Saturday, January 28, 2012

Manwaring Family Pictures

I may be the only one,
but I honestly really like having family pictures taken.
I love the coordinating outfits, and the chaos of it all to get a smile from everyone.
And I really like the end results.
Family pictures in AZ turned out pretty well. We needed an updated one as Bryan, Kayla, Emma, and Jackman have all been added to the family since the last picture two years ago. Last minute, old family friends of mine Rich and Sue Darby, who now live outside of Phoenix, were able to came an hour to Gilbert and take the pictures. Here are some favorites:

The Whole Group

Individual Family Shots

The Originals

The Additions

The Seed

And one last candid that Nathan was able to snag with his smartphone:
An awesome picture of cousins to melt the heart...
Ryan, James, and Kaylee holding hands and walking

Friday, January 27, 2012


We got to see Aubreigh and Matt and Quinn a couple of weeks ago. It was fun catching up with them again. These two had fun playing with toys, watching a movie together, and of course bathtime.

Quinn will be two in March, so all our boys are pretty close in age, and hopefully will grow up to be friends.

After putting the kids to bed we tried out the new fire pit. A lesson learned...if it is really cold out, the cement under the fire pit might crack, and sounds very loud when that happens. Love you guys, see you again soon :)

Cute buddies James and Quinn in the bath:)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jack's Stats: 6 Months

It's that time again...
time to see how Jackman has grown with another installment of
Jack's Stats!

Holy Moly! Jack-Jack just turned 6 months old! I cannot believe how fast that has gone by.
This little buddy is a keeper, he is just so happy all the time.

Here are his stats:
Height: 26 inches (35th %tile)
Weight: 15.1 lbs (15th %tile)
Head Circ: 17inches (35th %tile)

Some things that he is now doing include:

~ rolling from back to tummy (did it the first time at Karissa and Cory's house on Dec 22nd, and was doing it well by Christmas Eve)

~ is very interested in everyone and doesn't want to be left behind

~ scoots backwards and in a circle

~is eating solid food now including rice cereal, oatmeal, peas, sweet potatoes, and squash

~is sharing a room with his big brother! (We all slept in the same room
over Christmas, so they were forced to get used to it, we were forced,
now it is great!)

~loves his family, but especially his mommy :)

~no teeth yet

~has never had an ear infection

~his eye still gets gunky sometimes from his clogged duct

~gets sad if you take away a toy he was playing with

~startles at loud noises, and doesn't like the vacuum cleaner on

~smiles at EVERYONE!!

I know I've said it before, but this kid loves to smile.
Honestly, as far as babies go, he is pretty easy.
I've got it lucky really.
He's still got the "baby smell" and I love it.

He is so happy, and we are so happy that he is a part of our family.
Love you little buddy!

Christmas in AZ Part 4: New Year's

New Year's was great. But I feel like I'm getting old. We stayed up and played a game, then watched the ball drop, everyone kissed their sweetheart, then we all went to bed. To be up the next morning for the little ones who would surely want up. A few stayed up until midnight. There was some really yummy food, too. Here are some pictures from the day:

We built a fire outside, which was a lot harder with lots of little ones all around.

James and Daddy having yummy smores.

Everyone dancing with the movie "Fantasia"

First picture of 2012
Here's to the new year!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Christmas in AZ Part 3: The Polar Express

Papa and Grandma Manwaring had a very special surprise planned this year....


So the night before, all the grandkids got to open a special present from Grandma and Papa...a train ornament because they were going to ride the real Polar Express the next day in Flagstaff!!

The next day we packed up after taking family pictures and lunch, loaded into two vans, an SUV,
and a Corolla, and drove on up, singing and laughing
(though some were supposed to be napping).

It was awesome. I am so glad that we got to do that, and I know that all the kids loved it even more. Pajama wearing was encouraged, and all our little boys and little girls matched :)

Jackman and Mommy waiting for the train to come

James and Daddy
"Hi train!!"

All aboard!

The train ride was just like in the book, where there were chefs who served us cookies and hot chocolate, we got to go to the North Pole, and Santa even came on board and gave every child a silver bell from his sleigh.

Mommy with two excited and happy boys

A few shots of the family sipping hot cocoa

Matching jammies, seeing the North Pole out the window,
and Santa on the train!!

My sleepy boys on the train
This is so precious, my whole world on all asleep on one little seat.

All the grandkids in the jammies.
Elisa, Kaylee, Lydia, Ryan, James, Kayla, Emma, and Jackman

A HUGE shout-out and THANK YOU to Mom and Dad Manwaring.
This trip was a memory maker, that is for sure!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas in AZ Part 2: Family and Cousins come!

After Christmas day, we anticipated the fun James and Jackman would have with their little cousins when they came in on the 28th and 29th.
Not to forget their aunts and uncles too:)Yeah!!
Check out some of the activities we did together:

After being a little tentative at first, James ended up LoViNg going swimming. He really liked to jump off the side onto a noodle floatie. Well, we had to have him ask us before he could jump, because he liked to sink! AAAHHH! He walked off the stairs once, was sinking, I picked him up, and he said, "No, no, I'm swimming Mommy!" Um, nope, that is called sputtering and sinking buddy. I think swimming lessons are in order for this summer, and we are very thankful that Mom Manwaring thought about these things a few years ago, and had installed a net to go over the pool when you aren't in it so that no one will accidentally fall in.
We also played water volleyball that night. It was warm, like a hot-tub, so after a game, mandatory everyone up on the sides to cool off.
It is so fun, but also a little weird for this Denverite to swim at Christmastime!

Nathan, Cory, and Bryan
We played some pretty fun games while in AZ. This one is Buzzword...boys vs girls. It was pretty evenly matched with each team winning a game.
I would love to get that game someday!
Cory and Nathan kept doing funny things all week like muppets.

Playing croquet in the backyard

Nicole read Jackman a story

Some cuddle time with Aunt Nicole. After playing and being held, he fell asleep!
That is pretty rare for him to sleep like that, Nicole has the magic touch :)

We went outside to see all the lights on at nighttime.
Everyone had a kid to carry!

These two were hilarious, and it is just going to get better as they get older.
James and Ryan were eating,
then showing each other the food they had chewed in their mouths,
then yelling back and forth.
Gross? Yes. Funny? Definitely.

Playing with animals, and Grandma has lots of them! I love this.
James with Elisa, Grandma, and Lydia

Lydia in her princess dress holding Jack-Jack
A) she loved her dress she got for Christmas and B) she loved Jack-Jack
She really took a liking to him, I think she wants a little brother.
Jack-Jack liked her too, and would smile and giggle at her. Cute cousins.
When they are older then can talk about being second-born in their families.

Grandma and Lydia making cookies for everyone.
Those were so good! Good Job girls!

Kendra holding two cute cousins, Ryan and James

I loved watching these two play together.
James and Ryan sending cars down the ramp, just to do it over, and over, and over again.

Check back again for Christmas in AZ Part 3: The Polar Express!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christmas in AZ Part 1

We were able to drive down to AZ to be with the Manwaring's this year for Christmas. Karissa and Cory let us stay with them on the 22nd so that we could break up the trip into two drives. They are always so accommodating and we really appreciate it. We got there the 23rd, and enjoyed being with everyone. Christmas Eve morning we had a wonderful breakfast at this place that Mom and Dad Manwaring had heard about, country style food, and it was umm-umm good.

Jackman and Emma meeting, these two are only three weeks apart!

James and Jack-Jack got to wear some *sweet* matching Christmas sweatshirts that Mom had from when the boys were little.
Then they decided to jump on Cory:)

That night we dressed up and acted out the Nativity story.
James was a shepherd, Kendra was Mary, Nathan was Joseph,
and Jackman got to play the baby Jesus.
Then James decided to sing some songs like Do As I'm Doing and Once There Was a Snowman for everyone which was very cute.
(pictures courtesy of Jenn)

Also, we really tried teaching the Nativity, and James can point out everyone in it, and if asked where baby Jesus sleeps, in his cute little voice he says
"Jesus sleeps on the hay".

Karissa and Jack
He tried rice cereal again, and liked it this time!
He also liked his aunt holding him :)

Christmas morning we quickly got ready and went to church which started at 8am!
A huge difference from our start time of 1pm.
The choir was wonderful of course.
We then went home, and enjoyed seeing Christmas through a child's eyes.

James was literally jumping up and down as he was opening up his two foot tall car ramp from Santa. Then we took a break (after one present!) to put the ramp together, and ate a really yummy breakfast, and then went back to opening presents.
It was fun, though we missed the other younger cousins. It was just James and Jackman as the others wouldn't get there for a few more days.

Christmas evening we went to the Mesa Temple and looked at all the lights that they have there.
I cannot believe that Mom and Dad Manwaring used to be in charge of all of that a few years ago. James liked all the lights, and the huge life size camels and wisemen made out of lights were a favorite.

The next day we went on a walk at a nature preserve not too far from the Manwaring's home in search of a spot to take family pictures.
We were successful in finding a spot, and we enjoyed soaking up some vitamin D in the process.

Walking along enjoying sunshine
Yes, we are in short sleeves, and the kids do not have coats. It was that warm out.
Or maybe we are just used to cold being really cold, and sixties being short sleeve weather.

Bryan and Jenn in matching purple. Jenn is also taking advantage of the sun.

Tickles from Papa as he gets James strapped into the carseat.
James loves his Papa!

More to come in Part 2
When the other cousins arrive and family!