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School, Birthdays, and General Insanity

Ok so I really am a little bit busy and not just slacking by posting every 45 days or so.  This has been an insane last month and half. 

First we started school.  Turner is in the 2nd grade and Shelby is in Pre-K.  Mack is also attending Mothers Day Out.  Am I just partial or is this a great looking crew?

Then Shelby Kate is following in her mothers footsteps as a cheerleader.  And yes Mom is a coach too.  SK’s favorite cheer is Squeeze the Orange, it really doesn’t translate on a blog. 

Then my little Tman grew up all of the sudden.  He turned 8 years old earlier this month.  Turner I am so proud of you.  You are the glue of our family and I don’t think God could have given Mack, Blane and most especially Shelby a better brother.  Try and slow down the growing up just a little.

First I need to apologize to my buddy Jake.  Unfortunately for him he happens to live down the street from us and have two very cute little girls.  The youngest one, Eliza, seems to have her eye on Mack (yes this is Backpack Girl).  I see this scene replaying itself in a few years just with a motorcycle.  I like to think that I can kind of judge what kind of general direction my kids lives are going to take.  (I am sure I am wrong so humor me a little) Turner will probably be an analyst of somesort (maybe an engineer) and a tremendous family man and husband. Shelby Kate will have a job that brings joy to everyone she comes into contact with.  With Blane its a little early, but he has the patience of Job.  I am thinking/hoping maybe a Doc or a teacher of something.  But Mack, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit for him to become Nuclear Physicist or a fry cook on Mars (try and name the movie) or anything in between.   Mack turned two today, and yes contrary to my thoughts about a year ago we are both still living.  I love you Mack. 

I recently received an email from a friend that had a bunch of quotes of speeches from Steve Jobs.  I am a fan of his so I always like hearing what he has to say.  This was my favorite part.

Never fear failure – Jobs was fired by the successor he picked.  It was one of the most public embarrassments of the last 30 years in business.  Yet, he didn’t become a venture capitalist never to be heard from again.  He didn’t start a production company and do a lot of lunches.  He picked himself up and got back to work following his passion.  Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told he only had a few weeks to live.  As Samuel Johnson said, there’s nothing like your impending death to focus the mind.  From Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech:No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.



Wow I didnt realize it had been so long since I last posted.  My day really started off well, because I came out and found this next to my car.

Its been a busy summer at the Strawn house, and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon.  Quick update on everyone.  Turner played a lot of baseball this summer, and recently had to have some ear surgery.  He is recovering well and I think he is actually excited about going back to school next week.

Shelby Kate and her mom (aka Coach Paige) have just started cheerleading.  I promise more pics and video will be posted throughout the fall.

Mack continues to do something everyday that makes me sorry for all the stuff I put my Mom through.  You can see in his eyes he is just looking for something to get into.  The new haircut makes it worse.

I have this irrational fear I am going to forget Blane somewhere because he is so quiet and good.  I think God knew we would need an easy one behind Mack.

Do any other parents anticipate the first day of school, like you anticipated the last day of school when you were a kid?

At McGraw it has been a busy summer as well.  We continue to be #1 in this part of Oklahoma.  The Tulsa area was recently ranked in the Top 5 places to buy a house in the country.  Our title company recently became FirsTitle and Abstract services which will now be one of the largest in the state.  The mortgage and insurance companies are doing great and will also have some big news coming out over the next weeks and months.  The grass is very green at McGraw.

One of our great associates at McGraw Realtors (Beth Rengel) recently shared this video with me.

Obviously its extra special to me, but I think it has something for anyone that is in a customer service business.  What is your “Thought of the Day”?  Just a quick warning on this video, you might want to be alone when you watch it.

This past Sunday I committed to invite at least two people to Lifechurch.  I figure there is at least two people besides my mom that read this.  So we would really like for you to join us we also have Saturday night services too.  And yes you can wear shorts.


The Elevator

This week we brought one of my favorite people in the world, Petey Parker, to be our guest speaker at our all company meeting.  If you want to see some of what she does visit  My hope in doing this is that it would help our associates, employees, and business partners get energized.  I think it did for many people, but I don’t know that anyone got more out of it than I did.  Whenever I hear a really good speaker I take a lot of notes.  Then I usually put them away for a day or two and then go back to them.  The magical part of doing this is that something new usually occurs to me later on.  Well it did today big time.   One of the things she talked about was how important it is (especially in sales) to have a great two to three sentence elevator speech.  Have you ever heard anyone that is really good at this?  Its really powerful.  I realized this was a huge shortcoming of mine, but in the words of Stuart Smalley (you know the character from Saturday Night Live).  I am good enough, smart enough and doggone it people like me.  Here is what I used to say when someone asked me what I did,  “I am in management for McGraw Realtors”.  Seriously how boring and corporate does that sound?  Here is my new one “I am an executive for the Number 1 real estate company in town, McGraw Realtors.  Its my job to make our associates and ancillary businesses reach heights they didn’t know were possible.”  So I am looking for free feedback.  What do you think?

Funny kid story of the week.  Mack has taken to wearing a rubberband on his head.  This has been going on for a few days.  He will bring you a rubberband and then hit your leg until you put it on his head.  My sister thinks maybe he has a future as a tennis player.  I think he knows it makes Paige and I laugh everytime we look at him.   Here is a pic.


Super Strawn Six

Some recent photos of the Super Strawn Six

 I thought the photographer did a nice job of capturing the chaos at our house.  If you want her info, just Facebook me.

This is the beautiful lady that made all of this happen. 

(Left To Right) Shelby Kate (The Princess), Blane (So Far The Easy One), Turner (The Salesman), and Mack Thomas (Just Plain Trouble)


Tulsa-Top 5 (According To Forbes)

As I said when I started this blog there would be business thrown in.  Because other than my family, business is a huge part of who I am and what I do on a daily basis.  While I sometimes envy people that work to live, I subscribe to the opposite.  Its just the way I am wired, I decided a long time ago to stop fighting it. 

Check out this story from Forbes about Top 5 places.  Shout out to my real estate brothers and sisters in the other markets listed in here.  Mental note to self, make a trip to Pittsburg sometime.  There is town not scared to pull up their bootstraps and make things happen.  The only fault I can find with the city is they are the home of the Steelers.

Forbes Top 5 Places to Buy A Home

For those of you following the season of the Bixby Rangers 7 under baseball team.  We suffered a crushing defeat to the Indians last night.  They are the best team in the league and we did hang with them for a couple of innings.  I will say their coaches are nice guys and that does help a little.


Baseball and Life

I recently got a chance to relive a little of my childhood.  One of the constants in my life from the age of 5 to 14 was the Dodgers.  I was blessed enough to play on the same little league team for almost all of my childhood.  I remember that when Coach Lewis (yes now he is the Honorable Johnny Lewis for my Plano friends) started our team.  We were pretty bad, but he was relentless on coaching the fundamentals even if we lost and we did often.  Sometime around the 5th or 6th grade it all changed.  We went from being a bad team to a very good team, in fact we went to 3 city championships in a row and won two of them.  This is year I am helping coach Turner’s team.  We are very similar to the early Dodger years (yes its ugly).  While I am very competitive I constantly remind myself these boys are 7 years old and are really just happy to be with boys their own age and someone will bring snacks after the game.  But we get better a little better every week, and the transformation of some of the boys from game to game is really remarkable. 

For what may be the first time it dawned on me why many including me love baseball so much.  You put your uniform on, you get dirty, sometimes you get a hit, and sometimes you strikeout.  Whatever happens there is always another game to play.  Sounds like life….


Well One Down

I decided to wait a couple of days before writing anything on the death of Osama.  First I hope it brings some closure to all the people that were affected by the attacks he ordered, obviously 9-11 being the largest one.  I have read and heard a few things that I thought were interesting.  First it was also announced on May 1st that Hitler had committed suicide, so a pretty good day in history again.  Another thing while I am all for arming other groups/countries to fight wars we probably have no business being in the first place.  Seriously can we have a little more oversight on the leaders of these groups?  OBL came to power in Afganistan when we armed him to fight the Soviet Union.  Last thing on this topic, I would like spend a night drinking beer with guys from Seal Team Six.  Since I am war novel junkie, I had heard of them before.  But I have been reading a little about them since this happened.  If there are bigger studs on the face of this earth I haven’t heard of them.  By the way they would never tell any of us what they do for a living, but if they did we all owe them at the very least a beer.


Hello World

Actually it should be hello again world.  I have been doing the blog and facebook thing for a couple of years now.  However that has been primarily business and a little of my kids.  I decided to do a little something different with this blog.  This is going to be a little bit of everything.  My family, things I am interested in, and yes a little business.  Honestly I am not doing this as a “hey look at me” (not that you other bloggers do that).  I simply want to record this part of my life and my thoughts during this time.  I realized recently that I woke up and all of the sudden I was a guy with a big family who is very serious most of  the time.  Its been a great ride getting here, but its also a blur.  I am sure at the very least my mother, sister, and probably mother in-law will look over it from time to time if nothing else to check up on their grandkids/niece and nephews.  Maybe one of my teachers from high school will stumble upon it and have hope that their current version (I know you have one) of me has a chance to turn out ok.   I am sure my beautiful wife will check on it from time to time to make sure I am not being “out of line”.  But I really want my kids to have something to look back on, especially after teenage years when I am smart again.  If anyone else enjoys well its worth exactly what you are paying to read it.


Occupancy & Financing

  • There are 10 completed units available for purchase
  • 100% Occupied
  • Below Market Financing Available Thru Local Bank


This is an excellent investment opportunity to purchase multiple investment properties in the same neighborhood. Currently there are 10 duplexes that have been recently completed, these are already over 100% occupied. Rent averages $2100 per duplex.  There will be a total of 48 units to be built out over the next 12 to 18 months. Currently a duplex can be purchased for $200,000. They are located in Broken Arrow, OK. Which was recently named the second fastest growing city in Oklahoma. They are also located just minutes from convienent highway access.