February 22, 2008

Grandpa's 84th Birthday Party

This is a present that Michael bought for Grandpa. I think he probably forgot he had it on after a little bit because he ended up wearing it the entire night.
Showing off how the earring has affected his personality. So cool.

Gretchen and Robin got everyone in the family room to sing Happy Birthday to Grandpa. Everyone was in a different key. At least it ended somewhat on the same note. Then they decided, in honor of Grandpa, to sing "Stouthearted Men". I remember hearing him sing the chorus to us when I was younger, but I couldn't believe how many adults knew this song. I still have no clue where it came from or what it's about. It was funny to see Grandpa, Gretchen, Robin and my dad get so into singing it.

Grandpa LOVES being the center of attention :)

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I guess the little ones got bored, so they decided to make their own fun. If I would have to guess, these kids ended up jumping for almost an hour. Benjamin did this somersault each and every time he jumped.

Noah, on the other hand, looks funny since he's twice the size of these little ones. It just doesn't look quite as fun for him as the others.

February 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

This is probably the only picture I have of just me and Grandpa Bill. He turns 84 today.
I absolutely adore my grandpa. Ever since Grandma Cherie passed away almost 4 years ago, I've been able to get to know him better than I had the previous 32 years of my life. I never would have expected that talking to my grandpa on the phone for an hour could be comfortable, let alone enjoyable. I have learned many things from him and have enjoyed getting to know him more than just my grandpa, but as a friend.
More of what has amazed me is watching the relationship between Taylor and him grow stronger these past couple years. What started out as going to lunch just to get to know each other better a couple times a year, quickly grew to be something Taylor looked forward to at least a couple times a month or even more.
I love you Grandpa and hope you have a fantastic 84th birthday!! I love you!

Happy Birthday Mamoo Mike!


Marijke Caron (aka - Mike, Mamoo Mike) is also having a birthday today. I think I have the absolute best mother in-law in the world.


She has the patience of an angel and the charity of a saint. I am always amazed at how willing she is to help anyone she can. No matter what's going on in her life, she always has a smile on her face. I really look up to her. My only problem I have with her is that she isn't living in Las Vegas anymore. I was blessed to have her live here for almost 10 years of my marriage to Taylor however. She is always supportive of our family and constantly letting our children know that they can do anything they put their minds to.


We love you Mike and hope you have a fantastic birthday today. We can't wait to see you next week!

February 14, 2008

Our Love Story

My sister posted the cutest post for Valentine's Day. Since I can hardly come up with any creative ideas on my own, I'm going to use her idea. Thanks Rach.

I begin with a warning. Taylor many times remembers our meeting and dating differently. Sadly for him, I have the journal to prove it. Sorry bub!



Where did you meet your spouse? I first saw him at an Institute Choir practice on January 18th. I had just broken up with my boyfriend, so I wasn't looking too hard for anything. He was conducting since he was the Council President. I listened and watched him and thought...."Wow, he's got a lot going for him. That would be cool to get to know him." Unfortunately I thought he wasn't even in my league, or even my type since I was pretty shy. When practice was over, my roommate Stori introduced us (I found out later she had been dating him at the time).



What was the first thing you said to your spouse? "Hi". So memorable I know. Since I was so quiet, and he generally did all the talking (still hasn't changed) we didn't really end up talking too much until the famous passenger switcheroo night. My friend and I had gone to a Singles dance two days after we met. She liked Taylor's friend Mike, and everyone was trying to get me together with Taylor. We both ended up in Taylor's car to head out to the Eldorado casino for late-night food. We stopped at a house to pick up some others, my friend jumped out to go with Mike, and Taylor and I ended up all alone in his car. He asked me a lot of questions about my previous relationship, so that's about all we talked about on the way. Of course I tried to play cool like I wasn't that into him, but inside I was loving every minute of that night. He ended up taking me home at 5:30 in the morning (yes Mom, I never told you that).



Where was your first date? The answer to this has always been up for interpretation. Neither one of us can figure this one out. I think we decided that we'd make Valentine's Day 1995 our official first date. There was a Valentine's Dance for the University Ward. About 20 girls met at someone's house to wait for the men to arrive. There was a cart full of flowers out front in order for the guys to "bring" their dates flowers. My date, however, brought me a dozen pink roses. This scored him big brownie points. Made the other guys look bad though :D .
From the day we met, we seemed to end up seeing each other and/or talking on the phone almost every day. All of our friends would make comments about us needing to just get married in order to get some sleep, or they would say "when your married" statements. I just laughed it off, but when I read back in my journal, this started just a couple weeks after we met. Even Taylor's mom told him soon after we met that he should marry me. Crazy!



Where was your first kiss? In my car (not what you think) 2 weeks after we met. By this time I had moved into my condo. We had just returned home from going out, and I had to go down to my parent’s house for some reason. I was sitting in my car saying goodbye to him and out of the blue he said, "Can I kiss you?" I was taken by complete surprise. Of course I said yes! It was a nice short kiss, but enough to send me through the roof, and Taylor says he felt like he just conquered Mt. Everest.



Who said "I love you" first? He did. We were standing in his parents entry (he was living at home) saying goodnight to each other and "talking". Before I left, he got a serious face and said he loved me. He added a disclaimer on the end though, saying, "I love you. I just want you to know that. I don't know what kind though...if it's puppy dog love, or lust (nice one), or what." I just thought, oh please!! He has yet to live that one down.



Did you have a long or short courtship/engagement? I always thought the man I married would be someone I had known for a long time. However, from the day we met until we got engaged, it was 4 1/2 months. We were only engaged for 10 weeks. It's amazing how things work out the way they are supposed to.
I know Taylor was feeling enormous pressure from everyone around us. His sister had just met someone at Ricks about the same time as us, and got engaged in May to be married in July. The fact that his little sister was getting married before him wasn't a good thought. Every one of our friends was asking him what he was waiting for.
I was even wondering what he was waiting for. Now that I really know him, I understand he has to think about big decisions a LOT and talk to everyone around him for advice. I'm surprised he popped the question when he did.



Where did you get engaged? I found out after the fact that he ended up deciding to finally propose to me out of frustration. Not with me, but with everyone around him pressuring him to just do it. He is a very analytical person, so when he has a huge decision to make, he needs to think forever about it. I'm quicker to jump into things. This sometimes can be to my detriment. He has taught me more patience with decision and I'm trying to teach him to hurry it along.
He had just gone through an interrogation from his parents, asking him what his problem was (again). He ended up storming out of the house, telling them that he was just going to go do it. He called my parents, asking them if he could come over. Of course my dad grilled Taylor about how he was going to support me, take care of a family, etc. Mom cried and Dad was serious. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at the house then.
He ended up proposing to me twice. The first time, he obviously couldn't wait, and he proposed without a ring. I had told him I didn't care if I had a ring when he proposed (I don't think many women are like that), I just wanted to be engaged. The second proposal was with a ring.
He called me to tell me he was going to be over in about an hour. He was going to run "errands" (aka - ring shopping with his mom). After an hour and a half, he called and said he'd be over soon. I was going up to Utah the next day just to get out of town for a bit, so I decided to just leave and get my tires checked. Afterwards, I stopped by Mom and Dad's house to visit. While there, Rachel told me Taylor had come over. She didn't know why, but of course that made me curious why he'd be there by himself. I went down to Dad's room to ask him what was up. He just kept grinning and grinning, but wouldn't say much. Finally he said, "He came over to ask if he could marry you." My heart skipped a beat right then. Shock, then excitement hit me. I thought he was lying for a bit, but when I realized he wasn't, I decided I had to get back to my place to see if he was there.
When I walked in, Taylor was sitting on the couch; my roommate was in the kitchen doing dishes. I had to try with all my might not to smile. It was soooo hard. He told me he found a great card for me and it was back in my room. Someone called for me, so while talking on the phone, I started opening the card, halfway reading it. It was all mushy (the kind I love) and at the end, it said "Will you marry me?" Huh?!?! I got off the phone super quick. Taylor peeked his head in the room and asked me out loud. I didn't think he'd do it that fast after talking to my parents. Everyone who knows that feelings you feel when you get engaged, knows it's so hard to explain them. I guess I felt a combination of elation, relief, shock, and wanting to yell it to the world. It was funny how at that exact moment, I felt like barriers that had to be up in order to protect yourself from possibly being hurt all came crashing down. Now that we knew exactly how each other felt, we could talk about anything and everything.


Where were you married? We were married August 12, 1995 in the Las Vegas Nevada Temple. It being the middle of August, I'm surprised it wasn't that hot. I even had a long sleeved dress. It was quite windy up at the temple. Windy enough that Julie had to help hold my train down in order to get good photographs. I hardly remember anything that we were told during the sealing. I only remembered him telling us to always tell each other that we love each other. That's something we don't have a problem doing. Also I remember Taylor getting very emotional. That really touched me.
One funny moment happened when I walked into a side room before we were married to meet Taylor. He looked at my dress and didn't say much except I looked pretty. When we went outside to take pictures, he noticed I looked a little different. He hadn't realized they put a liner in your dress that goes up to your neck and down your arms in order to keep all dresses appropriate for the temple. I just laughed and laughed. I asked him if he really thought I'd have my dress look that way. Guess he didn't have a clue about that. So funny.
You can see how windy it was at the temple with my dress flying horizontal being me.
How did your reception go? My reception went off without a hitch. We had an orchestra playing for the first hour and then had Jim Brickman music playing for the second. The reception seemed to go by so quickly for me. At one point, one of Taylor's friends asked him for his car keys. Dumbly, he handed them over. If I would have heard the request, I would have put my foot down right there. For weeks, we heard horror stories about what people did to the getaway car. Fortunately, our friends weren't too bad. Only that when we got in, Taylor pulled down his visor and cereal came pouring down into his lap. Marshmallows were shoved into his hubcaps, and toothpaste written on the windows. First place we stopped was a car wash. Taylor was very protective of his "baby" so he didn't want any of that mess cooking in the hot August sun the next day. I always tease Taylor of washing his car faster than I've ever seen anyone wash a car in my life. Guess he wanted to leave for his honeymoon superquick! ;)
This picture still cracks me up

Where was your honeymoon? We stayed two nights here in Vegas, and then drove up to a bed and breakfast in Manti. That was a fantastic place and I'd stay there again in a second. We basically travelled and just relaxed and took it easy. One night we actually stayed at his Aunt's home in Star Valley, Wyoming. I'm not sure what possessed him to plan that, except for saving money. It was beautiful up there though. Taylor thinks he owes me a "real" honeymoon, but I probably wouldn't have remembered going to Hawaii or on a cruise any differently than I do our actual honeymoon. I just loved being with him.

Here, we went to some sort of animal habitat. I guess Taylor decided we needed some excitement that day, so he locked his keys in the car. We had to wait around for a locksmith for the next couple hours.

If you could have changed anything about your day, what would it have been? There are a lot of little things I would change now that I look back at everything. Things were also so hectic at my parent’s house that summer with Grandpa being sick and Adam going on a mission, that being engaged for 10 weeks makes me wonder how everything all came together. I was not as strong then as I am now about voicing my opinions. It's hard when other people are donating time and money to help you with a beautiful reception, to feel that you can be super picky and demanding. I loved our colors, our flowers, the music and decorations. Basically I loved it all. When I look at Rachel's reception and think that everything about her reception is what I would have wanted, but when I see that SHE even looks at her reception wishing things were different makes me realize the grass will always be greener on the other side.

From the moment I met Taylor, until this day that I'm writing my story, I would not go back and change a moment. Sure times can be tough, but I am so proud of my marriage to Taylor, I'm proud of him and how strong he is, I'm proud of all four of my children and the spirits they have. I'm very blessed. Much more blessed than I even feel worthy of being. I love my husband with everything that I am. I really wish I showed him better than I do. It's true when they say that you kind of push your husband by the wayside when you're dedicating all your time to your children and your home. I'm realizing that giving your husband attention really makes your marriage stronger. He may be like another child sometimes, but he needs to be your #1 child ;) .

I love you Taylor Caron. I'm so lucky that you saw me that day with "what's his name", wondered why in the world I was with him, and decided to start flirting with me. Even though I wasn't the typical girl you chased after, at least I was the right one. You're everything I could ever ask for. I recently found the list I wrote in Young Women's about all that I wanted in a husband. Funny thing is, all those things are attributes of you. I love being married to you.

February 13, 2008

Track & Field

I took the boys to Mojave High School last week, so they could play football and run around. Ben and I enjoyed the track together walking around it.

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Soon, however, he found the long jump and landing pit. Boy did he have fun.....running, running, running and then jumping in dirt! What more can a little boy ask for?

February 10, 2008

Football Fever


Now, I don't exactly get into football, but with two boys who are obsessed with their teams (Noah - Seattle Seahawks & Jordan - Pittsburgh Steelers) I can't avoid it. The boys thought it would be fun to dress up for the SuperBowl. So, as soon as we got home for church, we all found our football jerseys and painted on the black under our eyes. They probably thought we were crazy when the stopped by for fast offerings and we looked like this.

February 7, 2008

The Koch Animal Farm

A couple weeks ago, Spot, the stray that showed up at my parent's door about 10 years ago, had to be put down. Poor guy suddenly became paralyzed from the waist down, and no one knew why. I felt badly for my parents because this dog was one of, if not their favorite pet. Probably also a little more difficult now that the commotion of children is not in their home anymore. My children were a mess when I told them what had happened, so we went over the night before to could say goodbye.
I was talking to Mom one day, and she and Dad had been trying to remember all the pets they had over the years. We started digging through pictures to try to make sure there were none we missed. Because it was always such an animal farm around that house, I'm sure there are a few we forgot. Scooter is in this list somewhere. He's the dog that would bite Adam when he was a toddler (thus the reason why we have no pictures of him). Here are some of the photos that we found. For those of you who were fans of the rabbits, hamsters and hermit crabs, I'm sorry that they are not included in this list.

Wookie (first dog)
Wookie & Cuddles
(only picture of this cat I could find.... it didn't last long)
Moose
Wiggles & Waggles with Michael
(we gave away Wiggles & Waggles later became Sugar)

Tiger (pre-chub days)
Sugar & Tiger
(a.k.a. - fat cat days....before being forced to lose
some weight while trapped in our trailer)
Snowball & Tiger
Taffy & Licorice when puppies
Rachel & Cosmo
Licorice & Taffy
I just love how raggedy everyone looks while holding the animals.
Sugar & Cosmo look especially thrilled to pose for the picture.
Hailey & Tammy
Thumper & Adam
(I mainly put this picture in to show off the stylin' do Adam had)
Thumper
One of the many rabbits Julie acquired. I have no idea what any of their names are. I think this is maybe Cleo? Don't bother correcting me if I'm wrong, since I'll end up forgetting it's name by tomorrow.
Buffy
(The dog that Mom ended up giving to Grandma Theresa)
Lucy (a.k.a. - Outside Cat)
This is a cat that shows up at my parents door begging for food. They've basically adopted it as their own. Julie named this cat Lucifer since it was mean and would bite anyone who tried to pet it. Now it's affectionately named Lucy for short. Daisy (Golden Retriever) & Brown Cat (aka - Lilly, Muffy, Inside Cat, basically everyone had their own name for the cat). Spot
The kids wanted to go over to say goodbye to him.

February 6, 2008

I'm Getting There

Before Rachel or anyone else lets me know they are sick of looking at Adam's face (now who could ever be sick of that!), I'm getting there. With the flu striking each person one at a time, and what I thought was chicken pox, but turned into actually being Shingles with Hailey, has left me trying to scrounge myself back to normalcy.
So anyways, I have a ton I want to blog. Just like a journal.....the more time you wait, the more you get behind.

February 5, 2008

This is ADORABLE!

Clara's New Glasses

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Clara took a piece of plastic from an opened toy an put it over her eyes like glasses. For some reason, when she went up to Charlie, he burst out crying. She didn't do anything scary.....he just didn't like them at all. It cracks me up how Clara looks a little dumbfounded when he cries.