Create Space!

Caleigh has taken over the study area outside of the boys rooms since we can remember. She calls it her office. It has always been her happy place but I wouldn’t say it was a happy space in the sense of the word. Let me see if I can find a before picture!


It was always such a clutter! Too overwhelming to even attempt a “ten second tidy!” As you may very well agree! But according to one of my favorite authors I read after when my kids were littler to make me feel normal–Becky Freeman–she says this is why you have an upstairs after you have children so you never have to go up there. What you don’t see will never bother you! Or something like that!

But with the help from a wonderful organized friend, Michelle, we now truly have such a happy place! Caleigh squealed when she saw the buckets and I just got teary at the beautifulness of it all. It’s just too much! Who can do this?! How!? Good grief she is good!!!!!



Caleigh has already hung a clothes line and dangled paper clips with what we will be crafting today. Not to mention she loves to keep her dry erase clean and wanted the disinfectant wipes to remain out. But I wouldn’t allow them because they didn’t match! No way! They can live under the sink. She crafted them up so they match and now are acceptable in the Create Space! Thank you Michelle W! There is no place like this space!


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One Of Those Calls

There is a reason I have different ring and text tones for my kids and Keith. Today I heard “You’ll be in my heart…” So one thing is certain: it’s Tiffany calling. What she has to say is the uncertain thing. For sure she rings the most out of my entire family! And usually it is to fill me in. I get a surge of fabulous details that I love and live for! And then a quick….I gotta go mom. Just wanted to touch base. And the conversation is over as quickly as it started.

And I have to give it to Cole on this one because he called it. But on occasion it is one of those calls. I hear something like this: Ok so I pulled into the Health Science Center…went in…hopped back out and backed out of the spot but mentioned that those concrete stops at the front of some parking spaces had like a “nail” sticking up and it stuck in her bumper and when she backed up it pulled her bumper off! But she was stuck there because it still was connected by a cord. And I’m like can you send a picture!

She was wanting ME to tell her what to do!? I am envisioning a story of Keith’s mom and sister hitting a car in a parking lot. Picking up the bumper and putting it in their trunk then running in the house asking if the police came yet! They were sent back to the scene with the said bumper and lucky for them the vehicle was still there so they just placed the bumper right back on, I would say here: gently?!?

So that is my knowledge of what to do when a bumper comes off. And this is conjuring up in my mind. But this is a self inflicted bumper mishap! I was like just put it in your trunk for now! All the while checking to see if she talked to her dad yet! Of course she called him first. Good move there Tiffany. But no answer and she was in full blown panic so no time for patience here. I told her I would blitz him and called both numbers and sent this to his text and email: “Tiffany’s car front bumper got stuck to parking cement thing. As she backed up it pulled part of bumper off. She is literally stuck. What to do”

He called me laughing so hard. I was like wait have you already spoken to her? He said no so I said hang up and call her now. Without laughing! She isn’t thinking this is funny yet!

And then we got the photos!



Yeah, Sweetie, that’s not a bumper that’s like the entire front end of your car! Keith said at least we taught the kids to never half do something! I could call this post “the 900 dollar park.” It’s what this will cost when it’s all over to get the front end back on. Anyone out there want to add big wheels with hydraulic lift to a Mazda 3!?

What I can’t quit laughing about is that she actually called the police! Before us! Yikes! Like you are calling the police on yourself! I don’t think there is a ticket for this…is there?

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Toaster Strudel Messaging

And I had such good intentions! Had that creative juice flowing this morning. Or rather…toaster strudel icing! I wanted to surprise Caleigh and show her how much we support her trying out for the DI at her school again this year. So I wrote with the tiny icing packs “Good Luck at DI” with “Good” for Good and for “luck” I thought I was drawing a horseshoe…looks more like a smiley face! So I was thinking how-with-it would I be using the actual “@” sign for “at” (!) and lastly “DI”…yeah, well…she came down; took one look at it, and said: you know you’re not suppose to put the icing on before you put them in the toaster, right? I was like–I didn’t! This IS after, but it still melted! (For those on twitter #toasterstrudeldesignprobs #thisisserious #greatday!) And here is what she said happily that ties this entire moment to her Big Daddy who she actually never even met–it’s close enough mom. Close enough. Keith’s dad frequently used that phrase and just hearing it always lightened the moment. It spoke volumes. Just like the head nods and faces he made did in his silent communication that you got ONE shot at getting! Anyway, we love to say it especially after really messing up a word choice or situation. Close enough! So I hugged her closely whispering, that is so Big Daddy. She is carrying a part of the one she never met close enough.


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The Twisty Stairs: Un-Necessary

Have you ever gone up to the loft without using the steps was the question of the Labor Day weekend–apparently. Even though I never even heard it so much as spoken. Oh, maybe because I was digging kitty litter type Lubbock sand out of the garbage disposal with my bare hands! All I know is a week and a phone call and huge laughter later I hear Keith’s side of the conversation: “Ok. I’ll tell him!” I had to ask. Had to. What was all that about. Maybe just maybe I didn’t need to know. The once two year old: no fear toddler with feet that ran quick to mischief son of mine emerged again! Apparently the big brother cannot nor will not let the little brother be disappointed. All I know is after Kevin asked if he ever made it up to the loft without using the twisty loft stairs and heard Cole’s, no, for a reply–the disappointed look was all it took! First. Who even knew this kid could love these so much:




So with the above photos of the many ways he scales the twisty steps the video I’ve been learning to embed while watching the Texans almost lose their first game this season will give a bit of clarity???

And there we have it…good grief. Didn’t they just pick up a check for the refunded security deposit! Lets keep it secure Cole. Use the twisty stairs!

(If the video doesn’t play well…head over to my Instagram. The games over people. It’s late!)

And I might also add after little brother watched the video of big brother he was heard saying his big brother could be the next American Ninja Warrior. Disappointment. Obliterated.

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Hide the Green Shirt!

We laughed and laughed about this phrase last night! And poor Keith for following my calendar. Well, he is in my family, and, kind of complains when he misses something so…calendar sync it is. Anyway, last night Keith announced it was Kevin’s picture day tomorrow. I was impressed! Then he said he was in an important meeting and got this alert:


So he asked out loud if I hid the green shirt. I’m like…shh! Kevin was right there. The kid doesn’t care what he wears for picture day. Usually doesn’t even know it’s picture day. But two years in a row and even spring to fall wore the exact same three dollar Walmart St. Patrick’s Day T-Shirt! So last year I hid it so good we didn’t find it until this summer. So knowing it surfaced required a search and rescue reminder and you guessed it–the calendar alert. I actually need to speak with Apple and Microsoft. I need way more options than the few they list. Way more.

And possibly I am not so bothered about the wearing of a favorite shirt over and over again even for pictures until it’s outgrown; I am positive it is the painful memory attached to this green shirt from WHEN we bought it that I do not want to be reminded of! Painful. Yet, classic Kevin…

This was a couple of years ago: We are pulling into town from visiting family in Louisiana and it’s pushing midnight–easy. All weekend. Anyone have homework they need to get done. That question is presented often. We are pulling off I45. It is late. For whatever reason now Kevin remembers and says: I have a project due tomorrow.




Great Days are said.

I realize this has been a topic of miscommunication with each of my kids. Do you have homework to them does not include studying for a test or working on or completing a project. Even though they know it is what we mean when we say it but somehow when we say it they forget its not just homework that we mean when we are asking! Anyway, the plan is established to start a project after midnight after driving five hours after saying we would never help him this way again and after saying we didn’t care if he got a zero and yes even after knowing we stinking shouldn’t have! Yep. Even after realizing we are THOSE parents.

We hit the Walmart cause its open 24/7. And storm the poster and school supply section. It’s around March so the fun green shirts are everywhere. My brother John was born on St. Pat’s Day so for no other reason I love the day because of all the memories it fills my heart with for that alone…John is Kevin. Kevin is John. In many ways! (The same brother I sat under the table putting on his shoes while he ate his breakfast so we wouldn’t be late for school! Before any judging just know I got palm ruler slapped by a teacher for being tardy in elementary school!) So we get the green T and move on. He has a project due–great day! It gets ugly here. All I know is the poster got done. Burnt edges and all. He made it through just fine. I wanted to ruler slap him! But Keith and I were scarred for life!

And wouldn’t you know before Kevin went to bed last night he actually said these words: “Can I wear the green shirt?”

I Love You Kevin!!! Even though you left this morning not wearing it I did not search your back pack, band bag, or truck. But you’ve gotta give it to the schools. They get a picture for the student’s ID and it doesn’t seem to ever update. And look–it’s The Green Shirt!

Fast Forward to picture day today February 11, 2014

When I saw this I roared with laughter! Roared! The Strawbridge flyer has posted on its page in bold yellow signage: “Please, Do Not Wear Green!” Kevin is gonna think I really have the power. Like just what extremes will mom go to to keep the green shirt out of the photo!?!

See for yourself:


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Tuba Problems Not A Problem


I’m feeling the freedom! This is a happy day indeed. Our days of deciding or trying to remember if it’s a tuba transport day today before dawn are over. It fits! He also made his very first drive to a friends and back home. And I hate to be one of those braggers but wow! It is an accomplishment for the kid and the parent. Especially this parent of Kevin “the participator!” Yes!

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Oh To Be Ten Again!

The midget is ten! Oh, but wait! Tiffany, Cole, and Kevin are all acting like they are ten again! She opened her presents and they each had to jump on the Flicker and the Ripstick…testing them…but the testing went on and on and on….it is true you can get away with acting as old as your youngest sibling! I had four ten year olds in the house last night! Anyway, ten years ago today in Anchorage, Alaska, July 15, 2003, and at 6:14 pm weighing 9 pounds and 3 ounces Caleigh Brooke was born! And we can truly say, “For this child, we prayed!” 1 Samuel 1:27a…and that is a we “we!” I just had to go gather a few sweet shots from the past. Who even needs newborn clothes when their is a sister in the house who loves American Girl dolls? I remember Kevin even had me bring her to school for him to stand up in front of the class with her as his very first show and tell in the first grade! It may not show so much in the everyday, Caleigh, but these guys are crazy about you…Have a Happy 10th Birthday!!!

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