Problem solving at its finest

One nice Sunday afternoon Beckham climbed up into a tree

Stuck in tree

Cause he was Link from Zelda…notice the sword and sheath

Stuck in tree

He then realizes he’s a tad high and tells us he needs help getting down.

Stuck in tree

This is how Brian and I respond:

“Good luck with that” and stay in hammock and watch.

Stuck in tree

Enter Princess Zelda:

Stuck in tree

No prob, Bob. Berkley comes up with a plan. Stuck in tree

She’s going to tie the jump rope to his sword, then…well, I’m not sure what then. She said he was gonna use it as a rope and climb down.

Stuck in tree

We don’t know why the goggles any more than you do

Stuck in tree

Plan A not working. Plan B: “hand your sword down and I will do the tying down here”  Stuck in tree

“And then hand it back up to you.” Except Becks couldn’t reach it. Stuck in tree

OK, Plan C. “I’ll get a rake.” Cause that’s longer…??Stuck in tree

Please also note she now has one a swimming bubble (like a life jacket)

Plan D: “I’ll send you up my goggles so you don’t hurt your eyes” Stuck in tree

Goggles successfully delivered!!

Stuck in tree

Plan E: Becks- “Why don’t I just try climbing down?” Stuck in tree

We took that as a parenting win and went back to reading!    Stuck in tree

Soccer goals

Fun Director rule: The first goal you score of the season earns you ice cream. 

Berkley played soccer this year, and even she admitted “soccer’s not really my thing.”

But she ran and made a few good dribbles and passes.

Soccer Fall 2017

Soccer Fall 2017

She’s not the most aggressive player on the field…Soccer Fall 2017 Soccer Fall 2017

But she enjoyed sitting the bench! Soccer Fall 2017  Soccer Fall 2017

But mostly she just followed the ball. And once, when it was coming her way, she shrunk away like this:

Except it bounced off of her and into the goal.

And a goal counts a goal no matter how the ball goes in.

So off to get ice cream!

We drove through McDonalds and saw they had dipped cones!! I LOVE DIPPED CONES! So dipped cones all around.

But before we even all have our ice cream I look back and see this:

So I’m not calmly telling Brian to pull into a spot cause I’m not excited about cleaning up the chocolate that is inevitably going to get all over the car, even on the short drive home.

I don’t even know how it’s possible to get this messy…


I wouldn’t let her back in, just handed her a wipee and told her to go at it.

It’s all fun and games until someone steps in mud…

We were over by the fun zip line we found a while ago and had to take a few spins on it

March 2017

It’s a little loose, so we had to help it along!

March 2017

We put Berkley to work pulling Beckham back up!

March 2017

Then we spotted a fun tire swing right by it!

March 2017

Beckham was still on the zip line, and got stuck in the middle! (you can see him in the background!)

March 2017

We thought it would be funny to tell him we were leaving. But apparently we’ve tried that funny trick too many times cause he didn’t even get a little ruffled. 🙁

March 2017

Then Brian and Becks went through this cool Ninja Turtles tunnel!

March 2017

Berkley and I followed, cause who doesn’t want to be a Ninja Turtle?

March 2017

March 2017

When we got out on the other side Berkley told me to go first. I stepped on what I thought was a rock.

March 2017

It wasn’t a rock. It was pure mud.

March 2017

But here’s the deal. The kids thought this was the best thing ever. Like, highlight of Berkley’s Spring Break.

“My mom stepped in mud. I was laughing”

“My grandma came to town and my mom stepped in mud.”

That shoe didn’t make it and I had to say goodbye to them and I was a little traumatized by the whole event. But I guess it was worth it?

Stick it to me!

Brian threw his dirty sock into the corner (aka- the place dirty clothes go and then magically appear again clean in a drawer a few days later! 🙂 ) and his missed the corner but hit the wall…and his sock STUCK! He threw the other one, aiming for the wall this time, and it stuck too. So he used this newfound sticky wall to try to “decorate”.

So I recently discovered socks stick to the brick wall in our bedroom. #astros

In our house, the “fun director” isn’t also allowed to serve as the interior decorator (conflict of interests), so they came down immediately via the “fun hater”…aka, me.

Since you been gone…

When I (Laura) leave town, Brian does really fun stuff with the kids. And also Berkley doesn’t get out of her pajamas. Also no one showers.

But let’s focus on the “does really fun stuff” part:

Free Comics day! It’s an actual annual holiday! Beckham is a “graphic novel” fan, so it’s like his birthday in terms of excitement. Overheard in our house this week “I’ve read about a quarter of the chapter books in the library, Berkley has read about a quarter of the kid books, and Beckham has read ALL of the comic books.” Very accurate, SP!

Free Comic Book Day included Harley Quinn this year. Very friendly villain.

Then they went and picked strawberries at A&H Farm.

And also took selfies with goats.


Biggest slide in town!


They found puppies!!


Then a stop at Taco Bell for taco burritos. Cause I would have nixed that (cause I’m not fun).

Made strawberries with the fresh picked ones!

I was VERY impressed with this one, cause it felt like they would have needed me for this one!

(I felt better when I heard the ingredients: strawberries, a frozen pie shell, a tub of glaze and a tub of cool whip)

And still in the footies…

Also, why is Mr Nubbers in the house??? I’ve kicked him out to be a full time farm cat.

Thanks guys for letting me visit friends, but also for not functioning at full capacity and making me feel un-needed! 🙂

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

“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.

Just normal shenanigans…

I don’t even know how to explain this one

Or this one

I have a love/hate relationship with napkins. I love that they love them, but some days I’m all out of ideas. That’s when I enlist Brian to help:

Or Berkley, who drew Beckham Zelda from heart


Becks read something in a book about “Bubble Tea” and said “I wish that was a real thing and I could try bubble tea.” Well Bubbie, in this case, your dreams have come true!

This cat comes inside in the morning and goes straight to SP’s bed to crash. 

I’m not a fan of Little Debbie snacks, but the kids always ask for them anyways. They went on sale, each box for $1, so I went ahead and bought one of each and we had a taste test!

Sundays are for baking and dressing weird?

It’s so true. Kids just want the box.

We have the STEEPEST hill that leads to the creek by our house. These 3 went exploring and then called me to come drive them up the hill. But they were so muddy they weren’t allowed in the car. Our solution was to drive them home like this: 

Jiffy Pop day!


Berkley asked me to buy more glue gun sticks and tape and I told her to write me a reminder note. Here’s what I got: (it says “snort”)

March 2017

Then you “open” the paper plate card to this:

March 2017

Beckham’s soccer game isn’t riveting for the girls, so they made a friend and played Barbies!

  March 2017

Arts and crafts class face painting (insert that emoji of the bug eyes…)

 March 2017

Beckham and I were waiting for the orthodontist and playing on SnapChat. We were peeing our pants at some of the filters!

  March 2017

Although this was my fav…how I do get eyelashes like that??

March 2017

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…