While my other two kiddies started school on Monday (back to school photos to come soon), Annika doesn’t start Kinder till Tuesday…something about testing and blah, blah, blah. So, I’ve had the true joy of having my “baby” home with me this week. Who knows when I’ll have the chance to spend 4 entire days just with her? Probably never! Really…’cause with four other people around, chances are slim.

Yesterday Annika informed me that she and Samantha (AG doll) were on their way to Texas for homemade ice cream…oh, and French hot dogs! (Do the french eat hot dogs? Doubtful!) And just to make things interesting, apparently, according to Annika, these French hot dogs and homemade ice cream are made by Japanese people. Japanese Texans….

Today in the car, Tasha told me that she and three of her friends want to be Annika’s 4th grade reading buddy. Annika didn’t miss a beat, remarking, “Is it because I’m so cute?!” LOL (Yup, that must be it!)

Tonight while Annika was showering, I walked in to check on her and reminded her to wash her hair and rinse off to which she replied, “You got it, girl!”

So. Much. Personality. In. One. Body!!!! =) Love this girl!

Saturday Adventure

Early in August, we went for a short trip to Yankee Boy Basin…a beautiful mountain meadow, usually full of wildflowers, incredible views and spectacular waterfalls. We were a little off with the timing this year, so we didn’t get to see the flowers in their usual splendor, but it was still beautiful!


Sweet sisters


Pretty waterfall


Kevin did a lot of rock tossing and frolicking in the flowers!


Wonder where this path leads?




Happy 5th Birthday Annika!!

It’s hard to believe that my baby turned five years old, but tis true! Annika celebrated with friends at her “Garden Party” themed party, completed with wiggling like a caterpillar and playing pin-the-leaf on the flower. The little girls came in their garden party best:


Aren’t they pretty?


This is what they really look like!



Enjoying their ants on a log, fruit salad and strawberry lemonade



Lots of presents!


Vanilla chocolate chip cuppies with vanilla buttercream frosting

This little five year old is stoked to start kindergarten in a week! But first, she gets five days with Mommy-all to herself!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰




Family Vacation-Part 2

The next day we spent most of our time at a local hot springs that had two great waterslides…the highlight of our day! Even Annika went down these super fast tube slides unassisted eventually.

After our fun in the sun, we headed to an awesome dairy for ice cream and to stock up on flavored milk, cheap and amazing cheese and the ever-famous “squeaky cheese” (cheese curds). Yum-a-licous!

For dinner our kiddies had coupons for free mini-pizzas they made themselves…


Rocky also played Mommy to some homeless kittens (which Tasha put down for maybe 5 seconds the whole evening and next day):

Isn’t he cute?!

Yes, Annika really is asleep with Uncle Arvin massaging her feet…tired girl!


Our next day was filled with crafts, water balloons, swings, horse-back rides and more. It was so fun to get to know all these family members whom I wasn’t very familiar with. There were skits and songs and lots of laughing and really yummy food.

Here’s a small portion of the gang…about 1/3..


Sunday, we had the privilege of going to church and lunching with Grandpa Manning and Grandma Hazel. Two of the neatest people you’ll ever meet. (They’re front and center in the photo above.)

About 7 3/4 years ago, we took a photo like this one…4 generations of Manning’s represented here:

Here’s the original taken Christmas 2005, when Kevin was just three months old…

Here’s the July 2013 photo, Kevin is almost 8!!!!! He’s still pretty cute though, isn’t he!


Our vacation ended with us swapping our girls for our two nephews and taking them home! That’s a whole other post, but here’s a preview:

They didn’t have any fun together at all! ๐Ÿ˜‰





Family Vacation

The last week in June, we headed to Northern Utah for a family reunion on Ammon’s Dad’s side of the family. I’m happy to report that the kids did great on the 9 hour trip there. We spent the first few days just Lee and Ellen, the Narayans and us, and the last few doing reunion activities. Here’s our travelogue:

In Price, Utah, we discovered a great little dive of a hamburger joint called “Sherald’s Drive-in”. It’s kind of a greasy spoon place, but for a few bucks you can get a yummy burger, huge, homemade onion rings, a giant milkshake with yes, real fruit and real ice cream, etc, etc…you get my point.

Mmmm, I could go for a shake right now…

Tasha roastingย chillin with Rocky in his kennel while we waited for our food.

Our first full day was spent touring Temple Square in Salt Lake City. If you have no idea what the heck Temple Square is, click here:ย Welcome to the official Temple Square tourism site | Visit Temple …. We met up with the Narayans and took our one and only entire family photo of the trip:

The Manning/Narayan Gang

Our little family (before we were hot and tired)

During the first part of our tour, our sweet ones posed with the Christus statue in the Visitors Center.


We didn’t last long and we had to stop for lunch…We ate at the Nauvoo cafe. So yummy! Uncle Arvin bought all the kiddoes their own 1/2 pint of ice cream. Annika was a little bit protective of hers!

After lunch, we did the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, the Beehive House and the Conference Center.

Throwing coins in the fountain on the rooftop of the Conference Center. Great views and cool gardens up there!


This was us girls trying our hands (ahem, feet) as Spanish Dancers. Fun!

A cute one of Annika snuggling with Daddy’s arm.

Ammon got worn out from the heat, so he took a nap on the beach while he was waiting for the Spanish Dancers to be done dancing ๐Ÿ˜‰

The boys were worn out from all the walking…

Annika was ready to drive her bug home…so, it was time to call it a day!













Father’s Day

Belated post…I know we made Ammon Dulce de leche cheesecake and ate Mexican food, but that’s about all I remember. He’s our photo that Kevin refused to cooperate for…but it’s a memory, right?!

Happy Birthday Tasha!!

9 YEARS OLD! No! It can’t be possible! But, it’s true. Tasha celebrated her ninth birthday just over a month ago with a bunch of her friends in spa-style!!! We turned our family room into the “Relaxation Day Spa”.

The mani/pedi/facial area

Spa Munchies: cheese & crackers, banana mini muffins, veggies with dip, chocolate dipped strawberries, fruit salad & lemon water.

The girls began their spa experience by decorating their own flip-flops

Some of the girls waiting for mani/pedi time to start!

Cute Flip-flops!

Facial time…just a note: when making homemade facials…use a recipe. The girls giggled themselves silly as their honey, olive oil, lavender masks slid off their faces and onto their neck. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Annika had to get in on the action

Girl time!

What’s a party without some party games? We played guess the scent and blindfolded makeup…

And the results were:

Beautiful! Great new look Annika!

Finally time for cupcakes! Lemon cupcakes with lemon curd filling and vanilla cream cheese frosting

Cupcake in style too! This is a spa party, no? =)

Tasha’s doll Josephina styling her brand new outfit! What a fun birthday!!!

Happy Birthday Tasha! We love the sweet, fun girl you’ve become=)