Sunday, May 31, 2009

Half A Post, Lost and Found

(This post is a repost of a draft I found in my email inbox dated 12/8/2009 --more than 4 years after I wrote it. Still unfinished. But at least I can delete the email draft 5 years later.)

Rather than doing the practical thing and trying to keep up with my current events, I am going to make a lame attempt to catch up with the events I have missed.A few weeks ago, on May 16th, we had a visit from Papa (Dave's maternal Grandpa). Papa drove out here from Utah and we were one stop on his multi-city west coast tour. Papa arrived on Friday while Dave was finishing up a business trip to San Jose. The kids and I took Papa for the grand tour of Sherwood... including such notable locations as Jared's elementary school, our old house and our new house. We finished our tour with the compulsory trip to Burgerville for yummy hamburgers and milkshakes. We took our meal to the park for a picnic. Dave got back late on Friday night, so Saturday morning we were off to see Portland. We took Papa to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), the local hands-on science museum. Dave and Jared spent a long time in the chemistry lab doing all of the experiments together. Jackson didn't do any experiments but he put on some safety goggles, just in case. After catching an amazing juggling show and making a lame attempt (on my part) to learn to juggle afterward, we left OMSI and took Papa to Multnomah Falls. The weather was sunny and beautiful and the waterfall was pouring at full capacity-- the crowds were at full capacity too. Dave dropped us off and then spent a while looking vainly for a parking space. After Dave finally found the coveted parking space, we began the hike up to the top of the falls, with Jackson happily riding in his stroller.Trip to Bob's red mill... making veggie soup compared to mom making lentils..hope of israel... the next choir practice with four adults besides me.jared's school concert, camryn's preschool graduation. A little out of my comfort zone and experience with primary songs when the kids sang "God our Father had a son and Jesus was his name-oh. J-E-S-U-S"....princess party.How to be lame in two easy steps: trip down stairs, buy a pooh bear book for Camryn, "Mom, I don't like Pooh Bear. That's for babies!"Quotes of the Week:Jared: "Don't boss me around on how to sing it. My music teacher taught it to me and he is a professional!"huge batch o pudding.[I seem to recall that I had tried making "Pudding on the Rice" style rice pudding, with lots of whipped cream in it. It was good, but the kids wouldn't eat it and we ended up having tons of it for weeks....]

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Party? Naturally!

I have been debating whether to throw Camryn a friend party for her birthday (which was a week and a half ago) or not. I don't believe in throwing a big bash every year (especially after last year's 12-preschool-girl-princess-and-craft-extravaganza), but somehow I always seem to get sucked in. So I've been throwing around different ideas for a low-key easy party... maybe just get some pizza, maybe go to the park? (Is it just me or does it seem like birthday parties weren't such huge bashes when you were a kid? Does anyone else go into convulsions at the thought of having to herd 12 preschool girls through "Pin The Crown on the Princess" and gluing jewels and flowers on fun-foam crowns?)

I asked Camryn what she wanted, warning her that we needed to keep it fairly small and simple. She went to work and planned the party for me. She decided that she wanted a "Nature Party" and she drew up the following schedule: (I'm doing my best to represent how she drew this all over the page, you'll have to use your imagination...)

1 Plant Plants
2 look fore moths
A butterfly dance look fore-a-partner 3
4 resece [recess]
cake and ice crem Goode8bags
5 pinyata playtim7e
6 presints h9ome

Well, if she is going to go to all the work to actually plan the party for me, how can I say no? So we are going to do a "nature party." We are planting seeds in teeny pots, decorating visors (with self-stick instead of glued decorations- yes, even I occasionally learn my lesson), and making flowers out of tissue paper and pipe cleaners. We are skipping the pinata, but will be doing playtime, "presints" and "goodebags." It should be fewer girls than last year (and a year older), so we will see how it goes.... Wish me luck!

Jackson in Action

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some pictures of my little boy in action. Need I say more?

19 weeks and counting...

I am 19 weeks along now. My "bump" is getting bigger... and bigger and I'm starting to outgrow all of my bigger regular clothes and get more solidly into maternity clothes (sigh!). Which, of course, means that I am at that fabulous stage where I am constantly tugging at my maternity pants to attempt to keep them up at a reasonable amount of belly coverage. They start out fine, but if you do any moving or bending, it seems like next thing you know your capris are full-length pants....

The kids are counting down the days until Thursday when we find out if we are having a boy or a girl. Jared is hoping for a boy and Camryn is dying for a girl (I know, surprising). Jackson is oblivious. =] People ask me which I'm hoping for: I wouldn't mind having another girl- that would even things out, as well as making Camryn's life. =] On the other hand, I have a VERY boy nursery (blue and fire-engine-red walls with a sports wallpaper border) and I don't really have any desire to repaint. So either would be great... which is good because we don't exactly get to decide.

Speaking of growing bigger... Jackson continues to outdo himself. He is now a prolific climber: the step-stool is his new best friend. He uses it to play with the water and ice dispenser on the fridge (thank goodness for the lock feature!), to incessantly climb in and out of his high chair, to reach light switches for his flipping pleasure, to stand on top of the kitchen table, etc., etc. He also is an eating machine (when he wants to be). He can down an entire 1/4 lb. Costco hot dog. He just ate 2 eggs, a piece of toast and 1/2 a pear for breakfast.

Jackson's other obsession is throwing things. He has always been a big thrower and likes nothing better than giving a toy or another object at hand a good overhand hurl. His new obsession is with throwing things OVER edges... such as folded laundry over the upstairs hallway railing, shoes over the edge of the deck (our backyard is two stories below- it is quite a task to go fetch them) or a piece of banana over his head and into my back or my water glass. Fun times.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cantico: An Evening of Song

A week ago Saturday (May 16th) was the premier concert for Cantico, the choir that I co-direct. My blog posting has ranged from little to sparse for the last several weeks and you can blame it directly on the concert. =]

It all started out with my friend Rebecca asking me to help her direct this singing group that she was forming with her husband and another guy they knew. After a "trial season" last December, we launched this spring with a ticketed concert at a rented venue in downtown Portland. We didn't start out with such big aspirations, but it just kind of snowballed and before we knew it we were in the midst of selling tickets, trying to advertise, proof-reading and printing programs, looking for volunteer ushers and stage hands, etc. [By the way, thank you, Ranell, Kelly and Sarah for being willing to help, as always!!] This, of course, was in addition to learning music (both as singers and conductors), directing rehearsals and taking care of all of the musical tasks at hand. What started out as a fun side hobby spiraled into a full-blown part-time/full-time job.

Even after all of the hours of logistical and musical preparation, I was nervous about the concert and how it would turn out. How would the choir (and myself...) respond under stage lights with an audience? The concert turned out amazing... it really exceeded all of my expectations. Not to say that we're ready to quit our day jobs or anything (oh, wait I don't have a day job- at least not a paid one...), but the concert was truly a success: we sang to a packed house, we sang near our best, the audience really enjoyed the performance and we enjoyed giving it. And to frost the cake, my parents drove 12 hours from California the day before the concert just so they could be there for it.

Now that the concert is over a week behind me I've had a chance to take a breather, return to normal life and attend to my laundry and dishes in a timely manner (well, at least as timely as I ever am...). I'm already plotting for next season... both things I want to continue and things I want to improve. But for now I'm just grateful to have had the chance to have such a fulfilling musical experience with a great group of singers. Having left music as a full-time vocation behind long ago, it was really fun to have the chance to perform again and create a "musical offering" that I was proud of.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Utah Reunion Part 3: Food, Glorious Food!

A lot of the reunion we spent at the rental house, just hanging out, playing Wii (especially American Idol tournaments!), playing volleyball in the backyard or just talking. But at least some of the trip had to revolve around food. We went to Bombay House for dinner after graduation. I haven't had Indian food in so long. Yum!! I actually got Jared and Camryn to try Indian food by bribing them with promises of a slurpie afterward (Jared loved garlic Naan bread-- and tolerated everything else.)

These pictures are from our trip to Tucanos Brazilian Grill (all-you-can-eat-skewers of fantastic grilled meat, pineapple and veggies... yum!). It was two days before mom's birthday, so she had to submit to being sung to with the tambourine and everything.

Jared is a big fan of steak and loves Tucanos. Camryn (although she does like the bacon-wrapped turkey) contented herself with "making lemonade" with lemons from the salad bar and the sugar packets on the table. Her idea rubbed off on her cousins and brother and before we knew it, we had a lemonade making factory....

We followed up our meal at Tucanos with a trip to the Clark Planetarium and a 3-D IMAX movie, "Under the Sea". The kids came home singing the song about "an octopus's garden."

Utah Reunion Part 2: Jackson's Escape

Camryn and Jared took advantage of our post-graduation photo-op to climb a tree outside the Harris Fine Arts Center.

Jackson took advantage of our photo session to make a run for the border. His escape plot was unfortunately foiled (actually, all 10 of them during the photo shoot). His escape attempt during gradation was somewhat more successful.... Near the end of convocation (you have no idea how long they spent just reading names...) I had run out of leverage from bribing with treats and finally had to get Jackson out of his stroller. He was mostly fine, playing in the row and finally, it was over. But, Dave and I both made the critical mistake of closing our eyes during the benediction at the end. We opened our eyes and within a few seconds realized that someone was missing. We looked up and down our row, extended our search into the aisles and soon realized that Jackson was nowhere to be found. We formed several search parties to comb the hordes of people leaving the Wilkinson Center Ballroom. We finally found Jackson a few minutes later, happily wandering around the Cougareat.

Utah Reunion: Part 1

We went to Utah for a family reunion and to see two of my sisters graduate from BYU. Can you believe I changed these girls' diapers? Good, you shouldn't be able to... I'm much too young for that. =] (I wish....)

Friday, May 8, 2009


It's been a while since I've posted. We went on a 9-day trip to Utah for my sisters' and sister-in-law's graduation (yes, 3 at one time) and for a little family reunion. This was followed by the usual post-trip-recovery issues. I think I finally have everything unpacked.... I've been trying to find time to post some pictures and write something about our trip. I've also been trying to find some time to post other funny experiences, such as my copies-at-the-library adventure or some of the latest Jared and Camryn quotes. Alas, other projects and duties have been absorbing my time and energy and to get a real post you'll just have to wait for another day (You'll be waiting with bated breath, I'm sure...) =]