July 20, 2024

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  • I woke right up at 7:20 this morning and could not go back to sleep, so I wandered into the kitchen and started folding the 5 full laundry baskets full of clothes. By 8 or so, I had the dishes emptied and all of those clothes folded. That was a good feeling; however, I am well aware that the kids' rooms still look like they are leaving for a trip tomorrow. Even Anderson's area is full of clothes.
  • After the laundry was taken care of, I did pretty much nothing for the rest of the morning. I tried to nap some, but never really went to sleep for long. Annie came over to play with Bentley around noon so that helped reverse Bentley's depression some from everyone leaving her last week.
  • This evening Robby and I had a few errands-we came home with milk which the big boys seem to guzzle right now. For example, last night we had chicken for supper, and they said that was a good milk meal. I don't think that is right, but at least they are getting their calcium.
  • We also came home with supper for everyone-2 pepperoni pizzas, 3 tacos, and 2 wraps. Since these were all mystery shops, the kitchen was full of people circling while Robby had to take pictures of all the food.
  • We also brought something fun for the boys' room: an air conditioner. Even though it was not over 90 today, it still got up to 82 in the boys' room. That's just too hot, plus they have all of their devices on which just generates more heat. Our real air was working hard and blowing out cold air, but it just can't keep up with rooms in the eaves of the house.
  • After eating, we worked on the air conditioner. It was surprisingly easy to put in, and it fits perfectly right by Anderson's bed. They shut their door, and it quickly cooled their room to 68. I'm sure Graham will have to start wearing a parka, but I think that they will both enjoy this air conditioner.
  • Last night we started Whitman's new board game, but it was late, everyone was tired, and we weren't really sure of the rules. Tonight though, Whitman and I had studied up so we knew exactly how the game worked-Whitman, Robby, and Anderson won the game this evening, but I bet that Whitman will want to play again very soon. 

July 19, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • Ah, it is so nice that all of my people are back under my roof. However, even though it was just a week, Whitman and I will have to get used to having everyone home again. We had our own little order of things, and even though all things are better with all our people, it is still different.
  • Whitman and I woke up drove to Pinnacle Mountain this morning. We charged up that hill and gracious, it is a little steeper than I remembered. I thought that it was just rocky the last little bit, but nope-that whole trail is rocky. 
  • The Central High football team was coming down the mountain as we went up, so there were lots of people coming down to give us lots of time to take a few breaks-and we needed it. I have never been so relieved to see those numbers on that trail. 
  • Whitman pressed on, but he did need some encouragement. When we made it to the top, we sat that cooling off a bit, but the weather was absolutely perfect today for the middle of July. Then we trekked back down the mountain-that is when I knew that I am not as spry as I used to be. My knee and ankle would hurt every other step down. Whitman started to get tired and stumbled three different times. but we made it! 
  • Unfortunately, Whitman gave our last adventure a 2 out of 10. Oh well, you can't win them all. The coke that he drank on the way home surely helped raise the score some. We got gas, and then went to Nonna and Pops' house to eat lunch. 
  • After lunch, I hurried home to make Texas Road House rolls-they were not perfect, but they were the best that I had ever done. I then cut up quite a few veggies-green beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and carrots to roast with some air fryer chicken. I ran like a crazy woman doing this while tracking everyone on their way home.
  • I was at church a little bit before 4 when Campbell and Keaton came in-they had a wonderful time on their trip. Their favorite part was when it flooded and the girls had to do all of the work at the civic center. 
  • Robby and Graham pulled in about an hour later. They also had a good trip and were glad to be home safely. We then had to frantically rush to Benton to return a rental car before racing to the airport to pick up Reagan and Anderson.
  • We made it to the airport right as they were landing, but we were inside waiting with everyone else by the time that made it down the escalator. They both enjoyed it all as well though Reagan was a bit disappointed that she wasn't able to go to the homeless village that Graham worked at. 
  • We came home and as the kids unpacked and laundry started, I worked on supper. The kids ate, and the Wilsons brought over cake. We visited while Robby told all of his stories.
  • When they left, we started to play Whitman's new board game, but it seems to be pretty complicated so we will have to study up on that and play tomorrow. 
  • Right now the girls are pretty tired, Graham is already asleep, Anderson is showering, and Whitman could probably go another few hours before falling asleep!

July 18, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • This is the last night that this house will be quiet for a little while. I think that Whitman will be excited to have every one else home. I know that I will be as well-I have not been apart from Robby ever this long. And gracious, Bentley, she just goes to the girls' closed bedroom door and whines. If they were gone much longer, we would have to go to the vet and get her some medication.
  • I had to wake Whitman up this morning so we could go and pick up Grannymom and Grandpa. I had a gift card to Main Event so we went to bowl with that gift card. I have signed Whitman up with the kids bowl free program, so he can bowl 2 games free only having to pay for his shoes. His shoes were 5, but Grannymom and I were bowling also so I expected to pay full price for us to bowl. I don't know what that would have been, but I was surprised when they just charged us 15 for all of us to bowl. 
  • I thought I had a deal and was pleased, but little did I know it would get better. We bowled two games-only one real game. The other game was some type of bowling game where we tried to hit the bumpers when they lit up a certain color. Whitman was much better at that game-or at least he understood what we were doing. 
  • The place was so crowded with kids when we came in that I regretted not calling and checking if they had groups coming. However, by the time we finished bowling it had emptied out some, so we went to the restaurant to use more of the gift card.
  • They had a deal where you could buy one entree and get a 10 dollar play card. We all did that-Whitman and I split a pizza earning him a 10 dollar play card, and Grannymom and Grandpa split chicken fingers earning another card. The food was good and pretty plentiful. 
  • I knew I would go over my 50 dollar gift card when I saw the 43 dollar check for our meal. I added my tip and handed the lady my gift card. Then I had out my credit card, but she said that the gift card covered it all. So for some reason, we were able to use my 50 dollar gift card for 65 dollars worth of things today (6 games of bowling, 2 meals, $20 of points)-we aren't sure how that happened, but we left quickly after that.
  • Actually, we didn't. Whitman went and played his games some. Then Grandpa watched Whitman play a few games even playing one himself. I played some next with him, and eventually, he ran out of points on his cards. He really enjoyed the day and came home and organized his Minecraft cards that he earned today.
  • We took Grandpa back home, and then went to Costco with Grannymom. I found our vitamins and then possibly a shirt for Anderson, but most importantly we bought some cookies as we were leaving. Whitman and I came home and ate our cookie, and then he found a recipe to cook.
  • For supper tonight, he wanted to make pizza chips out of tortillas from a cookbook. We did that and while they baked we played a game. They weren't quite ready at first, so we put them in longer. I'm sure you can figure out where this is going-we burned them!
  • However, it didn't take long for us to make them again, and by the time our game was over, we were eating our pizza chips. He must have really liked them because he came back for more. Now I am reading and enjoying the last little bit of quiet in the house-actually, this house will be quiet for days since the kids will sleep forever when they get home. 
  • Whitman and I had one last fun thing tonight-we went to Sonic for some ice cream this evening. Robby is usually the fun parent, but I've tried hard this week! He was certainly surprised when I asked him if he wanted to go out to get ice cream!

July 17, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • Whitman and I started the day at the new Museum of Fine Arts. It was pretty impressive; it is no Crystal Bridges, but really it is pretty close. There was a scavenger hunt there that we did, so that was fun. And maybe because of the scavenger hunt or maybe because we just aren't overly impressed with art, we were only there for about 45 minutes or maybe even less.
  • We had fun though, and we really had fun when the prize for the scavenger hunt was an ice cream scoop at Loblolly. We drove right there, and Whitman got himself a chocolate chip cookie dough scoop. I didn't get anything, but I did see exactly what I want for my birthday-a 12 scoop flight. I can think of nothing better and have already hinted to Robby (though I better remind him a little closer.)
  • Whitman wanted to eat his ice cream in the car, so as he ate, I drove to the other side of town towards Cinnaholic. They had their simple cinnamon rolls on sale for 2 dollars today. Robby and I had eaten a roll there before, and we were not impressed. However, today's was delicious. It probably wouldn't be worth 5 dollars, but definitely worth 2. It was so good that I devoured mine on the way home.
  • Once at home, the rain had finally cleared so I had took my walk with Bentley. Whitman and I did spelling, and I worked on Reagan's desk shelf. It is from the Wilsons and was white, but Reagan really wanted a wooden one. Well, after a bit of work and Dana's direction, it is going to look pretty close to wood. I still don't know if she will use it or even be able to use it, but I only spent 7 dollars.
  • Whitman had a swim party tonight with all the kids from church. Sara offered to take him and bring him home since she was passing right by here. That was great, but it meant that he had to leave early and come home late.  
  • That was fine with me because as soon as he left, I headed to Walmart to do some shopping. I think some of the kids will want food when they get home Friday, so I have things to make a meal or that can be put off to Saturday if need be. Plus I was able to do a bit more dorm room shopping. 
  • When Whitman came in, he told me all about his evening, and then we played a round of Mario Cart. Now, his is showering, and it is almost bedtime.

July 16, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • Another morning with Whitman sleeping in late. It is Tuesday, and I have pretty much exhausted my weekly list of chores plus I am knocking out other random things on my list. School is ready for the next few weeks, and I will finish two books tomorrow. 
  • I do have a painting project that I started today and hope to finish tomorrow. Plus I have thought about organizing everything that Reagan is taking to college, but I think she needs to do that. Thankfully, Whitman and I have a few more big activities to do over the next few days.
  • Today we went to the movies. He loves the movies, and since this was Inside Out 2, he told me all about the first movie. His explanation was so thourough that I felt that I had seen the first one. We got popcorn for free, and even smuggled in some candy and a coke.
  • After the movie we picked up Sonic for our supper, and then we played a game while eating. Tonight we played a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory game. 
  • Last night Reagan and Anderson went to the Vegas strip and walked around. Reagan really enjoyed it and even said it was like NYC. Today they went to Hoover Dam. I think that they have a VBS that they do each day.
  • Robby and Graham went to a homeless village and did some yard work. They also went to a laundomat and talked to some people. Robby rewarded his van full of kids a Sonic drink on the way back.
  • And Campbell and Keaton had a lot of rain near St. Louis where they are. So much rain that Campbell sent me a video of her walking through water inside of a building. The Civic Center where the girls stay had some pretty good flooding. They sleep on the 3rd floor so it didn't effect them too much. 
  • They did spend the morning trying to get things off the floor and help the Civic Center people. The boys stay at another place, and they lost power for a bit. The leader even tried to get to the girls at some point this morning but the roads were so bad that he could not. It does look like they were able to do some things today-or at least they left the Civic Center eventually. 

July 15, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • Whitman slept in a little bit today-well, it was 11 when I woke him up. I know what time he went to bed, so I guess he just needed to catch up on his sleep since he didn't stay up crazy late. That did give me plenty of time to do almost all of my house stuff this morning. 
  • I even took Bentley on a walk-bless her, the first mile she is all spunky, and then she pulls towards the driveway whenever we pass it. I guess a 2 mile walk is good for her because it wears her completely out, and really she hasn't done anything else all day long.
  • I even did a few school things today-we have 2 more off weeks, and then we start real school. My people are so not going to be happy, but honestly, I will be. It will take us a few weeks for things to get settled though-we have Reagan's move in and the big boys won't start their college classes for a few weeks after we start, but we need to get back to a routine.
  • For lunch Whitman and I went to Nonna and Pops' house to eat. We ate and stayed there for a while. We even got a laundry basket out of their shed. I was originally going to replace mine, but the more I think about it, that might just be Reagan's new laundry basket.
  • The new car didn't show up today-they are checking on something which is certainly good because we want it to be okay. Keaton though text me and asked for pictures-she may be more excited than Reagan.
  • Whitman and I had our supper and finished our Monopoly game. I lost-he had one row of hotels which just caused me to lose all of my money. I had more property groups though and could have won, but I somehow never managed to have enough money to buy houses and hotels. He already has pulled out our game for tomorrow night.
  • On the mission trip front, I have heard little from people today. Reagan wrote to ask me about some college things, and I have talked to Robby, but other than that I haven't heard anything. Robby will fill me in on his day later tonight.

July 14, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • I shall begin with what I know about the mission trip people: Anderson told me that they went to church in the morning and then went to an event in the evening at a church that they are helping with. I tracked Keaton and Campbell and could tell that they went to church this morning, and then Campbell sent me pictures of her at the arch so that was also a stop today. Graham reported in that it was not too hot.
  • I have chatted with Robby, and he added that Graham and his group went to church under a bridge and then passed out 100 sandwiches that they had made. They played at a gym for a little bit, and then they went to a church this evening before eating pizza for supper.
  • Whitman and I have had a full day-church this morning where I again should have brought my sweater. Then Sunday school were we had to do a craft which was pretty involved for all my first graders.
  • Grannymom had lasagna for lunch-at least I think it was lasagna, I can't really remember. I know that we had salad, biscuits, and peanut butter pie with it. After lunch, we headed home where I worked on my list of things. Robby called so I chatted with him for a long while.
  • Then I ran to Sonic for Whitman a drink and burger. We worked on our Monopoly game while we ate. Afterwards, we made a paper airplane launcher with her crunchlabs box. 
  • I did some reading and worked on the blog, but next we are going to have a mario cart tournament. I used to think that Whitman didn't talk much to her brothers and sisters, but he must because he has been pretty chatty with me since no one else is home!

July 13, 2024-Mission Trip Week (Las Vegas, Austin, and St. Louis)

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  • The alarm clocks went off pretty early this morning for Robby and me. I went upstairs to wake up Campbell, Keaton, and Graham, and we were all off to church by 7:10. We first dropped Campbell and Keaton off since they had to arrive at 7:30.
  • We then drove to the back of the church house and dropped of Graham and Robby. Robby got settled in his van, and then I left heading towards home. I didn't have long to wake up the others and get to the airport. I did stop at the library on the way-priorities.
  • Back at home, I woke up Anderson and Reagan and soon we were heading to the airport for their flight to Vegas. Now, I just drop the kids off for camps and mission trips-I don't stay and wave to the bus as it leaves. One main reason is that I am not going to stand around for an hour or more until they do leave. Another reason is because the kids could care less if we are there are not; we have already said our goodbyes, and I have already given my final instructions.
  • I don't really know much about the day from anyone-Campbell and Keaton made it to St. Louis around 4 I think. Campbell was happy that they didn't have to pack up their stuff every day like she thought that she would.
  • Reagan and Anderson landed a few minutes early, but Reagan said that turbulence was horrible. It has been a long time since she has flown plus they did have a lot of mountains to fly over.
  • And Robby and Graham didn't arrive until later than all of the others. They did stop at Buccees where Robby bought some nuts. He drove a bus full of girls. I had urged him to bring his huge noise cancelling head phones, but actually he said that bus was so quiet at times that he had to turn on the radio. This is Robby's first church trip-we can say that people probably don't travel like we do.
  • Whitman and I have had a big day. After I dropped the kids off at the airport, I ran an errand, and then came home. I did a few things around the house, but at 2 we met all of the friends at the pool. We stayed there for 3 hours, and it was a perfect afternoon.
  • Back at home, I made him an english muffin pizza while I had an egg, cheese, and tomato on a english muffin. While we ate, we played Monopoly, We didn't come near to finishing, but we can play some each day until we do. 
  • He has already showered for tomorrow, and I am going to watch a little bit of news before reading some more tonight.

July 12, 2024-A Night In Arkadelphia

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  • Let's see, I have so many things to say on tonight's blog, but it is nearing midnight so let's see how well I can do before I decide that it is my bedtime.
  • Robby and I woke up and hurried to eat breakfast at our Holiday Inn Express-we stayed there because of the cinnamon rolls of course. Then we didn't have too long before heading out to OBU for the Joyworks and Praiseworks finales.
  • Now, on the way I reminded Robby that it would be about 2 hours. He said "nah, it wouldn't be that long." During the second choir, I told Robby that the high schoolers looked really young and said that there were no big boys like Anderson and Graham. But that didn't matter much because I was like "yippee, we are going to get out early."
  • I was wrong, there was a whole other choir that had to sing. It was indeed over 2 hours long. However, those children-so many that when 2 of the choirs were on the stage it was packed. Hundred of kids. Those kids were just amazing to watch. 
  • The first was the orchestra which was outstanding. Then the 3-6th graders-this is where I even got teary eyed, and I didn't even have anyone in that choir. Next up were Campbell and Keaton's group-the 7th-9th graders. And finally the 10th-12th graders that I was not expecting, nor was I expecting the 7th-9th graders to join the big kids for 2 more songs. 
  • Just seeing that many kids worshiping was amazing-and I know I say it every year, but this is the camp where I decided that I was going to marry Robby. I was going into the 6th grade and came back to tell people at school that I was going to be Mrs. Tara Jo Dennie. He was a counselor at the camp, and I guess I was also going to change my middle name. 
  • Campbell and Keaton had a blast at camp. It is a lot of choir for my non musical people-praising Jesus is one thing, but sitting in choir for hours at a time is another. They both had graphic design and art as well during the week, but oh, they were chatty on the way home which is a sign of a good time.
  • On the way home, we stopped at the crazy busy Sonic-of course everyone who just sat through a 2 plus hour performance needed a snack. Then it was on to Subway to get the rest of our meal, and then to Enterprise for Robby to rent a car for tomorrow's trek to Austin. (The car is just rented in his name.)
  • Then it was home-I believe that Campbell figured out from when she walked into the door at 2:30 this afternoon, she had 16 and a half hours until she had to be at church in the morning. Plus she was gone for over 3 hours this evening to work at church so our turn around time was pretty quick.
  • Their bags were emptied in the mudroom and everything washed. I used both machines, and put blankets and their comforters in the next two loads. While the first loads were washing, the girls napped, and I helped Anderson and Graham.
  • Graham had all of his things laid out so I put them neatly in his bag. He just needs a bit more help with the folding part. Anderson is flying so I wanted to make sure that he had all things as well, so since his clothes were stacked on his bed, I put them in his suitcase.
  • From when we came home, until when Robby and I left to run an errand I was working on packing and unpacking people. Robby and I left to go to Sams and pick up Reagan's dress from Grannymom. When we came home, the girls were already mostly packed again.
  • Anderson and Graham then left to go to church at Rock Creek. Then Robby and I left with Keaton and Campbell. They worked at church tonight earning money for next year's camps, and I think that they had a good time doing that.
  • Robby and I participated in an Amazing Race with about 25 other couples. It was so fun! We started in the Walmart parking lot where I had to write down 3 of Robby's top 10 tv shows. I encouraged him to go with a theme and we nailed that-Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med-now those are probably not really his favorite tv shows, but we finished the challenge quickly.
  • Then we had to roll a dice to 10 different times to determine if we had to go left, right, or straight. Where we ended up, we had to run in and buy something. Lowes it was-and I grabbed a dollar things of baking soda on the way in that we bought.
  • The Benton River center was next where we had a choice-to make 3 different basketball shots without missing one or to take turns running a mile. We chose the mile-Robby ran a 1/4, then me, and then he started his run again. And by the way, a quarter of a mile is not joke. Robby had to walk, but I didn't, but either way our lungs were burning by the end, and it took us to the next stop before we could catch our breath.
  • We then went to Small Cakes where Robby had to sing a love song to me to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. AI to the rescue there, but once he was done, he had to eat a cupcake before he could get the next clue. We were still huffing and puffing, but I helped him gobble that down, and we were off again.
  • Next we had to get someone to roll down their car window which took us much longer than it should have. Then we had our next choice-we could get 2 out of state licence plate pictures or go in a store and find 4 different plates. We zoomed over to the hotel and quickly go those out of state licence plates.
  • Finally it was our last clue-we had to unscramble a clue which said "This is the place, Gaither Vocal Band" Then it gave a time so we found the music and it said something to the affect of "where you say I do, say goodbye, and dedicate your child." Off to church we then drove.
  • Robby parked right in the front of the church house, and we joined about 4 other couples looking for an unlocked door. Someone opened the door for us, and Robby and I headed straight for the sanctuary. They were in the balcony, so we hurried up the stairs beating the other couples who walked in with us.
  • We were the 7th couple to arrive out of about 25 so we were pretty proud of ourselves. If you do look at the pictures, you will see that Robby and I took our picture with the trophy before the race started so we can still call ourselves winners. 
  • We then came back home and started to work on packing some more. The boys showed up a bit later, and even though they had just eaten they enjoyed some doughnuts from Nonna and Pops. It has been a lot today, and Whitman and Bentley have gotten the short end of the stick. 
  • Whitman is fine though because I have plans every day for him next week-he will be so busy, he will be glad when the others come back home. And Bentley, she was so unsettled tonight-every light on, suitcases littering the floor, everyone talking about something, people going from room to room-she even got a bit whiney. I'm sure she senses that something is happening around here.
  • Okay, it is not 12:30, and there is even more excitement to share-Reagan did get a new car today. New to us, and it won't arrive until Monday, but she at least has wheels for college. 

July 11, 2024-A Night In Arkadelphia

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  • Robby had his Dgroup early this morning-I slept wonderfully until about 4 last night when I woke up. It was probably because Robby and the dog were both on my side. I tossed and turned quietly so as not to wake up Robby until his alarm went off-and then I did have to wake him up.
  • Once we left for his thing, I went back to sleep and slept a good while longer. Then I finally did get up and start to work on my things around the house including taking Bentley on a walk. We did 2 miles again today-she did some better, but every time I passed the house, I thought seriously about dropping her off. Maybe I will develop some arm muscles from pulling her.
  • The boys went to play basketball this afternoon-they were pulling out when I realized that I had told them to use the wrong car since Reagan needed a car while they were gone and we were leaving before she got home. They graciously didn't mind switching cars.
  • Reagan left next to go to Sonic to play cards with her friends. They then went to Loblolly for a little bit, but she she came home so the boys could leave again to go and play pickleball. The white van is at home as well, but no one is ever too fond of driving it-Anderson would take it though if he had to, but Reagan would probably just convince someone to come out to our house and pick her up. 
  • Robby and I left this evening to come to Arkadelphia. It just so happens that he had a free hotel room expiring so dang it, we weren't going to let that happen. We have to be at OBU tomorrow at 10 so we will get a head start on traffic.
  • We also ate out fancy at a local Italian/Mexican place-yep, we had chips and salsa with our manicotti. It sounds different, but we were pretty surprised by how much we enjoyed everything. We drove around Ouachita on our way back to the hotel looking for Campbell and Keaton, but they were in worship. Now we are sitting in the bed both typing on our computers, and once we are not so full we will start on some cinnamon rolls for a snack. 

July 10, 2024

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  • Another day for me where my afternoon was completely busy. Maybe I like being busy all day or maybe I miss my reading time-I haven't yet decided. Today though I did have fun.
  • I did my morning things while all these people here were sleeping-well, Robby wasn't, but he was in his office so it was just Bentley and I in the rest of the house. I did walk 2 miles today with Bentley because I knew it would be difficult for me to find time to come back outside. Really, when I say that I walked 2 miles with Bentley, it is more accurate to say that I walked one mile with Bentley and I pulled her the other mile. 
  • Around noon, I ran a few errands with Robby. I also had to exchange a pair of pants for Whitman. I was super happy when he tried the pants on at home, and they fit. Robby also swung me by the library to pick up some more books, but since I haven't read any today, I'm not sure if I needed more books.
  • When I came home, I immediately left again, but this time with Reagan. (Her ear still doesn't hurt, but she says that it isn't any better-she has to be looking at you to hear you her ear is so stopped up. Today will be 24 hours on an antibiotic plus we picked up her 3rd medicine this afternoon at Sams so hopefully she can tell a difference by tomorrow,)
  • We started at TJ Maxx and found a lamp, towels, and big pillows for her bed. Then we moved on to Walmart-I eventually had to stop putting things in the cart because I didn't want for Robby to have a stroke. However, we made a huge dent in the dorm room shopping. We have things left on the list, but nothing really huge. Move in day will be here before we know it.
  • After unloading at home, Robby and I left again to drop off Reagan's dress at Grannymom's house, and to pick up her medicine from Sams. Then we ran home to make her take her medicine, and to pick up Anderson to go and eat supper. 
  • Supper and then Kroger and now it is already bedtime around here. I haven't heard much from Campbell and Keaton today. By their pictures, they are having a great time though!

July 9, 2024

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  • My list wasn't as long today, but it was a good thing because I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I would have wanted to. I did my morning things, and the big boys went to play Top Golf with some friends. Then they went to watch one friend buzz his hair so I was fully expecting Graham or Anderson to come home with less hair. That is one thing I would be a bit shocked about, but also I would be fine with-pick your battles.
  • Reagan and Whitman had check ups today. Reagan abhors the doctor and never would willingly go. Since she has come home from Beach Camp she has been saying that her ear it stopped up. I offered drops that I had, but she refused and said that it didn't hurt.
  • However, she said that when the doctor looked in her ear today, she was shocked at how bad it really was. She questioned Reagan a few times about if it really did hurt. They prescribed her 3 medicines (though Sams was out of one which I will get tomorrow), so hopefully she will be all fixed up before flying on Saturday.
  • Reagan only had 1 shot while Whitman had to get 3 plus a finger prick. He did fine with all of that, but he was referred to GI. He has reflux quite often so she prescribed him some meds and said he should go and see a GI doctor. 
  • Before the doctor, we ran to Grannymom's house and afterwards we picked up pants for Whitman at Old Navy (which didn't fit) so we will have to return tomorrow to exchange and try them on. 
  • Then we went to Sams to pick up their medicine. It was strange to me that Reagan had never said that her ear hurt, until she told me that maybe a pretzel while waiting on her medicine would make it not hurt. She got a pretzel and even a dress from Old Navy-I'm just a softee.
  • When we came home, I did one school thing for Campbell. I'm really just adding more work for her, but I think this is worthwhile so we will make it work. Then we had some supper-Graham made himself a chicken breast in the air fryer. He really liked it so I figure that he will be making that all the time now. 
  • Reagan went to Bible study tonight, and then went to play pickle ball with some friends. Robby had settled in on the the couch when the Wilson's called to ask if we wanted to go on a walk. We walked near Chenal and almost walked 3 miles. 

July 8, 2024

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  • I had some sourdough bread rising last night so one of the first things that I did was bake it this morning. Now, it is fine, and I think that it is pretty close to right, but I don't think that I have it perfected or anywhere close to perfected just yet. Even though, the boys still munched on it all day, and it was gone by supper time.
  • I walked this morning while Robby was mowing. It was pretty steamy out, but later after the rain, it was much more pleasant on my second walk. 
  • This morning we dropped Keaton and Campbell off at church to go to music camp. They are both in Praiseworks this year which is the big kid part of the camp. They are getting to do art and graphic design which I think they are both excited about. 
  • Campbell did write me once from camp asking if Dad had spelled her name wrong or if the camp did it. Her name was spelled "Campell"-I'm sure she will love that, but at her other camp this year she tried to get them to make her name tag say Campbalambadingdong so I don't think she will mind too much.
  • Reagan went to Sonic today to play cards with her friends, and the boys spent a good deal of the day outside playing basketball. They even got Whitman to join them after supper. 
  • This afternoon I worked steadily through this week and last weeks chores, but I also did a lot of reading. It is my summer break as well after all.
  • And speaking of school work on summer break: Whitman and I did his spelling, but I gave him the option about math. I told him that he could do math with me or make cookies with me. He chose cookies-they turned out pretty good, but really flat. I think that when I softened the butter I did it too much or maybe he didn't use enough flour. I was busy making supper at the time so I wasn't really watching. Either way, one pan is almost gone already so I think even though they are flat, they are still decent.

July 7, 2024

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  • We moved around pretty quickly this Sunday morning. Whitman always hops out of bed quickly when Robby wakes him up for church. He came through and was dressed and on the couch when I went to double check that people were awake upstairs.
  • Keaton thought it was icy cold in church again, but thankfully I was not as cold as I was a few weeks ago. Then we headed to Sunday school-Robby and I don't have to teach in July, but we still have to be there and corral the kids. There were a lot of kiddos today, but things went smoothly so I have no complaints.
  • Pops had one of our favorite meals for lunch today-pizza, and Nonna had made her Jo Powell chocolate cake which is my favorite though I think that I have only made it one or two times. We ate and visited for a bit before heading home. 
  • We weren't home too long before I took Campbell and Keaton to Rock Creek for a Bible study. There were a lot of people there so I know that they had fun. When it was over, they were joined by their brothers and sisters and everyone else for church tonight. 
  • Reagan went out with her friends after church, but the others came home and had a few different things for supper-hot pocket, grilled cheese, english muffin pizza, and bbq nachos. 
  • While they were gone, I would do two things off of tomorrow's list and then read two chapters of my book. It is not the most efficient way to get things done, but it is more fun. I've knocked out much of tomorrow's list so I'm feeling pretty accomplished already.
  • Campbell and Keaton are upstairs packing since they leave tomorrow, and I'm about to try my sourdough bread again. 

July 6, 2024

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  • It was kind of nice being able to sleep in a bit on this Saturday since we had nothing at all planned. Robby and I were both up fairly early though. I started on the laundry which Robby kept going through out the night. 
  • I decided that I was not going to do it all at once, so I would do one other thing off of my list, read a chapter and then fold 25 things. It took most of the morning, but eventually I finished the laundry-the bar and table were completely covered with piles. Most of it is put away now-there are always some stragglers. And usually there is always one thing that is ours I know, but no one thinks that it is theirs.
  • Robby, Keaton, Campbell, and I left the house this morning. We stopped to get a sandwich and then made a walk through Sams. We left with a shirt for Anderson and Whitman along with a huge pink blanket for Campbell. She wanted to buy it for right now, but I convinced her to save it for someone to give her for her birthday.
  • We then went to Walmart where the girls had to buy snacks for this weeks camp and next weeks mission trip. Next up was a stop at Aldi because I had seen people raving about their cookie dough dip. We bought graham crackers so we wouldn't have to wait until we got home to try it. And it met all expectations.
  • Once at home, I read some, but then Robby and I cleaned the camper. He vacuumed and swept while I cleaned everything. It takes maybe 15 minutes, and then we loaded all of the clean things back into it.
  • We had just walked back in the house when the Wilsons wrote to ask if we wanted to pick up a cookie so we went with them. Crumbl had our favorite cornbread cookie this week so we enjoyed it and some others as we sat outside at a picnic table and caught up.
  • Now I need to read about 3 chapters of my book tonight, and then I'm going to bed.

July 5, 2024-Celebrating the 4th in NW Arkansas, Oklahoma, and in Panama City

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Robby woke me up this morning-he was already ready and had just walked out of the bathroom. I was sleeping so soundly that my alarm had been going off for 5 minutes, and I had not heard it at all. Since we had done most things last night, it didn't take long this morning to pull out of the campground. 

We had put the tow dolly beside the camper, and Robby knew when we did it that it would be hard to get back on the camper since it was down a hill. With Anderson and Graham it wouldn't have been an issue, but we struggled plus we weren't able to get it back on the curb. He had to back the camper up to get to the dolly, but then because of the angle he couldn't fasten it on there, so he had to drive forward some so he could do all the things to get it on the hitch properly.

We then dumped and hooked up the car. I also let Bentley potty, but with all of that we were still on the road right at 8. We zoomed on back towards Little Rock. We stopped once for gas and icees near Tulsa possibly. Then we stopped again in Maumelle. While Robby pumped the gas there, I ran in for milk, cheese, and peaches. 

Pops had moved the suburban for us but had also locked the keys in the car. That was good practice for Robby because we don't use AAA anymore and now use another place for all the car things. He called them, and before we could finish with the camper someone had come. I was actually inside-I heard they would be here in 9 minutes, and the next thing I knew, they had already left. It didn't take any time at all, so that was easier than expected.

As soon as we pulled into the driveway, Whitman told me that we should just rest and not unload the camper today. He was trying to get out of work, and I let him. He has about 1 shirt and 2 pairs of socks that were his in the camper, so I just did his things. Robby and I were both working-he was working on the car and all the outside stuff while I slowly unloaded the camper.

I believe that I did 7 loads of laundry this afternoon-the kid had left some laundry here plus there were their towels. Those 7 are done, and I am now trying to get another 4 done before bedtime. 

Around 7, the campers arrived home. They all had a good time, and everyone talked the whole way home about things. It is always interesting to hear their take on camp. Reagan did say that she is scared of their youth minister. Anderson entered the chess tournament and lost his water bottle, but later it was returned to him-it had been in the senior cabin, Graham was second in almost every thing he did, but he is the tannest of all the Dennie 5, Campbell was second in the girls basketball tournament, and Keaton probably had the most fun out of everyone.

I am glad that they are home, but they all had a wonderful time. Keaton and Campbell will be home for about 72 hours and then they leave again. (Next week when they come home, they will be home for less than 24 hours before leaving again.)

Robby stopped at Sonic on the way home since drinks were requested. He also picked up a few chicken bites which they devoured. 

When they came in, everyone unloaded so now I have a few laundry piles: sheets, 3 loads of clothes, sleeping bags, towels, and blankets. Two loads of clothes are in the washer, and hopefully I can wash towels and sheets before bed tonight since they will need some of them to sleep. 

The kids are now working on showers and catching up on their phones. Reagan is downloading all of her pictures so that will be exciting to see all of her pics. Tomorrow will be day full of laundry around here!

July 4, 2024-Celebrating the 4th in NW Arkansas, Oklahoma, and in Panama City

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Robby and I took a shorter walk this morning, but we did walk up to the tent sites. It was straight up a hill, and I thought that I just might die. If we would walk that little stretch every day we would be fit as a fiddle.

We then took the morning slowly before heading back to Pawhuska. There was a little more activity today, but it still wasn't crazy crowded. They had some areas where the kids could earn points by playing games, and then they could cash the points in for a little prize. Whitman did this and ended up with some bubbles.

I think that his favorite thing of the day was riding the mechanical bull. He fell off pretty quickly the first time, but the second he stayed the whole 8 seconds. And since we were nearby the ice cream shop, and since it wasn't crowded we did a repeat of yesterday's ice cream.

Next we came back to the campsite, and Whitman put on his new bathing suit that we bought while watching the Blackstone man cook. We went to the pool, and he swam for about an hour. They also had a rock wall on the edge of the pool that he did a couple of times,

When he was finished, we came back to the camper and heated up some leftover bbq for our supper. We ate that, and around 7 or even a little bit later we headed back into town. It was a happening place tonight-there were people everywhere. 

We brought in our chairs and found us a spot right in front of the Boarding House. We just randomly picked the place, but it was a great spot because every Drummond (Pioneer Woman's family) walked in and out of the Boarding House hotel right by us.

They had a live band plus around 9:30 the fireworks started. Robby and I have been to a lot of fireworks-we were in D.C. during President Bush's inauguration when fireworks were exploding on all sides of us, we have been to Disney countless times, we grew up during the hayday of Jennings Osborne's fireworks in Little Rock, and we have been in Washington D.C. at least twice on the fourth of July. We have seen many firework shows.

But I do think that this one topped them all. It was like we were watching a firework grand finale that just kept going and going and going. It was quite something to see. It lasted over 20 minutes, but it just kept going-and they were not shooting one or two fireworks at a time, it was so many fireworks-my ears are still ringing!

After the fireworks, we even stayed for some more of the band. It was fun watching everyone dance and enjoy the evening. Around 11, Whitman was eventually ready to leave, so we headed back to our campsite. He put on his pjs while Robby and I picked up a few last things outside. 

July 3, 2024-Celebrating the 4th in NW Arkansas, Oklahoma, and in Panama City

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The morning started with Robby doing some work, and then we went on a walk-I thought we were just walking the camping loop, but we kept going and walked to the front offices, then we walked to the swimming pool area, then we walked through the group camp area, and then finally we followed the road back to our campsite. Thankfully, it wasn't that hot but it was humid, and we were pretty sticky when we came back in.

We then had a little bit of lunch before leaving again to see Pawhuska. They were in full swing getting ready for tomorrow's 4th celebration. People were hanging lights, setting up tables, moving tents, and hanging banners-they have a street blocked off as well.

We made the entire block looking at everything that we could see-when we stopped to take a picture at the sign at the end of town, a lady stopped her car to ask if we wanted a picture all together. That was incredibly nice.

We then went in Pioneer Woman's Mercantile. The boys went upstairs and found a spot to sit, while I took my time and browsed through the store. Soon it was time for us to eat-we only had to wait 45 minutes even though it was like 2:30. 

Whitman ordered mac and cheese which he rated with a 7.5. Robby and I split their chicken tenders (very good), tortialla soup (also very good, but it is summer so you can't be crazy about soup in the summer). and we also bought an order of their corn casserole (it was just plain). Oh, and we were also served biscuits, butter and strawberry jelly before the meal which was all very delicious.

The next stop was a walk through the Pioneer Woman Collections store. This store is new, and it houses her Walmart line of things. It is kind of neat to see her furniture and all. I like Pioneer Woman things, but I didn't buy anything on this trip. We do go back tomorrow so I may change my mind, but nothing spoke to me today.

Of course, we needed to just sample Charlie's Ice Cream shop. Robby ordered two scoops for Whitman, and the lady kindly asked if we were sure. She said that they were pretty big-she said just see after one scoop if you want more. For one scoop, she scooped and scooped and scooped-most places would have considered that 3 scoops of ice cream.

One scoop was plenty for him, but not for us but that left us in a quandary since we wanted 3 flavors but didn't need 3 scoops. The worker said that she can do half scoops so that is what we did-1 peanut butter scoop, 1/2 oreo, and 1/2 cookie dough. We sat outside at a picnic table and ate our ice cream. It was delicious!

We then drove all through town seeing the sites-there aren't many. Back at the campground, we got out of the car and explored a little look out tower. We saw the two biggest lizards I have ever seen. They were probably 10 inches long from nose to tail. One actually took off running at me-and I took off running as well!

Back at the camper, as I was taking Bentley out to potty, Robby saw a tarantula right by my feet. We then watched Robby shoo the thing way away from our camper with a broom. I have just about had all the wildlife I need.

We then watched the beach campers walk through the supper line on Instagram live. We saw Campbell quite often on the video, but we again missed Keaton at supper. She did do the super high swinging thing at the amusement park last night. Someone gave her a ticket, and I know that she loved every minute of it. We also saw Anderson in the video-and the back of his shirt was drenched in sweat! Drenched! And earlier in the day, we saw a picture of the seniors since they go to go out to eat for lunch.

When the live stream was over, we loaded up (even Bentley) to go and walk the Falls Creek trail. It was just a short little trail, but it came out at a part of a river-in the spring it would probably have falls, but there was just a drip right now. We still explored a little bit, but now we have checked the camper for lizards and tarantulas and are in for the night after one more quick walk around the loop with Bentley.

July 2, 2024-Celebrating the 4th in NW Arkansas, Oklahoma, and in Panama City

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Robby was awake this morning when some of our campers went through the breakfast line. Then we were driving tonight and I was able to see all of them but Keaton go through the supper line. I also found a picture of Graham and one of Campbell on their instagram. Tonight they went to a little amusement park, so I am sure that was a lot of fun.

This morning we left around 11 or maybe earlier, I don't really know! Hooking up was fine, but it is just hot out there. We drove to Siloam Springs were Robby had a Panda Express order for us. That was also a good stop for gas. 

And since we were so close to the Little Debbie store in Gentry, we had to stop there. Most importantly, I found an ornament for the food Christmas tree. And most fun was the whole case of birthday Little Debbie cakes that we bought for just 5 dollars. Robby plans to take them on his trip later in July with the 9th and 10th graders. We also bought about 6 other boxes of snacks for us-we did all of that for about 18 dollars so that was a lot of fun.

After our shopping, we hit the road again and drove on to Osage Hills State Park. It is a neat park which is very similar to Petit Jean without all of the scenery though. It still has scenery, but it is spread out with lots of CCC buildings throughout.

It took us a few minutes to back in and get level, but no curse words were said. Kidding, it wasn't bad at all. Robby did all the outside things, and soon we were digging into the BBQ that we picked up in Bartlesville. And I am not sure if Robby thought that all of the kids were with us or not, but we had enough food for all 8 of us. That is fine though because I already had a package of buns, and we can have bbq for the rest of the trip. (We have other meals that we have brought to make, but I doubt we will get to any of those on this trip.)

After eating, we drove around the campground to see everything. When we returned, Robby and I took Bentley on a walk around the camping loop. Now, we are all snug in the camper and praising the Lord for our air conditioners.

July 1, 2024-Celebrating the 4th in NW Arkansas, Oklahoma, and in Panama City

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It was another good day here in Northwest Arkansas. I took Bentley on a short little walk this morning, before we left for the Amazeum. It is a bit like our Museum of Discovery, the Wonderplace in Little Rock, and the awesome Philadelphia kid's museum all rolled into one. 

We were able to get in free with the reciprocal admission from our Museum of Discovery which made it even better. Whitman was just almost too big for the Amazeum, but it still had some things that he enjoyed. He was fascinated with the tornado and smoke things which they used to have at our museum and no longer do.

He is just the most easygoing kid, and I definitely think that he enjoyed wandering around the museum today. When we finished, we stopped by a gas station to buy him a drink and some candy. I know I have said it again, but he is just a bit spoiled.

We then came back to the camper and relaxed a little bit, Robby did the laundry while I read a little bit, and I might possibly have had a nap. Robby then folded most of the laundry before I realized what he was doing since I would have helped. 

Once the laundry was finished, we all loaded up, including Bentley, and drove to pick up supper. We had Tacos for Life for supper, and even though Robby and I split our meal, I am stuffed. Whitman had a quesadilla and said that it was just about as good as Nonna's quesadilla.

After we ate, Robby and I took Bentley on a little walk, and now we  have the second half of the Frank Lloyd Wright documentary to watch. Before we watch the show, I will take a shower-my eyes have been so incredibly itchy up here. This happens a few times a year at home, so it is just allergies, but we had to stop today for more eye drops for me. Maybe our move tomorrow will help a bit more too.

The other 5 left last night around 11 to travel to Panama City. Graham had an air tag in his bag, so Robby was able to see their progress as they moved own the road. Around 7:30, we started seeing credit card charges for their breakfast-we make a game of guessing who each charge is (4.53 from McDonalds, 6.87 from ChickFilA, 11.24 from ChickFilA) It is fun to guess who spend what, then Robby goes to his account and looks it up so we can see who was right.

We also played this game at lunch today when they were eating once again. Anderson just uses his own cash instead of the credit card-he did that last year too. I was trying to explain to Keaton before they left to use the credit card and just keep her cash for emergencies. I probably didn't use the best terms when I said, "Just use the credit card as much as you can." Robby was quick to pop out of his office and say "not as much as you can, but for just what you need." 

We saw them all walk through the supper line at camp as well. Graham was the only one who spoke or even looked at the camera. He did say "hi, mom!" so he is currently my favorite. I could also see Shannon and Tony serving up food so I know the kids were well fed. 

June 30, 2024-Celebrating the 4th in NW Arkansas, Oklahoma, and in Panama City

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Robby and I woke up this morning and went to the farmer's market right down the road. We drove and took Bentley with us, but we could have walked it was so close. It was a fairly small market, but we still left with 4 scones, 1 jar of bbq sauce, 1 jar of mango salsa, and another jar of dill pickle salsa. Robby had already eaten breakfast, but he still came home and had a bit of a chocolate scone. I finished off a orange cranberry scone, and it was absolutely delicious. 

After our breakfast, we went on our first walk of the day. Yesterday, when we were getting in the camper from the griddle thing, I quickly noticed that my watch was not on my arm. It had fallen off and could had been anywhere, but thankfully, it was laying right outside my car door. The band had somehow broken, so my morning was spent not able to track my walks. Probably getting a little sun on my white wrist was good.

We had sandwiches for lunch, and then headed off to Crystal Bridges. We have been there before but will have to go back since it looked to me like they were building 3 new buildings. We walked around the place seeing all of the art. The most impressive was a room filled with mirrors and glowing spheres that we walked into. 

Next, we walked around on some of the trails outside, but most were closed due to the recent tornado We had a bit of time before our tour so we sat and had some type of strawberry drink-it was kind of like frozen strawberry milk. It definitely quenched our thirst.

The last time that we were here, we were not able to get tickets to go inside of the Frank Lloyd Wright house, the Bachman-Wilson house. If you ask us any to name any architect, I could only come up with Wright's name, but really I haven't been too impressed with any of his houses that we have seen (we have never been inside of one and have not seen Falling Water.)

However, I was super impressed and would like a Frank Lloyd Wright house. The front of the house was fairly windowless, but once inside the great room one wall was solid windows. We had things to listen to as we went through the house so that made it even more interesting. One interesting tidbit was that Wright did not include attics or basements in his houses so people would have less stuff.

Before we left the grounds, I had already requested a few library books about Wright, and Robby and I are watching a documentary about him as I'm working on this blog. 

On the way home from Crystal Bridges, we picked up supper from Orange Panda. We also ran by an Amazon box and picked up a few things that Robby had ordered (including a new watch band for me). We came back and ate and rested for a little bit.

Then Robby and I took another walk-longer this evening than this morning. Now we are settled in for the evening-ice cream will happen after the documentary.

The kids at home woke up and made it to church in plenty of time. Then Keaton and Campbell had a meeting about their next camp while Reagan went with a friend to eat at Texas Roadhouse-she got a salad! At least she had some rolls too-I tried to convince her to get a baked potato since a salad and baked potato are my favorite things from there..and the rolls, of course, the rolls.

Anderson and Campbell went back to the house and finished up their packing. I am sure that quite a few of the kids had a nap this afternoon. They have to be at Rock Creek at 9:30 and then drive through the night for a week at Beach Camp.

June 29, 2024-Celebrating the 4th in NW Arkansas, Oklahoma, and in Panama City

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I'll start with the people at home-Anderson and Graham went to play basketball today and played for 3 hours, and then they moved to an hour of pickleball. I'm sure that they were nasty when they made it home. Campbell and Keaton spent the day doing some last minute packing, and Reagan had a sandwich today (sorry, that is all that I know about her.)

Robby and I woke up first here and took a walk. I had gotten ready for the day before we left for the walk, but I shouldn't have-it was hot that I came back a sweaty mess. Robby was wise enough to take his shower after our walk. We walked over a mile and even ended up at a beautiful stream with rocks around it. Bentley walked around the stream while I explained to Robby that I would like to have a cool spring with some cliffs around it in our yard. 

We eventually got around and left the camper. Our first stop was Sonic for a drink fro Whitman and one for Robby and me. Then we went to Walmart to watch Todd Toven. He is a griddle man who sells Blackstone griddles-we have two. 

It was hot in the walmart parking lot, and the seats in the shade were all gone. Thankfully, we had two lawnchairs in the car so it didn't take Whitman and I long to decide to go in the store and buy us another chair. We hugged the edge of the shade as much as we could, but one of my arms are burned and Whitman's neck looks like it could be pretty red in the morning.

It was 4 hours of sitting in the sun, but thankfully there was a bit of a breeze so that made things tolerable-plus the drinks that we had in the car and the popsicles that Whitman and I bought on our second trip into the store. (We made a total of 4 trips into the Walmart today to cool off.)

The man cooked chicken tacos (good), tortillini (my favorite), sausage and rice (way too spicy for me), and meaty sandwich (way too much meat for me). It was a different way to spend the day-we did come home with some hats (I tried to get some colorful ones that the kids could wear to camp next year) and a bottle of spice to use on the griddle. He gave away 3 griddles, but we weren't winners today (which is good since we don't need one.)

After it was over, we walked through Walmart again and bought a few necessities-ha, not really. We bought some more popsicles, yogurt for Whitman since he tried to eat one last night and didn't want peach, and also some reward candy for Whitman (4 hours on a Walmart parking lot in crazy hot weather without complaining gets you a box of lemonheads.)

We then went back to the wonderfully cool camper for a while. I read and napped. Then we had some supper before going on another walk with Whitman and Bentley. Whitman enjoyed walking on a trail by himself and then exploring the cliff ledges near the water. Bentley did not enjoy Whitman not being right near us at all times. 

Now we are all back in the camper and are about to have us some dessert before going to bed.

June 28, 2024-Celebrating the 4th in NW Arkansas, Oklahoma, and in Panama City

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We weren't too sure that we were leaving today so things were a bit hectic this morning, but I still had time to finish my book today so it wasn't that crazy. First, I jumped out of bed pretty early because I had to leave pretty early with Campbell. Before I left, I wanted to have all of my regular chores finished. I didn't have time to walk Bentley like usual, but we still did get a half mile in.

Campbell made with friends from Rock Creek at ChickFilA this morning. That worked out well for me because I had a few things to get from Kroger. I wasn't sure how long Campbell would want to stay, so I did some speed shopping and hurried back. 

I then sat in the car and played on my phone. Campbell text me to tell me that she was about to come out. I guess I forgot though because about 2 minutes later someone was opening the car door, and I just about screamed. It was Campbell, but maybe I should have been sitting with the doors locked.

Once we were back at home, Graham was awake and getting ready for me to help him pack. I don't do much packing for the girls, and even Anderson did it all this last camp. However, Graham isn't the most efficient clothes folder so I don't mind helping for things to be easier for him. He did gather everything, and I just put it in his bag. This time he is trying a suitcase-so we will see if he likes it better (I would think that he would-so much more room than a duffel bag.)

Keaton worked on packing, and Campbell did all that she could to avoid packing. She does not like packing at all. I did make Whitman take a shower this afternoon plus he had to do some school with me and some school on his own. He never complains and does get it done-unlike all of the other people at the house!

Around 3, Grandpa was able to escape from the hospital. Robby took them home, and I figured that be would have been gone a bit longer because I had just finished all my things and sat down as he walked in. He wasn't ready to leave yet because he still had work to finish and to pack his clothes. 

It was about 4:30 when Robby, Whitman, and I headed on our 4th of July adventure. We would have left a few minutes earlier, but Keaton and Reagan had to come run out and say bye to Bentley. We had no problems at all getting to Bella Vista. We slowed for a little bit before Conway, but anytime we get anywhere with all 12 tires properly inflated through the whole trip, we are tickled.

We even arrived before dark, so we were able to un hook the car, back in, and then hook up in the light. Robby and I actually walked a little bit before it became too dark tonight. It is certainly warm and sticky outside even at night, but this park is beautiful with tons of trails.

Reagan went to Sonic with at least one friend tonight. I think that they are doing their usual-sitting around and play cards. Anderson and Graham went to Guys Night at Rock Creek this evening and even made a stop at ChickFIlA on the way home.

Here in the camper, we are about to open up some ice cream to celebrate a pretty good day.

June 27, 2024

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  • I woke up confused about what time the kids had to leave and made it halfway up the stairs before I realized I was wrong about the time. I was about to wake the kids up shouting that they only had 10 minutes until they needed to go, but thankfully, I realized what the time was-they actually had about 40 minutes until they needed to leave.
  • Today was Serve day for Keaton, Campbell, Graham, Anderson, and Reagan. They went to a few different houses to do yard work. Reagan said that she had to take control of her yard crew and give them some instructions. 
  • They all met back up at Raymar to eat lunch, and then they went to church to do a few things around here. They all had fun and must have worked hard-because everyone but Reagan came home and took a nap. Reagan dropped off her brothers and sisters and then went to Sonic to meet some friends.
  • Robby went to see Grandpa for a little bit this evening which is when I found Whitman and we did spelling together. I'm sure he gets a bit tired of us working on spelling constantly, but just looking at his notes that he took from Impact, I can see that he is getting a bit more confident in his writing and spelling.
  • Reagan came home, and then Robby and I left with the Suburban-Robby dropped me off at Walmart while he got gas, picked up a Sams order, and then ran into Sams. He met me in Walmart, and we finished up a few things on my list. 
  • We picked up supper on the way home, and everyone ate. Keaton and Campbell are working on their packing for beach camp-the kitchen table is full of things for their trip, and the mudroom is full of things for our trip. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day around here.

June 26, 2024

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  • Reagan was the first to leave the house this morning. She went to Pinnacle fairly early; however, they didn't leave early enough. They ended up in the downpour-I think that it started raining before they made it to the top, but she persevered and made it. Going down the mountain was a bit treacherous she said because the rain and water was pretty crazy.
  • When she and her friends made it back to the house, they were dripping wet. Reagan had 2 towels with her already that were soaking. I think that Reagan put some of the girls' clothes in the dryer. Her people were over until about 5 this evening-they even made cookies while hanging out.
  • Robby and I picked up Whitman today from his mission trip. I think that he had a really good time, and as we were leaving Candice came up to us and said that Whitman was always carrying something heavy and asking how he could help. Well, I couldn't ask for a better report.
  • He said that his favorite part was sleeping-while he has been gone, they woke up at 7 or 7:30 each day and went to bed at 10. I'm sure this was a huge adjustment for him since he is used to his brothers' summer schedule which involves staying up very late. Whitman was pretty quiet at home, but boy, I'm sure glad to have him home.
  • This afternoon Campbell, Keaton, and I went to the Wilson's house to help prepare for their big even tonight. The girls cut strawberries, rolled meat up, and did everything that they could to help for this evening. We came home for a little bit to get ready. 
  • Robby made it home, and Campbell, Keaton, and I left with him to go early and help. The girls and I were able to help put the cheese and meat trays together. Then the party started-well, actually the party waited for Layne and Ben to arrive. 
  • When they did arrive, the party and the noise really stared. It was a fun evening with lots of excitement. The house was full of people and the tables were full of food. 
  • We came home, and the kids had some chores to catch up on plus they are leaving early in the morning for a church thing so there is lots of tomorrow prep happening now.

June 25, 2024

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  • Another fairly slow day around here. Keaton had a friend spend the night so I did make scones for the people's breakfast. I guess I can't really call it breakfast since it was nearly 11 when I first saw people downstairs eating my scones. 
  • I walked twice before it was noon, and surprisingly, it was hotter the first time that I walked than the last time. Bentley even moved slower today maybe because of the heat or maybe because she slept in the girls' room last night. When I went to get her, she was sprawled out on the floor in front of their fan with her monkey nearby. (It is actually Campbell's monkey that Bentley loves and is not supposed to have.)
  • When it was time for Keaton's friend to leave, we went to Target so they could walk around first. I needed nothing so I planned ahead-I walked around the store listening to my book. I browsed and browsed finding all kinds of things to look at and send to Reagan to ask if she needed for school. I was having such a big time that the girls eventually had to text me asking to leave.
  • Back at home, I had the Anderson try on pants-we are getting wedding reading for July. When I had Anderson try on blue pants and khaki pants he asked if this was a two day wedding. Tomorrow Whitman arrives home, and he will have pants to try on.
  • Speaking of Whitman-today it looked like he did some yard work or possibly moving some things around outside plus his group went to Walmart to buy items. He still looks like he is having a good time. I know there are 5 other kids here, but it is always different when one person is gone. That is why I think that we will be a little confused when Reagan leaves in the fall. 
  • Robby was at the hospital with Grannymom and Grandpa most of the day. When he came home, the girls and I were out and about. We left after supper-this is the second night in a row that I have made supper for these people here so I'm pretty pleased with myself.

June 24, 2024

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  • Robby was gone most of the night and all of the day today because his dad had a heart attack last night. Thankfully, we were still up and heard the phone. I helped get him out of the house quickly, but Keaton knew something was up and was quick to ask. The kids were up late, so I was able to keep them updated on everything as I heard from Robby. 
  • Late this afternoon, Grandpa received a stent so things are looking good. I just saw Robby briefly this afternoon as I switched cars with him (I didn't plan ahead well since Reagan and Anderson needed cars tonight) and he looked tired as well.
  • The rest of us had a fairly normal day except for Graham. He is the only one who has not been to the dentist for his cleaning yet-he had an appointment scheduled in July, but Grandpa had one scheduled for today. I called early this morning and switched their appointments which worked out well.
  • That worked out even better because now Graham can go with Campbell and Anderson when they all get fillings. And Graham did convince me to stop and get him something on the way home. He kept saying he needed a reward, and I offered up a hug and a hardy "I'm proud of you" but those didn't seem to work as well as a 99 cent sundae from Sonic.
  • Keaton was supposed to have a friend come over today, but that fell through. I do think that she is having another friend come over tonight to spend the night. The big 5 are all at Raymar for Bible study tonight, and afterwards Reagan plans to go to pickleball for a little bit (who am I kidding-she will be pickleballing or at least chatting and playing cards on the pickleball courts until they turn off the lights)
  • I have been able to see some pictures of Whitman today-last night it looked like he was in a dodgeball championship, and today it looked like he spent a good deal of time organizing and moving things at the Children's home. He has on a different pair of clothes than he did yesterday, he looks happy, and he is working hard so I hope all is going well.

June 23, 2024

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  • Campbell had worship care this morning during church, but Robby and I seriously considered signing up for worship care too because it was freezing in the sanctuary today. Graham sat back with us and even said that it was cold. 
  • This morning Whitman had on his church shorts and a long sleeve shirt. Robby and I both had thought about telling him to change, but the joke was on us because he was comfortable during the sermon while we were shivering-or maybe it was the Spirit making us shake!
  • We did Sunday school, and today was Reagan's first time to go to the college class. She didn't say much-or much that is bloggable, but maybe the class will grow on her.
  • After church, we went to Nonna and Pops' house for Sunday lunch. We have missed the last few weeks at their house, so Pops had the kids favorite meal again-pork tenderloin. We stayed and visited for a little bit, but then headed home.
  • I was able to get a 20 minute nap before I took Keaton to a Bible study at a friend's house. I'm all for Bible studies-but on a Sunday afternoon...during my nap? It was fine though because when I came home, it was time to drop Whitman off.
  • This is Whitman's third mission trip to Monticello. They had to be at the church around 4, but you can tell that Whitman is our 6th child, because we sure don't wait around to see the bus drive off. We checked him in, gave him a hug and some last instructions, and we were out of there. (We have still stalked his back pack air tag to see his location and the photocircle to see any pictures of him so we still do love him even though we don't stay to wave bye to the bus.)
  • We then picked up Keaton on the way home, and she was home for a few minutes before she left with the others for Rock Creek. Everyone went but Reagan this evening. Before they made it home, we left for the Wilson's house.
  • We stayed there and visited way too late, so now it is well after 10, and I have to wrangle these people to brush their teeth, throw down the laundry, and put their dishes up.

June 22, 2024

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  • For a Saturday with nothing on the calendar, we were busy most of the day. Robby was up early to change the oil on the camper generator. After my morning things, I went out to spray some weeds. Our spray thing didn't work so it took a while for Robby to work on it, and then for us to find a plan B. I still sprayed weeds for like an hour, and now I hope that the weed spray worked or I will be a tad disappointed.
  • Reagan had spent the night at a friend's house tonight, and she didn't come home until she had eaten an early lunch over there. Reagan was not going to miss hibachi for sure. She came home about the same time that Annie, the Wilson's dog, came over. Robby went early this morning for the dog to potty and walk around a little bit, but she spend the rest of the day.
  • Robby spend most of the day working outside-he mowed, washed the camper, and straightened his shop. He is still in a bit of pain-or maybe more discomfort now, so hopefully whatever it is that was bothering him is going away. 
  • I took Keaton to a friend's house around 1, and she stayed there until 3. Whitman and I then came to pick her up and go to the pool for a little bit. We were just there for about 2 hours, but oh, Whitman loves it and would have stayed longer.
  • Campbell had spend the night with a friend and then spend the day at the lake with the friend's family. They tubed, they fished (Campbell caught 13), they snacked, and Campbell came home with a sunburn-bless her! She will be cherry red tomorrow!
  • When I came home from the pool, I went with Robby to run a few errands-grocery store, picked up some supper and a mystery shop (where we had ice cream which just doesn't set well with me-it didn't last night so I knew not to eat it, but what did I do? I ate it and enjoyed it, and I also regretted it!)

June 21, 2024

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  • Today was Campbell's lucky day-her phone pretty much stopped working Wednesday night so she received a new to her phone (Robbys), and he got a new one. Both of their phones are the oldest of the families with Robby's being a little bit better than Campbell's and, of course, he does still work so they both traded up.
  • Reagan left early this morning to check on Annie for bit, go swimming at a friend's house, to bake cookies at another friend's house for a boy that broke his arm while ice skating with them the other day, and then to spend the night at another friend's house. I know she has had snow cones and then a few minutes later she sent a picture of a tray of Mexican food.
  • Keaton had spend the night at a friend's house last night and spend most of the time working on getting her back handspring. I think that she is pretty close, and she even spent some time working on it this afternoon after Campbell drove me to pick Keaton up.
  • We also picked up Shannon's dog Annie this afternoon for her to come and stay over here for a little bit. Her and Bentley have been fine, but neither of them have truly settled all day long-I think that they are both going to be completely worn out. 
  • Campbell left for a birthday party late this afternoon-first they ate at Larrys, then went to a movie, and finally finished the evening swimming. She isn't even coming home tonight because she is going to another friend's house to spend the night and then to the lake tomorrow.
  • Anderson and Graham went to Rock Creek tonight for the boys' Bible study and hang out time. I think that they had fun, but they came home hungry-and I don't think that the PeiWei leftovers that Robby bought at lunch is what they wanted for supper.
  • And finally, Whitman sent a good deal of time this afternoon packing for his mission trip. He leaves Sunday afternoon for Monticello with the 3rd through 5th graders at church. This will be his third year to go, but this is also his first year to go with out one or both of his big sisters there. 

June 20, 2024

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  • This was a rather busy day around here-at least I thought so, but the kids may not have agreed with me. I woke up and did all my things before anyone else woke up at all. It was a little bit warmer today so Bentley and I both came back from the walk panting.
  • Robby and I went to Costco and man, did we have fun. We have heard that Thursdays are the day that they put clothes on sale, and today it definitely was true. I bought a pair a pants for Anderson and Graham. Robby bought a pair too, and I found some joggers for me. Also Robby came home with 2 polos and a tshirt-each one of our items were a whopping 3 or 4 dollars each so that was a lot of fun.
  • This afternoon, of course, there was spelling plus Anderson applied for his first college. He has only toured OBU, so I encouraged him to go ahead and apply because why not have plenty of options. All my babies are quickly growing up.
  • Reagan left for pickleball and soon afterwards, we made pancakes and egg in the hole for supper. This is usually a favorite meal for most everyone. I told Robby that I wish we had a lot of meals like pancakes since it is easy and quick to make and a crowd pleaser.
  • Keaton left to spend the night at a friend's house this evening, and Shannon came over with a bedskirt possibly for Reagan at school and some clothes for the girls. Campbell tore through those clothes like she was on a game show finding herself 3 pairs of shorts and a tshirt. 
  • Now it is time for bed for me and this crew, but I have a mess to pick up in the living room and kitchen-when does that maid show up?

June 19, 2024

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  • Robby update-he did his CT scan early this morning, and thankfully, also he was able to see his results pretty early as well. His scan was great, no scary things were seen so that was good, but it doesn't help him feel any better. He will meet with his doctor early next week with a list of questions, list of symptoms, and a list of suggestions (one of my nurse friends has a list of labs to run.)
  • We both didn't sleep great last night plus we were up early, so when Robby did come home this morning, he hijacked my walk. I said that I was about to go on a walk, and he said that he would join me. Before I knew it, we were headed to Two Rivers with Bentley for a walk.
  • We walked for 3.5 miles-we were fine and had a good time, but Bentley was exhausted. Bless her! She is not used to all of that exercise and for the rest of the day, anytime I saw her, she was sound asleep.
  • I had thought that I was taking Graham to basketball this afternoon so I was walking out the door with Campbell, Keaton, and Whitman to run some errands while he was playing. However, Anderson walked out the door right behind Graham.
  • I offered to drive both of them, but Anderson said he would prefer to drive. They ended up getting home a little before we did. My first stop on my errands was a haircut for Whitman. I dropped Campbell and Keaton off at Target where they spend a gift card of Keatons. 
  • Then we ran to get Campbell's glasses tightened, before all dividing up and doing some speed shopping at Walmart, Whitman was happy to pick out his snacks for his mission trip which leaves on Sunday. I bought a few things for Reagan's dorm room while Campbell picked out a birthday present for a friend.
  • When we came home, I eventually did spelling with Whitman before we all headed to church for the kids' mission trip meetings. I went to Whitman's meeting first while Robby went to his and Graham's meeting. Then I went to Anderson and Reagan's meeting while Robby went to Keaton and Campbell's meeting. 
  • Reagan went to a friend's church tonight for water wars and then to Sonic where she still is. The rest of us stopped at ChickFilA for supper before coming home. I'm trying to make some bread tomorrow so I just started on that. 

June 18, 2024

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  • I had to wake all of my kids up except for Campbell this morning at 11 so they would be ready to go and eat lunch with the church youth. I'm not really sure how late they are staying up, but it must be pretty late. 
  • When they came downstairs, I was already in my chair having done all my morning chores and walk. It is like we are all living in different time zones around here. 
  • They all went to lunch at Lost-except for Whitman who got to do spelling with me. Soon everyone was home, and for some reason I believe that they didn't actually get their chores and school work accomplished today. There is tomorrow, but I did mention last night that I had a special camp to sign them up for if they didn't finish all of their assigned tasks soon-Constitution Camp. (Now you may be sending your kids there, but my kids would think this is absolute torture!)
  • Tonight Reagan went to Bible study, Anderson went to basketball and to a friend's house to swim, and Campbell went to a friend's house. Robby and I had intended to go to the grocery store, but milk is on sale tomorrow, and we needed more from Sams than Kroger. 
  • It is still early in the evening, but Reagan has made it home from her Bible study, Anderson has made it to his second destination, and Campbell has to be picked up in a little while. 
  • Robby has a CT scan early in the morning so hopefully, we will get some answers by Thursday. 

June 17, 2024

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  • Things moved quickly this morning with the results of Robby's Thursday test. His doctor suggested he go and see someone since the gallbladder didn't look right on the test. He then had an appointment at 3, but that doctor didn't feel like it was the gallbladder so he has ordered a CT scan. Hopefully, the scan will be soon, but it is not yet scheduled so again we wait. 
  • I don't think that any of the kids were up before 11:30 this morning, possibly even later. When Graham came downstairs he was surprised that I had been on a walk already-he was even more surprised when I told him that I had been on two walks already.
  • I guess they are enjoying supper to the fullest-and I do take it back. Reagan left around 10:30. She went to a friend's house, and then they rode together to eat and then to a Bible study at a church. Afterwards, they met a bunch more friends at the skating rink and skated until one of the guys, who she didn't really know, possibly broke his arm. 
  • Anderson wasn't able to go to the dentist when the others did a few weeks ago, so he went today. He was pretty confident that he didn't have cavities; however, he was wrong. They did say that he has the cleanest teeth ever, but his cavities are between the teeth. Also it was said that some people just need to floss, and he is one of those people. Thankfully, he didn't take having cavities as hard as Campbell did.
  • Reagan was just getting home when the others, except for Whitman, left for Raymar for a Bible study tonight. They will be gone for a while plus Campbell is bringing home one friend. Whitman just walked through the living room with his supper, so I guess that I will find me something to eat.

June 16, 2024-Happy Father's Day

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  • This morning was a church morning with us all scurrying around to get ready-it is surprising that we can all get ready and leave the house within 60 minutes plus I can also manage to fold the laundry and unload the dishes. 
  • I had worship care this morning-last week they had 9 babies in the room, but this week they had only 4-I guess that I'm prayed up. It was a pretty easy morning. I left there and went to the first graders to teach Sunday school. 
  • After church, we celebrated Father's Day at Grannymom and Grandpa's house. Robby received a hammer and rubber mallet for his gifts plus a handful of cards from all of the kids. Grandpa received a few gift cards, and after much struggle Robby was able to resize Grandpa's new watch.
  • Back at the house, 3/4ths of us had a nap-Robby, me, Graham, and all of the girls. I am not sure what it is about Sunday afternoons and my family-we all seem to need naps on that day more than any other day.
  • We had the pre-beach camp meeting at Rock Creek tonight where we had to turn in all of our forms and pay. The meeting was fairly short, and when it was over the Wilsons all came over for Sunday night supper. 
  • I had made a pasta dish which was fine-not extraordinary-plus I had a sourdough chocolate cake which was also fine and not extraordinary. But the visiting was extraordinary, and spending time with friends is a nice way to start the week..if you indeed do have to start the week.
  • Campbell saves the day: When the Wilsons were here, Campbell heard something in a box above the freezer in the garage. As the Wilson's left, we listened to the box, and she bravely took it off the fridge. She was able to see that there was a bat in the box-I helped her (by giving her encouragement while standing behind her with my hood on over my head). She scooted the box out of the garage when Robby came and shooed the bat away with a broom. 
  • It is a bit after 10, and Graham has just gone on a run, and I have just finished cleaning the kitchen. Hopefully, this week is a restful one, but hopefully, we find out some answers to Robby's tests early tomorrow morning. 

June 15, 2024

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  • It was another lazy day around here. Robby and I left around 11:30 to go and eat lunch. Graham was awake, and I asked him if he wanted to go with us. He declined. Then I woke up Keaton and Campbell to ask if they would like to go, and they also declined. 
  • When I went to tell Graham that we were leaving since he was the only one awake, I saw that Anderson was awake. I asked him if he would like to go and after naming the places that we were going, Anderson told me that I probably didn't have to ask him if he wanted to go with us if we were going to those places. Robby said that maybe we were not very good dinner dates since we couldn't get anyone to go with us. 
  • It was fine that no one went with us because our On the Border bill was just 15 bucks. We enjoy the chips and salsa there more than anything else. Afterwards, we went to Trader Joes and then Walmart and Sams. We picked up a few things and then headed home.
  • This afternoon after my nap, I made a chocolate cake for tomorrow. Anderson and Whitman came down to help me so really I just got the ingredients out for them while they did the rest. 
  • Next up was a quick trip to Nonna and Pops' house to drop off Pops' Father's day present. Graham drove us there while Campbell drove us home. They both did a good job driving-though the others in the car were pretty vocal both times. All that matters is that we made it home safely without causing me to have a heart attack.
  • I made a few people's supper tonight, and now I am siting on the couch watching some of the Miss Arkansas pageant while Robby is waiting on the baseball game to start.