Joust! A Mighty Medieval 5th Grade Musical


IMG_4898IMG_4897Oh this just hurts me to report that Drew just performed in his last elementary school musical!  Insert tears here.  Even though music is not always at the top of his list, Drew really got into this one and was even practicing songs at home!IMG_7313.JPGI feel a little bit bad saying this, but our school musicals are not usually very well done.  However, this one was organized, they had costumes, a backdrop, the songs were good, and it was just the right length.  Way to go Manchester Park 5th Graders!IMG_7334.JPGDrew was cast as “Morty the Minstrel” and had a cute little 9 word speaking part.   I had to google what a minstrel was…it’s a medieval singer or musician 😉

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cutest Minstrel EVER!


If you have a minute to watch these songs on YouTube, It’s pretty cute to see our little Morty Minstrel do his part…

After the show was over, my dad asked him if he was actually singing up there on those risers or was he just mouthing the words.  Shame on you, Papa, yes he was singing!  They practiced really hard for this!IMG_7330.JPGIMG_7328.JPGYou can view this song (All I Ever Wanted) on YouTube below – It’s probably my favorite because Drew really gets into it.  Love it!


Everyone gives us dirty looks because we take up 13 seats…Drew has quite the fan club!IMG_4890.jpgWe all enjoyed this production so much.  Great job Drew!  We are super sad this is your last one!

This video is so cute…Drew taking a final bow!


Laser Tag!

Finally someone has caught on to do a school sponsored mom-son night!  There’s always sweet little father-daughter dances but what about the moms!?  And what about the parents without daughters!?  Actually, there have been two other mom-son nights at Manchester Park but we couldn’t go for one reason or another.  BUT this time, we had no conflicts and it was laser tag!  Yay!  I happily put on my cute camo pants and black shirt and was ready for this one!  Actually, anytime I get a chance to have a date night with just one of my kids, I am SO IN!

The laser tag venue had opened up for our school only this evening and it was buzzing with moms and sons.  It was nice to catch up with friends, I managed to get out of there without spending any money in the arcade (miracle!), and bonus – I didn’t get last place!!  My little Drew was always making sure I was doing well, I had pizza on my plate, water in hand, and lots of hugs throughout the evening.  He is the most loving kid and I adore it!  I hope he never loses his snuggles.  I Love you to the moon and more than all the stars, Drew Boo!11.5.18 5GR mom son night_Laser tag! (2)

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Front: Drew, Kole Kemp, Carter Coad  Back: Oto Sics, Jordy Nelson, Jake Milstead

And then a little stop in at QT on the way home for ice cream.  My friend Stacey gives me so much trouble because I never go to convenience stores.  She is astonished by this.  She thinks my kids are deprived!  I can assure you that whenever she has them in her car, she will be making a pit stop to QT, I just know it!

Carter and Jake got $2 ice cream and Drew chose a $7 bag of beef jerky!  See…this is why I don’t go to convenience stores!  $7!?  That’s ridiculous!  Good thing my date was so cute and sweet!11.5.18 5GR mom son night_Laser tag! (4)


Fall Fun

Ummm…so it’s snowing outside my window right now.  I don’t know what is happening but just a few days ago we were playing in our mountain of leaves, mowing, and wearing short sleeves for soccer games!10.27.18 Fall Leaves! (1).jpg10.27.18 Fall Leaves! (2)

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Drew looks like he has no legs in this picture!!

10.27.18 Morgan- Fusion U16 Fall (7)10.27.18 Morgan- Fusion U16 Fall (9)10.27.18 Morgan- Fusion U16 Fall (14).JPG10.27.18 Morgan- Fusion U16 Fall (18)Brian got the kids into mowing our neighbors yards and they are learning about having a job, being responsible, and making a little bit of money along the way.  Morgan and Drew are stashing theirs away just like they’re supposed to and Jake, well let’s just say he has a growing collection of Adidas tennis shoes and he’s on a first name basis with the cashiers at Casey’s and Wendy’s up the street.

I got picked to join Reece at the Nelson Atkins museum for a 3rd grade field trip.  Most of the kids thought it was terribly boring – we spent 30+ minutes in the orange gallery below analyzing 2 paintings!  Whoa!  The comments the kids made about the paintings had me in tears it was so funny!

Drew was selected for MVP with his new baseball team at the Monster Bash tourney in Topeka.  Yay Drewy!10.27.18 Drew MVP Monster Bash_NBA.JPGJake finished up his US Kids Golf Fall season at the very beautiful (and difficult) Shadow Glen golf course…10.28.18 Jake US Kids Golf Shawdow Glen (5).JPGAnd a Panthers basketball tournament win in overtime!

Unfortunately, an ankle injury for Jake 😦

If this snow slows down a bit and we can get some warmer temps, we will still have a couple more outdoor soccer tournaments this month before we ramp up for 4 kids playing basketball, indoor soccer, and gymnastics meet season.  It’s madness, really.  But as many families in this phase of life say, we wouldn’t change any of it.  It’s so fun to watch these kiddos ‘do their thing.’  They’re creating memories every day and I’m trying my best to document it for them!




Just before school started, I took Morgan and Emma to the Plaza to hang out and shop.8.4.18 Mo&Emma Made in KC Ice Cream.jpgAt the time, we didn’t realize that the Gap store was closing, but we are always up for bargain shopping!  I have a big family, peeps, I have to find stuff on sale!  We scoured the store hoping for some super cute clothes for cheap but ended up leaving with a bag full of hawaiian shirts!  Morgan asked if she could get one for various school spirit days they have throughout the year, and within minutes we were grabbing up 6 of them for Halloween costumes.  Done. Check please.

Thank you Morgan for being the inspiration for this Halloween “tacky tourist” hot mess!10.31.18 Halloween Tacky Tourists (5)10.31.18 Halloween Tacky Tourists (6)Add in a few fanny packs, binoculars, and hats, and you’re wonderfully tacky!  I didn’t even have to convince any of them…they were all on board!  I love it when a plan comes together.  Drew got ‘into character’ the night before just to make sure he would be perfect and could manage to get all this garb on for the school parade.  They nailed it…they were the cutest by far!

After the school parties – trust me when I tell you, the school is completely nuts on Halloween, we hurried home to get ready for our annual halloween party.  Of course this included putting finishing touches on our Halloween-themed food for the contest!

This has been a tradition for years, and I love that my kids are involved.  Maybe they’ll do this for their kids!?  They all picked out what they wanted to make and sent me to the store to get all the ingredients.  And even though I still have my own dish to make and fifteen billion things going on, I’m so happy to do it because It’s just plain adorable!  I love to see what they come up with. Drew is notorious for picking something complicated.  I love it, Drewy, you keep aiming high bud!  2018 First place winner I might add!

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Chocolate ganache filled chocolate chip cookie monsters….amazing!!

Jake killed it with these bloody fingers..

Morgan made these darling candy corn treats and Reece worked so hard on these donut spiders.  Getting those pretzel legs looking good is much harder than you think!

Our family always comes through with awesome ideas and our table fills with spooky halloween dishes.  It’s a blast!

Morgan had another party to attend so Reece had to take over as the master of ceremonies.  She did a fabulous job…watch out Morgan, she might get promoted into your spot!

10.31.18 Halloween Food Contest Winners (3)10.31.18 Halloween Food Contest Winners (2).jpg10.31.18 Halloween Food Contest Winners (5)Somehow I rarely win and my sister, who barely steps foot in a kitchen, EVER, seems to always be on the winners podium.  She’s finally found her culinary calling…Halloween themed food!  Congratulations winners!

I love this party!!10.31.18 Hwn Party invite

Of course we made it around the neighborhood for trick-or-treating and we have more candy than should ever be consumed in a lifetime!

Morgan made a quick costume change for her next event and turned into Cardi B…(Cardi B is a rapper/songwriter just in case you’re wondering)

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creative and adorable!

10.31.18 Emma's Hwn Party (1).JPGThey also took a trip to the Edge of Hell haunted house for a 16th bday party.  UGH – I would never pay money to have someone scare the crap out of me!  It’s clearly a teenager thing!10.27.18 OW Cole's 16th Bday Haunted House.JPGReece really is picking up on my love of Halloween as she had an outfit laid out for each day leading up to the big day.  Clearly we have a problem here.  No one should have this much Halloween attire!

I also caught her staying up late one night making all of these pumpkins and taping them all over her room!!  They were EVERYWHERE!!

She was working SO hard!!  I finally had to step in and help her or she was going to be flat on her desk asleep the next day at school!  Reece always cracks us up with her cute ideas.

And Halloween would definitely not be complete without carving our pumpkins.  While I was busy making mummy cake pops, these guys were really doing an awesome job!  We decided that sometimes simple designs turn out the cutest.  Aren’t they great!?10.28.18 Pumpkin Carving! (1).jpgJust a few days before, Reece got to do a fun Fall outing with her soccer team – they went on a hayride, roasted s’mores, and had a pumpkin carving contest at Shawnee Mission Park.  So fun!  Well, ok, I guess she did fall asleep in the corner on the hayride, but she perked right up when she filled her dinner plate with Sun Chips and 3 cupcakes.  Yikes!

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I’ll wrap this up with a couple more tacky tourist photos.  Next to our 80’s hair band costumes, these might be top on my list of favorites!10.31.18 Halloween Tacky Tourists (2)10.31.18 Halloween Tacky Tourists (10)10.31.18 Halloween Tacky Tourists (11)10.31.18 Halloween Tacky Tourists (12)Now excuse me while I pack up all this fun into 2 plastic bins and start my 2 month-long stress filled bender called the HOLIDAY SEASON!10.31.18 Halloween Party (15).jpg

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Drew’s pumpkin art!

3rd Grade Harvest

I have the MOST AWESOME bugs in my freezer.  I’m talking about big bugs with all their legs and wings still in tact and I was so ready to hot glue them to foam board for Reece’s bug project.  Except for the fact that they AREN’T doing one this year!!  WHAT!?  Are you kidding me!?  Every year, the third graders at Manchester Park do a bug project and it’s kind of a big deal!  I even had friends catching bugs for me and a perfect stranger at a baseball games caught one for us.  This was going to be the best of the best of the Conley bug projects!  I don’t know who made the decision to call it quits on this science unit, but I am so disappointed.

Instead, they decided to grow gardens in the back yard of the school.  Ok Ok, so that’s pretty cute that they are doing that and Reece has given me so much information each week on how their crops were doing – radishes, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard, you name it and these cutie pies have grown it and learned all about it!8.30.18 Reece 3GR Gardens (1)8.30.18 Reece 3GR Gardens (2)Honestly, it’s probably the highlight of my after school talk, learning about which class is growing a better garden, the dear tracks they found in the garden, who does the best job harvesting the crops and who needs to take a little better care.  Trust me, if you are not doing it right, Reece will call you right out!  It’s really been hilarious having these detailed gardening conversations.IMG_4679.JPGYesterday was the big harvest day and volunteers were needed to wash the crops at home and bring them back to school today.  Reece very proudly brought me a bag of radish plants and I got her started on washing them.  I had to run out to pick up Jake from basketball practice and when I returned about 30 minutes later, she was still at the sink washing those radish plants!  I think she misunderstood – she thought she needed to wash them until I got back from basketball!  Let’s just say those radishes got a very thorough cleaning!  It was so cute seeing her still perched at that sink!

Today they were going to taste all the crops.  I can’t imagine that goes over super well.  You know 3rd graders are allergic to green healthy stuff.  They prefer goldfish and fruit snacks.  Except Reece is my one kiddo that enjoys salad and lettuce on her sandwiches.  One out of four is fine, isn’t it!?

I’m also proud to report that Reece’s brownies troop went shopping and donated a bunch of food to Harvesters today!IMG_4681.jpgOk so I guess I take back being so mad about the elimination of the famous bug project and I can finally discard all those bugs in my freezer.  Great job farmer Reece!


Reece’s 1st Soccer Tourney-CSI

What are the chances that your first competitive soccer tournament ends in a penalty kick shootout, you win the championship, and give the opponent their first loss in 2 years!?  The odds cannot be good.  These girls are only 8 and just started playing together a few months ago.  You would think they were playing for the World Cup…at least that’s how exciting it was in those final moments!  So happy for these girls!9.23.18 Reece CSI Tourney_Finals_PK win (8).JPG

Here are a few other pics I took throughout the weekend.  And a very RARE sighting of my sister and her hubby at the soccer fields!  It’s like seeing a unicorn 😉

It worked out that Jake was playing their other nephew’s team so they got to check off three kids in one hour!  Don’t look to see them again anytime soon – they prefer to travel and go out to dinner.  Can you blame them!?9.21.18 Reece CSI Tourney U8 Fusion Academy (2)9.21.18 Reece CSI Tourney U8 Fusion Academy (4)9.22.18 Reece CSI Tourney U8 Fusion Academy (4)9.22.18 Reece CSI Tourney U8 Fusion Academy (6)9.22.18 Reece CSI Tourney U8 Fusion Academy (8)

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Between games, these cuties got to have a beach party at Lake Quivira!

9.23.18 Reece CSI Tourney_Finals_PK win (3)9.23.18 Reece CSI Tourney_Finals_PK win (5)We will be having a re-match coming up soon with these girls  in our final tournament for the fall season, so let’s hope we can repeat our success!  Go Reecie Go!


St. Louis

I have gotten to take Drew to a lot of his out of town soccer tournaments in the past, so it was Brian’s turn.  This was Drew’s first out of town tournament with his new team, so he was pretty excited.  Naturally this meant a special goody bag from mom.  I can come up with any excuse in the world to go buy stuff for a goody bag! I found this soft blanket with TOCA colors for $5.  I’m still so happy about that amazingly lucky find!

When they arrrived in St. Louis, they made a trip up to the top of the Arch and had dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory with the team.

Drew-2nd from the top

Soccer team dinners always take forever.  If you see a bunch of soccer families heading into a restaurant…run far, far away!

And as it turns out, their hotel was a 40 minute drive from the soccer fields and Drew neglected to bring a SOCCER BALL to a SOCCER TOURNAMENT.  Who does that!?  The boys played hard but it was a rough weekend.  Thank goodness for goody bags, pool and PS4 time with friends!  That’s really what it’s all about.


Drew can RUN!  He consistently beats everybody in the pacer beep test.

IMG_7065IMG_7081IMG_7097IMG_7100Even though the results didn’t turn out as they hoped, I’m certain the future is bright for these boys.  There’s a lot of talent in this group and they are fierce competitors.  Go #16!!