"Of Mice and 'Manns"

"Of Mice and 'Manns"
Our Magic Moment

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Happy Birthday Jax (Part 2)

So I know that things are way out of order, but such is the way in the Mann family! I realized that when I posted pictures before of Jackson's birthday I only posted pics of his school birthday. Those of you that know us know that we celebrate birthdays for WEEKS around here. Not only did Jax have a birthday celebration, but he also had a family party with just us at Dave and Busters, and a friend party at the Web Extreme a week later. I mean you only turn EVERYTHING once, might as well do it up. While I didn't take a ton of pictures at his party (That's what Papaw is for,) I did manage to get some great shots of his cake. Remember, we embraced the Star Wars theme this year. 

The cake itself was made by our new cake lady, Colleen. (Call me. She really does a great job and is OH SO affordable!) But, Jackson and I decorated it with all of the Star Wars men ourselves. It was so fun. We spent the entire evening putting Star Wars lego kits together, then decided together where we would put everyone on the cake. It was a great night, Mommy Jax night. Daddy and Sissy went out on a date and we had a great time home alone together. What do you think of our finished creation?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Happy Easter

As the kids get older, the ability to get them to pose in the same picture without hurting each other gets harder and harder. So, even though Easter was pretty uneventful this year, one of the best things that happened was this picture! It is a rare occurrence when I can actually get them to look in the same direction at the same time, without them fighting. We took a family shot in the same place outside our church last year.

Besides this picture, we really did have so much to be thankful for this Easter. We were finally all healthy, after having such a long sick winter. Kevin is finally feeling back to himself lately, after such a sick couple of months. Gracie continues to get stronger everyday, and we may have even solved Jackson's nighttime sickness problems. So, things are really looking on the up-and-up.The weather was absolutely beautiful this Easter as well, and we are able to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior in our church's new sanctuary. Not only were several people saved that morning, but we had around 1600 in attendance. The Lord is good; Always. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring Break Photo-Dump!

It's no secret that Papaw cannot stand the idea of kids sitting at home on any kind of school break. If we have a spring, summer, or winter break, he simply has to plan an outing of some kind. This year for spring break he decided that we would take off for the Indianapolis Children's museum. The kids were super charged when they found out that there was a special Transformer exhibit. 

After we finished with the Indy Museum, we headed over to the Air Force Museum. It's a shame that we have lived so close for so long and never made it there. It's an amazing place to visit. Unfortunately, I took NO pictures of our time there. But, we plan to go back sometime soon, so I'll do better next time. Finally, we finished our trip at COSI, a children's Science museum in Columbus. Needless to say the new car clocked a bit of miles on the trip, but it was a fun time for all. Here are some random pics from he trip 

Even on stilts, Gracie is still a head taller than Hannah! I don't think the poor girl will ever catch up!!

Okay, only I would have the misfortune of checking into a hotel right across the street from the site of the NCAA Final Four just a day and a half before the arrival of our team!! Seriously, this was the view from our room while we were at the Children's Museum in Indy! We checked out about 36 hours before the team got there. Oh well, it would have been so wonderful to be there for the experience, but it wouldn't have been as wonderful to live through the sad game. At least I was happy when I was there!! 

Jax took every opportunity to build with anything available at COSI. He loved getting hands-on with the exhibits. I just know I have a little budding engineer in the  making.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Birthday Boy and his Droids

Recently, my little man devastated me by turning seven-years-old. I keep begging him to slow down, but he insisted that, "Everyone has to grow up Mommy! I can't help it!" This year, much to his Daddy's surprise, he is all about the Star Wars. He wanted a Star Wars party, Star Wars treats, Star Wars decor, the whole get-up. I was happy to make that happy for him. 

Lucky for me, I had already been through the robot stage with Gracie, so I had a pattern for Jackson's Star Wars Birthday Droids. We simply added some foil pretzel arms, and he was charged. Don't miss his custom, Yoda Birthday Boy shirt!!

Being right next door to Jackson's classroom comes in handy on special days. I love that I can sneak next door and sing Happy Birthday to my little guy without missing a beat of my own classroom. He had a great school birthday, and I am so happy that I got to share it with him!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Meeting Pastor Mills

Jax's first season as a basketball player was definitely an interesting one. He has to be the ONLY player ever that regularly skips from one end of the court to the other. He also talked to the other players on the court the entire game. He is still unsure as to whether or not he will give it another try next year, but we certainly enjoyed watching him give it a shot this year. 

To end the Upward Season our church managed to get Cameron Mills to preach at the closing ceremony. If you follow Kentucky Basketball at all (secret's out: we do,) you will remember Cam from the 1996 and 1998 National Champion teams. After leaving UK he went on to be ordained and now travels to churches all over Kentucky and beyond.   

Cameron did a wonderful job stressing to our little ones that although he cherishes his National Championship Rings from his 96 and 98 season, and treasures the memories he has of playing at Kentucky, the entire experience means nothing when compared to the relationship that he has with Jesus. The National Recognition that comes with being a Kentucky Wildcat doesn't dome close the recognition that comes with being the child of the King. 

After Cameron's sermon, we were able to spend some time talking with him as a family. I loved comparing stories with him about our days at CATS (the academic center where I tutored the UK basketball team while I was at UK.) We realized that we were probably sitting just a table away from one another for most of our days at the center, yet never became friends. Something I totally regret now because he is a wonderful person, and I so enjoyed talking to him. I was a great night, and I can't wait to catch up with the Wildcat on the other side of Heaven someday!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Snow Cream Tradition

We have so many snowy winter traditions in our family. Since the kids and I are always off together on a snow day, we tend to enjoy them as a family. One of the many traditions that we share is making snow cream with the first big snow. This year, however, it seemed like every time we got a huge snow some one in the family was terribly sick and couldn't go outside or even think about putting snow ice cream in their mouth. Let's face it, the Manns were sick for MOST of the winter. 

When the last snow rolled around, Mom was the one that was sick. I couldn't pry myself off of the couch. So, when the kids reminded me that we may not get another chance to make snow cream this year, I figured it was time to give Gracie the very important job of "cooking" the cream. She took this job very seriously, but promised to let Jax in on the act.

Lesson #1? Don't measure anything! I told Gracie that the key to making the best snow ice cream was to add the ingredients a bit at a time, and just taste it until you like it. She loved this strategy of course. 

Lesson #2? When it looks like mashed potatoes, you're getting there. Jax, being a mashed potato expert, felt like he was the perfect person to look out for the mashed potato goal. 

Lesson #3? When you think it's perfect add more sugar. I know, mom of the year right? Well I've won that award more than once over the last twelve years, so what else is new.   

Even though I was sick, I still found a way to taste Gracie's creation. The verdict was good. She did a wonderful job with her first batch of snow cream. Even Jax approved. Good to know that the tradition will safely be passed down to Gracie's children someday. Jackson still has a few years before he will be able to take over as head chef, but until then he's happy to serve as head taste tester.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Soup with Seuss (And the Grinch)

A picture can say a thousand words, and this picture seems to say even more than that. As most of you know, I organize our school's Soup with Seuss event every other year (At one time it was every year, but thank goodness it has since then become a bi-annual thing. It's A LOT of work.) We have always had the Cat at our event. However, this year AGAIN the Cat was double-booked and we were told that we would not be able to have him at Crossroads. This too has unfortunately become a tradition. To get around this little glitch this year, we decided to invite a different Seuss friend to our event. We were thrilled to have the Grinch there with us. And it seemed of so fitting considering I can turn into quite the Grinch myself by the time the evening arrives. It is just so much work, an so much stress that I start to grow a little green fuzz myself, as you can see above! 

Eventually, I have to organize all of my pictures with the kids from all of our Soup with Seuss nights. I have pictures of Gracie with the Cat clear back from the time she was about two-years-old. It would be great to see them all in the same place at the same time. It will happen eventually. Until then, enjoy our first family photo with the Grinch!!