Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Boy's First Basketball Game

I had so much fun at the boys first basketball game! It was very entertaining. Non of the kids have played before so you were screaming; "Bounce the ball, pass the ball, shoot!" Over and over again.

Jayden would get the ball and stand still for 15 seconds. Another boy would get the ball and dribble to inches and pick it up to dribble another 2 inches. It was funny to watch. The boys had so much fun.

Jaylen got to tip off the ball at the beginning of the game though I missed him jumping.

The Gunter boys have been the designated point guards because they are the most aggressive. So much that Jayden knocked another boy over and I thought he was going to be badly hurt. He wasn't, thank Goodness!

They had SO much fun...can't wait to watch their next game.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I hope that this finds you having had a great 2011. I can't believe another year has gone! Life just doesn't slow down! The last two years has started out quite crazy. With 2 years ago Jaylen scrapping his face when we went to visit the snow and this past year Jaylen breaking his arm! I hope this year we start up and do without any incidents!

When I thought back over the year I thought it wasn't that eventful but we had quite a full year! We started off with Jaylen's broken arm in January. Then Akayla-Joy had a successful eye surgery in February, to Jayden in September getting Henoch-Scholein Purpura (HSP), which thankfully he recovered fully from with out lasting issues.

We also enjoyed a year of different adventures with family. First was a visit from Grandma Sonia (my mom) from AZ and Auntie Yvonne (my sister) from Georgia in March. They were able to stay with us during our hectic school schedule for 7 days! It was so nice to have a few more helpers for mommy and enjoy their company! The kids enjoyed them so much!

Next we took a trip to Iowa in June, just after school ended, to stay at my Grandpa's house and visit family. It was so nice to get away. The kids did great on the plane, with connecting flights. All carrying their backpacks and pulling their own small luggage behind them! They had a blast once in Iowa, from playing with cousins, riding the golf cart around my grandpa's property, catching lighting bugs, smores and more! They still talk about their trip to this day. While there I as also able to visit places from where my parents got married, where my mom grew up, even the house where my grandpa grew up, plus different family tombstones. It was a very neat trip!

Just after school started we took a camping trip, in September. We drove a few hours away to Pinecrest where the kids enjoyed sleeping in the tents, fishing at the lake and getting dirty! During this trip is when Jayden got sick but he was such a trooper. Camping each year has become a tradition that we hope we are able to keep up, we love to go and are always sad to come home!

We had a new addition to our family this year after we lost our Cheasapeke Bay Retiever; Drake. His name is nibble (named by Jayden). Nibbles is a mix between a Poodle, Yorkie and a Maltese! Quite a combo...

We also enjoyed quite a few other activities during the year from the boys swim lessons, trip to Apple Hill and enjoying holidays with family. There were also many church events as well; from the Mother/Daughter Tea, Father Daughter Luau, Father Son Camp out to Aryianna and Akayla-Joy singing in the Kids Choir at church for the Christmas Play. The kids are getting bigger each year!

Aryianna is in her last year of Jr. High. Stephen and I also celebrated our 10 year anniversary in November! What a great 10 years it has been!

Just after Christmas I need to start High School enrollment! I can't even believe it! (I feel like I was just in HS! Course I would not like to go back! haha)

Jaylen is going to have his birthday only 3 days after Christmas, turning 9! He is getting so tall! He is in 3rd grade right now and though he is smart, we are working on concentrating on class work! He is learning to love to read like mom!

Jayden is going to have his birthday in just a few weeks, turning 7! I just can't believe it! He is in 1st grade and I'm sure keeps his teacher on her toes! He is still full of personality!

Akayla-Joy is in Kindergarten. She is one of the top in her class. She excels so much in school, she entered Kindergarten already knowing what they need to know 1/2 way through the year. She picks up on things fast and it is great to have one that loves to do homework! She is only in school 1/2 day, so she comes home by lunch time.

Alaya gets me 1/2 the day to herself. She gets to have the most of me right now and it's fun to enjoy things with just her. We go to a play group once a week and it's the first time I've had only one kid with me! Sad to see my babies grow but it's nice to enjoy this new faze with my kids!
I hope that you have had a Blessed 2011 and that 2012 holds even more Blessings for you! From the Gunter Clan to you, we love you and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Meaning of the Christmas Tree

Our church has a Christmas Eve service this year, it was a great service and a great way to start out the Christmas Celebration! I truly enjoyed it.

Our Pastor spoke about the meaning of the Christmas Tree that I had never heard before and I talked about it again with my kiddos before we opened a few gifts on Christmas Eve. I love learning the meaning of things, it just helps you to understand why you do what you do and it is another great way to keep Jesus at the center of your Christmas. I thought I would share what our Pastor spoke about with you!

The Star
The Star on the top of the tree has 5 points. When you look at them you can remember that Christ is called 1.Wonderful 2. Counselor 3. Mighty God 4. Everlasting Father 5. Prince of Peace

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

The lights
The lights represent that Jesus was a light to the world and that we are a reflection of Jesus as a light to the world as well.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:15-17

The gifts
The gifts represent Jesus as being the ultimate gift. One that will not grow old, wear out or have to be replaced. God sent his son for us to save us from our sins. Jesus came from heaven to earth so that we could one day go to heaven! We also receive many other gifts, the gifts of the spirit, etc. So we gifts gifts to each other in reminder of our perfect gift, Jesus!

My mother-in-law has a daily devotional and December 25th was very powerful. I thought it fit perfectly...

Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby. I set aside My Glory, so that I could identify with man kind. I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions-a filthy stable. That was a dark night for Me, even though angels lit up the sky proclaiming "Glory!" to awe-struck shepherds.
When you sit quietly with Me, the process I went through is reversed in your experience. As you identify with Me, heaven's vistas open up before you-granting you glimpses of My Glory. I became poor so that you might become rich. Sing hallelujah's to My holy Name!
~Jesus Calling, Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and continue to have a Blessed New Year!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Summer Comes To An End

I am sad to see the summer go but then again I think my kid are ready! Maybe mom just isn't ready for all the drops off and pick ups, that must be it! But we did have a fun summer. We didn't accomplish everything we had on our list but we put a good dent in it! From our plane trip to Iowa to see family, swimming several time (including lessons for the boys, movies (at home and in theater, including the drive-in), lots of board games (of which Jaylen seems to win), trips to the library (for the summer reading program) to eating out (mostly at McD's so they can play). we enjoyed our time together! When asked what their favorite part was they all agree our trip to Iowa was the best part about summer!

Now looking to the fall I can't believe another school year is starting.

Aryianna turned 13 during the summer! I officially have a teenager daughter living under my roof! It's quite a journey! Seems like I was just her age! She is going to finish her last year of Jr. High, 8th grade this year. She is quite excited for school to start! Mom is wanting her to slow down in growing up!

Jaylen is starting 3rd grade this year. He has voiced that he doesn't want school to start. When I asked him why, he said he doesn't want to do homework!

Jayden is going to start 1st grade. His first year of going to school all day and he is ready! He feels like a big kid now. He keeps telling Akayla-Joy (who is going to have the same teacher he did) how Kindergarten is going to be, since he has already been there and done that!

Now Akayla-Joy, she has been so ready for school to start, she already picked out her outfit, last week, for the first day of school! She keeps asking me to count down the days for her! She is so excited to get to go with the big kids and walk across the street with them to class! I am exited for her. She will have so much fun.

So, this year it will be just me and Alaya for 1/2 the day. I pick up Akayla-Joy just before lunch and then the two girls will have the rest of the day together before everyone else comes home! Will be fun to spend time with my little girl!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Never forget

I can't believe that it's been a year already. It's amazing how life continues in spite of all the things we may go through on a daily basis. I couldn't help but take a moment to remember Jonathan, who was such a big part of our lives.

I can still remember his smile and I can still hear his voice. I still think of him at odd times. Like when I walk in the door from a night of scrap booking. One night he startled me when I came home to find him in my living room,"Hi Aunt Jocelyn", he had said. The other day my youngest, Alaya, now three yelled out "Hi Jonathan" waving at someone. He is still everywhere for us all.

From loosing my dad almost 13 years ago, I know the pain it is to loose someone you love. But you never forget. We all miss him just as much as we did a year ago. But we have to remember where he is. I'm sure he is having a party in heaven and we will one day see him again. Until then we have great moments to remember and share with each other. The fun times we had at family gatherings or days he went fishing with my husband. They keep his memory alive.

I have photo's of Jonathan holding each of my kids, except Alaya. We couldn't believe we had no photo's of him with her because she really loved him! She was only 2 but she would ask him for things or for him to hold her and he would always get it for her or pick her up to carry her around. We always called after him, "Jonathan, you have a shadow!" Each of my kids will have a photo to remember them with Jonathan, great memories I can pass on to them.

Jonathan and Aryianna '98.

Jonathan with Jaylen Fall '03

Jonathan holding Jayden.
We are at Lake Tahoe with the
family, Summer '06.

Akayla-Joy, Christmas morning '05.

I will never forget our last day that God gave us with Jonathan.
And I will always remember how he was sitting
with the kids playing Guess Who.
He sure loved his family.

One more soul takes to flight.
One more soul says good night.

Your hearts may ache for me.
But please know, I am now truly free.

Heavens light now holds me tight.
As the stars above are shining bright.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Activities

Me and the kids sat down and thought of some summer activities that we can do, either daily or weekly. I thought it would be fun to share a little of our list with you. I hope we are able to do most of them this summer...

10 Free Activites

1.Visit the library - we usually go to the library each week but now that school is out we won't be going that way as often. Usually when we go it's get in and get out to pick up the next kid from school. Now we'll be able to go and stay for awhile, maybe go to some of the activities they have during the day.

2. Bike rides - usually we go around the block. Now we can take a longer ride during the day. Even end somewhere fun.

3. Have a picnic @ the park.

4. Water day @ home - wash the car, water balloons and sprinklers. The weather is getting nice now, great time to get wet.

5. Make a snack - we have a kids snack cookbook; waffle towers, chex mix, etc. We can cook/create together and then eat!

6. Write letters or make cards to family or friend. Then go to the post office and each kid can mail their envelope. E-mail and texting is the form of communication most used now but we all love getting something in the mail. It's even better when it's unexpected!

7. Craft Day - Coloring, painting, drawing, creating a story etc. Anything that uses your creative skills.

8. Play dates with friends. Schools out! :)

9. Movie Day - We have Netflix, love it! During the day or before bed. We could even do a marathon in our jammies all day if we wanted!!!

10. Game Day - My kids love games, board or on Wii.

10 Cheap Activities

1. $1 summer movies at the theater. Our theater we go to used to be free. Looks like this year it cost's $1. You can go to your local theater and see if they have a program. We always pop our own popcorn and bring our own treats too!!! Here is the link if you are in the Sacramento area.

2. Drive-Inn - Kids here in Sacramento 5 and under are free. Ages 5-11 are $1. On Tuesday night age 11 and up are $4.95, every other night $6.95. You are able to bring your snacks as well but if you sign up on the website you can get e-mails for special coupons for snacks.

3. River Cats game - A little more pricey for me, with a family of 7. But tickets for the grass are $7 and I believe Friday nights are $1 night for hot dogs.

4. Baskin Robbins here in Galt has $1 scoop night on Tuesdays. Check out your local Baskin Robbins!

5. Dollar Tree - Each kid gets $1 to get something to take home.

6. Dinner out - Little Ceaser has Ready-to-go pizza for $6 (or Papa Murphy's take and bake to eat at home). We've even gotten our pizza to go and ate it at the park! Or even McD's so the kids can play and eat from the $1 menu. I always take a book to read while they play.

7. Donut Breakfast @ Coffee shop - Kids get a treat while you get your coffee. Our grocery stores have a sitting area to maybe take books to read or do a devotion with the kids to get out of the house.

8. Go swimming. We have a local pool in Galt, Gora Aquatic Center.
4 and under $1.75
5-12 - $2.75
13-17 - $3.00
Adult - $3.25
They have a kid pool, which helps me with so many little ones. There is also a location in Elk Grove, prices may be different. Remember the location in Galt does not open until 1pm.

9. Go fishing. We have a lake, Racho Seco, in Herald. It only costs about $8 for parking and you can be there all day. You can also go swimming. Take your lunch and you have a full day.

10. Bowling - I signed up for coupons by e-mail for passes for ALL my kids (yes all 5) to bowl 2 FREE games every day for the entire summer! The bowling alley is in Citrus Heights, about a 1/2 hour from where I live but worth it for free games. The only cost would be adults and they have special days/times with lower costs. Here is the website to sign up, see if they have the offer in your area. I got the coupons in minutes.

Hope you have a great summer. Enjoy each day, don't take it for granted. Life is precious, make memories! Would love any other ideas you have that we might be able to use as well!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gradutation Time

I had one graduate from pre-school and the other promoted to 1st grade...another year flew by! I am beginning to realize that when Alaya goes to school I will be crying because there will be no one else left at home with me!

I loved Akayla-Joy's pre-school this year. My favorite of all my kids so far. The school is great and her teacher was great. I even helped in her class quite a bit, I tried every week when I could with my husbands schedule. I will miss this year with her in her class and hopefully will get the chance to do things with her in Kindergarten.

Akayla-Joy is so smart! She is already Kindergarten 2nd quarter. When she had her assessment they said that they will start her off reading when she enters school! I am so proud of her!

Jayden really enjoyed his Kindergarten class. He worked hard to learn his shapes, site words and learning to read! I always hear how people love his personality and it's so much fun to watch him grow! He loved performing today and showing off his class photo's from the year.

It's so amazing to look back when Jayden was only 14 months old when Akayla-Joy was born. And now Akayla-Joy will be in school with the boys next year. They talk about how they have to help her walk to class and show her the ropes. She will have two big brother's watching over her! Boy how they've grown!

I wouldn't miss this time with my children for anything else in the world!