Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kindergarten Prepping - {DIY School Wall}

You all know by now I’m a slight freak when it comes to organization. Kindergarten and ALL that comes with BIG kids going to school has me in major prepping mode. Last year Brody, Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin all attended pre-k five days a week. We had a pretty good routine when we came home (shoes in closets, show mommy folders, put away backpacks…) but one thing that drove me crazy was that our hooks that we hung backpacks on were too high for the quads to reach, leaving me to gather the bags and hang them myself among dealing with the excited and hungry quads, the baby eating their papers…etc. I knew that had to change before kinder and it became my must-fix-problem #1. I started searching for wall storage units online and wowza… the ones I adored were WAY too expensive. I then turned to good ole pinterest for some inspiration ;) After seeing multiple ideas that I thought would work best for our house/family, I came up with this…


Two hooks per kid at the perfect height so that THEY can retrieve and return their OWN belongings! Not only do they hold their bags and lunch bags, they’ll also very easily hold coats as well for cooler weather!


Here is the wall I chose and how it looked before. I told Bret what I had envisioned and, if you look closely, you can see my row of (ahem…very crooked) thumbtacks showing him about where I wanted everything to fall in the end.


With the never-ending projects these men have going on around here we have plenty of 2x4s laying around. Bret took one, cut it to fit the length of our wall and “spray painted” it with this nifty Rust-Oleum stuff he found at Home Depot. The finished board was perfect!


After hanging our board, he mounted all 10 hooks… can’t leave our little Blade out ;)


I used vinyl and a cricut machine to cut out the kids’ names (Thanks Jenn!!!!!) If you haven’t heard of cricut crafting supplies, for sure check them out. This was my first project using my cricut and I’m in LOVE!


A close up of the finished letters (font name: better with chocolate).


Originally I wanted to do this past DIY to go above each name. I envisioned a large, square picture of each child above their hooks, but I’ve had a heck of a time getting the first ones I made to stay on the wall (grrr.) While browsing the aisles of Hobby Lobby with my fab five I discovered some dark brown cork board squares that came 4 to a package. They were the exact size I was wanting (12x12) and I liked the idea of pinning notes to them down the road if ever needed. A pack of four came to just $7.19 (with tax!) after my 40% off coupon I found online – whoop whoop! The package came with some MEGA-adhesive squares to hang them and believe me, they’re going to STAY where you put them. 


Despite going to pre-k for just 3 hours each morning, my little quadlings managed to come home with lots of papers stashed into their little folders. Which brings me to my must-fix-problem #2. Combined, they could easily bring home 12-20 papers on any given day. I enjoyed seeing and reading it all… notes from their teachers, school announcements, all of their little artwork masterpieces…etc., but it didn’t take long before I found myself drowning in a pile of “stuff” and having no place to put it all. I remembered my fellow quad mom and blogger, Suz Steece, and how she solved the same problem. Following her advice, I went online to The Container Store and placed my order for four of these black file bins. The individual bins are stackable so I have a variety of ways to store them, for now it’s two and two, slid under one side of our computer desk. I labeled each kiddos’ bin with their name in “their” color and found matching folders to put inside each drawer.


You can imagine how shocked I was when my mom, who knew I was on the hunt for folders in their colors, found this pack at Office Max. They’re durable and expandable which made them a bit more costly than your average file folders but I think they’ll hold up well to what we need them for.


Each bin will hold 13 folders starting with pre-k and ending with 12th grade. I sorted through their pre-k stuff a week or so ago and kept everything I wanted and put them in their pre-k folder. Their Kindergarten folder is ready and waiting…



The first keepsake added to each of their Kindergarten file folders are their own copies of this week’s local newspaper where the quads were featured! The paper did updates regularly during my pregnancy and their NICU stay. It was fun for them to see themselves on the front cover and read the latest update about them entering Kindergarten!


Each of their files also hold one of these “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” books written by Dr. Seuss. The book talks about the ups and downs of life and encourages everyone to find the success that lies within them. At the end of their pre-k year, I sent the books to school and had their teachers, principal, therapists and others write a special note in each child’s book just for them. I also wrote a note to each one myself. My plan is to hold on to the books, sending them back to the school at the end of each year, and eventually give them their book when they graduate. Let’s just hope I can keep track of them for the next 12 years ;)



I’d love to hear any school tips you may have. Whether it be tips to packing school lunches, how you manage homework between multiples kids…etc., I’m always open ears/eyes and looking for ways to make things a little easier! Stay tuned for more Kindergarten Fun!


I went back and added a verse above their boards, also using the vinyl letters and cricut. The final product…

school wall final 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014


Since becoming a mother 5 years ago, there have been countless times that I’ve been so overcome with pride for my babies. I remember going in to see them the day after they were born. Hardly able to even stand at their isolettes, I remember gazing at their tiny bodies and truly realizing for the first time that these little beings that laid lifelessly in front me were some of the strongest I’d ever see. True miracles that had already overcome so much since the day they were conceived.

I watched my sweet boy change the doctors words from “he has us backed into a corner and there’s nothing else we can do” to “…we don’t know what happened but he’s turned a corner and is improving by the minute” within a matter of just a few hours. I watched that same little boy start to finally pull himself forward on the floor towards a bottle of baby lotion at 12 months old. I watched him take his first steps at nearly 18months old and finally learn to jump, two feet off the ground, at 4 years old. Moments I’ll never forget.

I’ve witnessed these babies, at risk for well, just about everything, defy the odds and thrive more than we ever imagined they would. Pride is watching your sweet little girl pray over each meal being sure to ask that God keep “evweybuddy in the world safe”. It’s watching your babies sing, dance and rejoice while praising Jesus in church. It’s hearing their little conversations at night when they think nobody is listening. It’s watching their first tee-ball practice and fighting back tears because they’re the slowest and least-coordinated on the team but they try their hardest to keep up with the rest of their teammates…all with huge smiles on their faces. It’s hearing your little girl insist on telling her dog “I love you” each time she leaves the house.

This morning I watched my precious four walk into Kindergarten. I watched their nervous smiles greet their new teacher as they looked back at me for reassurance. This morning, I watched their wings spread a little wider as I was forced to let them go just a little bit more than I ever have before. Pride. Immeasurable Pride.

1st day kinder

Brody, Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin, I love you so much and am SO incredibly PROUD of each and every one of you. Never forget that, sweet babies. –Love, Mommy


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Huge Thank You!

For the first time in a long long time, I spent the entire day in my house alone. ALONE.

I didn’t sweep my floors, clean up any spills, scrub food off of the floor or have to remind anyone to flush the potty. I didn’t wipe any tears, wipe any butts nor was I forced to play referee among my little offspring. I didn’t hear {or sing along with} the voice of Elmo, Sophia, Dora or Bubble Guppies all day long. I didn’t have to close any doors behind me as I left a room for fear I’d find the baby brushing his teeth with toilet water or coloring the walls with sharpies.

So, what did I do? I watched my little people make a little appearance on the news just after sunrise in celebration of them starting kindergarten next week. I ordered pizza and didn’t have to share. I jammed to Boys II Men and Mariah Carey all day like I did pre-motherhood. I worked on the blog, in peace. I organized, cleaned, and rearranged like a mad woman. I also got their drawers and closets cleared out and organized by size and season. I de-cluttered toys, found 25 random, lonely socks, and found things I didn’t know they owned. I also got all of the laundry done, down to the sheets and blankets on their beds!

Their shout on on Fox 4 for back to school!

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I love to change things up a bit so after cleaning and de-cluttering the boys’ room I added and rearranged furniture! Yes, our five year olds are still using their cribs/toddler beds. Our winter project should change that ;)

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Next up, the girls’ room. It’s no secret I’m big on organizing, but I also love symmetry. The boys’ and girls’ rooms (and bathrooms!) almost mirror each other perfectly in the way they’re set up. I know, I know, I may have issues.

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I often give “hired help” a thought, especially when it comes to cleaning their bathrooms. It’s amazing to me what a bunch of 5 year olds can do to a bathroom in just a day, especially the boys. Toothpaste, oh my word, the toothpaste. On the wall, the counters, gobs of it on towels, the toilet seat (I know, sick, right?) it’s everywhere. If it weren’t kind of important on the hygiene list and they wouldn’t suffer from dragon breath, we would write off brushing teeth altogether. I’ll save you the details as to where I have found urine in the boys bathroom. Gag. Anyways. Today everything got a good bleaching and it’s sparkly clean until they step foot in their bathrooms tonight.

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After finishing up with the quads’ territory, I tore down Blade’s room and put it back together. Got rid of all of his “baby” toys and organized his hand-me-down clothes from his big bros. Yes, his crib is turned backwards. That is our temporary fix to the whole problem we had a week or so ago.

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Last but not least was the playroom. Everything in it’s place, just as it should be…for the time being. Ahhhh feels good!

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Having five kiddos at home often makes me feel like it’s all I can do to keep my head above water. Thanks to my mom and sister who so graciously agreed to take my fab five for the day, I now feel a bit more relaxed and on top of things, even if just for a little while!

We’ll have to do it again soon… I kid I kid ;) Really though, THANK YOU!!! Sleep well tonight, Lord knows you’ve earned it!

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Goodbye Swim & Walk down Memory Lane with the Tew Triplets!

If you’ve followed our blog for any time, you’ve probably heard about our MANY adventures with the Tew triplets! Angela and I met through our local Moms of Multiples group when our kiddos were just babies. After a fun five years, sadly our Tew friends said goodbye and left Texas for the beautiful beaches of Florida. So sad to see them go but so glad their Mama is spending her days on the beach where she has always longed to be! The Tews came over for one last get together before they left. Thanks to the many blood, sweat and tears of my husband, father-in-law and uncles, we have a new pool and spacious deck to enjoy with our friends and family!

Brody, Korbin, Everett, Kylee, Emerson, brother Britton, Emmett & Baxlyn

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 I am so SO incredibly sad to see these sweet kiddos’ mama go. Angela has been a crutch to lean on during the day’s of motherhood I don’t think I’ll survive, she’s been there for late night phone calls and texts of pure frustration if not to lend some good advice, to let me know I am at least not alone. Raising high order multiples is SUCH a challenge not just any mother can understand and she and I have been through thick and thin. Whether figuring out how to shove 9 choo choo cars and 7 babies on the world’s smallest elevator, working together to change 7 diapers in the middle of the Dallas zoo because they bathrooms were too small, trying to keep clothes on toddlers who insist on being naked, potty training, dealing with hurtful comments from strangers in public or prepping for KINDERGARTEN much of the reason we are where we are today is because of the bond we have as mothers. Together we have conquered some amazing tasks and have learned so much in the process. Angela, thank you so so much for your friendship. No amount of miles can keep us from being friends and don’t think for once that those beautiful waters in Florida will keep me from seeing you ;)

A look back at some of our fun times together with the Tew family…

Chuck E Cheese. That big, scary mouse never saw us coming ;)

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One of our mannny trips to the zoo. Ahh the easy days of the choo choo wagons!


Their first egg hunt. Angela got the job of quickly searching for safe treats and distributing them to the 14 little hands grabbing at her…


Here is the picture of our elevator adventure. Two moms with 7 two year olds and a 4 year old. We had to get to the second floor and this was the only way. We managed to get all of the wagons and myself in this TINY elevator on one trip while Angela stayed down with the 8 non-contained kids and waited until the elevator returned. FUN TIMES!


Another sweet moment from one of our zoo trips. Her boys all had a thing for Kylee <3 


You can imagine we caused a scene every where we went. This was one of the worst. We used to feed all the babies in their wagons (picture two moms hunched over, waddling from one baby to the next with spoonfuls of applesauce and bananas). While prepping their lunch we look up to see this crowd with cameras in hand snapping pics left and right. A tad bit upset, you can see I didn’t hesitate to whip my camera at and take pictures of them. While we’re on the subject, it’s very disrespectful to take pictures of other people’s children, ESPECIALLY without asking.


Riding in the March of Dimes Dallas Parade. Helping raise awareness for preemies like themselves!


A snack at the Dallas Arboretum!


tewtrips4 Their first sleepover/week! The trio camped out at our house while their parents enjoyed a special getaway! We were just barely moved into our new house and I was 6 months pregnant but we all survived with lots of giggles!




It’s always a huge deal when the place you’re at has enough high chairs for you and your friends!


Chris and Angela, we love you and will miss you and your crazy crew! See you soon, our tan lil’ Florida friends!

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