Friday, May 4, 2007

Life Keeps Me [S]hopping

Well, I guess it's about time to break the silence from the Oregon Porters. Did you all enjoy a whole month without being inundated with an overly-long update? So first I have to catch up a little bit. It's been a while....

Going back to where I left off, in the weeks following my last update I spent an inordinate amount of time shopping trying to find decorating items that could possibly repair the brown-paper-bag colored bathroom into a state of decorative loveliness. My dogged determination and focus was rewarded: I have now decorated the downstairs bathroom to my satisfaction and it looks lovely. Brown-paper-bag was an excellent choice of color. In the meanwhile I enjoyed a major shopping kick with some killer bargains. Excuse me while I brag here: I found an embroidered cream-colored dupioni silk valance for $2.97, a set of Oneida silverware for $11 (4 place settings) and $30 (8 place settings), a bronze colored curtain rod for about $15, and a huge bronze-colored framed mirror for the wall for $30! I filled different shaped glass bottles with sea shells, potpourri and river rocks to make a cute accent piece for our shelf (and they only cost about $2 each! Woohoo!) I even made a beautiful wallhanging out of a grapevine wreath and silk flowers. I'm getting so craftsy here it's starting to worry my mother that her real daughter has been abducted by aliens. Between all of my bargains I keep wondering where all the money I saved went....

Several weeks ago I went with to a girls overnight at my friend Ranell's condo at the Oregon coast. I actually got 6 scrapbook pages done, in between playing tennis (ar at least attempting to play) and talking. The next weekend, Dave and the kids and I went to the coast with Ranell and Brian stayed in their timeshare (upstairs from their condo). Ranell, the kids and I drove out early on Thursday and took the kids to the aquarium and to the very windy and cold beach. The guys drove out Friday night. We had a great time on Saturday swimming, playing tennis, and going to the beach. After church on Sunday we drove to see a lighthouse and flew kites. It was really a fun trip: an ocean view condo with swimming, tennis, etc. If anyone is ever interested in coming to Oregon for a family reunion (hint, hint), we found a good place to have it (on the girls overnight trip, Ranell talked to several ladies about the possilbity of renting it out, so it's an option if anyone's interested sometime).

Easter came and went. That morning we hosted a choir rehearsal complete with muffins and croissants, after whice we raced to church and I played for 3 choir numbers- which all went well. For the closing hymn, we sang the "adaptation" that I did of "I Believe in Christ" for the primary choir back in Menlo Park, and it was awesome. There's nothing like being able to crank the organ up to full volume, with all the stops and get away with it. =] We did primary, came home and had Easter dinner with 2 families in our ward, complete with an egg roll. Jared's friend Connie won the egg roll (winning out against her mom in the finals). She was so excited about it that her mom almost boiled more eggs so she could do an egg roll again for family night the next day. =]

During April we had a little lull in Dave's work schedule and he actually came home by 6:30 or 7:00 every day. I almost sent out an email like Lisa's to announce it, entitled, "NEWS!!! BIG NEWS!!!!", but then I thought better of it. At the beginning of May, Dave was switched to a new project (again). So now he's back into the normal grind, complete with conference calls to Taiwan most days at 6 pm (I guess it's 9 am Taiwan time-- can't they just come in at 8?). I'm still playing for the Sherwood Chorale for their "Wicked" number (although I'm wondering how I got talked into it), and this week I'm finally getting a little less frustrated at rehearsals, especially after a huge frustration week last week. Last week on the song, "Defying Gravity," in which the choir has tricky rhythms and the accompanist has different syncopated rhythms that don't line up with the choir, the choir repeatedly got one beat behind by entering late. Instead of meekly and mildly accepting the insinuation that this was my fault for playing my part wrong and that I should just leave out the notes on the offbeats (which showed where the choir was off), I told the choir that they were doing it wrong and played it out for them (although I had the sense to omit the "I've sat at my piano and thunked this out with a metronome over and over, so don't you try to tell ME I'm doing it wrong!"). There was a wave of astonishment from the choir as it was such a rhythm as they had never imagined. After more practice, this week we finally got it more or less right and together. I still have not learned that a good accompanist always keeps her mouth shut and says, "Yes, sir."

In other news, on April 21st, my parents flew out for a short visit. We took them to Multnomah Falls and Powells' Books. Mom came to a Stake Relief Society conference where I got to play piano background music for dessert and then we pretty much spent the remaining 3 days they were here relaxing. Just by coincidence, Mom and Dad were here for Grandparents Day at Jared's school, so they got to go to school with Jared. Jared started T-Ball this week at the YMCA. Camryn loves it because she can rock climb during his practice. We also finally got the leak in our ceiling fixed. Now we have a beautiful gash in the ceiling next to the dining room table while we wait for it to dry out so the drywall can be repaired. Luckily it was covered by our home warranty....

On the 27th, Dave and I went to Cannon Beach for our Anniversary. We left the kids with some friends and had a great time eating yummy food, walking on a very windy beach and poking around fun little shops. On the evening of the 28th was our ward talent show. I was in the final number-- a choreographed swing dance with 8 relief society sisters from our ward. It was really cute and we were actually pretty good-- we even had cute black and white polka dot dresses leftover from a dance festival, but I was SO glad for it to be over. We had been rehearsing two times a week for several weeks and I was getting so sick of being gone at night when Dave is actually home.

So now I'm basically going through burnout: I'm tired and lazy and seriously considering re-instating Friday as Official Pajama Day. It seems like I deal with stress-out and burn out by trying to clear everything from my schedule and then cooking to entertain myself. So far this week we have had Thai Peanut Noodles, Spinach Ricotta Pappardelle, Fajitas with homemade tortillas and Applesauce Puffs. Unfortunately we have only had a load or two of dishes in the middle of all that and it shows. I wonder if lack of dish-doing ability can qualify as a major disability? Maybe I could get a government grant or a parking placard or at least a discount on paper plates. =]

Yesterday was Jared's student-led conference at his school. He got to show me some of his work, including his "Writer's Workshop:" a weekly assignment to draw a picture and then write about it. It gave great insight as to what is memorable to a 5-year-old: "Last year at my birthday party we had Cheetos. They were yummy." "For spring break we got an ice cream cone. It was so fun!" "My grandma is coming tomorrow." "My grandpa played with me on the play set. It was so fun!"

So that's life in Oregon. I have figured out that Oregon spring weather is much worse than the Oregon winter: in the winter you expect it to rain and sometimes it surprises you with sun. In the spring, it teases you with enough beautiful sunny days that you think it's here to stay and then it starts raining again. But now they have fresh strawberry shakes at Burgerville, so all is well. Nothing like getting fresh strawberry chunks stuck in your straw with whipped cream to clear the rainy blues. =]

I hope you are all doing well. Love,


Camryn: Mom, aliens drink potty water.
Me: No, Camryn I don't think so.
Camryn: Yes they do mom! I saw it on "Arthur."
Jared on the phone to Grama Rogers: "Grama, there's a new sport in this world. It's called T-Ball."
We were driving home one day and while we were stopped at a stoplight, Camryn waved to two women in a truck. Then she said, "Those people like me!" and she rolled down her window and said, "My mommy unpacked my rainbow shirt. We're going to Taco Bell for dinner."

Jared: Easter is the best day ever. We get lots and lots of candy and we celebrate that Jesus was resurrected.

No comments: