December 11, 2018

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Another day with starting school a bit late. Today wasn't all my fault. Everyone had their breakfasts and were sitting in my room. I looked around and was missing a kid though. I guess I hadn't waken her up well enough. I ran up to wake her up and she groggily came down the steps.
  • This morning at the end of our reading, I did look over and see Anderson snoozing away. He was wide awake while we were reading about Bloody Mary, but I guess reading our picture book about The Best Christmas Ever put him to sleep. 
  • The kids did their school work, and things were fairly uneventful. I am having to watch everyone fairly closely to make sure they do their work with excellence. Now I did let Anderson skip one thing today-I needed help in getting the house ready for tomorrow. And I figure after doing two pages of math, handwriting, writing, parsing 10 sentences, and a host of other things that skipping one little thing won't kill him. 
  • Keaton headed out to the dentist for an appointment at noon. They found a cavity yesterday, and we sure wanted to get her in for her work before the end of the year, so I jumped at today's appointment. The first one they mentioned was today at 8, which would have been a stretch!
  • Keaton did perfectly at the dentist. Afterwards, she was rewarded with a drink. She sure hates shots at the doctor's office, but didn't seem to mind at all about anything that happened at the dentist office. And yes, our dentist has already text to check on her, if you ever need a recommendation let me know!
  • Back at home, we were in Homeschool Day prep mode. We straightened and then moved all of the chairs out of the kitchen. For some reason, the moms all decided earlier in the year that we all wanted to make crafts for the kids to gift on our December date. What in the world were we thinking? 
  • I have supplies to make bath bombs which we tried and failed at (maybe tomorrow will be better) and cookies in tiny little jars. Campbell helped me sample everything and set everything out. There will also be games, presents and card making. I love a party and my kids love a party with 18 of their closest friends. Yep, that is 23, actually 24, kids at the house tomorrow-don't be surprised that Robby will be working in Conway.
  • We worked all afternoon getting stuff ready. Then an hour before basketball practice, I ran to Walmart with the girls. Basketball practice was next. While I was sitting there, I remembered that I had a kid with a birthday this week so after practice, we headed off to Sams to buy some cupcakes for tomorrow. 
  • Once we made it home, showers were well underway. Robby made quesadillas for supper while I helped Reagan with her gift. Anderson asked for a snack tonight. We told him to find one and goodness the boy looked and looked for something and finally settled on cereal. I offered cereal to anyone else but didn't have any takers. 

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2018: 14 Days Until Christmas

I think that we have seen just about every place that good ole Abe Lincoln has ever been. On our spur of the moment trip this September, we saw Lincoln's boyhood home plus in Dearborn at Greenfield Village, we walked through a courthouse that Lincoln practiced law at. In addition, right next door at the Henry Ford, they have the chair that Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated.

History is just pretty amazing and so is the wax figure maker at the Henry Ford. We thought we certainly needed a figure of Lincoln for our tree. Here are the pictures from the Henry Ford day of this year.  

December 10, 2018

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Even though I slept in today, I still had to wake everyone up. Once I did get everyone downstairs, we grabbed our breakfasts and started on school. I did have to keep calling Reagan's name while I was reading because I was not sure if she was asleep or just closing her eyes. My bet is that she was snoozing, but she sure would respond quickly when I did say her name.
  • School was fairly uneventful today. Whitman did work on one worksheet for about 30 minutes before lunch. Then after lunch, it took him about 4 minutes to finish it. I guess he realized that if he went ahead and finished it, then he could watch his ipad.
  • After we did our school, we straightened a few things around the house and even did some more reading this afternoon. Then it was time to leave for the dentist. 
  • Last time we went to the dentist thinking that everyone had appointments, they did not and I had the wrong date. This time, everyone did indeed have appointments. Here was the dentist rundown-Reagan: needs to brush better, Anderson: has a cavity that is on a baby tooth so we will just wait, Graham: needs to floss, Campbell: has an odd permanent tooth but no worries, Keaton: has a cavity which we will fix tomorrow, Whitman: lots of wear from grinding on his front teeth.
  • Now Whitman was the entertainment for the dentist today. He told then he was 100 years old. I did hear him once and peeked back there. It was taking 3 ladies to get him to do the xray. I felt bad for him-he was coughing and crying. Then he looked up at the lady and said, "you put that at the end of my throat." He recovered quickly and was soon just fine. 
  • After the dentist, I lost my mind and took the kids to the dollar store. Everyone bought a present for their homeschool buddy gift on Wednesday. Plus Keaton, Campbell and Graham bought Christmas presents for everyone in the house. I also had a few things to buy so we were in the store for what seemed like an hour or more. Then we even walked through Michael's before heading home.
  • Once at home, we eventually found our supper before Santa's wrapping workshop officially opened. Everyone wrapped their gifts and gracious there is definitely a difference in how girls wrap presents and how boys wrap presents. I eventually became tickled at Graham's pitiful wrapping. I am not the best wrapper by any means but that boy needs some wrapping lessons. 
  • Once the wrapping paper was put up, I did look over my list and determined that I do still need a whole day of shopping to finish up. Hopefully that can happen soon! Tomorrow though is school, dentist, basketball and prepping for homeschool day with 23 kiddos here.

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2018: 15 Days until Christmas

In June of this year, we weren't able to take a tour of Jewel Cave. However, we did walk a trail there and enjoy their visitor's center. We had already seen Wind Cave that day and really, once you see one cave, haven't you seen them all? (Kidding, kind of.)

Now, our favorite part of Jewel Cave is the cement box out front. Some of their cave tours require you to crawl though this little cement box before going on the tour. The kids delighted in shimmying through it. Robby and I were wise enough not to crawl around on the ground trying to squeeze through a box for no reason. However, the kids will never forget it though. Click here for that's days blog.

December 9, 2018

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Unfortunately, when we looked out the window this morning, there was no snow and not even any ice on the roads. How disappointing. I do love church and all, but I also really love snowy and icy weather. Oh, well, maybe another time. 
  • After waking the kids up, I went to work bagging up Christmas candy for the kids' Sunday school teachers. Only the men received candy so it didn't take too long. There were also 3 who were absent, so we are now eating their candy. It probably would have lasted another week-freshness wise, but it sure wouldn't last a week in this house without being eaten.
  • The boys had anxiously been watching the weather most of the evening and early night as well, so they were just as disappointed as I was. I had told them that I would leave them a note if anything was cancelled, so when I did wake up Graham already had his clothes on.
  • We did the church and Sunday school thing, and then headed to Grannymom's house to celebrate Dana's birthday. We ate and then Dana opened up her birthday presents. The girls then headed to Dana's house to see her puppies. They are enamored with those dogs and have both put a dog on their Christmas list-not going to happen.
  • This afternoon Robby and I had our Sunday afternoon naps. I did wake up in the middle of mine with a runny nose and sneezed about 15 times. I guess I am getting a little bit of a cold, but hopefully it won't last too long. I don't mind sneezing and sniffling but certainly don't want it to get any worse.
  • I then took Campbell, Keaton and Whitman to church to get ready for their singing tonight on the stage. Reagan had left church today with her Sunday school class to go and see her friend in a play. So she arrived back at church and her buddies all sat with us during the service, because when it was almost over Robby left to take them all to their life group Christmas party tonight. It is just one party after another for that girl-and people say homeschool kids are unsocialized.
  • Whitman's preschool group sang a few Christmas songs. He did great-it really looked like he was singing and he stood still on the stage with his fingers not in his nose or pants-we couldn't ask for more!
  • Campbell and Keaton sang next with the children's choir. They also did really well. After church, I ran by Burger King to buy my crew supper. 
  • Robby ran home for a few minutes before heading out again to pick up Reagan. She had a big time at her party tonight and they were out until after 10. Robby said they were busy playing games when he arrived so he came in and had a drink as they finished up. Reagan did leave with a pair of socks as her gift. 
  • Once she made it home, everyone was put in bed with lots of warning about tomorrow being a full school day! It has been over a week since we have had a full day of school, and Mondays' aren't always the easiest!

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2018: 16 Days until Christmas

In September, we had the opportunity to hit one of the places on Robby's list-the Heinz History Museum. This was like a Smithsonian focused on the history of Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas plus it was like our Museum of Discovery.

Keaton had been sick the night before, so even though I was walking through the museum with trash bags in my pockets just in case, we all had a really good time. They had a section devoted to Mr. Rogers and his tv show. On the way there, the kids watched and we listened to a documentary about Fred Rogers.

The museum was pretty neat and I am glad that we stopped by. At the end, we were all rewarded with miniature ketchup bottles for doing a scavenger hunt. Those ketchup bottles now end up on my Christmas tree. Click here to read that day's adventures.

December 8, 2018

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Basketball day #2, and my people were a little slower to wake up. Today would have been a perfect day to just stay in bed! Whitman sure tried.
  • Keaton had the first game this morning, with all of our crew, our grands, the Heltz crew and the Kamps crew we filled up an entire bleacher plus some. We were also a teeny bit noisy! Keaton's team did win, and we think that Keaton scored a couple of points. 
  • After her game, we had a few hours to kill before the next game so everyone headed home. Keaton and Whitman went with Grannymom to her house. There they had a few snacks, read a few books, played a few games and Keaton even pulled a tooth. Now, all she wants for Christmas is her two top teeth. Now, Whitman did let us know tonight that he "hates that song."
  • At home, Campbell made a batch of peanut butter cookies with the Hershey kiss on top. Reagan used the cricut to make a mug for her life groups white elephant gift. And I made candy to give to the kids Sunday school teachers. Though the weather is looking dicey tonight so I am not too sure if church will happen or not. I guess if I get off the couch and bag up the goodies, then we will not have church. If I don't and just wait and see until the morning, then we will have church. 
  • Then it was back to Immanuel for Campbell's game. Her team won-we were playing Eden's team so the whole bleacher full group was back. Campbell didn't score any points-she is one of the youngest on her team so that gives her a bit of a disadvantage. Last year she was a super scorer every game, but this year she is not there just yet. 
  • Graham's game was next. His team did well, but still lost. They held the other team and both had low scores. He was the point guard most of the time. We did give Graham a hard time because he sure had a hard time holding his hands up high when he was guarding his man. I guess my boy is a good Baptist!
  • Then there was an hour break before Anderson's game. We all loaded up and headed to Sonic to get a drink since it was Happy Hour. Then it was back to the court. Graham was sure hoping that he would be able to play some on Anderson's team since he had the same color uniform, and we knew they would be out some players. However, they would have been considered a forfeit-the coaches had already asked since they were concerned that they would have their needed 4 players.
  • Thankfully, everyone showed up and the did have 4 guys there. This meant that they all played the entire game. There was one player on the other team who was at least 1 foot taller than Anderson, and that was the guy that he guarded for most of the game. He worked hard and his team pulled off the win-in the last seconds! Anderson did score the points to tie up the game. It was an exciting game and great way to end the basketball afternoon.
  • Back at home, it was showers for the players. Then the kids all made pizzas for their supper. We did a lot of watching the weather and lots more watching of Christmas movies. We also pulled out Santa down to start our countdown of Christmas. We usually do this every night in December, but seem to be running a bit behind.