Saturday, March 26, 2011


Kids had their first piano recital with their new teacher. He has a PhD in piano. It is a good thing we don't have a car payment anymore or we couldn't afford him. Actually, I still don't know if we can. The kids practice a lot and Nathaniel is starting to play in seminary. Sarah played her recital piece for her choir class yesterday.
I asked her if they were impressed and she said, "Mom, I am in junior high."
Well, that is true.
The recital took place in a large narrow room of a basement. It was so loud my ears hurt for a long time after we left.
That piano was taking a beating!
I kept thinking, "Why so loud? We're right here! A crescendo! I get it!"
I'm wearing cotton or something in my ears next time.
There was this one woman who played incredibly and I told Nathaniel as soon as he could play her song we would let him quit. He said she has been self-teaching for the last 13 years or something and that she only recently starting taking lessons with his piano teacher because she was "stuck." Wow. I'd get stuck after 13 days--maybe 13 minutes?

Nathaniel was telling me the other day how he gets through his week-- Monday is Monday. Tuesday is the day before, the day before, the day before Friday. Wednesday is the day before the day before Friday. Thursday is the day before Friday and Friday is freedom.
Do you know what else Friday is? The only afternoon our teacher teaches piano in Springville. Also the only days for recitals and "performance classes"--where students practice playing in front of other students.
Nathaniel and Sarah are not impressed with this schedule and they frequently try to get me to agree not to make them go. It never works. I mean gosh, what else do teens have to do on Friday nights anyway, right?
What they don't get is that we hope we are making an investment in their future. Why else would I want to pay more money than I like to think about, only to listen to the complaining about the lessons, then get someone to watch John so I can sit at a recital where I think I can actually feel my eardrums vibrating? Not to mention the times I get to listen to the same song over and over and over and over as they practice for the recital. Do they think I do this for my own sick pleasure? Come on! Really?!
Don't get me wrong, we love to hear them play the piano. There are always hymns playing in the background in this house and we are really hoping they will be able to take that talent they've developed and use it in their lives in church, or as a missionary, or just in their homes for whatever.
Do you think our kids will ever really appreciate the things we try to do for them?
Let's just say I'm not feeling the love right now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


There is no place to eat in this house that isn't over carpet. Unless you stand in the kitchen and eat at the counter I guess, which I frequently do. Not because I'm trying to keep the carpet clean but just because that's what moms do way too often.
So last year the plan was to get wood flooring. Our next door neighbor, who is strangely unfriendly, does this for a living and I had him come over to take the measurements and give me a bid. Then the pergola and the piano happened and the cost of flooring went out the window. So the grand plan was for us to do it in March of this year. As you can imagine, this has been a highly anticipated event for me. I have been keeping one eye closed to the carpets thinking, "(x many more months, days, etc) and it will be gone." But this lurking guilt was nagging at the back of my mind, as is always there. Should I really spend this much on floors? The bid was one thing, but after putting in the pergola I learned all about bids and how they can double on you in the blink of an eye. Even if the bid was on target did I really want to spend this much?
I am Bob in What About Bob--"I need! I need! I need!"
Except it isn't a need. I knew that. I am praying, "I know it's selfish, but I just really want this wood flooring..." knowing full well it is a ridiculous thing to be praying about. But all around me people are really struggling in this economy. Especially our self-employed friends. Oh the joys of being self-employed--the seasons of feast and famine. I knew that if I got these floors, even with Peter's blessing, I could be walking around on what he may need to make payroll in January.
Not to forget those student loans for that master's degree that we've never used but maybe someday we will . . .
Once I made the decision I felt a whole lot better. I knew I could live without wood. So I went carpet. The most indestructible, multi-colored, no vacuum marks, lots o' brown, bordering on commercial grade carpet I could find.

Here is the installers on Thursday ripping out the old stuff.
I went outside as my friend and the carpet installers looked on with wide eyes and proceeded to pour bleach straight onto a piece of remnant. Not a mark. Came back an hour later? Not a spot. Overnight? No color change--nothing but the faint scent of bleach.
Kid proof?
We'll see about that.

This will give me a good five years to save for wood.
Or pay off student loans.
Or my house. I'd take that too.
Psshaw--who am I kidding?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Checking in again

So here I am again finally. I haven't really had much to blog about. When people ask me how I'm doing I just tell them its the tax season and that pretty much sums it up. Its all good though and I'm grateful for the work we have. We are hugely blessed.

The situation in Japan has had me thinking about just how blessed we are. Among our little group of exchange students we've had over the years there have been three Japanese students. Two girls, Mineko & Eri, and one boy, Yuuki. I wonder how they are doing. I've been so impressed with how the people there are working through this. I love Japanese people. They are respectful, humble, curious, hardworking, and the way they honor their elders is such an example to me. In the aftermath of this horrific tragedy they are orderly and calm. So inspirational. Just good people going about their lives and within an hour their town is gone. I looked over the list of individual names and unless Yuuki Matsumoto is the name of more than one in Japan, someone has confirmed that he is alive.
I wondered how long it was between when the earthquake hit and when the tsunami rolled in. One hour. Can you believe it?