Road Trip 2013: Day 2, August 31, 2013

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Sledding at White Sands Nat'l Monument

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Last night I had said that Robby had not yet gotten Keaton to sleep.  Well that little thing tossed, turned, asked for RayRay, said “Where’s AA?” and kicked the side of the bed for what seemed like forever.  We have tried many times to get folks to go to sleep in hotels and the one thing we know for sure is you just can’t make anyone go to sleep and especially go to sleep in a hotel.  So there is no need to fight it.  After a while though Robby started moving stuff out of the closet.  I knew what he was going to do but would have bet a zillion dollars that it wouldn’t work-sure enough it worked: Keaton spent the night in the closet. Good thing we didn’t forget her this morning.

Now, for as long as I can remember, we have

Road Trip 2013: Day 1, August 30, 2013

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14 hours later and we're in New Mexico!

Robby and I didn’t  make our goal of going to bed at 10 but it was nearly 11.  That was about 2 hours earlier than usual so we were pleased.  Whitman stirred at 1:30 to eat and then again at 3:30.  Actually, I just handed him the bottle at 1:30 and he must have dropped it and soon went back to sleep.  That was probably why he was hungry at 3:30. We weren’t planning on waking up until 5 to leave at 6 but soon Robby said that he was just going to get out of bed.  I tried to talk him out of it (not really because I
wasn’t too far behind him)  And Whitman must

August 29, 2013

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One more minutes!

  • This morning Campbell was ready to go to school!  She sat in the mudroom with her shoes on, holding her poptart and drinking her milk.  Every few minutes she would ask if it was time to get in the car.  I think she likes school better than home!  But she does grin from ear to ear when she sees us in the pick up line.  And then it takes forever for me to get her to buckle up because she goes to Whitman's row and kisses and coos at him, then goes to Keaton and tells her hi and gives her a hug.  Then she talks to Reagan and finally the boys.  Of course she can't do any of this while she is actually getting buckled-I am sure that the teachers at school wonder why our van is

August 28, 2013

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She'll always be my little sis!

  • I really do not even know if Whitman slept all night or not.  Hmm, if I count the bottles on the floor this morning (kind of sounds like a wild party happened at the house) then I would guess that I did get him milk in the middle of the night.  But he is feeling better and sleeping some better.  
  • Campbell woke up at Nonna's house and was up

August 27, 2013

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One last visit to the pool!

  • The kids were all exhausted around here this morning.  Anderson was the first one up but then Robby had to wake the others up so Campbell could make it to school on time.  He took her and she still waltz' in to her class without any problems.  
  • Everyone else had breakfast and then we headed to the bonus room to read some and work on another junior park ranger book-this time for Joshua Tree National Park.  Keaton listened to and

August 26, 2013

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Football season begins!

  • Fairly normal morning around here after a long night.  My Whitman woke up at least 3 times last night.  A bit after 8, I made him an appointment just in case his little cold turned into an ear infection.  Soon we were all ready to start our day and headed out to Grannymom's house.
  • She had breakfast and the kids were pretty excited about not eating at home but most had to have their milk before we left the house.  I had a doctor's appointment and then ran to Sams to pick up some medicine.  I waited as the filled mine and Anderson's prescriptions and then as I was checking out, I realized that they hadn't filled the one I needed

August 25, 2013

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Need a little help here!

  • Whitman woke up again last night at least once-that is my excuse for nodding off during church, worship care, after Sunday lunch and at the pool.  Come to think of it, maybe I need an energy drink or two. 
  • The kids had their Sunday morning doughnuts while watching a movie.  Then it was off to church-not as early this week but there in plenty

August 24, 2013-Cash's Birthday

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Celebrating Cash's birthday!

  • I forgot to mention this yesterday-the boys were outside playing by themselves yesterday evening when they suddenly ran in the house and slammed the door.  Robby saw their faces when they came in and from the panic and terror on them he could only assume that the neighbor man was chasing them with an ax.  Robby shouted "what's wrong?" and they breathlessly replied "a dog, a dog."  Oh, goodness gracious.  Graham said

August 23, 2013

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Frog whisperer!

Click names for videos of the kids' school presentations. You may need to turn volume all the way up.

Anderson   Reagan     Graham

  • Whitman ate about 12:30 last night and then again at 4.  Robby had been up at 3 to turn off that chirping alarm still needing a battery.  When you get used to everything shipping from amazon and taking only 2 days, snail mail really seems like snail mail.  So Robby was still a bit awake when Whitman was eating.  When that child was finished with his bottle, he would look at me and giggle.  Cute during the day-not at night.  
  • Robby eventually had enough of Whitman

August 22, 2013

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  • Well, Robby and I sat on the couch last night doing our nightly blogging, facebook, surfing the internet and eating ice cream routine until about midnight.  Robby got up to head to bed and realized that he had not finished the blog pictures and then tried to do them and had problems with one of his computer programs.  I got myself ready for bed and then started packing some and waiting for him.  By 2 he had gotten everything solved and we finally went to bed.  
  • As we laid down, we heard Campbell over the monitor.  Robby just told her to go to bed hoping that would work.  It didn't

August 21, 2013

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  • It was a good night around here last night-everyone stayed in bed until after 7.  Robby was even around when most everyone woke up.  I quickly had my shower and then it was breakfast-chocolate chip waffles.
  • Next up was school.  It was a good day with no fits (Graham), little fussing (Campbell) and Anderson was not the last one to finish (Reagan was today).  In our little second grade history book, I have Reagan and Anderson answer the questions that are at the end of the chapters.  I even

August 20, 2013

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  • Well, last night I hoped for 6 hours and that is exactly what I got-6 hours of un-interrupted sleep.  I should have asked for 8 though.  At 6 pretty  much on the dot, Keaton was fussing and woke us both up.  Robby brought her into our room since her fussing is pretty rare (though the other night she started fussing because she had taken her diaper off)  I was pretty sure we might could get her back to sleep except about 2 minutes later, we heard feet upstairs.  Soon Graham was climbing into our bed.  I laid between them hoping that would help them lay down but of course that didn't work.  Keaton just kept running down

August 19, 2013

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  • Graham woke up around 1:30 telling me that he needed medicine on his legs.  I threw my pillow on the floor for him and took the blanket off of Whitman and told him to lay there while I found some medicine.  Well, I did try to find some type of itching medicine but without leaving my room, there was nothing...nothing but diaper creme.  So that is what he got on his legs-it must have helped because he went right to sleep.
  • I went right to sleep too

August 18, 2013

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  • Promotion Sunday at church this morning and with much excitement the kids were up, dressed and eating doughnuts ready for their new classes.  At church we first dropped off Whitman and of course he didn't fuss (since he was asleep as usual).  
  • Then Keaton was the next to go into her class.  She did let out

August 17, 2013

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  • Whitman woke me up around 6 this morning.  After feeding him, I was so excited about going to the grocery store this morning that I couldn't go back to sleep.  I had to get out of bed twice to write more things onto my list (If things aren't written down I will forget them in a matter of minutes.)
  • Everyone but Reagan and Keaton were up early and wanting to eat

August 16, 2013

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  • Robby left for work early-will probably be the theme for awhile.  But since my bed quickly fills up in the morning he wasn't greatly missed.  (Though during the day, every single time that I step outside to throw out a diaper/get something from the other fridge, the alarm chime rings and Keaton and Campbell start screaming "Daddy" and take off running to the door.  Then they see me and their faces fall, they turnaround walk away with their heads down)
  • Robby said that I was up feeding Whitman when he left (I don't remember any of that) but I do remember Anderson was the next to arrive.  We laid there for a few minutes and surprisingly Keaton

August 15, 2013

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  • Robby left early, early this morning but not too long after the kids were up.  Graham almost fell apart when I told him that Robby had already left for the morning.  Whitman was awake when I finally climbed out of bed-he is the happiest baby in the mornings.  He just smiles, grins and stretches.  When Campbell changed his diaper

August 14, 2013

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  • The kids were up early and ready to get started this morning.  Without scissors they focused mainly on their school work before breakfast.  I suggested that they go and play upstairs but who would want to go where the toys are?  They instead migrated to the school room and started on their work.  Reagan and Graham really got

August 13, 2013-Happy Birthday Nonna

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  • People, people, people everywhere I went this morning.  The kids were up early and were wild.  We will get to that more in a minute.  I wasn't wide awake yet since Whitman decided to eat about the time that we went to bed last night around 12:30.  So I got up to feed him and maybe play a few games on my kindle.  Then I had to wait to put him back into bed.  If you put Whitman to bed too quickly after he falls asleep he will wake up.  Likewise, if you wait too long then you are in trouble too.  
  • I was in the shower when Robby came to the bathroom and said "w
    e have people cutting hair in here."  That ended my shower.  My 2 brightest children, Graham and Anderson, had cut their hair some.  Of course since they nearly had a buzz cut it was pretty obvious the chunks they had cut out.  So Robby had to quickly cut their hair before he left for work.  After a few lectures, writing sentences, vacuuming and sweeping hopefully they will not repeat this.  But I think the most effective lesson has been us telling everyone what happene

August 12, 2013

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  • So this morning Anderson and Graham were up before 7, running, fighting, talking and whispering about getting to play a phone, ipad, kindle, ipod or anything that could get their hands on (no electronics until after school though).  I had to take a quick shower to keep up with the crew this morning

August 11, 2013

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  • Sunday morning-breakfast, church clothes and then out the door.  This was the kids last week in their classes, our last week teaching and everyone's last week in the second service.  Reagan was happy that Anderson was going to be in the children's opening with her, Graham is

August 10, 2013

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  • Since it was Saturday, we all were up around 6 (at least those sleeping in my bedroom).  Robby was in the bathroom and Whitman decided he wanted to eat which woke me up.  I do believe that Robby woke Whitman up but he denies it.  And the boys were in our room

August 9, 2013

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  • The kids were up early this morning so we had ourselves breakfast and then started our morning.  My main goal this morning was to pull school out for the next 2 weeks.  We didn't have school today since we had already

August 8, 2013

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  • Whitman woke up again in the middle of the night-he has slept in our room longer than any other child which is kind of funny because our house is bigger now than ever before but still he is in our room!  I do believe that he is on his way out of our door and moving on to

August 7, 2013

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  • The morning started as usual around here and soon we were eating breakfast.  I quickly ran down the day to everyone and then we started on school.  So far today was the easiest day yet.  I wonder if they knew that today was the day they would get their kindles.
  • We had lunch and then tied up a few loose ends of school.  I can get the kids to do anything if I tell them that we are going to do a science experiment if they work hard....  
  • So today we learned about how our cranium protecting our brain.  Two kids (Reagan and Graham) had their brain (an egg) in a container and the other 2 (Anderson and Campbell) had their brain (an egg)

August 6, 2013

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  • Waking up late is happening here more often which is nice (except to our schedule) but Whitman has also started waking up for a bottle.  I don't know what that is about at all but we just lay on the floor, he eats and then we both fall asleep.  Sometimes I make it back to bed and sometimes I don't but he just stays in the middle of the floor until morning. 
  • School was pretty good this morning despite our late start.  Reagan did much better on her math today and Graham attempted and did very well.  I couldn't believe it when he handed me his page.  His handwriting makes it hard for me to tell if he spelled his words right but I was still thrilled!
  • After school, we had leftover

August 5, 2013

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  • Robby and I had dueling alarm clocks this morning-he would hit snooze, I would hit snooze, he would hit snooze and over and over it went for probably an hour.  My goal is to just be up and ready before the kids (or most of them) are up.  His goal is to get there before someone notices that he isn't there.  
  • So that left Anderson as the first one that was awake this morning.  No telling how long he had been in the toy room working.  His lego rv needed some work so he had taken the whole thing apart and spent most of the early morning and off and on all day long putting a few pieces on at a time.
  • Robby and I both did accomplish our wake up goals this morning and I was at least in the shower when kids started appearing.  We didn't get school started at 8 but we were close.  Especially since the kids think it is a treat to eat breakfast in the school room.  Which is a win in the morning but by lunch I had to vacuum in there because of all of the crumbs.  
  • School went well, Anderson traded in 25 of his rocks that he had earned to cash them in to skip a box of work today.  Well, he picked math to skip so I just put it in his box for tomorrow-along with tomorrow's math.  I don't really think that will fly tomorrow but we will see.  
  • Speaking of math, poor Reagan started regrouping (borrowing) with 3 digit numbers today and even though last week she was doing 2 digit numbers, that little change just blew her mind today.  At supper, she was able to show Robby what she was doing and do it correctly so that is good.  If I could get her to stop counting on her fingers and hold her pencil correctly, I would give her a few weeks off from school (no, not really I am too anal to do that)
  • Graham did really well today.  He needs me near him to do his work but today he did a few things without me being right there.  Part of his phonics is a word that he has to copy and then mark the picture that matches the word (dad, bat, sat, fan...)  He gets them pretty much every time and some of his letters are actually legible.  
  • And since we are running down the list of my kids, Campbell did good today in school.  She watched half of Graham's math video.  I need to find some longer videos that probably are not so boring on the computer that she can watch.  I guess the math video is fine-she will be ready for kindergarten.  Keaton is happy during school just dragging out chairs, poker chips and throwing wipes around the room.  This all used to make my crazy but now I just go with it and happily stuff all of those wipes back in the box-after all I am just using them to wipe poo so it is okay if they have a bit of carpet dirt on them.  And Whitman loves his bumbo and sits in hit happily forever and when he isn't doing that, he is eating or Campbell is bouncing him around causing him to spit up-good thing we have all of those wipes so close to us.
  • Nonna brought lunches for the kids-sack lunches.  They loved opening up their lunch bags with fruit, a juice box, lunchables and cookies.  This was Graham's first lunchable so he sat at the table so he could enjoy it thoroughly and not be distracted.  After lunch, Nonna stayed and played a bit and then Pops came over for awhile too.  Anderson and Graham begged them not to go-probably because they knew we had a bit more school work to be done.
  • We quickly did our memory work, read our history and science (fascinating so far-all about bones this week).  We also did some geography and read about our upcoming trip some.  Then Reagan had to finish her math and I had to use my "mad momma" voice to get the others to leave us alone for a few minutes so she could think.  Soon though math was finished and it was movie time.
  • During the movie, I checked the weather about every 10 minutes-the big 4 and Robby were planning on going swimming and knowing our thunder history, I was pretty worried about the weather.  I was hoping they would be able to go more than they were hoping they could go.  Alas it started thundering-Grannymom even checked to see if we were coming to the pool since she heard thunder.  
  • It thundered all afternoon and all while we were eating supper.  Robby is a brave guy and took them anyway and sure enough it was thundering there.  They had to wait awhile-once because a truck driving by made the sound of thunder.  He said they had the "thunder nazi lifeguards" but eventually they were able to get in the water.
  • Graham jumped off the diving board a zillion times and everyone had a blast swimming until the pool closed a 9.  
  • Meanwhile I had Keaton and Whitman here with me.  I distracted Keaton with a shower with Whitman while the others left.  They both just sat in the shower for a long, long time (hope Robby doesn't check our water bill this month).  Then Keaton helped me as I organized half of the toy room, sent a few emails, filed away some of the kids art work and fed Whitman.  Soon it was her bedtime so she had a snack and then happily went to bed.  Whitman has had another bottle since Keaton has gone to bed and is now sleeping.  He will sleep until the others come home and lay down in bed and then he will wake right up.  I don't understand it but it happens every single night.  

August 4, 2013

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  • Church this morning and no one fussed when we dropped them off.  Keaton even walked right into her class-hopefully, she will not promote and stay with her teachers.  If not, I will be the one fussing each Sunday. 
  • After church, I walked into Whitman's class to pick him up.  I glanced around the room and couldn't find him.  Someone told me how good he was and I smiled as I continued to search the room for my baby.  Finally, I found him wide awake in a swing-but I didn't recognize his face I just recognized his clothes.  Kind of scared me a bit-what kind of mother am I?
  • We had lunch at Nonna and Pops' house and then home for naps.  Whitman did sleep for most of my nap but then woke up which was probably a good thing since we needed to get ready to go swimming.  Before we left though, I did do 60 zillion loads of laundry.  We are going to have to have naked week at this house or I am going to go crazy with all of my laundry.  
  • So tonight, we loaded up to go swimming.  When we started putting on our bathing suits, the blue sky was above.  But when we pulled out of the driveway, we could see the dark clouds.  We first stopped at Arbys to pick up supper.  
  • So as we were in the drive thru, the man said "what's the van for?"  Robby told him that we had six kids and then the worker man said "let me see if I can get you a discount."  Robby was caught completely off guard and could barely contain his laughter as he told the worker that it was okay.  We drove off completely red faced as Anderson asked "what are you all laughing about?"
  • At the pool, we could tell it was going to thunder and rain soon so we urged the kids to jump in.  I don't know what it is about the pool but we somehow cause it to thunder each and every time that we go.  We are thunder magnets.  
  • After about 40 minutes, it did thunder and the kids climbed out.  We had supper while we waited on time to get back in.  The kids ate most of their Arby's sandwiches and then the whistle blew again to get back in the pool.  
  • Robby almost caused a panic at the pool when he took a few pictures of the kids-and his camera flashed.  Three little girls started climbing out shouting "lightening, lightening."  A lady got up to get her kids out of the pool so I had to calm everyone down while hoping the lifeguards didn't try to blow the whistle over our camera flashing.
  • Anderson went off the diving board over and over tonight (I was pretty proud).  We had heard thunder and seen lightening that the lifeguards didn't see or hear so when Anderson was standing at the edge of the pool trying to work up the courage to swim across in the deep end, I barked at him like a swim coach saying "go, go now, they are going to blow the whistle."  Thankfully, he did dive in and sure enough they blew the whistle while he was on his way across.
  • Campbell was the only one upset about having to leave the pool-well, Robby and I were too since we had only been there about an hour.  That is a lot of work for an hour but the kids still loved it and really, to them an hour or three hours is all about the same.  The kids did have some candy in the car on the way home so that eased their disappointment a bit.  And then the ice cream for Sunday ice cream truck also helped.  
  • Then it was shower time and Whitman got to sit in the shower as Dennie kids rotated through.  I don't think that they dump water over his head or anything but he sure was wet when I pulled him out.  I need to take a picture of him sometime sitting in his little bumbo in the shower with his eyes wide open.  
  • After showers, it was bedtime for the crew-Robby has promised them another chance at the pool tomorrow evening.  I am going to check the weather this time though!

August 3, 2013

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  • The angels were singing this morning when all the big people and all the little people were still sleeping at 9 this morning around here.  9!  That is crazy talk and I had to do a double take at the clock when I looked at it.  Now Whitman did have to have a bottle sometime in the early morning but it was fine by me if that meant sleeping until 9.  Now I am just crossing my fingers that we don't sleep that long tomorrow!
  • We even let the kids watch a movie-a real hour long movie this morning.  Sometime during this time the kids started asking if it was a school day and then asked if Robby had left yet.  I told them no to both but they never thought to look for him again.  He was outside working away-I tell you the lot next to ours will look so incredibly nice when someone buys it and parks their trailer on it.  
  • The kids and I picked up the house, got ready and cut into our jello model of a cell.  It just looked pretty nasty to me but the kids would have eaten it if I would have let them but I had made other jello without stuff inside of it for them to eat.
  • Around noon, we dropped the kids off at Grannymom's house and Robby and I ran out to eat and then did a bit of shopping.  As we were loading up the car, Campbell told Robby that the toy room was going to be closed.  Not knowing that she was getting herself and the others into trouble, she was questioned more and soon Anderson was the one in the hot seat.  He, the one sitting closest to us, knew that he had done something wrong-apparently he (and others) told Grandpa "no" when he told them to pick up.  
  • So this won the big 4 a trip to their rooms for the rest of the afternoon...and Robby gave them one of the worst punishments of all: only water to drink tonight for supper.  Gasp!!  Seriously, they were heartbroken while I was a bit tickled with Robby's creative punishment.
  • At supper, the Wilson's came over and we had bbq.  Then we played a game of spades while the kids played a few games and then watched a movie.  By the end of the evening, I had 4 kids sleeping so that made it a pretty good evening.  

August 2, 2013

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  • Sometime in the middle of the night, Campbell woke up saying that her ears hurt.  We eventually edged Robby out of the bed and slept okay.  At one point, she asked where Robby was and I said I didn't know.  She then cried "maybe he is looking for me ear drops."  Pitiful child.  But she perked up today and never had any other complaints-tonight will tell though if we need to go to the Saturday clinic.
  • My kids are just tired from VBS so everyone was still sleeping at 8 which is when I really want to start school.  We still managed to do everything which was pretty surprising.  School is pretty crazy and I am probably get frazzled more than I should.  Hopefully though I can make a few tweaks and things will go smoother.  
  • At 12:15, I stared getting everyone moving and poured some lunch on plates and we headed out the door for swimming.  I told the kids that summer was really winding down and in about 30 days, we will leave on our trip and before we get back the pool will be closed. Maybe the last week we are here I should take them each day.  
  • The kids are really good at the pool.  Campbell really wants to swim with her floatees off but when I am not in the pool that isn't possible and I don't trust her to remember not to go past the steps.  Anderson was a bit braver today but is still uber cautious.  The kids have all started trying to do handstands in the pool so that is pretty entertaining-imagine Campbell trying to do a handstand while wearing floatees.  
  • Next up we headed home for showers. Whitman is now 4 months and the highlight of his day was taking a shower with the others.  I sat him in his bumbo seat and he was still happy as he could be after showering with Graham, Campbell and then me.
  • Then we made a jello model of the cell.  The kids really liked finding candy from their boxes to represents different parts of the cell.  We were wrapping up when Robby came home from work.  And within a few minutes we were down the street for the last night of VBS.
  • They had a bit of a program tonight-first we cited the pledge of allegiance to the U.S. flag, the Christian flag and the Bible; then puppets and then the kids went up on the stage and sang.  My boys and Reagan sang their little hearts out.  And Campbell mostly just sat on the stage watching the crowd (everyone else was standing).  She did eventually stand up and sing a do a few hand motions.  
  • We had to leave early and when we left, some old grandma lady stood up to hug Robby like we were part of the family.  Completely different experience than VBS at our church but we really enjoyed it.  
  • After sneaking out, we sped over to the Pennington's house for supper.  Jaymie cooked on his grill while the kids played.  The highlight was playing on the Wii-my kids haven't played on a video game like that since before Keaton was born. 

August 1, 2013

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  • I guess waking up once in the middle of the night is better than having to get up 5 times.  Whitman woke up at 4 and had to eat.  I used a small bottle thinking that would tide him over but I ended up having to get him more.  Though that did give me some time to figure out how I want to remodel my kitchen in 2032.  I have very grand plans for this place.
  • The kids all started the morning off happily because we had new pop tarts!  It is the little things.  When their bellies were full, we started school.  It all went much better today-though I do walk on egg shells around Graham not to set him off.  Also it was helpful that the principal was around.  
  • Anderson is crazy slow on his math-he could sit in an empty room and stare for hours I do believe.  He is so funny because whenever I check on his math progress, he tries to hide his papers from me.  After school, we did find out that our apples preserved in salt rather than baking soda held up the best over the last week.  We didn't taste them but I should have offered that to the kids.  Graham sees Reagan and Anderson doing typing on the computer once a week and begged to do it today so of course I let him.
  • We had lunch and then the boys went to work on Graham's final lego set to put together from his birthday.  Once that was completed, Reagan and Anderson headed upstairs to play legos.  Graham commandeered the ipad, Whitman slept in his bumbo seat (his favorite snoozing spot and every time that I try to lay him down he wakes up) and of course Keaton and Campbell stayed with me.
  • When Keaton finally took her nap, I pulled out school work for next week.  And all too soon it was time to have our supper and get ready for VBS.  The kids have so enjoyed this week and we have received many compliments on their behavior.  Keaton and Whitman love walking down the road to drop them off and pick them up.  
  • Tonight during their closing, the girls pulled ahead of the boys in the offering (thanks to Reagan and Campbell-Robby was evening up what he contributed last night to the boys).  Campbell is in her element there and Graham, who didn't want to go tonight, begged to go to sanctuary to see the closing (his group didn't get to the first night).  Of course, he was able to go.  
  • Back at home, we had popsicles and I looked at all of their VBS crafts before we put them all to bed.  Campbell is the one coughing tonight and Whitman is in my lap screaming his head off-more milk is what he wants!