December 30, 2021-After Christmas Trip to Waco

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We slept with the slides in so we didn't have to move any of the kids to put the slides in when we left this morning. Robby was up first, and I was soon after him. It didn't take us long to pull out of the campsite and be on our way.

Our first stop was the kolache capital of the world-well, I really don't know if that is true or not because I think that I just made that up. Anyway, there were about 20 folks in there buying kolaches. It was packed with food everywhere. There were more different kinds of kolaches than I had ever seen. 

We went back to the camper and heated them up in the microwave. Robby said that these were much better than the kolaches that he usually buys at Buccees. There were cream cheese ones, nutella ones, sausage ones, cheese ones, pepperoni ones, you name it-they had it. 

Son we were back on the road. Everyone but Whitman had woken up to eat our little breakfast. Campbell did heat him up a cinnamon roll from the stop for his breakfast when he finally did wake up. I had to walk buy him and push him more onto his bed at least twice today so he wouldn't fall into the floor.

The next stop was Buccees. We weren't in there too long-long enough for me to go to the bathroom, the kids to get icees and us to wait in the check out line. It it a happening place-and the kids always notice the amounts that the employees are paid-16 starting out up to 40 something an hour. Apparently, we are all going to work at Buccees when we grow up.

There was really only one other stop-a rest stop for Robby to go to the bathroom and then we were home. It was really a good trip-Robby and I mentioned that one of the best things when traveling is seeing all of the kids get along. I love watching Reagan, Anderson and Graham all laugh and talk together while we are traveling-usually they are all in separate rooms.

Once at home, we unloaded the camper and started immediately on cleaning that baby. We are cleaning it more since we will winterize it tomorrow because of the super cold weather coming. I am excited about the weather because I will be able to use my hot chocolate bombs from Christmas over the next few days. 

We have about 6 more loads of laundry to do to be caught up. I am washing every single thing this time. Usually I don't wash sleeping bags but this time I am so my laundry is a bit more. That is fine though since there isn't too much going on over the next few days. 

Currently, the boys are playing xbox, Campbell is down stairs on her ipad, Keaton and Whitman are watching a movie on her projector, and Reagan is on the phone with a friend. It is a pretty relaxing evening here at the Dennie house.

December 29, 2021-After Christmas Trip to Waco

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Bentley climbed in our bed around 2 again this morning. I didn't hear her at all, but a bit later I woke up to go to the bathroom and had to climb over Robby and her. I also woke up a few more times during the evening to go to the bathroom, because I was hot from a dog laying on me, or because I was cold from Bentley taking my covers. Despite all of this, we slept wonderfully well and woke up ready to go.

The kids found themselves breakfasts, and soon we were on the road to the Dr. Pepper Museum. The museum is right next to the silos so we knew right where we were going. It was a neat little museum-all about Dr. Pepper. 

The kids' favorite part was over course the free Dr. Pepper sample at the end. Of course we have all had Dr. Pepper but a few cup of it was nice for sure. Quite a few of us upgraded our free drink to a Dr. Pepper float. I am a sucker for ice cream and floats for sure.

Now, probably about Easter Anderson stopped drinking cokes. Maybe even before. Just because he wanted to see if he could do it. He didn't tell us for a long while, but he hasn't faltered at all. He certainly has some determination or stubbornness. Either way, good for him. 

A few weeks ago and possibly even a month ago, Graham joined him in this. So now it has become a bet with the high stakes of 5 dollars resting on it. They are both determined-and they must talk so much about it that Whitman at one point decided that he wanted to join the challenge. I encouraged him to try it out for a few days, and urged the big boys to discourage him since I didn't just want them taking his money. He quickly opted out before he had to bet any real money.

So at the end of the museum, we were given a free cup of Dr. Pepper. We knew about this, and Robby and I had made it clear that all bets were off for this glass of Dr. Pepper. That's fun to have a bet, try to do something and even be healthier, but you do have to live a little-and living today was drinking a glass of Dr. Pepper. They didn't complain too much about this-I do believe that Dr. Pepper is Anderson's favorite soft drink.

After the museum, we headed to Mammoth Site-apparently they have found Mammoth dinosaur bones in the area. It is a National Park site so of course there were books to stamp (we forgot them but did stamp a piece of paper to later put in the books) and there was a Jr. Ranger badge to get. Whitman is the only one who turned in the booklet-but at least 3 other kids helped fill in the pages. I have decided that we don't really need more than one Jr. Ranger badge at each park so there is no reason to print out that many books.

This park had a place where you could pay 5 apiece to go in a look at Mammoth fossils that they are excavating. We have seen a bone before, so we passed on that. And really, the site says that these fossils are millions of years old (evolution). However, the earth is only 5-10 thousand years old (creationism)-and I want my kids to hear that message more than anything else. 

My kids understanding creationism and understanding why we believe that the earth is only a thousands of years old is important. And it makes me panicked that I only have so long with them to teach them all of the things-but they sure don't know a lot. Today, Reagan thought it was rude that a sign called the person that passed out the Dr. Pepper a "soda jerk." She didn't know that was their name. The boys had never seen the tire thing that you must exit one way or it will pop your tires. Anderson had never seen a beacon from an airport. Reagan wanted to pay 50 percent more for a book so she could get it now instead of getting it next week. These are just my big kids-l better get to work or they will never make it in society. 

I better move on from that paragraph because it does make my want to breathe in a bag. At the National Park site, we walked around the gift shop areas and walked down a little trail, but soon we were back at our cars.

Our car headed back to the camper. We did a quick turnaround and were soon on the road in the camper instead of the car. We left the car and dolly back at the campsite so Bentley could go with us on the next adventure. 

We drove 2 hours towards Austin to eat at Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood.The Wilson's had been there before, we but we had not. We knew it was a huge place when we googled the parking lot-you do that when you drive the camper anywhere. 

The outside waiting area had about 100 tables with lights on the trees and live music playing. It was really neat. The wait for all of us was just about 45 minutes. We were called to our table-a long table in the middle of a room with about 30 or so other tables. There were at least 2 other rooms just like that.

The food was good-I am not a foodie nor am I a meat loving girl, however, I did enjoy the meal. We ordered 5 different plates: 2 chopped beef sandwiches, 2 pulled pork sandwiches, and 1 rib and sausage plate. All of the plates came with potato salad and beans. 

No one was too crazy about the beans, but the potato salad was good. Not really like any potato salad that I have had before. More like cold potatoes with a little bit of potato salad sauce. The sandwiches had 1/2 pound of meat-I ate a 1/4th of the sandwich and was completely full. We actually ordered the perfect amount of food-we didn't have enough leftovers to take home, and no one wanted any more of what was leftover. Now, as soon as Keaton took her first bite, she did lean over to me and tell me that she liked her Daddy's bbq better.

After eating, we walked through the gift shop and headed back to the cars. Brett rode with us since the boys were watching the Hogs game. Reagan loves this store called Brandy Melville. (I dislike it because it is expensive and clothes only come in one size-skinny.) Anyway, it was right by the interstate so we went there. It was also right in the biggest outdoor mall that we had ever seen. Imagine a mall 10 times bigger than the ones similar in Little Rock. 

Robby dropped the girls off, and we met the Wilson's at Reagan's store. She tried her hardest to find something, but only found some jewelry which Campbell and Keaton did as well. Then we walked around a little bit more-sneaky Robby though parked the caper and found himself an ice cream place for him and the boys. 

We met back at the camper and then headed to Buccees. We needed gas at the store, but surprisingly didn't buy anything else at all. There is another Buccees tomorrow around lunch, and we will probably buy stuff then.

From Buccees we headed back to the campsite. Now, our silly GPS has taken us back to this campsite about 12 different ways. Tonight's way was the most fun since we drove by some really big houses-of course it was dark making it hard to see. 

Once back at the campsite, we all stared working-pajamas, making beds, straightening, sweeping, taking the trash out, hooking up, putting the dolly on, hooking up the car-sometimes it surprises me how much we can get done when all of our people are working.

It is 10:40-everyone is in bed and ready for bed except for me. I am about to take my shower and then I will bed down as well. 

December 28, 2021-After Christmas Trip to Waco

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Bentley was the first one awake this morning-at 2:30. We put her in bed with us, and she tossed and turned like a toddler until she finally fell back asleep. Of course when she did go back to sleep is when I had to get up and go to the bathroom. Then I went to the bathroom again at 5:30 and at 7-I probably shouldn't have had all of those glasses of water last night.

Once we did start stirring this morning, we didn't have too much time before we needed to leave. Bentley had time to make a few walks around the loop, and most everyone heated up some kind of breakfast. I had a blueberry scone, and Robby had koloches both from Buccee's the other day.

Our first stop this morning was the Magnolia Silos. It is quite the place. It kind of reminded me of the Pioneer Woman's empire in Oklahoma except this was a lot larger. We started off in the home store, well there were really two of them. Then there were 6 more little bitty shops. There was a seed shop, a bakery, a coffee shop along with tons of food trucks.

It really was a neat place to see-one game we enjoyed playing was watching Keaton's face when she looked at price tags. We would guess a price, then she would look at it and from her expression we would then try to guess how far off we were. For example, Reagan and I looked at a chair-we thought that the tag said 250. We commented on how that was a reasonable price for a chair. Keaton then looked at the tag closer, and she found that the price for the chair was 1250. Yep, we missed the one there!

Keaton also stayed busy getting stamps at each of the places. When you had your 6 stamps, then you received a prize-a pin. At least it wasn't a postcard. There was plenty of green space-the kids played baggo some along with a pretty long game of wiffle ball. 

I did but a Christmas ornament-that was about it. Nothing was really priced reasonably. Well, that didn't stop Robby from buying cupcakes and cookies for us at the bakery. That was a nice little snack during our morning at the Silos.

One of our main stops today was eating at the Magnolia Table. We had been watching the wait times increase throughout the day, so around noon we went to put our name on the list. Since there were 12 of us, we had to break up into 3 tables which was fine-boys, girls, and adults. However, the wait was about 2 and a half hours. I asked if we could leave, and that was no problem at all.

So we drove to the other side of Waco back to the camper. We let Bentley out, walked her and let her eat before putting her back in the kennel. She sure didn't want to go back in the camper with everyone else heading to the car though.

We then met the Wilson's at the original Magnolia shop. That was actually the only place that had reasonable prices. Shannon bought a few things, but other than that our shopping bags were pretty empty today. 

We then returned to the restaurant and only had to wait about 15 minutes before being seated. Now, the boys had their table first-they were a ways away from us. Then the girls sat down and finally the adults. Brett paid for the boys' meals, Reagan paid for the girls' meals and Robby just settled up. 

The food was actually pretty good. I had eggs benedict which I really love. Robby had a breakfast burrito along with biscuits and gravy. We also had a side of strawberry butter which was delicious. Reagan had a salad. Keaton and Whitman had grilled cheese from the kid's menu. Campbell had a burger that had eggs and lots of other things on it. Now Anderson and Graham probably did the best-tater tots that were the size of tennis balls, bacon (though they both ordered sausage), eggs and pancakes (Graham) and French toast (Anderson.) 

We then went to one more store-Harps Design. This store was probably my favorite-it was all kinds of wooden things. Robby encouraged me to buy something, but I don't really need a 40 dollar candlestick. Ha! By this time, Whitman really needed to use the restroom, but there wasn't one there. He was about to use a tree when I caught him and quickly urged us on to our next with a bathroom.

The Wilson's hotel was the next stop. We sat outside while the kids played some new card games of Bretts. They were all fun, and the girls have already been telling me that the need them. We eventually headed back to our camper. We took a walk and Reagan had a shower.

The Wilsons then showed up for a little bit at our campsite tonight. We sat outside and watched a ballgame. The kids went in to play a bit of cards. Of course we finished off the meal with some ice cream. Well, Keaton decided on popcorn. She went in to put it in the microwave-nothing unusual. A few minutes later, she came back out and said that she needed me to come in. 

This trip we have stored our bread in the microwave. She got all of the bread out, but she couldn't see the tortillas. So after having the popcorn on for over 2 minutes and nothing was popping, she began to smell a smell. It was the smell of tortilla baking. There weren't many tortillas, but they were enough to make the camper smell like a Mexican tortilla shop. Thankfully the clothes pin that was closing the bag didn't cause any sparks!

Currently, my crew is working through their showers. I am finishing the blog and might just request some library books! 

December 27, 2021-After Christmas Trip to Waco

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We woke up to my alarm and Bentley whining this morning. I actually think that my alarm wakes Bentley up better than it wakes me and Robby up. She got up, went potty, and then relaxed in her chair while Robby and I got up and worked like crazy people. 

Really, we didn't have to work too hard this morning. We had done most things yesterday-after I got ready, I took two more laundry baskets full of stuff out to the camper. Then there was the laundry to fold. Waking the kids up did take a little bit of time-Robby and I both had to wake them up. 

They do sometimes grumble and complain about going on trips, but they all really do seem to enjoy it. If they were miserable, then their attitudes would be miserable, and they are certainly not. Everyone has been completely pleasant today. 

We left around 10ish. The Wilsons followed us which I am sure made Tony crazy since we have to go a bit slower. They stopped in Texarkana for lunch, and we pressed on. Around Texarkana I did get up and start working on our lunches. Robby and I had some of Shannon's corn dip and spinach dip. While all of the kids except Graham had hot pockets. Graham had ramen.

I had never made ramen in the camper while flying down the road. It sure was an experience. I quickly realized that I needed to put a lid on that bowl since I could see water sloshing out of it while is was spinning in the microwave. I finally did heat it up adequately, but then I was super worried about Graham spilling it on himself and burning himself while eating. 

Not too much further down the road was Buccees. We filled up with gas and stopped to get out when someone pulled in beside us and started hollering at Robby. We quickly realized that is was someone who grew up at Geyer too. They waited for the Wilsons to arrive behind us so they could see them as well. So we all visited for a good while outside the gas station.

Once we made it inside Buccees, the kids got icees. Well, some did. Reagan chose a cup of cheese, Anderson got some of a chicken sandwich, we also bought cashews and a brisket sandwich along with a kolache for Robby and a scone for me. Oh, yes, and my girls were adamant that we needed a Buccee' Christmas ornament-so they finally decided on a 1 foot tall stuffed beaver wearing a Santa hat. Mercy, our tree already looks ridiculous with shoes, syrup bottles, a bat and mardi gras mask on it!

After Buccees, the traffic just really got worse. It took us probably an hour longer to make it to the campsite. It was almost dark when we arrived, but we have the most perfect spot (long, pull through, full hook up, plenty of room). Also it is just gorgeous. There is water on both sides of us-like we are out on a peninsula overlooking Waco Lake. Robby and I just got back from taking Bentley on a walk, and we could hear the lake water lapping on the shore, and it sounded like we were at the beach.

Once we unloaded the car and hooked up, we drove back into town and met the Wilsons at Georges. By the crowd that was there, this was definitely the right spot tonight. It was a happening place-we only waited 45 minutes which wasn't really too bad at all. 

Their servings were pretty big, and I think that everyone was pleased with their food. My meal was a bit different-chicken fried chicken topped with cheese dip served on mashed potatoes. I really did like it, but the cheese dip was a bit much for me. Graham had quesadillas, and they were absolutely huge. 

The gates at our campsite close-like really close-at 10 each night. So we were definitely looking at the clock. I did clock the mileage on our drive in tonight. It would have been a 1.2 mile hike in the dark, dark to get back to our camper if we had arrived after 10. I sure don't plan on doing that at all. 

We made it in plenty of time though-the kids hung out outside some tonight. Whitman worked on his Jr. Ranger book for tomorrow. Everyone had a cookie, and there was even time for ipads before bed. Bentley has just taken over Robby's spot, and I am about to get in the shower. It was a really perfect first day to our trip. 

December 26, 2021

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  • What a wonderful day after Christmas this was. We slept as late as we could this morning and still make it to church on time. Church was good, and afterwards we headed to Pops' house for our post Christmas lunch-pizza.
  • We stayed for a little bit, and then we headed home to do some speed packing. We were a little bit surprised to realize that we can pretty much pack everyone along with everything else that we need in the camper in just a bit over an hour. 
  • Robby did do a little bit of work after the girls and I left. Campbell, Keaton and I went to Walmart and Kroger to see if we could find any Christmas deals. We pretty much struck out, but we did have fun.
  • When we came home, there was even time for a nap this afternoon. A good long nap-long enough that I slept on the couch and then moved to the bed. Bentley did wake us up after her bath. She needed a good place to roll around and dry off, and she chose our bed. 
  • We eventually started moving again and headed up all of the leftovers in the fridge. Currently a few kids are taking showers while Robby and I are watching a Christmas movie.

December 25, 2021-Merry Christmas

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  • Let's see, Robby and I were not up too late last night working on getting Christmas things out. I was worried that my Christmas stockings were going to be completely over the top, but when they were stuffed in the stocking, stacked neatly in the Sonic box and set next to it was a lot, but it wasn't excessive. The stockings are my favorite part of Christmas gifts. 
  • Our alarm went off at 6:45 this morning, but we didn't get out of bed until right after 7. I got myself ready and then went to work in the kitchen-I made the monkey breads and mixed up the casserole. Now, it wasn't too difficult because I had everything out on the counter plus I had all of the ingredients premeasured in the fridge. It didn't take too long.
  • Though I guess that it did take a minute, because at 7:30 the upstairs people started getting a little bit restless-like a lot restless. We had told them that 7:30 would be our wake up time, and it was nearly 7:40 by the time we went up to get them. We almost had a revolt on our hands. 
  • Soon enough it was time for the kids to come downstairs. Of course we have to take a few obligatory pictures of them on the steps-we barely did get Reagan out of bed in time for that pictures.
  • The first thing everyone does when they get downstairs is to open their stockings. That was a lot of fun-some of them knew most things that would be in there. For the last month, if I have been shopping with people, and they see something they like, and it was rather inexpensive, then I buy it. 
  • Next up were the other presents-at our house the kids get a Santa gift, a gift form mom and dad and a gift from the sibling that draws their name (I also pay for that gift.) Here is the run down on the gifts: Reagan received some shoes, a sweater, necklace and make up bags. Anderson got a computer, ear thingymabobs, and a funko pop. Graham got a jersey along with a trip to a basketball game, a game and two different basketballs and a funko pop. Campbell received cooking camp this summer, a basket full of things from Reagan, and some shoes. Keaton also gets to go to cooking camp this summer, and she received a projector and more squishmellows. Finally Whitman got a box full of coding stuff, a movie gift basket and a funko pop and glowing ball. Robby had a few gifts including his favorite-dump buddy, and my favorite, once it is a little bit cooler, will be my hot chocolate bombs.
  • We had almost finished cleaning up when Nonna, Pops, Jason, Grannymom and Grandpa all arrived for breakfast. We had monkey bread, muffins, a tater tot casserole, grapes, and sausage balls along with chocolate milk and orange juice. Pops brought his coffee maker too. Everyone ate breakfast and looked at all of the kids' presents.
  • We normally go to eat lunch at Dana's house for Christmas, but she has a sick kiddo so we had to skip that tradition. It did make our afternoon a bit more relaxing-we all played Family Feud and finished Elf from last night. 
  • We were able to get this place pretty straightened up before leaving for the Dennie family circle tonight. We started the evening with two games of Left, Right, Center. Shelley won the money at my circle, and Keaton was the big winner in the other circle. The last time that we played that game at a Dennie Family circle, Keaton was also the winner.
  • Then we moved on to supper-Grannymom had quiche, and we had brought some other little things to munch on. After everyone finished eating, it was finally time to open presents. Dana had my name and I got a cute brown vest along with a black dressy sweatshirt. I was about to say that might wear the sweatshirt tomorrow, but it is just a bit too warm for that though right now.
  • My kiddos had a bunch of presents tonight-Whitman's favorite was pajamas, Anderson really liked his xbox game that I had convinced him he wasn't getting. Graham was happy with his sweatshirt to wear with his jersey. Campbell and Keaton were both pretty excited about their little purses. Reagan has been waiting to open her alpaca sweater from New Mexico. 
  • There was dessert and lots of catching up afterwards. When we did get home, we unloaded the car and put stuff away. And then, well, we did the unthinkable-started taking down the Christmas decorations.
  • I sometimes feel guilty about this, but today I sure didn't. Those decorations and trees have been up since the middle of November, and it was time. It took Robby and I about 2 and a half hours to put everything away. The big boys helped me unload and reload the attic. We finished around 11 just in time to put the kids into bed.
  • I am about to take my shower and then catch up on everyone else's Christmases on the internet.

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2021: Merry Christmas!

This was the 10th year for our Christmas Ornament Countdown, and I sure hope that you enjoyed it. I am not sure what I will do next year since this is the first time ever that I have showcased all of my ornaments on the blog. I don't have any leftovers to do next year. If you are a faithful reader, then you have read about all 318 of our Christmas ornaments. Some are quite traditional while others are a little bit wacky. However, each of them make me smile when I see them. Often during the days before Christmas, the kids pick an ornament for Robby to describe to the others so they can guess which ornament it is. They love doing this, and I love all of the memories that our ornaments provide.

Today's ornament was one of our favorites from last year. There wasn't a lot of travel opportunities last year when the world shut down. We were able to celebrate Christmas and Anderson's birthday in South Carolina. In Charleston, we camped in a James Island County Park which had a huge Christmas light display. 

The display was completely amazing. We drove around twice actually because there were so many things to see. Also that park was such a great place to camp in. There were bike trails, playgrounds, lakes, and even a dog park. It is on a short list of places that we would love to go back to. Here is the link to a blog post from that day.

I am super thankful that you have read our ornament countdowns. And I hope that you have an excellent Christmas day surrounded by family, friends and wonderful food and make tons of memories. 

December 24, 2021-Merry Christmas Eve!

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  • While I was laying in bed this morning, I realized that even after a trip to Kroger and a trip to Walmart yesterday, I didn't buy the one thing that I needed to make monkey bread-biscuits. Yep, what in the world? I don't think that I even wrote it on my list. 
  • That was fine though because I made plans to go to the store. I had worked on most things in my mind about how the morning would go, but Robby graciously volunteered to go to the store since we wanted to pick up some dog food as well.
  • I did those pesky dishes and laundry along with walking Bentley. Now, I was a bit frustrated on our walk with our neighbor dog who wanted to play and bite Bentley's ears during my walk. I didn't let that silly dog steal my Christmas eve joy though.
  • Robby left and I worked on getting things ready for tomorrow's breakfast. Then when he came home, we both continued working on getting things ready. I stayed in the kitchen until a little bit after 2, but everything-well, most everything is ready to go. (Well, now that I think about it-there is still one more thing that I need to do before bed in the kitchen.)
  • I did lay my head down for just a little bit, but soon it was time for my shower before heading to church. Our Christmas eve service started at 4 today so we quickly found our seats. Nonna, Pops and Jason joined us at our seats tonight-well, there wasn't enough room for Nonna and Reagan so they sat in front of us.
  • When it was time for the kids to go down to the front, Keaton went with her friends that were sitting nearby. However, we didn't think that Whitman was going to join for the kids for a little bit. He did change his mind and joined all of the others eventually though.
  • Of course my favorite part of the service is the ending with the candles and Silent Night. It was pretty perfect as always. When we left, we went to Nonna and Pops' house for supper. 
  • Nonna had cooked a big meal of ham, potato casserole, corn casserole, green beans and rolls. It was all delicious-plus there was a tray of Nonna's Christmas goodies along with Pops' cheese and cracker tray. 
  • Even though the kids are getting older, they still could not wait to open their presents. The tree was so completely full underneath it with presents. Pops was the first to open one of his presents, and then we took turns opening one by one.
  • Reagan loved all of the clothes that she received. Anderson's most surprised gift was his huge Star Wars Squishmellow. Graham is pretty excited about going to Dave and Busters with Pops. Campbell received a huge bean bag chair. Keaton's favorite was her squishmellow, and Whitman was pretty excited about his stop motion Lego set. 
  • When we finally finished opening all of the presents, we started on dessert. We did eventually have to head home. The first order of business here was to let Bentley out. Then we threw out our reindeer food. Next up was our cookies and milk picture with everyone in front of the tree. 
  • Now, the kids are bigger now so there aren't really Christmas pajamas for that picture. However, there has been talk about matching feety pajamas for the whole crew next year. Maybe, just maybe that will happen.
  • I did a few more things to get ready for tomorrow, before I sat down. Robby turned on Elf, and we started watching it. Hopefully, we won't finish it because there are lots of presents that need to be moved tonight.

December 23, 2021

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  • Graham was the first one awake this morning. I am not sure why he was up first since he usually isn't-well, he might be but he sure doesn't come downstairs first. I couldn't convince him to come on my walk with Bentley though.
  • As soon as I finished with my morning chores, I went upstairs to ask Keaton and Campbell if they wanted to go to the store with me. I whispered to Keaton first-Campbell overheard and was a bit frustrated with me that I wasn't asking her. I had planned to ask her, but was just whispering to one person at a time.
  • They both went with me to Kroger and gracious, it was super crazy. We found quite a few things on the list-but they were out of sausage and bacon. That was fine since I knew Robby and I were headed out to Walmart/Sams later today.
  • We did celebrate our successful shopping trip with a few Starbucks drinks. That made everyone happy-especially me since that was my first caramel apple cider drink of the season. 
  • As soon as we had finished unloading the groceries, we grabbed a bite of lunch. Then it was time to decorate our sugar cookies. There were about a zillion cookies to decorate-and everyone helped...until the last dozen that I had to do myself. I actually would eat one right now, but we told the kids tonight that these cookies were not to eat!
  • When the cookie decorating was finished, Robby and I left to run to Sams and Walmart. We did stop for ice cream on the way to Grannymom's house-also my first ice cream of the Christmas season (well, not really, but let's just say it was.)
  • Back at home, we heated up some chicken for supper. It was a pretty good supper which we ended with our Christmas ornaments, pulling Santa, making reindeer food and some reading. It was a busy evening which we ended with showers for some along with a few Christmas movies. 

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2021: 2 Days until Christmas

When you are right near New Orleans and you are on vacation at the beach and it is a rainy week, you load up the van and drive to see the sights of the Big Easy. We weren't there long, but we were certainly there long enough to get a taste of the city. And by taste, I mean taste-beignets and pralines. The pralines were so good that we spent a small fortune of them so we could bring some back. They only lasted a day or two, but I was able to save one box for an ornament for our kitchen tree. Here is the blog for that day's post.

December 22, 2021

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  • We are certainly in Christmas vacation mode around here. It is kind of nice-we are staying up late and sleeping in. Whitman was the first one to wake up this morning-if I could just get him to start on the dishes and laundry early in the morning, that would be pretty handy.
  • I did those silly dishes and laundry this morning. I know the dishwasher was full because of the kids' birthday supper last night. But the laundry-we haven't gone anywhere, why are there so many clothes every single day?
  • Christmas preparations are in full swing around here. I made a mound of sugar cookie dough early this afternoon. Then later Campbell, Keaton, Whitman and I worked on cutting out quite a few sugar cookies. I am not sure how many cookies we made-at first I was afraid that we wouldn't have enough, but after I baked the 6th or 7th pan, I changed my mind.
  • There was also lots of present wrapping today. Campbell and Reagan helped me wrap a little bit. Actually, we finished up the wrapping today-or at least I sure hope so. Reagan has become our main wrapper-she would be much happier if I had ribbon and bows though. Maybe next year I will buy some for her.
  • This evening we met the Wilsons at Iriana's for pizza. We arrived first, so it was just the 8 of us-my little family-when we were greeted with the warm greeting of, "we can't seat any large parties, do you want to order a pizza to go?" Now, that would be one thing if the place was full-but we could see at least 5 empty tables. Robby suggested that we split up which they were fine with. 
  • We split into 3 tables, and supper was pretty good. We had breadsticks, pizza and salad-all of which was very good. Robby did say that maybe we need to find a new spot for our downtown eating-the atmosphere was ho-hum. Paper plates, plastic silverware and that greeting!
  • Next up was walking through the Capitol Hotel. That is always a neat and festive spot. We walked around there and then drove to the Capitol building. It is tradition that we walk around there to look at the trees-though after walking through tonight I do believe that it is time for another capitol building tour for my kiddos.
  • Once at home, Robby turned on one of his documentaries. Some of the folks had desserts, and I worked on the blog for a little bit before we put this crew into their beds for the evening. 

December 21, 2021-Happy 12th Birthday Campbell!

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  • We were in no rush again this morning-I think that Christmas break agrees with my kiddos. I just need for it to agree with Bentley a little bit more. She woke up early this morning, and then after a while she demanded to go on our walk. I guess she is a little more grounded in her routine than the others.
  • It was a long while until the birthday girl woke up. I think that I had pretty much cleaned quite a bit of the house before she came downstairs. She wasn't awake very long when her and Robby left for a birthday celebration.
  • I thought that it was just her and Robby. They have been gone over an hour when I realized that I couldn't find Keaton. By this time, I decided that it was too late to ask if she was with him-I didn't want to look like a bad mom since she had been "missing" for quite a while. Thankfully when they did come home, Keaton was with them.
  • They went to Taco Bell which was Campbell's choice for her birthday lunch. Then they ran to Walmart for some Christmas shopping before picking up cookies from The Cupcake Factory. When they came home, we sang to Campbell.
  • Soon it was time to start working on her birthday supper-poppyseed chicken, greenbeans, and rolls. The cake had been made yesterday. Since we were also celebrating Anderson with the grandparents and Jason tonight he requested mac and cheese along with cheesecake to be added to the menu. 
  • It was quite the spread and everything turned out well. The poppyseed chicken is a hit around here since even Anderson likes it. We made one batch with rice and one without-the batch without rice was definitely a hit since we almost finished it off.
  • After eating, the kids opened their presents from the grandparents. Campbell had quite a few things including a speaker and a pillow. Anderson added to his collection of Funko Pops along with a new game for his xbox. 
  • I think that they both enjoyed their birthday celebrations today. 

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2021: 4 Days until Christmas

Puerto Rico! San Juan was such a fun stop on our cruise in 2018. This is my very last ornament from years past that I have to showcase. San Juan National Historic Park was a neat stop for us. We even ran into a park ranger that we had at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota earlier than year. The whole trip was really great-well, getting to the city tour in St. Thomas was a bit stressful, but other than that all my kids love cruising. Here are the pictures and blog from that day.

December 20, 2021

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  • What a fun, fun day. We all started off the morning by sleeping way in. This was a good bit past what I had intended to do since I wanted to be some productive this morning. Now, I was still able to completely clean out a closet before any of the kids woke up.
  • Keaton and Whitman had spent the night at Grannymom and Grandpa's house so I am sure that they were up early this morning. The rest of my people here didn't even start stirring until 10 or after. 
  • Campbell and I worked on her birthday cake today. We were able to make it this morning, and then when we came in from our gingerbread party, we were able to finish icing it.
  • At 1:30 Kennedy arrived and rode with us to the Christmas party of the year-Traci's gingerbread house party. I just absolutely love it. There are people there that I haven't seen for a whole year so it is fun getting to catch up with a few people. 
  • I am not sure how many people were there today-near one hundred for sure. My kids are at a sweet spot and still enjoy decorating, but they also need very little help. Because of this, I was able to help tie most of the houses when the kids were finished decorating. 
  • Reagan took a lot of time with hers, but Keaton worked the longer than almost everyone there. Anderson and Graham both left 2 sides of there without any candy or decorations. Campbell helped quite a few little kids with their houses before even starting on hers. Whitman worked really hard on his and had a theme for each side of his house.
  • When it was almost over, they invited us to stay for hot dogs. We roasted hot dogs over the fire-Whitman said that he had never done that before. It was nice to hang out and visit for a little bit. Robby met us there and after a bit, Reagan drove the big kids home. They enjoyed it all, but they were also ready to go home.
  • Keaton, Campbell and Whitman were not ready at all to go home. Whitman was living his best life playing on the trampoline until it was time for us to leave. Once at home, Campbell finished her cake while I put things away. 
  • Kennedy and Reagan found some more food to eat. There were some more snacks for everyone, and finally a Hallmart movie for me.

December 19, 2021

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  • This morning Reagan and I had nursery duty. We had a cute little bunch of kids in there so it wasn't too bad. Then there was the Christmas party for our first graders. After church was over, we headed to Grannymom's house for lunch. 
  • That all made the morning go by pretty quickly. When we came home, Bentley was ready to play, but we were ready for naps. The dog did eventually rest of a little bit until I found her chewing on one of my ornaments. Thankfully, I intervened just in time before it was ruined. I think that it fell on the ground, and she assumed that it was hers.
  • I was able to get a bit of a nap this afternoon. In the middle of my nap, Reagan did leave to go to church for another few hours of childcare-this time she did get paid. She said there were quite a few kiddos there. Also she brought home half of a pizza and some cookies that were left over tonight.
  • Keaton and Whitman are spending the night with Grannymom and Grandpa tonight. They did go to the cookie ladies house for a little bit this afternoon with Grannymom. Keaton told me that there was a kitchen full of candy.
  • Soon it was time to take Anderson, Graham and Campbell to church tonight. They had a blast and played a ton of games all evening long. Campbell came home with a 10 dollar gift card along with a full box of pizza that was left over. Seemed to be the theme of the day-bringing home some pizza.
  • While they were at church, Robby and I went to McAlisters for some supper. We were underwhelmed-I was even a bit disappointed with my food. That also seems to be a theme with me a restaurants!
  • Back at home, we had a lazy Sunday evening. I tried to watch a Christmas movie while playing fetch with Bentley-she was not tired this evening at all!

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2021: 6 Days Until Christmas

This is a fun ornament. Well, I guess it is fun-it is also a bit sad. In 2019, we began our Disney World passes. Then we spent the most wonderful month in Orlando in February of 2020. We had no idea that just days after our return home the world would completely shut down and our lives would change. We ended up having to cancel our Disney passes which was a pretty sad day. However, we so look forward to returning to in November and trying another year of Disney passes. This was our last day at Disney.

December 18, 2021

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  • Last night during the storm, the thunder woke me up. Robby was up too, but he was awake because he heard Bentley whining. We put her the bed with us, and she went right to sleep. We then all slept so well that it was a wonderful Saturday morning.
  • I made cookies for my Sunday school class this morning after doing the laundry. Then I ran to the library to turn a book in before stopping by Nonna and Pops' house for a little bit. I had some presents to deliver to them.
  • When I came back home, Campbell and Keaton were starting to work on making fudge. They quickly made their recipe, and it turned out just great. I laid my head down for a few minutes before it was time to leave for ballgames.
  • Keaton played first today-she scored about 16 points, and her team won. We had a break when I took Whitman to the store along with Campbell and Anderson for Whitman to finish his Christmas shopping.
  • Then it was time for Graham's game. His team isn't very strong, but they sure did play hard. They lost by about 10, but Graham did score about 6 or 8 points during his game. I told him that I thought he was trying to hard to be a team player today. I think that he still had fun.
  • Then there was another break before Anderson's game. Robby did the errands this break-he came back with cookies for everyone. After Anderson's team were pretty much demolished last week, they demolished the other team this week. Anderson's team played really well today, and Anderson was even able to make a basket.
  • Keaton had left with a friend to spend the night, so there were a few less of us tonight. When we came home, we went right to work on our mini tacos and cheese dip-same thing that we ate last week. It was a perfect chilly Saturday night supper. 
  • When our supper was over, we decided that we needed some ice cream so Campbell and Reagan went with us to Kroger to pick some up. We hurried back home to eat and then turned on a Christmas movie.

December 17, 2021

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  • We did pretty much nothing today but were busy the entire day. I slept a bit longer than usual-I think that I said that yesterday too. We did our last bit of school work for the week (I still plan on little bit of work next week-shhh, don't tell the kids.)
  • I was just about finished with school work when Robby came in and said, "Let's go." So I took about 10 minutes and was ready. This was teacher appreciation lunch out today-or at least that is what we called it.
  • We went to Three Fold Dumplings which had been on my list for a very long time. It was good-but we decided that we like the dumplings from Trader Joes even better plus we can feed the whole family at least 2 meals for the same price.
  • After we finished eating, I returned something at Kohls-this left me with 15 dollars of Kohls cash to spend. I walked around the store trying to find something-stocking stuffers? nope, already have too many, but could start collecting for next year, something for Robby? could't find anything quickly, a new bra? dang, they were too expensive. I finally settled on a package of socks. 
  • Then we went to Kroger for pick up a few things-yes, this is at least the 9th day in a row we have been to the grocery store. I bought a few gifts there along with a few things that we need for tomorrow. 
  • Then a quick walk around the Costco-we only bought two things-what we came in there for. There were other things that I certainly could have bought as gifts, but I am all done-well, there is one more thing I need to pick up. 
  • Back at home, we started a project that took the rest of the night and really most of the evening. we worked on the bonus room. We scooted the tv over to the middle of the wall-that meant that Robby had to redo all of the cords which took a long while. As he was working, I dusted everything and started moving things around.
  • When the cords were finished, we moved the couch and vacuumed it all around. Then we moved the table and the treadmill. Of course that mean that the other treadmill had to come downstairs-it is nice to have some big boys now. They did most of the work-well, they did most of the work along with Robby. I did help a tiny bit, but not too much.
  • Right now, we have just eaten ice cream and Keaton and Robby just finished making rice krispy treats. And I am working on watching my first Christmas movie for the week.

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2021: 8 Days until Christmas

We had such a fun time over Memorial Day in Memphis at T. O. Fuller State Park. We cooked a big meal the first night that we were there. Steak, potatoes, chicken and corn-it was all pretty good, but we definitely aren't steak cooking people just yet. Reagan certainly hopes that we will master that pretty soon. Here is the post from one of the days that we were there.

December 16, 2021

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  • This morning no one was awake until for a very, very long time. I even stayed in my bed a bit longer than usual. I guess they needed a bit more sleep last night. 
  • We did our school work as usual, though I did skip one thing so the morning could move quicker. I had finished working with everyone by noonish so I started straightening for a bit.
  • Robby had to run to Conway, and when he left he told Graham that if he raked the front flower bed area then he could get himself some ChickFilA. Graham will work for ChickFilA for sure. He worked and worked and even stressed about doing it right. I did go out a few times and rake a pile or two on the tarp.
  • Keaton eventually started to help him, and then she received the same deal that Graham did-ChickFilA. It worked out well because they both have basketball practice tonight, and Robby bought their ChickFilA after practice.
  • I did win a 25 dollar gift card to the library today so I went to pick it up. Then I went on to Walmart and spent that gift card plus a good little bit. I now have finished shopping for all of the grandmothers and am just waiting on their gifts to arrive.
  • When I was about to check out at Walmart, it started pouring so I walked around for a little bit. Then when I checked out, it started pouring again. Argh. I said something to the cashier about the rain, and she sternly advised me to not go out in this rain. 
  • Well, I decided that I better heed her advice. I wasn't sure why she felt so strongly, but I listened. So I waited around for a good little bit in the store before finally walking to the car when the rain had lessened. I did make it to the car safely and home safely so I am thankful for the lady's advice.
  • Back at home, I got a few things ready for tonight's party. Reagan had 4 friends came over to decorate gingerbread houses. She was going to have quite a few more, but they bailed at the last minute-teenage girls!
  • Reagan had a table full of candies to decorate gingerbread houses with. Plus we had spaghetti, green beans and bread for our supper. I made some cookies, but pretty much tried to stay out of the kitchen. Of course, I am currently just sitting in the living room listening to their conversations as I write this blog. 
  • Robby took Graham and Keaton to basketball so the house was a bit quieter. Anderson has only come down once-he cooked his and Whitman's pizza before. Whitman has also only made one appearance since the girls have arrived. I think maybe they are tired of this house being invaded by girls every night lately.

December 15, 2021

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  • Today was Christmas party #2 day so there was plenty to do all the day long We started off with our normal routine-dishes, laundry, Bentley's walk. Then I worked with Whitman before starting school with the others. 
  • All of the boys were up way early this morning. They said that they set their alarm clocks which is crazy. I guess they planned on doing a lot of things today-they at least did stay busy and even played basketball for a good while outside.
  • This afternoon Campbell and I worked on her party prep. We dipped spoons in chocolate and even made a huge ice cream cookie. This meant that we had to cook two huge chocolate chip cookies. I quickly realized that I needed parchment paper for my life to be easier so I went to the store and bought some. 
  • Robby took me to the library so I could pay my fines-it is food for fines week so that is nice (though my fine was just 1.78). Then we ran to Costco-one of my big gifts I had bought and then we found it 10 dollars cheaper. And of course, there was a trip to the grocery store that was needed. Hopefully I will not have to go to the grocery store until Sunday at I will have to go on Saturday for things for Sunday. Maybe I should work at the grocery store so I could get a discount.
  • The afternoon went by pretty quickly, and soon Campbell's party guests were arriving. She had about 12 people here tonight. They were a pretty mild bunch this evening-mild but loud for sure. 
  • Campbell had a host of games to play, but she only got through about half of them. They played bingo first. Then Robby arrived with pizza for everyone. 
  • Afterwards, there was Dirty Santa with all of their gifts. Campbell was excited that she ended up with her gift-a huge straw in the shape of glasses and some cokes. There was an ice cream sandwich next followed by a long game of Spoons. The girls really got into that game which was fun to watch. 
  • Finally it was time for the hot cocoa bar. We had a whole spread of things to put into their hot cocoa. That was really fun-and everything that was leftover we saved for Reagan's party tomorrow night. I think that hot cocoa bar was my favorite part of the party-I had some hot chocolate even, but I didn't put anything in my cup.
  • After the hot chocolate it was time for folks to leave. They girls started leaving, and my crew started helping to straighten things. And if you do notice Campbell's shirt in tonight's pictures-she designed it herself, and we made it this afternoon.  

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2021: 10 Days Until Christmas

Sometimes you just end up some place different. I will certainly say that the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Hardy, Georgia is some place different. I never watched any Laurel and Hardy, and I'm not even sure that Robby ever did either. And the kids, well they certainly have never seen or heard of the people. By the time that we left the museum we were well versed in the antics of Laurel and Hardy. Here is the day's post.

December 14, 2021

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  • Today was the first of our Christmas party days. I probably shouldn't have stayed up so late last night, but we were still wide awake at 2 this morning. I still was the first one out of bed this morning though the big boys were awake earlier than I would have expected them to be up.
  • Some nights I add things to the dishwasher and then don't close it back all the way. Last night was one of those nights-for the day to run smoothly, the dishwasher needs to be clean in the morning so we can start reloading it with breakfast dishes. So that was a bit frustrating for me. 
  • We do however use a lot more paper places and paper dishes these days. I guess that it bad for the environment, but more importantly, it probably isn't too good for our budget. However, some days I do think that it is worth it.
  • We did our little bit of school work, and then it was party prep time. Keaton worked quite a bit today getting things ready for her Christmas party tonight. Thankfully, it was a super simple party so there wasn't too much prep for me.
  • That was a good thing since I spent a good bit of the afternoon away. I took Anderson and Graham to their dentist appointments-Cavities. Well, Anderson had one or two spots that were cavities but Graham had a small hole that wasn't a cavity (but it still had to be filled so to me it counts as a cavity.) Thirty minutes there and two hundred bucks-ouch!
  • Of course I spent money too there and on the way home. First I ran by Bath and Body on the way there-I had a coupon. Then to Walmart on the way home followed by Sonic for the boys a treat. (Though really should you get a treat when you have a cavity. Your treat should be toothpaste or a new toothbrush.) And finally a trip to the Dollar General to buy a Christmas present. 
  • Yes, I am still buying Christmas presents-I have a small one for Reagan, 3 grandma gifts left to buy, 1 other one and a little bit of stocking stuff. I am getting there-but I really need for some of my packages for get here! 
  • At 6 tonight, Keaton had her Christmas party. She invited 5 little sweet friends. They were a lot of fun. She had some games to play-Red light, green light, Telestrations, Spoons and some other minute to win it type games. 
  • They wore their Christmas pajamas and had breakfast for supper. Then they played Dirty Santa with their Christmas presents. Robby took Anderson to basketball practice during the party, and they returned just as everything was clean at home. 
  • Right now we are putting the kids in bed, and I plan on watching a movie tonight! I better finish this blog so I can get my movie started before I fall asleep tonight.

December 13, 2021-Happy 15th Birthday Anderson!

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  • We celebrated Anderson's birthday today by letting the kids sleep in for a little bit. Well, 10:30 is our normal Christmas break work together time, but I at least tried to be quieter until it was 10:30ish. 
  • Whitman was the first to wake up, and then the boys woke up a bit before it was time to work together. I did have everyone else do their school work today, but I let Anderson have the day off from school work and chores. This he loved-the others not so much!
  • I did take Anderson shopping with me this afternoon. We stopped at Sonic first for him a breakfast burrito. Our initial plan had been go to go Dollar Tree for him to buy gifts for his siblings. However, he said he didn't mind me going to Walmart too-so I turned around and went home for my list.
  • We did some of his shopping, and we did some of my shopping-I tried to do mine quickly and came to the realization that I can spend a hundred buck in no time at all.
  • We came home, and I made some manicotti to freeze. There was a good deal on ricotta cheese. After working on my manicotti, I rested my eyes until it was time for us to go and pick up supper. Anderson wanted ChickFilA for supper-and he wanted his own mac and cheese. So that is exactly what he got.
  • We were able to sing Happy Birthday to him. After we ate, we pulled Santa and talked about some ornaments. Then we played the game Code Names. It is a hoot when we all play that game-everyone guesses the words a bit differently. 
  • When the game was over, the kids all had some ice cream. Well, Keaton didn't since she doesn't eat ice cream, and Anderson, Robby and I didn't since we had a shake before our suppers.

December 12, 2021

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  • I hope that you have not been waiting up to read my blog tonight. We have been laying in bed watching tv and playing on our phones for a good while now. Robby was about to turn off the lights when he asked if I had done the blog today-nope, I hadn't even thought about it.
  • I guess I didn't think about it because I have not picked up my computer today up until now. I did everything else that I usually do at night time-at least I think so. The dishes are started, the laundry is in the wash, and school is out for tomorrow, but I sure never thought about the blog.
  • The morning started with us getting all ready for church. Waking the kids up takes both of us going upstairs at different times. They sleep pretty good because we are letting them stay up pretty late. I guess that we are just a whole family of night owls.
  • I was told that church was a bit short this morning-I didn't notice that, but I did notice that we had a big group of first graders today. They are certainly the easiest group around right now. We didn't have to teach today so we worked on Christmas cards for the kiddos.
  • Then it was on to Nonna and Pops' house for lunch. It was all very good, and we began Anderson's birthday celebrations with a cake. The cake was from Costco I might add, and it was pretty decent. I do not like cake really anymore so for me to say that it was good should mean something.
  • When we left Nonna's house, I went to work in the kitchen. We needed some hamburger meat for tonight, so it was just as easy to fry up the other 4 pounds of meat. That took a while, plus there was a pound of sausage to fry. I was able to clean the kitchen too during all of this.
  • Oh, also Reagan was making oatmeal cookies for her lifegroup tonight. We didn't have enough oats so I had to run to Dollar General to buy some. It didn't take too long and soon the kitchen was clean and all the cooking was finished.
  • Then it was time to take Reagan to Candice's house so they could go to their lifegroup together, and to take the big boys to church for their lifegroup and about that time Brett came to pick up Keaton for church as well. Lots of churchiness happening tonight.
  • Back at home, I did have about 20 minute nap before I started working on cornbread for tonight. Robby was in the middle of making a crescent roll recipe (very good, I might add) when he realized it was time to pick up the boys. 
  • So I headed out for that trip leaving my cornbread for Keaton to finish when she finished making the brownies that she was working on. Let's talk about that for a minute-Keaton made cookies yesterday, made brownies and cornbread today. Whitman is just a year younger than her, and he probably doesn't know where the oven is. I don't really even like for him to pour his own milk while his sister, just a bit older, is practically a chef.
  • When I returned from picking up the boys, the Wilsons had already arrived for supper. Brett and Campbell made it back so we then started eating. Reagan showed up a good deal later in time for dessert. 
  • After the Wilsons left, we straightened and sent everyone to bed. Then we started watching our Sunday night you tube shows before Robby reminded me about this blog. Now everyone is all caught up, and I can go to bed-not really, I have about 3 more Christmas presents to buy, and I have absolutely no idea so I will do a bit of shopping or at least research before going to sleep tonight.

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2021: 12 Days until Christmas

I honestly thought that Myrtle Beach was a sad little town. Now, we weren't there at all during tourist season. However, I did think that the state park really could be pretty neat. It was huge, and we were pretty near the beach which was nice. We were just there for about 2 nights, and we had to deal with rain the entire time, but we sure did enjoy it. Here is the link to that day's blog and pictures.

December 11, 2021

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  • Today was a fairly slow Saturday morning. When Robby did come out of the bedroom dressed and ready, he asked me about going to the store. I had already made 6 batches of gingerbread dough and was starting to roll it out.
  • It didn't take me long to clean up my mess and shove things into the fridge, and we were soon off to the store. We walked around Costco and found a few things. I will say this about Costco-you can find deals sometimes. Though when Robby saw shirts that he bought for 18 dollars a month or two on sale for 6 today, that is a bit defeating. Ha! We did find a few good deals though and left happy.
  • Happy didn't last long because the grocery store was next. It is amazing how grocery prices have gone up. Nothing that we buy has gone up a ton, but just a small amount-but that small amount for all of our different groceries does add up.
  • We came home, and I unloaded the groceries. Then I headed right back out for Keaton's first basketball game. Keaton, Graham and Anderson missed their last games because we were out of town, so this was their first game day.
  • Keaton's game was first-she did good and might just need to be a bit more aggressive. However, I know that she will get more aggressive as the season goes along. They did lose, but the score was close-ish. 
  • We had a short break between the next game. It was long enough for me to go one Kroger to grab a few things (and yes, I was just there this morning). Robby took Campbell and Keaton to do some shopping at 5 Below and they also ran into a Kroger (don't judge us for loving the grocery store.)
  • Graham's game was good. They were down by a good bit, but came back to only lose by 2. Graham is one of the strongest players on his team. He scored at least 8 points-bless his team though, he has 3 little guys that are tiny, but they do have heart and play hard.
  • Anderson's games was next. It was a blood bath. Anderson did well though and got his hands on the ball a few times. His team was a head shorter than the other team. There were times when Anderson's team seemed to get things together and go on a little run, but then the other team was just dominate. I am sure that it was pretty defeating for him, but I do hope that he had fun.
  • After the games, we came home and made our meal from Costco along with some cheese dip. We all ate, and then the kids guessed ornament after ornament. Then I went to town on my gingerbread house making. Reagan is having a little party and inviting a few of her friends to make gingerbread houses-I had no idea it would be so much work.
  • Keaton made cookies for the big boys' lifegroup tomorrow while I finished baking my houses. Then the kids and I played Apples to Apples before I sat down to work on the blog for a few minutes.

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2021: 14 Days Until Christmas

 Well, this year we have been quite a few places. And most of those places that we have gone have included rain. It has become standard for us to expect rain-in any form: from a light drizzle to tornadoes. This trip was supposed to be all about the water, but we were hoping that the water part would come more form the beach and less from the rain. Even though it was a bit rainy, and the beach wasn't exactly like we had expected, we still had a great time and made lots of memories on our Gulfport, Mississippi trip. Here is the blog post from our very first day there.

December 10, 2021

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  • Robby and I both commented that we had crazy dreams last night. Later in the day, Reagan also chimed in with her crazy dream-including a tornado. And now, here we sit watching our Hallmark movie turned up a bit louder to drown out the tornado sirens that we hear. (No worries, yet, the tornado isn't here.)
  • Campbell and Keaton left right after 10 this morning because we had a Christmas party with the pregnancy center that we help at on Thursdays. It was very nice with soups, salads, and cupcakes. They even gave all of us a huge candle when we left. 
  • It was long for Campbell and Keaton, but they did just fine. I did reward them with a bag of candy on the way home when we picked up some pictures.
  • Once we did come home, I stated on a few projects and was just about to settle in for a nap when Reagan asked to go to Target. So we hurried to beat the rain and did our shopping-she was finishing up her shopping for her sibling gift.
  • I did some cricut work. Then when I was finished, Robby had supper ready for us-bread and baked ziti. We ate and did about 6 different ornaments from the tree and even pulled Santa so many times that we are no caught up. This made our dinner take just about forever, but everyone loved it.
  • After supper, Robby and I started on our evening Christmas movie. Keaton made some cookies, and ice cream is on the list for a snack later.

December 9, 2021

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  • Whitman was again the first one awake. I waited for a long while for one of his brothers to yell at him this morning since I heard him talking to someone long before he came downstairs. He talked and talked and talked. I guess that the big boys were both awake up there already or they were very patient.
  • I walked the dog, worked with Whitman, loaded paper products in the camper and was very productive this morning before we even did any reading together. I had a large pile of books that I wanted to get through during our Christmas break time-I am not so sure that is going to happen now. 
  • I always get more library books than I need. Just today Whitman told me that I didn't need to get him anymore books since he was never going to be able to read them all. All of his books right now are some kind of chapter book or something longer than just a picture book. That's all well and good, but I guess having 30 or so of them kind of overwhelmed him today. His current book list includes titles such as Climate Change, Extreme Physics, Human Body, Boxcar Children and Elf Academy.
  • After our school work, it was just about time to go to the pregnancy center today. Campbell and Keaton joined me. We did the diapers and then made sure some bins were neat before we headed on our way. We had some extra time so we ran into Kroger to pick up a few things.
  • Then we weren't home long before we turned around and went to Graham and Keaton's practices. I went to the Dollar Tree (not 1.25 yet) with Reagan and Campbell during Keaton's practice. Then we came back to watch Graham finish his practice. 
  • Once we came home, Robby had supper ready for us. We all ate and then started on some of our Christmas traditions.
  • So let's talk about one of our Christmas traditions. We have been running a bit late on our ornaments and pulling Santa around here. Mainly this was because of our trip, but also because bedtime and evenings always seem to be a bit hectic.
  • Before we had kids, we had a little Santa Clause in a chimney that has pieces you pull down each day causing Santa to fall closer and closer to the bottom each day. Tonight Robby had the kids draw numbers to see who pulls Santa on what nights. This was crazy since usually it is all scheduled and even, but this month there is no even about it. For example Anderson is pulling Santa three days in a row.
  • Now, that is not when things get crazy nor is that the kids favorite. I will bet that when they are old, they will still remember us doing this on the nights leading up to Christmas-talking about an ornament. The kids take turns picking an ornament. Robby then describes the ornament to everyone until people can guess what ornament and trip it is. 
  • All kinds of hilarity happens during this. Tonight one of the ornaments was from the Laurel and Hardy museum-Reagan had no idea what this place was even though we went last year. Then the next ornament she was the only one who know that Omaha was in Nebraska. While Robby describes the ornaments, it is loud with people shouting and yelling out their guesses, and there is always a lot of laughter. 
  • We were able to catch up to December the 4th tonight with our Santa pulling and ornament guessing. That just leaves us a few days behind. After we did catch up tonight, Robby and I headed off to the Wilson's house for a few minutes.
  • Then when we did come back home, the kids had already had their snack, and it was time for bed for the crew.

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2021: 16 Days Until Christmas

When you are a season passholder as Disney, they occasionally send out magnets for your car. Despite the short amount of time that we were passholders, we still seemed to rack up a few of them. I don't actually remember getting these in the mail, but I certainly remember some of the fun times we had at Disney in February last year. Here is just a post from one random wonderful day in Florida.

December 8, 2021

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  • This was the first day this week that I had to be up at a certain time, and it was hard. My alarm went off a few times before I finally did start getting out of bed. Now it if was hard for me to get out of bed, it was doubly hard for my kids to get out of bed this morning.
  • I had to go upstairs twice to wake everyone. It was like waking the dead. They were such sleepy kids. Thankfully, they did wake up in decent moods and were able to get dressed and eat before we headed to Bible study.
  • This was our last Bible study until after the first of the year. Campbell made fudge for all of their teachers yesterday. Keaton cut it, and I helped her put it into baggies. They were pretty pleased with their gift-and really, it was pretty good. Campbell was disappointed that there wasn't any fudge left for us to eat.
  • After Bible study, I hurried home for a few minutes and then left again. I had jury duty orientation today. I have never been on a jury before. It does seem like it will be interesting at least if I do get called to serve. 
  • While I was there, Robby took Graham and Campbell to their orthodontist appointment. Campbell did get a good report on brushing her teeth, but Graham not so much. They ran some errands and even stopped at Grannymom's house on the way home.
  • While they were gone, I worked on restocking the campers with all of our sheets and blankets and everything else that I had washed earlier in the week. There was also a little bit of cleaning, and tomorrow I have to restock paper products.
  • Soon it was time for us to head to church for the last Wednesday night before Christmas. The kids did some caroling, the big kids had free pizzas, and there was even cookie decorating. All of the kids seemed a bit wild tonight so I was a bit hoarse by the time that I made it home.
  • Once at home, some of us found suppers. I had hot chocolate as well and enjoyed it while watching our first Christmas movie in a few days.

December 7, 2021

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  • There just never seems to be enough time during the day. Every day I make my list, and everyday I only accomplish about 3/4ths of it. That is fine though because the days are sure a lot of fun.
  • Now, this morning started the same as the last few. When I was working on my laundry, I could hear the boys awake upstairs. I eventually worked with Whitman this morning before the rest of us started on our together work.
  • When the girls finished their school work, they headed to Nonna and Pops' house to help them put up their Snow Village. My girls don't waste any time and went right to work. Nonna said that finished setting out her village just as fast as they did her Christmas tree. 
  • Pops made sure that they had a little snack before they headed back home-ChickFilA and Tropical Smoothie. They came home happy.
  • Though I wasn't too happy when they got home. I had spent the whole time working on making gingerbread houses for Reagan's little get together next week. I only made  4 of the needed 12 houses-I had to buy more ingredients for another baking day soon.
  • I worked on the cleaning the camper some today since I didn't get around to it yesterday. I just have the floors to do later this week along with loading everything back in there.
  • We did run to help jump Shannon's car this evening. It didn't take long, and we were back in plenty of time for me to make my list for Walmart. 
  • Anderson had basketball practice. While he was there tonight, Reagan, Campbell, Keaton and I went to Walmart. We did some speed shopping for sure. His practice is just 45 minutes so I did have Campbell practically running through the store. 
  • Once we came home, we had some ice cream while watching the Hogs. Soon it was be bedtime for everyone around here.

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2021: 18 Days Until Christmas

A small Georgia mountain town that has filmed Christmas movies in the middle of Christmas time was absolutely magical. It was really so neat-and cold. Getting to our campground at Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia was quite an adventure. Imagine a small narrow gravel road with a mountain on one side and a drop off and stream on the river. The road continued to get smaller and smaller as we drove the 1 mile down it (we should never follow the GPS). That road would have been great and even magical in a car, but in the camper pulling a car it was frightening. We made it, and we were not disappointed. It was too cold to explore the state park, but it was beautiful as well. It is pretty high on my places to go back. Here is the post from that day's adventure.

December 6, 2021

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  • Getting up this morning was difficult for everyone around here. Robby was the grown up first and was the first out of bed this morning. I was awake and working on the never ending laundry before any of the kids woke up. Whitman was the first one to wake up and come down the stairs.
  • Speaking of the laundry-I am done. I actually still have our comforter from the camper in the dryer, but other than that I am done. Now, I basically have been washing and drying laundry all day long today. 
  • By 10:30 I had woken everyone up. We did a bit of our school work. I actually had already worked with Whitman before this. We all did some reading and then the kids worked on their fun little thing-it's a pet shop that they are having to work on which is all math for them to do! 
  • There was our Bible study to work on with Campbell, Keaton and Whitman. Then Whitman helped me make some banana bread for Nonna, Grannymom and even a loaf for our house. I didn't cook them long enough. I didn't want to burn them, and then they turned out underdone-urgh, ours was still edible though and is pretty much completely gone.
  • We delivered the bread to Nonna after a quick trip to the library. Then it was back home for a few minutes before taking the bread to Grannymom's house. When we left there, we ran to the grocery store for a few minutes and then picked up pizza for our supper.
  • When we came home, Campbell had cookies cooking in the oven. We ate pizza and then all settled in for the evening. It was a pretty low key day around here for sure.

December 5, 2021-Christmas in Michigan

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Since we knew that we were going to leave early in the morning last night, we tried to go to sleep a little bit early. Now, 1 and 2 had become our usual go sleep time lately, so anything before that was a bonus. Though it was one of those nights-people had to go to the bathroom, people were noisy, the dog was a bit restless, the trains kept rolling by-finally, he did get to sleep. I stayed up a little bit later because why not?

Robby's alarm went off at 5, 4 our time. By 5:30, I was standing outside helping get the car on the dolly. A little bit after that, I was crawling around in the back getting ready while we were zooming down the road. 

Now, this trip seems like it went by really quickly even though we were gone over a week. Today Robby asked me what my favorite was, and I could barely remember everything that we had done. Of course Greenfield Village was high on my list. And it was simple, but I really enjoyed Ted Drewes and his Christmas tree lot.

When I finally got myself settled in the front seat of the car, I had pretty much woke up Anderson and Graham. They were quiet for a while longer but were soon on their ipads. Keaton, Whitman, and Campbell didn't stir until at least 10 this morning. And Reagan, well, we saw her for the first time when we were filling up with gas in Little Rock.

We drove for a few hours this morning in the dark. Then we listened to one church service and then listened to their second service. And then finally it was time to listen to our church service. I tried to stay awake, but gracious I snoozed through the sermon. Good thing we weren't really there. 

We stopped right before our church came on at 9:30 for gas. We had already stopped once for Robby to go to the bathroom. That was our last stop until we were in Little Rock around 2. Now Bentley didn't go to the bathroom at the 9:30 stop so when we did make it home, she really did have to potty.

Overall, it was a smooth travel day. We did run into some rain. Of course that rain happened while I was trying to make lunch. Most everyone had hot pockets, an Robby had leftover bbq. Graham and I just found things to snack on, and Reagan just kept sleeping.

When we did make it home, the kid were great at helping unload. There isn't too much to unload, but there are lots of trips. We finished in no time at all. Robby continued to work on things outside while I went in to put the piles away inside. 

So far I have washed and dried 5 loads of laundry, 1 load is in the dryer now, 1 in the washer and I have at least 3 or 4 more to do tomorrow. When the laundry was under way, I joined Robby laying in the bed for a little bit-well, we still squeezed in our Sunday afternoon naps. 

I finally did get up to keep the laundry going. There were lots of interruptions during our nap-people wanting popsicles, people moving the cars to play basketball, people asking questions, people washing the dog-I can't really complain though because we still did sleep some.

Around 7:30 tonight, we went to the Wilson's house for Sunday night supper. Shannon had beans and cornbread, and it was all delicious. I think that I could eat that every night when it is cold outside. We didn't stay too long because we were getting a bit sleepy.

At home, I folded one last load of laundry, the rest can wait until tomorrow, then it was time for bed for my people because it was time for bed for me.

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2021: 20 Days until Christmas

You know that I do have to collect at least one random ornament each year-there is the syrup bottle, a bat, different balls, a bag of flour, can of spam, a flip flop, a jar of jelly and countless other items that are not usually Christmas items hanging on our trees. So I sure couldn't go to New Orleans without buying a Mardi Gras mask for the tree. I haven't been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and really, I probably don't want to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. But the mask is pretty fun hanging on the tree. We had a super quick trip there this May when we were in Mississippi. There was certainly lots to see in the little shops that we went in, but the mask did catch my eye (well, lots of things caught my eye), but the mask ended up on the tree. Here is the blog from that day's post.

December 4, 2021-Christmas in Michigan

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Hammered dulcimer-that was the musical instrument that the lady was playing behind us last night while we ate dinner. I had to do a little bit of research to find that out, but now we know.

Hmm, let's see if I can remember this morning. We slept late-I was up until 2ish last night. Robby probably went to sleep about 1:30, but then I stayed up a little bit after that looking at my phone. Then we did wake up to go to the bathroom at 5, but after that we all slept well for a good long time.

There was really no hurry today. We had a 5 or so hour drive, but that was all. I heated up Robby and both big boys some sausage biscuits before we hit the road. I grabbed a granola bar and some shredded wheat for my breakfast. Really, I don't know how people eat that shredded wheat stuff-it isn't really that good. I mean, I can eat a few bites of it, but that is about all.

We might have stopped for gas once early in the day. Then how can you go through Ohio without stopping at Blue Ash Chili. We went to a new location for us. It was right on our way, and the parking was super easy for us. 

Robby ordered chili cheese dogs for all of us. They all come with about a cup of cheese on each one. Reagan had a salad that had at least 2 cups of cheese on it. Robby and I had jalapeno bottle caps on our chili dogs-of course that caused me to enjoy a tums after our meal.

We ate in the camper, and it was a perfect little stop. Robby was also able to run into Harbor Freight which was right next door to Blue Ash. What did we need? Duct tape-yep, we had a problem to fix. The round thing that covers the tire on one side of the car dolly has come unwelded a bit. We saw it while we were loading up the car this morning. 

I guess since it is unwelded, it bounces a lot more cause the tail light to come off (no wires broken so not a huge deal). However, we were worried that the unwelded part might come off or worse yet, hurt the tire so we wanted to secure it. We had tried earlier in the day, but his tape didn't really work well. 

And yes, there always seems to be things to fix when we come home from a trip-every trip. That is fine though because it is all still worth it. Thankfully, we have a friend that can weld the pieces back together, and the light replacement should be easy. The tape fix held well today, so hopefully it will continue to hold tomorrow as well.

Our rv park tonight is right near the Ark in Kentucky. We parked the camper in our spot, unloaded the car and headed to see the lights at the ark. Tonight you only had to pay to park, and then could walk around the grounds for free. (We had actually forgotten how expensive the ark was-yikes! Glad we didn't have to pay for that tonight.)

I guess since we didn't have to pay for that ark, we decided to eat supper at the buffet there. It wasn't cheap-though it was still a lot less than last night's supper. This buffet was huge. It was almost comical-when anyone would eat a bite of food, they would comment on it. We all became food critics for the evening. The bests-meatballs, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets. The worst-the lemon bars. 

After eating, we headed outside-by this time it was dark, and you could see the lights that surrounded the ark and the grounds. They were really pretty. There wasn't a ton of lights, but it was just really tastefully done and enough to be pretty. 

We walked through a bit of the petting zoo-it wasn't as chilly as light night, but it was still really cold. I had on multiple layers again, but not many others did. The most interesting part was walking through an area that had free kangaroos hopping around-like they hopped over the same sidewalk that we were walking on.

Then we went to the playground-wow. It was a playground. A maze, some type of teeter totter that Robby and I even enjoyed playing with, 2 zipline type things-it was an awesome playground. The kids could have stayed there for a lot longer, but it is December and it is winter and it is cold.

We walked through the gift shops-even saw some of our homeschool books which made me super happy. Then we caught the bus and headed to the car. The camper was just a few minutes away. Once we were all inside, we started on making beds and settling in for the night. 

We are sleeping with the slides in tonight because the plan is to leave pretty early in the morning. With the slides in, the only people that have to move is Robby and I. Actually I don't have to move-I could stay here and sleep except there is no way that I could sleep in the back of this thing. We have a long drive tomorrow, but hopefully we will be up early and home at a decent time-that means that I shouldn't stay up until 2 tonight!

December 3, 2021-Christmas in Michigan

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 At some point during this week, Bentley has started waking up in the middle of the night. I sometimes hear her and sometimes I don't, but Robby always does. He gets her from her kennel, and she happily jumps in our bed and lays between us. She sleeps fine and rarely moves, so we also sleep just fine. Today was just like the other evening.

Oh, and before I forget-I ended the blog last night saying that we were going to watch a movie. Well, gracious, we couldn't. First the internet wasn't that great, and second the two movies that I wanted to watch, we couldn't get. I guess I will have to wait for them to come on tv, so even though we were up fairly late, I even had a nap before bed.

Now, we are up fairly late again tonight. It is 12:10 right now, and I have just started on the blog and haven't had my shower yet. This has been another big day. Robby was trying to do some work this morning before we left to go back to The Henry Ford for a few hours, but the internet wasn't great.

So we went ahead and left earlier than planned, so he could work from the parking lot there since the internet would be better. That was fine-except when we went outside to move the camper we realized that it was snowing. It was big wet flakes falling pretty good. If we had been out and about while in Arkansas, we would have hurried and bought some bread and milk.

Thankfully, the weather was not below freezing and had been in the 50s yesterday, so we weren't too worried about their being any slick spots. It was just something to see-we never thought that we would bring the camper to Michigan in December and drive around in the snow, but that is sure what we did this morning.

Once we made it to The Henry Ford parking lot, Robby did his work while the rest of us had our breakfast or finished getting ready. The parking lot is huge so we were able to put the slide out and relax a bit. We eventually did go into the museum-and brrr it was cold outside on our walk inside.

I looked then and realized that at least it was the same temperature during the day that it was going to be tonight, so that at least made me feel good. Also, feeling the chilly temperature this morning probably encouraged the kids to dress more warmly tonight. 

We started walking around the museum in the Lincoln/Rosa Parks area. Seeing the chair that Lincoln was assassinated or Rosa Parks bus is always neat. Then there were the presidential cars-Reagan's, Kennedy's and some other ones that I really don't remember. Next up was a walk around the model trains.

By this time it was time for us to go and watch our Imax. We have now watched 3 of the 4 Imax movies that they are currently showing here. Today's imax was about the pacific ocean-I stayed awake because Robby bought popcorn, and I had to keep passing it right to left.

After the movie, we walked around the museum some more. We even found another short race car film to watch before heading back to the camper. At the camper, we all had a snack before donning lots and lots of winter clothing.

For example-I wore leggings and blue jenas, an undershirt, a long sleeve tshirt, a fleece vest, my winter coat along with a hat and gloves. Robby at one time said that he had on 5 layers-I think that he may have been exaggerating, but I am not too sure. Whitman was the only little Dennie to have long underwear. We bought him some at Costco not too long ago since it was a great deal. He must have stayed warm, because he carried his jacket most of the night.

The parking lot opened at 4:30, and our meal was to start at 5. However, we were in the parking lot at 4:20 and probably were beginning to eat just a little bit after that. We did park and then work on getting Bentley settled. Robby did have to walk back to the camper to get himself his big jacket. I had a bag with hats and gloves for everyone so we were ready for the evening.

We ate at the Taste of History restaurant. On our way in, we stopped to take our picture with Santa. He was standing out front which was super fun. Then we went inside for supper. When we arrived, the kids were each given a goodie bag-a gingerbread house to build out of paper and stickers, a glow stick and a sparkly something or another-Campbell put hers in her hair. Then on each table was a Santa sugar cookie and a plate to take home. How fun!

It was a buffet: mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, salad, carrots, broccoli, ham and maple mustard, turkey and cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and rolls. Also there was a cobbler of some sort-I was the only one who ate it. The kids joked that it looked like reindeer food. It was good-possibly blueberries, cranberries, cherries and oats.

It was really neat. There was a lady right nearby us who was playing an instrument beside us-something that she hit with mallets. I don't really know what it was, but it sure did sound festive. The dinner was really neat. We were able to go back and get seconds, though Anderson was the only one who did. As we were leaving, I did pour myself a hot chocolate to enjoy.

I ran back to the car to drop off our plates, goodie bags and cookies. Then we were off on our Greenfield Village Holiday Nights adventure. I know that I have said it before on the blog, but Greenfield Village makes me feel like I am in Disney World. It is a historical Disney, but it gives me those vibes. 

They take so much care with everything that is done there. For example, there were lanterns along each path. There were also fires every so often so we would have easily been able to warm ourselves. Everything just seems perfect. Our first stop was, of course, the Model Ts for our ride around the village. It was a short little ride, but lots of fun. 

I rode with Graham, Campbell and Whitman. Our car didn't start at first, so it took 3 men to get it started. They were having to crank it and do all kinds of things to start it. It was quite entertaining for sure. Finally, we were off on our ride. We didn't have to wait in a line for this, but by the time that we came back, the line was getting long. They said that this was the largest amount of cars they have run at once since before Covid.

The next stop was the ice skating rink. I did think that I was going to die-no, I didn't even skate. I thought I was going to die when I was helping everyone put their skates on. It was in a little greenhouse type structure that had the heat blaring-it was so hot in there. 

Eventually, everyone was laced up and skating. Reagan did the best of the Dennie skates. Anderson made one or two loops around and decided that he was done. Graham improved some, but he could have skated much longer and probably enjoyed it the most. Campbell was the second to quit because her ankles were hurting. Keaton did pretty good, but Whitman-he was a little reckless. Reagan tried to work with him, but he would just skate full speed and crash....and he loved it.

We then walked around some-my favorite part was walking through the covered bridge. It had lights inside of it. Then we walked through some of the different houses that were open. Most of the houses had people in them. Many houses were cooking-at least 2 houses had tables full of food that were all cooked at that house. 

One lady told us about their food. I asked her if they would get to eat it. She said that the turkey was only cooked for 4 hours so it wasn't done. They would cook it some more tomorrow, but they only bake it for the smell. She then looked at the cookies on a platter and said that she had just made those, and they would eat them later that night.

Most of the houses were decorated, some were not depending on who lived there. For example, one house had Puritans living there who did not celebrate Christmas. The school house had WWI soldiers in it-they had buttons and tinsel hanging on their tree. 

We eventually made it to the house that Santa was at. Santa was on the balcony reading out a list of names on the good list. The list stretched from the top floor to the bottom floor of the house. On the other side of the sidewalk, you could give a name for Santa to say. It didn't take too long for Santa to be reading off a list of my Dennies that were all on the good list. That was a lot of fun. Robby even has a little video of it.

We rode the Hershell Spillman Carousel. I rode it so I could get pictures of everybody (Campbell's picture was blurry-urgh), but that carousel is a little bit too fast for me. Then we walked to the gift shop way on the other side of the village so I could get a sticker for the camper. 

I paid a crazy price for a sticker, but it will make me smile every time I see it, so it is worth it. There were other things I could have bought tonight. They had a lantern shop here selling lanterns. I don't need one, but they were pretty. Plus I love all of the books in the gift shop. They even had a hot chocolate bomb in there-I have never had one. Though I could buy hot chocolate for myself to drink every day of the year for what that thing costs. 

There were chustnuts that seemed interesting. We looked at them, but weren't sure about paying 8 dollars for something we have never eaten, don't know how to eat (they looked like pecans) and don't know if we would even like. There were mini doughnuts to buy along with all kinds of hot chocolate. I even saw people with ice cream. 

After the gift shop, we did walk through the printing press. Then it was the the village green because it was about time for the fireworks. We are definitely spoiled with having seen large fireworks shows, so this one was not spectacular, but it was constant for about 20 minutes while people sand carols and read some letters to Santa. It was a neat way to end the evening.

Now, overall, we both probably enjoyed the old car show at the village more than tonight. However, this had been on my list for a long while so I am glad that we were able to do it. It was incredibly neat-next time we come, I would like to eat in their Eagle Tavern-that might have to be a trip for just Robby and me though. 

After the carols and fireworks were over, we went back to the camper. Bentley pottied while Robby took off all of his layers of clothes. We then headed back to the campsite- about 30 minutes away. Robby had planned to get gas tonight because it is easier without the car or trailer. He knew where he wanted to go since it was 13 cents cheaper. He put on his blinker and started to turn in, just as their lights went off-it was 11 and they were closing. Oh, well, we have plenty of gas to start our journey homeward tomorrow.

It took a while to get things back in order in the camper. The kids did help-the floor was a mess because where we parked was full of leaves so they were tracked in. We had big jackets, little jackets and all kinds of hats and gloves to put away. Plus there were pajamas to put on and bed to be made. Most everyone was at least in their bed-right now it is 1 (I did stop in the middle to take my shower) and people are still awake on their devices. We will sleep in a bit tomorrow, and then hit the road. We have more Christmas activities tomorrow.