Tuesday, July 28, 2009


*sung to the tune of "Once There Was a Snowman*

Once there was a Jenn Hough, Jenn Hough, Jenn Hough.
Once there was a Jenn Hough--sort of tall.
In the heat she melt-ed, melt-ed, melt-ed.
In the heat she melt-ed...sweat and all.

This ain't no heat wave the Pacific northwest is experiencing...it's a full on SMACK DOWN. We were over 100 degrees yesterday (Mon. 7/27) but I don't know the official number (*update: the news reported the temperature at 103 on Monday*). It was 106 degrees TODAY and currently at 8:43pm, it is 103 degrees outside. UNBELIEVABLE! What's worse....it's a stifling 93 degrees inside our house! Holy schnikey!

You know it's bad when your home reaches 90 degrees before you go to bed at 10:30pm with open windows and then when you wake up at 5:30 in the morning, the inside temperature only dropped to 85 degrees. Yup, that's how we started our day today. Needless to say we spent 3 hours at our subdivision pool this afternoon. We spent 2 hours there yesterday. The last two nights Jared and I have slept on TOP of our bed. (At least I haven't had to make it the past two mornings!) It's humid too. We are just dripping sweat. Karcyn and Calvin have both been sporting heads of hair that are sopping wet. They look like they just got out of the bath. Well, they sure need baths because it's all sweat. Gross. There's nothing clean or pleasant about it.

You know it's hot when you go sit on the toilet to do your business and when you get up, the toilet seat comes with you. Or when you have to reapply your deodorant 10 times in one day because you're offending yourself. (Yes, I am speaking from experience on both accounts).

It's going to be just as hot tomorrow, but hopefully it'll get down in the low 90s and dare we dream of the 80s this weekend?? I'm so grateful this is only a 3 day stretch. It was hot Saturday and Sunday, but not triple digits. And when you're getting higher in temperature, every degree matters. We'll survive, but man...this is down right oppressive!

My sister lives in AZ and I know it gets hotter than this there. BUT...I don't care. I have no sympathy for them or anyone else living in that type of a climate. Why? Because A/C is standard down there. If they need to go somewhere, they get in their car, with A/C. When they go home, they have A/C. Up here, air conditioning is the exception, not the rule. There is no relief for us in oven homes. Aside from fighting over who gets to stand in front of the refrigerator next.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The middle of May

Jared's parents, Doc and Karole, arrived Saturday, May 9th.

We had our friend Kahli spend the night with us that night then she and Jared's parents joined us for Mother's Day at church (also the VT conference in Relief Society which I helped to present). Jared and his dad made Mother's Day dinner complete with a steak, salmon and grilled asparagus. I didn't have to do dishes or anything. It was a lovely day.

On Tuesday, Doc and Karole were two of the guest speakers lined up to address the Pacific University Physician Assistant students about ready to start their clinical rotations. Jared and I were able to go hear their presentations. What a fun, unique opportunity for them. Karole is a diabetic lifestyles coach and spoke about her adjustment to diabetes and her journey to help others cope with this disease. Doc, who is a preceptor for Pacific and takes PA students, spoke about what the students can expect on their rotations from the preceptors' perspective and how to make the most of their limited time (6 weeks per rotation...though it was 4 weeks for most of Jared's rotations when he attended). They both taught and entertained. It was really cool to see.

The next morning, Jared and his dad left for eastern Oregon for 4 days. That's the REAL reason, why his parents were here. They started out in Monument, I believe, (on Kahli's grandfather's property)...turkey hunting. They didn't get a turkey, but it wasn't for a lack of trying. Then on Saturday, they had a fishing charter arranged on the John Day River (if I recall--I never remember where he's going...just when and how much it costs. Great wife, eh? But at least I'm posting some pictures of his trip.)

Interestingly enough, Jared's parents flew home to Illinois on Monday the 18th at 12:30pm and my parents were scheduled to fly back from Scotland at 6:57pm just barely missing each other.

But...my parents had a chance to get bumped from their flight in Minneapolis to earn airline vouchers, so they took it. They actually volunteered and got bumped TWICE before finally coming back on Tuesday afternoon. We've loved having all of our family coming and going and that we got to spend time with just them, but boy it's kept us hopping! We're not used to having it happen virtually back to back within three weeks. But it was a wonderful craziness!


I can't believe my last, on-time post was about our wedding anniversary on May 15th, when Calvin's first birthday was 14 days before that. Hmmm, I guess our marriage bonds really are more important than the bonds with our children (I highly recommend you read "Follow the River" for a further examination of this). Well, I won't tell Calvin if you won't!

This spring was as crazy as the first of the year. I thought for SURE it would slow down after the 10 Virgins disbanded the middle of March, but it didn't. For example...I spoke to the youth of our ward at a big annual combined activity on April 1st with 3 days notice (no foolin' there). My parents arrived via camper the day before Easter and we went to the temple that evening. I was one of the speakers on Easter Sunday and then came home to a kitty who wiped her poopy bum on our carpet a few times, giving me and Jared the joy of cleaning her in the bathtub complete with leather gloves, towels, a removable shower head and lots of Lysol. The two weeks that followed were a barrage of baseball/T-ball practices 3x a week, scouting events, training for my 10K and helping prepare for a visiting teaching conference among other things.

I celebrated my birthday on April 28th (a day early). My parents flew to Scotland on the 30th for 3 weeks before coming back again. On Friday, May 1st, I did remember it was Calvin's birthday and took a picture to commemorate it.

But we had other plans and they didn't include him, or the other children. Kevin, Jared's brother and his wife, Christina, were in town for the weekend, so we met them at the Melting Pot for dinner...our first time at this restaurant for me and Jared. We were combining it as my birthday dinner (29th) and their 15th anniversary (30th). We always have fun hanging out with them, but it was especially nice to do it in that atmosphere. And it's a good thing because I really can't think of any friends that would be willing to spend that kind of money to dine with us there.

After dinner, Kevin said he found a miniature golf place down the road, so we went and investigated. I forget what it's called, but it's an underground Pirate adventure. The course was INSANE (definitely advanced placement miniature golf) but the motif made it worth it.

The next morning, Kevin and Chris arrived bright and early at our house and Christina and I headed to the DOSHA spa. I finally got to use the 8 hour spa-spectacular gift certificate--"Euphoria" it's called-- that Jared got me after I had Calvin one year previously. I certainly would have gone alone, but what a treat for me and Chris to go together. We rarely get to do anything alone between her 6+ kids and my 4. Usually the Hough brothers are out playing together during those rare occasions that we do see each other.

I loved the spa! Of course, the full-body massage and the facial (that I've never had which consisted of more massage) were divine! Also included in that day was a body elixir, a steam bath, a soaking tub, a spa manicure and pedicure, gourmet lunch, a shampoo and styling of the hair and an application of Aveda cosmetics. This was the post-spa "refreshed" Chris and Jenn. I know, you can't tell the difference. But I FELT the difference and man, did I smell good! I love the smell of Aveda hair products.

I told Jared he could send me to the spa any day (but not more than every other year because it's much too expensive!)

After we took this picture, I ran to the adult session of stake conference. I would have been there ANYWAY, but my very own RS President, Bev, that I have the privilege of serving with, was speaking and I wanted to support her even with family in town. She did not disappoint either. It was a fabulous talk. And then I snuck out. When I got home, we had another babysitter (yes, I believe I spent more on babysitting that weekend than I have in 2 months time) and drove Kevin and Chris back to their hotel...after stopping for dessert. They were flying home the next morning.

The next week gave us 5 days to get ready before the next guests arrived...Jared's parents. We decided to celebrate Calvin's birthday on May 5th...the day he was due. Actually, that was the first available day to do it. Besides, we rationalized, he would never know the difference.

All of the gift opening pictures are on the video camera. But here's how it went down with his cupcake. He was very good about eating it in small, tentative bites.

But then the bites got a little bigger.

Then the other hand had to get involved (notice it's his right one).

And of course, it just wouldn't be Calvin if he didn't offer to share.

Calvin is such a sweet, very mild baby. Of course now that he's older, there's more that he thinks he wants and he screeches if he doesn't get it. But he's the perfect caboose. He started taking his first steps around a year, but knows he can get to where he wants to much faster by crawling (and he can moooove), so that's what he does. He's gradually increasing his unassisted steps and I'm sure it won't be much longer before he's really running after Karcyn and the boys.

Just shortly after his first birthday, Calvin started folding his arms when we said it was time for prayers. I can't think of anything that melts my heart as much as that does. Without fail, it's been one of the first things my babies learn to do. In fact, we were in Sacrament meeting when he did it. Jared was standing Calvin on his lap before the opening prayer. I heard him whisper to Calvin "It's time for prayer." And Calvin whipped those little arms across each other. Jared and I both smiled and I know I gasped audibly enough that I'm sure those within surrounding pews of us heard it and wondered what was going on. The prayer hadn't started yet, so I don't feel too bad about it!

I also decided to do some sign language with Calvin, just for fun. He's already showing much more progress in his language development than Karcyn. And at this rate, he may very well be speaking and using the toilet before her. (Ahh, the irony that would be). Last week, when he wanted some more dinner to eat (this kid can pack it away. He's totally working on a gut...and he wants MORE before he's even chewed the mouthful he already has. I swear he's going to choke one of these days...) I showed him the sign for "more" and asked if that's what he wanted. The very next second...he was showing me the sign for "more." It was so cute. What a BRILLIANT child! :)

Calvin loves everyone, but it's especially sweet to see him when Jared comes home. Calvin gets to Jared as fast as he can (even climbed down from the couch one evening to go greet him) and begs to be picked up and then smothers Jared in the biggest Calvin hug he can muster, laying his head on his shoulder and smiling away. Moments like that can cure MANY THINGS.

What a fun year this has been with the Calvinator.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What a guy!

After a rollicking afternoon at our subdivision pool on Monday, we got ready to go to one of Jake's last baseball games of the season. It was in Banks, about 30 minutes northwest of here. We weren't even to the highway yet when Jake called out that his stomach wasn't feeling very good. I dug around for the plastic sack I brought for "Karcyn accidents" and tossed it back to him. It didn't take long for the poor kid to toss his own cookies. But it's no biggie when the kid is self-sufficient in this way. As soon as I could get off the highway, we turned around and went home.

Right when we got back, I looked up the coach's cell phone number and left him a message. I also emailed him just in case. He emailed back later that night and included the game stats. Our team won 27-14. The biggest victory yet.

I was actually afraid to tell Jake the news. He's pretty tenderhearted. I didn't want him to be crushed that he missed it, or worse, feel like they won because he wasn't there.

But I told him anyway to ease whatever pain he might bring upon himself before he heard it from his teammates.

Quite the opposite happened. Jake was ECSTATIC! I was half-surprised and very pleased at his reaction. There was no pity party because he missed the game and no selfish absurdity thinking his absence caused the feat. It was Cooper's response that has me shaking my head. Cooper was doing something in the kitchen off the family room when he heard the news. Cooper called out to his brother, "Hey Jake--maybe you should miss the games more often. Then it would bring the team good luck and they'd win even more!"

As I braced myself for Jake's reaction to that, Jake surprised me again.
"Yeah! Maybe I SHOULD get sick more often!"