July 12, 2013: Dennie Family Reunion Day 2

(click here for today's pictures)
The morning started off early with Whitman needing

Group Photo Night!
a bottle in the middle of the night.  I tried to tell him sternly that he was finished with his middle of the night bottles but he did not take kindly to this.  So I offered up 6 ounces of milk for him to guzzle.  And when he was finished with that, he was happy and ready to play.  So I put him back in his bouncy and laid back down.  Apparently he wasn’t finished drinking and had 4 more ounces of milk.  This time though I had to go downstairs to fetch that and I was secretly hoping that some of the early risers around here would be up but alas they were not yet.
Though my kids sleeping out of our room last night were early risers and early yellers.  I heard Anderson screaming during what sounded like a game of chase and this woke up Keaton.  Soon Graham and Campbell were awake and I climbed up to help get them down.  The ladder to the top of the loft really hurts my feet so I thought ahead and placed my shoes beside the ladder so I could slip them on before I climbed 15 feet at the crack of dawn.
It knew it actually wasn’t that early because I could smell breakfast-waffles and sausage.  Everyone kind of ate in shifts before getting ready for the day.   Today’s big activity was horse back riding and it wasn’t until 9 so we had a bit of time before leaving.  This gave the kids time to play inside and outside and back in and back out and then again back in…well, you get the idea.  They are in and out all the time here. Of course to the kids that is really different because at home, we are in or we are out.  I bet before we left this morning for the horses the front door had been opened a hundred times.
The first horseback riders were Jenna and Graham, Reagan and Grannymom, Dana and Cash, and Lilly.  If you were under 9 then you had to ride with an adult and they could only do 3 double riders at a time.  Graham had the biggest grin on his face as his horse started backing up and getting ready for the ride.  And Grannymom told us that Reagan said “I don’t think I want to do this” as they were waiting to get on.  Those horses are pretty big and a bit overwhelming.  But she had a great time and was all smiles when they came back.  Lilly and Cash may go to a horse camp next summer-wonder if my Reagan would like that?
While we waited on all of them to finish their 20 minute ride, a lady at the barn brought our brushes for us to brush the donkeys and horses and food to feed them.  The kids enjoyed doing this and Campbell even warmed up enough to do this some.  Keaton wasn’t too nuts about being near the horses but I figured that we might as well try to have her ride a horse.
So we crossed our fingers as it was our turn to start riding.  With our group, we had Zach, Josh, Les and Anderson, Robby and Campbell and Keaton and me.  Keaton wasn’t planning on getting on and whined like you wouldn’t believe but when Jenna handed her to me, she was quiet and soon was hollering to Grannymom.
On the ride, Keaton would whimper some but then she would also pat the horse (our horse was named Dillon) and say something that sounded like “good boy.”  I thought the ride was really nice-it was all rocks and straight up some trails and straight down some too.  Surprisingly, I never was too worried about letting Keaton fall off.  Campbell also had a great time.  I could occasionally hear her telling her horse to go and stop eating the leaves.
When we returned from the horses, we caught up with the other group at the animal arcade.  They had lemurs, a kangaroo, a deer, goats and some other animals as well.  I am not sure how much petting actually went on since the kids had all seen Lilly get pinched by a donkey after riding the horse but everyone enjoyed watching the animals.  The weather was fairly pleasant in the shade and this afternoon it was hot but not crazy hot.  Pretty much all day someone was sitting in the shade on the front deck.
We also stopped at the playground on the way back.  Well, my crew explored the playground while some explored the nearby conference center.  They are having some type of camp here and one worker said that it was prettier than the usual camp and also said that we hit the weather just right.  Soon though we headed back to the cabin before lunch.
The grownups pulled out the lunch selections-fruit, pimento cheese, meat, peanut butter, corn salsa, corn dip, cheese dip and chips.  Not too bad of a selection if you ask me.  I actually had to pull out most of the food for my crew since it had already been put back up by the time that I made them eat.  Sometimes it is nice to just sit and eat without having everyone ask for 20 different things.  So when I finished, I had the others eat their lunch.
And as soon as lunch we over, it was time to pull on those bathing suits.  The kids were pretty excited today since they knew what to expect about the creek.  Once down there, we played for a few minutes and then decided to walk up the hill a bit and then float back down.  We started off trying to float in our tubes upstream and could have done that better if it wasn’t so shallow-not much floating.  Then we made it to the top and the others crossed a rock area to get to the other side. 
I was nearby Robby, Les and Campbell (Keaton stayed back with Grannymom and the other kids were ahead of us with Shelley).  Just as I was crossing I heard “there’s a snake” and man, I was like Pamela Anderson on Baywatch running out of that water (or something like that).  We stood there long enough watching that rocky area that we saw at least 3 snakes.   One of those was at least 3 feet. 
Now I am really not much for swimming in the creek and I am even less for snakes but I still got back in the water to float down the river.  But soon someone wanted my tube and Campbell wanted out of the water (the only kid of mine with sense) so we just walked beside the creek.  When we made it back, I decided that I should hike back up the hill to check on Whitman who had stayed with Donna and Keaton who had headed back to the room with Grannymom. 
Whitman was snoozing and Keaton was playing when I returned.  I quickly put Keaton down for a nap and had my shower.  My goal was to have a shower before the others returned but I even had time to sit and enjoy some lemonade.  Soon they came back and everyone was showered and back playing outside. 
The kids did come inside to continually grab something to eat and to use Reagan’s hair chalk.  Pretty much all of the kids chalked their hair red, yellow or blue and some of my less intelligent children (the boys) chalked their faces! (which they were promptly told to go and wash off)
The afternoon was long enough for me to have a bit of a nap before supper.  Then it was time for supper-lasagna, salad and bread.  Everyone ate and then we headed out for our evening walk and group picture.  I put Whitman in the carrier and we all headed off over the bridge. 
The first photo spot was the grandkids on a wagon and then we moved to the steps for a group picture.  Then the kids headed towards an old firetruck.  They immediately started climbing on and playing inside of that truck.  They were screaming “I smell smoke” and pretending to pull a hose.  We thought it was kind of funny when one turned on the windshield wipers.  But when the siren went off and 9 kids dove off of that truck and started running, it was hysterical.  I have never seen them move so fast and of course no one thought to turn that blasted siren off.  I did what any good mom would do and started trying to walk away acting like I was not with that group.
The kids had a few more playground minutes until I discovered that Keaton had a dirty diaper.  Robby was up in the conference center so I hauled myself Keaton and Whitman, who I was wearing, up and over the bridge and down the hill to our cabin to change her diaper.  After a change, we then started back up the hill.  She wanted me to carry her and since I couldn’t do that, we pressed on.
Back with the others, they were playing volleyball and then a bit of Frisbee golf, soccer, dodgeball, basketball and the last stop was playing with the roaming pony again.  This time Graham had his turn on the horse and just for grins we thought we would put Keaton up on the horse.  Ha!  That didn’t go so well-as in she caused more of a disturbance that the fire engine siren. 
Popsicles were passed out when we made it back to the cabin and then the kids played for a bit longer before baths.  Campbell showed out a bit so she was quickly ushered to the bathtub and to bed.  Keaton was next and then the others.  Reagan slept in Lilly’s room and Cash slept in the loft with Anderson and Graham.  Whitman stayed up later than the others and finally fell asleep watching today’s pictures on Robby’s computer. 
It was another perfect day and everyone is exhausted.  The others are going floating tomorrow but we are not since it would be more work than fun with our crew.  Don’t worry, we will take them floating sometime in the future and no worries either because we will find something fun to do!