September 29, 2020 - Day 4 of Camping at the Beach

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Oh, there is something about camper sleeping. Robby and I usually have to go to the bathroom several times during the night. I drink too much water, and he is just old (not really, we are both old). At home, we wake each other up some times in the middle of the night coming and going, but in this camper we wake each other up every single time. 

That is fine though because we always just go right back to sleep. Part of the reason that he wakes me up is since he pretty much has to crawl over me to get to the bathroom since he can't leave from his side of the bed (it is right up next to the window-almost).  So tonight Robby has spent a good deal of time switching our sleeping spots-this means that all kinds of cords have to be rerouted. I am losing a drawer-which was filled with my flashlight, so it won't be a great loss. Hopefully we will sleep just as well-though we are now on different sides of the bed than we are at home.

Let me dust some sand out of my bed and start typing about today though. We could take a moment to talk about the sand-it is everywhere which, I guess, is to be expected. The kids are good about taking off their shoes, rinsing their feet and do work hard to keep it out of the camper. Despite the three different rugs that you have to step on to get in the camper, I sweet up handfuls 3 or 4 times a day.

Robby did buy a fish cleaning table just for this trip. It will come in so handy all the time-an outside sink plus a water sprayer. We have been using that to clean feet, rinse bathing suits and even wash some outside dishes.

Back to this morning. We did wake up a bit earlier than yesterday, but the kids were still pretty much snoozing. This morning we just grabbed breakfast from the pantry. Whitman came in our bed asking for a poptart. Robby listed the flavors that we have and asked what he wanted. I just encouraged him to want the first ones that we find. I tried so hard to load this thing in a neat and orderly fashion, but by the end you are just playing a life sized tetris game trying to cram things in, so it is difficult to find things at all.

The Fergusons went to the beach this morning with some of the kids for a walk. While they were there, Campbell caught a huge jellyfish. The water was oddly calm today plus they had a yellow (moderate waves/undertow) and a purple (sealife warning) flag out so the kids didn't really get in at all.

We soon joined them and the boys played some football on the sand while Jennifer and I sat shivering. The weather was overcast, windy and spitting rain off and on this morning. We soon headed back to our site and ended up putting up the second tent because the weather couldn't make up it's mind. Our campsite is smallish (not nearly as small as some here) so we don't have too much room, but we squeezed that second tent so we could have some room since under one tent was filled with all of the things that we didn't want to get wet.

We did all go to watch the Crafts back into their spot this morning. Then all the kids came back to our site for popsicles. Robby ended up cooking hot dogs and french fries for lunch for us and the Crafts. I couldn't find our other thing of buns for the longest so we were prepared to just use bread. Thankfully, I eventually uncovered them in the drawer with the pots and pans-seriously, there is food crammed everywhere.

After our lunch, the sprinkles stopped so we headed down to the beach. It was the most pleasant beach day ever. The weather was decent-I would take my sweatshirt off and then have to put it back on again over and over. As I mentioned, the kids weren't in the water, so I had nothing to stress over and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

There were walks, sand castle building, football games, KanJam games, snacks and all kinds of fun. It really was pretty nice-we ended up staying until around 5. When we left, some of my kids had already changed-Graham isn't a fan of sand in his trunks. But I do think that everyone (kids, that is) ended up in the heated swimming pool before supper time.

Tonight's dinner was our group meal-Mexican. We had chicken and beef and all of the sides. It was a perfect meal to end a perfect day. They did try to mess up the perfect day, by watching the debate tonight. Everyone crowded around Andrew's camper to watch it up on the big screen. Some of the kids even sat and watched it. As I took a few walks during the debate, I did notice that quite a few folks out here were watching it as well.

We did end the evening with birthday cake for Charlotte and Keaton. Candice had picked one up today so that was a fun finish to Keaton's birthday celebrations. Ha! I know that Keaton is now going to count down the days until she can have a party!

Once we came back to the camper tonight, we had a few messes to clean up. We left in a hurry for supper so things were spread out everywhere. Plus while we were eating, Robby did a load of clothes at the laundry place. I folded those while Robby straightened up a little bit. Soon most things were put back-though we just said that when we come home from this trip, everything will have to come out of this thing to be cleaned and de-sanded!

Tomorrow it should be sunnier so hopefully the weather will be better and the kids can swim some in the ocean. There is also crab hunting tomorrow night along with a possible sun rise viewing. The little girls want to do this, and we said that we would if others go-here's to hoping that the others don't go! We will try to see the sunset-that is much more my speed! 

September 28, 2020 - Day 3 of Camping on the Beach

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When we went to bed last night, Graham asked me how long he had to stay inside before we got up in the morning. He was ready to get outside and start the day already. It would have been a good idea....except that he was still asleep at 9 this morning.

We really all were asleep at 9. Reagan slept the longest and had a class at 10 on the computer that she had to scurry around to get ready for. While she was doing her class, Robby was making pancakes and bacon outside. Let me tell you, we do this camping right.

Today the bacon was cooked in the air fryer. He cooked one batch fairly chewy (yuck!) and one batch fairly crispy (yum!) The bacon debate runs deep in our house-actually Reagan likes it super chewy while Anderson and I like it crispy and everyone else, I think, like it somewhere in between.

Once the breakfast was all cleaned up, we walked down to the beach. I will say that the walk to the beach is probably a bit over a quarter of a mile. It isn't a half mile, but it might be close. Either way, the walk isn't bad.  But when you are going to the beach for the day with all of your stuff, the walk could certainly be bad.

Since we had the car, Robby loaded it up with stuff, and we just met him at the water. He dropped the stuff off, and while he parked, we had brought everything down towards the others and had the tent set up. Let's see-we brought a tent, 4 chairs, a beach blanket, 2 towels, a bag of beach toys, 3 boogie boards, a bag of goggles, some snacks, a bag of sunscreen and an ice chest.

All of those things were used...even the sunscreen, but I guess I didn't use it well enough. Everyone one of my people have red faces. I will say that I don't put sunscreen on their faces-they do that, but apparently they don't do that well. I will also say that I do put sunscreen on their backs, and I royally messed up on Campbell's back.

She has streaky white lines all over her back where I didn't rub the sunscreen in when I sprayed it. I never thought about doing this since all summer long I have never rubbed sunscreen in! On her second coat of sunscreen this afternoon, I certainly did rub it in much better. However, that was too little too late since she was already pretty red. Hopefully, tomorrow she will be just pink and not so fried.

The beach was pretty perfect-it was pretty hot out, but in the shade of the giant tent, it was pleasant. There was enough breeze that I could have stayed out all day. All of our people were there until about noon when they went back to eat lunch. Now since we had just eaten breakfast at ten-ish, we weren't hungry then. 

We stayed at the beach for a bit, and then went to meet everyone at the pool. The kids played there, and hopefully got a lot of sand out of their bathing suits in the pool. Then my crew went back to the site for our lunch. While we were there, Graham, Keaton, and Reagan decided that they did not want to swim anymore so they had showers.

We had a leisurely lunch of sandwiches before heading back to the beach with Anderson, Whitman and Campbell. The others were hanging out at the Heltz/Ferguson sites. Graham eventually threw on his bathing suit and joined us. 

Things were going great on the second beach visit of the day. I was even about to close my eyes when I saw Whitman bust out of the water stumbling on the beach holding his arm. By the time he made it to me he was sobbing. I thought that he had hit his arm with the boogie board or something.

I soon realized it wasn't that, but there wasn't anything that I could see on his arm. He was in so much pain though and eventually told me that he saw something red. I googled jellyfish stings which it didn't really look like, but did see that I needed some vinegar to help or needed someone to pee on it. (The boys were out deep and I couldn't get their attention-and I don't do that.) 

We walked back to see if anyone had any vinegar, and by the time that we made it back up the hill, he said that it was better. Soon little tiny dots started appearing on his arm. Back at our site, I rinsed him off with the sprayer and rubbed hydrocortisone on his arm. I meant to give him benedryl too but forgot.

Later, I was talking to Robby, who was out further with the boys when this happened, and they had been seeing jellyfish so we are pretty sure that is what stung Whitman. Within a few hours, the bumps were gone, but did come back a bit tonight. He said that his arm is fine now though.

Whitman didn't care about going back to the beach after this-I bet he won't care about going back anymore ever again actually! The others stayed and played for a good bit before we all headed in for showers. Tonight, we met all of our buddies at Seaside.

We have so many great memories of Seaside from when we went there 20 years ago. Tonight we walked around to the beach area-and almost got trapped on the beach. There was a gate that locked going out to the beach-and it locked with us on the beach! Ha! People eventually came and unlocked it, but we were about to have to go on a big adventure to find a way back into town.

We then walked around the green space some before finding some snow cones for some of the kids. Anderson, Whitman, Robby and I were the only ones who waited for ice cream later in the night from Ben and Jerrys. I really should have gotten the custard at the snow cone place like Campbell and Graham did because they got so much more than I did at Ben and Jerrys.

After Seaside, we went to Ben and Jerrys and quickly devoured that ice cream before going back to the campsite. Reagan and Campbell were talking outside with their friends while we set the boys up watching the Truman Show. I think that they enjoyed it-they had all stuck with it even though it was over 2 hours. 

Robby and I were going to watch but ended up going down the road to chat with the adults outside before it was finally time for bed. The kids were all exhausted tonight, so hopefully it will be another late morning for us!

September 27, 2020-Happy 9th Birthday Keaton! and Day 2 of Camping on the Beach

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We all slept great last night-you probably tend to sleep better when you are exhausted. Robby and I did keep waking up, but still felt rested and were always happy to see how much more time we had to sleep. He was worried about over sleeping so he woke up more often.

Our alarms went off around 6. Robby had a shower and then checked everything outside. Soon Wes was in his car, and we were pulling out of the bumpy casino parking lot. The parking lot was full of potholes-so most of the kids did wake up as we were pulling out.

I had already hung a birthday banner above Keaton and blew up a few balloons. Campbell and Anderson were awake next and helped blow up some more balloons. Our space is tight anyway, but you can barely walk with all the balloons filling the floor. 

Keaton was pleased with her balloons and sign. She was also pleased with her gift from Campbell-a new pink watching. Campbell also bought herself a matching one. Not too much happened this morning-the kids did some school. We watched the church house for a little bit.

Robby was about to have to switch driving with me at a stop light because he needed to go to the bathroom. Now, this means that he really had to go since I have never driven this thing-not even an inch. I offered a few times and was about to put on my big girl panties and drive this 40+ feet rig (camper and car). Thankfully for Robby and me, and everyone else on the road, we soon stopped at a gas station for a fill up. 

After the gas station, there was some more church watching and a short nap by me. My eyes have been killing me for weeks. They did in the spring too-they itch so bad I want to claw them out. Usually they get better in the morning, but I struggled with mine all morning long!

Keaton and Graham had a nap this morning. I think that I even did too. One thing that I did this morning that you can't do on a normal car trip, was clipping Reagan's toenails. Gracious me-those things were freakishly long. I'm not sure why I am still clipping my 15 year olds toenails, but at least it did pass the time for a bit.

Soon we were driving through the tunnel in Mobile. I guess it had been a while since we had been through the tunnel because I sure thought that it was much longer that is actually was. I mean, the kids couldn't hold their breath while driving through it, but it wasn't as massive as I remembered when I was a kid.

We picked a different toll lane than the Heltz and passed them the last few miles of the trip. We pulled into Camp Gulf just a bit before they did. We had to drive to a straight stretch to take the car off. We did pretty good doing that-of course all of this does involve Robby crawling around under it usually twice because we usually forget a step.

Then we had about 5 campsites to drive up before we made it to our site. There we took off the car dolly-again lots of rolling around under the camper for Robby. We shoved the car dolly into the grass before Robby had to back the camper in. It didn't take him any time at all to back in. We were in the perfect spot so he was able to turn down a side road to back up easily.

After we parked, we got hooked up and by then the kids were anxious to get their bikes and leave us. They soon found the Fergusons and the Heltz. Since they were all gone, only coming back occasionally to grab their swim suits, Robby and I kept working. We were doing good until I banged the mess out of the back of my head. I was under the camper mirror and stood up and soon saw stars. I can tell that I have a knot back there now!

That slowed me down a little bit, but soon we had most things set out. Then we walked to the beach. The beach was full of grassy stuff plus the water was a murky brown. That didn't stop my people. They love the beach and the water. I do believe that everyone enjoyed playing in the sand.

Personally I thought that the air was a little bit cool. It was actually nearing sunset when we were there so it was windy enough that I was shivering some. After about an hour, Reagan, Anderson, Graham and Keaton were ready to go. So I stayed for a bit longer with Whitman who was sad that we are not staying here for a whole week.

Everyone took a shower at the bathhouse. We didn't have little soaps and shampoos to carry over, but the kids still needed a good rinse. The bathhouses were super nice-though I am not a fan at all of the waterfall shower heads. I am not sure how I could ever get the shampoo out of my hair,

Once everyone was cleanish-we hung the lights around our tent and started cooking chili. It helped that I already had the meat ready so we just really had to heat up the chili. We ate and by the time we finished eating, the others all walked down here.

We used that as an opportunity to let Keaton blow out the candles and eat the cupcakes from Nonna and Pops. She was super proud that her birthday celebration lasted all day long. The Ferguson's even had her and Charlotte a present! They all stayed and ate cupcakes with us!

Then we stayed out for a while just sitting which I do think is the best part of camping. After all of this, we headed in to bed down. The kids were a bit tired tonight so we didn't have to ask twice for folks to lay down, I am going to take my shower now-nope, I am not going to the super nice bathhouses even though they are right across the road.

I plan to take a super hot shower with super great water pressure in my camper. But first I am going to take my contacts out-and put in more eye drops. Hopefully, what ever I am allergic to at home, is not here and my eyes will improve!

September 26, 2020-Day 1 of Camping on the Beach!

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  • First things first-laundry. I folded two loads this morning and washed and put away two more fairly early this morning. I felt like I had most things ready so while Robby was running a few errands this morning, I just sat around talking to Campbell and Graham.
  • Reagan was ready and left the house with Sara and Candice around eleven. Nonna came by about the same time with goodies for tomorrow. 
  • Robby and I then loaded up the car. The bike rack was already on so that with the tow dolly and car, we have quite a load. We did a few practice turns with everything on down the street and all seemed well.
  • I went to move one car in the garage when Robby mentioned that he had a free mini bundt cake for his birthday that he could pick up. At that point, we had about two hours before we needed to leave, so we thought why not. I knocked on the window and told Campbell we would be back in 15 minutes.
  • Now, of course it took longer than 15 minutes and of course this stop made us run around like crazy people until it was time to leave. When I busted back through the door of the house, Robby was still working outside-he decided to clean the windows (also something that put him further behind.) Ha!
  • I told the kids to make their beds, put away their laundry and put on their clothes. I am not sure if Whitman is just clueless or if we don't take the time to tell him exactly what is happening-he wanted to know where we were going today. Bless him! 
  • Whitman also wanted to know if we had to wear real clothes-indeed we did. That is why we tried on our "real clothes" earlier this week and they were all laying out in the floor of my room! By the time I made it in the shower, I had 30 minutes before we needed to leave. I was drying my hair when Robby finally made it to the shower with 10 minutes until our anticipated departure time. Then he had to shave! 
  • We made it though-there was lots of scurrying around the last few minutes. Even some throwing things into the camper. Robby left the house with his backpack on his back while holding the ice maker. 
  • You would think that with all of our scurrying around we would have forgotten somethings-well, we did! During the ceremony, Robby leaned over to me to tell me that he forgot his shoes. Obviously, he had shoes on his feet, but they were dress shoes. Thankfully, he does have a pair of crocs in the camper so he will be able to survive. He was just saying the other day that he needed a new pair of shoes-wonder if he planned on doing this so he would get some?
  • We dropped off the camper at church, and then headed to Sara's quinceanera. It was at the most beautiful venue in Mountain Pine. It was a bit of a drive from home, but gracious they couldn't have asked for a more beautiful place. The weather was perfect so that was wonderful as well.
  • Reagan was not excited about dancing nor wearing a dress, but I know that she had so much fun at this 15th birthday party. Reagan and some of her other friends were just like bridesmaids. They walked in before Sara, sat up front and even danced during the reception.
  • The reception was loads of fun-tons of huge coke bottles, Mexican bbq with rice, veggies and homemade tortillas. There was a pinata with tons of candy-though Campbell did get trampled on during it. For desserts, there were red velvet cupcakes, vanilla and chocolate cakes, a sweet bread and churros. 
  • The night ended with dancing-the kids had so much fun dancing. Even Reagan and Anderson found their way to the dance floor. Their parents did not! Whitman stood in the middle of the dance floor for the longest time, but after he felt comfortable he danced until he worked up a sweat. He even unbuttoned the top button of his shirt. 
  • We had expected to stay until 9, but before 8 we were able to leave to head back to church. As we arrived a church, we started changing clothes and throwing some clothes into my car since no one would need dress clothes this week. Though Graham did tease me asking if I would not want to take his picture on the beach. 
  • Pops showed up to pick up the car so everyone was able to give them a hug before we pulled out. We then hit the road towards the South. The Heltz went a different way but we eventually made it about 7 minutes behind them. Though Candice drives a bit faster than Robby, so she pulled ahead.
  • We stopped for gas in Lake Village. It was easy and our first gas stop pulling the van. Robby breathed a sign of relief when we left since that was a success.
  • It wasn't too much further until we arrived at Harlow's Casino in Mississippi. Robby dropped me off at the front door, and I went in and won some cash...not, really. We really just pulled into the truck lot which was full of potholes and parked beside the Heltz who had just arrived about 15 minutes before us.
  • The day was a perfect success. Everyone had a great time, and Robby and I will be in bed by 1-couldn't ask for much better...except maybe some ice cream. We did cram some Blue Bell in the freezer, but if we were to get it out we would probably never be able to figure out how to put it back in. So some water will have to do before bed tonight.

September 25, 2020

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  • Wonderful Friday! I slept a bit later than I really should have this morning, but I still managed to get most things accomplished this morning. There was lots of chores and some more packing. I do think that it isn't a great thing to be finished packing too early-like I am, because I just keep adding more and more things to the camper.
  • Anderson was the last one to pack his clothes-and yes, he does now have enough undies. Well, men's underwear is pretty expensive, so he has more than he did, but not as many as the others. Keaton has enough underwear to wear a clean pair each day of the month without me doing any laundry.
  • Enough about underwear, things are packed and ready to go. The bikes are on the bike rack and the van will be hooked up tomorrow. I even spent some time cleaning the house. I had about half as much time to clean as I wanted, so the house is just kind of cleaned-but it will work for me.
  • I did spend a good deal of time helping Reagan with an essay-Why Achilles from the Iliad is a sympathetic character. I guess I have slept a good deal since high school and college, but I sure never remember reading hard books like the Iliad or writing about people being sympathetic characters. I wasn't much help to her since I know little about either of those topics.
  • At 1, everyone but Whitman went to the Arkansas Food Bank to volunteer. He will be old enough to help next year-and really, he will do great volunteering. I will say that we worked like dogs today! We packed bags full of food for school kids to take home on the weekends. 
  • Anderson and Graham's jobs were to tape and stack the completed boxes on the pallets. The girls took turns checking bags, putting things into bags and carrying bags around to be filled. Plus there were lots of boxes to take down during this process. Sometime during this, I found myself making boxes and I did off and on for a good while. 
  • Once we made it back home, there was a bit more cleaning before Robby and I ran to Robinson to pick up supper for the crew. Brett's baseball team was having a fundraiser so that was supper-well, Shannon's cookies weren't supper for the crew-we ate some on the way home and have hidden some for the drive tomorrow.
  • After supper, Robby got gas for the camper then I found more things to shove in their. Seriously, I think I must have a problem. I finally found time to play a game with Whitman -he has been asking for a few days.
  • When it was finally bedtime, the kids were a bit quieter tonight than they were last night. Hopefully, they aren't quite enough that they can hear my freezer open-sometimes they get a bit fussy when they hear me getting my ice cream!

September 24, 2020

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  • School this morning went well. At least I think it went well-I really don't remember this morning. Let me think for a second-oh, yes, I do remember some. We didn't have spelling plus I am taking a break from spelling with Whitman for a little bit, so yes, school did go very well. Whitman even finished right around noon, so we could probably call this the best day of the year so far!
  • Reagan had school at 12:30. She had a science test today so I am sure that she was pleased to finish that. While she was at her class, Campbell, Keaton and I went to Walmart and the Dollar Tree. We did some speed shopping. Then we ran by Grannymom's house to pick up Whitman's mask before coming home to start packing.
  • I know that this camper is supposed to make traveling easier, but gracious I am just worn out. I will say that it doesn't take long to pack everyone's clothes. I am packed and all of the kids are packed-well, all except Anderson. He wasn't really able to pack since he just had 2 pairs of underwear. 
  • How does that happen? He said that since I do laundry every day there is always a clean one. That is true, but you would think he might say, "Hey Mom, I need some undies." Tonight, I did buy him some underwear so maybe he won't have to go commando.
  • Robby and I made supper tonight while working on our food and grocery list. We had chicken roll ups for supper and mozzarella sticks-yes, we were cleaning out the fridge. Then we went to work moving food from the house to the camper.
  • I have food stuffed in every nook and cranny in that camper. You can ask for it and I will have it...except it will take me about 30 minutes to find it! Robby and I ran to Walmart to buy our last bit of groceries. We have been using the Walmart delivery, but we wanted to be finished with the food tonight and not have to worry about not getting exactly what we ordered. 
  • After we unloaded, and shoved more stuff in the camper, I came in and started on school work. Now, the kids are in bed-though there are still feet moving around upstairs. My plans right now are a shower and then some ice cream! There is lots of birthday ice cream still in the freezer, and I certainly wouldn't want for it to go bad!

September 23, 2020-Happy Birthday (party #1) Keaton!

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  • I got a bit of a later start this morning plus with Reagan having to leave for the dentist and the littles all having Bible study zoom calls, our work together time was abbreviated. That was fine though because I thought that I would have my others (who didn't have to leave or have zooms) to work on the laundry-that didn't work out well-as in I still have laundry on the floor of my room.
  • Reagan had a few fillings today. They were all mostly leftovers from her braces. However, the fillings today were mostly on the front of her teeth which made her teeth whiter. I am sure that after she is not numb or sore anymore she will be pleased with the work done today.
  • Keaton and Whitman had their zoom first. It went well, but Campbell had a sub so Campbell wrote me saying that no one was talking. I encouraged her to talk, but I'm not sure if she did. Her class went a bit too long for her so I think that she just turned it off.
  • As soon as I could today, I went to town working on the Sugar Club tshirts. Gracious, I wasn't expecting them to be so time consuming. I worked from about 11:30 until 2 this afternoon. I had to make Traci wait as I ironed the last piece onto one of the shirts. 
  • They had a good time with their Sugar Club. I know that they made 2 different things, ate pizza and were able to deliver their goodies to different folks. It was really a cute idea that they had starting their little club, and they were so proud of it.
  • I worked some more this afternoon on marking things off of my list. I do think that we might get to leave on the trip-kidding, we will definitely leave, but we may not all have underwear with us when we go. Tomorrow is packing day which means that I bet I will have at least one more Walmart run in my near future. 
  • After church tonight, we went to Grannymom's house to celebrate Keaton's birthday. She worked hard yesterday making a brownie pizza plus peanut butter cookies for everyone. All of the family was there-Nonna, Pops, Grannymom, Grandpa, Jason, Dana, Lily and Cash-so Keaton was certainly enjoying the attention that she was getting. 
  • She opened up quite a few presents-all ones that she had picked our herself so that made her super excited about getting them. I might have to start shopping like that soon too! When we left there, Robby dropped some garage sale stuff off at Danas house.
  • At home, Robby worked on getting the boys new tvs ready. They each now have a tv in their bedroom so they can both play their games on them. I think that there room is coming together nicely-the girls is moving along too, but they just need to find a desk. We stayed up, and kept the kids up, way too late, but it was a super good night.

September 22, 2020-Happy Birthday Robby!

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  • Robby woke up on his 46th birthday to some pitter pattering rain. It was pretty dreary today-I know, I feel like I spent most of the day in the car. Of course, the first part of the day was spent as usual-laundry and then the dishes followed by school.
  • School went ok today. Whitman did pretty good today at getting his stuff done. I did make him start with his math so that might have helped. We will certainly try that tomorrow too! Graham and Anderson tried to play a bit too much for me since I didn't have much time to get everything done before I had to leave.
  • Reagan wanted to go to school a bit earlier today which was fine. But that meant that we needed to leave earlier than usual. Campbell, Keaton and Graham went with us to take her to school. Then we dropped off some clothes, ran by the library, picked up a birthday drink for Robby and then dropped Keaton off at the Crafts and picked up Abigail.
  • I was home for long enough to work on pulling some clothes out of the attic. I was able to pull out 2 more garbage bags of clothes to give away. Then I left with all 3 boys. We ran by the Heltz to drop off some toys, to Hobby Lobby to buy shirts for me to make for the Sugar Club gathering tomorrow (currently, I don't see how the shirts will get done!), to the Dollar Tree for trip candy, to Five Below for xbox headsets and to Kroger for birthday ice cream for Robby.
  • Back at home, the Fergusons came over for a minute to pick up some meat that Robby had smoked for them today. Then it was time for me to leave again. This time I picked up Keaton and dropped off Abigail, picked up Reagan and Noah, picked up Robby's birthday pizza and then dropped off Noah. Yep, I have spent a lot of the day in the car and am just exhuasted.
  • Once we ate our pizza tonight, Keaton went to town working on baking her goodies for her birthday party tomorrow. 
  • The Wilson's came over to help celebrate Robby's birthday. We had a big oatmeal cream pie plus 3 different types of ice cream to devour after we sang Happy Birthday!
  • Garage sale stuff is loaded for Danas, party items are ready (one things needs to be iced) and the vinyl for the Sugar Club shirts are printing now! Tomorrow should be another busy day around here!

September 21, 2020

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  • Monday morning around here, and I believe that my weekly list started with over 50 items to be marked off plus another list of things that needed to be cleaned. I have marked off quite a few of those things today, but gracious me, I'm not so sure it is all going to get done...actually, I know it will all get done. Some may be done this week, but there will be things that will just have to wait a bit before they are marked off.
  • We did our school work this morning-the only excitement was that the lights went out during our day. Thankfully Reagan's zoom was already over. Most everyone had finished their computer work as well. The lights were off about an hour or so-I am just like a little kid though. I love it when the lights go off. I just think it is so much fun. (I so enjoyed those 7 days that the power was out here right after Christmas years ago. I hope for a repeat every winter!)
  • I left with Graham and Keaton for their dentist appointment at 2. As we were getting out of the car, I realized that I had left my phone at home. I knew that it would be fine-except my credit card is in my phone case which meant I couldn't pay at the dentist. I knew they wouldn't care since I am coming back Wednesday. But more unfortunately for Graham and Campbell, that meant that I couldn't take them to get a treat on the way home. Not having my phone was the most upsetting to me because I had brought my Bible study to do while waiting-and I had planned on using the Bible on my phone so I couldn't do that!
  • Graham and Keaton did great getting their fillings. And they were delighted to see my phone in my hand when they finished with the dentist. Robby had brought it to me-he saw it and decided to get out to run some errands so stopped by the dentist. The receptionist thought it was the sweetest thing ever for him to do bring it to me-it was pretty sweet.
  • I did treat Keaton and Graham to a Sonic treat on the way home. They did fine and never complained at all. I know I have said it before but if you need a dentist-I have a good one. He even text tonight asking how the kids were. 
  • Robby and I did some work on the camper-we added little gutters. Then he and Campbell worked on figuring out the bike racks. He wasn't able to finish with that because it was soon time to take Reagan to soccer practice.
  • Robby and I both went-we ran to Walmart. We bought a lot of nothing, but we did find desks for the boys. The IKEA desks keep getting pushed back on their delivery date, so these were also a good option. 
  • When we came home, we had our supper. Then I went to town changing over Campbell's clothes. She has a ton of clothes-she isn't great at getting rid of things that she doesn't want. Everything is super neat though right now.
  • While we were doing that, Robby and the boys put together one of their desks. I am not sure why we do better with big projects at bedtime, but that is what happens often around here. Andrew brought over some meat for Robby to smoke, and then we finally decided to pick up and call it bedtime. 
  • I am now going to use the eye drops that were delivered today with our Walmart order. The last year or so, I have such problems with my eyes being itchy during certain times of the year. But cheesecake will probably help it more than the eye drops-I'll try both.

September 20, 2020

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  • This mornings excitement was Campbell and Keaton being on the preview to the church's internet service. The first 10 minutes is a program they call Wakey Wakey. Meryl interviewed the girls and talked about the children and preteen activities at the church house. They both did really well, and I think they were pretty excited to see themselves.
  • As soon as that was over, we jumped in the cars and headed to the church house. This was our second week of Sunday school-it already feels like we have been doing it for weeks now. Pretty much everything is the same except for the masks and the kids are all spread apart. 
  • As I taught our lesson today, I made sure to sit far enough away from everyone that I didn't have to wear my mask. I just don't know when I will get used to that mess.
  • After church, Reagan had her dance practice for the Quincierra. I'm not sure how much dancing they got done today, but today we were celebrating Reagan and Robby's birthdays at Nonna's house so they didn't need to be too late.
  • Eli came home to hang out with Anderson, so we were plus one at lunch today. Just about as soon as we finished our meals, Reagan and Robby did show up. They ate, and then it was birthday cake time-an oreo pudding dessert for Robby which was delicious plus a chocolate chip cheesecake (which I used to snag Robby many years ago) which was also delicious. Two desserts...hmm, we have some of that cheesecake in the fridge now. I might just need a bite before bed.
  • Robby had some presents to open-a shop light from Jason plus quite a few tools from Nonna and Pops. They were both just what he wanted-since he picked them out! 
  • We soon all left-Robby with everyone except for Campbell and her and I headed out to do some shopping. I had 5 dollars to spend at Michaels which we quickly spent thought they didn't have exactly what I wanted. Then we ran to the Dollar Store to buy a few things for the upcoming birthdays.
  • Next up was Old Navy. We had to spend 50 dollars to get 20 dollars free. I was a bit worried about how difficult that would be but after grabbing jeans and a shirt for me, a top and leggings for Campbell, and we were done!
  • We did so well that we rewarded ourselves with Lemonade on the way home. There is a stand set up on Lawson during the weekends, and today they were having a sale so we actually saved money by stopping! 
  • As soon as we made it home, I snuggled up in the bed for a quick nap. My nap was good-the kids didn't bother me until Keaton started doing gymnastics in her room-right above my head. I tried to keep sleeping but wasn't able to. 
  • That was fine though because it was time to wake up-Eli's folks had come to pick him and Robby was working hard on the camper. I went to town pulling out things that we needed for the trip and worked until we headed to the Wilson's house for a bit before it was time to come home and throw the kids into bed!

September 19, 2020-Barn Raising Day 2

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  • Some days when I sit down to write the blog, I really can't remember what I did first during the day. This morning did start off earlier than usual, but it still started off with the laundry and dishes. What can I say, I am a creature of habit.
  • Soon, I was leaving with Reagan for her first soccer game. It was at her field, so that was good. Bless, Reagan's mother got rid of her uniform because she didn't know you were to keep them. So now Reagan's mother has to buy a new one, and Reagan didn't have a uniform today. I will say that Reagan didn't care one bit about having a slightly different uniform than the others.
  • Reagan's team didn't start off well with one girl breaking her wrist before the game started. During the second half, I saw Reagan fall and then hobble to the sidelines. I assumed it was her bad ankle but was surprised to see her walking around on the sidelines and then back on the field. It ended up being her knee that she hurt.
  • When she did come back in, she came back with a vengeance. She says that she is the worst player on the team, but during the last 15 minutes every time the ball was near, she was right there and kicked it to a teammate. She did super well, and her team won 1-0.
  • During the game, I spent a good deal of time texting Campbell, Keaton and Whitman. Whitman never text me back except to ask for a popsicle. Campbell and Keaton were my reporters to tell me what all was happening at home.
  • This morning they raised the trusses for the RV storage barn. Robby had rented a list so Anderson and Graham were given that assignment-Anderson mostly held the rope making sure the truss didn't fall while Graham had to crank the truss to the top of the posts. 
  • Casey, Matt, Aaron, Tony, and Todd helped today along with Grannymom and Grandpa. It really does take a village. Not only were they able to get the trusses up, but they were able to get perlins up. I know you are jealous of my construction worker vocabulary. In case you don't know, which I recently didn't, perlins are those pieces of wood that go the opposite way of the trusses.
  • I ran to ChickFilA for lunch-well, to pick up lunch for all of the people. By the time, I made it home with lunch, half of the perlins were on already. By 2:30 everything was complete, and Robby was texting the roofing man. Unfortunately, the roofing man can't come this week, but after our trip, we should be able to drive into a covered shed. That will be super nice.
  • It took Robby and I awhile to pick everything up. Laynie stayed to play with the girls and Noah was here to hang out with the boys. They were all busy so we just took our time and straightened everything well.
  • The Ferguson's came over for a little bit. The kids all played while Jennifer told me her beach trip menu-I took notes and have now started working on my menu. When they left, we headed in to pick up for a bit before supper. Robby did some sweeping and even broke my broom. He broke my broom after sweeping-he was chasing a bug around the kitchen beating it with the broom. After the brook broke, I finally smashed the bug with a donut box.
  • We found a smorgasbord for leftovers for supper tonight. We did have to add some chicken, but I do believe that everyone was happy with their leftover choices! It did help that we have about a hundred chickfila sauces leftover from today!
  • Robby and I didn't do much after supper-we kind of just found our spots on our chairs and stayed there until bedtime!

September 18, 2020

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  • Having Fridays off from school is pretty nice. Though school might just be easier than not doing school. There was laundry and dishes as soon as I woke up. Then I pulled out school work for next week-you can never be too ready.
  • I read with Whitman, did Bible study with Keaton and Whitman and finished switching over Keaton's closet. It didn't take incredibly long, but I am glad that I just have 2 more kiddos' clothes to do.
  • Graham went with Robby to pick up the roofing for hopefully next week. Then Robby, Campbell, Graham, Keaton and I went to Walmart. We had ourselves a big time there. Everyone left with something. I found a few stocking stuffers. Graham found sunglasses and a notebook, and Campbell and Keaton also left with a huge new notebook.
  • The girls helped me quite a bit today working on garage sale stuff. I have one more bin to price and then I can cart some more stuff out of this house. Getting rid of things really makes me happy! But I think that I am the only one in this house that feels that way!
  • Also we even left with 3 big old bikes. One for Anderson, one for Graham plus one for Campbell. Keaton is also getting a new to her bike in a few days which she is tickled about. Campbell was able to pick her bike out since her Christmas gift (cooking classes) were postponed.
  • Soon after returning home, Robby and I left again to pick up some piece of equipment that they are going to need tomorrow. Tomorrow morning begins the second barn raising!
  • While we were out, we brought home some pizza for the kids. Then Robby and I headed out for supper with the Wilson's to celebrate birthdays. We ate at Little Greek and then had dessert at Catina Laredo. It was all yummy, and I am currently stuffed!

September 17, 2020

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  • We did our morning reading this morning right on time. I was even finished a few minutes early. One of Whitman's friends was outside helping his dad help Robby in the yard. So I let Whitman go on outside and play. Everyone went out for a few minutes, but Whitman stayed outside.
  • For some reason, I didn't have anyone to work with for a while this morning. I started to get a bit panicked thinking that I would never finish with my school work today. I was eventually able to find some folks to work with and flew through my work with everyone.
  • I did go outside at one point just in time to see Whitman and his friend standing by the baseball tee. The friend had a bad in his hand and before I could get the words out of my mouth, the friend innocently swung to hit the ball on the tee.
  • As you can imagine, Whitman was right behind him and took the bat to his stomach. Whitman can be a bit dramatic and it was America's Funniest Home videos worthy so I was a bit tickled by this. I did hug the child and make sure that he was better (which included opening another popsicle), but I did snicker a bit.
  • And that is where we then jump to later in the day. I don't believe in karma at all, but karma got me! As I was walking into the church house with Keaton and Campbell, I slipped on a slimy puddle (I was stepping out of the way of a car approaching us.) And guess what happened-I fell flat on my rear into the puddle and right in front of the car! 
  • I spent the whole time that Campbell and Keaton were being recorded for Wake Wakey which plays before our online church standing up against the wall so no one would see my soaking back in! I did scrape up my arm pretty good and will have a sore arm tomorrow. Ugh! 
  • We made it home just as Robby left with Reagan for her class. They returned just as I left for my work at New Beginnings. Today, I spent the whole time organizing a room. Seriously, I should have taken a before and after picture! 
  • Back at home, I helped Keaton on her clothes switcheroo some (we will have to finish tomorrow). And I rode with Robby to pick up a trailer before standing at the bottom of his ladder while he worked on a light bulb. 
  • It was a fairly uneventful evening-which was nice. Now to take my shower and celebrate that tomorrow is Friday and there is no school!

September 16, 2020

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  • I became distracted helping Graham with his new math while folding laundry, that Keaton had to come and ask if we were going to start school. Her Bible study zoom was at 9:15, so we had to hurry a bit and cut our morning reading short. I still was able to read the main things but did have to skip a few things.
  • Keaton and Whitman did their zoom and Campbell's was right afterwards. Whitman said that he didn't like doing the zoom. It might be about something his teacher said about 8 year olds knowing how to sit up while 7 year olds didn't. She wasn't talking to Whitman, but he can hold a bit of a grudge. 
  • Speaking of Whitman....I know that I once made Graham put on his shoes so he could walk himself to Lawson Elementary, Whitman will the first one to make it inside the building! Gracious me-I guess I wasn't clear to him that I expected him to finish his school while I was gone this afternoon. I finally just took one math page away and will save it for Friday. I He will have to get on medicine or I will!
  • Anderson had his first filling today. He did just fine. On the way there, he did say that he was disappointed in himself for having a cavity. Ha! I reminded him that his genes probably didn't provide him with very good teeth.
  • After his appointment, I asked if he wanted a drink which he said that he would take one. I guess his mouth was still a bit numb because he didn't drink much at all of it. I sure enjoyed my drink though.
  • Back at home, it was soon time for Reagan to leave to practice for her dance. I had thrown potatoes in the oven to bake this afternoon. I should have done it sooner, but thankfully they were still ready because they were small. We were able toe at before church-I do just love a baked potato. 
  • Church was good-I think that there were even more kiddos there tonight. I am glad that the place is starting to fill up. Afterwards, we went to the Wilson's house to celebrate Shannon's birthday. Tony had done well and had a delicious cake for Shannon which we enjoyed sharing!
  • Once we came home, the kids had a bit of downtime before bed-and yes, the internet is back up. There were shouts of hallelujahs when they say the internet man drive up this afternoon!

September 15, 2020

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  • All of the boys were awake this morning as I went through the house opening up the blinds. I am not sure if they set an alarm or not, but it is odd that they are all awake right at 7. It's just a little bit fishy!
  • We had about 10 minutes before starting school this morning when Campbell asked to make muffins. I let her so our school ended up starting about 10 minutes late, plus there were the constant interruptions of the oven timer going off and having to be set for longer. 
  • My children just like the muffins from the bag, because later in the day, Whitman and I made blueberry muffins from scratch. Graham was the only one who had one-no one else cared at all about them. 
  • I am not sure why Campbell and Keaton did not want to help our muffin making. Graham did help us some, but Whitman stuck with me the whole time. I thanked him for making them, and he said that he usually doesn't get to help in the kitchen because there are too many. I am not sure what "many" he was talking about, but I will have to assume he means that there are too "many sisters already in the kitchen."
  • Reagan had her classes today. She was in her study hall all by herself. There is only one other girl in there usually with her, but today she was out sick! I was about 10 minutes late to pick her up, but she was happy chatting so she didn't mind. 
  • Keaton and I spent a lot of time working on her clothes. We went through 6 boxes of clothes that were her size or almost her size. We narrowed those down quite a bit so hopefully, the 6 boxes will just become 3 in my closet once we are finished with her clothes switch over.
  • Let's see, what else happened today-yes, our internet has been out since sometime yesterday. That has caused a few difficulties doing school. Robby did buy us an extra computer this year to use for school, but today even that one was out of commission because of the silly internet. Hopefully, they will be able to fix it.
  • However, I do kind of like the no internet-we all watched a movie upstairs tonight after supper. I will say that the no internet is making some of the kids crazy. Graham has asked about 100 more questions today than usual. Campbell has come up with all kind of ways to tell me that she is bored!
  • Now, no one is dying-Robby has a hot spot on his phone, plus we had another one that I am using right now so everything is able to get done...except probably Robby's work and the zoom Bible studies happening tomorrow. Oh, well it could be so much worse.
  • Robby and I added a blind to the camper door-it was a bit more complicated than we thought, but it will really be good. I'm excited about it. I am actually a bit excited about our trip coming up-but lots to do until then.

September 14, 2020

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  • I knocked out the laundry plus the dishes along with putting vinyl on a shirt this morning all before school. I can be productive, but I was more productive this morning than I was all afternoon long.
  • School went well. Whitman was finished soon after lunch, so I definitely call that a win. Most everyone uses Mondays as their slacker days. Some things they have to do daily (math, Bible) and other things they have to just finish by the end of the week, but they do have to do a certain number a day that they have to do. That means on Mondays, they slack off and pick the easy things (handwriting, typing, Spanish). It all gets done, so I really can't say anything, but I do realize that not many of my kids are like me! (I would probably have done all of my school for the whole week on Monday morning.)
  • This afternoon Reagan had her last orthodontist appointment-well, we thought it was going to be the last one. That is at least what they told me. Her retainer needed to be replaced, which they knew, so she has to come back at least one other time. Kind of glad that she is done with the orthodontist since I am sure that our dentist will send someone else pretty soon.
  • Before too long, it was time to take Reagan to her soccer practice. I didn't have anywhere to go so I just sat and did my Bible study and read some. Yes, I am trying to read a book-already had it for a month!
  • After soccer we came home. Robby had supper ready. Everyone ate, but Reagan who was getting bitten during soccer. She ran upstairs to take a hot shower. Once supper was over, the kids and I played Taboo. It was fairly fun-even Whitman came play the game which does make things interesting.
  • We watched a Bates and had a snack before it was finally another late bedtime for the crew around here. 

September 13, 2020

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  • Sunday morning here and I was making banana bread before 8-maybe I am growing up. Every kid that walked down the stairs asked what I was making. Unfortunately, as soon as the bread was ready, Keaton delivered it to the neighbors house, and we didn't get to sample it.
  • Before too long it was time for to leave for church-Sunday school. About half as many kids were there, but it was still good. We moved up with our sweet little first graders, so now we have sweet little second graders. 
  • After Sunday school, there was church. I tell you, I am still just so happy to be back despite all of the silly rules and differences. When church was over, we headed to Grannymom's house to celebrate Robby and Reagan's birthdays.
  • There was spaghetti and the best cake ever. After eating, the birthday folks opened up their presents-money and a sweatshirt for Reagan, and ratchet straps, Firehouse Sub sauce and Lowe's gift card for Robby. I think that had a pretty good birthday.
  • I worked on my brownie pizza for this evening along with a short nap. And once again, my nap wasn't that great. I played my game a bit too long and then I didn't lay down of Shannon's nap rules before I laid down (nap rules consist of-don't come in my room unless you are bleeding.)
  • Robby was productive-helping Tony along with mowing the yard some. Soon we were all heading out of the door to go to swim for one last swim party before fall. There were quite a few folks there. During the party and afterwards, Reagan's group of girls were practicing their dance for in a few weeks.
  • We left Reagan there to dance and came home to eat snacks with the Wilsons. The kids played and the adults chatted-Shannon and I were busy  making plans for November!

September 12, 2020-Happy 15th Birthday Reagan!

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  • We woke up our birthday girl this morning by vacuuming her room and then running the carpet cleaner up and down it. We sure know how to celebrate around here. Now, Campbell had already instructed me to blow up some balloons for her to have along with the birthday banner and birthday chalkboard hanging in the kitchen.
  • Robby and I debated not doing any more rooms with the carpet machine this morning because we were super sore when we went to bed last night. Pushing that heavy machine around was a bit tiresome. We did the hallway, school room and our bedroom first, before we moved upstairs.
  • Then what a better way to celebrate your birthday than getting a flu shot too? Ha! It just kept getting better for Reagan. It was kind of nice being able to get all 8 of our flu shots all at once. We did get them a bit earlier than we usually do, but that is one more thing that I can now mark off of the list.
  • We then went to Tacos For Life-Reagan's choice-for lunch. We rarely eat out anywhere these days, and we sure haven't been to Tacos for Life in ages. It was all pretty good-actually it was all excellent. I do enjoy their food.
  • Back at the house, Robby and I hooked up the car and practiced driving it around behind the camper. We drove to our church and did perfectly fine. Though every bump and rock that hits anything, make us nervous-we will just have to get used to everything!
  • Then we ran to Walmart to take the carpet cleaner back. Of course we found a few things at the Walmart. I could have browsed a bit more, but Nonna and Pops were on their way over to drop of Reagan's birthday present.
  • I made the kids quesadillas for supper. Then it wasn't too long before the Wilson's came over for some birthday ice cream for Reagan. I will say that I think she had a pretty decent 15th birthday!

September 11, 2020

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  • We woke up super early so we could go box sledding this morning with the Heltz and a few other folks. Most everyone was awake before I had to wake them up. I think that Reagan was even stirring a bit as I went up to wake her up. 
  • Even though we were there at 9, it was still pretty warm outside. The box sledding was fun-the kids went up and down the hills quite a few times. I did my own share of box sledding-but walking back up the hill was a bit more challenging for me than for the kids.
  • As we were leaving downtown, I saw the neat mural that we took our picture by. I had to circle two blocks to get to the parking lot so we could take our picture. Graham was worried about me not paying to park while Reagan was resigned to taking the picture-and doing so quickly.
  • I guess she knew that I was getting my picture, plus I guess she had her mind on her school work because as soon as she came home, she started working. She did talk today about the idea of homework being pointless. 
  • I switched Whitman's clothes over to winter clothes-well, I really just took out a few small ones and put some larger ones in his drawers. It didn't take too long, but I was glad to finished this task with at least one kids. I so dread the clothes switch over.
  • Whitman ended up going to Grannymom's house tonight to spend the night. He was happy to get to go. He always acts like he doesn't want to leave the house, but I know that he enjoys doing some things.
  • Then we went to pick up Sophia and drop off Campbell. Campbell helped the Craft girls get ready for Sophia's surprise party while Keaton and Sophia played the day away.
  • Keaton was so excited-we all were-to help distracting the birthday girl. Sophia was super excited to see all of the cars at her house. She wondered what was going on and burst through the door to shouts of surprise by a room full of her friends. It was so fun!
  • Reagan had her first soccer practice tonight. Last year there were 2 teams, but this year there is only one group of girls. She must have worked super hard because she came home super sweaty-which is a good thing! She doesn't get a whole lot of activity.
  • Speaking of activity-Robby and I had a bit of activity tonight. We spent about 2 and a half hours before bed cleaning the carpet with a machine that he rented from the store. I think that it has definitely helped, but gracious it does show you how filthy our carpets really are.

September 10, 2020

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  • I had the craziest dreams after my alarm went off this morning-just those few minutes during my snooze time was enough for my to wake up confused about what day it was and where I was! Maybe I shouldn't hit snooze or maybe I shouldn't have an alarm at all. Tomorrow is a no school day so I really don't need the alarm-except we are going box sledding at 9.
  • School was pretty good. Campbell did have a breakdown when I told her that it was time to do spelling. Apparently, she thought that we wouldn't do spelling today and wanted to debate me on everything I said. I quickly started just working with Anderson-that didn't sit well with her at all!
  • Around noon, I left with Campbell, Keaton and Reagan-Reagan had one class. While she was there, the little girls and I ran to two stores to buy a present for later this week. We barely had enough time to finish at our second store, but thankfully made it back in time to pick up Reagan.
  • Back at home, it was like I was still working on school even though we are finished for the week-I did grammar with Campbell, Bible study with Keaton and Whitman, read with Whitman, biology and Spanish with Reagan...someone should probably pay be to take the ACT or some other test right now, because I feel as though I am currently in 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade all at the same time!
  • Robby and I ran to Kroger today. Yep, we still enjoy the Walmart delivery, but there is nothing like going to Kroger to pick up the deals. And deals we found-if you have been to this house lately, then you have seen the popsicles that are constantly being eaten-we bought a few tonight since they were just a dollar. We probably should have bought more-but 12 packages filled up our buggy.
  • We watched a Bates tonight and even let the kids have some ice cream for snacks. Then it was finally bedtime!

September 9, 2020

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  • I do believe that this was the last busy day of this week-or at least I hope so! I started this morning with a trip to get the camper aligned. I didn't do any of the work, I just followed Robby and brought him home.
  • Keaton had spent the night at Grannymom's house so she wasn't home this morning. She had already finished today's work on Monday, but since she wasn't here we did not do our together work. This was good though because it helped everyone else finish a wee bit earlier.
  • Reagan seems to be slammed right now. Since yesterday was her classes, today she has quite a bit of work. She is a bit of an overachiever and worked hard at getting a lot finished today (even what is due in two weeks.) That is fine though-except was haven't still added Spanish to her list of things to do. My goal is to do the first few lessons with her so she can realize that they aren't too bad-hopefully they won't be too bad!
  • Whitman wasn't in any hurry today even though I was in a hurry. He was still doing school before lunch when I left with Robby to pick up the newly aligned camper. I did make him work until after 1 until I fed him-don't call scan or anything, but that did light a fire under him. He move much quicker when I explained there wouldn't be lunch until most school was done. I should just probably start his school at 11:30-then it would be lunch time soon and I could tell him to speed up for food and he would!
  • Keaton was home next-she had a big day shopping with Grannymom. She wouldn't tell me what all she found for her birthday, but she did tell me that she found lots of fun things! She is so excited about her birthday-almost too excited since we have 2 other birthdays before her birthday.
  • Soon it was time for the Sugar Club to show up at the house. Keaton, Campbell and their friends came up with the idea of baking things and passing them out to people to brighten their day. The girls all worked hard baking-we made two batches of brownie crinkle cookies and 2 batches of muddy buddies. 
  • We worked on designs for their tshirts, and then loaded up their bags of goodies. We had a ton-around 25 bags! Then we headed out to pass them out-first to Charlotte's neighbor. Then to the gas station down the road-when we left there, we had given out over half and the girls were saying that they wanted to do this every week.
  • Then it was on to the fire station, Dollar General and Shannon and her street. There were 2 Facebook posts about their kindness so they were tickled! We came home in time for us to eat supper, before heading off to our first Wednesday night church since March.
  • It was the same, but it was different-pretty different. About 1/3 as many kids, all masked up, having to skip seats-kind of sad. Now, it was a bit funny seeing that during the large group, the only kids not wearing their masks were the homeschool kids. You could tell that they aren't used to wearing a mask all day long at school.
  • It took a bit to round up the kids before we headed home tonight. Campbell wanted to play on the playground-like before-but it was closed. Every one did have a snack when we came home. Robby and I worked on the camper until bedtime for the kids. Then it was ice cream time for me!

September 8, 2020

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  • I am not really sure what day today is-even the kids have been struggling keeping up with the day. It was Tuesday, but our first day of school for the week. We started well this morning-but we didn't get to work together today (my favorite part.)
  • Instead we had to get our school work finished in time for a trip to the dentist. Anderson had a bit of school work left to work on when we came home, and Whitman had enough that I brought it with us while we waited.
  • We did have some good news at the dentist-he didn't recommend anyone to go and see an orthodontist this visit, and we had some kids without cavities. The bad news was that the kids without cavities was just 2 and the number of cavities is double our number of kids! (13-I'm not sure how what happens!) Another positive is that I now have 3 visits to the dentist for cavities over the next two weeks, and I will be able to get a book read.
  • Robby ran to pick up Reagan and drop her off at her school this afternoon. She wore her new shirt that she made with Grannymom. She also had her first real test-she said that she thinks she did fine. Hopefully so. 
  • After the dentist, we ran home for a bit and then left again. We did pick up the Heltz kids and headed to the skating rink. There weren't too many folks skating today-pretty much just us! 
  • They even had races for just our kids. The first one was for the boys-the only boys there were Graham, Whitman and Micheal. (Anderson stayed home to help Robby a bit in the yard.) Whitman and Micheal both had skate aids so they zoomed around the rink when they started the race. Graham, who had to work hard today in the ice and on the rink to skate, was slow and steady. The little boys were on the third turn when they both, with Whitman in the lead, did not go around the cones which disqualified them. But along came Graham crawling along-he knew the rules and won the race! Graham was thrilled-he won. Whitman was thrilled-he thought he won. Everyone was happy! Everyone was super happy when the manager handed them all a bag of chips for participating.
  • After skating, we dropped our Keaton off at Grannymom's house to do some birthday shopping and spend the night. She was super excited about it. As soon as we came home, I was only home for a little bit before heading to Raymar for a church thing.
  • The kids at home had supper and pretty much vegged out all evening long. I was home in time to check some school work, put things in the camper and clean some shoes. Now on the way home tonight, I did stop to pick up some ice cream! It has been that kind of day!

September 7, 2020-Barn Raising (Day 1)

(click here for today's pictures)

  • People were moving in the house this morning before me, so I didn't last too long in the bed. Before 7, Robby had taken Anderson and Graham to Pops' house to help him pick up sticks.
  • The dishes, laundry and cleaning the bathrooms were the first things on my list tomorrow. I was well down my list-even working on making 3 pans of brownies when Campbell and Keaton woke up.
  • Soon after that, I was waking up Reagan to take her to Grannymom's house for their sewing adventure. Keaton had been working on her school all morning, but decided to go with Reagan to Grannymom's house.
  • The boys were back before I left with the girls. They enjoyed helping Pops and also enjoyed the doughnuts that he bought for them.
  • Meanwhile, the party started here before 8-Wes drove down on his tractor, the others all arrived in their trucks (Robby needs a truck-not a minivan!). Things were going pretty well this morning-the holes were being dug quickly and then nothing was happening.
  • They had a root, I guess, and the auger got stuck/broke. Getting it out of the ground took a while and did finding the part. The goal was to finish the posts today, and they did around 6 tonight.
  • I picked up lunch for the crew and even dropped the girls off at the pool. I put a lot of miles on the car but I also put a lot of steps in today. I tried to help the men folk outside, but I really couldn't do anything to help.
  • Graham and Campbell did help a lot though. Campbell was the water girl-turning it on and off while Graham worked pretty hard too-hard enough that he had a blister earlier on in the morning.
  • Moving those posts was pretty difficult. At one point, a post moved looking like it was falling towards my Graham-that boy jumped out of the way. The post didn't fall, but I was super pleased with Graham's hustling. I think that they had a few times that the posts look like they were about to fall, but just one time when a post almost fell.
  • The families started arriving around 5- and we really all just stood around watching the guys finish the last 2 posts. By 6, they were done so Jennifer helped me start on the burgers.
  • I already had everything ready except for the meat-except then the grill didn't really work very well. Ha! It took an extra 30 minutes, but soon the burgers were cooked, most of the men had put on clean clothes and everyone was enjoying Labor Day.
  • It was a fun evening-everyone was there. The kids enjoyed playing, and we even celebrated one of the Dad's birthdays. I guess the dads were all tired because folks started leaving around 8 or so. 
  • Shannon helped me pick up the food, and they stayed longer. Before bed tonight, we did pick up the yard briefly and then some work in the house before it was finally time for bed-tomorrow is a busy day too! 

September 6, 2020

(click here for today's pictures)

  • I guess this was our last lazy Sunday morning. I will miss not having to hurry at church and only arrive for church at 11, but I will be glad to get back to Sunday School.
  • The kids have missed out on quite a few things since the beginning of Covid, and church is something that I don't want for them to miss any more of. Unfortunately, I am afraid that church (Sunday school and Wednesday nights) might be so different that the kids don't enjoy it. 
  • Now, I am pretty thankful that we have gotten to enjoy the pool this summer. We spent one last evening there with our buddies. We went 43 times this summer which was the same number that we went last year.
  • I'll jump back to the morning-Robby was more productive than I was this morning. He cleaned the fridge-it had gotten so full that we couldn't squeeze anything else in there. 
  • Then it was church time. Reagan had to go early to practice a dance (not for church!-we are still Baptist) The sermon was good this morning, but the crowd was kind of sad. 
  • After church we went to Nonna's house for Sunday lunch. She made her corn salsa which is my absolute favorite-I guess that I should get the recipe so I can make some for myself sometime.
  • We then hurried home for our grocery delivery. I tell you, I shouldn't find so much fun in that, but I certainly do. It is like Christmas pulling things out of the bags even though we already know exactly what should be in the bags. 
  • Next up was my Sunday nap. I probably could have slept for another hour or so, but these noise kids! I did wake up in time to help Reagan with a project before we loaded up for the pool. 
  • After the pool, we ran across town to buy some ice before grabbing some supper. The kids ate and cycled through the showers before it was finally bedtime!

September 5 2020

(click here for today's pictures)

  • This Saturday morning not too many folks were stirring when Robby left to change the oil on the camper. I was up too already working on my laundry pile. 
  • Next I went to town on cleaning the light switches-I tell you, there are some parts of my house that are just trashed, and I don't care anything about it. Then there are other parts of the house that I can't sleep because I keep thinking about how much they need to be cleaned-today that was the light switch plates. It didn't take long at all to do that task.
  • Soon Robby was home with our lawn chairs from the camper. At some point they got damp-when we put them up last time or during the hurricane drive. Either way, there was some mold or mildew growing on them. They all received a super good scrubbing and a day in the sun, and seemed to be okay by the end of the day.
  • Then it was time the call the kids outside to help for the day. Graham ran with Robby to pick up a trailer while Anderson was the tractor man. Everyone left at home, filled up the tractor with sticks before Anderson would drive to dump it.
  • We worked until Robby and Graham returned with the pea gravel. Then we went to town unloading the load of gravel. After Reagan did spray the weeds in the front, I did let her leave so she could go and study. I had some others that wanted to also leave, but when they understood that you could only leave to do school work, they changed their minds.
  • We finished with the gravel, rinsed the chairs, moved some lumber around and returned the trailer all by 3 so that wasn't too bad at all. We came home and had a late lunch, before Robby went out to mow some while I headed out with the girls.
  • We had 3 errands-first to replace 2 lawn chairs that were so broken that we didn't have the heart to scrub them. Then on to Micheal's to buy a cart for the girls' room. Finally on to Walmart to buy shirts for Reagan to sew. We found everything on our list so I was super pleased. 
  • When we came home, we were just home for a little bit before Robby and I headed out again. We ate a baked potato at Jason's Deli before running to Sams to pick up a bit of food for Monday night. 
  • We hurried home as fast as we could because the Wilson's were waiting on us...and because we had cheesecake to eat for dessert!  

September 4 2020

(click here for today's pictures)

  • I sure do love no school days. I slept in just a tiny bit and was soon sitting at my window folding my laundry like every morning. Afterwards, I moved on to the dishes-it's the same every day...but this day there was no school work to be done.
  • Well, there was some school work-I did a tiny bit of spelling with Whitman. I did buy that new book, but I'm not completely giving up on the real spelling book. A legit homeschool mom would call the book that I bought "twaddle"-I haven't seen it yet, but I know that I will call in a "sanity saver."
  • Around noon, I did got upstairs to wake Reagan up. She was up, dressed (well pajama bottoms with a Sunday shirt on), and asking me to do her hair when I got up there. She had her first English test and didn't know that it was a test so her score panicked her. I tried to assure her that bombing one test is fine-I hate it, but honestly it will probably make her take that class a bit more seriously. She has already been working hard on her upcoming science test.
  • Keaton didn't come home until late in the afternoon. She had a bit time at Nonna and Pops' house. She really enjoyed her time there and came home telling us all about her birthday presents that she found.
  • We did meet the buddies at the pool tonight. Our pool days are coming to an end this year, and I just can't decide if I am happy about that or not. I don't love the hassle of the pool, but I do enjoy relaxing at the pool. We have been 42 times this year, so that is a pretty good year for us.
  • Once we came home, we had Chinese for supper-Robby picked some up. Then the kids were able to stay up pretty late tonight. They must have been tired because I didn't hear much chatting after bedtime.

September 3 2020

(click here for today's pictures)

  • It has been a bit of a busy day for us. I really don't remember this morning-I will have to think for a little bit. Let me see-we did school, and it was a pleasant school morning. 
  • I am still struggling with Whitman's spelling. He can do what I ask him, but he just takes so long. Should I change things up and then come back to his spelling book-hmm, possibly that might just be an idea. He is already on book 3 of spelling so officially we are a year ahead. Thanks for talking through that with me-I just ordered anther spelling book. We will work on the new one, and then come back to the real one we are working on now. 
  • Reagan is plugging along with her high school work. She has a test on Tuesday (her first)-the teacher told them what to study and I did as well so hopefully she will do fine. I did count the other night and she has 7.5 credits going this year (Bible, History, English, Math, Fine Arts, Science, Apologetics, Spanish). She just started Spanish so we aren't sure how involved that will be. 
  • Keaton finished her school super quick today since she had worked on it all yesterday. She was anxious to work with me and anxious for Nonna to come and pick her up for her day out shopping. Keaton even managed to get to spend the night at their house. I am sure that she is having a blast-in fact, she is having so much fun that we haven't heard from her tonight.
  • At noon, Campbell, Graham and I loaded up to take Reagan to school. She just has one class today so we just stayed out. We ran to Kohls to spent a 5 dollar coupon. Then we hurried on to Bed Bath and Beyond to spend a gift card-I bought something for the camper and a birthday present for Robby. 
  • We then had to hurry to pick up Reagan. As soon as I dropped her off at home, I turned around and headed to the pregnancy center for the afternoon. I do enjoy it there-it is just so far away to go. 
  • Oh, yes, in the afternoon Anderson did get a hair cut. He wants to let his hair grow out some so he had a trim. His isn't that long, but it already needed shaped up. Our trimmers broke and the replacement has not yet come yet.
  • When I did get home this afternoon, Robby and I worked for a while outside staking the holes for the camper shed. It is going to be massive! And I know that it is silly, but I can't wait for it to be finished. I am even trying to figure out what kind of plants/shrubs I am going to plant to be a border between us and the new neighbor. I'll definitely have to save up for that project!
  • Reagan was busy tonight-making a shirt. She is modeling it in her picture. I didn't have any fabric glue so she knew that it wouldn't be washable. She had seen this shirt tutorial online. I had scoffed and said that we wouldn't be able to do that. My sewing machine is broken so I told her that Grannymom would be happy to help her-then I told her that I would just buy her the shirt. Well, she found the shirt tonight and I bought it-then she proceeded to make one with scissors and glue. Anyway, apparently it was much easier than I thought, and she plans to buy a shirt to make another one-look out Grannymom, another sewing project is coming your way.
  • At bedtime, I mentioned to Reagan that Campbell plans on asking for a sewing machine for Christmas since mine is broken. Reagan acted excited and said that there are somethings that she wants to make with it. Hmm, the children of mine are always surprising me. Maybe I should look into getting my machine fixed (though sewing machines with fairly good ratings are just 50-100 dollars, and surely I would pay that getting mine fixed-who knows?)
  • It was a quiet night here without Keaton. I am not sure why having one child gone makes the whole house seem different, but it surely does! 

September 2, 2020

(click here for today's pictures)

  • Lumber arrived in a bit truck early this morning so Keaton, Graham, Whitman and I watched all of that being delivered. Then Robby and I ventured out to take the camper for new tires. Robby was happy to hear that he indeed needed new tires so that made him feel good. (He was going to get new tires if he needed them or not though.)
  • I came back home and started on school. School didn't go as well today as it did yesterday or really, to be more accurate this was the worst day so far this year! Ha! The big boys were rough housing so I made them come in my bedroom and work. This didn't fly with Graham, and the boy had a complete meltdown.
  • Though when things aren't going well for when kid, the others usually quickly try their best to work harder so most everyone finished well. Graham finally did calm himself down and finished today's school along with school for tomorrow.
  • I worked on school until almost 1 with Whitman. Afterwards, I had a few minutes of downtime before doing Bible study with Keaton and Whitman. Soon it was time to leave again to pick up the camper. We did even stop by Sonic on the way there so everyone had drinks this afternoon.
  • Keaton, Campbell and Graham came with us today. We think it is funny that we had three kids that want to go anywhere at all times, and three that don't want to leave the house at all. Well, Reagan only wants to leave to buy something.
  • After picking up the camper, we quickly dropped it off at Wes' house so it could be covered for a little bit. Then it was on to Sams and Walmart for Robby and me, We walked around for a while. i was super excited to look around-I do love Sams. I found something I wanted, Robby found something he wanted!
  • Then we headed on to Walmart and worked on grabbing a few things from our list. We also bought some cookie dough for our ride home and for our snack tonight. We did quickly heat up supper when we came home-chicken sandwiches along with chips and finally cookies for our dessert!