Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Dance Recital, TV Appearance & Bike Fest - Oh My!

Ballet was the name of the game this past week, with rehearsals virtually every night leading up to the Artistree's big recital of the year on Friday and Saturday nights at the Fox Theatre. 

Little miss curtsied politely while accepting her perfect attendance award, and then beautifully floated across the stage in the "Graduation Ball" performance. Her highlights included: being on the stage more than once; keeping her costume this year; and getting to giggle and talk ("acting") while the senior ballerina on stage danced and the kinderdancers watched in awe. 

After Friday night's performance, mama woke up bright and early to talk Hutch Bike Fest on KWCH Morning Show in Wichita. 

And when she returned to town, the crew packed up and hit up the said Bike Fest in Downtown Hutchinson to hang out, take pictures, and enjoy the Kids Race, which included Brax wearing a GoPro video camera strapped to his head. I can't wait to see life from his vantage point!

After Bike Fest, we returned BACK to the Fox Theatre for the "opening night" of the dance recital. Again, Mackie danced beautifully and this time in front of not only mama and daddy, but her little brother (check out the roses he picked out below!), grandmas and grandpas, and even great-aunt. It was a fun evening capped off by Freddie's hot dogs, french fries, and ice cream. 

Mama survived live television. Brax survived the kids' bike race. Mackie survived a week filled with dancing and long rehearsals. And daddy survived not one, but two 90-minute dance recitals to get his fill of fine arts in Hutchinson for the next six months. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

School's Out For the Summer!

We wrapped up school for the kidlets this week. And mama is still wrapping her brain around summer mode and the fact that she no longer has a preschooler or 1st grader. #weepymama

Mackie had her last day of school on Tuesday. She had a great first grade year with Mrs. Wray. It was a joy to see Mackie's love of reading grow exponentially, as well as her love for learning in general.

I surprised her with a special mama-daughter date as soon as she was dismissed from school and our first stop? Ice cream! Followed by a trip to Target. Gosh, I love our girl time together!

Brax, meanwhile, graduated from preschool on Wednesday. This weepy mama was a bit hesitant for this day to get here. Not only was my baby graduating from preschool, but our time at Christ Care Preschool, a place near and dear to our hearts as they educated our children the past four years, was coming to an end. 

Brax did fantastic at his graduation program and proudly told the audience that he not only wanted to be a cowboy when he grew up, but also a Royals baseball player. Atta boy! He's definitely ready for kindergarten.

Both kidlets have a busy summer ahead, filled with structured activities but also days and hours with nothing planned but for them to read, play outdoors, and be "bored" - in a good way!

Here's to a fun summer ahead!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter 2017

We had a wonderful past two weekends celebrating Easter with both sides of the family.

First off - the Conkling side. It was a gorgeous, sunny day filled with food, family, and egg hunting. Mackie and Brax enjoyed hunting for their dozen eggs throughout grandma and papa's big yard in the "country."

We continued our own family traditions the week of Easter, dye-ing eggs (our cleanest year yet!) and participating in the Easter Sun Run 10K (mama and daddy) and 2-mile (entire family) races. 

We awoke to a beautiful Easter morning to celebrate Christ overcoming the grave at church. Afterward, we went over to the Preston side for a cook-out and more egg hunting. 

We hope everyone had a blessed Easter holiday as we reflected the amazing, selfless sacrifice Jesus did on the cross. He has risen! 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Conklings Do Spring Break

This Spring Break, the Conklings stayed put and enjoyed a week filled with...

...Room Renovations & House Projects - Mackie's room became a purple under-the-sea mermaid theme, while our bedrooms and basement received much-needed new carpet. (thank you, tax return!)

...Lunch dates at new restaurants and learning how to eat with chopsticks. 

...Studying up on the Royals Opening Day line-up. 

...Painting nails and doing fun girlie-girl stuff. 

...Playdates with friends. (and playing outdoors in between rain showers and thunderstorms!)

...Family trips to the Zoo (followed by donuts!)

...Trips to the Cosmosphere and bonus rides on the simluator. 

...UNO. Lots and lots of UNO! 

We had a productive and family-filled Spring Break and are gearing up for the final two months of the school year. Bring on April & May! 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Kidlet Basketball

Another basketball season has come and gone for the kidlets - filled with great coaching, friendships, and life lessons that will serve them well beyond the court.

Jack coached BOTH kids' teams PLUS his high school girls. Nothing like balancing 14-18 yr old girls during the week and 4-5 yr boys and girls plus 6-8 yr old girls on the weekends. Mama, meanwhile, served as team manager (aka: email communicator to parents, in charge of snack sign-up, photographer, etc).

I can't say enough of Jack's patience in being a youth sports coach. I helped him on the bench for a few games of the 1st-2nd grade girls team and I do not know how he can remain so calm! Not only that, but he's incredibly determined to teach our children and their friends the fundamentals at this age. He made it very clear to parents and players that we were focusing on developing a love for the game and the skills necessary to compete in the coming years at a more competitive level. There's a reason why he's my favorite coach! :) (shout-out to the amazing assistant coaches Jack had in both Lil' Dribblers and 1st-2nd grade, too - it takes a small army!)

Braxton enjoyed Lil' Dribblers with a team filled with buddies from school and church. He may not have known where the ball was at all times, but the little dude knew what the score was and enthusiastically yelled it out every time either team scored (so the entire gym could hear).

As you can see, he was all smiles and enjoyed his last game on the big court of the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

Mackie, meanwhile, enjoyed her first year playing in the "big girl" league, including weekly practices and Saturday games in the 1st-2nd grade Hutch Rec league. Most of her teammates were 1st graders, with a few 2nd graders. They were a very green team, with only one of the 2nd graders playing in the league the year before. It was incredible to see the growth of the entire group and how they developed into aggressive, hustling basketball players who (we hope!) had fun and fell in love with the game.

I loved seeing Mackie's personal growth of the game this season. The lightbulb came on as she realized how much fun it was to grab the ball, play aggressive defense, dive on the floor, dribble, and shoot. She spent several afternoons and weekends shooting and dribbling in the driveway on her own accord - we usually had to peel her away so she could come inside to eat dinner. Her hard work and determination paid off as she scored her first goal during the end-of-the-season tournament. 

These girls took 3rd place at the tournament, bouncing back from a tough loss to the fellow 2nd grade Buhler team. 

We're so proud of both kids and can't wait until next year!