Thursday, September 11, 2008

Proud to be an American

I wasn't sure if I was going to do a post about the tragedy that struck our country 7 years ago, but I decided that there were a few things that I wanted to say. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I was in the car taking Michael to work when we heard it on the news as the second plane hit the WTC. I was completely stunned and all I could do for the rest of the day was sit in front of the television. I also spent the day trying to make contact with my many friends who lived and worked in NYC. Luckily, they were all safe.

On this September 11, 2008 I would like to express my love for this country and for the men and women who are fighting to protect us all over the world. I don't know anyone personally who is fighting in the wars in the Middle East, but I pray for their safety and appreciate the courage that they have to get up and do their job day after day. To me, this picture from 7 years ago is what we need to remember the most. That no matter what devastation is thrown our way we will always be a free country and we will always pull together in our times of need. May God bless all of the families who lost someone on 9/11/01 and fighting for our country from that day on and may God bless all of you as well.

Jared's Air Guitar

Jared loves music, he loves to sing into Ashleigh's microphone and he also plays the air guitar anytime we have music on in the house. This video was taken while we had XM Radio playing on the TV one day. He is a total crack up, he keeps us laughing on a daily basis. When we got home from church on Sunday he told me that he taught the kids in his nursery class the song "Who Let the Dogs Out", he learned that from a Valentine's Day song card. All I could do was laugh and hope that is what his nursery teacher did as well.

Austin's Special Day

Sunday Sept. 7th was Austin's Blessing Day. He looked so cute dressed in his white blessing outfit, although he has grown so much over the last few weeks that it was actually a little small on him. His daddy gave him the blessing, with Papa Gunnell, Uncles JJ and Scott and the members of our Bishopric all participating. The blessing was beautiful. Through the gift of the Holy Ghost, daddy blessed that he would know that his family loves him and that he is also loved by his Heavenly Father. He was blessed that he would choose to be baptized at the age of 8 and that he would be blessed with the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He was also blessed that he would choose righteous friends throughout his life and that when he was 19 he would serve his Heavenly Father by going on a mission. The blessing also promised that when he returned home from his mission he would find a worthy young woman to marry in the temple, for Time and all Eternity. Austin didn't make a sound through the entire blessing, he is such a good baby. I think he was caught up in the excitement of the day because that little boy would not take a nap for longer than 15 minutes at a time for the rest of the day, luckily he was happy and not crying all day. I am grateful to be blessed with such a happy little boy, he is getting a cute little personality. He smiles at all of us and he makes those cute little baby noises of a baby trying to talk. I am also grateful for a wonderful husband who has been able to give beautiful blessings to each of our children, thank you Michael. I love you!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

How Quickly They Grow

Austin will be 8 weeks old in a few days and it amazes me how quickly time flies and how much he has changed in just 2 months. I thought I would post some random pictures of him over the last few weeks to show how he has grown and changed. Just a tidbit of information: at his 5 week check up he was 10lbs 4oz and 22 1/2 inches long. I couldn't believe that he was over 10lbs. He is a very good eater and looking at him you can tell. His whole body has filled out and he is just too cute.

All smiles for Daddy

All smiles for Mommy

Look at those cheeks!!

A Tribute To Snoopy

On Tuesday Aug 19th in the early morning hours our beloved cat Snoopy was hit by a car in front of our home. She was a member of our family for more than 11 years and we loved her like we love our kids. The kids loved her like a sister, they were always including her in their daily prayers.

From the moment she came into our home we knew that she was right where she belonged. She was taken out of her carrier and jumped up on Michael's lap and the two of them were the best of pals from that moment on. I remember many occasions when Snoopy would greet us as soon as we drove in the driveway and she would chase oranges around the yard as if she were a dog chasing a ball. We have lived in many different places and Snoopy was always very good to adjust to her new surroundings, as long as we were around she always would come home.

When we started having children we weren't sure how she would do with the babies, but she never did anything to harm the kids. She was the exact opposite, she loved them as much as they loved her. She would sit near them when they were babies as if she was protecting them from harm. She would watch TV with the kids. One day Ashleigh and Jordan were watching a video about baby animals and Snoopy sat right down and started watching with them, then she started trying to play with the animals that were on the TV. It was hysterical. While we lived in Texas we tried getting a dog, but Snoopy wanted no part of sharing her family with another animal. She was very territorial with other animals.

Ashleigh and Jordan w/Snoopy

Snoopy playing with animals on TV

Snoopy napping with Jared

Snoopy w/Austin

She was the most loving cat. As she got older she wanted to stay in the house more often and we would find her sleeping in the funniest places. She loved the back of our closet and we often found her in Ashleigh's room laying amongst her babydolls or stuffed animals. You could hardly tell she was there because she blended in with everything. When Michael would come home from work and set his bag on the bed and take off his shoes Snoopy would immediately curl up either on the bag or on top of his shoes. She also would curl up on the computer desk while Michael was working. She loved to be around all of us. She would curl up next to my legs at night to go to sleep and in the winter she would crawl under our covers and snuggle up to my feet. I'm not sure if she was trying to keep herself or me warm.

It was heartbreaking to loose her when she still had so much life to live, our family was very sad and we miss her very much. Snoopy was 12 years old and was a very small and friendly cat. She was immune to the noise of our household and she was very tolerant of any visitors that we had, especially children. When she had had enough she would just get up and go find a quiet place to lay, if that didn't work she would go under the bed to be alone.

We love and miss you Snoopy!!

Grammie Atwood Visits

When Austin was 10 days old my mom came to visit and meet her newest grandbaby. She actually arrived from Chicago after visiting with my brother and sister-in-law and there new baby boy, Brayden James Atwood, who was born 1 week before Austin was. He is adorable, except he looks exactly like my brother, poor kid, Just Kidding:) He really is beautiful and the kids are excited to finally have a cousin on the Atwood side of the family.

Brayden Atwood

Mom was an amazing help, she spent time with the older kids and did lots of cooking and cleaning. I felt kind of like a slave driver except that she did it all without me even asking. We were truly blessed to have her here and we love and appreciate all of the hard work that she did on our behalf. The only thing that would have made her visit any better was if my dad could have been with her. We look forward to the next time they can both visit. The kids had a great time with Grammie. She always has presents of some kind for them, usually clothes and books, and they love to be able to read with her. She was also nice enough to treat the kids to a fun day at Jeepers, an indoor amusement park. They all had a blast. Jordan couldn't get enough of the bumper cars and Ashleigh was a great big sister and went on all of the rides with Jared. I enjoyed having mom here to visit with and I loved having all of those home cooked meals that I didn't have to cook. Thank you MOM!!

Ashleigh almost got sick they were spun so much on this ride.

Although we don't have very many pictures of mom with Austin, I know that she loved seeing him and he loved bonding with his Grammie. It was while she was here that we did "tummy-time" for the first time and he immediately rolled onto his back. We were shocked to say the least.

Austin Meets Extended Gunnell Family

Granny and Papa

Aunt Natalie and Cade

Matthew(holding Austin), Zack,
Josh(on lap) and Jared

Emily and Ashleigh

Aunt Becky and twins, Benjamin and Caleb

Austin Meets His Family