Monday, December 14, 2009

Silent Night (well, not really so silent)

Last night we had the annual Nativity play -- this is a Gunnell Christmas tradition we've really come to enjoy. It was so fun to see how excited the kids were -- the cousins had a blast. Both baby Danny and baby Robbie were awesome baby Jesus's!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

4 is a magical number!

4 kids, 4 months since I've updated our blog, a 4 month old darling baby and a 4-yr old cutie, a 34 yr. old spouse, 4 studly Gunnell Ninja Turtles for Halloween, 4 weeks until Christmas (well, there were still 4 weeks when I started writing this blog entry...), 4-give me for taking so long to update this baby... YEP, FOUR IS GOOD FOR THE GUNNELLS!
Since it's been 4-ever since I've updated, its a little overwhelming to think of all the things we've done. (seriously, why haven't I blogged until now? I just sit around all day picking my nose and twiddling my thumbs.) 4-now, let's just hit the highlights of the past few months:
-Fun Korth family reunion at Bear Lake (baby Danny was 2 weeks old)
-Awesome trip to Lake Powell with Davis family (Danny was 3 weeks old)
-Macie began Chinese immersion first grade (Ni hao!)
-Reid started preschool and is already reading us books!
-BYU beat Oklahoma (and we watched the glorious event in our new movie theatre)
-Soccer season - Danny coached Macie's team and Reid was MVP of the preschool league
-We blessed our sweet baby Danny (he's about as perfect as you can get!)
-Davis got the swine flu (this is not a "highlight" per se, in fact -- it was probably the worst week of Davis's short life, but he was a little trooper)
-Mary began a new decade of life and Danny surprised her with a big B-day bash (Thanks!)
-We trick-or-treated the Provo hills Ninja style (Cowabunga! Radical! The boys were Ninja turtles and the girls were Asian princesses)
-Danny celebrated another year of his life (he's getting to be an old man)
-We've enjoyed many fun visits from family and friends!

Danny continues to keep busy with his oil and gas partnerships -- he is currently drilling two new wells and we have high hopes. We've really enjoyed having him home more lately --we're glad that he hasn't had to travel too much since the babe arrived! In October he enjoyed reliving his cheer squad glory days by running the flag at LaVell Edwards Stadium for the BYU Homecoming Game! We enjoyed a fun MTC supervisor reunion at our home in October as well, and hope to have several more. A few weeks ago we celebrated Danny's birthday with a BYU Basketball game (a victory, of course), and of course we celebrated our latest win over the stinking Utes Thanksgiving weekend! :)

Macie is still our star dancer -- you can find her pirouetting to Chinese class, across the soccer field, during dinner and FHE, in our new movie theatre, and at bedtime. We're excited to see her compete with her company team this spring. She is picking up Chinese rapidly and enjoys telling me "Mom, you don't speak Chinese very well!" (that's the thanks I get for trying to help her with her homework!) Next week she has her first piano recital -- and we think she's pretty impressive for only 4 months of lessons. Macie is a beautiful girl on the inside as well as the outside. She is a sweetheart and so very helpful with her little brothers.

Reid is such a cool guy! His new nickname is "speedy Reid" - coined by Aunt Melissa after he proved he was the best little soccer player around. His first game was in September and he began the game with a drive straight down the field and his first goal. He finished that game with 4 goals and 2 assists, he just kept on getting better. Reid is also a little smarty pants -- he is proud to demonstrate his reading skills to anyone willing to listen.He's the most helpful and loving little guy around, if he's not in la-la land. Two quick Reid stories: (1) A couple of months ago, while we were eating homemade hamburgers for dinner, Reid said, "Can I have some pickles? I love pickles. Pickles are my favorite!" I replied, "No.", and reminded him that just days earlier he had refused to eat the pickles on his McDonald's hamburger. "Well, they're my favorite now!" he said. "Please!" I acquiesed, and watched the little guy prove his case by stuffing a large pickle into his mouth. It was hillarious -- but the sweet little man endured that whole pickle and eventually swallowed it after 5 minutes of chewing (imagine Reid with the bitter beer face and you'll have a good idea of what he looked like.). Classic. (2) Last week we decided to work off some Thanksgiving turkey by hiking the Y with Katie and Tyler. As we began the steep climb, Reid ran ahead, shouting at us to hurry up. We made him stop and told him to take it easy, because it was a steep hike and he would get tired. "My legs NEVER GET TIRED!" he quipped, and he ran up the trail again. I was sure he'd be whining and asking to be carried 10 minutes later. But, amazingly, HIS LEGS REALLY DO NEVER GET TIRED. He ran back and forth multiple times up the mountain, and was the first one in our group to reach the summit. What a stud! I'm proud to be speedy Reidy's mom.

Davis has this cheeky smile that could melt anyone's heart. He loves to give mommy kisses and hugs and is such a great little buddy to me. His favorite toys are swords and guns, and he's always keeping us safe from the "bad guys." We find his habit of pushing his swords around in the baby stroller fairly amusing. He has a fabulous imagination -- last week I came into his room and he was putting his blue hammers in his bed for a nap. I wasn't allowed to talk, because they were sleeping. Right. Davis recently suffered from a two-year-old identity crisis, but we think it's over now. For three full weeks he would not respond to "Davis" -- we could only call him "Baby Robot" (or occasionally "baby knight" or "baby Iggy"). Why? We have absolutely no idea. But if we made the mistake of calling him Davis, we were sure to get an earful. "I NOT DAVIS. I BABY ROBOT!" "Mom, Reidy called me Davis!" "STOP CALLING ME NAMES!" I'm happy to have such a creative child, but I am relieved to finally have Davis back to his good old self!

Baby Danny is a dream baby -- very happy, rarely cries, and easygoing. He is especially adorable when he wakes up in the morning -- it's like he's so happy to see me that he's going to turn inside out! I feel so blessed and can't believe how much he's grown -- already over 16 lbs and in the 75th percentile for height. His greatest achievements lately have been rolling over and getting his two bottom teeth -- they are sharp ones! We are so grateful to have his cute little giggle in our home.

And that's the update, in a nutshell. We are healthy and happy and ready for the holidays (well, semi-ready). I'll post a picture update next!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Our Pet Buck

The neighbors say that he is so healthy and strong because he eats their gardens and fruit trees. If we had a cabin this guy's head would be hanging over the fireplace. Lucky for him we don't!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby Danny!

Friday, July 17th, was a momentous day -- baby Daniel Joseph Gunnell was born! After going several days overdue, we decided to force him into this world, whether he wanted to come or not! We woke up early to check into Timpanogas Hospital, and around 8 AM they started me on a Pitocin IV drip. An hour later they broke my water, and at 9:30 AM they started my epidural. When they returned 15 minutes later to cath me, they decided to check me again (I was "half-way" there when I'd first checked in, to begin with). Well, wouldn't you know it... I was already complete. My nurse called Dr. Savage (and told her to HURRY!), and as soon as she got there little Danny boy was born. 10:25 AM. Ooohhh, he hurt coming out! :) Even though I had an epidural, it wasn't in full effect, so this was probably the closest I'll come to natural chldbirth. No thanks! It was quite painful. But it was worth it to have him here. :) The nurses were teasing me about setting the world record for fastest induction. Daddy Danny was able to catch his slippery little namesake, with some help from Dr. Savage. He now wants to be referred to as "Doctor Danny".

Baby Danny came out sleepy and sweet, and has hardly cried since he was born 3 days ago. He is a real live doll! I think he looks like his sister Macie -- definitely the "Gunnell" look -- cute little nose and mouth, pudgy cheeks and the same little chin as Davis. We love him lots and lots. Here are some pictures of his first few days of life:

*On our way to the hospital -- one last "preggo" picture. We had to take one with Cougar Stadium in the background -- just in case baby Danny wins the Heisman Trophy some day.

* The little guy is just so snuggly! I could kiss him all day long!

*Just call him "Doctor Danny" now.... We actually have a really cool picture of him delivering the baby, (the student nurse took it as an "live action shot") but it's a little too graphic to post on the family blog. Sorry folks. :)

*Brand spankin' new!

*One quick photo before they started me on the Pitocin drip. We were excited for the little guy to come!

*Dr. Savage poses with Danny. Doesn't he look happy to be here?

*Whoo-hoo! A new little brother! All 4 Gunnell kids in one hospital chair.

*Big bro. and big sis. giving Danny some love!

*Davis was making funny faces for the camera. :)

*Reid plans on teaching baby Danny how to play basketball and football.

*Macie is a mini mommy -- I know she'll be a huge help with the little guy!

*So happy to have my little guy here!

*Daddy is proud of his baby Danny.

*Davis specializes in giving baby Danny lots of kisses.

*Uncle John came to visit his newest nephew

*Grams has been a HUGE help! We'd be in trouble without her! And the kids have been loving their lives!

*We're so happy that Grampy could fly in and see baby Danny on his birthday!

*Happy to be home!!!

Temple, Goats, and Independence Day!

Here's the quick update from before baby Danny:

*We love to see the temple! Our whole family enjoyed an afternoon at the Oquirrah Mountain Temple open house in Daybreak. Macie's favorite thing was the celestial room, Reid's favorite part was the baptismal font, and Davis's favorite part was the cookie at the end of the tour! We are so grateful that families can be forever!

*We celebrated Independence Day with a parade, a dance performance, an art show, and a little fireworks watching party in our backyard (which happens to have the best view in all of Provo!). Macie was lucky enough to have Grammie, Pops, Lisa, Grandma Gunnell, and Mommy's friend Elyse all come to support her as she danced at the Freedom Festival stage. She was a doll, as usual. Later in the evening we attended an art awards ceremony, where Macie's painting "The Star-Spangled Banner" won an honorable mention in the Freedom Festival Art Show (she's 2 for 2 when it comes to art contests! I'm hesitant to enter her in another one, now that she has the expectation that she will always win!). We concluded our Fourth of July with a little backyard party, where we ate yummy food and celebrated with lots of good friends and family. Thanks to everyone who came to watch the show! We had a good time.

*Adios, Maddie! Danny posted these photos of the kids and baby goats (Isabelle and Snowbell) on KSL, and within days they were sold to a loving new family. We hope they have better luck with the goats than we did. :) After Maddie knocked over our mailbox for the 5th time, it was time for her to go. Just in time, too, for our own little baby to arrive. We'll miss you, Maddie. Not a lot. But we will.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Hills are Alive

I guess one blog per month is better than no blogs, right? Don't expect much better... we are on the count-down and have only 3 more weeks until baby #4 arrives! :) We might be lucky to get one blog per year after that!
So, lots to update on, of course. The main things goin' on with the Gunnell fam lately have been (drumroll, please...):
*Maddie, the goat (and her new little baby goats, Snowbell and Isabelle)
*Macie finished kindergarten
*Reid graduated from neighborhood preschool
*Memorial Day
*My little bro. Brian graduated HS Valedictorian, and we visited Vegas for the occasion
*Our Gunnell cousins are moving to Wisconsin (Danny's bro. Brian and sis-in-law Melanie, + kids)
*We painted our house and the furniture finally arrived
*Davis split his forehead open and got 10 stitches in the ER
*Lots of fun family and friends have been our houseguests. If you feel like you are missing out (and believe me, you are!), give us a call and come visit us!

Daddy and the kids on Memorial Day, visiting Grandpa Gunnell's grave.

Monday, June 22, 2009

No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Davis is my little bundle of energy. He is fearless. He is brave and daring. He is physically confident and skilled for a two-year-old. And he is crazy. Sometimes I think he is trying to kill himself. Seriously. My little wild man. After a week or two of Acapulco-Crib-Diving (Davis's version of cliff-diving out of his crib -- the reason we bought him a "big-boy" twin bed for his birthday), I knew this kid had NO FEAR.
Last night he was wild man Davis again (even more so than usual), jumping on Macie's bed. He made a huge leap toward her pillows and overshot them, landing with his forehead squarely on her windowsill ledge. Within three seconds, he'd bled enough to ruin her pillows, bedspread, Danny's shirt, his shirt, and start soaking some washcloths. His forehead was split open across the middle, all the way to the skull. After a LONG late night ER visit, sedation, and 10 stitches later... Davis is all sewn up and hopefully won't look too much like Frankenstein when the stitches are out. He was such a brave little guy. I love him so much! It was pretty traumatic for mommy and daddy to see their little guy get hurt -- Danny and I were practically fighting over who got to hold him at the hospital. :)
We got home at 2 AM and had a lazy morning, resting up from the long night. All day Davis has been talking about his "big owie". Sweet thing. Hopefully this is the last ER visit we will have for a LONG LONG time. Special thanks to Aunt Amy and Uncle David, who happened to be spending the night here and graciously offered to put Macie and Reid to bed while we took Davis to the hospital. You were lifesavers!

The Grads...

Reid proudly graduated from our neighborhood preschool, and had a cute little graduation ceremony at one of his friend's homes. He passed the ABC and counting tests, and was awarded a little diploma and US map puzzle. This little 4-year-old can already write his full name and several other words. He'll breeze through preschool next year. I'm proud of my little smarty-pants.
Macie's kindergarten class had a special dance performance on the last day of school, where they danced to the infamous JELLO song. Here she is in her special costume, showing the school how jello moves. Super cute. I love Wasatch. Next year she begins Chinese immersion first grade! I can't believe my baby girl is getting so big.

My little brother Brian graduated from HS this month, the fifth of five bros and sisters to be Valedictorian. I guess I started a good tradition there... :) Actually, my grandmothers were their college valedictorians, and my mother was valedictorian of her class at USC as well, so I can't claim to be the real trendsetter here, I guess. We're just a family of smarties. Haha! It was lots of fun to make the trip down to Vegas to hear his speech, and to visit with Grams and Grampy, Grammie, Grandma and Grandpa Brown, Stephanie and baby Brian, and Katie, Tyler, and Sarah. Good times. I wish they would all move up to Utah by us! Look at how much Davis and Sarah love each other!

So long, Farewell

"auf Wiedersehen, adieu"

Yesterday we held a goodbye dinner at o
ur home for Danny's brother Brian, sis-in-law Melanie, and their 4 boys. Here are the cousins together on the stairs, for the last time before the big move. We are sad to have them moving so far away, but super excited for Brian's promotion and career advancement. Danny can't stop saying, "I'm so proud of Brian." We all are. Hopefully things go smoothly for them this weekend and it won't be too long before we see them again...

Happy Father's Day to Danny, Pops, Grampy, Great-Grandpa Brown, and Great-Grandpa Korth too! We love you!

High on a hill was a lonely goatherd

"Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo"

Here is Maddie, the goat who we got to eat the weeds. Danny thought it was a good idea. The kids had fun holding onto her collar all the way home from Fountain Green. And she only cost 50 bucks. :) All we had to do was give her water, and she would clean up our 5 acres of wild vegetation, right? Not quite. Although the novelty of Maddie was fun at first, we've had a few adventures taking her on walks and keeping her from disturbing our neighbors with her bleating. The first few nights she was bleating so loudly and incessently that she lost her voice, and sounded more like a sick bird (think Scuttle in "The Little Mermaid") than a momma goat. Then there was goat poop (fun...) and the problem with constantly knocking over her water bucket. And she didn't like to eat our weeds (which was her whole purpose for coming here, in the first place). After I had to chase her up the hill (when she escaped and started eating our neighbor's tree), I simply stopped calling her Maddie and started calling her "You dumb goat." Davis also began calling her "dumb goat." THEN... she started chewing through her rope and running away through the neighborhood. After long chases up and down the street and tackling battles to get her back up the hill and home, Danny was just about ready to kill her. His right hand still bears the scars from rope burns she gave him last week. As he left for Denver, he said "We are getting rid of that goat now!" But while he was gone, that maddening Maddie gave birth to two ADORABLE little baby goats. Reid discovered them Friday morning, and I am happy to say that she birthed them all by herself (thank goodness. I did not want to be a goat midwife!), very neatly and quietly. Even I, who by nature am not a livestock lover, could not help respecting Maddie for the way she delivered those cute little goats. So, Maddie is now back in good graces. Danny is so happy that she is a momma now that he has forgiven her past transgressions and even bought her some special goat food as a treat. I'm glad that he has compassion on new mothers. Maybe he'll splurge for some goat food for me when I give birth in a few weeks... :)
Macie named one of the little ones Snowbell, and Reid named the other Isabelle. Davis thinks they are the greatest things ever, and he could sit and hold the babies all day. I think the baby goats are pretty darn cute too. Looks like Maddie will be here to stay... :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Our Dancing Queen

Please ignore the unsteadiness of my hand-held camcorder skills, and enjoy the superb dancing of Miss Macie Ann Gunnell, dancer extraordinaire. We finally figured out how to post video using the Mac. Whoo-hoo! These clips are from her Spring Recital last weekend -- she actually performed 4 different dances that evening, but I've only edited these 2 so far... mini hip-hop (where she is by far the youngest in her class), and beginning ballet (where she shines center stage). Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just when it looked like our blogging days were over...

Here's a surprise! The Gunnell family has finally updated our little blog. But don't get your hopes up for super frequent blogs or anything like that. :) I'm not making any promises. Just one BIG update.

LOTS of STUFF has happened since January. Here is a VERY CONDENSED summary (in no particular order):
*We moved.
*We are having a baby boy.
*Danny drilled another Utah oil well.
*Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, and Easter
*We vacationed in Puerto Rico and San Diego.
*Macie won the Utah Arbor Day Poster contest.
*Reid turned 4 years old!
*Macie's dance company has taken first and second in their dance competitions.
*We got some more baby cows, and we briefly had some baby chicks.

When I boil it down to that, it doesn't seem like too much has happened. But, believe me, it has. :) We really have been busy and very happy. Here are a few pictures (and brief descriptions) of the past few months.

First, our new house. We are still in Provo, just on the East side now, with a great view of BYU and the valley. It's pretty much a dream house... we feel so blessed to have gotten into it at the deal we did. We are close to Macie's school (whoo-hoo!), super close to the Y, the temple is one mile away, and the kids love that we can see Seven Peaks from our house. Yep, we've got a GREAT view. We love having a garage that our cars fit in, a large pantry, a master bed/bath/closet, a fancy guest room, a drinking fountain, heated toilet seats, the upstairs laundry, the ginormous playroom, and lots of other things. We dearly miss our old friends and many in our old ward, but have also found that we are surrounded by some AWESOME people here. This move has been a great blessing to our family. :)

That is the house. Just kidding. It is not the Taj Mahal. But everyone keeps asking me to post pictures and I regret to inform you that we have not taken any yet. And, until the painter is done in another couple of weeks, we will not be taking any. So, you will just have to let your imaginations run wild. I will say that this house is big enough to take WAY TOO LONG TO CLEAN. But, it is not as big as the Taj Mahal. It's not as big as several houses in Provo, in fact. :) But I don't think our family will every outgrow it. :)

Here is the baby boy, who will probably be named after his dear old daddy. He is a real wiggler and jiggler. I was so grateful to stop bleeding in February, and have my activity restrictions rescinded. I can finally exercise again (Not that I am. Sigh. But it is nice to know that I could, if I had the energy to!). Now I am just a normal pregnant lady who is ready for this baby to pop July. :) Three more months! I don't know if I can handle it... Baby number 4 is giving me a run for my money.

This is the latest oil/gas well. I would tell you how it is doing and where it is, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to spill that insider information. I do know that it has been a fun project for Danny. Here, Danny's dad (Reid, or Pops), Grandma Gunnell, and our little Reid (4 generations of Gunnells!) all enjoy a day out at the rig.

Holidays! I love 'em. And I love sending cute little photos and packages to our loved ones. Here are the kids Valentine's and Easter photos. The third photo is our family's traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner celebration -- a meal of ALL GREEN food, in our green attire. Yum!

Good thing our friends Julio and Eblis took a lot of pictures in Puerto Rico, because we didn't get our camera out until the last day! We stayed at a fun resort called El Conquistador, and enjoyed lots of relaxing beach time reading books on a private island. Life was sweet. :) Thanks to Grammie and Lisa for keeping our kids entertained while we were gone.

San Diego was fun for Easter weekend, where we surprised my grandmother for her 80th birthday. Grams and Grampy flew us out and treated us to a fun weekend at Knott's Berry Farm, Sea World, and the beach. Even though it wasn't exactly "sunny" California weather, it sure beat the snow storms that were going on back home in Utah. And it was fabulous to be with family that we don't see often. Thanks for a fun trip, and happy birthday Grammie!

Tomorrow Macie will officially receive her award for the Utah Arbor Day Poster Contest. Out of over 39,000 entries, her poster took first place! So, along with the 7 other winning students, she will get formally recognized, have her picture in the paper, plant a tree in Memory Grove, and win lots of trees for her elementary school. I am so proud of her. She worked really hard on that painting (with lots of encouragement and suggestions from mom), and I have to conclude that her artistic ability is genetic. :) I heard that Danny won an art contest when he was a kid, too...

Reidy boy is now a big 4-year-old. We celebrated with a small group of his friends -- at a bowling alley. As we helped 12 little 3 & 4-year-old kids to bowl, I thought to myself, "Now why did we ever think this was a good idea?" Although the day was a little hectic, Reid had a blast. He is such a goof-ball -- a real tease like his daddy-o. While we were in San Diego we discovered another special talent he has -- Reid is a whiz at making babies laugh! We love our entertaining little man.

Macie's dance team has kept her plenty busy, when she's not reading books for school or drawing pictures. In fact, she has another competition all-day Saturday. Here she is, posing backstage at the Dance America Competition at Thanksgiving Point. Her company took first-place for this dance, and second-place for their April Showers ballet.

Here is Davis, feeding two of our newest cows. They live in Alpine, with Danny's partner Cory. The kids loved visiting and giving the calves their bottles. Davis was especially excited to shout at the cows and try to boss them around. Sweet Davis. What a stubborn little guy he is. Very independant, very strong, and very loving. I've missed him this week, as he is visiting in Oregon with Daddy (we are now in the Oregon tree business, it seems). Come home soon, little buddy. Mommy is missing her kisses and hugs!

Macie and Reid are scared of Daddy's driving. I am too, but we only had two helmets in the car. :) They were troopers last Saturday, as we drove around Alpine, looking at fun landscape designs. We love our latest yard design, and wish we could do it all this year... For now, though, it looks like we will continue to have 4 acres of rocks.

I almost forgot. Danny built a huge fire. He's built several huge fires since we've been here. Joy. :) As you can see, some of the flames were kind-of out-of-control. Reid loved it! And that's a real picture of our house in the background.

And that's about it for us. We hope and pray that you are all doing well. Please give us a call or stop by if you are ever out our way!