October 31, 2020-Happy Halloween 2020!

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  • I woke up in the middle of the night last night coughing in Robby's face. Thankfully, me coughing all over him didn't wake him up at all, but gracious I did get tickled. That wouldn't have been a pleasant way for him to wake up.
  • We slept wonderfully well even with all of the other folks here in the house. I think that the girls said that they went to sleep at 3 so you could probably say that a more accurate interpretation could be 2ish. That is a decent time though by mid morning Campbell was a bit weepy. Robby made sure that they had a bit of downtime before tonight's festivities.
  • I had plans on making pancakes for the spend the nighters this morning, but they were rummaging in the kitchen early enough that I sure didn't bother to get out of bed. Whitman had already been in our room to ask for milk. He is funny because he thinks he has to ask for milk every morning even though he gets his own breakfast. This morning he asked if he could get some milk and then told me that Graham could get it for him-we still don't trust him to pour the milk container (though when Keaton was 7 she was making her own pancakes.)
  • Robby took the girls home while Reagan and I left for her ball game. It was a pretty rough game. and they lost by 3. I think that Reagan still enjoys soccer even though her team isn't really a winning on this year.
  • The weather was nice though I did get a bit chilly at the end. Nonna and Pops along with Jason even came to watch Reagan play today. After the game was over, we hurried home so she could have a shower. 
  • Robby had already loaded up the kids and headed to Grannymom's and then to Nonna's houses to trick or treat. We ended up arriving at the Fergusons about the same time. 
  • We had a great time all evening long. The kids went from dad to dad trick or treating. We had tons of chili, hot dogs, potato soup and cheese dip. There were s'mores and a hay ride. They even had the Razorback game playing. 
  • We stayed super late and as soon as we came home everyone started their candy trading. I think that trading candy is one of their favorite things to do during Halloween and Easter. After the trading, there was showers for all before it was finally bedtime. 

October 30, 2020

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  • Whitman woke up this morning and soon was in our room asking about school. He knew that he didn't have a whole day worth, but he wanted to know what he had to do. I am not sure why, but he thought that he had to do his school before his ipad so he took his school upstairs to the boys' room where they were already watching the Mandalorian early this morning.
  • I didn't do much of anything this morning at all. It was perfectly nice. I really didn't have much on my to do list either. I probably say it every Friday, but not doing school on Friday makes me so, so very happy. Though I am sure that our schedule will change next year so I can't get used to this.
  • Robby took Graham and Whitman to run some errands with him this morning. They ended up at Grannymom's house for a little bit too. While they were gone, I pretty much just continuously answered the Campbell and Keaton's questions of how much longer will it be until we pick up the Craft gifts.
  • This spring we did sign Anderson up for a virtual race-the theme was Star Wars so once he had walked/ran a 5K he could receive a Star Wars themed medal. We finally did that today-I walked the 3.1 miles with him before I awarded him his medal. I really wanted for him to wear his race bib and cross through a streamer finish line, but I didn't think that he would go for that so I didn't ask him!
  • Robby and his crew came back just as I was leaving with the girls. We drove right to the Crafts house and picked their 3 little friends up. But when I left, their little brother cried because he wanted to go with so he could see Mr. Robby. That made me sad and Robby said that I should have taken the boy with me.
  • The girls played inside and outside and everywhere tonight. I just made spaghetti but it took quite a while since I was in no hurry. So we ate a bit later than planned, which was fine since that made the evening shorter.
  • I was actually just about asleep when the Wilson's came over. They had been over for a bit when I left with Shannon to pick up Reagan. She had been at a Halloween party tonight-by the time we picked her up and dropped off 3 other girls, we had been gone for over an hour and a half. It was a good thing that we had plenty to talk about on our trip!
  • Once we came home, the Wilson's left and we put most people to bed. The sleepover crew is still going strong. I am going to remind them that they need to start being quieter because other folks are sleeping in this house-including me!

October 29, 2020

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  • We did our work together today, and everyone went to town working on their school work. I think that pretty much everyone was finished by 11:30 so that was nice. Now, most people did save some work for tomorrow which is perfectly fine since we don't have school tomorrow. 
  • Reagan will be doing plenty of school tomorrow though because I believe that she has an essay tomorrow about a book that she hasn't started reading yet-good times. Plus she has been falling dreadfully behind in Spanish. Part of that is because their site wouldn't let us log on for a little bit.
  • Around noon, I left with Reagan to drop her off at her class. While she was there, I did some speed shopping-even went to two stores one of those being Kroger. I was able to find a few things we needed at the store though I have now fallen in Robby's footsteps and find myself checking the Walmart app to compare prices. 
  • I picked up Reagan and headed home where there isn't too much to day. I am possibly a bit stir crazy right now-I don't have any big projects and none of my house chores I really want to do at all! Ha! Robby did work on cleaning our shower today and I cleaned most of the other ones as well. But other than that, who wants to do any chores?
  • I guess things have slowed down a bit around here-everyone seems to be a bit stir crazy. Robby even mentioned tonight that he missed the Third Realm days. I am not really sure how to keep everyone busy without them spending all day on their devices. 
  • For supper, we had our Trader Joe's specialty-rice, orange chicken and potstickers. It was all super good, but the kids have just now decided that they needed a snack. Well, Whitman is just on his first popsicle but has asked me about 10 times since supper if he could have one. He is certainly a popsicle addict! 

October 28. 2020

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  • Since Campbell spent the night at Grannymom's house last night, we were without her this morning so we didn't do our morning work together. That means that I slept up a little later plus when we did start on our school, we all started earlier than usual since we normally read for an hour. 
  • That worked highly to my advantage today. I am not really sure how or why, but by noon I had finished working with everyone, cleaned the sinks and potties and packed about 30 bags of candy for Halloween. I was moving!
  • Whitman and Reagan were the last ones to finish up. Whitman and I do have our routine right now- I work with him and then have him do his math as I am working with Keaton. I do know that if I leave the room at all (like when I was cleaning the bathrooms), he will stop doing all work so I have to sit down for a while to get him back on track.
  • Graham left this afternoon with Harrison. They did a little bit of work helping with Christmas shoeboxes. After they were done, he ended up at ChickFilA to supper so needless to say, he had a great afternoon.
  • Anderson asked if Noah could come over this afternoon. So they hung out and ended up making a huge pan of pasta along with Reagan. They all ate that for supper which was certainly fine with me.
  • We then headed to church tonight in the messy rain. Some weeks there seems to be more kids and other weeks there is less. Tonight was a down night in our group though Campbell said that they had a lot more where she was. 
  • When we came home tonight, the kids had showers-I had two that were muddy (Graham fell in the mud at church at Whitman fell in the mud once we got home.) Then it was ice cream truck night for the crew.

October 27, 2020

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  • Some days the mornings seem so long ago that it is hard to remember how our day started. This is one of those mornings.  I am sure that I slept in as long as I could-then my usual routine right now is to give the however minutes until work together time warning which often includes waking up Keaton and Reagan. Then I put on some clothes and socks, brush my teeth and take the laundry out of the dryer. By then it is time to work together, but I quickly throw the dishes out of the dishwasher before calling Reagan down. She is the slowest to appear, so no one else gathers until she is seen downstairs.
  • We are reading through a constitution book right now, so we did more of that and less of other things while working together. Then we finished in time to start on school early. Campbell has worked super far ahead this week and is enjoying tonight and tomorrow at Grannymom's house.
  • They actually have worked all day long on a sweet sewing project that Campbell thought up. I tell you, that girl is so kind hearted. I hope that Campbell helped-though I bet after today, Grannymom will make sure that Campbell gets her own sewing machine for Christmas.
  • We didn't have long today to do our school work. At 11, we started getting ready because everyone but Reagan was heading with me to meet my Bible study group at the park. While Robby was taking Reagan to her school. We had fun at the park though we did freeze a little bit. It was chilly even with my two pairs of britches on!
  • After the park, we dropped off Campbell at Grannymom's house. Then we headed home-I was just home for a little bit because I soon had to pick up Reagan from school. She had a good day at her classes-though one of her teachers is just calling in on zoom for a while. 
  • We then ran to Walmart to return a shirt, Target to browse for shirts and Kroger to buy a few things before they go off sale tomorrow. We weren't gone surprisingly long at all. When we made it home, I had time to work on my Sunday school lesson before we made supper.
  • And by we, I really mean Robby. He made pancakes-I did stand around in the kitchen and help, but he really made them. I used to not like pancakes at all, but they have certainly grown on me lately and they are one of my favorites. They were pretty good tonight on this cold and dreary night for sure.
  • There was another game of Clue tonight. I did win this time, but Graham had already guessed wrong and was out of the game so that left me playing against Keaton and Whitman. I am not too sure how well Whitman was keeping up with the game-though he did know the murder weapon.
  • I can now tell that it is wintertime-it seems like we are all home and inside earlier plus the evenings seem to drag a little bit. Maybe I will watch a Halmark movie!

October 26, 2020

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  • Whitman joined us in bed this morning and soon he was right back to sleep-and so were we. That boy is cuddly in the morning. It was almost 8:45 when we started our morning work today. The kids went to town on their work. Anderson was finished early and even Whitman was done by 12:20. Campbell even did three days of math. 
  • I do always think it is funny that none of the kids are like me-I would have finished all of my school work on Monday morning and then been bored out of my mind the rest of the week. 
  • There was no time to be bored today-I believe that we played Clue a total of 3 different times. Graham won the first two times by lucky guesses. And I won the third time this evening with a lucky guess as well.
  • Robby took a few kids to Grannymom's house today to drop off some things and then they ran to the store. While he was gone, I marked a few things off of my list, and then ran to the pregnancy center to be in a few pictures and a video-I think they are making a commercial or something probably to show in churches. 
  • I made it back home just as the others did. Robby and I just knew that Reagan wouldn't have soccer practice today since it was just wet and drizzly all day. Imagine my surprise when they said that they would indeed have practice. 
  • I drove her out there and then hurried back up to Walmart. I did some Christmas stocking shopping and almost have finished those-yep, I am doing good. This week I do have to lay out everything and see what else I need to buy for folks.
  • I was headed back to the car-nearly running back to the car-when I Reagan did text saying that practice was over. I flew out there and made it just as the last other girl was picked up. I think that she had fun at practice and didn't freeze to death so that was good,
  • When we came home, Robby grilled hot dogs for us to eat. We had special buns-but they just tasted okay. Some folks had some leftovers hamburgers, so we are working on cleaning out the fridge. After supper, we played one last game of Clue before I did some computer work and it was finally bedtime.

October 25, 2020

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  • I woke up this morning and glanced at my clock. This caused me to wonder why it hadn't rang yet-just about 5 minutes later than it should have woken me up. It didn't take my long to realize that I had set it for pm instead of am. I guess I was just hoping that we would all oversleep.
  • We didn't and couldn't have. Well, I am not sure-you would think that one of the kids that were awake would wake up us at some point at ask about church but I am not too sure if that would even happen. Well, Whitman did bust up in our room to change out of his wet pajamas-that happens when you take a water bottle to bed. 
  • I was up soon after roaming the house making sure that everyone was awake. Kennedy and Reagan were by far the hardest to wake up-mainly since they were the only ones still asleep. Campbell and Keaton were dressed and ready while the boys were happily playing their games instead of getting ready. 
  • I did wash Whitman's comforter and grabbed his pajamas which I thought were the wet ones. I guess I didn't feel them that well, because minutes after starting the washing machine I found the real pair that was wet. That just means that I have way too much laundry in the floor of my room. Currently, though it is all neatly folded, but there is already another load in the washer.
  • We did the Sunday school thing plus church which included the Lord's supper. We were still trying to open the plastic on the little plastic wafer when the preacher was already moving on to drinking the grape juice this morning. We should have started ahead-now, if I had known I would have brought my own bag of crackers to pass out instead of eating plastic.
  • Lunch was at Grannymom's house for everyone but me. I had a meeting at church today which lasted a bit. When I arrived at Grannymom's house, everyone was playing Clue. We all decided that we were going to pull out that board game this week and play it. 
  • When we left there, we dropped Graham off at a birthday party at Raymar. Then rushed home for a bit. I had the kids that were left help me clean up the house. We hadn't been home too long when Robby and Reagan showed up. Her game ended in a 2-2 tie-Reagan said that the field was a muddy mess though she didn't look too muddy when she came home. Robby, on the other hand, looked frozen. 
  • Soon we started on supper-beans, hamburgers and toasted buns on the blackstone. It was all delicious-or at least I thought so. Shannon had banana pudding and Campbell had made cookies so we just had ourselves a feast! 
  • It was a good evening and I sure hated for it to end because when the Wilsons left, it was time for the weekend to end and the week to begine!

October 24, 2020

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  • We were a bit lazy this morning, but when we decided to leave the house, Robby and I did move pretty quick. Robby was thinking about running to the grocery store while I had just seen an ad for Cinnamon Cream Bakery-we just did both!
  • Let me tell you-that bakery smelled delicious. I wanted to stay there and if they would have had a 'help wanted' sign out, I probably would have put in an application. We each had a cinnamon roll and even bought some other cookie of some sort. And then on a last minute whim, Robby bought a container of pimento cheese! It was pretty delicious-not really worth what we paid for it, but it was delicious.
  • Then we went to Kroger. I think it was the most disappointing grocery store trip I have had in a while. Everything we would start to buy, Robby would look it up at Walmart, and the price at Walmart would be cheaper. We bought a few things, but not nearly that much at all. On the way home, I drove while Robby typed in our Walmart order which we received later in the afternoon.
  • After putting away our piddly groceries, I loaded up with Reagan to head to the pumpkin patch with her friends. There was about 8 of them, and I did have a few revelations on my patch visit: 1. Adults paying to get into a pumpkin patch is ridiculous (I would have paid to stay home.), 2. Adults walking around without kids looks odd (that was me since I let the teenagers do their own thing.) 3. We need to open a pumpkin patch (some of Reagan's friends bought a 10 dollar pumpkin to carve later this week-I bought Reagan a 3 dollar pumpkin from Walmart to carve.) 4. All pumpkin patches should sell hot chocolate or cider. (I almost froze my tail off.) and finally, 5. People watching is so entertaining. (I would have to try not to stare at people. And this is a bonus, but people talk so ugly to their kids and family.)
  • I brought all of those kids home after the patch. They were busy going from outside to inside. Of course, Campbell loves it when Reagan's friends come over because she thinks she is as old as the rest of them. This always causes problems with her sister making things just special! 
  • We eventually heated up some pizza. The kids ate, then the Wilson's showed up to finish up our leftovers. We capped off the evening with brownies and ice cream and only one extra kid at the house so I will say that it was a pretty great day.

October 23, 2020

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  • Keaton and I had to leave the house super early this morning for her second blood draw at the Nutrition Center. They didn't get enough last time because since the stopped because she was seconds from passing out. Today went much better-they were able to get three of the four vials of blood that the needed from her before she started going downhill.
  • She does recover quickly, and the Nutrition Center people sure did enjoy her because she was super sassy. It is funny because she isn't usually like that, but she has been both times that we have been there.
  • When we left the Nutrition Center it was crazy dark and crazy rainy. It took me a while to find the windshield wipers and lights on the mini van. I am not used to driving it much so I can't find anything on it. 
  • This morning when I woke Keaton up, I thought that she was about to cry. I then quickly reminded me that we would get a tread afterwards-Starbucks strawberry acai lemonade. So that is where we headed next. She was super pleased with her drink-and I was super pleased that I had a gift card. 5 dollars for a lemonade? Really?
  • By the time we made it home. the rain had slowed to a perfect drizzle calling for a perfect nap. Most people still weren't stirring at home, so I curled back up into bed. It was a good thing that I had already marked most things off of my list today since I didn't get much at all accomplished this morning.
  • I did do Bible study with Keaton and Whitman, load up the camper (always ready plus I had a few things to put inside) and then we fixed set the girls mirror up in their room. It looks really nice-so nice that I was inspired to go and get the other mirror that they want. 
  • Keaton and I were about to leave for Hobby Lobby when I kept hearing thunder. The weather said it wasn't going to rain, but when it started pouring I didn't believe their prediction anymore. We waited until after the rain before heading to Hobby Lobby.
  • This time Campbell and Whitman decided to join Keaton and I. This is fine except they want to shop themselves when they really have no income. I would like to shop or at least browse too (yes, I also have no income as well)! Anyway, I will browse someday, but for today we Campbell bought clay, and I bought the girls' mirror.
  • We came home and watched some camping videos before Robby made chili while I made cornbread. My cornbread was a last minute addition since my plan was to open a can of corn to heat so we could spoon some corn into our chili (Anderson does not like corn at all.) Instead it was cream style corn so I had to make some cornbread quickly.
  • We ate out supper, cleaned the kitchen and then settled into watch the Scooby Doo movie. Whitman loved every second of the movie-including the Scooby Snacks that we had bought before Covid to eat when we finally watched this movie!
  • After the movie, the kids dispersed so we wouldn't think about them and possibly forget to put them into bed-it didn't work though.

October 22, 2020

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  • Robby left early this morning to ride to Springdale with Casey, so that left me unashamedly hitting my snooze button far too long this morning. I just really want a morning when I can sleep in-on those mornings that I can sleep in, I usually have to wake up to go the bathroom and can't go back to sleep.
  • Tomorrow should be the sleep in morning, since school is mostly done for the week. I tell you, it will be hard to go back to Bible study next year. We are knocking school out this year-4 days of school every week plus not than many trips during the middle of the week has us moving along (well, most of us!)
  • However, tomorrow isn't going to be a sleep in day since Keaton has a repeat blood draw at the nutrition center. And bless her excema is super bad right now-I hope they can even have room to prick her. Ugh!
  • School today went just fine. Graham did have a bit of a meltdown-if he doesn't understand his math (this was a review) he kind of loses it for a little bit. He gets so stressed out even though it is okay to not understand math-that is why we have to practice it.
  • Whitman is just my reader. I wish that he would read more during the day-I should probably make him really. During his 20 minutes of reading today, he read 3 books. I really think that he would be just fine if I let him just read all day long and not do any of his other school work. He would love that idea, but it probably isn't too wise.
  • Reagan spent her morning studying for a test. I took her to school around noon. When we picked her up, she wasn't too sure how she did at all. Robby and I were both pretty much straight A students, so you would think that we would be proud of her studying so much-we are, but we also now realize that there are so many more important things other than good grades.
  • While Reagan was at school, Keaton and I did some speed shopping at Walmart. The other day we had way too little time during Reagan's class, but this week we even browsed some before leaving the store.
  • Now, speaking of more important things-I took Campbell to the pregnancy center today to volunteer with me. She had a blast. I sure wished that we lived closer so I could feel like we could go there every week. Anyway, Campbell was able to see an ultrasound today and even play with a baby for a little bit. She had a blast-and stayed super busy packaging diapers and sorting baby clothes.
  • We made it home about an hour before Robby made it home from his day's adventure. When he came home, we jumped in the car to head to Pops' house to celebrate his birthday with supper and pie Pops wasn't feeling to good tonight, but I do think that he enjoyed the company-at least we enjoying going over there.
  • We made it home in time for the kids to watch some tv before bed. I was even able to have my shower before the kids went to bed tonight. We started some laundry, didn't need ice cream because of our dessert at Pops', and then watched some rv videos before bed.

October 21, 2020

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  • Man, for some reason I just keep waking up later and later. That is just not good. Maybe tomorrow I will be more on top of things-we shall see. It probably don't help that I do everything I can to get school ready to go at night so I really don't need much time from getting out of bed until starting school.
  • I didn't have too much time to read this morning because Keaton and Whitman had their zoom at 9:15. I really want for them to enjoy their online Bible study. However, I am not too sure that they are loving it. Campbell is in the same boat, and maybe it is because the big kids and I don't do our zooms each week.
  • Even though we weren't able to read much today, I have noticed that we are 1/3 of the way finished with history and science. If you remember, last year I was struggling to finish history, and not this year we are so far ahead that we might take a break next week to work on something else.
  • Whitman had super easy math today so he did finish his school work by noonish. I did look ahead and next week is borrowing in two different places on a math problem for him-let's just say he will just be finishing math at noon next week! Now he did watch Keaton do her multiplication tables today and said that he wanted to try. Yep, he figured it out and was able to do some simple times tables.
  • Reagan spent most of her day studying. I think that she is starting to feel more confident in her Comm Central classes which is super good. Tomorrow is a science test for her so we shall see how well she has studied! 
  • For chores today, I assigned Anderson to make banana bread. He wasn't too pleased with me for doing that! Ha! I reminded him that everyone needs to be able to cook so even though he doesn't like banana bread it is good to know how to make it. I do think that his banana bread turned out perfectly.
  • I don't know how the banana bread turned out because we took it to Pops' house to celebrate his birthday. He had just been to the cookie lady's house so he had a bag full of cookies. At least he HAD a bag full of cookies when we arrived. Unfortunately, I am not too sure if he had anything but a bag when we went home.
  • When we came home from Pops' house, Robby and Whitman ran to get his hair cut. It took a bit, but the product was super cute. When he came back in the house as we were eating super, his hair was super mohawked. My first question to Robby was "we can fix that right?" The lady just styled it that was so there was no cause for alarm.
  • We all headed to church tonight. Robby played with Gabriel after the Crafts left for dinner with friends. We then brought all of their crew home after church tonight. Let's just say that Robby and I had to count kids a few times to double and triple check that we had all of the people-11 kids. They didn't seem like a lot of kids when we got home, but trying to herd everyone to their car was tough!
  • The kids were a bit disappointed when the Craft parents arrived. They were having such a good time playing. We had a few minutes of downtime before it was bedtime for the crew. 

October 20, 2020

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  • Today was a bit more hectic than yesterday. It seemed that everyone had new math, and everyone had lots of questions!  We finally figured everything out, and folks were able to start to work. Even though I left by 11:20 to take Reagan to school, and when I came home, I didn't have anyone still doing school so that was a win.
  • Now taking Reagan to school has become interesting. She wants to get there when they start lunch, but she doesn't want to go in until people come outside. Today we waited 20 minutes before kids did start coming outside. That was also fine with me because I was able to catch up on my emails while we waited.
  • Speaking of catching up-I forgot to mention this the other day: Sometimes you just think that your kids are smarter than they really are. Anderson was giving Graham a hard time about his deodorant when I walked into the room. Later I heard the whole story-in the camper, I had given Graham a brand new deodorant. He had been using the new deodorant with the plastic thing that comes on new bottles still on top of it. He said that he thought it was strange since his other isn't like that. He said that he even rinsed the top off with water thinking that would make it work better. Gracious me!
  • This afternoon I flittered from one project to another not really accomplishing much at all. I did glue the trim on the girls mirror-we only have to cut a few boards to stand behind it before setting it in it's place. I even worked on some Christmas ornaments-which has gotten me in the mood to buy a few Christmas presents.
  • I did run to pick Reagan up-we didn't forget her this week. Campbell came with me, and we went to one store to buy a birthday present. While we were there, Reagan said that she wanted to work there. I kind of agreed with her because I would be able to find a few things that I wanted there as well.
  • We picked up supper on the way home which means that we ate at 5 this evening. Yesterday, we didn't eat until after 7:30 so that meant that tonight our evening felt super long-Campbell went through some Halloween costumes, I worked on Sunday school for next week, the boys played video games and Reagan studied for a test! Overall it was a pretty restful evening which was nice.

October 19, 2020

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  • I knew people were tired this morning when Whitman came into my room. Robby was already gone doing his work, but I was still in bed. I talked to Whitman, and asked who else was awake. I thought knew the answer since he was in my room, but I was wrong. Anderson was awake, but was quietly playing the xbox upstairs with Graham still sleeping.
  • We still started our work together by 8:45 and were finished by 9:30 so that was perfect. I worked with Whitman first. Then he worked on his math pages. He did those well which led to him finishing his work before lunch today-a miracle!
  • I was able to work with everyone today without too much overlapping. Sometimes everyone is ready to work with me and other times I can't find anyone to work with me. Thankfully today everyone was finishing at different times. 
  • After lunch I cleaned the camper which didn't take long at all. I want that things to stay ready for the next trip. Unfortunately, we don't have a trip this weekend, but Robby is already working on one coming up. 
  • Anderson and Graham had a discipleship group at church this afternoon. I took them and then picked up my library books before buying a few gallons of ice cream. Unfortunately, they didn't have many flavors of ice cream so we may get tired of the flavors that I bought. I guess though getting tired of ice cream and eating less of it would be a good thing.
  • Harrison came home with us after their meeting so the boys spent the rest of the afternoon and evening playing the xbox. I am not sure why there was so much screaming during all of this, but gracious there must have been something exciting happening on their video games.
  • Keaton and Campbell spent a lot of time making and playing with clay this afternoon. I guess they were inspired by the potter in Mountain View. Campbell even decided that she wants a potter's wheel. I am not sure that is a feasible gift idea-but maybe we could find her some pottery classes.
  • Reagan spent the day doing school work-she has a test on Thursday and an essay due today. She already received her essay grade-an A. All of her grades are pretty great right now, except in Spanish. She is super behind which is fine because she can finish this online class at anytime that she wants.
  • Robby took Reagan to her soccer practice tonight while Campbell and I made potato soup along with some cornbread for supper. The soup was super easy, made a ton and was pretty good so I was pleased with the recipe though I think that I have made it before. 
  • When they came home we ate supper. Around 9, we took Harrison home. And finally we finished watching the Cowboys play their sad game before having everyone go to bed tonight.

October 18, 2020-Mountain View Weekend

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Again, I was sleeping very well this morning, until I had to wake up at 7 to go to the bathroom. Gracious, getting old isn't much fun at all! After having to crawl over Robby to get to the bathroom, I woke him up as well. Remember we switched bed spots so he didn't have to crawl over me on his bathroom trips. 

We laid there for a while before we started making a bit more noise. Whitman was the first one awake-and I know that because whenever he is the first awake, he comes to our room, and today he crawled into our bed. We chatted with him for a while-his little mind is just something else.

The kids then started stirring. Since everything was already put away outside, Robby and I worked on the inside. Whitman wanted to know if we were having a "fancy breakfast" or not. After a few questions, we did learn that a fancy breakfast is considered to be one that you have to wait for. He did not have to wait for breakfast this morning since I just plopped the poptarts and doughnuts onto the table for the kids to grab.

The girls and Whitman got on their clothes and headed to the amphitheater with Anderson and Graham as their chaperones. Reagan was not yet stirring quickly so they went without her. The girls had to practice for a few minutes. When I showed up with Reagan, the show began.

I am not sure if I talked about the amphitheater enough but it is just stunning. A natural spring, flowing stream, stone bridge, shallow stream through the woods-it is gorgeous. Whitman began the show by telling the instructions-no flash photography, no bikes (that was aimed at the boys). Then the real show started-the girls sang their choir song and even had choreography. 

When their show was over, Whitman sang a song for all of us to enjoy. He made his up in real time so he was convinced that his act was better than the girls. We finished in time to go back to the camper for a few more minutes while Robby cleaned out the tanks.

When we were about ready to pull out, the little girls and Graham walked to the playground to wait on us. We wanted to hook up the trailer somewhere other than the rv park. There were a few reasons-one the ground wasn't level or straight plus we didn't really want an audience! Ha! 

We drove the block or two to the park to hook up. Robby turned the rig around, and we loaded up. We did learn a few things-we probably should google maps-ed it or I should have driven the route in the van first to double check things (he turned around which included lots of backing up and even straightening the trailer once while we could have just continued and made a block without turning around) It all worked out well, and that is why he is practicing with the car now.

The ride home was uneventful! It didn't seem like the curvy road took anytime at all. I did wait until we were back on straight roads before getting up to make lunches for everyone. Making lunches always passes the time quickly in the car-it took even longer to make lunches for 10 folks. The camper does make things easier except there are lots more choices for lunch which makes things more complicated. 

Once we came home, I was home for about 5 minutes before I left with Reagan for her soccer game. Casey came and picked up his girls and brought Gabriel to see Robby. The boys helped Robby unload without even being asked. The girls then joined in on the work. By the time that Reagan and I came home, the camper was empties and just waiting on a deep clean.

Now let's talk about the game. On the way Reagan wondered if her running would help her. It must have because she was hauling today. That girl has so improved. Now, she is not the star of her team, but she is pretty good at defense. Her team is missing their scorer from last year, so they didn't win today, but Reagan worked hard, and I do believe that she had fun. Her face was bright red and her hair was completely wet on our walk back to the car-I guess I can say that she got in a bit of exercise too!

We were then home for a little bit before we loaded up for the Wilsons' house. They pulled out their leftovers, and we brought the few leftovers that we had and made a meal of it. Not many folks houses can you go over to and eat their leftovers. 

We stayed long enough that I was about to fall asleep on their couch. When we came home, the kids all needed showers. They ran through showers as I worked on dishes and joined Robby folding laundry. Soon it was bedtime for the people-I didn't get around to making my to-do list for tomorrow so hopefully I can manage and not forget too many things!

October 17, 2020-Mountain View Weekend

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Oh how wonderful this camper sleeping is Everyone slept well, and I do believe that everyone stayed warm. The heat vent in our little bedroom area doesn't put out much heat so Robby put a sleeping bag over our comforter. I was not warm, but I was burning last night! I must not need as many covers as he does-though he does complain that I wrap myself up in all of the covers!

The kids started waking around 8 which was a perfect time. The sun was up so when we started making our breakfast it wasn't too chilly. All of the girls worked on making the pancakes while Robby went to town on his breakfast creation-chorizo, cheese and egg quesadillas. They were certainly a hit with most of us. 

After doing some cleaning-I am not sure why this cooking outside is so messy, but it sure is. While we cleaned, the girls went to the park with Reagan and the boys rode their bikes some. Whitman did try to ride his bike for a little today, but we did realize that he has forgotten how to ride so that is one more thing for us to work on in the next few days.

Once we had loaded everything up, we headed towards Loco Ropes in Mountain View. Robby bought all of the kids two tickets each, and we each had one. The choices were doing the zipline, the freefall or the rock wall.

After buying tickets we put our harnesses on. We weren't sure that we were going to get Sophia to do the zipline, but after climbing the steps they clipped your harness up, and there wasn't much getting out of it. The kids all went without hesitation even Sophia. Robby and I also picked the zipline as our choice so we went after the kids. When I took the first step off and started flying through the trees, I first thought that maybe I was going to be nervous, but nope it was a pleasant little ride. 

Whitman didn't want to do the zipline. He wanted to do the free fall. We all made it back to the bottom of the tower before he jumped off. That child didn't hesitate at all to jump down, but he did look a bit scared as we quickly fell to the ground. 

Then it was time for everyone's second choice-the rock wall. Personally, I would have done the zipline again. They all did great on the climbing wall and climbed and climbed until their hands were red, and they were exhausted. Now, Whitman, bless. He could hardly climb 3 feet before he would give out and fall to the ground landing on his back after the harness lowered him down. By the end he would shout, "I want a refund" each time he fell.

From there, we went to the Ozark Folk Center. The Arkansas State Parks now have a passport and stamps at each park. That makes me so excited! I will have to have the Mississippi River State Park send me their stamp, but hopefully they will do that. 

We then started touring the village full of craftsmen. There were glass makers, candle makers, knife makers and the list went on and on. I will say that the favorites were the quilter. She showed the kids a corn husk bed and showed them how to tighten the bed. You had to tighten the ropes on the bed so the corn husk mattress wouldn't touch the floor which would lead to bugs getting into the mattress-hence the expression "Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite."

Then the other favorite place was the doll maker. She gave each of the kids a button on a string. They were free but man, did we ever get our moneys worth. It is 11 right now and at least 3 folks are playing with theirs right now. They have taken them everywhere today. Just all the kids playing with buttons and strings. I think that Keaton was kidding when she said, "this is the best toy I have ever had." But I am not too sure if she was kidding or not.

After the Folk Center, we came back to the campsite to watch the Hogs game. Anderson and Graham had the best time watching the game outside. It was a good game to watch. Robby did some more cooking while the game was on-nachos. He griddled them on the blackstone. Nachos topped with cheese, chicken and taco meat. 

I think that his new griddle is his absolute favorite thing. Everything that he has cooked so far, he has watched on a youtube channel. Everyone loved the nachos, so that means that his next blackstone meal will have to be just as good.

During half time, Robby and I went to the square. It is about 2 minutes away. We could have walked but instead we drove. We walked around the square listening to all of the live music that was happening. It was quite a site to see. We even went into a few shops but didn't find anything that we had to have. Now, the ice cream shop had a line that stretched into the street, so we didn't wait in that line.

When we returned, we watched the rest of the game while the girls did some pumpkin carving. They came up with their design on their own, and it turned out pretty good. Whitman wanted no part of the pumpkin carving because he wanted his own. Graham helped with the carving some as well. 

Once the pumpkin was done, we cleaned up some more before heading back to the square with everyone. From 7 to 9 they had a band playing at the courthouse. We sat around with everyone else to listen to the music. I will say everywhere we go at home, everyone is wearing masks. Not so much here-there were some masks along with masks in the stores, but for the most part you wouldn't know that we are in a national pandemic-it was kind of nice!

It wasn't nearly as chilly as last night, but it was still a bit cool outside during the music. We came back after hearing a bit of music-we did learn that the start instrument is the fiddle. Anyway, there is a chance of rain tonight so we packed up our campsite before coming in. It didn't take too long with everyone helping.

It then took a bit of time for some more straightening up inside. We then started on our supper. Since we had eaten a very late lunch, supper tonight was sandwiches. Everyone had some and ate as we started our movie-Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It was a pretty good movie that I remember watching at a sleepover when I was little. 

Unfortunately, the movie was a bit longer than I wished. It didn't stop until 11 so getting everyone in bed took a few minutes-meaning that bedtime was late tonight! That was fine though since we should have a lazy morning!

October 17, 2020-Mountain View Weekend

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My morning started a bit early-earlier than I had expected. I thought that the sleep over girls would be a bit tired from staying up so late. I was wrong. At 6:40, I could hear them giggling. That was fine though since it wasn't crazy early. I had my alarm set for 7:30, so it wasn't too much earlier-still, I would have liked a bit more sleep.

I went to town while I was waiting on Robby to come this morning to make breakfast for Keaton's birthday party crew-I folded the front window cover, straightened up inside, made the pancake batter, made orange juice, and took down the lights. 

Robby showed up, and the girls started squealing-I guess that they were hungry It was kind of hard to keep the quiet-ish this morning. We made our allergy free pancakes which were surprisingly delicious along with sausage which was a hit.

After breakfast, I helped pick up some before taking the girls on another walk. When we returned, it was time to climb in the car and head back home. We dropped of Charlotte on the way home. Then Lily and Rylee's mom was there soon to pick them up. That just left us Sophia and Anna who stayed with us for the weekend. 

I put things away and loaded different things in the camper. Then there was the inside to do a bit of straightening too-sheets, laundry and dishes of course. By 1ish, we were loading the car and getting ready to go. It took until about 1:45 for us to finally pull out of the driveway.

We zoomed on up to Mountain View without any problems. The kids watched some a movie on the way up. Gracious, the road is curvier then going to Branson-Sophia felt a bit car sick but after some candy, cold air and staring out the front window she soon felt better. 

Actually, my foot was sore from the ride-I kept trying to brake a bit more for Robby. He did a perfect job hauling the car on the those windy roads, but I guess I thought he needed a bit more help from my side of the car. There is probably a dent from me braking for 30 miles.

We drove right to the campground-hard to miss. Though you might could say that it is easy to miss. This is a small place-which we knew. What we didn't know is that you are crammed in here. We thought that sites right along the beach would have been tight, those were nothing compared to this. Ha! 

Thankfully, they are spreading us out because of covid. So our tent, chairs and car are all in the next site. We know that state parks spoil you with the room that you have. The folks are nice here so that makes up for the tightness.

After unloading and getting set up, we all took a walk. The kids had already been exploring-it is nice to have Reagan here who is able to take everyone on a walk. The boys had their bikes and zoomed off-until they saw a no bike sign in the park. 

Nearby, there is a stone amphitheater which is ancient but so pretty. The leaves are not yet at their peak, but man, it was a pretty place. Like that is the place that people probably go to when they have a photographer take their family portraits. 

We walked and walked and walked some more until we found a playground. The kids played until it was almost dark-we then hurried back to the camper to start on our spaghetti. It didn't take long at all to make it. Our fire was a dud tonight, but that was fine because we were too cold to stay outside longer than we had too.

Now, we did enjoy using Robby's new griddle tonight-we "griddled" pound cake with grilled peaches and blue berries on top. Some of the kids put chocolate syrup and whip cream on theirs. It was absolutely delicious. Even Robby enjoyed some of the grilled fruit. 

I love trying new things and learning how to do new things-for the Dennie's that is certainly what we have done this year-I should make a list of all of the things that we have learned-how use different types of saws, how to tow a car....well, Robby has learned that one. My list should have-how to get the straps ready so Robby can tighten them when towing a car, how to shove meals for 3-5 days into a tiny dorm fridge, how to paint and not hate it the whole time (I have done my share of painting this year-bedroom, trim, doors, shed, shutters, posts, etc.)

By the time we finished our dessert, Robby was chilly and we hurried to move our party inside. It took a while to straighten up outside, but soon the kids started rotating through the showers. We did watch the end of an Indiana Jones movie-I do find it funny that I have seen one part of this movie at least two times and haven't seen any other Indiana movies.

We watched that movie until it was well past bedtime. It wasn't crazy late when the kids all went to bed-around 10:30. Then I have played and worked on the blog for about an hour. Now, I am going to head to the shower. 

October 15, 2020-Happy Birthday (party!) Keaton!

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  • All I can remember about this morning is that is was super dreary when our alarms went off. It was one of those mornings that I just wanted to stay in bed for another few hours. I wish that we could have done that, but instead it was time to get moving-there were just too few hours in the day.
  • We did our school work this morning. It didn't take long at all to accomplish our work today-well, until almost noon, but that isn't too bad. Whitman did actually zoom through his math today with me pointing at each problem while working with everyone else.
  • I had my shower around lunch time. Then I ran around throwing last minute things in the camper while helping make muffins and write an essay. It just seems crazy around our house these days-always jumping from one thing to another. Robby and I have realized though that we do better that way!
  • I took Reagan to school for her one class this afternoon. While she was there, I did some speed shopping with Graham, Campbell and Keaton. Our main mission was to find pound cake to grill this weekend-we were able to find it though it probably not as cheap as it would have been making it ourselves!
  • We picked up Reagan, brought Noah back to his house and picked up Lily while we were there. The party had officially began. We still had a few hours but Robby and I spent all that time piling things into the camper. Soon we will have all of our belongings in here and not many left in the house-that is the goal.
  • At four, Charlotte, Sophia, Anna and Rylee joined Keaton, Campbell and Lily at the house. They were all super excited about leaving. Robby had taken the camper along with Graham about an hour earlier to get everything set up for us.
  • We left the house around 4:15 with the birthday crew ready to celebrate. Graham was already off riding his bike when we showed up, but they had everything set up looking perfect at the campsite. The tent was up with the lights strung around it. The chairs were all siting on the mat. The birthday table cloth was on the picnic table with the birthday banner hanging inside.
  • After we arrived, I took the girls on a little walk. Then we moved on to opening presents because Keaton could not wait any longer. I do believe that her favorite present was shampoo and conditioner. 
  • After presents, we went on another walk down towards the river. The highlight of that walk was Robby riding Graham's bike back to the campsite to make sure that we blew out the candles on the table. The girls enjoyed swinging and probably could have stayed out longer but I was ready to eat. 
  • Back at the campsite, we heated up all of the items for taco salad. The girls devoured pretty much everything that I brought-I was underestimating their appetites. I had plenty of food, but not any leftovers.
  • Next the girls did the syran wrap ball-that seems to the must at any party right now that Keaton is at, so we had to have one too. They certainly enjoyed that, and it lasted a while. After the syran wrap ball, we moved on to s'mores. I do enjoy a good s'more, and I think that those girls do as well.
  • After we finished s'mores, Robby and Graham headed back home. They helped us straighten outside and made sure that we were all locked in. I think that Robby was a bit disappointed that I was the first one to spend the night in the camper by myself-well, me and 7 girls. 
  • Once inside, the girls found their pjs, and we started a movie. Right now, they are still watching the movie, and my fingers are cross that when it is over everyone goes quietly to sleep! Ha! Ha! Ha!

October 14, 2020

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  • I was expecting some great things today when Whitman came downstairs this morning and started right on his school work. Great things didn't happen at all-he was still working on school late this afternoon. One day, we will get this all figured out!...at least I hope.
  • We did our reading this morning, though we weren't able to finish it all because Keaton and Whitman had their Bible study zoom. Soon after they had their zoom, Campbell had hers. It was a bit of a slow-ish school morning, but we got it all accomplished before too late in the afternoon
  • I did a bit of camper work this morning. Then I moved back in the house to mark a few things off of my list. 
  • This afternoon Reagan and I dropped Graham off at Harrison's house to play for a few hours before it was church time. While he was gone, Reagan and I ran to TJ Max to spend a gift card of hers. We didn't have any luck, but if I did have a few more minutes then I would have definitely found me something.
  • We then ran to Kohls to return something along with Target to window shop. All of that and I forgot to run by Kroger, but there will be a chance tomorrow. When we returned home, we just enoug time for me to shut my eyes for a few minutes (oh, my eyes have been killing me today-I started the day with getting my hair in one eye which hurt for an hour and then the other has been allergy itchy since I woke up.)
  • We had church tonight, and there were a lot more kids there tonight. After church, Robby had some pizza ready for us. Then I had everyone pack their clothes for this weekend before there were a few free minutes before bedtime.

October 13, 2020

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  • Robby was already out of bed this morning when I woke up. Soon we started on our school work for the day. Everyone seemed to be on a roll this morning. Reagan was already finished with her stuff and waiting on me fairly early. Her math isn't clicking too well right now, but I know that will come,
  • Before I realized it, it was already time to take her to school today. And then later in the day, much before I realized it, it was time to go and pick her up. I had food on the stove, so Robby did jump in the car to go and get her. Thankfully, I did realize that I had to pick her up about 10 minutes before it was time! I am not used to people being at school. 
  • Oh, Whitman did his math today first. I stayed right by him as he finished prodding him along so that helped quite a bit. Today's math was all about borrowing! Since he finished his math first, he didn't have too much to finish and was done by the time I returned from taking Reagan to school.
  • This afternoon I spent quite a bit of time working on getting things ready for Keaton's party. One friend is allergic to milk and another to eggs so there has been lots of label checking happening. I think that the food is pretty much packed in the camper for Thursday along with food for the weekend. Now tomorrow is pack clothes day. 
  • We urged the kids to come outside. Outside is pretty much where Robby does his work while I was in and out working in the camper. They jumped on the trampoline, shot a ton of bb guns and even did some rope jumping. They stayed outside until we figured out what was for supper. 
  • We heated up our manicotti leftovers. There wasn't enough for Robby and I so we just munched on crackers while the kids ate-we are saving room for ice cream tonight! After supper, the kids started on showers. Campbell and I made a marble track again tonight. 
  • Then I looked at the clock and realized that it was just 8-we still had two hours left. I started on the blog while Robby turned on some rv videos-a super exciting night! 

October 12, 2020

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  • I was lagging a bit this morning, but we still started our reading time by 8:45. We were able to do all of our reading in time for Reagan to jump on her Monday zoom meeting. I will say that each week I am surprised that she remembers her class-I sure can't keep up with it.
  • School was fairly uneventful-well, up until the window man came in the bedroom where we were working and took the window out! Ha! We knew he was coming and it was just Whitman, Reagan and I working in my bedroom. I will say that doing algebra 2 and second grade math all at once can kind of give me a headache. Though I probably enjoy the algebra 2 a bit more.
  • For chores today, I assigned Graham to make some banana bread for us. That boy grinned from ear to ear when he saw that was his job. He sure does love to work in the kitchen. As soon as he was finished with the banana bread, he went to work making his grilled cheese. Cooking may be his specialty, but clean up is definitely not.
  • Reagan spray painted trim for her mirror while sanded some Christmas ornaments. Robby and I worked on our menu for the weekend before I decided to run a few errands. We first ran to Grannymom's house to drop something off. 
  • Then the real fun started-Dollar Tree to find things for a Keaton's syran wrap ball for her birthday party. Next we ran into Micheal's because Reagan needs a pink boa-there wasn't one there. After that, it was down the row to Academy. Campbell had some money that she had decided to buy a skate board with. She was tickled with her purchase, and I was more than happy to chip in some money for a helmet.
  • Finally, we ran to Target where Keaton and Graham both found something to buy. One last stop to drop off a box before we hurried home. At home, Robby had most of supper ready but was waiting on my to chop up the potatoes.
  • He fried us some potatoes on the grill, and they were delicious. They sure dressed up our chicken sandwiches that we had tonight. I do think that everyone enjoyed them. Whitman, Keaton and I worked on a marble track tonight for a good while before it was finally bedtime for the crew.

October 11, 2020

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  • Sunday morning and I sure didn't want to get out of bed. We finally did, and I do think that Robby had to wake most people up. That gave us all about 45 minutes to get ourselves ready and out the door. We were able to do that, plus we managed to get some gas before we made it to church on time.
  • After Sunday school, we had two extras sit with us during church. I will say that my little girls were a wee bit wigglier than I would like. I only had to pinch one little arm when Keaton started tapping people on the shoulder.
  • We had lunch at Grannymom's house-Taco salad which is a favorite of mine. Then Grannymom made a cute little dessert that I will have to remember for parties. Robby then ran to Walmart with Keaton and Reagan to work on our grocery list-we most importantly needed some ice cream for tonight. 
  • When we came home, I took a bit of a nap. Well, I tried at least-I was busy texting people and tried to stay awake while Reagan went for her run. Seriously, how great is that-she has been doing it for almost a week. She doesn't go that far, but she leaves the house and her bed for a few minutes which is a win.
  • Soon it was time to take Keaton to a birthday party down the road. Campbell had a friend to come and play. So they were all content. The Wilson's came over with Brett so the boys were content and so were we! We were especially content when we pulled out the ice cream. We ate our ice cream while watching youtube videos of people using their griddle. I think that we are possibly old folks now!

October 10, 2020

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  • Well for 8 extra girls sleeping over here last night, I slept incredibly well. Robby said that at 3 he didn't hear them at all. They may not have gotten much sleep, but at least they didn't wake the rest of us up.
  • Robby picked up doughnuts for us around 9. The girls did make their way down the stairs to eat breakfast. I also had a bowl full of fruit that they ate quite a bit of. After  breakfast, we didn't really see the girls for a while. 
  • I am not sure what exactly I did-well, I did a lot of sitting around today. I did straighten the kitchen and do some laundry, but soon it was time to load up the girls. At 11:30, I headed with them to grab some ice cream in Benton. 
  • Watching people order food, that they aren't paying for, does tell you a lot about a person and also that person's parents. I will say that I think I found a place that we can take the whole family because I did feed 11 girls (Campbell and Keaton came too) for 37 dollars. That made my smile because I sure thought that I would be spending a bit more than that. Probably what I saved driving to Benton was negated in gas!
  • A few of the girls were picked up from the ice cream place, and we dropped one more off on the way back home. The girls started trickling out around 2:30 though we did have a few stragglers that stayed longer which was fine with us.
  • We headed to the Ferguson's house at 3 to watch the football game. We had cookies and cheese dip  which were both delicious. We made supper out of it for sure. We enjoyed watching the game, though the outcome wasn't exactly what the folks had been hoping for. Last week, I happily enjoyed the last half of the ballgame while snoozing in my chair so this week so a fun change to watching the ball game.
  • When we came home, it was fairly late-the kids had their showers and a few of them had a snack. After bedtime, Robby and I had some ice cream while watching a few rv travel videos!

October 9, 2020-Happy 15th Birthday (party) Reagan!

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  • I do realize that I am not created to wake up early. I had to be at Children's Nutrition Center at 8 this morning with Campbell and Keaton, and I have been exhausted since. It is a good thing that we have 10 teenage girls spending the night over here tonight so I can catch up on my rest-ugh, not really.
  • Campbell and Keaton decided to do today's research study. It involved a blood draw first thing. Campbell almost ran off during her flu shot this year, so I wasn't sure how she would do. She went after Keaton and actually did perfect.
  • Keaton wasn't nervous during hers at all. However, after they had to stick her twice, she almost did pass out. I wasn't paying too much attention until they started fanning her. I looked at her, and she no longer had any color in her little face. The blood drawer guy was excellent so it wasn't him, but that does mean that we have to return in a few weeks for another blood draw.
  • They did a ton of little tests today-the one that I thought that seemed like the most fun was riding a stationary bike while the increased the difficulty. Of course all of this was done while they had a mask on to measure their breathing. There were also stretches that they had to do along with hand strength.
  • We were there until almost lunch. 15 years ago when we were going to the nutrition center with baby Reagan, their lunches were boxes from a nearby restaurant. Now, they have some microwave meals that you can choose from. It just wasn't the same!
  • On the way home, we did run to Whole Foods to spend 10 dollars so we can get 10 dollars off on Amazon Prime day. I bought strawberries for tonight's party then wandered around the store trying to find something that was a decent prize. We looked and looked but couldn't find too much. I did eventually pick me out some granola-not because it was decenlty priced but because it was what I wanted. I hadn't had a microwaveable meal for my lunch.
  • Then it was a trip to Sonic for the girls to get their reward drink. Next I hurried home so I could get a few things accomplished. The kids had pretty much straightened the house this morning and done their chores. I worked in the kitchen some and ended up spending most of my time pulling out school. It took my awhile because I was also helping Reagan work on her paper. 
  • Soon the party guests started arriving-I am not too sure how many girls are here. I know that the youngest was 5-Maia got to come for a little bit. She was a bit bummed that Reagan didn't have any party games. 
  • The girls are currently outside playing gaga ball-it is almost 11 so I will have to call them in a few minutes. Now also my other children are going stir crazy since we asked them to stay inside-I don't think it is too much to ask for Reagan to have a bit of a time without every one else around, but apparently they do! 

October 8, 2020

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  • I started off the morning tell the kids how Thursdays have always been my favorite day. From the time that we hosted a houseful of folks every Thursday to watch tv (which Robby had been doing long before I was around.) all the way to this year (with Thursdays being out last day of school for the week) I have just always loved Thursdays. 
  • It has seemed like every school day lately, there has been something happening so I am having look at the clock constantly. Tuesday and Thursday Reagan had school and Wednesdays the littles have zoom-it always makes things seem a bit crazy. But like always, we manage to get most things accomplished.
  • I left at 12:10ish to get Reagan to school for her biology test. Seriously, biology is kicking my butt this year. I don't remember it being so tough-I don' t know, nor can I even find in the text book, what properties determine a protein. Plus, I'm not even the one taking the class! Agh! 
  • While Reagan was taking her test, I ran to Kroger with Graham and Keaton. Yes, we had also gotten a Walmart delivery today-don't judge. We needed a few more sale items plus some fruit. And would you believe that Walmart substituted Robby's order of blueberries for a tiny container of organic blueberries (he got his money back), but then Kroger overcharged me for my blueberries (I told the cashier, she "fixed" it, but when I was back at home, I realized that it wasn't really fixed.) Urgh!
  • Reagan came home and felt that she did fine on her test. I wasn't around too long after that because I soon was heading to New Beginnings with Keaton. Keaton was so excited because this was her first time to go. Campbell was not happy at all because she had wanted to go (she has already been). 
  • Keaton worked hard while we were there-we bagged up diapers and folded clothes. She didn't stop and was super polite. Cute little thing! 
  • Speaking of the cute little thing- last night at church, I was convinced that she had pink eye because her eyes were well, pink or red might be a more accurate term. I had some eye drops and went to town on her. This morning her little eyes looked fine, but she has still received a few doses of drops today and will tonight. Also, Graham continues with his poison ivy/hives/whatever it is. I am giving him benedryl twice a day and have never seen him scratching so hopefully he will be over it soon. 
  • Tonight was the much awaited manicotti for supper tonight. It is definitely a crowd favorite-except for Reagan who doesn't like it with the sausage. You can't please everyone all the time!...or really, that saying should go, you can't please everyone all at the same time!
  • Robby and I worked on the camper some tonight. We are ready for the next trip-even more organized. Then it was time to sit around a do nothing for the last hour or so until the kids went to bed!

October 7, 2020

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  • I am not too sure how it happened today, but for some reason school wasn't that bad. Keaton and Whitman had their Bible study zoom call first. Then Campbell had hers (now, her zoom call somehow kicked her off-not sure how that happened?) While they were zooming, I didn't really have anyone to work with though somehow we seemed to finish fairly early. Though my definition of "early" has now become 1:00.
  • For lunch today, I had my leftovers from last night. They were still just as good. I had thought about sharing them with Robby, but since he was outside working. The camper shed is looking pretty nice with some help, Robby now has a super level layer of gravel underneath it. It looked really nice, and we can't wait to get that camper covered. 
  • Robby and I did run to Home Deport today for some items needed for his gravel. While we were there, I found trim for the girls' new mirror. Now I prefer Lowe's but I still do enjoy Home Depot-for my Christmas, I plan on asking for Lowe's gift cards. 
  • On our way home, we did run by Sonic for the kids. Robby decided that the kids needed a drink-I am sure that Reagan did. She had run a mile or close to it. This was her second day in a row to do this. Graham and Campbell also walked/ran two miles. I am not sure what all of this running is about, but I know that I am the one that really needs to be out there.
  • Soon it was time to head to church tonight. Whitman always wants to know if we are going to "long church." I would have to assume that by long church, he is referring to Sunday morning. Whitman's group spent a good deal of time on the playground tonight, so I am know that he had a great time-and probably didn't think that it was so long.
  • When we arrived home, Robby had chili ready for us. After eating that, I helped Reagan review for a test. Then we brought back our Sunday evening ice cream truck-we had a multitude of choices tonight. Hopefully, there is still ice cream for me tonight though!

October 6, 2020

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  • Tuesday's used to be our calmer day around here, but with Reagan going to Comm Central things are just a bit crazy. I do think that she is loving it, but right now she is a bit overwhelmed.  They seem to try to cram a lot in a 50 minute class. They also expect them to do a lot which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Reagan is pretty smart and motivated so if she is having a hard time staying afloat then I can't imagine the others. 
  • We did our morning work together this morning. Then the kids started on their school work. Things went fairly well this morning. I will say that some days, I wish that I was an unschooler (those folks that don't do much schooling, but still end up raising brilliant kids). 
  • Robby took Reagan to school. While they were gone, everyone else went outside to run a mile and play some football. The football didn't end too well at all. They must have all made up, because 2 more times during the day the kids went outside to play a game of football.
  • I worked on the camper some today. I have most things put back, but still have to clean the kitchen. That doesn't take too long when the kitchen is only about 3 feet. I will say that I really need to clean my big kitchen and pretty much all of this house. It is a getting a bit rough in here-I did print out myself a chore chart, so maybe we can get this place back on track.
  • I left fairly early in the afternoon with Shannon to go a thing at her church. The speaker was hilarious plus they had food trucks and a roaring fire. What could be a better end to the day? After it was over, Shannon and I both ate a chicken biscuit topped with pimento cheese and cooked sweet onions-it was delicious. So delicious that I saved half for tomorrow or to share with Robby.
  • After I came home, we watched a few tv shows while playing a card game with the kids. Tonight's game was 5 Crowns-it is a pretty neat game. Robby and I ended the evening with some ice cream before heading to bed. 

October 5, 2020

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  • For a Monday today wasn't too bad at all. I slept a bit later than I should have, but I was still able to get school started by 8:30. I am starting right now of our pile of books that we will read tomorrow morning when we do our together work. It is about a foot and a half high-and my favorite part of the day. I guess that some day I might just have to become a librarian because I sure do love library books. Anyway, that is not to relevant to our day around here.
  • During our school morning, the roofer man came to put the roof on the rv shed. It didn't take too long for him to do that so that is one more step finished. There are just a few things left and that project will be over-gravel is the next thing on the list followed by staining the posts and lighting. Once that is all finished, what will be our next project? I am pushing hard for a fire pit and Adirondack chairs surrounding it.
  • Whitman took just about all day to get his school work accomplished. I tried to have him work right by me, but that didn't help speed things along today at all. We will eventually get it figured out. Speaking of figuring things out, I sure am enjoying our spelling break that he and I are taking. I plan to start back at the first of the year-those are my plans at least!
  • I did some work on the camper this afternoon. Everything has been washed and folded. Now I am slowly cleaning sections of the camper and putting the things away. This takes longer than usual since there was sand everywhere, and we felt that everything needed to be washed. It will be so clean that I will not want to go anywhere.
  • At some point on the trip or after we came home, Reagan lost a pair of her shorts. She doesn't have many shorts, so this did cause a problem. We have looked everywhere for them, but they have apparently vanished. So we left early for her soccer practice to stop at Academy to find replacements.
  • We did find a replacement (not a cheap replacement). As we were walking out, she spotted a sweatshirt. We walked past it and I asked if she would want that for Christmas. After trying it on, she decided that she wanted it right then. I did find that it was cheaper to order it for store pick up online so we had Robby do that-then after soccer, we went and picked it up from the store.
  • She was super happy with her purchases and so was I though I wish that she would have let someone buy her that shirt for Christmas since it isn't that very far away.
  • While Reagan was at soccer practice, I sat in the car and did some Bible study, read a book and worked on my travel journal. By the count in my travel journal, we have been on 108 trips. That isn't too shabby at all. 
  • Back at home, Robby had made quesadillas for supper tonight. They were delicious!. This evening after I worked some more in the camper, I played a card game with the kids. Then it was finally time for bedtime!

October 4, 2020

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  • Robby said that he woke up last night in the middle of the night and didn't know where he was. He briefly thought that he was in the camper, but then unfortunately, realized that he was back at home and back in the real world. 
  • We didn't have a very long morning this morning-before I had really finished all of my laundry, it was time to leave for church. We didn't have too many kiddos in our Sunday school class this morning. Afterwards, we again filled our church row up with folks-our 6 plus 2 extras. It is always fun to have a full row of people with us-every Sunday I try to figure out how I can take a picture of all those kiddos with their Bibles in their laps. Maybe someday I will pull out my phone and snap a picture.
  • After church, we hurried home to drop off most everyone. Then we turned around and headed to Reagan's soccer game. We didn't ask the others to go today since we had a pretty full day today. 
  • The weather was pretty perfect for a soccer game. But I will say that soccer games are just a bit long! They play for 90 minutes plus a half time along with some added time today because of injuries. Reagan's team was dropping like flies-one had to be carted off the field and another had to be helped off the field. Gracious, these soccer games are kind of like a wrestling/kicking match,
  • The lost the game by a point, but they did really well. After the game, Robby and I did work on the camper for about 45 minutes. He worked on some cords while I worked on the bathroom.
  • Then we headed to Nonna's house for Jason's birthday supper. We had pork tenderloin and Jo Powell cake for dessert. Jason opened his presents and we stayed for a little bit visiting.
  • When we left there house, we headed to the Wilson's for some ice cream to start our week off right. The kids spent most of the time outside playing while we did some Christmas light watching. 
  • As we were getting ready to leave, Graham mentioned that he thought he had poison ivy-yep, all over the boy. Not sure where he got it-possibly Louisiana. Ugh! Tony had some creams. So when he came home, he had a hot shower. Then I slathered him up with stuff before giving him some Benedryl before bed. Hopefully, he can sleep well tonight and hopefully we can get him some thing for relief tomorrow!

October 3, 2020 - Day 8 of Camping at the Beach

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It was chilly enough last night that Robby had to turn on the heat in the middle of the night. I do believe that we all slept well. Well, we slept well until right at 7 when Robby started this rig. Campbell, Graham and I woke right up. 

I changed my clothes and straightened a little bit-it is surprising how many things can fly around in a moving vehicle that you forget to put up each time. Then I climbed up in the front by Robby with his breakfast right after he pulled out of the state park. He even stopped to dump which didn't take long at all.

Campbell, Graham and Anderson were the first ones moving. They all came towards the front and grabbed their ipads to play as we soon pulled into Mississippi. Whitman was the next one who was awake-he was already given a poptart by Anderson before I even knew that he was awake. 

Keaton didn't really wake up until we were stopping for gas at 9. I will say that I think that I will always get a bit nervous when we stop for gas while pulling the car. Robby did just fine, but our turn had to be a bit sharp making me wonder if we were going to be able to make it. 

It is a pleasant day so I guess that if we had to get out and unhook, then that would be fine. We didn't have any problems at all though and were soon back on the road. By this time, most of us were working on our morning snacks while Keaton started making s'mores dip for her breakfast. 

I think that I have mentioned it, but the food. We brought so much food that it is just ridiculous. We could still stay out for about 4 more days without needing a grocery store. We have almost run out of milk, but other than that we have plenty of stuff. The pantry is so full that I still have to take things out to try to find what I need. I guess that I would rather have too much than too little. 

We zoomed on down the road today. We stopped one more time just on the side of the road for Robby to run to the restroom. It was a super quick stop-he was actually looking for a red light for me to jump into the driver's seat but never found one.

I made lunch-it does seem to get a bit easier getting things accomplished in the camper while bouncing around. It took me a few trips to figure out how to successfully turn on the generator too-now, we turned that thing on so we could make some popcorn and heat up Keaton's wrap.

We arrived home around 2 and worked until the football game started tonight. The kids worked hard-helping Robby unhook everything and when they weren't doing that, they were hauling things out of the camper and into the house. 

The camper is empty, but not yet cleaned. That will be tomorrow's task. Let's see, we have done about 10 loads of laundry (no lie). I have washed everything that can be washed from the camper plus all of our clothes. Most things are folded except for 2 loads, so that isn't too bad at all. And speaking of laundry, Campbell, without being asked, kept my laundry going while Robby and I ran to go and get gas for the camper and my van. They both were almost empty so we put about 75 gallons of gas in them.

We heated up some pizzas for supper and sat around the tv watching the Hogs. I watched the first half, but did snooze through the second half. It was a great day and a great week. I am glad to be home, but I am ready to leave again!

October 2, 2020 - Day 7 of Camping at the Beach

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It was another good day-and when you are cuddled up under some blankets in the bed before 10, I would say that it was a very good day. The morning started with Robby making chocolate chip pancakes and sausages for our breakfast. Anderson was in charge of the scrambled eggs. Breakfast was certainly yummy, and it probably made it even better that the Crafts came over to eat theirs with us.

Once breakfast was over, we walked to the next campsite-the campers there had already pulled out. The alligator was across the pond, but as he saw us, he slowly crept our direction. He was about 4 feet long and didn't really seem interested in us. My big boys pulled out their fishing poles, and then the Crafts did as well. No one caught anything, but the kids all enjoyed fishing-you would have thought that the alligator might have liked our bait-hot dogs!

The next thing that we did was take a short walk down to the river. It was a sandy trail, but it was neat to see the different plant life than we have at home. We weren't able to walk too long, because we had to pull out at noon.

Campbell and Keaton rode with the Crafts, and the rest of us just rode in our van. We had about a 30 minute drive to the Global Wildlife Center. We have been there twice before-and the pictures from last time just make it look amazing. So we were a bit concerned that it would be as fun to the kids as we had remembered it being.

It was! The first trip there I bought a bucket of food. The next time we bought a 50 pound bag of food and this time, we shared a 17 gallon bin with the Crafts. There was plenty of food to feed the animals. We did run out near the end, but there was enough pieces on the ground of the tram for the kids to pick up and use.

As you are driven along, all of the animals rush to the tram. I believe that they said that had 1200 deer-and it seemed like most of them followed us during the one and a half hour trip. There were deer, zebras (which you could not feed), llamas, alpacas, bison, lots of other animals that I don't know their names and most importantly giraffes. 

When we were at the giraffe stop, it took a super long time for the giraffes to make it to our car. When they did, the kids loved getting to feed them. And just as Reagan did 5 years ago when we were here, she gave a giraffe a kiss this time as well. We were starting to think that the giraffes wouldn't make it to us, but thankfully they did.

It was so much fun. Robby and I aren't big animal people, but we really do enjoy the animal tour. I think the kids will really remember it for a long time too! After it was over, we said our goodbyes to the Crafts. They were heading back to Little Rock. We had toyed with that idea too, but we decided to stay and enjoy one more night before coming back to reality. 

When we made it back to this state park, Bogue Chitto, we drove around for a little bit since we were in the van. We found a splash pad with a huge water slide. Imagine Campbell's surprise as she was inspecting it when we told her to go ahead and do it. Campbell, Keaton and Whitman slid over and over again. It must have been a little bit too cold for Graham because he only did it once.

Since Campbell, Keaton and Whitman were soaking wet, they had to ride in the back of the van back to the campsite. So Graham rode Whitman's bike back to our site. It took him a while, but that just warmed him up because afterwards, he went with Anderson, Campbell and Keaton on a bike ride on one of the trails. They thought that they went about 3 or 4 miles. 

Soon it was time for us to start on supper. Tonight's meal was bbq that Robby had made it home along with fried potatoes which is Jennifer's recipe. It was all perfect-until I ate the last tiny bit of BBQ and Whitman asked for some more. Thankfully, he was happy with some cheese on a bun-which he later said was his favorite part of the entire trip. It is the little things!

After supper, we watched some of a movie outside before breaking down camp. Robby wants to leave fairly early in the morning so we loaded up the van, put everything away outside and are sleeping with the slides in. It was pretty chilly tonight (and is still even in the camper), so we headed inside to finish our movie.

While we were watching the movie, we pulled out the Blue Bell that had been in our fridge for a few days waiting to be eaten. We probably would have gone home today, but we still had that ice cream! Ha! It was a good end to our trip. The kids were all asleep by 10:30-this camping stuff can be exhausting! 

October 1, 2020 - Day 6 of Camping at the Beach

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Our alarms started buzzing around 7 this morning. There was lots to do today so we know that we better get an early start. Before the kids really stirred, Robby and I had already gotten ready (it doesn't take much), straightened our bedroom area (again, it doesn't take much especially when a room is about 7x7) and started a load of laundry (there is much, much laundry-always!)

Soon my Campbell, Graham and Keaton were dressed and ready for the beach. Graham opted to not wear his suit. The water has been a wee bit chilly so when they would get out of it, then they would be chilly each day. However, I think that today the weather was going to be in the 80s so the water would probably have felt nice.

We walked to the Crafts camper to wait on them. Then we all walked to the beach-Anderson and Whitman walked down as well. Reagan followed and arrived about the time that we did. When we arrived, we found a spot-the first row on the beach was already filled up. People come out early and claim their beach spot with umbrellas and chairs. They say that the rows of people are 3 rows deep in the summer. This has actually been the best time to be at the beach-at east in my opinion.

The water continued to be calm today even though there was a yellow and purple flag still flying. The water was also clearing up so that made things even prettier. We probably arrived at the beach at 8:30. Soon the others joined us, so the kids had one last beach day before we loaded up and left.

Whitman had seen a large Connect 4 that he really wanted to play. So he and I went to play it. We played 3 rounds-he won two and the "cat" won the other round. He was very pleased with himself. When we were finished, he told me that he was finished with the beach so he headed back for a quick shower. That was nice since at least some of the kids were ready for departure.

When we are driving, the slides are in so the kids clothes are inaccessible. That is usually fine, but today I had everyone put their next clothes on my bed so they could easily find and grab what they need even if the slides were already in. Soon after Whitman and Anderson returned to the camper, the sliders were put in, and we started tearing down camp.

We had done a ton of work last night. Really, the only things left to do today was unhook and then hook the car back on. Anderson was able to help Robby hook the car dolly up-Robby just pulled forward and then backed up in the middle of our site to where he had pushed the dolly. That worked perfectly.

Next up, I walked to the beach to gather my people. It was after ten by the time I made it down there, and it was after 10:20 by the time they all said their goodbyes. Campbell and Keaton were motivated to leave because they were getting to ride in the Craft camper on the first leg of the trip. 

They took quick showers while Graham and Reagan just changed their clothes. They were not rolling around in the sand today. A bit before 11, we pulled out of our spot. Robby was able to pull up towards the exit which was not too far from our site. There he stopped, and I drove the car right up behind him.

He pulled that car on the dolly, and we strapped it down quicker than quick! We have decided that we really want to teach the kids the camping things-for example loading the bikes on the trailer should be Anderson's job while folding up the floor mat and putting it away should be Whitman's job. There are plenty of jobs to be had and lots of new skills to learn-Robby and I have learned a whole lot lately.

Casey was soon next to us ready to lead the way to Louisiana. The plan was to drive to a Buccees which was a 100 miles away. This camper is on the base of my van, but it doesn't have all of the perks of my van-Robby definitely considers the little thing that tells you how many miles left as a perk. Since we don't have that, he wasn't really sure that we could make it to Buccees.

Since we are driving a tin box, it does get warm in the back. There are a lot of us so you really can't ask everyone to be in the front. To keep it cool in the back, you have to use the generator which is fine-however, the generator cuts off when you get to 1/4 tank of gas. We didn't want for the generator to stop and more importantly we didn't want for us to have to push this thing, so we found a gas station and topped it off. (And in case you were wondering, topping thing thing off is still a lot of gas!)

That just put us about 10 minutes behind the Crafts. Robby whipped into the gas station and turned on out just like a pro. I was silently convinced that he wasn't going to be able to make one of the turns, but he did just fine. It was relatively quiet in our car on the way there-Reagan even wrote most of her essay that is due tomorrow.

At Buccees, all of the kids found icees plus I grabbed items for s'mores tonight. Hopefully, they will be the most expensive s'mores that we ever eat. The graham crackers and marshmallows were not expensive, but the Hershey bars were a bit pricey. That was fine though since memories aren't cheap! We have talked about always carrying things for s'mores but just forgot to add them to our list. It is so confusing, because some things can stay in the camper between trips, but other things need to go inside. 

Speaking of food-we are overpackers. I guess that is a good thing. We have so much food-tonight we just got to the bottom of the first 2 bags of chips that we brought. I have at least 4 more bags of chips that we haven't yet opened. We probably should just have all of our meals in the camper for a few days when we come home so I don't have to haul everything back into the house.

The next leg of the trip, all of the Craft girls rode with us. I will say that the ride was surprisingly quiet. I was busy after first throwing things away, making lunch for my crew that had not eaten yet, and helping Reagan on her school work. After that, I just sat up with Robby and helped keep him company.

Now, Robby's bladder must not be as large as the other folks that we have traveled with. When we were about 30 minutes out, we came upon quite a few stoplights. Robby was getting squirmy so he jumped out of his seat, and I jumped into it. The kids were all going a bit wild since they knew that I had never driven before.

I did just fine, and it is like driving my van. It does feel heavier when you are trying to stop, but other than that I felt comfortable for the 100 yards that I drove during stop and go traffic. That was seriously enough driving for me for a while. I think that I need to build my confidence just a little bit-maybe a drive to church or something, because I probably would have been terrified to have to make a turn.

We arrived at Bogue Chitto State Park in Louisiana just as they were closeting for the night. They had our sites ready and we drove and drove until we got there. It isn't a fancy place though it does seem to be huge Our site is a pull through site, but in reality we are just parked on the side of a road.

It is all fine though because it looks like we are right in the middle of Louisiana-which of course we are. We have a concrete pad by our door, then there is a decent sized deck overlooking a fire pit and swampy stream. 

We got everything ready for the evening and then started working on supper. The Crafts brought their supper over here to eat so we just had ourselves a party. Robby grilled hamburgers and hot dogs-Reagan opted for leftover ravioli which was certainly fine. Our fridge is filling fast with leftovers. 

After eating, we walked to a neighboring campsite to look for the alligator that he had seen earlier. He actually had to throw rocks at the gator to make it change its direction after it eyed his dog. Needless to say, we also kept the little kids nearby tonight.

We weren't able to see it from his spot, so we went around the lake a bit and looked some more. We did see a huge bull frog-bigger than any I have ever seen. Then we returned to the campsite for the expensive s'mores. While we were eating them, the neighbor came over saying that the alligator was there-sure enough we could see him floating through the water.

Now Whitman was not happy about this alligator trip at all. He was a bit scared and ready to go back to the campsite at all times. I probably would have been the same way when I was 7 years old. We soon got back to our s'mores and ate and ate until we had finished most everything that we bought!

We stayed out and chatted until about 9:15. The kids are exhausted-Campbell and Graham kept asking me when bedtime was. I couldn't get the beds ready fast enough. We even let them play their ipads for a few extra minutes, but when I went around to tell them to put them up, no one was still awake. That must mean that it was another successful day.