Orchestra Elementary School Tour

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A full gym at Manchester Park Elementary

On a last minute whim and slight miracle,  I decided to catch the Orchestra playing at Manchester Park this morning.  The 6th and 8th grade Prairie Trail Orchestra students are are touring around on buses today and playing at 3 local elementary schools. Thankfully my awesome neighbor offered to take Morgan and her giant instrument to school bright and early so that my other three didn’t have to try to get ready for school by themselves.  That would have been a terrible disaster.  Our mornings tend to go better than our evenings, but let’s be real – it’s a three ring circus.  I’m certain Jake would have made it on the bus no problem but he would have left Reece and Drew in the dust.


As soon as I walked into the building I had multiple teachers commenting to me about how much Morgan looks like me.  It’s true – we are like twins except I can’t play the cello! As usual, after hearing this performance I am totally envious of these talented kids. Maybe I should take a class and learn to play a strings instrument!!?  I can put that on my list of classes I want to take!  Remember I’m going to take a class to learn to use my camera, how to use the Cricut machine, how to use social media, learn to play golf, start a party planning business…and there’s probably more things I’m yearning to do that I haven’t even thought of yet!  Hey at least I’m sticking to my goal of continuing my blog.  I have yet to fall off the wagon on that one!

I spotted Morgan right away and I had to get a picture of course!  For some reason she was not on board with this idea and tried to jab me with her cello bow…

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Sorry MoMo, I’m persistent.  I was not leaving that gym without a picture.  You take 1,000 pictures a day of yourself and snap chat them.  What’s the big deal?  You’re lucky I made it into the shower and didn’t come straight from the gym looking like a wreck.

My sweet nephew Collin was also on the tour playing with the 6th grade orchestra and I caught Jake – both of them were acting embarrassed to take a picture too!  Seriously guys, this is what parents do…take pictures and document everything!!  It will show up in a graduation slide show in the future.  You’re welcome. 🙂

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I’m super proud of you Morgan, Collin, and the PRT orchestra –  you are talented kids!

If you have a few extra minutes sometime, pop in some earbuds and listen to this music on YouTube. There’s not much to see other than the back of Morgan’s head (2nd one in with the beautiful long hair), but the music is fantastic!  The elementary kids loved it too- they got a kick out of the Scooby Doo and Star Wars tunes.

These are listed in order of how they were played this morning (Scooby Doo, Star Wars1, Star Wars2, Legends of Glory, Play Ball).  The 4th song is my personal favorite!

Game Ball

Hey Hey Drewy…congratulations on earning the game ball Tuesday night!  We heard you pitched lights out and earned that ball!  Maybe the key is not having your parents in attendance!?  While I was at Fine Arts Night at school and Dad was traveling, Papa was on baseball duty!  He is a proud papa always, but this night he was especially proud of you Drew.   The Bulldogs were down 9-4 when you came in to pitch and you ended up closing it out with a win 13-11!  Way to put it to ’em Drew!  So happy for you!

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Papa and Baseball mom’s were texting me to keep me updated!







Spring Fling

It’s baseball season – which means we spend every waking moment at the baseball fields and scrubbing white baseball pants!  It’s really fun most of the time except absolutely nothing gets accomplished all weekend long.  And this only applies to 2 of the 4, so there’s a lot of soccer in there as well.  This is one precious moment I captured of my littles before our weekend of craziness began….

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And Jake got to go fishing with Papa.  This one wasn’t long enough to keep – but a real “beauty” as my dad would say…

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Drew and his Strikezone Bulldogs team competed in the Spring Fling tournament.  We went from winter coats and blankets to tank tops and snow cones within a matter of hours, but some great baseball was played.  Drew primarily plays 2nd base in tournaments but got a little bit of time on the mound in the finals game.

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and he had a nice hit that Brian happened to catch on video.  Be very patient…there are a lot of pitches (this is our first season playing kid-pitch).

You can see by the long face, the Bulldogs lost in the finals game to the Topeka Monarchs. 4.23.17 Drew Spring Fling Tourney_2Place (4).JPG

4.23.17 Drew Spring Fling Tourney_2Place (2)4.23.17 Drew Spring Fling Tourney_2Place (3)Way to battle out there 20!  Making it to the finals is a great accomplishment and you also played 2 soccer games in the middle of it all!  There’s many more tournaments to come…


I really have no experience with the sport of track.  I’m surprised I don’t because according to my mom, our family does about every sport invented.  She cracks me up when she says the next sport we will pick up is “tiddlywinks.”  I don’t even know what that is, but it makes me laugh every time she says it.

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Jake was selected from his grade school to participate in a relay at the Prairie Trail Middle School track meet last week.  Yay Jake!!  Based on his PE times, he qualified, along with 3 other boys and 3 other girls + alternates.  Each grade school that feeds into the PRT boundaries also did the same selection with their fifth graders and they competed in a relay.  I’m pretty sure Manchester Park took dead last but I was thrilled to be there anyway and he received a T-Shirt for participating…which Morgan took over within minutes of leaving the track.

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Jake Robinson . Ian . Jake Conley . Carter File (alternate) . Harry Milligan

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Here’s his short little relay run (apparently the proper baton hand-off technique was not part of the practices!?)  You’ll see…


Fine Arts & Self Portraits

4.25.17 MPE Fine Arts Fair

I’m definitely a supporter of fine arts and I love every piece of artwork that comes home in a backpack.  OK maybe some are a little odd but I don’t discriminate – I keep them all. Kiddos, one day you will get a wonderful package of artwork from your youth.  Just appease me and accept it – you can throw it away later behind my back.  Except for these because they are my favorites and they make my office look super cool…


In the Spring, Manchester Park has a Fine Arts Night where the hallway walls are covered with student art – it’s AWESOME!  In addition, parents can hear performances by the special chorus, band, orchestra, and guitar club.  There’s also a book fair in the library.  Honestly, it’s a bit chaotic.

Jake cut out of baseball practice a little early, changed in the car, and slammed down a quesadilla in the 5 minute drive from practice to the school.  Impressive!  He’s gotten a lot of practice at this sort of routine I guess.  He performed with the special chorus singing songs from the decades – starting with the 60’s to current.  Then he performed with the band.  I have to say, the band has come a long way since I first heard them play!

I’m pretty sure this isn’t the posture that Mrs. Bullins prefers for her band members but luckily you’re cute,  so she probably doesn’t notice…

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Finally we made it to the hallways to admire the art.  Yours truly cut out all of these stems and assembled this flower garden for Reece’s 1st grade class.  Needless to say my 1 hour volunteer shift turned into a 2 hour shift!  Mrs. Lawrence is really lucky I like arts and crafts!  Can you imagine Brian getting suckered into this project!?

I love it when the kids are asked to do self portraits or self reflection writing.  It’s awesome to discover what they think about themselves and portray it in writing or pictures.  Check out these self-portraits!!

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Reece, I love that you put heart tattoos on your arms and giant bottom lashes on your eyes.  Those lashes are very long – maybe a little too much mascara!?

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I guess Jake forgot his eyes were brown, but very accurate hair and a cool art project nonetheless!  Overall, a little scary right!?  I hope both of you know that you are much cuter than you portray yourselves!

Every once in awhile it is nice to take a break from sports.  A little singing, dancing, music, and taking pride in your artwork, makes you smile and laugh in a different way. For instance, I cannot stop laughing at some of these recent writings from Reece…

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I would love to see this dance off with Dad some day, Reece, it sounds super fun and entertaining!

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This is 100% accurate.  I do tell Reece repeatedly to pick up her room and Brian is always needing quiet time to conduct conference calls.  I love your honesty, Reece.

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And probably my most favorite writing piece is this one, where Reece would like to be the President of Target.  Clearly we spend a lot of time at Target and it has made an impression!!  Reecie, I hope you are the president of Target some day – that would be magnificent!  P.S. Please give me the friends and family discount….

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Pajama Party-Part II

I was so excited to share my pictures from Reece’s 1st Grade Music Program that I neglected to include the YouTube video clips.  If you have a spare few minutes, you really should watch these….they are hilarious!  She’s in the white nightgown.  Great Job Reece!

Happy Easter!

Last week Drew asked me several times why I was ironing.  This has really caused me to pause and laugh because apparently the sight of an ironing board set up is not something normal in this household!  Yikes…is that sad!?  Do my kids not know what an iron is? Am I failing to teach them something important in life?  Is ironing such a rare occurrence that we all walk around wrinkled?  Crap!

At Easter and Christmas, I do make an effort to coordinate nice outfits for our family and iron them!  Any other day, the shirts go up the street to the cleaners, or we walk out the door unpressed.  My daily outfit is work-out clothes so I’m not generally stressing about wrinkles.  I’ve been all over town and the internet trying to find clothes that will please my kids’ style for two days worth of celebrating.  Not an easy task, but I’m determined! Drew, for the record, we do own an iron, and if you need to get wrinkles out of clothing, it’s the best tool for the job.  When you go to college, I will buy you one.

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Day one of celebrating the holiday – Good Friday.  We happened to be out of school for a teachers professional day and Jake managed to get a round of golf in at Lake Quivira and try out our new golf cart.  Yes, we are now the proud owners of a golf cart!  Our family really needs a bus-sized golf cart, but this will have to do!

4.14.17 New Golf Cart!_LQMorgan had friends over to destroy my kitchen making cake pops and continued a fun day out at the lake “hammocking”…yes…this is a thing…IMG_7390.JPG

Drew got to go to a birthday party and Reece just ran the neighborhood (kidding…gma and gpa babysat) while I made an attempt to purchase new furniture for our family room.

Friday night we colored our eggs…I love this activity!

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Saturday we celebrated Easter at my parents with a giant Easter Egg hunt (probably 150+ eggs), delicious food, fancy drinks, snuggles with their new puppy, and target practice. Because that’s a totally normal thing to do at Easter time, right!?  Only at the Michie Farm.

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My dad is so cute and spent about $5 on this camo outfit for Morgan off the clearance rack at Wal-Mart.  You will learn that my dad is the thriftiest person on the planet and bound and determined to convert at least one grandchild into a hunter.  He has a big heart and Morgan is thrilled with her new clothes…she made a quick outfit change…

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No one actually looks cute in this type of clothing except for Morgan of course!

Here’s an adorable flashback photo of Morgan receiving her first camo outfit!!  I think my dad bought her this one as well.  Can you tell that he’s been trying to push her into hunting since day 1!!??


Here’s a video clip of her shooting clay pigeons…


Little puppy Tip seems to be smitten with Reece.  BFF’s for sure.


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Reece has a tradition of lining up her Easter egg hunt loot into a glorious pattern!

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She was super productive because she also read almost an entire chapter book to grandpa.  He might have been asleep…we’re not sure.  What we are sure about is he is the only one that had the patience to sit down and listen for such a long time!

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On Sunday morning the Easter bunny had generously filled the kids baskets and we did our tradition of hunting for the “Golden Egg” from clues hidden in the house.  Reece wasn’t entirely convinced the Easter Bunny had brought her anything of value but I convinced her otherwise.  She got a new fishing pole!  Papa…she’s ready to come out to the pond!

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We dressed up in coordinated outfit #2 (wrinkle-free) and made it to church on time!  A little snafu occurred with our brunch plans so we had to make a quick trip home to change into jeans and sweatshirts and ate outside!  Scott and Morgan powered through multiple giant chocolate covered strawberries and declared themselves the champions of chocolate covered strawberry eating.  I’m certain we have consumed enough calories for 2 weeks!

We did an egg hunt in our yard…first time ever!!  This Easter Bunny did such a great job that we had trouble finding all the eggs.  oops!

Reece absolutely loves arts and crafts, so we spent part of our afternoon making this cool thing…everybody should have one of these sitting on their living room shelves!!

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We only had one soccer game and one baseball practice to contend with and that closes the books on another fun-filled Easter weekend!!