Taste of the Ville


Every Summer there is a fundraiser put on that is basically the greatest progressive dinner ever devised. 21 different resturants in Aggieville give a sampling of their food in exchange for a $15 ticket. We learned about this event Thursday Night and were bummed to find out it was already sold out.

However, Harriet Reymond surprised us with a pair of tickets and babysitting for the evening which allowed us to go anyway. This was just what we needed, we don’t find time to do date nights like we need to. This was truly refreshing for us.

The tickets serve as a punchcard, you go at your own pace in your own order and get a smaller meal every place. I was worried we’d be hungry still at the end, truth is we couldn’t finish the samplings. We made it to 19 of 21 places, but the last few we didn’t eat due to being so stuffed. Check out some photos from the night.

Radinas gave Galetto, Buffalo Wild Wings gave, you guessed it, Buffalo Wings. Varsity Donuts had these donut holes with a really cool dipping sauce. The lady in the background used to own a gift shop that was located where Varsity is now, fun time for her to come back to that spot to serve a good cause.

Starbucks gave fairly large iced coffee (or Hot Coco or hot Coffee), what was really cool was the syrups were out and free to use to make a fun flavored iced coffee. My expectations for corporate were low, but they did a great job being present locally.


Rock-A-Belly had fresh humus and pita bread. Coco Bolos had some sort of enchilada.

Tanners had these amazing Chicken Fingers (They call them Chicken Lips for some crazy reason).

Tasty China House had Sesame Chicken, fried rice and fried wonton.

Wabash had chili and was celebrating 80s day which explains her outfit.

Wahoo Fire and Ice Grill had tasty spicy chick Ka-bobs. The Goose served an interesting and tasty pizza.

When we went to Tubby’s we followed Eric Tippins advice to ask and people let you do just about anything. So we asked if Laura could get on the bar and sure enough they were totally cool with it.

This is Laura on a bar in Aggieville during taste of the ville. Probably worth noting zero alcohol is involved. Thank you @harrietreymond for making this date night happen. #aggieville

They even helped her do the K-S-U Cheer that Willie does.




The Pita Pit gave half Pita Rolls out and they were very tasty.

Kites had White Queso, that was addictive.

Fuzzy’s Tacos had Chicken Enchiladas, we also ran into Heather Tippins and her friend Megan. We swapped photos taking.

Next stop was Rusty’s Last Chance Mexican Restaurant where they also had enchiladas.

Then Keltic Star Public House. This phone booth is from place  15 minutes away the owner’s town across the pond.

They served this fried egg thing.

Bluestem had Vietnam Tacos, but the process had rendered us unable eat much more by this point so we regrettably didn’t try it. Here you see Ben (ManhattanPres Peep) and Ben. They were basically twins this day.

Cold Stone gave out ice cream. Afterwards we saw these swings in a front yard. One of them doesn’t look safe to me, definitely want to be one of the first two kids out to play.

Here are our score cards.

All in all one of the most fun events put on in Manhattan that we’ve been to. We plan to buy tickets first day they go on sale next year and would love to do it with a group next year if you’re up for it.

We are bleeding Frozen…along with every other household

Disney is brilliant. Plain and simple. I can’t tell if Frozen is better than the previous movies, or if’s marketed better, or if our generation remembers movies like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast coming out when we were young and now we are living vicariously, or maybe our kids are just now old enough to be obsessed and that’s why it seems more than any other movie. Whatever it is, we can’t get enough Frozen around here.

Fun shirts from my mom

I adore these hats and plan to wear them on days they don’t this winter.

Dress up time

Berkley is Anna in the sleigh and Becks is Sven

And Sadie is Elsa

Craft time

This is Beckhams–he made one carrot and Olaf and Sven share it!

Elsa, by Sadie

Elsa, by Berkley


Berkley copying Sadie’s


This was Berkley copying Beckham’s Sven. Not bad!!

Beckham’s Elsa

Sadie’s Elsa

Tuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing Clinic

Damian Hilton told me about a fishing clinic put on by the Tuttle Creek Lake Association. Their goal is to introduce kids to the joy of fishing. There are many sponsors that help them provide a free fishing pole to every child who registers to take part in the clinic, 125 this year. We had a great time, read on to little more about what it includes.


We met at Susan B Anthony Middle School for introductions and to learn about fishing. There were five stations we rotated around and learned about safety, about types of fish, baits/lures and how to tie a hook on. This guy below reminded me of Paul Harvey (and that is the rest of the story guy), like a great grandpa telling stories.

This is the hook they used to teach us to tie the line to the hook.

I'm a realist, but Beckham is clearly an optimist.

Our small group for rotations.

Learning to fish thanks to Tuttle Creek Lake Association. #mhk #tuttlecreek



We all met at Anneberg Park on Anderson Ave. Varsity Donuts provided breakfast for the masses.


Here are the poles everyone get to take home with them.


A couple of days before they stock the lake with over 700 catfish and blue gill. No one is permitted to fish there until after this clinic ends, which means bunches of hungry fish.


Beckham made a new friend who also liked to catch frogs while we were waiting for festivities to begin.


This is the group gathering.

We are being told we can’t cast for the kids and that they need to tie their own hook on and so on. They really want them to learn. There is also a contest for biggest fish, biggest stringer, and smallest fish by boys and girls. Six trophies in all.

May the odds be ever in your favor! The Fishing Games are about to begin. #mhk #manhattanks

This is how excited Beckham is just to have a free pole.

700 fish put in pond two days ago #mhk #manhattanks

The foghorn marked the start of what seemed like the Hunger Games as everyone marked out their territory.

Here we are.

Tuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing Clinic


Tuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing Clinic

His first fish, a tiny blue gill.

Tuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing Clinic

He’s pumped.

Tuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing Clinic

The Marines sent some helpers out who were great with the children. This soldier is wrestling Iris’s big catfish to the ground.

Tuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing Clinic

Everyone was catching fish left and right.

Tuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing Clinic

The poor girl next to use caught a little fish and then a few minutes later something ate half of it.

Tuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing Clinic

Becks even caught a Crappie

Tuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing ClinicTuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing Clinic

Tuttle Creek Lake Association Fishing Clinic

By the end Beckham caught 1 Catfish, 2 Bluegills and 1 Crappie. He had a blast and we’ll be fishing more for sure.

You can see all the pictures if you’d like here.

Herd Ball season

This year was the first time any of the kids played organized soccer. Also known as “herd ball” at these ages! Such a great experience for the big kids and really fun to watch too!

Moray Eels - Beckham Soccer Spring 2014

Moray Eels - Beckham Soccer Spring 2014Moray Eels - Beckham Soccer Spring 2014
Moray Eels - Beckham Soccer Spring 2014

The refs at these games. Oh the patience! They were all so sweet and really used the opportunity to teach these kids the rules. I was really impressed with them!

Moray Eels - Beckham Soccer Spring 2014

The “concentrating tongue.”

Moray Eels - Beckham Soccer Spring 2014

Love her smile!

Love her smile while she plays #mhk

Sadie Piper scored her first goal tonight for The Beetles! #mhk


Beetles Soccer (Sadie Piper 2014)

Learning the throw in:

Beetles Soccer (Sadie Piper 2014)

I adore girls and their outfits. Even for playing soccer, there was a lot of thought put into this. When I asked Sadie what she needed for her soccer games she said, “Cleats. A soccer ball. And a hair do.” That’s my girl!

Beetles Soccer (Sadie Piper 2014)

Hat became a regular fixture at the games! She was master multi-tasker during the games though: watching and cheering for Becks or Sadie, and playing with the other two who wanted her attention too!

This picture is awesome cause it looks like Hat’s body slamming Boo! (They were really doing some fancy dancing!)

Moray Eels - Beckham Soccer Spring 2014

After the first game, we learned there’s a half time with, get this, NO entertainment. So Hat organized a half time show…to the tune of Frozen!

Best Halftime Show Ever at soccer game tonight.

Only one of these three can reach this high…

Moray Eels - Beckham Soccer Spring 2014

“Who me?”

Moray Eels - Beckham Soccer Spring 2014

Our cheering section!

Beetles Soccer (Sadie Piper 2014)

This is how they roll.

Beetles Soccer (Sadie Piper 2014)

I really even can’t remember what sparked this…

Beetles Soccer (Sadie Piper 2014)

Overall, a great season for both the kids! The worst part was having to cheer for “Beckham”…cause there’s no way to not look like psycho obsessed parents when you are cheering for your son Beckham playing soccer…

Summer of Day Trips: Clay Center

We’ve lived in Manhattan 10 months now. And although we feel very settled, we also still very new. Here’s what we’ve learned about central/west Kansas so far: Manhattan (population 56,000) is the “big city.” We’ve also learned that these smaller towns are gems!! One of the things on our Summer Bucket List is to check out these neighboring towns. The ones within about 2 hours constitute a day trip, and that’s perfect for our family!

Our first trip was out to a town called Clay Center (I thought it was a concert venue when I first heard it mentioned. Nope. A town.). Nicola told us the three things we needed to do there. 1. Nut rolls from the local bakery 2. The city park 3. The zoo

On a wet Saturday we decided to just drive there and check it out. Honestly, we didn’t have super high expectations. I’m not even sure why.

Our expectations were COMPLETELY wrong! This little town is a gold mine of fun! (Since it was rainy, we didn’t get to play as long as we would have liked, but plan to go back and spend the day!!)

On our way there (it’s about a 45 min drive) we found tanks!

And patriotic barns!

We went off of Nicola’s list, but made a stop at an adorable antique shop downtown. They had a lot of thrifty stores that I could have spent all day in! Brian made some rooster friends.

At this store Brian asked where the famous bakery was. They told him down the road. So we got in the car…and drove 3 stores down (also known as about 5 parking spots!). So we learned that “down the road” is a relative term!


They were out of nut rolls :( (But no worries, we got normal donuts!) Also, what is Beckham doing?

Home of the Nut Rolls, but sold out so we'll be back. @niiiiiiicola they know your family. #claycenter

Next stop: Park!

No exaggeration, hands down the coolest park/playground we’ve EVER been to!

(this is where we got the idea to use Brian’s leftover plexiglass to do this to the girls’ playhouse…but that’s a later post!)

Things I loved about this park: It was broken up with fences into age ranges. So if you had smaller kid, there’s a super cool section for them. Also, it wasn’t the typical playground stuff. You can tell this was custom made and well thought out!

They had what I assume was donor names on the fence. This was our favorite!


We could have stayed for hours. Alas, we moved on to stop #3, the zoo.

Don’t bother bringing your horse by the way

So, “zoo” is a loose term for this, but well worth a trip!

This friends, is the a giant hamster wheel. For squirrels. Nicola told us about this too, but really, you have to see it in person to fully appreciate this!

Scrappy foxes!

Brian and I laughed cause every time we glanced at these signs all we saw was “KILL animals”

They had some super cute monkeys!

Talked to the parrot:

We learned from the zoo keeper that ravens are actually super smart and they talk!

There was a runaway duck (if you can call a wild duck a runaway?) that the kids insisted needed to come back in the gates.

Brian ended up catching him!

Our very favorite face Sadie makes! :)

Photobomb, SP style!

So now we’ve hit everything we set out to, and as we are driving away, I scream, “(gasp!) STOP! GO BACK!” You can imagine Brian, as the driver, didn’t love this. (I actually do this a lot. I need to control my emotions better)

But once he saw what I had seen, all was forgiven!

Who needs Disney World when you have Clay Center, KS?! We found Mater!!

Every detail on this truck was spot on!


On our way home we found a Harriet road!!

So yeah, this place is a gem!!

Houston Astros Birthday Cookies


For my birthday every year Laura makes something desserty with the theme of a sports team or something I’m interested in. In the past it’s been FC Dallas Cookies or Astros Cake  even WCA cookies. This year she made a Hall of Fame worthy collection of historical and current Houston Astros jerseys. Even has most of the current roster in numbers.

She so outdid herself this year, I have no idea what she is going to do next year.

Laura made the best #Astros cookies ever for my birthday. #mlb #cookies @astrosbaseball

This is the team that started on the night before my birthday. Including new rookie George Springer in right field.



Dexter Fowler in a throwback jersey



From 1962-1964 the Astros were named the Colt .45s after the gun.



Cookie Springer



Rainbow Jersey from the 1980s


1965 Astros Jersey with shooting star on the front.



Chris Carter in current orange jersey




This is the rainbow side current Sunday jersey, my favorite.













More #Astros cookies. I love them

This was their logo in my childhood.

Dallas Keuchel in throwback Colt’s jersey




May Snapshots

 These two play chess a lot. It’s a game called “No Stress Chess” the Durretts introduced us to. Berkley can even beat me.


It’s bike riding to school season again, which means snack time in the cemetery!



Cemetary weather is back. #mhk #bicycle

It’s also baseball season!! A train went by during Beckham’s practice…it was like Olsen Field!

Trains and Baseball reminds me of the #Astros and #mmp

A neighbor was moving and throwing away these bikes. She said we could have them!! IT’S A BANANA SEAT!!! Brian fixed them both right up!! Beckham likes this one cause he says it’s like riding a motorcycle. (also, he’s wearing a baseball helmet…)


We got to introduce our kids to being pumped on a bike!!

Or mom on a banana seat from the 70s? #schwin #Pegasus Both working dumpster dive finds #bicycle

Brian said this is a classic 1980s bike. Becks digs this one too! He’s an old soul.

What's cooler? Mom on a diamondback from 80s? #bmx #bicycle

We didn’t want to be left out of the Field Day fun! Our strategy was going to be that I carry Berkley in her bag. Cause I don’t think she was gonna win any metals in that bag bigger than her…

 Field Day Sack racers

It’s also Pillsbury Crossing time again too!!

Pillsbury Crossing, Bigfoot in background #mhk

Really blessed to be able to spend my life with this girl. Moving with a friend is the stuff dreams are made of. @shanaclan23

And backyard hammock time!!

"Relaxing all cool" - Fresh Prince

Brian taught the kids “If you ever need to poop in the woods, wipe with these kinds of leaves.”

Berkley hiking. In a dress.

Dresses & Hiking #kansas #mhk

We had to have our yard graded (the house was the lowest point on our lot…that’s apparently not good) and since it had to be torn up before we moved in to replace a sewer line, we also had no grass left.

(Remember the yard??)

So we had it seeded too. (Master Landscape did it and they have been amazing! We honestly weren’t expecting much, cause let’s be honest, the most we grow is mint…and that’s just cause we can’t kill it, but we have an entire yard of GRASS now! There were a few places that didn’t take the first time for some reason, but they gladly came back and re-did them.)

There was an extra line item on our bill for “Letting Customer play with equipment…”


There wasn’t, but I wouldn’t have blamed them!!

Brian finished the patio. We knew it would have many functions, we didn’t anticipate “race track” as one, but hey!


KSU had their Spring Game, so we got one tailgate this semester! Heidi and me!

K-State Spring Game Tailgating #kstate #ksu

Found a real tire horse on the way home

Found a horse on way home. #mhk #ksu #kstate

How Berkley spends her free time home alone:

Berkley crayons feet

We found her like this. We are pretty sure this is Junie B’s revenge on Berkley.

I found her like this, pretty sure Junie B is finally fighting back #catsrevenge

In The End

JJ Heller has a song called In the End with lyrics that are amazing for sitting and listening to while you think about the life you live. Read them below, listen here. Then go read Ecclesiastes in your Bible (right after Psalms and Proverbs).

“In The End”

Oh this silly heart of mine
Looking for new things to buy
Nothing really satisfies
In the end, in the end
Greed is making fools of us
Waging war betraying trust
Empires only fade to dust
In the end, in the end

Safety is not for sale.
(You can not buy peace of mind)
Earthly defenses fail
(There’s nothing new under the sky)
Build your kingdom all your life
And say goodbye
In the end, in the end

Have I forgotten how to wait
Providence won’t hesitate
Seldom early never late
In the end, in the end

Safety is not for sale.
(You can not buy peace of mind)
Earthly defenses fail
(There’s nothing new under the sky)
Build your kingdom all your life
And say goodbye
In the end

Vanity, vanity
Don’t lie to me
Vanity, vanity
You’re not fooling me

Safety is not for sale.
(You can not buy peace of mind)
Earthly defenses fail
(There’s nothing new under the sky)
Build your kingdom all your life
And say goodbye
Build your kingdom all your life
And say goodbye
In the end

What I Learned From Dance


“Dance, Shine” was the name of the Bate’s Dance Studio end of the year performance last weekend. It was truly amazing. I’ve seen dance before, but last Friday night dance challenged my thinking in new ways. Ways that make me want to live different. Better.

I’ll start with the biggest thing that stood out. There three types of dancers.

1. Those who know the steps and do them. They seem worried about falling out of step or making a mistake. Maybe just a little too aware of the audience watching them.

2. Those who feel the music. They move with the beat and rhythm and seem absolutely unconcerned with a huge theatre of watching eyes. These are the dancers that make me want to dance.

3. The third group, which the majority seem to be, are those who are in and out of the music, there are parts of the dance that they know and do and there are parts of the dance that they know so well that they let go and just embrace the dance for awhile.

I see this as analogous to our spiritual walks.

1. There are those who know the steps of Christianity: what words to use and not use, what behaviors to abstain from, they know words that sound like prayer and watching from the outside they are in step enough to be a part of the chorus. The effort is appreciated, but the dance of Christianity looks difficult and taxing.

2. Then there are those whose walk with Christ is like the dancer who feels the music. They flow with Scripture and prayer pours out naturally, they aren’t struggling to grow in grace, it’s a simple rhythm of their life and these are the Christians that make me want to dance.

3. Most of us are the third group, there are times and aspects of our Christian life that we feel the music and those times are the greatest times of our life, but we also find ourselves in a dance we don’t know that well and we’re much too aware of the eyes watching us. We want only to fit in and not screw up.

These ideas and many others blew my mind Friday night, but then we went back on Saturday night to watch the younger children perform. This added a new layer, because I realized none of these little children felt the music. They were funny, they were cute, they did a fantastic job, but they didn’t feel the music. I realized that it took people like Heidi teaching them over many years to get to them to the point that these older girls were at where they begin to feel the music. It’s real life discipleship.

This reminded me in a  visual way how beautiful the fruit of discipleship can be. I feel encouraged to teach our children to feel the music; to not just know the steps of what it means to follow Christ, but to go after Him with joy and real knowledge, that there is grace in missteps. I am thankful for dance today and my prayer is that God would free me from fear of failure so that I might not not simply know the steps of Christianity but feel the music that is His grace and dance the dance of faith.

Other things I learned. 

A. The opening number was an amazing Gospel Choir version of This Little Light of Me. It was awesome. Glorifying God in the arts doesn’t have to be cheesy or in a Christian venue, in fact I think it was better outside of a “Christian” venue.

B. There was a song (The Bridge by Cloverton) that included a real bridge . I wish you all could see this dance, may be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. The second night the first thing I did when we got the program was look to see if it would happen again. I was disappointed that it was not begin redone. The images of salvation and rescue challenged my mind to to try to understand it. It just seemed to have layers of meaning and I didn’t know that existed in dance.

C. I’ve always been surprised how the Church in history has at times looked at dance as evil. Footloose comes to mind. I went one semester to a Baptist college where in 1999 dance was still forbidden. Square Dance, Two Step, Swing Dance, Line Dance, all dance. Yet we see in Scripture dance spoken of in wonderful ways. Just like most things dance can be put into practice in shameful ways, but that should not result in the good gift of God being shamed outright.

In Psalm 30:11 we learn that God has turned the sadness of mourning into the the joy of dancing.  “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,”

In Psalm 149:3 their praise of God included dancing of some sort.  “Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!”

When I did a search on dance the most surprising discovery was Luke 15:25. This is the well known story of the prodigal son. The son leaves home, wastes his inheritance on pleasure and finds himself eating with pigs. He eventually goes back to his father’s house and confessing his unworthiness to be included asks for a place among the servants. Instead the father welcomes him and throws a celebration at his return. We read in the following verse, “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.” There was dancing at the celebration of the returning child. There was dancing because there was joy, because the father showed grace the people danced. Except the jealous older brother who hated that grace was poured out on the younger brother. I think maybe we dance too little and I am a bit concerned that it might be because we don’t celebrate the grace of God enough. Let us feel the music and dance.