March 31, 2021

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  • Bentley slept in an hour later so that meant that no one in the house stirred for an hour longer today. Somehow we still managed to start school a little bit before yesterday. We did our reading and soon after Campbell did join her Bible study online.
  • The rest of us kept going with our school work. I quickly worked with Whitman and Keaton. Then I was able to convince Anderson to do his math so we could check it. Then I didn't have anyone to work with for the longest time. 
  • Finally Graham finished his math, followed by Reagan and her math (from today and yesterday). Then finally I rounded out the day with Campbell finishing about 12:30. Since I did have a few breaks today, I was able to at least fold my laundry.
  • Hopefully, everyone school work will start slacking off. Well, I know that Keaton will finish two things tomorrow so that will be less for both her and me. The big folks really don't finish a whole lot since all of their things are made for 180 days. (ha! ha!)
  • Lily came over and played with the girls this afternoon. Since she was such a good distraction, I left the house. I dropped off a few bags of clothes to donate. Then I ran to Walmart to buy things for Easter baskets. The Walmart that I picked is being remodeled-or they are moving every single thing in the store. It made things challenging to say the least. I was able to find enough stuff to fill up those Easter baskets. Most folks have at least 1 package of socks or 1 package of underwear in their baskets. Now Whitman doesn't have either-I couldn't rationalize buying him either when he has plenty of both.
  • I came home in time to walk on the treadmill for a little bit. Bentley hung out with Robby who was working outside. When she did come in, she had to have a bath. I believe that she enjoys digging just a little too much to stay outside for a very long time.
  • Soon it was time for me to take the crew to church tonight. They were all pretty fussy on the way-usually they are fussy on the way home from church so I was dreading the ride. However, they were all extremely chatty. Now, chatty is good, it is wonderful-but having 6 chatty people is a wee bit difficult!
  • We picked up pizza on the way home. It was pretty much gobbled up by the time that I made it into the house. We ate and did pretty much nothing for the rest of the evening-which was incredibly nice!

March 30, 2021

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  • I did keep hitting snooze this morning over and over so we started on our school work a little bit later than usual. The kids didn't seem to mind that we spent about 10 more minutes than usual doing our reading together.
  • Then it was back to school-after a break coming back to school is always a bit difficult. Things, however, went fairly smoothly today. Graham did have a bit of a meltdown with his math, but he did recover quickly. 
  • Before I knew it, it was time for me to take Reagan to school today. Her English class has a new teacher and things have gotten substantially harder. Last semester she had a 99.99 percent, but she is just hugging the B- line right now. I don't think that it bothers her so that is good-I just want them to learn and do a good job and not stress about their grades. Life's too short for that.
  • All day long today, I have worked on washing things from the camper trip. My poor washer has gone all day. Once today, I think that it just gave completely up and stopped in the middle of a cycle.  
  • I spent some time loading all of those clean things back in the camper this afternoon. I kind of enjoy working out there because it is pretty quiet...most of the time. And then I even managed to walk on the treadmill today. I have realized that this Covid 19 thing has added about 19 pounds to me (not really 19, but definitely some and since it is bikini time (kidding) I must get serious about this!)
  • Reagan came in from school, made herself a smoothie and promptly took a nap-I guess real school is tiring! 
  • My big activity tonight was Puppy Kindergarten with Bentley. There were about 6 other dogs in our class-she was the only medium size dog. Bentley was definitely most social. She wanted to sniff and smell everyone in the class. The little dogs were terrified and one big dog was barky, but that didn't deter Bentley at all. 
  • At the end of class, we had to work on our skills (sit, down, stay). Bentley just wanted to play with all of her new friends. She wouldn't have anything to do with me at all-until I pulled out the special in case of emergency treats that I brought for her-hot dogs!
  • Once I came home, I had to search for Robby. He was working in the camper-he likes to be quiet in there just like me. But this time he was really working-replacing the seal on the potty. That was not the job that I wanted to help with for sure. He had to take the potty off-yikes! Hopefully everything is all back together.
  • I heated up supper-bbq for most and a grilled cheese for Whitman. I couldn't stretch my leftover bbq any further than 5 sandwiches. Soon Robby, Bentley and I headed to the Wilson's for a little bit. They didn't have any snacks for us, but Bentley did manage to snack on some cat food which she liked well enough to whine about when we wouldn't let her have any more.
  • When we came home, it was bedtime for the crew. Everyone went to bed while Reagan manged to sneak downstairs for some more Bentley time. Reagan is afraid that the dog is sad and depressed! I think that she is just exhausted because she is probably still on east coast time thinking that it is nearly midnight and people won't let her go to sleep.

March 29, 2021-Spring Break 2021

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It was pretty early this morning when we rolled out. I was hoping that Robby was just getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, not waking up to start the day. Soon though, we were zooming down the road. 

My goal is to always get changed out of my pajamas before we start driving. Today, I was busy brushing my teeth and combing my hair as Robby pulled out. I know that I have said it before but being in the back of the camper is like being in an airplane and experiencing the worst turbulence you have ever experienced. Actually, if you were flying and turbulence was that bad, you would prepare to meet your maker.

So that is why I try to be ready and not trying to pull my leg out of my underwear as we fly down the road. One of my biggest fears is going to the bathroom during a tornado and being found with my pants around my ankles two blocks away. Going to the bathroom in the camper kind of makes me a little un-nerved too. There is just something about sitting on a potty and being able to hear a semi truck blazing past you just feet away.

I do kind of get off topic some, but it was around 6 when we pulled out this morning. The only ones awake were Robby, me and the dog. We had to wake her up because her kennel has to be put up for the slide to come in, and she needed a potty break. (And let me just vent for a minute, she did not have an accident in that camper for over 9 hours yesterday-and she has had three back in this house since we came home this afternoon. I do not understand.)

Robby did move Keaton down off of the top bunk and onto our bed so we wouldn't have to worry about her. We drove for at least an hour or maybe more before hearing any movement in the back. Graham said that he did wake up when we started to drive, but we didn't see him for the longest time. Anderson and Campbell were the first ones to start stirring.

When ever I would go to the back, I would try to pick a few things up and work on our bedding some. Bedding is just tough-you need it out every night, but you sure don't want it left out during the day. So I try to fold things and stack them neatly some day and usually on travel days I put things away. Today though there wasn't much putting away since everything needed to be washed-this was a long trip plus we now have a dog! 

We hadn't been going too long when Robby decided that he needed to go the bathroom. I tried to talk him out of it, but he couldn't be persuaded. We did the mid driving switcheroo. I was told to stay at 70 and keep up with Casey. There was no one on the road so I did just fine-I was actually praying the whole time that no one would pass me and thankfully, no one did. There was no traffic that early where we were.

The first real stop was just before Tupelo. By this time everyone was moving around. The kids are all so funny-they act like they haven't seen each other in days every time that we stop at a gas station. We eventually pulled out our Buccees baked goods-scones, muffins, kolaches and cinnamon rolls. They were delicious though Campbell said that she didn't really like the cinnamon roll.

There was one more stop at the rest stop right when you get into Arkansas. The drivers had to use the restroom. We also spent some time looking at Casey's spare trailer tire-he was a bit concerned he wouldn't make it home. He also showed Robby a drill and jack that he needed to add to his arsenal of tools to be prepared for anything. And then we looked at our van's tail light that looked like it was ready to fall off. Now, that was nothing that a little bit of duct tape couldn't fix (temporarily).

Soon we were back at home filling up the gas tank and getting propane. Then it was home to work-well, Robby is a softee and did buy Subway for our lunch. Graham had been mentioning Subway every single time that we saw a sign for it. We came home and ate before starting on the camper.

The kids helped more than before-of course we are short a kid worker because there always had to be someone with the dog. Robby and I were in the camper gathering things and telling people were they needed to go. Most of the trips were just taking piles of towels, sheets, clothes and jackets to the laundry room to wash. Of course all of the food has to put away which the kids can do for us. 

It didn't really take too long. We even had a bit of downtime before Robby and I went back out to clean the camper. That is my least favorite thing to do but it really just takes about 30 minutes. And when we are done, I always think that I wish that our house was this small because it could be cleaned in that short amount of time too.

Before too long we were huddled around the tv watching the Hogs play. We have some money riding on March Madness so there was some heated competition tonight-we love those Hogs but some people needed Baylor to win so they could win. 

March 28, 2021-Spring Break 2021

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My Benedryl worked wonderfully well, and I probably could have slept another fer hours. I think that most of the folks in the camper could have stayed asleep longer if I hadn't gotten up and started making some racket. Robby was awake first and woke poor Bentley up to give her a bath before our start home.

We pulled out somewhere between 10 and 11. We had one difficult turn to navigate through, but Casey had more trouble than we did. We all hooked up our cars and though that he was about to pull out behind us so we went on. A bit later we got a text saying they were changing their trailer tire. We pulled off at Walmart. I took that time to run in to buy some bread for our lunches and some Snickers for Robby.

The Crafts met us there. Casey was a bit worried about his spare, but the tire place didn't have one his size. They decided to press on and if need be, they could use Robby's trailer spare. So we were soon back on the road. Reagan and Keaton were in the Craft's camper while we only had their Anna so our camper was a bit emptier than usual.

Once we were on the road, we did zoom on down the road. There was a brief slow down in traffic which somehow led to my and Traci both driving these things. I just drove for about half a mile while Robby pottied. Traci drove to the next gas station-yikes! I'm not nearly there yet. And the wind has been crazy strong today. I can feel us swaying in the front so I know the people in the back can definitely feel the swaying.

After the first gas station stop, our next goal was Buccees. We seriously, might have an obsession or maybe we just like spending money! Either way Buccees doesn't disappoint. Also the huge amount of gas pumps make filling up super easy.

We pumped our gas, walked the dog, bought icees, bought supper, made supper and were soon back on the road. We all did that in a fairly short amount of time as well. We bought 2 pounds of BBQ and put that on our buns. I think most of my crew had finished their food by the time they we had actually left the parking lot. 

Then it was back on the road. I worked on the blog some and worked on our campsite reviews. We were surprised at each spot when Reagan stayed in the Craft camper. She later said that she thought the time went quicker because she was in a different place. I would have thought that the girls would have all bounced back and forth between campers, but they all stayed in the same camper the whole day long.

Our drive today was just over 9 hours, but it was longer with our stops and traffic. After our evening Buccee's run, we were just minutes away from the Bass Pro. We didn't hang outside and play tonight and went pretty much straight to bed once we could get everyone settled. 

Bentley was the hardest to get settled-most of the evening she had rode peacefully laying on Graham on the couch. Tonight though she was racing through the camper only stopping to bark at the broom. It was something to see. Right now she is rolling around on my bed acting like an upside down turtle while playing with a blanket. 

And yes, we have taken more pictures of the dog today than we have of the kids. I will try to do better tomorrow. 

Campsite Reviews

Alabama

Boondocking

Bass Pro (Leeds, Alabama, 2020/2021)-Fairly secluded at night, lots of space, fairly level, feels like you are in the woods, but in a parking lot (7 out of 10 S'mores)

Arkansas

Corps of Engineer Camping Areas

Maumelle Park (Little Rock, Arkansas, 2020)-Spacious sites, playgrounds, limited easy paved trails, most do not have full hook ups (most water and electric) (8 out of 10 S'mores)

Federal Recreational Areas

Long Pool (Dover, Arkansas 2020)-Remote, no cell service within 5 miles, water and electric only, first come first serve, good swim hole, small-only 20 hook up sites (7 out of 10 S'mores)

State Parks

Mississippi River State Park (Marianna, Arkansas, 2020)-On peninsula, smaller camping area, limited trails, no cell service at campground, visitor center about 5 miles away (6 out of 10 S'mores)

Daisy State Park (Kirby, Arkansas, 2020)-Nice lake views, spacious but unlevel table/fire pit areas, playground, small trail, basketball court, good for groups (8 out of 10 S'mores)

Devil's Den State Park (Winslow, Arkansas, 2021)-Nice big loop, ball field, plenty of room to play, nice scenic hiking trail system (8 out of 10 S'mores)

Cane Creek State Park (Star City, Arkansas, 2020)-Small, nice lake views, moderate 14 mile bike trail, short hikes, nice campsite loop, limited activities (7 out of 10 S'mores)

Private Campgrounds

Whitewater RV Park (Mountain View, Arkansas, 2020)-Sites ultra close, convenient to city park, walking distance to downtown square (3 out of 10 S'mores)

Florida

Private Campgrounds

Camp Gulf (Miramar Beach, Florida, 2020)-Expensive, convenient to beach, sites close together, nice bathhouses, pools (8 out of 10 S'mores)

Fun N Sun (Sarasota, Florida, 2021)-Massive, Disney-ish pool, nightly pool music, lots of activities, level sites, Dennie retirement option location, 35 minutes from beach (9 out of 10 S'mores)

Tropical Palms (Kissimmee, Florida, 2021)-Convenient to Disney World, small resort feel with cottages and RV sites, decent amount of amenities, sites are close-ish together, level, lots of grass (7 out of 10 S'mores)

Georgia

State Parks

Stone Mountain (Atlanta, Georgia 2021)-Lots of attractions nearby, semi-convenient to downtown Atlanta, sites in need of TLC, currently renovating some loops, built into side of hill, picnic areas unlevel (6 out of 10 S'mores)

Unicoi State Park (Helen, Georgia, 2020)-Beautiful, large state park, level was an issue for us, close to Anna Ruby Falls (a must), zipline course ($), near Helen (Christmas town) (8 out of 10 S'mores)

Louisiana

State Parks

Bogue Chitto State Park (Franklinton, Louisiana, 2020)-Remote, large state park, splash pad area, large bike trail, our pull through felt like we were on the side of the road, possible tubing opportunities (6 out of 10 S'mores)

Mississippi

Boondocking

Harlow's Casino (Greenville, Mississippi, 2020)-Well lit, in truck parking lot, major pot holes (5 out of 10 S'mores)

South Carolina

State Parks

Myrtle Beach State Park (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, 2020)-Very large, lots of shade, beach is walkable but plenty of parking, convenient to Myrtle Beach, nice beach, free pier to walk out on (7 out of 10 S'mores)

County Parks

James Island County Park Campground (Charleston, South Carolina, 2020)-Large campground, lots of nice, paved trails, many activity opportunities (ropes course, rock wall, water park), beautiful Christmas light display, convenient to downtown Charleston (9 out of 10 S'mores)

Private Campgrounds

River Bottom Farms Family Campground (Swansea, South Carolina, 2020)-Fairly remote, small campground loop, playground, jumping pillow, older KOA feel, short (muddy) trail, Columbia 30 minutes away (6 out of 10 S'mores)

Tennessee

Boondocking

Walmart (Jackson, Tennessee, 2020)-Convenient, busy parking lot, only one entrance available for tall rigs, convenient to Sams gas (6 out of 10 S'mores)

State Parks

T. O. Fuller State Park (Memphis, Tennessee, 2021)-Convenient to Memphis, needs some attention and a weed eater, long trail nearby, fairly level spots, playground near campsite, baseball, basketball and more playgrounds nearby. (5 out of 10 S'mores)



March 27, 2021-Spring Break 2021

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Well, today was certainly a success-we didn't misplace any of our children! My night was not a success though-those little bug bites all over my legs and arms kept me up most of the night. It was actually surprising that I didn't have claw marks everywhere. Despite trying my best to not scratch, I just had to scratch them.

My dose of Benedryl didn't do anything at all. I took another dose about 3 hours later, and that didn't help much either. My Benedryl is children's Benedryl so that is probably the reason. Tonight I took some grown up Beendryl from the Crafts so I certainly might start slurring my words as this blog goes on.

I scratched and itched and got up to go to the bathroom multiple times during the night. I tried Keaton's steroid cream, I tried lotion, I tried deodorant (I read it might work). Finally, I around 4 I took a crazy hot shower and at least I was then able to sleep until Bentley started to wake us up.

Today was our first day of this trip where we have really had time to make a big breakfast. I know this is a road trip, but this is still a camping trip, and camping trips deserve big breakfasts. Campbell whipped up pancakes while Robby cooked 2 pounds of bacon and some eggs. It was quite the feast, and everyone was pretty happy this morning.

After cleaning up, we took a walk through some of this place. It is so massive, and I so want to retire here. Or maybe I just want to summer here or even stay for longer. Bentley walked some, and she rode in the stroller some as well. It is so funny how many people stop to talk to us because of her. At least they are looking at the dog and not counting the kids.

Though our next door neighbor told Robby that he and his wife had spent all day trying to figure out how many kids we had between us and the Crafts. Ha! Their guess was 9-they were 2 off! I wonder which 2 they hadn't seen-probably Whitman and Sophia and Anna could probably be confused for one kid.

It was soon pool time. The huge slide was open so the kids loved sliding down that. It was warm today but not nearly as warm as it was yesterday. Yesterday you had to get in the pool or you would just melt. At least get in for a few minutes so you would be wet. Today, the pool was cold to me, and if we would have been at home, then I would have said "no, thank you."

We stayed there for about 2 hours. I came back with the first bunch and barely had time to clean a few things before the others arrived back. Then we grabbed some snacks and jumped into the cars to go see the real beach. Anderson decided to stay back so that was fine with us since he could entertain the dog.

Campbell was riding with the Crafts, and we had one of their girls. I think for the first few minutes they were waiting on us to get in the car and get all of our stuff together. They were parked behind us since they are 2 campsites down from us. Then we notice that Casey got out of the car and was working on something.

We watched while the kids did the commentary on what all was happening-Mr. Casey got his tool bag, Abigail got an oven mitt, Mr. Casey just dumped his whole tool bag on the ground. While all of this was happening, we were sitting comfortably in the nice air conditioned car. Eventually, Anderson came out of the camper to take Bentley out-it had been 20 minutes since we had "left." He was surprised to see us. 

The work continued behind us long enough for Casey to say that we could go ahead and go. We were in no hurry since by that time, we had pulled out snacks to watch their show. Apparently, her window fell down in the door of the car and wouldn't stay up. He tinkered a temporary solution and soon they were driving up beside us ready to go-and that's when Robby made the "roll down your window" hand motion. They may not have thought that was as funny as we did!

We then drove to the beach nearby and you know, going to a public beach in the middle of Spring Break on a Saturday is probably not the wisest of things. You know when you have been seeing the pictures of partygoers on beaches and the police are having to be called-well, that could have been our beach. It was crazy! We circled and circled for parking, went to look for another beach and then had to return to the first beach.

Robby and Casey dropped everyone off before looking for their own parking spots. They found some and then had to come and find us. The flags were red so the kids couldn't really get in very far-for which I was very thankful. I made sure that I got a little bit of sun on my legs and arms-hopefully that will help with my bites. (Because it really can't make it any worse.)

After almost 2 hours there, we headed back home. Robby drove a whole gaggle of kids to the bathhouse to take showers. Then I went with the whole crew to play putt putt. They have an 18 hole course here which was pretty fun. Everyone enjoyed it-Reagan was the official score keeper and it was certainly a challenge to keep our scores without any score cards! Anderson ended up winning with Graham being second place. I was next to last, but I think that is because I was fairly honest with my scores.

Robby did laundry while we were gone and had supper going along with the hog game on when we returned. We ate our spaghetti and watched the Hogs squeak out a victory. It was a pretty perfect evening here so we stayed out until after 10 just sitting around under the tent. These last two days have been some of my very favorite days so it was nice to make them last just a bit longer.

When we did go inside, Robby continued to work outside straightening and putting things away while I worked inside. Soon everyone was in their beds and the place was straight again. It doesn't take long for this place to get messy, and if we do a little bit of work, it doesn't take long for this place to look nice again either. Tomorrow we begin the drive towards home-if we didn't have school, we would probably make this vacation last a wee bit longer.

March 26, 2021-Spring Break 2021

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Once again we all slept wonderfully last night. Bentley slept until almost 8 so the rest of us did as well. We were pretty tired after our (almost) Disney day yesterday. When I woke up, I was crazy itchy-still am really. 

Yesterday, we were getting bit by tiny gnats. They stung a bit when they bit, but then seemed to go away. Within an hour the bites were red dots, but this morning they were full blown itchy mosquito bites. I had to take a shower hoping that the warm water would help-it did temporarily.

We didn't get on the road until 9 or even a few minutes afterwards. We didn't really have too far to go today with really no plans at all. Campbell and Keaton rode the first leg in the Crafts camper leaving us with the boys and Reagan. It was an incredibly quiet ride!

We just went about an hour and stopped for gas and a glance around a Lazy Day RV store. There were lots of things to see and only a few things that we needed We did buy a few hooks-we have realized that even though everything has a real home, there just aren't enough hooks to hang things up that we need again soon. 

At that stop, we put Bentley in her kennel with her new huge chew stick. She barely touched it when we returned. We did see as we were walking in that she could have come in the store with us. Oh, well that was fine-she probably enjoyed a little bit of quiet time. After leaving the store, we had only about 45 minutes until we arrived at our destination. 

Yesterday's RV park was large, but this RV park is massive. It is just really something to see. Casey's site was in front of ours so he blocked our street which actually turned out perfect for us. We went down another street and quickly unhooked. Then Casey was able to help Robby with unhooking his trailer before he backed up. 

As we were trying to level (didn't even have to), hook things up, slide out the slides and everything else that needs to happen the kids were putting on their bathing suits and spraying sun screen. Soon we were all on the way to the pool. It wasn't a bad walk at all-on my way I saw a huge raccoon that scared the mess out of me. It was climbing the tree in front of me and then I had to walk under it. 

The pool was Disney-esque. It was massive, it was full, and it had a ton of atmosphere. The kids all enjoyed it-I even had to get in since we had gotten warm working before. Once I was wet, it was certainly pleasant outside sitting in the shade. 

We stayed at least two hours-without having the adult swim time like our pool at home, we didn't really know when to re-apply sunscreen or when to pass out snacks. I guess I ended up a little heavy on snacks and a little light on sunscreen! My people are all pretty pink tonight.

Robby put in laundry while we were swimming. Anderson went back with him at one point. Then Whitman and Graham walked back together. He came to pick up Keaton because her eyes were hurting her (the chlorine really bother her and Whitman's eyes-Whitman had a fit when I put eye drops in his eyes today. I guess he had never had any.) The rest of us walked back all except for Campbell, Reagan and Abigail who came home about 15 minutes after us. 

Back at the camper, we folded clothes, cleaned up some and then just sat outside in the shade with the fan blowing on us-it was perfect. Soon the shade started to reach us and the temperature was again pleasant. There was time for some tv watching and bike riding for the kids.

This evening we did take Bentley to give her a bath. They had a super nice dog washing area, so we put that girl up there and cleaned her well. We did cause quite a commotion because there were lots of kiddos with us. One old lady even said we looked like a parade going down the street. Ha! This place is kind of like being in a nursing home-everyone wants to talk to us!

As Robby was heating up our chili, Graham asked me to go on a walk. The walk was a bit longer than planned-and had a bit more excitement than planned. There were lots of our girls riding their bikes in front of us, Whitman was next, followed by Graham who was walking, then Anderson on his bike slowly returning with me.

When I made it back to the campground, someone or somehow I asked about Whitman. Nope! He wasn't back. By now it was starting to be dusk-I threw down the sour cream and cheese in my hand and headed out. The big boys took off on their bikes, Campbell on her bike, and Robby eventually in the car.

What followed was a pretty scary 10 minutes, but he was found safe and sound. We had been on a straight road, the girls were ahead of him and turned into our street and into our camper before he got there so he just kept peddling. Graham and Anderson took off (and I mean took off) down the road. Graham made it to him first-he was standing at a crossroads trying to decide which way to go. By this time he knew he was lost, but he didn't seem too upset.

Soon all was calm again-well, it took a while for my heart to stop racing, but we were all accounted for. And bless, my Campbell. She was pretty frantic. I probably don't rave about all of my big kids enough, but not just helping find Whitman, but all the time they are pretty wonderful.

The big 4 have often been pretty selfless on this trip. They do their best to help all of the littles-entertaining Gabriel or watching everyone. I guess coming from a large family does make you aware of little kids and trying to watch out for them. Just over and over again, their helpful, selfless servant characters have shown through.

Even though it was still warm outside, our chili for supper hit the spot. We ate it while swatting at mosquitoes-thankfully, I do think that my bug spray worked well-just too bad I didn't use it earlier yesterday. I have been pretty miserable all day from my bites yesterday. I have tried not to scratch, but just scratching one or two isn't too bad since I have probably 50. I did take a super hot shower tonight. Plus I even took some Benedryl. And actually, I better finish the blog before I start slurring my words since that medicine will soon knock me out!

March 25, 2021-Spring Break 2021

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Robby had just gotten to sleep last night when he heard a light near Reagan and Keaton's bunks. There was also a commotion. He was sound asleep so somehow he thought that dog had chewed through her kennel and was in bed with Reagan. He asked if they had the dog-they didn't hear him or would have been very confused. Keaton's bed rail had fallen, and Reagan was checking the floor for Keaton who was still in her bed. They were able to put it on better and of course tonight I worked on it as well. 

Robby was the first one awake this morning. His stirring around woke up Bentley who went to potty. Then she played on my bed for a little bit-gracious she is super bitey in the morning time. We were even trying to be quiet until she started barking at me. I believe that she wanted to play a little bit more than I was able to since there were so many folk still sleeping. Anyway, they didn't sleep too long after all of that.

The kids didn't take long at all to get outside and start riding on the Craft scooters. Last night we did not unhook our bikes when we arrived. We did get in late last night so there wasn't much time. The weather this morning was absolutely perfect. 

Robby took Bentley to the dog sitter this morning. It was relatively inexpensive, and that way we didn't have to worry about hurrying home to let her out. The lady was standing on the curb when Robby drove up, and then Bentley licked the lady all over the face. 

He came back to the campground and had breakfast before we loaded up for our Disney (kind of) day of fun. We parked at the Contemporary since we had lunch reservations. We arrived about 2 hours before our reservations so we would have time to play for a little bit. 

After a few pictures outside, we caught the monorail and rode all the way to the Grand Floridian. From there, we walked through the lobby of that beautiful hotel which was the hotel that Robby and I were in for our honeymoon. Then we used the brand new walkway from the Grand Floridian to Magic Kingdom. The walkway was a bit longer than we had expected (3/4 of a mile), but it was fairly pleasant with a breeze and occasional shade. It was fairly warm with the sun shining down on our head.

Now, when we did get in front of Magic Kingdom Casey really wanted to buy tickets. He even asked a few cast members if that was even a possibility. They were completely booked, but we still had fun doing our (kind of) Disney day. 

From Magic Kingdom, we rode the monorail back to the Contemporary where we ate lunch at the Wave restaurant. We had 3 different reservations but somehow they accommodated us all at 2 giant tables. The menu was pretty limited so I was a bit worried. However, I think that it will be one of the favorite meals of the trip.

Reagan did order off of the adult menu and got a soup, salad and sandwich platter. She didn't even ask what kind of soup it was going to be. We had to ask what kind of soup it was after she had finished eating it. Anderson just wanted a kids hamburger because he didn't care for any of the fancy things on the adult burger. Graham and Campbell had grilled chicken. Keaton had pasta, and Whitman had a hamburger. Now all of the kids meals came with 2 sides and since one their choices was a make your own ice cream sundae, they all got that.

When they delivered Anderson's sundae, we soon realized that they prepared it just for him-it was a huge bowl of ice cream. Now a little version like they were passing out at the next table full of the rest of our kids. I do believe that the vanilla ice cream, with chocolate syrup, mickey shaped sprinkles and chocolate chips. 

After eating, we then caught a bus to the Hollywood Studios. Our goal for getting over there was to ride the Skyliners. We were able to do that without any problem rode all of the way to Epcot and back. It was really a super neat Disney day. Back at Hollywood Studios, we had to catch another bus, but we were soon back at our cars.

From there, we went back to the campground for a little bit. I took my little 4 to swim with the Craft kiddos. I was super thankful that they all remembered how to swim-though Whitman never ventured to far in the deep water. I also decided that I might just winter in Florida like half of this campground. Seriously, many of these campers look like they are here to stay-like 3 foot potted plants, cement steps leading to their camper and some of these campers look about as large as our Gamble house. 

Anderson didn't swim so he stayed back at the camper. Reagan chose to go with Robby to pick up Bentley. They did stop to get a drink on the way and picked up some bottled water. We got through bottled water like you wouldn't believe on trips. My people don't like to drink the tap water-it's fine and clean, but water from different places just taste different. 

Bentley had a grand old time today. She went on walks, rode in a doggy stroller, had some treats and got lots of attention. It was well worth the money not to have to worry at all about her today. Not only were all of our people waiting to see her, but the Craft girls couldn't wait to see her either.

For supper tonight, we pulled out the air fryer and heated up all of our leftovers. It couldn't have worked out better-it did't take long and we cleaned out the fridge. Afterwards, we went to the Disney outlet store....which had closed early today. Ugh, that was pretty frustrating. I was hoping that we would be able to shop there and find a few fun things.

Our next stop was Disney Springs so we arrived there earlier, and really we needed every minute of time tonight. We didn't get there early enough to get a spot in line for the new cookie store. But we were able to walk around some in the crowd. Campbell and Keaton bought drinks from Starbucks while Graham left with cinnamon and sugar pretzels to eat. Whitman chose his snack to be popsicles from the freezer, Reagan got a strawberry Dole Whip, and Anderson never did settle on anything.

We spent some time in the overwhelming World of Disney store. It was just too big for me-too overwhelming. We did get out of there without losing anyone and with only spending a small-ish amount of money. Keaton bought two things and Campbell also bought three little things-2 of those are to give to a friend. Now, nothing at Disney is cheap so Campbell spent a good chunk of money on other people-that is just my big hearted Campbell. 

By the time we finished the Disney store, it was almost 10 so we headed to the cars. Back at the campers, we loaded up the bikes and the van (we are in a pull through site), and we also gave Bentley lots of attention before it was finally bedtime for this crew.


March 24, 2021-Spring Break 2021

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It was pretty early when Robby started stirring, but I refused to start moving until he was out of the shower. It didn't take me long to make the bed, put on my clothes and get ready this morning. The difficult task is being quiet so I don't wake up the others. 

Soon, Bentley had pottied, and Robby rolled off of the leveling blocks. That usually wakes most people up, but it didn't really today. I jumped out and followed him in the van to check in area where there was a spot to easily hook up the van.

Casey was outside stirring, but since it takes us a little bit longer to hook up we left before they did. By the time that we had finished-I helped Robby while Bentley's leash was around my wrist, and Robby worked while Bentley was crawling all over him. No one was awake inside to watch her.

On the drive to Kennessaw National Battlefield, we remembered that Keaton was sleeping in the top bunk. I went back to move her, but she did not want to move at all. I finally convinced her to move to my bed, so I had to do a bit of pleading, but she eventually relented and let me move her. After moving her, I certainly felt much better about flying down the interstate while she was snoozing in the bed and not the top bunk.

It took about 45 minutes through a little bit of Atlanta rush hour traffic to arrive at Kennessaw. Robby had researched online that they had an overflow parking lot that would easily fit our two rigs. He was a bit nervous as Casey turned down the road towards the parking lot. Thankfully, the internet did not steer us wrong and the parking lot was huge and empty.

We both parked, and Casey unhooked and headed to his meeting. Robby also unhooked our car-now, this is something that we never ever would have even thought about doing just a few months ago. It sure wasn't a problem at all today.

Most of us walked to the visitor's center, while Robby drove part of the crew. In the visitor's center, I stamped everyone's book, and we walked around the museum for a little bit. Whitman and Keaton had worked on a Jr. Ranger book so they turned that in to receive their badge. Now only did they receive their badge, but they also got a bag full of goodies-a tiny buffalo, a frisbee, a pencil and some stickers. That was the nicest Jr. Ranger spot that we had ever been to. 

Even though the Jr. Ranger swag was nice, the educational part of the visitor's center was lacking. The movie was closed (stupid covid) and the museum wasn't very interactive. The ranger at Arkansas Post wins my educational stop award. She came out of the closed visitor's center to talk to my kids about what all had happened there. Now it was a bit long, but they (and we) all learned something.

After the visitor's center, Robby drove us to the top of the mountain. Well, he didn't drive all 14 of us at once. He drove one crew while the other waited at the bottom. Then we all explored for a little bit before coming down off the mountain-again in shifts.

We all got back to the campers about 20 minutes before Casey arrived back. In that time, Bentley had lots of playtime, Whitman asked for his bike and rode around the parking lot and Robby pulled out a lawn chair and enjoyed the pleasant weather. I used the time to straighten up a little bit, and soon we were on the road to Orlando.

Campbell rode with the Crafts for the first and second legs of the trip, and we had two of theirs. We drove about 120 miles to Buccees to get gas. I know that we have been to a lot of them recently, but they are just super easy in this big thing to get in and out of. The kids ran in to get icees, Robby requested fudge, Robby pumped gas, and Anderson walked Bentley (I grabbed his icee for him.)

Soon we were back on the road for another long stretch. We lost a hubcap on the way down here, and this afternoon we saw a trailer hitch pin bouncing in front of us. It was Casey's, but he had a spare that he put on at the next gas station. That was a timely stop because we were over 3 hours of traveling and Robby and Bentley's bladders were full.

The final leg to the campground was not too eventful. Bentley did have to potty-she sat at the door and whined. We couldn't ask for anything else, but she just eventually had to go on the floor. That was fine because I stuck my puppy pad under her and quickly cleaned everything up. It is something when you scrub down floors that you thought had been clean, and your paper towels are brown when you finish. You just bring a lot of dirt into this thing.

So tonight we are at Tropical Palms in Kissimmee, Florida. It is pretty packed with campers-we haven't had time to explore much because when we did pull into our site, we unhooked and were on our way in about 10 minutes. 

I had my crew going to the bathroom before we even pulled in so that was one less thing to do. The mission tonight was to get to Disney Springs for a little bit before our dinner reservations. The only thing that we were able to do was to get our temperatures taken and then wait in a line to get into the World of Disney store.

The line part is silly because the sidewalks were crazy crowded. However, because they are limiting the number of people in the store, it wasn't crowded in there at all. We were actually able to look around except we didn't have too much time.

We did get an overview for when/if we come back tomorrow. Then we hurried off for our 9:15 dinner reservations at Ragland Road. It didn't take long at all for us to be seated. We thought we were going to have 2 different tables-we did have two different tables but 10 kids were at one and the adults and Gabriel were at the other.

I had fish and chips, and it was very good. Robby liked his sandwich though it needed sauce. Whitman had mac and cheese, Campbell and Graham had grilled chicken, Anderson and Keaton had chicken fingers, Reagan had something from the adult menu-it was a brave pick, and I think that she pretty much liked it. The kids portions were huge, but for the most part the kids ate everything on their plates-probably eating after 10 can cause you to be a bit hungry.

When we finished with dinner, Disney Springs was a ghost town. It would have been perfect to walk around then except there were no stores open. There is a new cookie place that I would like to try, but I am not too sure about an 8 hour line. The entrance to get into the area (Disney Springs) wasn't too bad-though you did have to walk an extra few blocks to zig zag through the Covid screening. And Robby was able to snap a few pictures of the kids without masks without anyone fussing at us so that was a good thing.

Overall, it was a pretty perfect day. When Anderson laid down tonight, he said that it had been a good day, and I do certainly agree. It was almost 1 when Robby and I finally laid down-he looks like he is doing some real work while I am going to catch up on my fun stuff.


March 23, 2021-Spring Break 2021

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In the middle of the night last night, Keaton started talking in her sleep. She does this often, but I am often not in the same room with her. Well, the whole family is not often in the same room with her. Not only did she wake Robby and I up, but she also woke up Bentley who started barking for a few minutes. She finally calmed back down, and we were all able to go back to sleep.

Everyone then slept until 8 this morning. Well, the kids really slept a bit later and only stirred after Robby and I had been awake for a little bit. We had our breakfast, hung out around the campsite and then loaded up to go eat lunch.

We probably weren't too hungry, but no trip to Atlanta would be complete without a trip to the Varsity. It ha lost some of it's ambiance probably due to covid, but it was still a fun stop for us. We had our fill of hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled cheese, onion rings, milkshakes and french fries. You certainly can't beat all of that for lunch.

From there, we were just a bit away from the Georgia Aquarium. We were able to pretty easily find pay parking. The aquarium was busy, but not really crazy busy. When we walked in the door, a man showed Traci and I how to sign up for seating for the dolphin show. Then we started exploring.

We pretty much visited every exhibit. My favorite were the sharks for sure. It was neat to see all of the fish. But I would say that the kids' highlight was definitely the dolphin show. Graham, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman wanted to sit with some of the Craft girls down at the very front in the splash zone. 

Of course they needed an adult to sit with him, so I decided to wear the red dress and sit there. The show was really neat to see from down low-we probably couldn't see everything because we were so low, but we definitely felt the splashes. I did have my jacket off and ready to cover up my head and body with. From under my jacket, I was able to peek out and see that the kids were loving every minute of it.

They were soaked by the end of it! I was pretty soaked, but not like I would have been if I wouldn't have had that jacket on! We were able to touch string rays before we had to leave. That was a super long time to leave Bentley. 

We walked back to the car, and it did help us dry off some. On the way back to the campground, we had a bit of a snack which held us over until supper. On the way back to the campground, I did run into the camp store to see if they had any stickers for the side of the camper. I did it super quick because we were anxious to get back to check on Bentley. 

That silly dog had been in her camper for almost 5 hours, and it was perfectly dry. We were all completely shocked. We had already made plans on exactly how we were going to clean what, but we didn't need those plans at all. After Bentley's potty break, we went to town getting the laundry ready for Robby to take to wash. Those of us who had wet clothes changed into something dry-it is certainly nice to have all clean clothes and non salt water splashed clothes.

Robby ran to do the laundry, and really we just vegged out for the rest of the evening. He had great luck with the washing machines, and I was soon folding the clothes and having people put them away. For supper tonight, we pulled out the age old camping device-the air fryer. Ha! It is our new toy, and we used it to make chicken roll ups tonight. It was especially easy and everyone came back for seconds. (chicken, cheese, some refried beans rolled up in a tortilla that had a tiny bit of butter on it and in the air fryer for a few minutes.)

When supper was over, we started taking down camp, because tomorrow is an early morning. We were soon packed up and just sitting at the picnic table chilaxing. It was around 11:30 when we finally told the kids lights out-but we are pretty ready for tomorrow so hopefully we will be ready for an early start.

March 22, 2021-Spring Break 2021

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We slept wonderfully well last night in the Bass Pro parking lot. Robby did hear a few sirens since we are fairly near the interstate, but that didn't bother me at all. And I wasn't bothered by the chilly temps in the camper either. 

When Robby took Bentley out at 7, Anderson and Reagan did ask for another blanket since they were a little bit chilly. Robby tells the kids every night to wake him up if they are cold or hot, and even last night he said that he didn't sleep great because he kept waking up making sure it was a decent temperature. It is hard to regulate the temp really well in a tin box. We are more prepared tonight-the heat is set and ready to go. 

We knew that check in was this afternoon, so we were in no hurry to leave where we were. So we leisurely ate our breakfasts-Robby had a boudain kolache from last night's Buccees. I had a blueberry scone from there along with some cinnamon rolls that some of the kids split-it was all absolutely delicious. What a wonderful way to start the day. We honestly should have bought more.

To kill a bit of time before getting on the road, we walked through Bass Pro. We didn't plan to buy anything, but we bought a poop scooper and the Crafts bought a set of walkie talkies. And can you just imagine how much fun the walkie talkies were the next 2 hours as we went on down the road heading to Atlanta.

Seriously, they helped keep the kids entertained, and Robby and I were pretty entertained ourselves. It didn't seem like that long of a drive. Soon we were entering the Stone Mountain Campground. We found our spots-they are basically dug into the side of a hill. There isn't much flat ground around here so even finding a spot for our chairs was a bit difficult. 

After walking around some and grabbing a few snacks, we loaded up to ride the Summit Skyride to the top of the mountain. It was a little bit pricey, but memories seem to be pricey. Ha! It was fun-I had thought that at least one kiddo would have been afraid of the super high tram, but no one seemed to be bothered by it.

Earlier at camp, it was a little bit warm, but on top of the mountain, it wasn't warm at all. The wind was blowing and it was pleasant and almost a bit chilly. We toyed with the idea of walking down the mountain, but since we had already paid and paid dearly for the tram, we rode down.

After riding down, we went to the stone carving to view it. The kids enjoyed playing in the field so much. They would run and run. I am sure that they were a little bit worn out on the short ride back to the campground. When we came back, we walked around some more-Bentley even went on a few walks. She never walks well for me on the leash, but for the others she seems to do decent. Though it doesn't take long for her to get tired. 

The kids rode their bikes and just really had a great afternoon here. We all cooked hamburgers for our suppers. Anderson suggested that I make mac and cheese, so since I had a box I was able to do that. After eating, we pulled out our s'mores and went to town with those. The kids heated them up on Casey's charcoal grill since we didn't make a fire tonight. It was cool, but really wasn't that cool.

It was about 11:30, before my camper was quiet. We came in much earlier, but it takes a bit of time for us all to cycle through the showers. The kids and Bentley were all pretty tired from the day-we have lots of fun things planned tomorrow so we all need some sleep tonight.

March 21, 2021-Spring Break 2021

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The morning started like all of the rest-Bentley woke Robby up, and then they eventually woke me up. My day did start out with a bang-Robby went to the bathroom leaving me in charge of Bentley which is kind of our normal morning routine. 

I should have thought something was up when Bentley sat at the door that Robby had walked out of and whined. She then went to our bedroom door and turned a few circles before I realized that she was trying to potty. I grabbed her up, shaking things loose and ran down the hall. 

She definitely had to go, and the mess inside wasn't too difficult to clean up so that was good. It was my fault because occasionally she has started to tell us that she does indeed need to go potty. 

Soon I was running around the house waking kids, folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher and taking a shower. Robby was running around trying to make things off of his list-yes, he wrote a list of a few things on his phone. He rarely writes lists, so you know that when he does write a list, something serious is happening or a trip is coming. 

I had time to run my laundry basket of things out to the camper before we headed to church, and then it was time for every one to jump in the cars. We took two cars so Robby could run home a bit earlier to pick up lunch and get a head start. 

Church was still full even though it was Spring Break week, but our Sunday school class was down. When church was over, Reagan picked up her sweatshirt that we made. Jennifer just finished embroidering it, and it looks so cute. She is wearing it now so you may see it in some pictures.

After church, we zoomed home. The first order of business was eating our lunch-Robby had even stopped at Sonic for everyone. We ate and then went to work. The kids were instructed to make their bed and pick up their rooms once again, but who knows how well that happened. Someone was put on dog duty outside since we wanted her to potty and potty well. Anderson folded the rest of my laundry. Everyone put away their laundry and soon the house was in order ready to go.

The Crafts text to say that they were leaving, and we jumped in the camper and headed out. The kids quickly found their spots-Graham in the bed, Reagan on the couch, Anderson in the back dinette, Whitman up top, Campbell and Keaton at the front dinette. Bentley even found her pillow right between Robby and me. 

The drive didn't seem too bad at all. The kids are such good travelers-the only noise we heard was people asking where their candy was located. Whitman did his ask if the bathroom was open. I am not sure when we have traveled and not let anyone potty, but he always asks me every time before he pottys if the bathroom is open. 

Bentley did really well. She would come and lay on her pillow and also snooze some under the table. She tried to tell us when she had to potty, but I sure couldn't convince her to pee on the pee pad-she wanted to eat it. The do work nicely to soak everything up though. We had two accidents on our drive today which is really quite good. She normally is taken potty every 30-45 minutes at home, so lasting for 2 hour stretches is good. Her accidents today weren't anything unexpected, and I was quite prepared-paper towels out the wazoo, pee pads, carpet cleaner, disinfectant, and fabreeze. 

We stopped Tupelo for a gas stop and potty stop for Bentley. The boys were all watching the basketball game-Robby even was keeping his eyes on it for a little bit-instead of the road. We wanted to be quick at the gas stop, but there was crazy traffic and some crazies there so it took a bit longer than we had wanted.

The ride from there to our stopping point tonight (Leeds, AL) was pretty smooth. Bentley slept most of the way while we celebrated the Hogs' victory. Before we knew it, we were stopped at Buccee's buying BBQ sandwiches, a hat for Campbell and a sticker for the camper. It was just right across the street from our sleeping point so we were soon outside chatting with the Crafts, eating our sandwiches and watching the kids playing on the hill that was separating our two campers. 

We stood outside for a while and before we knew it, it was already nearly 11. It takes awhile for us to get beds ready for this crew-it is a chore. A super big chore. I wish we could figure out how to do it easier, but we haven't yet. The kids are able to help, but basically we just have 6 full size people and 2 almost full size people standing in 10 square feet of space trying to move around to brush teeth, put on pjs, go to the rest room, makes beds, plus in devices-it is tough. We make it though and were soon all laying down ready for bed.

March 20, 2021

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  • We went to bed pretty late, and when Bentley whined this morning at 7, Robby jumped out of bed. He said that he had slept very little last night and had been awake since 5. I think that he might be excited about our upcoming trip.
  • From sun up to sun down we have both been busy working. Robby started off his morning by making gravy and heating up some biscuits. I worked on the laundry and dishes while he was doing all of this.
  • Graham had woke up and Whitman was still snoozing in the living room where both of them had slept. It didn't take long for Bentley to find Whitman. He crawled around all over sleeping Whitman until Graham grabbed him off.
  • Now for the rest of the day, Whitman pretty much hung out in his cozy spot where he slept. And pretty much for much of the day, Bentley hung out right by Whitman. It was the cutest thing. Bentley likes Whitman because he doesn't really pay her much attention.
  • Campbell, Keaton and Sophia slept until about 10 and I think that Kennedy and Reagan even slept later. Robby, Graham, Anderson, Bentley and I took off for a quick trip around town fairly early this morning-Nonna's, Walmart, Petsmart, Grannymom's, gas station, Sonic and home before 12:30-we were moving.
  • When we made it back home, there was more work to do-oh, yes, the groceries had arrived. The girls had all gotten them in the house and were starting to put the cold things up. Robby and I loaded most of the food up in the camper and finished off that chore off.
  • Then we worked on cleaning the mini van-if we are all going to be in it the next week, then we needed to clean it a bit. When I finished then it was time to take Sophia home except that the girls were busy-they had used jumpropes and an old board to make themselves a swing.
  • When I did come back home, it was time to start packing. I had hoped to be finished with everything by 4 today, but it was well after that when I finally did finish. The kids packed their clothes which seemed to take forever. 
  • Finally, it was time to head inside to work on cleaning this place up. Robby heated up some chicken and pulled out the leftovers. We all found a little something to eat-some folks even found dessert (but I have yet to find mine.) 
  • After that everyone cycled through the showers-even the dog. Then I vegged out in the living room with Keaton watching a decorating show. Hopefully, everyone in this house will get a little bit more sleep tonight than last night!

March 19, 2021

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  • Since this was Friday there wasn't too much happening around here-there was no school. I did count today, and I think that we have about 20 or even less days of school left this year. Maybe we will have to start doing some school on Fridays-or maybe not!
  • Early this morning right after my shower and right after some early morning Bentley playtime and nap time, I started work on packing. Bentley joined us in the camper early this morning-we are trying to get her used to it. 
  • Campbell was the first one awake today, and she was quick to come out and find us...or possibly she was looking for the dog. I think that we definitely waited until the perfect time to get the dog. The kids are old enough to help so much. And I really think the dog has brought out some good in all of the kids-Reagan is downstairs more, Anderson laughs and laughs when he plays with her, Graham acts less timid around dogs, Campbell always has someone to talk to, Keaton loves playing with her, and Bentley loves licking and sitting near Whitman.
  • I am trying to think back about the morning-it was a long time ago. It is now 1 in the morning, and I am having trouble remembering. I set straight up in bed a few minutes ago when I realized that I did forget to type the blog. 
  • Anyway, this morning the highlight was a quick run to Kroger. I was able to get my first vaccine-officially, I have been able to receive one for a while since I am a medical professional. Today was the day. While I was waiting after my shot, Robby did some speed shopping. We then ran to a pet store and were woefully disappointed at what they had. We will have to find what we need tomorrow somewhere (a long leash).
  • We hurried home to watch the Hogs. They weren't doing too well while we were in the car, but soon they started doing much better. That was a relief to most of our brackets-I think that Robby even has them going the whole way. 
  • After the game, there was some more packing. Then later this afternoon, Robby, Graham, Campbell, Keaton, Whitman and the dog went to the Crafts house. Casey washed the camper for us, and it is now shiny and clean.
  • Meanwhile, Anderson and I went to retake his driver's permit test. Last week, we had to wait in an hour line outside. This week, we waited until it was almost their closing time to go hoping to beat the line. 
  • Well, we did beat the line. There was no one there at all. When we went in, the man at the door told me that since it was a retest, I could wait in the car and Anderson would need his two forms of id. I handed him his papers and went to the car. 
  • I had barely finished my first round of prayers for his test taking when I saw him coming to the car. I was a bit confused because there was no way that he could have even taken the test that fast-unless he did super bad. He had papers in his hand which would have been good last time, but I knew he had his documents this time with him since I wasn't holding them. 
  • I opened the window thinking that somehow he needed another document or something. As I was doing this, I saw that he did indeed have his permit in his hand. He sat down in the car and told me that he had in fact passed the last time. 
  • He continued that he went in, told the lady his name, and she looked him up. She said, "Sweetie, you passed last time." To which he responded, "I did?" She confirmed that the picture was him and printed out his permit for him. 
  • Now to what happened-who knows? Last week, Anderson said that he got to question 24 and the screen stopped and changed. He assumed that he didn't pass because he didn't get to question 25-now I guess that he didn't properly read what the screen said! 
  • On the way home, he didn't know whether to be relieved or embarrassed. I was certainly relieved! And really, probably a few more days of studying didn't hurt him at all. We were back home within the hour-which is outstanding since we are never gone less than an hour anywhere we go, much less to an government office.
  • Soon Robby and the kids were back along with one of Keaton's friends. About that time, Kennedy showed up. So the house was full tonight-and since it was full tonight, after eating supper, Robby and I headed out to the camper. 
  • We worked out there fairly late getting things ready. Bentley came too-she was a bit unsettled, but finally fell sound asleep. When we did go in, we tried to trim her fingernails but she would have none of that. Ha!
  • Keaton and Sophia made a dog shaped sugar cookie-it was after 11 when the dog was finally iced. We ate most of him and he was pretty delicious! If I don't go to sleep pretty soon, I guess I will get another piece. 

March 18, 2021

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  • I do believe that today was the latest start to school so far this year. We will finish the main things for sure, but really, I want to at least finish all of my library books that I have planned on reading this year. And since we are too slowly working through them, that means that I can't check any other ones out from the library. 
  • I am not a big reader, but I do love checking out books from the library. I currently have about 300 books on my list to check out. Some are to read to all of the kids, some are for some of the kids to read, and some are even movies for me to watch this summer. 
  • After doing our reading, everyone started on their together work. About this time every year, the kids have less and less work to do each week because they are finishing things (all except for Reagan this year). This is great, however, it causes me to stress about next year. If we are taking this long while doing less, then how long will things take next year? I always stress about this, but everything always ends up working out just fine.
  • Whitman had a few less things today so he zoomed through his school. I was still working with Graham with Anderson waiting when I realized that it was time to take Reagan to school. She was ready, but I was not. Thankfully, Robby was able to take her and pick her up. She just has one class on Thursdays so there isn't much time at all for running errands.
  • While she was gone, I packed a little bit in the camper-really, I filled up most of our cabinet space with our snacks. We won't go hungry for sure! Tomorrow I will have to find some room to squeeze in our real food plus I am having to squeeze in all of our dog stuff. And that I am realizing is like packing for another person.
  • Keaton and I went to the pregnancy center this afternoon for a little bit. We worked mainly on the diapers which is my favorite thing to do-Keaton's too. On the way there we had been talking about making dog treats, so Keaton looked on line on our drive. 
  • We found some cookie cutters at Walmart.com and asked Robby to buy them for us. He tried, but the immediately cancelled his order. So we found that there were some in Benton, so on the way home, we ran by the Walmart, and got our dog bone shaped cookie cutters. Now, I am not sure what our rush was to get them, because I sure am not making any in the next few days, but at least I am ready whenever I need to make them.
  • We were home for a little bit, when we headed to Nonna and Pops' house for supper. We will miss Sunday lunch over there, so they fed us tonight. Pops had bbq and ribs-my rib eating kids sure enjoyed the ribs for sure. I don't have a ton of rib eaters-just Graham, Campbell and Reagan (I think), but we are all bbq eaters for sure though.
  • We stayed at Nonna's for a little bit while we finished up one of our games. Then we headed home to check on Bentley. She was just fine-but a little ready to get out of her crate. The rest of the evening we just kind of hung out in the living room. I read a cookbook and the kids played on their devices.

March 17, 2021

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  • Pops wrote me fairly early this morning saying that hail should be coming soon. Of course, this just excites me so I tried to get our school started before the storm. And also another goal was to get Bentley to potty before the storm as well.
  • The storm was a little lackluster except we did have quite a bit of rain. I enjoyed it, but I am not too sure that Bentley did since she spent a good deal of the morning in my lap. We plugged through school-Whitman was the last to finish today. We were certainly distracted today. At 12:30, I did help him finish the last few things.
  • Anderson and Robby left fairly early this afternoon. Anderson's birthday party had to be cancelled last year before his birthday. Then we couldn't really have it during the winter time. So recently I gave him the choice of doing something soon, but he opted to just skip it. Robby wouldn't take that answer so he treated Anderson to an afternoon of fun.
  • They went to lunch at Freddy's Burgers. Then there was some game playing at Dave and Busters where Anderson won a huge stuffed bulldog. And of course they had to have ChickFilA milkshakes on the way home.
  • While they were gone, we really didn't do anything around here. I did walk on the treadmill, and Keaton worked on a fort in her bedroom. There were lots of chores on people's list to do, but I don't think that too many of them actually were accomplished.
  • Soon Anderson was home and was almost time for church tonight. Wednesday night church is a highlight for most of my kiddos so they are ready to get there and get there early.I spent most of my evening walking people to and from the bathroom. 
  • On the way home, we picked up pizza for supper. We downed pretty much all of the boxes that I bought with only a few leftovers left. Robby and Bentley were happy to see us when we arrived back home-Robby said that really all he had done tonight was to take Bentley to and from the bathroom so we pretty much did the same thing all evening long.
  • After eating tonight, there was lots of dog playing and tv watching. Currently, I am trying to get in line for the tv because I want to finish my afternoon movie!

March 16, 2021

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  • We were pretty exhausted last night. Bentley woke us up fairly early this morning. Robby took her out once this morning and tried to play with her while he did some work. I was up for the next potty break-and she completed all of her morning business.
  • Soon we started on our school for the day. Graham had done all of his work yesterday, so he worked with me first which was strange since usually I am working with him around 12:30. He was super excited about the xbox thing happening-so excited that he woke up at the crack of dawn and was all up half the night.
  • Robby took Reagan to school today. While they were gone, I ran around trying to start on my to do list. Grannymom came by and took Anderson out on a little bit of driving. He even drove on a main street-well, a main street for out here.
  • While he was gone, Keaton helped me stuff some Easter eggs. That kind of was the theme of the day since when I picked up Reagan, Campbell and Keaton joined us to run to Walmart and Academy. There we picked up the essentials for most of the kids Easter baskets-socks and underwear.
  • Back at home, this afternoon there was lots of playing with Bentley. She did have two accidents in the house-both our fault. The first one I was trying to get just a few more spelling words in before taking her out-she was whining and telling me that she couldn't wait!
  • For supper tonight, I made a tamale pie. I think that it was pretty good actually. I believe that it was only a 50 percent approval rate by the Dennie kids. That is why I made some chicken nuggets to supplement the supper. Robby did like it so, that means the recipe was a win.
  • After supper, kids headed outside to play for a little bit. Then we all gathered to pick out our March Madness picks. Everyone has picked their choices, except for Bentley. I plan on her picking tomorrow! 

March 15, 2021

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  • For some reason when I went to bed last night, I thought that I would wake up early for a head start on school. Well, I guess that I forgot about time change because when Bentley woke me up to go to the bathroom this morning, I sat on the couch, cuddled her and went right back to sleep. We snoozed for a good while.
  • However, we were still able to start on our school work at about the right time. I sped through our reading while Bentley was running crazy through the room. I am not sure why some days she is wilder than usual-well, probably because we had that good nap this morning.
  • School went very well today. It took me until 1 to finish working with everyone, but I persevered. Graham was later than usual because he did school for today and then later this afternoon, he finished the rest of his school for tomorrow. I thought that he was doing this because of basketball tomorrow, but instead there is a video game something happening.
  • The big activity today was taking Bentley to the vet for her shot. It didn't take long at all-I thought she would be a bit sleepy after that big adventure, but she has not at all. She has been a bit cranky and even might be a bit sore because she barked at me and Campbell when we tried to pick her up once this afternoon.
  • This afternoon everyone was busy with different things-Whitman spent forever on the trampoline. Keaton climbed and tree and drew pictures while she was in it for a very long time. Keaton, Campbell and Whitman did some bike riding. Graham was busy with that extra school work while Reagan washed the girls' sheets. And Anderson even came outside for a little bit to fly his drone-it was pretty windy though.
  • Robby and I started working on de-winterizing the camper. We even santized the water tanks. Things were taking a bit longer than expected, but everything was working well...until Keaton told me that she had clogged the potty downstairs.
  • That is not a big deal-I came in and grabbed the plunger. After working and working to no avail, for some reason I opened the shower curtain.  Yikes! The bathtub was full-not with bath water though. Ugh! 
  • I had to go outside and tell Robby that there were more pressing issues inside! He came in and tried everything that he could think of-vinegar and baking soda, more plunging, a long snake like thing, lots of prayers, and eventually he ran to Kroger for some high powered dran-o.
  • A combination of things worked-as in everything has slowly drained. But we aren't real sure what happened and will it happen again. We knew that some day this day might come-when we bought the house, we were told that they didn't know where the septic tank was and the septic tank man said that he wouldn't even try to pump it because he might mess it up. We are prepared adequately hopefully when we added the addition, but we sure don't want to spend those stimulus checks on that!
  • Hopefully this is just a plumbing problem and not a septic tank problem though. Meanwhile, all water usage is being shifted over to this side of the house. Yikes, I guess that means no dishwasher washing tonight. We will survive though!
  • Robby is still finishing up working in the bathroom, and then still has a mess to clean up outside. I have tried to stay busy inside-I even stuffed some Easter eggs with Anderson and Keaton's help. I still have lots of Easter stuff to buy for the kids Easter baskets (I haven't bought anything yet)-actually, I was going to have Robby buy some things tonight, but I will probably wait a bit though.
  • We have let the kids stay up way too late tonight. Reagan is currently tucking a blanket around Bentley like she is a baby. My people are spoiled and they are spoiling our little dog too.

March 14, 2021

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  • Time change Sunday-wowzers! That was a bit tough getting our people out of bed. I went around once waking everyone up, and then Robby had to walk around another time to make sure that everyone was awake.
  • This week everyone did know that it was time to go when we left. We didn't leave anyone in the house-last week, Anderson didn't know that we were all in the car. It probably helped tremendously that we had two less kiddos with us since Campbell and Keaton had spent the night at a friend's house.
  • Our Sunday school is growing by leaps and bounds. This week we had 12 or 14 kids while last week there were only about 8. Good problems to have. I actually already have my Sunday school lesson ready for the next Sunday already-I'm already on a roll marking chores off for this next week.
  • After church, Robby ran home with Graham and Whitman to pick up Bentley-I'm sure that one day she will stay home for longer, but right now she is just so little. And certainly, she is our current favorite kid-except for Anderson who is watching me right now type this blog.
  • Grannymom had a yummy meal for us today. We ate, and I even played a few rounds of cards with the kids. On our way home we stopped for gas for both cars. Then it was home for a nap-I think that Bentley, Robby and I were the only ones to sleep. There were lots of people who came in our room to wake the dog up, but Campbell was the one who finally snuck into our room quietly and grabbed the dog out of her kennel before waking us up.
  • The big boys went to church tonight at Rock Creek. Robby drove them there while I worked on making some shirts. When it was time for the people still at home to go to the Wilson's house for our Sunday supper, Reagan was asleep and Keaton decided that she wanted to stay home. I am sure that she was getting her Bentley fill in so that was fine. Whitman wanted to stay home too, but I wanted to make sure that he ate some decent supper, so I made him come. He was fine though since supper ended with ice cream.
  • Shannon had made beans and cornbread, and it was especially good for a dreary evening. The boys had fun at church, and they even plan to go back. We stayed over there for a while, but I was still able to quickly write the blog before it was time for most folks to go to sleep. 

March 13, 2021

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  • I don't really even remember this morning-I guess it was much like the rest. Bentley was awake around 7:30, and soon Robby and I were both awake as well. I headed to work on the dishes only to be disappointed that I forgot to start the dishwasher. 
  • Ugh, I decided to wait to run it since there was a little bit of room left. By the middle of the day the dishwasher was full so we did run it. However, that meant that tonight the dishwasher is less than halfway full, and we will be in a when to run the dishwasher conundrum tomorrow.
  • I worked on my laundry next, and then settled in to do my Bible study-I think my week is going to be a little bit busy, so I'm trying to mark things off the list.
  • Running to the library today was also on this week's list. Graham and I stopped by Nonna and Pops' house for a few minutes to drop off their monthly dessert and Pops' monthly socks. Nonna had some monkey bread over there that we enjoyed while we were there.
  • Back at home, Robby and I started work on moving Bentley's kennel. It wasn't too bad-well, we did have to move the huge armoire that houses our tv, my cookbooks, some school books, tons of electronic stuff and a collection of books that I'm keeping. The armoire is well over a hundred years old and is massive so it was a bit difficult to move. We do have those sliding feet that we put under it-that helped us move if those 3 inches that we needed to move it. 
  • Soon the kennel and tv stand was moved and my room was fairly clean. I think that Bentley's new spot will work out well and hopefully I can go to the bathroom freely during the night time. And really, hopefully she will sleep super well tonight. Robby even bought her a water dispenser for her crate (think what a gerbil drinks water out of but for dogs.) It won't always stay in her kennel except for when she is in there for a while, but we spent some of the day getting her used to it.
  • I ran Campbell and Keaton over to the Kamps house this afternoon to spend the night over there. They were so super excited-even told us that they were going to ride their bikes over and got on their bikes and headed down the road with all of their bags. Thankfully, they did come home! Ha! We didn't really think that they would try it-at least we hoped not.
  • I ran them down there and Graham came along and brought Bentley. We didn't stay too long, but Bentley was able to see her friend Delta and meet a new dog. She again did really well so that makes me happy.
  • We then huddled in the living room to watch the Hogs play. I did my best to sleep during the game to bring them good luck, but that didn't help really at all. Robby said that he was so hoping that they would win because Graham was so into the game. They have another chance later so maybe they will do better then.
  • After the game, Robby and I introduced the dog to the camper. She wasn't too impressed and just walked around sniffing the place. We did find a perfect spot for her camper for most nights-though I will never be able to get to the bathroom. On one side of my bed, we store our fans so I have to currently have to get out of the camper bed at the foot of the bed. Now the travel kennel will set there so I can't get out of bed there, so I will have to crawl over Robby to get out of the bed! 
  • When we finished working in the camper, Robby headed out to buy some candy at Kroger since it was on sale. Then we picked up the kids supper from McDonalds. Graham had been wanting to try their chicken sandwich (he said that the meat was very good, but the bun was lacking). We also picked up Chilis for us.
  • We dropped off the kids food at home, and then we ran to the Wilson's house to eat our food. While we were eating, we watched a Fixer Upper tv show. Then we came home since tomorrow is time change-I probably should have thought about that earlier since people are still showering here so bedtime doesn't look like it will happen soon.

March 12, 2021

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  • Bentley was awake first this morning. She is probably really good for Robby and I; she is causing us to wake up earlier than normal. This was a no school day, but the morning still started off just like usual for me-laundry! 
  • Soon, I was frying hamburger meat and Graham was baking as well. The grocery order came, and the people who were awake helped us unload things. We didn't get a ton of groceries but when they are all spread out in the garage floor they do look like quite a bit. 
  • I was able to finish one movie while on the treadmill. I have now met my New Year's resolution of watching 22 Hallmark movies. That is pretty good-I do plan on watching a few more this summer to up my count. I am trying to catch my movie checklist up with Shannon's movie checklist.
  • Robby left with Graham to go to Grannymom's house, get Graham's hair cut and run by the store. Yes, we had a few more things needed from the other store. And Graham's hair does look really nice all trimmed.
  • I left a bit after they did with Anderson. We went to take his driver's permit test. He came oh so close to passing-he got to question 24 out of 25. He was a tiny bit bummed, but we plan on re-doing it possibly next week. This way he will know exactly what to study for. He also received a hair cut while we were out before we stopped to get a Sonic drink.
  • Oh, and I forgot to mention that most of my afternoon was spend standing in line with Anderson before taking his test. The line took us about an hour-we did learn a very valuable lesson: Friday afternoons are not the day to do any kind of business! Yikes! It was a mad house.
  • Back at home, we had chili cooking. The girls had done their chores, and the house looked fairly decent. I made it home a bit before Robby and started picking up and cleaning. The Crafts came over to watch the Hogs and eat with us. 
  • My boys did most of the ball game watching. We had lots of chili plus hot dogs and ice cream for dessert. It was a pretty perfect evening. Bentley surely loved all of the attention tonight and was just as exhausted as the kids-Graham and Whitman are sleeping in the bonus room tonight. I am sure that those two will be asleep before I can even finish getting ready for bed.

March 11, 2021

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  • Bentley slept well again last night so we also slept well again last night. And yes, we haven't moved her kennel yet so I am still making sure that I don't drink anything past 8 so I don't have to get up in the middle of the night waking Bentley. I'm kind of kidding, but I'm also not really kidding.
  • I thought we were starting school early-but I was wrong. We still read all of our books. I just love the library and our library books. I have a plan for quite a bit of library usage for me this summer. 
  • School went really well today. I think that Graham is the only one who has any thing left to do tomorrow. I am sure that someone has done the bare minimum though on something-I'll eventually find it and have them correct it.
  • I took Reagan to school around noon. Then I hurried home to knock a few things off of my list before taking Bentley to the vet. It was a fine visit-she wasn't too happy about being there, but Campbell and Keaton were bouncing her around like a baby.
  • She did just fine-but she didn't get any shots today. Those will come next week-goodie, I get to go back. Ha! It was fine, and it seemed to wear Bentley out-she has been pretty lazy for the rest of the day.
  • Campbell and Keaton have worked most of the day on little projects here and there. They made a box to keep money from their bracelet business and are currently working on another craft project. 
  • Whitman, Campbell, Keaton and I played a game this afternoon. Then I made a pan of mac and cheese (not a box, a real recipe) for everyone before leaving for church tonight. I did my thing at church and had my ham and cheese croissant. Some foods you just eat and think about church, for me it is chicken cordon blue, Papa Johns and ham and cheese croissants. 
  • I made it back home tonight just in time for our evening snack. Then there was some basketball watching before it was finally bedtime tonight.

March 10, 2021

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  • Bentley woke up around 7:30 this morning after sleeping all night long. We were very pleased with that for sure. After sleeping so long though she didn't want to take her early morning nap at all. That was fine though because we were awake-Robby did some work and I was able to start school about 10 minutes earlier than usual (baby steps.)
  • We did our school work this morning without too much excitement. Anderson and Keaton both finished one thing today and Whitman will finish something tomorrow. That is sure nice marking things off of the list and making our days lighter.
  • Once school was finished, I worked on school for next week plus I ended up sewing some on Reagan's sweatshirts. They will look pretty cute, and hopefully by the time that this is over, we will not have spent 80 dollars like it would have costs to buy 2 of them.
  • Bentley didn't do so great today. She has forgotten some of her pottying skills-she is still doing good overall, but good thing I have carpet cleaner. And bless, we left her for an hour today, and well, she just wasn't too happy at all. She has to learn to be alone-probably having 8 people that constantly are taking turns petting, holding, playing with and training her causes her to not have any alone time which causes her to be a bit upset when she is alone.
  • I did end up on the treadmill for a little bit. I did everything I could to stall as long as I could-I walked Bentley with Whitman-he explained Deja Vu to me. I had a snack-marshmallows, chocolate chips and peanut butter. I looked at my phone (I reached the end of the internet long, long ago.) 
  • As soon as I was finished on the treadmill, I started helping Robby with supper. We made individual pizzas for everyone-those silly things took over an hour to make. We were able to make a few at a time, but it still took forever. By the time that mine and Robby's was made, I just had about 10 minutes to eat before it was time head to church.
  • Church was good tonight-I do love that all of my kids enjoy going to church. Afterwards, we headed home for a little bit before going to celebrate Brett's 16th birthday with cookies and ice cream. We haven't had ice cream in a long time so everyone certainly had plenty to make up for it. 
  • Back at home, we had a bit of downtime (also known at dog playtime) before it was finally time for bed around here. Tomorrow is a busy day-school, vet and pm church for me.

March 9, 2021

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  • I can assure you that the first thing we will be doing this weekend is moving Bentley's kennel into the other corner of our room. I woke up right at 6 this morning-but I had to go to the bathroom. I knew what that means though-if you walk by the dog, she wakes up and needs to go to the bathroom. I waited as long as I could, and even thought about going to the kitchen bathroom, but eventually I did walk by Bentley causing her to wake up.
  • Robby was already awake at this time on his phone, so I figured that since he was awake, he could take her out. He did and played with her for a while before they both went back to sleep until my alarm rang and rang again.
  • We then started school this morning-we started a bit late plus at one point people kept just leaving. It is the new favorite thing while I am doing reading to decide that Bentley has to potty and take her out. We were eventually able to finish our reading and started on school work.
  • I did keep Whitman right by me today and thanks to some easier math, he was finished around 11. He was pretty pleased with himself. Graham used to be the one with laser focus, but since Bentley has arrived he is always walking around finding her to play with. We were finishing up his work at 12:30 today.
  • Robby took Reagan to school and picked up lunch on the way home. While he was gone, I worked on some of my own Bible study plus Bible study with the girls. I also did some bathroom cleaning-I decided that it was too much trouble to carry all of my supplies with me so I just went once to all the bathrooms to sweep, then made the loop again to clean the sinks, then around again to clean the potties, and finally to mop the floors. It took forever that way, but I guess that I got my exercise before eating my Chick Fil A.
  • Lily came over today to play some. The girls and her played soccer, jumped on the trampoline and were busy the entire afternoon. Campbell and Keaton are all about practicing soccer right now-I need to get Whitman outside to do some with them.
  • I did my treadmill (more importantly my Hallmark movie) before picking up Reagan. I took Bentley and she was so happy playing with Lily's dog. I am glad that she has a little friend to play with. My girls stayed over there for a bit more of the evening.
  • Back at home, Reagan and I worked on her sewing project. We are cutting apart and remaking a sweatshirt-it might just look good. Then it was time for us to find our suppers for the evening. The kids took showers and soon we were all vegging around the tv watching basketball.

March 8, 2021

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  • Bentley woke up early this morning and played hard with Robby. She played so hard that pretty much slept for the rest of the morning long. That was nice, but when ever she is awake school is still a bit crazy. Well, really, even when she is asleep school is a bit crazy.
  • The kids are still madly in love with her. They come in the room trying to wake her up. Stomp, stomp, accidentally bump into the crate, bump her with their leg and accidentally step on a squeaky toy. They do this every time that they come in-trying to wake her up so she will play with them. While I just want her to sleep and be still!
  • School went fairly well the first half of the morning-well, I was a poor teacher and just let Whitman figure it out on his own today. He does not like staying in the room with me, but when he leaves he is constantly distracted and doesn't get his work done. Today was that day, he didn't finish until at least 3 or possibly 4. Tomorrow I will do better and keep him within arm's reach.
  • After school, I did Bible study with most of the folks. Then I found time to walk on the treadmill-I didn't find time to clean the bathrooms but that can be tomorrow....maybe! When I was finished with the treadmill, it was time to take the boys to the discipleship group. 
  • While they were there, I ran to the library and did some reading in the car. I also did a bit of snoozing-I am not sure how long I slept, but it was a nice little nap in the sun. When I came home, I had to help Reagan with a bit of school before we pulled out stuff for supper.
  • This was really a pretty low key day-other than the boys leaving for a little bit. Campbell and Keaton only have one bracelet order to fulfill so that didn't take them anytime. Whitman spent the day doing school, but he was ecstatic about getting to play Jeopardy tonight. He doesn't like to play-he just likes to check the answers!