November 30, 2022

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  • Another day that my people were pretty difficult to wake up this morning. It has probably been because we have been letting them stay up a little bit later since we are kind of in between schedules around here.
  • Lately, we have done a week of school, off for a week, another week of school and off again. This is an on school week, but since next week is an off week there isn't much motivation. Oh, don't get me wrong-things are happening and school work is being done.
  • Keaton is probably the one with the most motivition right now. She is acutally working on her school work right now. Reagan has her big final tomorrow morning so she will probably be studying into the night. But other than those two, everyone else is just getting by-me included.
  • After doing our school, Reagan headed to work. And soon after that, the rest of us headed to Defy for some jumping time. We acutually bought passes for this year, and they started early in December. So this was our first visit-and yes, I'm keeping my list so I can track just how many times that we visit.
  • When we came home, it was soon time for us to head back to church. We waited on Reagan to get back from work, then ran to the library before church. 
  • After church, we all had leftovers for supper before I finally snuck away to watch a Christmas movie. I also had to wait my turn on my computer since Keaton was working on it. Now, time for hot chocolate for me!

November 29, 2022

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  • This morning started off with Bentley whining becuase of the thunder. Robby let her out of her kennel and put her in bed with us. Now, we should have been getting up at this time, but who would get up with it thundering outside?
  • I went back to sleep and woke once to Robby beside me. However, I eventually realized that it wasn't him-it was still Bentley. I think that dog could have slept for 2 more hours had I not disturbed her when I got of bed.
  • I read to Campbell, Keaton and Whitman this morning. We are still woefully behind in history, but we are super ahead in science so maybe things will even about eventually. Or maybe they won't-I'm really fine either way. We have been reading about Ivan the Terrible, and even though this is interesting, it doesn't really impact my daily life that much.
  • After reading, they all got to work on the rest of their school. Whitman is doing stinking long division. He can do it, but he isn't fast. (65,896/358=) It isn't fun at all for sure.
  • When we did finish school, Nonna and Pops came over to pick up Campbell, Keaton and Whitman so they could help decorate their house. Whitman heard that the girls were going so he wanted to go. They had lunch and decorated fairly quickly. When I did come to pick them up, Keaton was trying out my hot rollers from 30 years ago.
  • While they were gone, I went out with Grannymom to do some of my Christmas and birthday shopping. I don't do a lot of clothes shopping, but I can spend a lot of money quickly for sure. I had fun though-even bought something for Bentley.
  • This afternoon, I read for a little bit before it was time to take the boys to basketball practice. This is just their second practice. While they were there, Campbell, Keaton and I did some speed shopping-that was really all there was time for.
  • Back at home we had time for some snacks, showers and a bit of tv before bed this evening.

November 28, 2022

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  • Even thoughit was the first day of school in a little bit, everyone seemed to do fine. We are in an odd stretch where we seem to do a week of school, have a break, do another week, have another break, and the cycle keeps going.
  • Thankfully, everyone is fairly flexible and did fine today. Anderson took a hefty pule of school work upstairs to do last night so he was really far ahead today. Reagan is studing hard, I sure hope, for her final on Thursday.
  • School went fairly quickly, and soon I was finishing up by reading with the little 3 and working with Whitman. Afterwards, I had a few things that I neded to do before it was time to leave for the day.
  • Today's outing was a bit of a crazy one-taking Whitman to pick out a few Christmas gifts. Of course, Campbell, Keaton and Graham wanted to go with us. So it was quite a crew-Whit can be so distracted and all of my shopping helpers helped distract him even more. 
  • He did pick out a few things-nothing that I would have ever expected. We managed to find him some things, grab a few more gifts and even buy 10 pounds of tater tots for 3 dollars. 
  • Back at home, I worked on a few more things. Reagan soon came home from work, and then it was time to eat our supper. We had philly cheesestakes for supper-they were fine, but I don't think that they were my favorite. 
  • After eating, we worked in organizing food in the camper before coming in to watch the Hogs game. I have about 12 Bible verses to write out for Keaton and Whitman and then I hope to watch a Hallmark movie and read 50 pages in my book. I'm not sure if all of that can happen before bedtime, but I will give it a try for sure.

November 27, 2022

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  • I set my alarm last night for this morning-for some reason that time that I had set it for was just 15 minutes before we should leave. Thankfully, one of us has sense and set their alarm clock correctly. I am not sure what I was thinking, but I would have slept on if it were not for Robby sleeping on through his alarm this morning which woke me up.
  • Reagan didn't feel great this morning so she stayed home from church. I think that she has the same little cold that the others all have or have had. However, she would not want to miss seeing people so she must have felt bad if she was willing to stay home.
  • Since we were supposed to be in Branson this Sunday, we had subs for our Sunday school class. So Robby and I just sat in the hallway and visited with people-it was nice. Probably too nice! We definitly could get use to that for sure.
  • After church, we went to Nonna's house for Sunday lunch. Since we were supposed to be gone, this was our first time this month to eat there and our last time for the year. She had pizza and afterwards the girls, well really most everyone, helped decorate her tree.
  • Then we played 20 Questions-a super short round. The game is ancient, but everyone seems to enjoy it.
  • Once we came home, we had a Kroger order delivered so we put that away. Then we ran to Costco, Bath and Body, Kroger for gas and then just Robby ran into Kroger. I came home and started working on getting school and my lists ready for tomorrow.
  • When Robby came home, we cleaned the camper-he vacuumed and I wiped it down. That didn't take long. About this time the Rock Creekers left with Brett. Then I started trying to get a few things ready for the next trip.
  • Soon it was time for us to leave for Sunday supper at the Wilson's house. Shannon had even made home made bread which was delicious. I ate quite a bit of it-well, really, I ate quite a bit of butter on my bread which made the bread even more delicious-er.
  • Back at home, the kids all eventually got into bed. At least I hope that they are in bed-I can't hear anyone now, but that doesn't really mean anything at all.

November 26, 2022-Christmas in Branson

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We knew that it was going to start raining this morning in Branson so we decided that we didn't want to get wet. That basically is a life goal of mine right now-don't get wet. Well, I do make exceptions for steamy, hot showers, but other than that I'd prefer not to get wet at all. 

We were not in any hurry this morning and did stay in bed for a while before starting to load up. Once Robby started working on getting everything ready to go, it doesn't take him long at all. Campbell was the first one to start stirring today, and then Anderson and Graham followed. 

We didn't have a lot of rain driving home today, but it was a fine mist a good part of the day. There was even some fog, but nothing like we had Thanksgiving night driving up there. We stopped twice on the way home-both times for gas, but one time was at home so it didn't really count.

When we did get home, it was raining pretty good, so we didn't make the kids unload. Robby and I did quite a bit of it ourselves. Now, since this was a shorter trip, we didn't have to wash every single thing, and since we are leaving again in just a short time, we didn't have to take all of the opened food.

It really didn't take us long at all to finish unloading things. We didn't clean the camper tonight, but we did go and buy more food to put in it. Robby, Keaton and I went to Kroger, Sams and Walmart this evening. We left fairly early, but it seemed like it was midnight when we came home.

We even through a trip to On the Border in there. That is Robby's favorite place to eat, and we always enjoy it. Keaton even has her favorite there. Of course I could, and usually do, just a make a meal of chips and salsa.

Once we came home, most folks had showered, and everyone had eaten. Robby and I worked on the never ending laundry before I found my spot on the couch to work on the blog for a few minutes.

November 25, 2022-Christmas in Branson

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SInce Silver Dollar City didn't open until 11 this morning, we were in no hurry to get moving early. It was kind of nice-the kids were expecting a Disney early morning, and most were confused when we said that we would leave here around 10. They wanted to make sure that we arrived before the place opened. 

We did make it before the park opened, but it wasn't easy. Graham wanted to take a shower which tied up the bathroom some. Then we had to go back to get Robby's wallet (we hadn't driven too far though-tonight on our way there, we also had to go back to get his wallet once again-we had barely left the driveway that time though.)

Once we made it into the park, everyone but Reagan and I rode Thunderation. That is the ride that I don't really love since I have to hold my head in one part so I don't get whiplash so I opted out. We went to get some wassail which was warm and cozy. 

Next up, Keaton, Whitman and Graham rode Time Traveleter followed by Powdered Keg by some folks. By this time in the day, we quickly realized that they were correct about the crowd expectations. There were lots of people there-so we began our food tour of the City.

Cinnamon bread x3, hot chocolate, potato/leek soup, sausage medley skillet and mozerella sticks. Tonight we continued our food tour with a cinnamon pretzel and red velvet funnel cake. It was kind of fun-and really, all of us sitting around table after table eating and talking was pretty perfect. 

Even though we weren't able to ride many things, I think that everyone had a good time. Before we left this afternoon, we did ride the shooting mine-Silver Dollar City rides are a bit sad when compared to Disney rides.

We came back to the camper around 2ish. The kids watched the rest of the World Cup followed by the Hogs game. They watched some of the football game outside, but then some folk went to the hospitality house here and watched it inside. I joined them there for a little bit and played a game of Yahtzee with Keaton.

For the second half of the game, I tried to help the Hogs by taking a nap. It was a wonderful nap, but maybe I woke up too soon because I did watch the rest of the game just in time to see them lose. Thankfully, none of my crew gets too upset about games.

Our next task was supper-we had planned on staying two nights, but we will probably come home tomorrow because of the rain so we had two meals here with us: chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes for some (Robby, Cambpell, Keaton and me) and air fryer pizzas for others (Anderson, Graham, Reagan and Whitman).

Then we had a bit of time to put on a few more layers before heading back to Silver Dollar City around 7:30. There were still a lot of people there-they even made us go in a different way. That was neat to see. While Robby was in line for the funnel cake (20+ minutes), we watched the parade and Campbell and Keaton rode the swings.

We walked around looking at lights and then stopped to play in the ball area. Some folks rode the Barnswing while the rest of us warmed up in the pizza place. By this time, we barely made it to Fire in the Hole for one last ride at 10.

Afterwards, we headed out of the park, but first I did make my people take a few Christmas pictures!

November 24, 2022-Happy Thanksgiving! and Christmas in Branson

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My alarm clock went off way too early this morning possibly because I had stayed up way too late last night. I was soon out of bed, and I made my way to the camper to put some things in it. I normally wouldn't have minded an early morning trek to the camper, but since Robby had turned it around yesterday and since it was pouring, I was not happy about it.

I was able to stay fairly dry while running out there and back. I had a basket of things to put up, but it didn't take too long. I then had my shower and started waking up the kids. Whitman was already awake, and I think that Campbell was soon down the stairs.

Campbell made her sausage cornbread this morning-that is something that we mostly all enjoy, but we rarely make it. Robby even said taht we should make it more often. Graham made his contribution of corn casserole which is his favorite.

Pretty much as soon as I had those two things in the oven, it was time for the kids to work on their turkeys. It is a tradition that they do this-though some of my boys, specifically Anderson and Graham, don't seem to care as much about it. Basically Whitman did most of the work with some help from Graham. Of course, decorating must be a girl thing because all three of my girls still ejoy doing their turkey.

We had meat, cheese, fruit and crackers on the turkey platters today. But I do have a public service announcement: don't buy fruit from Whole Foods. We had a gift card there so we ran in to buy our Thanksgiving fruit. The raspberries were not good at all with only a few being salvageable, and the blueberries weren't great either. If they weren't free, I would have been really bothered by this. Graham did suggest that next year, we made a turkey solely out of snack foods-I vetoed his idea.

Soon folks started arriving-all of the family was at Thanksgiving. And when I say ALL, I really do mean all: my folks and Jason, Robby's folks, Dana and her kids, and Les and his family. Everyone was in attendance which made my heart happy. It is certainly nice to have all of the family there.

After a family picture, we started opening up the dishes and had ourselves a feast. My kitchen isn't really made for 21 folks, but we survived. There were all kinds of food for us to choose from plus a plethera of desserts. 

It was a great day-I even came in second in a Spoons game with some of the kids and won 2 dollars. Anderson was third and Lily first. Around 3 or 4 people started dividing up leftovers and leaving. When everyone did leave, I emptied the dishwasher while Robby vacuumed.

While Robby was still vacuuming, Whitman headed to the camper. Then the others followed. There were just a few things that left that we had to grab before leaving. We did forget one toothbrush, but I have extras in here so all was well.

The drive was fairly easy. We did have some light rain about the whole way here tonight. That was nothing though compared to the fog that we would occasionally have. 

We arrived in Branson at our campround around 9. Of course the kids were hungry so as soon as Robby had hooked everything up, we started on supper. All of our meals were leftovers-leftover rolls with ham and cheese, leftover pizza, and leftover Chickfila. 

After we cleaned up from supper, it was time to have everyone pj up and head to bed. Right now Robby and I are catching up on youtube videos before my shower.

November 23, 2022

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  • I just sat down a few minutes ago after working pretty much all day long. Now I did sit down to eat my potato soup for lunch around 2, and I drove around a bit tonight running errands, but other than that I have been on the move.
  • The day started with Robby taking Bentley on a walk. I thought about going, but I decided that I better stay in the house and do some of the every day things-laundry and dishes.
  • Once those things were done, I moved on to waking up the people and heading up chores. Most everyone finished school, and then I used their labor to empty the trash cans, vacuum and clean their desks. 
  • Keaton and Whitman helped me make our sugar cookies. Thanksigivng sugar cookies are not the easiest to decorate. Graham did come downstairs and do 2 cookies, but other than that it was just the 3 of us working. I was glad that I only made one recipe of cookies.
  • I did have to make another batch of icing while we were decorating. We didn't plan our colors correclty. That second batch of icing did run me out of powdered sugar. Some how I am currently out of milk, eggs, powdered sugar, brown sugar, and flour. We haven't really made many things here, and I usually keep well stocked of the above list. I sure hope that I have everything for what I need to make tomorrow.
  • Whitman said that hw as so exicted about Christas because we would get to make cookies again. Hmm, I didn't know he enjoyed that so much. We could make them more often.
  • Keaton soon made fudge while I was working in the kitchen. I tried to clean and get everything ready that I could for tomorrow. That is what took all day-well, that and cleaning the bathrooms. I found a zillion things to do before working on those. It is one of my least favorite chores, but it doesn't really take that long.
  • Campbell had spent the night with a friend. Then they went out to eat and then to another friend's house. After running some errands, we picked her and her friends up, and then took them to their house. 
  • Then Robby ran to three different places to pick up supper for everyone-Taco Bell, Chickfila and Paxtons. Now, I picked ChickFila, and I was pretty disappointed wtih it. I wasn't sure what I should have picked, but I know now that I picked wrong. I think I should have pushed for some Chinese food. 
  • I have sent Robby a zillion presents to buy tonight. Now, I'm blogging and plan on taking a nap during the Hogs game later this evening.

November 22, 2022

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  • I think that I should have been more productive today since my list for tomorrow is still pretty long. I tried to work on tomorrow's list some, but it didn't really seem to help.
  • This morning started off normally. I was able to do our Christmas reading to the little 3 before we had to scurry around to leave.
  • Keaton rode with me just for fun, but our first stop was to drop Anderson and Graham off. They again raked leaves today from 10 until 3. They were paid well (Robby's thinking of applying to be a leave raker) and even had pizza for their lunch.
  • After dropping them off, Keaton and I dropped off Campbell at Nonna and Pops' house. Nonna and Campbell went out shopping for Campbell's birthday. I think they went to quite a few stores and even had Chick Fil A for lunch. 
  • Keaton and I then hung out with Pops for a little bit while we were waiting on our groceries to be delivered there. It took a bit to get our groceries, but I believe that we did get everything that we ordered which doesn't happen very often.
  • Back at home, I made Keaton help me clean up the bonus room. Then she helped Whitman roll out his sugar cookies while I made breakfast burritos. When their cookies were baked, they helped me with the burritos.
  • Soon it was time for me to go and pick up the boys. As soon as I returned home with them, they had to help Robby for just a few minutes in the yard. I then headed out with Campbell to take her to a friend's house to spend the night. 
  • When I came back, the boys were already in, and Robby was finishing up outside. Before I realized it, it was time for supper. I made some potatoe soup (from a package) while Robby made a bean burrito. Anderson opted for a corn dog while Whitman had a grilled cheese. Most everyone else had some of my potatoe soup-they weren't impressed.
  • During the basketball game tonight, I tried to help by taking a nap. That didn't help too much so I then started reading my book. We did figure out something new tonight-Whitman was able to scoop our ice cream for us-our lives will forever be changed!

November 21, 2022

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  • I have given the kids a bit lighter school this week. I figured this could have been a few days that we skipped school, but instead I assigned them a few things that they are getting close to finishing plus a few fun things. 
  • I thought I had given them a decent amount of work; however, when Whitman finished the whole week's worth of school today, I realize that I underestimated at least for him. I still have to work with him each day plus we are reading together so he isn't getting off scott free the next few days.
  • He told me that he wanted to make sugar cookies for Thanksgiving so that was his assignment this morning as well. Today we made the dough, tomorrow we roll them out and bake them, and then Wednesday we ice them. 
  • Reagan had work today, but the big boys also went today to rake leaves. They worked the whole time that Reagan worked. They must have worked hard, because they were pretty tired when they came home. The even get to go back tomorrow to finish the job. 
  • Keaton, Campbell and I ran to the library today. I needed to pick up some books, and they both needed some books to read. They found a few-Cambpell found a huge stack. It didn't take me long to start on one of my books when we did get home. 
  • For supper tonight we had meatballs, mashed potatos and green beans. At the last minutes, I decided to open a can of green beans thinking that no one would really eat them-they were gone before I made my plate. I was a bit surprised by this. 
  • Tonight, Keaton, Robby and I did some running around-Sams for pizza bread, Whole Foods to spend a gift card, Kohls for a return, and Kroger for some groceries. Thankfully, it wasn't any Thanksgiving groceries because just about everything that I needed wasn't at the store. So a Walmart order is being delivered tomorrow.
  • I have now settled on the couch and am watching a movie froma  book that I have read. We will see how it compares. I have also already drank my hot chocolate for the day so I am not sure if I should have another cup of that or some ice cream for my snack.

November 20, 2022

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  • This was the first Sunday back at church in a few weeks since we missed two weeks for Disney. So we were all anxious to get back to church-except Campbell, Reagan and I had to miss big church since we were working in worship care. 
  • After worship care, we all went to our Sunday school classes-Campbell's group had food, Whitman came to our room with handfuls of candy so I'm guessing his class had goodies as well.
  • When church was over, we went to Grannymom's house for Sunday lunch. This was our first Sunday in a bit to be back for Sunday lunch. 
  • By the time that we made it home, the big boys had afternoon plans of meeting some friends and playing ball. Keaton and I dropped them off and did some Christmas shopping. Even though I had a list, there were quite a few things that I think that I forgot to grab. I'm still marking things off so it was still a win.
  • The boys walked out of their basketball game just as Keaton and I arrived to pick them up so they were able to get home in time for Brett to take them to the Thanksgiving Feast at Rock Creek. 
  • Soon Reagan and Kennedy were leaving to go eat at Chuys-Regan's group seems to frequent Mexican restaurants-and poor Reagan is not a fan of Mexican.
  • The rest of us had snacky suppers-pizza for some and edemama for others. Then I curled up on the couch and started a Hallmark movie. Whitman has stuck with me occasionally looking up and asking questions. Actually, he was a bit disappointed tonight because for some reason, he thought that he was going to get to go on a hayride tonight like his big brothers.
  • The Wilsons brought the boys and Campbell home from church tonight. Then they came in to claim their spots on the new couch. We visited for a while, but when they left it meant that the weekend was over, and it was the start of a new week.

November 19, 2022

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  • Lazy would probably the theme of the day. We sure didn't do much at all. I think taht Robby and I stayed in bed as long as we could this morning. We would get out of bed to do something, and then come back.
  • Fairly early this morning, we did (well, Anderosn and Graham) moved the second couch and chair out of the kitchen. Later today, someone came and picked up our old green couch, tv stand, green chair, 2 circle chairs and a plant table. I'm feeling like I want to clean out this entire house. If I just had easy access to a dumpster I could do some good. (But I know that I'll have Thanksgiving trash before our trash men come again so I can't do too much.)
  • After al of this moving around, I do feel like the house is back in order. Well, all except the massive brown chair in the school room. This chair will go where the living room Christmas tree is now. It is too big to haul to the bonus room, so it will just live in the school room for a while. We don't have too many more days of school-and I do most of my school work in my bedroom and rarely go in the school room.
  • I spent a good deal of the day working on my ornament blog. I count down each year to Christmas highlighting ornaments. This year I don't have as many new ones as usual, but I still have quite a few that I have already written about-the posts will pop up in December.
  • Also I worked on some Christmas things. I want to have quite a bit done before Thanksgiving, but I am not too sure that they is going to happen. However, I have made a dent at least. 
  • Robby went and picked up pizza for the ballgame tonight. A little bit ago, there were 7 of us in the living room all sitting nearby each other eating our pizza and watching the football game. That just makes for a perfect evening. (Reagan was upstairs taking a math test, but she did show up a bit afterwards).
  • We are watching football currently, and since my computer battery is getting low because I have been on it all day, I'll close this little blog here.

    November 18, 2022

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    • I slept in a bit today, but soon I was working on marking things off of my list. I wasn't too motivated becuase I figured that I had today and tomorrow to get things done.
    • I did read history and some Christmas books with Campbell, Keaton and Whitman. Then we worked on a few science experiments. Robby and I took a walk at lunch time-sometimes I think that Bentley likes walks and other times I am not so sure. 
    • Actually I think that Bentley has seemed unsettled since we put up the Christmas trees. Tonight though we did get a new to us couch, so every piece of furniture in the living room and even our bedroom has been moved around. (Yes, even the 100 year old piano has a new spot). So I bed that Bentley will really be unnerved tomorrow.
    • Or maybe she has been unsettled becuase Whitman has spent much of his time the last few days wathing his ipad in a box. This cardboard box is massive and the poor dog is terrified of it. Tonight the boys were trying to catch her to put her in the box. I knew that she would let me pick her up with less trauma than the boys (she does not trust them). So I picked her up and put her in the box for them-she just sat there looking pitiful.
    • Robby, Campbell, Keaton and I did run to Costco and Kroger tonight. I think that we only have one more things that we need for Thanksgiving so that is ahead of the game for us. One Thanksgiving I remember Robby even went to the grocery store early in the morning. I am pretty sure that he said it was pretty empty then.
    • During supper tonight, a friend wrote and asked if we wanted her couch-it is huge, but we were in  need of a new couch-so we picked it up. This mean rearranging the living room. The tv was moved to the fireplace-even though we don't have shelves built yet so the tv is just sitting there waiting. The old couch went to our bedroom so I have an extra tv stand, couch, chair and tiny sidetable. 
    • However, the living room and my bedroom are back to normal. The kitchen still has extra furntiture in it, but that is a job for tomorrow.

    November 17, 2022

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    • Bentely did some better this morning. I eventually had to open the door so she could go in the living room. Also when she goes in the living room, she likes for the blinds to be raised so she can see out the window. I have messed her up a little bit since we put the tree up in her main window spot. 
    • She did come back into our room and laid on the bed. Then she moved to find Anderson in the school room who had finished all of his school by the time that I climbed out of bed. I guess Anderson isn't yet completely back on the right time zone time either. 
    • Actually, all of the boys were up this morning when I got up. I did give Whitman his last medicine today. He was quick to notice that there was one more pill in the container. I told him that I think I am rigth on the pill count, but maybe they just give an extra pill in case you drop one. He asked though if he could still take the last one tomorrow-becuase when he takes his medicine, he gets a cup of coke to drink it down with.
    • We did our school today-I had to leave in the middle to take Graham to his class. Reagan's class was cancelled so I just took him and ran to Target and then back to pick him up. It wsn't too much longer until Robby took Graham and Cambpell to the orthodontist.
    • Cambpell is getting her braces off in December. That would be great news, except she needs one tooth fixed since it is a tiny tooth. We knew this, but we didn't realize fixing this tooth was a house payment. 
    • I'm actually going to get a job at the dentist-Keaton did in fact have two cavities yesterday which they saw once they looked on the xrays. This wasn't surprising becuase they have been watching those spots for a while. Reagan also had two cavities today when she went to her visit. Maybe when I take people to their appointments I could do some filing or something there and work off some debt.
    • Back at home this afternoon, I did finish the Christmas stuff. Maybe instead of saying "finished," I should just say that I stopped putting Christmas stuff out and called it done. I'm completely happy and don't need anything else out-I could probably handly having less out even.
    • Reagan went to her Dgroup tonight while Robby and I went to eat supper with the Wilsons. Afterwards, we ran some errands and ended back at our house for some ice cream. When they left, I had to find a warm spot in the house becuase it has just been chilly lately. 
    • People have already had showers and ice cream-so there isn't much to do until bedtime. I think I am going to coy up and finish my book...or take a nap before bedtime.

    Novebmer 16, 2022

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    • It was definitly hard for me to wake up this morning. However, it was not hard at all for Bentley to wake up-she is still on Floriday time and was up early. Yesterday some of the kids were awake early too, but by this  morning they are all accustomed to this time zone. 
    • Well, the boys are not since they have yet to change their clock in their room. I am thinking that they are going to try to see how long they can go without changing it. Maybe they never look at it, but I did panic today when I was in there briefly and saw the wrong time.
    • Today is definitely a day for celebration-6 people at the dentist and no cavities. That is like a miracle. All of the kids except for Reagan  (she was at work) and I went to the dentist today. Reagan goes tomorrow, and she is pretty convinced that she is going to have a cavity. If we can get buy with one cavity that is still excellent. 
    • I was so happy with this that we went to Sonic. Well, I had actually told the kids that if we didn't have any cavities I would take them to Sonic. I probably would have taken them anyway since I can be the fun mom sometimes. 
    • Afterwards, we met Robby at the gas station-we filled up the van and camper so we could be ready to go again. Then it was home for a few minutes before church tonight. I tried to work on a little bit of Christmas stuff. 
    • While doing this, I lost track of time and had to hurry working on food for the youth "feast" tonight. Campbell made chocolate chip cookies and Graham made corn casserole. I felt like we should take something else so I made some mac and cheese as well.
    • At church tonight, the big 4 were not the only ones who were eating. The rest of us had pizza so it was nice to come home and not have to think about food. I guess I am maybe still thinking about food since I am about to have some hot chocolate and read a cookbook. 

    November 15, 2022

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    • You know I had intentions of us doing some school at least on the way to Disney. I did wisen up before we left and didn't take anything. (Now Reagan had to do a bit for Comm Central while Anderson did have one essay to do on the drive back.)
    • My hopes in doing some school while we were out of town would have been to help ease us back into doing school. Thankfully, we didn't need to much "easing" today-things went fairly well.
    • Now, when I look back on the day-things probably went fairly well because Anderson and Graham were not here. Reagan wasn't here either but she doesn't cause too much of a commotion. The big boys didn't do any of their school for me either today (normal) so really their first day back will be tomorrow, and we will see how things really go then.
    • This was my first day back to wake up at a decent time. I know Disney was a decent time too-6:00 is certainly not the time I want to wake up on a school day, and it sure wasn't the time I woke up today. Now, if I did wake up at 6, I could be halfway finished with my chorelist and everything else when it was time to start school.
    • It was chilly on my walk with Bentley this morning. I even think that she was chilly becuase she kept moving at a pretty quick pace. We just did a mile and it didn't take long at all to get it done.
    • It also didn't take long for us to get our school done. I believe the reason Campbell and Keaton were working so fast was becuase they wanted to start work on the Christmas trees. First though, I had to finish school with Whitman after picking up the boys.
    • Robby even had to take the boys back to school today so they could go to their Christmas party. They all took gifts-Reagan ended up with the same gift card she took, Anderson had Graham's name so he got a decent gift since we bought it, and Anderson left with a 20 dollar bill and a gift card-so he racked up for sure. 
    • When Robby went to take them to their party, Campbell, Keaton, Whitman and I went to work on Christmas. I told them that our goal today was to just set up the Chrsitmas trees-2 in the living room, 1 in the girls' room, 1 in my bedroom, 1 in the kitchen and a super tiny one in the boys' room.
    • It took us about 3 hours but we were able to get all of that done and those boxes put away. The kitchen tree and girls' room tree is even decorated plus while I was at basketball with the boys' tonight, Reagan put up all of the kitchen Christmas pretties.
    • I have a bit more to do tomorrow-if I put up the Snow Village. And maybe I will....and maybe I won't. Don't you enjoy things more when you miss them for a little bit?

    November 14, 2022

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    • I woke up all nice and cozy in the camper this morning, and I stayed cozy until I walked across the yard to go inside for my shower. Anderson and Graham were the first ones awake today and went inside around 7. Reagan was next-but bless her, she couldn't figure out how to open the camper door so she had to leave another way. Campbell followed Reagan more successfully.
    • Keaton was the last one to wake up. When Robby looked to see if Whitman was awake, he was. He also asked, "Are we home already?" That boy is just enjoying life with not a care in the world.
    • Most of the day was spent working on the camper. I wasn't in much hurry so when I would bring a basket in, I would unloading it and put it away. Then I would work on something else in the house before returning for another load.
    • I did this most of the day. Once the unloading part was finished, I worked on cleaning the camper. The kids all stayed busy today as well. Reagan spent most of the day working on school work. She has the last of two of her classes tomorrow. Anderson and Graham were not concerned at all about school today-they spent the day making up lost time on their xbox. 
    • Whitman pretty much followed in his brothers footsteps and spent his time on his ipad. While Campbell and Keaton spent their time bouncing from thing to thing. I think that they were a little bit bored.
    • They were really excited when I mentioned that we were going to the store for a few things this evening. We did our shopping and then came home for potato soup and Red Lobster biscuits. The soup was made by Campbell and the biscuits by Keaton. 
    • After supper, there was time for showers, ice cream and some movie watching. And blog writing-for some reason, I lost the first blog that I wrote so this one is a redo, but I think that I hit most of the highlights from the day though.

    November 13, 2022-November Disney Trip

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    We started the morning by sleeping in a little bit. When I woke up, Robby was coming in from the bath house and his shower. He soon left to get the truck to return the golf cart. So aftera  few minutes, I woke up the boys.

    They jumped up-especially Graham. We had to drive all three golf carts to the front of the campground so we could leave 2 golf carts there and meet Robby to drop off the other. Anderson has been able to drive the goft carts everywhere (though we are technically breaking the rules since he is not 16. However, he is a licensed driver.) Graham, though, has not been able to drive much except on our loop. A worker did stop him one day while he was driving with me so we haven't let him drive as much.

    Today though he was able to drive a long ways plus drive by himself so he jumped up when I woke him up. Last night when we told them the plans, he looked concerned (he's my rule follower). Robby did ask what they could do-kick us out? Nah, not since we are leaving. 

    We dropped off the two carts, and then we went back to where we were going to meet Robby. He soon came, and the boys helped load the big golf cart. Then Robby drove us back to our campsite. Obviously, I sat up front while the boys climbed in the back of the truck and laid down-those goof balls.

    When Robby returned from the cart trip, he quickly did what he needed to do in the campground before we pulled out. We then hooked up the car and were on the road by 10:30ish. We had a little bit of rain for some of our drive today, but we are used to rain when we are camping and especially used to rain on this trip-even hurricanes.

    I believe that we stopped 4 times today-first for gas, then Buccee's for more gas and drinks, next was another Buccee's for more gas and supper, and finally for one last gas stop. Oh, there was also one rest stop for a bathroom break for Robby.

    The first Buccee's was a mad house. The women's bathroom line was into the middle of the store. The second one was less crowded, but still busy. At both I wanted hot chocolate but never could find any there even though I have had hot chocolate from Buccee's in Texas.

    And really that about sums up our day. Our original plan was to stop at Birmingham for the evening. However, we woud have stopped a bit too early so we decided to press on. Currently, it looks like we are going to pull into the driveway in 45 minutes. Robby and I are listening to Disnry podcast and just finihsed some candy so we are going strong for the last leg of the trip. 

    November 12, 2022-November Disney Trip

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    Today was our last day of waking up super early-well, I figure we will wake up pretty early on our two drive days, but at least tomorrow we won't be waking up at 6:15-or at least I hope not. You can definitely say that Disney is not a vacation, it is work. 

    However, I do love it still. We have had a great time, and I'm already looking forward to coming back in just a few weeks. However, I am already stressed about getting home and getting a few things accomplished-like puttng up my Christmas tree and buying Christmas presents for everyone. 

    Back to today though. Maybe since today was our last day it was a bit easier to wake up. Today we tried the new fastpass system here: Genie Plus. My quick review-we were able to use it for 5 (I think) different rides which meant that we were paying about 4.40 per ride to skip the line. Sometimes I think paying that would be worth it, but when you multiply the 4.40 times the 5 rides and then times the 8 of us, I am not so sure that it is worth it.

    Now, if you have never been to Disney or this is your one and done trip, then it would definitely be the way to go for folks. But we have been here, we have ridden it all, and even though they keep changing the system, we can still work it pretty well to our advantage. 

    Another drawback of it is the app-it is confusing, glitchy and frustrating. Robby spent a good bit of the day looking at the phone. However, we worked it to our advantage and despite the frustration and cost, we may have to buy Genie Plus again when we are not staying on site. 

    Our day began with Mickey and Minnie's Railway-it is such a cute new ride and was one that we repeated during the day. Then we went over to Toy Story Mania-we rode twice today. The first time I had the high score, and the second time I helped Anderson get a super high score.

    We also rode the Alien Swirling Saucers twice along with Slinky Dog (once for most of us but twice for Campbell). Tonight we were able to ride Smuggler's Run where I was the pilot. Campbell was the other pilot so that was a hoot-we crashed the ship quite a few times. 

    Also there was a fer Rock N Roller Coaster rides. That was going to be one of the fast passes that Robby and all of the kids but Whitman used at the end, but the ride broke down so they were out of luck there since it was the end of the night. And finally there was my favorite ride-Tower of Terror. That is the ride that we ended our November Disney vacation on, and it was a good one to end on for sure.

    We came back in the middle of the day for a break. Yesterday when we did this, I was exhausted and could only think about taking a nap. Today, thankfully I wasn't tired at all so I was a bit more alert as we zoomed all over this campground in the golf carts. Reagan did some math while Anderon, Graham, Cambpell and Keaton did some golf carting and scavenger hunting. Whitman was just vegging out on his ipad.

    For supper, the Hobbs brought over pizza that we ate before going back to Hollywood. We stayed until close tonight and then walked out to say our goodbyes to the Hobbs. I had been a bit worried about this trip, but I think that we would all say that it all worked out pretty well. 

    November 11, 2022-November Disney Trip

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    This morning was another early one-they all seem to be early these days. When we get home and have to wake up to do school, it will be like a vacation because we will get to sleep in. We were moving a bit slow today, plus there was a bad attitude (not mine) that also slowed us down a bit. 

    We left about 5 minutes later than we wanted to, but it all turned our just fine since we ended up parking about 3 cars from the Hobbs. We walked right in the park without too much of the crazy lines and headed to the Navi River. It is a simple boat ride that is new so it gets huge wait times, but we were able to walk right on it since we did it first thing this morning.

    Afterwards, we headed to Everest for folks to ride the single rider line a little bit. I think that they rode twice...or maybe just once. I am not really sure. I am sure that afterwards, we headed to Tusker House for breakfast.

    This was the first time that we had ever been seated in the area with the buffet so that was really nice. It was super easy to grab food and to grab the kids when needed for a picture with the characters. The food was good-but O'hana is still my favorite place to eat at Disney (so far, Robby and I plan to try some new places when we come in February.)

    While eating, Mickey, Daisy, Donald and Goofy all came to our tables. We were able to get pictures with all of the kids with everyone so that was fun. All my people still don't mind taking their pictures with the characters so I am certainly happy about that.

    After breakfast, we tried to get in the next Lion King show, but missed it. Instead we went towards the dinosaur area-I think. Actually, maybe this is when we went to Everest. Either way, we soon ended up in the Boneyard-the playground that Whitman really enjoys. We don't mind it either because we can sit in the shade while he plays. The others played too today so we were there for a few minutes.

    That brings us to the last thing that we did in the parks this morning-watch the Lion King show. It is a tiny bit different after covid, but it is still mostly the same. It is surprising that the show hasn't really changed for as long as I can remember. 

    When the show was over, we headed out of the park for the afternoon. Matt came and picked up Keaton, Campbell and Whitman so they could swim with his kiddos. While they were gone, Anderson did some exploring on the golf cart along with pin trading. Robby, Graham and I joined him some too-today we explored the stables housing the Disney World horses.

    Most of the loops are filled back in after the empty days of the hurricane. Ours is one of the few loops that doesn't seem to full yet. The Hobbs came back over here for supper tonight-we had ourselves a Mexican feast with street tacos and quesadillas. 

    When supper was over, all of us but Anderson, went back to Animal Kindom. We rode Everest once, the kdis rode the rapids twice and then we all did Avatar one time before the park closed. We had to wait about an hour for that ride, but it is pretty worth it. 

    The park was closed and pretty empty when we finished, so we headed back to the campsite. Keaton ended up spending the night with the Hobbs. Cambpell was pretty excited about having her own space tonight.

    November 10, 2022-November Disney Trip

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    I expected to be woken up in the middle of the night with thunder or lightening, but nah, our hurricane here in Orlando was not that noisy. I didn't hear anything until my alarm started goikng on. Well, about an hour before it did go off, Reagan was moving Bentley closer to her.

    Bentley slept in the bed with Keaton and Reagan. They were pretty thrilled that I let her sleep with them-I like the dog and all, but I'm ok with not having something laying on my legs during the night time.

    When we woke up, we weren't really sure what was going to happen with the campground-they had projected that they would reopen. However, there was no official word. Now the hotel was nice, but being in your own camper (comparable to being in your own home) is much nicer. (At least to Robby and me-I am pretty sure that the kids do not agree with this at all. Even Whitman said that he liked the hotel better.)

    Anderson, Graham and I drove out to the campground this morning to ask them what the word was. They weren't sure when opening would be, but they did say that we could park in the overflow lot. So after we drove back, we picked up the girls and headed to the campground overflow lot.

    By the time that we were there, word was getting out (Facebook-so really nothing that you can believe) that we could return by 2. And let's talk about this-I love Disney and all, but they do kind of have a comminication problem. It seems that everyone on the Facebook were told different things causing much confusion. 

    We were able to take a few minutes to unpack our bags and kind of get settled despite still being in the parking lot. Then we loaded up to meet the Hobbs at Epcot. The park opened at 1 so we assumed it would open at 12:30 for people on site, and it did. We were pretty worried at first because the security line and entrance line were all insane, but we did fine today and saw what we needed to see.

    Our first stop this morning was Ratatouille. Then all the way back to Soarin along with Living with the Land. Then we stopped to have a little break. After our break, Robby and Anderson went back to the campground to move the camper to our spot. They were gone a good while-but they set up the camper, set up the tents and even put some lights back up. It is like home again.

    While they were gone, we rode Nemo and saw Turtle Talk before making our way to the countries. Before we made it there, we rode the Figment ride followed by a stop to see Minnie and Pluto. Then it was on to Canada and the UK which is where Anderson and Robby met up with us. 

    Then it was on to France where we all had ourselves some croissants and baggets. From there, we walked all the way around the world to get to the Guardians of the Galaxy ride. Graham was able to grab the spot in line for us on his phone. He was pleased with himeself since he beat out Reagan, Anderson and Robby. (Reagan was the one who lucked out the other day and got our spots.)

    I enjoyed that roller coaster better tonight because I was not trying to keep my eyes on the track. The car turns so last time I was watching the track-and turning my head which is what makes me dizzy. After that ride, we left the Hobbs and headed back to the other side of Epcot.

    From there we rode the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios. We had ourselves supper from our bag (it was 9), and Reagan bought a sweatshirt before we rode Slinky Dog. The Slinky Dog roller coaster is one of my favorites-it is tame compared Guardians for sure. I like tame. 

    Then it was a walk to the car and then to the camper. I am exhausted tonight-like so tired I don't know if I will take my shower. Once we were back at the camper there were still lots of things to do-lunches had to be made or at least started for tomorrow, beds had to be made, Bentley had to be walked, pajamas had to be changed into, a load of laundry was washed, Whitman had to take his medicine and teeth had to be brushed. And lots of people in a small space, just takes time to get all of these things done.

    Tomorrow is Animal Kingdom and breakfast at Tusker House-another one of our favorite places to eat.

    November 9, 2022-November Disney Trip

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    From the time that we woke up until the time that we stopped tonight, I kept telling Robby about the notifications on my phone. Basically they kept telling me that the rain was stopping in 12 minutes or 13 or 20. And usually that rain did stop, but then it would start again.

    It pretty much misted all day long on us. This was fine except whenever it didn't mist during the times that we wanted it to-like when we were on the golf carts, or having to stand outsite to wait on something or espeically when it was time for Robby to work outside to get the camper ready to leave.

    Thankfully, we were able to get things settled last night while we were on the phone with Disney so we knew at least the hotel that we would be at today. We were up in plenty of time, but there was just a lot to do. The kids were packed except for the last few things. I still had to pack plus make lunches. Robby worked outside as much as he could-it was just a bit hectic.

    We loaded up and drove the golf carts to the goft cart parking lot and caught the bus for Magic Kingdom. We opted for the bus today because we thought it would be dryer than the boat. Driving there, we noticed that there were indeed quite a few less campers, but we really noticed it when we saw that our golf carts were the only ones in the parking lot.

    Even though there is a hurricane coming, apparently the people here don't know that they shouldn't be at the parks today. They didn't even know that it was raining and should be at home. It was croded today at Magic Kingdom. I spent most of the day wishing that I was a poncho salesman-I could have made a fortune. I had 8 ponchos in my bag which Reagan and Keaton eventually borrowed. I have multiple sets of ponchos ready for the next rainy day. 

    Thankfully at the very last minute today, I grabbed my rain jacket and Robby had his. I woul have been miserable today wtihout it. Even though my phone kept telling me the rain was going to stop, it did just keep coming and coming and never seemed to stop. 

    We were able to ride quite a few rides today despite the crowd. We started with Space-which I did ride and regretted. I felt like the cart was going to come off of the track multiple times which kind of terrifies me. I guess I am really not a roller coaster person. I do just try to keep smiling through all of it, but inside I hate it.

    Then we watched the Carousel of Progress-where I tried to take a short nap, but Whitman kept asking me questions about things that he heard. (What is a rumpus room? What is rat race?) Next was the People Mover-always one of my favorites. Afterwards, some of the kids road the Speedway while others walked around.

    I was part of the walk around group-and we stopped for a pretzel filled with pepper jack cheese which was definitely worth the stop. Then Reagan took Whitman to Dumbo to play on the playground. She had already taken Owen to ride the Astro Orbiter.

    Some folks rode the Barnstormer and then we walked over to Haunted Mansion where it was pretty busy. So we chose the Hall of Presidents where I had myself a good nap. I saw the first little bit, and then Robby had to wake me up when it was time to leave.

    We then left the park -it was around 1. At the campground, the place was practically empty. There were a few campers that had been left, but for the most part the place was empty. Probably 1000 campsites which were fullish yesterday, but deserted today-kind of odd.

    Robby and Anderson worked outside. Robby had his rain jacket, but Anderson was soaked by the time that they were finished. The golf carts were left there along with our rug. It was already wet-so leaving it there under the golf carts to dry or shoving it in a garbage bag were the only two options for that.

    We didn't hook up the car so Robby just drove slowly with the car dolly on while I drove behind him. It was about a 5 minute drive to the Port Orleans Riverside. Robby then went into the camper to do his packing once he found a parking sopt. 

    I went in to check in with Campbell and Graham who had driven with me. I was about 50th in line to check in, but I was entertained by the princesses-Snow White and Aurora-along wtih the sline making that was happening. 

    When I made it to the front things were going easily-until the lady realized that we were not near each other. We weren't any where near each other and still aren't. She tried her best for sure, but wasn't able to change anything. That was fine-I'm about a 10 minute walk from Robby's room, and his room is about a 5 minute drive to my room.

    The girls, Bentley and I are in the largest room. We even have a bed that folds down for a 5th sleeping spot. The boys room is smaller, but there theming is pretty intense compared to ours-their room is like stepping into a castle.

    Robby had orginally parked the camper in one lot, but then he moved it to another one. Later he told me, that he had Anderson follow him in in the van. This was Anderson's first time to drive the car all by himself even though he was in a parking lot. He did fine!

    We settled into our room before finding supper. Campbell and Reagan opted to buy a pizza for their supper, while the rest of us went to the camper for meatballs and mashed potatoes. When supper was finished which was pretty delicious, we met up with the Hobbs at Port Orleans for beignets. 

    Whitman did find some ice cream that he wanted to eat, so that was his snack of the day. We could have saved a lot of money if we had not told the kids that they could have a snack each day, but they are loving it. Some kids make known exactly what they want and would have you walk miles to get it-Campbell, Keaton and Anderson. And some kids won't tell you what they want-Anderson, Reagan and Whitman.

    Once the beignets were finished, we headed back to our hotels. The girls and I settled into our beds-first Campbell and Keaton had showers. Then Campbell made me and her some hot chocoalte while I have been working on the blog. I guess I must be tired becuase I keep falling asleep despite the hot chocolate and soccer on tv that Reagan is watching. 

    It has been pretty good day despite the craziness. I love new adventures. Right now Epcot is supposed to open at 1 so possibly 12:30 for resort guests. If we are able to go back to the campground we will do that before we head to the park. But alas, just like yesterday some things we aren't too sure of. Like I am not sure when this hurricane Nicole is going to swing on in here!

    November 8, 2022-November Disney Trip

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    Today was our off day, but it was no off day. We did quite a bit, though the rain did mess up a few things that I wanted to happen. Our morning started around 8:30 when I woke up. I woke up possibly because of the sun shining in my window-my blackout shade was moved some so the sun came in, and this is the first time that we have slept long enough for the sun to be up on this trip. Or I possibly woke up because I had to go to the bathroom-the night was so long that I had to get up twice to go to the bathroom. 

    Poison ivy update-as soon as Whitman woke up, we could tell that his face looked better. He didn’t scratch for most of the day and seemed to have much more spunk. I’m not sure if the spunk was because he had felt bad and was feeling better or if the spunk was because he had taken a few doses of a steroid. He was itching more this evening but hopefully his meds keep working. 

    The first order of business this morning was taking Bentley up to the front to take her picture by the sign. The sign was a bit further away than I had realized, and we had to walk a good bit even after the golf cart ride. When we were halfway there, I remembered that I didn't have any treats to get her to cooperate. However, she did great wearing her ears and Disney shirt. We felt like it might be a good time to take her picture.....just in case...

    We went to Disney Springs today. Of course we walked around the Disney store and the Lego store. I really looked for a picture frame to make my Christmas ornament, but I didn't have any luck at all. Hopefully, I will have a few more days at the park to find something. By the end of our shopping, I even gave up the idea of a picture frame, but still couldn't find an ornament. Anderson did find a Funko pop, and Cambpell did find a necklace.

    The kids had some snacks there too today-pretzel bites and ice cream sundeas from Ghiradelli. (They were not cheap at all!) We battled the rain the last half of our visit to Disney Springs, but were still able to stop at the Coke store, M and M store and find Bentley a new dog tag.

    After Disney Springs we came home to do some speed laundry. Robby was able to wash a load since we wanted to have most things clean...just in case....

    During this little break, the kids did some more scavenger hunting. They also hid something-a new box of chalk that Keaton had packed. I think that they had so much fun hiding this. Later when Robby was picking up his laundry, he saw a dad and daughter out looking for it. They were able to find it which made the kids super happy.

    Soon we were loading up to go to our supper tonight, but before we left, we did a little bit more packing up. We put up the tent and rug...just in case...

    We ate at O'hana's tonight. It is expensive-crazy expensive, but it is still one of our favorites. There was so much food, and I really think that everyone enjoyed it. Salad, bread, potstickers, noodles, broccoli, steak, chicken, chicken wings, and then fries and chicken fingers for the kids, and eventually ice cream and bread pudding. (The bread pudding is not my favorite since I do not eat soggy bread. However, since I ate my weight in potstickers I didn't need much.)

    After eating, we rode around the monorail stopping at the Grand Floridian and Polynesian to wander around some. Then we even got off at the Ticket and Transportation Center so we could ride over to Epcot and back. And finally we returned to the Polynesian and found some dole whip for our second dessert of the evening.

    From there we headed back to the campsite. When we arrived, we saw that the notices had been taken down so we breathed a sigh of relief. And then we walked to the door of the camper and saw the note on the door: the campsite will close tomorrow at 3 for at least 24 hours. 

    That was the news that we kind of didn't want to hear-and the reason for all of our just in cases. It is now one in the morning, and Robby just finished speaking with someone about our next steps. He was only on hold for 3 lovely hours. We were all humming along to the onhold music. By the time that he was finished, he was able to get us reservations numbers, but not the Hobbs. However, the lady we spoke with sounded very confident that we will all be at the same resort. 

    I tried to do some packing and making a few lists since spending one night away is just the same as spending two nights away. Robby and I will be in different rooms, so we will need two of most important things. We are bringing the camper with us so we at least will be able to access everything we need...unless it blows away. (kidding). I have never been through a hurricane before so this will just be an adventure. The kids are mostly still awake and are pretty excited about getting to stay in a Disney hotel. 

    November 7, 2022-November Disney Trip

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    I had to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom tonight-except it wasn't the middle of the night. It was just 30 minutes before the alarm went off. Ugh! When I came back from the bathroom, Robby asked me what time it was, and I refused to tell him since I didn't want to disappoint him.

    We were soon waking up and waking everyone else up. We have been playing this game the last few mornings called "let's see how late we can sleep and still leave on time." Today we did pretty good at the game and left on time with most of the things straightened back in the camper.

    Robby had a second alarm set this morning of when to try to get a ticket to the new roller coaster, Gaurdians of the Galaxy. His first attempt at 7 (I think) was unsuccessful. They don't have many passes to give out and when they do, they are gone in 2 seconds. That was not too disconcerning since we knew we had one more try today.

    We were soon at Epcot-and we were so early that we were parked on the very first row. It was still a long walk, but we were proud of our parking spots. The goal today was to do at much as possible, and I think that we did pretty good. 

    Our first stop was Test Track where the sound of the cars whizzing by freaked Landon out, but he recovered and did well on the ride-I guess, he wasn't on my car. Then it was on to Norway for the Frozen ride. Then we did some backtracking to Mexico to ride the Donald ride, Reagan's current favorite.

    Then it was back to Norway for some School bread and other pastries. Then we started our journey through the countries. We made it almost to France when it was nearing lunch time. We weren't too starved because we had pretty much had snacks all around the world. 

    We caught the boat and went to the Land to eat lunch. Sunshine Seasons has not failed us yet, and even though it was lunch time we were able to find a spot to eat our lunches. We wanted to ride Soarin or Living with the Land then, but the waits were ridiculous and most of the waits stayed at the insane level all the day long.

    At lunch, I had my phone on the government time site while Reagan, Anderson and Robby all worked on getting us tickets for the new roller coaster. And Reagan was the one who managed to get them. That was a relief, but we had to watch the phones all afternoon long to make sure that we made it back on time. 

    Once we had our call back time, we had to scoot on out of the park to make sure that we had time to veg this afternoon. Robby had less veg time than the rest of us since he had to go to Sams to pick up medicine for Whitman. 

    I was just about to call the clinic, but opted to call a friend instead to call in a favor. I haven't done that before, but decided that now was the time. She wrote me write back and sent in meds for Whitman. It was not a liquid like I had hoped but was pills.

    Now, I am not a good pill swallower and neither are some of my kids so I was a bit worried about Whitman being able to swallow the pill. Tonight at supper, I gave him the first one that he had to take. Seconds later I looked at him making odd faces-he was trying to swallow the pill without a drink. I guess I had neglected to tell him that he could drink and then swallow to make things easier. The second pill went down much easier. Hopefully, he will not have any problem taking the rest of the pills, and hopefully they will work wonders tonight.

    Speaking of hopefully-Hopefully this hurricane that is approachng turns, and hopefully they don't close this campground. What a mess that would be-it would be an adventure for sure, but we are having enough fun that we don't need another adventure. Tonight Robby and I did take down most of the things outside so we could pack them up while they were dry plus we wanted to pack things up before they blow across the street (tomorrow is supposed to be windy.)

    After our afternoon which included swimming for Cambpell, Keaton, and Whitman, a bit of scavenger hunting for Anderson, some school work for Reagan, and resting for Graham, we loaded up quickly to head to Epcot for Guardians of the Galaxy.

    It was a super fun roller coaster which made me a tad bit dizzy. Everyone loved it-the boys decided that it is one of the best rides at Disney. After the ride, we made our way to Club Cool-the free coca cola place. It was gone the last few times that we were here, and we were glad to see that it was back,

    Most of the Hobbs went to eat supper at Cape May along with Campbell and Keaton. There two big boys stayed back with us. They were able to ride Test Track one more time along with Mission Space. Because of the crazy lines, we  weren't able to do as much as we wanted, but that was fine.

    We came back to the camper and had a second supper-some grilled cheeses and some hamburgers. Afterwards, the boys intently watched the basketball game. The girls were soon back and told us all about supper. The mashed potatoes were by far the favorite thing of the girls while they were out to eat.

    Before Robby and I went to bed tonight, we took down a few things. The wind picks up tomorrow and the rain the following day. So we decided to try to keep a many things dry as possible, I sure didn't like taking things down-we still have a decent amount of time left, but this silly storm is going to at the very least just make us wet!

    November 6, 2022-November Disney Trip

    (click for today's pictures)

    Time change morning was nice-except that it didn't really help us that much. We were still dragging this morning and our 7:00 leave time was more like 7:15. We then realized that the park opened at 7:30 for us so we were really should have left at 6:30. That is a rookie Disney goer mistake and one that we should not have made. However, the day did all work out despite our error plus leaving that early would just have been craziness.

    This morning I probably should have started to wake the kids up before 6:30. There are a lot of people in this camper and just one tiny bathroom so getting ready takes a minute-because there is alot of waiting happening. 

    Each evening, I take orders of what everyone wants for lunch-I write down all of the things that need to be made (sandwiches) and all of the fridge items. (It would be ideal to prep these all before and put them together in the fridge, but there isn't really room for this.) The things that aren't fridge items that the kids have requested for lunch, I put in a bucket on the counter. I also take breakfast orders and prep as much as I can. 

    So this morning, Anderson's bowl and tortilla was out for his burritos. Reagan's cereal and other people's muffins had already been set out. I had done a lot of prep which did help out. Now I did my list tonight, but I didn't do a lot of breakfast prep which means I might have to wake up a minute earlier tomorrow.

    And before I forget, if you have noticed in Whitman's pictures: he has poison ivy or at least what I assume is poison ivy. It would make sense because last weekend he did spent a lot of time playing in the woods. Half of his face started out really bumpy and now it is dry. I keep asking him if it is itchy, but he says no even though I sometimes catch him touching it. His bumps seem to have spread a bit on his face and he has some on his chest. 

    Sometimes he looks super red and other times his face looks fine so I can't decide if it getting better or getting worse. I even called the doctor today before I realized that it was Sunday. Hopefully, it will be tons better tomorrow. I have been giving him zyrtec and putting medicine on it-just hydrocortisone. I have anti itch/poison ivy cream, but that must have really burned him the other day because he did not like that at all. Despite his little rash, I do think that he feels fine.

    So back to this morning. We made it to Animal Kingdom, and I grabbed Landon and the stroller while the others walked to Avatar. They had a pretty long wait, so Landon and I walked around the park. We took pictures and had snacks and the wait went fairly quickly-at least for us. It went quickly for the others too, and I think that they all enjoyed that ride.

    Then we went to the safari which had a crazy wait. However, it was something that had to be done, so we jumped in that line. The new fastpass, Genie Plus stuff, really hurts us. You just have to weigh is spending 160 dollars more a day (what it would be for our family of 8) really worth it or would I rather not have to wait in crazy lines. Now, they so cater to the fastpass people-40 people in the Fastpass line go and then 2 in the regular line. 

    On some days the new fastpass may just be worth it. However, we rocked Magic Kingdom the other day, and we also did pretty well at Hollywood Studios. Now, we haven't been able to ride things multiple times (except for Everest today in the single rider line), but we have been very pleased. 

    After the safari today, we stopped at Flame Tree BBQ, a Dennie family favorite, to eat our lunch. We had cornbread and mac and cheese bbq. It was all delicious. The last two or three days, Robby has bought a bit of extra lunch for us to share. We have all packed lunches, but this has made it a bit more fun too.

    After lunch, we went to ride the Dinosaur ride followed by Everest for everyone but Robby, Landon and Rylee. They sat down at a restaurant and drank gallons of coke. Our first time in line took about 25 minutes. Afterwards, the kids wanted to go on the single rider line so they did that 4 more times while Matt went back through the line with Owen.

    Next, we found some snacks-mostly ice cream, frozen coke and dole whip. Then it was on to the It's Tough to be a Bug show. That is always a cute one, then we let the kids who wanted to go on the river raft before heading back to the campers.

    At the campers, there were lots of golf cart rides this afternoon (we got home about 4:30) and tonight. The Hobbs went to dinner while we ate our supper-air fryer pizzas. After folding our laudnry, we did some exploring and scouting out campsites for the next time that we are here. That took a while, so it was 9ishn when we made it back to the campsite. 

    Currently, it is 11:30, Campbell is chatting with me while I type and Robby is helping Matt with a septic tank issue-yikers! My plan is to take my shower sooner rather than later. Today was the hottest day, so I will be glad for a shower.  

    November 5, 2022-November Disney Trip

    (click for today's pictures)

    I won't complain too much tonight about having to wake up 6 this morning since we have to do it again in just a few short hours. Actually, it wasn't too bad-I woke up to two of Bentley's paws wrapped around me. She was cuddling me or thinking about mauling me to death.

    Robby went to the bathhouse this morning while I started stirring around the camper. My goal that early was to accomplish a few things that needed to be done plus start waking up the kids. Some of my people were fairly grumpy this morning during this early morning waking.

    This morning did go much smoother than yesterday. The day before wasn't bad, but today I just knew a bit better what to expect-there are quite a few things involved with getting all of us fed and out the door while also getting Bentley fed and in the door.

    Today we had to drive to our park-Hollywood Studios. Since we are staying on site, we are able to arrive at the parks 30 minutes early each day. This 30 minutes really does help out. Of course there are lines, but they are a bit shorter that early. 

    Our first stop today was Rise of the Resistance. The wait time for it was nearly an hour but we shuffled our feet the entire time. Then we jumped on Smuggler's Run, and by this time that parks were getting full and wait times were going up.

    We did manage to do Tower of Terror while some of the Hobbs' littles went to see Lightening McQueen. We then met back up and had lunch. After lunch, we stood to watch the Indiana Jones show-this wasn't ideal, but it did knock it out of the way. Then we rushed to the Frozen show-also not ideal, but it did help add a few more things to our "done" list.

    After this, we did go back to the camper. Well, on the way we stop for some snacks. Robby is giving our kids a snack each day-the girls all didn't have their snacks yesterday so some of them cashed in on some extra today. I believe that the kids have eaten: ice cream, a funnel cake, pretzels, popcorn, and a Starbucks drink all today.

    Back at the camper, Whitman was the only one who mentioned swimming. So after I did some straightening and cleaning, I took him. Reagan also went with me so she could find a spot to do some school work. Robby took Bentley on a long walk whild Anderson took Keaton and Campbell out scavnger hunting. Today they found a Disney cup, some candy, and 2 key chains. (There is a facebook group where people hide things at this campground to find. Some hours there are 15 things lists, and some things are Dollar Tree items while others are super nice. It is the most interesting thing to me.)

    Since the Hobbs were eating out, we had our manicotti tonight. We all headed back to the park around 5:30. Somehow we ended up with a decent parking spot while they did not, but we were able to meet up at the front. 

    Our first stop tonight was Star Tours. This ride used to make Robby a bit motion sick, but it doesn't really anymore-but our buddies might not trust us on rides much longer! I think it made them a bit woozy. We did watch the Muppets show before they had to go to supper so maybe their stomachs calmed down.

    While they were eating supper, we headed to Tower of Terror. We thought the line was going to be short, but it was longer than we expected. Still not bad, but just longer. This time Campbell stayed back with Robby. She has never liked Tower of Terror-not even when she was little. I am not really sure why she went on it this morning. As soon as we buckled in, she started crying and didn't stop until we were off the ride. I think that she was much happier out sitting on a bench with Robby.

    Then we went to Toy Story followed by a new ride for us-Mickey and Minnie's Runaway train. It was really cute, but most of my people still said that they enjoyed Rataouille better. It was a good last rie to end the day on.

    Back at the camper, all of the girls went to the bathhouse while Robby and I walked Bentley. Then we worked on getting lunches ready for in the morning before crawling into bed. Now I did take a little nap at the pool when I was there with Whitman, but I am just a bit tired. However, the extra hour of sleep sure will help a lot tonight.

    November 4, 2022-November Disney Trip

    (click for today's pictures)

    I was pretty surprised this mornign when I stepped out of the camper this morning and it was dark. I knew we were waking up early, but I sure didn't know that we were waking up that early. Robby woke up at 6 and I did around 6:20. By 6:30, I was trying to wake up the kids, but some of them didn't really wake up until 7:20.

    I had made as many things for lunches as I possibly could last night, and had gotten as many things out that I could for breakfast so things could go smoothly this morning. I think that things did go well, but it was still a struggle for us to leave when we did this morning at 7:45.

    We just missed one of the boats, but we didn't have to wake too long, and we were soon headed to Magic Kingdom. Robby and I had stressed a little bit about not buying the Genie Plus (new name for Fastpasses), but we were pleasantly surprised today that we really didn't need it at all. We worked that park today and tonight.

    Our first ride this morning was Buzz Lightyear. The line was super short, so the crew then headed to Space Mountain. I stayed back with Owen, Rylee and Landon since they weren't too sure about riding that one. We rode the People Mover and Buzz again. 

    Once we were all back together we started knocking out rides. We did the cars, Dumbo, Barnstormer, and Little Mermaid. The lines were all pretty good, so we were doing well. But by this time it was nearing lunch time. We ate our packed lunches, but Robby did buy some french fries to supplement our lunches. 

    After our break, it was on to Small World, Philharmagic, and then the Laugh Factory. By this time in the day, it was getting warm and was nearing 2, so we headed out of the park. We rode the boat back to the campground.

    Once there, my cart did a bit of scavenger hunting. It is a bit thing here to hide things and post them on a Facebook group. That was the highlight of the afternoon. Some sights even post when they put out their pin tradin boards. Anderson not only did some pin trading today, but he also found a scavenger hunt prize-a Funko Pop.

    This afternoon I was able to squeeze in a 20 minute nap which was wonderful. Afterwards, Robby and I took the swimmers to the pool. We let them swim for about an hour before heading back to the campsite to get ready for supper. Tonight's supper was breakfast-bacon, sausage, egg in the hole and pancakes. I think that everyone had their fill.

    As soon as we had cleaned up, we put Bentley back in her kennel....oh, that reminds me, the dog walker came today. She will come everyday that we are here except for the last two. We could see her come on the doorbell, and then we get a report card on where they walked and what Bentley did. 

    Tonight we went back to Magic Kingdom for a few more rides: jungle cruise, pirates, splash and thunder. Most of these rides we were able to knock out while all of the park was waiting on the fireworks. Afterwards, the lines got crazy again. And the line for 7 Dwarfs was about an hour long tonight, but it wasn't horrible waiting that long.

    The park was closed since it was after 11 when we finished 7 Dwarfs. We then walked through the castle and down Main Street to catch the boat. Back at the campground, Reagan was the only one who went to the bathhouse tonight. It is almost 1, and we have about 20 more minutes until everyone in this camper is asleep. Tomorrow we leave here at 7-Ha!ha!

    November 3, 2022-November Disney Trip

    (click for today's pictures)

    Thankfully, this morning wasn't as early as the day before. It was around 8 when Robby and I stirred. We had slept with the slides in so it didn't take too long for us to load up and go this morning. Oddly enough, Campbell was already stirring and by the time that we arrived at the campground, Reagan was already awake. 

    We had about a 10 minute drive before getting onto Disney property. It is just a pretty magical place. Then it was on to the Campsites at Fort Wilderness. We stayed here in 2019 before we had a camper so this is really a whole new experience. 

    Our site was ready early, so we made our way to it. The Hobbs camper would soon be right next door. Robby went with Keaton and Anderson to go and pick up the golf carts (one for the Hobbs and one for us). While he was gone, I had the rest of us working getting things ready-we set up chairs, rugs, tents. The kids were great helping.

    Well, one child was not great at helping-Reagan. In her defense she was taking her math test again. She can take it twice so after yesterday's B, she opted to take it again today. She made a 100 percent today so I guess it was fine that she didn't help us.

    Soon Anderson was coming on a golf cart to pick me up. I rode with him to another site to pick up our second golf cart. I chatted with the guy that was leaving-he had been here for a month, had nearly a thousand trick or treaters and was going home to Florida.  

    Robby was back by the time that we returned, and we all went out joy riding on the golf carts. If those things used gas, we would have run the tanks dry today. Soon the dog walker showed up to meet Bentley and took her on a little walk. Bentley enjoyed the walk and even received a report card at the end of her walk. Of course having Bentley out with someone else makes some of my kiddos a little bit nervous.

    While the dog walker was still taking Bentley on a loop, the Hobbs arrived. My kids were super excited to give them a goodie bag full of things. And since their golf cart was already here, we all loaded up and went on another spin. This time we did stop long enough to point out a few sites. 

    The Hobbs unloaded some while we worked on a few things-mainly hanging lights and starting to get ready for supper. Sarah and her kiddos went with us to the pool with Cambpell, Keaton and Whitman. Graham eventually rode his bike there. Robby bought a drink cup so we were able to have some refreshment while the kids enjoyed the water slide. 

    At one point today, I couldn't find Whitman. Now this didn't panic me one bit, because I had not moved and he knew where I was so he couldn't get lost. Plus there are plenty of life guards and really, he can touch in the whole pool. I eventually found him in the hot tub chillaxin. 

    We only stayed at the pool for an hour, and then it was back to the campsite for supper. Robby grilled burgers which were delicious. I think maybe I was just hungry but I thought they were the best burgers ever. After we finished supper, we loaded up with our s'mores supplies and headed out again.

    This time we went to the Chip and Dale Sing Along. Now, you can't get pictures with Chip and Dale anymore, but they were there and we sang along. The show was cute-same as last time, but we all enjoyed it. Plus the kids, of course, enjoyed making s'mores. I think that most everyone had two. 

    After the show, we came back to the campsite for a bit. Some folks might have had showers this time-my memory is getting a little bit fuzzy. There were showers taken tonight by most everyone. Some kids took theirs in the camper, and others walked to the bath house. These bathhouses are nicers than any of my bathrooms in my house. 

    Later in the evening, we all loaded up for another golf cart. This time we were drove around a few loops to look at the decorations. Some people still have Halloween up, others have Thanksgiving and still others have Christmas. And people that have decorated have truly decorated-think Osborne type decorations.

    We stopped at the marina and walked on the sand for a bit. We were able to see the fireworks from Magic Kingdom for a little bit. Whitman saw a horse that he wanted to pet-but couldn't. Instead we took his picture with it. He even said that he would like to ride a horse someday. I suggested that would be a fun Christmas present.

    Then we headed back to the camper. It is almost midnight-and we have clothes in the dryer. Before everyone went to sleep, I had to take lunch orders and breakfast orders. I just hope that I don't forget anything tomorrow. The things not in the fridge are already bagged and ready to go. The things in the fridge are on a list. Plus the dog had to have things ready for the dog walker. A Disney vacation is not for the faint of heart for sure. This is a lot of work-but we are loving it.

    November 2, 2022-November Disney Trip

    (click for today's pictures)

    When we laid down last night, it was almost 2 (eastern), but then Robby had work to do so he stayed up for another hour. I did my best to keep my eyes open until he was finished. Then what seemed like seconds later, he was waking me up to tell me that he was awake and was going to start driving.

    He kept telling me to stay in bed, but by then I was awake-and since it was 6, and he had just had 3 hours of sleep, I felt that he needed some company. So even though I set my alarm for 30 more minutes, I was soon crawling around trying to not wake Bentley and the kids up and moving to the front. 

    I didn't have to worry about waking Bentley up because she saw me leave and crawled on top of Robby's pillows. And I sure didn't have to worry about waking up the kids. I think that everyone slept for the majority of the 5 hour drive today. 

    We drove for about an hour before stopping for gas. It was still almost dark, but I did take Bentley potty. Then she crawled up in my lap, and we both snoozed for about an hour. Now, I hadn't exactly fallen down on my job of keeping Robby awake. I would jerk my head every once in a while, so I was keeping him entertained.

    There were a few more gas stops-one at a Sams that definitely needs to redesign their gas area. We made it beore it got crazy, but by the time we were finished there were cars lined up everywhere. Before too long, we were pulling up to the campground for today (Tropical Palms RV Resort).

    We have stayed at this campground before for a bit. It is a massive place. When we arrived, Reagan sat down to take her math test at a nearby picnic table. Graham and I moved it into the shade for her. Anderson helped unload the car off the dolly and then move the dolly. 

    Robby and I were able to take a walk, but the first thing that we noticed once we were settled was that it is hot here. We figured that so it wasn't really that surprising, but it still take a bit to get used to the much warmer temperature.

    Soon Reagan finished her test and after braiding her hair, we were on the road. Our first stop was the Disney outlet. We bought 2 things-one pair of Disney ears and a shirt for Bentley. Then it was over to Disney Springs to get our annual passes. 

    We thought that things were going smoothly until the lady said that the passed had changed and it would be 200 dollars more. Robby caught that quickly and worked on correcting her, but I caught that it was 200 dollars per person-do the math: that's a lot of money. 

    Thanfully, another worker came by before Robby had an absolute panic attack (actually, he never really had a chance to say anything.) The other worker fixed it without a problem. The name of our passes have been changed, but they were grandfathered in to the new equivalent pass so there would be no extra fee. 

    Then the helper worker lady left, and we no longer felt that things were going smoothly. And we were right. We didn't know until a few hours later, but all of our park reservations were cancelled. Of course Robby saw all of this when we were in line for a ride tonight at Epcot. He was able to get it fixed without any problem at all tonight at guests services, but yikes-that could have been bad if we hadn't discovered that until our first day at the park.

    We walked around Disney Springs for a bit-bought a popcorn bucket and ate our fill. Then we even bought a Dole Whip flight with three different flavors-pineapple, vanilla, and purple cheesecake. That was a fun little treat. 

    From there, we went to the new McDonalds to eat. We had eaten at the old McDonalds, and then we watched them tear it down and start to rebuild it on other trips. So today, we ate there-it is a huge McDonalds, but they are no ChickFilA. My order (we ordered in two different orders) was incredibly slow. 

    After this we drove to Epcot...and it started to sprinkle. This is not what we wanted, but we eventually got out of the car and braved the rain. Our first stop inside the park was the ball-I sure can't remember the name, but it is Whitman's favorite ride. We were stopped on it 3 different times tonight, and I thought for sure that we might get to walk off of it. 

    Then we walked right on Soarin before making our way to a new ride for us-Ratatouille. This ride was really neat. I am glad that we were able to do it-it was kind of like Rise of the Resistance plus a bit like the Soarin ride feeling. 

    Afterwards, the kids and I tried to go to the Frozen ride before the park closed. We didn't make it-we under estimated how much time it takes to walk around the world. This is the time that Robby went to guest relations and they fixed all of our park reservations. 

    Even though we weren't able to ride Frozen tonight, we were able to see some of the fireworks show. That was something new for us-there show has changed. Once we did make it to the car, we didn't have far at all to go to arrive back at the campground.

    The boys moved some drinks around, and then Reagan, Keaton and Anderson went off to take a shower in the bath house. And as soon as they got there, it started pouring. And it rained and rained and rained. They eventualy came back-all pretty wet, but at least they were a clean wet.

    Now that they are all back, I am able to enjoy the rain while in the camper. Robby doesn't enjoy the rain though. The kids don't really care since I just told them that they could get a snack.