This isn’t our first rodeo…

…just our first without Brooks and Dunn, or Taylor Swift, or George Strait, or Chicago…

Growing up up in Houston, March meant Rodeo.  Which really just meant a lot of really great concerts came to town! The actual “rodeo” part was just the pre-show if you got there early. Not saying it wasn’t great to watch the bull riding, calf roping and barrel races but it’s not why we went to the rodeo.

So when we saw the K-State rodeo was coming to Manhattan, we were in!

I suggested we get there about 2 hours early…to look at all the booths, do the petting zoo, all that stuff. Enter Brian: realizing he needed to lower my expectations. “There will be no booths, or petting zoo. Or any other stuff Laura. There will only be what you would call ‘pre-show’.”

Well then, now that we are clear.

We put on our plaid shirts and boots and rode our bikes to the arena

Feb 2015


We still got there a little early…

Feb 2015

But eventually saw people we knew!! The Arnetts, Durretts and Thompsons had the same Saturday afternoon plan as us!

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

It was super fun to be sitting so close!

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

The most impressive part is that these were COLLEGE students!! They were incredible!

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

Feb 2015I also learned a ton from Meredith, who did this in college. Here’s the guy who pushes the calfs out of the pin, honestly never thought about that…

Feb 2015
The girls (obviously) loved the Rodeo Queens

Feb 2015
Feb 2015
Feb 2015
Berkley’s preschool friend’s mom is the Rodeo queens’ sponsor, so we got to meet them! This is the KSU Queen and Junction Cities’. Super sweet girls who were so patient with the long line of girls! 
Feb 2015

Feb 2015

After any event, our kids “play” what it was for days. So we saw it coming when they got on their bikes and immediately told us they were horses. And then used the signs and trash cans as barrels to play “barrel racing”
Feb 2015

Sarah and David’s wedding!

Seriously, they are adorable right?

Sarah and David asked these two to be their flower girls, and they were pumped!

They also got to spend the day with these gorgeous girls, bonus!

sarah and davids wedding

SP was excited about the rehearsal, because although she’s been a flower girl, she said she didn’t remember how to do it, so she was glad she got to practice!

Brian helped with the ceremony, but did NOT do this on day of! 🙂

sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

This is what Berkley “practiced”…tipping her basket over. She did this during the ceremony as well. sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

The kid table at the rehearsal dinner, they hung with Dunning kids and loved it!

sarah and davids wedding

Pretty pumped about her name tag! sarah and davids wedding
Wedding day!! Could Sarah be any prettier?! She was stunning!!

sarah and davids wedding

Sarah and David are so perfectly matched! We are so excited for these two!!

SPandBoo Tompkins Wedding

Nicola curled their hair, Morgan did their make-up. These girls thought they were princesses!

sarah and davids wedding

Top it off with a “crown!”sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding


Berkley’s already a little hippy, this crown put her over the edge!! sarah and davids wedding

sarah and davids wedding


After the ceremony they had a sparkler send off. Which Berkley was so excited about. Until she realized sparklers are fire. Which she hates. So she became the screaming flower girl in the flower beds trying to get away from all the beautifulness!


Also, proof that our kids at least have one parent with a heart, here’s Brian going to get her…while I take her picture! a


The other two loved it! a

Thanks for letting all of us share in your special day Sarah and David!!



Funny Book



We have to sleep for 12 hours because we have to give the people on the other side of the world time to be awake. – Becks

Beckham walks in and sees our sheets off our bed (to wash them): “did one of you pee the bed?”


Boo: I drank a lot of beers today
Becks: that means you’re drunk
Boo: No, I’m not drunk, I drank three beers
(disclaimer, she didn’t drink any beers…and they know what being drunk is bc we live in a college town! )

Brian: Berkley, will you please start the dishwasher?
Berkley: (Thinks) Sure! Mom taught me how to do that! (Runs off!)
Berkley: (Comes back) “Is that the clothes cleaner or the food cleaner?”

Berkley: Mom, other people get pets, and they get to keep them.

(At Chick-fil-a) Berkley: dad, you can have this. It’s a potato fry.

Brian: What are the other fries?
Berkley: chickfila fries.

“How do the store people get so much money so they can say ‘cashback or no cashback’?” – boo

Berkley: “My job is the be funny”


I got a message to come to deli, I asked "how did you know we were here, were kids too loud?" Then he reminded me I had a crown on.

Beckham: “Peter Pan’s name is Jack! …(pause). D-oh! Peter pans name is peter. Peter pans SONs name is jack ”

Berkley comes out of the bathroom holding her shirt

“will you help me put this back on?”

Laura: “Sure, but why is your shirt off?”

Boo: “Because I forgot to pull my pants down.”

L: “But why is your shirt off?

B: “I don’t know.”



Boo was out of bed and I asked her why
Boo: “I had to wash my hands cause they smelled bad”
SP: “it’s probably not your hands, it’s probably your upper lip. That’s what Howdy says.”

Becks: It’s an octopus. But it has more than 8 legs. So it’s an octopie

Becks: I’m eating carrots so I might not need glasses anymore.

Sadie Piper: Me too so I might be able to see Berkley at night
Berkley: My glow eyes might start working again!
Sadie asked why I was working out today and I told her it was so I could lose weight.
Before dinner she looked me up and down and told me she doesn’t think my exercise worked cause I didn’t lose any weight.



“My plate is hue-normous” -Boo
Laura: There used to be no cell phones.
Beckham: That would be horrible if you lived way back then
SP about boogers: “Sometimes you have to use your finger. Then I have to throw it somewhere.”
“dad those flowers are like moms flowers, they’re dying” -boo

Berkley let us know she wanted to get married so she could have a daddy and not work, just like her mom.

Even being normal she's weird.

Talking to a friend, “We like really cold water. Cause we are from Texas.” -SP

“My arm ankle hurts.” – SP (speaking of her elbow)

SP about Lucy’s Mimi: “she has a Mimi too. Except her Mimi is way younger. She doesn’t even have wrinkles yet”

Pastor Tony in sermon: “Change of leadership”
Sp: “I heared ship! Can I draw a ship? Can I draw people inside?”


I had surgery to remove some atypical moles, so I was limping. Brian started calling me “Gimp-erella” When Berkley left the house that day she said, “Bye Gimp-erella!!”

Watching live Tv, commercial comes on

Boo: Why does it have these?

SP: They’re just advernating so people get more money

Sadie Piper is so hungry she's gonna eat Texas.

I asked Berkley about where a book was. She said she didn’t know. But she would look and find it and then “take a picture” to remember where it is (in her head).
When I asked her what the book was, she closed her eyes and said she was going to look at the picture. She opened her eyes and told me the title.

SP saw the sign for a dorm called Boyd Hall. She asked, “Why isn’t it Girld hall?”

Boo wrestling with Brian. Brian remembers he needs to reply to a text and picks up phone. Boo looks at him with mean face and says “don’t look up some good fighting moves”

Brian has Boo trapped. She says “dad, you have to let go of me cause you are the bad guy and the good guy always wins”


Dad washed hair.
Sadie dressed and ready to go.
SP “My hair has bubbles in it still…”


Sp, “can dads braid hair?”
Brian “yes!”
Laura, “no, don’t let him do that”
SP, “there is a lot daddies can’t do”
Mom, “there’s a lot mommy’s can’t do too, that’s why God gave you mommy and daddy.
If you just had a mommy you’d have really clean hair but no fun. And if you just had a daddy you’d have fun, but not clean hair.”
SP, “So just having a daddy is way better”
Explained to Becks that two Ls in Spanish is a Y sound.
“So you could never spell ball” -Becks


Hide Your Statues, Hide Your Children

As the kids and I were looking at old pics recently we noticed mom rides a lot of statues and various things that mom’s don’t typically get on. Let me prove our point…

A deer in Overland Park

Laura Ride 1

A fake horse in Baxter SpringsLauraRide2

Another fake horse in the grocery store. LauraRide3

An oil derrick on the Thomas Farm lauraride4

A real horse in Oklahoma


A dog in St Charles, Missouri


A fake cow in Oklahomalauraride7

A fake eagle on the Katy Trail. lauraride8

A bear in Colorado8365886404_da3606b1ca_z

A sabertooth tiger in Olathe8605454798_a3c8c96fc7_z

A fake bull in Oklahoma8642824529_b150f466a4_z

A gun in what I assume is Texas8644857202_85a30f9b85_z (1)

Then we realized what her example has done to those around here…

Beckham at Costco6990835591_03f0f886d3_z

Beckham on inmodest woman in downtown KC


Sadie at Minute Maid Park


Beckham in Omaha8607622344_e5232e1461_z

Boo and Brian in Omaha 8607636762_2d5e31526b_z

Sadie somewhere west of Mississippi 8643610251_7c0d1f4b58_z

Fake bull riding in Oklahoma8644479141_1d4d6f7610_z (1)


Rudy riding a giant horse in Overland Park8755501596_7c0f72c826_z

Sadie a tiny horse in thrift store9481979915_f2da6c3149_z

Chris a Jayhawk on I-709721790756_754f3e9eb7_z

Sadie and Becks on a giant horse 9761462924_c408042c7c_z

So learn from us, keep your statutes and your children away from this crazy (crazy wonderful!) woman.

Adventure in Wildcat Park

After studying Ecclesiastes all week I wanted to enjoy the good gift of God in children and creation so while Laura was busy I took the Crazies to a new park. Wildcat Park which is out west on Anderson Ave towards Keats.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

This old stone bridge was beautiful to look at, but had me worried Berkley was going to drive off the edge. 
Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

As the road ended an orchard of some sort began. I found myself wishing Matt Wilson was with me so I could ask him, what kind of tree is that? and that? and that? 
Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Berkley Boo wore her bag the whole time and except for that helmet looked the part of Indiana Jones exploring. 
Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

We found ice on some of the river which was cool and added a little Russian Roulette to our adventure since it was 60 degrees out.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Most of the ice held us.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.


Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.


Nail spike into thin ice seemed like a lesson my child needed to learn, but alas he went home dry.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.



Sadie Piper wanted to take a “self picture.” The fact that she didn’t know the term is selfie gave me some hope, her natural ability to know how to take it took away that hope. Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Boo had a snack in her hand half the afternoon, that’s how she rolls. 
Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Dad, take a picture, this will look cool. Why does a 3rd grader even consider that? Oh right, her parents take too many photos. 
Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.


This is Boo’s Silhouette, eating snacks or guarding the Holy Hand Grenade.  Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

 The way I figure it’s only a few feet deep, if it breaks we’ll be fine.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Ice Skatting

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Then we saw two women hanging sheets, kids thought it was a homemade hammock. I thought it was a plan to make contact with Aliens. Turned out to be professional photo shoot. They were really nice and offered to take our picture. 
Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

This was the first pitch of the 2015 Wiffleball Season. Knuckleball for a strike…against a six year old.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

So we headed back to the car
Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

 But noticed this off the path a bit and decided to check it out.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Becks was first to get lowered into it, to look for snakes so we would know if we needed to panic.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.


After they were all lower in, I told them goodbye and walked off. Then I see this head poke out. Beckham is holding her up.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.


I climbed to the top so I could view them like a petri dish experiment. Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Wildcat Creek in Manhattan, Kansas.

Crazies in old silo farm thing. #MHK

Sweet Sisters



This was on Berkley’s tire when we arrived, it survived the day and shows signs of a time time.



Boo: Dad get a picture of me with my balloon.

Me: Ok, smile normal.

Even being normal she's weird.



I asked SP to write me a note, I even gave her ideas (“You are the best mom ever I love you so much what would I do without you cause you are so cool…”) and this is what she wrote: I asked Sadie Piper to write me a note...

Needed to make a Target run, but it was lunch time. Splurged the $2 and introduced her to the food court. Before this day, our kids had no idea this existed. I’m gonna regret the shortsightedness of that decision! 🙂

Spying on Berkley and Isaac…

These two kids were making me laugh when they were playing together…

November 2014

Berkley: “Are you going to come to my hotel and get a room?”
Boo: “Isaac asked for a football drink but I told him all we have is milk so I gave him milk”
November 2014

Isaac: Gypsy (their dog) did stinkies in my face. 

Berkley: oh, we call it poop

November 2014

Berkley: “What is the funniest dream you like to dream?”
Isaac: “Football”
Boo: “Isaac, come look at my room while I have one sock on”

November 2014