Sunday, December 23, 2007

All Aboard the Polar Express!

In addition to having Hailey's birthday party on the 21st, we also took a trip to Williams, AZ to board the Polar Express, where we continued on to the North Pole to visit Santa Clause!
When I say "we" I mean: Me, Ryan, Hailey, Katelyn, Tony, Barbara, Eric, Cynthia, Tyler, Danielle, Sara, Brent, Toni, Karli, Nathan, Noah (all Ryan's family), Kevin & Hilary (my friends here in Prescott), Dave, Heather, Jacob, Rachel, Rebecca, Leah & Lizzie (friend's from our ward in Surprise). So many people! But so much fun to get to enjoy the train ride with all of them!

The night wasn't without a few glitches (not enough seats, there was a problem with the train that caused delays, cold "hot" chocolate, Ryan nearly being thrown up on (it would have made a better story if he had actually been thrown up on!), etc), but all and all it was great- and Hailey had a blast again this year which always makes anything worthwhile!

I'll post more pictures when I get more from the other people that were with us.

Happy 3rd Birthday Hailey!

On Friday the 21st, Hailey turned 3! We had a pink princess birthday- of course! These are just a few of my favorite shots. Check out my photo album for more pics.

I had to throw this picture in from her 2nd birthday just because she has grown up SO much over the last year! I hardly feel like she's my little girl anymore!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Our November

I've come to the realization that I just can't manage to keep this thing updated as events happen in our lives, so instead I'll have to just write REALLY LONG posts with all of our updates.

So here was our November...

The Mangum Family says "Goodbye" to the Pulsar- FINALLY!
Nov 2nd

November 3rd my brother David got in a three car pile-up in front of Glendale Community College and totalled the car that my parents bought when I was only three years old. I just happened to be in town and was able to get there shortly after it happened to experience it first hand! My brother is fine- there was a minor scratch on his thumb at the time, and a little whiplash following, but no one involved suffered any major injuries. A word of advice though- don't get into an accident in Glendale- it took SOOO long for the police to get there and file their reports, etc etc. It was quite ridiculous! He actually ended up getting a decent amount of money from the other guys insurance and got a better car, so sometimes blessings come in odd ways!

Good Bye Jeep Grand Cherokee- Hello Honda Pilot!
Yes, another posting about vehicles!
November 10th

After spending thousands over the years on fixing one thing or another on our '98 Jeep Grand Cherokee, we have been less than impressed with that vehicle. So this time when it started spewing oil out the back, we said- that's it, we're through with this thing!

Then there was the internal struggle of whether we wanted the burden of a car payment (both of our vehicles have been paid off for almost a year now and it's been so nice!). Ultimately though, we bit the bullet and started the search for another vehicle.

After looking at many different small and mid-sized SUVs, we discovered the Pilot (I think Ryan just wanted it for the name), but we love it! It is everything that I wanted: foreign built, gets decent gas mileage, has a third row, I don't feel like I'm driving a tank, leather seats, a DVD player- which is so nice for Hailey! We've used a portable DVD in the past, but having a built-in with the loader and all the controls in the dash and no cords to deal with is SO much better!

Hailey's favorite part of the car buying experience was the bounce house they had set up (it was a big tent event sale). There were no other kids around (smart parents!) so she got to bounce her little heart out. Seriously though, if you're ever buying a car, no matter what- FIND A BABYSITTER!

Ryan and I still fight over who gets to drive it primarily. Because we equally drop off and pick up the kids from the babysitter- neither one of us has a better business case. One of his arguements is that the Accord still has my personlized plate- so that's "my car". Everyone (but Ryan) knows eventually I'll win though :-)

Ryan Graduates from Training at Lockheed Martin
November 14th

Doesn't he look excited about this? I asked him if he wanted me to take pictures and he said, "Not really." But I said- "How about just one for the blog?"

Actually he is really excited to have made it throguh the 10 week training. It was really just like being in college all over again. There were difficult exams and everything. He quickly discovered that trying to study for a test with two young children is A LOT more difficult then when he was in college and it was just the two of us.

He still has several more months of training time where he will be working with a trainer before he will be out on his own, but the hardest part has passed, and for that we are very glad! He has had an awesome schedule during training- 7am-3:30pm M-F, but this coming week we will get his schedule for the next few months. We're praying that it's a decent schedule. Because Lockheed Martin is the Flight Service Center for all private pilots, it's a 24/7 facility. He could end up with anything, including Sundays :( I'll keep you posted once we find out what he gets....

Lowry Family Thanksgiving
Nov 17th

It has become tradition to have Thanksgiving dinner with Ryan's family the weekend before Thanksgiving so that everyone can get together, and then be able to see their in-laws on Thanksgiving Day. We had everyone there (which means 13 grandkids!) and it was a lot of fun!

This is Ryan and his brother Daniel- can you see the family resemblence?

Thanksgiving Day
Nov 22

We spent Thanksgiving Day with my family in Phoenix. I was actually going to be brave and make dinner for everyone myself, but schedules changed and we went down there instead and I got to spend at least one more year of just kicking back and enjoying my mom's cooking expertise.

Hailey's favorite part of the day was getting to play with Tatum for about a couple of hours.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Our Halloween

I can't believe that it has been 2 weeks since Halloween and I am just now finding a moment to get our pictures posted!

Halloween night Hailey, Katelyn, Hilary, Barbara and I went to a tri-ward YM/YW Halloween carnival for all of the kids (while Ryan studied for a test). My Young Women did a cupcake walk that was a huge hit with the little ones, especially with Hailey. How easily entertained young children are with walking in circles to music and then stopping really fast when the music stops :-) Maybe I should try it at home....

Then we all went back to my house to have the chili and cornbread that I had prepared earlier and a few friends stopped by to trick-or-treat and visit. Hailey loved handing out candy as much as she liked asking for it! It was too cute how excited she got when the doorbell rang. Then we were all out to the door to trick-or-treat with Ryan and Hailey leading the way and the rest of us following behind.

While we were out trick-or-treating, I felt very grateful for the neighborhood we live in. There were so many kids and families out having fun. Because Ryan had worked in our neighborhood when he was with Shea homes, I felt like I was married to a celebrity! Everyone knew him and was excited to see us back in the neighborhood and loved meeting the new addition to the family. Once again, I was really overcome with the feeling that we're where we are supposed to be. It's a good feeling.

However, one thing that I do miss about living in Phoenix are the fairly warm Halloween nights. It was COLD here in Chino and that really affects the kind of costumes that you can choose for your kids. I got both of the girls' costumes at Old Navy 50% off, so I can't complain, but I'd really love to let Hailey be a princess or fairy without having to find a way to make it really warm at the same time. Oh well, the ladybug and pumpkin worked for this year...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Preparations Begin

We LOVE carving pumpkins in our family! Ok really, I love it the most and Ryan humors me and Hailey just thinks they look cool but doesn't want to actually touch the pumpkin guts. It took a lot just to get her to barely touch our big pile of guts to pick seeds out.

This year we decided we needed three pumpkins. The one that we got from Windmill Farms for Hailey and then Ryan and I each picked one out at the grocery store. Ryan did most of the "gutting" of the pumpkins and then I did the carving. I got a little possesive actually. He might have enjoyed carving a pumpkin himself, but I sent him off with the kids so that I could get to work!
Then we realized that Katelyn didn't have a pumpkin, so we decided she should BE a pumpkin. Ryan's idea, not mine! But it is kind of cute :-)

After three hours, (yes, I spent three hours and wish that I could have spent more to get them just the way I wanted them!) this was our finished product. The perfectionist in me isn't really satisfied, but at some point you have to just call it a night and get some sleep!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Attention Friends & Fam!

I've created a new link to the left called "More Photos" where I've posted more photos of our family for your viewing pleasure!

I will be adding more photos all the time, so keep coming back!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Our BUSY Last 3 Months

(I apologize ahead of time for the length of this post, but I have to play catch up of journaling the time since Katelyn was born!)

Our lives have been crazy, but so much fun the last few months! Katelyn has been a very busy, well traveled baby. When she was only 1.5 weeks we drove up to Prescott from Surprise for Ryan's job interview with Lockheed Martin.

A week later, at 2.5 weeks, she took a trip to Salt Lake to meet her great-grandparents and great-great grandma with me, while Hailey and her Grandma Barbara went on to Idaho. Although it sounds like too much to take a 12 hour roadtrip right after having a baby, it so relaxing! Katelyn slept the whole way and Hailey watched DVDs. Of course I was exhausted from getting about 2hrs of sleep the night before. But once we got there, all was well. I love being at my grandparents home and being with all of my extended family. (This picture would have been a 5 generation shot if my dad had been there with us.) During this time Ryan also got the call that he got the job with Lockheed and the moving preparations began.

The weekend of Katelyn's 1 month birthday we moved back to our home in Chino Valley, which was such a blessing, but so much work! Especially when you're not supposed to lift anything! Thank you to everyone who helped ease that burden!

The following weekend we drove back down to Phx, then on to San Juan Capistrano, CA to go to one of my best friend's wedding where Hailey got to be the cutest flower girl ever! Not the best behaved mind you, but definitely the hit of the party! You have to understand that Hilary (the beautiful bride) is also one of Hailey's best friends. So Hailey, knowing that we were there for Hilary, felt like the whole day was about the two of them. So when the time came for Hailey to walk down the REALLY long isle, Hilary pointed to where Hailey had to walk to with the ring bearer and she told her that she would be following right behind her. So Hailey did great walking down the isle, but when she got close to the "end" she started running (on a downhill sidewalk mind you, we all thought she was going to trip and land on her face) and when she reached the point she was supposed to get to, she yelled- "I WON!" Then turned around to tell Hilary, who of course hadn't started down the isle yet. So my adorable little daughter started running back up the isle shouting Hilary's name. I was mortified and frozen not knowing what to do! Luckily Hilary's aunt was standing halfway up the isle and football grabbed her, and the ceremony went on. But Hailey wanted to talk the whole time, and finally Ryan took her to go play. Luckily, Katelyn was great and slept the whole time.
Although I was SO embarassed that my daughter had "ruined" Hilary's moment of walking down the isle- everyone else loved it- including Kevin and Hilary and all of their family- who just thought Hailey was the cutest thing ever. Without a care in the world, Hailey continued to think the day and night were all about her and Hil and they danced the night away. I knew Hilary was a great person, but for a bride on her wedding day to be that loving and patient with a 2 year old and give her all the attention that she wanted, really showed how awesome she really is.

The following day we all rolled out of bed at around 9:45 and walked across the street from our hotel to the beach. This was Hailey's (and obviously Katelyn's) 1st trip to the beach and it was a blast. Hailey has been asking to go back ever since, but really just to play in the sand- the water scared her, unless daddy was holding her up so that the water couldn't get her.

A few weeks later we had Katelyn's blessing and had all of Ryan's family and my dad and brother over for lunch first. I was definitely pleased to realize that my little house was able to accomodate everyone. Then we all went to the church, where our huge family nearly doubled the Sacrament Meeting attendance (our ward is very small!). Then after all the pictures were taken, we went to Ryan's parents house to hang out with everyone before they had to drive back to the valley.

The week after that, Ryan took Hailey to Prescott's Octoberwest Air Show. She has a natural love of airplanes, just like her daddy. And although she got to sit in several airplanes, everyday we drive past the airport and she sees several planes in the traffic pattern, she reminds me that she didn't get to FLY in an airplane!

Last weekend we took the girls and Ryan's parents to
Windmill Farms for their Pumpkin Festival, similar to what Young's Farm used to do. Katelyn was her usual sleepy and hungry self, but Hailey was all over the place having a great time. Not only did she pick out a pumpkin, but she also went to the petting zoo, rode a pony, jumped in a bounce house and rode a little "train ride". The only downfall to the day was the Chino Valley wind and sun, and guess who didn't remember hats or sunscreen? Bad mommy!

In the last two weeks Katelyn has really started smiling, especially when she sees her momma (I love it!) She really is a happy baby.

That brings us pretty well up to date on the major going-ons in our lives. Ryan and I are both working full time, but have a great balance of dropping off and picking up the girls from my great babysitters. I do a lot of day trips all over Northern AZ and down to Phx for my job, and Ryan has been great at cooking dinners and taking care of the girls when I have to be home late. And as always, it's a blessing to have Ryan's parents nearby again to save the day when we need help!
It's been a great few months with our family of 4 and we're excited for the future- especially for the upcoming holidays- our favorite time of year!

No Longer A "Blog Stalker"

The time has come for me to actually participate in blogging, rather than just reading about everyone else's lives during the midnight hours. Wow! that really does sound stalkerish doesn't it?! Really it is just something I do to pass the time when I'm up with Katelyn, really!

When I asked Ryan to help me come up with a web address for my blog, his response was "What?! You're making a blog?! You are so trendy!"

The real reason I decided to join the blogging world (other than wanting to be like everyone else) is that this past week I decided to be a good daughter and send pictures of the girls to my parents. This took me a fair amount of time because I've apparently become inept at technical things. But they enjoyed the pictures and I felt good about sending them. Then the next day my mom calls and asks me to send the pictures to her work email so that she could show off her grandbabies to her coworkers. Then later that day my sister calls all upset that I sent the parents pictures, but not her. So then I had to send them to her. Then I thought about all of my extended family that I am horrible in keeping in touch with, but that I'm sure would LOVE to see the girls.

And so I made up my mind- and here's my family website!