Branson, Mo

When we play Marco Polo in the pool Jack says “Marco Buffalo.” Sometimes he says “Marco’s Pizza” which at least makes sense. Heh.

27 July Thursday

We went out to eat for lunch today. There’s a little cafe where I ordered a reuben, a muffaletta and a Greek plate. I knew they couldn’t do everything well, and the reuben was disappointing, but the Greek plate was great. Jack called the dolma poop. Heh.

30 July Sunday

We were all in bed for the night; Tj and I were watching Designated Survivor, when Max came to the back and said someone was at the door! I got it and it was the boy from next door inviting our boys over for smores! Max went for half an hour or so, and came back with a smore for Tj and me! They said they would invite us over tomorrow night as well…they want Jack to come over. Nice.

31 July Monday

We were lazy all day today. We had chicken and spaghetti for lunch at 1:30.

TJ worked on the computer, the boys went outside and I made cinnamon rolls. They were awesome again!

Jack mistakenly put on Tjs underwear as a shirt tonight! He couldn’t figure out how to get his arms right, and it took me a couple of seconds to realize it wasn’t his shirt. Heh

3 August Thursday

When we’re making ice Jack always asks for “a piece of mice.” Heh

4 August Friday

We went to Silver Dollar City today. Max goes off by himself to ride whatever he wants and Jack and I go to the ball room. There are a ton of foam balls there, along with a vacuum and a cannon and other toys. It’s heaven for Jack, and I get to read so it’s heaven for me, too. I sit on the floor at the only exit, but Jack is learning to not leave me and wander away on his own.

5 August Saturday

Max pulled another tooth! In the WM parking lot!!! It was a molar.

I asked Jack if he wanted to watch a dog movie and he said, “No ma’am, sorry. Not dog movie.”

7 August Monday

Amy and her boys came to visit today!!!!!! They got here around 11am, and boy were we all excited to see them! I’m so excited they wanted to come and this whole thing worked out.

I made mac and cheese for lunch with salad as a side. The boys swam and then showered in the bath house.

Supper was Pickin’ Porch Grill where I had the pulled pork french fries. Amy and Adam shared the Hawaiian burger; Adam loved it but she pulled off the giant piece of pineapple. Max got the fried green tomato BLT and loved it. Jack got chicken strips, but he should’ve just had half of my fries! We ended up taking the rest home and Tj ate them a week later.

We drove to the boardwalk and walked around a bit. Stopped in at Bass Pro Shop for mosquito spray…I think I’ve learned my lesson here the first night with Jack’s poor legs. We watched the lights/fountain/flames as they played music at the landing. We browsed through several stores and Amy helped me find some shoes. When I was getting cash at a nearby ATM a clown was there talking to people. He said he would try to guess my pin, and said it was 4 digits. Then he made me laugh when he told the story of how one time he’d guessed a woman’s pin!! She was not amused.

When it was bedtime Adam and Caleb slept on the blow up bed on the pull-out couch. Max and Jack slept on the dinette bed, and Dan offered to sleep on the floor…Amy says he always offers to do that because he hates sleeping with anyone else.

8 August Tuesday

Max pulled a third tooth sometime last night or this morning (and threw it at the other boys). Kids!

Well, the boys got along so well yesterday, I guess I shouldn’t have expected it to last forever. They started almost snipping at each other a bit as Adam and I were picking up their beds so I said they should get their shoes on and go run around the park. Caleb said that sounds like a good idea, so I told him great, get your shoes on and go. He suddenly started backpeddling. I told him again, and then one more time in a serious tone to go. When he continued to resist me I called to Amy (who’d just gotten out of the shower) and said I thought the boys should go outside while I made breakfast, and she readily agreed. She asked if there was a problem and I said no, and told her what happened. And then all the boys went out and I got our cinnamon rolls ready for breakfast. We had rolls and muesli bread with butter. I packaged up 2 rolls for Amy to take home to share with John.

After we all got ready we headed out to Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Tj and I had decided that even though Max has really been wanting to go, they’re all over the country, and since we’re spending so much money on the season tickets we wouldn’t go here. Of course all that went out the window the moment Amy said they were going :-) Jack got in free, and Max and I got a military discount, so that’s something.

Last night Adam was talking about wanting to try bubble tea, so we looked around for some. Amy found a place so we headed there next. I don’t think any of us were impressed with the bubbles, but it was fun for one time.

We went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things for supper, then home, and I made sandwiches for lunch.

The boys swam a bit more, and just as Amy offered to take Max for the week until we drive down there the fighting between Max and Caleb began in earnest. There were several little spats while they were in the pool. Those two are just too much alike! Caleb won’t leave Max alone…he follows him around and pesters him about everything. And Max is just as bad. I suggested that they play Marco Polo and Caleb immediately said Jack should be it, then Max said Caleb should be it. Caleb said Jack again, and Max said Caleb again. I made Max sit out of the pool for a while, and I told him to stop picking on Caleb. After a few minutes I let him get back in, and before his butt cleared the seat he said the same thing again!!! He never learns! I made him sit again.

When the boys were showered and changed we all did crafts. Amy and I burned designs into wooden spoons, some boys played legos and some played with air-dry clay, and Adam colored a shirt.

I made nachos for supper, and we all had ice cream again. While we were finishing up supper Max started packing to go to Amy’s. If she’s foolish enough to keep her invitation to let Max stay with her a few nights, I’m eager enough to take her up on it!

It was so quiet when she left. 5 boys and 2 girls make a lot of noise in our little bus. I set Jack up with a movie in the back and I cleaned the whole bus while talking to Tj on the phone.

9 August Wednesday

Jack and I went thrifting and I found a big wooden cutting board to burn designs on! Now I have to figure out what to draw on it.

We went to Chic-fil-a for lunch so Jack could play on the playground. When we got back in the truck my left wrist hurt so bad! I have no idea what I’ve done to injure it. It’s really difficult to drive, though, since I’ve mostly been driving with my left hand for the last 2 years to help my right wrist heal. Old age!!

We stopped at a leather store that turned into a strip mall type of store. While tooling around in there Jack almost touched an elaborate embrodriy machine! I’m glad I saw him before he did.

10 August Thursday

I really like fried chicken, and was craving some. We headed downtown to a place with good reviews. As I ate I thought the chef must’ve forgotten to season the chicken and the mashed potatoes with gravy. I hemmed and hawed, and finally mentioned it as I was paying for our meal. The cashier casually said that they never put salt on any of their food because the old people don’t like it!!!! How do you have a salt-free restaurant without telling anyone??!!

When we got back home I burned the wooden lid for the ceramic bowl I bought at Target for Amy. Tj came home around supper time.

11 August Friday

We drove to Cabot today. The weather was dreary all the way, and it was raining when we got to the Mean Pig. That food was just as good as always, though!

After visiting with our friends who were there for a bake sale we went back to the hotel for nap; Amy took Max to a swim party. When we got up we shopped at Kroger for stuff to make ribs at Jen’s house, and then headed over there. What a fun time we always have with our friends! We’re so blessed to know such awesome people.

12 August Saturday

We had breakfast in the hotel, and then Hooper picked up Max and Tj for shooting. Jack and I went to Goodwill but found nothing!

We had lunch at Colton’s with Sara Lu and the guys, and then went back to hotel for a nap.

We had supper at David’s Burgers with the Huffs, then went to a park, and then to their house and played Phase 10 till 11pm.

13 August Sunday

It was so much fun to go to our church today and see all our friends. Hoop let us use his office for an informal life group.

We went to Larry’s Pizza for lunch with a big group. That place is always so crowded, but has great pizza, especially the dessert pizza!

Tonight Jack was in the bath playing with a cup and he said, “Where cup is, Mom?” One day he’ll talk like us!

14 August Monday

We drove home today, and made several stops at thrift stores along the way. I never found anything at the thrift stores, but we bought some jalapeno jelly and some chow chow. Now I need to make some beans!

18 August Friday

I finally made Tj’s birthday cake…a cookie cake. He found a recipe he wanted me to try and it turned out great! I shared a bit of it with the office after he left for work.

This afternoon we went to see Moses with the Jones. Afterwards we went out to eat at a seafood restaurant, and then we walked along the boardwalk. I finally found a ‘tapestry’ like the girl had at White Sands. Tj got new shoes and Max got light up shoes.

19 August Saturday

Today we went to the Dixie Stampede with Jones and then had ice cream. Dixie Stampede is so much better than any other dinner show we’ve seen. I love it! All the trick horse riding is amazing to me. There was a girl who stood with each foot on a separate horse as they ran around the oval ring, and sometimes she would jump down and run alongside a horse and then jump back on all while it was running. There were also buffalo, and dog tricks, and even some human tricks. All in all it’s a really fun thing to do.

20 August Sunday

Jack buttoned all his shirt buttons with no help, and in a reasonable time frame!!! What an achievement! At church he also said his memory verse and got a soccer ball. He’s over the moon! His verse was For by Grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8 The only thing he ‘messed up’ on is he says ‘you’ve been saved’. That’s hardly a problem I think.

After church Tj left for work. I worked more on my cutting board, it’s almost finished now…I’m burning mandalas on the front face. I also started trying to learn Tai Chi, but that’s hard in the tight space.

Jack’s eye is a little pink, but I’m really hoping it’s not pinkeye. He has a little clear drainage from his nose, but he doesn’t scratch his eye. Time will tell.

21 August Monday

Today was the eclipse. We bought some paper glasses earlier this year so we were ready. Since Tj is in Memphis I decided to keep Jack in the bus. I’m sure he won’t be careful to not look outside of his glasses. The Jones decided to come over to watch it with us. It’s always better to do stuff with friends.

Seeing the eclipse at around 98% was cool, but Cabot will be in totality in 7 years for the next full eclipse and Jenn said we could go to her house to see it then :-) I hope we all remember! Max just about started crying this morning that I wouldn’t drive us 2.5 hours away to be in totality…he said it might be his only time to see a total eclipse. Drama!!

After the eclipse we all visited in the bus for a bit, then JP took Max, Anna, and Rebecca to ride the mountain coaster nearby. After that we all went to their condo to swim since Jennifer still had some packing to do.

22 August Tuesday

Today we started school. By which I mean we woke up with an alarm for the first non-Sunday in forever, and I opened Monarch for the first time. The new rule is that Max will make both of the boys’ breakfasts every morning, so he did that while Jack helped him and I tried to set up Monarch.

We took all day for school since it was also our first planning day. I do love Monarch for this. There are definitely negatives about going with this curriculum, but the scheduling and the grading aspects are awesome!

The other day Jack was in the bathroom and we heard a loud bird right outside the bus. Then Jack yelled out “Bee-up” mocking the bird!!! It cracked all of us up.

24 August Thursday

Jack just said “Where is the brown (color)? I don’t see it.” What a full thought!!

Despite taking the whole summer off (16 weeks!!) Jack has come back with more skill than when we stopped. He did a follow the directions page completely on his own, and followed every direction. He never did that throughout the whole school year last year. He would start off pretty good but always ended up changing the directions or not following the directions or just coloring the whole page no matter what the directions said. He also seems to be reading a little more fluently, although he really doesn’t seem to have any more comprehension this year than last year. I know that will come, but who knows when. He also seems to be doing better with addition, and is more flexible when talking about what number is this, and what number comes after. It’s only the third day, but I’m hopeful. Last year he would get really annoyed/angry when he got a problem wrong, but we’re working on don’t fuss, just fix it.

25 August Friday

Jack prayed “I want different playground please Mom. Okay Jackster!”

There was a back to school bash hosted by the church that Max went to tonight. Jack and I dropped him off at 4:30, and when we got home Tj was home from work.

26 August Saturday

We went to Silver Dollar City but the crowds were crazy large so we looked around for a playground. The first one we found was closed. The second one had a little girl who wouldn’t let her little sister play with Jack, but was fine with Max. Whatever. It seemed to be more you can’t play with Jack because you want to, but you don’t want to play with Max so that’s ok, than anything having to do with DS. We went to Culver’s for lunch…butter burgers and fried cheese curds. Then to WM, then home.

We kept smelling boiled eggs all day. It took forever to figure out it’s the bus battery needing water.

For supper I made a smorgasbord on my new cutting board. It’s so pretty! We watched two episodes of Lost during supper, and Jack watched Home in the back; it’s his new favorite movie.

27 August Sunday

Jack got another prize for saying his memory verse…hockey sticks. He had a different teacher this morning. She said if he says another verse of our choosing next week he can pick another prize! We’ll work on the verse Max is learning now for school, Romans 8:28.

We took a nap, but Tj didn’t nap long. He went to play Legos with Max.

When I got up I gave the boys haircuts and then we all went swimming. We had a smorgasbord again for supper.

28 August Monday

We went to the Keeter Center today for lunch. I think the whole idea of this college is pretty cool…the kids there work their way through at the college and end up with a degree and no debt. Everyone in the food industry works through all the aspects from serving to planning to making. We supported them very well :-)

Jack told me at lunch, “Black in your face.” I’m pretty sure the translation is “put that spoonful of brownie in your mouth, not mine, Mom.” But it sounds funnier his way.

Before we got around to touring the whole school the Bundys texted us and asked to meet us. That was a great reason to cut our tour short. We got back to the bus as they arrived and had a great visit with them.

29 August Tuesday

Today we went back to the Keeter Center and toured the mill where we got to see someone weaving a basket and someone else weaving coasters. We also toured the kitchen and saw tons of fruitcake for sale. We sampled them and they were pretty good. We bought some funnel cake mixture and orange marmalade.

On the way back home we stopped by Table Rock Lake and hiked around a bit.

1 September Friday

Jack and his lack of versus too much understanding. It’s killing me. Yesterday I told him to go to the playground. I made sure to tell him when he was finished with the playground and the swing set to come straight home. He took off all by himself and went right past the playground. He had seen a dog, so he went to pet the dog. I let that slide as he quickly went on to the swingset, but then he went to the picnic area. I walked back outside and said Jack, I told you to only go to the playground. He said playground excitedly. I said I didn’t tell you to go pet the dog. He said thank you mama, dog! I talked for another couple of minutes, but I know he doesn’t understand what I’m trying to get across. Then this morning Max asked me where the old mayonnaise was, and after a few minutes it seems evident that when we brought the groceries in last night Jack threw away the old bottle of mayonnaise which had enough mayonnaise for two more sandwiches, and put the new bottle in the fridge. He wants to be a helper, and he has some common sense, but other things he just has no clue about no matter how many times I explain them to him.

The other day Max said a spoonful of peanut butter is my solution to everything. Heh. Like Mom and the running your finger under water.

1 September Friday

With the last two days of school not being great, I’m desperate for a great school day today.

It’s been ok. Jack has worked with me a little more than yesterday, and Max isn’t daydreaming as much. I started smelling something not long after starting a load of wash. We’ve never had smell problems with the washer, and Tj actually ran the cleaning cycle not too long ago. I just got out of the shower and didn’t notice the water smelling, though I thought I smelled it near the kitchen sink. Max and I looked for a bit, and then I set up the diffuser and got to work on school.

When we got close to lunch time I started thinking about fried chicken. I decided we’d go out to eat instead of me cooking like I had planned, so I pushed Max to finish up. He finished and we left around 1pm. I turned both the a/c units on and figured with them cycling the air the smell might be gone by the time we got back.

After we ate at the Great American Steak and Chicken place, which had great fried chicken, Max wanted to go to Tanger right next door. I saw this as a great opportunity to do a lot of walking, so we went. I actually ended up buying 2 pair of shoes, but had to go to the Landing to exchange one of them for the correct size. After all that we headed home around 5:30.

I was so disappointed to find the smell was just as strong as when we left! Jack wanted to swing so I sent him out and got to work tracking down the smell. I had Max open all the windows and we both sniffed everything we could. I’ve been needing to clean the a/c filters so I took those outside to brush them off, and would periodically stop when I thought of something else to smell. I smelled the front and house batteries, the sewers, up under the bus front and back, and even climbed on top and smelled the a/c units. There was nothing specific, but the front a/c unit seemed to smell more, and outside Tj’s window also seemed to be more potent. I decided we’d take everything out of the front of the bus and smell each thing. Nothing. Then I just started opening every cabinet with food, and after only the 2nd one God brought my eyes to the stove…a burner was on!!!!! We’d been pumping propane into the bus all day!!!!! If I’d cooked lunch there the whole bus would have exploded! I’m so thankful God kept us safe. I can’t believe it was the stove! I’ve checked it off an on while we’ve been here, just randomly thinking about it, but this is the first time we’ve had a problem. I think Jack must’ve turned it on.

2 September Saturday

Grrr….I just went to get Jack’s swimsuit and I see that he put our swimsuits in the bucket where we keep them, but they weren’t dry yet!! I haven’t swam in several days! This boy is helping me to death!

3 September Sunday

Jack said his verse today, but the teacher (who’s a bit stern, but that is just what Jack needs) said they only do 1 prize a month. I didn’t think about it till I’d left that this is the first Sunday in this month. Oh well, he’s already gotten 2 toys so we’ll let this one go.

And I can’t remember if I’ve already blogged about this, but it cracks me up that the security door they have for Jack’s age locks from his side. The funny part is that when I’ve told people there that he’s a wanderer they assure me that everything’s ok, they have a security door. But it only keeps ‘bad guys’ from getting in…Jack can open it and walk out with no problem. Heh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *