July 23, 2024

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  • I think that I could say that we all seem to be back in a routine after everyone's week gone and Whitman and my week here. It is kind of nice to be back in our little pattern-even if it is our crazy summer routines.
  • This is the second day in a row that Graham has woken up early to run. Of course the last two days that he has done this, the weather has not been horrible like it was a few weeks ago when he was running at noon and it was 200 degrees outside.
  • Whitman has started on some of his new school for next year. It is a brand new language arts program which I am super excited about. Today was really the first real day, and he didn't hate it. This is a program that says it does not go by grade level, so I could have probably bought Whitman the level below this one. However, I can already tell he is going to do great-the only problems he will have is with spelling. 
  • Each day this curriculum has me dictate 2 or 3 sentences for him to write down. They have crazy words in them already like "peasant," "autumn," and "daughter." He doesn't have a chance at spelling any of those correctly, so we will do those sentences but we will still press on with our other spelling.
  • Everyone but Whitman went to eat lunch today with the church group. They said that even though they ordered online, it took nearly an hour to get their food. I don't think they cared though since there were quite a few people there to visit with.
  • When lunch was over, the boys went to play basketball. They played until after 5, and the girls went to TJ Maxx and shopped about that long. Reagan found a few more dorm things, and then she went to the bonus room to put them up and was surprised at all of her collection of things. (And really, we haven't gone overboard at all.)
  • Reagan went to Bible study tonight and then a movie so she missed out on the spaghetti that the rest of us had for supper here. When supper was over, I spent a good deal of time buying textbooks for Reagan next year. 
  • Now I'm going to find me a snack and possibly a tv show to watch-since everyone has been home, I just can not get into reading my books. I am not sure what is wrong with me right now, but I just can't read!

July 22, 2024

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  • This was the first day with everyone back home and chores and some school work to do, and getting back into the swing of things was a little bit difficult for my people. Hopefully, over the next two weeks they can start getting used to the idea that school starts soon.
  • During the morning, Whitman did start his new language arts book. Today was an easy day, so I can't really tell how it is going to go. Though I think that it is going to be a perfect fit for him.
  • This afternoon Campbell, Graham, and Anderson had dentist appointments. They all had cavities to be filled-I think Anderson had the most (4), but Graham's was the deepest. I wasn't sure that Campbell was going to get out of the car at the dentist-I thought that she might just refuse to go in. She really dislikes the dentist and having to have a filling sure didn't help her love or lack there of of them.
  • Keaton had a dress came in the mail today which fit, so the Dennies are pretty much ready for Friday night's wedding. Outfitting all of us for something is fairly difficult which is one of the reasons that we have never had family pictures made.
  • While all the bigs were leaving for Raymar Bible study tonight, Whitman and I played his new game again. I then made him supper before I took a short evening nap. 

    July 21, 2024

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    • This morning my alarm went off super early, but that was kind of nice because after my shower, I climbed back in bed for a few minutes before having to start waking everyone up. I was a bit stressed when I noticed that I didn't run the dishwasher last night, but I was happy when I opened it to find that we didn't have many dishes yesterday-I'm not really sure what or how we ate though.
    • We made it to church in plenty of time. Last week all of the youth were gone on their mission trips, but this week they were all back. They sat right in front of us, and they were all there today. Obviously, this is a good thing, but it so stressed me out when someone comes up looking for a seat, and then there is no room for them so they have to make the walk of shame back out to find another seat. With the pews, you could always squeeze someone else in, but not with these new chairs. Robby and I even moved over a seat today trying to give someone some room so they could avoid the no seat walk of shame,
    • After big church, we headed to Sunday school. They had cookies for a big snack today which made all of the kids happy. Church had gone long, so Sunday school time was kind of short. Then we were finished, but our big kids were upstairs chatting with their friends for a while.
    • Lunch today was at Nonna and Pops' house. They had pork tenderloin, and we also celebrated Graham's birthday. I think that he was pleased with his birthday present's-cash! We stayed there chatting for a little bit, and then came home.
    • Robby turned on the news to watch about Biden not running again for president-lots of history making moments happening lately. We both also snoozed some. Keaton and Campbell were going to leave at 3:10, but about 3:05 a friend called me. I chatted for a while, and then realized it was past time to leave with the girls.
    • I went upstairs, and they were both sleeping soundly. I tried to wake Campbell up, and she promptly told me that we didn't have to leave until 3:10, and I told her that it was 3:18, and she still didn't seem to care. Once they did get up, we were soon in the car, and they were only a few minutes late to their Bible study.
    • A bit later, Anderson and Graham walked to the car. I asked about Reagan, and they said that she said she wasn't going. I was confused because at Nonna's house she had mentioned her friend's were coming. I text her, and she was going, but I guess she was asleep too when the boys asked her. We need to do a better job about alarm setting and communicating on these Sundays.
    • The Wilsons came over this evening. We made a fancy supper of grilled cheese, but we did top it off with ice cream since this is National Ice Cream Day-though Tony agreed with me that I think National Ice Cream day rolls around fairly often!

    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.