Monday, March 24, 2008

Let the Games Begin!

So the games have already begun. I'm talking about March Madness, baby! One of our Hough traditions...filling out our own brackets and watching the Madness unfold. The winner (with the most points) gets to go out for ice cream. Jake won last year. He predicted Florida would win and they did.

Here are the predicted winners and current standings with points.

1st place: Cooper with 169/192 points. Predicted winner: UCLA
2nd place: Jared with 163/192 points. Predicted winner: KANSAS
3rd place: Jake with 160/192 points. Predicted winner: NORTH CAROLINA
4th place: Karcyn with 142/192 points. Predicted winner: MEMPHIS
5th place: Jenn with 140/192 points. Predicted winner: TEXAS I totally expect Jared to pull ahead of me. He follows the regular season games closer than I do. But how sad is it when ALL THREE of your children (including your 2 year old) are beating you? Obviously there were a few upsets! I haven't lost all hope however. That's where these games get fun. You never know how it's going to turn out. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! It's the earliest it's been in over 90 years and it won't be this early again in our lifetime! (Just in case you were wondering).

It's been a lovely, spiritual day for us. We're so grateful for the free gift of the resurrection and we rejoice in the eternal truth that He Lives!
I was invited to sing in a quartet (two sopranos, two altos) with a viola during Sacrament meeting. It was a beautiful arrangement of "I Need Thee Every Hour". We nailed our parts and it was a real pleasure to do. This coming from the girl who gets pretty nervous when it comes to singing in front of people when it doesn't involve a choir.
I'm embarrassed to say this, but this year was the first time we've ever dyed eggs. Yes, it's true. Don't ask me why. It just never seemed like a big deal. So this year, I thought, why not? My family always did.

We made plans to do this on Thursday, March 20th. We almost didn't do it this year either because when I went to go get eggs at the "oops, I forgot" store, they were $4.29 for a dozen and a half. I KID YOU NOT!!! I almost had kittens I was so stunned. Good grief. The way milk and pasta and eggs are going up in price, I'm going to have to adjust my food budget. Disgusting!

Needless to say, I could only afford to get one dozen eggs. I figured 5 for the boys and 2 for Karcyn. Bad math. Karcyn LOVED dying the eggs. A little too much I think. And of course, I only had 2 for her to do. We were dying them "Star Wars" style. She picked out Yoda all by herself. Clearly she did not have enough, so I gave her a plastic egg to play with and "dye". I swear she was obsessed. She couldn't keep her hands out and we couldn't keep her away. We had to block her from the kitchen while we cleaned up. I guess we'll be dying eggs again next year. So long as I don't have to take out a loan to purchase them!

If you want to know where Cooper was during all of this...he was in his room. He thought it would be funny to call Dad a jerk at dinner when Dad asked him to do something. Yeah....not a good idea. I don't think Cooper will be making that mistake again! And lest you think we're evil parents, Coop got to dye his eggs the next day.

Karcyn turns 2!

Monday March 10th we celebrated two years with Karcyn. It hardly seems possible. She's a funny girl and as the only girl, she adds the perfect dynamic to our family. She's still very happy and laid back.

She hardly speaks a word of English. She just started saying 'no' and even then it comes out more like 'doh'. But she shakes her head when she says it which is how we knew what she was saying. You're a fool if you don't think she understands. She understands and obeys better than than the boys sometimes. Though she's not speaking any comprehendible language that we know, she definitely speaks something with fluctuations and intensity.

Karcyn is so fun to have around. The boys have a good time with their little sister and she can definitely hold her own. Considering she has two older brothers and one younger one on the way, that's a very good thing. However, that's not a good thing when I try and put dresses with bows on her. Mom tried to put her in a dress with a huge bow on the front for her birthday celebration. We've had this experience before. But Mom hadn't. Karcyn hates it. Jared wished Mom luck. Karcyn wouldn't even go near the room. Fortunately, I am able to pull her bangs in a pony tail on top of her head to get them out of her eyes without any resistance. I'll take it.

The first week Mom and Dad were here, they noticed Karcyn tipping a small child's rocker forward in our living room to create a make shift slide. Someone asked where she learned that. Her brothers of course! So they went and bought her a real slide for indoors. She was in toddler heaven! She knew just what it was and by golly, I think she was even saying "slide".

Sticking with tradition (okay, it's only been two years, but hey...) we had strawberry cupcakes with strawberry icing. To our surprise, Karcyn blew out both her candles, one at a time. We had no idea she knew how to do that or what they were for.

And amazingly the whole celebration lasted 15 minutes from beginning to bath!

Coastal beauty

Saturday March 8th, Jared had to work another 12 hour shift at the urgent care clinic, so Dad, Mom and I (and the kids) piled in the van and headed for the coast. Amazingly it didn't rain. Not one drop. There were clouds, but there were lots of sun breaks. What a treat.
I realized this was Karcyn's first introduction to the coast and the beach and she LOVED it! She would have run right into the water if we weren't constantly redirecting her. We all came close to the water however! We almost got nabbed by the quick, sneaky surf a couple of times. It was fun out-running it at the last minute. And of course, you can't beat finding treasures (like fossils, halves of sand dollars, and tennis balls to name a few) left on the beach.
Our last stop was between Cannon Beach and Seaside, in Ecola State Park. That's where you can get one of the better views of the Tillamook Rock lighthouse (aka 'Terrible Tilly'). It's pretty amazing, as is its history--She certainly lived up to her nickname.

I had to speak in Sacrament meeting the next day. In the announcements we were told of a tragedy in our stake. A young man, 16 years old, who was in the ward that met in our building, had drowned at the coast just the day before. He had died in an attempt to save a boy struggling in the ocean that he didn't know. My heart broke for his family, but what an incredible young man to put another life before his own. Even though I didn't know the teenager or his family personally, I can't look at these pictures of us enjoying the coast without remembering someone's little boy died that same afternoon we were there.

A quiz

Here's a little quiz. Which one has the REAL bowling ball under their shirt?
**And here's a little threat. If you say me, I'm never speaking to you again!

Ahhh, Dad and his humor.

A boy is baptized

What can I say? We are very proud of Jake. He has a good handle on the basic principles of the gospel. He knows the importance of serving others and how to right his wrongs. He was ready to be baptized but we always left the choice to him. He knew he couldn't be a member of Christ's church without doing so however and that's why he wanted to be baptized.

Jake was baptized with his friend from school, just the two of them from our ward. Jared baptized him, his grandpas were the witnesses, and his Uncle Kevin joined in the circle when Jake was confirmed. To make the day even more special, Cooper learned, in one week's time, both verses to the song "When I Am Baptized" (most Latter-day Saints know it as "I Like to Look for Rainbows") to sing with the two younger siblings of the other boy being baptized for the special musical number. Coop even made up his own "sign language" for it. Though he practiced it flawlessly in front of us, I was concerned he might get a little stage fright when in front of faces he didn't recognize. Or flat out refuse to go up there. Sometimes, you just don't know with that boy. But seriously, what was I thinking? This is Cooper. He likes to perform and be involved. And he did a fabulous job. What a little man in his new suit. And what a sweet gift to give his brother.
Thank you again to all the friends and family who could share this joyous time with us. It meant so much to have you there.

(By the way, how is it that we have not ONE picture with our extended family that came. How is that possible?? Who allowed that to happen??? ACK!)

The last 3 days in February

The month of February, especially the last week, was a busy one for our family. Mainly we looked forward with great anticipation for the arrival of my parents. Once they arrived though, meant we would be getting ready for an open house on Friday, the 29th and Jake's baptism on Sat. March 1st. Their first day with us, however, was Wed. the 27th. This was also the Blue and Gold Banquet where Jake, as a new cub scout, earned his Bobcat award and some other segments. (Greeaat....more patches to sew on!) He was excited to be the honorary American flag holder. We are very proud of him and his eagerness for this great program.

Now to get ready for the open house. Fortunatley I had already done the big cleaning jobs preparing for my parents to arrive. Mom and I got the food and did some final touches on the house. Mom's touch always makes everything better, I've found! I'm so glad she could be here to help me with this. We're also grateful for all the friends who could join us in celebrating our first home. We love our little house. And we love our friends. Our door is always open...