Tuesday, December 20, 2011

o christmas tree

i love decorating our christmas tree! and i usually try to do it alone. is that mean? we put a kids tree in the basement that they can do themselves (not this year though because we can't find the tree stand). i try to make it fair. :) i will usually let them each hang a couple of ornaments, but i get really nervous since our tree is in the kitchen and one drop on the tile will shatter an ornament.

enjoying the fruits of my labor

merry christmas everyone!
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas to our family and friends! We cannot believe that this year is coming to a close. As our three little ones get older our days seem to pass by so fast and then the year is over before we know it. I’m sure you all know the feeling.

Some of our favorite memories from this year…
Being introduced to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (an apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) by my dad at my parents’ stake conference. Him giving us a hug and advising me and Kev to “Be Happy!”
Being snowed in at Swan Valley with the Lowry family.
Going on our annual snowmobile trip with my family.
The first annual Fred Ward Family Reunion at Bear Lake.
The 9th Annual Gregg Manwaring Family Reunion in Logan, UT.
The Holley Manwaring Family Reunion in Blackfoot, ID.
Boating with the Josephsons.
Finishing our sprinkler system and planting grass.
Sneaking away with my sisters to Park City and trying anti-gravity yoga together.
A surprise anniversary get-away.
Spending Thanksgiving with every member of the Gregg Manwaring family.

Kevin stays so busy and works so hard. He has reached his three year mark at Mountain View Hospital and really enjoys it there. Kevin also does some work in home health, a nursing home, and a retirement home. Did I mention he works hard? We are so thankful for him and his work ethic. Kevin is also still serving in the Elders Quorum Presidency and enjoys those he serves with. We all enjoy every minute he is home and the kids love to wrestle with him and ride on his back. The kids like this time of year the most since they love to play outside and their dad is more than happy to put on his snow gear and join them. In the spring Kevin participated in his third sprint triathlon and finished five minutes faster than last year. He also did a 10k run this summer. He enjoys the training and motivation that a race gives him.

These three kids keep me busy and I am thankful for them. I learn so much (too much) about myself through them and they give me a lot of motivation to be better. This summer I helped coach Owen’s tball team again. It’s fun to be involved in his activities and it gives me a greater appreciation for the parents that volunteer their time for different things. I did a 5k race with my neighbor/ running partner and knocked 6 minutes off my last 5k time. That is always a good feeling. Earlier this year I was called to serve the Young Women in my ward...which meant I had to attend girls camp (I’m terrified of wild animals and camping out). And I am proud to report that I survived two days, one night, and a hike without freaking out. And I’m not going to lie; the bear spray did provide peace of mind.

Owen is six and is very thoughtful and kind. He played soccer and tball this year. He celebrated his birthday this year with a big pirate party with friends. He has a new obsession with Jack Sparrow. He also started first grade this fall. He has a male teacher and really enjoys him. Owen does really well in school and strives for perfection in his homework, reading, and tests. He also started a Let’s Play Music class this fall and loves going to that each week.

Wesley is four and has a great imagination, loves dressing up, and is a great helper. With Owen at school all day Wesley enjoys stepping up as the oldest and one in charge while I’m busy. He did his first year of tball this summer and was always giving you thumbs up or a wink from the field. Wesley started preschool at Little Chick Preschool this fall and loves going. He knows how to write his name really well. I work at this preschool twice a month and love watching him interact with the other kids.

Madalyn is two and is a very busy girl. She talks really well but mostly chooses to be silent around other people. But, don’t be fooled! She loves to run around the house with her toy cellphone on her ear/shoulder laughing, saying “oh my gosh!”, “what are you doing?”, and “uh-huh”. I wonder where she learned that!? She also loves to sing songs and dress up. We moved her into a big girl bed and she has been such a good girl and rarely gets out of bed. She only asks that we “don’t shut that door!” Next, it’s on to potty training. She loves to run around with her brothers and likes to report their every need to me. Sometimes the boys didn’t even know they needed anything. J And Madalyn REALLY loves escaping to our neighbor’s house to hang out with their 9 and 12 year old daughters. Such a spunky little thing!

We hope you all had a fantastic year of joy and growth! We love this time of year to reflect on our many blessings that our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ afford us. And we are thankful for the many gifts made possible through our Savior.

We love you and hope to hear from you soon.

Merry Christmas!

Kevin, Becky, Owen, Wesley, and Madalyn Ward

Friday, December 02, 2011

kevin turns 33!

we celebrated kevin's 33rd birthday yesterday. he took the day off and we enjoyed him all day long. (:

we started early with breakfast so owen could eat before he had to go to school.

just missing the man of the hour

we enjoyed a yummy pancake breakfast and then opened up the goodies.

i surprised kevin with a play station steering wheel. he loves it!

kevin spent the morning relaxing and playing with his wheel and new ps batman game. then we sent wesley off to school and the three of us (me, kev, and madalyn) went to chili's for lunch. it was a nice lunch.

after we got home the kids returned from school. they played some play station with dad, and then headed outside to play in the snow so dad could try his new snow boots.

while they were out my mom came over to help me make bourochs for kevin's dinner. it's a family recipe of her's that kevin loves and i've never made before. a few hours later our hard work paid off and kevin was super pleased. (: thanks mom!

we spent the rest of the evening relaxing together at home. it was nice and quiet. ending the night with kevin's favorite christmas movie, the polar express.

happy birthday babe! we love you!
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natalie, jarom, anna, elena, halle, kate, jamis, ellie, becky, kevin, madalyn, sami, katie, chris, megan, alyssa, micah, owen, joyce, alex, emily, dad, brandon, collin, mom, keagen, eli, george, shirly, carter, ogden, betty, justin, truman, mia, amber, wesley, kaylin, spencer, benjamin, melissa, gabby, izzie, payson, blake

we all made it home for thanksgiving this year! SO FUN! plus, we had a few special guests. my mom's sister, betty, came from washington to surprise her mom and dad. which she did. and my grandma joyce came from malad, and grandpa george and shirley came to join us as well. it was a full church house! and lots of yummy food.

we had activities planned for the kids, played some games, made a craft, played basketball, and did a lot of visiting. we also scouted out the ads and did most of our shopping that night. we even managed to pull betty out to come with us. GREAT TIMES!

so thankful!
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thanksgiving day football

this year for thanksgiving we reserved a church house to contain us all in. this is our second time doing it and it one of our greatest ideas.

we did it at benjamin's church house this time. the festivities started at 10am thanksgiving morning with setting up the tables and chairs and a game of flag football.

justin, benjamin, dad, ogden, brandon, alex, payson, katie, keagen, micah, jamis, sami, melissa, megan, owen, kevin, wes, chris, blake, gabby, and izzie.
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kevin's surprise

this man of mine, he LOVES surprises! he mostly loves to surprise others, but he enjoys a surprise every once in awhile. and he is also one of the most difficult people to surprise.

but, i was able to pull off a great surprise for our 9th anniversary. our anniversay was november 2nd and we celebrated by exchanging cards and tentatively planning to go out that weekend for a date. kevin works ALOT so it's really hard to plan any kind of surprise because his work schedule is so unpredictable. so saturday before he went to work i told him he needed to be home by a certain time because i was taking him out on a date. my DEAR friend, steph, came to stay at our house for the night so I could take kevin away on a surprise all-nighter. (;

so, i packed our bags and when kevin came home i told him we were going out on a date and wouldn't be home until the next morning. he was shocked! as soon as steph showed up we were out the door.

SHOCK #2 came when we pulled up to the blue heron inn (bed and breakfast). we honeymooned here and said we would return every year. we did for the first three years and then we had kids. (: it was so fun to be back again and to enjoy an evening together.

honeymooners at the blue heron inn 2002

nine years later at the blue heron inn 2011

thanks steph for making this work!

this will be hard to top next year! (;

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