Tuesday, March 27, 2007


At the risk of (okay, fine-- with the knowledge that I am) sounding and being petty... I just had to write this.

Today I was reading in the Oregonian and they had an article about the perplexities of tipping (one of my pet peeves-- how are you supposed to know what you are supposed to give as a tip for every little incidental thing). It had tipping recommendations for Valet Parking Attendants --bringing my mind back to a little incident on the way to Lindsay's rehearsal dinner where I was scoffed and scorned for the GALL I had to request change for a $5 bill to tip the Valet parking attendant. It says the tip for normal valet service is $2; for unnecessary service (where you have to use the valet even though the car will be parked 10 feet away in an empty lot) $1; for Great Service ( i.e. the valet is sopping wet in the rain but holds an umbrella for you) $5.

Fools mock but they shall mourn! (There's scripture for you!)

OK, fine so I am being petty to remember this incident from how many months ago, but I do feel vindicated that I was not being SO VERY socially inept as I was purported to be. =]


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

From Good to Bad to Worse

So, where to start.... Life has subsided back into "normal" activity after the big demo, with Dave getting home between 7:00 and 9:00 instead of 1:00 or 5:00 am (thank goodness!!). On Saturday the 10th I went to my very first scrapbooking convention. Not only have I taken up the hobby that I used to ridicule (honestly, how can people be so excited about cutting and pasting?), I went to a trade show entirely devoted to celebrating this hobby (and ways to spend money on it, of course). I have to say, it was a lot of fun. I met up with one of my old college roomates and she showed me all the best places to shop and we had a grand time collecting materials to last us for the next year or two.

Last week was mostly uneventful (well, it probably wasn't, but I can't remember enough to write anything about...) except for wondering how on earth Sanjaya managed to stay on American Idol for another week. Thursday was warm and sunny, so I weeded our yard for two hours while Jared and Camryn "helped" our next-door-neighbor Joyce with her yard. Camryn also unearthed her doggy xylophone toy from the garage and took it outside to serenade Joyce while she worked.

On Thursday night I went to the first rehearsal of the Sherwood Chorale, for which I am playing the accompaniment for one of their songs that their usual accompanist deemed to difficult to feel comfortable with. Let me just insert here that I sometimes get tired of playing pinch hitter and getting asked to do things only at the last minute or when they are tricky and nasty to play. Unfortunately (surprise, surprise) through some oversight, my music got lost and I did not get a copy of the "too hard" piece until the night before the rehearsal. Hooray. I, of course, had tons of time to thoroughly practice it on Thursday (if you call once through half of it thorough). So I went to the rehearsal and after embarassing myself by saying when introducing myself (without thinking) and saying what high school I went to, "I didn't go to high school" --(which isn't exactly true, but you don't have time for long explanations at these things) I proved my lack of intellect by going to the piano and absolutely butchering the accompaniment. It was a train wreck. You know its bad when the director asks you to sit down and has the regular accompanist come back to play parts only. OK, that's a little deceptive-- the regular accompanist had practiced and practiced the parts to record for their rehearsal CD and the director knew I was sight-reading, but I was still embarassed, especially because it seems like any self-respecting piano major SHOULD be able to play things perfectly on sight-- especially a popsy arrangement of Wicked. Unfortunately that was my downfall because I am much better at sight-reading classical than popsy stuff because of my lack of experience in the genre.... alas.

Friday I decided to relieve my angst by painting the laundry room. I taped, primed, and painted the whole darn thing, complete with moving the washer and dryer out from the wall and scrunching behind them and kneeling on top of them to paint corners. It is now a beautifully satisfying aqua blue (no-- not the ugly aqua blue I'm sure you are picturing). I completed the day, which was warm and sunny, by taking the kids to Sunset Park, where they played happily until Dave brought us KFC for dinner. With this satisfying start to the weekend, we woke up on Saturday and treated ourselves to a fabulous breakfast of scones a'la Jen-- with lemon curd and whipped cream, went to Jared's soccer game and had a lovely workout at the YMCA. Life is good.

We went back home and I began prepping to paint the downstairs bathroom while Dave mowed our lawn. I was feeding the kids lunch and starting to prime while Dave took a shower, when I noticed a wet spot on the floor, so I wiped it up. A few minutes later --oddly enough-- it was there again. Only then did I notice that there was also a wet spot on our ceiling, which was dripping down and causing the wet spot on the floor. Life is not so good. The phone rang and it was our ward choir director saying that she wanted to take me up on my offer to let her hold choir at our house. Uh oh. This is bad. Very bad. Not only was I in the middle of priming the bathroom, with painting paraphernalia all over the place, all of the contents of the laundry room were spread at random around our dining and family room, complemented by the piles of dishes accumulating around the sink (my new theory is that you should only do dishes when you run out of paper plates AND plastic spoons). Add to this our dripping ceiling and we had a perfect venue for ward choir. So, I of course told her it would be fine. No problem.

So not only did we change paint color decisions twice, when I went to home depot I got yet a different paint color (picking an entirely different one we had never tried at 8:00 pm-- not a great idea), we stayed up until 1:00 am cleaning up the house, painting the bathroom and trying to put the rooms back together as best we could. Our downstairs bathroom is now the exact color of a brown paper bag, but I am not panicking. As soon as we decorate it, it will look just fine. And at any rate, it looks better than the frou-frou green and white sponge-painting with ivy wallpaper that was there before.

We overslept a little on Sunday and so missed our pre-performance choir practice. But hey-- we were actually 3 minutes early for church. We walked in the door and the choir director came up to me and informed me that the accompanist who was going to accompany the choir on the organ was home sick with stomach flu and what should she do? So I turned around, walked back out the door, drove home, got my organ shoes and copy of the music, made a photocopy for the choir director (the accompanist had her copy) and got back to church with a full 8 minutes to spare before the choir sang. Fortunately it was a piece I had played once at rehearsal, but unfortunately I had no chance to run through it or pick stops. So choosing stops as best I could by guessing, I took a deep breath and sight-read my way through a performance on the organ in sacrament meeting. Did I mention that I love pinch hitting?

I went to primary and we just happened to have lots of extra time for singing time-- 30 minutes total. We did singing time, went home from church and had enough time to make treats for choir and arrange the chairs in my living room before people started arriving. I had the brilliant idea of advertising choir to the primary kids: "Do any of you have parents who sing? How many of you like treats? If you get your parents to come to choir this afternoon, they can bring you and you can play and have treats while they sing." We had the best choir turnout we have had since we moved here. It was standing room only. We even had three older girls from the primary who came to sing in the choir. People brought their kids --who played and had a great time-- and afterwards we had ice cream and my yummy treats. It was a great success-- choir without having to get a babysitter or leave your kids home with a spouse. What a novel concept. I left at 6:45 for a meeting trying to organize a stake music library of choir music and when I got home Dave and I both went to bed in exhaustion by 9:00.

Jared and Camryn's little Monday music class with friends is still going well and lots of fun. Our dishes are still piling up in the sink, despite all efforts to conquer. And so our life goes....

I hope you all are doing well. Love,


Quotes of the week:

Camryn: Today was the best day of preschool ever! During snacktime a leprechaun came! He left gold coins under our carpets and they were chocolates! It was the best day ever!
Camryn has recently become very attached to a little stuffed goose she has named "Honks." She buckles him in a seatbelt whenever we ride in the car.
J: Mom, look at this Easter picture I colored. See, some bunnies come out of eggs from the easter bunny.
Me: I think bunnies aren't born from eggs Jared.
J: Yes, some of them are mom.
Me: What did you do at school today, Jared?
Jared: Mrs. K came.
Me: Who is Mrs. K?
J: She's the school counselor. She teaches us lessons and it's SO BORING. We have to sit on the carpet the whole time and it is SO BORING.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Spring Has Sprung... or not

Hello everyone,

So we have had a little bit of a crazy week. Dave's car (which broke down about two weeks ago) is still dead. Today we finally got it towed and are getting the starter fixed. YEA!!! In the meanwhile, I had been driving Dave to and from work, which worked quite satisfactorily until he started working until 1 or 3 or 5 in the morning, and then it was less effective. There is a friend of ours in our ward who owns a machining company and on Saturday Dave was working with him to get some parts made. This friend had to drive to Dave's work and pick Dave up and take him back to his company to work on the parts, so he said, "You seem like you could use a car" and proceeded to lend Dave a car (they just bought a new car, but kept their old one around for when family comes to visit, etc.). Needless to say, this has greatly reduced the stress level in our family. Dave was getting tired of trying to hitch a ride home with someone working late on swing shift.

So the main highlight or lowlight of this past week has been the buildup to THE BIG DEMO for a customer that Dave's company had on Mon-Wed of this week. We have gotten accustomed to Dave's typical 8-8 work hours, but a week or so before the scheduled demo, the machine was still not working and things were NOT looking good. So time to flip into overdrive.... Dave stopped working like a workaholic and started working like a maniac. On Friday night he worked until 1:00 am. Saturday he went in before 11:00am and didn't get home until 7:00am on Sunday. He went in before 7:00 on Monday and came home that evening, only to go back in at 9:00 and stay until noon on Tuesday. Then he finally came home and slept until that night. On Tuesday night, he went back in that night "just for an hour" (I have long since learned to know better) and came home at 5:00 am. Wednesday he finally took the day off, but today went back into work for an 8:30 meeting. I don't have the energy to calculate exactly how many hours that is, but let's just say it is WAY too many.

So the good news is that they got the machine to work reasonably well and the customer thought the demo was okay (instead of an absolute disaster like it looked only a week or two before). The bad news is that they were starting to make enough progress right before the demo that the management started to get overly optimistic, so instead of being thrilled and relieved that it worked at all, they were disappointed that they didn't absolutely wow the customer. Oh well, you can't win. Last night we went as a family to work out at the YMCA and Dave got to play basketball during Jared's soccer practice. Then we went to Sweet Tomatoes to celebrate the end to a tumultuous week by stuffing ourselves silly.

The kids and I have been doing fine, although I have been exhausted by proxy. Things have been so crazy that it has induced a sort of mind-numbness and I can't really remember much of what has happened this past week. Sunday consisted of me running to church early with the kids (while Dave was still getting ready) so I could get there early to play prelude and sub for the organ. The kids sat by themselves for a chunk of the meeting because Dave got there late and didn't see where we were sitting. I played postlude while Dave shot off to primary to play prelude. I got there halfway through the opening song (which they were doing without me) and we were soon thrust into singing time, which went remarkably well considering the rest of our weekend. That afternoon I went to choir (while the kids spent some time with daddy) and got to sight-read choir music on the organ with no organ shoes. More and more fun!! We would have come home to a nice slow-cooker roast for dinner, except the tester button thingy on the plug popped out, so even though the slow-cooker was plugged in and turned on, there was no electricity running to it. Oh well, what would a Sunday be without cold cereal or pancakes for dinner? In this case, we had leftover whole-wheat pumpkin pancakes from Saturday (which I have to say were very tasty, but -surprise,surprise- Jared wouldn't touch).

The good news is that for the first two days of this week we had GORGEOUS sunny warm spring weather. Our neighborhood was suddenly a different place. We saw some of our neighbors for the first time in months. All of the people in our neighborhood came out of hibernation and suddenly there was a plethora of dog-walkers, moms pushing strollers, joggers and kids riding bikes going up and down the streets. Then yesterday it started raining again. Darn. But we still have had patches of sun here and there and it is definitely warmer.

Jared is really liking soccer (it is indoor soccer- this is Oregon). He had a soccer game on Saturday. Yesterday Camryn went rock-climbing during Jared's soccer practice and made it to the TOP of the easiest wall (about 35 feet up- impressive for a 3 1/2 year-old). On Tuesday afternoon, I finally painted our office/3rd bedroom. It has gone from a sickly powdery washed-out blue, to a lovely sage green. It is the first room I have painted where the color turned out pretty much how I expected. Now, if I could only decide on a color for our bedroom and cover up the 10 different paint samples slathered on our walls....

Hope you are doing well. Love you all!!


Quotes of the week:

Jared and Camryn had a very long conversation about how, in the summer, when the snow melts off Mt. Hood, we'll have to move someplace where you can't see Mt. Hood, so we will be safe when the volcano inside it explodes.

Camryn: "Mommy, I climbed to the top of the rock wall and it was EASY."

Camryn: "I want some milk with a cup with a lid."

Jared: "If you are asleep and you are not in your bed, you're having a dream. I am an expert about dreams."

Jared: "Daddy, maybe if you got a really important job, like cleaning windows, then you could make a lot of money."
Dave: "Do you think I would make more money cleaning windows than working at my work?"
Jared: "Maybe if you cleaned windows like at a hotel you would."