Tuesday, August 19, 2014

{Over 40 Problems} {School Schmool} {Fish} {Midlife Crisis} {Books} {Blogs}

Over 40 Problems 
So I have a broken tooth.  It is so badly broken, they cannot crown it. I am really really really mad at myself about it.  I chipped a smaller part of it off, and I SHOULD HAVE GONE TO THE DENTIST RIGHT THEN.  But, I didn't and it broke worse, beyond repair.   I have 3 options:  pull it (about $200), bridge it ($3000) or dental implant ($5000).  Guess which one I am going for???  Listen, I don't think you can even see the tooth.  I can't really imagine myself smiling that hard.  After they extract it, I will post a picture and you can tell me if you think I need to refinance my house to buy a tooth or just move back to Alabama. 

School Schmool
Back to school bull hockey has been such a RUDE interruption to my summer.  I hate homework.  I hate rushing.  I miss my kids.  I don't have any time for anything.  Blah.  I am wondering if there is a small island we can move to.  The Canadian can take out fishing charters, and I will train dolphins and home school the boys.  We'll live in a grass hut and eat pineapples and grilled mahi mahi every day.

Speaking of Fish
Shark Week was fun.  The boys had a great time having snacks and talking about the shows.
While watching an episode of some crazy scientists attempting to attract sharks, B told me that he wants to go down in a cage with the sharks.  He wants to explore the world's oceans and discover new animals.  I was delirious as my heart swelled with pride, but my Mother, who was sitting near by, looked green and swore she'd wouldn't have the heart to survive him doing that. I guess it will be one of those, "I can't know that", things.

Midlife Crisis?
I have been contemplating major changes lately.  I feel trapped.  In the education field, you really shouldn't abandon your career and shift gears or you lose some wonderful retirement opportunities.  I keep wondering if it is just a midlife thing.  Life seems so short, but that is a double-edged sword.  On the one hand you think, it's short, so make changes now, don't live in misery.  On the other hand you think, it's short, retirement will be here before you know it, don't quit now.  Ugh.  Still waiting on that book with all of the answers to fall from the sky so I will know what to do.

And Speaking of Books
I am almost finished with Beth Moore's Children of the Day.  It has been such an interesting study to work through this summer.  I didn't realize there would be so much eschatology in it, but there is and it is sooooo interesting!  I have pulled out my copy of her Daniel study, which goes right along with that topic as well, and I have studied up a storm.  If I didn't have to work, I would be such a nerd.  I would be knee deep in commentaries and historical records.  I would take a class and learn Hebrew and Greek so I could read original texts.  Seriously.

Bloggy Friends
I am enjoying catching up with my blog friends.  I miss the old days in Blogland!  Several of us stay in touch on Instagram now, more so than on blogs.  I guess you would officially call that "micro-blogging".  I miss the weekly blog hops and other memes we used to participate in.  Some of my favs in no particular order...unless you are listed first hahaha, Beth...
Beth http://theparkmanfamily.blogspot.com/
Traci http://thetracichronicles.blogspot.com/
Kerri http://thepleasuresofmylife.blogspot.com/
Ruth http://thisgritstale.blogspot.com/
Sarah http://throughthewindowblog.blogspot.com/
Daphne http://www.flipflopspearlsandwine.com/  
Trish http://hargrovetwins.blogspot.com/
My Aunt asked me one time, "Kerri Jean, are these people really your friends?"  Well, I feel like y'all are!  I know if we were ever in the same town together, I'd try to meet up with you for coffee (Beth/Trish), or wine (Daphne), or Caliente (Traci), or McDonald's (Kerri and we could work on our book), or to try a new recipe (Ruth), or to learn to cook vegan (Sarah).  Of course, truthfully, Beth and I practically live in the same town and we kinda know each other in real life so we don't meet up in person.  That is odd interesting, isn't it?  and Trish and I used to see each other more often, but now the kids are at different schools. But really, we have all been through some stuff here together, some real life things, weight gains, weight losses, workouts, pregnancies, losses, babies, toddlers, first days of school, recipes, crafts, home tours (remember those Daph?!), confessions, careers, vacations, birthdays...seriously, we have been through some real things and I think we are real friends.  What do y'all think?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Miscellany Mann: {Back to School} {Shark Week} {New Job} {Uncle Dick}

~~After a whirlwind summer, the boys are back to school and we are creating our new "normal" routine.  I do loathe the school year.  Rushing.  Homework.  Work. Obligations.  Blah.
B to 3rd grade and b to 1st grade
Luckily, they did not balk too much.  There were no tears or gnashing of teeth. except for me, I cried after I dropped them off. I am worried there might be some whining in the next couple of weeks as the reality of the school year sets in.   I try to act excited around them, even adopting a suggestion from a friend to give them a "dominate the day" pep talk of sorts on day 2.  This was their reaction:
we aren't feeling it, Mom
~^~If summer must end, at least we have Shark Week to look forward to.  We don't watch a whole lotta tv around here any more, but I imagine this week we'll be tuned in to the Discovery Channel.  Speaking of sharks, the brothers Mann had a fun time visiting a few sharks this summer in Florida.
only took iphone photos this summer...what??!
One in particular was named Vicky.  According to announcer, she likes to rest on her back due to a skin condition.
Nobody was really buying that story.  One man even said, "I watch the Discovery Channel, that shark is DEAD!"  But, the workers swore she was fine and that she was receiving medication in the water.
hope they were telling the truth, Vicky!
~~I started my new job last Monday.  We arrived home from a week in Pinehurst, NC on Sunday night at 9pm, and I was off to work the next morning.  Yay.  I could hardly believe it.  We were so busy all summer, and out of town so much, it was literally a blur.
Seriously, I am very thankful to have a job, especially with all of the cuts they have made in our district recently, but let's just say work is beyond crazy right now.  Beyond.  
the struggle is REAL
Anywho, I am working as a Technology Integration Specialist, which is very similar to what I was doing before (Instructional Technology Specialist), only with a different implementation model for training school personnel.  If you are keeping track, I am still an Adjunct Professor for a university as well.  I worked all summer, teaching online.  Work work work.
Summer, can we have a do over?!?
~~One last thing...my great uncle Dick died this past week.  He was ready.  When I visited with him last, he told me that he was.  I am glad I have that memory.  I was able to hold his hand, talk with him, pray with him, and tell him I loved him.
here, Uncle Dick is receiving an honorary seminary degree for his work in ministering to others.  he conducted a prison ministry among many other endeavors to bring others to Christ.
For as long as I can remember, Uncle Dick has always asked me, "Where is that red-headed boy I saw you with?"  He was just picking, you know, trying to get a rise outta me.  As I got a little older I dished it back one time and asked him, "Where's that red-headed lady I saw you with?!" Well he just thought that was hilarious and often told others about it with a big laugh.  At his visitation on Friday, I walked up to see him one last time.  Alone at the casket, and this time through tears, I asked him again.  
"Where's that red-headed lady I saw you with, Uncle Dick?"
I hope he was smiling from Heaven.
Happy Sunday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mom, are we poor? {life lessons from the trenches}

Mom, are we poor?
Three times B has asked this question over the last few days.
Not exactly sure what sparked it.
Could it be all of the time we have spent golfing  (thanks to family donations) at country clubs, recently?
I suppose it was inevitable.
At some point, the magic of childhood innocence starts to fade.
Why do you ask that?
He didn't seem to have a specific reason.
I don't know.  I just want to know if we are poor.
These are the times when you wish Siri could just give you the right answer.
How do you tell the truth, but not make them feel insecure?  How do you explain that in the grand scheme of the world, we are not poor at all, very rich in fact, but perhaps in our society we merely get by?  How do you make them understand that financial wealth is trivial, fleeting and meaningless, when they are bombarded with the excessive more-more-more society we live in?
I thought about offering some eloquent 'Mom Talk', about how we are rich in love and family, but I knew that wasn't what he was after.  He's too smart for that now.
I decided to keep it simple.
No.  We are not poor.
I should have expected what was coming next.
Well then, are we rich?
No, we are not rich either.  We are average.
Average. Ugh.
That word drudged up the old "not good enough" and constant insecure feelings from a girl I once was knew, a girl who hid in the floorboard of her Dad's old truck because she was too embarrassed to be seen in it.  A girl who moved often, and who didn't always invite friends over.  A girl who ran home crying from the bus stop one day in her "Kmart" jeans.  A girl who swore she would have plenty of money when she grew up.  A girl who didn't learn until she was in her 30s that there is no real value in materialistic dreams.
Well, we won't be when I grow up, because I'm gonna be rich.
I hope so, son.  I hope so.
But I hope it won't matter to you.  And I hope you'll always feel confident along the way, no matter what your financial circumstances.  And I hope you will be kind and generous to others, and use your talents and resources to serve.
I hope.

Monday, April 7, 2014

So it went a lil' something like this... {Spring Break 2014}

Spring Break 2014 has come and gone.  le SIGH.  It was glorious.  Only working one job.  No hectic schedules for the kids.  No homework.  Time to workout in the mornings.  Time to eat healthy throughout the day.  Early quiet time to study the Word.  Bliss.
Spring flowers in Marietta
As usual, it took me a day or two to regroup.  By my Wednesday morning shower, I could literally feel my mind open up.  Thought processes were clear.  The weight was gone.  So refreshed.
I spent some time wondering, why can't I get it together like this during the "school" year days?  Why does a little thing like school/work have to ruin my tranquility and zest for living?  Isn't there a way to have both, to have it all?  
If there is, I surely haven't found it.  And I am sure by this Wednesday, day 3 of being back at work and the boys back at school, my mind will be locked up like a trap again.  And I'll feel angry, anxious, and unhappy.
Amid the worries of losing my job, of not being able to enjoy my boys each day, of not having any time to reflect and take care of my mind, body, & spirit, there is one shred of hope....only 7 more weeks until summer break.
Thank you Jesus!

So, since my mind will be completely cloudy in less than 48 hours, I'd better make note of a few of the fun things we did get to do last week...

~The boys hit the pool for the first "official swim" of the year.  Still too cold for me, but not painfully cold.  Not sure the water temp because our pool thermometer is broken.
B and b didn't care, though, and also spent time racing around the Mann 500 poolside, as per their usual.  When they weren't clinging on to me terrified of the hoards of bees, hornets, and wasps.
~Of course we had to spend time at the golf course, so B could get some practice in.  It was nice to be able to go early in the day, rather than rushing around after school.
 b is still not interested in golf, but he l-o-v-e-s playing some Mario Kart 3ds racing in the clubhouse!
~Then, we stayed a few days in Marietta at Aunt Lynn's.  She spoiled us as usual with shopping trips to PGA Superstore, the mall, and more!
The boys "relaxed" in her hot tub.
I am certain we need one of these at Casa de Mann Pool Resort & Spa.  Except it would be one more thing to take care of.
~B played in a wonderful golf tournament at Lake Lanier.... if you like, you can read all about it here.
Sunrise over Lake Lanier
All in all it was a great week and none of us wanted to go back to reality today.  Did I mention there are just 7 weeks left in the school year?  Oh yeah, I did.  See, my mind is going already....

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hello Spring

Here at the House of Mann, we are so happy to see Spring arrive!  b has been asking me for weeks now, "Is it Spring yet?! WHEN will it BE Spring?!" He hates wearing pants, long sleeves and shoes.  He wants to be in shorts, tshirts, and crocs/barefoot, on the regular.  The other night after his nightly, "Is it Spring yet?!" whine fest, he pulled me close and whispered,
"Mommy, you know I really hate Winter."  
He gets it from his mother.  I don't apologize.

So he was especially excited, when this past weekend, we traveled to Jekyll Island, GA, for B's golf tournament and enjoyed some warm weather and sunshine.
Both B and b had a glorious time running around playing in the sand and surf - which was really too cold for my taste, but you know little boys don't care!  It must be the Canadian in them.
It was so nice to have a reprieve from the nasty weather we have endured this winter.
I know I say it all of the time, but I LOVE these boys so much.  They drive me absolutely crazy, but they are always my sunshine.
Once again, special thanks to my sweet family
 for making this trip possible for us.  
We are so blessed!

For more on B's golf tournament, click here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Miscellany Monday

In celebration of the totally random, most assuredly mundane, recent moments....

{1}  Meet the Parents
If you follow me on any social network, you ave probably heard that my parents were both in the hospital.  My Dad broke his hip at work which required major surgery and hardware to fix.  He is still in a rehab facility and recovering nicely.
My Mother had hand surgery, she had her stitches removed today and is doing well.  She is still living with us since her house was destroyed in the fire.  They are finally finished tearing what was left of her house down.  I need to post a few pictures of that sadness.

{2} Little Golfer
B is back on the U.S. Kids Atlanta Local Tour for the Spring season.  He had his 1st match on Saturday and played with the 8 year olds for the 1st time.  He did well adjusting to the longer yardage, and still finished in the top 5.  
Since he is one of the smallest and youngest, he will have to work hard to regain his position at the top of the leader board.  Saturday, he wasn't that far behind the leaders, and he hung in there the whole match and kept battling along.  He had a few bad breaks that cost him, but he never gave up. When it was over, he rushed to where I was in the golf cart and privately cried his eyes out.  I almost cried with him.

{3} Little b
Little b has finally "broke up" with Spongebob, so to speak. {insert choirs of angels LOUDLY praising the LORD}  If I am being honest, though, I have to admit it is a little sad to see him transition to another phase, growing along.  These boys just grow, grow, grow!  It goes wayyyy too fast.  
What in the world am I going to do with all of his Spongebob "stuff"?  In a way, I am sad to part with it - yes, that dang tacky stuff!!  But since I am really working on letting go of "stuff" again I hope I can pack it and purge.  Which brings me to my next point...

{4} Becoming Minimalist
I just *love* following this page: https://www.facebook.com/becomingminimalist 
As a person who has always had a distorted attachment to things, I need encouragement, perspective, and inspiration.  If you are looking to simplify your life, you should check it out!  I really feel so overwhelmed with all of the things we have to take care of and the things we have to do, it drains me.  Last week, I shared this picture from the page...
and it received much conversation.  We are all too busy, y'all!  We cannot enjoy anything because we are too busy taking care of our mountain of stuff and agonizing over all of the cluttered busy schedules we have that keep us running sun up to sun down.  You know, if I were Satan, and I were looking for a way to keep people distracted from God, I would overwhelm them with things, and to-do lists so they couldn't focus on Him.

{5} Changes
We have been receiving word of big changes at work.  While none of it has been a big surprise, it is still difficult.  Next school year will probably include a major change for me.  I am trying not to dwell or worry about what will happen or where I will end up.  Easier said than done, but, I am really trying to turn it over to Him -  and play Scarlett as per my usual...I won't think about that now, I'll go crazy if I do, I'll think about that tomorrow!  I think it is my right as a Southerner.

{6} No Pressure!
So since I am so good at simplifying my life, and not letting things bother me these days, I am sure that is why when I went to the doctor last week, my blood pressure clocked in at 171/122.  No, that isn't a typo, and yes the nurses freaked out.  My cholesterol is up again too.  Boo!  No surprise, though.  So I really must get focused and get back to taking care of my health.  I started c25k again today.  I really hate running, but I seriously have to lose some weight.

{7} Spring Fever
 I am so sick of this crazy weather and coldness.  Thank GOD it has been warm for the last few days.  So much so, that Spring Fever is really kicking in.  I cannot wait to escape the school schedules, and work nightmare and be free - in the sun - at the beach, even!  B has already been asking me when our beach trip will be, and reminiscing about all of the fun things we have done in years past.  b just hates going to school so much he asks all of the time, "When will it be summer, when will it be our day off?!"  I guess they are like me.  I think some of my most happiest memories from the last few years, and from my whole life, have been from right down in F-L-A.  I cannot believe it has been 3 years since this photo was taken.
That was a wonderful trip.  B had the best time surfing the waves that year, and b was still in pull-ups.  T didn't know she had cancer yet.  I had not had my hysterectomy.  Nanny was still alive. 
Oh summer break, come with the quickness!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

B on TV

Last week, B was invited to discuss junior golf on a local television show.  He was excited!  
I was excited for him until I realized no one else would volunteer to appear with him - which meant I had to go and be "fat Mom"! My goodness, the camera actually adds 20lbs and I don't need a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g extra added!  Oh well, it's not about me, right??

Everyone at the station was really nice, and they asked us to please come back again.  I will be on a serious diet before that happens!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014

It is definitely rare, but sometimes it does happen.  Snow.  In. Georgia.  In a word...UGH.
Of course these 2 funny faces loved it.
Although B really liked it more than b.  He was on the hunt for frozen fun.  We tried to build a snowman, but the snow was like powder and would not "pack".
So we gave up on the snowman and found other things to do.  B used a beach skim board to sled down the ice covered street.
Having reached his limit of obligatory time in the winter wonderland, b retreated inside to play video games.
Bruce loved it as much as B and ran around frolicking and barking like a nut.  He even found a half eaten squirrel to play with.  ICK.

As for me, I admit, it was pretty, and our neighborhood sure looked fresh and clean under that soft white blanket, but snow in Georgia, I'm not for that!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gamers! {bad meaning good}

“If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.” ― Marcus Brigstocke

My little gamers drive me nuts.  They obsess.
48 hours after Christmas, and B had defeated Kaos and beat the whole new Skylanders Wii U Swap Force game.  He had also dropped $200 of his Christmas money on additional Skylander figures.
He wanted to spend more, but I cut him off.
b, on the other hand, stayed glued to his Nintendo 3DS and continued to scream and yell at Mario Kart 7.  Sometimes even head-butting the screen - yikes.
So I cut him off, and he threw a FIT.
Oh the agony of these games.  It is truly a love hate relationship - they love them, but they hate them, too.
In the past, I limited "game time", but I had decided to let them blow it out during Christmas Break, especially since the weather was horrible and we could not go outside.  Since school has started, they have been back on a bit of lock down and we have all suffered.
It is like breaking an addiction.
Part of the problem with B and b is that they are over-the-top perfectionists.  a-hem.  They feel driven to play the game over and over until they play it just perfect.  
If they are not playing the game, they are on the computer looking up strategies and watching Youtube how-to videos, or they are drawing and designing new video games. 

B has been working on designing new Mario games, one of which is a hybrid of Mario Kart 7 with Skylanders characters integrated in each level.  He wants me to find out "who in Japan" he can send his designs to.  He has 3 notebooks full of designs and 8 slideshow presentations in my Google Drive.  For real.
He also conducts races around the pool (our cement racetrack of sorts) and records time trials for Mario Characters in a notebook and charts them on a Google Spreadsheet.

Since playing the DS, b has started showing a competitive nature we have never seen before in him, ever, and he has even come out of his shell a little, too.  He tells me how he gets his classmates to "play Mario" games on the playground and he tells me about conversations he has with his friends about who has what games and which are their favorites.  My non-social child has also started asking me to have friends over to have playdates for playing games.  He draws pictures of Mario characters and watches old Mario Show dvds.  Spongebob has taken a back seat around our house lately.  #sorrynotsorry #ThankYouJesus
Sooooooo....are the games ruining their lives?  Are they stunting their creativity and imagination?  Are they making them socially inept?  Are they becoming brain-dead zombies, vegging out on the couch?

No. And it appears we're back to where we always seem to spin back to, moderation and common sense....and perspective, because this is really just their "thing" right now, and before too long they'll move on to something else.

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