ONW Area Orchestra Festival

12.4.17 Mo ONW Area Orchestra Festival (4)12.4.17 Mo ONW Area Orchestra Festival (3)I think this might be the 2nd or 3rd year that Morgan has said she’s quitting Orchestra.  Somehow she keeps plugging along and I, for one, am thrilled!  I love these concerts!  This year, Morgan has graduated from wearing the tuxedo shirt to the long black gown.  When she first brought it home we were slightly mortified but we’ve decided it’s really not that bad.  I mean she’s not going to be throwing it on to go on a date or anything, but certainly there are worse outfits!  And she had to borrow a pair of shoes from Aunt Shauna that feel like you’re walking on a bed of nails…so there’s that…

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When you’re naturally beautiful, you can pull just about anything off 😉

Before the concert started, she was standing up talking and laughing and just being her social butterfly self and we wondered if she was actually ever going to sit down!  You have to sit down to play the cello!  She did eventually take her seat and we enjoyed 2 songs with the 8th and 9th graders combined and at the end the entire gym participated in the finale 5th-12th grade.  It’s awesome!  The standing ovation was well deserved!

No matter what the attire, this young lady always has a fan club!12.4.17 Mo ONW Area Orchestra Festival (7)My nephew, Collin, used to play in this concert too but has since moved to a new school so we don’t get to enjoy them playing together anymore.  Bummer.  However, he still plays, so we will at least have someone to entertain us if she quits!

We love you Morgan and love that you play an instrument!  It’s another thing that makes you awesome!

Here are the YouTube clips…(the video isn’t good because you can’t really see her in the back, but it sounds great!)

They are really good!

Nutcracker Tea Party

12.3.17 Reece Nutcracker Tea Party (21)

Back in September, our friend and Brownies troop leader, asked if Reece and I would like to join her family for the Nutcracker.  We said yes of course because I love going and I adored taking my girls last year!  There weren’t enough tickets available for Morgan to go this time…so sorry Morgan!  She might have been secretly relieved since she fell asleep last year in her cozy warm theater seat.  😉

At first, Reece had expressed her disappointment to me that we weren’t going just the 3 of us (which actually melted my heart), but once we slipped her into this gorgeous dress and strolled into that ballroom…she was good to go!
12.3.17 Reece Nutcracker Tea Party (3)Isn’t she gorgeous!?  She would’ve been flawless had she not acquired a rug burn on her chin on stairs the day before courtesy of daddy  😉  Just kidding, Reecie, you’re gorgeous with your skinned up chin!

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Eva McElderry, Lila Ho, Reece, Kenley Moyer (2nd grade friends)

This event is actually a giant tea party where we enjoyed food and drinks before a shorter rendition of the nutcracker is performed by a junior ballet company.12.3.17 Reece Nutcracker Tea Party (8).JPGBefore it starts, all the characters come around through the tables and you can get pictures with them.  It’s basically like meeting the Disney characters at Disney World.  Except this event doesn’t require months of planning, drain your bank account, stress you out to the max, and it’s over before you have a chance to have a mental breakdown if your child doesn’t get Cinderella’s autograph.  I’m making Disney seem very magical right now aren’t I!?  It is very magical for some people, just not as magical as relaxing on the beach with a strawberry daquiri!

Reece, to my surprise, was thrilled to see all these characters and wanted her picture taken with all of them.  We were in and out of our seats A LOT!  Most kids are scared of the mice, but we were actually chasing them around to get a picture!12.3.17 Reece Nutcracker Tea Party (14).JPG


About every third person was mesmerized by her gown and I’m so proud of myself for finding it!  It’s actually a Monique Lhuillier Fairy costume I picked up the day after Halloween at Pottery Barn Kids and it’s truly gorgeous.  I would certainly never pay the original price tag of $129, but $37 I can swing!  We need someone to get married or get invited to a fancy ball so she can wear it again!

On the way out of the event, they gave her a gold star ornament which is wonderfully placed front and center on our Christmas tree now.12.3.17 Reece Nutcracker Tea Party (18).JPG

I saved myself about $40 and a lot of pouting by warning her up front that we wouldn’t be buying anything at the show BUT I had a surprise for her at home…


I bet I stared at the Hobby Lobby Nutcracker display for 30 minutes trying to decide which one was the least scary looking.  Let’s just call it like it is…nutcrackers are not cute…they’re scary!  right? 12.3.17 Reece Nutcracker Tea Party (10)

I went with the one that looked like a fairy and she appropriately named her “Sugar.”  Honestly, I was wondering why I was even spending $10 on it but Reece is very proud to be the owner of our first nutcracker.  She loves her!  Apparently so does our elf, Sparkles…

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Sparkles is getting a little too touchy with Sugar!

The performance was very well done and we had an absolute blast together!  I hope we can go again in the future…and take Morgan too!

I love you to pieces Reecie, thank you for making this memory with me!12.3.17 Reece Nutcracker Tea Party (5)

Before I close this entry out, I want to share this beautiful letter I found in Reece’s backpack to me last week…12.1.17 Reece's Thank you note to mommy.JPGI adore her honesty and although she challenges us in ways I never knew possible, she surprises me every day with her intellect and wit.  Reece, you are simply awesome!

Here are a few other notes I’ve found around the house lately that she is hoping will get to the North Pole quickly…12.4.17 Reece another note for SantaIMG_9918.JPG




Morgan 9th Grade GUMY

Translation for GUMY is Grace United Methodist Youth.  We really try to make it a point to get the kids involved at church.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t!  We’re pretty sure GUMY doesn’t realize that Jake exists.  He pops in from time to time and probably has to re-introduce himself because it’s been so long since anyone has seen his face.  Even when we sign him up for things, we have to cancel because he ALWAYS has a game of some sort.  Luckily we don’t have to work real hard with Morgan because she is totally self-motivated on this topic.  This school year she has been able to attend Wednesday night meetings (all past years she had a conflict with soccer).  She is loving her 9th grade life group!  Here they are last night enjoying dinner and just talking.  No wonder she loves it!11.29.17 Morgan Life Group DinnerShe gets involved as much as she possibly can, including two mission trips, teaching VBS, serving community dinner and raking leaves for those in need.  And recently they asked her to serve communion in the non-traditional service.11.11.17 Morgan serving communion (2)11.11.17 Morgan serving communion (3)I know I know…our pictures are not so good but we just felt weird taking pictures in church.  Plus she was super nervous and we didn’t want to embarrass her.  I think we did anyway by just being there!  We moved seats 3 times to make sure we were seated in the right section!  Whew…she didn’t drop the cup, she remembered what to say, and she was GREAT!  They must have been pleased, because they invited her to serve whenever she wants!

Honestly, the church staff is always wonderful to her and she gets heartfelt notes like this in the mail from time to time.11.29.17 MoMo GUMY note.jpgI couldn’t agree more with their words!  Thank you Morgan for being so kind without us even asking you.  You have grown into the most extraordinary young lady.  I honestly don’t know how you find the time, but I hope you keep serving others, it makes you amazing!  We’ll keep working on Jake…

Thanksgiving 2017

Late again.  It’s becoming a trend with me.  I don’t want to gloss over Thanksgiving because I’m starting to love that holiday!  I know as a kid it wasn’t my favorite, because similar to my crew, I never liked the food and it didn’t involve presents.  Now I love the food, the wine, and the fact that it is has nothing to do with presents.  Mostly though, I love that other than cooking, it’s not stressful, it’s just a time to be with family and enjoy the time away from school and sports.

We started out celebrating at my parents place – sometimes we call it the Michie Farm.  It’s really not a farm at all.  It’s just a bunch of land with a pond and a hunting dog that tears everything up and drives my mom absolutely nuts!  Sort of similar to the four kids that tear up our stuff.  I’m trying to adopt the attitude that all the little dings and messes are a sign of family memories and life that has gone on in our home for 15 years.  So basically our stuff is just well-loved!?  This is a very difficult concept for someone like me!  I’m still using a magic eraser on things and a sharpie to cover up scratches.

Back to Thanksgiving at the Michie farm…the kids shot clay pigeons (this is a definite perk of living on a bunch of land) and wanted to fish but there’s just not enough time!  Morgan even brought her camo gear to wear for this part of the evening.  You have to look the part I guess!  Jake is still getting used to the idea of shooting.  It’s a powerful jolt and pretty scary if you ask me.  I’m not exactly condoning this activity but my dad sure is (that’s him throwing the targets) in the video clips…

He’s a proud Papa!

And here’s Morgan and Collin dueling on the last one…

Morgan is a bit of a ‘show-off’  😉  Just kidding!20171122_162953_HDR.jpg

The next day, we went to Manhattan for the day and had a wonderful meal with the Conley family.

Eli (13).Morgan (14).Audrey(13).Jake(12).Zach(9).Drew(9).Reece(7)

I know I say this way too often, but everyone is getting so big!  Eli, despite being a preemie at birth, has outgrown almost every family member and he for sure has the biggest feet!  Hand-me-downs will definitely not be coming for my crew!  I hope they grow taller, but the odds are against them.  Sorry guys!

We were lucky to have beautiful weather for flag football…IMG_9810

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Morgan seems pretty happy about her performance here 🙂


IMG_9806IMG_9805.JPGIMG_9804Brian and his brother, John, were quarterbacksIMG_9812Reece forgot to bring appropriate shoes, so she had to borrow a pair of Zach’s…as you can see, they were a little large!  But it didn’t stop her from really giving uncle John a challenge!  Way to go Reecie!IMG_9808And I’m still laughing about this one…John was actually using his belly to lay out the plays for his team!  I don’t think that happens in real games, does it?  His tactic might have worked…I think they won!IMG_9807.JPGI know who didn’t win…the Lenexa Conley’s!  Jake took major spill with Eli and Brian spent 2 hours in urgent care the next day with inflammation around his ribs.IMG_9803.JPGNothing a little time on the golf course and a giant slab of ribs can’t cure…20171124_142841IMG_9816Who can even think about eating that the day after we’ve had two Thanksgiving meals!?! A pre-teen boy can I guess!

In closing, I would like to share a little bit of Thanksgiving art from Reece and Drew.  Drew as so proud of his coloring and particularly the cowboy hat he drew!  We sat down at the kitchen table to go through his school work and he described this paper to me at length.  so cute!

Drew’s 4th grade turkey
I am SO THANKFUL for you too, Drew Boo!

And the entire 2nd grade made these giant turkey hats…

IMG_9822.JPGI know this because I cut construction paper for 2 hours at the school in preparation for that activity.  I’m thinking of strategically planning my volunteering not so close to a holiday next time!

Reece’s 2nd grade class (she’s in the front row in the plaid dress)

She also created this wonderful story of disguising a turkey as a peacock (of course!)IMG_9832.JPG

She narrated her story so well!  You have to hear it…it’s on this YouTube clip…push play!

And here’s is what would be on her Thanksgiving menu and how she would cook the turkey!  Sounds like she’s on point for cooking next year!IMG_9835.JPGHere’s her narration–too cute!

Happy Thanksgiving!




Team Santa

As of this afternoon, we are officially on Thanksgiving break!  Woo hoo!  Somehow we got lucky with practices being cancelled tonight so we decided to make a trip to Bass Pro Shop to talk with Santa and mail our lists. 11.21.17 Visiting Santa!.jpgThese fools managed to forget to tell Santa what they wanted!  Not one of them even uttered a word to him!  Thank goodness we mailed those lists to the North Pole or it’s going to be one sad Christmas morning.  Hope they get there!  In their defense, Santa never really asked them what they wanted.  He must have been one of Santa’s 2nd string helpers. 😉

Check out these masterpieces…Reece Santa Letter 2017.JPG

Drew Santa Letter 2017

Jake Santa Letter 2017.JPG

Morgan Santa Letter 2017.JPG

Santa has his work cut out for him on these lists!

The line was fairly long, so the girls waited in the line and we let the boys go play for a bit.  We didn’t expect them to roam the entire store!  We ended up having many  families jump ahead of us because we couldn’t find them!  This trip to see Santa was going downhill fast!

We made these adorable little felt snowflake bags!

The boys much preferred playing in the kinetic sand that looked like dirt.  Arts and crafts are not their favorite but they participated to make mom happy 🙂

I’m totally obsessed with this sweatshirt I bought for Reece.  One of my best Target finds ever!!

Before we made it out the door, Jake spent his gift cards he received for his birthday.  Wouldn’t you know it…he bought another fishing bag!  He’s already gotten every pocket filled and organized  We think he’s going to look pretty cool riding his bike down to the lake with that on his back.IMG_9801.jpg

It’s a tradition for us to grab dinner and decorate our downstairs ‘kids’ tree after visiting Santa.  Nice job guys!20171121_221354.jpgIt’s become so overloaded with ornaments it could literally tip if you sneeze near it.  You move one ornament, and five more fall off.  I’m pretty sure when I wake up tomorrow morning the entire thing will be crashed to the ground.IMG_9797IMG_9798P.S. I didn’t even tell them to do ‘silly faces.’  This is just the way they are!!  Goofballs.

Happy Christmas Season!

Blue Valley Pre-Season BB Tourney Champs!

11.19.17 BV PreSeason BB Tourney Champs! (2)The Panthers played in another basketball tournament this weekend and came home with championship trophies!  Woo hoo!

Here are a few fun facts the coach shared with us:

  • Panthers went 5 – 0 this tournament.  We are on a 7 game winning streak and have a record of 13-3 so far this season.  Lets go!
  • We outscored our opponents 260 to 126, averaging 52 points scored a game, while giving up only 25 points per game.  Regardless of competition level, that is some solid offensive production and stout defense.
  • Every single player scored at least 10 points throughout tournament.  Probably my favorite stat!  I saw a lot of smiles out there.

11.19.17 BV PreSeason BB Tourney Champs! (3)

Keep up the great work Panthers!!  You are so fun to watch!!

Reece Level 3 Inter Squad

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KGDC Level 3 Gymnasts

This weekend Reece participated in the KGDC Compulsory Inter Squad.  I really have no idea what that even means…I just paid my money and showed up at her gym.  Apparently it is a chance for everyone to get a sneak peek at the girls in “live” competition before the meet season starts.  I was impressed with these little girls!  The level 3 gymnasts spend 7.5 hours in the gym each week learning the skills necessary to  perform these routines.

Our little Reece has some sort of sports practice every night of the week and she handles it like a champ.  Gymnastics seems to be her favorite at the moment.  She got to carry her new backpack for the first time and we made her a bag tag so she was thrilled!11.18.17 Reece KGDC Level 3 Intersquad (7)She even filled out her ‘meet checklist’.  I love that she made a note to herself!11.18.17 Reece KGDC Level 3 Intersquad (8).JPG

11.18.17 Reece KGDC Level 3 Intersquad (12).JPGHer first event was balance beam which scares the heck out of me.  I thought she did great!  She scored an 8.2.  Here is her performance:

2nd Event was Floor.  She received an 8.8 What a cutie pie!

11.18.17 Reece KGDC Level 3 Intersquad (1)11.18.17 Reece KGDC Level 3 Intersquad (2)11.18.17 Reece KGDC Level 3 Intersquad (3)11.18.17 Reece KGDC Level 3 Intersquad (4)11.18.17 Reece KGDC Level 3 Intersquad (5)11.18.17 Reece KGDC Level 3 Intersquad (6)

And the video clip…

She got 2nd place in vault with a 9.3.

The final event was uneven bars, which is the hardest and usually her strongest/favorite event.  Except not her favorite today!  She got a 6.9.  She would like to have a do-over on that one!

When the meet was over and all the athletes and families were hanging around talking and congratulating, Reece was suited up and bee-lining to the door.  Once we were safely in the car, she started sobbing like I’ve never seen in my life.  This very driven little second grader was so disappointed that she messed up her bars routine.  I tried my very best to snap her out of it with ice cream and some extra hugs but it took awhile!  She finally got better but later in the day she played the videos for Brian and it brought back too many memories and the water works started up again.  Poor baby!!

She decided spending a little time at her friend, Capri’s, house would cheer her up.  So what did she do…she practiced on the bar in Capri’s basement!  This girl is NOT giving up!

I don’t know how she has any energy left at this point but I’ll take the laughter and the smiles over that sobbing any day!

This is just the start, Reecie Cups, you are bound and determined to be the best and we are so proud of you no matter what place you take!  You are working so hard and we can see you improving every day!  You go girl!11.18.17 Reece KGDC Level 3 Intersquad (2).PNG11.18.17 Reece KGDC Level 3 Intersquad.jpgOverall, she took 9th place out of 16.  That’s a job very well done!!

In one month, you’ll be competing in your first official level 3 meet!  It will be here before we know it!

My favorite thing that happened this weekend was Reece putting this sticky note on my back…I will be keeping this FOREVER!  Reece, you are totally my BFF!!

XOXO, Mommy11.19.17 Note to mommy from reece.JPG