Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Afternoon Activities

June has been hot, and we try to do fun, things, and learning things.
I loved these pictures and had to share them.

James was just sitting and enjoying some fruit snacks on the porch after playing in the sand box

James and Daddy enjoyed mowing the lawn together.
This is when we did have water for the backyard, at the moment our secondary water is running out, and the yard is looking very dry :(

Cole and James and the cool volcano we made.
That took all afternoon to make the volcano, let it dry, paint, all that.
But the boys loved it.

Cousin Visit

We were so excited to have our family Robert and Kortney, from Gilbert, and our nieces and nephew Kaylee, Ryan, and Emma stay the night with us the Sunday after Ragnar. I was tired, but I love having people stay with us, so I didn't mind. Only I was all off from losing about a day to the race, so I didn't really realize that when we were together it was Monday, not Saturday like I was thinking. They were in town because Kortney's brother got married in Salt Lake on Tuesday. We were so lucky to be able to see them.
Kaylee, Ryan, and James playing in the living room

Monday Kortney and I took the kids to the park to play while Nathan and Robert were mountain biking. The big boys had fun, and our little ones did too.
Jack-Jack is cruising along on furniture, or park benches

Ryan just hanging around :)

I love that everyone gets along in the family. Then we had some yummy lunch before they had to go off to wedding festivities.
Emma munching on a chip

Now our boys have seen all their cousins in months time. Ryan and James are a little under two months apart, and Emma and Jackman are three weeks apart. We love living where we do, but we would love to live closer to lots of family. Maybe someday some will live closer. Until then, we enjoy cousin time :)

All Manwarings
Emma, Ryan, James, Kaylee, Jackman

Zion's Backpacking Trip

The last weekend in June we gave Mom Manwaring the opportunity to watch Jackman and James while we went backpacking in Zion's National Park (or she gave us the opportunity to be together just the two of us, there are two ways to look at that :) )

Starting on our hike down to our camp

We left on Friday night to get down to Zion's, and spent to night at a hotel in Cedar City. It was a good night's sleep and we got to shower. The first day we hiked in 6 miles, found our camp, but had to wait for others to leave for that night. So we tied up our bags by the creek in a tree, and hiked to Kolob Arch. It was neat to see. I was so tired, and we figured it was from sun and I had forgotten to take my thyroid medicine that day. We ate Mountain House freeze dried food, and had a jet boil to quickly boil the water to cook it since no fires were allowed. That little thing was gold. Fantastic, and we recommend it. We also recommend the freeze dried food, it was so yummy, and we were camping! While camping we had beef stroganoff, lasagna, sweet and sour pork, teriyaki chicken, scrambled eggs and bacon, and granola with blueberries. Honestly, it was so easy and really yummy, I'd like to do that every time we camp.
Pictures from the first day, clockwise starting at the top left hand side: our camp and view of red rocks, a stream, taking a break in a cave after hiking, Kendra pointing to Kolob Arch, one of the many hundreds of lizards we saw, and Nathan by Kolob Arch

The second day we slept until the tent was too hot. It was nice, this trip we definitely caught up on sleep, which being parents of two little boys was needed. We took a hike to a waterfall, and I think it was a 13 mile round trip hike. At the waterfall we got in, but the water was so cold. Nathan wanted to go under the falls, I stepped in, but my leg got sucked into the mud, so I got right back out. Though not far, the water was so cold, Nathan decided to get out too, because it was cold enough to get into trouble. It was a beautiful canyon, really words can't describe.

Part of the canyon around a bend. We followed the little creek, which was good because we would refill our camelback with the water after using our filter. It was really hot!

I was also feeling much, much better because we did some trail running too this day. Through the sand wasn't as fun, but it was because we were together. Nathan would sing "Arabian nights" through this one part of the trail, it reminded us of Aladdin. We also hardly saw anyone this day while hiking. After getting back from our hike and run, we dipped into our creek for awhile to cool off, then made some food. We thought we should hike out while it's cooler, so we packed up, and started to hike with our packs back to the car. Good thing too, it seemed to take us a lot longer to hike out, but then we realized, the whole way back was uphill, slight or steep. We made it to our car in about 4 hours, and got there just before it was really dark. We spent the night again in Cedar City, then made our way home the next day.
Nathan and Kendra
Somewhere in Zion's

We would totally do it again. Thank you mom for watching our kids! Every once in a while everyone needs a little R&R :)

Zoo Day!

Two weeks ago I had an appointment in Salt Lake, so I called Kirstin to see if she wanted to meet me there and hang out afterwards. The boys love Aunt Kirstin and she is so good with them, too. My appointment was seriously no more than five minutes, and we both wondered, well now what? I got the idea to go to the zoo. We looked it up on the GPS, and the zoo was only 12 minutes away. Why not? It was a Thursday, and it was hot, so we didn't think a lot of people would be there. Well, there were lots even though it was hot, but the animals were all awake and active and the boys (both!) loved seeing animals.

This was probably one of the best random activities that we've done. I think our favorite was the new Rocky Shores area, with 3 Grizzly cubs, a huge sea lion that James loved to watch, and the Polar Bear who would swim up to the glass, then push off to the rocks behind then do it all over again. The sea lion is actually blind, but was rescued and cannot return to the wild. Somehow though he can still swim without hitting the sides of the enclosure. He was HUGE and James watched him swim and swim.

The bird show was also really neat, another favorite. The hawks, falcons, owls, and eagles would fly so close to the audiences head's, James would squeal with delight, and Jack-Jack would clap. At the end, we donated a dollar to the program, and a cockatoo took the dollar from James' hand and put it in the donation box. He talked about that all day.

James through a hole in a log he could play on

Enjoying the bird show

I loved how many of the animals are rescues, and since they can no longer be returned to the wild, they now make their home at the zoo, and some, like the Bald Eagle who was missing part of her wing, are now animal ambassadors to help teach how to better keep our planet green, and be kind to the creatures we share it with.
So let's be nice to them.
Thanks Kirst, let's do it again!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ragnar Wasatch Back 2012

So this year I ran the Ragnar Wasatch Back race with Ann and Kira, and a team they were on and I knew nobody else. What is Ragnar? Ragnar is the overnight running relay race that makes testing your limits a team sport. Our team was made up of 12 individuals, 6 in each vehical; each individual ran 3 legs. The legs of the race vary in difficulty and distance, from 3-8 miles, allowing elite and novice runners to run together. Over 2 days and 1 night, teams run across 200 miles of the country’s most scenic terrain. I got to know the other three people in our van pretty fast. Besides us three there was a young man, Braden who is 18, from Kira and Ann's ward. There was Prashant, who was a brand new daddy and who also didn't know anyone, and Brook, who had taken over the spot when someone had to drop out (which was the person that Prashant knew in the first place).
All of Van 1 at the Start
Our team was called the Funner Runners

Our van was all first timers, and we missed two transition points (where one runner comes in and the next goes out). The first and second day for one transition we were a transition point ahead, and our runner was waiting for us :( Sorry Braden and Prashant!
It worked out though okay, we got to our guys.
There were also some pimped out vans and crazy costumes people ran in.
Crazy costumes and a van whose number was 666, that team was the "Highway to Hell"

I was runner two so I had legs 2, 14, and 27. My first leg was hard: hot and long. I made a friend and ran with him (he was an ultra runner, so he was running two legs at the same time) for most of it. That leg felt great, I had 17 kills! (A "kill" is when you pass someone).
Kira's first run was uphill for seven miles. The leg was called "What the Hill?!". Again, being first timers, we were misinformed, and thought it was a non-van supported leg, or that your van couldn't stop along the way and give you water. It was hot and dusty. And we were wrong, we could have stopped, but she did it and was awesome. Way to go.
After our first runs we got to go to my house (because we are actually along the route of Ragnar!) and Nathan made us all a chicken dinner and we got to shower. We would have tried to sleep some too, but I think we were still a little wired from the excitement of the race. Our second legs started up by Snowbasin, just up the road from our home.
This was a little boy, four or five, running with his dad on a leg
near our house in Mountain Green.
I thought this was absolutely awesome.
That is Nathan's dream, running with his kids.

My second run was short, and it went right by my house (which is why I wanted it). It was at 10pm, but Nathan packed the kids in the car, and waited by the entrance to our neighborhood, and he and James sat with the back end of the car open and watched runners with headlamps run by. James said he wanted to be a running person too. So cute! I loved getting a hug from him and it was great to hear them cheer me on. It was at night (my favorite time to run), and this was my home stretch, so I really raced hard. I ended up with my last mile being a 7:30 pace, which I had no idea how I did that except that I held nothing back, and didn't care if I was sick at the end, I wanted to go fast in my home area. For those that know me, that is not my usual pace. But it showed me that maybe I can pick it up sometimes:) That was fun. I finished that run with four "kills", and was never passed, but it wasn't very long either. I ended up switching my last leg the next morning, which was 3.3 miles, for Prashant's 7.8 miles. I really wanted to run more miles for the marathon training I'm doing, and it worked out for Prashant to go to his new baby sooner.

The hardest part for me was no sleep (or very, very little sleep!), and missing my little boys. We got about three hours in the car at a high school in Coalville. The next day I was a little grumpy, but I tried to hide it because I thought it rude since we were all in the same boat. My last run I decided to not use my iPod, and just listen and think. Nathan had shared an article with me earlier about how today people are deprived vs. being stimulated (regarding TV, music, i-anythings, cell phones), but are people deprived because they are stimulated. I believe that to be true. So I wanted to see how it was running without something electronic going. I was wearing my LiveStrong yellow bracelet from my Uncle Kyle, and when I was getting tired I would remember him and how he beat cancer, I can run a little more, be grateful for my body. Then I thought of my Papa who died when I was young of brain cancer and to keep running and enjoy life. Then all this thinking got me choked up :) A little counter productive when running, but that's okay. It was nice to just think and not have music, and I'll be doing that more often. My only injury really came on this run, I was getting a blister on one toe, but it went under the toenail, and the toenail started separating and is slowly coming off (very painful). This run was also up a mountain pass. 6-7% grade. And in the middle of the day. Nice and hot.
I still had three "kills" though. I also met another runner who passed me, but then I passed him, so we ended up running together and pushing each other on. I really do best when talking to someone else, and I love pushing people to do better.

Ann's last leg was all downhill, for six miles! She did so well, I was really proud of her.
Our legs ended in Heber, but the whole race ends in Park City. We drove to the finish line to wait for the other van and the last runner on our team to head through the finish line. However, I think we got to Park City at 2pm, and really I was done. I wanted to go home. My buddy Prashant had gone, and our other new friend Brook had her husband come get her, my little toe hurt so much I was limping, was so tired, sore, was grumpy, and missed my little family. Also I was getting a bit mad that this was taking my whole Friday and Saturday. I hadn't planned on it taking the whole second day as well. I only get so much time with Nathan home on Saturday's and I was missing it! Put all that together, and I lost it, started crying, and wanted to go home. So, call me lame, but I called Nathan to come get me, and I didn't see our final runner cross the finish. Ann said that by the time the final runner came through it was about 8pm, and she didn't get home until a little after 10pm. So a full two days of Ragnar stuff! We also had family coming in to stay with us on Sunday, so I needed to get home and get ready.
At the end before some of us left

So that was Ragnar.
Would I do it again? Probably.
I just can't commit at this time in life to a race a year in advance.
The feeling of accomplishment once done though was awesome .
I know now I can do hard things.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jack's Stats: 9 months

I know this post is late, but here is another installment of Jack's Stats :)
Jackman is growing!
He does look like James, but I think that they look like brothers, though everyone else says they look like twins. We'll just have to see as they get older.
Check out how big he is now:
Doing "So Big!"
When you say "so big" he puts his hands above his head.

Weight: 16.6 lbs (<5th %tile)
Height: 28 in (30th %tile)
Head: 17.4 in (20th %tile)
He's growing, but this time around he got longer and not so chubby.
But I like babies not so chubby, I think they are cuter smaller.
And I know I'm in the minority, but I don't care for the rolls that babies get.
Going into the doc this month we actually had been sick with hand foot mouth, and Jackman had not really eaten a lot like normally for about a week prior to his appointment.
Normally he is a great eater, and we are introducing all sorts of foods so that he likes variety and textures.

Here are some things about Jack-Jack right now:

~He is doing great at picking things up and pinching them with his fingers,
so can get small things into his mouth, food and other things included.

~Bathtime is a favorite

~I call him Jack-Jack most of the time, Nathan has been calling him Jackman.
James will call him Jack-Jack, but if you ask him what his baby brother's name is he proudly says: "His name is Jackman"

~He lifts his arms up if you say "So Big"

~He eats! Almost anything you put in front of him he'll eat.

~Has only two teeth on the bottom

~When we put him down he goes right down, so we put him to bed awake and he's just fine.

~He has been sleeping wonderfully, and he naps great too, taking two 2+ hour naps

~He still smiles easily, and at everyone.

~He loves his blankie. It is very cute, and when he wants to sleep he'll shove his face into it.
James now thinks that he needs a blankie because Jackman has one.

~His hair is coming in blonde, and I love the shape of the back of his head.

~James calls him his best friend, or "best buddies".

Love you little buddy:)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Memorial Day Whirlwind Weekend

Holy cow, we packed in lots over Memorial Day.
But if you are reading this blog, is that really a surprise by now? Ha.

Anyway, Kristie and Tom and Lilah came up on Friday in time for dinner. The kids got to play around, then have a bath and bedtime. Us adults stayed up very late talking, but it was a nice way to catch up with them, and it reminded me of before we had kids and would hang out with them. The next morning Nathan and Tom went out early mountain biking. Nathan said Tom loved it so much, and it is BE-U-TI-FUL this time of year. After they got back Kristie and I went out running, and by then the wind was picking up and a storm was coming. Tom biked along side Kristie, and took Lilah and James in the bike trailer. Cute little cousins :)
They stayed for lunch then had to head back home. Thank you so much for coming up, we love you and miss you, but enjoy the time that we get together!

Lilah and James ready to go

After the McConnons left we decided to see if we could see any of the air show that was going on at Hill Air Force Base just down the canyon. It had been stormy off and on so we didn't know what would be flying. We were in luck and got to watch a fighter and an older plane do aerials right over our parked car. Turns out lots of people had the same idea as we did, and getting on base was a hassle, so we parked in a parking lot just down from the base and got to watch.

James and Daddy
We opened the sunroof and watched from the parking lot.

Check out that jet and plane!
James thought it was so neat.

Saturday evening we spent at home together. Sunday we were grateful for the freedoms that have been fought for, and I thought of my own family that has served in the military.
We thank them all for their service.

Sunday afternoon we got ready for more visitors... Richard and Rachelle, and Elisa and Lydia and Kayla, our Texas Manwaring Family and James and Jackman's cousins!
We were seriously so excited that they were able to spend the night with us while on their trip up to Utah for Rachelle's sister's wedding.
Now it had been stormy that day and the day before. I looked at the mountain where Snowbasin is at, and there looked to be fresh snow. Two of the girls had never seen snow in their lives, and I thought this could really be cool. After dinner on Sunday (and the girls were already in their pj's) we decided to go check out the snow by the lift at Snowbasin.
Oh wow. There was still a twenty foot pile really from the run that is right there.
Everyone loved it. We took up the horsey sled and did that a few times, they climbed the mountain of snow and slid down (or jumped off in Nathan and Richard's case), and Lydia even got to make her own little snowman.

Warm weathered Manwarings enjoying the snow. I can't believe I hadn't taken James up before either, he loved sliding down that big mountain of snow, too!
Everyone did it, even little Kayla (okay, so Jackman stayed bundled up next to me, and I just took pictures, but almost everyone).

Lydia showing off a snowball, and the big mountain of snow in the background shows how tall it was. This little girl was loving the snow, and didn't want to come in.

After a little bit though, and without the proper snow clothes, everyone was getting cold and wet, so we striped them all down and piled in the warm cars to head back home for a warm bath before bedtime. I think the snow tuckered them out because everyone was out for the night

It was so much fun to talk with Richard and Rachelle for a long time that night.
We really wished they lived closer. How fun would that be guys, eh?
Monday morning early Nathan took Richard out mountain biking, and he loved it too. Nathan loved being able to take more people out, and of course going himself.
Good brother bonding time.
We were all sad to see them leave for the airport later that morning, but especially James who cried his eyes out when he found out they were taking a plane ride and not coming back.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for coming!

So what were we to do now? I mean we still had a whole day to do something with.
Oh how about to visit the Parks' in Heber.
See from the sunshine that it turned out to be a nice day.

Jack actually liking the grass
He's so cute, and I forgot that they get more and more fun the older they get. He's at a great age right now. Still a baby, sleeping through the night, but can also laugh and play with us,
James playing with trucks in their gravel area

Nathan and Matt were going to go mountain biking when we got there (yes, seriously, Nathan had already gone that morning, but wanted to go again), but Matt was unable to get his bike from work where it was locked up. They were still able to go out, and Matt got to fish which is a favorite for him, and Nathan biked. Both were very happy.
When they got back Aubreigh and I went with Amy to
see the movie What to Expect When You're Expecting.
Very funny and I recommend it. I laughed out loud and cried too.
We got back home quite late, but made the most of every minute we had.
Thank you Parks' for the fun day!
Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Then we went to Colorado...

Middle of May we went to Colorado for a weekend trip. I wanted to go to a retirement party that was being held for my old band teacher Mr. Brickley, and it was a day after my mom's birthday, so being there seemed like fun. Seeing family is always good, especially since we weren't sick anymore like we had been the week before. Nathan and I went to the retirement party on Friday evening, and it was good to see the few people that I recognized. There weren't as many there that I knew as I had hoped to see though, and I didn't get a single picture. Mr. Brickley did teach for 30 years, that is a lot of students, so of course that is a large range of years with students that could come to this. I did miss my best friend Heather the most though. She was planning on it (another reason we were going in the first place), but found out that she wasn't able to come that day, such bad luck. Hopefully we'll see her again next time. Grammies was able to watch the kiddos while we were there, and then Bumpa was able to join them, and I think everyone enjoyed that bonding time. Later that night we went out to the barn to see the horse Cinnamon

Everyone out at the barn.

We stayed with my Grams, and it turned out pretty good. It was a like a big slumber party in her living room, and Jackman got her walk-in closet.
He's usually our best sleeper, but this trip James went down easier, go figure.

James and Jackman with their Great-Grandma Kitty

My mom's birthday was the day before we drove in. James was very excited to get a a cake for her and share it (including sharing blowing out the candles, his favorite!)

Happy Birthday Grammies!!

The Denver Temple at night

The boys with Aunt Carol and Uncle Kyle, and their dog Morgan

Enjoying the outdoors, Grandma Kitty and Jack-Jack

All tuckered out, and asleep before we even got out of Denver.
James asleep with his "baby bobcat" that he picked out at Murdoch's (a farm supply store)

Earth Day

So this is a little late post, but I found that I had made a picture collage from Earth Day at Ogden Nature Center. James, Jackman, and I went with our neighbors Steve, Lorie, and Cole (who is one of James' buddies up here). There were lots of Earth Day activities, like coloring the world with blue and green colors of glue, animals to pet, birds of prey to observe, learning about the watershed with a water table, and different types of bird houses. Though hot walking around, Earth Day was lots of fun.