Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday Jared!!

I haven't been very good about blogging lately. Last week was our sweet Jared's 4th birthday.

We had a fun and lazy day together. We spent all morning lounging around in our pjs and playing the Wii. When a friend showed up at lunchtime to drop a gift off for Jared I was mortified by the fact that I was still in my pajamas, but we were having a good time so it was all worth it. That night he opened gifts while dinner was cooking, he was so patient all day, I couldn't put it off any longer. His celebrating actually started on Sunday when we had his birthday with the Gunnell family. He was able to share the day with his cousin Josh, who was turning 1.

Jared is such a fun little boy to have around. He has the cutest personality and likes to think he is older than he really is. He brings such joy and laughter to our home. He always has a funny expression on his face or a funny comment to add to the conversation. We love him so much. He is a wonderful big brother and I have to say that he is a mama's boy. He always wants to sit by mom or have mom do things for him. He would rather wait for me to get him what he needs than have dad or Ashleigh do it for him. It's actually kind of annoying at times, but cute as well. His passions these days are Ben 10, Bakugan and Legos. He also is really good at Wii Sports. He is very excited to start pre-school in the fall.

When I was pregnant with Jared we decided to NOT find out what we were having. We already had a girl and a boy so it didn't matter to us. We were looking forward to being surprised, although Ashleigh really wanted a sister. This pregnancy brought on Gestational Diabetes for the first time (again with Austin) and I found out right after Thanksgiving. Nothing like having to go through the Christmas season not being able to eat sweets:( Anyway, I was able to control my sugar levels with diet and all was well. Jared was born on his due date, January 27, late in the day. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 10 oz. and was 21 inches long. We had thought that he would be bigger, because of the diabetes, but he was my smallest to that point. It was a great moment to have him make his entrance into the world and have the doctor announce "It's a boy!" We were very excited and had a name already picked out for him. Ashleigh was a little disappointed that she didn't get a sister, but her big sister/mommy's helper instinct kicked right in. She and Jordan were both so happy to have a baby to play with and love and help out with.

Jared has been trying to catch up to his brother and sister almost since birth. He has always loved to do what they are doing and wants to be big like they are. He has had moments of dressing up in Ashleigh's jewelry to playing video games and light sabers with Jordan. He started walking on his 1st birthday and hasn't slowed down since. He loves to ride quads at the cabin and pal around with his cousins, especially Zach. He has also been our most accident prone child. At 1 1/2 years old he put his hand on the treadmill, while I was running on it. It tore the skin off of two of his fingers and it took months to heal. At 2 1/2 he and his brother were horsing around and he cracked his head open on another piece of exercise equipment and that required a staple on the back of his head. He is a trooper and always gets right back up as if nothing happened.

We are so blessed to have Jared in our home. He is a sweet and loving boy and we love him so much. It was so much fun to celebrate him and his birthday last week. WE LOVE YOU BUDDY!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Go Cardinals!!!

OK, I am a New England Patriots fan who lives in AZ, but I have to say that the Cardinals have surprised us all this season. After they got stomped on in NE I really didn't think they would go very far in the post season. I am happy to report that I was wrong. We are now 1 game away from the Superbowl. Michael was hoping to go to the NFC Championship game with his best friend, but the game sold out in 6 mins. :( Anyway, while we were watching the Cardinals first playoff game Michael was cheering because they scored and Austin started laughing hysterically at Michael, so we rewound the game and taped Austin's reaction. It is really cute. Anyway, GO CARDS!!!

Fun in the Snow!!

On New Year's Day we headed north, to the cabin, for some fun in the snow. Ashleigh and Jordan got to play in the snow a little bit last year, but for the rest of us it was the first time in a long time. I was really looking forward to it. We stopped in Forest Lakes on the way up, it was beautiful to see all of the snow. There were people pulling off the side of the road all along the way. We parked and climbed up and over an enormous snowbank. I threw a few snowballs at the kids and Ashleigh made a mini snowman then it was back on the road to reach our destination.
There wasn't as much snow at the cabin, but still enough to have some fun. We all got gloves and jackets on and headed out for a snowball fight. The next day we did some sledding and the kids just had a blast being out in the snow.Later in the day we headed out to the back lots with the quads and sleds for some more fun.
On our last morning there we went out sledding for one last time and I wanted to make a snowman, but the snow wasn't right for snowman making. We found a really good hill for sledding and had a blast doing that.

Soon it was time to hit the road, we had to make it back home for the AZ Cardinals playoff game.

Happy New Year!!

We had a fun New Year's Eve at home with the kids. I made lots of appetizers and we had Sangria and Martinelli's to drink. We had a bowling competition on the Wii, I don't know who won. The kids watched The Disney Channel and we ate lots of food. They all wanted to stay up until midnight and were really close to making it. Jordan got a little carried away, with the food and drink, and at 11pm didn't feel very well so he went to bed in hopes that his tummy would feel better. Jared fell asleep on the couch about 15mins later. Ashleigh and I played a sing and dance game on the Wii so she was able to make it to the New Year. She and Michael and myself rang in the new year with a toast and some poppers in the front yard. We had a good time and to make it even better Austin didn't wake up until after 4am so I got some sleep in as well.

Christmas Eve and Day

The big day was finally here. The kids had been waiting forever, so it seemed. They were all so excited. We were going to have a celebration at Granny and Papa Gunnell's house for Christmas Eve. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the reason for the Christmas season, so it is only fitting that our celebration be centered around him. The kids are given costumes and they re-enact the First Christmas as the story is read from the scriptures. This year Ashleigh was an Angel, Jordan one of the three wise men, Jared was a Shepard and Austin shared the roll of baby Jesus with his cousin Josh.
The rest of the program was singing. Michael sang Birthday of a King, Natalie and Bruce sang O Holy Night, Natalie, Becky and myself sang Mary's Lullabye and Ashleigh and Emily sang Angels We Have Heard on High. It was a wonderful night and the kids had a great time. Best of all, we all were thinking about the reason that we celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. The kids got to open one present from their grandparents and then we headed home.

At home is was time to open a present from Mom and Dad, pajamas, and then off to bed so that Santa could come.
Christmas morning was fun. Believe it or not, Michael woke up at 7am and I was feeding Austin and the other kids were all still sound asleep. He woke them up and after family prayer it was time to see what Santa brought. The kids were so excited, they all had some toys, but the hit was the Wii that Santa had delivered. Austin was so cute, he didn't care what he got as long as it could go in his mouth, wrapping paper and all. Ashleigh was excited to get an I-dog, Jordan got some Star Wars Legos and Jared got some Ben 10 toys. Everyone was happy.
We talked to Grammie and Papa Atwood and then it was off to the Gunnell's for breakfast and tree with them. It was a great day, the rain held off so that the kids could play outside with their cousins and when we got home it rained so they had fun playing with all of their new toys and we all enjoyed the Wii. Thank you Santa, Gunnell's, Atwood's and Martinez's for a great Christmas.

Getting up to date

WOW!! I can't believe it's 2009. The month of December was a busy one for our family. I will try to do a brief recap. Early in the month Jordan was baptized and became an official member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We are very proud of him for making the decision and it was a very special day with friends and family.
After the baptism was over it was time to start gearing up for Christmas. The Gunnell family always has lots of fun activities for the holidays. We started out with a Progressive Dinner that gives us the opportunity to go to each of the family homes and see the Christmas decorations and have a fun evening with family. We started at Becky and Scott's house for appetizers and a fun game of Christmas Carol Pictionary, that the kids loved. The food was yummy, thanks Becky. Next we travelled to Natalie and JJ's home for dinner and a musical recital. The soup and corn bread were delicious, thanks Nat, and the entertainment was great as well. Ashleigh, Emily and Matt all played some great Christmas songs on the piano and Emily added some with her clarinet as well. Finally we travelled to our home for dessert and a Christmas story. I made apple crisp this year and the story I chose was The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes, a very touching German Christmas story. All in all I think everyone enjoyed themselves, it was a great way to kick off the Christmas season.
The following weekend Michael and I were able to enjoy a wonderful evening with his parents and siblings and their spouses. Bruce and Sally started a tradition a few years back and we look forward to it every year. They invite all of the adults for a delicious muli-course dinner and evening of fun. We truly appreciate all of the hard work and thought that they always put into that special night. We had a great time visiting and playing games. Oh yeah, I won the game of High Roller that we played. I have to record that for history because it probably won't ever happen again.
Christmas Break had finally arrived and the kids were so excited to not have to go to school. Granny and Papa Gunnell decided to take the grandkids to Santa's workshop for a fun filled day with them and their cousins. They all got to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas and do some fun activities as well. Fun was had by all.

Christmas was finally here and that deserves a post all by itself.