Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let the good times start!

Christmas is just three days away and I'm not sure who is more excited, me or the kids! Last night Chelsea invited us all over for the first of MANY parties yet to come. She totally out did herself with cookies, candy, and gingerbread houses. I'm not sure how she does it all while tending MY baby girl! The kids had a blast frosting cookies, decorating gingerbread houses, drinking caramel apple cider, playing together, and eating gumballs by the dozen. Thanks Chelsea. You are always one for a good time.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Are you smarter than a 4th grader?

I don't remember 4th grade being too hard, but in the last couple of weeks I have learned that apparently I am NOT as smart as a 4th grader. The first experiece that led me to believe this was a simple science experiment, growing a sugar crystal. When Luke brought the assignement home we woked together to follow the instructions, but after 4 days we still didn't have a crystal starting. My guess was that we didn't "saturate" the water enough, so we started over. Again after three days we still didn't have a crystal starting. I decided to look up some more detailed instructions online and was sure that we could get this darn crystal growing. Rick worked with Luke on the third attempt and once again we failed to grow a crystal. I tried once AGAIN, this time with a skewer (as opposed to yarn) rolled in sugar. This was the internet's best suggestion for getting your sugar crystal to grow. Four days later and nothing. Five days. Six days. Seven days, I poured out the whole sugary mess and called Luke's teacher to report that he would not be bringing in a sugar crystal, although we made many attempts!

Luke had strep throat the week of Thanksgiving and missed the whole week of classes leading up to the break. I stopped in one morining to get his homework and his teacher explained the math homework to me and said what a hard time the students were having catching on to the new way of doing multiplication. New way of doing multiplication? Don't we just multiply and regroup? Nope. That is WAY old school. Way 1980's. Now we use "friendly numbers", "communitive property", "half and double". There were seriously 5 different ways for the students to do their multiplication, none of which included regrouping. No wonder why the kids were having such a hard time. I couldn't even remember the many steps of each different way of doing things. I had to keep referring back to the teacher's copy that she made for me. I guess I understand that this new math isn't about knowing how do math, it is about UNDERSTANDING how to do math. Big difference. For instance, way back when kids start learning addition, they are now taught to do "double plus one", or "double minus two", or even "number families." Silly me, I still just add on my fingers! Back to the Thanksgiving math homework. I was getting annoyed to death with these new ways of doing things. At one point I thought that I had it broken down well enough

Me: Now you have it broken down and you just have to multiply 10 by 3.
Luke: I can't do that, mom.
Me. Yes you can. You know that when you multiply any number by 10 you just have to add a zero to the end of the number.
Luke: I know that, but we aren't suppose to do any double digit multiplication. I can't do 10 x 3.

Honestly? Luckily Luke was actually pretty good at this "new math" and figured most of it out without my help. But, even with Luke's help even I couldn't figure one question out. It was a story problem which not only did you need to figure out, but then it said "Sally got 1020 for her answer. What did she do wrong and how would you tell her to fix it." I HONESTLY couldn't figure it out.

What did Sally do wrong?

She doesn't know how to multiply and regroup.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


In raising children there seems to be a healthy dose of both hilarity and insanity. I've found the best thing to do is try to find the hilarity so as NOT to be driven to insanity.

For some reason I have been cursed with picky eaters. Dinners at our house have been unpleasant since Luke was about 3 years old. He is slowly growing out of his pickyness, just in time for Noah to pick it up. Let's just say that as INSANE as it can make me, there have been a couple of HILARIOUS moments with our picky eaters.

When Luke was about two years old I was tying to get him to eat some chicken noodle soup for lunch one day...

Me: Luke, you need to eat one bite of that soup or I am going to give you a spanking.
Luke: (with a big sigh) Just spank me, mom.

The rule in our house is no seconds or dessert until you eat everything on your plate...

Me: (seeing Noah slyly reach for the bowl of broccoli, which he happens to love) Noah, you may not have any more broccoli until you taste your chicken. And remember that you will not get dessert unless you eat everything on your plate.
Noah: (in a most unpleasant tone) Fine, then I won't eat any ice cream if I can't have more broccoli.

Sometimes my kids get upset about the MOST RIDICULOUS things...

Me: Noah, please go get me a towel. Noah, please go get me a towel. (I repeat many times to a child who apparently is deaf) Noah, please go get me a towel.
Elijah: (running into the room with a towel) Here, mama (yes, he still calls me mama!)
Noah: (throwing himself on the floor and yelling) I WANTED TO GET THE TOWEL!!!!!!
Me: Seriously???!!!

It seems that my life consits of wiping. Noses, bums, counter tops, floors, toilets etc. You name it, I've wiped it. Jack had been with us for four days while Chelsea was working, and on day four a funny little situation played out...

Jack: Aunt Olivia, I need to go to the bathroom.
Me: Ok, go get on the potty.
(Time elaspement of 5 minutes)
Jack: (calling from the bathroom) I'm dooooooone....
Me: Can't you wipe your own bum, Jack?
Jack: Nope
Me: Well who has been wiping your bum for the last few days?
Jack: (looks at me like I'm speaking Chinese)
Me: Jack, who wiped your bum yesterday when you were at my house?
Jack: I just went pee.
Me: Okay. (I then proceeded to wipe his bum and noticed that indeed he must have only gone pee for the past three days as was evident by what he had just done!)
Jack: (after getting off the toilet and witnessing what I just saw) Aunt Olivia, does log rhyme with dog?
Me: (Trying my HARDEST not to laugh) Sure does buddy.
(Sorry about the bathroom humor, but it was SERIOUSLY hilarious!!!!)

The other night my cousin Laura got married (CONGRATS LAURA!). Chelsea and Jack rode to Salt Lake with me and the boys, and on the way home Jack and Elijah could NOT stop fighting. They were fighting over singing/hurting ears, touching each other's car seats, pulling on each others car seats, coughing/hurting ears, who's penny was who's, being cold/hot...
After 40 minutes of the constant fighting I finally pulled over and got Elijah out of the car and put him in with Rick (who was following us). I had no sooner gotten back into the car when...

Jack: (Crying his eyes out) Now I don't have anyone to talk to. I'm lonely.

Chelsea and I just looked at each other and laughed... so we wouldn't go INSANE!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Fall 'Yall

Okay, get ready for picture overload. I guess that is what happens when you don't blog for over a month. So much has been going on, here is a little taste of life around the Gunnerson's house this fall.

Livvy had her first taste of real food. That is if you can call rice cereal real food. She has since also had sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. She is getting way to big, and I find myself just holding and kissing her as much as I can.

Noah turned six on October 20th. The kids were all out of school for fall break so we decided to spend the day at This Is The Place State Park. It was such a nice day, and Noah was so happy to spend it with his best friend/batgirl... Mia.

Liv is such a great baby and just let me take her along all day.

All the kids working together to pull the handcart. They couldn't even budge it up this little hill!

The birthday boy!

It was a beautiful fall day.

Noah was fearless at the petting zoo. Actually I'm sure the animals were a little scared of him.

When we were at the petting zoo I just stood back and wondered why I pay to bring my kids to a petting zoo when we have two goats and a sheep of our own, and two neighbor dogs and cats who often come over for a visit. Basically we ARE a petting zoo!

Having fun in the leaves.

Aiming right for me...of course!

Oh I just love this handsome little face!

(Bruises, bumps, and scratches and all)

My mom had a wonderful fall party in her backyard for before we lost the warm afternoon sun. We ate delicious soup, visited, and enjoyed being together in the beautiful mountians.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Daddy's Girl

I guess it's only fair. I mean, all of my other children look like me (or my brother!). I couldn't expect to have that much strength in the gene pool. Eventually one of my children was bound to look more like their dad. Now Rick has one he can finally claim...his daughter! Yep, even though we thought that Liv looked just like me when she was born, the older she gets the more she starts to look like Rick. I hear it everywhere we go. "Wow, that baby sure looks like her daddy." "Oh my, she looks just like Rick!" "Well, isn't she daddy's little girl." Last night at dinner Rick was holding Liv on his lap and letting her suck on a piece of cantaloupe. Rick loves cantaloupe. I detest it. So here is further proof that Liv is truly turning out to be Daddy's girl. We were all laughing so hard at Liv sucking the juice out of her cantaloupe. Whenever Rick would take it away, she would instantly start crying until he put it right back up to her mouth. I took a darling video of her, but of course I cannot make it load. Fortunately, this picture is cute enough to get the idea!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to School

Where did the summer go? Didn't it just start? It's hard to believe that school is already here. I love the freedom and fun of summer, but I also love the structure and schedule of life during school. Both Luke and Noah have been very excited for school to start...and so have I!

This boy has been ready for school since his "BFF", Mia, went last year. Needless to say, he was extreemly excited to be going to Kindergarten.
I LOVE Noah's face in this picture. For all the trouble he gives me, he is very loving. He has been the MOST loving big brother Liv.
Noah gets on the bus at the babysitter's house since I am at work. Elijah, along with all of the other kids, walk him out to the bus stop. Poor Elijah was convinced that he was going to "tinderdarten", and was pretty disappointed when he wasn't going to school. Thankfully Marianne took pitty on him and started pre-school a week early so he could say he goes to school too.
Ready and waiting for the bus.
After I got Noah on the bus I drove to the school so I could see him go into class. As those kids walked by I could not believe how tiny they seemed. Noah is actually one of the bigger ones!
One week is in the books, and Noah has LOVED every minute of school. I was a little worried about Noah going to school because, let's be honest, he has um... "impulse control" issues. But, he has done SOOOOO well. My fears were unfounded. I asked him how he could be so good at school but still has a hard time making good choices at home. He told me he was good in school because he didn't want to go to the principal's office. He then proceeded to say we needed a principal at home!?!
Fouth grade. Last year in Elementary School. This boy has gotten so big. I am so lucky to have him as a help with the younger boys and especially Liv. This picture is actually a re-shoot of the first day of school. All of the pictures I took that morning didn't turn out too well with the sun and shadows.
Here's the best actual first day of school picture! He got glasses last school year once his teacher informed me that he couldn't see the blackboard. He looks so smart and grown-up in them.

Luke and I have been a little scared of 4th grade, based on all of the reports we have had from others. It didn't help when he found out that he got the most strict teacher in 4th grade! So far, Luke has really liked her and managed to stay out of trouble. You may not think that Luke is possible of getting in trouble in class, but you would be mistaken! He seems to have difficulty keeping his mouth shut! He is constantly in trouble for taking in class. A chip off the old block, I say! So far, so good for this year. He told me, "Mom, Mrs. Benoit doesn't know that I talk in class, so if I just don't do it then she will never know." Good idea. No need to let your history follow you into your new class! We'll see how the rest of the year goes.

What a fun time to see them so excited and eager to get to school and learn. I love it!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Liv's Beautiful Day

Before July comes to a close (shhhhh, I know it's over! My life just runs a few days behind schedule), I wanted to post pictues of Liv's beautiful blessing day. She was blessed on the 3rd of July, and we were so lucky to have our families with us. Even though Lee and Joan live across the world, they have been able to make it to Luke's baptism and Liv's blessing. I am so grateful that they did. It wouldn't be the same without them.

Isn't Liv's dress beautiful? If you can believe it, it was made by her Grandmother. When I first stated thinking about Liv's blessing I decided I would just ask Billie Jo if I could borrow the blessing dress she has. But when Evie's blessing rolled around, Billie Jo couldn't find the dress and ended up borrowing a friend's. I looked around online to see what I could find as far as blessing dresses go, and was shocked to see that they were SOOOO expensive. I almost just sucked it up and bought one, considering my beautiful baby deserved one, but then I remembered what an excellent seamstress my mother-in-law is. I asked Rick if he thought she would be willing to do it and if he would be willing to ask her! They both agreed. With nothing more than a request for a blessing dress, Joan found a pattern and got to work. The dress called for lace over almost the entire dress, and apparently lace is a rarity in the Philippines. When she wasn't able to come across any lace, Joan decided to make her own. Yes, she crocheted the entire lace part! The dress turned out unbelievably beautiful. I had tears in my eyes when they brought it out the day before the blessing. What an amazing talent. I cannot think of anything that could make a special day even more special. Thanks to those who came to share it with us, and thanks to Grandma Gunnerson for the heirloom.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dear Blogging World,

Dear Blogging World,

Hello? Are you still there? It seems like you haven't been around much lately. It wasn't too long ago that I could turn on my computer and find that 5 or 6 of my favorite people posted something new, and I could spend a good hour catching up on what they were doing. Now it can be 5 or 6 days before ANYONE updates. Some of my past posts have had as many as 20 comments, letting me know that my friends and family find me important enough to check in on, and to let me know they did. My last post had merely 5 comments. For the past four years I have enjoyed having you in my life so that I could stay in the lives of so many of my best friends whom I never get to see (miss you guys!). I even love seeing and hearing from friends and family that I am around nearly everyday. I have never seen some of the babies my dear friends have had in real life, yet thanks to you I feel like I know them. I understand that life is busy, trust me I know. I just hope that this is a "slow" time in the life of blogging, and not a death.

Hope to see you again soon,


P.S. I couldn't possibly do a post without adding a picture of my darling little girl. Here she is all dressed up for the 4th of July. Two months old already!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I have had good intentions of updating my blog for over a month. I've thought of many cute little things I could blog about like, "signs of summer", "adventures in swim lessons", "Happy Birthday Elijah", and "my beautiful babies". But like so many things in my life I never seem to get around to it. So today I will do a mash-up (LOVE Glee) of all of those good intentions.

On Sunday, Rick had a meeting before church, so for the first time I had to get all four kids and myself out the door and to church before 9 am. I didn't even notice when I was getting them dressed that I coordinated them so nicely. When we got home I decided to snap a few pictures before they ran in the house to change their clothes.

On June 18th Elijah turned three! If you ask him he will tell you he is three AND a half. I guess it's because I've been calling him two and a half for so long, so he naturally thought that on his birthday he would be one year older...three and a half. He is still the happiest most easy going child that I have. He almost always has a smile on his face. Even though he is three, he is still kind of hard to understand. I understand most of what he is saying, but others have a harder time. Just the other day he was trying to tell Jack something very important, but Jack just kept saying, "huh?" He doesn't say his initial GR sound or K sound, so we all love to hear him ask for gram crackers. It always comes out dam dackers. Oh, I just love this boy.

Noah was the only one who got to have swimming lessons this year. I figured that Luke gets them at school, and Elijah can wait another year (like when I don't have to be in the pool with him!) On the first day it was evident that Noah was a little beyond the rest of the class, who was still working on putting faces in the water. When we came the next day they let him go into the next class. He has always loved to play in the water and is totally fearless, but he also loved to learn to actually swim. He did a great job and loved every minute of it.

On a sad note (a very sad note), we lost our camera a month ago while we were at Lagoon. Not sure how it happened, but when I went to get our camera to take some pictures of Liv at one camera to be found. Lagoon was the last place we had it. The only saving grace was that I had forgotten to put the memory card in the camera before we went to Lagoon, so at least we still have the pictures that are on the card, just no camera. I still wanted to take some pictures of Liv, so I sneaked next door and stole my neighbor's camera to do the job. I haven't had any time to edit the picutres yet, but wanted to show everyone my beautiful baby and her handsome big brothers!

It is unbelieveable that next week is the 4th of July. This summer is FLYING by. Hopefully I will be able to post again before it is gone, but I'm not making any promises.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pictures of Liv

So far Liv has been a very good baby and aside from being a little sleep deprived, I am feeling great. The boys LOVE her so much and rarely leave my side. The day I came home from the hospital I started crying that I have to go back to work and leave her in 6 weeks. To make myself feel better I decided to sit on the couch and hold her for the next 6 weeks and give her as many kisses as she can stand. Fourth time around, and I am still struck by how much you can love your little baby so quickly! The first picture is at 4 days, the rest are two weeks. I am so happy that Liv has hair! All of the boys have had some hair, but I was really worried that my daughter would follow after me and be BALD until she was 2 years old. Thank heavens that when I finally get a girl, she has hair. It is lighter than Noah and Elijah's, but not as light as Luke was. I think she is going to be blonde like Luke. Now I just have my fingers crossed that she has curls, like her dad!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Welcome Emma Liv

I'm sure Olivia will be adding more pictures later, but wanted to get a few up so they can be seen by those who are too far away to visit. Liv was 20.5 inches and now holds the McNeil weight record of 8lbs 14ozs, edging out Jack by 1 oz. Both Mom and baby are doing great. Here are some of the pictures from today.