St Patty’s Day Shenanigans

If we learn that green food coloring is harmful, the Hough house is in trouble. We had A LOT during St Patty’s week. “Green everything!” was the motto! So if it wasn’t green naturally, I dyed it. Problem solved.

Real St Paddy's Day Cupcakes for Small Group tonight.

First stop on real St Patrick’s day: Varsity for green donuts. Except Berkley the party pooper who doesn’t like raised donuts or icing.

Next stop: Library, where they had a fun craft!

They also had a Beauty and the Beast craft time. This pic weirds me out.

And Beckham climbed the wall. Random. Yet impressive.

Then some other random stops for photo ops.

We wish they would cut that tree down! It’s such a cool painting and it’s half covered. Sad story.

Welded welder welding a welded mailbox…

Then rode bikes to the parade!

Berkley packed a BOOK to read. Nerd.

We saw lots of friends in the parade! That’s always our favorite part!!     

T-Rex on a bike gets me every time!

Yet so does anything in a parade with a toilet in it…

Beckham climbed more walls…


I can’t take these guys anywhere…


Random adventures

Geary Lake waterfall!

October weekend October weekend   October weekend

We arrived early to a promotion ceremony at Fort Riley and spotted these guys across the field, so off we went to check it out!!

Curry change of command

They said if you put a burrito in it it would shoot it out! They only shoot blanks though, so not quite as cool as burritos. Coolest job on Fort Riley though!! They even let us hold the props!

Curry change of command

Then we got to pet the horses too! And the horse wanted to pet Sadie.

Curry change of command

Brian spotted the Texas flag and trespassed into the bushes to get this pic! 🙂    Curry change of command

October in Manhattan

October may be my favorite month in Manhattan. Not only is the weather perfect, the leaves are changing colors (but haven’t fallen enough for us to be feeling bad about having not raked and bagged them yet) and there’s just so many fun things to do!!

This year Beckham is dressing as Cole Witt, a NASCAR driver. He likes him cause he’s an underdog.


Sadie Piper is Danica Patrick. She likes her cause she’s a girl. And she’s pretty.

@danicapatrick my daughter Sadie Piper is you for Halloween this year. #danicapatrick

KSU Greeks put on a Kids Carnival annually, it’s a lot of fun!!

Danica and Witt

Just in case you have an irrational fear of mascots, let this fuel your fire: all I asked to do was take a picture with him. Then there was this:

Get a photo with Willie they said, it's not like he'll eat you they said...

Kidding Willie, we love you!

There’s no shortage of pumpkin patches around here! Or corn to roll around in. This is Kansas…MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

We told them all to look straight ahead and not smile. When they asked why, instead of explaining Children of the Corn to them, we just said, “cause it’s funny for the adults.”MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

She’s serious about her corn mazing…

MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

We are not…

MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

What’s a pumpkin patch without a huge slide?

MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

 MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

We spent a while trying to recreate this epic picture:


Our attempts were valiant, but sub par at best!

MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016    MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

I love this picture!

MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

Potato cannon. Brian makes fun of me cause when I concentrate hard I stick my tongue out a little. Who’s laughing now!? MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

Also, somehow there’s always birds that are caught

MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

MPC Pumpkin Patch 2016

Pumpkin Patch 2016

Then there’s the Homecoming parade. Manhattan has a parade for most everything (and we will go to them!), but this one is our fav! It feels so small town!

One @miaranchito there

Aggieville parade

Painted hay bales are one of our favorite things!

Pumpkin Patch 2016

Manhattan Weekends

One of the things we’ve come to love out about this town is how you can find fun things to do every weekend.

This past weekend was Varsity Donut’s 5th Birthday Party, so they had this donut cake and gave out donuts for free all those in attendance.

Varsity birthday party 2016

They also shot candy and those varsity headbands out of a cannon. My whole life I dreamed that God would make it rain candy and was told it would never happen and then today I found starburst fall from the sky. Candy cannon gets and A+.

Donut Cake is another reason I love this town. #varsitydonuts #ManhattanKS

They also had these great Coke Zero Fountains

Sadie Piper Hulu Hoops pretty well, she must get that from her mother.

Beckham Neck Hulu Hoops, not sure where he picked up this skill.

On our way home we saw a sign for free Pony Rides, so we stopped and rode ponies.

Pony Rides in MHK Pony Rides in MHK Pony Rides in MHK

At home we found a young deer and a mommy deer in the front yard.


Did a little afternoon fishing at Anneberg Park

Sept 2016 soccer fishing

Sept 2016 soccer fishing

Becks was pretty excited about this catfish

Sept 2016 soccer fishing

Some weekends have tailgates and football, others parades and festivals, but what’s great is there are always so many great things in this community to go out and participate in.

















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!

Where there’s a way, there’s a WiffleBall game

For NYE the Little Apple has a ball drop just like the Big Apple!

Here’s our Little Apple:

Aggieville New Years Eve (early)

Dec 2015

We took the kids to see it earlier in the day (cause my bed time is WAY to early to ring in the new year!). That’s when we learned the streets of Aggieville were closed down for the evening’s celebration

Aggieville New Years Eve (early)
So the only logical conclusion after learning this was to play wiffle ball in Aggieville!! Dec 2015

Dec 2015

Dec 2015

Beckham got a book of Star Wars paper airplanes for Christmas so an airplane has been going everywhere with him lately!
Dec 2015

And Berkley rode her go kart
Dec 2015

Dec 2015
Dec 2015
Dec 2015
Here’s her “Berkley face”
Dec 2015

She discovered photo bombing 
Dec 2015

Dec 2015Here’s some info in case you are ever pitching to Brian: he will swing at ANYTHING!
Dec 2015

Dec 2015

Home run! (we lost that ball to the roof)

Dec 2015

SP had a turn behind the camera

Aggieville New Years Eve (early)

Dec 2015

At one point a ball went down the gutter and Becks went to see if he could get it. He came back and said it wasn’t very deep and I jokingly said “Let’s send Berkley down there to get it then.” Brian says “No, it’s fine, it was a broken one” …as if I WAS SERIOUS!! 
Dec 2015

This one was a pretty good hit! Even the people in the “stands” watched it fly! 
Dec 2015
And Sadie Piper playing catcher!

Dec 2015

Dec 2015

Then the music started playing for a sound check, and we lost our catcher cause now she’s dancingDec 2015

Dec 2015Pouting. 
Dec 2015

Three seconds after that picture she breaks out into a huge smile. Faker.
Dec 2015

She may have a better chance if she kept her eyes open

Dec 2015Berkley face
Dec 2015

That’s a homer! Dec 2015

And then it got dark and we were home in time for my bed time. 🙂 Dec 2015

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.

We are townies now!

Now that we’ve lived in Manhattan two years, we feel like it’s home. And that means we are locals. And that means we need to embrace being “townies” and support local businesses. Honestly, that’s a breeze here cause they are some of our favorite places!! Here are some of the gems we’ve discovered so far:

Taco Lucha- Brian’s favorite restaurant! Every single one of their tacos is the best! He loves their “tinga sauce” too! Their bean dip is our fav!

Supreme Automotive- This one came recommended to us by the Hiltons, and he’s really great!! Oil changes are only $30 and John is just a great guy (who was also born and raised in Houston, so we have that bond!)! I took the van in once because it wasn’t leaking oil, but was somehow losing it. We were sure it was going to be a big one. $27 later it was refilled with oil and the problem fixed! Brian asked me “are you sure they didn’t leave a zero off that total?” You know how most places will charge you like $40 just to “run diagnostics?” We took both cars in this week cause they had the check engine lights on and we were just planning on dropping one off. Instead, he comes out, hooks up the wires, and tells us what the problems were (one was just bad gas!). All totally free. He’s seriously the best: honest, hard working, no nonsense.


MVP Glass- We’ve taken the van here a few times for chip fills from rocks hitting windshield. They have gone above and beyond to make sure it’s perfect!!

Big Poppis- We’ve raved about them before, but they can’t be left off! Aaron is awesome and so is his bike shop! (Update: they are closing, we are super sad.)

The Chef- We just recently discovered this one; it’s breakfast food. Neither Brian nor I would consider ourselves huge breakfast food fans…until we ate here. Now we are sold! (And I researched how to make poached eggs and hollandaise sauce! 🙂 )

Varsity Donuts- I mean, best donuts on the planet. In the Little Apple, go figure!

Manhattan Mercury- We love our local newspaper! Wednesdays are our favorite day of the week now cause we get to check the “snap shots” section!

Radina’s Coffeehouse- Few things are more quaint than a local coffee shop. They also recently opened a Bakehouse and it’s some of the best food and cutest atmosphere in town!

Tease Hair Studio- Chelsea cuts all of our hair. Super cute shop and she’s great with the kids and Brian likes it cause she remembers how she cut it last time and he doesn’t have to do anything but sit down!



Taste of the Ville ’15

Taste of the Ville 2015

Last year Harriet Reymond gave us tickets to The Taste of the Ville and we had such a great time that we shared in the church email when tickets went on sale this year in the hope that others would join us for the adventure this year.

Simply put most of the restaurants in Aggieville give out a single serving of some food or drink. Participants then travel around with a punch card to each stop over a two hour period. This year we had an even better time than last year with such a fun group of people.

We’ll do it again in 2016, so when you see tickets are for sale buy them and prepare for a fast paced Aggieville food adventure.

Taste of the Ville 2015

At Tubby’s the men got on the bar and while I’d like to blame the alcohol not a single drink was had.

Taste of the Ville 2015

Taste of the Ville 2015

Bluestem Bistro where somehow everyone got in the photo.


Laura & Christine at Buffalo Wild Wings

Taste of the Ville 2015

Tricia, Christine, Laura, Danielle & Hannah at Rock-A-Belly.
Taste of the Ville 2015

Nicola & Ryan eating Tofu and General Tso’s Chicken at Tasty China House
Taste of the Ville 2015

One of things that made this year fun was a goal to complete the whole list and we did with about 4 minutes to spare. At the end we shared what we were most surprised by and what was the best item.

The overwhelming victor of the best item was:

  • Varsity Donuts who had a hot cinnamon sugar donut.

Biggest surprises (in a good way) were:

  • Bluemont Hotel who served Pot Stickers and Hummus with Pita Bread
  • Keltic Star Public House who served Bread Pudding
  • Eighteen 63 who served fried pickles.

Most of the restaurants did a great job, the only disappointments were Fuzzy’s Tacos who gave about a tablespoon of rice or beans and Taco Lucha because they didn’t participate at all.

Here is a full list of was served: 

Bluemont Hotel Lounge – Pot Stickers and Hummus with Pita Bread

Bluestem Bistro – Banana Bread French Toast & Green Tea

Buffalo Wild Wings – Boneless Chicken wings

Cold Stone – Ice Cream something rather.

Dancing Ganesha – 65 Spice Chicken (very good, plan to eat there soon)

Eighteen 63 – Fried Pickles

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop – Rice or beans

Goodcents Deli – Various Sandwiches

Jeff’s Pizza Shop – Really good full slices of pizza

Keltic Star Public House – Bread Pudding with rum sauce

Kite’s Bar & Grille – Fried Cheese and Chips and Espinaca Dip

Pizza Hut – BBQ Pizza, which was good, but small piece.

Radina’s Coffee House – Various Smoothies.

Rock-A-Belly Deli – Hummus and pita bread

Rusty’s Bar – Corn Salsa and chips

Starbucks – Iced Coffee with flavor options

Tanner’s Bar & Grill – Chicken Lips (amazing good chicken fingers)

Tasty China House – General Tso Chicken, Tofu

The Pita Pit – Slice of some great tasting pita wrap

Tubby’s Sports Bar – BBQ & Buffalo chicken wings

Varsity Donuts – Hot and fresh cinnamon sugar donut.