Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dear Santa


Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my four children on demand, visited their doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground and figured out how to attach nine patches onto my son's boy scout uniform with staples and a glue gun.

I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month two pregnancies ago.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with three kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season.
Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely.

It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,

Mom

P.S. One more thing...you can cancel ALL my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.
(Author Unknown)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Manwaring Family

2009 Christmas Card

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bah Humbug!

Today we kicked off the Christmas season! After we hung the garland over the door and put the last decorations on the tree, we took the kids out to see A Christmas Carol at the Hale Centre Theatre. The kids had never been to a play so this was a new experience for them and Alex was the only one who was familiar with the story. The play was fabulous and they kids really enjoyed it.

100_1667

100_1675

100_1678

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Alex’s Orchestra Recital

Tonight we enjoyed watching Alex perform on violin in the fifth and sixth grade orchestra recital. She played Carol of the Bells, one of my favorite Christmas songs, in a violin duet and did wonderfully.

Alex is very musically talented. She’s been playing piano, fiddle, drums, and bass guitar. After just a little more practice, we should put this one-girl band downtown to earn some cash!

100_1658

Friday, November 27, 2009

Anything You Can Shoot She Can Shoot Better

Black Friday, three generations of Manwarings killed a few hours in the desert plinking balloons and bottles of colored water. This was the girls’ first time firing anything more than a pellet gun and they both surprised us with their accuracy and enthusiasm. Alex was a sharp shooter on the .22 caliber Savage 64F, hitting her targets with dazzling consistency at 25 yards and 75 yards. After trying the .22 caliber firearms, Rachel soon realized that she has an affinity for the more powerful weapons like the Hi-Point .45 ACP and the .223 caliber Savage 10FP. Jeremy enjoyed all the firearms, including a 7.65 mm Mauser model 1891, and couldn’t pick a favorite. The weather was beautiful and it was a perfect outing with Grandpa and Uncle Peter.

Click a picture for the gallery with videos
100_1632

100_1633

100_1622

100_1623

100_1624

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

In October 1789, President George Washington began his Thanksgiving proclamation thusly:
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
This year we have received more blessings than I could enumerate here. So it was quite special to have so many relatives and friends in our home for Thanksgiving. We should hold dear these precious traditions and heritage.
100_1573
100_1572 
Dave brought his guitar and we jammed a little before giving up the stage to the cousins. (Manwaring is the new Osmond!)
100_1595

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Proud Mom Moment!

Alex loves to play the piano and that makes me happy. She has been playing for about three years and is getting better and better. I thought I would showoff her talent:

Alex playing "Love Story" by Taylor Swift


video

Saturday, November 14, 2009

SCC Iron Pour

I took Evon and Alex to see the SCC Iron Pour. It was interesting to watch as the molten iron was poured into various molds. It had rained briefly in the morning and some of the molds had water in them. As the workers poured the ore into one mold, the water vaporized and sprayed hot droplets of iron all over. Everyone ducked for cover and no one was hurt.

Beat Drums! Beat Drums!

I really can’t remember finding anything this cool at a garage sale before. We had actually been browsing through craigslist recently, so we knew this was a good deal when we saw it. Sweet Evon insisted we get it once we haggled the price down a bit.
100_1568

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rachel at the School Talent Night

Rachel and her friend Madi performed in the school talent show and did really well. There were some really amazing acts that night and some terribly awful ones, but they were all fun to watch!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tweedledee & Tweedledum

This is the funniest story ever! I'm sure every family has their very own Tweedledee and Tweedledum; ours happen to be our daughters, Alex and Rachel.

We were on our way to a family party in north Phoenix and were taking two different cars. I was planning on driving alone in Seth's truck and Seth would be driving with Jeremy, Sierra and the girls in Jeremy's new car. As we drove our caravan to the freeway I realized that I had left my purse at home but decided not to go back home because we were running late. As we got closer to the freeway I realized that I forgot to pack the keyboard that I was asked to bring. I tried to talk myself out of going back home for it but I felt I needed to. I flagged down the boys we turned the cars around and went back home.

100_1508

As I pulled up to the house I saw two cute blond-haired girls in togas standing on our porch. They were Alex and Rachel! I was so surprised to see them because I thought they were in Jeremy's car. I'm a horrible mom! I just started laughing, I laughed so hard I couldn't even breathe and I started crying form the laughter. They ran to truck, "You came back for us!" I was laughing so hard I couldn't even respond to that remark. I hadn't come back for them, I came back for the keyboard!

In the meantime Jeremy pulls up behind me and they have no idea what's going on because they thought the girls were with me the entire time. I tried to explain to them what had happened but I was too hysterical with laughter. Seth thought I was hysterically crying because I had left them behind and it made me broken hearted… not!

Once I calmed down the girls explained to me that Seth had told them to ride with me. Remember I was taking the truck! They got into my car, sat there and watched me drive away! They thought I was joking with them until they realized I wasn't coming back. They decided to try and break into the house with a bobby pin. I think they watch too many spy movies. They didn't call me because they left their cell phones in the house and didn't realize that the back door was left unlocked!

Can you imagine If I hadn't gone back to the house? Alex and Rachel would have been sitting on the front porch for an awfully long time. And once we got to Phoenix would we have turned around immediately to get them? I will never know the alternate ending!

Maybe you had to be there to get the full effect but it was the BEST laugh I have had in a LONG TIME!!! Thank you girls for making my life sooo much fun and thanks for the memory that will haunt you for the rest of your life!

TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!

When you’re turning 40, why not?!
Happy Birthday Curtis!


Toga

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ten

Happy Birthday to Alex who turned 10! Alex has grown up to be such a sweet, kind girl who is a great example to her friends, brothers and sister. I can't believe that in two years she will be in the Young Women's program at church. I'm so excited to see what kind of young women she becomes but also sad at the same time that she is no longer a little girl!
Happy Birthday Alex we love you and are so grateful that you are a part of our family!



Sunday, October 11, 2009

Something To Think About

I attended Time Out For Women for the first time this year. It was great to spend two days with friends and listen to uplifting speakers, I walked away with so much. Just a couple tidbits I would like to share:
"The future of the world has long been declared. The final outcome between good and evil has been determined......the scary thing is we are still trying to decide which teams jersey we are gong to wear." — quotation attributed to Jeffrey R. Holland

"If you can laugh at it then you can live with it. Humor helps us keep a good perspective." - Brad & Debbie Wilcox

"When we have children who seem to be making the wrong choices we can gain confidence in knowing that our Heavenly Father loves them as we do. Sometimes painful experiences pave the way for us to become who we are meant to be. That's why Heavenly Father can't change things for us." - Emily Watts

The lovely women I spent two days with
 timeout1

Thursday, October 1, 2009

By Popular Demand.....

Pumpkin Pancakes!



As promised I'm posting my pumpkin pancake and syrup recipe. You have to make the syrup with the pancakes the syrup is soooo yummy! Rachel at breakfast took a bite her face perked up and said, "Where did you get this syrup!" I love saying, "Oh I made it!" Alex requested pumpkin pancakes everyday for the month of October! The girls also said that I should sell the syrup to IHOP! They are my toughest critics!!!

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 tbs. butter melted
3 tbs. canned pumpkin
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. all spice
chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat skillet on medium heat. Combine eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, pumpkin, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Blend ingredients together. Combine remaining ingredients in small bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the batter onto the skillet. Cook each side 1 to 2 minutes. You can use extra buttermilk to thin out the batter if yo don't like your pancakes so thick. I also add chocolate chips to the batter for pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes. I use the mini's!
I have another recipe that is a little more flavorful and the pancake is very dense. The kids prefer the one I posted. If you want to try the other recipe let me know!


Syrup

3/4 cup butter
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tbs. light corn syrup
3 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. vanilla

Bring butter, sugar, buttermilk and corn syrup to a boil in an oversize pan (this is no joke you will need an oversize pot). Turn off heat, add baking soda and vanilla stir until dissolved. Will bubble up. Store extra syrup in the refrigerator.


Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kitchen Staff

All those sleepless nights, dirty diapers and spit-up are starting to payoff 10 years later! Having girls who are 10 and 11 is starting to work to my advantage! A few Sundays ago I didn't feel like cooking or even had a clue as to what to make for dinner. I know the kids love breakfast for dinner and that would be a special treat for them. When I announced what we would have for dinner the kids got excited and when I made my second announcement that the girls would be cooking dinner the girls were totally excited!

Alex and Rachel cooked eggs, hash browns with cheese, sausage and pancakes! They did a great job cooking and even kicked me out of the kitchen until it was time to eat. They made so much food we had leftover breakfast for dinner for breakfast the next morning!



I can get use to this kind of treatment, I don't mind passing the buck to a couple of naive girls who are in the midst of learning how to cook! They have fun and I get the night off!

Domestic Divas

I was feeling a little domestic a few weeks ago and ordered 64 pounds of peaches to can. I was smart and did get my sister-in-law Lindy in on it with me! We spent an evening last week canning our peaches and having fun talking as we snacked on ice cream sandwiches. Word to the wise don't start canning at 7 o'clock at night it's better to start this project early in the morning!



Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Hairspray"

Alex and Rachel were invited to a birthday party and the theme was Hairspray. They had so much fun getting ready and dressing up. The party started at 8:00 and was over at midnight and lots of the young women from church were their so that made it even more fun to be at a party with a bunch of teenage girls!

Rachel went as a preppy girl and Alex went as a sporty girl!
I am please to announce that no Bumpits were used or harmed, just lots of hairspray!

Labor Day Weekend

Seth, Alex and I went to California for the long weekend and had a nice relaxing time. We visited with friends, hung out, had family come see us and even visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. I think visiting the library was Seth's favorite part of the trip.

Alex, Sami & Jessica

In front of the Ronald Reagan Library


Remember the "Just Say No" campaign?


Stacey & I in front of the Berlin Wall


Seth's with his the best US president in history




Air Force One Tail Number 27000 — We also got to go on board, very cool!



Marine One