The morning we had nothing to do…

It’s very rare there isn’t something on our calendar on a Saturday morning. This week was one of those.

Then Brian remembered he’d seen it was Varsity Donut’s 5th birthday and they were celebrating…with a donut cake no less!

Varsity birthday party 2016

Varsity is one of our very favorite businesses for a lot of reasons:

Donut cakes are one of them!

Varsity birthday party 2016

They make hands down the best donuts ever.

They support the city (they give HUNDREDS of coupons to the library each summer for the summer reading program prizes just to name one)

They also know how to throw a party!

Sadie Piper hula hooping:

Varsity birthday party 2016

Beckham could do a few turns with the hula hoop on his waist, but his real talent is in doing it on his neck! Who knew!?

Varsity birthday party 2016

Did I mention they make the best donuts? And they were free today! Best. Day. Ever.

Varsity birthday party 2016

They had a CANDY CANNON!! It also shot some Varsity head bands which the girls will be sporting a ton!

  Varsity birthday party 2016

Then, on this morning we had “nothing to do” we headed to the farmer’s market and got some roasted hatch chilis and homemade blueberry vanilla syrup.

On the way home we drove by City Park and Brian said, “there are horse rides right there…and the sign says ‘open to the public'”

Pony Rides in MHK Pony Rides in MHK

Neither of the girls had ever been on a horse before. They both mentioned not feeling as steady as they imagined!

   Pony Rides in MHK

Then we headed home for real this time and made it back without any more unplanned stops!

July 4th

Fourth of July 2016

Few places are more fun to spend the day than the Farm!!

Swimming at Thomas'

Beckham spent most of the day looking for a turtle in the pond and his persistence paid off!

Fourth of July 2016

The 6 wheeler is always a hit!

Fourth of July 2016

Muddy feet are cool at the farm!

 Fourth of July 2016  Fourth of July 2016

Buckle up SP!!

Fourth of July 2016

I don’t know if they have ever done sparklers before! Two out of three loved them!

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Berkley still had an enormous dislike of fireworks. As in, they still make her break down and scream. So she makes sure she’s inside with Daisy long before they start! upload  upload

Jr Zookeeper

This summer Beckham participated in the Jr Zookeeper program at our zoo.

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At the informational meeting last Spring they definitely didn’t talk it up: “you will be cleaning poop and it’s hard hard work.”

Brian and I were trying to decide if we should make Beckham do it anyways to learn work ethic. But after the meeting when we asked him what he thought, he said, “I want to do it!”

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He had two 4-hour volunteer shifts a week all summer. The first day he came home and said, “Mom, a bucket of water is REALLY heavy!” We loved that he was getting these experiences, cause while we highly value manual labor, our lifestyle doesn’t naturally allow for teaching as much as we’d like.

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But the zoo has plenty of it!!

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They scrubbed the pond almost weekly. Once they drain it they take the frogs and move them while they clean.

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They also cleaned the inside animal’s cages: ferrets, ducks, turtles. And they got to play with them if they finished early! He would come home with funny stories about Patrick the Duck, or Cookie the ferret. He now knows the names of most of the animals at the zoo! I didn’t even realize they all had names!!

They also cut up a lot of animal “diets”, so basically made the animals their meals! He tasted a “Money Biscuit”…he said they taste like Cheerios!

K-State did some research on the program and they gave the kids cameras and had them take pictures of things they thought were interesting or important.

Here’s a few of his pics:

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“Poopy water that was a cool color”0067_61320009

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This was for sure the highlight of his summer and he can’t wait to do it again next year, God willing!

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We still have them!

But none of the kids ever complains about filling up food or scooping cause they know “We’ll give them away” isn’t an empty threat!! 🙂

May 2016

When they cuddle it’s my fav!
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May 2016

I love when they bathe each other!

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Nubbers: He’s the boy and we see him much less. Brian likes him more cause his life is more interesting. He’s outside almost all day. He’s caught two mice, two birds and countless cicadas and chases squirrels right up the trees. He really likes the kids, especially Becks, he’s not a fan of Brian or I as much.

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Then there’s Dory. She’s more of a follower. She goes outside only after Nubs does, and it almost feels like she feels obligated. She’s caught…Polly Pocket clothes. She gets them out of the girls’ room and I find them all over the house! Early on I was getting onto the girls about leaving their stuff around the house and they tried to tell me they didn’t do it…then we saw her walking around one day with a doll shirt in her mouth.

April 2016

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She’s much more likely to come cuddle up with you.

  Berkley and her kitties

May 2016

       April 2016

Dory also likes to lick ear lobes. It’s gross. Here’s SP doing it back to her in hopes that she will see how it feels and stop doing it to us! Ha!

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They are both patient as can be with the kids still

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She’s “taking his temperature.”

May 2016

May 2016

Berkley and her kitties

Just realized I have NO picture of Beckham and the kitties. That’s because he’s a normal person with them and let’s them do their own thing. Which is probably why they like him best and when Nubbers is inside, he’s sleeping on Becks’ bed.

Pool Days

Manhattan has the BEST city pools. It’s our favorite part of summer!

This year we have three strong swimmers (and lots of really great lifeguards!) so we have actually READ while they are playing sometimes!

We were watching Berkley jump off the edge this day. This was a “dive”…good luck with that Boo!

Random Summer

Belly flopping, aka “diving” abandoned and she found a new jump!

Random Summer

Gone are the days of a square pool and maybe a diving board.

    Random Summer

Random Summer

All three of them will do the high dive! I don’t do heights and it’s so high up there, so I’m impressed.

Random Summer

That rare moment you're thankful you can't walk on water.

 Random Summer

Some neighbors stopped by

We live right by the Manhattan zoo. When we moved here we wondered if we’d ever see escaped animals. Luckily, they keep the tiger pretty well locked up apparently! But the peacocks aren’t in cages and just wander the zoo.

I walked around the corner one day and jumped when this was starting at me.

Aug 2016

Aug 2016

And then we realized there was two!

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Aug 2016

They wandered some. Then about 30 minutes later we saw the Animal Control van drive by!

Aug 2016

 

We caught the bug

Or I guess more accurately, “We caught the Pokemon”?

Varsity was one of the first to capitalize on this; touché Varsity, well played!

Varsity donuts Pokemon

Pokemon us getting out of hand.

Beckham loves to go around our block and check for Pokemon (is that right? Is that what he’s looking for? I don’t totally get it) but he had to take Berkley. So they figured out a system! Berkley has the phone and tells him when there is one to get!

    Becks and Boo off to play Pokemon Go

Pikachu at Hy-Vee!

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And on campus!

I threw every ball I had at it and never caught him. #pokemongo #pikachu

Snap Shots

Took Brian to Hobby Lobby again…

Manhattan Pres

But we did score this at Hobby Lobby! A rooster basket for the kids’ crayons!!

This is our new basket where children will find crayons for the children's bulletin. #FtRiley #KState #ManhattanKS

Beckham randomly mentioned to his art teacher that his dad would love that rooster, and his art teacher told him he could have it! So he carried it home safely! @mklesondak Beckham scored an art project today at school, decoration for church building. You in? Free reign to do whatever you'd like.

Sign on lamp post in City Park. Sad story.

Keep an eye out for this guys dog, and hurry because reward is shrinking. #manhattanks

She’s just cute blowing bubbles!

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National Root Beer day!

National Root Beer Float Day

I don’t even know how to caption this cause I don’t know what’s going on…

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Mike Scott jersey give away day at the Astros, Brian had the game on TV and Berkley says, “That’s a lot of Mike Scott’s, Dad”6 Year Old Berkley, "That's a lot of Mike Scotts Dad" @juliamoralesclark #astros

He came home from Napa saying he met Chase Elliot…

Random Summer

 

Little Apple Paddle

Geography lesson of the day: Manhattan is on the Kansas river.

Little Apple Paddle 2016

The City put on a Paddle the River event this summer and you got to paddle 8 miles down it!! Sign us up!

Little Apple Paddle 2016

Well, literally, you had to sign up.

Little Apple Paddle 2016

So it was us and 200 of our closest friends!

Little Apple Paddle 2016

Miss Kansas was there. When Brian asked me if we should get a picture with her, my first thought was no, cause I’m thinking it’s like Miss K-State or Miss K-State Rodeo (yes, real people, all of whom we have pictures with already!).

Exhibit A and B:

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But then I realized it was Miss Kansas, as in, competing for Miss America TOMORROW! Well then, now we need a picture!

Met Miss Kansas this morning. She's from Overland Park. @missamericaks

We put the girls in a canoe with Brian and I  Little Apple Paddle 2016And got Becks a kayak.

Little Apple Paddle 2016

Becks is a kayak expert…from all his years mooching at RiverRanch

Exhibit C:

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Tables were turned and he was now the rower with a non-contributing zero riding along!

Little Apple Paddle 2016

Little Apple Paddle 2016

I think he liked the company!
Little Apple Paddle 2016

A family had an extra kayak and SP was begging to get on her own so we let her try it.

Little Apple Paddle 2016

Little Apple Paddle 2016

5 minutes later she was begging to get back in the canoe with us!

She was right though, it was a LOT easier to have Brian canoe all of us…

Little Apple Paddle 2016

Just stopping for a little break. To sit in the water…    Little Apple Paddle 2016

The whole group shot!   Little Apple Paddle 2016

Welcome back School!

We had a great summer, but as school starts back up, here’s how the kids felt:

First day of school

And here’s how I felt:

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First day of FIRST GRADE!

First day of school

Third day of THIRD GRADE

3rd day of 3rd grade

Fifth day of the FIFTH GRADE

Fifth day of fifth grade

But the college kids are on a whole different level:

The sights in a college town are always interesting. #kstate