19 June 2009

Day Two!

Here's a quick rewind to day one. We stopped at a rest stop in the Texas panhandle for lunch. It was a really nice place! The entire place looked out over Johnson Ranch (not L.B. Johnson's ranch), and was breathtaking! You can see the spectacular toy the kids played on while we fixed lunch, and some of the other shots as well. And of course, there's a picture of the baby who never complains. He's so cute.

So by the morning of day two, we were exhausted. Remember? Anderson ate the entire night. Not to mention how late it was getting everything set up and all to sleep. But of course, the moment the sun came up, seven little heads all popped up ready for the day. So much for gaining an hour with the time change! We were up and at 'em at 6am. SIX! I didn't realize their were two six o'clocks in one day! So it was a breakfast of omelets the campers way. The kids got to make up their omelet in a ziplock bag, adults too, and all got tossed into a pot of boiling water. I know. Boiling eggs? It just sounds gross. But these were great! And we didn't have to spend two hours making 18 omelets! (We only had 11 people on the trip, but I know my kids, and there would have been seconds!) The bathroom situation was something to be worked on. The moment Heath or my Dad came back from taking a boy to the restroom, another one would have to go. It went that way through all four boys, and then I think started over again at the top. I had to giggle. I only has one girl that used the restroom, and she always went with my Mom. My ears were still ringing from Terry's screams the night before, so it was a twisted little bit of justice in my tired mind.

We decided to go to Old Santa Fe that day and see all the neat things that were there. We left camp finally at like 10:30 or something like that. Seriously. Those kids got us up at 6am, and we didn't leave camp until 10:30? I was having issues.

I have these amazing memories of my trip to Santa Fe when I was in grade school. It's one of the reasons I so wanted to take the kids this year. What a difference 20 some odd years makes! The Governor's Palace was not what I remembered, nor was the shopping on the Plaza. Don't get me wrong. All the Navajo jewelry was amazing, and painstakingly made, but I would have to sell a kidney to buy much of anything. And all the cute little shops were replaced with pricey, high art stuff. Nothing for the kids to hunt and find treasures in. See how much fun the boys were having while use girls looked at the jewelry?There are immaculate lawns in the middle of the Plaza that were the perfect picnic spots. Those are all roped off now so that no one can walk, sit, much less lunch upon. So we found a building with built in benches (a perk of adobe) and lunched along a sidewalk. The kids loved it. We met loads of people, and ended up having a traveling priest from India sit with the kids to listen to them talk and play. Personally, I thought it was really strange to begin with, but the kids talked his ear off. He asked them all sorts of questions, and they were able to ask and learn all about his ministry and struggles in India.

After lunch we went into the Palace of Governors. They just opened the New Mexico History Museum that is now connected with the Palace. By this point I am dragging. The kids studied all there was to see in the Palace, actually read many of the signs and explanations, and attracted the attention of the Palace guards. Not in a bad way for once. The guards were very impressed with the kids behavior, so they were showing them "insiders" stuff.

When we finished the Palace, I decided that we didn't need to go through the History Museum. That was met with the biggest whine from my five year old. That's right. Little Heath wanted to see more museum stuff! So of course off we went, and it turned out to be great! There were many hands on, interactive stuff for the kids to do, and they were sad to be leaving when we traversed it all. Then came the kicker. I asked Heath-er what was his favorite part of the entire museum.
That's right. The cardboard cut out of an old beat up truck, that was in a breeze way left over from some event. Of all the things.

And that was day one. We didn't have major mishaps. Just minor ones. Things like where on earth are we going to park. Are there any bathrooms in this town? What road are we supposed to take? And did you know that it takes an hour to make sandwiches, get munchies, and hand out drinks for 10 people? That was the goal for day three. How do we leave camp in less than four hours, and can we make lunch go any faster?!

18 June 2009


We are now home from our vacation. It was wonderful, long, rejuvenating, and crazy. We decided to take our seven children camping. Camping. Sounds crazy already, huh. My Mom and Dad decided to come along with us without me having to twist their arms or anything. Bet next time, I'll have to promise prizes or something. Anyway, we packed up our family and headed out west Thursday morning to see what New Mexico and Arizona had to offer.

We made it to our destination of Santa Fe that evening. The kids were great. Of course the massive amounts of cookies might have had something to do with it.

But then the fun began. We got to camp a little later than expected, so by time we got pulled in, got the tent set up and the camper all pulled out, it was late for dinner. But never fear. I had made up meat pies and froze them during the previous week, so we just had to heat them up. The kids thought they were great, and as soon as they were finished it was time for the whole nightly shower ordeal.

Heath was in charge of the three older boys, while I had Jeffie Jean, and the three youngest as my charges. In theory it was a fair split. I had the easiest child and the three most difficult children, and Heath had the three boys you have to double check to make sure they didn't just stand in the water and get wet. Plus, I had my Mom helping me. We took a plastic tub with us to bathe Paulee Rea and Anderson, plus his Bumbo so he would have a place to sit after his bath. Terry was the conundrum. How do you bathe a three year old who hates showers and is way to big for the make-shift tub? Mom took the reigns with the two babies, while I tried to convince Terry the shower wouldn't drown him. I was VERY unsuccessful. We're talking the screams were so loud, Dad heard them back at camp. Maybe even part of Texas too. It was unreal. I can't believe Child Services didn't show up that night. And to make matters worse, as the soap and water slid down his leg, we discovered he'd been attacked by a cactus. Really. The screams multiplied in volume, strength, and urgency. By now all the dogs in camp were howling their discomfort. All the while, Paulee and Anderson were splashing it up with Gram, and oblivious that Terry was dying a thousand deaths.

Then the ardent task of plucking the cacti spines out of Terry's ankle ensued. I checked my watch to make sure it wasn't quiet hours yet, and took him back to camp where I laid him out on my bed with lots of extra hands available to pin him down if necessary. He laid there and never moved while I took each spine out one by one. Of all the insane things. Water running down his back causes pandemonium, but yanking cactus spines out of a swollen ankle is no big deal.

It took a little bit to get the little pistol named Paulee to sleep. The boys were having a wonderful time sleeping in sleeping bags in a tent. It is a guy thing. Anderson decided to get up in the middle of the night to eat. And eat. And eat. And eat. I do not exaggerate. It got so cold that night, I didn't have the heart to put him back in his crib. Boy was that a mistake. He would have been warmer there, and I would have gotten sleep! Nearly every hour he woke to eat. I think at some point he was just testing me to see if I would still feed him. But what was I to do? I couldn't let him cry. He would have kept up our camp, not to mention the others around us. Needless to say, when the sun came up, and everyone got up (UGH!), I was exhausted, and Anderson was the happiest, round baby in the world!

I have so much more to post, and many pictures to share. As I'm looking through them I have left out some things from day one. So you'll just have to indulge me. I want to post this, but also want to go to bed. So we'll backtrack a little tomorrow!

13 June 2009

A New Gadget!

Aren't I so cool?! If you are an observant reader, you will notice at the bottom of the page is a PayPal button. I am in the process of selling my very first "Name Pillow"! All home made of course, by yours truly, and custom made for you. And someone out there in cyber land wants to purchase one from me! Thanks Christina! I'll always remember you as my first. And thanks to Teri Lynne for passing her along to me!

And for any of the rest of you readers, here's my niece modeling her pillow. (and the pj's i made her too!)

Have a great evening. I've got work to do!