November 10, 2010

Not Wanting to Brag....but.....

I vacillate between what a blog is for...whether it's for my own family's memories, or for information to share with others.  So stupid, but I really deliberated about this one.  Should I share something awesome, or should I just keep quiet.  I finally decided that my blog is essentially for my memories, so I'll do what I want to do dang it!!!  But as usual, I digress. 

Last week, a friend commented to me about Noah being in the school newsletter for a perfect test score.  I looked at her with curiosity because I had absolutely NO idea what she was talking about.  She told me that Noah was one of a few people who got a perfect score on the end of last year's CRT tests. What?!  Okay, I know Noah doesn't share a lot about school with me, but I at least thought he'd let me know about this!   (I'm guessing this is a mini version of SAT's?)  Actually, he ended up being only one of 2 people in the entire school!

I'm telling you, I couldn't be more proud.  Especially since good test taking abilities are DEFINITELY not hereditary in this family.

November 1, 2010

Crazy Weather

If there's one thing I know about Vegas, it's that Fall is the quickest season of all.  One second it's hot, the next you're needing a jacket.  This year has been no exception. 
Well into October, it was still sunny & warm.  Warm enough that Ben decided he wanted to whip out his swimsuit & run through the sprinklers.
Just a few days later, we started to get a lot of rain.  Jordan & Noah decided they wanted to walk over to McDonald's one afternoon. 
Not long after they left, it began to pour.  The lightning was everywhere.  The worrier mom in me decided I needed to go out to find them.  However, once they saw me they ran in the opposite direction.  They wanted to get as soaked as humanly possible I guess. 
It worked.
 Ben loves it when it rains.  When it started to really pour, he told me he needed to go get something.  When he came downstairs, he had our gun earmuffs on.  He told me the sound of the rain hitting the patio cover was too loud.

October 20, 2010

Birthday Boys

Taylor's father Bill & Noah share the same birthday, born October 2nd, exactly 50 years apart.  My mom had family over for dinner after General Conference, so it was a perfect opportunity for a little cake!  I find it so neat that Bill always makes an effort to be in town so the two of them can celebrate their birthday together.  They have not missed a year yet.

The birthday boys.
Noah's love for football inspired this cake.
Who knows what they were talking about, but I'm almost certain it was business related.
 The first time, and probably the last, I've ever seen them with their arms around each other & a smile.
 Ben made a "mini-cake" to go along with the birthday cake.
 My brother in-law Jared was in town from Idaho, so we were excited to have him come & hang out with us.  Also, my grandpa was feeling well enough to come over for a while too.  
So grateful for that.

Michael washing dishes?  I'm sure it's because he had Brandy over.  Whenever a girlfriend/boyfriend comes for dinner, I know I won't be needing to do the dishes.

The following Sunday, Noah was ordained to be a Deacon, & was able to pass the Sacrament for the first time.  I can't even express how amazing it felt to see two of my sons passing the Sacrament.  I'm so proud of him.
I love you Noah!!!

Soccer Time!

Primary Soccer has started  again this year.  Ben is SO excited to be playing, since he wasn't old enough last year to participate.  Each week is a countdown until the next Thursday for him.

Before the game, it's social time.
Once the game begins, he's in complete concentration mode with the tongue in the cheek.
Mom used to call soccer "bunch ball" because it always looks like a little bunch of kids moving up and down the field with the ball.  I completely see why.

 Before his first game, Noah told him he'd give him a dollar if he got a goal.  This incentive isn't in effect anymore however, or he'd be completely broke.
I'm so proud of how well he's doing in soccer.  He's always had a good kick, and he never stops running at home (& I mean never), so this obviously is the sport for him.  

September 26, 2010

Roller Coaster Day

A few weeks ago I had a day that took me on an emotional roller coaster.  It was Stake Conference....a day I really look forward to.  I've never been in a stake where I felt so excited to hear what the Stake President and the rest of the speakers have to talk about.  A stake where I don't think of Stake Conference as a vacation from church kind of day.  President Shields is always so direct, and he never beats around the bush about what we need to be doing.  This year was no exception......but I digress (as usual).

I can always expect that on the day of Stake Conference, I will not see Taylor one iota.  He ends up being at the Stake Center from morning till night, since we have three different sessions.  I usually don't see him much anyways, but at least on this day I know he'll be able to sit with us and I'd have help with the kids.  I look forward to this probably as much as I look forward to hearing from the stake president.  Well, the morning started off fine, but then something kicked in with the kids because the fighting in the house got out of control.  Constant mean comments, constant crying, constant yelling of  "Jordan get out of my room", etc.  Basically a lot of tension.  I had to lecture a few times, send kids to their rooms a few times, make everyone kiss and make up a LOT of times.  I'd had it!  

Finally, it was time to head off to Stake Conference. When Taylor joined us in our row, he took one look at my face and knew something was wrong.  He asked if I was okay and my eyes just welled up.  Nope, I was officially done and wanted to just go home.  I'm happy I didn't because the first talk was from President Peterson on Motherhood.  I needed this.  I needed to be reminded of the good things about being a mother.  I needed the regular squeezes on my shoulders from Taylor letting me know he agreed with what was being said.  I needed him leaning over to kiss my head and tell me he loved me.  I was finally able to let it go and relax.

I ended up going VT'ing right after church.  While I was gone, Taylor had a talk with the kids to find out what had happened.  When I returned, I was greeted with this........

It even had a post-it note to decode the writing.

The kids had thought all of this up by themselves.  They all also wrote letters telling me that they were sorry for behaving badly that day.  It was a pretty great way to come home.  It was also a great way to end my day.  
I absolutely love being a mother!  I know that there will be days like this that kick me in the butt.  I know there will be days I want to just quit and go get a job somewhere else.  But that's just motherhood in a nutshell.  An emotional roller coaster.....but I will always be grateful for it.  I will always be grateful I am a mother and wouldn't change it for the world.

September 20, 2010

Ben's Comments Lately

I have noticed that Ben is at an age where the funniest things come out of his mouth.  It makes it all the more hilarious when he doesn't know what he's saying.

A few examples:

After capturing a preying mantis and drawing a picture of it for school, he asks me "Mom, why do praying mantis's have to pray all the time?"

Hailey:  "Mom, do you know how to do a backflip?"
Me:      "No"
Ben:     "Skinny girls can do backflips."
(Wow, thanks)

Hailey came home from spending the night at Momoo's with a huge zucchini.  Today I'm in the car talking to Taylor on the phone......

Me:      "Do you want me to make quiche or zucchini soup?"
Taylor:  "Go ahead and make the zucchini soup."
Ben (from the backseat):    "I don't want to have bikini soup!"

School Has Begun!

Again, not exactly on time, but at least I'm motivated enough to get this blogged right?

Well, anyways, school has started for everyone this year in the Caron household.  It's always so exciting the first day for everyone, but the novelty wears off by lunchtime.  The older ones usually come home with a few stories, but generally the next day, they are ready for summer again.

Ben, on the other hand, was (and still is for that matter) SO excited about going to school.  Not to mention it gives me 2 1/2 hours of peace and quiet.  I can even watch whatever I want on tv without someone bugging me to change the channel or to put it on Xbox!  Ahhh the life!

It was so bittersweet dropping Ben off for his first day in kindergarten.  I was definitely excited for this day, but seeing that little man stand in line, smile beaming from ear to ear, really hit me.  My babies are no longer babies!

The boys weren't up for much photography that morning, but they did humor me with one picture at least before we headed to the bus.

Ben getting his backpack all together.

On our way!

Benjamin & Mommy

Proudly showing off his very own folder given to him by his teacher. 
(I love the look in his eyes in this picture)

September 12, 2010

15 Years

(Yes, this should have been posted several weeks ago, but a few things needing attention got in the way.)

I cannot believe I've been married to my sweetie for 15 years already!  Time has flown like you would never believe.
At the beginning of this year, we had grand plans to go on a cruise.  However, as time grew closer, reality set in and we realized it wasn't the smartest idea.  Plus, two days after our anniversary, we'd be taking a big vacation to Colorado with all of my family!  Who couldn't ask for anything more than being with your parents, brothers, sisters, and all of their kids for your anniversary?!

So anyways.....I decided that I'd surprise Taylor by getting his ring re-engraved.  When we got married, I had his ring engraved "Ti Amo  8/12/95" (Italian for I Love You).  Ever since then, my family has teased me that I only loved him that day.  Plus, the words have all but worn off.  Such a great idea, but pulling it off would be another story.  He NEVER takes his ring off!  Guess this should please me, but for this situation, not so much.  A few days before our anniversary it dawned on me to have him take it off so I could clean it.  I do this randomly, so he didn't think anything off it.  The best part of this idea is that when I do this, he usually forgets I have it in the cleaning solution and ends up without his ring on for a couple days.  Brilliant!!!  The next morning as we're saying goodbye, I keep thinking "don't ask for the ring, don't ask for the ring, don't ask for the ring."  I was so nervous my plan wouldn't work.  But, like every other time, he forgets and off to work he goes, professing his singleness all along the way without his ring!  I knew that I couldn't hold off giving him his ring until our anniversary, so I surprised him that night with a ring that look just like the day we got married......except the engraving now read "Ti Amo Per Sempre  8/12/95"  (I will always love you).

Obviously he felt obligated to return the favor (also since I talk about getting my ring fixed incessantly).
Here are the results.........

It's not quite as difficult to get my ring since I take it off every night before I go to sleep.  He did hatch up quite a plan including my older boys to get the ring to him while he was "at work".  That night I was so surprised as he gave me the ring.  I LOVE it way better this way!  It has new prongs that I don't constantly worry about breaking further & not getting scratched with, as well as white gold that makes the diamond stand out more.  He also had it engraved in Italian as well.  Such a sweet husband!!!!


August 1, 2010

Pink Lilies - aka Sweaty Men in Swimcaps

Many have be asking for a video of Laurel Canyon Ward's men's performance at our North Las Vegas Stake's Pioneer Days.  (It frustrates me that when I post a video on here, it cuts the right side off.  For this reason I have just posted a link to YouTube.  If anyone knows how to adjust the settings for that, please let me know.)
For those two days of festivities, it was so hot and humid outside, it made me really get a taste of what it must have felt like to be a pioneer, to be hot, sweaty and sticky constantly. No, the sweat on these guys is not from working out pre-performance, but from the intense heat that day. But, I digress......without further ado......I present the "Pink Lilies"!!!!! 

(this link is working now)

July 31, 2010

Our Princess

When I found out I was having a girl after two boys, I was ecstatic! She has been such a joy to have in our family. She's such a girly-girl, so I get my fill of frill with her. Her sensitivity towards others is touching, and her creativity amazes me all the time.

Some of her favorites.........
Color: Purple (for today)
Books:  Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn
Movies:  Uhhh....Duh!
Activity:  Baking, Drawing, Painting, Swimming, Hanging out with friends
Food:  Sushi probably?

Hailey's blessing day. Noah's little peek around the corner cracks me up.

Always a "daddy's girl". She's got him wrapped around her finger.

She's always been such a girlie-girl. Here, she comes out to help Daddy with the yard, but she still needs her heels on.

Rachel's Wedding
She's always been very imaginative and creative. One day I caught her setting up a "classroom" in my shower.

Her dream is to be a cake maker. I've always admired what people can do with cakes, and it was her that got me into trying to make them. It's been fun coming up with creative ideas for cakes with her.

She's always absolutely LOVED dressing up. My favorite Halloween costumes she's worn have always been the ones that come with a wig. Especially that Snow White one.  She looked so funny with that little round head.

I feel so blessed to have a daughter as loving and sweet as she is. She wishes she could have a sister. However, I know she loves some of the perks of being the only girl. I also enjoy having just one and being able to focus all my "girl" attention to just her. I feel a different bond with her as we stick together in a house full of manliness. I love her with all my heart and am thankful to my Heavenly Father for sending her to me.

July 29, 2010

What You Don't See

I came upon a web post on Mormon Times today written by Tiffany Gee Lewis. As I read it, I realized that I am not the only one who feels lacking in one way or another as a mother. It's so true that we compare our WORST attributes with the BEST of everyone else. I often feel like I'm trying to do it all, but it just doesn't happen. This article gave me a boost & I hope will help anyone who reads here as well.

What you don't see, when we all march into church on Sunday morning, is the chaos of the morning that happened just 10 minutes earlier.

What you don't see, when you look at my four little boys in their suits, is that the 7-year-old is wearing Dad's socks because we couldn't find his. And they go all the way up to his knees.

What you don't see, when I pull out the lovely quiet book I made a few years back, is that below it, in my church bag, are five baggies of smashed raisins because I haven't cleaned out the bag for months.

When you enter my house, with its shining entryway, you don't see the three loads of laundry dumped on my bed. Or the dirty pots I stashed in the oven. And you will never see the interior of my minivan, not until I find the time to vacuum it out.

When you admire the hand-sewn pajamas I made for all the kids, we don't talk about the three nights I got no sleep to make those.

If you look on my blog, you will see pictures of homemade chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles. You won't see my confession to popping in a frozen pizza THREE times last week for dinner.

Or the night we ate Cheerios for dinner, dry, because we were out of milk. There is a zoom on my camera for a reason. There is a delete button for a reason.

I don't think we're all playing a part. We naturally want to put our best selves forward, so that is what other people see. They don't see what's going on behind the scenes. I like to think that good parenting is like a duck on the water. What you see is the gentle, almost effortless gliding, not the furious paddling that happens underneath.

I keep a mental list of about ten people I want to stalk by camera, from morning to night, to see how they do it all. Are they up at 4 a.m.? Can they survive on three hours of sleep? Do they have a housekeeper? Because I drop balls just as fast as I can grab them. My intentions are of pure gold, but they come out as tinkling brass, at best.

I started a blog last fall. I dragged my feet into it for many reasons. One of the main reasons I hesitated was I didn't want to be another contributor to the cyberspace guiltosphere out there. Especially where mothers are concerned, do we need one more reason to feel guilty?

Because from the looks of things, other families are happier, their houses are cleaner, their marriages are better, their clothes are more stylish and their craftiness is even more crafty. Their lives are perfectly lovely, while my kids are running around screaming in their diapers.

My worst fears were confirmed last week when I got an e-mail from a friend who asked, "How do you do it all? Your column, your blog, all the things you do with your children? You're amazing!"

I looked around at my house, at the six bins of winter clothes waiting to be transported to the garage, at the sewing projects stacked against the wall, at the state of the toothpaste crusted to the sink ... I let things go, a lot of things.

A spanking-clean house is not a high priority for me. I'm a big believer in mud and its importance in a child's life. The time I take to write is time away from scrubbing that bathroom sink. I would rather read with my kids than shop at the mall, so I am certainly not up-to-date on the latest styles. I've been listening to the same music for 20 years because I can't seem to keep up with the latest music scene. And I require a lot of sleep.

We all have priorities. For some, it is keeping a spotless house, and they are good at it. For others, it is writing, or exercising, or serving others. And yes, there are some who seem to do it all, the Benjamin Franklins of the world. I tell myself I don't have to be them. And also, Benjamin Franklin was not much of a family man. Even he let things go.

What we don't see, when we look at each other on Sunday, or on blogs, or in our shiny kitchens, is that we all have different talents and unique situations. I tell my kids all the time: Life is not a race. The only person you are competing against is yourself.

What we forget to see, when admiring others, is our own personal finish line.