January 31, 2013

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  • It was before 7 when Anderson climbed in our bed.  His first questions was "where's Campbell?"  I told him that I didn't know and suggested that she might have been in Reagan's bed with her.  I couldn't go back to sleep since Anderson was continually asking me questions and I was slightly worried about where Campbell actually was.  But by 7, I heard that fridge slam and her little feet running down the hall.  She wasn't in bed with Reagan and must have been still in her bunk-Anderson may have looked in the crib thinking she was still sleeping in there.
  • Robby took Graham to school along with Campbell and then they ran to Kroger to pick up a few things for tonight.  We woke up Keaton and had breakfast while working in the school room.  While Reagan and Anderson worked, I tried to pull stuff out for next week.  Soon Campbell was back but Anderson and Reagan were still moving along-until Anderson made it to his math and he just drifted off into his own little world.  Reagan finished, put on her clothes and came back down to do her typing.  Pretty fun watching a first grader slowly type: "al had a dad" and other things like that.  
  • We had to be out the door by 11 because I had a doctor's appointment at 11:30.  Anderson was so excited to take his Sparks shopping purchase-legos.  I thought he would have worked on it for awhile but he told me he didn't do much.  I haven't looked but assume he will want to finish it tomorrow.
  • My appointment went well.  The baby's heartbeat was 146 and even kicked the doctor as he was listening.  My appointment was quick and then I headed to pick up my contacts before heading home.  At home, I worked on cleaning the kitchen and finishing the bunko food.
  • Robby ran to pick up the kids-Anderson, Reagan, Campbell and Keaton-from Grannymom's house and then picked up Graham from Nonna's house.  They had all had a big day and were wired and ready to clean up the toy room when they made it home.  Ha!  They weren't really ready to do that but they did do it quite well.  
  • Before too long, it was bunko time and Robby loaded the kids up and they headed to eat pizza.  After pizza, they still had time to kill so they went to Dunkin Donuts.  When they made it home, everyone had a shower and they were quiet as mice.  Eventually they were all in bed-with full bellies of pizza and donuts.

January 30, 2013

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  • Another day and another morning that we hear Campbell waking up the other crew.  They were all down in our room a few minutes later and they were all trying to climb on our bed.  I did the right thing and got out of the bed-to get in the floor.  Soon I had 4 kids laying by me-seriously, they follow me everywhere!
  • Wednesdays are the day that we are all home all day.  It is crazier but I miss my Grahammer when he is gone.  So for school today, I was expecting the worse!  But I was crazy surprised that today was fairly calm.  Well, as calm as school with 5 kids in one room for 2+ hours can ever be-and that includes Keaton who is on her screaming streak.
  • Anderson breezed through his phonics, Reagan didn't bat an eye at correcting her math, Campbell and Keaton were content sitting in their chairs and coloring and Graham did his phonics work and even started on our reading book.  He thought he was so big doing this reading book.  The first lesson consist of making the 'm' and 's' sounds and saying words slowly.  Anderson only has 20 more lessons before he finishes that book.
  • We were even finished with school in time to make fingerprint groundhogs and then I started cooking some.  And Anderson had everyone watch a new show that we tapes-The Price is Right.  Ha!  He has seen it at Grandpa's house and occasionally sees it for a few seconds when we turn on his math video.  He asked me to start taping it so they all gleefully watched it before lunch.
  • After eating lunch, it was time for me to cook some more for bunko tomorrow-the kids played while Keaton napped.  Then it was time to load up to go and see Beebee.  
  • She was in a fine mood today-even taught the kids a few new words!  After our visit, we headed to the library.  That went a bit better today than last week.  I only let everyone pick out 1 book but that really ended with 2 books.  How can I tell them they can't get one (though I have been pretty lousy at reading their library books lately)
  • Next up was meeting Robby for supper.  Fine dining at McDonalds-even spilled our drink.  Seriously, we probably shouldn't expect a 4 year old to successfully pass a drink across a table to a 3 year old.  After our supper, we headed to church.
  • Anderson's class spent their Awana bucks tonight and Anderson came home with some huge toy.  So he was on cloud 9.  I did ask his teacher if he was good tonight and she said "well, they were all wild, like they had been drinking mountain dew."  I asked if we needed to have a talk with Anderson and she said no.  I don't like hearing that but I guess boys will be boys-and we might just start making a few surprise visits to Anderson's classes.  
  • Back at home, everyone had a snack and then it was bedtime.  Hopefully, everyone will sleep well!

January 29, 2013

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  • Since this was only a school morning for Graham, everyone was up pretty early-even Reagan.  They were playing in the toy room fairly quietly.  Campbell did come down to lay with us for a few minutes. Then I headed up to help Graham get his clothes on and of course Campbell also put on her clothes. 
  • Campbell just cracks me up-always wants to put on her clothes first thing in the morning.  Sometimes she will even change a few times during the day (mostly because of wet clothes though) but all of her choices are well thought out-red shirt and pink shirt (because they are both red) or horizontal striped pants and vertical striped shirt (because they are both striped).  Today the diva had me put chalk in her hair and paint her finger and toenails. 
  • After Robby and Graham left, I made breakfast for everyone.  And no, I haven't made my breakfast menu (the one where we are all eating ____ for breakfast and will like it).  Then we started school....
  • Since Reagan had woken up so early, I guess this was her day to be grumpy.  I had Anderson finish his phonics first and then I worked with him to finish everything else that he needed my help with.  His last thing to do was math and I told him he would have to watch his video and he asked if he could just do the ones that he understood without watching the video while he waited-well, of course.
  • Reagan spent most of her time during school playing with a tiny piece of silly putty that Kate had given her.  Played with it so much that she had only completed 2 things when I set Anderson free to work on his independent work.  One of those things was her math and she was none too pleased with me when I handed it back to her making her turn all of her backwards numbers around.  
  • Everyone had a pretty good school day-well, everyone but Keaton.  She was just a bit out of sorts this morning so I held her most of the morning.  That may be why she is not happy now in her bed tonight!
  • Next up was lunch and a bit of history reading (Abeka not Story of the World-I have given that up).  They love history and become mad at me when I stop reading it.  After all, it is a short book and I want it to last for the rest of the school year.  Next year, I will add more extras to their history book and make it last all year not just January to April.  
  • Then they played while I did laundry, dusted, clean the bathroom cabinets, rearranged some holiday stuff, cut some fingernails, picked out the kids Valentines and organized my basket of cake decorating sprinkles.  Actually that list of chores lasted until after Keaton's nap.  We had reading time as well-Campbell just laid in the floor holding a closed book.  She was quiet and that was all that I could ask for.
  • Just as Anderson and I started working on putting together a crane art project that he had received from Christmas, Graham and Robby came home.  Graham had a big day at school-a real live hamster came to spend the day with his class.  And then he spent the afternoon with Grannymom and even came home with a bag of costumes and a few much needed dress shirts that will fit Anderson. 
  • Soon we had supper and then Robby read the kids a few books.  Then they watched a movie and just as put Keaton to bed, the sirens started going off.  We checked the weather and opted not to take cover (storm path wasn't too close to us).  But we did let the others stay up until most of the threat had cleared-we even all watched our first episode of Duck Dynasty.
  • Keaton must have realized that something different was going on because she started screaming and screaming until I got her up for a bit.  She just sat and watched the show with the rest of us and then started jabbering on Robby's phone.  But alas when it was bedtime for the big kids, she still wasn't ready to go to bed-so we went to the bonus room so we couldn't hear her!

January 28, 2013

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  • I guess we are really going to have to start setting our alarm clock.  It didn't matter that Graham climbed in bed with us at 4 because we were still sound asleep when we heard Campbell coming down.  She moved the stool, climbed up to the fridge to get her milk, then walked down our hall, opened our door and tried to climb in bed with us.  But by that time, we were already starting to scurry around.
  • By the time I made it upstairs after my shower, Robby had most of the kids dressed.  I took over from there while he got himself ready.  Then the kids headed to the car as I grabbed breakfast for everyone, changed Keaton and rounded up backpacks and lunchboxes.  I have no idea how people can manage to get their children to school on time every single day.  They probably have to wake up a few minutes earlier than we do!  Another good reason to homeschool!  
  • We were in the car on time and had a pretty uneventful ride.  Well, there was quite a bit of mud on the road that we drove through.  It was enough mud that the kids could tell we were driving over something and all turned around to see the mud.  This meant that the bottom half of my little (ha!) white van was now brown and muddy.
  • We dropped off Keaton and Campbell and they were pretty pleased to be with Pops and Nonna.  Then we all dropped off Graham and he seems to enjoy school.  Next up was dropping off Reagan and Anderson.  I reminded Anderson about doing the right thing at school and he said "I'm not going to do that again."  I hope he was talking about not repeating his behavior from last night.  
  • After those 3 stops, I scurried home to do some work-straightened the house, organized 2 cabinets in the kitchen, put up some laundry (previously folded by Robby), organized an attic and that was about it.  Not bad for less than 2 hours at home.  
  • Next up was picking Graham up from school.  He had a big day and even brought home some leftover snack-that is big time stuff.  Then we ate lunch at Nonna and Pops house.  Keaton ate her weight in vienna sausages, Campbell devoured the chips and Graham was too busy thinking about playing with those G.I. Joes to eat.  
  • After a bit, we headed home and the kids didn't make it into the house.  The weather was so beautiful that they played outside.  Keaton is so funny, she loves the basketballs and will chase them all over the  driveway.  But it was her bedtime so she didn't get to stay out for too long.  
  • I stayed out with the others because the huge branch hanging over the house/power line in the back yard had fallen and was leaning up over the power line.  Pretty odd because the branch was standing straight up with only a tiny branch on that power line.  Anyway, I know they wouldn't go in the back but just to be safe, I sat in the garage and did some couponing.
  • Graham and Campbell watched about 10 minutes of a movie, worked with me building a train lego track, played Anderson's race car game and watched me clean a cabinet.  Then Robby and Anderson made it home.  Reagan was spending the afternoon with a friend and had a blast.  
  • Soon the boys were all outside playing basketball.  I think they have improved a bit-Robby is trying to teach them about keeping the ball in bounds, passing and not fouling.  The last one is the hardest-if someone else has the ball, they usually just push them and get the ball.  Soon Campbell and Keaton came out as well.  The balls would roll down the driveway and down deep into the yard.  Poor Keaton would go and get the balls and then carry them back-even though they are as big as she is.  She walked at least 2 miles in baby steps.
  • Then we loaded up and Robby dropped me and Campbell off at Kroger.  I had a few coupons that needed to be used before the new sales.  Campbell was supposed to stay with Robby but said that she had to potty so she came with me.  And no I didn't take her to the potty-I had some serious speed shopping to do while Robby was in the drive through line across the street at Arbys.  (Plus, she did really have to potty after all.)
  • We marked off everything on our list and checked out (saving 56%) just as Robby arrived with the food (long line across the street).  Then we ate in the car as we ran to grab some ice cream.  We went to Orange Leaf and the kids loved picking out their toppings.  
  • Next up was driving to Bryant to pick up Reagan.  I think she would have been happy to stay there longer-they played in the creek, swang, sang songs from choir, played with Kate's cars.  After we picked her up, we went home to feed her supper (no Arbys or Orange Leaf for her) but she was on cloud 9 and didn't mind a bit.
  • We tucked everyone in and made sure that Anderson (our bed fall-er out-er was on the other side of the bed).  Imagine how much it can scare a person when that child falls out of bed right over your head.  Last night we both ducked like the ceiling was crashing down on us!

January 27, 2013

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  • Sunday morning powdered doughnuts were the breakfast of champions around here this morning.  The kids were all dressed before breakfast and as soon as they were finished it was time to head to church.
  • During Sunday school this morning, Graham looked so tired at one point that I thought he was going to fall out of his chair.  I was pretty surprised that he managed to stay awake all during church.  
  • Anderson was involved in one of my favorite moments of the day (and one of my least favorite moments later on).  During big church, he was just singing his little heart out.  And at the end of one of the songs, he said "yeah!" kind of like a rock star would.
  • Each week, as soon as church is over, Anderson does not like it when Robby and I just stay in our seats for a minute (letting the crowd die down and just catching our breathe before finishing the afternoon).  He wants us to be the first ones out of the pew but Reagan is completely different.  Today, she said that she wanted to stay in the sanctuary until everyone had left just so she could see how quiet it was in there.  
  • Grannymom and Grandpa were not at home this afternoon, so lunch was on our own.  After changing clothes the kids made mini pizzas.  They loved doing this and could have worked forever at getting each piece of cheese and each piece of sausage on their pizza exactly the way they wanted it.  
  • The kids played for awhile and then when Keaton had her nap, the other kids watched a few movies. Robby and I were in the bonus room and noticed the neighbor kids playing with our fires from yesterday.  Robby opened the window and got on to them, he later knocked, I went out again later to get on to them and I knocked on the window.  Infuriating.  
  • So when I was loading up the car to take Reagan, Anderson and Graham to choir and Campbell who was along for the ride, it should have been no surprise that Robby saw all 4 kids back by the fire again.  He let them have it.  All of the kids in my car were turned around with their mouths hanging open in shock.  Campbell said "they are in big trouble" and Anderson added "Daddy is serious."  Later this evening, 2 of them were messing with our new driveway.  Robby just knocked and they scurried away this time.    
  • We skipped big church tonight because Robby has a bit of a cold.  Actually, he has the sneezes-I have never heard someone sneeze 8 times in a row.  He talks about how he sneezes all of the time at work and I have no idea how the people who sit near him handle it.  
  • During choir, Campbell and I walked around the church house.  We read some on my kindle, we listened to the people rehearse for big church and she played a few games.  I wanted to go to the library but I guess it was closed because of the fast.  
  • Now to my least favorite part of the day-I probably should not have been so pleased that my children were not acting like the neighbor kids and I probably should not have been wandering around the church.  I should have been observing my child's behavior in choir.  When I went to pick up Anderson and Graham, I was stopped by one of his teachers and told "Anderson was wild tonight, out of control."  Flabbergasted was what I was.  I was able to ask "like we need to talk to him?" and she agreed.  I thanked her and ushered the child to the car.  Shocked!  
  • On the way home, Anderson asked "are you going to tell Daddy?"  I answered that I had already text him everything and had tried to call him.  As soon as we made it home, he asked again if I was going to tell.  I told him that he better go tell him himself.  So as soon as he walked in, he told Robby "I got in trouble." 
  • Reagan and Graham knew something big was going to happen and were trying to stay nearby to see the effects of bad behavior but I tried to usher everyone upstairs to change into their pajamas.  Anderson did get a few spankings, will miss his ipad time for a few days, will write an apology to his teachers and will apologize in person next time he goes to choir.  Man, Robby and I are sure not used to this-I am sure things like this will happen many, many more times since they are after all children.  
  • I have already written his teacher to thank her for telling us.  And for all of my blog readers, please never hesitate to let us know if any Dennie kids aren't doing what is right and good.  Anyway, it didn't take too long for Anderson to perk up but hopefully, he will have learned his lesson.  
  • Robby had supper ready when we came home and we all ate.  Then the big kids (all but Anderson) had their ipad time while Keaton had herself a shower with Robby.  I had read on pinterest about how to make vicks vapor rub things to put in the shower to make your shower have that vapor rubby smell.  I tried and the recipe I used didn't really work-didn't work at all.  
  • Poor Keaton's bottom is pretty bad right now.  Her antibiotics led to messy diapers which led to diaper rash which have now led to a yeast infection.  She doesn't seem to mind though I wince every time I change her.  
  • Graham was so tired tonight that he couldn't fall asleep again.  He convinces himself that he is scared-really scared with 3 other people in the room with you and us downstairs.  Sometimes he will do this when I am using the washer or dryer upstairs but tonight the laundry was caught up (for about 2 minutes anyway).  I am pretty sure that he finally went to sleep-pretty sure because the battery on my monitor died pretty early in the evening!  
  • Tomorrow is school day for 3, Nonna day for 2 and Reagan gets to go and play at a friends house after school.  Big day!

January 26, 2013

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  • Over at Nonna's house, Anderson slept until 7 and then went back to sleep for a bit longer.  But at our house, we were all still snoozing at 8.  Everyone joined us in our bed and we all loafed around until almost 9.
  • Robby fixed the kids breakfast (leftover dounuts) and then we headed outside for a yard day.  It was pretty cold and stayed chilly all day long without ever warming up.  Actually, if the sun had came out it would have been pretty pleasant.  
  • Robby started a fire on the lower end of the yard and we raked and raked.  He also used his blower to blow some leaves in the pile.  We eventually started another burn pile of just leaves and worked on it as well.  That all sounds pretty simple when I type it so I am not sure why it took us until after 5 to finish up enough to come in.  (This is Robby:  "Because it was A LOT of leaves!"
  • The kids were out most of the day.  As I looked around at one point I saw Keaton eating dirt from her wagon with a spoon that she was playing with, Graham racing around on his scooter and Reagan leading Campbell around with a rope-things were just as they should be.  
  • Keaton is just as content as she can be in the wagon-helps probably that someone is always asking for a snack or drink so they are flowing plentiful while we are outside.  Graham probably helped the most but the real highlight was watching their plastic snack cups melt in the fire.  This caused Reagan to find anything that she could put into the fire to watch it burn.  I am not sure who will be more of a pyromaniac-Reagan or Keaton who would just watch the fire and laugh.  (or maybe she was laughing at Robby and me working so hard on all of those leaves).
  • The kids had their lunch on a blanket outside.  Keaton and I ate inside and soon Campbell came in with her plate to join us.  She said that she was cold outside.  After putting Keaton down for her rest, I went back outside and it was indeed cold-I felt it was colder than when I came in.
  • Soon Pops and Nonna brought Anderson home.  Anderson had a blast while at Nonna's house.  And he was so proud of his new Oaklawn hat.  As soon as he found out that Reagan was inside watching tv, he couldn't wait to get his self in the house to watch a movie too.
  • After they watched a few movies, I woke Keaton up and the others came back outside to work some more.  Reagan and Campbell found their lawn chairs and just sat down and watched us work.  Anderson found a rake and started working on a huge leaf pile for him to jump in.  They played and played in those leaves and kept themselves quite entertained.  Now this huge leaf pile only created more work for us because we had to rake those leaves on into the pile before we called it a night.
  • Next up was 7 showers and then chili leftovers.  We all worked on picking up the playroom and then a Woody Woodpecker movies before bedtime.  I think Robby and I may be asleep before the kids are asleep tonight.

January 25, 2013

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  • Graham joined us in bed sometime around 5 and Campbell was there at 7.  I really don't understand how Campbell manages to only come down at 7 (like the Dennie rules clearly state).  She doesn't really know any numbers so looking at the clock isn't how she figures it out.  
  • Even though they were both in bed with us, we all still slept until 7:40ish.  That was quite wonderful but then we had to get a move on.  I fed the kids as Robby left for work.  Then I quickly straightened downstairs and ushered everyone upstairs to change their clothes and briefly straight up the upstairs.
  • Keaton was left downstairs while we all went up and she was not too happy about that.  Graham was the first one finished so I had him go down to cheer up his sister.  He did a really good job at it-when I came down he showed me all of the silly things that he did for his sister.  
  • Then I had everyone watch a movie (otherwise known as-leave me alone for a few minutes and not mess anything up).  It was 9:15 and I was just getting in to the shower.  I moved quick, dressed Keaton and pulled out a few more things for the big party.
  • At 10, our guests started arriving: Alyssa Kate, Caroline, Charlotte, Joe, Kennedy, Ethan, Brody, Noah, Eden and Lilly.  Today was our big 100th day of school party.  I really don't remember having a 100th day of school party growing up but we sure had one today!
  • I had set up 11 stations for the kids to rotate through.  They included 1: making a tower with 100 legos, 2: stacking 100 pennies, 3: stacking 100 cups, 4: putting sticks with numbers on them in order 1-100, 5: rolling a dice until you made it too 100, 6: working some of a 100 piece puzzle, 7: putting 100 dots of paint on a paper, 8: using 100 stickers on a piece of paper, 9: dropping 100 drops of water in a cup, 10: writing what you would do with 100 dollars, and finally 11: making a snack mix with 10 each of 10 different snacks.  
  • We had quite a few groups rotating around to the different stations: 1. Reagan, Alyssa Kate and Kennedy, 2. Noah and Ethan, 3. Anderson and Graham, 4. Brody and Campbell and 5. Eden and Caroline.  I was quite impressed with my boys doing every single station.  They really stuck with it.  Campbell did really well too and would have done better if I could have stayed with her more.  But she was most interested in making (and eating) the snack mix.  
  • The big girl group meticulously did each station but ran out of time before finishing the last 3.  They did want to work on their snack mix after lunch so they quickly bagged them up so they could keep playing with the others.  We then had lunch-I had drinks and sandwiches (100 little ones, I might add).  And the others had all brought food as well to share.  
  • After lunch, the kids played upstairs until we pulled out the brownies (numbered 1-100, yep, I am a dork like that).  Then we all ventured outside.  This is when the party really started.  Robby had found a New Years sale and came home with quite a few cans of silly string.  Enough cans that each kid had one and now just imagine what color our grass (dirt) is!  The kids had a blast with that stuff and then when you throw in a few air horns and blowy horns-the kids at Lawson Elementary could probably hear us. 
  • Once all of the silly string was empty, the kids started playing on the swings, little house and of course the boys headed to the woods.  What is it with boys, woods and sticks?  Around 2, everyone started to leave and my crew stayed outside for a few minutes.  
  • Soon Anderson was coming inside because he needed to pack.  Pops was one his way over to pick him up so he could spend the night (and play with those G.I. Joe toys).  Anderson was so excited that as we went upstairs to pack, he said "I don't even know what to pack."  I helped him out and then he asked if he could take some toys as well.
  • After Pops and Nonna left with him, I finished putting everything up in the house and then managed to fold a few loads of laundry before crashing on the couch as the kids watched a few movies.  Having a party is tough!  I finally had to wake Keaton up at 5, party having is tough on 1 year olds too.
  • Soon Robby was home and we all headed to Chick Fil A for supper.  The kids played while we ordered and then dutifully came to eat when the food arrived.  Then back to play but the moment their ice cream hit the table they were back in their seats.  Anderson was on the other side of town eating at Larrys and earning lots of tickets.
  • Back at home, Keaton went to bed while Robby let the others watch a movie.  Graham and Campbell were so tired that they couldn't watch the movie but only wanted to be with us.  When bedtime rolled around they were all quiet as they could be-rare occurrence around here lately!

January 24, 2013

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  • Robby and Campbell took Graham to school this morning and I quickly had my shower and then we started school.  I had made Reagan and Anderson's breakfast and they ate at their school desks and even woke Keaton up when we all barged in the school room to get started for the day.  
  • Of course, she thought we were all coming to see her.  And since I had in my hands her clothes, milk and breakfast she was tickled to see me.  While Reagan and Anderson worked and Keaton ate in her high chair which was moved to the school room, I worked like a mad lady getting things ready for next week (I do that every Thursday), picking up the school room, helping Reagan and Anderson and filing their completed work away.  I was in such a rush because I knew that Robby would soon be home with Campbell.
  • I knew that Robby had a few errands before they arrived home but I was surprised when he arrived without Campbell.  He was near Grannymom's house so he just dropped off Campbell.  We did pretty well zooming through school.  Though Keaton was at a loss with what to do without her buddy there.  So Keaton would just climb on top of Campbell's desk and set there or she would escape out of the room to sneak a drink from Robby working in his office.
  • Around lunch time, I put Keaton in the car and rounded up the others.  Robby was heading out to do a little burning.  He bought himself a flame thrower (he says that is not what it is though) and was able to get a few things burnt.  Pops picked Graham up from school and Graham had the best time playing with the G.I. Joes.  
  • Anderson has only heard about these G.I. Joes so he is anxious to get to Nonna's house to see them.  He did remember to ask Grannymom about his daddy's army men and did play with him for a bit.  Of course that was the same time that I arrived after my speed shopping at Kroger and my hunt for a few items at Walmart.  
  • Back at home, we checked Robby's burn pile progress and the kids played outside some.  The neighbor dog was out and even though it was on the other side of the fire and sitting quietly, it scared the mess out of Campbell.  I had to calm her down for awhile before she would venture back outside.  They all played out there for a long time despite the cold.  
  • I worked in the kitchen and got a few things ready for tomorrow's 100 day party.  Then it was supper time and an outing for the big 4.  They finally got to cash in their stars from their star chart with doughnuts with Dad.  
  • Krispy Kreme was the choice location and Reagan and Anderson even had their own drinks because they didn't lose any stars.  Everyone had their fill on doughnuts and were pretty pleased with themselves.  They were all so excited about bringing us home doughnuts and bringing Keaton a hat home.  
  • Keaton and I worked some more on the party-actually she spent most of her time putting two of my spice bottles in and out of a basket.  She was content so I let her play away-thankfully the jars didn't break.  Maybe next time I should make sure that the jars she is playing with are filled with good smelling spices (like cinnamon) in case they do break.  
  • Once the others made it home, they all went to bed.  My Graham is having a hard time getting to sleep tonight-actually is laying in the toy room right now.  We will see if that lasts!  (Well, it was short lived plus I helped convince him to go back to his bed where it would be warmer and I think he is finally asleep!)

January 23, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
  • Sometime in the middle of the night, I got up to use the bathroom.  When I laid back down, I looked at the door to our room and it was open.  I thought that was odd and then I decided that Robby was sleeping a little too close to me and that was also odd.  I made sure that was Robby next to me and not one of the kids. 
  • Well, the reason that Robby was so close to me was in fact Graham.  I don't know if he had tried to get me to move over or not but he ended up on Robby's side.  After I realized all of this, I told Robby that he could scoot over some towards me and soon I was the one on the edge of the bed.  Graham eventually said that he wanted to go back to his bed so Robby jumped at the chance to re-tuck him in.  Tonight he has said that he doesn't want to sleep in the top bunk any more but Anderson is now enjoying the ease of the bottom bunk.  That will provide some drama-we sure want everyone to really like their beds-like them enough to stay in them all night long!
  • This morning I made 4 slices of cinnamon toast (two with the heels of the bread-gasp!), 1 peanut butter sandwich, passed out 1 chocolate pop tart, divided another pop tart 3 ways because it was the last one, gave out 1 cinnamon pop tart, cut a banana, poured 3 bowls of cereal and topped off 4 milk cups.  Seriously, breakfast around here is getting ridiculous.  My new plan is to have a planned breakfast and that is what we will all eat (cereal on Mondays, toast with whatever topping on Tuesdays, or whatever).  Of course, I have been saying that we would have a supper menu for about 12 years.
  • School today went fairly well.  I had given everyone a good speech about staying in their seats and being quiet.  It worked fairly well-Keaton gets a chair from the closet, takes it to Campbell's desk and sits beside her.  I felt so sorry for her that I set up the little table for her to color at.  She loves sitting at the table and will sit there even when she isn't doing anything.  
  • Anderson did finish much quicker today but did stall briefly during math.  I did fill Reagan's extra boxes with some hard stuff today so she had to work pretty hard too.  One of the stumpers for her was matching coins and their amounts.  She worked with a paper, pencil and calculator but eventually figured it all out.
  • Robby surprised us by dropping by at lunch.  He stayed for a bit and then headed back to work.  Most of the kids ended up outside for awhile.  Anderson has become a bit basketball obsessed and was pretty happy that the neighbor kid was outside as well (I did find time to ask why he wasn't at school-didn't want him to have to flu but he is now homeschooled as well).  
  • After a while, I called everyone back in to read science.  Graham takes it all in and listens so intently.  It is all so over his head (mine too) but he will raise his little hand and ask questions-cutest thing.  Next up, they all changed into church attire (that means clothes that match-not orange pants and a red shirt as one had on).  Then a quick movie while I ran around doing my crazy Wednesday afternoon routine.
  • We left earlier than usual today at 3 to go and see Beebee and Papaw.  The kids were very well behaved-maybe that is because Beebee gave them 2 candy bars, 4 cookies and 2 dollars.   I would be good too!  Keaton didn't have much to do with Beebee or Papaw but when I said it was time to leave, she ran to Papaw to give him a hug.  
  • Then it was off to the library to pick up some books.  I have not taken the kids in ages and we barely made it out today.  Anderson walked in without holding the door open for us-one thing my boys will know by the time they leave my house is to hold the door open for the people behind them.  He usually does but was so excited-of course, I sternly reminded him.  Then as we were leaving, I took everyone to the bathroom.  Campbell locked the door while pottying and then after poopooing she couldn't get up to open the door.  This mean my Anderson had to climb under to open that door for Campbell.  C tries to do the right thing but we so often expect a bit much for her and forget she is barely 3.
  • Then we met Robby at McDonalds.  He already had our food laid out on the table for us so that made supper easy.  Next up was church for all.  Graham has figured out that I am the lamb puppet but I am not sure if he knows Robby is the bear puppet.  Anderson and Reagan even went to go and watch the pinewood derby so that was a highlight.
  • Back at home tonight, everyone had a snack and then it was pajama time.  Campbell had colored on a tshirt during school time.  We have markers that wash out so there is one shirt that the kids take turns coloring on and then wear it to bedtime.  She was so proud of her shirt tonight! 

January 22, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
  • Robby and I both kept waking up last night-I guess we were waiting on Graham to come and join us but he never came.  That child slept all night long.  After yesterday afternoon, he has never complained about his ears again or even slowed down so that is wonderful.  Though tomorrow is the girls last day of medicine and he might just be given a swig or two of the leftover.
  • Robby took Graham to school and then headed to work himself.  I jumped in the shower and before too long we had started school.  The kids were all sitting at their desks working on their boxes.  The room was silent and I didn't even have to prompt anyone to do their work.  It was a peaceful and productive school day.  Ha! Ha! Ha!  Nothing like that happened-nothing like that really ever happens!  I am going to keep working at it until I do figure out what will work.    
  • Reagan finished her work around 11 and that was even after I gave her other things to do (pick up this, refill your work boxes, yada, yada).   Anderson finished his work around 1-of course he had to take time out for our science reading and for lunch which made it even later.  I am at a loss of what to do with him-if he is working he can finish everything quickly so I know nothing is too hard for her.  Sitting alone or even in the same room as me, he still manages to find something to play with or stare at.  Now he still did all of his work-reading 2 pages of sight words, 3 pages of math, 2 pages of phonics, a section of his reading book, 2 pages of handwriting, reviewing his Awana verses and a 100 day dice tally sheet along with listening to history, geography and science.  So I guess finishing at 1 is pretty good when you don't start until 9.  
  • After lunch, the kids all played upstairs while I worked on organizing the kids bathroom and moving my Easter decorations to a new spot-the baby nesting has begun.  I am still working my way through cleaning out every drawer, closet, nook and cranny of the house before the baby arrives.  I am probably way over half way finished but still have lots of difficult things left-pantry, hall closet, kitchen, oh my!
  • Soon Keaton and Campbell took their naps and before too long I was already having to wake them up-my afternoons fly by.  Anderson begged me to go outside and play basketball with him and I told him I would until someone's score was 10.  And as soon as we hit 10, I scurried back inside-it was cold out there.  Reagan and Campbell came out quickly-Reagan was wearing her pajamas and coats and Campbell insisted on wearing her crocs without socks-at least she had on a coat!
  • Robby and Graham eventually made it home.  Graham had spent the afternoon at Grannymom's house.  He finished his clay project and even came home with the news that Grannymom was going to by him a real bird and a cage for his birthday.  I explained that would be wonderful and he could see it each and every time he visited Grannymom's house.
  • We had the grand supper of hot dogs, baked beans and edamame.  Anderson had helped me make pudding this afternoon.  He wanted vanilla and all I had was french vanilla but we made it anyway.  The kids ate well and most even ate the pudding-Keaton would have one bite, shake her head and then ask for more.  She didn't know if she liked it or not.  
  • Next up was shower time for everyone-Campbell and Keaton were in the big shower first while Anderson was in the little shower.  Reagan then took Anderson's spot and Graham took Campbell and Keaton's spot.  We have ourselves quite a shower routine!  After a bit more play time it was bedtime for the crew.  

January 21, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
  • We were about to get out of bed this morning as Campbell joined us in bed.  So of course we couldn't just leave her in there all alone.  After awhile we did get moving and had to really start moving.  
  • Graham was out of school for MLK day so he was able to go to Nonna and Pops' house.  Keaton hadn't had breakfast at our house so the first order of business over there was her breakfast.  Soon Jason came over to play with some of his old GI Joe with Graham.  This was the best thing ever to Graham and he had a blast.  They also played outside for awhile.  
  • I took Reagan and Anderson to school after dropping off the others.  They had a big day-Anderson's teacher wasn't there so he had a sub.  Anderson told me that they did things "in a way different order" than usual.  For Anderson's show and tell he took his monster trucks and talked about the Monster Jam.  And for Reagan's oral report, she talked about how she was saving her money to buy a kindle. 
  • I worked at home this morning and then went to join the others for lunch at Nonna's house.  I asked where Pops was and Jason said he was eating with his friend, Sam.  Graham quickly asked "Uncle Sam?"  They had been watching the inauguration so Graham had seen many stars and stripes this morning so Uncle Sam was probably a logical choice. 
  • After lunch, Graham started holding his ears and our day went from really good to really bad.  He fussed most of the way home and calmed a bit with some ear drops.  I quickly put Keaton and Campbell in bed for their naps.  After fussing for awhile, Graham finally went to sleep in my lap.  He slept really well until I had to lay him down to go to the bathroom.  Then he was awake in a flash and fussing again.  No, there were no more doctors appointments today so we will see how the night goes.
  • By the time that Robby came home with Reagan and Anderson, Graham was feeling lots better.  He even played basketball for a bit with Robby and Anderson.  Campbell and Keaton helped me make some soup for supper and before too long, it was supper time.
  • The kids played on the ipad for a bit and even had time to watch one movie before bed.  I hope that Graham sleeps well tonight (not betting on it though).  But right now, it sounds like everyone is sleeping soundly except my Reagan who is coughing some.  

January 20, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
  • Graham made it to 1:30ish this morning in his new top bunk spot.  And no telling how long he had been in bed with us-1:30 is just when Robby noticed that he was there.  Robby reached his hand over me to try to see who it was and then asked and I replied "Graham."  But I was back asleep before realizing that Robby left for the couch so I never moved over to his side of the bed until 4 when I briefly woke up.
  • About 7:05, Anderson joined us in bed and after a few minutes Graham disappeared.  When I went upstairs to start the Sunday morning clothing ritual, Graham was laying back in his bed.  He sat up and looked at me and said "I stayed in bed all night long."  No we didn't believe him at all-that little booger has started coming up with some interesting stories.
  • Everyone was dressed for church and then it was time for breakfast.  I had to coach Robby in how to make cinnamon toast for Graham-that is his new breakfast obsession. Then it was a shower for me and Keaton.  She has started soaking her pajamas every night.  So it was either a shower or lots of baby lotion.
  • We opted for two cars today since I had nursery duty and Robby would have had 3 coughers in church by himself.  If I had been there then one of us could have taken a cougher out but he couldn't do that by himself.  So after Sunday school they all headed home for a few minutes.  I do think that Reagan was a little more excited than she should have been about getting skip big church!
  • They came home, changed clothes and played outside while Robby worked on cleaning out the big van.  That van is so big that it can become a mess really quickly if we don't stay on top of it.  I had nursery duty in Keaton's class and that little stinker is a jealous little girl.  If I was holding someone then she wanted to also be in my lap.  She is going to have a rude awakening in about 75 days-yes, 75 days.  Eeek, I have quite a list to accomplish in 75 days!
  • We all met back up at Nonna and Pops house for lunch.  The kids ate well and enjoyed getting to go outside and play.  By the time we made it home, Keaton was asleep and continued her afternoon nap in her bed.  Reagan, Anderson and Graham played outside for about 10 minutes and then came inside.
  • They all migrated upstairs and Robby and I migrated to the other upstairs.  Campbell was with us and was about to fall asleep when the others came in.  The boys were intrigued with the "girl basketball" on tv.  I told everyone they could go and watch a movie so all 4 went downstairs.  My alarm sounded on my phone and I started stirring.
  • Once downstairs, I saw the big 3 sitting in the spots in my room watching tv.  Anderson laying on my side of the bed under the covers, Reagan sits on the corner of the bed and Graham sits at the foot of my bed.  They are very, very specific about where they sit-it is almost comical.  Now, Campbell had a pillow for her and one for "Reagan's American doll" as she calls her and they were both snoozing.
  • Robby took the big 3 to choir and went to a meeting by himself.  We were still a bit concerned about all of the coughing going on so we opted to skip church.  So I loaded up Campbell and Keaton and we did a bit of pre-grocery shopping shopping.  Ha!  I had coupons to use before the new sales and my plan is to go Thursday and buy real food-like for a weekly menu.  We will see if that menu gets planned.  
  • If you have ever seen the show "Supermarket Sweeps" then you can imagine what I looked like in the store.  I had so much that Campbell who was sitting in the back of the cart was almost covered up.  She held a package of crackers the entire time that I had brought for them and constantly asked when they could eat them.  I was waiting for a crisis but that never happened so we ate them on the way home.
  • We were home and unloaded before the others made it back.  I made some grilled cheese and then we had our ice cream truck-this was our first ice cream truck night since the power had gone off so the choices were pretty limited.  After this, Robby and I ended cleaning out/organizing the deep freeze.  During the storm, all of our other freezer items had been just dumped in there and it had become a mess.
  • While we were doing this Keaton sat buckled in the wagon playing with the hula hoop, Campbell was on the other side of the house door saying "knock knock Keaton."  And the others had their ipad time for the evening.  We have started limiting them to only playing together in the evenings for 20 minutes and that is all.  It doesn't take much for my crew to become obsessed with things.
  • Soon it was bedtime and we are giving everyone another chance at sleeping in their new spots (Campbell and Graham on top bunks, Reagan still in her lower bunk and Anderson now down low-of course he did fall out of bed last night but vehemently denied it this morning).

January 19, 2013

Mom & Me!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • We had big plans for the morning but before we knew it, it was 8 and we were all still snoozing.  And then it was nearly 9 and Graham was the only one up.  Robby did make it out the door to start working outside.  It was nearly 10 before Reagan and Anderson roused.  Graham quickly grabbed himself a poptart and headed out to help Robby.  I fed everyone breakfast, laid out outside clothes and then headed out myself with Keaton in the wagon.
  • Robby had spent quite a bit of time working on getting a hose ready for the burn pile but then turned out we could never really get the fire going.  After working for an hour and constantly having to put leaves on top for it to keep burning, we gave up and moved to another part of the yard.  
  • Before we moved to our next project, Graham did get a good lesson on gasoline.  Robby was pouring some on a part of the pile to try to start it up but had forgotten that nearby is where he had originally tried to light it.  The pile went whoosh, Robby went "ooooh" and quickly ran backwards.  Robby was intact-including his eye brows and even had dry pants.  We then reviewed the "stop, drop and roll" procedures.
  • Before too long, Pops had brought Campbell home and spent some time pushing everyone on the swings.  We then raked leaves in the front part of the yard and was able to burn them without much of a problem-except the crazy amount of smoke that burning wet leaves provides.  We did bribe the kids with some extra ipad time if they picked up sticks.  So they stayed very busy doing that.
  • Keaton was in the wagon most of the morning-she stayed busy though taking off her hat, taking off her shoes, taking off her socks, taking off her coat, throwing everything out of the wagon and even hanging her feet over the side.  
  • I made a picnic lunch for everyone-some ate on a blanket and some at the picnic table.  Then Robby worked on Graham's bird house which has fallen apart.  While he did that, I tried to teach the big 3 how to play 4 square.  Then we all had a big ole basketball game-boys against girls.  We played until the store was tied and then we quickly ended the game so everyone would be happy.
  • Robby stayed outside and worked in the garage while the big 4 had showers.  Keaton was too tired for a shower so I put her down for a nap and had a shower myself instead.  Before too long, Grannymom and Grandpa came over for a bit.
  • I only had 19 things for Grandpa to hang so that didn't take too long.  After they had finished, we had leftovers for supper.  Then the kids and Grannymom spent quite a bit of time playing hide n seek.  After we waved bye to Grannymom and Grandpa, Robby and Graham worked on a block tower and shortly thereafter it was bedtime for all!  
  • Tonight we let Campbell sleep on the top bunk.  Anderson also wanted to sleep on the bottom so Graham gladly slept on the top.  The only thing we have heard out of them tonight is Reagan's coughing.  Graham, Anderson and Reagan all have a touch of the cold that the girls had-hopefully, it won't be as severe as the girls cold.  

January 18, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
(click here for a video of kids at Monster Jam)
(click here for a video of Campbell's night out with Nonna & Uncle Jason)
  • Robby had a meeting at work early this morning and was already gone when the kids started waking up.  Campbell was the first to wake up and ended back in bed with Reagan.  Soon Anderson was downstairs with me and was shortly followed by the rest of the crew.  I received no "good mornings" or "how do you dos?" from them it was only "where's Daddy?"
  • I turned on a movie for them to watch while I showered and then we had breakfast while reading our science.  Then it was time for school.  I have been neglecting letting them have ipad time on Fridays as I have put in my school plans but I did today.  Of course, when I showed them the games they would play they weren't too thrilled.  Yes, I made them play sight word games and math bingo-oh the horror!  Actually, they enjoyed it even though I could never figure out how to turn the sound on.  
  • After school, I told the boys they could bring in their new toys...only to remember that those new toys were in the back of Robby's van.  Graham asked if daddy could ask his boss if he could bring them home real quick.  I distracted them with lunch so all was well.
  • When we finished eating, I did make everyone help me pick up for a few minutes.  I did work on the kitchen floor during this time while happy baby Keaton just laughed and sang along with me.  Then everyone played until time to go to the doctor.  
  • Anderson, Keaton and Campbell all had their check ups today.  Everyone was fine-all with big heads, all at the upper range of their weights and Campbell is crazy tall.  Dr. Martin did ask Anderson what his favorite veggie was and just as we had rehearsed he said "carrots."  While we were practicing for this questions he couldn't think of any veggies he liked despite the zillion I named.  Then he said "ok, I will just say carrots.  Even though I have never had them."  
  • Campbell's ears still look bad but Keaton's have cleared up nicely.  And Anderson did an asthma type test to check his airways-trying to determine if we should give him daily asthma meds.  After Martin looked at it, she decided that it wasn't really conclusive either way so to keep doing what we have been doing-just giving it to him daily when he has a cold or when needed.  
  • I had thought that Campbell would have to have shots but was wrong but we still all had a sonic drink after leaving the doctor's office.  Robby then ran into Walmart to pick up ear plugs for this evenings event.  
  • Then we picked up his car and I headed to Nonna's house to drop of Campbell.  This was her night to spend at Nonna's house making up for the hotel night that she missed because of her cough.  She has been saying since we came home that she was all better and wasn't coughing any more and was ready to go to Nonna's house.  So this was her night.  Nonna, Jason and her went to Larry's pizza and she was even able to sleep on the blow up princess bed.  That girl was so excited about going-she packed her new suitcase and continued adding things to it. 
  • Back at home, the others only had a bit of time before heading to the Monster Jam monster truck show.  It started at 7:30 and Robby said that it was the loudest thing he had ever been to.  But he also added that the kids were eating it up.  He sent me a video showing Reagan in between the boys and she is just as excited at they were.  Who knows when they will get home tonight but I know they are having a great time!
  • 10:30 update:  The monster jam crew is back and are all tucked into bed.  Robby said they stayed the entire show.  He knew there would be no way to get the kids to leave.  They had a blast and even went to bed with their glow sticks (dollar store) hanging by their beds.  And to top it off, they even had popcorn because they had to walk so far when they parked.  This might just have to be a tradition-once they all get their hearing back.  

January 17, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
  • Campbell had made it a habit to climb out of her bed all by herself lately and has even been beating Graham into our bed in the morning.  Thankfully, she doesn't wake up until after 7.  This morning, after she laid with us for a bit, she headed to the fridge to get her milk.  
  • Robby and I had heard someone else moving around upstairs and coming down the stairs but Campbell didn't put all of those sounds together.  When she opened our bedroom door, she let out a squeal.  We immediately heard Anderson say "sorry, sorry."  They had ran into each other and scared each other pretty good.
  • The other day I tried to wake Campbell up from her afternoon nap and she wasn't getting up.  So I left her door open and went on with things.  About 30 minutes later, I heard her call me so I quickly headed upstairs.  And when I turned the corner of the stairs, there she was-I was the one letting out the squeal that day.
  • Anyway, we have all gotten into the habit of sleeping in.  I actually had to wake my Graham up this morning-he might be getting a bit of the girls cold (runny nose and a bit of a cough tonight).  The girls are feeling very good.  They both still have runny noses and Campbell was terribly tired this evening but she never got around to taking her nap though.
  • Robby and Campbell took Graham to school.  It was bring a teddy bear day.  He had original told me that Ms. Stacy said he could bring a bunny rabbit.  I told him that the sheet I received said a teddy bear but if rabbits did hibernate then he could take one (they are talking about hibernation).  I looked it up and rabbits don't hibernate.  I was afraid this was going to cause a scene with him but he dutifully went upstairs to find another bear.  Soon he called down to me "do panda bears hibernate?"  I looked it up and they actually do not but I told him that he could still take it since it was a bear like the note said.
  • Reagan and Anderson had breakfast in the school room and Keaton sat in her highchair in the hallway eating.  I worked with Anderson on all of his work first and then with Reagan while Anderson finished his independent work.  That child is so distracted so I told him he could go and set near Robby who was working from home.  I think he did pretty good sitting in there-maybe Robby could just work from home all the time.  
  • Robby noticed that school seemed crazy due to Keaton and Campbell.  My Campbell used to work better during school and would do things that I set out for her.  I have stopped even trying to give her stuff to do lately because she is so interested in playing with Keaton who can now play with her.  Today, I did turn on a movie (educational) for her to watch-that lasted for about 10 minutes.  
  • We didn't get to our science today but since we only had one page to read that can be finished tomorrow.  To finish by 11 was pretty good and imagine how much we could have accomplished if we had gotten up at a decent time this morning!  
  • It had been so long since I had picked up Graham in our little car (the minivan) that him and Ms. Stacy wasn't sure that it was me in the car.  I usually just go in but since I had everyone today we went through the carpool line-were actually the only ones in the line.  
  • I dropped the kids off at Grannymom's house.  No one seemed to notice me leaving-we had brought the toys from Ms. Shannon to play with and they were busy playing/fighting with the toys.  They had lunch and even made a clay project.  Reagan said that she wanted for me to buy her some so she could make a vase.  She loves art and making projects-need to send her to an art class.
  • I ran a few errands and then picked up the crew.  They had a time getting into the car-I have often threatened to make them load and unload the car multiple time during the day to practice.  Once saw a video of a lady boasting that her 8 kids could load the car and buckle in 30 seconds.  I would be happy for 5 kids loading and buckling in 2 minutes with minimal tears!  We will get there-might work on that next month.
  • Currently, we have our star chart and the kids earn stars so they can go eat donuts with Robby.  Last month you could only get your star taken away if bedtime didn't go smoothly but this month we have added losing a star if you talk back.  The donuts were still on the table but Robby upped it with if everyone got all of their stars they could go to Chuck E Cheese with me.  So far Anderson is the only one getting to go with me but he will probably soon lose a star too.  They have gotten pretty bad about talking back but this seems to be helping.  There was major drama when I had to take away Reagan's first star thus losing her Chuck E Cheese.  She will still get to go to donuts with Robby so it could be worse.  Anyway, all of that to say next month we will probably have to add getting in and out of the car to our star chart.
  • When we did make it home from Grannymom's house, the 3 big kids rode on their scooters and Campbell helped Grandpa and Robby hang my computer/tv in the school room.  Actually, she did little helping and was quickly kicked out of the school room-she is used to being kicked out of our little school room!
  • Before we realized it the afternoon was almost over and I scurried around to find supper.  I had a lasagna that was still frozen so it took forever to cook.  Robby gave the kids baths while I finished up supper-lasagna, corn on the cob, bread and cookies.  Reagan said that this was one of her favorite meals and Keaton ate her weight in lasagna.  (A bath before lasagna is not always the best idea)
  • After supper, Robby read the kids a story on my little kindle and then Keaton went to bed and the rest of us watched a Thomas the train movie.  Campbell was so exhausted that she fell asleep during the movie.  I worked on the blog during the movie and Robby bought the kids tickets for an outing tomorrow.  My boys are going to be so excited tomorrow that they will be beside themselves!

January 16, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
  • Since yesterday was a snow day, we all slept in a bit this morning (pretty good excuse huh?)  And then before I knew what was happening, I was upstairs making a lego race car and a lego house with flowers all over it.  Thankfully though, I was able to get showered and ready for the day before Keaton woke up.  Actually, it was nearly 9 and she had not yet woken up, so I went in to check on her.  
  • That Keaton is seriously, the happiest child that we have.  She just grins and smiles when she sees any of us.  This morning she just sat and giggled at Anderson as he made silly faces at her.  Now when thing that isn't quite as pleasant with her is diaper changing lately.  The antibiotics have caused her diaper to be full and her bottom to become red, red, red.  
  • We had our breakfast and then quickly started on school.  Usually, I do one thing with Anderson and then one thing with Reagan and bounce back and forth helping each but today tried something different.  Today, I sat with Reagan and we finished all of her work that she needed my help on-my hope was that Anderson would be quietly working on his work (he did some).  And then I helped him with all of his work that he needed me on while Reagan did her independent work.  I might try it again tomorrow and see if this helps make our school day smoother.
  • We finished before lunch but the real excitement happened after lunch-we all decorated Beebee's birthday cake.  We used Graham's new rocket ship pan because what 80+ year old doesn't want a rocket ship birthday cake?  There was also another rocket cake for us to decorate for ourselves (this was the same cake that didn't burn to bits when I accidentally left it in the oven last night as we ran down the street for a few minutes.)  The kids took their time and enjoyed decorating the cake but they were much more excited to eat them!
  • I went ahead and put Keaton and Campbell down for an early nap and the rest of us had reading time.  Reagan really reads, Anderson just looks at the pictures even though the books he is looking at he could read, Graham quietly looks at pictures and I am devouring my book on my kindle.  
  • I did a few things and got everything as ready for the evening as I could-bags packed, shoes laid out, everything by the door...  I know that at 3:30 I have to start getting everyone ready but I have no idea what happens from 3:30-4.  Four is when I try to leave but I never make it out the door on time.  The kids were pretty helpful today and were out in the garage before I even had Keaton up from her nap.
  • Why were they so excited to get in the garage?  That is where we had left the toys that we have gotten last night.  The boys had spread everything out and were so excited about them-they talked about them the entire way to Beebee and Papaw's place.  Campbell just drug the princess suitcase around and around the garage.  Anderson asked if we were going to get to bring them inside the house.  Ha!  He thinks we are going to make them play in the frigid garage!  The plan is to bring them in on Friday afternoon.
  • Today was Beebee's 29th brithday-at least that is what she told the kids.  Of course, Reagan couldn't understand why her great grandmother is younger than her mother.  We had our supper while Beebee and Papaw were eating theirs in the dining room and then we celebrated her birthday with the rocket ship cake and candles.  
  • Before I knew it, it was time to scurry out the door to head to Awanas.  Good night for all-Reagan said a zillion verses and Anderson finished his review.  He was so excited to get his extra credit book. Love that kid-I was so worried about him finishing anything and he is hot on Reagan's heels. 
  • Back at home, everyone had a snack, medicine for the girls and then bedtime for all!

January 15, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
  • Another good night with little coughing that we heard.  Campbell was the first one up-up all by herself over the rail of her bed (kind of nice since we didn't have to go and get her).  Graham doesn't really mind going to school and gets dressed easily.  I think he really likes spending a bit of extra time with Robby as he takes him. 
  • After they left, I had my shower and then made breakfast for everyone.  We then started on school but were soon distracted by the sleet and snow falling.  Before too long, it was time to figure our how we were going to get Graham.  Traffic was already bad downtown so it would have taken longer for him to get him.  Pops called and told me not to "get those kids out in this" and volunteered to get him.  Grannymom and Grandpa were also planning on getting him and were about to leave themselves.  
  • Pops and Nonna finally made it to our house after picking up Graham.  Pops said that the roads near us were pretty slick.  (When Robby made it home this evening, he agreed that our roads were the worst out here.)  We had been reading science and eating a snack when they arrived and Graham was tickled that I had also made him a snack.
  • We then had lunch and the kids all ran upstairs to start playing-they are truly stuck on their legos.  That is all that they play with now-but I can't explain why all of the other toys are always out of their boxes too.
  • Before too long, my Keaton was ready for her nap.  She and Campbell are feeling so much better-much happier!  Though Campbell wasn't too happy about me making her take a nap.  She is close to dropping that afternoon nap but I figure if you are sick then a nap will do you good.  I'm not sick and I nap would have done me good!  
  • While they slept, Reagan, Anderson and Graham played with a Lightening McQueen toy that involves cold water to change the colors of the cars.  So with sleet falling outside, they sat on the cold tile floor playing with icy water-um, that didn't sound like it was for me so I did some chores around the house.
  • Soon they had woken up Keaton and I sent them to watch a movie.  Keaton and I pulled out a few things for school.  It is so nice to be a bit organized with school stuff-wish I could be more organized though.  
  • I actually made supper tonight (twice baked potatoes, chicken, green beans and corn muffins)-don't be too impressed though (two of those were frozen, one from a can and one from a mix).  The kids helped me with the corn muffins.  Graham had the egg to crack and started before I was ready to help.  He had cracked the egg not over the cup and then put the shell in the cup.  Poor thing, didn't mean to make a mess and was profusely apologizing.  I could only laugh and only laughed harder when Reagan shouted "Momma's gonna put that on Facebook."  I am sure she meant that I was going to put it on the blog-and I sure did!
  • Next up was supper and then the kids put on their pajamas and were about to have their ipad and phone time.  But Ms. Shannon called saying they were cleaning out their toy room and asked if we wanted to come and see if we wanted anything.  I was about to go but asked Robby about the roads so he decided that we all would go.  So they sat in the van while I "shopped."  She had quite a few boy toys that I snagged so they will be very happy about this.
  • As soon as we made it home, it was bedtime for everyone!  And snack time for me! 

January 14, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
  • I will begin my blog with how our evening ended last night.  Campbell never made it to her room and was sent straight to our bed to go to sleep.  I would sleep with Campbell and Robby would sleep in the bonus room (some how I think that Robby got off easy-since I was sleeping by coughy Campbell, with coughy Keaton in the room nearby and was also responsible for everyone else since I had the monitor). 
  • Anyway, back to the story-Robby and I sat up for awhile and then started to get ready for bed.  I was in the closet putting on my pjs and Robby was brushing his teeth.  He made an odd noise and I just assumed that he had realized he was brushing with my toothbrush-but that was not what it was.  Right by his sink-where he had lowered his head to spit out his toothpaste-was a bat laying there.  Yes, a bat!  And yes the house is now for sale!  
  • He quickly left the room and I quickly shut every door nearby.  Robby returned with his work gloves, a screwdriver, a washcloth and two trash bags.  Not sure why he had all of these items but that is what he chose.  I did my part by hiding behind the closet door where I could watch the action but also quickly slam the door to keep myself safe.  
  • Robby threw the washcloth over the bat and then its wings started moving.  He jumped back and I asked what I could do to help.  He snapped at me "I don't know-I've never done this before."  By the time Robby had managed to scoop the massive creature into both of the two trashbags, I was packing up boxes for our big move to a new house!  
  • Now to be clear, we have sinced learned that bats are endangered and it is illegal to kill them (except when they are found in a house owned by Dennies) and Robby did not kill the bat.  He just disposed of the bag.  So why was the bat in our house-dear me, I don't know.  I hope (and pray) that the bat came into the house with some of our Ikea boxes that had been sitting in the warehouse.  
  • So after the bat removal was over and the bathroom was given a complete bleaching, we then headed to our separate beds.  As I read my book on the kindle, I listened to Campbell cough and listened for any of the bats buddies while trying not to think about the incident.  Robby, on the other hand, read all about bats before falling asleep.  
  • And yes, this morning I checked the shower before getting in it.  Later in the day I heard a clicking sound like that creature made and almost wet myself until I realized it was the zipper from my coat banging on the counter.  Tonight, I also heard a squeaking sound and made Graham walk with me (actually in front of me) to listen-Robby caught us quietly listening and had a good laugh at me hearing the squeaks from the kids playing upstairs.
  • Anyway, back to the night.  Campbell coughed quite a bit until midnight when I finished reading.  Then I went to sleep and didn't hear her anymore so I assume she slept fairly well.  I did hear Keaton coughing as well.  When we woke up, Campbell still had a bit of fever so we gambled and decided to get a doctors appointment for both girls.
  • It didn't take too long for the kids to all get ready for school.  And soon we were loading up and goodness, it was crazy cold this morning.  Everyone's teeth were chattering as we loaded up-the van had been sitting outside since after driving on the new road (oil) we are having to stay off of the concrete for about a week so as not to get tire tracks on it.  
  • I called and made appointments for Keaton and Campbell before dropping them off at Nonna's house, then dropped off Graham in his class and circled around the building to drop off Reagan and Anderson.  I then headed home for about an hour of quick cleaning-and yes, I did take the last pictures of the house (trying to take pictures of the house near the first of the year).  My intent was to take pictures all around the house but it was too cold for that.  
  • Next up was Keaton and Campbell's doctor's appointment.  I was pretty sure that they were going to just have colds but was completely wrong-two little ones with RSV and 4 ears infected.  Keaton was not pleased with the nurse and even less pleased with Dr. Martin.  Campbell said nothing to Martin but told me before to tell her about her cough.  Now Campbell did try her best to calm Keaton down as we were having to hold her down so Martin could look in her ears.
  • Pops had picked up Graham and a pizza and we headed that way after picking up the girls' medicines.   Of course there was a problem with the medicine and insurance so we had to wait for awhile.  Keaton did really well in the store but enjoyed leaning her head down to watch the floor roll by-I kept trying to stop her because it just looked weird.
  • Back at Nonna's house, we ate and the kids played for a few minutes before we headed home.  On the way home, Graham was sitting near the front of the van and told me that he didn't like the "junky house" that we had just driven past.  Campbell shouted from the back "I like jumpy houses."  Graham tried to explain what "junky" meant but Campbell continued with how she liked jumping at Dana's house.  Finally, I had to tell Graham that maybe Campbell couldn't hear well because of her ears or because she was so far back in the van.  Either way, by the time we made it home, Graham shouted at Campbell "Our house is not JUNKY."  
  • I doped up the girls and sent them to bed for a nap and Graham stayed close by me and played with his marble track.  It wasn't too long after that Robby picked up Reagan and Anderson.  They stopped for sonic drinks and Robby text asking what to get Graham.  I didn't see his text but Robby later text that Reagan was adamant that Graham wanted lime instead of his usual orange and that is what he bought.  I started talking up a lime slushy to Graham just in case he really wanted an orange one.  He stopped me and said "I told Reagan to tell Daddy to get me a lime one."  
  • Graham wanted to play outside when the others made it home, but it was too cold.  So they played upstairs and some of them helped Robby work on another Ikea assembly project.  Then it was supper time followed by showers for the little girls.  Soon it was bedtime and we again doctored everyone up, gambled and put Campbell in her bed and then had supper ourselves.  Crossing our fingers that there are no more creatures to find tonight!

January 13, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
  • A few notes from last night: While eating at In-N-Out, Anderson complained that his hamburger had meat on it.  He continued that he didn't want meat on it and that I didn't make them like that.  Where did we get this semi-vegetarian kid.  And then before bed, Campbell did something and I congratulated her with "good job, man" and she quickly corrected me by saying "I'm not a man."
  • Now on to our evening.  By 10, Robby and I were looking at the clock thinking that it was going to be the longest night of our life.  Thankfully, even though it was a pretty bad night, it wasn't horrible.  Campbell coughed about every 10 minutes until 2ish-half of those coughing spells were accompanied by gagging and a couple incidents of ...well, never mind.  I slept with her in the chair until around 2, then laid in the bed with her and Reagan until 4.  From 2-4 she/we slept pretty good but when I woke up at 4, I decided to join Robby and stretch out in bed.  Sometime during then Robby ended up back with Campbell and Graham joined him.  At some point, Robby sent Graham to my bed and then around 7:30, I looked down and Graham was back in his sleeping bag.  
  • During all of this, Keaton did her own coughing and fussing periodically through the night.  She may always fuss during the night but we probably just don't hear it.  Sometime during the night, Campbell started to get warm and pretty much had fever all day until we made it home.  I am keeping her well dosed on Tylenol right now so I don't know if her fever is over or if it is the medicine.  
  • When we did wake up, we felt rested and were ready for the day.  Graham was pretty anxious to get to breakfast and Reagan was shocked when we explained that we needed to move quickly because breakfast would be over in 30 minutes.  We were all ready and made it in plenty of time.  Campbell hadn't lost her appetite at breakfast but Keaton seemed more interested in drinking and not eating.  Keaton hasn't really eaten anything today but has drank her weight in anything we would give her.
  • It was cold, cold, cold this morning and the men folk were shivering by the time they loaded the van and truck.  We left around 9 and were soon fighting the crazy traffic.  It was a pretty un-eventful ride home-just two stops: one was a bathroom stop and the other was lunch in Arkadelphia at Arbys.
  • Pops had a load of our purchases in his truck so he delivered them at the house and then Robby took Grannymom and Grandpa home.  The kids were so excited to get out and see our new driveway.  It still has to get packed down and probably won't be firm until the hot summer.  But it is still absolutely perfect for bike and scooter riding.  And it makes that wagon so much easier to pull! (especially with Keaton and Campbell in it!)
  • We all took a walk or two on the driveway and then the kids played and we started unpacking.  The kids even provided more help than Robby needed as he put together one of our nightstands.  We were about to start on the other one when he decided his drill needed charging.  Everyone had supper and then the kids had baths. 
  • Right now, Keaton is sleeping in her bed-she was pretty tired and was ready for bed-even though when Robby asked her if she was ready for bed, she shook her head no.  The rest of us watched a movie in the bonus room and Campbell fell asleep in Robby's lap.  Everyone moved on upstairs to brush teeth and get in their beds - decided to keep Campbell downstairs with us. She's asleep in our bed - so Robby's probably going to take the couch tonight.

January 12, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
  • We did have a restful night last night-Keaton coughed some but Campbell coughed pretty much all night.  She did sleep some-climbed in bed with me and asked where Daddy was and then after a bit of time with me, ended up stepping on Anderson to get to Robby's bed.  
  • Anderson is like a little clock and was wide awake at 7:05.  Soon Keaton, Campbell and Anderson were all getting dressed as we were getting ready.  Graham ended up back in our room after he had eaten breakfast and was pretty excited that he was going to get to go and eat again.  We met Reagan down at breakfast and the kids were pretty hungry-especially Graham who had at least 5 pancakes and a cinnamon roll.
  • After everyone had eaten, all 12 of us (Dennies, Brocks, Jason and the 7 of us) loaded up in the van for the day.  Our first stop was the 6th floor museum from where Kennedy was assassinated from.  They were actually filming a movie (Parkland) nearby about Kennedy's assassination so we were able to watch some actors from a distance.
  • Then we went into the museum.  It was interesting (even for me).  They did however have the headsets-which I do not like.  Mine was quickly taken off and handed to Graham who didn't get one (too young) and Campbell spent some time in Robby's headset.  Of course, the kids can't follow a grown up guide-if a place must have those headsets, how easy it would be to make a listening guide for kids.  Towards the end most of the kids got tired of their headsets and passed them on to us.  
  • Graham, remembering our Christmas trip at the capital and remembering that Robby used to work there, asked if Daddy had a camera (like the ones that filmed JFK) when Daddy was president.  Graham is quite my thinker.  Last night he even told Grannymom that he had completed one of his New Year's resolutions-counting to 100.  Nonna helped him get all the way to 100 but apparently it still counted in his book.
  • One of the most interesting things at the museum (to me anyway) was two huge mosaics of JFK and Jacqueline-each was made up of the same image over and over.  There were however, 3 and 5 images in each picture that were different than the rest.  Even with the magnifying glasses we weren't able to spot them.  
  • Our plan was to walk around a bit outside when we finished, but it was raining by then and actually pouring by the time we all made it into the van.  So we drove to the grapevine mall for a bit.  The kids enjoyed walking through the Lego store even seeing Wyatt, Owen and Maddie there.  Then the even got to ride on the kiddie merry go round-and Keaton was not pleased at all about the ride being over and me taking her off of her spot.
  • We then had lunch at the food court and headed back to the car.  By this time our 70 degree weather from yesterday had turned into 40 degree weather and it was cold, cold.  But we still felt a trip to the hotel swimming pool was in order.  The hot tub was steamy but the pool was a bit chilly-at least when I put my foot in.  Pops took one for the team today and swam with the kids in the pool.  Keaton loved the pool and kicked and kicked her little feet.  
  • Back to the room for  quick showers and then some iPad/TV time while we did one quick load of laundry.  Keaton took a very short nap until we disturbed her to find some medicine for Campbell's cough. So Keaton's nap was over and everyone just sort of rested until the laundry was done.
  • It was time to load back up for a quick drive to In-N-Out burger - a favorite of Robby's ever since our San Francisco trip in 2002.  We seem to always manage a visit here while in Dallas for burger and shake.  The kids loved sitting on the stools on the other side of the restaurant and were even more pleased since they gave them stickers to decorate their cups.  Everyone ate their burger (or most of it) since milkshakes were had by everyone afterwards.
  • Made it back to the hotel where the kids all went to a grandparents room while we got their clothes ready for the night. Campbell postponed her sleepover til we get home since she is nursing a pretty bad cough (currently sitting in Tara's lap trying to go to sleep).  Anderson was pleased he was spending the night in Grannymom's room. Reagan & Graham were satisfied back in our room along with a little Disney tv before bed.

January 11, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
  • This morning Campbell was coughing a bunch and Robby went up to get her.  He also came back down with Graham.  They laid in our bed so quietly and still (well, quiet and still for those two).  And they had little idea that it was already after 7 and time to start getting up and ready for the day.
  • After they had asked their 100th question of the morning, I did get up to get into the shower.  It is something all of questions they think to ask-did you pack our bathing suits? is it a motel or a hotel? do they have breakfast? how many days will we be gone?  
  • Though sometimes the questions do help me out a bit.  Last trip I had forgotten a few things and only remembered them when Campbell asked about them.  This trip, Reagan asked to change her pajamas that I had packed for her.  I grumbled a yes and then went to find the ones that I had packed so she could switch them-except I hadn't packed any for her.  Seriously, I am going to have to start using my "master packing list" for all trips and not just for long trips.
  • It didn't take too long for the kids to get ready and when I called them down for breakfast, Reagan and Graham said they were coming but were picking up the toy room.  Don't hear that very often!  Soon we were loading up-well, Robby had already loaded up the van.  Really the only difference in what a family of 7 takes for a 2 night trip and an 18 night trip is one extra change of clothes and a bit more food.  But other than that, packing is still the same.  Though in just a few months, when you add packing for a baby too things will get much more complicated.
  • We were at Grandpa's house a bit after 9 and after they loaded up, we met Nonna, Pops and Jason to follow us in Pops' truck at church.  Actually, by the time we made it to Grannymom's house we had already been asked by Graham why we were going back to Texas if we had already been there (he is all about getting his state chart filled in).  We had also seen a digger of some sort and was told by one of the boys that it was a "grave digger."  We could already tell that the conversation was going to be quite exciting on the trip.  And by the time we made it to church I had already been asked 14 times if we were still in Arkansas.  
  • Our first stop was in Texarkana and we put the boys in the truck with Pops.  Everyone enjoyed a few snacks and we pressed on towards our main goals-the Cheesecake Factory and Ikea.  Keaton had about a 30 minute nap the entire trip but passed her time eating, jabbering and watching the movie off and on.  Campbell passed her time asking question after questions.  She was very concerned if the  man (hotel desk clerk) would say that we could swim tonight.  After her one millionth question, Robby quickly found another rest stop and we switched riders.  
  • We made it to the Cheesecake Factory after a few wrong turns-silly GPS.  And then were quickly seated-helps to bring a party of 12 to a restaurant in the middle of the afternoon.  The kids were good-have been pretty good so far.  Robby did order 3 orders of kiddie corndogs thinking that they were going to be the tiny ones that we usually get at restaurants.  The menu said it was only 3 so we shocked when out come 3 huge "mini" corndogs on each of the 3 orders.  Needless to say, we had plenty left over.  We could have gotten by with ordering one order of those.  Oh, well you live and learn!
  • Everyone enjoyed cheesecake (mine, and I suppose I will have to share with Robby, will be eaten as soon as I finish this blog).  Pops had banana, Nonna got key lime so Anderson could eat some of hers (that is his favorite), Grandpa and Grannymom had strawberry and we ordered chocolate for Reagan, Graham and Keaton.  We tried to give some to Campbell but she wouldn't eat it.  She did try some whip topping from the top of it and almost lost her lunch trying to swallow it down.
  • Next up was Ikea!  The kids couldn't all go in at first so they walked with us for a few minutes and then we dropped off the big 4.  Seriously, how nice is that-we can shop stress free and there are enough Dennies to take good care of each other in the play area.  We were the only ones to buy a basket full; here is a list of our purchases (I know you may not care but I like to be able to look back and see when I bought stuff): 2 nightstands, some picture frames for our bedroom, a rug for our closet, a rug for one bathroom (don't know which one yet), drawers for my crafty stuff, a tv hangy thing, 2 spatulas, a lamp, hooks for Reagan's purses, lightbulbs for the lamp and I think that is about it.   Though I still have a list of things that I would like to find or buy there-my budget always runs out first though!
  • After Ikea, we headed to the hotel in North Dallas.  We barely made it-poor man pushing his car on the interstate was in front of us and then we almost traversed a road that was closed.  But we all made it in one piece and that is what matters.  After checking in, the kids drew names to see who would spend the night where-Graham is with Grannymom and Reagan is with Nonna.  Anderson is sleeping soundly with us and Campbell and Keaton are competing to see who can cough the loudest and longest.  Hopefully, we will all sleep well tonight and there will be little coughing once they are all sound asleep.
  • Pretty eventful day here in Texas and it was a pretty eventful day at our little house.  Our driveway was paved this morning while we were on our way to Dallas - recycled asphalt.  Whoop, whoop.  The pictures look really exciting and I can not wait to see it, nor can the kids wait to ride their bikes on it.