Junie B Hough’s life

This cat.

Momo said it best I think. “It’s a good thing Junie B has the personality she does or else she wouldn’t still be around.” (as in, we would have given her away…we have done that a time or two when an animal doesn’t “work out”!)

Junie B and Berkley are best buddies. We are not sure why though. Here are some more spots she’s been put in:

Boo was so excited to hold Junie B’s hand…

And then I think she was trying to make her smile for the picture?

She’s gonna hug her and squeeze her and love her forever!

See the cat’s arm?

Here she is…in the box

I’m not positive what this pose is…but Junie B COULD be running away and hiding under a couch. But she’s not…why???

Berkley was using the bowls as ice skates. And giving Junie B some love too!

“I was covering her mouth so she would be quiet for the camera”

Best friends forever. They even hang out at bath time.

Best Friends Forever. They even hang out at bath time.

And snack time.

Junie B just stays, why does she stay? Stockholm Syndrome?

The fact that we got this on video was priceless! Berkley is trying to bury Junie B…but Junie B evades it, and Berkley doesn’t know it! 
Before you think we are horrible people, here’s what we can’t understand: Brian and I have given this cat a bath. Both of us together have a VERY hard time. So, if Junie B wants to get away, she can. This we know for sure. Berkley does have to put her down when she meows, but really, she just takes most of this. And then, when we put the kids to bed at night, Junie B walks around their doors meowing for them. We just don’t get it. She also tries to sneak in their rooms. I find her in Berkley’s bed many nights.

But then there’s Sadie Piper. Junie B loves that this girl doesn’t treat her like a doll. Sadie’s a breath of fresh air for her!


Reading Junie B books with Junie B!

Day in life 2014

Sadie did figure out that Junie B has “crazy eyes” as we call them around here

Kitty Camoflauge

Kitty camouflage.

Berkley talking “cat”

St Patty’s Day Parade!

Manhattan loves its parades + We love parades = We love Manhattan

Yay for Spring! It warmed up some this week finally! Just in time for the St Patrick’s Day parade!

We rode our bikes to Aggieville, and as we were riding to find seats it felt like we were IN the parade. I may have waved.




St Paddy's Parade #mhk #manhattanks

Berkley’s not the greatest waiter…



This cow makes an appearance at most of the parades. And we all get just as excited every time!

These are who we call “the littlests”




Horse Nano #mhk #manhattanks

#mhk #manhattanks


What’s a St Patty’s parade without bagpipes?



And what’s a parade in Kansas without Wizard of Oz?

Wizard of Oz in #MHK


These guys were making me nervous hitting each other. Then I remembered they were probably ok with the armor…
#mhk #manhattanks

Found this guy after the parade too!

Ninja Turtle and Mid evil Warrior. #mhk #manhattanks


Brian knows that exact moment in life when he needs to say “Let’s just go out for dinner tonight” before I go over the edge of being overwhelmed/tired/cranky/so many other reasons. A few weeks ago we had one of those nights and headed out to Freddy’s. It was much needed for us; we ate slowly, and enjoyed each other. And somehow a game of telephone started!

Berkley may  have been the “weakest” link, but let’s be honest: a game of telephone isn’t as much fun if you don’t have a Berkley in the game to botch it up!

 There were many many giggles!!

Here’s what we are talking about:



Construction Paper Fashion

This past week I saw this post about a mom who made dresses out of construction paper. The dress designs became more elaborate each time they did it.

So when the snow fell this Sunday morning we decided to use this idea as fun family activity. We divided into two teams for a fashion show. Brian, Beckham & Berkley as the Killer Bs and Laura & Sadie Piper as the The Owls (no idea why).

Step One
Find a dress to replicate, we looked in magazines for this.

The Owls picked this one in the middle, but wanted it more colorful.

The Killer Bs went with this one from Katy Perry.


Step Two
Sketch the dress, no idea why, just seen this is how real people do it.

Owls added color.

Beckham sketched for the Killer Bs

Beckham Sketch of Berkley's Dress

Make the Dress and show it.

Here is a video of the reveal.

Here are photos of the results.

Construction Paper Fashion Show March 2014

Turns out construction paper isn’t very easy to move around in and I have serious doubts about the durability of this material going forward, but sure makes for a fun snow day project.




Whose crazy idea was this??

Brian confesses, taking a trip to the Konza in January on a cold and over 30 mph wind day was not the best idea.

But we did it anyways.

And there were people crazy enough to go with us too!

KonzaKonza Prairie is basically hills with trails and you can see forever when you climb high enough. I’ve actually never been before, but I hear it’s usually green and bright. It’s not hiking, but really more of a slight uphill walk. Perfect for kids!!
Konza Prairie January 2014
How cute is she in those ear muffs??
Berkley Boo in the Konza #konza #kansas #manhattanks
Berkley  insisted on Andria holding her hand while they crossed this bridge. I don’t blame her. I don’t love that it doesn’t have sides…
Konza Prairie January 2014
SP and Beckham, however, didn’t seem to mind. That made this mom nervous. 
Konza Prairie January 2014
Konza Prairie January 2014
It was cold, very windy. And cold. But still beautiful. 
Konza Prairie January 2014
And made for some cool shots
Konza Prairie January 2014
We thought Little Boo might blow away in the wind!
Konza Prairie January 2014
They were such good sports! We walked well over 2 miles! 
Konza Prairie January 2014
Damian’s deep thoughts:
Konza Prairie January 2014
Took us all day to warm up, and to get over mocking Brian for his “good idea”, but it was totally worth it!! 
Konza Prairie January 2014
Konza Prairie January 2014

Beecher Bible & Rifle Church



When we were thinking of a name for Manhattan Presbyterian Church we considered Soma Presbyterian Church (Soma is Greek for “body”). We also considered Tallgrass, Christ the King, Old Orchard.

We also threw out a few crazy ideas that weren’t serious: Ubuntu Presbyterian, Bill Snyder Pres and Wildcats Presbyterian. None of our names were anything close to as strange as this real church that is in a town just outside of Manhattan. The Beecher Bible & Rifle Church.


Wabaunsee was established in 1855 by 70 New Englanders (Yankees as we call them). This Kansas town was  very anti-slavery and feared for their safety. After hearing (or reading, not clear) a sermon by Rev. Henry Ward Beecher from Brooklyn, New York they sought rifles to defend themselves.

Beecher (abolitionist) and the congregation back in New York raised funds and sent 27 Sharp rifles and 25 Bibles to the people in Wabaunsee.


To get the rifles through pro-slavery areas, the rifles were shipped in a box labeled, “Beecher Bibles.” The guns themselves became known as “Beecher Bibles” and the Church then took it’s name from that event.


The sanctuary is divided down the middle, one side was for men and the other for women. Though that rule is no longer in use, I was surprised to find the church still has weekly worship services at 9:45 each week.


On a side note I found it interesting that they named their parking lot with a road sign, Thomas Boulevard :-)


The MPC Children’s Bulletin

We don’t currently have Children’s Church at Manhattan Presbyterian. At some point we hope to have the children start worship with their families and then just before the sermon go with covenant family to “Worship Training.” There they will learn more about worship,  ask questions and understand why we do what we do so that they are better prepared for participation in the whole worship service.

For now though we’ve been making these children’s bulletins and handing out crayons. While the rooster is on the front to be colored, the real goal here is not entertainment, but engagement. We want to help them understand what the sermon is about, to be thinking about these ideas.

This past Sunday was Covenant Family, so we included this picture of a group of people all close together. Beckham apparently sees the community as 90% blonde.

We include a verse that some of the children will be able to read. It was neat to see Beckham understood that the Church is a family.

We leave a page blank so they can take their own notes. Here they are encouraged to draw anything they hear said during the sermon. This doesn’t always get them to understand the exact point, but it helps them develop the ability to listen to a sermon, to pay attention.

Here you can see the word, “butt” was mentioned as one of the various body parts that work together to make up our physical bodies, this is an analogy of the church as a body seen in the text of Romans 12:3-13.

The pink drawing is the brain giving a command to the legs (purple) to go. It’s the body working together for a common purpose.

Cirque du Soleil: Amateur edition?

We did some stunting with the Hiltons…cause we are training for Cirque du Soleil…amateur edition! We just made up this whole idea, but I think we have a shot at a reality show!

I had no idea what I was going to be doing, so I felt like I needed to listen to my instructions intently apparently?

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

So then Brian’s turn!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

I laughed at his face…

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

And then he showed me this picture:

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Brian claims he was “dropped.” Damian swears he “let him down gently.”

I’ve heard it both ways.

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Brian being instructed the correct way to do a hand stand.

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie wasn’t happy with Brian’s form.

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Then we moved on to the “St Peter’s”

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Cool, huh?

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Then we got to try…with some serious spotting!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday


Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday


 I wish I could say this was set up. It wasn’t. She got tired of serving and laid down.

Berkley hard at work.

This is the life of the little one. As such, you fit under all the groceries…


On an adventure walk. Berkley asked me for a leaf…to wipe her snotty nose.


Who knew there were so many roosters in this world? We find them all!!

Out front on Sundays?

When you are the only child left at home during the day, you get to lick EVERYTHING!!

B being super fun and got in the kids tents to read to them when they visited! So sweet!

This was this Fall. “Boo-sized” wagon

You better believe the Tooth Fairy left him more money than she expected to…

Berkley’s drawings of the Disney Princesses:

Cinderella (complete with the bun and choker)

Snow  White (complete with poofy sleeves AND, well…I asked her what they were and let’s just say you are guessing correctly!)


Just a little morning pick me up before sending her off to school.

Breakfast seems suspect to me.

 This was the letter SP wrote for Berkley to Santa Clause. Everything he needs to know. Short and sweet, I appreciate that!

 Berkley found the vent and warmed herself like it was a fire…scrappy little girl.

Happy Thanksgiving? SP drew a turkey on Thanksgiving and Beckham added his touch!


Berkley is a rock star at playing by herself some during the days while the Bigs are at school (I think she likes not being told what to do by anyone!). This day she played “movie theatre” with her “kids.”


I searched high and low for cute ear muffs. Finally found these on-line! They have been a huge hit! (Brian trying to steal SP’s :) )


She told me “Mama, I DO look cute!!”

Sadie “watching” Pandora. Pulled a chair up, grabbed a snack.

Snowed, but only enough for mini snow mans!

I may have forgotten to turn the water off in her bathtub…

Dry ice in the bathtub, anyone?




Funny Book

It is 1:06 PM

Sadie: When do we go?

Brian: When the first number is a 2, we will go.

Sadie: OK, I will go stare at the clock


Beckham: “It’s an octopus. But it has more than 8 legs. So it’s an octopie.”

“Hey Mom, I have elephant ears!”

Sadie Piper:” I know why they call it a submarine. Because you use it in the summer” (she hears summereen)

Sadie Piper “God will give us a happy heart but he won’t take our jokes out”

Berkley after watching The Wizard of Oz: “Why did Dorothy want to go back to Kansas because Kansas was dirty?”

Me: You mean black and white?

Berkley: Yes, it was dirty

Berkley: (speaking of Junie B of course) “She’s not a farm cat any more.”
Me: Why?
Berkley: Cause she wasn’t a very good farm cat!
Beckham: She was a good farm cat. Mom wasn’t a good farmer.

Sadie Piper: “Eighties, nineties, ten-sies”

Beckham: “I can draw a bear that looks like a dog.”


Berkley: “Guess what daddy and I played today? Who could stay outside longest and dad got cold and I got have butter!!!” (yes, she “won” a spoonful of butter…)


SP: “Dad how come there are so many types if boogers? Eye boogers, nose boogers and food boogers?”
Dad: Food boogers?
SP: you know the sandwiches called Ham-boogers?

I shrunk my kids! #ksu #kstate

I was talking to Brian and SP interrupted. I said “Sadie, give me a second”. Once Brian and I were finished I said “ok Sadie, what do you need?” She said, “that was 21 seconds. “


Berkley: I laid down and falled.

Me: Why?

Berks: Because I was tired of standing.


Berkley: “I’m as smart as a grown up. Cause I tell everyone what they have to do when they are a grown up.”

David Tompkins and Rudy Prins attacked Berkley Boo. #terrorist #villains

Becks: We should invent the XBox 300

Tarik: We would make millions

Becks: First we need to make one

Home Depot Kids Workshops

Boo: “Small is another word for like, tiny tiny people. Like fish.”

Berkley tattled on SP for wiping a booger on her pants. Asked about it and turns out Berkley wiped her own booger on Sadie’s dress first

Beckham: I am not allowed to have wine.

Laura: Why not?

Beckham: Because y’all would be arrested.

Laura: Beckham, you are so responsible, thank you for keeping us out of jail.
Beckham: You’re welcome.
Laura has picture of Junie B in a tree

Berkley: Who are you going to send that picture to?

Laura: Who should I send it to?

Berkley: Somebody who hasn’t met kitty, hmm…Send it to Tiny.

Laura parked car over a sewer lid at the store.

Beckham: I hope the Ninja Turtles didn’t get out?
Laura: What? Why?
Beckham: You parked over a sewer lid.

Laura: Why do you not want the ninja turtles to get out?

Beckham: Well, they would protect us, but we would have to feed them tons of pizza.

Moments before this photo Tony Felich fired a rifle at me, Beckham and Katie Thomas. We dodged it #truestory

Brian: Sadie, you can sit on the thing I always wanted as a kid (referring to the bunk bed) and see the thing mommy always wanted as a kid (referring to her looking out her window and being able to see her playhouse)

Becks walks in and says, “what? You never had a window?!”

Boo called hockey “skating golf”

Taylor Swift’s  song “22″ came on and Berkley said “this is a Halloween song.”
Laura: Why?
Berkley: “Cause they are dressing up like hamsters” (it says dressing like “Hipsters”)


Berkley: “B I N G O and that was his name-o”
Berkley: “This is our Boo-sized town” (she refers to anything little as “boo-sized.” She was also referring to Manhattan)
Berkley: When I grow up will I be the big sister?
Laura: I don’t know
Berkley: Maybe we can find one. One that lost her mom. Maybe at the grocery store. Then we will have 2 big sisters!
Berkley: “When are we going back to our real house? Our big house?”
Sadie: “Will we give Junie b medicine? Will it be the kind we have to shove in her mouth? Cause I have to do that with her treats”
Sadie Piper rocking her leg warmers in dance class!
Berkley wants to read books in car at night. 
Laura: you won’t be able to see them.
Boo: yes I will. I have glowing eyes.
2 minutes later
Boo: Work glow eyes! Work!
Brian: what’s wrong with your glow eyes?
Boo: they don’t work in the dark.