Sunday, October 28, 2007

Champs!







Cooper's football team has been undefeated all season and Saturday was their championship game. It was big time for them, they played at Nampa High School in Bulldog Stadium. They had a real running time clock and score board and an announcer. They even announced the players at the start of the game and everything! They won 20-6, making them the champions for Pee Wee football in the Nampa Pal league! Way to go Gladiators! Cooper had a great time playing his first year of tackle football. He'll probably do it again next season. I'm sure glad it's over for now though, practice four nights a week and Saturday games are a big commitment. Cooper played the position of corner back all year. Since he played defense he never got the ball too much, but ran it a little a time or two. Most of his accomplishments have been by way of some good tackles for his team and one fumble recovery. He's also pretty speedy! He made us proud and we're so glad that he had so much fun. For the championship game on Saturday, Cooper had 24 family members there to support him. It was quite a cheering section. Thank you to everyone who came and showed their love for Cooper. Mark got some GREAT action shots of Cooper and some pictures of all of the family too. Thanks so much, dear!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Babies here, Babies there, BABIES EVERYWHERE

Brooklyn Clarise.
This shot was too cute not to put in. Seth LOVED the baby! He wasn't jealous at all wanting me to hold HIM, he just wanted to hold HER.
Mark's wonderful artsy shot of Baby Brooklyn's feet in my palm.

We've had a lot of baby news in our family lately, and we can't get enough! We are the proud new aunt, uncle and cousins to a new baby boy and a new baby girl. We had sister in laws expecting on all three sides of our family and two have made their arrivals safe and sound. On the Parker side, Sara and Adam had their 3rd. A little boy who they named Spencer Allen on October 17th. They live in California so we've only seen pictures, but he's so cute and looks a lot like his siblings, Noah and Gracie. He was quite big, weighing in at a little over 9 lbs. They live about 10 miles from those California fires, hopefully the air quality is okay for him. On the Gunnerson side, Becky and Jamie had their 3rd also, and they named her Brooklyn Clarise. She was 7lbs. 1oz. and is such a doll. She was born October 25th, yesterday. They actually live in Nampa, so we all got to go to the hospital and meet her last night. We each took a turn cuddling her. She has such delicate little features. Her big siblings, Payton and McKade were sure proud. We have included some pictures of her. I couldn't figure out how to post the ones sent to us of Spencer, darn. You'll have to take our word for it that he's a cutie too. Finally, on the Bishop side Brian and Kamber are expecting their second in March and announced yesterday that they're having a boy! We're very excited for them! They put the cutest little ultrasound picture of his profile on their blog and it looked so sweet. We're anxiously awaiting March to be able to see him. We won't get to meet him until summer though, they live in England. There sure is a special spirit that comes w/ newborns. We are excited to have these new little ones in our family. We wish them lots of health and happiness in their lives.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A game of tag!

So, the game of 'tag' exists in the blogging world too, apparently, because I have been tagged and am now 'it'. I knew I never liked playing the game tag! But here I go, because I do like to read the interesting facts about themselves that others have put on their blogs. However, I will not be able to tag ANYBODY, because all of the other bloggers I know (which aren't a lot) have all been tagged already. Sorry, I can't keep it going. That is one of the reasons I never entered a PIF, if I were to have won and had to do a PIF myself, I don't have many that read my blog or would comment. Anyhow....

  • I am an only child and growing up I wanted a sibling in the worst way. I did get a puppy for my 9th b-day and named her Savanna. I would dress her in my Cabbage Patch clothes and would even have b-day parties for her and invite my neighbor friends over. My mom even humored me and made her a cake one year. Savanna ate some of it and then threw it up. When she got sick of me, she'd hide under my mom's bed and growl at me when I'd try to climb under and pull her out. Poor dog. She didn't die until after I was married. She was a good friend for me, but I still wish I'd had a brother or sister. Now I have lots of brother and sister in laws, and the Parker family are like siblings to me, so that's great and I'm blessed to have them in my life!
  • I have no musical talent and would give anything to be able to sing well or to play the piano or violin! I have Katherine McPhee's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", that she sang on American Idol, and I lip sinc to it and pretend that it's my voice and that I am performing for people and they are blown away at my beautiful voice. Ha!
  • My nickname is "LuLu". My family gave me this nickname as a toddler. I think it stemmed from one of my favorite dolls who came from the store with a name and it was "LuLu". My mom and uncles still occasionally call me this. I don't really mind it. They also call me just "Lu".
  • Even after we moved from California to Idaho when I was eight years old, I'd go back to California every summer and spend a couple of months with my uncles. They would take me to the Speedway and I loved it! I had the hugest crush on one of the racers, Bobby Schwartz, and was so excited when I got his autograph. Currently, I have zero interest in racing or the speedway (or Bobby Schwartz).
  • I have a thing for organization. Some refer to it as OCD. My house isn't always the cleanest as far as when I've last mopped etc., but it's always pretty tidy. I don't like it and can't relax unless things are put away and in order. Everything has a place! I can't stand it when I don't know where something is and can't find it. When my 3 older kids put away their own laundry and make their beds, I have to secretly go back and straighten the beds up and look in the drawers to make sure the clothes are put away the way I like them. I know, it's wacky!
  • I'm fascinated by the ocean. Not really swimming in it, but watching the waves. I could sit and do this for hours. I also love pictures w / the ocean and crashing waves in them. I like lighthouses, too. Mark and I went to the Oregon Coast for our honeymoon and stayed right on the beach in Seaside and Depot Bay and I loved to watch the water. I love the sound of the waves. The ocean is amazing!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jack 'o' Lanterns











Cooper has football practice Monday evenings which makes FHE hard, so occasionally we've tried to have it on Sunday evenings. However with the season changing it has started to get dark earlier, so his practices end at a better time for us to still have a family night. So last night we decided to carve our pumpkins for FHE. I had hoped to go as a family to the Berry Ranch nearby and go on a hayride and pick out our pumpkins, but it just wasn't happening. One of Mark's deacons grew pumpkins this year and was selling them to make money for his Eagle Scout project, so we decided to buy our pumpkins from him. The kids had fun picking one out and have been looking forward to carving them. We had a fun time together. Cooper only cut himself once and it was tiny and hardly bled (we let the boys try and carve their own). I helped Ella and Mark helped Seth. Seth thought this was the greatest thing we'd ever done and loves HIS little pumpkin. After we were done we took them outside and lit them all. The kids loved it! Dad's/Seth's pumpkin got voted as the scariest. John's pumpkin has two sides, so he can be scary or happy. With the marker we were using to draw the faces Ella wrote all over the back of hers. She's learning how to write her middle and last name and will take any opportunity she can get to write Ella Kayt Gunnerson on something. When we came back inside from lighting our pumpkins out front, Seth was walking around w/ the black permanent marker in one hand and the box of matches in the other! That's our boy, destructo, as we sometimes call him! Well, we did manage to have some fun, get everything cleaned up and the kids in bed all at a decent hour. Success!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Wolf Badge

Cooper pinning the Wolf pin onto my sweatshirt. I treasure this collection of scout pins from my boys.
Our cub master Bro. White, presenting Cooper w/ his Wolf badge. Do you like my stylish yellow den leader shirt under my sweatshirt???
At pack meeting we played a couple games of tug of war. Not too long after this shot was snapped, the dad's pulled the boys over the line and they fell like dominoes.

On Saturday we had our monthly pack meeting and Cooper was awarded his Wolf Badge. He earned it by his b-day in August, but because of football we missed September's pack meeting so they saved it until October to present him with it. He really likes cub scouts and has been eager this first year to pass off requirements. I hope his enthusiasm continues as he moves on to Bears. A huge thanks to Grandma Bishop who passed off several requirements with him. Last year I started the kids in Vallivue schools at the beginning of the school year and our house didn't close until October, so Mom Bishop helped me out by picking Cooper up from school most days. When John got out of school an hour later we'd pick up Cooper, and in their time together Grandma and Cooper would do homework and scouts. What a fun grandma! My calling in the ward is as the Wolf den leader, so I was able to be his leader for the past year. It really was a lot more fun than either of us anticipated. He actually asked if I could move up to Bears with him and continue to be his leader. That made me feel good and is a good sign I'd say (coming from Cooper who isn't affectionate and whom it once nearly killed to say he thought I was pretty). Anyway, we were proud of him! It's always fun for me to have them pin the mother's pin on me. Being the mother of boys is great! We've got lots more scouting ahead of us before it's all said and done. Happy Scouting!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

He's a Deacon!





Today has been a GREAT day and we have felt a special spirit! Mark ordained John a deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood and Grandparents Bishop and Grandparents Gunnerson were both able to come and be with us. After Sacarament Meeting we went into the Bishop's office and all talked for a little while with the Bishop before and after the ordination. It felt really personal and was a special time. Mark did a wonderful job of ordaining John. I feel so blessed to have a husband who is a worthy priesthood holder and to have a son who is eager to choose the right. We missed our Grandparents Parker and my Mom and Grandma who couldn't be with us. Here are a few of the pics.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Our Ballerina

Warming up w/ stretches. Ella is the blondie in a black skirt.
I can't remember which position this is. Amanda???
I love this picture!
The girls danced w/ scarves and when the music stopped they were supposed to freeze.
The three ballerina amigos (Dallyce, Abby and Ella)

Ella has been taking dance for the last month or so from Canyon Dance Academy near our house. She loves it! It is her first time taking lessons of any sort (besides swim lessons) so we're very excited! She goes every Wednesday after school for an hour to a Kinderdance class where she is learning tap and ballet. There are two friends of hers from school and church that attend the class also and we carpool together, which works nicely. Their names are Dallyce and Abby. This week is observation week where the parents can watch their children during class time and take pictures. I've been anxiously awaiting this day so I could see my little girl dance. It was so cute and so much fun to watch. I love a little girl in tights and a leotard, especially Ella because of her round little tummy. Here are a few pictures and a little video.
video

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

John's party



John's had a good birthday! Since we've already done all of our celebrating, it was a pretty low key day. I made him his favorite dinner of steak and mashed potatoes (the boy has good taste) and then we were off to piano lessons. Later in the evening, we had Grandparents Bishop and Grandparents Gunnerson over for cake and ice cream. The two neighbor kids came over also. John received a few calls and happy b-day messages via the internet. He appreciated them all, especially the Hallmark e-card from Steve and Amanda. He's watched that quite a few times now. Here are a couple pictures of this evening. I was going to take pictures of our dinner, but forgot.

Monday, October 8, 2007

John through the years

newborn
1 year old
2 years old
3 years old
4 years old
5 years old
6 years old
7 years old
8 years old9 years old

10 years old11 years old12 years old

My firstborn baby is 12 years old! I can hardly believe it. I feel a wide range of emotions from reflective, sentimental and sad to happiness and excitement. I'm sad that time is passing so quickly and he's only got 7 more years in our home before he's off to bigger and better things. I'm sad that I'll never get to hold him as a baby again. At times I wish that I could have just a few hours with each of my kids as newborn babies again. That would be so wonderful. I'm so happy that he's going to receive the priesthood and become a deacon. How very special that is. I hope that he strives to always be a worthy priesthood holder. I'm excited for all of the opportunities that await him as he becomes a youth and enters these years. John is such a great son. He is so responsible, honest, and sweet. He's one of my only children that doesn't get embarrassed when I kiss him! He's a good friend and student. He has a sweet spirit and soft disposition. He tries hard in all he does. On top of all of this, he's very funny! We LOVE YOU with ALL of our HEARTS, JOHN! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SON! These are some pictures of John through the years from babyhood to the young man he is today. I'll be sure to post more pictures and entries as we have a little family party for him and he is ordained on Sunday.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Our Bishop family in Utah

Sweetheart Connor, in his new glasses.
Having lunch before we left, (Seth, Allie w/ two suckers, Ella and Eric). In the background is Tyler, Janice, Kade, John and Ashton (in the high chair).
Sweet little Ashton. She's 18 months old.
Seth and Ashton happily played together in Ashie's crib.

Going to Conference was great, but so was seeing our family! Mark has two brothers and one sister and their families that all live fairly close to each other and we were able to see all of them while we were there. On Friday night, Janet and Loren and their kids, Dallen and Katie, and Jay and Janice and their two, Connor and Allie, came over for a great dinner of pizza and salad. We don't see Loren and Janet very often, so that was a special treat and we're so glad that they were able to make it. We were so busy visiting, that we completely forgot to take pictures of them. Darn. We spent Saturday evening together as well, while the older guys were gone. We had spaghetti (with Janice's homemade meat balls) and ice cream, and did some more visiting. The cousins had so much fun together. Really, so much fun! It was sad to leave. Cooper was almost in tears, and Eric (Brent and Jen's little one who is almost 4) was in tears! It was hard to leave everyone. Paige was great to do crafts with Ella, sleep on the floor by her both nights, and even include her when she had a friend over. Ella loved it! She also enjoyed playing with Allie. Cooper and John loved playing with Tyler and Connor and Kade was nice enough to spend some time playing board games and Nintendo DS with the boys. They ate it up! Seth loved Ashton and Eric and was at ease and made himself quite at home. Little Ashton let me put two of the tiniest pig tails in her hair. Adorable. Brent and Jen's oldest, Matt, is 17 and was headed off on a date to Sadie Hawkins the evening we got there. That was fun to see! We sure had a nice time and appreciate Janice for changing her work schedule so she could spend so much time with us and Brent and Jen for their hospitality and for making it possible for us to go to conference by watching the kids for us. By the way, did I mention that the food was great!? Jen went all out, pancakes Saturday morning and cinnamon rolls Sunday morning. It was delicious! We sure love our family!

General Conference

Two handsome boys in front of the waterfall at the Conference Center.
Outside of the AMAZING Conference Center.
The four of us excited to head off to Conference.
A family picture before we left for Conference.


We had the most wonderful opportunity to attend General Conference this weekend! During last April's conference John made mention that that was the only thing he wanted for his 12th b-day, to attend General Conference. We took that to heart and were able to get tickets through our stake for the Saturday afternoon session. We stayed in Pleasant Grove with Mark's brother and his wife and their family (Brent and Jenalyn) . They were kind enough to watch Ella and Seth, since you have to be at least 8 years old to go to conference. It was a dreary, cold and rainy day but the spirit was strong and our hearts were warm. They like you to be seated at least 1/2 hour before the session starts, so we were just chatting and all of a sudden things quieted and everyone stood up and President Hinckley walked in and waved his cane at everyone and took his seat. It was a really neat feeling of reverence! I also loved how I felt when the audience arose and sang the rest hymn. There is always a powerful feeling that accompanies that many people singing at once. I went there with a prayer in my heart that the boys would be able to feel the spirit and recognize what that felt like. I believe my prayer was answered! My two favorite speakers actually spoke in that session (Elder Nelson and Elder Holland). Pretty lucky, hah? Cooper and I headed back to Pleasant Grove after the session and Mark's brother and his two sons met Mark and John for the Priesthood session. None of them had tickets for that session, but they stood in the standby line and with 10 minutes to spare Mark and John made it in. Brent, Matt and Kade were too late, so they watched in the tabernacle. They met up afterwards though, and went out for dinner. It was a special memory that our family will treasure and we're so grateful that John's b-day wish was fulfilled!