Sunday, May 29, 2011

"Tee" Time

It seems like everything going on these days starts with T -- T-ball, teenagers, and trophies. Here's the Gunnell family ode to "T":

It's t-ball time again -- and Reid is enjoying his second year playing in the Provo City league. He's a great hitter and we love cheering him on. His first game was rained out after one inning, but he still managed to hit a home run! We're looking forward to a fun season from our little baller.

Two Weeks of Teenagers
Here's Paul and Sam, "our teenagers" at home for the past couple of weeks. Their parents and siblings moved to Thailand in April, but they wanted to stay out the rest of the school year, so they moved into our basement for a few weeks until school was over. It was quite an experience for our little family. They left yesterday morning to join their parents, and all day Danny J has been asking me for them. "Paul? Sam? Paul? Sam?" -- he's a broken record. Paul and Sam, Danny really misses you. :)
Here we all are, enjoying "T"reats with one of our neighbors, Sister Brown. Treats + teenagers = one crazy family night!

More "Teenagers"
(Not chicks anymore, but not quite chickens)
Do you think Davis's chick, Rock, likes it when Davis holds him? :)
Last week we moved the teenage chickens out of the garage and into the yard. Smelly! They are in a makeshift coop until we get our yard leveled off and get them caged in properly. The kids still love them. I love them more now that they are out of my garage. :) I was totally out of my element last week when I had to go to IFA and buy them new supplies (new feeder, water tank, chicken feed, etc) -- it was an adventure. Here they are in all of their teenage chicken glory:

Macie is a dancer extraordinaire. As evidenced by this giant trophy she won with her dance company in their last competition. It is almost as big as she is! We love cheering her on and watching her groove and move on the stage. Last weekend we enjoyed her performances in the big spring recital. Here are some of my fave pics of the Saturday show:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Buck-a-roo!

Monday was Davis's big birthday number FOUR, and he had a rootin-tootin good ol' time! Here's some super shots of the big day that had been oh-so-anxiously awaited:

Davis woke up in my bed to find himself surrounded by balloons (a birthday tradition!). Can you see him under there? He was pretty zonked out. But we knew he'd be pumped when he woke up and realized he was getting the birthday morning treatment!

Nothing like french toast and bacon for breakfast in bed. He was soooo tired, but he sat right up and started taking big bites before his birthday song was even finished. He's been dreaming of having breakfast in bed, just like his big brother and sister get on their birthdays.
I love the picture below, because you can see the sleep lines still on his face -- his nose is smushed, even. Such a cutie!

We headed downstairs to open presents, which was adorable. Each new little gift brought greater joy to Davis's face. First the binoculars. Then Spy Kids. Then a triple waterslide. Then a Power Ranger sword and samurizers. Then a cowboy hat and cowboy guns. Then a lasso and a slingshot. (Can you tell that Davis likes fighting and weapons? That's why we call him our little warrior...) When he opened the slingshot, he couldn't contain the joy any longer, and he exclaimed, "Mom! This is what I've been DREAMING about! I love these presents!"

Watch out! Danny has a gun!

Later in the afternoon we invited Davis's preschool and Sunbeam buddies over for a cowboy hoedown. We made cowboy vests, practiced jumping over rattlesnakes, lassoed some phillys, and had a wild west shootout with cowboys, indians, and waterguns. Then we celebrated with a yummy cowboy cake and ice cream. The whole posse had a happy time!

Here's the cutest cowgirl around!
Shoot-em, Tex!
Deputy Sherrif Davis was smiles from ear to ear!

I had this "Wanted" cut-out that I used for pictures of all of Davis's friends, so we decided to take some pictures of our family too. We make a scary group of outlaws!

After the wild west party, we all headed to Chuck-E-Cheese for some free pizza (thank you, birthday club coupons) and free games (thank you, library reading program coupons). I think the last time we were at Chuck-E-Cheese was one year ago, for Davis's birthday! Anyhow, it'd been a long time. But it didn't disappoint. The games were as fun as ever, and even Danny J got into the action this time. I had to pry him away from the mini basketball hoops with a crowbar. And then I needed the crowbar to pry his Daddy away from the "Flaming Finger". Davis's birthday was a hit with all!
I think our family is too big for the photo booth at Chuck-E-Cheese. We all tried to squeeze in, but it didn't work too well...
Happy birthday, Davis! We love you tons and tons and tons!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Most Beautiful Women in the World

On my second date with Danny, we stayed up late talking about our families. I remember asking him to tell me about his mother. His answer was the sweetest thing I've ever heard. He simply said, "Well, let me tell you about my mom. She is the most beautiful woman in the world."
I loved it, because I thought (and still think) the same thing about my mom. What a BEAUTIFUL woman! I feel so blessed by all of the beautiful women in my life. Thanks, Moms, for being amazing. Moms, you really are the most beautiful women in the world. We need you. We love you. We honor you!
Me and my mom. Ain't she a babe? We love you!

Danny and his mom. She's hot stuff! We love you!

Check out the beautiful blue eyes on this pair! We love you Grandma Korth!

I think Danny's true-blue heart is genetic. We love you Grandma Gunnell!

Me and my namesakes -- Margaret (aka- "Grammie") and Mary (aka- "Grandma Brown"). I look up to and admire these women so much -- and I want to be just like them when I grow up! We love you Grammie and Grandma Brown!

My Mother's Day -- The Treatment
Mother's Day here was fabulous! Danny gave a WONDERFUL talk in sacrament meeting, Macie and I sang a duet for the special musical number, and then I came home to "the treatment". That's right, "the treatment". "The treatment" consists of foot rubs, leg massages, back rubs, hair being played with, head massage, a face massage (this was a little strange, I've got to say), lots and lots and lots of kisses, snuggles, and a long afternoon nap. It was a wonderful Mother's Day. Thanks, family! I love you too!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

I once read this self-help type of book that recommended taking the word "busy" out of your vocabulary. "Busy" is a negative word and will destroy not only your own self-thought, but also negatively influence the way other people see you -- or so this book argued.
Well, the Gunnell family has been busy. But we are happy busy. That stupid book (oops, I AM beginning to be negative now) completely left out all of the happy business. I see it as my personal responsibility to correct that serious oversight. We are a HAPPILY busy family!
Here's some pictures of our busy life:

Reid has been studying the circus in kindergarten for the past few weeks (Really? You need to spend a FEW WEEKS learning about the circus? In my humble opinion, this is a strong argument in favor of homeschooling your children...). So, he had to come up with a circus act to perform. He decided to be a clown -- very apropos for Reid. When he came home from school he was bouncing up and down with excitement. "Hey Mom!" he said, "Guess what? I was the best clown in the whole class. No one laughed at the other clowns, but everyone was laughing at me!" Fabulous. Now at least we know he's got a fall-back career in the circus if the rest of his "education" doesn't pan out. :)

Macie has been busy competing with her dance company, and last weekend she enjoyed a competition in Ogden where they won several first place and overall awards. Here the cutie is in the dressing room, before performing her first dance. Her team won a huge trophy, and each girl was presented with a smaller "jewel award" as well. Macie loves her 4 inch wide purple jewel. She brings it to breakfast and sets it next to her oatmeal. She places it on the bathroom counter while she brushes her teeth. It sits on her bedstand while she sleeps so she can reach over and stroke it in the middle of the night. You get the picture -- she LOVES her special dance award. It's super cute. Scroll down to the bottom to watch her perform her favorite routine -- a hip hop number choreographed to "4 Minutes".

I don't know if you know this, but I am really an animal person. I love animals so much that I don't even mind taking care of them, smelling them, cleaning up after them ------- NOT. Remember how much I "loved" having our goat? Or how great I think our cows are? This is why we don't have a dog yet. I already have kids to take care of, smell, and clean up after. But now we've added chickens to the mix. And I am on board, 100% (for now, at least). I view these chickens as a form of food storage -- and I'm anxiously awaiting the day when they start producing yummy little eggs for me to cook up! Start laying, babies!
We picked up the chicks the day before Easter, and they have already grown quite a bit. We each picked one chick out (so we have 6 total), and we had a fun time naming them. Here are the chicks in our roost:
Danny J's chick - "No!"
Davis's chick - "Rock"
Reid's chick - "Geo"
Macie's chick - "Brownie"
Daddy's chick - "Jimmer"
Mommy's chick - "Patience"
The kids love these little chicks. Wish the newest chicken farmers in Provo good luck!

Watch out, little chickie! Danny J is kind-of dangerous when it comes to handling the little guys...

I love flowers, and tulips in spring are super fun. It makes me so happy to go outside and see all of our tulips blooming in bright colors! If only we could have them without spraying that toxically smelly repellent... :)

Yesterday I enjoyed the Provo City Half Marathon -- the first race of several I hope to run this year. Danny and the kids were amazing -- cheering me on near the start of the race, running to the park to hoe and dig for a city-wide youth service project in-between, and then crossing the finish line together with me 1 hour and 56 minutes later. Thanks for all of the high-fives and cheers! I couldn't have done it without you -- truly. You rock!

This evening we called our mothers to wish them a happy Mother's Day. When we got off the phone, we suddenly realized that Danny J was no longer in the room. We sent Reid to look for him, then sent Macie to look for him, but he was no where to be found. Uh-oh. So we all set out for a full-scale search. After looking high and low inside the house, we finally found him OUTSIDE our house, riding his little trike in the pouring rain. He laughed when I found him, and had to be lured inside the house with the promise of a chocolate chip cookie. What a stinker!

Tomorrow is Davis's fourth birthday, and he's been talking about it since February. We are having a small cowboy party at our home with his preschool buddies, and he is PUMPED UP! He got a birthday preview Saturday night when we celebrated at a "Siete de Mayo" fiesta with the Espinosas-- he loved the pinata, birthday song, and chocolate cake. Hopefully his real birthday will compare! Check out the video below to see what an animal Davis is with the pinata! We love him!