8 Wonders of…Kansas

Yeppers, it’s a real thing! The 8 Wonders of Kansas!

We stumbled upon it on our way home from Colorado Springs when we saw this building from the highway and Brian decided we needed to go explore it.  Co springs

As we were reading the plaque outside it mentioned that St. Fidelis Church is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas. That’s a thing? How have we missed this for so many years??

So we explored this beautiful church, knowing we were gonna need to research this more for sure!

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The most impressive part: “The stone for this massive Romanesque structure came from a quarry seven miles south. The extracting of the stone, loading it, hauling it, and then dressing it was a gigantic task and an amazing feat considering that it was accomplished without automatic lifts and power tools.”

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We also stopped at The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene. This is the home he grew up in, unmoved even.

Co springsBut it was after 5:00 by then (although we thought it was 4:00 cause we hadn’t changed our clocks back from being on Mountain time and thought it was odd they closed so early!) so we will have to revisit this one!

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Sheri informed us there’s a kids’ presidential library passport that you can get and kids can collect stamps at each one! Which got us researching yet again. And guess what? This library is one of the 8 Wonders too!!

Here they all are, cause I know you are on the edge of your seat:

Big Well, Greensburg

Kansas Wetlands Complex of Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

Cosmosphere, Hutchinson (boys went to this one!)

Kansas Underground Salt Museum

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum

Monument Rocks and Castle Rock

St. Fidelis Church

The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve


presidential libraries

The Dance of Corporate Worship

Bates Shake2
I really love Bates Dance Recitals each year. I love the fact that it’s not a “Christian” dance studio, so the music is a wide variety of songs, most of which are in the realm of secular music; yet throughout the show you see the marks of Christians being a part of this production. Teachers have the freedom for their faith to be incorporated without it being required and the result is a beautiful image of how our love for Christ should look in all aspects of our lives. Not living in some walled off Christian Utopia and yet not living as Christians incognito. It’s life in the culture, but not of the culture (John 17:14–19), I love it!
This year the finale, which includes every single dancer, was put to Shake by Mercy Me which included the lyrics, “Ain’t no explanation, How I saw the light, He found me and set me free, And it brought me back to life” as well as “Great God Almighty done changed me, Great God Almighty, He done changed me!” It was full of joy and celebration at the work God has done for us.
This year the dance that stood out to me more than any other was one choreographed by Heidi Hilton and put to the song Oceans by Hillsong United. The dancers were older and very talented and thus communicated the emotional tone of song very well. They wore flowing blue dresses that together looked like an ocean of water. At one point three dancers were lifted into the air across the stage making three crosses.
But you know, the dance has stuck with me these past few days because as I watched and listened what I saw was an image of corporate worship. Let me explain. During the dance there were times when the dancers were all doing their own individual choreography or a small group would dance the same and then something changed in the music and every dancer on the stage came together in sync dancing the same choreography together and it was like a force of emotional wind burst out from them.
And I’m not a cryer, but my eyes got a little watery because that’s corporate worship. We spend our weeks all doing different things. Attempting to calm a crying baby or replying to emails from our supervisor or memorizing things in Latin we don’t know in English and in all of it we’re trying to glorify God. But then Sunday morning comes and the call to worship is like the that point in the song where the music changes and we all come together in sync singing to God and responsive readings and prayer of confession and the Lord’s prayer together and the result is just beautiful as we lift our voices in harmony to worship God. The diversity of our individual lives is beautiful, but so is the coming together in union for corporate worship.


We have LOTS of dance parties. Sometimes ballet, sometimes jazz. Today it was breakdancing, they dressed like b-boys! Those poses though…My Adidas! Thanks Damian for playlist!

This looks like an awesome beach. It’s really just a sand quarry (that was blowing up sand in our eyes)! Kansas Beach (quarry)

Brian got up into our attic for the first time, and he came down with a bag full of wrestling brackets from 1994, a garment bag and that hat. He wore it all day. Weird. April 2016

Four out of five times so far this has been successful on Berkley Boo’s ailment. And with a fruity grape taste to boot!

I have high hopes for the newest member of our medicine cabinet...especially for its effectiveness on the Little One.

Brian and I were walking and we saw a dumpster. So I looked in it, of course! And I found a table for our back yard!!
She watches one season of fixer upper and now she's dumpster diving for furniture.

I’m gonna paint it!!

Berkley doesn’t like the crescent roll part of pigs in a blanket (strange, I know!) so she told me “my pigs are all hot, they don’t want blankets.”

April 2016

Really really love our new door hanger! April 2016

It’s like real life MarioKart!
The world has thawed.

He done gone and got himself stuck in the mud again. Ugh. Done got stuck in the mud again.

This is the second time two kids lost a tooth in one night! Not counting the time Becks lost two molars in 10 minutes!

This is the second time we've had two lose teeth in one day (third if you could the time Becks lost two in 10 minutes!)! What are the chances?

Brian told me “You have ruined the fun of Amazon. I used to get excited when a box came, but now it’s just dish detergent and tampons.” Hello! He must not know I saved 15% on those tampons with their Subscribe and Save program otherwise he’d still be excited! Sheesh! I also point out that I can go the store and purchase it, OR I can order it, and in two days it’s on my doorstep (also meaning I didn’t need to spend more than I needed to in Target “just” picking up shampoo). That’s a no-brainer! He also threw me under the bus and told our sweet mailman I have a shopping problem. Now I need to corner our mailman next time to explain myself. He cares to know the truth, right?

Brian: "You have ruined the fun of Amazon. I used to get excited when a box came, but now it's just dish detergent and tampons."

Boo and I were twinkies!

MPC Sunday April 24 2016

We still have them

And they still put up with Berkley.

I don’t know what’s going on to even caption thisupload

So this is weird. Dory likes to lick Becks’ ear lobe.


Berkley drew on Beckham’s napkin in his lunch that day, it’s Dory licking his ear! 

She was the baby, Dory was her doll.

 Why cat? Why don't you attack this girl?

“I’m taking Nubbies for a piggie back ride!”"I'm taking Nubbies for a piggyback ride."

It think we know where Boo gets it…

April 2016

It seems silly, but having two means you can tell their personalities more we think. Berkley tells me Dory is the patient one. She’s more laid back. Mr Nubbers is more active and into more trouble.

April 2016

“We made them tigers!”

March 2016

They come and hang out with me in the mornings, the QUIET company is kinda nice! 

Mr Nubbers found the treats…

Boys Weekend Adventure


Beckham claimed this was the best weekend ever and asked me to make a “slide show” which is 4th grader for “blog post.”

The day started at the Manhattan Farmer’s Market where he found a tomato “as big as Berkley’s head”

K-State Spring Game Adventure

Then our awesome neighbors invited us to their K-State Spring Game Tailgate and also gave Beckham and I tickets for the game.


At halftime we went down to watch Isaac run in a half time event and following some sage wisdom Eric Tippin taught us, we just pretended like we belonged and found seats to watch from the sidelines. I saw this picture on Instagram later and there we are, sitting on the ground next to the yard marker people. I don’t expect we’ll get seats this good for the regular season.


Here Beckham and Willie hang out and caught up. Willie doesn’t talk much, but he’s a great listener.

K-State Spring Game Adventure

K-State Spring Game Adventure

While down there we went to join the cheerleaders for a few cheers as well.

K-State Spring Game Adventure

Laura took the car to go host a bridal shower so when we walked out of the stadium we had no wheels. He suggested we get some Call Hall Ice Cream so off we went taking back routes to Call Hall. Along the way we found this pond at Jardine on campus. He spotted bullfrogs so we began trying to catch them with our hands. 

K-State Spring Game Adventure

Once we ran out of hands we continued the journey to Call Hall.

A Boy & His Bullfrogs. Found these on walk home today.

However, the line was about 60 people long. You know… Tourist and all. We did get a to go container to put his bullfrog in though.

K-State Spring Game Adventure

We journeyed further across campus and near Hale Library we discovered a Green Apple Bike. They are free to borrow bikes so we did just that. Only with only one bike that left Beckham sitting on the handlebars holding his bullfrog in a to go food box. We headed to Chris and Rudy and Sam’s house to get tape to hold the frog in so he wouldn’t get out at the Cold Stone when we got ice cream in Aggieville. Best part of the ride was when a cop tailed us and we feared we may have violated a few laws though we couldn’t put our finger on any of them.

K-State Spring Game Adventure

Finally ice cream! A senior aged woman kept looking at the frog in the container while she ate ice cream with her husband, but she never asked about it.

K-State Spring Game Adventure

He slept well that night.

K-State Spring Game Adventure


Sunday we woke up and got to worship the Lord at Church and then Becks had Sunday School with his great teachers, the Dunnings!

That afternoon we headed to our first K-State Baseball game of the season. We tried a few different seating locations.

Becks boys weekend

This one was good for snagging a foul ball.

Becks boys weekend

They had hung out the day before, but Becks and Willie caught up again.

Becks boys weekend

Then we went searching for a home run ball and found these makeshift outfield seats.

Becks boys weekend

Felt like stories I’ve read about people watching Babe Ruth over the wall of a stadium.

Becks boys weekend

Here is the actual view

Becks boys weekend


Becks boys weekend

The game was on ESPN3 and I was curious if you could see us on TV. You sure could, there we are on top the wall of this home run.

We ended up with four foul balls and one home run ball.

He thinks baseball games are Easter egg hunts. Four foul balls, one home run at K-State game #manhattanks #KState #batcats

After the game we stopped by Dara’s where all slurpie sizes are 99 cents. So he went all out.

Becks boys weekend

Caught some more frogs

Becks boys weekend

Played in waterfall and that’s a super great guys weekend.

Becks boys weekend

Video: Laura Faces A Hurdle In Life

Laura and I went to the High School track to jog and when we were done we used a hurdle to stretch. She then told me we had to jump a hurdle, of course I told her we’re old now and will pull every any muscle in our bodies. One of things I love about her is she insisted we do it anyway. I told her I’d get it on video, but she didn’t realize I was recording a longer portion so that I could document what it’s like to be married to this crazy wonderful woman. 

So here is my life…

On The Way To School

Sarah Arnett recommended we watch a Netflix film with our children called, On the Way to School. It’s a documentary following the way various children around the world get to school each day. Some travel for over an hour, some past dangerous elephants, some interacting with many strangers, one pair of brothers had to drag their eldest paralysed brother in a wheelchair around less than ideal terrain. We took her recommendation and it was eye opening for our children. Sure, we tell them on a world scale you’re crazy rich and your life is not that hard, but I think this is the first time they got it.

Here is the trailer for that video.

So just for kicks we decided to walk to school earlier this week and see what the experience was like. They told which way to go and just went with them cause this is American and we’re likely too cautious.

It’s not an incredible entertaining video since the goal was to keep in documentary style, but it turned out to be a great experience with some funny moments. Hope you enjoy this American Version of On The Way to School.

On The Way To School: Pathetic American Version from Houghs on Vimeo.

More Colorado…

We hit up at least one zoo on every trip we have ever taken as a family, so when Cheyenne Zoo was on our “to do” list from our travel agent (aka our spin instructor and friend Amy!) it was a no-brainer!

Check out the view these elephants get!

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Berkley likes herself some penguins. (outfit courtesy of Duck and Yayay!)

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This was the coolest thing there. Her name is Yazie (that means Little One) and she’s a Rocky mountain goat. We went to the “keeper talk” and this goat came bounding out of his shelter like an excited dog! Jumping and twirling.  And he did tricks!

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But then, he stinking climbed on the roof! We wanted to take him home. They didn’t let us.

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(We were the only ones at the keeper talk! It was like our own little private show!)
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We also fed the giraffes! Super cool!!

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It licked Brian’s phone when he was taking a picture, so gross!!Co springs

Any zoo that has meerkats is a good zoo! 

Then we saw this and asked a zoo employee, “What is that and how do get to go up there?”

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Exciting news! The admission to it was included in our zoo admission! It’s called The Will Rogers Shrine to the Sun.

You drive up there and then can look around with an amazing view of the city!

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Take one:

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Take two: “Berkley, look normal”

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Oh Berkley….

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These boys make life more fun

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Teaching them young! SP asked for a camera for her birthday this year! Co springs

It was built by a rich dude as a place to bury him and his wife. His good friend Will Rogers died while it was being built, so he named it after him. Random. But pretty.

We also left our comfort zone of food and decided to make sure we didn’t eat any chains (we broke the rule once with Chick-fil-a cause we were too tired to find a new restaurant. And of course it was the kids’ fav part of the day. Sigh.)

This was called Blue Box Donuts. They were super fancy donuts. Not like Varsity and just creative, but “Bourbon and Bacon with Maple” fancy. I got Vanilla Bean and it was delish!

This was at a yummy Mexican place in Denver! Who knew Denver could do Mexican!?

This is proof we tried local coffee shops. But we are sell outs and just like Starbucks best. Trust me, no one wishes that was more untrue than us…

Colorado Springs: Garden of the gods

Next stop: Garden of the gods. Brian and I were most excited about this one.

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It was a cold, windy day, but we made the most of it!  CO Springs

They had a few different trails of varying abilities, so we appreciated that CO Springs

And it was beautiful and amazing!!  CO Springs

This may be my favorite picture of the whole trip! CO Springs

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The rocks were amazing. The only downside was that it felt a little commercialized. A lot of fences and concrete. It definitely felt like you were in a park, not in nature. CO Springs

But of course it was totally worth it still!

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The kids were really convinced they could move this rock!  Co springs
Brian and I decided we’d love to do one of the harder trails, I think if you could pull that off it would be the coolest!!
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We also hit up the Colorado City Creamery, it was delish!

Sadie branched out and tried Sweet Cream (she ALWAYS gets vanilla)…and totally dug it!!