Best “no” we’ve ever said…

We aren’t anti-video games. (Case in point: Brian has owned literally every device Nintendo has ever made. Every. Single. One.) But we try to reserve them for¬†winter. You know, when it’s too stinking cold to do anything but be on the couch with a blanket.

More background: we just finished reading the first Harry Potter aloud as a family.

But the kids still ask if they can play video games, and we still tell them “no” on pretty days. Last week was an especially pretty weekend. So, 20 minutes after we said no, they came out and started “suiting up.”

Narnia and Harry Potter

They went and found Brian’s oldest looking baseball hat, for the “sorting hat” of course, and got into houses.

Then they came outside for…

Quidditch Tryouts!

Narnia and Harry Potter

Beckham was using this card to run try outs! ūüôā

Harry Potter

First was hitting a bludger!

Narnia and Harry Potter

Narnia and Harry Potter

But you also had a shot at becoming a Chaser!   Narnia and Harry Potter

And of course, they had to try to get the Snitch (a very small bouncy ball!) to try out for Seeker!

Harry PotterHarry Potter

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

They they disappeared inside for a while. But that was just to find out what positions they got (I found out later!).

And then back out for the real game!

Harry Potter

The BEST part was the noises they were all making. You know, broomstick flying noises!!

Harry Potter   Harry Potter  Harry Potter

Then Brian goes and finds himself a broom…

Harry Potter

It was not lost on me that my entire family is the front yard. On broomsticks….Harry Potter

Also, why do I have so many brooms??

   Harry Potter

Brian caught the snitch…in his mouth. You know, like Harry did? (If you haven’t read the books, stop now and do it!)

Harry Potter

There were also classes inside the house. I didn’t see them all, but “Potions” was in our room:

Harry potter

I’m glad God gave us these three!

“We Forgot Your Shrooms!”

For years I had heard people talk about Morel mushrooms and never thought much more about them. This year our great neighbor Stacey explained them us¬†and how yummy they are, and how people¬†haven’t figured out how to grow them so they are a true delicacy. So when I saw one a walk through the neighborhood I send her a photo of it. We joined her as we went to go pick it. That Morel turned out to be a porcelain decoration (picture of it below). It was a sad day.

The kids and I (Brian) went hunting down trails near our home and found nothing. Then my friend Craig told me more about these Morels over lunch and I’ve found myself looking for them every place I went, even while jogging in Mississippi and I’ve found nothing.

Then Sunday morning I hear shouted across the sanctuary before the service, “Brian, we forgot your shrooms!” Which made me laugh cause it definitely sounded like these shrooms might be for getting high. The real reason people are obsessed with them here is once they’ve been fried up they are sooooooo good!

Our friends had gotten us a bag of these Morels and shared a recipe for us to follow. So here is the process to eating these midwest truffles.

Step One: Look at them, so weird looking.

Morels in Manhattan Kansas

Step Two: Wash them to get any loose leaves and what not off them.

Morels in Manhattan Kansas

Step Three: Cut the bigger ones in half. I was really surprised to find they were hollow, they feel solid when holding them.

Morels in Manhattan Kansas

Step Four: Ask someone who won’t burn the house down to fry them after dipping in egg mixture and coating in flour.

Morels in Manhattan Kansas

Step Five: Be patient cause if you reach into the oil you’ll fry your own hand.

Morels in Manhattan Kansas

Step Six: Eat and then remember to let your children try them despite your hoping they won’t like them so you won’t have to share any.

Morels in Manhattan Kansas

They don’t taste like fried mushrooms I’ve had as an appetizer at restaurants and while I can’t think of anything to compare them to, they taste amazing. I finally understand why adults act like children playing Pokemon Go every Spring when the short growing season begins. Thank you Clines for providing this new Manhattan experience with us.

Christmas break happenings

One of our bathrooms has been the only room I hate in our house. It’s needed new texture on the walls since we moved in…3 years ago. But I kept putting it off cause who wants to take that on??

The only before pics I could find were when we looked at the house before buying it (Beckham!!!!). The texture was cracking and peeling off, so it wasn’t just something a good coat of paint would fix either.

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So I finally bit the bullet and took it on over the break. Here’s how I felt about this project:

Here’s what happened to the laundry when it was neglected because of this project:Dec 2016

It was every bit as horrible as I thought it was going to be, so I feel justified in my procrastination. But the end result I love!

Fixing this room also meant many trips to Home Depot. One trip the Bigs got to stay home, but Berkley’s just too small unpredictable to be able to stay home yet, so she had to come. She brought her babies.

Dec 2016

And she got to wear her footies. (Perks of being the youngest…I so would have made Becks put on clothes)

Dec 2016

What happened between the picture above and this one??

Dec 2016

For Christmas Berkley got a kick in the face AND stitches! She was one tough girl!

Boo stitches

We spent a full 24 hours getting only yogurt in her and only via a medicine syringe!

Dec 2016

But once she felt better, she played Doctor and gave her kids stitches!

Dec 2016

Dec 2016

We baked cookies, cause you have to over Christmas break!!

Baking

SP did Elf on the Shelf one day. She used her best Elf handwriting!

It says: Yay! Look me and my friends are in the white rectangle that is a mini North Pole” (the fridge!) ¬†Dec 2016

The day after Thanksgiving we realized we didn’t have Christmas tree anymore. I had made enough decisions¬†and told Brian to pull the trigger on something. Three days later this came in the mail:

Dec 2016

Dec 2016

Brian’s mom got the kids this awesome swing for our front yard!!

Swing

And Sadie Piper got a significant hair chop!

Sadie getting bangs at 8. Sadie hair

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! ūüôā ¬† ¬†Curry change of command

Purple Power Play

Purple Power Play is Manhattan’s annual Fall Kick-off. It’s a two day pep rally for K-State football kinda! There are booth and activities and shows and it’s all free! It’s a huge party in the park!

This year they had a really great bounce house thing- it was more of a obstacle from “Wipe Out.” You had to Superman jump to get across!

oct 2016

oct 2016

oct 2016

The local beauty school won this year for best booth (nothing official, just our opinion…but we did see them all and we did vote…). They had students and chairs and they gave you “spirit hair”!

oct 2016

We all took a turn!

Purple power play

SP’s was the best. But really, with her hair, you can’t go wrong!

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Even the boys got in on the fun! (Watch out girls, they are catches!!)

Purple power play

The fire department brings a hose out and kids get to spray a wooden house that has “flames” in it. It’s really creative and fun! Berkley has a huge sticker on her face and is smacking her gum and putting out fires. All in a day’s work.

  oct 2016

Boys in a firetruck

oct 2016

Girls just looking cute!

Purple power play

Brian with his¬†crew! These people make me so happy. You can’t be Kansas without having a group of people who dress up like this to attend events. You just can’t be.

Wizard of Is here.

I got asked a few times if they were all mine! ūüôā

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These next two pictures are like one of those “what is different?” puzzles.

  Purple power play

She keeps us on our toes.

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To top it all off, on Thursday Bates Dance puts on a rock star show!!

And then, in true Hough kid fashion, the girls played “Purple Power Play” the next two days. Their booth was for DayCare. Note the banner they made, and the target behind SP is a game for the kids who come by.

oct 2016

oct 2016

Made a Twister game (that penguin is playing too!)!

oct 2016
And this is one of those skinny wheels that you spin and you win a prize (those were Berkley’s fav booths) and the bowl has those plastic wrist bands (a la Livestrong) that you can take too!

oct 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some neighbors stopped by

We live right by the Manhattan zoo. When we moved here we wondered if we’d ever see escaped animals. Luckily, they keep the tiger pretty well locked up apparently! But the peacocks aren’t in cages and just wander the zoo.

I walked around the corner one day and jumped when this was starting at me.

Aug 2016

Aug 2016

And then we realized there was two!

Aug 2016 Aug 2016

Aug 2016

They wandered some. Then about 30 minutes later we saw the Animal Control van drive by!

Aug 2016

 

Little Apple Paddle

Geography lesson of the day: Manhattan is on the Kansas river.

Little Apple Paddle 2016

The City put on a Paddle the River event this summer and you got to paddle 8 miles down it!! Sign us up!

Little Apple Paddle 2016

Well, literally, you had to sign up.

Little Apple Paddle 2016

So it was us and 200 of our closest friends!

Little Apple Paddle 2016

Miss Kansas was there. When Brian asked me if we should get a picture with her, my first thought was no, cause I’m thinking it’s like Miss K-State or Miss K-State Rodeo (yes, real people, all of whom we have pictures with already!).

Exhibit A and B:

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But then I realized it was Miss Kansas, as in, competing for Miss America TOMORROW! Well then, now we need a picture!

Met Miss Kansas this morning. She's from Overland Park. @missamericaks

We put the girls in a canoe with Brian and I  Little Apple Paddle 2016And got Becks a kayak.

Little Apple Paddle 2016

Becks is a kayak expert…from all his years mooching at RiverRanch

Exhibit C:

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Tables were turned and he was now the rower with a non-contributing zero riding along!

Little Apple Paddle 2016

Little Apple Paddle 2016

I think he liked the company!
Little Apple Paddle 2016

A family had an extra kayak and SP was begging to get on her own so we let her try it.

Little Apple Paddle 2016

Little Apple Paddle 2016

5 minutes later she was begging to get back in the canoe with us!

She was right though, it was a LOT easier to have Brian canoe all of us…

Little Apple Paddle 2016

Just stopping for a little break. To sit in the water… ¬† ¬†Little Apple Paddle 2016

The whole group shot!   Little Apple Paddle 2016

Trampoline Fun

When we moved to Manhattan, I had an idea that I¬†wanted to see if Brian could get on board with: I wanted to get the kids a trampoline. Brian and I had never discussed one before, and I was ready with my reasons why we should consider it: good exercise for the kids, we want to be the house their friends want to come hang out with, and a trampoline would be a draw for many years. But I knew my biggest point was going to be¬†“they are so much safer now with the nets!”

May 2016

So when I approached him and said “Ok, I want to suggest something, hear me out. What do you think about getting a trampoline?” and he immediately said “Sure, I think that’s a great idea” yet I still proceeded to explain to him my reasons, cause I can’t waste that effort I put into my argument…and he heard me out and said “I feel like you are the one who needed the convincing, not me. Think about the two of us Laura, who is more concerned with safety?”

Well, that’s an excellent point you have there Brian.

So we have a trampoline. And one that Brian said was like a “huge pack n play it’s so safe in there” when he assembled it.

May 2016

And it’s one of those things we still agree was a great purchase.

The kids play on it a lot, but their favorite is when Brian comes out with them. Cause he throws balls at them and makes it a game. And who doesn’t love being hit with a ball?

  May 2016

I’m sensing a little taunting from SP in this one

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Also, it’s been great for playing with bullfrogs in.

May 2016 May 2016

Why is she ok putting this frog so close to her face?!?

May 2016