Alaska! Drew’s 50 States Parade

5.15.18 Drew 4GR Alaska Float (1).jpgI had a list of things I wanted to write about before the kids got out of school for the summer and ran out of time.  This is a common theme for me right now.  Never enough hours in the day!  I can’t let this one slip through because it’s about the 50 states parade!  This is the infamous project for 4th graders at Manchester Park.  They spend their school year learning all about the U.S. states and the culmination is a research project and parade.  The state is randomly assigned to each student and Drew got Alaska!  I thought this was awesome, but he apparently was not thrilled with his draw.  I assured him that it was better than North Dakota (this was Jake’s unlucky draw in 4th grade – Sorry North Dakotan’s!)

This project always falls at the beginning of May – right smack in the middle of teacher appreciation week, Reece’s birthday, graduations, end of year banquets, and Mother’s day.  No doubt, many moms end up helping their kids with this project on Mother’s Day with a fake smile on their face.

Drew did all the research on Alaska and typed it into the computer all by himself but at the end of the day, most parents help with the final product – a float, created on a wagon, for the parade through the school.  Great job Drew!5.15.18 Drew 4GR Alaska Float (2).jpg

Despite the fact that May is crazy and all of us are totally frazzled, I love this parade!  It’s exciting for the entire school, parents, grandparents, etc.  They come into the gym wearing red, white, and blue, singing patriotic songs and showing off their state.  It’s adorable!  Take a look at Drew’s shining moment in this YouTube clip.  He’s supposed to be wearing a beanie hat that had an Alaska patch on the front  but he said he “forgot it on his desk.”  This is totally on purpose, I’m sure of it!  It was only a hat! One girl dressed up head to toe in a prairie outfit pulling a covered wagon!  Now that’s what I call dressing the part!

5.16.18 Drew 4GR 50 states parade (1).JPG

I’ve heard rumblings that the 50 States Parade is changing going forward because too many of the floats look like they were done solely by adults and not enough work on the part of the students.  Maybe it’s because this guy decided to show off at the end with his Seattle space needle….clearly this was done by his parents!!  Check out the YouTube clip…

I know, it’s super cool and creative but this may have ruined it for the kiddos moving up to 4th grade in the future.  I hope they keep the parade!

Way to go Drew Boo!!  P.S. you would’ve looked adorable in the hat that mysteriously got left on your desk 😉5.16.18 Drew 4GR 50 states parade (2).JPGXOXO, Mom

It’s official…it’s Summer!


As of noon today, all 4 kiddos are checking off the box for the 2017-2018 school year – with straight A’s in the grade book.  Yeah baby!  This day always comes with a lot of excitement and also a little stress about how to handle all of the after school plans.  I’m only one person, I can’t be at 4 after school outings at once.  Thank goodness for all moms pooling this duty together.  Today I was in charge of handling my girls and my boys were off and running with other groups.  And we made it through!  Here are the highlights for today…


Came out of school bawling that she will miss her teacher.  Mrs. Anderson is amazing but this is definitely a first for me.  In all the years, I’ve never had a child cry on the last day of school.  What a bummer to start the summer out crying!  After grabbing lunch at Goodcents and making a craft at home with her friend Kenley, she was all smiles.

This is a cute video of her class in the last few minutes of the school day…


Gathered with 17 boys at the Coad’s brand new house behind the school for pizza and gatorade.  They started walking to the mini golf course nearby and he apparently got stung by a bee.  He powered through the afternoon but by the time I saw him, his leg was visibly swollen and he was limping.  This kid has the worst luck ever!


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I love this pic on the ‘almost last day of school’ of the kids playing with shaving cream –  SO FUN!


Made his own plans to celebrate after school which included going to a house party with 3 friends.  However, it also included 5 girls!  What!?  I’m definitely not on board with this plan but he said they were just going to eat and play sports outside and it would be weird if he broke the plans.  I asked if I could bring anything to the party and he insisted that it was all taken care of.  When I finally got in touch with him by 3pm (I guess he lost track of time when I said call me when you get to the party), it seemed like the afternoon was a blast – they ate a ton of good food catered in by Buffalo Wild Wings in a very nice home and played soccer outside.  Then off to golf practice at Lake Quivira.  Sounds like a boys’ dream…wings, girls, soccer & golf!

5.24.18 Jake last day 6GR_after school party
This little cutie on the far left end, we tease him about – they have been “friends” for awhile

5.24.18 Jake last day 6GR



I picked up these adorable girls and dropped them off at Spin Pizza for lunch.  They are so cute (for now – until they trade in these cute outfits for Nike running shorts and cut up t-shirts for the summer)!  They were busy talking about their finals and their grades, and still ordering kids meals even though they are Sophomores in high school now!  Morgan pulled off straight A’s and had a range of emotions during final exams.  One minute she was doing a cartwheel in her History classroom and the next minute she was welling up with tears!5.24.18 Morgan Last day 9GR_Spin pizza.jpg

In the meantime, Reece has done it again…she’s created the most fabulous place to play in the corner of our family room.  Reece’s Art Center is in full working order.  She is watching YouTube videos on how to draw and coming up with some really great art pieces!!  Check back soon…I will have some awesome art to share!5.24.18 Reece's Art Center.jpg

5.24.18 Last day of 9,6,4,2 Grade!

Goodbye 9th, 6th, 4th, and 2nd Grade!  Happy Summer!

Morgan-ONW Soccer Banquet

Somehow we’ve managed to get to the last week of school already.  My oldest child is about to put her first year of high school in the record books.  That’s a hard one to swallow!  I know I say this every year, but this literally IS the fastest school year ever!  She’s in the throws of final exams the next few days and will gracefully transition into swim team every morning, golf practices, soccer camp, and a week-long mission trip to West Virginia.  Trading in her awesome soccer sock tan for a swim team tan.  No doubt she will still make time for TV watching and friends!

Last night I attended the Olathe Northwest soccer banquet with Morgan.  I’m officially a professional banquet attender.  I might just hit a few more random ones just because I’m feeling so comfortable with it now!  It’s always the same food – salad, pasta, bread, and cake.  I could use a change in menu from time to time!  The other kids are left at home to fend for themselves.  This time I received no phone calls from home, so it’s a win!IMG_2466.jpgThis banquet was pretty uneventful, no speeches filled with tears from seniors or coaches, just teary-eyed parents in the audience and a bunch of giggly soccer girls looking adorable all dressed up.IMG_2469.jpgTo you, Morgan, thank you for never giving up on your love of soccer even though I know there were some very trying times this season.  You have this incredibly amazing way of rising above adversity.  For that, I could never be more proud.  There are a million other reasons why I’m proud, but we’d be here all night!IMG_2120 (1).jpgHappy Summer Baby Girl!

Coach Weber & C Team Girls Spring 2018 (Record: 8-5)  Coach Weber said it should’ve been 11-3 😉

IMG_6177IMG_6182IMG_6186IMG_61914.30.18 Mo ONW Soccer

5.9.18 Mo Coach Weber
Coach Weber has an adorable 8 mo old…sure to be a soccer player!

5.9.18 Mo ONW last game5.9.18 Mo ONW C Team_Coach WeberCongrats to these Lady Ravens who finished the season strong with a 10-0 victory over Free State high school!  Sorry MoMo, we were a little obnoxious in the stands when you scored a goal – that’s what we’re supposed to do – embarrass you!

Reece-KGDC Gymnastics Banquet

Reece is front row third from right

Being new to competitive gymnastics, I didn’t realize there was an end-of-season banquet.  But I’ve come to realize that team sports have a lot of banquets so I better get used to it!  The end of the gymnastics meet season means a sigh of relief for me.  I’m going to take a break from going all over the place to these meets and constantly having a nervous stomach ache.

As we walked into the banquet room, we didn’t really know anyone so I figured she would not leave my side.  Well, to my surprise, she dropped me quickly as soon as her Level 3 gymnast friends arrived.  Right then and there I could see that she is really growing up and maturing.  It was bittersweet.5.8.18 Reece KGDC Banquet_Level3 (4).jpgThey recognize each and every gymnast,  Level 3 through Level 9, at KGDC with their accomplishments and personality traits, received gifts, signed yearbooks, took pictures, and ate a meal.  2 1/2 hours later, we were finally walking to our car.  Yikes, that’s a long banquet!!

Reece-far bottom right

For some reason I decided to not video what Miss Tracy had to say about Reece because I guess I was in a trance of some sort!  I’m totally kicking myself for that ‘mom fail’!  Let’s just say that Tracy had some wonderful things to say about Reece as she often does.  She is one of the hardest workers in the gym and she is always on task and following directions.  This is AWESOME!  Now, could we get a little of that at home, please!? 😉  She’s the same way at school and her teacher cannot gush anymore over her.

autographs from coach Tracy and Makayla (her twister sister)

5.8.18 Reece KGDC Banquet_Level3 (3).jpgHer twister sister, Makayla Todd, is a very successful Level 8 gymnast and has spoiled her with awesome notes, gifts, and treats throughout the season.  Their personalities are so similar and Reece really looks up to her.  Aren’t they cute!?5.8.18 Reece KGDC Banquet_Level3 (5).jpgJob well done Reecie, you have amazed us with your perseverance and dedication to gymnastics.  You are going to do great things!!

Congratulations Jake!

Wow, I am so proud of this 6th grader for receiving all A’s this school year.  I’d say his transition into middle school has gone A-OK!  He monitors his grades online about every 30 minutes and I love that about him!

So if being in professional sports doesn’t pan out, you’ve always got your intelligence to fall back on, bud.  And you’re cute…so there’s that too 😉5.3.18 Jake 6GR All A's Honor Roll Award (5)Seriously, keep up the great work, Jake, I promise you, those excellent grades will always serve you well.  You rock!!

Reece is 8!

IMG_2210.jpgI can’t tell you how happy I am to see this sweet 8 year old perky and smiling right now!! For the last 2 days, she has not been feeling well and sleeping non-stop.  No one should be sick on their birthday!!  She has been so excited for this day and you know she’s sick when she didn’t even want to go to gymnastics or soccer!  That’s when you bust out the thermometer, STAT!

This morning she was up early getting her hair braided and anxiously awaiting Aunt Jenn’s arrival with birthday donuts.  As promised, she got some beautiful unicorn sprinkle and rainbow donuts.  Complete with edible glitter…almost too pretty to eat!

Morgan and Jake decided to forgo their school bus ride to snag some donuts too!IMG_2212

She even had time to open a few gifts from her cousin’s and neighbor friends!  I can pretty much guarantee she will be asking to go spend her Target gift card tonight.  No time to waste!

In addition to it being Reece’s birthday, it also happens to be ‘Fit-N-Fun’ day at school so they do all kinds of fun activities and games outside (some involve the use of water).  So this means those nice shiny white Converse are now a solid shade of muddy brown.  Holy cow, I’ve got a lot of work to do to get those clean again!IMG_2229She asked for Wendy’s chicken nuggets and a frosty for lunch.  I’m surprised she didn’t request going to the Bristol.  We took her there once and now she’s hooked!  That was a big mistake!!

She’s sharing rice krispie treats with her 2nd grade class today, cookies for gymnastics class today and soccer treats tomorrow.  Here’s a video of her 2nd grade class singing to her today…

This girl is living it up!  I’m all for it…that’s most definitely what you are supposed to do on your birthday.  Reecie pie, we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate your special day with you.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!



Jake-Olathe All City Track Meet

Jake qualified for the Olathe All City Track Meet in the 400m dash.  Yay Jake!  We weren’t exactly sure how this was possible because he has missed quite a few practices due to baseball and soccer and according to Jake, they apparently don’t really practice that hard.  WHAT!?  Why is he staying after school until 4:45 everyday and why am I constantly stressing out how to get him home and also be 3 other places!?

This morning I sent him a text to make sure he had his track shoes and he responded quickly saying he did not have them and they were stolen.  WHAT!? This kid is going to throw me right over the edge!  After a trip to the office, the shoes miraculously appeared in his 1st hour class just before the bus left for the meet.  Whew!

I’m completely new to the world of track and I’ve discovered it’s a short season.  So here we are at the pinnacle of the season already!  He had a very successful first meet but also hurt his knee during his run.  So, every other meet since then has not been his favorite.  He wants to win of course, and when your body is not functioning at 100%, that is a difficult task.  Despite the setback, he qualified for the 400m dash and alternate for long jump.  Way to go Jake!

He was told that the best part about qualifying for All City is getting to be out of school for the day!  My advice was…don’t forget your shoes and run fast.  That’s all I could come up with!   When we arrived, he was just lounging around on the bleachers with his buddies playing games.  5.1.18 Olathe City Track Meet_400m ODAC (1).jpgFinally it was his turn to line up and he admitted he was nervous!5.1.18 Olathe City Track Meet_400m ODAC (2)I think he’s looking around and thinking ‘Oh crap, that is a long way around the track’5.1.18 Olathe City Track Meet_400m ODAC (3)5.1.18 Olathe City Track Meet_400m ODAC (5)And they’re heading into the finish line!5.1.18 Olathe City Track Meet_400m ODAC (6)5.1.18 Olathe City Track Meet_400m ODAC (7)5.1.18 Olathe City Track Meet_400m ODAC (8)

5.1.18 Olathe City Track Meet_400m ODAC (9)
crossing the finish line

Looks like a tie for 2nd place!  Brian clocked him at 1 min 12 seconds (his personal best is 1 min 11 seconds).  Awesome job Jakey!  We love your grit and determination and we are so proud of you!


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Papa . Nanny . Jake . Brian . Aunt Edie . Uncle Scott – Olathe District Activity Center