May 31, 2011


Dear Family and Friends,

We are so excited to be able to announce the commencement of Jason's Masters of Fine Arts Degree! What an honor to attain this and at the same time it is a relief to close this chapter of our lives! And busy lives they are...

Our family has been blessed with the arrival of four little ones! Christopher is now five and takes after his Dad in so many ways. Although left handed, he is very artistic and has the mind of an engineer. Puzzles and intricate train sets pose no threat to his intellect! Monica is 3 ½ and such a little lady! She enjoys dancing, picking out headbands to match her outfits and taking care of all her baby dolls! Matthew will soon be 2 and is such a bundle of joy. His smile reaches every corner of the house and although he loves tagging along after his older siblings, cuddle times with Mommy are the highlights of his day. Peter is 6 months old. He is such a happy baby and fits in so well with the other siblings. Monica enjoys having a real baby to play with and Christopher spares no opportunity to make his little brother smile.

We are so grateful for our Church and community of friends in the Bay Area. Events for our Married Couples Group, Mother's Night Out, Iron Men Group (Men's group for Jason) and playdates/family nights have been such a positive aspect of our lives. 

God has blessed us with seven wonderful years of marriage! We are both so much in love and try each day to catch the little moments to basque in each others company. It's amazing how seven years ago when we vowed our lives to each other we felt there was no way that love could ever get any deeper...and yet it has! We are hoping to go to Hawaii later this year for a second honeymoon!

Some have asked us what Jason could use or would enjoy as a graduation present. If you are so inclined, gifts towards our trip to Hawaii would be appreciated. However, given these tough times, please do not feel obligated to do anything except celebrate this great accomplishment for our family.

May God bless you all!

Jason and Christen Manak & Family

P.S. Pictures will follow in several days...stay tuned!

Oct 29, 2010

"You do not know the day nor the hour..."

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

This scripture verse has come to my mind so many times over the past two weeks.  I'm currently 38-39 weeks pregnant and waiting for our little Peter's arrival.  Last Tuesday at my appointment, my doctor said we would plan to break my water on the 29th (today) and let that get labor started.  I planned out every aspect of October 29th.  Who the kids were going to be with, bags packed for each of them with every detail they might/could need.  I'd even written up typical schedules, meal plans, prayers, bedtime routines for each of the children.  I had a list of things I needed to do to prepare (cleaning, organizing, laundry, etc.) was all going according to plan!

Then I saw my doctor this week and I had not progressed as much as she thought I would have.  I'm currently 4-5 cm and 100% effaced.  I have to be 6+ cm in order to start labor through breaking my water. So...all plans went out the window!  I'm back to timing contractions...wondering if "this is it", trying to enjoy the little moments of my three little toddlers, feeling exhausted, short of patience, and attempting to keep a house that is neat enough so that when I do go into labor whomever comes over won't fall across our doorstep in shock at the state of our house!

At first I told God how unfair it was that we women have NO idea when this special event of a birth of a new soul into the world will take place.  I can understand that with your first...  But when you have three other toddlers you have to find a sitter for...try and plan everything for them to be comfortable during your 2-day stay in the hospital...meals, clothes, diapers on hand and a million other "little" things!  

Then the scripture above ran through my head and it struck am I preparing for eternity?!  Am I putting as much effort daily into preparation for all eternity as I am for all the various aspects of this birth?  I do not know the day, nor the hour that Peter will arrive, so I spend each second planning/preparing for that unexpected moment in time when it will be the moment to go...what about that moment when it will be "time to go" into eternity with God?  How am I planning for that?  Do I use each day...each further prepare myself and those around me for that great and wonderful event?  

This time waiting for Peter has helped me see how much of a failure I've been in truly living each day as if it were my last.  I pray that this is a lesson I remember and take seriously each day as I continue to live my life, preparing for that awesome moment when I will be born into eternity with my Lord.

Apr 2, 2010

Mary did you know...

Mar 23, 2010

A lovely March...

My brother, John Michael, just visited us for his spring break!  He was here for 10 days, but it went by so fast it felt like only a couple days.  We all miss him already! 

Christopher, especially, loved having his uncle here!  He spent all day yesterday playing with his airplanes telling me over and over that, "Uncle John Michael had to go away and now he's on the airplanes."  LOL!  Too cute!

I'm packing this week for my weekend/our vacation down to San Diego!  I'm flying down with Matthew on Thursday for a Cathe Fitness Weekend and Jason and the two older kids will join us on Sunday afternoon.  We'll hang out on the beaches for a few days and come home Tuesday or Wednesday.  My adopted mom, Aunt Susan (Rohr) and Tessa are joining us!  What a blast we will have!

Morning sickness made it's appearance several weeks ago, so I'm guessing I'm probably around 10 weeks pregnant.  Usually morning sickness starts around 8 weeks for lets just pray it goes away before 28 weeks!  :)

Had a fun time with the kids today.  We went to a new park and they had so much fun.  Now the two older ones are napping, Matthew is playing on the floor and I'm "supposed" to be doing laundry!  Time to get off of here and get to work!

Mar 14, 2010

A new little life...

March 3, your daddy and I found out you are growing inside of me! While you came as a surprise to us, I'm already looking forward to meeting you. I feel so very humbled to be so blessed by God! To know that you will be a part of my life...that we'll grow together towards God...and that one day we will share all eternity together praising God fills my heart with such joy and amazement! I love you, my dear child, and I look forward to seeing your face for the first time. You are AMAZING! You are a precious gift from God...don't ever forget that.
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Jan 18, 2010

My Prince and I .... Again!

Isn't he so handsome! :D I think so.

A special thanks to Lane for taking these awesome pictures of our family!

Jason & Matthew

Originally uploaded by lane.allen
Matthew (6 Months)

Two of my Three Angels...

Originally uploaded by lane.allen
Christopher 3 1/2 & Monica 2

My Prince and I....

Originally uploaded by lane.allen

Jan 2, 2010

Christmas 2009

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Oct 1, 2009

Matthew - 3 months!

Aug 10, 2009

Matthew's Baptism

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Jul 7, 2009

Matthew's birth story

Matthews birth story

Yay for a totally natural childbirth!!!  No pitocin or drugs of any kind. Exactly how I wanted it...and a very healthy boy! Thank you, God!

My body has been slowly dilating by come and go contractions for weeks now. On Sunday night I noticed some thin discharge happening with contractions. I called my doctor on Monday morning and went in to find out I was 8 cm dilated, fully effaced and leaking amniotic fluid.

My doctor then sent me to the hospital. At 3:00 I had my water broken and several minutes later contractions started. At 4:00 I knew things were happening faster and Jason wasn't here from work yet. He walked in at 4:10 and I was in transition. The contractions were on top of each other and I was 9 cm.

I started feeling the urge to push around 4:25 so they called my doctor who came right in already dressed! I started pushing and he was born at 4:32pm!  He cried once and I knew he was ok.

Matthew Thomas Manak is a healthy big boy. Christopher and Monica were 6lbs 6 oz but Matthew was 8 lbs 14 oz! Almost 9 lbs! His apgar scores were both 9. I can already tell he will be a easy going baby and I'm so excited to be chosen to be a part of his life!

Where will these tiny Feet go? What wonderful things will his Hands accomplish?  How will the world be a better place because of him?  Stay tuned to find out!

Please continue to pray for our safe recovery. Jason leaves on Saturday to England on business for 2 weeks. I am already feeling so much better than I did with Christopher and Monica. I guess 100% natural is the best in terms of recovery!

We can't wait for you all to meet Matthew!!!  I will post pictures when I get home. Love to all!

P.s. There are a few pictures on our facebook pages. :)

Matthew Thomas Manak
July 6, 2009
4:32 pm - 8 lbs 14 oz
20 inches long

May 7, 2009

Baby Manak 3 - It's a Boy! Ultrasound Pictures.

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Baby Manak 3 - It's a Boy! Ultrasound pictures

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Apr 25, 2009

New Haircut!

Baby Matthew says hi too! (Well...unofficially Matthew, that is) is officially the shortest my hair has ever been! It's been getting hot here though and being 7 months pregnant and sick for the last 6 months, I needed something changed! Thank you, Mommom, for the birthday money!

Apr 20, 2009

Beach Day!

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Easter Sunday!

Isn't he SO handsome!

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Easter Sunday!!!

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Easter Sunday!!!

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Mar 3, 2009

Ray and Kathy LeBlanc Wedding

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Ray and Kathy LeBlanc Wedding

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Ray and Kathy Le Blanc Wedding

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