October 31, 2016-Happy Halloween!

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  • I had to wake up my Whitman and Keaton to get them ready for the day. They were pretty exhausted this morning and it will only be worse in the morning. Keaton usually wakes up well and is pretty quick about getting ready but Whitman is as slow as Christmas until you start mentioning breakfast. 
  • Once they left for school, work and Nonna's house, the rest of us started on school. Things seemed to be going fine until I realized that Campbell and Anderson had spent most time fooling around than actually doing their school work. Nothing drives me crazier than that-it isn't even like their work is hard, they just prefer to throw glitter on each other or hide from each other.
  • We did our science and history today and then I sat down and had my lunch while Graham and Reagan did their chores (some days Graham is in the 'fooling around' category but not today) and Anderson and Campbell (the 'fooling around' ones) worked on their school. Then they all had lunch before we all started on our chores.
  • I have started working on Anderson and Graham's clothes switch over. This is probably the latest I have ever done it-November and it is still hot outside. The boys were a bit of help but they aren't as much as trying on clothes as the girls are. It is just a bit easier for me to put all of their clothes in their drawer and just make them change when they put on something too big or too small.
  • Graham said that he ran 2 miles on the treadmill this afternoon and I think that he is probably telling something close to the truth since he was upstairs for quite a while. Campbell did a half mile and I had to wait patiently during all of this before I could get on that treadmill and struggle through my 2 miles.
  • Soon it was time for load up and head out for the evening. Our first stop was Sonic for corndogs and fries. We had some pretzels for some along with an oatmeal cream pie and drink for everyone. Then we headed to our main trick or treating spot. We parked and then everyone had to put on their costumes. Tonight we started our real trick or treating before seeing the grands so it was much brighter out when we started.
  • We walked up and down a few streets and soon it was getting dark. The kids so enjoyed trick or treating but by far, Whitman loved it more than anyone else. He talked the entire evening long: "Halloween is my favorite holiday. Trick or treat. I want to do more trick or treat. My bucket is filling up. Thank you mister." and on and on he went. He used a weeks worth of words in just a few hours tonight.
  • When we made it to the Browns, the kids were tired so they gladly sat down to eat their popcorn and cotton candy. They were given candy there along with a rice krispy treat which made Robby a happy trick or treater! From there, we hit a few more houses and then headed to the car.
  • At Nonna's house, we rang the doorbells of 3 of her neighbors and then finished off Nonna's candy. Next we drove to Krispy Kreme so the kids could get a free doughnut. We ate those doughnuts at Grannymom's house and we even let the kids dump their candy and sort it all out.
  • It was a successful Halloween-now to get to work on eating some of the kids chocolate candy!

October 30, 2016

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  • Whitman woke up at Nonna and Pops' house this morning and I am pretty sure that Robby remembered that this morning. He still used the excuse that he was waiting in bed for Whitman to come and get in bed with him. Since he never came, Robby never got out of bed until just about the last minute.
  • We were still able to all get ready and eat breakfast before leaving for church this morning. We picked up Whitman on Nonna and Pops' row and then went to see Grannymom and Grandpa. Then it was on to our classes. The big 3 all can sing in on their own now and are off as soon as we give the go ahead. The others have to wait for us to sign them in.
  • Big church was after Sunday school and I guess that we stayed up a bit too late last night because at one time Campbell was laying on one of Robby's shoulders and Keaton was on the other one also sound asleep.
  • Next we had our lunch at Grannymom's house. The kids played some and when it was time to go, Cash came on home with us. The first thing the kids did was to pour out all of their candy from last night and set up a few stores to make a few trades. Then they played some type of President game-Whitman was the president and the boys were his guards. I am not sure how this game worked but it involved a fort, nerf guns and lots of yelling.
  • We took Cash home and then picked up pizza for supper. Reagan convinced us to stop by Wendys for frosties on the way home. Once at home, we ate and then did a few chores before the kids watched a bit of American Ninja Warrior before bed.

October 29, 2016

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  • We slept as late as we could this morning since we knew that we had a busy day. The kids, however, only slept as long as they were required. Graham must wake up at 6:30 every morning and then have to lay in bed waiting until 7. Most nights, we hear Anderson tell his brother to wake him up in the morning-he doesn't want to miss any of his ipad playing time.
  • Whitman and then Keaton did climb into bed with us this morning and Whitman made it clear that he was hungry. He wanted a pancake with syrup and a fork and a plate. Once we were in the kitchen, I tried to offer him leftover doughnuts, coffee cake and even apple cake (he is the only Dennie kids that will eat it.) But nope, he just wanted his pancake with syrup and a fork and a plate.
  • We all had some downtime this morning but we also left the house cleanish. We left a bit before 11 and didn't return until nearly 7 tonight. The first stop was Sams to pick up some meds and then to Toys R Us. 
  • Jason met us there and our first stop was the American Girl section. They were giving out a free gift (which was really just a lot of paper) but the girls all took one. Then we headed to the back of the store for the Lego event. They were giving out pieces of Legos and with those you could make a Frankenstein. The kids all built their creation at the store and then we looked around for a little bit. For some reason, I lost all track of time and thought that it was an hour later than what it was and hurried us all out of the car.
  • In the car, Robby asked what we were going to do for the next hour and 15 minutes and that is when I realized what time it really was. That all worked out well though because we had time to stop by Nonna's house for lunch. Yep, more funeral meat! I think that we have about eaten it all now.
  • We had a bit of downtime there and then were off to the next event. The church down the road had their Fall Fest today. We have lived out here for 5 years but this is our first one to go to and we aren't really sure why. The kids had a wonderful time today and I am sure that we will go back next year. Nonna and Pops even showed up and walked around with us some.
  • There were some carnival games with candy as the prizes-my Anderson completely filled his bag. There were jumpies which were Whitman's favorite ever. They had a train going around that Campbell and Whitman rode on twice. Campbell said that she wasn't going on it again because it was bumpy.
  • They had a hay maze and a hay slide. Keaton was the only one of the Dennie kids that wanted to ride on a real horse so Pops waited with her in line. Then they have some type of spinny ride that everyone except Reagan and Anderson rode on. Another highlight was the lemonade, popcorn and cotton candy. 
  • The best part of the fest was the cake walk-and the Dennies walked away with an arm load of cakes. There were 50ish spaces on the cake walk and the first few rounds all 10 of us were walking around. A Dennie won and then another Dennie won. Then Nonna won and then we had a lull for a bit but boom, more Dennies won. Campbell was the last one to win so everyone but Pops, Whitman and Robby left with a goodie. Campbell picked a box of oatmeal cream pies, Reagan picked a huge pan of brownies, I chose a package of cookies (that I sent with the kids to church this afternoon), Graham picked sugar cookies and Keaton and Anderson picked Halloween cupcakes.
  • When it was nearly time to go home, Robby ran the cakes home so they would melt in the car and I herded the kids to the front. We had been just letting the big ones go where ever they want but next time I do that I will need to make a note of their shirt colors in my phone. I did find everyone and we grabbed a drink and popcorn and loaded up into the car.
  • The first stop this time was back at Nonna's house to drop of Whitman. It was his turn to spend the night with Nonna and Pops. I saw a few pictures and it looked like he had a "sticky" (nutella) for supper and spent some time coloring. He was pretty happy to be over there by himself.
  • The children's Sunday school teachers had a fellowship so we dropped the kids off at church for childcare. There was only one other family of kids but the kids all had a blast. We had a blast too-I won a gift card and Robby won a pot of mums. Our table was entertaining and there was lots of food-chili, potatoes and apple pie.
  • When it was over, we waited until the last minute to go and pick up the kids and then we headed all the way back home. The Wilsons arrived soon after we walked in the door. Shannon brought chili and the fixings. I pulled out my desserts and she had plenty of desserts too. We ate (again for some of us.) 
  • After eating, we worked up our nerve and called the kids back into the kitchen to start carving their pumpkins. My girls did a face and the boys worked on Darth Vader. I say 'boys' but Anderson had no part in the pumpkin carving. He can't stand to touch the stuff inside and wanted nothing to do with it this year. 
  • It took forever to get the pumpkins carved. I was still working on Graham's pumpkin long after he and Robby had given up. Layne was the most dedicated pumpkin carver and worked almost as long as I did. Tony was the over achiever because he carved two sides of Brett's pumpkin. When the pumpkins were finally finished, we took a few pictures of our pumpkin heads.
  • When we Wilsons left, the kids started showering and we started picking up (why, oh why didn't we carve pumpkins outside?) The kids helped us pick up (some) and then it was bedtime for all Dennies (except the ones who needed a bowl of ice cream!)

October 28, 2016

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  • There is just something special about Fridays. The last 2 or 3 Fridays, Whitman has just been a bear here at home but today he was in a good mood and things went pretty splendidly. Once we were all up, everyone had leftover doughnuts from last night.
  • Then we started on our school work. The kids mostly just had half a day left so most everyone was finished fairly quickly. As they finished up, I went upstairs with Keaton and we worked on her clothes changeover. We did half before lunch and the other half afterwards. Don't worry, I did save her plenty of shorts and t shirts since I am beginning to doubt if winter will ever come this year.
  • We did our science and history together and then everyone helped with the laundry for a few minutes before we headed to Nonna's house. She still had some funeral meat left so we went to eat sandwiches with her. I do believe that my kids might be getting tired of sandwiches but hopefully they can squeeze a few more in.
  • After lunch, we came home and most all of the Dennie kiddos laid down for a few minutes-no, not on their own accord but I figured a bit of downtime would help (and it sure helped me!) I had told Anderson and Graham a time that they could get up but told them that Whitman better not see them leave that room. I am not sure how it happened but it was good 20 minutes before Whitman migrated to the girls' room.
  • Once everyone was back downstairs, they watched some tv while waiting, not so patiently, to put on their Halloween costumes for tonight. We ate at the Penningtons and the highlight for the kids was showing off their Halloween costumes (more on those Monday but they were the cutest things ever.)
  • The adults tried to eat super without the kids noticing but we weren't able to do that. As soon as I set down with my plate, the kids came downstairs. I am not sure how they have always known when we are eating but they do-except when we eat our ice cream at night time! Maybe I should just eat all of my meals after their bedtime!
  • They all ate and we were able to enjoy our meal. This was one of the first times that Whitman was able to play upstairs with the big kids making our evening a little more enjoyable. After quite a bit of playtime, we headed home. Tomorrow is a busy day around here.

October 27, 2016

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  • I woke up this morning a bit mad at myself because each Thursday morning I have to scurry around here helping Keaton pick out what she is going to take for show and tell. I remembered all of the acorns on the back patio and suggested that to her as I woke her up. Her reply was no and I tried to start thinking of anything else that started with the letter A which is the letter of the week. Thankfully, she was quick to suggest bringing an airplane. As I grabbed Whitman out of bed, I set out a few airplanes for her to pick from.
  • Soon enough, my 2 littles were dressed, fed and in Robby's car with an airplane for Keaton to take. He dropped them off while the rest of us worked on school. Things went fairly well this morning and school seemed to fly by.
  • It did help that Reagan and I left at 11 to run by the library and then to go and pick up Whitman and Keaton. They were so cute coming out of school and as always, I was pretty pleased to see him wearing the same pair of shorts that I sent him to school in. 
  • Back at home, we had lunch and then the kids helped me pick up their bedrooms and then we kicked them outside until after 5. We probably wouldn't have made them stay out that long but the neighbors were out and no one really asked to come in. It probably did help that they ate about 100 popsicles today.
  • While they were out playing, Robby and I were inside working. I had bunko to get ready for. Most of my food I had already made so that made things easy but still managed to work all afternoon long.
  • It was after 5, when we started showering the kids. They left and spent the evening at Burger King, Krispy Kreme and Grannymom's house. They had a big time and were out pretty late. My bunko girls and I had a big time too and they stayed pretty late. 
  • I will have lots of leftovers-potato and corn chowder, sausage cornbread, apple pecan salad, coffee cake and apple cake. When the kids came home, Keaton and Campbell were the only ones who came in to tell me goodnight. Whitman was already asleep and my other babies must just be too big to hug their mamma now! :)

October 26, 2016

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  • Since I have been guzzling water the last few weeks, I don't go a night without having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, my middle of the night bathroom runs are usually about 15 minutes before we have to wake up (I know, I should go ahead a get up but that's not how I roll.)
  • This morning, as I crawled back into bed at 6:45 I was a bit relieved that we were going to be able to sleep in just a little bit this morning. Seconds after I thought this, we could hear someone trying to open our door and in ran Whitman. He did climb in bed with me and start snuggling so that was nice except above our heads, we could hear 5 other sets of feet waking up and getting out of their beds. 
  • Whitman eventually fell back asleep and slept until the others were already started on their school work. We didn't finish all of school today because I wanted everyone to have a chance to work on their chores. 
  • Then it was time to get ready. Today was Beebee's funeral and getting dressed was quite the ordeal. My big boys were dressed and ready without a single fuss. Whitman had a fit because he wanted blue shoes-we have no blue shoes. Campbell said that her dress was itchy and I said that was fine. Keaton didn't like the dress that Reagan had picked out for her and had a fit when I said she couldn't wear the dress she had put on instead. Reagan felt her dress was too short (which I am thankful for her modesty) but she didn't want to wear leggings with it and tried to sneak by with legging shorts. Once they were all clothed, we started on hair. I had to do Reagan's hair twice because I didn't get it high enough. Finally, Campbell was disappointed that I wouldn't let her wear her hair in dog ears. After all of this, I could have laid down and taken a nap!
  • Before the funeral, there was the visitation so we had about an hour before the service started. Whitman was in quite a mood but did cheer up when he saw people that he knew. The kids all did fine and when the service started, my big 5 squeezed in the front row of the family section with Nonna, Pops, Jason and Hank. Robby and I took a back row seat in that section with Whitman.
  • He was surprisingly perfect during the service. I told Robby that maybe we should start taking him to big church some. It probably did help that Robby had a pocketful of M&Ms that he kept handing to him. When the service was over, Whitman and I were a sticky mess.
  • Again due to all of my water drinking, I knew that I needed to go to the bathroom before we went to the cemetery. I needed to take a kid with me because I didn't want everyone to have to wait on me-waiting on one of the kids would be better. I couldn't convince Keaton and Campbell to go so I took Whitman instead. That boy just stood over the potty for the longest time and I was the one who really had to go! We both finally did our business and ran out to follow the hearse!
  • On the way to the cemetery, the kids noticed some construction workers taking off their hats as we passed. So my car had a good long conversation about showing respect. Sometimes it makes me worry if we are going to remember to teach the kids everything that they need to know-stand up when a woman enters the room, take your hat off at church, give someone else your seat and the list goes on.
  • After the cemetery, we went back to Pops' house after stopping by Sonic. We had sandwiches and all of the trimmings. The kids ate some, played some inside and even went outside. Eventually, we had to head to church so off we went. 
  • Church seemed a bit shorter tonight but when we went to pick up Reagan, who is usually the first one out, she wasn't there. I had already picked up everyone else and we waited and waited for the girl. I was beginning to get worried about her but eventually she showed up and had just finished her class.
  • Once we made it home, the kids showered and then had a snack before bedtime. Tomorrow will be another busy day and hopefully I can sleep through all of the night...or wake up at 3 to go potty since knowing that I have many more hours of sleep would make me happy.

October 25, 2016

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  • School morning for Whitman and Keaton. This morning the menu was pop tarts so that made it easy to get everyone stirring. Whitman did become very upset when he realized that I didn't sent Keaton any milk in the car like I gave him (she didn't want anymore.) 
  • I tell you, every day that he does good at school is such a relief to me. When I look at the clock and it is after 11:30 and I haven't heard from Jennifer then I am a happy girl. I am not sure how he does it but he is keeping his undies clean during school (not so much at Grannymom's house or my house.)
  • We had school this morning and the big discussion was how many Bible study lessons to do this week since there is no Bible study tomorrow (yippee) but instead we are filling our spare time with Beebee's funeral. The plan as it stands right now is take Whitman into the service-ha! We are just living on the edge!
  • After school today, we worked on our chores and had grilled cheese for lunch. It was a good thing that Robby was spending his lunch break buying our groceries because we were out of bread and out of cheese so that made cooking grilled cheese sandwiches a bit challenging but we did manage.
  • The kids ended up outside pretty early this afternoon. They spent a lot of time going inside and outside. The boys are really into making lego movies and Graham and Anderson made pretty much the exact same movie today without even seeing each others-they did borrow their idea from the neighbor boy so that is the reason that theirs was the same.
  • When Robby came home with Keaton and Whitman, we loaded up and headed to Pops' house to eat supper. Some family was in from out of state so BBQ was on the menu. Poor Hank, since he has been in town the last week and a half, I know of at least 5 times that they have eaten BBQ. There was some pretty yummy cheesy corn that I am going to look for the recipe for.
  • When we came home, everyone had showers and then they had a chance to watch one movie before bedtime. I wasn't thinking or I would have taken Keaton upstairs to start going through her clothes-she can not wait for me to switch over her clothes to her winter clothes.

October 24, 2016

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  • This morning it was pretty cool in the house and not many folks were stirring.  I had to wake up Keaton and Whitman. He was pretty excited to be going to Nonna's house by himself. Keaton is always ready to go to school but Robby said that this morning she was pretty panicked that she forgot her show and tell for the letter A. We bring it on Thursday so she has a few more days.
  • This morning everyone had muffins and fruit for breakfast. Since we are really going through my apple muffins, I made some more this afternoon. I had Anderson help me and he was so uncomfortable in the kitchen. When I asked him to put the flour in the measuring cup, he acted like it was poisonous and shivered each time it got on his hands. He did stick with me to the end and we ended up with 2 dozen big muffin and a dozen little ones to add to the freezer (all o which, Anderson will not eat since they have apples in them.)
  • After Keaton, Whitman and Robby left this morning the rest of us started on school. My boys, gracious me. I am not sure what they do all morning long but it sure isn't school. They do more school after lunch than in the morning time. Mondays are always busy since I try to accomplish the most work with all of the kids. 
  • At 11, we worked together and as soon as we finished I started on lunch-leftovers. Then I explained that it was chore time and gracious me, Reagan and Anderson had completely emptied out their desks to clean it out. This seemed to take forever and slightly drove me crazy.
  • I did run upstairs during all of this and start working on Whitman's clothes. I was able to switch all of his clothes over to winter clothes this afternoon (yes, I know that it is going to be 80 this next week.) 
  • Around 3 or 4 the kids headed outside and they played with the neighbors for the rest of the afternoon. The boys even went with the neighbor's dad to go and pick up some wood. They helped unload it and everyone was out until it was dark, dark. 
  • When they finally came in, we showered everyone and then had supper-leftovers. We had plenty in the fridge so I still have some leftover choices for tomorrow (rice, mexican lasagna and taco soup) but the fish, hush puppies, grilled cheese, and chinese were all cleaned out today.
  • We did our Bible story tonight and then I spent some time working on a huge know in Reagan's hair. I am not sure what she does but gracious me, it was a crazy big know. I finally got it out and didn't have to cut it as Robby and Reagan had suggested!

October 23, 2016

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  • This Sunday was a bit different than usual since our church was having their Barnabas project day (big church then service project and then a picnic). Since we were heading out to work right after church, we were a bit more casual than usual. Keaton was upset with me that I would let her wear a dress and I was having a hard time deciding on wearing jeans with holes or my church jeans. 
  • While all of this was happening, Robby baked cinnamon rolls and soon everyone was eating. By the time we loaded up the car with our ice chest, rakes and drill, we barely made it to church on time. Whitman even missed the grandparent run and had to head right to class.
  • After church, Keaton and Whitman stayed at church. When Grannymom was finished with her project, she picked them up and took them to Cash's ballgame and then they spent the afternoon there.
  • The rest of us stopped by Subway to pick up lunch and then we headed to Rockefeller Elementary. The kids helped with the flowerbeds while the men were working on benches and picnic tables. The flower beds were small so after a bit of work the kids were released to the playground. This made them ever so happy and they played pretty much the rest of the afternoon.
  • When we had finished our work, we headed to Sonic and then back to the house for about an hour. Robby and I never really sat down while we were at home for fear that we might just fall asleep. Soon we headed back to church for the picnic.
  • My kids were relieved to see the bouncys there tonight and took off as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. When it was time to eat, Robby told them and then I went back to Campbell and Anderson and told them that they need to eat now before the food was put away because there would be no food at home tonight. Campbell did eat but Anderson didn't....
  • Later at home before showers, Anderson came to me with his big puppy dog eyes saying that he was starving. I reminded him that I had told him to eat earlier tonight and he didn't. He said that his team needed him so he couldn't eat. I looked at him like he was crazy and he said "it would have been uneven teams if I left." Ha! Ha!...Now, don't worry Pops, we did feed the boy. Robby and I had already known this was going to happen so we did throw some leftover Subway sandwiches at him to quench his hunger. Hopefully he will still learn a lesson (even though we kind of caved!)
  • After showers, the kids had time to watch a bit of tv and then it was bedtime for everyone. Tomorrow is a big day-school for Keaton, Nonna's house for Whitman and school for everyone else. 

October 22, 2016

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  • The boys were the first ones awake this morning and since it is Saturday they would normally head to their ipads but today, they had left over school work to do. They worked on that for a little bit and then started coming in to our room.
  • It was probably a pretty good thing that they did because it was time for us to all get up and get moving. We had a pancake breakfast to get to. The fire station down the road was having their annual pancake fundraiser. We have been before even though this wouldn't be our fire station.
  • This morning we were meeting Pops, Nonna, Jason and Hank there. We arrived just before they did and then went in together. By the time the kids had gone through the line, we had pretty much cleaned up their pancakes and had to wait for some more.
  • All of my people love pancakes but they also had bacon and sausage. My Reagan ate at least a pound of bacon-possibly more. After the kids had eaten, Jason took them to see the firetrucks and they all had a blast climbing all over them.
  • When we left, we stopped at the church down the street since they were having a bake sale-we left with some cookies, doughnut holes, chocolate covered peanuts and brownies! Then we headed to a shoe store that was having their grand opening. It was craziness in there but we were able to find Anderson some Sunday shoes and that was the goal but we didn't win the shoes for a year contest that was happening while we were there.
  • We then headed home but our next stop ended up being a garage sale. I found a bike for Campbell and a few Snow Village pieces so we just had ourselves a big morning. Once at home, the kids started playing outside some and I did some work inside.
  • Grannymom and Grandpa came over to drop off Graham's costume (it's perfect) and to help Robby install some new switches. Soon it was time for Reagan to get ready and I dropped her off at Hobo night.
  • She had a great time at Hobo night. There was a bonfire, hayride, smores, hot dogs (she didn't have one) and soup (she had a few bowls.) Reagan had a great time and ended up going home with Alyssa Kate to spend the night-they made a quick stop here after Hobo night to pick up her clothes.
  • While she was gone, the boys watched some of the ballgame and then we loaded up to go to a 50th wedding anniversary party. There was some food there that everyone enjoyed but by far, Whitman enjoyed the band the most. He danced and danced-it was pretty cute. When others started dancing, he then decided that he didn't want to dance anymore. 
  • On our way home, we picked up some Chinese food and had ourselves a little snack before bedtime. Whitman had fallen asleep on the way home so I do think that the boys were a bit pleased that they were going to be able to whisper tonight in their room since Whitman was already sleeping....the little things!

October 21, 2016-Happy Birthday Pops!

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  • The first day of cool weather and I do believe that all of us could have stayed in bed most of the morning long. When we did all get up, we started on breakfast and then school.
  • Since today is Friday, I could get my without working with each kid individually today (wouldn't hurt if I would have but was okay if I didn't). So when they were working I did a few chores and straightened the house. Most of the time, sweeping the kitchen and mudroom doesn't take too long but after the kids played outside in the sand yesterday, it took me forever to sweep the floor. (And it was no surprise that after they had so much fun playing in the dirt yesterday, they did the same thing today.)
  • We mostly finished school (3 of my people still have more to do tomorrow). My Whitman was fussy most of the morning again (just like last Friday morning). Today though he cried and cried about his ear hurting him. I am sure that it was really hurting because he let me put drops in it and then I held him trying to get him to sleep for half an hour. After that he laid on the couch for a good 30 minutes.
  • Everyone did work on one of our Christmas ornaments. In Boston, we rode the Swan boats and then bought a model of one-that we have to paint and glue before it does become an ornament. That was a great messy project to start before we had company.\
  • As we were making lunch, the Kamps and Stotts howed up. Then the Heltz arrived. The kids played outside some and then they all came in for their reports. Reagan's report was about the White House, Anderson's was about major political parties, Graham spoke about voting in other countries, Campbell talked about the requirements to vote and Keaton spoke about Christians and voting. Whitman had actually memorized most of Keaton's report so as she spoke, I had to have my hand over his mouth. Next time, I will make sure that he has something to speak about.
  • After the reports, Reagan then gave a speech about why her friends should vote for Snickers and then Anderson spoke about why everyone should vote for Kit Kat. Then we had ourselves an election-complete with ballots, a ballot box and "I voted" stickers. The kids went out and played while the mommas spent a good deal of time counting the votes-Kit Kats won (12-6). 
  • Then we all celebrated with a few candy bars and more playtime outside. Our buddies didn't leave until after 4 and the neighbors were out so I let the kids play for a bit more before calling them in. 
  • We only had about 10 minutes to change clothes before heading out to pick up Nonna and Pops. Today is Pops' birthday so we, including Hank and Jason, celebrated with fish in Conway. We brought down the median age of the fish place by a couple of decades when we showed up. We ate until we were stuffed and then headed to Pops' house for some Joe Powell's chocolate cake.
  • Once at home, it was soon bedtime for my crew and I think they were pretty much exhausted! Big day tomorrow-pancake breakfast at the fire station.

October 20, 2016

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  • Thursday morning as I was heading upstairs to wake Keaton up for school, I ran into Graham who was just waking up himself. I helped Keaton find her clothes and then we went to wake Whitman up. I was able to get them ready and start on their breakfast along with everyone else's breakfast. The goal on school mornings is to get Whitman and Keaton out of the door semi on time.
  • Once they left, everyone else started on school this morning and things went pretty well. I was zooming through working together with each kid because I had to leave a bit after 10. Today was Fall party day at the school for Keaton and Whitman.
  • I made it in plenty of time and went to Keaton's room first. They were getting ready for their cupcakes and I helped pass them out. After watching Keaton eat some, I went to Whitman's class and they were already eating their cupcakes. He was so happy to see me-this was my first time to see him in class and was surprised that he was pretty good.
  • I saw Keaton's class run a relay race and then bounced back to Whitman's class for some games. As they were passing out goodie bags to him, he came up to me and asked "Momma, is this my birthday?" I told him it was and wished him "Happy Birthday."
  • When we were in the car, Keaton was quick to dig through her goodie bags and find some snacks for her on the way home. She was so cute at her party and wanted to make sure that I took a picture of her and Harper.
  • I was telling them about the rest of the day and Keaton asked why we were going to Grannymom's house and I replied that we were going to work on Graham's Halloween costume. Whitman then piped in "and because it is a fun place to go."
  • Back at home, I finished checking and putting away school. Then we had our lunch and worked on chores for a bit. The kids even had a bit of time to play on their ipads before we loaded up for Grannymom's house.
  • Once there, we went right to work on Graham's jedi robe. We thought we were doing great but did make it a bit too small. Thankfully, Grannymom knew what she was doing and added a few pieces so now it looked pretty perfect-or will, once she has finished. I think that he was pretty excited about it.
  • We came home just about the time that Robby was getting ready to leave. Tony picked up Robby and dropped off Shannon and Layne. The kids had been outside playing with their neighbors and stayed outside until 7ish. We went ahead and ate our supper-yes, 2 suppers since we had two choices: taco soup and mexican lasagna.
  • As the kids trickled in, they showered before I would let them eat and all came to the kitchen pretty hungry. We had some ice cream and then they watched movies as Shannon and I chatted until the men folk came home. 
  • At bedtime tonight, Campbell was probably my tiredest kid tonight and was almost asleep as we made the rounds kissing everyone.

October 19, 2016

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  • We did manage to empty the trash cans and clean the potties, which is our normal Wednesday chores, this morning. The kids had their breakfast and I was able to heat up a bagel before climbing in the car.
  • I helped in the babies class this morning. It was an easy gig-4 babies. One of those left early and then 2 of the 3 fell asleep. I know that I have mentioned it before but my kids Bible study teachers are so wonderful. They really love my kids.
  • As we were leaving Bible study, the kids asked what we were going to do next Wednesday since we weren't going to have Bible study. Since I hadn't been in my class today, I had not heard this but my reaction was something like this, "wait, what? whoop! whoop!"
  • It was a bit hot outside so we took the crew to Rock Creek. They always enjoy it-even though it is a bit noisy. We had our lunch there and after everyone played for a good while we headed home.
  • Once at home, we did laundry first. Then we worked on our reports for Friday. Then the kids helped me pack Whitman's party favors for tomorrow's fall party. Next, we all worked on packing our shoeboxes for the Operation Christmas Child. 
  • After that, everyone flew out of the house to play outside. They kids love playing with the neighbors and I enjoy them being outside for a bit. I should have used this time to do something productive but Wednesdays just wear me out so I did pretty much nothing except make a list of what I should do.
  • We had to shower the kids before church tonight and after a quick bite to eat, I headed that way. Traffic was crazy but we made it on time. Things were going fine until child 6 pooped in his pants. He was brought to me (even though he had on a pull up). I guess when you are 3, your poo is nastier than when you are two, who knew? I changed him and sent him back on to class. I was none too pleased about all of this.
  • After church was over, we headed to the Wilson's house for some ice cream. This did make my evening a bit better-ice cream always helps. The kids played some and Whitman eventually fell asleep on their ottoman. He looked so cute sleeping soundly in the middle of the ice cream chaos. (I'll still love that boy even if he poops in his pants when he is 7)
  • Once we made it home, the kids quietly changed their clothes and headed to bed. Everyone was pretty tired and we never heard a peep from the crew.

October 18, 2016

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  • Once again we stayed up too late to watch more show, so we were slow to get around again this morning.  But Robby, Keaton and Whitman still made it off in time to get to school. Today was Whitman's day to take snacks so he was excited to load them in the car.
  • Meanwhile, the rests of got started with school.  I was determined that Graham would finish school sooner than he did yesterday which took ALL day.  He was a bit quicker today but still think they could be a bit more motivated to finish.
  • Lunch was clean out the fridge day so some folks had left over tortellini while others opted for cheese and crackers.
  • Nonna was over after lunch - we were on a mission.  Thanks to Aunt Sonja, Hank brought a car load of clothes on his trip in from Arizona.  I think there were at least 10 huge bags of clothes to go through, sort, try on and put up in bins.  It took most of the afternoon but we felt accomplish.  In between sorting, Pops and Hank stopped by to say hello and check on our progress.
  • As soon as we finished, we picked up and headed over to Grannymom and Grandpa's where Keaton and Whitman had a BIG day.  Keaton had decided on her recent birthday that this was the year to get her ears pierced.  And that she did with Grannymom's help today.  They said she was a champ and no tears were shed as each ear was pierced. She was quite proud of her new earrings and to show them.  Robby met us there as he was working to set up a new printer for Grandpa.  I left them all there to run some errands and to get a flu shot (it took two stops to get that accomplished but at the 2nd stop and 20 minutes to enter my info into the computer, I was able to check that off the list).
  • My reward - a night out with the home school moms for dinner at Pei Wei.  The plan was to have a Girls' Night Out at Jodee's but she's under the weather but the rest of decided we still needed a night out.
  • Robby and the kids the computer work, stopped by Wendy's and then made their way home for a few tv shows before calling it a night.
  • Not many pictures today but Robby did post a couple the church took a couple of weeks ago for First Grade Bible Presentation Night.

October 17, 2016

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  • Keaton had school this morning so that was our reason to get up and get moving this Monday morning. I do wish that we were morning people but we are not and I am learning to embrace that!
  • Keaton was soon off to school and the rest of us started on our school. The kids haven't been getting their school work done too swiftly. It is usually really frustrating to me but today it wasn't at all. I knew Robby would be home this afternoon so that always lights a little fire under them. 
  • At 11, I did stop everyone and we started on our together work. I moved us along pretty quickly and had lunch ready when Keaton and Robby came in. We all ate and then the kids started on their chores.
  • When we had finished, it was time to load up for Whitman's doctor's appointment. And not only that, we were also getting flu shots! I made a mistake telling the kids about the shots last night so I have answered a zillion and one questions about the upcoming shots and ended at least that many debates about when, where and how much they hurt. 
  • First was Whitman's check up-his ears were not infected but one did still have fluid behind it. That is expected after an ear infection but since he is still a bit snotty that could lead to a re-infection. Dr. Martin gave us some meds to hopefully clear him up. 
  • Then it was flu shot time-my, oh my. I know you would have loved to have been a fly on the wall but I will try to describe it. The nurse walked in with a jar of lollipops and asked who would like to be first. Whitman immediately started jumping up and down and shouting "me, me, me." Sounded good to me so we put him on the table and held him while discussing lollipop colors. He was beginning to figure things out by the time the nurse gave him his shot but as soon as she was done, I jerked him up and Graham had a lollipop unwrapped and shoved it in his mouth. I thought he would then be fine but nope-my boy wasn't okay until that bandaid was off of him.
  • Graham and Anderson were next and they were a bit nervous but we kept them distracted with lollipop talk. Keaton volunteered and she got hers in her leg. She was about to start boo hooing before the nurse was even near her. The boys were the lollipop fetchers and soon had hers ready to go. Once she had the shot, she was perfectly fine.
  • Reagan was a bit nervous but tried to play it cool. She flinched but later today said that her achy arm hurt worse than the shot. Then it was Campbell's turn. I turned 2 complete circles in the room looking for that girl. I was about to be convinced that she had left the room but nope, she was doing her best to hide beside the exam table. Ha! She did climb on the table and was okay once she had her lollipop. 
  • We then walked around the building to the pharmacy and picked up Whitman's medicine (a nasal spray-just imagine how that went over tonight!) Then it was on to Sonic to celebrate our successful outing (and to celebrate that no nurses were harmed while getting our flu shots)
  • Back at home, Graham worked on his school work some more and Anderson went outside. The rest of the afternoon was spent with people going in and out playing with the neighbors. I did run to Nonna's house to pick up some clothes from my uncle. It took Campbell, Keaton and Graham a good long while to bring them all into the house. 
  • The kids had showers, we had supper, we watched some tv and then it was bedtime for everyone. I am going to try to mark a few things off of my list tonight-we will see how far I get!

October 16, 2016

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  • It was nearly 2 when I climbed into bed last night and we slept soundly until 6. My clock rang first and then Robby's. We probably could have stayed in bed longer but goodness gracious, I heard those girls squealing upstairs. I went up to make sure that everyone was happy and there were no foul attitudes. They were all good, so I headed back downstairs to get myself ready.
  • Robby was ready first and began on breakfast-waffles, sausage and eggs. The girls were mostly dressed and eating by 7:10 this morning. At one point, one of the girls said "why did we have to get up this early?" I explained that they did not have to get up at 6 and could have slept a bit longer.
  • After the girls all ate, they walked Hannah home so she could head to her church. If I would have let them, they would have all played outside but I herded them in and they watched a bit of tv. While they did that, I cleaned up some (like a mad woman) and Robby picked up Whitman from Grannymom so they could go to church and Anderson and Graham from Nonna so she could go and check on Beebee (who isn't doing very good.)
  • Then it was time to load up for church. Campbell, Graham and Anderson sang in both services and Graham had a little speaking part. Robby watched the first service and we were all able to see during the second service. We did keep Whitman with us since I am not too sure he is 100% (going to get an appointment tomorrow). Robby sent him home with Grannymom after Sunday school and on our way to big church, I asked if he sent Keaton home too. Whoops, we had forgotten her-she was happily playing in her Sunday school class.
  • Of course during big church, Campbell and Keaton snoozed and Robby and I were not too far behind them. If Anderson was just a bit taller, I could have put my head on his shoulder and taken a nap too-but that would have probably been frowned upon (since we were on the 5th row.)
  • We had lunch at Grannymom's house. The kids played for a bit and then we headed home. At home, we were productive all afternoon and marked many, many things off of our list-ha! Nope, we had ourselves a long and wonderful nap. Did I mention that it was a long nap and it was wonderful nap?
  • It was pretty late when we finally did have our leftovers for supper. Campbell and I had been busy finalizing her Halloween costume-Doc McStuffins. The kids then all ate and everyone watched a few movies before bedtime. I am sure that they are all exhausted. Reagan went to bed tonight sleeping on her new sleeping bag in the floor-Robby said that he did that when he was little too so he didn't have to make his bed each morning. Everyone will probably be asking for sleeping bags for Christmas now.

October 15, 2016-Happy Birthday (party) Reagan!

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  • Robby and I have figured out the secret to sleeping in...a ceiling fan! Robby and I were up last night around 1 moving furniture and he cleaned the couch cushions. After doing this, he turned the ceiling fan up on high so the cushion would dry. This morning when the kids came into our room at 9, we were pretty shocked that we had slept that late. Anderson was quick to tell us that it was so cold in the living room that they had to go to the bonus room. Since they were up there, we never heard them.
  • If you are in bed at nine, we sometimes bring that person breakfast in bed. This rarely happens but it did today-Graham and Campbell spearheaded the whole idea. I was brought my bowl of raisin bran and Robby a pop tart and we both received a glass a milk. Sweet little people.
  • Keaton had spent the night at Nonna's house and was up early this morning. It didn't take her too long to start texting her brothers and sisters. Nonna brought her home around 10:30 because Keaton didn't want to be left out of the party preparations.
  • Sometimes you realize that everyone around here is getting older-I showed Reagan, Campbell and Graham how to make her ice cream cookies and off they went. It didn't take long for them to finish all of the cookies and Whitman was right beside them asking to help until I let him make one himself. 
  • Robby and I washed all of the sheets-there is a reason we don't do that too often since it is just a really big job. 7 sets of sheets to change makes me tired again just thinking about it. Reagan and I spent a bit of time trying to make brownies bowls-they failed but we did use some of the brownies as one of our ice cream toppings. Then we tried to make cookie bowls and they also failed (sometimes pinterest can be great and others times it is a flop!) but we also used the cookies as one of our ice cream toppings.
  • After we had lunch, Robby and the boys ran to look for some Sunday shoes (no luck) and then on to pick up some ice. While they were gone, I worked on the kitchen and soon everyone was taking showers and it was nearly party time.
  • Nonna, Pops and Jason were the first ones to arrive. Then Grannymom and Grandpa and all of the girls-Kennedy, Cate, Camryn, Alyssa Kate, Grace, Hannah, Kaleigh (who's birthday is today) and along with Campbell, Keaton, Reagan and the boys we had quite a crew. 
  • Reagan had picked the menu-Mrs. LouAnnes green beans, bread, ravioli and tortellini. That was great with me since it was a super easy menu. We ate and then the girls were very quickly ready for present time.
  • Even though the ball game was on, everyone came into the living room and Reagan started opening her presents. She received quite the assortment of goodies-shopkins, 2 shirts, jewelry, scrapbook stuff, 3 different lights-one crazy one that is on now, a lava lamp and a clip light. She also got a water bottle which she was hoping for and her friends must know that she loves candy because she had lots and lots of candy. 
  • After presents, we moved on to the ice cream. We had 4 flavors-vanilla, mint, chocolate and cookies and cream. We also had a few toppings-sprinkles, whip cream, magic shell, chocolate syrup, hot fudge, cookie bits, brownie bits, oreos, peanut butter, chocolate chips, hershey bar, cherries, graham crackers, popcorn, m&ms, nuts, strawberries, marshmallows, pretzels and red hots. There probably was even another one but I can't think of it. It is nearing 1 and my brain is slowing down!
  • We sang to Reagan and to Kaleigh and then everyone filled their bowls. This proved to be quite a mess. Next up was the first game-the lap game (moving around chairs trying to get back to your seat but you could only move if you could answer yes to my question (can you do the splits...) Then I divided the girls into group to make dresses out of toilet paper. Next up was something I had seen in a magazine. They split into teams and made skits up using props I had for them inside of bags. We had a game to pick up as many red hots as possible with chop sticks. Finally, we played the game Reagan had been wanting to play for a few years-the tarp game. Basically it is blindfolded musical chairs except the chairs are pillows and we move them around while the girls walk on a tarp. It is quite entertaining to watch.
  • It was nearing 10 by this time, so we laid out everyone's sleeping bags and blankets. Then we started the movie The Secret Garden. In the middle of it, everyone headed downstairs for popcorn. I had most of the toppings still out so they were able to add some yummy goodness to their popcorn. 
  • I came upstairs just when the movie was ending and it was lights out time. I am now working on the blog while sitting in the bonus room with the girls. I can hear that quite a few of them are asleep but some are not yet. I will stay up here for another good 20 or 30 minutes just to make sure they are all asleep.
  • Robby and I were able to pick up during some of the games so the house is decent-now we just have to wake up at the crack of dawn to make waffles for these girls-waffles and ice cream for breakfast (or maybe just donuts if we don't get our act together!) Hopefully everyone will sleep well tonight (I know I will). I think Reagan has had a pretty good little party!-actually, I believe she might be the only one still up!

October 14, 2016

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  • It was raining and thundering this morning and I wasn't about to get out of bed before I had to. It sure didn't help when Whitman and Keaton climbed in bed with us. We did finally get out of bed and I served the kids banana muffins and yogurt for breakfast. (Reagan wasn't happy about those choices even though she had a muffin the day before and liked it.)
  • Once breakfast was over, we started on school. Friday is the only day that Keaton and Whitman are here during the day so things are always a bit crazy. Keaton was pretty good and spent her time trying to make her brother happy. Whitman spent most of his morning sitting in my lap fussing. Not really sure if it was just being out of a routine, maybe he is still sickly or maybe he is just spoiled! Either way, it did make for a bit of a long morning.
  • Everyone did finish their school work and we had grilled cheese for lunch. Keaton hurried to pack her bags so she could go and spent he night with Nonna and Pops. She ended up playing games at Chuck E Cheese, eating out and walking around a store to look at some toys. 
  • The boys and Campbell played outside some this afternoon with the neighbors. Reagan worked on her report for next week and I am not really sure what all I did. Currently, I can't remember anything about the afternoon-wait, it is coming back to me. I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen.
  • When the soup was ready, we loaded up and dropped off supper at the McGuires house (Amber had some dental surgery) and then we headed off to eat at Pie 5. We ate our pizzas and then came home for a big Friday night of Lego sorting. We cleaned up the lego nook which took quite a while. Whitman took a shower while we worked and then Robby made cookies to celebrate our grand accomplishment (seriously, the legos were out of control.)
  • After cookies, the kids headed to bed-I am sure that they will be up early tomorrow because it is a big day-Reagan's birthday party.

October 13, 2016

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  • Keaton was one of the last ones up this morning but she was ready to get to school-picture day, she brought snack and she was able to take something that started with the letter P (a panda was chosen.)
  • Robby took Whitman and Keaton to school while the rest of us started on our school work. The boys were even able to write down their speeches for next week (4 done and 1 left to do-though I probably should write Whitman one since he has memorized more of Keaton's than she has.) 
  • We haven't done science and history in a long while and will probably be working on these same books next year. The goal of this week is to just survive and accomplish a few things off of this week's list. 
  • At lunch time, I went to find Whitman. He was standing on the steps saying "I messed up." He had been drawing and the only thing I could decipher from what he could tell me was that he messed up on what he was drawing. It was pretty pitiful-he even had tears.  That is how the poor boys afternoon started-so after his lunch, he was allowed to watch one movie and then was sent to bed. He never slept but did stay upstairs for about an hour and came down much happier.
  • Reagan and I were pretty busy this afternoon-she helped me change over everyone's shoes to their winter shoes. Then she made baked apples. Her reading pages occasionally have recipes so she had saved this one from last year and I saw it today. That same one has a recipe for applesauce-we may try it soon. Then we gathered Campbell and started to work on a few bins of winter clothes.
  • The others spent most of the afternoon with the neighbors-at their house and inside. I did look out once and saw Keaton chasing after her brothers on her training wheel-less bike. We just took her training wheels off on Monday after seeing that she could ride without them. I had tried to keep her off the road for a bit so she could have some more practice but I guess that she didn't need any more practice.
  • Robby made a quick supper and then we all loaded up to head to Grannymom's house. Robby had some work to do on their phones and then we took everyone to the grocery store to do some shopping. "Some" might be an understatement since we never seem to just get a few things. Reagan was happy to help us throw things in the buggy tonight since we were mostly doing shopping for her birthday party.
  • Once at home, the kids had showers while we through the groceries into the house. Whitman never woke up and was put right to bed. The others had a bit of a snack since the store behavior was excellent and then it was bedtime.

October 12, 2016

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  • It never fails that on the mornings we have to get up, no one is awake early. It is just a bit odd-like a conspiracy. Robby woke everyone up while I finished getting ready. We all were dressed quickly and soon eating breakfast. 
  • The kids were happy to climb in the car since we are listening to Mr. Popper's Penguins on tape. I was pretty excited about listening to this one but the kids were quick to remind me that we had already heard it before. I didn't believe them at first but am not starting to remember some of it.
  • When we walk into CBS, my big 3 hurry off to their classes. Campbell brought a loaf of banana bread to her teacher today (she was gone last week) I could hear the two teachers going on and on about the bread and how sweet Campbell was. Whitman and Keaton hop right into their rooms. 
  • Afterwards, we headed to the playground and the kids enjoyed playing-the can hardly eat their lunch since they are so anxious to start playing. It is super nice area but today it was just a bit warm and sunny. 
  • When we made it home from the park, Whitman was almost asleep but quickly stirred when it was time to go inside. I was hoping that he would take himself a really good nap but no such luck. Reagan, Anderson and Graham had school work to finish today-lots of math correcting and spelling happened this afternoon. It made for a very short afternoon for me since I was busy helping everyone. We finally accomplished everything right before supper.
  • I heated up some leftovers and then it was time to head to church. I was back on preschool game duty tonight. It was a pretty good job since we just went out to the playground for 2 of the groups.
  • Robby came to help me pick up the kiddos and then we headed home for showers, a little snack and bedtime! When Robby was reviewing what all tomorrow held, he said that Keaton and Whitman both had school and Whitman just grinned! I believe he likes school!

October 11, 2016

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  • This morning the girls were the first ones up-I think my little girls were pretty excited about our company today. But the first thing that we had to do was to get Keaton and Whitman to school. We had pancakes and waffles for breakfast and then it was off to school.
  • Robby says that Keaton and Whitman are pretty easy to drop off since they are both anxious to go in their class. They also took an apple to their teacher today. 
  • Whitman came home with a picture of himself and all of his family glued on a piece of paper. I had already hung it up tonight when Reagan noticed that she was not on the paper. There were 8 people but 'Daddy' had been written twice. Since we know Ms. Jennifer and she is Reagan's teacher on Wednesdays, we took a picture of Reagan sadly holding Whitman's picture. Jennifer wrote and said that she didn't notice but she did feel sorry for him since he had so many people to glue on his family picture.
  • At 9 this morning, the Heltz all came over for the day. The kids immediately started playing. Charlotte and Graham spent a bit of time playing hide and seek. Anderson and Caroline built lego spaceships. Campbell spent her time closely watching Michael and of course, Reagan and Alyssa Kate were together.
  • Before I knew it, it was time to go and pick up Keaton and Whitman. We all piled in the van and headed to church. After picking them up, we stopped at the grassy playground at church for a bit and then on to pick up pizza for lunch.
  • I fed all 10 kids and was shocked that after handing them each two cookies for a brand new package of cookies, there was only 1 left over for me. I quickly made some banana bread and then it was time for Michael's nap. Once he laid down, the others went outside and they painted watermelons from Nonna's neighbor.
  • The kids spent most of the afternoon playing inside and playing outside. They ate about 4 dozen popsicles. Candice picked up her crew a bit after 4 and then my people did some picking up. 
  • The boys did get to go down the road to the neighbor's church to ride bikes for a bit while their dad changed his oil. The girls stayed home and did some chores, had showers and ate supper while they were gone. Once the boys made it home, they had their showers and supper.
  • The kids had time to watch a movie or two while Robby and I did some cleaning. Then it was bedtime for the crew-tomorrow is Bible study day so they all need their beauty rest.