December 30, 2017

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Whitman came into our room this morning at 7 or was it 8? But then we never heard anyone for a very long time. I think that they were all in the bonus room watching a movie. Keaton was the late sleeper today. Everyone has really enjoyed sleeping late these last few weeks and all of that is definitely coming to an end. Church tomorrow is late, Monday is the holiday, Tuesday should be the day we start school but Whitman is still off so maybe we will do a tad bit, but on Wednesday we have Bible study so that will be the first day that we have to wake up and start moving.
  • After the dishes this morning, there was one load of laundry to fold and soon another one was ready. We also washed the boys sheets and blankets which was 3 loads. We should wash all of their sheets more often but gracious, it is a bit overwhelming. I did add it to the kids chore list to help me with it-we will see how well all of that happens.
  • I did meet Anderson upstairs to work on his Lego thing today. This is the big lego piece that he bought last year with all of his birthday returns. I think that it will be easier to put together than the other one, but we did hit a few pages today where we had to search and find every single piece on the page. 
  • By noon, we picked up and I had everyone do a few chores. I didn't understand why the boys were working so hard and fast until I was reminded that it was basketball time. The boys watched most of the game but near the end, I was in the kitchen and the living room became pretty rowdy. Anderson and Graham were standing in front of the tv calling the Hogs, Campbell and Keaton were cheering with their pom poms and Reagan and Whitman were wrestling (not everyone can be Hog fans.) We all watched the end of the game together in the living room and cheered on the Hogs.
  • Robby and the big boys went to the Wilson's house to help Tony with some building. While he was gone, I put my little helpers to good use, and we reorganized my pantry in Robby's office. It had become pretty cluttered, and we made it shiny and new. Now, I should have probably moved right on and worked on my real pantry, but we will save that for another day.
  • When we had finished that project, I played a few games with the kids and then Campbell made 2 batches of cornbread for tonight. The chili was already heating up in the crockpot. The Wilson's came over for supper and after supper, Shannon watched Robby make her cookies. And gracious, even with her watching, our cookies just don't turn out as well as hers. Maybe we just need to find our own special recipe.
  • Robby and Tony worked on plans to revamp our fireplace while the kids played a game and watched a movie. After they all left, we picked up and the kids headed to bed. I had left Whitman's tent up one more day thinking that he would sleep in it again. Tonight though when he was brushing his teeth, he told us that he wanted to sleep with his brothers and climbed into his bed. Before I could finish explaining the stock market (yep, seriously) to the boys, Whitman was sound asleep.

December 29, 2017

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Let me think-right now I am not even sure of what day it is (or was since it is after midnight). Okay, hopefully I have it all straight in my head. My alarm rang right at 8 this morning, and I dialed the phone as I was getting out of bed. I snatched the earliest two appointments that I could and was satisfied of the time of 9:50.
  • After I had put on my clothes, folded the laundry and emptied the dishwasher, Tony was knocking on the door. Now, if you have been to have my house lately and sat on my couch, you know that one side is completely broken. Your chin hits your knees when you sit down. It does make a cozy little spot to cuddle in, but probably is not conducive to having guests over.
  • Tony and Robby went to town on the couch while I loaded up with Campbell and Graham. Even though Graham swore to me that his ears didn't hurt and that he felt better (sure didn't sound better with him snotting and coughing), I still drug him on to the doctor. I think that he wanted to stay and play with Brett but to the doctor he went.
  • It was a short visit-Campbell had one infected ear and Graham had two ears that weren't infected but they weren't healthy looking. So they both received medicine. From there, I ran into the pharmacy to pick up their meds, and thankfully I didn't have to wait forever. Neither one was too happy to hear that the medicine was bubble gum flavored and that they had to take it twice a day (Whitman's right now is just once a day.)
  • When we arrived back home, the couch was almost fixed, and Keaton was sitting staring at them working. It looked like she had just been up for a few minutes. By the time that Campbell and Graham had drank their medicine for their first dose, Reagan was stumbling down the stairs. Sleeping until almost 11-what a wonderful Christmas break.
  • We then had a bit of downtime until I made chicken tortillas for lunch. We ate and then everyone started on showers. Soon we were loading up heading to a funeral. As we drove there, Robby gave the kids the low down on what would happen there and reminded them that it was a very solemn event...and as we pulled into the parking lot, there were 4 of those huge blow up air men flapping in the breeze by the front doors. Robby explained that this was not normal funeral protocol. 
  • Now, the kids were perfect during the long service. I can say that because Whitman fell asleep and snored during most of it. Now, he has been saying lots of things like, "how do you die?," "how old will I be in when I die?" and "I don't want (insert name here) to die." 
  • After the funeral, we stopped by Sonic as a reward and then headed to NLR. Robby had to pick up something for work (which wasn't there). I ran into the smallest Kroger ever while Robby found gas. Then we ordered the kids pizzas from Pizza Hut (they have the same Book-It program that I did when I was a kid and could earn a free mini pizza each month.) It took forever to get a hold of them and order the pizza. Robby also had a mystery shop which it took over an hour for the food to be ready. 
  • By the time that we made it home, everyone was antsy and hungry. Robby had to take pictures of his food but did that quickly. By the time that the car was unloaded, we were serving up some grub. Most everyone ate pizza, but there was also fries, nachos and a burger along with a delicious cookie. Everyone left with plenty to eat and the fridge is full of leftovers for tomorrow,
  • The Wilsons were lonely, so we went over there for a bit and ended up staying until after 11. The kids were busy watching a movie or something or another (I am not sure what they were doing but they were being quiet.) When the ballgame that was on finished, we headed home. By the time we made it in the house, everyone was exhausted and headed right to bed. 

December 28, 2017

(click here for today's pictures)

  • First let me apologize for our lack of pictures today. We just have one. I did remember that we needed pictures tonight after I had tucked the kids into bed, but since it was after 11 and since we have two "sickly" ones, I figured that it wasn't worth waking them up for a picture.
  • Last night, Graham had complained about his ear, and we even did ear drops before bed. So this morning before 8, I asked him about his ear. He said that it was fine and no matter how I asked him, he was certain that he felt much better. So I opted not to call for an appointment for him today (which turned out to be a mistake.)
  • Reagan woke up at Kennedy's house so before noon, we loaded up to pick her up. From breakfast time until then, we really didn't do a whole lot around here. There was laundry, dishes and lots of straightening but we didn't really do much.
  • After picking up Reagan, we headed to Dairy Queen for our weekly Blizzards. Everyone loves to eat ice cream when it is not even above freezing! The kids have settled on their flavors and everyone gets the same thing each time. Now, Keaton just eats the M&Ms that we ask for on the side from the M&M Blizzard. Robby said that we need to just start bringing her some candy and that way we could order a Blizzard that Robby and I would enjoy.
  • When we thawed out from the ice cream, we went to Grannymom's house for a bit. Whitman, Robby and Campbell stayed over there while the rest of us ran to Walmart for a bit. Campbell stayed behind because while we were out and about, her ears started to hurt. I called for an appointment for her but by then they were all out.
  • Anderson had some money to spend and looked at the Legos but their stock was pretty low so he didn't see anything that he had to have. He was wise and decided to wait until he was sure. Keaton found something that she wanted too and almost bought it but decided not to at the last minute. Graham also had some money but bless, his ear had started to hurt and he just couldn't think of anything that he wanted since he was distracted by that.
  • Campbell stayed at Grannymom's house for the rest of the afternoon. She cuddled up in their big heated bed with the tv on and a bell by her side-that girl ate it up! The rest of us ran home for a bit.
  • Then we loaded back up with the Wilsons and went to eat Mexican after picking up Campbell. Robby called just to make sure she felt like going out to eat and she perked up pretty quick and was ready to go. We all ate our fill of Mexican and then headed home.
  • The kids watched some tv and played for a bit while the grownups ate and talked. Then Robby and Tony turned my couch over and started working on it. It is on its last leg and if tomorrow's repairs don't help, Saturday it will be headed to the dump!

December 27, 2017

(click here for today's pictures)

  • We were up a bit earlier this morning than we have been this week. I really don't even know what time it was that we woke. I honestly am not even sure what day it is, and I think that is exactly how things are supposed to be on the week between Christmas and New Years.
  • At some point this morning, Reagan joined Whitman, Keaton and Campbell in the tent. It was a tight squeeze and soon became so noisy that I had to go up to referee. The kids found their own breakfasts this morning-leaving the leftover monkey bread mostly for us. I do think that Anderson found it even though I had tried to hide it in the back of the fridge.
  • This morning, I folded about 90 loads of laundry. I had not folded anything since before Christmas. The kids were all busy playing and reorganizing their Christmas goodies while I moved on to organizing the hats, gloves and scarfs. I think we are going to need them all pretty soon.
  • After lunch, Reagan and I loaded up for a few errands. The first errand was dropping Reagan off with Kennedy. They had a big night and even went to the movies. After I dropped her off, I ran in to Walmart and then Michaels and the Dollar Tree. Then I was at Sams for an hour returning something and then waiting on Robby's medicine.
  • By this time, I was getting tired but still had a few more stops. Yesterday, a nurse from the kids clinic had called and said they were prescribing me another prescription for Whitman. The pharmacy couldn't find the prescription, called the doctor and for some reason, they really didn't prescribe anything but just told me that they did. Argh! The pharmacist was very nice and did assure me that what Whitman is on is adequate. I was pretty ticked and did call the clinic. All that to say, I may be in the market for a new clinic for the kiddos.
  • From there, I just had to run to the library and pick up some goodies from Nonna's house. Then it was home to unload. Everyone must have missed me since they spent a good deal of time following me around when I arrived home. Robby said that they played most of the time that was I gone but also watched a movie.
  • I played a game with the girls and had planned to work on more Legos with Anderson but never made it there. We had our supper and then the kids had some downtime for a bit. I had a lot of downtime and sat in my bed on my computer until I fell sound asleep.
  • Robby was soon waking me up because Shannon was over with 3 big boxes of clothes for the kids. They were being productive over there and cleaning out while we are just lounging around. We did sort through the girls' clothes and soon it was bedtime for the crew.
  • Whitman is sleeping in the tent with the little girls. I think that they were telling "spooky" stories after we tucked them in, but right now they seem quiet so maybe they are all asleep.

December 26, 2017

(click here for today's pictures)

  • After yesterday's early morning, this morning was a bit more relaxed which was much needed. Around 9, Robby had Graham turn on the oven and soon we were serving up cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
  • Everyone enjoyed them but before they did eat, I had to wake up Keaton and Campbell who were the only ones still sleeping. Everyone else was upstairs playing some xbox game that Anderson received in his Christmas stocking. I am surprised that the girls were still asleep because the sound of them playing that game echoed throughout the house. There was lots of screaming and squealing.
  • When breakfast was finished, I threw Whitman's clothes on him and Robby, Whitman and I headed to pick up the Wilsons. The kids stayed at home and seemed to enjoy it their quiet time. Now, Graham did let me know that Campbell and Keaton were fussed at each other often. The kids found their own lunch-I can only imagine what they ate!
  • We hit up a few stores-Kirklands, Walmart, Kroger, Sams, At Home, Lowes and Target. I did buy two little signs at Kirklands, a few lights at Kroger and lots of candy at Walmart. We didn't find the one thing that Whitman was helping me look for-a Christmas tree.
  • Maybe we will find one soon somewhere that they are just giving away. Whitman did great possibly since we didn't hesitate to bribe him with candy and drinks. He did fall sound asleep on the way home though! Shopping is tough on a little guy.
  • Once at home, Robby helped Graham make a playlist for his google home and set up Reagan's fit bit properly. I played two games with the girls and did some cleaning. When it was almost supper time, Robby suggested that we go out to eat and to a movie.
  • We loaded up and used our coupons at Taco Bell and then watched The Greatest Show on Earth at the movies. It was really entertaining movie and everyone set spellbound through it all.
  • Once we made it home, the kids needed showers even though it was late. So we did that and then put everyone to bed. Tonight, Whitman and his tent is in the girls' room and Keaton and Campbell are in the tent with him.

December 25, 2017-Merry Christmas!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Late last night, we turned on the chime in the upstairs hallway so we could hear when anyone entered that hallway. And by golly, those kids were in that hallway a zillion times. Now, when I say "those kids" I really mean Graham! That boy was so excited about Christmas that he didn't sleep a wink and walked down the hallway frequently to go to the bathroom. 
  • Whenever Graham did walk down the hallway, the alarm in our room buzzed which woke us both up. We didn't so much mind that someone was awake upstairs but that is the same sound we hear when any outside door is opened in the house, so it always startles us if we hear it in the middle of the night-even when we know it is just a boy who is ready to see his gifts.
  • Before 7, I headed to the kitchen to put the monkey bread in the oven. I only had one bundt pan so I used an angel food cake pan as the other pan (mistake). We soon woke up the kids, who weren't asleep at all. Well, Whitman was asleep but he quickly jumped up when he heard what day it was.
  • Robby videoed the kids running into the living room which was crammed full of presents. We don't go crazy around here but just a few presents for each kiddo multiplied by 6 is a ridiculous amount. They are only kids once!
  • Everyone ran to their stockings and dumped them out. They were all pleased with all of the things inside. Whitman's favorite stocking gift was a can of shaving cream for him to play with in the shower. Campbell's favorite gift overall was from her stocking-a streamer on a stick. 
  • Just about as soon as we opened the stockings, we realized that something was burning in the kitchen. My angel food cake pan was pouring the liquid from the monkey bread onto the bottom of the oven. This was then burning and then entire kitchen was smokey. We told the kids to take a break on the present opening which was like trying to stop a moving train. 
  • Robby and I (mostly Robby) worked on cleaning the oven and putting the monkey bread back in the oven. In hindsight, I should have just waited and cooked one bread in the bundle pan and then the other (as we ended up doing) or lining the angel food cake pan with foil.
  • The kids were fine waiting on us since they were going over their stocking stuff. When we came back it was time to open the presents. Let's see how well I can remember things:
  • Reagan received a fit bit from Santa, a planner and movie tickets for her and her friends from us along with a sparkly bag and colors from Campbell.
  • Anderson received a race car track from Santa (Santa has a hard time pleasing him and might have not done so good this year either), a tool set and Legos from us, and a Cavalier's hat and a watch from Graham.
  • Graham opened a google mini from Santa, a tool set and a Golden State sweatshirt from us, and a Razorback duffel bag and a gallon of Gatorade from Keaton.
  • Campbell had baking supplies and a gift certificate for a cookie decorating class from Santa, doll bunk beds and a sticker book from us, and an apron, two little stuffed animals and buttons from Whitman. (If you remember, Whitman was so excited to give Campbell buttons and sure enough, when Campbell opened the box, she shouted "buttons!" And I swear, Whitman turned and looked at me like "see, I told you she would want those.")
  • Keaton received a treehouse for her Woodzeez from Santa, a sticker book and doll bunk beds from us, and a water bottle and stuffed animal from Anderson.
  • Whitman received magnets from Santa, a fort making kids from us, and a lap desk, play dirt, a little bear, and a toy microphone (the gift he had been asking for) from Reagan.
  • Robby racked up with some more socks and a sound bar while I opened post it notes (my favorite), a turquoise necklace and tennis shoes.
  • After we had opened presents, I went to work picking up the living room while Robby headed to the kitchen. Soon the grands and Jason started arriving. The kids were all excited to show off their presents. I think that they were all pretty pleased with their loot-it has been a big 3 days around here.
  • We ate our monkey bread, grapes, oranges, breakfast casserole and pineapple for breakfast. Then we went to work opening up presents and figuring out everything for the kids. I told Robby that since their presents are getting more technical, I can tell that things are easier for me. He handles the technical stuff so that is less for me to help with. 
  • The kids all had gifts to give to Nonna and Grannymom. Each one was something that the kids helped make and they were all so excited to watch them open their presents. When everyone did leave, we had about an hour to clean the kitchen, straighten the living room and get ready before heading to Dana's house.
  • The kids were already putting their stuff in their little piles before everyone arrived this morning, so they had some more time to make things nice and neat before lunch. At lunch time, Dana had three different types of chili for us all to enjoy. It is a perfect low key end to all of our Christmas festivities. Dana invites my parents and Jason so everyone is able to celebrate together for just a bit longer.
  • The kids brought over some of their new presents and they enjoyed seeing Lilly and Cash's new stuff as well. They played outside off and on but it was just way too cold out there. We stayed a while and then headed home. 
  • We worked on more presents this afternoon and almost didn't take down the tree. We forget why we do it-we enjoy the Christmas stuff when it is up and it doesn't bother us. But after Christmas, when the toy store has exploded in my living room, you just have to get rid of something. So the Christmas tree must go!
  • Robby and I went right to work on project tree take down. The kids played with their new stuff for a while and then the neighbors came out so they were occupied while we stole their last few minutes of Christmas. We de-Christmased everything downstairs before we loaded up to the Wilson's house.
  • Since my crew hadn't eaten, we brought bread and cheese and made grilled cheese sandwiches. Robby and I ate lots and lots of sweets. Shannon had some out and I had brought some as well. The kids played some inside but ended up going outside for a pretty long time. It was probably about 30 degrees but no one seemed to mind-I guess that they were moving around enough that they stayed warm.
  • It was nearly 11:30 when we came home. We had to drive home with the car light on so Whitman would stay awake even though it just takes two minutes to make it home. He was getting to sleep in his new tent, and I wanted him to remember it. I guess that is a good thing that we were out so late because he (and Graham who joined him in the tent) were too tired to talk or be silly as they went to sleep. 
  • It was a pretty wonderful Christmas day and I do think that all of my kiddos went to sleep tonight with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads!  

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2017: Merry Christmas

This Christmas morning we close our 8th year of our Christmas Ornament Countdown with an ornament from this April. It is a pretty fitting ornament since Noah's Ark, which we saw in Kentucky, reminds us that there is just one way for salvation. And since that one way for our salvation was born on this Christmas morning many years ago, I thought this ornament was a perfect fit.

Even though you have heard about Noah's ark all of your life, it is hard to imagine just how bit it really is. It is pretty mind blowing to realize that one family built the entire ark by themselves.

It was a great trip (click here for pictures from that trip) and I hope that we maybe can go back when there are fewer crowds. Our crowded trip did make me grateful that we weren't on the real ark packed full of animals. 

I hope you have enjoyed our Christmas Ornament Countdown this year, and I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas.

December 24, 2017-Brock's Christmas Eve

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Whitman and Anderson were the first ones awake this morning. Anderson ended up on the couch and Whitman ended up in our room asking about milk. I helped him find his breakfast and then jumped in the shower myself.
  • By the time I was out, more people were awake and most clothes were on. For some reason though, I was the one scurrying around half dressed most of the morning. Robby was loading up the car as I was giving Whitman his medicine. (He seems much better today, eyes are perfectly, Campbell's eyes are also fine as well.)
  • When we drove into the church parking lot, we were surprised by many cars. It was a full service and we ended up in the front-there was an empty row between us and the preachers. I am not a big fan of our fam being on full display for everyone in the sanctuary. We did survive though without any big catastrophes.
  • During the church, they had the kids come down to the front for a little bit. I am always a bit panicked when Whitman is unattended, but he did fine. Reagan and Anderson didn't budge when they asked for the kids to come down-those two are growing up.
  • After church, we had planned to come home and eat. Then we decided to go to Arbys but briefly changed that to Subway before we ended up at Jason's Deli. We had not eaten there in a long time, and it just hit the spot. Everyone seemed really pleased with their lunch, and Robby and I loved our steaming hot potatoes.
  • Once at home, we picked up a bit and Robby and I tried to take a nap. It was a fail. We had Whitman in bed with us and he tossed and turned into I finally told him to leave! Our nap time ended with me telling the kids to all go to their beds until I had gotten ready for this evening. My people seem to think that when I am sleeping, in the shower or in the bathroom is the time to come and talk to me. I do love talking to the kids when I am awake and fully dressed.
  • After I was dressed, Robby began working on breakfast and the kids joined us in cooking and straightening the house. Soon we loaded up and headed to Nonna and Pops' house for our Christmas eve celebration.
  • It didn't take too long before we dug into supper. Nonna had made ham-I believe the kids picked that over turkey. As soon as we had finished eating, the kids, or possibly Pops, were anxious to open the presents.
  • We passed everything out and went to town. All day long today Keaton has been talking about Campbell's watch. She has asked me if I put it on her list. She has tried to figure out if she had enough money to buy one. She has wondered if Santa would bring it. All the time, I knew that Nonna already had it wrapped for her. That by far was her favorite gift tonight. Graham was in the same boat and has asked me about if an NFL size football would be under a tree and it was tonight. Now, I am not sure if that was his favorite or if it was his pocket knife or poster. Reagan seemed to be pretty pleased with her Bible that she can color in along with her art supplies. Campbell loved her big bed pillow that she received, and Anderson, well you know Anderson, he just loves any and all Legos. Now, Whitman was pretty pleased with the packing poppers that came in his boxes tonight. That was probably his favorite gift but his favorite real toy was his the mini muffins that match his toy pie that he plays with daily.
  • Oh, my favorite was a mop and Robby's favorite was feet for his yeti ice chest. We are exciting folks around here. Tonight, Robby was opening a present beside me. He said that it was from Jason. I briefly thought, "hmm, Jason has wrapping paper like me." Robby said he thought, "I think I recognize this box." Then when he opened this, he remembered ordering the camera bag inside. He pulled it out and I started to wonder, yes, yes, he opened the wrong package. The camera bag was a gift that we had bought for Jason!
  • The kids opened a few presents, and we all had dessert. Then it was time to head home. Since church was this morning, it was kind of nice to not feel rushed tonight. Once we came home, everyone went outside to throw our their reindeer food. 
  • Next up, we unloaded the car and everyone had time to set their presents out. Then we loaded up Santa's plate with cookies, took a picture of the kids in their matching pj bottoms and everyone headed to bed!

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2017: 1 Day until Christmas

I know this ornament just looks like a string of seashells, and that is true but it really is a lei that was given to one of the boys as boarded the cruise ship this year. The kids had never been on a cruise and they had been excited about this trip for years. 

After spending a few days in Honolulu, we boarded our NCL Pride of America ship. The girls were given purple flower leis and the boys all received seashell leis. We had a few hours to explore the ship before time for supper.

The first night was probably my favorite supper event. The kids were so excited about putting on their clothes-the boys had Hawaiian shirts and the girls all had dresses. Supper was incredibly nice but it last so long that Whitman laid his head down on the table and went sound to sleep. 

That day was a great start to our Hawaiian cruise and you can click here for pictures from that day.

December 23, 2017-Dennie Family Circle Christmas

(click here for today's pictures)

  • At 7:20 this morning, I was walking out the door with Whitman in tow. It didn't seem like anyone was awake in the house until I was in the mud room and then could tell that someone, probably Graham, was upstairs playing on the xbox. When I grabbed Whitman from his bed to wake him up, the boys room was still dark but I guess my Graham was already awake.
  • Whitman and I ran by Pennys first since they were passing out 10 dollar off of 10 dollar coupons. We walked in, received our coupon and then turned right back around and headed to the car. Our goal was to be the first ones at the doctor's office and that we were. When another car pulled into the parking lot, we hightailed it into the office even though it was still 5 till.
  • Before 8, we were already in a room and soon the doctor was seeing us. Whitman was right when he said that his ear hurt. Indeed, it probably did-actually both ears were infected and the doctor even said that he had pink eye. (Though I think he just has more of a cold in his eye.)
  • The pharmacy didn't open for about 30 more minutes, so Whitman and I went back to Pennys to spent our coupon and when we walked in, the lady handed me another coupon, which Robby spent later in the day. After we made our purchase, we headed back to the pharmacy to pick up Whitman's medicine.
  • Once at home, Robby gave Whitman his medicine before he left to run some errands and I headed upstairs to work on Legos with Anderson. Earlier in the morning, he had text me about a time to meet him upstairs. I think he enjoys working on his Lego's with me and I sure wouldn't miss it.
  • We did finish this Lego vehicle. I have no idea what we made but it was some Star Wars something. Reagan wrapped two last Christmas presents and Campbell wrapped a birthday present for a party in January. 
  • Then I headed downstairs to fold some laundry and listen to Keaton read the last lesson of her reading book! Whoop, Whoop. I am so tired of that thing! I have been through it 5 times and am not going to take a break and will jump right in it with Whitman in January. Thinking about it makes me want to bang my head into a wall, but that book has successfully taught everyone to read so far so I guess it is worth it.
  • The kids ate lunch as I read a bit. Then it was chore time for everyone. After chores were finished the kids had some downtime before it was rest time. Since I knew that it was going to be a late night, I wanted everyone (especially Whitman) to have some quiet time. Everyone else settled in with their ipads but Whitman climbed into my bed with me. It took him a while to go to sleep and after he was asleep, it took me no time to fall asleep.
  • The kids had already taken their showers but I jumped in the shower. Soon, we were all loaded up and heading to Grannymom's house for our Dennie family circle Christmas. Les and Shelley were already there and Dana and her crew arrived about the same time that we did. Grannymom had everyone little presents and we drew numbers to pick our presents. (I opened some Skittles but traded for a tape measure since I always have to use Graham's or go to the garage to find one of Robby's. 
  • Then we broke into groups and played Left, Right, Center. Lilly won all of the quarters from my group and Whitman and Keaton's won in their groups. My Keaton and Whitman were thrilled to win their games. Then we ate supper-Grannymom had ham, so we made sandwiches and then there were more desserts than we could eat-and we certainly tried.
  • Josh played Silent Night as we sang along and then we opened presents. The kids were pretty excited about presents. I will hit the highlights-From me, Robby received a pair of jean, lights, and socks. Grannymom bought my present which was a pot holder, candle, and a work bench. Reagan said that her favorite present was a shopping trip with Dana and Lilly. Anderson's favorite was probably the Lego set. Graham said that his favorite gift was the hockey sticks. Campbell loved her watch and was even wearing it at bed. Keaton loved her sleeping bag and is in it tonight. And finally, Whitman came not wait to open up tent up. We will try to hold him off until Christmas night and then he can sleep in it all he wants. 
  • After presents, we sang another carol and then ate some more food. Robby went to work on his lights and trying to figure out Anderson's light up football. They finally figured it out and Whitman and I worked on his fire station. It was a pretty perfect Christmas and everyone enjoyed themselves.
  • When we finally made it home, the kids unpacked their stuff and laid everything out. Once Robby had hung up his new lights, we tucked everyone in while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads (nah, not really, they were too tired for anything but falling asleep.) 

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2017: 2 Days until Christmas

Robby and I have climbed Diamond Head 3 times now-once as kids with our parents, once in 2004 and then again this year with all of the kiddos (click here for the blog from that day). We couldn't convince Nonna, Pops and Jason to go with us this time but we knew there would be lots of folks there so we headed off early in the morning.

We were shocked to see that the parking lot was already full but that didn't stop us. Robby dropped us off and had a cab follow him down the hill until he could find a parking spot. I started on up Diamond Head with the kids since I knew that we would walk a bit slower without him. 

He was quite surprised at how far we had gotten when he did finally catch up. The kids did great climbing up-along with Whitman. He needed someone to hold his hand often and Robby even carried him some. 

We made it and it was well worth the view. After we had taken in all of Honolulu's beauty, we headed back down. The items that I could make ornaments out of were pretty limited but Diamond Head was definitely a place that I wanted to remember.

December 22, 2017

(click here for today's pictures)

  • This morning around 8, Campbell came into our room and asked me to help her with her pottery set. I still had about 2 more hours of sleep but for some reason I jumped up and headed to help her. I am not sure if I was just trying to be a good mother or was too asleep to realize what I was doing. 
  • We made a bowl and plate before I headed back to bed. After that though, I couldn't really go back to sleep. I text Anderson (yes, he was on the opposite side of the wall from me but texting them is more fun.) and we met in the bonus room for more Lego work.
  • We worked for about an hour and made good progress. Then the lights went out. This caused all kinds of commotion-mostly squeals and screams of delight. I opened the blinds in the bonus room and despite Anderson trying to convince me that we could still work, I told him that we would have to take a break. I can barely find those pieces in a well let room much less trying to find them with what little light was coming in from the window. 
  • Since the internet was off as well, when I came downstairs, I thought that we would use our "lights off" time wisely and clean this place up. I had just finished the first round of chores and was assigning more when the lights popped back on. 
  • Anderson and I headed back upstairs and we ended up working for another hour on the legos. We only have about 40 more steps to go-I had told him that I wanted to get both of his big ships done before Christmas but maybe we can get the other one finished after Christmas.
  • When we had picked up the Legos, Robby came upstairs and stared working on the puzzle. We set out a Christmas puzzle and have rarely been in the bonus room so about 75 of the 1000 pieces are worked. I haven't decided if I am going to leave it out until we finish it or if I am going to carefully pack it all up and just start from where we are next year.
  • We worked on the puzzle for a good bit while listening to the never ending rain. Then we fed the kids lunch, settled them down for a movie and ran to eat lunch ourselves. I wrapped a bit tonight and have finished all of my stuff. Reagan just has her present to wrap and Robby is on his on with his presents (which he still has to buy and even tried to convince me to just pick up tomorrow while I am out.)
  • My goal was to not go anywhere tomorrow (except for Christmas at Grannymom's house). I wanted to have another lazy day like today, but after Whitman has mentioned his ear twice tonight, I think we will be making a trip to the doctor at 8 in the morning.
  • Robby made eggs for supper tonight and then we played a game of Farkle. I read the rules but I still think that we aren't playing exactly right. It doesn't matter though because the kids loved it-really, they love any game. And the more I play games with them the more I realize that I need to play a lot more games with them. It is very clear that they often don't know how to act when they win or when the lose.
  • After the game, we watched Elf and ate some of Ms. Shannon's cookies that she delivered today. We also received a package of cookies today from someone. Robby read the name and didn't know who they were from for the longest time but finally realized that they were from some work folks. All this time, he was chowing down on one of the cookies-I asked if he thought they might be poisonous but they were not.
  • When the movie was over, everyone headed to bed-lots to do tomorrow-doctor for Whitman, last day of reading book for Keaton, legos for Anderson, wrapping for Reagan, and who knows what Campbell and Graham will find to do!

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2017: 3 Days until Christmas

One of Robby's absolute favorite things to eat is shaved ice. Before we were married, there was a place on Shackleford that we would go to all of the time. I don't think that we even had shaved ice this year but we certainly made up for it in Hawaii.

We only had it once but we did have our shaved ice at the most well known place in Oahu, Matsumoto Shaved Ice. Everyone still ordered at least 2 or 3 flavors but we still weren't too adventurous since we didn't order azuki beans or mochi. I am not too sure what those are, so you will just have to look them up. 

It was a great day driving around the island of Oahu and eating our shaved ice in the North Shore. Here is the blog from that day.

December 21, 2017-Happy 8th Birthday Campbell!

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Day 2 of our lazy Christmas holiday. Whitman came to our room for a minute this morning, and then he closed our bedroom door, had someone fix his breakfast, and sat outside our room watching his movie.
  • Campbell came in next. She was anxious for someone to wish her Happy Birthday. We did that and I even let her open a necklace from Justice. Then Robby made her day. He told her that he was going to the store and asked if she wanted to go. That girl loves shopping as much as she enjoys cooking.
  • Soon Campbell and Robby left. They began their trek at Sonic for a birthday drink. Then they headed to the store followed by a Happy Meal at McDonalds. This morning out was the best birthday present ever for Campbell.
  • Back here, Whitman had all of my pillows in the hallway watching a movie, Keaton and Reagan were on their ipads, Graham migrated from basketball outside, basketball in his bedroom and basketball on the xbox. Anderson and I went to work on a lego set. Two of his really big sets have been partially destroyed so today we started on rebuilding them.
  • I was the one encouraging him to do this, and after we worked for over an hour, I began to wonder why I did such a thing. First we had to take apart what was left from the old one, and then start to rebuild it. Thankfully, so far most of the pieces were found quickly but finding some involved us looking through millions of grey legos. It is just like finding a needle in a haystack! We made it to step 65 out of over 200. Hopefully, we can still finish by Christmas.
  • We then rushed around here and met Robby at Dairy Queen. The people seem to know Robby and the kids which is a good thing because our confusing orders (like a M&M blizzard with no M&Ms) are coming quicker. Today the lady brought our Blizzards and flipped 4 perfectly. The last one she flipped and it poured out on her tray. The kids cackled as she then flipped the next one and it also poured out on her tray. They quickly replaced those two ice creams and everyone was happy.
  • We came back home and Campbell and I made her birthday brownie dessert. Then we had a bit of downtime before I needed to make supper. Lilly and Cash came over to play and the kids all went outside and found the neighbors out. I called Campbell in to help with her birthday supper since she had been very excited about cooking. But she was more excited about playing with everyone. She did decorate the brownies but then she was ready to get outside and play.
  • I worked on supper alone as the kids played. Around 6 everyone showed up-Jason, Nonna, Pops, Grannymom and Grandpa. Campbell had her half birthday party this summer so today was just our family birthday celebration. We had chicken parmigiana, green beans, rice and bread. 
  • Campbell could not wait to tear into her presents. Even though she already had received presents from her friends this summer, she racked up tonight. A pottery kit, art supplies, baking supplies, shrinky dinks, clothes, lotion, a cookbook and a shopping cart for her dolls. 
  • After presents, we sang once more today and had brownies and ice cream. Everyone stuck around for a bit and the girls worked on the shirnky dinks until everyone left. Then all of my people had showers and put on pajamas.
  • Afterwards, we all piled into the living room and watched Home Alone 3. I think that we just have one more Home Alone move to watch. Whitman fell asleep and Campbell and Keaton ended up in the floor right near Robby and me. Reagan made popcorn for everyone and it was a great end to Campbell's 8th birthday. 

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2017: 4 Days until Christmas

For years every time that we have gone to Branson, I have really wanted to go to the Dixie Stampede. This was our first time and I was just as excited as the kids. It was just as much fun as we had imagined. And the food was as plentiful as we had also imagined. Most of the kids did not enjoy eating with their fingers though and have requested that we bring utensils next time we go!

Since this was a long awaited adventure, going to the Dixie Stampede, it was a must for an ornament. Robby ordered a drink at the pre-show because he knew that I needed an ornament!

Click here for pictures from that trip.

December 20, 2017

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Last night I told Robby that I was turning off my alarm clock and we could sleep in in the morning. Robby laughed at me saying that there would be no way we would get to sleep in. At 9, when we did finally start moving this morning, there were only 3 Dennie kiddos awake. This Christmas holiday stuff can make a person tired.
  • The kids played on their ipads while I did the dishes and laundry this morning. Then, I ran to Grannymom's house to work on a Christmas project. I was over there for about two hours and when I arrived back home, the girls had eaten their lunch and everyone had finished their chores.
  • Keaton and I did her reading book and then she made cookie dough to give to Campbell for her birthday tomorrow. Reagan and Campbell wrapped a present, Everyone played Left, Right, Center and we straightened the house one more time. 
  • Then we jumped into the car and headed to the Craft's house for their gingerbread house decorating party. There were more kids than I would even dare count. It was a blast! Traci had made a zillion houses and even though we arrived right on time, there was already a gaggle of kids working on their houses.
  • The kids had a great time and everyone's houses looked completely different. I was near Keaton and the boys. Whitman only needed me to spread icing on his and then he went to town. Keaton needed help with carrying out the plans in her mind and finding things. Everyone had eaten and licked their fill of icing before running to play in the yard.
  • When the party was over, Reagan left and headed to a cookie decorating party with some of her friends. She had a blast there and said that she was one of the best cookie decoraters. She brought home 7 cookies and was very excited to show them off to all of us when she came home,
  • We had already eaten supper and the kids were watching tv when Reagan came back. I was able to wrap a few presents. I only have about 3 more to wrap and after tomorrow's birthday party, I will be able to relax for the rest of this holiday season.
  • We pulled our Santa countdown, looked at some ornaments and even read a bit before bed. The boys left their tree lights on a bit at bedtime. Surprisingly, their bedroom seemed to be quieter than the girls tonight. Right now though, everyone's bedroom is quiet which means Ice Cream Time!

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2017: 5 Days until Christmas

I had been waiting to go to the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile for quite a while. It was our Spring Break trip this year, and even though we saw lots and did lots-I still only ended up with one ornament! It was an ornament that we even grabbed on the last stop.

On the way home, we stopped at Fort Smith NHS. We toured the museum which was neat but the walk around the park near the river was really nice.

Click here for the post from that day.

December 19, 2017

(click here for today's pictures)

  • The first official day of our winter break except that Whitman still had to go to school for one last day. As I was pulling out his clothes, I barely remembered that today was pajama day for him. I wasn't quite sure so did still pull out a spare set of clothes for Robby's car just in case I was wrong.
  • Robby took Whitman and everyone else started their first full day of vegging. Except I didn't let them veg too long because I had a page full of chores to be accomplished. Graham had a bit of school work to finish up and Keaton has 5 more lessons of her reading book which we are determined to finish before Christmas.
  • Before too long, I had to leave for Whitman's class party. They were already eating cupcakes and drinking their punch when I arrived. Shortly afterwards, they played a few games. I didn't get any pictures since I was the game girl today. 
  • After my games, it was time for their book exchange. Things were going splendid until Whitman opened up the book that landed in his lap. He immediately had himself a bit of fit and then tears. I was mortified-my child acting a fool! Not just acting a fool at home but in front of other people! Oh, my goodness. 
  • Sweet Ms. Stacy offered to get him another book. A classmate tried to trade books with him. I quickly explained that he would be taking his book home. We don't always get everything we want in life. After he calmed down, he seemed to enjoy the rest of the party.
  • On the way home, Whitman did tell me that he wanted to sell his new book. We practiced over and over again what to say when you receive a gift. When I asked him what he should say if someone tried to give you something that you don't want, he replied with "no, thank you." I explained that he is supposed to say "thank you very much." I thought of every horrible gift that I could think of on the way home and had him say "thank you very much" over and over again.
  • I made a snacky lunch for everyone once we came home. I was able to read a few books-I still have about 20 Christmas books left to read to the kids so I don't think that we will make it. However, we have done really well and have read at least 100 Christmas books.
  • The kids settled in watching a movie after lunch so I headed early to run my errands. I ran to 6 different stores and still made it home a little bit after their movie ended. The afternoon went by quickly but we did have time to make our reindeer food before we all left for the evening.
  • Robby took the kids and Lilly and Cash to the movies tonight. They saw Ferdinand and everyone agreed that it was a really good. I went to Bunko at Cantino Laredo and then we continued on with a stroll through Target. We all made it home at exactly the same time. 
  • The kids were full from their liters of coke that they drank and bucket fulls of popcorn. I probably should have insisted that everyone use the restroom one more time before bed!

December 18, 2017

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Robby and Whitman headed off to school on time this morning since Robby had a checkup this morning. I had told Whitman that there was a special surprise at school today so he was excited to see what it was. I assumed that it was a visit from Santa, but I think that it was a new train toy in their classroom.
  • This was our last day of school for the year so a few things were a bit lighter. I knew that Keaton and Campbell had finished most of their work yesterday, but I didn't know that Reagan had done quite a bit of her work yesterday as well. I had just sat down to work with Keaton when she walked in dropping math and 3 or 4 more pages in my lap to correct. I was shocked at how fast she was until she explained that she did most of it yesterday.
  • Since the girls started early, there was talk of a Left, Right, Center game at 11. It took the boys a bit longer to finish so the game happened a bit later. I was the winner of the round. The kids had collected a pot of prizes today but I just grabbed the Sharpie marker as my prize.
  • The boys then had to work on their chores and since the girls had already finished theirs, they played another round. Soon Lilly and Cash came over. Dana even brought lunch-she offered and I sure couldn't pass that up. 
  • The kids all ate and then they played a game of tag in the house. I didn't mind because I had plenty of things to work on. Soon, their game moved outside and as they were outside, I was in the middle of the living room working on Christmas presents. 
  • After the played outside for a while, all 7 of them came back in to play on their ipads. They spent the entire afternoon playing Minecraft. It was quite entertaining to listen to. Nonna and Pops brought Whitman home from his afternoon with them. 
  • Whitman had a good day at school, and had his mind set on making a marble track. He and I worked on that for a long while and the others did stop to play with him a bit. Robby made pancakes for supper. After we ate, he did say that he thought we had pancakes the last time that Cash was over here.  We do have them a lot since they are a good warm and easy meal to serve. And when we have bacon, sausage and strawberries-everyone is happy.
  • We had tried to see Santa yesterday at Bass Pro and left with a ticket for tonight. We met Dana there and even though no one was around yesterday, it was packed tonight and we had to wait in a pretty long line for Santa. The kids didn't care because they enjoyed playing and looking around. 
  • After we saw Santa, it was home for showers and then a movie. We watched Home Alone tonight and I enjoyed watching Keaton and Whitman during the movie than watching the movie myself. Their faces were so panicked during most of the movie. It was just great.
  • When the movie was over, it was bedtime for the crew. I still have my Christmas to do list and for some reason, it is a bit longer than I would like. I have not started to panic just yet but hopefully tomorrow I can knock at least 6 more things off of that list!

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2017: 6 Days until Christmas

In June, we went on the annual Dennie family trip. We made it into town before everyone else. After spending the morning at the Delta Flight Museum, we drove across Atlanta to eat lunch at Truett's Luau.

Truett's is a restaurant started by Chick-Fil-a's founder. It is basically a Chick-Fil-a with a Hawaiian theme. It was great practice for our trip later in the year to Hawaii. They had grass skirts, leis and musical instruments to play with. It was such a neat place and I would definitely take some of their pineapple rice right now. 

Here are the pictures from that day.

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2017: 7 Days until Christmas

We were able to go to Hawaii in August and one day we stopped at the Mauna Loa macadamia nut factory. It was a quick stop, but we made the most of the sample station. The kids enjoyed the samples, but Keaton really enjoyed walking by the windows and watching the workers prepare the nuts.

When we passed the chocolate room, Keaton exclaimed that she wanted to work there when she grew up. I told her that we would come and see her often. I am sure that pay wasn't too good but if you are happy then that should make up for it. 

Now, I know that hanging a can of macadamia nuts on your tree is probably not a proper ornament, but neither are the other things I have on the tree like a syrup bottle, can of spam, a shoe and the list of crazy things just goes on.  

Click here to see us visiting where Keaton will be working when she grows up.

December 17, 2017

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Graham joined us in our bed this morning. I thought it was sweet and all until I realized that the only reason he was there was because he was bored since I had taken away his ipad today. He stayed until we got up and started hurrying around the house.
  • We barely made it to church on time this morning, and somehow when we sat down, Whitman was by me and Reagan. I do believe that he acts not his best when he is by me and Reagan tries to help but just ends up making it worse with him sometimes. We survived, which seems to be the motto of Whitman in church lately.
  • Afterwards, everyone went to Sunday school and passed out their teacher gifts. We had 3 teachers not there so we passed out our goodie bags to anyone else that we could find. Then we headed on to Nonna's house for lunch.
  • They had hamburgers, hot dogs and all of the fixings. I use (I think) Nonna's baked bean recipe but hers are always just so much better than mine. I love her beans so much that I just use them as dip with my chips. 
  • Pops gave me an early Christmas present today. Grannymom had given me one yesterday-a Christmas pillow. She wanted me to enjoy it before Christmas was over. My present today from Nonna and Pops was a box full of pears from Harry and David. The kids didn't seem as excited as I was when I opened the pears. They did all want the one pear that was wrapped in gold-I cut a none gold wrapped pear for everyone to enjoy. (I might enjoy the gold wrapped one tonight while Robby is gone to the movies and the kids are in bed.)
  • After lunch, the kids played a bit and then we all loaded up to go to Bass Pro to see Santa. We all piled into the van along with Nonna, Pops and Jason. They had already set their alarm and shut the garage. The doors of the van were closed and Robby was about to start backing up when Anderson shouted, "where's Whitman?" 
  • I probably should have made sure that he was with us! Jason and the boys jumped out and opened Nonna's garage. Jason ran to shut off the alarm and Whitman sauntered out of the garage. I guess he realized that he was the only one left and ran to the garage which was closed. That was about the time that Jason opened it, and he ran out. He did say that Nonna's house was beeping-a few more seconds and the alarm going off would have probably scared the dickens out of him. He didn't seem to realize how close he was to getting left today.
  • When we arrived we quickly learned that Santa was booked today, so we did get a ticket to see him tomorrow (not sure if we will go though). We personally knew the Santa there this afternoon so that is why we went. The kids weren't disappointed since we did see Santa yesterday. They all enjoyed getting to play with the toys there. Whitman's favorite thing was the kinetic sand that that looked like dirt. I guess I need to get a shovel and dig him up some dirt for Christmas.
  • We dropped Nonna, Pops and Jason off and came home. Once at home, it was laundry time. We were a bit behind but with everyone working, we quickly caught up. Then Robby and I took a nap while the kids played on their ipads, did some craft projects, watched football and some even did some school work. Campbell and Keaton actually finished most of their school work for tomorrow.
  • When I got up, I pulled out leftovers for everyone to eat. Once the kitchen was clean, we played Left, Right, Center which is going to be the game that we play at our Dennie Family Circle. Now, the kids know how to play. We played two rounds with Robby winning one and Reagan winning the other. 
  • Then we played the game that Whitman and Keaton have been asking to play for at least a week-Doggie Doggie Who has the Bow? (Usually, it is bone but this is the Christmas edition). We played that and then showers began.
  • One most everyone was finished with showers, Robby pulled out ice cream which they all enjoyed. Soon afterwards, Tony arrived to pick up Robby. He knocked, Robby opened the door, Tony walked in, and I screamed.
  • I think that Tony and Robby weren't sure what I was screaming about and the 4 kids in the room didn't see it either. But when Tony walked in a bird also flew in. It flew right in front of Robby's office and sat on the bench there.
  • Robby was relieved to see that it was not a bat and then he said, "we have to go." I replied with, "you are not leaving me here with a bird in the house." I am not sure if he was actually of thinking of doing that, but I did want to make it clear that that was not going to happen. I ran around to close the mud room door and had kids slamming doors all over the house. 
  • Robby and Tony cornered the bird near Reagan's desk and tried to trap it with a towel. After about the third attempt, the bird flew right back across the living room and through the open front door. That was much more excitement that we needed for the entire night.
  • Now, the entire time that Robby and Tony were working, Whitman was right beside them saying, "I have an idea." Finally, I asked him what his idea was and he said that we could put some bird food outside, the bird would smell it and fly out to go and eat it. I told him that that was a very good idea and maybe next time we would try his idea.
  • Soon after they left and things calmed back down, it was bedtime for my crew. I read a few Christmas books and then put everyone into bed. Now, I am headed to the attic to do some work so hopefully, everyone will stay in bed.

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2017: 8 Days until Christmas

In April, we visited Mammoth Cave for the 3rd time. The first time, Anderson and Reagan were tiny babies. She fell on the way down and was upset and the cold temperature must have upset Anderson so he was also fussing. We stayed down there for about 3 minutes before heading back up.

The next visit was in 2015 on our road trip with the Wilsons. We made it to the cave after closing time so we weren't able to see all of it but we were able to go down inside a tiny bit of the cave-enough that we counted it as a cave tour and were pleased with our stop.

This time, we were able to tour the cave and walked quite a bit of the cave area. The kids were pretty interested in the guide at the bottom and we stayed a bit to listen to him talk. I guess the third time was the charm for buying an ornament at the cave. Here is the link to that trips post.

December 16, 2017

(click here for today's pictures)

  • We probably could have slept all morning long but one basketball player was ready to get to her game. After Campbell laid in our bed for a bit, I soon tried to round up the troops. Everyone put on their pre-approved clothes and were soon downstairs eating their breakfasts. The clothes were pre-approved because this was Santa visit day.
  • While the kids were getting ready this morning, I was losing my mind. Keaton had lost 2 pairs of leggings, 1 Christmas dress, Campbell's was missing a black undershirt and Whitman had lost a milk cup. I looked and looked for those things until I had about 3 minutes to get myself ready to leave the house.
  • Campbell's game went really well. Their little team can't seem to score for some reason, but they did better this week than last week. Campbell scored 4 points and even though she isn't a big scorer, she is great at guarding. 
  • After the game, we loaded up with Grannymom and headed to see Santa at the Clinton Library. It was pretty crowded in the parking lot so we were worried that we might just be there a long time. Thankfully, most everyone was just in the parking lot. We made it all the way right up to Santa before Robby made it back to us from parking the car.
  • The kids all saw Santa. We thought it was very funny that Santa didn't ask Anderson or Campbell what they wanted for Christmas. We told them that Santa must have known that they had December birthdays and didn't need anything. Also, Santa didn't let all of the Dennie kids sit on his knee! Some had to stand.
  • We finally made it home, after dropping Grannymom off, picking up some lunch at Taco Bell, picking up the other half of lunch at Subway and then returning to Taco Bell to pick up what they didn't give us. After lunch, the first thing that happened in this house was everyone straightened their clothes drawers. I helped the girls and we did find everything that we were missing except for one pair of leggings. 
  • The kids wrapped a few things this afternoon and we all did a few chores. The afternoon flew by because we were soon in the car headed back to a basketball game. The boys team did great today. They were playing a much shorter team. Anderson scored 8 or 10 points and Graham scored 4. This was their first times to score. (Maybe because it was their first times to get the ball!) They had a blast and finished telling us all about their scores, assists and lots of other numbers.
  • From there, the boys headed off with Jason to watch the Star Wars movie. We had early convinced them that Jason had bought them tickets to the move Star (kiddie nativity cartoon). We had told them that Jason heard them say that they wanted to go to Star and must not have heard the Wars part. You should have seen their faces fall in disbelief. It was just great. They were happy to get to the real Star Wars movie and pleased that they had a laps full of popcorn and coke in the cup holders.
  • I ran to Michaels after the game and then met Robby and the others at Kroger after they ran to the library. Then Keaton and I went to Lowes to pick up a gift for Whitman. Once at home, Robby and I made a treat for tonight and I even wrapped some more presents. 
  • Around 6:30, the Wilson's arrived and we then picked up the boys after their movie. It was Christmas light night and our first stop was Sherwood Forest. It was probably a mistake to go there because we waited at least an hour and 45 minutes in the car to get to the lights. After Anderson had so much drink at the movies, he could wait no longer. When Anderson finally said something, we were in an area that he could sneak off to the woods. So Robby told him "go in the woods." 
  • Anderson climbed out of the car, walked a few steps and then walked back to the car. By this time, we were all dying in the car. Anderson said, "I want to but I don't want to." Finally, he took off towards to the woods. Everyone thought this was hysterical...everyone but Whitman. Maybe it was because Robby was slowly inching up in the traffic or maybe because he had just heard his Daddy tell his brother to "go in the woods," but Whitman just screamed, "Anderson! Come back!" over and over again. The harder we laughed, the more upset Whitman became. When Anderson hustled back to the car, relief flooded over Whitman's face. 
  • The lights were neat but by the time we finished the drive, everyone had to potty. We stopped at McDonalds for the restroom and for a snack. From there it was just a few minutes until we made it to the "blow up house" in North Little Rock. We walked around the yard and as the kids marveled at the decorations, we pondered what the neighbors must think of it all.
  • It was nearly 10:30 when we made it home tonight. We had lots of fun tonight looking at the lights, eating lots of sweets and laughing hard. The kids headed right to bed when we came in and Robby and I hurried to finish our computering so we could climb into bed and listen to the rain.