September 26, 2013-Happy Birthday Keaton!

(click here for today's pictures)
Celebrating Two Years!

  • That silly alarm clock of mine went off again this morning and I dutifully got out of bed (after hitting snooze at least 4 times).  Anderson was up and was begging for breakfast and at a weak moment I let them rummage around in the closet and they found cinnamon rolls.  We had bought them for Reagan's sleepover breakfast but then decided going to Krispy Kreme would be easier.  
  • Robby took Campbell to school this morning.  She was the snack helper and that child was so excited about this.  I know that she remembered Reagan, Anderson and Graham taking snacks.  She took orange juice, goldfish and raisins.  She said that her friends liked her snack-they must have because her teacher text to ask where I bought the delicious raisins.  I let her know that I dried them myself the night before.  She was pretty surprised that they were actually the cheapo brand from Kroger.  At least they weren't expired like the goldfish that I sent-don't worry, I put them in a zip lock bag so no one could see the date (they were still fine though!)
  • Anyway I let them eat their special breakfasts while I picked up a few things.  Then we all worked picking up the toy room and the rest of the house.  I made it very clear to the kids that we were picking up before our company and then we would have to pick up after our company too.  Then I encouraged them to remember that what they got out and what their friends got out they would also have to pick up.  They really remembered this because twice my kiddos came to tattle that someone had gotten more than one game out.  The other grown ups were shocked at this but I quickly explained that they were very aware that they would have to pick everything up.
  • Yesterday, I was pretty worried about how I would get everything accomplished but thankfully the day went really smoothly.  We even had time for the kids to practice their oral reports a few times.  I chalked Reagan's hair and we even read a few books.  Now during all of this, my Whitman was rolling all around the floor.  Last night he rolled himself under a chair and went to sleep.  
  • Our homeschool friends started arriving and the kids were up the stairs in a flash to start playing.  I think they thought if they were already playing, we wouldn't call them down to come and do some work.  It didn't work-our first activity was oral reports.  We did it oldest to youngest (Eden, Graham, Caroline, Anderson, Ethan, Noah, Alyssa Kate, Reagan).  That was 8 plus the other 8 that didn't do reports made 16 kiddos running around this house.
  • My kids love, love absolutely love doing the oral reports.  It is truly the highlight for them.  They love doing them so much that when Nonna came with Campbell, Graham did a repeat performance.  And then they all read their reports again for the rest of the grands tonight.  
  • Graham did his report on caves-he talked about their being thousands of caves in the US, how water dripping makes cave formations plus he told what stalagmites, stalagmites, columns and cave pearls are.  He then showed his model of a cave that he made plus he showed a map of the route we walked in Carlsbad Caverns.
  • Anderson did his report on Route 66.  He told how long it was and what states it went through.  He also said that Route 66 was popular.  Then he talked about spray painting cars on this trip and even sleeping in a wig wam on a last trip.  He closed by saying that he didn't want to drive all of Route 66 because it would take to long.
  • Reagan did her report on the Grand Canyon (I have been keeping a running list of choices-kind of fun adding to our list of choices-today I added "liberty pole" as a possible oral report choice.  We read about them today).  Anyway, Reagan told about how long, how wide and how deep the canyon was.  She talked about John Wesley Powell and when it became a park.  She was pretty happy to show her map too along with her painting of the Grand Canyon.  (It is just amazing what all you can find on the internet-step by steps of how to make her painting)
  • As soon as the last word was uttered of Reagan's oral report, the kids disappeared again.  We did what any good moms would do when left in a room without any kids-we just sat and talked.  Finally, we decided that we should do something productive.  So we found the kids and ushered them to the table for the next project.
  • Candice had pictures of staff members, copies of phrases to write, paper and pencils for all the kids to write letters for church staff members.  She assigned names to the kids and a few of them even had time to write another letter.  Some letters were long and some were short.  Some had words and some had pictures.  Some had legible handwriting and some did not!  (I did rewrite Graham's letter so Bro. Max could read it.)  Either way, there should be some pretty excited folks to see all of their mail Monday morning.  Who wouldn't smile with a letter from some kids?
  • The kids stuck around after this project because we were passing out their lunches.  We joked that the next time we had a get together we should just have someone pick up lunchables for everyone.  Anderson was not too pleased with his lunch that I stayed up late packing last night-orange, crackers, cheese, raisins.  I thought about making him another lunch and then I decided that if he was sitting down the road at the school then he would just go hungry and that is what he could do today.  Eventually, he did eat a bit (probably just because I told him that no lunch meant no cookie later)
  • As soon as their lunch was over, kids were again scattered throughout the house.  But we again rangled them back to the kitchen-this time for art.  Jodee talked about primary and secondary colors and they made their own color wheels.  For the orange, purple and green they had to mix their paint.  Campbell didn't get the concept that 2 colors made the color we were looking for.  She couldn't understand why I wanted her to mix the blue and yellow and why I kept then calling it green-to her green paint comes from the green paint tube not the blue and yellow one.  
  • Then it was time to start celebrating Keaton's birthday.  I originally woke up thinking that today was her birthday-I never looked at the date so I didn't know.  Either way, for dessert today I had made a cookie cake.  We lit the candles and then sang to sweet Keaton-she liked all of the attention.  After passing out the cookie, the kids all sat in the floor eating their cookies.
  • Everyone but Sara scurried away-Kennedy did stay for a bit longer.  But then I surprised Sara by scurrying away myself!  Ha!  Nothing like leaving someone with 10 kids in her care-I did take Keaton to make the number 9.  I just had to go 5 miles to pick Robby up at the car dealership.  He went there this morning to get the air on the big van checked out.  They finally decided that they would need to keep it so if we do choose to go anywhere tomorrow, at least one child will have to ride on the top of the little van.
  • Sara survived and soon after that they headed home.  I then had the kids pick up the toy room-I have about had my fill of little girls that do not obey immediately.  Anyway, soon the toy room was picked up and I even had time to read a story to the little girls.  We read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."
  • And before too long, it was birthday party-Keaton's 2nd birthday.  The party guests arrived and we had quite the spread of caterpillar food-pears, strawberries, watermelon, pickles, salami, sausage, swiss cheese, oranges plus cherry pie, ice cream cones, cupcakes (that were also chocolate cake) and lollipops.  This was all food that was eaten in the book by the caterpillar.  We also did have ham and cheese croissants just like at Reagan's party.  That might just become our traditional party meal-quick and easy to make, everyone loves them and if there are leftovers they are good too.  But tonight there weren't any leftovers.    
  • Keaton knew this was her party because she was pretty excited as everyone showed up but when it was time to open presents she was super happy.  She would tear a tiny piece of paper off and then hand that shred to me or Campbell.  When she opened her first present she was ready to play with it.  We quickly put another present in her lap to open and by the end she would open a present, hand it to me and wait for more.  And she was the cutest thing when she would say "thank you."  She racked up with lots of legos, bows, a dress, an outfit, a puzzle, a sticker thing, stamps, a purse and a Minnie mouse playset.  And her sweet big sister, Reagan, made her a coupon book with things like "I will play dolls with you" or "I will read you a story."
  • Next up was cupcake time.  Since this was her second candle to blow out today she was ready to do it.  She waited until the song was over and then tried her best to blow out the candle.  She had her fill of cupcake and then moved on to an ice cream cone and followed that up with a lollipop.  Before cake, I painted everyone's toes to make a caterpillar-it turned out really cute.  
  • By this time it was late, so everyone left and we picked up while the kids played with Keaton's new toys.  Then it was their bedtime and they all crashed after such a long day.  Getting the birthday girl in bed was quite the challenge.  When we told her it was bedtime, she grabbed her new dress, her new stamp set and her new purse and waddled to her bedroom.  It took me forever to exchange those items out for her soft new teddy bear and soft new princess doll.  She had a great birthday and there will still be more celebrating tomorrow!

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