March 31, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
Soccer practice (after the rain!)

  • Campbell hitched a ride this morning with Robby on his way to work.  She had a big day planned with Nonna.  He dropped her off early this morning and she stayed busy all day long.  The first event was playing with the forts the kids left up in Nonna's living room. Then they made a trip to the mall looking for an Easter dress.  
  • Sometime during their shopping, Campbell looked at Nonna and said "Now, where do you get the pretzels?"  That is my girl.  After eating a bit and finding a dress and matching headband, they headed home.  Then Campbell asked Nonna if she was going to get to go to the dollar store like Reagan did.  Well, of course so she found herself a coloring book.  
  • Back at Nonna's house, Campbell played outside, had lots of fun on the neighbors swing and even got to help Pops drive his tractor.  My little girl had a big, big day.  Robby picked her up on the way home so she could get her shoes on for soccer.
  • Back at home, the kids did school-things  went surprisingly well since this was the first day back at spring break.  The break was nice but we did notice a behavior change in the kids while not doing school.  This could also be because of the bug going around the house but I think it was mainly because we were not in a routine like usual.  
  • Anderson again spent most of his school morning in the bathroom but Graham was right behind him in his bathroom usage.  I did pour them half a bottle each of immodium at lunch and things did improve after that.  (Oh, it wasn't really a half a bottle-close though!)
  • Whitman was such a happy guy today during school-he just sat in his pack n play while we did our work.  We would throw him some new toys every once in a while.  Keaton sat at Campbell's desk for the longest time eating her cereal and using the markers.  Reagan does most of her school work in front of the heater in the living room-I don't know what she is going to do when we put that up for the summer.
  • We had lunch and then the kids helped with some chores.  When we do all work together we can really get things accomplished.  But when they don't work, gracious.  We were almost finished with our chores and were all working on laundry-my boys couldn't seem to fold a thing and Reagan was just as distracted.  Then they started throwing the laundry on Whitman-I had had enough!  I was able to regain control (of them and me!) and we finished the laundry and then they had some free time.
  • Soon it was Whitman and Keaton's rest time.  Keaton hates taking a nap but she loves drinking milk so she will happily lay down.  Sometimes though she will ask me for more milk during her nap and since I also love her nap, I happily comply.
  • The big kids had some apples for snack while I was on the treadmill.  And way too soon, it was time to get things ready for soccer-clothes, shoes, hair, shin guards, supper, snacks, blanket, camera...After working so hard and for so long, would you believe that it was raining when we made it to the first practice.
  • The kids sat in the car for a bit but we finally just let them out and they started to play in the rain.  They played and played and just as I was about to call them back to the car, the sun came out and we let them play away.  The 6:30 practice was a little light on kids but Robby had Noah, one other player and 4 Dennie kids.  So they scrimmaged all during practice.  
  • Now here is a run down on my kids soccer skills-Reagan is the fastest Dennie but doesn't try to attack the ball.  Anderson is not a runner (like his mother) so he is often playing defense.  Graham is just slow but he is not afraid to get in the mix and try to get the ball.  Campbell is just Campbell.  She did okay today and often surprisingly run toward the ball but she often is oblivious to what all is happening in the game!  We may not be the fastest, or the best shot or even most into the game but my kids had an awesome time running around on the field tonight so that is what it is all about.  
  • The kids had supper on the way home and once home everyone had showers.  Graham was laying in our bed before his shower and Anderson was laying in my closet before his shower-my kiddos were tired tonight!

March 30, 2014-Whitman's First 1st Birthday Celebration!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • The kids woke up in time to watch the news while Robby ran on the treadmill.  Kind of odd, that all of the children just sit up there on the couch and watch the news.  Watching the news-I can think of nothing worse.  That is actually what is on right now...every night Robby turns on the news first and I zone out while I work on the blog.  Then when I am finished we start watching our other tv.
  • I had almost finished getting ready when Robby had the kids to start getting ready.  Whitman ended up in the shower with Robby while everyone else put on their clothes.  I was busy working on the girls hair-I can't imagine having more than 3 girls, oh all of the hair that I would have to do each and every day!
  • Eventually, we realized that someone was not around and it was Anderson.  He was feeling lousy and laying upstairs in the floor.  We let him lay there for awhile but then I helped him get his clothes on.  He made it up to the bonus room so he could eat breakfast with the others-though he didn't eat any breakfast.  We had already planned on him going home with Nonna and Pops after church today to avoid any bathroom issues.  I was afraid a teacher would say to wait if he asked and that just wouldn't be a good thing.
  • During church, I continually asked the boy if he was okay and he seemed to perk up quite a bit.  I think that he is just drained from days and days of bathroom troubles.  Hopefully his over the counter medicine will kick in along with some apples tomorrow.  He did seem to perk up as the day went on and is eating closer to normal tonight.
  • Robby and I worked on Keaton's class during worship care.  There were only 4 kiddos in that class and it was pretty nice.  My Keaton was the only one in the room and of course she was the cutest.  I do think that she might have been the bossiest though!    I did hear that Campbell was in her class and looked at her teacher and said "why are you so old?"  Tact is not a skill that we have worked on yet.
  • We had lunch at Nonna's house and the highlight was singing Happy Birthday to Whitman.  We didn't have our camera but Jason got quite a few good shots.  The little guy didn't like all of the attention but once he understood that the cake was to eat, he had his fingers in it in no time at all.  I can't believe that my baby is turning one.
  • The kids enjoyed playing with Nonna's new fort making kit and they played and played and fought and fought over it.  Once home, they tried to watch a movie this afternoon but our internet was sporadic so that drove them crazy.  I started a real DVD and that worked until the internet did come back on.  But in less than 2 hours, we were loading back up for church.
  • Reagan and Anderson had to go to choir early so the rest of us went as well.  The kids played until it was time for Graham's choir and my class.  Campbell managed to have a cookie or two in the coffee shop as she waited on our classes to finish.  
  • We did skip out on church tonight due to Anderson's tummy business so we had a bit of extra time at home.  The kids put on their pjs, helped pick up the house (it is amazing how clean we can get this place in 10 minutes-yes, we set the clock) and then we had our ice cream truck.  But the fun didn't end there, we also watched a game show on tv before bed before everyone.  

March 29, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
So what...I'm a messy eater!

  • Saturday morning and this morning was calmer than yesterday with no children trying to shimmy under the beds to sneak out of their bedrooms.  Though there did seem to be a lot of children running around my bed so very early this morning and we were even down one kid-Reagan was spending the night at Nonna's house.
  • Robby made a breakfast of cinnamon rolls.  The kids ate devoured them even though we didn't cook them long enough.  During breakfast, I realized that we were down another child-Anderson was still sleeping.  That child slept until around 9.  He is feeling okay but has had continued bathroom issues-really, since Tuesday.  Eeek!
  • When he did wake up, he ate some of his cinnamon rolls upstairs while Robby was running.  He came downstairs with his dishes and said something to me.   I noticed that something was different and asked to see his lose tooth-it wasn't there.  After I told him that it was gone, he said that it was there and started feeling around in his mouth.  Then he looked down on his plate and said "there it is."  He had one tiny tooth laying on his plate.  Anderson couldn't figure out what was so crunchy in his cinnamon roll-I can't believe he didn't lose that tooth some where in the house.
  • We scurried around to get ready and then we went for our weekly Sams visit.  We needed tortillas and we all do love sams.  The kids shared an icee while we walked around.  Last week we were too late for the samples but this week we were too early for them.  Hopefully, soon we will get it right!  After Sams (we bought baby soap, tortillas, rice krispy treats, fruit roll ups and one other thing that I can't remember) we stopped at Kroger.  By this time, poor Whitman was exhausted-he just wanted to sleep, eat or push the shopping cart.  Seriously, if we were holding him, he would lean down out of our arms to put his hands on the cart handle.  This left me holding him, Robby pushing the cart full of Keaton and Campbell and Anderson pushing the cart with our groceries.  We survived though I was pretty certain that Anderson was going to knock down the wine display!
  • Back at home, we all unloaded the groceries and then it was time for a quick lunch.  Campbell and I then scurried off to the library and then to a birthday party for a friend from church.  Campbell was the only one from church there so she just knew the birthday boy but that didn't stop my girl at all. She loved, loved, loved the party at Little Gym.  On the way home, she told me that she wanted to have her birthday party there but she wanted to invite her brothers and sisters.  
  • Campbell danced, ran, jumped, climbed and was exhausted when we left.  We then ran two more errands and she was so tired she could hardly walk through the store.  We then picked up Reagan who had spent forever at Nonna's house.  They even went shopping again today and my Reagan ate every bit of it up.  She loved looking at clothes and jewelry.  
  • When we made it home, Robby was cooking supper.  Then the kids had baths-yes, I said that correctly.  My shower kiddos had baths-bubbles baths!  Oh, well Reagan didn't have a bubble bath-if you just say the words "bubble bath" she breaks out in hives.  She has some sensory issues-soap, lotion, cream-won't do it at all!  And Whitman didn't get a bath either.  Instead he got locked in the shower until he was nice and clean (someone gave him a bowl full of beans and a spoon for supper!-just imagine the mess)
  • After the kids were clean, we all worked together to clean the house.  After that we watched a bit of tv before bed.  The kids were wired still when we declared to be bedtime.  Keaton has needed to tell us again not to get eaten by dinosaurs, has asked me to cut her toe off (I assume she meant her toenail) and then asked for socks.  

March 28, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
"Why are all those fish looking at me?"

  • Friday morning around here and things were the same except that Anderson wasn't here.  Well, there was a bit more commotion in their bedroom before 7.  Graham was ready to get up so he got up and Reagan told him to get back into bed. He did and then laid there until he figured out a way to sneak out of bed (crawling out the back and then under the beds towards the door.)  This didn't fly well with Reagan at all so she reprimanded him causing the scene to escalate even further.  Now the boy should have just waited the 3 minutes until 7 and the girl should have just been quiet about it but really, that shows some pretty good creativity or some really bad deception.  
  • Robby ran this morning as I passed out breakfast.  Things were going well and we were getting ready for the zoo when Graham asked about playing his kindle.  Robby said yes and I piped in to just remember that we  were going to pick up for a few minutes before we leave and Graham let out a "aaaww."  Which resulted in no kindle which led to a fit which led to cleaning the toy room and no kindle all weekend.  Things for that child just quickly spiraled downhill this morning. 
  • He did come  slinking back to me and asked "do I still get to go to the zoo?"  Well, of course he did and soon we were all loaded up (Robby included) and headed to pick up Anderson, Cash and Grannymom for the zoo.
  • The kids were pretty excited and it does seem like we haven't been there in forever.  We tried to show the animals to Whitman but he never really saw many of them.  He did lean up in his stroller to look at the fish but other than that he never really saw any of them-even the elephants or giraffes.  I don't think he cared though because he was all smiles until he fell asleep.  He just enjoyed being outside and watching all of the people.
  • The favorite of all of the kids were watching the tiger cubs.  They were so playful and full of energy. Anderson even said that he could stay there all day watching them.  But we kept moving and didn't watch them all day because we had the zoo playground to go to.  We hadn't really mentioned it but Keaton sure did look up at Grannymom and say "where is this playground?"  
  • They all played on the playground for a while and then we headed out of the zoo.  We didn't go to far because we just drove down the road to the park.  Years ago, when Campbell was 2 maybe it was summer and she blistered her feet on the ground at that park.  It was really, really bad and that baby still remembered it today.  She brought it up and then later she made sure that we were going to wear shoes today.  
  • I know that she had much more fun playing at the park today than she did the other time.  The kids were everywhere climbing on the rocks and through the tunnels.  Grannymom had brought lunch for us so we ate at the picnic tables and then had cookies that her and Cash had decorated.  After that the kids played for a bit longer and then it was time to head back home.
  • On the way home, we dropped Reagan off at Nonna and Pops' house.  She had a big time over there tonight-a quick stop at Chuck E Cheese to play some games, shopping at the mall, supper at All Aboard and then making forts back at their house.  
  • The rest of us rested this afternoon and then at 5, we all jumped up and headed to go and eat pizza at American Pie.  The pizza was ok and the cheese dip was a bit runny but it was all edible and the kids were good so we did have a good time (better than the sandwiches we would have had at home)  
  • Then we went to the Tractor Supply Co.  As we were getting out, the storm was coming.  The sky was dark but not yet raining.  The lady in the car beside us spoke to me and said "Be careful, the storm is coming this way."  I thanked her and then quickly started checking my phone to see if she meant tornado storm or thunderstorm.  She just meant thunderstorm so we were okay to continue our browsing.  
  • Graham had heard her say this and saw it raining outside and said that maybe we should go.  And Anderson even asked what kind of storm she meant.  Funny how the kids pick up on every little thing.  We assured them that it was just a thunderstorm and we were all fine.  On the way home though it was raining hard and lightening.  Campbell kept asking if it was going to thunder tonight because she said that she wouldn't be able to go to sleep-oh, I am sure that girl is tired, tired from today.  I know that Keaton is because her only nap was in the car and today was her first time to walk and not be strollered around the zoo.
  • Back at home, the kids had showers.  Too many little peoples tummys aren't settled and we wanted to make sure that all bottoms were that too much information?  Sorry, if it's just life.  After the showers, we started talking about their Cake Boss show so I pulled out the pictures of when we were there.  Of course that meant we looked at much of that trips pictures before starting the movie so it was late when bedtime finally rolled around-they were ready for bed and so am I!

March 27, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
Everyone is feeling better!

  • The evening went fairly well last night. Robby slept upstairs again while I hunkered down in our bedroom with the 3 sickies.  At 4, I heard something and sat straight up and yep, Graham had gotten sick.  Poor thing didn't have anything at all in his tummy so there wasn't too much of a mess.  I asked him what I could get for him and he said "something to eat."  I encouraged him towards a drink and went to the garage to get some more gatorade. As soon as I walked in with his cup, 2 other heads bobbed up and asked for some.  I figured that it wouldn't hurt them, so back to the kitchen I went.
  • I laid in bed thinking that it felt most like 1 in the morning and not at all like 4.  Thankfully, I was able to go back to sleep until 6:30.  Yes, I know most people are going strong by then and Robby was probably upstairs running.  But did you know that it is dark at 6:30 in the morning?  Sure is!  It was Whitman-he was on Grannymom time.  I quickly grabbed a diaper and a bottle and sent that boy back to bed.  He adjusted quickly to Tara time and was back to sleep in a flash.  I actually had to wake him up around 8 this morning.
  • The Dennie breakfast menu read poptarts today.  But I wasn't thrilled with that idea of our sensitive tummies.  So I offered toast, waffles and pancakes.  Those kids were so excited about waffles and pancakes (I don't think they remembered we had them last night too!)  They ate and ate and would have eaten more but I cut them off.  Well, not Whitman-he had his waffle and then kept watching me eat my yogurt so I fixed him a bowl and he ate every bit of that and then signed "more."  But he didn't get anymore.
  • We did get a later start this morning and before I knew it, it was Whitman's nap time.  He had started laying his head down in his exersaucer.  He was contained because everyone else was working on their oral report projects.  Graham glued a picture of the Titanic, Anderson drew a tsunami and Reagan drew NYC.  And everyone got to use the "sharpie markers."  This is a big, big deal around here because I keep my sharpies under lock and key!  I did have to make everyone not wearing pajama shirts, take off their shirts to color-this made Campbell's day!
  • We had lunch while I read some and then we were finally have to read "If you Give a Moose a Muffin" book and then we made muffins.  While the muffins cooked, everyone ran around picking up the house and Campbell worked on coloring wrapping paper for her friends birthday party Saturday.  
  • Then we played Chutes and Ladder and SkipBo dice while eating our muffins.  I wasn't paying attention to the time but when I realized that Keaton and Whitman were both crying, I thought I better check to see if it was naptime.  It was and they were sent to bed and the room was suddenly much quieter.  
  • After the game, the kids watched their movies while I served my treadmill time.  Campbell came up and tried to talk to me but I wasn't talking so she came back up with her kindle to play.  Soon Robby was home and we spent most of the time before supper talking about where we were going to put beds, drawers and toys when we split the kids into boy and girls rooms...that isn't happening anytime soon.  We also discussed how long we could wait until we did this-hopefully, it will be a while.  Reagan really wanted to split up lately but then she realized that she would be taking the noisiest two (Keaton and Campbell) with her so she has changed her tune a bit.  We need to get her a good book light and then she would be very pleased with the situation-that we can do.
  • We all enjoyed our supper tonight-fish sticks and hush puppies.  The kids devoured them and then Cash and Dana came over to pick up Anderson to spend the night at their house.  He was pretty excited about this and could hardly sit still at the table.  
  • After they left, Reagan and Graham worked more on their art projects and then the whole family watched a Let's Make a Deal.  The little girls were pretty wound up so it was hard to watch but we all still enjoyed sitting still together for a bit before bed.  Hopefully, the kids will all sleep well tonight and we will too!

March 26, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
Well, some folks feel better...

  • Some days you start the blog at 5 in the morning and this is one of those days.  Any guesses why?  Not one, not two, not three but four Dennie kids have gotten sick tonight.  4 Dennie kids!  We do everything big around here.  Of course that means that Campbell's much awaited and much longed for first visit to the rice depot has to be cancelled but I have made her a promise that I will take her out of school the next time that we go.
  • Let's just recap the evening: midnight-Reagan comes downstairs saying she got sick upstairs.  That girl is the best about getting to the bathroom but she only makes it so far every time-but tile floor is fine with me and she was in my bed and everything was cleaned up in minutes.  I gently woke Robby up and asked if he wanted to leave for the bonus room (selfishly so I could have his spot on the bed) and boy when he wakes up, he will be so glad that he left!
  • At 12:30, Reagan was sick again and by the time that we laid back down down here, Graham called me to help him in the bathroom.  He didn't seem just quite right so I brought him downstairs where he promptly got sick.  He has had a few bathroom trips since then but him and Reagan must be over theirs.
  • Around 3, I laid there thinking that we must be in the clear.  I was having a hard time sleeping waiting to hear if anyone needed my help, listening to the upstairs and downstairs washing machines washing and hearing every sound in this house.   At 4, I heard Anderson call me with those dreaded words.  I high tailed it upstairs to start cleaning and Campbell got down to go to the bathroom.  I should have paid her more attention because she walked back in the room after using the bathroom, and got sick.  Anderson was still in the bathroom waiting on me to get him a spot in my room and he did his best to comfort Campbell.
  • So now, it is 5 and I have 4 kids in my room with towels and trash bags all around.  They are pretty wired-Campbell keeps talking so we may not get back to sleep but hopefully, we will have no more tummy troubles!
  • Thankfully everyone was able to go back to sleep for a few minutes.  Robby did hear me doing laundry and came down to check on Reagan and was quite surprised to see the room full of sickly kiddos.  He said something to the effect of "Wow, you are such an awesome wife letting me sleep through all of this.  I need to buy you a really big and shiny Mother's Day present." or maybe it was nothing like that at all.  He actually said that I should have woken him up but I was just waiting for things to get really bad before I did-I did think about it when I was trying to clean the carpets upstairs but baking soda, dish soap and vinegar hopefully cleaned them well enough.  
  • I was pretty quick this morning to text Grannymom to check on my Whitman and then to call Nonna to find out about Keaton.  Both of my little ones slept perfectly fine so I was pretty relieved about that.  After Robby left for work, the rest of us had some gatorade and toast (well, they had gatorade and toast-I had coke and brownies!)  Then we started a movie to watch while they rested some more.
  • I actually let those kids watch movies ALL day long-seriously, all day long.  They never left my bedroom except to go to the bathroom.  Now my Reagan felt the best but my Graham felt pretty bad.  He was the one going to the bathroom the most and even almost did the other again.  
  • I passed out snacks-toast, applesauce, crackers throughout the day and even read between some movies.  But mostly, I let them watch tv while I tried to clean every nook and cranny of this house.  My main goal was to clean everything that Robby might touch so he won't get the bug.  And in between my cleaning, I hung out with the kids.  And by hung out, I mean slept!  Without my Keaton and Whitman, I had plenty of time for that...well, sleep and eat brownies.
  • Graham had himself a good 2 hour nap and soon after he woke up, Campbell went to sleep.  Anderson's passed on crackers this afternoon but I kept pouring little glasses of gatorade for everyone.  
  • Nonna and Pops brought home Nurse Keaton around 4 and she spent the rest of the afternoon passing out cookies that she made with Nonna and checking on people.  "You okay Campbell? You okay?" "You no want your cracker, AA?" "Momma put it in bag."
  • Campbell must have had one too many crackers because she had another little light episode just when I was convinced that everyone might just sleep happily in their own beds tonight.  But alas it started to look like I might have another night as nurse on call.  
  • Soon my Whitman and Robby were home.  I am so thankful that the kids all decided to get sick on the same day and on a day when Keaton and Whitman were not around.  I would have struggled to manage all day with my sick folks and dealing with my two little ones.  I think Whitman missed his Momma-he just wanted for me to hold him....or maybe his Momma just wanted to hold him.  
  • I heated up some waffles and pancakes for supper.  I called everyone to the kitchen but Anderson didn't come.  Robby went to check on him and walked just as Anderson had another episode.  Thankfully, after that he seemed to perk up.  The others ate quite a bit of waffles and pancakes (more than I would have liked) but they all seemed fine this evening.
  • They watched some more tv and played more on their kindles this evening.  Then I read a few chapters of our book before we put everyone to bed.  I did keep the Campbell, Graham and Anderson in my room for another night.   Robby will sleep well in the bonus room again and I do hope that the rest of us also sleep well. 

March 25, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
The Girls!

  • This morning didn't start out exactly like I had planned...when I woke up 2 boys were in the bathroom and I soon had to go.  The three of us and then Campbell took turns in the bathrooms all morning long.  I think that I did feel the worst and could barely stand through breakfast-thankfully, Robby was around to pass out the grub for me.  
  • I survived until Whitman's morning nap and I found a movie for the kids to watch while I planned on taking a nap.  As I laid there with the kids I became so interested in that silly movie that it took me forever to go to sleep.  Finally, I was able to rest for a bit before lunch time.
  • After my nap, I was feeling much better and so was everyone else so we quickly picked up the house some and then I started on lunch.  I read during lunch and finished one of our spring break books that I had planned to read.  
  • We had our lunch and then I pulled out a craft for us to do.  I had seen on pinterest someone working on geography with a tortilla in the shape of America.  So we added our Mississippi river with some blue candy along with the Great Lakes.  Then we had red hots for Little Rock and Washington DC.  Then there were the oreos for the Appalachian and Rocky mountains.  Then finally some ice cream cone pieces for the desert areas (no, I don't really know their names)  The kids thought that was the coolest thing ever and then they all devoured their creations.
  • Grannymom and Grandpa came over while the kids were all painting.  They picked up Whitman for a night at their house.  It is Whitman's turn to spend the night there and I think he was excited about leaving.  Seriously, he seemed just a bit too happy waving bye to us!  
  • The afternoon went by pretty quickly with a few movies, getting ready for tonight and a bit of straightening around here.  Tomorrow will be a busy day so I should have been more on top of getting things together but oh, well!  
  • Robby came home and we all loaded up to drop Keaton off for her night at Nonna's house.  They stayed busy cooking, eating, playing and Keaton even had a bath.  Keaton was pretty excited about staying with Nonna but she did keep asking Nonna about brownies.
  • I am the one that had the brownies.  We had made them for tonight-we went to help serve for the Motes.  The kids enjoyed seeing some of their friends but Campbell was really disappointed that there wasn't any work for them to do.  She knew that we were going to "serve people" and kept asking "when are we going to serve people?"  I was able to have her help scoop up some cheese dip but there was little work to do.  Hopefully, working tomorrow at the rice depot will please her.  Otherwise, she might just be coming to your house to serve you! 

March 24, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
Spring Break begins with cupcakes!

  • First day of spring break and there was no sleeping in around here.  The boys and Cash were up before 6:30 and as soon as the clock struck 7, Campbell was on my side of the bed telling me that she was going to go upstairs.  Reagan eventually ended up and they all played upstairs for a long, long time.  I actually think that I had to call them down for breakfast.
  • Before breakfast though, I woke poor Whitman (aka poopy) up.  That child, even though we had double diapered him and put him in feetsy pajamas so the poo couldn't escape-it did and another mess was made.  Now my Whitman is the happiest, most content baby there is but when you wake him up, rub cold wipes all over his body, then set him down on the cold shower floor-he just doesn't like it at all!  Today though he did better than yesterday so I guess he is getting used to this little routine.  We don't know what is causing this-he is having more real milk, he might be getting a tooth, maybe he has a bug, who knows!  Just hope that it doesn't last too long.
  • Once he was clean, we did have breakfast and then I cleaned up while the others ran back upstairs to play. Campbell did stay down with me and we read a book about cupcakes and then just made ourselves some cupcakes.  That girl loves to cook and was so proud to make them all by herself.  At our house, the kids do get to bake a lot but they are usually not by themselves when doing it-it was sheer delight to get to pour every single thing into the pan and then to be the first and only one to stir it.
  • I let the kids all play while the cupcakes cooked and when they were cooling, I had them come downstairs to work on something-they had to measure different color pieces of paper to make a rainbow (so sneaky-throwing that math stuff in during spring break)  Then they worked on decorating their cupcakes.  My Anderson ended up with more sprinkles on his napkins than he used on the mounds of icing that he put on top of his cupcakes.
  • With Cash here and the kids playing together happily, with no home school to be done and with no Keaton around, I had some extra time today.  I didn't use it wisely but it was nice to have-at one point, I even wrote Robby saying that I was a bit bored.  I had finished my list and didn't know what to do next!
  • But all too soon, it was lunch time so I made lunches and then read during lunch.  I am reading some Shel Silverstein poems and the kids love, love them.  But they also love this book about Benjamin Franklin that I am reading too.  As soon as I had finished reading, those kids jumped up from their stools and ran back upstairs to play.
  • Around 2, Dana brought home our Keaton.  She had had a wonderful time.  This is what I was able to get out of Keaton about her stay-she had doughnuts for breakfast, went to the dollar store and bought a doll, slept with Dana and the dog and had her fingernails and toenails painted.  I think that she was ready to go back pretty soon after arriving here-I think she liked being doted on!
  • The kids watched movies this afternoon while I walked on the treadmill.  Then it was time for me to scurry around to make supper.  And before too long, Robby was home with groceries and we were eating supper.  The late afternoons just seem to fly by around here-one minute it is 3 and the next it is after 5.  
  • Supper was my one-pot spaghetti which has always turned out perfect...until today.  I don't know if I over or undercooked my noodles but they were a bit chewy-edible but chewy.  And I also do not know what we make cornbread and give it to the kids to eat.  I do not think there is a messier food than cornbread (along with shredded cheese and rice).  After supper, Robby took the kids upstairs to pick up the toy room and it took me just as long to clean the kitchen as it took them to pick up a zillion and 29 toys upstairs.  
  • When that ordeal was over, we all sat around to watch a Let's Make a Deal.  Whitman was tired so he didn't get to watch it all and Keaton and Campbell couldn't find a spot to be still so they moved the entire hour but that meant they were tired when bedtime rolled around.  Today was a pretty good start to spring break!

March 23, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
Starting out spring break with Cash!

  • We were moving along splendidly this morning getting ready.  I was though a bit surprised when Robby said that we really needed to leave in 25 minutes so he could run by Pops' house before church to look at his computer.  But I was up for the challenge and soon 5 kids were dressed and I was working on Keaton's hair while Robby went into wake Whitman up.
  • Poor Whitman has been having some explosive diapers in the mornings and this one beat all else that we had seen lately.  Robby announced what all he was seeing and smelling while I quickly tried to finish Keaton's hair.  No telling what poor Keaton's hair looked like this morning.
  • We hosed Whitman off the best we could and called him good.  No, not really, Robby fully dressed and ready to go scrubbed that boy pretty well.  While he did that, I took the pack n play outside and scrubbed it down.  Soon Robby was calling for everyone to get in the car and we still made it out of the house in time for Robby to fix Pops' computer-hopefully.  
  • We were even at church early enough that Campbell was able to go in and see Grannymom and Grandpa before going to her class.  Half of me wishes that she went to big church with us now and the other half knows better.  I do just love having the kids sit with us in church...though we didn't have worship care this morning so we just went right back to church again sitting all by ourselves and that was pretty nice too.
  • We had lunch at Grannymom's house and I ended up at the kids table.  I only sat in there because I needed to feed Whitman.  Usually we are more split up between adults and kids but today we were not because all of the kids wanted to be together (well, Campbell did end up with the grown ups because she wanted to sit with Robby)  Anyway, I kind of liked the kids table-I laughed and laughed at those crazy kids.  
  • The kids had some time to play before we headed home.  I will just run down how many folks did what this afternoon and you can just guess who did what-1 ran on the treadmill, 3 napped, 4 watched tv.  I will you give you a clue, the one that ran on the treadmill was the one who has lost 17 pounds and has promised his kids that we will all go bowling when he loses 17 more.  Reagan suggested that we give him broccoli for Whitman's birthday party.
  • Soon Cash came over to spend the night and Keaton went with Dana to spend the night over there.  My Keaton loves her some Dana and was so excited to go.  She told me exactly what to pack in her bag and stood looking out the window until Dana came.  Keaton practically ran to get into Dana's car and happily waved as they drove away.
  • The boys played and played together-some air hockey but mostly making forts and playing army.  There was a game of "house" that involved Reagan and Campbell being cheerleaders (though that had a huge fight about how would hold which set of pompoms) and the boys had their shirts off and were  play wrestling.  I just let that slide and thankfully no one got injured.
  • Robby whipped up breakfast for supper as I finished helping Campbell make a purse.  That child was so proud of sewing that purse herself-wish I could have captured her smile when she realized that she was "sewing."
  • The kids were really happy with supper and all of their plates were cleaned.  Campbell and Robby played with Whitman for awhile and then we put him to bed.  That boy is so close to starting to walk all over this house.  I pulled my dreaded gate out of the attic tonight.
  • Then our Sunday night ice cream truck was pulled out and the kids had their pick of ice cream before we watched a tv show before bed.  The boys are sleeping in their bedroom on the floor and Keaton and Reagan are in our room on the floor.  Everyone is quiet right now so maybe they are all asleep!

March 22, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
Hear me roar!

  • Well, today turned out to be a much calmer day around here and for that we were very grateful.  It did take Robby forever to fall asleep last night and pretty much as soon as he did get to sleep, Whitman started fussing.  I got up to get him some more milk (I'm a softee) and he fell asleep before I made it back to his room.  So I walked back to bed and on the way, I rubbed my eye and immediately felt something in it-and it hurt!  I tried to flush it out with saline solution but after 15 minutes of that, it was still hurting like crazy.  I debated waking up Robby but finally whatever was in my eye moved and stopped hurting and I was able to lay down and fall asleep.  
  • When I woke up this morning, Robby was running and both boys were playing their kindles at the foot of my bed.  Before I could roll over Campbell had joined me and Keaton was not too far behind (yes, someone has to get her out of her crib-Reagan told me today that when Keaton starts asking someone to get her out, Reagan just lays really still like she is asleep)
  • I didn't stick in bed too long because before Robby had finished his run, I had done some work myself-folded loads of laundry, emptied the dishes, opened the blinds and prepared the toothbrushes for the morning.  And then I started on the messiest job of all-poor Whitman was covered in poo!  But Robby was about to jump in the shower, so he happily let Whitman play in the shower.  Soon my big man and my little man were clean and everyone was starting on breakfast.
  • Robby made cinnamon rolls for breakfast this morning and the kids devoured them.  I wasn't too sure about Whitman's stomach after his earlier mess so I just gave him some applesauce but I am pretty sure that that baby knew he wasn't getting the same breakfast as the others.
  • Next I did my treadmill time and while Robby cleaned all of the floors in the house (all of them!)  Keaton joined me for my last 10 minutes-she just sat leaning up against the wall staring at me.  Sometimes she is just the cutest little thing.  When I finished, she begged to have her turn so she and then Reagan walked on the treadmill.  Keaton calls it the "mover" and kept asking to go on it again.
  • I got ready and so did everyone else.  Nonna and Pops ran back over to pick up some pants and after they left, we had lunch...on the patio.  Robby sure wasn't going to let the kids eat on his freshly cleaned floor (Actually tonight, he had fallen asleep so I snuck downstairs to make supper and feed the kids because I was afraid that he was going to make us eat outside again tonight and it is cold out there!)
  • We then loaded up and went to Savers.  The boys both found new blue jeans (Anderson has been asking for some-he didn't have any blue jeans this winter!  Oh, he did have other pants just not blue jeans)  And my boys even found a pack of football cards for 2 dollars so they told their Daddy that they would both pay a dollar for them-oh, they were so, so excited about this.  
  • Then I ran into Walmart while Robby parked at Sams and then we all perused the aisles of Sams eating samples and picking up a few things.  Then we went to Grannymom's house for a few minutes before heading to Kroger.  I did some speed shopping while Robby bought gas and then we headed home.  
  • Robby went back to the treadmill while the others watched a movie.  We had tried to put Whitman to bed but he didn't want to go to sleep so I took him upstairs with me.  Eventually, Keaton and Campbell found us and we played while Robby finished up.
  • Then it was supper and the kids did some push ups and sit ups-always hysterical.  And then we had some candy!  Anderson has been asking us all day if Shark Tank was new so we all watched it tonight while they had their candy.  It really was a good, good day!

March 21, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
Not the day we had planned...

  • Everyone slept well last night and the kids started trickling downstairs right after 7.  The past few mornings Whitman has been waking up around that time too.  He used to sleep until after I had my shower but not anymore and that means that my showers have become few and far between.  (Don't worry, if you see me soon, I had a really good shower tonight so that should last a few days!)
  • Robby was off today and had joked with me about not doing school today but there was no way that I could skip school for no good reason-it would mess up my schedule (isn't that horrible of me? I need to relax about my silly schedule!)  But I did let the kids skip a few things so everyone was finished with school by 10 just in time to head outside with Robby.
  • Today was a yard day and our plans were to burn a few leaves...and boy did we! It was not really windy when we started but soon it was a bit windy.  We would stop adding to our pile and were really watching our fire but we should have stopped when the wind continued (mistake 1) and of course, as we have told the kids over and over, we should have had a hose nearby (mistake 2). 
  • You can probably guess where this is going?  Yep, fire jumped our road into the wooded area in front of our house.  The leaves there were so thick we couldn't make a barrier so 911 was called.  (Yes, the 911 lady thought I was a hysterical nut and I so need to practice dialing 911)  Neighbor man came out to fight the fire that went into his yard and we scorched an old wooden shed of the other neighbors too.  
  • Within minutes, the fireman (God bless them) were there and things were under control.  Now what were my kids doing at this time?  Well, they had started all out in the yard eating lunch in the back.  Whitman was in his high chair.  We hollered at them to get water and that they did-some buckets, mostly cups-like dixie cup size!  
  • My big kids were pretty worried (we had just seen a house that had burned when we were at the McGuires house).  And who wouldn't be worried-Robby and I were yelling at each other since we couldn't see each other from the smoke.  (Campbell wasn't too scared-she tried to chat with Robby as he was hooking up the hose-she told him all about the firemen coming to school yesterday)  But the kids were excellent though-I couldn't have been prouder.  
  • After the fireman showed up, I did go inside to use the restroom and found my babies all in the living room watching the firemen.  Anderson ran up to me to apologize for them messing up the kitchen floor while getting water-and I tell you the floor was a mess-a muddy trail of water.  Of course I told them that was completely alright and I would clean it all up later.
  • Soon everything was fine and really for an out of control leaf fire, it couldn't have gone much better-no one was hurt, no real property was damaged (just the neighbors dilapidated shed and lock), we met 2 neighbors and lots of nice firemen.  
  • And of course, Robby and I feel pretty stupid but what bothers us the most is the kids-we certainly don't ever want to put them in a situation that they could have been hurt (or us) and we don't ever want them to be scared.  So needless to say, everyone was given some extra cuddles and we have both talked and talked to them about how we were a bit scared too, about how God took care of us and provided the firemen and thanked them for their help.  
  • Robby and I really wanted to call it quits after our fire was out but we pressed on and started another fire (kidding!  We aren't always the brightest but we do learn from our mistakes!)  We did keep raking and just hauled our leaves to the bottom of our yard and dumped them over the fence into the woods.  So we were able to accomplish our goal of cleaning up the front yard.
  • The kids went back and forth between inside and outside for the rest of the afternoon.  They rode their bikes, fell off their scooters, swang, rode on the trailer and when we were finally finished in the yard, the kids were rewarded with a soccer game with Robby and me.  
  • That is truly a big deal and we didn't just play a bit, we played to the first team to 7-thought we would never finish that game.  I hung up the baby swing and Whitman was able to watch us and Keaton was eating some of her cookies left over from snack and since they were happy, our game just went on and on and on!
  • After the game (Reagan and I won-Campbell was on our team some but she spent a lot of time picking bark off of a tree-hope she does some better during the soccer games!) the kids had popsicles while Robby had his shower.  Then the kids came in to shower off and after they were clean, I jumped in.  Robby and I tried to think  of something to eat but couldn't think of anything so he loaded everyone up to go and get pizza (yes, we had it last night but pizza is our comfort food!)
  • Just as they were leaving, Nonna and Pops came over to show us some clothes they had bought for the boys so they visited with me while Robby drove through the drive thru with everyone else.  The kid enjoyed seeing Nonna and Pops and everyone was pretty perfect during supper-I think they were too tired to do much anything other than eat.  
  • We put them to bed and not a peep was heard from my Dennie crew.  Not really sure what all we will do tomorrow-hopefully the big plans tomorrow consist of cleaning the kitchen floor, vacuuming and maybe even a bit of reading for school...maybe even a movie night!

March 20, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
Homemade Pizza Night!

  • Campbell was so excited to got o school this morning because she was the snack helper and that means that she also got a special snack helper napkin with butterflies and flowers on it.  Yep, it is the little things in life.
  • And Campbell may have been ready to go to school this morning but Robby and I had both been hitting our snooze buttons on our phones.  I was running so behind that I didn't even manage a shower today.  Robby was hurrying around as well because he was working at work today instead of at home.
  • It was poptart breakfast day so the kids were able to do their school work while eating and they were on fire today.  Reagan and Graham were finished by 10 and Anderson was done soon after.  We had time to read our science and then Reagan and I worked on another project.  She received a hook rug to make for her birthday (yes, over 6 months ago) and we finally figured out how to do it.  She worked and worked on it and then quickly switched over to her bracelet making.
  • Keaton helped me accomplish a few chores before Whitman woke up from his morning nap.  Then it was lunch time and the kids were pretty calm so I read and read to them.  After lunch, we worked on our chores and then everyone had some time to play while Whitman and I had a walking lesson. 
  • Speaking of lessons-I guess that Ms. Patricia had a lesson with Keaton about pottying last night because that girl stayed dried all day long.  I am going to cross my fingers that tomorrow can be half that good.  
  • Nonna picked Campbell up from school and Campbell was so excited to bring home cookies for our snack that they had made.  Soon we had passed her snack out to the everyone and they were happily doing their things-movies, tower building, bracelet making and napping...and I headed out.
  • I dropped off my garage sale stuff at Dana's house and ended up spending more than I will probably make.  I need to make 25 dollars (yep, I really just have junk) so I can cover my garage shopping debt, I need an index card divider and I told Robby I would buy him a pair of shoelaces.  I really do have such big plans, don't I?
  • When I made it home, the kids and Nonna had just walked outside.  So I stayed outside with everyone for awhile.  Campbell was already pretty fussy (school days are long for her) but I had told everyone I would play soccer. Graham and Campbell both cried when they weren't on my team, Keaton cried when I wouldn't pick her up, Whitman soon was bored and started crying, Reagan cried when she missed the goal and Anderson then cried when I said that my crybabies were all going in.
  • I had pretty much calmed everyone down and had most showers over and they kids had semi helped pick up the house by the time that Robby made it home.  Tonight was make your own pizza night-the kids remembered what to do but it is still a mess.  But they had a blast so it was well worth it.  Tonight we even added a cinnamon struessal pizza to our meal-it was delicious.
  • After supper, the kids played for a few more minutes and then it we watched some basketball for a bit before putting everyone to bed.  

March 19, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
The oldest two!

  • Wednesday morning so the kids were up and getting dressed at a decent time (though I was the one a bit on the slow side this morning-I can hit snooze for 45 minutes straight!)  Robby served up breakfast while I finished getting ready.  Then he left and we quickly gathered the trash before jumping in our van for Bible study.
  • Bible study was fine today but I did have a bit of excitement at the end.  Whitman is usually the only one in his class so they will occasionally move him to another room.  Well today, when I walked by his room, the lights were off and the door was closed so I started checking the nearby rooms trying to find him.  No one knew where he was so I went to ask the lady at the front.  She didn't know that they had moved him and then I rechecked his class and there he was in the dark room snoozing away while his teachers whispered as not to wake him.  Even though my head knew that he was still there somewhere, my heart was pounding like crazy.  
  • Next stop was Beebee's place.  Today the kids were the best that they have ever been there so I was very much relieved.  I was expecting the worst since Keaton and Campbell fussed most of the way there.  The kids politely ate at the table with Beebee and then they even stayed and chatted for awhile.  Then Graham and Keaton walked across the building to go and get Beebee's stash of candy.  (I always get tickled thinking about my 5 and 2 year old traipsing across a nursing home together)
  • The big 3 played checkers across the room while I tried to visit with Beebee.  I can not hear a word she says-I guess I am the one losing my hearing and not my 90 year old grandmother.  She seems to hear everything that the kids say.  Campbell and Keaton sat at the table with Beebee and played with some legos that are in the room that we are in.  Finally, we rolled Beebee back to her room and headed back home.
  • Once home, Keaton and Whitman went to the bed and I unloaded the car.  Then the others watched tv and I went to work cleaning the bathrooms.  Campbell begged me to help and usually I would but Wednesdays are long days and I really just wanted to quiet for a few minutes so I declined.  Later, I found Campbell asleep on the couch-I probably should have joined her!
  • Soon we had supper and finally finished our Brighty of the Grand Canyon book.  The kids were pretty thrilled that we finished it and I am looking forward to getting to the other pile of books that I want to read to them.  Before long, Robby was home from work and we were loading back up for church.
  • Church was fine tonight and very soon, we were back home eating a snack before bed.  Keaton is the one having a hard time tonight calming down-she has needed a new diaper and then called for more socks.  Every time we tuck her in, she says "don't let the dinosaurs bite you, ok?" which is her take on don't let the bed bugs bite.

March 18, 2014

(click here for today's pictures)
Cheesing it up with Dad!

  • School day for Campbell and she was ready to put her clothes on.  I, on the other hand, was not so ready-she wanted a short sleeve shirt and all of hers that I left in her draw from the summer are now just too small.  Not only do I think that she has gotten a bit bigger but I know that she is taller (probably 2 inches since her December birthday)
  • Everyone was up to see Campbell off this morning.  We wave at them from our big window and then we all run (me not so much) to the front door and the kids bolt out of it to wave some more.  Pretty much every single morning we do this.  My Whitman was really into the waving today.
  • School went much smoother today.  Since Campbell was gone, Keaton was much calmer.  And for some reason she was a much better pottier this morning (no accidents this morning vs. yesterday's 5 morning accidents)  
  • And my Anderson was Mr. Speedyfast doing his school work (must have been because of Robby's new ipad game).  He finished without any complaints-his good attitude must have been because the tooth fairy did come and leave him a dollar.  (The tooth fairy did wonder if she had given Reagan more for his first tooth and the tooth fairy sent her assistant because she wanted to make sure that Graham did not try to spy like he did last time!)
  • After school, we read science and a few other things and then we played a game.  The kids so enjoy games so I do try to play a game at least once a week (yep, it is on the list!)  While there was a lull in the game, I taught them how to arm wrestle and since we did that, I thought that leg wrestling was the next logical step so we did that too.  Poor Reagan is such a weakling!
  • We had lunch and finished one book and only have 1 chapter left on Brighty to read.  We now have made our rough draft of our summer road trip and will be seeing some Laura Ingals Wilder places so I think we will have to start reading all of her books-think I can get them read by this summer? Ha! They do have some picture books that we might just have to settle for-that would be fine though and Campbell and Keaton would probably enjoy them more.
  • After doing our chores, Reagan and Graham started working on bracelets-Graham had Reagan make him a big one and she made herself one too.  I bought more bands the other day and Graham is already worried about Reagan running out and needing more.  I keep having to remind him that I will buy more if they need me to.
  • Nonna and Pops showed up during movie time and rescued me from the treadmill.  The kids were happy to see them and even managed to sneak in a game of duck, duck, goose and who knows what else with Nonna and Pops.  They visited for awhile and after they left, we scurried around and left to pick up Campbell.
  • Grandpa had made a bit of a shelf for the van so I helped him put it in.  Whitman showed off his new walking skills-he can take a few steps now.  Today in the living room, he stood up by himself and took at least 5 steps.  I was near him and couldn't believe it-the way he started I really thought he was going to just walk all the way across the room.  The kids played ball outside and when Robby came, we headed to Arby's to eat.
  • Arby's is my kids favorite restaurant-we are classy folks!  And when Robby bought the chocolate croissant, I decided that Arby's was now my favorite restaurant too.  We then drove to the grocery store.  Robby ran in and I sat in my van with the kids while he was in the store-yes, I could have just driven home but it was worth the 20 minute wait in the parking lot to have some help unloading.  And that way, my crew was ready to help us unload the groceries-we have finally figured out how to use their power for good and not evil (occasionally!)
  • We watched a bit of the Hogs play and then sent the kids to bed.  Anderson was a bit bummed that he couldn't stay up to see it all but we promised that we would tell him who won the game.   

March 17, 2014-Happy St. Patrick's Day!

(click here for today's pictures)
St. Patrick's Day Cookies!

  • Of course, I had laid out the kids clothes last night, not realizing that it was St. Patrick's Day, so there were no green clothes laid out.  I probably could have kept the fact that it was St. Patrick's Day to myself and no one would have ever known!  
  • I did tell everyone though and even poured green milk fro breakfast.  Campbell isn't very adventurous with things like that (she will not even drink chocolate milk) so she sure didn't try it.  But everyone else was very pleased with their green milk and Reagan was a bit upset with me that I didn't pour some for Whitman-I didn't want to clean up green spit up. 
  • We started school and it was fairly uneventful.  Anderson does not like doing his phonics and math first and gets upset with me most every day since I do make him do those two things first.  But he doesn't stay irritated for long and soon starts working hard.  
  • My Campbell is still loving doing her reading book.  She asked to do it first thing this morning and we did it while I fed Whitman.  Keaton sat beside us and looked at picture albums while we worked.
  • After school and reading science (along with a few poems-I am branching out!), we had our lunch.  I had already pulled out bread but then realized that supper tonight would be sandwiches so I quickly shifted gears and opened my last cans of ravioli-a Dennie favorite.  The kids devoured that up as I read and then we started on the  main event-making green cookies!
  • While those cookies were baking, we did some chores.  And after the chores were finished, the kids each decorated 2 cookies-one to eat then and one to eat during soccer practice.  I had green sprinkles all over my kitchen!
  • The afternoon was like most except Anderson came up to me and said "I think I can pull my tooth today."  His lower permanent tooth came in a few weeks ago scooting his baby tooth forward and it gradually became loser and loser.  I told him to pull it and he said he couldn't.  I asked if I could try and he said yes which was surprising because he usually won't let me touch it.  I was able to grab his tooth and with a quick yank, it was out.  He looked at me and said "you didn't get it, did you?"  He was delighted and immediately had me text Robby.
  • I then spent most of the afternoon working on gathering things for practice tonight-supper for all, blanket to sit on, cleats, shin gaurds and the list went on.  I should have packed gloves, hats, blankets and hot chocolate because Whitman and I were cold, cold!  
  • Campbell loved her first practice and Robby said that her and Graham did really well.  Reagan had a great time in during her practice and it looked like her team had things together.  Anderson played soccer on the other side of the fields while waiting on his practice and was pretty tired by the time his practice started.  He did great during his practice and the rest of the Dennies even got to scrimmage with his team (not Campbell though and she wasn't too pleased but she did come and sit with Keaton, Whitman and I in the van.  
  • Once at home, it was showers for everyone and then some crackers before bed.  The kids were worn out tonight and still a bit chilly after their showers-I even found Graham and Campbell snuggled up in my bed while waiting on everyone else to go up to their bed!