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

What Brian didn’t mention in that NASCAR post…

One of the things I love most about Brian is his passion. He doesn’t do things partially. If he’s in, he’s all in.

Let me explain.

After going to NASCAR with friends, he’s now not just a fair-weather, semi-fan; he’s obsessed.

Here he is searching for books at the library.

April 2016

Here’s what he checked out (he’s reading and fascinated with the “Driving with the Devil” book- it’s a history of America with emphasis on birth of NASCAR)

June 2016

Here’s what our van looks like currently (that’s Kyle Busch’s number):

June 2016

Here’s what he asked for for his birthday, NASCAR matchbox cars (he got two: Kyle Busch and Danica’s cars. Fun fact, Kyle Busch is Kurt Busch’s little brother, so they call him “Shrub”…get it? Little Bush? I think that’s why Brian likes him, they are both the little brothers)

Here’s what our kids play: NASCAR. The stuffed animals she told me are her “pit crew”

(poor girl was upset about something, but trying to hold it together!)

 June 2016

He’s even made us watch Days of Thunder and Talladega Nights

The kids all want to be NASCAR drivers for Halloween. They’ve already discussed how they will use their batting helmets as their racing helmets!

They also all have their favorite drivers: SP’s is Danica Patrick (she’s the only girl driver), Becks’ is #55 (he’s a slow car!) and Berkley roots for #22 Joey Logano cause that’s Shephard’s favorite car and Shephard is her favorite! 😉

First Time at NASCAR

NASCAR at Kansas Speedway May 2016

I’ve always had a distant interest in NASCAR. During Seminary and the first years at Redeemer Laura and I would nap with NASCAR on between morning and evening worship. We’d kinda pay attention when there was a wreck and even had a favorite driver in Tony Stewart. However, since the races are normally on Sundays we’ve never been able to pull off going to a race and it’s just sat there on my bucket list of things I’d like to experience.

Over the years I stopped watching races at all and vaguely knew some of the racers names. Then this Spring our good friends Brandi & Kyle were able to get us tickets for a Saturday race on May 7th in Kansas City. Which had me pretty pumped until I learned Berkley’s dance recital was the same night. So I did what any good father would do and I went to her dress rehearsal before telling her I’d be skipping her first recital to watch rednecks race around a track with her brother.

NASCAR at Kansas Speedway May 2016

Above you can see our seats and below you can see how the whole track is actually in view. I didn’t realize that when watching on TV.

First thing I learned was it’s loud, like really really loud. I was warned so we had noises muffs for Beckham, but I thought I’d be fine. Lap three I went and bought earplugs cause wowzers it’s loud.

NASCAR at Kansas Speedway May 2016

Second thing I learned was it’s awesome. I was pretty hooked and having Kyle there to answer questions about stuff was very helpful.

NASCAR at Kansas Speedway May 2016

Third thing I learned was this guy behind me did not think it was as awesome as I did. His sister next to him read a book the whole time as well.

This guy was not as intrigued with NASCAR as I was.

Since that race we’ve watched at least a portion of every NASCAR race on TV and the Indy 500 which wasn’t as interesting cause I really like the characters that race NASCAR. Our favorites have been Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart (retiring after this year), Danica Patrick and Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne. Sadie Piper would really like Danica Patrick to win something, but she’s pretty excited when Danica gets in the top 20 and says she likes that Danica keeps trying! 
NASCAR at Kansas Speedway May 2016

Thank you Kyle and Brandi for making this happen and getting us into this redneck experience.