June 22, 2018

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  • This morning Camryn and Reagan were in the kitchen pretty early making scones. I had made scones that last time that Camryn had spent the night so I guess that she liked them enough to request them again. Well, actually Reagan requested them last night. I told her where the recipe was, and then she asked me to ask Campbell if she wanted to make them. I was quite surprised to hear them working in the kitchen this morning.
  • I did jump up to explain one tricky step in the directions. Somehow, their dough was crazy moist where my dough was fairly dry and flaky. I was pretty worried about their end product, but it was delicious. I think that it was actually better than the ones that I have made. I guess that Reagan has herself a new job.
  • Other than making scones, there wasn't much that happened this morning. There were a few chores, and Whitman did some school work. I have to get that boy reading, riding his bike and swimming. Those are his summer goals, and we might just make 2 of the 3. Fingers crossed.
  • Right before noon, we loaded up to take Camryn to meet her mom. Then we ran two errands-Lowes and Walmart. Then it was on to the pool. There were pretty few folks there today. I did get in and worked on Whitman's swimming with him. 
  • Whitman loves the bottom of the pool. He would rather sit on the bottom than anything else. He can stay on the bottom for a long time because he can hold his breath for a very long time. He rarely comes up coughing or sputtering. Now, he did really well today sometimes. It was almost comical because he would almost really be swimming, and then the next time he tried it, he couldn't do it at all.
  • At the pool, we were reminiscing about the kids swim lessons. One day during their lessons, Anderson got upset and started crying. I asked him if he remembered that. Indeed he did. He also added that he cried "until his goggles filled with tears." Does that just break your heart? Now, I did just read that days blog from June of 2013. He did cry, he got over it and then swam across the pool. I don't think his goggles were actually "filled" with tears nor do I even think that he was wearing goggles!
  • After I got out of the pool, pretty much everyone else did too. I stayed until they blew the whistle the next time because Whitman and Campbell were still having a big time. When we left the pool, we did stop at Planet Smoothie for a free smoothie. My intent had been to stop at Dairy Queen but I didn't think that we needed two treats.
  • Back at home, the kids finished their chores and put on dry clothes. I went up to the treadmill, but I have a puzzle going on up there. Last night, the big girls were kind of fussing at the little girls. So instead of having to get on to them, I just went up there to work my puzzle. Of course, I could hear their conversations and everyone was much kinder while I was up there. I came down telling Robby that I was going to have to keep a puzzle up there so I could go "hang out" with the kids when they are teenagers. 
  • Though today, I didn't have anyone that I was listening to, I was just stalling while working the puzzle before getting on the treadmill. I am getting close, but lands sakes my last few pieces are tricky. 
  • We ate supper at the Wilsons. Shannon had most of the supper, and I brought the rest. We ate while we watched the Hogs play baseball. It was fairly loud when they did win the game. 
  • It was late so we skedaddled out of there. It took a bit to get these kiddos into bed, but when we finally did, I think that everyone just crashed!

June 21, 2018

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  • I am actually pretty sure that I do not remember this morning. There was laundry, dishes and working on Whitman's school work. I have a few Bible story books that I want to read to him this summer. So each day, I will give him the option of what to do first-reading book, papers, Bible story book, etc. Every day, he picks the Bible "because it is the most important." There is no arguing with that logic.
  • Everyone else has a bit less school work than him. They have to read each day for 20 minute and do 3 math problems. We also brought home a bundle of Jr. Ranger books from our trip, so they are working through those each day. 
  • Speaking of school, I have planned and gotten ready for the first week of "light school" for everyone but Whitman and Keaton. This thrills my soul. Now, once that is finished then my goal is to completely redo the school room. That will take some work! 
  • I spent some time cleaning this morning, and Campbell and Keaton helped me make baked beans. Gracious though, my beans just don't get thick like Nonna's beans. I am going to have to have another bean making lesson. 
  • This afternoon was spent cleaning the floors while the kids finished up their chores. It is fairly nice to have a clean house even if it is just for a little bit. The house did stay clean for a good while because soon the kids were outside with the neighbors. They stayed outside until the McGuires and Penningtons came over for supper.
  • We had BBQ along with some Oreo Delight. It was delicious, and we quickly went through one pan and started on the second pan. Not nearly as good as the oreo delight, but still pretty yummy was my corn on the cob. I cooked it with milk and a stick of butter. 
  • Reagan was to have a sleepover tonight, but it had to be cancelled so Camryn ended up spending the night over here. I think they thought that they were going to get to stay up late this evening like last time, but nope. We called lights around 11 even though Reagan was just texting me about breakfast.
  • The boys waited all day long for the Fed Ex truck to arrive. When it did, they didn't even notice. They had an XBOX in the mail and were beside themselves. It took almost all afternoon to set up and load everything that they needed. Robby hooked it all up in the living room so most of our evening was spent watching them play their games. They had a blast, and even at bedtime they were busy chatting away with excitement about playing more tomorrow.

June 20, 2018

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  • There was no sleeping in this morning. By 9, we were on the road to the swimming pool. At 8:30, I made sure that everyone was awake (my sleepers were Keaton, Reagan and Whitman) and started hollering for people to put on their swimsuits, brush their teeth and make their lunches. It was a fairly smooth morning, and everyone was in a decent mood on the way to the pool. 
  • Our first stop this morning was at Hobby Lobby to buy a birthday present. The girls and I went in while the boys waited in the car. It didn't take us too long so we were soon at the pool.
  • It looked rainy all morning long, and a few times it even sprinkled. I moved the towels under the umbrella because I expected the rain to start pouring at any minute.
  • The kids had fun because all of the buddies were there. The pool was a bit emptier today probably because of the clouds. Now, also because of the clouds, it was too cool for me to swim so I enjoyed chatting with the other mommas.
  • We ate our lunch at noon, and then at one we loaded up and headed for some more errands. The girls need flip flops so we ran into Walmart quickly. Then it was on to Dairy Queen for our weekly Blizzard treats. The kids have gotten pretty good about eating them in the car since they don't like to sit around there. Now, Dairy Queen has also gotten pretty good about getting those Blizzards out before we even sit down.
  • We then headed home. Everyone put on their dry clothes and then started on their chores. The boys spent much of the afternoon watching the Hogs play and then baseball was on for pretty much the rest of the night. 
  • It took Robby a while to get home with wrecks scattered about. When he did make it, I was starving! We quickly made English muffin pizzas. They were pretty delish or maybe we were just starving.
  • Tonight we spent some time trying to figure out Campbell's half birthday party. There were showers and more baseball watching. There was even a bit of cooking-Keaton and Campbell helped Robby make oreo delight for tomorrow night.
  • Shannon and Brett came over for a bit. We watched one baseball team tie it up so then we let the kids stay up until the end of the game. I am not quite sure how I can eat my ice cream with everyone still awake!

June 19, 2018

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  • Reagan slept until after 11 this morning. By the time that she did wake up, everyone else had finished their daily reading and 3 math problems. Whitman had done his school work with me. I had finished most of my chores, and everyone was going about their day. Maybe because she had missed most of the morning, but Reagan was a tad bit grumpy this morning. 
  • Before too long, it was lunch time. I read while everyone ate their lunches. I think that they practically inhaled their sandwiches because a game of Spoons was next on the agenda. 
  • The game started off well with everyone being a good sport. Whitman even played and of course he was out on the very first round. The next game didn't go over so well. I helped Whitman play this round. I did his cards, and his job was to grab the spoon. He won round after round. Each time he knocked someone out, they would be a pretty sore loser. Graham and Reagan were the most upset about Whitman beating them. I guess I should play more games with this folks so we can work on the proper attitude to have during a game.
  • Now, Anderson and Whitman were in the finals. Whitman did legitimately win, and Anderson even gave up the Dennie Family Trophy to Whitman. I told him that he didn't have to since we hadn't said that this was a trophy game before playing. He didn't care though and gave it to his brother. 
  • This afternoon the neighbors came out so everyone was outside for the majority of the afternoon and all of the evening. The library was having a kid cooking class at 4, and my plan had been to go with whoever wanted to go. Of course with the neighbors out, no one wanted to go. So Whitman and I just loaded up and went to the grocery store instead.
  • The child talked and talked to me at the store. He definitely used up all of his words while we were at the store and in the car. I came home just wanting some peace and quiet. I guess I did get some for a few minutes since everyone was still outside. I did work on getting Anderson and Graham's school stuff ready for next school year, which is quickly approaching.
  • When the kids did come in, we all ate supper. After supper, Robby and I went to work. We have been battling ants in the kitchen so tonight, we took everything out of all of the cabinets. Cleaned the cabinets and sprayed them down. Fun times. This took until 10 so the kids stayed up a bit later again tonight. Tomorrow will be an earlier day since we are heading to the pool at 10.

June 18, 2018

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  • I really feel like this morning was our first day of summer break around here. Though I guess I could say the same thing about last Friday. So maybe I should say that this was the second day of our summer vacation. We didn't have anything this morning so the kids slept in-Graham slept until 8:40. Graham slept that long, and he is the one who never sleeps past 7.
  • Everyone did have to read and do 3 math problems this morning before they were able to play their ipads. No one seemed to upset about that so that made the morning go smoothly.
  • I spent my time organizing a closet and organizing my tupperware cabinets. The tupperware was incredibly bad. It is in perfect shape now, but unfortunately, will probably only stay that way for a day or two.
  • I did work with Whitman on his reading book some, and did make everyone do their chores right before lunch. We ate our lunch and then headed to the pool. All of the buddies were there so the kids all had lots of fun. Keaton and Campbell enjoyed walking across the street to go to the park during some of our swim time.
  • Robby picked Reagan up to take her to her othodontist appointment this afternoon. We made it home just a bit after they did. Everyone helped me unload the car and all of our stuff. Then some had their showers while others just put on dry clothes. At one point in the afternoon, I went to the living room to make sure Whitman had on dry clothes since he had not had a shower. He did and told me that Reagan found him clothes to wear. She can irritate the fire out of him or she can be the sweetest big sister.
  • Robby fixed supper while I hurried to shower and leave. The homeschool moms had supper to celebrate Traci's upcoming baby. The kids stayed up the entire time that I was gone. When I came in, the house was super quiet. I guess everyone figured that if they were good, then they would get to stay up later...and it worked. 
  • Hopefully, after staying up so late tonight will cause them to sleep even later in the morning.

June 17, 2018-Happy Father's Day

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  • We woke up this morning with our thoughtful child, Graham, bringing Robby breakfast in bed. I had forgotten to have the kids make cards so this was probably an underwhelming Father's Day for Robby. We did celebrate with our putt putt yesterday, and Whitman is still planning on making his Father's Day pasta tomorrow night.
  • We ran a bit later than usual to church this morning. We were barely able to see the grands before sitting down for church. I did briefly remember that Whitman wanted to sit with Grannymom and shoved him towards her as church was starting. I heard every word of the sermon this morning, but I'll bet Grannymom didn't hear to much with Keaton and Whitman sitting beside her! She did say that he was good so maybe he has found a new permanent pew.
  • Keaton and Whitman were the only ones to make anything for their dad in Sunday school. It was a form where they filled in the answers. The most entertaining was "My dad laughs when _________." Whitman, of course, filled in the blank with "when I fall off a cliff."
  • We then headed to Nonna's house for lunch. Lunch was good, but the highlight was Nonna making Baked Alaska. The kids were pretty intrigued by it all. It was pretty delicious, and we ate all but two pieces. 
  • When we left there, we headed home to watch the Hogs play. Well, we did some watching and some snoozing during the rain delay. In the evening, we loaded up to go to the pool. First, we stopped at Grannymom and Grandpa's house to wish Grandpa a Happy Father's Day. Then we picked up Lilly and Cash before the pool.
  • The kids enjoyed the pool tonight, and the weather wasn't too warm. Robby and I did some trip planning while the kids were swimming. I should probably bring my computer and do some school work, but that won't probably happen since I do feel as if the lifeguards tonight were lacking.
  • We closed up the pool. Then we dropped off Lilly and Cash before picking up our supper, Papa Johns. We ate pizza as everyone took turns showering. The kids then had a few minutes of down time before it was bedtime for the crew.

June 16, 2018

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  • I just don't understand why my boys don't sleep in ever. It is just odd, and possibly they were switched at birth. Now, Whitman does sleep in so he is probably ours. Robby woke the girls up while I got myself ready.
  • Soon we were all out the door and went to pick up Keaton from her sleepover with Lily. Then we headed to play a round of putt putt at Gold World. It was their annual Father-Child Mini Golf Tournament. 
  • It was hot outside, but the drinks and doughnuts helped some. Before everyone played, we sat down to eat our doughnuts. Campbell, Graham and Whitman ended up on the morning show. Whitman did say that he was going to make pasta for Father's Day. I am certainly glad that we have some leftover spaghetti for him to "make" tomorrow.
  • The kids and Robby played while I juggled the camera and scorecards. Robby scored a 42 while the kids had varying scores. I was a bit surprised that the scores fell in perfect age order-Reagan did the best while Whitman had the highest score. 
  • While Reagan and I added up the scores, Robby played the other 18 holes with Keaton and Graham. When they finished that round, Whitman decided that he wanted to play the other side as well so Anderson and Robby went with him. Anderson did much better that round with a few holes in one. So he did another score card on his better game.
  • We waited around since they were passing out door prizes often. We were give 6 tickets and we did win 5 gift cards. Not too shabby. Then they did the awards. Anderson was 3rd place in his division. Campbell and Reagan were 3rd place in their divisions, and Keaton was 2nd in her division. This won Keaton a little trophy. They also won passes to come back to play putt putt again which we will have to do sooner.
  • We celebrated our big wins with lunch from ChickFilA since we have some free meals left. Then we finished the afternoon with our Dairy Queen Blizzards. It was a pretty free morning, but then we spent a good bit of time running errands and spending some money!
  • Our last stop was Grannymom's house. We stayed there long enough to convince them to go on our next trip. Then it was home for a lazy afternoon and evening. Robby and I both had naps, and we both did a bit of reading. But while he was napping, I was reading, and when he was reading, I was napping.
  • Graham made grilled cheese for supper which we ate before everyone started on showers. Most of us spent a long time watching youtube videos about the next trip. It was later than normal when the kids went to bed, but the boys don't seem to be tired at all tonight!

June 15, 2018

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  • Since this was the first day of no VBS this week, you would have thought that the kids would have slept in. Nope, the house was hopping at 7 this morning and possibly even a little before that. 
  • Before 8, Whitman had already woken up Reagan and Camryn who would have probably slept in a bit later. That was fine though because soon our breakfast scones would be ready. Laynie, Campbell and Keaton helped me make them. I think everyone liked them. I really did, but I really like all scones.
  • The kids all played or watched tv this morning. I emptied the dishwasher, did some laundry, and did a good bit of refereeing. Whitman did some school work with me as well.
  • Around 11, I let the three little girls make cookies for us to eat. I had thought about letting them make them from scratch but when I saw the 2 bags of cookie mix in the pantry, I couldn't resist using that instead. They did care and had a blast making them and eating lots of dough.
  • I cleaned out the fridge for lunch. Unfortunately though, I don't think that I made much of a dent. After we ate, the kids put on their bathing suits, and we headed to the pool.
  • Today there were only 16 of their buddies at the pool to play with. We stayed for 3 hours, and I was even up for staying for a 4th, but everyone else left so we did too. On our way home, we stopped by Tropical Smoothie for a free smoothie since it was flip flop day. Whitman and Laynie didn't like their smoothies, but everyone else did.
  • Robby had spaghetti ready for us when we made it home. We gobbled it up, then we made everyone clean up the house some-yep, even the guests. Soon, it was time to head to Raymar for movie night.
  • I think that since everyone was just at Raymar last night for a family night, they were too tired to come to the movie tonight. Even though the crowd was low, it was still fun. The kids played before they started the movie. Once the movie started the kids settled in to lawn chairs, drinks and even popcorn. 
  • We watched toy story and Whitman was pretty much terrified the entire time. I am certainly glad that we had bug spray which helped some, but I was still bit some. Once home, I rushed everyone through the showers so they could get into bed!

June 14, 2018

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  • Last day VBS so I wasn't surprised when I had to go upstairs to wake the girls up, carry Whitman down to put him into my bed, holler again at the girls to get up and then even go upstairs one more time to wake Campbell up. Gracious they were tired!
  • Today was water day at VBS. The biggest surprise of the day was Anderson didn't get wet. Graham really didn't either even though he had some shaving cream on him. He did have to change his clothes. Reagan had to change her shirt because it looked pretty wet. Campbell, Whitman and Keaton were absolutely soaked and definitely had to change their clothes.
  • Reagan did get bit by fire ants. I didn't know about it until around 4 this afternoon. By then her leg was completely swollen up. By the end of the evening, it was really hurting her. It hurt her enough that she drank some benedryl without any complaints. Well, without too many complaints. 
  • I did get a picture yesterday of Reagan holding a live roach over her mouth at VBS. I am not sure what got into my child-the same child who can barely touch sunscreen or lotion. 
  • Somehow I ended up with 2 extra children at home this afternoon-Alyssa Kate and Kennedy. They were all fine, and I barely saw any of the girls. They spent a good deal of time playing an app on the ipads that would make them all scream and squeal. It was quite comical because it sounded like people upstairs were on a roller coaster ride. 
  • Even with a 15 minute nap this afternoon, I felt like it was the longest afternoon ever. I was able to accomplish quite a few things for school. My goal is to get school ready so I can relax a bit this summer. (Relax by organizing this place!)
  • I took Reagan and her friends to Academy to look for bathing suits this afternoon. We had no luck there so we walked to Kroger just to see since it was next door. Didn't find a bathing suit but did find a pair of jeans for Robby for 5 dollars. Then we ran across the interstate to Kohls and had no luck there. I think that bathing suit will have to come from the internet or possibly Target in the adult section. Reagan wants a swim shirt but we have seen a total of 3 and she didn't like any of those.
  • Robby met us at Raymar for the VBS family night. It was hot the first hour but then was quite pleasant outside. The kids loved playing and running outside. We even won a door prize-a gift card to altitude. It was a pretty fun evening (so fun we are headed back to Raymar tomorrow night for movie night.) 
  • We came home with two different girls-Camryn and Laynie. After everyone had their showers, Reagan and Camryn watched a movie, Laynie, Keaton and Campbell played their ipads in the tent before bedtime, Graham was exhausted and went on to bed and Anderson and Whitman finally went to bed after some ipad time.

June 13, 2018

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  • The girls and Whitman were just as I had left them last night-Whitman in bed with Keaton and Campbell laying beside the bed. I think that they could have slept at least an hour longer. Graham and Anderson had been up for at least an hour when I finally started stirring. 
  • Tomorrow is water day at VBS so that might surely help get people up and going a bit quicker. Now, we did have time to empty the trash cans this morning. I also squeezed in some laundry folding along with emptying the dishwasher. Laundry and dishes are about the only thing house wise that I have done this week, and the house is starting to show it.
  • On our way out of VBS today, we took a few things from my room home. The kids will never miss what we took home, but hopefully it will lighten our load tomorrow. We then headed to Nonna's house for lunch. She had grilled cheese and quesadillas for us. Everyone ate and ate before putting on their swimsuits. 
  • Then it was to the pool. As we were walking in the pool, it looked dark. The boys asked about the weather so I pulled up the radar. I guess I had the radar zoomed in too much because I didn't see anything on it. 
  • We sunscreened up, and about 20 minutes later, the bottom fell out. It had not thundered or lightened yet, but they did blow the whistle and make everyone get out of the pool because they couldn't see the bottom. The rain continued so the kids went to the tennis courts to play out there some. Candice watched the lightening on her phone and it continued to get closer so we finally called it and headed home. Heading to the pool is a lot of work so it is pretty disappointing when we have to leave early.
  • Back at home, everyone helped me empty the car and then we all settled in to read a little bit. It was a fairly short afternoon even though we did come home early. We did run to Taco Bell for supper since they were giving away a few taco today. 
  • Once home, everyone started on showers. Then Robby and I started going through our trip pictures. We narrowed it down to over 800 pictures. This took us 3 hours, but unfortunately we are going to have to narrow those pictures down again because that is a ton! 
  • We did all of this on the tv in the living room so the kids watched some; it was surprising how much they remembered about the names of places and the order of our activities. I think that they all love to travel as much as us! 
  • We had almost finished when we sent everyone to bed. They didn't complain, and it was pretty quiet upstairs tonight. Tomorrow is the last day of VBS, family night, and folks are spending the night over here. It will be a busy day for sure!

June 12, 2018

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  • Oh, our morning started out pretty rocky. The getting to church part was fine, but once there is when the drama begin. Yesterday, Keaton and Reagan bought shirts for VBS. Graham and Campbell wanted to, but they didn't have any adult sizes left. They were going to have more today.
  • We headed there first thing this morning, and they had one adult small left. Graham and Campbell needed an adult small. The only other adult size they had was an extra large. Um, okay. I explained that they could share it. Graham was find with it, but Campbell was heartbroken. She wanted her own shirt. It was pitiful. Her SS teacher even saw her, and when I told her what was wrong, she told Campbell that she would give her her shirt after VBS. 
  • I mean, I understand that Campbell was disappointed, but there was nothing I could do about it. It was just a pretty bummy way to start the day. She seemed happier when I picked her up since we were headed to look for bathing suits.
  • When I did pick everyone up (except for Reagan who is spending the night with Kennedy), we grabbed a pizza at Little Ceasars. Note to self-one pizza won't feed everyone anymore. Our next stop was Walmart for bathing suits for the boys. Graham couldn't find one he wanted, mainly because he thinks having just one is fine. I kind of agree so I didn't push it. Now, Anderson was in heaven because he found a Star Wars bathing suit.
  • Next stop was Target. I even let Keaton pick out a suit so she ended up trying on 3 while Campbell tried on at least 20. Seriously. Thankfully, we brought them all to the dressing room at first. She needs a larger top than bottom so two piece suits don't really work. One piece suits aren't ideal since they make going to the bathroom a pain, but she found a really cute one and wanted it. It has a skirt and with the swim shirt we bought, it is actually the cutest thing ever. I was certainly lifting my hands and praising Jesus when we found her a bathing suit!
  • Now, my 3 boys were outside the dressing rooms on 3 stools while we were speed trying on clothes. We were going incredibly fast, but they acted like we had taken forever. It was almost comical how exhausted they seemed from sitting on the stools waiting on us.
  • Everyone was rewarded afterwards with Dairy Queen so that did make the waiting a bit better for the boys. Once we made it home, I unloaded the car. Then everyone read for a few minutes before working on their Jr. Ranger books.
  • Whitman asked me if I was going to take a nap. I asked him if he wanted to take a nap with me and even though I had no intentions of laying down, when he said yes, I jumped in my bed. Now, he never went to sleep and just watched his ipad. Campbell even joined us for a few minutes too. 
  • Eventually, Campbell and I got up. and she made jello and lemonade for tomorrow. Robby came home, and after writing out a grocery list, I loaded up with the girls and Whitman to go to the store for some after trip shopping. The boys went with Robby and Jason to see the new Star Wars movie. Anderson was ecstatic about getting to go. That boy loves him Star Wars.
  • After unloading the groceries, I read to my girls and Whitman, and they went to bed. The boys came home after their movie and went straight to bed.

June 11, 2018

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  • Today was the first day of Vacation Bible School. I woke up at a decent time-not as early as I wanted, but I was able to get all of my bags in the car before it was time to go. The list of bags/items in the car today included-my bag/purse, VBS lesson bag, clothes bag, swimming bag, floatie bag, ice chest 1, ice chest 2 and library book bag. Sometimes I wonder why I am mentally exhausted!
  • Reagan and Keaton bought VBS shirts today. Graham and Campbell are going to buy some tomorrow if the adult sizes come in. I told them that I would pay for half of their shirt. I am not feeling to sorry for their financial situations since they are rolling in their Moose Money ($15). Anderson, my wise and frugal child, was passing on a shirt. 
  • I only had to tell my Bible story 4 times instead of 5 which I had expected. So I was able to have a break which was nice. Everyone seemed to have a really good time. Whitman came home with a whistle which was lovely! (Sarcasm!)
  • After I found everyone, we headed to the library for me to pick up some books. Then we ate lunch at Grannymom's house. She had grilled cheese and a dessert for us. Once everyone ate, they changed into their bathing suits, and we headed to the pool. There were 3 other families from church at the pool with us and counting friends that were brought, there were 24 kiddos. Plus the pool was already packed when we arrived, so it was a pretty crazy day. 
  • We stayed for 3 hours, and by the time that we left Anderson was pretty exhausted. He had also ripped his swim shorts. Graham did the other day but does have a spare. Anderson doesn't have a spare so he will get a new pair tomorrow. I was a bit shocked that both boys ripped their shorts until I realized that this is their second year to wear these trunks which are hand me downs anyway, so no telling how old they are.
  • Once we came home, some folks took showers, but everyone worked on their Jr. Ranger books. We have about 10 that we brought home to finish from the trip and started on them today. I painted Campbell and Keaton's fingernails, and Whitman and I also worked on his reading book and school work. 
  • By the time all of that was accomplished, it was time for supper. Robby was already working on quesadillas. We gobbled down quite a lot of quesadillas. I think that my crew was pretty hungry from swimming most of the afternoon. 
  • After supper, we watched some of the hogs baseball game on tv. It was a pretty quiet evening around here and everyone was almost in bed at 9. Hallelujah! 

June 10, 2018

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  • All of my people were up pretty early this morning. When I made it into the living room, they were all gathered around the tv playing Cash's Playstation. I asked where Cash was, and he was still sleeping. I am not sure if he was just tired or if the boys had stayed up a bit later than I thought they did,
  • Everyone had what was left over of yesterday's dounuts. They also supplemented it with some cereal. Soon we were headed to church for the morning. We saw all of the grands and then found our spots. Keaton and Campbell sat in the back with Grannymom. Whitman was pretty mad at me that I wouldn't let him join them. I told him that he could by himself next week. Grannymom will be in a for a treat sitting by that wiggly worm!
  • After Sunday school, Robby helped me unload my VBS stuff. Then we picked up the kids and headed to Grannymom's for lunch. She had quiche which Anderson said was his favorite meal ever. She also had fruit but he didn't mention anything about the fruit since he doesn't eat any fruit.
  • The kids walked to Cash's house for a bit. Robby picked them up as I headed to church to do my VBS decorating. It just took us about 2 hours and our room is pretty cute. Afterwards, I came home. Everyone was just relaxing so I joined them. 
  • Around 6, we loaded up and headed to the pool for the evening. The kids were able to swim for about 2 hours which made everyone happy. Reagan gets tired of the pool pretty quickly. Tomorrow she will have some friends there when we go after VBS so hopefully she will enjoy it more. Everyone else seems to love it especially Campbell and Whitman.
  • When we came home, everyone helped with the dishes and laundry before and after their showers. Then we had a late sandwich supper before calling it a night. Graham and Whitman had gone upstairs before everyone else. Even though they went upstairs about 15 minutes before the others, they were both sound asleep in Graham's bed when we tucked everyone else in!

June 9, 2018

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  • We slept until 9 around here. Well, the grown ups slept until 9 but the kids were up fairly early. Robby had bought doughnuts yesterday so the boys and then the girls came in to ask us if they could eat some. Whitman came in with his plate fixed by his sisters just to double check that he was doing the right thing.
  • I had to scramble to get ready to take the kids to VBS down the road this morning. Reagan had spent the night at the neighbors (and is tonight as well), but everyone else went to VBS. 
  • After dropping them off, I went to three stores looking for Campbell a bathing suit. I finally found one at Target and was pleased with myself. I was pleased with myself until I picked Campbell up from VBS at 2 to change and head to a birthday party. The suit, though the size would normally be right, swallowed her. It was huge. It was so large that I probably could have worn the bottoms. Urgh! There are no bathing suits and now I don't really even know what size she would wear to order online. I will just have to order 2 and return one.
  • An hour later, I went back to the little church to pick up the other kids. Oh, Anderson had come home when I picked up Campbell. He said that he was bored though he looked like he was having fun. Graham sure didn't want to leave early though. They had lots of fun, made a cross craft, played water games and all of them loved the big water slide. Whitman was having a blast when I finally pulled him away.
  • At one point during the day, I did hear from the neighbors and Reagan was out shopping. I am sure that she is exhausted! Robby took everyone who was home to the pool for a bit. They had fun until someone pooped in the pool. It wasn't Whitman so we were still happy! 
  • They went to Dana's for a little bit afterwards. While they were gone, I went to pick up Campbell. She had been to 3rd Realm and spent some time swimming. Once she came home, she had her shower and put away her laundry.
  • Soon Robby, the boys, Keaton and Cash were all home. They played outside for a bit and then started on their showers and laundry. Cash plugged in his Play Station and they played Fortnight. 
  • We let everyone stay up until 10, and then we sent the crew to bed. Right now, they are being pretty quiet up there. Hopefully, that will last!

All 50 Road Trip-By The Numbers

  • 28 days
  • 27 nights
  • 17 hotels
  • 15 states (AR, OK, KS, CO, WY, ID, WA, AK, MT, ND, SD, OR, IO, NE, MO)
  • 4 state capitols
  • 2 Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Alberta)
  • 2301 Pictures Taken
  • 19 Red Box movies
  • 2 lost hubcaps
  • 1 broken windshield
  • 6 lost toothbrushes
  • 23 loads of laundry
  • 1 pull over by police (warning given)
  • 4 tubes of toothpaste
  • 59 Wall Drug signs seen
  • 6 Jr. Ranger badges earned per kid
  • 4 road side potty stops
  • 12 Christmas ornaments collected
  • 9 loaves of bread
  • 33 waffles made
  • 23 gas stops
  • 7 ice cream stops
  • 40 (at least) ice cream snacks on cruise
  • 9.75 in tolls
  • 6 picnics
  • 9 meals in the car
  • 8 National Park sites visited:
    • (Klondike, Fort Vancouver, Missleman, Devil’s Tower, Rushmore, Jewel, Crater of the Moon, Lewis and Clark Trail)
  • 11 National Parks visited 
    • (US-Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier Bay, Olympic, Glacier, Roosevelt, Badlands, Wind Cave, Rainier) (Canada-Kootenay, Banff)
  • 49 license plates found (missing Delaware)
  • 2,229 nautical miles
  • 7,350 miles driven
  • 6 kids who have visited all 50 states!


  • Robby-Crater of the Moon cave, Avalanche Lake hike, Banff lakes, Olympic NP 
  • Tara-Yellowstone Day
  • Reagan-Alaskan cruise
  • Anderson-Alaskan cruise
  • Graham-Alaskan cruise
  • Campbell-Everything
  • Keaton-Food (especially the food on the cruise)
  • Whitman-Alaskan cruise

All 50 Road Trip-June 8, 2018, Day 28

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Branson, MO to Little Rock. AR

We snoozed until 9 this morning, but after letting the kids stay up until midnight last night, I think that they needed it. We did too. Actually, Keaton and Whitman didn’t make it to midnight. I looked over and she was sound asleep so I had to wake her up to go potty and brush her teeth before bed. I settled her in and there was Whitman asleep so I had to do the same thing with him.

Everyone but Whitman and I went to breakfast this morning. Three more waffles were made. I guess I will have to get my waffle maker out and set up a breakfast making station at home. That would be fairly easy to do. 

After everyone ate, we loaded up the car and headed out of town. The kids played on their ipads while Robby was a on a call.  Before starting a movie, we played our last few games of Bingo. My prize bag was pitifully low-a few Acxiom fidget spinners and a roll of lifesavers. So I threw in a package of gummies and a tiny packet of lemonade. Campbell won the first game and chose the lemonade packet which shows me that I stressed to much about my bingo prizes.

The next game was 4 Corners bingo. Reagan and Graham both won. She picked sitting where ever she wanted for an hour and moved up to the front during the movie. He picked picking the next fast food stop. Robby reminded him that it probably wouldn’t be today or this weekend, but he was fine with that. 

The final bingo game of the 2018 road trip was cover all and the prize was doubling the Moose Money. Robby had promised everyone some cash if we saw a moose and indeed we did! Doubling the moose money was a big deal! I even played so I might could possibly double my moose money. Anderson was the big winner for that prize.

Afterwards, we watched a movie and ate the rest of the chex mix as we headed towards home. We stopped in Clinton at a little park to eat our lunch. The kids enjoyed running around for a few minutes. It was hot, almost too hot to eat but nicer in the shade. After eating we climbed back in the car for the rest of the trip.   

Right after Conway, we got into some rain. Things were fine until Campbell and Keaton started squealing. Water was dripping on them. We thought they might be being a bit dramatic holding a towel up to the back doors. We couldn’t really hear them since the rain was loud with a bit of hail. I was helping Robby drive since there were at least 20 cars on the side of the road. After Graham switched spots with Keaton to help, and Anderson urged us to pull over at the next exit, I turned around to see the towel they were holding up was soaking wet!  Dripping!

Sometimes we don’t get the back doors closed all of the way. They are shut, but not snuggly. I guess that little bit during the heavy rain was enough to cause of the water to leak. The kids were pretty panicky in the back, but they always surprise me by how well they work together when they need to.

We made it home and unloaded the car while it was trying to rain outside. The mudroom was completely filled with stuff. Robby went to work vacuuming out the car while the kids and I put up the inside stuff. We arrived home at 3:14, but it took me until about 6:30 to finish putting away most things. Now, there is still plenty of laundry to be folded but everything except for a few coats are clean.

Reagan has a 2 night sleepover at the neighbor’s house for her birthday. So she left around 5. We have been with all of the kids constantly for the last 28 days so having her leave was a bit different. Robby took the big boys to basketball and soon I was dropping off the little 3 at VBS down the road tonight.

That left me all by myself for a few hours. That was strange. Robby has run errands occasionally and has been by himself some, but I haven’t at all. Very odd. I quickly got used to it though. 

Soon everyone but Reagan was back home. The Wilson’s stopped by for a few minutes, and then everyone headed to bed! Everyone!

All 50 Road Trip-June 7, 2018, Day 27

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Branson, MO

Today at Silver Dollar City season pass holders were able to enter the park an hour earlier than every else. We forgot to take a picture of our time, and actually forget to take the camera at all, but we did leave the hotel at 8 which is probably the earliest we have ever left a hotel on this trip!

We were able to ride a bunch of rides last night, but the kids were still excited to go again this morning. Everyone went to breakfast except for Whitman and me. Whitman was sound asleep so I didn’t hurry at all. This was our smallest hotel so we were pretty packed in the room. It took some extra time to find things since we were so squeezed in there.

Robby brought me a muffin while the boys brought Whitman some cereal and he had a poptart in the car. The kids were so excited about Silver Dollar City this morning that they talked the entire way there. It was almost like they had never been there before.

Not too many folks were in the parking lot this morning at Silver Dollar City. We tried to go to Wildfire first which is the one ride they didn’t get to do last night. It wasn’t working this morning, and we never made it back over there to see if it was working today.

We did see that Keaton was too short for Wildfire. I think our kids should be a bit more afraid of these rides, but no Keaton was mad it me yesterday because I wouldn’t be her adult so she could ride Powder Keg. We told her that we would try to come back with another adult who would ride with her. Anyone want to do a roller coaster with my 6 year old? 

Whitman isn’t scared of anything either. He rode the big swings today for the first time and that didn’t bother him at all. Now, we do try to get him to raise his hands on rides, but he won’t do it at all. This morning, we split up for a bit so Reagan, Graham and Campbell could ride a few bigger rides. Anderson had done his share of rides but then decided that he would rather ride a few with Whitman. 

As part of our last few rides, I did ride the raft ride where you shoot people and get shot with water. We left soaked, so soaked that the boys and Campbell wanted to do it again. I was willing to do it again, but once Whitman has done a ride, he really doesn’t care about doing it again. 

After that raft ride, we all climbed in line for the river rapids ride. Keaton left soaking wet. I was sitting beside her so I was fairly wet, but she was twice as wet as the boys were after 2 raft rides. We then bought some cinnamon bread for a little snack before heading to Grandfather’s Mansion. 

Then it was the walk to the car. Surprisingly, there were other folks leaving at 1 as well. Back in the room, we had a picnic lunch. Then Robby ran to pick up tickets for tonight while I watched the kids at the pool. 

They swam for well over an hour. Everyone was in a good mood. Afterwards, we started on showers and even had a bit of downtime before leaving for the evening. 

We could have easily made it home today, but we decided that one day of relaxing would be pretty valuable to us before going home. We will get home tomorrow and tomorrow night, the kids will go 3 different places, at least 3 activities are scheduled for Saturday as well plus VBS next week. I think that I am ready to do a load of laundry and do it all again. This was one of those slow and lazy days that we really want to have in the middle of our trips, but we can never figure out how to take it easy somehow when we are on the road.

Speaking of laundry, Robby had decided a few days ago that we wouldn’t do any more laundry. Since he said that, we have washed at least 3 loads. One year, I kept up with the loads of laundry that we did on a trip, this year I didn’t but I can guarantee that we have washed at least 10 loads. 

At 5:30, we left to eat our supper. We ate at Billy Bob’s Dairyland after we found it. Apparently, they have moved and forgot to update Google Maps. It was worth the wait from last night and was delicious. We left nothing on our plates and even finished up the meal with a fried chocolate and fried apple pie.

Then it was on to watch the Presley’s Country Jubilee. Robby went to the show when he was kid with his grandparents so he has always wanted to take the kids. Campbell and Keaton were pretty impressed with the chairs in the women’s restroom. Reagan was happy to see more kids in the audience. Whitman, though, was probably the Dennie that enjoyed the show the most. He loves music! During intermission Keaton, Campbell and Graham made sure that the got everyone’s autographs. 

After intermission, the show went fairly quick. They did have a patriotic song at the end, and Whitman just sang away. We then visited Andy’s for some frozen custard. It has been a few Branson trips since we have stopped there. I remember when none of the kids finished their ice cream, now everyone but Keaton and Reagan finish theirs. 

Robby and I are a bit bummed about having to come back to the real world tomorrow. I think that the kids are very excited about coming home. When we were talking about going home, Keaton said, “I just want to know what color our couch is.” I guess tomorrow she will find out!

All 50 Road Trip-June 6, 2018, Day 26

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Independence, MO to Branson, MO

Robby left early this morning for his appointment to replace the glass on the windshield. My alarm had just gone off when I saw Campbell going to the bathroom. Next Graham went into the bathroom. A minute later, he came bursting out saying that potty was overflowing. I jumped up and headed in there. As soon as I set food in the bathroom, my feet were sploshing on the wet tile. It was nearly an inch deep when I struggled to turn the water off. Thankfully, I was able to get the water off otherwise, I don’t know what I would have done.

I did use up every single towel in the bathroom, and they were all sopping wet. The bathrooms were just across the hall so we were all still able to potty this morning. Robby had put the clothes in the wash this morning when he left, so I put them in the dryer before I got myself ready this morning.

Anderson was the first to get ready and asked to go down to breakfast. Soon Campbell followed him, then everyone else headed down to breakfast. We ate, and had just finished folding laundry when Robby came back. It didn’t take us long to zip up our bags-that is a sound I just love to hear: all of the bags zipping up. We loaded up the car and headed towards Independence.

Our first stop was the Truman National Historic Site. Last time we were here, Robby was able to tour the house but the kids and I stayed back at a playground. This time we were all able to tour the house. First, we watched the movie at the Visitor’s Center. Before we left, we asked for Jr. Ranger books to take home and work on. So for most of the National Park sites we have been to we have asked for those Jr. Ranger books. My kids will have lots of extra school work to do coming up!

We toured the Nolan house across the street from the Truman home. Then we went through the Truman home. The tour was interesting, though a teensy bit long. Graham asked lots of questions during the tour and soaked everything in. The kids were so attentive during the tour that rewarded them all with icees.

We drank our icees on our way to the Truman Farm. The farm,which is run by the NPS, is in need of some TLC. We still walked around it and listened to a short podcast about it. We have listened to so many podcasts lately that the boys ask for them.

We didn’t get too far before Keaton needed to potty. That was fine since everyone had just drank their huge icees. When we climbed back in the car, I took lunch orders, and then we started a movie.

We did stop briefly for a potty/gas stop. Once the movie finished, we put in another one and pressed on to Silver Dollar City, the stop the kids have been waiting on since the cruise. The park closed at 7 tonight, and we arrived at 5. Tonight was just a bonus but the big kids ended up riding all of the big roller coasters except for one. Everyone rode Thunderation and Fire in the Hole as well. We were shocked at how empty the park was tonight since we were expecting there to a bazillion people there tomorrow. In the morning, we can go in an hour early so hopefully we will be able to do a few more things then as well. 

Having a Silver Dollar City pass this year has been a lot of fun. And it does make it nice that we don’t feel like we have to stay all day long. The goal tomorrow is to stay until we are hot and miserable and then come back to swim. This will be our third visit this year to SDC, and we are planning on coming back 2 more times with the kids and then hopefully, Robby and I can come back by ourselves one time. 

We stayed until everything was shut down. Then we came to the hotel for a few minutes-mainly to check in, but Whitman also had a shower. His pottying skills (#2) have been lacking the past few days. Afterwards, we went to eat. I had found a restaurant that looked fun, but when we drove up, the place was deserted. We couldn’t figure it out since our phones even gave the hours and people were leaving good reviews there in May. Much later in the evening we discovered that the place had moved a few doors down so we may try it tomorrow night.

We did get to the Paspeghetti’s restaurant on the strip. It was decent food. Since it was late, it was lacking in atmosphere even though it was pretty cute inside of the restaurant. Robby just ordered stuff for us all to share. We probably would not have had enough food had it not been for the bread sticks that just kept coming to our table. 

Once we made it back to the hotel, we let the kids swim for a little bit. They all had fun in the pool, but by the time we all came back to the room and showered, it was incredibly late. On this trip, the kids have been staying up late each night. The earliest they have ever laid down has been 10 and the average bedtime is 11:30. I am sure that they will delight in some structure once we get home and back into some kind of routine. 

It was fun day today. At supper tonight, Campbell said that her favorite National Park site was the Truman home. Sure wasn’t expecting that. We do love our National Parks. Robby and I even spent some of our drive time planning another big road trip to a few new National Parks. Our next trips probably won’t be road trips though since we need to get to Disney and want to get to Panama soon. Gracious, we have quite a list!

All 50 Road Trip-June 5, 2018, Day 25

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Mitchell, South Dakota to Independence, MO

Due to the time change and laundry, Robby and I were up until after 1 last night. We still woke up fine though we probably should have woke up earlier, but in our defense we have been doing this for 26 days so we are probably just a bit tired. When the boys and Campbell were dressed this morning, Robby sent them down to breakfast together. They were almost finished when we made it down to breakfast so we sent them to get the cart and start loading it up.

Soon we were back in the car for our 7 hour day. Like always, on our long driving day, our first stop was minutes away from the hotel. The Corn Palace was under construction the last time we were there, but this time the only construction was working on the murals for next year. We walked around looking at the murals. We even sat in on a video about the Corn Palace for a few minutes and listened to a lady explain some of the murals. My girls love gift shops as much as I do, however, we didn’t need anything from the Corn Palace since we already have a Christmas ornament from there.

On the way out though, Robby did decide that we needed some popcorn for the ride today. When we climbed back in the car, we passed out popcorn, drinks and ipads in hopes that we could get on down to the road. Now, on the way we started seeing signs for De Smet. Aww, that is where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived. We went there the last time we were here, and it was just magical. I will agree with Robby though that we probably don’t have enough time, but I am still a little bummed to miss it. 

Sioux Falls, South Dakota we stopped at Falls Park for a few minutes. We walked around the falls and took a few pictures. The thing that we noticed the most aout the Falls Park was that it is hot outside.  Hot! I guess it is hot at home as well but when we left home, it was still coolish. When we left there, I drove some. The kids watched a movie, and Robby passed out lunch. Today’s lunch was crackers, cheese and spam. This used to be a treat to most except I think now most everyone likes it better when we fry it at home.

Soon we were in Iowa or some state nearby and stopped at a part of the Lewis and Clark trail We walked through the Visitor’s Center. Then we walked on the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge where you could stand in Iowa and Nebraska simultaneously. It was a warm walk but on the way back, we did walk through some fountains to cool everyone off. From there, we walked back into the Visitor’s Center planning to watch their movie about Lewis and Clark. We sat down and watched about 2 minutes before realizing that it was the same movie that we had already watched at one of the Lewis and Clark sites that we have been to on this trip.

From there, we went by the stadium that hopefully the Hogs will be playing at next week followed by some fun on a slide downtown. We had stumbled upon the slide last time we were here and the kids still enjoyed it. Next stop was the birthplace of Gerald Ford, who was born in Omaha. Who knew? 

Back in the car, we drove on until we found a gas stop that looked like it had slushies. The kids were able to pick out a drink and after filling up we were back on the road. Robby and I spent a good bit of time reviewing BBQ restaurants in Kansas City to see where we wanted to eat supper tonight. The kids listened to a movie. They all have radios so they are able to use their headphones/earbuds to listen to the movie. That is wonderful because it doesn’t have to be so incredibly loud for Robby and me. 

A bridge was out in Kansas City so we had to take a forever detour. It probably wasn’t forever but since it was nearing 8, and we were starving it seemed like forever. BBQ was waiting for us at Joes KC BBQ. It was one of Les’ recommendations, and when we saw the 30+ person line at 8:30 at night we knew we had chosen well. 

Robby had called ahead so he was able to bypass the line, and since we had seen a park on the way there, we stopped to eat there. The kids were thrilled that we had a playground that they could run around on, and we were thrilled that we had real food to enjoy. The BBQ was delicious. We had ribs and sandwiches. The beans were pretty different and good, but not my favorite. It took us a few minutes to get everything ready to eat.

After we ate, the kids played some more while we cleaned up, and then we headed to our next stop. We did take a picture of the giant shuttlecock on the way to Winsteads for a quick milkshake. We were here in 2014 for a milkshake. We looked at the pictures of that visit, and the kids looked so sweet and precious. Now they are just all grown up! 

We didn’t tell the kids that we were getting a huge milkshake and that the milkshake would came with people playing a tambourine and shouting. As we were waiting, Anderson wondered aloud if the milkshake came with a parade. Indeed it did! Once again, the kids’ eyes were huge as they delivered the milkshake. Last time we just ate one, but this time we were able to pretty much eat every bit of both milkshakes.

Our hotel was 20 minutes away, and it was nearly 11 when we got inside of our room. The kids changed and then played their ipads for just a minute before going to sleep. Everyone is exhausted today, except for Whitman who had a good nap this afternoon in his car seat. He is still going strong in the couch bed by Graham.