Hiking it, Konza-style

Konza Praire Hike

Berkley was at a birthday party one day this summer, so we headed the Konza Prairie (cause you are only as fast as the slowest member when you hike, and she’s admittedly got little legs…)

This tree looked right out of a scary movie!Konza Praire Hike

We aren’t hikers, but this trail is only 2.6 miles (but hilly!!)

Konza Praire Hike

It’s the most beautiful place in town for sure!

Konza Praire Hike

Lots of creatures to catch, so gotta have your nets ready!
Konza Praire Hike

Konza Praire Hike

And since Brian and Becks always catch a critter, here’s today’s: 
Konza Praire Hike

And another one. Sadie Piper was totally cool to walk for a while with a friend on her head bumming a ride.Konza Praire Hike

Purple Power Play

Purple Power Play is basically Manhattan’s “Welcome back to Fall” celebration! It’s on of our favorite events of the year! It’s two evenings and full of stuff to do and see!

Including snakes. “Why’d it have to be snakes…”

I love Boo’s face in this! To be fair, when I asked if we could take pics with them, she was the first of the three kids to say she wanted to!

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Once she didn’t die, the others got more brave. WAY more brave.

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At one point it moved unexpectedly and I screamed and ran. All three of them got their lack of fear from Brian.

His selfie with the snake:

Purple Power Play 2015

Bring on the pigs for me! 

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Manhattan Pres had a booth and Texas Jenga again! 

Purple Power Play 2015

We got to watch Bates Dance and the drum line perform together

Purple Power Play 2015

And the next night Audrey dance too!

Purple Power Play 2015

 

Berkley makes an app

Brian and Berkley share a trait: they go the extra step. Where most of us would do the minimum, they will take the extra effort and make it even better, or funnier, or funner. It’s something I’ve always liked about Brian, but now see it in Berkley too.

Like, say last week when Brian and I went to the dentist at the same time (cause kids are all in school!) and he asks the dentist to mess with me and while he’s checking out my teeth Dr Grieves says “I just wish you would be a better flosser like Brian is.” WHAT??! Brian NEVER flosses. I take that back. He flosses the day he goes to the dentist. And then they floss for him there, so he flosses 4 times a year. I floss that many times a week. So I flip out: “No stinking way! He didn’t tell you he flosses, did he?? Do his teeth look like he does? CAUSE HE DOESN’T!!! HE MAKES ME GIVE HIM A “24 hour floss notice” AS IN, I HAVE TO GIVE HIM 24 HOURS NOTICE TO FLOSS, AND THEN OF COURSE I DON’T REMEMBER TO REMIND HIM THE NEXT DAY, AND THEN WHEN I DO REMEMBER HE TELLS ME THE NOTICE EXPIRED!!” Dr Grieves said he saw the fire in my eyes and knew he hit a hot button. Which is just what Brian wanted. So instead of afterwards telling me “the dentist said I floss really good” he takes the extra effort to make it real-er.

So, you see what I mean here?

Berkley asked me to print her an iPad. So I did. She cut it out. Then she started playing this game on it. She had played it many times before I got the camera out to video.

So this is Berkley in a nutshell. It’s 5 min, so it’s really just for our memory! She doesn’t cut any corners that one.

 

Chicago: Not just a band anymore

This summer we got the chance to spend a couple days in Chicago. It’s been on Brian’s bucket list to visit Wrigley Field. Sad story: did you know Cubs tickets aren’t as cheap as Astros tickets?? (especially a few years ago when the Astros were really not good and Brian and Beckham got in for $6. Total. It was a building year! 🙂 ) And on top of that, they were playing the St Louis Cardinals who are their rivals. So no Wrigley Field for us.

But there’s NO lack of other really fun things to do in Chicago!

Our first order of business though, take picture with a giant rooster.

Lakeside 2015

Check.

I’m a little fascinated with Chicago. We really loved this city!

Chicago 2015

Our first stop after we pulled into town after dinner was a no brainer.

“Kids, get in the car elevator. We are going someplace fun!”

Chicago 2015

It went over pretty well, as you can imagine the phrase “Kid in a candy store” didn’t come from no where!

Chicago 2015

Chicago 2015

Chicago 2015

She may have to kiss a lot of frogs…starting with gummy kinds. 
Chicago 2015

Our neighbor told us to eat pizza at Giordano’s. You have to wait 45 minutes for your pizza, and it was worth every minute!

Chicago 2015

They bring the kids pizzas first while we are waiting for ours’s, smart place!

Chicago 2015

I took this picture and was so excited at how cute they both were, so wanted to get Boo in on the action…but she just weirds it up. Story of our lives.

Chicago 2015

Case in point: 
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We did a ton of walking cause we just parked our car while we were there since it’s cheaper by the day, so everything we saw we walked to. When the kids asked why we walked everywhere we explained you have to pay to park in big cities.

We later had this conversation with Berkley:

Berkley: When I grow up to visit me you are going to have to come to…what’s it called Sadie? Oh, California!
Laura: what do you like about California?
Berkley: there’s a Disney world there and I want to take my kids there all the time. Wait, do you have to pay to park there?

We also rode the free trolley!!

Chicago 2015

Chicago 2015

We walked on Navy Pier
Chicago 2015

We kept calling the lake “the ocean.” We have never seen a lake that you can’t see any land on the other side. Or so many boats in our life!!

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We had to hit up a beach to play in the water

(They are being animals and stalking each other. They “get” each other.)
Chicago 2015

Brian thought they could use this huge puddle as a slip n slide. Chicago 2015

It had absolutely NO slip or slide to it.

Chicago 2015

Chicago 2015
Lake Michigan is cold! 

Chicago 2015

While Brian and the bigs played near the water, Berkley worked on a path…

Chicago 2015
Chicago 2015

Chicago 2015

Brian orders tea from David’s Tea online, but they had a store in Chicago!

Chicago 2015I  think that’s a famous fountain?

Chicago 2015

The attraction we chose to do with our one full day was the aquarium.

Chicago 2015

Berkley and her penguins

Chicago 2015 
They have a fun place where kids dress up like penguins and play around on the rocks.

Chicago 2015

Touching starfish always goes over well…
Chicago 2015

“Hey Mom! Take a picture!” His face is spot on!

Chicago 2015

I wasn’t expecting to like Chicago as much as I did. The city had a lot of energy and was beautiful!

Chicago 2015
Chicago 2015

Lakeside 2015

On our walk to the aquarium, we saw a flock of geese. The kids take off running thinking they just found the jackpot and it will be fun to scare them off

Chicago 2015

But these aren’t just any geese, they live in the third largest city in the country, so they’ve seen a few tourists before…and they called our kids’ bluff and didn’t run. At all.

Chicago 2015

Chicago 2015

Throw Brian in the picture now, and there’s no bluffing. He’ll catch one if he’s fast enough. 
Chicago 2015

Thankfully he wasn’t. 

It’s an unwritten (or possibly even written?) rule that you have to go see the weird mirror bean when you are in Chicago. So we had to.

Chicago 2015

(Why is Boo not facing with the rest of us?)

Chicago 2015
Chicago 2015

We also hit up (apparently legendary) Billy Goat Tavern (and got hats!).

Lakeside 2015

And shocker, Brian found a guy to tell him the legend of the tavern

Chicago 2015

So we get to see this amazing city, but the highlight? Carolyn surprised us with ROOM SERVICE for breakfast!

Lakeside 2015

None of us has ever had room service, and of course Carolyn guesses this and orders the funnest breakfast EVER!!

We let them eat on the bed, cause that’s what they do in the movies when they get room service!

Chicago 2015

All this food and SP is most excited that Carolyn must have known she LOVES toast and got her some! She felt so loved via toast!

Lakeside 2015

Pancakes. on. a. stick.

Brilliant.

Lakeside 2015

We may have devoured it…

Lakeside 2015

Bonus: these cute little ketchup bottles!!

Lakeside 2015

Thanks Carolyn!! We LOVE you!!





Is this normal?

I’m reading Boxcar Children to kids tonight before bed (it’s our new favorite, since there aren’t any more Junie B books!) and we hear a thump on the window. Brian tells them it was a bird. We finish up and Becks asks to go see if he can find the bird that hit. I proceed at this time to put away clean laundry…I know what’s coming…

I was right. Cause next I hear: “Mom! We have a pet bird!”

Bird crash window

Bird crash window

Poor bird was stunned. Brian grew up around a lot of wild animals (he would go hunting with his dad and brothers, but be one bringing home the hurt animals and nurse them back to health), so he understands this stuff.

Bird crash windowThey tried to get him to fly, and when he wouldn’t, Brian told the kids they could keep him overnight until he got better. But that translated into “Mom! Dad said we can keep him!!” (see, that’s me and my laundry in the background!)

Bird crash window

Bird crash window

So there’s a bird in our house tonight.

That’s weird, right?