Cause I had a bad day…

I had a rough morning (in the interest of not being too dramatic, it was a first world problem, but since I live in a first world country, I’m a brat like that). I took the kids to school and ran an errand and came home to this: (I’m Elf, Boo is Lambie and Brian is the blue flashlight friend)


Let’s talk donuts. So, while Varsity makes the best donuts ever, Daylight Donuts makes donut holes worth going over our “donut budget” for (we don’t actually have a donut budget. I wish we did…). It started in college when their was a Daylight Donuts attached to the local coffee shop that Brian and I studied at a lot (Sweet Eugenes Aggie friends!). They were $.99 a dozen. I was too broke to be able to “splurge” like that, but if I could dig in Brian’s backpack and find $1.07 I could buy a bag, so I have fond memories of that place.

They started construction on a building this Fall and when we stopped to ask the construction workers what it was going to be (cause we do that a lot), when they said Daylight Donuts, I did a little happy dance!

Just so happens that this rough day coincided with their grand opening. So Brian went out and made my day a LOT better!


Here’s “me” with everything a girl could want: donut holes, Two Dots (try it, it’s a great game!), cookies and wine (never mind that’s it’s 9:30 am…)! IMG_0507

Berkley noticed that the donuts have Brian’s “favorite animal” on them too



Sadie Piper’s 1st grade program

The music teacher at Lee organizes the cutest music programs!



Although, admittedly, this was an unfortunate pose to catch them in…


I went up closer to take pictures of SP, I look back to see this:

They were doing all the motions too

Also, yes, the Bs were dressed, well, like this:


Would this have been ok with me in my younger days?


Absolutely not. IMG_0515

Did it save me time when we got home and so I was totally cool with it?




We dig it: Big Poppi Bicycle Co!



Before we even moved to Manhattan, Brian was obsessed with Big Poppi Bicycle Co. He was so excited to support a local bike shop that you could tell had a passion for biking. Then, he learned the owners are our neighbors and was star struck! They are the nicest couple you will meet and we love Big Poppi even more than we thought!

This Christmas, they had pictures with Santa, bicycle-style! You get to pull his sleigh on your bike!


They even had fun hats and noses! Our kids thought that was the coolest! They will take any opportunity to dress up!





Santa looks fake, he was totally real!

I like this one! 

We also had the privilege of being in their 2015 bike catalog!  Check them out in Aggieville, they are the best!!

big poppi catalog

Youngest child woes and pros

This girl.a

She’s coming into her own. And her own is funny!


This is when she said her finger was a girl. She put the dress on it and drew a face on it too.

Nov 2014

She says things like “fort out” (a mix between a fort and hide out”) and we don’t correct her.

After we visited some friends and their new kittens, she told me “Mom, some people get pets, and they get to KEEP them.”


I think the youngest spot in birth order is the best one to have. But, on the down side, she does have to play more by herself than the others do. (This is usually easy on Mondays after she’s spent the weekend submitting to what and how her siblings want to play and she’s ready to make some decisions on her own, but later in the week she loves company)

One day she spent the (Monday) morning playing Birthday Party with her stuffed animals.  All of that pile of “presents” she wrapped up and then opened


Then they played Pin the Tail on the Donkey


Complete with bandanas to cover their eyes!


Then she taped the “tail” to the doll’s hand


And let them all have a turn!


She told Brian one day “Dad I know why we are both crazy.” Brian: “Yeah?” Boo: “It’s cause were both the littlest.”

She embraces being the little one. Loves being called Boo and anything little, it’s “Boo-sized”

She calls the fries that have some potato skin still on them at Chick-fil-a “potatoe fries” and gives them to Brian, disgusted. I’m guessing she doesn’t know fries are made from potatoes, cause we asked her what the other ones are and she says “Chick-fil-a fries.”

She recently discovered that both Beckham and Sadie Piper have this book:


She wouldn’t have put it together that she is missing…except that they have their pictures in them.

OK, I can fix this. I hop on eBay and $4 and a week later have this:


Her very own book.

Until I realized I have NO printed pictures of her. None.

Sigh. I tried.

Bethlehem Revisited


This Advent season MPC got a group to go to “Bethlehem Revisited” a live reenactment of the story of Christ. We were severely out numbered in the kid to adult ratio! IMG_0384


It was cold this night, but they served cookies and hot chocolate while you waited, so everyone was happy! IMG_0392

They bus you out a few minutes to a property set up for this walk through the story. This was the first time Boo had ever been on a bus!IMG_0407

The thing I loved most was that they started at the beginning, just like God did! So first stop was Moses. There was a fire and a prophet at each stop who foretold Christ’s birth. So you would walk to a station, stop and listen to them explain how they waited for Christ, and then go to the next one.


They have this whole property decked out for this event. It’s impressive!! Lots of live animals!


When we got to Bethlehem, it too was so realistic!


The people got super loud, selling and begging and talking to us!


Mary pulls up on a real donkey!


This was my favorite part…it was so dark, but then they got to the part about the angels announcing Christ’s birth, this spot lit up and the “angel” choir sang!




If you live in Manhattan, make sure you put it on your bucket list! It was great!!


Our week


This room has been our “what if” room. It was added on to our house at some point as a sun room. It was enclosed, but just with storm windows. We could cool it down in the summers with a window unit, but it was no match for the winter. The room became unusable once it got cold. We always thought about sealing it off, but then we realized we don’t know what we are doing. Then we met the Machinas. And our life changed! Rich has helped Brian transform it into a real live room we can use….all year round!




SP chipped in!


I’ll post another pic once it’s done! Yay!! THANKS RICH!!!

These two drew mouse noses and flowers on each other. Why??


Our little nerd! He’s listening to Harry Potter and reading comic books!


Brian braided Boo’s hair, but I guess didn’t have a hair tie. So he improvised. With a stapler.


Oh, you know, just hanging with James Harden…in cardboard.

James Harden and I hung out today. I taught him how to shoot a half court hook shot. #rockets #jamesharden #nba


It’s birthday season around here. How did he get to be 9??


Sometimes there’s something deep. Sometimes funny. Sometimes wise. Never know what we will find written on the fridge. This day it was just weird.


Where To Give



There are just a couple of days left to give this year if you’d like contributions to nonprofit organizations to count towards this year’s tax deductions. So here are a few places you can give where I am confident your money will be used well for the Kingdom of God.

I’ve been on both sides of giving and I used to think if I couldn’t give a big gift or give monthly it was worthless or that it was some sort of insult if I could only give $5 a month or a small one time donation. Now that I’m on the other side I can tell you we truly need both. Even $5 is not an insult, it makes us feel loved, encouraged and supported far beyond you could ever imagine. So please consider supporting some of these people, even if it is a very small amount; just seeing your name in our list of contributors is a great encouragement that I know many of us need.

1. Us of course, you can read about Church Plant in Manhattan and how you can help here if you’re intrested

2. Jon Dunning is the RUF Campus Pastor at K-State. He is working right now to establish this new campus ministry with a great emphasis on teaching the Word of God. Jon is a great guy, he loves the Lord and handles well the need to help new believers wade into the Word of God, while also taking those who have walked with Christ longer deep into Word. Jon is in need of support for the coming year. You can give to Jon by going to and typing in his name, “Jon Dunning.” I know he would really appreciate it.

3. Sam Kassing is working with CRU at K-State and a great guy who cares deeply to see Jesus save sinners. He and his wife Leslie are currently raising funds so they can return to campus in the Spring semester. If you desire to support Sam or learn more about the ministry at their CRU page.

4. Jeff & Carmen Schober. They are a great couple who are involved at Manhattan Pres and will be serving out their last semester at CRU at K-State before transitioning to other vocational work here in Manhattan. You can give at their CRU Page as well.

5. Robbie Hotz grew up as a member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Overland Park; he was in high school when I began as the Youth Pastor there. Today Robbie is serving with Young Life on their college ministry at Kansas State. If you desire to give to Robbie click here. Then select button that reads, “A Young Life Staff Member’s Ministry” and type in Hotz. I know he would really appreciate any financial support you can give.

6. Ben & Julie Jensen are a couple in our Presbytery who are headed to Japan in 2015 as missionaries. They are so close now to having their full support and so if you’d like to help them get there please consider giving to them here or learn more about them here.

7. David and Katelyn Hardy are also serving with CRU at K-State, learn more about them and give at their ministry page.

There are many more ministries and people worth supporting, I just made this quick list of people I’ve talked to recently and know could use the support and encouragement.

Thank you again for your prayers and support. We don’t take for granted the body of Christ God has graciously given.




5 Things 2014

5 Things 2014

Three years ago we started this tradition. We asked friends (some went to spam this year so check) to name five things they are loving or are thankful for right now. Not over spiritual or huge picture, but what are the little things that are just really fun. Foods, stores, products, people, movies, songs, ideas, games, smells, whatever. After asking people I wait a few days and post the answers of those who respond by blood type followed by cholesterol levels high to low. Actually, it’s completely random. (I used email addresses I have for people and I heard some went to spam folder this year, so you likely were included in this, if you email I’ll still add your answers in). Well, here the answers are.

5 Things 2012 

5 Things 2013

Eric Tippin

  1. Dark, cold, quiet mornings
  2. The assurance of pardon every week at church
  3. Yeast (its function in bread and beer)
  4. Sufjan Stevens’ version of “How Shall I Fitly Meet Thee”
  5. Bing Crosby’s sweet, mellifluous voice.


Berkley Hough

  1. Playing Family (“but no one ever wants to play it with me”)
  2. Mac & Cheese
  3. Lady Bugs
  4. Doc McStuffins
  5. Dillons (cause I can ride on the little carts)


Jennifer Thomas

  1. Visits with Katie
  2. Sonic’s Cranberry Limeades
  3. Watching Kelly & Cole in their sporting endeavors
  4. Playing with little Stevie & Teddy
  5. Sitting on the patio watching storms roll in


Danielle Fisher

  1. A bread machine
  2. The movie- “People Will Talk”
  3. Christmas lights & smells
  4. The post office workers in Manhattan, KS, who all seem really happy, which is unusual.
  5. The new Taylor Swift CD- especially the song “Bad Blood”.


Jenny Preston

  1. My 20 minutes of quiet time at 5:30 am with coffee and complete quiet.
  2. 13 adorable Kindergarteners. They get cuter each day. They make me laugh!
  3. When Mike says, “Let’s go out to dinner.”
  4. When a long run is DONE!
  5. My family!!!


Annie Prins

  1. Ellen
  2. Mary
  3. Bookie
  4. Emily
  5. Cookie butter (It’s from trader joes and it’s amazing!!!)


Kristin Benoit

  1. Double iced coffee with a little bit of Irish Creme syrup and a little bit of whole milk from Radina’s (on the hill).
  2. Getting to talk to my husband almost every day.
  3. The body of Christ at MPC. I am so thankful.
  4. Sally’s Baking Addiction and bonding with my twin sister through baking.
  5. Addressing envelopes.
  6. Clean, well-written TV shows like White Collar (USA) and Newsroom (HBO).
  7. Surprises – text messages, phone calls, visits, and unexpected hugs.


Sadie Piper Hough

  1. Snow
  2. Puzzles
  3. Razor Scooter
  4. Iced Coffee
  5. Christmas Tree
  6. My Family
  7. Chicken Nuggets & Mac & Cheese
  8. Lucy, Daisy & Aidan


Jason Rodriguez

  1. I am thankful for my longest remaining friendship with Hannah in Manhattan.
  2. I am thankful for my renewed friendship with Brandon.
  3. I am thankful for my pen, for where would my ideas flow onto.
  4. I am thankful for my fireplace, for providing a warm blanket for my soul.
  5. I am thankful for youtube, by providing many hours of laughter!


Brookie Reymond

  1. Christmas socks
  2. Cinnamon
  3. Seat warmers
  4. Online shopping
  5. Netflix


Robbie Hotz

  1. My blanket
  2. Saying things at the same time as people (We call this Jinx)
  3. Friends that stand by me
  4. My ability to think and self reflect
  5. Cherry cheesecake concretes


Maggie Dean

  1. Almond champagne (keeping it real)
  2. Yogurt melts. They make Ruby happy, so they make me happy.
  3. GRIT – it’s a crazy exercise class that makes me feel like I am going to vomit. But in a good way.
  4. Lululemon Studio Pants aka my uniform
  5. Boom 92. A new classic hip hop station in Houston. All the songs from college. It’s too legit to quit. Listen Here
  6. Watching JJ Watt play. I know that’s 6, but seriously. Just watch him play.


Tony Felich

  1. Brian telling me in Freddy T’s, “Basically, everything you said, was right”.
  2. 153-inch Buck Harvest with bow, on camera
  3. Andy Mineo/Trip Lee/Hip Hop connection with Boys
  4. Terry Pegula (Owner of Buffalo Sabres & Bills)
  5. Peurto Vallarta with Shari last Spring


Brian Hough

  1. Baseball – I’ve grown to love the ritual of checking how the Astros did each day, the relaxing lack of a clock and the history of this game.
  2. Kindle Voyage – It’s an ebook read that is readable in dark, long battery, no distractions from tablet/phone notifications, can check out digital books from library, it’s great.
  3. Paris Tea - It’s a little girlie, but it’s a great tasting black tea from Harney’s Tea. (also anything from David’s Tea)
  4. ManhattanPres - God has continued to bring amazing people who make up the body of Manhattan Presbyterian Church. We are so incredibly blessed.
  5. Panera Egg & Cheese on Ciabatta. Simple and tasty breakfast item.
  6. ‘47 Brand Knit Hat - I have a Houston Rockets Throwback one, so warm with the cold weather we have here.
  7. NBA – I would say I’m a real fan, but it’s been a great substitute for no baseball in the winter.
  8. Laura’s Gringo Chili – Great cold weather white chili.
  9. Kindle – Love being able to carry so many books and read in the dark without distraction of facebook notifications or email. I’ve loved getting updates a few chapters at a time from Eric Tippin as he writes Sylvan.
  10. After Dinner Mint Call Hall Ice Cream – It’s like an Andes Mint in ice cream form.
  11. Friends – It’s been fun to make some really great friends this past year.
  12. Financial & Prayer Supporters – We couldn’t be doing what we’re doing apart from people who are giving to help get this Church Plant off the ground.


Katie Thomas

  1. Christmas break
  2. RUF
  3. MPC
  4. Panera
  5. Warm coats (specifically carhartts)


Beckham Hough

  1. Friends (Tarik & Aidan & Josh)
  2. Minecraft, Smash Bros & MarioKart 8
  3. Potato Soup
  4. Harry Potter Books
  5. Razor Scooter

Carolyn Conrad

  1. LA weather
  2. Travel budgets
  3. Belly laugh moments
  4. Paint-box nails (nail salon in Soho, NYC)
  5. Jo Malone green tomato leaf candle


Jenny Rackley

  1. My new remodeled kitchen my husband built
  2. Date nights
  3. Watching Good Mythical Morning with my kids
  4. Drinking coffee, but especially with friends
  5. Flowers and candles


Makenna Miller

  1. My sister
  2. My school
  3. My faith
  4. My dog
  5. My freedom


Laura Hough

  1. Hand me downs. Love them. For kids, for me, for anything! We have some very generous people in our lives who bless us in this way. It makes me incredibly happy to get hand me downs!!
  2. The people who are Manhattan Pres: Really, God could not have given us a cooler group of people to be on this adventure with.
  3. Local restaurants and businesses: I have a new appreciation for the relationships and services these provide.
  4. The first few hours of the day when I’m awake…and no one else is!
  5. Felt tip pens.
  6. Gloves: Realized that’s the key to staying warm in Kansas winters.
  7. My Kindle. I got Brian’s hand me down one (again with the hand me down love!) and it makes me read more!
  8. The fun stage our kids are in right now!
  9. White Collar and Suits TV shows. Good clean fun.
  10. The library, and librarians.


Greg Melton

  1. Texas Children’s hospital.
  2. The people of the deaf church we now attend/help lead.
  3. Torchy’s Tacos opening in College Station.
  4. Neighborhood kids our boys can play with.
  5. The time of day that Alissa and I finally lay down in bed together.


George Deines

  1. My wife and kids
  2. Parks with my boys
  3. Twitter
  4. Mediterranean Food
  5. Cooking desserts


Alexia Machina

  1. Quaker oats steel cut 3 min oatmeal
  2. Pandora-celtic woman (holiday) radio
  3. Legos
  4. Leftovers
  5. Chronicles of Narnia audio books
  6. Rich home for Christmas, our new house, Snow, new friends, new church, Christmas time off, and getting the tree set up and decorated amid boxes and chaos.


Heidi Hilton

  1. My family
  2. Our cozy house even though it is “unfinished”
  3. Yummy coffee
  4. The Houghs
  5. Scarves of every color!! I love scarves :)


Christina Albrecht

  1. My sweet, precious, darling baby girls & good, strong coffee ;)
  2. Love, love, love Amikole Organic Shea Baby Butter, Lavender Butter & Hair Butter (
  3. So incredibly grateful beyond words for our new house & neighborhood.
  4. Delicious Indian food recipes and my rice cooker.
  5. Frankly Basic Boutique in KC (The only place I shop. Easy peasy.)
  6. Anne of Green Gables- something I can watch with my girls that actually interests me too!


Emily Wilson

  1. My mom, dad, and three, doofus brothers who can consistently make my life more warm, fun, hysterical, and totally weird no matter how near or far I am.
  2. Laughter. It’s one of the happiest things in the whole world.
  3. Disney princesses. Happy, singing, heroic, lovely Disney princesses! Also Captain America who I wish I could marry.
  4. This is weird….but the way that light shines through the tree at sunset. I truly think it’s the most beautiful time of day. All of the gorgeous, little details we don’t see or take for granted in the things around us are highlighted. It’s just like a fairytale…except it’s 100% real and palpable!
  5. Supernatural, New Girl, and Doctor Who. The three best shows on the globe that take Netflix binge-watching to an intimate and epid level for me. Also, Netflix binge-watching would definitely be my sixth if I could have one. Hooray for fiction and stories and dynamic characters and impeccable plot development and TV! YAY!


Chloe Shearon

  1. MPC
  2. RUF
  3. Mint chocolate chip ice cream
  4. Knitting
  5. White Christmas (the movie, with Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby)


Shannon Johnston

  1. Living in my favorite city in the world
  2. Grub Hub/Seamless
  3. People who let me barrow their dogs, cats or babies for cuddling
  4. Uptown Community Church
  5. Coffee


Sam Basham

  1. The Kansas City Royals
  2. Frisbee Golf
  3. My Family
  4. Baseball
  5. Sporting Kansas City
  6. Parks And Recreation
  7. One Direction
  8. Hunting (editors note: mocking Tony)
  9. Hunting Deer (editors note: mocking Tony)
  10. Hunting Deer with a bow (editors note: mocking Tony)
  11. Iron Maiden
  12. Hot Rod
  13. The Hobbit
  14. Madea movies
  15. Card games


Mich Hotz

  1. Brothers and sisters in Christ
  2. Roommates
  3. Blankets (reeeaaally big ones)
  4. Intertuberwebernets (the information super highway)
  5. Applecider


Matt Wilson

  1. My MPC family & my family family
  2. God’s good and beautiful work of creation/nature and common grace to mankind
  3. All things Android and IKEA
  4. Radina’s Grasshopper Royale (minty, mocha, goodness with a shot of espresso for good measure)
  5. Sticky toffee pudding & vanilla bean ice cream


Scott Creecy

  1. Jesus, my ever faithful, sovereign, long suffering Saviour
  2. Being married to Carmen Creecy
  3. Getting to firsthand, and almost daily experience Jameson’s first year on the planet
  4. Lindor white chocolates
  5. Carmen’s green chile stew


Andrew Campbell

  1. A amazing, supportive, gorgeous wife
  2. The smell and taste of morning coffee
  3. Facetime, Google Chat, and Skype
  4. Books and always having something new to learn
  5. A really smooth red ale


Shari Felich

  1. Quiet moments in my day
  2. My stove…love to bake!
  3. Ability to work out
  4. Sweet things my kids say to me
  5. Going to the movies with my family


Samuel Kassing

  1. Being a newlywed.
  2. Genuine friendships that comfort and challenge me.
  3. My parents raising me in St. Louis.
  4. Cardinals Baseball.
  5. The ability to receive and education.


Christine Durrett

  1. Stitch Fix
  2. fish tacos from Taco Lucha
  3. finally breaking down and getting a snowblower= no shoveling this winter
  4. the gradual return of sleep to our lives after 7 years of baby boys who were terrible sleepers
  5. Laura

Carmen Creecy

  1. Jameson’s maniacal giggle when I forget to our up the gate and he is able to climb the stairs.
  2. Hitting the snooze button to snuggle my husband for a few stolen moments.
  3. Coming down in the morning to find that all the Christmas lights have been turned on.
  4. Fleece leggings.
  5. Heated seats in my car. A warm bottom is a happy bottom.

Lara Cooper

  1. Vanilla brown sugar coffee creamer that makes my coffee taste Fabulous!!!!
  2. Hallmark movies this time of year. They are so cheesy and end almost all the same but I get hooked in two minutes and almost always crying over the story line before the end.
  3. My family- Jared keeps me laughing and makes me always feel pretty, Landry challenges me to look at circumstances different and Sutton is our wildcard. She reminds me not to take life too seriously.
  4. I love me some chips and salsa and not so bad when you throw in queso and a margarita.
  5. Hunting deer season in Texas. Cool mornings, watching the sunrise or sunset, and the adrenaline rush when you see a big buck is like no other.
  6. My BFF Laura Hough- one of the greatest gifts I have is her friendship.
  7. Going swinging and Looking at stars. Not together necessarily but that could be fun too.


Emily Preston

  1. Coffee
  2. Warm, fuzzy blankets
  3. Lilly Pulitzer
  4. Cheerleading
  5. Prayer


Jon Dunning

  1. The chance to see Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors at the Bottleneck in Lawrence. Didn’t know their music beforehand. Now love it, especially this, this, and this.
  2. The short stories of Flannery O’Connor. Fascinating and disturbing to read. Great to discuss.
  3. My wife. Forgive the cliche, but I can’t put into words my gratitude to God for his grace in her to me. Okay this one is before the others.
  4. The tactical fountain pen I just got for Christmas. The package says it can be used as a fountain pen, a ballpoint pen, and for self-defense (Nathan Currey can confirm this).
  5. Several conversations I’ve had in the last few weeks about books and theology. Stop acting like this surprises you.

End of Year Giving

End of Year Giving

As our first full year comes to an end I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported us with finances, with prayer and with presence. We’ve seen God grow this church plant in ways we didn’t expect and it has been such a joy to get to watch the way God works.

We send out updates regularly with updates. Today though I want to ask a simple question.

If you have given to this Gospel work in the past, would you consider doing so again for 2015? And if you haven’t, would you consider doing so this year? We are closer to local sustainability, but not there yet.

We are also exploring a few building purchase possibilities that would give us permeance in town and allow for transition to a Sunday morning worship time.

I know when I give to something I want to know that money is being stewarded well. I’ll tell you this, we’ve been told we have a very small budget for a PCA Church Plant. We are also finishing 2014 nearly $25,000 under budget. We won’t spend needlessly.

We’re are not looking to build a church with marketing strategy, but rather trusting God to build His church through faithfulness to the ordinary means of grace we see in Scripture. That is the proclamation of God’s Word, prayer and the administration of the sacraments (the Lord’s Supper and Baptism).

So while we have grown much faster than we ever dreamed, we still need the support of the saints who may not live in Manhattan, but who believe in the vision to plant a church in this influential city. A vision to see God bring unbelievers into faith. To marriages and families strengthened as they grow closer to their Savior. A vision to build the faith of Kansas State University students whom God will spread across Kansas, the United States and the whole globe after graduation. A vision to give a solid church home for Army families who will spend 3 to 4 years here before moving on in service to our country.

There are so many things to spend your money on and I know at the end of the year our government gives incentives to give to non-profit organizations. Please consider how your giving might be used for the sake of the Kingdom through this church plant in Manhattan, Kansas.

If you believe this would be a good stewardship of your finances please follow the link below. You can support with a single time, monthly, quarterly or yearly gift. Every bit helps and it is a great encouragement to us when we see your names in our list of supporters.

Click Here for our Support Page

If by check, please make payable to Reformed University Fellowship and be sure to put “Brian Hough” on the memo line of the check to be sure it doesn’t go to general fund.

Mail to
Reformed University Fellowship
1700 North Brown Road, Suite 104
Lawrenceville, GA 30043