020816 – 021016: Horseshoe Crosses

I’ve been behind on everything. Taking pictures especially. 

We had church and as all the kids were playing and running and having cup building games, my Lucy was wandering  the room picking up the spilled rubber bands.   
But only the red ones. 

OCD much, Lucy?

And Wes and I took a morning to make a couple of things. 

We have the ability and the materials, so we decided to make a few because we figured they are beautiful and people might want to buy them. 

 They are made of horseshoes, worn and aged. We spray them with a clear coat so they have a nice shine. They are welded together and we drop test them on our concrete shop floor a few times to make sure they are together. They are really beautiful. 
We spent a day building those. Not easy cleaning the horseshoes and putting them together. 

And that’s all I’ve got. We are scheduled to start on our new room in about 2 weeks and we are both enjoying the calm before that storm. Our house will be chaos for a while, but after that… Everything we own should really have a place! 

I can’t wait! I’ll be sure to take pictures for you!

020416 -020716: Bunny Cage and My Kids’ #firstworldproblems

Whew, sorry it’s been a while! I included today in the blog because most of our Sundays are the same: busy.

Earlier in the week we brought our one bunny inside to hold and play with. He was the more relaxed bunny anyway, so I don’t mind him being inside. He just sits and sniffs. The kids had to “bunny-share.” #firstworldproblems

We made Judah cry because we didn’t take him to Chickfila. Instead he went to Dickey’s and got some ice cream. #firstworldproblems

And then we had a gorgeous day, so we played out side in it as much as we could. It was cold again.

My little tree boy.

My swinging girl.


Saturday at Church we had a big clean up day. Judah and Mia played together the whole day, and then as we were leaving Judah asked me in as many ways as he could, to try and keep playing with Mia.

“Can I go to Mia’s house?”


“I can ride in the back of the truck with Mia?”

“Mia can come to our house.”

“Can Mia come to her house and I come to her house?”

“Can I go to James and Bella’s house with Mia?”

“Mia can ride in our car to MawMaws?”

I give him A for effort. Those two destructive toddlers had a blast together. They are like minded, for sure. Both creative in ways in which they can get into trouble.

Our morning church workday turned into an all day workday, but we got a lot accomplished and the church looks a ton better. Fresh paint makes a difference!

We got home and a few minutes later FedEx shows up with our new bunny cage.

Of course we immediately set it up and got Gadget in his new condo. Lucy helped me put it all together. She was so excited.

Luc and I then made a quick dash to BCH, the discount store in town, because I had remembered seeing rabbit houses and treats. We scored a cute little grass hut for him, which we had to modify because he was a little too big for it.

We sat in her room and played with Gadget for a few minutes before taking them to Mawmaws for dinner.

When we got home I had put the kiddos in bed and was about to put Gadget back up in his big cage outside. Lucy asked me how cold it was going to be, and made a face like I knew where she was going with the statement.

“Can Gadget just sleep in his new cage tonight? In here? with me?”

I told her if she asked Daddy, we’d see what he said. She said, “Why don’t you just text him?” (He was studying at church).  I told her, “Okay, you text him.” She was scared. #firstworldproblems


A few too many periods, but for a 5 year old, not too bad for a text! You see how she responded to “I don’t care” also. When I told her that Daddy said “Yes” she did this:

She was so excited. I told her he may chew on his hut and the grass we put in there, and it might keep her up. She said, “When I fall asleep I won’t hear it.  I may keep him up with my drinking water. We’ll both keep each other up. We’ll get mad at each other! Ha ha! It’ll be funny!”

What a goofy kid. She loves that Bunny.

And today is Sunday, with all of it’s festivities and business. This week we hope to take a pause and let life happen before we start on our new classroom. I’m super excited about our classroom. It’s something we’ve needed (storage space) for a long time. (Since we moved in.)

Hope your Sunday is a Funday! (Gah! I’m so dorky!)

020216 + 020316: RIP Max B and Lucy’s Floor

We have been nonstop for the past couple of days. I’m truly exhausted. We had planned for Tuesday to be a little more casual. Easy day, clean out Lucy’s room to prep for new floor, clean house a little. 

Then, around 7 Wes runs up and says, “I think I actually see her rabbit in the yard.” 

Oh, no. 

We go and look. Yep. Her rabbit is hopping around the back yard. I go out the back and call Kowalski, Wes grabs up Gadget. Our kids have stared opening their cage to pet them… And looks as though they forgot to close it back. No Bueno. 

We then find Max B. Looks like Kowalksi got a little overzealous with playing with him. He was in the yard. We locked up Gadget, and buried Max B and then went inside to find Lucy awake playing in her bed. So, we told her together. 

Technically, Max B was Judah’s rabbit, but Lucy played with both rabbits equally, and Judah didn’t really care so much. Thank goodness. 

We told her that her bunnies got out, and that Gadget was back in his pen and Max B had died. She wanted to see him, but we explained that something (we omitted the guilty party!) had killed him and we didn’t want her to see him. 

After Wes left out of the room, she looked up at me with her big ole blue eyes, and said, “Judah loved that rabbit… But Mamma… Aren’t you glad Max B can’t scratch you anymore?” And then her little tears spilled over her eyes. I grabbed her and said, “I’d much rather be scratched by a bunny and have you two happy, than Max B being gone…” And we both cried a little. She was trying her hardest to find a good spin on the events. 

We told Judah but I’m not sure he will understand until he goes out to play with the bunnies. Lucy told Judah as well, in the most creepy way: “Hey Judah, both bunnies got out of the cage and both bunnies got killed by something… Ha! Just kidding! Only your bunny got killed!”

We’re gonna work on that. 

So… RIP Max B. You will be missed, but your burning bunny scratches will not. 

After all of that, I got up and cleaned up some (since our bathroom was done and there was tiling remnants everywhere). 

Since we are down to one bunny, I told Lucy we’d order a nicer indoor cage for him, and let him come inside more often. I don’t need the last bunny getting all depressed. So I want her to have as much play time with him as possible. Plus, she was still so sad about Max B. So, the bunny house is on the way! 

I made m lunch, then I cleaned Lucy’s room out completely.

We found some water damage while we were under our house. She had a couple of softish spots in her floor, and so we checked and looks as though someone dumped out lots of water into her room at some point. Mind you, the stain showed us it was years ago. Most likely a set of renters that had our house before us. So we wanted to do something to her floor to limit any damage to it. 

We chose laminate wood floors. We had it all picked out. Waiting on me to clean the room out. It only took me and hour or so to get her room empty. We had planned on starting Wednesday, but we decided, might as well start. So, we did. And it didn’t work. 

The pieces weren’t locking together. We tried several times over the afternoon and then called in Wes’ stepdad as reinforcements. He works in construction and has laid lots of this. He came over. Still, no go. He said he’s run into this same issue before, just depends on the style and brand. Different ones have different grooves and some work better. 

So… By that point I was already in Hattiesburg for my painting class. 

I got home at 9, bed, we woke up, got kids ready and dressed and loaded up the flooring and off to Hattiesburg we go. We took it back and picked out some new. The first color we had chosen was dark and looked very similar to the floors we have. 

The new color is much more raw wood color. I didn’t know if I’d like it or not, but it started going down once we got home and it looked great. Lucy approved. 

It also went down so easy. It’s called a floating floor. It feels so good to walk on. Has just a little give when you step and is nice. It’s also smooooooth. No cracks to lose her tiny pieces of toys and whatever. 

We had her floor down pretty quick, and then in went the trim, the caulking and sparkling and the touch up paint.

Then we moved her back in!

We rearranged her room a tad, to accommodate the coming bunny cage. I’m setting it up in her corner. We moved her little desk out since we are about to add a room to the house that is for school. She doesn’t need a desk in her room, plus it was small and just collected junk. 

And after that room was done (we finished around 3:30) we cleaned up all of the tools and extension cords and left over pieces. We had called Mr. Andy to come look at our central air… The thermostat shut off on Monday at some point. Like, no power to it at all. No heat, no cool, nothing. He called us and said he was on his way. Wes stayed at home while I went to help with getting the youth and kids stuff going at church. (SO MANY KIDS!)

I came back home around 6, so Wes could leave and go to Bassfield. I then finished cleaning my whole house and it felt so good to climb in bed with a clean house. It hasn’t been clean since we stared our bathroom. So, it looks awesome now. I didn’t stop moving yesterday. 

My Fitbit keeps track for me. My daily average on steps is about 11k. Tuesday, I hit 16,988. And that was just me doing stuff around my house. 

I’m going to go and enjoy my coffee in my clean house and prepare myself for the rest of this week (which is also going to be busy!) 

I hope you all have had a good week so far!

013016 – 020116: Into February with a new Bathroom

We’re done!!! Gah, I’m so excited. We showered in our new bathroom on February 1st. 

I think it turned out great.

So pleased. 

Up next on the Kirkleys to-do list:

Lucy’s floor. 

Whilst under the house we saw some issues. Water damage, probably from renters long before us. But before it becomes a problem, we want to fix it. So we got some wood and tomorrow we will begin the great clear out of Lucy’s room. 

It will be an ordeal. 

We got her flooring… The kids enjoyed it. 

And a trip to Lowes for everything else. 

Excited excited excited! 

And man, have the last few days been beautiful! 

012916: Compassion Project and Trouble Bubble

Friday Lucy and I went to Compassion Internationals traveling Compassion Project. They set up a story so that you can walk through and see another persons life. You see their home, where they work, their school, and what it looks like I’m the place they live (Uganda, Guatamala are the ones they have in Hattiesburg). 

It was very eye opening and an experience good for kids. They give you headphones to listen to the child tell you their story. They aren’t real pushy about adopting one of their sponsored children, either. You do learn what all Compassion does for the children they sponsor and I do support what they do. 

I loved to be able to take Lucy to a “classroom” in Guatamala. She didn’t understand everything that they said in the story, because she’s young and they had thick accents. But I explained what went on with both stories and afterwards Lucy said, “is that real? Those are real stories?” And when I told her yes, she responded, “that’s really sad.”

She did understand that her life was different than others and that was what my goal was. 

If you want to go, it’s at Main Street United Methodist Church in downtown Hattiesburg. It’s free to walk through. Takes about an hour to do both stories, because they release you in very small groups. Lucy and I did the first round just the two of us. I’d encourage all parents with children to go. 

We got home and got started on our bathroom again.

The picture progress looks about the same. But a lot was done. We sealed our marble, and got our shower floor cut and ready to put together which took up most of our day. 

Side note: the darker and lighter tiles is only really visible in my pictures! It doesn’t look so drastic in real life. Photos are strange. 

Brothers drilling our soon to be cypress floor. 

We ran out of the tools we needed to continue, so we then put my bike back together, with all the new parts!

I love it so much!!

And Lucy came to me later that day, with tears and snot running down her face. I thought she had fallen. 

She was holding a frog. She was crying because she knew at the end of the day, she’d have to let it go and she didn’t want too. 

Lord have mercy this kid and animals. 

We made her a frog bucket to keep it for a while, then uncle Paul took her to his pond to release the frog into the pond where the chickens wouldn’t get him. (Yes, our chickens eat frogs every chance they get).

She got over it once she realized the frog would be happy in his new home. 

My child. And Judah? He played hard. So hard I never even got a picture of him! 

life lessons, life stories, life in God