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!