The Little Scientists: George and Becks


One of our friends Tim works on campus at K-State and today Beckham and I got to join him and his son George to learn about a caterpillar called a hornworm. They even got to do a bunch of the “real scientist” work.

Here are one day old baby hornworms. The green dots are eggs.


 Here George and Beckham are separating the baby caterpillars into their own compartments.


The same lab raises mosquitos for experiments. That bucket reminds me of Houston.


 This is the Hornworm once he gets bigger, I think this was 9 days later.


 Now they are putting a different set of worms into new larger containers.


 This is set of larger caterpillars before George and Beckham cleaned their cages.

Becks did some caterpillar experiments at #Kstate today.

 Once the worms get bigger yet, they want to turn into pupas, so our little scientist washed them to prepare them for their long naps.


 Then they placed them in this fake dirt where they start the process of becoming a moth.


 Then they got to move some of the pupae into the pupae dorm.


 Here they are turning into moths. They look hard, but they are kinda squishy and wiggle when you touch them.


 Look I’m a beautiful butterfly! or moth maybe.


 Here Beckham is collecting new hornworm eggs from a tobacco plant.


 Tobacco plants growing.


Beckham talked about it all the way home. Such a great time for our little scientist.

Below Beckham is hand fishing in the pond outside.

Hand fishing. #kstate

Summer 2013: Dallas

 After camp the kids and I headed to Texas to visit friends and family. It’s hoooooot in Texas.

Welcome to Texas, y'all!

On our road trip I realized our super deprived children had never had Frostys from Wendy’s! So we changed that! Kid sized ones are only $.89!

SP doesn’t adventure EVER from her vanilla when it comes to ice cream.
SP: Totally get me a vanilla one!
Me: I know! You are crazy tho!
SP: It’s how I roll!!

On our road trip today I introduces the Crazies to The Frosty. SP: "Totally get me a vanilla one!" Me: "I know! You are crazy tho!" SP: "It's how I roll!!"

Our first stop in Texas was in Dallas to hang out a few days with Scott and Laura and “baby Violet.” The kids never refer to her just as “Violet” always “Baby Violet!” It’s super cute!

Scott borrowed a little bee suit and the boys were bee keepers!

Beckham and Brian thought they were on the moon

And we swam, of course

We did some fun tourist-y things this time! Like the park on a bridge downtown

At the splash park there, Berkley convinced Scott to stay with her at the water…

…and as soon as it gushed, she jumped up and Uncle Scott  held her up!

They all adore their cousin, but SP is infatuated. Can’t blame her, Violet’s a cutie!

We ate lunch at the food trucks!

Then on to the Perot Museum. A really great one if anyone ever needs something fun to do in Dallas!

One of the fun things they had set up was a 3D screen that you were a bird who soared and your arms and body controlled the bird. You just stand there and bend to move.


But Berkley thought she was supposed to flap and fly. She got some stares!

And then the 3D T-Rex movie!


We also got to worship at New St Peters. They meet in a children’s theatre so there’s always a fun photo op set up!

Now to Houston…already a little worn out!!


Summer 2013: Camps

 *Disclaimer: This is the Hough Family version of camps. For the “official” post (and a lot less of us and a lot more of the people we were actually there with and for!), go here and here)

So we moved out of our house and headed for camps! Which worked out nicely since a camp bed is way better than no bed at all!!

Lunch break! I’m not sure which of these two came up with this idea. Neither of them would surprise me. That’s kind of how they roll.

These two. My favorite goofballs @harrietreymond

Twinkie Happy Meals with Emily!

RiverRanch 2013

Miss these girls!

Excited for lunch, but not too excited for a picture.

With camp came the discovery of Sharpie tattoos for Beckham!

This is the best picture ever! Look at both of their mouths!!

RiverRanch 2013

Becks and his tattoo artist

I love mornings at RiverRanch!

I love this little guy!

...Must find way to keep him little forever...

Brian did some “turtle catching discipling” and taught Beckham the finer details of catching turtles.

RiverRanch 2013

RiverRanch 2013

I didn’t want to be left out, so I caught one too!


We do love kayaking!


Group photo!

RiverRanch 2013

Dance Party night! Learning some Macarena!

RiverRanch 2013

Brian’s mean break dancing skills

RiverRanch 2013

Camp Buddies

RiverRanch 2013

Catching a ride on Jack!

RiverRanch 2013

Annual MC Hammer rap with Sam

RiverRanch 2013

That’s a volleyball team right there…

RiverRanch 2013

I functioned as the camp nurse. But my only formal nurse training is being a mom, I may have taken the liberty to improvise and use duct-tape.

RiverRanch 2013

Shaving cream war!

RiverRanch 2013

The theme of camp was pretty much duct tape…

RiverRanch 2013

Beckham and the speaker’s son Miles hit it off!

RiverRanch 2013

Two on two basketball tourney. Apparently Becks+Miles= 1?

Team Duct-tape shoes?

RiverRanch 2013

“We’re gonna need some more height boys”

RiverRanch 2013

Brookie outfitted the boys! They may have lost, but they looked good doing it! Complete with the dollar bill tucked in the head band

RiverRanch 2013

Little boy. Big bed.

RiverRanch 2013

RiverRanch 2013

Beckham got smart and hitched a ride behind Connor (in his one person kayak!)!

RiverRanch 2013

Connor got smart and put Becks in charge of applying his sunscreen!

RiverRanch 2013

So, if all your friends were jumping off a bridge…?

RiverRanch 2013

RiverRanch 2013

Pillow Pet twinkies with Mia!

Twinkies!! @roseofshearon is proof you never outgrow Pillowpets!

A lot of “lasts” this summer. RiverRanch was a hard goodbye for me. We will still be involved, but differently.


And then Clearwater!

Found this cool photo op!!

Clearwater group photo!

Clearwater 2013

Playing with dry ice. You are never too old for this to be fun! (But also Tim and Brian are immature anyways! 🙂 )

Clearwater 2013

We spend two days pulling kids around in a tube! I grew up being pulled by my dad, so this is really fun for me!


Don’t worry, we got this covered. Just gonna move the bus back up the hill it rolled down.

Clearwater 2013

Emily and I taking a tube stroll

Clearwater 2013

Clearwater 2013

 I don’t even know what to say about this picture:

Camp 2013

Tim and Brian twinkies too! I guess with so many camps over the years and a shirt for each one these guys have put on, this is bound to happen as much as it does!


Summer 2013: Kansas City


This summer was for sure the weirdest one for us ever. We were all over the place, splitting up a lot and tag-teaming basically. It was for sure a transition time for our family, and God was gracious in his protection over us!

Here’s some pictures from our time in KC

Riding fake horses is a given

Berkley cut herself some bangs. We made it all the way to #3 before someone cut their own hair!! Andria salvaged it for us


We made concrete stones with stones and the kids handprints. I highly recommend this project! Cheap and fun and useful!

It attracted the whole cul-de-sac! I should have bought more cake pans!

Brian got the only hard part of the project!



Swimming lessons from the best place in KC: Midwest Aquatics!

A fun Sporting game!

Boo was too small to play on whatever it was and Brian was too big, so our “team youngest” sat together and looked pathetic.


The morning of our move out of our house we cleaned out the fridge for breakfast…so as to not waste and all…

Cups are all packed. Go at it girl!


This is her dream meal!

Brookie and Sheri played with the kids on moving day and took them to Deanna Rose one last time!


Our Manhattan moving crew!

Beckham played baseball for the first time and fell in love with it!

B and Howdy made it to almost every single one of Beckham’s games. He looooooved his cheering section! And the girls loved getting some love too!

Got to spent a few days at the Creecys. And eat ice cream and build things!


Swam at the Reymonds!

Berkley boo

Ate at the Reymonds! (SP loves her some Brookie!)

Purple Power Play on Poyntz 2013

 To kick off the school year and football, the city throws a…party? in City Park. It’s called Purple Power Play and it’s just a ton of cool performances, vendors and well, just fun stuff!!

First we got to watch Bates Dance Studio’s performance. SP’s taking dance there this year. LOVING it, of course!




Brian met a Texas-sized armadillo with a Texas belt buckle! How cool is that?!

My new bestfriend, sweet belt-buckle

Then we headed to the bounce houses, of course!

Stinks when you get pinned by a huge tiger

The Fire Department had a real live hose hooked up for the kids to spray!

Berkley putting out a fire. #manhattanks

The High School Mime Club was out! Andria gave them a high five. Yes, a perfectly still mime!

@andriajm high fiving a mime. Yep, a frozen in place mime.

Varsity Donuts has a VW too!! No wonder we love them so!



The army had a booth with a pull up pole. So we all tried our skills…

Beckham did like 6!


It was downhill from him.

(Also, you can’t look cool doing pull ups.)


Wait, unless you are Heidi. And then apparently you can.

They also let us try on some of their Army equipment. This helmet was wicked heavy. As in, after 15 seconds my neck couldn’t hold my head up anymore. I have a new appreciation for the men and women who protect us. (Not only cause they wear heavy helmets, but that didn’t hurt…)


And Brian joined right in

Brian just hanging out with some new friends. Who happen to drive tanks also...





Snap Shots: Early September 2013

Boo-sized wagon. She's heading West.

In St George, a neighboring town we found this “Boo Sized” covered wagon. Now we just need “Boo Sized” horses.

Laura is stealing eagle eggs again. Nacho would be proud

In Wamego, another neighboring town Laura found the highly sought after eagle eggs she needs before wrestling matches.

Dance class, Day 1. What more can a girl want?

Sadie Piper has desired to take dance lessons for years, this year she is finally getting to do it at Bates Dance Studio in Manhattan.

Found a new fun splash park! Good thing cause its like Texas outside!! @triciadunning3

Near downtown Manhattan is this splash park that kids (and adults) get to play in . It’s pretty great.

Pre-dinner Pillsbury Adventure #manhattanks

Pillsbury Crossing is a naturally occurring part of the Blue River where there is a solid rock bed that is normal shallow enough to drive cars on to it. On weekends it’s full of college students partying, but just before dinner on weekdays it’s perfect place to adventure.


We caught Bull Frog Tadpoles and crawdads. Berkley kept petting the angry crawdads on the head telling them, “Good doggy, good doggy”

Grave Yard Wiffle. #manhattanks #wiffle

On day that we ride the kids to school we still stop at the cemetery, this day we played a little graveyard wiffleball.

Bubble Wrap Boots. Youngest are weird.

Laura ordered some chair from Target for our living room and the legs of the chairs came with bubble wrap on them, Berkley turned them into bubble wrap boots.

One delivery of chairs. Two very different experiences after they were opened!

Here I am putting these things together while Berkley turns everything into a toy.

Cutest girl ever today.

I may be biased, but I just think she is the cutest girl in the school.

Rod Mays joined us in Manhattan today. Good times hearing how God has worked through RUF on college campuses over the past 15 years.

On Monday Rod May (head of RUF) stopped in for a visit. We showed him around and I dressed up a bit.



Mimi came in town to celebrate Berkley’s birthday a second time, this may be the longest birthday ever.

Berkley turned the Vinyl paper holders into a bed

Laura ordered Vinyl Scripture Verses for a few of our walls, Berkley turned the backs into a bed with a pillow.


I took this girl on a date for Buy One Get One Free Blizzards. When we get them alone they talk more about life and we just love it.

The world's biggest chiefs fan. Wore this under his church clothes so he'd be ready to go. I love it. #chiefs

Sam came over after church for lunch and had this under his church clothes ready to root for the Chiefs (previously known as the Dallas Texans)

I asked them to draw a picture of themselves on the board today. Sam looks like kid from Up.

This is the self drawings of lunch guest. Sam looks like kid from Up.

The Shanahan’s have a lake down the street and we get to visit it sometimes. Here Amy and Laura are cuddling.

Library card day.

Berkley’s Birthday Tea Party

Berkley’s birthday was only a few weeks after we moved here, but she has been so excited about her birthday party for, well, months. And that means excited about inviting all her friends. All her friends that live 2 hours away. Mom guilt.

When we asked her who she wanted to invite, she first listed KC friends. When I explained that they live too far away, she suggested inviting her stuffed animals to her Tea Party. Poor baby girl. She also then suggested Andria, Morgan and Harriet. Why hadn’t WE thought of that?! She loved the idea that for once, she got these girls to herself!!

Her Big Day started with a Varsity Donut after dropping Bigs at school!

We gots a happy birthday girl today. #varsitydonuts

Then her tea party!! She also wanted Isaac there. He was an awesome sport!

Hat brought all the fun princess birthday stuff!!

Boo's Birthday Tea Party

Such a good hostess pouring everyone’s tea (which was actually Dr Pepper at her request)

Pouring a little Dr Pepper for  princess Isaac

Once the Bigs got home from school we had cake!

No, we didn’t have face painting. Andria got her scented markers and Hat was trying to show Boo how to have someone smell it and then get a little on their nose. Berkley didn’t totally understand this and thought they were face markers. So she asked for more face drawings and added some herself!

We couldn’t love these girls any more!


One seriously happy 4 year old and her sweet friends, despite the 15 year age gap! Thanks girls! @morgancasteel @harrietreymond


Happy 4th Birthday Berkley!!

At four years old

-She’s stinking hilarious! Her commentary all day long is our entertainment!

-Says “right mama?” after almost every statement she makes

-Still embraces being the baby. It’s her identity, but she still loves when she’s finally big enough to do things. Lately it’s “cause I’m 4, right mama?”

-Her favorite things to do are still color and play Polly Pockets and cars (which she plays like they are people)

-Loves food, but only if it’s labeled as a “snack”

We’ve Gone Country: Thomas Farm

This summer between houses we had a spell of being “homeless”…except we weren’t. Our covenant community opened their homes to Brian, and me and the kids spent some time in Texas. The Thomas’ however, let all of us vacation at their house right before we closed on our home here. I say “vacation” cause their farm was like a resort to us city slickers! It was a breath of fresh air (literally and figuratively) and exactly what we needed as a family after being apart most of the summer!

Jennifer painted these super fun spools!

 Why is posing in corn so stinking fun?!

Look how happy they are!

Anything you can get on begs us to get pictures with…

We got to hang with their super cool dogs. We love farm dogs!


And tug-o-war!

Sadie Piper playing tug-a-war with "dog"

Adventuring one day they found a huge pile of cat litter. Or just rocks (we later learned it was for oil)…but either way Beckham decided to roll down it

Brian pooped in it

And Sadie Piper declared herself Queen of it.

Four wheeler rides!!

Just a little morning  4-wheeler ride!

And swing sets!!

Also, this was only Brian and kids adventuring this day cause Boo had spent the car ride there the day before like this:

Yep, nothing like a 13 hour car ride with a puker. Poor girl. She took a nap in her bag even. I eventually coaxed her out!

If you climb the grain bin (I think I’m using the right term??) you can see so far! That’s their swimming hole!!

But watch out for those 18 wheelers…

Seriously, does it get better than this?? They LIVE here!!!!

We also introduced the kids to the apparently illegal (who knew!?) fun of putting coins on rail road tracks

Once Berkley was feeling better we went swimming! Except we left one of her swim suits at Maggie’s on accident and the other at my mom’s. So girl went in her birthday suit!

This swimming hole has a BEACH!!

AND a stone diving board!

And a little cliff diving...#wearefarmers

We also got to watch an oil well be drilled! It’s fascinating stuff!!

Then we also rode the wells (remember our theory on riding things!?)

Check that off the bucket list. #cowboy #bullriding #oilthingy

The Thomas’ came home and unfortunately we didn’t have a lot of overlap time with them. Seriously the only down side of the whole week!

Oh wait…and Bean’s RiverRanch turtles died. That was a bummer. But the funeral was nice.

Joel on floor playing with our kids! They looooooove Mr Thomas!!

How gorgeous is this place??

James 4:14 Always puts God Willing Leaps (James 4:15) into perspective. #james #kansas #lifeisshort

This sums up our time on your farm, Thomas’. Thank you…

I love the Thomas Beach at Sunset. #sabbathrest

Snap Shots: Late August 2013

A dairy south of town. #manhattanks #littleapple

Snap Shots are just pictures from life that don’t fit into a larger story.

Above photo is from a dairy a few miles south of town that I found while out on a bike ride.

Below is a crest found on the wall of Chris Earnshaw’s frat house.

On a Greek house wall, not sure what it means, but very cool

Almost this whole fence line has boots on it, I knocked on the door to find out what they mean, but nobody was home. Brookie Reymond gave me the great idea of adding shoes to it next time I go by there.

Found this fence line with boots on the post in South Manhattan today. #manhattanks #bicycle

While on the ride this train passed me by. On May 2nd 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt spoke from the back of a train on these tracks just a couple of miles east of this point.

Pretty sure this is the Wabash. #manhattanks

With students back in class I decided to do some of my reading type work from a lawn on campus. On Tuesday Mich came by and we shared some great conversation. I’m more convinced than ever that he is a genius.

Met with a genius today, but he needs to learn his K-State history.

On our bike rides home we usually stop for snacks in Sunset Cemetery. It’s peaceful and even as we laugh and and unwind from the day there is this constant reminder that life is precious and a gift of God for us to enjoy. A slower pace of life is what so many of us need or need to be reminded to enjoy.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 “Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.”

Cemetery Snack Time


I found these glasses on the street, do I look hipster?


This is a small church sanctuary built in 1906 by Presbyterians. God willing we’ll have a worship service here soon.


In Randolph, Kansas is a store with old stuff in it. Sadie Piper found this old phone and thought the way it worked was just silly. 
Sadie making a phone call to 1930 to see if they want their phone back.

Our neighbors invited us to a tailgate for the first K-State game, we rode our bikes there and had a great time. On the way home since the game was going on the town was like a ghost town. Only a few people here and there. We stopped along the way home and played a little. Here they are at Manhattan High School.
Town went apocalypse during the game. We wandered through what felt like the intro to I Am Legend. So we climbed on art.

This swing was near Hat & Chris’ houses. Very fun old fashioned swings.


Found this swing tonight on way home.



These are our neighbors, Ron & Stacy. Since his name is Ron(also) it always reminds us of the awesome neighbors we left in Olathe. upload

The Legend of Lion Trail


Today Beckham had a friend from school over to play. Becks and Tarik have become pretty great buddies at school and since both like science and animals and exploring  we decided to check out the Lion Trail. Ever since we moved here after learning where we live long time locals have told us about the Lion Trail.

Legend has it that it is called the Lion Trail because it passes by the Lion cage at the Sunset Zoo. Beckham and I have looked for the entrance to this trail a few times and never found it. Recently though, I finally found the entrance to this once thought mythical trail.

Before going I did a little web research and learned while there are Cheetahs and Tigers in the zoo, there are no lions which certainly leaves the legend questionable.

Below they are chasing a butterfly (this lasted like 5 minutes with no results)


The entrance to the trail


Off they go into the wilderness



They found this old stone picnic table.

Lion Trail



At this point we were able to look out over the west side of Manhattan, pretty cool views. 

The coolest thing we found was this building built into the side of a hill. It was pretty well built (except for the door which was missing). My thought is we could make this into a

Found this fort in woods by our house, may need to turn it into the MPC office. About a quarter mile hike to get there. #manhattanks

This is from the inside looking out. I’m thinking we’ll setup our Manhattan Presbyterian Church Offices in there.

Lion Trail

This is a railroad  bridge that has been converted to jogging trail through town.

Lion Trail

The trail has tons of branches off the main line, I expect we will explore every last inch over in the coming years.