Friday, August 31, 2007


Today we had our first experience with Andrew being "on-call". He had the day off today (they get a 4-day weekend for Labor the government!), so we told Cooper we would take him to Chuck E. Cheese because he has been peeing in the night and kept his pull-up dry. We got to Chuck E. Cheese, played about 3 games, and the cell phone rang! Off we were, back home...since we only took one car...and now he is at the clinic. Joy! I was surprised at how well the boys took it though. Cooper has some concern for the guy with a toothache. Just hope we can make it through the Cardinals game tonight! I have new sympathy for all my friends whose husbands have, or are, residents!

Bathroom Boys

Nothing is as cute as a nakie bumb! In our house we like to do the "nakie dance" before bathtime. Cooper is growing out of it some (and for some reason is starting to find it embarrassing to dance naked :) ), but Gunner is the cutest!

Also, for some reason Cooper has decided it is time for Gunner to potty train...and he has taken it upon himself to teach him. It is actually quite cute, although I am pretty confident Gunner is not ready to use the toilet. So the frequent trips to the bathroom, and the on and off of the diaper each time are not exactly something I want to be doing 5 times a day. It is hard to resist though when you have cute little Gunner pulling at your legs saying, "Mom, go potty? Mom, go potty!" Cooper also grabs Gunner's hand each time he has to go, and says, "Gunner, come here and watch me go pee...Gunner come on!" Gunner just follows along. He even teaches him to flush and wash his hands. I guess it can't be a bad thing. Hopefully he is such a good helper when it actually is time to potty train!

Gunner is really at a cute age (except for the premature terrible two fits...mostly over me not giving him food fast enough). He is starting to love his hat...and won't leave the house without it. Like his friend Coby, he loves to keep in pulled down over his eyes.

He also has an obsession with shoes. He has loved shoes since he could crawl...but it is cute to see him walk around in our shoes. He will continue playing whatever he was playing before, but with huge, awkward shoes on. He loved trying his cousins shoes on throughout our trip this summer too. The only time it isn't cute is when you go to put your shoes on and you can't find them! I just barely found my new black flip-flop that had been lost for a week or so!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Backyard Baseball

So lots of people have been requesting pictures of where we live. I still am disorganized enough on the inside...that those pictures will have to wait...but while the boys were out playing baseball, I decided to snap a few pictures of our yard. It has FINALLY been cooling down enough outside in the evenings to play a little. It is both of their favorite things! Gunner is melting his dad's heart lately by constantly bringing a mitt/balls/bats and saying "baseball?!"

Here is a view from opposite corners of the yard.

Cooper loves being the "pitcher" to Gunner.

Here is what Cooper did when I told him to put his arm around Gunner for a picture. :)

Here is the fun jungle gym just beyond our fence...and swings.

Our house is a rancher (one level) duplex, but there isn't anyone in the other side. I have LOVED having a one-level place. It is so nice to have the bedrooms down a long hall, separated by a door from the main living area.

Bikerides are a fav too...and we love having a quiet culdesac (sp?) for them to ride around in. Cooper loves to use his scooter too, but since it has been so hot, he says it is an "inside toy for now". I often find it parked next to the toilet as he uses it as his mode of transportation down the hall to go to the bathroom. :)

We are trying to take advantage of the pool before it closes Labor Day. I just can't believe it is closing, since it is still so hot! We also took our first trip to the mall, bought tickets for the few remaining Cardinals games that aren't sold out, and bought the boys their Cardinals hats and shirts. Cooper wanted to wear the shirt for 2 days straight! It has been cute hearing him work out his favorite teams... he said the other day, "I like the Cardinals, Mom, but I don't love them, I still love the Pirates better, and I want the Pirates to win the Cardinals, but I still like the Cardinals, I just want Jason Bay to win them."

I got a calling at church on Sunday...Primary Pianist! I think this sounds way fun...with no out of church commitment. Linds, you'll have to give me any pointers. :) We got a dinner invite Sunday too, so we are slowly getting aquainted with some people. Cooper has 6 boys and 1 girl in Sunbeams (poor girl!), and his teacher says he is doing better at being reverent, but is still a little roudy (he can't resist). He is still the LOUD singer too, and I saw his teacher put her hand over his mouth when he got a little loud during a reverent song. Can't wait for the program in October. :)

We also went to the "New Residents BBQ" at Andrew's boss' house on Saturday. All the specialists were there, and it was fun to meet the other residents and their spouse/girfriends. The head of the whole clinic is LDS too, and it was really fun to talk to his wife. Nobody else brought their kids though (whoops!), except the boss has a 7-year-old boy, and 12-year-old girl who were there, and they played with their toys with Gunner and Cooper, and they got lots of attention from the specialists too. I am just so proud of Andrew and his accomplishments. He was also happy to find out there wer 5 full-time assistants hired for the 3 residents, so he is feeling more and more like a "real" dentist. He loves it.

PS. Spike's mission call is the the Manaus, Brazil mission. He leaves November 28th (the Wed. after Thanksgiving). We found out that in June there was a Manaus Temple announced too. It is in the middle of Brazil on the river, right in the Amazon! We are excited for him! My parents will be empty nesters....finally. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I guess I'm "IT" again in the game of tag

1. Who is your man? Andrew (Honey)
2. How long have you been together? We've been married for just over 7 years
3. How long dated? Almost 10 months
4. How old is your man? 29
5. Who eats more? He does, but I like sweets more
6. Who said "I love you" first? He did...i think?! It was a mutual feeling that didn't need words. :)
7. Who is taller? He is...I'm 5'7", he's 5'11"
8. Who sings better? He is an awesome singer, unwilling to share his talent! Except in a million made-up songs to his boys. He is constantly singing!
9. Who is smarter? He is...he has the title "Doctor"!
10. Who's temper is worse? pretty even
11. Who does the laundry? Me, most of the time
12..Who takes out the garbage? Andrew...when he remembers :)
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Him now...I always sleep closest to the door...wierd.
14. Who pays the bills? Both
15. Who is better with the computer? Both...I type faster
16. Who mows the lawn? He does...and Cooper follows with his Fischer Price mower
17. Who cooks dinner? Me
18. Who drives when you are together? He does...unless we need to get there fast...then I have to take over. He is a turtle!
19. Who pays when you go out? Him
20. Who is most stubborn? Me.
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? About equal
22. Whose parents do you see the most? Both. They live 30 minutes away from each other and it has to be EXACTLY even or we make a lot of enemies :). Both parents make efforts to visit us often, which we really appreciate!
23. Who kissed who first? He did...I said, "I think I better get home", then he said, "Ok, but I'm going to kiss you first". I didn't object. :)
24. Who asked who out? He did, but I had another date that night, so we both played phone tag through sports road-trips and had to had a Thursday date...eventually.
25. Who proposed? He did.
26. Who is more sensitive? Me.
27. Who has more friends? I have a lot of people I like to call my friends...hopefully they feel the same way. :) He is pretty funny in group settings, but likes to keep his friends to a close-knit group so they can all fit in "man-town".
28. Who has more siblings? Me, I have 8. He has 2 sisters
29. Who wears the pants in the family? "I don't think there's a right answer to this..." said my friend Adrienne...and I say, "ditto"

Ok, Laura, Carissa and Kendra...your tagged :).

Here is a recent family picture in front of our new home in St. Louis. Just wanted to spice-up these boring "tagged" blogs with a visual.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I've been "tagged"

So I was "tagged" by I have to post some info on myself. Here are the rules:

Here are the rules. I did not write the rules. Someone else wrote them.
1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts.
4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

My middle name is LEE. (Thanks parents for making it a short one, unlike my real first name "Cassandra")

L- of my obsessions is making list of things I need to do...CONSTANTLY!!! I get it from my dad. Maybe if I spent more time doing things, and less time writing lists about the things I need to do, I would get more done!

E-Eggs...this is a great word to illustrate my job of taking care of kiddos. Everyday, Gunner wakes up, walks to his chair and points and yells, "EGGS!" Cooper claims eggs are his favorite food. He says he likes them better than icecream, or candy! I spend most of my day (except nap-time, which it is right now), taking care of kids. It is exhausting (hey another great "E" word), "E"xciting, takes a lot of "E"ffort, but is an "E"xceptional job that I wouldn't trade for anything!!!

E- Earth. I am a lover of nature. I was raised to camp often, hike a ton (loved the 50 miler my Dad took me on at age 16), hunt (yes I've shot 6 deer), white-water raft, cliff-jump, water-ski, snow-ski, fish...and more! I love it!! I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had to enjoy this beautiful creation of our Heavenly Father. A few favorite places...the purple mountains on the Clark Fork River, the canyons and beaches of the Salmon River, the view of Coeur d'Alene Lake as you drive West on I-90, snorkeling on the reef in Cancun, flying over the grand-canyon, mountian biking in Moab, hiking into Heart Lake in the Mallard Larkins, driving from Provo to Denver through the Rocky Mountians, Niagara Falls, Ohio in the Fall with all he pretty colors, the view from the top of Schweitzer Mountain skiing on a clear day. I love this Earth!

So...three letters...three tags... Adrienne, Haley, Lizzy, you're IT!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Signs of the Times

With no intentions of making light of the subject...I am amazed at the ever increasing cyberspace "signs of the times". There is MySpace, Facebook, e-mail, texting, chatting, is all just plain amazing to me...and wonderful...and time-consuming...and convenient....and addicting...and fun! It is keeping up with blogging that will be the fun part. :) It is like my friend Kendra says, "just one more thing to feel like I am never caught up with".

So...if you are viewing this blog, it means that we love you, and want to keep in touch with you better. An update on us.

We have had a busy few months of Andrew graduating from dental school (Yee-haw!), and moving from Cleveland to St. Louis via Washington, Idaho, Utah, Colorado... It was a busy few months of traveling, but we had so much fun seeing so many family and friends. Andrew is in his AEGD (Advanced Education in General Dentistry) residency at Scott Air Force Base near St. Louis. We will be here 1 year. He is excited for the experience, and we are excited for him...although it will be interesting to see what "on call" is really like since there are only 3 residents instead of the anticipated 5.

Cooper and Gunner are boys, and boys will be boys! They are so busy, but I have to say it is so fun to see them becoming friends and starting to play together (and get into trouble together). They are sure lovers of baseball, just like their Dad, and Gunner has a bat or ball in both hands at all times, except the ocassional car.


First Andrew graduated from dental school and got his official title of "Doctor"...and a few days later his official title of "Captain" in the Air Force. We are so proud of him and had an emotional, enjoyable time celebrating his accomplishment. It was really hard though to say goodbye to Cleveland, our dear friends, and our first home (which still hasn't sold...keep praying for us!).

It was really fun to have his parents out to visit for graduation and to watch our kids while we took a graduation trip to Cancun.

We also enjoyed a 6 weeks of fun with dad between the time of finishing school the end of April, and setting off on our nationwide tour June 13th. During that time we went to an indoor waterpark with our friends, the Munds, went to the "Parade of the Circle", spent time in Chagrin Falls and went to the Memorial Day festival there, went out to Fairport Harbor (a coming a going place for the early Saints on lake Erie) with Andrew's parents, the Science Center, Kelley's Island via ferry, Memphis Kiddie Park (with all little kid carnival rides), our last Indians games, trips to the zoo, rode "Thomas the Train", went bowling, and had some fun bbqs with friends. It was a really fun time.

Then we headed to St. Louis to look for housing. We ended up deciding to live on-base in a duplex. We really love it now that we are here. It has a fenced backyard, and the community playground just beyond the fence. It is especially nice to to only be 1/5 of a mile from Andrew's work! He comes home for lunch everyday, and we love no commuting! It is also fun to take advantage of the on-base pool, BX, etc.

Then we flew up to Spokane/Coeur d'Alene to visit familly. Cooper and Gunner had so much fun with all their cousins. Cooper also LOVED the Gatten pool and learned to jump off the diving board...and various other tricks. We also went boating a few times, and the kids got spoiled by their Grandparents.

I went on an really fun Girls Weekend to LAS VEGAS with my high school buddies Amber (Isaacson) Lowder, and Jenny (Sampert) Jeppson, to visit Rachel Robbins and her family. We had tons of fun staying up until 4 in the morning, shopping, eating (notice the HUGE desserts for dinner), eating yummy Mexican food made by chef Dave, and loading up on our late night shopping trip to the DI Doug manages. Loads of fun!! I have to say too that I am so proud of Rachel for heading to Medical School this fall in LA!

Then it was a sad goodbye to Daddy, as he headed to Montgomery, Alabama for a 5 week officer training with the Air Force. We sure missed him, but stayed busy enough to make it tolerable! I have to brag though that his flight of 15 guys completed 13 our of 16 obstacles in the obstacle course, tying the Air Force Record EVER!!! We have yet to celebrate our 7th Anniversary that happened a few days after he left.

While he was gone we continued playing with friends and family. We hit the beach various times. Gunner loved the food that went along with all the fun activities. He also loves his little cousing Ella, and yells her name so cute if she is ever out of his sight. Cooper loved swimming so hard, and then sunning himself. The both were obsessed the their "baby" cousin Cade (Brynne's little boy)...and Cooper is not holding back the begging for a little brother or sister. We keep telling him we are trying to make that happen, but that isn't good enough. He wants it now, so he asked if we can bring Cade to our house. Cutie! Cooper loved the Waites house...with lots of fun toys and fun company. We went to the 4th of July parade with the Larsons, and spent a day at Silverwood amusement/water park. Gunner celebrated his "half birthday" with his cousin Tyler Waite whose birthday is close to Christmas too. We also met up with some dental school friends, Mike and JayLyn Scholes, who actually are working up in Liberty Lake and working in Post Falls. Cooper loved seeing familiar faces.

Also, my Grandma Gatten passed away (who I got to see the week prior), and we had her funeral. It was really fun to see a lot of family who I hadn't seen in a really long time, and we know she went to a better place. The whole Steve Gatten clan was at the bbq (see the picture), except for Andrew and Gunner (who was napping at Grandma's). She was an amazing woman, who left an amazing legacy. She will be missed.

Despite the funeral taking up a lot of time and effort, especially in hosting all the out-of-town visitors, we still managed to make it rafting on the Clark Fork for the Lee Reunion. It was such great weather. The river was low, which made it less thrilling for the adults, but more fun for the kids. I LOVE the river!!!

Then it was some sad goodbyes until Christmas...and we were off to UTAH. We caravaned with Mikin and her kids and headed first to Tom and Brookes. With 10 kids in the was crazy fun! We went to the dinosaur museum, IKEA, had an adults night out, hit up Rod Works (one of my favorite home decor stores) with the girls, went swimming, and just had tons of fun. Then we headed down to Orem to Andrew's sister Aimee's house. I headed to CLEVELAND to be there when the movers packed our stuff...and to clean the entire house with a little help from the Relief Society...THANKS! Aimee watched our kids while I did that, and then I watched her 3 cute kids while her and Dan celebrated their 10th Anniversary in Park City. We managed to squeeze in Cafe Rio, a haircut from my Cleveland hairdresser Aly Groneman (who now lives in Mapleton), and went to a movie. It was a lot of fun seeing family again, and giving the cousins a chance to play!

Then I ventured out of my own to make the drive to our next stopping point...DENVER. There we visited some of our best friends from Cleveland, the Bentleys. We loved seeing their beautiful new home, and office, and seeing where they live. We also went mini-golfing, and hit up a cute park with a train ride and fun little river for the kids to play in, and a petting zoo. We had so much fun chatting late into the night, and our kids had fun playing.

Then we went across town to vist my cousin Luke and his family and meet their new little guy Van. It was fun to see them again, and our boys had fun playing at the Littleton Park and swimming. My mom flew into Denver, and we all went to dinner, and the we were off on another long car-ride...although this time I had another adult to talk to! Thanks Mom!

We stopped that night in KANSAS, visted Liberty Jail the next day, and made it into ST. LOUIS to the airport, just in time to pick up Andrew. It was a fun reunion! We missed him so much!

Since being in St. Louis, we have been unpacking like mad to get organized. The boys loved watching the movers unload the BIG truck.

Then my Dad and brother Spike flew in to visit. We went downtown and visited Union Station, went to eat, rode to the top of the Gateway Arch, and went to a Cardinals game...our new team! The picture of the trampoline is actually Cooper bouncing like 30 feet on bungies at Union Station. It was really cool.

We also took a mini-trip to NAUVOO. It was so fun to be back and see the temple again, and visit the sights. Carthage was amazing too, and I am so thankful for the early Saints, and the Prophet Jospeh Smith. I feel so blessed!!! My brother Spike got his mission call while he was here, and will open it tonight when he gets home!! It was crazy to say goodbye to him for over 2 years!!! We are so proud of him though!

We also stopped in HANNIBAL (Mark Twains hometown). Great views of the Mississippi, and really yummy caramel corn!

Yesterday, we visited Grants Farm. It is a free park with lots of wildlife and the boys loved feeding the goats and camels. We also saw the Budweiser horses, and the old log cabin of Ulysses S. Grant

So now we are finally "home", after 2-months on the road, and 3 1/2 months without "structure". It will be fun to continue exploring, and to get settled here. It has been really hot (110 heat index) and humid, but there are a lot of fun things to do, and it is nice to be somewhere permanently (well...for a year :) ).

I PROMISE future blogs won't be this long, but we had a busy summer to report on. We loved seeing a lot of you, and any of you are welcome in St. Louis anytime!