Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Stink at Blogging

A couple of weeks ago at church a brother in our ward came up to me and said;  "Occasionally, I log onto my wife's Facebook account and read your postings. You are hilarious!  You should blog!"  I didn't have the heart to tell this nice man that I did indeed blog, and that I SUCK (sorry mom) at blogging.  True story.  Too funny! 

So, the kids went back to school almost 2 months ago.  So this is my back to school blog entry.  I thought I better get it done before the holiday season hit.  Or they moved up a grade.....  Anyways....

Kaitlyn started 8th grade this year.  In Illinois they do K-5th for Elementary, 6-8 for Middle School and 9-12 for High School.  So this is Kaity's second and last year of Middle School.  Next year she will start High School and Early Morning Seminary!  Holy smoly!  K really enjoys school.  She is a big time smartie pants and has pulled straight A's so far this year.  And all of last year.  She earned a cell phone with her grades last year and hopes to earn an itouch something or other this year.  I'll figure out what she is talking about when she earns it.  She is also running cross country again.  She has blossomed into a gorgeous (much to her father's dismay) young woman!  We are so proud of her.  She always tries her best and has such a good attitude about doing things she doesn't want to do. 

Takes us an hour to straighten all that hair......  Kaity is currently trying to not let her brothers embarrass her and to be kinder to them.  So far, so good.  It helps to have the phone as leverage!!

Blake started 5th grade.  He has been mainstreamed this year, which means that instead of the special ed classroom, his homeroom is a regular 5th grade class and he goes out for resource.  He has his own aide, Mrs. Joyce whom he loves to pieces.  He also is participating in band.  The band teacher arranged to teach B some piano basics and get him a keyboard to take home.  He really enjoys it!  Right now he is learning to play Jolly Old St. Nicholas for the band Christmas concert.  They also are gonna let him play the triangle.  He thinks he is pretty hot stuff. 

B was so excited about this tee shirt.  He said " All the kids in my new school are going to be so jealous of my Dark Bader tee shirt!"  I'm sure they were....   :) 

Eric started 1st grade this year.  He came home every day absolutely exhausted for the first couple weeks, but he is doing really well.  He is in Mrs. Kirkwood's class and has a couple of friends from Kindergarten in his class.  He REALLY enjoys P.E. and music class.  And getting lunch with the big kids.  He still thinks that homework is a novelty and enjoys doing it.  We'll see how long that lasts! 

And before you ask, yes, he did dress himself for the first day of school.  Black Perry the Platypus tee and navy blue shorts with a white stripe.  Now where I myself would not wear such a combo of colors, I have learned to pick my battles.  Yesterdays green and yellow shirt paired with red and gray shorts was a classic! 

So, what else have we been up to?  K and B took swimming lessons from a client of Trent's.  He and his mother teach private lessons in their pool.  They were a bit pricey but both kids can jump from the diving board and swim to the side of the pool now, which is as much as I can hope for.  So I feel we got our moneys worth..... 

Them goggles is smokin hot!!
We threatened Kaity that if she didnt learn that we were gonna put her in some tadpole swim class with 3 year olds.  It worked!!  :)  We are such mean parents!! 

"Hey Mom!  I'll take swimming lessons when I'm 10 too like Blake!!"

Grandma and Grandpa Lemon's House
I went back to Utah a few weeks after we got home from vacation because my sweet grandpa passed away.  It was a tough experience all around.  I flew out by myself  because the thought of driving back through Nebraska and "Why"oming was enough to cause a panic attack.  It was strange to not have the kids and Trent there with me, but it was nice to hang with my family.  We just had a viewing and graveside service for Grandpa.  It was an extremely emotional time.  They did the full military honors for him, and when they played Taps, I was an absolute mess.  Oh I miss my grandparents so much!  Walking through their house for the last time was soooo hard!  It still smelled like their house.  Every room had a memory.  The storage room in the carport was particularly hard.  It still smelled like oil and gasoline and WD40, which is how Grandpa always smelled.  The patio was hard because that is where we had so many dinners and family parties.  Just us and Grandma and Grandpa.  Swinging on the clothesline poles, climbing on top of the dog house, those huge piles of leaves that Grandpa would rake up so we could jump in em, me biting into my first (and last) crabapple....  Getting old STINKS!!!  But SOOOOOO grateful for memories and for eternal families!  I am really so blessed!!!!  Plus, I got to hitch a ride to everything with Adam and Katie.  And their stellar taste in music.  It was so fun to ride with them and belt out Kingston Trio songs.  Not everyone can say that they like riding with their younger brother and singing Tom Dooley at the top of their lungs.  But not everyone is as cool as my family!!

The patio.  Where the picnic table used to be....  And the lava rocks. In the flower bed where they belong and not smashed all over the patio and thrown all over the lawn.  Like Kyle and Adam used to do. It was totally Kyle and Adam.  I had no part of that..... probably!

On Labor Day, Trent and his buddy Trent Lund (yeah, people call them "The Trents") ran in the Oakbrook Half Marathon.  My Trent came in like 23rd in his age group and in the low 100's overall.  Makes my 2 miles a day look pretty paltry.  We do what we can.  Or what we want to.  :)

Thumbs UP!!! 
I went to take a picture of Trent running in to the finish line.  I totally thought I had got a good one.  When I went to look at my pictures, this is what I had. 

Yep, I'm a pro!! :)   Also our new friend Samantha ran her first half marathon and did a KILLER job!  We stayed to cheer her on, but I didn't get any pics of her either......   But maybe if you squint really hard you can see her in the grass pic above.  Somewhere on the right hand side, prolly......  :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Finally........ Sheesh!!

I thought that since I am heading back to Utarrr tomorrow, that I better blog about our family vacation....  So that another week (ok, month, lets be honest) wouldn't go by before I got around to it.  So, here we go!

We DROVE to Utah.  Just like the pioneers did.  But with air conditioning.  And comfy seats.  And paved roads.  But honestly, by the time we got there, I felt like an honest to goodness pioneer.  We are very much saving our pennies and flying out next time......  That Kearney, NE. to Evanston, WY streach of road is KILLER!!!

We rolled into Utah just in time to celebrate Kaitlyn's 13th birthday.  The only thing she wanted to do was to go to Tony's Pizza and Farr's Ice Cream.  We were so thrilled to be able to hang for a day or so with Suzy and Greg and their kids who were in town from CA.  We had a party with all the Fifield aunts, uncles and cousins we could rustle up.  We met over at Rod and Betti's new patio home to swim and have a cookout.  We also got to meet our darling newest neice/cousin Oliv. 
I honestly don't know why I didn't take more pics.  I thought I did, but I guess I didn't......  Or maybe they are on Kaitlyn's phone.  I forget....  I guess that's what happens when you wait a month to blog about a trip..... 

We went hiking.  To actual mountains.  Which was glorious.  I have seriously missed the mountains TERRIBLY! 
Seriously?  Illinois needs to pony up and buy some of these bad boys.

Grandma Powell with 6 of the 8 grandkids.  Why are my kids so goofy?  Shelley's kids always look so perfectly posed and my kids look like doofuses! 

We also took advantage of being in Utah to take Blake to Music and the Spoken Word.  I am not even exaggerating when I say that this kid is OBSESSED with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  We have 52 episodes of M&SW on our DVR as we speak ( I just looked).

 We walked in to the Conference Center and B says (screams) "THERE IS BROTHER LLOYD NEWELL!!!" But for some reason I cannot imagine, I didn't take a picture of Lloyd Newell, but here is a pic of B..... 

In all my years of knowing B, and I have known him a few, I have NEVER seen him so reverent in my life.  We went to the taping on July 3rd when the choir was doing their patriotic themed broadcast.  They sang Battle Hymn of the Republic which is B's favorite song!  He didn't say one word after we sat down, except when they showed a pic of downtown Chicago in one of the picture montages and he leaned over and said "that's Chicago!"  When we were waiting to leave the Conference Center, the usher came over and asked us to please clear the isle.  We backed into the seats and then Elder Uchtdorf and his wife walked by!  He came right up and shook B and K's hands (and my dad's)!  It was FREAKIN AWESOME!  Course, I didn't get a picture.  I blame it on the uncontrollable tears that were streaming down my face.  It was not pretty.  Probably why he didn't shake my hand.....  :)

My former boss, Randy Gailey, is a member of MoTab, so when I knew we were coming to UT for sure, I called him to ask about the choir being in town.  This angel of a man arranged for my entire family to come down to a choir practice and meet some people....  He also sent B a copy of the Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD for B's birthday!  B has been so excited to meet his "Friend Brother Gailey in the Choir" ever since!  So we took the whole fam to SLC and went to the Thursday night practice (happened to be on my mom's b-day).  We were met at the door and escorted to some primo seats.  B was a celebrity!  We were the "Blake Party"!  haha!  A few minutes into the practice we had our first visitor......

B with MR. MAC!!
Mac Christensen heard about B and wanted to meet him!  So he came up and introduced himself and told B he was the president of the choir.  They chatted for a minute, and then Mr. Mac said "Blake, are you a Mormon?" And B said "Yes, I am!" and Mr. Mac took out his business card and handed it to B and said "Now when you are getting ready to go on your mission, I want you to call me.  And if I am still alive, I will buy you a two-pant suit!"  Is that not the cutest thing ever!  What a sweet and gracious man!  It was an absolute pleasure to have met him.  And I will totally take him up on the suit!  ;)

About half way through the practice Mack Wilberg, the choir director turned around and announced that we had a special visitor tonight at the practice.  He said that 10 year old Blake Fifield from Illinois was in the audience and that he was a huge fan of the choir and that for his birthday he wanted to come to Utah to go to the choir broadcast and see his grandma and grandpa.  Blake stood up and waved and bowed.  Everyone in the room and the choir clapped for B and laughed when he bowed.  That kid is so hilarious!

After the practice was over, Randy and Mack Wilberg came down to meet Blake.  Mack Wilberg gave B a signed copy of the choirs newest CD, which he also had 3 of the organists sign for B.  It was honestly the best part of the entire trip! 

B with his buddy Brother Gailey

Our fam with Brother Wilberg (and B's cd)

Randy told some of the choir members about B and they were DYING to meet him, so we met them outside the Conference Center after the practice.  The church is such a small world.  The cute lady is actually a cousin of a lady in our ward here in Illinois!!  They were kindred spirits for sure.  Now we have lots of people we have to spot during General Conference!
The CD B was given and Mr. Mac's card.  Its still in my wallet.  Not kidding when I say that I'm holding him to the suit!  ;)
Now, as much as I love Illinois (and I do, really really lots) there are things I truly miss about Utah.  And here are a few..........

Temple Square (don't ask what the H I was doing in this pic....???)

Farr's Ice Cream
Fry Sauce!!

Maddox Turkey Steaks.  I couldn't wait to dig in.  Not even long enough to get the camera out of my purse....

Maddox Rolls!

The Maddox Sign.  I think I miss you most of all, Scarecrow!  I mean, Maddox!!!
It was a fantabulous trip!  I got to see a few friends, but mostly we just hung out with family!!!  It's hard being so far away.....  But one of these days, I'll post about the cute city we live in and brag about our fantastic friends, and you'll see why Illinois is quickly becoming home!!! 

On the way home we stopped at the Winter Quarters Temple in Nebraska.  They had a nice visitors center (with nice clean toilets).  People who know me know how much I LOATE public bathrooms!!

And that's all I have to say about that!!!  :) 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sometimes the livin is sweet, and sometimes there's nothing to eat......

I'd like to say that the reason I haven't updated the blog lately is that we have been so stinkin busy that I haven't had time.  I'd LIKE to say that is true.  And honestly, couldn't I have just said that?  Who are YOU to know it wouldn't be true?  Truth actually is that I didn't dare ask Trent to help me upload pics from the camera to the computer for the umpteenth time.  It's embarrassing to be so technologically impaired sometimes...... 

Anywhoooo, whatcha been doing?  Wanna know what we've been up to?  Sure you do!  Or why else would you be reading this??? 

The boys both learned to ride two wheelers!!  I KNOW, right??  Can you stand it?? 

Eric actually learned to ride on his friend Millie's pink princess bike.  Her older brother Kade is actually the one who taught him.  It takes a village, right?  Yay for friends!!!! 

Oh glory.  This boy and his goofy smiles.  Can you just imagine his mission pics?  Suit, scriptures, goofy smile.  CHECK!!

Blake was a bit of a challenge.  We took the pedals off his bike to help him to learn to balance.  He'd scoot around using his feet and coast down the sidewalk.  He was doing really well, but the minute he saw Eric with his training wheels off, he was all about putting the pedals back on.  He took off!!  And he LOVES it!! 

We also finished up school this week.  It's freakin me out a bit that all my kids will be in school ALL DAY next year.  But I think by the end of the summer, I will REALLY be looking forward to school starting.  Who's to say I'm not looking forward to it now?  I just can't admit it yet.  Whoops, guess I just did....  Oh well!  Next year, B and E will be at the same school.  Munhall Elementary.  B will be in 5th grade and E in 1st.  K will be at Wredling again next year.  8th grade!  Second year in a row at the same school!  Crazy.  Considering it's been since 3rd grade that she spent more that one year at any given school.....  Poor girl!!! 

B will be mainstreamed next year, so we had to say goodbye to Fox Ridge Elementary.  I know he loved it there.  He loved his special ed teachers and his regular ed teacher.  And they loved him, of course.  How could ya not love B?? 
B with his special ed teachers.  Mrs. Akers, Mrs. Gorecki, Mrs. Blakely, Mrs. Phillips, Mrs. Fox. 

E on the last day of school. Kindergarten is OVER!  Bring on 1st grade!!  Bear Down!  :)  (that was for Kyle)

These have nothing to do with end of school.  Eric and his good buddy Megan were making a restaurant.  Grape, apple and cheese sandwiches.  Mmmmm.  Does a body good! 
Ready for some randomness??  Yeah, me too.  These theme posts are too much for my ADD to take!!

K runnin track.  This'll tick her off.  Oh well.  She'll get over it.  Did I mention that K got a phone?  And has a boy who is in love with her at school?  Bwahahahaha!  (I'm laughing so I won't cry)
K and her good friend Sydney from church.  They go to the same school, and ran track together this year.  Did I mention that K is one of 6 LDS kids at her school?  And that is the largest concentration of LDS kids in one school in our ward boundaries?  This Utarrrr girl is blown away by that!!!!
E had a birthday.  He turned 6.  He got a bike.  He's thinkin he's pretty hot stuff!! Isn't he the cutest??  Oh my baby........
Yeah, that's it for now.  Dinner is calling.  And if I don't answer, we'll have a repeat of last Sunday when I forgot about dinner because I was dinking around on itunes for 3 hours.  You can do a lot on itunes with $75 in gift cards....... 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Word to YOUR Mother's Day!!

Have I mentioned how much I love being a mom?  Well, I LOVE it!  Have I mentioned what charming and sweet children I have?  Oh, I haven't??   Totally meant to......   I'll do that next time!  Have I mentioned how much my heart warms when I am presented with homemade gifts from those charming and sweet children?  Well, it DOES!  Warms to a big 'ol puddle of valves and ventricles!!   Here are some pics of the sweet things my kiddos made for me on Mother's Day.  Which, by the way, is the BEST day of the year.  Even better than Christmas.  Know why?  HU? DOOYA??  It's cuz I get the WHOLE DANG DAY OFF!!!!  
E's kindergarten class hatched chicks.  This chick just happened to hatch on his birthday.  I sincerely want to believe that he washed his hands immediately after taking this picture.......  Yeah, sure!  I'm sure no face touching or nose picking took place before the hand washing.  I'm gonna keep telling myself that.......

E's tribute to ME!  I can't actually read what he wrote, but I totally appreciate the time he took on the pic.  He was spot on with the eye color.  And, the nose!  Yay E!!!

B made this vase and the paper flowers in his regular ed class.  He presented them to me during my breakfast in bed.  He was so anxious to keep them a secret.  The huge smile on his face when he gave them to me was even better than the flowers.  And I am keeping the flowers.  FOR.EV.ER! 

This is what B made in his special ed class.  Double the Mother's Day gifts.  Almost makes having to buy Christmas and End of School Year gifts for  1 special ed teacher, 3 class aides, 1 speech therapist, 1 occupational therapist, 1 gym teacher, 1 regular ed teacher, 1 bus drive and 1 bus aide, worth it.  ALMOST!!
You may notice that a gift from a certain girl is missing.......  Yeah, me too.  K was supposed to make me a card in YW yesterday.  Still don't have that.  BUT, she did reorganize my kitchen last Saturday.  So I am totally counting that.  Cuz organizing is NOT my forte.  She also hugged me today at her track meet.  In public.  So, she doesn't need to get me anything for the rest of the year.  I'm good!!! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Whatcha Doooooin??

So, since our lives are utterly boring, I decided that I would do some recapping of our last year.  Most of you know that we moved from Utah to Illinois last May.  And since hardly ANY of you have been out to see us (yep, talking to YOU), I thought I'd back track a little.  You're welcome!  It may seem odd to know that we have NEVER taken our kids to Disneyland, or any theme park of any kind. Unless you count Lagoon, which I don't.  On account of Lagoon stinks on ICE!  We have taken the kids to historical sites and National Parks.  Part of this decision is because of the Autism, part of it is because we don't want to pay for theme park food, and the rest is because Trent and I are HUGE history dorks.  SO with that lead in,  I know you're DYING to know how we spent our Spring Break!  Well, wonder no more!!!

This year for spring break we went to Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.  Which seems odd to those of you who know me well.  Since I LOATHE the water, (isn't loathe such a great word?  So descriptive!) we don't own a boat, and none of our kids can swim.  But.....  We have a timeshare there, so off we went!  We actually found stuff that was non water related to do....

We started out on our 6ish hour drive by getting stuck in a lovely snow storm just outside of St. Louis.  Which added about 2 hours to our commute time.  And a weight to the already "whine burdened" shoulders of Trent and I.  By the time we got to our condo, we were all more than happy to be there.  We shelled out some of our points to upgrade to a top floor 3 bedroom penthouse.  We also discovered that we had a hot tub on our deck!!

We went on a cave tour.  I won't bore you with the myriad of pics I took from inside the cave, but here are a few.

Us at the end of the tour.  The smile on my face was forced.  The claustrophobia was kicking in big time and I couldn't WAIT to get out of there......
On the upper right of the water you can see a ladder.  A "mystery" ladder.  Our guide says that they don't actually know who brought it in or how they got it in there........

We got some fantastic custard.  Chuck full of crushed Thin Mint cookies.  Oh, it was HEAVENLY!  We also got some mediocre local pizza.  Think we'll stick with Chicago style.........  We also went to a couple of state parks in the area. We did a little hiking.  Just enough to tire out the kids, but not enough to stop the whining completely.  We went to Ha Ha Tonka (bwahahaha funny name) State Park.  Someone back in the early 1900's had built a castle there which was burned down in the 1940's.  They let you walk around it and we took lots of pics.  The kids thought it was cool.  Especially B.  He likes fire.  Another story for another time. 

We found a park.  And swang.  Swung? Swinged? For 2 hours....  And no one threw up!  Miracle of miracles!!
Kaity.  Isn't she pretty?  And puffy?  She'll hate me for that.....

Good trip.  Good times.  Sorry, it's not more exciting.  We had a blast.  That's just how we roll (hahaha)!!!!  I should have taken pics of the custard.....