"Of Mice and 'Manns"

"Of Mice and 'Manns"
Our Magic Moment

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fourth of July Fun

The Fourth of July is always a pretty low-key night in our family. We don't usually have huge cook-outs, or gatherings. We simply hang out, just the four of us. We wait until just before sunset, and let the kids dig into one of those mixed boxes of backyard firecrackers. It's always amazing to me how much enjoyment kids can get out of a box of sparklers and snappers. They look forward to it like Christmas morning. Kev's parents always come over and watch the fun. We set up our lawn chairs in our yard and ooh and ah over the neighbors very expensive fireworks that light up the neighborhood sky. We are so grateful that Kevin's parents are right around the corner now, and that they can be close for such wonderful times. It means so much for the kids to share these times with them. 

Happy Fourth Everyone!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Congratulations Crissy and Jay!

I am so very excited to share the exciting news that my niece and nephew are expecting their first baby. You may remember a couple of years ago, when I shared the news of their wedding. They gave me the extreme honor and FUN privilege of helping plan their wedding, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences EVER!! It is even more exciting to watch them prepare for their first baby. 

Their baby announcement couldn't be more adorable!! Check it out! So creative!! 

They are going to be amazing parents. I couldn't be more proud of them, 
and I couldn't love them more! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer Road Trip

With the Summertime (or ANY break from school,) comes road trips with Papaw. Papaw is famous for giving us a drop of a hat's notice and letting us know that we are taking a road trip to Gatlinburg, Santa Claus Indiana, or any other amusement park within driving distance. This week's trip took us to Sandusky, Ohio to visit Cedar Point. 

We stayed at the Sand Castle suite hotel, which is inside the Cedar Point park, and sits right on the lake. The kids loved that they could walk right out of our hotel room and see the lake, which is hard for any kid to believe is NOT the ocean. 

Gracie is a self-proclaimed roller coaster addict, so going to the "roller coaster capital of the world," was right up her alley. Jackson on the other hand, was a bit timid still, but LOVED the old-fashioned cars! He and his sister were both naturals, and managed to get all the way through the ride without touching the middle bar. This was quite the accomplishment, for which I still owe Gracie $5.00! 

One of Jackson's favorite attractions was the Dinosaurs Alive exhibit. Even though we have the same exhibit at King's Island, he couldn't wait to see the huge reptiles! 

To end our trip, the kids insisted on taking one of those old-fashioned photos. They thought it was the coolest thing in the world to dress up like 1920's mobsters. This also sparked some very interesting conversations on the ride home. 

I am so grateful for these little road trips. I know that when my kids look back on their childhood, their road trips with Mommy and Papaw will be one of their fondest memories! I know it is mine. I always look forward to the time we get to spend together, and the time we get to spend with Papaw! Can't wait til the next one! Thanks Papaw! 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day proved to be as great of a day as ever in the Mann house. Kevin got up bright an early and enjoyed a round of golf with his Dad. They don't get to do that enough, so I was happy that they got to spend time doing what they love together.

After their round of golf the boys came back for present time! Jackson couldn't wait to give his daddy his father's day present that he had been hiding from him since the last day of school. This portrait of Daddy captures his best side don't you think? He was so excited about his tuxedo and his fancy top hat. There is a touching biography on the back, in which he brags about his stylish clothes, and his ability to "arrange furniture." Needless to say, I've never met that side of his daddy. 

From here, we went to see Papaw Mann and have lunch at Barleycorns. We made a stretched canvas with the kids' handprints, on which we wrote everything we loved about Papaw Ford, Papaw Mann, and Daddy. The kids came up with so many wonderful things. I was so proud of them. There were other presents, but this was by far our favorite and most touching. 

We couldn't have had a better day. We were able to spend time with ALL The important men in our lives. Kevin and I are both so blessed to have the best dad's in the world, and our kids are even more blessed to have these amazing guys as Grandpa's. Happy Father's Day! 

I couldn't help but tack this amazing throw-back picture onto this Father's Day post. This is a picture of a very young (we are thinking three-year-old) Gracie cuddling up with Kev's Papaw Owens at his cousin's wedding. I love that she was able to meet him. I know it means the world to Kev and his mom. I only wish Gracie and Jax were able to meet the rest of our Grandparents, but know she will meet them all one day when we join them in heaven. Happy Father's Day to all of them! 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Happy Birthday Grandma Mann

Grandma Mann's birthday was a fun day as usual. It was even more special than usual considering you only turn 60 once!! What an exciting day! We celebrated by having pizza and cake and ice cream from Greaters. Can't think of a better way to spend a birthday!! Jackson made a birdhouse for his Grandma. He did it ALL BY HIMSELF. I was so very proud of him. He picked it out at Michael's and insisted on having no help from mom. I have to say I am super proud of his crafting skills, just one more thing he has picked up from mom. 

We also made Grandma a wreath for her door. We wanted to give her something happy for her 60th, and we couldn't think of anything more happy than a sunflower. In fact it is impossible to look at a sunflower and not smile. We were hoping it would have the same effect on Grandma, and it looks like we accomplished our goal. 

Happy Birthday Grandma. We are so happy to have you so close to celebrate you big day! 
WE love you!  

Friday, July 10, 2015

Jax's Daily News Report

So I have been promising myself to document Jax's news reports for months now. The girls at work have come to look forward to his daily news reports, and his Daddy is especially proud of his newfound appreciation for the news. He has actually been heard humming the theme song to Fox and Friends at school. What seven-year-old doesn't know that tune right?

Thanks to his Daddy, Fox and Friends is on every single morning when we are getting ready for school, and Jackson doesn't just watch the news, he studies it intently. He gets extremely worked up over current events, and always has a unique take on the stories he hears. I am not as observant as he is, so he has to yell for me while I am in the bathroom doing my makeup, at which time he insists, "Mom, get in here and listen to this. You're not going to believe it!"

When I finally cave in and let him drag me to the TV, he is ready with a recap of the latest developments. Here are just a couple of my favorites...

The Sad Mayor: 

Jax: "Mom, get in here. Look at this! Do you see this man here?" 
Me: "Yes Bubby I see him." 
Jax: "Well, that guy is the mayor of that town. And he is really sad." 
Me: "Bubby I don't think..." 
Jax: "Wait mom, listen! He is really sad because the police in his town shot and killed a man just because he was BROWN! Isn't that sad!" 
Me: "Well Bub. First of all, that man is not the mayor of that town. He is a crazy person. His name is Al Sharpton. Second of all, the police didn't shoot that man because he was brown. They were doing their job, and that guy was a criminal. Now the rest of the town is setting fire to stores and houses, tipping over cars, and shooting at innocent people, including the police. What do you think of THAT? Do you think THAT is sad?!" 
Jax: "Well, that's just CRAZY!!! But are you sure he isn't the mayor!! I really think he is the mayor!" 
Needless to say, we continued to discuss the difference between The Reverend Al Sharpton and the mayor. I think he has finally got it. But, Kevin and I still threaten to call Mayor Sharpton overtime we see a terrible injustice!!

Crazy New Yorkers!

Jax: "Mom, get in here, you aren't going to believe this!" 
Me: (While doing my makeup in the other room) "What bub, what happened now?" 
Jax: "It's New York!! They're CRAZY!" 
Me: "What's wrong with New York bub?"
Jax: "They're trying to bomb us! They're just CRAZY!" 
Me: "They aren't trying to bomb us bub!" 
Jax: "You didn't hear it, how do you know?"
Me: "Bub, New York IS us! I promise, they are not going to bomb us. THEY ARE PART OF US!!" 
Jax: "Oh, are you sure?" 
Me: "Yes bub, promise." 
Jax: "Okay, well, where is China again?" 
Me: "Don't worry about them either hubby. I don't think anyone is going to try to bomb us today. I think we are safe." 
Jax: "Well, I hope so!" 
I continued to reassure him as we ate our pop tarts, but I don't think I am going to be able to convince him to take any trips to New York city any time soon. Just one more thing he has in common with his daddy. 

Stay tuned for more news stories, as told by Jackson Ray, future Fox News Correspondent!