Easter 2018

Easter came quickly this year and before we knew it, we were scrambling around trying to make plans.  I think the main problem was we were all wrapped up in getting together with friends and family to follow the final four!  Although, KU and K-State sort of dashed our dreams, we still had fun watching!

For the first time ever we had to color eggs without Brian!  He had to be out of town for work so we made the best of it.  I must say, I was quite proud of my ‘carrot’ eggs…aren’t they cute!?3.28.18 Coloring Easter Eggs (8).jpg

We spent Good Friday hunting for eggs, grilling, and playing a crazy game to win 20 bucks…

It may be an unconventional way to celebrate Easter, but Morgan left the table $20 richer and with a red, sore nose!  Bob and Jenn thought it would be a fun game to have the kids press $5 bills against the wall with their noses and whoever lasted the longest got to keep all the money.  Drew and Morgan lasted the longest but then Drew started acting reckless so the money went to Morgan!  Way to go MoMo!  Reece collected $20 for winning the march madness family bracket bet and the boys wound up with only Easter candy!  Towards the end of the evening, Reece decided to start lifting weights and we had an arm wrestling contest.  Like I said….a very unconventional Easter celebration, but fun nonetheless!

On Sunday, we spent the day at my parents doing a frigid egg hunt.  It was sleeting and hailing and the boys ended up having the most fun playing it.  I can’t even remember a time that it has been that cold on Easter Sunday!4.1.18 Easter Nanny&Papa's (12)Jake came prepared by wearing long johns under his church clothes but he was still having a hard time staying warm!4.1.18 Easter Snow!4.1.18 Easter Nanny&Papa's (7)

The golden egg brought the new Sporting KC jerseys and Birkenstock’s!4.1.18 Easter Golden Egg_Birks&SKC JerseysAnd the Easter bunny filled baskets with work out clothes, books, and other fun treats.4.1.18 Easter Baskets!Happy Easter and hopefully happy Spring coming soon!

Dining Room Makeover!


IMG_9948.jpgThe bad thing about remodeling is sometimes your old furniture looks ridiculous when you put it back into the room!  This was most certainly the case in our dining room.  I was trying to be a good sport and live with it, but it just got way too hard.  I saw this black and white striped rug in a catalog and immediately I was on a quest to get it.3.30.18 New Dining Room (3).jpgFrom there, I combed the city looking for a buffet cabinet, tables, and chairs.  All of it came from a variety of different places and my mom graciously dropped everything to help me make decisions.  She’s awesome like that, and she’s retired, so she can!

I scoured through all of my kids artwork and picked my favorites for a gallery wall and it makes all of us so happy looking at it.  The lady at the store where I purchased all of my frames thought I was completely insane wanting to hang all of that amateur art, but what does she know anyway!?  3.30.18 New Dining Room (1).jpgJust in time to serve good Friday dinner to Brian’s family, the room was done!  Whew!3.30.18 New Dining Room (5)3.30.18 Good Friday Easter Dinner (20).JPGI sold my old dining room furniture for next to nothing because there isn’t a strong market for formal dining anymore.  Morgan and I (along with two ladies who spoke fluent Spanish) carried all of that furniture out the front door and loaded it into a truck.  It was a sight for sure!!  We  had a great run with that dining room set – many parties occurred in there – I stood on top of that table many times hanging birthday party decorations and poking thumbtacks and staples into the top of that china cabinet!!  Change is good and we are going to have many more fun celebrations in here!IMG_1945



Spring Break – Playa del Carmen

I’m already sad to report that this may be our last Spring Break trip!  As you know, Reece is very dedicated to gymnastics and the Kansas state meet always occurs around our break, and you aren’t allowed to compete if you miss that week of practice.  UGH!  We will need to get creative on our spring break travels going forward.  This year, however, our trip was already planned, in the books, paid for, and no one was stopping us from getting on that flight to Mexico!  When your family rarely gets to be together as a full crew of 6, scheduling time together becomes a priority.  I started early this time with the packing process because it can really get overwhelming.  Of course, the girls turned it into a fashion show…they always make things fun!3.4.18 Mexico Packing & Fashion Show (1)3.4.18 Mexico Packing & Fashion Show (2)3.4.18 Mexico Packing & Fashion Show (3)And there is nothing cuter than Reece’s lists!  She wanted to make double sure we were prepared!3.4.18 Mexico Packing & Fashion Show (7)3.4.18 Mexico Packing & Fashion Show (8)

The boys were no where in sight during the packing.  Next time I’m going to forget their underwear on purpose and see what happens 😉


We had 6 suitcases and 6 packpacks loaded and ready for a 3:30am wake up call (holy moly, that’s early!)


When we arrived in Cancun, we stepped right into our transportation to the resort in a flash but it eventually took an hour to get there with heavy rain showers and traffic.  My sister and brother-in-law were anxiously awaiting our arrival…so they say ;)!  They spent a few days at the resort alone.  They’ve traveled with us before…they fully know the mayhem that sets in when we arrive!3.13.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Walk.JPG3.15.18 Playa_Azul The Fives.jpgTake a peek at our 3 room villa – with a rooftop deck…it was awesome and the perfect set up for the 8 of us.  Thanks to Shauna & Scott for getting this booked through their membership!


Shauna and Scott had a room, Reece & Morgan had a room, and me, Brian, and the boys had the main suite.  This is a view of the resort…


Within minutes of our arrival, the kids were already ordering strawberry daquiri’s…this was only the start of a week-long plunge into endless junk food and sugary drinks. 3.9.18 Playa_Arrival day! (2)3.9.18 Playa_Arrival day! (4)3.9.18 Playa_Arrival day! (5)

We have been lucky enough to travel to many destinations, and stay at some pretty great places, but what was unique and my favorite part about this resort, was it was in the center of a jungle/cenote.  We saw so many monkey’s, Coati’s, Paca’s…all kinds of wildlife.  I know this was a high-light for the kids as well.  It was a daily routine for us to walk through here and see how many monkey’s we could spot.3.9.18 Playa_Arrival day_Monkeys! (1)

3.9.18 Playa_Arrival day_Monkeys! (5)
You’re not supposed to feed them, but Scott was notorious for bringing along an apple or banana on our morning walks!

3.9.18 Playa_Arrival day_Monkeys! (11)3.9.18 Playa_Arrival Day_Monkeys! (15)

As you can see, they get really close to you!  It almost seems like they will jump on you!


We spent the first day parked at the pool as we had not gotten our request in yet for a beach cabana.  The kids played endless amounts of water basketball – we brought along a blow up hoop from home, and Reece did gymnastics and pool flips constantly.


The rest of the week we parked ourselves in two cabanas on the beach and had an absolute ball!  Brian and Scott had to stand in line each day at 3 to get them reserved…we were lucky to have them.  Despite the fact that there are tons of them, many are already reserved by members, so only a few are left for the taking.

3.14.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Cabana sign up
beach cabana stalkers

3.11.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Cabanas (2)3.12.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Girls Beach Cabana3.13.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Cabanas (1)There were large tide breakers in the water that were the hit of the beach.  Everyone loved swimming out there, standing on them, and jumping off.  Hours of fun!3.12.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Fun (19).JPGOur daily to do list was plentiful….take a walk, see monkey’s, eat & drink, play basketball, eat & drink, play beach soccer, eat & drink, run a race on the beach, eat & drink, play pool basketball, eat & drink, play catch, eat & drink, do back handsprings and handstands constantly, play cards, order room service, hang out on the rooftop, eat & drink, read a good book, play beach paddle ball, eat & drink, do yoga.  Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating on the eating and drinking, but I’m not exaggerating on the daily activities.  We had a lot we wanted to pack in each day!!3.11.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Soccer (6)3.11.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Soccer (9)3.11.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Souvenir Art (3)3.11.18 Playa_Azul_Basketball boys3.12.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Fun (2)3.13.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Fun (4)3.13.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Fun (13)3.13.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Fun (15)3.13.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Fun (21)3.13.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Fun (26)3.13.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Fun (27)3.13.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Fun (29)3.13.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Beach Fun (34)3.13.18 Playa_Beach Walk Race (3)3.13.18 Playa_Jake Beach Pitching Practice (5)3.15.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Reece beach paddle ball (1)

3.10.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Jake at the bar--again!.jpg
If you ever needed to know where Jake was….he was likely at the bar ordering a fancy drink.  This 12 year old hot shot knows how to take full advantage of an all-inclusive resort.

One day in, and the boys are already sunburned and ordering pizza from room service.  Note to self: never let them go on a high school or college spring break trip!


3.15.18 Playa_Morgan Heartbreaker1Morgan has read this book 4 times now.  We think it’s time for her to put that one back on the shelf and venture on to a new one!  We joked that she truly is a “heartbreaker” since she has now broken up with two boyfriends!  Most recently, she broke up with Zach on the last day of our trip.IMG_9614It’s just too much work to have a boyfriend…she’s too busy playing basketball with a fancy drink in one hand and learning how to play blackjack.  You know…really important stuff!3.13.18 Playa_Azul Fives_Pool (8)3.13.18 Playa_teaching Morgan PokerWe got dressed up for dinner each night and laughed about our daily adventures, talked smack about who was the best card/”rollers” player, filled out our march madness brackets, enjoyed a magician, and came home with some awesome souvenirs!3.14.18 Playa_Members Dinner_Azul The Fives (2).JPG
3.14.18 Playa_Members Dinner (3)3.14.18 Playa_Members Dinner (4)3.14.18 Playa_Members Dinner (7)3.14.18 Playa_Members Dinner (11)3.14.18 Playa_Members Dinner (14).jpg3.14.18 Playa_Members Dinner (17)3.13.18 Playa_Azul Fives_breakfast march madness discussion (1)Drew ate more bacon for breakfast each morning than I thought was humanly possible, and I think he still weighs less than 60 lbs.  3.14.18 Playa_Breakfast Drew so much bacon3.15.18 Playa_La Brasserie_our hot spotLa Brasserie quickly became our breakfast favorite.  By the end, the waiters knew exactly what we wanted…shrimp omelette, extra crispy bacon, hash browns, chips & guacamole.  Of course, Brian & Scott would hit the taco stand on the way into breakfast – just a pre-breakfast snack 😉

3.2018 Playa BFF's
Drew and Scott are BFF’s
Scott was teaching Reece to be a card shark and a few unsportsmanlike maneuvers!

Jake and Drew ate so many cheeseburgers on the beach, we weren’t sure if their bodies might go into shock when cheeseburgers weren’t readily available at home!  So far, we’re managing, but a full blown detox is on the to-do list!


3.15.18 Playa_Azul Fives_last beach day (2)3.15.18 Playa_Azul Hammocks (2)3.16.18 Playa_Azul Fives_last morning (1)

The final day is always a hard one.  We are thrown right back into the madness the minute the plane lands back home.  You can see Reece is thrilled….this is what a week of sun and sugar will do!3.16.18 Playa_Our last morning_Azul The Fives (1)

Morgan got to sit in first class on the way home and Reece never did stop flipping!



This vacation meant so much to our family…to be together, to have so many laughs, so many memories, so many stories to tell!!3.2018 Playa9_yogaWe are already exactly one month post Spring Break and there were so many funny things the kids said that we wished we had written down!  Next time!3.13.18 Playa_Azul The Fives_Spring BreakBye Bye Mexico, hope to be back again!




Spring Sports

I’m using the word “Spring” in the title very loosely at this point.  It’s April 9th and I’m sitting here wearing fuzzy snowflake socks, 2 layers of clothing, and counting down 6 weeks until summer break.  Why am I wearing fuzzy snowflake socks and busting out my UGG boots?  This is crazy.  It snowed all day yesterday and all of our sports were cancelled.  If the sun doesn’t come out soon, my mental well-being will definitely be at stake.

I’ve already got my coat, boots, hat, and gloves laid out for tonight when I park myself on a cold bleacher at Morgan’s soccer game.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore watching her play, but I hate shivering head to toe for 80+ minutes.


We are thrilled that she made her high school soccer team…I’ve already signed up to be “snack mom,” stalking the bus pulling into every away game, and gluing my eyes to every move she makes.  It’s a problem, I know this.  Actually, I’m not the only one, I caught her ex-boyfriend taking an extraordinarily long time to stretch after his track practice, to watch the soccer girls.  It was pretty cute.  4.4.18 ONW C vs OW at West (3)_LI.jpgSo far we’ve had 3 scheduled games.  One loss, one win, and one opponent no-show.  Does that actually happen!?  I made arrangements for my kids, drove 40 minutes to Lawrence KS, and started gathering my blankets for game time, when I saw all the girls filing right back on the bus.  Apparently Free State high school cancelled the game but didn’t tell us.  grrrr.  That’s 2 hours, we’ll never get back!  The girls made the best of it with a little singing…check this video link out on Twitter from Coach Weber – you can see Morgan right up front really getting her groove on…

t.co/SO53hlj8mq from Tony’s Tweet



Here are a couple of pics I’ve managed to get so far this season.  Keep in mind that the fields are huge, and her position is center defense, so it’s not ideal for picture-taking.  Brian and I were both tearing up when we saw her walk onto the field suited up as a high school soccer player for the first time.  We need to get our emotions in check or we will never hear the end of it!

3.26.18 ONW C vs SME_away (3)
1st high school game vs. Shawnee Mission East 3.26.18 (3-0 loss)
3.26.18 ONW C vs SME_away (7)
Ava Peters, Gretchen Pool, Morgan, Ellie Peters – Her sweet SME friends came to watch her play…thank you Ava & Ellie!


4.4.18 ONW C vs OW at West (6)4.4.18 ONW C vs OW at West (11)4.4.18 ONW C vs OW at West (5)

4.4.18 ONW C vs OW at West (8)
6-0 Victory vs. Olathe West

In the meantime, Jake has joined the track team at his middle school.  You may recall that he ran cross country in the Fall and loved it.  They practice every day after school and have had one meet so far (the other one cancelled due to weather).  It was miserably cold and wet and I felt so sorry for all of those little 6th graders!  I was terribly ill-prepared and wore converse and no socks and couldn’t feel my feet after about 30 minutes.  My parents braved the weather with me but by the last event, we were all watching from the car!3.29.18 Jake 6GR 1st track meet (1).jpg3.29.18 Jake 6GR 1st track meet (2)_LIHe took 1st place in the 400m.  Here’s a video clip of his run…(he’s the one with black running tights on)

3.29.18 Jake 6GR 1st track meet (4)Their team took 2nd in the 4x200m relay.  Long jump was the last event and we were just totally ‘over’ the meet by then!  It wasn’t his best jump but he did very good considering the field conditions.

It also happened to be Royals opening day!  We almost always go – it’s like a holiday here in KC.  This year we had to sell our tickets because we couldn’t miss Jake’s meet, the weather was awful, and Brian ended up out of town on business anyway.  Reece was supporting in her KC blue…3.29.18 Reece_Royals Opening Day.jpgC’mon Spring, please get here!!

March Madness

It’s March Madness!  Aren’t we all glued to our brackets, the TV, and our phones to check scores!?  It’s the end of the basketball season for our kids so we are occupying our time checking our teams and talking smack.  Or maybe that’s just Drew!?  He likes to go against the grain and root for KU.  I, for one, am happy to be a wildcat fan, especially last night!  I’ll take take that win against Kentucky to advance to the Elite 8 all day long!

Reece getting a little bit of advice on her bracket from Uncle Scott
It’s time to fill out our brackets…We should make it a tradition to do this in Mexico each year!? 😉
Drew and Scott watching the KU game on the beach in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico – Spring Break 2018

Reece’s Pink Thunder 2nd grade team had it’s ups and downs, but they sure are cute!!2.16.18 Reece 2GR Pink Thunder BB (1).jpgThey celebrated the end of the season with a sleepover complete with pizza, a candy concession stand, dance/gymnastics party, and pink trophies!2.24.18 Reece 2GR Pink Thunder BB Sleepover&trophies (2).JPGDrew’s 4th grade Elite basketball team had their ups and downs too, but they were always fun to watch.  Here they are following their last game…2.24.18 Drew 4GR Elite BB_last game (1)2.24.18 Drew 4GR Elite BB_last game (3)Drew spent all of his birthday money on a new pair of basketball shoes with only two games left in the season!  Probably not the most wise move ever, but he was determined to get those shoes!2.17.18 Drew 4GR Lenexa Elite BB (7).JPGJake’s Panthers team ended their 6th grade regular season with a rough final tournament, but we have no doubt they will be finding success again soon.3.4.18 Jake 4GR Panthers March Mania Tourney_Gardner.jpeg

Bulldogs Serve Breakfast

3.4.18 Drew SZBulldogs Sombreros Breakfast Fundraiser (2).jpg

Oh no, it’s baseball season again already!?  Go ahead and sense the panic in that statement right now.  Practices have begun and fundraising of course.  For the 2nd year, Drew’s Bulldogs team has served breakfast burritos at a local Mexican restaurant to receive a large portion of the proceeds.  It’s so cute watching them clean and serve their supportive families!

Shortly after, we rushed over to a soccer game.  It was so cold and windy!  Look at us…we look like we just robbed a convenient store and were hiding out at a soccer field to keep our cover.  3.4.18 Mo&Mom Soccer GameUgh…this is not a good look for us, MoMo 😉

Morgan’s ONW BB Banquet

Somehow I thought it was a good idea to leave Jake in charge of Reece and Drew while I attended Morgan’s Olathe Northwest basketball banquet this week.  Several calls from home and multiple text messages later, I was regretting my choice.  Nothing a little bribery couldn’t fix (double cheeseburgers and frosty’s from Wendy’s)!

This is actually my first high school sports banquet and I wish someone would have given me a heads up to bring a box of kleenex.  I had been told by multiple people before the season that the ladies head basketball coach was nothing short of amazing.  They were right.  As it turns out, every word he speaks is enlightening and he was tearing up 5 minutes into the banquet thinking about his senior girls.  Shortly after our meal, each senior had written a letter to her parents and read it aloud.  I don’t see how there was a dry eye in the place!  I, for one, was a mess, and these girls were perfect strangers to me!  Imagine how I will be when my own kids actually are seniors!  I’m scared of how I might behave and no doubt I will be an embarrassment to them.  Guys, this is your first warning!  Thankfully I still have some time to pull it together.3.21.18 Morgan 9GR ONW BB Banquet (1).jpgDespite the fact that Morgan didn’t even show up to the first day of tryouts and was coerced to play by the coaches, she had a successful and fun season!  We absolutely loved watching her play.  3.21.18 Morgan 9GR ONW BB Banquet (2).jpgMoMo, you should be so proud of yourself.  You handled this high school sport, that you were unsure of, with grace and determination and impressed all of us!2.16.18 Morgan 9GR ONW BB vs ON (4)2.16.18 Morgan 9GR ONW BB vs ON (6)2.16.18 Morgan 9GR ONW BB vs ON (9)2.16.18 Morgan 9GR ONW BB vs ON (14)You moved right into a week of soccer tryouts, a new season awaits, and we are once again excited to see how you grow in your 3rd high school sport.  You are the most fantastic freshman…you go girl!1.18 Morgan 9GR ONW BB Pic1.18 Morgan 9GR ONW BB Pic_17-18