"Of Mice and 'Manns"

"Of Mice and 'Manns"
Our Magic Moment

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Portrait of Me

I had to share this. My little friend, Macy Kate drew this picture of me. I've never looked better, and when I look back on this bitsy blog years from now, I will take great joy in seeing this precious picture. Thanks Macy! 

Kev's Day of the Dead

I'm not going to pretend that I know enough to comment on any of these pictures. I DO NOT share my husband's affinity for the Walking Dead. I think he and Gracie fascination with the show is quite disturbing. But, this was a special day for Kev, so I feel the need to document it on our little family memory spot. I don't even know enough about this show to explain what is going on in these pictures. I do like the look of joy on Kevin's face, so enjoy the pics of Kev's day in Zombie Land?????

This guy is quite important as well. I think he is the creator of the show. Or the writer, or the producer, or someone? I'm just excited that Kevin got to meet him. It'd kind of be like me if Chris Harrison of the bachelor walked up to me on the street.

Home Improvement Stage One

For ten years I have had this mustard yellow color on both my living room and dining room walls. It was exactly what I wanted in 2006 when we moved in. But, the time has come to make a CHANGE!! 
I've wanted a red wall for as long as I can remember. But, I'm not the bravest decorator. I shy away from major statements. After years of chicken'ing out, I did it. I couldn't be happier with the results. It is such a warm and cozy room now. I cannot wait to finish the room with our new living room furniture. Too bad we have to wait another month. After the furniture arrives, I can finally decorate the walls. Right now it is just a blank canvas just ready to be painted. 

The kitchen needed a complete overhaul. 
The yellow walls could not have been in worse shape. We even went with sub-par paint when we donned the yellow walls. I loved the red walls so much we added an unexpected red wall in the kitchen. I also went way out there and darkened the cabinets. I figured the the red wall was a huge step, I might as well keep up the bold streak. I'm so excited about the finished product. Next chore is to find a light fixture for the kitchen. The shade was meant to be a hillbilly fix for a temporary problem. That was two years ago!! It's a work in progress, but I couldn't be more excited about it.

Back to School Traditions

We have taken the same picture every year for 10 years now.  (Two years of preschool for Gracie, up till this, her 8th grade year! How did that happen?) Kevin takes great joy in taking our traditional porch pictures before we leave for school. At some point I really need to find all of our porch pics and make a book, collage, or something out of it. 
They are too great to have not to use in some creative way. 

The family insisted that I take my shoes off to show just how tall my teenager has gotten. Yes, she is now taller than Mom. But, let's face it, this is no large accomplishment. 

What is amazing is that the third grader is fastly catching up. 
It will take no time before he will be towering over Mom as well. 

This is always our favorite picture to take. We have to threaten them with life, liberty, and electronics to get them to pretend that they love each other. It's loads of fun. NOT!

Now that Gracie is a tough middle schooler, she rides to school with Dad. Of course they sneak in trips to Starbucks whenever they can. I can only imagine those car conversations. They probably share their love for sports, superheroes, and a pending zombie apocalypse. 
I don't feel like I am missing out. 

I couldn't help but share this throw-back picture of Gracie. This is Gracie in third grade. 
Gracie was in Mrs. Wallace's third grade class. This year, Jackson is also in Debra's third grade class. I think it is wonderful that Jax and Gracie will have this special commonality. Debra was so loving and caring with Gracie and helped her grow so much. 
I cannot wait to see how Jackson will grow with her as well. 

The really unfair thing is that Debra has not aged a single day in 6 years! Not fair, just not fair. 
However, neither has her teaching tactics which proves that 
Jackson is going to have a wonderful year.

Every beginning and end of the year Rylee's mom and I force them to take a picture with one another. Again, something I should really do something with. 
Maybe I'll save this craft for the wedding slide show. 

Third grade here we come. Last year of middle school. And Mommy's 17th "Back to School."

Another school year is in full swing! 


Yeah I know, I know, you already know what I am going to say.... NKOTB concert number 20 was the best ever! Well, it's true. Every time I see my guys they are STILL better than ever! I am honored to say that I have been a dedicated Blockhead since 1988. I look forward to their nursing home tour, and following them for the next 25 years. Now it makes it even more special to see these five guys, because I am taking Gracie with me. Being able to share this part of my life with my daughter is beyond words special. So instead of bugging you with play by play details of the concert, I decided make this post a major photo dump of our amazing trip to New York. I cannot thank Daddy/Papaw enough for making this happen for us. When your "little girl" is no longer such a "little girl," moments like this are few and far between. So this was a getaway that Gracie and I will never forget, and one that was MUCH needed. We are so grateful Papaw. Best birthday present EVER!!!! 

Gracie LOVE LOVE LOVED the subway. She got to be a little pro in just two short days. 
My girl is a natural city girl, just like her Mama. 

Going to Ground Zero has been on my bucket list for years. Going up to the top of World Trade One was breathtaking. We were so amazed at the view that we totally lost track of time while we were there. Before leaving we stopped to pray over the tower sites. We made it a point to take a few pictures of the names written on the memorials so that we could pray for the victims by name. 

It is amazing that this chapel, located just one block away from the site, made it through the tragedy unscathed. It is a definite symbol of the values and beliefs on which our nation was built. It is also a standing reminder of our need to make Christ the center of our lives, and not to turn away from Him during this time when our nation has never been so divided.

Speaking of breathtaking views, we also took a boat tour around Manhattan to get a quick, yet up-close, view of Lady Liberty. I loved seeing New York through Gracie's eyes. The city just stills you. Seeing her take it in for the first time made it an even better experience. 
Watching her eyes light up, and her words fail her at the view of the statue was one of my favorite moments of the entire trip. 

No trip to NYC is complete without a stroll through Central Park. 
Having a standing lunch from a food truck with the locals, was even better at dining at a five-star restaurant. Sadly, the price wasn't all that different. 

So I told you I would spare you of the details of the concert. I DID NOT promise that I would spare you of the pictures. I do have to share this pic of myself and a well-known "Bachelor Nation" personality that I happened to be sitting behind at the concert. If you are a member of the "Bachelor Nation," you will recognize Ashley I. She is known as the designated Bachelor "crier." However, after running into her at a New Kids concert, and finding that she was a fellow 'Blockhead', 
I will NEVER criticize her again. Rock on Ashley! 

Yes, I own that doll. It is not mine though. Mine are still in pristine condition in their boxes
 thank you very much. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Gracie's First Band Camp

That's right!! We have another band geek in the family. Kevin and I couldn't be more proud!! As band geeks ourselves, we were expecting the gene to be passed on. Gracie had a hard couple of weeks. One week of 9am to 12pm. One week of 9am to 5pm, and one week of 9am to 9pm. 

As a reward for their first day of hard work, the Campbell County Fire Department, comes to practice at the end of the night to hose off the hot hard working bandies. Jackson even got in on the action. It was pretty awesome.

Gracie did a great job during her first week of band camp. She is doing amazingly well with the drill and music. We couldn't be more proud, and are even more excited to be part of the band ourselves again! Kevin and I cannot wait to be official band parents!! Welcome to the Band family baby!