First Weekend of December = Busy, Crazy Fun!

Friday night, Coop's preschool class sang a few songs at the town's annual Christmas tree lighting. He was so excited, and kept reminding all of us that we needed to get ready so we wouldn't be late. We were all under the impression that he wouldn't know any of the songs, since he couldn't even remember the words to Jingle Bells, but imagine our surprise when they put him smack in the middle of the pack and he sang the loudest! I SO WISH my camera would take video in the dark, because it was absolutely PRICELESS to watch his goofy grin while he sang the songs and did the motions. Several people were laughing at him, but in a good way. Our friends Caleb and Desi came to watch, and Uncle Leroy and Aunt Juanez ended up being there too, to meet some of their friends. So it was a nice (although very COLD) little gathering, and we all had a fun time.

Saturday was such a whirlwind day, but one of the best we've had in a long time. Dave & I got to go Christmas shopping by ourselves, while the boys stayed with Aunt Kris and Uncle Kev. We got a lot done, and managed to not even get into any arguments about what we bought! LOL! Then we rushed back to Grandview, picked out our Christmas tree, brought it home, put it in the stand and changed our clothes for the Lighted Parade. A quick stop at Starbucks for some coffee, cocoa and snacks, and we were ready! Dave brought his little heater, which we hooked up to our propane tank and sat in front of us on the sidewalk. Thank goodness we had that thing! It was a FRIGID evening...but when we saw Papa's float coming down the street, all of that numb, cold feeling went away for just a minute, because we were all so excited! Dad's City of Sunnyside float won 1st place in its division. He and all his friends were very pumped!

Dad & Mom drove the float, and there's Hunter cheering them on!

They even had the voices from the movie playing!

Up on top of the tractor is sad-looking Charlie, kneeling by his floppy tree.

We were finally able to get the tree decorated Sunday after church. And I must say, it looks much better with the lights and ornaments on it because I was afraid after getting it into the stand that I'd picked a dud...LOL! Tonight I have big plans for wrapping a few gifts, but I'm afraid once they're out there Cooper will not stop throwing fits to open some! So who knows... Wow, this has been a long post. I admire the bloggers who can just post a picture and a sentence. I, however, have the gift of story-telling, which I probably got from my dad...okay, which I ABSOLUTELY got from my dad - ha!


Thanksgiving, Bowling and Christmas Decorating, OH MY!

There have been several blog-worthy events since Thanksgiving, so I'm wrapping them all into one!

Thanksgiving this year was spent with Dave's family. I always look forward to his mom's cooking, and she didn't disappoint this year...everything was YUMMY! She is the mother of all boys, and all of her boys have boys...no girls...so it gets pretty rowdy, but that's the way we like it. They all played football in the rain. I went out to take a few pics, but there was no way I was gonna stand out there and watch! LOL!

Friday, Kristal and I went shopping. Even though we didn't get up SUPER early, like all the other crazies, we did get a lot done. Dave and the boys wanted to go bowling when I got back, so we called my parents and they came with us. Dave's mom and stepdad ended up being down there too, so it was a true family affair! As always, Dave and my dad had the best scores and Hunter pouted the whole time because he wasn't "doing good". I think he gets his competitive attitude from my side of the family! Coop is a natural. He always makes sure we're all looking, then lets the ball go and watches it 'til it hits the pins...even if that is ten minutes later...LOL! I tried to stay even with my mom's score, and we did okay. :)

Finally, we got our house decorated - inside and out - for Christmas! I worked all day Saturday and had it almost done by the time Dave got home from snowmobiling. Sunday after church, Dave mustered up some Christmas spirit and got all of the outside lights and decorating done. I tried to help as best I could...and was actually a bit sore the next day! Whew...I'm out of shape!
We sincerely hope that this time of year is special for each one of our friends and family. More fun blogs to come, so check in often!


100th Post

Several of my friends have gone with the tradition of sharing 100 random facts about themselves on their 100th post. I have loved reading those blogs, and I have been waiting a long time to do the same! So here goes...hope no one gets bored! LOL!

1. I have been thinking of things to put on this list for MONTHS! Now, for some reason, none of those things are coming to mind...darn it.

2. I am the oldest of three daughters.

3. I have always taken pride in the fact that I am 1/2 white and 1/2 Mexican.

4. My parents brought me up to believe in God and to have a personal relationship with Him. That has helped me in my life more than anything else.

5. I have been going to the same church, Mabton Grace Brethren Church, ALL MY LIFE! And I love it there.

6. My birthday is May 12, 1978. I expect everyone to make a big deal out of my birthday every year. And if they don't, I don't have any problems reminding them that they need to. Ha!

7. I really loved growing up in Mabton, even though a lot of people look down on the town. In my opinion, it was always very safe, and I had the best teachers.

8. Sports have always been a big part of my life, and I played 3 sports in high school.

9. I wouldn't say I was any good at any of those sports, but I knew the rules and the fundamentals. I just couldn't make my body do what my brain knew I should be doing!

10. I still have dreams about playing basketball, and I always make the winning shot - a 3 pointer at the buzzer. Man, that dream never gets old!

11. Speaking of basketball, my sister Kristal bumped into me and caused me to shove the girl I was defending...fouling me out of my last home basketball game of my career. I was very mad at her.

12. My sisters are extremely special to me, and I treasure the time I get to spend with them.

13. My middle name is Elena, after my grandma (my dad's mom). I am so glad I am named after her. She was very special to me, and died too young.

14. Speaking of grandparents, my nana and grandpa (mom's parents), have been married 55 years! I love my nana and grandpa SO much! My nana is a prayer warrior, and I have felt her prayers many times in my life.

15. I used to be the BIGGEST Michael Jordan fan. His posters were all over my room, which was painted black and white with red carpet (for his team, the Chicago Bulls).

16. I always had more friends that were boys than girls. I don't know why, but other girls hated that.

17. I played the trumpet in the band.

18. I wanted a saxophone, but I'm glad I never got one since I met my husband in the trumpet section of band class. :)

19. Playing the trumpet with braces on your teeth is not a joy. That is not a random "fact", but rather a statement I felt compelled to share with you all.

20. Yes, Dave was my high school sweetheart. His nickname was "Bird", because people thought he looked like Larry Bird.

21. When I told my dad I was "going out" with a boy named "Bird", he asked me what his real name was. I told him I'd have to ask the next day! LOL!

22. Our first date was to his Jr. prom. We looked goofy as heck, but at the time we looked pretty cool, I guess.

23. I didn't go to my Sr. prom because Dave had just had knee surgery and couldn't go. So I skipped mine and went with my friend Sam to his prom at White Swan. It was fun!

24. Ah, the White Swan crew who all went to church at Harrah Grace Brethren...WOW - I loved those guys so much!

25. We had the biggest youth group at my church when I was in high school. My parents and several others were the leaders.

26. Youth rallies and various churches every quarter and Camp Clear Lake every summer are times I will NEVER forget!

27. I went to Jr. Camp one summer (or maybe two - I can't remember), and was a counselor / cook helper. I got up early for kitchen duty, but it was worth it. Those were awesome kids!

28. I never had a job in high school, because I was always playing sports. I babysat, but that's about it...

29. I had always wanted to go to college, but seeing as how I thought I might be getting married soon, I opted to go to a junior college and live at home. Plus, I got my first job.

30. That job was waitressing at The Dykstra House in Grandview. My first night I made over 50 bucks in tips!

31. Linda, the owner, told me I "set beautiful tables"...I don't know if that's because I really did or she was just trying to find something nice to tell me. Waitressing was an awkward thing for me.

32. I was proposed to in front of my mom's entire family at my nana and grandpa's Christmas gathering. My Aunt Debbie held my hand because I told her I was scared. LOL!

33. We were married on August 9, 1997 at the Nazarene Church in Grandview.

34. We picked the 9th because 9 is Dave's favorite number. It was his football jersey and baseball jersey #.

35. We went to Disneyland, Universal Studios, Sea World and Knott's Berry Farm for our honeymoon.

36. Between the time we got married and then moved to Wenatchee to go to school, we lived in the parsonage (where Pastor and Jane live now). It was only for about a month.

37. We both completed our 2nd year of college at Wenatchee Valley College.

38. We worked at Easy Auto Wash. I ran the cash register and pumped gas and Dave ran the car wash.


40. Being away from my parents was VERY hard for me, but Dave & I look back on that first year with fondness, because we were each other's only support system and we learned a lot about each other.

41. We came back to Grandview because Dave got his job at Horse Heaven Heating & Cooling.

42. Horse Heaven Heating & Cooling is now Horse Heaven Refrigeration...Dave acquired the business in 2005!

43. I loved the time I worked with the middle schoolers at Grandview Middle School. If I could get my job back there, I'd go in a heartbeat.

44. I sometimes feel bad that I never got my teaching degree. Maybe someday...

45. I bet you're wondering why I haven't mentioned anything about my kids!

46. Hunter Reece was born Feb. 4, 2002.

47. I loved being pregnant, but his delivery was horrible.

48. Cooper Chase was born Aug. 22, 2005.

49. Coop's delivery was a close one, but it was a piece of cake. :) Still loved being pregnant, but the morning sickness I could have done without.


51. I love my husband, Dave, with all my heart.

52. He is a great example to our kids.

53. I am so proud of the man Dave has become. Before he had God in his life, he was headed down the wrong path, but now his faith is so strong and he is a wonderful head of this household.

54. I go back and forth with myself about whether or not I would like to have a little girl.

55. I was no good at potty-training, which kind of deters me from wanting another child!

56. I think picking boy names was WAY easier than picking girl names!

57. I had to know the sex of my babies. I can't stand for other people to know things and not tell me.

58. I have a VERY hard time keeping a secret, but I have gotten way better in the last few years.

59. I used to peek at my Christmas presents. I have grown out of that now.

60. Speaking of Christmas, I can't sleep on Christmas Eve! I have been this way since I was a little girl!

61. I do not like the green Tums. So if you come to my house and need a Tum, chances are you'll get a green one since that's all there is left! Ha!

62. Being a mom is the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me.

63. Sometimes I do wish I did have a job outside of the home, since I am such a social butterfly, but I know it's best for me to stay home with my kids while they're small.

64. I feel extremely lucky to be able to stay home, because I know so many mom's who'd like to, but it is simply not an option for them.

65. I love Jesus!

66. I have a strong desire to make my relationship with Him deeper and more meaningful. I know everything I am and have is because of Him!

67. My oldest son, Hunter is so smart. He has a brain like a sponge, and it is full of random information that he just spurts out from time to time. He reminds me of myself when I was his age!

68. My youngest son, Coop, is a crazy spitfire of a child...he reminds me of his Dad!

69. I sometimes feel like I could use a class or a book about how to be a better mom. I love being a mom, it's just that I feel like I could be doing a better job!

70. Summer is my favorite time of the year.

71. This is mostly because of Dave and his softball team. Softball season is crazy, but we love it!

72. I have been known to occassionally yell at an umpire or two. Hey, I know the rules!

73. I especially enjoy it when Kev plays with Dave, that way I know if I need to yell at an ump, my sister Kristal will be there to yell with me!

74. Our Dad was a basketball referee and an umpire, and he took us to lots of his games. So we know what we're talking about!

75. I have some pretty special women in my life that I try to be like: my nana, my mom and my aunt Marci.

76. Cooking is not really my specialty, but I have gotten better thanks to 12 years of marriage!

77. I just learned how to make mashed potatoes last year. Not hard at all - don't know why I waited!

78. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas. As far as I'm concerned, that is the only good part about winter.

79. Winter is hard, especially on the weekends, since Dave snowmobiles. I used to get really worked up about it, but now that I have kids, it's easier to just go with the flow than to argue about it.

80. That's something really special about Dave and I, is that we hardly ever argue. Seriously. It's kind of weird.

81. I have struggled with my weight since I had Hunter.

82. I desperately want to lose about 15 pounds, but I am not motivated at all. I know how to do it, but I have all kinds of excuses as to why I can't...basically I am lazy, I guess!

83. I believe in the power of prayer, and we are teaching our sons about it. I hope they grow up to know and love Jesus the way we do!

84. I clean my ears with a Q-tip about 3 or 4 times a day...not so much because they need cleaning, just because I think I have OCD. LOL!

85. I also wash my hands A LOT, which is part of that OCD, I believe...

86. I cannot just sit down and watch a movie. If we're at the theater that's okay, but when we're at home, I just can't do it. I don't know why. Dave gets annoyed with me about it.

87. I used to be paranoid about driving on the snow, but in the past few years I've been much more relaxed about it. Snow is fun for a few days, but I like it to melt the same day and start again in the morning.

88. Shopping on Black Friday used to be one of my favorite days to shop, but now it's not so much for the deals, it's just so I can go to the mall by myself! (Dave and the boys always hang out at home on that day).

89. I have been babysitting a little girl the past two school-years. Her name is Kora and she is almost 18 months old. She is a friend's baby. We love her so much!

90. I have vacation on the brain just about every day. I really want to take the boys to Disneyland! Just waiting for Coop to be tall enough to ride all the rides!

91. My best friend, Katy, is at Disneyland right now with her whole family! I miss her lots!

92. I am a Husky fan, and not ashamed of it! LOL!

93. I cannot wait until tomorrow at 10:00 AM because I am getting my hair cut and colored! Too many gray hairs!!

94. I am on Facebook way too much, but I am addicted to it.

95. I am especially addicted to the Bejeweled Blitz game. If you haven't tried it, you should. You can waste a lot of minutes playing that game!

96. Music is something that I really love. All kinds...but this time of year I like to rock out on the XM Holly station on my TV...Christmas music!

97. I am going to meticulously edit this post for spelling and grammar errors. I do not like it when those kinds of mistakes get past me and onto my blog!

98. I am thankful for all of my friends who read and comment on my blog. I sometimes get bummed out because I only get a few comments. I know, I am so attention starved...

99. Almost done - whoa! This has been really fun! Hopefully none of you are snoring yet...

100. I am truly blessed to be living this life God's given me. My joy and happiness is all because of Him!

Tuesday Night Fun

The kids have been looking forward to the "Merry Madagascar" special that's been advertised on TV the last few weeks. FINALLY, yesterday was the day. We had a nice dinner (Coop ate it without too much whining and gagging). After that, we got in the hot tub for a little while, then came in and got all cleaned up. We had peppermint ice cream in our jammies and watched "Merry Madagascar". I love fun evenings at home with the family. Hopefully, these will be the times we'll remember forever...

Daddy lets the boys be wild, and Mommy is paranoid...

Awww, brotherly love...and goodness - what does Coop have in his teeth?!


Sacked Out...

We took the boys to see Disney's "A Christmas Carol" movie. Dave & I loved it, but it's not for little kids...they were freaked out the whole time. Anyway, we got home, and about 7:30 they were both sacked out on the couch. Coop even has a cup of french fries in his lap. LOL! We were all in bed by 8:30 on a Saturday night. That's right, people...we're party animals over here.


Bumblebee and Optimus Prime Go Trick-or-Treating...

Halloween this year was so fun. We haven't had a Saturday at home for over a month, and it felt so good to just wake up whenever we wanted and go at our own pace for once. We had a late breakfast, did some work around the house, Dave emptied the hot tub and cleaned the filters, we played some Rock Band and even took in a Grid Kids football game!
But after all of that came the funnest part of the day, which was when Optimus Prime and Bumblebee came out to play...and ask random strangers for candy.
Hunter, I mean Optimus, felt like he needed to walk everywhere with that gun-thingy pointed straight out. LOL. Made it hard to hold his hand! Coop, a.k.a. Bumblebee, walked around with his mask too high on his face, so I had no idea how he could even see.

I had to throw this pic in. It's my parents' front porch. It looked SO beautiful!
It was a very fun evening...the weather wasn't as cold as I thought it would be, and the boys held up pretty well. We didn't have any emotional break-downs or costume malfunctions, so that was a plus. Now we just need to figure out how to get rid of this candy! I'll give it a week, and when all the chocolate's gone, the rest is going in the garbage! LOL!

Building 429 / Todd Agnew Concert!

On Friday night, Dave & I took Hunter to Calvary Chapel in Kennewick to see the Building 429 / Todd Agnew concert. It was a late night, but we were super glad for the fun evening spent together and the amazing music! Coop stayed at my parents' house, and helped Nana make some yummy Halloween cookies! He is quite the cookie-decorator...all of the cookies were FILLED with chocolate chips, sprinkles and candy corn! LOL!

Hunter had fun with his friends Gracie & Charlie

We love going to concerts...we have been to several in the last few years. We hope to continue this tradition, and maybe even start taking Coop with us one day soon!


Carving Pumpkins...Again!

Last Thursday, my parents came over and watched the kids while Dave and I went to the Life Options banquet. We came home to find two spooky-looking pumpkins on our front steps....

Hunter's pumpkin...ooooohhhh, scary!

Coop's pumpkin...even scarier, in my opinion. Ha!

Then last night, we decided we had another two pumpkins to carve, so we did those as well. We had fun, except I almost puked when I put my hands in to gut mine. I usually do get grossed out, but this one was BAD. Super slimy - yuck! I know, I'm such a whimp.

Coop drew all over one, which we decided not to carve...but he sure had a good time!

Hunter drew this one's scary face...he is quite the artist!

Dave's finished product! Not too shabby!

Mine - which was declared the winner by me. Ha!

Coop's, Dave's, Hunter's, mine - top to bottom

Carving pumpkins is seriously a tradition that will NEVER get old in our house. And I have a feeling the competition will continue to get better as the boys get older. I can't wait! Happy Halloween, everyone!


Last Soccer Game of '09

Last Thursday was Hunter's last soccer game of the season. It sure flies by, and we are always a little bummed when it's over. Each year, we grow more and more attached to our teammates. They are such fun little guys, and we really love watching them and getting to know their parents, brothers and sisters. It really is like a little soccer-family!

Standing: Giodani and Xavier, Middle: Mark, Jorge and Trevor, Front: Ben and Hunter

Even Aunt Kris got in on the cheering action!

Xavier's grandma always brings snacks on the last day...and we are always so impressed with what she comes up with!

Hunter had his best game of the season, scoring 3 goals! We were all pleased with his performance, and went out to El Rancho Alegre to celebrate afterwards. Our Mondays and Thursdays will be free now, until April, when it all begins again!


Hunter's Walk-a-Thon

Friday morning was Hunter's annual Walk-a-Thon at school. He raised over $160.00 for his class, thanks to my dad taking his sponsor sheet to work. He also had some other very generous donors, like Uncle Tony & Aunt Marci and Aunt Angie & Uncle Dan. :) Last year he won the prize for the most money raised, and he was really trying to win that prize again. We'll see once all the money is counted.

Kora & I went over to the school to watch and cheer for Hunter's class. They ran for 20 minutes, and Hunter did 11 laps in that time. He ran a lot, but towards the end he got a little winded and walked a bit. I was very proud of him. And I think he was proud of himself too!

Each and every day, I thank God for giving me my boys. Hunter is so smart, kind and witty. Even when he is nervous or upset about something, he is always making sure I am okay. And Coop brings so much fun and laughter to our house. He keeps us on our toes, but we can't begin to imagine our lives without him. I am so blessed!


A Visit to the Fire Station

Yesterday was Coop's field trip to the fire station. I arranged to not have to babysit that day so I could go with him, and I was so glad I did! We had so much fun! Coop's "buddy" was his friend Justin. They had to hold hands wherever they went, so no one would get lost. Justin was decked out in his Cougar clothes, and Coop was wearing his Husky jacket, so it was pretty hilarious.

The fire chief gave the kids a lot of good tips on fire safety. They learned to stop, drop and roll and were allowed to sit in a fire truck. They LOVED that part. :) Coop definitely did his best to impress me yesterday. Each and every time the teacher asked them to do something, he had to inform me of what they were doing. However I did notice that he is not always paying attention and occassionally goofs off when he's supposed to be listening, so I didn't know if it was just because I was there or if he acts like that all the time...hmmmmm.

It is such a joy to be able to go with my boys on their field trips. I have been going along on nearly all of their fun trips since Hunter was in preschool, which was 3 years ago! And even though they are the same kind of thing every year (police station, fire station, pumpkin patch, park, etc.) they never get boring! I hope these are times we all remember forever!


Fair Fun...Puyallup Style!

This past weekend we went to Seattle to celebrate my little sister Ashlee's birthday, and to go to the Puyallup fair. We went along with my parents and my other sister Kristal, and we all stayed at our friends' Lee & Pam's house. WE HAD SO MUCH FUN! Friday night, we had pizza and cake & ice cream. Sean (Ash's boyfriend), Uncle Tony, Aunt Marci, Karmen, Geramy, Kara and D all came. It is so funny when we all get together because we are constantly laughing. Let's just say it was super loud, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

Then Saturday we all went to the Puyallup fair. The weather was perfect, so we went early in the morning so we could ride the rides before it got too busy. The boys and I rode the Giant Slide, then they rode a few different things like the Tiger roller coaster and the cars and helicopter. We went through a few animal barns and saw some cute piglets and rabbits. There were a lot of things we didn't get to see, but the boys had about had it after the ice cream wore off, so we accepted the fact that we weren't going to get to see the entire fair and left before it got out of hand. LOL!

Ash rode with Hunter

I rode with Coop

Neither one of them would put their hands up...

We ate corn dogs, curly fries, ice cream and snow cones. And Dave stuffed down a Philly cheesesteak on the way out-ha! The adults got to ride a few roller coasters too, which was fun. I love rides. Speaking of rides...

I have always said that I wanted to do the Slingshot - the thing that bungees you way up high in the air. Except that whenever we are at the Yakima fair we are always alone, with no one to watch our kids. I had always assumed Dave would go with me...so here we are at the fair, with family to watch our kids, and no one wants to go with me. FINALLY, Ash stepped up and said she'd go, so Dave gave us the $$ and we went. And OH.MY.GOSH...it was the craziest, most scary and fun thing I've ever done! It was sooooooo awesome! I would do it again and again and again if it didn't cost so dang much-haha! I am so glad I had the experience, and that I got to do it with my little sis. The video doesn't capture the whole ride, but it gives you an idea. So enjoy! And if anyone ever needs a partner on that thing, you just call me up! Next big thrill: Skydiving!


Seaside / Tillamook Vacation!

Okay, so everyone knows we have been wanting to go to the ocean for a long time. I only put it as my Facebook status, like, every other day. Haha! Well, Dave was able to get away for a couple of days so we took advantage of it...booked a hotel in Seaside for two nights and spent the other two nights camping with Dave's family in Tillamook. We had the best time! It was so relaxing and fun, and we can't wait to go back very soon. Like tomorrow would be good. Don't forget to click on the collages to see the pictures better!

Coop hadn't been to the beach since his 1st birthday, so I don't think he even knew what to expect, but it didn't take him long to figure out that there were a million fun things he could do there. His favorite things to do were playing EVERY game at the arcade, and sitting in the sand and drawing things with his finger. Oh, and swinging on the swings on the beach. He could have done that all day! He was a little ticked when he found out he'd have to be a passenger on the Go-Karts, and that he had to ride with me instead of his Daddy, but he lightened up a bit after we got out there. He says we won, but actually we came in second-to-last! Oh well...

Hunter knew exactly what to expect. That kid has an awesome memory, because he remembered a lot from the last time we were there in 2006. He loved playing Deal or No Deal and Skee Ball at the arcade, and he was the main construction guy on the big sand castle we made. He found TONS of shells and sand dollars, and he could have spent all day running away from the waves. He gets that from his Daddy, I suppose. Dave is the same way. :) Hunter was a real trooper when it came to taking a break to do some of his homework, since his teacher thought it would be appropriate to send home 4 reading things and about 10 math things. Ugh, don't even get me started! He finished it all though, and we were super proud of him.

As for me and Dave, we just had fun being together. It is so great for me to see my husband enjoying himself, laughing and playing with the boys. He works so hard every day, trying to keep up with all the aspects of running a business and he really deserved these few days to relax and have fun with his family.
Camping in Tillamook was nice too. It rained the first night we were there, and although we stayed dry in our tent, most of our other stuff got soaked. But it cleared up that afternoon and we had beautiful weather the rest of the time, thank the Lord! Dave's brother and his family and their mom and uncle were also there. We picked a pretty spot to spread Dave's grandma's ashes in the water. It was very peaceful, but emotional - kind of hard to explain. We know though, that whenever we come to the ocean, we will "visit" Great Grandma. :)
My favorite picture...
Sorry this has been such a long blog! I could have just posted pictures, but you know me...I love to tell a story. We are so thankful for this little getaway, and are sure it will be something we remember forever! Tune in next week for Puyallup Fair pics! Haha!