January 31, 2021

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  • Sunday mornings are always tough for us to get out of bed and get everyone else moving. Graham and Anderson were the only ones awake this morning, but by the time I made it out of the shower, Keaton was almost back asleep in our bed. She was dressed for Sunday morning though so I just let her stay there for a bit.
  • I was able to empty the dishwasher before church and fill a bag of Whitman's clothes that are too small for him. I didn't have time to fold that pesky laundry but managed to get it folded tonight before bedtime.
  • After church, we headed to Grannymom's house for lasagna and homemade biscuits. Lunch was delicious, and I even left with a pan of Shelley's peanut butter heaven pieces (I don't know their real name). And yes, by the evening the pan was empty again. Now, I did take them over to the Wilson's house tonight for us all to enjoy.
  • When we came home this afternoon, I did school with Keaton and Campbell. They have a sleepover tonight (and left without me getting their pictures), so since we did our together school work today, they won't have to do anything with me tomorrow when they come home exhausted. 
  • I was able to squeeze in a quick nap before taking them to their party, and then I came home and finished a book and finished my nap after taking them. I was sleeping soundly when Robby told me that it was almost time to leave. 
  • Supper was down the road, but before Tony started cooking the kids made their own tortillas. That was fun and pretty yummy. Of course most anything is good with butter, cinnamon and sugar on top. There was also enchiladas to accompany the tortillas along with chocolate chip scones.
  • We watched some Chip and Joanna tv before we finally headed home. The kids had a few minutes of downtime before it was bedtime. I tell you, it sure is quieter around here with the little girls gone. Now, it wasn't quieter at the Wilson's because I guess since most of the girls were gone, the boys spent most of the time being boys-Whitman's hair was wet with sweat when we left because they had spent so much time wrestling upstairs-boys!

January 30, 2021

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  • Robby was up and gone way before I woke up this morning. He spent the morning working down the road on a friend's shed-I guess when you have two shed work days at your house then you are bound to have a few work days for help payback all your help. 
  • He enjoyed it though-doughnuts and chili. He was home by 1ish. And by then I had already gotten up and done my few chores around here. Campbell and I ran to JoAnns-I had never been to that location. She had a coupon to use, but everything we bought was on sale. She bought a yard of fabric plus a set of beads. She was really interested in making a blanket (fleece fabric that you knot) but they were too expensive.
  • The day seemed to go fairly quickly-possibly due to my early afternoon nap. But soon we were watching the basketball game. Robby and I ran to Sams during half time. He dropped me off and gracious me, that place was so crazy it took me forever to come out with the two things that I went in there for.
  • Campbell and Keaton have a sleepover on Sunday night, so they spent some time today during their school work for Monday. I hope that helps make things go fairly smoothly. Now, I just need to work with them tomorrow so that will be one less thing to do on Monday when they get home.
  • We returned home and I started to play Sorry with the kids. Of course all too soon it was time for me to stop the game to help Robby make supper. He cooked bacon and hashbrowns while I was inside making waffles. We had supper well under way when the Wilson's arrived for supper.
  • We spent the evening watching camper vidoes-we aren't getting another one, but are trying to convince them to. Keaton and Campbell made cookies for dessert and the boys played a game of miniature golf in the house.

January 29, 2021

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  • Oh wonderful Fridays. There wasn't much on my agenda today. My new type of weekly list is a grid with all of the things that I need to do marked on it. Some weeks I may have 50 things or some weeks there is only 30. I have a habit of marking off my list and then figuring out the percentage of things that I have finished.
  • Most weeks I am happy to be above 75 percent. But this week, this week I ended the week with a 100%. Whoop! Of course that really means nothing at all! It was still fun though to mark off everything-maybe that means I probably should add a few extra things to my list.
  • Now, I did clean the shower today which wasn't on the list-that was some fun. Actually, it had gotten bad. As I was stepping out of it-just after I had rinsed my brush and poured the last of my cleaning stuff (bleach, water and tide) down the drain, I saw a huge spot that I needed to still clean-that leaves me something for next weeks list though.
  • It seems like quite a bit of the day was spent running around-Reagan drove Campbell, Keaton, Graham and I to Rylee's house where we dropped off Keaton for the afternoon. Then she drove on to pick up Campbell's friend. I drove home from there, but that was tons of good driving practice for Reagan.
  • Campbell and her friend here spent all of their time making presents for the girls' sister who is about to have a birthday party. They made a candle out of crayons plus they sewed a dress for her doll. All of that was super sweet, but super messy However, I do love that we have the sewing machine-I would much rather they be creative than to play on devices.
  • Soon Kennedy came over and we were scrambling around figuring out supper. We made spaghetti, ate supper and then cleaned it all up within 45 minutes so that was a record. Then we loaded up with Campbell, her friend, Anderson and Graham. (Whitman stayed back at the house with Reagan and Kennedy.)
  • We picked up milkshakes from ChickFilA, and then picked up Keaton. Then we went to Walmart to buy a few dog toys! The kids were so excited and loved looking at things. Of course they wanted to buy everything, but we bought a few things now and I am sure will buy a few more things.
  • When we came home, I pulled out my Trekking the National Park game and played with Anderson, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman. Anderson, of course, won the game. He just has a knack for games.  Campbell and Keaton picked it up very well. Whitman never had a clue what was happening and was last-and I scored just about as much as Whitman. I am not sure what happened to me, but I have been lousy at games lately. I don't think I am focused enough to come up with a game plan! 
  • The game lasted until after 11, so not much happened after the game because all of the little people headed to bed!

January 28, 2021

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  • The other night Robby teased me for setting my alarm since I hit snooze for so many, many times in the mornings. I told him that I would never wake up without an alarm. Well, this morning even though I did set my alarm, I was still snoozing soundly when he woke me up.
  • We still managed to get about 30 minutes of our reading in-even read a book about Thursday-you know today is Thursday and all. I thought this was the neatest thing, though some of my big people just rolled their eyes at me.
  • We did all of our school-Thursdays used to be a short day, but for some reason I was still sitting doing school at 12:30. But we are not done for the week! School is even pulled out for next week so I am feeling pretty!
  • I was just texting someone talking about how we had the home ec thing going on over here today. Everyone had their chores-Keaton even went above and beyond and organized Campbell's drawers. And believe me that was a task.
  • Campbell did some sewing making a little star pillow, Keaton finished her game that she invented and made herself, Reagan made a few bracelets, and there was lots of cooking as well.
  • Keaton and Graham made supper for us tonight. At lunch time, they cooked their chicken and in the afternoon they baked and iced a chocolate cake. And at supper time, they baked a Doritos chicken casserole. It was pretty tasty, and their meal was a super big hit.
  • Actually, their cake was so good looking that we took it over to the Wilson's house to eat over there-they had more ice cream choices than we had. We stayed over there for a bit before heading home.
  • Whitman has been watching a series on tv that kind of makes us a bit crazy but we also kind of can't stop watching it when we are in the room too so we watched a few episodes of it before it was finally bedtime.

January 27, 2021

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  • At 11:40 last night, we could still hear the girls going strong upstairs. Robby listened to them for a while before hollering at them to go to sleep. He said that they were talking and Campbell was singing. It is not wonder that people around here are so tired in the mornings. They had been in bed since 10 so that was a long time to just be hanging out and not sleeping.
  • Now I don't know if the same thing was going on in the boys' room or not, but Whitman has been a sour child all day long. He his whined and mumbled and muttered all day long. His countenance only changed for a little bit this afternoon when we were seeing the puppies.
  • School went fairly well-Whitman was super distracted all the day long, but he did eventually get it finished. Everyone else did well-Reagan even wrote the next two more paragraphs of her essay with very little help from me. 
  • All my people could do all day long was wait until 3-the time that we were leaving to go and pick out our new puppy. There were 4 girls born in this litter, and we have the second pick. The first pick is happening this weekend, so we had to pick a first and second choice.
  • Let me tell you, those little puppies were so cute. When she brought the laundry basket in with the puppies, Whitman let out the loudest "awww." My Campbell could not wait to get her hands in there and pick the puppy up. 
  • They had different color collars so that was how we picked. It was decided pretty quickly that pink was the first choice and green was the second. Now, how was that determined-I have no idea. Basically, the pink collared dog was the first that we picked up and the green was the next to be picked up.
  • I think we could have all stayed and held the dogs for the rest of the afternoon. Anderson was the most stand offish, but he did finally get a dog to hold. I know that he will quickly warm up to the new puppy though.
  • Once back at home, we were there for about an hour before it was time for church. There were about the same number in the children's tonight. Whitman and Keaton went on the stage to help lead a song, and I heard that Graham played a game upstairs in front of everyone.
  • Once at home the basketball game was one. I snuggled under a blanket and even had me some hot chocolate after finishing up the blog!

January 26, 2021

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  • Gracious, I couldn't seem to get my act together this morning. That was probably because Robby and I currently stay up until 1 each night. Now, I we still started just about 10 minutes later than usual, and yes, our start time is slowly creeping backwards. 
  • The kids were all still sound asleep when I went to wake everyone up. I tell you, this is just not a morning person family at all. Ha! After doing our reading we started to work on school work.
  • Things went fairly well-Reagan has now done 2 of her 6 paragraphs for essay so that is good. I helped her some with that around 12 and still had to work with Graham afterwards.
  • Keaton and Campbell have been super crafty lately which is wonderful, but that also involves me helping some which I always not the first thing on my agenda. Campbell sewed a dog bone after she finished with school. And Keaton has been working on a game for a few days now so today we did some cricut-ing for the front of the boards.
  • Next up, I did take a little bit of time to organize something in my closet. I am slowly putting away my Christmas gifts-yep, I am the only one around here with my gifts still laying out. I put some of them away in my closet that I was working on.
  • There was Bible study to do before I hurriedly organized my game closet with Keaton. That girl is all about organizing right now. She did most of the closet-I was just her helper. And later in the afternoon she organized all of her clothes-all of them, all folded neatly, all in rainbow order. Robby said that I was creating a monster!
  • Keaton and I then dropped off Anderson and Graham at church for their d-group with the student pastor. Then we ran to the library for her to pick out some books. While we were there, she said that she loved the smell of the library-oh, I do too! 
  • Back at home, I did my treadmill time-I should more accurately say that I did my movie watching time followed by a supper off jambalaya. It was pretty spicy which I loved which is a good thing because the kids weren't too crazy about it. Campbell and Anderson were the only ones who finished their bowls.
  • Reagan made brownies for dessert and gracious that girl picked brownies with walnuts to make. We would have never had that box in the house except it was delivered by mistake in one of our grocery orders. Surprisingly, they were too bad and everyone ate them-probably the ice cream on top helped though.
  • Later in the evening I played Catan with Keaton, Campbell, and Whitman. They smoked me-Keaton won, but Whitman was a close second. I however, ended the game with a measly 3 points. It says that is for players 10 and up-though all my little people didn't have any problems with it. 

January 25, 2021

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  • We started our Monday school-Mondays always seem to go quicker for most everyone because they do their easy work at the beginning of the week. Now this isn't true for Whitman who doesn't get to pick what he works on and for Reagan who just usually has quite a bit of work. Reagan is out of her Comm Central this week, so her load should be lighter, but instead she has a paper and test when she returns.
  • Robby did call a meeting-dog news. It looks like we will get to go and pick our first and second choices for the puppy on Wednesday. Then we will have to wait until February 22nd for us to pick her up for good. Hmm, we might just have to go on a few more trips before that puppy arrives.
  • I was still working with Reagan around lunch time. Then I was able to pick out pictures and catch up on some Bible study for a little bit before helping Robby outside. 
  • We put eye lashes on the back tail lights. Well, not really eye lashes-but more like a gutter to keep the water out of the lights which kind of looks like eye lashes to me.
  • Keaton spent a good deal of time today working on a game that she has invented. She has painted and cut the cardboard and will start her assembly tomorrow. I did help her by writing the rules out today which took a while.
  • I even managed to walk on the treadmill which meant that I had to finish the Hallmark movie that I started later in the afternoon. I even manged to squeeze in a nap before pulling out all of our leftovers for supper. I with that us having leftovers for supper meant that we were able to get rid of some things, but nope-we didn't really clean out anything. 
  • Actually, my people have gotten to be sandwich snobs-that is what we should have had for supper. They don't eat sandwiches for lunch anymore or even tortillas-people are eating mac and cheese, fried eggs, breakfast burritos, bagels and anything else that they can whip up themselves. 
  • After supper, we did have a little bit of a wii tournament. Anderson and Keaton won the first round with Graham and Reagan winning the next round. Anderson won in the playoffs, but seriously, Robby and I were surprised at how bad we were at the wii. We used to be pretty decent but not anymore.
  • We watched a few dog training videos before it was finally bedtime...and possibly snack time!

January 24, 2021

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  • Robby woke the kids up this morning-I believe that everyone was sleeping soundly when he woke them up. He did say that Whitman was the only one who popped right up, but before I could get out of the shower Keaton was asking me where some of her clothes were.
  • We were soon parking in the parking lot at church when we heard some dreaded words, "Whitman forgot his shoes." Ughh. We have done this enough times that it isn't too frustrating and is almost a bit funny now.
  • I looked for socks for him so it wouldn't be too obvious, but I couldn't find any. Keaton graciously donated hers since she had boots on. Since it was rainy, I carted my baby into the church house-he isn't much of a baby anymore though...and I was struggling by the time we made it in.
  • After church we ate at Nonna and Pops' house for lunch. Last time we were there, the kids went on and on about how they like pork tenderloin so of course we had pork tenderloin. There was also about 10 pounds of mashed potatoes along with a delicious Joe Powell chocolate cake.
  • When we came home, Robby and I watched a dog training video before I had my nap. I know that Robby slept some, but I am not sure how well he slept-since there were about 9 different kids that came in our room asking questions today. Ha! Not really 9-just felt like it!
  • We pretty much didn't do much at all this afternoon, but we did have Sunday night supper ready for the Wilsons when they came over tonight. We had baked potatoes and oreo delight so that was certainly a great way to start the week!

January 23, 2021

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  • We were surprised when we slept later than usual today. That is always nice. I figured when I woke up needing to go to the bathroom that it was early, but nope it was late and that was great! 
  • Robby and I didn't really do much at all today-seriously, we did nothing. Now, we did watch the whole ball game-which is rare for me. Usually I snooze during the second half, but the boys were in my chair and on the couch, so I stayed busy reorganizing my vinyl while watching.
  • Now, I did finish Campbell's sweatshirt that we have been talking about making for a very long while. It turned out cute-and maybe just as expensive as the one that we saw and thought was too expensive to buy! Either way, she is proud and that is good.
  • During the ballgame Campbell asked to make snickerdoodles. Robby was quick to tell her that she could certainly make them. That girl is a little chef and had the best time baking in the kitchen-and she even did all of the clean up herself.
  • Oh, I picked out pictures for half of the month-each month I work on picking out everyone's pictures for Robby to put in their birthday books (which we are a bit behind on). This is a task for him because it takes a while to get the pictures all ready, and then it takes me a bit to go through all of the pictures.
  • We capped off the afternoon with a nap! What could be better than that. Now, I did work on my list for next week. The girls were just playing a game as we decided to head to the Wilson's house for supper. Tony created a great noodle dish that Robby would like to recreate on his griddle. 
  • We played Catan-it is my new favorite game. And hopefully, it has reminded Robby that he enjoys playing games. We had fun and even Shannon enjoyed it. After playing we sat around and visited for a little bit while eating Shannon's cookies. 
  • It was near 10 when we came home, so the kids all had their showers before it was finally bedtime!

January 22, 2021

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  • No school today so I started my day with emptying the dishwasher and folding laundry in celebration. Then I moved on to pulling out the rest of school for next week. None of that took too long so I even made a little something on my cricut before loading Graham up.
  • When we went to the doctor last year, he had the first part of one of his vaccines and needed to get his second part in 6 months. Well, it has been over 6 months, but he finally has it. 
  • He was a bit nervous. However, at the doctor's office you call before you come in, and then they call you telling you to come in. They called in and we walked to the waiting area and sat down. As soon as we sat down, the nurse came and got him. We went to a room, he took his arm out of his sweatshirt, she poked him and we left. It took about as long as it took for you to read that-so there was no reason to be nervous at all.
  • When we left, we headed straight to Sonic so all was well. He chose a breakfast burrito (even though I made about 50 on Monday night) and a slush. I had a flavored water which is my preferred sonic treat-except when I get one, I spent most of the afternoon having to run to the bathroom.
  • At one, I started two recipes of rolls, and Robby and I worked on the roast. We have never made roast before but because of our wrong grocery order that was what was on the menu. Robby then left with Whitman to get his hair cut.
  • Now, when the lady finished cutting Whitman's hair, she asked him if he liked it. He said, "no." He speaks the truth. He continued that he wanted a mohawk. The next stylist suggested that she add some product to his hair and make it a mohawk, and that she did. Then, he was proud of that hair cut!
  • Meanwhile, the girls and I did a bit of sewing. We made scrunchies. We followed the directions and they turned out cute, except they were much stretchier than we thought they would be. Actually, I can't figure it out at all, but it was good practice. 
  • Soon supper prep was in full gear-two recipes of rolls, the roast and carrots, au gratin potatoes (from a box, well, two), two recipes of banana bread, plus 2 pounds of bbq because we were afraid that the roast was going to be too small. 
  • Well, we had some roast even left over. Now, will I be cooking roast every week now-nope. I am not really a hunk of meat fan. The carrots were good, but I much prefer those rolls. I could eat a dozen. I showed some self control and didn't eat a dozen, but I bet that some of my kids did! 
  • And we even had quite a bit of bbq left over. I guess we have a meal or two for the next few days-at least I hope so because we are trying not to go to the grocery store!
  • It is currently 11:45, and Campbell and Keaton have friends over so we are going to let them stay up until midnight so I guess the others are as well! 

January 21, 2021

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  • Aww, the last day of school for the week-my favorite day. I really like it more than I like our days off. Now some of my kids always save their harder work for today, but I usually have less work. The girls don't have spelling so that makes me happy, and then on Thursdays I often feel like I am able to skip things if I want (so that is what I do!) 
  • I was about to get out of bed this morning and start my favorite day when Whitman did climb in our bed with us. He rarely gets in bed with us-it has to do with who else is awake. If the brothers are awake then he doesn't usually get in our bed. But it also has to do with the weather a little bit-if it is darker then he thinks it is earlier than it is and will come our way.
  • So before even starting school, Whitman and I were watching cake decorating videos for a bit. Then it was time for school to finally start. My day was shorter because I was even able to pull out some of next week's school-that is truly my most dreaded chore. 
  • Poor Keaton though she really wanted me to help her sew a scrunchie before I left for the afternoon. I told her I would tonight, but that was before we had folks over for dinner. And last night she asked at 9:30, so I was off the clock by then. Tomorrow however, making a scrunchie will be one of the first things on the list.
  • I had a doctor's appointment today-all good. I am always super relieved when my blood pressure is good. I saw a new doctor which I liked so that was a good start to my afternoon. Robby also had a doctor's appointment today and got his first covid shot.
  • I flew home for a few minutes before leaving with Campbell. We made an afternoon of it-we stopped at the vinyl store in Benton, then worked at the pregnancy center, then ran into Hobby Lobby for a project for her and finally picked up her purse that she left at a friend's house on the way home.
  • We arrived home just as Robby was starting on supper. I straightened the house real quick and soon the Fergusons were all over. We had quesadillas for supper tonight and they were pretty delicious. I am right now trying to figure out if breakfast quesadillas are my favorite or if regular quesadillas are my favorite.
  • We did have the Fergusons teach us how to play Catan so that was super exciting to me. Anderson and Graham were all into it as well and we will be able to play it now. I just have one more game from Christmas that I still don't know how to play, but I plan on learning that soon.
  • When everyone left, we gave the kids a bit of downtime before bed. I am so full right now that I can't even think of even mentioning ice cream before bed tonight! I am sure that we will stay up late enough watching puppy training videos that I might change my mind.

January 20, 2021

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  • This morning Graham and Anderson were the only ones awake. Whitman now has a fort built over his bed with the covers hanging down around him-I am sure that his little tent bed is perfectly cozy because it was a little difficult to get him out of the bed this morning.
  • We did our reading before starting on our other work. Whitman starts his new math book tomorrow-no more long subtraction problems. We will now be on multiplication! Oh, I hope that speeds up his math and builds his self confidence with math a little bit. Reagan's math was a little bit better today-we at least knew how to solve the problems. We don't know why we are doing what we are doing, but we at least know how to solve them. I have decided that I need to do the higher level math books twice before I really understand them-this is good for Anderson but not so good for Reagan!
  • We didn't have long at home today because by 12:30, we were headed out the door. Today was our day to volunteer at the foodbank. (You have to be 8 to volunteer so Whitman stayed at home with Robby). We worked hard today-we worked a lot harder than we did the last time since we were doing a more difficult job. 
  • They had about 4 of the huge bins filled with can goods that we sorted and reboxed. We were feeling pretty good about our progress when they brought in a forklift carrying 2 more bins full of cans. I think that we did pretty good, but the best thing was hearing the man say when we left that we did more than they expected us to do! 
  • We finished at 4 and hurried home so we could have a few minutes there before heading back to church. Tonight they started Wednesday night activities back. The schedules are still a little bit different but at least the church house isn't sitting empty. My people were all very excited to get back to going to church.
  • When church was finished, we stopped by Nonna and Pops' house to deliver their dessert of the month. Keaton was so happy to deliver her cookies. That girl loves her peanut butter cookie recipe (from Grannymom) and has claimed it as her own. I am sure glad that she is a confident little baker!
  • We just about ate all of Nonna and Pops' food before leaving-we ate chips, cheese dip, cookies and I even tried their supper from tonight. Everyone could have stayed longer munching away, but we needed to get home so we could eat a real supper.
  • As suppers were being made, the Hogs were playing on the tv. We watched them and vegged out for the first time today before heading to bed.

January 19, 2021

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  • I again woke up right at 7-ugh, what a horrible time to wake up. Thankfully, I did lay in bed really still kind of dozing until it was finally time for me to wake up. I do enjoy getting our day started in a timely manner, but I also enjoy laying in that bed. 
  • When we bought our mattress the first mattress that we saw caught our eye. Obviously, that was the cheapest one. The salesperson soon took us back to other mattresses which were much more expensive. We inquired about the first mattress that we saw, and the sales person then told us that that mattress was really just for a child or guest bedroom. We told her that was all we could afford, and she quickly changed her tune telling us how good the mattress was. 
  • Needless to say, we came home with the cheap guest bedroom/child's room mattress about 10 years or more ago. I told you that little to story because can you just imagine how much I would love sleeping in if we had a really comfortable mattress. (Though I do think that our mattress is just fine.)
  • We did our school work fairly quickly today. Robby took Reagan while Keaton worked on baking cookies for Grannymom and Grandpa. Whitman was still working when it was time for us to load up and leave so I had to hurry him along.
  • Everyone but Reagan (at school) and Anderson (didn't want to go) went skating and ice skating today. I hope that enjoyed it because man, they have sure gone up on their homeschool skate prices. Actually, I know that they enjoyed it.
  • Whitman doesn't get excited about many things, but he was super excited about skating. He could not wait to get there and pretty much skated the entire time that we were there only stopping to eat. Graham enjoys ice skating more than skating-he isn't too confident skating and does okay ice skating. He just needs a little bit more practice on both.
  • I didn't see Campbell and Keaton ice skating, but they have both gotten the hang of roller blades pretty good. Whitman uses the skate aid and does really well-he is probably becoming dependent on the skate aid, but he is having a blast so there is no reason to take it away from him.
  • When we got home I went to town frying 3 pounds of sausage, scrambling 2 dozen eggs and boiling 2 pounds of shells. Campbell eventually came in and helped me, but we made 3 pans of manicotti and got breakfast burritos ready for Anderson and Reagan to put together after supper. 
  • It took a bit before supper was in fact ready, but eventually it was ready. My people were all starving from skating so there were few leftovers. 
  • After supper, folks started on showers, worked on the breakfast burritos, helped with the kitchen (very minimal on that one) and most of us played Cheater's Monopoly. It is just a monopoly game with 5 different ways that you can fairly cheat on each turn. It is kind of neat, but I really don't like any Monopoly games!

January 18, 2021

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  • We started our working together around 8:45 this morning-I was surprised that I was able to get everyone around that early thought so I was pleased with our start time. I still wrapped up our reading by 9:30 so no one would get sour with me about having less school time.
  • Campbell was already finished with her school work today since she was super excited about going to a friend's house this afternoon. As we were planning the afternoon, Campbell's friend's little sisters realized that Campbell was coming and soon Keaton was coming as well. So Keaton zoomed through her school work as well this morning.
  • Whitman had less work this morning, but he did not zoom through his work at all-he took his sweet time and finished sometime right after lunch. He actually finished about the same time that Reagan finished with her stuff. Her math has gotten tough, and we are both a bit frustrated with it.
  • I had time to work on the girls' Bible study some before they left. Then Jason came over for a while to visit. When he left, it was time for our Walmart delivery.
  • Bless it-the lady who delivered the groceries was old and even had a hard time walking. Now, we obviously would love to help (it's quicker that way), but that is frowned upon (Covid and they have to take a picture after they put the groceries by the door.) 
  • So we stayed inside until she drove off. When we did open the door, Robby was quick to say, "I didn't order 60 eggs....I didn't order any of this." Yep, we received someone elses's entire order and not a bit of ours. We weren't worried about not getting ours because they make it right, but we were worried about the old lady who delivered the groceries-we had already talked about giving her a big tip and now she is probably going to get fired.
  • Robby was quick to call but both of the Walmart people he talked to said that they could not take the groceries back. So we started unpacking! Like Christmas morning! Roast, carrots, potatoes, onions, baby food, sausage, bacon, oranges, tomatoes, corn dogs and a ton of other things. Needless to say, we are planning on having roast tomorrow...even though we have never made a roast before!
  • We soon zoomed out of the driveway to pick up the girls and then pick up our supper. We had ChickFilA for supper tonight. Everyone was happy to see us when we walked in the door with that supper.
  • After supper, I played Farkle with most of the kids. They seemed to get quite crazy during the game, but I did put them in place by winning! We did let them console their sorrows with a snack. Then the girls and I watched some tv before it was finally time for bed.

January 17, 2021

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  • For some reason I woke right up at 7 this morning. I am not sure why, but possibly because Graham said that he wanted to run on the treadmill this morning. I probably shouldn't be, but when the kids do get on the treadmill it does make me a bit nervous. 
  • I shouldn't have worried because when I went to wake everyone up at 8:10, Graham along with everyone else were sleeping soundly in their beds. Graham did jump up and get a mile in this morning before having to take another shower to get ready for church.
  • We soon were all headed to church-the kids don't delay when we say that it is time to go because no one wants to have to walk in and hunt for a seat after it has started like we have had to do before. We made it in time today, but the church pews are starting to fill back up which makes my heart happy.
  • After church, we headed to Grannymom's house for our Sunday lunch. The last time we were there, we celebrated my birthday, and I picked the meal. I picked poppyseed chicken since I knew that Reagan doesn't like Mexican. My second choice would have been taco salad and that is what we had today-it was like we were still celebrating my birthday.
  • When we left Grannymom's house, we headed to Kroger to pick up a few things that were on sale. Tonight, Shannon and I were talking about budgets and menus-I now have a goal to stick to a grocery budget and have a few meals planned each week.
  • Back at home, I certainly had my Sunday afternoon nap. When it was over, I did dye some of Campbell's hair red-the first time we dyed her hair, it really worked well but it hasn't worked that well since. I do think that we did pretty good tonight and my hands aren't too red.
  • We had our supper tonight at the Wilson's house-breakfast quesadillas. They were pretty delicious and I brought cinnamon rolls (from the can) for our dessert. We stayed out late and rolled in just in time for bedtime for the crew (and menu and grocery list making time for me along with some you tube watching.)

January 16, 2021

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  • It was good sleeping this Saturday morning-until I did wake up with a start wondering what time I was supposed to go and pick up Keaton. I quickly found that I had a little bit of time so I dozed until Whitman came into our room. We cuddled with him until he left us.
  • While Robby had his shower, I worked on the dishes and laundry before we went outside for a bit. We were trying to work on something for the camper which didn't work like we thought it would.
  • Then we were off along with Campbell to the library and car wash. Robby actually dropped me off at the library while he ran to the car wash right down the road. I tell you, picking up my library books each week is like a little Christmas morning for me. Can you imagine how much more I would love it if I really enjoyed reading. Right now I am on a cookbook fix so I have a few of those checked out.
  • Keaton and her friends had a super fun time at the sleepover. Thankfully, they even had quite a bit of sleep so she wasn't a bear today. Though that usually happens the next day with most of my kids.
  • We dropped off Sophia so we stayed and chatted for a long while-I think that we were trying to avoid coming home and working in the garage. Actually, when we did get started it didn't take too long.
  • Though Robby has a bit of ADD when it comes to working-for example we were walking into the camper, and he starts peeling off the dealership sticker on the side of the camper. I'm not sure if he realized that was another project or not, but soon that is what we were doing-trying to get rid of that sticker. 
  • So even with his distractibility-moving from project to project-we were still able to finish in the garage, work some in the shed and some in the camper before half time of the ballgame. We made it back in just in time for me to take a nap during the second half-that usually helps the hogs though it didn't tonight at all.
  • Soon I was working in the kitchen while Robby was running to the store to pick up some beans-it was chili for supper. I completely forgot that cornbread would have been great tonight to make, but we supplemented our chili with a crack and cheese platter. 
  • The Wilsons stayed for a little bit, but then they headed home leaving plenty of time for my kids to cycle through the showers before bedtime!

January 15, 2021

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  • Anderson and I were at the Nutrition Center at 8:30 this morning to repeat a test that didn't work the other day. I had to wake him up twice to get him out of the bed this morning. This test was some type of bicycle test where they measured his breathing. 
  • Last week he just got to 130 but this week he got to 180. (Now I have no idea what those numbers are) It was all because he had a different person doing the test and he knew what to expected. Either way, he was super hot when he finished so I rewarded him with a quick breakfast on the way home. Though he wasn't too thrilled when I told him that he was paying for his breakfast since he did earn some more money today. (I was kidding.)
  • Back at home the house was just starting to wake up. I think that Campbell and Whitman were really the only ones downstairs. I went to work on the dishes and laundry followed by pulling school out which I was able to stretch to taking all day long.
  • Campbell, Keaton and I made some dog toys out of old t-shirts. That was a fun little project. I did see that I can also make them out of denim so that may be next weeks project. My people are beyond excited, and the next few weeks are going to be long weeks.
  • I did Bible study with the girls and Whitman. It was tough finding a time to work with them because they were so busy on the computer talking to their friends off and on all morning and early afternoon.
  • Nonna and Pops came over to drop off a little treat for the kids. They stayed for a little bit and chatted. While they were here, Keaton headed off for her sleepover tonight. It was delayed from last week so she was more than ready. I am sure that she is having the best time ever.
  • I did walk on the treadmill for a bit. When I finished Robby headed out with Reagan to take her skating. Campbell went along for the ride as well-I actually should have gone as well because I had nothing to do while they were gone.
  • I had already played 2 games with the kids today so Whitman and I finished the movie I was watching while I was walking on the treadmill. Then I read all of the internet and walked around looking for something to clean-I found plenty of things to clean but nothing that I did want to clean.
  • Though I did organize a set of drawers today along with the cabinet that holds our glasses. I am going to get this place cleaned and straightened eventually. 
  • Robby stayed out long enough to bring Reagan and her friends home. We fed everyone pizza which was delicious-Papa Johns is my favorite! Campbell made cookies for our dessert tonight while we caught up on some tv!

January 14, 2021

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  • It took me a minute to figure out what day this even was tonight. This morning I knew that it was the last day of school for the week so I should have jumped out of bed. But don't be surprised if I didn't spring out of the bed at all! Tomorrow will be an early day so I guess I was saving my energy.
  • Our school went fairly quickly this morning-well, not all of our school. Whitman was still working on his when I went to take Reagan to her class today.
  • While she was in class, Campbell, Keaton and I returned our broken scooter and picked up a few things that we didn't need. Then we ran to pick up Reagan and Noah, and then picked up Lily and brought everyone back to our house for a little bit.
  • The girls played with Lily most of the afternoon long, and the boys enjoyed having Noah over during the afternoon. I did steal Graham away because he wanted to go with me to deliver my delicious homemade rolls to Nonna and Pops.
  • I am teasing about the rolls-they were good, very good, but I am a bit worried that I won't be able to replicate them. I guess I need to do some practicing over the new few weeks. Pops did say that they were like his mother's rolls so yep, I am still pretty pleased.
  • I spent some time on the treadmill today and even worked on some of my Bible study. Then we threw some baked potatoes in the instapot. They were quite a bit bigger than the last time so when we finished cooking them-they still weren't cooked. A little bit of microwave time did help the potatoes.
  • So over loud and exciting conversations tonight, we all sat around the table eating our baked potatoes and leftover bbq sandwiches. The conversation tonight was all about a dog-Robby and I are probably about to start eating lots of words!
  • The Wilsons came over tonight for a little bit so we did make a batch or two of cookies to munch on. Oh, and this is interesting-Anderson asked to make cookies today while Noah was over. I am not sure that Anderson has ever made cookies before or has certainly never asked. I don't think that the butter was melted well plus the little bit of milk that they added probably didn't help either-but when I did finally see the cookies today, they were all gone! So I guess that they were edible!

January 13, 2021

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  • Whitman walked through our room this morning. I was too tired to make sure that he left wearing different clothes (sometimes he has to change because he is a water drinker at night.) This morning when I realized that he had on the same clothes, I asked what he was doing. He said that he had come to get in bed with us but didn't want to wake us up. 
  • I quickly told him that he could wake us up anytime to get in bed with us. We talk often about those days when we would have 3 or 4 kiddos in our bed in the morning time. We kind of miss those days-kind of!
  • We did a little bit less of reading this morning so Keaton and Whitman could do Bible study-they didn't want to so I didn't make them. The three littles all are perfectly caught up and do their Bible study with me each and every day so I know that they are getting it.
  • Campbell still wanted to do her Bible study today. It lasts over an hour which is just too much for me. I am sure that my adult class also goes a while, but I haven't been on those zooms at all this year! Though I am also all caught up on my Bible.
  • School went well again today and my laundry pile was fairly small so that made for a happy morning for me. We were able to finish up most everything before lunch time. Whenever Whitman finishes his school work, he shouts, "I'm done with school" loud enough for everyone to hear.
  • I did some work on the cricut this afternoon. I still have a little sign to make for the camper-we are getting that thing ready. Robby worked on it quite a bit of the evening tonight getting the new mudflaps on.
  • Soon we loaded up and headed to meet our buddies at the park. I thought we were supposed to be there at 2 so I set my alarm yesterday to remind me and ring at 1:30. By the time that I woke up, I thought that I should be there at 1:30 so we left at 1:10. Even with all of this, I neglected to read my text telling me that we were meeting at 2:30. Ha!
  • We were just a little bit early. That was fine because we figured it out before we got there and headed to Sonic. We grabbed some drinks and then had to wait there about 10 more minutes for their pretzels to go half off., When they did, we bought 5 and shared them. After all of our drinking and eating, we arrived at the park only a few minutes before everyone else!
  • The kids so enjoyed playing with their buddies today. They stayed moving the entire time-well, you really had to stay moving or you would freeze to death. At least I was freezing to death-it was chilly out there.
  • Once we came home, I started on supper. It took a while to heat up our bbq. I had even set the table, but soon realized that the hogs were playing and our dinner would need to move to the living room. 
  • If you remember, I had said last night that I was going to eat better today and reward myself with some hot chocolate tonight. Well, that was the plan-and I did eat better (some). However, I am currently attempting to make my grandmother's dinner rolls.
  • I say attempting because I never really have good luck with bread. Also, my lack of planning will cause the rolls to be finished around bedtime tonight! Hopefully, they will be good, and I will be the hot roll maker for the family!
  • Roll update-they were delicious. The whole family was pleasantly surprised. My favorite child said that they were better than Hawaiian rolls, and Robby said that they compared to Sister Schubert. Now of course there were two Dennie children that returned their half eaten rolls, but I will say that 6 out of 8 thumbs up made me crazy happy tonight!

January 12, 2021

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  • No one was awake this morning when I went on my wake up rounds. I will say that the boys' room was super chilly, so I guess they were all cozy under the covers. After most everyone else appeared, I had to go and wake Whitman up by talking about food-that seems to be the way to get him to wake up the quickest.
  • We did our reading this morning-things were mostly the same today except now Reagan goes to school earlier on Tuesdays so Robby took her. You would think that since she goes earlier, then she would come home earlier-and she could, but she prefers to stay until the end. That is fine with me especially since she comes home in a good mood and is quite chatty after school.
  • I did walk on the treadmill this afternoon-that is good and all, but seriously I have become a snacker. Every time I walk through the kitchen I am getting something to eat. Maybe I will try to be better tomorrow-or maybe not. I will reward myself with some hot chocolate if I do well tomorrow. I'll let you know-if I can remember!
  • Most of my day was spent playing games. I believe that we got 7 games for Christmas (2 we still haven't played yet), but since they are all still out, we are playing games constantly. I made a resolution to play 52 games this year-I am well past that already. Not really, but I have done quite a few. When this stupid covid is over, I think it would be fun to have the kids have friends over just to play games.
  • I did go to pick up Reagan today from school. When I came home there wasn't too much to do around here. Robby is rebuilding the camper piece by piece-tail lights and mud flaps were in the mail today. A year ago, he probably wouldn't have classified himself as too handy, but I would argue that he is quite handy now. 
  • I did reorganize under my bar area today. I have too much stuff in there and still do. But really, some day someone will ask me if I have molds for a train and indeed I do. I did get rid of about a bag of things so that was good-at least my junk is all orderly now and stays in the cabinet when you open a door.
  • Let's talk about laundry for a little bit. It continues. And even though I tell people to put away their laundry, it never is all put away at the same time. So there are always clothes on my floor-they are neatly folded but they are there! Always.
  • I did finish a Hallmark movie tonight so that is a good thing. I wanted to try to make my grandmother's rolls tonight but decided that I didn't have enough time. I did read over her recipe and am a bit concerned that I don't have enough information on how to make them! We might see tomorrow-maybe!

January 11, 2021

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  • We were up fairly early and started well on our school work. However, about every few minutes, I would have to say "Keaton" to make sure that she was awake. I think that she was a little too comfortable on the couch and was having a hard time staying awake.
  • Some how I managed to get finished early enough this morning that I sat with Whitman after I had finished my work. He is so distracted-Robby even got a taste of that today as he helped him finish his last math page. 
  • The big event this morning was the grocery order arriving-milk! We had been out for a little bit. The girls forgot this and had planned on making muffins for breakfast. It ended up that they made muffins for lunch instead as soon as the groceries were unloaded. By this time, Campbell decided that she didn't want muffins herself, but she still made muffins for everyone else.
  • When the muffins were finished, we played a game followed by me taking the boys to their D-group meeting. While they were there, Whitman and Campbell had both asked to go to the library, so that is where we went.
  • I had already requested about 20 books. Whitman found himself about 10 while Campbell found herself about 30. It took some strategic planning for us to be able to cart all of those books out of there. 
  • We then picked up the boys and were home for a while before going to the Fergusons to watch the football game. The adults talked while the kids played with the dog, played with toys and played some games. Oh my kids played with their dog so much that there poor puppy will be exhausted tonight.
  • We stayed out way too late tonight and came home for the last little bit of the game. Graham wanted to watch the after game part, but Robby quickly taped it for him. This crew has to head to bed because I sure don't want anyone falling asleep during tomorrow's reading! 

January 10, 2021

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  • Church morning and for some reason we just have to scramble on Sunday mornings. Maybe that scrambling is because no one here ever has to leave the house early in the morning at all. If we ever get real jobs or real school around here we will be in trouble!
  • I do enjoy church day, but not so much since covid. We walk in and we walk out and rarely see or speak to anyone that we know. Kind of more of a downer than an uplifting time. I will say that it was more crowded today than I have seen it in awhile. 
  • After church we headed to Nonna's house for Sunday lunch/my birthday celebration. Nonna asked me what I would like for lunch so I choose sandwiches-on the way to Nonnas, I was told by my kids that sandwiches was a poor choice. They wanted pork tenderloin. However, I was perfectly happy with the sandwiches! I could eat them every week actually!
  • I blew out my candles on a delicious chocolate cake. Then I even opened a few presents-the most popular were a few lottery tickets (fingers crossed) and the game Rummikub. We played the game before we left Nonna's house and even once after we came home.
  • When we left, Robby took Anderson and Graham over to a friend's house for a little bit. I then worked on pulling out school for tomorrow before ending up taking a nap. I had planned to work on the tupperware under the bar area. It is kind of annoying when you open a cabinet and everything falls out on your feet. However, a nap seemed much more productive. There is a whole week stretching out before us.
  • I did manage to manage to organize the paint-I decided that was more fun than the tupperware. It was indeed more fun today except that I had to put the clean and organized paint boxes back into the messy school room closet!
  • The boys eventually came home, an we pulled out our leftovers for supper. Later Robby and I winterized the camper. So the pipes don't freeze, we had to run rv antifreeze through all of the pipes. Robby wasn't too excited about doing this, but it needed to be done since we aren't going anywhere for a few weeks-it is just a bit chilly right now. 
  • Tonight was just a lot of sitting around. It is surprising how slow the evening can be sometime and then how quickly they are over. There was a lot of looking at dogs on the computer. And Whitman has watched a whole tv series-which I have strangely become interested in!

January 9, 2021

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  • Robby and I tried to stay in the bed as long as we could this morning, but my silly list kept eating at me. So soon I was up, opening the blinds and pulling everything out of our tv cabinet in our room. And, no I am not a horrible person, Robby was awake when all of this happened and really, even if he hadn't been awake it was well after 10.
  • I did cross a few things off of my list this morning-cleaning the upstairs laundry room was one of the big ones. I even managed to find time to play a game with the boys-we played Qwixx and so far, that game is not really that quick at all when we play it. I think that we will get faster when we figure it out better though.
  • The highlight of my day was probably finding someone to take my old sewing machine. Robby had given me one before Reagan was born. A few years ago, I sent it with Reagan to use at a friend's house even though I had been having some trouble with it. The friend, who is a very good sewer, couldn't figure it out so the machine hasn't been used since. Today someone came in picked it up for free-I had explained that it didn't work, but I now will always wonder if they figured it out and ended up being able to sew their kids clothes!
  • During the Razorback game, I did have a little nap. I think that I bring them good luck when I take naps during their games. It was a brief nap so I am not too sure how they did as good as they did.
  • Jodee came and picked up Kennedy this afternoon, and I even helped Reagan with her science before a mad dash to shower and do Bible study with the littles.
  • Then it was time for the adults to go out to celebrate my birthday. Brett came over here to hang out with my people-the big event was the kids getting the pizzas out of the oven tonight when they were done. We had a lesson before leaving on how to get the pizzas out, and the boys were able to figure it out. I guess they are master chefs now-really, what more does a teenage boy need to know how to do in the kitchen-they can fry eggs and can now make frozen pizzas.
  • We came home and Robby made cookies while I made a dessert bar. The kids were too distracted to eat much of our desserts. Soon though the Wilson's left and the kids started their showers.

January 8, 2021

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  • Anderson and Graham were already up this morning when I called to him that we had to leave in about 45 minutes. We soon headed on our way to the Nutrition Center for a day of testing. This was Anderson's follow up from the same study that he did when he was a baby.
  • They did all kinds of measurements, took his blood, did fitness tests, did ultrasounds, did bone scans and lots of psych testing. We arrived at 9:30 and were back in the car around 3:30 so it was a full day.
  • Now, two things-I always drive off from that hospital just as thankful as I can be that we have 6 healthy kiddos. And I remember the good old days at the Nutrition Center when they gave you real lunches from a restaurant or even the hospital cafeteria instead of a frozen meal for your lunch. 
  • Ha! Anyway, the people were nice. And of course Anderson did great. We may not be the fittest or the smartest, but I can guarantee you that my Dennie boys are the politest.
  • Now, I don't really know much of what happened here at home. I do know that there was some concern over a missing printer. Campbell and Keaton were texting me asking about the printer. They said that it was missing. I thought that it was just missing from their devices meaning that they couldn't see the printer so they couldn't print. I encouraged them to just turn it off and then turn it back on to see if it would connect. They finally had to send me a video showing me that the whole printer was indeed gone! I had myself a good laugh over that-Robby had just moved it to a different spot.
  • I did leave a list while I was gone and you know what-I am not too sure what all was done off of that list. Most school work was finished though tomorrow when I pull out next weeks school I will really be able to see what was finished and what was not finished!
  • Keaton had a sleepover tonight but it was cancelled but thankfully, she had a back up gig with Campbell at Laynie's house. They were both super excited about this and couldn't wait to get out the door.
  • We dropped them off and pretty much as soon as we came home, Kennedy came over to hang with Reagan. Since there is no Sunday school or youth activities at church right now, Reagan is missing her friends the most.  
  • Those two girls spent the evening here while we went down the road to eat some fish tacos at the Wilson's house. Then we just sat around watching college gymnastics! We are an exciting bunch of people!

January 7, 2021

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  • I guess since I am older now, I should be waking up earlier-that didn't really happen this morning. Well, I did wake up before the girls but that isn't saying a lot since they could sleep until noon. Even with my snoozing we were still working by 8:45 this morning.
  • We were able to go through all of my pile of books. I am not sure what I am forgetting, but my book pile is quite a bit shorter than it was before Christmas. Right now I only have about 25 library books checked out instead of our normal 100 or so. 
  • Once the reading was over, folks started on their school work. Let me tell you that we seemed to have a ton of distractions today-well, Whitman had a ton of distractions. Anderson has a nutrition center visit tomorrow and has to bring a sample (I'll just leave it at that.) Well, I figured that 14 is old enough to do the collection, somehow Whitman ended up helping collect the sample. Bless it. Some days his distractfulness is cute, and other days I just want to shake the mess out of him. Today would have been a shaking day!
  • At noon, I called the little three in to work on their Bible study. Then I had to rush out with Reagan to get her to school. While she was in class, I picked up some pictures at Walgreens and then ran to get Bible study books for this semester. I picked up ours and all of the Lawson folks so that was 12 books!
  • As soon as I came home from that, I left again with Keaton for the pregnancy center. We worked on sorting clothes the whole time-she worked and worked. It was a bit crazy today-they are short on help because of stupid covid. We left about 15 minutes after they closed and could have stayed a lot longer to get things nice and neat.
  • We hurried home and I walked on the treadmill for a little bit-which means that I have a movie that I need to finish tonight. Then we made baked potatoes in the instant pot.  They were easy to do and definitely took less time than in the oven so that was a plus.
  • Everyone ate, and then we played Code Names. I really like that game even though it is a bit slow. I still have a few more games that I need to learn how to play. I would really like to take all of the games out of the closet and play each one before we put it back up. I might do that except it would mean that I was just creating a mess!
  • We did eat Campbell's cookies that she made last night. Then we had a bit of downtime before it was finally bedtime. The kids cycled through their showers while I did a bit of heat pressing for Keaton and tried to knock out the blog before it was finally bedtime for the crew!

January 6, 2021-Happy Birthday Tara!

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  • Last night after I had blogged, everyone was about to head to bed. Campbell called me into the kitchen and just started balling-she couldn't find her airpods and had probably been looking for a while. 
  • She just couldn't remember at all the last time she had them, but she knew that she didn't take them to Grannymom's house. She was also pretty sure that she didn't take them outside. Now my Campbell is as a good as gold but gracious she can be on the messy side!
  • Everyone went to town tearing this house up. We knew they were here, and we were finding them before bed. We searched for about 10 minutes when I started to start telling her that we would probably go to bed soon, but we would continue searching tomorrow.
  • Robby had already looked under her bed and had gone outside to begin the search. That is when the boys went to tear up Campbell's bed. Anderson had flipped her mattress when we finally saw them in her drawer under her bed. 
  • Hopefully, that will be a lesson for her! She was so upset-I tried to remind her that those were just things and could be replaced (though it would be a while!) We all did go to bed relieved last night.
  • I knew that Campbell and Keaton probably had a breakfast planned for me, but I sure didn't hear them this morning in the kitchen. I was dreaming about shopping sales at Disney when they burst in carrying pancakes, waffles and orange juice for me. Whitman had woken up just in time to help his sisters carry in the juice. My girls love their little waffle and pancake makers.
  • Soon my breakfast was over and it was time to start on our school for the day. Again things seemed to go smoothly. Reagan's math was a review (well, kind of) so that was good for us. I did spend a good deal of my morning answering birthday text. 
  • Nonna and Pops stopped by and brought us some birthday cupcakes. We dug into those while we visited with them. When they left, we decided that we should open up some presents-Robby bought me a new pair of tennis shoes plus a new pair of hiking boots along with some cash and candy. He also had me what ever girl dreams of-a device that tells if the camper is leveled.  The girls had both written me really sweet cards, and Whitman wrote me a song but was a bit to shy to sing it for me.
  • Afterwards, we did finish our school work before I went outside to load some paper products in the camper. It is now ready to go-well, Robby is working on a few things, but other than that we are ready to go. I had wanted to be gone for my birthday, but silly Wednesday birthday!
  • Two people had suggested taking a nap for my birthday, and I thought that was an excellent idea so I just had myself a good long nap. Even after I woke up, I did just hang out for a bit before getting up to help Campbell and Whitman to play a game. 
  • Afterwards, Campbell made some cookies from her new cookbook-I also counted that as a new recipe for me even though the recipe was for peanut butter cookies which we make all the time. This recipe was just a wee bit different than ours, but I did still count it!
  • Next up was dinner at Pei Wei-it was pretty sad eating inside. The place has seen better days, and stupid covid made it not as much fun. I think from now on I might just be a take out girl. 
  • Keaton had to pick up a birthday present so the girls ran into Target. Reagan left with a plant for their room while Keaton did find her gift. We even had a stop at Starbucks for me some apple cider tonight.
  • On the way home, we swung by the Wilson's house for some chocolate chip cookies! We stayed there until it was too late. When we did come home to put the kids in bed, thankfully there were no lost items to hunt for!

January 5, 2020

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  • We did much better waking up today. Seriously, I was proud of us! It was around 8:45 when we started to do our together work. I was able to breeze through it all pretty swiftly so within an hour we were done with that and started on real school work.
  • I think that everyone did most of everything today-I know that Reagan didn't get her math done since she had to go to school. And Whitman barely finished his math and did so with me handing out candy for each problem that he finished. Graham had his review math day, so once he remembered what he needed to do, things went smoothly for him.
  • School is always just weird to me-some days are long and some days aren't. I was finishing my work a bit after noon even though yesterday I finished around the same time, and we did half as much school.
  • I then headed out to the camper to fill it back up with all of our clean sheets, blankets, and towels. It took me about 45 minutes to get everything put back into its place. Tomorrow I will restock paper goods and be ready to leave for sure.
  • While I was inside, Graham and Whitman did a failed science experiment about growing crystals. Well, I don't know if it is a fail just yet, but I am guessing that it won't work. Whitman and I later worked on making his crystal volcano that he received for Christmas. It was pretty cool in that crystals started forming almost immediately.
  • Soon I headed out-after Robby had to jump my van. It just gets persnickety if we don't use it. I dropped off some clothes to donate (I dropped off 6 bags, but Dana sent home a bag of clothes tonight so does it count on my list that I got rid of 6 bags or 5 bags?) 
  • Then I ran by the library before picking Reagan up from school. She was chatty on the way home so she must have had a good day. 
  • Once I made it home, I walked on the treadmill for a little bit so I could watch a Hallmark movie. As soon as I was finished, it was time to leave for Grannymom's house to start my birthday celebrations.
  • We had poppyseed chicken which was a hit with 4 of 6 Dennie kids. We have been meaning to make it for years around here. We always liked it when we did make it and liked it very much tonight. There were also apple dumping for dessert which are one of my favorites.
  • The kids played games after we ate. And when we did leave, most of my kids ran half way to Danas in the freezing cold weather. I would have thought that they would have gotten enough of that this weekend!
  • Once at home, I finished my hallmark movie and even did a little sewing on Reagan's mask-that sewing machine is coming in handy!

January 4, 2021

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Well, back to reality today and man, it sure was tough. Nothing like starting school after a week long trip, Christmas, a week of laziness and then a weekend camping trip! It was tough-it did help that we didn't do it all today, so I am not real sure what I was still sitting in my bedroom at noon working.

I had planned on us working together at 9 today-thirty minutes later than usual. However, my bed was oh, so comfortable. It was probably 9:20ish when we did get started, and I just barely read a few things because I thought that I was going to finish early and could use that extra time to do my house things.

I am not sure what all took so long today-well, I do! Graham has completely forgotten has math. Not just the math that he was doing before our break, but also he has forgotten the math that he was doing in the 5th and 6th grade. I have printed out some worksheets for him as a reminder though.

As soon as I finished with Graham, Reagan came in needing help. She has a biology test tomorrow-who does that? At least she gets to have a note card of notes to use during the test. But still, who does that-a test right after the break? 

Once we adequately filled that notecard, I headed out to the camper to work. Robby was working on the outside of it while I worked on the inside. I vacuumed, straightened, windexed, cleaned, swept, swept again and mopped. That all didn't take me long-at least it is a small space.

Now my house is sure not a small space though. The camper is neat and clean and this house is Christmas trashed still. The Christmas stuff is up, but the presents laying in the floor everywhere is getting my a little bit claustrophobic. And really, that is sure unlike me because I am the one who loves to leave my presents out until well after my birthday-and yes, I am already putting things up each day.

Around 2:30 the Fergusons came over to play. Everyone played some board games. Whitman really enjoyed the games so much that he wants to have a family game night this week sometime. That is high up on my list as well! 

The kids all played outside, and then my girls brought Emma in to make cookies. When the cookies were done, I asked if they were going to add sprinkles. Keaton told me that they were going to wait until the pan was cool before the sprinkles so Emma wouldn't burn her hands.

As soon as they left, I ran back in to work on some more laundry. Then not too long afterwards, Kim came over to drop off her baby for us to watch for a little bit. Campbell was the one who was officially asked to babysit, and she was even paid! That made that girl happy. And I did let her earn her money tonight-she had to work hard, but she had a ton of fun!

We had a few minutes to work on Bible study before it was bedtime, so the evening was fairly short tonight. The kids were almost in bed by 10, so we are trying to get back into a routine! 

January 3, 2021-Last Camping Trip of 2020 and First Camping Trip of 2021

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Thankfully there was no rain or snow this morning because it would have certainly been a mess. The temperature when we woke up was still below freezing, and I think that Robby said that the temps last night dipped to 25. Yikes! 

When I did wake up, the heat in the camper was on and working hard. We also have two little heaters that do a good job, so when the big heater kicks on you know it is cold. Even though the morning started out cold, the glorious sun was out. We had not seen the sun all weekend long-on the drive home is even when I realized that I left my sunglasses at home.

It was still chilly this morning-maybe that is why my kiddos were still sleeping. Graham was the only one who woke up on his own. We had to start moving around and opening curtains and blinds so the others would start stirring. Tomorrow is going to be tough for them. They did get into bed though at 10 tonight so that is about 2 hours earlier than usual.

There was a fire this morning, but not a blazing one. The littles all spent their morning riding the scooters, bikes and so many other toys that had wheels. The bigs spent their time around the campfire and then later sitting at a picnic table after the neighbor pulled out.

The adults spent their time slowing putting things away. Some of our things we were able to put up for good, but most outside things we just had to put in the van. The van is nice to bring for one reason-storage! Our tents were still wet so they were shoved in the van along with the scooters and hoverboards which are caked in mud.

Tomorrow hopefully it will be sunny because Robby plans to hose everything off-the tent legs, the chairs, tarps, shoes, scooters, mats and probably some more things. Wowzers, things are muddy. And you certainly can't put them away like that at all. 

As he works on that, my plan is to work on the inside. We clean every time that we come home, but after this trip, things need a bit more of a deep cleaning. Packing for trips is certainly a whole lot easier with the camper, but coming home is pretty rough.

Since there was mud and lots and lots of smoke everything that can be is being washed. Not only sheets, but tons and tons of blankets that we use in the camper. We are currently on at least load 9 and have a few more to go. 

Now it is a lot of work, but at the end of the day tomorrow I will set back and marvel at how easy it really was, and I will be excited that the camper and everything in it is ready to go again. 

I think that the kids could have stayed another few days. I know with the sun and pretty weather that they were expecting, we could have stayed another few days for sure. Heck, Robby and I could live on the road. I just can't figure out how to do school on the road-there is just too much stuff!

It really was so pretty that I hated to leave-we probably should have gone on the hike one more time to see it in the bright sunlight. We all loaded up about 1 and headed out of the valley. Reagan rode with the Heltz, and they left about 30 minutes before us.

Then we drove to the interstate in front of the Crafts but with 2 of the Craft girls with us. They moved in front of us after we tried to get more propane on the way home, but their machine was broken. The drive home didn't take long at all, and soon the Crafts were leaving, and I was running to pick up Reagan.

She did miss out on the camper unloading tonight, because she came home to shower and then she left again to go to Alyssa's for a bonfire-I guess she just couldn't get enough camping. Everyone that was left here went to town unloading. The big boys helped Robby with the big things for a bit while I had everyone else running load after load in the house. Whenever we do things like this, I always learn that some folks can just put things away better than other folks! 

I had left another project out for me-I had gone through 9 bins of clothes to donate last week. So they would air out, I folded them and set them in piles in the school room. Those piles covered the school room so before any school could start tomorrow I had to bag up 12 garbage bags full of clothes!

Soon though the camper was emptied and the laundry was going. The inside of the house was straight, and tomorrow we only have the outside stuff to deal with, clean the inside and put away all of the laundry so not too horrible.

For some reason, Robby and I were both in a bit of a funk while packing for this trip. We love to go, but we were just a bit apprehensive about the cold and rain. We were also worried that folks might bail on us after we had done our packing, so we drug out feet a bit while packing. 

I will say though that we had no reason to be worried-we had such a wonderful time. The rain was messy, and it was cold, but we were never miserable. The fire was always warm and for the most part we did stay dry. The mud can be cleaned off of things, but we sure won't forget all of the memories that we made. 

January 2, 2021-Last Camping Trip of 2020 and First Camping Trip of 2021

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Again we slept wonderfully well this morning. It was around 9 when Robby’s alarm went off. I am not too sure why he did set an alarm, but it was probably a good time to wake up. I am already a bit worried about getting me and my people to start waking up in time to do school this next week. Actually, I have just about convinced myself to take Monday off since I will have to wash and clean every single thing in this camper.

There will be quite a bit of cleaning because of this crazy rain. It has just left mud and wetness everywhere. Thankfully the kids are pretty good about taking their shoes up and keeping the camper clean. Traci’s steps are right in front of a mud pit so her place is pretty coated in mud.

Robby started making cinnamon rolls before he took his shower. By the time that he was out, the rolls were ready. And no, it wasn’t homemade rolls that he made, but they were delicious still. We were sitting on the table eating our breakfast when I first noticed the snow.

Now, I am a weather lover. I am also a snow lover, and some dayw I am even a rain lover. However, I am not a rain lover or even a snow lover when we are camping. The snow this morning was pretty heavy (or at home we would definitely say that it was heavy) yet it was mixed in with some rain.

After our little breakfast, we went over to the Crafts to sit by the fire which was already roaring. I believe that everyone brought wood plus they have foraged for more fallen logs to cut up in the woods. Robby did say that he probably needs some huge fire building lessons because these fires have been big and hot. Well, I guess all of that lighter fluid that started the fire a few days ago probably helped.

The kids played and made the loop quite a few times this morning as the snow changed to a drizzle and then soon stopped. We were starting to dry out a little bit which was nice. And let me say, my kids have certainly started doing a better job about staying out of the water and keeping dry today. Though I did walk right in the camper and set my foot in a pile of water on the step thus soaking my socks. I have let some people wear my extra socks so that meant that I only had one more pair. So I went to the “dirty but dry if you need to wear them again” laundry pile and found a pair of Graham’s long socks. I thought they would keep my feet/legs warm today, but they were the thinnest socks ever.

Soon it was almost 1, so I heated up some bagel bites in the oven. Robby really enjoys cooking outside, but in this weather it is just a little bit difficult. The wet has been more challenging than the cold. However, even though it probably did not make it above 35 today, it has not been miserable at all. Now I did have on two pairs of pants plus a long sleeve t-shirt, a fleece jacket, a hooded sweatshirt and a rain coat along with gloves and a hat. I don’t think that any was really miserably cold-for example Whitman did not ever even put on his big heavy jacket.

Now, at 2 we were about to start our hike that we had been planning since we had gotten here. The hope was that by today it would have dried out enough to be easier. However, the silly continuous rain yesterday along with the snow today didn’t help dry things out.

As we were about to leave, the biggest, heaviest snow started to fall. It would have been beautiful if I would have beeen at home. Or even if we would have just been hunkered down in the camper. I was starting to dread our little hike as Graham came in about in a panic.

Even though I clearly wrote to bring a hat and gloves, my big boys didn’t heed my advice. And even though I clearly explained that it would be cold, Graham only brought a sweatshirt for his jacket. He came in this camper about to panic-the snowflakes were beautiful, but when they hit something they would melt and it was just like rain. He knew he was about to get soaking wet-thankfully, he was agreeable to wear a rain suit jacket. 

Anderson was next to run in the camper looking for a hat followed by Reagan who was also looking for a hat. Soon though we were off on our hike-and even though the snow continued for the first little bit, we never froze at all and really, that snow was kind of pretty because it soon started sticking on the trees. As soon as it came though, it disappeared and we could almost see the sun when we came back to the camp.

The hike took us across the river and by the visitor’s center. We hiked by caves and near a ravine. Then there were rocks that we just had to step down-it was all a bit harder because of the rain and mud in some places, but everyone did really well. 

I didn’t even slip-I was just wearing my croc type shoes since my tennis shoes were completely wet, and they don’t have any treads on the bottom. Quite a few of my kids were wearing those types of shoes-apparently we all need hiking boots on next years Christmas lists. 

The hike was really neat and only a bit over 2 miles. When we made it back to camp, the kids started playing again while the adults started thinking about supper. We eventually fired up the outside stove to heat up the first night’s chili and made potato soup. I threw some cheese on some Hawaiaan bread and heated that up in the oven so we just had ourselves the perfect cold weather meal.

By the time that I had our supper dishes cleaned up, Casey was pulling apple dump cake off of the dutch oven, and a bit later Wes made popcorn and hot chocolate for everyone. Quite a few kids played games in the tarped tent tonight and others migrated to different campers to watch movies or play games. 

We have mostly had the little girls over here-you would think that that has been a problem, but they usually try to clean up before they leave and other than messy shoes, you wouldn’t even know that they were in here since they just sit and play games.

The adults stayed by the fire with some of the big kids and talked. We stayed outside until 10:30ish before picking up and heading in. A few of my folks wanted showers, so it took us a bit to get everyone in bed. Robby just told them that they had 5 more minutes, but I can already hear Graham breathing like his is asleep. This has been a big day-I wish every day at home was filled with a 2.5 mile hike!

January 1, 2021-Last Camping Trip of 2020 and First Camping Trip of 2021

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This morning when Robby and I woke up, he said that we did something right-our kids had slept until 10! We stirred first and then heard Graham moving around, but everyone else kept on sleeping a way.

I eventually looked at the window and could see the other kids playing. Campbell and Keaton were the first ones out this morning. They couldn’t wait to get out there with their friends. I waited as long as I could because I thought that it looked a little bit cool out there!

Soon Robby and I headed out. The other men folk had worked hard on a fire, and we had a blaring fire all day long. The fire was steamy hot and probably was the reason that we were able to stay out and enjoy the day like we did.

The guys foraged around for wood in the woods near us. Traci and I worked on grabbing some tall grass to lay on the mud all around the fire. The rain last night continued throughout the night, and then even this morning we fought drizzle off and on leaving the fire surrounded by mud. 

The drizzle didn’t stop the kids at all. They rode on bikes, scooters and skateboards all around the block. I am sure that they were all freezing, but they didn’t act like it at all. The kids even enjoyed climbing up the side of hill beside the camper. The littles all worked on building a survival hut up there.

While they were building that, the men started working on the tents-it was still drizzling so we needed cover. Last night we had two tents out, but had heard that there would be some 40 miles per hour wind so we took all of the tents down. We didn’t have the wind so that was a good thing.

We put back up our big tent as well as our extra tent with sides. The sides were screened in so they didn’t help too much with the cold, but they did help the drizzle from blowing in. Casey put up his tent, and Wes added his tent to the mix. Now Wes did put a tarp all around his tent and also added a heater inside, so that was the place that the big kids stayed quite a while this afternoon. They added most of the camp chairs along with a table and probably could be heard for blocks while screaming with excitment about their card games. 

Once the tents were arranged, it was about time for us to start work on breakfast/lunch. It is not New Year’s day with black eyed peas and hog jowl-well, we didn’t have hog jowl but we did have 4 pounds of bacon with our black eyed peas. We added some delicious homemade cornbread as well. And the other night when we made our meat pies and had some stuffing leftover-potatoes, carrots and ham. Robby put all of that on the griddle, and we just had ourselves a big 2:00 meal.

After lunch was over and cleaned up, it was really about time to start on supper! Ha! We had a few minutes to relax. Robby and I hung out by the roaring fire as much as we could. We did drive to the visitor’s center for a few minutes. I needed to get a stamp for my passport booklet. It took me a while to wait in the line, but eventually left with a stamp and a sticker for the side of the camper.

While I was in the line, Robby thought that he would explore the building that we had seen with a sign that read laundry out front. It was no longer a laundry for public use which was a bit disappointing. Disappointing becuase Traci and I spent most of the day rearranging things on her drying rack and using a dryer would have made us happy!

There were still so many puddles from last night along with so many wet clothes still from last night, that everytime we would walk by, we would turn and rotate things on her drying rack. Her Gabriel loves the puddles so his things were everywhere on the rack, but I eventually started adding my still wet socks from yesterday (not mine-I kept my socks dry, but all of the other ones). Surprisingly all of the things that I hung up last night did dry out completly-I just didn’t hang up the socks. Tonight we have two hangers with about 14 socks clothes pinned to them hanging waiting to dry. They aren’t crazy wet so hopefully, they will dry fairly soon and be wearable in case we need them.

Supper tonight for our family was taco salad. The Crafts had tamales, and Robby and I tried one of those. Taco salad is a fun meal and probably one of our favorites. Our meeting spot this trip has been in front of the Crafts’ camper so every thing we have to bring over there to make and eat. Back and forth we have walked about a hundred times today-not necessarily a bad thing since we are just right across from each other.

Tonight we ended the evening with s’mores. I think that s’mores are the favorite thing of my kids-especially Whitman. Whitman did just say that his favorite thing was not being cold-one time sweet Campbell did come to tell me that Whitman was in the camper and was cold. He was sitting on the ground acting like he was shivering-now, we have blankets enough for everyone so he wasn’t thinking too clearly there. I took off his wet socks and traded them for dry ones. Then set him by the heater for a few minutes to warm up. I did tell the kids about hundred times today that I could not get them dry so do not get wet! 

Right now it is 68 degrees in the camper and should be well below freezing outside later. Tonight is going to be colder than last night so it will be a bit chillier in here. Last night Robby did put in the front slide to help keep it warmer up front so he will be doing that tonight as well. And yes, it is midnight and Whitman just finished his shower! We have been showering for almost an hour or more tonight. Robby and I still have our showers to take, but at least I am finished with the blog!