Dennie Kids: May 31, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • A lazy Memorial Day morning-Mom and Dad on the treadmill, reading a few stories, working in our workbooks and then a bath for the boys
  • Dad taking our pictures and video to celebrate our 4 year 8 month, 3 year 5 month, 1 year 10 month and 5 month birthdays.  And aren’t we cute?
  • Running a few errands before celebrating the holiday with a cookout at Grannymom’s house.  Grandpa hung up a huge swing that goes really high and we love it!  Graham took it very seriously and hung on tightly (most of the time).  Mom and Dad even had a turn.  During Mom’s turn, Graham ran up and grabbed Mom’s finger-but he didn’t let go so Mom drug him a few feet!
  • Eating hamburgers and then more swinging and playing a little baseball while Mom and Dad ran another errand
  • Back home for a nap for Graham while Reagan and Anderson watched a movie.  Next was supper-meatballs.  The kids love them and that is what they chose….again!
  • Helping Dad clean out the deep freeze (Mom is expecting to buy lots more now that she has her coupons in a neat little binder…ohh, she is happy!)  Dad even took out their wedding cake-almost 10 years old.  He said we could have a bite in a few months. 
  • Getting to have a spin on the lawnmower since we were such good help and then coming in for baths.  Everyone needed baths since we were hot and stinky!  Campbell still enjoys her baths but especially grins when we get her out
  • Popsicles before bedtime for Graham (Reagan and Anderson were able to watch another movie-hey, it’s a holiday).  Graham was fussing while in bed so Mom thought maybe a roommate would help.  So Mom took Campbell (who was sleepy) to lay down in her bed in Graham’s room.  And since then, we haven’t heard from either of them.  Maybe we started a bad habit…we will see!

Video: Reagan (56 months), Anderson (41 months), Graham (22 months) Campbell (5 months)

Dennie Kids: May 30, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • We almost didn’t get around in time this morning to stop by Burger King.  But we did make time-when we started our weekly Burger King trek Graham could only eat 1 cinna-mini.  Now he gobbled down 2 and finished the other 2 on the way home
  • No Sunday lunch anywhere so we made do with meatballs-we had tons leftover from last night
  • The kids played while Mom and Dad hung out on the couch.  After playing it was soon Sunday nap time-the best part of the week!
  • Reagan waking up first and having her snack while watching a movie until the boys woke up and then they all demanded ice cream…and since it was Sunday.  They finished them off!
  • Supper and Anderson picked meatballs again.  Reagan chose a sandwich and all that Graham ate was the crust off of Reagan’s sandwich!
  • A lazy evening around the house-lots of playing and a little bit of fighting.  The highlight was the kids playing airplane on the couch.  Complete with turbulence, seat belt sign and then Anderson decided to use his pretzel as a cigarette (he called it “a smoker thing”) to which Reagan told him that there is no smoking on airplanes.
  • Everyone must have been very tired because after they went to bed we have not heard from them yet

Dennie Kids: May 30, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • What a big morning-watching Dad mow the yard from the upstairs window and then going downstairs to watch the men cut down our tree.  Reagan saw it fall and then said “I saw my favorite part so I am finished watching”
  • Breakfast in the car on the way to Ozark.  There was a family reunion with Grannymom’s family-Anderson and Reagan thought that the church we were eating in was Grannymom’s house when she was a little girl.
  • On our way home, we drove down a gravel road to which Reagan asked why the road was so bumpy.  The kids had never been on a gravel road.  We stopped at a family cemetery and while we were walking around the graves Reagan said “they must have buried these people really good.”  Her little mind was thinking that she would be able to see them sticking out of the ground.
  • As we were leaving, Grannymom’s brother also pulled out of where he had parked in the grass and left.  His name is Johnny.  Anderson asked Dad “why did John Deere park in the grass?”
  • Graham rode with Grannymom and Grandpa home from Ozark.  After 2 hours in the car, as we were pulling on to our street Reagan asked where Graham was.  She is our observant child!
  • Watching Dad finish the yard and playing with some tiny toys that Mom had found.  Dad had promised us a present if we were good today so Mom had to scramble! 
  • Kennedy, Camryn, Ethan and Jacob coming over to play with us.  We played with every toy that we own.  Fun!
  • Campbell cackling every time Mom held her in Graham’s face.  She though that was so funny.  She has been a little unsettled this evening-maybe she misses her cereal.  (I forgot tonight!)
  • Bedtime for everyone after our company left and we were all very sleepy

Dennie Kids: May 29, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Campbell eating at midnight and then again at 3-it won’t be long now until she is moving to the den! (where we can’t hear her)
  • Reading a story while eating breakfast.  Reagan was very mad it me because I wouldn’t make her a pb and j for breakfast
  • Mom and Campbell heading to the nutrition center for Campbell’s 5 month visit and she was perfect.  Absolutely perfect-she grinned and smiled during peapod and brain lab.  She weighs 15 lbs, is 25 inches long and has a head in the 95th percentile (we are so proud of her big head!-just like everyone elses!)
  • Nonna hanging out with everyone else at our house.  She said they had a few scuffles but were pretty good.  They spent their time playing train and cars and eating Nonna’s lunch that she brought over
  • Afternoon naps and then heading to Nonna and Pop’s house for supper-Pops made us hamburgers but all we wanted was juice and dessert!
  • Campbell taking her first few bites of cereal tonight.  I don’t think she was too crazy about it since she started gagging.  Oh, well, we will try again tomorrow!

Dennie Kids: May 27, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Back to school today after missing for a week and a half but Mom and Dad couldn’t get out of bed so we were a tiny bit late
  • Graham still not liking being dropped off but Reagan and Anderson love it-especially now that Anderson is in his big boy class and plays on the same playground as Reagan
  • Campbell spending the day with Nonna and Pops.  She took a nap with Pops and played dress up with Nonna
  • Reagan and Anderson having a picnic outside and they both agreed that it was hot out there!
  • Anderson’s teachers asked him if he enjoyed his trip and he said “I didn’t go on a trip”-this morning he had told me that he wanted it to be a secret
  • Picking up Campbell and seeing Beebee and Papaw.  Beebee mentioned that her grass needed mowing and Reagan said “but it’s not as tall as ours”-don’t worry, Dad ordered a belt for the lawnmower today.  It will be in in a few months (kidding)
  • Playing trains at home while Mom unloaded from school and then eating corndogs for supper on the couch.  We must have been starving since the boys ate all of theirs and Reagan came pretty close to finishing hers off. 
  • Jason, Nonna and Pops coming over to hang out for a little bit.  They had a snack, played hockey (new thing around here-using brooms to hit the balls) and even played outside
  • Anderson asked Mom if she could drop him off at Jason’s house sometime.  Mom said she could anytime!  Jason, they will be over in the morning!

Dennie Kids: May 26, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Anderson didn’t sleep well last night-he tossed, turned and yelled most of the night.  First he said he was hungry, then thirsty and then he just was yelling so he moved to our bed.  Robby said that he had to wake him up twice last night while he was in our bed.  Must have been so tired he couldn’t rest.  He even ended up with a large scratch across his nose!
  • Reagan sleeping until nearly 9 and Campbell would have slept even longer but her brother woke her up
  • Nonna coming over to play while Mom did her last bit of unpacking and a load of laundry
  • Eating fruit for lunch and then Dad surprising us by coming home for a few minutes
  • Afternoon naps for everyone-Reagan said that she had forgotten how to take a nap but she finally remembered
  • Campbell laughing and coughing all day long-her cough is a little bit better but she doesn’t seem to mind
  • Reagan waking up first and demanding candy and a movie while the boys slept until Mom woke them up at 5
  • Grannymom and Grandpa coming over while Mom and Dad went to the gym for a few minutes (eeek, more on that later though)
  • The little ones going to bed while Reagan and Anderson had some fruit loops and watched a movie before bed

Friendly Reminder

This is just a friendly reminder about how not to act.  On our trips, we always notice this and especially at the airport when we are pushing two double strollers.  People seem to notice our family-maybe because our kids are so darned cute or so well behaved (ha!) but when they notice they point and stare and even make comments like “wow, look at them,” “they have their hands full,” “they sure are brave” and “that’s alot of kids.”  And the list of comments we have heard goes on and on.  Anyway, don’t do that!  I would hate to see all of the looks that the Duggars get when they walk through the airport! 


I even had one person come up and ask if he could take a picture of the bravest people in the airport.  I laughed and said sure and he wasn’t kidding.  He took out his phone and snapped a picture!  Craziness! 

Colorado and Utah Adventure: May 25, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

Not having to leave the hotel until 11 meant a lazy morning.  So lazy in fact that Robby and I almost missed breakfast (he was actually doing some work!-gasp!)  We did need a little bit of a slow morning since Campbell ate two times last night and Graham decided he didn’t like sleeping in his pack n play.  But since the poor thing had been in 5 different hotels in 7 nights, I can imagine that he could get a little confused.  He did finally go back to bed after tossing and turning in our bed for an hour or two.

We left the hotel around 10 which meant we had plenty of time at the airport.  We unloaded and then the Dennies checked in while we waited by the cars.  They were going to check some of our bags so we could go ahead and check them and not wait until Robby came back.  One was over 50 pounds so Virginia had to quickly repack.  She just grabbed what she could and stuffed it into her suitcase.  Now poor Robby doesn’t have any underwear to wear tomorrow though! (kidding)

After James and Robby returned from dropping off the rental cars, we headed through security.  We are pretty good at getting 4 kids, 2 strollers, 1 bag, 1 suitcase, 1 ice chest, and 4 backpacks through security but it sure takes a lot out of you.  It just makes you want to sit down and rest for awhile-but the only sitting is while we are putting on all 10 shoes (Campbell doesn’t have any yet)

Our flight to St. Louis was on time and we found decent seats over the wing.  Reagan, Virginia and Graham sat in one row with me and Campbell, James and Anderson sat with Robby.  Graham has no fear of the water but he is a little scared to fly.  When the engines rev up he tried to bury his head in my shoulder.  He then looks out the window and says “bye airport” and usually whimpers a little.  He did fine but is hard to hold and entertain for 2 hours in a tight space.

As soon as we landed, we saw that our next flight was delayed.  We later found out it was a good thing since the weather here was dicey.  Anderson waited out the layover by playing cars in the floor, Campbell rolled around while laying on the floor, Reagan colored in her coloring book and Graham ran back and forth between the Dennies and us.  After burgers and some ice cream we were on our next flight.  The flight was quick but Graham and Campbell were able to take a snooze before landing.

Pops was waiting on us by the elevator and the kids were giddy when they saw him.  Graham had been saying “where’s pops?” since we landed.  We were home and unpacking in no time.  Jason had left us some fruit on our table and the kids were confused and excited about the fruit.  Before Reagan and Anderson went to bed, we were completely unpacked (well, 90% unpacked).  We had done a few loads of laundry on our trip and so everything was clean which was nice. 

The trip was beautiful.  I want to return to Estes Park and Robby wants to go back to Glenwood Springs by train.  We saw 5 national parks, stayed in 5 hotels, flew over 2500 miles, sweated in Utah, braved a blizzard in Colorado and drove 1542 miles in 8 days.  Quite an adventure for sure!

Colorado and Utah Adventure: May 24, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

The skies were clear this morning when we woke up so we were looking forward to our drive through Rocky Mountain National Park.  We ate breakfast and loaded up the van and moved on.  Our kids are quite in the car or very, very talkative and this morning everyone was fairly quiet.  Grannymom and Grandpa said that Graham was very quiet but spent his time looking out of the windows at the rocks and streams.  Anderson was so excited about going through the tunnel today-he could hardly contain himself and asked us if we could see the tunnel yet every ten seconds for at least 10 minutes.  Our first stop was for gas and potty breaks and then we were back on the road.

I had never been through I-70 when there wasn’t snow on the ground and again it was a beautiful drive.  We didn’t make it to much longer before we needed an ice cream stop.  McDonalds had a nice large eat outside area and then kids enjoyed eating out there.  Reagan then jumped in Grandpa’s car and we had Campbell and the boys.  This is how the conversation went in our car…

Anderson: Look at the big dump truck.

Graham: Huh?

Anderson: Look at the big dump truck.

Graham: Huh?

Anderson: Look at the big dump truck.

Graham: Huh?

…and this conversation continued for a very long time.  Robby and I could not contain our laughter.  Soon, we were at Estes Park and I ran in the Visitor Center to make sure we were headed in the right direction.  In a few miles, we were at Rocky Mountain National Park.  We stopped at the Visitor Center and it was very chilly there.  We decided that we would drive up to Bear Lake to see the lake.  There was even a paved mile hike that I had thought about doing along with our picnic.  We thought it might be a perfect spot.  But on our way up the mountain, it started snowing a little and then it became harder and harder.  The wind was blowing and the snow was crazy.  It was near blizzard like conditions!  (remember we had ice cream outside earlier in the day). 

We made it up the mountain and decided that a picnic and walk weren’t for today but we didn’t want to see the lake.  Virginia jumped in our van with the baby and I tried to wake Anderson up (he was in James’ car)  When I opened his door, the snow started pouring in our him, he jumped and told Mom that he did not want to go!  We bundled up Reagan and Graham and headed on our way.  The snow was packed on the path and the lake was frozen over but the wind and the snow made it miserable.  We ran to the lake so we could get our picture-the entire time, Graham cried and wanted Robby to hold him! 

Back in the car, Robby opened up one of the van doors and the snow flooded in-mainly on Campbell.  Reagan said that she smiled but Mom had to clean the snow off of her hair!  We took another path out of the park and on the way we encountered a herd of elk.  First we saw about 8 cross the road and soon another 8 or so came and crossed the road behind the first group.  Cars were pulled over everywhere to watch them.  Also, while in Estes Park we had seen some walking through a park near their downtown area. 

We stopped again at Estes Park for lunch.  They have a quaint downtown which I would have loved to walk around…except the crazy wind and light snow.  We just have our light jackets and a sweatshirt for the kids.  The drive out of the mountain followed a river on one side and mountains on both sides.  The snow had calmed down so we were able to see and it was picturesque. 

I want to rent a cabin along that road someday and just sit and watch the water.  I will put that on my list…. Speaking of lists.  We checked into Robby’s train ride that I mentioned yesterday and it is quite pricey.  As in, it has now been scratched off of the list!  Oh, well, it couldn’t get any prettier than what we have already seen on this trip.

Before long we were at our hotel for the night.  We made it here around 4:30 (I think).  The pool was first on the kids list since this will be there last time to swim for awhile.  We all put on our suits and again the pool was just too cool.  Anderson did convince Robby to get in so they swam along with Graham who was in and out of the pool and hot tub.  Reagan stayed in the hot tub with Grannymom and Grandpa.  Again, Campbell didn’t get to swim since the pool was too cold and the hot tub was too hot.  She didn’t seem to care and sat in her stroller and kicked and squealed.  Graham kept us all on our toes keeping up with him.  Robby would throw him up in the air and then catch him and even letting his head go under the water while doing this-and it didn’t phase him at all.  I am buying him a life jacket when we get home since he has no fear!…maybe even 2 life jackets!

After baths, we headed to Grannymom’s room to have our last picnic.  The bread is about to run out.  Oh, a little tidbit about eating bread in this neck of the woods-if you eat it outside, it will become hard within just a few minutes.  So most of our picnics have involved stiff bread but not this one since we were inside.  Poor people around here can’t have picnics.  We did finish off most of our picnic food and saved a few snacks for tomorrow. 

Graham’s pack n play is behind the little loveseat tonight since the bathroom is too small for it.  Campbell is now in the bathroom but I will probably move her later (she doesn’t feel bad but she definitely has the boys cold-they are on the mend)  Reagan and Anderson are sitting in the floor by the door each watching a movie.  They are actually sitting on each side of me-so I am heading 2 different movies and trying to write so please excuse any parts that didn’t make sense!

Colorado and Utah Adventure: May 23, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

After three nights in the same hotel, we finally had to pack up and move on.  Campbell ate a 6 but we all went back to sleep for a few more minutes.  The big kids headed to Grannymom’s room to go to breakfast while we got ready and Campbell stretched out on the bed before our long drive today.  This was our last morning of Holiday Inn Express cinnamon rolls and yum, yum, they were delicious.  After loading up the cars, we were on the road by 9.

It was a short little drive back to the Colorado border and Visitor Center.  The kids ran on the grass and then we went in for diapers and bathroom breaks.  I found a load of brochures for the rest of this trip and July’s trip.  They had toys out so the kids did not want to leave but since there was a helicopter in the parking lot they obliged.  It was good timing, since Tom called and let us listen to our new preacher for a few minutes.  We had already gotten a few reports about him and were glad to get to hear him. 

We didn’t make another stop until Glenwood Springs.  Robby had the perfect Italian restaurant picked out for us to eat at.  We could smell it as soon as we stepped out of the car.  We opened the door to the restaurant….and it was closed!  There was a Rib City nearby so we walked to that instead.  (If you ever get a chance to eat at a Rib City…don’t)  After our meal, we walked over the bridge which crossed the train tracks.  There was an Amtrak train arriving so we watched that for a few minutes.  (Robby wants to put that on his list – taking the California Zyphr from Chicago to San Francisco)  Then we continued on across the Colorado River.  We saw kayaks and rafts floating down-the river was quite full today.  The kids enjoyed watching the boaters come and then running to the other side of the bridge and watching them float away.

Next up on the path was the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool.  The kids just drooled as the looked at the pool that was larger than a football field and we drooled a little knowing it was a constant 90 degrees.  But we didn’t really have the time so we didn’t want to pay the high admission rate.  But there was miniature golf right around the corner so we did sneak in a round.

The kids had never played mini golf and well, you could tell.  Thankfully, no one was injured!-did I mention both boys had golf clubs (real ones!)  Reagan quickly got the hang of it with a lopsided swing.  It took Anderson a little bit longer but he did manage to improve his game.  Graham was just as happy as he could be holding on to his ball and dragging his club along behind him.  Campbell, Grandpa and Grannymom took a walk around while we finished our game.  We walked back to the car and headed on our way.

About as soon as we got in the car, I realized that everyone else had been to the bathroom and diaper changes but I never got my chance.  So during the drive along I-70 that followed the Colorado River and was surrounded by huge mountains-I was only thinking about finding a bathroom!  We did finally find a stop and I was relieved!

Before long we arrived in Dillon and quickly found our hotel.  There weren’t many cars in the parking lot and we still managed to end up on the third floor-right by the elevator though so that is nice.  The pool was calling the kids names so we headed out.  I thought that I had felt it but I must have been really cold since I thought the pool was warm…it wasn’t!  So we checked the inside hot tub and it was too hot for the little ones.  But the outside one was just fine-of course, the wind was crazy so it took a lot of convincing for the kids to run to Robby who was testing out the outside hot tub.  Poor Campbell though couldn’t get in the hot tub and she couldn’t be outside, so she just watched us from the window-pitiful!

After our brief swim (not much swimming can be done in a hot tub) we quickly changed and drove to look for supper.  After a few turnarounds we found our spot: Jersey Boys Pizza and Deli.  Robby redeemed himself with this pick because it was excellent.  We had a Stromboli (is that a musical instrument or a sandwich?…let me check…yes, that is what we had).  The kids said they wanted spaghetti so we also ordered some.  The portions were huge so we had ample and it was a good thing because the kids ate and ate.

Back to hotel and a movie before bedtime.  Graham got his foxy and taggie and asked to lay down and when Reagan’s movie was over, she pulled out her sleeping and got her bed ready.  There are two tables in this room and Reagan and Anderson are sleeping under them-and they had to have towels hanging off of them to make them into tents.  We are headed to Rocky Mountain National Park tomorrow but who knows where we will end up our last night since Robby is working on switching hotels right now!

Colorado and Utah Adventure: May 22, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

We slept late this morning and no one stirred until 7:30.  The boys didn’t really cough much so we all had a restful night.  We sent Reagan and Anderson to Grannymom’s room to get their clothes on.  Anderson was ready to go but as soon as Robby stood Reagan up she collapsed back on the bed-she was still tired.  Graham woke up when I started working in the bathroom so we put his clothes on him and sent him next door too.  Campbell woke up at 4 to eat so when she awoke this morning, her tummy was still full and she was as happy as she could be.

The gps said that we had two and a half hours until we made it to Capitol Reef National Park.  The drive was very pretty and lasted less than two hours.   Last month we saw the Grand Canyon and it is wonderful and impressive but on this trip, we have seen mile after mile of beautiful scenery.  We have driven through hundreds of miles of canyons and rock formations-that have been just as spectacular as the Grand Canyon.  I still recommend the Grand Canyon for a trip but I also highly recommend Southern Colorado and Southern Utah.  Back to the day, the drive was interesting and beautiful but also desolate-kind of spooky a little!

Grandpa wondered where we were going and questioned Robby’s planning skills but we did make it to Capitol Reef and we weren’t the only people there!  As we entered the park we stopped at the welcome sign and for a bathroom stop.  A few miles down the road were petroglyphs that we walked out on a board walk to view.  It took forever for the kids to find them-when Anderson finally saw them he said “ok, put me down.”  Reagan was fascinated with the caterpillars and wanted Robby to take pictures of every one she could find.

Throughout the park there are orchards-cherry, apple, peach and other fruit trees.  When the trees have fruit you can pick them and enjoy the fruit in the park.  Unfortunately, it isn’t fruit season but the park is gorgeous.  It is known because of the spectrum of colors displayed-reds, oranges, greens, blues and purples.  We stopped at the visitor center to walk through-I have been so impressed with each of the visitor centers that we have been too.  I have made Robby take picture after picture of things I want to buy for the kids.

We went down the park road and turned down a dirt road.  The signs everywhere said to watch out for flash floods.  It was called Grand Wash, the wash cuts right through the reef, has sheer cliffs of Wingate and Navajo sandstone up to 500 feet high, many colorful strata and eroded rock formations, going straight up on both sides of the car.  I wish I had the words to better describe all of the different types of rocks that we have seen on this trip.  At the end of the road, there was a parking lot full of other people-I had thought that we were the only crazy people driving down that road!

We got out of the cars and took a walk down the trail.  There was a cool rock that had two holes to look out of-spectacle rock. Next was a few back pictures and Reagan wanted Robby to take pictures of the flowers and Anderson wanted him to take pictures of the lizards.  Then we drove back to the Gifford Farm.  And yum, they were selling homemade pies, salsas and jellies.  After our picnic on the grounds we enjoyed some apple pie and ice cream.  It was windy today so we fought the wind all during the picnic but I certainly held on tight to my pie.  It was delicious-just needed to be warmed up!

Near the picnic table was a fenced area with two horses.  Graham has looked for horses every time we have been in the car this week and he was excited to see them…until we came close!  Then he was ready to run back down the street.  Reagan wanted to pet the horse and tried but she just really poked him which made him show his teeth and after that Anderson didn’t want anything to do with it!  When we talked to Graham later about the horse, he said “neigh neigh bite”-the horse didn’t bite him.

After another short walk over the Freemont river and to the bathrooms, we ran in the grass before loading back up and heading back to Green River.  We made good time on the way home and were back at the hotel by 3:30.  We unloaded from the day and Robby worked on changing our tomorrow night’s hotel. 

Right next door is the John Wesley Powell River Museum.  Robby said that it was strange that the museum was there since Powell has no connection to Green River, Utah-he did start his trip in Green River, Wyoming.  And that is why you study geography in school (so you don’t open up a museum in the wrong state).  But it is located next to the flowing Green River which he explored and mapped in the 1800s – along with the Colorado River.  The museum was small but nice.  They had a movie which the kids sat through, boats, art and lots of memorabilia in it.  When we finished the museum, we walked across the street to eat-but the restaurant looked like it only had a buffet so we opted for the other restaurant in town.

Yes, the only other restaurant in town!  Ray’s Tavern.  And it was full on this Saturday night.  There weren’t many other children in the tavern but my kids sure did enjoy watching the people play pool.  The burgers were good and everyone in the place had a hamburger.  My book said that it was the best hamburger across two counties.  After supper, we headed back to the hotel for a “family movie night.”  Robby thought of this so we could skip swimming tonight.  We watched Nemo for a little bit and now we are watching Mickey.

Tomorrow we head back to Colorado.  We don’t have to much on the itinerary since it is mostly a driving day.  Most of it will be a different route so I am sure we will find something interesting to do!

Colorado and Utah Adventure: May 21, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

It was nice not having to load up the car today since we are in the same hotel tonight.  We had other things to deal with-Anderson’s cough made him sick and why did it have to happen as soon as he put on his clothes?!  Everyone was up fairly early and we all headed to breakfast together.  The kids ate a little less today for breakfast than they did yesterday.  Grannymom and Grandpa joined us and then we ran back to the room to gather our stuff for the day.

We drove almost an hour and half toward Arches National Park.  The drive over was backtracking some from yesterday but the road is straight, flat and the view is outstanding.  We were soon in the park and headed up the switchbacks to the park.  The visitor center had animal statues in the front and the kids would have stayed there all day.  Reagan fed them pretend food, Graham tried to climb up on top of each one and Anderson gave them each a hug and kiss when we left. 

At the visitor centers, I have been stamping our National Park stamp books.  Robby and I bought one years ago and are quickly filling it up so now I have one for each child too.  Someday they will be old enough to read and enjoy their stamp books.  But now, I have to stamp them all myself-and that would be five stamps to do each time.  This park had 2 stamps so I was trying my best to quickly stamp all of the books.  I didn’t notice but Robby said there was a line forming behind me and they were not looking too happy!  Also, while we were there, Robby bought himself a hat-which he needed to keep his head from burning.  Anderson said that he needed one so Robby, feeling very generous because a hat for Anderson really means 3 hats, took him to the store.  Unfortunately, when you are a boy with that big Dennie head, there are no hats to fit you!  Anderson didn’t really mind and he even told Robby that he would wear the hat in the car and Robby could wear the hat outside.

We had talked about stopping at Balanced Rock and walking the short trail around it but decided we might should save the kids energy.  So we drove to the trail we had intended to walk on-North and South Windows but the parking lot nearest the trailhead was full.  We circled twice and had to park at a lower parking lot near another trailhead.  As we headed up the steps to the first trail, Robby called and said that we should do the closer one.  And oh, it was a great call-there were less people and it was perfect.  We hiked to Double Arch-the trail was flat and we could see where we were headed.  The breeze was blowing so it wasn’t hot and Reagan was so impressed with all of the wildflowers.  Anderson saw a lizard and Campbell kicked her feet and enjoyed being out of her seat. 

As we approached the arches, we noticed that there was an echo.  The kids have never heard a real echo-since I really don’t count an echo in a bathroom as a real echo.  Reagan could not believe it.  She thought it was so funny.  Graham enjoyed screaming and squealing too-but he was just doing it to have fun and not to hear the echo.

We made it to the arch and climbed up into the shade.  It was 2 arches connected on one side.  After our pictures, Reagan and Anderson wanted to climb up higher so Robby took them up higher.  I couldn’t go since I had Campbell in the carrier and was afraid it might be too much climbing and Graham couldn’t go since he is so unsteady.  Grannymom tried to deal with him but he only wanted up with Reagan.  He did climb by himself back up to me and waited on them to come down.  Robby helped Reagan and Anderson up and I took a few pictures.  Then I heard him tell them “sit right there.”  I walked over to peer over the rocks and saw him climbing up into the arch when he got to the top he said that it was a huge dropoff on the other side.  I didn’t notice but he said he had a little more difficulty climbing down than up-thought he might not be able to get down! 

After Arches, we drove down to Moab for lunch.  We had seen a diner in some book and it was worth the drive-Moab Diner and Ice Cream.  The kids ate and ate (mac and cheese and grilled cheese)-maybe they were hungry or maybe they were trying to clean their plates so they could have some ice cream.  They ate so well that they all had their own cup (except poor Campbell who watches us eat and moves and smacks her lips).  Reagan had strawberry, Anderson had rainbow sherbet and Graham had butterfinger (Dad picked that one out). 

Next we headed to Canyonlands National Park.   It wasn’t really that far from Arches and the bathrooms at the visitor center were calling our names-around here all of the bathrooms are the kind without water-the big whole in the ground type.  Yuck but thankfully very clean.  Anyway, at Canyonlands we had one “easy” trail in mind-at  least the brochure said it was easy!  The Mesa Arch Trail sign said it was .5 mile loop-doable with 4 kids in tow.  Grandpa stayed in the car for this one and that was a pretty good call!  It was uphill-both ways!  And since we really couldn’t see where we were headed to it made the hike a little longer.  Anderson was tired and even cried on the way to the arch but soon perked up.  Campbell fell asleep on the hike but since she wasn’t doing any work that was fine.  Graham had to hold a hand but often didn’t want to or wanted to be carried (and when he was carried he would lay his head down and grin-like he was thinking “sucker, I got you to carry me and I don’t have to walk”).  Reagan on the other hand was a master hiker on this hike.

I was expected a grand arch like those at arches but when we made it, it was worth the walk.  The arch was fairly small but behind it all you could see was miles and miles of colorful canyonlands.  It was comparable to the Grand Canyon in how it looked.  Behind the arch was another huge drop off!  Reagan and Anderson wanted to go up the hill a little ways and did with Robby.  Poor Graham wasn’t able to go but he did escape from Grannymom and climb up the cliff side of a rock-he is going to be a mountain climber!

After stopping at a few more overlooks, we were headed back to the hotel.  The drive was about 90 minutes and would have been shorter if we didn’t have to stop.  Graham was asleep and coughed until he got sick-Grannymom and I knew it was coming but weren’t able to catch it so he needed a change of clothes.  And then Reagan had to potty-we let them say it twice before we find a place to stop since sometime they are just bored and no pottying will get them out of the car.  After saying it the second time, I called Robby to tell him to find a spot-it was about to be the median but there was a gas station (the last one for 110 miles-seriously, that is what the sign said). 

Back in Green River, we drove looking for a Walgreens to buy some different cough medicine (some that doesn’t make Anderson get sick) but there is not much here at all.  We did find a tiny grocery store and found some new medicine (which seems to be working now-I hear no coughing).  On the way back, we stopped at park with a huge playground.  The kids played while I made sandwiches and then we played some more after we ate.  Next we were headed back to the hotel to swim.

At the hotel, Anderson didn’t want to take his new medicine so he couldn’t go swimming until he did.  So Reagan, Graham and Campbell headed down with me to the pool-Grannymom and Grandpa joined us (I couldn’t do it alone).  We swam for awhile before Anderson and Robby finally came down-he took his medicine and was so proud of himself.  Graham is so difficult in the pool now, he thinks he can swim.  He doesn’t want to be in his floatee and doesn’t want anyone to hold on to him either.  Campbell watched us at first and when we finally put her in, she kicked and squealed she was so excited.  Reagan and Anderson were happy to get out since they were going to get to help Robby with the laundry and play a game of pinball downstairs.

After baths, we went to Grandpa’s room to look at the pictures and then back to our room for one last movie.  Everyone is sound asleep right now-hiking and swimming make for tired kiddos!  Tomorrow is Capitol Reef National Park!

Colorado and Utah Adventure: May 20, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

The cinnamon rolls this morning did not disappoint.  Especially

after feeding Campbell and 4 and Graham deciding that the bathroom was not a great place to sleep at 4:30.  He did sleep a little while longer in our bed.  When we did start waking up, we dressed the kids and sent them to breakfast since they can pretty much fend for themselves…and since Grannymom was there too. 

We were on the road by 8:30ish and headed out of Gunnison towards the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  I read that it is call Black Canyon because due to the angles of the cliffs some areas never get any sun and are always in the shade-thus a black canyon.  But we never saw anything like that.  What we did see was absolutely beautiful.  When we pulled of at an overlook, Anderson said “oh, the Grand Canyon” and it truly was that dramatic.  We drove around the South Rim road and then needed a picnic stop. 

The ranger suggested driving the 5 miles to the bottom of the canyon by the river.  I doubted this suggestion and imagined us driving down something like Pike’s Peak…and it was pretty close to this but we made it and it was well worth the drive.  The picnic spot was right by the Gunnison river.  The kids threw sticks into the river and watched the current sweep them away.  Our picnic was much warmer today than yesterday so we were able to enjoy our sandwiches. 

Every time we looked up, there was something different to see-snow covered mountains, red rocks, rivers, lakes.  At one time today, we were driving by a lake and Anderson mentioned that he wanted Robby to buy him a ship and he wanted to go on a ship.  I convinced him that a Disney Cruise is what he would like to do.  It was a beautiful drive and we were quickly at our next stop.  The Dinosaur Adventure in Fruita near the border of Colorado.  The museum was a little light but the kids did enjoy digging for dinosaur bones, feeling an earthquake, making dino tracks and even watching some animatronic dinos-one even spit at you! (“Spit” is what Graham said when we asked him about the dinosaurs).  Beside the dino place was a huge McDonalds with a play place and this caught Reagan’s eye and she was ready to go.  Robby made a deal with her that after one more stop we would come back by there so she was in the car waiting to go to the Colorado National Monument before everyone else.   

We had talked about the how there is beautiful scenery everywhere and you don’t even know about it.  I had assumed that the Colorado National Monument was a statue of some guy on a horse but it is tall cliffs, dropoffs and rock formations.  Actually, we missed the turnoffs since both of our car loads were so busy admiring the huge houses beside the road.  We were able to easily find it and it was well worth the hunt.  The drive to the Visitor Center took us through two tunnels so they kids were pretty thrilled about that.  After a short hike and a back picture we drove back down the mountain. 

McDonalds was our supper and the kids played until they were pretty worn out.  Graham was so proud of himself for making it up to the top of the slide and Campbell was pretty excited to be out of the car seat and sitting up in her stroller-she was able to watch all of the action.  After supper, we had about 80 more minutes in the car.  The drive over into Utah was again gorgeous.  The kids don’t enjoy the scenery as much as we do but everyone once in awhile Reagan will scream out “snow, snow” or Graham will see cows or horses.  Anderson just keeps his eyes peeled for boats, trains, planes and trucks. 

Our hotel tonight is in Green River, Utah and it is not as “opulent” as last nights-mainly because we don’t have a refrigerator but we will manage.  The pool however was bath water warm and the kids were ready to swim.  I sat them down with a cookie in Grannymom’s room while we tried to unload quickly.  Before we could get the floaties all blown up, they were beating down the door to put on their bathing suits. 

This was Campbell’s first time to go swimming and she is still a little small for her floatie so someone had to hold onto her.  But she kicked her feet and waved her arms the entire time.  Graham didn’t really like his big floatie but didn’t want to be held either-he wasn’t really sure about what he wanted.  Reagan put on her armies and did great.  Anderson however, gets the most improved award-last year he was scared wearing the armies but this time he did pretty good.  He became a little braver and would briefly let go of us-briefly!

After baths for everyone and nighttime snacks, we are all in bed.  The girls are sleeping soundly but the boys are taking turns coughing.  We attempted to give Anderson some medicine but after a few gags and then a big mess we decided it wasn’t worth it.  Our plan tomorrow is Arches and Canyonland National Parks…and Reagan would then add swimming to the list!

Colorado and Utah Adventure: May 19, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

Anderson was the first to wake up in our room this morning-he was sitting up looking around.  Dad (who had been waking up most every hour) was the first to notice him.  Soon after we heard Graham trying to open up the bathroom door from his pack n play.  Grannymom helped Reagan and Anderson put on their clothes and then Graham and them headed to breakfast.  Reagan had a muffin, Anderson had 2 and Graham had none!  Soon Campbell had finished her bottle and we loaded some of the car before meeting the gang at breakfast. 

We had tickets for the 9:20 cog but we were on the road around 7:45.  Manitou Springs is a cute old ski town that is at the base of Pike’s Peak.  We were the first ones to park in the parking lot at the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.  The gift shop called our names and before long we had found a thimble for Graham’s teacher (she had requested one), the obligatory gift for his other teacher, a puzzle and an ornament.  Reagan did find a flashlight, rocks and earrings that she wanted to buy as well.  One cog car was filled with school children on a field trip and one was not-guess which one we were on?  Ha!  We were the only other people on that car.  That was fine with me since I didn’t have to worry about the kids being noisy.  The ride up the hill started around the elevation of 6500 and went to the top of Pikes Peak at 14000.  Quite a climb!

You couldn’t really tell that you were climbing a 6-25% grade except when you noticed the trees out the window or when seeing the train people walk around the car and it looked like they were standing crooked. The kids did great going up the hill as we saw the waterfalls, rock formation, snow, old cabins and even a prairie dog (maybe that is what it was).  Halfway up we stopped to let some hikers off-crazy folks.  Speaking of crazy is the road up to Pike’s Peak.  They said it was crazy windy with few gaurd rails and huge drop offs.  Robby had thought about us just driving to the top and not taking the cog but I am so glad we did the cog.  By the time we had gotten to the top, the kids were in a funk.  Graham had just woken up and only wanted to be held, Reagan was whiney and Anderson acted exhausted (Oh, Campbell was smiling happily in the front carrier)  Robby bought some doughnuts and everyone soon cheered up.  It happened to be very, very cold on the top so most of our time was spent inside.  Though we did step out at the end to take our picture on the top of Pike’s Peak.  As we were out there it started sleeting on us-so we rushed to get into the cog.  Though, Tara (and Campbell who was still strapped on) and Reagan did go out to try to catch some sleet (huge pieces-just like dippin dots).  I couldn’t see but Robby said that Campbell was smiling and grinning the whole time we were out there!

Since Reagan had rode in Grannymom’s car to the mountain, it was now the chatterboxes turn (Anderson).  He had asked us a zillion questions and pointed out ever thing on the way-he doesn’t usually get a chance to talk that much when Reagan is around.  We didn’t have far to go since we were trying to find a picnic spot.  Of course, by now it was sprinkling so we were looking for a covered place.  We drove through the Garden of the Gods looking for some where to stop but couldn’t find anything but by the time we turned around heading back through the sun came out and we were able to stop for lunch.

It was a chilly picnic but the sandwiches and chips still hit the spot.  After eating, we stopped at Balanced Rock.  The kids enjoyed the tiny hike to stand under it-Reagan was a little concerned that it was going to fall on her.  Notice in the pictures that she is holding her shirt down because it came up when she raised her arms to hold up the rock.  Graham saw what Anderson was doing and starting lifting up his part of the rock just like his brother.  It was a good stop to stretch our legs before our next long leg of the trip.

Robby wanted to go across the Royal Gorge on the worlds highest suspension bridge.  It goes across the Arkansas river and he wanted to the kids to understand that the river under the bridge flowed all the way to our city.  The area also has a carousel, an aerial tram, incline railway, pony rides and I am sure much more for a pretty steep admission fee-which includes going to the bridge.  The whole way there, it would rain and then stop and then rain.  We didn’t know if we would be able to stop our not.  The sky looked promising but as Robby was going to the front gates to check out a bathroom for Anderson it started raining.  This was probably a good thing since we didn’t have to make that decision about to go or not to-the weather made it for us. 

This was probably also a good thing because the rain quickly changed.  Since we weren’t going to go into the park, there was a clearing between the trees that you could see the bridge.  As we pulled over, it started hailing like we have never seen.  Hail!  Big pieces of hail! Poke your eyes out hail!  But since we needed a picture, Robby was the camera man and I had to dodge the hail.  Robby did leave his door open and he returned to a seat full of hail.  It was enough that I took a scoop and threw it to the back of the van at Reagan.  A few miles down the road, there was a restroom and Dad grabbed Anderson from Grannymom’s car and ran him to the bathroom (the hail was lessening by then).  But there was still enough hail that hadn’t melted in the car for Reagan to pick it up and take it to Graham so he could have some.  It was crazy!  But soon the sun was out again and we continued on.

It was the most beautiful drive from the Royal Gorge to Salida.  The small Arkansas river flowed beside us with red rock mountains behind it.  An abandoned train went on for miles beside the river.  And the river had the occasional kayaker going down it.  Ahead, were more red rock mountains and in the background were the snow covered Rockies.  It was gorgeous.  At Salida, we stopped for a potty break and ice cream.  Tara then drove the van and Dad drove Grandpa’s car with Anderson.  Grannymom who had come to the van entertained Graham as Reagan watched a movie and Campbell slept. 

This part of the drive was not so pretty-up the windy hill to Monarch Pass and then down the steep and windy hill.  I haven’t ever driven on a road like that-hmm, and don’t really ever plan on it again.  Robby tells stories of when they skied at Monarch and the cabin walls had holes where you could see outside.  But soon we were at the hotel in Gunnison.  My travel book described this Holiday Inn Express as opulent!  Nice that it was close to our supper stop.  Robby and I have been having bad luck on finding places to eat lately-they are always closed for the day or closed for good when we get there as was our pick tonight.  But there was a pizza place nearby and it was very good.  Graham who hasn’t eaten much lately gobbled down a breadstick while Reagan obsessed about growing a lemon tree from her lemon seeds that she confiscated from Grannymom’s glass.

We dropped Campbell back at the hotel with Grannymom and headed to the park to play (why oh why don’t we have nice city parks at home?)  The kids loved it-swings, slides-lots of fun stuff.  It was awfully cold but still nice to run around.  Reagan went down one slide and we heard her scream.  She then cried out “it was a water slide”-the bottom of the slide was wet from the rain and her pants were soaking wet!  She was quite upset but soon forgot about it with a round of chase.  Though she was quick to pull them off when we came back to the room.  

They took baths while Tara tried to repack and Robby ran upstairs to put some laundry in.  Soon, Graham had his foxie and taggie and was telling everyone “night night” so he went to bed.  Anderson fell asleep watching a movie and Robby had to move him to his sleeping bag.  Campbell had fallen asleep with Grannymom and she was put in her bouncy for the night.  Oh, sleeping arrangements you ask…..well, Graham is in the pack n play in the bathroom, Campbell is in the closet in her bouncy, Anderson is between the beds in his sleeping bag and tonight that left no where for Reagan to sleep.  (They sleep in their sleeping bags so we don’t have to worry about the whole falling off the incredibly high bed issue and it is like camping out for them which they love)  The room has little walkway around the beds so Robby casually asked Reagan if she wanted to make a tent under the table-she was ecstatic.  I put a blanket down and then her sleeping bag and she then asked what I was going to put over the table-so I covered the table up with a sheet and she is in her “tent” and was sound asleep in no time. 

The kids are tired but are having a great time.  Hopefully, the weather will cooperate with us tomorrow a little bit better!  But first, this opulent hotel bed is calling my name…along with the cinnamon rolls in the morning for breakfast!

Colorado and Utah Adventure: May 18, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

The morning didn’t start off too early-Campbell decided to eat about 30 minutes before our alarm went off.  Soon everyone was waking up and putting on their trip clothes.  Pops was at our house a little before 8 ready to drive us to the airport.  The Dennies were at the airport waiting on us.  Check in was fairly quick and then through security we went. 

Reagan and Anderson are pros about traveling-they know the drill in the security line: get out of buggy, take shoes off, put bag up, walk through the metal detector, grab your bag and then head to the bench to put your shoes back on.  Graham tries his best to follow them-at one time today he saw Robby lay the buggies down at the end of the jetway and he put his backpack on top of them-just trying to do the right thing!  This is our second plane trip in less than a month so even Campbell is becoming familiar with it all-sleep, wake up, drink milk, repeat!

Our first flight was to Chicago and it wasn’t that long of a flight.  As we were about to land, a flight attendant asked if we had been sitting with 2 lap kids in one row the whole time-we said yes and then he told us that we had to move!  Tara and Campbell just switched with Grannymom who had Reagan and Anderson duty.  Since it was Southwest, we were in the very back of the plane which was fine!  That meant we were close to the bathrooms!

On our flight to Denver, we had our McDonalds hamburgers that Dad had bought during our short layover.  The kids must have been starving because Anderson ate all of his and Reagan and Graham ate most of theirs.  Campbell snoozed, Anderson tried to snooze and Graham was exhausted.  He was so tired but he must have still been hungry too.  He fell asleep but wouldn’t let go of his hamburger.  I should have taken a picture.

In Denver, it took awhile to finally get out car seats but they finally came!  Grandpa and Robby headed to pick up the cars while Tara, Grannymom and the kids took turns watching the luggage and taking bathroom breaks. 

Our first stop was the Capitol building-Robby jumped out for his customary picture.  Next we headed to the US Mint-but the visitor center closed about an hour before we arrived.  So we drove to Colorado Springs.  The kids marveled at the rocks we saw-especially Castle Rock.  We pulled off to drive through the Air Force Academy.  The chapel was beautiful and it is one of the most popular man-made attractions in Colorado.  The kids loved getting out and walking for awhile-touching the airplane statues, crawling over and under benches.  And Campbell enjoyed kicking her feet and letting the breeze blow on her-it is quite a bit cooler here (not jacket weather yet though)

After fighting the Colorado Springs traffic, we were at our hotel.  We are in the Penthouse suite (don’t get that excited) There are 2 bedrooms with a kitchen area-but the bathroom is big enough for Graham pack-n-play and the closet is big enough for Campbell’s bouncy.  The hotel had a small soup and salad supper so we made that work.  The kids enjoyed the croutons and cheese along with a little bit of cereal.  On the walk back to the room, we stopped to swing and slide some. 

Campbell was almost asleep and Reagan and Anderson took their baths while Mom, Dad and Graham headed to the store.  Grannymom and Grandpa supervised those at the hotel-Dad had told them they could have a lollipop if they obeyed and they must have since they were having one when we came back.  At the grocery store, we bought our picnic supplies along with diapers and some cookies for tonight (we did have an oven and felt that we needed to use it)

Graham took his bath and we could only lure him out with the fresh baked cookies.  We all enjoyed cookies while the kids watched a movie and Tara and Robby worked on getting tomorrow ready.  Campbell was pretty tired and Graham didn’t make a peep when Robby laid him down.  Anderson is acting pretty tired but Reagan is going strong drawing pictures and dancing her Mickey Mouse dance.

Tomorrow is Pike’s Peak so we need to be up early!  Good night!

Dennie Kids: May 17, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Meeting our church friends at the zoo this morning-Reagan’s friends Ethan and Kaleigh and Graham’s church and school buddy Ruthie were all there.  The highlight was seeing the lions-they were pawing at the glass.  Graham didn’t enjoy it at all, Reagan wanted to be brave but needed Anderson’s hand and Anderson wasn’t too excited about getting close.  Reagan and Anderson learned a valuable lesson: if the glass breaks, you just have to run faster than everyone else!
  • The next zoo highlight was meeting Dad at the zoo.  He was able to see a few animals with us before doing a kid swap so Mom could take Graham to the doctor.  Graham let Dr. Martin look, listen and poke him but he gave her a pretty nasty look!  He was fine and didn’t have an ear infection.  She did prescribe us some medicine just in case we needed it over the next few days
  • Everyone showing up at home and seeing the roofers (here finally).  The constant hammering and banging of the roofers just encouraged the kids to be even louder.  At one time, Mom did forget that there were a zillion people on the roof and she looked at Anderson and said “stop that banging”
  • Mom was a little worried about afternoon naps but thought she would try anyway-and lo and behold it worked.  Campbell slept all afternoon, the boys slept at least 2 hours but Reagan just sat and watched the clock.  The doorbell didn’t even wake them up!
  • Dad came home to bring earplugs (actually, he just brought supper) which Graham devoured-he hadn’t really eaten much the past few days.  Campbell sat and watched everyone eat-she is getting Graham’s cold-watery eyes and a runny nose but she still feels pretty good!
  • Nonna and Pops coming over to stay with the kids while Mom and Dad ran to the gym (shocking, I know but more on that another day).  When Graham found out they had left, he laid in the floor and cried but a bath by Pops made him happy.  Next Anderson said he wanted a bath. 
  • After Nonna and Pops left it was time to start heading to bed and everyone seems to have fallen asleep!…good thing, big day tomorrow!

Dennie Kids: May 16, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Sunday morning at church for most of the Dennies.  Graham and Dad stayed home since Graham was still a little warm-they did make good use of their time by doing a little laundry and shopping
  • Reagan was delighted that Mom and Nonna were in her class after church.  There were only a few kids in her class so Mom took them to sit in the lobby and listen to the choir at church (Mom had missed big church since she was helping in another class)
  • Everyone meeting back up at Nonna’s house for lunch and to celebrate Papaw’s 91st birthday.  As we were singing Happy Birthday-Anderson started screaming “stop, stop, wait, we forgot the candles”  Nonna had to explain she didn’t have that many candles!
  • Coming home and watching Dad do a little bit of work outside and playing with our neighbor friend.  We played on Dad’s lawnmower.  That is all that we do these days-Mom lets us play in the garage in the mornings and we play on the lawnmower the whole time. 
  • Afternoon naps during the rain and thunder and then eating all of the candy from our goodie bags from yesterday.  Getting out clothes back on for church-Anderson wondered if we would get cinna-minis on the way (we skipped them this morning since we had left over doughnuts)
  • Coloring class for Reagan and Anderson and nursery for Campbell, while Graham sat in big church with Mom and Dad since he was still a little sickly.  He was a little nervous the whole time but took it all in his wide opened brown eyes.  Mom took him in the lobby during the sermon and he did walk to the doors, peek through the crack in the doors and shout “hi daddy”
  • Doughnuts for bedtime snack and then everyone headed to bed!

Dennie Kids: May 15, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Wow, what a busy day.  Mom and Dad were the first ones up this morning-which left Reagan enough room in their bed to bring her 4 foot Minnie Mouse doll. 
  • Graham sleeping in pretty late-late enough that Dad had to wake him up.  He had a little bit of fever (someone always gets sick right before a trip)
  • Meeting Grannymom and Grandpa at the Central High National Historic Site.  The kids enjoyed seeing where Grannymom went to school and where Jenna goes to school now.  But the big hit was sitting on the stools and listening to the telephones
  • Driving by Dad’s grandparent’s old house and then driving by Krispy Kreme…and since the hot light was on Dad said that we had to stop.  Everyone enjoying a few doughnuts-Anderson had 3 and wanted more but Mom said no and Reagan just enjoys licking the icing off.  Graham loved his doughnut pick and ate every bit of it.
  • Dad convincing everyone that they needed a nap-and it wasn’t even 12 yet!  Everyone rested for a little bit until Mom had to start waking them up.  Campbell and Graham headed to Nonna and Pops house.  Poor Graham’s fever was back and he sure didn’t want Mom to leave him
  • Reagan and Anderson attending their first wedding (Dad’s half brother).  After just a few minutes Reagan asked “how many more minutes?” and Anderson’s only questions was “when do we eat cake?”
  • Everyone going back to Pops and Nonna’s to play for a few minutes.  Then back home for a quick change out of wedding clothes and more Tylenol for poor Graham
  • Going to David’s 2nd birthday party at the Little Gym.  There was jumping, climbing, balls, a bouncy, cake, juice boxes and party favors-it was so much fun that Reagan said she wanted to have her birthday party there
  • Coming home and eating some PB&Js before bedtime-and everyone was worn out!

Dennie Kids: May 14, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • Friday mornings-the best morning of the week.  Some child was in our bed way too early.  It wasn’t Campbell (she ate around 5 am).  After a few more kids climbed into the bed-Mom headed to Anderson’s bed to hide out for a few minutes (not successful-Graham found her very quickly)
  • Helping Mom decide what to take on the trip-Reagan wanted to take only skirts (it will be very cold most days) while Anderson tried to convince Mom to pack 5 bathing suits.  Mom didn’t get very far with her packing
  • Counting beans out and putting them in muffin tins-while eating fruit loops and drinking milk.  We didn’t even make a mess this time with the beans
  • During breakfast Anderson asked if we were going to read a Bible story (Mom wasn’t even going to suggest it after the other day) and sure enough we didn’t have time (but we did read one after lunch)
  • Heading to Grannymom’s house since Mom had a meeting to go.  Riding bicycles and playing farm while Campbell had her morning nap. We ate lunch with Grannymom too and Anderson said he ate “6 pickles” 
  • Reading more books at home and then afternoon naps.  Campbell stayed up with Mom and played in her gym.  She can kick and hit the toys hanging above her.  She even grabbed one toy and put it in her mouth-brilliant!
  • Graham pulling out the Mr. Potato Head after nap so everyone sat down to work on their potato heads (not too long ago, Mom questioned why she had 4 potato heads-now she is glad she kept them all-one for everyone)
  • Dad coming home with pizza for supper.  Just as we put our shoes on to go outside and play-it started raining.  But we did play in the driveway with our umbrellas.  Graham doesn’t really get the umbrella concept-he just holds his most of the time-not over his head!
  • The neighbors probably drove by and laughed since after the rain slowed, we started cutting hair-Anderson’s hair first, then Graham (who is a little more difficult) and finally Dad’s hair.  He sat right down in Anderson’s lawn chair and wrapped the St. Patrick’s Day flag around himself which we close with a chip clip (that is to keep the hair off). 
  • Baths for everyone-boys in one tub and girls in the other.  Campbell can’t stay long in the tub because someone has to hold her the whole time or she will slip down.  Then the little ones went to bed and Reagan and Anderson watched a few movies.  Mom and Dad were being so cool and letting them watch a 3rd movie when they heard crying-they were having a knock down drag out fight.  He squeezed her leg, she hit him and then Mom walked in to see Anderson slug Reagan-brotherly love!

Dennie Kids: May 13, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

  • School day and Reagan was the first one awake and boy was she awake.  She talked and talked and talked-so much so that Mom hid in the shower and Dad hid in the bathroom.  They left her to talk to her brothers
  • The highlights of school today: Reagan traced the upper and lower case letters and did an excellent job, Anderson said that he has lots of new friends but doesn’t know their names and Mom asked Graham if he went outside and he said no
  • Campbell spending the day snoozing at Nonna’s house.  She did let Beebee and Papaw hold her and she was very excited to see her brothers and sister.  Graham was so happy to see her that he just jumped and jumped
  • A big snack with Pops and then playing catch, looking at Papaw’s tomatoes and sliding a few times before Mom could round everyone up and stuff them in the car
  • Playing on Dad’s tractor in the hot, hot garage and looking at the roofing materials in the driveway before helping Mom unload the bags.  Playing with all the downstairs toys and then moving upstairs to trash that part of the house too!
  • Dad coming home and taking Mom to Target before taking everyone else to McDonalds.  It was fairly crowded tonight but the kids manage well and Graham loves trying to keep up with Reagan and Anderson
  • Campbell snoozing on the couch until bedtime-she loves her spot on the couch beside Mom
  • Dad taking down the downstairs gate and the kids didn’t know what to do.  Anderson put his hands on his head in confusion and Graham copied him.  Reagan just walked up and down and up and down the stairs.  They don’t ever remember not having gates around here (yes, Campbell will need them soon but her car seat is very hard for Mom to lift through/over the gate).  We are now taking bets on the first one to ride their bike/scooter down the stairs!

Dennie Kids: May 12, 2010

Highlights from today:  (click here for pictures)

  • Campbell sleeping all night long last night-or did Mom just not hear her cry?  She did eat around 10 so we are going to try the same thing tonight
  • Mom trying to feed Campbell a few minutes after Dad fed her this morning-she would have enjoyed that!  Anderson was ready to climb in Mom’s bed, drink his milk and watch a movie
  • Reagan was so excited that Campbell was laying in Mom’s bed this morning-her and Graham jockeyed to see who get could closer to Campbell.  Mom finally had to move poor Campbell for her own safety
  • During breakfast we read the last story from our Bible story book (The Jesus Storybook Bible).  And Reagan said “yeah! no more Bible stories”-not the reaction Mom was really looking for.  Anderson was not pleased either when Mom said that now we could start over. 
  • Campbell napping most of the morning long while everyone else played happily (for the most part) in the den.  Mom did a little bit of work-sweeping, cleaning kitchen, laundry, packing lunches for tomorrow and hmm, that list doesn’t look as long as she thought it would be!
  • Working on some more birthday cards before Nonna came over.  She brought us lunch and the kids devoured it.  Reagan and Anderson loved melting their cheese on top of graham crackers.  Mom didn’t let Graham have any like that because she didn’t think that it could taste that good
  • Playing train with Nonna until naptime.  Reagan and Anderson shouted “all aboard” or “stop this train” seven thousand times.  They were one and off of the train (pillows) for over 30 minutes.  And the whole time, Graham set patiently on the train-he loved the whole thing!
  • Naps and then waking up for a nap and milk.  Then supper with Dad before going outside to play.  Reagan found a hidden treasure (penny) in the backyard and was so excited.  Mom asked Graham if Dad let Campbell go down the slide and Graham replied “uh huh”

Dennie Kids: May 11, 2010

Highlights from today:  (click here for pictures)

  • School morning and just as Mom finished making sandwiches for breakfast (the standard school morning breakfast) Anderson saw the leftover doughnuts and requested one.  Mom didn’t think Reagan or Graham would want some but they came running down the stairs when she mentioned it
  • Graham throwing a fit when Dad dropped him off (like usual but sometimes he does a little better).  Anderson saying he talked to Conner in his class but didn’t play with him.  Reagan said her favorite thing about school was doing the letter “s”
  • Picking Campbell up and having a snack with Grannymom and Cash.  And then playing outside for a little bit before going home to unload from the day
  • Watching a movie, Reagan doing her homework, Graham following Mom around from room to room, Campbell taking a long afternoon nap, sitting on the tractor in the garage and anxiously waiting for Dad to come home
  • Dad coming home and everyone loading up to go to the park.  Eating our chicken and cookie cake while hanging out in the park in Maumelle.  Swings, slides, a long walk and then a juice box in the car-what could be better!

Dennie Kids: May 10, 2010

Highlights from today:  (click here for pictures)

  • After telling the kids we were having a picnic yesterday and it being rained out, Mom had to take them to the zoo despite the rainy weather
  • It was cold but not raining at the zoo-and we were the ONLY ones there.  Seriously, didn’t seen anyone until we were leaving.  As we were nearing the elephants, we saw them returning from a walk-notice in the pictures how Reagan and Anderson are gripping the buggy.  Mom is having to hold Graham because he has already climbed out of the buggy and was whining!
  • Most of the animals were out and moving-Campbell really seemed to see the animals today, especially the giraffes who were eating out of the trees.  Two bears ran up to the edge when we approached (close enough that Mom backed the buggy up some) and one stood up and raised his arms high-which caused Graham to again climb out of the buggy!
  • Coming home and Jacob and Ethan coming over to play a little bit.  The highlight was Mom getting the beans out.  Mom got them out of the garage and we got them out of the box.  She has found beans all over the house-including in Graham’s diapers!
  • Lunch and then naps.  After naps, everyone had a snack, watched a movie, read a few books and worked in our workbooks
  • Dad coming home and everyone helped decorate Grandpa’s cookie.  Next we had supper and then baths for all of the kids
  • Celebrating Grandpa’s birthday-it was more of a celebration for us since we had lots of his cake, ice cream and juice!  Happy 78th birthday Grandpa!

Dennie Kids: May 9, 2010

Highlights from today:  (click here for pictures)

  • Mother’s Day, picnics, Ms. Shirley’s class, cinna-minis-there was a lot to look forward to this morning for all of the kids….until Dad told everyone that it was raining and the picnic was off!
  • Waking up in time to get everyone dressed and ready but Mom and Dad suddenly realizing that the time was gone and it was time to GO!…poor Campbell didn’t even get to finish her bottle
  • Mom opening up her Mother’s Day present-a Target gift card, candy and a beautiful homemade card
  • Seeing Lilly and Cash at church and they were able to go to class with Reagan and Anderson.  Reagan’s class had “Muffins for Mom” to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Reagan showed Mom to her seat, served her strawberries and muffins and then gave her a card
  • Mom and Dad working in Campbell’s class-9 fussing babies and 1 sweet little Campbell who never made a peep!
  • The picnic was moved to Grannymom’s garage-the kids were pleased and the garage meal was kind of nice.  After eating, we opened the garage and the kids rode bikes until time for a nap
  • Back to church tonight-Reagan and Anderson go to the same class and they love it!  And after church we met Nonna, Pops and Jason at the doughnut stop for some doughnuts before bed-Anderson had 3, Graham ate 1/2 and Reagan had 2.
  • A cup of milk and story before bed.  Graham tried to climb in his bed twice before Mom finally put him in
  • Late last night when Mom and Dad were still up, they heard Anderson holler out “Reagan?!?”  Mom bounded up the stairs just in time to open their door and see Reagan’s blanket slowly slide off of her bed and land of floor.  Anderson just saw that blanket hanging there and was scared silly!  Poor baby.

Dennie Kids: May 8, 2010

Highlights from today:  (click here for pictures)

  • A lazy Saturday morning-Dad did mow the yard and when Mom mentioned that Ethan’s party was today, Reagan said “I love birthday parties because we can eat sugary, tasty treats”
  • Finding costumes to dress up in and playing with almost every toy in the house before Mom made us put our clothes on.  The big kids just want to wear their pajamas all day long.  Graham doesn’t mind putting on his clothes but he become livid when Mom tried to stop him long enough to change his diaper
  • Going to Ethan’s birthday party-the kids enjoyed sliding, swinging, playing ball, coloring animals, eating hot dogs (which Anderson asked to eat for breakfast yesterday) and having cupcakes
  • Everyone hanging out at Grannymom and Grandpa’s house while Mom and Dad ran an errand.  Anderson said “they played outside all day” and loves riding bikes and going on a few walks.  Graham wanted to ride in the stroller and did not want to walk-he is my best stroller rider
  • Afternoon naps for us all-even Mom and Dad and we didn’t wake up until nearly 6!  So the kids had supper-mac and cheese and applesauce (Mom really needs to do some grocery shopping)
  • Watching a few movies before heading to bed-Campbell is still up grinning at Mom and Dad

Dennie Kids: May 7, 2010

Highlights from today:  (click here for pictures)

  • Playing downstairs early this morning and then breakfast-we made blueberry muffins and they were yummy
  • Reagan and Anderson playing upstairs, Campbell sleeping on the chair and Graham playing right by Mom who was on the treadmill
  • Uncle Jason giving us the heads up about firemen near the house raising money.  We stopped by there before the library-Reagan and Anderson had their books that needed a fireman’s signature on it.  The firemen all wanted to sign the book.  Mom left Graham and Campbell in the car (don’t worry, Mom had the keys and there were 30 firemen within 20 feet of the car) and as we were walking back to the car they asked if we wanted to see the fire truck.  Mom got Campbell and Graham out and we headed to see the truck.  Anderson was ready to be lifted in the truck-Reagan not so much.  Reagan did slightly shake her head yes when asked if she wanted to sit up front.  Graham on the other hand just pointed to our van and said “go bye bye Momma”
  • A quick visit to the library.  We picked out a few books and even a few movies…and almost found ourselves in lots of trouble when we started to play chase!
  • Eating lunch on the couch-Graham fell asleep and Mom had to give him some coke to keep him up until naptime!  It was only 12:20!
  • Afternoon naps for everyone and then movies and snacks.  While sitting on the couch, Anderson said “I am sad, I want Grannymom and Nonna to be here with me”
  • Graham playing with a fire truck all afternoon-maybe he was thinking about the firemen we had seen earlier this afternoon
  • Supper at McDonalds-Reagan was so excited that it was one with a slide!  Then a little bit of shopping
  • Ice cream and Graham did not want the type Mom gave him-he had to have the exact kind as Anderson

Dennie Kids: May 6, 2010

Highlights from today:  (click here for pictures)

  • School morning – that means no one is up early; Dad gets Graham up & dressed, next Anderson while Mom helps Reagan
  • Dad taking the big kids to school while Mom dropped Campbell off at Nonna & Pops
  • Anderson was excited about going to his new class today – he knew right where to hang his back pack in his new class; Graham only fussed for a few seconds as Dad dropped him off – slowly progressing
  • Campbell hanging out with her boyfriend Jack at Nonna’s house.  Jack’s dad was helping Pops pull up some bushes.
  • Mom picking everyone up from school – all had made special Mother Day gifts (2 flowers pots and a hand print picture from Graham).  Ms. Mari said Anderson made himself right at home in his new class.  Dad asked if he made new friends and Anderson said, “Conner was in there; but I don’t know anyone else.”  He was excited he got to play on the big kids playground with Reagan
  • Everyone going to Nonna & Pops to pick up Campbell (and played for a little while ourselves outside)
  • Coming home and having a few snacks and playing really good with our Cheerios – we used them to fill up our trucks and trailers
  • Dad coming home and no one was hungry for supper – too many snacks at Nonnas and home; so Dad ate supper and we watched a movie while Mom left for class meeting and a night out
  • No real supper but a few snacks including ice cream (Graham managed to get on about every part of his body and clothes)
  • One more movie, then brushing our teeth before going to bed.  Campbell may be up for awhile – she’s been asleep half the evening – expect her up in a bit for a bottle.