Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The 10th Annual Ceremony of the Lights

My boys, greeting the large crowd gathered for the special occasion!
 Ten years ago, on my second date with Danny, we visited his Grandma and Grandpa Korth and decorated their patio and deck with Christmas lights. You see, their neighbors went all-out on the Christmas light displays (the Ogren's house used to rival the Thanksgiving Point light show!) -- and Danny and I felt like Grandma and Grandpa needed some lights too. When we'd completed the lights, we held a special lighting ceremony, where we welcomed the thousands of imaginary guests who'd come to see Grandma and Grandpa's spectacular lights. Grandma sang a solo (O Holy Night), I performed an impromptu Christmas dance (it must've won Danny's heart...), Grandpa gave a Christmas speech, and Danny stood on a chair and was a booming loud master of ceremonies. 
Well, a marriage, 4.5 kids, and ten years later -- we've kept the lighting ceremony tradition alive. I'm pretty sure that we've never missed a year of decorating Grandma and Grandpa's deck. And we still have huge crowds who come to see our special lighting program! :) This year was an especially cold one, but we still managed to make it happen. Look how festive their deck is now!
Macie and Reid sang a lovely Chinese song as part of the program.

Every year Grandma Korth delights us with her operatic solo of "O Holy Night"

This year Davis was the lucky one who got the flip the light switch on and illuminate the night!
We finished off the evening with Grandma's dream bars and rootbeer floats, which were served at that very first lighting ceremony in 2001! We love this Christmas tradition, and hope to keep it alive for a LONG time!
Here's a clip of Grandpa's speech (very short, but sweet) this year! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

I once was blind, but now I see..

Danny with his snazzy eye guards, right after the surgery. He gets to tape these babies on every night for a week or two!
 Congrats to Danny on his contact implant surgery last week! At first, we were a little scared (he woke up in the middle of the night after the operation and was unable to see out of his left eye!)... in the morning his right eye was perfect but his left eye was extremely dialated and vision was blurry. Danny described it as if he was looking through a balloon, or thick/dark sunglasses. Luckily, when he went it to get it examined early Wednesday morning, the doctor (our wonderful Bishop Scott Lohner) said that his eye pressure was doing great and that the problems should resolve themselves. Well, after a few more days of perfect right eye and bad left eye, Danny is now seeing pretty clearly with both eyes! His left eye still feels "scratchy" -- like he has a dirty contact lens in it -- but we are hoping that it will continue to improve with time as well. Hooray! My handsome hubby LOOKS SO GOOD without his glasses!
Can you see why we were a little worried? These eyes do not match!

Good lookin', even with his crazy eye!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gunnell Family Christmas Nativity 2011

Per tradition (for the past 7 years) -- we enjoyed a Gunnell cousins get together Saturday night, and a kids Christmas nativity! This year we decided to be satisfied with a single take... so it was by far the shortest filming time we've ever had. You can kind-of tell by our finished product... not super professional ... but at least we had fun! It was great to get together with the Bairds and Allreds, even though my kids were over-tired and still recovering from a week-long of being sick (Unintentionally, I spread my fever/cough/headache thing to Macie and Davis and Danny...). But everyone is back to school and work today, and hopefully we will continue to feel better so that we can enjoy this wonderful holiday season!
Hope you enjoy our Christmas nativity video! "Baby Jesus" (sweet little Trevor!) is my favorite part of the show. You've never seen a happier little guy in swaddling clothes!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I Love To See the Temple

Look at these cute kids! Someday we'll all be able to go inside together!
Saturday we enjoyed a BYU Basketball game at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake (Go Cougs! We actually beat Oregon, despite a rough start for BYU!) and then, since we were in the neighborhood, we made our annual visit to see the Temple Square lights. It was freezing cold, but beautiful -- and it seemed like the crowds were not a thick as they have been in previous years. Maybe that's just because we ditched our stroller this year, so we didn't have the difficultly of pushing it around! :)  
We watched the nativity, visited the Christus, oohed-and-ahhed at the lights and the multicultural Christmas displays, listened to some interesting Christmas songs in the visitor's center (one of the songs was about a jilted lover who destroyed her 12 days of Christmas gifts, yikes!), and had a fun time running around in the cold. And, of course, we took lots and lots of fun pictures of the kids in front of the temple -- what a blessing it is to live so close to so many marvelous temples! Even thought I wasn't feeling too hot (it's been a kind-of sad, sick weekend for me) -- we all managed to have a good time!

Okay, so this is a less reverent pose... but at least the kids were having fun!

We took this picture without thinking, right in front of a walkway. Oops! We were definite traffic blockers.

Love the nativity in the reflection pool!

Our happy family!

This was our favorite tree. There were tons of little trees lit up this year, but not so many big ones, like this one. I imagine that it took a full week to get the lights on this baby! So much fun to stand underneath and look upward...

Danny spotted these fun berries on the ground, underneath one of the lighted Christmas tree displays. And he got his picture of them just in time, because it snowed later that night!

Visiting the Christus