July 18, 2018

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  • Robby was already gone this morning when I stirred. He took my car to change the oil. We couldn't just let one car be in the shop, we felt that if one had to go to the shop, then they both should. Now, my oil change was a bit simpler than Robby's work but all cars are healthy now (though I am almost in need of new tires.)
  • The plan had been for us to meet our people at the pool, but the rain this morning pushed those plans back to the afternoon. So we worked on our reading, Whitman's school work and chores around the house.
  • The only excitement during the morning time was when the termite man came. We were expecting him, but I guess that Robby and I neglected to tell all of the kids that he was here. Whitman walked by him giving him to stare down. I told him that he was looking for bugs in the house, and Whitman quietly whispered to me, "he looked like Daddy." That man had a hundred pounds on Robby and even less hair!
  • Anderson came down the stairs followed by Campbell. They both had a look on their face that told me that I indeed had not told them about the bug man! I will do better next time though since I am sure that he might have given them quite a shock!
  • At noon, we loaded up for free hot dogs, chips and a drink that The Buzz radio station. It was across town so on the way back we ran by Dairy Queen. The lady at the window was able to name 4 of the 6 kids names. That is pretty impressive, but we just have a few more weeks left on our cards before they finish up.
  • The next stop was dropping Robby off to pick up his car, and then we met the buddies at the pool. The kids swam for 2 and a half hours. They could have stayed longer, but I had to get them home. 
  • As soon as I dropped them off, I loaded back up and headed to the library. I met Sara at her library for an earring making class. We made 2 pairs of beaded earrings. And no, I probably won't ever make them but I sure did have fun. I think it would be a fun craft though to do at Reagan's birthday party. We will see if I can convince her!
  • The kids played outside some while I was gone. Robby mowed some until he belt came off. Later tonight while he was working on our ice maker, he moaned that he was tired of fixing things around here. Indeed, it does seem like most things are falling apart! I made some cookies for a snack and the kids ate them while watching some tv before bed.

July 17, 2018

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  • This was a fairly uneventful morning. We did accomplish quite a bit even though we weren't in much hurry at all. It was the type of morning that had me questioning my sanity of starting school next week. You know some families are "unschoolers" which they would count video games as problem solving, grammar and reading skills and count slime making as science and count cartwheeling in the living room as physical education and count the reading of the cereal box as literature and nutrition. Basically, that was our morning so maybe I should become an "unschooler" and count it as a day of school.
  • Whitman did work with me on his reading book this morning. He has 24 lessons before he finishes that blasted thing. Since I have done it 6 times now, I do know the stories by heart. However, reading with Whitman is a bit excruciating. He can't focus and wants to talk all of the time. All of that to say, our reading book time probably won't be during our school time like it has been for everyone else. His reading book time will probably have to be later in the day when things are a bit slower.
  • Around lunch, I read a few books to the kids. One was all about poop! Yep, the boys loved it, but the girls not so much. After we finished eating, the kids finished a few chores. 
  • The girls and Whitman did go with me to the pool this afternoon. Whitman practiced swimming and even swam the short length of the pool by himself. They swam for a good while until there was thunder. We waited around and then swam for 30 more minutes before running to the dollar store to buy a few things for Graham's party. The girls and even Whitman bought Graham a present. I am not sure what they picked for him because I didn't like the looks of one guy in the store and was on high alert until we were back safely in the car. 
  • We arrived back at home just as the boys and Robby were going out to work in the yard. We unloaded the car and then joined them. Anderson mowed the front yard, Graham mowed some in the back, and we all picked up many, many sticks. We worked for a long while and came in just about 20 minutes before it started pouring here.
  • We headed up leftovers for supper. I know that it sounds like we eat leftovers every single night; it feels like we eat them every single night too! After supper, we waited around until it was time for us to head to a movie. 
  • Yep, we loaded up our 5 kids and took them to a movie at bedtime. Probably not the wisest thing to do, but it was fun. We saw Incredibles 2. The boys and Campbell loved it. Keaton slept through half of it. And Whitman was terrified through most of it. At one time, he loudly asked, "can you turn the movie off?" Good thing there was only us and one other lady in the movie. And we were the only people in the entire place when we left.
  • It was almost midnight when we made it home. The kids quickly put on their pajamas, brushed their teeth and crawled into bed!

July 16, 2018

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  • Robby and I were almost the first ones awake this morning because we had to take his car to the shop for some repairs. Anderson and Graham were awake when we left. By the time we made it back, I text Reagan to urge her to get herself ready and do the rest of her last minute packing. She quickly wrote back replying that she had already done all of it.
  • Indeed she had, we had about 20 minutes when I returned before it was time to drop her off. She is going to Praiseworks this week at Ouachita. It is what used to be Young Musician's Camp when Robby and I were her age. When I was in the 4th grade I went to Young Musician's Camp, and Robby was one of the counselors for our group. When I came back to school that fall, I guess I had a slight crush on Robby because I  told all of my friends that I was going to become Mrs. Tara Jo Dennie when I grew up. 
  • Reagan's buddies, Alyssa and Kaleigh, will be her roomies so I am hoping that they have a wonderful time. Now this camp is one that you could bring phones too but since Reagan nor her buddies have phones, we won't know what is happening all week long. The other moms going won't be around the big girls much so I doubt that we will get frequent pictures like we did for their mission trip.
  • After dropping her off, Keaton, Graham and I ran to Chick-Fil-A to pick up a few thing and then to Redbox to snag a free game rental for the boys to play with. I don't think that they played with it very long today though.
  • Back at home, we started on chores and reading for the day. Soon Pops came to pick up Graham to take him shopping for his birthday. He had a list of things he needed to pick up, and they quickly found them and started working on his Christmas shopping. 
  • Keaton, Campbell and I baked some banana muffins right before lunch, Then we ate our lunch for a bit. I served my treadmill time until Nonna and Pops brought Graham back from his outing.
  • Later, Keaton, Campbell and I ran to the store for a little bit. We picked up stuff to make Graham's birthday dessert-oreo delight. We will have to make that in a few nights so I will have time to thaw it and cut it before the party. 
  • After the store, Whitman and Keaton helped me make Huevos Rancheros for supper. Whitman, bless, did have 2 bathroom accidents while we were cooking so that slowed us down a good bit. I am not sure if his tummy was upset or not, but he has been fine since. 
  • Everyone enjoyed our supper-tortilla, black beans, salsa, an egg and cheese on top. Who wouldn't like all of that! It took us a while to clean the kitchen, and afterwards the kids headed outside to play with the neighbor. 
  • They stayed out late enough to need showers again before bed. We cycled everyone through the showers and then herded them all to bed.

July 15, 2018

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  • The normal Sunday morning scurry didn't happen too much around here. We were actually early to church this morning-oddly early. We have been barely walking in on time for the last few weeks so we were unsure of what to do with ourselves when we arrived early.
  • Keaton and Reagan were the only ones that we had to wake up this morning. Everyone found their clothes without drama. I probably should say that the girls found their clothes without drama since the boys are usually drama-less. Though a few weeks ago, Anderson was trying to put Whitman's sandals on while we were driving to church and was convinced that they would not fit. I was in the front seat and was adamant that they fit last week and would fit for at least one more week. That was some definite drama!
  • Whitman sat with us during church. That was different since he has been sitting with Grannymom. He did fine, but bless the poor thing, he was freezing throughout the service. The temperature in the church house was probably in the low 60s. We could probably save some of our tithe money if they cranked the air conditioning up a few degrees.
  • We had lunch at Nonna's house. They had hamburgers and all of the fixings. I think that I could eat hamburgers just about every week. Graham did even have one for supper. Well, I pulled out of my leftovers for supper and said that supper would be from one of those choices. He wasn't too pleased with his choices but did scarf down a burger.
  • This afternoon was fairly short. Reagan packed herself. She didn't want too much help so hopefully, she has everything that she needs. Then I had myself a little nap, but soon was awake helping Reagan finish a Jr. Ranger book. I made her do hers today while everyone else will take the rest of the week to finish theirs. 
  • Next even taking Reagan to a little Bible study at church. Nitzia did it and wow! They made a fruit salad, transferred vinyl onto a cute notebook and water colored a notebook that they are going to make next week. They did squeeze in a little Bible study as well. Next time they are going to decorate cookies, sew their notebook and make a tote bag. I am a wee bit jealous that I am not getting to come to the Bible study. 
  • While she was at church, I ran home and fed everyone supper. Then jumped back in the car to get Reagan. Once we were back at home, she had a quick camera lesson. I am not too sure what all she can learn in her photography class at camp since it will just be a few hours but man, it would be wonderful if she came home passionate about art or photography. I would love for her to find something that she is interested in.
  • The kids headed to bed just as it started storming here. They must be tired because I don't hear many feet scurrying from one bed to another because of the thunder.

July 14, 2018

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  • Swim, Work, Rest, Swim, Supper, Bed-See, my blog could be really brief! I will elaborate a little bit. At 6:30, I woke up to go to the bathroom. As I was trying to go back to sleep, I heard little feet above me running. It could only be a few things-Campbell running to Keaton's bed where Whitman was sleeping, Whitman running to Campbell's bed, or Whitman coming downstairs. He never showed up in our room, so I went on back to sleep. Later I did find out that it was Whitman running into bed with Campbell. He was sleeping in there because Campbell did not want to go to bed in a room by herself last night so we offered Whitman to sleep with her. I guess I can't blame her since she has never slept in a room by herself-ever.
  • We started stirring around 8 this morning. Well, some kiddos were stirring before then. It is nice when folks can get their own breakfasts and take care of themselves for a little bit. I guess that is nice, but I do kind of miss it! 
  • We did a bit of straightening around the house, which seems to be a never ending process. Then we loaded up to go to the pool. We were minus Reagan, who had spent the night at Nonna's house, and minus Keaton, who had spend the night at Grannyom's house. 
  • The pool wasn't crowded, and everyone had a big time. When it was time for us to leave, Campbell stayed back with the Heltz for one more hour of swimming. We ran to McDonalds for lunch, Whole Foods to get a coupon and then Dairy Queen for our weekly Blizzards. Then we picked up Campbell on the way home.
  • Grannymom, Grandpa and Keaton arrived next. Grandpa helped work on Robby's outside fridge. Hopefully, they were able to fix it but we will find out in a few days. Then we had a bit of downtime until Nonna, Pops and Reagan arrived. They had taken Reagan to buy a few snacks for her upcoming camp. I had also bought a few snacks for her last night, so she will be well supplied!
  • We then went back to the pool. Anderson opted to stay at home. While we were gone, he had a snack, took a shower and played on the xbox for a good long while. I think he would have enjoyed the pool, but I know that he also enjoyed being alone for a little bit. 
  • Robby ran an errand while we were at the pool, and then when we left, he ran into Kroger. Not only is tomorrow our anniversary, it is also National Ice Cream day so obviously, we must be prepared!
  • Once at home, I heated up leftover chicken, fish, hamburger, steak and pizza, and my fridge is still bursting with leftovers. Reagan tried to do a bit of packing before bed but didn't get very far. She will have a busy day tomorrow with packing, church, a Bible study, practicing with her camera and one little school thing I need her to do before she leaves. I hope she can do all of that while I get my Sunday afternoon nap! (Kidding, well not really!)

July 13, 2018

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  • I would have guessed that Anderson would have slept a little bit longer today since he was the very last one to wake up yesterday. However, he was the first one awake in the house. Soon everyone else was up, except Reagan. Since Alyssa had spent the night, I tried to wake Reagan up so she could entertain her guests. When I told her that Alyssa was awake, she looked at me and said, "so?" Maybe we should work some more on hospitality.
  • Whitman headed to VBS for his last day. When Robby told him that it was time to go, he said, "where?" I really don't think he had any idea where he was going. He didn't mind leaving too much since he knew that he was going to have a pizza party today at VBS.
  • It was kind of different with my Whitman gone this morning but the other folks here with me. I had a committee meeting at church this morning, so I told my crew that they could stay at home or come with me and see what kind of trouble they could get into at church. Well, I shouldn't have been surprised because they picked the option that had the word "trouble" in it. 
  • My big 5 plus Alyssa could not wait to walk into the church house. I gave them the necessary instructions-come back in 30 minutes, stay together and this is God's House. They were back in exactly 30 minutes just as my meeting was finishing up. I let them play gaga ball while I walked to get the car. 
  • On the way home, I ran by the library to pick up books for school. Yep, it is time to start requesting my school books. Then we waited on Whitman to come home before making our lunches. I still have lots of camp lunch supplies left so everyone made themselves a pretty decent lunch today. 
  • After lunch, we loaded up to head to the pool for the afternoon. We made it there about 2 and swam with the Crafts for 2 hours. It was pretty hot out there so everyone there was in the water, but that was fine because there weren't too many folks at the pool today.
  • When we left, we dropped Keaton off at Grannymom's house to spend the night. Then we ran by Dairy Queen for our weekly Blizzards. Next stop was Nonna's house because Reagan was spending the night there. Then we dropped off Alyssa and headed home.
  • On my way home, Robby called and asked if they boys were going to basketball. I had forgotten all about their Friday night basketball. They were tired but enjoyed going tonight. While they were there, the rest of us, Robby, Campbell, Whitman and I, went to Eat My Catfish for supper. Robby and I both had coupons for our anniversary. (Shhh, I had forgotten that it was coming up on Sunday.) Since we both had coupons, we ordered way too much food so the boys could have supper after basketball.
  • While we waited on them to finish, we hit up Kroger and their ice cream sale. We also bought some snacks for Reagan to take to camp this next week. Then we grabbed the boys and headed home. They had showers and then ate while Campbell and Whitman went outside for a few more minutes. 
  • Soon the neighbors had to go in, so my littles came in too. They had their showers and then we all started winding down before bedtime. 

July 12, 2018

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  • Final day of Family Farm. I was pretty pleased with everyone awake and ready to go this morning. Robby had given the 3 minute warning when I went upstairs to open the blinds in all of the rooms. Normally, I don't do this just yet because Whitman has still been sleeping. I opened the girls blinds and then flipped on the lights in the boys room. I opened Graham's blinds and then walked to Anderson's bed to see him still sound asleep. 
  • I quickly urged him to get up because everyone else were putting on their shoes. That is probably not the way to wake up in the morning, but he handled it fine. He put on clothes while I grabbed his breakfast for him. I went downstairs to Robby and said that from now on we must do a headcount!
  • Anderson's eyes still looked pretty sleepy as they drove off. Robby dropped the kids off at Family Farm and then came home to switch cars before heading to pick up stuff for work and then trek to Conway. 
  • After everyone left this morning, Whitman and I did our reading. We have had our own little quiet morning schedule this week. He may not like it tomorrow with everyone here. Shannon ran by this morning to grab a few bingo cards before her trip, and as soon as she left, Candice arrived to pick up Whitman for VBS. It was a pretty busy morning around here. 
  • I did my treadmill time and then some laundry, but other than that there is nothing left to do in this house. Well, nothing left that I want to do. Robby and I did discuss tonight that we have quite a bit of yard work to do before Graham's birthday party next week. I guess I could have started on that!
  • Whitman made it home around 12:30. He ate his lunch while we did our school work. We had a bit of downtime, I even read, until 2ish. That is when we loaded up to head down to Family Farm. It is always so, so very hot down there, and today was no exception. We did find Campbell and Keaton's group when they were in the petting area. Then we located Graham near the sand.
  • Next up was the skit time. All of the groups did their skits, and it seemed to last forever. Ooops, did I say that outloud? Nah, it wasn't that bad. Last year, Whitman, who had 2 busted ear drums, had fever during the skits and was miserable. He felt much better this time, but if it had lasted one more minute, he would have fallen sound asleep.
  • Afterwards, I grabbed everyone from their groups. Graham's counselor was a stickler for the rules and gave Robby a hard time 2 of the 3 afternoons he picked up. This afternoon she had to double check to make sure that I was supposed to get Ethan. I just smiled at the silliness since I had already signed out his 2 siblings and he had left with the same group of kids each day this week. 
  • We hurried to drop off the Penningtons because once at home, everyone had showers. The boys left in less that 35 minute to head to Whitman's VBS' family night. The girls and I had a bit more time since we headed to Benton to see a play at the Royal.
  • Robby reported that the ice cream was a hit at family night. And my girls enjoyed seeing two of the Statton girls in the play Singing in the Rain. It was a fun little play, which I had never seen before, so I will have to get the movie or see the real play sometime soon.
  • Alyssa came home with us tonight so everyone is still awake at 10:30. I am about to get up and put everyone to bed along with doing the dishes and changing the laundry over since for some reason this is a two load day!

July 11, 2018

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  • Day 3 of Family Farm. Everyone was downstairs on time this morning. Even though Robby was up early, I was still worried about him not allotting enough time for his shower. He, however, had plenty of time and soon everyone was out the door.
  • Whitman had spent the night with Grannymom and Grandpa's house. Since he wasn't there this morning, I went right to the treadmill and was finished by 9 this morning. Afterwards, I worked on making Anderson some pumpkin bread. My next project was working on my continuing education hours for the year.
  • Then I ran to pick up Whitman, Charlotte and Michael. After we dropped them off, Whitman and I made his lunch. He wanted to make a "crafty" lunch which took a bit of creativity on his part since I just laid out some ingredients. 
  • While he ate, I read book after book to him. My library pile of books is pretty small after all of our reading today. Whitman is just an odd duck. While we were talking about America's colors, red, white and blue, he told me that Paraguay has red, white and blue as their colors too. I just looked it up-yep, they do. He also told Charlotte today about his daddy not working in the winter time so he could stay home and sled with him and make snowmen.
  • Other than reading to Whitman and working on his reading book, we didn't do a whole lot this afternoon. Actually, we didn't do anything this afternoon. I have actually run out of things to do with the kids gone so much. 
  • We did pick up Charlotte and Michael and met the Family Farm group at the pool tonight. The Heltz were the only ones that stayed with us. We just stayed for 2 adult swims, and then picked up BBQ. We ate at the Heltz' while the kids ran around outside. 
  • Once we made it home, it was shower time, lunch packing time and then the best time of the day-bedtime!

July 10, 2018

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  • Family Farm day two. I had to walk up the steps to make sure that the boys were up this morning. They were moving really slowly getting out of their beds, but they were awake. 
  • Even though Robby left later this morning with everyone, they still had less time in the morning than yesterday. 
  • Once they left, I decided that I would let Whitman sleep so more before waking him up. However, he soon was bouncing down the stairs. I read him a few stories before he put on his clothes and ate his breakfast. Without his brothers and sisters here, I ended up playing a short game of "The Floor is Lava" before it was time for us to leave to VBS.
  • We picked up Charlotte and then headed to VBS. Once I dropped them off, I ran by Grannymom's for a little bit to drop off Whitman's bag since he is spending the night over there.  My next stop was the library followed by home.
  • My morning was busy: finishing the school room, working on some of Whitman's school, cleaning the bathrooms, the treadmill, organizing a few shelves, and eating lunch. This afternoon was a bit slower. I was going to make pumpkin bread but when I counted my eggs I didn't have enough for my Huevos Rancheros that I was going to make for supper along with the pumpkin bread. Then I decided to make apple crisp, but I didn't have pans that I could freeze it in. 
  • Robby and the kids arrived home, excited about their day. Graham was also excited about going to ChickFilA for the dress like a cow day. So I put up all of my supper stuff and started on making spots to turn the kiddos into cows. Anderson and Reagan opted to stay home even though Robby told them that there would no internet at home. I think that just need to decompress after so much activity. 
  • We ran into Jason at ChickFilA and ate with him. Then we did go to the store to pick up a few things-especially eggs so I can make my bread tomorrow but since we didn't make tonight supper, then I still had plenty. (I am determined to make this new recipe though.) Once at home, Graham, Campbell and Keaton joined Anderson who was outside playing with the neighbors and Reagan soon went out as well.
  • We called them in eventually for showers and to make their lunches. They did all of this and then had a few minutes of downtime before bed. So you know your children are tired when they start crying because you won't let them do any school work (Campbell), because you ask them to put on a t shirt (Keaton), and because you won't let them eat a banana from the grocery store without paying (Campbell). Goodness gracious!

July 9, 2018

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  • I woke up to the sounds of people's feet above my head. Thankfully, it wasn't in the middle of the night, and my alarm was about to go off as well. It is Family Farm week, and my people were all very excited.
  • By the time I had my clothes on and teeth brushed, Campbell and Keaton were downstairs working on their hair. Everyone had grabbed their breakfast and soon I was bug spraying everyone as they walked out the door. 
  • They picked up the others and then headed to Malvern. This left me in the empty house with a sleeping Whitman. I let him sleep for a bit and then brought him downstairs. I read him a few books as he was waking up. Then he put on his clothes and ate his breakfast.
  • Soon Whitman was in the car heading to VBS. Bless, I don't think that he understood where he was going, but I did make it very clear that Ms. Candice was going to pick him up. We found his row, and he sat right down. 
  • I ran to Walmart to buy some bar stools for the girls new school desks. I had originally planned to also go to the library, but since my driver's license, credit cards and most importantly library card was in my van in Malvern, I had to skip the library. Luckily, I had realized this before I left the house and grabbed a credit card for my Walmart run. I was just crossing my fingers that it still worked!
  • I am rarely home by myself for any length of time. I quickly realized that I have some type of ADD when it comes to do anything in a quiet house. While bringing in my Walmart bags, I ended up in the attic organizing Christmas stuff. While taking the stools to the school room, I organized the pantry. I did accomplish quite a bit, but I almost didn't get around to my main goal.
  • The goal this week, which I will finish tomorrow, is organizing the school room. When I did start, I just wanted to do one side of the room before lunch, but I was almost able to finish two sides of the room.
  • When Candice brought Whitman home, he was quite chatty. He talked and talked and bless, talked some more. He went with me to the school room as I finished the second wall and then the third side of the room. I was going to stop there, but he wanted to "decorate" his desk so I set him to work vacuuming. 
  • After we "decorated" his desk, we pulled his lunch out of the fridge. He really enjoyed packing his lunch last night, and worked on eating his lunch for at least 3 hours today. I stopped him in the middle to do his reading book. While we were doing his reading book, he told me, "this is the best day over, just me and you." I agreed and then he elaborated with, "when the others are here, they get in trouble and you and Daddy yell." I am not so sure about "yelling" but yes, it is definitely quieter with just two people here.
  • Robby brought the campers home a bit after 5. They soon found the neighbors and mostly stayed outside until we made them come in to eat supper. After supper, everyone went back out for a bit. Campbell and Keaton stayed out the longest and eventually had to be called in. Anderson didn't stay outside for long at all today. He is one that just needs a bit of downtime after an exciting day.
  • Once in for the night, the kids made their lunches for tomorrow. Whitman even packed his lunch for tomorrow even though I tried to explain that Grannymom was going to pick him up from VBS. He told me that he could just bring it, so I guess that we will.
  • At bedtime, I ran to Shannon's house to help her pack for a bit while Robby put the kiddos to bed. I think that they were all pretty tired tonight, and tomorrow is another early, early day.

July 8, 2018

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  • Campbell was by my bed at 3 this morning telling me that Keaton was sick upstairs. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I will lay in bed for 30 minutes trying to wake up enough to walk to the bathroom. However, this morning, and every other time someone, mainly Keaton, is sick, I just right up and hustle up the stairs.
  • She did make it to the bathroom floor so for that I am thankful. Thought the last few times she has been sick at home, she does just stand there over it until I get there. Now last time, she had pinned herself in and couldn't move without getting messy.  Last night however, she could have moved, but didn't which tickled me more than it should have at 3 am. 
  • Keaton must not have felt too bad because after a bit of sitting by the potty, she was ready to go downstairs. It took me a minute to clean up, but soon as I was making her a pallet by our bed. I then had to get her a towel and bag, just in case, along with some water and go to the bathroom myself. Then it took Keaton and me a while to go to sleep since Robby was snoring a bit. He never even heard all of the commotion last night.
  • Keaton slept well and felt fine when she woke up. We did have to scurry a bit this morning to make it to the church house on time. I think I am really looking forward to promotion Sunday when the schedule changes at church and we have an extra 15 minutes until church starts.
  • After church, we headed to Grannymom's house for lunch. She had oreo delight for dessert, which is the dessert which Graham has picked out for his birthday party dessert. The kids played outside, but then also headed to Dana's house to see her puppies.
  • We picked everyone up from her house and then drove home. It was raining by the time we made it home. We briefly cleaned out the car to get it ready for tomorrow's drove to Family Farm. I tried my best to hurry everyone along because I sure wanted to take my nap while the rain was beating upon the roof. 
  • I don't think I made it though, but I still did get a nap. We pretty much cleaned out the fridge for supper tonight. Everyone had plenty and I did clean out some of my fridge leftovers which was good. 
  • Once supper was over, everyone packed their lunches for tomorrow. Even Whitman packed a lunch so he still felt like everyone else. He will be gone in the morning as well for VBS at Immanuel. He will love it, but he is turning into a homebody and asks me each day if this is a stay at home day.
  • Some folks had showers tonight. Everyone joined us for watching a tv show before bed. Then it was finally bedtime for the crew. They have an early morning along with a very busy week!

July 7, 2018

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  • Robby and I were up early this morning-early for us on any day of the week but especially early on a Saturday. I was afraid that no one would be awake when we left the house, but by the time that we left, Anderson was awake.
  • Soon Whitman came down the stairs. He said that he wanted to take a nap with me so I jumped back in bed for a second. I did get him out of my bed by offering breakfast. I poured his milk, and then Robby, who was on the other side of the house, said that it was time to leave. By this time, Whitman had decided on waffles so I handed Anderson the box of waffles as I walked out the door.
  • When I returned, Whitman was sitting at the bar still eating his waffles that his big brother had made for him. There was a new Dollar General down the road, and since this was the grand opening, Robby and I went.
  • They were handing out 10 dollar gift cards to the first 50 in line. Robby and I were probably about 46th and 47th in line. We used Robby's gift card today plus a 5 off of 25 coupon so we spent about 10 bucks for 25 dollars worth of goodies. We will go back and do the same thing with my gift card and another coupon later.
  • I had even had a dream about the Dollar General grand opening except that they were giving away cinnamon rolls. In my dream, I watched a man stumble over chair after chair carrying away a huge tray of cinnamon rolls. They didn't have cinnamon rolls there today but they did have Little Debbies and some cokes. I think I would have liked cinnamon rolls better.
  • Back at home, after I emptied the dishwasher, I went outside to help Robby with the garage. We worked out there for quite a long while, The garage is really a never ending process. We also did a bit of bike repair on Keaton and Campbell's bikes. They came out and joined us for a bit and were quick to ride their bikes around as well.
  • Robby owed Graham a movie from the Super Bowl so today was the day that he cashed in on it. They went to a movie around lunch. While they were gone, Keaton, Campbell and I made cookies. I also tried to clean the grout on my bar but it didn't work as well as I had planned. My kitchen smells like bleach but it doesn't look like bleach has been scrubbed on the countertops though.
  • Once Graham came home, I put him back in the car along with Anderson to meet Cash to ride go-carts. Then they met us at the pool. This has been a busy day for Graham who said that he was exhausted first thing this morning. The big boys actually ended up spending the night at Cash's house tonight so I know that he really will be exhausted!
  • Everyone had lots of fun at the pool. The girls, except for Reagan, could have stayed longer. It was fairly windy tonight so it was coolish-much too cool for Robby or I to swim. This greatly disappointed Whitman because he wanted to practice!
  • After we dropped off the boys, we headed to David's Burgers. I don't remember that last time that we ate out there. When we lived on Gamble, we ate out a lot, but we don't eat out that much anymore. We do have quite a few pizza mystery shops, but there isn't a lot of going out to eat except for when we are on a trip. I thought my burger and fries were excellent tonight. The lady even gave the kids ice cream cones and Robby and I little samples. Our samples had tiny little spoons which the girls thought were the cutest things ever.
  • Once at home, the girls were delighted to see that Mr, Tony had left a surprise toy at our house. I believe that he was cleaning out his garage. When Whitman saw it, he exclaimed, "Oh my!" Everyone had a few rides on the driveway tonight. I may have taken more than my fair share of turns-which is quite obvious to me now since my legs are already sore!
  • When everyone came inside, we started on our showers for the evening. It didn't take long at all to run through them with two less kiddos. Campbell and Whitman passed out the cookies that we had made today while the laundry washed and we listened to fireworks all around us (people still think it is the 4th out here).

July 6, 2018

(click here for today's pictures)

  • The boys went walking with Robby this morning. Graham only made it around one time before he went in because his knee was bothering him. Now, his knee didn't seem to bother him any other time today. 
  • Keaton was the last one awake today. It was nearly 10:30 when she showed up downstairs. When Reagan came down before her, I started to worry that Keaton might be feeling a bit under the weather. Instead, she was just very well rested when she awoke.
  • This morning was filled with chores, a Jr. Ranger book, Whitman's school, reading, and a few math problems. Now, when we spend most of the morning leisurely doing these things, I start to wonder how we are able to fit a full days worth of school into the morning. I do realize that I am going to need to start waking up a lot earlier this year. It will be a bit tough to get in seventh grade and kindergarten.
  • Right before 12, we loaded up and headed to the pool for two hours. Our buddies were leaving at 2 so we just stayed 2 hours. That really is plenty for me, but it almost seems wasteful not to stay longer since you work so hard to get there and unload from it. 
  • Whitman practiced on his swimming again today. One minute I will think that he has it and the very next minute I am convinced that he will never learn how to swim. His "swimming" right now is very entertaining. He dives down to the bottom of the pool, then pushes himself up with his hands (it is just the 4 foot section) and then does it again and again. The only way for him to understand that won't work is to play "the floor is lava" and then he was able to swim a bit better.
  • After the pool, we went to Dairy Queen. Today was my first day to drive through for our blizzards. It was incredibly easy, and I'll probably be doing that from now on....but we do know everyone inside the restaurant, and they know us.
  • From there, we came home and unloaded the car. I ran on the treadmill and while I was upstairs the neighbors all came out so the kids spent a good amount of time playing outside. The boys had to be called in when it was time to head to their basketball practice. 
  • Robby took them and then ran to Kroger. My chicken spaghetti was in the oven for tonight's supper with the Wilson's and the green beans were on the stove. I was sitting looking at a magazine talking to Whitman when the lights went out. 
  • I didn't do anything at first, but then I did put the beans in the warm oven. The Wilsons were soon over, and Tony fired up the grill to cook their bread. Robby had just left the store when the boys called. Their power was out so Robby ran to pick them up. 
  • We ate supper-the food was still warm and the bread was grilled to perfection. Then Robby hooked up the generator so we could have some lights and fans for the evening. We started upstairs in the bonus room where the generator power is easiest to get to, but soon had to move the party and the cords to the living room.
  • The evening was so fun. I am not sure that Robby thought it was as fun as I did, but the kids will never forget it. We all hung out upstairs while they played games. They even did a bit of hide n seek in the dark upstairs. Later, everyone moved to downstairs. Tony even played the guitar while Whitman danced. It was just a good evening.
  • When the Wilson's left, we got the kids settled in downstairs with fans blowing on them. Robby plugged up the fridge inside and refilled the generator with gas. We were just walking down the hallway to our room when "pop" on goes the lights. 
  • We moved the kids back upstairs. Then Robby picked up the outside stuff while I tried to work on the inside stuff. There were blankets, sleeping bags, flashlights, miles of extension cords, fans, and plenty of other things to pick up! It didn't take too long and the rest we will do in the morning.
  • Robby was just about to get in the shower after all of this but saw a huge spider. He killed it with a shoe, and then noticed many, many tiny spiders crawling around everywhere. I grabbed the bug spray, and he went to town spraying. It was quite an adventure as well!
  • The house is cool again and spider free right now! And since we have already had ice cream, I guess that it is time for bed!

July 5, 2018



    (click here for today's pictures)

    • Even though I stayed in bed as long as I could, Campbell and Whitman joined me trying to get me up. Campbell needed help with the computer, and Whitman needed someone to pour him some milk. I suggested his big brothers to help with his milk, but they were upstairs.
    • The morning wasn't too eventful. The kids worked on their Jr. Ranger books. They did some reading or at least, I hope that they did some reading. 
    • While I was on the treadmill, I am pretty sure that nothing productive happened. When I finished, it was then chore time. It didn't take long for everyone to finish their list. Then we worked on making our lunches. We have a ton of lunch meat leftover from the lake. However, try as I might, I can't give it away! I only had one taker at lunch today. They made paninis, spaghetti, grilled cheese but practically nothing with lunch meat!
    • When lunch was finished, Whitman and I worked on riding his bike for just a few minutes. It was too hot to work too long. Then the Heltz girls came over to play for the afternoon. I pretty quickly kicked them out of the house since Robby was on a phone call.
    • They all played outside for most of the time. The neighbors came down along with a 5 year old boy they are babysitting. Whitman enjoyed meeting and playing with a new buddy. The others played kickball, shot fireworks, played tether ball and hung around outside all afternoon. I did let them get popsicles and passed out 1 oreo per person. Yes, just one oreo since I didn't want to have to open another package!
    • Candice came and picked up her crew around supper time. When they left, we picked up, and soon afterwards Robby had our supper heated up-leftover pizza. We ate and then the kids started running through the showers.
    • After Whitman's shower, he told me that he almost "pooped in the shower, but I sucked it back up." I encouraged him to sit on the potty for a bit. Afterwards, I flushed and as he watched it, he started shouting, "Oh no, oh no, it doesn't fit!" and yes, we had to flush twice.
    • Once everyone was through we their showers, we watched a little bit of the Bates before sending everyone off to bed.

    July 4, 2018-Happy Independence Day!

    (click here for today's pictures)

    • Graham was ready to go walking this morning. He was in our room around 7:30 asking when they were going to go. I reminded him that this was a holiday! By then though we were awake so Anderson, Graham and Robby soon headed on their walk. I did the laundry and dishes while they were gone.
    • When they arrived home, Robby took the girls for their go around. Surprisingly, Robby said that Campbell complained the least of everyone. However, when they walked in, her face was bright red matching the color of Robby's shirt. 
    • I had already told Whitman that he would go on his walk later in the day, but when Robby came in with the girls, he told Whitman to put on his shoes. He wasn't too thrilled about going and told us that he just wanted to go on a short walk. Campbell walked with them, and they were all rewarded with popsicles after their walk.
    • When they came in, everyone loaded up to go to the pool for the afternoon. The Heltz and Kamps were there. The kids swam until lunch time. They had hot dogs, chips and lots of desserts. Everyone had plenty. The kids just love the picnic at the pool.
    • Robby and I even got in the pool a little bit today. He let Whitman swim some. That boy goes so deep in that pool that he wastes all of his energy doing that. I am beginning to think he will ever get it! 
    • We stayed until 3 and then headed to Grannymom's house for a little bit. Robby worked on some pictures while we played dominoes, Candy Land and even started another game. From there, we headed home for dry clothes.
    • After my shower, I sat down on the couch with Whitman to do his reading book. Then I showed him a movie on the ipad and snoozed during the entire show. It was the best sleep ever, but when I woke up, it was time to leave.
    • We then headed over to the Wilson's house for supper and fireworks. Their neighbor and Tony had both made some meat and Shannon had a ton of dips. There were plenty of desserts, and everyone was stuffed when we started the Baggo tournament outside.
    • Keaton was on my team with their neighbor lady. We did decent-now, we could have done much better but we could have done much worse. Reagan and Graham lost to Brett and Layne in the finals. 
    • After the tournament, it was time for fireworks and homemade ice cream. The fireworks were good but by the end, the kids were playing in the yard barely glancing up at the fireworks. They all fun though. It was after 11 when we made it home, so it was showers and bedtime!
    • I try to never miss an opportunity with the kids to instruct them about something. We are currently listening to a book on tape where the neighbor is an alcoholic, and it is destroying his family and life. That isn't the main part of the book, but it is in there. So yesterday on the way home, I stopped the tape and once again discussed the benefits of alcohol (few), the dangers of alcohol (many), our view on it and the Bible's view on alcohol. Since I have a wide range of ages, I am sure that my littles hear more than they need, but my bigs need to hear this stuff now. All of that to say, I realized that even Whitman is intently listening because tonight as he was holding his drink, he said, "Let's just pretend I am drinking alcohol." 

    July 3, 2018

    (click here for today's pictures)

    • There wasn't walking this morning because Robby had to scurry off to a dentist appointment. He was less than thrilled to be having a root canal, but also a bit thrilled because hopefully this will help his constant tooth pain which has been nagging him for a year or more. (And if you are keeping track of our no-spend month that would be air conditioner repair, root canal, and filling up both cars with gas in two days! We possibly should have "spend month," and maybe we wouldn't spend anything.)
    • My morning didn't start off great. I put my contacts in and kept having trouble seeing. I would struggle to see anything. The clock, my phone, far or close, it didn't matter. I would have to really focus to read anything. I was convinced that my eyesight had just become poor overnight. They say that happens when you turn 40. I was getting a bit bummed, but I was about ready to call the eye doctor. I decided to take them out and try another pair. When I did, I realized that I had two pairs of contacts in. Yep, I forgot to take them out last night and put my new pair right on top. I was extremely relieved!
    • Early this morning the girls wrote about going to the pool. I still had 4 people asleep at the time so we didn't make it to the pool until after 11. My big 3 weren't crazy about going to the pool, but I didn't give them much of a choice. (We are going to to the pool tomorrow too so they will probably love that as well!)
    • Reagan was the last one awake this morning and was just able to do her math before we left. She was actually still making her lunch while the rest of us were sitting in the car waiting to leave.
    • The pool was pretty full this morning. The kids all had fun though despite the crowd. Whitman constantly wants for me to swim with him so he can take off his life jacket. He is fairly close to getting the swimming thing, but gracious he scares me. I swam with him a little bit today, but the last hour, I always want to dry off and not get wet. 
    • On the way home, we ran by Dairy Queen. Reagan and Anderson ordered the new blizzard-a cherry blizzard with soft serve ice cream and a star popsicle on top. It looked really pretty, but I don't think either one of them were very crazy about the blizzard part of it.
    • The kids finished their chores and put on dry clothes when we came home. At one point in the afternoon one neighbor was out so the girls and Graham played with him. Then the other neighbors came out for just a little bit, and they played with them. I was in the bonus room for most of this. For the first part, I was finishing a puzzle upstairs. I did finish it but am missing the very last piece. I have looked everywhere. Then I did do some treadmill time while the kids were still outside.
    • Robby came home with supper, and everyone ate. Campbell helped me make some cookies tonight. She was anxious to get in the kitchen since Keaton had made chocolate dipped Oreos and decorated them for the 4th earlier today. 
    • After the kids' showers, we settled in to watch a tv show and eat a few cookies. The Wilson fam came over with Sonic shakes for all of us. This caused much delight at our house. Soon the living room was littered with empty Sonic cups. Whitman was too engrossed in his movies so he didn't even try his. I worked on some of it and then Robby finished it off. It was a perfect treat to our day.

    July 2, 2018

    (click here for today's pictures)

    • The boys were anxious to go on their walk with Robby this morning. They didn't leave at the crack of dawn or anywhere near it, but it still must have been pretty hot because Anderson and Graham both came back nasty and sweaty.
    • I think that everyone slept well downstairs, though Campbell did come to me complaining about her ear in the middle of the night. I told her that we would get drops in the morning, and then when I woke up I felt incredibly guilty about that. I am pretty sure that she still slept well. I think that she may have a touch of swimmers ear so hopefully it will get better soon.
    • The air conditioner repairman was here bright and early. It took him a bit to figure out what was wrong since it was working well when they turned it on this morning. He did eventually figure it out, and thankfully it was a low cost fix. Low cost is a relative term especially since this is supposed to be a no spend month! Oh, well, I guess that the air fix will be much less than Robby's root canal tomorrow. 
    • At some point this morning, Robby did take Whitman on a little walk. He didn't think that he could keep up with the others. Now, while Robby was gone with Anderson and Graham, I heard the chime from the door. I knew it wasn't the walkers back, so I jumped out of bed. I met Whitman walking back in the house. He told me that he was looking for Robby because he forgot what he said to do. I was afraid that he was going to go and try to find him somewhere on the street.
    • The kids had to read and do some math problems today, but I let them do chores right before we needed to leave to meet our buddies. I guess they were rushed because nothing was done with excellence. I was pretty frustrated on the way to the pool, and I am sure they will be a bit frustrated in the morning when chores will be done early in the day.
    • We met all of our buddies at the pool around 1 and stayed until 4. They all had fun playing despite the heat. I worked with Whitman on his swimming. He has no fear and would try to dart out of my arms. I didn't let him stay out of his life jacket for too long. 
    • Once we made it back home, the kids vegged for a bit. Around 5:30, Campbell, Keaton and I left for the library. They were having a bracelet making class. We all made a 4th of July bracelet. Campbell and Keaton were very meticulous on the beads that they used. Their bracelets turned out really cute.
    • On the way home, we stopped by Nonna and Pops' house to pick up a few things. Then on our way home, we almost hit ourselves a precious baby deer. I had to brake pretty good for the momma but then the baby came running across the road. I thought I had hit him at first since I couldn't see him since he was so close to the car and my basket full of books tumbled into the floor.
    • The kids were outside playing with the neighbors when we came home, and Robby was inspecting the Wilson's new ride. Everyone else had already eaten so the girls and I ate and then they headed back outside to play. 
    • Everyone stayed out until after 9. They came in hot and bug bitey. Everyone had their showers and then they were finally able to sleep in their own cool beds!

    July 1, 2018

    (click here for today's pictures)

    • Since waking up this morning meant the end of the weekend getaway, Robby and I were in no hurry to wake up and get moving. Whitman joined us bed at some point in the night. Whenever he is in bed with us, I must not move at all and wake up so incredibly stiff. 
    • When we did start stirring, we quickly put on our clothes and started passing out breakfasts to the kids and loading up. It didn't take long to gather all of our stuff from the house. Robby did work on filling up the ice chests which took a while. We did go with 4 ice chests, but only came home with 3 full ones! 
    • Campbell and Keaton rode home with Grannymom and Grandpa. When we picked them up, they mentioned that their car ride home was quiet. We also had already discussed how our car ride home was quiet. 
    • On the car ride home, we did watch as our van rolled over to 100,000 miles. While discussing this, we realized that our van has also been to 48 states. Not too shabby. Robby's car has 350,000 miles so hopefully the van can get half as many!
    • When we made it home, the kids really helped unload the car and put everything away. Robby said that when they had almost finished working on the car, Anderson told him that he wanted to cut the front yard. Robby got the lawnmower out for Anderson, and it didn't take too long for Anderson to mow the front yard. 
    • When he had finished that, Robby got out the big mower, and he mowed with it some too. Of course, Graham wanted in on all of this. He mowed some too until it was time for Robby to cut the boys' hair.
    • We are not really sure why Anderson volunteered to mow. We assume it was due to his work on the mission trip. Hopefully, some of that will stick around for a bit. As for his sister...bless! Tonight at supper, we were having leftover breakfast items. She said she didn't like breakfast at supper and didn't want anything. That was fine with me-more for the rest of us. I did make her set there and watch us eat. 
    • Then Robby told the kids that he wanted to try to start walking each morning. Some days he would walk with the boys and other days the girls. Reagan must have thought that this was a punishment because this news nearly caused her to start crying. I like to think that the child is just plumb exhausted...at least that is what I hope it is!
    • We had planned on going to the pool this evening, but the afternoon rain shower and lingering booms of thunder made us skip. We will go tomorrow though. Candice wrote tonight just as the kids had gone out to play with the neighbors. Robby and I walked down to their house for a bit. On the way home, Robby did say that I couldn't walk on Lawson by myself much-especially at night!
    • While we were gone, Whitman went outside with the others. I think that the fireworks or the other kids caused him to get a bit spooked. Keaton even wrote me saying that he was scared. We were almost back home when she wrote, but he was sure happy to see us!
    • Tonight, all the kids but Reagan are sleeping in the living room. Reagan is in her bed. Unfortunately, when we came home the upstairs air wasn't working. We hoped it was just having to work really hard to cool off the upstairs since Robby had turned it off. That wasn't it! Since it wasn't cooling it down any, we hoped that it was the Entergy thing where they can turn off your air. That wasn't it! Then Robby tried the flipping all of the breaker switches hoping that was it. That wasn't it either! A repairman is coming in the a.m. so hopefully, it is an easy (and cheap) fix!

    June 30, 2018

    (click here for today's pictures)

    • Everyone slept well until 5 this morning. That is when I woke up with Reagan by my bed telling me that Keaton threw up. I beelined upstairs to see Keaton sitting on the bed in a puddle with Lilly just getting out of the same bed. 
    • They said that when Lilly understood that Keaton had thrown up, her first words were, "what? on me?" I ushered Keaton to the bathroom and ripped the sheets off of the bed. Graham, my kind child, told Lilly that she could sleep in his bed, and he went to get bedding for himself from my room.
    • Robby helped Graham find a new spot while I helped Keaton shower. When she was in the shower, I shoved the comforter in the little washing machine. 
    • Now, Keaton wasn't too upset as she can often be after getting sick. She did say whine about taking a shower at 5 in the morning, and she was about to cry when she saw her dirty pajamas. She exclaimed that she didn't have anymore either. We put on comfy clothes after her shower that she could go back to sleep in, and I promised her that her pjs would be clean by tonight. 
    • After her shower, she laid down in our room and was soon asleep. Her tummy never bothered her again so hopefully it was just the lake water. 
    • It took Robby and I a bit longer to fall asleep but we were still awake around 7. We laid in bed for a long while since not too many folks were awake.
    • When we did wake up, we started on our breakfast duty. First, I did run to change the wash out from the comforter to the sheets and Keaton's pjs. By the time I made it to the kitchen, Robby had the sausage cooking. We put the cinnamon rolls in the oven and sliced the strawberries. Soon Robby was flipping chocolate chip pancakes. 
    • That was already quite a breakfast spread but when we pulled out Les' bacon and biscuits from yesterday, we had a feast. We ate, cleaned up the kitchen and then everyone put on their bathing suits.
    • There had been some discussion about where we were going to go today. Robby had made it clear to the kids that they would not be jumping off of the cliffs. However, once he saw everything and deemed it okay, they were indeed jumping off of the cliffs.
    • Thankfully, Dana had a life jacket so Keaton was able to jump. Whitman didn't have any fear. Now, Campbell, who wouldn't tube yesterday, worked up enough courage to jump from a pretty tall cliff. 
    • Robby did take my big 3 and the others to an even larger cliff that some of them did. Climbing back up was the hard part so that adventure didn't last too long.
    • We had to park a long ways away from the beach area so my wagon came in super handy. Once we were there, the cliffs were on one side and the beach was on the other. The kids enjoyed the beachy area and the water just as much. 
    • Since we drove about 30 minutes to get there, it was soon lunch time. We all ate, sunscreened up and went out again. We stayed until about 3:30 when we all made the treks back to our cars.
    • Back at the house, we all cycled through the showers-it takes a bit to get all 18 of us clean with just 3 showers, but thankfully the hot water works quite well. 
    • We then drove back to where we were today to eat at Mack's Fish House. We had to wait a few minutes, but were soon at a table. The food was really good, and the hush puppies just kept coming to the table. 
    • The drive back to the house was much quicker or so it seemed. The kids played in the garage so it was kind of quiet in the house. Around 10ish everyone started heading to bed. 
    • Graham opted to sleep in our room tonight since it was a bit warm upstairs. He is actually sleeping in our closet since it is a little tight in our room. We have bags and ice chests on all of the walls in our room. I figure that it was just easier to keep most of the kids' bags in our room rather than spread out around the house. 
    • It was pretty fun trip and the kids will have a ton of memories. I am pretty sure that they will be exhausted for a few days after we do get home tomorrow.

    June 29, 2018

    (click here for today's pictures)

    • Robby and I went to bed last night not remembering if this morning was our breakfast morning or it tomorrow would be our breakfast day. I checked the email, and we were both relieved to see that it is tomorrow. That just means that we will have to wake up a bit earlier than usual tomorrow.
    • Les' breakfast will be hard to beat though-sausage, bacon, biscuits and eggs. Plus he had bought a package of assorted cinnamon rolls from Sams just like we had. Again, we have enough food to be snowed in up here.
    • It wasn't long after breakfast until we headed to the boat dock to catch our ride for the day. The boat that they rented had a slide and was able to pull a tube. 
    • I somehow ended up on the first go around on the boat. Les was the driver and drove us to a cove where the kids could slide and jump off the edge. The first time Keaton and Campbell went down the slide, they swam back to the boat as fast as they could. After a few slides they figured it all out though. 
    • Everyone that wanted to tube had a chance on the morning run on the boat. Reagan is a speed demon and loved going fast. The boys were just like her and enjoyed speeding around on the tube. 
    • We could never get Campbell on the tube. We encouraged, but she wouldn't do it. Even though we promised that they would go slow, she just was a bit too scared. I hate that because I sure don't want for the kids to miss out on something because they are scared. 
    • Now Keaton was timid too and even though she saw the boat circle around time after time to pick up whoever was in the water, when she fell off the tube she panicked. Robby was driving this time and said that he had to pass Reagan by in the water to get to Keaton faster. Even later in the day, Shelley tried to tube with her, but the boat was going so slow for them that they fell off. Shelley said that she stayed right with Keaton but she was still a bit upset. However, tonight when we were going around saying that our favorite part of the day was, Keaton told me that it was the tube. She told the group that it was the slide.
    • And that leaves Whitman, the child who should be scared of the water since he is just 5. Nope. He got on with Josh first. Because of the weight different, Josh flew off. We tried again with Josh on behind Whitman, and Whitman kept giving the thumbs up sign to go faster. Later in the day, Robby said that even Whitman was jumping off the top of the boat into the water.
    • We squatted at a nearby lake house and had lunch there. Robby, Dana and Grandpa didn't ride on the boat the first outing and brought lunch over. Everyone enjoyed the lunch spread but were soon ready to get back in the boat.
    • After lunch, Campbell stayed back for one boat trip along with Graham. They played in the water at the edge of the lake. Then the next time Keaton stayed back with us. I didn't go on the boat in the afternoon so I put away lunch and watched the kids playing in the water. 
    • Now, despite varying degrees of sunburn (Whitman the least, Graham or Anderson the most), the kids had a blast today. They loved tubing, jumping in the lake and the slide was a bit hit with the kids and adults. I do think that they especially enjoyed being with their cousins.
    • After taking the boat back, everyone came back to the house and started on showers. Robby ran to the store twice-he forgot toilet paper the first time! 
    • By the time he made it back, it was time for supper. Dana had taco salad for the crew. She had 9 pounds of meat just in case we were super hungry. We put a pretty dent in the meat. 
    • After super, we continued to graze all evening long. We played a few rounds of bingo (I won a toothbrush and toothpaste!), Josh played a few songs on his guitar, the kids had a water balloon fight and everyone enjoyed hearing stories of the Dennie family Aculpoco trip many, many years ago.
    • Soon it was bedtime for everyone. I guess hanging out on the lake and in the sun all day can make you a bit tired!

    June 28, 2018

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    • Campbell and all of her birthday party guests were up early this morning. Robby was already starting on breakfast when I rolled out of bed. Soon we had breakfast on the table for all of the girls.
    • The girls played outside some and were all of the house most of the morning. I was a bit scattered as I tried to clean and pack with all of the girls running around. 
    • At 10, we loaded up to take all of the guests back home. Two little girls were excited about riding in the big van and were hoping that they were going to be the last ones dropped off so they could stay in the van longer. 
    • My rounds took me an hour and when we came home, there was just about 30 minutes until it was time for Campbell and Keaton to grab themselves some lunch. 
    • We again loaded up and headed to the other side of town. Before we got very far, I picked up Graham, who had spent the night at Brett's house. Then I had to run back home to pick up my phone and Graham's shoes. Next up was picking up a little girl to ride with us. Then finally we made it to the other side of town. 
    • I dropped off the basketball folks and then dropped off Whitman at Grannymom's house so he could ride with them to the lake. Back at home, Robby and I packed up all of our stuff. 
    • It didn't seem like much longer until it was time to pick up Reagan and Anderson from church. Now, Anderson was happy to see me and even gave me a hug when he saw me. They helped unload, and then we headed home.
    • Anderson talked the entire way home. He told me all about it while Reagan used very few words. She must have been tired because she slept in the car some on the way to the lake. Late tonight though Reagan did start opening up and talking about the trip.
    • Soon the basketball players were home, and we loaded up in the car. We headed to meet the rest of the Dennie crew at Heber Springs. We stopped for super at Taco Bell. It was the same spot that Robby had thrown his keys in the trash can many years before. I watched him carefully to make sure that he held on to his keys this time.
    • We found the house easily and soon unloaded our supplies. We brought enough food for at least 2 weeks so the back of the van was stuffed full of stuff. I guess it isn't a party without plenty of food. 
    • We listened to the end of the Hogs game, and then we consoled ourselves with ice cream sundaes. The kids played games and a massive game of hide and seek as we waited on the Mississippi Dennies to arrive.

    June 27, 2018-Happy Half Birthday (Party) Campbell!

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    • This morning started off with someone saying something that I was going to put on the blog. I even picked up my phone to write it down so I would remember it, but I thought, "nah, I'll remember it." I didn't! I don't even remember who said it!
    • I do know this though, I am too tired to think straight. I have about 14 things half finished downstairs, but I am currently sitting in the bonus room. I came up here so I could shush the girls until they all went to sleep. I think that most of them are asleep now, but my leg just went to sleep so I would fell down the stairs if I tried to leave right now!
    • Everyone was up fairly early this morning. I have been a slacker and not made everyone read or do their math this week. I guess that is because Reagan and Anderson are away, and I feel like that just wouldn't be right to make the others do work. Of course, that is wrong, and I really should have made them work!
    • Everyone slept all night in their little tent. Surprisingly, they even slept a bit longer than usual. Whitman was the first one that we saw. He was checking to see if they could get their breakfast and eat it in the living room. During the school year, we all eat together so he is still not quite sure of the summer routine yet. 
    • When I made it to the living room, Whitman, Keaton and Campbell were playing with magnets, eating breakfast in the tent while Graham was playing the xbox. It didn't take too long for some of the kids to head outside to play with the neighbors. 
    • After reading with Whitman, it was soon time to call everyone in for some chores. Those I am still making them do even though the others are away. Campbell packed and everyone else emptied the trash and helped me pick up. 
    • Before too long it was time for them to head to their basketball camp. Let me just pause and tell about today's mission trippers. I don't really know much-I did see pictures of them in a church house, pictures of them getting a smoothie, a video of lots of people clapping on a table, and a video of them singing in front of the shower trailers. I am sure they have had a blast, and know that they will not be ready to come home. I also hope that they have worked hard this week!
    • Around 3, I started picking up birthday party guests-first Zoey from her house, then Abigail, Anna and Laynie from church. Finally, I picked up the half birthday girl, Campbell and Keaton from basketball practice. 
    • Afterwards, we went to Altitude. Those girls were tired within 10 minutes of jumping. I tried to hold off on passing out their snacks, but they acted like they hadn't eaten in weeks. They would have been able to jump for 2 hours but they made it over 90 minutes when they asked to go. 
    • That was fine with me because 90 minutes is a long time to just set. I had read, played on my phone, walked around and had finally planted myself in front of a tv to watch the start of the Hogs game when the girls decided to leave.
    • Robby already had the pizza when we made it home. They nibbled on  a few pieces of pizza (we had 3 leftover pizzas) but they gobbled down at least a pound of strawberries. By the I had finished picking up the kitchen, the grandparents and Jason arrived.
    • Campbell couldn't wait to open her presents-she received some art supplies, bath bombs, lip gloss, glitter pens, a little fitbit and a game. She was super excited about all of her gifts. Afterwards, we had cupcakes. Campbell and I had made them, and they were really great-possibly due to the super tall icing which was super sweet. 
    • Again I cleaned the kitchen and then it was time for bath bomb making. It was halfway a success and halfway a fail. I was still pretty pleased. The girls had fun making them so that is really all that matters. Whitman could not wait to take a bath to put his in the bathtub. 
    • They had a few minutes to play before starting the movie. I brought up snacks in the middle of the movie. At some point neat the end of the Hogs game, Shannon and Brett came by. They picked up Graham to come over and watch the end of the Hogs game and spend the night. He was happy to leave this girl filled house!
    • Whitman stayed up until after 10:30. I asked him if he wanted to sleep in his room or in ours. He said that he wanted to sleep in the floor of his room. That is where he is right now, but we doubt that will last. 
    • Once the movie was over, it took the girls a bit to calm down and go to sleep. They thought they heard something outside the window. I showed them that the their was nothing and that the window was locked. Eventually I could hear them whispering that it was probably a cat. I am sure that a cat jumped on the second floor window! 
    • They are all finally asleep, I hope at least. I am headed to bed pretty soon as well!

    June 26, 2018

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    • We were up and ready to go early again this morning, though not as early. We might have been up earlier had we not had a guest in our bed last night. I don't remember Whitman climbing into bed with us, though Robby does and said that his heart was just pounding when he vaulted into our bed. I realized that he was in our bed when I felt something on top of me. I shoved it off, thinking that it was Robby, but then realized it was Whitman and pulled him back off of Robby.
    • Robby didn't last too long in the bed since Whitman was really tossing and turning. He ended up in Whitman's bed, which later Graham told me scared him. He said that he looked up and a big man was sleeping in Whitman's bed. It took him a bit to realize that it was his daddy.
    • Soon Robby took Campbell and Keaton to basketball camp. They were excited, but Keaton was a bit nervous. Soon Robby called telling me that they had moved the girls to the afternoon session. Now, this would have been good to know since the next three days were already planned out including Campbell's birthday party start time. 
    • By the time Robby and the girls made it home, I had rescheduled all of her birthday party friend pick ups. We had talked about swimming this afternoon while Graham was at camp, so Campbell asked to go this morning.
    • The neighbors were already out so as soon as Keaton and Campbell made it home, they headed outside with Graham. They all played outside for a good while. Then Campbell and Whitman headed to the pool for a little bit. They are my fish and love the water.
    • We picked Campbell up from the pool right before their basketball camp time. Keaton didn't have to be too nervous since Campbell is in her group. I made it home from the library about the time Robby and Whitman arrived back home as well. 
    • After reading to Whitman for a bit, it was soon time to turn around and pick up the basketball players. Once they were home, they all headed outside along with Whitman. Between the neighbors, their cousins and friends at one time there were 16 kiddos in the street.
    • Campbell and Keaton did come in for a little bit to ice her cupcakes. 
    • At supper, we made the girls come in since they were the only ones still out. Afterwards, they went out again with Whitman since they could see neighbors playing in the water. Whitman didn't last too long outside and soon was back in taking his second shower of the day.
    • From supper on, we spent our time watching the Hogs game. At some point, Graham gave up on the game and joined girls outside. They played outside until it was 9:30. When they walked in the door, I asked if they were coming in. Campbell was quick to tell me that I called them. I had not left the couch, but I guess it was time to come in. 
    • On the way down, Graham fell off of his bike and scratched himself up pretty good. He went in the shower so he could wash off his scratches. After doctoring them, he was fine especially since he was able to see the Hogs win. 
    • Then it was time for bed. I had told the kids that they could sleep in their fort tonight. So the girls and Whitman are in there and Graham is on the couch. Meanwhile, we are quietly eating cookie dough in our bed!

    June 25, 2018

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    • It was 6:00 when I heard Reagan hop out of her bed. It wasn't too much longer until I heard her start her blender making her breakfast smoothie. She had asked last night if she could make a smoothie this morning, and I laughed at her saying that she could certainly do that if she woke up on time. Remember, she is my child that could sleep until noon.
    • It was seconds later that Anderson walked into my room asking if he needed to do anything. Clothes? Teeth? Breakfast? were my questions. He had done all of those so he headed to the xbox. 
    • Graham and then Keaton were next. They wanted to know if they could go with me to drop Reagan and Anderson off. I agreed that they could and before too long we were headed towards the church house. 
    • Reagan and Anderson loaded their luggage in the trailer and found their buddies. They group prayed, and then loaded up on the buses. I was happy to see who Anderson was sitting beside since I greatly worry about him following the crowd. 
    • When they drove off, Keaton, Graham and I headed home. Campbell was also awake when we left, but she didn't want to come. Robby did say that he couldn't figure out why Whitman was so content by himself. He later realized that Campbell was here "taking care" of him.
    • I was able to accomplish quite a bit this morning since my day started at the crack of dawn. I packed for this weekend, worked on a grocery list, did some laundry and even decided to take the girls and Whitman swimming.
    • We went to the pool around 11. At noon, my people ate a bite of lunch before swimming some more. Robby, Graham and Brett showed up soon after our lunch. As soon as they walked in, I walked out and headed to the store.
    • I did some speed grocery shopping. Once I put up my groceries, I did do some treadmill time. As soon as I had finished, Robby and the swimmers came home. They played on the xbox some and played outside for a good while. 
    • Around 5, everyone came inside. My crew showered and then settled in with supper to watch the Hogs play. The game was postponed due to rain so it was a fairly quiet night. Actually, it was so quiet that Graham fell asleep watching tv. Whitman looked exhausted as he watched his movies. Keaton fell asleep by me and when I got of the couch, Campbell laid down and went to sleep. This was all by 8! Needless to say, bedtime was before 9, and we didn't have any complaints!

    June 24, 2018

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    • Everyone, except for Whitman, was already awake this morning. Not only were they awake, but they were also dressed. As soon as I was dressed, I took Anderson upstairs to do some speed packing for the mission trip. 
    • Soon we were leaving for church. Whitman again sat with Grannymom this morning. Campbell's class is working on saying all of the books of the Bible. She easily said them all today and was pretty proud of herself.
    • We ate lunch at Grannymom's house. She had taco salad which is one of my favorites. The kids played for a bit and then we headed home. Not much happened at home this afternoon. Reagan did pack her bags. She was determined not to take a ton of stuff so she has shoved her air mattress in her bag and is taking a sheet and blanket instead of a sleeping bag. Now, Anderson doesn't have much to bring but when you have to bring your bedding stuff, it quickly adds up.
    • At 5, we loaded up, picked up the Heltz' girls, and headed to the pool. The kids all had fun at the pool and played the entire three house stopping only long enough to eat pizza for supper. 
    • While at the pool, Whitman did get some wet pine needles and painted with them on the concrete. He said, "I am painting the door with blood." I do believe that he has the Bible story of Passover down!
    • It was about to storm so the pool closed a few minutes early which was fine because we didn't want to get caught in the storm. At least where we were, there was not much to it. We dropped off the girls and then headed home. 
    • The kids all had showers, and then it was bedtime for the crew. Reagan and Anderson have to be at church at 7 in the morning!

    June 23, 2018

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    • Whitman was the first one in our room this morning. He wanted to watch our tv. Of course that was quickly denied. He left and a few minutes later, I could hear him calling me. He needed me to help him glue to roof on his cardboard house. I jumped on out of the bed so he wouldn't wake up the rest of the sleeping people.
    • Graham and Campbell were also up early, but we didn't hear much from them. Reagan was next to last to wake up, and Cash didn't wake up until much later. The kids had already been outside playing some when he finally did make it down.
    • Robby and Campbell had ran to pick up doughnuts for breakfast. Everyone ate a few before taking their many turns on the xbox. Quite a bit of the morning was spent outside playing with the neighbors.
    • Reagan and I ran a few errands. We had a return at Lowe's because my simple cabinet hinge replacement didn't turn out to be that simple at all. Then to Goodwill to see what we could see. Reagan did find a tshirt. The next stop was Target where we bought a bathing suit for Reagan. She still needs a swim shirt, but we are half way there at least. 
    • Next up was a run through Marshalls followed by some shopping at Kroger. We had tons of coupons and made out like bandits! Once at home, I unloaded the groceries while Robby was working on lunch for everyone. It was nearly 2:30 so everyone was pretty hungry.
    • After lunch, the kids played outside some-they had already picked up the house since there was a giant nerf gun war while we were gone. Soon, we were picking up again though and putting on swim suits for the pool. 
    • The pool wasn't too crowded, but the kids enjoyed playing with Cash. In the middle of our time there, Robby ran to Kroger to buy some more cereal but also to bring back popsicles for everyone. We stayed for 2 hours, and then headed home.
    • Everyone had showers while I worked on making some more English muffin pizzas. They were a hit the other day, so Robby bought some more English muffins. I would actually like to put an egg and sausage on one of those, but they are all gone now. 
    • We watched the baseball game as everyone ate. The kids all seemed pretty talkative tonight, and I was asked at least a zillion questions during the game. I don't know how you train people to just be quiet and not constantly talk. Maybe I should wear earphones like Reagan to drown out all of the noise. 
    • After watching most of the ballgame, it was finally bedtime for the crew. We will see how sleepy they are, because if they are awake they are about to hear me pull the leftover oreo delight out of the freezer.

    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!