Morgan is 14!

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This beautiful girl is 14 today!  Time has literally flown by and each day she gets a little more awesome.  Although I’m sure that’s coming to a screeching halt as soon as she steps through the doors of high school in a couple months.  Yikes!  Or maybe she’ll surprise us and continue her ‘awesomeness’ streak forever!  A mom can dream can’t she!?

Many of our friends and family say our house would fall apart without this young lady!  I hate to admit it because that implies I’m sort of doing a crappy job as mom, but there is some truth to it!  All joking aside, she really is amazing and I’m super proud to be her mom!

Enjoy this little flashback photo from her birthday in 2006 (let’s hope she doesn’t try to wear that outfit again – it’s only cute when you’re 3!!)

6-27-06 hula girl96-29-06 rainforest dinnerHappy Birthday Morgan!  Love you to pieces!  XOXO

 

One comes home…and another leaves!

I’m starting to see a pattern here.  This is the 3rd week in a row this Summer that one of my children has left home.  We just got Morgan back from her mission trip to St. Louis. She was deeply missed by the way!  Reece slept in her bed every night and asked about her endlessly.  I think she also explored around her room quite a bit too…sorry MoMo!! If anything is missing or out of place, you know who to hunt down!

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Reece made this sign all by herself and asked us to sign it.  Sweet sister!

We almost missed the return – in fact the buses were already in the church parking lot when we rolled in.  Oops!  It took me about .2 seconds to find her – I had my eagle mom eyes on full alert.  I’m certain I was happier to see her than she was to see me but I couldn’t help myself, my heart was bursting with excitement.  They had a very successful trip and helped the the St. Louis community in many ways.  Way to go 7th & 8th grade youth group!!

Ok back to this morning…I dropped this little cutie off at YouthFront West Camp with his buddies.  I’m very sorry cabin #4 leaders…there’s a lot of energy in this 9 year old group!! Plus I already heard them stirring up a rivalry with members of another baseball team that we defeated a few weeks back.  Yikes!  Best of luck camp staff! 😉

I hope you have so much fun Drew Boo.  I miss you already (Wednesday morning can’t get here fast enough)!!IMG_8123

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Beau Reves . Kole Kemp . Drew Conley . Oto Sics . Quinn Sullivan

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Bulldogs Mom’s Rule!

I can’t stop smiling today thinking about the super fun evening I spent with the Bulldogs and their mom’s last night!  I have a little bit of pull with the head coach Mr. Brian Conley (not much though) and he let us crash the dugout to coach our boys last night!  It’s no secret that all of us are wild about our boys and watching them play baseball is an absolute blast…but coaching them is even better!  This is definitely a night I will never forget.  Love these boys, love their families, love #20 with all my heart.

6.19.17 Mom's Coach Night_Bulldogs (1)6.19.17 Mom's Coach Night_Bulldogs (49).JPGWe got awesome t-shirts made, smuggled our boys Hawaiian hats out of the house, and tried our best to learn the signals and remember some of Brian’s MANY sayings and pep talks (no one can replicate this – he’s the master at it!).  And of course who would get to assume the coveted position of sitting on the bucket!

We brought in snacks for the boys and a few fun ‘mom’ drinks and had the best time making memories with these little athletes.  Except they aren’t little anymore – in fact, most of them are actually much bigger than me at this point.  I think I could pass for an 11 year old bulldog baseball player!  I’ve already decided that’s my next Halloween costume.6.19.17 Mom's Coach Night_Bulldogs (39).JPG

Our little diva, Heather, gets the award for best dressed and the most looks from the umps.6.19.17 Mom's Coach Night_Bulldogs (19).JPGSheila and Jamie were bound and determined to slaughter our opponent while Christie and I just wanted to chit chat with the boys, keep it a friendly & nurturing environment, and give out hugs.  We probably have no business coaching a baseball team with our ‘everyone’s a winner’ demeanor!  Here’s Christie giving her son a pep talk on the mound. Priceless!6.19.17 Mom's Coach Night_Bulldogs (47).JPG

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With all these bulldogs and their moms…it’s a full dugout!!

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6.19.17 Mom's Coach Night_Bulldogs (64).JPGWe ended up losing the game, but only by two runs.  I’d say that’s a job well done!  We laughed a ton and made memories with our son’s that we will cherish forever.  Maybe next year we can pull out a victory!6.19.17 Mom's Coach Night_Bulldogs (54).JPG6.19.17 Mom's Coach Night_Bulldogs (63).JPG

Post-Game speech can be viewed on this YouTube clip!

Go Bulldogs!

St. Louis Mission Trip

Oh no!!  I just got Jake back from a long week at camp and now Morgan is leaving!  Again I’m left questioning why I agreed to all of these summer activities.  You just can’t discourage your child from going out to serve the community!  As much as I will deeply miss her presence here in our house, I’m so proud of her for choosing to spend a week out of her summer to help those in need.  Yesterday afternoon (on a beautiful Father’s Day), this almost 14 year old rolled out of the church parking lot in these cute little vans to go to St. Louis until Friday night.

 

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Reece is sleeping in Morgan’s bed while she is away…isn’t that the cutest!? 

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I will think about her every minute until she returns safely home and I am already stalking facebook every five seconds to see if I can catch a glimpse of her.  I sort of hate social media (except here I am writing a blog! ha!;)) and I am only on facebook so I can see what she is up to on mission trips.  These teens leave their phones behind for the trip and I LOVE that because I think they are sort of ruining society.  BUT they do make life a tich easier and thanks to the youth group leader, we get updates so we don’t completely lose our minds. IMG_8066.PNG

IMG_8060These are her friends and van-mates for the journey.

Today is their fun day and they will be doing many team-building activities together until the real work sets in tomorrow.IMG_8067.JPGMorgan you are a such a generous person and we love your willingness to step into charitable situations without hesitation!  Just a few days ago she painted faces for kids with cancer.  How cool is that!?IMG_8046.JPGAs the van rolled out of the church parking lot I couldn’t keep my tears in as much as I tried.  I really did try!  At least we were able to squeeze in a fun family night together going out to eat and making homemade ice cream. Our power went out for 5 hours which caused a hiccup in that process.  We make ice cream maybe once every couple of years and the one night we chose to make it the power goes out mid-churn!  What the heck are the chances!

IMG_8051.JPGOk so the ice cream actually turned out pretty yummy despite only churning half the necessary time and we enjoyed a great Father’s Day brunch with family the next morning.  We love to celebrate all of our dad’s because they’re awesome!!  And might as well throw in a few more activities for the day – a couple baseball games and a US Kids Golf Tourney.  We really like to pack it in. IMG_8063IMG_8065

Happy Dad’s Day!!  XOXO

Today I’m practically in tears again staring at this screen on my computer and very reluctantly pulling my credit card out of my wallet.  I’m registering and paying for soccer today.  You are probably double checking to see if that amount is correct aren’t you!?  I know I am! $3430 for 3 kids to play soccer!!?  Holy cow.  And this is only one sport and not including uniforms and tournament fees.  There goes all those house projects I was hoping to get to soon!IMG_8069.JPG

 

Jake – Youthfront

IMG_8016.JPGThis is what I stared at last night for several minutes with tears in my eyes…Jake’s super tidy EMPTY bed because he is at camp until Saturday! What the heck is wrong with me!? Should I be happy that I’m down 1 for several days!?  The truth is, I still have 3 others here so I’m still not going to get anything done!  I prefer my whole crew here with me. Just ask any of them…they barely have sleepovers!  As I was watching the NBA finals with Drew last night, I wondered if Jake was getting to watch or if anyone was updating them on the outcome.  I really could care less about the Golden State Warriors or the Cavs or that Kevin Durant is the MVP, but since I have two sports-loving boys, I find myself in tune with it all.  I tried to have a fun night with my girls too and they chose to rent “A Dogs Purpose” which of course had me tearing up every 5 minutes (and I’m not even an animal lover!)  Not a wise choice for the evening of camp drop off!

I highly doubt Jake has even given us a second thought.  He had his stuff laid out and ready for me to double check without me even asking!  I printed out a packing list from my camp expert friend and he had it done in no time!!  THANK YOU JAMIE (you know I was totally stressing out about missing something).  That’s how I roll.  Why can’t he be this enthusiastic about every other household chore!?6.12.17 Jake YouthFront Camp (2).JPGProbably only about a third of these items will actually make it out of that cabin and back into our house.

This group of soccer besties is totally adorable and I know Jake is thrilled to spend the week with them.

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Jake . Aidan . Payson . Brooks and their leaders for Cabin #4 (Youthfront Camp West)

These boys instructed all the moms to send way more snacks than we did last year because apparently they ran out on day 2.  If this is any indication of what their food needs are for the future, we’re totally in trouble!  Don’t they feed them at this camp!?6.12.17 Jake YouthFront Camp (4).JPGBrooks has an older sister at Camp this week too and I’m hoping she’ll report back any shenanigans.  Surely this crew will make good decisions won’t they?

6.12.17 Jake YouthFront Camp_11 yrs (1).jpgThis is one of the Bulldogs baseball dads that helps coach the boys.  He and his family help with LaCygne YF camp all summer long and he stopped by to see the boys.  So kind!6.12.17 Jake YouthFront Camp (3).JPGJake’s bottom bunk buddy, Aidan, brought enough blankets for a long cold Winter even though it’s 90 degrees, so thankfully he shared with Jake.  I know you can’t tell from the picture of his bed at the beginning of this post, but he really is a minimalist when it comes to sleeping.  He just needs a pillow and his Royals blanket and he’s good to go.  He doesn’t see the purpose of bed sheets.

Maybe this year he will come home with less souvenirs!  Last year he thought he had to spend every cent in his account, so he came home with multiple water bottles, sunglasses, candy, etc.

Saturday can’t get here fast enough.  Miss you bunches Jakers!

XOXO

Reece’s 1st Swim Meet!

Brace yourself for some cuteness.  The day Reece has been waiting for has finally arrived!  Today she participated in her first swim meet!  Since January, this little one has been begging me to sign her up for swim team (ever since I took her to one of Morgan’s practices).  I convinced her to wait until summer when she had more free time.  For 5 long months I’ve endured the questions of when swim team starts!

A majority of  last night we talked about what to pack up for this morning and she had everything laid out and ready and we hit the road at 7:30 a.m.IMG_7976It was a little breezy this morning so getting out of the pool with wet skin is a little rough but she handled it like a champ.  This swimmer was so excited to be at this meet – there was nothing that would get her down! IMG_7973These little ones swim 25m and only freestyle and back stroke at the first meet.  As the summer continues they will add in breast stroke and butterfly.  Honestly, I just pray that they make it to the end of the pool!  There’s definitely some crying, panting, hanging on to the ropes, etc. that occurs at these pre-competitive meets.  Yikes!  Luckily for me, I didn’t have any of that with Reece.  Actually I think she would’ve tried to do a flip turn and swim the other 25m if they would’ve let her!IMG_7977She talked to me about every little detail the entire way home, barely taking a breath. Adorable!  Way to go Reecie Cups!

P.S. Don’t even ask me what her times were or what place she took – I literally only watched her lane and tuned everything thing else out.  Mom’s are good at that.

In the meantime, I just received a phone call that another soccer club wants her on their academy team after watching her at a short session this week.  Yikes, I was hoping they would say she was horrible.  I would take any ounce of her athleticism!  You go girl!IMG_7941.JPG

Lenexa Lazers vs. Roeland Park Stingrays

The 2017 Swim Team season has arrived!  First of all I just have to say YAY for Morgan for getting up early every weekday morning to go to swim team practice on her Summer break!  She’s so stinkin’ cute and never utters a complaint.

Tonight was her 1st meet for the 2017 summer season with our community swim team, Lenexa Lazers.  This was a long course meet – meaning the pool is a 50m pool, so no flip turns necessary unless competing in a 100m race.

I’m definitely Morgan’s super fan and we have gotten our swim meet packing down to a science along with staking out a good spot on the side of the pool.  However, tonight I was quickly reminded how much swim families annoy me!  I think I’ve said this before and I’m apologizing up front for offending any ‘swim teamers’ but seriously!  They holler out and act ridiculous on the side of the pool and don’t they know that the swimmers cannot hear them!?  There’s a lot of weird cheering and I choose to go about my business like I normally do at sporting events.  I know this is going to sound weird, but I actually watch what is going on and keep my comments to myself.  Particularly when I’m at a swim meet.  I mean you blink your eye and your swimmer has made it to the other end of the pool so you better pay attention!  I’ve only missed 1 race because I wasn’t on the ball and I will never do that again!   I mean all this effort – at least SEE the 30-50 seconds they’re in the pool!

Both of us were cracking up that we didn’t even know if her times were good tonight!  I really have zero competitive bones in my body so just watching this cute face does it for me!  Way to go MoMo!IMG_7950We should probably brush up on her previous times so we have something to compare it to!  All I really noticed is that she is very strong in the first 25 meters then she loses momentum.  But the fact that anyone can make it that far in less than a minute mesmerizes me regardless!  After checking the app tonight, I see that she got 5th out of 16 swimmers in 50 freestyle with a 38.28 time, 2nd out of 8 swimmers in Back Stroke, 48.13 seconds, and 5th out of 12 swimmers in 50 Breaststroke, 56.99 seconds.  Hey – sounds great to me and since she said she could barely feel her legs after her first swim, I’m thinking these finishes have to be a success!IMG_7951.JPGShe has meets against other community swim teams every Thursday night so we have much more swimming to come!

In the meantime, this little darling has begged and pleaded to join Lenexa Lazers and since I’ve clearly proven I can’t say no to kids’ activities, here she is soooo excited to put on her swim cap for the first time!

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Stay tuned for Reece’s first meet coming up this Saturday!