Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Gunnar!

Big 8 year old!

Yesterday we celebrated Gunnar's 8th Birthday! Wow, I can hardly believe he is already 8! He has been counting down the days for months. He woke up to find a new bike...he thought he was going shopping for one today. Lucky guy, had great weather to help enjoy the day. We were able to take his class outside for a Darth Vader pinata. He chose ice cream cone cupcakes and orange pop to share with his classmates. (Pop is a treat to my kids. They don't get to drink it at home.)

Gunnar let Abree sit by him during his class party. (Don't you love the curlers!)

Trying to find Darth Vader for a whack!

Birthday Boy's class and little sister after the pinata.

Going to his sister's dance recital wasn't his first choice of birthday activities. But through the year's he's grown accustomed to sharing his birthday with dance recital week and the opening week of baseball.

After the recital, we all raced back to our house for cake, ice cream and PRESENTS! He would have been just fine skipping the cake and ice cream! :) He was spoiled rotten with gifts and family to share the special day.

Opening presents!

Gunnar is such a great kid! While he can be stubborn at times, he is very caring. He adores his baby brother and thinks we should have more boys...triplet brothers is his request. And, in our small house, he's offered to share his room with them all! Oh, Gunnar! He amazes me how focused he can be. He can sit for hours and work on something without distraction...Legos, puzzles, home work, reading. By noon today he had all the Lego sets he received yesterday, completely put together! Gunnar loves reading, school, learning, sports and his animals. He has a memory that is incredible. He informed my mom last night that she used the same wrapping paper on his gift last year...Rainman?!!? We all just shook our heads. If mom needs help, Gunnar is always willing to do it and does it well. He is a great helper. Though he doesn't move too quickly in the mornings and often takes a bit to wake up and be happy, he is generally an easy-going kid, who occassionally likes to argue his point. And, best of all, he still likes to give his mom great hugs and an occassional smooch.

1st day of 1st Grade

1st day of preschool

at the lake

G and Black Jack

I love being your mom, Gunnar! I'm so proud of the kid you are. Won't you be 7 one more time?!! (our inside joke!) Keep up your hard work and diligence buddy!

May being 8 be absolutely great!

One Crazy Week!

Abree jumped in with Gunnar just after blowing out the candles! What a night they both had!
This past week was one of the busiest on record for the Aune family...and we survived! Every Sunday night I sit down and fill in our weekly schedule for the fridge, so we can keep track of everything, not miss activities, and remind Leonard where we are when he comes home to an empty house. Not much room was left on the schedule this week. For some reason, this week every year is just jam packed. Leonard was in the field most of the week, but finally they finished the big spring push just before another big rain! I just love spring on the farm, it is so beautiful!

Mondy found me starting the crazy week with a much needed massage I'd received for my birthday (thanks Kim!). It was amazing! As the week went by, I realized how great of an idea this truly was. Then Abree started her dance recital rehearsals from 3-6 pm in Colfax. So two trips to Colfax today.

Tuesday found at Abree's 1st t-ball game. She's waited so long for her first game. The little sweetie has sat through so many of her sister and brother's games and events, that she was thrilled that it was finally her turn. As we loaded up (we had to travel 1 hour to Rosalia for the game) she asked her dad, "If I try my best but lose, is that ok?!" Oh my goodness, it just melted my heart! What has she heard us say to have her say that? Unfortunately, the weather wasn't very cooperative and we sat in the car for the first 15 minutes waiting for a big black cloud to dump on us. Then we got out and those tough little kid played their first game in 46 degree weather with an amazingly strong wind. We were still cold when we got home. Gunnar had baseball practice in LaCrosse. Thank you Jamie for getting him there.

Running to 3rd!

Wednesday found Abree in Colfax at dance recital rehearsal again from 3-6. She just loved seeing all the other little girls' costumes and watching them practice. I hired a babysitter to stay with Abree after I dropped her off and got her dressed (the babysitter brought her home, too) so I could race home for Ashtyn's DARE graduation. They served us pizza dinner and then had a wonderful graduation. Ashtyn wrote a great speech about what she had learned during her DARE training. We are so proud of her! Sadly, I teared up as she is growing way too fast and I realized that this is the first of a few graduation/promotion experiences to come in the next 7 years! (Oh, and as I was loading the kids up to head for recital rehearsal, got in the suburban to find the battery dead. Think our littlest daughter may have been playing in the car! Thank goodness the pick-up was here, after a quick dance with a few carseats and other necessities, we were able to get off in time not to be too late or lectured by the instructor...oh, but we got 10 miles down the road and I was going through everything we needed and we forgot the tap shoes...had to turn around and head back home to get those. Thank goodness all the state patrolmen were off duty after the big WSU graduation weekend they had last week which filled their quotas!)
Giving her DARE speech!

Her class

Thursday found me loading up the crew and heading to Spokane for dentist appoinments. Got a little shopping done while we were there, too. We had GREAT dentist appointments. NO CAVITIES x 3!!!! That never happens in our family. I walked out of the office in shock that I didn't have an appointment slip in my hand for next week. We are so lucky, our dentists' office is great and filled with awesome hygenists. They are so good with my kids. My kids get excited to visit them. We've been going there for years and they've watched our family grow. One gal even remembered Gage's name from our last visit when he was a few months old. She came over and commented on the "Aune cheeks" he inherited and squeezed them. We found ourselves quickly loading up and heading home on a mission. T-ball game at 5:15 and baseball practice at 5:00. Had to dress, get gear and get to the fields...yeah, this time in the same locations!

In ready position, the one with the pink mitt. Yes, she is either in ready position or sitting down because her little legs are tired of ready position.

Friday found us celebrating Gunnar's 8th birthday. How is it possible he is 8 already!??! I headed into the school at 10 to put Abree's hair in curlers for her recital (not the event of choice for Gunnar to celebrate his 8th birthday, but he survived), did my weekly volunteering at school 1st and 2nd grade spelling tests, picked Abree up from preschool, had Gunnar's birthday party at school, came home and put the kidlets down for a nap, prepared for the evening's events, mowed my very tall, out of control lawn, dressed Abree up with curls and a little make up to make her sparkle, watched a great recital (Ash really misses it this year. But with jr high sports there was no way!), came home and celebrated an 8th birthday with grandparents, aunts and cousins. The final guest left about 10:30 pm. Whew! What a day! But everything about it was great!
Abree did a great job tap dancing to the "Yetti Stomp" (from the Backyardigans). She has been waiting so long to dance in her first recital. She patiently watched all of her big sister's dance practices and recitals for years, always to ask, "When can I dance like that?" And, FINALLY it was her turn. She knew her steps and had a great crowd of supporters. When tucking her in I asked what she liked best, and her reply was "the flowers!" Thank you McKays and Flemings.
At his class party

Got the dancin' shoes on!

Waiting for the music to start.

Today the kids are branding calves with their dad and our dear friends on the last day of their branding season. Tonight they'll host a large branding party to celebrate the end. We will have a smorgasboard of authentic Mexican cuisine, a pinata (thanks Aunt Sara for visiting East Pasco for us, the kids had a great time stuffing it this moring), live music, a bon fire, and about 100 of our closest friends. It is a great gathering every year! Watch the blog for guarantee when!

We found ourselves saying lots of prayers this week as our 11 year old cousin underwent a biopsy on his femur. The surgeons felt good about what they found, hoping it is just a stress fracture. The lab results will come soon. YEAH! We continue to pray that the results will be positive. You are so brave, Tyler!
Whew! What a week! Today I'm finding myself not motivated to do much but relax and enjoy Gage. Poor guy didn't get much mom time this week. Thank goodness WSU is out, and I was able to get a great babysitter to stay with him. And, thank you to G'ma Lola for keeping him a couple times this week to avoid the cold, icky weather. He is so lucky to have people who love him so much.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Our reader!

Deep into one of his books!

Ok, I never dreamt I'd have an avid reader as a child. But some how it happened. Gunnar loves to read! His dad and I can't figure out who he got it from, as neither of us are addicted to reading novels. Sure we read, but it is the sports page, People magazine, newspaper, scrapbooking or cooking magazines, but not book after book. We figure he has already passed us both in number of books he has read. We are so proud of him and thrilled that he has found this love.

Gunnar has fallen in love with reading! Our first grader (I was going to say little, but he has grown so much in the past few months I can hardly say he is little any more!) wants to read all the time. In the car, when he is supposed to be asleep at night, as soon as he gets home from school, any free moment he has. He can read in gym during basketball games, nothing distracts him. This past February he discovered the Magic Tree House chapter book series. Since then he has read 32 of them! He started with the original 28 and was bound and was determined to read all of them before continuing on to the "Merlin Missions" portion of the series (they are a little longer...about 110 pages each). We searched friends' home libraries, his classroom, the school library, the county library, and finally the Spokane Public Library to find them all. And, last week he did it! Now he is conquering the Merlin Missions, 4 down this week and 10 to go! Some days he'll read two books a day. Just amazing!

He has a list of the Magic Tree House books that he keeps track of as he reads them.

I'm quite embarrassed to say that once in awhile, I have to take reading away from him for a consequence...isn't that crazy! Oh, he just came into the office ... just finished another one this afternoon! On to the next one. If you have any ideas of great chapter book series to get him hooked on next, please share (about a 3rd/4th grade reading level).

Gage is 10 months old!

One of our sweet boy's newest pictures!

Oh, my goodness! My baby is officially into the double digits ... where has the time gone?!!! And, boy, oh, boy has he changed this past month. Gage has become mobile. The first week of crawling was pretty cute. He looked like a little robot going back and then realizing what it took to go forward. His actions were very thought out and slow. But, now, he is cruising! He has discovered every corner of the house and can make it from one end to the other in about 1 1/2 minutes. He is also standing up on things and starting to walk around them. Just crazy! Where did my baby go?! Our lives have changed drastically...constant watch, baby proofing, gates. Now that he has discovered mobility, he no longer sits contently to snuggle with mom. He is moving, looking for action, afraid to miss anything. Matter of fact, the other day I put him in his crib so I could put my contacts in my eyes without worrying about him and he fell asleep ...sitting up! He wouldn't give into laying down with his snuggly blankets. Now, he was sitting up, head bobbing and sleeping. It was hilarious and I caught it on film.

Gage just loves to crawl. He is so proud of himself!
He can finally chase his sisters and brother around.

One of his favorite new toys is his sister's kitchen. He spends forever emptying every cupboard and drawer. Doesn't he look like a big boy!

Teething was also a big issue this month. Gage got his bottom two teeth a few months ago. Then he got his top side tooth first, followed by his front tooth next to it. Even though they were a little off kilter in his mouth he still discovered how to grind them! He was quite lopsided until this last week when he got the other two top teeth to match.

Gage and his top two teeth.

Not only has he discovered mobility, but he is also eating mostly table foods, plays patty-cake, and so much more. He is all boy!!! And, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Our little rock star!

Gage has brought such joy to our lives. Each day we thank God for this gift. He is such a good natured little guy who makes us all smile and reminds us it is the little things that are important every day. What fun he has brought to our home and family!