Summer Vacation 2017- Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls wasn’t as impressive as we thought it was gonna be:

Vacation 2017 - Thought falls would be bigger

Kidding, it was awesome!

Niagara Falls

I love these people

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Her stinking head fit in the bars. Made me anxious.

Niagara Falls

His wife is one lucky girl…

Niagara Falls

Berkley is so weird.

Niagara Falls

In this one Boo is licking my arm…why??

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

We watched from the top, then went down and did the boat tour, cause I think it’s a law you have to go on the boat ride at Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls

Brian laughed at me and took my pic. Less for the memory and more to mock my hoodie tied so tight, but good golly it was misty!

Vacation 2017 - 105

Vacation 2017 - 104

However, it IS true that he looks cooler than me without his on…

Vacation 2017 - 108

Niagara Falls

I realized recently that Brian spends a lot of time like this: helping all of us climb off stuff!

Niagara Falls Niagara Falls

Annnd I think that’s all the pictures they have in them for the day! To be fair, it was well after dinner time and we ran out of snacks…:)

Vacation 2017 - 113




Nachos & Tacos Month!

Laura makes a dinner plan each month and couple of months ago Beckham and I found it unattended so we filled out the entire month of May with Tacos & Nachos (except two cereal days). Eventually she discovered it, at which point we assumed it would be changed to something more…diverse. Only to our surprise she’s actually planned a month of Tacos & Nachos- apart from the firm foundation of Pizza Friday we adopted from the Durrett’s family tradition. May is going to be the best month ever!

May menu

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.

















Jr Zookeeper

This summer Beckham participated in the Jr Zookeeper program at our zoo.


At the informational meeting last Spring they definitely didn’t talk it up: “you will be cleaning poop and it’s hard hard work.”

Brian and I were trying to decide if we should make Beckham do it anyways to learn work ethic. But after the meeting when we asked him what he thought, he said, “I want to do it!”


He had two 4-hour volunteer shifts a week all summer. The first day he came home and said, “Mom, a bucket of water is REALLY heavy!” We loved that he was getting these experiences, cause while we highly value manual labor, our lifestyle doesn’t naturally allow for teaching as much as we’d like.


But the zoo has plenty of it!!


They scrubbed the pond almost weekly. Once they drain it they take the frogs and move them while they clean.


They also cleaned the inside animal’s cages: ferrets, ducks, turtles. And they got to play with them if they finished early! He would come home with funny stories about Patrick the Duck, or Cookie the ferret. He now knows the names of most of the animals at the zoo! I didn’t even realize they all had names!!

They also cut up a lot of animal “diets”, so basically made the animals their meals! He tasted a “Money Biscuit”…he said they taste like Cheerios!

K-State did some research on the program and they gave the kids cameras and had them take pictures of things they thought were interesting or important.

Here’s a few of his pics:


“Poopy water that was a cool color”0067_61320009


This was for sure the highlight of his summer and he can’t wait to do it again next year, God willing!



Ninja Box Turtles

Well. Laura has abandoned us for California again. It’s gonna be 90 degrees while she is there. The first time she left us we made a music video to Summer Girl, the second time it was robots dancing to Beastie Boys, this time they wanted to make Ninja Turtles and since there was no school today we went ahead and made that our afternoon project. Here are the results.


Ninja Turltles

Ninja Turltles

Ninja Turltles

Peace is beautiful and ugly

Peace with God
Laura and I were watching a television show called Madam Secretary. It is about a fictional Secretary of State played by Tea Leoni. In a recent episode she’s been working on a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine (which is not so fictional). Many lives are lost in the process. American, Russians and Ukrainian. The whole process is a very difficult and messy effort. At the end of the episode someone reflects on how great it is that the peace agreement was finally reached and she responded, “Peace is a beautiful thing, making peace is not.”
That statement resonated with me as I thought about the Gospel, about the peace we have with God through Jesus.
Having peace with God is a beautiful thing, the making of that peace with God was not.
The death of Jesus was a very violent, ugly event. It doesn’t take much to imagine the pain, the blood, the exhaustion and that doesn’t even begin to explain the pain we can’t see with our eyes. The anguish as the wrath of God is poured out on Jesus.
So Jesus went through that ugly event in history to be the sacrifice, for the payment of our debt we owe because of our sin. So Jesus died on a cross because that’s how he could make peace with God for His people. A horrendous event, a beautiful result. Praise be to God.

Hide Your Statues, Hide Your Children

As the kids and I were looking at old pics recently we noticed mom rides a lot of statues and various things that mom’s don’t typically get on. Let me prove our point…

A deer in Overland Park

Laura Ride 1

A fake horse in Baxter SpringsLauraRide2

Another fake horse in the grocery store. LauraRide3

An oil derrick on the Thomas Farm lauraride4

A real horse in Oklahoma


A dog in St Charles, Missouri


A fake cow in Oklahomalauraride7

A fake eagle on the Katy Trail. lauraride8

A bear in Colorado8365886404_da3606b1ca_z

A sabertooth tiger in Olathe8605454798_a3c8c96fc7_z

A fake bull in Oklahoma8642824529_b150f466a4_z

A gun in what I assume is Texas8644857202_85a30f9b85_z (1)

Then we realized what her example has done to those around here…

Beckham at Costco6990835591_03f0f886d3_z

Beckham on inmodest woman in downtown KC


Sadie at Minute Maid Park


Beckham in Omaha8607622344_e5232e1461_z

Boo and Brian in Omaha 8607636762_2d5e31526b_z

Sadie somewhere west of Mississippi 8643610251_7c0d1f4b58_z

Fake bull riding in Oklahoma8644479141_1d4d6f7610_z (1)


Rudy riding a giant horse in Overland Park8755501596_7c0f72c826_z

Sadie a tiny horse in thrift store9481979915_f2da6c3149_z

Chris a Jayhawk on I-709721790756_754f3e9eb7_z

Sadie and Becks on a giant horse 9761462924_c408042c7c_z

So learn from us, keep your statutes and your children away from this crazy (crazy wonderful!) woman.