Monday, November 19, 2007

We're blogging now!

Here is the latest happening with the Chatfields

It’s beginning to look and feel like Fall around here…
There is still plenty of bike riding, hiking, walking, outside basketball weather left. And the kids do them all. Kelsey along with Jake and Kate hiked up to the old mine yesterday. Kels said once they were about half way up the mountain they could look out across the valley and see clear blue skies and lots of beautiful colors. Jake and Kate were a little disappointed they didn’t run across any wild animals (or their bones) and no slithering things in sight. But Kate was in awe of the stories that Kels told of the many lives lost in mining accidents. She reassured me that she would not enter any big holes in the ground…I’m glad she learned something from the adventure. (Jake wasn’t quite so reassuring…)

While Jake, Kels and Kate were hiking Bianca was out on a lunch date with Grandma Chatfield. Grandma had promised Bianca a birthday lunch date and because of schedules and bouts with colds and strep the first Saturday available was yesterday. They decided to go to Mi Ranchito and have their favorites. Yum!

Earlier in the week Jake had basketball tryouts. He was very nervous about the whole ordeal. We were told that all the boys (3rd and 4th graders) come together in one gym and they play a bit of organized basketball drills. As I was sitting in the old Cherry Creek Elementary gym I had flash backs of a gymnasium back in the old days when you (Dad) would play church ball. This particular gym reminded me of the time when you used to wear a hair piece and as the sweat was dripping off your body, the heat was unbearable, you called time out and while everyone was watching and wondering why there was a time out you yanked the hair piece of your head and carried on with the game. I remember being totally shocked (along with many others) that you would do that because not many people were aware that you wore a hair piece…good quality from the Philippines! You’ve been a free man ever since. Good memories!

Back to Jake’s tryouts…Jake played well. Like I said he was very nervous that he would not be picked for a team. All the coaches were there and they walked from group to group trying to decide which players they wanted on their team. I heard from one of the moms there that once the coaches had their picks they all gather together and fight (discuss?) over the kids they want on their teams and the others are divided up…everyone makes the team but in kind of an odd way. Jake (and I) were relieved to see that many of the coaches were writing his number down. Jake found out the next day from a friend’s dad who happens to be one of the coaches that he was a first round pick…and whether it was true or not it sure made Jake feel good.

Bianca’s highlight of the week was a combined YM/YW activity…A Scavenger Thanksgiving Turkey Hunt. All the young men and young women were sent out through the neighborhood to collect things for a turkey dinner (they actually collected enough for 3 complete turkey dinners). What made it great fun was they were all in search of the illusive turkeys…there were three turkeys that were hiding in homes throughout the area and the groups that found the turkeys were promised BIG prizes. Bianca’s team found one of the turkeys just as it started raining a bit…they were glad to return to the church for hot cocoa and donuts and a great sense of accomplishment.

I spent much of the week at Art City Elementary…I think they are going to give me my own room soon. It was Pilgrim and Indian days for Kate in Kindergarten. Kate learned how to grind corn for maze, made an Indian headdress and ate corn muffins. On Pilgrim day she learned how to make her own butter (and we know how Kate loves butter!), made a Pilgrim maiden’s hat, learned how to sew on a button, wash some clothes on a washboard and played some fun Pilgrim games. Ohhh it was a fun two days!

Dr. D. also visited Art City this week. They had a special Veterans Day assembly to honor our Veterans and Dr. D. was asked to play his trumpet as a special part of the program. He played behind a curtain so no one knew he was there and sounded like the real deal. When Jake came home that day from school he told me that he wished he could have brought his Grandpa to the assembly. There were many Grandpas there being honored. Jake and I talked about Jake’s Grandpas and their involvement the army and the marines. I think Jake felt good that his grandpas were willing to serve in the armed forces to help keep our country free and safe. After hearing some of the stories, he is hoping for a peaceful world in the near future.

I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of the schools in the area (Elementary, Jr. High and High School) for my PTA assignment and am finding there is some major money being spent on facilities and programs for education in our area. It’s nice to see some of the efforts to keep up with the growth here in Springville and Mapleton. I was very impressed with Mapleton Jr. High’s Advanced Choir, and their state of the art building was impressive too…Wow! What they are doing to educate kids these days is soooo beyond what we had in the olden days! Although sometimes I wonder if the one room school houses with the school marm teaching 10 students would be a little less stressful. The expectations are quite high for students…and their parents! Who thought our kids would be doing Algebra in 3rd grade!...not me!

Kelsey trudges on doing his usual school, work, church stuff with a few extras thrown in to make his week much the same as last. He comes out of the basement once or twice to see the light of day and if he’s really lucky he gets to take a short walk. He’s looking forward to January!

Every once in awhile at UVSC they have perspective employers come and talk with the business students there. Kels has had some interesting conversations and made some great contacts but is finding that in fact to get paid the big bucks (or at least a decent wage around here) he needs to go for the Masters or MBA…he will continue to trudge on. We’re grateful he has a great job while going to school.