One of the reasons Gracie was so very excited about going to middle school was because she couldn't wait to join the Middle School Band. She has been counting down the days until she got her saxophone. She wants to be just like daddy (go figure!) I keep trying to tell her that with her back situation, she should be like Mommy. A flute would be much lighter to carry! When we went to the music store to pick up her horn, Jax just had to get in on the action, or should I say noise. He found a cute little ukulele that he just begged for. It didn't take too much begging, he was so cute about it. Needless to say, the Mann house has gotten a lot louder lately. Gracie is picking up the sax quickly, it's clear that she is going to be a natural. We are looking into getting Jax a lesson or two. He is bound and determined to play in the talent show next spring, so if anyone out there thinks they can teach my six-year-old budding musician how to play a short song, give us a JINGLE!!
The last couple of months have been one of the many reasons why I am NOT sorry that I am NOT a FaceBooker! I know I am one of the minorities, folks tell me everyday that I am one of the last living humans out there without a FaceBook. Over the last month, as folks have been taking joy in dumping ice cold buckets of water on each other, I have been thankful that I am not out there to be challenged. Oh, don't get any big ideas. If I were to be challenged, I would say, NO!!! Then, donate $20.00 to the ALS folks. Wasn't born yesterday folks. I don't even like to swim in water that is less than luke-warm, so don't be surprised when I don't stand in line to get ice-cold water dumped over my head! My family, on the other hand, was all too eager to accept the challenge. Kevin was challenged by our loving nephew, and Gracie was challenged by the neighbors down the street. Jackson was all to excited about joining the trend, however, he had a nasty ear infection and I had to put my mommy foot down. They both were tortured by my father-in-law, who couldn't have possibly dumped the water any slower than he did. (That I have to admit made things a little more fun!) So, without further ado, here are Kevin and Gracie's ice bucket challenges:
Kev celebrated his 41st birthday on Monday: September 8, 2014. I don't make a habit of advertising my age; actually, I tend to fib a tad bit about it. But, since HE doesn't have a blog, I don't have to worry about him announcing to the world when I celebrate the big 4'Oh and then some!
We really had a low-key celebration. Just his favorite dinner and an ice cream cake at home. He wanted a Kindle so that he didn't have to borrow mine anymore, and in perfect Kev style he went out and picked that up on his own, so there was no parade around getting a gift (he tends to do that.) But our dinner celebration was perfect. For dessert, I splurged and got an ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery. Oh Boy!! You could have heard a pin drop when that was being devoured!
The family did have one more surprise for Daddy's birthday!! We make a rather large purchase...
Isn't she beautiful?! Since Kev was nice enough to buy me a new car for his birthday, I thought I would give him the Big Blue Machine. I know, I'm generous that way. He's so lucky to have such a giving wife!! Anyway, Happy Birthday Babe. You're the best Husband and Daddy we could have ever imagine, and I thank God for you every day. I love you, For Ever After!
So each year, I ask my students to write down what they will be when they grow up, take their picture with a homemade graduation cap, and display them all on the door. I have included Jackson the last two years because I just think it will be fun to look back on the pictures and compare. Last year Jackson was absolutely certain that he will be a car designer. He has actually talked about designing cars since he was about three-years-old. This year, though, he must have either been in a playful mood, or he has changed his future career goals because his answer was a bit different this year....For those of you who aren't experienced in reading the phonetic writing of six-year-olds I will let you have a second to sound out his answer.............a Chevy Dealer. Go ahead, try it again. Now you see it!
Maybe he will design the cars, then sell them. Either way he will probably make more money than his mama!
And finally the time arrived. We couldn't push it off any longer. August 13th came faster than we were ready for. However, this first day was quite different. The only thing typical was our traditional porch picture. From there, things were dramatically different.
As most of you know Gracie started MIDDLE SCHOOL this year!! This is completely and totally baffling to me, and I am still in denial. I pinch myself every single morning when she gets up and heads for the bus, and then again in the car when I head to school one kid short of a full car. But it's true. No matter how badly we try to push it away, the time still comes when we have to let our babies go...to MIDDLE SCHOOL?? Do y'all remember middle school? Not a single one of us can honestly say, "Ahh, those were the best days of my life!" No. They're the most confusing. Middle schoolers. They don't understand their minds, their bodies, their friends, the way life works, and all along their teachers expect them to act like little grown-ups just because they past through the magical portal known as June and July! To make things even more interesting we have the big surgery ahead of us, so that should make Gracie's first year of Middle School even that much more pleasant. Good news is....My daughter is amazing. No matter how crazy life seems to get, she throws the most dazzling smile back at the world and keeps truck'n! She has always been an inspiration to me. I know that she and I have a long road ahead of us as we navigate middle school together. However, I know that we will come out of both middle school, and December stronger and closer together than ever before.
Then there's my little Man(n). Just look at him. I swear the boy get more gorgeous every time he rolls out of bed. The really ironic thing is, just as I have to send my baby off to middle school, and she seems farther away from me than ever, my baby boy spends his days RIGHT NEXT DOOR! Literally. Jackson is in the very next classroom. I can seriously peek in the room at any moment and get a glimpse of my little boy. He has one of my closest teacher friends as a teacher, so I know he is in great hands. She was Gracie's teacher in first grade (in the same classroom and everything,) so it has been really sweet! I know that he will have an amazing year with Mrs. Moore!
The last week of summer vacation is always very hectic. It's not enough that we are always trying to get ready for school, do last minute shopping, and put the finishing touches on Mommy's classroom, but we are also trying to deny that summer is ending by squeezing as much fun out of every single day that we can. What better place to do such squeezing than at the levee in the hamster balls? NOT! I can't possibly imagine enjoying such an experience past the age of 11! Good thing the kids are still of age!
Another trip to Kings Island was also a great way to hold onto the summer fun!
And summer begins and ends at Aunt Charm's house where we are able to soak up the sun, bounce on the trampoline, and splash until we drop. Check out Aqua Man himself! No one can look cuter in a pair of upside down goggles!!
I live for my children. Everything I do is for them, because of them, and for their benefit. My husband is my soul mate, and my best friend. I am who and what I am because I have the most wonderful parents in the world. My proudest moment was when my little girl was saved at the age of five. Kentucky Basketball is the one thing that EVERYONE in my family agrees on. I spend most of my day hoping to inspire young children to become life-long readers and writers, and develop a love for literacy. My happiest day will be when my family and I go Home hand-in-hand.