Saturday, February 28, 2009


As many of you know we are avid WSU Cougar fans in our house. Being fortunate enough to live 45 minutes from campus, we have season tickets for football and basketball. Over the past 5 years our entire family has fallen in love with the Cougar basketball team, players, coaches (who couldn't like Tony Bennett!) and the newfound atmosphere of Cougar basketball. If you are an alum, you know how deep and wonderful Cougar pride can be...some might call it bizarre and insane...but we LOVE it! When your toddler can name starting line ups, some may call it obsessive! We call it being faithful fans! Our kids may show up tired for school on Friday mornings after a late Thursday night game, may have to miss friends' birthday parties to attend a game, but it is always well worth being at the games.
The past week has been phenominal for the Cougar basketball team. They beat highly ranked UCLA in California for only the 2nd time in the last 51 years, beat Arizona on Thursday night with a very strong margin, and then toppled ranked Arizona State this afternoon for the second time this season in the last seconds of an OVERTIME game! It has been a great week to be a Cougar. So much fun, so much pride, so much excitement!

Today was especially exciting, as it was Senior Day. Living where we do, we can occassionally run into the players in the grocery store, eating at a restaurant, in the car next to us at stop lights or on a street corner. Our seats are near the players' tickets, so we've grown accustomed to seeing the family and friends of the players from time-to-time. My kids have been looking forward to this special game all week.

So at noon I loaded up my suburban with 6 kids (Gage stayed home with a babysitter), a good friend and we headed to watch our Cougars and celebrate our dandy seniors who've been a joy to watch and change the culture of Cougar basketball! And, what a game we saw!!!!!
As the game ended on an exciting final shot made by Taylor Rotchestie with a couple seconds to go in OT, the students swarmed the floor along with the players family and friends who'd gathered. My kids all asked if they too could join the celebration on the floor! I said, "Go for it!" So the kids hit the floor, yes all 6 of them...and that was the beginning of a great experience for them...
Gunnar and his best friend Trey watching warm-ups! We always try to get to the games an hour before tip off so the kids can get snacks and watch the players warm-up.
After much of the crowd left the court, the players mingled on the court one last time! The five seniors wanted a group picture in their uniforms. And, yes that is Ashtyn just to the left.

(Just seconds after this pose, my friend's 4 year old Tanner ran up in front of the boys wanting to join in on the picture. So #10 T. Rochestie picked him up and Tanner is in most of the parents' group picture of the seniors. It was absolutely hilarious!)

The fans rushing the floor after the big upset!

Abree, Ashtyn, Ash's friend Madison, and Gunnar

We had to get a picture with the silly Kangaroo...Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oy, Oy, Oy! This was a common coliseum chant when Baynes would make a tremendous play!

The big 6'8" senior from Cannes, Australia, is Aron Baynes. He is great fun to watch! Many members of his family attended the games this week and came to Pullman for their first time. (They left Australila in 100 degree weather on Tuesday..imagine how cold they've been since arriving, and will return tomorrow!) The entire group brought this lovely blow-up kangaroo with Aussie flag, two blow up blue #1 hands decorated in Austrilian flag decor and other fun things to fly high when Aron would dunk, block shots, or make an exciting play. While we were all on the floor, Aron's sister came over to Gunnar and Ashtyn and gave them each the blue hands you see Ashtyn holding up. (Gunnar let his friends play with his, so it is missing from this picture!) Then the family member introduced us to his entire family, then kept in contact with us throughout the afternoon to make sure Aron signed each of the hands once he came back out of the locker room. What neat people they were!

Aron, obviously crouching, to take a picture with Abree and Gunnar who came to his knees.

I'm sure she didn't want to pack them in her suitcase and take them back with her tomorrow! She probably has plenty of new WSU Cougar attire and souvenirs to pack. This guy was the one that kept in contact with us and made sure they got Aron's autograph and picture once he came out of the locker room. So much fun to talk to, LOVE THE ACCENT! Very friendly people! When I asked Aron's parents (who've been here for 2 weeks now) when they were going to return to Australia. His dad quickly spoke up, "Maybe not for awhile!" I'm sure hoping the Cougs might slip into a tournament slot!

Oh, can you not love this kid! Thank you, Taylor for making the game winning shot today at the buzzer from, say, near half court! :) And, most of all thank you for being such a great asset to the Cougar team over the past 3 years. Wow...what a ride you've taken us on!

Abree knows she is way too young to have a boyfriend and we've had the talk many times. She always says her daddy is her boyfriend, and we all think that is just fine! Well, last week watching the Cougs play on TV, she whispered in my ear, "I love Taylor Rotchestie, Mom! Don't tell Dad, but I'm going to marry him!" All said with just a big grin on her face.

And, look at this today! Here she is with the current love of her life!

I whispered the story to Taylor and he just grabbed her and told everyone to step back so I could get this picture. The smile on her face says it all!

Tanner, Taylor, Trey and Gunnar. The boys quickly jumped in after Abree had her photo op!

"Kool" Klay Thompson

This is the Cougar's magnificent freshman who shows no emotion, good or bad! He is quiet, focused, and calm. He doesn't like attention at all. Today he even tried to sneak off the floor to avoid fans, but I CAUGHT HIM! (Poor guy!) The kids were thrilled. Look, he didn't even smile for the picture. After signing an autograph for Ash, she turned to me and said, "Mom, I didn't know he had braces!" I just laughed and told her it was because we hadn't seen him smile this year. She reminded me that yes, he did smile once in an early season game when he dunked over a was huge, and he knew it was AWESOME! We look forward to watching this kid lead our team in the 3 years to come.

And, now the Cougs are on to their last seaon game...TO BEAT THE HUSKIES!


Vegas...NASCAR..."Man" trip!

Leonard left Thursday for Vegas to conclude his "Rookie" fan season of NASCAR. Last year he went to his first NASCAR race in Vegas at the last minute with his best friend "Bubba" and a few other members of Washington State's finest (State Patrolmen). He had no idea what NASCAR was about or much interest in the race, I encouraged him to go to get away before the start of his busy season and before the baby arrived. It forever changed our lives, as now most Sundays between February and October, and an occassional Saturday, are spent watching "The Big Race" of the week. My children have been highly persuaded to cheer for Tony Stewart and anyone who can beat Kyle Busch. Yes, he has chosen Tony Stewart as his driver! Yes, the bad boy, the not-so-fit one, the one who doesn't shave most race days, doesn't have a beautiful trophy wife/girl friend standing with him during the National Anthem before each race...that is the number he cheers for!

He came home from Vegas last year with the ugliest Orange #20 hat that was worn faithfully all race season. (Yes, he even showed up at the hospital wearing it to take Gage home!) Then...Tony changed cars, numbers, became a partner and now we have new colors. My only hope is that Leonard returns from his trip with a much more attractive hat with #14 in red, black and white. The one he has currently created and worn the past few weeks, says "WHITE TRASH" all over it!

Now, don't you agree the hat needs to be replaced!!! Just delightful!!

(We hope he also comes home on Tuesday with many great memories and stories! There is just something about hanging out at the racetrack for 4 straight days that simply doesn't appeal to me. Glad he has friends that enjoy it like he does!)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley Concert!

What a great night we had last night! Ashtyn, Gunnar, Tricia and I attended the Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley (sp?!) concert in Spokane. They played for over 3 1/2 hours! What a show it was! Between Brad Paisley's cool guitars, the video screens and their personalized productions for each and every song, guest cameos, and the great was one of the best shows I've ever been to. Besides seeing they joy and excitement on my kids' faces and having Gunnar experience his first live concert, I must say the highlight for me was all of Brad' amazingly cool guitars. WOW! The kids were very tired, but as soon as one of their favorite songs would come on, they'd be up, singing, and dancing! Ashtyn took her camera, as mine was much too big to pack in and wait in line with. And, we got it ready to go only to turn it on and get the message "Replace the Battery!"'ll have to settle with our lovely cell phone pictures! A little frustrating for the scrapbooker in me! :) It truly was a night we'll all remember for a long time to come!

Mr. Bentley singing one of his many hits!

Gunnar, Ashtyn and Tricia waiting for Brad Paisley to start playing!

If any of you have been to this concert, or plan to go, tell me...was Allison Krause really there?! There are many opinions on this one. Let me just say, the video imaging was incredible!

A very tired Ashtyn taking in the show!

Gunnar enjoying some of Brad's great humor in his songs and production!

If you get a chance to see this show, take it! You won't be disappointed.
(Once again, I apologize for the terrible photography!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

And, now he's 7 months old...already!

Where has the time gone?! Yep, Gage is already another month older! He is now officially 7 months old, sitting up and playing, eating crackers and Cheerios, wants food non-stop, giggling at his siblings and their silly antics, letting it be known when he is alone in a room, and shines a big smile at anyone who will look his way. And, now that he has pushed through his first two teeth and over his cold, once again sleeping like a champ through the night. Each day is a true joy to be with him. I thank God daily for giving me the chance to be home with him each and every day. Something, I didn't get to do with his siblings. It is so much fun!
Gage discovered his tongue over the past few days! Man, is it cool! He sticks it out all the time. Often, he can be found sticking it out and feeling it with his fingers! Quite funny!
Look two teeth! He worked very hard pushing these babies through.
Whew, we're all glad they are here!

Enough pictures, Mom! You must have gotten some good ones already?!!

It is truly basketball season around here! It is all the kids want to do...shoot hoops! Gage even got into the action a few nights ago. Dad was working with Gunnar and Abree on some skills and form, and Gage learned how to hang on the rim!