March 31, 2019

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  • I didn't take us long to get ourselves ready this morning. Whitman had at least 3 juice boxes from his new mini fridge before we could get ourselves out of the door. We were a bit tardier than usual this morning but still had time to see all of the grands. 
  • Campbell sat on the row in front of us during church this morning. I think that she was pretty pleased being by herself. However, I did have to remind her twice to pay attention. Also, Whitman had something really urgent to tell her so I had to continually jerk him away from her. He needed to tell her that she could play with his playdoh when we came home this afternoon.
  • After church, we had lunch at Grannmom's house. Anderson and Graham were not there this afternoon. Their group at church had an Amazing Race type event after church. They both had tons of fun but were worn out when they finally made it home.
  • At Grannymom's the kids played a few games while Robby did some taxes work, then we headed home for the afternoon. Robby and I snoozed while the kids played with playdoh some and also played outside. The boys were home soon and we watched a bit of a basketball game before all leaving.
  • Robby left with Graham, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman to go to Third Realm. Afterwards, they went to Dairy Queen for our weekly burgers. I took Reagan and Alyssa to life group tonight. Once I dropped them off, Anderson and I went to pick up a few Sunday shirts along with undies and socks for his Easter basket. 
  • We hurried home to eat supper with the Wilsons at our house. We had plenty of meat still in the fridge, and it was just yummy this time as last time. They stayed for a bit and left just a minute before Reagan came home from her Bible study. 
  • Afterwards, a few more folks finished their showers and we had a bit of downtime before bed. Anderson is still coughing pretty good, though he says that he feels fine, and Keaton is still battling her eczema. Urgh! This week isn't too busy so hopefully we can be productive at least just a little bit.

March 30, 2019-Happy 6th Birthday (Party) Whitman!

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  • I must have been tired from sleeping at the Nutrition Center because I woke up at 9 this morning. I don't think that Robby had been awake for that long because he was just baking his Saturday biscuits and gravy. We were supposed to have some soccer practices this morning but they cancelled those last night because of the impending rain.
  • We went right to work on birthday party preparations. There were "torches" to make, laundry to fold and cabinets to clean this morning.
  • Then Robby and I ran to the grocery store, Bed Bath and Beyond and Walmart. Grocery store for sugar, Bed Bath and Beyond for a meat cleaver and Walmart for Tylenol (my Anderson was still fever-y).
  • Once at home, I went to work on my Minecraft cake while Robby chopped to death our 12 pounds of meat that Tony had smoked for us. He chopped and chopped-I was pulling bits of meat out of my hair. I did try to make sure that he didn't get any meat in my cake which was as easy as it could be.
  • Campbell and Keaton were all about helping get things ready for the birthday party so I used them to the fullest extent. When Campbell brought Whitman's balloons downstairs, he shouted, "you got me balloons?" He would have finished the day with a smile just because of those balloons.
  • Robby then took Keaton, Campbell and Whitman to Third Realm. Cash and Graham were already there. The lady had given Robby a bracelet to jump, so he just put on a pair of socks and jumped away. Well, actually, he jumped off the big drop thing and jumped long enough to decide that he was old!
  • While they were gone, I made another pan of brownies, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom and pulled out Reagan's school for next week. I still have everyone else's school to do, but thankfully there is tomorrow.
  • Once Robby and the others were home, we were pretty much ready for the party so I covered up with a blanket and snoozed for about 20 minutes. Then it was crunch time. The meat was in the oven along with the beans. 
  • Everyone started arriving right around 6-Jason, Grannymom and Grandpa, Nonna and Pops, the Heltz, Powells and Kamps. Whitman was delighted with all of his friends being there and so were we. We ate first and we had quite a bit of food! Everything had a Minecraft label which was fun for me to figure out-basically our meal was bbq and all of the fixings. 
  • After we ate, the littles, along with Anderson who is a good sport, played Pin the Tail on the Minecraft Pig. Reagan helped me make the pig the other day. Then it was present time. The boy was so thrilled with opening his mini fridge, magnets, backpacks, lots of food for his fridge, art supplies, a blanket and a ton of other things. He could not have been happier.
  • Next up was a game to find the Minecraft ingredients to make a cake. After we found those from a ton of Easter eggs upstairs, then all of the kids ran downstairs to eat cake-except our cake wasn't cake but rice krispy treats and brownies. 
  • Everyone ate cake and then eventually started leaving. My kiddos were great to help clean up. Keaton couldn't wait to organize Whitman's presents. Afterwards, everyone had their showers and explored Whitman's presents. While Campbell was eating some of Whitman's candy, one of her teeth fell out-that is the third Dennie in less than 2 weeks to lose a tooth. The tooth fairy is going to have to get a second job!

March 29, 2019

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  • I think that I woke up every hour on the hour last night. I do think that Campbell slept a bit better than I did. My alarm went off at 6:30 and we were soon dressed and in the lobby. The worker man had to take a sample of Campbell's saliva.
  • By this time Campbell was wide awake so she wanted to go and play in the play room. I made it perfectly clear that it was 7:05 and I would not be doing any playing. I would go with her but would not be playing. I believe that I laid on the floor while she played.
  • There was another saliva sample along with Campbell's breakfast eventually showing up. She had to drink a chocolate shake which wasn't that bad at all. They did give me a breakfast sandwich which I inhaled. 
  • Yes, early this morning Campbell did have to have her blood drawn. The lady was great but try as she might (two times) she couldn't get any blood from Campbell. Campbell was perfect and let them poke away at her, but there was no blood!
  • Soon Campbell headed off to brain lab where they covered her head with electrodes. This lasted about an hour. Followed by that she went to psych testing. She was there about an hour as well. If you remember the last time that we were here, she and I both had over an hour of testing. 
  • It was lunch by now, but our lunches had not arrived. We were finished, but still there waiting on our lunches. I wanted to tell the worker people that we could just eat at home, but I didn't want to hurt their feelings. So we waited-Campbell played a few minutes when the lunches came as I ate, but then was ready to go. 
  • I think that she was feeling a little bit confined. At one point this morning, she looked at the window and said, "Don't you feel a little bit trapped?" Yes, yes, I did! We ran to the Dollar Tree to pick up a few things for Whitman's party.
  • Now, when Robby knew that we were headed home, he told the kids, "if there is anything that you said you did, but you really didn't do that your mom told you to do, then you need to do it now." Robby said that these words caused a flurry of activity around the house. Anderson did tell Robby that he hadn't vacuumed because he didn't want to disturb Robby on his phone calls. That was very thoughtful, except that Robby hadn't been on the phone in hours.
  • Campbell and I made it home and unpacked our bags. I started getting things out for the party and soon we were leaving for Third Realm. It was not too crowded, and I think that the kids had a good time. 
  • Afterwards, we dropped Graham off at Grannymom's house to spend the night. Then the rest of us ran to Sams. Going to Sams right before supper is always fun. We hit up all of the sample people plus we left with a buggy full of supper items. 
  • Once at home, we ate. Whitman is working on his "politeness chart." We are working on saying "ma'am" and "sir." Whitman finished his chart and was so happy when I pulled out his prize. He shouted, "Oh wow!" Now, I will say that my dollar container of M&Ms was not deemed enough by Robby so he urged me to put a few packages of fun dip in there too. So I am not sure if it was my M&Ms or Robby's fun dip which he was so pleased with. We are currently having a debate about that!
  • Robby and I ran to the Wilson's tonight to pick up the meat for Whitman's party. Whitman and Campbell helped me make two pans of brownies. Keaton helped make chocolate chip muffins. I made jello and cookies, and much later in the evening Robby made rice krispy treats. When Whitman saw all of the mess in the kitchen, he asked if all of that was for his party. Indeed it was!
  • We watched a tv show or two way too late tonight, but I was blogging so that was fine. Anderson felt way too warm tonight (probably why he kept sitting down at Third Realm) so he had some medicine before bedtime. Hopefully it is just nothing, but I highly doubt it. Everyone is pretty excited about tomorrow-while I just have list of things to do!
  • And by the way, Robby posted a few pictures of us when we were at Silver Dollar City this last time. In one picture the kids are trying to act asleep on one of the roller coasters. But please notice that in one picture Graham looks terrified. I am not sure if that is a face he just made for the camera or if he was really terrified!

March 28, 2019

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  • I did go a bit easy on the kids this morning when we only did half of our morning reading. I would rather do all of it and none of our real school work, but the end of the year is fast approaching and I want to start finishing some more things. 
  • I knew we wouldn't have too long today, so I made sure that everyone had a fairly short day of school but still had to do their hardest things (math, writings, etc.) That worked out well, and everyone was finished in time to do a few chores before we loaded up to leave.
  • At noon, we arrived in Conway to pack food with the Tacos for Life organization. We have done this now 3 times-once with our buddies and twice by ourselves. Conway is a bit to drive but it was fun today because Robby was able to meet us there for a little bit.
  • The kids all worked pretty hard. I do have two that have a bit harder time than others working hard. Reagan spent most of her time holding the bag under the funnel. She could really do that quickly and was probably working as fast as two people.
  • Anderson did a lot of weighing the pack along with scooping up the stuff for the bag. Graham did pretty much the same as Anderson. Campbell enjoyed weighing the stuff the most. Keaton would bounce from scooping to weighing. Whitman could really only do one job-helping seal the bags. He would try to scoop but was a bit too slow. At one point he did ask, "how many more hours?" Two hours is a long time to work.
  • My job was mainly sealing the bags. While Robby was there, he took over the sealing and I was able to help scooping. We did manage to work our part of the table fairly well. While we were packing, our buddies wrote about Third Realm. I knew that I should have put those socks in the car.
  • After fighting a bit of traffic getting out of Conway, we had to miss their Sonic and ended up at our Sonic. That was fine because we didn't have to wait very long. Then we were able to run home and get back to Third Realm to join our friends.
  • The kids jumped for an hour after working for two hours. From there, we met Robby in the parking lot at the gas station, and he took everyone buy Campbell to soccer practice.
  • Tonight was the first soccer practice for the season. Anderson and Graham are on the same team. Robby is coaching their team along with Keaton's team. Reagan is helping coach Keaton's team too so that will be fun.
  • Campbell wasn't able to go to her first soccer practice. Instead we are spending the night at the Nutrition Center. I hope that this is the closest we ever get to spend the night at Childrens. We arrived at 6 and soon had our supper-she had mac and cheese, corn, milk and an uncrustable. After she ate, he weighed her food which I thought was really interesting. Then we played a few games, painted and even played in the playroom.
  • After Campbell's shower, we both had a huge cookie and milk. The worker man had to weigh all of her trash as well but there were no leftovers to her cookies. After she ate that, we had a few more minutes until lights out. Campbell had to go to bed at 9, and she is wearing a fit bit type thing to track her sleep. Hopefully she sleeps well-hopefully I sleep well too!

March 27, 2019

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  • Wednesday morning and the only the two big boys were awake this morning. Anderson was down stairs playing on his ipad, and Graham was upstairs playing on the xbox while Whitman was still sound asleep. That was fine though since it was time to wake up anyway. 
  • I woke up the girls and tried to wake up Whitman, but then quickly headed to my shower. Soon everyone was awake and almost ready to go. I did have my chocolate chip bagel for breakfast this morning on the way-it was delicious but I was afraid that I had melted chocolate chips all over my mouth during Bible study.
  • After Bible study, I ran into Walmart to buy Whitman a prize for his politeness chart along with a few hundred Easter eggs for our homeschool group to fill for The Shack. Then we met the Kamps at Third Realm. Today was our 32nd time to visit Third Realm. Sara and I sat upstairs today while she ate her lunch, and the music was much quieter which we liked!
  • We unpacked the car once we came home. I did a few things around the house before we did some history reading. I have now requested all of the books that I want to read this school year. Though we did listen to a story today so now I do want to add a book about Corrie Ten Boom or Anne Frank, but there is always next year.
  • We had to leave for church fairly early this afternoon. There was a wreck on Lawson so I had to make a long detour to get there. I really needed to check out some more library books so I did run to the library, making us late.
  • We had to be at church early to be in a video for VBS. I had thought that I would need to say something but thankfully, I didn't have to. They just used the kids. We didn't really rehearse but Whitman was so excited about it. I sure hope that used/or can even understand what he said. I am sure that they probably won't ask us to help them anytime soon after today!
  • Reagan headed off to the students who were having a big event today and the rest of us went to eat. Graham and I were the only ones who wanted to try to meatloaf. It was pretty good, but the fried potatoes, rolls and cake were much better.
  • The kids all went their different ways to their different classes. My kiddos were on the playground tonight for their games, so I went to see what all happens in the youth.  I left impressed. Soon, we were all headed home.
  • Robby had been to the store while we were gone and had ice cream sandwiches then we watched way to much Animal Planet before putting the kids into bed.

March 26, 2019

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  • The boys were all up this morning when I woke up. Whitman did come in our room briefly to ask his usual question. "Is today Big Church day?" I love church days, but not my boy. When I told him that today was not Big Church day but was school day, he squealed, "yes!"
  • We started on our school this morning. We didn't finish as early as we did yesterday, but everyone was finished by lunchtime. Anderson has been working on an essay. The prompt for his essay was a quote by Martin Luther, and he did a really good job-Anderson, not Luther. Well, Martin Luther did good too, but I was talking about Anderson.
  • We had our lunch and did some reading before working on our chores. I ran to the treadmill for a little bit before we all rushed out of the house. We picked up the Heltz and then met the Powells at Third Realm. Yesterday, there were a few people there, but today it was just us. The kids loved jumping in the empty place.
  • As soon we arrived back home, the kids headed outside to play. They stayed outside until after 7. I was working on supper-potatoes, sweet potatoes and sausage like at Silver Dollar City along with some chicken nuggets for my non adventurous eaters. 
  • Luckily, the kids did come in about the same time that supper was ready but by the time that we were finished eating and had the kitchen clean, it was almost 8:30. That made for a fairly short evening.

March 25, 2019

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  • The Monday after Spring Break went much better than I could have ever expected. I really worried when I walked thought the house and discovered that everyone was still sound asleep upstairs. It was after 8, so I am not sure how Graham and Anderson were still asleep.
  • We started our reading while everyone was eating their breakfast in my bedroom. I am not really sure what all happened today, but I was finished with my stuff by 11:30. Anderson was even done with his work by noon so all of the stars must have been aligned.
  • Everyone ate-well, actually everyone worked on their lunches while I read. I am not sure why everyone have stopped eating sandwiches, but no one eats them anymore. Today's lunches were a bagel, lots of breakfast burritos, a wrap and a hot dog. I guess my people really enjoy their breakfasts since they were still eating breakfast at lunch time.
  • Then it was time for some chores. At the first of the week, chore time is fairly short because the kids pick their chores from a list. Once all of the easy chores are gone, then things take a bit longer. Since it is Monday, there were plenty of easy ones to choose from today.
  • After chore time, we did some afternoon reading. Today, I went ahead and requested all of the library books that I want to finish reading this school year to the kids. We are about to finish our science book so I will be able to read a little more of other things. 
  • I then walked on the treadmill until it was time for us to load up and meet our buddies at Third Realm. The kids jumped hard and enjoyed their time there. On the way home, we listened to our book and will hopefully finish it tomorrow or the next day. 
  • I did some of my computer work this afternoon-planning Whitman's birthday party mainly. Then Robby and I worked on getting our supper ready. We had left over bbq which everyone approved of. Whitman even ate all of his sandwich so we know that it was a hit. 
  • Afterwards, the kids had their showers followed by some down time before it was finally time for bed!

March 24, 2019

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  • I guess that we did sleep in a bit too long today, or maybe I shouldn't put two french braids in Campbell and Keaton's hair. I had about 15 minutes until it was time to leave when I hopped in the shower. Usually, that wouldn't be an issue but I had to wash my hair. Since I usually just wash my hair on Sundays and Wednesdays, it was a must do today. I am not sure if that is sharing too much information or not. 
  • We made it to church in time to see the grands. Campbell and Keaton had cute hair and I had clean hair so all was well. The sermon was good this morning-both of them. Whitman did get a bit tired at the end and not so quietly asked me, "is this the last song?" 
  • The Hispanic church was selling Mexican food in the parking lot today so that is what Pops' bought for our lunch. It was pretty good or maybe it is more accurate to say "it is good to try new things." There were tamales, enchiladas (nothing like what we would call an enchilada) and some other something or another. Nonna had rice and beans so there was plenty even for my non-adventurous eaters.
  • After eating, we watched the end of a basketball game. My kids have enjoyed watching basketball this year-even the little girls. They are all about checking their brackets. So far, I am ahead and it looks like it will stay that way for a while. I am pretty sure that I will not stay in the lead so I am living it up.
  • Once at home this afternoon, Robby and I had our naps. He did get up briefly when our Girl Scout cookies were delivered. We snacked on them alone upstairs until the kids got word that we were eating cookies. Soon the bonus room was filled with people eating the cookies. Except I order Somoas because I know that no one will eat those cookies since they have coconut in them!
  • Reagan left next to go to her life group tonight. They were climbing Pinnacle. I love her life group leaders, and she always has fun when she is there. There were only 6 kids there tonight, but they still had a blast.
  • During her life group, the rest of us went to Third Realm. The boys just sweat when they are there-it is so good for them. When they finished, we ran to Walmart. Campbell still needed cleats for soccer so I bought her a pair. We also grabbed Whitman a birthday present from Jason. The girls enjoyed helping me pick it out. 
  • We did grab supper on the way home. Robby vacuumed a little bit upstairs and then it was time to leave to pick up Reagan. Robby drove so I went in to get the girls and Noah. They were awaiting some cookies that were in the oven so we stayed a few minutes. On the way to drop of Noah, Robby did stop to pick me up a Starbucks drink. 
  • Once at home, everyone had a snack and then it was time to for bed for the crew. Whitman had already finished off the water that was in his water bottle. I refilled it (a tiny bit) and he was just downstairs trying to get some more. I made him potty and gave him another sip of water but am expecting wet sheets tomorrow!

March 23, 2019

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  • It was a lazy wonderful Saturday around here. Whitman was the first one in our room this morning, and he needed someone to pour his milk. We did that and were soon back in the bed. We stayed in the bed as long as we could this morning because there is only one more Saturday until soccer games and yard work start!
  • After Whitman ate his breakfast, he ran back in our room incredibly proud of himself. He had a powdered donut mustache and was super anxious to show it off to us.
  • Campbell and Keaton were anxious to play with the neighbors. They had me text and eventually rode down their to ring their doorbell. I am not sure if they answered the door or not, but Campbell and Keaton didn't show back up until 2ish this afternoon.
  • Robby and I watched the Hogs play their basketball game. Anderson came in our room to watch some and when he was in the room, they would do better. We encouraged him to stay and he did for a while, but eventually he left and the score went kaploot.
  • All of the kids eventually ended outside to play. They played and played pretty hard and loud until the neighbors had to go home for lunch. By this time it was well after 2 so we soon loaded up and headed to Third Realm. 
  • It was pretty crowded there, but the kids still had a blast. Afterwards, we ran by Sonic to get a drink. Then we went to the other side of town to pick up a few groceries, our Dairy Queen hamburgers, and then a Academy run. 
  • We had to go to Academy because Anderson and Campbell needed new cleats for soccer. There was no way I was going to squeeze Anderson's foot in the pair that he wore last year. And Campbell tried on one pair that was too small and one pair, the next size up, that was too large. I wasn't able to find Campbell any that fit her, but Anderson did find a pair.
  • We also had to stop there because the pair of slides that Graham had on disappeared today at Third Realm. I do think that is was just an accident because there was a pair of similar slides near his. His were Nike though so I am not positive on my assumption. Keaton has a really eye catching pair of slides so I do always make sure that she puts them under someone else's shoes. From now on, we will have a bag to put all of our shoes in. Graham was able to find a new pair that he liked, within my budget, so we all left happy.
  • Once at home, showers were started while we worked preparing supper. There were hamburgers, hot dogs, baked potatoes, mac and cheese, corn, and beans. We were working hard on clearing out the fridge just a little bit.
  • We all ate, worked on the kitchen and then everyone finished showers. We eventually ended up all in the living room catching up on our Bates tv shows and eating Little Debbie snacks. 

March 22, 2019

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  • My phone buzzed around 8:30 with this text, "are you awake?" I quickly answered no. It was my Graham already trying to work on his school work. I am very grateful for his "get up and go"-ness but not on the last day of spring break.
  • Soon I had poured Whitman's milk and text Graham back that I was indeed awake. I helped him as I folded my laundry pile. I read to Whitman some this morning and let him read to me along with doing a few other things around the house.
  • The kids were anxiously awaiting for the neighbors to come out, but they never showed. I eventually snuck out the door headed to the grocery store.
  • I did actually stop at Painted Tree before going go the grocery store. I enjoyed walking through the place and taking pictures of things that I would like to make some day. Then I finally made it to the grocery store. Yep, twice in less than 12 hours-I do love the grocery store! It made me happier than Painted Tree.
  • When I came home, Robby and the kids were gone. They had all headed to Third Realm for a bit of jumping. It was pretty crowded, but they still enjoyed it.
  • While they were gone, I text the doctor from the study since Keaton now has a hive like rash all over her body. Her antibiotic can cause hives, but she finished her antibiotic today so it is kind of late. The doctor said start right on benedryl and zyrtec. Hopefully, that will help but hasn't really as of late tonight. She is not really itching so that at least is really good. 
  • The neighbors did come out this afternoon right as we were about to leave. The kids did play for about 30 minutes before we finally had to have them load up. Tony had smoked a huge thing of meat for us tonight that we ate on for supper. We brought the corn and Shannon had the slaw and tater tots.
  • Then we all went to work making our own batch of cinnamon rolls. We wanted to share our knowledge from the class that we went to. It was fun and took all evening long. It was after 10 when we were finally getting to enjoy the fruits of our labor and eat some of those cinnamon rolls. They are pretty good-hopefully, I am able to get one before they are all gone tomorrow.

March 21, 2019-Pioneer Woman Trip 2019

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I know that the kids had a great day at both of their grandparents houses. The bigs took a quick trip to Hot Springs to go to Mid America for a bit and even eat some pizza. The littles spent the day taking care of Dana’s dogs, going to Hurts for a snack and the dollar store for a treat. They also made a craft, and Campbell and Keaton even went to aerobics.

Robby and I woke up in plenty of time this morning to get ourselves to breakfast. He wasn’t really impressed with the breakfast since there were no biscuits and gravy which is the gold standard to all hotels for him. I just had half of my bagel since I was still really full from last night and I knew that we were headed back to the Mercantile to grab a sweet breakfast item to eat.

After eating, we loaded up and then did drive back to Pawhuska. We could definitely tell a difference in the crowds being a bit thicker in the morning. By the time we left, there were lots more people and when we returned in the afternoon after the lodge, it was craziness.

I did do a little bit of shopping this morning. I bought a necklace, an ornament and Robby even convinced me to buy a shirt. Then we headed upstairs for a sweet treat. We ordered a cinnamon roll and a sticky bun. They were both very good, but there were so many choices that we kind of second guessed our choices.

From there, we headed way down the road to Pioneer Woman’s lodge. It is a super ways out of town-you wouldn’t be running back to town to grab some ice cream. There was a crowd there but we were able to wonder around opening drawers and cabinets. It was lots of fun and made me want to watch all of Pioneer Woman’s shows.

We then went back to town to eat at the P-Town Pizza. The wait was about 30 minutes, so we spent some time browsing some little shops nearby. The pizza place was neat. We tried the knot knots which were appetizers. They were excellent. Then Robby and I split a pizza that had tomatoes, goat cheese and balsamic vinegar on it. It had other stuff too but I really loved it. Surprisingly, Robby even said that he would order it again.

Then it was back in the car, and we zoomed to Siloam Springs. It was just 30 minutes more going that way and the Dayspring Store and the Little Debbie stores were calling our names. We knew that we had to hurry to get there since everything closed at 5.

The boys dropped Shannon and I off at the Dayspring store and drove off to get to the Little Debbie store before it closed. Now, it didn’t take long for Shannon and I to realize that we were at the factory and not the outlet. So we had to call the boys to come get us. They rushed back and dropped us off at the right place-just a few miles away. Then they ran to the Little Debbie store.

Shannon and I laughed to see that our store was really open until 6 so we had no reason to worry. We pottied and had plenty of time to browse. I bought a few little things, and soon the boys were back to pick us up. They had filled 3 bags each with goodies from the Little Debbie store. It is definitely on Robby’s list to return when we come back this way this summer.
We didn’t stop again until Kroger’s in Conway. There were a few sales that we needed to pick up plus Robby wanted to buy a butt for Tony to smoke. I am not sure what kind of butt was bought so sorry I can’t be more specific.

We rushed around Kroger picking up the sale items and then had to reload the car so we could get everyone and everything in it once we picked everyone up. We picked up the littles from Grannymom’s house. Then we met Brett and his grandpa at the gas station. He piled in the car, and we dropped off the Wilson’s and their bags and bags of stuff.

Pops and Nonna had brought the big crew home a few minutes before we arrived. They had all taken their showers and were slightly unpacked. It didn’t take us long at all to unpack everyone, and the house was quiet by 11.

March 20, 2019-Pioneer Woman Trip 2019

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I did manage to sleep later than I have any other day this week. We did comment that Whitman must still be asleep because he hadn’t been in our room asking for help with his morning milk. My first tasks this morning were the laundry and dishes.

Also the ants are back in full force in the house. Graham was the first one to spy them near his bed. I sprayed last night and then he made sure to sleep on the floor so none of the ants got him during the night. By the time that we went to bed, we had seen some ants in the kitchen. This morning they were in the bathroom downstairs. I sprayed liberally all over the place making sure to spray circles around all of the drawers and cabinets that contain food!

The kids started to wake up, well my big boys were already awake, so I started telling everyone what they needed to get started on. This was met without much enthusiasm. I did have to wake Campbell up because my car was the first one to leave the house.

Robby did have to run to get my gas since I used it all yesterday. Then Campbell, Whitman and I were off to pick up Keaton. She had spent the night at Sophia’s house and had a blast. She told us all about it-they made slime, they made pottery, they watched Tangled.

From there, we took Keaton to her last dermatology appointment. They were super pleased about how well her arms are looking. They have improved quite a bit. We still have a few more days of antibiotic left to finish. The doctor did just say to make sure that we keep her arms moisturized.

My next stop was dropping my little three off at Grannymom and Grandpa’s house for the night. They were super excited. Whitman even asked me to hurry up and leave. I think that they have ben busy with Dana’s dogs and even managed to go to Third Realm today.

Robby was dropping off the big three at Nonna and Pops’ house. This crew was excited as well. I think that they knew they were going to get to stop at Hurts donuts at some point, and indeed they did. We hadn’t even left the state, and my crew was finishing Hurts donuts.

After we dropped off the kids, Robby and I picked up the Wilson’s for our spur of the moment road trip to Pawhuska to see the Pioneer Woman. Our first stop was in Fort Smith at Ed Walker’s Drive In. It was pretty good-Robby and I split their French Dip sandwich which is what they are famous for. It was decent but pretty meaty!

We walked around the Hanging Judge National Site before getting back on the road to Oklahoma. We had thought that it would take at least until 8 before we made it, but we were there around 6. The Mercantile was still opened, and we were able to eat at the restaurant. We didn’t have to wait long at all and were able to browse while we waited.

Robby and I were here with the kids exactly two years ago. It was crazy, crazy crowded. It was so full that we couldn’t buy anything, and we sure weren’t going to wait in the line that wrapped all around the building. We kept telling the WIlson’s how full everything was last time, but they didn’t believe us. It probably helped that we arrived right near closing time.

Our meal was good tonight. The biscuits were excellent, but probably not as good as Joanna Gaines’ biscuits that we have frozen in the freezer. Robby and Tony had the chicken fried steak which was a bit bland. I had the spicy pulled pork which was really good, but again very meaty (I know, I probably should have expected that.) Shannon had the lasagna which was the favorite of the table. We were so full by the time that we left, that we didn’t even think about asking for dessert.

We then walked around the area. We passed the Pioneer Woman’s hotel, pizza place, office, and event place. There were also two areas that were under construction that she is probably building or expanding things as well. Then it was back to the car to head towards our hotel in Bartlesville.

The plan tomorrow is to do some shopping back at the Merc tomorrow, sample a few of the sweet things and even go down to the lodge for little bit. We might even squeeze in some pizza as well. It took us about 30 minutes to make it to our hotel, then we munched on cookies in the lobby. Actually, we did eat one just because they were delicious (chocolate chips, macadamia nuts, coconut and oatmeal-actually, better than any food I have had yet this trip.)

March 19, 2019

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  • I didn't mark too many things off of my list today. I wish that I could some how explain to Whitman that it is spring break week, and there is no reason to wake up early. Since I was awake at pretty much the normal time, if not earlier, maybe I should have accomplished a few more things off of my list.
  • Anderson, Graham and Whitman were the early ones to wake up. They all worked on their school work fairly early this morning. I really should make them do something like this each day of the summer since it takes them no time at all or maybe not since it is a bit of work for me too. 
  • Whitman and I read this morning in my bed. I tried to convince him to go back to sleep, but not surprisingly, he would have nothing to do with that. Soon Campbell and Keaton were awake and had me helping them with their school work.
  • Keaton and I ran to the Dollar Store this morning to pick up a few little presents to put in a birthday gift. I also ran in Michaels to buy something (for Christmas-yes, Christmas). We hurried home so she could return to playing with the neighbors outside.
  • I worked around the house a bit this afternoon, but at 2ish we loaded up to head to Third Realm. On the way we picked up 4 extra kiddos plus Robby dropped Cash off to meet us. The line was long, but when we stepped in the line with 11 kiddos, the line became very long. The worker man was wonderful and quickly let the pass holders move out of the long line.
  • The kids all had fun jumping. It took me a while to herd and count all of the crew to get them back in the car. We ran Cash home, then dropped of the Heltz, then ran home to give Keaton a dose of her medicine before taking her to her birthday party. Keaton was so excited to get to her party, and I am so happy that her arms aren't bothering her anymore so she can enjoy herself.
  • Once we finally made it home, I had a few minutes of down time before we headed to the Wilson's house for supper. We picked up Reagan from down the road on the way there. Tony had made some delicious chicken and fried pickles that we gobbled up. Actually, I am the one that gobbled up all of the pickles. 
  • We stayed out too late because when we came home, the kids still had to do some last minute packing and straightening. We managed to get it all done and get in bed at a decent hour-maybe tomorrow will be the day that we sleep in a little bit.

March 18, 2019

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  • Spring Break Day 1 and we woke up to Graham telling us that there was a police car at a house across the way from us. I heard more sirens and got up to look in time to see another police and them ambulance arrive. It wasn't too early, though it was early for a spring break day. What was interesting was that the sheriff stayed for a good long while after everyone else had left.
  • Robby's spring break work week is busy so he wasn't much fun today since we didn't see him come downstairs at all. Since he was busy early, I decided that I should get busy as well. I started with my bathroom cabinet and drawers. That didn't take too long but I did have to stop a few times to help people with their school work.
  • Then there was the laundry followed by making pumpkin muffins with Graham. We made the muffins to thank the neighbors for watching our house while we were at Branson. I read to Whitman this morning and listened to him read to me. 
  • I eventually settled in the kitchen and made 2 recipes of breakfast burritos along with 3 pans of manicotti. It is not often that I think that I need a larger stove or even more burners but today I surely felt that way trying to boil 2 packages of noodles, brown 4 pounds of sausage and scramble 2 dozen eggs. 
  • By the time that I had finished my kitchen duty, it was after 1. The kids grabbed their lunches-well, Reagan ate hers around 4 when she came down the stairs. She spent most of her spring break day upstairs on her bed-I think that is her happy place.
  • I had planned to take a few folks with me to Third Realm but the neighbors came out to play so I had no takers. Instead I took Whitman to the library. He had asked to go the other day when I ran in on a Wednesday. So this time I gave him plenty of time to look around. 
  • At the library, I would show him a book and he would read the title and decide it he liked it. One book was about someone's underwear. When he read that title, he just laughed out loud. Then he walked up to a little bit playing with a toy. Whitman told the kid, "that was my favorite toy when I was growing up."
  • On the drive home, Whitman read a book to me. It was one that he did not want to me to turn in so we kept it. He read each word and when he came to a word that he didn't know, he would spell it out for me to tell him the word. When we made it home, he was still reading. I told him to get out of the car but he didn't hear me and continued reading. He eventually came in when he had finished his book.
  • Most of the kids played outside for the rest of the afternoon/evening. I worked on cleaning our shower but I think that it needs more attention than just me trying to scrub it. I might need me to tear the tile out-nah, not really. I have plenty of spring break projects but nothing that large. I do have plenty of large projects but nothing on my list for this week.
  • Graham made a gigantic sugar cookie this afternoon for our supper tonight. The Wilson's came over to eat our manicotti with us. After eating, we gabbed for a long while the kids played. Whitman and the boys enjoyed throwing pretend snowballs all over the living room as we tried to talk!
  • It was a pretty great first day to our break. I haven't decided what I will try to accomplish tomorrow, but maybe I will just take a nap!

March 17, 2019

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  • Last night Robby asked me if I had set my alarm. Indeed I had and not too surprisingly, at some point in the morning I had even turned off my alarm. I woke right up when I finally did wake up. I am not sure what woke me up, but it is a good thing that I did wake up when I did! 
  • We still had plenty of time to get ourselves ready and make it to church on time. Campbell and Keaton had already laid out their clothes for today to make sure that they remembered their green for St. Patrick's Day.
  • We saw all of the grands before big church. On the way to church this morning, Whitman was complaining and Robby told the boy that he was going to sign him up for "Big Church Summer Camp." 
  • We had lunch at Grannymom's house. After we ate, the kids enjoyed the nice weather outside and played until we left. We took Cash with us and stopped at Third Realm on the way home. The kids acted like they were pretty tired today-maybe since they haven't been to Third Realm lately, they are out of shape.
  • After jumping, we all came home. Robby and I went to work on the laundry while the kids played some more. I think that they played a bit outside before coming in. Cash was with us so they all enjoyed playing with him.
  • The laundry took Robby and I a good little bit. It was at least 3 days worth of laundry to fold. I often see people on the computer posting about their mounds of laundry when they have one or two kids. I would like to smack those people over the head. But that wouldn't be nice! 
  • Once we finished the laundry, we did work on our grocery list for a bit. We then took Cashy home to his house. Afterwards, we ate at Popeyes for our supper. We did leave Reagan and Graham at home, so we brought them supper to eat at home. 
  • We also ran to the grocery store for a little bit. Of course a little bit often turns into a buggy full. Campbell and Anderson enjoyed ringing up all of my groceries for me. Once we made it home, everyone had their showers while Reagan and Graham ate. Then it was time for bed for the crew-I am sure that everyone will sleep in for the start of their spring break tomorrow. (Not really!)

March 16, 2019-Branson Trip 1

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I do believe that hotel sleeping is the best sleeping. Now Anderson told us last night that he didn't like hotel beds. I thought that Robby was going to throw him out of the room. Seriously though, we were both in disbelief at how our child could not like hotel beds-even motel beds.

I guess that just means that the kids' beds are much better than ours. Maybe we love hotel sleeping so much because our bed is pretty sad. If you do remember, the salesperson who sold us our mattress said that it was a good choice for a kid's bed. She quickly changed her story when we told her our budget, and then she highly suggested the kid's bed mattress for us!

I got a bit of track, didn't I? Back to this morning, we slept in a little bit. Then we rushed around to get to breakfast before it closed. We all went together and then ran back to our room to load up and leave. The kids tickle me when we check out of a hotel-it seems that everyone helps check to make sure that we don't leave anything. 

Everyone did help us load up the van, but since we were in a motel there was lots of excitement about pitching our bags from the second floor down to the van below. I am not so sure why this excited the kids so. Robby eventually put a stop to it when he saw his computer backpack hanging over the edge!

From the hotel, we headed on to our final stop in Branson-The Coleman Store. We are pretty consistent at that store. We walk around-touching everything. The kids get in tents, lay on cots and sit in chairs. Then we also almost always buy an ice chest and today was not different. Today's ice chest was bought to store water bottles on a trip. 

Then we headed on towards home. We stopped at our normal rest stop that we always do. It was after the curves so Keaton's tummy was giving her problems. While everyone else ran to go to the bathroom, Keaton and I walked around outside. There was a river behind the gas station so we looked at it for a bit. As soon as she is distracted, she usually perks right up and did today. We then met up with the others in the bathroom to meet up with some folks from home heading to Branson.

We made it to Greenbrier before eating. We stopped at Steak n Shake for our late lunch. The meals were pretty inexpensive so we even had shakes for dessert. They were pretty good-I try to avoid shakes but still had my share as we passed the 3 around taking one bite at a time.

From there, it didn't take too long at all until we were home. Everyone helped unload the car and put away all of our stuff. The neighbors were out so the kids headed out to play and for the most part, they stayed out until Robby called them home for supper.

We heated up all of our leftovers around 7, and then picked up the Wilsons to try out Hurts. Unfortunately, by the time that we finally made it all the way across town, we decided that the line might just be too long to wait. Since there is really no other dessert place around, we ended up at Krispy Kreme. 

We brought our donuts back to eat and it didn't take long for us to demolish 2 dozen donuts. The kids then had some extra energy and ended up back outside playing with the neighbors who were surprisingly still out. 

Once the Wilsons headed home, it was shower time and bedtime for the crew. It was well after 10 before everyone finally laid down here. I think that my crew was pretty tired-or at least I am!

March 15, 2019-Branson Trip 1

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Aw, hotel sleeping is pretty good. Though Robby couldn't get to sleep last night and a few times during the evening, I was hot or I was cold. So I would have to kick the covers off or move closer to Robby, but when we started to stir at 7, we were all super rested.

The boys in the room with us were the first to stir. When they saw that it was 7, they went to get their ipads and then sat with their heads under the cover and played until more people were awake. Whitman woke up and climbed in the bed between Robby and me. I think that he still thought that it was night time because it was so dark outside still.

Soon everyone was dressed and headed out to go and get breakfast. Well, everyone but Reagan, Whitman and I. Reagan and I were still getting ready and Whitman didn't care. Anderson and Graham brought Whitman back breakfast, and then Reagan and I went to grab something to eat. They didn't have a large selection but it was plenty because Keaton had her toast, Robby had his gravy and I had my bagel.

The sun was blaring into our room every time that we opened the door this morning. We assumed that was a sign that it would be warm even though we knew that it was about 10 degrees cooler today. There was still some wind so most of the day was spent with our hats and gloves on. In the afternoon, it did warm up but by the time we left again, we were again getting chilly. Overall, the weather could have been much cooler so they day was actually pretty pleasant. We are pretty sunburned and windburned tonight!

The park opened at 9:30 and we were there before. Many of the rides can't open until it is a certain degrees so the first few hours of our park time was spent walking from here to there looking for a ride. We were able to do Fire in the Hole and the Flooded Mine.

By lunch time more rides started opening. It was crowded but not too bad. Keaton and Campbell are such daredevils. Keaton can ride a few of the big roller coasters-well, she snuck by on them. She is probably an inch to short but with her hat and hair in a bun she passed. She loved every single ride that she went on. And Campbell could keep riding and riding without every stopping.

We were with the Heltz all of the day long. They had come down with just Alyssa to celebrate her 13th birthday. As they were buying their food, Robby did buy us fries to supplement our lunch. Along with our fries we had cracker packages, granola bars and Robby had cut up some sausage that we ate along with some crackers. 

I guess that Whitman's breakfast had been light because he ate a package of crackers, at least 4 slices of Robby's sausage with crackers, a bag of gummies and a a muffin that we had thrown in Robby's bag that he didn't eat at breakfast. He was about to dig into a package of cookies, but it was time to start walking. We did let him have his cookies the next time that we stopped to wait on the big kids to ride a ride. 

We covered the park about a zillion times to day. My watch says that I walked 19 thousand steps today and I am sure that it was at least that. We didn't think that we woulds stay at the park all day long, but since we were in no hurry the day was pleasant.

Some of the kids would have been content coming back to the hotel to eat some more bbq, but instead we opted to try a new restaurant. We picked Falls Creek-Robby had seen that they had catfish and that sounded good to him. Robby and I usually split a meal but the largest catfish plate they had was 2 fillets.

He thought that we should order our own, so we each were brought a plate with a baked potato, another side and 2 catfish fillets. However, the fillets were the size of my computer keyboard. Seriously, they were as long as my head. I couldn't eat all of one. It was laughable at how large they were. And really none of us needed anything to else after the rolls.

We had seen that the sign said that they had throwed rolls. The kids loved the rolls at Lamberts-even more than the rolls, they loved catching the rolls. When I went in to find out the wait, they were even throwing rolls in the entry way. I was eating a roll as I went out to tell Robby and the kids that there wasn't a wait. The place was actually huge, so there was no need to worry about a wait at all.

By the time we had our food, we were all working on our third roll. I did let the kids get one more while we were eating, just so we could put it in our take home box. Yes, I know. I have become my momma. But seriously, we had 2 and a half catfish fillets to take home. They alone nearly filled up my box. If I had a ruler, I would take a picture of them so you could see and really believe me about how big they were.

After eating, we headed back to the hotel. Only probably about having a big family in a hotel room is the lack of bathrooms. Both boys needed to use the restroom so that slowed us down on our showering. We did catch up though and soon most everyone was showered. 

Once most folks had their showers, Robby pulled out his hair trimmers. Anderson had his hair cut first, followed by Whitman and then Robby. Whitman was not too sure about getting his hair cut. He told Robby, "Seriously? We are in a hotel." He continued to tell Robby that we were messing up a hotel. Robby assured him that he would clean it all up. 

After hair was cut and showers were finished, we tired to finish off our ice cream. We still have quite a bit left but I don't think that we can get it home. We will probably pass out ice cream sandwiches at some point during the morning!

March 14, 2019-Branson Trip 1

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While I was hitting snooze on my alarm this morning, Graham came in to our room. I guess he didn't know what kind of sound it was. Then he asked me if I was going to get up. I politely reminded him that of course I was going to get up, but I always hit snooze for 45 minutes! Well, almost! When I did wake up though, Graham had already done his school work and placed it in the floor right in front of our door.

I made a few trips around waking people up, telling people to start their school work, checking things, reminding people to brush their teeth and put away their laundry. Probably by the time that we left the house, I had nearly 5 thousand steps just walking around the house. I did have time to take my shower and fold the last little bit of the laundry. 

By the time that we left this morning, I had given Keaton her medicine and put three different creams on her little arms. They are looking a bit better, and I think that they will even improve more as the antibiotic starts working. We even lotioned up again while we were on the road. I plan on getting those arms better!

We had talked about leaving around 10, but never really rushed. So it was about 10:15 when we finally pulled out of the driveway. We started our trek to Branson. We stopped once for the potty and once for lunch at Arbys. For some reason, the drive up seemed a little bit long to Robby. He did have to battle quite a few construction barrels along with some crazy wind. 

We weren't too sure if we were going to go to Silver Dollar City today or not, but decided that we might as well. We knew the park closed at 6 tonight, but since we arrived around 2:30, we had plenty of time to play. We were pretty surprised at the full parking lot though.

Our first stop in the park was the bathroom, as it usually is. After the drive and the walk up to the park, I was the one that needed to stop in the bathroom. Then we headed on towards Fire in the Hole. A few of the big roller coasters had long waits but the kids did go on Wild Fire. Everyone rode Thunderation twice. This ride is Whitman's favorite.

We stopped for a bit to eat a snack and then as soon as we left our snack spot, Robby handed Reagan money to go and buy a funnel cake. Even Graham said, "did we just have a snack?" We still all devoured that funnel cake though like we hadn't eaten in a few days. It was pretty perfect. Now Anderson wants me to try to figure out how to make funnel cakes at home. Wonder if the instant pot can do that?

We rode the gun ride and walked down the one of the kiddie areas. Campbell, Keaton and Whitman rode on the little roller coaster. It was the longest wait that we had, and it was also the coldest that we were waiting on that ride. Today was 10 degrees warmer than it should be tomorrow, but today the wind was blowing like crazy. We all had on hat and gloves today, and tomorrow hopefully everyone has packed a bit warmer clothes. I will have a whole other layer to wear tomorrow. We did enough today though that if we leave early tomorrow, we will have seen and done it all.

Once we left the park, we drove right to our motel. We have stayed here before but it has been a very long time. We have one room that is larger than a regular motel room, plus there is a kitchen and a whole other bedroom. It is a huge place which fits us perfectly. There is a bed for everyone so I can see us staying here a few more times in the future. 

We all found a few spots on the beds and vegged out for a little bit while Robby did some work. Then we worked on our supper. We had brought bbq, chips and corn. It didn't take long for us to heat everything up. I think that everyone was pretty hungry since we ate a bit over a pound of meat, all the corn and a bag of chips. 

After everything was cleaned up, we then headed to go and find some dessert somewhere in Branson. We headed towards Hurts Donuts but decided that we might just should save Hurts for the new one at home. So we ended up at Walmart in the ice cream section. We bought a few treats along with an atlas. We just need to start keeping one in the car because Robby and I really like to plan our next trip or two or three while we are in the car. We can do it all on the phones but it is just a bit easier to be able to see things on the map.

There was pretty much no one on the strip tonight so it didn't take us long to get back to the hotel at all. We then pulled out the bowls and scooped up the ice cream for everyone. I think that everyone enjoyed the treat-Keaton was really the only one that wanted Hurts so she did get to pick her favorite kind of ice cream-mint.

We watched some tv and played on all of our devices until it was finally time for everyone to head to bed. It was a pretty great day.

March 13, 2019

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  • Another rainy morning and another day that only my big boys were awake at 8. I made the loop waking everyone-it took me a few loops around to finally get the girls stirring. When we had about 5 minutes until it was time that we left, I again made my loop downstairs telling people to put their dishes up, brush their teeth and get what they needed. I was pretty shocked to see that Anderson was still in his pjs! He said, "you never told me to put on my clothes." Gracious me!
  • We finished our book on tape this morning, and then headed into Bible study. Robby again picked up Keaton for her dermatology appointment. At some point, her eczema has turned into something else-possibly this was the cause for it to become so bad and for it to start spreading down her arms and now on her tummy.
  • That does mean that she will have to stop using the new testing drug which is fine with us. Her arms had really taken a turn for the worse the last few days and were driving her crazy itching. The doctor called her in a prescription so she is having to drink some medicine each day for the next 10 days. 
  • We immediately started putting lotions, creams and potions on her arms. They won't get truly better until the medicine takes effect, but hopefully once that happens we can kick her eczema goodbye too. Even after one dose of antibiotics and one good rub down with cream, they were already starting to look better. They are still really, really red though but hopefully not as itchy. 
  • She still has to go back to the study one more time so they can make sure that her little arms are indeed getting better. More than likely she will not get compensated for the whole study, but she will still get quite a bit of money-enough to buy what she wants to buy.
  • After her appointment, Keaton met us at Third Realm. This is our 23rd time to visit, and that place was packed with homeschoolers. Not really packed, but usually when we come during the day our group is the only ones. There were even some Amish kids there today!
  • When we had finished jumping, we ran to pick up Keaton's medicine and then came home to start dosing her up. Kennedy came home with us so we didn't really see much of Reagan and her until supper time. 
  • I did read to Whitman and had everyone do some more packing. You would laugh if you saw all of the stuff that we have to take on a trip. It really doesn't matter if we are gone for 30 days or 3 days-there is still so much stuff of pack. 
  • For supper, we had baked potatoes, biscuits and hamburgers (Robby picked up our Dairy Queen burgers today-the kids don't like the Dairy Queen buns so we buy the double hamburgers, bring them home and when we do eat them, we now have 6 burgers instead of 3! This thrills my soul and probably mortifies the kids. When they are old, they will tell their children about how cheap their parents were.)
  • On our way out of the door, Anderson decided that he didn't feel good. He said that his stomach hurt, and he did inhale his food at supper. We weren't too sure what was going on, so we did let him stay home. Robby did tell him that he couldn't do electronics though so he did nap, read and even played some. I am not too sure if he was really sick or if he just didn't want to go. He is a pretty tenderhearted kid so I do worry about him. 
  • By the time that rest of us made it back home-my shoes were still wet from our trip to the library before church. Whitman was acting crazy in the car so I made him come in with me. However I was not thinking about the crazy rain that was happening at the time so we were both pretty soaked by the time we made it back to the car. 
  • Also by the time we made it home, Anderson seemed to be in good spirits. He had a snack with the rest of us but did later say he still felt tired. Possibly time change has gotten to him. I think it has gotten to me too!
  • After our snack, the kids had a few minutes to just play on their devices before it was time for bed. Wednesdays are a pretty long day!

March 12, 2019

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  • Campbell and Graham were both awake this morning. Campbell was already working on her school work as my alarm was ringing. I then made sure that everyone was awake, and we moved to my bedroom to do our morning reading.
  • After we read, everyone had one school thing to do. I guess Anderson and Graham were not expecting for me to pick the hardest school thing, but of course I did. They both had writing and both were overwhelmed. I tried to stay calm, but Graham seemed like he didn't want to do any work and Anderson decided he didn't understand and would barely try. I helped both of them and they did finally finish in time to work on their chores.
  • Meanwhile, Campbell was being a sweet sister and was helping make the boys beds while they were still finishing their school work. Everyone was finished, and the house was straight when our homeschool buddies started arriving.
  • I was a bit bummed this morning when I saw that it was still raining. I really wanted for the kids to be able to play outside much of the day. It did however stop so they were able to play out which made things nice. When Whitman was playing out, he found himself some mud puddles to jump in and was wet and muddy when he came back inside. I actually just carried him to the shower!
  • I had so much fun at our homeschool day today. Nitzia did it all-maybe that is why I enjoyed it so much! First, we sat everyone down and she talked all about the history of the pinata. Then she showed everyone how to make one. The kids divided themselves up and soon got to work. 
  • Don't be surprised, but Reagan did little on the making of her pinata. She would have died if she would have had to stick her hand in the glue like everyone else. She made sure that she helped with the newspaper instead of the glue. 
  • Anderson was just like Reagan and did not touch his pinata much at all. Whitman was so excited to be Graham's partner. After he heard that the glue would get on your clothes, he was quick to stand up and start backing out of the kitchen. While I was helping the others, he did play with the balloons in the living room. When I did clean my hands, I was able to get him to at least tear some newspapers.
  • I am thankful that Campbell and Keaton went right to work on their pinatas. It was no small task and they did really well. Once the pinatas were done, I hung them in my attic to dry. Hopefully, they will dry well. While I was hanging pinatas, the moms wrapped up the table cloths covering the floor and started to prepare for the tortilla making.
  • Nitza told everyone about corn tortillas and how to make them. Then she had dough and tortilla presses for the kids to make their own. Since there were lots and lots of hands, we made a batch to eat and let the kids just practice making theirs. 
  • Then we had our lunch-homemade corn tortillas, guacamole, salsa, pineapple, salsa, black beans, beef, chicken, sour cream, limes, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, another type of cheese, and even cheese dip. The moms had brought all of the food and it was simply delicious. Maybe I was just hungry! But the kids did keep coming back for more food. 
  • I did make all of my kids except for Keaton try to corn tortillas. I do think that they mostly liked them. Obviously, they are not as good as a flour tortillas but when we smeared enough butter on them, everyone liked them.
  • Everyone stayed until about 2. It didn't take too long for us to clean up the house. So by 2:45ish, I was sitting on the couch. Whitman came to ask me to spell something on his ipad, and soon I was sound asleep cuddled up to him. He wasn't asleep but was sure a perfect pillow for me. 
  • I only stirred when my alarm went off reminding me to put the potatoes in the oven for our baked potatoes tonight. I got up and did that but soon ended back on the couch. I eventually did some packing as well as reading to Whitman. 
  • The kids are all in awe of the new tvs. Not really new tvs but satellites. I believe that we had most of the same channels before but it is like they have just discovered them. They are watching all of the same shows that we watch whenever we are at a hotel. Now, on a sad note-my Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel isn't in our package. I had planned to get back on the treadmill and watch some of these movies but now I am just destined to get chubby!
  • The neighbors that are never out were out this evening. I had supper ready about an hour and a half before the kids finally came in. We ate and then everyone worked on an evening list that I had made out for them. 
  • They had to shower, do some packing and prepare their lunch for tomorrow. It was a pretty busy evening. The kids weren't so busy that they forgot to ask for a snack though. I am not sure why they would need a snack right after eating supper, but we still passed one out though!

March 11, 2019

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  • I think that Time Change might have hit me harder than the kids. It sure didn't bother Graham at all because he was up and playing his ipad before anyone else in this house had even stepped out of the bed!
  • I woke everyone else up and by some miracle, we all had our breakfasts and were in my bedroom, reading all before 8:15. We read a few books and even finished a few. After a run to the library this afternoon, we only have 81 books checked out. I am working on getting that number down a little bit.
  • The kid started on their school around 9. Keaton is so close to finishing her spelling, and that will make me happy, happy. Now if I could just get my Whitman to finish his spelling. The boy can sure read, but he can't spell at all. We have been working hard, but his attention span and my patience only lasts for about 5-7 words a day.
  • Anderson worked and finished his school work before lunch time. We ate our lunch and then did a few chores. Tomorrow is homeschool day here with all of our buddies so we had to do a little bit of extra cleaning. 
  • Once we finished all of that, we worked on our afternoon reading and also finished another Jr. Ranger book. We are approaching 50 Jr. Ranger badges! Afterwards, we had a bit of free time before meeting all of our buddies at Third Realm. Yep, it was our 8th day in a row. Just FYI, I do not plan on going there tomorrow.
  • After we made it home, I worked on pulling out Whitman's school for after Spring break. Then Robby and I started on supper. We made fajitas for everyone and used queso fresco on our tortillas. I think that it was a hit because there was no chicken to save.
  • The evening eventually ended with some ice cream for the kids while we watched a few tv shows. Whitman was busy drawing cards and pictures. I promise you that he went through 15 pieces of paper tonight!

March 10, 2019

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Despite time change, everyone woke up fairly well this morning. Robby was actually up and dressed before I rolled out of bed. My first stops were waking up the boys and then the girls since none of them were awake. 
  • When I went in the boys room, I saw Graham and Whitman sound asleep right by each other in the middle of the floor. They were the cutest things ever. I thought about going downstairs to grab my camera, but that was all the way down the stairs so I didn't do that, I just went ahead and put toothpaste on all of the toothbrushes.
  • Right before we left for church, Keaton told me that her stomach hurt. By the time we were in the car, she was crying saying that her stomach still hurt. I even thought she looked a bit pale to me. She even went to sleep on the way to church. She does have such a tender tummy, but we would have to assume that she was somehow worried about singing in church. 
  • I told her that I would go upstairs with her and she didn't have to sing if she didn't want to but we needed to go and watch Campbell. I was pretty sure she would get better since she usually perks up quickly after her tummy does hurt. Now, I was also prepared and had a walmart bag read to go for her in my bag. 
  • After a bit of sitting with a bunch of girls, Keaton was soon fine. When the choir leader asked everyone to sit on their benches, she told me she was fine and left with her buddies. I walked over with the choir kiddos and watched Campbell and Keaton sing. They did great-well, I am sure that Campbell really did great, but I was too busy watching Keaton for any signs that she was about to hurl!
  • Once the girls finished singing, we headed back downstairs to our service. Then we had Sunday school before heading to Nonna and Pops' house for lunch. Instead of lunch though we had breakfast. Nonna and Pops had made a huge breakfast spread. There was tons of different options and everyone left full.
  • Once we left their house, we came home for just a little bit. I did have about a 15 minute nap before leaving to meet Robby. He had left a few minutes earlier to take Cash's trailer back, pick Cash up and meet me at Third Realm. 
  • You would think that my crew would balk at going there 7 days in a row, however they didn't complain at all. It did help that Cash was going with them today. Anderson and Whitman have been playing Minecraft lately so they have become pretty good buds. When they were leaving, Whitman said that he was going to ask Anderson if he could stay with him the whole time.
  • I had to go back to church for a meeting while Robby finished up the jumping. Reagan's life group was cancelled since quite a few kiddos couldn't come. By the time that I made it home, Robby and Reagan were making cookie dough for a snack and everyone had already taken their showers.
  • We eventually had supper and then topped our supper off with lots of cookie dough. We are still getting used to our new tv system so it took a bit to find a few shows to watch but we were able to watch a few different shows so that was a plus. I don't think that the kids were too tired at bedtime tonight since time change, but that didn't matter to me!

March 9, 2019

(click here for today's pictures)

  • It was after 8 when I woke up today. That was when Whitman burst into our room, climbed between us and told us that he had a "scary nightmare." I think that since it was so dark outside, he thought that he wasn't yet supposed to be up. He then stayed in our bed for quite a while until he heard Anderson milling around downstairs.
  • The weather continued to get darker so I sure was not getting out of bed. Keaton then joined us and stayed with us through the storm. There was a point that that the rain was so hard that we could not see the trees outside. Something hit the window, a stick or something, and Robby just jumped. We are always expected to lose a tree whenever there is a storm. 
  • We did finally get up to head to Third Realm. While we were getting everyone ready, the sirens were going off for another area in the county. Of course, I did ask Anderson and Reagan if they did hear the sirens or if they thought that they might should be concerned. I guess they trust that we will tell them if there is something wrong because they were oblivious.
  • I ran to pick up Graham while everyone one else piled in Robby's car to go and pick up Campbell. The kids do like Robby's car better. Someone always gets to sit up front so they all like that and I do believe that I have a few folks that are a wee bit embarrassed of my car.
  • We met up at Third Realm and yes, I have been there 6 times this week. I am actually thinking of getting a part time job there. Seriously, I have been there more this week than I have been at church-well, probably not, but almost. The kids still enjoy it-today they were playing dodge ball and had a worker refereeing it so the boys loved that.
  • On the way home, we picked up some chicken wings at Sonic. There was a sale today and surprisingly most everyone loved them. Keaton and Whitman were not fans, but our non meat eater, Anderson, asked to finish them off for supper.
  • Our afternoon was spent watching the worker man put the dish on the house (back, thankfully) and fix all of the tvs. Things seem to be working well and everything is working right this second. 
  • We had leftovers and hot dogs for supper tonight. Everyone had their showers and then Robby and I started working on moving our massive tv unit into the exact right spot. Things do look better in our room now since the couch doesn't just looked shoved up against the wall. It took us all evening long because he had to redo all of the cords. (Now he still has to redo all of the cords in the bonus room, but that is a project for another day.)
  • For some reason the kids, especially Keaton, were wound up tonight. That didn't make all of our reorganizing very easy, but we did survive...and so did the kids. We finished after putting everyone in bed-unfortunately, we didn't get anyone in bed earlier than usual tonight so there will be lots of tired kiddos on the Dennie pew during time change Sunday.

March 8, 2019

(click here for today's pictures)

  • School went as expected this morning. Since we had already finished our spelling yesterday, my work was a lot lighter today. Campbell and Anderson both did have writing assignments that required a bit of extra work from me. I was however to pull out most everyone's school for next week before we did eat our lunch.
  • Campbell left first this morning to got Grannymom and Grandpa's house for the evening. She did most of her school work last night so she would be able to finish early today. After she did finish her work, she went right to work on packing her bags. I am not too sure on how long she plans on staying, but she could probably stay a week or two with everything that she brought.
  • Graham left next with Nonna and Pops. He also had a bag full. Most of his extra stuff was for basketball-shorts and shoes. He was pretty excited about going to their house and even ate at his favorite restaurant, Chick Fil A.
  • Around one, I finally called everyone down for lunch. I let them make their own and then eat where ever they would like. I think that they enjoyed a break from having to listen to me read as they ate.
  • Soon it was time to meet the buddies at Third Realm. We have been there 5 days this week. I even did some work on my chart today so I could better keep up with our jumping visits better. Everyone was pretty sweaty after we came in from jumping. 
  • We hadn't been home for long when the neighbor came out wanting to play so Keaton and Whitman headed out with him. When they came back in, they were soaking wet. I am not sure what they did outside, but it still must be incredibly wet.
  • They had showers as Robby and I were preparing to take Anderson to basketball. As soon as we were about to leave, we received at text saying that basketball was cancelled. So Robby and I still left to go out and eat by ourselves. On our way home, we stopped to buy everyone supper-2 requested Arbys (Keaton and Anderson), 1 had Tropical Smoothie (Reagan) and one child just asked for a grilled cheese (Whitman).
  • As they ate, I worked on baking the cookies that Keaton had made earlier in the week. Unfortunately, when you leave cookie dough in the fridge, it just disappears. I can say that I have not been the one eating it this week. I usually do, but I have a stash of mint m&ms that I am working on right now.
  • We ate our cookies as we watched some of the Hogs baseball game with Shannon. She came over for a bit while her crew was out and about tonight. Once she left, we watched some basketball before calling it a night and sending the people to bed!

March 7, 2019

(click here for today's pictures)

  • I have always loved Thursdays and today was a no different. It was even raining to make our morning a bit more pleasant-I think the kids are always calmer during the rain. Robby said that it looked like a buffet when he walked through my bedroom on his way to work. 
  • The kids ate as we read. Then they started on their school for the day. The day seemed to go fairly fast. At one point, Campbell even commented that I was finishing quickly today. I did finish cleaning up my piles and area before lunch.
  • I did print out the kids school for next week today. It does seem that we are only going to get one day of school in and just a little bit on two other days. I will say that I get a bit excited each time I look at their school right now, because every single week someone has finished something. Don't get me wrong, my big 3 will be working on their writing until the end of May but things are getting easier for them (and me) each week.
  • Everyone ate their lunch and then started on chores. We did some more reading before it was time to load up to head to PE. All of our buddies were there too and most of the kiddos said that Third Realm today was the best part of their day. 
  • Once we made it home, we had a bit of time before Robby came home and we started on our supper. Robby made biscuits and gravy. I had taco soup. Some folks had chicken nuggets. Some had ham and cheese croissant and even one had a hamburger. If you hadn't guessed already, it was clean out the fridge night. 
  • For dessert, we again had leftovers-sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, brownies and banana bread that I had made this afternoon for Graham. As we waited for bedtime, we watched a few game shows until it was time to for bed for this crew.