The McKnight Boys

The McKnight Boys
(L-R) Gunnar, Parker, Mason and Chase

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The World's Worst Family Blogger Returns!

Ok, so this is kind of unusual, but I am alive... just wasn't in the mood for blogging...for nearly 6 months! So, the last post I made I explained about our Summer vacation in 2012, and here is what happened the rest of the year!
After we came home from our vacation, a few big things happened: 1) the 2012 Olympics in London, England began, and 2) I finally broke down and got an iPhone.  This is one of the first pictures I took on the new phone, it's our dog, Buckley, watching women's beach volleyball.  He seems to be enjoying himself, right?

Chase and Gunnar started school in the middle of August.  Chase was 8 and in the 3rd grade, and Gunnar was 5 and started Kindergarten!

Chase lost another tooth!

Todd taught Gunnar how to tie his shoes!

Chase started Cub Scouts! Since we do Scouts through our church, he didn't start until he was 8, and went back and did his Bobcat and joined as a rank of Wolf.

Gunnar turned 6! ( I also had a birthday, but Gunnar gets the cake and celebration...)

I got the most fabulous new sewing machine as a birthday present!

I made this blanket for Gunnar.  I was taking sewing classes through Jenks Community Education, just trying to learn the basics before I got my machine, and I started making this blanket.  I finished it on my machine at home, and I was pretty thrilled with how this blanket turned out.

We had the annual "Trunk-or-Treat" at church, and the twins dressed as pirates, and the big boys dressed as ninjas for Halloween. And yes, the twins are eating my home made chili in this picture!

Gunnar learned how to ride a less than an hour! He received a lot of birthday money and wanted to buy himself a new bike, but my husband insisted that Gunnar learn how to ride a bike without training wheels before we went to get him a new one.  Well, he asked Chase to remove his training wheels, and he was zipping down the street in 5 minutes! Chase helped to guide him at first, and then he got the hang of it.  Needless to say, we went that night and he bought his fist "big boy" bike!

We had a craft day at church, and I made these really cute holiday decorations!

We went to Mesa, Arizona for Thanksgiving that year, and here is a picture of Chase enjoying one of his favorite places to eat: IN-N-OUT!

We let the boys decorate the Christmas tree...and all of the ornaments were on the bottom half of the tree!

My Dad and I took the twins to visit Santa at Bass Pro Shop.  They started crying, so I took over and made sure we had a decent "santa" picture.

Gunnar was hospitalized with pneumonia.  He got sick in the afternoon, and was admitted into the hospital that night.  When he gets sick, it happens super quickly, so we keep an eye on his health. He was there for 3 days, and hopefully, he won't have to return this year!

The afternoon Gunnar came home from the hospital, he lost his first tooth!

My Mom had a birthday, and my Grandma made her this lovely red/white checked afghan!

We celebrated Christmas, and my amazing mother-in-law made each of the boys a new blanket (which they have continued to use every single night since Christmas 2012!)
So, that was the rest of 2012 in a nutshell.  And by the way, HAPPY OCTOBER! I can't believe we're already in October! I will post more pictures this week to get you caught up on what we did in 2013, and I will do my best to keep up with the blog for the rest of the year!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Salt Lake City!

Hey, folks! Thanks for reading the blog! So, as I mentioned yesterday, we went to Aspen Grove and from there, it was almost a 2 hour trip up to Salt Lake City.  Well, it probably took us a little longer...I kind of had to see a doctor.  Not that kind of doctor, an eye doctor.  I somehow obtain a corneal abrasion in the last full day at Aspen Grove.  I'm not sure if it was because something hit my eye, or I rubbed my eye funny, or if I slept with my eyes open again.  Yes, I do that.  I sleep with my eyes open, and I think I might have slept with my eyes open and had my eye stick to the pillow.  Gross, right? Anyway, I saw a wonderful doctor in Lehi, Utah, got some prescription eye drops, and drove up to Salt Lake.  We met up with Todd's parents, and his two sisters and their families and had lunch before heading over to Temple Square. 
 I had been to Temple Square when I was 18, and my oh my how it has changed! We walked around the grounds of the Temple, and checked out the statues and fountains with the family.
 I asked Chase to take the time and read about each of the statues (a sneaky way of helping him practice his reading!)
 This is the old Tabernacle...hence the Mormon Tabernacle choir.  This place was so neat, because it has this amazing feature that no matter where you are in the Tabernacle, the sound resonates so clearly.  There is a series called "Music and the Spoken Word" that is also performed here (as a side note, the guy who announces for the series was a speaker that we saw at Aspen Grove!)
After we checked out the Tabernacle, we headed across the street to the Conference Center, where they hold General Conference every 6 months.  I love this picture of Chase and Gunnar in front of the glass fountain in the Conference Center!
 There are a lot of wonderful LDS art pieces on the different levels, and I was particularly fond of this stained glass window of Lehi's vision.
 In this hall are all of the portraits of the men who never became the Prophet of our church, but acted as 1st and 2nd counselors.  This portrait is of Parley P. Pratt, who happens to be Todd's great-great-great grandfather.  Back then in the church polygamy was still being practiced, and Todd's is related to him through Parley P. Pratt's last wife.  Todd, his Dad, and his late Grandmother McKnight all shared the same high hairline, and it was always attributed to the Gamble side of the family, however, after seeing this portrait, I'm dead certain that hairline goes all the way back to Parley P. Pratt!
 Our guide took us to the roof top terrace and we took this family picture in front of a photo mural meant to signify reflecting on your past family members. 
Here is another picture I took of the Temple.  I love how great it turned out- it actually made me feel like I am a decent photographer!

Anyway, that was our Summer vacation journey.  Tomorrow I'll be catching up on what happened in the
fall, and hopefully posting more pictures of the family as well.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

July at Aspen Grove

Alright, I promised to catch up from back before the November blog post challenge, so here we go! After our family trip to Arizona, we headed up to Utah for a family reunion at Aspen Grove Family Camp just outside of Provo.  I always heard about driving up the canyon for years, and this time I finally got to experience it, and it was lovely. Well, it was raining, but I did get to see where Sundance is (ya know, Robert Redford and his film festival?), and Aspen Grove is just a little further up the mountain from it.  We checked in, and pretty quickly everyone started to show up and we all unloaded our cars within about a 20 minute window. 

This was our family style cabin that we stayed in- isn't the area just gorgeous? We were nestled in at the base of the mountains, with pine trees all over the place...and aspen trees...hence the name, right? Anyway, we had Todd's parents, 2 brothers and their families, 2 sisters and their families, our family, and Todd's aunt and uncle.  It was awesome!

The next day was Sunday, and since this was a BYU (aka Mormon) family camp, we had church services outside. OUTSIDE! Do you know how amazing it was to watch a butterfly float past me and have the sun shining bright as we were taking the sacrament and singing hymns? It was one of the most incredible sacrament meetings I've ever attended.  The big boys sat with the cousins, and the twins were running around with my older nieces (which, by the way, Mason and Parker picked out who was their "caretaker" and stuck to that cousin the entire week!)
That Sunday happened to be Chase's 8th Birthday. Before church, he opened up a set of scriptures that had his name engraved on them, and a case to hold them.  We had a party for him after church, and had cupcakes to celebrate.

We told the wonderful staff at Aspen Grove that he had a birthday, and they brought him up to the front of the cafeteria and sang "Happy Birthday" to him, and he got his own birthday cake from them! PS- the food there was AMAZING! And that cake was just as good as any one you would find at a nice bakery! We never went hungry there, let me tell you that!

Here's another one of me and my man! Todd totally impressed me while we were there.  He went there every year with his family as a kid, and I got a small glimpse of what Todd was like as a kid.  Plus, we had never been apart for more than a week in our entire marriage, so being away from each other for 2 weeks really made us appreciate being around each other again!

The best part of Aspen Grove is that the kids break off into age groups and are gone almost all day long doing crafts, hikes, and other fun things. 

Here is Gunnar enjoying a fun, albeit short trip up the climbing wall.  He made it half way up, then casually turned around and said, "OK, I'm done!" and was lowered down.

Here's Chase making his way up the wall with his group.  He almost made it to the top, but got scared and came down. 
 Here's Todd climbing up the ropes course.  The first part is a log with cutouts on either sides, and you have to work your way up it and jump over to this wall that had foot holds on it.
Once you reach the top of the foot hold wall, you move across wires that snake and wind around the course and put you back to the foot hold wall. And you repel down from there. 
I attempted to do this.  The cute young man who secured my harness became rather...uh...let's just say he had his hands on parts of me that only my husband is allowed to touch.  I kinda messed with him as he was tightening the straps across my chest; I looked at him and said, "Wow, you're not even going to buy me dinner first?" He turned the brightest shade of red, and I giggled, and Todd had a good laugh.  He was only 18 or 19, and still had braces could I let that joke slip away?!  So I started up the log, however I got about 3 feet up, it started to sway in the wind, and I experienced fear like I've never known.  I demanded that I get down immediately.  My husband rocked this bad boy 3 times...I felt like such a loser!

Here is a great picture of Todd, his brothers, Dad, and brother-in-law after they all finished making wooden writing pens.  They used wood lathes and cut down blocks of wood and turned them into really lovely handmade pens.  This is another great feature of Aspen Grove- when your kids are in their groups having amazing adventures, you can do whatever you want! Our family spent a lot of time down in the craft hut painting pre-made items.  I painted a mini beehive and made a vase for my Mom.  If you don't really enjoy arts and crafts, no problem! You can play sports, hike, participate in different tournaments, visit the snack shack, or, if you're like me, you head back down the mountain to Provo to do a little shopping. 

And here is yet another example as to how awesome my husband is.  Todd, his sister and her husband and I decided we wanted to try archery.  They had a potato hanging from a wire string and if you hit the potato, you were known as a "Potato Slayer." So, what does Todd do? He hits the potato.  Yep, I married a winner!

Here's another cute picture that I liked.  It's Todd and his older brother with the twins, I just love the expressions on Mason and Parker's face!

Aspen Grove was almost a full week long and it was really wonderful.  We had a great time as a family, and it was really awesome to spend time with Todd's family.  I kept saying, "The next time we come back..." for several months after our trip, and we have tentatively set a date when the entire McKnight family will go back.  Not only was it a fun vacation, but the fact that it was a BYU run camp meant that there was a lot of different spiritual experiences to have as well.  I really loved it and hope our boys will have the same kind of wonderful experiences there that their Dad had at their age!

Tomorrow, I'm planning to write about our trip to Salt Lake City, Utah- tune in for more fun highlights from the end of our Summer vacation!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Yes, I am alive!

Hey, all.  Just like my title reads, yes, I am indeed alive.  I haven't posted since last year, nearly 6 months, but it's just been a super hectic year thus far.  I made a personal promise to myself to post every day this week, and kind of update what happened since I last posted...and I'm fairly certain I was supposed to update from before that as well.  Whoops! Tonight, I'm in a bit of pain; I cleaned my house today and somehow reactivated a nasty back issue.  I had really bad sciatic nerve pain on both sides of my back, hips and legs during my pregnancy with the twins, and today was a nasty reminder of what I experienced over 3 years ago.  Simply put- I'm just not in the mood to make a huge post.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be better and I can play catch up!

Until then, I'll catch ya on the flip side!

Friday, November 30, 2012

30 Days of Being Thankful- Day 30

Well, it's the last day of my month long posting.  It's been a good run, and I've enjoyed it.  So, here is the one thing I am most thankful for, above all else- my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and our beloved Heavenly Father.  I was not raised in a religious home, I didn't attend church as a girl, but I knew there something out there that I needed.  When I was around 13 I began to seek out religion for myself.  I read a version of the Bible cover to cover, and I decided I wanted to attend church.  I went with different friends to their churches, I even went with my older sister to the church she attended in high school.  Catholic, Methodist, Southern Baptist... they were fine, but just not for me.  Then, I had a friend give me a Book of Mormon, and invite me to go to church with her.  As soon as I sat down, I knew I was home.  It wasn't always easy to be the only "Mormon" in my family, but I knew I was doing what was right.  Is it right for everyone? No.  It's not a faith or way of life for everyone, but it's what I know is true.  I was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when I was 17, and I have never looked back.  I met Todd at church, we got married and were sealed in the Oklahoma City Temple for time and all eternity.  We've had 4 wonderful boys and each one was blessed and given a name, and our eldest son was baptized this past July.  I am proud to be a member of my church, I love it, honestly, and I don't know who or where I'd be if I hadn't found it.  I know I am where I am supposed to be, I know it to be true with all my heart and soul.  I am thankful for my Savior and Heavenly Father and for all that they have blessed me and my family with.

And with that, I end my 30 days of Being Thankful posts, and I look forward to doing it again next year! I promise things will get back to normal soon enough.  I'll recap about our Summer vacation, the boys starting school, and Halloween in the coming weeks. 

30 Days of Being Thankful- Day 29

Well, I'm a day behind...again.  I ran out of time and by the time I realized I hadn't posted, it was already midnight and I was going to bed.  It was a good day, and the boys were in rare form.  The twins slept in until 9 am, and 2 of the 4 boys had wet sheets, so I had extra laundry to do yesterday.  I thought the twins wouldn't take a nap, because they slept in so late, but boy was I wrong! They took over an hour and a half long nap, which is pretty good for them during the week.  With all of the eating the day before and the great sleeping yesterday, I'm starting to think these 2 are about to have a growth spurt.  How much bigger can they get before they turn 3?  They already wear size 4T clothing!

 Before I went to pick the big boys up from school I got a phone call from the school nurse.  She said Gunnar had run into a pole on the playground and had a massive lump on his forehead.  Poor kid! She said he never cried, and they held an ice pack on it for 15 minutes, but the lump didn't go down.  Well, at least he'll have a great memory of it since today is school picture day!  The kids all played together in the backyard yesterday, which was pretty fun to see.  Usually, the big boys ride their bikes in the front and we let the twins play in the backyard, but they all ran around in the back together.  When the big boys decided they wanted to go ride their bikes and they left the twins, Parker came inside crying because he wanted his brothers to come back out and play.  It was pretty sweet to see, actually. 

So, what was I thankful for? My boys.  All of them. I love those affectionate little guys to pieces and would do anything for them.  They truly are my world at this stage in my life. Yes, it was sad that we didn't have any girls, but I've realized that there is only room for one big female personality in our home.  Essentially, there just wasn't any more room for a girl- especially if she would have been like me! I love the fact that I am the first love of my sons' lives.  I love that they all need me right now, and I love taking care of them.  I hope they listen to me when I give them dating advice, and that they find strong, independent, intelligent, spiritual women to marry someday.  So, to anyone reading this blog who has daughters, listen up! I am doing my best to raise my sons to be worthy of your daughters.  I am teaching them how to cook, clean, stay organized, be polite, and love the Lord.  And yes, I have explained to one son in particular that if he doesn't learn to respect me he may not respect his wife.  We're working on that one...but, the point is I'm raising my sons with the awareness that what I'm trying to teach them now will affect them the rest of their lives, including when they're married.  I think about my future daughters-in- law, and I pray for them and for their parents to raise them to the best of their ability so they will grow into the wonderful young women who will join my eternal family.  I may not have had any daughters of my own, but somewhere out there in the world are 4 little girls who will someday marry into my family, and I hope to be able to love them and treat them just as wonderfully as my mother-in-law treats me!

P.S. Welcome to our new reader in China!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

30 Days of Being Thankful- Day 28

Ah, Wednesday...this week is almost over! It was another ho-hum day around here.  We just hung out around here, and it felt like I was feeding the twins all day long.  And then when the big boys came home, it was the same thing.  Even after they filled their bellies at dinner time, they all wanted more food after dinner! I'm thankful we have food enough to feed all of our hungry boys.  There are so many families that have a hard time feeding a small family, and we're especially blessed that we are able to feed our family of 6.  We don't have a huge family, but with a family of all boys, I know I'll have to go back to work just to supplement the food bill.  I'm just so blessed that right now our family can survive with me staying home with the twins and only Todd working.  I know we were not always so fortunate, so this is something I deeply appreciate at this time. 

Only 2 more days of posting, people! I had better think of more things to be thankful for!