Thursday, June 2, 2011

Catching Up

My neighbor, who has all tile floors in his house, rented a commercial steam cleaner for twenty-four hours to clean his rugs.  He was done in twenty minutes and offered his rental to me for the remaining twenty-three hours and forty minutes.  My house is full of carpet.  I despise vacuuming it.  Cleaning it had never crossed my mind and it certainly wasn't on my list of things to do in the next 23 hours.  But I trudged over to his house and gratefully borrowed his carpet-cleaning machine.  Almost six hours later, I'm finally finished.    Random thoughts I had as I steamed my way to a house full of clean carpet:

  • EWWW!  You should clean your carpet just to see how dirty the water gets.
  • I'm glad I like the smell of the all-purpose cleaner I just bought because now my entire house smells like citrus ginger.
  • There is way too much carpet in my house. 
  • I could never have done it without Sarah's help.

Sarah with Katie, Alli, Grant and Paige
Oh - I should introduce you to Sarah.  This is Sarah (with our kids at Peter and Molly's wedding, but that's another post I still have to write).  She graduated, at the end of April on a Saturday, from George Fox University as an Elementary Education major.  The following Thursday she started her Masters of Education at George Fox University.  The Sunday after that she moved in with us.  We are so lucky.  While I would like Sarah to get a job because she's such a great teacher, I'm also torn.  Remember how I've been whining on Facebook that I need a "wife" to be successful?  Sarah fits the bill and if she gets a real job and moves out we won't have her around anymore to enrich our lives.  Sarah went ahead of me while I was steam-cleaning and prepped each room for me.  She also cleaned up the kitchen after dinner just to bless me.  Did I mention that she's also a huge help with the kids?  Yeah.  I'm pretty sure I don't want her to get a job any time soon.

Me with the graduate
In other news, Paige (5 years old), had a big week last week.  She graduated from pre-kindergarten in a graduation ceremony that was official down to the cap and gown, Pomp and Circumstance, diploma, and cap throwing.  Her entire class proved their kindergarten-readiness by reciting the pledge of allegiance to the United States of America, the pledge to the Christian flag, and a Bible verse.  They "turtle walked" down the aisle (so parents could get pictures), sang songs and threw their caps in the air.  It was pretty exciting.  Paige was working on a project this afternoon while I prepped dinner.  She asked me how to spell "your" and "heart" and then asked me for an envelope.  I asked her who she was writing a letter to.  She answered, "Ray, and I'm not gonna tell you what I wrote."  Hmmm...

Grant stretching
Grant (10 years) finished up his first season of water polo and liked it enough to want to play again next year.  I knew nothing about water polo before Grant started playing.  Now that he completed his first season my water polo trivia base is still minimal, but I do know they make the kids wear the silliest hats imaginable and when I look for Grant in the water I usually think he's a girl first. Maybe it's because his hair is so long, which leads me to the Hair Agreement.  Grant doesn't have to cut his hair again until the start of 5th grade.  I get to spend the summer practicing letting the little things go.  When I post pictures of his out-of-control hair, don't judge me.  You're preaching to the choir.  

Alli up to bat
Katie (8 1/2 years) and Alli (7 years) are playing softball for the first time this year.  They're on the same team and approach the sport so differently.  Alli, when she pays attention, is a good hitter and a pretty fast runner.  She could take or leave defense and has been spotted sitting in the outfield picking grass, drawing in the dirt in the infield, and giggling with members of the other team if they happen to be on the base she's playing.  

Katie down and ready
Katie is all business when it comes to softball.  She gets nervous batting but still manages to hit the ball most of the time without using the tee.  She earned the nickname Wheels because she's such a fast runner (something we didn't know until we saw her with her peers).  My favorite is watching her play defense.   If the ball is hit anywhere in her direction, she charges the ball, scoops it up and runs a foot race against the batter to the bag.  Katie usually wins too.  Some day she'll have to learn to THROW the ball to the bag but at this skill level the odds for a guaranteed out are much greater for a foot race vs. field, throw, and catch.  It's been such a rainy spring that their last four games have been rained out.  At the rate we're going they'll be playing make-up games until Labor Day.

The kids and I at Gillette Lake
On Monday Curt left for a week-long business trip so the kids and I joined my Mom and Terry for a Memorial Day hike.  We hiked 2.7 miles one-way (that's a total of 5.4 miles for those of you who don't like to do math) to Gillette Lake on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.  We could still see the parking lot when Paige said, "My legs are tired and I don't like hiking.  I lose my energy and it takes too long.  Are we done yet?"  She protested for the first mile of hiking but somewhere around the 18th water break she decided hiking wasn't all that bad and spent the next four miles as an exemplary hiker.  The last .4 miles required a lot of encouragement from Mommy but she hiked the entire distance all by herself.  Good job Paigey!  Grant led the way, carried the back pack, and was complaint-free for the entire hike.   Katie and Alli also followed the rules, had great attitudes, and hiked without complaining.  It was awesome!

Only .5 miles left to hike!
The hike itself was underwhelming.  There was a pretty view of mountains in the distance but a big part of the trail was through an area of forest that had recently been clear cut.  The active logging road, bright plastic logging tags, and power lines running along the ridge we climbed detracted just a smidgen from the "we're in the wilderness" hiking ambiance we were hoping for.  Gillette Lake was pretty though and Grant stripped down to his boxers and jumped in the ice-cold water even though it was only 60 degrees outside.  His "I'm really freezing" declaration was the understatement of the day.  

The weather changed multiple times while we were hiking.  When we started it was over-cast and slightly chilly.  Then the sun came out and it got warm and humid.  On our way back to the car a storm rolled in and it started raining hard enough for the temperature to noticeably drop.  We stopped to put on our sweatshirts and rain gear and within minutes the rain stopped and the sun came back out.  DUH.  Mom and Terry let us crash at their house post-hike and served us a yummy meal.  It was such a treat to not have to cook after being gone all day.

On a sad note, Curt's cousin David has been battling colon cancer for the past 14 months.  He passed away on Sunday leaving behind his wife Wendy and their three children.  I know they would all appreciate your prayers as they grieve, process this loss, and celebrate the life David lived.  

I have a running list of things I still need to blog about but don't hold your breath that it will happen any time soon.  I hope you and your family are having a wonderful spring!


  1. Jodi, soo sorry to hear about Curt's cousin - that is so sad. And, as always, it sounds like you all have been crazy busy. Love the picture of serious softball Katie! - Faith

  2. Is it terrible that even with only 2 kids I still feel like I need a "Sarah" in my life?