Well, I’m not sure how you’re doing in your neck of the woods but over here we’re just full of big wins. Ahem, for instance, last week during CHURCH – YES CHURCH, Hank slipped Damien this note:


“Shut up.” Nice. I’m sure that’s EXACTLY what the church admin thought people would be writing when they printed those out. Shockingly, lightning bolts didn’t fall from the sky.

We’re like the bad news bears of church. We sit in the very last row, Billy can’t sing because his voice has gotten wonky, three of us are as cynical as you could possibly be and, to top it all off,  we constantly have five hundred and four children with us – or, at least, it feels like we do. This is where the empty nesters all say ‘oh, you’re going to miss these days.‘ Y’all keep telling me that.

Hank got a phone for his birthday and it’s made him a little bit too big for his britches. I send politely worded ‘it’s time for bedtime’ texts and he sends me sarcastic gifs. Aw…he’s learning to be sarcastic – how lovely. Actually – that is a win. Hank is my straight A student that falls backwards into good grades but sometimes his comprehension is a little…uh…off.


On a side note he’s subsequently lost his phone privileges. We won’t go into it. Suffice it to say he no longer has a phone and won’t until at least next year.

I’ll tell you a legit way we are actually winning. Walking down by the creek a few days ago I passed Damien’s bike laying in the bushes. When I asked him about it he matter of factly said ‘yeah, the chain broke so I got mad and threw it down.’

Y’all, I’m okay with this answer. A year ago he would have fed me some line about how it wasn’t his fault and trolls appeared out of the forest and stole it or what not. I told him to go get it and he did. Win.


We got everyone off to school without too many frowny faces.  Two of the kids were even within dress code. Y’all, if we’re already having trouble with the dress code on the first day it’s shaping up to be a long year.


Even this little nugget of trouble is in school three days a week.


And, oh yeah, the guy I voted for actually won our Senate primary. So many wins.


What’s that you say? He has no chance of winning in the general election? Don’t stomp on my winning parade.

All I do is win, win, win…

About That Pain…

About That Pain…

A couple weeks ago Hank decided it was all over him. He had this pain he couldn’t explain in his abdomen and he was pretty sure his short little life was drawing to a close. It was nothing that should have caused too much trouble but he absolutely couldn’t shake worrying about it. Why does it hurt? What is causing it? What if it doesn’t go away? What if I have to have more tests? What if the doctor can’t find out what was wrong with him. It was consuming him.


We got it x-rayed, we went to the doctor, heck, we even had blood work done. The doctor determined he’d probably just injured it during baseball but Hank still couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Come to find out he’d watched some sort of movie about a child that get’s cancer and dies. Oh Henry…Even after I talked to him about how movies can put ideas in our heads he was still fixated on this pain.


Finally I had the bright idea to ask my friend Kathy,who is a therapist, about it. I told her how he had no reason to worry but he was.

In case you can’t see the picture here was her response: “I would say something like ‘I know you are worried. We have been to the doctor, he has run all the tests he needs, and you are healthy. Sometimes our brains get stuck and we worry about the same thing over and over until it seems real. You really are okay. You need to tell your brain what to do. Tell it you are fine and go do something fun.’


Y’all! It worked. It really worked. Now I had to say it several times over the course of the next several days but every time he would bring it up I would just pull out my phone surreptitiously and just reread it to him. He’d say ‘okay’ and then wander off.

You should totally find a friend who is a therapist.

The other little quandary we’ve had with this character occurred before we left for Disney World at Space Camp. The fifth graders at Hank’s school go to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for a five day day camp. After graduation the kids were allowed to hang out and ride the rides. All his friends piled on the Space Shot ride and he got on with them. Now he had hemmed and hawed about whether to do it or not and finally decided to go for it. He gets on the ride, they buckle him in, and then they say ‘last chance to get off’ and Henry raises his hand and says he wants off. Whomp, whomp, whomp…I pleaded with him ‘Hank, I’m worried that you’re really going to regret not going on this ride.’ But, he insists that he wants off. So, off he comes.

About thirty five seconds after we get in the car to go home he starts up ‘I should have gone on the ride. Why didn’t you make me go on the ride?’ It reminded me of a tweet I’d seen Jon Acuff make recently:


‘Regret has a longer shelf than fear.’ Ain’t that the truth. It certainly set us up well for the next week when we went to Disney World though because he went on everything there. Even Everest.


Let’s just hope he doesn’t see a movie about a kid that dies on a roller coaster or we’ll be back at square one. 



Nope She’s Just Naughty

Nope She’s Just Naughty

Alright…here’s the deal with Gracie’s behavior…I’m pretty sure it’s all my fault. See, the problem isn’t that I have no parenting backbone – the problem is that things that bother other people just don’t seem to bother me – and that’s a bit of a problem.

Here’s an example from this week: Mondays at Little Rosie’s are relatively uncrowded. Me and my bestie go there quite a bit – it’s one of Huntsville’s greatest breakfast spots. I like to throw words like ‘bestie’ into my blog to check and see if my teenagers are reading it – if they are, they’d totally bust me for using the word bestie.  This week while at Little Rosie’s I look down and realize Gracie is on the floor drawing in her notepad. Now instead of doing what normal parents do which would be to GET HER OFF THE FLOOR I just shrug and say ‘meh, she’s not bothering anyone.’


Uh, hello, Paula your child is LAYING on the dad gum floor. Something eventually clicks and I think ‘oh yeah! No kids on the floor!’

I ended up pulling her out of school because her behavior had gotten so suspect. She wasn’t kicked out but I had come to dread the ‘Gracie did blah, blah, blah’ note that was accompanying picking her up. And more than that note I was dreading the drop off where she screamed and clung to me. So for my sanity I pulled her. Which means we spend all day every day together. Which is good because this little nugget is only three.

On the positive it gave me more time to do projects in the house.  Got these pictures hung up in the abnormally large space between the mirrors in our bathroom. I ordered them from the MixTiles app. It was really easy and I think they turned out well.


“Hey there little gnome.”

As far as Gracie’s behavior goes, I guess, part of being a better parent is just paying attention to the stuff that other people care about – which is generally pretty terrible advice but works in this situation. We leave for Disney World in a month. Girlfriend needs to straighten up and fly right while we’re there!

Speaking of trips, I’ve got big plans for a nice long RV trip in the summer of 2018. We went to the RV Show this weekend. The kids are into it. Well, into it-ish.


They were mostly into climbing all over the things.

This continued at Hank’s basketball party. I highly recommend having a party in a gym. IMG_2297

Hank and his best friend Brandon. You know how sometimes you hear parents say things like ‘my child just doesn’t have enough self confidence.’ Yeah, that’s something we will never have to say about these two. They have plenty of confidence. Like, probably too much.

Oooh! Ya know what else I recommend? Having a Dads Versus Sons Basketball Game because that business was pretty hilarious.


Although, the basketball party brought us several more examples of Gracie Shenanigans. Other Parent: ‘Um, excuse me but did you know your daughter was climbing on the bleachers?’ Yes, yes I did.

She has a pretty significant language delay – when you combine that with her behavior issues I used to think she might be somewhere on the spectrum. Now I’m pretty convinced that she’s just naughty.


We’re all a work in progress, right?

A cute, cuddly, smooshy, bundle of love and tantrums work in progress.