August 31, 2023-Back to Disney We Go

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Well, it was another pretty perfect Disney day. Robby was the only one up at 7 so he could snag us tickets to ride Guardians. By noon, it was time for us to be able to ride so we slowly started getting ready. Graham and Keaton were the first out the door so they could drive down to get some drinks for themselves before we left. 

We then all loaded up for Epcot where we had good parking-it really is the little things. The Guardians line wasn't crazy long so that was good. After we rode, we went to Mexico to ride that ride there and then on to Norway. 

It was pretty hot today. There were lots of clouds in the sky so that did help a little bit, but I would say that today was one of the hottest days-at least while we were at Epcot. We got some snacks from Noway-a mickey shaped cinnamon roll, 2 big tortillas rolled up with cinnamon and sugar inside that had some fancy Norweigian name, and a delicious chocolate chip cookie. 

Instead of eating outside in the heat, we decided to get in line for the Frozen ride. The sign said 45 minutes, but it was more like 25 which was great. We ate our snacks while we were in line. After riding, we headed to our drink spot and had a few sips of coke before walking back to the car.

By the time we got home, it was raining. We took a bit of a break before most of us left again. Graham and Whitman opted to stay back at the camper. The rest of us went to the outlet where we found one pair of Mickey ears. Then it was on to the Nike store to buy Graham some replacement socks-his on this trip have been pitiful. Each pair we see him in has huge holes. We also looked for some shoes for Anderson but didn't have much luck since he needs a wide, and we were pressed for time.

Then we walked around Ikea because why not? We bought the standard things that we usually buy-a potty brush, kitchen brushes, a foldable bag that kids use as shower bags, scissors, a candle (for Campbell), and a plant (for Reagan). These are really our standard items-I probably could have told you that we were going to buy these things before even walking into the store. We also did buy a new pillow for Keaton and Reagan which did cause Robby to have to order them new pillowcases on the way home from amazon.

We also stopped for supper there and had some meatballs. Campbell had chicken fingers, and Reagan even requested english peas. Then it was back to the camper. We had to go through some rain to get back, but it hadn't rained or rained very little at the campground. So there was lots of looping on the golf cart this evening.

Anderson had to take a test so he did that while Robby and I did laundry. I made Graham and Whitman pizza for their supper, and we have all just had a lazy evening. I think that this is our first kind of slow night. Tomorrow is our last day so it might just be a busier day but all of that depends on the rain that may or may not happen tomorrow.

August 30, 2023-Back to Disney We Go

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Since we were all up past 2, this morning was a day of sleeping in. We are back in our original beds-I am not sure if I mentioned, but one night on this trip Campbell and Graham switched spots. This put Graham on the bottom bunk which we would have thought he might have liked since the bed is usually made first and it is dark. And this put Campbell on the couch which she thought she would like with more room. Neither liked the new spot, but that is not why they are no longer there.

It was nearly bedtime, probably after 12, when I heard a squeal. I got up thinking that it was Keaton since she talks in her sleep often. But no, it was Campbell squealing because Anderson decided to stand over her to scare her on his way to the bathroom. 

I do believe that it rained pretty much all night long. It was never heavy rain that I know of at least. This morning it stopped long enough for me to do some looping with Graham. Then I headed over to the Trail's End restaurant with Anderson so he could do some math. He figured out what he needed to do, and along came Reagan to work on her school work. I stayed around refilling the coke cup. 

When Anderson finished with his work, it was pouring so he had to stay a while longer. Graham eventually braved the rain to bring Reagan her backpack, and then he went back. Soon though Graham was back with Keaton and Campbell. They came just as Robby had ordered a little snack to eat. After this, the kids ran back to the camper to get the arcade card so they could play a few more games. 

I went back to the camper while Graham, Keaton, and Whitman finished playing in the arcade and while Reagan finished taking a test. Then we all loaded up and headed to Hollywood. It was nearly 7 when we arrived, but it had stopped raining which was wonderful.

We all did Rockin Roller coaster first-any ride that shoots off is not my favorite, but I stayed in line with the others. Keaton and Whitman decided that they were going to do the single rider line twice while we were in the regular line. However, they did finish way before us, but they decided to not go again. 

I am not sure why they didn't want to go again. Keaton told us that the person beside Whitman spoke Spanish and asked him something. So he looked at them and said, "No hablo espanol." I am not sure what the person beside him said, but I'm sure that he told them that he couldn't speak Spanish. Gracious me.

All of us but Campbell and Robby rode Tower of Terror. While we were riding that ride, they went to Slinky Dog. We all then did Toy Story Mania before making our way to Smuggler's Run and Rise. We knocked out some rides tonight at Hollywood for sure. Obviously, the rain all day long due to a hurricane nearby helped with the amount of people there, but I sure wish it could be like that all the time.

It was about 9:30 when we made it back to the camper. A few folks went to get drink cups refilled while Robby and I worked on supper. Graham took a shower before supper while most did that after supper. For supper tonight, we had chicken tacos. It was very good, and I really think that it is one of the kids' favorite meals.

It is now almost 12, and I am going to take my shower after everyone finishes brushing their teeth.

August 29, 2023-Back to Disney We Go

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Well, today has been the day that we have been waiting for, and the day that we were worried that Idalia, or whatever the hurricane's name is, was going to cancel. However, today was pretty great! We slept in this morning-I was wide awake at 7 but went back to sleep some, read some, and played on my phone a bit.

Robby got a message that the spare tire for the tow dolly was ready so he and Graham went to pick that up. While they were out, they stopped to get some ChickFilA breakfast. I moved the laundry to the dryer and then took Bentley on a walk.

She did her business, and then when that dog realized that we were walking back to the camper, she stopped. I did ask her if she wanted to go on a golf cart ride, and she picked up her pace to the golf cart. I found Keaton inside, and she came with us.

We didn't really do too much today. Reagan is feeling a bit overwhelmed with one of her classes, so she has some work to do in it tomorrow. Anderson did a bit of school work, and I think that the 3 littles did as well. I do think that Graham didn't do any today though. I am pretty sure that there will be time tomorrow for some school catch up-though it looks like right now that we are just getting rain tonight and wind tomorrow.

Robby decided that he wouldn't be able to hang out until 5 tonight which is when we decided that we would leave for the Halloween party. He and I went over to Magic today for just a little bit. We actually just rode Small World and then walked back down Main Street and came back to the camper.

We probably looked silly this afternoon leaving the campground all wearing empty backpacks. We caught the bus and didn't have any problem getting into Magic Kingdom and getting our wristbands. About this time, it started to rain-not just a little but a lot. We hurried on along with Cosmic Rays and stayed there for about an hour.

During this hour, the party truly hadn't started yet, but the rain stopped, some of the kids rode Space Mountain, we scored tickets for Tron, and Robby ordered our supper. Anderson and I had the special chicken sandwich that had some type of Halloween name while Robby and Graham had the meatball sandwich on dark bread that kind of looked spooky. The rest of the crew just had regular food, but that was fun all of us getting supper since we usually just snack.

When we finished supper, we went to ride Tron. There was no wait at all which was nice. From there we began filling our treat bags. They give you small bags to fill with candy at each of the 8-12 candy stops. We did all of them multiple times. 

While walking around, we were able to do a few more rides-Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain (which is completely in the dark for Halloween), Ariel, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder, and Pirates for most of us, but Graham went to do Space again. 

There was special entertainment at different places, but the highlight for all of us was filling our bags with candy. Now, I know we could have bought tons of candy from Sams with what we paid for this event, but we had a blast. And even though we looked silly with our empty bags walking in, we all had full bags when we left. Robby's backpack was probably 15 pounds while Anderson's was just as heavy. We didn't make Whitman and Reagan carry too much, but they were both carting around some pretty good candy as well.

At midnight, Campbell and Whitman were the last ones in their candy line. The nice folks just filled their bags up. Robby was on the other side of the park since he walked over with Graham, and he also got his bag full. We quickly emptied those bags on my bed when we came home. It was a massive pile of candy. It took at least 10 minutes to sort it out just between chocolate and not chocolate. 

Then it took us another 20 minutes to find places to put all of this candy. Like seriously, I can not explain the amount of candy that we have. The plan was to sort it all out well tonight and divide it up evenly, but that will have to happen later. And the kids decided at the beginning that we would all just work together and share the candy that we received.

We didn't get back to the camper until after 12:30, and not it is after 2 with me working on the blog and Robby is doing some work work. I still have to take my shower, but hopefully the rain continues for a little bit longer tonight so I can hear it while I'm sleeping. 

August 28, 2023-Back to Disney We Go

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This morning Robby and I were the only ones to get up for our Animal Kingdom visit. I really enjoy the safari so I wanted to see it one more time before our Disney days are over, and since the best time to see the animals is in the morning, we went early this morning.

We were there at opening along with quite a few other people, but we were only about 20th in line for the safari. We saw tons of animals this morning-the elephants and zebras are always my favorites, but the hippos and ostriches walked right past us. 

After the safari, Robby and I walked against the crowds pouring into the park to head to our car. Since we were out, we ran into Walmart. I did buy more plain bagels for the boys, but I also saw the Walmart has Hawaiian bagels-doesn't that sound interesting? I should have also bought some more cream cheese, but I'm sure there will be another Walmart trip. Or maybe we need to stay away from the stores.

Graham was the only kid awake when we came home, so Robby and I started putting away a few of the things that were outside. The weather said that some rain was going to come tonight, and then lots more in the next few days, and we don't want wet things. 

After doing that, most of the kids were still sleeping so Robby and I drove around the campground. We went around all of the camper loops-maybe about 16 of them. We knew that this was going to be a lower week crowd wise, plus the price for the camping spots this week is also the lowest we have paid which also tells us about attendance. In addition to this pesky hurricane coming, we think that this campground is 1/4-1/3 full which is really pretty empty.

Soon the kids started waking up. We are in the loop closest to the restaurant where we can go and get our drinks refilled so there was lots of that happening today. Plus lots of bike riding-Graham's chain did come off and he had to have Anderson bring him a screwdriver and water to wash his hands. Keaton walked forever with Bentley, and I think that Bentley went to the dog park about 3 different times. She should be exhausted, but she is laying beside me going to town chewing on a toy right now.

Around 1, I asked who wanted to go to the Contemporary for a snack, and had 5 takers. My only non taker was Whitman, but if everyone else was going, then he didn't get a choice. He was none to happy about this though. However, after our bus ride and then monorail to the Contemporary, he was the first to get his snack so that changed his attitude.

We then monorail hopped to the Polynesian, and the big boys had Dole whip. From there, the boys all headed back to the camper while Robby, the girls, and I went to the Grand Floridian. There Campbell and Reagan found their snacks (fries and a berry shortcake). The Grand Floridian is under a lot of construction so it was pretty sad looking. 

While we were gone, it looked like it was about to start raining, so we had the boys throw everything that was still out into the van. Thankfully, it didn't rain at all today. When we came home from that adventure, Robby and I went ahead and put everything up every well. The only things that we have left out right now is the doormat and the bikes. Hopefully, the rain (and hurricane) passes us by, and we have some more sunny days, but if not, we look forward to the adventure (I just hope I packed enough ponchos).

When we got off of the bus and were walking towards the monorail on our way to the Contemporary, Robby had all of the kid go into Magic Kingdom and then walk out. This was their tickets were able to get a Tron ride for tonight. So around 7 (maybe, I am not really sure) we all headed to Magic. 

The kids all rode Tron (Robby and I couldn't since we had gone to Animal this morning and couldn't get into Magic until 3 which I was certainly fine with.) Then the kids rode Space before the boys left. They went back to the camper and then loaded up to go and grab themselves some supper at McDonalds. I heard they spared no expense and even had ice cream.

When they left us, Keaton and Campbell rode the Speedway. Since the fireworks were happening, we were able to almost walk right on Seven Dwarfs before we rode the Carousel. Then the girls and I ended our day with dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table.

Keaton has said a few times that she wanted to eat in the castle, and really, we aren't going to be here too many more times. I am not exactly sure if she has eaten in the castle, and Reagan and Campbell said that they don't remember it if they had so tonight was the night to make those memories. (I can't find when we ate at the castle last, but it was before 2011 which is when we when we ate with princesses in Norway at Epcot.)

Of course this meal isn't cheap by any means, and since the boys would care nothing about this, it was a girls' only trip. Seeing the princesses was fun-Cinderella was probably the most exciting to see, but we also saw Jasmine, Snow White, Ariel, and Sleeping Beauty. The girls and I laughed that we enjoyed our meal more after the princesses had all come and talked with us-we were able to relax.

We each had one of the appetizers-braised beef (the smallest and best which I ordered), tomato soup (which Keaton didn't like), citrus salad (which Campbell didn't like), and shrimp (which Reagan did like!) Then we ordered 2 entrees of pasta and chicken (this was pretty good, but very rich) and 2 entrees of pork tenderloin (this was not as good as Pop's pork tenderloin but still really good.) Next up was dessert, and we all got the same thing-a chocolate mousse type cake along with some cold chocolate custard (maybe). The girls didn't like the custard thing so I ate theirs and then brought my cake home for the boys to split tomorrow.

Of course we had leftovers, and I did my best to move and eat slowly because I sure didn't want to be rushed during our meal. We were making memories after all. Our reservations were for 9:50, and it was 11:00 by the time we were leaving the restaurant. Since the park closed at 10, it was fairly empty. Keaton and Campbell danced around Main Street and took tons of pictures on the way out. They had so much fun doing this.

We stopped at 2 bathrooms before we made it out of the park-the food was fairly rich. Then we rode the boat back to the campground where Graham was waiting in the golf cart to pick us up. I told Graham and Robby all about the food while Reagan and Campbell went to the bathhouse to shower. 

Today was a great day full of memories, and now we are crossing our fingers for the rain to hold off until tomorrow night around midnight!

August 27, 2023-Back to Disney We Go

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This morning Robby wasn't in time to get a Guardians ticket, so we decided to go to the Epcot around 12:30. So this morning was full of sleeping in, but Robby did do a load of laundry before we left. We were able to even golf cart around a few loops before hurriedly leaving.

Just like yesterday, we had to be in the park by 1 for him to try to get the tickets. After walking from the parking spot for nearly 10 minutes, we made it with about 4 minutes to spare. It was warm today, but there was occasional cloud cover which should have given us an idea that rain was coming.

At Epcot we rode Nemo and watched Turtle Talk. The kids humored us in doing those two things. We then went on Soaring and Living with the Land. While we were doing those things, it must have poured. It was raining so hard that it was even raining in the Living with the Land ride. If we would have realized it was going to rain, we would have tidied up our campground a little bit.

And speaking of rain, yep, a hurricane is coming. Or at least a tropical storm is coming. We like to keep things exciting and make our trips memorable. And of course it does look the weather will begin the night of our Halloween party. Those parties are not cheap so we would love to have lovely weather, but we have ponchos and all will be good.

After the land, we did eat some popcorn and ride Figment before dividing up. The four littles went to Connections to eat their lunch/supper while Robby and I grabbed food from Morocco and Anderson and Reagan found food in the American pavilion. We were all spread out over Epcot while eating, but we met back up with the others near Guardians and offered them some of our leftovers.

Now, Guardians is my least favorite ride here, well except for Space. It is the best ride at the parks, but it is just a little bit much for me. I survived, and I also survived on a full stomach. When we finished Guardians, we headed out of the park after having spent about 5 hours in the park. For us, that is like a super long park day!

We came back to the campground, and shook our chairs out so maybe they will dry tomorrow before it starts really raining on Tuesday. The rest of the evening was spent on the golf cart or riding bikes. Keaton did quite a bit of scavenger hunting. We just love it at this campground-the kids have some freedom, well the kids have a lot of freedom, and everyone ends up spending a lot of time together. 

Currently, it is 9:15, and Robby and I are sitting on the back porch of a restaurant in rocking chairs watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks while drinking a coke. Could there really be anything better? Anderson and Graham just left in the golf cart, and the girls were headed to take showers. It will be an early night for us-well, we won't go to bed any earlier but we do plan on getting up earlier...maybe!

August 26, 2023-Back to Disney We Go

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When we went to bed last night, there was a little bit of talk about some people getting up early if they wanted to and go over to Magic. Now, getting up early meant around 9 or 10. However, at 10:30 this whole place was still sleeping-no one was stirring not even Bentley.

Once we did start moving, it didn't take us long to get up and make a few breakfasts and head to Magic. The big boys and I all had bagels (I already started my grocery list since I wasn't expecting Anderson to eat a bagel. I didn't know he ate bagels.) Whitman and Reagan had cereal, and Keaton had goldfish. I am actually not sure what Campbell ate, but I do know that Robby had a sausage biscuit. And yes, all of our breakfast eating happened when others were eating their lunches.

We walked to the boat and had to wait a good little bit. We were in a hurry because we needed to scan in to Magic Kingdom by 1 so Robby could snag us Tron tickets for later tonight. We had just about made it when I got stopped by security. Campbell had packed her glasses case, and that some how alerted security. They said that hard glasses cases do that so the next time I was to walk through holding the case way out in front of me-Robby tried that tonight, and it didn't work. We will try again tomorrow, but she may not be bringing her glasses case. (She brought it because she was worried about what she would do with her glasses on a real ride-like Tron.)

Everyone was waiting on me, but I did scan through the gate before 1 so we were able to get a Tron ride for later tonight. It was hot here today, but not nearly as hot as it was at home today. Our first stop today was at Pirates and then dole whip, chocolate ice cream, and orange whip for us all.

After we did that we moved on to Big Thunder before deciding to head back to the camper. This afternoon, Reagan and Anderson both had a little bit of school work to do. (And yes, his math is still not fixed, but he is at least able to do it.) There was more pin trading, cart looping, some scavenger hunting, and dog walking as well this afternoon.

Since we had eaten breakfast so late, some people had lunches, some had suppers (air fryer pizza), and some people are no having midnight snacks (or even midnight mac and cheese or orange chicken.) You name it, we have eaten it here today. 

About an hour and a half before all of us went to Magic Kingdom, Keaton and Campbell went by themselves. They rode the bus-on the way home Graham and Campbell went home via the bus, and they beat us by a long while. Plus the bus is the first bus so there isn't that far to walk, and the bus is air conditioned. 

Keaton forgot her magic band, but they figured out that she was able to scan in using Campbell's phone. They rode the Speedway, found a snack (cookie and powerade slush) and rode Buzz twice before meeting us at Tron. 

After riding Tron, Campbell, Keaton, and Anderson rode the Speedway again. Then we all rode Buzz where I had the high score of the family. And just as the fire works were about to go off we rode a People Mover before fighting the crowds to get out of the park. We rode the bus back all together, and then some of us went to the camper while others of us had a snack (cornbread-Robby and those of us who shared it, and strawberry coffee for Reagan.)

Currently, Reagan and Keaton are sitting outside. Reagan is eating mac and cheese, and Keaton is drinking her coke. Anderson and Graham are playing the xbox while Campbell is on her phone, and Whitman on his ipad. It is almost 11, and I am headed to bed after I take Bentley on one last loop around the block. I want her to sleep well again tonight!

August 25, 2023-Back to Disney We Go

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This morning I heard Robby moving around. It is super dark in our bedroom area so I couldn't tell if it was daylight or not, but I was praying hard that it was just 2 or something. However, I guess I forget that it was 3 when we went to bed so it being 2 wouldn't have been an option. 

It wasn't 2 or any other time that would have made my happy. It was 7:20, and he was waking me up to tell me that he was about to pull out. He doesn't expect me to get up with him, and I do trust him, but when this camper starts rolling, there is no way I could sleep.

The second Buccees was just about 30 minutes away. The kids were still sleeping, but Robby pumped gas, I took Bentley out, and Robby ran into get me a scone and him a jalapeno cheddar sausage biscuit. We had about 6 hours to go today, and we really didn't hear much from the kids at all.

We stopped once more at a gas station. There we made up their beds, and I tried to straighten things a little bit. Before too long, we were shoving Bentley to the back of the camper and checking into the campground. 

Why were we making Bentley go to the back-well, dogs are 5 dollars a day here. Once or twice we have gotten lucky and the person checking us in has not asked about a dog. Now today, we weren't so lucky-they asked so we had to say yes even though they couldn't see the dog (Anderson was steadily feeding her treats in the back).

We got one of the last 2 spots in the loop that we wanted to be in so we were super happy that we snagged it in our loop 100. We don't think that we will be able to get in this loop over Halloween because we think that it will be crazy.

Once we made it here, we unhooked the car, and I dropped Anderson and a golf cart full of people off to pick up our golf cart. We hurried to go and help Robby back in but he was already backing in by the time that we made it to him. He said that he had to hurry because it was hot.

Yesterday, when we were standing outside we could just feel the heat radiating onto our legs. Today it was hot, but not exactly that hot. The high here was just around 94 and not the 103 like at home. We were still hot and sweaty by the time we had done most things outside. 

This afternoon there were golf cart rides and bike rides. Keaton, Campbell, and Whitman decided to go swimming so I took them. When the kids were little going swimming was such a chore, and now it is like sure I'll take you and sit in a chair quietly reading while you swim. They had fun and could have stayed longer. 

Robby hasn't felt the best lately-he has had a cold, so I think that getting hot with little sleep caused him to kind of crash tonight. He didn't eat supper, but the rest of us had orange chicken. Surprisingly, we have quite a bit of leftovers. I think that is because it is just so warm that we don't eat as much as usual. 

We went to Hollywood Studios tonight with everyone else in this city. It was so crowded. Reagan and Graham chose to ride Tower of Terror. It said their wait time was over 2 hours but they were off within an hour, Campbell and Keaton rode Slinky Dog and again their wait time was much less than posted. The rest of us rode Toy Story Mania where Anderson again beat us all and had the high score.

I think the lines were shorter than they said because it was park closing time, and they wanted people to go home. It all worked out well, and we some how all finished with in 10 minutes of each other. We met up back at the car and came back to the campground.

Once back, Bentley and Reagan took a walk, some rode bikes to the pool to get a drink, Robby took a trip on the golf cart with people to get a drink, and then I did as well. Anderson and Keaton were the only ones who had their shower tonight since some had taken one earlier this afternoon. Now, after drinks and cupcakes everyone is pretty much in their beds. I still have my shower to take and them am going to catch up on some reading.

August 24, 2023-Back to Disney We Go

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This morning as I was walking up the stairs to wake up the boys, I could hear Anderson's alarm clock ringing. Despite all of the noise from it, all three boys were still sleeping soundly. I'm glad Anderson did set his alarm, but I would be more glad if it had actually woke him up.

That was fine though because he still had plenty of time to get up and get ready for school. His computer problems are still happening, but he talked to his comm central teacher who text the college professor. They said to just use Reagan's account and take pictures of everything he does until it is fixed. Meanwhile, as soon as the computer place opened this morning, I called and was told that they would email when things were fixed which is incredibly frustrating. However, it is a good that at least Anderson can start on his homework.

Reagan and Graham left next for their classes, and the rest of us continued with our school work. Keaton just had to read and work with me this morning so that didn't take too long. Campbell didn't have too much to do-she was proud of herself for not saving the hard things until the last day. 

Some days Whitman is just off and other days he is not. He zoomed through his work today-I still had to set with him during math to talk him through things. His math skills are still strange-he does so many thing in his head, but then some times he is just staring into space, and I don't know if he is calculating something or doesn't know the answer. He was finished about 30 minutes before normal today which thrilled him.

I was taking a load of things out to the camper when the boys pulled up. I didn't realize that they would be home so soon. They started on their lunches, but the kitchen was so full of people heating things up in the microwave that Anderson decided to wait. Graham suggested that we buy another microwave since we have multiple of many small appliances (insta pots-3, crockpots-4 or possibly 5, waffle makers-4, griddles-2, quesadilla makers-2). 

Keaton was heating up chicken and a baked potato, Graham was eating chicken alfredo, Whitman was using it to heat up pizza, and Campbell was making her and me her famous ramen. (I'm not a ramen fan, but this just uses the noodles and then she adds quite a few things to it.) Anderson eventually made breakfast burritos when the kitchen did clear out.

Reagan rolled in about 2:50 with the rest of us already in the camper. She put up a few things and grabbed a snack, and we were soon on the road. We were still in Arkansas when the trim on the side of the camper started flapping. This has happened before but Robby forgot to fix it. Plus it didn't happen going to and from Memphis with him so he kind of forget.

We pulled over and fixed that, but our fix didn't last for very long. So then we pulled over again, and Robby screwed the trim in. He just did it in one spot, but he should have done more because at the next rest area we had to stop again. He added quite a few more screws so we haven't had any more problems.

That was all before we were out of Arkansas, but none of the stops took too long. Our first stop was for gas at Holly Springs. As soon as we started going again, I began working on supper. At home before we left, I had made mac and cheese and tried to keep it warm in a casserole carrier. 

Tonight's supper was chicken strips-each batch took 13 minutes in the air fryer. So the first crew to eat was Keaton, Reagan, Anderson, and Graham. When their chicken was done, I used to microwave to heat up their mac and cheese. Then the rest of us ate after 13 more minutes. There were just about 4 pieces of chicken left plus some tiny pieces so I figured that I might as well cook those as well so the air fryer was busy for over 40 minutes in the camper. 

When it is hot, we just battle the heat in the camper. Robby has the air in the cab going at full speed, plus the generator has to run so we can have to air conditioner on. So the front is cool, but once you get to the bathroom and our bed, it gets warm. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but we have so many folks that people are back there. It isn't horrible, but all of that to say that using the oven wouldn't be an option, but even the air fryer does add some heat to this thing.

Our next stop was in Leeds at Buccees. When Campbell climbed out of the camper, she said, "Oh, I know where we are." We've been on this road so many times that she knew which Buccess we were at. While Robby was pumping gas before the kids even went into the store, he noticed the tire of the car dolly.

His tire pressure thing was working well, but the tire looked pretty worn. We sent the kids in to get their drinks, while I climbed in the camper to get the jack. By the time the kids came back, Robby was unscrewing the lug nuts for the tire. The tow dolly is super easy to change a tire on. 

I'm super glad that Robby saw the tire before we took off again. The gas station was a perfect well lit, safe place to change that tire. And since we like to have to change a tire on every trip that we go on, it was good to get that tire changed early on in the trip. Robby had just climbed in the car and said that it took us 20 minutes when he decided that he better air the tire up some more. So it was probably more like 25 minuets-but for a gas stop, tire change, and icee stop that still wasn't too horrible.

It is now 2:15, but only feels like 1:15 to all of us. We didn't make beds which we probably should have, but I never thought about getting the kids pjs out when we were stopped, so we will do that in about 40 minutes when we get to our evening stop-nevermind, we have just come upon lots and lots of traffic.

Robby and I have listened to 2 different pod cast series during our drive. Thankfully, they haven't been about owls. (On our trip to SC, we listned to a podcast about an owl killing a man, and I walked with my hand over my head for the rest of the trip.)

August 23, 2023

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  • Oh today has just been a day! Overall, it was good. Though I have had a plenty of stress-Anderson can not log into one of his college classes because instead he is logged in as Reagan. We don't know how this could happen since they are on different devices. I am currently on hold-the third phone call today trying to get it straightened out. 
  • Whitman started off the morning sour, and in a super slow mood. My distraction with getting this class fixed probably helped him because by the end of the morning while I was on hold, he would bring something to me to ask for help, and I would just say "skip it." Of course, I will try to catch him back up tomorrow which makes my day a bit crazier.
  • Other than that the day was pretty uneventful. Everyone was fairly excited about this evening since we were starting back Wednesday nights at church so I think that everyone took at least one shower getting ready for the night.
  • I have a new job on Wednesday nights. Well, for half of it anyway. I am now helping people sign in at the desk. I have never done any computer things at church so this is different. I had a great teacher tonight so I think that I can do it-except it will be a week before I am back so I will probably forget everything!
  • Then I am back with 2nd graders for the rest of the evening. This is Whitman's last year in the children's. He enjoyed water night tonight, and I did as well. Thankfully, I didn't get too wet though it was hot enough out there to get wet.
  • This was Keaton's first time to be upstairs. I think that she enjoyed it. I went up there twice to help kids find their way, and it looked pretty crowded. All of the big kids were ready to go while I was still outside visiting-I guess that they were hungry.
  • We hurried home, and Robby, who came home from church early, had pizza ready for us. We ate, and then Robby went to work outside while I waited on hold. Say a little prayer that we can get this fixed early tomorrow morning!

August 22, 2023

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  • Anderson was the first to leave this morning for his three classes. Then Reagan and Graham left next. This was finally Reagan's first full day of school. Since those 3 were gone all morning, it did make our morning around here pretty quiet. 
  • There seems to be a lot of people working on ACT stuff around here. I can really only help them with the English and Math sections. Campbell and I were working on the math today, and maybe I was just tired or maybe I can't really help with math anymore, because I wasn't sure about anything. 
  • I did some packing today for Whitman and myself. I should make Whitman work on his packing, but really it is just so much easier when I do it for him. That's bad, I know!
  • The boys came home first after their school. They had some how stopped at Sonic on their way home. Reagan arrived much later in the day after her classes. Before she did make it home, Anderson and I worked on how to take notes from his textbook for his history class. 
  • Then it was Defy time for Campbell, Keaton, and Whitman. We have now hit over 75 visits this year. I thought that since we were going later than usual, there would be a few more people there. But no, I guess everyone has stopped coming because of school which my little 3 love. The big boys like people to be there though so they can play basketball.
  • When we came home, it was almost time for supper so I pulled out the leftovers-yes, again! I didn't get many takers though Campbell finished one thing and Anderson almost finished another. I had to supplement my leftovers with sweet potato fries and egg rolls. Oh, we did slice 2 baked potatoes that were leftovers and put them in the air fryer so that did help get rid of some leftovers.
  • After supper, most of us played 20 Questions. Anderson was in first place with Keaton in second place. Some times that game is more fun than others-actually, it was probably more fun the last time that we played it because I won!
  • Currently, Robby is at a work dinner while I am on the couch listening to Anderson's tv program about airplanes. Keaton is trying to decide on her dessert options while Whitman is on his ipad. I believe that the upstairs people are fairly busy too-Reagan is watching tv in the bonus room, Campbell is probably Facetiming her friends while Graham is on his xbox.

August 21, 2023

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  • This school morning went fairly smoothly. My kids all know that we are leaving on Thursday so this means that my people that leave things for Friday will need to get them finished before then. However, those Friday workers still seem to be in no hurry to get things accomplished today which kind of makes me absolutely crazy.
  • Probably what is actually making me crazy is me trying to keep my mouth shut about it and let them figure out things by themselves. However, I am probably not the best at this, but even with my not so subtle reminders, there will still be school left to do on Friday. This will be fine though because we will be driving, and there will be plenty of school time.
  • Whitman was in a pretty sour mood all morning long. I would have to assume that he was just tired. He did his work, but there was just a lot of groaning and moaning during it. His sour attitude continued until we left Defy this afternoon.
  • Around 2, Campbell, Keaton, Robby, Whitman, and I went to Defy. I do think that the kids were the only ones jumping. Robby was on few calls so he stayed outside, and while he was outside I put my feet up and had myself a nap! I was still able to finish my book though while they were jumping. 
  • On the way home from Defy, we grabbed a few drinks from the gas station. Then the convenience store at the corner was having a grand opening so we stepped in there. They were giving out pieces of pizza so we all had a drink and pizza on the way home.
  • Anderson had to go to Raymar for about an hour today to get things ready for next week. When he came in, we pulled out all of the leftovers and urged the kids to eat those. We had a few takers, but for the most part we didn't make a dent in all of our leftovers.
  • After the supper was cleaned up, Robby drove the camper to get gas. I drove the minivan to get gas. Anderson drove the suburban to get gas. Then all 3 of us went into Costco and we spent a lot less there than we did at the gas station. The other day we saw chocolate croissants at Costco. We didn't get them since it was still too early to buy a bread-y thing for our trip, but of course today, they weren't anywhere to be found.
  • Back at home tonight, there is already talk of what people are going to eat for their snacks-I really should pull out the leftovers again!

August 20, 2023

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  • We survived another Sunday-really, Sunday's aren't too stressful since the morning if filled with church, we eat lunch at someone's house, then I get a nap, the kids go back to church, and then half the nights we don't have to cook supper-but for some reason, Sundays a bit stressful to me at least...maybe because it is the last day of the weekend and that makes me super sad.
  • Anyway, this morning we left on time in two different cars. We were on time, but not really yet the time that I want to leave. I had already set up my Sunday school things so my room was ready, but if I hadn't then I would have been rushed this morning. But all was good.
  • We did Sunday school and church. Then Robby and I both had meetings to go to.We went to the Wednesday night worker meeting for us while I went with Reagan to the senior parents meeting. Campbell stayed to chat with a friend, and even though I knew she was there-I still walked to the car without texting her that we were done. We were pretty close to leaving her!
  • We then met up with everyone at Nonna and Pops' house. They had hamburgers and all of the trimmings. Everything tasted really good to me but maybe because we were eating much later than usual for a Sunday lunch.
  • After lunch, we headed home for a little bit. Robby and I had our naps on the couch, but soon the kids all started leaving. Tonight was the first night that Keaton was able to go to Rock Creek for their Sunday night thing. I do believe that she had a blast. 
  • We made a whole batch of poppy seed chicken for supper-actually we made 2 batches of it for supper. It was a little bit dry, but we will doctor the leftovers up tomorrow for a whole new meal. The Wilsons came over to eat with us along with Alyssa so we had someone to visit with and so did the girls. 
  • After everyone left the house, we picked up the kitchen and started herding people to bed. That is more difficult than it sounds-the boys have a friend playing xbox with them and Robby and Reagan are wrapping products that they have sold online.

August 19, 2023

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  • I do believe that I was the first one awake this morning. Anderson and Graham had been asked to help clean off someone's new property and shop that they bought. Reagan also got word that there were things that she could do, so she joined them. They all left at 7:40 this morning, so I started waking them up around 7. Graham was up when I went up there, and later when I went to check on Reagan she was also awake. Anderson will never make it in college-I had to wake him up 3 times before he did wake up.
  • Once I got them off, I crawled back into the bed. Now, I did do the dishes and laundry while I was waiting on them to leave so the morning wasn't a total loss.
  • Robby and I eventually left this morning to pick up some food for the trip. We did stop at Whataburger for a hamburger. He had a free one, and this was our first time to eat there. I have been craving a burger and thought it was pretty good. Robby compared it to a McDonalds burger, but he said he needed a side by side comparison with an In and Out burger.
  • We bought most everything that Walmart has to sell. Then we headed home to unload. We had been home a bit when the big 3 came in around 1 and gave us all of the details.
  • Not too long after that Robby left with Keaton for Defy. She couldn't get any of her brothers or sisters to go with her, so she went alone. There were a lot of people there today, but she was still able to jump. On their way home, they ran into Kroger and then on to Crumble cookie. 
  • One of this week's cookie was the Twix. If you remember, that is the cookie that Robby and I the girls drove to Fayetteville to get one time when we didn't yet have a Crumble in Little Rock. It was good, but not nearly as good as the oreo or the snickerdoodle that he and Keaton also bought. 
  • While they were gone, Anderson and Graham were home long enough to take showers and then leave again. They went to a friend's house to go swimming for a little bit. They even played some pool.
  • Tonight was the 5th night in a row that all of us sat down at the table to eat a meal together. And since today was national potato day-that is what we had: mashed potatoes, baked potatoes and au gratin potatoes. (The mashed potatoes were leftover, the baked potatoes were the meal, and the au gratin potatoes were for Anderson because he doesn't like baked potatoes.)
  • Right now some people are taking their Saturday night showers. I hope that Graham isn't taking a shower because I know that he has had 3 today, and I sure don't need any more laundry!

August 18, 2023

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  • For a no school day around here, it wast still fairly busy with all of the things including school. Anderson worked on his history while Graham did some of the ACT which I then reviewed with him. Then both boys had a physical science test to take. 
  • By the time that their test was over, I was in a hurry because I was trying to get to church at a decent time this morning. Graham drove me there along with Keaton and Campbell. (He did great driving, but I did at one point think that we were going to die!)
  • This was our second week to go to church early to set up for Sunday school. Today, we set up a Christmas tree in our room. The girls and Graham helped me get everything ready for Sunday so that always helps on Sunday morning.
  • After coming home from church and the library, the kids had lunch-Campbell and Keaton have been eating out on the back patio. It is kind of nice out there in the shade as long as the neighbor dog isn't barking at them.
  • Then we loaded up and all went to Defy for a little bit. On the way home, Robby bought them drinks which is the reason that most of the kids went. It is so different right now at Defy when no one is there. 
  • This afternoon Robby worked on making some cookies. Are cookies are never quite as good as Shannon's so we tried again. They were decent, but we just haven't figured it out quite yet. There was some time between cookies and supper, but not much. 
  • Supper tonight was bbq and mashed potatoes. Afterwards, we cleaned the kitchen while making plans for meals for the next few weeks.
  • The kids and I played 20 questions. It is a game that everyone will usually want to play-well, Whitman didn't play today but he shouted out one answer and eventually ended up reading the clues for me. 
  • It is nearing 9, so we are going to settle in on the couch. I am going to read some of my book until we turn on the tv to watch a bit before bed!

August 17, 2023

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  • Well today was finally the first day of school for Reagan even though it was only one class. This meant that I could finally take her first day of school picture and get rid of the sign that has been sitting on the counter for a few weeks.
  • Anderson had his 2 new classes this morning followed by his class with Graham. Reagan and Anderson both have history together, and then Anderson has science with Graham. This means that Graham rode with Reagan, then had a study hall, and then drove home with Anderson. 
  • Graham and I had talked about all of the things he could finished during study hall and how good that time would be. Except he told me that he played cup pong the whole time today-at least it wasn't beer pong.
  • And this is how different my first born and second born are. Reagan came in, and I asked about history. She said it was going to be hard. They played a game, and she knew none of the answers, and she already has a lot of work to do. She then went upstairs and went to work on the history.
  • When Anderson came in, I asked him the same question. He said he thought it would be fine. They played a game, and his team won the game-he knew quite a few of the answers, and he didn't think they had any work to do. He hasn't given the class a second thought tonight. They are so different!
  • Anderson had to run to Raymar to help re-move somethings back to the church house. While he was gone doing that, Robby ran back to Costco late this afternoon to buy some cream cheese. We had all of the ingredients for supper except for the cream cheese.
  • I fixed supper with Campbell's help. I am not sure what is in to my kids-Graham, Campbell, and Keaton have all ran/walked at least a mile each outside today. Campbell and Keaton went on a short bike ride. I guess all of this outside time is due to the nicer weather the last two days. I just wish that he would stay this way.
  • We all ate supper and reviewed the day. Then Robby changed a light bulb and worked on the eave of the house a little bit tonight. This meant that I had to be there to hold his ladder. As he was working on the eave of the house (trying to get rid of a few bats that have made that area home), I did notice that he was coming down quickly. He thought he had heard the bats, so he was moving pretty quick on that ladder.
  • Anderson, Keaton, and I played Rumikub. Whitman did play with us as well, but I am not sure if I can count that because he was pretty sour during our game. Then the three of us, not Whitman, played a speed round of Sequence. 
  • Now it is nearing 9, and I am sure that there will be a Rookie episode before bed for the crew.

August 16, 2023

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  • Tomorrow Anderson has to leave at 8:25. I know that isn't anything for all of the real school goers, but for us-that is fairly early to get this house stirring. I have been doing my first wake up at 8:15 each morning with the second at 8:30 where I almost have to drag sleeping Whitman down the stairs. (Not really, but he doesn't get up as quickly as his sisters.)
  • This was the first fairly stressful day of school. There were lots of things for me to do and check with people. Whitman was actually the lucky one-when I was trying to work with the big boys and do his spelling, I eventually just told him that he got a pass and could skip spelling today. 
  • We did eventually finish everything that needed to be done so afterwards my day did slow down a bit. I took Bentley on a walk before taking Campbell, Keaton, and Whitman to Defy.
  • Today at Defy was just a completely different experience-everyone was really back at school, so it was just them and about 5 other folks there. Less people meant that they played more. We probably could have stayed over the one hour mark, but I think they were anxious to get a drink on the way home. 
  • We weren't home for too long this afternoon when Anderson and Graham left for Raymar to help with football evals. Well, Anderson is working while Graham is just helping. Yesterday, Graham didn't have a job so he was kind of bored, but hopefully today he did. He was asked to come and help, and I know it feels a little defeating when you don't feel like you are actually helping.
  • Robby and I ran to Grannymom's house for a bit this afternoon. Then it was on to Sams and Costco. We found things we needed at both places, but really we didn't buy anything too fun-except for maybe sweet potato fries which we heated up for supper.
  • When we saw that the boys were heading home, we started on supper. The fries were a bit hit for sure-Robby had to make at least 4 different batches. We had 3 air fryers happening at once tonight so everyone could have their food warm-even though we still ate in 2 shifts. 
  • After eating, the boys had their showers, while the rest of the evening looks like it is going to happen while sitting on the couch!

August 15, 2023

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  • Our day was full of lots of coming and going. We started school like normal, but after a bit Anderson and Graham headed to their class.
  • Whitman and I did some speed schooling so he would be ready to go with Robby a bit later. They got Whitman a hair cut, and then they spent some of his Little Caesars gift card that he earned in May for saying all of his Bible verses. 
  • And finally they picked up Graham on the way home. Anderson had a meeting after his class so he stayed at school later-actually he didn't get home until after 2, and then he only had a few minutes before he had to turn around and go work at Raymar for football evals.
  • Robby and I took Graham there later so he could help. While we were there, we picked up the suburban and filled the minivan and suburban up with gas. We also ran to the store to pick up a few things. I am starting to get ready for next weeks trip, but we still haven't decided on any real food that we will need so we didn't do that much shopping tonight.
  • Back at home, we waited on the boys to get home before Robby cooked pancakes and egg in the hole for supper tonight. I do believe that egg in the hole is one of my favorite things to eat. The griddle was already out and ready to go since Robby had cooked 3 dozen eggs and 3 pounds of sausage for me so I could make a few days worth of breakfast burritos for the boys. (I really do hope that it lasts a more than just a few days though!)
  • Most people have had their showers-we did make Whitman take one tonight. If we are being honest, I have no idea when he last took one. Probably at least a week, but since Graham takes multiple showers a day, I kind of feel that it evens out a little bit. 

August 14, 2023

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  • Today most of the kids' friends started to school. This changes things a little bit-we had been letting the kids stay up later to chat/play video games with their friends each night. However, all those people were quiet much earlier last night since they all have to wake up at the crack of dawn.
  • Campbell was walked around here all day not knowing what to do with herself since the last few weeks she has constantly been on a facetime call chatting with her people. Today, no one was around until late afternoon.
  • Our school day went well. Reagan still hasn't started her school. One of her classes start on Thursday, but today she spent her morning helping paint Alyssa's parking space, eating lunch out, and then going to Raymar while Anderson and Alyssa worked.
  • We took Keaton, Campbell, and Whitman to Defy for a little bit today. We thought that it would be less crowded but it really wasn't. The homeschoolers were turning out in force on the first day of school or there are a few more schools around here that haven't started just yet.
  • By the time we made it home from Defy and our library stop, Anderson had gone to meet Alyssa and Reagan at Raymar. He had to work to get things ready for football tryouts tomorrow. They came home while Robby, the girls, and I were watching a video about our Halloween party at Disney in a few weeks.
  • Supper tonight was on your own-though I did end up making all of the boys' suppers so I guess it really wasn't that own you own. When supper was finished, Keaton had a shower while Anderson hopefully started on one of his school things. 
  • I think that plan is to soon watch some Rookie and possibly have a snack!

August 13, 2023

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  • Today was promotion Sunday at Geyer so we all had new classrooms. I had gone Thursday with Keaton to set up our room, so I didn't have much to do this morning to get ready. We did have a full classroom full of 21 first graders so the morning went by very quickly.
  • Mostly all of the kids had new Sunday school teachers. Reagan is now in the senior class. and she has a great group of teachers including one wonderful teacher! Keaton has now moved up to the youth group, so it is quite different for us only having one kiddo down in children's department.
  • Graham was baptized this morning. This summer he began questioning his salvation, but he settled that at one of his camps later in the summer. Since the downstairs baptistry is under construction, that meant that he was baptized upstairs in the venue.
  • This was the first time that Robby (and all of our parents) had ever been to the Venue service. It is surprisingly similar to the one downstairs except it is in a different place and darker. 
  • We had our lunch at Grannymom and Grandpa's house tonight. She had a delicious breakfast casserole. And then after lunch we hung around a visited for a little bit before going home.
  • At home, I finished my book (I'm not out of books until I get myself to the library). Then the big 4 started heating to Rock Creek. While they were gone, I went to work on tomorrow's list-I was able to mark a few things off so that hopefully helped for tomorrow.
  • We all met up at the Wilson's house after the kids finished church. They had breakfast-we like all of our lunch meals and supper meals to match! Their breakfast was completely different since they had breakfast quesadillas. 
  • The kids played some games after eating while the grownups sat around and visited. Now we are trying to get the kids in bed-and I am watching them throw down armful and armful of laundry!

August 12, 2023

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  • On Friday nights the kids can stay up as late as they want. I do sometimes ask the big boys to make sure that Whitman does go to sleep at a reasonable time, but their definition of reasonable is probably different than mine.
  • Graham slept in the bonus room, so I would figure that he did sleep fairly well last night. Campbell, however, text me at 3 this morning asking if we had soy sauce. I saw her text when I woke up and asked if she needed it last night for some reason. Today when Robby and I were at the store, I did buy her some which she promptly used in a ramen recipe that she made.
  • Robby and I only saw Graham this morning when we left the house-first stop was a hair cut for me. Then we had lunch at King Burrito new place. It was good-but Robby and I both thought that their chips tasted a little bit like cleaner. 
  • Then it was on to Sams, Walmart, Bath and Body Works, and finally we had to split up. Robby dropped me off at Costco while he ran into Kroger. By that time we had too many cold things in the car plus we were both buying more cold/frozen items so we couldn't dally.
  • At home we unloaded all of our groceries, and then had a few minutes of downtime before we all loaded up to go to Nonna and Pops' house.
  • We met Jason over there and celebrated Nonna's birthday a day early-we had flowers, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls and Jason had presents. I think that it was a fairly decent birthday celebration. We visited there for a while before heading home. 
  • Soon Campbell's friends started arriving. I lost count at 10 but I think there might have been 11 kiddos here. They mostly stayed outside playing killball, capture the flag and volleyball. The Wilsons, Brett and Carson came over as well so we had a house full. Robby picked up pizza, and I had made brownies, but we never really told the kids about the brownies so we just ate them.
  • Some folks are still finishing their showers, and possibly there is a meteor shower tonight to see, but hopefully bedtime is still coming up soon.

August 11, 2023

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  • This was a fairly lazy Friday. Graham did sleep in the bonus room because he wanted to wake up at 5. I am not sure why he wanted to wake up at 5-he has been telling me that he is having a hard time going to sleep so I have told him to wake up earlier but maybe he wanted to get an early start on his leftover school work.
  • Needless to say, he wasn't awake at 9:30 when I woke up everyone that still had school work left to go this week-Anderson, Campbell, and Graham. Anderson got right to his school work, and so did Campbell. I am still always surprised to see that she is wearing her glasses. 
  • I again did some work with Anderson and Graham on their physical science. I think the workload in that class will level out within the next week or so-or at least I hope so. Anderson starts his real classes, and I want those to be his priority.
  • Robby and I took Anderson and Keaton to Defy for a little bit of jumping time. Robby worked, and I read. Keaton and Anderson played together for a good while. Then he played some basketball while she jumped. On the way home, we stopped at the gas station to buy some drinks.
  • We weren't long too home before the big 4 headed to church tonight for the student's worship night. On the way home the stopped at ChickFilA were some ate and some didn't.
  • Meanwhile Keaton was busy cooking at home-she made chocolate cookies, and then she made orange chicken for her supper. Whitman had already eaten some pizza, Robby had a sandwich, and I had leftover pasta. 
  • I am sure that there will be quite a bit of tv watching and ice cream eating later in the evening-at least I hope so!

August 10, 2023

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  • Reagan and Campbell were the first ones to leave this morning. They met the other students at the church house for Student Serve Day, and then headed to a church on Asher. There they worked all morning in the church's resale shop.
  • Anderson and Graham were up for a bit and did some school work before they headed to their science class. Whitman woke up when the big boys did, and he worked mainly with me most of the morning. He was pretty pleased that he was finished well before lunch this morning.
  • At 1130, I woke up Keaton. Since she had finished all of her school yesterday so she enjoyed sleeping in. As soon as the boys were out of their science class, they hurried home.
  • Keaton and I were waiting for them while holding their lunch-breakfast burritos for Graham and grilled cheese for Anderson. I drove them straight to meet the others at the church where Reagan and Campbell were.
  • A bit later, the youth headed over to the Arkansas Food Bank to do some work there. I think that they really enjoyed working there. I bet that they were a little bit tired from working so hard today.
  • When Keaton and I dropped them off, we headed to our church house so we could work on my Sunday school room. She was a great help, and it didn't take long before we were finished.
  • The big 4 made it home about 5 this afternoon. Campbell was home for about 10 minutes when she left again with Keaton. The middle school from Rock Creek went to Main Event tonight so Robby dropped them off there. 
  • They had a big time-eating pizza, bowling, playing games, and winning lots of candy. This busy week has now included 2 trips to Main Event for Campbell. (plus a full week of school, a whole day of work at Student Serve day, a lip sync battle and tomorrow is worship night, and she is having friends over Saturday.)
  • While they were gone, I made some pasta for supper tonight. This was the pasta that I had made before, and the kids thought it was too zesty. Anderson said he thought it was better tonight-he gave me a 6 out of 10. (I asked him to continue his ratings-ramen was an 8, a cup of mac and cheese was a 6, and chicken alfredo a 9)
  • Everyone is home now, and since today is national s'mores day that is what this evening's snack is going to be!

August 9, 2023

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  • I did wake up earlier this morning than yesterday morning, but still I think this waking up in the mornings is catching up with me. I still was up and had brushed the dog before it was time to start on our school work.
  • The dog brushing is a big priority for me right now-just so much hair. Keaton has thought about going to cooking camp two times next year so I told her she would have to come up with the tuition money for one of them. She had the idea that she could bake something and then sell it on Facebook. I said that was fine with me but the more I think about it, we will have to bake at someone else's house so there is not dog hair in the food. Dang golden retriever!
  • That was all completely unrelated to today's activities. The boys had quite a bit of physical science to do today. It didn't help that I disagreed with the teacher about the answers to many of the problems. We just did it my way (which Google also agreed with), but that took a bit of time.
  • Keaton finished all of her work for today and tomorrow. Campbell has to leave early tomorrow so we will not read together in the morning. She decided that since we wouldn't read, then she would just sleep on it. Though I am not sure how that will happen since everyone else will have to be up (boys all to do school work first thing in the morning and Campbell and Reagan to get ready to go to church).
  • Campbell will be gone all day tomorrow for Student Serve day so she worked super hard today and knocked out all of her school as well. Actually, she still has about 3 different things to do, but for the most part she is done.
  • When we did finish school today, Campbell and I went to pick up her glasses. And just as I expected she is even cuter with them on. I looked through them or just a little bit, and really couldn't tell a difference. (However, my eyes have felt strained since then so I am not sure if her glasses did that to me or if I have just made myself crazy.) She acted like she is able to see better in them. I had just told her that I wanted her to wear them here at home consistently, but she could choose if she wanted to wear them out of the house-and she did tonight when they went to church.
  • When we came home, the big boys started making ice cream in a bag. This is where you fill one ziplock bag with ice cream ingredients and another with ice and shake it until it turns to ice cream.
  • High school boys with a bag of ice just really turns into a mess, but they had a lot of fun doing it. Graham was still shaking his when I had to run to the Wilsons for a second. So he offered to drive me in the suburban over there.
  • He has never driven the suburban, but he did fine. Keaton was about to go on a walk with Bentley so they went to, and Reagan came along as well. I wish I could have recorded Reagan's face as Graham was backing out of their driveway.
  • Back at home, there was a bit of time before Reagan, Anderson, Graham, and Campbell left for the lip sync batter at church. Keaton will be officially in the student ministry on Sunday, but Reagan convinced her to come anyway tonight so she did. 
  • Whitman has been watching a Phineas and Ferb marathon for most of the afternoon. I am about to have to take the remote control away from him so I don't lose my mind-thankfully none of the episodes are the ones that I have seen. 
  • Campbell's group ended up winning the Lip Sync battle so she was pleased that they earned doughnuts for Sunday morning. On the way home, they stopped at ChickFilA to grab a bite to eat with some of their friends. 

August 8, 2023

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  • Bentley and I woke right up at 6:30 this morning when a loud clap of thunder crashed. I am not sure if she was in bed with me or if she quickly joined me. I pulled her close to me though, and we went on back to sleep.
  • I have been doing so well waking up in time to get most of my things done before school starts, but today was the exception. I barely managed to brush my teeth before beginning school this morning. Thankfully though things calmed down so I was able to catch up before noon.
  • Today was Anderson and Graham's first day at Comm Central. Graham only has physical science, and Anderson has it as well, but he also had 2 other classes that have not yet started. They weren't too happy about the class-there are 9th graders in the class and only one other boy. 
  • When they went to church for class, they also took Campbell. The students were going to Main Event today, and she would have had to arrive about 30 minutes after the boys got to church, so I convinced her to just go early with them and hang out.
  • Soon she was on the bus for Main Event, and the boys drove to meet everyone there when their class was over. I think that they all had fun there-Campbell came home with a bag of little trinkets from the claw machine, and Anderson won some candy. 
  • While they were gone, I went with Keaton and Whitman to Defy. She loves jumping on the trampoline, but when he is "forced" to go, he doesn't enjoy it much. But I enjoyed sitting on the couch there and reading my book.
  • We came home, then the big boys and Campbell arrived about 30 minutes later. And 30 minutes after that Robby showed up from Memphis where he had had the camper worked on.
  • We had grown fairly concerned about what all was wrong with the camper and what that was going to do to our financial situation. However, the fix it man said the axle, wheel bearings, and springs were all fine. He also said that Robby must have just had bad luck and gotten bad tires. They aligned the camper, and Robby was soon on his way soon.
  • We were home for a bit when we went on our next errand. The Wilsons had a spare car so we took it for a test drive. Reagan even took the car for a test drive, and when she gave the thumbs up, Robby purchased the car. I am pretty sure that Reagan is tickled about this new to her car.
  • Robby and I then went to Costco to pick up a supper for the kids-a rotisserie chicken and a pizza. By the time we came home, they also had corn and mashed potatoes made. We then ran to get gas for the new car and for the minivan. Then Robby went into Kroger while I headed home with the kids supper.
  • Reagan was watching a movie in the living room with Campbell and Keaton, but they have both deserted her. Campbell to chat with her friends on the phone, and Keaton to do her school work. I am hiding out in my bedroom because Reagan has turned off all of the lights for her movie, and I just can't sit in the dark. 

August 7, 2023

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  • This was a fairly calm Monday for which I am thankful. I was the first one awake this morning and started on the pesky laundry and dishes before taking Bentley out to be brushed. Then it was on to waking up the kids.
  • Campbell said that she was already awake, but I am not too sure about that. I have learned the trick to waking Whitman up in the mornings-I tell him how many minutes he has on his ipad before we start to work. Usually, this will get him stirring at least. This morning 15 minutes after waking him up, I found him curled up with that ipad sound asleep-it didn't work too well today.
  • We did all of our reading this morning which is just always my favorite part of the day. I could read to them for hours longer than we have but always have to hurry the last few minutes so I can get everything in. 
  • Then the kids started on their school work. Keaton usually does quite a bit of work the night before and always tries to work ahead. Whitman should work ahead, but bless him, if he can just get the days work done then that is a win. Though he has plenty of time to do work during the afternoon or evening, but he would so grumble and complain if I suggested it.
  • Campbell has to leave early tomorrow and then will be gone all day Thursday for church things so she is right now feverishly trying to get ahead for the rest of the week. Reagan also doesn't need any motivation to do school-she has been working on the ACT each night. The boys need some of the motivation that my girls have.
  • Keaton wanted to go to Defy so Whitman was "forced" to go as well. She jumped the entire hour while Whitman was full of grumbles and complaints. I was sitting downstairs so I was a nearby ear for his whining today. 
  • Robby left for Memphis this afternoon in hopes that the camper can be diagnosed and fixed tomorrow. He is at an RV park overlooking the mighty Mississippi. He even climbed up into a treehouse to look at the river.
  • I then took Graham to the orthodontist to get those retainers. He has been without since the beginning of July. I am glad that he has them now, and I told him that they would not leave the house on a trip unless I was going with them. 
  • Since Robby was gone tonight, we just all ate our own thing for supper. Keaton and Reagan had manicotti, Whitman, Anderson and I had nachos, Graham had his free ChickFilA that we picked up on the way home from the orthodontist, and Campbell is just now working on her dinner.
  • I have just finished watching a Hallmark movie and am now going to get me some ice cream without telling the kids!

August 6, 2023

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  • This was a fairly busy morning. First, Keaton had a farewell to the Children's ministry breakfast during the Sunday school hour. My Sunday school class and Whitman's all had their end of the year parties at the same time. Robby and I did sneak into the breakfast for a few minutes and then joined our class back.
  • After all of this, I had worship care with the itty babies. We had one that fussed most of the day, but it wasn't all bad-we were able to do a bit of visiting during all of that though. It did make the time go by faster though.
  • After church we headed to Nonna and Pops' house to eat lunch. They had bbq and all of the fixings. The kids were all pretty chatty about their upcoming busy week and everything from Sunday morning so there were lots of stories to listen to.
  • We came home, and the kids put away their laundry. Then Robby and I had a short nap before he went to run some errands while I worked on Sunday school things along with school things.
  • Soon the kids were all leaving-Anderson and Graham left early with Brett on their way to Rock Creek while Reagan left later with Campbell to got Rock Creek. Reagan stopped off and watched a movie on the way home, but the rest of the people, the Wilsons and some others came to the house to eat supper tonight.
  • Shannon and I were able to visit while Tony and Robby went on a work errands for Tony. When Robby finally made it home, the kids were still going strong here. Now, I have finished my blog and am about to put these people in their beds-actually in their rooms. No one is going to go to bed anytime around here.

August 5, 2023

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  • I am not too sure what time Keaton and her friends went to bed last night, but they were up at a decent time this morning making smoothies in the kitchen. The blender was pretty loud and woke the others up or they were already up, but Keaton did end up making Whitman a smoothie as well.
  • I am not really sure what Keaton and her people did for the rest of the morning because I left with the big boys. Graham had a free bundt cake for his birthday, so he drove us there first. He did just fine, but there is a big difference between driving on Lawson and driving on Chenal. There aren't too many cars on Lawson right in front of you, but there is on Bowman and Chenal. He did fine though except every blasted stop light we went through turned yellow right as he was going through them.
  • From there, we went to get their hair cut. I know that I have said it before but man, I wish I had learned how to cut the boys' hair. Like somewhere along the way I should have taken some classes. I would be good at putting together a list of classes for others to take-basic hair cutting, bread making, chocolate chip cookie making, etc. Now, I couldn't teach any of the classes, but I would certainly sign up for them.
  • And back to the chocolate chip cookie making-yesterday was chocolate chip cookie day. I am not sure if I mentioned it. I thought that I would make cookies; however, we only had about a cup of chocolate chips so I saw one of my recipes used just that. I read that they were to be flat and crispy, but mine were just a flop! I would attend the cookie making class for sure.
  • I wasn't home too long from the hair place when it was time to leave again. We dropped off one friend at her house, dropped off another friend at the birthday party that we were taking Campbell too, and then dropped the last friend at her house. Then Keaton and I came home right before it started to rain.
  • While it rained, Robby and I took a cat nap on the couch. We had started watching a youtube video, but soon it was over, and we were still snoozing. We couldn't rest for too long because soon it was time to pick up Campbell and her friend that was spending the night. 
  • We picked them up and then ran into Kroger to get a few things. Afterwards, we picked up pizza from two different places-the meaty pizza and the not so meaty pizza. Even though it was just 6 when we made it home, we all devoured it like we hadn't really eaten all day.
  • Some of the kids had showers, some of the kids had their second showers of the day. So many towels and so many clothes that we wash every day. 
  • Keaton and Laynie are making cookies or something in the kitchen right now while I hope to eat some ice cream later and just sit on this couch for the rest of the evening!

August 4, 2023

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  • What a wonderful Friday this was. We really didn't do anything at all. The kids all slept until almost 11 or really some slept even later. 
  • Robby ran a few errands this morning and even came home with a load of groceries. I was outside brushing and trimming Bentley so I didn't hear him, and he had to unload the groceries by himself. 
  • I brush Bentley every day. And I am not sure if I have talked about her hair or not. From what I have read Golden Retrievers shed their coat twice a year. However, I have never been figured out when exactly Bentley is shedding her coat, because she is shedding her coat ALL year long.
  • For instance, I brushed her today so long with hair collecting on my, in the brush, on the table, and tons of hair flying through the air. My thought is that any hair that we leave outside is hair that does not fall of in our house.
  • But today I did more than brush her, I also trimmed her. She is kind of like my own chia pet. I kind of enjoying trimming her hair-makes me wish I could cut the boys' hair too, but they might be a little pickier than the dog. And I must have done a decent job on the dog today because no one has noticed her trim.
  • At 1 today, Keaton, Whitman, Campbell, Graham, Anderson and I went to Defy. We were there for about 50 minutes when the kids decided that they were ready to go. I thought that was good since I could hear the thunder, and it looked like the storm was not yet on us on the radar...
  • But I was wrong. It was pouring! When we all jumped in the car, the rain from Graham's side was blowing so hard that it blew onto Anderson on the other side of the car. We were all drenched. But not drenched enough that we didn't want to run into the gas station for a drink before going home.
  • We weren't home too long until Keaton's friends started showing up. She has friends over tonight-they have made pasta and made cookie dough. While they were making cookie dough they had one person blind folded, one listening to loud music so they couldn't hear, and two people couldn't talk. Robby and I were trying to watch a movie while they were doing this, and it was quite difficult.
  • Unfortunately, during all of this time I was quite distracted and forgot about the blog so I am quickly trying to finish it now before we urge these people towards their beds.

August 3, 2023

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  • We finished the first week of school this week, and thankfully everyone has finished all of their things and there is nothing that I know of school wise that we have to do tomorrow-at least I hope not!
  • Whitman was finished around noon today, but I made him keep working and do spelling with me. We are about half way through this spelling book, and I wanted to finish before Christmas, but honestly, that is probably not going to happen.
  • I worked on some recipes this afternoon. It was one of the "extra" things I do-I have made cookbooks for each of the kids and was trying to add a few more recipes. I started them years ago, but now I am not really sure when I give them to the kids.
  • Graham went for a run right at noon today. This is the third or fourth day that he has been running outside. He didn't wait until it was cooler, but I guess that he wasn't out there too long running. He must have had some extra energy to burn off since he found out there is a possibility that he is getting a job at Reagan's workplace.
  • I think that today was the first day in a while that Keaton didn't bake anything during the afternoon. Robby had bought some grapes last night, and those babies are pretty much completely gone. I am not sure why sometimes when we have fruit, it sits here, and other times it is gone in less than 24 hours.
  • This evening the big 3 went to Raymar with the church group. They all seemed to have fun-or at least they were pretty sweaty when they all came home. Sweaty and hungry-they were all pretty hungry too.
  • Robby and I went to the Wilson's house for a little this evening. We ate some chips and salsa and watched some tv while visiting for a good while. We came home about the same time that the big kids made it home.
  • They all made their suppers while Whitman, Keaton, Robby, and I watched a little bit of tv before bed. Since there is no school tomorrow, maybe we will stay up a little bit later tonight.

August 2, 2023

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(click for today's pictures)

  • This morning Whitman finished his school before 11:30. He had done a bit of extra math yesterday, so that did help. Whenever he finishes early, it is a big win. Now, he really wants to finish at 11 which is near when Keaton finishes, but he just moves too slowly for all of that. Maybe someday.
  • Campbell took the first section of the ACT this morning just to practice. She had never done anything like this, but she did just fine. Though the print was super tiny on the pages she was looking at, so I just told her to do half this week, and we would do more when those glasses come in.
  • Graham did plenty of work today, but he has saved all of his videos that he has to watch for Civics and Economics for tomorrow. That will make for an exciting day for him! I am not really sure what his thinking was behind all of this, but maybe he will learn that wasn't a good idea. Or maybe it will work well for him.
  • Around 1:30, Robby and I took Keaton and Whitman to Defy. When we drove up, Whitman noticed the buses and said that we were supposed to go on a school day. Soon all those other folks will be at school, and they will have the place to themselves.
  • When we came home, we had a bit of downtime before Robby and I worked on supper. We made the Wilson's fettuccine Alfredo. I wasn't sure if we could replicate their meal since everyone had really liked it, but thankfully the kids said that they liked it. I think that they were telling us the truth.
  • Robby went to pick up Grannymom and Grandpa from their westward trip this evening while Anderson watched some car racing on the tv. Keaton was spending a good bit of her evening working on her tomorrow's school work. 
  • I spent a bit of time scanning our wedding pictures so they could be online and easy to access. 
  • Tonight is ice cream sandwich day so we are going to enjoy those before this evening is over!

August 1, 2023

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  • Day 2 of school, and we are all still here. Seriously, it wasn't too bad at all. My biggest complaint about school this year is that my bedroom is just a little bit chilly. I know it is a hundred outside, but at 9:30 I'm wearing a sweatshirt. I must just sit right where the vent shoots out the cool air.
  • Campbell, Graham, Anderson, and Reagan went to Tacos for Life with the church group today. I never heard what all they ate, but I did see a box of leftovers in the fridge.
  • While Whitman and I were finishing up school, we got a pool text. We then put things into high gear and went to town-well, I did. Whitman didn't care about going to the pool, but Keaton did so Whitman got to go too.
  • We were at the pool for about 2.5 hours. Even though Whitman is never crazy about leaving the house, he still had fun. He says that he does not like "to be forced" to do things. The boy is pretty smart and realized that his big brothers have a bit of say over what they do and don't do. For example, I give the big boys an option to go to the pool or even Defy, but Whitman doesn't get that choice. If I were to give him a choice he would seriously just sit at home and never leave the house.
  • We were home from the pool by 3 which was the perfect time. We did school, went to the pool, and then still had time for the afternoon. I really didn't do too much during the afternoon. I had intentions of walking on the treadmill, but instead I read some and took a 25 minute nap.
  • Instead of our planned supper, we ended up eating supper at the Crafts. It was a fun little trip-we took the camper so Casey could look at it, and they could compare things. Traci had a delicious pasta, and they also had a huge waterslide in their front yard. 
  • We all had fun, but Whitman probably had the most fun. I told him about the waterslide, but he said he didn't want to take his bathing suit. When we arrived, and he say how huge it was, he changed his mind and quickly changed!
  • We had a fun visit, but we had to hurry home because Anderson and Robby had movie tickets tonight. Their movie didn't start until 9, so maybe I will put the kids to bed early and read my book. Honestly, I go to bed before the kids these days!