October 27, 2021

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  • I was not the first one awake this morning-that was Bentley and Robby. I think that she hears him going to the bathroom in the early mornings. It was fine though because as soon as she went to potty, she crawled back into bed.
  • Robby didn't return for a while. I was even puzzled when I heard his alarm clock go off this morning way before we should have been stirring. Later Robby reminded me why that alarm was ringing-he was buying tickets for a little event this December.
  • Soon after my shower, I had to start waking up the kiddos. Whitman wasn't awake this morning as he has been the last few days. Thankfully, he woke up fairly well today. He can be a little bit difficult to wake up. 
  • We headed off to Bible study this morning. If you read last Wednesdays blog, you will be glad to know that our ride home was a bit easier. Though our ride home from church tonight was not as easy-I just have to assume that people are tired on Wednesdays. 
  • As soon as Bible study was over, we headed home to do some school work. Campbell had a friend over plus Keaton went to a friend's house so they were ready to do their school work so they could finish.
  • Now bless Whitman today, he couldn't focus on anything at all. His math took forever-well, just one page of his math took forever. I finally had to call it and just made him do one page. He knows how to do it, but just can't seem to focus on it at all. 
  • We ran to ChickFilA for supper tonight. The kids were anxious to get out of the car and go into the church house. Some of them left before I passed out all of the food. Anderson, Whitman and I were the only ones left in the car to eat. Anderson then left just leaving Whitman and me. He ate and ate-nuggets, mac and cheese, fries, a drink and ice cream. He must have been starving.
  • Then it was church time. It seemed to go by quickly enough. When we made it home, I made some mac and cheese for this weekend while Graham made some ooey gooey also for this weekend. After all of this was finished and cleaned up, we all had some ice cream before it was finally time for bed. 

October 26, 2021

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  • Last night as we were about to put the kids into bed, Robby was taking Bentley out to potty and heard the neighbors chickens. I had completely forgotten about them, so we hurried over there to put them up for the night.
  • I did have one straggler that didn't go into the cage. I was super thankful to see him strutting around this morning when I went to let those chickens out for the last time.  I did enjoy my early morning chicken runs with Whitman though.
  • I had to wake everyone but Whitman up when we did come back home. Reagan and Anderson got themselves ready for school while the rest of us did our together work. Since Campbell had worked with Whitman last night, he didn't have too much work. Though he is multiplying 3 digits by 2 digits which takes him forever. I do let him skip quite a few as long as he keeps getting them correct.
  • Nonna and Pops took Graham, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman out for lunch at IHOP today. While they were gone, Robby took my phone to have the screen repaired. I stayed at home and did some work. I also ran to walk Annie for a minute.
  • Soon though Robby should have been home with my phone but they took longer than he thought, so I had to rush to meet him and the kids at Nonna's house because our next stop was the zoo. We went with some of our buddies.
  • It has been years since we have been to the Little Rock zoo. They are still trying to improve it-a leaf blower for the side walks would do it good. Despite the work needed, it was a perfect day to stroll around the zoo. 
  • There are about 3 different playgrounds that the kids enjoys stopping at. Since we have passes, I will definitely have to take everyone again soon.
  • We came home, and I finished up some school work and some packing before heading out again with Keaton. Tonight her basketball practice was everyone divided into teams to see how well they were evenly matched. Keaton said that she scored quite a few of her team's points, so I am not expecting a winning season.
  • After basketball, we came home to warm bbq sandwiches that Robby had made along with cheese dip. As soon as we ate and cleaned up, Robby and I headed out to pick up the Wilsons. They volunteered to come with us on our evening Walmart run.
  • We had a few things to return and a few things to pick up. Plus we had a pick up order that we also got. And we even walked around the store for a good long while. 
  • It was 10 when we did finally make it home. We unloaded the car and put away the groceries-some in the camper and some in the house. Then it was finally bedtime. While the kids were brushing their teeth, putting on pjs, getting water and pretty much doing everything but getting into bed, I emptied the dishwasher.
  • Today was a busy day, but tomorrow is a bit busier! Though I think that I would rather stay busy...maybe.

October 25, 2021

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  • I think that this is Monday-Robby was confused a bit ago about what day it was. I am still trying to mark things off of my list, so it must be a Monday for sure. 
  • Whitman was one of the first ones awake this morning. I was glad because he was able to join me in my walk down to take care of the chickens. As soon as we finished that, I hurried on home to start working on my laundry and dishes before waking up everyone else up.
  • We did our work together things. Then I started working with everyone. Some folks took forever today and some did not. Now, I hate to name names, but Whitman and Reagan were my forever folks today. Reagan had an essay to write this afternoon while Whitman was in slow motion today.
  • I ran to run to the vet at 2:30 for Bentley's shot. The shot was completely easy, but then I asked about her ear. That wasn't so easy-she was a very naughty dog and did try to bite the vet. She does not like anyone looking in her ear.
  • He said that we could make an appointment and bring her back for them to sedate her to put medicine in her ear. He then said that I could buy the medicine and try to put it in myself. So that is what we are going to try-fingers crossed. He suggested benedryl which we did give the dog during her supper. 
  • I am not sure that the benedryl is working though since she isn't sleepy. Actually, she just finished running circles around me. I guess benedryl has the opposite effect on our usually sleepy dog. Anyway, wish us luck tonight as we attempt to fill her ear with medicine.
  • I did some loading of food in the camper for next weekend. We continue to change up different ways that we store things in the camper. I might just have more things in that camper than I do in this house.
  • We puled out tons of leftovers for supper and even cleaned out the fridge some. We still have a ton of leftovers-I am just not sure where they are coming from. 
  • Next up I picked out pictures for the month and watched a Hallmark movie before bedtime.

October 24, 2021

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  • Some days when the alarm goes off I refuse to believe that it is really time to wake up. Today was one of those days. Thankfully though, Robby's alarm is the one that went off and he had forgotten to reset it from yesterday's early soccer game. We still have about 30 more minutes to sleep. 
  • After those 30 minutes. I took my shower. Then I tried to wake everyone up, but the main one I worked on waking was Whitman because I knew he would want to go do my chicken duties.
  • He certainly did, so we walked down the road-me in my church clothes and him in his feety pajamas. We did our chicken duty and then came back down to home.  I finished getting myself ready, emptied the dishwasher and folded those never ending clothes.
  • Then it was time to pay attention to Bentley for a few minutes. We went out and pottied again, mad her kong and even brushed her. That dog loves to be brushed-she will get up anytime when we asked about being brushed. 
  • We then headed to church-Anderson sat with his friends down stairs. Campbell and Keaton also set with their friends that they had spent the night with. I didn't notice this, but apparently Campbell and Keaton were continually pinching each other at some point during the service. It was enough that their daddy noticed. He said they stopped just seconds before he was about to go and end it himself. They would have thought their lives were over if Robby would have walked across the balcony to correct them-well, their lives might just have been over!
  • Since we had already had our Sunday lunch on Friday, we picked up pizza on the way home. Before we did make it home though, we stopped at Nonna's house to drop off some of her Christmas presents. One Walmart bag full, 2 garbage bags full and one massive box-it was just about 6 different presents, but everything this year seems to be on the large scale. 
  • After eating, Robby, the girls and I ran some errands. First we went to one Walmart. Then while Robby was checking out, the girls and I ran to Sams to look around. Then Robby dropped Campbell, Reagan and I off at Kroger. He ran to another Walmart and to get gas with Keaton before picking us up at Kroger. 
  • All of that only left me about 25 minutes for my required Sunday afternoon nap. I soon had to take the boys to their life groups at two different houses which were thankfully in the same neighborhood. 
  • Then I came home for more chicken duties. The Wilsons came over for supper tonight-toasted ravioli and tortillini. Then the kids came trickling in-Anderson and Graham were brought home by Wes, Reagan drove home from her life group, and Brett brought Campbell home from Rock Creek. 
  • We all ate and had plenty of dessert thanks to Shannon's leftover cookies and rice krispy treats. The kids played outside after we ate. When the Wilsons did leave, the kids had some downtime-Keaton and Campbell started on their school work.
  • Finally it was bedtime-tomorrow is a Monday so we need plenty of sleep!

October 23, 2021

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  • This was our first Saturday off from football, so I was able to sleep in about 30 minutes longer. Reagan had her last soccer game this morning so we were at her field by 815. Well, actually, we didn't stay at the field very long. We dropped Reagan off and ran to pick up some breakfast. 
  • The boys had requested donuts so we did buy some. However, it was a good while before we made it home with those donuts-they were more like their lunch instead of their breakfast.
  • Reagan's game went well. They did lose which was no fun since it was the last game, but Reagan has definitely improved this year, and she has had a blast.
  • We hurried home after the game to deliver the doughnuts. By this time it was time for the game to start. Campbell and Keaton packed their bags to spend the night with friends. When the game and my nap was over I took dropped them off.
  • I am not too sure what else I did this afternoon really. I do know that Reagan left around 4-wearing a dress. She had a friend's 16th birthday where they were all dressing up She wore a cute little black dress along with tennis shoes, red heart socks and a hoodie. She was still pretty cute when she headed off with her friends.
  • Robby and I soon headed out to Walmart. I bought some baskets for the camper-I am still working on getting our food storage figured out. Then we had some salsa, cheese dip and tacos at On the Border. I would have to say that is our favorite Mexican restaurant right now. 
  • We picked up supper for the boys. Then Whitman helped me with my nightly chicken duties. The boys ate their food and cycled through the showers while I watched my first Hallmark Christmas movie of the season.

October 22, 2021

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  • I was able to accomplish about half of my list today which made my pretty happy. Today was the first day of feeding/couping the neighbor's chickens. So as soon as I did roll out of bed, I shook Campbell awake to ask if she was going to walk down with me.
  • She went with me to let the chickens out which was easy enough. We then walked back for a little bit. I then went on a walk with Bentley, but I also convinced Campbell to go with me. Since she was with me, Bentley didn't mind at all walking all the way down the street without stopping.
  • I went to work on the bathrooms this morning. By the time I had finished this, I was trying to work on crocheting with Campbell. I was able to crotchet at one time, but I have forgotten. However, we were pretty much able to figure it out. She is working hard at it, and hopefully will be making potholders by Christmas.
  • Robby and I then left to run to the library. We also dropped off Reagan's phone to repair the screen. We have insurance that is ending soon, so we took advantage of that for sure. When we arrived, they told us that it would be just 30 minutes, so we ran to McDonalds to sit and eat a bite for a few minutes. We had expected for them to say 3 hours and were planning on coming home. However, we certainly enjoyed our snack.
  • Back at the house, I helped Anderson with a little bit of school work. Then we all loaded up to head to Kroger. It was flu shot time! All of the kids and I received my flu shots. Tony gave them to everyone-I do think that we moved through the line fairly quickly. 
  • I did have the kids go in a specific order (from most nervous to least). Here is that order for those that are interested-Campbell, Keaton, Reagan, Graham, Whitman and Anderson. And yep, the 8 year old was one of the least worried about it. He watched the needle the entire time.
  • We then did some grocery shopping for a bit. Then we headed to Costco-4 of us found things that we wanted for Christmas. We bought things from the food area, we had samples, we browsed-we just had ourselves a good ole time.
  • Soon we headed to Grannymom's house for Sunday lunch-just a bit early. I tried to put my chicken buddies up, but they weren't ready for bed. So we went to Grannymom's house and enjoyed supper. She had our first bowl of chili for the season. 
  • We stayed and visited for a little while. On the way home, we stopped for the chickens-they had already gotten in their coup and were settled down for the night. At home, we all went in the house and settled in for the night as well.

October 21, 2021

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  • School this morning for most everyone. Reagan and Anderson went to their co-op today. When it was time to leave today, Reagan was slightly panicking looking for things to pack for lunch. Now, she already packed carrots, green beans, edemama and almonds. I am sure that was enough to keep her full.
  • But just in case it wasn't enough-on her way home, she stopped by Dollar General and bought some chocolate milk. And after she did get home, she heated up a chicken pot pie for an afternoon snack. 
  • Graham, Campbell and Keaton all seemed to zoom through their school work today. I was even able to pull out school for next week. However, Whitman didn't move very quickly at all. I didn't have the heart/strength to make him do more this afternoon so he will be able to finish his tomorrow.
  • Nonna and Pops came over for a few minutes today. They dropped off Reagan's dress that Nonna ironed for me. I probably should have made Pops a birthday cake to celebrate his birthday today.
  • When they left, we had a bit of time before we loaded up to go to the orthodontist for Campbell and Graham. This is just their second time-it went fine. They did tighten their braces, but I haven't heard any complaints just yet.
  • I wasn't home too long before leaving again to take Anderson to Raymar to do a little bit of work. He was there for 2 hours working. I ran to Walmart, but since I wasn't sure when he would be done I made it back pretty early. That was fine though because I may or may not have had a nap while waiting on him.
  • On the way home, I stopped to get him a little snack. We stopped at the new QT by the church house. Anderson got bbq mac and cheese. He said that it was so good that words failed him. I guess he was really hungry or it was really good because he gobbled it down.
  • Robby had already cooked supper here-waffles for everyone. Lily and Eden are here hanging out for a little bit this evening so they had a second supper of waffles. The girls are playing in the school room now, and I am thinking about watching a Hallmark movie-but I would have to get up so I am not too sure if that is what I am going to do.

October 20, 2021

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  • Wednesdays are a little bit long around here. However, we marked everything off of the list so that is a win. Actually, I wrote out my list this week, but I sure haven't been marking things off of it. I have been doing things on it, but not taking the time to mark things off-probably because I am not doing enough things from that list.
  • After waking everyone up-well, this morning Campbell, Keaton and Whitman were awake before my alarm rang. The girls were making muffins for breakfast, and I am not sure at all what Whitman was doing awake at that time.
  • Soon I was headed to Bible study with my crew. Now, this has happened for years so I know that it is not something new from this year. Most every Wednesday, I drop my sweet children off at Bible study. I pick them up and they are still sweet children. I get in the car to drive home with them and they are hellions. Seriously, I sure don't understand it-but on the way home from Bible study people get rude, disrespectful, entitled and hateful. Pretty much every single week. It didn't even help that we went to the park today afterwards. 
  • It is certainly something else. Bible study must be working on me though because I do have a bit of self control and smile and keep my mouth shut instead of dropping them off on the side of the road. Not everyone is foul on the Wednesday drive home-they usually take turns. I would have to assume that Wednesday mornings are tiring for my crew so that is what leads to the attitudes-or it is Satan trying to make me not want to go to Bible study. 
  • Once we finally did make it home, the Bible study crew calmed down a bit. We all started on our school work. Campbell and Keaton didn't have a whole lot. I just had to check school with Graham and Reagan-who had 16 pages of math to check, which makes me want to gouge my eyes out! Anderson had a bit to do with me, but Whitman had a full days worth. 
  • I stayed near Whitman so he was able to finish his work by 4:30 and have a break before church tonight. Now, he did walk down to the neighbors with me. We are going to feed their chickens for a few days and went down the street to have a lesson.
  • On the way to church, we stopped at Nonna's house to drop something off. We didn't stay long at all, but the traffic was crazy so I opted to skip the library. At first I thought that I would just drop the bigs off and then take the littles with me to the library since we get to church early. However, the traffic by the church was so nuts that I didn't think I could pull off that 2.6 mile drive in 30 minutes.
  • Church tonight was a bit crazy, but everyone had fun. At the end, the kids can say their Bible verses and earn candy. This is really for the 1st-6th grade, but hey Anderson and Graham wanted some candy so they go themselves in line for candy. They said the verses and answered the catechism questions so they also left with candy.
  • Robby had supper heated up when we finally made it home. There were many leftover options to choose from. Last week I was sour after church because I really wanted some warm food, and thankfully last night's leftover baked potatoes hit the spot. 
  • Once we had cleaned up the kitchen, Robby and I headed over to the Wilson's house for a few minutes. We chatted there and watched a you tube video before coming home to put the kids into bed, 

October 19, 2021

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  • It was fairly odd this morning when I went to wake everyone up-Reagan was already awake and on her phone. It sounded like she was answering texts. Then by the time that I made it downstairs, Anderson was walking down the stairs headed to take a picture of some of his school notes for a friend. Usually they are not the first two children that are awake in the mornings. 
  • Reagan and Anderson headed off to Comm Central today. They both had a quiz plus Anderson had a test. I know that Anderson is definitely counting down the days until winter break-just 4.5 weeks left.
  • The rest of us started on our work together work. Then it was individual work. Whitman finished as the others were starting on lunch. That is usually when he does finish his school work. Right now he is on track to have an easy Thursday-which means that I have an easy Thursday too!
  • Now, Whitman is still an odd child. We were working on multiplication tables and I asked him 6x6. He promptly asked me what is 9x2. I told him it was 18. After hearing that, he immediately told me that 6x6 was 36. I have thought all day long about how he figured out the answer that way, but I guess whatever works.
  • When Reagan and Anderson made it home, I soon left with Reagan. We dropped off her dress to Nonna to iron. Then we headed to renew her driver's license. It doesn't seem like she has had it long enough to need renewing, but that is what we had to do. 
  • Then we came home for a little bit before I left again with Campbell and Keaton. They had an idea for what they wanted for Christmas. So we headed to Bath and Body works and spent some money. 
  • Next up, we dropped Keaton off for her basketball tryouts. While she was there, Campbell and I ran to the Dollar Tree to do some speed shopping.
  • After basketball practice, we went home to eat supper. Robby had made baked potatoes for supper along with all of the toppings. I then left again with Shannon for a quick trip to Walmart.  When I made it back home, the kids had taken their showers and it was just about time for snacks and beds. 

October 18, 2021

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  • So this wasn't a typical Monday morning. Well, the boys and I had a normal Monday. However, the girls and Robby took an excursion to Fayetteville. They decided to drive up there for some cookies and socks. Yep, you read that right.
  • Robby had said that when Crumbl Cookie had Twix cookies then he would take Reagan to get one since that is the the main cookie that she wanted to try. He is a good daddy so when he saw that they were having that cookie this week, he planned a trip.
  • They left at 9 this morning and drove to Northwest Arkansas. Reagan did a little bit of driving on the way. Their first stop was Crumbl cookie where they bought 2 dozen cookies-twix, chocolate chip, peanut butter cup, and one bubble gum (yuck) along with one pumpkin spice.
  • They had stopped at McDonalds on the way for a little bit of breakfast, but then they went to eat lunch at the mall. The reason that they were there was because Reagan wanted to shop at a PacSun store. We went to one in Albuquerque, and she wanted a pair of socks. She also found a sweatshirt to buy today.
  • After their shopping, they beelined it home so Reagan could get to soccer practice. I then met them nearby and brought Campbell and Keaton home for a little bit.
  • Since it was just Bentley, the boys and I left at home today. We did our school work this morning. Whitman did take a little bit of time, but he finished by time for a late lunch. 
  • I did spent most of the morning and much of the afternoon trying to straighten this house and clean a little bit. I did mark everything off of my list except for walking on the treadmill. I still was able to watch a Hallmark movie this afternoon before picking up the girls.
  • When everyone did finally get home, we had lasagna and bread for supper. Bless it though-my parmesan cheese that I bought got a thumbs down from the kids. I wasn't too surprised since I bought it from the Dollar Tree. Anderson guessed where I bought it and somehow Reagan heard "dog store." 
  • The next thing that I knew she was pouring some on the ground trying to get Bentley to eat it. I then realized what she had heard, but it was too late. We were soon all in tears laughing at the poor child thinking I bought them food from the dog store and pouring parmesan cheese on the floor for the dog.

October 17, 2021

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  • Some how I seem like the first one up most days around here-even on a Sunday. Now, Robby did get up right before me to take Bentley outside, but he as back sound asleep before I stopped hitting snooze and left the bed.
  • I took my shower and then went to wake up the kids. Robby was already working on this. It wasn't an easy task as all. The big boys and Keaton were the first awake. Poor Whitman was sound asleep though.
  • When Whitman did wake up, he dutifully went downstairs and put on his Sunday clothes. He has more Sunday clothes choices than anyone else...and every week he puts on the same green polo shirt. It is quite funny that he does this. It has been 3 weeks since he has been there so I didn't say anything.
  • We did church and Sunday school. The story was Noah's ark so we all made aluminum foil boats and put animals in it to see if it would sink. This, of course, was pretty messy-especially since I forgot a towel to wipe up the water. Thankfully nothing too major spilled so we were able to sclean our mess with paper towels.
  • After church we celebrated Pops' birthday. He bought himself bbq and even his own cake made. And that stinker cut a piece of his cake and started eating it before we had time to sing. You better believe that we put a candle on his half eaten piece of cake and sang to him. 
  • He opened presents, and we had time to play a bit of Jason's new trivial pursuit game. We have been playing one from Nonna's house that was printed in the 70s so there are few questions that the kids can answer. This game was a bit more current-though we still can't answer any questions.
  • Reagan and I had to leave for her soccer game. She drove there, and since we left a little bit later than I planned, we were a few minutes late. I was snoozing in the car during Reagan's warm ups when Pops banged on our car-scaring Keaton and me to death!
  • They came to watch Reagan's game. She played hard today and has really improved. Her team won by 2 or 3 points. After the game, we arrived home just as Campbell, Anderson and Graham were leaving to go to church tonight.
  • I unloaded all of the things from the day, worked on this next week's list and watched myself a Hallmark movie. It was a perfect afternoon-well, except for missing a Sunday afternoon nap! 
  • We had our weekly supper at the Wilson's house. They had a ton of breakfast foods-biscuits, eggs, sausage, potatoes, and bacon. Shannon even finished the theme with banana bread for dessert and brownies for the non banana bread eaters.
  • We headed home in time for us to get things ready for tomorrow. The girls planning on doing their school during bedtime!

October 16, 2021

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  • Goodness my alarm went off awfully early this morning. My alarm rang at 6:30, and I immediately went upstairs to wake up Campbell, Keaton and Anderson. The girls were easy to wake up, but I had to wake Anderson up 3 or 4 different times. The last time I woke him up, I was a bit firmer since we had to leave in 10 minutes.
  • This was the last football game at Raymar. I think that Anderson has enjoyed working this season. He had to be there at 7:30 this morning and since I dropped him off at 7:20 I figured that we had time to do a speed run to Walmart. 
  • Thursday I had bought picture frames for some pictures in the camper, but I bought the wrong size. I knew exactly what I wanted and exactly where they were. We left Raymar, did our shopping and returned to Raymar in less than 14 minutes. That was impressive! I did help that not many folks are driving around and shopping before 8 on a Saturday morning.
  • Campbell and Keaton were my concession stand pros this season. They did great working-most of the time I just sat around and helped when it did get crazy busy. What kid wouldn't want to handle a lot of money and get to work on a cash register?
  • Football was over around noon so we jumped in the car and headed home. First I stopped at the library. Then I had to pick up pizza for our lunch. We were able to listen to the ballgame on the way home.
  • During half time we ate our pizza. Then I snoozed in the chair despite all of the fussing about the ballgame that was happening. I did wake up to drive Reagan to her friend's house so she could go to the fair. 
  • I think that she had a good time there-she did say that she rode so many rides that she was a bit nauseous. I know that she had fun though, and I'm glad that she made it home safely-my momma would never have let me go to the fair with just friends.
  • Anderson did some more driving today. He took Robby, Keaton and I to Grannymom and Grandpa's house to drop off some cookies. Then we went to Kroger and bought an ungodly amount of candy. We are going to be Halloween ready. 
  • We then turned right around and picked up Reagan before Robby and I went to the Wilson's house for a little bit. Meanwhile back at home, the kids cycled through the showers and snacks were had by all. Anderson found some red velvet cake on sale at the store so that is what he and Reagan had to eat. I will be interested to see if they liked it as well as they usually like that kind of cake.

October 15, 2021

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  • For a day that we didn't have to do any school, there sure was a lot of school work being done. Anderson and Reagan did quite a bit of work plus Keaton did some things for next week. 
  • Our day did at least start off slowly-I slept in a little bit. When I did wake up, I stared on the dishes but I could hear children somewhere in the house laughing and talking. The boys were all awake fairly early.
  • When Graham did come downstairs he said that Whitman told him that he had been awake for hours. Whitman soon came bounding down the stairs like he had actually been awake for hours. He hasn't crashed yet so maybe he hadn't been up for hours at least. 
  • Soon the morning was over. I actually was quite surprised when I looked at the clock this afternoon and realized that it was nearly 2. 
  • Anderson drove Keaton, Campbell, Bentley and I to and home from Nonna and Pops' house this afternoon. He did really well-just have to work on his confidence. We visited with them for a little bit before heading home.
  • Then I spent my time watching the storm roll in. No one really noticed the tornado siren going off except for me. It didn't take anytime at all to figure out that we were in no danger so things went on as usual around here.
  • I did manage to have a short nap with Bentley this afternoon. Reagan went to the Bryant football game tonight with Kennedy so the rest of us just hung out at home. We all found some leftovers in the fridge.
  • Campbell and Keaton spent their evening crafting. Campbell made a Halloween sign while Keaton made a fall sign. They both turned out really well-and took quiet a bit of the evening. 
  • Robby and I went to pick up the girls from the ball game. Then a stop at ChickFilA for their evening snack-of course there was a bit of ball game and restaurant traffic that took a while. When we finally made it home, I still had the rest of my Hallmark movie to watch before I shoved these people into bed.

October 14, 2021

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  • It was a little bit difficult getting all of our people to wake up this morning for school. I am not sure how late they stayed up, but gracious as I was trying to wake people up for the second and third time I did decide that maybe we need to start going to bed earlier.
  • Reagan and Anderson usually do wake up fairly quickly so they can have time to get ready (Reagan), pack their backpack (Anderson) and make their lunches (both). Anderson brings things like granola bars and a sandwich. Reagan, however, brought carrots, apple chips, corn, a bag of chips, 2 boiled eggs, a drink, and crackers. She eats enough on school days to last her for the rest of the week.
  • The rest of us did our school work this morning. Whitman worked at full speed today as well finishing off a few things that he had left over from yesterday. After I had finished working with everyone, I started on some camper work.
  • Robby and I worked Bentley for a little bit around lunch time. I did a few more chores and soon was on my way to the pregnancy center for a little bit.
  • Reagan and Anderson made it home from school-they even stopped at the Dollar General for a few minutes on the way home. Anderson wasn't home too long before he had to turn around and leave for football practice.
  • It was raining at home when they left. Then it was pouring on my after leaving the pregnancy center. I was the one picking up Anderson so I was sure that he would call needing me to come earlier. However, the rain stopped so they were able to do their practice.
  • While he was there though I did some speed shopping-Hobby Lobby, Ulta, Tuesday Morning, Dollar Tree and Walmart. I found some Christmas things, but nothing really-welll, I did find a few things for my Christmas stocking too!
  • I picked Anderson up and despite his pleas for McDonalds and a cheese quesadilla from Nonna's house, we went home. Robby and the girls were cooking supper-poppyseed chicken. Well, I guess it was poppyseed chicken-we didn't have any poppy seeds and this recipe made it with rice so that was different-delicious though.
  • Campbell made a batch of brownies and Keaton made a batch of peanut butter cookies so we could celebrate National Dessert day with the Wilsons later this evening. When they left I finished my blog and then made my list for tomorrow-not as much school work tomorrow so maybe I can rustle up something fun to do! (And don't get too excited-by that I mean maybe hang some pictures in the camper)

October 13, 2021

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  • Wednesday and we survived. Last night I was walking by the car and wondered if I should go ahead and load the car for today. Robby reminded me that we don't leave at the crack of dawn so I should be fine. However, I probably should have loaded the car since I was sure scrambling this morning.
  • We made it to Bible study on time-not early, just on time which was kind of fine. Keaton and Whitman had done a good bit stressing this morning trying remember their two Bible verses that they needed to say. They were both able to say their verses earning Whitman a trip to the treasure box and Keaton a prize next week.
  • After Bible study we went to the park for a little bit. It was kind of nice since we got out of Bible study early. That let us have a good amount of time to play, plus we were home at a decent time this afternoon.
  • I spent the afternoon working on school. It wasn't too bad actually. Most folks were already finished with things-Reagan is completely self motivated, Anderson needs direction, Graham needed help with his math, Campbell and Keaton just needed to work with me, while Whitman had most everything to do.
  • I finished all of the school work around 4:30 and was about to set my alarm for a quick nap when Robby asked if I wanted to hang something in the camper. I opted for that choice, and we hung up our new shoe storage solution-hopefully it works. There are a lot of us which means that we have a lot of shoes!
  • The big kids didn't have church tonight so Reagan went to soccer practice with Robby. Campbell, Keaton, Whitman and I ran to the library before church. Then it was church time for all of us. The kids were able to play on the playground for a little bit tonight, and they enjoyed that.
  • After church we came home. Campbell made chicken nuggets for some folks. All I could think about eating though was Chinese food-I guess that is what I will have to get for myself next Wednesday.

October 12, 2021

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  • I am not sure if I wrote about this or not, but on our trip Bentley decided that she would prefer to sleep in the bed with Robby and I each night. Well, that will work on a trip, but that isn't how we roll at home. So Sunday night, Bentley went to bed just fine, but when she woke up in the middle of the night and realized where she was, she was not happy at all! She was actually so unhappy that Robby went to the bonus room to sleep-I guess I was tired because I slept well despite her occasionally barking.
  • Now last night, she again went to bed fine. And like the night before she again woke up a little upset with us that she was in her kennel. After a few barks though she did calm down and go back to sleep. 
  • I was the first one out of bed this morning. I didn't have that long to do my dishes, Bentley grooming and laundry before starting school. Reagan drove her and Anderson to school today-I guess she feels pretty comfortable doing that. I try to stay busy when she is driving, and mornings are definitely busy.
  • I was hoping that Whitman would get a little bit more school finished today. However, he did enough-if we didn't have Bible study tomorrow and had more time at home, then I would be tickled with how much he accomplished. Bible study does throw a wrench in things. However though I know it is the most important. I have to continually remind myself that tomorrow!
  • I was able to finish school plus be a bit productive today-Robby and I even fixed the carpet in the bonus room that Bentley destroyed. While we were working on that Campbell, Keaton and Reagan went outside and shot some bows and arrows.
  • Graham spent most of the day waiting on an xbox game to load. I tried to explain to him that is what we had to do when we were getting an email years ago-just stare at the screen and wait for things to load.
  • Robby and I sat in the garage in lawnchairs for a long while today watching the rain-like old folks. I even had a blanket that I was covered up with,  We then had our supper-soft tacos. It was a good bit of work when I cooked 10+ pounds of meat the other day and froze them, however I was super thankfully that we did that today. It made supper so easy tonight.
  • After supper, Robby and I went to the Wilsons for a little bit. Then we came home to finish our Hallmark movie. 

October 11, 2021

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  • Monday school morning after a week off on vacation-I sure wasn't expecting it to go well at all. Thankfully, the day couldn't really have gone any better. Now I was still sitting in the floor of my room at 3:45 this afternoon working on school work with people, but everyone was in a decent mood so I sure can't complain.
  • No one did any school work last week. I had brought things for the younger 4 but never made them pull it out. And Reagan and Anderson did a tiny bit just to stay afloat, but basically they had a weeks worth of work to do today. Joy!
  • People remembered how to do their math-Graham is actually enjoying his math right now. Reagan is doing fine on her algebra right now as well. It is a lot harder than our last curriculum, but it does show you how to do things step by step which is good.
  • When my school work was finally over, I started to work on reloading the camper. Since we had washed everything, it took 3 laundry baskets plus a few more loads to get all of our bedding and now clean things back inside of it. I can be ready to leave tomorrow if anyone wants to ask us to go somewhere.
  • If took us about an hour to make beds and put things away for next time. Robby just joked maybe it was all too much work to go camping. Definitely not. I would hit the road tomorrow if we could convince the kids. Anderson is pretty adamant that he does not want to live in the camper. And really, if we were to live in the camper we would have to always be someplace that has nice weather because that thing is too small for us all to be inside for a long period of time.
  • We had bbq for supper-it was one of our meals that we didn't use this week while on the road. We had a few meals like that.
  • The Wilsons came over for some ice cream. They stayed and visited for a while as well. When they did leave, we watched some of a Hallmark movie on the tv. I am going to set a goal to watch 100 next year-everyone needs a hobby.

October 10, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

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I had to go to the bathroom at 6:10 this morning. I debated not getting up, but since I had to I did ask Robby to please not look at the clock. Well, he did, and we were zooming down the road in about 35 minutes later.

I decided that I would stay in bed with the dog. That lasted about 2 minutes-I don't see how anyone would want to be in the back of that camper-it is a bit bumpy to say the least. I didn't take me long to find my clothes, get myself ready and crawl to the front. Bentley didn't seem to mind at all and stayed asleep on my bed for another good hour or so.

We did eventually stop at a rest stop for Bentley and the driver to potty. The kids were stirring by this time, but not too much. For the most part the kids stayed in their pjs all day long. I don't even think that Reagan left her spot during today's drive.

Robby and I had some work to do today-we had to finish our audiobook since it is due tomorrow. It was a total of 14 hours long, and we had about 4 or so hours left today. It was a good book-though some of it was super hard to follow. 

We stopped another time for gas, and Robby was able to dump. Other than that we didn't stop too much. Well, maybe there was even one more gas stop in the day. We were home by 1:30ish and went right to work on emptying that baby.

The kids helped quite a bit. Though for a good long while Graham was the only one doing anything. I am not sure where the others were hiding, but after Graham had made his zillionith trip, I told him he could be done and to tell the others to come and help.

Emptying the camper doesn't take long at all really. It is just a lot of trips to the laundry room and to the kitchen/fridge to put things away. The kids were able to make all of the trips for me and within 30 minutes things were out of the camper.

Tonight I cleaned the place up so we will soon be ready for the next trip. Currently we have done about 6 loads of laundry since every single thing in that camper has to be washed-that's a lot of bedding! 

Keaton had a birthday party for Charlotte so she was gone most of the evening long. Anderson had his lifegroup at Raymar and Campbell and Graham went to Rock Creek for church. That only left Whitman and Reagan here all evening long. 

Robby picked up pizza for our supper. After getting everyone home tonight we pretty much did nothing at all!..and it was wonderful!

October 9, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

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We slept with all of the slides in last night, and as soon as our alarms went off at 5:45 we were rummaging around looking for our clothes. We had made the kids pull their clothes out to be ready, but Robby and I sure didn't do that. 

We were both outside of the camper by 6. I pulled the car to where we had designated hooking it on, and Robby pulled up a minute behind me. I think this was the first time that we had hooked the car up while it was still dark outside. We had a big light and worked quickly and quietly since we were still surrounded by sleeping campers.

We hooked that car up with no problem. Then we saw the mass of people walking in to the park. It was like Moses and the Israelites-seriously, just a row of people as far as the eye could see walking. I am sure that happened every single day along with the miles to stopped traffic on the interstate heading that way, but we had never seen it all before since we were just right there.

We drove for a good while before stopping at a rest stop-possibly, that was the first time to stop. I just can't remember it all very well. I usually try to write the blog during the day on trips, but I didn't grab my computer today so I never started.

I believe that our first real stop was in Midland, Texas at the midpoint of Route 66. Some kids were still in their pjs but they didn't mind hoping out for a picture. Then we finally made it to Cadillac Ranch-old cars buried in a field that is now a tourist mecca to come and spray paint. 

The kids were shocked that we had spray paint ready to go with us. Of course we are prepared like this-this isn't our first rodeo nor is it our first visit to Cadillac Ranch. This was the first time that that they had a gift shop there. We used that opportunity to buy a sticker for the camper. If we keep going at this rate, there will be no more room by the end of the year for stickers.

We stayed for a little bit spray painting. It was pretty warm outside along with a decent wind-my hair was a mess of tangles when we got back in the camper. The next stop was an RV museum near Amarillo-Sismore's RV Museum. It was a neat little museum that we were able to walk around quickly-it was half time for the hogs.

We then made it to the Big Texan just as the game was finishing up. The Hogs had 14 seconds left, and we were watching it in the camper...and then our buzzer rang signaling that our table was ready. The boys watched the rest of the game at the table-they were extremely quiet as the Hogs scored again and they were also quiet when they ended up losing the game. 

Our food was pretty good at the Big Texan. Now, it wasn't anything to write home about. We enjoyed it, but I might pick Colton's over Big Texan. Robby and I split chicken tenders, and they were just that-nothing fancy at all. Everyone ate most of their meal-Reagan and Graham were the only ones to bring anything home-they had leftover steak. (Graham had his for supper tonight).

After the Big Texan, it was back in the car for another good haul. This time we did get turned around looking for gas, but we had no problem turning this rig around. Then we went to Pops' Soda Shop on Route 66 for a drink.

It was a fun little stop which we all enjoyed. They had quite a few flavors of colas-I picked gooey butter cake while Robby had green apple. The kids though were disappointing-they all picked out traditional flavors.

We didn't have a spot for tonight. Robby knew that there was a campground nearby. The problem was that you couldn't reserve the spots. It was just drive up only. We knew where the pull through sites were and headed that direction with our fingers crossed. 

We must be living right because sure enough there was one spot left in this area. We pulled in and set up for the evening. By this time it was nearly 10. Robby hooked everything up-getting us water which we were pretty out of. He had already dumped at a gas station earlier in the day so we could at least go to the bathroom freely.

We pulled out leftovers for supper-soups, green beans, soft tacos, corn dogs and even a few hot pockets. Afterwards, the kids started taking their showers-right now Anderson just walked out of the shower and climbed into his bed. He was the last Dennie kid in line for the shower-now it is my turn. 

October 8, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

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Last night when we went to bed we weren't too sure if we were going to pull out today or if we were going to stay for our other paid day. At the last minute, Robby did decide that we should just stay and enjoy a lazy day.

Well, our lazy day started this morning a bit before 7 when we started waking up the kids asking if they wanted to go into the balloon festival with us. We only had a few takers-Keaton, Campbell and Graham. As we were walking to the gates, we saw the balloon raising with the flag on it. After the cheer of people, we could tell that there were a lot more people today than yesterday.

We shuffled through the crowds, finding a few trading cards for Keaton. We eventually walked all of the way across the field and turned to look at the balloons. We decided that today they had even more balloons take off, or we were at a better vantage point. It was certainly beautiful.

Robby bid in a few things at a silent auction where we also found some doughnuts and hot chocolate. Afterwards, we moseyed on through the crowd again enjoying the atmosphere. We finally headed back to the camper. 

Today the balloons were flying all around our campsite. It was definitely neat to see. Robby climbed on the roof of the camper and was joined by a few kids. Campbell and I saw a balloon landing in our lot so we followed it.

Soon Keaton and Whitman arrived. They balloon people had all of the kids help with the balloon as the put it in the basket. Whitman ate this up! Another balloon landed nearby and Robby and Campbell were able to help put that one back in the bag. These balloon people have all been so nice (for the most part.)

After most of the balloons landed we just kind of hung out outside of the camper for a little bit. Anderson did some school while Robby did some work. I eventually went in to clean up a little bit. Near 11, we pulled out some food, and Robby started making our brunch.

We had eggs in the hole along with pancakes, sausage and juice. It was all super yummy. After we ate and cleaned up, we waked back to the balloon field. I had assumed that not too much would be going on down on the field in the afternoon-I was wrong. Lots of the balloon people were there with their tents set up eating their lunches. They all seemed to be having a big time.

We walked all the way across the field-probably about a half of a mile-to the RV Life tent where Robby had bid on some things. We waited until the auction was up and Robby even had time to make a few more bids. We did leave with a Snickers Nascar Jacket that Anderson plans to sell along with a double lawnchair. We already have one double lawn chair, but since Bentley takes one of the spots another one would come in handy.

The kids played frisbee on the way back to the camper. After grabbing Bentley and the ice chests, we drive up to Santa Fe to see the sights. The first stop was chocolate from a chocolate store. Then Robby and the boys went into the Loretto Chapel where there is an unsupported spiral staircase. The girls and I walked around some outside shops. Reagan loved everything that she saw, but she was disgusted with the high prices.

After a walk around the block, we did drive back to the camper. We pulled out cans of soup and chef boy r dee for supper-you would have thought that the kids hit the jackpot. I guess everyone enjoyed it because it was something completely different than we usually do. Reagan asked that we eat soup more often-I told her that we certainly would once the weather was a little bit warmer.

When supper was cleaned up, we bought more tickets to see tonight's balloon festivities and went through the gates. It was quite a bit more windy, but that didn't stop the kids from playing frisbee and football for a little bit. Robby brought in his new chair so we sat and watched.

After a while, we realized that most of the balloons were not blowing up. Many of the baskets were set up and the pilots were pulling the levers to burn their propane. Campbell, Keaton and Whitman spent some time running under a tarp again tonight.

We also started talking to a balloon pilot, and he told us all about learning to be a pilot-he was really trying to convince Anderson to become on. He went through how much a balloon costs, how much training is, how much insurance is and then how much he could make on each flight. He then asked Anderson if he is interested, to which Anderson replied that he liked his feet on the ground. (However he did climb on top of the camper sometime today which is a big deal because he is certainly not a fan of heights.)

The next stop for Whitman was asking a man if he could help hold the rope to the balloon. Now, the wind was blowing and the man was struggling to hold that rope. I had already prepared Whitman for a no answer. He had even tried to ask someone last night, but the man didn't hear him. Tonight though the man that Whitman asked surprisingly said that he could help him. So there Whitman pulled and tugged on that rope for at least 5 minutes until they brought the balloon down due to the winds. 

This made Whitman's night-heck, it probably made the trip for him. He will remember that forever and could not have been any happier! Next was the skydivers which we watched. Afterwards, were the fireworks which began pretty quickly. We hurried back to the camper so we could watch from our comfy chairs/the roof of the camper/and way in the back of the parking lot. 

Then we all came in for some cookie dough before everyone bedded down for the evening. It was another great day.

October 7, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

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Today was the big day-Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Our morning started at 5:15, but our night didn't go to smoothly last night. As soon as we put Bentley in her kennel she started whining and barking. Robby took her out to potty, and as soon as she was back in her kennel she began again. She carried on enough that Campbell and Keaton tried to figure out how to sneak her back to their bed. 

They didn't have to worry about that, because we are softies too. Trying to get some good sleep last night since it was a short night, we made a decision that we will probably regret later-we let her sleep with us. We slept perfectly well with her all cuddled up to us, but that may mean that tonight she expected to lay in the same spot. 

We started stirring a bit after 5:20. I tried my best to wake up the kids without having to be ugly! Ha! Everyone was pretty excited about heading to see the balloons so we didn't have to work too hard at waking people up. 

Before 6, we had already bought tickets and were headed into the gates. There were about 5 balloons that were blowing up then. It was dark outside so the fire from their balloons caused them to glow. It was really neat to see.

A bit later, a huge cow balloon rose into the sky, and under it was hanging the American flag. The loud speaker played the National Anthem, and afterwards folks cheered. We walked around for a few minutes past all of the vendors, and then headed to find Nonna, Pops, Grannymom and Grandpa in their hospitality tent.

We were able to find them easily so after a bit, they joined us walking through the balloons. Keaton's main task today was collecting trading cards from all of the balloons. She collected 54 different cards today-they say that there are 500 different cards. 

As we were walking through the balloons, they were also taking off. It was kind of neat seeing them float right above our heads. I am not sure how many balloons floated away today-probably 100 or more. It was definitely a site to see.

After a few hours, we left Anderson, Reagan, Campbell and Whitman go back to the camper. Keaton and Graham stayed with us as Robby, Grannymom and I walked around the entire field. We saw some balloons coming back trying to land at a specific spot, but we also did a lot of walking. Robby's watch said that he has walked over 9 miles today, and I have pretty much been with him the entire day so I know that I have walked that much as well. It was almost a Disney walking day.

Once we had made our big loop, we did head back to the camper. There Robby did some work until it was time for our very late breakfast. We made some chocolate chip pancakes along with some bacon for us to eat. Once we cleaned up, we then headed to Petroglyph National Monument.

They are very Covid aware there-everything is outside including the movie. Whitman did snag us a Jr. Ranger badge. We then had to drive to a trail head to walk around the petroglyphs. There it was very easy to see quite a few of them. Though I am not sure how many of them are legitimate. 

Next stop was Albertsons since we had a few coupons, since we needed water and since we needed a snack. Robby came out with ice cream for most folks-the others picked their own candy or snack. We ate on the way to the next stop-PacSun which is a store that Reagan is trying to order a dress from. 

She hasn't been sure of which size to get so she ran in to try on a dress to get an idea of which size to order from their webside. Hopefully the dresses that she tried on were similar enough to help her choose what she needs. Either way though she loved the store and could have stayed in there much longer browsing and shopping. The boys were all in the car so we couldn't stay too long!

Then it was back to the camper to prepare for the evening activities. Robby and I were walking when we saw the first set of skydivers jump out of their plane tonight. A few minutes later, we did gather the kids, buy more tickets and head back to the field.

This time we spent some time watching the chain saw people doing their thing. Then we headed to the row of concession and shopping tents. Eventually Reagan did find herself a sweater that she wanted for Christmas. I had already bought my ornament earlier in the day and had to have Grannymom buy a sticker at one of her stops later in the day.

Campbell, Graham, Keaton and Whitman really enjoyed running under a tarp along with about 50 other kids as they used it as a parachute. Keaton and I worked on getting her more cards tonight. The balloons tonight were all special shapes-no traditional shaped hot air balloons. Once they were blown up, they would light the fire and glow for a bit. It was impressive, however, it was not nearly as impressive as the mass ascension earlier in the morning.

We were out in the middle of the dark field with Graham and Anderson and about 100,000 other folks when another set of sky divers flew down. We happened to be right by their landing strip which was neat to watch. They came in super fast which was neat to see-they actually came in frighteningly fast, but all seemed to land safely.

After the skydivers, we said goodbye to the grandparents and rushed back to our camper to watch the fireworks. They began just as we left the gate. The kids rushed to get Bentley so she could see them-she actually wasn't too terrified tonight. The fireworks lasted a good little bit, but when they were over we started on our suppers. 

Most of the kids had ramen noodles tonight. Robby and I had sandwiches and ate outside. It was nice and quiet outside-well, there was the roar of many generators powering all of these campers. Afterwards, it was time to start getting all of the people in bed and planning the day tomorrow. It was a super long day for all of us.

October 6, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

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This morning I went to the bathroom around 4:30. I noticed that there was a bright light shining on Graham and assumed that we had forgotten to shut the blinds of one of the windows. After I climbed back into bed, Robby got up and went to the bathroom. He though discovered that our front door was wide open-I guess we didn't shut it well when we went to bed.

Back in bed, Robby was telling me this. He also said that he checked on all of the kids and they were still there. Then he added that he didn't look for Campbell. He continued saying that if she was sleep walking (which none of our people do) she would have woken up by the time she crawled over Reagan, climbed down off the bunk, and then shimmied between Anderson and Graham who was on the floor. 

Of course I couldn't go to sleep then. I had to get out of bed to make sure that she indeed was in her bed. She was and all was well. Then we did go back to sleep for the rest of the night. We probably lollygagged a little bit more than we should have today because we were under the impression that we had to be in the campground in Albequerque by 3 or they wouldn't let us in. We pulled in about 2:30 which was way too close for our comfort.

The kids had some time to play today this morning on the playground before we had to pull out. Robby made sure that we were fully charged, fully gassed with fully empty and clean tanks this morning. We are starting out on 3 nights of boondocking so that will be an experience for sure! Maybe we need solar in this rig.

We stopped a few times on our way here today. Once in Hatch, New Mexico for gas. While we were there, Graham, Campbell, Bentley and I got out of the car and walked around some. There were lots of large statues that we took some pictures by. I also contemplating trying a green chili chocolate shake but they were closed. We did continue walking towards the gas station where Robby was and walked by a few chili pepper shops. 

We then pressed on and tried to stop at the Albuquerque Costco for gas, but it was a bit crazy so we opted for Sam's Club across the street. It was pretty crazy too-as in Robby was still waiting for gas when I returned from buying bread in the store. It was a very tight turn after he did get the gas, so I had to stand on the curb and help. He didn't need my help though since he was able to turn without incident.

From there we were just 6 miles from our stop so after getting gas and making that turn, we were finally able to relax a little. We were expecting traffic and a difficult time getting parked today. However, it could not have gone more smoothly at all. We found our way perfectly. Then check in was so simple. There were men on golf carts who directed us and parked us. They knew what they were doing as in they tried to keep us level and knew we needed to be able to unhook the car. It couldn't have worked out better.

After we were parked, another rig came right beside us to park. We are about 10 feet apart-which normally wouldn't be great, but out on this gravel parking lot that means shade! They were our shade all afternoon which was perfectly wonderful. It was pretty breezy out so we were comfortable sitting in their shade by our front door.

We walked Bentley a few times while scoping out the lay of the land. We are about 200 feet from the gate so getting into the place will be super simple tomorrow. We paid a bit extra for this site and were prepared to pay even more since this was a bucket list event. However, when we snagged this lot, it was the only one available to us so we were thankful for it-and actually, we would stay here again for sure.

After quite a few walks and a good little bit of sitting outside, we headed out for supper. The Crafts had all recommended Sadie's so that is where we went. We had to wait a little bit, but not incredibly long. We were a wee bit disappointed-drinks weren't kept full plus our chips were never replenished. Now I will say that the salsa was so spicy we barely made a dent in it.

Now, all of our food was pretty good. Reagan did make fun of us all for all asking for something to not be on our meal (no onions, no tomatoes, no guac), but we made fun of her for ordering a hamburger at a Mexican restaurant. The meal ended with sopapillas...and they weren't exactly what I remember sopapillas being like. I am going to have to try some at home now.

On our way home, we wanted to see the folks so we drove to their hotel. We got out, walked to the lobby, looked around...and then realized that we were at the wrong hotel! Ha! We were just a few miles away, but we all had a good laugh about it. 

When we did make it to their hotel, they were all waiting to see us in the lobby. Nonna even had cookies to give us. I think that they are enjoying their trip. We didn't stay too long because we all have a very early morning. 

Currently in this camper, it is 10 and all of the people are in bed. Robby is about to call lights out in a few minutes, so this will be the earliest anyone has every gone to bed in this camper.

October 5, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

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Once again sleep is good in this camper. I am not too sure that Graham sleeps really well since he ended up on the floor once again. I am not too sure why he enjoys being on the floor-guess his dad always liked sleeping on the floor when he was young too.

Robby and I woke up first and started working on putting this place in travel mode. It didn't take too long at all for us to put things kind of back in order. Robby worked on the outside while I worked on the inside things. We did have to hook the car back up which didn't take too long-surprisingly we have gotten pretty good at it (at least today.)

I was able to walk Bentley for a minute as some of the kids started to slowly wake up. I then put in the slides, and we pulled out. The kids, especially Whitman, have been counting down the days for us to make it to White Sands National Park. 

It took us about three and a half hours to get there. We had to go up and over some mountains so that did take a while. We have been this route before-a few times, well at least twice. I vividly remembered the ski slope on the left side. And I also remembered the Apple Barn that we have stopped at each time on the left side as we were about to start coming down the mountain.

I had told Robby a few times that we would not be able to stop at the Apple Barn this time. We have to have plenty of room to turn around if we are going to stop anywhere, and I knew that parking was on the side of the hill along with street. Sure enough though I was wrong-the restaurant was closed today so they had plenty of parking there. We were almost on the street, but we were able to squeeze the camper and car in enough.

All of the kids were still in their pjs, so Robby and I ran in to the store. It was just as I remembered it-and we bought the same thing that we had the last time-apple cider along with an apple pie. We did buy 2 hot apple ciders and one frozen apple cider. It was all delicious-we had the apple pie tonight after supper.

When we did make it to White Sands, we drove and drove and drove until we found the perfect spot. Then we put the slides out, put the awning out, the kids put on their clothes and we made our sandwiches. After all of that was done, we grabbed the sleds from the back of the car and started climbing.

The weather was pretty perfect today. The last time we were here Whitman was a baby and spent the entire time in the car. Keaton went down once with Robby, and then cried when Robby tried to take her again. Campbell went down twice and then headed back to the car herself. It was so incredibly hot that time.

Today however, it was about 85 degrees. The sun was blaring-as you can tell by our sunburns that will show up tomorrow. Well, Whitman's sunburn has already shown up! It was super bright though because all of the kids found some type of sunglasses to wear most of the time. Bentley even tolerated a pair of glasses when she was sitting in Reagan's lap for a bit.

Even though the weather was nice, climbing to the top of a sand dune is not nice. You would think that it would be easy. It looks easy enough. Oh, no! By the time we would get to the top, you would practically have to sit down to catch your breath. Even the kids did some struggling climbing to the top.

We knew that they rented sleds at the gift shop, but we thought that this time we would come prepared and brought our own sleds to use. Robby had bought the same kind, he thought, and had gotten a good deal on them. Well, they weren't the same kind-the first 30 minutes of our sand duneing experience was a bit stressful. 

Robby finally decided that maybe we should go to the gift shop and pick up a few of their sleds. Keaton and Reagan went with us-first we had to unhook the car and then we had to settle the other kids who stayed back at the dunes. Now, don't worry about them-they had phones (but no cell service), they had an air conditioned camper, all the food and water they could need plus miles and miles of dunes to explore.

We hurried as much as we could-but we were probably 10 miles from the gift shop so it did take us a while to get there. When we returned Anderson was quick to mention that it took us a while-though he was in the exact same spot as when we left.

At the gift shop, Robby bought 2 sleds along with a sticker for the camper. Reagan bought a bracelet. I stamped all of our National Park passport books and Keaton was sworn in as a Jr. Ranger. We were moving pretty quick in that gift shop. Then we hopped back in the car and rushed back to the kids.

When we drove up, Anderson was in the same spot as we left him while Graham, Campbell and Whitman and even Bentley were way up on the top of a nearby dune watching for us. These new sleds were the same shape but they were a little bit thicker and that did the trick. 

From that point on, we were sledding down the dunes and dragging ourselves and the sleds back up. We were there for 5 hours-up and down, up and down. The kids dug, ran, made trails and bumps-we all just had the best time. We even all sat on the top of a dune and ate popsicles at one point.

The sun would get warm, but the sand felt cool so it was really pretty perfect. By the time that we left, we were getting a bit warm. It did take us a while to put everything up-we had drug out Bentley's bed, a lawn chair, sleds, a door mat. Robby hosed off most of the kids' legs, but the camper was so so sandy-it is still sandy even after I cleaned some tonight.

We had about an hour to drive to got to our Las Cruces KOA. Now, on the way I went to the back since I was judging a minecraft house building competition. I had already spent a good deal of time fussing at people encouraging them to not get into any beds until we had taken showers. After sitting on the couch for a while, I soon got up to go back to my front seat-and I had left a pile of sand when I did wake up. I guess I was doing as much rolling around in the sand today as the kids.

The campground tonight is nice despite the sites that I right on top of each other (I feel like I have to whisper when I am outside)-it does have a beautiful view overlooking the city. There is also a really nice pool along with laundry and showers that Reagan has deemed some of the best. Now I will say that I did not take a shower there-I am about to take mine tonight in my shower. It was easier tonight having all the kids and Robby shower at the same time and probably it might have helped get a bit of sand out of here.

While folks were showering, I worked on heating up some lasagna and boiling some ravioli noodles. Plus we even toasted some leftover hot dogs with cheese on them to make some cheese bread. It was a pretty good meal! We ended our meal with the apple pie from earlier today. 

Robby and Campbell got the laundry out of the dryer so we folded it before doing a little bit of work on our dinette-it is just a bit wobbly and we are trying to fix it before it breaks and we have to completely rebuild it. We had done a good job yesterday, but did even better tonight so hopefully it will last a few more trips or really just a few more days!

The kids all laid down tonight at ten so that is about 2 hours earlier than usual. Robby told them they could stay up until 11, and then it would be lights out. I am about finished with this blog, and then I am planning on washing my hair. Robby said he is going to do some organizing.

October 4, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

(click for today's pictures)

Yesterday I had my computer with me most of the day long so as we were driving down the road, I was able to do some blogging. Today however, I didn't want to bring it on our first leg of the journey so I am a bit behind. Right now I am trying to catch up and am sitting in the way back of the camper on our bed as we are driving to Carlsbad. It is pretty bumpy back here so I am not too sure how long I can last without having to move up to the front.

We began our morning with sausage biscuits for some folks and yogurt for other folks as we were all getting ready. We didn't leave too early, but did pull out of the campground in the minivan when we had wanted to leave. I really don't even remember what time that was though!

We drove about an hour to Roswell, New Mexico on a hunt for aliens. Instead we found the whole town of Roswell and probably the folks from most neighboring towns. The gps diverted us down another road, and we looked down a block and could see a parade happening.

Where we needed to go was across that street so we just parked and got out to watch the parade. And what a parade it was. It went on and on-Campbell, Keaton and Whitman loved watching it and they really enjoyed the people throwing out candy. Some of it was Mexican candy which caused a stir so we had to remind the folks where exactly we are-pretty close to Mexico. 

Pretty much everyone in the town was in the parade or watching the parade. There were a lot of people there. The parade had been going on a while when we arrived, and it was still happening as we left after going to a museum. 

The museum that we went to was the International UFO Museum. It was dated, but pretty interesting. I am not a ufo believer, but something must have happened in Roswell those many years ago. There were a few exhibits that were really pretty interesting. Though must of my folks really enjoyed the gift shop too!

We fought the parade traffic and made it to Sonic after we finished the museum. The parade was to celebrate the first day of the fair so fittingly at Sonic Robby bought us fair food to enjoy along with our slushies-onion rings, tater tots and mozzarella sticks. 

The ride back to the campground didn't take too long-it always seems to be shorter coming back. On the way, I did drive some so Robby could do some work. We did stop once for ice as well. When we made it back to the campground, we did immediately start working. 

We were only there for a little bit before we left again in the camper. So we had to unhook outside, move ice chests, move our chairs and table. We left in the camper because we were going to be gone for over 5 hours and didn't want to leave Bentley that long. It worked out well though because we were able to get gas, take our time, have our jackets and make our lunch on the road. 

We drove to Guadalupe Mountains National Park-Robby and I had been here before and don't really remember it. The mountains were pretty and the scenery is different. The park ranger left something to be desired. Customer service is just such an important thing and that didn't happen there.

However, we still had a good time-the kids earned 3 badges, we bought a sticker for the camper and we went on a hike. This was just a short hike but pets were allowed so pulled Bentley out of the camper and set off. The hike was interesting to see all of the different plants, but gracious our grass and trees are my preference. 

When we finished the hike, we drove back to Carlsbad for the bat program. Robby and I have never done this and were quite excited about it. And it far exceeded our expectations. I hope that we nailed the point home with the kids that despite meeting two different people in the same job, their attitudes were completely different which effected everyone around them.

The ranger tonight during the bat program was funny and informative. We really didn't know so many things about bats. You sit at the natural entrance of the cave and wait while he talks about bats. You wait until the 500,000 or so bats start flying out at dusk. If you cupped your hands behind your ears you could hear the bats, and eventually you could smell the bats (a sweet musky smell.) It was all so interesting.

After leaving the bat program, we went to the parking lot and cooked ourselves some supper. We turned on the generator and I plugged in the instant pot to cook some chicken nuggets as we drove down the hill. I was able to successfully pass out drinks, chips and chicken nugget filled sandwhiches with their choice of sauce for everyone without spilling much. That was a good thing since Graham spilled a good bit of Bentley's dog food-in my bed. He had cleaned up most of it by the time I started to work on it. No telling how many pieces we will find when we lay down tonight.

After supper, we headed to Walmart for a bit. I needed more tortillas and tortilla chips while Robby needed nails and flex tape. There were also some shelves I bought for my nightstand area. Reagan picked out a halloween costume while we picked out ice cream for all of the kids to have as a snack tonight.

Then it was to the campground where we had to back the camper into our spot. Robby did it without a problem thankfully. It was late by this time plus there were folks outside watching us I am sure. We worked pretty fast and furiously trying to get everything that was outside put away.

Then we moved on to the things that were inside along with finding all of the dirty laundry. Robby and Campbell took the laundry along with a bag of trash. They were back in time for us to have ice cream and do some repairs on our dinette table. 

When the clothes were out of the washer, Robby and I along with all the kids but Reagan went to the rec room while the clothes were in the dryer. Pretty much the kids and I played the 4 person ping pong the entire time. It was a lot of fun, and before we knew it, the laundry was ready. We folded it there and then came back to the camper.

By this time, it was midnight and Reagan and Bentley were curled up in my bed sound asleep themselves. We put away the laundry, made beds, tried to straighten and then called it a night!


October 3, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

(click for today's pictures) 

We all slept very well last night. I did wake right up at 6 and could not go back to sleep which is odd for me. I guess that I was excited about the day. By 6:30, Robby's alarm was going off. He got himself ready before taking Bentley out to potty. While he did that I made our bed and got myself ready.

The kids were all sleeping so Robby crawled back in through the driver's door with Bentley. That left me to crawl over sleeping Anderson and Graham with my hands full of my water bottle, phone and computer. Crawling over them did indeed mean that I had to crawl down the couch and then step over Graham before stepping on Anderson's bed to make it to the front. 

Once I did make it to the front, we were off. We drove for about 30 minutes before we heard any movement from the back. Graham was the one who was the first awake. He moved around quite a bit and even made his bed back into the couch. Soon Anderson was awake followed by Keaton and then Campbell. 

Days that we don't really pack up properly, I spend most of the day trying to straighten this place. I won't be able to do that properly really for a few days-there are pillows and blankets everywhere. I at least can keep the trash picked up and the cords for all of the devices off of the floor, but gracious me. I know that I won't be able to live in a tiny house with all of these people-some in particular!

This morning in between listening to church services, Robby read about the last time we were in New Mexico-Whitman was just 4 months old and we drove all the way to NM in one day. That was our first time to see a Sonic with a playground. That was the beginning of an 18 day road trip-kind of makes me sad that because of the big kids' school we have to cram our trips into just a week. I miss those long road trip days.

We stopped at a rest stop after driving for about an hour. The dog and the driver pottied while the rest of us worked on heating up our breakfasts that we had bought yesterday at Buccees. We then drove on into New Mexico. We had gotten gas last night, but it didn't seem like too long before we were stopping again. Gas stations have been a bit sparse since we started heading west.

We spent a good deal of the morning tracking our folks and talking to them about their trip. Around noon, we pulled into Carlsbad Caverns. The parking was a little tight, but it was like they did save one space just for us. After we parked, we pulled out our sandwich stuff and sat at a picnic table and had lunch.

It was perfect weather-a bit warm in the sun, but comfortable in the shade. After lunch, Bentley rested in her kennel as we headed to the cave. We already had tickets so after a quick look through the museum and stamping our books we went down the elevator.

The cave is pretty impressive. I can't really remember Mammoth Cave, but this one probably has it beat. Now, when you have seen one cave then you really have seen them all. We had walked the loop up until the short cut part. Robby suggested taking the short cut, but the kids would have nothing of it. Anderson wanted to see the Bottomless Pit section of the cave, so we headed off on the full cave loop.

It was just a mile and a half total so it didn't take us long at all to walk through the cave. We did over hear our first Karen/mask natzi on the elevator. She fussed at some people for not having masks-my people just stood there with eyes wide open during this. We had our masks on since it was the rule.

Keaton and Whitman snagged their Jr Ranger badge-I have printed out quite a few of those booklets for this trip. All of the kids help do a few pages each so it doesn't take us any time at all to finish them-though we still have a few more to finish for later this week.

We also found a sticker for the camper-that is fun. I guess we are collecting stickers now instead of ornaments. The stickers are probably cheaper than the ornaments...maybe.  When we left the gift shop area, we drove for about an hour to the Carlsbad KOA. I don't really think that we are in the city of Carlsbad anymore since we drove so far, but that is what it is called.

It is a fine campground. Just a KOA-the neat things are the 24 hours laundry room which will come in handy tomorrow night plus they have a rec room with lots of things in it. The kids and Robby actually went this evening while I worked on cleaning the camper. There was a 4 person ping pong table, darts, a wii, tv, board games-every stayed for a long time playing and could have stayed longer.

When we did pull into this campsite, we quickly did everything that we needed to do-no tent or anything though we did miss our lights tonight while cooking. We made quesadillas for supper-that is one of our favorite camping meals right now. Everyone can get exactly what they want, and they taste so much better when cooked outside.

As we finished supper, the neighbor came over and offered for us to use their fire. So of course we pulled out our s'mores stuff and went to town. After we cleaned up all of our supper stuff, Robby took the kids to the rec room while I cleaned. When I finished I joined them for a little bit.

Next up were lots of showers for everyone. It is almost 11 here so it feels like midnight to us-except everyone in this camper is still going strong. 

October 2, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

(click for today's pictures) 

My alarm went off at 6:30 this morning, but after turning the alarm off I was happy to see that football games had indeed been cancelled due to the weather. We were pretty sure that they were going to be, but still had to be prepared. I text Anderson, Campbell and Keaton that they could continue sleeping some. (Anderson was supposed to work while Campbell and Keaton were my concession stand helpers.)

Of course the rain cancelling football meant that we had to deal with the rain a little bit this morning on our drive. However, it didn't bother us too much since it was just until Arkadelphia. After a few chores I did start waking up the kids. It took no time at all to wake up the big boys when I told them that Sports Center was on...or maybe it wasn't Sports Center, but there was some football thing coming on that they were very anxious to watch this morning.

We took our time doing the last few things around the house and finally did pull out a bit after 11. The football game was blaring in the back of the camper and in the front of the camper. It was on until well past Texarkana. Thankfully no one was too sour after the game which was probably because we kept the snacks flowing.

We stopped at the rest stop in Texarkana mainly so Robby could go to the bathroom and so Bentley could take her picture by the Texas state statue. A bit after that we did pull over on an exit since we had blown a breaker turning on and off the air conditioners. Then we were back on the road to Buccees.

At Buccees, Robby filled the gas tank, I took Bentley potty, we emptied the trash and set up her kennel. I will say that Bucees has a pretty good business model-people spend 100 dollars outside getting gas and then they spend 100 dollars inside getting snacks. Pretty smart.

We did leave with 5 icees, 1 hot chocolate, some beef jerky, a jar of peach salsa, everyone a breakfast item for tomorrow, Reagan's was a container of veggies and 2 pounds of brisket for supper. It was raining when we made it back to the camper. 

We took our time and scooped up the supper for everyone. We already had buns so it didn't take long for supper to be ready-meat on the buns and chips. We took our time eating and while we ere eating there was a huge rainbow outside of our window. We then pulled off towards Fort Worth.

In Fort Worth, we stopped at Crumbl Cookie. We found a parking spot, and on our walk to Buccees we ran into a Tom Thumb grocery store. Reagan did find her some apple chips that she has been looking for so we bought her two bags. Then we bought our cookies-we just bought a dozen this time, but they are so incredibly sweet that you can only really eat a fourth of one. We ate our cookies outside by a fountain so it was a nice stop for everyone to stretch their legs a little bit.

The football games have been on the tv most of the day long. Tomorrow we have plans of listening to our new audio book. The kids rotate spots a bit-for the most part Whitman is up top, Anderson is at the table, Graham and Keaton are on the couch, Campbell does bounce around and even ends up in my seat some while Reagan has hung out on the back bed. And Bentley for some reason likes to sit in my lap. The dog is probably 55 pounds now, and she just isn't a lap dog. I don't know if she likes looking out or if she likes the air blowing on her, but most of the trip she has been in my lap asleep. When Campbell was in my spot, she crawled up in her lap every time too. 

We had to stop for gas once we made it to Abilene. Then we just had a few more miles until we made it to the park that we were staying at. This is a city park where boondocking is allowed. Now, getting places at night makes things much more challenging. 

I could follow the road on the phone and saw where we could turn around-since it was dark though we didn't make the turn soon enough so I had to get up while Robby backed up a bit. Of course there were fishermen just getting in and hooking their boat up to watch us. We didn't have any problem after we successfully backed up some. Then he was able to make the turn without incident (there were a drop off on the side or we could have just gone into the grass.)

We drove past a few spots so we did end up by the bathrooms but it is lit and level so that was all good. It didn't take us too long to get settled and get all of the beds ready. The kids help as much as they can, but there isn't much room for lots of people to be moving all at once. We plan to pull out between 7 and 8 so we better get on to bed.

October 1, 2021

(click for today's pictures) 

  • Tonight I was sitting here thinking about how hard I worked all day Wednesday so I could have a day off today. However, this was no day off at all! Gracious me, I guess that if I hadn't worked hard on Wednesday then I would still be running around working right now at midnight. 
  • I did my laundry this morning and then tried to take the dog out just as it started raining here. We did make it out later in the morning when the rain at stopped. 
  • I woke up the kids so they could start their mornings-mainly so Anderson and Reagan could start on their school work. Anderson was pretty much slammed today since he was trying to finish all of this weekends and Mondays work today. Well, I was trying to make him finish all of this. 
  • Whitman also worked with me first thing this morning before he even had breakfast. He wasn't too sure why he was having to work with me so early, but it was because we missed working together on Wednesday. If we do keep up this pace, some of the kids will have a few things that they finish by Christmas which will lighten all of our loads tremendously.
  • The big excitement today was a birthday party-this was Bentley's first birthday party to go to. She was so happy to celebrate with Delta. They had doogie treats and whipped cream for their snacks. And of course we took a present Bentley had helped Campbell make doggie treats yesterday to share with her friend.
  • Campbell also made some cookies tonight to take on the trip. Keaton had wanted to make cookies too, but time just got away from us. There might be time tomorrow or maybe she can make them on the trip. 
  • Reagan had the opportunity to go to Tiger Tunes at Ouachita tonight with some of her friends. She really enjoyed the show, but she did say that she didn't want to go to Ouachita because it was just "too basic" which I understand to mean that too many people go there so she wants to do something else.
  • While she was gone, there were hair cuts and more school work. Nonna and Pops came for a visit and when they left my crew went to town cleaning this house. It is nice whenever one can pitch in and thing can look decent after just a few minutes. 
  • Robby and Campbell ran to get supper for us. They even brought home some Happy Meals which have the Disney 50th anniversary toys-we now have 2 of the 50.  (Don't worry, we aren't going to try to collect all of those-though they would make cute Christmas ornaments.)
  • It wasn't too long after that I had to go and pick up Reagan. We made it home around 10 since we had to go home the long way due to a wreck. The kids stayed up for a bit while we packed a few more things, then it was bedtime. 
  • Of course we don't know about football tomorrow if it will be cancelled due to the rain or not, so there is a bit of uncertainly on what time to set my alarm!