June 29, 2022-Mission Trip Week AKA Escape to the Lake Week

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Robby and I were up early this morning-well, it wasn't the crack of dawn, but we didn't sleep in. We were on a mission to get home and unload everything before having to leave to get the littles. We pulled out of Lake Dardenelle at 8:30. 

It didn't take us long at all to get home. We had even put most of the things that we needed to carry out of the camper in bags, so within 30 minutes things were unloaded and put away. Really, I think that we had cleaned fairly decently within this time period as well.

That did leave us a few minutes of down time before we headed to pick up the kids. They were a bit late, but they had posted that on the internet plus we were able to track Campbell. I believe that they all really had a good time.

Now, being a boy and being Whitman, it is harder to get information out of him. He was in the orange group, and his favorite meal was the cinnamon rolls. His favorite project was sorting the clothes, and he said that he worked pretty hard. Also from the pictures I could tell that he wore his shirt backwards at least one day (on purpose I would suspect). And also one day, we have heard reports of him taking a shower in his clothes. He told them that he forget he was wearing them. Even though this is not normal behavior, it isn't really surprising for Whitman! He can be a bit absentminded at time. Overall, I think he did fine-fingers crossed!

Campbell and Keaton were in the same group so they had to take turns telling me about everything. Campbell's favorite meal was the bbq, and Keaton told me but I sure can't remember. They worked on cleaning a fence row, worked on a flower bed, went shopping for supplies, and even manged to get Sonic one day. 

After getting everyone home and emptying their bags, Keaton had a short nap while Whitman just laid on the floor with his ipad. He has actually been there all day long-I know that he is exhausted. Then the girls and I ran to Walmart to pick up a few things-things for this weekend and for Campbell's beach camp.

Once at home, it didn't take too long for me to realize that milk should have been on my Walmart list. I tried to pour Whitman milk that expired a week ago. Robby had to go to the bank so I loaded up with him, and we ran to the bank, Kroger, Costco and Kohls. We did get a lot of running around out of the way, and hopefully we don't have to return to a store for a few days.

Keaton made her brownies for our trip-a dozen eggs, 5 sticks of butter, 2 cups of cocoa powder-yep, it is a pretty crazy recipe. They turned out super delicious though. We should have cooked them a bit longer, but I think they are still going to be good. She was a bit disappointed, but I thought they were still good.

Campbell made mashed potatoes for our supper tonight. Keaton and Whitman wanted mac and cheese so they made that. However, Keaton talked Whitman through every step so maybe he will be our new mac and cheese maker. We ate supper while they continued to tell us things about their trip.

Robby and I took Bentley on a walk which must have completely worn her out because she is acting super exhausted right now! I just sent Whitman upstairs to head to bed and everyone else is not too far behind.

The others: I haven't really heard much from them today. Reagan said that she was working at a laundry mat. Graham, the main credit card user, said that he did not need any more peppermints for the beach trip-he took a huge bag of peppermints on this trip! Anderson did text me back when I asked if he could think of anything he needed from the store, but that was all. Boys are quite a bit less chatty than girls especially on text. I might possibly hear from them some more tonight but doubtful.

June 28, 2022-Mission Trip Week AKA Escape to the Lake Week

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Let's see, I am not really sure when I finished the blog last night. I know that it was no where near when we went to bed. As Robby was getting ready for bed, he realized that the toilet no long opened to allow the waste to go down. He originally just hoped that his seal somehow was blocking that piece from working. Of course, this means taking the potty off-water off, tools out of the car, towels, gloves (it's a messy, messy job). He soon discovered that it wasn't the seals-it was a broken piece.

Amazon to the rescue: well, not really. Sometimes Amazon is great, and other times it is just a big tease. He searched and searched looking for the right part. And he even ended up ordering lots of possibly parts since returning things is so easy. However, upon more potty work-well, he had to get it all back together since we kind of need it-he realized that he still didn't think that he had ordered the right part.

This camper rolls back out again Friday or possibly even Thursday. Eight people-we need a perfectly functioning toilet. That meant his next purchase was the whole thing! A part is definitely broken, but we are crossing our fingers that the whole new things comes quickly. 

After the initial panic of not being able to find what he needed, Robby thought that things would calm down. They only got worse-the potty had to be put back together. (Thankfully, we are right near the bathhouse.) Robby tried and tried and tried to get it back together. After about an hour of working on reassembling it, he was finally able to get it. All of this was much more difficult since he was working with a broken piece. Not exactly the way we wanted to spend the evening; however, that is the joys of owning a camper.

We did sleep well-but maybe that was because we went to bed at a crazy hour. When I woke up, I read some and read some more. We eventually did go on a walk this morning and walk we did-we were gone for nearly an hour walking around this park. The weather has been absolutely perfect the last few days, and we sure enjoyed our walk today.

Soon though it was lunch time-I made us some lunch. Robby worked, and I read and eventually napped. This evening we went for another walk before leaving to eat at Fat Daddy's BBQ. It was good-just bbq really though. 

Afterwards, we did walk around Lowes and bought a few things for our camper projects. We hesitated to do camper projects tonight just in case they might be disastrous like last night. However, tonight's projects were successful (at least so far). We re-tiled the back of the bathroom cabinet, and Robby worked on stopping some drawers from sliding with velcro.

We then walked Bentley, and I started on the blog when we returned. After some ice cream, my plan is for a shower and then bed!

Dennie kid update: Late last night, Reagan text to show me a screen shot of what a worker had said about her. They had nothing but praise for Reagan's hard work. That was certainly good to hear. I believe that Reagan did some painting of a house today and helped with a community meal. Anderson also helped with the community meal, and I saw pictures of him talking to a kid in a laundry mat. I, again, have not heard anything from Anderson. Though I have been tracking all of the kids' credit card usage across the country. It is kind of like we are mini private investigators following the money trail. Seriously, they have each spent less than 15 dollars; though there is some uncertainty about if they have already blown through the cash we also sent with them. 

Graham, who has also been using his credit card, did text today after accidentally calling me and hanging up. He said that they were going to go to eat Mexican for lunch and then to the zoo. Poor Graham, he was really hoping that they would not have to go to the zoo-I believe that almost 14 year old boys no long enjoy watching the animals. 

Let's see-I know that Campbell, Keaton and Whitman had cinnamon rolls for breakfast because I saw pictures last night of them being made. They also had hamburgers for supper. I saw a picture of Keaton in the pool which was probably from last night. I did see Whitman in a picture where it looked like he was sorting clothes. And then tonight I barely saw Campbell and Whitman sitting at a table while the whole group was singing praise songs.

June 27, 2022-Mission Trip Week AKA Escape to the Lake Week

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Robby and I slept great last night. I did text Graham some pretty late last night-we couldn't figure out what he had bought at a gas station for 9 dollars. He filled us in-apparently there is a famous soda in Southern Illinois where he is called Ski so he bought himself a 6 pack. 

This morning we didn't really do a whole lot. We had to check in by 10 so we walked down to the visitor's center to do that. I was able to stamp my Arkansas State Parks passport book Then we headed back to the camper. 

After a quick breakfast (granola bar for me and sausage biscuit for Robby), we put Bentley in her kennel and headed towards Mt. Nebo. That is one state park that has camping, but we will never be able to camp there. The camper length limit for the road up there is 25 feet-when we have the car hooked up we are over 50 feet so it is definitely a no go. 

Robby did think that we could probably make it up there in the camper alone; however, he also said that he would stress about getting down the hill the entire time that we were there. Don't worry though, we are rule followers and would never try it. 

Mt. Nebo is really pretty. We were there last in 2016 with Grannymom and Grandpa. When we left there, I put on my list that I wanted to do the Bench Trail, but we weren't really up for walking 4 miles today (Though with all of our walks today at the campground, we have done over that). We didn't have Bentley with us so we decided that we will come back soon for that trail.

We covered the park and saw quite a bit of it. We ate cheese and crackers on our way down the mountain. We also drove around another section of the Lake Dardenelle State park on our way back to our part of the park. 

Robby worked for a while, and I tried to read but eventually fell asleep. After a bit though, we did load back up, this time with Bentley, to drive out to Long Pool. We went there with a big group of people right after buying the camper. It is a first come first served site and was completely full last time-today there was hardly anyone there at all.

We walked around there for a while, and then we headed back to the camper to drop off Bentley. Robby and I went to eat at La Chiquita-all I could think about was chiquita bananas, but no bananas were on the menu. They did have delicious chips to go with their salsa. 

After supper, we walked along the water some before coming back in the camper to do a project. Tonight's first project was hanging thick aluminum foil material in the two cabinets that house my food. One is in a slide so it gets super hot and the other is above the fridge which also gets warm. Hopefully, this will help it stay a bit cooler.

The next project was unintended. We noticed that the new toilet seal that Robby put in the other day wasn't holding. The seal keeps water in the potty-if there is no water, the smells from below seep up, and that's no good. The seal stopped working so he replaced it. It worked very well for about a day. However, not only has it stopped holding water, right now it is preventing the toilet from opening and closing-yikers! He is working on it right now.

Here's what I know about the kiddos today: not much! As of right now, I haven't heard anything from the New Orleans and St. Louis people. I have seen pictures-Graham's group looked like they did more of the VBS today. The only picture I saw of Anderson he was as a gas station, and his credit card usage confirms this. Reagan did not appear in any pictures as of right now.

Now, I don't know too much about the Monticello people either. Sausage and biscuits were for breakfast and taco salad for supper. Campbell and Keaton look to be in a group with Justin so that is good. I believe their group did some yard work along with washing cars. Whitman's group looked like they cleaned some vans. I also noticed that Whitman had on the same shirt that he wore yesterday. This might bother some moms; however, I'm a bit proud. On most trips of ours, laundry is not frequent, and my boys don't have zillions of clothes (especially the big boys) so I often encourage them to rewear if they can. So success-he has listened something I have said. Now tomorrow if I see him in the same shirt, I might have to call one of my momma buddies there and have them intervene!

Update-I did just get a reply from Graham and Reagan from my text earlier. I sent all three big kids a text asking about their day. Reagan said that she did coffee conversations and talked with a few people. Graham's text was a bit more confusing: I asked "how'd it go today?" to which he responded, "good, just got back from showering at a lady's house." I have no idea what that means. 

June 26, 2022-Mission Trip Week AKA Escape to the Lake Week

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Friday morning Anderson and Reagan left for their mission trip to New Orleans. Graham left the next day, and tonight Campbell, Keaton and Whitman left for a three night mission trip at the children's home in Monticello. If you were counting, that means that all Dennie kids have flown the coup this week so it didn't take Robby and I long to make plans of our own: Lake Dardenelle State Park.

The morning started later than any the past week. However, I guess I am used to waking up a bit early this week, so I was wide awake before my alarm went off. I did stay in the bed until it was time to wake up. With just 3 kiddos, there isn't a whole lot to do before church-especially since Whitman's hair is cut and is much more manageable.

We did the church and Sunday school thing. Then we had a meeting for music camp-the kids get irritated with me when I call it that since the proper names are JoyWorks and PraiseWorks. However, when I went and decided to marry Robby it was called music camp only. Now, I do know that was well over 30 years ago though. That camps is after this week of mission trips, after the Dennie family trip and after beach camp which all happen literally back to back.

On the way to Nonna and Pops' house for lunch, we did run by the library. I had a book that was due-we did question going to the library just for an overdue book which only would cost me 10 cents a day. However, we are those people so we returned the book right on time. I always try to keep my library fine less than 5 dollars, and my fees right now are only 30 cents so I am in fact living right!

Pops had BBQ and all of the fixings for lunch today-even had pasta salad that he didn't get out of the fridge. We stayed for a bit, but then we had to head home to get ready for the last wave of mission trippers to depart.

Robby worked on the camper some. The girls added their last few things to their bags. Whitman did his best to cram in as much Ipad time as he possibly could, and I might possibly have shut my eyes for a few moments.

Around 4, I took my crew to Nonna and Pops' house. They dropped them off at church at 5 so they could head to Monticello. Campbell has done this trip twice before but just at a different place, Keaton went last year, and Whitman-well, he just had his first sleepover a few months ago. I feel confident that he will have a great time this week, at least I hope that he will have a great time this week!

As soon as I came back from dropping the kids off at Nonna's house, Robby and Bentley were in the camper ready to go. It took us just over an hour to get to Lake Dardenelle State Park. Our spot is near the water and is decent enough for us. We are not on the best loop-we found it when we were walking; however, the lake is really pretty (as long as I don't look at the power plant-I read all of the warning information posted on the bathhouse earlier today-yikers!)

We got the camper all set, and after it cooled off a bit, we went on a walk. We heated up leftover pizza for our supper, and we may possibly have a snack later in the evening. Around 9 or a bit after, we went on another walk-the weather was much cooler. 

I have briefly text with Reagan and Graham today. Reagan said that they did a scavenger hunt in downtown New Orleans, and she definitely remembers being there (2021). Graham said that his group had about 30 kids for their VBS so that was better than they had expected!

We also saw that Campbell, Keaton and Whitman made it to Monticello tonight. We might have put a tracker on one of the kid's bags so we could see exactly where they are!

June 25, 2022

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  • Day 2 of dropping a Dennie off at the church house to go on a mission trip. Today was Graham's turn. He was up and texting me just as my alarm was going off this morning. I think that he was pretty excited-he did manage to get McDonalds for her breakfast this morning. 
  • We took the mandatory picture, nodded goodbye and headed on our way. Robby and I then ran to Grannymom and Grandpa's house for a few minutes before going to Walmart and Costco to pick up a few things.
  • Robby was just back home a for a few minutes when he left again with Whitman. First the child needed a haircut. Then Whitman and Robby went to a movie-Whitman received a "movie package" for Christmas which means that he gets to go to 4 movies this year and have popcorn, candy and a coke. He has been to one and this was his second to go to. I do think that boy loves him the movies.
  • While he was gone, Campbell's friend from Rock Creek came over. She hung out with us this afternoon and was even able to go swimming with us later in the evening.
  • We headed to the pool around 3:30 and saw most of our friends there. The kids bought snacks during one of the adult swims and during the next one Robby had pizza. At 7, they asked if we could stay a bit longer. We agreed, but unfortunately, it started pouring and lightening!
  • So we did have to head on home. That was fine though because the kids needed showers and Bentley needed a walk. We did a bit of cleaning around here once we came home. Keaton, Whitman and I played two games, and then it was finally bedtime for the crew. Three more Dennies leave tomorrow for the mission field in Monticello.
  • Reagan and Anderson: they both cleaned out storm drains in New Orleans today. Anderson said that it was a bit nasty, but he had fun. 
  • Reagan said that he held the trash bag open a lot-yesterday, when she told me what they were going to do, I told her that she could hold the trash bag open for the boys. She told me that she was a "strong, independent woman." I reminded her that strong, independent women know when to hold the trashbag! And that is just what my "strong, independent woman" did today! I know that they both really worked hard today.
  • Graham's group left around 8 for St. Louis. They arrived, but had some time to kill so they ate at ChickFilA before going to the arch for a little bit. Graham did send me a picture of himself without being asked-so Robby told him that he would get 5 extra dollars for that. I assumed that the pictures from him would start rolling in for sure, but that have not yet!

June 24, 2022

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  • This morning we were all up and out the door earlier than any other this week. Our first stop wasn't cooking camp; it was the church house to drop off Reagan and Anderson so they could load up and head to New Orleans until next Thursday on a mission trip with the high school from church.
  • I haven't chatted with them too much today, but I do know that they stopped for lunch and made at least 2 gas stations stops on their way there. I think Anderson had Whataburger for lunch while Reagan had ChickFilA. For their out to eat lunches, they are handed a 10 dollar bill, and Reagan only spent 6, thus saving 4. She was proud of this!
  • They are in their spot in New Orleans though I haven't heard from them this evening. Maybe I might hear some more later tonight-though I am trying not to text too much!
  • After dropping them off, we were about to drop off the girls, but it was still too early. So we made a loop and ran by McDonalds. I didn't think that this stop would be quick and was shocked when we were back at Pulaski Tech in less than 10 minutes.
  • The girls had a great last day today. Keaton said that she wished that it was longer. Campbell had rice pilaf, more lamb, foccacia bread, cheesecake, and at least one more thing. We all agreed that we enjoyed the food that Campbell made last year better since it was food that we really would cook and eat. She still had a blast though and came home with a juicer, spatula, pan and something else.
  • Keaton spent her time today making cream puffs. They are not by favorite, but they tasted just like any cream puff I have ever had. She racked up with things from her last day-a sheet pan, cookie scoop, cutter, piping tip, zester, biscuit cutter and some other things as well. That all made it fun (though I did pay dearly for those things).
  • They both also came home with recipe books-Keaton was planning what she was going to make next: a pan of brownies like they made in class. I was looking over the recipe and was shocked to see that it called for a dozen, yes 12, eggs! Yikes! I thought surely that was a misprint so I did some figuring and then found the same recipe on the internet-yep, 12 eggs! 
  • We did stop by Nonna's house on the way home. Nonna pulled out her pan and made some quesadillas which the kids ate after we tried all of the girls' food. Then it was home for a few minutes before we headed to the pool.
  • Graham and Robby stayed home while the rest of us went. It was super hot today-I probably should have put on my bathing suit so I could have been wet, but I still wasn't so hot that I couldn't take a quick nap while baking in the heat.
  • After the pool, we were back home for a while before we left to take Campbell to Rock Creek for a girls' karaoke and pizza thing. We heated up some frozen pizza before taking Bentley on a walk. Then Robby mowed and soon I was heading back to pick up Campbell. 
  • Currently, there have been a few showers this evening-Graham is packed up because he is the next Dennie to ship out!

June 23, 2022

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  • Day 4 of cooking camp, and I think that I am more tired than the girls. Seriously, this is why we homeschool; there is no way we could get up and around so early every single day. Now, sure it is nice to go to Walmart before 8 with no one there (done that twice this week), but I just need a nap.
  • The girls don't seem to need a nap though. They are going strong-this morning they only needed two wake up calls by me. The food made today was cupcakes which were delicious by Keaton, and she brought home her creme brulee. Campbell made some type of bread and there was lamb, a egg surrounded by a sausage along with apple pie. 
  • Whitman was relieved that he didn't have to go with me to pick them up today since there were lots of other people at the house. Graham did come too-he wanted a quesadilla at Nonna's house for his lunch so that is where we went afterwards.
  • Graham was stung by a wasp right before we left. I quickly gave him some benedryl, but he seemed to be fine for the rest of the day. Now, Anderson woke up with a crick in his neck and is walking around with his head all crooked-like he was when he was a baby! Hopefully, he will recover from that tonight since he leaves early in the morning.
  • Keaton and I headed out this afternoon. I dropped her off at a friend's house to practice a dance routine for her camp in a few weeks. I then headed to the pregnancy center for my afternoon of volunteering. I bagged diapers for most of the time before I started putting clothes in bins.
  • Robby picked up Keaton so on the way home I could drop off Reagan and Anderson's luggage. Reagan had one huge suitcase and a bag of bedding. Anderson had one small duffel bag and a bag of bedding. There is just a difference in how boys and girls pack for sure. Reagan and Anderson leave tomorrow for their mission trip to St. Louis.
  • Once I made it home, I helped Robby a bit. Actually, I just stood and watched Robby a bit. He was working on the trailer lights-the only thing I really did was when he was finished, I picked up his trash and moved a piece of wood. He was able to mostly fix it so that is good. He already know what his next project is tomorrow-owning a camper is a full time job.
  • I made chicken nuggets for the kids while Reagan was at her Bible study. I saved her some, but she opted to make a chicken pot pie for her supper so Robby was able to have her leftovers when he came in from working.
  • Laundry is just finishing right now, well the first load, and the blog is almost finished so I guess it is time for us to watch some tv or possibly take a nap before bed.

June 22, 2022-Omaha or Bust!

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Way before I woke up this morning, Robby was already awake and on the road. I think that the boys left around 4 this morning and possibly even earlier. I believe that they only stopped once for gas pretty early in the morning-well, it was still early, but it was about half way of their trip. 

Then they stopped again to fill the camper back up with gas when they made it back to Little Rock. The boys slept off and on for most of the morning. Despite the lack of the generator today, they stayed pretty cool in the back of the camper: early start, cloud cover, a fan and a sheet to stop the air from going in the way back. 

Last night after the winning game, I wasn't too certain when the boys would show up since there was a small chance that they might stay one more day. However, they decided that they must come back to the real work-and really, they have been gone a week, and we were all starting to miss them.

They arrived home around 2 today. The girls, Whitman and I hadn't been home too long since we did a bit of shopping after picking up the cooking school camper. As I wondered last night, I didn't actually have to go upstairs 3 times this morning. I almost thought that I would have to go back up there and may have even been heading that way when I heard them moving around.

I was in a bit of a sour mood this morning because my bed mate (the dog-not Robby) didn't want to sleep in her kennel last night. I thought that I better get her ready for tonight when she will be sleeping back in her kennel. Bentley whined and barked for a good bit. Around 2 I did take her out hoping that was the problem, and maybe it was because after she did do her business she did sleep for the rest of the evening, and so did I.

I watched a movie today while the girls were at camp. I have given up cleaning the house and really wanted to take a nap but decided to not. Keaton was busy during the day today making creme brulee which she will bring home tomorrow. She did bring home a full size cheesecake plus a box of chocolate chip cookies. Campbell did food from Little House on the Prairie today-fish, ham, apples and onions, and  mashed potatoes. 

They are having the best time at their cooking camp and seem to enjoy it more each day. They are so chatty on the ride home and can't wait for the next day. Again, I would send all of my people and even sneak in myself if I could.

After picking them up, we then ran to Walmart-oh, and this morning I had to get gas in the suburban. Yuck, this gas thing is out of hand. It was well over 100 dollars today-I like it better when Robby is here and gets the gas for me; then I don't know how much money we really spend.

At Walmart, Reagan bought a few things for her mission trip. Then we were home and watching for the boys to arrive. By 2ish, they were pulling in the driveway. They had a great trip and a pretty easy trip home. (Though when Robby left I suggested that he change his car straps. He decided to wait and somewhere along the way today, he lost one. Not a huge deal since there was one still on there and the car is chained to the dolly. That is why you carry spares of everything when in a camper.)

We unloaded the camper some, and still have some more to unload tomorrow. The big outing this evening was the mission trip meeting for Campbell, Keaton and Whitman. I have been worried about Whitman on the trips. But after watching him at the meeting tonight, taking it all in-he is going to do great.

Pastor Brad was talking about kids turning into leaders during the mission trips-I was just whispering into Whitman's ear, "that's you, that's going to be you." He is excited, and I am excited for him. 

We made it home in time to settle in and watch the last bit of the Hogs game. It was a stressful ending to the game-Anderson, Keaton, Whitman and I were playing a card game. Anderson wanted to stop and watch while I wanted to be busy and play so I didn't have to watch. Thankfully, the game turned out in our favor!

We then ran to the Wilson's house for a minute to drop off a check for camp. We stayed until 10:30-which was when Reagan had to head home from where she was. She made it home a bit after we did, and then we all started to head towards bed. It takes a bit longer to get everyone to bed when there are more of us here! But I am sure glad that we are all back under one roof for a night or two.

June 21, 2022-Omaha or Bust!

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Day two of cooking school around here so this was the second day to leave early. I did have to wake up the girls twice today instead of them being awake when before I went up there. I guess that means that tomorrow I will have to wake them up 3 times since it will be the third day of cooking school.

I dropped them off and then went to do a bit of car maintenance. First I filled the white van up with gas-yes, I filled it all the way full and didn't stop at 50 which is my preferred gas total. Then after buying my Walmart things, I came home and refilled the oil in the suburban. 

Robby thinks his generator problem might have to be because it had been running without oil. He knows that is bad, but it did just kind of slip his mind. So no engine under Dennie care is now going to ever going to go without oil. 

Also I have never added oil to a car before. Actually, I have rarely opened the hood of a car. The suburban's hood stays up by itself-it didn't have a stick thing to hold it up. That kind of made me nervous so I still kept my hand on it! And apparently, I am a pro at adding oil to a car-I might just have a new career!

This morning before I did the car maintenance, I did walk Bentley. She heard a noise down the street and would not walk a bit more. So we turned around and headed home. Whitman, thankfully, did wake up a bit earlier this morning-I was kind of lonely yesterday.

I did spend my morning reading two chapters of my book between each chore that I did. And honestly, I didn't do many chores today or much of anything but read. I was able to finish my 600 page book today so that made me super happy. I have another book to start, but I need a day off of reading!

Soon I was picking up the girls with Whitman while Reagan was heading to eat with the youth at Tacos for Life. Campbell and Keaton seemed to have a lot more fun today at their camp. They both came to the car smiling and with their hands full of food.

After stopping by the library, we went back to Nonna's house. Keaton wanted another quesadilla for her lunch, and we had lots of yummy food to show off. Campbell had made huge meatballs, spaghetti sauce, a potato ball of some sort that had a fancy name and chocolate cake. Keaton had a box that weighted about 15 pounds full of cinnamon rolls, biscuits, and the brownies that she had made yesterday. I just can't imagine what is going to come home with them tomorrow.

We then came home and had to wait a few minutes for Reagan to come home before we all left for the pool again. We were there until it closed, and most of our buddies were there too so that was fun. On thew way home, I ran into Kohls and then was convinced to pick up ChickFilA for the supper.

Campbell, Keaton and I went to Shannon's house to watch the game with her since Tony was at work. Despite me not taking a nap during tonight's game it was a great game. We enjoyed watching it here, and I know that the boys and Robby had a blast watching it there. 

I believe that the plan is for them to come home tomorrow. I am sure that part of them want to stay one more day to watch their Hogs again. Either way, I guess they will be watching more baseball in Little Rock or in Omaha tomorrow night.

We did come home during the 8th inning since I felt the score was safe to change our locations without affecting the score of the game. Campbell took her shower, I spent a bit of time cleaning and it will soon be bedtime for this crew.

As far as Robby and the boys' day-I think they kind of had a lazy day. Robby possibly did some laundry this morning. They did go and pick out their snacks to take on their mission trips. And then there was the game! We looked for them tonight on tv but didn't have any luck seeing them.

June 20, 2022-Omaha or Bust!

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This was the long awaited cooking school week for Campbell and Keaton. They were up and out of bed this morning before my alarm went off. I could hear them upstairs getting ready as my alarm started to ring. That did mean that I didn't have to hurry upstairs to make sure that they were awake.

We pulled out of the garage at 7:20 this morning. They were so ready to go. I have been so excited for them for sure. Campbell went to Culinary 2 and made tea party type things today-sandwiches, biscuits and simple sugar cookies. Keaton went to Baking 1 and made triple chocolate chip cookies along with brownies which were still cooling so they will come home tomorrow.

While they were gone, I came home and started on my daily things. By 10, I was getting bored and sat down to read my book. By 11, I thought that I might just go and check on the sleeping two kids upstairs. Whitman did say "hello" when I did walk into the room. We then had to have a long conversation about which meal he was going to eat-breakfast or lunch.

I was able to get Whitman to eat breakfast, do a bit of school with me, and put on his clothes, and then it was time for us to leave. Reagan came with us to pick up the girls. When we picked them up, we heard all about their day. They both seemed to have a really good time.

Then we went to Nonna and Pops' house to deliver Pops' belated Father's Day gift. We also took in Keaton and Campbell's goodies and went to town on those. Since we were there at lunch, Nonna even pulled out some more food and made quesadillas for the hungry ones.

Back at home, we had about 20 minutes before turning around again to head to the pool. Campbell came with us though Reagan stayed back at the house. That was good for Bentley though since most of yesterday she was in her kennel.

The pool was pretty warm today-I might should have worn my bathing suit because I was pretty toasty. We even stayed until the pool was closed so it was 3 hours. The kids loved it, and my Whitman could stay there for hours longer.

When we returned home, I soon started on supper. Chicken and cheese tostados-I had to do a bit of improvising since we didn't have tostados and didn't have shredded cheese (used corn tortillas to make the tostados and shredded a block of cheese). I threw in some pizza rolls, potstickers and leftover veggies to fill the plates!

We then settled in to watch the ball game. Currently, the score looks like I need to take a nap immediately. However, I'm not really tired-I have tried to stay busy walking Bentley, making a shirt and reading so hopefully that counts for a nap and the score will improve!

The boys have had a good day today from what I have heard-despite the game. They went to the Fan Fest this morning and did get some more snow cones. Then they baked in the sun during the earlier game. Then it was back to the camper for a little bit of supper before heading over to the Hogs game. 

Despite the score, the boys weren't in the sun too long during the game. I am not too sure of their current plans-I think that they might be really enjoying their guys trip and may not be in any hurry to come home!

June 19, 2022-Omaha or Bust!

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My house full was up early this morning for church. Somehow I was thinking that we hadn't been to church in a week or so. I guess that this week was just so long that I didn't remember being there last week.

We were there on time and were able to sit near our buddies. They had a neat video from the kids' collide camp. We also prayed over all of the people going on mission trips next week-they said that it was 15 percent of the church which is quite a few folks. (All 6 of the kids are going places this next week on mission trips)

Afterwards, it was time for Sunday school and then lunch at Grannymom and Grandpa's house. After eating all of the delicious food, Grandpa opened up his Father's Day gifts-candy's from the girls plus a tv from all the kids.

Then it was home for a little bit. Bentley was able to get out of her kennel for a little bit. I even took a short little nap which didn't last too long because soon we were heading to the pool. Well, Reagan was finishing her nap while Campbell, Keaton, Whitman and I were heading to the pool.

Campbell just went with us so I could easily drop her off at Rock Creek. She was there for a little bit and had time to chat with friends before heading to church for the evening. Keaton and Whitman so enjoy the pool. Once our buddies left, we kept some of their kiddos and stayed another hour before coming home.

Once we did come home, I took Bentley on a good walk since she really had spent most of the day in her kennel. She is currently sitting in Reagan's lap eating all of the food that Reagan didn't finish for her supper. 

Showers were finished by the time that I made it back. Campbell soon came in and while supper was heating up, nachos and veggies, Whitman, Keaton and I played a game. Now we are all sitting in the living room finishing our suppers.

Meanwhile, the Omaha people have changed campsites today. They took it easy today, but did go out for a big Father's day supper at Chilis. The generator isn't working so since this was an easy day, Robby had plenty of time to work on it. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to fix it, but they don't need it for the next few days so all is still well.

Tomorrow starts cooking camp here and is the big game tomorrow so it is a big day here and a big day in Omaha.

June 18, 2022-Omaha or Bust!

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I found the secret to sleeping late-let Bentley sleep in your bed. She usually wakes up when the sun comes up, barks once for us to let her out of her kennel, and then sleeps soundly on the floor or couch until we wake up. However, last night she slept at the foot of my bed and slept until 8!

Keaton and Whitman were already awake when I did leave the bedroom this morning. I did have to hurry around since I wanted to take Bentley for a walk before it was too very hot. Even though it was early when we went, I still didn't finish our walk before it was pretty warm outside.

Keaton was awake so early because she was excited about today's shopping trip. Reagan wanted to go with us, but at the last minute she decided to stay home. Kennedy and Camryn were over and weren't moving too swiftly. 

Campbell, Keaton and Whitman left with me a bit before 11 while Reagan and her friends went to Bryant for "brunch." Aren't they fancy? I think that they had a good time, and I was glad to see when Reagan made it back into the garage.

Our shopping trip began with me getting my hair cut. While I was doing this, the kids were in the store grabbing a few items from the list. Both girls ended up with flip flops-I'm not really sure why, but they had found a way to get them on the list.

Then we moved on to snacks for their mission trip. They each had a budget of 7 dollars. Next up was food for the offering for their music camps. Reagan, Anderson and Graham each have a secret person to encourage on their mission trips so we bought some things for that. Campbell somehow saw a dress that ended up in the cart. Oh, and there was a perfect Father's Day present that we bought for Robby. Plus we found a few things to put in our Disney bags for our friends. 

So after dropping a wad of money at that store, we headed to the next. There we bought a shirt, sweatshirt and vinyl for a project that Keaton is working on. Then there was one more store, but we had to hurry this time-the ballgame was getting close to starting.

We listened to the first few bats on the radio, and then quickly made it home to unload the loot. We settled into our spots and watched the Hogs play their game. It didn't take too long for me to get sleepy, and since I usually help the score when I nap I did what I do best.

My nap certainly worked as the Hogs won by quite a few points. The big boys and Robby were there baking in the sun as the watched. Thankfully, for them there was a good breeze. They were able to get snow cones before the game along with sunscreen which somehow didn't make it to Anderson's knees which are now pretty red.

After the game here, we went to town on our supper-roasted potatoes, butternut squash, broccoli, carrots and green beans. It took a while to get everything in the oven, and then everything took a while to cook. However, it was pretty good-well, 2 folks did opt for a grilled cheese tonight (Whitman and Keaton).

Meanwhile, many miles away Robby and the big boys were eating chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes. I am sure that those guys preferred their meal more than they would have liked ours. Graham is already lobbying to stay longer-I think they are having a pretty great guys trip. Now, watching a game like today's probably was a lot of fun!

After we cleaned up supper, Campbell started on our dessert-funnel cakes. We made them in the air fryer and out of pancake mix. They were pretty decent and much better than trying to fry them in oil like we have done before. However, I still practically burned down the kitchen though (not really, but I did have to leave the door open so the smoke alarms didn't start ringing).

Campbell and I are watching a murder mystery movie, and then it might just be bedtime for this crew! 

June 17, 2022-Omaha or Bust!

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I think that I was the first one awake this morning out of all of our people. Well, Bentley was actually the first one-she barked, and then I opened her kennel up. I tried to go to back to sleep, but ended up playing on my phone until it was time for me to finally get out of bed.

I walked Bentley and then returned to fold clothes and empty the dishwasher. Whitman and then Keaton woke up. When I asked Keaton if she wanted to go with me to the store, she quickly agreed. I thought that I better ask Campbell if she would also like to join us, and she did.

At the store, we bought ingredients for tonight's supper along with stuff for another days' supper. This evening Keaton made our supper. She had seen the recipe on you tube and is famous because of TikTok, and she was super excited about it.

First we cooked feta cheese surrounded by multicolored mini tomatoes in the oven. While that was cooking she cooked some pasta, and then when things were reading we mixed it all together. I thought it as pretty good. However, the feta did give it a distinct flavor which wasn't my favorite and definitely wasn't Keaton's favorite. Campbell and Whitman only tried a few bites before moving on to nachos.

Earlier in the day at the store, we did fill our buggy with veggies and other items for our meal. We all then made guesses about how much it would cost. Usually when we play this game, we are under, but today we were way over budget which was a good thing.

I had taken the suburban to fill up with gas on the way there. I sure couldn't fill that huge gas tank up and just ended up without about half a tank of gas before stopping the pump. It is probably a good thing that I am not the one who is usually filling up the gas tanks around here.

When we returned home, we were only there for a bit before heading to Nonna and Pops' house. Reagan was going to come, but I told her that I was planning on staying out the entire time that the girls were gone, so she opted to stay at home.

Whitman, Keaton, Campbell and I ate our lunches at Nonna's house before we dropped the girls off to cook at one of Nonna's friend's house. After dropping them off, I ran into the library to pick up some books. 

Then it was back to Nonna's house to hang out until the girls were finished. We returned to pick them up after about 2 hours. They had worked on many different types of desserts-fudge, almond joys, cowboy cookies, potato chip crisps and possibly something else-I can't remember. 

They made things for Robby for Father's Day. They left with bag after bag full of desserts. She even sent them home with pecans and their own dish towels. They had fun during the afternoon baking away-it was a good warm up for them since next week is culinary camp for Campbell and baking camp for Keaton.

After we returned home, Keaton, Whitman and I headed to the pool, We had been there for about 15 minutes when they had to close the pool-ugh. That was a lot of gas and a lot of work to go to the pool for 15 minutes!

We arrived home just as Reagan was leaving to meet her friends to hang out for the evening. We went to work on Keaton's supper. After eating, the kids started watching tv in the living room, and I hunkered down in our bedroom watching 2 Hallmark movies. I haven't watched any movies in a good while so I was trying to catch up.

Meanwhile, the boys made it to Omaha today. Robby began the morning at the Walmart where they had slept. He hoped that they had a tire to replace yesterdays. However, they did not, but there was one down the road a ways that he picked up so all is back to normal in the tire department.

Robby and the boys did stop at the George Washington Carver National Monument for a little bit. Then it was back on the road for them. They arrived at their campground around 5. After getting settled, they headed out to explore the town.

It is now 11-Reagan had to be in the car tonight at 10. She text at 9:50 saying she was about to leave. And about 3 minutes later she called. Of course this took my breath away because the last time she called there was her fender bender.

She only asked if Camryn could come home with her. I hesitated and she asked what was wrong. Then I mentioned that really only 1 person can ride with her to which she answered that Camryn had her own car. This is when I replied "certainly" with a sigh of relief. 

Those girls have now spent a good deal of time in the kitchen going to town on the cookies and desserts that Campbell and Keaton made today!

June 16, 2022-Omaha or Bust!

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The summer months are a little bit crazy for most folks, and by the end of the summer, I am ready for the routine of school to begin again. Right now I am embracing the crazy. From May 15th until July 15th, we will all only be home with no camps for just 3 days. That is a lot of crazy!

Robby added to the crazy when he asked the big boys last night if they wanted to go to Omaha to see the Hogs play baseball. Of course they said yes, so the camper was quickly reloaded and restocked last night.

This morning started out pretty normal. Reagan did go in to work for a bit-this was her last time for about 2 months while they shut down for the summer. Campbell and Graham had an orthodontist appointment, and I had a mammogram so we were spending plenty of time running back and forth to doctor's appointments.

Everyone did have some chores and some school to do today. Most of the afternoon was spent preparing for the boys' trip. Whitman was offered a ticket to go as well. He politely declined, though he did say that if Robby had already bought the tickets then he would go. Robby even asked him at the last minute if he had changed his mind, and he had not.

Robby and the boys left around 5. Keaton, Whitman and I left a bit later to go to the pool. Reagan left a bit after us to go to her discipleship group. That just left Campbell and Bentley at home together. 

My pool crew opted to stay another hour at the pool, so I called to check on Campbell. She said they were fine (though if this dog doesn't go potty pretty soon, she won't be fine!) so we stayed out until 9.

Robby and the boys are currently stopped at Andy's eating custard to start their trip off on the right foot. Well, maybe I should say to restart it off on the right foot. They didn't make it too crazy far when Robby had a blow out on the car dolly tire.

He said that he had his ear buds in so it took him a few seconds, but he definitely heard the sound. Thankfully, Robby was prepared. From the looks of the pictures, at least Anderson got to learn how to change a tire. Now, this just means that he needs to find a replacement tire so he can be ready next time (which will hopefully be not on this trip and really hopefully it will be never!)

When I returned home from the pool, I emptied the car and hung up the towels while Keaton and Whitman had their showers. My goal tonight is to read some and possibly watch a movie; however, my night is slowly ticking away since no one is in bed, laundry isn't started nor are the dishes. I guess I might just get around to reading and ice cream-that would be just as good!

June 15, 2022-Collide Week at Degray Lake

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After having a super relaxing evening-after we did pack all of our things up, the morning was not as relaxing. Robby had a work phone call pretty early. I did wake up when he went outside so I soon was ready and woke Bentley up to take her on a walk.

I think that the poor dog was getting a little bit depressed since most of her people have been gone for so long. I guess she realized it, and I don't really know if she knew they had been gone for a few days or for a few minutes. Either way, I do think that she was in a funk because she would bark every time that we walked away from her, and she spent a good deal of time sleeping.

As soon as Robby was finished, we packed up the last few things. We drove and dumped and while he did that, I got everything ready to load the car. We then were soon on the road to home. Since the camper was less full (just Whitman since Keaton was with the Crafts), I did walk around for a little bit trying to find the rattles so Robby could fix them later.

We made it home around 11:30 and went right to work. Whitman was a bit worried that he was going to have to do the work of all of his brothers and sisters too. However, with a lot less people in the camper there was a lot less work to be done. I wasn't able to finish it all before I left to pick up the campers, but right now the camper has been emptied, cleaned and reloaded.

The campers, Reagan, Anderson, Graham and Campbell, all had such a wonderful time at camp this week. When I arrived, I saw Reagan first and then Graham. I helped take their stuff to the car while they waited on more. I spotted Campbell next and then Anderson who was in the back of the trailer unloading it. 

We stayed until Anderson had finished unloading the trailer, and then loaded up the van and headed home. Well, we really headed to Sonic-they were all parched and needed a pick me up. On the way home, I heard all about camp. There were many stories, and it sounded like everyone had a wonderful time.

The laundry had already begun when I came home, so the kids soon emptied their bags and added their laundry to the pile. I believe that we have done 6 or 7 loads so far today and that is not counting what is currently in the dryer nor the one that I will do at bedtime.

I pretty steadily did work on the laundry most of the afternoon. I did run to pick up Keaton before getting too involved in cleaning up this place. Then I would do some laundry, do a few chores and do some reading. I did this for the rest of the evening.

Robby and I did take a walk with Bentley before our supper (chicken pasta) was ready tonight. Then we even made a delicious dessert-cinnamon and sugar coated naan bread. Right now it should be bedtime for these kids, but I am too tired to go upstairs and make them go to bed.

June 14, 2022-Collide Week at Degray Lake

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What a fun day this was! I think that I said that last night, but this was another great day. We started our morning off by meeting a ranger at the marina so we could go on a geocaching island tour. I signed up the day before because we weren't sure if there would be enough seats; however, it was just us and the Crafts on the boat.

The ranger took us to 3 different islands where we hunted for geocaches. A geocache is a hidden treasure box that has some small treasures inside. The rule is to take something out and leave something. By small treasures I mean things like a golf ball, a pen, a patch. Plus there is usually a log where you sign you name and the date that you found the treasure.

We docked on the first island and had to walk across it to get near the cache. Robby's phone had the app which told how far or close he was to it. We looked and looked until he read the clue. The clue mentioned something about an evergreen and Christmas. Whitman ran right to a nearby evergreen tree and soon shouted, "I found it!"

He indeed did find it. The ranger had a bag of goodies for him to pick something to put in, or she said that he could just take one from her bag. That is what he did, and he has used his Arkansas State Parks coozy around his water bottles all day long!

After he found his, he was determined that Gabriel was going to find the next one. The next one was super tricky. It was at another stop where there is a 4 mile bike trail. I thought that was really cool and kind of want to walk that trail. Unfortunately, we don't have time for the White Zone trail tomorrow-maybe next time.

This one did say that it was an unconventional hiding spot. We were puzzled by this. The ranger knew where everything was, but I was the first to see this one. When I found it, I did say that I saw it, but had to turn right around because there was no way for me to not stop looking at it. 

It was a fake bird in a tree! Eventually the kids did find it. I believe that Sophia found it first, and she also chose a coozy. That one was a lot of fun. After this, we went to a third island-which was really the top of a mountain since the lake was man made. However, at this island the cache had been muggled (stolen or moved). 

We then had a few minutes to spare, so the ranger drove/boated/whatever us around the lake some. She took us to a cove where we looked for otters before heading back to the marina. We did have to pay for this excursion, but it was a whole lot of fun. It was one of those things that the kids will remember forever.

After this we headed back to our campsites. I did pull out the puffy paint that we had done at Camp Geyer. The kids sure enjoyed doing that-it was a good activity to kill some time. The Crafts had a friend coming up for a bit to swim so once they arrived, we all visited before heading to the lake.

Keaton didn't swim that long today. I think that she was just pretty tired. The Craft girls spent the night in our camper last night, and she is actually with them at Ouachita tonight and tomorrow so exhaustion might be more accurate.

Whitman, however, could have stayed all day long in the water. He just loves to bob up and down. He could stay under water forever-and sometimes it seems that he does. Campbell loves the water just as much as he does; those two are my water babies for sure.

We didn't stay as long at the water today. The Crafts had to leave around 6 tonight to take their camper to Ouachita. So once they left and even before, Robby and I started packing up all of our stuff. And by all of our stuff-we had a lot out. Here is a run down of what I can remember: tent, tent weights, lights around tent, 4 hammocks, 2 skateboards, rug, mat, stool, 5 chairs, table cloth, dog bed, water bowl, dog chain, griddle, propane, drying rack, 3 bikes, sink table, cooking table, 3 other tables, plus all the things we took out of the car.

Now, yes it was a lot of work. And yes, we didn't probably have to have all of it, but it made it fun. Bikes and hammocks equal fun for the kids. Sinks and tables pretty necessary. We worked a good while putting it up, but we weren't in any hurry and just mainly piddled as we worked.

Around 7 we took Bentley for a walk. Then we ate our supper-leftovers. We didn't even cook our last meal since we had so many leftovers. And again I have so much food in this camper that we could be gone for another 3 days with all of the kids and be just fine.

Whitman and Robby have had their showers, and I am about to take mine. Then I have a bit of reading I would like to do before bed!

June 13, 2022-Collide Week at Degray Lake

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It was another really fun day here, and from the pictures that I keep seeing at Collide, my others had a really fun day as well. They have an app where the leaders are taking and sharing a lot of pictures which is really super nice to see. Though all I can see is all of the laundry that is going to be awaiting me when we come home.

This morning we took things pretty easy. Well, the boys were up at 7:45 when we first went to the bathroom. They stayed in bed for a good bit drawing. Then they put on their bathing suits, and Owen and Whitman went outside to play.

When they did this, I also eventually joined them outside. Robby had to go and check in. Then he had a work phone call. When he did this, I just sat outside and read. The weather was perfect this morning-it was cool and quiet.

After Robby finished his work, we started on pancakes. We made a huge batch along with sausage. It was too long after eating our breakfast that Sarah and her other two kids arrived. We all hung out around the campsite for a bit.

Then we headed to the swimming area. We didn't get a picnic table in the shade, but Traci had her tent so put the tent up. The adults all sat under the tent in the shade while the kids played in the water. They played and played, and we sat and sat. There was a wonderful breeze coming from the water so we were pleasant all day long-even still at 2 when we went back to the campsite to eat lunch.

We had sandwiches which the kids didn't eat a whole lot of. They were still too busy playing or maybe they were too hot to eat. We stayed until around 4 when we went back to swim some more. We had left all of our stuff there to claim our spot so we could come back.

The kids had floats which they spent some time on. There was some playing in the sand, and towards the end the girls were finding "treasures" in the sand. Some people would call them treasures while others might call them trash.

Around 6, we headed back to the campsite. Robby and I started on supper. We had chicken tacos for supper plus Traci had taco meat. It took a bit to cook the chicken, but the entire meal was just delicious. We had tons leftover after everyone ate. 

We topped our meal off with s'mores. However, when the heat index is over 100, you don't have a fire-you use the microwave! Traci and I whipped out 2 s'mores for everyone in no time at all. Then the shower trains started.

Sarah helped Landon shower in our camper, Traci showered Gabriel in their camper, while Robby drove all of the others to the bathhouse. They filled that place up for sure. I stayed back with Whitman who took a shower when Landon was finished. 

When the shower crew returned, Sarah headed towards home with all of her kids. Two Crafts joined us in our camper for the evening, and Robby and I took Bentley for a walk. I played a game with the girls before working on the blog, and now I am about to take my shower!

June 12, 2022-Collide Week at Degray Lake

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Well, since we were leaving on a trip today, Robby was the one up and going early. He hooked the car to the camper and began mowing while I was still sleeping. I had set my alarm for PM so I was still sleeping when Keaton came into our room and asked when they needed to get up for their showers.

That did get me moving pretty quickly for sure. Thankfully, it was still early, and I had about an hour before we needed to go. In that hours time, I was able to folds two loads of clothes, make sure Whitman and Keaton had their showers, take my shower and wash my hair, make the kids' beds, and do some last minute packing. 

I was moving pretty quickly, but we were still just about 2 minutes late for church. That was fine though because our seats were still there. After church we headed home. The first thing we did was heat up our leftovers from last night. We finished those babies off-I guess our meals were pretty decent sized if we were able to eat from them twice.

Then there was lots of scurrying around to meet the Hobbs. We were late to that as well, but that was fine. Owen and Rylee came with us, but before we left, Robby did run into Walmart to pick up a few things-including some sun glasses, which he has already lost and found!

It took us no time at all to make it to Lake Degray. We had to dump when we arrived and unhook the car. Then we drove on over to our spot. We have always stayed in the same loop except this time, we are in a different loop. 

We thought we were in one of the spots that we really wanted, however, we don't think that we are. We now think that Robby had some numbers in mind but when it was time to book, those were all gone, so he just got what he could over here.

Our site is great-it is huge and flat and plenty of room for the kids to run around. However, we had hoped that we would be on the water-not really to get to it, but just to be able to see it. The kids wouldn't care anything about this, but we would have thought it was pretty.

Also, I know the heat index is well over 100 today, so it was HOT. When we were on a little walk this afternoon, when we did get near the water we could feel the breeze blowing. There is no breeze here-I think we are in a little valley near the lake, and it is just hot and stuffier. 

However, by 6:30 the weather did cool off and become bearable. When we arrived, we went right to work on getting things out. Robby always says that to truly camp and pull everything out, you need 3 nights to make it worth while. 

Usually, when we do pull everything out, we have some bigger kids with us. You kind of forget how much work the big boys do! We eventually got everything set up, but we didn't move too fast because we didn't want to get too sweaty. This was impossible-Robby's shirt was eventually drenched in sweat.

Last year we camped at Lake Degray during Collide, but it rained every single day. This year they are calling for no rain so we do have it all out. The kids are loving it-we have out all of the hammocks and the baggo plus bikes.

This afternoon was spent riding bikes, playing baggo, swinging in the hammocks and even having playdoh design competitions. When it was finally time for supper, Robby grilled up some hamburgers and hot dogs. Those along with fries made a perfect meal for us.

Then it wasn't too long before we headed to the lodge to meet a ranger. There we went on a night time hike. We were the only ones on the hike-Robby, Traci, me and 8 kids-most people would probably not want to go on a hike with us either! 

The hike was really cool-there were thousands of lightening bugs. It was super impressive for sure. They weren't all blinking together like at the Smokys but they were twinkling making it look like an enchanted forest. The moon was shining so brightly that we probably didn't even need flashlights at some times.

The ranger talked about lightening bugs, found a millipede for us to look at, showed us the different color of animals eyes when a light hits them, and even had a raccoon game to play (feeling things behind our back to guess what it was). It was really good, and I think that most of the kids enjoyed it. 

By the time that we got back it was 10. So I took all of the girls (5) to the bathhouse to run them through the showers super quickly. Whitman had a shower in the camper and neglected to tell us that the water was cold (we had forgotten to turn the water heaters on.)

The boys had popsicles and even cut open some glow sticks which must have shot all across the camper. When we turned off the lights, we saw specks of the glow stick juice shining all over this camper. The boys loved it-Robby, not so much!

It is 11:30, and I am planning on taking my shower next and possibly reading a bit of my book before I go to bed. 

June 11, 2022

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  • You could tell it was trip day for some Dennies this morning because people were awake and ready early. I sure wasn't though-I wasn't the one going on the trip today.
  • However, Campbell was awake first-mainly because Bentley ran upstairs and found their door open. Graham and Anderson were soon awake and playing on their xboxes. Even Reagan made an appearance downstairs before 10. I do believe that they were all pretty excited about leaving for camp.
  • The morning was pretty much the morning stuff. Robby was about to step out the back door and saw a snake. So the girls, Whitman and I all ended up out there watching the show. We know we should just move the snakes away from the house, but we are standing our ground so the snakes don't leave intact.
  • There is one pictures of Keaton and Whitman on the patio furniture-this was after Reagan had already ran inside, I had already run around the picnic table all because that snake changed directions and headed our way. Campbell had already gone in the house because she disagrees with our snake handling approach. She wants to keep them.
  • This is the second one that Robby has killed in the past week in the same area. Both have been right up next to the house. He was commenting that he didn't like them so near the house. I agreed and added that if one gets in the house, we have to burn the place down.
  • Soon it was camp time. I took the mandatory picture, checked the kids in and left. I didn't stay around for them to get on the bus. Keaton and I headed to Sonic for her to spend her gift card and a trip to the library where she even found a book.
  • The rest of the afternoon was fairly slow with a bit of packing happening. Then we headed to run some errands. Robby dropped Keaton, Whitman and me off at Costco while he ran to Kroger. Then we all went to eat at On the Border which is one of our favorite places-we brought home a ton of leftovers tonight so that will be lunch tomorrow.
  • Then there was Sams, Walmart and back to Kroger. It was a car load that we unpacked before heading to the Wilsons for a few minutes.
  • Once we came home, Keaton washed Bentley while Whitman had a snack. Then they went to bed-Whitman didn't want to sleep in his room alone so he is in the floor under the desk in Keaton's room. I think that she might have wanted him to be in there as well. 

June 10, 2022

(click for today's pictures) 

  • There was a bit of sleeping in this morning. After I woke up and started my day, I left to pick up Reagan from a friend's house. She had a good time-they made pasta, looked at the mom's garden and even swam some last night. However, they must have been super tired because she said they were asleep by one.
  • The next stop was Walmart where Reagan found her Collide snacks. It didn't take too long at all for her to spend her allotted amount of money, and then we headed home.
  • Then at home, there was lots of packing. It is different how the girls seem to be able to pack for themselves without any problems-they know where things are and what they need. The boys are not that way yet. I probably have packed for them for too long just like I still pack for Whitman because it is just easier. 
  • Anderson did better than Graham and packed most of his things. Graham needed lots of help in finding things. However, they did pack their things all themselves-next time I will not be the one to fetch things from all over the house.
  • I also put Keaton and Whitman's things in the camper along with my own. The camper clothes are packed and as of right now, Campbell is the only one with their luggage (and my how much luggage it is) in the mud room ready to go.
  • Reagan went to work this afternoon. While she was gone, the rest of us-minus Whitman, I made him read if he was going to stay home, went to run some errands. First it was Bath and Body works to spend a coupon.
  • Then to Academy to exchange some shoes for me. I have decided that my cheap shoes are making my feet hurt. Hopefully, this pair, even though also cheap, will help my poor feet. Though I probably need to spend some real money on tennis shoes. 
  • Before we stopped at Grannymom's house to drop off Whitman's cookies, we wen to Walmart to shop. Campbell did the best sticking with the limit I gave them. Anderson did the worst-he is usually the most compliant and is fine with anything that is bought for him. Today though he didn't care how much he had to fork over-he was spending most than my 7 dollar limit. It was kind of funny to watch him spend money since he never does.
  • Back at home we came for a little bit. I spent some more time packing-oh, and there was some hair dying for Campbell's hair at some point today. Then this evening we ate supper at Nonna and Pops' house since we won't be around this weekend,
  • They had Mexican, and it was delicious. Over there we worked on Campbell's blue tutu for Collide-they have all of the things. Right now it is 9-so I guess the kids get a little be more time before bed.