In Honor of Jayden Lamb

My friend Jess, who recently moved to Michigan, shared a video with me. The video is the  story of Jayden Lamb, a little boy from northeast Michigan.

This past weekend we celebrated my almost 8 year old with a little party. There were a few hitches and things didn’t go quite as planned. I was frustrated and annoyed and quite honestly, had trouble letting it go.

Then I watched this video again and felt foolish. Jayden’s dad can’t celebrate his son’s birthday with him and I’m complaining because a few kids were difficult at my son’s party.

Take a minute and watch.

Now just be thankful.

And when you have a moment, Pay It Forward – Jayden Style!

3rd Graders & Their Future

Inevitably when teaching math to kids the words, “When will I ever have to use this when I get older?” comes up.

And when it came up, I asked my group of 3rd  graders what they want to be when they grow up.

I heard, “Medical Assistant.”

Easy – fractions & decimals for medicines

I heard, “Artist.”

A Little Harder – measurement for the scale of objects in painting

I heard, “Cage Fighter.”

Hard – Money – to know how much to pay your manager

And then I heard, “Vegetarian.”








“What do you want to be?”

“A vegetarian when I grow up.”

Impossible – “Ah, I guess you need to know how to measure when you are a vegetarian…”

“But what about the dogs?”

“Do you mean you want to be a veterinarian?”

“Yes, that’s what I said, I want to be a vegetarian when I grow up. I want to help dogs and cats.”

Veterinarian – Easy – Must have knowledge of math for temperatures, medicines, and animal weights

I think I just might want to be a 3rd grader when I grow up, they are hilarious.


My Phone

Why is it that the only time I lose my phone is roughly 5 minutes after I have put the ringer on silent?



Excuse me but I must go find my phone.

Our Favorite Art Books

I love to buy artsy books for my kids (and sometimes me!) to draw with.

Now don’t get me wrong, I fully believe in blank paper in order to create but sometimes it’s just fun to try drawing an alligator or a funny person.

Here are some of our family’s favorite art books (my kids are 11, 7, and 4 if that helps):

Ed Emberly’s Drawing Book

ed emberley animals


Doodles at Lunch & Doodles at Breakfast: 36 Tear-Off Placemats

doodles at lunch placemat

doodles at lunch detail

Animal Doodles Place Mats



642 Things to Draw: Journal



and this is the next book I want to get for our house

The Boys’ Doodling Book


and maybe in a few years we’ll purchase this one

The Girls’ Drawing Book



Happy Drawing Everyone!

Art Holder for Markers, Crayons, Pencils, Glue Sticks, and Scissors

I have wanted an art holder for our kitchen table for awhile now.

I looked around the garage and found an old tea light candle holder that I bought at Goodwill for $3 several years ago.

My husband drilled the holes further down & then I sanded it to create this new piece.


I could sand it further & then paint it but frankly that’s not going to happen anytime soon.





When the art holder is on the table I have noticed the kids drawing and creating more than usual. I place various drawing books we have as well as blank paper and watch them go to town.



Tomorrow I’ll share with you some of their favorite doodling books!

Mr. Rogers is a Good Place to Start

 Thinking about everyone in Boston.

The explosions killed an 8 year old.

Once again, another reminder to hug your kids everyday and tell them you love them.

This is so difficult to explain to children (and adults).

Thought this would be a good place to start…


A Sleepover Party for My 11 Year Old

I have to confess something.

I hate sleepover parties. Really hate them.

I know I should love them as a mom and love that my friends have kids who want to come to their house but alas, I hate them.

My son turned 11 over the weekend and wanted a sleepover party with his friends.

He requested a 24 hour party which I quickly shot down. No way Jose.

We compromised on a 4 pm to 10 am party.

At about 4:30 pm on party day, after the 5 guests had arrived,  my husband and I looked at each other and said, “Only 17 1/2 hours to go!”

In all actuality I think it is the stress of hosting 5, 11 year old boys who want nothing else then to knock each other over for the entire length of the party. Oh, and maybe the kids who only speak at one volume, LOUD, that tends to drive me up the wall too.

For the beginning of the party we took the boys to the park near our house where they played soccer, tag, basketball, and grounders (chase on the playground set, no one touching the ground, with the person who is “it” closing there eyes while they were chasing the others – basically a recipe for disaster.)





Once it hit 6:30 and no one had broken a bone my husband and I called the party a success.

After pizza and a rousing , “Only 15 hours to go,” it was time for a video game tournament, ping pong, and cake.




After coercing them into taking showers the boys settled on the couches to watch Goonies.

I remember loving this movie when I was younger.

What I didn’t remember were the drug jokes and curse words throughout the movie. Good chance I could receive a few calls from moms today.

After the movie we tucked the boys in at 11 pm and …wait for it……they feel asleep immediately.

For those of you who have never hosted a sleepover you will not understand what a gift this is. No one had to utter 45 times, “Boy, it’s time to go to bed now.” Derek and I kept saying to each other, “Do you really think they are asleep? Can’t be. Are they planning something?”

At 7 AM my husband and I were awakened by what sounded like a herd of cattle coming downstairs.

We uttered, “Only 3 more hours.”

After a breakfast of pancakes, more video games, and ping pong we heard that wonderful sound we had been waiting for – ding dong! A child pick up 20 minutes early! At 10:05 when the last boy had been picked up Derek and I held are hands up in victory. Although only morning we climbed back into bed and vowed never to host a sleepover again.

We were feeling good and proud of ourselves until Andrew announced, “For my 8th birthday I’m going to have a sleep over too because that was so much fun.”

So now I’m standing firm on our vow.  We are not going to have another sleep over for at least 2 weeks. And for those of you counting, that’s only 236 hours till the next sleep over. Lord help us.

Work Today

Remember when I said I was so lucky to work with 5th graders?

After today…

1. Scratch that.

2. Forget it.

3. Pretend that I never said that.

I’m starting to reassess my career choice and think that perhaps working at the DMV would be a better and more enjoyable option.


UPDATE: I’ve now had a few hours to reflect and have come up with a new plan for tomorrow. I’m going to take up drinking.


Actually  I’ve got a plan and am ready to teach again tomorrow so wish me luck.

5th graders here I come!

The Dallas Color Run 2013

My friend Melissa, my 10 year old, and I ran the Color Run this past Saturday in Dallas.


It was tons of fun and would have been even more fun if I had properly trained for the 5K.

I know many of you can run a 5K no problem but let’s remember I’m a swimmer. I’m really not good at exercising on land.

Our team name was The Footloose and Fancy 4 but ended up being The Footloose and Fancy 3 when my sister couldn’t participate at the last minute.

Here’s the before:


The after:



During the run there are several chutes to run through. Volunteers line up at the chute and throw colored powder at the runners. The colored powder is dyed cornstarch. Here we are giving you the idea with our powder packets.


Alex was generous enough to stay with us the first half mile. I could tell he was itching to go faster so I sent him on praying that he would be at the finish line like we had arranged. Alex had a great time and was a tad disappointment that there wasn’t a clock at the end.


Melissa was kind enough to stay with me as I took walking breaks through the run. I’m pretty sure she was itching to go ahead too 🙂


There were plenty of jogging strollers, lots of kooky socks on display, countless tutus worn, an Elvis runner,  and even a runner in a wedding dress.

Color Run of Dallas = 2 Thumbs Up!

Next Dallas run is November 16th.

Click here to check when the Color Run is coming to a city near you.


Thanks to Ryan for taking the pictures!