Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CKC = Cute Kid Candids!

Every once in a while, it's necessary to just post a bunch of random pictures. I'll call it Cute Kid Candids!

It's fun when you get to the toy stage. Kenai can entertain himself for quite a while now!

We've had more scraped and bruised elbows and knees in the past month or so than we've had in a long, long time. Here's Ziya in the assumed position... getting ready for the hydrogen peroxide and knowing it's going to hurt!

They weren't invited to play with the bigger boys, so these two made up their own game... emptying book cases!

He really fell in love with his Spiderman 3-D glasses - so much so that he fell asleep with them on!

Aren't they just the cutest?

This really deserves more pictures and a detailed explanation in its own post... but for now, this is what Ammon and Abraham do all day long. They build forts and traps for bobcats in the woods behind the house.

Need I say more?

This is the only kindof moose we see now! After playing at Fort Sherman Park on a very hot day!

Three cousins having a great time at the beach - Diego, Ziya and Asher.

Stylish, huh? I wasn't there that day, but I'll bet Aitana or Acasia had something to do with this!

This scares me. I don't want her to grow up!

Quiet play in the sandbox.

One of the kids' first questions when we told them we were moving back to Idaho was, "Is Truckie still there?" They actually named their jeep "Truckie"!

I love the sandbox because it invites quiet play. What a miracle!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ammon Turns Seven

Ammon's seventh birthday finally came (he's been waiting for months and months!!) and we all had a great time celebrating with him. I don't remember what it's called, but this was a magical birthday for him because he turned 7 on the 7th of the month!
In the morning, we took four of his neighborhood friends (Colin, Dylan, Austin and Olivia) along with cousins Diego and Acasia, and all of our own family to the Kroc Center indoor pool. The kids had fun going down the slide, floating around the lazy river and doing different kinds of crazy jumps into the pool. Great times were had. After swimming, we drove to a park and had pizza, cupcakes and melted ice cream cones. Ammon couldn't wipe the grin off of his face the entire time. He absolutely loves to be with his friends, especially when he's the center of attention!
The next day, we had all of the family over for the family celebration (have I already said how much I'm enjoying being so close to our family?). Jacob grilled hamburgers and we had salad and a veggie tray. I made a cake and Coyo decorated it camoflauge/ army style for us. Again, Ammon grinned for several hours straight.
It sounds so cliche, but it really is strange to see my oldest child turn seven already. He is a very special and determined boy who certainly likes to have things his way. If it were up to him, he'd wake up early every morning, grab a very quick but filling bite to eat and head straight outside to be with Abraham, Austin, Colin and Dylan building a fort, hunting for bobcats, riding bikes or playing spies. He is all about action and movement, but he also enjoys quietly sitting down to make Lego creations as well. I mustn't forget that he also loves, loves, loves to watch TV (we've actually had to be very careful about limiting how much he watches).
Happy Birthday Ammon. I LOVE YOU!

Pontoon with the Vernons

On August 5th, the Vernons rented a pontoon for an afternoon/evening and they invited us to join their family on the water. After figuring out what a pontoon is, we decided it would be loads of fun... so we joined them (thanks Lili and Craig!!). We were once again blessed with beautifully calm weather, so at one point, we stopped and took a swimming break. Ammon had a blast swimming around on his own. Abraham was a bit more apprehensive, but he finally ventured in. And even little Ziya went into the water, with Aitana and Acasia, of course!
We had a tube for pulling the adventurous and brave (and Jacob... who had to accompany the kids!). Actually, the pontoon didn't go very fast, so it was perfect for our young crowd. At the end of the evening, Ammon went on the tube all by himself. He would have done that for hours and hours, but we finally pulled him in and had to go home!
It was a fantastic evening and once again, I felt so grateful for family memories that were created.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Kenai Turns 3 Months Old!!!

Baby Kenai turned three months old on August 3. It has been a month full of fun little milestones for Kenai. He continues to laugh and coo and smile - sometimes when prompted by somebody and other times just totally spontaneously. He carries on full conversations, both with his coos and with his facial expressions. He has also discovered his hands, which is a lot of fun to watch. He tries to put his entire fist in his mouth and he sucks and sucks. The only bad thing about this is that every time somebody else is holding him and he does this, they always hand him back to me claiming that he must be hungry and ready to nurse! Ai, ai, aieee people... he's just sucking!!!
I think Kenai is definitely the most adventuresome of my babies. In his third month of life, he has been on a boat, a catamaran and a pontoon, thoroughly enjoying all of the action! He might also be the most spoiled of my babies. Because of our living arrangements, I have not had the opportunity to sleep train him. Therefore, he still wakes up one or two times at night (sometimes even three!). As soon as he makes a peep, he gets to come into bed with me and nurse himself back to sleep, afterwards staying in bed. I've never done this before... it has its goods and bads for me, but Kenai sure likes it! Also going along with the spoiled thing, he has tons and tons of attention from grandparents, aunts (and sometimes even the uncles) and cousins, so he is held A WHOLE LOT, and he loves it.
Overall, Kenai is a happy baby and he's had a great third month!

Monday, August 10, 2009

What You Will Miss...

I'm working really hard to get all caught up once again... so read on friends (or at least browse on!)! DO NOT stop after just one post because you will miss some pretty special stuff in the recent life of the Munyers: swimming in an outdoor pool (a big deal for us!), catamaran sailing, Kenai's baby blessing, a Zavala clan photo shoot, harvesting and then cooking a big family reunion meal, boating on the lake and Acasia's 9th b-day. And check back in the next couple of days... I'm still working on Kenai turning 3 months old, riding on a pontoon with the Vernons, Ammon turning 7 years old and a whole lot of very cute candids. I know I keep saying/writing this, but maybe, just maybe one day I will be able to stay caught up on my own blog so I don't have to do these crazy long read-them-all-at-once posts!


Simple pleasures... my kids were so excited to be in an outdoor pool! While we were in Alaska for three years, my kids did not do a whole lot of swimming. We loved the beach (although not for swimming!), the Nikiski pool and H2Oasis in Anchorage, but we just didn't get to go very often. So it was quite a treat when the Parkers, some friends in our new ward, invited us out to swim at their house. The kids were a bit nervous at first, but it did not take long at all before they were wading and jumping around like little fish! My nephew, Diego, was especially funny. He had on a life jacket, arm floaties, a float around his waist and he sat on this huge butterfly float... and he was still a bit wary of the whole situation!

Catamaran on Lake Coeur d' Alene

We kept a pretty busy schedule while the Packs were visiting. Thanks to Coyo and Carlos, who have a very generous friend, we were able to take a catamaran sail around Lake Coeur d' Alene.

Here are Coyo, Kenai, Diego, Carlos, Aitana and Acasia getting ready to go out on the water.

I was trying to get the beautiful lake and mountains behind the kids, but all I got were the beautiful kids, Kenai and Diego!

The sail was amazing.

She really does think she's a princess. I wonder why?

The ride was very relaxing. Perfect weather, calm water, beautiful mountains, fun family... it was great!

The water was calm enough that we were able to stop for some swimming!

Kenai's Blessing

It was so wonderful to have my whole family together for Kenai's blessing. He's a special little boy and he had a very special blessing. I loved seeing my dad, who raised four girls, standing in a very special priesthood blessing circle with his four sons-in-law, Craig, Jacob, Brian and Carlos. Jacob pronounced a beautiful blessing on little Kenai, who was also beautiful in his little white outfit.

Jacob and I also had the opportunity to give the sacrament meeting talks. It was a tad bit stressful, but I was thankful for the opportunity to share my feelings and bear my testimony about faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. I'm thankful for the faith that my parents taught me and that I've strengthened over the years and I commit myself to teach my little Kenai (along with all of my children) an even greater faith in Jesus.

Tired and Hungry After Pictures

We were all tired and hungry after the very long photo shoot... so we went to Red Robin for dinner. Bottomless fries were just what we all needed!

Family Photo Shoot

Since we were ALL together, my sister talked her photographer friend into doing a photo shoot of the Zavala family at a park by the Spokane River. There were 20 1/2 people total (Elisa is expecting!): my two parents, four Zavala girls with spouses and 10 grandchildren. It was quite the task to get all the kids to cooperate for the pictures, but we did end up with some nice ones. These are just candids that we took with our own cameras. Hopefully it won't be long before I can post some of the real pictures because the quality is a lot nicer!

The patriarch and matriarch of the entire clan with their entire brood. This is the picture that my mom really wanted - she and my dad with all of the grandchildren.
Clockwise: Elisa, Diego, Dax (is it really so bad??) and Aitana, Acasia, Colomba and Elisa.
Pack boys with Munyer boys, Aitana and Asher, Isaiah with Ammon and Abe and Diego (he has his green cast on under those jeans!).
Ammon, baby Kenai, Brian with Asher, Asher and Ammon and Abe.
The girl cousins... and then the boy cousins!
We used to call ourselves "the Zavala Four." Now we all have different last names, but I still like to think of us as "the Zavala Four"!

Work Hard... and then Feast Hard!

Elisa and her family drove all the way from Utah to be with the rest of us for Kenai's blessing. With the entire Zavala clan together, Colomba (the chef!) and my mom master-minded a fun and yummy activity. They randomly divided us in to teams and assigned us each a piece of a meal (main course, salad, drinks, dessert, side dishes). We all met at a U-Pick place called Carver Farms and our task was to pick produce that we would later use to prepare our assigned part of the meal. It was fun to help and watch as the kids picked berries, lettuce, squash, and DIRT (my little red-headed three-year-old nephew, Asher, had fun filling his bucket with dirt clods)!

After the picking, we had a picnic lunch. It was really fun to spend time with the whole family. The kids had fun getting re-acquainted with their cousins and I had fun spending time with my parents, my three sisters and their spouses.

The next day, we all got busy cooking and then met at my parents' home and brought our courses together for a super-fantastic meal. We had pork tenderloin served over creamed corn with a huckleberry chutney (I helped Coyo make this one!), fresh green salad, corn on the cob, foccacia, squash and a variety of fruity and minty drinks followed by a delicious cake beautifully decorated with several different types of fresh berries. Oh man, did we feast!

I included a picture of Brian holding little Kenai. They had a bonding moment as Brian made faces and baby-talked with Kenai and actually made him laugh really hard! It was a tender part of the day - Brian is really good with little kids and it was fun to watch him play with Kenai.