Our day out: the plan & the reality

I won’t try to fool you.  We had a good, solid, uneventful day.  It makes for calm nerves but not for riveting blog posts.  At times I actually found myself hoping something would go horribly wrong so I could blog it, but God mercifully ignored those thoughts.  If you’re looking for laughs, you’re more likely to find them here.  But if you’re truly curious about how our grand plan for A Very Busy Day went off, here’s the report.

Our goal was to make it out the door by 7:30.  Events conspired against us.  First, the alarm for those who wanted early showers didn’t go off.  Everyone slept soundly until 6:45, leaving us just 45 minutes.

At 7:15, we decided to eat breakfast in the breakroom when we dropped off Dad.  We packed 2 quarts of homemade granola and grabbed a half-full jug of milk.  There.  That was easy.  We could still leave on time if all went well.

And then we had our standard shoe crisis.  Why do I still refuse to write the shoe crisis into the plan?  Call it denial.  I very nearly took Bethany to her first-ever dental cleaning barefoot.  When you have 10 kids, people are more than willing to laugh with you at stuff like this.  If 9 out of 10 kids have shoes, that’s 90%.  That’s an A, right?  Socks are extra credit.  People are impressed at stats like these.  So while we did look frantically for her missing shoes, I really wasn’t panicked about the possibility that we wouldn’t find them.

Nonetheless, my girls came through.  One shoe turned up in a corner of the kitchen hidden amongst the aprons, while the other was found under my bed.  We left just 10 minutes late with everyone in good spirits – not always the case on these hurried early mornings – and made it all the way to town without a hint of vomit.  No, don’t click the link.  Never click through a link that says vomit.

On the way to town, the kids asked if they could eat a Starburst candy.  They had received a whole bag just the night before as a gift from a friend who was leaving town soon, and I had told them to wait to open it until today.  Since I try to say “yes” more often than “no,” I did it.  I let my kids eat candy before breakfast.  I’m cool that way, sometimes.  Sometimes I’m not, but we don’t talk about those times.

It wasn’t until much later that the irony struck me – the kids were eating candy on their way to the dentist.  When did I figure this out?  Actually, it was as we left the dentist – right after I gave the go-ahead on yet another round of Starburst.  Yes, my kids ate candy on the way to and from the dentist.  And I’m reasonably sure that I’ve given our dentist the url to our blog.  I hope she doesn’t read our blog.

The checkups went well.  Bethany’s hygienist went on and on about how good she was; she had never actually cleaned a 2yo’s teeth because they simply don’t cooperate but Bethany was an angel.  Perry impressed his hygienist too by allowing her to do a complete cleaning plus x-rays.  Apparently this is uncommon for a 4yo boy.  At any rate it was a great improvement over his first appointment, when he heard his name being called and hid under the end table, then utterly refused to cooperate.  Yes, the checkups went very well.

After the dentist, we beat it back to VF for lunch with my hunney.  Then I took 8 children to WalMart.  Just 8, because 2 of the older girls were helping my sister today.  It’s been a long time since I shopped with 8 children.  It’s insanely fun, if you’re into insanity.  We had to use 2 carts, didn’t get much shopping done and didn’t make very good time, but it was nice to be out en masse.

Next I dropped 6 children with their dad while Deanna, Parker and I finished up the shopping.   At our first major stop, I took the advice of my very wise friends and readers who recommended chocolate: dark chocolate-covered almonds were on sale, which I took as a sign from heaven.  After all, chocolate is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.  I was happy.

At Costco, we saw…wow.  He had to be from NYC.  Nobody in San Antonio is this cool.  His hair was two-toned and stood in a dramatic spiky sculpture, far taller than his head, leaning onward and upward in an incredible swooshing shape.  How does hair do that?  I don’t know how it is where you live, but here we don’t see high fashion like this outside the international airport.  We desperately wanted a photo to share the sight with others, but my phone was dead and we were too shy to ask anyway.  Do you think he would have minded?  At any rate we had to be content just to stare while he struggled to load an enormous 3-dimensional human skull, so big it hardly went through the door of his car.  I can’t help but wonder what one does with a skull like that.

You really didn’t want to hear the whole day, did you?  I listened to a message from the Baby Conference; saw my sister’s new apartment; ate grilled pizza (cooked by Deanna on the company grill); ran 3 extra errands (but skipped the bank and videos);  made one last grocery stop on the way home;  had more chocolate (thanks to my hunney); and we all arrived home at 11:15 after nearly 16 hours of errands.

This was a good day.  Sleep will make it even better.  The best part: my hunney has tomorrow off work.

PS. I just visited the Vision Forum site and saw that they are giving $25 off any order of $75 or more.  Use the code INSTANT25.  I don’t know how long it’s good.


  1. April Bauer says:

    I am a little behind these days on your blog, but still enjoy it. 🙂
    When I was in hs I remember the guys used shaving cream for their hair. We are living in Germany right now & whenver we leave the house we see some sort of weird do. You would think that after 4 1/2yrs here that my children are used to it. Nope, just this morning the 7 yo commented on another hair style. “Mama, how did she get her hair like that?” Another good question.

  2. Wow, I need to stop saying I am tired…lol

    I only have 2 ;-))

  3. tarynkay says:

    When my little brother was going through his punk rock phase, we used to do his hair in liberty spikes with elmer’s glue- it dries very quickly, especially when you use a hair dryer. Bonus points for glitter glue! He loved for people to take pictures, too- he was happy to acknowledge that he did it for the attention.

  4. Wow, Lady! Put your feet up today! 🙂

  5. Just wanted to say I really appreciate how down-to-earth you are. Sometimes it’s hard to see moms of double digit children as mere humans, but I really enjoy your honesty and lightheartedness!

    Oh, and maybe that cool guy was from Austin. I’ve never been to TX but I hear Austin is quite hip.

  6. Kim S. ~ Mommy of 8 says:

    Of course, I didn’t mean to imply that we go to work with Daddy…sometimes we shop where he works, too, (and also go see him! 🙂 )and at other times we shop 65 miles away.
    We try to only do this once a month. 🙂

  7. Kim S. ~ Mommy of 8 says:

    I can so relate to the “shoe crisis”, too! It never fails, even if I have laid them out the night before! One shoe almost always mysteriously disappears, especially if they were laid out low to the ground, where a littler child can remove it (when no one is looking)! So, laying them out “higher” works better for me. lol…

    I can also so relate about the many errands ran far from home… we live 65 miles to our nearest Costco and other favorite grocery stores, plus Daddy commutes 2 hours away every work day.. so, of course, that makes for a very long day. Only other families with many children can understand that.
    I have friends and relatives who think we must ‘dilly dally’ to be gone that long!
    It is so refreshing to read that we are not alone! 🙂

  8. You can find industrial strength hair products, but if it was totally stiff it was probably egg whites.

  9. Oh the shoe crisis! How well I know the shoe crisis! And it doesn’t help that the baby is in the “Try on everyone’s shoes and walk around” phase.

    I must be cool too because I have let my kids eat candy before breakfast. What can I say? *I* have been known to eat candy before breakfast and they know it.

    But Costco and the dentist ON THE SAME DAY? You have more fortitude than I do, hands down.

  10. I totally agree with the chocolate comment. Nothing beats chocolate;)

    I remember being the one to organize and keep track of my own shoes. But when it came time to organize them all I did was fall asleep ON the shoes with my cat. I am known as the person in our family who can fall asleep anywhere.

    Hope to see y’all soon,
    Larissa Seargeant

  11. LOL the shoe crisis!! Truly makes or breaks a day… 😀

  12. Wow. Your day actually sounds fun. I only have 3 littles, and a day like yours would probably make me one frazzled mama. So I have a question. I’ve been reading your blog for a short while, and also was able to listen in on the Ladies Symposium you participated in at the Baby Conference… you seem to be very laid back. Is that just 1.) your personality? 2.) A postitive side-effect of having so many siblings? Or 3.) Something you and the Lord have had to work on over the years?

    Please say #3 and give me some hope! 😉

    Thank you for being an encouragement!

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