March 31, 2023-Happy 10th Birthday (Party) Whitman!

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  • I do believe that this will be a birthday party that we will remember. The day was a bit crazy, but thankfully it wasn't life altering for us.
  • There were chores this morning and some school. A few weeks ago we had waited in vain at Blaze Pizza to eat pizzas for 3 dollars and 14 censt. We weren't able to eat pizza that night, but we were given coupons to come back at another time. Well, like us we waited until the last minute (or day, really) to redeem those coupons.
  • So for lunch, Robby, Graham, Campbell, Keaton, Whitman, and I went to eat our pizzas. That was fun, but we were reminded that we really don't have to go back to Blaze. They were good, but not outstanding. Though I do still have some of mine to eat tomorrow-really, all of us had leftovers. 
  • After eating, we ran to Kroger to pick up some groceries. While Robby was picking up the groceries, I ran in with the girls to pick up a few more things that didn't make our list.
  • Then it was on to Walmart to grab a few more items. While we were there, we saw one lady listening to the weather while walking down the aisles. We laughed and thought that was kind of different.
  • However, a little bit later I was sitting on front of the tv watching the weather after hearing the  tornado sirens start. For some reason, my big boys were outside playing basketball despite the sirens and the rain. Campbell and Keaton also joined them outside for a little bit as well.
  • Once I saw our street and a nearby church on the weather map, I did start to gather the kids and asked them to stay downstairs for a bit. The weather was super calm, and when I did look out the back window we saw some strange looking cloud. Now, there were trees in our way so who knows what we saw.
  • Keaton, Whitman, and Bentley did end up in Robby's office. The big boys, Cambpell and I stood near Robby's office until we decided that the tv weather had moved on from our area. Unfortunately, the weather become worse and damaged quite a bit of Little Rock. 
  • By this time, it was time for me to start working on the food for Whitman's family party tonight. Campbell and Keaton helped ice the cupcakes. Whitman added a few sprinkles. Then I put Whitman to work making cheese dip while Cambpell and Keaton helped me do pretty much everything else.
  • Soon Jason arrived along with Nonna, Pops, Grannymom, and Grandpa. We all had tacos for supper, and after lots of visiting we finally let Whitman open his presents.
  • He was thrilled to open his presents-pajamas, 3 crunch lab boxes, 2 games, candy and even some cash. He was super happy with his gifts, and we even started to play one of his games as soon as we opened it.
  • Soon we went ahead and sang Happy Birthday and ate Whitman's cupcakes. I think that he had a pretty good evening. He already has big plans to play his new games tomorrow. 

March 30, 2023

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  • I went back to sleep this morning after Bentley had woken us both up by barking. I really should have gotten up though because for the rest of the time that I was sleeping, I had crazy dreams about Robby driving us around in the camper. He was running into everything possible. I woke up with my fist clenched and gritting my teeth.
  • Thankfully, my morning did get much better. Everyone seemed to wake up in a fairly good mood. This is also Thursday which is my favorite day. 
  • We started our school work, and as soon as people were finished with school I started pulling out everyone's school for next week. It took a good bit for me to remember that I won't be here for most of it, so I had to redo a good bit becuase school when I am gone has to be able to be done independently and checked
  • Reagan and Graham had their class today. Reagan only has one class on Thursday so she made it home what seemed a little bit after Robby and Graham made it home. They had run to grab a bit to eat and some groceries.
  • Cambpell and Keaton had me take them to Defy this afternoon. While they were there, I had myself a good nap. Also while we were there, Anderson headed to Raymar and put in 4 hours of work this evening.
  • I quickled cooked 5 pounds of taco meat tonight right before we all headed to the first soccer practice. Keaton practiced first with Robby and Whitman also practiced at that time on another field. Campbell's practice was next. I don't think anyone was too impressed with their team. That's okay though.
  • I did ask Whitman how his practice went. He said that he didn't think he was going to get along with his coach. (Now, I walked around the fields tonight, but I also made sure that I observed a good bit of Whit's practice. He seemed to be doing the right thing respectfully.) I ased him why he thought he wouldn't get along with the coach. He told me becuase the coach made the team do push-ups. 
  • I saw this happen-and my boy was just laying on the ground not doing his push ups. I told him that Anderson and Graham were going to help him learn how to do some push ups!

March 29, 2023

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  • I slept in much later than I would have liked to this morning, but we were still finishing our working together time before the clock ticked 9:30.
  • This was a fairly low key day. Years ago, and possibly even last year, my mornings were busy with everyone needing my help right then. Thankfully, things have slowed down a little bit. But today was a day that they all did seem to need something all at once-I kind of like that occasionally.
  • I had been hearing Robby outside occasionally during the morning, so before I went to help for a little bit. I did get my new yard work gloves a little bit dirty which I didn't like. 
  • After a bit, we did ask the kids to come and help us. Robby was glad that she was on her way to work. Robby asked them to work for 20 minutes, but soon it had been an hour. The kids worked super well today. 
  • Anderson and Graham perfered to carry loads of leaves to the bottom and did that over and over. Cambpell and Keaton helped rake and even carried some loads.Whitman did a little bit of both-we are trying to whip him into shape.
  • Everyone worked so well that Robby offered up Sonic drinks and a little bit of cash. What took all of us an hour, would have taken Robby and me a very long time.
  • Afterwards, most folks had showers-Anderson even did a little bit of shaving and got rid of his stach. Graham also has himself a razor to take care of things as well.
  • I had a bit of time to work on Andesron's clothes and the girls' closet. I am eventually going to get things cleaned out around here-hopefully!
  • We all went to church tonight-Reagan had a bit of Kingdom practice. She is a kneeling angel-I'll get more specifics later so we can make sure that we really can see her. 
  • Robby had supper ready for us when we came home. He and I split some butter chicken and chicken masala. It was good, but not nearly as good as our meal at Sanaa at Disney. 
  • So now I am sitting on the couch discussing dessert with Whitman while debating beginning to stuff some of the Easter eggs.

March 28, 2023

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  • I did wake up a few minutes before it was time to start school today which is better than usual. However, I did take my time waking people up and getting ready, that it was already past time to start when we started our school work.
  • Now, when I oepned the boys door this morning, there was Whitman and Graham both sleeping in the floor. I thought about going and getting my phone to take a picture but that was too far away. When I went back to wake them up again, they were both still laying on the floor sound asleep. I know they are all getting big, but I sure did enjoy seeing that.
  • When we did start on school, I went to town reading history. If you remember I have been near finishing it for weeks and possibly months. I do have less than 40 pages left so we are moving quite well through it. It's not like we will finish our reading time any earlier without having to read history, I will just find something else to read.
  • And speaking of finding something to read, I guess I need to take my girls to the library soon. They have both finsihed all of their books that were here. Keaton and Campbell both like to go to the library to touch a book before getting it, while Whitman is content for me to request books for him. The girls will, however, get books online from the library to read which is works as well.
  • Anderson and Graham had their one class today, and Reagan had her 3 classes. As Reagan was coming home, we were heading to Defy with everyone else. She spent some time doing math when she came home. Her college algebra class must have been much more difficult to her than her college trig class is because she rarely is stressing over math this semester. That is all a very good thing.
  • When we came home from Defy, we were there for a bit before leaving again. This time we all headed to church. First Sophia came to the house so she could join Keaton, Campbell, Graham and Reagan to watch the Comm Central talent show. The girls had friends in it so they were glad to get to see it.
  • While they did this, Robby, Anderson, Whitman and I helped a little bit with the Kingdom set. We did get one task that we completed. When you look at the stage, look at the right door way area and know that Anderson and Robby are the ones that put that up there. And probably say a little prayer that it doesn't fall!
  • After we finished our task, we eased on towards the car. The talent show came home a little bit later in the next car laod. After we heard all about things, it was time for some ice cream to cap off the evvening.

    March 27, 2023

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    • The Monday after Sprink Break could have been a sad day. Instead this was a pretty good and busy day. 
    • It is probably odd, but I certainly enjoy the days when the construction workers are working behind the house. Today was definitly one of those days. They had people unloading truck after truck all day long. I think they have delivered everything that they will need to build this house-even doors and windows. It has provided me much entertainment.
    • School went along fairly well this morning. Whitman was a little more distracted than usual, but he managed to finish things by lunch. 
    • I was able to walk Bentley and then come back and do another round of work together with everyone before we left for Defy. The girls really wanted to go early this morning. Anderson was going to go, but since he couldn't convince Graham then he stayed at home. 
    • Reagan had work today, and then went to help a friend with some school work. Anderson went to Raymar and put in a few hours out there. Both of my bigs were busy earning some money today.
    • When we came home, I helped Keaton and Campbell work on their bedroom. We picked everything up under their beds, washed their sheets, and even organized a few things. It didn't take long, but we have lots of things still left to work on in their room.
    • Right befor Anderson got home, I played a short Ticket to Ride with Campbell, Keaton, and Whitman. Thne it was super on your own tonight-I had a big and delicious bowl of salad. 
    • Now, I am waiting on Reagan to get home and will possibly read some of my book. Or maybe not! 

    March 26, 2023

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    • This morning we had to leave for church quite a bit earlier than usual. Keaton was baptized this morning so we had to get there 30 minutes early. 
    • I have missed big church the past 3 weeks (out of town, worship care, and cooking pancakes), but this week since I was up in the baptistry and saw everyone of the choir members pass by including people I haven't spoken to in years, I felt like I had made up for my missing church lately.
    • Tonight began construction for The Kingdom, and then the week after Easter the sanctuary at church will undergo some major remodeling so I guess Keaton was the last person to be baptized in the baptistry before they move it to its new location.
    • After big church, we had Sunday school and even though we had a few less kids, our class is pretty boy heavy so that always makes things eventful.
    • Grannymom had lunch for us today-lasagna which we all like. Last time we ate at my mom's house on a Sunday, she had lasagna. That week that we ate lasagna at my mom's house, was also my week to cook for Sunday night supper. That night I made a new recipe which was very simalar to lasagna. This week was also my night for Sunday night supper so I picked a new recipe. Once we had bought all of the ingredients, I realized it was pretty much what we had cooked before and also similar to lasagna! So next time I do cook for Sunday night supper, I am vowing now to not make any type of pasta/Italian dish.
    • After lunch, we came home and went to work. Graham and Reagan emptied the dishwasher. Then Keaton and Graham cracked 3 dozen eggs while Anderson and Robby moved the griddle to the back patio. Then Robby cooked 4 pounds of sausage and 3 dozen eggs for me. 
    • Next Keaton, Whitman, and Campbell helped me scoop up and wrap 60 or so breakfast burrito packets. It took a while, but since every did help it went much quicker.
    • Soon 3 kiddos headed to Rock Creek, and I finished my nap as Robby watched some football. Then it was time for supper. And all too quickly, the weekend came to a close.

    March 25, 2023

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    • This was a lazy Saturday morning. Bentley wanted everyone to wake up since she must have bseen a squirrel outside. Robby and I were still able to go back to sleep-well, until Bentley walked into our room and acted like she was going to throw up.
    • Listen, I like the dog as much as anyone else. But maybe we should have just had another kid because at least a baby eventually grows up and can take care of themselves-at least some. Though I guess the dog is a little cheaper than the kids. However, you can put the dog in a kennel. Hopefully, Bentley will do better tomorrow morning so I don't have to sell her.
    • I did read a little bit this morning-actually, I read a lot. I told Robby that I would get out of bed after I read a chapter. Well, he took a shower so I just kept reading. I had read about 5 chapters before I finally did get out of bed this morning.
    • Around lunch, Robby and I decided to go to the grocery store, but both big boys asked about going to Defy. I told them that maybe we would skip today, but they both wanted to go. I figured if they wanted to go and sweat for a little bit, then we should take them.
    • So we dropped off Anderson, Graham, Whitman, and Keaton at Defy, and Robby and I did some speed shopping.We ran to Lowes, Walmart, and Sams really quickly. Then picked up the kids, stopped by Sonic, and then took them home. 
    • Robby and I unloaded those groceries and then headed off to Kroger to pick up some more groceries. Nonna and Pops stopped by the house as we were getting home. They wanted to hear about our trip to D.C.
    • When they left, we finished putting away the groceries before heating up supper. We had pitas tonight with a different kind of chicken. Anderson opted not to eat that-he wasn't a fan of the chicken last time so he made his own meal. 
    • After supper, we watched some basketball while on the couhc. Now, it is time to start making sure that people have their showers before bedtime. 

    March 24, 2023

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    • Robby and I both woke up before our alarms went off this morning. I had intended to work in the house first this morning before I moved on to the camper, but the rain looked like it was coming quickly so I did a few things and started on the camper.
    • Usually, when we come in from a trip the kids help unload everything. Since it was late last night, I just asked them to get two loads. So this morning I started with my 3 laundry baskets to fill up. As I filled them up, I also straightened things.
    • I had set my timer for 30 minutes and already had my baskets full and was heading back into the house before my timer went off. So then I did those dishes and laundry. By this time, I had 2 loads of clothes to fold. I again set a timer (I needed some motivation), and I had almost finished within 20 minutes. 
    • Now let's talk about laundry-my poor washer has been washing things all day long. This is normal, and when you think that we were gone for 7 days and only did laundry once-that means that I am behind by 6. Today's laundry included 2 loads of blankets, a load of towels, a load of sheets, a load of jackets, a comforter, and there is a bin full of clothes that I am going to go ahead and wash now instead of tonight.
    • I went back to the camper next to take some more loads of things out. By this time, the kids were starting to stir-well, actually Graham was up and in the shower this morning at 8:30. Robby had already started on cleaning the camper so I joined him. He had done all of the fridge and freezer food while I was working inside.
    • The camper was clean and just now needs to be restocked which I will work on tomorrow once all of the laundry is done. By now it was about 12:30 so I took everyone but Reagan to Defy. Since itw as spring break there were a ton of people there. I read and decided to just stay until the kids were tired-well, we were only able to stay until they called our color. It was over an hour and a half so I think that was plenty of time for everyone.
    • This afternoon I really didn't do anything. I did read a little bit and ended up watching some tv with Campbell for a bit. I think that we are all still on Eastern time since everyone was asking about supper around 4.
    • After the storm had passed, I heated up some chicken and let everyone do what they wanted with it-hard tacos, soft tacos, nachos, and tostados. After eating and cleaning up the kitchen, I have grabbed my book, a few magazines, a blanket and my water and I don't plan on leaving my spot on the couch for a good while! 

    March 23, 2023-Spring Break in D.C.

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    The saddest day of a trip-the day you get home! I wok eup about 10 minutes before Roby's alarm went off this morning. I had to go to the bathroom, but sine we were sleeping in the Walmart, the slides were in. For me to go to the bathroom, I have to crawl over Bentely and Robby so it isn't the easiest and I certainly wake him up. 

    When we had gone to bed last night, Robby said that he wasn't too sure if he was going to wake up early or sleep a bit longer. Well, for those 10 minutes before his alarm went off I was busy praying that he decided to get on up. I wanted to let him sleep as long as he could, but I wasn't going to be able to make it much longer. Thankfully, he did get up when his alarm went off, and I tumbled over him and the dog and was able to go to the bathroom.

    We were on the road in about 10 minutes from when we climbed out of bed this morning. We then drove for at least 3 or so hours before stopping for gas and to let Bentley potty. The next stop was Buccees. It was a little bit less crowded today, but still it was pretty wild.

    Robby got some boudan kolaches for tomorrow's breakfast while Anderson got cashews, Reagan an iced coffee and everyone else chose icees. As pulled out of Buccees, I worked on heating up leftover pizza, making sandwiches and heating a hot pocket for everyone's lunches.

    The rset of the day was filled with drivng and more driving. We were zooming nicely along until we made it almost to Memphis and slowed down for over an hour. I did take that time to make chicken sandwiches for 4 folks in the air fryer and then heat up some leftovers fries in there. For the others I made sandwiches. By the time that I had clenaed up this mess, the road had cleared up, and we were able to concentrate on the Hogs game.

    We know have about 90 minutes left to drive, and by the sound of the game so far, it doesn't look good for the Hogs. 

    It is currently still on and we are currently 90 minutes from home. 

    March 22, 2023-Spring Break in D.C.

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    We left a good bit earlier this morning so we could be at the Museum of the Bible near their opening time. We didn't make it because two factors delayed us. First there was an accident causing a slow down on the interstate. The GPS rerouted us another way, but it took just as long as going through the accident would have. That was fine with me though becuase I love looking around at everything we drive past. The second factor was parking. We have really had no problems finding parking each day, but today we were there too near the early morning so the parking spots weren't changing over. Most parking that we saw in the city was 2 hours so it seemed like some one was always moving their car.

    We eventually did find parking and then found the Museum of the Bible. For us, it was cheaper for Robby to but a family pass so I guess we can come back another time this year. He paid a bit more for a few extra things for us to do there-which made Whitman's trip.

    The first thing that we did was a virtual reality tour of the Holy Land. It was about 10 minutes long, It was really pretty neat. Now, Whitman's headset took longer to work than the rest of ours, so we had all finished and were just standing around watching Whitman enjoy the show.

    The next thing was a ride similar to a very scaleddown Avatar ride from Disney. That was neat, but the museum areas were very impressive as well-and huge. We probably really only saw 2/3rds of it all. At one point, we got in line for a movie. They guy said it was 30 minutes. I looked at Robby to question if we really wanted to do it since we had already spent a lot of time there.

    Thankfully, he had studied up and knew what we were about to do. This movie was really neat-it started off just on a scroll on the way and then the film covered all of the walls that we were in. And before too long, it told us to get up and walk to the next room. As you walked, you walked through different parts of the Bible-like Noah's rainbow or the stones from the 12 tribes. Then we stopped for a bit more of the movie. We did this three different times. Anyway, this told the story of the whole Old Testament. 

    There was a movie about Jesus too, but we were running out of time on our D.C trip. Now, we did make time to stop at the cafe upstairs and grab a few lunches to share. We knew that the kids needed more than just the snacks in the car for the upcoming walk at Arlingtom.

    We arrived in the parking garage at Arlington around 1:30. We knew we had to move, but when security took way too long to get through, we knew we had to really move. And move we did. When we made it to the top of the hill to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Campbell caught up with me and asked, "why are we running?"

    I explained that we had to make it by 2 or we would have to wait another hour. We were able to make it though with about 2 minutes to spare to see the changing of the guard. That is always a neat ceremony. 

    After we had caught our breath, we mosied on over to see Kennedy's gravesite. From there, we had to fight some major traffic back to the campground. Once we made it back, the kids all got on their bikes, and I took Bentley to take her picture.

    I am not sure what, but something has just clicked with Whitman. He really enjoys riding his bike now. Of course, none of us will let him go anywhere by himself since he has a tendancy to get lost/left. He liked riding, but of course his bike is just a little bit too small for him. I am afraid though that the next bigger bike will be too big.

    Robby had to do some work, but soon he, the girls and I were back in the car to go to a little store called LIDL. We have been to one before, and it is similar to Aldi. We found a few fun things-pretzles and chocolate croissants from the bakery, frozen butter chicken and chicken masala (Indian food that Robby and I ate in Disney that I can't get out of my mind) and some spinach/cheese thing that we cooked for part of supper. (It was okay, but spinachy-I have acually stored it in the oven while driving, so I can't forget to move it tonight or I will never think of it again-or at least until I start to smell it.)

    Robby did pick up supper on the way home from the store. We ate, and then we started to load up. The plan was to leave tomorrow morning early. However, we decided that we might as well get a few hours behind us tonight. We plan to stop and watch the Hogs play tomorrow so that will take some time from our travel day tomorrow. We currently have about 45 minutes left until we stop for the night this evening. 

    March 21, 2023-Spring Break in D.C.

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    Another good night with us waking up and having some down time this morning before it was time to leave. Today we headed first to the National Archives. We did circle a few times trying to find a parking spot, but eventually found a decent one right in front of the archives.

    There we saw all of the documents and even walked around a few other exhibits including one about spots. I am always impressed with the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. 

    After seeing the archives, we went right back to the car for a snack. Then we walked all the way down the center of the National Mall towards the capitol building. It was about a mile and we did remember why they call it capitol hill. We did end up walking up the hill!

    Our first stop on the other side of the capitol was the Library of Congress. I don't think that I have ever been inside of it. It was my most favorite stop. That building is insanely beautiful. I really wanted to be able to go into the reading room and just sit and read in that massive gorgeous library. Keaton took quite a few picture of the architecture for me.

    We then saw the Supreme Court building before going to meet our tour for the Capitol. We had assumed, wrongly, that we would meet the man from Senetor Cotton's office, and he would take us to join a regular tour of the capitol. 

    That was not the case. We went inside one of the senate buildings and found Cotton's office. There we met some staffers, and the one who showed us around the capitol. The other folks who were supposed to be on the tour with us did not come, so it was just the Dennies.

    When Robby went to DC when he was little, he vividly remembers riding on the tram between the Senate offices and the capitol building. I though that he was about to jump for joy today when we walked up to it to ride. That was really neat.

    Then we started touring the capitol. Our guide lives in DC right near the capitol and shared a one bedroom apartment with 2 other guys and pays double what we pay for our house each month. He also has a car that he parks in Virginia and gets each weekend so he can deliver food for extra income. He also tutors German as well. This was all super interesting to me.

    Back to the capitol tour. We saw the old supreme court chambers as well as the dome area. Robby had to move the car and peeled off from our tour. He knew he was going to have to do this, but he was fine with it. We also saw the old senate chambers and lots of other areas. I found the plaque dedicated to Flight 93 very interesting. 

    By having our personal tour guide we were able to see a few different things than the other tours. It was all great, and I know that the kids will remember it. After the tour, we met Robby-and good thing he went to move the car. Once he got to the car, he just sat in it for a few minutes. And at 4, they sure did start towing them from that area. 

    We then found the traffic and headed to the IKEA which is right on our exit. We walked right to the dining area and bought ourselves some Sweedish meatballs. Everyone got their fill, and Robby took everyone home but Keaton, Campbell and me. 

    The three of us walked leisurely through the store. I don't really know when I have walked through Ikea and not been rushed. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything much that we needed today. I did buy two bags and 2 oven mits. 

    Robby came back and joined us through our last little bit. We even stopped for get pretzels for the girls and cinnamon rolls for Robby and me. We then came back to the campground. Keaton, Campbell and Whitman rode their bikes to the playground. Anderson joined them later. Robby and I walked around this whole place before we all made it back to the camper.

    Some of us played Uno tonight and most of us had some cookie dough after the game. Tomorrow is our last full day so there are quite a few things still on the list for us to do.

    March 20, 2023-Spring Break in D.C.

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    We slept well last night and woke up in plenty of time for us to leave around 10:30. We wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to figure out parking. Robby had a back up plan just in case we weren't able to find anything.

    Thankfully, we were able to find perfect parking this morning for 2 hours. Since we found parking so well, we were able to hike the mile to the White House to see it. We walked around and marveled at how close you used to be able to get to the White House and now how far away they keep you.

    Our next stop was the White House Visitor's Center. We could have stayed there longer, but we didn't have too much time. However, it was a great bathroom spot for us.

    We then hussled the mile back to the Holocaust Museum. We had timed tickets, but oh my goodness. When we got off the elevator in the musem, there was no where to walk. It was wall to wall people. It made us a little bit claustrophobic. I am not sure why they have timed tickets at all. 

    The museum was still a must see. We could have stayed a little bit longer if we were able to see things better and not fight the crowds. By the time that we made it to the end of the museum, Robby's parking was up so he headed out to get the car while we finished a few more things.

    The last exhibit we went into just on a whim, but it was the best one. It was the story of one boy who lived through the Holocaust. It had his little diary and was very child friendly. It was actually my favorite-part of that was because there were not many crowds in there too. I think that Whitman and Keaton probably enjoyed this the most because it was all on their level. Maybe that is why I enjoyed it so much as well.

    We then walked down the street a little bit and met up with Robby. He drove us to Ben's Chili Bowl where we had a great lunch. We ended up in a backroom since there were quite a few of us. There was a group of young men there with the son of the owner. He told that group all about the restaurant so of course we easvesdropped and listened too.

    The man then came and chatted with us. He even played a video for us about the restaurant. It was very neat. We had a table full of goodies to eat-quite a few cheeseburgers were ordered, Reagan had chicken strips while the other girls had chicken sandwiches. Robby had a chili burger and I had a chili dog. Plus we ordered some extra fries and an order of chili fries. Oh, yes there was a few shakes (chocolate, vanilla, and oreo).

    We then went back to the Air and Space Museum and waited in a line with a thousand of our closest friends. Thankfully, the line went quick, and we were soon inside. They are doing construction on over half of the museum so we just hit the highlights.

    Whitman is our museum guy. I asked him if he could stay at a museum all day long, and he told me that he could stay at interactive museums all day long. He wants to see everything and do everything that you can touch. Not everyone else around here likes museums that much!

    It was almost 5 when we left, so we had to fight the traffic to get back to our campground. When we did though, we didn't stay in the camper long because we were soon headed to the front to play 18 holes of putt putt.

    The big winner was Anderson followed by Campbell today. Reagan stayed back with Bentley, but then they joined us at the very end. We then walked/biked back to the camper. Robby gathered the laundry and went to do it and some work while I started on supper.

    I made air fryer pizza after air fryer pizza for everyone to eat. Reagan and I had leftover pasta. While eating, Keaton turned on the SuperNanny, and I thought about writing down some pointers. 

    Currently, Robby is still with the clothes and Anderson is taking his shower in the bathhouses. I am about to work on finishing my book but possibly I might curl up in the bed for a little bit. 

    March 19, 2023-Spring Break in D.C.

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    When we went to sleep last night, our plan was to kind of leave around 8ish, but we knew there was no hurry since check in wasn't until noon. In fact though we didn't leave at 8, it was most like 10 when we started getting up.

    Anderson and Graham asked if we were trying to wake them up this morning. Usually, on early mornings we try to sneak out and get in the front. This morning, Robby pulled out the toaster to toast my bagel while microwaving his sausage biscuit. I put my shoes on and then stood eating my bagel as Robby drove us to the nearby gas station. When they later asked us this, Robby did remind them that it was after 10.

    The drive this morning was without incident-the tv did not fall on Anderson again. We had about 3 and a half hours to drive today. We hit traffic near the campground, but soon found our way to Cherry Hill Campground in College Park, Maryland.

    This campground is so neat. It just makes me think of what a campground in Virginia should be like-not that I have stayed in a campground in Virginia (that I remember right now). It is pretty big-at least 2 playgrounds and an 18 hole mini golf course that is on the plans for sometime soon. There is even an event center where we saw a bride about to get married tonight on our way back to the camper.

    We made it to the campground and started to unload and set up. We have a pull through site which would have made things easier, but we missed the turn and had to come in at an odd angle. Robby fixed that all though with one more loop, and then we went to work taking off the car.

    And it didn't start! Ugh. Thankfully, Robby was quickly able to jump it with his handy dandy jumper thing. Once the car was off, I moved it and left it running while Robby hooked up the camper. I went to work on the inside-making beds and sweeping.

    Once everything was settled there, I made sandwichies for lunch while Graham had his shower. We ate while Robby showered, and then all went on a walk. We have the bikes so everyone except Graham and Reagan rode their bikes. This is the thing about camping-if I asked at home, "who wants to go on a walk?" No one would go with me.

    When I asked today, everyone went. Well, I didn't give Whitman a choice though. Robby caught up with us, and we walked the half mile or maybe even a bit less to the front of the campground. The kids played on the playgrounds some, and we explored the mini golf.

    We watched a bit of one basketball game-the tv is always on around here with the kids comparing their brackets constantly. We then loaded up with plans to see 3 different things today-Iowa Jima, Roosevelt and Jefferson.

    We stopped at the Iowa Jima which is actually a momument honoring the Marine Corps. We took a few pictures and went to the other side of the Potamic to park. 

    We had to find the traffic a little bit to get there, but Robby was able to whip us into a parallel parking spot. When we did get out of the car there, we told the kids that we were just seeing those two more things. The temperature was in the low 40s with a pretty good breeze so we were moving pretty quickly.  

    Since we were right nearby, we walked right through the Cherry Blossom Festival. We really had no idea that we would be here during the cherry blossoms. 

    I feel a little bit like we hit the firefly lottery. Remember last year when we arrived at the Great Smokey Mountains right before the firefly lottery happened, but the fireflies were still out in full force. Well, these Cherry Blossoms were just as unexpected to us. This is something that I have always heard about but never thought we would see.

    After that we walked to the Martin Luther King Monument followed by the Roosevelt Memorial. Then we started our walk around the Tidal Basin under the blooming cherry trees. That was so neat to see. About half way around, we made it to the Jefferson Monument. 

    From there, we headed on towards the Washington Monument. We walked by it, and we really debated walking on to the White House. However, that was still a bit in the chilly weather, and we were trying to beat the sunset since we knew that it would get a lot colder (I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, light jackets, flannel shirt, and tshirt and I really would have liked a knit hat and gloves like Robby was wearing.)

    We will see the White House tomorrow or another day. It is supposed to be 10 degrees warmer each day that we are here for the next few days. The next stop was the World War 2 Memorial. Then we made it to the reflecting pool didn't have any water in it-I have read that they possibly are cleaning it. Since we have never seen the reflecting pool empty, we walked in it like everyone else was doing. 

    Then we hustled on over to the Vietnam War Memorial and Lincoln Monument. After Lincoln, it was just a quick walk to the Korean War Memorial. Then back to the car. My watch said that I have walked 7 miles today so at least 6 of those were this afternoon in D.C. So yes, instead of just taking the kids to 3 stops we made it to 9 different sights today. 

    We were all glad to sit down in the car and warm up on the drive back to the campground. Robby and I made fried rice (microwave) and orange chicken (air fryer) for supper. Then folks started taking showers. I think that Keaton is the last one, and then I might have a shower. 

    The camper was freezing when we came home tonight, but I have since been pulling off layers right and left since it is warming up with the heater now on along with 2 space heaters. The tv is with basketball playing and everyone just had a Little Debbie for the snack. Another pretty perfect day.

    March 18, 2023-Spring Break in D.C.

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    It was certainly nice not having to leave super early in the morning. However, it is now after midnight (eastern time), and we are thinking that we probably should have left super early this morning. We have had a good day so really we have no complaints.

    Robby and I both woke up around 7:30, and sometime around 8 I think that we were on the road. Last night by the time that we went to sleep there were 3 other campers in the parking lot with us. Tonight there are at least 5 other campers right now.

    We drove until Buccees this morning without stopping. Since today was Saturday Robby didn't have to think about work so that made him more relaxed. Mostly the kids just slept as we drove the 4ish or so hours until Buccees.

    Well, there was that one incident-Anderson put his head up there to where we were and told me that the tv just fell on his head. Thankfully, the tv was just right above his head so it more like tipped over onto his head. And thankfully, he didn't seem to bothered by it-I did check on him every so often afterwards to make sure he was fine. 

    Robby said that he didn't probably put the tv all the way back on the bracket last night, and all of the bumping down the road caused it to bounce on off. I was almost certain that the tv would have a head shaped crack on it when we turned it on, but it was still working just fine which was a good thing since there has been a lot of basketball watching today.

    At Buccees everything was absolutely crazy-parking was crazy, getting gas was crazy, and inside was crazy. Reagan and I were able to walk right into the bathrooms but by the time that we left, there was a long line.

    We did get a few snacks there-most people got bbq or chicken sandwiches. Reagan and I split some huge burrito. I think that all of the kids except for Anderson did get icees. Keaton and Whitman opted for sandwiches back in the camper. Even with our purchases it still was a needed stop to stretch our legs for a little bit.

    We soon were back in the camper and sat down to eat before driving. I think that we did stop at some point for gas along with way. Our next stop was Bristol, Virginia which is right near the state line. The reason for the stop-the Hogs game. 

    It is also the birthplace of country music, and during halftime we walked around a little bit stopping by the museum for a picture. Then we walked another few blocks to the bakery, Blackbird Bakery, that we had seen while driving in. We figured that it would be closed, but we were happy to see a huge line in side. I jumped in the line while we figutred out what we were going to do.

    Anderson and Whitman stayed back at the camper, and Graham and Reagan stayed outside with Bentley. Graham saw that we were in the line so he decided to walk back to the camper. Reagan went with him to drop off Bentley so she had Keaton go with her to walk back with her. They made it back about the time that we reached the front of the line.

    Of course we did pick up a few things-a chocolate cake, a brownie tower, 3 cookies and 6 dougnuts. We do nothing small around here. So we ate our goodies while we watched the second half of the Hogs game. It was a nailbitter, and I am sure that if there were people walking near this camper they may have thought that someone was in trouble inside because there was a lot of yelling. Thankfully, the Hogs pulled off a victory, and we hit the road again.

    We had one gas stop tonight, or really possibly two. I am not sure. Just one I think now, but after it I did start making supper. Robby said that this was one of his favorite meals. We have bought some greek chicken on sale so I heated that up and put it in pita bread with some mozerella cheese. Robby had me add some ranch dressing to his. Plus there were some roasted potatoes that I heated up. I think that the meal was a hit with not just Robby but everyone else as well.

    We found our spot tonight. It took a bit to get settled, but we soon were all almost in our beds. Robby is in the bathroom now, and I'm next. Just imagine how long it takes 8 people to change clothes, go to the bathroom and brush their teeth. Plus 4 of the kids beds have to be made every single night. It does take a little bit of time, but this camping is sure my favorite.

    March 17, 2023-Spring Break in D.C.

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    Even though this was the start of a trip, our morning and afternoon was pretty much the same as a usual Friday. Robby and I were the first ones awake. I went to town on the laundry and dishes before starting on getting school ready for the week after Spring Break.

    I did make a lot of trips back and forth to the camper this morning and early afternoon. I was certainly glad that the rain had stopped from last night. Robby checked, and the rain did come gushing through his shed. It often does this, but this time it did get to the other side of the shed where water usually doesn't get to. Thankfully though everything is up high so it isn't a big problem.

    I worked with Whitman and read to him, Campbell and Keaton. Keaton gave Bentley a bath after I had taken her on a walk. I did try to walk on the treadmill for a little bit-only was able to do a mile and a half before it was time to leave to take the kids to Defy for a little bit of jumping before we left.

    It was super crowded at Defy today with field trips, but thankfully they left after a little bit so the kids were able to have the place more to themselves. Some days they really do have it all to themselves with hardly 2 or 3 other people there. Today was a bit more crowded, but the boys like a crowd so they can play basketball.

    When we came home, there were showers for most people including me. I made supper to take with us and loaded the last few things. We had planned on leaving at 4, but we weren't in a huge hurry so we scooted on out at 4:30.

    The traffic getting out of Little Rock was pretty thick, but after that we didn't really slow down at all except maybe a bit in Memphis. We just drove to Jackson, Tennessee tonight to sleep. We filled up with gas and then had supper. 

    For supper, I had made a tiktok recipe that Robby had seen. Basically it was just pasta, red sauce and a container of whipped cream cheese. It made the sauce delicious. Now, I was able to keep in warm in a carrying case, plus we did heat it up some in the microwave, but since we didn't eat it right away, the pasta kind of soaked up the sauce.

    The meal was still a winner plus when we added the bread that we buy just for trips, everyone was pleased. After eating, we did run into Walmart for a few minutes. We grabbed some more cookies-it seemed that almost a whole cookie pacakage was eaten on the drive here so I wanted to replenish some and have some extras.

    While we were in the store, we also decided to buy a few more things so the kids could try out another tiktok recipe. The thing that we have seen is using a fruit roll up and filling it with ice cream. Reagan made one for her, Whitman and Graham who were the only ones willing to try it. The rest of us just opted for ice cream as our evening snack.

    Now, beds are made and people are getting ready to quiten down for the night. 

    March 16, 2023

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    • Until just right now I had forgotten that today was Thursday. It has been a good day, but I think I need to figure out what to do so I can get a little more Thursday-ness into this day.
    • Our work together time has moved from 8:30 until more like 8:50. That is fine since our pile of books that we read each morning is a little bit less. I try each day to finish before 9:30, and this morning I stopped reading at 8:27. And Whitman begged me to keep reading-so I of course I did.
    • Campbell, Keaton and Whitamn finished their school work for the week. I took Graham to school today and ran an errand and then waited on his class to be finished. While I was gone, Campbell did have to help Whitman with his math.
    • Once at home, Whitman and I did some spelling and then I worked with everyone else. I had a few more minutes at home before it was time for me to leave again. This time with Anderson. I took him to Raymar so he could do a little bit of work, and since I was having to go to Benton for the pregnancy center, we just took the same car. 
    • It was crazy storming as we drove home. Everyone else was already in the living room gathered around the tv to watch the Hogs basketball when we came in. Of course we joined them. 
    • Reagan wasn't home for long though becuase she left for her Dgroup. They have been meeting over a year and finished the complete book-I couldn't be more impressed with their dedication. Her leader is a young lady finishing med school who is probably quite busy, but she has faithfully had these girls over each week.
    • Supper tonight was chicken sandwiches for the girls and hamburgers for the girls. We did open up our new air fryer. We bought it months ago, but have just now gotten to opening it up and using it. Thankfully, it is just as easy to use as the one that has the broken handle that we continue to use.
    • Robby and I worked on loading up the camper this evening. I think that most things are ready to go, and we only have a few things left to put in the camper. 

    March 15, 2023

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    • This morning certainly didn't feel like a Wednesday, but by this evening it sure does. The morning started the same as usual. Our school routine has been going fairly well lately. Of course this always happened about at the end of the school year.
    • I'm still plugging along on our history. I know more about Blaise Pascal then most people would thing possible. Actually, I have forgotten what I read this morning already. And to tell you the truth, I am sure that the kids have forgotten as well.
    • Today was a big day for Anderson. To take his math class next year which will earn him college credit, he has to make a 249 on the accuplacer math section since he didn't score high enough on the act.
    • He will have to take the reading portion later, but we just concentrated on the math lately. I took him to Pulaski Tech to take his test today. He was nervous-I can always tell when he is because he will go to the bathroom.
    • The test is untimed and there were only 20 questions (I wasn't sure). When Reagan did it the last time, the math section took her two tries. But I could tell when Anderson walked out that he had gotten the score that he needed. He earned well over the score needed so that was great.
    • Once at home, I worked in the camper for a little bit and even found some time to read. Robby and I discussed our menu for next week and made the grocery list.
    • I took the early group to the library and to church, and Robby, Whitman and Reagan came later when she finished up work for the day. We did the Wednesday night church thing. 
    • Robby did leave early to go and pick up the groceries and even picked up some supper for us. He is about to be home so we will unload and dive in to the Chinese food.

    March 14, 2023

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    • Today Anderson, Graham and Reagan went to school for their classes. That is all going well-kind of. Graham gets to disect a fish on Thursday so he is certainly ok with that. Reagan is doing great in her math and english classes. Anderson and Reagan's class that they take together is not outstanding to say the least. 
    • The boys made it home before Reagan and both went to work on their school work. I walked Bentley and then worked with Anderson, Whitman and read with the little 3. Then Campbell, Keaton, Whitman and I hurried off to Defy.
    • They enjoyed jumping today-well, I am not too sure if Whitman did. He did a lot of just wandering around. However, it is probably better for him to wander around at Defy than to just sit on the couch.
    • When we made it home, Graham drove me to Nonna and Pops' house to drop off a few things and pick up a few things. We stayed and visited for a bit while Graham ate a box of cookies. Graham wanted to drive back, but I told him that it was a little to close to 5 with too much traffic for him to drive home. 
    • Whitman helped me load a few things in the camper this afternoon. Robby then came in with groceries that we unloaded. After a bit, we all left the house around 5:50 to eat at Blaze pizza for pi day. The pizzas were only 3.14. It seemed to have been a good deal....
    • Except the line! Oh, the line! It was so incredibly long! We waited for over an hour. It was entertaining for sure. There were lots of people to look at and we had all mentally built our pizzas. Then they started offering cards to return to get a pizza for the same price if you left the line. It would have been close to 9 when we made it to the counter, so we opted for the cards.
    • But we still needed something to eat. Reagan ran into the Three Fold to buy herself and me supper. (She got a noodle bowl that looked better than my dumplings). Then we drove through ChickFilA for sandwiches for Keaton and Campbell. 
    • Robby and all of the boys still opted for pizza so we picked up Papa Johns for them. When all went to town eating when we came home. Reagan took her supper to eat with Annie. As soon as we were done, I had myself a cookie and tried to find another dessert to eat! Our supper took so long to find that I think that we were all starving when we finally ate!

    March 13, 2023

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    • I follow a person that wears black every Monday to mourn that it is a Monday. I've thought about that, but usually our Mondays are not that bad. Today was a pretty great day in fact. I really enjoy a schedule, and it is always good to get back to one each Monday.
    • Of course I could probably wake up a little bit earlier to start our Monday schedule a little bit earlier. After waking everyone up, Keaton was the first one to get up. I had to go back upstairs to wake up Cambpell and Whitman. And I believe that I even had to go up there one more time to wake up Graham. 
    • We did our morning reading and then I started to work with everyone else. Anderson is taking his accuplacer math test on Wednesday so we are working hard on that. Actually, this time we are just really going in to see what his score is going to be. I'm not going to stress too much about what he makes this time since we have some time to work on it. (But I'm still hoping that this test is a success.)
    • Whitman knocked out quite a bit of his school work today. Sometimes he is pretty focused and other times not so much. I can, however, see that his focus has improved this past year-or maybe my patience has improved!
    • I walked Bentley at lunch time before coming back in to spell with Whitman and read with Campbell, Keaton and Whitman. While I was out with Bentley though, Cambpell and Keaton made chocolate chip scones. Scones and bagels are my favorite breakfast food-along with eggs benedict!
    • I worked in the camper some getting things ready. Then we eventually headed to Defy for a little bit of jumping. When we came home, Reagan, who had just gotten back from work, had turned on the oven for us. 
    • While supper was baking, I walked on the treadmill. When supper was over, some of the kids had showers while I cuddled up on the couch to read and watch some tv.

    March 12, 2023

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    • This was a little bit different Sunday morning-it was time change morning which didn't really affect anyone. Now, I did wake up at 4 this morning for some reason and was awake for quite a while. 
    • Sometimes when I am awake in the middle of the night, I get a little bit panicky thinking that I need to fall asleep quickly. I wasn't like that this morning and was content to just lay there.
    • At church this morning, Campbell's grade had worship care. Of course she was super happy about that. I think that she would be happy to have worship care every week.
    • Meanwhile, I started cutting strawberries just as church began and finished a little bit after the sermon started. Robby showed up to the kitchen at that time, and he started making pancakes. It was us and about 8 other people, and it took all of us to cut strawberries, bananas, and make about 500 pancakes. It was a different way to spend a Sunday morning for sure.
    • After church, we headed to Grannymom's house for lunch. She had BBQ which we have not had in a long time plus it was delicious. After eating, we visited for a while before heading home.
    • When we made it home, the laundry was folded, two batches of peanut butter cookies were made and groceries were delivered. Most of the kids helped all of this to happen. Because it didn't take too long before everything was put away and the tv was turned on.
    • Later this afternoon, Cambpell headed to Rock Creek for church tonight while Reagan, Anderson and Graham headed to their life group in Bryant. Keaton, Whitman and I played The Oregon Trail game while Robby walked on the treadmill. 
    • We had chicken fried rice for supper at the Wilson's house. It was also delicious. After eating, the kids played cards for a bit while the grownups chatted. We stayed long enough that we were only able to wtach one tv show before it was time to send the kids to bed tonight.

    March 11, 2023

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    • Around 11 last night, Robby realized that he needed to walk on the treadmill for about 10 minutes to keep his streak going, so that is what he did as everyone else in the house went to bed. And thne this morning, that was the first thing that he did.
    • I left with Anderson and Campbell around 11 this morning. I had an Academy coupon and since Anderson needed a new pair of tennis shoes we headed that way. Big boy shoes are not cheap! I used my coupon and had a handful of gift cards to use.
    • Then we went over to Dollar Tree so I could finally buy a few more things for my Christmas child shoeboxes. Then much to Anderson's disappointment, Robby offered to meet us at Kroger to get gas.
    • He brought the suburban and filled it and the van with gas. Then we headed to Costco where we bougth chocolate chips, chicken patties and salsa along with two pizzas for Anderson and Campbell to take home. He drove home with everyone's late lunch,
    • Then Robby and I went to Bath and Body for me to use my coupon followed by On the Border since he had a coupon expiring. I am a cheap date since our meal just cost 13 dollars and he paid with a gift card.
    • After eating, we went to Trader Joes where we bought orange chicken, everything but bagel seasoning and some peanut butter cups since we needed a reward for having to go to Sams next. Sams was the craziest store of them all so far, but we were able to buy a few more things before coming home.
    • At home, I worked for a while putting everything up. Then I somehow managed to make it to the couch before falling sound asleep. There has been basketball playing in the living room all afternoon long which has attracted the kids to stop and watch for a bit.
    • Anderson and Graham did play some of their own basketball outside today. Of course this also included airing up a basketball until it poppped-thankfully this was on purpose and they picked an old basketball. I don't understand boys sometime, but at least they were doing something together and outside.
    • Robby is trying to figure out where we may go during Spring break-he is looking for some place warm while Keaton has been in the ktichen making chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate dipped pretzels. 
    • Next up around here is some tv watching, and I am sure some snacking!

    March 10, 2023

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    • There wasn't a whole lot happening here today for sure. Anderson and Graham had school work to do. In fact, Anderson still has some math to do for me this weekend. And whne I was working on Campbell's school for next week, I saw that she also had one little thing to do for me today.
    • That didn't take her anytime at all to do. I soon did spelling with Whitman. He asked if we were going to do it every day, and to which I replied every single day. He then questioned me if we were going to do it on Sundays too.
    • Pretty early in the morning, I took Bentley on a walk, and then right after lunch I walked on the treadmill. I was marking things off of my list quickly today.
    • Keaton, Campbell, Whitman and I played a game this afternoon. It didn't take too long-we have been on quite the game playing streak lately.
    • Reagan went to work today, and as soon as she came home she turned around to go to church for Girls Game Night. Campbell was signed up to go to, but she had a birthday party that came up. She has been bowling tonight and to eat pizza with her friends.
    • When I dropped Campbell to meet her party people, Robby took the others to Defy. They were able to jump for a little bit-well, the big boys played basketball the whole time and were sweaty messes when we finally left to run by Sonic.
    • We made it home just before the Hogs started playing. I made homemade sloppy joes-we used to have manwhich occasionally, but the kids were never a fan of it. Now, we haven't had those now in years-probably 8-10. 
    • They were good-Robby and I really liked them. However, the others-not so much. I think it might be an age thing since the big boys ate theirs. Keaton and Whitman only ate about half or even less of theirs. 
    • I picked up Campbell from her party. She had lots of fun bowling and eating pizza. Reagan also came in from her party and had fun as well. 
    • And before bed we headed to the Wilson's house to celebrate Brett's birthday. Shannon had made oreo delight which was delicious and put my over my calorie count for the day!

    March 9, 2023

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    • Thursdays are still my favorite day despite the rain that we had today. I knew that it was dark this morning when we were getting up, but somehow I had missed that it was going to be raining today and was surprised to see the rain.
    • We did our together work-and I know that I was talking big about finishing science a few weeks ago. We have finished all of the reading part, but I am still going through trying to finish all of the experiments. Usually, I would just skip them, but Whitman loves them so I can't skip anything. Thankfully, I just have about 4 left to do.
    • I'm also getting super close to finishing history. And when I say close, I mean there are about 100 pages left. I need to read 6 pages a day so I am trying my best to read at least 7 each day. It is a lot of reading, but there is a big possibility that I will be finished with it by the end of the month. Plus there is another book that we are about to finish that we have been working on all year. However, I did just get 3 more from the library to add to our daily reading pile yesterday.
    • Reagan and Graham had classes today. She usually takes Graham to school and goes to study hall, but Robby was headed that way today so Reagan was able to go a bit later which I think she enjoyed-since she spent the extra time sleeping.
    • Keaton made pretzels from her cookbook today. We are trying to make most of the recipes from their book. Most folks thought that they were pretty good, but I thought they were a bit salty. Not sure if that it was the dough or the salt on top.
    • We made a trip to Defy this afternoon. I spent the time sipping on my hot chocolate and reading my book. Now the last few minutes I did close my eyes for a little bit. It was fine though since I was looking at my book and to others it just looked like I was reading. 
    • Back at home, I walked on the treadmill while Reagan headed to her Dgroup for a little bit. Then Robby and I made waffles and sausage for our supper tonight. I think that I could have waffles once a week-I even froze a few of the leftovers so we can try to reheat them in the toaster.
    • Currently, most people are watching the Hogs play basketball. Of course this reminds all of us of 2020 when the boys, Campbell, Keaton, and Robby went to the SEC championship right before the whole nation shut down. 
    • I think that after this game, it might just be ice cream time!

    March 8, 2023

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    • It was such a perfect rainy day this morning that I sure didn't want to get up. I sure do enjoy laying in the bed on rainy days, but since school does come first I had to wake up the crew.
    • Anderson and Whitman were the ones that were already kind of awake. It is always nice when there are a few folks that I don't have to work incredibly hard to wake up. The girls are tough to wake up every day.
    • We did all of our work together, and then they started on their other work. Graham didn't feel the greatest this morning-I think he was just a bit sunburned and exhausted from yesterday. I am not sure how that made his stomach and head hurt. I had him take a nap, and then some meds, and he seemed better.
    • I couldn't get any Defy takers this afternoon, so I just stayed busy around here. It is nice to be around here in the afternoons and not at Defy some. I was able to get a lot done-and would have been able to get more done if I hadn't had a power nap.
    • I took Graham to church early for his Dgroup. Then it was on to the library for me, and I even stopped at Sonic so Keaton could spend one of her gift cards. 
    • At church tonight, Graham won a picture of a tiger. Yep, it is what you might find at the Goodwill or a garage sale. Currently, it is hanging in the boys' room, but it will eventually find itself back at the Goodwill!
    • Once at home, people all had supper and some had their second supper. They had burgers at church for the big kids tonight. It was nearly 9 by the time that everyone ate and the kitchen was clean. 
    • We have been having some super late nights around here, so maybe tonight will be an early night-probably not!

    March 7, 2023

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    • We started school at just about the perfect time this morning. Graham, Anderson and Reagan weren't around too long when they had to leave for Comm Central. 
    • I know that Graham managed to get some things done this morning, but I am not too sure about those other two. Everyone that was left here was finished with their school work by 11-well, except for Whitman.
    • He did get a bit frustrated today when he saw that he still had quite a few things to do. I told him that he would still by finished by noon, and indeed he was. 
    • The boys came home from school and started on their lunch-one was making eggs and the other had a bagel. They were both in the kitchen working-I did remind them that breakfast was over though. We never really seem to eat lunch things for lunch around here. I know that Campbell had Sunday night leftovers, but I'm not sure what Keaton and Whitman ate. I do know that it was a sandwich-which was good enough for Robby and I when we were growing up.
    • After I took my walk, I read again with Keaton, Campell and Whitman. A few minutes after we finihsed, it was time for most everyone here to leave again.
    • Soccer tryouts were held again today. Anderson. who is getting real money now, left with Graham and Campbell, who were earning a little bit of money for camps. Keaton also decided that she wanted to go because who wants to miss a party. When Reagan finished up with her class at 2:20 she headed that way to help out as well.
    • That left Whitman at home alone for a very long time today. He helped me go through all of his clothes. We don't really have to switch out to summer and winter clothes like we used to. But I do try to go through everyone's clothes twice a year to weed some things out. I also go through the bins to make sure that we don't miss any clothes either.
    • He was great help, but I when I would ask if there was anything that he didn't want, I think that he didn't want to tell me in case he would offend me. I was still able to weed out two bags of clothes of Whitman's to take to a friend.
    • Robby and I worked on the camper a little bit this afternoon. We had left it a mess when we came back from our December trip. Not really a mess-it was clean, but everything that had been washed, I just threw on the bed instead of putting it up where it belonged. He also made sure that all of the things were working-hot water heater, heat, air-all of those important things.
    • Whitman and I did make another recipe from his cookbook. Today we made brownies since I figured that he needed something to do since no one else was home. 
    • The kids stayed and worked until after 6. On the way home, Reagan and her car picked up pizza. We all devoured that as soon as they came home. Everyone was pretty chatty about what all they did this evening so we visited for a while before the kids ran off-most to take showers, but Graham had a game delivered today that he was ready to play.
    • Now I am cozied up on the couch with my book and water. Soon we will cut into Whitman's brownies. 

    March 6, 2023

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    • For a Monday today went very well. I was awake before normal this morning-only by a few minutes, but that is still a win for me.
    • Keaton had asked me to wake her up at a certain time, but I didn't make that, but at least I was close. We started on our reading this morning, and then everyone moved on to their individual school work. 
    • This afternoon first Reagan headed off to work. Then Anderson left wtih Campbell and Graham to help with soccer evaluations. Keaton and Whitman left with me a little bit later so we could go to Defy and then to soccer evals.
    • Whitman and Keaton enjoyed jumping at Defy. It was pretty empty there, and I think that they like it better when it is empty better.
    • At soccer evals, Campbell left her spot and joined us for her try outs. They all did fine on their try outs. When we finished, Whitman went off to the playground for a little bit while Keaton found herself a job to help others with try outs.
    • Campbell stayed and helped more when I left while Graham headed home with Whitman and me. Once at home, I had intentions to walk on the treadmill. I was actually going to do it earlier in the day, but ended up sitting on the couch talking to Robby. Then this evening after soccer, I ended up reading and napping on the couch.
    • I didn't have that long though because I soon had to leave to meet some friends to eat supper. We had a good time chatting and eating. WHile I was gone the kids came home from supper, had their showers and even some ice cream!

    March 5, 2023

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    • Robby and I again stayed up super late last night watching tv. This, of course, meant that it was late when the kids went to bed. Now, I did say super late, but it wasn't even midnight yet. I even gave them a few minutes on their devices before having to turn them off.
    • Around midnight, we could still hear the girls going strong above our heads. It sounded like they were doing cartwheels. After a few text, they eventually did quieten down. Now, by me saying that they quietened down, all I really know is that they were no longer loud enough that we could hear them.
    • Even with them staying up last night, everyone was fairly easy to wake up this morning. Graham, Keaton and Whitman were down and dressed before I even went upstairs to do my second wake up round. 
    • I had worship care today in the babies, and Campbell was asked to do it in the 3 year old room. Of course, she loved this. She asks all of the time if she can do worship care-I think that she would miss church constantly to do it, though her mother won't let her.
    • During Sunday school, Whitman was able to do the lights. Keaton and he are able to help with tech every once in a while so he was excited about being able to do this today. After Sunday school, we found all of the people and then headed to Nonna's house for Sunday lunch.
    • She had made multiple recipes of delicious meatballs. I still don't think that we ate half of her spaghetti, meatballs and sauce. She was ready to feed an army. It was all good, and everyone left full.
    • The kids played Guess Who after lunch. They didn't play it the normal way-today's version had the questions all being assumptions. (Did you guy play professional football? Does your lady work at a bank?) It was odd but interesting.
    • When we came home, I read for a tiny but before I fell sound asleep on the couch. Soon the kids headed out for Rock Creek, and Keaton went to work on making garlic cheese bread for tonight's supper.
    • This was our Sunday super night-I took a chance and tried out a new recipe: baked ziti. I didn't follow the instructions perfectly, but at least I did get all of the ingredients in the pan. It was still very good though-Robby said that the recipe was a keeper, and I didn't see any of the kids making any faces!
    • After visiting for a while with the Wilsons, we cleaned up the kitchen when they left and then settled in to watch a bit of tv before bed.

    March 4, 2023

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    • Another slow Saturday morning-it was super nice to have a slow Saturday morning because in a few weeks we will be in the middle of soccer. Now, we do enjoy soccer, but we also do enjoy our bed!
    • I was able to do a few things around the house-none of it really mattered. The kids did laugh at me because I started working on our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes today. I tried to tell them that it is easier to buy things right now than during Christmas time, but at least half of the kids thougth I was crazy.
    • We watched some of the basketball game around lunch, but then I left wtih the boys. My plan was to drop them off and go to the Dollar Tree to pick up things for those shoes boxes. Well, when we are almost to the end of Lawson, Campbell remembered that she left her shoes at home. Well, that measn that we couldn't go to the Dollar Tree, and I decided that we would just go after their game.
    • The boys game was good-it was the end of the season. Since they didn't win, they didn't keep playing today. Their team lost by 1 point-there were some questionable calls both ways. The boys both scored today, and it was a super fun game to watch. 
    • So after the game, we did head to the Dollar Tree. Campbell was with me this time since Keaton decided to go home with Robby. They stopped at ChickFilA on the way home. Anyway, the silly store was closed when we got there-at 4. 
    • We went on to Walmart, and I couldn't find what I was looking for there for my boxes, so those suckers will just have to wait a few more days. We did get Campbell lunch on the way home at Taco Bell which is her favorite restaurant.
    • Reagan was out wtih Kennedy today. They went to the Goodwill Bins-Reagan bought a tshirt and a Christmas sweater. Oh, if she could have seen the Christmas sweaters that we had at one time. The whole month of December one year, I wore a different sweater to school. 
    • When she made it home, Robby and I left to go and eat at Panda Express and then pick up some groceries at Kroger. Now, we are back home-people are showering, our tv show is about to start, and there will probably be ice cream later.

    March 3, 2023

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    • Robby and I stayed up super late watching tv which mean that our kids did as well. Since there really isn't much school on Friday, it was fine. Surprisingly though when I went to wake up the boys later this morning when it was time for them to start on their last few things, Whitman was wide awake in his room. A few minutes later, Campbell text me and as also awake. 
    • This morning, I was able to do this regular things plus pull out school for the next week. There were a few checker games while I was reading this morning to everyone. I probably should pull out the chess set or some other things because they kids are probably getting pretty good at checkers since that is what they do each time that I read.
    • Keaton did spend a good deal of the day making dessert pizza for everyone. Anderson and I worked on rebuilding one of his lego sets. We did this alot during Covid, and the other week he said that he had some left to do so we were able to finish one today. You have to find each and every piece which is certainly overwhelming but thankfully, we didn't have any missing pieces today.
    • I had told Robby that I would make supper at 5:30 tonight, but then I became distracted playing Ticket to Ride with Anderson, Whitman and Keaton so it was nearly 6:30 when I did start on supper.
    • We usually don't eat until at least 6:30 so no one was going hungry though. I was a bit perturbed about the game though while I was cooking supper. That Anderson-I can't seem to beat him in any game. I was trying super hard and really thought I was doing well today. 
    • After supper, we ate the second of the two dessert pizzas and then everyone went their separate ways. Campbell and Keaton are working on their bead thing, Whitman is on the couch by us watchign his tv, the big boys are on their xbox and I hear Reagan in the shower.

    March 2, 2023

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    • This morning was kind of a low key morning around the house. Though it was a noisy morning. Graham was studying for a test and did so by reading everything outloud. When he left the room, Anderson started doing the same thing at his desk. I am not sure what he was reading outloud.
    • And of course in the mornings, the kitchen is always noisy-usually it is just the microwave beeping in the mornings, but this morning there seemed to be a lot of people getting ice as well. It was like we are in the middle of the summer. 
    • Reagan and Graham did go to school-they both had test. Now Graham doesn't know how he did though I know he did fine since he had all of the answers. Reagan had her mid term and only made a 99.16. She was happy to let us know that hers was the highest grade in the class-I'm not sure where she gets it! (Don't tell her, but she is me!)
    • There was no homemade pizza dough made today, but all of the girls made garlic bread. Cambpell asked that if we could have a cookng day someday-I reminded her that every day is cooking day at our house-someone is always making something.
    • I went to the pregnancy center with Cambpell and Keaton today. There was plenty for us to do, and we were able to make it home before the rain began.
    • We were also hurrying home for a party at Defy. It was members only jump night and surprisingly the crowd wasn't too bad. Anderson stayed home, and Reagan went in his place.
    • We stayed for about an hour and a half and left when they started to pass out pizza. On the way home, we stopped for Sonic drinks-we were certainly living it up. 
    • Once at home, people finished their eating. I even had cinnamom sticks from Sonic to eat. Currently, me and five of the kids are sitting in the living room watching an overtime basketball game while they are finishing their Sonic drinks.

    March 1, 2023

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    • This week has just really flown by. It was hard for me to realize that it was Wednesday this morning. 
    • We did our daily reading this morning. I keep adding more things to read so what we are reading we are having to read less of so we can get to everything in time. This is causing us to never finish anything-or at least it seems like it.
    • After this everyone started on their school work. Whitman has been pretty diligent this week on his school work so he doesn't have a whole lot left for tomorrow. I will see if he asks to read ahead for Monday becuase this last Monday he read ahead for the next day. I think that he had thought about getting ahead, but he enjoys reading so much that he hasn't missed a day so each day he just reads ahead.
    • I did take Bentley on a short walk this afternoon. I thought that the weather was coming in earlier so I was trying to beat that. Reagan headed off to work this afternoon. Well, before Reagan left, Campbell and Keaton went to work on making pizza dough so they could make a pizza and cheesy garlic bread. 
    • It took them 3 hours to make it, but it was actually delicious. They had fun and the kitchen wasn't a disaster when they had finished. I am glad that they found something to do.
    • When Reagan came home from work, we soon headed to church tonight. There was lots of excitement because of the coming storm. Of course the church had everything planned out in case of a tornado, but other than some excited kiddos and lots of lightening it was all good.
    • Keaton did tech tonight, and she loved every minute of it. There is alot of new equipment in our room so she hasn't had the chance to do it lately.
    • Once we all came home, we had chicken spaghetti waiting for us in the crock pot. We all ate before settling in for the night. It was wonderful to have a warm meal to eat.
    • Right now Campbell and Keaton are working on a project that Grannymom inspired. It looks to be like it could me quite a mess to me!