October 31, 2021-Halloween Campout!

(click for today's pictures)

It was another great night of sleep-though I did have to go to the bathroom for the last few hours so my sleep could have been much more restful if I did just get up. Bentley slept in her kennel just fine this trip so I didn't have to worry about disturbing her at all.

I still slept well, and so did everyone else in our camper. I was teaching Sunday school this morning so I had to leave in time for Sunday school. However, I left early enough that I had a few minutes to get my room set up.

Reagan, Graham, Campbell and Keaton all decided to go to church. Now, I am not too sure why Keaton wanted to go since she usually isn't too crazy about all of the behavior disruptions in her Sunday school class. Campbell wanted to go because I let her go and help with my little first graders. 

As soon as Sunday school was over, we hurried back to our campsite. I kind of like camping right in the middle of our city. It is like we don't really miss anything at all-need to go to church, okay, need to go to a party, okay, need to go to soccer, okay. Now, that all makes camping probably not nearly as relaxing as it could be.

The Wilsons were already back from their church and were waiting on supper. Robby was starting to cook everything when we arrived. He made his famous messy nachos. They aren't pretty, but they were filling. I really think that most things do taste better when they are eaten outside.

After we finished eating, we started on breaking down camp. That is one of the saddest things to do-well, I am sure that isn't that saddest thing to do, but it is no fun. We worked and worked. We had done quite a few things last night and Robby had worked on the inside while we were at church, so we didn't have a ton of things to do.

I worked forever on those silly hammocks. They kind of make me crazy because they are almost impossibly to get back in the bags. I don't know why they can't make the bags just a wee bit larger so you don't have to struggle to get them loaded back up in that tiny bag. Everyone was very willing to help today which of course made things go faster.

I left the campground first in the van with the big 4. They all had activities tonight so they needed showers. Reagan and Graham headed to the showers first while Campbell and Anderson helped me unload the car. Unloading the car was fairly easy since most things fell out of the trunk when I opened it. 

The kids helped me, and we had just finished unloading just as Robby pulled in. By this time, Campbell and Anderson went to take their showers while Keaton and Whitman did 4 trips for me. Within 30 minutes, the camper was pretty emptied.

I then walked back into the house to work in there some when I discovered that the kids had gotten a bit off track and had filled the living room floor with candy. Seriously, they had gotten ready and had begun the candy trading which is their favorite part of Halloween and Easter and pretty much anytime they get a load of candy.

Soon we all left for to trick or treat at Nonna's house and Grannymom's house. The kids were happy to go and get a few more pieces of candy and see their grandparents. After leaving their houses, we dropped off Anderson, Graham and Campbell at Rock Creek. Then we dropped Reagan off at a friend's house to go trick or treating.

It was back home for a little bit-we had time to work for a while before heading to the Wilson's house for supper. First Robby had to go and pick Reagan up-she only collected half a bag of candy which we kind of laughable after our massive haul last night. 

Shannon had made chicken spaghetti for supper tonight. As soon as we were finished eating, the boys and Campbell came back from church. Robby and Reagan came in. The girls and Whitman worked on a haunted gingerbread house for a little bit before we came home.

Once at home, Robby and I did some veterinarian work. The last time we went to the vet, I mentioned Bentley's ear. The vet tried to look in it, but Bentley showed him her teeth. So he said that the next step would be to sedate her and put the meds (2 doses 2 weeks apart) in her ear there or we could try at home. Well, I decided to try.

Of course that didn't go well at all. She snaps at us. I don't think she would ever hurt us, but she does have sharp teeth and not good aim so a muzzle was bought. Tonight we put the muzzle on her which she tolerated fine.

Though when she figured out what we were going to do, she became a crazy dog. We tried to talk and reason with her, but alas she is a dog. Robby tried to lay on top of her, I would try to hold her, we had just about tried everything that we could and were able to give up when we finally had success.

It was pitiful though. Robby was just holding her half way on the couch, and she was just crying with her paw on her muzzle trying to get it off when she was still. This meant that I then had to put the syringe in her eat and slow squeeze out 1.5 ml of sticky ear medicine in her ear. 

When we finished, I laid in the floor, and Robby had to sit in the hallway. We were both emotional and physically spent. Of course Campbell, Reagan and Keaton were in the next room a nervous wreck the entire time. It was traumatic for us, however, Bentley recovered much better than us. We gave her some peanut butter, and she forgave us and hasn't seemed to hold a grudge. Now, if she tears us to pieces tonight, yall will know why.

At bedtime tonight, Graham and Anderson were watching the last few seconds of a Cowboys game when Keaton started looking at Anderson's Disney pins. Soon I had looked at Anderson's pins, Keaton's, Campbell's and Reagan's pins. I think that it is so fun that they all love pin trading so much. 

It is nearly midnight now-I became distracted with my 19 loads of laundry plus a you tube video tonight so I am a bit behind. However tomorrow and half of this week, we have a slow week so maybe I can accomplish a few things from my list. 

October 30, 2021-Halloween Campout!

(click for today's pictures)

Oh, my goodness what a fun day! I usually don't really look forward to Halloween, but today was just a great day. It is nearing midnight, and I have just set down to start on the blog. Let's see, we all slept great again. 

Now, Keaton does talk out loud in her sleep occasionally. Sometimes it seems like she is just talking and other times she seems distressed. That is what it has been the last two nights. Robby usually gets up to check on her, but she is sound asleep and seems fine. 

It was about 9 when I started stirring. I felt for Robby, but he was gone. By the time that I did sit up in the bed, Robby and Bentley returned from a morning walk. He said that he had to wake Bentley up. It didn't take me long to tell what had woken Robby up-it sounded like 30 kids were playing behind our camper on our hammocks. It probably wasn't 30, but nearly that amount.

As soon as Robby opened the door, I saw Whitman roll out of his bed. He walked to Robby, and then within a few seconds went outside. Robby said that he didn't think he knew where he was just yet-he just knew that he wanted to be outside with all of the others kids playing.

He has done really well. Whitman enjoys playing some with the other kids. Then he will occasionally need a break and will go back to the camper for some downtime. Tonight though he was in his element-he has been waiting for this day for weeks.

It didn't take us long this morning to realize that this was going to be a big night. People were decorating left and right. Blow ups, skeletons, graveyards, even haunted houses. I really have seen nothing like it. On each walk we took today, we could tell that things were more decorated, and there were more people in the campground.

Tony and Shannon came down around 10. We started to work on our breakfasts. There were hash browns, potato cakes, bacon, egg in the holes, sausage, and biscuits. Using the oven is always taking a chance, but the biscuits were a success. Robby has to light it for me. Then we have a pizza stone in the bottom of it. Plus we then use two cookie sheets lined with aluminum foil. The oven has a tendency to burn, but today those biscuits were just perfect. I could actually eat one now to counteract all of the chocolate that I stood around and ate tonight.

Soon after we finished cleaning up from breakfast. Grannymom and Grandpa arrived to see all of the decorations at the campsite. They were here when the kids began decorating their pumpkins. Brett had a pumpkin that Anderson and Reagan helped with. Graham did one on his own, and Campbell did as well. Keaton and Whitman both did one by their selves, but they each chose a small one to do. Everyone did really good and enjoyed carving the pumpkins.  

After all of that was cleaned up, we took more walks. The kids did got down to play a game of kickball with everyone. Robby and I were headed down that way when we discovered that my potatoes in my potato soup were not as soft as we would like it. 

I ran to the kickball field for a little bit to take a load of people. While I was gone, Robby went into chef MacGyver mode. He had divided the soup up into a manageable size and put in my only microwavable cups to heat in the microwave. By the time that I returned, he was finishing with the heating up. By this time the potatoes were much better, and we added the last bit of ingredients.

Supper was early tonight-supper for 40 people always has to be early. We had a chicken tortilla soup, two chilis, my potato soup, cornbread muffins, fritos, crackers, cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, and even onions. Only one crockpot of chili was finished off. Everything else had some leftovers. Later in the evening, we also had apple cider. 

Right after supper, we went on a walk with Annie, in her Razorback jersey, and Bentley, in her candy corn dress. We felt like we were a parade. Everyone was talking to us and commenting on them. They were given at least 5 doggie treats too! And Bentley-I think that she loved all of the attention. 

When we returned it was time to take a group kid picture. I am not too sure how many folks were trick or treating with us tonight. Brett, Anderson and Graham had gone to a hobo party at church. When the picture was over, the kids took off.

I stayed back to pass out our candy with Shannon, Jodee, Wes and Tony. The rest of the parents and kids went to find some candy. After about 40 minutes, Robby called to say that I needed to get all of the Walmart bags out because everyone's bags were full, and they were coming to drop off some candy before going out again.

When Campbell came walking up her hands were completely full of candy and little bags of candy. Robby was near her, and his hands were just as full. I had never seen anything like it. They all dumped their candy, and my crew put their candy on their beds. 

Most of the folks headed out again and when they returned right at 8:30, they had a total of 2 Walmart bags full of candy. I had made bags of candy for our folks. The others mothers had candy to pass out. Shannon made around 130 bags of candy and had one left over. They think that we didn't have as many trick or treaters though because our loop is a little bit hidden. 

Of course there was candy trading when the trick or treating was over. Poor Bentley couldn't stay awake to trade because she was exhausted from that long walk. She walked all over this campsite-every loop. Now Campbell did collect at least 4 bags of treats for her. 

Tonight was cooler, so we stayed huddled around the fire. Brett and my big boys came in from their party. They were glad to see that we had collected some candy for them as well. We had a lot of pickup tonight. It was already 10 so most everyone was inside. Campbell even came outside to ask if they could help. We told her to just get ready for bed since they were all exhausted.

Robby and I picked up around the campsite and put as many things away as we could. Then we had to wake sleeping Bentley up for her last walk of the day. When we did come back, all of the kids were pajamaed up and in their beds for the night. They had to work at this a little bit to get all of the bedding out. 

We let them stay up a little bit. Robby and I cleaned some in the camper before we finally did settle in for the night. I still have my shower to take, but we all should be asleep by 1.

October 29, 2021-Halloween Campout!

(click for today's pictures)

Not only was I sleeping well this morning, but everyone else in our camper was sleeping well. Robby did stir first, but everyone, even Bentley, slept until 9 this morning. It was wonderful. Seriously, wonderful. It was overcast and cloudy most of the day long, so it looked like it was super early, when we finally did start stirring. 

Since it was rainy yesterday, we didn't start pulling out camp things. This morning though the rain had dried up so we went to town making this place look homey. We set up both tents plus the rug. I pulled out all of the chairs-we used to have less chairs than Dennie bottoms, but not we have plenty of chairs for extra bottoms. We had our three tables to set up as well as starting a fire. We strung up our two strings of lights along with 2 pumpkin light strings. Robby had bought a big Halloween blow up for the occasion so that was put as well. 

Whitman spent most of the day working on getting the fire to burn better. Robby said that he must have been absent on fire building day at boy scouts. I did spend a bit of time by the little smokey fire today though sitting in my lawn chair drinking hot chocolate. It was perfect-even though I smell super like smoke (which I love and Robby hates.)

We had told Shannon to come down at 10 for breakfast. At 10 we were no where near getting ready to cook our breakfast. We were still having fun setting up camp. We finally managed to get breakfast going about 11, and it was worth the wait for sure. We had pancakes along with sausages (patty and link) as well as hash browns. 

We have started pre-measuring the pancake mix in an old apple juice container. Then we just add the right amount of water and shake until it was ready to pour. The hash browns were just as easy-just had to add water for a few minutes. So once Robby did start on breakfast, it didn't take long at all. 

Shannon came down for breakfast. The Fergusons pulled in while we were making our breakfast. We pretty much did nothing for the rest of the day. We walked to the playground for a little bit with all of the kids. Wes and his little kids came over for a while.

Robby and Andrew ran back to our houses for a little bit to pick up some things that we had forgotten-nothing major (Bentley's shock collar, Keaton a long sleeve shirt, a back up ipad, and oh, a muzzle for Bentley so we can put her ear meds in.)

The kids hung up the hammocks so it looks like hammock city behind our campers. They had a lot of fun playing on them all afternoon as well. The breeze really picked up this afternoon, but I was still able to survive most of the day in my vest without a jacket so it wasn't miserable.      

I was busy all day long-like when Robby left not only did I have my hot chocolate and sit by the fire, but I also blew off the long parking pad that we are parked on. I arranged the bikes and had Campbell draw parking lines with chalk for the bikes. I am not really sure why I have the need to be busy, but I certainly do. But even with all of this busyness today, it was still pretty great though I can't really remember what we did all afternoon.

When Robby and Anderson got back from their outing to the house, the Crafts and Kamps had just arrived. So we did watch them set up their camp. This provided 11 more playmates for the group so things did really get a bit wild.

If I counted correctly, our group of people have 27 kids with us. That does seem like a lot for sure-and it really is. At one time at least 20 of them were playing on our 4 hammocks. But just as fast as they blew in, they soon left to go and play at another campsite. 

We took a few walks today to look at the other campsites. Let me tell you, we just thought we were all festive over here with our pumpkin blow up and pumpkin lights. This place is all decorated-some people have grave yards in their yard, I counted at least 20 skeletons, people have gone all out, and I'm sure more decorations will be added tomorrow. 

Jason brought some doughnuts for my kids that were left over at his work. So he stayed around a little while tonight seeing the kids.

Tonight we tried a new recipe-philly cheese steaks. Robby seemed to like his-I'm just not a meat girl and the kids (and I) felt like we needed a bit more sauce/cheese/something. Overall though it was pretty good. We ate everything that we brought so I will definitely say that it was successful meal which will probably try again to perfect.

After we ate, I eventually pulled out the s'mores plus the ooey gooey that Graham made. He received lots of compliments for his dessert. We finished that dessert off, but the kids didn't eat too many s'mores. After this, we sat around the fire and chatted for a long while. 

My girls stayed gone until the other families all went to bed. Then they returned to help us put things away. Clean up outside didn't take too long. Then Robby and I took Bentley on one more walk-though we got a little lost on our walk! We finally found our way back to the campsite (we could see it all along, but it was sure dark!) 

Then we went to town working on the inside of the camper. We had a lot of dishes to wash from tonight that Robby did while I swept. But before we could do any of that, we had to find places for the kids to be so we made their beds so they could at least get in bed.

We finished all of this around midnight which is why I am working on the blog so late. Again, it was a great day-I think that the big kids worry that we might just decide to sell the house one day and do this full time. That's a real possibility!


October 28, 2021-Halloween Campout!

(click for today's pictures)

Trip days are hard days. We worked from sun up until sun down-well, not really. I guess I was kind of awake at sun up. When Bentley did potty early this morning, the sun sure wasn't up. However, soon enough it was. I tried to stay in bed as long as I could, but school had to start.

I woke everyone up. No one seemed to want to wake up this morning. Well, except for Whitman. After missing one morning, he was back in his early morning wake up routine. Reagan and Anderson headed to school while the rest of the kids and I did our morning work together.

Whitman just had a few things left to do today. He did take forever on his math, but man he sure loves reading. He is fun because I think that he loves getting library books as much as I love getting them for him.

Soon school was over, and I had pulled out all of the school for next week. I did sent Robby on a wild goose chase on where to get firewood. Graham kept telling me that I was wrong, and I wouldn't listen-he was right though and I was wrong! Robby still found wood so we won't freeze this weekend or especially next weekend.

Around 2:30, Robby pulled out with Campbell, Graham, Keaton and Whitman to head to Maumelle Park. We thought that Reagan and Anderson would be home in 20 or so minutes. I had planned on eating a bowl of ice cream and picking out some pictures after I swept the mudroom. I had just returned with the broom when they drove in. They came in one way just as Robby was pulling out another. Neither one saw each other, but it all happened at the same time.

I still picked out my pictures and even had a bite of ice cream before I left with Anderson and Reagan. We had some coupons at Kum and Go so we stopped there. Reagan used the coupon for a free bowl if you buy a Red Bull. She did that-well, we split the bowl. I am not sure what was in it-meat, rice, lots of things we didn't know what they were. However, it was really good-though the serving size was way too small to be worth 8 dollars. Anderson had a coupon for a "stacker"-I think that is what they called it. Whatever they called it-it was just a tiny, very tiny sandwich. He said that it was good though.

We then met the rest of the gang. Robby had helped Tony back into his spot. He said that it started raining then, and then continued off and on for the rest of the night. The weather didn't say that it was supposed to rain, but gracious it continued. What a mess!

We didn't really make camp tonight-it was too wet. The only thing that we did outside was to sweep some of the pine needles away. We figure that hopefully things will dry out tonight, and we can set everything out-we have a new chair plus some Halloween decorations.

Graham had basketball tryouts at Immanuel tonight. I took him along with Reagan and Anderson. I am not sure why they wanted to come, but I enjoyed sitting with them critiquing all of the players. Graham did really good tonight-though I don't think that was the best strategy. The team that they put him on needs a few more stronger players. 

We made it home just as the Wilsons had finished making supper for us. They grilled outside, but the silly rain and cold weather caused us to eat inside. And if that is not a camper size test, I don't know what is. All 11 of us sat/stood in there comfortably and ate our supper.

They had sausages and hot dogs along with all of the fixings. For dessert, there was ice cream and Little Debbies. I think that everyone had plenty. And really, it was all a pretty perfect evening. All of us right together-couldn't get any better. 

When we left their camper, we went back to ours. Graham had a shower after his practice while everyone else worked on getting their pajamas on. All too soon it was 10, which was fine. We are now all bedded down, and Robby and I are about to start a Hallmark movie. 

October 27, 2021

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

October 26, 2021

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

October 25, 2021

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

October 24, 2021

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

October 23, 2021

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

October 22, 2021

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

October 21, 2021

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

October 20, 2021

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

October 19, 2021

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

October 18, 2021

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

October 17, 2021

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

October 16, 2021

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

October 15, 2021

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

October 14, 2021

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

October 13, 2021

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

October 12, 2021

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

October 11, 2021

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

October 10, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 9, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 8, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

(click for today's pictures)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 7, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

(click for today's pictures)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 6, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

(click for today's pictures)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 5, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

(click for today's pictures)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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