Sunday, October 1, 2006

Life in Oregon

Hello everyone!

We're not particularly good at keeping in touch with everyone, so I thought I could at least send an email update. We've been doing really well. We still love Oregon so far, even though we have gotten at least a taste of the rain that they say is going to come. However, the past week it's been sunny and beautiful again. Having our own house helps a lot, but we just love the area in general. I was called as the ward chorister. The good part is I get to pick the hymns. The bad part is that we have to be to church early and it starts at 9:00 am. I guess it's been good for us. We've become remarkably punctual. Dave is the Elders Quorum moving coordinator. We really like our ward so far.
Buying a house has turned Dave and I from ordinary semi-normal people to yard maniacs. We have literally spent every single weekend since we moved here in July- except one- working on our yard. We have successfully re-seeded and greened up our semi-dead front lawn. In the front yard I planted the space under the front window, by our front walk, and next to our driveway with bushes and flowers. In the backyard, we built a Costco play structure (it basically comes as a kit), ripped out 6 unfortunately placed trees (we still have about 10 others- don't worry), pruned several overgrown trees, removed the rocks that were in our border (note:don't ever put in small rocks in your yard without landscape fabric beneath them), cleared out the ugly dead plants from our border, worked manure into the border soil, planted 3 trees and 10 bushes (including 3 blueberries), put brick edging around the whole yard and we're in the process of finishing it with mulch. I also stained our music cabinet and our $20 tv stand to be walnut so they wouldn't clash with our dining table. So, yeah, we've been busy, but I guess Dave and I are overkill personalities. But the weird thing is we've been really enjoying it (Is it really possible to enjoy mowing the lawn and weeding? Who would have thought?).
Jared started kindergarten at the beginning of September.

He really likes it, although I think his favorite part is riding the bus. The bus picks him up at 7:30 am. That's been a big schedule change for us- I used to think that getting out by 9:30am was early. But the bus stop is two doors down from us and the kindergarten bus drops him off at our house, so it's basically doorstep service- I can deal with that.=]
Camryn started preschool and she really likes having her own "school" that she gets to go to. The kids are taking swimming lessons at the YMCA and I go there to work out several times a week (the membership includes free childcare- talk about a windfall!). Jared and Camryn also like to cook. In the past week Jared has invented two classic dishes (Food Network here we come...): the super-dooper noodly sandwich (bread with smashed bananas, peanut butter and a variety of sprinkles) and a chocolate nanjareene (cocoa mixed with cinnamon, honey, baking powder, brown sugar and a variety of sprinkles). The chocolate nanjareene, Jared has informed me, doesn't taste very good, it's just meant to be smelled and not eaten. It also needs to be stirred every day until Halloween. Today Jared signed me up for his class on how to make chocolate nanjareenes and I got world-class instruction from the pro himself.
Dave is loving his new job. It has been pretty high-intensity, but he's enjoying it. I am loving that Dave's work is only 7 minutes away, so when he has to work long hours he can get home quickly! I have really enjoyed working in the yard and working out at the YMCA. I haven't played the piano much recently, although I've been meaning to get back into it. I can always tell it's been a little too long when I have a recurring nightmare that I have a jury in less than a week and I somehow just haven't practiced the whole semester. =]
Love ya all,
Karen, Dave, Jared and Camryn

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