I can’t take him anywhere.

I just needed a frame. And Brian and I were right by Hobby Lobby so I asked if we could run in real quick.

I had to go to the back of the store where they have the odd sizes. Which means we walked through the whole store. Which means Brian found a ton of letters. And when he finds letters on anything he arranges them to say MPC.

(This was what he made at Bed Bath and Beyond one day)


This day’s photos:

Oh wait, as we walked away he found the rooster section. So he added a rooster:
aHe made me help collect all the letter to do this too:  upload

(For the record he puts them all back in the right spots! 🙂 )

Ice Skating, MHK style!

We have the cutest ice rink every Christmas! The city hosted a free skate day for kids from their school, so we spend an evening with friends and ice!

So Berkley has been ice skating 4 times. Once when she was 3, once when she was 4, once at 5 and this day.

To say we were surprised she skated like this is an understatement! Who knew?!

These boys have fun no matter where they are!

Ice Skating 2015

Berkley having no fear.
Ice Skating 2015

Brian making Berkley face. It’s a fun one to make. You should try it. Ice Skating 2015

Representin’ Astros courtesy of Tricki Vicki!
Ice Skating 2015

Ice Skating 2015Berkley’s friend from preschool was there! They may get married.

aWe like wearing sports teams sweatshirts apparently! 

Proving he doesn't discriminate which sports he supports (and that we aren't above brainwashing our kids): we've got hockey, baseball and soccer represented!

SP’s art project inspired by skating!


Little Apple Paddle: Glow On The River


My friend Ryan told me about an event that kayaked the Kansas River at night with neon glow sticks and whatnots so I signed Beckham and I up for a two person kayak and I’m so glad I did, we had a great time.

This is right after we launched, he’s wearing the free “buff” they gave him.

Little apple paddle ride

That’s the 177 bridge that you drive across when headed towards Kansas City.

Little Apple paddle

Little Apple paddle


This iPhone photo does not do justice to how beautiful the sun set was.


Beckham loves free stuff. He got one of everything and even asked for buffs for his Mom and sisters too.


We parked our cars at the bridge on Highway 24 which is where the trip would end, they then bused us to the launch point.

Here is how Berkley wore her buff. She said she was like Mary.


Little Apple Paddle Logo

You can learn about Little Apple Paddle’s next event on their facebook page.

5 Things 2015


Four years ago we started this tradition. We asked friends to name five things they are loving or are thankful for right now. Not over spiritual or huge picture, but what are the little things that are just really fun. Foods, stores, products, people, movies, songs, ideas, games, smells, whatever. After asking people I wait a few days and post the answers of those who respond in completely random order. Well, here the answers are.

5 Things 2012 

5 Things 2013

5 Things 2014


Katie Thomas
  1. Good books
  2. Good food
  3. Good friends
  4. An amazing church family
  5. A chance to get a good education (even if I don’t appreciate it all of the time!)
Carolyn Conrad
  1. Hamilton the musical (and soundtrack)
  2. Drybar blowouts
  3. Kindle
  4. Task rabbit “rent a ???”
  5. The Canon camera indefinitely on loan from Laura & Brian
Danielle Fisher
  1. All things Christmas, and my first ever real Christmas tree!
  2. Peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses in the middle- YUM.
  3. Hot chocolate every evening with Kennedy. We have dessert…every. night. Sometimes it’s in the form of cereal.
  4. Buying family’s Christmas gifts.
  5. Singing Christmas hymns in church 🙂 (ahem, Brian)
Heidi Hilton 
  1. Damian, best hubby in the world 🙂
  2. My kiddos and family time
  3. Dancing- even though it hurts my body more and more, I think I love it more and more
  4. The best friends in the world 🙂
  5. Great coffee and coffee shops!!
  6. A good red wine
  7. The life God has given me
Danielle Catudal 
  1. Having Joe home for Christmas this year
  2. The view of the Pacific Ocean on my way to the grocery store
  3. Costco & Trader Joes
  4. Texts from far away friends
  5. Rain
Emily Preston
  1. Hale Library (it’s a love hate relationship)
  2. Delivery Pizza
  3. New friends
  4. Sleeping in
  5. Coffee
Andrew Campbell
  1. Being with my wife for Christmas
  2. Manhattan, KS’ wide variety of extraordinary and delicious places to get a bite to eat or a cup of coffee
  3. Warm slippers and a cozy leather chair on a cold evening
  4. Whoever invented automobile heaters (the history nerd in me had to look it up – evidently the initial idea and implementation is credited to Margaret Wilcox in 1893)
  5. Poncho liners… for non-military folk, you are missing out on one of the greatest inventions the military has produced. It is basically the coziest, warmest blanket EVER.
Annie Prins
  1. The grace of God
  2. Alpha Delta Pi
  3. Pizza Shuttle
  4. Cookie bakes
  5. My down comforter


Joe Catudal 

  1. Our Kid’s Jokes (Why did the deer…eat…the deer!)
  2. Biking to Work
  3. Pandemic Legacy
  4. The Oh Hellos
  5. Christmas Break and Weekends Off


Pat Wyatt

  1. I love texting.
  2. I love that my Christmas cactus is blooming!
  3. I love my faithful blue 2007 Chevy Cobalt, still drives like a new car.
  4. I love that I’m old enough to have 4 great-grandchildren (with #5 on the way in March!), but young enough to enjoy and babysit them.
  5. I am still in mourning for Blue Bell Ice Cream.


Eric Tippin 

  1. A Christian, strong, resilient, giving wife, a.k.a Heather Tippin.
  2. The typewriter—its clack and its punch on the paper.
  3. The rich spice and warmth of mulled wine
  4. Slow rivers and old bridges over slow rivers
  5. The heroic, poetic, true myth of the incarnation—the best fairy tale ever told, because it happens to be true


Hannah Campbell 

  1. Andrew Campbell. He is my favorite of all the humans.
  2. Sky-gazing: I love looking at different clouds and colors and stars!
  3. Soap. Especially homemade soap that smells amazing or this soap.
  4. My favorite Christmas music, like Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God cd, or Nat King Cole on our record player.
  5. Hobby Lobby (but not their overly-jazzy Christian music – it could be used as a torture device!)


Maggie Dean

  1. French 75 cocktail
  2. Pizza. I sound like a child, but I mean PIZZA. I’m especially into the combination of pepperoni and pineapple.
  3. My Vitamix. To blend all the super foods into a magical drink to help negate the effects of 1 and 2.
  4. Spotify. Making my long runs and speed work go by faster since 2015.
  5. The way Ruby says Ruby. “Wooooobeee” It’s a new trick and it is amazing because…child prodigy.
  6. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush. Builds color nicely, stays on all day. You’re welcome.


Marlon Johnston

  1. Pictures of family I don’t see regularly
  2. My dog meeting me when I get home
  3. Bacon cheese fries at movies
  4. My wife’s hair
  5. Saying/singing the Apostles’ Creed out loud


Mich Hotz

  1. The Brothers and Sisters that I have in the Church. (Sounds cheesy, but these are the people I hang out with)
  2. Sleep, I could sleep for the rest of my life and consider it a life well spent.
  3. Books, books, books. They’re how I learn, how I relax, how I travel from the comfort of my couch, and sometimes how I meet people in the real world.
  4. Blankets, jackets, gloves, scarfs, boots, vests, etc. If it keeps me warm, cozy, and covered I like it.
  5. THE MIGHTY AND POWERFUL INTERTUBERWEBERNETS. (It’s like one enormous, crazy, stringy, person filled book


Laura Hough

  1. Starbucks Via White Chocolate Mocha. I’ve never been a huge instant coffee fan, until this stuff!
  2. Any website with free shipping.
  3. Small town living. We grew up in Houston (population 2 million), so Manhattan, KS (population 50,000) is like the polar opposite. I can get anywhere door to door in 10 minutes, no traffic ever, and I’ll probably see someone I know when I get there!
  4. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish. Gel polish without needing a light to set it. It stays on for reals a week!
  5. Urban decay Naked2 Eye Shadow: Scott and Laura got this for me for Christmas last year. It’s the eye shadow to end all eye shadows.
  6. Spin class. And gym friends.
  7. Noonday Collection. Partnering with people in vulnerable communities around the world to empower women, create jobs and keep families together.
  8. Anything monogrammed. That’s the Texas roots in me.
  9. Costco Photo Center. And that you can order online without having a membership! Their prints are just better than everyone else’s. It’s just a fact!


Chris Earnshaw

  1. Cycling
  2. Hats for obvious reasons
  3. Malcolm Gladwell
  4. Cheap food
  5. Soft shirts


Beckham Hough

  1. Aiden – Cause he’s my friend.
  2. Class Auctions – Cause you get to buy stuff, I got a lizard for $6.
  3. Minecraft – The worlds I get to build are awesome.
  4. Legos – Fun to build with and I can make cool contraptions.
  5. Astros – Cause they did really good this year!


Christine Durrett 

  1. The game Pandemic
  2. Asparagus fries at Bourbon and Baker
  3. Getting back to Sunday morning church, with stained glass windows!
  4. The general excitement level in my house as we count down, not to Christmas, but to the new Star Wars movie release
  5. In a world of increasing digitization, there is something irreplaceable about books, especially really old dusty ones from some forgotten corner of the library.


Sadie Piper Hough

  1. Chick-fil-a – Cause it’s the best restaurant ever!
  2. Astros – Cause they’re the best team ever!
  3. Mr. Perez – Cause he’s the best teacher ever!
  4. Daisy, Naomi, Avery and Cale – Cause they’re the best friends ever!
  5. Gortimer Gibbons Life on Normal Street – Cause it’s the best show ever!


George Deines

  1. First-ever trip to Disneyland with my wife
  2. Watching 80s and 90s vintage TV shows
  3. Water park trips with my wife and boys
  4. Companion Pass on Southwest Airlines
  5. Two-Day trip to Manhattan, KS to see my great friends


Berkley Hough

  1. Dad – Cause you’re my dad
  2. My Family – Cause they love me.
  3. Milk Shake – Ahhh because it has milk and ice cream in it.
  4. This New Baby Doll – I like that she’s a baby doll.
  5. Doc McStuffins – She’s a doctor for helping toys.


Chloe Shearon 

  1. The love everyone here in Manhattan has shown me
  2. A good book and a hot mug of tea, light on the sugar, with a touch of milk.
  3. My lovely roommate!
  4. Strawberry limeades and Sonic mozzarella sticks – particularly when shared with friends.
  5. The 10 years I had with my ol’ fat bulldog. He was a Good Boy.


Brian Hough

  1. Coffee – I’m typically a tea drinker, but lately I’ve really enjoyed the smell and taste of java in various forms.
  2. Graphic & PixelmatorGraphic a vector app for Mac and iPad. Pixelmator is a raster editor like photoshop. My two forms of relaxing therapy are long bicycle rides and making logos/graphics (99% that never see the light of day).
  3. Paper Bible – I love the convenience and weight of a digital Bible, but I’ve found there is something more substantial, more engaging about a paper Bible. I even bought a Reformation Study Bible recently, which is huge, but it’s been such a great move for my discipleship.
  4. Kindle Voyage– I know it’s seems hypocritical to read books on kindle and the Bible on paper. But truth is a I love the kindle for reading most things. Battery last forever, glows at night and yet no blue light to keep me awake at night (learned that from Hannah’s post). I read more now that I own a kindle.
  5. Astros – I miss them in the winter. I miss the rhythm of daily games, laura falling asleep to Alan Ashby’s commentary, rookies getting a shot at their dream, karate chop celebrations, Hank Conger robot dancing, George Springer just dancing, catches on Tal’s Hill, measuring everything on the planet in Altuves. Baseball and Summer I love and miss during this cloudy months.
  6. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner MarkersAmazon and Target sell these great markers for writing in a Bible with.
  7. Soccer – I had gotten out of soccer and this fall I’ve found myself enjoying watching again. The New York Cosmos, Houston Dynamo, Club America in Mexico and Manchester United in England.
  8. Simple Church – There is something restful about not having a bunch of church programs. Which is weird cause most program in an of himself can be great. But to know we gather to worship God on Sunday, Do a book study and meet in small groups twice a month is refreshing cause it leaves more margin in life to know our neighbors and to be apart of the wider community we live and to be present more often to disciple our own children. Simplicity in ministry is sustainable for everyone involved and I love that.
  9. The Habanero Sauce at Taco Lucha  It’s one of the rare instances I want to steal something since it can’t be purchased. I’ve tried to replicate it at home and failed miserably. If ever a hot sauce should be bottled, it’s this sauce.
  10. Ting – We followed the Durrett’s and switched from Sprint to Ting for our phone service. Bill went from $120 a month for two phones to $38 for two phones. Service is great, uses my previous phone so no new purchases. We only pay for what we actually use which isn’t that much since we’re in Wifi zones (home, coffee shops, etc) most of the time.


Carmen Creecy 

  1. Isaiah 6.  And 11.
  2. Sleeping in on Saturdays with my husband.
  3. Eating breakfast with my grandson five days a week. And his good bye hugs and kisses.
  4. Seeing younger sisters in Christ become older sisters ministering to they younger sisters in ways that bless me beyond words.
  5. Fleece lined tights.
  6. Boots and boot season.
  7. Thanksgiving 2015 when no time had passed.


Sam Basham

  1. The 2015 Commissioner’s Trophy
  2. Star Wars – All of them
  3. People around me who know more than I do.
  4. The Okies
  5. Music


Jennifer Thomas 

  1. I still like Cranberry Limeades!
  2. Seeing Cole shoot his first deer with a bow
  3. Bean saying “Mom” for no particular reason
  4. Phone calls & visits from Katie
  5. The kids harassing me that Daisy is the “favorite” child


Jon Dunning

  1. Podcasts: Freshair, Here’s the Thing, This American Life
  2. Linear Trail Bike Rides with my son
  3. Local Coffee Shops: Radinas, Blue Stem, Arrow
  4. Netflix Shows: Gotham and House, M.D.
  5. Books: A Faith to Live By and The Lord of the Rings


Robbie Hotz

  1. PJs
  2. Libraries
  3. Board games
  4. Honest people
  5. Cranberry sierra mist


Kennedy Fisher 

  1. My Danielle
  2. Little boy on the way
  3. Family
  4. Exercise
  5. Flying


Mike Benoit 

  1. A warm cup of flavorful coffee
  2. Feeling exhausted after a hard workout
  3. Rewatching the original Star Wars trilogy
  4. My wife’s desserts
  5. Catching up with old friends


Kristin Benoit 

  1. Mexican food (Fuzzy’s queso)
  2. Videos of my new niece puppy (#oakleymcgregs on Instagram)
  3. Hearing Baby Benoit’s heartbeat
  4. Getting to see our families for Christmas!
  5. Mike defrosting my car for on cold mornings before he goes to work

Baby Benoit

  1. Mama eating Mexican or bagels
  2. Sleep, sleep, sleep…
  3. Mama wearing comfortable clothing for me to grow
  4. Daddy talking to me
  5. All things salty


Rico Hotz 

  1. I better put my family at number one or there’s going to be a lynching.
  2. Feminism (always entertaining when I’m down) [take it up with Robbie, not Brian]
  3. Hunting laws and restrictions #LetBambiLive!
  4. Waking up from a nap when my roommate comes home from class and wants to play black ops and watch Longmire (The Perfect day)
  5. Can I put Donald Trump or is that politically incorrect?


Scott Creecy 

  1. Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour
  2. My incredible wife
  3. My awesome Grandson, Jameson- I love being a huge part of raising him!
  4. My new job, and the team God has given me!
  5. Carmen’s cooking! I am really looking forward to one of my favorite Christmas traditions on Christmas day- PRIME RIB!!!


Crazies as a unit (things  our kids love collectively) 

  1. Gordimer Gibbons Life on Normal Street: Amazon Prime show. They all love this one!
  2. These color by number books using these Pentel markers
  3. Sleeping Queens card game- fun, simple card game we can play as a family!
  4. Mad Libs! It’s a blast from the past for me, and a great way to teach them parts of speech! (we have had to ax “potty words” even if they are the correct part of speech!!)
  5. FlashLight Friends. Honestly, I hated these when we first got them, a light in a kids hand in bed? That sounds like a bad idea…. Now we couldn’t live without them. They are essential to them reading in bed, and not forgetting to turn off a flashlight or reading light. These automatically turn off after 10 minutes! And they are bigger than a flashlight so you can’t lose them as easily!



Inventure: Tuttle Creek Canyon

Brian finds some weird places. I’ve given up asking how he finds most of them, we just get in the car and go cause we love exploring them!

Tuttle Creek Canyon

They found these cat tails and thought they looked like corn
Tuttle Creek Canyon

Tuttle Creek CanyonTurtles! 
Tuttle Creek Canyon

Sadie Piper is the most determined person I know. I wish I had more of her personality trait in me. She doesn’t let anything stop her from doing what she wants, especially fear. Here’s her “I’m scared and don’t know if I can make this jump but I’m going to try” gearing up face: Tuttle Creek Canyon

She’s going for it…Tuttle Creek Canyon

Nailed it! Tuttle Creek Canyon

Boo just collected shells

Tuttle Creek Canyon

This clam was alive. And somehow came home with us.

Tuttle Creek Canyon
Tuttle Creek Canyon

She was gonna play some soccer
Tuttle Creek Canyon
Tuttle Creek Canyon


Took a trip up to the “Top of the World” to watch the sun set!

Evening Top of the World. Now that the sun sets at 5:23 Laura can stay up late enough to watch it.

Brian. This is why he had kids.

Here’s what Beckham did the next day after that:


Sadie and Daisy, BFF


If I had a fish, I would shop at this store cause they have really great signs that make me giggle!

Tech-gether time
Tech-gether time!

Really great flag over the street down town for the Veteran’s Parade

They all expect napkin art now. What have I started?
I get plain napkins, but Berkley gets this in her lunch?

Sept 2015

Sept 2015

Big chairs at our neighbor’s tailgate!Sept 2015

Fun bubbles at Mini Makers Fair
Sept 2015

Pumpkin patch time of the year!

Oct 2015

Oct 2015

Pumpkin Patch 2015 (Canon)

This is my friend Sarah. She’s a good mom…really she is! 🙂 Pumpkin Patch 2015 (Canon)


Watch your back, Picasso

Cause these kids draw some mean pictures

Flamingos (by Berkley)

Smurfs (by Beckham) a

SP and Mom (by SP) (I’m gonna keep this one to show her when she’s a teenager and hates me)aCandy store (Boo)


Right Dad? (by SP) a

Mail from SP! a

Poster for the girls’ recital (SP)

Nothing makes you feel young like being labeled with your age in the family photo! (SP) Oct 2015

See, isn’t this one much better? (SP)


Doc McStuffins (Berkley) 

Thanks it, we are getting a cat. Oct 2015

Story of creation (Berkley) a
Witch, I esp like the nose! (Berkley) 
Oct 2015

A house with a baby in a diaper (Boo) Oct 2015

This eye lashes are true to sizeOct 2015


I thought it was a mirage at first

Carolyn texted to let me know my birthday present had been delivered and was waiting at our front door.

But NEVER in a million years was I expecting to see THIS:

I think I hyperventilated trying to get the box open! There were FOUR cartons in there! It was real live Blue Bell in our real live house!!


For the record, Blue Bell has this shipping stuff down, it came rock solid!


We had to make room in the freezer. So this was the only smart way to do that (they were never going to get eaten anyways, we only got them to try to fill the Blue Bell void, ate a scoop and decided having no ice cream is better than these): upload

It’s even better than I remember! Which makes it bittersweet…I LOVE eating it cause it’s the best food ever, but hate eating it cause, well, it gets eaten!


I’m not the only one who thinks Carolyn is the best either: 

Doesn’t get more thoughtful than this! You’re the best C! Love you!

Chalkboards and ninjas

Our chalkboard wall is one of my favorite things about our house! It always has something random drawn on it. This was especially weird. The kids drew themselves houses.


I made a comment about the jumper and they explained that there was a ninja (see, he’s in black below her) to catch her, so it’s all good. Ok then. IMG_3940