July 31, 2015-Dallas

Fun day at Six Flags!
(click here for today's pictures)

I do believe that we could have slept until 10 this morning and the reason is because of those clothes pins.  Yep, our clothes pins on the hotel drapes block out every single inch of daylight.  I bet you made fun of my lengthy packing list but not now!  And to redeem myself, I did in fact have a stow away toothpaste in the car so we didn't have to stop some place and pick some up today (though we certainly are running low on toothpaste at home and it would not hurt at all for me to come across a great toothpaste sale-maybe at Ikea tomorrow since they have everything else!)

Anyway, we didn't sleep until 10 but just until 8 and then we scurried around to make it to breakfast in time.  When we sat down for breakfast, Reagan needed to use the bathroom but the downstairs one was locked, so she kept checking on that until it was finally open.  Keaton and Campbell also had to visit the bathroom.  Robby ran upstairs to get our doughnuts from back home so we could finish them off (we had some extras but we knew they would fry today in the car at Six Flags).  He was gone forever-long enough that I started to wonder where he was.  He finally returned with all of our luggage on a cart and went to load the car.  Whitman still really needs a highchair when we eat just mainly to contain him.  Needless to say, breakfast was hectic this morning especially when you throw in the fact that there was a Dennie kid at the juice machine every 24 seconds-we never have juice at home so juice is a big, big treat.

Robby had parked in the shade last night when we went into the hotel so the car was pleasant this morning and it wasn't that bad as we loaded up.  The shade can be so deceiving because when we stepped out of the car at Six Flags, we knew it was going to be a hot, hot day.  I joined the hoards of others spraying and rubbing on sun screen on the kids and myself.  

I guess I will stop here and just talk about the heat today.  If I was starting a diet tomorrow would be the day to do it because I have sweated at least 5 pounds of sweat off of my body today.  You can see by the pictures that our faces are red and sweaty but the shade was decent and we definitely stayed hydrated.  Robby bought a refillable cup and we made use of the free refills-seriously he refilled it at least 25 times.  Sometimes, he would hand it to us and we suck it dry and he would turn right around and ask for another refill.  

Back to the start of our day-the park has a Discover card entrance so Robby flashed his card and we bypassed a huge line of folks waiting to enter the park.  We headed over to a  toboggan type ride that Reagan, Anderson, Graham and I did.  You may notice Campbell in the pictures but she chickened out right after the pictures.  I didn't realize that she could have sat right in front of me or I might could have convinced her to ride it with us.

After that ride, we walked to the pirate ship and they let all of us on that ride-even Whitman.  The big 3 sat on the end and waved at the rest of us who were all sitting in the middle.  Whitman was not fond of this ride at all and was a bit teary eyed which caused Keaton to become upset.  But when we left the boat, I asked if he liked it and he said yes.

Next stop was the Texas Giant for the big 3.  I am amazed that we can just send them off and they will do these crazy rides by themselves.  Robby or I still like an occasional roller coaster but why push it!  I didn't ride the Texas Giant or any other roller coaster until high school (I think that was actually my first real roller coaster and when I was on it, I wedged my legs under the seat in front of me because I was terrified and ended up with huge bruises on my legs.)

They loved the Giant and we even let them do it again.  While they were doing that ride, Whitman, Campbell, Keaton and I rode up the up and down boot.  It was like the Silver Dollar City frogs but the bounce was 10 times worse!  They loved it and we rode it a few times.  Then we all took the train around the park and arrived back just as the others did from the roller coaster.

Next stop was the Model T driving cars.  We all rode those with Keaton driving my car (that was a trip), Graham driving Robby's car and Reagan and Anderson were behind my car.  Halfway through I told them to switch thinking the non-driver would lean over and drive but nope, they switched places!  Robby and Campbell did this ride again so she could have her turn driving and the big 3 went off to do another crazy roller coaster-this one had 2 loops and Graham almost chickened out on this one.

By this time, we were really hot and needed to cool off and eat some lunch (I really hadn't had much breakfast so I sure needed something).  Robby bought us two burgers and some fries and we ate a little bit, cooled off and then carried on.  I will tell you from here on, the day is fuzzy to me and I will probably forget some of our stops but I will do my best.

We sat down and watched a show-the main reason was because when we walked by the doors, we could feel the air conditioner and it must have been 50 degrees in the theater-it was wonderful.  Afterwards, we rode the Mine Train-Campbell bumped her head at the start and cried the entire time. Then we showed the big kids the single ride line and they were able to ride a spinny type roller coaster along with a batman shooting ride that Graham really wanted to ride.  

Meanwhile, it was swings for Campbell and the mini mine train with Keaton and Campbell.  They managed to ride that one at least 3 times.  The Judge Roy Scream was next up-this used to by my favorite and it was still good except it was pretty shakey.  I am older now and my head can not take all of that shaking anymore!  Campbell who was terrified on the mine train loved that roller coaster-when I told them that they could go again but I was not, they all did.  I asked Campbell why that wasn't scary like the mine train and she said "maybe I like the mine train now."

After that, Reagan, Anderson and Graham lost all sense and went on the swings that raise them a zillion stories high.  I am their mother and I probably should have put a stop to that foolishness but I did not-I went and road a balloon ride with the girls while Robby and Whitman went to a country music show while waiting on them to finish their ride.

Next up was the lost mine and then a sombrero ride for most everyone (not Keaton and Whitman). We capped off the day at Six Flags with the carousel ride for everyone and then we headed to the exit.  It was after 7 tonight when we left the park and we easily could have stayed until 10 but why make it a late night if we didn't have too.  The kids were fine with leaving because Robby promised them ice cream.  

We drove by the Rangers playing ball and then the Cowboys stadium before stopping at Mad Mikes for some delicious ice cream.  It was really, really good-I had apple pie ice cream and shared mine with Whitman.  He was okay with this but when Robby sat down, Whitman said "where's mine?"

Then we needed some supper-we wanted for it to be a quick and light supper and thought 7-11 hot dogs would do the trick.  Robby ran into one and they only had 2 cooking and the man said he couldn't make any more.  He ran into 7-11 number 2 and they were also out of hot dogs.  When we left the third 7-11 without supper, it was almost comical.  He probably should have just bought what they had at each place and we would have eventually made a meal out of it since there are 7-11s on every corner here.  I guess most gas stations don't cook 8 hot dogs at 9:00 at night-I just don't see why not! Ha!

We finally found our supper at McDonalds-the natives were getting restless and we continued to get closer and closer to the hotel and needed something to eat.  Once we made it to the hotel, the kids could not get over that this was actually our hotel.  When we walked in, Campbell said "I want to work at a place like this."  We are at an Embassy tonight and it is older but still nice-nice enough that Campbell wants to work here.  Reagan has already said tonight that she too, wants to work at some place nice-like a nice McDonalds or a nice Arbys.  Maybe I need to do some career education with the kiddos.

We unloaded in our room and then started on showers.  Whitman can not sleep in the bathroom tonight (his pack n play will not fit) so he is in the hotel hallway-he will be fine out there, surely?  idding, mom.  He is actually in the front room with Anderson who is sleeping on the pull out bed.  Everyone is sleeping now and hopefully those clothes pins will do the trick tomorrow morning as well!

July 30, 2015-Dallas

Fun time with friends at the sno cone shack!
(click here for today's pictures)

Robby stirred first this morning and soon we were all awake  The kids seem to drag most mornings but not on a trip morning.  They were up and getting ready and soon we were all in the van headed on our quick trip to the big D.

The first highlight of the trip was a stop to get ice.  Keaton and Campbell even unbuckled so they could look out the window and see the bag of ice fall from the machine-it really doesn’t take too much to entertain my crew.  

Once we were on the interstate, I passed out our leftover doughnuts while we watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie.  We only pull those videos out when we are on a trip and everyone enjoys them.  Yesterday after the pool, we sat in the car listening to the end of a Little House book and when it was all over the kids clapped like we had just finished watching a play.  

My Campbell is the hotel girl.  We had only been on the road for a bit when she started asking what hotel we would be in tonight and where we would be tomorrow night. When she found out that we would not be in a Holiday Inn Express, she was very disappointed and said “I love Holiday Inn Expresses.”  I sure enjoy their cinnamon rolls too but I am counting on the breakfast at Embassy to be wonderful!

We really made one stop on the way to Dallas and that was right after Texarkana.  I actually drove from then on (Robby loves my driving so that he wanted for me to drive the rest of the way-it makes him feel safe!  Actually, he was doing some work so it probably wasn’t safe for him to text, use the computer and talk on the phone.) The kids watched movie after movie and ate snack after snack.  It is almost comical because they will eat one snack and then within seconds will look up and ask for another snack.  Sometimes I wonder if they have worms!

The first stop was In and Out burger for us to grab a bite to eat to take to Jacqui’s house.  Graham thought it was very funny that we were going In and then Out at In and Out.  From there it wasn’t too long to get to Jacqui’s house.

As soon as we walked in the door, my kids and her kids went upstairs to play.  They had trains and I am surprised that I was able to get Whitman to come downstairs and eat anything-he loved playing with all of the toys.  All the kids enjoyed playing and when Jacqui mentioned sno cones, my people were ready to load up and go and eat.

The sno cone place was just down the road and they had a ton of flavors-Reagan ate lemon-lime, Graham and Anderson had sour lemon, Campbell and Keaton had grape, Whitman shared my mango and Robby had half peach and half orange.  It was hot, hot (103) outside but we still ate outside (mainly because there were no more tables inside!)

After eating outside in the 102 degree temperatures, Reagan who had just returned from grabbing a straw, said that there were booths inside and asked if they could go in and eat.  I said that they could and soon all of my people were eating inside at a table while we were baking in the sun.  The sno cones were worth the baking though.

From there it was just a shortish drive to our hotel and we did something we never do-checked in around 5!  We went up to the room and vegged out for a few minutes before heading down to the pool.  The kids swam and swam-they just seem extra noisy in a hotel pool but they had a great time and we probably could have put everyone in bed when we had finished swimming but instead we cleaned up and headed for a night out.

We went right down the road to a restaurant called Abuelos.  The food was good but they had the most beautiful/interesting spanish style paintings on the wall.  I could not stop looking at them (I am probably the only one in my party who noticed them but thought I would still share.)  The kids ate and ate-we only ordered two meals and as you can see by the picture of Reagan holding one of our meals “El Grande,” we had plenty of food.  Sometimes we feel guilty only ordering just enough for the kids and having them split but if we would have all ordered something, we would have had to rent a catering truck to take the leftovers home.

Once we left the restaurant, we headed back to the hotel-and passed it by.  We were on the interstate and I heard the boys notice something next to the hotel and then shout “hey, isn’t that our hotel?” Indeed it was, but we couldn’t get there so we just took a loop (or two) around before we finally made it exactly where we wanted to go.  Hey, we are in no hurry since this is vacation!

Back in the room, we quickly changed into pjs and then brushed our teeth-but whoops, we forgot the toothpaste!  Argh!  How could I forget something as important as toothpaste when I have a 7 page packing list-did I not follow my list?  Actually, I had packed away our toothbrushes in my travel bin and never thought about adding toothpaste.  Thankfully the hotel had some tiny little toothpaste samples so we are good for tonight and in the morning!

July 29, 2015-Happy Birthday Graham!

Our newest 7 year old!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Whenever we went to wake up a bit early, the kids will sleep later than usual and today was one of those days.  Once we started waking everyone up, they were ready to begin this birthday day with breakfast at Krispy Kreme and within minutes the cars were loaded and we were on our way.
  • We usually buy 2 dozen doughnuts when we go there but today was had a coupon-so 4 dozen doughnuts were today's purchase.  They won't last long since we ate about a dozen and a half this morning.  Graham was pretty happy to blow out his first of 3 candles today.
  • After breakfast, Robby went to work and we ran home for a little bit.  The kids worked on their school work and I rushed around cleaning bathrooms.  We were able to finish almost all the school work that we had laid out (not much at all) before we had to leave again.  
  • We met the Heltz and Kamps at the pool today.  The pool was pretty full for the first little but then it emptied out.  After lunch, Robby arrived with ice cream and some toppings for the birthday boy and everyone else to enjoy.  
  • After Robby left, my Whitman got his sandals and was ready to leave too.  He let me know that he was ready to leave by fussing for a good 15 minutes.  Then he finally sat in my lap at the edge of the pool and drank his drink.  After I had refilled his cup twice, I didn't the third time so he went to my ice chest and started adding ice himself.  I guess this was a enough to make him happy because after a few minutes, he returned to the pool as happy as he could be-but he only had about 5 minutes before the whistle blew and it was time for us all to leave.
  • Once at home, Anderson and Campbell had a bit more school to do along with a few more chores.  Then we started our afternoon nap time-movies, snack and some downtime for everyone.  I even sat down for a few minutes and "rested my eyes" until someone needed my help in the bathroom!
  • Then it was time for supper-Robby arrived home just before Nonna, Pops and Jason came over to help close the celebration of Graham's birthday.  Nonna brought pizza and a huge cupcake for Graham.  They stayted after supper and played for a bit with the kids.  When they headed home, we went to work around here and soon all of my people were sleeping quietly.  (Actually, they were wired and it took a long, long time for the kids to be quiet and finally go to bed-that is an occasional con of having 5 kids sleep in the same bedroom) 
  • My entertainment this evening was Robby in the kitchen.  I was sitting quietly in the living room working on my blog when I heard a crash and kabang.  I asked what that was and Robby said that he had dropped his coke.  I thought nothing of that until I heard the sound a coke bottle opening, the sounds of spewing and then the sounds of something splattering.  Robby apparently thought that it was okay to try to open the 2 liter that he had just dropped on the floor.  Of course this led to a good while of mopping the floor, doing another load of laundry, wiping down the counters, cabinets and front of the fridge.  Poor Robby had just had a shower and had to change his clothes completely-his main complaint was that he got coke up his nose!

July 28, 2015

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Campbell started coughing this morning right before seven.  I was already awake because my alarm clock had been buzzing off and on since 6:15.  It was beckoning me to climb on that treadmill but I resisted the urge and laid in bed until Campbell came downstairs right at 7.
  • I stumbled around this morning doing a bit of laundry (it will never end) and then made everyone some cinnamon toast.  We read some at breakfast and then the kids started on thier school work.
  • They were just doing almost half of their real school days work today.  Graham had asked if he could play for 5 minutes between his boxes and I said sure.  I had already explained to my boys that they were going to be responsible for finishing their own school work and if they didn't in the morning, then they could certainly do it during movie and kindle time.  About 10:30, I realized that Anderson had only finished one box-2 and a half hours and all he did was typing!  Gracious me!
  • Even though we have had our soft opening of school, we still haven't thrown in our history or science or even our memory work.  The real first week is next week so I better make their signs to hold (first day of 4th grade, etc) so things can be official.
  • At lunch, we did some more reading and then started on a few chores before our afternoon.  I spend most of the afternoon packing for our quick trip to Dallas and back.  Even though we will be gone for only 2 nights, I am taking about the same amount of stuff that we did for our 18 night trip.  Packing was much easier this time-I should just stay packed!
  • The kids had a really good day today compared to yesterday but they started getting louder and louder this afternoon.  I finally had to turn off the movies and tell everyone to go upstairs and play.  Of course no one complained and they played happily for about an hour...but I felt bad about sending them upstairs since it was 84 up there!  Our upstairs air can not keep up on hot days (downstairs you could hang meat!)
  • Robby was home just in time for us to load up and head down the road to the Wilson's house.  They have camp staffers staying with them this week so they had some extra food and needed some people to help them eat it-and they thought of us!  We ate and then they made us walk before we could get brownies!  Whitman happily rode in the stroller while the boys counted down the minutes until dessert and the girls painted fingernails.  
  • We stayed until it was too late and when we came home, I was holding the pan of brownies and whacked Whitman right in the eye.  He ended up having a tiny cut but will probably have a black eye tomorrow!  Poor thing didn't cry for long-only really when I tried to wipe it.  But he was happy to search for his deer before bedtime (last night we saw 6 but tonight there were none!)

July 27, 2015

(click here for today's pictures)

  • For some reason my alarm that went off at 6:15 this morning sounds like the horn of a Model T.  I am pretty certain that I would never choose that sound for my alarm-much less the first thing that I hear in the morning.  There are lots of little hands on my phone these days and it is actually like they have taken it over.  I used to have a kindle too but now it is Keaton's kindle.  I am working very hard at keeping my computer just to myself and to no one else.  
  • Everyone must have been up early this morning becuase when I came down from the treadmill, people were already noisy and ready for breakfast. We ate and then started on our bit of school for the day.
  • School was going wonderfully until I checked Graham's math.  He had skipped a problem so I asked for him to do it and the child told me that he had done that math problem.  I was looking right at it, he was looking right at it-it was blank.  This did not go over very well with me at all!  Nor did he telling me that we eat lunch at 11 and then proceeding to whine and tell me that he was hungry until lunch was finally served (at the usual time of 12!)  He did finally pull himself together and the rest of his day was fine.
  • After eating lunch, we did a few quick chores and then headed to Beebee's place to see her.  I was pretty sure that we had plenty of time to see Beebee, stop by the library and then make it to the pool by 2-apparently I am not good at math!  It was 3 by the time we made it to the pool but I was very pleased with my kiddos and their behavior with Beebee.
  • Everyone talked to her and didn't gorge themselves on her candy.  Whitman didn't scream at all (I think he must be sick!) and we were given no dirty looks by the workers-it was a good visit!  Then a quick run into the library to pick up some books.
  • We made it at the pool and soon Grannymom joined us and then Jenna.  Those two went to work on Keaton and her swimming.  She can put her head under the water, kick her feet and move her arms but she is still a bit timid.  She did go down the slide without her floatees and Jenna caught her immediately but later, Keaton said "I will never do that again."
  • We stayed until the pool closed (just 5) but my Whitman was ready to go soon after Grannymom left.  He just wanted for me to hold him or he sat in the chair still as he could be.  Once we made it home, I could tell that my baby was a bit warm so tonight I did give him a bit of tylenol.  And just a reminder-he is the best baby ever-he just swallowed all of that nasty medicine as happily as he could be.
  • We arrived home just as Robby did.  The kids ran outside to play with Graham's new birthday present from Josh and Zach and then it was showers for all.  Robby then made his waffles and everyone ate and ate. 
  • After the kitchen and the toy room were cleaned, we sat down to watch Herbie the movie.  It was pretty good but I was cuddling with Whitman and Keaton and soon was sound asleep during most of the movie.  I think that the kids enjoyed it since Anderson was asking to watch the other Herbies.  

July 26, 2015

(click here for today's pictures)

  • I carefully laid out the kids clothes this morning so no one would have to ask me what color their shirt was, what dress was theirs or anything else during my shower.  I started with Reagan's dress (which she did not wear and picked her own clothes out) and ended with Whitman's little clothes.  Even though I was trying to avoid an incident like a few weeks ago when Robby put Whitman's shirt (he's 2) on Graham (he's 6), I actually created a problem-I switched Anderson and Graham's shorts up. It is always strange to me that the kids can not figure out that they do not have on their clothes but someone elses' clothes-Anderson looked at me and said "these shorts sure are tight."  It never crossed his mind that he was wearing some one else's shorts!
  • Thankfully, everyone was dressed, in their own clothes, and ready for breakfast in plenty of time for us to eat and then arrive at church in plenty of time to check in with all of the grandparents.  
  • My Whitman did NOT want to go into his class this morning.  That sweet baby grabbed Keaton's hand and tried to pull her in the room with him.  Eventually I had to pry his hands from the door frame as his teacher pulled him into the room-what a horrible feeling!  And it hasn't gotten any better even though he is number 6!
  • Lunch was at Grannymom's house and Zach was there which delighted my people.  We ate and the kids had a bit of time to play before we headed home for the afternoon.  During the afternoon, my Keaton and Campbell worked had on making themselves and a few of their baby dolls crowns to wear.  I had forgotten that I had actually banned from them from all art supplies for the week because someone (probably Keaton) colored on a door and a wall a few days ago.
  • And while I am mentioning those girls, just imagine them walking through the house towing a shopping cart filled with 3 baby dolls and a stroller with 3 baby dolls, each holding a baby and usually with 2-3 diaper bags each.  All day long, every day-those girls and their babies!
  • Church tonight and Whitman was able to go into class with Keaton and that didn't help any either-he still didn't want to play.  But when I picked him up, he was as happy as he could be.  And everyone else was as happy as they could be when we made it home and passed out Sunday's ice cream truck-new selection of goodies tonight since the others had melted!  Maybe I should try a new ice cream treat tonight as well!   

July 25, 2015

(click here for today's pictures)

  • We all slept in as long as we could this morning and then had to scurry around to get ourselves ready.  I had left Whitman in the kitchen eating a honey bun and when I walked back in, he looked at me and shouted "I eat it ALL!" 
  • Next stop was Grannymom's house to pick up Grannymom, Grandpa and Zach and then we headed to pick up my ring.  If you see my shiny ring and think it is new, it is not.  After the 3rd or 4th kiddo, I couldn't fit it over my finger anymore so I finally got around to having it resized-just a 1/2 size larger (that made me feel skinny!)
  • Then it was to the MacArthur Museum to walk around and see the vintage military vehicles.  They had quite a few jeeps and such out on the grounds.  It was decent in the shade so we walked around for a few minutes.  One nice man showed the kids different helmets and let them hold an old radio-they couldn't believe that it was like a phone.  (Of course they can hardly imagine a phone that plugs into the wall.)
  • Back in the car we hopped for a drive to the River Market to walk around the Farmer's Market.  Grannymom was the only one to buy anything though I was tempted (it wasn't veggies).  I did see the price of peaches there and wish that I had some more like the ones we bought on the way home from Branson.  (Anyone going to Branson?)  
  • We needed a bit of nourishment before driving back across town so we gobbled up some ice cream and then picked up lunch to eat at Grannymom's house.  After a bit of playing over there, we went to the pool for about 3 hours.  
  • Grannymom and I both tried to get Keaton to take off her floatees and swim some but she would not do it for us at all.  But when Jenna came along, Keaton was all about swimming without her floatees.  And that little thing did really, really well-I think I will have to ask Jenna to come back to the pool with us very soon.
  • It was hot, hot and you pretty much had to be in the water or wet to be comfortable.  But the worst part was the concrete-it was scalding!  Zack and Anderson worked on making a path with water from our chairs to the pool but I swear, I think that the water was boiling when they put it on the concrete and it really didn't help any.  I tried to pick Whitman up as much as I could so he didn't burn his little feet.
  • After the pool, Zach came back home with us for a bit-the kids played the Wii, nerf guns and watched some movies.   The weather looked iffy for our next plan-half price shakes at Sonic and playtime on the playground.  But we waited the off and on rain out until it the sky looked clear and headed for shakes (oh, yes, we did have supper before-lots of leftovers)
  • It didn't even look like it had rained at Sonic so the sand was dry and the kids were able to play-until our shakes came.  It took awhile to make 8 ice cream dishes (6 shakes and 2 ice cream cups-I was the one skipping ice cream tonight...though I did end up drinking most of Robbys)
  • After ice cream, we took Zach back to Grannymom's house and then drove home for showers.  When we want, we can get those showers done quickly and we did tonight-in and out, in and out working three showers at a time!  Whoop, whoop and everyone was in bed by 10! (By everyone, I mean the kids-Robby and I just sat down on the couch to start our grown up quiet time!)

July 24, 2015

(click here for today's pictures)

  • We pretended that this morning was Saturday until Robby finally decided that he should get up and go to work like a grown up.  I was hoping that we could just have a do nothing day but instead I opted to get up and start our day.
  • Before breakfast, the boys played with their remote control cars outside for a while.  Breakfast included banana bread today and the big news was that Anderson tried some.  That boy never really branches out to try new things so this was a big deal.  
  • Then it was time to do a little bit more school-we are trying to start this year gradually.  Today everyone had 4 boxes to do.  Surprisingly, the kids did well-ish.  Everyone had math to do so that was a shocker not having worked on their real math for well over a month.  Reagan had the hardest-division with remainders-so I had to sit near her for most of her work.  But the only other things she had left was working with me.  
  • Campbell begged me to pull out more school work for her so I figured why not.  She was quickly finished with what I gave her and asked for more and then she asked to paint and then she just pulled out the chalkboard and went to town with the chalk.  Campbell and Keaton will be my wild cards during school this year!  I know I can always distract Whitman with a Thomas movie if I need to or tempt him upstairs to play with his train tracks for a few minutes of quiet.
  • We had lunch out on the patio-the kids had asked to eat out there so why not-even though it was 100 degrees.  Thankfully, it was shady and I only started to get hot as we were on the last page of our chapter that we were reading.  Then it was back inside for a quick pick up of the house and then back outside for minute.
  • Months ago our homeschool friends came over and we made chairs out of newspapers.  Since then Graham has been working on a stool made out of newspaper so today was the day that we spray painted it (I am also spray painting some birds) so we went out and did a bit of painting.  This time we did get hot pretty quickly so we came inside to the living room for the afternoon.
  • During the afternoon, I was so cold that I had Keaton and Campbell cuddle up with me so I could get warm (I was also too lazy to get the blanket out of the trunk that my feet rested upon)  We snuggled and were just about asleep when someone said "is that Daddy?" and indeed it was.
  • Soon after Robby arrived home, it was time to leave for a birthday party.  The kids enjoyed swimming and swimming at another pool was fun for them.  Campbell was pleased to show me that she could swim the entire lenght of the pool and Whitman did the same-that is probably why that child was so exhausted tonight!

July 23, 2015

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Keaton and Campbell were awake at exactly seven this morning.  Campbell must have been up waiting on the clock to change to seven and woke Keaton up.  Keaton told me that Campbell woke her up and she was still sleeping.  Everyone else slept for a bit longer.  Graham was the one who woke up next and headed to the toy room to make a massive train track for Whitman.
  • The morning was pretty much the same this morning-we did a few school boxes.  I did determine that Graham needs to work on how to write a really good paragraph (maybe Reagan and Anderson need to learn that as well).  So many things to work on and just so little time!
  • Our main mission this morning was getting things accomplished around the house so we could head out for some shopping.  Graham had some birthday money to spend and we needed to buy a few birthday presents.  
  • The one thing that I really do not enjoy doing is shopping-if I could never enter a store again and buy everything that I need from amazon I would be completely happy.  (Now I do like the grocery store)  I was dreading this event but before we started we ran to Nonna's house to pick up a coupon.  She offered to keep anyone who wanted to stay with her so Whitman was quickly volunteered by me and then Campbell said that she wanted to stay with Nonna as well-2 less shoppers with me was certainly fine.
  • Our first stop was Micheals-Graham had a gift card to buy a scrapbook and it didn't take us too long to find one and some scrapbook supplies which were all on sale.  Then we found a birthday present for tomorrow's party which was also on sale.  Reagan was the wild card though-I was really worried that she wasn't going to be able to decide on a present for Lilli but she quickly did and at Micheals.
  • We were on a roll and ran in and out of the dollar store for some candy.  I was feeling good and then we entered Sports Academy to spend one last gift card of Grahams.  That is where my good feeling stopped!  We walked and we walked and we walked around the store-first the boy wanted a tennis racket, then a skateboard and finally, he decided on a pocket knife.  Not the safest of items to buy but probably safer than a skateboard.  I did cause some of the delay at the store because I bought shoes for Reagan and Anderson but oh, my we were there forever!
  • On the way back to Nonnas, I rewarded everyone with dollar hot dogs from sonic.  Then we picked up Campbell and Whitman and headed home for the afternoon.  The afternoon flew quickly by and soon we were back in the car headed to Lilli's birthday party.
  • We dropped Reagan off at the nail place to surprise Lilli while Cash came with us. Robby ran into Walmart and then we claimed a good spot at the pool and waited on the birthday girl and her friends to arrive.  
  • Lilli had a big party and was pretty surprised at the nail salon.  Reagan had never had a pedicure-didn't even know what it was-so of course she had a great time as well.  She talked and talked about it most of the way home.  She enjoyed it so much that we might have to do it again sometime!

July 22, 2015

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Two down and four to go! Graham asked Jesus into his heart tonight.  He had mentioned it back in January at the same time that Anderson did but we weren't too sure if he was just wanting to do it becuase his brother just did so we held him off for a bit.  Today he asked me again and I said certainly and we would wait on Robby to get home.  Before bed, Robby and he went outside to talk and that boy came back in grinning from ear to ear.
  • This morning the kids were up and playing their kindles before we made it out of bed-the odd thing about that is the kindles were in Robby's locked office.  Campell had Reagan open the door-which means the had to use a pillow to knock down the key from the doorframe and then carefully unlock the door.  Those silly kindle addicted kids-Whitman is the most addicted of all of my kiddos! 
  • After breakfast, we started on a tiny bit of school-just enough for me to realize that I am in no way going to be able to get all of our schooling done each day.  Dennie school will have to last until midnight! Hopefully, I can get things figured out or I will have to start waking Reagan up at 3 in the morning so I can work with her.
  • We also had a few chores to do this morning and I asked Campbell and Keaton to empty all of the trash cans.  I know that we do have quite a few trash cans but my girls can usually do a good job-not today!  After about an hour, they had finished emptying 2 trash cans-I made it clear that trash cans were to by emptied quickly because we are were about to leave.  This helped some but I am not sure that all, even most, of my trash cans are emptied today-oh well, our trash outside is already full and there will always be next week.
  • At 11, we made it to the pool and the kids enjoyed playing with the Kamps until it was time for us to go home.  My Graham got a little bit tired and saw me putting clothes on Whitman so he quickly jumped out of the pool ready to leave.  The kids acted much better at the pool today-no tag game was the reason why!
  • Back at home, the afternoon was pretty much the same as usual-movies, snack, rest and even a bit of treadmill time for me (yes, that was unusual).  I watched Pioneer Woman while I was on the treadmill so when I was finished, I wrote down all of the recipes that I wanted to make.
  • Robby made it home in time for supper and we all ate and then pretty much did nothing for the rest of the evening.  We did cap off the evening by watching some of the pictures from our trip and then bedtime and Bible story.

July 21, 2015

(click here for today's pictures)
  • I had a revalation today: making cinnamon toast in the oven is sure a lot faster than making it in my toaster.  Why would someone not have told me that years ago?  For a while I would set off the smoke alarm every time I made toast but that has improved lately.  What has also improved lately is my kids appetites.  They eat toast so quickly that I can hardly give everyone some toast before others are asking for seconds.  Not so today-I filled my cookie sheet up with toast and everyone was able to eat at the same time-this left me free to read and eat myself!
  • I decided that the kids should do a bit of their first day of school today so when I told them that, everyone took it well-ish.  I just had them do two boxes so of course the easiest of all of the boxes were picked by everyong.  Campbell did finish up her first day today-I found some skittles for her one page and we worked on her spelling together.  
  • After they had finished their school, we did a few chores and then headed to the library.  I just needed to get some books that were on hold and Reagan begged me to just run in myself and not make everyone else get out of the car.  I told her no that was not safe but she countered with "Daddy does it all of the time."  (I took this issue up with their father who could only think of one place that he runs in with the kids in the car.) 
  • Then it was time to meet Grannymom at the pool.  She had lunch for us and after a short swim, we all ate.  Lilli showed up and the kids started playing tag.  Lilli and Graham yell at each other like an old married couple (though I don't really know any old married couples that yell at each other!)  I eventually had to put a stop to the game of tag and thought about making the kids swim laps as a punishment (actually, I just made them play another game at the other side of the pool so I couldn't hear them hollar at each other.)
  • It was hot, hot out there today-though it was fine in the water.  And it was also sunny-apparently I didn't use enough sun screen on the kids.  Keaton, even though she received two coats, is pretty red this evening.  Once we made it home, the kids played on their kindles and upstairs for awhile.  
  • Robby was home a little late but that was fine since he brought home supper.  After supper, Graham, Campbell and Keaton put on a show for us-basically, Graham was a bank robber, Campbell was the cop and Keaton was the one who took the stolen money back to the bank.  This lasted for far too long before we clapped and cheered long enough that the show had to be over.
  • On the trip, we listened to the book Fantastic Mr. Fox and I found that movie at the library so we watched it-let's just say the book was better than the movie!  I guess that is how is usually is but the book was also just as long as the movie.  Whitman watched most of the movie with his hands in his mouth-I do believe that he acts like he is scared so his big sisters will baby him.  
  • After the movie, it was bedtime for all my people.  Robby said that I didn't have many pictures today and reminded me that the kids will only be this age today...so I will try to do better with a few more shots tomorrow.

    July 20, 2015

    Cupcakes on the back porch!
    (click here for today's pictures)
    • This morning it didn't take me too long to realize that Robby and I were the only ones that were still asleep this morning. Graham did join us in bed pretty early which caused Robby to end up in the floor but that didn't matter-we were all still sleeping well when we should have been up and moving.
    • I didn't have any plans for this day and that was a probably a mistake.  The kids started playing on their kindles very early this morning and I busied myself getting my chores accomplished and before I knew it, everyone was being ugly, yelling and mad at each other.  I don't think that I can blame it on them being tired today so I will insist that it was from the lack of structure to our day (tomorrow we shall be much busier!)
    • Things did calm down some after lunch-actually they calmed down quite a bit.  We put away the kindles and the kids started playing fairly happily.  My Campbell started on her kindergarten work-she was able to wait no longer.  She did quite a bit of her first day of work today-her reading book, a reading page, math, phonics, handwriting, a sight word page and a fun drawing page.  I think that she just has spelling, a skittles activity (I need to buy skittles) and a map puzzle left.  She was so proud that she left her work out for Robby to see when he got home.
    • When he did arrive home, he opened up the amazon packages for the day (yes, I am married to a shopaholic!) and Graham was delighted and also a bit worried about one of the boxes-a replacement basketball goal.  Robby put it together and then they had a few lessons just to make sure that Graham knew exactly what to do and what to not to so hopefully another injury will not occur!  (So you need not think that Robby is a real shopaholic, the other box was much needed windshield wipers for my car.)
    • The boys ended up outside for a bit this evening and then it was supper time.  After supper I had the kids clean up a little bit before sending them all to the patio so they could finish off Graham's birthday cupcakes.  I really should have everyone eat back there for every meal-maybe I need to move the picnic table there-it sure would mean a lot less sweeping for me!
    • The kids watched an episode of Ninja Warrior and then it was bedtime for my crew.  They were pretty wound up at bedtime but hopefully they will sleep well!

    July 19, 2015

    "Watch this!"
    (click here for today's pictures)
    • After missing 3 Sundays, I think we were all ready to get back into the swing of things at church.  Well, maybe one of us wasn't so ready-Whitman!  As Robby was dressing him this morning, Robby asked "Do you want to go to church?" and my baby was quick to reply "No!"  And no, he didn't.  As I was dropping him off in his class, a set of screaming twins were dropped off right in front of us.  Then the teacher had to pry a screaming and flailing Whitman off of me.  
    • Anderson told me that big church seemed like just 10 minutes today and I would pretty much agree-I didn't even have time to make my mental to-do list.  (Just keeping it real!)  Then it was Sunday school time and our class only had 8 kiddos so that was nice especially since I was a bit under prepared.  
    • Lunch at home this week and then a bit of laundry (a bit of laundry being an understatement). Then I thought since Whitman was napping, the kids were watching a movie and Robby was passed out or sleeping in the floor, I should lay down too.  It wasn't 3 minutes and Keaton and Campbell were in there trying to drop off their baby at school.  I looked at them and told them that it was nap time at the day care and if their baby stayed, she would have to sleep.  I guess the baby didn't stay at school long because the baby was gone when I woke up.
    • We finally woke up from our naps enough to load everyone up and head to the pool for a bit. The cousins were there so my kids were in heaven.  We swam, Dana picked up pizza, we swam some more and then it was time to come home.  It was hot out there today-if you were not in the shade then you had to be in the water.  
    • Once at home, it was showers for everyone and a drink for all (mainly to help Graham take his medicine without complaint) and then it was bedtime for all my people.  I am trying to work up the nerve to suggest that we do a days work of school this week (just one day of school during one week of summer vacation) but maybe not!

    July 18, 2015-Happy (early) Birthday Graham!

    Happy Birthday Graham!
    (click here for today's pictures)
    • It was 6:30 this morning when the kids started talking.  Robby rolled over and turned off the monitor so maybe we could sleep a bit longer.  I am so silly and had even set my alarm for 8 this morning, just hoping that they would sleep in.
    • But no, there was much excitement happening upstairs-first, everyone was excited about Graham's birthday party happening today and second, they all wanted to get a good look at Graham's stitches.  I guess they talked about the party and examined the stitches until exactly 7 because that is when they all came downstairs.
    • Campbell came in our room and lasted for a few minutes until she was told to leave (too much talking too early!)  Then Reagan walked in asking about her kindle-right where she had left it, on Robby's nightstand.  Keaton was next to cuddle up for a few minutes and by this time, there was no reason to even try to sleep anymore-it was time to get out of bed since there were plenty of things to do this morning.
    • I started on breakfast while Robby did a bit of mowing.  Then we worked on setting up for Graham's party.  After we had finished getting ready for the party, we wondered why in the world we would have had a party at 11 in the morning on one of the hottest days of the year.
    • Once back inside, the kids helped pick up the house and put on their clothes.  By 10:00, Graham was asking to go outside to start waiting on his party guests and when I finally let him, he was just in time to see Grannymom and Grandpa come.
    • They delivered some of my freezer food that they had rescued from our first of three power outages while we were gone (outages: just our house, then just one circuit in our house and finally the entire neighborhood)  Once they had unloaded, then Nonna and Pops arrived, followed by Jason, Dana, Lilli and Cash, the Kamps and the Warfords.  Graham could not have been happier.  
    • We ate first-hot dogs, potato salad and chips.  Then it was time for the big kickball game.  I did my best to make the teams even but my team got smoked by the other team and thankfully Graham was on the winning team.  The red team was Grant, Robby, Whit, Tara, Lilly, Eden, Anderson, Jason and Grannymom and we played our hearts out against the winning team. That yellow team was Graham, Aaron, Noah, Dana, Reagan, Campbell, Cash, Keaton, Grannymom and Sara.  
    • We played 2 innings and then had to stop for a popsicle break.  Then it was back to the field for another round of ball.  Whitman enjoyed when the rest of us went back to the field because he was able to have as many popsicles as he wanted when everyone else was occupied.  After that round, it was finally cupcake time.  
    • The wind, which hadn't blown all day long, started gusting as we lit the candles.  I was able to light just a few and we sang quickly while Graham blew out the candles.  While everyone ate the cupcakes, Graham opened his presents.  I believe my boy was pretty pleased with everything: a Michael's and Academy gift card, water balloon maker, the Action Bible, a blanket, boogie board, legos and a baseball glove.  My G was very happy with his presents and first laid them all out on the fireplace but by tonight, he was putting everything up where it belongs.  
    • When Graham had finished opening all of his presents, it was pinata time.  Graham, Keaton and Campbell had worked on the pinata a day or two ago.  I poured some candy out of a few bags for them to get started with and when I returned all of the candy that I had poured out was in the pinata and all of the candy in those bags was also stuffed in the pinata.  The thing said that it would hold 2 pounds of candy but we had at least 5 pounds of candy in it-that meant a lot of candy for the kids when that pinata finally broke...now, I will have to start sneaking some of it out of their bags to trash it!  Goodness knows, we don't need any more candy.  
    • After putting up all of our birthday party stuff, we had a fairly low key evening-just some hair washing getting ready for church tomorrow.  The day ended with supper and then a movie before bed.

    July 17, 2015

    Stitches for Graham!
    (click here for today's pictures)
    • I was for sure that the kids were going to sleep late this morning but I was so wrong!  Graham ended up coming to our room because he was itchy (his backside and neck have been itchy for days).  He was still sleeping soundly when Campbell came and stepped over him to crawl into our bed at 7:03.  Aren't these people tired? I am.  Couldn't they just sleep in for an hour or two?
    • And really, when I look back over the day, they really should have slept another hour or two.  We had meltdown after meltdown all day long-not really from my little 3 but from my big 3.  I guess coming back to reality after 4 days at day camp is hard!  It was hard on me too!
    • We had our breakfast and picked up the house for a bit.  Then it was bathing suits on followed by 10 minutes of picking up sticks.  That is when the first catastrophe of the day happened-Reagan was stung by a wasp.  I grabbed the ice pack and benedryl (which I have poured more of this week than ever because of Graham's rash) and soon she was no longer screaming.  I sprayed the wasp nest and then surveyed the yard to see that we did not make a difference at all during our quick round of stick picking up.
    • Then we loaded up and headed to see Beebee.  The kids couldn't keep their hands off of each other but we survived.  Anderson almost did not make it though-I asked if he wanted to push Beebee down the hall and he said no.  So I told Graham that he could and then Anderson said that he had changed his mind.  I told him that maybe he could push Beebee back but Graham was going to do it this time and that is when my normally calm Anderson had himself a fit. 
    • I know that I have said it before but it is a wonder that they don't kick us out of Beebee's place.  We cause such a commotion and Whitman, even though he brought in his trains, did his fair share of screaming.  
    • Next stop was the pool.  If my people fought once about Reagan's goggles, they did a zillion times.  I was about to lose my mind and jump in the deep end of the pool (I can't swim!)  We arrived around noon and had our lunch at 1.  Then we swam for another hour before drying off and coming home.
    • We unloaded and had showers and soon the Wilsons arrived with a gift for Graham.  He was pretty excited about opening his first present and he then laid it on the fireplace.  Later he told me that he was going to take a picture of all of his presents before he opened any of them.  Wonder where he gets that silliness from? (Me!)  
    • For supper, Robby, Keaton and Campbell ran to get supper.  And shortly thereafter, our other catastrophe occurred.  I am not sure where Anderson was but Whitman and I were laying in the floor in the living room.  Reagan was in the room where Graham had been playing basketball on his brand new basketball goal.
    • I had been hearing the thud, thud, kerplunk, thud of him playing ball which shakes the door and pretty much the entire house.  But then the thudding stopped and the blood curdling "Momma" scream happened.  I sat up just as Graham ran in the room with his head and hand covered in blood.  I rushed him off the carpet and grabbed a towel.  
    • It didn't take too long to find his cut-it wasn't large but it was deep.  Anderson was almost in tears and I briefly thought that Reagan was going to pass out.  I had to tell them to move back because they had looks of horror on their faces and Graham was feeding off of them.  He stopped crying pretty quick (once we had the bleeding under control) and then I started to have to answer a zillion questions: Anderson asked "what about his party? will we have to cancel?"  I answered that of course we wouldn't have to cancel because it was just a little cut (that made me pretty nauseous myself).  Graham was concerned about his brain.  So I had to reassure him that his brain was fine-or at least as fine as it was before the basketball goal fell on him.
    • Apparently the basketball goal just fell on his head while he was playing.  He had played on it for at least an hour while Reagan was watching her movie and he really can't reach it too well but so I don't think that he did anything wrong to cause it to happen (and Reagan was in the same room so she would have definitely told).  We were very fortunate because the whole thing seems to be glass-like.  It really could have cut him much worse or even his eye so I will gladly take a small and deep cut.
    • Everyone was good help during this: When I mentioned stitches and doctor, Reagan took Whitman and started telling him that they needed to put him some pants on because we were leaving.  I assured her that Robby was almost back home and they didn't have to go anywhere. Anderson got the towel and started cleaning up Graham's trail of blood across the house.  So as soon as Robby walked in the door, we walked out.
    • On the way to the clinic, I cheerfully told Graham that he was going to get his birthday stitches. He replied that he should have gotten his birthday spankings and not his birthday stitches.  Once at the clinic, we were checked in and then we heard someone walk in the door-it was Nonna with a drink for Graham.  This brightened his mood and it wasn't too much longer before we were in the room.
    • The doctor numbed Graham's head and we had to wait a bit for that to take.  Then Graham said that he could feel something so the doc gave him a few shots in his head.  But Graham really didn't react to that medicine so he probably couldn't even feel the shot but that was fine since he was no doubt numb after the medicine and shot.  
    • His head only needed 2 stitches and Graham was as still as he could-since we were thumb wrestling through it.  The doctor even looked at his rash and prescribed him some meds for that. Graham was pretty happy that he received a teddy bear from the place just like Campbell did when she had been diagnosed with the flu from there.  
    • Back at home, everyone had eaten their supper and then watched a bit of tv before going to bed.  As soon as we came in, we went upstairs to show everyone Graham's stitches-my Anderson was sound asleep and never stirred.
    • Graham and I ate supper and then it was medicine time and bedtime for him.  Quite an eventful evening so hopefully tomorrow we be a little less calm.