August 31, 2022

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  • I used to think that Wednesdays were one of my favorite days becuase we are all here at home during the day. However, all of us being here does kind of make things a bit crazy. For example, the big boys just seem to lose their ever loving minds and have themselves a big old time during school. 
  • This is fine for them becuase they are able to finish their school work on their own. However, their little brother can not finish their school work on his own or can he undistract himself when he becomes distracted. I just want to know the big boys upside the head on Wednesdays, but other than that homeschooling is going just splendidly. 
  • There has been a lot of basketball playing these days. Plus the girls have been running on the treadmill every day as well. All of that along with the quilt making that has been happening, and we stay pretty busy in the afternoon.
  • Robby, Cambpell, Keaton and I did run to the store for a little bit this afternoon. We bought a few things along with some candy for Halloween. We are already starting to stock up. And speaking of the store, why is it that I always forget things from the store or when we get home there are 5 things that we add to the list.
  • Soon it was time for me to take the big boys to church for a football ref meeting. While they were there I ran to the library. As I was leaving, 2 librarians chased me to my car. Well, kind of. They said that I had left money in my library book. I am sure that I looked at them like they were crazy, but apparently it really was our 2 dollars. I told them that if someone asked for it, then I would return it. They were sure that it was from my book. I did ask Robby who did remember that he had been using those two dollars as his bookmarks. So not only did I leave the library with new books, I also left with some cash.
  • Robby brought the other crew the church. He stayed with us-more kids tonight in my class than we have on Sunday mornings. It is crazy, but good. Reagan went to ChickFilA on the way home, but was home after just a bit. 
  • The rest of us took a while to work on our suppers-there were pizzas made, meatbals made, chicken strips made. It was quite a buffet this evening. All too soon, it was time for bed around here!

August 30, 2022

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  • This is school day for the big kids so the morning is a little bit different than usual. I work with Campbell, Keaton and Whitman first. What do when we work together you ask? Well, here is the current list: We read our history and science books, a Bible story book, a devotional book, a chapter book, a logic book, a catechisms book, another history book, a book about the presidents, a chapter from the Bible, plus we review some catechisms, a bit of memory work, and Bible verses. So with me moving through things as fast as I can, it does take us a full hour. And yes, that is still my favorite time of the day.
  • Afterwards, the kids started on their school work while I helped Graham with his math. Now my Anderson didn't seem to do math today or even yesterday. That is fine, but it just means that he has a lot to do in the next few days.
  • Reagan eventually showed up downstairs when it was time for them all to leave for school. Graham had a test and Reagan and Anderson started off in computer science. I then picked up the boys while Reagan stayed for lunch, english and college algebra. 
  • On the way home the boys, well the youngest, begged for ChickFilA. I reminded them that come December they would be able to stop by CFA on the way home if Anderson drove them to school. This did appease them a bit.
  • When Reagan did eventually come home this afternoon, she went right upstaris to start on her math work. I love that she is taking school seriously, but she may take things a bit too seriously. Ha! She is doing great in her math class-even though I (and she) was a bit worried about it. She has 100s on all of her homework and made a 92 on the last test.
  • Now for some reason, the beginning of the week always seems a bit long to me. I am not too sure why this is, but even wtih having to finish some school in the afternoon, the afternoons still drag. Today, we were a little busier than normal-quilt time. 
  • We bought the last bit of fabric last night which I cut out this morning. So today Keaton, with Campbell's assistance, laid out the quilt. We also sewed two rows together. Innitially, I had thought that I would be doing all of the sewing, but the girls asked and are both more than capable of doing it. I just make sure everything is as straight as it can be (and again, exactness is not my forte at all.) However, we are making memories along with the quilt.
  • Now after this, I ended up taking a nap before finally walking on the treadmill. Robby and I walked Bentley tonight as well, so in the last two days I have walked 10 miles. That is pretty good; however, I probably need to be running on that silly treadmill.
  • Keaton made our supper tonight-she is working on her chart. She made mashed potatoes and meatballs. It definitly killed hunger-and she is now pretty close to earning her game-espeically since doing the turkey dirty work earned her two extra meals.
  • It is pretty early to end the blog-but here is how things will probably go down tonight: Anderson will soon be done with the shower. He played basketball for over an hour outside today. Reagan is probably upstairs working on school work. Campbell and Keaton will start on their school work for tomorrow sometime soon. Graham and Whitman will never think about doing school work, but they sure will ask us for a snack in just a few minutes.

August 29, 2022

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  • It wasn't exactly the worst thing ever, but I sure wasn't happy to wake up this morning and discover that I had forgotten to start the dishwasher last night. That isn't really the best way to start a Monday in my book. 
  • Thankfully though, the dishes were finished soon so I was able to survive the morning. It did help with the day a little bit because I worked with the big kids for a few minutes less than usual. Soon though our school day was almost over.
  • I say almost because after lunch, I still had a little bit of work to do with Whitman, Keaton, Anderson and Reagan-ha, almost everyone. Nothing took too long, and before I knew it I was stalling trying to avoid the treadmill.
  • I eventually did my treadmill walk before packing my Disney World bag (yes, it is a few months early, I know.) 
  • Keaton and Campbell joined us on a trip to Walmart after we dropped Reagan off at soccer practice tonight. The reason we went to the Walmart was because Robby had his eye on a clearance griddle/birthday present.
  • We picked that up and even did a little bit of shopping with the Wilsons who joined us there. Then Robby picked up Reagan from practice while Keaton, Campbell and I joined Tony and Shannon on a trip to Sams to find some bargains. No bargains were found-not even any bread.
  • Once we did make it home, Robby, Whitman and I took a little bit of a walk around the block with Bentley before we settled in for the evening. I believe that most folks here had some ice cream-I know that Bentley did for sure. 
  • Currently, Robby and I are watching a you tube video, Reagan just made a bagel with a freid egg, Anderson and Graham are on their xboxes, Campbell is working on school, Keaton did most of her school this afternoon so I am not sure what she is doin currently, and Whitman is watching his ipad. 

Augut 28, 2022

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  • Sunday morning and Robby was already dressed by the time I was rolling out of bed. He moved a bit quicker this morning so he could take Bentley on a short walk before we had to leave for church. We were able to successfully get 8 kids out of the house in less than an hour this morning.
  • It does help that when people have friends over, they usually move faster. Plus the bonus room is so bright in the morning that they weren't really sleeping much since the sun was glaring down on them. And for some reason, the boys have started opening their blinds in the night so it is super bright on their side as well in the mornings-surely that light helps them move a bit quicker. (It doesn't help me though.)
  • Church and then Sunday school and then we headed to Grannymom's house for lunch. We ate and visited some before heading home for a little bit. Robby changed the camper's oil while I did a bit of sewing (which has me rethinking the quilt!) 
  • Reagan needed me to quickly hem her uniform shirts. She marked where she wanted them, and I did the first one. It was too short (she said so-not me). So I had to rip that out and do it again. Plus it took a good few minutes to get all of the thread working right in the machine. However, we were eventually able to successfully hem both jerseys. (They don't look bad but I was afraid to cut them just in case hemming your jersey was against the rules.)
  • Robby and I then took Keaton and Whitman to the pool for a little bit. They ended up staying longer with their buddies whild Robby and I took the Rock Creek kids to church. 
  • The road construction caused us to take forever to go to the pool so I told Reagan to leave super early for her scrimmage. She had a scrimmage tonight against Benton and two girls from church. Reagan was super proud of her team for winning 5-0. Though Reagan did say she threw up everywhere during the game and didn't play the second half. Bless her. I would have to assume a combination of exercise, heat and dehydration go to her. (She is currently fine since she is right now making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at 11)
  • After her game, she drove to the other side of the world to eat Mexican with some of her friends. She did say that she didn't eat, arrived super late and was still nasty from her game but had a good time.
  • This evening the Wilsons came over for supper-we had quesadillas and chicken tostados for our meal. I believe that the tostados are the crowd favorite around here. Shannon had a cake, and Keaton made brownies so we all left full.
  • After they left, I quickly picked up the kitchen before we herded everyone to bed. Tomorrow will be our 4th full week of school and Mondays come early!

August 27, 2022

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  • I was up way too late last night thinking about Keaton's silly quilt. I think I do have everything sorted out in my mind-I thought about writing things down so I could rest, but I did eventually fall asleep. This project kind of overwhelms me, but I do really enjoy having a project.
  • We did sleep in a little bit this morning, but soon Robby and I were up and loading bicycles to donate into the car. We ran by Pops' house to pick up some cookies, then dropped off 5 bicycles that were collecting dust in the garage, and then grabbed some ice cream for the drive home. 
  • When we came home, I sat ourside by the smoker and worked on my list for next week. Robby was smoking a turkey that had been in our deep freeze. We weren't too sure how it would turn out, but we tried it anyway.
  • Around 1, we took two cars to get gas. Then I took Campbell, Keaton and Whitman to the pool. This might just be our last time to go to the pool this year. My normal pool visits are around 40 or higher, but this year I have just crossed the 25 mark. Anderson never even made it to the pool this year.
  • We stayed for a while, but then headed home with two extra girls. Campbell and Keaton have then stayed busy for the rest of the afternoon-water balloons were the first thing on their agenda. 
  • Pretty early in the evening, the turkey was ready, and it was pretty good. We were pleased that it worked so well, but it really is still a lot of work for some meat. Now, the bbq that we make seems much easier than this turkey was.
  • After supper, Robby and I ran a few errands before coming home to sit in our chairs. The boys have been fairly quiet today. Graham did have a little bit of school work to do today which he did early this morning. 
  • Anderson bought a Lego set last night, and he has built it and rebuilt it 3 times in the last 24 hours. It is a set that you can rebuild into another type of car, but he still does love him some Legos.
  • Reagan also had some school work that she worked on. She also gave me quite a fright when she couldn't find her soccer uniform from last year. I had just stepped into the attic to decide where I was going to look first when she called out that she found it-my prayers were answered!
  • I believe that the girls and their friends are about to start watching a movie, and I might just sit here and read some of my book.  

August 26, 2022

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  • On Friday we usually do not do that much school around here. Of course the high schoolers have a little bit of school to do, but the others don't really have too much. However, despite the lack of school today, it was a pretty busy day.
  • We could have slept in this morning, but the air conditioner man was coming over early this morning. The upstairs air wasn't working consistently last night, so a repair was in order.
  • The worker man was here most of the morning long-and left with almost a grand of ours in his pocket. He had to do two things to the upstairs one and even did something to the downstairs one. And yes, most of today's work would have been covered in the warranty had these things happened last year!
  • I took my walk, emptied my dishes, and folded my clothes before I started to pull out school for next week. Around this time, Graham was downstairs. And bless him, he had a headache, but which them progressed to a tummy ache. Thankfully, he recovered well after a 3 hour nap.
  • The next item on the list was quilt making. For some reason, I have told Keaton that we can make a quilt out of her Disney shirts. Just so you know, I don't really know how to make a quilt! We are just winging it. Today we did cut out the tshirts and ironed a backing on them.
  • I think that we can do a decent job at this quilt, but then again I am not too sure. Exactness when it comes to sewing is not my forte, but maybe things will work out. Fingers crossed!
  • After our quilting, I read history and science with the three littles before Campbell did some science work with them. Soon it Campbell was making salt dough to make an impression of Bentley's feet while I was trying to make people sample the ice cream that I made this morning (Chocolate penaut butter which was extremely rich).
  • At some point, I did decide to take a nap. I laid my head down for 30 minutes and during those 30 minutes there was a ball game happening in the hallway, a salt gun being used to shoot people, and lots of commotion happening the entire time. It wasn't a restful nap, but I still enjoy the commotion around here.
  • Robby, Whitman, Keaton, Anderson and I ran a few errands this afternoon. Kohls to return something, Academy to exchange shoes for Anderson, Micheals to look for one thing without success, Great Clips for a hair cut for Whitman, Walmart for a few things, Sams for chicken and a Lego thing for Anderson, and Costco for pizza for supper.
  • While we were gone, Reagan headed out for an evening with her friends. Right now she is at a friend's house hanging out after pizza for supper.
  • Robby and I just had our dessert and are now watching some travel videos. 

August 25, 2022

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  • For some reason I woke up at 6 this morning to go to the bathroom. I was wise enough to move my alarm back a few more minutes which I then proceeded to hit snooze a few times. Needless to say, this was the latest that we started school this year-8:40. 
  • That was fine since I was working with the big kids first and usually am done before 9:30. Then I moved on to working with everyone else as they need my help. However, at one point there was no one who did need my help so I just sat down and read some of my book. (Very little some of the book because as soon as I did sit down, people started to need me.)
  • Whitman did much better today. He was quite a bit more focused, but it also helped that he had less work to do today than the other days this week. I try to explain to the kids to do the hard things first and not to save the hard things-Whitman kind of gets it, but Campbell and Keaton do not get it at all. 
  • Graham and Reagan had school today. He just had one class where they disected a flower-fun times. Reagan also just had one class, but she goes early to take Graham and stayed during study hall. She came home pleased with herself becuase she taught people in her class how to do some math. This is not my child. When we were discussing this math change in her, she did say that she is applying herself now. That does make a big difference.
  • Campbell, Keaton and I left this afternoon for Walmart. There we bought some things to make a quilt. Keaton has been wanting a Disney quilt out of her old tshirts so that is the plan. I thought about having one made-the prices ranged from 400 dollars to well over a thousand. So I'm thinking with some blood, sweat and probably lots of tears we surely cane make something decent. It won't be a family heirloom or anything, but it will suffice. 
  • Then we headed to the pregnancy center for a little bit to help out. On the way home, we ran by church to drop something off, plus we made a stop at Dairy Queen for Campbell to use her gift card. And let's just say-Dairy Queen's ice cream isn't cheap. You can have a blizzard or a carton of Blue Bell. 
  • Once home, Keaton started on some mac and cheese to go along with our bbq for supper. After we ate, Robby and I took a walk with the dog. We try to walk her in the evenings now hopefully to get some of her energy out because when we sit down in our chairs, she constantly comes to us with her toys-if I have my computer in my lap, she wants to play. We always hope that the evening walk will help with that-it doesn't!

August 24, 2022

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  • School day, and Wednesdays are one of my favorites becuase everyone is around all the day long. I think that the big boys are getting into the hang of school. They must not have felt stressed about their school work today becuase they spend a good while fooling around in the school room.
  • That would be fine becuase they can and do finish their school work eventually. Whitman, however, was still in the school room and was pretty crazy distracted. And when I say distracted-he was still doing school at 3:30. After noon, I do have him rotate between breaks and school work until he finishes so I am not too much of a monster.
  • The boys do their school work downstairs right in the middle of everything while Reagan is upstairs and for half of the day, I wasn't sure if she had gone back to sleep or not. Thankfully, she was working hard for at least some of the morning-I do think she did have at least one nap this morning!
  • The afternoon flew by-I was still managing Whitman's school work plus a walk on the treadmill. And I may have snuck off and finished my book so I could start on my new one today.
  • We went to church tonight and that is why I am now sitting in my living room freezing from my wet clothes and wet hair. On the way to church we stopped at the library, and I picked up a zillion books which just makes my heart happy.
  • Then since we were a bit early to church, the kids all helped me get some things ready for Sunday school. Aftewards, the big 4 headed off to Verge for the evening-free pizza tonight (but you did have to buy your own drinks.)
  • They all had a great time tonight, and there were lots of friends there tonight. Keaton, Whitman, and I headed to Midweek where we eventually went outside for water games. Water games would have been just fine, but the rain that came along with water day was not just fine. 
  • The kids loved it; the adults not so much. I even thought about joining the choir tonight-I think that they stay warm and dry on Wednesday nights. We also had lots of kids tonight, and things were crazy-but a good crazy.
  • Anyhow, that is why I am wet, cold and about to pour me a cup of hot chocolate while I watch some youtube vidoes.

August 23, 2022

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  • Robby had to wake me up this morning because my phone alarm kept ringing trying to wake me up. I guess that I was sleeping pretty soundly; just like Bentley was when I tried to wake her up a little bit later in the morning.
  • We did our walk, and then came home and started waking everyone else up. There was no one that was up quicly and happily. Everyone was dragging this morning.
  • There was at least some entertainment during our school morning-the water company was digging in front of our neighbor's driveway. This led to water spewing everywhere, our water being shut off and a gas leak. Of course this meant there were lots and lots of workers around all day long. 
  • Our water was off until about 2. This could have been more of an issue, but the camper had a full tank of water. Graham was planning on taking a shower this morning before school so he went out there. Then Robby did as well when he wanted a shower. And after all of the potties had been flushed and no water left in the tanks, the camper potty became the go to.
  • So when Reagan left for school with the boys, she had to avoid all of the cars on our street and go out the driveway. Plus she also had to go the long way to church to avoid where they are repaving the roads. 
  • When I picked the boys up from school, I forget about going the long way, and we had to wait for almost 15 minutes until it was our turn to go through the construction. Later in the day, when Reagan came home, she did remember to go the other way, but after her emergency stop at Dollar General for cocoa powder, there was a wreck in the curve on the way home-thankfully she didn't have to turn around and head home the other way.
  • The afternoon was fairly uneventful around here. The kids did some homework-some is the prime word now. Robby and I worked on the great camper rearranging. Seriously, we spend more time organizing things in the camper than anything else.
  • I walked on the treadmill and finished just as Robby was getting supper ready. We ate, and then half of us rushed out the door. Campbell, Keaton and Whitman joined Robby and I at the movies.
  • Tonight we saw ET. It was 40 years ago that ET first came out. I remember my mom taking us to see it-she also bought Reeses Pieces for us to eat. Well, tonight it was kind of last minute that we were going so I didn't have time to buy any, but I did find a tiny pack in one of my candy stashes that we split-I think we were all able to have 4 apiece.
  • After the movie we came home and had a few minutes of down time before it was finally time to put these children into bed!

August 22, 2022

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  • I was sure hoping that it was raining this morning, but alas it was not so Bentley and I had to get up and go on our morning walk. Each morning, I am the first one up and wake to do my few little chores. Then I have to go in our room to wake the dog up, and as soon as she comes out of her cage, I harness her up and we go on our walk. Some days I think that she is still so sleepy that she doesn't know where we are going or what we are doing.
  • School went fairly well today. Whitman did pretty good, but I think that he is starting to rely a little bit too much on Keaton. When she is finished with her work, she movs on to helping him. Sometimes she does just redirect him, but sometimes I think that she might do just a bit of his work for him. This is not good for him, but I guess it is extra practice for her.
  • Reagan and Anderson both had a good bit of computer science to do today. They did it together and tried for me to help them. However, after the first question I quickly said that I was out and didn't have any more knowledge on the subject.
  • Campbell and Graham worked on their work fairly steadily this morning. They both finished at a decent time today without any drama. Campbell did get super distracted trying to activate her gift card that she won the other day. She worked on my phone for like 30 minutes-I eventually had to tell her to do it later and start on her school work.
  • After school was over, it was almost 2 for me. I worked some in the camper on the great rearranging project that we have going on. It just seems to take quite a bit of time to figure out exactly what we want where. And what works on some trips doesn't work on other trips.
  • I even managed to walk on the treadmill today-3 miles on the treadmill, 1 mile this morning with Bentley, and one more tonight with Keaton, Whitman, Bentley and Robby so five miles today. I need to do at least that every single day. 
  • After my treadmill, we all loaded up to go to Nonna and Pops' house for supper. We missed yesterday so they made supper for us tonight. They had bbq sandwiches for us which were delicious. We visited for a while before we finally headed home. 
  • The kids scatted at home-Keaton and Whitman on a walk with us, Graham and Anderson to played basketball, Reagan to the shower and I'm not sure what Campbell has done. She was outside after our walk so maybe she joined the boys in their game.
  • Currently, Anderson and Reagan just finished their showering, and Keaton is working on her school work as she does every night to get ahead. I wish some other folks here had that most motivation!

August 21, 2022-Let's Go to Branson This Weekend!

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Last night it rained and rained and was absolutely perfect. Now, after one clap of thunder Bentley did jump. It was going to continue to thunder so I was worried that she was going to get upset, but she didn't seem to startle anymore during the storm. I did keep my hand on her for a good long time afterwards.

I did wake up first this morning, but it was probably becuase I set my alarm clock. I then turned it off, but I couldn't go back to sleep so I did some playing on my phone. Soon Robby was up, and we were starting on our morning routine. 

We were on the road by 9:15. It is not that we were anxious to get home, but we were anxious to get home! It doesn't seem to take too long for us to get everything ready to go even though there are lot of pieces to make that happen. I even unmade our bed and gathered the towels so the laundry could be easy to grab when we did make it home.

The ride was fairly uneventful on the way home. We all had breakfast as we left, and when we were nearing home, we all had lunch. And yes, I had so, so much food in that camper that we barely touched. We are just no good at properly planning food for camping. We are over preparers for sure. I guess you could say that we are just a bit extra in a lot of categories.

On the way there, we started listening to a book and heard one chapter, but we forgot about it on the way home. We didn't even listen to the podcast that we have been listening to. We spend most of our time listening to vidoes about planning a disney trip. 

Once at home, the kids helped unload-well, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman did, but we sure didn't see Reagan, Anderson and Graham until the camper was unloaded. It didn't take long at all since I had done that bit of prep work. 

After the camper was emptied, I worked on the inside of the house along with pulling out school while Robby went to town on cleaning the inside of the camper. We had a bit of downtime, but soon we ended up back in the camper rearranging things-like taking everything out of shelves and laying it on the bed. So our once clean and organized camper which was ready for the next trip is again a mess. That is fine though becuase we will work on it all tomorrow some more.

Campbell, Anderson and Graham went to Rock Creek tonight with Brett. When church was over, we all met at the Wilson's house for a supper to celebrate the start of school. Corn casserole was on the menu which was a favorite for quite a few people. 

We stayed and visited while the boys picked out their football players for fantasy football with some of their friends. Then it was home where there was a few minutes of downtime before everyone started to head to bed. Tomorow is our third week of school-and I really love school! (I love finishing things though we are no where near finishing anything, I love a routine, I love being together, I love the predicability of it all-there are so many things that I love about school.) (There are also quite a few things that I do not love about school, but that list won't encourage me on a Sunday night!)

August 20, 2022-Let's Go to Branson This Weekend

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Another day at the City-Silver Dollar City-for us. We again woke up and were on the road at 9:15. Anna spent the night with us, and all of the girls were up and ready in no time at all. This is one of the perks of traveling with friends-people want to get up and get ready quickly so they can be with their buddies.

Now, before we did leave and before we even climbed out of bed, Robby and I were discussing the cinnamon roll shop he saw yesterday right near this campground. He wondered aloud of they would be open tomorrow, and I quickly checked.

Since they aren't open on Sundays, Robby suggested that he go and pick some up. To this I certainly agreed, and got up and got ready quickly. I didn't need friends to move faster in the mornings, I just need cinnamon rolls.

They were delicious-and I will have me another half in a little bit for my bedtime snack. I had wondered if they were the same cinnamon rolls from SDC, but I don't believe so. These are pretty wonderful. We ate and soon did leave for the park.

We could tell quickly that it was much more crowded today. However, that really never changed things too much. The kids were able to do most things with just a bit longer wait time, but some things were still no wait at all. 

I wrote out a list of what all we did today, but it is on my phone which is about 3 feet away from me, so I will just try to do this all from memory. The first thing that we did was Mystic River again. The kids really all enjoy this-though getting wet first thing in the morning probably isn't the wisest thing. 

They rode that three times before Campbell and Keaton went with the others to the swings area to ride a few rides. We took Whitman, Maia and Gabriel to the tree house area that Whitman had been wanting to see. They played for a little bit, and the Craft kids rode the carousel. Afterwards, we all went to the Flooded Mine, but Whitman and I peeled off to meet the others at Time Travler.

After that, they rode Thunderation-there was one other kid in our group today that rides most roller coasters, but my kiddos were the only ones who ride every single thing. Next up was Fire in the Hole followed by lunch (2 huge chicken strip kids' meals which only cost a total of 12 for the kids and a skillet meal for Robby and I.) 

The kids did run and ride Wildfire before going on the American Plunge. At some point Keaton and Sophia went on their own again today with my phone. This did make things a little bit difficult since during this time Robby was also gone to take Bentley on a walk. I was able to keep tabs of the girls and the adults fairly well.

During all of this, most kids with us went back to the water ride, but since the line was incredibly long now, Campbell opted to take Whitman to the Barnswings and Outlaw Run. Soon we finished this and met back up with the others including Robby.

This is where my memory gets a little bit fuzzy. I am not too sure what we did next There was some more rides in the swings area. Actually we did spend a lot of time there-the kids had a blast riding the little ries and Whitman had a blast eating icee after icee. (We have a cup that makes icees and all drinks free at the park.)

From this area, we went to try to ride one last ride, but after they waited in line, the ride was shut down. So back to Fire in the Hole and then we all mosied to the exit. On the way out, Campbell bought a shirt. And we headed straight back to the camper.

The kids all showered and so did Robby. Then we made our air fryer pizzas for supper. Afterwards, we had a good long time to just chill, and it has been wonderful. 

Meanwhile, Reagan, Anderson and Graham came back from their overnight retreat. Reagan arrived a church a good little bit before the boys. And even though they all had supper at their retreats, they did stop by ChickFilA on the way home tonight. I have encouraged them to do their laundry so hopefully that is happening now at the house!

It should be actually happening here at the campsite, but we can do it when we get home tomorrow!

August 19, 2022-Let's Go to Branson This Weekend

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I thought that I would get to 20,000 steps today, but alas I only made it to 18,000. It is just 11 so I guess I still have time, but since I am sitting in a 400 square foot camper, it is doubtful. 

We started the morning awake pretty early, but we didn't have to leave until 9:15 so that left us time to walk Bentley and get things ready. Keaton had asked the night before what we were going to have for breakfast. We were afraid that she might ask for pancakes which is a standard camping breakfast, but not when we do have to leave early. She just wanted to have a chance to eat her honey nut cheerios that we just bought. 

We all had a chance to eat cereal this morning before leaving. We made it in Silver Dollar City and waited on the Crafts. Then we followed them to Mysic River falls where the kids rode that water ride 3 times in a row. Now, they were drenched. Keaton did wear a poncho, but still everyone's shoes and everything were wet. (They knew this would happen, and didn't care at all. Though I do believe that by the time we made it home, their feet were pretty sore.)

Then our 3 peeled off from the group and headed to the barnswings. Campbell did not want to ride it if they were the only ones on there, and for a bit it looked like they might be, but a crown joined them. This ride might have helped dry them off some, but I think that Whitman was still splashing as he walked beside me on the way to Outlaw Run. 

Then we joined the group again where they all rode Fire in the Hole. Afterwards, we tried to do Powder Keg but the line was crazy. All of the other rides had excellent lines most of the day long. Though we did never get in the most important line-the cinnamon bread line-so we don't know about it's length today.

Next up was Thunderation and then the swings. Some folks then rode the swings again while others rode the Electro Spin. Somewhere around here, Robby went back to the camper to let Bentley out. He walked the dog and had lunch and even did some work before he came back.

I believe that the kids then rode the swings one more time before we went to the next water ride-Tom and Huck where they rode twice and were again drenched. Back to the swings and that area before Whitman headed off with Wes and some others to the ball area while Keaton and Sophia did the train and Flooded Mine together. 

And this is where my notes get a little more infrequent. I had been trying to keep up with what all we had done, but there were more swings, Mystic River, and some time in the bottom area. We finished the day with a run on the pirate ship for the kids, and then we headed to the front.

We went back to the camper and had a few minutes of down time. It would have been enough time to take a nap, but I read and Robby did some work. Soon we met everyone at Dana's BBQ. The food was good-fairly overprices, but that is Branson since our dessert tonight was the same.

After eating, we drove down the strip towards the Landing. There Campbell bought a Bass Pro hat that she has been wanting. Then we walked up and down by all of the stores before going to Sweet Susies for ice cream. Robby had to fix a low tire on the back of the van while we were there, but it didn't take him any time at all since he had his air compressor in the back of the van. 

Once our desserts were finished, we headed back to the camper where we walked Bentley and some of the girls showered at the bathhouse. Anna and Sophia are spending the night over here, and when we came back to the camper, Campbell and Anna had made everyone's beds which was wonderful.

August 18, 2022-Let's Go to Branson This Weekend

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Since it was a trip morning, we were both stirring a little bit earlier than usual. I did the dishes and laundry, and then Bentley and I went on our morning walk. Once I was back, it was time to wake up the kids.

I worked with the big 3 before starting with everyone else. Reagan took Graham to school this morning. She likes going early so she can sit in study hall and finish some work, and I like that it is one less trip we have to make.

It was a bit chaotic today trying to finish our school plus make sure that we had everything for the next few days loaded in the camper. I think that they were a bit excited about being home by themselves-hopefully, they will remember to do a few things around the house. (I would think that they would since they have a tendancy to step up when needed; however, I know that I just jinxed it all too.)

I picked up Graham at 11:40, and when I returned home everyone was in the camper ready to leave. Robby was sitting in the driver's seat eating chicken spaghetti since it was lunch time. We were soon on the road the Branso with just the three little kiddos. 

We stopped once on the way here for gas and a potty break for Robby. Keaton slept some, Campbell sat in the front some, and we all looked at Disney shirts planning what we just might make. The campground is pretty empty, but it is perfect for us. The lady told Robby a few times that he could change spots if he wanted. She was worried that we were without shade. However, it is a decently shaded spot, and we do have two air conditioners so we good!

We unhooked the car, parked and got set up fairly quickly. Then we loaded up and headed to Silver Dollar City. It is always kind of odd to be walking in the park as most people were leaving. It was 4:30 and they closed at 6. 

It worked well for us. In that short amount of time the kids rode Time Traveler, Wildfire twice, Fire in the Hole, American Plunge and the crazy wet new water ride plus we had cinnamon bread. The cinnamon bread was definitely the best part for sure. 

We came back to the camper and started on supper-bbq sandwiches along with french fries. As we were getting supper ready, the Crafts pulled in to their campsite. They are right across the road from us so it is perfect. We visited while we all ate, and then the kids headed to the pool.

Apparently it was ice cold, but they stayed in a super long time. Whitman started out just playing at the playground, but soon he headed for the pool to join all of the girls too. After all the swimming the kids could handle, they went back to shower.

The grownups stayed outside visiting while the kids all played cards down the way. So they had a great time, and so did we. The camper was a mess when we came back in tonight since we hadn't picked up from supper, but it never does take too long to straighten. 

The kids had a snack and got in their beds. Then Robby and I had a huge cookie before he sat down to do some computering, and I started to work on the blog.

August 17, 2022

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  • I was relieved to see that it was raining this morning. That meant that I could spend a few more moments in bed since Bentley and I couldn't go on a walk. I was glad about this, but later in the day I quickly changed my mind.
  • Bentley is used to two walks pretty early in the morning-one by me and one by Robby. Today, there was no walk, and she was crazy. Ever tried reading with a dog standing on your book and trying to shove their toy in your face. It's not easy, and when she wasn't in our faces, she was barking.
  • Even though I didn't have my walk this morning, I still had to rush around before school to get everything straight and ready for the day. And even though I didn't get those steps in this morning, I am sure that I have walked at least 10 thousand more steps that usual-of course, I really wouldn't know this becuase I didn't wear my watch today.
  • Everyone was here for school today, and those are my favorite days. I love my people being home. I have been the most stressed about Reagan's math class. I asked today if she needed any help-she said that she had worked at least 3 lessons and was ahead. She added that she also stayed up until 3 working on math last night.
  • For a while today, I thought that I would never finish with school, but soon people started finishing, and I survived. When school was over I headed to Nonna's house to drop off her pie with Graham, Keaton and Campbell. We visited for a while before coming home for a few minutes.
  • Then I left again with Robby, Keaton and Campbell. We made a few stops-Dollar General, Kroger, Kohls, Whole Foods, Sams and Walmart-needless to say we were gone a long time and came home with a trunk load of stuff. We were doing some speed shopping so there wasn't any time to find many fun things, but we did get everything off of our list-at least we think that we did.
  • As soon as we climbed out of the car, Robby started working on supper. While the pork tenderloin baked we worked as hard and fast as we could loading things in the camper. We had pretty much finished with loading and straightening when it was time to do some speed supper prep.
  • We all had a great meal-the kids say that pork tenderloin in their favorite meal. It was near the top for me as well. The other suggested favorite meal is orange chicken which comes completely from a bag!
  • We just finished eating Anderson's homemade key lime pie. It was very good. Well, most people had pie, some chickens had ice cream and didn't want to try anything new. Right now, we have about 20 minutes until bedtime, but I think that I could go to sleep right now.

August 16, 2022

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  • Today was the second Tuesday for Comm Central. This is the day that everyone goes, and Reagan has all of her classes. They all were ready at the same time, and the boys even did some school work this morning.
  • Graham had his first test today, and he felt like he did just fine. Reagan was able to see some of her college algebra, and she didn't seemed to panicked so that is a good thing. I think this semester will fairly smoothly for them which is good since we will be out of town a good little bit as well.
  • Everyone else had a good day of school here. Whitman has set a goal for himself to finish his school by noon. He does have a lot of things this year, but he has been meeting his goal. Now, Keaton and I both do a lot of redirecting him and shoving his next thing to do towards him so he doesn't get distracted.
  • Robby picked up Graham and Anderson from school, and then dropped Anderson off at Raymar to paint the fields. He came home absolutely drenched in sweat-which a little bit of hard work isn't a bad thing at all.
  • When Anderson did come home, he showered of course, and then helped make his dessert for the grandparents. We had never made this dessert before so we shall see if it is edible tomorrow. Keaton was busy in the kitchen too today because she made herself a fancy quesadilla for lunch, helped Anderson bake, and even helped make supper again this evening.
  • We all had supper together-waffles and sausage. I had been wanting to work on our menu planning last week, and Robby has been the one planning our meals this week. 
  • Ater supper, Robby and I ran to Grannymom's house for a little bit and then on to the store. When we left, there was a massive water balloon fight going on outside-Anderson, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman were all involved. 
  • Graham has also set his old xbox up in the bonus room for the girls to play on. I think that they have done that a little bit today, but it will be interesting to see how much they end up using it.
  • When Robby and I did get home tonight, we went for a short little walk with Bentley. It was dark, dark outside, but Robby's flashlight was incredibly bright. 
  • After our walk, we cane in for the evening. There were a few folks having a snack and a few more showers to be taken. I'm working on the blog before cuddling up with my blanket and starting me new book.

August 15, 2022

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  • School day number 5 and again there were no tears so it was a successful day for sure. I started the day working on ACT work with the big 3. Yikers! That's a bit stressful-too bad you can't get into college with your good looks or manners. 
  • After working with them, I helped everyone else until it was time to work with the 3 littles. That is my favorite time of the day-I love all of the things that we read. However, after reading for an hour my voice gets a little scratchy, but I still made it the whole hour.
  • By now it was lunch time, but I had to quickly help Reagan and Anderson with one little thing before helping Graham prep for a test. Afterwards, I finally had to finish working with Whitman. Now, Whitman did pretty good today. He finished his most important things along with a sufficient amount of his extra work. (Though he did do most of the easy extra things today.)
  • There wasn't too much down time until it was time to take Anderson and Graham to Raymar to work for a little bit. They worked during the football evals. When I picked them up, they were pretty hot and sweaty for sure, but I think that they did have a good time.
  • Once we made it back home, Keaton had made spaghetti for supper and even had the oven on for when Robby arrived home with his Costco run which also included some breadsticks for supper. We all ate together around the table.
  • Then Whitman did his last chore-walking Bentley. Usually the kids just "walk" Bentley around the yard. However, tonight we made him go on half of our nightly walk with us. We finished the walk with Bentley, but she was a bit worried about where Whitman had gone and kept looking back for him.
  • After our walk, I started work on the blog while some folks showered. I have finished reading all of my books that are here so I am not too sure what I will do for the rest of the evening.

August 14, 2022

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  •  I dreamed all night last night about moving out of my dorm room. I remembered rolling up a rug in my dream and shoving boxes into the car. Thing is, I don't actually remember ever moving out of my dorm rooms. I remember moving in the first year, but I guess that I have blocked all of that from my memory or my parents just did it for me.
  • So with my dreaming, my coughing, and my having to get up and go to the bathroom, I am not too sure that I rested well. I was able to stay in the bed a few minutes longer since I didn't have to wash my hair like I do on most Sunday mornings.
  • Today was promotion day at church. Everyone has at least some new teachers. I believe that I have half of my kids pleased and the other half are ambivalent or not too sure about the upcoming Sunday school year. My little Sunday school class is still precious, so I'm excited about the upcoming Sunday school year.
  • After church, we went to Grannymom's house to eat. We ate and visited. My mom did ask tonight what we had for Sunday lunch so she wouldn't duplicate it next week. I reminded her that we are thankful for all of our Sunday meals and that they are all delicious.
  • As soon as we did come home, Robby and I turned back around and left. The suburban and white van needed gas so we ran to Kroger to get gas. Robby had to go to Costco to get some more gas since he had used up all of the Kroger points.
  • I took a tiny nap this afternoon, but soon ended up working on my week's list-mainly becuase it sounded like there was a slew of raccoons in the kitchen going through my dishes. It was actually just Whitman getting a bowl out for his popcorn, but it was super crazy loud.
  • Soon it was time for Reagan to go to church to work keeping kids and the boys accompanied her to go to the prayer service tonight. Campbell went to Rock Creek-I took and picked her up. When we did pick her up, she walked out wtih a backpack. I didn't remember dropping her off with a backpack; she had won it.
  • Campbell won a backpack filled with school supplies and over 200 dollars in gift cards. She was super excited about it. When she came home, I made her lay it all out so we could see every single thing.
  • Once everyone did make it to the house tonight, they heated up some pizza and Keaton made some grilled cheese. Robby and I are currently watching our Sunday night youtube, and hopefully there will be some ice cream soon. 

August 13, 2022

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  • Poor Bentley didn't get her walk this morning. Instead she slept a little bit later with the rest of us in the house. I think that she certainly enjoyed sleeping later becuase I sure did. When we finally did get up, I worked on the laundry and dishes before anything else.
  • When we went to bed last night, Robby was worried about the air conditioner since it wasn't working. It was just the one downstairs so that wasn't a huge cause for alarm (for me, anyway). Robby spent a good deal of the later evening checking things, flipping breakers and even laying hands over the air conditioner (not really, well, yes, he probably did!)
  • It didn't work all night; we stayed perfectly comfortable though. However, when Robby did look at it this morning, everything was well and working just fine.
  • Soon this morning, Robby and I left to: Pick up Keaton, Sophia and Maia from one house, then we dropped Sophia and Maia off and picked up Lily from another house, and finally we dropped off Lily and picked up Anderson and Graham at the last house. I practically needed a flow chart to keep up with who went where-thankfully, that no children were left behind.
  • Once at home, Robby and I ate supper before leaving with Keaton to Costco. We pretty much walked up and down every single aisle today. You know what we bought? Nothing. I am not sure why but there was nothing that spoke to us. 
  • We did go to Kroger next door-there we bought cheese, butter, more ice cream and popsicles. But that was still a pitiful little purchase too. I wanted to buy something fun, but there were no fun items today.
  • Once we did come home, I helped Graham with some schooling. Then it was time to get this place wedding ready. Most of the boys put on their clothes pretty early, so I just had to make sure their hair looked decent.
  • I had my shower and put on my dress, and we left for the evening. It was a fun wedding-lots of food, music and friends. I think all of the kids really enjoyed it since all of the big kids had buddies there. 
  • We stayed until the bitter end and even held the sparklers at the end. I think that certainly a good time was had by everyone. Once we made it home, some folks had a dessert-though I wonder if they also had cake at the wedding? 
  • Soon it will be lights out here becuase tomorrow morning is promotion Sunday!

August 12, 2022

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  • Robby and Graham spent the full day at the nutrition center for his last visit from his formula study when he was baby. They do a 14 year follow up-I remember when 14 years old seemed like it was so old, and now I still consider him a baby.
  • They left right at 8 this morning and didn't get home until 5. They had to run to ChickFilA in the middle of the day while waiting on the second half of the appointment at the hospital. Then on the way home, they had to run by Kroger to buy a dessert for this evening.
  • Even though we weren't doing all of school today, I still got up and went along my morning routine. Dishes, laundry and walking Bentley followed by pulling out school and making breakfast burritos. 
  • Whitman and Anderson still had a tiny bit of schoolwork to do. That was fine though since really after cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms there wasn't too much left to do today. Well, Anderson and I did start on a project, but gracious if I didn't have enough butter. Who runs out of butter?
  • The day has kind of been in constant flux-at least as far as Campbell is concerned. She was going to go to a friend's house at 4 and the it changed to 3 and then it was cancelled. Thankfully, she didn't seemed to bothered by the change of plans.
  • However, she still lucked out and was invited to a sleepover tonight. So Reagan took her to Target to buy a present, then they stopped for supper at Tacos for Life before Reagan dropped Campbell off. 
  • Earlier in the day, I had dropped Keaton off to go to a sleepover tonight as well. She was super excited to go and had packed first thing this morning.
  • Graham had a few people over tonight-I really can't tell you how many people were here. Not a ton, but a lot of big boys. There was just a lot of testerone, and I tried to stay out of the way. Robby bought at least 6 pizzas. I was pretty sure that there wouldn't be any left because they were making wagers about who could eat the most. However, I do think that their will be enough left for someone to have lunch tomorrow.
  • It is now after 10, and the party is kind of breaking up. There are a few folks still here-again, I don't know how many people are still here. Reagan has been trying to stay hidden in her room; however, it seems that high school boys like to talk to her. Bentley can't decide if she likes all of these people or if she is scared of them. And Whitman, he doesn't care what is happening because he knows that tonight is Friday night!

Aubut 11, 2022

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  • This morning I had an appointment for Anderson since his throat has been hurting for a while. However, when he did wake up he decicided that he was enough better to not go to the doctor. I would bet that his throat has been sore from allergies so we are going to hit it hard with the allergy pills the next week or so.
  • I was again the first one awake in this house-I guess I have been the past few days. I have even been having to wake Bentley up to go and take a walk. She doesn't seem to mind, but if someone drug me for a mile minutes after waking me up, I would be a little bit soar for sure.
  • I worked with the three big this morning before Graham and Reagan headed to school. He had one class while she had one later in the afternoon. So he didn't have to stay for study hall, I did pick him up, but he opted to stay for lunch so I waited unitl after it was over. Maybe the boys will both want to stay for lunch on Tuesday too so that will help with me being able to slowly finish school here.
  • School did seem a bit slow today. When I am busy helping people and correcting things, then I am busy. But when no one is ready to work with me then I don't have much to do. Now, this time is just probably minutes at a time, but it is odd that people are growing up and needing me less during the school day.
  • Reagan came home stressed-that is her personality to be stressed about school even though she does just fine, and this is just the first week of school. After talking to her a bit, it was time to leave for the afternoon.
  • Keaton and I dropped Anderson and Graham off at Raymar to help with football evaluations. Then we went to the pregnancy center to work. We were there a bit later than usual, but still managed to get diapers refilled and some clothes folded before we left.
  • The boys wouldn't be finished for another hour, so instead of driving home, we went to the store to pick up a few things. This did give us quite a bit of time at the store-we walked up and down every aisle and found quite a few good sales. 
  • When we did get the boys, they were pretty hot, but seemed to enjoy the afternoon. Once at home, Robby had supper on the table for us all to eat. Reagan had already left for her Bible study, but had some when she came home. 
  • Anderson said that we needed some ice cream. so him and Robby drove to get some. Well, Anderson drove and Robby prayed. (He did fine-Anderson and well, Robby too.) They bought all the flavors at the store which we ate this evening with the Wilsons. 
  • After visiting for a while, they headed home while I quickly worked on the blog some so I can have plenty of time to put these people into bed!

August 10, 2022

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  • Everyone did get to wake up a little bit later than usual this morning becuase the morning wasn't starting like usual. It was just about 10 minutes later than usual, but it still was a few minutes of reprieve. 
  • Anderson, Campbell and Anna left before 9 this morning so we could take Anderson to Raymar to help work on the fields. Tben we dropped Anna off and picked up Keaton from the Craft's house. 
  • I was then home for about an hour while I was trying to hurry everyone along with their school work. I think that everyone did pretty much okay today even though this was a crazy day. (All of the chores weren't finished though, but the house will survive.)
  • Whitman had a really great first day, but he has definitely slowed down quite a bit. However, he is still managing to stay caught up. Robby is tempted to move Whitman up a grade so we can travel full time a year earlier. However, I told him that he would have to have a second half of a school day with Whitman to make that happen!
  • Robby soon left for the orthodontist with Campbell and Graham. They are both nearing the end of their braces journey. Though Campbell is going to have to have something done with one of her teeth since it is a little one where it should be a big one.
  • I left the same time as Robby because I had to go and pick up Anderson from Raymar. When he walked to the car, he was a sweaty mess! Thankfully, I had thought to bring a bottle of water at the very last minute. 
  • Back at home, there was some more school to finish up, and before too long we were all heading out again. This time we met the Wilson's at Dave and Busters. This was my first time to go along with Keaton, Campbell and Whitman's first times as well. When we entered, Whitman commented twice that it looked like a casino. I am not too sure when he has been in a casino, but yes it did.
  • We had a ton of points to spend and had a super big time playing all of the game today. All of the kids enjoyed it for sure. Of course with the games comes tickets to win. So the kids did get a few things in the gift shop-an icee cup is the most interesting item purchased and maybe it will be a good purchase.
  • When we left, I told Whitman that sometimes Nonna and Pops have taken the big boys for their birthdays. He was in awe about this and then asked why he had never gone before. I told him that now he knows and he could go there next time.
  • We had thought that we would go straight home afterwards, but we decided to go out to eat with the Wilsons. However, Keaton and Whitman had a swim party so we weren't too sure if we would have time to run home afterwards, so we went from Dave and Busters to the house.
  • There just a few of us ran in and grabbed what we were needed-and we were out of the white van and in the suburban and minivan within 4 minutes. We hustled over to Verona's which was closed. Then driving to the next supper stop, Don Pepes, the bottom fell out. I was driving behind Robby and I could not see him at all on the interstate. It was crazy, but soon it cleared and we made it safely to where we were going.
  • We ate supper with the Wilsons and enjoyed it. Then Reagan drove everyone including Brett home. Robby, Whitman, Keaton and I had an extra minute or two so we ran to Crumble cookie to try a few cookies. We even tried the ice cream-which I was a little bit disappointed about. I wanted it to be exceptional but it was regular.
  • Then we went to the kids pool party. They had such a good time there and enjoyed playing with everyone. Afterwards, it was back home. We had a few minutes before it was bedtime-there were a few showers and a few snacks, but tomorrow is another busy day! (I was mistakenly under the impression that things would slow down once school started-they have not yet, but maybe next week.)

August 9, 2022

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  • Well, we survived another day of school. I had a few more minutes this morning even though I did wake up a minute or two later. I didn't have to drag Bentley through her morning walk-we were able to stroll. (Actually, I did think that the neighbor dog was going to kill us at one point, but Bentley and I  survived unscathed.)
  • After my walk, I hurried in to start waking everyone up. Now, this was a bit easier yesterday than it was today. Now, I did have some folks that woke right up, but for the most part I had to return for a second wake up. 
  • The Tuesday Comm Central classes all start at 10:40 today so that is good. Then the boys are both done, but Reagan has to stay until 2ish. So I went to pick them up today-I had ulterior motive: I wanted to go to the library. Campbell wants to go and just look for books, but today was just a quick trip in and out to grab a few books that were on hold.
  • When the boys made it to the car, they told me some about the day. And then, no unexpectedly, they began asking for food. Graham wanted ChickFilA since he had a gift card there and Anderson wanted Sonic. Well, what was I to do-Robby is the fun day so I do try to be the fun mom sometimes too-so we did get to ChickFilA and then Sonic.
  • They were pleased-and it was Graham's very first day of real school ever-just 50 minutes though. I on the other hand, was a bit stressed since I wasn't finished with school. Whitman still had to work with me for a little bit plus he had a few other things to do as well. 
  • I tried my best to finish him up, and then Campbell, Keaton and I loaded up for the pool. It was super cloudy when we left so I wasn't sure if it was going to end in a monsoon like yesterday, but it did not. They were able to swim with their friends for a good while. 
  • We actually even brought one friend home while Keaton went home with their family. It has even turned into a sleepover. And yes, school has to be accomplished tomorrow-I guess it is good that I schedule an extra day on Friday. 
  • After the pool, I worked on restocking the camper and even walked on the blasted treadmill. I eventually found supper for these people. One thing I am not good at is menu planning-maybe I will try next week. Ah, who am I kidding? 
  • Most of the kids are currently playing hide and seek. Graham is even playing with them-he bought a new xbox (not cheap) which came today. He has spent a good deal of the day loading games so I assume that is still happening.
  • My next task is making out my must do list for tomorrow-or maybe eating some ice cream-or maybe reading some of my book.

August 8, 2022-First Day of School!

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  • So today was the first official day of school. I was up at 7:15 this morning and needed every bit of that hour and fifteen minutes before school started to get a few things done.
  • Of course, of all mornings I forgot to run the dishwasher last night. That could have set my just over the edge and began a bad day. However, it didn't. I still had plenty of dishes to put away from last night.
  • Bentley and I had to hurry on her first morning walk so I could get back in time to wake everyone up. Also Campbell wanted me to explain her math before I started working with people. 
  • At 8:30, everyone was awake, and I started the morning by doing speech and ACT work with Reagan, Anderson and Graham. We worked for about an hour while the others were doing some of their work.
  • Then I tried to help everyone else. Reagan had a fairly light load this year-psychology and stewardship here and then college algebra, computer science and english 3 at Comm Central. Anderson had quite a bit more-American history, economics, civics, health, english here and computer science at Comm Central. Graham probably has the most with English, apologetics, world history, fine arts and health plus biolog at Comm Central. 
  • By 11, I started doing my work together with Whitman, Keaton and Campbell. This is always my favorite part of the school day. Now, I did quickly realized I had way too many things to do in one hour, but we will still get them all accomplished by the end of the year (I hope!)
  • Soon it was lunch time, but Whitman and I worked together until 12:30. That boy did really great today, and finished everything that he needed to today. Since the day went so smoothly, I decided to reward the ones who wanted to go with a visit to the pool.
  • When we were about half way there, we could tell how things were going to end-rainy! All of our buddies were already leaving as we got there-the thunder and lightening had already started. Some o them had not even swam yet, but you could tell that the storm was set in for a little bit.
  • Indeed it was. The thunder was so loud as we ran into Home Depot after leaving the pool. Then running to the can in the monsoon afterwards was an adventure as well. As we were backing out the wind was so strong that it sent a buggy rolling righ towards us. There was no avoiding it, and now the mini van has a matching dent to Reagan's scrape at Sonic on the Suburban a long while back. 
  • Once at home, I realized that I had a lot of time left in the afternoon. I guess the kids weren't used to all of this extra time either-Anderson rode his bike, Graham played basketball, Keaton made a cake-they were all pretty productive. 
  • I was also productive in that I walked on the treadmill and even worked in the camper some before we started pulling out things for supper. We just had leftovers which seemed to appease everyone fairly well.
  • Then we did dive into Keaton's cake-I called it the first dessert becuase some people are going to have ice cream in a bit! Then it will be bedtime for this crew-and bedtime for me too!

August 7, 2022

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  • Sunday morning and even though we were at church early, the parking lot was packed in the back. It made us question if we were actually early or not. We were, and for some reason most of the poeple in the sanctuary were parked in the back becuase it wasn't too crowded there.
  • After church and Sunday school-oh, I have neglected to blog about this. But Keaton was at the New Believer's class today duriing church and Sunday school. She asked Jesus into her heart during music camp. 
  • The New Believer's class is the neatest thing-they take the Lord's Supper (which she actually did last week) and go and see the baptistry. I have helped with it before, and it is lots of fun.
  • Lunch was at Nonna's house-she had the same menu that Grannymom had the week before. We all had a good laugh about that. It was not a big deal since we hadn't had lasagna for a week so it wasn't like we were having to eat leftovers or anything.
  • After eating and then visiting, we headed home. It was naptime for me-since this was the last day of summer vacation I was definitly going to get my nap in. After my nap, it did get a bit crazy around here-Anderson, Graham and Campbell left for church while Reagan had about 5 or 6 friends come over to hang out.
  • Robby and I started on supper-we had planned on having more pizza, but since we had pizza Friday night, Saturday for lunch and Saturday for supper, we opted to pork tenderloin instead along with mashed potaotes and green beans. Reagan's little freinds asked for my recipes for the green beans and mashed potatoes-I was really just kind of winging it, but did send them a little something.
  • The others stayed at Rock Creek visiting for a while. I'm certainly glad they enjoy hanging out at church. When they came back, they had already eaten, but I do think that they still snacked on some of our supper and helped work on the finishing off some of the desserts that we had.
  • It was definitely a full house here for a while. Reagan's people left, the Wilson's left and then Noah left by the time that I could clean the kitchen-and then it was bedtime for this house-tomorrow starts school. An 11th graders, 10th grader, 9th grader, 7th grader, 5th grader and 4th grader will all be here!

August 6, 2022

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  • I laid in bed this morning with the covers over my head because I was trying to avoid getting up and starting the day. I am not usually like that at all, but I kind of dreaded the mound of laundry waiting on me.
  • Thankfully, it wasn't as massive as I had expected plus Robby did help me fold it all. Actually, he probably folded more than I did because I kept having to fix strings in shorts and fix bathing suits. It didn't take long-the part of the laundry that took me the longest today was hauling 4 loads of blankets and towels back to the camper. I didn't put all of that up, but just threw it on the couch and table for me to do tomorrow.
  • Robby's first task this morning was mowing the yard. It zoomed around getting things cut quickly. While he was doing that, I worked on cleaning the camper. It usually doesn't take too long, but I had the shop vac and went to town vaccuming up every nook and cranny of that thing.
  • After cleaning the camper, I came in to help the girls-Campbell was making no bake chocolate cookes, and Keaton was making chocolate chip cookies so as you can imagine the kitchen was a busy, and messy place. I am glad though that the girls can make a big mess in the kitchen, but they can also clean up most of that big mess.
  • Once they finished in the kitchen, then Keaton and Campbell went to work on the outside-sweeping the trampoline and cleaning the gaga pit. Then I helped them work on putting up the volleyball net. When Keaton got the volleyball net, we didn't think that it was the best thing and didn't seem sturdy-but here we are a year later, still using it, and the kids are still loving it.
  • Keaton, Robby and I then went to Costco for waters (we didn't find anything else fun there except a pizza for a late lunch). Then to Kroger where we didn't really have anything on the list and came home with a buggy full. Next stop was the Kroger gas station followed by the Costco gas station since we were in the camper and wanted to fill it up the most economical way. (Using Kroger points until they ran out and then buying cheap Costco gas to top it off.)
  • Once we were back at home, it was almost party time. I made some brownies, and soon Campbell had a housefull of guests. I am not sure how many folks came over. I think that there was 9ish which is always a good crowd in the middle of the summer. She just invited people from her grade so it wasn't the normal folks that we have around here. 
  • I think that they all had fun-we fed them well anyway. Pizza, chips, cokes, waters, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, no bake cookies-surely that all counts for something.
  • When everyone left, we did a bit of picking up and now kids are cycling through the showers before church in the morning.

August 5, 2022-One Last Hurrah at the Beach Before School

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The last day of a trip is always the saddest day of the trip. Though there isn't much complaining happening from me-we all agreed the trip was great, we all had fun, and we made it safely home. This morning started with Robby tapping to wake me up this morning.

He then finished in the bathroom while I sat up in the bed trying to figure out what I was going to put on. Sorry, Mom, but I did opt to wear my pajamas-I did add socks and undergarments, but I figured since no one would see me today, I just kept on the same pair of pjs that I had been wearing. It did make the getting ready time quicker-but no need to worry, I did comb my hair and fix my face so I wasn't completely unkept.

Bentley pottied with me while Robby unhooked everything. Then we pulled out of the campsite. I threw a bag of trash away before we loaded up the car. We tried something different with the straps today-they are newish, and we haven't been too pleased. Thankfully, the fix today worked so all was well (Anytime we get home with the camper and the van, we are acually pleased.)

We pulled out of the campground at exactly 7. Then it was down the road we went. We stopped twice for Robby to go to the restroom and once for gas. Other than that, there was no stopped. Some of the kids kind of wanted to stop again at Buccees, but since we passed it before 8, we opted not to stop.

Everything went smoothly today. I know that Anderson was asleep until 11. Graham didn't make it that long because whenever I had to get something from the back, I had to crawl over him. Also when Bentley would get bored with us in the front, she would crawl on his bed and usually that meant crawling over his head to get to the bed.

We didn't see Reagan until around 2. I guess she had slept pretty well-or has an incredibly strong bladder. Whitman had been up and down a few times for the bathroom and food. Today was a highlight for him becuase he asked for popcorn and was surprised that I had it and could make it while driving down the road. 

Once we did make it home, everyone went to town unloading stuff. It takes about an hour to get the camper emptied and the car emptied. Really, it probably even takes less time than that. Just imagine everything that can be washed has to go in the house plus everything in the fridge and freezer along with all food that hs been opened and all food that we are in short supply of in the house. 

After unloading, I didn't clean the camper tonight-there will be time tomorrow for that. Instead, I tried to keep the laundry going in the house. I think that I have managed to wash 6 loads of laundry, but I still probably have about 4 or 5 more (think blankets and sleeping bags).

We did supper on your own tonight-Campbell had leftover pasta, Keaton made her and Reagan new pasta, boys, Robby and I had frozen pizza. I worked on school some and now the evening is just about gone. 

August 4, 2022-One Last Hurrah at the Beach Before School

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The sun was shining this morning, and it did for most of the day. The only time the sun didn't shine was when we had laid a few things out to dry this afternoon-that is when the rain came. The first thing on the list for this morning was changing sites.

Robby wasn't able to book a site for all 4 nights were since this was kind of a last minute deal, so he had to book two different sites. It wasn't too much of a problem to move sites since we were just moving a few spots down the road. 

The kids road the bikes. I carried some things. Robby carried some things and some things we just shoved in the car. It took probably around 30 minutes from spot to spot so that wasn't bad at all. After we had re-settled in, we started on our breakfasts. 

Again, can we just stop and talk about how much food we bring compared to how much food we actually eat. For exampled, there have been 2 bagels eaten while I brought a dozen. Most things are like that-it is almost silly. We could stay another week before really needing to go to the store. Now, I do take that back since we would need bread tomorrow if we were going to have sandwiches. My kids will never look back on their time in the camper and think that they were hungry. They will always remember food being stuffed in every cabinet and drawer.

We made it to the beach this morning around noon. It was hot! It was actually so hot that I got in the water first. Then I did stay under the tent for a good little bit. It was nice under there-not so nice in the sun. The kids enjoyed the waves again today. And yes, there was more hole digging. 

I don't think that we staye as long today as we did yesterday, but everyone still had fun. Keaton really wanted to ride her bike to the beach so Robby rode with her. On the return trip him Keaton and Campbell rode their bikes back to the camper.

Bikes-they have all rode again today. Graham took a ride this afternoon around the huge lake. He figured that he went at least 6 miles. Later in the evening, he went again with Anderson and Campbell and they rode at least 4. I am so glad that we are able to bring their bikes because they have gotten their use out of them this week.

On the way back from the beach, Anderson and Graham went to the camper and everyone else met at the pool. They all swam some while Robby put a load of clothes in the wash and came back with drinks and snacks for us. Reagan didn't last too much longer after that. Then Campbell, Keaton and Whitman decided to retunr to the camper. That was fine with us-we were in the shade with the excellent breeze again blowing so we just sat there and waited on the laundry. I almost finihsed my book, but needed about 10 more minutes.

After the laundry was finished, we went exploring to Orange Beach. Everyone but Campbell and Whitman wanted to go. First order of business was gas for the car, then we drove around until we stopped at a grocery store. There we bought peaches, cherries, no bread (it was double what we pay at home at Sams/Costco), and ice cream. 

When we made it back to the camper, Robby started on supper. I worked on getting things straightened inside and helping get supper outside. We had quesadillas which is a favorite of mine and Robbys. I think that the kids may be tired of them since we have them most of the times we travel. They are easy and nothing is every wasted becuase people eat the leftovers.

After we had cleaned up our supper mess, Robby and I went on a walk with Bentley. It started out light, but by the time we returned 45 minutes later, it was not light. There are aligators here-I didn't like not being able to see too well. I figured that they would go for the dog, but I did remind Robby that I could and I would outrun him if necessary. Our walk was so long becuase we were picking out our site for the next time that we come here.

When we did get back to the campsite, it was dark and it was crab hunting time. It didn't take anytime for the kids to find shovels, buckets and flashlights. What did take some time was finding parking at the beach. We eventually did, and within 2 minutes of being on the sand crabs were being caught.

That was good because that meant that we wouldn't have to spend all the night long looking for crabs. There were lots of things that the kids found on the beach-a shoe, a shovel and a dead fish. One of those Anderson kept holding and swinging at his siblings. It wasn't the shovel or the shoe. Boys!

The crab hunting was fun-Campbell and Graham were excellent at it. She didn't want to let them go, but I insisted. Robby and I had a bit more packing up to do; then it was ice cream time. We had cookie dough and waffle cone flavored ice cream along with cones. Our freezer doesn't keep things super frozen so the ice cream was a little soft, but that just meant that we got more since it was so easy to scoop.

We are now loaded up with one slide pulled in and the other will be when I finish with my shower in just a bit. We are going to leave super early in the morning, but we will get on the road sooner than we have been getting to the beach each morning. I will definitly say that this trip has been a success-maybe I undestand why people come to the beach every year. 

August 3, 2022-One Last Hurrah at the Beach Before School

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I did fix my window blind problem so I had no sliver on sunshine on my eyes this morning. This was a good thing becuase I slept wonderfully well last night along with everyone else in this camper. We weren't stirring very quickly this morning for sure,

Robby was the first to urge everyone to move since the sun was indeed shining today, and we didn't have a whole lot of that yesterday. We made pancakes inside the camper becuase we were still being lazy. Though chocolate chip pancakes, orange juice and sausage for breakfast isn't really too much of a slacker breakfast.

After breakfast, we did start moving towards the beach. We had to do some straightening and walk Bentely, but by noon we were heading that way. Yes, noon-we are living on island time. The beach was much more crowded today, but we still found a spot without a problem.

Robby had brought a little tent which helped for the two people that could sit underneath it-which included Robby, then Robby and me, then me and Anderson. The water was a little more chilly today-there were yellow flags along with purple ones. Thankfully, today there were no jelly fish stings.

The waves weren't huge, but the kids did enjoy playing with their boogie boards. We didn't build any sandcastles today, but there was still some hole digging. I didn't get out the sandcastle stuff, becuase I had gotten in the ocean and then didn't want to sit on the sand and get sandy. Though I did sit on a float on the sand and still ended up pretty sandy.

I thought that we had done sunscreen fairly well, but quite a few of us are pretty pink (Reagan, Keaton and Whitman's faces, Anderson's arms, and Campbell's back). However, I think that no one is really red so it should all be gone by in the morning-just in time for us to go to the beach again.

We stayed about 2 hours at the beach which is the perfect time for us to stay. Now, we might could have stayed longer if we had a huge tent and chairs for everyone along with an ice chest filled with goodies. However, I do think that most folks were ready to go when we did leave.

We went back to the camper. There we set up the tent and had lunch outside. It was pretty sunny, but the tent made all the difference in the world. It was almost comfortable under the shaded tent. Lunch consisted of sandwiches for most, Anderson and Whitman had a pizza like last night, Keaton had a sliced cheesestick on pepperoni slices along with a peach.

Whitman, Keaton and Campbell then went to the pool with Robby and I. Robby did put another load of laundry in while they were swimming. While Robby was putting the laundry in the dryer, Campbell headed back to the camper for her shower. He brougth back a lemonad slush for him and a huge chocoalte shake for me. They were delicious! (Seriously, I have had about 5000 caolories today).

Keaton and Whitman headed back to the campsite by themselves-on their bikes. Let's pause here in the blog and talk about the bikes. This place is a biker's heaven-there are miles and miles of trials. The kids have rode quite a bit today at different times. Now, Whitman is not a huge bike rider, but once we encourage (force) him to do it-he does have fun. Even Reagan rode bikes tonight for a good while with Keaton. 

After they left to go back to the campsite, Robby and I stayed at the pool. We were sitting in lounge chairs in the shade with a cool breeze happening-why would we leave? Plus he had laundry drying so we needed to stay a few more minutes. I read my book and he worked on his computer so we were productive. 

Once back at the camper, I folded laundry while people did some school (yes, I'm a monster!) and rode bikes. Then we loaded up for supper. We headed to Fort Morgan first to possibly eat at Tacky Jacks. The wait was over an hour so we passed on that and stopped at a place we saw on the way there.

It was some condo complex that had about 5 food trucks in front of it with live music happening and games. We had a sampling of food-gyros, bbq, quesadillas and even banana pudding. After eating, we played some games while listening to the music.

Then it was time to head back to town. Of course, we had to stop at Matt's Ice Cream for some ice cream. Robby and I did split, but everyone else had their own scoop. Keaton was the only one who didn't have any ice cream-she had a homemade reeces peanut butter cup instead. We actually bought 2 of those, and Robby is cutting ours in half right now. 

Of course, the girls wanted to find some souveneirs. We went to two of those giant stores, but Campbell was the only one who was able to find something. She wanted two things, but I said one was plenty. Keaton really wanted something too, but could never find anything that she wanted. 

Back at the campsite, we walked Bentley a bit while Keaton and Reagan rode bikes. Then it was time to make beds and get these people in their spots. I had a shower earlier today, but I just might take another one or I may read another chapter of my book.

August 2, 2022-One Last Hurrah at the Beach Before School

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As I was laying in the bed this morning with the one sliver of sun shining in this camper glowing on my face, I realized that maybe it wasn't sun since I could hear the rain pattering down on the roof. Even with no sun out, it is still bright outside at 7 (when I went to the bathroom), at 8 (when a text woke me up), and at 9 (when we first started to really stir). And yes, after we did start to stir, I definitely made sure that I fixed my window so the sun won't light up my face in the morning (though I think that it is supposed to be raining again!)

Robby and I took a walk first this  morning with Bentley. The rain had stopped, and the sun was shining so it was hot and steamy. We didn't walk too far, but Bentley was ready to be back in the camper. Once we made it to the front of the camper, she pulled me to the door and stayed there until I opened it. (Later in the day, she did refuse to come in-I guess she just has a mind of her own.)

After our walk, Robby, Graham, Campbell, Keaton and I drove to the state park lodge area. The first thing we did was to walk out on the peir. Half of it was destroyed in 2020, but it is still really long. Then we waled down the beach towards the lodge. I am not sure why people ever run on the beach-just walking nearly kills me. It is not an easy task. Especially since during all of this, the strom clouds were coming back. It was spitting rain and blowing stinging sand on us-thankfully, it was blowing sand on our backs. 

When we did make it to the lodge, the rain had let up. The lodge sits right on the beach and is really pretty. It is a classy place-I was going to say that it was a classy, little place, but it is massive. After thouroughly exploring the lodge, we headed back to the camper.

Graham and Keaton actually headed off on 2 bikes that we borrowed from their ride share program. They rode the 2 miles back to the camper and almost beat us except they went down the wrong trail and had to turn around. Well, I guess they did beat us, becuase we went to the pool area and looked at the gift shop and laundry room here.

Back at the camper, we started stirring the others to go to the beach-and that is when the rain started. It was light, but it was persistent. So we ate lunch-sandwiches for most folks. We then waited some more, until we just couldn't wait anymore.

Graham and Keaton took the bikes bal to the bike station at the beach and did beat us-we went to the other side so they only had a mile to ride. The rain was a light sprinkle and happened pretty much the whole time we were on the beach, but that didn't stop us from having fun.

All of the kids enjoyed the water. Everyone had a great time-despite the yellow and purple flags. They didn't go out too far, but they did go out far enough that Whitman and Campbell thought that they were stung by jellyfish. Something must have stung them but just enough to hurt brielfy and not leave a mark. However, Graham was stung, and it hurt him for a good bit and did leave a pretty decent mark on his arm. I think that it is all good now-he did get some medicine when we came back to the camper, and he hasn't mentioned it since.

There was lots of hole digging-I am not sure why boys, even big boys, like doing this. We had bought a sandcastle making kit from Sams, and it turned out to be a lot of fun. Pretty much everyone helped me make a sand castle at some point or another. And yes, pretty much all of them were fails, but we had fun making them.

After about an hour and a half we headed back to the camper. Anderson, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman went to the pool with me. Graham took a shower while Robby took Reagan to the bathhouse. In between picking her up, he threw in a load of laundry. 

We walked back, and Robby picked up Campbell to take her to the bathhouse while showers started here-Keaton, Whitman, and Anderson. As Robby grabbed the laundry from the dryer, I started making air fryer pizzas for our suppers. This is not a quick meal, but it is a favorite-though we bought the wrong kind of bread for the crust so they weren't as good as our usual.

Basically, we were loafs most of the morning long, but come 2 in the afternoon-we moved at full speed until the end of the day. It is 11:30 now, and I have just started on the blog and still have my shower to do. We could have had a restful evening, but it is Tuesday which means it is movie night.

We drove to Orange Beach and watched some movies. Reagan, Robby and I watched Where the Crawdads Sing. It was one of those films that will probably win a lot of awards, but it didn't leave you with a happy feeling. (Reading the book was on my list, but I am not too sure now. I like happy, Hallmarky things.)

Anderson and Graham watched Thor. They said that the reviews say the movie is terrible, but they thought that it was fine. Keaton, Campbell and Whitman watched DC League of Super Pets. They enjoyed their movie-even though they were out first. Robby took them our popcorn to munch on while they waited. The boys soon joined them and they walked around outside while waiting.

Outside had been a real party when we came-we were running late so we couldn't explore. However, the foam pit was still there and still had foam in it, so Whitman, especially, enjoyed that. We walked all around the almost deserted shopping center before driving home.

Back at the camper, Bentley had a walk while I swept and tried to straighten some (impossible). Robby and Campbell walked Bentley and threw the trash away. Then there were a few things to clean-Bentley threw up plus a coke burst under the couch (thankfully, contained in a bin). Plus a hinge broke in one place, but Robby will fix that tomorrow. 

I believe that the weather will be a bit more promising tomorrow. However, even if it is like today, we will still have some more fun.