Monday, June 30, 2008

Coaching GU7 Soccer...

Last year after I signed Samantha up for soccer, I got approximately 6 emails letting me know that the league STILL needed coaches. I remember thinking, Dang, if I had EVER coached kids before, OR if I had EVER played soccer before, I just might volunteer. But I didn't. We showed up for Samantha's first practice and I mentioned to the guy coaching that I had thought about volunteering, but I had never coached or played before. He showed me all his internet printouts and told me he had never coached before either.

Anyway, cut to a year later, and I've just registered to coach my daughter's team. While I was filling out the registration, Alex was hanging out by me sort of helping/giggling. It asked a couple of questions, "List previous positions working with kids and number of years experience." "List number of years coaching soccer." And one other question having to do with my soccer/coaching experience. I first left them blank, but they wouldn't let me. I said to Alex, Man, is there anything I've done that could remotely be considered working with kids? She said, Well, you helped that one day in Auntie's kindergarten class.

I wonder if there's a reason I've never volunteered to help out with kids. Although I did work in Samantha's class once a month for about six months, but that was mostly die-cutting stuff or stapling books together or filling up snack cups. Well, we'll see how this goes. At least I have a couple of built-in assistant coaches, one with the soccer knowledge (Alex) and one with the coaching knowledge (Eric).

Sunday, June 29, 2008


So far we've had a nice visit here in Kalispell. We went to Whitefish on Friday and had the kids paint dinner dishes for Grandma Jeanne's birthday. When the other two cousins are here in August, we'll get each one of them to paint one, also, so she'll have a set of six.

Saturday we went up to Lake McDonald in Glacier Park. It would have been more fun had there been more beach, but the lake was pretty high. Then last night we ate spaghetti at Grandma's and had s'mores. Jana brought the kittens down for a visit, Starbuck, Boomer and Apollo. All three ended up running up into a tree, with Boomer and Apollo coming pretty much right back down. Starbuck hung around up there for about an hour while we contemplated what to do. Scott finally had to climb up the tallest ladder and grab her out of the tree. Then she and Boomer spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Last year Grandma and Grandpa tried to keep Violet and Skittles, but as soon as the cats figured out they could walk down the road to where their brothers and sisters lived, they quit living here. This morning Skimble, the mother, brought Apollo down to Grandma's and now Starbuck, Boomer and Apollo are all asleep in the garage. I didn't tell my mom. She and Grandpa say they only want two cats, but I think they'll end up with three or none.

It's supposed to hit 98 degrees here today. I don't care. Anything above, say, 70 is too hot. Scott and I started watching the Euro Cup 2008 finals, Germany and Spain. I watched about 36 minutes of the game, then went to mom's house so she and I could go to Costco. In the approximately three minutes it took for me to walk from Jana's to mom's, Spain scored the one and only goal. Wouldn't you know it.

I bought a blue tooth hands-free visor attachment for the car, since it's illegal starting July 1st to put a phone to your ear in Washington. It seems like it's going to be a huge pain in the ass. I guess it's somewhat admirable that Washington is taking the bull by the horns in deciding to make cell phones illegal in the car, but (and I don't mean this to sound like I'm bragging) there are SO MANY other things I can do in my car that I think, Man, I can't believe I'm driving like this. Not that it would be any easier to make eating or writing a check in your car illegal. I'm just saying, I don't think it's going to make such a huge difference.

Friday, June 27, 2008


We got into Kalispell around 6:15 on Thursday night. The drive wasn't bad. Having the dvd players just helps so much. But I think on the way home, Alex will be trying out some dramamine. She has been seeming to develop sort of a motion sickness problem lately. When we got to mom and dad's, my mom brought up the bucket of margaritas she's had frozen downstairs. Jana and the boys came over, and when Jana said she didn't want a margarita, I punched her and said, yeah, you do, or something innocuous to that effect. What happened approximately an hour and a half later was NOT my fault. It was something to see, however, since I don't think I've ever seen my sister drunk. While it was not pretty, she did have around a good half hour of total fun. It was just over too quick. I guess I won't be bugging her, innocuously, to drink at my cousin's wedding...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Relay for Life

Well, first things first. The cookies Samantha and I were going to make didn't turn out at all. I actually didn't even try to cook them. They were a roll-out cookie which I think I left in the fridge for WAY too long. So we ate dough for two days before I finally dumped the rest. But it was brownie cookie dough, so that was sort of a bonus.

The Relay for Life was a pretty awesome event. It was sort of like a street fair, only cleaner and with nicer people. Samantha had a BLAST. She even told me at one point, after getting a balloon animal and then her face painted, that this place was like heaven because it just had everything. We finally went home around 4:30 and took a break. I had to walk again at 10:00, so Samantha and Alex came with me then. We got to see the lighting of the luminaries, which Samantha had decorated probably five. So she thought that was pretty cool. Then the girls hung out in the Curves booth until 11:00 when I was done. I actually got up in the morning to help clean up, went and got coffee, and got to the field at 8:50, because I was told it would be over at 9:00. There was NO ONE left. Except for the garbage at the curb and the water bottles and water coolers, you wouldn't even have known anyone had been there. My guess is they split as soon as it started raining, which I have no idea when that was.

The girls and I are actually heading to Montana tomorrow. Not sure why I decided I really wanted to go right now, especially with gas prices, except that in August we are really only going for one week. Alex has a soccer tournament August 14th and I don't feel right having her miss two weeks of practice and then showing up for the tourney, so we'll be home for the week of practice right before the tourney. So I figured now would be as good a time as any. With all the crap Alex has gone through the last couple of months, I figured she could use some cousin time in a different location as well. We will meet up with Eric in Spokane for the 4th of July tournament.

Grandma and Grandpa got a new puppy, which they will pick up right after the wedding in August. She is part Cairn terrier and part West Highland terrier. Samantha is keeping a list of potential names in the seat pocket in the van. Grandma says that the grandkids can have input, but they get to pick! We are totally excited to see the new addition, although I'm afraid for what it will mean for the Fiedler family. We are such dog people...

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Silver Paw Award

Today was Alex's awards ceremony at school. These are teacher-nominated awards. They call up the five nominees, who get a certificate, and then announce the winner, who gets a trophy. Last year Alex won math student of the year, itself, an incredibly nerdy honor... This year she got nominated for science student, which she won, language arts student, which is cool because she loved that teacher, math student, which, unfortunately, her arch enemy won this year; unfortunately, her AE was in Disneyworld and wasn't there to accept her award. I still shudder to think that if Alex had agreed to go to Disneyworld with her and her family, what the hell would we have done? Would we have just eaten the at least $300 we would have invested in an airplane ticket, because Alex's ex-"friend" hasn't spoken to her since approximately February? Or would we have forced her to go and have fun and make the trip miserable for Jillian?

Anyway, at one point I was texting my sister (who recently posted a hysterical conversation she had with her son). I don't know if Alex's science teacher knew beforehand that I was Alex's mother, but he kind of glanced at me and I thought he was going to say, "Oh, are you Alex's mother?" I think what he actually said was, "Are you watching this?" Um, yeah, I did feel like a dipshit, but I was doing the play-by-play for the proud relatives who couldn't be there. But it didn't seem like I was "in trouble" for it. It's not like I was typing commentary on what everyone was wearing. Although at one point I did express a sincere wish that the other girl involved in the Operation We Hate Alex Party Scandal would turn around so I could make eye contact and give her the stink eye.

Anyway, Alex also won the Silver Paw award, which is given to one boy and one girl in recognition of "a year of outstanding effort and a consistent positive attitude", which is funny because at the time, I had just texted Jana, noting that Alex never seemed to get nominated for the "positive attitude" themed awards. The award also is for her "exceptional leadership, citizenship, and contribution" which has "made a positive impact" in all of her 7th grade classes. So needless to say, I was pretty proud.

Samantha and I are going to make cookies for the Curves Relay for Life booth tomorrow. I've got some ideas, so we'll post a picture if they turn out okay. She is busy decorating luminaries for lining the track at night. She's going to walk with me tomorrow at 3:00. We were just going to go for a half an hour, but we decided if we stay until 4:00, then there is a three-legged race that we could participate in and win prizes. She's pretty excited, I think. We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Whistle While You're Awake

Samantha has learned to whistle. I spend half my day wondering what is leaking.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Moss Removal vs. Trampoline Jumping with a cool older sister...

Samantha had her friend Emma T. over on Monday, which ended up in Emma spending the night and the girls playing at Martha's house down the street Tuesday morning with Martha and another girl from their class, Jace. I was visiting with Martha's mom at swim lessons last night, and she was telling me that when the girls were over at her house playing that morning, that Martha was being a baby and whining that the other three wouldn't play what she wanted to play. Her mom was frustrated and wondered if this was just her child. So I filled her in.

For the most part on Monday, Samantha and Emma T. played just fine, but I did have to (a) remind Samantha that Emma T. was company and got to be served first at dinner, to which she replied, I wish we didn't have that company rule! To which I replied, Well, why would anyone want to come over and play with you, then? (b) I had to tell Samantha that she needed to do some of the things that Emma T. wanted to do, not just what she wanted Emma T. to do with her. Later on that night, Alex came down and offered to take the girls out to jump on the trampoline with them. Emma T. was all over that, following Alex to the back door. Samantha tells Emma T. to come help her with this garden glove that she's putting on, then asks me if it's all right for her and Emma T. to go out into the front lawn and pick out some of the moss that's there. I mentioned that Alex was offering to jump with them on the trampoline and wouldn't she rather do that? No. So then Alex asks Emma T. what she wanted to do. Of course, Emma T. would rather jump on the trampoline with Alex. So then Samantha puts her biggest pout on and runs over to me on the couch and starts to cry. Hello. It didn't take long to make her see the logical thing to do here, but I did have to promise we would discuss the moss idea after the trampoline jumping.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekend Roundup

Well, last week kind of got away from me after all the soccer last weekend. Here are some highlights:

~~ Samantha and her dad had their last day of school Friday. Samantha was pretty depressed. Later on that day we went to her school to see who her teacher would be next year. Her kindergarten teacher is actually going to teach a K/1 split, and she had called me earlier in the day to let me know that Sam had been chosen for her class. She said she was dying to tell her, since Sam was moping around the classroom. On the way to the school Mantha was speculating, saying, Oh, I hope I don't get this teacher; she's mean. So when she saw the name of her teacher next to her last name, she was totally surprised. I said, Oh, it looks like you maybe have to repeat Kindergarten. She didn't buy it. She knows me too well. So she is thrilled and talks about first grade, so far, approximately once an hour.

~~ We went to a barbeque on Friday at a friend's house who Eric used to teach with at Federal Way. Two other guys who left the same year, best friends of ours, were there, also. It was a really nice evening, but I was also dealing with some middle school drama on the side. It seems that two of Alex's "friends", one of which, up until a month ago, she would have said was her best friend, have decided they no longer like her. Her main friend was having an end of the year party and had invited Alex to go. When I got Alex from school on Thursday, I could tell something was wrong. She had been told by two other people that the reason she had been invited to the party was to make her feel bad. She called her "friend" and told her what she had heard and asked her about it. This girl denied it all, and when Alex asked her if she was mad at her, this girl said, No, not at all, and that she would certainly tell Alex if she ever was mad at her. Alex told her she'd have to discuss it with me, whether or not she would be at the party. The next day at school she had another friend come up and tell her that she had heard the same thing, that Alex had been invited to be made fun of. So Alex came to the barbeque instead. Halfway through the BBQ, Alex was texting one of the girls that was at the party, and this girl told her to be glad she didn't come because it had turned into an "I Hate Alex" party. Needless to say, Alex was pretty upset.

We struggled with what to do about it all day Saturday. Alex had another party, with all different people, to go to on Saturday night. I told her to go to that party, and if anyone tried to talk about the party on Friday, to tell them she didn't go for a reason and didn't want to hear about it. When I picked her up Saturday night, she was a different kid. She had had a blast, and as she was leaving, girls were hugging her and telling her they loved her. She had one girl tell her they needed to hang out more in the future.

She did hear a little about the Friday party, and it sort of sounded like the "IHA" part was mostly her ex-friend Jillian. Well, I have news for you, Jillian. No matter how hard you work at trying to get Alex's friends to turn on her, she'll always have friends and she'll always KICK your ASS on the soccer field. And you might want to cultivate a few friendships aside from the ONE friend who is seemingly sharing your desire to hurt my daughter these days. She has gotten rid of a girl before; but luckily that girl, as well as Alex, both have OTHER friends to hang out with. You have NO ONE. If it ever happens to you, you might want to have a backup. And from what we've heard from a couple of your club soccer teammates, you might want to work on getting some of them to like you as well.

~~ Samantha's teacher's daughter graduated this year and had an "all chocolate" graduation party, which was to go from 2:00 to 5:00. We got home last night about 10:30. It was a really great time, and the chocolate part was amazing. They had one room filled with chocolate pies and cake and desserts and chocolate covered everything. Then in the kitchen there was a chocolate fountain. The weather actually cooperated and was nice. The whole way home, Sam whined about how she had eaten too much chocolate. I'm sure.

~~ Today is Father's Day, and we are meeting the family at the Red Robin in Auburn for dinner. Then Eric has a softball game. All in all, a stressful weekend that has turned out to be a pretty eye-opening experience, but in a good way. Lots of REALLY good friends all around, and plenty of good middle school friends to take the place of horrible middle school ex-friends with average GPA's and only "select" soccer skills, as opposed to "premiere" soccer skills. I never thought about the "premiere" designation before, and never really cared, but now it's thrilling to be able to trot that out. HA!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Well, we finished up with the second weekend of soccer from Richland Sunday night. And, wait for it, we landed in the P-4 bracket, which had we skipped the tournament and stayed home and saved several hundreds of dollars, we would have been ANYWAY. But at least this last weekend had a HUGE silver lining. Last Friday, and every day this weekend and every day since, the weather has SUCKED. It's been freezing, windy and rainy. Samantha's kindergarten picnic was Friday up at Mud Mountain Dam, and it lasted approximately 30 minutes. The kids huddled under the covered picnic area, oinked their food down, grabbed their parents, and split for warmer climes. So arriving to the Tri-Cities for a weekend of 75 degree weather, albeit VERY WINDY (who knew the Tri-Cities was so windy?) was actually a pleasure.

The P-4 bracket and what this means -- we are in the Premiere 4 league for Washington state, there being four premiere soccer leagues total in Washington state. But the girls had a great time and totally bonded, which if you know me at all, was my biggest complaint with Alex's last soccer team, the LACK OF BONDING. Anyway, it might not have been totally worth it, but I'll go with 80 percent worth it. Plus, in the P-4 bracket, all of the teams are located in the western half of the state, so there won't be a lot of traveling to the east, although for me, it's not so bad because my family could possibly come from Montana when we hit Spokane, if we were to hit Spokane. But apparently Spokane, what with WINTER weather three or four months of the year, must play indoor soccer or something, as three of their premiere teams made the P-1 and there is at least one Spokane team in the other brackets as well. But our team so far has been a great experience. I can't name one single girl I don't like, the parents are all (mostly) cool, even the fundraiser has been a blast so far. Good times...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dude, a bottle of urine? Seriously?

Well, let's just say I had a ball last night. Maybe I need to get out more. I worked at the Iron Maiden concert as a fundraiser for my daughter's soccer team. Most all of the people I helped were totally cool. I even won the "who got the most tips" unofficial contest. Actually, the two 16-year-old older sisters that were helping scored $21 bucks, but I got $15 on my own. And I'm not young or cute... It was totally a guy's concert, this being the first time I've EVER seen a line at the men's room that was out the door by about 30 guys, with little to no line at the women's room.

When people bought a pop or water, we had to tell them first that we were required to "keep the cap" before we sold it to them. I guess we were told this was at the request of the band, I can't totally remember. But after a while, I think someone mentioned that there have been problems occasionally at other concerts where people fill their bottle up with urine and throw it at the band. So when I'd tell someone I had to keep their cap and they'd ask me why, I'd say, "Well, so you Iron Maiden fans don't fill the bottle with urine and throw it at the band." To which most of the fans were horrified and shocked that anyone would spend money to see their favorite band and then behave in such an unseemly manner. But I did have one guy say, "How did you know about that?" and a couple of other people say, "Oh, yeah," like they knew that but just forgot. Then often this would lead to a discussion about why not just throw an open bottle of urine at the band, spread the love around and piss (heh) off a bunch of other people before you are kicked out and banned from the venue. I usually mentioned that that's how I would roll.

Then I figured out I did know an Iron Maiden song, 666, the Number of the Beast, which I am proud to admit, I've completed on Guitar Hero Medium. I impressed quite a few fans with that nugget as well.

All in all, I have to say, cigarette smoke aside, the average IM fans are good people, prone to some unfortunate clothing choices, but eager to hang and have a good time. I think at a different point in time, I would have made a good Iron Maiden fan.

Monday, June 2, 2008

It Happened Again

Well, the first weekend of the soccer league placement tournament was last weekend in the Tri-Cities. We left Friday afternoon and got home last night at 11:30. So imagine my chagrin when I start checking out the usual websites and blogs that I regularly peruse, only to discover that almost no one has updated their site since I last checked them out on Friday! How dare nothing interesting happen when I'm gone for a whole 48 hours. Why does it feel like I was gone at least a week?

Saturday night I woke up in the hotel room at 1:30, tried not to panic, and read for an hour. Then I panicked and worried for the next two hours about how I was going to have to drive home four hours on Sunday night, with only four hours of sleep to back me up, Alex asleep and twitching in the passenger seat next to me, and Samantha snoozing and grinding away at her enamel in the back. Then we got up this morning, took Sam to school, Alex to the orthodontist, got home, discovered that I have to be at the concert venue at 4:30 this afternoon for training on how to sell water and pop to Iron Maiden fans. So I'm assuming I'll be getting home tonight after 11:00, hopefully no later. Then I have to be hitting the road at 7:30 in the morning to work in Port Orchard, my standing first-Tuesday-of-the-month job. I'm assuming I'll be home tomorrow around noon and out for the rest of the day. So do NOT try to contact me and invite me out for dinner and a show, because I will be TOO tired.