Roll Call

Last week, at Elon’s orientation, Julie and I were with a group of parents and were asked how many kids we have.  It’s sort of complicated, I thought to myself, but at the time, the word “five” just rolled off my tongue.  The other females in the group looked at Julie like she had lost her mind because y’all, that is a lot of kids!  Like more than two is a great plenty.  But FIVE?  Had she birthed them all she would have been pregnant for half a decade.

Three are in college.  One in DC, one at the University of Georgia and one in Burlington, NC, at Elon University.  Julie and her youngest are in Charlotte.  Michelle and I are in Raleigh.  We span five cities and three states.  If you speak to various members of this new tribe, you can often piece together a picture of what’s going on with each family member.  I secretly love it when siblings know something about each other that I’m unaware of.  It means they might talk to each other and be kind in the long term future.  A nice change from “You wore MY DRESS without MY permission????”

Keeping up with the crew is becoming increasingly difficult.  I believe it was DJ who started the first family Roll Call.  One kid sends a text to the entire family group:  Roll Call.  The appropriate response is a photo.  A come as you are, right then, right now pic sent back to the group as soon as possible.  This was our last call from earlier this summer.


Child #1


Child #2


Child #3


Child #4


Child #5

When Julie and I sent our picture, Michelle was shook!

“I cannot believe that the kids all sent pictures from our bunks at camp, with boxes of Cheez-It’s, hair in towels, unshaven, looking all regular and you and Julie sent this!”

Bruce and Julie

“I mean seriously?  Julie’s all in a long dress, and you’re wearing pants!  Probably just finished a glass of wine or something.  Are –  you –  KIDDING?  Is this how it is going to be?  We sit at home eating Cheez-It’s while y’all go out to fancy dinners?  We want in on that action!”

Truth be told, this crew would probably prefer the Shake Shack to grilled salmon and Nike shorts to pants with a button any day of the week.  Regardless, a little Roll Call every now and then is a good way to see your kids’ faces – which is nice when they are not coming in your door on the daily.

Leave a comment


  1. Mel Ham

     /  September 5, 2018

    Aint it great? I love to get asked that question. i don’t bat an eye. I even insert it in my Bio. I am like the old woman in the shoe. We have five too and i wouldn’t have it any other way..and yes we only have one boy too. Will and Cam…how lucky are they? Cheers to a full house…and blended families…and making new memories.

  2. Aunt Susan

     /  September 5, 2018

    How cool! I love that they are all in touch, I wish my sibs and I had been closer.

  3. Ha! We have five right now (one foster) too, and it feels just right! 🙂 Although ours are all still little and at home… and I’m looking forward to the days when they get along better! Your post gives hope.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  September 16, 2018

      Its still day by day, but I’d say the older they get, the more they enjoy each other. Hang in there – it will be here soon.

  4. Peggy Cusick

     /  September 5, 2018

    I love that!!!

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Deanne

     /  September 5, 2018

    I love this roll call idea and the new family you are forming! May have to try roll call in our Wheeler family group texts.

  6. I love this idea!

  7. I love this idea! I just met Man with 2 and I’m woman with 3. So five is the magic number. Genius idea for Roll Call! esp with the older and always busy crowd. I’m so doing this.!


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