May 21, 2019-Great Lakes Day 3

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Last night as we were watching the last little bit of tv, Whitman left his sleeping bag spot and climbed in our bed. He wanted to lay between us for the last little bit of the show. That was fine since there was just about 10 minutes left. I cuddled up with him and soon we both had a little catnap.

Robby hoisted Whitman off our bed and onto his pallet on the floor. He slept there until about 6 this morning when he crawled back in between us. He was still just as cuddly so we snoozed on even after Robby had gotten up and was getting his shower.

It took us a bit longer to get around this morning, but we still had time for our breakfast. Breakfast was better today than yesterday-they had granola. Now, we also smuggled out some nutella, paper plates and silverware which mortified Reagan even though she helped bring the plates upstairs. We didn’t take anything excessive but only just a few-Robby had to explain that we could have used those at breakfast so we weren’t stealing.

It was just a short drive to the Lincoln Museum in Springfield. Robby and I were here with Grannymom and Granpda when I was pregnant with Reagan in 2005. The museum was still just as impressive. When you enter we took pictures with statues of Lincoln and his family.

They had two really neat movies in the museum. They were more like plays or even Disney type movies so they kept everyone’s attention. Now, the most interesting fact that I have learned over the past two days is that the Lincoln’s did not discipline their children. The little boys seemed to wreak havoc where ever they were. Now, also there is that interesting story about Robert Lincoln havin his mother, Mary Todd, declared insane. However, the letters that she had written during this time he desperately tried to destroy. I wonder why-was he trying to hide something?

It was pretty chilly this morning-we all put on our pants and jackets. I still could have used another layer though. It was also windy as we walked across the street to another part of the museum. It was a train depot that commemorated the transcontinental railroad. There wasn’t much to that little area but Anderson and Whitman enjoyed playing with the Thomas the trains that were set up.

From there we ate at Cozy Dog Drive In which is located on Route 66. We had our fill of corndogs, hot dogs and fries. Most everyone didn’t really like the corn dog batter as much as the batter of regular corn dogs. (I couldn’t really taste a difference though!) It was a fun little stop and we ended up buying about 2 too many corndogs.

We knew we had a drive ahead of us so we pottied before loading up on. The Windy City was our next sop, but it was super windy on our drive there. Robby struggled a few times to keep us in our lane as the wind blew and blew. He had to have two hands on the steering wheel most of the time,

We listened to some of our book in the car before passing out ipads. Of course, everyone had a coke to drink since we just had water in the restaurant. Those drinks added up to two bathroom stops. That was fine though since it was nice to stretch our legs for a little bit. One of the stops was at a reststop that had a playground so he kids ran to play on it for just seconds as Robby walked to the car. When he honked, they all came running as fast as they could to the car.

Traffic slowed as we neared Chicago. Our hotel tonight is near the hotel which is outside of town but the traffic was still a mess. Robby and I worked a bit on the drive trying to figure out how to best get us to the ballgame tonight.

All off of our figuring went up in smoke-well, kind of. We made it to the hotel just fine and quickly unloaded because we knew that getting to the game would take an hour or two no matter how we would get there. The original plan was to drive to a metro station that we could park at and ride the train in or to drive to the Cubs parking lot and ride their buses to the stadium.

When Robby was checking in, the hotel clerk said that he could take the hotel shuttle to the train line and it would take us to the game. She called the shuttle driver for us and then gave Robby the printed directions-well, hers included the shuttle, the train, a bus and the train again. We were about to change our minds and head to the car when the shuttle arrived and the lady told Robby that we could do it with no problem. She was from the South and commented on our manners (yes ma’ams) so we trusted her judgement.

Our hotel was almost to O’hare so we had about 15 stops (seriously) until we changed trains. Then we had about 6 or 8 before we made it to Wrigley field. It took long enough that Whitman fell sound asleep on the way. His head would bob ever time that we slowed down. I eventually had to hold him because he started to lean his head on the guy’s backpack beside him.

Wrigley Field was super close to the metro stop-we were even able to see it while we were on the train so that was nice. It didn’t take too long to find our seats in the stadium and to realize that we were going to freeze our hineys off! We were dressed as warmly as possible-jackets, pants and some even had two shirts on, but that didn’t really seem to help too much. It was like the whole stadium was a wind tunnel. I now know where Chicago gets the name “The Windy City” from. It really would have been cold no matter what we were wearing because the wind was just blowing on our faces the entire game.

We did walk around a little bit. Campbell and Graham even went off by their selves to get closer to first base. Bless Graham’s heart. Big crowds and navigating the subway make the boy so nervous. I will admit that getting on the second subway train was kind of like what you see on tv-the train was full, the platform was full, but dang it we were getting on-all 8 of us! We did have to wait on one train before we could get close enough to squeeze on, but we made it.

Anyway, when they were walking around they did have the extra phone with them, and thankfully Campbell’s coat made it easy to see her as they headed to first base and then back to us. The goal was to stay through the seventh inning stretch, and we made it.

We all sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” through shivering teeth and then we hurried out of there. There was a Subway restaurant right outside of the stadium and would you believe that it was almost empty. There was plenty of room for us to sit down and eat inside. The Cubs were behind by 1 when we left but Robby kept watch and by the time we made it to the second train, the Cubs had won the game.

It would have been nice to see them win, but it was nice to be in a warm train car headed back to the hotel. The train ride home was just as long, but didn’t seem nearly as long. Then we did have to wait on the shuttle lady to come and get us. We had to wait outside so it was little chilly-really, it was freezing. We froze! But she was there within 15 minutes and soon we were back in the hotel.

Everyone changed into their pajamas while Campbell passed out drinks and I passed out cookies. After a few minutes on ipads, it was soon time to head to bed since it was 11:30.

May 20, 2019-Great Lakes Day 2

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We all slept perfectly well last night. I did wake up once to go to the bathroom and once when Robby was peering over me to look at the clock. When our alarms went off this morning, Robby and I were the only ones who stirred.

He got in the shwoer while I started making noise and opening the blinds trying to wake everyone up. Campbell was the first one awake while Reagan was the slowest to move around. Whitman could not wait to get to breakfast.

Robby said that breakfast was just enough, but not enough. They did have his sausage biscuits, but they didn’t have my bagel or granola. We all managed to find plenty though. Soon we were loading up the car. As we were walking out, Anderson raised his shirt showing me a few bug bites. He asked if I thought that they were bed bugs. As soon as I sat down in the car, I googled a bit and his bites were not bed bugs thankfully. I do think that he has a few spider bites though-I think that spiders like him since he just had a spider bite at home.

Once in the car we listened to some music before passing out ipads. We did listen to a podcast about the renaming of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. It is now the Gateway Arch National Park. The kids weren’t too interested, but it was a decent podcast.

Before we did make it to the arch, we stopped at Ted Drewes. I mean how can you not stop at Ted Drewes while you are in St. Louis? It doesn’t matter how long you are there. Robby bought everyone concretes except for Whitman who wanted an ice cream cone. Robby and I split a peanut butter, chocolate concrete of some sort which was very good.

To end our little food tour of St. Louis we thought that we had better have some tasted ravioli since that is one of the things that St, Louis is famous far. We went to Mama’s on the HIll to pick up some toasted ravioli and cheese bread. Even though we had just eaten ice cream, the kids devoured the toasted ravioli. Robby and I both fondly remember eating toasted ravioli while we were in college-I guess that is a college cafeteria staple.

Now from there, it was just a hop to the arch. Whitman and Graham weren’t too sure at all about going to the top of the arch. Robby bought tickets while Whitman and I worked on stamping our passport books along with picking up Jr. Ranger books for us to do at home.

We had a few minutes to walk around the little museum before it was time for us to board our pod to the top of the arch. Whitman knew that he wanted to ride with me, so he and Reagan rode up in my car while everyone else rode with Robby. We had two strangers with us, but that didn’t bother chatty Whitman.

The kids were pretty awed at the top of the monument. It is pretty neat actually-we could see the courthouse, ballfield and Mississippi River. We were almost able to see where we had parked the car. We stayed at the top for a while before finally heading back down.

When we went outside, we walked under the arch and looked at the flooded Mississippi. Then we hiked back up the hill towards the Courthouse. I don’t think that I had ever been in the courthouse before. There wasn’t too much to do inside, but it was beautiful though.

We then found our way back to the van and crossed the river into Illinois. Once we were well on the road, I did work on our late lunch. I had to write everyone’s sandwich request down before starting. It didn’t take too long for me to make everyone’s lunches. The kids ate their lunches quickly but not as fast as they ate their rice krispy treats.

While we ate, we listened to one of our books on tape. When we listen to books, the kids are just as quiet as when they have their ipads. It wasn’t too long of a drive to Springfield, the home of Lincoln.

We went to the Abraham Lincoln National HIstoric Site. There was a video which we watched-I saw some of it, but may have a snoozed just a little bit. Then we had a tour of the Lincoln home. It was an interesting tour which I was wide awake for because I was worried about Whitman stepping off of the carpet and making the alarm ring (he didn’t) and I was worried about him asking too many questions (he did ask some, but not too many thankfully).

After we finished the tour, we walked around a bit there and then drove to the Lincoln tomb. They were almost closed, but we managed to hurry around the tomb and see everything that we needed to see. We walked around outside and then headed towards the capitol building in Springfield. Anderson stood in the middle of the road for me to take a picture of him before we had to jump back in the car because of traffic.

We were pretty early checking into the hotel-almost too early. We do think that the optimum hotel check in time is around 8 and certainly not 6. It was fine though because as soon as we unloaded the van, people through on their bathing suits. Reagan opted not to swim but the others did so they swam as Robby ran back and forth moving our laundry from washer to dryer.

The boys played football for most of their time in the pool. Campbell and Keaton are thinking about trying out for swim team so they worked on their strokes (which they can’t really do!). The boys were finished first, and Robby walked them to the room for their showers. Reagan had her shower while we were swimming.

The littles stayed in until Robby said that it was time to get out. They finished their showers as we worked on supper. Robby did most of the cooking tonight-chicken soft tacos. They were delicious or maybe we were really hungry. Everyone had at least 2. We were starting to wind down around nine tonight. I do think that the kids were a bit tired tonight. It was almost 9:30 when we finally turned out the lights. Tomorrow will be another fun yet chilly day.

May 19, 2019-Great Lakes Day 1

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It didn't take long for Robby to wake up this morning. He knew that today was road trip day, and there were still lots of things to do. I was a bit slower getting up but was still right behind him rushing around trying to get a few more things done.

I had told everyone to make their beds this morning. I do know now that I probably need to work on "making your bed" lessons. Since their beds are all against a wall, they are a bit more difficult to make, but still!

Robby called "2 minutes" this morning when I was on my hands and knees in the car shoving bags into their places. It doesn't matter how prepared you are for a trip, there are always so many things to do. We had originally planned on leaving tomorrow, but who wants to wake up at the crack of dawn.

When Whitman heard that we would be spending the night in a hotel, he was so excited. Robby asked him why, and he replied that he loved sleeping on the floor. Good thing because he always gets a turn to sleep on the floor. 

The children's Sunday school was so neat this morning. We went to different rooms and heard missionaries to different countries speak. It was incredible, and now I want to go to Honduras and Algeria...well, maybe not Algeria, but I might want to learn more about that country from the safety of my home.

After church, Reagan went with all of the other 7th graders to tie dye t-shirts for camp. They also worked on their cheers-who knew you needed cheers for camp? They had lunch, pizza, there and from there Reagan went to church to have supper, pizza again. She had a mission trip meeting tonight. When that was over, she ended up in the sanctuary passing out balls as all of the Upward folks left which is where she met up with us.

Robby had a meeting after church so he stayed there for lunch while the rest of us ate BBQ at Nonna's house. She had her baked beans which are so much better that mine ever are. I have tried but just can't match hers.

The kids and I played a little bit of Trivial Pursuit before we left. When we headed home, I had a pretty good list of things that we needed to do in about 2 hours when I had to leave again. Pops was pretty sure that I wouldn't get a nap in-but I did. Well, kind of. I did lay down and close my eyes for 5 minutes. I didn't really go to sleep though so I am not sure if that counted at all.

After my power rest, Robby and I were running around like chickens with our heads cut off. I think we got everything accomplished-though we did leave a jug of lemonade in the fridge instead of it getting int he ice chest. 

I rushed out the door at 3:30 to take Anderson to his t-shirt tie dye party. It was just a come and make a t-shirt. We were the first ones there and the first ones finished. That worked out perfectly, because as soon as we flew down the road, Robby had the van on and was finishing loading the last few things. 

We then headed to church for the Upward soccer celebration. They had games-Whitman was called up on stage for one of the games. There were about 20 five and six year olds on the stage. They were kind of doing the "telephone game." It was mass chaos but somehow the group that Whitman was in won so he received a 10 dollar Chick Fil A gift card. He was so excited. 

After the soccer thing was over, we found Reagan, went to the restroom, grabbed some ice and hit to road. We made it as far as Nonna's house because I do not plan to drive to Canada with 6 soccer balls in my car at all! Plus we had to 2 tie dye tshirts that Nonna will have to rinse and wash tomorrow. 

Our final stop tonight was Sikeston which is the home of the throwed rolls. The kids will be disappointed that we can't eat there since that restaurant near Branson was one of their favorite places to eat. Tonight we did eat our supper in Brinkley at McDonalds. Well, we did eat on the road after running in to potty again and get our food.

After we ate, we passed out drinks, and then we eventually passed out ipads. We have to make them last as long as we can. Once those babies were passed out, we never heard a peep from the kids again-those magical devices. That was fine because Robby and I rehashed the day along with trying to figure out better packing strategies. 

We arrived at our hotel around 10:40ish. It didn't take long for us to unpack and get to the room. These days we barely need a cart anymore. We still use one, but most everyone can carry their bag plus something else. We were soon in the room in our pjs finding our beds. 

This is one of our smallest rooms tonight, but when Reagan saw it, she said "this isn't too small." So that is a good thing. Everyone is almost asleep right now and Robby and I are not too far behind them.

May 18, 2019

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  • Today was our last day of soccer, and we didn't have an 8:30 game so really, could life get any better? The boys were awake this morning, but I did have to wake up Campbell and Keaton. Whitman was up early at Grannymom's house and Reagan was up late at her sleepover.
  • The first two games we had this morning was Whitman's and Campbell's. Campbell was super excited that Robby was able to watch her play because most of the games that she has played has been during a time that Robby was coaching another team. 
  • Campbell was goalie for most of the time, but for two periods she played on the field. I looked over one time to see Campbell just about knock the goalie down while kicking the ball. A bit later she was able to score which made that girl super excited.
  • Whitman really improved this year. Now, he won't probably be playing in the World Cup or anything, but he saw improved this year. Maybe next year will be his year that he really enjoys the game. 
  • Keaton's game was the next hour. She did super and scored today. Now, Keaton could have scored about 5 other times except she would miss the goal by inches each time. Robby is her coach, and the boys and I became quite tickled and him and the other coach. Robby would yell "kick it in" and the other coach would yell "kick it out." That just went on and on like that.
  • As soon as that game was over, Keaton, Campbell and I zoomed home so they could change clothes. It was Zoey's birthday party, and they were super excited about going. They had a great time, and came home with a bag full of candy.
  • I made it back just a few seconds after Anderson scored his first goal of the year. That was a pretty perfect way to end his Upward career. Graham really wanted to score, but he spent some time as goalie and did a pretty great job.
  • From there, we headed home for some work-I worked on cleaning out all of the soccer bags and turning one of them into a swim bag. There as also laundry and dishes to do. Robby mowed in high gear until the rain finally came.
  • When it became really dark, I ran out to move all of the soccer shoes and that I had airing out in the sun. Then Robby with a little help from me and Anderson put the back seat in the van. We finished right before the rain came down. I let Whitman use his umbrella to play in the crazy hard rain as Robby and I sat in the garage watching it rain.
  • Once inside, I helped Reagan make some bracelets. The kids started eating their supper, as Nonna and Pops were over. Their electricity was out so Nonna came over to dry her hair for a little bit-tomorrow is church after all. 
  • After the kitchen was finally cleaned, we headed over to the Wilson's house for a little bit. Shannon had made a dessert which we ate on after I had my supper-cheese dip and salsa. We didn't stay too crazy long because there was still lots to do before bed.
  • Robby cut some sausage and sliced some cheese. I cut and wrapped two recipes of rice krispy treats. Then the kids put up their laundry before it was finally bedtime. I am pretty exhausted today

May 17, 2019

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  • Well, this was the last calm summer day around here. From here on out, after our trip, the days will be filled with running to and from the pool along with our Third Realm visits. I have enjoyed this week so much that maybe we will have to finish school earlier next year. This was actually later than we usually finish school since our May trip is later. Though I am not too sure if we will be able to finish earlier with a few Disney trips on the horizon.
  • This morning it was nearly 11 when I was shocked to see Reagan downstairs on the computer. Each day so far, we have had to wake her up at 11 when we do our reading together. I guess she might have been awake because Campbell and Keaton were awake fairly early because they were excited about making muffins for breakfast. I think that the kids have made muffins at least 4 different times this week.
  • After lunch, we loaded up for Third Realm. The kids enjoyed jumping and afterwards, we dropped Whitman off at Grannymom's house for the night. He has been a little toot for us the past few days. His new thing is playing with water-if he has a water bottle, then he pours it everywhere. Most of the my carpet in the living room is wet right now because of that stinker.
  • The next stop was were Walmart and Sams. We divided and conquered-the boys ran into Sams while the girls ran into Walmart. Reagan found a few more things that she wanted for camp, and after packing Campbell today, I realized that she needed one more pair of shorts for this summer.
  • From there, we rushed home so Reagan could pack before heading off to Camryn's birthday party. Also the boys soon jumped back in the car to go to their Friday night basketball. The girls and I took Reagan while Robby stayed out until after basketball was over. 
  • Once we came back home, Campbell and Keaton rode to the neighbors house and even though I was sitting outside, I still never heard them or saw them playing so I am not too sure what they were doing.
  • Robby and the boys came back with pizza which we pretty much devoured. Then we headed out to work on the van. It takes about 60 feet of cord for Robby to get all of our trip cords/wires and plug ins ready for the trip. While he worked on this, I loaded the things that I had ready.
  • By the time that we came in, it was close to 10 and there wasn't much left of the evening. Tomorrow is the last soccer day and the weather looks decent in the morning so that will be fun.

May 16, 2019

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  • It was another slow day around here. The boys were all awake before I was out of bed. I am not so sure what the rush to wake up is about. I guess they don't want to miss out on any ipad time. Whitman was huddled down in the living room fort and the big boys must have been upstairs on the xbox because they weren't anywhere around.
  • The morning was filled with this weeks normal activities-a bit of summer school for the kids, the treadmill for me, dishes, laundry and some reading together. That is pretty much how quickly the morning seems to pass.
  • Everyone at their lunch before Reagan, Campbell and Keaton and I ran another errand. Reagan still needed a white shirt along with a few other tshirts. Now, I had told Reagan that I would only pay 5 dollars for her t-shirt, and I was also sure that we would be returning to Walmart. Well, that child found her 5 dollar tshirt at the store that we went to today. She also found a few tshirts for her, and I found a pair of jeans for me on clearance. It was a win-win for us.
  • We made it home in just enough time for me to have a shower. Even though I shower each night, I hadn't washed my hair in a good day or two so it was starting to bother me. As soon as I was out of the shower, Keaton asked me to play basketball with her. We played for a bit before it was time to leave for soccer. 
  • Tonight was the last soccer practice. The kids really love soccer practice, but Robby sure doesn't. He would rather play a game than try to do practice. All of the big 4 played soccer during the first practice and then played more during the second practice. 
  • After Keaton and Whitman's practice was over, I grabbed them and we headed to Kroger and to Dairy Queen for our weekly burgers. They were having a special on BBQ sandwiches so we bought enough for all of the non sandwich eaters.
  • Once at home, the kids rode their bikes a bit-almost ever hour, I can look out the window and see Keaton and Anderson for sure and possibly Graham or Campbell all in a line playing follow the leader on their bikes. Everyone had their showers tonight as well as our dessert baked in the oven.

May 15, 2019

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  • Oh, I really do love our summer days. Actually, these will probably be my favorite days all summer because we are not having to go to the pool each day. We are still going to Third Realm, but that doesn't take up most of the day. 
  • This morning I did my treadmill along with all of my chores. There wasn't Monopoly to play today, but Whitman and I did some reading. Everyone also finished their Jr. Ranger booklets so we are ready for our little trip. 
  • We all had lunch on our own before loading up to go to Third Realm. When I wrote about lunch on our own just then, I did have a brief moment of panic because I couldn't realize if I had fed Whitman anything. Campbell and he made a fort this morning, and he spent most of the day under there. I did slide a grilled cheese to him while he was in the fort at lunch time so all Dennies were fed.
  • We met all of our friends at Third Realm today. While we were there, a sweet old couple was digging in one of the pits looking for a phone dropped by a granddaughter. The kids joined in on the search and right as the couple was leaving, one of the kids found it. Everyone was so excited for them. Then a few minutes later, another kid found another phone in the foam pit.  Both founds that were found were very nice phones. Someone also found 2 20 dollar bills while they were searching which was a good talking point to everyone about when you are at a place like Third Realm, you shouldn't have anything valuable in your pockets.
  • After we left Third Realm, we went to the Dollar Store to buy some candy for the trip. Then a quick trip to Michaels followed by an even quicker run through Academy. My "to buy" list is getting shorter and shorter. Tomorrow the goal is to find Reagan a few t-shirts and a white shirt. Then I will be done...well, I do need a new pair of jeans, but that might have to wait.
  • Once at home, it wasn't too long before Nonna and Pops came over to with a tray of chocolate covered strawberries for the kids. Now, there is one kid that doesn't eat them so he received a little baggy of cookies. My kids ate strawberry after strawberry after strawberry. 
  • Soon everyone headed outside to play while Reagan and I headed to church for our VBS meetings. Reagan's meeting was much quicker than mine was, and she said that she walked around the church house a zillion times looking for me.
  • Campbell, Keaton and Robby were still outside when we made it home. It wasn't too long before they trickled in, and we ate our potatoes. I didn't have too many but it was enough to feed us all. We did supplement our meal with ice cream sandwiches for everyone before bedtime. It was nearly 9 when we finished supper so the evening was super short.

May 14, 2019

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  • Whitman was the first one I saw this morning. He was working on his worksheet-blends. The boy can not seem to figure out blends (st, fl, cr...) so we are doing some extra work this summer with them. After we finished the worksheet, we did some of his reading as I folded the laundry.
  • From there, I moved into the kitchen to work on the dishes. Next was the treadmill followed by more of the Monopoly game. Monopoly update: Campbell is out of the game, Keaton has some money and only one piece of property left and I have just a bit of money along with my property. However, I have already had to mortgage two of them-surely tomorrow Anderson will win the game. (Another Monopoly Update: Late tonight after I started the blog, we did finally finish the game. Anderson defeated Keaton and shortly afterwards, I owed him 2,500 and could only pay him about 240.)
  • We did some reading right before lunch along with working on our Jr. Ranger books. Afterwards, I took notes on who needed to do what chores and who needed to re-do their chores. Then we had a quick bite to eat and I headed to my doctor's appointment.
  • I have a new doctor so she wanted to do a physical. That was fine, then she wanted to do every single test possible on me which didn't make me too happy. For example, I am pretty sure that an HIV test is not really necessary. My blood pressure was great today which was wonderful-actually it was lower than it is has been in years at the doctor's office.
  • Once at home, the kids played outside for a little bit. Then I loaded up with most everyone and headed to Walmart. Anderson needed some things for camp and Campbell needed a few items. Reagan also needed some things but she couldn't find anything-like a white tshirt. She would like a nicer white tshirt than we could find at Walmart...sigh.
  • Anderson has been riding his bike a lot outside the past few days. Usually, Keaton follows him as he rides through the yard. Sometimes they even make the loop on the block. Whitman also spent a good bit of time outside today playing with Campbell, Keaton and the neighbor. 
  • We had ravioli for supper and as soon as we were finished, those three ran back outside again. Once they came in, it was shower time for all-I am not sure how Campbell and Keaton can get so filthy while outside. 
  • Campbell did fall in some stickers or something today. She acted like they were inside of her skin for a bit. She washed them really well which helped. I read to put duct tape on them, but I am not sure if that worked. 
  • The evening was fairly quiet. We watched some tv and I worked on trimming everyone's fingernails. I have quite a few fingernail biters right now, which isn't good, but it does make my job easier!

May 13, 2019

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  • Ah, the first wonderful day of summer vacation. It truly seemed like a long and relaxing day around here. I did still get up at the normal time and slowly made my way to the treadmill for a little bit.
  • Some of the kids worked on their bit of summer school work this morning early, while some did theirs later in the day. Once I was finished with the treadmill, I did read with Whitman for just a bit. Then it was time to leave.
  • The preschool at church was having a play day at Mills Park. Since Whitman is officially still in the preschool department, I signed up and brought the crew. The kids all enjoyed playing on the playground even though they have rebuilt it and made it geared more towards little kids. 
  • Whitman had a blast playing, and the little kids enjoyed following my big boys around. There was one little boy that would just sit by Graham whenever Graham would sit down. And at one point, Anderson was playing soccer with three little guys. 
  • They did provide lunch for the preschooler and the mom, so Whitman and I had lunch. On the way, we did swing by Chick Fil A and used some of our breakfast gift cards to get breakfasts items for everyone else's lunch. I passed out my fries, and they felt like they were still eating Chick Fil A like everyone else. 
  • As soon as we ate, the littles had time to play a bit longer and then we jumped in the car and headed to the library. I had a few books to pick up there. Then we met the jumpers at Third Realm.
  • Reagan was feeling a bit better today. Initially this morning, she had said that she didn't want to go with us, but after thinking about being at home all day by herself again she changed her mind. She joined us and seemed fine. She did say that she probably wouldn't jump at Third Realm and she did sit for a while, but was soon jumping around. I am glad that she is definitely feeling better.
  • I wanted to go to Walmart after jumping to pick up a few things for the kids, but the revolted so I let them. We have a few day before I need to have that list completed. So we headed home to do some Jr. Ranger books, play one game and to even play some of our Monopoly game. Update: Anderson has lodges on the two most expensive properties and I am near bankrupt! 
  • This evening Keaton and Robby headed out to celebrate Keaton's March Madness win. Keaton took Lily with her, and they went to Chuck E Cheese. I think that they had a blast, and Keaton came home with 2 balls, a bag of cotton candy and even more candy.
  • While they were gone, the rest of us had supper. I also did some prep for school work for next year. I read to Whitman and did pretty everything that I could think of and was soon bored! Campbell and Whitman eventually ended up outside for a long while (Anderson has been outside for a few times riding his bike but hasn't stayed out for long.) 
  • When Robby came home, I told him that I hoped that the rest of summer wasn't this slow! I will at least get a lot accomplished-though I haven't packed a single bit for our trip today. Late this evening, the kids all came in and showered and eventually we all headed to bed.

May 12, 2019

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  • I woke to the sounds of Robby and Graham working on monkey bread in the kitchen this morning. I knew it was monkey bread that they were working on because I had sat the pan out, prepared the cinnamon and sugar in one container and had the butter and brown sugar in another container. 
  • Soon everyone was piling into my room and sitting on my bed with their hands full of cards and breakfast. Not only was there monkey bread but there was also strawberries. Some orange juice would have been good-I will have to remember that for next year. 
  • Whitman did delight in telling me that the card he told me was for Daddy was really for my Mother's Day gift. I was shocked! After we ate our breakfast was headed off to the church house minus one-Reagan.
  • She didn't feel good this morning and really all day long. This morning she didn't have fever but said that she felt like she did, but the time that we came home though she was definitely warm. She has a sore throat and is congested as well. Right now I think that my throat is a bit sore as well, but hopefully it will pass. 
  • This afternoon I did give Reagan some medicine. Afterwards, she perked up a bit-actually this is the first time all day that she has been walking around talking. Hopefully she is on the mend and will be better tomorrow. Also, I hope that the rest of us don't really get it-though if we are going to get it-right now is the time to be sick since next week is trip week.
  • Church was fine as well as Sunday school. Then we headed to Jason's Deli for lunch with Grannymom. The kids enjoyed eating with their cousins, and the food was really yummy. I had saved half of my sandwich for tomorrow's lunch, but Keaton later heated it up for Reagan to eat. 
  • This afternoon was spent taking my Mother's Day nap. When we woke up, we took everyone except Reagan and Anderson, who said he needed to stay home with Reagan, to Third Realm to jump. While they were there, I ran to Pennys to spend a coupon and look for a bathing suit. That is what you want to do on Mother's Day-try on bathing suits. I didn't find one, and really probably won't if I keep eating all of this popcorn that we bought yesterday. 
  • Around 6:30, we headed to Nonna's house for dessert. She opened up her butter keeper which Reagan had suggested for me to buy. Pops even received word that Beebee's house sold so it turned into a big celebration. 
  • Once at home, we returned to our Monopoly game. We played for probably a good hour. Right now Anderson is in the lead and will probably end up smoking the rest of us. I do have 3 houses but he has the Boardwalk and Park Place properties with houses on them. 
  • We did let everyone stay up until 10 which seems to be our normal times these days, but that is fine because there is no school tomorrow-well, there is everyone's summer school things to do, but that is really nothing at all!

May 11, 2019

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  • I was awake at 5:50 when my phone buzzed with a text to the soccer refs that soccer had been cancelled. I checked the radar and indeed the rain was just about to arrive. I text the grands and Jason and then tried to go back to sleep. 
  • At 6, the next text came through to everyone about the cancelled games. So then I decided that I should put a sign up for the kids so they would know. I went to the kitchen to write my "no soccer" note. I did, but then I couldn't see it on the paper-I had used a very light colored pen, so I wrote it again with a darker pen before hanging it on the wall.
  • I then did turn off my alarm and snuggled back under the covers until almost 10. Campbell and Whitman had already come in our room a few times this morning before I did get out of bed. Even though I had planned on staying in bed until 11 (it is Mother's Day weekend), I did get up when Keaton asked to make muffins. She can do most of it by herself, but does just need someone around.
  • I had folded a few pieces of laundry and emptied a few dishes when Anderson asked my to play Monopoly. I threw my potatoes in the oven and sat down to play for "30 minutes" which turned into an hour. We still didn't finish but all of the players (Anderson, Campbell, Keaton, Whitman and myself) were having a good time when we did take a break.
  • Robby had finished my laundry and dishes so I moved on to my next task which was packing Whitman. He is easy to pack since he really has no opinion plus he has plenty of clothes that I can pack him up so early.  From there, I did join Robby out in the garage. He was working on straightening it, and we stayed out there most of the afternoon long. 
  • I did take a break at one point to work on my potatoes. I made 2 dozen twice baked potatoes to put in my freezer. Oh, and we also took another break for lunch. Anderson wanted biscuits, sausage and eggs so he made some for himself, Robby and me. 
  • This evening Robby and I ran to pick up supper for everyone. Whitman wanted a hamburger so he received a Dairy Queen burger. Everyone else wanted Chinese so we tired out Yum Yum Hibachi which is actually Japanese food. On the way, Robby and I did get distracted by a popcorn shop and bought our evening snack there. And we also ran and bought 2 more flats of strawberries bringing the total up to 5-that is a lot of freezer space that I am using up.
  • Once at home, we ate our supper and had tons of leftovers. It isn't that convenient but we all enjoyed it and would go there again. The kids then worked on their showers and while they weren't showering, they were helping me again with the strawberries. Most everyone enjoyed helping, but one wasn't too pleased with it (Reagan)
  • After the kitchen was cleaned, we all headed to the bonus room to watch Charlotte's Web. We just read that book out loud so it was fun to watch the movie and eat popcorn. 
  • At bedtime, Whitman told me that the card in the corner of his room was for Dad's Father's day. The kids must think that I am completely oblivious about things-there has been lots of whispering, lots of time in the school room with markers everywhere and lots of running around with paper behind their backs. 

May 10, 2019

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  • Well, the 2018-2019 school year is all wrapped up at the Dennie house. It is a wonderful feeling which doesn't really last long because everyone will have work to do each day during the summer, and I am already feeling the need to start planning everyone school for when we begin again in July. 
  • I think that everyone was pleased with ending school and they all ended up in a good note...except Whitman. He ended up at the table with a warning to not get out of the chair until all of his school work was finished. Campbell walked by the kitchen at one point (I was trying to stay away) and noticed that his papers were all on the floor along with his pencil. He told her that he could not get out of his chair to get his work or pencil so he wasn't able to finish his work. 
  • And yes, he did finally finish when I told him that he was going to have to go shopping with us if he didn't finish his last two pages. He flew through those pages because he sure didn't want to go shopping !
  • We left him, Reagan and Anderson at home around lunch as Campbell, Keaton, Robby and I ran an errand or two. We went to the tent sale at Edwards-we left with 2 cases of water, 1 bag of potatoes, 3 flats of strawberries and lunch for all of us (hot dogs and bbq sandwiches). 
  • Next stop was the Tractor Supply store for Robby to pick up a little trailer. Then it was to Walmart to pick up a few things...and yes, even though we had a list when we made it back to the car, we remembered all of the things that we didn't get.
  • We weren't home very long before we headed to Third Realm for a little bit. Then we all went to Dana's house to celebrate Grandpa's 87th birthday. I think that he enjoyed all of the grandkids singing Happy Birthday to him. 
  • We then took the big boys and Cash to basketball for the evening. On the way we did stop at Arby's to grab a bite of supper. After dropping the boys off, we went back to Walmart and also to Sams. 
  • Then Robby did some grocery shopping while the girls, Whitman and I spent his Christmas gift card to Five Below. Yes, I am a little late on letting him do this, but there are so many of them! That boy felt like it was his birthday. He would pick out something and I would tell him that he could get one more thing. He couldn't believe all of the things that he left with-2 full bags of fun.
  • We then picked up the boys and headed home. At home, everyone showered and then helped me with the strawberries. It took a little bit of time but everyone seemed to enjoy helping. They all jumped to help clean up as well since that meant that they were finished. 
  • Once again. we are going to bed tonight not real sure if we are playing soccer tomorrow. Luckily, we have a later game so we don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn. 

May 9, 2019

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  • It has been so long ago that I don't even remember who I had to wake up and who I didn't have to wake up. I do know that I did have to lug Whitman down the stairs and only had to holler for Reagan once. 
  • We did our little bit of morning reading. Our pile is so small now that it just took a little bit to read everything, and the kids started on their school work much earlier than usual.
  • That was probably the reason that by 10, I had already checked everyone's math and was heading upstairs to work on packing. Whitman was the only one who was still working. Bless it. He couldn't focus for anything and the same work that just took a bit of time on Tuesday last ed all through school time and even during lunch today. I had told him that he would have to take it to Third Realm if he didn't finish, but he didn't care at all if I made him do that-he would probably enjoy not having to jump.
  • After we had lunch, we loaded up and met everyone at Third Realm. We were there early so the kids still had an hour to jump even though we had to leave a bit early for the dentist.
  • Six dentist appointments can last a little while but it wasn't too bad. I brought a few books for Whitman and me to read. Everyone did really good-one child needs to brush better (Reagan) and one child has 3 cavities (Keaton). Poor Keaton didn't realize that she was the one who had the cavities, and when she did she was just on the verge of tears. 
  • I will say that Whitman was still the comedian at the dentist office. As the lady was working on his teeth, he said, "those chemicals you put on my teeth don't taste very good." And when Dr. Jolley went to check his xray, Whitman shouted, "Don't go bananas!" 
  • We went home for a little bit and then headed to Raymar for our soccer games. It was fairly hot during the first games-Whitman's and Keaton's games. I watched Whitman mostly and even though they lost and Whitman was unfocused some, this was his best game yet. 
  • The next games were Campbell's team and the big boys' team. I don't think that we won any games today, and the boys were a bit bummed about losing. They played so hard though, and I just want them to have fun.
  • Back at the house, Campbell and Keaton played outside until after dark. Then everyone started on their showers and supper. It was a pretty great day and tomorrow will be even better because it is the last day of school!

May 8, 2019

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  • Today was our last day of Bible study so everyone was excited. Campbell and Keaton were quickly dressed. I did have to wake up the boys, even the big boys. As soon as I walked into their room, they jumped up and started looking for clothes. I told them that they didn't have to get up just get, but since they were up an hour later than usual, I guess they thought they were behind. 
  • The kids had a great year at CBS. Those teachers just love on my kids, and even though getting there and making sure that lessons are done each week is difficult, I am still always so glad that we go.
  • After Bible study, we didn't go to Third Realm because of field trips, and it was about to rain so we headed home. Before home though I did take everyone into the library to find some summer books. I will say that I also had a laundry basket full of books to return. Reagan said, "we aren't taking that into the library are we?"
  • Once at home, the rain started and we settled int the living room to eat our lunches and do some reading together. Then I played a game with the littles and read some more to Whitman.
  • After that I would like to say that I walked on the treadmill and packed some as I had planned. However, I cuddled up on the couch and had myself a nice old nap.  Before I laid down, I did text all the kids and say "you can have a snack at 3 and I am going to take a siesta on the couch in my room." Graham and Campbell both wrote back "a what?" to which I replied "a snack." It took me a few text until I realized that they didn't know what a "siesta" is. 
  • We left a bit early for church since it was raining cats and dogs. The roads were fine but as we were arriving, I looked for my umbrella that Robby had put in my car this morning. It wasn't there-well, that was because Campbell used it today when she walked her turtle. Did she put the umbrella back? No! She did say that she didn't want to put it back in the car wet which was good thinking. 
  • However, it was pouring when I dropped the kids off at church. I should have taken off my shoes and rolled up my pants but I didn't think about that. So when I did wade inside, my pants and shoes were soaking and were for the rest of the night.
  • Tonight the kids had their final presentations-Whitman's group sang and received a certificates. Campbell and Keaton's groups did a little song and received certificates and even trophys because they had said all of their Bible verses. Whitman was not pleased about not getting a trophy and wanted to know when he would get his. He was very excited to learn that he would get to earn one next year. Anderson and Graham's groups were in the sanctuary but they didn't do anything tonight except partake in the ice cream afterwards. Reagan's group also had ice cream afterwards.
  • We all met up at the Wilson's house for some BBQ. It was delicious, and I ate way too much. We didn't stay too long because tomorrow is school and work for most everyone. Pretty much as soon as we got home, it was bedtime for the crew. 

May 7, 2019

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  • Robby and I woke up at 5 this morning. He said that he barely slept worrying about missing our alarms. It was Disney Dining day so when the clock struck 5 Robby started reserving our meals for November. We were trying to have a meal with all 23 of us that will be there. However, that seems next to impossible. We did all get times near each other, but I did try at 5:30 to call and see what I could get. She told me to call another place at 6:30, but that didn't seem to help any. 
  • The kids faces this morning were priceless when I told them that they only had 4 more days of school counting today. I also saw those same faces when they looked at their work and saw that they had about half the amount of school work as normal. I dropped all of their extra stuff and just left the important things that I would like to finish up.
  • Everyone was finished with their school work by eleven which was wonderful. That left a bit of time for everyone to do their own thing before we headed to Third Realm. When we arrived at Third Realm, there were 5 buses parked in the parking lot. The kids peeked in and decided to come back at 1. 
  • So we ran home for just a few minutes-it was long enough for everyone to grab themselves a bite to eat and for us to do some of our reading. Then it was back to a completely empty Third Realm. Reagan and Anderson opted to stay home, but my jumpers still had lots of fun.
  • I spent the rest of my afternoon packing and getting Whitman's first grade school work ready. The others were thrilled today to see how little they had. Whitman stormed back in my room, and glared at Graham while shouting, "you told me I had less work, but I have the same." He did. However, he was focused today and was done in no time at all.\
  • Campbell and Keaton spent most of the afternoon and evening outside. The boys went in and out occasionally. Campbell did find a turtle-actually two-that she is lobbying to keep (not going to happen). 
  • Everyone that was inside had their supper. They were able to choose from huge amount of leftovers. We did end up cleaning out the fridge just a little bit. Then Robby decided that maybe we should work a little bit outside before the rain comes. We were able to haul about 9 loads of leaves down to the bottom before it was too dark to stay out.
  • Once inside everyone had their showers and grabbed one of my leftover desserts from last night. We then had a bit tv time before it was time for bed....and after waking up at 5, I am pretty tired.

May 6, 2019

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  • We woke up this morning to do our last little bit of reading. We just don't have that much left to do in our work together box, and it is a wonderful feeling. Though I am still going to try to read at least one book to everyone this summer. 
  • After we had our breakfast and finished reading, the kids started on their chores and I worked on folding a waist high mound of laundry. I am not sure how I was able to do it all before the kids were able to help. I had bunko tonight so the kids pretty much did all of the weekly chores today. 
  • At 10, we loaded up to head to Raymar for our little homeschool field day. I think that the kids had fun. We started off with a 3 on 3 soccer tournament. There was a ping pong ball relay race, games for the little kids along with a kickball game. 
  • It was hot out there, and there was a bit of grumbling and complaining from the kids...and adults. But the biggest hit was Ms. Traci's snow cone maker. The kids loved having the them-they went through all of the paper cups that Traci had and we had to start using my paper plates to make cones.
  • Robby brought our crew pizza for lunch. We ate all but two slices of pizza, and a good while after lunch I looked up to see Whitman sitting at the table all alone eating the rest of the pizza. The boy was hungry. 
  • When we came home, everyone helped unload the car. Then the girls headed out to play. The boys eventually joined them for a little bit. At 6, they all headed to Third Realm for a bit of jumping. 
  • There were only 2 other kids there plus some new workers who were running a tight ship. That was fine though because the kids still had fun. Then they ended their evening with supper at Shorty Smalls. It has been years since Robby and I have been there. 
  • I didn't have a big crowd at Bunko tonight, but we had plenty of food-chicken salad croissants, roasted carrots and green beans, salad and a S'mores trifle. I made the desserts this afternoon and even made 6 extras for the kids. So there will be lots of S'mores trifles for us to finish off over the next few days. 

May 5, 2019

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  • I almost felt bad this morning when I had to tell Whitman that we were going to big church and then to play soccer. Those two things are his least favorite things so it was a big blow once he understood what all this day held in store for him. 
  • There was lots of hair doing this morning, but we had little clothes drama so that was nice. Keaton is still grabbing her black boots every week. I do know that it is past Easter and boots, especially black ones, are now a no-no. However, it is ice cold in the church house so I let her the same way that I let Campbell wear a sweatshirt type shirt. Next week, I might even be bringing my parka! Seriously, I could cut down on my tithe if they would turn the air conditioner down a little bit in the sanctuary.
  • Church was fine and so was Sunday school. Now, I did tell one kid to sit down about 15 times. It is time to sign up again to teach, and I swear it feels like we have been teaching for 30 years even though we had a break last year. We will teach again but gracious me, I have a super respect for all of those people that have taught Sunday school for forever.
  • After church, we changed our clothes and headed to Raymar. Nonna brought the lunch for everyone, and Grannymom brought the desserts. It was a pretty perfect day-maybe a tad on the warm side. We are even a bit pink, but hopefully not too bad since most everyone had at least two coats of sunscreen.
  • The games all went well-Anderson and Graham's team lost by 1 point. They just do so well, but will probably never win a game. Last year, Anderson's team never won, and it really seemed to get him down. Not so much this year. I think it is because he is one the team with some people that he knows (mainly Brody and his brother.) Either way, they are having fun so that is good.
  • Whitman's team played at the same time as the big boys. Whitman whined and complained pretty much the whole time that he was out on the field. He did run more the second half, but the other team was doing some pushing so my boy wasn't going to get involved in that at all. We will eventually find what that boy excels at--but it probably won't be soccer.
  • We then had a break so we were able to sit in the shade for a bit. Then the next two hours Reagan was the referee. The last game she had the coach that I was worried about her having. Of course, I never went and saw her since she was all the way across the fields and because during the last game when I came over she laughingly said "go away." Anyway, she said that the coach was fine and didn't say anything. 
  • Keaton's team did great today. They won, and Keaton scored once. She is one of the smallest but will get right in there and play hard. Next was Campbell's game-she was goalie all but one period. Now the one period that she was playing on the field, the goalie let two balls just roll into the goal. Her coach came out, jerked the goalie vest off of the one girl and put it back on my Campbell. I know she doesn't want to play goalie all of the time, but she is sure good at it (or at least better than the others on her team.)
  • After the games, we ran to pick up some books that I had bought and then made a quick trip to Walmart. The kids played outside some after we unloaded the car. Supper took a bit longer to make than we expected. 
  • Once supper was ready, we had ourselves a Cinco de Mayo meal. It was pretty yummy and killed hunger. Though I think that the burritos we had were not a bit hit, but the sombreros sure were.
  • The Wilsons came by for a few minutes to visit. When they left, it was dessert time for the kids followed by bedtime! They went to bed late and once they went to bed, Robby and I hung a picture in the kitchen. It took a bit longer than expected but we finally got it hung...and level!

May 4, 2019

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  • We knew that it was raining when we went to bed, but I was convinced that we would still have soccer. Robby and I stirred a few times during the night waiting to hear about soccer. It was almost like we were catching a flight-we couldn't sleep well and were awaiting our alarm. At 6, I woke right up when the text came through saying that soccer was indeed cancelled.
  • I walked to the kitchen and made a note for the kids. I hung it up where they could see and then crawled back into bed where I stayed until after 9. The first child we saw today was Whitman with his milk cup in his hand. He was asking for Graham. I told him where I thought Graham was but didn't realize until he left that he was probably looking for his brother to refill his cup. In a few minutes, I did hear both boys in the kitchen and sweet Graham was helping his brother.
  • Speaking of Graham-Robby had a mystery shop the other day at lunch, and it was Graham's turn to go. Robby knew that he was going to order a double cheeseburger so he just took along an extra bun in a baggie. He didn't want to spend any extra money, and this way they would both have a meal and enough to eat. 
  • Robby tried to sit at a table in the middle of the restaurant but Graham would not have that at all. He did not want to sit in the middle where everyone could see the extra bun. So Graham sat down at a booth, Robby just put the bun on the table as he filled up the drink cup. When Robby walked back, he immediately noticed that his bun was gone. 
  • Robby asked Graham where his bun was. Graham was a bit embarrassed about the bun and had put it down beside him so no one would see it. Ha! Isn't that funny? I guess we might just embarrass Graham a little bit.
  • He is not the only one that we embarrass. Robby was retelling this story, and Reagan piped up. She said that it was embarrassing when we walked through church all in a straight line going to our pew. We tried to explain that it would be silly for us to walk down the aisle two by two or three by three since there isn't much room. Tomorrow we decided that we will try to make sure that everyone is walking in age order-that really makes Reagan crazy. She has gotten to where she doesn't want to go in a store with everyone during school time because she thinks everyone is looking wondering if we are on a field trip.
  • Back to this morning-Robby worked on his computer some and I did some school planning for next year and even a bit of trip planning. Then we ran to the grocery store-Well, Keaton and I ran to the grocery store. Campbell and Robby ran to do a mystery shop (Robby didn't take an extra bun this time) and to pick up our weekly Dairy Queen burgers. 
  • While they were gone, Keaton and I did a pricing mystery shop project. It is huge and always happens when things are busy in May and when we are about to leave on a trip. We worked on that until they came. Robby and Campbell started working on the pricing while Keaton and I did some speed shopping and knocked out everything on my list (except for the things that I forgot to put on my list.)
  • Then we ran home to unload our groceries. Next we picked up Anderson at Grannymom's house. When we left there, Robby dropped me off at Sams to pick up a few things. We finally ended up at Third Realm. The kids don't have nearly as much fun when it is crowded, but they still enjoyed themselves, and they still got a bit of exercise.
  • When we came home, the neighbors were out so everyone stayed outside for a long time. Robby mowed a little bit while being careful not to sink in a mud pit which the yard seems to be full of. Whitman and I did join everyone outside for a long overdue kickball game. 
  • The game was pretty heated, but my team did win despite the other team's massive comeback. My Campbell and Graham were sure talking some smack out on the field. Graham especially just takes his sports seriously. 
  • Everyone migrated inside so then they cycled through the showers. Robby made some cookies for our snack, and we packed for tomorrow-church and soccer.

May 3, 2019

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  • Only 3 days of school left, but don't tell my kids. I think that news would make them a bit excited. Though I am toying with making their summer school a bit more than last year, so that might make them not as excited.
  • We started school even later today than normal but still finished our reading in plenty of time. Graham was actually finished with his work by the time that I climbed out of bed. I am not sure what Campbell and Whitman were doing today since they were the last ones to finish.
  • Well, I do know what Whitman was doing-everything but school. For a while this morning, I sat near him and would grab him and pull him back to his spot in front of his work each time he tried to leave. Then around 11:30, I finally set beside him to hurry him along. Within two minutes of me sitting down, Whitman asked "Do you know that if you close one eye, you can see your nose?" and "Just out of curiosity, if I add 8 to 9, is it the same thing as adding 9 to 8?" People may think all that is cute, but the boy can just about send my over the edge!
  • Robby and Graham went out to lunch while the rest of us ate here. Then we all met back up at Third Realm. The dodgeball game today was heated and was still going on when they called our color. The worker said that the kids could stay, but the mommas said nah! (I would have been fine with staying though.) However, they did reward all of the kids with a prize-water bottle and free Third Realm pass to use later on.
  • When we left there, we headed to Grannymom's house for a few minutes. The big boys stayed there until it was time for basketball. At home, our afternoon was kind of slow-the girls played outside, Reagan and Whitman stayed inside and Robby and I went outside for a few minutes and even sat in the driveway watching the traffic (there really wasn't any traffic to watch though)
  • The Wilsons came over here tonight. Shannon had meat and tortillas so we made soft tacos, rice and beans for our supper. It killed hunger-Campbell and Keaton come home to eat at 8 and then went back outside until 8:30. Robby and Tony ran to pick up Graham (Anderson was spending the night at Grannymom's house). 
  • Once they came home, we all celebrated Friday night by eating apple crisp and ice cream while watching a few RV shows. It was a pretty perfect day-and now we wait to hear if the rain will cancel soccer tomorrow. Robby thinks that we will not play while I actually think that we will.  

April 2, 2019

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  • Another rainy, perfect morning around here. Our morning box of books is steadily decreasing-we have actually finished history so that is huge. Now, I did spend a good bit of last night adding books to my list to read at the library, but I will ave those for next year since I do like to have a few less books checked out in the summer time-I'm not sure why though. The library still seems to like people checking out books during the summer time.
  • The kids zoomed through their school work today. Whitman and Anderson were the last ones finished today, but they were done by noon. All I really have to do with the kids right now is answer questions, read to Whitman and keep him on track and correct everyone's math and anything else that they turn in. So my load is fairly light, and I love it. I wish that every day could be like this and it probably could-if we didn't take a summer break, or a winter break, or a spring break or all of our vacation breaks. 
  • Keaton and Whitman planned a picnic for our lunch. So we all had grilled cheese sandwiches on a blanket in my bedroom. That was fun since the rain was really pouring down while we read and ate. 
  • I walked on the treadmill a bit this afternoon. As soon as I finished, it was time to leave for Third Realm. The kids all had fun there, but their favorite thing to do is play kickball. The workers come out and ref and pitch for the game. I think they enjoy it as much as the kids do.
  • Then we ran to Nonna and Pops' house for the little 3 to stay over there for a bit. Then I dropped off the big 3 at home, changed into my plaid and Robby and I headed to church.
  • They had a banquet tonight for Sunday school teachers tonight. It was a hoe-down and they had gone all out. There were square dancers at first and then some country music as we ate our fried chicken, ham, biscuit, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, and fried okra. Before we ate, they had a biscuit bar with biscuits along with all kinds of topping for them. For dessert, there was apple cobbler while they were playing some games. It was a very fun evening.
  • We picked up the littles on the way home. They showered once we made it home-well, Keaton and Whitman had bubble baths. They acted like they had never had a bubble bath before. Then the little girls and I watched a tv show (about little people) before bedtime.

May 1, 2019

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  • The wonderful rain was beating on the window when we stirred this morning. It was pretty wonderful to hear. But the dark made it kind of hard to get up and start moving. 
  • Campbell and Keaton didn't need much motivation since they were singing today. They were ready in no time in their clothes that they had precisely laid out last night. Whitman picked out his shirt that he wanted to wear today-a t-shirt, but he is the 6th child. I just made sure that he had on underwear.
  • It was raining like crazy as we drove on to Bible study. We made it there fine though. Since this is the end, the kids had their program today. Campbell and Graham sang the books of the Bible first with their class. Then Whitman and Keaton sang a few songs with their class. Now, whenever Whitman would finish a song, the child would bow! Gracious me. It even looked like he was going to start dancing at one point. 
  • After the program, we met our buddies at Third Realm. We have been there 55 times. Since all of the kids haven't been every time, we are still nearing a dollar a visit. We even stayed a few minutes longer than usual at Third Realm since the kids were in the middle of a heated kickball game. 
  • On the way home, we were about 2 miles from home when there was a wreck. I could tell that the road wouldn't be open for a while so I had to drive all the way back to Col. Glenn to go down that way. Seems like there have been lots of wrecks on Lawson lately which is always a good reminder to slow down especially on the big curve. 
  • This afternoon was quiet around the house. Whitman asked me to read a chapter of his Wizard of Oz book. Then he had me read another book. After this, I thought that I may lay my head down a bit but Whitman brought me another book-and another-and another-and even another. I finally did get to sleep for about 15 minutes before we headed back to church.
  • Robby came to church with us tonight. We ate up there and then he stayed with me during my game time out on the playground. It was a pretty fun evening having him there. 
  • Once at home, people had showers and even a snack or two before it was finally bedtime for everyone.

April 30, 2019

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Robby was up way before me this morning since someone came and took his tractor. He was also able to give them a few more items so that helped clear out his shed. Kind of funny that he started his day working on the shed and tonight at 9, he was outside moving a shelf from one shed into another one. We are Marie Kondo-ing the sheds I guess. Unfortunately, we should be spending some of that organizational energy on inside this house.
  • We did our school today and everyone did fine. One of the reasons that everyone finishing early is so nice is because once Campbell is finished with her work, she starts helping Whitman. She is good because she doesn't do his work for him but does keep him more focused. 
  • I am not sure he will ever get passed first grade, but I will tell you he is the oddest and funniest child ever. Someone asked him how his yogurt was this morning. He replied, "it is dairy good." Did he hear that some where? Did he come up with that? Strange.
  • He is the same child that on Sunday when we were on our day trip, looked up and asked, "when are we stopping for a potty stop?" Glad he asked and all, but we had stopped and half of us went to the bathroom about 3 minutes before he asked. Oblivious.
  • Back to today and school, we were all finished in enough time before lunch for me to work on cleaning our shower which definitely needed cleaning. I don't have the right cleaner though so it still needs a better cleaning. I don't know what to use or buy because what I have just doesn't get it done. Possibly I just need a jack hammer.
  • We ate our lunches, and then I had everyone work on their chores. We followed that up with some reading, working on Jr. Ranger books and I worked with the big 3 on some of their work. As soon as we had finished all of that, I loaded up anyone who wanted to go and we went to Third Realm.
  • Only Campbell, Keaton and Whitman wanted to go. The place was pretty empty, and the workers were working on cleaning out the foam pits. My kids asked if they could help so instead of jumping, they were standing at the bottom of the foam pits throwing the blocks out. They found a lizard toy that the workers gave to Whitman. Campbell found over a dollar, Keaton found around 60 cents and Whitman also found a penny. I think this was the best time that they had ever had at Third Realm.
  • From there, we went to the library. These 3 love going there and picking out books. The girls are almost skittish to get books-like they have to convince me that they will read it. And they act like they don't want to get too many books. I, on the other hand, just throw books in my basket like a mad woman. I just want them to have something to read so I don't care how many they get. 
  • I thought that us listening to The Wizard of Oz would satisfy Whitman's craving for it. However, he asked while we were there if we could read the book-just me and him this summer. Well, poop, how could I say no to that. Once I found the book, he asked me how many more days it was until summer.  I told him that we might could start a bit earlier than summer.
  • Once we came home, I walked on the treadmill for a bit. When I finished, we headed to Chick Fil A for supper. They were having 2 free kids' meals with the purchase of an adult meal. So we bought 3 adult meals and had 6 kid meals. We even ended up with fries and nuggets to bring home. Most everyone just had the kids' meals ice cream for dessert. But Keaton and Campbell spent some of their gift cards-Keaton for a cookie and Campbell for a shake.
  • We did run to Lowe's on the way home. After we left, I told Robby how much I loved that store. I said that the possibilities were just endless with what all you could do. He reminded me that yes, you could even build a house.
  • Once we came home, Robby and I worked outside for a bit-just with some week killer (that happened to explode on some of my plants-hopefully, they can overcome the half gallon on weed killer on them.) and Robby worked on his shed. The kids all played outside with the neighbors so we were outside until almost 9.
  • Then we came in for showers, lunch packing, trash emptying and just a few minutes of ipad time. My kids have gotten used to staying up until almost 10 every night-I guess they are already in summer mode.

April 29, 2019

(click here for today's pictures)

  • It was at 2 this morning that Campbell came in to tell me that Keaton was sick upstairs. I hurried upstairs to find Keaton sitting by her mess on the floor. Bless it. At least she made it to the bathroom. 
  • I cleaned everything up, and then brought her downstairs. I could tell that she felt fine now, and I wasn't too concerned about any more events. She slept all through the night after that. And you know who else slept all through the night? Robby. He "never heard" Campbell, or me get up or even Keaton coming in to sleep on our floor. Hmm, doesn't that sound suspicious? Actually, he was sleeping so soundly during all of this that I did check to see if he was indeed breathing-he was.
  • My last night wake up event probably caused me to be a bit frazzled this morning or maybe it was because I hit snooze just a few too many times. I know exactly what time I need to wake up to start the day smoothly and I continually see that time on my clock and hit snooze!
  • The kids all made their breakfasts, and then we read and read. Today, we finished history! I thought that this would never happen. Now we will still have to work two or three more days on our timeline, but don't with history! That is cause for celebration. (Just FYI-next year's history will be modern times so that will be more interesting to me at least.)
  • School was finished by pretty much everyone by 11. Every day someone is finishing up something. Today, Anderson tried to work with me, but I had to remind him that the only thing we have to do together right now is check his math. These are my favorite few school weeks of the year when their load is lighter, and we can relax a little bit. Now the only way that these few weeks are possible is because we have worked our rears off through out the year to get all of our things finished.
  • Reagan had an orthodontist appointment at lunchtime. Robby was able to take her. It does seem that she will get her braces off next visit-that kind of scares me. I would prefer for those braces to stay on as long as possible so we don't have to deal with retainers. 
  • When they came home, we did some more school stuff before heading to Third Realm with all of the buddies. The boys get so sweaty there-it is just nasty. You wouldn't think that they are working that hard, but I guess that they most certainly are.
  • Once at home, I joined Robby out in the yard. We stayed out there until almost 8. As we worked in the yard, I made a mental list of everything that needs to happen at our Dennie compound. Campbell and Keaton were the last ones in tonight. They came in just as supper was ready-BBQ and baked potatoes. It hit the spot since we were pretty hungry from working in the yard. 
  • Everyone had showers tonight-well, I haven't had mine yet, but that is next. Since supper was so late, we didn't have much of an evening. I was still cleaning up the kitchen at 9 so by the time I sat down it was bedtime!

April 28, 2019

(click here for today's pictures)

  • It was nearly impossible to wake Whitman up this morning. I guess I should start telling Anderson and Graham that they can make a little more noise in their bedrooms in the mornings. They must be pretty silent not to wake Whitman while finding their Sunday clothes and changing in the dark room.  
  • Sunday's use to be such hard work but they are really fairly easy right now. There was hair, bottles, tights, breakfasts, dress shoes-wow, things are so easy right now. If I could just teach Whitman how to button his shirt then I could sleep in another 20 minutes or so. (No, it really doesn't take me that long to button his shirt.)
  • Church was church. My Sunday school class did walk out to the rock to read our passage. They enjoyed that, and it was fun to take a field trip. I wish I could find some place to go every Sunday to make things a bit more interesting. 
  • We did leave Sunday school early so we could make it to the Guess and Co. sale this afternoon in Des Arc. This was the only day that I could possibly go during their sale so Robby volunteered for us all to go together. Or, well, something like that. 
  • We weren't sure what we were going to eat for lunch so we didn't pack anything but snacks. However, we did decide on BBQ from Nick's BBQ on the way. First we did have to run to Walmart for me to buy buns and chips. That worked out find since Robby had to get gas as well.
  • Then we picked up the BBQ, and I dished it out to everyone. I told Robby that most people would find it strange to be making barbecue sandwiches while zooming down the interstate, but I don't really at all. It is like that is what I was made to do.
  • There wasn't crazy long lines at the sale today like there was in December. So we walked right in and walked around. There were many, many pretty things but we only bought a tray and sign. The sign says Bake Shop and will go in my kitchen. Now the tray is my favorite but I have no spot at all for it. I know I will at some point so I still bought it. 
  • Once we left the sale, we headed home a different way and stopped in Jacksonville at a fried pie shop. We had a chocolate, apple and vanilla. They were delicious even though I burned my tongue.
  • Then we had to fly back to Little Rock to get Reagan to her mission trip meeting at 4. From there Candice took her to her life group later in the evening so she was gone most of the night. Back at home, Robby and I unloaded the car and then we worked outside some. We tried to work on the garage and did move things around in his little shed.
  • The kids played outside for a long while. We did eventually have to make Campbell and Keaton go inside. The neighbors were having their family Easter party and even had an Easter egg hunt. Campbell and Keaton just stared at them from our yard like sad puppies-so we sent them in.
  • Soon I fixed this crew supper and then Robby and I ran to pick up Reagan from her life group. This is the last one of the season so that makes me a bit sad. I really like her life group people. We took Noah and Alyssa home as well so we were gone for a few minutes.
  • When we did arrive back home, I passed out a snack and then soon it was bedtime for all. It has been a pretty busy weekend.