"Of Mice and 'Manns"

"Of Mice and 'Manns"
Our Magic Moment

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Halloween Happenings

The season almost got away from us before we managed to carve a pumpkin this year. What can I say, muddling through middle school, and taking a Disney vacation seems to make October go by faster than we can catch it! This year, we are pretty proud of the fact that our pumpkins both weighed more than 35 pounds, and that we didn't even use a pumpkin carving kit to finish them. We went old school. Drew the pics ourselves. I have to say, I like them better that way!

And more pics of Halloween night! Again, we had Thor and Medusa. I cannot believe how grown-up Gracie looks. She is truly becoming a young woman. So beautiful! It is totally fitting though that she dressed as Medusa! Get too close, and you're sure to turn to stone!! This year, she insisted that she was too mature to go trick-or-treating. She was going to stay home and pass out candy. But, as I suspected, the first kids in the neighborhood that came knocking on the door were able to convince her to hold onto her childhood a little longer and go out! 

Thor, on the other hand, was not having anything of the sort. He was going to conquer the COLD COLD weather with just his trusty hammer. It didn't help that he was sent home from school that day with a fever and an ear infection. I know, what kind of mom would let him go out anyway. This one. Sorry. You can't nominate me for mother of the year; already on the wall!! (I can hear the judgy gasps from here! He made it, and is fine!!)

Again Mommy was Cat woman! Representing the Wildcats throughout the entire neighborhood. I got LOADS of GO Big Blue salutes everywhere we went! It was a fun night for everyone!

And what is Mommy's FAVORITE thing about Halloween?? CHRISTMAS!! 

That's right! Before we had the costumes out, Daddy had already fulfilled his duties of bringing up all of my Christmas decorations. This year, since Halloween fell on a Friday, I didn't even have to take a personal day off to decorate! SCORE!! Before I went to bed that night I already had two trees up, and the entire downstairs done. The kids woke up to a winter wonderland, downstairs anyway. I spent the entire next day finishing. The best part about it all was that it SNOWED for the occasion! So many people make fun of me for the tradition. But, seeing the snow was just reassurance from the Good Lord himself that he approves of my enthusiasm or all things Christmas! 
(At least that's how I'm taking it!) 

If you concentrate really hard on the background of the above picture, you may see a snowflake or two. I was so excited by the snowy tribute to my special day!

The Disney tree above is always the first to go up! 

The giant pic above and the green canvas below are my two NEW additions this year. 
I try to add new Christmas treasures every year. If you haven't seen the Mann house at Christmas, stop by! The kids would love to give you a holiday tour!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thanks Grandma Mann!

After we came home from our trip, Grandma Mann had quite the surprise for Gracie! If you know Grace, you know that she is a Titanic fanatic. She loves to read about, learn about, draw pictures of, teach others about, and do all things regarding the sunken ship. She and Grandma started a model of the ship before we left, and while we were gone, Grandma worked feverishly to surprise her with the finished product. I have NO IDEA how in the world she kept her patience! You have no idea how teeny tiny some of those parts were! I would have totally lost my patience before I even got all of the pieces out of the box. The finished ship is now the latest (of many) Titanic relics in her bedroom.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Florida Farewell

While the other kiddos were playing in the sand, Jax decided to sit in the shad and draw Minecraft creepers with sidewalk chalk. That's my creative little man! 

The day that we boarded a plane to head home to KY, we spent the entire day in the pool. The hotel had an AWESOME pool area, complete with a beach, waterslide, and organized activities throughout the day. While the guys were packing up and loading the car for the airport, the kids, and Charm and I soaked up every single last ray of sunshine we could get before heading to the airport. It's a good thing too, because while we were laying to in 89 degree weather, one moment, we were bundling up for 50 degree weather just hours later. It was a bummer! But, it was certainly another magical trip we will never forget!! 

Hannah was able to totally bury Gracie in the sand! 

Oh look, you'd think they loved each other!! You have no idea how much I had to beg to pull this pic off!
 Hard to believe by looking at these pictures that just a few short hours later, we had our winter coats on and were cranking up the heat in Cincy! What a great trip! We can't wait till next year!

To head to the airport, we dressed our little things in "Thing" shirts.
We still have some say-so, but I'm sure those days are numbered too!

Mickey's Not So Scary Tradition

AFTER disembarking the Dream, we headed over to the park for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party. The party has become a tradition for us over the past several years. This year, we didn't take a lot of pictures. At least, I didn't. I did get a few in front of the castle. 

This year, we had a bit more variety to our costumes. We used to dress as a packaged deal. However, now that the kids are older and have their own opinions (UGH! THE NERVE,) our days of dressing as the complete cast of Alice and Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood, and a family of super heroes may be gone for good. From left to right we have, a disrobed Spiderman (he had already disrobed due to the heat,) Medusa (for the record, I loved the costume!) A blend of Sally and Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas, and Thor. I was the only adult who went in costume. (I know you are terribly surprised right?) I went as Cat Woman, but not the traditional gal you know. My Cat woman wears blue and white and wears a K on her cape. Get it?? 

And one very RARE pic of Kev and I. We rarely take a picture without the kids in it!

While in Disney World, we ran into a student of mine. Brooke is in my first grade class, and was taking her very first trip to Disney. She was so excited to get to see Mrs. Mann in her favorite place. She even got to ride a couple of rides with Gracie. How special to be a part of the little one's first Disney trip!

LegoLand Orlando

Okay, so these posts are terribly out of order. I am just going with the order in which I locate my pics! 
Before boarding the dream, we spent a day at LegoLand Orlando. We had been wanting to go to LegoLand for years, and finally made it there. Jax was SO EXCITED!! The boy loves his lego's!

Once there, passed is driver's test (did better than his big sister actually,) and was able to take a drive through the Lego Land city. This was definitely the highlight of his day. (It was much better than his trip to urgent care later that night, where he was diagnosed with a double ear infection.)

And since Gracie and I work / attend Campbell County Schools, home of the fighting camels, we couldn't resist posing on the lego Camel that we found while Jax was building close-by. 

And I have to say, this was pretty impressive to us all! A Ford Escape (Exact replica) made entirely of legos! If you've never been to LegoLand it's definitely a site to see. And, we were so excited to get there while Jax was still in his young Lego stage!

Surprise Loss!

While on the Disney Dream, Jackson was working really hard on one special project...his tooth. He wiggled it furiously the entire time because he was convinced that he could get the stinker out while on board the ship. Well, the night before we got off of the boat, his mission was complete. It was just loose enough for Daddy to finish the job. Take a close look to see his "I Lost a Tooth" button that you can only get when something like that happens at Disney!