December 9, 2018

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  • 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

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  • 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. 

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2018: 17 Days until Christmas

We had a long day of driving this May but still stopped for a little bit of fun in Spokane, Washington. The first stop in Spokane was a huge Radio Flyer Wagon that had a slide down the handle. Whitman climbed up it and slid down. He actually slid down so fast that he never stopped and flew at least 3 feet after the end of the slide.

Just a few blocks down the way was the Loof Carousel. It was built in 1909. Even after Robby had told the kids that we weren't going to ride it, he was soon in the line buying them tickets. Who can pass up having a bit of fun on a historic carousel? Here are the pictures and write up from that day.

December 7, 2018

(click here for today's pictures)

  • I had told the kids last night that we would work together this morning at 9, and I had also said that we would have muffins for breakfast. When Keaton walked int my room near 9, she was quick to tell me that I had not yet made the muffins.
  • After a bit, I did get up to work on those muffins. Keaton and Campbell did most of it for me. Now, this morning we had muffins not from the little pouch but from a brand name box. However, my kiddos turned their nose up at the nicer muffins. It didn't matte that I tried to tell them that these muffins were more expensive than what we normally eat. Later though, I tried one of those muffins and indeed they were right. The cheap bag muffins were much better than the brand name box.
  • We did our morning reading, and them I sent everyone off to work on their chores. We didn't seem to have much time because before I knew it, we were grabbing lunch, loading up and heading to Sams.
  • Our homeschool group rang the Salvation Army bell all day long today in front of Sams. Our shift was from 1-2:30. The kids really had a lot of fun doing it this year. Whitman and Keaton sang their hearts out with the rest of us-people seem to donate more when we were singing, and when we had Keaton and Whitman prominently placed in the front of our group. 
  • Once older lady put some money in the kettle and then handed me a 20 dollar bill. She told me to buy the kids some coke and pizza inside of Sams. I immediately looked at our clothes to see if we looked homeless. No, because of the big kids library class presentation and our Christmas party later at night, we had on church clothes. Hopefully, those don't look too homeless looking. 
  • We did go into Sams to buy a coke, but I do think that the rest of the ladies money will be put in the offering plate at church. Meanwhile, Robby, Reagan and Anderson were in Sams buying a coffee mug for a project. As they were in the line checking out, the person in front of them paid for their coffee mug. Maybe, we do need to invest in some better clothes or maybe people are just full of Christmas cheer. 
  • Robby took the 3 littles home from Sams while I headed to the children's library with the 3 bigs. Today was the day of the semester presentations for their library class. I believe that they all did well and had fun during their class.
  • Thankfully, they were finished a few minutes early so we hightailed it back home. We were there a few minutes and were able to help Robby get the food ready. Most everything was already ready but since we had been gone all day, he had to finish up the last little bit. Then we loaded up to leave to our Thursday night crew Christmas party.
  • We have been getting together with this group for over 20 years and our Christmas' have grown from just a few of us to a house full of grown ups and kiddos. Our food was plentiful and the conversation lively. Everyone had a good time, and we stayed out way too late for folks that will spend the morning, the day in fact, at the basketball court.

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2018: 18 Days until Christmas

In 4 days after leaving home this May, we were already in the middle of Grand Teton National Park. The next day we were knee dip in Grand Teton. Well, most everyone was knee deep in Jenny Lake. However, as Robby was conducting an icy feet challenge, everyone was standing still in the water.

Whitman though didn't understand and took off deeper and deeper in the water. He kept going until Robby and I were shouting at the kids to grab him. We were not going to put our feet in the icy water. Eventually, Whitman saw Graham racing to him and heard us all shouting at him. This, of course, scared him so he started racing back to the shore. Graham was splashing water in his pursuit, Whitman was slinging water as he was running...needless to say Whitman was drenched by the time he made it back to shore.

We had a good laugh, took some more pictures and walked back to the car to change his clothes before heading off on a gorgeous hike through the Grand Tetons. Click here to read about that memorable day.

December 6, 2018

(click here for today's pictures)

  • I did forget to mention this from yesterday. As we were getting ready to leave Grannymom's house yesterday, I had Whitman go potty. He was in the bathroom for a long while so I went to see what was taking him so long. 
  • I opened the door and the boy was not near the potty. He was, however, laying down in the bathtub. What in the world? I am not sure about what he was doing-surely he wasn't trying to hide. Whatever he was doing, he is just one special child. Gracious me.
  • Have you ever heard a noise in the middle of the night and just knew it was someone talking to you? Last night, I clearly heard Anderson call me. I jumped up, listening and waiting. After waiting a good long time, I finally decided that no one was awake upstairs. It might possibly have been Robby talking in his sleep as he occasionally does. 
  • Our morning was fairly uneventful. We did our together work and then the kids started on their school. They had a bit less today since I had to pull it all out last night. We had planned on being in Branson today, just like last week, so I didn't have school ready. Now, next week, come rain, sleet or snow we will be in Branson.
  • Since I had a bit of extra time, I did make grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch. Everyone we very pleased about the lunch, but I think that were especially pleased about the jar of apple sauce that I opened up as well. They just about demolished the entire jar. Maybe we should have applesauce more often.
  • Then we did some chores and afterwards, it was time for some mini gingerbread houses. Yesterday, at the library the librarian asked if we would like some. They had a gingerbread decorating house party and had extras, so she gave me 6 little houses and trees to decorate. She even gave us a bag full of candy to put on the houses. The boys were finished first with Keaton and Whitman next. Surprisingly, this time Campbell took more time than Reagan. It is interesting to see everyone's creations. They can not wait for our real gingerbread house decorating party.
  • This afternoon was filled with some baking-oreo fudge and pumpkin muffins. As soon as things were finished in the kitchen, it was time for supper and for me to head to basketball with Graham. 
  • I took him as the others ate. I did run a few errands while Graham was at practice. Then I hurried to pick up Graham. They had moved Anderson's practice back an hour so when we came home, Anderson and Robby left a few minutes later. 
  • While they were gone, the kids finished their showers. Soon Anderson and Robby were back home. We did give the kids a bit of time to play before it was soon bedtime.