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Friends - 5/14 - MNU Blogs

Aaron Merrell


November 15, 2014

Playlists and People

November 15, 2014 | By | No Comments

What’s up everybody? Hope everyone had a great week!

So tonight I went to a Hunter Hayes concert, and it was SO good. The Railers and Dan+Shay opened for him, and they were both fantastic, even though I had never heard of The Railers before. I know these three don’t fit some people’s definition of country music (it obv has to have something about cars and an unintelligible accent duh) but they were about as country as it typically gets for me.

See, I don’t really get to deep into any genre of music, I just like a little of everything. Imagine some Love on Top followed by some Turning Tables and maybe a little Bad Blood and that’s my typical playlist.

I think my taste in music and my time living overseas has been what helps me understand people. Just like music artist and their genres have different influences, people have all sorts of different backgrounds.

We can’t begin to try to understand someone until we know where they come from, what they’ve been through, and where they’re going (and maybe even what kind of music they listen to).

So, the moral of the story is rock it to whatever you wanna listen to, no one is forcing you to listen to something else. But, at least give something else and someone else a chance.

You might be pleasantly surprised!
Have an awesome week!


P.S. This week’s episode of Scandal was so good.

Luther Okeyo


November 13, 2014

A Very Special Veteran’s Day

November 13, 2014 | By | No Comments

As you all know Tuesday was Veteran’s Day and now matter how you feel about the military, you just have to sit back and admire the sacrifices that they endure everyday to keep us safe, and help us enjoy the freedoms we have today. Just like Coach Willmer told us the other day, “Our freedom isn’t free, somebody else pays for it.” This day is now very special to me, you never really realize how important something is until it hits you personally. For me, this day is about my friend Cory Ellis and his family.

This is one of my best friend's Cory Ellis. He is a marine stationed in Japan. He is coming home in a couple of days, from his first tour of duty. I'm so proud of him and I'm honored to be friend and grateful for the sacrifices he made. I can't wait to see him again.

This is one of my best friends Cory Ellis. He is a corporal in marine core. He is stationed in Japan. He is coming home in a couple of days, from his first tour of duty. I’m so proud of him and I’m honored to be his friend and grateful for the sacrifices he made. I can’t wait to see him again. 

It takes a special kind of person, to able to take on the commitment that the armed forces require. The Ellis family knows that commitment all too well. First things first, this family is like my second family. They embraced me and made me when one of their own, when I was just a stupid kid high school who didn’t know any better. Some of the best moments in my life were made with this family. For example the creation of the wolf pack, the 4th of July incident, and I can’t forget the Fall Fridays when I had meatball subs before football games. They are a blessing, and I can’t even imagine who I would be  if they were were not apart of my life.

The Ellis kids in all their glory. This was when Cory graduated from boot camp. There is Cory in the middle (the oldest), Ryan on the left (second-oldest), Colin on the right (second-youngest), Morgan (youngest) in the middle.

The Ellis kids in all their glory. This was when Cory graduated from boot camp. There is Cory in the middle (the oldest), Ryan on the left (second-oldest), Colin on the right (second-youngest), Morgan (youngest) in the middle.

These guys are a collection of characters but I love each and everyone of them to death. As you know Cory went into the military, he is a corporal in the marine core. Cory has probably the sharpest wit this side of the Mississippi, he has a comeback for everything, and when you think you finally got him, that’s when you fall into his trap. Ryan is an enigma all of his own, you never really know what he is going to do, but I’ll tell you this right now don’t underestimate him, this little guy has more heart than anyone will ever give him credit for. Now we have Colin, this kid is just nuts sometimes. Yet you can always catch him in the some spot, downstairs in office, usually watching Netflix. He also wants to go into the military when he graduates from high school like his big brother. He scares me a little bit, but I can’t wait to see the man he becomes. Last but certainly not least we have Morgan, the baby of household, (sorry Maddie). She is just a little bundle of joy, who can catch you slipping at any moment. She always knows how to brighten my day or completely tear me down, but I don’t care I still love her.

The parents, Glen and Tammy Ellis. Glen's nick name is Papa Ellis, and I just call Tammy Mom.

The parents, Glenn and Tami Ellis. Glenn’s nick name is Papa Ellis, and I just call Tami, Mom. They were high school sweet hearts and they’ve been married for 22 years

Lets start with Papa Ellis (sorry mom), Papa Ellis served in Air force. He technically still serves as a reservist. He is also a police officer for Simi Valley Police Department. He is just a big teddy bear, a little bit too old school but that’s why we love him. Don’t let him fool though, this guy still has it. Just ask Cory. Everyday this guy does all he can to provide for his family and then when he steps out of the house, he goes and protects the people of Simi Valley. He is always there for his family no matter what. He is the man, I aspire to be. Ok now here we have Mom, the best way to describe her role in the family is to have watched the movie Remember the Titans. She is basically Denzel Washington aka Coach Herman Boone in a sense. In the immortal words of Coach Boone, “This is not a democracy, this is a dictatorship!” Mom is the same way, she is just and fair, but is not afraid to put her foot down. She treats everyone the same no matter who you are. She is 2nd toughest woman I know behind only my own mother.

The Ellis family is also a sports family. All the men in the family played football (I played with Cory in high school). Colin however took it to another level and also wrestles in high school. Morgan is a cheerleader and is insanely flexible. Ironically Tami is the only one, who never played a sport, but she is one of the loudest fans you will ever meet. I can’t tell how many games, I could hear her screaming at us over everyone else in the crowd, plus she doesn’t care who will hear her. She has even called me out on the carpet a few times, when I dropped a ball, or had a bad play during my high school playing days. That’s just who she is and there is no one else like her.

Anyway, this is my second family. I can’t wait to see them when I go back home for winter break. I got some stories for them and I can’t wait to hear their stories either and also have one of the famous (well to me) Ellis meatball subs. Also to all the men and women out there put their lives on the line for us here at home or anywhere else in the world, thank you so much for your service. I know it may not be said enough but I am grateful for all you do for us. Come back home safe and rejoin your families and hopefully one day, I have a chance to give a little back to you for all you have given to us.


Luther Okeyo


November 11, 2014

This is it…. Senior Week…

November 11, 2014 | By | One Comment

Wow this it… This game against Avila is my last guaranteed home game in an MNU uniform. It’s very bitter sweet for me. One hand we will outright win the conference this week with a win against Avila but on the other it’s my last home game ever as an MNU pioneer. It’s one the last times I will ever put on the pioneer uniform. I’ve had some great memories here, it’s hard to believe that it’s all coming to an end.

On March 23, 2011, I made the committment to come to MNU, little did I know how much this would change my life. There is my mom on the left, and the man who made all this possible, John Diaz.

On March 23, 2011, I made the commitment to come to MNU, Little did I know how much this would change my life. There is my mom on the left, and on the right, the man who made all this possible, John Diaz.

The journey to where I am has been long, amazing, frustrating, and many other verbs I can’t really think of right now. Either way this journey changed my life in a way I ever really thought possible. We all have an idea of what college is about, but MNU gives it’s students a very unique college experience.

Here I am, as a Freshman. Weighing in at a lofty 160 pounds, with my whole future ahead of me. Who would've known that would've lead to where I am right now.

Here I am, as a Freshman. Weighing in at a lofty 160 pounds, with my whole future ahead of me. Who would’ve known that would’ve lead to where I am right now.

Throughout my football career here at MNU I’ve basically seen it all. I’ve been through the highs and lows. Like my freshman and sophomore year when we were rolling, winning the huge games, playing for HAAC championships, and most special of all playing at Pioneer stadium (not trying to start anything but come on, we need that thing built!) I’ve seen football at MNU change so much, and I’ve even been apart by one of the biggest things a football program can go through, a coaching change. With a new coaching staff comes a new philosophy, a new way to do things, and a new approach to the game of football.

It’s amazing to see what coach Willmer has done to the program, in just his first year. We shocked the world. Nobody outside of the MNU faithful even gave a chance to do anything this year, we were supposed to be rebuilding, and we let everyone know that we are ready to go. I can’t wait to see where coach leads this program in the years to come.

Shoutout to the senior class, we stuck it out through it all, the 5-5 season last year, waking up at 5 am to work out in January and February, spring ball, fall camp, I mean I could keep going on and on. There is never going to be a senior class like ours.

Here we are, the senior class for the 2014 MNU Pioneers football team:


#1 Linebacker – Justin Vargas

#2 TE - Zach "Carrot Top" Brandsted

#2 Tightend – Zach “Carrot Top” Brandsted

#7 Cornerback - DeRahn "Primetime" Williams

#7 Cornerback – DeRahn “Primetime” Williams

#8 Wide Receiver - Chris "Money Man" Fields

#8 Wide Receiver – Chris “Money Man” Fields

#14  Wide Receiver - Taylor "TD" Davis

#14 Wide Receiver – Taylor “TD” Davis

#24 Running Back - Charles Quainoo

#24 Running Back – Charles Quainoo

#32 Long Snapper - Will Hertel

#32 Long Snapper – Will Hertel

#44 Defensive Lineman - Mason "Mad Dogg" Mathews

#44 Defensive Lineman – Mason “Mad Dogg” Mathews

#45 - "Pretty Boy" Nick Richardson

#45 Linebacker – “Pretty Boy” Nick Richardson

#47 - JT "They Call Him Nasty" Braddock (Don't ask... I don't know why they call him that)

#47 Defensive Lineman – JT “They Call Him Nasty” Braddock (Don’t ask… I don’t know why they call him that)

#52 Defensive Lineman - Demarco Kemp

#52 Defensive Lineman – Demarco Kemp

#53 Offensive Lineman - Armand Banks

#53 Offensive Lineman – Armand Banks

#73 Offensive Lineman - Jose "Burrito" Carillo-Ayala (He's the guy on the left)

#73 Offensive Lineman – Jose “Burrito” Carillo-Ayala (He’s the guy on the left)

#74 Offensive Lineman - Andrew "Chevy" Sexton-Chavoya

#74 Offensive Lineman – Andrew “Chevy” Sexton-Chavoya

#87 Wide Receiver - Yours Truly Luther "Crunchy" Okeyo

#87 Wide Receiver – Yours Truly Luther “Crunchy” Okeyo






Samantha Moore


November 10, 2014

Be: Advice Givers

November 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

This is what happens during office hours for Associated Student Government! MNU Advice from Presley, Lauren, Duby and Kylen.

Photo on 11-10-14 at 2.52 PM Photo on 11-10-14 at 2.52 PM #2 Photo on 11-10-14 at 2.52 PM #3 Photo on 11-10-14 at 2.52 PM #4COMMENT OR CHAT!!

Mariah McCommon


November 3, 2014

No Sleep, Lots of Fun

November 3, 2014 | By | No Comments


Tonight I’m talking about incredible dorm life. It’s awesome.

First off dorm life is the way to go when considering college, even if you live in the same town. All of the RA’s are super duper amazing and our RE is also spectacular! I always go to my RA if I need anything at all or just a nice little chat. She’s great with those. :)

All of the girls here are so nice and friendly so it’s easy to find a good group of girls to chill with. I’m friends with girls upstairs, downstairs, and even girls in the upperclassmen dorms. It’s fun to just walk down the halls and walk into a room and start talking to someone. Open doors means “come on in!” Most of the time anyway. Be careful, though, they might be changing… whoops. That’s awkward.

I advise not being that person to curl up in their room all the time because it’s much more fun to meet people! I’m a part of many different friend groups, but I think I have found one I’ll stick with. And I by group I don’t mean clique. Those don’t exist. I’ve been able to open up more and be myself around these girls and that’s been hard for me this year. Now that I have a bunch of girl friends, it’s like I’m invincible! Whenever I have a bad day, I walk into a friend’s room and BOOM, all better.

If you like your sleep like me, forget it. You won’t get much sleep. But it’s completely worth it, though. So many memories are made in the dorms that you’ll treasure forever. And make sure to take a ton of photos with friends!! We live by the selfie here. No shame whatsoever. Whether it’s watching movies until 3 in the morning, hall parties, or even studying, it’s always a great time. Everyone loves each other and that’s the way it should be!

Now, that whole sleep thing, I’m going to try and do that. Until next week!

That's right. Call of Duty.

That’s right. Call of Duty.



Aaron Merrell


November 1, 2014

Future Fears

November 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

Trusting everyone has had a fantastic week, and I hoping you’re all enjoying your weekend.  My weekend consists of hanging with friends for Halloween, spending some time at home, and performing with MNU Choirs tomorrow at 3:30!

This week, my brother gave me a great topic to think about: the future.

The future used to terrify me more than anything.  I used to think about my college plans, then about real life and grad school, and it would all get me terribly stressed out. Picking a school, picking a major, and from there a career, and where I wanted to go with that career eventually, and then about starting a family are unavoidable topics and they are every important to think about.  Though it is imperative that we remember to discuss these topics, we also need to remember that what’s going on currently in our lives is also a priority.

In order to train myself not to panic about the future, who would leave my life and who would enter, I had to stop placing so much urgency on those decisions.  Like I said, we need to make the decisions, but we won’t make the right choice unless we slow down and consider everything separately.  After we have considered this, we can think about the future and what the decision is going to mean for our future lives and families.

The future has become an exciting place for me rather than a scary one.  Just by calming down and taking a step back once in a while, I have realized how excited I am to graduate and start working, wherever I happen to move, whatever I happen to do, and whoever I happen to be with.  I know that if I put my faith and trust in Him, I will make the right decisions and follow his will, as I constantly work to make his will my will.


It’s all a process, but it’s not too much of a difficult one. Just continue to pray about choices, the future and ask God to make his plan clear to you!  You can find so much truth and evidence of His faithfulness to your present, which was once your future. just by studying his word, something that takes nearly no time to do every day.


Praying everyone has a blessed rest of your weekend and next week!

See you soon!


Katie Linsey


October 30, 2014

Homecoming Week

October 30, 2014 | By | One Comment

Homecoming week was full of fun, excitement, and adventure! Watch this video to see many of the events that took place. (Stick around until the end for a message from a few of our past bloggers, Joey and Mario.)



Haley Raydo


October 27, 2014

Life Update: Homecoming & A Thought on Hope

October 27, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

Hello friends!

So, homecoming week has come and gone… and let me just say it was a blast! SO many fun memories were made; ASG did a fantastic job! Also I have a random thought I have been thinking about this last week.  Although it was nice to have a bit of distraction from some of the struggles of life with all the fun events of Homecoming week… I have in the last few weeks been a little down…. But don’t worry there is HOPE!  I have a quick thought I would like to share on that in a bit… but here are some pictures of a FANTASTIC Homecoming week!

We had a movie night, a hoedown, a homecoming dance, and a football game where we BEAT BAKER (if you aren’t a Pioneer you may not understand but that is a big deal around here!).

movie night homecoming

hoedown girls

group homecoming picture

royals homecoming

(Yes I wore my Royals jersey over my dress… I am that dedicated).

All that to say it was a crazy and busy week let me tell you!

Now thats homecoming, let me give you just a quick thought of the day and then I’m done rambling.

I have really been reading and thinking a lot about hope the last few weeks.  For many reasons I have been kind of in the dumps with some personal issues but mostly with the uncertainty of life and exactly my calling.  Whether you’re a Christian or not we all go through these times.  And these are times that help you grow.  But beyond all that I have been realizing there is hope.  Some lyrics from a song, Anchor, by Hillsong go like this:

There is hope in the promise of the cross, You gave everything to save the one you love, and that hope is an anchor for my soul, my God will stand unshakeable!

Man I love that! It gives me the chills! I think when I am sad or overwhelmed sometimes I think God is surprised or He can’t handle it.  But He is UNSHAKEABLE.  And because of His promise of love on the cross, we can have hope!  Hope that there is a God who is constant, who loves and cares, and who wants what is best for us.  When everything around us seems chaotic or maybe there is a lot of hurt… remember these song lyrics! I think if we can have hope in Christ (who He is and what He has done) which coincides with trust, we can be more diligent in being patient through the trials and the pain.  Just wait and see what God will do when you regain a piece of hope in Him.

What that has to do with Homecoming, or what Homecoming has to do with Hope?  No one will ever know.  It has just been my life the last week though :)


Thanks for stopping by


Aaron Merrell


October 26, 2014

Good Nights

October 26, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey everyone!


Hope you had a stellar week! I’ve been helping out with a few of the homecoming events, which has been SO much fun.  A lot of the events, and this evening, got me thinking about the fact that everything fun seems to happen at night: most of this week’s events, stargazing with awesome friends tonight, city events like the plaza lights. I could go on and on.


I have a mindset that business gets done during the day, and all the fun happens in the evening/at night.  Maybe I shouldn’t feel that way, and there is a lot of fun to be had during the day, but I am at my happiest at night-time.  Something about the darkness, or maybe it’s the stress of the day coming to an end, brings conversations, jokes, and just being with people to a different level.  Some people get crazy as they get tired, others grumpy, and still others just laugh, but it is so much easier to get to know people as the day comes to a close, though perhaps we feel this way because we can dwell on these things as we sleep afterward?


I’m not sure what brought this up, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it recently.  It seems like ties are made and severed after nightfall: making new friends, maybe losing some that made you emotionally unhealthy.  But, sometimes it’s just trying to figure out what’s still open late in Olathe, and packing up the car to head to McDonald’s or Waffle House, or just to drive because it’s free (kinda).


These experiences are something you can’t get back, hours well spent, so I encourage you to stay up late once in a while, study all day so you can stay up late, and just be with people.


That’s all I’ve got for this week, I hope you all are blessed as you live your lives this week, and I’ll see you soon!



Samantha Moore


October 21, 2014


October 21, 2014 | By | No Comments

Hey guys,

trying something new with a video this week! Hope to do more of these! I am currently studying for my Human Resource test I have on Friday of Homecoming week and my birthday week.. be praying! It is such a fun and crazy week I have in front of me but it will be a fun one.

As always comment and I would love to chat with you!