Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve

This was from two days ago...

I checked on them and found James in Jack's bed, 
and he had stripped off his jammies and his pull-up and threw his blanket in there for good measure. 
At the moment James still keeps getting out of bed, and wants to get into Jack's crib, which then I hear protests or giggling from Jack. And it is after 10pm! 

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Then I turned 28...

I had a birthday a few weeks ago.  I got to have dinner with my family, which is exactly what I wanted. I also got some sweet nike running tights and a photography class.

Getting help blowing out the candles
 Mommy and Jamers

Jack-Jack and Mommy

 The best little family ever!
This next year is going to be just great mommy (James' words)
I agree little buddy

Thanksgiving was...well awesome!

 I need to quickly do a post before Christmas is upon us and I'm really behind :) 
Be prepared for a picture dump to tell the story!

So lots of changes are coming our way.  Dad Manwaring accepted a position with Equation Consulting after working for Intel for, I don't remember how long, about 18 years? Anyway, that means they will be moving to Utah this next year! (Step 1 of "plan to get family to move closer" is in motion...just kidding...but seriously...).  This is great news.  Well, this was the last Thanksgiving that we'd be spending down in AZ, so everyone came!  Yeah!
We went down on Saturday before Thanksgiving, to spend as much time as we could in the house before they moved.  However, we were early and Mom Manwaring needed some more time to get ready, so we got to stay with Nathan's Aunt Heidi and Uncle Jon, and their five beautiful girls.
James loved playing with five older "sisters"
Here he is enjoying a movie with Sydney and Londyn.

 We had a baby shower for Rachelle and the new baby boy joining them in February!

 Lydia, James, Kaylee, Ryan, and Elisa at the park building a sand cake

It needed at lot of sticks

 Taking rides in the red radio flyer manned by Grandma Kathy down the hill at the park

 Ryan and James, cute cousins less than a month a part

 Lydia and Kendra

 Elisa trying on my sunglasses :)

 Grandma Kathy going up the hill this time

 The annual flag football game

 Check out the food!

 Kathy with the spread.
We had a deep fried turkey courtesy of Richard bringing the deep fryer on the plane, and I gotta say, it was the best turkey I've ever had!

Swimming in the pool!  At Thanksgiving!
After all the kids went to bed we got to play our annual pool volleyball game, girls vs. boys.
I'm happy to say the girls finally won a game, we call ourselves the dolphins. The boys, the starfish, also won a few games.  And yes, the pool was heated all nice warm, so James loved swimming too (he hasn't liked swimming since he did lessons this summer and the pool was freezing..I remember the same thing as a kid).

  Eating the feast outside in the backyard!

 Love this man, he takes such good care of me :)

 We took family pictures!
Call me crazy, but it's one of my favorite activities

 Alan and Kathy with their kids, now all grown and married

The whole clan!
I think they turned out really well

 We had the annual MGM (Manwaring Garr Martin) talent show, thanks to Cory for being the fantastic emcee

 All the grandkids decorated sugar cookies...

 ...and they were really yummy!

 Had to have some milk to go with them of course :)

 James and Ryan playing before dinner one night

 We all went out to eat breakfast at "Biscuits" on the Saturday after Thanksgiving
 Then we went to Pro Bass Shop to see Santa Claus!  The Great Pyrenees Rescue was outside, and everyone got to interact with the big white dogs.

Then it turns out they were really hairy, and I was a little less thrilled to have my black shorts covered with white hair (also, it was WARM down in AZ, and these were the only shorts I brought)

 Lydia and Elisa trying on hats 

 Jack liked the hat too

 Everyone with Santa!

 Jack and Jenn being funny.
Jenn was great with the kids, they loved her.

 Jack's saying "you've got something...right there"
 Emma and Jack, three weeks apart, working on their music abilities by playing the piano

 We decorated the Christmas tree

 Jack is saying "oh, you caught me with the candycane?!"

 Sisters Kortney, Kendra, and Rachelle

The Arizona house
I remember coming here seven years ago and first meeting Nathan's family. 
I am so happy that now I'm a part of that family.
Another quick funny thing was that there was a stomach bug that went around the family.  
At least one person from each "small" family got it, one night many people were passed in the hall because no one was sleeping well.  This holiday was one to remember!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Count Your Blessings

I'm calling a timeout right now.  A timeout from the holiday prep, the daily cleaning, the political junk that fills our inboxes and facebook pages.  A timeout from life. A "just hold it" on everything.  And I want to count my greatest blessings.  Yes of course there's my home, my husband's job, education, freedoms, yada yada.  But I just read a series of blogposts from a girl that I went to highschool with who is facing an astronomical heart defect in her newborn baby, and it got me to thinking about all the "fluff" that surrounds us, and then what really matters: 



I choose messy pictures on purpose, to show my reality pretty much each day.

They are healthy (though on the smaller side), they keep me on my toes (that is a picture of James who decided that he wanted some "white cheese", aka cream cheese, and without telling me opened it and began munching. And of course Jack being a messy boy), they sometimes drive me crazy (like James having three potty accidents today, and not all of them pee...), or won't stop screeching (Jack, in church, every Sunday, or any other time, and it's awesome when right in your ear), but they are healthy and growing and learning everyday.
They are my greatest blessings.

(Besides their handsome daddy :) )
What are your blessings?

Okay, time-in.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

We Voted!

I wanted my kids to see us vote.  I remember going to the polling place when I was little with my parents to watch, back when the little booth had a curtain.  The polling people always told my dad not to let me push any buttons.  Well, he always let me push the buttons.

When we voted this year, I waited for Nathan to come from work, we headed over to our polling place which was the elementary school by our house, and we got in line....a long line of twenty-thirty minutes, with two small kids...this plan wasn't thought through!

So Nathan went outside to the playground (good thing it wasn't snowy yet) and when I got to the part where we showed ID's, I called him and he came back in.  Then when we got to the voter machine, I took James, Nathan took Jack, and we quickly filled out our ballots.  We had gone over the ballot before, so knew exactly how we were going to vote and didn't have to read all amendments and such.  I was explaining what I was doing and that it was important to vote.  Then we all got an "I Voted" sticker!  That was of course important :)

I grateful that we live a country where we can vote for who we want to represent us, even if our candidate of choice doesn't always win.

Howbe, Howbe, it's Me James!

Here is random pictures from October of Jamers. He informed me this morning that "my name is Jamers and James".  He is a cutie, and he is talking better and better.  He goes through stages though of saying the same word a lot sometimes.  During the summer it was "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah".  Then he just one day stopped that.  Now he'll say "howbe, howbe" and then whatever he was going to say.  My favorite is "howbe, mommy, I love you".  It is great.  
 My favorite three year old

 "Look mommy, this beetle is great"
Lots of things are great now. 
He'll add the adjective "great" to describe things.
James likes to play baseball.  Doesn't matter if it's inside or out, and he's getting more power in his swing now! Don't stand too close!

 "Hi chickens, eat your food"
James will makes sure each animal needs to eat their food.

James and Daddy looking at the giant flock of sheep that were grazing right by our house...
eating their food :)
 James likes to "go hiding", like under Jack's blankie...

 ...or under the couch pillows.  That is a daily occurrence.

 James working on his computer, like Daddy

 Daddy made a giant daddy snowman, a little boy snowman, and a puppy snowman.
James then wanted to ride the snow-puppy.

So today I tried to be good mommy and go play in the snow, but 15min of preparation to go outside with both boys resulted in 4min of playing time before both were cold and wanted to go back in, followed by 15min of cleanup because of the snow tracked in that had to then be mopped up and getting everyone undressed and everything put back away.
And I'll probably try again tomorrow:)

 What a great activity, marbleworks!

 We did races!

 James being a "football person".  Each sport is a different type of person.
Like mommy and daddy are "running persons" when we go on a run :)

Enjoying his bathtime.  Also this shows his hair that it is flat.
I try to do his hair, but most of the time he pats it down and says "NOOO, it needs to be flat!"
That is one battle I don't usually fight, unless we are going to a family function :)

 And he is finally potty trained! 
This is the digger that he choose to get if he would go in the potty.
Funny is that he had to fill up a sticker chart with 25 stickers before he could get it.
Well, that concept was a little lost on him.
He would go, and then say "where's my digger".  I'd explain that he needed to go a few more times and never again have diapers, then we could get it.
It was two full days of crying, sitting on the toilet, multiple times in a few minutes to get a sticker, which wouldn't count because he didn't actually go, and I gave in.
We got the digger, but away went all diapers, and if he had an accident I told him I'd take it away.
And he still needed to fill up the sticker chart, with interest of about 10 stickers.
He did it, and we taught him to say "I bought my digger on credit"
He is still doing great, and he's in "Cars" underwear all the time now.

Now he's asking Santa for the dump truck that goes with this digger, of course.