April 30, 2017

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  • The girls and Whitman all slept well and no one really stirred until around 7:30 this morning. They came downstairs and played on their ipads until Robby had made breakfast. He had some cinnamon rolls and they ate and ate. My girls said that they were the best cinnamon rolls ever-that may be a bit of an exaggeration.
  • After eating, everyone combed their hair and brushed their teeth and soon it was time to load up for church. The girls talked the entire way to church but when we were almost there they did notice the high water from last night's rainstorms.
  • Reagan came to church with Alyssa Kate this morning and Anderson and Graham came with Noah. They had all had good times at their sleepovers. Reagan went to a birthday party with the Heltz' but I did never hear what she had to eat. The boys had homemade pizza last night, played games and had biscuits this morning before church.
  • After church, we ate lunch at Grannymom's house. She had taco salad, brownies and key lime pie. Grannymom even had a wrapped present for Whitman's bear-bear's birthday was a few days ago.  Once we did make it home this afternoon, bear, Whitman and I cuddled in mybed and read his new book.
  •  Reagan wasn't with us this afternoon because she went home with Kennedy so she could go with her to Kennedy's dance recital. She also had Mexican food for lunch and even had a few snacks while watching the recital.
  • I had a good long nap this afternoon because I do believe that I am getting Robby's cold. I even some had fever this afternoon but am feeling much better now. Around 5, I left to run a few errands and to pick up Reagan.
  • When I left the house was a total wreck but by the time I came home, Robby had cleaned everything up, laundry was folded and things were in order again. He heated up a pizza for the kids supper and then we had ice cream truck.
  • After ice cream, the kids watched a few movies while I worked on this week's list and Robby did a few things and then it was bedtime for everyone. Tomorrow is a big day-zoo day for Keaton's class.

April 29, 2017

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  • Our rain dance didn't really work-at least this morning. We were a bit disappointed that we couldn't stay in our bed just a bit longer but the kids were not disappointed at all. We were soon passing out breakfast and figuring out which color everyone was.
  • The weather was crazy windy all morning long. The gusts would come in spurts but if you weren't sitting in your lawnchair then you had to hold it down or the wind would blow it on down. Trash cans blew over, a speaker blew down, coach's papers flew through the air, Campbell's team's popcorn snack looked like snow blowing in the wind. It was all quite a sight.
  • Keaton's game was first and they did great-even winning. Keaton didn't score a goal but she was pretty vicious out there today. Campbell scored her first goal today and her team won their game. Anderson scored for his team and Graham hustled hard but again their little team lost. Reagan's team was actually behind for a bit today but soon they were ahead and won.
  • During the game, we passed our time with watching the weather on our phones, eating peanut butter and crackers and getting sunburned despite the super cloudy sky.
  • When the games were over, we hurried home and threw everyone in the shower. The boys and Reagan packed and soon I was back in the car again. Whitman stayed in the car while everyone showered and packed-Robby unloaded the car and did a bit of work near the car while waiting on him to wake up. Whitman never did wake up so he snoozed on as we drove to drop Reagan off at Alyssa Kate's house. Then we dropped off the boys at Noah's house and picked up Eden and Lily.
  • We had a house full of girls this afternoon and they played some while waiting on our cookies to cool off. Once the cookies were cool, the girls beautifully decorated at least 3 dozen cookies. Then they had a bit longer to play before we loaded up for the Wilson's house.
  • Shannon had supper and we all ate. After eating, the girls and Whitman watched a movie and then played a few games. We stayed until almost 10 and then came home. I had everyone put on their pjs and soon they were all bedded down. I do believe that they were pretty tired!

April 28, 2017

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  • Friday mornings are the only day that we really don't have to get up for Bible study or preschool, but we still have school to complete. I wasn't too excited about getting things started this morning! The boys and Campbell were already awake this morning. 
  • I was careful to quietly close Whitman's door and sneak in to wake Reagan up so she could begin her school. By the time that I could walk back down the stairs, Whitman came out of his room holding his teddy bear. His first words were, "It's bear's birthday." So before I could even find my breakfast (which I don't believe that I even ate this morning) I was singing Happy Birthday to a bear and wrapping "presents" up in blankets.
  • Everyone had their breakfast and then started on their school. I think that this was one of the calmest Fridays we have had in a while. Keaton and Whitman stayed busy playing with a ball, laundry basket and pillows. Around 10, we worked together-trying to finish science and nearing the end of history. I did discover today that Reagan is woefully behind on her writing book. This is all my fault since I tell her exactly what page numbers to do each day. It looks like it will take her all summer to finish this-Eeek!
  • At noon, everyone had finished school, dressed and eaten lunch. We all loaded up so they could play at Candice's house while I went to a funeral. Afterwards, I came to pick up my crew and they certainly did not want to leave.
  • We then drove to Grannymom's house to eat a bit of supper-at 3. Robby ordered a pizza and we devoured it like we had not had lunch. After playing for a bit, we headed home.
  • Robby ran to Walgreens to pick up pictures so when he came home, we worked on sorting pictures until the Wilsons came over. They had not eaten supper so we all loaded up for Salem Dairy Bar.
  • My crew ordered milkshakes. Robby and I shared a milkshake but we also shared a hamburger-remember I had missed breakfast so I thought that I would make up for it with two suppers. On the way home, Tony picked up some ice cream so we did have another dessert back at the house.
  • The kids played while we talked and after 10 the Wilsons left, so Robby and I put the kids to bed and then began our rain dance for the morning's soccer games (don't think it is going to work but it was worth a try!)

April 27, 2017

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  • First day back to reality after a trip is always pretty tough and today was no different! The boys were already awake this morning and by 7:15, Graham had already finished most of his school work.
  • I had to wake everyone else up but having cinnamon rolls from Ikea did help a bit with their morning cheer. Soon Keaton and Whitman were loaded up in Robby's car and headed off to school.
  • They didn't know it but they were headed for a really fun day. They spent all day long in the new part of the playground. I am not really sure what all they did but I did hear that there was water, plastic ducks, and sand. They even ate their snacks outside.
  • We did school here and things went fairly smoothly. Campbell was distracted as usual, Graham was finished early and bored, Reagan spent her time distracting her brother and sister and Anderson was steady but slow. All of this is par for the course especially for a Monday morning (I know it isn't really a Monday but it was our first day of school this week.)
  • Robby brought the littles home from school just as we had finished up our school work. I was able to make some lunch for everyone and then I helped Robby with a quick project for a bit. 
  • The kids started watching a movie and I tried to get on the treadmill. After having to stop 8 times in 30 minutes I decided that it just wasn't worth it today. Whitman came up three times, Keaton twice, Reagan once, Campbell once and one time I even stopped because I heard all sorts of commotion in the garage and thought I better check it out. 
  • The neighbors came out so the kids all played outside until it was time for me to call them in for soccer. Tonight was picture day so the kids all donned their uniforms. They did a bit of practicing but most of their time was spent taking pictures. 
  • I stayed home with Whitman and usually during soccer practice he does his own thing and I am able to do my own thing. Not tonight, he needed my help constantly on whatever he was doing-playdoh, block towers, dot markers and on and on it went. 
  • When everyone else made it home, I had supper ready. The kids ate and then had showers. While they were showering, I headed out to officially celebrate Homeschool Teacher Appreciation Day. Who knew there was such a thing? Well, Candice did and suggested that we celebrate with cheese dip from El Porton.
  • By the time I made it back home, everyone was sound asleep resting up for tomorrow. 

Ark Adventure-April 26, 2017

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Even though we knew that today was our longest drive, we still could have probably slept in a bit longer than we did this morning. Whitman, however, was up around 6:30 so Anderson was soon awake then as well. Whitman did climb in bed with us and after a fe minutes lost his “one of my favorites” status when he told me, “you are squishy.” After hearing that a few times, I decided that I would head to the shower.

After everyone put their clothes on, we headed down to breakfast. Robby loaded the car as we ate and then he grabbed himself a bite as we finished up. Then it was on the road. Robby drove about halfway to Memphis and we stopped for a potty break and cookies from McDonalds. Then I found the wind and drove to Ikea. All morning long and even into the afternoon, the weather was nice but so very windy.

We made it to Ikea and we all ran in to use the restroom. Then we mazed around the store to find the restaurant. Yesterday was kids eat free but today was not-that is always our luck. That was fine though and most everyone had chicken and fries, Keaton had pasta and Reagan had meatballs like Robby and me.

We then went to the front of the store to start our shopping. I filled my buggy like I was on the game show Supermarket Sweep. Campbell, Keaton and Whitman did get to go to the playroom for a little bit. They did well in there-though big sister Campbell had to wipe her brother's bottom when he pottied. I am sure that her and Keaton were in the bathroom taking care of their brother.

I am sure that you are interested so here is what all we bought-3 sets of shelves for over the boys' beds, perler beads, a picture frame for each girl, napkins for Reagan's birthday party, a cheese grater like Shannon has, 3 plants, 2 silver containers and 1 wooden container for the plants, chip clips, cinnamon rolls, extension cord type things, tealight candles and a rug to replace the rug in our closet.

We then hopped in the car and headed on our way. We knew the weather was dicey in some spots so when Pops called telling us about a tornado ahead of us we started watching the weather. It went from sunny to dark and really scary in just a minute. We hurried to make it to Brinkley before running into the thunderstorm. We could tell on the radar that red and even heavier pink was about to be right above us.

By the time we made it to Brinkley, it was storming very well. We pulled off in a parking lot of a fast food restaurant. We debated going into the store but did stay in the car. Robby did hear that Brinkley had a tornado warning but he heard that just as the warning expired.

Now when we pulled off the road, waterworks began happening inside of the car as well. Campbell really wanted to be able to go to church tonight because her class was going "shopping" tonight. She finally pulled it together just about the time that we pulled out of the parking lot and headed back in the road.

The drive home was tough-for Robby and his navigator (me). Just as the rain would let up, it would become crazy heavy again. Robby wasn't really able to relax until we made it almost to church. I ran the big 4 into church and they were all happy to be there even though they were 15 minutes late.

Robby, Whitman, Keaton and I finished our trip with supper from Tacos 4 Life. Then we flew home and dropped off Robby and Keaton. Whitman and I jumped in Robby's car and headed back to church to pick everyone up.

Campbell was on cloud 9 because she had more bucks than anyone else in her class. She bought a huge bouncy ball, glowing teeth, and a bag full of candy. We made it home just about the time that Keaton and Robby had finished unloading the van.

Robby had cooked the others a pizza and it was ready just as we came in. The kids all had showers while we unpacked. Then they ate and helped us unpack. We pretty much have everything put away except a bazillion loads of laundry. By 9:30, the kids were in bed and I bet that we will be headed that way soon.

Ark Adventure-April 25, 2017

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We did have plans to go to bed pretty early last night and the kids did. Robby was just about to lay down when he had to get up and do a bit more work before he finally turned in. We all slept very well and at some point in the middle of the night, I woke up with Whitman in bed with us. I am not sure when he climbed in bed with us but I am just thankful that I didn’t knock him off in the middle of the night.

Everyone started stirring around 7 and started getting ready. I was the last one to get ready this morning but still finished in time to take the first crew to breakfast. The breakfast today was pretty much the same as yesterday’s breakfast so it was also a winner.

After loading up the van, we headed towards the Ark. We had a 45 minute drive before we arrived. The parking lot was a little busy and the line to board the bus was a bit confusing, but we didn’t have to wait too long before loading up on the bus.

While we were on the bus, we could catch glimpses of the ark. It was indeed pretty impressive. Once we left the bus, we took a few pictures outside the ark and then went towards the entrance.

From the looks of the queues, it would seem that the ark has lots of visitors occasionally. It was very crowded today but not nearly as crowded as they are prepared for. The inside of the ark was just as impressive as the outside.

There were two really neat movies that we watched along with an area about where Noah an his family lived during their time on the ark.  The place was pretty crowded and the Creation Museum was our favorite but stopping at the Ark was still worthwhile.

Walking through the massive boat was pretty overwhelming. It is hard to imagine Noah, his 3 sons and their wives being able to build the ark. They probably did hire out some help but still anything that massive, that long ago. Not only the size, but the thought that had to go into the ark-how to feed the animals, store water, repair cages and all of the things that would need to happen on the boat for so long. Pretty wild to think about.

After we disembarked, we headed to the gift shop-Robby bought the kids some candy and then it was to the petting zoo. My favorite memory of the day was when we were in the petting area. We were petting goats and Whitman was right between 3 of them. I was looking away but out of the corner of my eye I did catch Whitman hurrying out of the way. Then I heard him shout, “it pooped!” Yep, that goat pooped right on top of his shoes!

He didn’t stick around the goat section much longer and soon we were headed to the car. We drove just a few miles and found a little park for a picnic. The kids enjoyed playing in the park and I enjoyed eating my sandwich. At the park, Whitman told me that sometimes I get angry and sometimes Daddy gets angry. I asked him why Momma got angry and he said, "cause we un-bey you." Yep, that would be the reason!

After a bit of playtime, we were back in the car. We had about 45 minutes to drive before stopping. We found a neat ice cream stop, Crank and Boom in Lexington. It was a really neat place-so neat that everyone had 2 scoops of ice cream in a waffle cone. Whitman was asleep so he did miss out and Keaton couldn’t pick what ice cream she wanted so she ended up wiht a huge piece of cake. We did have to take out a small loan to pay for this dessert but it was well worth it-we just won’t eat supper tonight!

Afterwards, Robby ran to Walgreens to pick him up some medicine. He must have Graham’s cold and has himself a stuffy head. When he climbed back in the car, I decided I better run back into the store to pick up some candy for the kids-gotta keep them happy!

Then we were back on the road and were headed home-saddest part of a trip! We turned on a movie to pass the time and were soon crossing over back into Central Time Zone. On the Kentucky border, we found an eating place in Louisville-Double Dogs.

We ordered cheese dip and it came with some great pico de gallo which Robby and I both gobbled up. We ordered the kids pizza and chicken fingers. Robby chose and burger which was too salty and I took the server’s recommendation and ordered buffalo chicken mac and cheese. I ordered it with the mild sauce but gracious me, if that was mild sauce I would hate to taste the regular sauce. Robby agreed that it was spicy but he split his burger with me and took home my leftovers. We really should have just split a meal especially since we had cheese dip as well.

From there, we only had another hour or less to our hotel. We drove right to it-after the GPS took us to a gas station in the middle of nowhere. We unloaded into our room and after putting on pjs, everyone had a drink before bed.

Then we found everyone a spot to sleep and it will soon be lights out.

Ark Adventure-April 24, 2017

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We stirred a little bit this morning around 3 with Graham coughing. I got up to give him some water and then he soon went back to sleep quietly. Around 8, Anderson woke us up to tell us the time. We did soon get up but Robby told him that we had a bit more time to sleep and even though our picture this morning of us leaving said 10:00, it was really 9 Central Time so we were still pleased.

Today's breakfast will probably be the winner of the trip. Surprisingly though, the kids didn't eat as much as they did the day before. We still did leave with our bellies full and everyone was happy (me especially, since they had granola.)

Now, we only had a 5 minute drive to the Creation Museum but we somehow ended up going the wrong way leading us out of Indiana and into Ohio and back through Indiana and then finally into Kentucky. Whitman had been looking for dinosaurs and was pretty thrilled to see dinosaurs on the front gate of the Creation Museum.

The museum was very impressive. Our fist stop was a movie with a few special effects. Then we watched a show in the planetarium. The planetarium show was pretty neat and it showed us how vast our universe is. 

Next up was a walk through the museum part. This museum basically explains how the world began roughly 6000 years ago just as the Bible says and not millions or billions of years ago as current science suggest. It did a good job of demonstrating how your view on God's word affects your belief on creation. The museum had lots of reading but also showed lots of science to back up young earth creationism.

After we walked through the exhibits, we smelled the most delicious smell ever-warm fudge. Of course we had to stop and pick some up. We enjoyed most of our fudge and then walked through another area with tons of insect collections. Then it was back upstairs for another special effects movie.

We had almost finished but there were beautiful gardens out back that we walked through. There was a petting zoo, hanging bridge and floating bridge. We could have taken a lot of pictures in the gardens but wanted to hurry to watch a show back inside the museum. It was a singing, scientist, dinosaur creator, guitar playing man. He put on a little show and it was pretty good but it was nearing 4 and we had only eaten our hotel breakfast and fudge so we were hungry.

We snuck out and left the museum and drove towards our next stop-supper! Blue Ash Chili in Blue Ash, Ohio was high on everyone's agenda. The kids remembered it from last year and they could not wait to return. I do believe that cups and cups of cheese were calling their name. Robby thought he ordered them all hot dogs with cheese but he ended up ordering chili dogs with cheese. No one looked too excited but every single one of them were devoured and Robby had to buy 4 more for everyone. Keaton told us that next time we have hot dogs at home she wants chili on hers. 

Robby had a 5 way-spaghetti, chili, beans, cheese and fried jalapenos and I ate a lizard-a fried pickle in a hot dog bun covered with cheese and chili. All of our food was perfectly delicious. Next time we go maybe we can order the No Freakin Way which is 2.5 pounds of spaghetti, 2.5 pounds of chili, 2 pounds of cheese and a cup of fried jalapenos. The kids will be a bit older and will be able to help us devour the large meal.

From there, we were just a few minutes drive to our hotel. We checked in and then after we organized a few things, the kids put on their bathing suits and they went swimming. They had fun and everyone but Whitman and Graham swam the whole hour allotted to swim. The chlorine must have been pretty strong because everyone would climb out of the pool occasionally to wipe their eyes. Graham's eyes were really bothering him so he was ready to take a shower before the others. I had to eventually put drops in Anderson's eyes which he said hurt worse (I doubled checked and it was not the ear ache drops this time.) I did even hold Whitman down and managed to get drops in one of his eyes but it wasn't worth the effort to do his other eye.

After swimming, everyone showered. We had planned on doing laundry but there wasn't any there so instead we had a drink and finished off the fudge from this morning. After a bit of tv watching, the kids bedded down. Currently, the tv is still on but the plan is to have lights out at 9 (it is already 9:10 though). Tomorrow will be an early day-don't want the Ark to leave without us.

Ark Adventure-April 23, 2017

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We all slept fairly well last night. Robby did look at Graham once and Graham was awake. Robby guessed by light streaming in our hotel window that we only have about 15 minutes left to sleep and told Graham this. After they had both gotten up to go to the bathroom, Robby did glance at the clock to realize that it was just 4 so they had a good long while to sleep before waking up.

After that the first sound we heard this morning was Whitman saying, “good morning.” He cralwed into our bed and soon Campbell and Keaton were with us as well. Whitman did keep sitting up motioning for Anderson to join us but he wasn’t giving up his cozy spot just yet.

It didn’t take too long for everyone to find their clothes (pants today) and brush their teeth. My shower didn’t last long at all because this hotel shower was pretty sad. Then we all headed downstairs for breakfast. The breakfast room was about the size of this van but we managed to find seats and eat.

The main menu choices this morning were waffles, toast, yogurt and bagels. After we all ate, we went upstairs to load the cart and potty before climbing into the car. As soon as we stepped out of the door, we realized that it was a good call to wear pants today. The weather is a rainy, dreary, cold mess.

We usually have better weather luck on our trips but today we weren’t so fortunate. It rained our entire drive to Mammoth Cave. We only stopped once for Robby to run into the restroom. We passed our time this leg of the journey by listening to our book and playing ipads. Robby and I listened to some of the church service as he drove through the rainy mess.

The drive to Mammoth Cave was just so beautiful with the rain making the trees look extra green. We made it to Mammoth Cave around 11:30. The first stop was to pick up our tickets for our self guided tour. We also walked through the gift shop and the visitor center before heading down into the cave.

It was a short down hill walk through the light mist and dripping trees to the entrance of the cave. Mammoth Cave is the longest cave in the world which is pretty impressive but the area on our self guided tour wasn’t as impressive as Carlsbad Caverns. Whitman was pretty aprehensive but when I explained that there would be lights unlike our Cave City cave exploring, he was fine.  Keaton wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to be as steep as our other cave.  I assured her and she immediately felt better as well.

We walked the loop in the cave and took time to ask a few questions to the rangers. Then we left-upon exiting the cave, you had to walk over a soapy mat so the bat disease that has affected the cave system will not spread. This was Whitman’s favorite part of the journey and when we were back in the visitor’s center, all he wanted to do was find the “wash”-it wasn’t on the map.

After the cave, we loaded up and drove around. The plan was to eat lunch in the car but that is just such a pain to make 8 sandwiches in my lap! Robby did find us a pavillion to eat in so the kids played as I made lunch. It was in the low 50s so our lunch wasn’t too long and then it was back on the road.

We drove on to Louisville and stopped at an ice cream stop, The Comfy Cow. Robby and I had read that their specialty was cookies and cream, our favorite. However, they didn’t have any today. Despite this, it was a neat little stop and a perfect spot to eat a $50 ice cream sundea or just 3 large scoops, which is what we had.

Robby and I had sea salt caramel which was decent. The kids had a peanut butter and also a chocolate chip. After licking the bowls clean, we hopped back in the car and headed to the hotel.

After Robby checked into the hotel and then we walked across the street to La Rosa’s pizza. It is a local chain and despite the restaurant needing a good cleaning, the food was really good. We had lasagna, pizza rolls, spaghetti and pizza. We pretty much cleaned up everything by the end of the meal.

Then we just walked right back across the parking lot to our hotel. Everyone stripped and found their pjs while waiting for the shower. Robby ran the clothes to the wash and we turned on the tv to see if we could find an interesting show.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to get the food network or even HGTV so we were stuck watching a Disney kiddie movie. And even worse, I became pretty interested in it. Everyone is currently watching the movie or playing on their ipads. I believe everyone will be headed to bed by 10 tonight.

Ark Adventure-April 22, 2017

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Robby and I went to bed this morning around 2 and it was storming so wonderfully outside. We felt pretty confident that maybe there wouldn’t be soccer this morning. We still had plenty to do before leaving for our trip and a morning off of soccer would help tremendously.

Around 6:30, Robby started staring at his phone waiting for the “no soccer” message but it never did come. A bit after 7, we started hurrying the kids along getting their soccer clothes on. The drive to the fields was a misty mess and so were the first 2 games.

The weather was not a deterrant to Keaton this morning. She hustled as fast as she could but the two other boys on her team were a bit faster (and a bit bigger) today. Keaton wasn’t able to score but her team did win by quite a bit.

Campbell’s turn was next and her team only lost by one point which was so much closer than last week. She hurried after that ball and had lots of fun. Now the boys had fun but they were no were close to winning. They played a boy that was on Anderson’s team last year and he is a superstar. I do believe that their score was 7-0. They hustled to the end and were eventually able to stop (or slow down) the superstar.

During one of the games, Whitman looked up at me and said, “I forgot my beary.” Poor thing, I had to reassure him that we would go home and get his beary before leaving. The mist stopped during Reagan’s game but the wind was still blowing and it was just down right cold during the games. Reagan scored 3 points and her team’s score was 9-0. She has a really fun group of girls on her team and they are all good players.

Before the end of the game, Robby was herding kids to the car at the end of Reagan’s game. I had to hurry with Reagan to the car so we weren’t left. We picked up pizza on the way home and speeded on back to the house.

At home, the girls showered first while the boys ate their pizza and then they switched places. Robby managed the showers and even had to sit down to do some work. I unloaded the car and started on the reloading. We moved pretty quickly and even were loaded in the car 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

We fought the rainy mist the entire drive and the dreary day made our drive to Memphis seem incredibly long. We drove and drove and drove.  At one time I thought that we might be driving in circles. After crossing the river, we did stop at a McDonalds for a potty break and snack. The kids ate nuggets, hamburgers, ice cream and slushies-that really sounds like more than a snack. After a bit of sitting at McDonalds, Whitman told us that he was ready to go to the hotel so we loaded up and headed that way.

Back in the car and we listened to our book for a while. The rain continued to be a misty mess but we passed the time with ipads, talking to Grannymom, talking to Pops and texting Candice and the Wilsons.

I am always amazed at the kids-getting into the hotel was incredibly easy. Keaton asked to help with laundry (none tonight) and then offered to unload the ice chest. Everyone put their shoes up and started getting their pjs and when Whitman walked into the room he started stripping. (Our usual hotel laundry routine is strip when you come in the room so we can get that laundry in the wash quickly.) Soon everyone were in their pjs, having something to drink, and watching ginormous food. (We probably shouldn’t watch this show because we are already planning another trip to go and eat a 48 inch pizza.)

April 21, 2017

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  • We might possibly could have slept in today if I would have cancelled school and I did think hard about it but knew that probably wasn't too wise. (I still need about 14 full school days this year to finish everything before we move to a summer schedule.) Keaton was the only one still asleep as I herded everyone to find their breakfast.
  • I told Whitman that it was time to do his school and he quickly found a puzzle that I had laid out for him so he worked that and then practiced his letters with Reagan while he ate. After that he did another puzzle with Campbell and then read some with Reagan, Anderson and finally Campbell. He did more schooling than everyone else!
  • I need to start on Keaton's reading book with her again after taking a break. I can't just get motivated thought. Today would have been a perfect day but she was so happily playing or listening to everyone read to Whitman. We will have to hit that hard this summer though but we will get it done!
  • I had two main goals today-load the car and cook supper. I had thought that it was going to rain most of the day so when I saw that it was starting to become cloudy around 10, we took a break from school and started packing. Reagan had to finish her packing and everyone else worked on cleaning and vacuuming out the car. Then we loaded the car amid the sprinkling and then pouring rain. The kids loved it but I was a bit disappointed to see the sun coming out minutes after we had finished.
  • We had spam and eggs for lunch. I just realized that I should have read them the book Green Eggs and Ham during our lunch. As I was frying up eggs, I laughed aloud wondering why I was cooking more eggs when I still have about a dozen boiled eggs in the fridge. The kids all enjoyed the spam as always and I do believe that my new pans made my egg frying much easier.
  • After we had our lunch, then it was chore time. My boys just wanted to play and not work today so after some redirecting they were soon back on track. (I explained that they would get to work or they would complete everything on the chore list.) It took a while but we did finally finish everything on my list and then I could get started on cooking supper.
  • The McGuires and Pennington's came over tonight. The kids spent most of their time here outside playing. They did come in briefly to eat our supper-sour cream enchiladas, chips, salsa, cheese dip, Mexican dip, corn dip, rice and beans. It was a pretty decent supper and we have plenty of leftovers. 
  • The kids even started watching a movie after we ate but did come around for ice cream and brownies for dessert. Robby did snatch the boys for a bit so he could trim their hair. Everyne stayed for a good while and when they left, my crew picked up, showered, and then headed to bed!Tomorrow will be a busy day!

April 20, 2017

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  • Keaton and Whitman had school this morning so my mission bright and early was to find them and put their clothes on them. Whitman was easy to find since he was in the living room floor watching a movie near his brothers and Keaton was sound asleep in her bed. 
  • After they were stirring, Reagan and Campbell came stumbling down the stairs. I do believe that they could have slept for a bit longer because they looked like zombies walking down those steps.
  • When Keaton and Whitman left, the rest of us started on school work. My part right now with each kiddo is pretty quick so the hardest job right now that I have is checking math. I do love math but I am not crazy about having to think so hard!
  • At 11, I headed out the door to run to the library (I had books on hold and Graham had put in a request for more Hardy Boys.) Then I picked up Whitman and Keaton. Ms. Jennifer said that Whitman had a wonderful day-always nice to hear because he isn't always the best around here.
  • Once I made it home, the kids did a few chore while I made a bit of lunch. Then we all went to work on packing for our trip. Things went well until it was time for me to help Reagan pack her clothes. I didn't realize that she had so few shirts so we scurried around so we would have time to go shopping.
  • I had a doctor's appointment and since Robby was working here, Keaton and Whitman headed to Nonna's house for a bit. Graham wanted to go too even though Anderson and Campbell wanted to stay here. Reagan went with me after dropping everyone off and we made a haul at Old Navy. We found her a few Sunday shirts and a few shirts to wear every day. I think that she was pretty pleased and I was pleased that we found most things on clearance.
  • Then I headed to my appointment and Reagan sat in the waiting room playing on my phone. I had to wait for a good long time so my phone was almost dead when I returned. She did beg for me to let her go to Sonic on the way home and she gladly paid with her gift card. 
  • We picked up Graham, Keaton and Whitman from Nonna's house. They were having a snack when we arrived-they had a made a delicious chocolate rice krispy treats. As soon as we made it home, it was almost time for the kids to turn around to head to soccer practice.
  • Whitman and I stayed home during practice-he watched movies while I made beans, cheese dip, enchiladas and Mexican corn for tomorrow, packed some and painted the inside of the fireplace. I even had supper made when they returned so when they walked in the door, we all sat down to eat. 
  • After eating, the kids rotated through the showers and then it was bedtime for the crew. I think that they were all pretty tired today. Graham still has his cough but did act like he felt a lot better today. Hopefully, he will even feel some better tomorrow!

April 19, 2017

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  • My boys were all awake this morning and playing on their ipads when I walked through the house this morning. I am always surprised at why all 3 of them would wake up at exactly 7. It must mean that someone is very noisy when they wake up.
  • Soon I wake up everyone and they all started stirring. This morning as they were getting dressed, Robby did their trash emptying chore for them. That did give them a bit more time to put away their laundry since we had folded it last night.
  • Reagan, Anderson and Graham all had Wednesday morning bagels this morning. I love that but it just reminds me that I need to get back in a schedule for our breakfasts..and probably lunches too...and wouldn't it be nice to have some type of schedule for supper like Mexican Mondays and Leftover Wednesdays. I will get there eventually.
  • Bible study was good as usual and all of my babies brought money for Bibles and Bible study books to be bought for Rwanda. My big kids all brought 4 or 5 dollars each and my littles all brought a bag full of change. Whitman told his teachers that it was for Bibles and Keaton told her teacher that the money was for "Wanda."
  • Apparently, Whitman didn't listen very well in his class. He ended up sitting down while his classmates played on the playground today. I would have never have known this except he has two big sisters that were very concerned about his behavior. I asked his teacher and she was as sweet as she could be-even said that he really, really wanted to obey but just had a hard time today.
  • We then headed to the park to play. The weather was perfect today and then kids enjoyed played. We let everyone play until all of the moms were too tired to stay any longer so we all loaded up and came home. 
  • The kids helped me unload the car (after much prompting) and then started watching their movies. I was about to go to the treadmill when the window guys showed up to replace our two windows. The kids played basketball for the longest while they worked on getting the window out. But once it was out, I herded everyone around to the back yard so they would be far away from all of the glass coming in and going out of the house. When Whitman saw the men and I told him what they were doing, he said, "Daddy will be so excited."
  • They were finishing up the windows when it was time for me to call the kids in to eat. By this time, Graham was already inside-he wasn't feeling too well. He felt pretty hot but had been running around outside. Now, he also had a crazy cough and has been acting a bit puny. I offered for him to stay home and even though he was going to miss shopping and saying his verse, he picked staying home.
  • After we ate, we loaded up and I told Graham that the rest of us were leaving. He asked, "Is Daddy not home?" I listed everything he needed to know and showed him where Robby was on his drive home (crossing into LR.) 
  • As the rest of us were at church, Graham was snoozing on the couch. He did wake up in time to briefly talk to Grannymom and Grandpa, who had come to help Robby with his lawnmower. When we made it home, we had some cookies and Graham had some medicine before bedtime for everyone. 

April 18, 2017

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  • Anderson was the only one awake this morning and he had already opened his blinds and was playing his ipad when I came through. As I walked upstairs Reagan was walking down the hall but everyone else was sound asleep. Keaton had already laid out her clothes so she was quick to wake up when I mentioned her clothes. She did, however, want for me to carry her down the stairs. So I carried her down and then went back up to get Whitman and carry him down. I started my day thinking that I might should spend a bit more time on the treadmill!
  • We loaded Keaton and Whitman up and they headed to school. Meanwhile, back at home we were pretty busy. I did school work with everyone and Anderson had a bit to finish from yesterday. All of that along with a page full of chores kept everyone busy.
  • I did start on making cookies and Reagan offered to make them and I quickly agreed. There was brief panic though when I realized we were out of eggs. I suggested substituting applesauce and the kids acted like that was the grossest thing ever. Thankfully, I was able to find another substitute and everyone was pleased. 
  • We then left to pick up Keaton and Whitman. On the way home, I asked what was one fun thing that they did at school today. Keaton couldn't think of anything at all and Whitman shouted out, "I went potty." Well, at least he had a good day.
  • The Heltz's were there waiting on us this morning and soon everyone was outside playing. The weather was perfect and then kids enjoyed playing. They played until we finally decided that we should do our poems. Everyone recited their poems outside on the patio. All of the kids did so perfect. I am not really interested in poetry but there were so many neat poems that maybe we should do more with poems around here. 
  • Afterwards, we passed out Reagan's cookies. Then the kids played some more. Everyone stayed until mid afternoon and when they left, we picked up and headed out the door for Grannymom's house.
  • The kids played over there while I ran to a few stores before Bunko. Robby picked them up and they headed home to eat. Then everyone went back outside to play with the neighbors and fly their drones until bedtime!

April 17, 2107

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  • Unfortunately, we woke up to rain this morning which meant that Keaton's zoo day would have to be postponed. She was not too pleased about this fact but was happy to learn that she was still going to get to go to Nonna's house after school. 
  • Whitman didn't really care about what he was getting to do this morning-he just wanted a doughnut. One of his brothers or sisters did get him a doughnut and soon I had clothes on him and Keaton. Robby took them off to school and Nonna's house. There were only about 6 kiddos in Keaton's class today so I think she really enjoyed it.
  • At home, we started our morning only doing 1/2 of our school work since today was supposed to be a zoo day. After both of the boys continued to goof off and try their best to take the easy way out, I just decided that everyone would do the whole day's worth of work. Reagan had already finished her work and was just going to wait until tomorrow to check it with me and Campbell just had a bit left to do.
  • My boys though were not pleased at all about this change of plans. It was fine with me though because I had a bit more time while they worked to do my chores and now tomorrow, we will have most of the morning without school-more time for them to do chores. It is just a win-win! 
  • We did our together work and then everyone started on their chores for today. It wasn't much so they were soon playing on their ipads. They bounced inside and outside for some of the afternoon-playing outside but also waiting on the neighbors to come out to play.
  • Nonna brought Keaton and Whitman home. Keaton had made a holder for her Easter candy and the only thing that Whitman could think about was building a marble track. She filled her Easter holder with candy and I built him a marble track. 
  • At some point later in the afternoon, I politely kicked everyone out-there are been too much tattling. Surprisingly, everyone stayed outside until the neighbors finally came out. Then the crew played and played.
  • Quite a bit of their time was watching the happenings at the skinny window house. There was a house showing and the real estate man had to jump the ladies car. As he was pulling up to do this, he ran over a spike in the driveway and popped his tire. Apparently, this was so loud that it scared the kids. When he got out, he said that he "ran over a peg"-my kids heard "ran over an egg" and they were near panic until someone figured out that he said peg!
  • When it started raining pretty good the boys came on home. It was raining much harder and was quite a bit later when Robby called the girls home. Reagan said that they were dry before they had to come home but did get soaked on the way home. That possibly was true for her but Campbell was soaked from head to toe-she probably had been rolling in puddles somewhere.
  • The kids all had showers and then we ate supper. We again had Shannon's chili but this time we did have to do a little modification since we didn't have any chili beans-it was between black beans and pork n beans. We picked the pork n beans and it was decent enough to kill hunger. 
  • After supper, the kids finished off Nonna's bunny cake from yesterday. Earlier in the day, Whitman was in the kitchen and stuck his hand to the cake pan. He purposefully grabbed some coconut which was dyed green like grass on the edges of the cake. He put it in his mouth and then asked me, "is this food?" I assured him that it was but he must have disagreed because he quickly spit it all out!
  • The kids helped with a few chores and practiced their poems while we cleaned the kitchen. Then everyone watched a Bates before bedtime!

April 16, 2017-Happy Easter

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  • Easter morning and people started walking through our bedroom at 7:01. They were asking me questions like "where are my Easter clothes?" and "which one is my shirt?" I was just able to grunt out answers since really, we had a few more minutes until we needed to get ready.
  • I tried to stall them from getting ready but I was too late. I didn't really want for Keaton to eat her breakfast wearing a white dress but she did. Not only did she had a white dress after breakfast but she had a white and orange juice stained dressed (FYI-can't get orange juice out with a wash cloth before church.)
  • Once the kids were all dressed (Graham even put Whitman's clothes on him) we passed out Easter baskets. Each contained a bottle of orange juice, a honey bun, a cinnamon swirl, a chocolate bunny, a package of socks, a brownie and a little toy.  Everyone was super pleased-like Christmas stocking pleased. It doesn't take too much to make my crew happy thankfully.
  • We ate our breakfasts and then did our obligatory Easter picture. Hopefully, we have a decent one but it hasn't gotten any easier to get everyone smiling and when will Whitman learn to smile at the camera or even just look at the camera.
  • Church was crowded but our class wasn't too full. We had lots to do in our Sunday school class and as usual I had worked up a sweat by big church time. Robby picked up the kids and they did stop to see the baby chicks before we all went to big church.
  • After church, I took Campbell, Anderson and Whitman home in my car and we were a few minutes ahead of Robby and the others. Soon Grannymom and Grandpa were here followed by Nonna, Pops and Jason.  By the time that the bread was warm, Dana, Lilly and Cash had arrived. 
  • Everyone ate and ate and we still had a plethora of leftovers. The kids gobbled up their food because all they could think about was the Easter egg hunt. Soon we started hiding those eggs. Pops, Jason, Grandpa, Robby and I hid and hid and hid eggs. There were so many that you couldn't walk 5 feet without stepping on one. 
  • On the count of 3, Robby let the kids run off of the porch. They flew around the yard filling their baskets and eventually Walmart sacks with Easter eggs. Whitman and Keaton didn't get as many as the others but they were right behind them. Once the yard was completely void of eggs, the kids came inside to dump out their eggs.
  • This is at least the third year that the kids have started making "stores" with their Easter candy and trading it. It is kind of interesting to watch but they work so hard on making a good deal and trying to get more of what they want. Reagan was worried about the boys not being fair with Keaton's stash. Whitman knew exactly what he wanted and when he was done trading then he was done trading.
  • We wondered aloud where they came up with all of this trading but in a few minutes we realized where...as everyone was packing up their food, we were busily trading our leftovers with each other just like those kids were trading their candy. Everyone went home with tons of leftovers (possibly next Easter we should just have ham sandwiches).
  • Once the house was straight again, the kids watched a movie and Robby and I took a nap. We napped until the Wilsons wrote saying they were coming over. I pulled out all of our leftovers and we just sat around and made a meal on them. 
  • When Tony and Robby went to pick up their kids, Shannon and I hid more eggs outside for the kids to find. My kids were down the street with the neighbors for a bit. When it was egg hunting time, the Wilsons, neighbors and our kids all ran through the yard again searing for eggs. 
  • This time there was a a prize for round one and round two of our egg hunts. Neighbor one the first round and Reagan won the second. At dark, the kids came inside and we worked on eating a bit more leftovers. When everyone left, the kids helped clean up and showered off before bedtime.
  • Now, everyone else is sleeping soundly but Whitman who had a pretty good nap this afternoon which has led to him not being able to sleep now. He has been downstairs now twice!

April 15, 2017

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  • Robby and I were up earlier than usual and it didn't take him long to get both of his griddles fired up in the kitchen. He made sausage and pancakes for the kiddos (ours plus Brett and Cash.) By the time we had breakfast ready, the boys were already back outside playing. 
  • The boys played until we called them in to put on their uniforms. Soon the house was picked up and we were headed to soccer (game day 2). We didn't have to be there until 10 this morning so that was nice. I had hoped that an hour or two less sun would help. I also doubled up on the sunscreen (last week was none, this week was some) but I am still a bit pink and Anderson complained tonight about being red even though he doesn't really look burned at all.
  • Campbell and Keaton played at the same time. Poor Campbell's team, they just got smoked. Campbell had fun and during the last period she was on the bench. I heard her tell her coach that she was going to go and watch her sister play-that was really sweet-but I still encouraged her to stay and cheer on her team.
  • If Campbell would have seen her sister play, she would have seen Keaton do her absolute best today. She was also the first one out of the tunnel today and as she came running through the cheering parents, she did a cartwheel! Cutest thing ever. Keaton told me that she scored 3 goals-not absolutely sure on that but she did at least get 2 her coach (Robby) said. 
  • Next game was the boys game. They did fine but seemed to be playing in half of the speed that they played last week. I believe that they still won the game but they didn't care about that, they were just thrilled that Cash was there to see their game.
  • Finally, it was Reagan's turn to play. Her team was all there today so she did play less but she didn't mind because she was running hard. Reagan didn't score this time but she did run herself ragged chasing after the ball. 
  • As soon as the game was over, the kids helped pick up the flags around the fields. Then we headed home and started to work. After unpacking the car, the kids changed while we emptied the dishwasher and made lunch. Once lunch we finished, we pulled out the eggs and everyone started to work. It wasn't too messy but I do wonder why we have never done our eggs outside. Reagan took the most time on her eggs, Whitman was the messiest, Graham was finished first, Anderson was the most methodical, Campbell could have done it all day and Keaton probably had the most fun.
  • The kids headed outside for a bit along with Robby who spent the rest of the afternoon/evening working on the yard. I spent the rest of my day in the kitchen and we both worked until after 6. I then started showers with the kids and afterwards, we made Resurrection rolls. Then Robby did the Resurrection eggs with the kids before heading to the grocery store. I finished cleaning while the kids watched one movie before going to bed. Graham was exhausted tonight but he was also complaining of his ear hurting-I gave him some ear drops and hopefully he will sleep well tonight.
  • Robby soon arrived back with groceries and supper for us. Afterwards, we got a few things ready for Sunday school and then I stuffed a few more dozen eggs as we watched a show or two.. 

April 14, 2017

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  • Reagan woke us up at 2:30 saying that Keaton didn't feel well. By the time I made it upstairs she was crying huddled over the potty. I sat by her for a long time and asked if she wanted to go downstairs. She looked at me and barked "let me throw up and then we can go to your room." Soon afterwards she did and we were headed downstairs. I made her a pallet and soon we were sleeping all night long. (This is her third time this year to get sick-each time we have eaten around 8. Those times she had eaten a breakfast burrito, Arbys and McDonalds....in case you were wondering.)
  • When she did wake up this morning she was quick to ask for her ipad but was soon running around the house. We started on school work today. Campbell and Keaton sat beside each other and worked together on everything they did. Whitman found a spot under the table and spent most of the morning on Robby's ipad watching a movie or two or possibly three-yep, I didn't win mom of the year this morning with him!
  • By 11, Keaton and I had finished her clothes switcheroo and Graham, the girls and I had made energy bars from a recipe he found in his school work. I think everyone's school was finished by 11 so we worked together and then started on chores and lunch.
  • My crew gobbled down their lunch and flew through chores because the big event of the morning was about to take place-cookie decorating. Everyone was huddled around the mixture when I heard screaming. I couldn't make it out at first but then I realized Campbell was screaming, "my hair! my hair!" Thankfully, Reagan was there and turned off the mixture before I made it to yank the plug out of the wall. 
  • A good piece of her hair was wrapped securely around the top of the beater. I was able to move the icing bowl out of the way before hair got in it. Then I grabbed my scissors while trying to figure out what to do-it would have been a huge chunk of her hair...enough that we would have had to go and get her a short hair cut. She was near hysterics but was better than I probably would have been. I was able to take the beater off and turn the mixer backwards and slowly unwrap her hair. By this time, my hands and her hair was covered in icing-she was a bit shaken up but headed on to the showers. That could have been much worse but my, we will laugh about it for years.
  • She was soon back in the kitchen having me put up her wet hair in a ponytail. Later I looked up and saw that Reagan's hair was all in a bun on top of her head-she wasn't taking any chances. We dyed the icing pink, yellow, orange, blue, green and had white. The kids loved decorating the cookies. Everyone got into it and their cookies all looked pretty good. Even Whitman did pretty well. When we had finished the cookies, the kids helped clean the kitchen which was wonderful.
  • As I was sweeping after the kitchen was clean, I looked at the clock and saw that it was not yet 2. My gracious, I already felt like I had worked all day long. I soon ended up on the couch with the intent of getting on the treadmill after a 20 minute power nap. The power nap happened but the treadmill didn't. 
  • I eventually had a shower while the kids were playing outside and then I started on supper. The kids played and played outside. I just love seeing them out playing. Reagan did come in as I was cooking. I asked her if she wanted to help and she agreed. She made the sausage cornbread and a chocolate cake. I was her sous chef-getting out ingredients and cleaning up after her. It was kind of nice.
  • Around 6, the Wilson's showed up. The kids were still outside so Brett and Layne joined them. Robby had brought Cash home a bit earlier so he was here to. After a while, the grownups decided to eat. We watched the Hogs baseball game as we ate in the living room.
  • The kids migrated in eventually and ate. Then they watched a movie while we had Reagan's chocolate cake. The boys ended up back outside playing basketball. At one point, Campbell passed out our Easter cookies to everyone.
  • The Wilsons left and left Brett here to spend the night. We let the boys stay outside playing basketball while we picked up the house and put Whitman to bed. As soon as we brought the boys in, I handed out toothbrushes to everyone and we made them lay down! 
  • Currently, it sounds like everyone is asleep-my I hope so!