Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Mancinis go to Mississippi

Our good friends, the Whitfields, moved back to Mississippi this year. I was SO sad. I was happy for them because it was a great opportunity for their family but super sad for us. This was a couple that I imagined being a part of our core...the couple who would know what was really going on with us and doing life with us. Their boys are close in age to Luke and Maddie, they are a super fun family to hang out with, and they love Jesus. Come on!

So, when they invited us to spend the weekend at their new house, we jumped at the chance. We loaded up the Jam Van and drove out to Mississippi. They live outside of the county. Eric has built a treehouse in the backyard and horses come up to their back fence every morning. It's so heavenly.

While we were there the kids spent lots of time playing in the backyard, we went to a museum, they gave us the "The Help" driving tour :),  and had a bonfire in their backyard with s'mores. Our kids played so well together and I was so sad to leave.

 Graham, Luke and Ethan checking out the T-Rex at the museum. 

Luke running away from the T-Rex while it eats his friend Ethan.

 Graham and Maddie getting in on the T-Rex action.

A Mississippi swamp. We were a little bummed that we didn't see an alligator.

 Cooking s'mores at the bonfire with Mr. Eric. So fun!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2013

This year taking pictures of my kids in their Halloween costumes didn't go well.

 Luke was trying to give me a Spiderman action shot and Maddie wanted to make faces.

This is seriously the best pic of the night. Ugh! Next year I will insist they stand still for at least one minute!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Addicted to Running

Dan and I attended a MarriedLife event in February at Buckhead Church that challenged couples to have a big dream they were working on together. Lets face it, married life has a way of drifting into just executing the mundane things of life (work, family, shuffling kiddos around, etc.) If we are not intentional, you can go into executing logistics together and forget to dream and plan together.

So, Dan and I decided our big thing would be something around getting physically fit. Dan suggested we climb Mount Everest which I assured him he would never want to do with me. I would complain WAY too much and I have a policy about not visiting places that have a "death zone." So, Everest was out.

Then we talked about getting bikes but that seemed like an expensive experiment. I knew Dan was not going to go to Jazzercize or Zumba with me. After giving it much thought, I proposed that we take up running. It has very little start up costs and we could fit into our tight schedules. It seemed like the perfect plan. As I told Dan my thoughts, he said, "I hate running!" And I said, "Me too! We can hate it together!" I'm super fun like that :)

So, we both downloaded C25K (Couch to 5K) onto our phones, signed up for a 5k, and started training at the end of February. Since the kiddos can't stay home by themselves, we couldn't train together but we committed to running our first 5k together. And we did just that in April. No walking...we ran the whole thing together. Yahoo!

The funny thing is we are now both addicted to running and love it. I've had some issues with one of my legs being weak. This isn't a running injury but an issue we discovered because I become more active. I've had an MRI done and I've gone to physical therapy so I could get back to running. My determination to keep running has shocked me. It is just a great form of exercise.

We ran another another 5k on October 27 with Dan's sisters. While my leg was still having issues, I had a ton of fun running with family!

Anna and I. Shh! Don't tell her I posted this pic...she will not be happy with me. But she looks so cute in her hat!
Dan and I all ready to go. 

Next, I'm hoping we'll run a 10k. So fun! We'll just have to see if these old bodies of ours will cooperate :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Fashion

Maddie started refusing to wear jeans at the end of last winter. She would only wear "jeggings." I had to convince her that leggings were jeggings. This took me by surprised last year, so I knew I needed to start consulting her a bit more regarding her clothing to avoid turning the mornings into an unnecessary battlefield. (Seriously, it's happening already?!?)

So, Maddie decided this fall she was all about the skirts and dresses (no jeans and only leggings on the weekend because I insist on it) and boots.

All her pre-K girlfriends have boots and she had to have a pair too. I must admit she does look pretty stylish. Stylish...that is her word not mine :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

NPM Family Day - The Zoo

North Point Ministries hosts a family day each year and the staff from all of the five churches come together and spend a day having fun with our families. Just as I look forward to attending this birthday party each year, I love the NPM Family Day. My kids have so much fun running around with the other staff kiddos and I love hanging out with my co-workers. How cool is that?!?!

This year it was Zoo Atlanta and the wonderful Joy Cannis took this super cute pics of my little peeps.

My kiddos with the Cannis boys.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Swim Lessons

This summer and fall Luke and Maddie took swim lessons. Luke really enjoyed his time at swim lessons. I think he spent more time talking to the other boys in his swim group then he did swimming.

As for Maddie... Well, she didn't enjoy it as much as Luke.

She hated going under the water and refused to get her face wet. 
If her instructor wasn't floating Maddie around the pool on her back, 

 then she was clinging to this rail. 

Then one smart instructor gave her "homework" and asked her to practice putting her face in the water when she was in the bathtub. So, with her goggles on...

 Maddie practiced during bath time.

Swim lessons came to an end and Maddie never really put her face in the water, but she continues to practice in the bathtub and has gotten braver and braver. It will be interesting to see what happens at the pool this year.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bert's Pumpkin Farm

We once again decided to head up north to check out Bert's Pumpkin Farm... It's what you do when it's fall and you live in the ATL. Even if it's in the 70's :)

 The three of them go out to find the perfect pumpkins to carve.

 Maddie is pretty proud of this pumpkin.

 This one is a tad to big for Lukie to lift. 

 Dan's photo collage.

We went a little too early in the season (or it was still a little too warm) so the leaves really hadn't started to change yet. I do love how pretty it is in the Georgia mountains once the leaves change and I'll admit I was a little bummed. But really, spending time with the family in the country and experiencing the creativity of God is always time well spent in my book!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Silly Faces

and a camera are a great way to pass the time when you're waiting in a very long line for a jumpy house.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Sometimes a princess needs to wear her shades...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Crafts and Coloring

When I first started trying to color with Luke, it became clear that Luke thought coloring was a contact sport. He would pick up a crayon and slam it over and over again on a piece of paper for about 3 minutes and then be ready to move on. The key word in that sentence is move.

When I was pregnant with Maddie, I prayed God would bless me with a child who liked to sit and play and do things like crafts and color. I do enjoy coloring and sitting these days is always a plus!

Maddie loves to draw, color, paint and do crafts. She also likes to sit and snuggle. 
I'm grateful for answered prayer!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Seeing is...

Well, seeing is just a good thing.

During Luke's pre-Kindergarten check-up with the doc, he didn't do well on his eye examine. They were going to do the examine again before we left the office but we all forgot in the rush of wrapping up and checking. Oops!

It wasn't until the start of this school year that I remembered the issues with his eye examine. So, I decided to go ahead and take him to the eye doctor and have his eyes checked.

And sure enough, Luke needed to wear glasses. Which really wasn't all that surprising considering both Dan and I wear them.

The sales lady asked if I wanted to purchase the one-year insurance plan for his glasses and at first I said no. Then she reminded me that I was purchasing glasses for a little boy. Humm...just pay $25 to replace his glasses IF anything bad happened to his glasses? Well, okay. Just in case...

Wise, wise decision. We are now on our third pair in 7 months. Oh, my! Gotta love those boys!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Maddie likes to collect things. Not the normal types of bric-a-brac that little girls usually collect like unicorns, stuffed animals, or stickers. Nope. Here is a picture of one of her collections:


When we're walking outside something on the ground always catches her eye and she has to stop, inspect it, pick it up, and bring it home. Rocks, acorns, leaves, sticks, and random things like a plastic clasp that has fallen off of some baby product or a broken pen. Maddie calls these collections her "treasures."

Of course, my first instinct is to have her drop it and put it back on the ground. Yuck!! But Maddie finds this command insulting. She sees something valuable in these things that I would call trash. Why would she not collect the very interesting object she has just found?

There are times when it really is nasty trash and I insist for her physical health (and my mental health) that she leave it on the ground. But I'm learning to be open to the non-health threatening items and embrace these interesting collections.

The items in the above picture seemed like a random hodge-podge of things when I was holding them in my hand... But laid out on the paper, the collection is actually pretty interesting.

See, I'm trying to see the value of these items because it's treasure to my Treasure ;)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of School - 2012

Luke the 1st Grader

Maddie the pre-K'er

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Now that we're getting on the other side of summer craziness, I need to play a little catch-up on the old blog-a-roo! So here we go...

A little known fact about me is that once upon a time - when I had time (aka pre-kiddos) - I use to love to score baseball games. Dan showed me how I could "organize" the game of baseball and I was hooked. When we had the opportunity to attend two baseball games the week the Braves played the Cubbies, we where in!

The first game Dan and I went with friends.
We normally cheer on the Braves except when they play Chicago.
Go Cubbies!!

We were offered free tickets for the second game from some of our friends. We were so excited to be able to take the kiddos to the game (it was Maddie's first MLB game - yahoo!). So our family of four headed down to the Ted to see the game. Then we got to the park and realized how ridiculously great the seats where. It was so AWESOME!! No nosebleeds here!

Dan order Maddie and me our very own Cub hats. Maddie looked super cute in her pink hat.
Now, I officially can't say I don't own any sports paraphernalia. 
This had become a badge of honor for me and I'm a tad sad to let that badge go.

Luke likes to understand things and he asks a lot of questions.
Dan spent a good bit of the evening chatting with Luke about the game.

Maddie loved watching the home run fireworks.
This unfortunately happened a little too often during this game.
So sad for the Cubbies!

I discovered that Minute Maid Soft Frozen Lemonade (Strawberry) will keep the kiddos busy and cool during a very hot evening. I'm pretty sure Maddie would've lost interest quickly in the game if it wasn't for the frosty treat. FTW!!

 I think he is a cutie-pa-tootie!

What a little imp!

It's true there isn't enough free time in my day to score baseball games and there isn't "disposable income" in the budget to attend many MLB games; however, I'm very grateful for these peeps and for the time I get to spend my time with them. I heart them!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summer Fun

Every year my co-worker has a swim birthday party for her twin daughters that are in the same grade as Maddie (they are a year older but in the same grade). I absolutely love this party and look forward to it each year. Most of the kids have been in preschool together since they were babies and they love seeing each other and playing in the pool. Plus, the people I work with are like family and it's so fun to hang out with them outside of the office.

Here are some photos that the fabulous Joy Cannis took of our family at the party...

 My two handsome dudes!

 Love the blue water and his blue eyes!

 Little imp!

 He owns my heart. 

She was serious about hitting that pinata!

I just love these pictures and I love Joy Cannis. She is a hoot! If you don't know her, you should!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Lesson in Generosity

Maddie came back from the beach with a fever. Boo! I would've preferred just the sand that we accidentally dragged into the house but Maddie brought home so much more. So, we had a sick day at home the Monday after vacation. As we were sitting at the table eating our morning snack, I read this blog post at Lil Light O'Mine and decided it was an awesome idea!

I contemplated taking action at that moment...we did have a free day and all. But with a day off of work and being confined to the house, I could play catch up on those chores that were neglected while we were at the beach.

But, then I looked at Maddie and asked her if she wanted to make cookies to give away and she said, "YES!"

So, I didn't think about it another second. We jumped in the car, gathered the few supplies we needed from the store, and then got home and got to baking!

She loves making things with lots and lots of SUGAR!!

At first I wasn't sure what shapes we should make. I went to the store looking for a cookie cutter to give me inspiration but I found nada! Apparently baking cookies in the middle of the summer (and a heat wave) isn't on everyone's to-do list. As I thought about the cookie cutters I have at home, it hit me. July 4th was in two days, so we should make stars. Lots and lots of stars!

We decorated the cookies in red, white, and blue icing. Maddie wanted to give icing cookies a try which was new for us. Usually when we bake cookies together, this is the point in the process where she ditches me for a different activity. But she hung in there like a champ!

We put the cookies in clear goodie bags with white tissue paper 
and tied it close with some blue and red ribbon.

We hung a flag on each bag that said, 
"Some Stars to add a little twinkle to your holiday. From: The Mancini's"

Then my plan got squirely. I wanted to hang out at the mailboxes and give the cookies out as my neighbors came home from work. Dan and I had plans to go the Braves game, so that evening was out.

My plan was then to hand them out on Tuesday after we ate dinner, but a lighting and thunder storm rolled in just as we finished up eating. 

We tried to hand some out late Wednesday morning before we left to go to Dan's parents for lunch, but it was too early to be ringing the neighbor's doorbell on a holiday. 

I was feeling quite sad. We were completely striking out when it came to actually handing out the cookies. Shouldn't that be the easy part?? If our family ended up eating the cookies, it seemed like the lesson of generosity was going to be lost.

When we got home in the early evening on Wednesday, I was sure none of our neighbors would be home. However, the security guard who patrols our neighborhood was stuck in his car. Not a fun holiday activity! So, I discussed a new plan with Maddie, we grabbed a bag of cookies, and found the security guard.

He was so surprised and grateful for the cookies. His reaction made Maddie look at me and say, "Lets go get the rest of the cookies and give them all away." Sweet!

As we walked around the neighborhood, we actually found people out and about and we were able to give away all of our cookies. When someone would park in their driveway, Maddie would start running and telling me to hurry up so we could give them cookies. So fun!

Our mantra was, "Why are we giving away cookies? Because it surprises people, makes them smile, and makes them happy!"

Which in the process made us smile and happy... Yes, it is better to give then receive. Woo-hoo!