Thursday, November 29, 2007

Welcome Winter!

Although it still doesn't feel like winter, as far as the weather goes, we are welcoming the holiday season! We had a great, relaxing Thanksgiving. The Pankratz family in our ward had us over, along with two women and their families whose husbands are deployed (Let me tell you, mingling with these families really makes you thankful for your husband being around, and for the free country we live in, and all the troops serving). It was really fun, and Cooper was playing for 5 hours straight! I did the after-Thanksgiving shopping with a few girls in the ward. We also had dinner with friends, went bowling, and really enjoyed having Andrew around for 4 days straight!

Another hightlight recently was "Breakfast with Santa" at Eckerts Farm. We had a super yummy breakfast (including scones!), decorated cookies, and sat on Santa's lap. Cooper asked for the "Cranium Carnival Clubhouse", so we'll see if he's a good boy. :)

We also put up the Christmas tree, got out the Christmas books, and the Little People Nativity, put up a few outdoor lights, and it has been fun to sing carols each evening. Cooper is like his mom, and loves holidays, so it is fun to notice all the Christmas lights and decorations with him. Hope you all are having fun bringing in the holidays. I am so thankful for this time of year, and the chance we have to celebrate our Savior!

Where did these kids come from??

We came home from a friends for dinner, and were getting jammies rounded up. We came back to the kitchen and found this! Cooper has been helping himself to quite a lot of things in the fridge lately...and the other day Andrew opened the door to find an open ziplock with 2 pieces of moldy cheese that our little mouse had been nibbling on. I asked him how it tasted, and he said, "mmm, mmm, yummy!" Gross!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Missing the big hunts!

So, as most of you know, the Gatten's are hunters. While growing up, I cherished spending time in the outdoors with my Dad and siblings. We grew so close, and it was so fun. My favorite part was getting out there really early in the morning, and then listening to the forest come alive. I dare to admit that I shot 5 deer growing up, but I am sad to admit I haven't shot any for a while! Living far from home is always hard during hunting season. Lucky for me, I still get to hear the stories and see pictures. Unlucky for me, we have had to buy our meat for most of our marriage. So, here is my Dad, who drew a tag in a specific area in Montana that has HUGE elk. And of course, being the expert hunter he is, he got this one.

This next picture is of my youngest brother, Spike. He took his "senior trip" to Canada with my brother Dusty, and they went goose and duck hunting. I am so proud of my little brother, who just left on his mission yesterday to Manaus, Brazil. He is in the San Paulo, Brazil MTC.

Here is a picture of the Montana hunt. I think they brought home 9 deer. Here are the big ones. From left to right, Tyler (married to my sister Mikin), Brett, Dad, Tom.

Although I can't shoot a bow (like the majority of my family), haven't shot a moose (like the majority of my family including my younger sister, Brynne), and haven't shot anything for 7 years, I still am proud to be a Gatten. We have talked often of creating a maternity camo line of clothing. :) Someday I will live close again, and Brynne and I can trade babysitting to go hunting. I'll never forget the day we had a half day of school, and decided to go hunting alone. I was 14, and she was 12. I shot a whitetail buck (deer), and her and I had to gut it and drag it down to my mom who was waiting to take me to piano lessons. :) Someday we can be hunting buddies again. :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Crazy weather!

So, I just looked at the weather to see what kind of weather we will have over Thanksgiving weekend. No joke...tomorrow 74 degrees! Thanksgiving...40 degrees! Can't believe it will be 74 in November, but also can't believe it is going to drop so fast! Don't think we'll be getting snow anytime soon out here in the midwest...but, as you can see, you never can tell what the weather will bring. Our leaves are finally dropping from the trees though, so we went and did the boys photoshoots Saturday. We'll post some pitures of them soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cooper is FOUR!

Imaginext Pirate Ship $24.99
“Cool” Bicycle with training wheels $28.99
Sponge Bob piñata $12.99
Hawaiian Punch game $8.00 on EBay
Sponge Bob Ants in the Pants game $7.00

Look on your 4-year-olds face as he opens his presents….priceless!


Foods: eggs, tacos, fish sticks, pizza, chicken nuggets, cup-a-noodles, chicken rolls, string cheese, spaghetti, fruit snacks, pears, apple juice, chocolate milk,

TV Shows: Sponge Bob Square pants, Backyardigans, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Scooby Doo Where Are You, Tak and the Power of Ju Ju,

Movies: Leap Frog Letter Factory, Baby Einstein Movies, Scholastic book movies, Cars, Ice Age, ET, Madagascar, Curious George

Toys: Balls (baseball, soccer, hockey, bowling), cars, board games, play dough, trains

Video Games: Wii (Mario Party 8, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Mario Kart, Wii Sports, Rayman, Cars), Nintendo DS, Leapster (Cars, Backyardigans, Letter Factory)

Songs: Take me out to the Ballgame, I’ll Follow Him in Faith, I Won’t Back Down (Johnny Cash), John Deer Green (Joe Diffie), Sweet Escape (Gwen Stefani), Summertime (Faith Hill), This Little Piggy, We are a Happy Family, Do as I’m Doing

Friends: Gunner, Dad, Mom, cousins, Cleveland Friends (Dirk Bentley, Carsen Lee, Brady Wirig, Millie Scholzen, Bailey Jannuzzi), Emma Whittle, Alex Conte (who just moved), Noah Riemer, Trent Bollinger, Dustin Pankratz, Hyrum Redd, Gini Goodrich

Things to do: play outside, bike rides, playgrounds, wrestle with Dad and Gunner, video games, computer games, board games, story time, preschool with mom, going to the gym, swimming, singing, books, help Gunner say prayers, playing with friends

Books: Frog and Toad books, Bernstein Bear books, Dr. Seuss books, Pete’s a Pizza, The Dinosaur Café, The Book of Mormon

Our 4-YEAR-OLD!!!!

This past week was filled with birthday festivities. Cooper is a boy he gets WAY excited about everything...and a birthday...well that tops the charts! We counted down FOREVER, and finally the big day arrived!

We had his "friend" party at McDonalds on Saturday before his birthday. I actually won this party (including happy meals, cake and icecream for 10 kids) at a silent auction for $21! Cooper had so much fun. We had a Sponge Bob pinata Cooper's request, and can I just say it was a GREAT way to get rid of the rest of his Halloween candy! We are doing this every year! :) His favorite present from the party was a Spiderman Web-blaster.

Then came the actual birthday. We started the day with a pancake shaped like a 4.

Then, when Dad came home for lunch we opened all of his presents.

Gunner picked out a Transformer...and a Spiderman figurine for his friends party. It was so cute how he really "picked" what to get him, and was excited when he opened it.

For his bike we did a treasure hunt. He was SO excited at each clue...and then came the bike out the back door. "Oh my gosh! Look at my cool bicycle!" We spent the afternoon playing his games, and with his toys...took a nap...and then when Daddy got home, we headed to dinner at his favorite restaurant, Chuck E. Cheese...BUT....IT WAS CLOSED FOR RENOVATION! How dare they! So we did the next best thing close by, and ate at the mall and rode the train and carausol.

Then we dropped Dad off at Cub Scouts, and went to use his birthday money from grandparents to buy the additions to his Imaginext Pirate ship at Toys R' Us...BUT...THEY WERE COMPLETELY SOLD OUT! So he decided he wanted some more Magna Morphs like his Aunt Artie sent him...BUT...THEY DON'T SELL THEM! So we settled on a sports nets set with hockey sticks, cones, soccer ball, etc. He and Gunner have had a ton of fun with it! We picked up Dad and decided we would stop by Target to check for his Imaginext additions...BUT...THEY WERE SOLD OUT...and no magna morphs either. POOR KID!

We did get the icecream cake he requested from Cold Stone, and headed home. After the Happy Birthday song, it was more time with his new toys. Despite the minor setbacks, I think between the friends party, and the family time, he had a great birthday. We just keep thinking...are we old enough to have a 4-year-old?!

We love you so much Cooper, and you bring so much fun and energy to our lives! Thanks for always telling us you love us, and being a good helper with chores and with Gunner. Thanks for always reminding us to read the scriptures and pray, and for helping Gunner learn to pray. We know you really do have "Jesus in your heart" as you told the doctor today. You are getting so big!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


So our Halloween festivities have come to an end...but the candy still remains! Is it possible for it to ever be gone?!

We had a ton of fun this Halloween. Cooper was so into it that it made each event more fun, because he was so excited about everything.


This was tons of fun. Both boys picked their own pumpkins, and loved the animals, play area, and tractor ride.


This was a fun party. The most surprising thing was that Gunner kept his costume on and actually enjoyed himself! I guess throughout the month he slowly warmed up to the idea of Halloween. He loves pumpkins...and recognizing them from the car on peoples porches. The only problem with having two superheros, was that anytime they are in their costumes...they are like magnets, wrestling each other. The best part about this playgroup was the yummy food everyone brought!


We attend a little group on base that meets at the Teen Center gym once a week and plays with bikes, balls, toys, etc. A music lady comes once a month, and a librarian does storytime. We had a fun little Halloween party...and another great opportunity for the boys to wear their costumes.


Although they say it is never too young to talk about was quite an amusing topic to speak to an imaginative 3-year-old about. After our "lesson", we carved pumpkins. Our kids have yet to find the "guts" fun..but did enjoy picking our the faces and seeing things materialize. Mom like the roasted seeds the best.


Tuesday night was a fun ward party. They had a magician, and a chili cook-off. The Bishop and EQ President's costumes were pretty hilarious. The boys LOVED trunk-or-treating and Gunner caught on quick.


I think the hardest thing about Halloween, is that until your kids are in school, the anticipation of the festivities that night make for a very long day! We tried to kill some time at storytime, played outside, forced a nap, and cleaned house...constantly counting down the hours for our anxious Cooper. Then we had some new friends over who also recently moved to the area, and who were still living in a hotel and on a food budget. They needed a neighborhood to trick-or-treat in, and even brought us dinner from Applebees! It was really fun to have them over, and the boys absolutely LOVED trick-or-treating. About half way through Gunner found his place in the wagon with his candy...happy...although he was too impatient to ask us to open it for him. He would just chew the candy through the packages.

The night ended with a bang. I let the boys hold their glow sticks while "winding down" to a movie on mom's bed. All of the sudden Cooper came running into the living room covering his mouth with tears in his eyes, and saying, "It's burning!". Andrew asked, "What is burning bud." Cooper pointed at another glow stick. Andrew rushed him to the sink, and after about twenty rounds of swishing and spitting, and a whole glass of water, things were under control. He had chewed through the stick and quite a bit of the liqued was gone. I brought it into the kitchen and Andrew actually touched it with his finger and licked it. He said it burned and numbed his tongue and was fowl tasting. Cooper's breath smelled SO bad! Poor kid just kept saying, "I promise I'll never do that again!" We felt bad for him, but I guess kids learn lessons the hard way sometimes. BEWARE of letting your kids chew glowsticks! :)

So now it is on to the next countdown...Cooper's 4th birthday on November 13th. His wish-list continues to grow!