Manatee Manor: Question of the Day

Why do children choose to communicate by screaming?



Manatee Manor, Day 3: The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Date: Monday, June 26, 2017
Song of the Day: The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow
Quote of the Day: “Well Steve, I’m going to have to go with _______.

IMG_6462As always, not moving fast in the AM (“Wake up Diva!)

One tradition we have is pancakes every AM. So as of end of breakfast Monday AM, we have finished one box of mix. These kids can flat put away some pancakes.

And bacon. We pretty much do a pound of bacon a day.

And let’s not forget Olaf’s 2 bowls of cereal. And Bam Bam’s marshmallows. And Miss Priss’ popsicles.


Mornings are also Minecraft Meeting time with Miss Priss and Fudd… sometimes these are undercover meetings… IMG_6461







IMG_6463So today’s beach venture was much more successful, and MUCH sunnier! Once again we loaded up like pack mules and herded cats, er, kids down to the beach. Lots of sunscreen, sand, boogie boarding, watermelon, beer, Pringles (favorite beach snack!), and SUN! We all got a bit pink, but it was rain-free and fun!



Lunch prep for 5 kids

On a personal aside, one of my summer goals is to learn to french braid Miss Priss’ hair…

Pretty proud of this!

Manatee Manor, Day 2: It’s All Coming Back to Me Now

Date: Sunday, June 25, 2017
Song of the Day: It’s All Coming Back to Me Now

(We *might* have forgotten to take some of the champagne out of the freezer)

How soon we were reminded what a debacle getting 5 kids to the beach plus all of the STUFF we apparently need for a couple of hours in the sand. We are not the quickest moving group in the AM (“Diva! WAKE UP!”) Just kidding– she isn’t the only one…

Olaf: “I’m hungry!” (10 minutes after eating 3 pancakes and a bowl of cereal)
Fudd: “Mom where are my flip flops?”
MK: “Does anyone have sunscreen?”
Bill: “Diva- go to the bathroom already!”
Miss Priss: “Where’s my towel?”
Bam Bam: “I want a marshmallow!”

Things we take:

  • 3 chairs
  • bag of sunscreen
  • Each kid has a backpack with whatever toys
  • Boogie boards for each kid
  • 2 umbrella
  • 2 cooler bags (beer, gatorade, water)
  • Watermelon cut up
  • snacks
  • towels
  • phones in ziplocks
  • garage door opener
  • 4 shovels, buckets, rake
  • 5 kids

So we lug all this down. No children were run over (BONUS!) No cart to attempt to drag through the sand this year (SWEET!) We get settled– umbrellas up with minimal hassle! We are there *MAYBE* an hour… (insert sudden wind, black clouds, and rain)

“Maybe it will blow over…”

Nope. No chance. We pack up (quicker than any of us would have believed) and start herding children back to the house. We make it about 1/2 way before the heavens open up and attempt to drown us all. Bill and I get the bigger kids back and in the garage (only time we could find the opener with any real success). I head back and grab Bam Bam from MK.



IMG_6460Low-key rest of the day… Golden Girls, Family Feud– including this gem:


Manatee Manor, 2017: Day 1- The Rainbow Tour

Date: Saturday, June 24, 2017
Song of the Day: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Quote of the DayMom, don’t yell in front of the ladies!” (~Fudd)

The time has finally arrived! Last year we began a tradition we hope continues– the Girls/ Kids beach trip. (You might remember the saga of My Foot Got Stuck in the Carseat). This year we set off mere days after the Destin area received a lot of rain from Tropical Storm Cindy– meaning I drove through a LOT of rain… but we also saw a lot of rainbows along the way. I mean seriously, like 5 rainbows…. big ones!

As is always the way on road trips, wrong turns were made, traffic was encountered, and in this case, a detour around podunk, AL was necessary because they apparently shut down the town for a water party in the middle of main street. Seriously?! You have got to be kidding me! (insert frustration here).

We finally made it, 13 hrs later. Same house as last year– which is awesome, but somewhat overkill on the manatee decor.

First thing unpacked from the car!
Be a unicorn!

Once again, the cast of characters is the same, but this year with better nicknames:

  • MK– The leader of these trips! Thanks to the generosity of her hubby, we are all here! Mother of the two gentlemen on the trip. 3rd grade teacher.
  • Bill– Mom of two beautiful daughters. Pre-K teacher.
  • Me- The fool who can get her foot stuck in a carseat as easily as I can make pancakes (#madskillz). 4th and 5th grade teacher. (do you see a theme?)


  • Fudd– the eldest, age 7. Future IT guy or coder. You might remember him and his catchphrase from last year– “You wish!” (as yet not heard on this trip)
  • Diva– age 7. Bill’s oldest daughter. Beautiful, petite, and according to her, the best at gymnastics on this trip. (no one disputes this– typed as all my bones crack)
  • Miss Priss– age 6 (for 8 more days!). This one belongs to me. She is smart, athletic, and strong in “executive leadership skills.” If you are looking for her on this trip, check the ocean– she’s undoubtedly there on her boogie board.
  • Olaf– age 5. Possibly the funniest kid on the planet. Olaf is very much her own person- think mini Phoebe from Friends.
  • Bam Bam– age 3. The baby of our group. Future Frat Boy- prefers to be pantsless, and often passes out on the beach. #pumpkinpatch

Lesson of the Day:
owStepping on a Tootsie Pop ranks up there with stepping on a Lego. #truth







Helping Hands

Read this today on a reposted Facebook post– this is one I plan to share with the Hubby, cause yeah….

I do not help my wife.

A friend came to my house for coffee, we sat and talked about life. At some point in the conversation, I said, “I’m going to wash the dishes and I’ll be right back.”

He looked at me as if I had told him I was going to build a space rocket. Then he said to me with admiration but a little perplexed: “I’m glad you help your wife, I do not help because when I do, my wife does not praise me. Last week I washed the floor and no thanks.”

I went back to sit with him and explained that I did not “help” my wife. Actually, my wife does not need help, she needs a partner. I am a partner at home and through that society are divided functions, but it is not a “help” to do household chores.

I do not help my wife clean the house because I live here too and I need to clean it too.

I do not help my wife to cook because I also want to eat and I need to cook too.

I do not help my wife wash the dishes after eating because I also use those dishes.

I do not help my wife with her children because they are also my children and my job is to be a father.

I do not help my wife to wash, spread or fold clothes, because the clothes are also mine and my children.

I am not a help at home, I am part of the house. And as for praising, I asked my friend when it was the last time after his wife finished cleaning the house, washing clothes, changing bed sheets, bathing her children, cooking, organizing, etc. You said thank you

But a thank you of the type: Wow, sweetheart !!! You are fantastic!!!

Does that seem absurd to you? Are you looking strange? When you, once in a lifetime, cleaned the floor, you expected in the least, a prize of excellence with great glory … why? You never thought about that, my friend?

Maybe because for you, the macho culture has shown that everything is her job.

Perhaps you have been taught that all this must be done without having to move a finger? Then praise her as you wanted to be praised, in the same way, with the same intensity. Give her a hand, behave like a true companion, not as a guest who only comes to eat, sleep, bathe and satisfy needs … Feel at home. In his house.

The real change of our society begins in our homes, let us teach our sons and daughters the real sense of fellowship! “

Summer Lovin’

drink-with-pineapple-cherry-and-cocktail-umbrella-near-oceanAh! Summer vacation is finally here! I’m only a few days in but already feel like I have accomplished some things (including updating my long neglected blog….)

One of the true perks of teaching is these few weeks we have off in the summer. Of course those not in education are quick to point out how “lazy” teachers are, etc. Um yeah. We cram 12 months worth of work into 10, we deal with unruly kids and even unrulier parents, we are evaluated based on students’ test scores… Trust me, it is in everyone’s best interest to give us some time to recharge. Not to mention, those not in education also are not aware of how much training and planning teachers do over summer break– it’s not all beach trips and umbrella drinks, people!

quicheSomething I like to do during time off from school is try new recipes that I do not have energy to make during the school year. This AM I tried one that I saw on Facebook last week. I finally tracked it down and saved it to Pinterest– Sweet Potato Crust Quiche. I will tell you I used too much sun dried tomato (if there is such a thing!), so mine wasn’t really “eggy” at all– but it was still really good!

While we are talking about food, Hubby and I had an INCREDIBLE meal the other night. We went to a Japanese restaurant we have been meaning to try for, oh, I don’t know, 7 years or something ridiculous! Anyhoo– it was AMAZING! I had an avocado roll for an appetizer and Hubs had some pork dumplings– both DELISH! My main was an adventure for me– I tried yakisoba (stir-fried ramen with chicken, cabbage, and onions, topped with seaweed and scallions). I. LOVE. IT! Can’t wait to go back!

IMG_5987.JPGMiss Priss and I have also been having some fun. Her BFF spent last Thursday night, so for her first FULL day of break we went to Jump Jam, Chick-Fil-A, and to see Boss Baby. She and I have also played approximately a million games of Life. Yesterday we moved to some card games as well, now having enjoyed some heated games of Go Fish and King on the Corner.

She is also enjoying “sketching” and drawing, and often challenges me to contests. We had some fun a few weeks ago drawing silly pictures.

How cute is Fudge the cat?! (Don’t be hating on Linda with the Lopsided Lips!)

Room 101

Hubby recently introduced me to the British show, Room 101. On this show, 3 panelists (usually comedians and/or actors) try to convince the host (currently Frank Skinner) to put their pet hates/ fears in to Room 101.


Here is the description from Wikipedia:

Room 101 is a BBC comedy television series based on the radio series of the same name, in which celebrities are invited to discuss their pet hates and persuade the host to consign those hates to oblivion in Room 101, a location whose name is inspired by the torture room in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four which reputedly contained “the worst thing in the world”. George Orwell himself named it after a meeting room in Broadcasting House where he would sit through tedious meetings.

It’s pretty funny– especially when panelists pick really obscure things. Last night we watched an episode in which cyclists in lycra were put into Room 101 (I wholeheartedly support this!) and also cats (which I beyond disagree with)… So this AM I have been thinking about items I would nominate for admission to Room 101.

My list:

  1. Mushrooms- Everything about them grosses me out– their texture, smell, taste, etc. I mean, who initially saw these pesky things growing and though- “Oh hey, these look and feel bizarre… Let’s eat!”
  2. My dishwasher- If I run it one more time and the little soap door doesn’t open, I swear to God you will find it in my front yard!
  3. Donald Trump- I don’t think any explanation is really necessary.
  4. Plaque- I hate flossing.
  5. Turtlenecks- Why wear a shirt that feels like someone has their hands clasped around your throat?

I have a feeling this could be an ongoing post… I am sure over the next week I will come up with many more ideas for the Room… What about you? What would you nominate for Room 101?