Happy Birthday! Tawra’s Theme Song

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Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday! Tawra’s Theme Song

It is Tawra’s birthday today so I had to post her favorite theme song. I think you will find it pretty funny. I am very proud of my daughter. I could go on with a bunch of mushy words but I think when you get my age and can say your kids have done a great job with their lives says it all. Happy Birthday sweet daughter of mine.


A friend of mine sent it to me in 2000 after our very difficult and trying from Idaho to Kansas.

Our house had been for sale for 3 years and we couldn’t sell it. Mike lost his job and hadn’t found work in Idaho for 9 months so we decided to just leave our house vacant and move back to Kansas. We rented a U-haul, loaded all our stuff and then discovered it was too small.

Since we were in no man’s land in Idaho we had to wait 4 days in an empty house to get another truck. We  had to unload the first U-haul and put the stuff in a hangar at the crop duster airport across the street because it was pouring down rain. Then we had to take the first truck back to get the second.

We re-loaded the new truck. We only had my mom, my sister in law, Mike and I to move all of our stuff and watch 4 kids, 3 of them toddlers (My niece and nephew were there too).

We headed out towing a pick-up truck and driving 2 cars. (One was my sister in law’s.)

About 2 hours from home, we came to a place in the roadway where there was no road.  In the mountains in Idaho, the highway department decided to tear out the old road and put in a new one. It took us about 4 hours to go 20 miles on a one-lane dirt “road” that had a huge drop off on the side.

As soon as we were past that, we realized that the pickup was separating from the tow bar. We didn’t know that the tow bar wasn’t quite big enough and by the time we discovered it, only one wheel was still attached. We had to take our ’73 old Beverly Hillbillies truck off of the tow bar, unpack the things stored in its cab, and move people and things from the car to the truck so we could tow our car instead.  We finally got to Boise (4 hours from our starting point) 10 hours later.

During the entire time one year old Elly kept throwing up about every 30 minutes. She was in the car with just me driving. Try cleaning up barf while driving on a narrow mountain road… Let’s say that was a neat trick! LOL

We were all so excited to get into the hotel and into the pool! About 5 minutes after we got in the pool, Elly had diarrhea and it leaked out of her swim diaper, so we all had to evacuate the pool. So much for unwinding.

The next day we got up, got everything and everyone packed and went out to McDonald’s to eat breakfast. When we returned to the vehicles to get going again, the pickup wouldn’t start. We begged a local repair shop to move us to the front of the repair list, explaining that we were traveling with 4 young kids. Even though they graciously did that, we still spent the next 5 hours at McDonald’s with 4 kids, waiting for the truck to get fixed.

We finally left Boise and made it to somewhere in Utah about 8:00 p.m. We just spent 2 days on the road and we were about 7 hours from our house in Idaho. This doesn’t even count the more than a week we had already spent in an empty house before we left waiting for a truck to pack.

We finally made it to Colorado the next (very long) day, with Elly still throwing up all along the way. We got stuck in Colorado for two weeks because she got so sick and dehydrated that we couldn’t go any further. She was car sick.

After she recovered, we had a big family fight with some of our extended family right before we left. (Why does it always happen when you’re stressed out anyway? :-) Finally, we headed the rest of the way to Kansas. My grandparents ended up coming with us to help us.

We had more problems along the way but finally made the what should have been a 10 hour drive to Kansas in 19 hours, arriving at 1:00 a.m. We pulled into the driveway of the house that I had rented over the phone from Idaho. (NEVER, EVER DO THAT. IT WAS A VERY DUMB THING TO DO!) There was pile of trash about 9 feet wide and 4 feet high in the front yard. The white bathroom was so filthy it was literally black! It smelled like rotten eggs because the house water came from a sulfur well. It was a cheap rental and at the time we were making two house payments on $9 an hour income, so it was what we had to live with.

We couldn’t spend the night in the house like we had planned so thankfully my grandfather, who is ex-military, was able to get us a place to stay that night on base at Ft. Riley. I just sobbed and sobbed that night when I was outside getting Elly out of the car. I think 10 years later I still haven’t recovered!

We had to spend the next day cleaning up the nightmare of a trailer house that we had rented.  After all of this, I told my friend in Idaho what had happened and she sent me this song. Laughter is the best medicine. Now it’s my theme song. I thought you all would enjoy a good laugh and understand why I appreciated it so much after all that.


Note from Jill:  Tawra didn’t even begin to describe how bad that house was. I came later after they had cleaned it and it was still awful. The doors had a one inch gap at the top of them so every fly in the state of Kansas decided to make her kitchen their home and there was constantly a pond of gross water in their crawl space with all kinds of critters growing. It was bad

 Note from Mike: The frogs in that pond were nearly the size of soccer balls… Returning the U-Haul to ask for another one was like a scene from National Lampoons Vacation… and I had never seen road workers directing traffic across country before. No matter how strange life gets, it can always get stranger! We definitely need a redo on that part of our lives!


  1. Anonymous says

    “After she got better we then had a big family fight right before we left. (Why does it always happen when your stressed out anyway? :-)”

    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

  2. Anonymous says

    I have been there so many times. I believe it is those times that make you stronger an you realize what you can really do when put to that test.

  3. Bea says

    Tawra, Thanks for sharing. Life can be so hard, and when you read about how others handled hard times it helps you deal with your own. Funny song.

  4. Bea says

    Jill, My hours at work changed, so I’ve been on the internet later in the day. My place of business is reorganizing and downsizing and it’s chaotic. Uncertainity about job, but God is in control, and always takes care of me. I read the blog everyday. Love it and find ideas all the time to help me deal with life. I want to tell you, Jill, that I read your way of spending $25 a week for groceries, and have been trying to make that my goal. We have a store here called “Price Rite” and they are like “Aldis” so shopping there has greatly reduced my weekly grocery bill. I get tired of the fancy, expensive stores justifying their high prices beacuse they are “nice places to shop.” I have a girlfriend that will only shop in fancy grocery stores because they are “pretty.” Who cares. You don’t live there. People can be so ridiculous with the ways they look at life. She likes to spend more on groceries because she likes a “great shopping experience” by shopping fancy stores. Makes no sense to me. I like to save money and that’s the experience I want to come home to. And more money in my pocket.

  5. rose says

    bea, i have finally found the aldi’s near us (well not technically near us but not too far) …
    what an experience! … it is truly a fun deal … buying things that are named from another maker, but is actually the reg named items… take the choc sandwich creme filled cookies… well, it was a complete surprise to find out they are truly oreos! … at over 1/2 the price cheaper (actually more depending on where you shop!) … the chips, they are lays! yep bc that is all i would buy.. imagine my surprise a huge bag of chips for only $1.29! oh yes the huge bag!!! … not sure if hte prices are the same where ur at compared to where i am…
    we love aldi’s… my daughter buys less than $60 of food and it last 2 1/2 weeks… oh yes! .. 2 1/2 weeks! … the last 2 weeks i have spent $65 each week and i have so much left over that this week i will not have to buy as much… and the produce! i have never seen such HUGE cucumbers … at least 12 inches long and at least 3 inches around… where do they get their stuff is what i would like to know! …
    walmart is almost as much as our favorite reg (kinda expensive) grocery store so no real savings from them anymore… i save more now going to aldi’s and the local dollar store…
    and tawra and mike.. i feel for ya.. that was an amazing story.. now i know why i literally hate the job of moving… but at least you came to kansas and now are living in a beautiful home… hopefully this home will sell soon and you can make that move to colorado…
    i know we wanted to move too this year but just cant afford it and esp with hubby’s new health condition, and more dr visits, it would just do me in for sure… so we are hoping to be by the beach next yr… he has finally agreed that he wants to be by any kind of body of water so he can enjoy the scenery and etc… and bc we live in fl he as agreed to be by the beach (not unless we can find affordable lake front property)…
    so far all is well (knocking on wood)… and thank goodness i have this wonderful website that i can come in and visit .. i dont type much but my thoughts and prayers are with everyone…
    thank you so much for sharing all the info and tids and bits with all of us .. you can not imagine the joy that comes into this family’s home by all the things i share with my family and friends…
    thank you so much…
    and GOD BLESS each and everyone one of you and the readers too…
    rose 😀

    • says

      Rose, we have missed you not being on as much as usual but I understand you have your hands full. Isn’t aldis great. That is why I have almost completely stopped using coupons. They don’t take them there but it really doesn’t matter because I still save a huge amount going there. The food is so good too. There have been very few items I haven’t loved and I ate a couple of those same cookies the other day at Tawra’s and thought I need to get me a bag the next time I go. I am so glad you found it.

  6. says

    about 5 years or more ago my son when he went to university and was living as frugally as he could found a really great store to shop at.
    The prices are great and the selection had most of the things he wanted. We have since named it the ugly store.
    It is a warehouse store where you save big time if you buy in bulk but you save on all items no matter what and there is no membership fee. A lot of the smaller restaurants in the area go there.
    It really is a big old ugly warehouse no sales clerks to tell you where to find stuff and pretty impersonal but boy the savings sure make up for the atmosphere.
    We shop there when we go to the city for things we can store and go to the fancy grocery store for the teas which we can’t find other places. I spend about $300 total and I can make it last for almost 3 months once we get it home with only small grocery shopping trips here in town.
    I kind of like the ugly store as I find things that I can’t find in other places because catering to the restaurants they carry spices and ingredients you usually only find in specialty or ethnic stores which cost you an arm and a leg.
    I love shopping for groceries it is the only shopping I really enjoy so I make it an adventure. I usually have $25. stashed just for the new and unusual items I always try to find.

  7. says

    forgot to say my theme song is “boom boom ain’t it great to be crazy”
    Was humming it when my sons were really little so they asked me the words and told me that it was just like me.
    Painted a funny picture to them and me as well so it has stuck.

  8. rose says

    jill.. yes that aldi’s is awesome.. and its like a treasure hunt for us figuring out what stuff tastes like the reg named brand of stuff.. my daughter just told me she got some cereal there (oats, honey clusters type of one) and its just like the one that is sold at walmart for $3.99… yep … not putting walmart down but they used to be the place to go shopping at … i still buy things there bc well, some things are still cheap …
    yep thats our new place to be now… i did try save a lot but i think the quality at aldi’s is much better… and my daughter and friend both agree with me… not putting save a lot better .. just our opinion…
    yep my hands are full this week but we are all hanging in there…
    those cookies you were talking about, cant wait to get a container and have some milk with them.,.. my son adn his friends couldnt believe they weren’t oreo’s bc they tasted just like them…
    thanks for all you and tawra and mike do to keep this website going.. it truly is a wonderful thing…
    i will stop and visit again soon…
    hugs, rose 😀

  9. Barb Nauman says

    Hi Grandma!
    I loved listening to my grandma sing the boom boom song! I also remember “Catch a Falling Star” by Perry Como:) As a child I wanted so much to put a star in my pocket!
    BTW-on Sunday mornings from 8-12 there is a station that plays music from that era. It was such a softer and more gentle time. The music was lovely and always PG rated even for little ears. I pray we can return to family and God Centered values in this world!!
    Jill~thanks for your sweet words to everyone. I know you have struggles, but you continue to bring hope and a smile to many!!


      • Jan says

        My grandmother, who came from Croatia, loved and always sang “Catch a Falling Star”, and I always associate that song with her!
        There’s another reason I love this site.
        Jill, I love your writing and your humor.
        Happy Birthday, Tawra!!

        • says

          Thank you Jan. Between my life and my kids lives (and now grand kids) I have learned you can quickly sink or swim depending on how you look at things and it is much more fun and pleasant to laugh at things.

  10. Barb Nauman says

    I treasure sweet, simple memories like that….we should all focus on those things that make us happy and make sweet new memories every chance we get!


  11. Michele says

    Thanks for sharing the link in the newsletter. I really needed the laugh, it was so unexpected! Things have been very stressful lately and that really made me laugh. (I must have played the end about 10 times or more and still keep laughing.)

    • says

      Michele, isn’t that song a crack up. I just love it too and did the same thing as you the first time Tawra played it for me. I have called it my theme song and just love the end. To this day I still pull it out and play it over and over to give myself a good laugh.

  12. Anne says

    Just saw this post and had to laugh at your theme song. I was taking a break from trying to can tomatoes while keeping grandchildren 2 and 3 yrs old! What was I thinking?? My husband has been out of work 2 years and my son just started a new job after being laid off for a yr. I tried to explain to my daughter why I was so stressed. Then I realized, In the past two years, I gave up my job of 25 years, my dad died of colon cancer(17 yrs after my mom died of the same thing, my husband lost his job of 17 yrs, and my son, single father of 3, lost his job. My daughter got divorced and I was trying to fix it all!
    So I decided to adopt your theme song, praise God for his goodness & mercies and keep on going!! At least until the ball drops!!

  13. Maggie says

    Don’t know how I found this today but loved the video. Tawra, you are a gem and you and Mike are quite a pair. How you managed this trip is beyond me. I have had some strange times but I don’t think any can compare to this. And as my mom used to say “if you can survive this,you can do ANYTHING!” and our situations were not this desperate. God Bless You and thank you for still keeping your wits about you and your website going and for all the wonderful hints we get from you and your mom. What doesn’t kill us (see video :)) makes us stronger. Keep at it!

  14. Rachel says

    Tawra, reminds me of evacuating before hurricanes. My two kids and I sat once in bumper to bumper traffic on I-10 in Louisiana for hours. Would not have been so bad, but they evacuated New Orleans. We just sat and laughed at people on the radio. Our two cats were all over the car. A few days later we had to find alternate routes back to Florida. There was almost no electricity in southern Mississippi and Alabama. I-10 was closed because of damage and a washed out bridge in Pensacola. But God sure took care of us.

  15. Tess says

    Love your THEME song & the MOVE!!! I shared with my daughter who will be moving soon… hopefully to their new house… it’s only across a few miles, but I can so relate to the long-distance-haul… I’m in MO (10yrs) and still paying for storage in TX… need to get that stuff up here… or move back there? Thanks for sharing!! You make my day!!

  16. Rosemary says

    Love the theme song! It made me laugh out loud. I thought we had a bad move the last time, but our story is nothing compared to yours! God bless you! And to have to clean a filthy place when you finally did arrive?!?? I think I would have collapsed into a puddle of tears instead. You rock, sister!!

  17. Gayla T says

    This reminded me of a move 48 years ago. We were coming back to KS from NE Iowa in zero degree weather. My husband and a co-worker were driving the company trucks and my baby son and I were following in my car. They paid at a toll both and breezed through and had also paid for me. When I tried to move forward the car wouldn’t move. After much messing around and help from several truck drivers they pushed my car back and to the side so traffic could go through and I waited for the men to realize I wasn’t behind them which unfortunately didn’t happen. At age 18 I had no street smarts at all so I just kept the motor running to stay warm and waited….and waited! There was a toll booth there so I also began to call my family in KS and couldn’t find anyone. Long after dark, my father-in-law answered and told me my husband was there and getting impatient for me to get there. When he came to the phone he was angry at me for messing around so long. LOL When I told him that I was where we started he was really beside himself as he had worked all the night before and been on the road all day. He told me to go get a toll worker on the phone and he and the guy decided that the brakes had to have frozen and would have to be thawed. I, of course, had no money to pay for work to be done and the toll worker was not willing to foot the bill even with promises to send the money. However, the guy did keep talking to people coming through and found a truck driver who had a little torch. He got under the car and thawed out the brakes and I was ok to go but had little gas left. Another trucker gave me gas from a can and I was off. They told me not to stop for anything and they would follow me almost all the way. What I hadn’t done was call home to let them know I was moving again. I don’t remember where but on towards home I met them coming to help me but in the dark didn’t recognize them. My brother-in-law and a friend had come so my husband could sleep as he was not fit to drive. He saw what he thought looked like my car and turned around and chased us so he didn’t go clear back to Iowa. When I got home everyone was mad at me and how any of it was my fault I still can’t figure out but you know how men are when they feel guilty. It doesn’t half compare with what you went through but it was scary enough for me that I’ll never forget the feelings of being left behind and being scared to death. I don’t have a song to go with my story because I was told not to run the radio while stranded as I might run down the battery. I’m sure I must have been singing hymns to my baby all that day though. Now days you would probably be raped and murdered by the truck driver but he even gave me a cup of coffee and watched out for me so that I know God sent him. I was just pregnant with our second child. My husband died a couple of years later of a brain tumor but I was surrounded by people who loved us and I don’t think I was nearly as scared as I was up in Iowa. I hadn’t thought of that event for many years. It wouldn’t happen now with all the cell phones so some of these new gadgets are really a God send.

  18. Grizzly bear mom says

    If you car ever breaks down stranding you with 4 little kids, make sure those little kids are in the garage’s office. They will annoy everyone and the mechanics will get you out of there, toot sweet. What a stories! Maybe sometime I will tell you about the time I got stranded in Japan and couldn’t get home! Not even on the flights carrying dead bodies. Sssh.

  19. Carole Garrett says

    Tawra, you now would make a very good Military Wife. My husband was Navy and my father was Air Force. During WWII, we followed Dad from base to base until he was sent overseas. He was an officer but there was sometimes still no housing for us. We often all lived in one bedroom of someone’s house with kitchen and bathroom privileges. Parents got the bed and the kids got military cots from the base that could be folded up during the day. Your theme song gave me a big laugh.

    Just remember, you were all together and you survived to celebrate birthdays. Have a blessed one.

  20. Magdalen says

    This should teach me not to feel overwhelmed and sorry for myself. My cheer up song is “Always look on the bright side of life”.

  21. says

    Frog’s legs, anyone? :) Thanks for sharing that story with the world. Makes me glad I have never had to move cross-country! But it is an inspirational story, as most of your stories are.


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