Augut 21, 2019

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  • Today was fairly similar to yesterday. The kids are still getting used to Robby being home every day. I was asked at least twice, "Dad is home?" He usually hides in the bonus room until lunch time when we will see him for a few minutes.
  • The kids did great on their school work. I have figured out what I want to do for Anderon's spelling, and Reagan did one section of her ACT. She did fine for never having taken a test before. Whitman still took forever, but he is at least cute.
  • We all had our lunch before doing another round of reading. We knoked out a Jr. Ranger book and are moving steadily along in our Latin book. Whitman is a pro at only one Latin phrase-Ego Amo Te (I love you.)
  • This afternoon flew by becuase in the middle of it, we loaded up and headed to Third Realm. Not too many more weeks to go, and the kids always love seeing their buddies. Though I know that I could accomplish a lot more if I wasn't leaving the house every single day. I love days that you just don't leave the house at all! Those are my favorite days ever.
  • After lots of jumping, we ran home briefly before leaving again for another Wednesday night. This is the first normal schedule one so it was new to everyone. I again have another good first grade group. We just have one kiddos that needs some extra attention (and he's not mine.)
  • Reagan badly wanted to stay longer after church tonight so we did stay which made her happy. All of the kids were out playing gaga ball. Once it was time to leave, we rushed home so Robby and I could meet the Wilsons for an evening walk.
  • We were racing the lightening that seemed to be all around us. I was afraid that we were going to be blown away-or maybe I was hoping that a storm would come and we could stop early! 
  • When we came home, I made the kids ice cream sandwiches which they kind of liked. I am not sure though since no one really asked for seconds on the ice cream sandwiches! Then it was time for bed for the crew-one more day of school this week!

August 20, 2019

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  • School again. It seems like we are doing school all of the time now. I guess that it what we are supposed to do. Actually, I love it! It is chaotic and crazy, but I know what is going to happen each morning and that makes me happy.
  • I didn't know however that at 7:03 this morning that Keaton would come in our room and ask to make muffins. Campbell had made them yesterday, and I guess that she wanted her turn to cook. That was fine since we were stocked up on muffin mix (were-not stocked up anymore though). 
  • Since she started early with her muffins, they were ready by our time to read together. Everyone ate as I read about Venus and the French and Indian War today. I tell you, there are plenty of books to read about the French and Indian War and not too many of those books are interesting! Now, Venus I am finding a bit more interesting.
  • We then started on our work. For some reason, I became really far behind today. I work with everyone at least once during the day. Reagan I work with the shortest amount of time because I just have to check that she has finsihed her stuff and grade her math. Campbell I work with the longest because 3rd and 4th grade are just tough. Everyone else fall somewhere in between. 
  • So from 8-9 we read, that leaves me 3 hours to finish. That comes out to 30 minutes a kid and yes, I definitely watch the clock. Back to today, I was almost an hour behind at one point, but was somehow able to catch up. At noon though I laid down on the floor and felt like I had run a race. Who knew that school could be so hard?
  • About that time, Robby and I decided that I needed to get Reagan new cleats for tonight. Yesterday, she tried on one pair that was way too small and then we tried on another pair which was the next size up but they were way too large. Since we weren't able to find what we needed from that garage stash, she and I loaded up for Academy.
  • We were able to find shoes there for her but it did involve me having a man climb a ladder and also get on his hands and knees looking for the shoes. I was so happy that I could have hugged the man becuase I sure didn't want to pay 20 more dollars for other shoes.
  • We then hurried home to pick up the others and then headed to the library. We were going to make sugar crystals today, but they were kind of a flop. Half of the kids were able to make them, but the others weren't. That was fine though because after the class, the kids had the meal again today. Whitman was the only one to eat his apple, so I brought everyone's apples home with us-yes, I added them to the full apple drawer in the fridge.
  • After the library, we headed to meet all of the friends at Third Realm. Our jumping days are coming to a close, but today we hit 100 visits! Now all of the kids have not been there all 100 times, but that does mean that Robby or I have been there 100 times. 
  • We jumped, and then ran home for a little bit. Robby heated up some hot dogs for our supper. We scarfed it down before taking Reagan to her first soccer practice. I don't think that she was nervous at all, but we might have been a bit nervous for her.
  • Robby and I hung around for a little bit but then drove to Pinnacle after dropping her off. We didn't climb the mountain today because it is so blasted hot. We did however, sit in the shade and play on our phones until practice was over.
  • When we picked her up, she was super chatty which means that she had fun. She also was incredibly wet with sweat. She said that she didn't know that she could sweat that much! I didn't either!
  • We ran to Walmart on the way home, and then were home for the evening. The kids had some downtime and ice cream before bedtime. Whitman is a bit spooked lately in the house and at night. Tonight he called me upstairs because he was scared. I laid beside him and told him that he had two big strong brothers in the room with him, and his daddy was downstairs. I then added, "and who else protects you?" I was going for the "Jesus" answer, but instead he looked at me and replied, "Momma!"

August 19, 2019

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  • Mondays can go well or they can go not so well. Thankfully. this Monday went very well. Whitman even finsihed his work by lunchtime. Anderson is working a bit slower, but still finished near lunch.
  • We have almost all of our school routine going now. The big 5 haven't started their Bible study yet, but that will begin in September. I have one thing that I have not started yet with Reagan, Anderson and Graham. Then we are also not eating lunch together and reading during lunchtime. I love that time but am not too sure if I can start that up since that time is nice to just catch up.
  • After lunch, everyone again gathered in my room for some more reading. The plan is to finish a few books early this year so I am trying my best to get things accomplished. Though I am struggling to find one more thing for Anderson to start to work on his spelling so that definitely won't be finished early or even on time!
  • Anderson worked on a cake this afternoon for Nonna's belated birthday. It was the same lemon cake that he made last week. He was very happy to make it for us to eat tonight. I really think my kiddos enjoy cooking. Now if I could just get them to heat up the leftovers like I usually do.
  • We headed to Third Realm late this afternoon. All of the buddies were there so the kids were busy the entire time. Afterwards, we came home and worked on cleaning out the fridge for our supper.
  • Then we loaded up and went to Nonna's house to celebrate with her. We put candles on the cake and sang. Then we all dug in. The cake was again excellent, but some of the kids also wanted ice cream. Whitman does not like the lemon cake because he thinks it tastes like banana.
  • After we ate, we played a grame of Trivial Pursuit. Campbell and Nonna's team one, but that was just because Robby and Pops were giving them hints. Not that I am bitter or anything! Nonna then opened her presents and not too long afterwards, we headed home for the evening.

August 18, 2019

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  • Another Sunday morning around here. Things were pretty calm-it probably helped that we had plenty of breakfast choices due to our stops at the bread thrift store on the way to and from Branson.
  • Whitman did walk through our room early. He said that he had to go and change clothes-this means that his pants and sheets are wet. Later, we heard the whole story from Graham. Whitman was in Graham's bed so when Graham felt that the bed was wet, he climbed into the floor. Later, Whitman woke up and asked to lay on the floor by Graham who being the good brother that he is said yes. Graham also said that he was already wet himself so it didn't really matter. I have said it before, but who knows what all goes on upstairs during the night.
  • Our Sunday school class went fine today. Our difficult kiddo seems to not be a real problem at all so that is a really good thing. Everyone seems to be enjoying their new classes so that makes me happy.
  • We had lunch at Grannymom's house and celebrated Cash's birthday. Quiche was on the menu which is exactly what Campbell and Anderson said that they wanted for their December birthdays. 
  • After we ate, Robby worked on their tv while the kids played games. Whitman and Grannymom even worked on some stretches for him since he has an good inch and possibly and inch and a half to grow before Disneyworld. 
  • On the way home, we went to get our car washed and moments later as we were nearing the house, a monsoon came. The wind was crazy-nuts enough that I worried about a tree falling on us. 
  • We came home, unloaded and I laid down for a little bit (about 20 minutes). While I was laying down the thunder was incrdibly loud, the wind was blowing and the power went out for a good 5 minutes. It was a pretty exciting afternoon.
  • As soon as the storm was over, Robby loaded up the crew and headed to Third Realm to jump. All of the buddies were there. I stayed home and worked on school for next week. Then it was time to meet up at the pool.
  • The weather seemed decent on the way but it sprinkled for the first hour that the kids swam. The sun was out but it just sprinkled away. They loved it. The Fergusons were there to so my kids enjoyed playing with all of their littles. 
  • We ate supper at the pool-sandwiches-and even stayed until closing. They close at 8 on Sundays which is the perfect time because when we come home, we still feel like we have some downtime before bed. 
  • There were lots of showers and I worked some more on school stuff before we sent everyone to bed. First I had to remake Graham's bed-all of his sheets are super clean. I probably should have told Whitman to stay in his own bed tonight!

August 17, 2019-Sixth Silver Dollar City Trip

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If you are just skimming the blog tonight, make sure that you do take time to read the last paragraph!

Most everyone in our room woke up at 5 this morning. Whitman had been coughing for just a little bit-well, enough that I debated getting him some water. Graham went to the bathroom, then I did and after that Campbell did as well. I didn't think that we were ever going to get to sleep again, but soon Robby was telling me that my alarm was ringing. 

We hit snooze for a bit too long, so we scurried around just a little bit this morning. We did eat the hotel breakfast, and really it was the best breakfast we have ever eaten in Branson apart from Billy Gails.

When we had finished, we quickly loaded up the cart, packed the car and drove to Silver Dollar City. We were still there before the opening time. Our usual routine is to go to Time Traveler and Thunderation the first thing in the morning. Instead, we hustled on to Powder Keg. Robby rode it twice wtih Whitman. We really need him to grow another inch to help out our Silver Dollar City trips. If he was just an inch taller, then he could ride almost all of the rides by himself. (Plus he needs to grow an inch at Disney for Rock n Roller coaster.)

Next we went to Fire in the Hole followed by Outlaw Run and Wildfire. Everyone did the seat thing where you pull yourself up to the top. Graham and I were together, and he didn't help me at all! That stinker. My hands were burning by the time the ride was over.

We were starting to wrap up by this time so we went to Time Traveler but the line was too long for that so everyone rode Thunderation. The next stop was supposed to be the big swings, but they were being cleaned. So we rode the pirate ship and teacups down at the bottom before heading back up to the top of the park.

You can't leave Silver Dollar City without cinnamon bread so we gladly ate our normal share plus Reagan and Anderson's share. Whitman had made a deal with Robby-Whitman wanted to ride some wet rides but Robby offered up Grandfather's Mansion instead. Whitman was super pleased with that idea so it was a win for everyone.

Then it was back to the car. We drove a bit, and then I started fixing our lunches. I was still working on lunches when we arrived back at the bread thrift store in Harrison. We were in there yesterday, but I still found a few more things today. 

We did stop nearish to Conway for a potty stop. I am not really sure where it was that we stopped, but I did drive home from there, and it was at least 30 minutes to Conway. We did stop at Walmart and Kroger on the way home. Reagan needed a soccer ball for her upcoming soccer practice (we have at least 17 soccer balls at our house, but none the right size.) And then there was a sale on cheese for we bought a couple or maybe more like a dozen.

When we did arrive home, Reagan and Anderson were already home from their one night retreat. Candice was nice enough to bring them home for us. They seemed like they had a good time. Anderson was exhuasted and said that he had very little sleep. Reagan also had little sleep but she does well with no sleep.

We all unloaded from our night away, and then headed to the Wilsons' house for supper. After we ate, Anderson asked to go home. Reagan wasn't showing any signs of sleep deprivation and played a round of kickball with the others. When they all came in, we devoured some ice cream-Blue Bell was also on sale today!

We then came home for showers and bed for the crew. As we were tucking everyone in tonight, Reagan casually mentioned, "I got saved last night." Robby and I were both a bit surprised and exstatic to hear this. We could not be more excited for her! Wonderful, wonderful news!

August 16, 2019-Sixth Silver Dollar City Trip

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This morning I asked Whitman if he was excited about our trip. He had been picking out Disney pins for our upcoming Disney trip and questioned if I was talking about our Disney trip. I told him that we were about to go to Branson in a few minutes. He looked at me and replied, “well, that is the first I have heard about that.”

I guess he hadn’t heard much about the trip since I packed for him which is just easier right now since he prefers to wear long sleeve shirts with his shorts. This little run to Branson is a bit different for everyone because Reagan and Anderson are staying back at home. They had a church retreat tonight so when we left for the trip, they were still there. Well, Anderson was there seeing us off while Reagan was still in her bed. 

As we were about to back a way, I thought that Whitman was about to cry when he said, “I am going to miss Anderson so much.” I told him that he could go and give him one last hug and out of the car he jumped. 

We left a bit earlier than planned today since we threw in a few extra stops on the way up. Not only was packing a bit different for this trip, the whole dynamics have been a bit changed as well. First, since this trip will be just one night, it does seem silly to bring all of the things that we bring. However, most things are already packed so it wasn’t any problem to load them in the car. I did omit my panini maker. I am still trying to figure out our new packing pattern so it neve hurts to practice.

Then not having the big kids does make things a bit different. The others seem to have stepped up. For example, they make sure that Whitman is with us and are even a bit more helpful. Maybe we should always take separate trips-no, not really. I do like having all of my people with us.

Our first stop today was something that has been on my to do list for a few years. We went to pick apples! We went to Cadron Crest Orchard in Guy. The kids and I went there with Grannymom and Nonna in 2016. They had less apples this time, but we still managed to spend a little bit.

Once we made it there, we waited in a line to find out where we needed to go. Then we were off to pick apples. They had lots of cooking apples, but we were interested in the eating apples. When we climbed in the car, I told Robby that the man said that one bag full was about 40 dollars. Robby was quick to ask why we had 4 bags with us. 

We then drove to the trees and went to town picking. We did lose Campbell briefly only to discover that she had practically filled her bag full. Bless. She was going to town getting apples. Whitman was so excited that we were going to get to pick them “like the pumpkin patch.” 

We walked back to the stand and paid for our apples. The kids could not have been more excited about the apple picking. Once we loaded the apples in the car, we headed back to the main road. The gps took us down a few back roads which was a pretty drive.

Other than our apple picking, we only stopped once for a gas/bathroom stop. Then I made lunch for everyone as we zoomed on down the road. The ride didn't seem very long at all, and around 3 we were walking in to Silver Dollar City.

I will say that we were a bit surprised be the weather. It was overcast and pleasant. We weren't hot at all. I joked that I could have used a jacket but it wasn't really that cool. It was so comforatable though. I hope that tomorrow will be just like that except I have looked at the weather and saw that it will be near 100 tomorrow!

There were a few folks at SDC today. We waited for about 20 minutes to get on Fire in the Hole and passed out Powder Keg because the line was super long. The bigs did the Barn Swings and Outlaw Run. We then went to the Fireman's Landing and did a few of the rides there.

The next stop was the other kiddie area. Everyone but me did the big swings. We stayed in that area doing most of the rides that were open there. Then it was back up the hill to Time Traveler for Graham and Campbell and Thunderation for the rest of us.

We did stay for the show at the end of the day. The park closed at 6 so we had really packed quite a bit into 3 hours. The show was a bit loud but that was good because Robby and I were able to sing along so we could embarrass Graham. We didn't stay until the end but as we were leaving they did start singing a patriotic song. We said that if they started with those songs then more people will come and stay for the show.

We then headed to the hotel. We are actually in a name brand hotel tonight which is strange for our Branson trips. Robby even commented that the wallpaper was all the way on the walls in this hotel! We heated up our bbq sandwiches for supper. We added to that chips, bean dip and corn chips to complete our meal.

After we ate, we cleaned up and headed out again-Krispy Kreme was calling our names. We always discuss good customer service when we come to this Krispy Kreme and compare it to the service at our now closed Krispy Kreme. I had an apple crisp which was delicious. After we ate our fill, we headed back to the hotel.

Everyone had showers and then we wtached some tv for a little bit before finally hitting the sack!



August 15, 2019

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  • Even though I always have plans to wake up a bit earlier, I just can't do that. I can however, wake up, get myself ready, wake the girls up, straighten my room, take the clothes out of the dryer and empty the dishwasher in less than 15 minutes. So that at least does still get our day started roughly on time.
  • We moved right on through our school work today. It helped tremendously that most of the kids don't have spelling. I have come to realize that Whitman will have to do spelling every single day if I have any hopes of finishing his book this year. He is just so, so slow!
  • I even had a break this morning and was able to fold the laundry and fill out a few forms for Reagan and Anderson's weekend church retreat. We ate our lunch as we did some work-Keaton and Whitman were doing their science with Reagan, Anderson was working on his science, Campbell and Graham were already finished and on their devices.
  • We did some afternoon work, and then all loaded up. I will tell you that some of my people were not too happy about leaving for an afternoon of shopping. I really wasn't either, but I do love marking things off of my list.
  • Our first stop was Target. The girls want new bedding, and Reagan knows exactly what she wants. I couldn't find the sales at Target like I had seen in the ad, but that was fine because Reagan could not find what she had in mind there either.
  • The next stop was the Dollar Tree. I did let the kids all pick out some candy or food something or another. Their choices are always just so odd-they picked cookies, popcorn, chocolate bar but few packages of candy. I was glad that we had the ice chest with us to keep all of their foods from melting.
  • Then it was to Walmart. We did what all we needed to do there and even loaded up on a few things that are cheaper than Kroger. And finally, it was time to stop at Third Realm to meet the friends. The kids jumped hard until it was time to leave. 
  • We rushed towards home, stopping at Burger King to pick up their supper. Of course I didn't get home with Reagan's nuggets (that I had paid for.) I felt horrible, but did make sure that she had plenty of fries to eat. I offered to make her something or help her find something, but she just pulled out nuggets from the fridge and ate them. 
  • I then rushed off to meet my homeschool mommas for a planning/chatting session. Robby was also out tonight at a work thing so the kids were home alone for a little bit. They all did fine and I only received one text while I was gone. 
  • I made it home before it was bedtime. The boys were still going strong late into the evening!  I am not too sure what makes some evenings a bit more wild than others, but this night they were definitly on the wild side!