November 30, 2013

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The whole Dennie crew celebrates December birthdays!

  • I really wish that each and every weekend could be like this one has been-lazy days filled with family and food.  As you can guess not a whole lot happened around this house this morning.  I did fix the kids breakfast-we can go through a whole package of waffles in one morning.  That is just crazy for me to think about.  
  • After breakfast, Robby did make Reagan and Anderson do a school box-they both picked a handwriting worksheet and were done in a flash.  I hadn't yet pulled out Graham's school work so Robby had him go upstairs and build the tallest tower possible.  That bought us a few minutes of quiet this morning but soon everyone was running around looking for something to do.
  • Everyone had baths or showers.  Whitman took a shower with Keaton and Campbell and then stayed in the shower with Graham.  Graham did turn the shower into a bathtub by putting a cup over the drain and he was seconds away from the water spilling out into the floor when Robby turned off the water.  Whitman was having a blast sitting in his seat and splashing his feet.
  • Next up, we went to run a few errands-basically just me getting in and out of the car while the others circled.  First Walgreens to pick up pictures and then Bass Pro to get a gift for my dad.  He had text me and told me what he wanted but Robby and I both read it wrong.  So I went in, looked for the wrong gift, they didn't have it and we left.  I am lucky that they didn't have that wrong gift or that is what my dad would have opened for Christmas!  Once in the car, I figured out my mistake and we went back later in the day to pick up the right gift.  
  • Once at home, we had pizza from one of our stops and then the kids played for a few minutes and Lilly and Cash came over for a bit.  Lilly stayed and played for awhile keeping Reagan and Campbell occupied, Keaton and Whitman were sleeping and Anderson and Graham were watching the football game with Robby.  
  • Speaking of watching the football game with Robby-I went upstairs yesterday and Anderson was cheering loudly and taking sips of Robby's coke.  I laughed thinking that Anderson was now Robby's football watching buddy and I had been replaced.  But today, I am thinking that Robby is the one that has been replaced-today Anderson was just holding the drink like it was his own and he was sitting in Robby's spot!  
  • Soon we dropped Lilly off, went back to Bass Pro and then to Grannymom and Grandpa's house for Dana, Shelley and Les' birthdays.  We ate supper and the kids played until it was present time.  During present time, the crowd of kids huddled around Dana as she opened her presents, then they quickly moved to watch Shelley open hers and then back to the couch to see Les open up his presents.  
  • The kids all had a blast playing Headbanz and dominos.  They were all pretty good tonight-even my Whitman who feels a bit under the weather but he is happily sleeping now.  

November 29, 2013

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

  • Another early morning around here-my Graham has "forgotten" what a seven looks like.  Last night we had threatened to make him sleep in the bonus room if he woke everyone up this morning.  But we are softies and he isn't up there tonight-though he sure should be.  
  • Reagan did crawl in bed with us and was pretty still. Keaton used to be the one to join us but now she has started finding the others and will play with them-she is growing up.  Whitman woke up later as the kids were eating cinnamon rolls.  
  • My kids are getting too smart-they saw the cans of cinnamon rolls in the fridge in the garage and asked for them this morning.  And why not?  It is still a holiday weekend.  So we had cinnamon rolls and then started our morning.
  • Aunt Dana wanted pictures of every room in the house for a commercial that will be filmed here possibly.  So we used that as an opportunity to clean the place up and then Robby took pictures of the house.  When he was finished, I told him that I was glad that we didn't have to do that again at the first of the year.  He looked at me like I was crazy-he thought I was talking about cleaning again at the first of the year.  I was talking about when I take pictures of the house each January.  
  • Of course, the kids only helped up clean and then sit patiently for Robby to finish the house pictures so we could start on the Christmas decorating.  I was the first to the attic with 5 little folks following close behind me.  I pulled out the first bin and started pulling stuff out telling them where to put things.  We managed to get through 3 bins before Robby made it upstairs.
  • Then the kids and I started on their tree and Robby escaped to the living room to start on our big tree.  The kids did really well decorating.  Reagan was all about it and all about telling everyone what needed to go where.  Campbell would hold an ornament, look for a perfect spot and then hand it to me and tell me to put it up high.  Keaton liked to hold the ornaments and occasionally take them off of the tree.  My boys, well, they aren't too much into tree decorating and started working on their train but were constantly running downstairs to check and see if the ball game had started.
  • We managed to finish the kids tree and get a few strands of lights on ours when the ball game did start.  The boys went upstairs to watch the game while I started pulling out school work for next month.  The girls and Whitman stayed with me-they made a zillion Christmas cards.  
  • Soon we joined the boys for the end of the second half and then it was snack time and time to work on a few more strands of lights for our tree.  Then back to the school room for me, a nap for Keaton and Whitman and the ball game for the rest of them.  I could hear my Anderson yelling from the other side of the house for the poor hogs.
  • After the disappointing game, I played a game with the girls and I let the kids put a few ornaments on my tree while Robby made supper.  Then it was time for pajamas and you guessed it-The Price is Right.  Whitman couldn't stay on the floor long because he managed to crawl to the tree and start grabbing at the branches.  Good thing his other mother (Campbell) was hot on his trail.  (Though she may or may not have let him fall off the bed this morning-he was on the floor when I left the room.  Either way, he was pretty mad when I came back into the room and she was acting like she should be in trouble!)
  • The kids were thrilled to go to bed with their tree on-we may just have to keep them up longer this year.  Last year we took the tree down in the dark, cold house on Christmas night.  We knew by then it was going to be a while before we had power and we really wanted to finish putting Christmas up, so we even "vacuumed" the floor with tape.  We are silly!  
  • I worked on my tree and added as many ornaments as I could.  Since I keep buying ornaments on my trips, I have enough for 2 more trees-seriously.  It makes me sad to leave some off the tree though-like I am hurting Napa Valley's feelings by not displaying my ornament from there.

November 28, 2013-Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving!

  • The first thing that I heard from Anderson this morning over the monitor was "guys, it is Thanksgiving."  That really got everyone stirring.  Before long the kids were downstairs eating breakfast and reading their daily list.
  • It didn't take long for them to mark off most of the chores from those lists and soon Campbell was vacuuming away, Robby was cleaning the kitchen floor, Reagan was reading, Anderson was doing phonics, Graham had snuck off to play his kindle, Keaton was as usual close by me and Whitman was still snoozing-yep, he knew it was going to be a big day so he slept past 9.
  • Soon the house was clean (as clean as it gets) and we were all sitting down watching the parade.  The kids would get so excited about each float, band and balloon.
  • Now there was one act from a Broadway show called Kinky Boots (I think that was their name)  That did cause quite a stir with the men wearing crazy high heeled boots.  Their songs had the message of acceptance and being who you want to be.  We quickly explained that we are called to be who God wants us to be.  Seriously, a bit disappointing that the Thanksgiving parade isn't as family friendly as I think it should be!  But then the snoopy balloon and all else had been forgotten about.
  • The kids made fruit turkeys and they turned out cute.  This was the first time that I just gave them the picture of someone else's, gave them the fruit and set them loose.  They were very pleased with those turkeys-and I just had a tiny bit of that fruit lest.
  • Grannymom and Grandpa were the first to arrive, followed by Jason, Dana, Lilly and Cash and then Nonna and Pops.  Everyone carried in their food and just as we were putting the rolls in, I forgot that I was going to have the kids made butter.  I asked the big kids if they wanted to but by then they were too busy playing with their cousins.  But Keaton and Campbell wanted to make butter so they shook their jars and shook their jars and then lost interest-leaving Robby and Jason to work on the butter.  It was pretty much a flop but there was no worries because we had plenty of other butter.
  • Thanksgiving lunch was wonderful with so much to be thankful for in this house.  We had plenty of food on our plates and plenty of family around so things couldn't have been much better.  After eating, the kids played until we pulled out desserts.  Then they surprisingly showed back up. 
  • Dana suggested going to a movie and our kids were sure on board with that-since they haven't been to a movie since last Thanksgiving (that was when all of the adults dumped me with all of the kids for a kid movie and they went to see a grown up movie.)  Cash didn't want to go to the movie and Anderson was so torn about what to do.  Anderson eventually decided to stay with Cash but as we were turning off our street, Pops called saying to come back.  
  • Cash, Anderson and Pops were walking down the street to meet us.  Pops said that as soon as we drove off my tender hearted Anderson started crying and sweet Cash said that he would go to the movie with him.  We saw Frozen and it was pretty good-I did miss the first 15 minutes of it and would have missed more but Campbell was in and out of my lap.  A quiet dark room always puts me to sleep!
  • I think everyone enjoyed the movie-Campbell watched most of it but would occasionally ask for Robby to take her home and she did say that she didn't want to stay for another one.  Us either because when the movie was over, supper was calling our name.  All of the grands and Jason stayed with my little 2 who had both had short little naps this afternoon.
  • As soon as we made it back, I helped the kids make turkey cookies and they definitely had their sugar intake for the day.  But they all devoured their cookies and loved making them-I think they turned out pretty cute.  
  • The rest of us ate supper and the boys started watching football and the three little ones had a shower.  Poor Whitman was so tired when everyone left that we put him to bed early.  And the rest of us watched Let's Make a Deal-the kids asked about watching one of our game shows and since it is a holiday, how could we say no!  
  • Then bedtime for them all as we settled down to have a snack-wonder if Robby or I will end up with that last piece of pecan pie!

November 27, 2013

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Mama's wishful thinking :)

  • Last night as I was just about to start doing some online Christmas shopping, our lights flickered, flickered again and then went out.  I guess God (and Robby) didn't think I needed to spend any money!  We sat in the complete darkness (except for the glow of our laptops) for awhile thinking things would pop back on.  It didn't and within minutes we were both convinced that it was already colder in our house.  
  • I called my dad to see if their lights were off and Robby found flashlights and covered up kids.  It is just dark without lights around here-thankfully the kids clock has a battery and their nightlight is made to come on when the power goes out so other than their fan being quiet they would never know about it (unless the house became too cold)
  • At first the entergy web site said it was coming on at 11 pm and then it said 11 am.  That second choice wasn't any good so we just covered up and went to bed.  We must have been sound asleep in just a few minutes because the lights did all pop on after 11.  
  • The kids were up early and I heard Campbell up on the bar talking to the fish.  She shouted at him (so he could hear her in that water) "Good morning, fishy."  That poor fish-his water has been sloshed today and when we brought him home the other day, Anderson said "when are we going to eat the fish?"  I might should just go and buy a replacement fish today to beat the Black Friday rush!
  • Once everyone was awake this morning, we started on school.  I told them that we just had to do half of school today and I would give them chores to do between their boxes of school work.  I was really amazed because this seemed to get things finished faster than usual.  We managed to do most of school (we do have the rest of the week and weekend to finish) and then we loaded up for Grannymom's house.
  • The kids were so excited to go to Grannymom's house and since Lilly and Cash were there as well, that was a double bonus.  I went shopping and was gone so long that Grannymom isn't going to let me out of her sight again for fear that I will run off on another shopping trip.  (And man, I still have a lot more on my list!)
  • While I was gone the kids had lunch, some made a craft, ran off some energy in the garage and were not thrilled at all to see me drive up.  Robby was already home working in the yard when we made it home so most of the kids rode their bikes while I unloaded the car.  
  • Soon the kids came in and we went through some clothes Aunt Shelley had sent us.  Reagan asked if there were any in there for her-I stared at her until she realized that Josh and Zach probably didn't have any clothes for her.  Then they played while I worked on our fabulous supper.
  • After supper, we worked on picking the upstairs up and then watched a Price is Right.  Reagan noticed one of the models dress and said that she wanted a dress like that.  I told her that dress was too short and boys would just look at your legs if she wore that dress.  Robby had also noticed the dress and then asked "she had legs?"  Hmm, he didn't notice her legs-wonder what he noticed?  Later, Reagan said that she wanted to work on Price is Right when she gets older.  Wonderful, just wonderful.
  • It had maybe been 5 minutes after tucking the kids in that I remembered that I hadn't taken their pictures today.  So I ran up there and Keaton was already sound asleep and the others were at varying degrees of sleepiness as you can tell by the pictures.  Reagan and Anderson were still going strong.  
  • I have also started working on some speech therapy with Whitman.  He apparently can't say anything but "dada" so we are working to change that.  

November 26, 2013

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  • This morning the children were building a fort in their beds before the magic awakening hour.  Maybe I need some vitamins or maybe I need to stop staying up late reading.  When you have a good book, you just have to finish it quickly.  I have been reading over 100 pages a night on my book and feeling pretty proud of myself-even though it is a larger print book.  (No, I don't need a large print book yet but who knows.  I am already thinking about needing a super large print Bible if God-willing I live long enough to end up in a nursing home-a large print Bible and maybe a knitting hobby.)
  • Robby took Campbell to school this morning.  She had to remind me that it was school morning because I had no intention of going up the stairs to pick out her clothes.  For non school days she picks out her own clothes but not for school days-especially since she has been wearing a skirt and short sleeved shirts lately.  
  • After we waved bye to them, I had the boys start on school and we had breakfast in the school room.  Surprisingly, we were able to finish their work before it was time to go and pick up Campbell.  I even had time to slap some peanut butter on some tortillas, grab some chips and juice boxes so the kids could eat lunch in the car.  
  • Campbell was happy to see us though she did say she really wanted Grannymom to pick her up (she will see her tomorrow though).  Campbell also said that her teacher wasn't there.  Then she added "She wasn't sick today.  She just didn't want to be a teacher today."  Well, I completely understand that but I hope that really isn't what the kids were told!
  • We then went to pick up Reagan and I still left my GPS in Robby's car.  I did print out directions and only had to turn around one time still!  Campbell even commented that I knew how to get there this time.  After knocking on the door, I saw a bunch of girls heads and then I heard my child say "awww."  I don't think she was pleased to be leaving.  She had a blast-they made pizza, had doughnuts, watched Wizard of Oz and decorated socks.  
  • Then we went to see Beebee.  She was still eating when we got there but she quickly came to the lobby.  The kids did their oral reports for her-she was very pleased and even wanted for them to do them for someone else.  I said that was fine since I didn't really want to bore anyone else!  
  • I went to get their candy from her room and later, Beebee had the kids push her back to her room to get them their dollar bills.  Beebee said that Anderson was doing a good job pushing her until "help me, help me" lady rolled out into the hallway.  Beebee said that the next thing she knew Anderson was walking beside her away from "help me" lady.  She also said that he was pretty pale-I believe it.  Later, Reagan told me that Beebee's place used to be a scary place but that it isn't any more.  Which that is true, my kids now run all over that place.
  • After getting Beebee to her room, they brought her back down the hall.  It was Campbell's turn to push her even though the thought of this made me and the other kids a bit nervous.  So when they came back around the corner, Cambpell was indeed pushing Beebee.  Reagan was walking close by on one side, Graham on the other side and Anderson was right beside Cambpell.  My 3 biggest kids had their hands on that wheelchar just to make sure Campbell did a good job.  They thought they had made it since they were in the lobby and my big kids let their guard down just as Campbell gave that wheelchair a big ole shove.  I look up to see Beebee in her chair flying across the room towards my stroller, Anderson took off chasing Beebee, Reagan let out a squeal and I had to practically knock the stroller down to keep Beebee from breaking another hip.  (Click here to see that video!)
  • After that, I thought hard about taking everyone to Sonic to reward them for not breaking any of Beebee's bones but it wasn't happy hour so we headed on home.  By the time that we unloaded and a put Keaton in bed (she lasted only about 30 minutes) Robby was home with groceries for us to unload.  Soon the kids were watching a movie and I did a few chores.  
  • I did manage to work with Reagan a bit for her to finish today's school-well, the important parts of it.  But I could tell that she was so tired that I didn't press the non important parts.  I just stuck them back in her box for tomorrow.  So sneaky!
  • We had supper and then Whitman, Campbell and Keaton had a shower.  While they were in the shower, we heard Campbell calmly say "somebody help me."  Apparently, Whitman managed to get out of his bumbo seat (that is probably really to big for but still is a good place for him in the shower since it is slippery and dangerous with those 2 little girls in there with him.  I put him back in his seat and two more times he came out before Robby got them out of the shower.
  • I was waiting for pajama putting on duty and saw my dress that I wore to Bush' inauguration in 2005.  I put it on and though I have 6 kids since then, I was able to zip it (though I definitely need some Spanx under it)  I was feeling pretty good until Robby saw it and said in a shocked voice "oh, you zipped it?"  
  • After their showers, we all watched our Let's Make a Deal show before bed.  After it was over, I left Whitman on the floor in the den (man, during school today I would put him down and the next thing I knew he would be grabbing pencils from under someone's desk or trying to pull stuff out of desks.  I thought he would be crawling by Thanksgiving and he sure it-it isn't a pretty crawl but he can get (slowly) where he wants to.  When we came back down from tucking the others in bed, Whitman was sound asleep in the floor.  We let him sleep while we had our supper and then my cackling woke him up (see below!)
  • Did you try to click on the video of Campbell shoving my grandma's wheelchair?  Shame on you!  I wish I had video of that memory but unfortunately I don't!  But I have giggled all night about it and laughed out loud imagining folks trying to click on the video link.  

November 25, 2013

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  • The first words we heard this morning were "Daddy, Graham is trying to get Keaton out of bed."  As soon as the clock strikes seven, Graham is under the impression that it is time for every single one of us in the house to wake up.  My Keaton could sleep until eight at least but sleeping is hard when someone stands by your bed and whispers "It's seven. Do you want for me to get you out?" 
  • We were really hoping that the weather would be a bit more exciting than it actually was this morning.  The kids were expecting the ground to be white and the power to go off-neither happened (which was fine with Robby and fine with me today only because I had a hair cut scheduled.)
  • It was 9 when we started school this morning.  But that was fine because we had already had breakfast, picked up the kitchen and even read a few books.  Right now, we have been reading quite a bit and this book lately has been about Squanto.  Sometimes books can be so exciting (our Squanto book)-and sometimes not (our Brighty book from the Grand Canyon)
  • School went great and we were finished in time to do some of our memory work before lunch.  Then it was time to wake Whitman up and Reagan was thrilled to be able to run up there to pack her bag for tonight.
  • After lunch, we read another few books and then I scurried around for a few minutes getting things ready for the afternoon.  Reagan, Keaton and I finally had our hair appointment-this was our 2nd time to reschedule it so I was bound and determine that we were going to get there today....even if we had to walk in the ice!  
  • First we dropped the boys off at Noah's house to play.  They were so excited to get to play with him.  I hope that they behaved themselves.  When Robby picked the boys up, they left with the boys and a fish.  We are fish sitting for the Kamps this week-keep the fish in your prayers!
  • I had my hair cut and then the big girls had their hair trimmed.  Reagan was a bit anxious that Tammy was going to cut off more than just a bit that we had talked about.  Campbell was fine-just a tad on the silly side.  Tammy asked where my grey hairs were coming from.  I told her it was from the blonde child and she nodded and said that she could see why!
  • After our appointment, we left and headed across the city, no across the state, to drop Reagan off for her sleepover at Kaleigh's house.  Reagan was so excited about the sleep over-she is such a party animal! 
  • We drove in the driveway as Robby was pulling in to.  We all unloaded our cars and ate the pizza that he brought home.  So glad he had supper otherwise it was going to be more fish sticks (I am trying to save that as our Saturday meal!)  Then an episode of Price is Right before bed for the little Dennies.

November 24, 2013

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Everyone loves ice cream truck night!

  • Doughnut day is a big day around here. Keaton was so excited to have her breakfast that she insisted on eating while wearing just her diaper-her pajamas and diaper were wet when she came down stairs.  Sitting on our breezy kitchen just wearing a diaper is a true love of doughnuts-actually, she probably was more excited about her milk than the doughnuts.
  • My boys were excited about something else this morning-seeing their cousins, Josh and Zach.  We had to keep reminding them that we were going to church before going to Grannymom's house to see those cousins.  
  • In big church this morning, they had the preschoolers come into church to recognize them since they have raised a good bit of money for our new church building.  So our row was quite busy looking for Campbell-who walked right by us but never saw any of us.  Later though I did catch her waving at someone who I assume was Robby since she said she saw him.  We heard that Keaton was in there somewhere but we never found her and Whitman was snoozing so he didn't get to come in.  
  • During the next service, Graham went in with his class, Campbell went in again and Keaton rode in the wagon this time.  I had Whitman with me in the hallway but instead of going in ourselves, we just watched all of the commotion in the hall.
  • After church, it was time for lunch at Grannymom's house.  The boys were thrilled to see Josh and Zach.  Anderson clung to Josh and Graham to Zach.  Zach was wondering around trying to find a place to sit from 1 of the 3 tables that were set for us.  Graham was following Zach closely trying to grab a seat right beside him.  And behind them I was trying to follow Graham to set his plate down in front of him.  
  • We stayed much of the afternoon so the kids could play and play they did-including a game of tag in the garage, making a cage for Keaton (she is really a perfect child to lay on the floor and let the kids build a cage around her) and playing a few games.
  • Eventually it was time to go and we joined all of the other weather panicked shoppers at Kroger.  Robby ran in to buy a few essentials for our Sunday evening-ice cream.  Then we tried out the new Starbucks with a caramel apple cider-let me tell you that is the very, very best drink ever.  
  • We ran home for a few minutes-the kids just stayed in the car while Robby and I unloaded and reloaded the car.  I made snacks for the ride to church and he made supper for the ride home from church.  
  • Campbell joined us for cookie club tonight while the other kids were at choir.  Sometimes we keep Whitman with us during our coffee shop stop but today I sent him on to his class.  He has a new habit that I am not too pleased with-saying "dada."  I personally think he is just babbling even though he will say it occasionally and grin at his daddy.  But a "mama" would be much appreciated. 
  • Back at home tonight the kids enjoyed their ice cream and then headed to bed.  Reagan has a sleep over tomorrow night so she was busy planning what all she was going to take as I closed the door tonight.  

November 23, 2013

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Friends' birthday party fun!

  • Before 7, the kiddos were already talking-that doesn't go over too well on a Saturday morning.  Soon though the quiet kids had climbed into bed with us and the noisy kids were upstairs playing.  And the best child was still in his bed snoozing away.  If you are wondering who is who-the girls are the quiet kids, the boys are the noisy kids and my Whitman is the best!
  • Robby made breakfast this morning-cinnamon rolls.  And I guess that it is now time to start making 2 pans of cinnamon rolls since they were devoured.  Actually, when I made lunch with over 20 fish sticks and 15 hush puppies I decided that we might not need to let our Sams club membership expire.  
  • We didn't really do a whole lot this morning-Robby put on our flannel sheets, I straightened one side of the closet, he cleaned the bathroom floor, I folded laundry and we probably even did a few more chores than that.  
  • Robby did play a few rounds of air hockey along with 2 games of battleship.  Robby beat Anderson in their battleship game by 1 ship.  And he beat Reagan by one turn when they played.  We were all in the bonus room when the hogs came on tv so we all settled up there.
  • The kids watched the razorbacks play and they really got into the game.  Seriously, Anderson would yell so loud at the tv.  I made lunch and we all ate upstairs and then we continued watching the game.  Eventually, I put Keaton down for her nap and started snoozing right in the middle of the game and all of the fans cheering in our house.
  • Soon though the game was over and we came downstairs.  And finally it was time for Campbell to leave with me to Ava's birthday party.  Campbell had been asking me all day long when Keaton was going to wake up from her nap-that is when I told her that we would leave.  At first, Robby thought they would take us and then go eat somewhere while we were at the party.  He eventually changed his mind since there was no reason to leave the house (and spend more money)
  • There were lots of kids at the party that Campbell was at but she only knew the birthday girl and 2 others.  A magician was there so that was a neat experience-Campbell stood by me mostly but so wanted to sit by the birthday girl.  She did get to for a few minutes but someone edged her out of her spot.  Finally, after almost 2 hours it was time to go but Campbell did not understand why we were not going to stay and watch Ava open presents.  I bribed her with some coke to drink in the car and as we walked out, I tried to find the mom or birthday girl to thank but found neither.  In the car, Campbell started to cry again and said "but I didn't get to tell Ava bye."  I felt sorry for her but it was really time to go!
  • Robby had supper for everyone when we came home and then ice cream sandwiches for dessert.  Couldn't get much better than that.  Then we all watched The Price is Right before bed-another wonderful day.

November 22, 2013

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Pre-holiday craft time...

  • Robby was the first one stirring this morning and even though the kids were up and about, we all could have probably lounged around here all morning long. Silly school gets in the way of all of the fun!  Well, school and breakfast-you have to get out of bed to have breakfast too!
  • School went well today-no fits, no tears, no screaming-and the kids did just as well.  The kids tickle me sometime-some things they really, really enjoy that we do. Typing, drawing, anything with a dry erase marker, anything they have to do with me (english, spelling) and reading to Whitman.  Now the rest of the school stuff-math, phonics, science-no one really gets too excited about doing.  (Though I have convinced Graham that Robby will be so happy to see how well he can do his math and phonics and he might should do some tomorrow to show him-ha, ha, ha!)
  • After school, we had our lunch and read a few books.  I might have a bit of an obsessive personality: Campbell was Llama Llama for her school book character day.  We only had one Llama book so I just checked out every single Llama Llama book from the library.  She has really enjoyed hearing them.
  • Next up was a turkey craft-maybe I can get a picture tomorrow when everyone glues on their beaks.  It wasn't too hard-just gluing tissue paper but Reagan and Graham (my 2 perfectionists) were not pleased with their work.  They made a fun project into quite an ordeal-I mentally made note that we wouldn't be doing any craft projects for a long, long time!  
  • They watched their movie this afternoon and soon Robby was home.  I woke Keaton up and she made a lego tower and was using it as a cane.  Campbell said "Keaton, are you an old woman?"  So I asked Campbell "what does an old woman say?"  She replied "help me, help me."-just as the lady from Beebee's nursing home.  Oh, I laughed so hard.
  • After a while, we loaded up and headed to Nonna's house for supper.  We replaced Sunday lunch with Friday supper this week.  There were hamburgers and hot dogs.  The kids had a blast playing and there was even a project that we had....
  • Pops had bought everyone geodes (hollow rocks to break open and reveal pretty rocks inside) while he was on his trip.  We were under the impression that a gentle tap with the hammer would quickly reveal beautiful sparkling rocks-that didn't happen!  It took pounding from children and adults on each and every rock.  Just imagine 4 children swinging 2 hammers-Whitman didn't partake and Keaton was scared by the loud noises.  Bang, bang, bang, bang on the rocks and nothing happened.  After about 45 minutes of banging the rocks did start to crack and reveal more rocks inside.  Ha!  The kids had a blast and will never forget working on those rocks!
  • And the next project was Nonna's Christmas tree.  I don't think that Nonna had planned on doing her tree tonight.  She had her tree up and lights on it but soon 10 hands were hanging ornaments on that tree.  We had to move a few ornaments around to put the ribbon on and then had to stop the kids because they were going to hang every single ornament at 3 feet high.  Hopefully we helped some on Nonna's tree and hopefully some one will help me with my tree soon!
  • Back at home, it was quickly bedtime for everyone.  Whitman decided that he needed another bottle but the others laid down with out any sounds.  They were just as tired as I am right now!

November 21, 2013

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Just a little crazy today around Dennieland!

  • Everyone slept well past 7:00 this morning but soon after Robby jumped in the shower, the kids made their way down. Campbell knew it was school day and she was ready to go. Before Robby could get out of the shower, Campbell was making sure Keaton could ride along to school.
  • Keaton & Campbell grabbed their pop tarts and headed to the car while the others started to get their breakfast.
  • Robby had to take my car to the dealership for a quick repair so Keaton hang out with him while he worked via their wifi.
  • Meanwhile, my crew was busy getting ready for our morning guests.  It was our monthly home school get together for oral reports, crafts, lunch and playtime.  I had made out to-do lists for each of the kids. So they knocked out their lists and squeezed in some school boxes too.
  • Everyone started arriving around 10:00 and first up was oral reports.  The Dennie report topics included brown bears, Mt. Everest and Ronald Reagan.  Everyone did very good and we even had a pop quiz with everyone to see how much they remembered.  We played a few rounds of Thanksgiving bunko, made a turkey craft, had lunch and a giant cookie plus the kids played for the longest time while the moms all visited a bit.
  • After everyone left, we scurried around to pick up before nap/movie time.  The kids grabbed their afternoon snacks, watched a few movies, colored some pictures and then started asking when supper was.  They all had to wait to cook their supper because I was using the oven to cook my sausage cornbread for Bunko potluck tonight at Alissa's.
  • I left, they cooked their supper, ate and then watched an episode of Let's Make a Deal, Price is Right and watched a video of their oral reports. Teeth were brushed and then it was bedtime. Everyone was sound asleep by 8:50!

November 20, 2013

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Cool cats!

  • Since Reagan had her tooth pulled yesterday, that meant that the tooth fairy had to make an appearance last night.  Reagan has wondered lately what the tooth fairy really looks like and has even asked me if I am the tooth fairy.  Of course, my standard reply is "do I look like the tooth fairy?"  And that quickly ends that conversation.  
  • My Graham, the thinker, will be the first one to stop believing in people like the tooth fairy and Santa.  Unless I distract him, he will ask me multiple questions about who she is, what she looks like, how she gets into the house and a host of other questions.  That child is just unique!
  • Back to the tooth fairy-since there had been so much discussion on her legitimacy, she had to step things up a bit.  So the dollar bill that was left (she forgot that a dollar is too much because that will be 120 bucks that the tooth fairy will have to shell out in the near future).  This dollar bill was special because it was sprinkled with glitter-everyone believes now.  (I better hide the glitter though!)
  • This was Bible study morning and Robby followed the breakfast menu (he has learned to embrace my lists) and made chocolate chip waffles for the kids (frozen of course.)  He left and within a few minutes, it was time for us to leave for Bible study.
  • We took our shoeboxes to the church house for them to mail some where for a child's Christmas.  Last year our boxes went to Mexico but I really hope it goes somewhere far off so we can mark it on our map (which I have been slacking on lately)  
  • The kids loves Bible study-seriously, adore it.  And I absolutely love that.  Today, Anderson, Graham and Campbell made aprons.  I was about to "file" them away when Anderson asked if Daddy was making a turkey this year.  I said no, he wouldn't be making a turkey this year (ha, we have never made a turkey.)  Then he said "well, I want to help him cook."-which come to think of it, I think I am offended that he didn't ask if I was going to be the one cooking.
  • After Bible study, we headed to Beebee's place for their Thanksgiving lunch.  Families were invited and Pops and I debated if we should all come (didn't want to overwhelm the place).   On the way there, I told the kids about what to expect and that we were going to eat the same food that everyone else was going to eat.  I got a question from Graham: "What kind of food do old people eat?"  
  • People were parking all over the parking lot, on the grass, on the side of the street, everywhere when we arrived.  I immediately started sweating about where I was going to park my bus.  God provided a perfect spot right at the front door-of course, it was a small spot, probably just for compact cars.  But I made it work!  
  • Once inside, I was delighted to see that my crew didn't overwhelm the place since there were at least 150 people there.  Nonna found us and took us to our room to eat.  Beebee was already there along with our food.  And thankfully, old people eat the same food as us so the kids were able to pick a bit at their Thanksgiving lunch.  My Whitman really loved cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.  I kept feeding him tiny bites of that even though I knew that he was probably going to spit it all up.  
  • Campbell kept wanting to go back to Beebee's room while we were eating.  It took just about the entire time for us to figure out that she wanted candy from Beebee's room.  And since I have forbidden them to ask for candy, she figured out a way around it.  Nonna saved the day and did go to get some candy for everyone to enjoy before we headed home.
  • On our way home, we had been watching Pinocchio and then changed to another movie.  Campbell started talking about what she wanted to be for Halloween.  She said that she wanted to be "Tokyo" for Halloween.  Hmm, I told her that I didn't know how we could dress her up like that city but I would try.  A bit later, one of my interpreters said "she meant Pinocchio."
  • At home, the kids rested but first we worked on their oral reports.  They are improving but who knows what tomorrow will hold.  Soon the afternoon was over and supper was on the table. The kids ate some but were too excited to see Robby and all of his groceries that he brought home.
  • A bit later, we headed to church with a quick stop to the library to pick up books.  Campbell and Graham were super hero costumes tonight for their classes-not really sure why tonight was super hero night but they enjoyed it.  And Graham enjoyed all of the attention from his blow up muscles.  
  • At home, the kids had some crackers and cheese before they all headed to bed.  Keaton is back to sleeping with the others but now when Robby tucks everyone in he always says "It is bed time, no talk time, time to look at the wall."  He doesn't want them to look over at Keaton and get her started talking-is that normal to tell your kids to look at the wall as you tuck them in?

November 19, 2013

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Dentist Visit for 4 of the Dennie Kids!

  • So today I was taking Campbell to school which meant lots of hustle and bustle this morning. Robby usually takes Campbell and he could have today but if she was at school then I would have to leave here 30 minutes earlier to pick her up than if she just stayed home.  But she loves school so much, we didn't really want her to miss all day just for her dentist appointment. This meant that I loaded up 30 pounds of books and we headed to church for school at church.
  • Campbell walked right in her class and the rest of us went to Keaton's Sunday school room to do our school work.  It was fairly uneventful and the kids managed to get most everything accomplished while we were there.  Keaton had a blast playing with the toys and Whitman enjoyed rolling and rolling around the room.  
  • At 10:30, we picked up Campbell and headed out the door for the appointments-4 dentist appointments.  Robby arrived to help out a bit and I am sure that he was quite surprised to walk into the waiting room and not too hear a peep.  The kids were as quiet as they have ever been-absolutely amazing.  The only noise was Keaton squealing "Daddy" when she saw Robby.
  • This time there were 2 hygienist so Reagan and Graham went back first.  When the hygienist asked which boy wanted to go first-both of their hands shot up in the air (I don't love my dentist that much, do you?)  After a while, they called me back because they wanted to talk about Reagan's pink tooth.  He asked if I wanted him to pull it today and gave me the pros and cons and then he said he could do it when they worked on her filling in just a minute.  I told him that I would do whatever he thought I should (pull it) but the entire time I was wondering why they were going to fill one of her teeth today. About 20 minutes later, I remembered that I had indeed scheduled Reagan an appointment for her filling at the same time as her cleaning.  
  • I had to head back to the front to be with the babies but Robby was heading back with Campbell and he was right near Reagan.  He checked on her a few times but she was in good hands and seemed to enjoy the laughing gas.  Though when she walked out, I think she looked like she was about to cry but perked quickly up when we pulled the gauze out of her mouth.
  • Campbell had a bit of staining, Anderson now has his 6 year molars but no loose teeth, Graham got the all clear and they all acted like it was Christmas morning showing us their new toothbrushes and toothpaste.  My Reagan looked pitiful on the way home (or at least that is what I thought.) I actually looked for her on the couch when I walked in but she was upstairs playing with the boys.  We had tomato soup for lunch and by 3 she was bouncing off of the walls like all the rest of the kiddos here.
  • After lunch, the kids played and then we worked on our oral reports a bit.  I feel like those reports are rolling around more quickly.  The kids are doing well on them (presentation day is Thursday).  Graham tries to look up as he reads but speaks like a robot when he does. Anderson tries to look up but loses his place each time and Reagan just doesn't care about looking up at her listeners.
  • We had leftover potato soup for supper and then watched a bit of Price is Right before heading to bed.  During our movie, the kids all were laying around covered in blankets with Whitman rolling around in the floor-my favorite part of the day.

November 18, 2013

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The Lunch Express!
  • Robby was up early to get to work for an early morning meeting; I might not have known except he woke me up around 6:45 asking if I knew where his battery charger was.  His car wouldn't start... I didn't get out of bed so he took my car instead and said he would return.
  • Soon all the kids were stirring - surprisingly Reagan was one of the first up - that hardly happens around here.
  • Breakfast and then it was time to start school - we were ahead though because everyone did their math yesterday so we were finished before lunch.  We even snuck in an oral report practice as everyone began finishing up their props.
  • Robby made it back around lunch to check on his car.  Seems like the battery had run down so he put the charger on it and crossed his fingers.
  • The kids decided their lunch would be on a "train" today so they took the kitchen chairs and made them into a Mt. Everest train and ate.  After they ate, the train (minus the chairs) began making loops around the house, up and down the stairs, as each of them took turns being the engine.
  • Keaton and Whitman took afternoon naps while the others had TV time and snack.  Well, Campbell trailed me around the house except during her snack where it's mandatory she has to eat her snack in front of the tv. (Doesn't sound right, huh?)
  • Keaton woke up about an hour early from nap and managed to get a snack and take Campbell's place in trailing me around the house.
  • The kids picked up the toy room and their bedroom (which had been ransacked during their train time) and then played with balloon volleyball before supper.
  • After supper, we all watched Let's Make a Deal!

November 17, 2013

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A Sunday of bags....

  • The first picture from tonight shows all of the bags/stuff that I we carried to church this morning.  Look at all of that-a tad on the ridiculous side, right?  My bag carrying Bibles, Reagan's bag holding her Bible, Whitman's diaper bag, Keaton's diaper bag, a bag of clothes to change into at Grannymom's house, a bag of stuff that I had to return to Grannymom and presents to take to church for the children's home.  
  • By the time that we had left for church this morning, Campbell had worn 3 dresses, the boys had gone through 2 pairs of socks and that wasn't even counting the complete switch of church clothes that had happened the night before when I realized that the weather was going to be warm.  
  • Campbell's first dress was too small and then her second was great-until it was time to put on shoes and her black shoes were now too small.  So that meant a quick run upstairs for me to grab another dress.  While I was up there, I grabbed the boys new socks since they along with Keaton had walked all over the wet driveway in their sock feet letting out the lady bugs from yesterday.
  • We made it to church barely on time and that was with Robby dropping me and the 3 littles off at the door.  This worked out well-except for when it was time for me to find my way back to the car and I didn't know where he had parked.  Thankfully, the car is a bit easy to spot and I found it with little searching.
  • Now next up was lunch at Grannymom's house.  The kids gobbled up the lasagna today-I always think that I should keep a list of foods that the kids really enjoy but I never do.  After lunch, everyone played for a bit and then it was time to head home for a few minutes.
  • At home, the boys watched a movie, Robby, Keaton, Whitman and I napped and Campbell and Reagan made bracelets.  Now, Reagan wasn't able to watch a movie today because of some words she said to her brother early this morning.  She really enjoyed her project that she pulled out during her usual movie time so I do not think that she was punished enough to learn her lesson-we shall see though.
  • Soon it was time to rush around for church and we even made it 15 minutes early-with us we are early or late.  There is no on time.  Campbell enjoyed staying with us to eat a cookie in the coffee shop while the others were in choir.  Then it was class for her and church for everyone else.
  • Back at home we had a quick supper and then our ice cream truck.  After that it was bedtime for everyone-Whitman wasn't too pleased with that idea but is now asleep.  And Keaton is now on her second night in a row sleeping back upstairs in "Rearea's room."

November 16, 2013

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An unusual warm fall afternoon...

  • I jinxed myself about the kids sleeping in because they were up before 7 this morning.  And not just were they up but they were loud too.  Last weekend when Robby let everyone buy a toy at Dollar General, Graham bought a gun that makes the loudest noise when it is shot-click, click, click.  And of course no child can just click it one time, they have to click it over and over and over and over again.  So at 6:45 this morning, I stumbled up the stairs to snatch that silly gun out of Graham's hands.  And I haven't heard it again all day long-hmm, wonder where I stuck that thing in my sleepy daze.
  • Robby passed out breakfast and for some reason, breakfast is such an ordeal here.  Ordeal probably isn't the right word-the kids eat great, we have a menu but it is all of the dishes.  I don't know what we are doing wrong but breakfast is just a lot of work.  Poor Anderson was pretty sure that he was going to have to do his math before breakfast this morning.  He was so relieved to hear Robby say that this was no school day so he could eat with us.  (Oh, stop-I am not a mean mom.  My guess is that he will do his math more rapidly and finish before I can even pass breakfast out from now on.)
  • After breakfast, we loaded up for Babies R Us.  They had a thing that if you baby was born this year, then you could get a 10 dollar gift card.  So I hopped out of the car grabbing Whitman and walked in to get that gift card.  Of course, all of us getting out for a morning shopping trip cost us about 20 times that gift car by the time you add up our Sams and Kroger bills.  
  • We then stopped at Grannymom and Grandpa's house.  The kids played very well and really were quite calm.  We played Candy Land and Go Fish over there and after everyone's snack, we loaded up for Sams.
  • Sams on a Saturday morning is like a special treat to my kiddos-well, and to me too.  It could have only been better if they had more samples out.  Reagan was pretty disappointed because they only had a few sampling stations this morning.  We looked at the books, the toys and spent quite a lot of time in the frozen foods.  
  • Frozen foods, you ask.  Well Robby and Reagan went to go and get an icee for us and we were in the freezer area when they left.  Robby forgot to get Whitman's stroller so that left me with the huge Sams shopping cart and Whitman in his stroller.  Of course, I had both boys who were more than capable of pushing Whitman (with lots of instructions from me--"slow down, stay behind me, don't spin him around, all 4 wheels on the floor)  
  • While waiting on them, we did walk up and down a few freezer aisles but I wanted Robby to be there so we could discuss what all to buy (I feel less guilty when he decides to buy things and put it in the cart-even if I would have bought it myself)  When they caught up with us, they not only had icees but cheese sticks.  So we stood in the freezer section eating cheese sticks and pouring icees into cups for the kids.  
  • Then I did some speed Kroger shopping while they ran to the gas station.  I tell you, there are a lot of people at Kroger on Saturday and of course my shopping abilities are not stellar and I have to always walk across the store a few times.  But I found what I needed and then rushed back to the car.
  • At home, the kids stayed outside while Robby vacuumed out the car.  They found a zillion and a half lady bugs-who knows where they are coming from.  Reagan quickly found her lady bug habitat and filled that thing up with lady bugs.  Whitman even rode in the wagon for a few minutes-he really loved that!
  • The boys had hair cuts and then showers for all of the kids.  After their showers, they helped me pick up and then everyone did their math getting a head start for Monday.  Graham then worked on his painting for his report, Anderson did some cutting for his and Reagan found a few places on the map for her report. 
  • Next up the kids help me pack the operation Christmas child boxes-of course, I had to dump every thing out of the boxes to let them pack them.  I had already made sure that every nook and cranny of the boxes would be filled.  This left the kids with a puzzle trying to get all of the items packed in the box neatly.  The boys just tried shoving the things in but Reagan did work diligently at packing them neatly.  
  • The big 3 watched a movie while the little 2 slept.  Campbell helped me make baby food for Whitman-today was green peas and green beans.   I haven't gone overboard making his food but by the time he finished his food that I have made, he will be able to start mostly table food.  We tried to bribe the kids with lots of cash for them to take 2 bites of the green peas and we had no takers.  Honestly, I hope that I can feed them to him with out gagging!
  • The plan had been to go to Pennington's tonight but they had a bug floating around so the McGuires came over here.  Thankfully, we had been to the store and were able to make soup (plan b would have been pb and j!)  The soup was good and Amber's brownies were great.  
  • The kids are getting older because they really left us alone (for the most part) and we were able to hang out.  We only had one kiddo to get in trouble (Graham for throwing legos off the balcony) but Robby corrected him and all was then well.
  • After they left, we quickly picked up and put everyone to bed.  Keaton was so tired that she wanted to sleep upstairs-she probably thought about having to walk down the steps and then up the others steps and thought that she couldn't possible make it without falling asleep!  It was another wonderful day!

November 15. 2013

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A fun project!

  • My kiddos must be tired lately because they are moving around slowly in the mornings.  We even had to wake Whitman and Keaton up again.  Most everyone was awake to wave at Robby as he left for work.  Waving to him as he drives off has become quite the ordeal lately-first everyone waves through the big windows and then they run to the front door and stand on the porch as they wave and yell their good byes again.  
  • After this we started on breakfast.  My hope was to have the kids start school while eating breakfast but too many folks wanted cereal this morning so I made them eat in the kitchen.  Earlier this week they had cereal and more ended up on the school room floor, the hallway floor, my bedroom floor and even on the kitchen floor than ended up in all of their little tummys combined.  So new rule-cereal only in the kitchen.  That doesn't really help the mess much but just contains it.  When the weather is a bit nicer, I should make them eat cereal on the patio only.
  • We started school and even though we started late, I had high hopes that we would finish smoothly.  Ha, ha!  Of course that didn't happen.  Things were fine but the kids (mostly the boys...well, and the girls) were so loud.  Seriously, I think that at one point my ears were bleeding they were so loud.  I tried to suggest whispering but no one knows what that means so I finally said no tv this afternoon.  That did get their attention and this caused them to start picking up the school room in hopes of earning back their tv time.  (They did eventually earn their time back but then lost it again-turned out to be fine but I was certainly questioning what in the world I was doing taking away their tv time and my fee time.)
  • Of course during school, we did have some distractions.  The tree folks were back-this time six of them were pushing the limbs in the grinder.  The kids all watched through the kitchen window.  After a while, the kids gave up watching and I later walked back by the window.  This time I saw the truck and no workers.  A few more steps and then I saw 3 big workers having a picnic lunch on our picnic table.  He, he, so funny to see.
  • It was 12:30 by the time that we had lunch.  The kids didn't seem to mind and gobbled up their lunch.  During lunch, I usually read to the kids and they can not ask for more food while I am reading-they have to wait until I am finished with the book/chapter that I am reading.  So I read a chapter of one book, make seconds sandwiches, read a short book, pour more drinks, read something else and then get more food.  As long as I feed them, they will listen to books for quite a while (well, everyone but Keaton and Campbell-there is no hope for them!)
  • After lunch the kids played some and then it was nap time for Keaton, Whitman and I even sent Campbell to my bed to rest (my ears were still bleeding from all of her fussing!) Reagan found her dolls to color and then worked on a project from her birthday.  Graham worked on his sticker book and then played with Anderson with their lego zipline.  Meanwhile, I did a few chores and started working on my new Christmas ornaments.
  • Before too long, Robby was home and we were working on supper-more spicy chili.  Then the kids watched The Price is Right with us and then it was bedtime for all.  I think all of the kids were pretty worn out tonight and I hope everyone rests well because tomorrow will be another fun filled day!