only celebrating at home.  
  • Soon though are "celebrating at home" got moved to McDonalds.  Campbell was given the choice of where she wanted to eat breakfast-McDonalds or Krispy Kreme.  She said that she didn't "want to go to Rice Krispies" so to McDonalds we headed.  
  • We all sang Happy Birthday to Campbell and she was pleased as she could be seeing candles in a stack of pancakes.  The kids all played for a few minutes-including Whitman who enjoyed the little music maker.  I did overheard Anderson and the others playing Hide and Seek.  Anderson was the counter and started off "1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi" then he paused and began again with "3 Arkansas, 4 Arkansas..."  Really, why should Mississippi get all of the credit?
  • After eating, Robby dropped me and the birthday girl out at Kroger to do some speed shopping.  The original plan was for everyone to get out and shop but we opted for only 2 of us to get soaked instead of all 8.  Campbell was my list holder and even got to mark the items off of my list-what a big birthday!  And I bought her some pretzels and yogurt-a birthday she will always remember.  Check out lines were long but when my sweet girl asked if we could go to lane 4 because she is 4, of course we had to (even though that was one of the longer lines!)
  • Next stop was Sams and Robby ran in there.  He left his phone in the car so I had to circle closely in the pouring rain so I could see him quickly.  Thankfully, he found us and we loaded up his stuff right in the middle of the monsoon.  Going back home, we all marveled at how high the little stream on Lawson was and were going to drive past our street to see the high water.  But as soon as we got to the top of the hill and could see the water pouring over the street, we backed our big self up and headed to the house.
  • The first item of business when we made it home was unloading the car-Robby and I took care of it this time so the crew didn't get wet.  We seriously debated about letting the kids play outside in the rain but decided it might just be too chilly for that-and we sure don't want our kids getting sick like every single other person that we seem to know.  
  • Gingerbread houses were quickly started on (so Robby couldn't back out)  None of them fell over night and the kids were excited about getting started.  We had to do most of the squeezing out the icing for them but the Reagan and the boys were able to do some.  Keaton mostly ate the pieces of year old candy instead of putting them on her house.  It is so interesting to me that their ability and interest to decorate the house can be so clearly seen in their age.  Campbell and Keaton's houses are the least thought out and planned and then on the other end of the spectrum is Reagan's house.  She worked for nearly an hour after everyone else had finished.  She even has her initials on the roof of her house.  We were pretty impressed with their houses-might just do it next year (If I remember to pick some up after Christmas!)
  • It was nearly 2 when we finally had our hot dogs for lunch.  Then nap time for Keaton and fuss time for Whitman.  He didn't want to take a nap so I got him up and he did set in my lap.  I was holding pretty tight for him and one of us had a bit of a nap-the other didn't.  I was the lucky one!  Soon everyone was awake and we moved everyone up to the bonus room to watch Home Alone 2.
  • The tv wasn't working too well so we then moved the party downstairs to finish on that tv.  We watched most of the movie and then the kids ate in the floor while the movie finished.  Of course at the end of the movie, there is lots of banging and slapping around of the bad guys.  My big 3 would ooh, aah and moan and Keaton and Campbell insisted that they set in my lap with their heads turned away from the tv-except they were doing their best to watch every bit of what was happening on the tv.  
  • We let the kids watch one of their game shows before bed-after all it was a birthday today!  Then everyone went to bed-and bedtime was a success today!  Soon Robby and I started to work on our crock pot Christmas candy that has been all over pinterest the last few days.  It was a success and we made over 100 pieces of chocolate.  Yummy-that might just take the place of my ice cream tonight.

Christmas Ornament Countdown: 4 Days until Christmas

I just can't explain how quickly my kids are growing up.  I just watched the videos from the link from today's ornament and my big 3 were just babies.  (here is that link) Probably about the same size as my little 3 are right now.  Time is just flying by.  We went to the Georgia Aquarium on this trip and it was a very impressive place.  It was 2009 that we went there and we really should think about going back soon-probably should have gone last year when we studied aquatic animals in school.  Oh well, there is always next year!

December 20, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
Gingerbread House Decorating Day!

  • Today started off lovely-the 4 big kids downstairs before we were even awake.  Soon Graham was in trouble and sitting by our bed because of something to do with his kindle and then we heard Anderson loudly snap at Campbell so all kindles were taken away.  That went over well-ha!  
  • I knew then that is was time for me to get up and get the kids busy-busy children can't get in to trouble.  I hopped in the shower and then started passing out breakfast in the school room.  When we start school before 8, we can finish well before 11.  Quite a bit of our morning was spent picking up-I don't know why every single thing we own seems to end up on the floor of the school room.  It kind of makes me a bit crazy!
  • Soon we were all sitting around the kitchen table working on our gingerbread houses-well, they aren't really houses-they are home depot gingerbread houses.  (When you get a deal, you get a deal!)  The kids were so excited to get started on this.  We started this morning so they could have plenty of time to dry because last year those silly things would crash down as the kids were trying to decorate them.  We even tried super glue and the glue gun last year but that didn't help so hopefully an extra night between building and decorating will help this year!
  • If I have ever felt like I needed more hands, it was today during gingerbread house time.  I decided to make an extra house myself since more than likely at least one will come crashing down.  I would squirt a bit of icing glue on one spot and then move to the next house.  The kids were pretty patient waiting on me to get to their house-I did keep them busy kneading the next bag of icing since it has been stored in the attic for a year it was bit tough to squeeze.
  • Thankfully, all of the house were built successfully and my kiddos helped me clean up the kitchen.  We all put our candy next to our house ready for tomorrow but just a few minutes ago I walked into my bedroom and there was a all of someone's gingerbread house candy laying on my bed.  Actually, every single night we have no idea what all we will find in our bed-usually it is food, but sometimes it is cars, strange socks, forks, toy guns, oh and the list could go on and on.
  • I didn't give the kids too much of a break because soon it was lunch time and then we had to pick up before leaving.  To add a twist I had the kids do a task (brush teeth, pick up 10 things or whatever) and then when they had completed it they had to come to me and do jumping jacks while waiting on their next job.  I worked those kiddos until I finally decided that they just might fall asleep in the movie that we were headed to. 
  • We had promised the kids that they would receive a treat for working hard during our commercial filming so today we went to see Planes.  The kids were pretty pleased and the boys were on the edge of their seat.  Anderson had received some Plane toys for his birthday and whenever him or Graham saw something that he had, they would start shouting "I have that" or "you have that."  This movie theater shouting was fine since we were the only ones in the store.
  • Now, Keaton and Campbell were pretty movey during the movie-up and down, up and down.  Finally I sat between them and they were a bit stiller.  Neither one of those girls care anything about tv at home so of course the movie wouldn't be any different.  Keaton really wanted to stay with Nonna when I dropped Whitman off at the movie.  She remembered that she stayed with Nonna and Grannymom on Thanksgiving day when we went to the movies.  On the way into the movie, she kept saying "I stay with Nonna" or "I go Grannymom."  Once inside and she understood what a movie was all about she quickly calmed.
  • After the movie, we drove home through a monsoon.  I was never so glad to get myself off of the interstate.  Anderson rode with me so I wouldn't be lonely.  He is the sweetest child-during supper tonight, the kids and Robby were eating at the bar while I was standing (the table was full of gingerbread houses)  Anyway, my Anderson said "Momma, do you want for me to get you a chair?"  Now, his daddy just rolled his eyes but I thought it was the sweetest thing ever.  
  • Back at home tonight, I worked on a few chores and then Robby started on supper.  He made waffles for supper and the kids ate like they hadn't eaten all day long.  After eating, the kids all wrapped their gifts for each other-my Graham really thought about what wrapping paper to wrap Reagan's present in. He asked me "will Reagan like this paper?"  I had only 2 choices of paper left and he chose the one that had the most on it so of course my answer was that she would love it.
  • After wrapping, it was time to pull our Santa, read about Mary and Joseph and then watch Let's Make a Deal.  Then bedtime-poor Keaton ended up back in the bonus room and Whitman fussed until we finally caved and brought him in with us.  He eventually fell asleep in my lap-sweetest thing ever!