Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Catching Up

I've been meaning to write a blog post for a couple of days now and I've been sitting in front of my computer to do it for over an hour now. Instead, I have spent that hour dinking with features on my blog rather than actually writing something useful (not that what I write is actually useful, per se, but writing seems more useful than dinking with blog features).

So a couple of updates. After being on the market since April, our home finally sold!! [For those who have been out of the loop for a while, we didn't move far -just to another home in the same town.] After nearly 5 months of making do without most of my furniture, which was left behind in our other house to "stage" it, I have couches again!!!! It's a huge relief to finally have it sold, not to mention that it is nice to not have to always be going over there to water the plants and check for realtor cards. The sale closed just before Labor Day weekend.

Last week my dad had a week-long training in Portland, so my mom flew up with him and they stayed with us for the week. This stay was very opportunely timed: Mom came up to visit just as I was getting all of my furniture and decorating stuff back. So we spent the whole week working like maniacs to unpack boxes, hang pictures and decorate. Umm, actually, to be more accurate, my mom worked like a maniac to unpack boxes, hang pictures and decorate. I did exactly what I usually do, which is to... to... work like a maniac so my house can be a disaster and I can be several loads behind in folding laundry. Except that my mom was here, so my house was not a disaster and I was just behind in folding laundry. The trip went by way too quickly. While we didn't quite finish the entire house, we did more than I could have done in 6 months by myself, including a major excavation/organization of the pit that also functions as my upstairs office. (Thank you mom, you are amazing!) What with my mom providing skilled labor and my dad providing rice pudding in the evening, it was a pleasant week and I was sad to see them go on Friday.

On Saturday we attacked the backyard. Dave dug, leveled and set up the trampoline. I pulled out the weeds in the border and the garden box that were taller than I was. Jared and Camryn played ball or pretended to help and Jackson happily ate dirt, despite Camryn being assigned to make sure he didn't.

Did I mention that we have gone from being tidy yard people to having a "Rogers" backyard? (No offense, mom and dad. For the uninitiated, in a Rogers backyard you let the weeds grow until they are about 2-3 feet high and then you mow them down with the lawnmower until the lawnmower hits something and dies. Then the weeds keep growing until you decide to replace the lawnmower.) At our old house we carefully, lovingly planted and maintained our beautifully landscaped-and-designed-by-me backyard. Since moving here, we wait until the weeds are taller than I am and then figure we'd better go clean them up before they turn into man-eating creatures. I was going to take pictures of our bounteous "crop" of weeds, but then thought better of it. It doesn't help that our backyard is a full two stories below the main floor of the house... it is easier to care about maintaining something when you look at it on a regular basis.

After several hours of working in the yard, Dave had to do some reports for work, so I took the kids to OMSI (the Portland science museum) with Ranell. We had a great trip and got take-out from a great local Hawaiian restaurant, Bamboo Grove, on the way home.

So on to Sunday. With Sunday came the return of Ward Choir after taking the summer off. At the beginning of the summer I was starting to get really frustrated with choir: our attendance was stuck at about 6 people per rehearsal despite my best efforts to recruit. After the summer break I decided to make a renewed effort at increasing choir attendance. My latest brainchild was to have a ward choir potluck to try to get more people to come try it out. I advertised in the ward bulletin. I even mailed out personal, hand-made cards inviting 40 different people to come (this is a lot coming from a person that is as non-craftsy as I am). But, because of a multitude of perpetual distractions (translation: 3 children needing 3 meals a day and clean clothes), the invitations didn't get mailed out until the week of. This didn't worry me- after all we didn't need EVERYONE to come. And then, after I had mailed out the invitations, I realized that I had scheduled our ward choir potluck to overlap with the BYU game. And not just any BYU game... the first time in several years that BYU was playing in the Northwest, in Seattle... the game that half the men in our ward were driving to Seattle to see. Yes. What luck. Needless to say, we did not have a great turnout (Translation: There were four adults besides myself there. My own husband didn't even come, although, to his credit, he missed it because of work and not the BYU game.) So I was a little bit worried at how our first choir rehearsal would go on Sunday. We actually had a reasonably good turnout with several new people. It went well and was very encouraging.

After choir I quickly got the kids ready for church, promising myself for the umpteenth time that we really could be on time to 2:00pm church. We did actually make it there during the opening song, which is better than most weeks. I had decided to shake off my usual "mommy-sensible" style and break out a pair of new shoes that I had only worn once. They are really cute- black, flirty, open-toed, open back high heels- and not only are they real Steve Maddens, but I got them at Ross for $18. Score! (I love the triumph of a good deal.) I didn't realize until I was on my way into church, balancing the huge diaper bag, my purse and my 22 pound baby (at this point I decided it would be advantageous to leave my scriptures in the car) that maybe there was a good reason that this cute pair of 4-inch open back heels had not previously gotten a lot of use. Despite the rush to be on time, I slowly tottered my way into church, careful to not upset my load by any sudden movements.

So there you have it... we finished our weekend off with Schnitzel for dinner and a huge, fat pile o' dishes that we conveniently left until Monday.

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