I can't believe it has been 13 years. It's hard to believe, it's gone by soooo fast, yet feels so much longer at the same time. On June 22, 1996 I had the pleasure of marrying the love of my life. We had the privilege of getting married in my parents beautiful back yard, although it was a very rainy June day. I just wanted to let Michael know how very much I love him and am blessed to have him for my Eternal Companion. You are my best friend and I love you. I look forward to whatever life has in store for us as long as you are by side. I love you forever!!
A few days ago it was Father's Day and I wanted to pay tribute to the amazing fathers in my life and since I didn't get a chance to pay tribute to the mothers around Mother's Day I thought I would include them as well. I will start with the fathers.
First, I would like to honor my amazing husband. Michael is such a hard worker, at work, home and with church. He is a wonderful husband and father and we love him more than words can say. He always has time for his kids and tries to spend individual time with each of them as often as possible. He has a great sense of humor and is always making us laugh. The boys, including Austin, love it when daddy gets home from work so they can have their daily wrestling match and Ashleigh looks forward to her one on one time with dad. Me, I love our date nights. Michael is really good about making sure we have at least 2 date nights a month and it is so nice to be able to have that time with him without the kids around. He is my best friend, the one I lean on when I am sad and the first one I talk to when I'm excited about something. I look forward to that time that we have together. We are truly blessed to have Michael in our lives. We love you!!
Next is my father, Jordan "Butch" Atwood. He is an amazing man, someone I have always looked up to and turned to for advice. I have always admired my father for the hard work that he does and the love that he has for his family. He always has to be doing something, whether it be a project around the house or a book in his hand he is always busy. My dad has a great sense of humor and can make me laugh at any situation. He has been a rock for me to lean on for my entire life and I am so grateful to have him as my father and my kids absolutely adore their Papa Atwood. We all wish that he lived closer so that we could see him more that once or twice a year, but we cherish the time that we do get to spend with him and we have some great memories of our visits together. Thank you Dad for all of your love and support, you are the best!! I love you Dad!! Lastly, but certainly not least is my incredible father-in-law, Bruce. I couldn't have married into a better family if I had been trying. Bruce is a wonderful person, who loves his family more than anything else. He is a great example to all of his family and he has an amazing testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a hard worker and is always busy with something. He loves his gardening and loves to find a project to work on while at the cabin. He has taught all of us the meaning of hard work and we are better for it. He is always willing to share his love of the Savior with those around him as well. He is a great example to all of us. We love you!! We as a family are also blessed with some pretty amazing brothers and uncles. Brother's Brian, Glen, JJ and Scott are great examples to all of us. They are all hard workers and amazing father's to their children and great husband's to their wives. Thank you all for your examples. We love you all!!
Happy Father's Day to all of you!!
Now on to the mother's in our lives. We are blessed to have two amazing moms and a pretty amazing grandmother as well.
First, my mom, Linda. My mom is a wonderful person, she is a loving mom and Grammie and she is my best friend, second only to my hubby. There was a time that she was so involved in my life that I couldn't stand it, but now I look back and appreciate all that she did for me and shared with me. She always put her kids and their activities before anything else. She has always been supportive of our decisions and loved us unconditionally. She is an amazing woman and we love her so very much. My kids look forward to their time with Grammie, she makes every visit special so that they have memories to last a lifetime. With my parents living so far away we only get to see them a few times a year and we look forward to seeing them as often as we can. We love you Mom!!
Next is my mother-in-law, Sally. She is such a strong and amazing woman. She has raised an amazing family that I am now blessed to be a part of. She is a good friend, mother and Granny. She is always taking time to do special things for her grandchildren and they love the fun activities and projects that they get to do with her. She is especially loved for her great treasure hunts at the cabin and on the holidays. She also was the pre-school teacher to her older grandchildren and they all still talk about how much they loved going to Granny's for school. Sally is a very talented and loving person. She is always willing to serve others and has taught all of us the meaning of Charity. She has a very strong testimony of the Gospel and a love for her Savior, Jesus Christ. She shares that will us often. She also has a great love for her ancestors and we have been blessed to have stories of them told to us so that we may pass them on to our children and grandchildren as well. Thank you for all you do, We love you!!
Next, is my grandmother, known lovingly in our house as Grandma B. My Grandma is such a strong woman, she has been through so much in her life and she is all the better for it. She is a very faithful and loving person. She loves her family and cherishes the time that she has will all of us. As the only granddaughter I feel like I have a special bond and I had the privilege of spending weeks at a time at my grandparents house in the summers when I was younger. We had a great time. I think I owe my strong personality to my Grandma, I think it's a good quality to have, so thank you. I also have learned that it's okay to disagree about things and still love one another. My Grandma is such a loves life type of person and she is more active than some people half her age. She is a force to be reckoned with, and that's a good thing. We love you Grandma, thank you for all that you do!!
We also have some amazing sisters and aunts who are wonderful examples to all of us as they willingly raise their children in today's world. Thank you Natalie, Peggy, Rachel and Becky, we love you all!!
I know that I haven't made this a private blog, but one of my reasons for doing this is because I am horrible about keeping a journal and I want to be able to record what is going on in my family's lives. This post is a way for me to put into words what I have been feeling lately and for my children to look back at someday and hopefully see how strong of a testimony of the gospel I have. Our family has been thrown a huge hurdle to deal with recently. My dear father-in-law Bruce was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and it has been very hard for all of us, especially telling the kids. We are so blessed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and to have the knowledge of the gospel to bless us at this time. To be able to tell our children that their Papa is very sick and that the doctors can't help him get better was very difficult and then came the question of is he going to die? The answer was something like this: well, all of us die some time and yes Papa is going to die sooner than we thought and sooner than the rest of us, but we are an eternal family and we will all see him again someday. Even though we are sad that he is going to die, he will get to be with his mom and dad and sister again. We need to just let him know how much we love him and try to make happy memories with him while he is still here. That is what we have done...Memorial Day was all about making memories with Papa and so will be the same with 4th of July and the rest of the time that we get to spend with Bruce and Sally at the cabin this summer. It has been very difficult for us to process the diagnosis, it still seems so surreal. Bruce has been a wonderful grandfather to our children and his love of the gospel and his family is a wonderful example to all of us. He has an amazing testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and he loves his family and isn't afraid to show that love. Our kids have had some really great outings with Granny and Papa and have some amazing memories because of the time they are willing to spend with their grandkids. We love them both so much. As a family we have already witnessed so many blessings that have come about since the cancer was diagnosed and we all feel the love that so many people have for this sweet man and his family. I know that we are being watched over by a loving Heavenly Father and Savior and I know that we will all be together again. I am so grateful for eternal families and for the amazing family that I come from and that I married into. Prayers have been answered and I have no doubt that they will continue to be answered throughout this entire process. We love you Bruce, Dad, Papa!!
Austin is now almost 11 months old, but on the day that he turned 10 months he finally cut his first tooth. The very next day he cut his second tooth and less than 2 weeks after that he had cut 2 more teeth, this time top teeth. Considering how many teeth he has cut in such a short amount of time he has been a pretty happy boy. Along with the teeth he has started eating more table food. Last night at dinner he didn't want what I was feeding him, he wanted what I had so he ended up having potato and fruit salad along with his turkey and rice dinner. He also loves ice cream for dessert. He is a very happy boy who loves his siblings and lights up when his daddy gets home from work every night. He is without a doubt a mama's boy. When he is tired or upset the only person who can make him happy is mom.
Well the kids were done with school in time for Memorial Day weekend and it was our first trip up to the cabin for the season. We were looking forward to some great weather and fun with cousins and Grandparents. The kids had a great time. The weather was great, a little on the cool side, but it was nice. The kids spent about 5 hours on Friday building a club house with their cousins and it turned out to be look more like a luxury suite than a club house. Then a few days later the girls decided to build their own club so they started from scratch on a new one in a different location. They all had a blast finding things and there was little to no bickering from any of the kids. The even better part was that they were all so busy with their project that they weren't asking for quad rides all day long. They had fun feeding the birds with Papa and they all worked hard with their dads raking up the pine needles from around the cabins. We were even able to have a bonfire one night and sing songs and just hang out. All in all it was a really fun weekend and some great memories were made. Even Austin had a great time, he enjoyed the hammock alot more than the tire swing!! Oh yeah, I almost forgot a funny story. It's much funnier in person with the hand motions and expression but it's one that has to be recorded none the less. One afternoon Jared and his cousin Zach were each sitting on a quad, facing each other and playing a game. The game entailed each of them having special powers and they were each taking the others' powers away. While they were doing this one of the twins was also sitting on a quad between the two of them and looked like he was watching a tennis match with his head going back and forth between the two boys. Eventually the game got out of hand and the boys were yelling at each other. Natalie and JJ were watching the entire thing and said they thought the boys were going to start throwing fists so they stepped in and told the boys that they gave each of them back their own powers, but that wasn't enough for Jared. He yelled out, "No, Zach still has mine!" Needless to say the game was ended, Jared came to me crying and all of us adults spent the rest of the weekend laughing hysterically about the incident and wishing that someone had caught it on video to capture it forever.
Ashleigh has been taking piano lessons this year and she is really enjoying it very much. She is a very conscientious and careful student. She wants what she is learning to be done perfectly and most times she succeeds. We all love listening to her play, she works on her pieces for her lesson and then teaches herself the next song in her book or one of the hymns. She did an excellent job at her recital and we are very proud of her. She was also very happy to have Granny and Papa Gunnell and Uncle Glen there supporting her as well. Thanks to all of them.
Michael and I have been married for 14 years and have 4 beautiful children. Ashleigh is 11, Jordan is 9, Jared is 5 and Austin is 2. Michael is a Senior Systems Engineer and I am a stay at home mom by day and a Retail Merchandiser for Hallmark by night. I started blogging to keep in touch with family and friends who are far away and also because I am horrible at keeping a journal and thought this would be a great way for me to keep a journal of our family activities.