February 28, 2015

Building a Monster Truck!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • We woke up to the sounds of the boys and Cash in the living room playing their kindles.  I don't think that it was crazy early but it is amazing how loud they can be just sitting on the couch.  It was fine though and we went on back to sleep for a few minutes.
  • Soon though we fed all the boys-waffles and pancakes-and then loaded up for our day out.  Robby said that he did have a brief moment of panic after we had left the house thinking that we had left Keaton.  I hope someone would have said something though but there was no worries because she was at Grannymom's house.
  • Our first stop was to drop Cash off and pick Reagan, Campbell and Lilli up-he had a basketball game early this morning so we made a switcheroo with him for Lilli.  Then we ran in to pick Keaton up from Grannymom's house-yesterday, we backed into Grannymom's driveway so maybe Whitman wouldn't notice where we were (he still did) but today, he was fine with pulling out of Grannymom's driveway because she gave him a bit of candy.  
  • We went to Lowes to build monster trucks.  They had a kids clinic and it was pretty neat-this was our first one to go to but we will definitely go again sometime.  You had to pre-register so Lilli wasn't able to do one but we sure needed her help with Campbell.  Keaton was too young to do one but she didn't care because Reagan helped her hammer a nail or two.  (My Keaton had the most beautiful smile but for the last few months, she has lost her smile-hopefully it will come back soon!)
  • Everyone had lots of fun hammering their trucks and if you can imagine 30 or more kids hammering then you understand the headaches that Robby and I left with (not really)  Whitman was a perfect little boy and sat in the shopping cart watching and listening to all of the noise.  After we left there, we drove across town to do a few mystery shops and then we went in and ate at Wendys.  The kids drew quiet a few looks at the restaurant since they were spread out across 3 different tables-but we managed to get out the place without spilling any drinks (a win!)
  • Then I was the one who was dropped off at the grocery store-we needed to do some major shopping so the thought was that I could do some speed shopping while Robby and the kids dropped Lilli off and then they came back and joined me.  Any few minutes kidless at the store is very helpful and today, we had a big task-using one specific coupon: spend 200 dollars and get 20 off.  I started keeping up with what I had spent and was at about 60 dollars total when I ran into Robby who had just arrived and pottied with the kids and was already on his way to filling his buggy.  Surprisingly, even with out 6 distractions we were pretty close to 200-208 before taxes.  And then with our coupons the bill was closer to 160!  Can't beat that!...except on the way home, Robby and I thought of at least 3 things that we should have bought but had forgotten about.
  • Once at home, we unloaded the groceries while the kids played.  Now we knew that we should have had those kids helping up but sometimes things are just easier to do them yourselves! Things were all put up in time for the Razorback ballgame.
  • Robby, Campbell and I went to the bonus room to watch the ballgame.  Even though Robby was rooting the hogs on the first little bit, Campbell and I were sound asleep well before halftime.  There is just something about that bonus room that makes me fall asleep pretty instantly and my Campbell and I could have probably slept there all evening long.
  • When the game was over, we had supper and ended it with rice krispy treats for dessert. Then it was shower time for everyone and as usual lately, time for the wii.  Tonight Campbell played a few rounds and then her and Keaton and I played a few board games.  Whitman sat right beside us lining up pieces and trying his best to play along with us.  At the end of the evening, everyone fell into bed from exhaustion after such a long day. 

February 27, 2015

AH, I love you too!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Around 3 I heard lots of talking over the monitor.  I quickly went up the stairs to calm whoever was awake before everyone else was woken up.  It was Campbell who was awake-she said that she had a bad dream.  I asked what it was about and she matter of factly said that Graham went to jail.  A few weeks ago, her dream was that her Uncle Jason went to jail so I wasn't too surprised.  But for some reason this just caused me to get tickled thinking of my little Grahammy in jail.  That probably didn't help in the calming of Campbell.
  • For some reason, my kids woke up at 6:20 this morning. Robby eventually called Reagan downstairs and she climbed into bed with us.  I think everyone else thought that she was in trouble but we just had her come downstairs so she could rest more since she is the only one who wanted to be sleeping-well, her, Robby and I.
  • We had our breakfast and then started on school.  The second day in a row of no phonics and no math during school so that just makes my crew very happy.  The kids did quite a bit of work together-matching states and capitols and a speed round of geography.  Campbell and Keaton even had some work together-matching letters, being read to by Anderson and putting the alphabet in order with Anderson.  I know that the more people who are in school here at the house will be more for me to do...or maybe I need to work more on delegating some of the teaching to my big kiddos.  They have already taken over reading Campbell and Keaton's weekly reader each week and with Campbell starting kindergarten I will have to really think about what others can help with.
  • At 11, I put Whitman in bed for a quick nap and the rest of us migrated up to the bonus room.  The kids climbed on the couch and all covered up (It was cold in our house today-I turned up the heat once but should have even more.  I did have no idea how cold it really was outside).  I read to everyone for about an hour and it was one of those fleeting moments during the day that everything was pretty perfect.
  • Lunch was next with more reading.  After everyone helped pick up the kitchen, we did a Picasso face.  Each month we have an artist to do and one kid does their drawing/painting on a canvas.  I picked Anderson to do the canvas and his drawing was so gentle that it was even hard to see his picture.  On the other hand, Campbell's was bright and bold-I did draw a few lines for her though.  Next month will be Jackson Pollock so that will be fun...and a mess!
  • The afternoon seemed to drag and drag.  The kids did their normal thing but Whitman didn't cooperate with me.  He refused to take his nap so I moved him to the bonus room so he could watch me on the treadmill.  I was watching a decorating show but that seemed to un-nerve Whitman so I switched to a cartoon.  This quickly brought Campbell and Keaton up the stairs for the reminder of my treadmill time-the only reason I even got on that blasted thing was because it was freezing in this house and I needed to warm up.
  • My Campbell and Reagan really thought that afternoon was dragging too-they were anxiously waiting to go to Lilli's house for the evening and my boys were waiting on Cash to come over.  As we were about to pull out of the driveway, I remembered my phone in the house.  I went to get it and saw Grannymom had left a message about Keaton spending the night at her house.  I threw some clothes in a bag and had one more happy little girl.
  • We dropped off the girls and picked up Cash.  Then we went to eat-the big boys were perfect.  But the music playing above us really spoke to Whitman-he sang and sang!  Thankfully, we were only at Wendys so the crowd wasn't bothered.  I would put my hand over his mouth and he would laugh and then sing louder.  That child talked and talked the entire time we were there-mainly he talked to a lady at a neighboring table.  When we got him home, I kiddingly looked at him and told him that his daddy and I wanted to talk to him about his behavior at the restaurant.  He leaned his head back and just laughed!  Yep, he soon went to bed!
  • Anderson, Graham and Cash started playing the wii just about as soon as they walked in the house and we have not heard from them at all.  I am even debating making them go to bed (not really).  I do wonder how long they could stay up playing that silly thing-probably as long as I could stay up on the computer each night.  They are having a good time so all is well here!

February 26, 2015

I'll show you my muscles!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • I checked my phone about a zillion times this morning hoping that the freezing fog we saw last night caused some major havoc on the roads early this morning. But much to Campbell's delight, she was able to go to school this morning. Keaton was just as excited getting to take an early morning run to drop Campbell off. And poor Whitman didn't get to go this time-I think Robby was trying to avoid all of the questions about what happened to the child.
  • Whitman's eye still looks pretty bad but it doesn't bother him at all-except when we try to put the medicine on it.  That doesn't even hurt him but he doesn't like us touching so near his eye. The kids are still so worried about his eye and continue to look at him and then shudder or shake their head in disgust!
  • We did school and since the snow days have caused us to get a bit ahead of schedule so this was a rather light day and ended with all of the kiddos (Keaton and Whitman included) sitting around the school room computer watching a video (a completely non-educational video). After this video, we all got ready and everyone headed out to pick up Campbell.
  • Campbell had a wonderful day of school and was pretty excited to go and see Beebee.  Robby dropped us off and ran a few errands.  Beebee was happy to see everyone no matter how wild they were.  Whitman did sit quietly on Beebee's bed and eat candy for half the time that we were there and the other time he would try to sneak out the door and run to the hallway-Robby reminded me that last time I was there, I swore that I would strap that child in his stroller the next time we went back and I didn't listen to him.  
  • When Robby arrived, he had lunch for the kids to eat in the car while I ran in to the library to pick up a few books.  My little run into the library took forever-the nice library ladies were looking for a book for me and they were working so hard that I couldn't just say not to worry about it.  Since the kids had food and a movie they were perfectly fine and probably never even realized that the car was stopped.
  • Back at home, Whitman had a nap and Keaton and Campbell had been begging to take a nap together.  And who am I to deny that request?  I tucked them both into the same bed and after switching beds 3 more times, I do think that they did have a nap-or at least they were quiet upstairs for about 2 hours.  Downstairs, Graham, Anderson and Reagan did 3 science lessons-we now have caterpillars and baby ladybugs (officially called Ladybird Beetles) around here.
  • The afternoon, as always, seemed to fly by and soon we were dishing up supper.  The kids ate more corn than I had expected-even Whitman had some (miracle).  Next up were a few showers-Whitman has gotten pretty adamant on not being in the shower by himself-not even for a single second.  When one person steps out, the next one has to be ready to step in.  Our change over wasn't so seamless when Keaton came in so out Whitman came and that left Keaton all alone in the shower.  She was so upset that no one was taking a shower with her an cried pretty much the entire time-she was the last unshowered Dennie so there was no one else to join her.  I briefly thought of sticking Whitman back in the shower but lately, our routine after his showers is for me to chase his naked self around the house a few times before catching him and putting his clothes on him.  
  • After this, we all headed upstairs for a bit of wii time.  Reagan was the one who was on fire tonight but nothing gets everyone all crazy acting like playing a round of tennis.  Graham and I won one game but Reagan and Anderson beat us on the other ones.  Needless to say, everyone was wound up when it was bedtime.
  • During our Bible reading tonight, Robby started and I really felt like I had heard the story before.  But right now, our nightly Bible reading is corresponding to our daily morning Bible reading in Mark which is also about the same as the kids Sunday school lessons and Wednesday night activities.  Then after reading a few more sentences, Robby did realize that he had read the same story last night and we moved to the next story-one that we have also heard in many different places!

February 25, 2015-Another Snow Day!

Do you want to build a snowman?

(click here for today's pictures)

  • We woke up around 7:30 this morning to the sounds of something or another.  We couldn't figure out what it was and it almost sounded like someone was in the kitchen stealing our silverware. Seriously, that it what I thought it was. Knowing that it wasn't the Silverware Thief, I did walk down the hall to see who was making that noise-Graham was sitting on the kitchen table making a domino track.  He was trying to be quiet but falling dominoes are just not that quiet.  He didn't see me so I quietly snuck back to my bed....
  • Until I heard those horrible words "Mom, Keaton just threw up."  And up the stairs I flew and found Keaton sitting in her bed with Campbell, Graham and Reagan standing around her.  They were all telling her something: "It will be okay" and "Momma's here."  She didn't have much in her little tummy but she did dry heave (sorry) a few more times this morning.  
  • I made her a little pallet on the floor in our room and held her for a bit before going to help Graham with his dominoes.  Then the rest of us had pop tarts for breakfast-I had all the dishes laid out for waffles and pancakes but the kids convinced me to switch to tomorrow's menu of poptarts.  
  • After our Bible reading and breakfast, the kids started on school.  I moved Keaton's pallet into the hallway so she could be right in the middle of the action.  After I let Whitman down from his chair, he walked over to Keaton who was laying on her pallet.  He squatted down and said "wha wong? wha wong?"  How sweet!
  • Robby and I had almost convinced ourselves that Keaton didn't have a tummy bug but had the flu.  She was a bit warm and we tried to take her temperature (which we never do) but couldn't get an accurate reading.  This was enough for me to be on edge this morning and not enjoy the beginnings of the snow.  By that time though I should have realized Keaton didn't have the flu and I am not too sure she had the stomach bug.  Campbell and she watched a few movies and Keaton acted pretty pitiful but the entire time she was begging me for something to eat or drink. I would give her a tiny medicine cup half filled with water and that would buy me sometime. Around 10, I did give her some yogurt and she asked for another bowl.  Then at lunch, she convinced me (I'm a sucker for a sick kid) that she needed to eat her breakfast poptart for lunch.  I let her and she had 2 pop tarts, chips, water and a cookie-that child made a remarkable recovery.
  • The rest of us did our school work and before we knew it, it was time for lunch.  During lunch I read a little and then asked who exactly was going outside to play.  Keaton was the first to say that she wasn't going to go which was fine but I kind of wanted to go outside for a bit today since this would be the last snowfall for a while (surely).  So her and Whitman and I stayed inside until Keaton saw Reagan leading the charge in making a snowman.  When Keaton saw that, we had to bundle up and head outside too.
  • When I was getting Keaton and Whitman zipped up, I thought that I probably should have kept count of how many coats I have zipped up in the last few days.  Whitman was so happy to be outside and took off running as soon as his feet hit the snow.  We made it outside in time to take some pictures and my Reagan was so happy about the snow man.  She has wanted to make one for so, so long.  And I was pretty pleased that I didn't have to do any of the work!
  • My Graham's shoes were completely soaked so when I suggested us taking a walk around the block, he broke down almost to tears.  I saw him on the bench under the porch and grabbed him new socks and shoes and all was well again.  We all went on a walk around the block and I tried and tried to get a group picture of the kiddos.  It would have been perfect-but it wasn't!  Ha!  We did finally get a decent group picture but gracious, I do hope group pictures get easier someday.
  • Once inside, we unwrapped and soon Robby came home.  Everyone helped with chores and I was walking down the steps to get Whitman to put him in bed when I heard more dreaded words "He's bleeding."  Whitman was in the living room and fell down we guess on a kindle. Keaton and Robby saw him fall and he even hopped right up but when Graham and Keaton saw him, they sounded the alarm.  
  • The poor baby had fallen on his eye and had 2 cuts under his eye and one on his eye lid.  At first we wondered about stitches but weren't too sure.  He was upset but not crazy upset.  I tell you, me kids may fight and yell at each other but when someone is hurt they are so sweet. People were running to get towels, ice, bandaids, milk-they can really take care of each other.
  • Pops and Nonna dropped by and my crew was very glad to see them.  While they were here, the kids had a dessert-snow coke (Keaton), snow hot chocolate (Reagan) and snow ice cream (Anderson, Graham and Campbell).  They ate and ate and when they were finished, we woke up Whitman so we could all look at his swollen and cut eye.  When the kids would look at him, they would walk up, take a good look and then shout "eeww" or "oh no."  I am sure that made Whitman feel great!  What he did feel great about was Nonna and Pops being there-he tried his best to leave with Nonna but alas had to stay here.
  • Supper was soon-chicken spaghetti.  I am always surprised what the kids eat and what they don't.  Our chicken spaghetti is pretty spicy but they ate it up-even my pick Whitman.  Keaton was actually the first to clean her bowl.  Then we started showers and filming of their oral reports from last month.  
  • And then it was ice cream time.  Since we missed ice cream on Sunday night, we had it tonight.  While we were eating, Reagan said that she was kind of tired of the snow.  She wanted to get out and do something.  This is the second Wednesday that we have missed Bible study and Wednesday night church.  Actually, I thought Campbell was going to cry today when she saw the snow-she told us that she hasn't seen her school friend in 15 weeks.  It probably does feel like that to her.  
  • We did watch a movie and then read our Bible story before sending the crew to bed.  I know that my Campbell is hoping to go to school tomorrow (and she probably will) but I would like just one more snow day!

February 24, 2015-Snow Day Round 2 Day 2!

Celebrating Grannymom's Birthday!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • So this was Snow Day #42 around here-kidding of course but it does feel a bit like it.  I am loving every bit of this but snow days are hard work (Robby even agreed today and vowed that tomorrow he was going to work-then he heard about the next round of snow coming!)
  • Last night we made it very clear that before any went outside today, we would eat breakfast and finish math and phonics.  This sure does light a fire under people and in no time at all I was zipping up coats and finding fingers in gloves.  Keaton and Whitman had just had a shower so they didn't go outside-Keaton didn't want to anyway. She thinks the snow is too cold.  Whitman disagreed and would have been outside in a heartbeat if I hadn't been so busy keeping him distracted.
  • At one point, Reagan, Anderson and Graham were huddled by the front window as Robby took a shovel full of snow and dropped it on their heads.  Keaton and Campbell, who had already come back in, started calling for Whitman so he could see this activity.  Whitman had just been right there but he was no where around-I quickly saw the house door open and found Whitman trying to open the door in the garage leading outside.  That turkey!
  • When the crew came back inside, they started on their school work.  I had asked everyone to find a quiet spot to work and they spread out around the house.  Reagan picked the bonus room (what I would have picked) and she just sprawled herself out on the couch and will probably work up there from now on.  Graham worked in Robby's leftover office and poor Anderson, well, he didn't get his choice room.  He opted not to work in the kitchen, in my bedroom, in the mudroom, on the steps, in the bonus room nook, in his bedroom or in my closet (the living room, toy room and school rooms were off limits because of the noise due to Keaton, Campbell and Whitman).  So where did he work? He pulled up a kitchen stool and sat in the bathroom working on the bathroom counter.  Whatever works!
  • We had our potato soup for lunch and it wasn't as good as it was last time but we shall try it again.  It was still very good but half of my kids were probably starving after lunch-Whitman, Keaton and Campbell since they ate little to nothing.  At lunch, we asked if anyone wanted to go back outside and Keaton was the only one who said yes.  I told her I would go with her since I didn't want her to miss out so of course everyone came outside with us.
  • Whitman was a bit confused today.  He walked right to where he stood and ate snow yesterday and there was just water today.  He said "snow?" and then added "all gone."  If it wasn't freezing cold, he would have stayed outside forever playing in the water but I was afraid his little fingers would fall off.  Graham was the first one to come in this time followed quickly by Campbell.  I did go on a very, very short walk with Keaton, Whitman, Reagan and Anderson before we did come in.
  • Once inside it was shower time for the girls and hair cutting time for my big boys.  In the summer, hair cutting is so easy-cut it outside, sweep it away and brush the boys off before sending them to the shower.  In the winter, all of that is done in my bathroom and it is a mess-Robby is the barber so he does take care of all of that.  I guess he was busy cleaning up messes today since he also got the one that Whitman left in the shower.
  • The afternoon was spent finishing lots of perler bead gifts for Grannymom.  I had some time to pull out school for next month and even take my hot shower.  Why so much time this afternoon?  Keaton had a nap and when she takes a nap the rest of the house is so much calmer.  She was tired and my Campbell probably could have used a nap because she was pretty tired herself.  
  • After Whitman and Keaton did wake up, we loaded up and headed to Dana's house to celebrate Grannymom's birthday.  Dana had a delicious supper of lasagna, salad and bread. The kids were pretty good tonight and Dana's fireplace was perfect.  Grannymom was pleased with all of her gifts-including a handmade scarf by Reagan.  Reagan was very concerned that I was not going to have a gift for Grannymom. She did NOT want for us to use her gift as our gift.  I tried to explain that doing that would be a compliment to her gift but she did not think so!  
  • When the evening was over, we came home and everyone put on their pjs and headed to bed. We had just gotten settled down here when we heard the kids calling for us-Keaton didn't potty before bed and realized that she needed to.  So after that, we never heard a peep out of them again-playing in the snow twice and time with cousins can wear a kid out!

February 23, 2015-Snow Days Round 2!

Loving the Snow!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • The kids slept a bit later today (7:30) and soon we were having our breakfast and starting on school.  Monday is cereal and fruit around here and after my big kids drank their milk, they took their cereal bowls to start on their school work.  
  • Some moments during the morning were idyllic with me working with one child in a quiet room and lots of happiness and noise going on in other rooms and some moments were chaotic with people wailing, screaming and stalling as best they could.  My Anderson took one hour and 45 minutes to do his math today (it is not hard for him at all and he missed not even one) but things like that can make me go slowly crazy....
  • Until Robby walked through and pointed quietly at the window and I saw those beautiful flakes falling.  The kids didn't notice it for a very long time but when they did notice snow dances and snow chants broke out throughout this house (most of them were led by me!)
  • After watching the snow for a bit, my summer loving husband decided that he had to get out of the house. The kids were already talking about suiting up to go outside and Keaton had already made it known that she didn't want to go outside.  So Robby asked if she wanted to go with him and she certainly did.
  • They had a big time on their little snow day adventure.  Robby had a few mystery shops to do so Keaton and Robby stopped to eat during one of his shops.  She gobbled down about 1/4th of her burger and some of a frosty.  He said that when they left, she pushed up her chair like such a big girl.  The did have some excitement-not the roads but his car battery died. Thankfully he had his cables ready and hood up and someone stopped to quickly jump him. This didn't bother Keaton at all and she just suggested that Robby call Mom.  (I wouldn't have come though-that is why I sent Keaton with her coat, hat and gloves and even stuck some crackers in her pockets just in case.)
  • They did stop by the grocery store too but by this time, Robby was a bit worried about the ever falling snow and made it a quick stop-bag of potatoes, cokes, and ingredients for rice krispy treats.  As soon as he made it home, I quickly threw the potatoes in the crock pot to start on our soup for supper (more on that later).
  • While they were out and about, the rest of us ventured outside.  We don't have enough of a hill anywhere to do any sledding (the street from the other day wasn't an option-traffic and only one adult wouldn't work).  But it didn't stop the kids-they made snow angels, they used the snow shovels and make piles of snow and even a path for Robby to come in.  
  • It was snowing so crazy while we were out there-Whitman was probably glad that he was wearing 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of socks, 2 shirts, 2 hoods, gloves and a pair of socks over those gloves.  The cold didn't seem to bother him and all he wanted to do was slide down the little slide and eat the snow.  I finally set my timer and told the kids that we would have to go in when it buzzed since I didn't want anyone to succumb to frost bite.  Whitman was the least happy with me-he was fine coming in but did not want to take his coat off.  When I took his coat off he started crying and cried until I suddenly heard him stop.  I looked toward the door and that little boy was opening the door and was sneaking into the garage.  I guess he was going back out (no worries, all the doors were locked).
  • It was well after 1 when we had lunch and then when Keaton did come back home, we made snow ice cream.  Anderson and Reagan were a little put out that I made them make the snow ice cream-they said "why can't you just make it yourself."  I shot back that I could certainly make it myself but I sure wouldn't be sharing.  I think my big kids are starting to get a bit lazy!
  • It was a fairly uneventful afternoon with me mainly watching the snow fall outside.  At one point, Campbell told me that Whitman probably wouldn't be able to go outside tomorrow because the snow was taller than him.  I guess that I am glad that the snow wasn't that tall-yet!
  • Robby and I had been looking forward to our potato soup all afternoon and about 5 we stirred it and nope, those potatoes weren't nearly soft yet.  It is still cooking right now-we should have known because the last time we made them for lunch, we did cook the soup all night long.  Oh, well maybe we will have it for lunch tomorrow.  
  • That meant though that we didn't have any grand ideas for supper so we just made some more waffles.  The kids liked them last night so why not eat them again.  Whitman even ate some of his waffle today and everyone left the table happy.  They had some time to play and then we played the wii until bedtime!  
  • Everyone has big plans of playing in the snow more tomorrow and I have big plans of more snowing falling sometime tomorrow!  (I probably should be in the kitchen cooking up something else just in case those potatoes never cook!)

February 22, 2015

Reading with brother!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • This Sunday morning I did manage to avoid getting powdered donuts on my clothes.  But since my sweater already had spots on it when I put it on, I don't think that it mattered much (I did get them off before church-most of them.)  Campbell was the most excited to get dressed today because she had a new dress to wear and Keaton always does love putting on her "panty-toes."
  • Once at church, we had to wait on Nonna and Pops to arrive.  And when Pops walked in, Campbell looked him over and quickly turned to Nonna and asked "why is Pops wearing a dress?"  She is a pretty observant thing but she was referring to Pops' long overcoat.  
  • I was the one who could hardly sit still today during church because I was so excited about the forecast-ed winter weather and since they cancelled church that made me even more excited.  Those preachers must have a direct line to God and know all about winter weather! (except there isn't yet any snow at 8:30 so maybe their direct line to God isn't that great!)
  • We had chili for lunch at Nonna's house and this was the perfect day for chili.  The kids gobbled up the crackers and all of the fixings along with dessert.  We stayed for a while and then headed home for our afternoon naps.  
  • Naps (mine and Robby's) were going splendidly until Campbell and Keaton joined me on the couch.  I thought oh how wonderful, we all can snuggle together but those little monkeys laid still but never went to sleep.  That kind of woke us up enough that we never really had a great nap so we did what any adults should do on a lazy Sunday afternoon-get up and play the wii.  We had played about 6 games when we heard footsteps on the stairs.  Robby jumped up to turn off the tv and hide our controllers but we were still busted.  We denied it vehemently but they still were pretty sure we had been upstairs playing their game.
  • While the kids picked up the house, Robby made supper-waffles, sausage and strawberries.  Campbell and Keaton laid in the hallway "reading" Thomas the train books to Whitman.  Whitman found the books today and brought them to me saying "choo-choo."  He loves trains and the girls love that he likes trains named Thomas.  They love this fact so much because they call him Thomas all the time-all of the time.  If you see him and shout out "Thomas" my baby will look at you-at least that is his middle name.
  • Supper was delicious and we gobbled up every last drop of it.  The kids had some time to play upstairs and then we watched a few duck dynastys before bedtime.  Pretty lovely evening-could only be better if it was snow that was falling and not a rainy cold mess!  But I will take any winter weather that I can get.

February 21, 2015

A serious family game of Mario Cart!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • None of us stirred in the night but the first thing we all heard was the thunder at 7.  I guess I was still pretty asleep because to me it sounded like Keaton and Campbell sliding down the stairs.  I did wake up on the second burst of thunder and heard the kids talking upstairs.  Keaton asked what that was and someone answered that it was thunder.  
  • Since it was Saturday morning, Robby's closet was unlocked and the boys and Campbell headed straight there to grab their kindles.  Keaton joined us in our bed and wanted to make sure that we heard the thunder.  She wasn't bothered by it at all but she did want to talk about it.  I would have been scared to death if I heard that loud thunder when I was a kid-but I wasn't sharing a room with my 4 older brothers and sisters.
  • I made some muffins for breakfast with Keaton and Campbell's help.  Brown sugar muffins-sound good, don't they.  I had one child eat all of their muffin-and I don't even remember who it was or I would state that they were my favorite.  They did gobble up about 33 dollars worth of fruit at breakfast time but not so much with my muffins.  I threw them in a bag and froze them so I guess I will have breakfast for the next few days.  (They were okay but since it called for oatmeal, you could taste that a bit more than I would have liked.)
  • Robby and I had a wedding shower to go to so we braved the crazy rain and dropped the kids off at Nonna and Pops' house.  The shower was fine and afterwards I ran by the library.  And then we were soon back to Nonna's house to fetch the kids.  They weren't too pleased with us being there but no one put up too much of a fight.  Nonna offered to feed us lunch but we figured that since we were going to be there tomorrow for lunch we better head home.
  • Once at home, the kids started playing and we made lunch-sandwiches, pizza and leftover quesadillas-cleaning out the fridge.  Then we enjoyed the rainy afternoon with a bit of a nap-we did have 5 kids come upstairs to the bonus room to ask when we were going to get them their snack.  They were all from the same room-don't you think that when one kid went to ask about snack, they would mention where they went or what they found out to the other people in the room.  But no, everyone came and asked individually and then they were all surprised when we said it would be later.  No snacks tomorrow-unless it is snowing and then I will let them eat whatever they want!  (Crossing my fingers for some snow.)
  • Eventually, we had to feed the kids supper.  Robby really wanted to go out to eat but I talked him out of it since it is still February and no spend month here at the Dennie house (how is that going you ask?  Well, I think Robby's little heart cath blew no spend month's profits away!)  So for supper, it was corn dogs for all and then turkey burgers for us after the kids went to bed.  
  • Since tomorrow is church, we thought that we should give the kids their weekly showers.  Showers all around and then some playing of the wii-if you look at our pictures from tonight and compare them with the pictures from yesterday they look the same.  The past 2 nights we took pictures late while playing the wii and the kids were all wearing the same pjs.  (Probably should have washed them since they had showers-oh, well, I have enough laundry without adding anything more.)
  • So you know when your kids have been playing Minecraft a bit too much when this happens:  During our Bible story tonight, Robby read about Jesus telling a man to "awake" and the man, who was once dead, sat up.  And then Anderson yelled "zombie!" and Graham held his arms out and started moving like a zombie.  Yep, more Bible time this week and less Minecraft time!

February 20, 2015

Ready to race...

(click here for today's pictures)

  • There was no vacuuming going on this morning but there was a nerf gun battle going on above our heads.  I think that I might have to sell all of those silly guns in the garage sale and use that money to buy books and other quiet toys.  I can at least be thankful that the battle started after 7:30-I guess the kids were worn out from their big day yesterday.
  • Breakfast was our left over doughnuts and my Whitman was putting them away just as fast as the rest of the kids.  After breakfast, we started on school and today it was Reagan who was the slowest.  That should have been predictable because there was much more action in the living room today and that is where she perches during school time.  She loves being in front of the heater-I probably should put the little heater in Robby's office closet and create a cozy lair for her. 
  • I did put Whitman to bed for a bit at 11-he is always content to go to bed but this time was sound asleep when I went back up there at 12.  I was a bit surprised that he went to sleep but that was fine because our together work was accomplished a bit more easily with him not around.  
  • Then it was lunch time and after lunch I fooled around doing a few things but nothing of much value.  Even though I have a list of things that never were accomplished this week, on Fridays I don't really care about doing them and happily mark them off my list accomplished or not. The little girls pulled out a Candyland DVD game so everyone ended up playing that for a bit.  And Anderson spent some time working on her perler beads-he plans on making something for everyone in his Bible study class.
  • Next up was rest time for Whitman and some movies for the others.  Keaton, Campbell and I did play kitchen in the hallway downstairs.  We laid out enough food to feed about 50 people.  I did convince the girls that it was nighttime during our playtime.  We all laid down in the hallway to rest-Campbell even set my phone alarm to wake us up in a bit.  If she would have just set that alarm for a few more minutes, we all would have been sound asleep in the hall when Robby came home.
  • And before too long, Robby was home and we were eating supper.  When Whitman woke up from his afternoon nap, he pretty much cried for about 45 minutes if I was not holding him and sometime then he was still crying.  He was sleeping so soundly that I probably should have just let him sleep but I did want for him to go to bed tonight-but I think I have learned my lesson on that.
  • After supper, Graham and Robby snuck off to play the wii for a bit and everyone else eventually followed and joined in.  Reagan will probably be the child to break the tv during these games.  When they were playing tennis she would take a huge step and swing her arm like swinging a baseball bat towards the tv every single time that she swung (all you really need to do is flick your wrist).  And Anderson just has to win and can not stand on being on a team with someone who is not any good (like me!) 
  • When we had exhausted pretty much all of the wii games, it was bedtime for everyone.  The kids have started changing beds and tonight 3 of 5 up there were in different beds.  When I went upstairs to get on to them for being noisy, Reagan called for me to come here.  There room is so dark that I couldn't see where she was and I didn't remember which bed she was in, so I had to ask "where are you?"  Robby just had to go up there and stay in their room until Campbell and Graham finally were quiet-Campbell kept climbing into bed with Graham.  Oh, that girl is a mess!

February 19, 2015

Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • And again today there just must be something wrong with the kids clock because they were all up at 6:40.  Oh, there were people running this way and that way.  Robby finally turned off the monitor and we just tried to lay very still so they wouldn't find us.  But then I heard a strange sound-like a leaf blower, or bull dozer, or a vacuum cleaner. What could it be at 7 in the morning?  I went to investigate and there stood Anderson in the living room vacuuming away.  I just stood there in shock trying to decide if I was upset or pleased with what I saw.  I asked "what are you doing?" and he replied that Reagan had been giving them out chores and he had thought of vacuuming.  I tried to smile as I said "well, thank you but please don't vacuum my room until we are out of bed."
  • I didn't last much longer in bed-honestly, I was afraid that someone was going to come and try to make it while I was still lying in it so I climbed out.  By the time I was ready, the kids were mostly ready and the house was pretty well picked up.  So we had our breakfast and they kids practiced their poems.
  • This morning was homeschool day and all of our friends started showing up around 10:30. The kids all had an original poem and a favorite poem to read.  The Dennie poems were pretty short and Graham was in such a hurry to say his and sit down that even though I knew exactly what he poem says, I still couldn't understand him.  My Campbell realized this morning that she didn't have a poem so we had to scribble one out before everyone arrived but she did it pretty well.  
  • After all of the kids had said their poems, we let them play-oh and play they did.  The big kids are so loud and the little kids just sit in the toy room and completely destroy it but they are quiet and happy and that makes it all okay.  
  • I made potato soup (well, actually Robby and I got out of bed at 11 last night to put it all in the crock pot).  It was the easiest soup ever and was quite delicious-I just asked Robby if he would make it again and he said he would-tomorrow.  We did devour the entire crock pot of soup and it was filled to the brim.
  • Then there was more play time for the kids but this time they kept coming to ask us if we were ready-Valentines were next.  For a bunch of homeschool kiddos, having a group of folks to pass out Valentines to is pretty exciting.  Everyone had boxes this year and the kids could not have been more excited.  Graham tried so hard to get Whitman to pass out his Valentines but Whitman was too distracted with everything going on around him and he could not figure out why people kept handing him things.  
  • Finally when everyone left, the kids helped me pick up.  Some where better picker uppers than others.  Every time that the group leaves, we never know what we will find (last month a coat and pair of panties were left) but this month the shower curtain rod had been pulled almost down and a door knob was missing (still is!)  Craziness but still worth it.
  • The afternoon was fairly quiet-Whitman napped and Keaton fell asleep while watching a movie.  I let Keaton and Campbell watch their own movie today and that is the key for me to have a bit of quiet time during the afternoon.  After we woke up our sleeping beauty, we had supper and then left for a few errands.
  • First stop was gas for both cars-we had thought that my car needed gas but after going no where since Sunday, it was fairly full but we still took both cars to fill them up.  Then we dropped off Robby's car and I ran into Walmart to pick up Graham some shoe laces, into Sams to pick up Robby's medicine and then into Savers with Graham and Anderson to find them some blue jeans.  All of my missions were successful so we celebrated with Krispy Kreme.  The worker was pleased that Robby had brought the entire family tonight!...and we were glad that the entire family came too (last Krispy Kreme time, Campbell missed it because of the flu!)

February 18, 2015-Snow Day #3!

Still some ice for a bit more fun!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • I really thought that the kids might not notice the snow from the brief snow shower last night but I was wrong. There was more screaming about that than necessary at 7 in the morning.  I did make them stay in until 7:30 this morning so I felt like that was a pretty good compromise since they were begging me to put on the coats before 7.
  • Whitman was still in his bed and was even doing a bit of singing, so I left him in his bed while Robby listened for him.  I joined the kids and the sledding wasn't nearly as good today as it was the past 2 days but we still had a bit of fun.  And when we all did come in we celebrated the snow day with snow orange juice.  (I probably should have gathered snow for snow ice cream but that would have involved me actually putting my shoes back on so we might just have to wait until next year for snow ice cream.)
  • The kids started on their school while they rotated through the showers.  I plan a whole month of school and this weekend I was wondering how we had gotten so far behind this month but after 3 snow days we have some how caught up with our school for the month.  
  • After school was over, Reagan started working on her Valentine cards (our home school party was delayed a week this year) -she has made every kid a loom bracelet and then today we made the pretzel with a hershey kiss and m&m on top treats to put into baggies. Then the baggies and bracelets were placed into an envelope made out of a giant heart.  She has known exactly what she has wanted to do for Valentines for a long, long time.  We also had to work on Anderson's Valentines today too.  His were a bit easier-everything was completed on his but we just had to bag them up.  I am glad that all of that business is over.
  • We had lunch a bit late-in between Reagan's candies heating up in the oven (4-5 minutes) we would run around the house like crazy people cleaning up.  It was quite fun and pretty entertaining.  I did get sidetracked and forget what I had Campbell doing so she did spent quite a long time scrubbing the carpet.  I think she was enjoying herself though-probably because of those carpet cleaner fumes.
  • After lunch, we did science and our together work (mainly reading history since I have a history book from Nonna that I really want to get to soon.)  By this time, Whitman needed a nap (I did too but he was the only one who got one today.)  The rest of us played Clue and we all lost-it was pretty pitiful.  Then we played Boggle Jr. for Campbell.  She was unhappy of the way I sped up the game to keep everyone involved.  She fumed "I am so mad at you because this isn't what I want."  Reagan shot back "what do you want?" and Campbell replied "I don't know."  Of course, when she said this the rest of us just fell apart laughing at her.  She came back with "I am going to get Momma's phone and call Daddy on you."  This just caused us to laugh more.  But we all eventually had fun after we coaxed Campbell to start playing with us again.
  • Next up was movie time for the kids-or if you are Campbell and Keaton, then it is "follow mom around and talk to her continuously time."  Sometimes I just want 5 minutes without anyone talking to me-5 minutes!  But I know that some day I will be sitting here with Robby and this house will be empty and I will wish they would call and talk to me for just 5 minutes.  That sounds pretty depressing doesn't it.  Today though, I have been in a room by myself for exactly 2 and a half minutes max-I think I have been snowed in for a bit too long.  Sunday night was the last time that I left his house!
  • Robby came home and we had supper then I worked some on soup for tomorrow and finishing Reagan's Valentines.  The little people played upstairs happily for a long time while the big ones played on their kindles until they convinced Robby to go upstairs and play the wii.  They played and screamed and yelled and hollered so it was quite entertaining.  Whitman just cared to climb on me or put my camera around his neck.  Whenever he gets to my camera, he starts saying "cheese, cheese."  If only I could get his picture with my camera around his neck.  
  • After our many, many games we finally put the kids to bed. They were a little wound up from the wii and excited about tomorrows Valentine's party. 

February 17, 2015-Snow Day 2!

Snowball Fight!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • I guess you could say that today was a little bit like that movie Groundhog Day. When the clock struck 7, there were footsteps and lots of screaming "it is still snowy!"  Then those footprints became stomps as they ran down our hallway.  I let them go outside and didn't even think twice about my 4 big kids sledding in front of the neighbors house at 7:09.  I figured neighbors who have 9 cars parked in their yard probably wouldn't mind a bit of noise!
  • I stalled so Whitman wouldn't have to go outside and Keaton looked at the snow and said "I don't like that the snow is cold."  I would have to agree one hundred percent with her.  The kids played for a while but the smell of monkey bread inside cooking brought them in.  I only had 2 small cans of biscuits instead of the usual 4 and we devoured it.  My silly Whitman and Keaton didn't eat their monkey bread-Keaton even had a pretty good fit about not wanting any. Campbell answered her with "they tried to tell me it had monkey's in it but it doesn't have monkeys in it.  Momma doesn't have any monkeys to put in it."
  • After our breakfast, we started on school.  The kids did well today and most were finished by 11:30.  Robby left his closet and made lunch for the crew.  (His closet is his new office-we can't find him as easily in there.  Though I do think that he really just locks the door and lays down in the floor and takes naps.)  
  • As soon as lunch was cleaned up and we straightened the house, it was time to send everyone back outside.  I went ahead and suited up myself since I wanted for Whitman to have one more chance to play in the snow/ice.  It was so drippy and slushy today that pretty much everyone was soaking wet when we came in.  The kids all had showers or baths while I made frozen hot chocolate like at Serendipity's in NY and Las Vegas.  We did our science and together work while they drank their delicious drink (though you just can't please everyone all the time-Keaton and Campbell didn't like this!)
  • The kids then watched their movies and worked on their perler beads while Whitman napped. Robby had eventually had all that he could take and left the house.  Actually, I was out of milk and an icee road was much more inviting than the next 24 hours with Whitman and no milk. Thankfully the roads were fine for him and only icee in a few places.
  • When he came home we had supper.  When the kids started playing Red Rover Red Rover in my bedroom, I quickly dumped my clean laundry basket out and said "get started."  After the laundry was put away, we had some rice krispy treats and watched a movie before going to bed.    

February 16, 2015-Snow Day!

Very, very excited to try these sleds out!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • I will tell you this: snow days are tough.  I am pretty much exhausted, here is a run down of our day.  I was pretty much as excited as the kids and sat up to look out the window at least 4 times during the night.  And every time my phone buzzed, I jumped up to look at it.  
  • The kids started talking at 6:50 and they gradually got louder and louder until 7:00.  As soon as that clock struck seven, everyone ran down the hallway and Graham was the first one to reach the window and he was heard all over the house shouting "It snowed, it snowed."  
  • Seconds later they were all standing around our bed-even my sleeper, Reagan.  She was also the one who was the group spokesperson.  Reagan started with asking if they could go outside this morning just on the drive way to touch the snow.  I said sure so she tried for more and said "if you just let us all go out now to play, then ya'll could stay in bed."  Well, how could I refuse that!  I said yes and they all ran to put on their clothes-Keaton even ran upstairs with the others even though her clothes were downstairs.
  • Of course staying in bed lasted for about 3 minutes since I had to get the sleds out of the attic, put on socks and gloves, zip jackets and then wake Whitman up. He certainly couldn't be left out so I put on my winter gear and then his winter gear and out we went.  Robby was outside soon after us.  
  • The kids had already tried sledding in the yard but the ice wasn't that great for that.  They were having some luck on the street in front of our house when we came out.  So we all headed down to the big hill to do some sledding.  My Keaton was a trooper during the hike to the hill and back-sometimes it is hard to think she is just 3.  But my Whitman enjoyed the snow for about the first 5 minutes and then he was done.  He wanted me to hold him and even when I was holding him he was often fussing.  Poor thing was probably upset since he was cold and hadn't had breakfast yet.  
  • Back to the hill, the sleds were pretty hard to steer but the kids didn't mind careening into the ditch.  I stood at the bottom of the hill holding Whitman and Robby was at the top-we both were busy looking for cars so we didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked.  I probably should have put the big lens on the camera but I couldn't have managed that while holding Whitman.
  • Reagan, Anderson and Graham were sledding as fast as they could up and down the hill. Campbell went a few times but somehow she managed to get her pants wet and she was pretty miserable and the one begging us to go home.  Keaton went down the hill once with Robby and loved that.  And my fussy Whitman was happy as he could be sledding down the hill with me-until we crashed into the ditch.  The crash didn't bother him but he didn't like me putting my arms around his head when we did stop.
  • We hiked back home and I passed out hot chocolate.  After our breakfast, the kids started on their school work (no snow day for us!) and between work, most everyone had a shower to warm up.  School lasted until lunch with only a quick break for Campbell and me to work on her Valentines (we are celebrating a bit late) and we had soup so we could stay warm.
  • After their lunch, they quickly helped me pick up and out they went.  Robby and I had to practically stand on our heads to keep Whitman distracted so he wouldn't see everyone else suit up and leave the house.  They played and played outside.  Lots of sledding in front of the neighbor's house but my favorite was Anderson laying on his tummy on the sled and pushing himself with his hands-reminded me of a walrus.  
  • Keaton was the first one to come in and I am sure that she was cold.  She joined Whitman in eating a cookie and the kids continued to play outside.  It was about an hour that they were outside and towards the end Anderson even took his coat off.  Reagan and coatless Anderson asked for bowls so they scoop up enough ice/sleet for some Snow Dew.  
  • Once they were all inside, they had some Snow Coke (we were out of Mountain Dew this snow day.)  As they ate, we did science and some of our memory work.  Then there were showers for everyone because they smelled like they had been outside!  
  • As soon as showers were over, the highlight of the day (for Reagan) started: decorating their Valentine's boxes.  We laid out everything they would need and let them at it.  The girls of course worked the longest but my Anderson spent about 2.3 seconds on his box-he had me wrap it up in paper and then he wrote his name on it.  
  • The kids worked on those boxes until almost supper time.  We ate and then the kids had some free time this evening-there was lots of kindle playing and perler bead making.  It was a pretty relaxing evening after a very busy day!

February 15, 2015

All smiles for ice cream!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Church morning this morning and we worked on finishing off the leftover biscuits (I even had some tonight for supper).  Whitman had a powdered doughnut and rubbed all over my black sweater as I took him to the shower this morning.  The same thing happened last week and I probably should be the last one to put on clothes around here.  
  • Robby is pretty much all healed up and even though he had thought about resting this morning, church sounded like a better choice.  I am glad that he did come since he dropped us off so we didn't have to freeze.  (Of course we had to tell pretty much all of the kids' teachers that their coats were in the car...or still at home! Coats are so overrated and so much trouble!)  
  • We left Sunday school a few minutes early and even beat Dana and her crew to Grannymom's house.  The kids ate and then started playing their game of hide and seek (this is what they play when we will not let them go outside)  After a few rounds, we headed home for naps and a bit of movie time.  
  • Nap time didn't last too long and unfortunately I slept on the bumpy pillow and it was still very much apparent when I went to church tonight.  I spent time during my meeting rubbing my cheek trying to get the lines off so everyone couldn't tell I had been napping.  Even though Sunday afternoon napping is a Biblical mandate  :) (kind of!)  
  • After church, the kids were very careful not to run in the halls so they didn't lose their ice cream truck like they did last week.  So we did get to enjoy our ice cream as the winter precipitation nears our house! 
  • Pretty much all day long, my dad and I have been texting about the weather and checking on the snowfall at each other's houses (there has been none and it is usually pretty much the same since we live just miles away).  Robby tonight said that we are like tornado chasers but focused on winter storms instead.  I guess my kids are like us-they can not wait on the winter weather.  I am sure that someone or many someones will be up early in the morning.  They have already talked about who will come and get us if the lights go out in the middle of the night, they have tried to convince us not to do school and have asked repeatedly about the location of their sleds.  
  • I have started the dishes, have most clothes clean in preparation for this winter storm.  We probably should have cooked some food (we did that last year and then their predicted winter storm was a bust so I sure didn't want to jinx things this year) and now I am going to cuddle up under a blanket, drink some hot chocolate and stay up and look out the window!

February 14, 2015-Happy Valentine's Day!

Celebrating Valentine's Day!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Robby and I were in bed by 8:30 last night and after he slept some (still sleeping off some of his happy meds) then he woke up and we both had a bit of trouble going to sleep.  But I think that we were so excited about getting to sleep in this morning that we were up at 6!  Yes, 6-we did stay in bed until 7 but then I emptied the dishwasher, pulled out clothes for tomorrow and poured us some orange juice before we moved our party to the couch.  
  • We watched a tv show and then a movie.  The movie was okay but not really great.  By the time the movie was over, we were getting sleepy from our early morning but I had to get up, shower and go and get my Whitman.  He just isn't the best sitter still these days so we didn't think he would enjoy going to Cash's ballgame like my other boys would.
  • I picked him up from Grannymom's house-he was happy to see me but also didn't want to leave Grannymom so he kept having me hold him and then going back to Grannymom and back and forth.  My big boys saw me drive up and ran to the back of her house and then the avoided me until they saw me drive off.  I guess they thought I had come to pick them up!
  • Whitman and I had one errand to run before heading home and soon we were home.  Whitman joined Robby and I on the couch.  I had heated up my leftovers and gave Whitman his lunch and he just sat between us on the couch perfectly.  He stayed there until Reagan and Pops came home in the big van.  And a few minutes later, Keaton, Campbell and Nonna showed up in their car.  
  • The girls were happy to get their Valentine's day bags from us (I think this might be our first year to do this!)  Of course they quickly found a few things to munch on.  After a while, my Whitman was so tired that he could hardly walk without falling down and getting hurt, so he was put to bed and the girls all decided that it was movie time.  Robby went to pick up the boys from Grannymom's house after they had watched Cash and Lilli play their basketball games.  
  • Once the boys were home, they were given their Valentine's candy and joined the girls watching movies.  The watched movies until we finally made supper-or breakfast.  So I think that we and the kids have a breakfast addiction: Thursday night Robby cooked breakfast for the kids supper, Friday morning Nonna cooked the kids a big breakfast, Friday night Pops took the girls to IHOP and Grannymom made the boys stackfuls of pancakes, this morning they all had breakfast and then tonight we made breakfast for supper.  (It is a good think that tomorrow for breakfast, we are having spaghetti-not really!)  We are really just trying to clean out our fridge (in case the power goes out!-though I unfortunately don't think that is going to happen!)
  • After supper, we picked up the house and then showered everyone.  Then we did let them play the wii for a bit.  I do love playing Mario Cart but tonight boxing was my favorite.  Campbell and Graham boxed and poor Campbell was so tired by the end of it that she could barely punch anymore.  But then I played Keaton, the 3 year old, and she almost knocked me out.  I will have to take a shower tonight because of that boxing match!  She was just swinging her arms like she was skipping along and sweat was dripping down my face!
  • After our little games, we sent everyone to bed!  They were exhausted from their big nights out and we were tired from doing nothing all day!