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?!

Monday, June 7, 2010


February was a busy month for our family with some fun times and easily the most difficult moment in our family as well. The month started out with Jordan finishing his second season of basketball. He had a great time and improved a lot over the course of the season.

Also in the beginning of the month was Papa Gunnell's 64Th Birthday!! All of the adults enjoyed a nice evening out at Black Angus and the next night we had an open house for his birthday with family and friends coming to celebrate with us. It was a special time that we all enjoyed, made even more special by Glen and a few of his kids being here to celebrate with us!! The following week was Valentine's Day and then came the weekend that we all knew was inevitable.
Bruce took another turn for the worse on Friday morning, he slept for most of the day and Sally had Hospice bring in the hospital bed. Saturday (same day as Jared's bday party) he slept a lot of the day, but was awake for visitors that night and was even able to crack a joke or two. He had had a turn similar to this back in October and he had bounced back after a few days, so we all thought that maybe it would be the same this time around. We didn't go over to visit because we would be there the next day for Sunday dinner. However, on Sunday within minutes of arriving home from church we received a phone call from Michael's sister, Natalie. She was at her parent's house and the nurse was there and the news wasn't good. Dad didn't have much time left and we needed to get there to say our goodbyes as soon as possible. We rushed right over and as the family all arrived we all gathered around Papa's bed, Becky suggested that we sing some songs so we started singing our 2 "Family Songs", "Let us all Press On" and "Sing Me a Song". Just as we started to sing the last of the family arrived and while we were singing Bruce peacefully passed away, surrounded by his sweet wife, children and grandchildren. I know that he could feel the love that we each have for him and that he was welcomed with open arms by family who was waiting for him on the other side. I know that he is no longer in pain and that we will all see him again someday. I am so grateful for my knowledge of Eternal Families and for the opportunity that I had to spend a few hours every Tuesday morning with Bruce during his illness.
At the funeral all of Bruce's children talked about their dad and the memories that they have and the lessons that they learned and we all got up and sang our family songs. It was a wonderful tribute to a very loving man. We love and miss you Dad(Papa).

January 2010

I'm back, trying to get this blog up to date. In January we had a few birthdays, but other than that it was rather uneventful (not a bad thing). Austin thinks he's one of the big kids and is a BIG help around the house, especially when it concerns the refrigerator. He also appears to be a natural at playing the piano, he watches Ashleigh and then takes his turn!!

Jared turned 5 and had his very first birthday party!! His birthday celebration lasted for about a week, from our family to extended, where he shares the celebration with his cousin Josh, to his party. We invited cousins and friends from school to Peter Piper Pizza for pizza (of course) and games. Now that he's 5, he is really excited to start Kindergarten in the fall!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend (Part 1)

I will post about our great weekend in the mountains another time as well as continue to update about our last 5 months, but I wanted to record my sweet little Austin's accident prone weekend before I forget all of the accidents that he actually had. My mother-in-law nicknamed him "Dennis the Menace" and it was the perfect name for him, if there was trouble to find Austin was the one to find it this weekend. Let me just start with Day 1, Austin was managing on the cabin steps pretty well until he had an Otter Pop in his hand and that took his attention from the stairs and down he went, not only was he scared and hurt, but Jordan scared us all even more by yelling across the yard "OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH" over and over, just panicking and not being able to do anything else. Luckily there were no broken bones; a cut lip, goose egg on the forehead, scraps on arms, legs and face. Austin is a tough kid, after a hug and kiss from mom he was back to playing with his cousin. Later that day Jordan came in crying because he got a big cut on his leg from a stick and Jared was jumping and playing with Zach and he fell and got a bloody nose. All of this was in just a few short hours on our first day. Day 2, Austin was trying to open the door to Natalie's cabin when someone opened it and he fell head first into the door frame, goose egg #2 on his forehead. Dad was to the rescue that time. Day 3, Austin climbed onto the counter in Granny's kitchen and turned on the stove burner and touched it, OUCH!! Hot!! Day 4 Austin fell off of the picnic bench while having lunch, scrapped his chin. He finished his lunch in the house, but pushed against the counter and caused his chair to topple over backwards, goose egg #3 and pinched 2 fingers between the chair and the floor. Thank goodness we made it through days 5 and 6 without any accidents and Granny hasn't changed her mind about taking the kids for a week in July, yet anyway!!

All of the accidents aside we had a great time with family and I will post all about it with pictures another day!!