arizona attractions, baby, cooper, elisabeth, entertaining, family, silas, toddler

Making Manka Memories

Everyday moments aren’t so ordinary when you live miles from family. Though we did visit some attractions in the Valley, most our time with my dad, mom and sisters was spent savoring ordinary life at home.June7029June7028

My family played with the boys, read to them, sang to them, and cared for them–in between all the hugs, kisses, squeezes, and tickles. June7019June7021June7030June7032June7045Silas was sure to introduce them to his imaginative world of superheroes, including “Hulk Smash.” Grandma eventually decided to don her alter ego and become “Curler Woman” so she could take on Hulk in an epic battle. I think Curler Woman won.June7038

Our almost-two-weeks together were filled with visits to the park, June7034June7037June7035shopping, cooking and baking lots of yummy food, playing games, June7020June7046watching TV, a morning at the bowling alley, June7043June7044and trips to the library for Baby Time and for Arizona Rick the Magical Balloon Making Cowboy‘s storytime (he blew our minds with his balloon creations!).June7047June7048June7049

As always, there was lots of music around the house. Cooper liked listening to Grandpa’s guitar, and we invited several friends over to play instruments with us. June7022June7025June70266June 065aThese days I don’t play my mountain dulcimer often, but it was fun to have lots of people to make music with. June7027

The highlight experience was our Saturday morning trip to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. My dad is obviously a train buff as his signature hat is an engineer’s cap. He had an extra one for Silas to borrow too! June7001With the railroad park’s carousel, miniature train, playgrounds, and historical exhibits, it was the perfect destination for our crew. June7002June7003June7007June7008June7010June7011June7016The boys rode the train several times, and the memories of them at the park with their grandparents are priceless to me.June7015June7014 This picture of my mom walking off the train platform with both the boys is one of my favorite moments of the whole visit.June7017

During my family’s stay, Cooper’s second tooth came in. But, more impressively, Grandma taught him to do the army crawl. With Grandma as a cheerleader, who wouldn’t want to show off a little bit?

I loved having all my sisters together and always having someone to talk to!June7039It’s a loooooooong drive from West Virginia to Arizona, but we’re so happy they came!


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