Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Miscellaneous Nature Pictures

As much as I love to take pictures of my children, I also love to take pictures of nature. Here are some of my favorites from this summer!!

A Beautiful Rainbow, seen from Bruce's gravesite

How many frogs do you see? The kids caught at the pond after a storm at the cabin.

A daddy bird keeping watch over mama and her eggs

Daddy bringing Mommy some dinner!

Kayaking on Glen Lake in VT, the day started out cloudy and overcast....

....but ended up with a gorgeous blue sky!!!

A favorite childhood play area, it grew up, just like me!

Getting Caught Up, Part 2!

Next was my "mom-cation". That's right, I went to Vermont for a vacation. It was my 20 year High School Reunion as well as a Brisson Family Reunion all in the same weekend. Sally, my AMAZING mother-in-law, took the kids to the cabin for the week, since Michael was having to work. They had a great time and so did I. It was great to see my parents and my brother surprised all of us and showed up Friday night to be there for the family reunion, Thank you Peggy, for talking him into that one!! We had a great weekend together at the reunion and kayaking and just hangin' out. It was quiet and relaxing and the weather was AMAZING!!

My class reunion was so much fun, it was great to see everyone who was there and reminice about "the old days". I think all of us who were there had a good time!! Thank you to Brandie, Michelle, Carrie and Jenni for all of the hard work that went in to planning the weekend!!

The family reunion was great as well. There were about 180 people that were there, the food was great and the company was even better. It was a beautiful day to be at the lake and from what I hear the entertainment that night was great as well, I went to the class reunion that night. I missed hearing my cousin, Kevin, perform and from what I hear he's pretty darn good.

It was an awesome week, but it was good to get home to my family as well. The kids were excited to see me and it was time to gear up for school to start. The fun began of taking stock of what each child needed in the way of clothes and school supplies and then the shopping took place. Michael and I divided and conquered this year and I think we now have a new tradition. We went to the same store, but he took the boys and I took Ashleigh. Needless to say, he and the boys were done and anxiously waiting for us, but it saved me a lot of time and turned out to be a fun day!!

Now here we are at the end of August and the kids have been back to school for 3 weeks and Austin is adjusting to mornings with just mom around, Jared is enjoying being a Kindergartener and I am adjusting to the hectic schedules that Ashleigh and Jordan have with school, sports, band, scouts and church activities. Boy oh boy are we busy!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting Caught Up!! Part 1

WOW!!! It's been a busy summer, School has already started back up again and I never finished blogging about the end of the school year. May was a busy month with Ashleigh in band and piano and Jared played t-ball this year and graduated from pre-school. Ashleigh loves playing the clarinet and was able to play with the Advanced Band at school for the last half of the year. I was really impressed with how good they were for an elementary school band. The teacher prides himself on having The Best band in the area, the kids put in a lot of work, but it definitely pays off!!

Jared LOVED playing t-ball and can't wait for next spring so he can get back to the ball field again. He especially loved playing on a team with some of his friends from pre-school. It is so much fun to watch all of these 5 and 6 year olds running around the field, not really sure what they are doing. It makes for an hour of great entertainment!!

School ended just in time for Memorial Day and we headed to the mountains to escape the heat. It was a great time, aside from Austin's many accidents which I have previously recorded!! Sally and I took the kids to Pinetop for a beautiful nature walk along the rim. As usual the kids all had a blast playing with cousins, hunting for critters, feeding the birds, playing in the treehouse and working in their clubs.

Summer is always a busy time and doesn't usually feel much like a vacation, but keeping the kids busy prevents them from complaining about being bored all summer long. Ashleigh and Jordan both took summer band, Ashleigh continuing with the clarinet and Jordan following in his dad's footsteps and trying out the trumpet. They both enjoyed that very much and each day we went straight from the school to the pool for swimming lessons for all four kids. All of them love the water, although Austin did not care for his mommy and me lessons, but was happy as could be when we would just go swimming in the afternoons. He did great with arm floats on and was happiest climbing out and jumping in.

We continued our annual tradition of heading to the cabin for the 4th of July holiday. We had a great time in the cool mountain air and hangin' out with family. We had a parade around the ranch, treasure hunts and pinata, then fire works that night. It was a great weekend.

Then it was time to celebrate Austin's 2nd birthday!! My how time flies, my baby is growing up so fast, especially since he has older siblings who he is always trying to keep up with. He is still a mama's boy, but he is definitely learning to be a little more independant and his personality is so fun!! He is a ray of sunshine for all of our family!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

April in Arizona!!

April brought Easter, Ashleigh's 11th birthday, a cub scout 3-mile hike, and Grandma Brisson coming for a visit. Easter was a little different this year for a few reasons, it was General Conference on Easter weekend so we didn't have our normal church services and all of the extended family was in the mountains so we had a quiet Easter here at home. I made a nice breakfast to start the morning off and the kids had their Easter Egg Hunt in between the conference sessions. Later in the day we had a nice ham dinner. It was a very peaceful and enjoyable Easter Sunday in the Gunnell household!!

Ashleigh turned 11!! How is that possible? She wanted to have a party with some friends this year and I decided to do something a little different. We had a SPAtacular Party, complete with Pedicures and a massage for each of the girls!! I did the pedicures and an amazing friend donated her time and massage table to help out, THANK YOU Margo!! While the girls waited for their turn they each made a pair of ribbon flip flops. Due to the fact that I was giving pedicures there aren't any more pictures, but fun was had by all, the mom's all wished they could have participated!!

Towards the end of the month the entire Cub Scout Pack went on a 3-mile hike on the Wind Cave Trail. All of the boys, leaders and parents had a great time, it was a beautiful morning for a hike. When we reached the caves we had a snack and took some pictures then headed back down the trail.

We finished off the month with a visit from Grandma B. She wanted to do something fun and memorable with the kids so we took them to Home Depot and each of the kids got to pick some flowers and/or veggies to plant and Grandma helped them plant what they chose. Thanks to John and Elizabeth for the pots and soil!! It was definitely a memorable experience for all of us and now we are trying to keep the flowers alive, not an easy task since we are into the triple digit temps!! Thanks Grandma for teaching my kids about gardening, maybe one of these days your green thumb will rub off on me!!

Spring Break and much more!!

March started out with Austin having a mild case of Chicken Pox!! Thank goodness none of the other kids got it and it was only on his arms and legs and they scabbed over almost as quickly as they appeared!! They were gone in time for us to enjoy the kids Spring Break, which usually includes a fun outing or two.

This year we continued our tradition of going to Fountain Hills for St. Patrick's Day and this year Becky and the twins and Ashleigh's friend, Breanna, came along with us. We enjoyed a picnic, complete with green grapes, cucumbers and green jello (a tradition started by Grammie Atwood about 5 years ago), followed by running and playing in the grass and on a really cool tree and then it was off to the overcrowded play ground.

It was a fun afternoon and that night we were excited to welcome Grammie and Papa Atwood here for a visit. They spent the first few days at a hotel and the older kids took turns having an overnight with them and we all enjoyed using the swimming pool!! We had a fun day at the Phoenix Zoo, Austin was in his glory with Papa. He got to go and do whatever he wanted, instead of being stuck in the stroller all day. The favorite part for the kids was the petting zoo and the tractors. Papa was even able to teach the kids how to milk a cow!! It was a great day for the entire family!!

Mom and Dad spent the weekend with John and Elizabeth in the mountains and the kids were back to school when they got back, but Austin had plenty of time to bond with his Papa and Grammie and enjoyed every minute of it. Ashleigh and I took my parents to the dress rehearsal of the Easter Pageant at the Temple. We got there early enough to get pretty good seats, as usual it was an amazing performance!!

After spring break it was time for the Pinewood Derby for Jordan's Cub Scout Pack. He was awarded "Most Realistic Car" and was a great sport again this year, congratulating all of the racers after every race. We are so proud of him!!

At the kid's Track and Field Day at school Ashleigh brought home 4 2nd Place ribbons, for Hurdles, Long Jump, Obstacle Course and 60 yard Dash!! Way to go Ashleigh!! Maybe we have a future track and field star on our hands?!