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!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dates with the Kidlets

Jack and I are firm believers in dating each other. We adore our time together and let's face it - mama and daddy were here first; kidlets arrived second (and third).

But we're also big-time believers in dating our kidlets...especially our mama-son and daddy-daughter dates. In our special times together, Brax learns how to respect ladies - and practices on his mama. Meanwhile, Mackie learns how a guy should act like a gentleman - thanks to Jack showing her.

Last Saturday we did another round of our annual mama-son and daddy-daughter dates.

Jack took Mackie out for a night on the town to Hutch Rec's Daddy-Daughter Dance at the Plaza Towers Ballroom. He started the evening by ringing the doorbell and whisked her away to the ballroom for a night of dancing, dessert, a visit from Miss Kansas, and lots of fun games.

Meanwhile, my little dude asked me to put on some make-up for our date ("Mama, wear your hat and sweatpants, but can you put on some lipstick?!" - I'm still giggling!). He let me choose the radio station we listened to; opened the doors to the ice cream stop and arcade; and even let me make a quick stop to Target on the way home! (daddy prepped him well!)

We all had an enjoyable evening while making memories with one another. fellow mamas and daddies out there, date your kids! (if you're not doing it already!) You'll prep them for the teenage/young adult years to come - and isn't this one of our greatest purposes and blessings in this stage in life? Prepping and helping shape their hearts day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year - so when they're 16, 17, 18 years old (and beyond) they can confidently go out into that big, huge, scary world and take it on while keeping those mighty lights inside of them brightly shining?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Conkling Christmas Vacation

It's not a Conkling vacation without the famous chalkboard list that we gleefully make the week before, as we anticipate a few days off and family time. This year's Conkling Christmas vacation included in-town outings, out-of-town outings, and special treats that we enjoy more when there's no morning alarm clock. 

It took us a few days after vacation, but we did it...we checked off every thing we wanted to do on our Christmas vacation list! 

Brax mustered up the courage to look at the big rocket outside the Cosmosphere doors...

We picked a not-so-busy night to look at Christmas lights...

Mama only endured a mini headache while playing games with the kidlets at the arcade...

We rang in the New Year on New Year's Eve at noon at the Firehouse Cafe over pancakes, eggs, and bacon...

And we rang in the New Year on New Year's Eve at 10 p.m. (Mackie and Brax) and 11 p.m. (mama and daddy)...because it's always midnight somewhere!

We wrapped up our final to-do last weekend as the kidlets gleefully watched John Wayne's "Comencheros" with daddy in the tent they made and actually slept in (all night long! in the basement! by themselves!)

What a joyous break, filled with memories and giggles to last us through our next adventures during Spring Break!