"Of Mice and 'Manns"

"Of Mice and 'Manns"
Our Magic Moment

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Monday, November 2, 2015

It's always hard for me to post Halloween pictures in a timely manner because as most of you know, I am always busy decorating for Christmas the night of and the morning after. However, since I was gifted with a nice four-day weekend to get everything accomplished, I've actually got it together!! 

Gracie's costume this year was actually one of my all-time favorites. It was a classic, and she looked brilliant!! Mary Poppins herself would be quite proud. I have to admit spending $45 dollars on that official Mary Poppins umbrella hurt when we went to see the play years ago, and she cried and begged for it. However, it really came in handy when she decided to play the icon for Halloween. 

Jax's costume on the other hand? Well, it made his Daddy proud. I had so many ideas of my own, but when he decided to be a clone trooper from Star Wars, his Daddy was almost moved to tears. Don't make the mistake of calling him a storm trooper though. It gets him all bothered, and you definitely get the wrong in of that gun thingy-whatever it is! 

Needless to say, Mary Poppins and Clone Troopers do not always see eye-to-eye. 

This year we had an extra visitor for Trick or Treat. My parents' dog, "Cookie," joined us for the fun. The kids wanted him to walk the neighborhood with us. I'm sure you are not surprised to hear that he got more attention than the kids. I mean look at him. Really?! How stinking cute!? We had perfect strangers stop to take pictures. 

I didn't get dressed up to trick-or-treat, my mind was already decorating for Christmas. However, I did get in the spirit for school the day before. All of the teachers were dalmatians this year, and our principal played the part of Cruella Devil. It was too much fun! Notice the shape of the spots. Had to pay tribute to Mickey somehow!! 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

He Has Decided to Follow Jesus

On Sunday, September 20th, Jackson Ray was baptized! It warms my heart to share that my little boy  chose to follow Jesus at the young age of 4! We have been talking to him over the last 2 1/2 years to make sure that he knew what he was doing when he made that decision. We wanted to make sure that he wasn't just saying what he had heard in church, without truly meaning it in his heart. Just recently our children's pastor sat down with him and asked him all of the important questions that you would ask anyone who is in the process of accepting the Lord as their personal savior. Being satisfied with  his answers, we knew it was time to take that next step.

I cannot express the joy in my heart at knowing that both of my children were saved at such a young age. I am grateful that we go to a church that is diligent in the teaching of young children. They make the hearts and souls of our children their top priority. We have a children's program like no other church. I thank God for them everyday. 

After Jax was "up" from the waters of baptism, he couldn't help but take a victory pose, as the entire congregation cheered for them. You could truly see the joy and emotion pouring over him. Just like the day that Gracie was baptized it was one of the most wonderful days of my life. 

Some of our dearest friends were there with us for the occasion. Missy Day, Gracie's former fifth grade teacher and one of my closest work friends, and her husband Alex were there for the event. 

And My parents, sister, niece, and two grand-nephews (man just that word makes me old!) were there as well. 

And as with all of the important events in our lives, of course Ick and Amanda were there as well. 

It was a wonderful day, and one that none of us will forget. If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and savior, what is holding you back? Every second is a gift.  If you think it's a decision you have time to make; you may be wrong. Tomorrow is not a guarantee. Even on my worst days I can rejoice in the fact that I have an eternal life waiting for me in Christ Jesus. I am simply passing through this world, my eternal home is in Heaven. Where is yours? I would love nothing more than to talk with you about your answer to that question, and Christ's gift of salvation.  And praise God, both of my children could share that plan with you as well. God is Good, and I'm glad we are HIs! 

Happy Birthday to the Men in our Lives

I am WAY far behind in sharing the latest birthdays in our family. August and September is a very busy month for our family, as we celebrate the birthdays of both Papaw's and Daddy. Over the course of this past birthday season, Gracie has picked up a new hobby. She has taken to backing, and made the cakes for all three occasions. Tye-dye cupcakes and cakes for Daddy and Papaw Mann, and a KY blue swirl cake for Papaw Ford. She is getting really great at the baking part, but doesn't seem to grasp the part that the cook has to clean the kitchen though. Oh well, baby steps. 

The finished product was quite impressive!!

Papaw Ford was really proud of Gracie's first kitchen creation. 

Papaw Ford's birthday took us to our family's favorite hang-out, Barleycorns. It was a small affair, but spending time with our favorite people always proves for the best nights! Happy Birthday Papaw!

Finally, Daddy celebrated his birthday on September 8th. Gracie made a minion cake, with an edible "Kevin the Minion," on the top. 

The presents took on a peculiar theme. Gracie chose a "The force is with you," desk knick-kack. It has already found a place on his desk at work. 

Jackson chose a toy light saber. Daddy has already scared me with it on more than one occasion, so I'm not sure how long it will last in the house. Happy Birthday Daddy!

Back to School ALREADY!

Every summer seams to go faster than the one before it! This summer seemed to fly by especially since I didn't totally close up my classroom till the second week of June (thank you snow days,) and had PD at the end of July! August 12th came around way before we were ready to face it! As hard as it is to believe Gracie is now in the 7th grade, WHAT!? And Jax is in second grade. I am going to miss him being right next door to me in first grade, but am happy that he is spending his days with one of my dearest friends. He is going to LOVE her!

Middle School is, well, Middle School. One year down, and two to go. It has truly been a challenge, but thank goodness Gracie has the band to serve as her happy place. She loves everything about the band, and I'm not surprised that two dedicated band geeks raised some one just like us! Kevin and I are looking forward to Band Roadie days.

Now that school is back in session, the days of packing lunches, studying for tests, filing out reading logs, and utter chaos is back in full force. While these days seem to be incredibly exhausting and I look forward to summer all 173 days of the school year, it is not lost upon me as to how fast the years are passing. It is true what they say, the days may be long, but the years are short. Gracie will be leaving for college in five short years! I must remind myself on a daily basis to enjoy the time of chaos while I've got it!

Our traditional picture on the porch changes SO much in the span of one short year! 

This is last year's porch pic. How does time change our kids so quickly!! 
Do you see the FUNNY!? Jax is wearing the same shirt!! We somewhat bought the same shirt in a bigger size this year. Until I saw this picture, I had NO idea!! 

I love teaching right down the hall from my boy. It allows me to sneak a great first day pic! 

His two friends, Rylee and Faith, are kids of other teachers in the school. Somehow they seem to land together every year. It's funny how teacher's kids gravitate toward one another in the school. 

Check out Jax and Rylee just two short years ago on Halloween. It's fun to watch them grow up together! 

We're all ready for another school year. I know it will be over before we know it. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Funny Man

Jax has a new hobby. He loves to tell jokes! He now has several apps and websites hat he loves to use to find new material. The best part about it all is that he usually gets the jokes, and his big sister does not, which only makes his comedy shows that much more entertaining. He kept our new friends on the cruise entertained the entire week with his jokes, and even earned a nickname for his funnies. Here are a few of his faves: 

* What kind of cheese CAN'T you touch? 
   NACHO cheese!

* What does a triceratops sit on? 
  His Tracer - bottom. 

* What do you call something that is black, white, black, white, black, white, ......
  A penguin rolling down a hill.

* What is a shark's favorite game? 
   SWALLOW the leader! 

* What do you call a person who doesn't like to fart in front of anyone? 
   A private tutor! 

* What do you do if there's a kidnapping? 
   Wake him up! 

* Why don't crows ever get hit by cars? 
    Because there is always one crow up in a tree yelling "Caw, Caw!" 

WARNING!!! This is the only joke that he doesn't get. He says that he heard it on a video, and doesn't really understand why it is funny I am SOOOOO glad that he doesn't get it! 

* What is a horse's favorite book? 
   50 Shades of Hay! 

Told ya!! You can imagine my reaction right? 

Although he loves to tell jokes, sometimes the things that come out of his mother are just funny. Not scripted funny. Not rehearsed funny. Just funny. He's a funny kid. 

Yesterday we got into the car and he said, "Yuck, it stinks in here! It smells like throw-up." "I don't smell anything." I insist. "Well," he says, "You need to get some fabreeze, because you've gone Nose Blind!" I mean really? Where he comes up with this stuff I have no idea. But, he has a personality that won't quit! I love my funny man. 

Stay tuned for more of Jax's Jokes. I will post his favorites! 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Camp Girl

The first time I sent Gracie to camp I cried like a baby. I was terrified to send her off by herself. I overpacked. I worried. I wrote her letters to open every night that she was there. I was, well, CRAZY! Gracie is a camp natural! She loves it! She had been looking forward to going to camp this summer as much as she was looking forward to going to Disney. I actually don't understand it. If my folks would have sent me to camp, I'd have sworn they didn't love me anymore. It's just one more way my little girl and I are night and day different from one another. She is little Miss Nature-lover, and I am.... NOT! 

I'd love to share more pictures of Gracie's camp experience, but like a true camp (really, I don't get it,) she was not permitted to take any electronics. So, I have no pictures of the week to share. I did manage to snap a couple before she left before she tossed me out on my tail. Above is a typically mommy-forced stand still and say cheese pictures. Below is Jax's response when they made the announcement that it was time for parents to leave. He couldn't wait to start his sisterly torment free week. But, by about day three he insisted that he missed her. Either way, the face says it all! 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Saying Good-bye

I say this every year, but I have to say it again. Leaving the Disney Dream stinks! There are always tears. (Even though the kids are getting better at hiding them.) You make connections with everyone from the people you meet on the beach, to the people who make your bed at night, to the people (who we adopt as part of our family,) that take care of you in the dining room. The folks on the ship are amazing. It is truly an experience of a lifetime that I cannot put into words! We are already planning our next trip!