August 31, 2021

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  • It was a bit easier to wake people up this morning since there was Comm Central for the big kids. That means that our work together time is a bit different-not really too much. I do read a few different books plus I feel like I have to end a bit quicker to help get Reagan and Anderson off to school.
  • I think that they had a good day at school with not too much more on their plate. I know that Reagan did beat Anderson on their weekly quiz so I am sure that she felt pretty pleased about that. She also had a test today which she thinks that she did really well on.
  • After their school I picked up Reagan and Robby picked up Anderson. Reagan said it was like we were divorced each picking up a different kit. I figured that Reagan would not want to stay out while Anderson worked at Raymar for a little bit. Robby had errands to run so he did stay out. However, Reagan wanted to go shopping after school so we did run to Walmart for just a minute.
  • The rest of us did our school work at home just fine. Whitman was zoned in today-he was on fire with his school work. So strange to me how some day he can work quickly and other days not so much. 
  • This afternoon I spent on the treadmill while the girls did some baking-I guess they baked. They were busy in the kitchen-muffins were made, hot chocolate bombs were made, frozen kool aid snacks were made, dog treats were made (maybe that was yesterday), and persimmons were cut to predict what kind of winter we will have. All of that kind of makes me exhausted and makes my kitchen a mess.
  • This evening Campbell, Keaton and Whitman played outside. Robby grilled hot dogs for supper, and then we headed out to run some errands. Well, tonight was all about free-20 bags of free popsicles, 2 free notebooks, 1 free peanut butter, a free jelly, 1 free coke, a free bread, and a free taco. Yep, a bit on the ridiculous side.
  • Well, speaking of ridiculous-tonight we "bought" 20 bags of free popsicles. That alone would be silly, but since we have been collecting these free popsicles for the last few days, I have 5 bins full of popsicles in the attic upstairs. About 100 packages-3,000 popsicles. Yep, so if you need a treat this summer or next or even the next supper then come on by.

August 30, 2021

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  • I was too surprised when I didn't wake up in time to take Bentley for her morning walk. However, we did manage to walk around the yard for a bit, trim her nails some and brush her well. Robby wanted me to concentrate on her nails this week since she scratched the fire out of him the other day when he was holding her in the water and she was terrified.
  • We did start to school on time though we ended our work together a bit earlier than usual since the termite man was traipsing around the house this morning. No termites-that is a good thing since we had some the last time. 
  • School went pretty good today. I am not sure why my people who finish quickly don't to their chores first thing when they are done. That might have to change tomorrow. Whitman did do some extra things today which makes me supper happy-though I didn't get through with all of his together work tonight.
  • The day seemed to float by fairly quickly. Anderson had to be at Raymar at 4:30 tonight so Robby and I both took him to pick up the car. Afterwards, I ran to Dollar Tree looking for some things on my list, and I didn't have any luck at all. I was pretty disappointed, but I did leave with some really cute Halloween plates and napkins.
  • Robby ended up picking up Anderson today. So I came home while he ran some errands of his own. Then we all had supper-well, some folks had supper and some refused supper since this would have been their third night in a row to eat the same thing! 
  • Most folks had showers tonight while I did have Robby move the DVD player from the camper into the living room. So we ended the evening with a Hallmark movie.

August 29, 2021-Weekend at Lake Degray

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Last night after I had finished the blog and as I was walking to take my shower, I heard something. I knew it wasn't rain since there was no rain in the forecast. I stood and listened assuming that it was the fan causing something to hit the wall. I stood there listening until Robby rushed past me saying "rain."

I put on my shoes while Robby put on his shorts and we headed out the door. Before bed we had put most of the chairs until the tents. However, we had things out everywhere. Laundry on the drying rack, tools, cords, baggo boards (not ours-I had at least put that away), oh so many things. We worked as the rain pelted us down. It wasn't a hard shower for sure, but it was a pretty steady one for about 15 minutes. 

It all ended up being fine this morning-we were able to make sure that most things were covered and we even tarped our clothes on the drying rack that we moved under the tent. And maybe because of the rain or maybe because you just sleep better when camping. but we all slept wonderfully well. 

Robby and I did wake up about 8:30 this morning and start getting ready. We had a lot of things to put away today and since it was a busy day with the boat once again, things were crazy all the day long. Today's breakfast was breakfast quesadillas-hashbrowns, eggs, sausage and cheese-it was absolutely delicious. Everything cooked outside does seem to taste better to me.

Campbell and Keaton made sure that they were on the first car that left the campsite. And I made sure that they and every Dennie was super sunscreened today. For the most part, the kids are not too crazy burned. Campbell's face is pretty pink and Anderson's arms are. And Whitman-it probably didn't help that he had on a red shirt some today, but he is red still. And well, Reagan-her face was swollen this morning because of her sunburn. She even went to bed with ice tonight. I keep reminding them to remember how much fun they had this weekend every time that sunburn hurts.

Soon I took the rest of the kids to the Ferguson's campsite because we were basing out of there today. They all had turns on the boat and even Whitman was able to knee board today. Campbell said that when he finally got up, he was grinning from ear to ear. Also, Campbell told me that when they were on the boat, they saw a bald eagle today.

Check out was at 3 today, so there was a lot to do. After dropping off the kids, I went to pick up Robby and help him pack up some things. Then we headed back with lunch for our people. Some of them ate and some continued boating. Around 2:30, we collected people and packed up.

I headed out a bit before Robby and the others with Reagan, Anderson and Graham. The big boys wanted to make sure that they made it home in time to go to church tonight. So that is what we made sure of. Reagan missed a soccer scrimmage today. When she woke up, she said that there would have been no way for her to play because she was so sore-not from her sunburn but from holding on to those ropes yesterday.

I made it home and had the kids unload my car before letting them go in to shower. I had almost finished putting those things away when Robby and the others arrived. They were closer behind me than I had thought. We did let the kids get by easy today and not make them help with the unloading process. We just took our time and put things away as we went.

Currently, we have washed 5 loads of clothes and I have about 3 more to go. I am washing all of the bedding this trip which doesn't happen every trip. The boys went to church and afterwards, the Wilson's came over for some taco salad (remember that 10 pounds of taco meat that I had-well, about 2 pounds were left over.)

Campbell made brownies for our dessert which we finished off. Shannon and I looked at videos of people's super organize pantries-so maybe that is what I want to do soon. (Really though, I should clean my shower first). 

Folks are still tired here and there was some confusion with the kids on when Labor Day (ie no school) was so bedtime was an event for sure. I do believe that everyone is asleep now, so hopefully we will all sleep well tonight-probably not as well as in the camper.

August 28, 2021-Weekend at Lake Degray

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The title of today's blog could by "fried to a crisp" or some of my kids would title it "best day ever." Despite the sunburns all around my folks would agree that this was a pretty wonderful day. We started our morning with pancakes and bacon outside. We have gotten pretty good at this breakfast thing-Robby works and cooks outside while I work and prepare the food inside. We even thought of a few ideas of how we are going to streamline that process even more.

The first boat load was leaving the swim area around 9:30 this morning. Obviously, not many Dennies were on that boat. The Simpson's had a boat and the other families all rented a boat today. We originally thought that we would have to get the boat tomorrow. However, one became available today so we don't have to rush tomorrow pulling out of here.

Keaton and Campbell left first, and I did make sure that they sunscreened up. Everyone else seemed to slip through the cracks at least until lunch time. A bit later, Robby and I and the others found the folks. We had a perfect spot. We were up a bit from the water, but there was a place for the kids to play in the water and the boats could come up to the edge. 

They kept those boats running all day long. The guys had to be told to pull the boats in for lunch. Except somehow during the lunch stops, Whitman swapped boats. He was having the time of his life today. All of my kids figured out how to knee board except for Whitman. However, everyone enjoyed riding in the tubes.

We did manage to get a bottle of water to Whitman at one point, and it was about 3 or 4 when he came in for lunch. When he did get off of the boat, I told him that he missed Nonna and Pops who had come down for a little bit today. Bless him, he told me that I should have come and got him. He was so sweet.

Nonna and Pops were here about the time that most of the kids came in for lunch. They stayed a bit and even drove to see our campsite. When they went to see the campsites, I showed them around, and we stopped so I could stir my ten pounds of taco meat that was in the crock pot.

The kids boated until 6 tonight when they had to take the rented boat back. Robby and I never went on the boats today. Now, we did go on the kayaks for a little bit. But mainly we just sat in the shade watching the pretty lake. It was perfect really. 

When we came back to the campsite, we had so many bags and piles of stuff to go through. We managed to put most things away. However, everything has to be put up well tomorrow since we are going home. We worked pretty fast and furious since supper was soon happening.

There were 34 folks for supper tonight. We had taco salad with all of the fixings. It was delicious as always. There was a crowd, but the adults all had fun visiting while the big kids were having to help us share our pictures with each other. 

We stayed out so late tonight that we didn't even get around to making s'mores for snack. Well, Reagan and some of the big kids did make some. This kids are so tired. Keaton was just awake 2 minutes ago, but Robby just walked by and made sure that the tooth fairy came since she lost a tooth today while sitting on the boat. She was already sound asleep.

Even Bentley is exhausted. She went into her kennel tonight and just laid down. She was awake all day today since she went with us to the lake area. Robby even made her get in the water once-had to hold her the whole time like a baby so she wouldn't freak out. Usually at home, she naps a lot, today there were no naps for her so she is beat tonight.

I am sure that Graham and Campbell are already asleep. Now Whitman's sunburn my bother him a bit more than the rest, but hopefully they will recover well tonight. I know that they will at least sleep well tonight.

August 27, 2021-Weekend at Lake Degray

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I woke up about the same time as usual this morning. I guess I was thinking about all that I needed to accomplish. I had the laundry, dishes and my shower finished by the time that I started to wake up Reagan and Anderson.

One of those children woke up a bit cheerier than the other, but they both dutifully started on their school work. They were both able to finish their papers that are due on Tuesday so that was a big win. I know that Anderson knocked a few big things off of his list. 

However, by 11 I had pretty much finished helping them. And I had also finished everything that I needed to do in the house, so I turned on my Hallmark movie. I did definitely set a timer since I had told Robby that we would leave at 12. I tried to fast forward it so I could watch the whole movie, but that didn't work out too well, so I still have some to watch when I get home.

Meanwhile, Robby text me around 8:30 this morning. Bentley had to go out so they did that. When she came back in, she crawled right into our bed and went sound asleep. That is where they all stayed until 9:30ish. 

Then they baked cinnamon rolls inside for their breakfast. Robby did set the hot pan on something rubber briefly. Then he put the pan back in the oven only to have the residue of the rubber on the bottom of the pan smoke up the camper. Ha! They soon had all of that taken care of and went on two different trails this morning.

Reagan, Anderson and I arrived just as they had set back down from their walk. They must have been back at the camper for a little bit because they had pretty much gone through the whole bag of popsicles. We had the most relaxing afternoon just all sitting in the shade in our lawn chairs with nothing at all to do. It was pretty perfect. 

We did walk a bit of one of the trails again this afternoon so they could show it to me. Then we pretty much just sat! We also did a bit of waiting because the kids were anxious for all of their people to arrive. First the Crafts showed up. Then the Heltz followed by the Kamps. The Fergusons are on the other side of this place. We will probably hang out at their site tomorrow some.

We knew that our campsite is a buddy site-and man, is it ever. It is a massive campsite-big enough for all 36 folks here to hang out. We share this site with the Kamps-they are pretty close (like our awning had to be pulled in). However, it is really a neat site.

We eventually did get around to making supper. Tonight's supper was quesadillas. They are just so much better when they are grilled outside. The cleanup was pretty easy so when we finished we were just able to sit around-kind of the theme of the day.

The kids had fun riding their scooters and bikes some today. The Kamps even have a motor bike (or some something) that the big boys have driven around the loop on. The hammock has been hung up and the baggo boards are out. Honestly, we could stay here for weeks!

August 26, 2021-Weekend at Lake Degray

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I sure do get tired of my alarm ringing every morning these days-it is like we are adults or something. This morning I sure couldn't get myself up too early. My goal is to climb out of bed in time to fold the laundry, empty the dishwasher and walk the dog before school starts.

I did have time to do all of this except Bentley only got a short walk around the block and not also down the street. Poor thing-and this is also National Dog Day. 

There was Comm Central for the big two this morning while the rest of us zoomed through the school work at home. If I can ever get extra house work done during the school day then I am super happy. Today I was able to fold an extra load of laundry and even vacuum the downstairs.

Robby and I did run to drop off the suburban-yep, the third of 3 cars to need repairing in the last few months. I guess that I am glad that we trust our mechanic. I guess we trust our mechanic! After dropping the car off, we picked up ice along with picking up 20 or so bags of popsicles at Kroger. They were on sale-so sell that they were free.

When we did get in from picking up Reagan and Anderson. I hurried off to go to the pregnancy center for the afternoon. Soon afterwards, Robby, Graham, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman all headed off to Lake Degray to get our campsite all set up. The big kids and I are going that way tomorrow. We thought that they needed a little extra time to work on their school work. 

Robby and the kids made it to camp and set everything up. I believe that they had themselves a really great supper-hamburgers, french fires and mac and cheese. Meanwhile, I ran to Shannon's house to make an iced coffee for Reagan. That was Reagan's supper. While Anderson had leftover pizza. I didn't even heat mine up.

Anderson and I did some school work tonight. Currently, I am sitting in the school room using the only downstairs dvd while pulling out school for next week and eating ice cream!

August 25, 2021

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  • I am not even sure what day it is. I mean I can figure it out, but I may need some more activities in my week to help me keep up with the weekdays. Anderson did have an activity today-he had to work at Raymar for about an hour.
  • Anderson had to be there at 8:30 so that got this house moving early this morning. He worked on laying out the markers for the field. I am not too sure what exactly he did, but when he did get home, he was drenched in sweat.
  • The rest of us started our morning with school work. Things went fairly well. Now I have been secretly having Whitman do extra school each day this week. I just can't wait for his surprise tomorrow when he figures out that he doesn't have much work to do at all.
  • It took us a while to finish school today. Well, it took me a long, long while to finish school. There was 10th grade composition for me to work on along with 10th grade grammar and 9th grade composition and 9th grade biology. I'm glad I will soon earn my second and third high school diplomas. 
  • My school work lasted until almost 3. Then I had told the girls yesterday that we would go to the outlet mall for a little bit. I do love being with my girls, but shopping ugh! We did have fun, but poor Reagan didn't find a thing at all. She so wanted to buy something, but couldn't find anything. Keaton found a shirt for her to buy along with a shirt for her birthday. Campbell also bought herself two shirts and a Starbucks drink with a gift card.
  • When we got home, Robby was just taking the supper off the grill. He had been smoking the meat all day long so it was super delicious. We all sat around the table and ate once again. When we had finished supper, Graham must have needed something to do-he asked to wash Bentley, but I told him to tomorrow. So he eventually did make brownies for our evening snack.
  • We packed the camper a bit this evening along with cleaning the fridge. Then it was time for my Hallmark movie of the day. We finished the evening with some brownies during our movie.

August 24, 2021

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  • There wasn't too much excitement around here today. I was the first one awake this morning and took Bentley on a very short walk before rushing home to wake the others up to get started on school and to start getting ready for school.
  • I guess this is the third week of Comm Central. Reagan and Anderson are really doing well. One of their classes on Tuesday is together so there is always some competition on their weekly quiz. And yes, there is one child that has scored a hundred on both of the quizzes. I won't tell you which one that HE is though. 
  • The rest of us zoomed through our work today-everyone was finished before noon. It was pretty nice. Keaton and I headed out to the library in time to pick up Reagan and Anderson from their classes. Keaton was pretty excited that she went with us because we came home with two different library craft projects. 
  • Back at home, I cooked my 10 pounds of meat which took a while. Robby prepared his meat to cook tomorrow. I did finally decide to walk on the treadmill-I am trying to up my Hallmark movie count since Shannon inspired me this weekend. 
  • We had lasagna for supper. I do believe that tonight was the first time that we had sat down at the table all summer long. Now we have eaten together while camping, but not around the table in a long while.
  • After we ate, I started one more movie-I have decided that it is easier to pay attention to a movie while I am walking on the treadmill than in the living room. I am half way through this movie and bless, I can't tell you a thing about what is going on!

August 23, 2021

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  • Braces day around here. Robby was up early heating the grill up to start smoking some meat. Then he was off well before 8 with Campbell and Graham to get their braces. They were pretty excited about this day, and a little bit nervous.
  • It took over an hour for each of them to get their braces on. They both remembered well that whenever Reagan left her orthodontist appointments, she was treated to a snack on the way home. Well, today was a big treat day-smoothies from Tropical Smoothie and breakfast burritos for McDonalds. 
  • When they left, I started on my laundry and took Bentley on a walk. It was a big day for her-big day as in, she did pretty much nothing. She did manage to lay on top of our school work multiple times today. The kids took her picture quite often. Plus she did try on a few Halloween costumes so she can get ready for the big day (I know it is in a few months, but I wanted to know if we could make something that we have work or need to buy something. I have been looking, and golden retrievers seems to need xxxxl dog Halloween costumes which are hard to find.)
  • The rest of us were working hard on school when Campbell and Graham came home with their new mouth hardware. They had a little bit of school work to do today once they got home, but soon they were finished with it. We kept them full of ibuprofen so hopefully their teeth haven't bothered them too much. 
  • Robby and I headed out to the grocery store during lunch today. We went to buy meat so I could cook a pound or so (or actually 10) for this weekend. However, after stopping at Costco and Krogers, we were surprised that find that meat from Walmart would be 10 dollars cheaper. So the walmart order is coming tomorrow morning.
  • When I came home, I still had school work to do with Whitman and Reagan. Campbell even did Whitman's spelling with him-she enjoyed it, he enjoyed it-and that might just be her new chore. I even walked on the treadmill for a bit before we started on supper.
  • I have been wanting to make chicken pot pie for ages. However, most (really 6 out of 8 people) don't like veggies. There aren't many chicken pot pie recipes for no veggies but I did find an easy one that I adapted, and we had success. Thanks to one of Debbie's recipes in the church cookbook. Campbell, Graham and Keaton all helped me make this. 
  • Keaton didn't eat any though. Nor did Anderson. When I offered some to Whitman, he said that he would save some for Daddy. Robby was out mowing, but there was only about a 1/4 of the pan left for him. No one did go hungry tonight since I knew most folks wouldn't enjoy this meal (nor would one pie pan be enough if I did force them to eat it) so I heated up some freezer pizzas as well.
  • This evening went by pretty quickly. Another walk for Bentley along with some tv watching. Everyone is in bed right now-I did have to tell the boys to hush up once already. They were going strong-some days they just act so boy-ish!

August 22, 2021

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  • We have missed a few Sundays this summer which is why we were probably late for church this morning. I think that we did get up in time. I did the dishes and did only fold half of my laundry pile before we started rushing to the car. We will get better though-well, we will be gone next week too so that may throw us off again.
  • After church was over, we visited some and then headed to Nonna and Pops' house for lunch. They had chicken spaghetti along with a yummy dessert. We gobbled up the food, but I think that my kids favorite today was the strawberries-Campbell got them all over herself.
  • When we left Nonnas, Robby, Graham, Whitman and Campbell headed to Walmart so Graham could get Mosey Moody's autograph. They also found icees and a buggy full of things that they needed from Sams. 
  • I took Anderson, Reagan and Keaton with me, and we headed to Grannymom's house for a  minute. She gave Reagan cherries, and that made Reagan so happy. She is already planning on taking them to school Tuesday. Then we headed on to Academy so Reagan could buy some shirts for soccer.
  • We both finished up both of our shopping trips at about the same time. I finished the laundry at home. Then I helped Anderson and Reagan with some of their homework. And finally, I did sneak out of the camper-no, not for a nap-but I cleaned it so it is ready for next time.
  • By this time it was almost 5 so I headed to the pool with Campbell, Keaton and Whitman. This might be our last time to the pool this year. We have been 45 times so I am pleased with our pool count. 
  • Anderson and Graham headed back to church tonight. They rode with Brett, and he brought them back to his house where we all met up for supper tonight. I had myself a grilled peanut butter and jelly, and it was delicious. 
  • We watched camper videos as the kids played. We did stay as late as we could since tomorrow the kid have an early morning appointment!

August 21, 2021-Northwest Arkansas Adventures

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Robby and I woke up at some point this morning whenever he had set his alarm to go off. I was wide awake because I had been needing to go to the bathroom for hours in the middle of the night and was determined to wait. Seriously, crawling out of that bed is a lot of work.

Robby might should have waited a bit when he got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. He bumped into Reagan in the hallway as she was leaving the bathroom herself. They both startled each other! He was up actually to take a shower since his bug bites were bothering him. (We have different approaches to bug bites-he doesn't scratch and I have just scratched the fire out of mine. Mine don't itch nearly as bad now and he is still suffering. Maybe scratching is the best method.)

Again it did rain for a few minutes this morning as we were getting ready. It didn't take too long for us to get ready and stir this morning. We moved pretty quick and were soon out the door headed to Top Golf. We arrived just before it opened and sat in the car until the line started moving into the building. From there, we jumped right in the line.

We didn't have to wait at all and were soon placed in a bay. We were on the top floor which was neat, but we were also right against the wall so that wasn't wonderful. The first round Whitman was the winner. It did help that Robby hit quite a few golf balls for him. Whitman did eventually figure things out and score some points himself.

The second round winner was Anderson. We played for 2 hours so the kids had plenty of time to play...and eat. They had a special where you could buy 6 meals/appetizers and basically you would save some money. We certainly did that-we had cheese dip, cheese fries, pizza, a hamburger, tacos and injectable doughnuts. The food was all really good too-or maybe we were hungry. 

The kids all did really well golfing. Campbell really improved towards the end. And Graham, well, he needs some more practice. However, we do think that he did better hitting the ball with his right hand instead of his left. Not sure, but he will have to go to the driving range and practice some and figure out which hand he needs to hit with.

After our time was up, we headed to our new favorite place-Crumbl Cookie. This week the flavors are buckeye brownie (super rich), sugar (super sweet), orange creamcicle (ok), honey bun (my favorite), cake batter (also yummy), and plain old chocolate chip (I really haven't tried it yet this time.) We bought way too many cookies, but we are steadily eating through them. They are so big and rich that I cut them into quarters to eat. 

Our plan had been to go from there to eat a grilled cheese place that Graham really wanted to eat at. However, after eating at Top Golf and sampling cookies once we got back to the camper, we soon realized that eating lunch would have been just plain silly. So we will have to take a rain check on that restaurant, but I put that on the top of the list for next time we are in NW Arkansas.

After a walk around the loop for us and a bike ride down a trail (probably for a few miles) for Anderson, Graham, Campbell and Keaton; Shannon came over to sample a few cookies. When she left, we decided that we should load up. We started putting things away and loaded up the car. 

Robby had some problems getting the trailer on today. He wasn't at the right angle and soon had it done. That was our only kink in getting things loaded. Then we had smooth sailing all the way home. We did stop for gas (a little bit) once as we left. And finally we stopped for gas (to fill it up) when we made it home at Costco. The girls and I bounced out of the camper and headed to the door to go in.....but that silly store closed at 6. Who closes at 6 on a Saturday night? That's just sillyness!

We have the unloading of the camper down. The kids all help take loads to and from the house. Within 15 minutes of pulling in the driveway, the camper was empty and the washers had been started. It was a good feeling. Robby moved the camper around the dump in the septic tank while I worked inside. 

I did run to a friend's house to work on a cricut project (failed), but when I came home, I did figure it out and things hopefully will go more smoothly tomorrow. The kids all had showers and eventually we got the crew to bed. I am sure that the boys are still going strong upstairs. I know that the girls talk at night, but they are at least quiet-the boys not so much!

August 20, 2021-Northwest Arkansas Adventures

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I feel like some days we just pack a lot into a day, and this was one of those days for sure. I woke up to the sound of rain pitter pattering on the top of the camper. Oh, it was a wonderful sound to hear for sure. I also felt someone laying on my leg so I knew that it was morning time and that Bentley was already back in bed with us. 

Robby said that it had only rained for a little bit right after they came back in this morning. We laid there for a bit, when the rain did stop. We took that as our sign to get ourselves up and start the day. Since we are mostly "city camping" we didn't set up anything outside nor did we cook any meals here. So for breakfast we made sausage biscuits (biscuits cooked at home and sausages heated in the microwave.) Not everyone had that-Reagan had a cornbread cookie, Campbell had cereal, and Keaton and Whitman had poptarts.

Before we left, we loaded up and loaded up the car. Robby and I were sticking so many things in the car, that the kids asked how long we were going to be gone. We just wanted to have everything that we needed. (Before we left the house, I did put towels and masks in all of the cars-gracious, we used the towel today and had to wear silly masks tonight at Target)

Anyhow, our first drive this morning was about an hour. We went to Winthrow Springs state park. We went to the visitor's center were Whitman had to have a bracelet and Reagan bought a shirt and also a bracelet. We drove about that campground-things seemed a bit spread out. We even ventured down a gravel road while we were looking for our trail.

We found the War Eagle trail and stopped. The sign said that one section of the trail was .25 miles. We had to walk about a quarter of a mile to get to where the trail started. Then we walked the .25 miles down the hill which mean that we had to climb straight back up the side of that mountain when we hiked back up. So the .25 trail was actually more like a mile. 

Either way though, it was certainly a pretty trail. Once we got to the bluff, there were overlooks the entire time. It was quite a view. When we made it to the bottom, there was a beautiful flowing river with rock formations on each side. 

Some of the kids took off their shoes and walked in the water. Whitman had fallen on the way down, so he had to rinse his legs and arms in the creek. It would have been a nice creek to tube in or even kayak in but the water was pretty low in some places so that probably wouldn't have worked today.

After the trail, we went back to the visitor's center for a bathroom stop. Next we headed towards Hobbs State Park. On the way I realized that we were close to War Eagle Mill. We have always heard of it, but had never been there. We were quite pleased to realize that we would drive right by it n the way.

We first went over the one lane bridge beside the mill. Then we looked at the mill and finally went inside the store. We looked and shopped and browsed and even sampled, but only bought a jar of peach salsa. It would definitely be something to see when they have the big craft fair there.

Just a few miles from that is Hobbs State Park and Conservation Area. It had a massive visitor's center and a beautiful pavilion. Our first stop was that pavilion where we pulled out all of our lunch stuff and had ourselves a picnic. Then we walked the short paved nature trail around a little loop before going into the visitor's center.

Next up was a Van Winkle trail where there used to another old mill. It was just markers and a trail. It was kind of interesting, and Robby kept mentioning how he would want his house right there as well. It would have been a pretty site for a house. That house is actually rebuilt now somewhere in Oklahoma which is now on our list of things to see.

Somewhere on this hike, Graham realized that he had bugs crawling all over him, They were tiny-super tiny. They were so small that I could barely see them. I tried to reassure him that it was just dirt on him, but after seeing them crawling I started to help him wipe them off. 

At the end of the trail and back at the car, I made him take of his shirt, shoes and socks and sprayed him down with bug spray. I am not too sure if bug spray helps after a bug is on you or not, but it was all that I had. Hopefully, I smothered them. Then Robby and I tried to scrape the rest off of him. (He was the first in the shower when we made it back, and he doesn't really seem like he was bit by anything.)

After the trail, we headed towards Rogers and stopped at a Susie Qs Malt Shop where we all got ourselves some ice cream. I had a peanut butter shake. Most folks had butterfinger shakes. Reagan had a raspberry shake while Graham had a root beer float. Whitman had an ice cream cone, and Keaton had a coke. And Bentley, who had been a pretty good dog on our adventure so far, had herself some ice cream with doggie bones in it. 

Actually Bentley is a great dog-except when she is on trails. She is a crazy dog then. She pulls and pulls until she is exhausted! I guess we are going to have to go on some more trails so she can figure things out. She actually had a big day today-while we were on a walk this afternoon at the campsite, she met a dog that was 120 pounds (like the dog from the movie Turner and Hooch). She, of course, laid right down when she saw the dog coming. But she did get in a few tail wags as she sniffed her new friend.

We had a bit of downtime this evening before meeting the WIlsons at the Catfish Hole for supper. Apparently it is a Fayetteville institution that we had not yet been to. It was crowded, but we didn't really have to wait for a table. 

The catfish was catfish, but the fun thing was the continuous supply of hush puppies that they kept bringing to our table. I by continuous, I really mean continuous-they just kept coming. The kids could have filled up on those instead of supper-I almost did. 

After we ate, we all headed back to the campground and walked the loop with the WIlsons. It is pretty interesting to walk around this place and see all of the different sites. Some folks have added fences, some have flag poles, others have fancy fireplaces. It is just something, and I would love to see it on a game day. However, to have a spot here during football games means donating a chunk of change to the university for years until a spot opens up. Then you have to continue that plus a yearly fee for years while you have a spot on a parking lot until a premium spot on the hill opens up. That is not for us right now...or probably ever.

We did pull out the Blue Bell tonight. It was pretty melty-our freezer just can't keep ice cream really cold. It was still good. When the Wilsons did leave, all of us but Anderson and Whitman did hop in the car and drive to Target. Reagan had the itch to go and do something, so we went there.

We knew this, but by the time that we made it we only had 30 minutes to shop. In that time, I did find somethings for our next trip to Disney (a year and a half away), Keaton found a dress and Reagan found a jacket. We can do some speed shopping. 

Back at the camper, it was time for bed for the crew. Tomorrow is an early morning...for us at least.

August 19, 2021-Northwest Arkansas Adventures

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This was the first morning this week that I woke up in time to take Bentley for her morning walk. Robby did have his nightly trying to stop his itchy bites shower around 6:30 this morning. I have been sleeping so good the last few nights, that I sure didn't hear him. 

Not only have I been sleeping well, but so have the kids. I have had to wake all of them up the past few days. I was able to folk my laundry and take Bentley on a walk before getting everyone up today. I did discover that I forgot to start the dishwasher last night-that just makes me crazy when I forget to run it.

I actually even did some mending on a shirt of Reagan's before I woke the kids up. I normally wouldn't have done it, but I knew that she was planning on wearing it today to school. When I did wake everyone up, we were about to start on our together work when Robby called me.

He had realized that with the car on the back of the camper, we have to go straight out of the driveway. That would normally be fine except there was a wire a few weeks ago that fell down in front of our neighbor's house. Instead of the worker men fixing it correctly, they just tacked it up a bit. We weren't exactly sure that the camper would fit underneath it. So Robby pulled up and inched forward until we were sure that we could clear it. (Plan B was for me to inch the camper to the wire and Robby on the top of the camper hoisting the wire up so we could pass under it-it is just a cable wire.)

I was soon back in the house reading to the kids. Robby had to then rush off to take Reagan and Anderson to school today. They survived school-ha! I think that they enjoyed it. Anderson did a lot of work for me today while he was in study hall. He didn't leave with any new work on his plate, but i am not too sure if that was the same for Reagan.

As soon as they made it home, we were loading up the camper. A bit after 3, we pulled out of the driveway and headed towards Fayetteville. The drive was thankfully uneventful. We stopped only once on the side of the road so Bentley could go potty-she had barked twice so we took that as our cue. We were practically there when we did stop, but we didn't want to chance it.

We are staying the night at the Road Hog RV Park right across from the baseball stadium. I think that they put us at one of their best spots. The folks were pretty friendly-as Robby was unloading the car and backing up the camper! That made things a bit more stressful, but it was all just fine. We are pulled into the spot, their suggestion, so we have the evening shade.

It is a pretty neat spot-Robby would love to have a spot here during Razorback football games. Maybe some day, but certainly not anytime soon. Those prices are pretty high, but for tonight, non game days,  they are certainly reasonable. 

Our supper tonight was a hit. It was a freezer meal-manicotti. I had cooked it at home right up until we left the house. I had also heated up breadsticks as well. I put them in those heat carrier things, and surprisingly, our supper was still warm when we ate this evening. It made things super simple tonight.

We ate quickly, and then headed off to Three Crazy Berries for frozen yogurt. Reagan had been craving it so that is what we had tonight. It was yummy, though it did seem to melt pretty quickly. After eating we drove around the U of A campus for a little bit. It was quite entertaining watching all of the kids walk around the campus-it definitely is a happening place.

Back at the campground, we walked around for a while. Then we all headed in the camper. Reagan, Campbell and I sat outside for a few minutes, but we were afraid that bugs were biting us so we headed in. Inside we all just hung out while on our devices for a while. It was pretty perfect. It is almost 10-Robby is about to have a shower and then we will get to town on making the beds for this crew.

August 18, 2021

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  • Our days just seem a bit busier since we started school around here. I knew that Anderson had to run to Raymar to work for a little bit this morning so I didn't do our normal work together time. I wanted him to have plenty of time to do as much work as possible. 
  • Plus I did wake up a little bit later than usual this morning. I slept great last night and don't think that I woke up at all. Robby didn't sleep as good as I did. His bites still are bothering him. He had to have a shower at 6 this morning-which was probably a good thing since he started a load of our laundry. Of course I wasn't too happy about that this morning since I then had another load of laundry to fold.
  • However, Andrerson's thing was cancelled so the kids had an extra hour of school. For some reason today, some folks were extra pouty (Keaton), extra crazy (Anderson and Graham) and extra distracted (Whitman). Campbell and Reagan pretty much hid in their spots and got their stuff finished without any drama.
  • All of my morning and most of my early afternoon is filled with school these days. I always have to work with Reagan after lunch. Plus for Whitman to finish before lunch, I work with him after lunch on our things that we have to do together. So basically at 2 this afternoon, I finished with my school work.
  • I then had about 10 minutes to get ready before leaving with Campbell. Campbell is missing one of her best buddie's birthday parties this weekend while we are gone. So we picked up the birthday girl and took her to jump at Defy for an hour plus picked up some Sonic drinks. 
  • They had so much fun jumping. A few years ago, we had passes and went a bazillion times. I kind of miss that place-the kids enjoyed it so plus it was pretty good exercise for them. Maybe some day we can do the passes again (right now they are so expensive.)
  • Since I was out having all of the fun with Campbell, Robby couldn't let the others feel left out. So he ran with Keaton and Graham to Sonic for some drinks. They came home just grinning from ear to ear because of their little treat.
  • When I came home from my outing with Campbell, there was time to write out the grocery list before leaving for Reagan's first soccer practice. Robby dropped Campbell and I off at Walmart first, and then he took Reagan to practice down the road.
  • Before he arrived back at Walmart, Campbell and I had already bought most of the things that weren't cold on our list. We were doing some speed shopping. She did find some black flats and I found socks for Whitman-all of his socks are incredible small-like Bentley size. 
  • We walked around Walmart until it was time to pick up Reagan. When she was finished with practice, she was a hot and sweaty mess. Her first words to us were, "I think that I should bring a towel next week." Ha! She definitely needed a towel.
  • Meanwhile back at home, Keaton was making herself nachos for supper. She asked Whitman if he had eaten supper, and his answer was "I don't know." She wrote me worried that she had fed him a second supper. He had not eaten supper! But gracious me, that child!
  • We did run to Costco on the way home. Reagan and Campbell had pizza from the deli. They said that the pizza was better than pizza from anywhere else. I was pretty shocked-though I did eat some of Campbell's crust and was surprised at how good it was.
  • When we came home it was already late, but I did manage to finish making my breakfast burritos that I started this morning. Then I made cornbread cookies form a Crumbl copycat recipe. They were delicious. Now, I am the only one that can say that because I am the only one who ate one. Everyone else opted for ice cream! They certainly missed out!

August 17, 2021

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  • Robby and I slept a whole lot better last night. We both did wake up at different times to take showers to help with our bug bites. I did rub some medicine all over my bites which practically cover my entire body before I read "do not use all over body." Ooops, thankfully I didn't overdose on that medicine!
  • Reagan and Anderson had their Comm. Central this morning. They got themselves ready while I did our morning work with everyone else. Robby took them to school where they had a good day. When they did return home today, Anderson could not wait to tell us about his 100 on a quiz. He was more excited about this because his score was higher than his sisters (95).
  • There was just as much baking today as there was yesterday. Keaton made pancakes from a recipe on her reading page. Pretty much the consensus was that the pancakes were not as good as the ones from the box.
  •  This afternoon I spent a few minutes working on cleaning out the laundry room closet upstairs. That took a few minutes especially since one things lead to another-Robby even ended up stairs fixing insulation in the attic along with repairing a door knob.
  • I left around 5 today to run to the library and to Walmart. I will say that I felt like a thief leaving Walmart without buying anything. I tried to find socks and tried to find shoes and tried to find school supplies, and I wasn't able to find a thing to buy in the store. Robby wishes that that would happen more often.
  • I had supper with the homeschool mommas tonight. While I was gone, most folks in this house were pretty busy. Anderson did school work. Reagan did nothing (her words), Graham, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman went swimming at the neighbor's house.
  • I made it home around 9 and worked on the blog a bit before it was all too soon bedtime.

August 16, 2021

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  • It wasn't a great night last night. Robby and I got into some bugs this weekend while camping. Basically we alternated who was sleeping all night long. One of us would get up to get medicine while the other would get up to take a shower to stop the itching. 
  • Hopefully tonight will be better for us. Though Robby has slept quite a bit today so I am afraid that he won't be tired at all tonight. This morning I did notice that most of the kids have just as many bites as we did. Apparently, they all slept well though, and we are just wimps.
  • We did our together work this morning-well, we did it just a few minutes late. I didn't even get around to walking Bentley this morning since I slept in a bit after the restful night. She did catch up on her walks later in the day though.
  • Most everyone finished their work at a decent time. Now Reagan did work most of the afternoon as well because she did two days of work for me. And I was able to urge Whitman to do a little bit of extra work today so maybe he will be a bit ahead this week.
  • We didn't really do a ton this afternoon-well, there was tons of baking that happened today. Campbell made whoopie pies. Keaton and Whitman did Whitman's idea of infusing chicken nuggets with ketchup. People almost made paninis, chicken pot pies and smoothies today. I spent a good deal of the day putting up small appliances in the kitchen.
  • Reagan had a birthday party tonight so she missed her first soccer practice. She was a bit bummed about that, but did have fun at her party. When she came home, I was busy organizing under the bar.
  • Right now Campbell is working on her school work for tomorrow and I am about to take a shower so maybe my bug bites will stop itching. 

August 15, 2021-White Oak Lake State Park

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We all slept until nine today. I know, isn't that awful? Well, not really. It was perfectly wonderful. The dog, the kids, Robby and I-everyone slept that long. It probably helped that Robby was chugging Benedryl at 5 this morning. (We both have gotten into some bugs and have quite a few bites on us. His are especially bothering him.)

After we did all get up, Robby started making breakfast-sausage biscuits. We had cooked the biscuits at home and just heated up the sausage in the microwave. While he was doing, that I was folding up our bedding.

Soon everyone had eaten, and we moved the party outside. Robby and I went on a walk around the loop. Then we started packing up all of our outside stuff. The main event of our packing up was refolding and making sure that the kayaks were dry. Surprisingly, we were able to get them back in our box so that was a super success.

After we had picked everything up, we did head on towards home. First we had to dump, but then we were on the road. Reagan drove with me home. Robby said that the others spent most of the trip heating up their hot pockets for lunch.

We stopped at Kroger to fill up with gas and for me to run in the store. Campbell joined us at this stop, and we hurried through the store filling the buggy-even though we had come in for about 4 things. By the time that we made it home, Robby and the others had practically unloaded all of the camper. 

There was just a little bit left to do before I came in and straightened the inside of the house. We even had time for a Sunday afternoon nap. Reagan spent most of her afternoon working on school work-she was getting things done that she had on her Monday list.

Anderson and Graham went to Rock Creek tonight, and Anderson came home with a 50 dollar Amazon gift card. He was super excited about this, but he doesn't yet know what he wants to spend it on. Campbell, Keaton and Whitman took the hammock from the camper and set it up out back. That seems to be the kids current favorite thing to do while we are on trip. 

We heated up bbq and had nachos for our supper tonight. The Wilson's were over to enjoy it with us. They didn't stay too long since school begins tomorrow. So when they left, I started working on my list for tomorrow and soon it time for bed around here,

August 14, 2021-White Oak Lake State Park

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Again we slept wonderfully well last night. Robby commented that it was hard to get up and start the day when the dog was still sleeping soundly. We were up and starting on our breakfast by 9. Today's menu consisted of pancakes, bacon, and egg in the holes. 

It was already warm by the time that we were working on breakfast. However, we pretty much have the breakfast making down to a science. Robby works outside while I work inside preparing the pancake batter, getting things out for breakfast, making the orange juice, straightening up inside, getting ready and putting up all of our bedding from last night. By the time he is ready for the inside stuff, I pretty much have the inside things and myself ready. Campbell and Keaton are the breakfast helpers and are both the pancake queens.

As soon as the kids finished their breakfast, Graham, Campbell and Keaton rode down to the playground to make pine cone bird feeders. Whitman reluctantly changed out of his fleece long sleeved and pants pajamas. He then rode his bike down to the playground with Bentley and I followed. I think that they had a good time making their birdfeeders. They all hung them nearby the camper. Currently, Keaton and Whitman's bird feeders have disappeared. They were probably taken by a squirrel, but we also have another idea of where they may be.

After breakfast we picked up and hurried to our next adventure. We hurried because we needed an early start for our trail walk. Reagan, Whitman, Bentley, Robby and I walked the three mile trail while the Anderson, Graham, Campbell and Keaton rode the 5 miles of the 10 mile bike trail (they took a short cut so they didn't make the entire loop.)

The trail was shaded and very nice. Now Bentley was a fool on the trail and pulled the leash like a maniac. She doesn't usually pull at home and has never pulled like this before. Now twice Robby let her go, and she just walked to me and then to Reagan. When she made it to Reagan the second time she acted like she hadn't seen her in weeks and made all kinds of whimpering noises. That is when we decided that maybe she was trying to "rescue" the bike riders that went a different trail than us. (Turns out that wasn't the case-she is just crazy.)

My one instruction for the bike riders was to take some pictures. And they did! I couldn't have been more pleased. I knew that they would be careful and watch out for each other so I wasn't too concerned about that-it was the pictures that I was worried about.

We met the others at the half way mark. We were hot and sweaty, but they were hot and sweatier. They had gone about 3 miles compared to our 1.5. Apparently their trail was up and down some hills. Ours had some gentle slopes, but it wasn't too steep. We all sat at the halfway point (walk in campground) and drank our waters to cool off before we headed back.

About half way on our loop back, the bike riders joined in with us. They zoomed on down the trail and made it back to the camper while we still had a good half mile left on our trail. It was hot and really, it was a lot of fun. Robby and I always say that we wish we had a trail that we could walk every day.

Reagan did have a shower after the trail. Well, the boys did as well, but she took hers at the bathhouse. While she was there, Robby and I ran to the visitor's center mainly to pick up a sticker for the camper. I guess we have moved on from Christmas ornaments and are now focusing on camper stickers. I guess we have to have something to spend our money on. 

Back at the camper, some folks had lunch (hot pockets, sandwiches, leftover pasta from last night, salad and crackers were the options that I know people ate. Bentley had a bath, and I am sure that she felt better afterwards. A three mile trek is a lot for our little lazy dog.

Since it was getting hot, we put Bentley in her kennel and loaded up. We drove about 15 minutes to Poison Springs State Park. There was a civil water battle that happened there.And of course there was a trail. On the way, I had said that we were not going to do the trail. But since there was a trail...and since it was only .3 miles we decided to walk on it.

Reagan stayed on a picnic table and opted not to walk the trail. We figured we would be back soon enough-of course we had no idea that it was going to be the longest .3 miles ever. Ha! We did walk up and down hills, but it was a neat little trail with bridges-I am not sure why I find bridges on trails so entertaining, but I do.

Reagan drove us back to the camper. By this time that summer shower was happening, so we all scurried around moving things under the tent. It didn't last too long but long enough to make things messy and to make all of our stuff wet. We hope that things dry well by tomorrow or we will have to unload all of our outside stuff so it can dry out very well.

We had some downtime in the camper this afternoon. When we are all in this camper, it is a bit noisy and it is always shaking. Since we don't have stabilizers, this thing just bounces whenever anyone moves around at all.

Robby, Reagan, Graham and I headed off to Gurdon to buy our supper-BBQ from Allen's. It took us a bit to get there, and I really wanted to see the drag races but they were postponed today because of the rain. Maybe next time we are in the Prescott area.

We brought the bbq back and worked on heating up some fries for our supper. The fries were done in the air fryer and were delicious. However, the beans were even better-I guess they had bacon in them. We had laughed because when Robby ordered supper they asked him if he wanted a quart or a pint of beans. He said that he wanted a quart. Then we started second guessing ourselves since a quart is 1/4 of a gallon. They were yummy enough that we did some pretty good damage to that 1/4 gallon.

After eating and cleaning up, we all headed to the dock. There was fishing, kayaking, and bike riding happening. Whitman and Reagan rode the kayaks first. Then Anderson and Graham were next followed by Keaton and Campbell. When Keaton finished, Robby rode some and finally I took his spot in the kayak.

I will say that everyone had thoroughly enjoyed the kayaks. So much so that Robby has looked to buy another one or two. However, the price that we bought ours for has now doubled so we will be waiting a bit.

After Kayaking, Campbell and Keaton went to take another shower-well, this might be their first today. I think that the boys are on the second or third showers though. I am taking mine in a bit because I think that I smell like fishy lake water. 

We did have s'mores inside when we finally put everything away. I am getting to be a pro at making s'mores in the microwave for a crowd. In a bit, we are putting these folks to bed because we have had a busy and active day It has been a pretty perfect weekend away. 

August 13, 2021-White Oak Lake State Park

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We started our day just like the other days lately. Bentley woke Robby and I up. After her potty break, she came back to our bed until it was time to get up. The new thing lately is that she now sees animals out of our thin blinds while we have gone back to sleep. If it is a squirrel, she barks a bit. If it is the roaming neighborhood dog her bark is a bit more vicious. However, if she sees deer our the window, she goes berserk.

Yesterday, she saw Campbell and Graham in the way back yard playing. She barked like a bear was out there. Robby and I were in the kitchen, and I swear that I lost at least 3 years of my life because this ferocious bark. 

This morning I did sleep in a bit longer than other mornings, but soon I was up and others were starting to stir as well. Reagan was really the only one that I had to wake up this morning. Anderson and she were the only ones who had school work left to do. She actually did hers, got ready and then went back to bed. Sometime in the morning, I walked into her room and she jumped out saying. "I'm ready."

I didn't really do a whole lot this morning-just the normal around the house things. Well, I did take a zillion loads to the camper. Other than figuring out where I would put my Christmas dishes and where I would keep the kids school, we are ready to live in this thing.

We decided that I would just drive today instead of tow the car. We definitely want the car so it was for sure coming. We debated whether to tow or me drive. Towing involves hooking up and then having to unhook two different times plus driving is just a bit more stressful. However, if I drive then we are all split up plus we are using gas. We finally decided that the 30ish dollars on gas was worth the hassle. 

So Keaton, Campbell, Graham and I headed out first this afternoon around 12:30 to run to Kroger. There were a few things we needed for the trip-hamburger buns, french fries and milk. Plus we needed sugar for the house since it was such a good sale. 

Robby showed up in the camper as we were checking out. Campbell and Graham chose to ride in the camper-probably because of the wifi or the dog. Keaton did stay with me and chatted the entire hour and a half drive.

Well, like any Dennie camping trip, we had rain! It rained off and on on the way. At one point, it rained pretty good. And then this evening there was thunder and lightening, but it never rained. We are staying at White Oak Lake State Park.

It is a fairly small campground but has a nice little loop and a pretty lake. Now, once again we did get the spot with no shade. We should have driven around to check if there were any empty spots that were more shady. However, our spot is pretty nice and before too long we were all set up. When everyone is working, we are able to get settled pretty quickly.

Since it was so hot, we decided to load up and take a drive. We thought that we might just go and explore the Little Grand Canyon of Arkansas. It was a short drive around the lake and then down a gravel road. We stopped where we thought it was and headed off down the traisl.

Anderson found it first. It did kind of look like a miniature Grand Canyon. However, it felt like Death Valley-it was so, so hot. The sun was blazing down on us and we were drenched in sweat as we explored. It was pretty steep, but we found a few different trails down to the water. 

It was actually hot enough that Bentley even waded through the water a bit too cool off. It was so hot that the kids were asking to drink Bentley's water and even poured some of it on themselves. Robby, Campbell, Keaton and Graham did more exploring than the rest of us. Whitman and Reagan were the wimpiest of the crew and sat in the shade. Anderson did a little bit of both.

We were all delighted when we did finally get back to the car and slurped down about 2 water bottles each. It was quite an adventure-a hot adventure. Actually, it was pretty amazing to see. The pictures show that at some times this area is a happening swim hole with bluish green water-not today. It was deserted with stagnate brown water. We are glad that we have seen it now and can check it off of the list.

We then headed back to the campground. This is when the storm was rolling through nearby. The girls hung a hammock and played with it. Then it was kayak time. We aired those new babies up and Campbell and Keaton were able to kayak a little bit. Campbell was pretty skittish about it, but they both did just fine. 

Anderson fished while the did this, but Graham and Campbell also got in on the fishing. Graham and Anderson also took a spin around on the kayaks before we hauled them back to the campsite. 

Now, somehow time gets away from you. Even though we had an easy supper tonight-ravioli and bread-it took forever. The main probably was that the water didn't boil very quickly. The pasta only had to cook for 2 minutes so once the water did boil, we were eating minutes later.

I think that everyone enjoyed the supper, but they also enjoyed the ice cream that we had once we got back inside of the camper. We put everything under the tent tonight and tarped it up just in case of rain. Then we took a few bike rides and walks before finally heading in for the night. 

It is now 11 and we are no where near going to bed. Well, everyone is in their beds and ready for bed, but a football game is on, I haven't had my shower and everyone is playing on their devices. Bentley is the only one that is wisely sleeping!

August 12, 2021

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  • I think that we might just have this early morning routine down. Not really, but this morning kids were coming down the stairs before I walked out the door to take Bentley on her walk. I had already been upstairs once to start waking everyone up.
  • Bentley was so skittish at the start of our walk. I even thought about turning around and taking her home. She only really has a pep in her step when I tell her that we are going home.
  • Reagan and Anderson didn't work together with us this morning since they had to soon leave for their second day of Comm Central. Anderson had two study halls today so he was able to finish a few things for me. I did ask him if he wanted to take one of the classes that Reagan was taking so he wouldn't have two study halls-he was adamant that he did not want another class.
  • I think that they had a good day. Anderson still seems a bit overwhelmed. However, he has done all of his work for one class. Reagan started working on her work upstairs in the bonus room as soon as she came home today. They will soon figure out a routine to get it all done.
  • The rest of us spent our morning on school work. Well, Campbell and Keaton did have a baking competition. They were both making a different box of cake mix cookies. Graham and Whitman were the judges, and Campbell did win by a bit. The boys were pretty realistic as they delivered their critique of the cookies.
  • All of the people at home were able to pack for this weekend. That is one of my favorite things to do-pack up the camper. Soon it was time for Robby to go and get Reagan and Anderson while I headed out to run a few errands myself. One of those was to the library-my favorite place. I have decided that I might just want to be a librarian when I grow up. 
  • This afternoon kind of flew by. Robby had a mystery shop plus he bought the rest of us dinner so he was gone for a long while picking up food. Long enough for me to do some school with Anderson, braid Reagan's hair and walk on the treadmill.
  • When he returned we dined on our Colton and Lonestar meals. It was all pretty delicious-especially the rolls. After we ate, all of the kids except for Reagan went outside to play baseball. Campbell bought some softballs so she has been on a baseball kick lately. This was their second time to play outside today.
  • The boys did help Robby load the bikes on the camper. Then it was pretty much shower time for everyone. Now, I did take myself a nap from 9-10 instead of do any real work! Right now, the kids are in bed, and I'm about to take my nightly shower.

August 11, 2021

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  • I was awake before my alarm went off this morning-well, I was awake enough to grab my phone and change my alarm back a few minutes. I knew I couldn't sleep too long because there are three things that I feel like are necessities before school starts-fold the clothes, empty the dishwasher and walk the dog.
  • For a few days we had been starting the dishwasher the night before and emptying it before we went to bed. However, we forgot yesterday so I knew I had to wake up in time to do that. However, I also knew that my laundry waiting for me in the dryer was a smaller load than usual so there was a debate going on in my mind as I did figure out what time I really wanted to wake up. 
  • Surprisingly, I picked the earlier time and even had time to tie dye one of my shirts before I had to wake up the kids the second time before we started on our school work. As Comm Central assignments roll in, I am getting a bit overwhelmed. I am not exactly how they (especially Anderson) can keep up with both. I did help him make a list tonight and explained that we can slow down on a few things if we need to here to give him more Comm Central time until he figures out his scheduling. 
  • We left for the pool around 2 this afternoon with Campbell, Keaton and Whitman. They were excited to get to swim because we have been talking about us not having too many more days to swim this season (hallelujah! They love the pool, and I love that for them. However I am looking forward to things slowing down some-does that ever really happen though?)
  • While they were swimming, I left them and Robby to go with Reagan to return something from Kohls, get her hair cut and pick up a gift. Now when we were getting her haircut, the lady took forever on Reagan's hair. I am not saying this is a bad thing-it really is probably a good thing. But it did take a good long while-maybe she took longer so I would tip more (I did)
  • Then we hurried home to regroup for tonight. Reagan had a friend's birthday party, and the rest of us had Nonna's 75th birthday party. Pops had pizza for us to eat, and we brought dessert.
  • I had tried to make a red velvet cake. Hmm, it was edible, but my cake was very dense. I guess it is because I put the batter in the fridge before baking it. The icing was made by Graham and was delicious. The cake was decorated by Campbell and looked perfect. The words on the cake were written by Keaton and looked really good. It was a group effort and at least the outside of the cake looked nice!
  • After a bit we headed home for a while. Robby and I did eventually run over to the Wilson's house for a few minutes so the dogs could play some. They were much nicer to each other tonight. Then it was home for a little bit before I will have to head out again to pick up Reagan from her party. 

August 10, 2021

(click for today's pictures) 

  • Today was the first day of school at Comm Central for Reagan and Anderson. The last time that they went to Comm Central together was nine years ago when Anderson was in kindergarten. I still remember that day vividly. My excited Anderson was running towards the building and tripped on a crack in the sidewalk (still there) and fell flat on his face. He recovered just fine, and it didn't bother him. Thankfully today, he didn't stumble when he walked into the building.
  • I probably should have taken a picture or two of them, but since I took first day of school pictures last week, I didn't think much about it. I actually have gotten pretty bad about taking pictures during the day. I wouldn't say that I am busier right now, but possibly you could say that I am more forgetful. The girls are good about taking pictures of the dog, but I am not sure that that really counts.
  • I think they both had a fine day. They both seemed a bit overwhelmed-Reagan most than Anderson. I am actually overwhelmed for Anderson. Reagan is just like me-she will stress, work hard and then do just fine. Anderson's approach is a bit more relaxed and that makes me nervous. 
  • The rest of us had an oddly smooth morning. I rarely see Reagan during the school day-she doesn't usually come for help until noon. Anderson just checks his math with me and a few other things, so I work with him for about 15 minutes. Despite all of this, since they were gone today, the rest of us were able to finish things in record time. It probably helped that Keaton did a lot of her school last night.
  • We did a quick run to Costco to join up this afternoon. Robby decided that the gas prices were too good to pass up. We had less than an hour before we needed to pick up the school goers so we didn't have much time to look around.
  • Once we were back at home, it was a quick turn around to deliver Nonna her dessert of the month and Pops his socks for the month. Then I took Anderson to Raymar to work followed by a quick run into the library. By this time in the day, I felt like it was 6 or 7 not just 3:30.
  • At home, I did walk on the treadmill-I had to wake Reagan up to do so because she was napping in the bonus room. Then Robby and I headed out for a mystery shop followed by picking up Anderson.
  • He was exhausted and choose to stay home tonight with Whitman instead of going back to Costco to look around tonight. We actually did more than look around-we bought a few things (hot pockets, ravioli, pants for Keaton, a blanket for Reagan, and a bathing suit for next year for Keaton.
  • Once we were finally home for the day, I went to work baking a cake, writing the blog and getting things ready for school!