Cuff Posing Ballers: Hayward’s Golden Oak Go-Getter’s Call on The Rock for A Donation

Help Golden Oak Montessori of Hayward Exceed our 2017 Donation Goals– Donate NOW

A few of our Go-Getters, Head of School, Gena Englefried and I channelled our best wrist muscle flexin, Ballers pose to celebrate the “hungry” in each of us… and to ask: Will fellow Hayward Alumni Dwayne Johnson Finally button that shirt-cuff and help us smash our 2017 donation goal?

Acting on a GENIUS idea by godmother Kristan Gainey-Keene, I made an 11th hour request Sunday for kids with a suit and the perfect cuff pose to join us for an impromptu photo shoot, hoping Dwayne Johnson, aka, The Rock would see our post and request.

Luke, Jax, Ziva and I were joined by their friends Kai, Georgia, Violet, Isabella and our incredible principal, Gena Engelfried. We channeled our inner Rock, bringing a strong close to the last week of our annual donation drive at Golden Oak Montessori Charter School of Hayward.  Our fantastic parents joined in the fun and flexed their photography skills as well; Thanks Melanie Salvatore August, Vera Tranlong and Jenny Brizzi!

“Whoever said getting gritty couldn’t also be a blast wasn’t trying hard enough.”

Kimberly Crawford

As a free, public charter school in the heart of the bay, we are raising funds for field trips, transportation and school improvements. Will The Rock lead us out of the jumanji jungle and help GO avoid the scorpion sting of not meeting our budget needs? We are humbly asking Mr. Johnson to donate $20k. In return, we pledge to strengthen our massive brain muscles, and continue cultivating life long learners and service-minded problem solvers. With the Board’s approval of course, we would also be excited to name an area of the school after you. It could be a wonderful reminder to the students and staff, your belief of “working hard, being authentic and …chasing your Greatness.”

Golden Oak shoots for the stars (literally 😉 and our students understand that they are developing their skills beyond Baller status. Their sights are BIG…Presidential even! Our school is an environment that values individual talents and strengths. Students are nurtured as critical thinkers, cooperative learners, and thoughtful leaders.With an incredibly diverse cultural and socio-economic school population, our students are the change makers and problem solvers of the future. By the way, this is fertile ground for Presidential campaign workers #DJPOTUS2020 😉

This school is helping students find success in education. GO provides individualized learning plans, multi-age classrooms and hands-on materials designed to stimulate academic exploration, collaboration and leadership skills.

The school is also a beautiful bridge, linking together diverse economic backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs. As a co-founder, former board member, current fundraising committee member, and parent of 3 GO-Getter’s (mine are the 3 redheads in the picture). I can attest to the greatness that fills these halls. The staff, the students, the parents; incredible, heart-bursting innovative energy is unleashed and nurtured here. Come visit. Hang out with a GO-Getter and they will blow your shirt-cuffs off!

I am so blessed to see the dream realized; I was fortunate enough to be a part of a 20 parent crew who founded Golden Oak Montessori Charter School of Hayward. It is one of the few Free Public Montessori Charter Schools in the state of California. Some said it couldn’t be done. We thought otherwise… and the school was created; serving the Hayward community that next year and has continued to do so since 2008. We have had an average 100 person waitlist soon after we opened. The school is a great representation of the HEART of Hayward. I encourage you to join Hayward’s GO-Getter’s, help us “pave the way to greatness,” and donate $20,000 to Golden Oak Montessori Charter School of Hayward today!

This photo post project was not only an exercise in faith, it was another way to show our kids to go for the big ideas and have fun in taking action; Pat the fear of failure on the head and just dive in and have a ball. Be authentic, show up and work hard. Whoever said getting gritty couldn’t also be a blast wasn’t trying hard enough.

Laugh hard. Love strong. Live to serve.


Kimberly Crawford



Two of my favorite Dwayne Johnson quotes in full below:

“I’ll never, ever be full. I’ll always be hungry. Obviously, I’m not talking about food. Growing up, I had nothing for such a long time. Someone told me a long time ago, and I’ve never forgotten it, ’Once you’ve ever been hungry, really, really hungry, then you’ll never, ever be full.’”Dwayne Johnson 

“The Road To Success and Greatness Is Always Paved With Consistent Hard Work. Outwork Your Competitors, Be Authentic And Above All Else. Chase Your Greatness”-Dwayne Johnson























Show me your Mother Crazy and I’ll show you mine

I had a glorious moment in the car alone one day. Yes, you heard me right; Alone!  Me and my racing brain, Shaking it off with  Taylor Swift on the radio, ready to tackle my long list of errands. Even though I was alone, I couldn’t help but replay the many “mother crazy” moments  I had lived through. You’d think I  would fill my brain with other worldly, non-kidless  thoughts like … (crickets…wow, I need to get out more!)

My, “what if people could only hear my responses to the various questions or situations my audacious kid-lings prompted?” manifested this poem below.

What have you heard yourself saying aloud to your offspring? Oh, come now… don’t be shy… I show you my “mother crazy” all the time… now show me yours 😉

Laugh hard. Love strong. Live to serve!


Kimberly Crawford

Mama Said

I’m sure it was an accident; your sister didn’t mean to break it.
Honey, please let go of my pant leg, my butt is showing.
YOU pooped where?!

No, you can’t have more chocolate before naptime.
Stop putting crayons up your nose.
– Ouch, that was my toe.

Thank you for the bouquet of milkweed flowers
…And the 4 limes that weren’t ready to be picked.
How do you know what a worm tastes like?

Yes, I did hear 10 band-aids are better than 1,
I see you got that memo too.
Of course, I will kiss your elbow.

Do you smell that? Is something on fire?!
Yes, I will still love you, now tell me… where is your little brother?
Oooooh, Just you guys wait till your father comes home!

The picture is beautiful; of course we can put it on the fridge.
Daddy and me made you guys from scratch out of love, that’s how.
Can I show you? Uh,no.

This is the final, final, bedtime story.
Yes, I will always be your Mommy.
I love you too.

-Kimberly Crawford
stickers in the light

A Tale of “Gunny Dad” Gone Wild: NOT Unified on the Home-front


Have you ever called your spouse in for “back up”, in order to show your kids that you parents are a unified front? I did that last night. Yep, I sure did! Called an emergency family meeting and had my husband come out of his home office to make a strong show of solidarity in our war on Unacceptable Behavior. Did it work, you ask?

*Sigh… Yeah, not so much….

Maybe I should have told my husband that he was supposed to be my partner, playing the role of the intimidating, muscle-y body guard/eloquent diplomat- type. Mike was supposed to sit beside me, with his arms crossed and stare down the boys as he helped me explain WHY we need to practice courtesy and mindfulness along with safety when opening the front door. Instead, I unleashed his inner marine drill sergeant!

One minute I am sitting across from the boys discussing behavior and my disappointment in how they morph into a swarm of crazed hornets whenever the doorbell rings and company is at the door; They put on this elaborate display of what we call “ultimate shenanigans”- running up and down the stairs, pants-ing each other (My oldest has still not figured out that wearing underwear would help him save face), attempting to run past the person at the front door and bolt down the street to goodness knows where…clothed or not, screeching at the top of their lungs as if they are being chased by a blood thirsty grizzly bear.

I drone on about how we need to practice better behavior when we have company at the door (this is when I expected Mike to flex a bit of muscle and chime in on how they are great kids but need to work on this area more, blah, blah, blah…).

Careful what you ask for ladies, your Man may be an overachiever like mine and go for bust.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mike expand to twice his size, “That’s it! You have finally BROKEN your mother!” (I think to myself, Yeah, that’s right!Wait a minute, what? They have?)

He continued to bark out his declaration, “Now she has finally unleashed me!” (hold on, before… THAT was you on a leash? Wait, YOU think I have you on a leash?…is that an option?)

“We have tried it your Mom’s way, and now it is MY turn!”  Mike growled to the boys.

Instead of my husband, I see “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey from Full Metal Jacket sitting to my left. The boy’s faces were all eyes, lips as small as a button. Leaning back into the couch the revelation had hit them before it hit me. Dad was totally taking the wheel.

Tandem-bike parenting was out the window. Montessori Peace-tables, positive parenting and democratic discussions of problem solving and improvement were about to go down like the jelly doughnut found in Pvt. Pyle’s footlocker… ugh oh.

A litany of absolutes came streaming out of our newly charged Gunny Dad… “You are always wild, never listen, you have too much stuff. … I am taking the TV remote with me on my business trip to New Jersey!…” What the???? Am I on Earth right now or have I been sucked up through some crazy wormhole that has transported me into alternate universe of Parent McCrazyville.

No seriously, what just happened? I thought we were discussing how to answer the door without scaring away our neighbors? How did we get from THAT to taking away every toy they owned and giving them a cot, one sheet, a blanket and a footlockers’ worth of stuff?

The boys go from being startled to silly, the younger attempting to push the line and call dad’s newly dealt hand while the older is pretty sure this “new dad” means business.

I, on the other hand, am trying to keep my poker face straight while trying to figure out where we made a wrong turn…he’s taking the TV remote to New Jersey?? We don’t even watch TV during the week! …His parents are coming to baby sit tomorrow. ..How do I explain that the remote is in Jersey with their son?!

I break face and through my Barbie Doll-like grimace, I mention that his parents are coming tomorrow and they like to turn on the TV.

“Well then boys, I am going to give this remote with your mother!” ….Okaaaaay.

At this point, the crack in logic has been spotted by our 5 year old. Since he’s is more than aware that there is a no TV (aka no Ben 10, no Justice League, No Wild Kratts) during the school week policy and that the remote is a useless bargaining chip, he presses to call his fathers hand; holding his stomach, he starts to uncontrollably laugh, goading his brother to do the same.

This of course, infuriates “Gunny Dad” who moves to the next threat level. Operation Overkill:

“This disrespect and ungratefulness is unacceptable and will stop immediately. You are spoiled and have too much stuff. …”

He went on to basically say, “I am going to take away everything you own.” which translates to, “I am leaving on business for New Jersey this week, so your mother will be packing up all of your belongings and locking up the play room, enforcing my orders until I return!”

Yeah, uh- no. I am not spending the better half of a week alone with these firecrackers without the aid of Legos, matchbox cars and Star Wars costumes!

Yet, I totally felt his frustration with the boys’ behavior. It does just SUCK when they loose it and are out of control. I want to duct tape them to a chair so they will just sit still and stop moving at times! But just because I feel like it doesn’t mean it is the right parenting move. Wonder if R. Lee Ermey would oppose me on that one!

I can only imagine coming home from a long day at work with the fantasy of being greeted by your family with kisses and hugs, a glass of wine on the counter, the savory smell of dinner tickling your nose. Soft music playing in the background while you usher your kids back to their homework tables as you go upstairs to change out of your work clothes in peace and tranquility.

Instead my husband opens the door, sweeping aside the Ultimate Lego booby-trap that my oldest son has been painfully repairing from the stampede executed by his little sister and two dogs. The then begins to cry like his finger had been severed by an inmate’s makeshift weapon and accuses his father of destroying it on purpose.

Meanwhile, our two big dogs bound down the hallway, their paws loosing traction on the linoleum floor and crash into my husband’s legs; covering his newly pressed slacks in dog hair and what he hopes is mud. As he is yelling for them to get down, our 5 and 2 year old jump up from their intensive duty of mixing together every board game we own and join the dogs in their mosh pit style of greeting.

As I hear my poor husband in distress, I am not rushing to his aid. I am madly trying to finish the breakfast dishes that should have been done after breakfast but are the hold up for starting dinner, yes- dinner is due in less than an hour and it is not even close to getting in the pan. By the time he fights his way down the hall with kids attached to his legs and makes it into the kitchen to get his welcome home kiss, he is probably plotting how to get back to work! : /

Some days are like that. Sometimes, Too many days are like that. Most days are not.

I think our job as mothers is to practice being the best guardians for our children and the best pilot instructors for our family that we can be.  Though, at times it feels like we are more Air Traffic Control Tower Operators, avoiding the constant threat of family members colliding… we Moms have to guide our family; on when to pull back on the throttle, when to use the turbo boosters to get where they need to go and how to land safely when they arrive.

Looks like I have some homework of my own to study this week while Mike is away; Practicing peacefulness at home, getting more organized, and following through with consequences along with praising good behavior. And letting “Gunny Dad” steer the tandem bike more, because we are not a team if he feels he’s the one always stuck pedaling us up hill. Besides, who doesn’t need a dose of R. Lee Ermey every now and then?

What are your families “transitioning to home” routines?

Please share your suggestions and comments!

Laugh hard. Love strong. Live to serve.


Kimberly Crawford

Three’s A Crowd: Toddlers and Toilet Etiquette

I was recently asked by one of my girlfriends,

“Will I ever be able to go to the bathroom by myself again now that I have kids?”

I laughed and thought back to being pregnant with Ziva. 

The first trimester of pregnancy is rarely fun for any woman, let alone a mom of two warrior boys under the age of 4 who have a panache for not standing still longer than 10 seconds.

Per my typical early pregnancy routine, I was perched over the trashcan in prime position to regurgitate my lunch. But today was special. I also had the “runs”… ah, what’s a mom to do…

So I am in the bathroom, trying to puke my guts out and I have a pouty 4 year old who is unsatisfied with the lunch menu. “You know I hate Mac n’ cheese! Why did you make it?! I won’t eat THAT. Its GROSS!“

As Luke is lamenting over the sub-par lunch menu, my clingy 2 year old is trying to attach himself to my leg. Remember, I am sitting on the porcelain throne as all this is going down.

In a sudden surge of authority, Jax decides he wants to help out. “Bend over mommy! Wipe now!”  His tiny fist was full of enough toilet paper it could have been used to gag a Giraffe.     “I wipe you! Mommy move! I wipe you now!” I attempted to swat him off me as my Gene Burns incarnate continued to verbally assault Restaurant Mom with poor reviews.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!

I just looked at my friend, smiled and said, “Nope.”

Laugh hard. Love strong. Live to serve.

Xoxo- Kim Crawford