Saying Goodbye to 2014

Ah, the year of 2014...one we will never forget, that's for sure. 

Where do I even start? As I was looking back through these blog entries I had to literally laugh out loud. The boys look so SMALL in the pictures! I have thought many times about deleting this website, then I always go back to...'but what if I want to say something really profound on my blog?' LOL. Nothing I say is very profound, I don't think. But hey, at least you get to read my thoughts on The Kleinow's saying GOODBYE to 2014...and HELLO to 2015. Lucky you! 

We will start with the boss of the family. Yes, I mean Coop. Never one to shy away from really saying what he thinks, we know his opinion on everything under the sun. Recently, when Dave stayed home sick, he looked at me with a look of 'is he always like this?' on his face. I just laughed and nodded. If Coop is awake, something is coming out of his mouth. A real song, a made up song, a sarcastic attitude, a sweet 'I Love You', a story about what happened at school, a wish, a question. He is a deep thinker, an outstanding athlete and student, a leader, and if you are his friend he will do anything for you. (If you happen to be his Mom, he might not like you that much but he will love you fiercely! Speaking from experience). He is a greeter at our church and he is his brother's biggest fan (and critic). 

His year of sports started out with basketball. He plays with some of the coolest 3rd and 4th graders we know! Being a 3rd grader on a 4th grade team, he works super hard on the court to earn his playing time and to help his team win. His specialty is defense. (His Dad is trying to get him to have that scoring mentality, but I am totally okay with him dishing fancy passes and seeing the floor like no one else does. The scoring will come. :) Then we moved to baseball, where he got to pitch off the mound to a real batter for the first time. To a kid who's been holding a bat in his hands since before he could even speak, this was a huge deal. I think in his first game, he struck out like 7 batters or something. He even played a few tournaments on an All-Star team. From there, we moved on to football, and if you ask him now...he will say football is his favorite sport. Being the youngest on the team, he was...you guessed it...the quarterback. All those pretend snaps he'd taken in the living room really paid off, apparently! His team had a fabulous - and LONG - season. July to November, we were out on the fields practicing and playing, in extreme heat and severe cold. He took a lot of hits and made me super nervous, but the kid is tough. They made it to the championship and took 2nd place. Coop just makes the world a better place and we love him!

Next up is the almost-teenager, who just got his braces off his teeth and is looking quite handsome! Hunter is honestly THE BEST KID! Right now he is battling strep throat, and even when he's sick and not feeling good he is still being polite, thanking me for everything I'm doing to take care of him, tolerating Coop's arguments and laughing at my attempts to cheer him up. His year was so full of awesomeness, I will try to get it all in without boring you. Having a February birthday sometimes makes for interesting parties, but we took him and a bunch of his friends to Doc's so they could play mini golf and video games and eat pizza. His friends are seriously awesome...couldn't ask for better friends for him! In March, he earned himself a spot to represent his school at the regional science fair at the Tri-Cities Mall. He got to skip a whole day of school and go to the mall and answer questions about his project, which was on different kinds of Elmer's Glue. :) 

Hunter's sports brought us so many fun memories, as well. In his last year of Cal Ripken, he pitched, played infield and center field. His arm is strong, for a skinny guy, and he ended up making three different All-Star teams. He played tournaments in Yakima almost every single weekend of the summer. And we took a little trip to the RAC in Lacey, for a tourney which was eye-opening but fun. I love watching Hunter play baseball! Football was fun too, and though he didn't play a lot, he was always in there trying his hardest. He is a coachable, positive kid, who encourages his teammates and genuinely tries to do what he's asked. Perhaps that's why he earned the Coaches Award during 7th grade basketball. He started off making the B team, but then was moved to A team and eventually became a starter. He learned a lot during the season and we were super proud of him. His grades are fabulous, his teachers love him, he is an awesome big brother and this house remains sane most times because of his dry sense of humor and calm attitude. He is a blessing! (He also just looked over my shoulder and said I should indent my paragraphs...LOLOL)!

Then we have Dave. His latest adventure is the fact that he now has braces. Eating has been challenging, but in the long run it will be worth it. He's always wanted them, now he has them! I'm so happy for him - he looks awesome. Thinking of what else to write about him makes me tear up because when I think of all he does for me and the boys, it literally makes my heart swell. So many of his days this year have been spent on the court or on the field, coaching his kids. And when I say his kids, I mean his own, actual kids...and the ones he's adopted in his "coaches heart". To say he has impacted a lot of kids in our community as a baseball, basketball and football coach would be an understatement. He has impacted kids in this community, and in others around the valley. Being Coop's basketball / football coach and Hunter's baseball coach, Dave is a super busy guy. But watching him out there, getting those boys to work so hard for him, motivating them to not only do their best in sports but in school...and life...he is so inspiring to me! 
He continues to work out at Hanford as a scheduler/planner. Everyone loves him out there because he actually works. :) When he's not coaching, which is A LOT of days out of the year, he is helping someone else coach. Or he is wishing he was the coach. LOL! He still loves snowmobiling, but has kind of phased out of softball, which we all miss. Dave is such a great husband, dad and friend. I am so blessed to be his wife. So many of our days are spent running, rushing, being exhausted. But he never fails to have a grin to cheer me up, a sweet call or text to say "Keep having faith, God has a plan." He's my voice of reason, my rock. Love him! 

And then there is me. What can I say about myself that you don't already know? Here are my thoughts about my year. Never in my life have I lost someone that I loved so much. But in February, our dear friend Javi went to heaven. And not a day goes by that we don't miss him. In fact, his pictures and orange ribbons are in every room in our house, as a reminder of his friendship, his courage and his spirit. Along with that part of our year, I've been blessed to be able to watch Javi's family persevere and live life without him physically here. They are so inspiring and I hope they know just how special they are to us. 

My whole life, I always wanted to be a "sports mom". And God sure has taken that desire of my heart and made it a reality because I am living that dream, people! Watching the boys play and Dave coach is high on my list of favorite things to do. I also consider it a huge blessing to be working at Coop's school. I pray everyday on my way there, that I'd be used to show God's love to these kids. It's a true privilege to be able to help them read better. Every single child is super special to me...I love my job. I also loved that we were able to go to a few Mariners games this year, and to the beach, I loved getting a good tan watching my kids play ball, I love our lazy Sundays watching football after church, I love that we are planning a trip to Arizona in March. I love being with my family (and my sports family). And in all of this "love", I know it's all possible because of Jesus. Deep in my heart, I know we'd have nothing and be nothing without Him, His mercy and His grace. 

I really intend to keep up my blog. Along with about 100 other things I intend to do this year, like lose weight, read my Bible every day, keep my mouth shut when I really wanna yell at the refs, you know...all those things. So we will see which I am good at and which I am bad at. I am so very thankful for each and every one of you. From our familia to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! GOODBYE 2014 and HELLO 2015!


Better Late Than Never!

Here are all of the fun details from Hunter's 10th Birthday...about 12 days late.

We started out the (early) morning with presents from us...complete with new basketball shorts and a very special quarter, wrapped in a piece of black construction paper and a lot of tape.  (Bet you can't guess who that was from...LOL!)


 Then Hunter had a double-header in Benton City...he lost both games but did a darn good job!


Picked up the cake, hurried home and cleaned house, then friends came over for pizza, cake and ice cream!  Oh, and a Nerf gun war...
Went to the hockey game!  The boys all had a blast...so did the adults!  The Americans won, Hunter got his name and birthday put on the scoreboard and there was a huge brawl at the end, which is always good!  Ha!

The next day was Superbowl Sunday, so we of course had to take a cake to Grandma's to celebrate AGAIN! 

All-in-all, it turned out to be the best 10th birthday we could have given our awesome boy.  :)  He told us more than once that it was "The best birthday ever"...and that is exactly what we were aiming for.


My Son is Turning 10?!

Some of you don't remember or didn't know my Hunter when he was this little...but for those of you who do remember him...aren't you glad I put these pictures on here?!  Looking through the scrapbook, Dave & I always shake our heads and ask each other how on earth we allowed our baby to go places with that head of hair.  Haha! 

Tomorrow, February 4th, our Hunter Reece will turn 10 years old.  I just put him to bed and told him it was his last night as a 9 year old.  He grinned ear to ear and said, "I'll be a decade!"  I can't even put into words how special Hunter is to us.  From the time he was born, he has brought complete joy to us each and every day.  He is funny (he must get that from me-haha), smart, good at sports, an awesome big brother and just an all-around wonderful human being.  He is probably one of my best friends, to be honest.  He and I spend a lot of time talking about things, and his maturity always surprises me.  He can beat most of our family at Jeopardy, and if the child grows up and ever happens to make it onto the show "Cash Cab", he will most definitely win a ton of money.  LOL! 

He loves his family, is a loyal friend, always tries to do the right thing, and is (most of the time) a pleasure to be around.  There is no doubt in my mind that he will grow up to do great things, and I am so excited to see what God has planned for his life.  I am so thankful to the Lord for giving us this boy, and we are honored and proud to be his parents. 



Coop's Door

Coop has decided he will decorate the outside of his bedroom door with all kinds of artwork.  I think he does this because he has a strange obsession with...yeah, you guessed it...tape.

Look at those LONG strips of tape he has used.  Dave & I had to try not to burst into laughter when he proudly called us back to his door to take a look at his masterpieces.  Truthfully, the first thing you notice is the tape.  :)

Currently, there is a quarter wrapped in a tiny piece of construction paper, just waiting to be opened by Hunter on his birthday, which is 10 days away.  If I took the tape off it, I could use it to wrap an entire gift and still have some left over!  Guess whose idea that was...he can hardly wait for his brother to unwrap his "surprise present"!  Ah, how these boys bring smiles and joy to me each and every day.  I am surely blessed.


Oh Snowy Day!

You know how sometimes you just wish it would snow?  You may not even LIKE snow, but there is this voice in your head saying, some snow would be nice right about now... Well, we finally got some and our whole family was ecstatic!

I, personally, have a love/hate relationship with the stuff.  I want it only if I can sit by the window and watch it falling silently to the ground, with a cup of coffee or cocoa in my hand.  But who are we kidding...that would never really happen!  However, I did enjoy the afternoon yesterday, after it had dumped snow all morning.  Dave picked the boys up from school a bit early and got out the little snowmobiles.  They tore up and down the street, around and around the cul-de-sac and even used the yard of the empty house right next to us.  Neighbors stuck their heads out their doors to watch the show.  I'm glad they are all pretty tolerant of noise and none of them called the police.  LOL! 

 The red one was lent to us by our cousin - it goes 8 miles an hour and is perfect for Coop!

 Okay, he is just a natural...he was riding while standing up, doing some little hops and riding with one hand.  SO GLAD it only goes 8 miles an hour!

 I insisted on standing out in the road, so they wouldn't get run-over by a car...or crash into each other!

 Dave bought this little thing on Craigslist last week.  It goes FAST, and Hunter is a little timid but he is getting more confident with each time on it.

I think they are developing their Dad's love for snowmobiling...and I think I am okay with that.  :)

Today school actually got cancelled because of the ice and freezing rain.  Currently I am blogging in my pj's, drinking my 3rd cup of coffee and thinking of dragging out a board game to play with the boys.  It's days like this that I appreciate even more the fact that I am a stay-at-home mom.  It may be tough sometimes, both socially and financially, but it is SO worth it.


My Hero

I'll tell you what...when I started to fall in love with him, all those years ago, I had no idea he would turn into such an amazing husband, father and friend.  :)  I love him more every single day.  God sure did bless me when He sat Dave next to me in the trumpet section in high school band class...LOL...what a fun adventure we have had!  And I know we are just warming up...the best is yet to come!

Giving It One More Try...

Yeah, I know...you've missed me.  And you know something?  There really is no excuse for not posting a blog since APRIL of last year!  Goodness, you'd think I had been out saving the world or something.  But sadly, no...that's not it.  I've just been kinda busy!  Busier, in fact, than I have been in a really long time.  Some reasons for my business are the same - they are called Hunter and Cooper.  But other reasons include my weekday girlies, Kora and Ava! 

Kora and Ava are the girls I take care of during the week.  They truly are so much fun (with a little work thrown in :).  It's hard to believe I've had Kora since she was 3 months old.  She will be 4 in May, so she is pretty much my daughter.  LOL!  And sweet Ava came to me the beginning of the school year this year and will turn 1 in March!  I love having these girls in my home...and the rest of my family feels the same way. 

But I do have to say that I've really missed blogging about our family adventures, so as a resolution for 2012, I've decided I have to start up again.  Another resolution...and I'm sure it comes as no surprise...is that I am back on the weight-loss wagon!  Giddy-up!  I plan to lose about 15 pounds by my birthday (which is not until May, so surely this can happen...right?!).  So I may throw in a blog or two about that journey, assuming it will go somewhere besides OFF the wagon.

So stay tuned, people!  La Familia Kleinow is BACK!