November 30, 2012

Campbell Ruth:  2 Years, 11 Months!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Before getting dressed this morning, we had breakfast and then headed upstairs.  The boys both grabbed hats to wear and then started getting dressed.  Anderson saw the razorback on his shirt and said "go hogs."  Then he looked at Graham's hat-the N and Y from his New York Yankees hat-and said "Graham, you are for the Chinese?"
  • I made everyone do a bit of school before we left the house.  They did really well and finished most of school-though for the first 30 minutes Anderson put papers in and out of a bucket that he had tied a string on.  Seriously?  I finally had to take away the bucket and string, empty the school room of kids, shut the door and tell him to get it finished.  And it worked!
  • Then we all loaded up and headed to get my hair cut.  The kids had all been warned (and could even see my spoon sticking out of my bag).  We all squeezed in the little back room and Tammy cut away while the kids colored and colored.  They were all perfect.  Reagan spent her time coloring a picture of me sitting in the chair and Tammy cutting my hair.  She added so many details from the room and is becoming quite the artist.
  • Next up we were going to meet Robby at Wendys.  He was a bit behind us so we went ahead in and I sat the kids down and was preparing to order when a worker lady came and started doting on the kids.  She mentioned that they all looked alike and I said "yes, they all do look like their Daddy."  And now this was a question I have never heard before about my little family....she asked "they all got the same daddy?"  I tried to keep a straight face as I replied "yes, they do."  Her reply was "wow, he's been busy."
  • After eating, we ran by to drop off the white van for them to replace our back movie screen and then Robby dropped us off at home.  The kids worked on finishing school and Keaton discovered that someone left the pantry door open.  So she busied herself bringing multiple syrup bottles to the school room.  Imagine how quickly I moved when I looked up and saw syrup bottles sitting all around the school room.
  • As soon as we were finished, Reagan called Nonna to say that she was ready to go.  Reagan had one thing on her mind for her night with Nonna and Pops-she wanted to buy Robby and me a Christmas present.  She took a wad of money and I hope that she didn't spend it all.  From Jason's pictures it looked like she had a blast-shopping, decorating Nonna's tree, Larry's pizza, wrapping presents and putting up more of Nonna's snow village.
  • This afternoon at home, the girls had a nap and Graham and Anderson helped wrap Graham's present that he picked out of Campbell.  And then they worked on filling Anderson's pinata for his birthday party.  Then I started cooking for tomorrow and cooked until after supper.  
  • Grannymom and Grandpa came over for their Christmas snapshot.  The kids also had quick photo shoots as well and then we had supper.  After supper, the kids played with Grannymom and Grandpa for a bit and soon it was bedtime for my little Dennies. I think that they were pretty tired-I know I was!

November 29, 2012

7 Years, 2 Months
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Yesterday, Reagan was telling me that she wanted to learn to speak "Mexican" and I said "Spanish" to which she replied "Mexican, like in Mexico."  Before I could explain Anderson piped in with "I can speak Spanish: You will love our cheese dip."  Seriously, my son thinks that "you will love our cheese dip" is a Spanish phrase.  
  • This morning started like most of the rest-Graham was up first and soon we were moving quickly getting everyone ready for the day.  Robby took most of the kids to Grannymom's house and I dropped off Graham so I could run to Benton to work on a few on my charts.  Then I beat it back to WLR to see my kid.  
  • My schedule quickly changed when I found out that I needed to take Keaton to get her second flu shot before 11:15.  So I picked her up from Grannymom's house and we headed to the doctor.  That child was so happy at the doctor's office-until she got her shot.  Then she just glared at the nurse-she cried for a minute and then it was just an evil glare.  
  • She perked up by the time we got back to the car and spent our time in Sams and Walmart waving at passersby.  Every so often she would get upset and fuss until I would hand her my keys or anything else I could get my hands on.
  • After buying our 8 gallons of milk for the week, we headed back to Grannymom's house to pick up the others.  Speaking of my 8 gallons of milk, reminds me of a story I saw on the news tonight.  These girls were living in a church shelter and they just sobbed as they said the worse part was having to ride in the church van to school.  Those pitiful girls but my poor kids-we aren't even homeless and they will have to ride places in a big ole church van.
  • Surprisingly, everyone was fairly ready to head home this afternoon.  Anderson was in a mood and upset that Reagan wouldn't play soccer with him.  When the child gets in a mood like that it lasts-lasted through school today.  Had a melt down about doing his spelling words-just stalled and then refused to double the l's, f's, and s' and would vehemently tell me that you spell doll as "dol" and stuff as "stuf."  It didn't take too long for me to have enough and tell him that he had one more chance later in the school day and then he would do his spelling with his Daddy.  That lit a fire under him and he did much better on his second round of spelling words.
  • After school, his rough day continued-they were all outside with a few of the neighbor kids.  They were far away from the garage where I was when I heard him hollering about something.  I peeked out and to me it looked like he hit the neighbor girl.  I immediately asked if he hit her-he said no, neighbor said no and Reagan also said no.  Then Anderson said that neighbor girl hit him on the bottom with a stick, neighbor said that happened, Reagan then acted like she hadn't seen a thing, neighbor was told to go home and go home immediately.  Then she just sat on the other neighbors driveway watching the kids in my yard-made me feel bad for a nano second.  
  • Later, I tried to explain to Reagan that I wanted to know what happened but she wouldn't tell me anything.  Acted like she hadn't seen or heard a thing.  I can understand not wanting to get anyone in trouble but we had a conversation about always sticking up for our brothers and sisters.  
  • Nonna had picked up Graham from school and they even went shopping for Campbell's Christmas present (the kids drew names).  He was so excited about his purchase and can not wait to wrap it and give it to her.  They made it home just in time to see the big truck deliver Robby's evening project-a game table and 8 chairs for the bonus room.  
  • We all had supper and then Robby thrilled Reagan by letting her watch a new Disney show-well we thought it was a show but it lasted and lasted and lasted.  Finally, the only way they would let us turn it off was to have our ice cream truck box show up.  After that is was bedtime for them and work time for Robby!

November 28, 2012

God Loves Me!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Looking over yesterday's pictures, I noticed Anderson riding Graham's bike with pants on that looked like capri pants and thought I better explain.  Reagan and Anderson were dressing up like elves and Santa so Anderson needed red pants and Graham's pants were the only ones that we had.  
  • What did Anderson do with his red pants, red shirt and Santa hat?  Well, he ran his belle with a box in front of him saying "money for the poor? money for the poor?" Then he filled a Walmart sack with toys to pass out to everyone.
  • I guess I am playing catch up because another thing that happened yesterday was us discussing Santa's naughty and nice list.  Anderson said "oh, I just hope I am on the nice list, I just hope."  Reagan then moaned "I bet I am on the naughty list" and Anderson nodded in agreement and said "probably so."  
  • Graham was in our bed fairly early-well I know that it was light outside so it probably wasn't that early.  Soon at least 3 kids were in our bed and Keaton was fussing ready to join the party.  Robby got her out of bed while I jumped in the shower.  Soon everyone was eating breakfast.
  • After breakfast, we had school-that silly Reagan daily finishes before Anderson.  I am going to have to find something for her to do that takes awhile so they can finish at about the same time.  Everyone was anxious to finish so that we could turn the monorail on by the tree.  
  • The boys had chocolate milk, Reagan had hot chocolate and Campbell had regular milk (she doesn't like chocolate milk-though probably has never tried it).  The monorail was circling the tree as everyone worked on putting beads on pipe cleaners to make snowflakes.  We almost finished but they still have some more snowflakes to make before we hang them.
  • Then it was lunch time followed by some laundry.  And after someone went to the bathroom, they discovered my stash of toilet paper rolls.  So I just sat and made binoculars after binoculars for everyone.  Even Keaton got in on the act-she brought me one toilet paper tube which I happily wrapped with tape like I had done to everyone else's pair of tubes.
  • Soon it was nap time and Campbell never had herself a nap.  She called me upstairs to tell me that she was finished with her drink, asked for a book, tried to convince me that she had already taken a nap and on my fourth trip upstairs, I just went ahead and got her up.  Her first questions were "did Reagan have a nap too?" followed by "did Graham have a snack?"
  • Before too long, it was time to load up for our evening-after forgetting the Awana bags one time, I am pretty obsessive about having them with us (though I will probably forget them next week now).  First up was our stop at Beebee and Papaws.  
  • Anderson said that he didn't want to go to see them today.  He said that he knew he wouldn't be good and would get into trouble so he didn't want to go.  I tried to explain that he could be good (but really, it is pretty hard for a 5 year old boy to be stillish and relatively quiet for 40 minutes in a small space).  Thankfully, he along with everyone else were really good today-helped that Beebee and Papaw were passing out candy-lots and lots of candy.  I may have to send them my dentist bill.
  • Then to church-Anderson is a verse saying machine and is trying his best to catch up with Reagan who is also saying a ton of verses each week.  Graham was so proud to say his verse since him and Reagan worked on his verses this morning.  And Campbell is just happy to see Cubbie Bear-I bet she thinks "that bear sounds familiar, kind of like Daddy" but she probably can't put all of that into words.
  • Keaton just walked right into her class as happy as she can be.  Her teachers were worried that she had fever when I picked her up-were also worried about that on Sunday when we picked her up.  I think that child just plays to hard or cuddles so much that she gets hot.  Who knows but she didn't feel warm at home and sure doesn't act like she is sick.  
  • At home, Robby passed out treats for everyone's good behavior at Beebee and Papaw's place.  Then it was time for bed-Wednesdays wear me out.

November 27, 2012

Is that Santa on a monorail?
(click here for today's pictures)
  • I always feel a bit bad for Graham on mornings when he has to go to school and no one else here is leaving the house (except Robby).  But he never seems to mind and happily gets dressed.  It does help having someone pick him up from school as Grannymom did today.
  • After Graham left, we had breakfast here and then I picked up for a few minutes before starting school.  I was in another room and heard Anderson ask Campbell where mom was.  Campbell didn't miss a beat when she replied back to him "Anderson, Momma went to Disneyworld."  This is what we tell them when they are relentlessly asking where someone is.
  • We did school this morning and it was a fairly calm morning.  Reagan breezed through her work and was finished really quickly.  Later she told me that she had 3 empty boxes so that was the reason she finished fast.  Though I did give her a bit of extra work to finish and then had her write a few names on my Christmas tags.  Actually I was doing anything to keep her busy while Anderson finished up his work.  It worked and he didn't get discouraged.
  • So we have a new reading jar-when anyone reads for 20 minutes, they get to put a rock in the jar.  Once it is full we will do something fun as a family-like go to Larry, go bowling or something like that. Reagan was so excited to start her reading-she earned 2 rocks today.  I thought that Anderson was going to read some too to earn a rock but he got distracted.  He did tell me that he didn't have anything to read so I found him a pile of books to read.
  • By 11, the kids were going nuts-running around the house playing chase, screaming and yelling.  I should have just sent them outside but just served them lunch and counted down the time until nap time!  
  • We tested Christmas tree light bulbs, changed out some toys, folded laundry and before I knew it, it was indeed time for those naps.  I debated a nap for me but worked on Christmas ornaments, a bit of wrapping (seriously, it isn't even December yet), organizing our snack cabinet and generally doing everything except taking a nap myself.  
  • Soon the kids were asking to go outside and we all headed out.  It didn't take too long for Anderson to find his new coat and after seeing him I realized that I was cold too-so I bundled up Keaton and Campbell some more.  We walked to the end of the driveway-had thought about taking a real walk but the neighbor girl asked if we were going on a walk and I didn't want any tag alongs.  
  • Anderson had tons of energy outside-I had never seem him jump so high as when he jumped in the leaves and he ran across the yard showing me a rake that he discovered in the yard.  After awhile outside, I decided that Keaton and I were cold and we went inside to start on supper.
  • Robby and Graham made it home and Graham was so happy to be home.  At supper, he told us all about his day and how he had gotten used to Cash's dog.  We had bbq for supper and everyone ate quite a bit of it-bbq needs to be a standard Dennie meal around here.
  • After supper, Robby and I started on the lights on our big tree.  It wasn't too difficult with 5 kids watching.  Then we all worked on putting the monorail together.  As it circled the tree, the kids were enthralled with it and could  have watched it go around and around for hours.  Next up it was bedtime for Keaton and a movie for the others while Robby and I decorated our Christmas tree.
  • This is the first year that we have too many ornaments to fit on our tree.  We will have to get another tree next year so we can hang up all of our travel ornaments and not store any.  Tree looks good and my favorite ornaments are the wackiest that we have hanging: elk antlers, syrup bottle, large cup, yo yo, golf ball and a tambourine.  

November 26, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Monday morning and we all made it out of the house relatively on time.  My first stop was to drop off Campbell, Keaton, Anderson and Reagan (the big two are out of Comm. Central for the holidays). Then Graham went to his class.  Today was his first day to sign in-sign in by writing his name.  I wanted to stick around and see how well he did but there was a line to sign in.  
  • Then I ran a few errands-Walmart, Toys R Us, Walmart (yes, the other one), Michaels and the Dollar Tree before heading to my work kid.  I was shocked that they were actually there today-nice surprise.    Next up was picking up Graham from school.  He is always so happy to see me and I really think that he is very well school!
  • At Nonna and Pops' house, my Grahammer got mad that I wouldn't let him go outside-it was sprinkling.  So he threw enough of a fit that he was told that he was going to have an afternoon nap.  And while loading up the van, for some reason Anderson got mad at Reagan and chunked her on the floor.  With that he volunteered himself for an afternoon nap.  That left only Reagan up in the afternoon.  
  • I do not like for the kids to get in trouble but 4 out of 5 kids resting quietly-whoop, whoop!  I was crazy busy marking things off of my list.  Crazy busy even though Reagan couldn't find anything to do and kept following me around.  I eventually told her to go upstairs but then had to send her to take her own nap.  
  • The timer eventually went off meaning that my 3 troublemakers (I mean big kids) could wake up.  Anderson only had one thing on his mind-painting his cars.  So we all started on that.  He was being very kind and was going to let everyone paint some on the cars-but Reagan wasn't pleased with what he offered her so she shoved his stuff and walked off.  And this earned her another trip upstairs to rest.  
  • Before long, my crew were all awake and they were all their happy selves again.  I hate it when the kids act like kids and not like the little grown ups I expect them to act like!  Ha!  I probably should be a bit more lenient with them.
  • When Robby made it home, we had supper and then after a good lecture we started on the trees.  The kids were so excited and fairly helpful.  Robby had Christmas music playing and they were all in awe. When we put the top on their tree-Anderson shouted "it is taller than Daddy."  They happily decorated it and Keaton happily undecorated it.  
  • We then went downstairs to work on our big tree.  It is put together with lots of little branches and usually takes Robby and I a long time but with the kids helping it went fairly fast.  Keaton just sat on the box lid and watched and Campbell stayed busy putting some rocks in and out of a bag.  We ran out of steam before the lights or ornaments.  Though we did go upstairs for a movie.
  • We watched Santa Paws-at parts the kids were practically hysterical with fear.  Anderson almost climbed over the back of the couch at one point.  Though Anderson was fairly busy with a bloody nose-just gushing!  Second time today.  Poor guy at least that distracted him from his fear of the movie.  Don't worry, it was a Disney movie and everything turned out well.  
  • It was nearly 9 by the time the movie was over and the kids were so excited to go to sleep tonight-they wanted to sleep by the light of their Christmas tree.        

November 25, 2012

Sunday Night = Ice Cream Truck Night!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Sunday morning and the kids (all but Reagan) were stirring early.  Anderson was helpful and hoisted Campbell out of bed-goodness, hope one of them don't hurt their backs doing that!  And soon there were 3 kids in our bed and I was trapped in the middle trying to figure out how to get out.  
  • I fed the hungry ones, woke Keaton up to feed her and then roused Reagan out of bed.  That child is still exhausted from her two nights away-and exhaustion with Reagan leads to a sassy attitude (Robby is making her write sentences tomorrow: I will respect my parents)
  • Church was our morning activity.  Graham was a little wound up in Sunday school continually saying that word banana but that was quickly squelched with my reminder that Mr. Robby was in the room and would gladly take him out.  Of course when I said that to him the entire class' behavior improved-now they all might be afraid of Mr. Robby.  
  • In big church, Anderson and Reagan were singing their hearts out.  And in the car on the way home, Anderson was singing out "let the RAIL down, let the praise go up."  Rail/veil-pretty close.  
  • Oh, yes, also in big church, the preacher said the words "for you clowns in here."  Anderson and Graham's heads immediately began swiveling around looking for the clowns in church.  
  • We had lunch at Nonna's house and the kids were so intrigued by her tree and Snow Village houses that I might be a bit tempted to put up our Snow Village (I said tempted, not crazy-maybe next year-of course we have been saying that for years.)  Even talking about them makes me want to find some on ebay to buy. 
  • Back at home, it was nap time for most.  Our grand plan was to put on the Christmas tree-we thought that we weren't having church tonight so we just pulled out some Christmas boxes to get everything ready for tomorrow (maybe).  
  • After those blessed naps, we had a quick supper.  It didn't end so well-Graham again was continually saying banana.  And when I asked what he wanted and he said banana-he got one and was told to sit and eat it all.  Then Anderson was pretending to put bread in Graham's milk so Anderson's milk was disposed of.  
  • At church tonight, the kids were fine.  Earlier, Campbell caught Robby in a soft moment and asked if she could go to big church.  She was fine-a bit movey but who isn't?  Her only talking was a continual asking of "are we going to have ice cream tonight?"
  • And yes, we did have ice cream-the girls even switched theirs.  Then it was time for a few chores and then bed.  After they were all sleeping, Robby and I had ourselves a pre-Christmas party-a cheese ball, crackers and snickerdoodles.  I love Christmas!

November 24, 2012

A little project (and help from brother!)
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Graham stirred first this morning and Robby went up to get in bed with him.  Later Graham came and joined me while the others slept upstairs.  I asked him what time it was and he read the numbers on the clock to me "5-5-7."  I figured that meant 7:55 and was very pleased.  A minute later, I turned my head to look at the clock it was only 7:23.  I guess Graham doesn't know the difference between 2s and 5s.  Oh, well we all rested well and that is all that matters.
  • Everyone was hungry and they were all happy to have some orange juice along with breakfast-we never usually have oj.  Reagan convinced Robby to buy some on their Thanksgiving day shopping trip-the only thing is that Reagan hasn't been home the last two mornings and the juice is getting very slim!  
  • After I straightened the house (a tiny, tiny bit).  Anderson was waiting on me to start his project for the day-his present from Josh and Zach.  He was pretty disappointed when I read that they had to dry overnight so we glued all 3 cars today and that pleased him.  He was so kind-Graham asked to glue one piece and Anderson told him that he could glue 3 pieces.  And he even let Campbell glue 2 pieces.  Once when she was gluing one, I was across the room and Anderson shouted at me "need a little help here."
  • Later in the morning, Robby cleaned out his desk and found some stickers to give to Campbell to play with.  I was sitting beside her as she was trying to get one off the paper.  It was pretty stuck and giving her a hard time and I heard her say "you little stinker."  She is so funny these days (funny and disobedient!-but that is another story)
  • I made lunch for the kids and around that time Grannymom and Grandpa came over to re-re-re-re hang our kiddie gate.  It was looking like poor Keaton will be proficient on the stairs before that thing is finally secured!  But hopefully today will be the day that it will stay.  
  • Soon we headed out the door for a few errands-7 (a return, picked up a gift card, picked up another gift card, Sonic drinks, got van keys, picked up another gift card and gas).  The van folks weren't yet able to fix the big vans dvd player so they had to send off for a part-it will arrive Tuesday so we will have to go through all of that hassle again.  We also had a trip through the car wash-everyone loved it.  Campbell kept trying to hold Keaton's hand so she wouldn't be afraid-she wasn't just annoyed with her sister.
  • After all of our errands, we picked up Reagan-glad she is home after her two nights away.  Tonight she said that she missed me but she didn't really miss the kids.  Oh, well at least she missed me!  We then stopped for supper-they forgot one of our pizzas.  They were all so apologetic-enough so that the kids kept asking what was going on.  We had ordered plenty of food so the pizza wasn't missed and it was nice to have supper for Monday night already boxed up.  
  • By the time we made it home, Graham and Campbell were asleep.  Campbell hadn't had her afternoon nap nor had Keaton-but Keaton, my car insomniac, was going strong playing with Reagan's socks.  We went ahead and put everyone in bed even though it was not yet 7.  Anderson was catching on after we said prayers.  He said "it isn't time yet."  Ha, ha, it was tonight!  Within 5 minutes, everyone was asleep but Reagan-I had to go up there to see who was coughing.  She said it was her and Graham (who is coughing today) but later after our third trip up there to check on the cougher we decided it was Anderson.  I just gave him his breather so hopefully, that will squelch is cough for awhile.

November 23,2012

Chuck-E-Cheese with Nonna & Pops!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • The boys started stirring around 6:30 and that was my cue to get out of the house.  I jumped in the van and headed to Kroger, Sports Academy, Lifeway and to get gas.  At every place, I picked up exactly what I needed and then hopped in line.  Lines weren't bad except at Lifeway-those people were crazy there. I even heard a few "amens" being sprinkled around the room.  
  • Back at the house, Robby pulled some doughnuts out the freezer for the boys and when they finished up, Keaton woke up for her doughnut.  Keaton feels fine but still has a cold-her eyes stay nasty and red no matter what all we do and her nose is pretty yucky too.  If our eyes were as gooey as hers, we would continually rub them but she never does.  Hopefully, they will be on the mend tomorrow.
  • I returned right after breakfast and the boys were coming downstairs all wearing hats and asking to go outside.  It was still wet so we told them they could go out after watching a tv show.  Soon, Zach, Cash, Anderson and Graham were all outside playing around.  They had the wagon out, a jump rope and a few walking sticks.  I am not really sure what all they were doing but they all worked together and were pretty content outside.  At one time, Graham did come inside and after a few minutes all 3 of the other boys came in looking for him.  Anderson said "woo, we thought you had gone into the woods."
  • The boys eventually moved inside to play-they build a fort and worked on it for a long, long time.  Boys just are different than girls.  It is pretty amazing-no one fussed our fought.  And I even heard Robby tell all of them something that I have never heard him say to the girls: "Everyone go potty-not at the same time."  
  • Robby was getting pretty antsy this morning so we decided to load up and go eat at Sams.  He didn't want to be too productive nor did he just want to sit around so we just went to shop.  We tried to start the rear movie in the big van on the way but it didn't work and since we have had a bit of difficulty before-we just dropped it off.  
  • Then at Sams, the boys all sat down while Robby ordered.  Then they all ate hot dogs, pizza, churros and slushies.  And while we were eating, we received two compliments on how well behaved those 4 boys were.  We just smiled and thanked them like they were all our own kids.  Robby later said "of course they are all being good, they have slushies and churros."
  • Meanwhile, Campbell was out at Chuck E Cheese with Nonna, Pops and Jason.  That child was so happy-she has been wanting to go there for a long time-though she had no idea what Chuck E Cheese  was all about.  Nonna and Pops met us at Sams and dropped her off-she was so proud to see her brothers and tell them about her tickets and what all she won-candy, a bracelet, a slinky and a rubber snake (why the snake? because everyone else has come home from Chuck E Cheese with a snake).
  • We dropped Zach off at Sams with his folks and then headed to Grannymom's house for a few minutes.  We stayed and watched the first half of the football game-well, Campbell slept in Robby's lap and they both snored together.  Next up we dropped Cash off and picked Reagan up.  So we were all together as a family again for about 10 minutes.
  • Because our next stop was dropping Anderson and Robby off at the movie theater so they could get their turn see Wreck It Ralph.  The rest of us headed home-Keaton had a nap, Reagan repacked her bag for a night at Kennedy's house and we also had supper.
  • Oh, Campbell did open her early birthday present for Zach and Joshua.  She was so excited and when she finished she looked at me and said "where is my rest."  She thought that today was her party and was wondering where the rest of her presents were.  That little child will be in heaven when her birthday party actually arrives-just in a month!  
  • We then loaded back up to meet Kennedy to drop of Reagan for the night.  And then we picked up Anderson and Robby from the movie.  Anderson really enjoyed the movie and was even ready to watch more tv when he walked in the door at home-that request was denied.  
  • Keaton was going strong tonight-she just ran around and around the couch upstairs while we all sat and watched the parade from yesterday.  I believe that this is Graham's 3rd time to watch the parade but he loves it.  Campbell and Keaton even danced along with the some of the dancers.  
  • Eventually, we put everyone to bed-seems like an empty house tonight with only 4 kids here!  

November 22, 2012-Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Robby went out to mow the leaves as soon as he heard the kids this morning.  I tried to act like we didn't stay up until 2 and started to get up.  But soon Graham was dressed and laying in my bed drinking his milk so I cuddled by him and then as soon as he left, Campbell came in with her milk.
  • I was recapping the day with her and her only questions was "do we have to do school today?"  Actually, Campbell is just full of funny things these days.  As I was putting on my clothes from my shower, I mentioned to her about how my stomach was getting bigger.  I asked if she remembered what was in my tummy.  She just stared at me and then I started to make the "b" sound to give her a clue and she happily replied "a bunny."
  • Soon we were all in the kitchen and the kids helped me make our first fruit turkey.  We took a break for breakfast and then Reagan, Anderson, Graham and Campbell all went with Robby to the grocery store.  We had assumed that the store would be crazy but Robby said it was eerily empty-we needed bread for our meal.  Robby said that he was an expensive babysitter for me-because they were splurging on lots of things at the store-kiddie paper plates, orange juice, dips.  
  • Meanwhile, Keaton and I were running around the house doing a few last minute things.  Before too long, the kids came back home and we worked on fruit turkey 2.  Reagan takes this stuff very seriously and has a certain way of how she thinks it should look (wonder where she gets that?) but Anderson does too and his way is often different than her way.  So I don't think that I can let them work together on any more turkey projects.  
  • Around 10, everyone started arriving-Grannymom, Grandpa, Jason, Nonna, Pops, Lilly, Cash, Jenna, Dana and then Les, Shelley, Joshua and Zach.  The kids were pretty much beside themselves to see everyone.  Keaton was asleep when everyone arrived and I snatched her out of bed for a few family pictures.  She is usually thrilled to see her brothers and sisters when she wakes up but today she was just overwhelmed to see our house full of folks.
  • Around 11:30, we had our delicious Thanksgiving dinner.  The kids were finished and heading outside to play by the time that the adults had finished loading up their plates.  Nonna or Grannymom (I don't remember who) asked Campbell if she knew what today was and Campbell gleefully replied "my birthday."  I guess I should have ran with that and got out a few candles for the child-that would have been one less thing to do in December.
  • All of the cousins made a huge leaf pile-they worked for over an hour.  Jumping, raking and more jumping.  They spent pretty much all afternoon outside and were a smelly mess when the grownups decided to go and see a movie.  Les, Shelley, Dana, Josh, Jason and Robby went to see Lincoln and Zach, Lilly, Reagan and Graham went with me to see Wreck It Ralph.  Yes, I took one for the team and went to see a movie at the movie theater.  The kids were prefect and never moved-I guess, a dark room in a comfortable chair-it was an expensive but well worth it nap.
  • Anderson wanted to stay at our house with Cash until he saw all of us loading up in the van.  But Robby told him that he would take him to the movies later so that was fine with him.  Keaton and Campbell stayed at the house with Grannymom and Grandpa.  Nonna and Pops delivered Beebee and Papaws food and then came arrived back for supper at the same time that the kids and I did.  
  • So at one point this evening, Anderson got hurt and I tried to distract him by asking if he had eaten dessert.  He started crying even more and said "I didn't get a one of those turkey cupcakes." And then I remembered that we had not yet made our turkey cupcakes.  So I called all the kids down to make those cute little turkey cupcakes-which they all just ate the tops off of.
  • Reagan ended up spending the night with Lilly, Campbell spent the night with Nonna and Pops and Cash and Zach are spending the night here.  So we only still ended up with 5 kids here.  The boys played while Shelley and I did a bit of shopping-actually we just went to one store and then didn't get out at our next stop since the line was long, it was raining and we weren't planning on buying anything.  
  • After everyone had left, we let the boys watch a few Scooby Doos and then they all laid on the floor in their room to go to sleep.  After a few minutes of tooting sounds and giggles the room was quiet!  They were tired from this busy holiday! 

November 21, 2012

A bit of pre-holiday yard work!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Graham, coughy and stuffy, did end up spending the night in our room on the floor.  We decided that going up and down the stairs all evening was pointless so we just brought him to our room (since he would probably end up there anyway).  He slept well on the floor-though Robby did sneak out again-this time I didn't see or hear him leave so I couldn't claim my turn.
  • I woke up with my shoulder already feeling some better.  I still can't really reach up high but no longer think I will end up under the knife.  Must be the silly exercises that I read about and did last night from the internet.  
  • When the kids woke up, they were all going strong.  They knew that today was work day around the house and that meant no school for them.  I had my shower and then we all had breakfast.  And not too long after that everyone started with their list of chores.  
  • That all started off well but the newness of the chore list soon faded.  Everyone was gung ho about cleaning the tops of their desks and organizing the inside.  Then emptying all of the trash happened without incident. Next we moved upstairs-boys to the toy room and Reagan working on their room, beds and closet.  That is when we had our first incident-Anderson and Graham spent more time playing than working.
  • Next up, Graham had a fit about not getting to help match all of our extra socks.  He started helping but after him and Anderson started fighting I had him come downstairs.  While upstairs working, Reagan called Anderson a name so she was the first one to lose the promised airplane ride from Robby tonight.  
  • Our next event was putting on clothes for the day and that is when Anderson and Graham had another spat losing their airplane privilege as well.  Poor Campbell she just isn't my picker upper or really isn't even my listener these days but she did wear her big girl panties all day long!  
  • Soon Robby was home and I had the kids eat lunch on the picnic table since the chairs and bar stools had all been moved to clean the kitchen floor.  Robby did a bit of leaf blowing and soon we all headed to see Beebee and Papaw.
  • Robby dropped us off and ran a Benton and then Bryant errand.  Beebee and Papaw were glad to see us and the kids did well for a few minutes.  But before long my little hoodlums were giving piggy back rides to each other, wrestling and showing out.  I was none to pleased but Beebee and Papaw didn't seem to mind.  When Robby walked in, the kids did calm down some....
  • But since I was the only good girl at Beebee and Papaw's place, I got to get a Sonic drink on the way home.  The poor kids didn't get anything-we figured it was a good lesson for them.  But unfortunately for us, by the time we made it to the driveway, 3 of them were sleeping-Campbell, Graham and Anderson.  Reagan was acting like she was asleep and Keaton was having a big ole time watching me eat my ice cream!
  • We then worked outside for a bit-it was almost 3:30 so we didn't have too long before it was dark.  Robby blew all of the leaves from the front yard (about 1/12 of all of our leaves) into a 10 foot by 10 foot pile.  It was probably about 4 foot high in some spots-lots and lots of leaves.  Reagan did ask if it was ok to have it so close to the house and Graham asked about the water-children and their silly ideas!  
  • So about 2 minutes after Robby lit the pile, he said "why don't you go get the water hose."  Ha!  The flame was crazy high (as expected).  Those leaves were hot, hot, hot!  But the water hose was never used except to entertain the kids.  They were told not to touch the water so they used everything they could find to block the water-rocks, leaves and sticks-like a bunch of beavers making a dam.  
  • Soon it was dark, I ushered my crew into the house for showers and then supper-and yes, they had to  stand while eating supper-I still haven't cleaned that kitchen floor.  I would pass out one course of the meal and then run to clean a bathroom, come back and pass out something else and then go and clean another bathroom.  We did this until all of the bathrooms were clean then I sent the kids to watch a few movies.
  • After their movies, we sent all of the kids to bed and Robby and I have so far neglected our chores and are sitting watching tv.  Tomorrow is after all a holiday!

November 20, 2012

One of us seems scared :)
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Last night was eventful to sat the least.  While Robby and I were watching tv, he heard fussing upstairs and as he was half way up there called down for me.  He said that he needed "reinforcement"-to me this meant that someone had gotten sick and we were going to have a mess to clean.  But thankfully, he only needed reinforcements because two were fussing.
  • Campbell and Graham were both fussing.  I am not sure who wakes who up but this is the second night that they have done this.  They both don't feel 100%.  We propped Campbell's head up so she could breathe better and got a cracker for Graham to munch on since he didn't eat any of his supper.
  • Then on the way down the steps, I was busy looking at a hole in my socks and not the steps and I slipped down about 6 steps.  Robby heard me and thought I had had enough with one of the kids and chunked them down the steps.  I landed on my back so that was a good thing but today I feel like I have been run over by a train.  Obviously, my back is crazy soar and probably very bruised.  But when I was catching myself, I caught myself with my shoulder.  I can't lift my shoulder very much today and though I think it is improving, I probably see a doctor's appointment in my near future.  That's what I can do on Black Friday since my Christmas shopping will mostly be done by then!
  • Around 3, Graham joined us in bed and afterwhile I saw Robby get up.  I knew he was moving to another bed but I was not yet awake enough to tell him that it was my turn to leave the bed and sleep soundly.  So he left injured me with a snoring, kicking, coughing, turning around little guy.
  • Campbell was the first one to wake up and she was going strong and soon we could tell that Graham was feeling better too.  So he loaded up to go to school with Robby-he was more excited about Grannymom picking him up than school.  But he probably still had a good day at school-5 of his classmates have been absent the last two days so they are all probably getting lots of attention.  Yesterday, I said to him that I bet Ms. Stacy was sad that all of their friends were absent.  He replied back with "no, she was glad."  And after a few minutes of thinking, I would probably agree!
  • The rest of us started school this morning.  Today, I had only three things planned-catch up on science reading, work on our science box and write a letter to Burger King (for taking away our cinna minis).  I was so pleased that I was skipping real school today but soon I caught Reagan's sour mood.  She dictated her letter to me, I wrote it down and then she was too copy it.  She asked if she could send my letter instead of the one that she wrote and I said no.  Immediately, she started crying saying that she couldn't do it and that she didn't write as neat as me.  Explaining that I have had a few more years of practice didn't help at all.  Meanwhile, on the other side of the room Anderson was chugging along on writing his letter out.  I might should have reminded him to make a space between words but I did mention it to him after school. 
  • Soon we finished with our school, they played while Keaton had a nap and I did a bit of house work. Light housework because of my shoulder-can't lift much and sweeping is not an option (someone remember that for the next few days please!)  Campbell helped me with lunch-unevenly distributing the goldfish to her plate.  
  • After our late lunch, everyone played a bit longer and then it was time to load up to go to Grannymom's house.  I was going to do a bit of grocery shopping while the kids played over there.  Just a word of advice-grocery shopping on the day before the day before Thanksgiving is never a great idea!  It was nuts-absolutely nuts.  When I parked the big van on the last spot, it wasn't because I was worried about parking close to another car-I had to park on the last spot because that was the only place left in the parking lot.  Despite all of the craziness (and my store being out of quite a bit of things that I needed) I loved every minute of it.  
  • I then picked up the kids who had been digging for worms (the boys, Cash and Campbell), played family (Reagan and Lilly) and ran until they were exhausted (Keaton).  And my, I wonder where I set those worms-anyway, after supper the kids had baths (seriously, it had been months since they have had baths-don't call scan-they are more shower kids now).
  • Then we watched a short movie and another short one and possibly even another one.  And then we put the kids to bed and had ourselves a party!  Well, if you count cheese dip and cookies as a party (we do!)   

November 19, 2012

(click here for today's pictures)
  • Last night around midnight Robby went out to check on our fire and make sure it was fine for the night.  He was out there when he saw two deer nearby.  Robby said that he briefly wondered what he would do if they came towards him.  He did decided that he could use the rake in his hands and then he would have to run.  I suggested that he could have bent down and pretended to eat grass as Anderson did a few days ago when a deer was near him.
  • We were getting in to bed last night when I heard Campbell.  By the time I could get upstairs she was screaming-must have been a bad dream because by the time I made it up there she was sound asleep.  I even had to ask who had been fussing.  I covered her up and by that time, Graham was crying.
  • Poor Graham's eyes were matted shut.  We have all had a cold and it has been in Campbell's eyes and now Graham and Keaton's eyes.  I worked on his eyes and then brought him downstairs for Robby to help with eye drops.  As soon as we were finished, he wanted to go back upstairs to bed-but he enjoyed hearing me tell him about Robby and the deer.  
  • This morning, just as Robby and I were laying in bed dreading waking up the kids, Anderson popped into our bedroom.  Robby helped get the kids ready while I took my shower and then we traded places.  Everyone but Keaton had breakfast and we were out the door at a decent time.  
  • We dropped off Keaton and Campbell who had a full day at Nonna and Pops' house.  They painted fingernails, had a bath, played doll and helped make lunch.  Then we dropped off Graham-today was his big Thanksgiving Feast.  We brought turkey roll ups but Graham's favorite was the traditional Indian dish of candy corn.  
  • Then off to drop of Reagan in her class-they celebrated today by making a Thanksgiving bag of snacks and then made a Christmas ornament.  And Anderson's class celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas today by doing nothing.  They did do a turkey craft last week so I can give them some credit.  
  • I picked up Graham from school and at first he didn't want to go to Nonna's house for lunch-he wanted to go home and play our candy corn game (roll the dice and eat some candy corn-who wouldn't love that game?).  But by the time to leave Pops' house he didn't want to leave and wanted to stay.
  • We went home and played out candy corn game while Keaton took a nap.  Then Campbell had a nap and I worked on a few mounds of laundry.  Graham helped me with my coupons and then we worked on getting some Christmas ornaments ready for the tree.  On Monday afternoons, Graham is my buddy and stays right by my side.  He didn't fail 100% today and by supper time, he was exhausted and shortly asked to go to bed before everyone else.  He hardly woke up when he fell off the bed around 9 tonight.  
  • When Campbell was going to bed for a nap today-she took her doll, a box for her doll to sleep in and a diaper bag stuffed to the brim with food.  She is so into baby dolls right now.  
  • Robby picked up Reagan and Anderson from school and since Anderson was the last kid in his class and Reagan was next to last to be picked up, he felt like he owed them a Sonic drink.  So they all came in with smiles on their faces.  This did help me wake up Campbell-I had already tried once but she slept through me singing and talking to her while putting away laundry.  Keaton was also hard to wake up today-she fussed a bit and by the time I made it to her she was snoring.  
  • Everyone was awake soon-the boys played outside a bit and Grandpa arrived to do some picture hanging.  They worked until supper time and we stopped for lasagna and corn (Reagan's absolute favorite).  Afterwards, Grandpa headed home and Graham headed to bed.
  • Keaton took a shower-we were hoping that the steam would help her sleep better.  Robby was going to get in with her to wash her up well but became distracted and poor Keaton stood against the shower door screaming while Campbell tried to entertain her.  Eventually Robby jumped in to wash her up and she was so happy to be out of the shower.  So happy that she went to bed with out a fuss!
  • Reagan, Anderson and Campbell played for a few more minutes and then they went to bed quietly so they wouldn't wake up Graham.  Hopefully he will feel better tomorrow-feel better or not, he is planning on going to Grannymom's house to play.  

November 18, 2012-Branson

Movie Night!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Last night wasn't as restful as the night before-Keaton woke up in the middle of the night and fussed for a bit until we gave her some more milk.  Then later, Graham would fuss a bit every once in a while-I think his nose was stuffy.  Despite all of that, we still got a pretty good night's rest.
  • After getting up, the kids immediately turned on the tv.  We passed out left over doughnuts from the day before and milk and they sat content while the big people got ready and we packed up the room.
  • We loaded up and didn't stop until Greenbrier.  This happened earlier on the trip but it is typical of things that happen on our car rides-Graham must have been bothering Campbell somehow and she just turned to him and said "Just go to sleep Grahammer!"  
  • Our stop was at McDonalds and it was more to pick out a new movie than to potty.  But we did all of that plus grabbed some lunch for the car.  As soon as Keaton gets into the car, she thinks that it is time to eat or drink.  She would get her little pointer finger out and start fussing and pointing away until Grannymom figured out what she wanted-and it was always to eat or drink.  Good thing we are home from our trip or that baby would gain 10 pounds.  
  • We were at Sams by 12-Reagan and Campbell needed to potty with me and Robby needed to pick up a few gallons of milk (6).  He said that he briefly stood there trying to figure up the expiration date until he remembered that we are still a one gallon a day family.  
  • We dropped off Grannymom and then went home.  We started unloading and putting everything up.  This is the one part of traveling that I dread but Robby works on unloading the van and vacuuming it while I work on the inside stuff.  It probably took us about 30 minutes and then we were all headed outside for a work afternoon (our first in a long while).
  • Raking leaves in the yard is quite a bit different this year-the leaves are only a season thick and not a few years thick and we probably have more of the right tools.  Today our tools of choice were a big bag that connects to the mower, Robby's leaf picker upper that goes behind the mower and our backpack leaf blower.  
  • The kids were excellent outside-never asking for a drink or snack and staying outside the whole time. They were good to drag Keaton around in the wagon to where ever they went...until she climbed out. Then they just left her in the back yard by herself-Robby was on the mower and I was hooked up to the leaf blower so I just tried to watch her (so she didn't wander into the woods or street).  Soon she came walking up to me with dirt all on her face-poor baby had fallen down.  I walked her over (still while blowing leaves) to the others kids and had Reagan put her in the stroller.  
  • By now, the fire was blazing and it was getting dark quickly. So we all scurried around raking the last few leaves that we could and picking up all of our outside toys (the kids and Robbys).  I had myself and the kids showered off (I had never been so dirty-dirt in my teeth even) before Robby came in from putting the last few things up.  
  • Then we let everyone eat on a blanket and watch the last few bits of their redbox movies that we picked up on the way home.  We did stop in the middle to have our Sunday ice cream truck.  Keaton was pretty tired from missing her nap so she missed ice cream truck.  Afterwards, we finished the movie and all headed to bed!

November 17, 2012-Branson

Santa - One not so happy!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • We just completely wore the kids out yesterday.  They slept until 7:30 before anyone stirred.  I always love hotel sleeping.  We only really had one incident last night (not counting when Campbell fell off the bunk beds earlier in the evening-she was fine-just stunned).  
  • Around 5, I heard a commotion in the floor and looked down to see Anderson snatch Graham's pillow away from him saying something about "my pillow."  I quickly jumped down, gave Graham back his pillow, moved Anderson back to his spot and grabbed Anderson's pillow and put it back under his head.  Where was Anderson's pillow?  Well, it happened to have been under my head.  We were one pillow short last night so I just snatched his when he fell asleep.  And when I gave him back his in the middle of the night, I took Robby's pillow out from under his head.  I do believe that we are not pillow short tonight so all will sleep better.
  • The pool didn't open until 10, so we headed out for Krispy Kreme donuts.  The kids devoured their donuts-we did we because the cinnamon bun one was excellent.  Then it was off to the Coleman outlet.  Robby did find a new ice chest for the van-it is actually two that are stackable-a big one and a little one.  It is going to work out really well-especially since the one we brought on this trip leaked all over.  
  • Soon we were headed back to the hotel and the kids were again excited to put on their bathing suits and head downstairs.  Keaton was the most excited about it all-she splashed, walked to the slides, kicked and had a blast until she was completely worn out.  Reagan and Anderson slid down the slide a few times.  Graham had a blast with Robby playing with him in the "deep" pool.  And Campbell enjoyed every bit of swimming-her biggest smile though was when she successfully put our wet towels in the basket.
  • Grannymom went upstairs to get ready first, then Keaton, Campbell and I came.  I showered Campbell and then took a shower with Keaton. By the time I was out, the others were all back. Soon everyone was ready and we were headed to Arbys.
  • Keaton was so exhausted and fell sound asleep on the way there.  At the restaurant, we could hardly wake her.  Grannymom tried, I tried and still no luck.  I was trying to jostle her awake and Robby leaned down to talk to her.  No movement-sleeping sound.  Until Robby said these words-"do you want a sip of coke?"  Immediately, that baby jumped straight up almost jumping out of my arms.  She heard what he had said and was looking around for her sip of coke.  
  • Next stop was the Landing.  We had a few things to pick up there and the kids enjoyed walking through any of the shops that they asked to-Build a Bear, the build a car shop, hobby store.  And the highlight was the playground in the middle.  By the time we made it there, it was time to turn around and head back to the van.  
  • Robby walked across the street to pick up our train tickets and Grannymom and the rest of us walked back to the van to change the kids into their pajamas.  We had quite a haul to get there but made it to the car and changed successfully.  On the way back to the train station, Campbell was riding in the stroller with Keaton and as we were crossing a street, Campbell just stuck out her arm like a traffic cop to stop the traffic.       
  • We had tickets for the 4:30 Polar Express train and it was lots of fun.  On the walk to the train, there was snow to walk through and a hobo was on the top of the train (like on the movie).  This caused Campbell to ask me a zillion questions about how the man got down.  She eventually decided that the man with a speaker (conductor) gave the other man a ladder.  
  • The train car was all decorated, they read the story to us with people in the aisles showing us the pictures, there were carolers, hot chocolate and cookies.  The hobos came through talking to everyone, the conductor punched the kids tickets with their first initial on it and then Santa came and gave everyone a bell.  Then he walked back through and we were able to snap a picture of the kids with Santa-Campbell didn't want to stand next to him and poor Keaton was terrified!  The train ride did take us this way and then back that way for a bit until we did go by lots of beautiful Christmas lights (on the other side!)  
  • Reagan is getting older but still does enjoy things that her brothers and sisters enjoy.  She is at the point where playing in the baby pool or on the playground will not soon be fun.  (kind of sad)  But when she saw Santa her eyes still sparkled. 
  • When we got off of the train, it was cold outside and we hauled it to the car.  The kids knew that our next stop was Andy's for custard.  And Graham knew that it was cold outside-he said he wanted to eat ice cream but he didn't want to eat there.  Smart boy!  And we didn't have to eat there-we just got it to go and ate it back at the hotel.  
  • Back in the room, the kids watched tv for a long while-Campbell and Graham fell asleep while watching tv.  And then we turned off the lights and everyone else went to sleep as well.  

November 16, 2012-Branson

Getting a head start on Christmas in Branson!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Yesterday, I spent quite a bit of the day packing off and on.  And I had one constant helper-Campbell.  She was always asking me "do you have our bathing suits?" "do you have our trip clothes?"  It was thing after thing that her little mind thought of.  At least 2 of her suggestions were things that I had not yet packed or thought of.  
  • So this morning, my boys both climbed into our bed at 7:05.  They were both fully dressed and must have been quiet as mice getting ready since we never heard them on the monitor.  They were so excited about our trip-maybe I could tell them we are going on a trip every morning and they would always wake quietly and get dressed before Robby and I wake up.  They were so cute though in bed with us.  They each asked a zillion questions-is it a motel or hotel? (hotel) can we stay in Grannymom's room? (she is staying with us) How long will it take to get there? (3 hours) and many, many more.
  • A few minutes later though the house was going strong with everyone awake, clothes on and eating breakfast.  They were so ready to go but Robby and I still had a bit more packing to do.  So the kids ended up in the toy room-of course Campbell did keep coming down the steps bringing more things for me to pack for her.  
  • And yes, do notice the picture of what all we brought on this trip.  I really don't think it is too excessive-I feel like we pack pretty lightly for the number of people we have.  I did bring our jackets and our winter coats on the trip and will probably not need our winter coats this time.  Actually I pretty much guaranteed that we won't need heavy jackets all winter because I bought one today-Anderson didn't have a heavy coat but now has a new blue one.  
  • By 9, we were on the road-actually on the road back home because someone forgot to pack their pajamas (they will remain nameless but it was not me or anyone that I pack for-maybe I should start packing for everyone-nah!)  We picked up Grannymom and headed to Branson.
  • Before leaving Little Rock, we stared the Polar Express movie since we are planning to ride on it tomorrow.  We hadn't seen it and the kids watched it intently-so intently that at one point Campbell sad "I'm not riding on that train!"
  • We stopped in Harrison for lunch at Neighbors.  When we walked in, the line was crazy and every table full.  It was right around 12 and we were in the middle of the lunch rush.  Situations like that are what I dread-here we are waiting in a long line, then having to look for a table with wall to wall people with 4 kids following you and holding one.  Thankfully we found a table for 4-so we sat the kids down and before Robby could juggle the tray and get to us, another nearby table for 2 opened up.  That just left two of us standing in the way.  All of this commotion did spur a large group on to leave so we all joined up back at their table to eat.  And by the time we got all settled at our new table, we looked around the the line was gone, tables were clearing out and things were calm at the restaurant.
  • After lunch (delicious sandwiches and soup as well as cookies for the kids), we were back on the road.  Our first stop was at the Tangar outlet.  We aren't really shoppers but did buy Robby three shirts and Anderson's jacket.  Oh and we also splurged and paid for the kids to ride one of those little merry go rounds there.  Robby said that one lady's little kid was on it along with some of ours and she offered to pay-she probably didn't know that when the other Dennie kids heard that merry go round going, there would be a mad rush of Dennies to climb aboard.  So Robby felt a bit bad and paid for the next ride.  
  • By this time, the kids were so anxious to get to the hotel-they just love hotels!  Or maybe they love hotels with indoor water parks.  Either way, after unloading we put on our bathing suits and headed downstairs.  The first section we played in was a 1 foot kiddie area which they all loved.  It had small slides that Keaton would do over and over and over again.  We had to help her up and them make sure that someone caught her but every time (even when she got a mouth full of water) she would turn right around and start walking to the steps to do it all again.
  • Then we went upstairs to the lazy river area-though it is no lazy river.  We made the boys wear life vests even though they could touch.  The current is really strong-strong enough that we really had to hold on to Campbell.  Even though she could touch-with her floatees on that current wouldn't let her put her feet down.  Keaton wanted to ride on a tube like the big kids and was not going to be happy unless she got to so Robby took her around a few times on the tube.
  • Next up was the big slide.  The height was 42 inches and it looked like Graham was that tall so Robby went first and then the big kids each waited for the life guard to tell them when to go.  They loved it-and all went twice.  Then on the third time, the life guards had switched and the one up there wouldn't let Graham go.  He said that he wasn't tall enough-so poor Graham had to come down the steps all by himself.  Robby said he had the same look as when that man didn't give him Halloween candy thinking he was Anderson who had just been there.  Seems like those things happen to him lately but after a few minutes of being upset, he was fine again playing away with everyone else.  (And probably just like at Halloween, Robby and I take it harder than he does.)
  • They played and played until we climbed out and walked back to the room to change back into our clothes for supper.  Robby, Campbell and Reagan went downstairs to order us a pizza while I finished getting ready.  Then we met them and all waited and waited on the pizza.  It finally came and pretty much devoured the whole thing.  
  • The Shepard of the Hills Trail of Lights drive through was what we were headed to next.  But before we left the hotel, I had to run back upstairs to pour more milk into Keaton's cup just in case we needed it while we were out.  I had the key and knew where the room was.  I slid the key and the green light came on, I pushed the door open and it opened about a quarter of an inch.  Then it wouldn't budge.  I tried and tried again, called Robby, tried some more, tried to shove it open, called Robby again (who wasn't answering his phone), tried again and then came downstairs.  
  • When I found Robby downstairs, I told him and he went upstairs to try.  He was able to do better than me but did figure out what the problem was.  Apparently when we closed the door, the privacy lock somehow closed causing our door to not open from the outside.  If someone would have been in the room, they could have just flipped that lock open and opened the door-but we were all out!  What in the world were we going to do?  Robby told the front desk and they looked puzzled but called maintenance and we headed on.
  • Of course, your mind just starts racing. I was wondering how long we would be locked out of her hotel room and how they were going to get in.  They must have some way to get inside of rooms because what if a guest were to die while in the room-can't just leave it locked forever.  And thank goodness, this little incident didn't happen when we were all walking back to the room only wearing our wet bathing suits-that really would have been horrible!
  • The Shepard of the Hills was really neat.  We were shocked to see the price (per person not per car) when we drove up but were glad we did it.  The lights went on and one and on-so much so that the kids got a bit bored! Then we rode up to the top of the tower to look down.  This was really a treat and on the way down in the elevator, we made it all the way to the bottom and then we went right back up.  The doors opened again at the top and it was the same people looking at us and down we went again.  This time the doors did open and we all quickly got off-who wants to ride an elevator up and down a tower all night.
  • We loaded back up and then at the gift shop, we climbed out again.  They had cider and hot chocolate there which was included in our ticket price.  Of course it was all too hot for the kids to drink so we headed back to the hotel-we guessed we might have some time to wait there.  Thankfully thought at the hotel our room was back open and they sipped the hot chocolate as they put on their pjs.
  • It was a bit after 10, when everyone finally climbed into bed (or onto their spot) and within 10 minutes they were all sound asleep.  Today was a big day but tomorrow will be even bigger!

November 15, 2012

No Cavities!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • The kids did better today waking up and only started whispering at 6:50.   But the roles were reversed and we could hear Campbell shouting at Reagan and Anderson-"it's not 7, Daddy put you in the closet."  Not that we would do that or anything.
  • I think that Reagan and Anderson were pretty excited about going to Nonna's house today (they are usually at school when the little girls go) or maybe they were excited about going to the dentist.
  • Keaton was the only one who didn't get to eat breakfast at home but she did at Nonna's house.  Reagan, Anderson and even Campbell did a bit of school work and even a craft project this morning. Nonna said that they worked on them for a long while but at home this afternoon everyone worked for at least another hour.
  • I was a bit worried that Graham wasn't going to want to go to school but he had plenty to tell his classmates-dentist this afternoon and then Branson tomorrow.  Graham really enjoys school lately and he really enjoys doing his "kindergarten" work at home.  Other work that I would give him, he would never really want to do but he begs to do his new "kindergarten" work.  I have to sit and work with him (he probably enjoys this time) but whatever it takes for him to want to do home school is good with me.
  • I ran to work and shortly thereafter, ran back to pick up Graham.  We swung by to grab Reagan and Anderson and headed off to the dentist.  Campbell understood that she wasn't coming on this trip (but did think she was getting to go to the dentist when we left Nonna's house later-should have taken her because she was pretty devastated that she didn't get a new toothbrush and all kinds of loot.  Don't worry, I had a spare new toothbrush that she received tonight.
  • Let me brag on my big kids for a minute.  They were just perfect at the dentist.  Perfect.  I actually should have just sent them to the dentist earlier in the day with Grandpa.  Anderson and Reagan went first and when Reagan finished, Graham took her spot in the chair.  Everyone had xrays and there was only one spot on Reagan's teeth to watch.  When I heard the dentist mention it, I almost threw up in panic-I might possible had told the kids that if anyone had any cavities there would no money for Christmas.  Can you imagine that pandemonium that the word "cavity" would have caused?  I wasn't being mean when I said that-they had been telling each other "I hope you have a cavity" and I wanted to put a stop to it. 
  • On our way home, we picked up the girls who were so happy to see us.  Keaton didn't seem to mind last time when I showed up and then left again but this time she was ready to get in the car.  Once at home, Campbell and her had a nap while the rest of us worked on school-but we had been kicked out of the school room-a bit of construction was happening in there.
  • The kids all adapted well to the kitchen table and we were finished in no time.  And then I started hurrying around packing.  Of course this is the time when I also had to wake up the girls and the time of the day that Graham really gets tired and starts being a bit fussy.  Though his fits/fussiness is greatly improving (don't worry though because Campbell is becoming our trouble maker now!)  Tonight he was the first one to share with Campbell-my sweet little boy is growing up.  
  • After playtime for the kids and a movie, we made them help pick up and they really do a pretty good job-when they want to.  We had leftovers for supper and then we blocked everyone out of the kitchen while Robby and I cleaned up-those blasted cupcakes always make a mess!
  • A few books and then it was bedtime for the crew.  They are all so excited-they all just love a trip like Robby.  We could be going to Cabot for a few days and they would be just as excited!

November 14, 2012

Which one of these is trouble?
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Last night as Robby and I were going to bed, we looked out and saw 4 deer in the yard.  Pretty amazing-every once in a while, I will leave my trash bag on the back patio and it gets munched on.  Now we are wondering if it could be the deer doing this since apparently there are so many.
  • Yesterday the kids slept in but today, a day that we had no where to go, they were all up at 6:30.  Not just up, but up and talking loudly and some where even putting on their clothes before 7.  Craziness.  We eventually just turned off the monitor and let them have at it.  Robby did make them clean up the toy room very early in hopes that they would play up there more today.
  • And that did work some but it is funny because they have really started playing games in the bonus room.  Most of the time, they play some version of the game and don't need my help.  I do have to keep on everyone to keep that room cleaned-imagine 4 kids playing 4 games up there-pieces everywhere.
  • We had breakfast in the school room and at 10, I looked at the clock and we were almost finished with school.  After finishing everyone up and doing our science and geography, it was 10:45 but that gave me plenty of time to start packing a few things.
  • Keaton had a short morning nap so she was more than ready for her afternoon nap.  She was ready for her afternoon nap before lunch even.  Reagan and Campbell helped me make lunch-edamame, soup, mac and cheese and bananas.  And then to top it all off, they had cupcakes for dessert.  Those cupcakes make the hugest mess. I thought about making them eat outside but it was too cold so I put a blanket down to control the crumbs but they still ended up everywhere.  I will have to ban cupcakes in the house.
  • Next up, we read a few books and it was nap time for Campbell and Keaton.  I ran around getting things ready to leave.  And before long, it was time to wake up the girls.  When I got Campbell up, it seemed that her cold had settled in her eye-it was a bit gunky and swollen.  So I did what most mothers would do-combed her hair and made sure that some loose ends were covering her eye.  Someone usually always gets sick before a trip.
  • We had supper at Beebee and Papaw's place-the kids had stopped eating the corndogs that I was bringing so I brought pb and js.  They did devour them so that will work for a few weeks.  At church, Keaton has decided that she doesn't like Ms. Patricia anymore and threw herself a fit when I dropped her off.  Anderson is now unstoppable at saying her verses and earned 2 more jewels tonight.  And Reagan was tickled that her grade was having a pizza party.  
  • Back at home, they all had a snack and then it was bedtime.  Big day tomorrow-dentist day!