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!

Sadie Piper is 8

In our heads she’s kinda maxed out at 6.

Sadie Piper dance 2nd grade zoom

But if we are talking real years, yes, she’s 8!

She was very specific about what she wanted in cookies: green with a white 8

Jan 2016

Jan 2016

On your birthday week in our house you get to pick all the dinners. One of her meals was this cheese broccoli soup. Brian mentioned bread bowls (cause in his world he says “we should eat from bread bowls” and it “automatically” happens. To be fair I say “my phone isn’t working right” and it “automatically” fixes too, so we will call it even! 🙂 ), so we had bread bowls which they thought was super fun!

Sadie Piper birthday meal, broccoli cheese soup in bread bowl

Her and her BFFs re-preforming their music program from this year at her bday sleepover!
Jan 2016
Jan 2016

Can we talk about what a gimp mom I am? See her candle? It was all I had! Oops!
Jan 2016
Jan 2016

And then on her real b-day you would think I had gotten it together and bought candles. Nope. She was an awesome sport and figured out we could just add with the numbers we did have!

SP bday

She requested pumpkin pie for her cake

SP bday

At eight, Sadie Piper:

  • Has a massive girl crush on Taylor Swift. She can sing almost every word on her 1989 album, and not just the choruses, she knows all the verses too! To the point where we have her change the words to “…he’s so tall, and handsome as WELL…”
  • Is still up for anything, if you ask her if she wants to “(insert adventure or activity)” she’s in!
  • Her palette is still for vanilla. She likes plain stuff.
  • Extremely determined. If she sets her mind to something, she works until she get it.
  • Has this amazing way of making people feel loved. When you are with just her, she just makes you feel good!
  • Music is the language of her heart. Turn music on and she’s dancing around!
  • Still embraces being the “Middle-ist.” We call Brian, Beckham and Berkley the “Killer B’s” (old Astros reference) and SP and I, since we don’t share an initial letter decided we would find the “middle” between L and S (since we are both middle children) and came up with O. So we are the Owls.
  • Has a steel trap of a memory. (Comes in super handy for the rest of us too, “Hey Sadie, (insert thing you can’t remember)?”)


It’s like a dream come true

Well, almost.

Berkley tells us her reoccurring dream is to have a real house that’s a bounce house.

So for her birthday in August of course she asked for a bounce house for her party!

Aug 2015

Aug 2015

Aug 2015

This pic cracks me up!

Aug 2015

Aug 2015

She may be 6, but she’ll always be the Little One. 
Aug 2015

Stole this idea from Christine and they made these crowns. They don’t last, but they are super fun to sticker up, so it was a great craft!
Aug 2015

At six Berkley is:

The most extroverted person in our family. She can out talk the best of them and never seems to need alone time. Until the rest of us do and it’s forced on her!

Her love language is touch. She just wants cuddles!

Still loves Doc McStuffins, playing school with SP, and Legos with Becks.

Her favorite meal is: snacks.

Is insanely creative and loves crafts, drawing and coloring and being read to.

Told us recently she had a “Mom question.” What’s the difference between a mom question and a dad question? “A dad question is if it’s about adventuring. A mom question is if you need anything!”


A lesson in geography and a zoo trip

Growing up, everyone (by “everyone” I mean “texans”) thought the capitol of Kansas was Kansas City. I remember learning the capitols in 4th grade and being amazed it’s actually Topeka.

But then I forgot that. Cause I forgot about Kansas.

Then God in His infinite goodness brought us to Kansas and we re-learned of Topeka! It’s only a 45 min drive from Manhattan. We’ve only been twice, but both times we went to the zoo. It’s actually FREE to get in with our Manhattan passes! Wahoo! We made a trip for Beckham’s birthday week over the break.

We really love zoos. The midwest has some great ones. We love the big ones, like Omaha obviously, but we really appreciate the smaller ones too (like Manhattan and Topeka). I love that the entire zoo is doable in an afternoon. And when the zoo is smaller, but necessity, the animals are closer! Like this tiger:

They were looking at the hippo, but you can see the giraffes in the background!

Also went to their insect zoo and learned a little too much. Ignorance WAS BLISS!!!

Brian got “tied up” (hahahahah!) with the spider, so we left him.

A close second to our love of taking pictures riding things….

Is our love of those face cut out photo ops! We can’t pass them by!

There’s also the funnest huge park right across the street from the zoo with tons of concrete animals

There are also train tracks…but we haven’t found the train and are hoping to research that when it warms up!!

We can’t stop her!!!

We’ve tried it all and NOTHING works.


Every year, they get a year older.

This week it was Sadie Piper.



We celebrated with the girls in her class at “The Dome”- the place she takes cheer classes at. Only the coolest building in all of Manhattan.

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

 Sadie and Daisy. Queens of the mats!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Damian made an amazing obstacle course the kids loved!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Berkley couldn’t even stand still for a picture! Proving the fact that an object in motion will stay in motion….until it crashes for an early bedtime!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

And remember those parachutes from elementary school that you make a cave from??

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

And there was a “castle”

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

And “swords” and “caves” (the possibilities with mats and an imagination are endless!!)

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

These girls have seen a camera or two in their lives, you think?

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

It was a perfect day to eat outside too!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

And then, as if they hadn’t run enough, they played chase outside!Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

There was a casualty. They both survived and then recounted to me about the last time they rammed heads. Happens often i guess?

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Brian and Damian playing around with a ball and a camera. Captured a pretty cool shot!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Even blow up house fun!!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Love this picture! This is my favorite smile Boo does!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

At 6, Sadie Piper is owning Kindergarten. She’s confident and social. She has a laugh that will light up a room. She loves all things girly. She and Berkley “play school” every day. Lots of dress up, pink, crafts and shows in our house these days. We love it!!

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”