Wednesday, March 26, 2008


All month we have been doing our best to drill the Easter story into our kids' heads. :) It has really been neat to see Cooper's little mind work, and I have seen his love for Jesus grow. He gave a talk in primary on Easter Sunday, and did such a great job. He really is growing up!

Our Easter celebrations were fun. Friday, we had a little Easter egg hunt at the church. We had some Easter stories and things inside, while moms hid the eggs. Cooper had fun, but wondered why the eggs weren't "hidden". "They were just laying out where we could see them mom!" he said. Gunner LOVED the hunt, but more importantly LOVED when he figured out the eggs were filled with CANDY! It was so cute to hear him say "Eater Egg" the rest of the weekend.

We also had some fun coloring Easter eggs. Both boys stayed interested a lot longer than I thought they would. They were pretty proud of their creations too. Gunner's favorite thing was using the crayons to color the eggs, and Cooper was insisting on getting the eggs in and out of the dye all by himself. It is hard to encourage independence when it involves dye!

The ward had a game night that night, and it was fun to get together and play board games you never have enough adults to play!

Saturday, we went downtown to St. Louis University to another hunt. It was a lot colder than the forecast, and I wasn't as prepared as I probably should have been, but the boys still did great. They got to sit on the Easter Bunnies lap, and get little stuffed frogs. They also had cake and cookies. Gunner did great, until he tried to continue his hunt on the older kids lawn...then he had a little breakdown. Once he discovered the fun things in his eggs, he was ok again. Cooper was so geared up and it was so fun to watch him dash around.

Saturday night, the Young Single Adults sponsored a Kids Carnival that Cooper and Gunner were both able to go to for 2 1/2 hours! It was great, cause we got to go to a movie for the first time in forever! They had such fun with the carnival games, and brought home a lot of prizes.

Cooper was cute to make sure the baskets were by the front door, because "the Easter Bunny is different from Santa, because he comes through the door instead of the chimney. But, we need to put the baskets a little far back from the door, so he doesn't step on them." Sunday morning, we had their baskets hidden. They had fun finding them, and then we had church. The spirit was so strong in our meetings, and it was really a neat Easter Sunday. The weather was crummy, so we didn't do anything outside, and the family we were going to have over for dinner, ended up with pneumonia. So we just exchanged portions of the meal. It was a really nice, relaxing, fun Easter.

I am so grateful for my Savior, and His sacrifice. I am also so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, who was willing to let His son go through everything he did for our sake. I look at my children, and don't know how it would be possible to see them suffer so badly. I hope I can use the Atonement everyday to become a better person...and a better mother and wife. It sure is hard when you have young children, to keep you patience, and treat them as one of His children. But, that is the beauty of it all. I can try again each day. For that I am SOOO grateful!

Bring Spring!

Our March has been full of trying to enjoy the sun...and time it is out! Besides March Madness...we have done a few other fun things. While Andrew was in Atlanta, the boys and I had a picnic at the park. Cooper was so happy to be able to go down the "high pole" now. Gunner was a lot more adventurous...even doing the balance beam, slide races, and jumping off everything.
We also had a fun St. Patrick's Day. The boys had green eggs for breakfast, and we made it to the park with Daddy to feed the ducks. Cooper was so funny about wearing green. When he woke up, I said, "Uh-oh , you're not wearing any green yet...your jammies aren't green!" I got out my "pinchers" and chased him around, and he said, "Wait! I have green on my underwear!" What a smarty!

The boys beg daily to play in the backyard too. They are into golf more this year, and still love to take batting practice. They figured out how to have fun in the tree too.

We made it to the Zoo for the first time this year. We went with our friends the Bollingers. Gunner has asked multiple times a day since to go see the animals again. Cooper loves the penguins. They are really neat. Gunner loved the snakes. I just love that it is FREE! *Thanks Budweiser...the one good thing about beer!* :)

Gunner is really growing up fast. Good thing, cause he won't be the baby much longer! He always has to have his light saber and cape during naps and bedtime...and usually a baseball, teck deck dude, pirate, or some other toy. Whatever helps him sleep at night! He is a great sleeper...usually sleeping until 9 everyday. I am not sure how I am going to handle the lack of sleep when the baby comes! I love Gunner's cute sound effects for everything..."zoom...zoom" with the light saber. Now, if he can just remember not to hit Cooper in the head with it. :) He is also learning the sounds to all the letters, and tonight I said to Cooper, "The letter M doesn't have a sound, does it?" Gunner answered and said, " my pizza...and cake!"

Anniversary of our Engagement

Thanks to the inspiration of some friends who posted about the anniversary of their now get to hear ours! :) The picture is one of our "engagement photos".

Our engagement began March 23, 2000 (Brynne's birthday!). Eight years ago! It was about 6 months after we met. Andrew was actually still going to school at North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene, and playing baseball. I had decided to head to BYU winter semester, to see if we still felt the same way about each other being apart. Lets just say, we talked every day and night (too bad we didn't have free mobile to mobile back then!) from January-April. We actually got to see each other quite often. I went home to surprise him on V-day, and then baseball started. He came to play Ricks, UVSC, Salt Lake Community College, Dixie, and I even took a trip to Vegas when he was there for a tournament. After 3 months of seeing each other everyday, it was hard to do the long-distance thing, but was SOOO worth it in the end!

So the proposal actually happened when he was in town playing a series against UVSC. We had plans to go to dinner that night with his sister's family at Tempenyaki (sp?). I picked him up at his hotel, and we had an amazing dinner. On the way back, he stopped in a random parking lot, and started talking about all my great qualities. Still...I didn't see it coming. He talked about how he had planned to propose to me at home plate before his game the next day, but that the more he thought about it, the more impersonal it seemed. Plus the ring was burning a whole in his pocket! :) So, he asked me to spend the rest of my life, and eternity, with him...and I said YES! After the tears, he said, "Oh, and here's your ring." :) I loved it. I actually had looked at rings with his sister (she lived in Provo at the time). I pointed out about 5 that I liked. Then, she sent pictures and things to Andrew, and he picked the diamond, and "the one". I loved it! We went back to his hotel (the La Quinta on University Blvd.) and called my parents and his from the pay phone. Then we stayed in the lobby of his hotel cuddling and talking until about 3 in the morning (good thing his coach didn't come out). :)

I am so glad he had the courage to come up to me in the library at NIC and ask if I was Mormon. :) I am SO glad we kept in touch through soccer and baseball trips, long enough for us to have our "first date". I am SO glad he got past my overprotective parents. (I was only 18 when we met!). I am SO glad the only dates I went on at BYU just confirmed my love for him. I am SO glad I took marriage prep with Dr. Barlow, and spent time really praying and studying to get "my answer". I am SO glad the Spirit confirmed "us" to Andrew in the celestial room of the Spokane Temple. I am SO glad we were sealed for time and all eternity in that same temple July 8, 2000. I am SO glad I married someone who is so supportive, loving, fun, and an AMAZING DAD! After a year in Oklahoma (where he played baseball and I dental assisted), 2 years at BYU (where he worked hard to get into dental school, I graduated in PR, and we both worked a ton!), 4 years in Cleveland at dental school (way to go hun!), and now a year of residency with the Air Force here in St. Louis....I STILL FEEL SO LUCKY HE CHOSE ME!!! And our love has only grown. Especially as we have shared our love with our 2 amazing boys, and one on the way!

Love you honey!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


So, some of you have probably heard about the tornado that hit Atlanta Friday. Well, that is where Andrew was at a dental convention...and his hotel was 1 MILE from where it hit. When the power went out in his hotel, he actually went outside to watch the storm. What a smarty! :) That night, he heard the meetings for the next day had been cancelled, because part of the roof had blown off the convention center. It also severely damaged the arena where the NBA game was going on, ripped part of the roof off the Georgia Dome, where the SEC tournament was going on, and knocked windows and skylights out of most buildings. One was the CNN center, that Andrew had toured Wednesday. He brought home a piece of glass as a souvenir, and I can't believe windows that thick could bust out so easily! These are all pictures Andrew walked downtown and took the next day. The big cement pillar, is one of two "olympic torches" that fell in the olympic park.

The one good thing...because the conference was cancelled Saturday, he was able to catch an earlier flight home and got home at 7:30pm, instead of close to midnight.

The ironic thing about this, is the only two bad storms and tornado warnings we have been in before, were also when we were apart from each other. They were both in Oklahoma, and the first he was on a baseball trip, and the second I was at a dental convention. I told him these are all signs that we should never be apart from each other again!

7 1/2 weeks left...

For those of us who have been pregnant...we know at this point you are counting down at least in weeks...if not days. Still everyone laughs when they ask me how much longer and I answer by the half week. :) For some reason when you say it in weeks, it seems a lot less time than when you say it in months. I have to say, it seems like I JUST took pictures at 28 weeks...and it has already been 4 more. That is a good sign that time is going fast. Although, this week I have gotten my first taste of anxiety thinking about how close I am to having **3 kids**! Can I do it? I know life will go on...but am I ready for a baby, sleepless nights, 3 car seats, and everything else that comes along with a newborn??
So last week at church, someone asked how much longer I had. I said, "A little less than 2 months." (It was a guy, so they usually look at you cross-eyed when you say it in weeks :) ). He said, "You have to get BIGGER?!" Ouch! It really doesn't bother me...but I do think it is funny the things people say. Another guy at church said, "You have a lotta lovin' in there!". Whatever that means. And the librarian asked this week if I am sure it is not twins. She also made sure she told to boys to "take care of mom". That would be nice if they could rub my feet, or clean the house. :) Instead it is usually the opposite...making me run after them in parking lots, and dumping their toy-boxes daily.

Make sure an vote on our poll to help me decide what kind of quilt to make this baby. Not sure if he'll have much of a "nursery"...but, I do want to do something for him. FYI, Cooper's room was/is "Sports/Baseball" themed, and Gunner's was "Cowboy".

Friday, March 14, 2008

...and so it begins!!!

Yes, it's that time of year. BASEBALL SEASON! Although "opening day" isn't for 17 days here in St. Louis, Andrew is enjoying the Spring Training and buzz. What is the most fun about it, is how excited our boys are! Cooper can't wait to go to the stadium. We went and bought tickets for some games the other day (you have to get them early here in St. Louis...they have amazing fans!), and I think the Team Shop is their favorite place in the mall. We also picked out a shirt for the baby brother, that matches the t-shirt Cooper and Gunner already have. I love that they are "hometown fans", although, they each take batting practice daily, and switch off between being the Indians, Cardinals, Cubs, Red Sox and Pirates.

So, it's on Cooper's mind enough, that the other day when we walked into the library, he said to the librarian, "We're Cardinals fans." She said, "I can see that by your hats (they wear them daily)". He said, "We got tickets to go to a game at the ballpark when my best friend Dirkie comes to visit, but I like the Cardinals, but I don't love them...I love the Pirates, they're my favorite team, and Jason Bay is my favorite player...and, I'm want to play outfield like Jason Bay, but my Dad wants me to be an infielder." Ok, Cooper, a little too much information!

Then, last night (even though Dad has been out of town for a few days and the baseball talk and t.v. has been toned down), he said in his prayer,

"...and we're grateful for the gospel, and we're grateful for the Holy Ghost, and we're glad to be Cardinals fans, and please bless that the Cardinals can beat the Yankees...and we love Jesus..."

I just love how it was sandwiched between all of the "normal, legitimate" prayer items. :)

I can't blame his obsession, because he is his father's son, and he had been to 55 Major League Baseball games at 12 different ballparks...all before he turned 4!

And, just think, another BOY on the way. Good thing I like baseball too! 

Our hopeful plans for this year... to add Milwaukee and Kansas City to our "parks visited". We already have tickets to 6 Cardinals games for this year (can't wait to go with the Bollingers, Bentleys, Gpa and Gma (and Brock clan), and Tanner!). Andrew gets to "work" at one game with the dental squadron. He also gets FREE standing room tickets for being active-duty, I'm sure he'll see a few more. We move August 1, so hopefully we can move somewhere close to some baseball and see a few more games before the season ends. 

The Game

Last week we ventured 30 minutes away to this "indoor playground" called The Game. I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised! It is actually a really nice indoor soccer facility, but has this big playland throughout the foyer that wraps around and around, a little arcade, and a yummy snack bar. Their favorite areas were the slides, the trampoline, the rope swing, and the foam blocks that Gunner spent forever building towers with. If you can believe it, I even crawled around up there for a while (not by choice...but to help Gunner conquer some fears). The boys had so much fun, that we got our hands stamped (it was $3 per kid), and went back that night with Dad for dinner and playing. Nothing beats watching your kids having fun...and we love anything that will keep them entertained for 4 HOURS on a Friday!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who's kid does this?!

Yes, if you are wondering if that is POOP all over Gunner's face, you are right! This post is not for weak stomachs...but, I have to document this. I didn't get enough pictures (if you can imagine me snapping these in my rage), but he woke up this morning and decided to explore down the back of his dirty pants. It was on the crib, sheet, blanket, clothes, hands and face! The nice thing is he did seem to feel some remorse. I only wish I had a white crib, so I can be sure I got it ALL off! Let's hope he felt bad enough that he'll NEVER do it again!
I couldn't help but flashback to when Cooper was about his age (maybe a few months younger), and decided to AJAX the living room, his toy box, his book shelf, the couch... I was SO mad!
It all happened in the 7 minutes I was blow drying my hair. He got the bottle from under the kitchen sink, and there was a trail to the living room. He used the WHOLE BOTTLE! I remember going to playgroup later that morning and crying to the girls that I have never wanted to beat my child so bad (don't worry, I held back!). AJax has bleach in it too, so I had to vacuum everything up then either tub clean or dishwasher all of his toys. I was beating the couch like a mad woman trying to get all the AJax dust out...needless to say our living room smelt clean for a while after.

What crazy things have your 2-year-olds done?! I can't be the only mom with kids this bad! Please, give me some solace!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My skiing buddy!

I know we already shared Cooper's 1st time skiing experience back in January, but I got some pictures from family members, so I wanted to share.

We went Christmas Eve to Schwietzer Mountan, near Sandpoint, ID, as part of our "Gatten Family Reunion". It was the first time for 4 of the cousins. Uncle Dusty was Cooper's ski instructor (we are blessed to have 4 ski instructors in the family!). We got his rental skis, tried to get him excited (I was nervous he might be too young...but he didn't need any encouraging from me), he got his orientation, and went 1 time down the "Magic Carpet" small bunny hill at 10am. Then he was ready for the big stuff! :) He went down the big bunny hill twice before lunch. It was SO cute to see him come up the chair lift. I borrowed my sister's skis and skied the 2nd half the day with Cooper and Noah. We went 7 more times down the hill! I kept asking if they were done (I didn't want to overdue it on the first day), but they skied until they kicked them off at the end of the day! He would try and jump too, because he thought it made him go faster! They were little speed demons...pretending they were "snowmobiles". He's a little athlete, and it was so fun.

My favorite thing he said was, "Mom, when I get bigger, can I ski with you down those really big hills?!" I can't wait!

He also said, "Mom, pretend your Santa and I'm a little boy."
"O.K. What do you want for Christmas little boy?"
"I want a snowboard, because I already have these skis (pointing to his rentals)."

Too bad it was already Christmas Eve, and we don't live by any ski hills! Someday! He is a man after my own heart. Isn't it the most gorgeous place with the view of the lake?!