Kansas 2016

Well we survived! Ha. But really. The actual driving part wasn’t nearly as bad as Caleb and I prepared ourselves for. In fact, I’d almost call Harv a champ. I guess if you set your bar low enough, anyone can achieve champ status 😉 **Prepare yourself. There are lots of pics! I spared you on the 500+ I took though. Don’t worry.

We got up at 3:00am (May We were tired), got Harv ready, got the kids ready, and packed the last cooler. Caleb had packed the car the night before to make the morning a little bit smoother. By about 4:15am we were smooth sailing. The kids were all awake but all sleepy. We thought for sure they would’ve slept, but no such luck. We made a quick stop for breakfast about 7 and by 8:30 Harv showed his true colors. We pulled over for a quick nursing sesh and eventually he fell asleep. Then the rest of the trip was great! We arrived at my sisters a little later than desired, but we were there and everyone was pretty happy.

The first day, was a half day, so we went to Deanna Rose’s Farmstead. Both my sister and I had done some research on fun things to do and both came up with this. She’d been there prior, but it was new to us and definitely more than expected. There were animals, outdoor exhibits, mining, educational things, play grounds, and a cute old style town! It was a blast but it was a scorcher for Kansas that day, so like extra bad for us Minnesota folk. By the end of the day Harv was soaked. Ick.

Very informative rope
He asked. I did not force the dunce cap upon him 😉
They planned this. It only took like 10 tries to get it right!
Aww love them. Jack was off feeding goats or something. Too busy!
Ma! Did you need me?
Intense focus for these two – always!

After the farmstead, we went home for a delicious variety of pastas and DQ ice cream cake (the birthday celebrations just kept going!).

On Monday, we went to Science City and Union Station, Harvey’s for lunch, and then a Royals game at night. We planned on going to the planetarium, however it was closed and we didn’t know it. That’s ok though, we’d been to Science City with Jack once, and knew it was fun. Plus Carson and Ava had never been, so it was great either way.

Making bird toys. He was pretty proud & I was pretty impressed.


Tornado wind simulator. It was crazy!


Yep. We do things like this.


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We all went on the sky bike except Jack. This is not Carson or Jack’s deal, but Carson will usually try to brave it out. Jack was like nope nope and nope. Caleb was adventurous and started to rock it back and forth. You can kind of tell in the pictures. My thrill seeker.

Can’t pass up having lunch at Harvey’s 😉


Heading to the Royals game! Jack and Ava may have stuck out like sore thumbs. Just maybe.




Gorgeous night game.

Tuesday we went to the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank, swimming at their community pool, and then out for BBQ. Yum. We could’ve eaten BBQ every day. MN BBQ is no where near the same. We may have also stopped at the BBQ store and bought a few  (read: tons) bottles of sauce and dry rub to bring home!




Everyone also got to take home a bag of old shredded money. The kids did not care that it was old and shredded, all they cared about was the fact they were holding $165 at one time. Ha. Kids.

Wednesday we spent the whole day at Schlitterbahn, the best waterpark ever. Ok I don’t know about that, but we love it! AND it has the tallest water slide in the world, that Caleb has gone on not once now, but twice. Like I said, thrill seeker. Why he married scaredy ole me I’ll never know.

Tired. Hungry. Wet. And oh so old. How?! When? Ugh.
Tired. Hungry. Wet. And oh so old. How?! When? Ugh.

Knowing we were leaving Thursday, we left it pretty open. We wanted to pack and clean up after ourselves. Yes, my sister said it wasn’t necessary. But there’s 6 of us and a week’s worth of living does quite a bit of damage…so Caleb and I both deemed it necessary. We also knew the kids were wiped and with Caleb driving overnight and working the next day, rest was A-ok. That all being said, we went hiking at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, swimming again at the community pool, and then had a pizza dinner with my favorite cakes! So still pretty packed. Pretty sure hiking was my favorite part of the whole week. Nothing but the kids, Caleb, and the outdoors? Perfection.



This one makes me laugh. Poor Harv. Trying to see it all!
The kids thought it was the coolest thing that this bridge was made in MN and we were in KS. So clearly, we needed a picture.


Harv was so into the snakes and the aquarium. He totally is my animal loving kiddo.

The ride back was even better than the ride down. Harv fell asleep before we got to Missouri (which is like 20 minutes away from my sister’s house) and stayed asleep for a good two hours. Then he was up for like 2, a rest stop, another nursing sesh and some pleading to the sleep gods, and then finally success and he slept all the way home. It was awesome. Caleb was a trooper. Staying up till 3am and getting up for work and bringing the kids to golf at 9am. Bless his heart ♥ I think he’s finally back to normal sleep now.

The trip was amazing and I was teary eyed leaving. I miss my sister, but thankful knowing her and her husband are coming up to MN in just a few weeks!

If you’re still reading, I’m impressed and high five to you! Have a great week and enjoy those last bits of summer!


Update: our hearts go out to the family of little Caleb. We cannot fathom the hurt they are experiencing right now. His death on the waterslide was a complete tragedy and hits home for us too much. All our love, thoughts, and prayers to those who know and love him. ♥

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