Monday, June 15, 2015

New Beginnings

I'm going to write on this blog tonight!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Best/Worst Christmas Pageant Ever!

Once again, for your viewing pleasure, I am proud to present the Gunnell Family Christmas Nativity Pageant! It is a little rougher than it was in past years... but that just makes it even better, right? :)
(I spent two-thirds of the filming time upstairs with Danny J throwing a tantrum about his soldier costume, and the other third holding a fussy baby Luke...)
Thanks to Danny for putting the video together this morning! He's awesome!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kids Bop

Introducing the newest game at the Gunnell household - Kids Bop. Created from a giant inflatable  "Thor" hammer Danny won playing Turtle Dice with Grammie and Pops. Enjoy!
*I do not take any responsibility for children who may or may not have been injured in the making of this video. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Our Little St. Nick
Have you ever heard the Beach Boys song, "Little St. Nick"? It's this corny Christmas song that my parents and siblings once danced to together for a holiday talent show (We were so horrible that I am still in therapy dealing with the embarrassment... j/k). Anyway... that song has been stuck in my head since last Saturday, when we ran the "Provo Santa Run" as a family, and that song was playing in front of the City Offices as we ran by. The chorus sings "Run, run reindeer," -- and as I ran by the city buildings I remembered running in a circle on a stage with my brothers and sisters, with my hands spread out by my head like antlers. And I realized that I am no longer forced to do silly things by my parents... NOW I AM THE PARENT FORCING MY CHILDREN TO DO SILLY THINGS!
And it made me smile. ;)

Ever since I found out that Provo had a Santa Run (a short holiday race where all of the runners are dressed up like Santa Claus) I wanted to do it as a family. It is only a 5K (3.1 miles -- a cake run!), you get to wear fun costumes, it is not too hot (and luckily, wasn't too cold!), and you have elves serving you milk and cookies while you run (I knew the kids would like that). So, I signed Danny and myself up, and the kids were provided with free hats and beards so that they could run along with us.
We were running late that day (we'd lost track of time decorating the Christmas tree), and just so happened to be the very last Santas to start the race. But the kids were pumped and we quickly made up for lost time. The first mile was awesome. The cookies made for especially happy kids. Reid was racing so fast that he kept on having to backtrack and wait for us. Life was good for the Gunnell Santas. 

The Runnin' Gunnells - Daddy Santa, Mommy Santa, Speedy Santa, Dancing Santa, Builder Santa, and the two cookie munching baby Santas.

One mile down and all is well!

Yum! Milk and cookies from the elves.

But after about a mile and a half, Macie decided that she wasn't having much fun anymore. Her Santa costume was quickly shed. And the complaining began. "I don't want to run." "This is not fun." "I want to quit." -- You get the idea. She was miserable, and the Santa Run was NOT her idea of FUN.
Well, I was so proud of the way our little family rallied around Macie. Reid and Davis and DJ became her personal cheerleaders. They were shouting "You can do it, Macie!" "Good job!" "Keep on running, Macie! I believe in you!" Even though they were smaller and younger, they were tough and were doing all that they could to try and help their big sister make it all the way. Dad helped her along by taking her hand and running together with her, pulling her along when she needed it. And, even though her attitude never got better, she finished the race with the help of her family.

When we had crossed the finish line and were heading to the car, Macie told me that even though she didn't think the race was fun (and she doesn't want to do it again next year!), she was so glad that she finished it. And she never would've finished it if it weren't for the help of her family.
I am so grateful for God's plan for families in His plan of happiness. When we need help and encouragement, our family is there to give us the boost of strength that we need to make it all the way. We can help each other to the finish together. The race wasn't/isn't about time -- it was about reaching the goal together as a family. And I am so proud of my little family, for the strength and support they gave Macie. And even though it was hard to make it to the finish, it was worth it! I hope that my little family keeps on working together, to help each other reach our eternal goals and live together as a family forever!

The Santas that run together, stay together!
Although Macie probably won't repeat the Santa Run next year, all of my boys loved it and are ready to sign up again (even Dad said he wanted to do it again next year!)! Despite the itchy beard and cheap felt pants! I think I might even have some future running partners in Speedy Reidy ("my legs never get tired") and Davis (who is the fastest kindergartener I've ever seen).  Run, run reindeer!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I've always thought of 11:11 as a magical time on the clock. Whenever I see it, I make a wish. Eleven was my lucky volleyball number my Junior year of High School, and it is also Danny's lucky number. AND... ELEVEN years ago today, December 11th, Danny and I met! Crazy how time has flown by, and here we are 11 years later -- living and loving our life in Provo with our 5 awesome kids!
Every year since we met, we've always celebrated this special day with a visit to the places we went together that first night...

IHOP and Belmont Hot-tubbing!

Yuck. IHOP. Why did we even go there 11 years ago? I'm pretty sure that it was Jared Hoyt's fault.

The kiddos LOVE hot-tubbing, just like their Dad. And I still pass the swimsuit test (which really just means that I wear a one-piece!).
 It's a little different now, with 5 kids, but still good. :) I actually hate IHOP, and so does Danny -- and I just cringe at spending any of our "eating-out money" to eat the stuff they call "food" there -- but we had to keep the tradition alive. So, tonight we just ordered hot chocolate and ice cream. :) Then we crashed the BYU student apartments to warm up from the cold (and, Brrrr! ... it finally is cold here in Utah!). It was a good night, and I'm sure thankful for that freezing cold night 11 years ago when I first met my hubby. Eleven is a magical number!

Monday, December 03, 2012

A Great-Full Holiday

Pops, Grammie, Lisa, Danny, Me, Macie, Reid, Davis, DJ, and Luke all enjoy a "Sunbreak" (15 minutes of sun in a day full of rain!) in downtown Portland.
I know, it's a miracle that I'm actually blogging, but we've had so much fun lately and the kids have been BEGGING me to update and post some of our recent activities -- so here we go! An update complete with all of our *great* going-ons, *full* of fun activities and family, and of course -- written with a *grateful* heart for the many blessings we enjoy.

Fun Family Travels

How! Davis donned his handmade Thanksgiving Indian apparel.
 I'll start with our Thanksgiving trip to Oregon, which involved a *great* drive ("great" as in VERY VERY LONG for our 5 kids, not "great" as in enjoyable!) -- so thank goodness our week there was a truly *great* (wonderful!) one. Although it rained every day, Grammie/Pops/Lisa made our stay pleasant and warm. We enjoyed Danny's birthday, bowling, laser tag, arcade games, the library, the playground, basketball, OMSI, the temple, turtle dice, dinner dates, chick flicks, football, the Wii (the kids are still talking about the Wii!) , and of course -- a Thanksgiving feast! It truly was a blast and we are so thankful that Grammie and Pops and Lisa were so generous and entertaining!

My handsome hubby turned the big 37!
Luke loved Aunt Lisa!
Enjoying the sunbreak with my sweetheart
OMSI had an exhibit called "Grossology" -- which taught us all about boogers and throw-up and gas and urine... you get the "gross" picture. Of course my kids (and Danny) all loved it! :/
Our Thanksgiving Feast -- we ate tons of delicious food, and everyone helped!

My Indian brave and his papoose.
Playing Turtle Dice, a fun gift giving game that Grammie introduced us to. Danny (big Danny, not DJ) jokingly threw a tantrum when he got stuck with the girl's lotion as his present.


A Great Basketball Player

Reid, taking it down to the hoop
Backing up a bit, we have a *great* little basketball player in Speedy Reidy. He is a real shooter, although he is one of the smallest kids on his Junior Jazz team. This October he had another stellar season, scoring a season high of 23 points in at least 2 of his games! We are proud of him and happy that he enjoys basketball so much.

Sinking a shot at the net
And another score for mini-Jimmer


A Terrible Day

Even the kids knew that the election results were bad
A *great and terrible* day for the Gunnell family was Tuesday, November 6th -- Election Day. Danny is our Republican precinct chairman, and he was so confident in Mitt Romney's victory that we planned a Romney "Victory Party" at our home on election night (we've watched Bill O'Reilly non-stop for the past 6 months, made Romney donations, put-up signs, volunteered in the call center, etc.). We even prepared Romney's favorite "Cheesecake Factory" mini cheesecakes, Romney's Massachusetts Cranberry Punch, and Ryan's Wisconsin Cheese-its! And tons of our neighbors and friends came to celebrate with us. But instead of feeling the elation of a victory, we went to bed depressed and disheartened that Romney lost. :( So sad. Thank goodness we have faith in God and his plan for us... 'cause otherwise I would be truly depressed! Davis and DJ have since cheered me up by remembering to "please bless our enemies, even Obama!" in their daily prayers.

 A Head *Full* of Stitches

She wasn't smiling like this until we got the camera out, let's just say that!
Macie got a head *full* of stitches (well, not really *full*... but plenty enough) Halloween week, after she was injured in a tragic golf accident. :( Danny had been promising for months to take the kids golfing, and after they had worked hard to clean Danny's office on Saturday, he decided to reward them by taking them to the East Bay Executive Golf Course. Sure enough, on the first hole, Davis's backswing collided with Macie's forehead. Danny told me hours later that he could still remember the sound of the "crack" when it hit her. Yikes! Luckily, we have a GREAT Bishop (who is also a MD), who took Macie to his office after hours and stitched her up personally. It was a sad day, but she is back to her beautiful self and now we have a voucher for a future golf date...

We love Bishop


Snow Much Fun

We had a *great* snow a few weeks ago, (so heavy that broken tree branches were in the streets for weeks!) and Danny took the kids to enjoy some sledding on the fun hills of Rock Canyon Park. What an awesome Dad! They all had a fun-*full* day!
Macie, Brylie, DJ, Reid, and Davis enjoy the snow


Super Baby

How can you not love this baby?!
 Luke is a *great* baby, and I feel like he really is a tender mercy in my life. He is definitely one of the happiest babies to ever join the Gunnell family. He loves to laugh and smile and talk (Dada) and cruise around the house. And he loves to eat! So, often when I am cooking or cleaning or helping other kiddos, I will pop Luke in his high chair and give him some yummy type of finger food to occupy himself with. Last week I had to laugh when I looked up from cleaning the kitchen and found that Luke had taken his bib and twisted it behind him, so he was wearing it more like a cape. It did a great job protecting the back of his shirt from his snack, but his super-bib cape did little to keep the front of his shirt clean! He was pretty proud of his little bib trick...and glad to have momma's attention all on him for a moment!

Super Luke, in his backwards bib cape. Bibs don't work too well this way...


Tall Tail

On Wednesday, we had a special family breakfast at BYU -- where we purchased slices of the world's longest CougarTail (a super long, delicious maple bar, made by the CougarEat) to support the holiday food drive. This record-breaking CougarTail was 1/4 mile long and snaked back and forth across the Wilk Garden Court -- it was awesome!  We waited for Cosmo to show up, and enjoyed watching DJ and Cosmo race towards each other and enjoy a giant hug. Yum...  It was a happy morning, and we all left feeling very *full*!
The whole crew hangin' with Cosmo. Since Wednesday, DJ has pretended to be Cosmo every day!

Yum. Enough said.

And that's it for November's update! We are so grateful for our wonderful friends and family, and for all of the fun times we've had! And hopefully my kids will be "grateful" that I blogged for them!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Another Halloween, another family theme! This year we were the "Tangled Family" from Disney's Rapunzel.  Danny = Flynn Rider, Mary = Mother Gothel; Macie = Rapunzel; Reid = Snuggly Duckling Mime; Davis = Snuggly Duckling Warrior Baker; DJ = Knight riding Maximus


It is truly scary that I haven't blogged since May, and now it is past Halloween! It is scary that we have 13 people (9 of whom are 9 and younger!) living in our home! It is scary that Barack Obama won the election (truly, truly scary.). Yep, scary. That's my theme, and I'm sticking to it. I may or may not post again sometime in the near future. :) And if/when I do, I am soooo far behind in chronicling the Gunnell family's going-ons that my future post(s) may be scarily long!