November 30, 2020

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  • Anderson was awake this morning on his ipad and Campbell was also awake working on her school work bright and early. But everyone else was sound asleep. I will admit that there is nothing better than sleeping in on a cold morning. However, I somehow woke up around 7 startled that it was too bright outside and worried that I had set my alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. I had not overslept and had indeed correctly set my alarm, but as I snoozed on I dreamed of having to take a science test where I didn't know the answers but Robby did. When I woke up from that, I just went ahead and got on up-I didn't need any more dreams like that.
  • School went well for a Monday morning after a break. Whitman had a lot of work to do today, but he eventually finished it all. Anderson helped him finish near lunch as Robby was cooking his daily grilled cheese sandwich. All of the kids will stop to help him or try to get him back on task during the day.
  • I was able to finish school, work on Keaton and Whitman's Bible study, and do some painting this afternoon before it was time for the dentist. Reagan had a tiny cavity and Whitman needed to have a baby tooth pulled because the permanent one was coming in behind it.
  • Reagan, of course, did just fine. Whitman, on the other hand, made me want to get in the car and drive away. It started when I overheard him asking the assistant, "if my tooth just falls out right now, will my mom still have to pay?" That was bad enough but then his normal hygienist walked by him and waved. Whitman leaned his head over and mouthed the words "help me" to her. 
  • He did just fine with the shot, but did not like the cotton that they made him put in his mouth at all. He is a clown at the dentist-so much so that I might just make Robby take him next time. And he has been in no pain at all so that is all good.
  • Reagan drove us to the dentist and drove us almost all the way home. We did stop at Wendys on Col. Glenn so I did let her eat her frosty instead of drive home. She is doing good driving and I signed her up for her driving test next Monday. It is probably a bit too soon, but we have to get it done since we are running out of time.
  • Campbell was finishing up making brownies when I came in. I worked on the computer some and even had did some more painting. Then I ran to Walgreens to pick up some medicine for my dad. He wasn't feeling great today, but hopefully the new meds and a new day will help. 
  • We pulled out all of the leftovers for supper again today. We had even less takers and more sandwich makers. By tomorrow though surely our leftovers will dwindle some!
  • Reagan had some school work that I helped her on before we cut into the brownies that Campbell had made for our snack. While I ate my brownies, I watched my first Hallmark movie of the evening!

November 29, 2020

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  • At 8:30 this morning, I went upstairs to wake up the kids. The only one that was awake was Anderson, and he had not been awake too very long at all. Those babies were exhausted-or maybe those babies stayed up way too late last night. 
  • Either way, I tried to wake them up. Came back later and tried again and then told Robby that I was headed back up there. He did the final wake up call and did seem to get everyone stirring. Some of them should have been wise to take a nap this afternoon like Robby and me,
  • We did church-Covid has made church kind of sad. The service isn't sad, but we walk in and set down, then we walk out and hardly talk to anyone. Covid has taken away the fellowship of church for sure. 
  • On the way home, we stopped at Walgreens so I could pick up something for my dad. I hoped out of the car and went in. I did notice the pharmacy clerk kind of looking at me. I figured that she was trying to decide if I needed help. I found what I needed and walked the cash register.
  • On the way, I heard the recorded message thanking Walgreens customers for wearing masks-whoops! I didn't have my mask. I had just gotten out of the car and forgot all about it. I was mortified. I am sure that my cheeks turned bright red as I waited 20 feet from the other person in line. 
  • When I got up to the front, I apologized profusely but I was probably standing so far from the check out lady that she couldn't hear me. I laid my item and my money on the counter and stepped back as far as I could. I really think I am losing my patience with covid.
  • At home, we pulled out the leftovers from the fridge for the kids. Now we only had 3 lunch takers-it was a bit early, but we did remind them that the kitchen would be closed until snack later in the day. We still made a dent in the leftovers, but I sure don't think that they will ever end.
  • Then Robby and I climbed into the bed for our nap! It was a perfect rainy day-except our nap started about the time we normally get out of church so we had plenty of time to sleep. I did eventually get up and be a bit productive.
  • I worked on some laundry, school for tomorrow, read some and painted a bit of a table. Then it was time to head to the WIlson's house for our Sunday supper. Shannon had her leftovers out and we worked on them. We stayed until 10 and headed home to put the people in bed. I had grand plans of watching a Hallmark movie tonight but we shall see since it is already late. Plus I wanted to read some. Plus I have my ornament blog to work on...too much to do and so little time.

November 28, 2020

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  • I tried to sneak out of bed this morning so I wouldn't wake Robby up. I did stir him though when I told him that I was leaving. I ran to Walmart and Pennys and was marking Christmas gifts off my list right and left. I enjoyed spending the money shopping-I especially enjoyed it when I was spending Nonna's money (buying gifts for her.)
  • When I came home, I worked on the laundry before making a shirt for Whitman. I am not too sure really what all I did do next. The next event was going to Grannymom's house with the little girls and Robby. 
  • After we left there, we went to Sams and Walmart. I found a gift for me, Campbell found a gift for her and Robby found a gift for him. We are just spending the money today! 
  • On the way home, Robby reminded me that I needed to take Reagan out to practice driving. So when we came home, I loaded up with her and Whitman so he could shop for his person. Graham also came along for the ride. 
  • Now Reagan does great driving until their are more cars around. I think that we have practiced this up and down Lawson road enough that she is a pro at that. And parking-bless, I couldn't get her to park anywhere near other cars. Now, in her defense-I don't park near other cars either if I can help it.
  • This next week starts driving school around here. She has to take her driving test by January 2 so we are quickly running out of days! I do know that she dose decent but we need lots of practice. 
  • We did our Walmart shopping and even quickly ran into Sams to buy something. While we were in Walmart, Whitman found 30 cents on the floor. As we walked to Sams, he put his money in the Salvation Army bucket. Later he told Robby that he donated his money to "Sams," 
  • We hurried home to get Graham back by the start of the ballgame. At halftime, we pulled things out of the fridge. We are going to have start offering a bonus to the kids if they eat something from the fridge. 
  • Our evening seemed to fly by with Robby and me watching youtube videos of rvers. Soon it was bedtime for the crew, but for some reason at 11:30 we could still hear those silly girls above our heads moving around.

November 27, 2020

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  • I was in no rush this morning to get out of bed. I knew that the Christmas tree setup was hanging over my head. After quite a bit of stalling, Robby did pull everything out of the attic. We have tons of attic space, but my Christmas stuff is not really that accessible. We have to move Anderson's desk to get in the attic and climb behind the water heater to get the things we need. That is fine though because we do just get in their once a year. Eventually, our Christmas things will probably go in another attic, but that will have to be when the extra kids clothing attic is empty.
  • Back to Christmas decorating-Robby handed the boxes off to me, and I handed the boxes off to the kids who carted them to the room that I told them to put things in. That actually worked very well, plus my ornaments are a bit more organized this year so that made things even easier.
  • The girls went to town putting up their Christmas tree. While they were doing that, I headed downstairs to work on the big tree. There was a bit of difficulty with the lights but Robby eventually got them to work without too much trouble. The trouble tree was the other tree in the living room. Robby worked for a good 30 minutes on the lights on that tree. 
  • Campbell, Keaton and Whitman all helped me some on the big tree. I just love going through our ornaments, and I especially love hearing them reminisce about our past trips when they see the ornaments.
  • I then began working on the living room and kitchen decorations. I don't have as many Christmasy things as some, but I still have quite a bit that I don't use! I did spend a bit of time going through all of the things made by the kids-if it didn't have a name on the back, then I just threw it away. (Sorry, mom). I just can't keep it all. I did have to laugh because I have about 20 identical for the picture ornaments that the kids have made it CBS through the years.
  • I decided to not put up all of my Snow Village, but who knows I still might add a few more things if I can get a table painted and added to the living room. I just love looking at the snow village things. Right now I feel like I could probably leave up my Christmas stuff all year long-however, on December 25th at 9:30 a.m. all I can think about is taking it down!
  • I didn't finish until nearly 4. I sat down for a little bit until Robby offered to take my Christmas shopping. He was my chauffeur for the evening. We ran to store after store and he just dropped me off at the door. It worked fairly well, and I marked quite a bit off of my list. 
  • We did manage to eat us supper at On the Border and bring the kids home pizza. Once everyone ate, Reagan ordered her some clothes thus finishing my Christmas shopping for her (if everything fits). Then Whitman ordered his Christmas gift so I really did do well tonight. I even managed to buy a present for my brother from my mother. I am super happy with my progress.
  • Though even with all of my progress, I did realize that I am behind on preparing my Christmas ornament blog-thankfully I have 3 days until those start! I better get busy tonight! 

November 26, 2020-Happy Thanksgiving!

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  • I began my Thanksgiving day by running to Jason's house to pick up the pies and drinks that he had bought that he would not eat or drink. Then I ran home to work on the laundry and dishes-just like any other day.
  • I did turn on the parade, but I don't think that anyone cared! Eventually, Graham went into the living room and turned the tv to something else. I guess we haven't stressed the importance of the Macy's parade. Not that it is a big deal or anything, but I do vividly remember watching it growing up. It is just tradition to have it on as Thanksgiving prep is happening.
  • Campbell and Keaton made little turkey pretzels. Graham made corn casserole. Campbell made sausage cornbread. Reagan made roasted green beans. All of the kids worked together to make their annual fruit turkeys. And really that just left me with the rolls which Robby did. So I didn't really do anything, but for some reason I was in the kitchen working all morning long.
  • Whitman was very pleased this year because I had told him that he was in charge of the kids' fruit turkeys. After having him wash the blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, he told me that he thought being "in charge" meant that he could tell his brothers how he wanted to design their turkey. He was able to do that too, but still had to help me wash everything.
  • Soon our guests started arriving-not as many as years before. Les and his family were out since he had to work. My folks and Jason were out due to stupid covid. (My dad does seem to be doing better. My mom did test positive, and Jason is still waiting on his test results.)
  • We also had some surprise guests. Dana and her crew weren't going to get to come because they were possibly exposed, but they found out that they weren't actually exposed so we were certainly happy to see them.
  • Even though our group was smaller than before, I was still looking forward to Thanksgiving. I grew up with Thanksgiving, for the most part, being just like Sunday lunch with my grandparents. We certainly missed everyone who wasn't here, but it was still a pretty good Thanksgiving.
  • The food was plentiful. My favorites this year were the dressing, mac and cheese and sausage cornbread. And yes, I did sample all of the desserts. Surprisingly, I just really like pecan pie.
  • After eating the kids played outside. They spent quite a bit of time working on destroying the pumpkin. I thought that I had enough rubber bands to pop it, but apparently not. That was fine though because soon the boys were playing some sort of egg toss game with the pumpkin. 
  • After everyone left, I worked on the kitchen and then loaded up. I took a bag of food to my mom. Then she had a bag for me to take to the hospital for my dad. Then we delivered some food to Jason. Everyone was glad to see us-probably because of the food that we were delivering!
  • I did take a quick nap this evening, then we loaded up and went to the Heltz house for a bit to hang out. The kids enjoyed eating from Wes' popcorn bar that he set up. By the time that we left, there was indeed popcorn all over their house, but they all had a good time.
  • Back at home I worked on the dishes and soon it was bedtime for the crew. I did mark off one more gift today, but we didn't really buy too much. Maybe tomorrow we will get into the Christmas spirit around here.

November 25, 2020

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  • I slept longer than I wanted to this morning, but when I did wake up, I checked on Pops and then headed to the store. Before I could make it out of the house, Campbell and Keaton both stirred enough to want to go shopping with me.
  • Surprisingly, the store wasn't too crazy busy even though there weren't many cash register lanes open. We quickly did find a self check out and managed to buy our groceries. We needed a few little things for tonight and tomorrow. (Now, of course, after being home a few hours I realized a few more things that we needed. Thankfully, Jodee was here tonight and was headed to the store so she picked up my last minute things. My fingers are crossed that I won't think of anything else that I need.)
  • When I came home, I started to work on unloading our groceries and the dishwasher. Then I joined Robby working on the massive pile of laundry. Next up, was a bit of work together with the kids followed by doing a few science experiments from our science book.
  • After we finished, I had everyone clean the house. Now, sometimes I think folks do a really great job and others times not so much at all. Our thanksgiving meal has dwindled down to just 10, but it is Thanksgiving none the less and we shall celebrate and be thankful...and have a clean house. (Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and even though I am a bit bummed that our Thanksgiving is going to be way different, I am still excited about the day.)
  • Back to the house cleaning, I think when I assign things like "clean the bathroom sinks" folks just pick 3 of the 4 to do and hope that I don't catch the sink that wasn't done. Now when people are coming over, I do save the important jobs for me-like the potties. However, if you come over tomorrow and my potties aren't clean, then I am not the one who cleaned them-Whitman did. (I do love a clean house, but I am not really good at the whole cleaning thing. I would rather organize and throw things away then clean what I have.)
  • I had some downtime after cleaning which I spent loading up the camper for the next trip. Then a few of Reagan's people came over tonight to hang out. We made cheese dip and heated up some frozen pizzas for supper. 
  • This evening Keaton made her chocolate lasagna for tomorrow and Graham made ooey gooey, plus I gathered the supplies to make all of our other dishes. I also straightened up some of my tupperware so I could make plenty of to-go bags for our sickly guests. 
  • Once Reagan's friends left, I pretty much did nothing until was bedtime. It was too late to watch a hallmark movie so I will have to catch up another night.

November 24, 2020-Cane Creek State Park

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Oh, that camper sleeping is good. I didn't hear the ducks this morning, but Robby said that he did hear them. I guess they were a bit quieter without the gunshots chasing them. The kids were quiet this morning until Robby and I started stirring. 

Campbell was the first out the door. She was ready to ride her skateboard and the hover board around the loop. Keaton and Whitman were out next to join Campbell. They have been the bike riding crew this weekend. 

Last night, Robby was telling the kids about the day. He said that if they wanted they could stay at home while we ran to the bakery. Whitman was first to say that he wanted to stay home when we did that. Robby reminded him that he didn't really have that choice because he couldn't stay alone if the others all choose to come. Whitman quickly shot back that he had Reagan and that gave him a pretty good chance to stay back.

Indeed that was true. Reagan stayed back along with Anderson and Whitman while the rest of us headed to Country Village Bakery. Not much was happening at the village except for around the bakery. There was a ton of cars around it and about that many folks inside as well.

Keaton and Campbell both noticed the workers and many of the guests not wearing their masks. That wasn't much concern for us because we were busy naming all of the things that we wanted-peanut butter pie, honey butter, cinnamon rolls, some type of pull apart bread and doughnuts. If Robby would have stayed in the store a bit longer, he probably would have bought a few more things. 

As soon as we came back to the camper, we dug in. Most of the kids started off with doughnuts but pretty much everyone agreed that cinnamon rolls were delicious. They were actually really, really good. I had been planning on drinking some cider tonight, but I might just have cider and a cinnamon roll if I can finish this blog before bedtime!

We sat around just enjoying sitting around a little bit. It was nice. The big boys and Campbell went on a portion of the 16 mile bike ride. Some of them said that it was about 2 miles while others said that it was 4 miles. Either way, they had fun and were hot and sweaty when they came back.

Not too much longer after their return, we started loading up. We didn't have a ton of things out so loading up didn't take long. While Robby was dumping, we were even able to load the car. (When we came home, we actually timed ourselves unloading the car-4 minutes. And unhooking the trailer-3 minutes. Also we measured the whole rig-camper and car-it was massive, but Robby is napping so I don't remember the right numbers right now.)

Loading up the car didn't take long, but Robby flushed the tank out a few times so that did take longer than usual. We had been sitting still for a good while, but of course as soon as we pulled out the kids decided that they wanted lunch. 

Campbell made most of the people's lunches-she is so kind hearted like that and always willing to help. Seriously, that girl is one of my favorites! I did go back to help her since making lunches in a crazy moving vehicle is tough! 

It didn't take us long at all to get home. Once we arrived Robby and I gave the kids 30 minutes off before we asked them to start helping. Soon we had the camper emptied and Robby and I worked on cleaning it up. I have clean towels folded and ready to be returned along with a stack of napkins to refill. Then we will be ready for the next trip!

We ate our supper before everyone started on their showers. The kids then vegged out the rest of the evening while I caught up on my Hallmark movies. 

November 23, 2020-Cane Creek State Park

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Oh what a wonderful, wonderful day. It probably doesn't take much for me to really have a great day especially when we mark off one more state park along with a national memorial site from the national park service. 

We slept incredibly well until the gun shots and then the loud quacking and roar of ducks. We guess that since it is duck season, some folks got an early start this morning. Their early start caused the ducks near us to go absolutely insane-if we hadn't been awake from the gunshots, the ducks would have surely woken us up. That was fine though because Robby and I went right back to sleep.

After our last time camping, Robby and I added another blanket to our bed. The blanket is incredibly cozy and warm-so cozy and warm that I would get hot during the night and have to kick my leg out of the blanket...then I would get cold and have to move my leg back in.

We took a while to start stirring last night. I even read some of my book this morning as I sat on the bed looking at the back window at the lake. It was nice and I could have stayed there longer, but breakfast was calling our name,

Robby had a bit of difficulty with his grill this morning due to all of the wind so it took him a bit longer than usual, but soon that bacon was cooked. Then there was pancakes and egg in the holes to make. Breakfast was delicious and thankfully in the sun, it wasn't too freezing outside. 

We gobbled up breakfast and then started on our breakfast clean up. It didn't take long to pick up and soon we were in the car headed to the trail of the day. The trail of the day was Delta Point Trail. It was 2 and a half miles long though the trees. It was a super neat trail full of bridges to cross and little hills to go over and over. Some of us were starting to feel like we had walked a few more miles than 2.5 when we got back to the car. 

They dropped Campbell and I off at the visitor's center on the way back to the campsite. We got our passport book stamped and even bought a sticker for our sticker collection. We then made a few sandwiches and grabbed a few packs of peanut butter crackers and hit the road.

The goal was to drove to Arkansas Post State Park. It was about 40 minutes away, and we were about 10 minutes away when I did look and see that they were closed on Mondays. That was fine since we still wanted to see it and things were outside.

We drove up to the park, but Robby's GPS kept telling him that he had 2 more miles to go. He thought that was odd and did some double checking. Some how he saw that there is a part of the National Park Service. Gracious me. We would have kicked ourselves forever if we had not seen that.

Robby and I are such lovers of the national park system-how could we not realize that we were near one. Shame on us for not doing our research. Robby also quickly saw that the park was closed-stupid covid, but the grounds were open. 

We still drove there and got out. I was picking up stamps for our national park books, and the ranger inside saw us and came out. She gave the kids Jr. Ranger books and badges and told us facts about the park. 

The Arkansas Post was the capital of Arkansas for a few years, it was also the site of a few Civil War battles and the Arkansas Gazette was began here. We walked around a lake looking at their signs. As we were on the sidewalk, Reagan was walking in front of us when a huge armadillo came up and started running beside her. That crazy girl didn't miss a beat and kept walking. I would have squealed and ran as fast as I could. Not Reagan, she just kept on walking as that armadillo crossed the sidewalk about 3 feet from her.

After exploring the National Park site, we went to the State Park. Even though it was closed, we still went all around the grounds exploring. It was quite interesting, but since they were closed, I will have to mail them to get my stamp for that state park. 

On the way back to the campsite, Reagan drove the whole 40 minutes. She did really well, even though Anderson wasn't too convinced and kept asking me if Dad was a little less jerky. We arrived alive so all was well. 

Back at the campsite, Robby thought about starting a fire, but it didn't take much convincing him for us just to do s'mores in the camper. It is chilly outside! The neighbors all seem to have fires, plus surprisingly, most of the neighbors are staying here through Thanksgiving. I guess if you don't have any family around, then why not come camping for Thanksgiving. Robby and I may do that when we are old and the kids are spread out everywhere.

Campbell and Graham went fishing on the little pier near the camper. It was chilly outside but they seemed to enjoy it. They didn't catch anything at all but had fun trying. While they were fishing, Whitman and Keaton were riding their bikes. I guess all of the bike riding that I have been doing with Whitman has paid off. He can follow her pretty well and does well enough that his bike riding lessons with me are being cancelled. Actually, he needs a new, larger bike which would help him even more. That may have to wait until his birthday though.

Robby and Graham had showers this evening before we started on our chili. I will also have a shower later tonight mainly because Robby needs plenty of water in the grey tank tomorrow when he dumps. It didn't take long for us to heat up all of our cans for chili. Anderson did say that chili was his favorite camping meal. 

Our chili was delicious. After eating, we cleaned up and turned on a basketball game that Graham had been wanting to watch. Robby did go to take the trash out, but reported back that the neighbors with the glowing fire didn't last very long and were already back in their camper-it is just chilly out there tonight.

After a good while-long enough that the kids thought we had forgotten about s'mores-we finally pulled them out. I was distracted with a book and playing on my computer. Robby thought that he had ordered chocolate for the s'mores the other day from Walmart. He had forgotten to do that, and since I had already been to Walmart twice on Saturday we opted to not go again. Necessity is the mother of invention so we rummaged around until we found our chocolate stash of leftover Halloween candy. We dug out the Hershey chocolate bars along with the Reese's peanut butter cups for s'mores.

And in case you are wondering, those peanut butter cups make them best s'mores ever. I could have had me another one or two of those. After cleaning up from that, I sat down to finish the blog. Now that I have finished that, I am about to get in the shower. The heater is running in there so it will be more like a sauna than a shower!

November 22, 2020-Cane Creek State Park

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What a fun day this has been! We started this morning like all trip mornings-by waking up a bit earlier than usual. There was plenty to do around the house even though we even did the laundry last night. While I was taking my shower, Robby was taking a last load of stuff to the camper including the ice maker-that silly thing is pretty much invaluable at our house. Then I took my loads to the camper while he was finishing getting ready.

Soon everyone was ready, except Reagan who continues to quarantine. We headed to church today-since Sunday school was cancelled this week, we had to go to church a bit earlier. I certainly do enjoy church-and honestly, I don't mind too much that Sunday school is cancelled, but I sure don't want to miss out on any more church.

Once church was over, we headed to Grannmyom's house for lunch. While it was finishing, my crew had the best time playing charades. It was an app on the phones which they have played before, but since it had been a long while everyone really enjoyed it.

Soon Dana and her crew arrived and the food was ready. We ate our chili along with pecan pie which is one of my favorite desserts. Then after a bit, we headed out to finish a few last minute things before hitting the road. 

Right now, we probably would feel a tiny bit concerned checking into a hotel, but we sure don't give pulling out in this camper a second thought at all. We have been loving every single minute of it-this actually will be our 20 and 21st nights in the camper. 

And since we are also on a quest to see all 52 Arkansas State parks, Cane Creek is number 4 for us. It took us about an hour and a half to reach the state park. There was nothing better to Robby than hearing the lady who checked him in tell him that we had the best site. 

In the parking lot after checking in, we unhooked the car which was easy peasy. I then followed Robby to the site. The site was super long, but after a bit of maneuvering, Robby was able to back in the whole way without unhooking the trailer. 

We did say later that unhooking the trailer isn't that big of a deal, and we could have easily done it. However, whenever Robby got a bit off track with the car dolly, and it started going the wrong direction, Anderson and I would scoot that dolly back in the direction we needed it to go. Now that car dolly isn't light at all! 

Our spot is pretty perfect. The camping loop isn't too big at all and our site is a nice one. We look right out onto the lake, and there is plenty of room to spread out. And another thing that we have learned which is good for campsites-it is flat.

Now the weather wasn't as good as the site! It was windy and cold. The kids played some and of course rode their bikes while we hooked up the camper and got settled. We didn't put up our tent or lights because of the wind and didn't drag out all of the chairs because of the cold, but still setting up just takes some time. 

Once everything was done, most everyone joined us on a walk around the loop. We did find the start of the 16 mile bike trail around the lake along with a walking trail that we plan on doing tomorrow. On our walk, the weather was perfect-we were away from the wind. 

Campbell and Anderson rode their bikes on our walk and even went exploring for a little bit longer when we headed back to the site. Soon we were all huddled into the camper keeping warm. It was already getting dark and without lights or a fire and with icy wind, the camper was the place for the evening instead of outside.

At first I was a bit chilly in the camper, but once we cooked our spaghetti and baked our bread, this placed heated up quickly. Now we have a heater that works crazy well, but Robby also has two space heaters that he plugged in late tonight. The camper heater does use propane which costs while the space heaters use the campsite electricity. Which ever we use is fine with me as long as I stay warm-and warm we will stay. The thermometers right now read that it is 48 outside, 69 in the front of the camper, and 73 in the back where I am. Our little heater is on right now, and we will have to turn it off soon because it is getting toasty back here. That is fine though because this part is usually a bit chillier than the front.

Back to the evening. I played a few rounds of Uno with Keaton and Whitman. Then we worked on the spaghetti. Cooking in a camper is just something else-kind of like cooking in a doll house. There is just so little space-it all works out fine but it does take a little bit longer because to move one thing, you have to move something else. 

The spaghetti must have been good to all of us because we didn't have many leftovers. Now, I will say that it doesn't take long at all to clean the kitchen after a meal-especially when we use paper dishes. After we ate, there were a few football games on that the boys watched the ends of. Graham, Campbell, Keaton, Whitman and I played 5 Crowns which is a new card games of Grahams. I really enjoyed playing it-really, I enjoy being right there with all of my people so nearby.

We did pass out ice cream for a snack tonight. I do believe that we pretty much demolished a half gallon-it is a good thing that Keaton doesn't like ice cream and is happy with a popsicle or we might just not have enough ice cream for everyone.

Around 10, we started making beds and finding spots for everyone. The kids had a bit of ipad time before it was finally time for bed. I worked on the blog and then started on a book. We will see if I actually finish it-I am more of a book starter than a book finisher.

November 21, 2020

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  • I knew that I had a lot of things to accomplish today so I set my silly alarm for a Saturday. I didn't lollygag after hearing my alarm at all. I did quietly sneak to put on my clothes and scooted out of the house. No one else was awake yet, other than Robby who I woke probably woke up even while trying to be quiet.
  • My first stop was Walmart where I bought a few little xmas presents. Then it was over to Sams to switch sizes on something and to pick up my meds. Next, I scooted on to the library for a book pick up. 
  • When I made it back to the house, everyone was stirring, and we were soon heading to the Wilson's house. Now, Reagan hasn't left the house since last Thursday since she was near someone at school with the virus. We haven't been concerned at all but have wanted to follow the rules. We did break her out of her quarantine today to go to the Wilson's house since they okayed it, and since if she had been sick, they would have caught it from her already.
  • Reagan even got to drive over to their house. She seemed to enjoy her little outing. I guess I even forgot that she was still supposed to be quarantines since I let her drive me to Walmart (yes, again) after the game. She wanted to look for candles but didn't find any she liked. Now, don't worry, I will keep her at home tomorrow during church and that should round out our little quarantine business (at least this round-who knows what is to come!)
  • Tony griddled us a big breakfast-sausage, bacon, eggs, biscuits, hashbrowns, toast along with orange juice and chocolate milk. It was scrumptious! The ballgame wasn't that scrumptious, but it was entertaining. We weren't pleased with the outcome, but I did leave feeling like I have been to our first holiday party.
  • When Reagan and I made it home from the store, I worked on unloading all of my stuff from the day along with helping Robby load up the car. Then it was time for everyone to pack their clothes in the camper. 
  • Speaking of packing-my Keaton has been on a organizing kick. Her clothes were neatly folded and stacked just so. While the rest of my people, including my 15 year old, just threw their clothes in their spots. I did have to refold most of their clothes, because my personality is more like Keaton's!
  • Walmart brought the groceries tonight so we unloaded them and loaded up the camper with food. Afterwards, we heated up some ravioli for supper.
  • The kids had their showers tonight and I even had mine a bit early. I banged my knee in the camper and I must have bruised the mess out of it so I am walking around limping like Whitman. Whitman "hurt" his leg at the Wilson's house today and has been dragging his leg behind him most of the day.

November 20, 2020

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  • I so love our no school Fridays around here.  I didn't sleep too late, but when I did start stirring I knew that I had to get working on my list. Of course, I do wish that I could figure it out where we could have no laundry and no dishes Fridays too, but I can't make that work just yet.
  • After marking a few things off, I did run to the camper to make our bed. I will say that it was a wee bit chilly in that thing. We will have to definitely crank the heat up or I will have to dress a lot warmer on our next trip. 
  • Sooner than I was expecting, the Wilson's wrote saying that there were headed our way. I threw on some clothes, and we headed out. We headed to McClards for a bbq sandwich and a tamale spread. I do think that a tamale spread is one of our favorites. Now, I will say that after eating some of one today, I won't have to eat one for a while-but they are a good treat!
  • Afterwards, we walked through a Harbor Freight store. I had never been to one before-and I sure didn't find anything that I had to have. Now, Robby did find one things. The next stop was Sams. Shannon filled her cart while I did buy a shirt for myself. 
  • Then it was time to go to Fat Bottom Girls cupcakes in Hot Springs. Now, we drove right to it-I did see the sign and mentioned a few times that it said Fat Bottom Girls Pupcakes, but no one seemed to care. We walked into the little place, and there wasn't a cupcake anywhere. It had turned into a doggy gift store. Robby finally had to ask about the cupcakes. The store had moved, but gracious me we couldn't get out of the store quick enough before we burst out laughing.
  • I guess after going to the Pupcake store, the cupcake store lost some of its charm plus we think that the cupcakes a become smaller than in the past. Now, they were certainly delicious, but I'm still not convinced that those cupcakes weren't for dogs! 
  • From there, we did head straight home. The kids did just find while we were gone and didn't destroy the house. I picked up some this afternoon and even had time to sand my table that I plan on painting tomorrow-or maybe some day soon.
  • We found things to heat up for our suppers. Then Reagan took her biology test that she missed on Thursday. She breezed right through it-well, I guess she did. She seemed to know all of the answers anyway-they may not be right though. I am sure that they are however.
  • I settled in to watch a Christmas movie while the boys were having a nerf gun battle in the next room. After my movie and ice cream were finally finished, it was time to send these kiddos to bed!

November 19, 2020

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  • I am not sure what took so long on our school work today, but I was still working on school work around 1 today.  Whitman was the slowest today, so by the end I did cave letting him skip things and work on some things tomorrow. After so long, I just can't take anymore school.
  • Whitman, Graham and Campbell spent a good deal of time this afternoon using Whitman's magnifying glass to light leaves on fire. Whitman was so happy when he found that magnifying glass today and couldn't wait to do this. Thankfully, they didn't start a grass fire!
  • My beans that I made yesterday were put back on the crock pot today to simmer some more-I guess pretty much anything tastes good after it cooks for 24 hours! Ha! They did make the house smell good all day long today.
  • Robby and I ran a few errands today-including finding me a Christmas present or two! I am slowly marking those Christmas presents off. Well, some of them anyway. Hopefully, I will be nearing finishing by Thanksgiving or at least the week afterwards.
  • I pulled out school for the week after Thanksgiving tonight as supper was cooking. We had tacos and all of the fixings-including those ever cooking beans. We have about half a crock pot full left to eat. 
  • Keaton had made brownies during the day for our supper so they were devoured. As we were eating, we mentioned that the Dollar General was open. It didn't take us anytime at all to clean the kitchen and head out with the Wilsons to the new Dollar General. 
  • Guess what we bought too? Toilet paper! Yep, do we need any? Nope. But heck if everyone else is buying toilet paper then we don't want to be left out at all. 

November 18, 2020

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  • Well, this was a first for me-I forgot to do the blog! I am not sure what happened at all nor can I even remember what I did last night. Gracious me!
  • So, let's see exactly what all happened yesterday. We did our school without too much drama. Keaton and Whitman had their Bible study zoom. Keaton did come downstairs afterwards and told me that she wasn't doing zoom next year. I guess I will have to let her not do it since her other siblings don't. Campbell's zoom was only about an hour so she didn't complain too much.
  • After our school work, there was daily bike ride again with Whitman followed by some Bible study work. We have to do it every day or those kids will get behind. 
  • Traci and her kids came over to play with us this afternoon. The kids enjoyed playing outside while Traci and I just sat around visiting. Gabriel loves him some Robby so they hung out this afternoon and they played all during church tonight.
  • When Traci left, Sophia stayed with us so her and Keaton made Christmas gifts for people. Then it was time to go-we picked up Chick Fil A on the way to church. Church was fairly interesting tonight because they were making the kids keep their masks on the whole time. That was an adjustment for everyone. 
  • On the way home, we had to pick up Reagan's supper from Chick Fil A-she sure couldn't be left out. She didn't seem to bothered that she couldn't go to church tonight-I think that half of the youth group is under some type of quarantine so their numbers were quite a bit down tonight.
  • As the kids were eating their ice cream, the Wilsons called. Robby and I ran over there for a little bit-Shannon was baking so we ate cookies as she was pulling them out of the oven. Then we also had a tiny bit of ice cream too!
  • Soon it was time for us to head home and put those silly kids in bed. Our folks are still staying up crazy late at night time right now. I guess that is fine since they are still waking up fine in the morning times.

November 17, 2020

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  • We started our work together this morning on time which is always surprising. After all of our reading, we started in everyone's other school work. Whitman worked with me first, and then he went to town on his own school work. Somehow when I planned his school work, he has an easy day and a hard day. Today was an easy day for him so it was also an easy day for me.
  • Reagan even zoomed through her school today. She had her classes on zoom today so her load was a little bit lighter as well. Though she had to sit in front of the screen for a good little bit-but she was eating a chicken pot pie so that probably helped.
  • After school today, there was the afternoon Bible study work plus the afternoon bike ride. Today Whitman only stopped 4 times. I then took a walk on the treadmill with the main purpose of watching a Hallmark movie. I was distracted during my movie last night, but today's movie was perfect even though it involved a princess.
  • When I was done with that, I loaded myself in the car and went to Walmart. I had a few gifts to buy or at least a few gifts to look for. I didn't really fill my buggy, but I did fill up a few bags. Then I ran to the Dollar Tree to pick up a few things on my list. Afterwards, I scurried home to find Robby and Campbell working on leaves.
  • The leaves seem to be never ending around here. We have managed them pretty well so far, and Robby has the front yard looking nice. I helped with their last load of leaves before we went in to get ready for supper.
  • Campbell made mac and cheese and I made ham and cheese croissants. After we all ate, the kids started migrating through the showers. To end the evening, we played a game of Pictionary Air with most everyone. 

November 16, 2020

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  • I think that this morning was Monday-it already fills like this week is a few days old. Actually, today has been a pretty great day. School went really well this morning. I thought that Whitman was flying through school, but he was still sitting by my side at 1:00 when I finished working with Reagan.
  • When I look at my fitbit during the day, I am sometimes surprised that it just says I have walked 800 steps or sometimes even less than that. It is because from 8:30 until after 1 I usually am sitting on the floor of my room only walking to the school room to change out my stack of books. I will say that we do seem to be a on a roll right now, and school things are going smoothly.
  • After I finished math with Reagan, I made Whitman's lunch, did some internet shopping and then worked on Bible study with Keaton and Whitman. Campbell even joined us today on her Bible study.
  • When all of this was finished, Whitman and I did a little bit of biking. That does make it sound like I was also biking-I was not. He did ride to the end of the long driveway and back only stopping 5 different times. Beating 5 stops will now be our goal-I am going to get that boy riding his bike plus I am going to get that tooth our before the dentist has to pull out (or at least I am going to try.)
  • I then took the boys to their discipleship group at church. While I waited on them, I ran to the library to pick up my Christmas books. Then I sat in the car doing Bible study until they came. We arrived home just as Robby and Keaton came home with a truck load of groceries and supper.
  • After unloading the groceries and making sweet potato fries in the air fryer, we dug into our Arby's supper. We were still cleaning the kitchen when the Wilson's invited us to Hobby Lobby. We couldn't turn down that kind of offer.
  • At Hobby Lobby we did find one pumpkin for 80 cents that I bought. I'm a big spender! Then we did find two signs for inside the camper-it still needs a bit of decoration. When we came home, everyone grabbed a cookie that Keaton had convinced Robby that he needed when they were shopping
  • I played a game with Campbell, Keaton and Whitman. I did win 2 of the four rounds so I will celebrate with apple cider and a Hallmark movie tonight.

November 15, 2020

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  • Whitman was not too upset this morning when he realized that it was church day. A few years ago when he would find out that it was church day, he would lay in the floor as soon as we told him. I guess he is growing up. 
  • We headed to church this morning. I guess because of hunting season, there weren't too many folks there today-at least the kids seemed to be all out. I taught Sunday school today, and thankfully today's lesson came with lots of activities so we were busy the entire time.
  • Lunch today was at Nonna's house. She had Mexican casserole along with chocolate cake. I think today's casserole was the best yet-though I am a huge fan of her corn dip which we never seem to make here.
  • After eating, we had to hurry home since Keaton had a birthday party to go to. While she was there, Campbell, Robby and I headed to Raymar for a craft fair. There was lots to see there though I didn't buy anything. Robby did win something in the silent auction-12 bottles of bbq rub plus a gift card.
  • After this, we picked up Keaton and headed home for our belated Sunday afternoon nap. We snoozed for a little while before getting up to do a few things around the house. I pulled out some school, folded some clothes and even made a shirt. I will admit that after folding the shirt last night, I somehow lost it this evening. I had most everyone in the house looking for that silly shirt-Graham eventually found it in my clean laundry pile.
  • We then ran to the Wilson's house for some visiting. The kids played outside, and we even had a sneak preview of Tony's light show. We were kind of watching a game so when it was over, we did head home. The kids were soon in bed-I could hear the boys' giggling and chatting upstairs. Sometimes I do get frustrated that they are still up, but then again they have so much fun and I am so glad that have someone to share a room with. 

November 14, 2020

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  • I didn't sleep great last night because I was worried about not waking up this morning. I had set my alarm but every so often, I don't set my alarm correctly on the charger so my phone is almost dead by the next morning. Well, I did wake up on time, but I sure didn't charge my phone correctly so I had to try to charge it all morning quickly.
  • I had just gotten out of the shower when Campbell walked in the bathroom. She had set her alarm and woke up by herself. That was wonderful, and not waking her up gave me time to quietly empty the dishwasher and fold some clothes.
  • Campbell and I were at Children's before 7. One good thing about today's early morning trip was that there was no traffic to deal with. I am always so thankful that we were just there by choice and not out of necessity. Campbell had the last part of a nutrition center visit today.
  • The visit required her to eat their supper last night (corn and mac and cheese-she had choices), plus wear a fit bit type watch to bed. This morning she had to drink a shake which gracious she acted like it tasted like vomit. And that is what I thought she was going to do! Last time she had to drink one, it tasted just like a slim fast. 
  • After drinking her shake, she was in the MRI machine for about an hour. During this time, I was back in a waiting room. She said that it was long and loud, but she soon forgot about that when she remembered the hundred bucks she will be getting along with convincing me to get her a ChickFilA milkshake on the way home.
  • We also ran to Hobby Lobby and then to Jason's house to pick up a table of my grandpas. I think that I have a place to put it, but I definitely know what color I want to paint it-well, maybe. I had hoped to get it painted and in place by the time the Christmas decorations go up, but I have put that on the back burner though and just plan to have it painted by the time the Christmas decorations come down.
  • Once we made it home, Robby and I started on the leaves. After one trip to the bottom hauling a tarp full of leaves, I went to get the kids to come and help. With them hauling the leaves and helping rack, we were done in an hour. Well, more accurately, we quit within an hour. There are more leaves in my yard than there are leaves in the amazon rainforest. We did make a big different, plus the mowing that Robby did even later helped quite a bit. 
  • Around 2, I headed out with Reagan to do some shopping. She found a sweater at Goodwill which was pretty cute. Then we ran to Academy-I am looking for some shoes. I didn't find any, but we did find one pretty for me and one Christmas present for Grannymom. Next was Sams for cheese dip and we found another present for Grannymom. 
  • Since our car was getting full, we dropped some of those presents off on the way home. Reagan just had to have a taco for the ride home, we also grabbed that before we left the parking lot of Walmart. Somehow when I made it back home, I ended up raking one more pile of leaves as Robby was working. I then snuck inside to do some house work before a quick nap before the Hogs came on.
  • Campbell made supper-frozen pizza and Keaton had made dessert earlier in the day-peanut butter cookies. Plus we had our cheese dip from Sams so we had quite a feast during the Hog game.
  • Unfortunately, our feast didn't help the Hogs, but it sure did help us tolerate the loss! After the game, the kids migrated through showers before it was (well, I probably should say-will be) bedtime!

November 13, 2020

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  • Let's see since we didn't have school today, I slept in a good bit. I was still able to work on my laundry, dishes, Bible study with Keaton and Whitman and even counting some money with Whitman before it was time for the main event of the day.
  • Closet cleaning! I will say that I was much surprised at how well this even went. For started I had to wake up Campbell and Reagan-surprisingly, they both woke up in good moods...well, for a little while. I had talked up our cleaning project so everyone was mentally prepared. I had even laid in bed this morning reminding myself to take a before picture. And yep, I forget.
  • We started by taking everything out of their closet-everything. Then each of them rotated cleaning their each of their 2 shelves, organizing their 2 drawers and rehanging up all of their hanging clothes. You could not see the floor of their room while we were working-it was a disaster.
  • I had planned on this taking 2 hours and quite surprisingly, within two hours we had indeed finished. Well, we had almost finished when Reagan, who organizes like me-by throwing things away, started dumping bins from their bedroom for us to go through too. That didn't take too long at all, and I think that they are pleased with their clean closet. Hopefully it stays that way for a day or two.
  • Next, I had a few minutes to work with Whitman and his bike riding. He is determined to ride over the leaf bike track that they made a few days ago. He did better today and good thing that we practiced today because Robby went to town mowing the leaves up. 
  • After that, I had time to make Whitman lunch before Campbell and I headed out. She had a quick nutrition center visit today to collect her supper for tonight. Tomorrow she has a MRI at 8-we have to be there at 7. She is getting a hundred bucks for this-meanwhile, I am the one having to wake up at 6 on a Saturday morning and I get nothing!
  • I came home ready to clean so I quickly organized the pens on my desk, the hats and gloves and all of my hanging clothes before Shannon rescued me to come and pick up pizza for our supper. I rode with her, and then everyone met up at our house.
  • We all ate and then as the kids played outside, the grownups watched youtube videos about campers and griddling. Shannon did ask if I had an apple crisp in the freezer and by golly, I did and felt like Betty Crocker. 
  • We cooked that up and feasted on that and ice cream. We watched some more videos until Robby and Tony were about to fall sound asleep! My kids had to have showers before bed since they had an egg toss-why, well, I am just not real sure about most things anymore. 

November 12, 2020

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  • Wonderful Thursday! They have been my favorite day of the week for years and still are. School was fairly uneventful today which was wonderful. Whitman did convince me to let him do his math last. He told me that he would know it was the last thing that he had to do so he would hurry through it. Yep, he was still finishing math at 2-don't feel sorry for him since after lunch he would only do 2 math problems each time he changed his game on his ipad. 
  • I took Reagan to school around noon, and then ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things. Now, there were still plenty of things that were on sale that I didn't get-I bet we will get back by that grocery store tomorrow.
  • Robby and I had a funeral to go to this afternoon-Grannymom helped us by getting Reagan home, and Campbell even made cookies while we were gone. She had even cleaned up most of the kitchen which was a win for everyone. She had enough cookies that they were our dessert tonight for supper.
  • When I came home, I went to work with Keaton and Whitman on their Bible study and on Whitman's daily bike practice. I have decided that I would rather be teaching bike riding skills or how to count money than working on algebra or writing essays. I did my share of algebra work today-Anderson and Graham are both still in Algebra 1 (Anderson is just about finished and Graham just started) while Reagan has now started on Algebra 2. It sounds like Reagan has big plans for me to help with an essay tomorrow-oh good times!
  • Around 4:30, we ended up running to the Wilson's house to help Tony put up his Christmas lights. Of course it is almost dark by then, so around 6:30 they were finally finishing up-even having to use headlamps. 
  • We brought dinner over and had a pot of chili along with some hot dogs for our meal. We stayed late enough for a school night, but by the time we left, all of their roof lights were on-so it was indeed beginning to look a like Christmas.
  • Once home the kids had showers and I worked on my blog while I was all covered up in a blanket-it is just cold outside and in this house!

November 11, 2020

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  • Even though we started school on time this morning, we didn't have very long to read because Keaton and Whitman had their Bible study zoom at 9:15. And gracious, I really wanted for them to enjoy their zooms-Campbell too. However, over an hour seems to be just too long for them to be on there. I can't imagine kids doing it all day long.
  • Since Whitman was gone for so long on his zoom, that put him a bit behind on his school work today. We have Friday for him to catch up, but at least he did get most things finished today. Keaton has about 2 billion things to do each day and always seems to accomplish everything in about 45 minutes. Whitman is nothing at all like her! It is amazing how different people just are.
  • Around noon, Casey dropped off 3 of his kiddos so they could hang out while the rest of his family went to a funeral. Maia ran right off to find her buddy Reagan while Sophia and Keaton were thrilled to have some extra time together. And Gabriel couldn't wait to find his friend-Robby.
  • The kids all played outside for a good while. I eventually had to steal Gabriel away for a nap. I wanted him to sleep as long as he could, so I stayed right by him patting his bottom and back pretty much the whole time. Now, I may have closed my eyes for a few minutes as well!
  • When Gabriel did wake up, he asked for his daddy and then he asked for Robby. When the Craft crew left, I did the girls' hair and then went to the camper to straighten a few things. Afterwards, I looked at my watched and headed towards the shower.
  • After my leisurely shower, I came out of my bedroom to Reagan asking if we were going to leave. I looked at my watch and asked her what time it was. I guess my watch was about 15 minutes off. Good think I was already ready though.
  • We soon were in the car zooming to church. Church tonight was fun-the kids (Whitman, Keaton and Campbell) helped pack the shoeboxes for Christmas. I know they enjoyed that. Afterwards, we headed home to Robby who had supper ready or us. 
  • We ate our suppers and even ended the night with some ice cream before calling it an evening. 

November 10, 2020

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  • Thankfully, this day was a bit more normal than yesterday. There were no surprise dentist appointments which is always a good thing. Though we are working very hard on Whitman wiggling his non-wiggly tooth so that maybe, just maybe it will be out by tooth pulling day.
  • We did our school work this morning without too much drama. The boys were a bit chatty-I moved them in the room with me because then they were a bit chatty in the room that I was in. Ha! My punishment idea for them (moving them) just became a punishment for me.
  • I took Reagan to school-she did drive on the way there and did just fine. Then I ran to one store to pick up a Christmas present before hitting up the library for some books. I couldn't wait to get home so I could request more books-it is time to get started on Christmas books.
  • I read a few books to Whitman this afternoon after we worked on his Bible study. Our Community Bible Study starts daily lessons in second grade. Last year, Keaton didn't have a problem knocking hers out everyday. This year, I wasn't so sure that Whit could do it, so we have been doing it together each and every day so far this year. Keaton has joined us since they are working on the same level. It has been a lot of work!
  • Robby had already done quite a bit of cleaning in the camper already, but I did join in time to work on a bit of it. It is ready to go again-well, almost. I am washing some sheets plus I need to restock my paper products. When we go on a trip, I have enough dishes (plastic and paper) in the camper to feed the entire campsite on. I think that I might be a hoarder of dishes! I guess I seem to hoard a lot of things-lists, attics, children....
  • Robby and I ran to Walmart to pick up an order-nothing was too exciting except for one Christmas present. I am slowly marking of the grandma Christmas present lists. My goal is to be over half way finished with everything by Thanksgiving. I know there is no way that is going to happen, but it is good to have goals.
  • For supper there was lasagna-it was "family size" or so the box said. Ha! It wasn't Dennie family size for sure. Robby had a bbq sandwich, and I had chips and salsa to supplement the sauce from the bottom of the pan which was my portion. 
  • After supper, the kids had showers while I watched a Hallmark movie. According to my phone, I have over 500 left to watch before Christmas!

November 9, 2020

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  • This day didn't turn out exactly like I had planned. I thought that we were going to have our normal Monday morning routine but that didn't really happen. All 6 kids had dentist appointments scheduled for the week before Christmas, and since there might be a chance that we will be gone that week, I decided to call and change their appointments.
  • Of course, it is a wee bit difficult to reschedule 6 kids appointments so I was determined to take what I could get. I wasn't expecting her to say that she could see them all today. Four kids this morning at 10 and two more this afternoon at 2. 
  • That meant that our morning plans were changed-we didn't do our morning reading and instead went right to work. We had about an hour before we had to go so we zoomed through as much as we could.
  • When I did arrive at the dentist with the kids, I had about 40 pounds of books with me. We were able to work through most things only leaving a few things to finish up at home. Keaton was even able to finish all of her spelling for the week before my crew left.
  • That bunch had one braces referral (Graham-his teeth are pretty crowded) along with one tooth extraction (Whitman-a baby tooth that has not come out that is causing a permanent tooth to be messed up.)
  • Back at home, we went to town finishing school and the kids worked on their chores. Not too much longer before Robby left with Reagan and Anderson for their appointments. That left with one cavity (Reagan-just a small one) and one child who probably won't need braces (Anderson!)
  • The afternoon seemed to drag on since I had crossed off everything on my list fairly early. I probably should have made a longer to-do list for myself.
  • I did hang out with Robby in the camper until it was time for me to heat up supper. We had leftover BBQ tonight along with some mac and cheese-the meal was a hit with the crew. After we ate, I worked on my tomorrow's list until excitement started happening outside. 
  • Robby, again, saw his possum friend. This time the boys heard the commotion and came running. We had more bb guns aimed at the possum than it had legs. It took about a good 10 minutes before the thing finally jumped out of the tree and started running. And when it did, Robby and Graham took off running too-I may or may not have been squealing the entire time.
  • After the excitement, I watched the rest of my Christmas movie while working on the blog. The next planned activity is possibly a game. 

November 8, 2020

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  • I swear that my clean laundry pile was waist high this morning when I started getting ready. I had to wake everyone but Graham and Anderson up. They were the only ones quickly stirring this morning. The rest of the crew was moving slowly!
  • Poor Whitman-well, really Whitman and Reagan. They never seem to know where we are going and what exactly is going on. Now, Reagan does have the days of the week down so she knew that we were headed to church. Whitman, however, wasn't too sure at all where we were headed except that he had to put on real clothes. When we pulled up at church, he asked, "Is it big church day?"
  • Sunday school today and then I headed to work in the nursery for worship care. They didn't have anyone show up for my room so I headed to church a bit late, but I was super glad that I was able to make it.
  • After church, we hurried out so we could make it to Reagan's soccer game. We grabbed food at Arby's and ate on the way as some of the kids changed their clothes on the way. They played their last game at Burns Park. It ended in a tie, and once again Reagan did really great. I think that she had a super fun time playing this year. 
  • I do enjoy watching her play soccer, but I also am pretty glad that this soccer season is over. It is time to move on to other things-not sure exactly what those are right now-possibly watching Hallmark movies.
  • We then hurried home so Reagan could have a shower. While she was doing that, the rest of us worked on unloading the car and putting up those massive loads of laundry. The house was pretty straight by the time that we left for Grannymom's house to eat our delayed Sunday lunch.
  • We had quiche and baked potatoes for supper which were delicious. I think quite a few of my kiddos love quiche, and I am a sucker for baked potatoes. We ate and then watched Graham watch some of the Cowboys game. He was a bit excited during the game, but it didn't turn out the way that he wanted.
  • We ended up the evening at the Wilson's house. The kids played outside the entire time so that meant that showers were on the evening agenda for all Dennies one we came home. 

November 7, 2020-Daisy State Park

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We slept an hour later this morning than yesterday morning, so that was absolutely wonderful. When we did start stirring, Robby asked Anderson what he wanted for breakfast and Anderson suggested bacon. So we pulled out our bacon and pancakes and went to town on breakfast making.

I had toast for my breakfast along with some of Jennifer's strawberry jelly. Again, I tell you anything cooked and eaten outside just tastes better. We started picking a few things up after breakfast. We had originally thought that check out was around 10 but found out it was indeed at 3. That gave us plenty of time to slowly clean and put everything away.

Some of the kids went on a walk while we did some of that packing. Then we all headed out. The boys on their bikes, and the rest of us behind them. There was a 3/4 of a mile trail that we mosied along. There was a geocache on the way which Andrew found with minimal clues.

The trail took us by the lake again. After the trail, quite a few folks walked to one of the campground loops that they are not currently using because of winter. It was the most beautiful spots-we even wrote down which sites we went to come back to. 

On the way back, we did a little hiking through the woods to make it back quicker to our campsite. This involved walking down into a valley and then having to climb back up to the top. We did walk right to our camper so that was perfectly nice.

The kids went back to the playground for a little bit while we unhooked, put the slides in and did the last few things. It isn't all that much work, but it is still a bit of work. Campbell and Keaton rode home with the Fergusons. The ride home seemed fairly quick because soon we were getting gas and dropping off Harrison.

Once we came home, I hurried to pick up the girls while Robby and everyone else worked on the camper. He did let them quit before I probably would have, but it all got done in the end. The wash has its third load in it which probably needs to be moved to the dryer. Maybe later!

Robby and I worked on the camper until it was dark. We haven't cleaned it yet, but we did get everything out. It is clean enough that we could pull out tomorrow if anyone would like to join us!

For supper tonight, we have lots of our leftovers. Most folks had nachos-chicken or bbq. Robby made himself some quesadillas-if he had the big blackstone that he wants, he probably would have made them outside. After we made our supper, we settled in to watch the Hogs game. As I often do, I watched the first half of the game and dozed through the second half!

November 6, 2020-Daisy State Park

(click here for today's pictures)

For some reason my silly boys were chatting away at 7 this morning. I will say that Robby has added some insulation to our windows which causes them to be perfectly black (it is removable). It is dark, dark in our bed area, but up front the sun light still streams through so that is probably the reason that the boys woke up so early.

We still lounged around for a good while this morning and didn't really stir until about 9:30. For breakfast, we made bacon, pancakes and hash browns while the Fergusons cooked sausage and eggs. It was a perfect breakfast by the campfire. 

We weren't finished cleaning up from breakfast by nearly noon-camping is all about eating! Once we finished cleaning up, we headed out for a little walk. Andrew had downloaded a geocaching app. There were 3 boxes hidden in the park area that we searched for.

Anderson, Graham and Harrison took off on their bikes to look for one. They found one as we came near it. Then we explored one of the boat ramp areas while the boys rode to find more. Next up was a bit of playing on the playground. 

Most everyone played a game of two hand touch football after they played on their playground. Once the game was over, we walked to find the next geocache. The big boys had already been nearby and couldn't find it. We then read the clue and searched and searched and searched. 

Finally Andrew found it just by accident. That is what really made that activity fun because the next one, Ryan found before anyone else. There was some skill to it, but mostly just solving the riddle and being a bit lucky. The kids really enjoyed it, and I am sure that we will do it sometime again as well.

I did go into the visitor's center so I could get my Arkansas State Parks passport book stamped. The lady probably thought that I was crazy since I was giddy with excitement. We now have 49 more Arkansas state parks to discover. 

I believe that we then headed back to the campsite next. After a bit of snacking we made lunch. We were just going to have sandwiches, but Robby started grilling our sandwiches on the Blackstone.  I actually had peanut butter on a tortilla which he grilled, and I could eat one every single day. 

This afternoon there were more walks and more geocaching. We even walked the end of this camping loop a bit after sunset and took some gorgeous pictures. We walked and walked today, and really, it couldn't have been any better of a day.

For supper tonight we had bbq sandwiches, chips, mac and cheese and potato salad. It was all perfect and then when we finished our meal, we eventually pulled out more s'mores. The fire was warmer tonight plus I was dressed better for the coolness. 

Last night we were out late, but tonight we were all cozied up in our beds by 10:30. Hopefully, we can all get quite a bit of sleep tonight.

November 5, 2020-Daisy State Park

(click here for today's pictures)

Once again I woke up earlier than I expected this morning. I ran through the house getting things ready for the day. The boys were all awake this morning, but the girls were still sleeping soundly. Some days lately Campbell has gone down to get her ipad, then cuddles back up in her bed until it is time for everyone to wake up, but today was not one of those days.

We did our work together, and then the kids went off to work. I didn't really see Reagan until much later in the day since she was studying hard for her science test. I was upstairs making beds, and she asked me to quiz her with her flashcards. She knew them all without any problem so I am sure that she did just fine on her test.

Campbell and Anderson took the longest today, and they both even saved a little bit for this weekend. It wasn't much, but enough to save especially since I have already pulled out their next batch of school. Campbell and Keaton left with Sara around 11:45. They also dropped Reagan off at Wildwood before exploring their hiking trails while Reagan and Noah were finishing their last class.

I have been wanting to go to Wildwood and walk around ever since the trees started changing. The girls said that they definitely want to go back sometime so hopefully we can soon. While they were gone, Robby and I kicked it up into high gear. Just a few minutes after they arrived home, we backed out the camper and headed South.

Our first stop was to pick up Harrison. We had originally planned for me to drive the van so I could leave a bit early with Reagan Saturday morning to get her to her soccer game. We found out this morning that it had been cancelled so that just changed all of our plans. Instead of me driving the van or even pulling it, we just came without a car at all.

Then we stopped for gas so getting out of town took a few minutes, but we were glad that we still made it to Daisy State Park before it was dark. We found our spot and backed in (just 2 tries) and were even able to unpack a little bit before it was dark. 

The Ferguson's spot is right next to ours, and since we are on a bit of hill, we set up camp closer to their camp site. It worked out perfectly. While the kids were off riding bikes, Robby and I unpacked everything and soon were sitting enjoying the fire.

There is nothing better than sitting around a campfire, and we did a lot of that tonight. Robby griddled us up some chicken quesadillas along with refried beans and cheese dip. He made some for me with tomatoes which were delicious. We eat quesadillas quite a bit at home, but just making them outside makes them taste so much better. 

After we cleaned up some, Robby and Campbell walked to the bathhouse to check it out. Even though it was dark, the kids would still take off on their bikes occasionally. We waited a while for the Fergusons, who were stuck some in traffic. 

They arrived and soon we were making s'mores around the campfire. We ending up sitting around the campfire chatting until after 11. It wasn't nearly as chilly tonight as it was when we were in Mountain View. It is still a bit cool so I will probably need my heavier sweatshirt tomorrow  night. Since we stayed up so late, I think that the kids were all tired because when we did come inside, they started working on their beds. 

It didn't take long for everyone to get in bed. It is after 12 now and folks are pretty quiet. I would bet that they aren't all asleep, but hopefully everyone will sleep for a bit. Breakfast is going to be later tomorrow so there is no need to wake up early.