July 20, 2024

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  • I woke right up at 7:20 this morning and could not go back to sleep, so I wandered into the kitchen and started folding the 5 full laundry baskets full of clothes. By 8 or so, I had the dishes emptied and all of those clothes folded. That was a good feeling; however, I am well aware that the kids' rooms still look like they are leaving for a trip tomorrow. Even Anderson's area is full of clothes.
  • After the laundry was taken care of, I did pretty much nothing for the rest of the morning. I tried to nap some, but never really went to sleep for long. Annie came over to play with Bentley around noon so that helped reverse Bentley's depression some from everyone leaving her last week.
  • This evening Robby and I had a few errands-we came home with milk which the big boys seem to guzzle right now. For example, last night we had chicken for supper, and they said that was a good milk meal. I don't think that is right, but at least they are getting their calcium.
  • We also came home with supper for everyone-2 pepperoni pizzas, 3 tacos, and 2 wraps. Since these were all mystery shops, the kitchen was full of people circling while Robby had to take pictures of all the food.
  • We also brought something fun for the boys' room: an air conditioner. Even though it was not over 90 today, it still got up to 82 in the boys' room. That's just too hot, plus they have all of their devices on which just generates more heat. Our real air was working hard and blowing out cold air, but it just can't keep up with rooms in the eaves of the house.
  • After eating, we worked on the air conditioner. It was surprisingly easy to put in, and it fits perfectly right by Anderson's bed. They shut their door, and it quickly cooled their room to 68. I'm sure Graham will have to start wearing a parka, but I think that they will both enjoy this air conditioner.
  • Last night we started Whitman's new board game, but it was late, everyone was tired, and we weren't really sure of the rules. Tonight though, Whitman and I had studied up so we knew exactly how the game worked-Whitman, Robby, and Anderson won the game this evening, but I bet that Whitman will want to play again very soon. 

July 19, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • Ah, it is so nice that all of my people are back under my roof. However, even though it was just a week, Whitman and I will have to get used to having everyone home again. We had our own little order of things, and even though all things are better with all our people, it is still different.
  • Whitman and I woke up drove to Pinnacle Mountain this morning. We charged up that hill and gracious, it is a little steeper than I remembered. I thought that it was just rocky the last little bit, but nope-that whole trail is rocky. 
  • The Central High football team was coming down the mountain as we went up, so there were lots of people coming down to give us lots of time to take a few breaks-and we needed it. I have never been so relieved to see those numbers on that trail. 
  • Whitman pressed on, but he did need some encouragement. When we made it to the top, we sat that cooling off a bit, but the weather was absolutely perfect today for the middle of July. Then we trekked back down the mountain-that is when I knew that I am not as spry as I used to be. My knee and ankle would hurt every other step down. Whitman started to get tired and stumbled three different times. but we made it! 
  • Unfortunately, Whitman gave our last adventure a 2 out of 10. Oh well, you can't win them all. The coke that he drank on the way home surely helped raise the score some. We got gas, and then went to Nonna and Pops' house to eat lunch. 
  • After lunch, I hurried home to make Texas Road House rolls-they were not perfect, but they were the best that I had ever done. I then cut up quite a few veggies-green beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and carrots to roast with some air fryer chicken. I ran like a crazy woman doing this while tracking everyone on their way home.
  • I was at church a little bit before 4 when Campbell and Keaton came in-they had a wonderful time on their trip. Their favorite part was when it flooded and the girls had to do all of the work at the civic center. 
  • Robby and Graham pulled in about an hour later. They also had a good trip and were glad to be home safely. We then had to frantically rush to Benton to return a rental car before racing to the airport to pick up Reagan and Anderson.
  • We made it to the airport right as they were landing, but we were inside waiting with everyone else by the time that made it down the escalator. They both enjoyed it all as well though Reagan was a bit disappointed that she wasn't able to go to the homeless village that Graham worked at. 
  • We came home and as the kids unpacked and laundry started, I worked on supper. The kids ate, and the Wilsons brought over cake. We visited while Robby told all of his stories.
  • When they left, we started to play Whitman's new board game, but it seems to be pretty complicated so we will have to study up on that and play tomorrow. 
  • Right now the girls are pretty tired, Graham is already asleep, Anderson is showering, and Whitman could probably go another few hours before falling asleep!

July 18, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • This is the last night that this house will be quiet for a little while. I think that Whitman will be excited to have every one else home. I know that I will be as well-I have not been apart from Robby ever this long. And gracious, Bentley, she just goes to the girls' closed bedroom door and whines. If they were gone much longer, we would have to go to the vet and get her some medication.
  • I had to wake Whitman up this morning so we could go and pick up Grannymom and Grandpa. I had a gift card to Main Event so we went to bowl with that gift card. I have signed Whitman up with the kids bowl free program, so he can bowl 2 games free only having to pay for his shoes. His shoes were 5, but Grannymom and I were bowling also so I expected to pay full price for us to bowl. I don't know what that would have been, but I was surprised when they just charged us 15 for all of us to bowl. 
  • I thought I had a deal and was pleased, but little did I know it would get better. We bowled two games-only one real game. The other game was some type of bowling game where we tried to hit the bumpers when they lit up a certain color. Whitman was much better at that game-or at least he understood what we were doing. 
  • The place was so crowded with kids when we came in that I regretted not calling and checking if they had groups coming. However, by the time we finished bowling it had emptied out some, so we went to the restaurant to use more of the gift card.
  • They had a deal where you could buy one entree and get a 10 dollar play card. We all did that-Whitman and I split a pizza earning him a 10 dollar play card, and Grannymom and Grandpa split chicken fingers earning another card. The food was good and pretty plentiful. 
  • I knew I would go over my 50 dollar gift card when I saw the 43 dollar check for our meal. I added my tip and handed the lady my gift card. Then I had out my credit card, but she said that the gift card covered it all. So for some reason, we were able to use my 50 dollar gift card for 65 dollars worth of things today (6 games of bowling, 2 meals, $20 of points)-we aren't sure how that happened, but we left quickly after that.
  • Actually, we didn't. Whitman went and played his games some. Then Grandpa watched Whitman play a few games even playing one himself. I played some next with him, and eventually, he ran out of points on his cards. He really enjoyed the day and came home and organized his Minecraft cards that he earned today.
  • We took Grandpa back home, and then went to Costco with Grannymom. I found our vitamins and then possibly a shirt for Anderson, but most importantly we bought some cookies as we were leaving. Whitman and I came home and ate our cookie, and then he found a recipe to cook.
  • For supper tonight, he wanted to make pizza chips out of tortillas from a cookbook. We did that and while they baked we played a game. They weren't quite ready at first, so we put them in longer. I'm sure you can figure out where this is going-we burned them!
  • However, it didn't take long for us to make them again, and by the time our game was over, we were eating our pizza chips. He must have really liked them because he came back for more. Now I am reading and enjoying the last little bit of quiet in the house-actually, this house will be quiet for days since the kids will sleep forever when they get home. 
  • Whitman and I had one last fun thing tonight-we went to Sonic for some ice cream this evening. Robby is usually the fun parent, but I've tried hard this week! He was certainly surprised when I asked him if he wanted to go out to get ice cream!

July 17, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • Whitman and I started the day at the new Museum of Fine Arts. It was pretty impressive; it is no Crystal Bridges, but really it is pretty close. There was a scavenger hunt there that we did, so that was fun. And maybe because of the scavenger hunt or maybe because we just aren't overly impressed with art, we were only there for about 45 minutes or maybe even less.
  • We had fun though, and we really had fun when the prize for the scavenger hunt was an ice cream scoop at Loblolly. We drove right there, and Whitman got himself a chocolate chip cookie dough scoop. I didn't get anything, but I did see exactly what I want for my birthday-a 12 scoop flight. I can think of nothing better and have already hinted to Robby (though I better remind him a little closer.)
  • Whitman wanted to eat his ice cream in the car, so as he ate, I drove to the other side of town towards Cinnaholic. They had their simple cinnamon rolls on sale for 2 dollars today. Robby and I had eaten a roll there before, and we were not impressed. However, today's was delicious. It probably wouldn't be worth 5 dollars, but definitely worth 2. It was so good that I devoured mine on the way home.
  • Once at home, the rain had finally cleared so I had took my walk with Bentley. Whitman and I did spelling, and I worked on Reagan's desk shelf. It is from the Wilsons and was white, but Reagan really wanted a wooden one. Well, after a bit of work and Dana's direction, it is going to look pretty close to wood. I still don't know if she will use it or even be able to use it, but I only spent 7 dollars.
  • Whitman had a swim party tonight with all the kids from church. Sara offered to take him and bring him home since she was passing right by here. That was great, but it meant that he had to leave early and come home late.  
  • That was fine with me because as soon as he left, I headed to Walmart to do some shopping. I think some of the kids will want food when they get home Friday, so I have things to make a meal or that can be put off to Saturday if need be. Plus I was able to do a bit more dorm room shopping. 
  • When Whitman came in, he told me all about his evening, and then we played a round of Mario Cart. Now, his is showering, and it is almost bedtime.

July 16, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • Another morning with Whitman sleeping in late. It is Tuesday, and I have pretty much exhausted my weekly list of chores plus I am knocking out other random things on my list. School is ready for the next few weeks, and I will finish two books tomorrow. 
  • I do have a painting project that I started today and hope to finish tomorrow. Plus I have thought about organizing everything that Reagan is taking to college, but I think she needs to do that. Thankfully, Whitman and I have a few more big activities to do over the next few days.
  • Today we went to the movies. He loves the movies, and since this was Inside Out 2, he told me all about the first movie. His explanation was so thourough that I felt that I had seen the first one. We got popcorn for free, and even smuggled in some candy and a coke.
  • After the movie we picked up Sonic for our supper, and then we played a game while eating. Tonight we played a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory game. 
  • Last night Reagan and Anderson went to the Vegas strip and walked around. Reagan really enjoyed it and even said it was like NYC. Today they went to Hoover Dam. I think that they have a VBS that they do each day.
  • Robby and Graham went to a homeless village and did some yard work. They also went to a laundomat and talked to some people. Robby rewarded his van full of kids a Sonic drink on the way back.
  • And Campbell and Keaton had a lot of rain near St. Louis where they are. So much rain that Campbell sent me a video of her walking through water inside of a building. The Civic Center where the girls stay had some pretty good flooding. They sleep on the 3rd floor so it didn't effect them too much. 
  • They did spend the morning trying to get things off the floor and help the Civic Center people. The boys stay at another place, and they lost power for a bit. The leader even tried to get to the girls at some point this morning but the roads were so bad that he could not. It does look like they were able to do some things today-or at least they left the Civic Center eventually. 

July 15, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • Whitman slept in a little bit today-well, it was 11 when I woke him up. I know what time he went to bed, so I guess he just needed to catch up on his sleep since he didn't stay up crazy late. That did give me plenty of time to do almost all of my house stuff this morning. 
  • I even took Bentley on a walk-bless her, the first mile she is all spunky, and then she pulls towards the driveway whenever we pass it. I guess a 2 mile walk is good for her because it wears her completely out, and really she hasn't done anything else all day long.
  • I even did a few school things today-we have 2 more off weeks, and then we start real school. My people are so not going to be happy, but honestly, I will be. It will take us a few weeks for things to get settled though-we have Reagan's move in and the big boys won't start their college classes for a few weeks after we start, but we need to get back to a routine.
  • For lunch Whitman and I went to Nonna and Pops' house to eat. We ate and stayed there for a while. We even got a laundry basket out of their shed. I was originally going to replace mine, but the more I think about it, that might just be Reagan's new laundry basket.
  • The new car didn't show up today-they are checking on something which is certainly good because we want it to be okay. Keaton though text me and asked for pictures-she may be more excited than Reagan.
  • Whitman and I had our supper and finished our Monopoly game. I lost-he had one row of hotels which just caused me to lose all of my money. I had more property groups though and could have won, but I somehow never managed to have enough money to buy houses and hotels. He already has pulled out our game for tomorrow night.
  • On the mission trip front, I have heard little from people today. Reagan wrote to ask me about some college things, and I have talked to Robby, but other than that I haven't heard anything. Robby will fill me in on his day later tonight.

July 14, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • I shall begin with what I know about the mission trip people: Anderson told me that they went to church in the morning and then went to an event in the evening at a church that they are helping with. I tracked Keaton and Campbell and could tell that they went to church this morning, and then Campbell sent me pictures of her at the arch so that was also a stop today. Graham reported in that it was not too hot.
  • I have chatted with Robby, and he added that Graham and his group went to church under a bridge and then passed out 100 sandwiches that they had made. They played at a gym for a little bit, and then they went to a church this evening before eating pizza for supper.
  • Whitman and I have had a full day-church this morning where I again should have brought my sweater. Then Sunday school were we had to do a craft which was pretty involved for all my first graders.
  • Grannymom had lasagna for lunch-at least I think it was lasagna, I can't really remember. I know that we had salad, biscuits, and peanut butter pie with it. After lunch, we headed home where I worked on my list of things. Robby called so I chatted with him for a long while.
  • Then I ran to Sonic for Whitman a drink and burger. We worked on our Monopoly game while we ate. Afterwards, we made a paper airplane launcher with her crunchlabs box. 
  • I did some reading and worked on the blog, but next we are going to have a mario cart tournament. I used to think that Whitman didn't talk much to her brothers and sisters, but he must because he has been pretty chatty with me since no one else is home!