Surprisingly fun: Kansas Sampler Festival

Our great neighbors gave us passes to the Kansas Sampler in Wamego, which is a “sampling” of all the cities and things the state of Kansas has to offer. Lots of booths, lots of samples, and really, our kind of thing!

Before we even got inside the gates, we ran into these cool people! I mean really, does it get better than this?!!?

Kansas Sampler 2015

Then there was this!! I’ve NEVER seen a baby kangaroo in a mommy’s pouch before!

Kansas Sampler 2015

They had a porcupine too!

Kansas Sampler 2015
And a baby alpaca!
Kansas Sampler 2015

Boo liked the “Boo-sized” goats best

(also, she likes to carry a purse places. She’s gonna make a great mom, always prepared!)Kansas Sampler 2015

This is a model of the hotel we saw just a few weeks ago in Waterville

Kansas Sampler 2015

And found this fun thing on rails! We had wanted to ride it when we were in Waterville, but it was locked. Woohoo!

Kansas Sampler 2015

No idea what this is. But if you can get on something for a picture, we do!

Kansas Sampler 2015

Also, we like to lay on railroad tracks.

Kansas Sampler 2015

Hiland Farms (a local dairy) had these cool milk mustache stickers!

Kansas Sampler 2015

So far this festival has had everything we love most: people dressed up, baby animals, things we can get on/ride, and wood cut outs!

Kansas Sampler 2015

Oh, and props for photos. You can never go wrong with props for photos!

Kansas Sampler 2015

The best give away? Cool sunglasses from the City of Manhattan with the “little apple” on it.
Kansas Sampler 2015

Kansas Sampler 2015

More animals!

Kansas Sampler 2015

Berkley hugged this one:

Kansas Sampler 2015

She’s weird.

Kansas Sampler 2015

Kansas Sampler 2015

And she wanted to take this one homeKansas Sampler 2015

Then someone spotted a “real teeter totter.” I was pumped about this, I haven’t seen one of those in…well, since I was small enough to play on them. Apparently our kids have no idea what a “real teeter totter” is. Cause this ain’t one guys.

Kansas Sampler 2015

Thanks Ron and Stacey for the tickets!! We had a great time!!

Snapshots

 

Random pics from lately!

Again with the selfies when the “Littlests” get together!

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When our kids are bad we put them in the truck.

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Kidding. We put them in cubbies.

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Kidding. We tie them up.

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When Brian’s in charge, the answer to “can I go down that slide?” is always “Sure!” "Sure you can!" - Dad who doesn't do laundry

It’s bike season!! Our favorite time of year!

Brian took Beckham mountain bike riding!upload

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And he took me road biking

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We rearranged some beds, and a fort was made, of course!

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Walk for Life for Life Choice Ministries! Great organization, great friends!

Walking For Life

These two are buds.

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Being a dog…

St Louis 2015

Being Boo…upload

These were at K-State’s open house, loved the sign

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Who doesn’t love hairnets? (our kids kept theirs so they could play “lunch”)

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Who needs a country club when you have a big box? Psh. (At least the girls dressed the part!)

I now have a definition of classy white trash. #tennis #mhk

Our SP is a thinker.

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This Messy American Life

Messy American Life

Let us remember, our God is a redeeming God, not a “complaining god,” not a “hashtag solution god,” not a “who can we find to blame god,” but a redeeming God.

A God who when he saw that the world was a mess of sin and guilt provided not awareness or hashtags, but solution. More than that, he gave himself as the solution.

In the world we live it is no profound thing to observe that the world is messy. For that all we need to do is walk out our front door, or not, stay in and you’ll see that world is messy. The profound thing that our redeeming God calls us to is not disgruntled observation, but actual love. It’s investing in efforts, in work, in life, in others, in so many risk taking endeavors.

So when we find ourselves walking in a door and finding a messy floor, and messy beds and messy dishes and possessions scattered about and we are tempted to condemn and publicly tear down the owner of this home, we must stop and remember the door we walked through was our own house. We live here. This is our mess.

So then let us ask ourselves, how can my words and my actions work towards a solution? Can I affirm the people who have cleaned up the mess in the living room even if they have not yet cleaned up the mess in the kitchen (which in my opinion was the more pressing issue to deal with)?

I’m thankful today for the Christians in Manhattan who are giving their time to find funds for children living in poverty across the globe. Those who are serving meals to the homeless, the unemployed and the underemployed members of our society. Those who are giving their time to build homes for families, who are showing hospitality to foreign exchange students. Who advocate in the courts for teens who have need of an advocate. The men & women who gather the excess food in this community to distribute to those with need. Those who show simple hospitality to neighbors in the name of Christ. To those who are discipling the children they have been gifted with. Those who are a voice for the unborn children who have no voice. Those who protect women facing violence.  In short, those who have loved others as they respond to the deep and eternal love they have received from Christ our savior (1 John 4:19). 

This day, I’m thankful that through the love of the saints God has made our messy world a little less messy.

 

 

K-State Open House

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Love this event K-State does annually! Every department has something to see or do showing off what they are all about. They are always so interesting and fun! You can’t even make a dent in seeing it all each year, so this event is just as new every time!

This year was a beautiful day for it so we got to bike there! We didn’t realize Berkley was dressed this hodge podge until we were pulling out, so she the long socks got to stay.

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But while we were so close and since we needed sustenance we stopped by Varsity Donuts first!

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Sometimes they forget they are still wearing their helmets…and we don’t tell them…

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The library had cool cut outs set up. These pictures crack me up!

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Landscape design let the kids make a town. They had all the supplies and were told to make what they thought the town needed. Berkley made a Pet Store

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Beckham added a Video Game storea

And SP made Bates Dance Studio

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Playing some drums!

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We were too distracted to take many pics apparently. We hit up a ton more departments, thanks K-State and all the volunteers that put this on for all of us!! 



Funny Book

Beckham about the movie Annie: “I don’t know why but orphan girls have a talent for dancing. And it’s kinda creepy that they all just know the same dance.”

Annual Creepy Easter Bunny picture. #MHK

Beckham discussing what superpower he would want: “I would be Beast Boy and turn into animals.  I wonder what Sadie would pick, probably power to turn everything pink or super dance powers.”

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Berkley: Mom, was there bikes in the olden days…when you lived? And once I saw a show and I think the bear was an olden bear cause he turned on his TV and only looked at 4 channels. Then he went to sleep.

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Berkley: “I got sunburn at the pool” (it was indoor pool in December)

The youngest dressed herself for her first soccer practice...

Berkley: “Mom, I don’t want to smoke but I just want to know, where do you buy smokers?” (aka cigarettes) She proceeded to explain to me that she prefaced her question because if she had just asked where you buy them I may have thought she was asking cause she wanted to smoke!)

I now have a definition of classy white trash. #tennis #mhk

Berkley: “If I had a girl goldfish I would name her princess and put a little tiara on her. Made of paper.”(Later after thinking on this, she asked…”how will I put the little tiara on?”)

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We are addicted to Alton Brown’s granola. I have to make it weekly. Brian went to Presbytery one weekend, but left this note explaining the “real” reason he left:Well now. This is unfortunate.

Laura: “Can you see my panties when I bend over?”

Boo: “I can see you panties and I love them!”

To top this off she yells "hi-ya!" when she swings too.

Boo: “Mom I need help”
Laura: “Can you come to me?”
Boo: “I can but you’ll laugh at me and then take a picture and I don’t like it” (she was stuck her shirt, and it was cute, but I restrained from taking a picture after that comment!)
Fishoit Andrew Franks Memorial Ultimate Frisbee Against Rabies
We convinced Becks “y’all” was the correct answer. His teacher thought otherwise. We stand by it.

That's it. We are moving back to Texas.

Frat party

Becks: “Berkley do you want to play with me?”
Berkley: “only if I can be the spawned wolf”
(They weren’t playing a video game, just playing)

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Berkley to her friend Isaac: “Make a wish, but not the same wish I made.”

Isaac: “I wish for a lot”

Berkley: “I’m still wishing please do not distract me while I’m wishing.”

Snow day parenting at its finest:  Footies and TV.

Becks on girls showing their mid-drift: “Those girls shirts still have some tummy left.”

$1.31 scoops at Baskin Robbins today!! Woohoo!

These are the kinds of things I get texted to me when I leave the kids with Brian:

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Best dad ever!

Kansas Day Trip: Blue Rapids and Waterville

We’ve said it before, but we are convinced Kansas is the country’s best kept secret. Tucked in middle America are some of the prettiest views and coolest little towns to visit! Saturday we loaded up and drove north in search of “the smallest town in the US to host a National League baseball game.” Brian read about it in a baseball book, and we are always up for an adventure. 

We hit Waterville first (and unplanned stop, but that’s actually what we love best about these trips!) to hop on the train!

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Both of them did this unprompted and without knowing that the other did it too!

Blue Rapids and Waterville

But SP has a better chance of surviving!

Blue Rapids and Waterville

It gets better: you can get inside!!

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Blue Rapids and Waterville

And there’s a caboose too!

 

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Blue Rapids and Waterville(We were so impressed he got all the way up there! I was picturing him scaling the walls. Then he told us he used the ladder there on the left! :) )

View from the top:

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Apparently the train works and they have some days when you can take a 10 mile ride on it!

Blue Rapids and Waterville

The renovated Weaver Hotel

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Waterville has a super cute little antique shop too!

Waterville, Kansas

A few more minutes to Blue Rapids and we found the baseball field!

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Brian came prepared, so we played a little ball!

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Blue Rapids and Waterville

(Please notice Berkley, what is she doing??)

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Running to the infield to tag Brian!

Blue Rapids and Waterville
Blue Rapids and Waterville
Blue Rapids and Waterville

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Berkley may not be a natural:

Blue Rapids and Waterville

“Keep your eye on the ball?” Let’s start with “Keep your eyes open Berkley!”

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Blue Rapids and Waterville

She actually hit it though, proving even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes!

Blue Rapids and Waterville

We cheered a little too!!

Blue Rapids and Waterville

Other facts about Blue Rapids: (they have a lot of “oldest” things…)

-The public library, built in 1875, is the oldest library west of the Mississippi in continuous operation in the same building

-They have the oldest roundabout in Kansas

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-And some of the oldest rocks too!

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Great family devotional book

We’ve loved this book for our family to read together, and just wanted to share!

After we’d been through the Jesus Storybook Bible a few times, we moved on to The Gospel Story Bible:

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It’s a lot like the Storybook Bible in that every story ends with and points to Jesus. But the stories are shorter, so it has more of the bible in it, and it has three questions at the end of each story. Brian reads it to the kids at breakfast, and all of our kids track.

Soccer is back!

 

Berkley Soccer Spring 2015

There are few things more embarrassing that yelling your kid’s name at their soccer game.

If you named him “Beckham.”

Impact Soccer Spring 2015
Cause then you are automatically those parents that are OBSESSED with soccer so much so that you name you kid after the most famous player and force him to play (probably against his will!)

Impact Soccer Spring 2015

So then I stop calling his name. It’s just better that way! :) 
Impact Soccer Spring 2015

Beckham and Berkley are both playing soccer this spring. Beckham cause he loves it (so, not against his will! :) ) and Berkley cause she’s the youngest and has watched her siblings get to play and couldn’t wait to be old enough! Impact Soccer Spring 2015

Josh is helping Brian coach, the kids love him!

Impact Soccer Spring 2015

Then there’s Berkley, who is a pretty good little player! Who also makes some great faces when she’s playing! 
Berkley Soccer Spring 2015

Plus, what could be cuter than watching six year old girls play soccer for the first time!?

Berkley Soccer Spring 2015

Gotta take a break to pick her nail…
Berkley Soccer Spring 2015

The big kids disappeared and were playing kick ball together! From where we sat we couldn’t hear them, so if they argued, ignorance was bliss and we just enjoyed them playing together! Berkley Soccer Spring 2015In true herd ball form, Berkley does a lot of running!

Berkley Soccer Spring 2015

Berkley Soccer Spring 2015

She was “captain” the first game! She looks so little out there! Berkley Soccer Spring 2015

Brian the Builder? Who knew!!

When Brian and I got married in 2002, the only thing I could cook was box Mac & Cheese and Brian didn’t own a hammer…or know how to use any tool at all.

No joke: starting this process Brian called the drill an “automatic screwdriver” and a nail gun a “electric hammer.” That’s what we’re working with here, y’all.

We’ve come a long way, baby!

When we looked at houses to purchase in Manhattan 2 years ago, we didn’t have a ton of options. But there was one house that stood out as having potential.

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How in the world I saw past the bar (yep, that’s a homemade bar on the left there) or the 2×4 kitchen table, I can attribute only to God’s grace.

2300 Chris, manhattan ks

The book shelf didn’t have one book on it. Just empty liquor bottles.

2300 Chris, manhattan ks

This is what was our bedroom looked like. Yep. Those are tires.

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2300 Chris, manhattan ks

Living room. For some strange reason I wasn’t scared off by the magnitude of what needed to be done to make it home-y. (For the record though, you should have seen some of the other houses we looked at! :)

2300 Chris, manhattan ks

The house was perfect. We loved it. Also, there was this bonus room. It wasn’t insulated and with all the windows got super toasty. We knew it wouldn’t be super useful, but were still excited about the space!

(That is in fact a car hood. And bags of empty alcohol containers)

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The “sunroom” proved to be marginally useful, but only in the summer. It could be cooled down, but it was impossible to heat. The windows are just storm windows and it was just as cold as it was outside in the winter.

Brian decided in December that he was going to seal it up and make it his office. But although he had come a long way and now owned a hammer (which was my dad’s old one! I remember that handle so well from growing up!), that was about all he owned or could use.

Enter Rich.

Rich knows what he’s doing. And he has a generous heart and came to help.

Demolition first:

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Then rebuilding the frame. (It’s literally freezing out side most days when they are working)IMG_0705

Rich walked Brian through every step, teaching him basically how to build a house!

Oh wait, did I forget to mention that RIGHT as they started “Brian’s office” I looked in and decided to hijack it as our bedroom instead! It’s a little bigger, across the house from the kids’ rooms and there’s already a bathroom almost attached! It was a no brainer to steal this room! :)

They worked like crazy, and a month later, we were insulated and had new door and windows!

FEB 2015

Here’s one reason why this whole project took just a little over a month:

FEB 2015

That was Brian’s (not so) sneaky way of lighting a fire under me. Cause after I stole his office, I promised him our room as his “consolation prize” office! :) But we wanted to refinish the floors in there first, which meant everything from that room was now in the rest of the house.

I don’t like this. At all.

FEB 2015

Once my house looked like this, I was all in on helping. This is our closet…on the couch in the kitchen.

FEB 2015

So while we are building a whole new room, we are also refinishing floors. Go big or go home I guess. FEB 2015

FEB 2015

Tada!!

FEB 2015

Back in the bedroom, the one thing we considered getting professionally done was the taping and mudding. Full disclosure: neither Brian nor I had any idea what that meant. But we had heard grown ups talking about how you needed a good “mudder.” So I did call to get quotes on that. But no one called me back, so again, enter Rich, who came over, gave us a tutorial and we went at it: we taped and mudded and although it was hard and maybe not perfect, we did it!

FEB 2015
We put rustic wood as the ceiling, I stressed way to much over the paint color (it’s just cause there are way too many options, thus making me sure I’ll pick the wrong one), we got a full piece of remnant carpet that fit perfectly and padding for the floor and it’s coming together!
FEB 2015

Brian even put up the siding on the outside! Here’s Chris helping with that part

Today I'm thankful for this guy helping me put up sodding on the new room this evening. Thanks @christopherearnshaw

It’s my absolute favorite room in the house! And I like saying that Brian BUILT ME A HOUSE!

He borrowed Rich’s tools (thanks Rich!) but by the end had bought a saw and a level and there’s no stopping him now!
New room

Oh, and these aren’t new, but here’s how the first room looks sans the bar:
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And the living room cleaned up nice too! a