Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Christmas Miracle

What was it, you wonder?  

I got Christmas cards designed, ordered, letter written, addressed, stamped and MAILED OFF!!  I'm quite proud of myself (in a non-prideful, more surprised that I actually got it done, sort of way).  The problem....I got them mailed off to our faraway friends but not to our near friends plus I probably forgot a few people so if I missed you and you were thinking "I wonder what ever happened to that weird family the Warbuttons, no Warbutters, no Walbutts, no....what was their name?" you know. 

Dear Family and Friends,

I have once again been given the assignment of writing our family Christmas letter.  I am given this task every year which is the reason no one has received a Christmas card from us in the last decade.  I love writing the Christmas letter...I just have a hard time with follow through.  Plus...I am a procrastinator.  I am grateful for all of our non-procrastinator friends because we love hearing from you this time of year (actually we would love to hear from you any time of year) and I like to keep your pictures up all year long.  Usually around June someone will make a comment like " know Christmas was over 6 months ago..." but I love looking at all of our friends and thinking about all of the wonderful memories we have made through the years and it makes me happy and grateful for this life I live.

Our year has been filled with adventures like a pioneer trek, girls camp and church missions; bummers like termites, broken air conditioners and broken ankles; the mundane blessings like household chores, school and work; life adjustments like having a parent move in with us and the nest emptying faster than we'd like; the sad like wonderful friends moving away; the joyful like new friends made, weekly letters from missionaries, and that we wake up each day with a promise of new adventures, bummers, mundane, life adjustments, and joyful experiences ready to be had.

Gary stays busy with work, church and family.  He works at Matt Martin Real Estate Management and does something that has to do with HUD homes, the real estate market, and being busy from the minute he gets there to the minute he leaves.  He teaches a cute class of 5 year olds at church that keep him laughing and love him unconditionally.  His family keeps him hopping with...well, all of the things that a family requires of you but he does everything we ask with a smile on his face and not even a tiny complaint.  He is the best husband/son/dad a family could ask for.

Shanon (that's me) stays busy with the stuff that stay at home moms stay busy with and being the caretaker of Gary's mom.  It is a new task (caretaking) and we haven't completely gotten into our groove yet but it is an opportunity filled with challenges and joys.  I also get to serve with the young women (ages 12-18) at church and it brings me more joy than I ever thought possible.  I don't always do the things I am asked with a smile on my face and without complaint but luckily my family still loves me.

Chris is diligently working hard to finish a degree in Computer Science with a minor in math at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, UT.  He loves all things nerdy like Dr. Who, Star Wars, video games, and other stuff that I don't understand.  He can even take over my computer from Utah and figure out what in the world I did to make it not work anymore.  He is amazing!!  We are all anxiously awaiting his arrival home for Christmas break (Carson is especially super anxious and has asked us several hundred times if Chris is coming home today?!).

Kinsey took a break from her schooling at BYU to serve a church mission.  She is serving in the Washington, Tacoma mission and is loving the experience more than we or she thought she would.  She works hard and writes the most wonderful letters.  I feel like I'm walking right along side her.  She has overcome her fear of big dogs, walking outside after dark, dreary days, and talking to people.  She has adopted lots of new family members (practically everyone she meets) and is hoping that one day she will be able to live in Belfair, WA.

Jared graduated from high school and decided to go on a church mission too.  He is serving in the England, London mission and having the experience of a lifetime.  His first companion was from Ghana and wants to become a doctor when he gets home because he wants to find a cure for diabetes so that Jared won't have to give himself shots anymore.  Needless to say, we love him. ;)  Jared tried his first fish and chips and wasn't very impressed but has taken a liking to Ghanaian food so I sent him a jar of Shito for Christmas (I had to Google what it was first).  Jared doesn't have as much to say in his letters as Kinsey but it is still a joy to read them.  I have learned to ask lots of questions so I get more details.  He loves being a missionary and serving others.

Emily is a junior in high school and is one of the happiest people I know (most of the time).  She loves singing, theater, painting her fingernails in creative ways (she is very talented!) and serving others.  She is very social and likes to plan activities for the 16-18 year olds at church.  She has planned some pretty fun activities.  She started driving this past year (or maybe the year before...details are a little fuzzy) and I love saying "Emily will you go to the store and get...."  It is wonderful!!  She also drives herself to early morning seminary at 5:45 so we don't have to!!  Did I mention having someone that can drive is wonderful?!

Carson is in 7th grade and is one of the other happiest people I know (except when he's tired...then he is grumpy and exasperating...but then again, so am I).  He participated in Special Olympics Bowling and had a great time.  At the end of the season, he was a little better at bowling, earned a bronze medal and made a few new friends.  He loves riding the school bus and likes school most of the time.  He also loves basketball and will be starting Special Olympic Basketball in January.  He is SOOOOO excited!  His favorite thing besides basketball is playing with his Power Rangers and his best friend Tori.  He packs his suitcases for college at least once a month but so far hasn't found anyone who will take him to the airport.  He mostly keeps us laughing with the funny things he says and does.

And there you have it...our family life in a wordy 2 page newsletter.  Sometimes I look at my life and my children and wonder what I did to deserve such blessings especially these children of mine that are so thoughtful, that love serving others, and that love unconditionally but then one of them will say something inappropriate or drive into a car (that's happened a couple of times) or pout or do something equally annoying and I wonder what in the world I was thinking having 5 children but then they do something wonderful again and I'm grateful that I get to be their mom and the effort has been completely worth it.  They bring me far more joy than sorrow.

We hope that you find joy in each day and that your life is filled with lots of adventures and love.  Have a wonderful Christmas season and know that we are so very grateful to have each of you in our life.

Merry Christmas!!


The Warburton Family

"We feel the real joy of Christmas when we make the Savior the focus of the season."
Thomas S. Monson

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Halloween, Kids!!

We carved a pumpkin.

Those under the age of 18 dressed up.

Emily made her own costume this year but she didn't go trick or treating.  She was invited to a couple of parties and so she hung out with friends, watched scary movies, and ate yummy food.  She had a fun night.

Carson wanted to be a red Power Ranger but we couldn't find a costume his size so he decided to go as TMNT Leonardo.  I made him a mask to wear but when I put it on him, he screamed "MY EYES!!! MY EYES!!!" so we ditched the mask.

Those over the age of 18....holy cow...we look like we dressed up as old people but really....we're just looking old.

Carson doesn't like trick or treating.  I think the possibility of running into a furry critter that barks or moves or even sits still and looks at him is just too frightening for him.  Then you add in the ghost, spooky sounds and all the other things that you could run into at night?!  Forget it!!

He chose to sit out on the porch and hand out candy.  He was in charge of the bowl.  We were NOT ALLOWED TO HELP!!  He loved it....except there were some people who would walk right by our house and not stop...that was really discouraging to him.  He wanted EVERYONE to come get his candy.  Every time he handed out a piece of candy he would say "HAPPY HALLOWEEN KIDS!!"  It was as cute as it sounds (okay...maybe it doesn't sound cute, but believe me, it was!)

Gary brought out some pizza for us so we could keep up our strength.  So there we were, sitting out on our porch by our glowing pumpkins, handing out candy to all of the cute trick or treaters, and eating pizza.  Happy as clams.  Then guess what happened.

Did you guess that a cat came wandering over and had the nerve to step one little paw on our stairs?  Well...that's exactly what happened.  Carson's eyes got really big and he started freaking out a bit so we shooed the cat from the stairs.  Then it tried to hop up on the porch but Gary blocked his hop with his foot (that sounds mean but it wasn't...the cat was not harmed in any way).  The cat was determined though.  He walked over a bit and successfully hopped up on our porch.

Well....that was the end for Carson.  He grabbed his plate of pizza and left us to hand out candy while he went back in the house.  He only came out again because he needed to grab his cup of cherry flavored Sprite.  We all came in after that because it was no fun without Carson. 

After that, every time the doorbell rang, he would run up and hand out the candy but there was no more sitting on the porch for him!! 

There you go...another successful Halloween.  Different from any other.  I miss my little trick or treaters that are now big and off in Utah, Washington, and England but it was still a fun night.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Extra Blessing

Sometimes....when the stars align and the sun hasn't quite woken up, something magical happens around our house.

Carson comes into my dark bedroom a little bleary eyed...wide enough awake to walk down the stairs but sleepy enough to be coaxed to cuddle for a few minutes.

He climbs into my bed and I ask him if he had a good night's sleep.  He always says yes.  Then I say "I love you Carson." and a quiet little voice always says "I love you too, Mom-mom."

Then my heart melts and I thank my lucky stars again that I have a 13 year old boy who still will come cuddle with me and call me mom-mom.

Quote by Jimmy Johnson, Picture by Kinsey Warburton

Saturday, September 5, 2015

March - A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words...

and a lot of pictures are worth more words that you probably care to read but March was busy!!

The first week of March, I had the busiest week planned that I have had in a long time.  Carson must have sensed that I had lots to do because he woke up Monday morning running a pretty high fever and stayed home from school the entire week.  He was pretty miserable and I cancelled all my plans and we hung out together.  He kind of lost his voice so he whispered all week.  Which was cute but a little frustrating by the end of the week because I'm going deaf so a whispering kid is even harder to hear.  I said "What?!" more times than I can count.  On Wednesday or Thursday, he asked about his camp out that he was supposed to go on Friday night and I told him that he would go if he was better.  He looked at me and whispered "I all better now."  Luckily, by Friday, he was not running a fever anymore so he got to go.  I'm not sure if it was the best decision because it was really cold Friday night but he had a great time.

Someone from church needed to borrow a hat so I asked Carson to model it for me so I could put it on FB.  Even with sick eyes he's a cutie.
I can't remember why this was taken but these two cuties are best buds.
We had a school's-out-for-inclement-weather day.  It was really awful weather, as you can see.  We bought Round Rock donuts to help us feel better about the horrible weather we were having.  I took a picture so you can see how terrible the weather was.

Inclement weather - Texas style!!
The night that Carson and Gary went on the camp out, Jared was working until late so Emily and I ordered take-out watched chick flicks all night.  By the time we had finished those, it was 11:00 and we both had a headache.  I guess Gary is right...there is such a thing as too many chick flicks in one sitting.  They are probably better in small doses.

Carson's class had a Rodeo day at school.  He came home looking like this:

He's a dog with his tongue hanging out.  Cutest face painting I've ever seen!!

He apparently really enjoyed Karaoke.  He always chose the same partner...his love Tori and the same song..."You've Got a Friend In Me" from Toy Story.

Gary and I chaperoned at a youth dance barn dance at our friend's land.  It was a big hit.  They had hayrides, camp fires and barn dancing.  When you chaperone a dance, you are supposed to walk around and try to convince the boys that aren't dancing to go ask the girls to dance.  I guess another of their duties is to convince the other chaperones to dance and so one of them came up to Gary and told him he needed to ask his wife to we did.  At one point during the night they announced a boys choice dance (the boys are supposed to ask the girls) and while checking out all of the dark areas to make sure there weren't any kids making out in the shadows, a chaperone found about 10 boys hiding behind the port-a-potty because they didn't want to ask the girls to dance.  Haha!!

While we were at the dance, Carson was being entertained by the 3 cute girls from church.  He had Sadie Dickerson, Kate James and Paris Nielsen over.  He was in absolute heaven!!  So were they.  They think he is the cutest thing ever.  They acted out his favorite movies, fed him pizza, tucked him in, read him stories and then told me how cute he was on the ride home.  Emily announced in YW that they came to hang out with Carson during the dance and Julia Parker said "Woah...Carson sure is lucky!!  Getting to hang out all night with three cute girls!!"  Really though...they were the lucky ones, if you ask me! :)

Jared submitted his paperwork for his mission and we needed to include a missionary picture.  As you can see....he went to a lot of effort for it. :)

Carson decided to run away to college but not before I became the favorite parent:

We celebrated Pi Day with our neighbors the Jacobs.  You would think with how nerdy we are that we would know about such a holiday but not so!!  We had never celebrated this day that you gather with friends and neighbors and eat pizza pi and pie pi.  We brought our always yummy (to us anyway) chocolate pie because chocolate in any form is my favorite.  I'm trying to remember what the other one was but I can't, darn it!

We went all out for St. Patrick's day by wearing a green shirt if we had one except that some of us (Carson) refused to wear green even with the threat of pinches so we had to paint a green shamrock on his hand and call it good.  No green food, green drinks, elf traps, rainbow licorice/gold Rolo gift bags...nothing!!  Don't be jealous of our fabulous parties.

We had Spring break but it was a bit of a bust.  Carson and I hung out around the house most of the week.  Jared worked quite a bit, went to a few Magic thingamabobs that he likes to do and got his very first speeding ticket.  Life lesson learned when he had to use a whole week's worth of his paycheck to pay for the ticket.  Emily had a fun week hanging out with friends, going prom shopping even though she hadn't been asked yet, babysat, went to help serve lunch at the Ronald McDonald house and took her Nana out to get a pedicure and was treated to one herself.

Carson had his first appointment at the orthodontist office during spring break.  We got the best news possible.  The orthodontist doesn't think that he will need braces!!  They are going to pull some of his teeth to make room for the others to come in (hoping they will come in straightish.  He has a mouth full of teeth that all want to come in to the same spot.  It sounds awful but I think braces would be harder for him.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that it all works out.  He did really well and charmed the whole office staff.  He even sat still for X-rays!!  Look at all of those teeth!!

The weather was mostly sunny until the end of the week when we supposed to go camping at our friends, the Parker's land.  The camping trip had to be cancelled due to rain.  Friday morning, just as I was waking up, Carson walked into my room with a sad face.  He said "not going" and I said "You're not going?  Not going where?" and he said (with the saddest face I have ever seen) "not going camping at Bisshuck Pocker's land" and I said "no...we aren't going to be able to go camping because of the rain" and then he face-planted himself on the bed because the sorrow of broken camp out dreams was just too much for his little heart to handle.  It was so sad but I couldn't help but smile a teensy bit at the way he says Bishop Parker.  Haha.

All week of Spring break, I wanted to go out as a family to see the new Cinderella movie but it was really hard to find a time when we could all go together.  I finally put my foot down on the last day of Spring break, ordered a mandatory family meeting and declared that we would have a FFF FHE (Forced Family Fun Family Home Evening) in which we would:
  • See a movie of my choice.
  • Invite no only.
  • Have fun whether we liked it or not!!
  • Go to dinner together afterwards.
  • Each come up with a moral to the story (our spiritual thought for the evening...they were lucky I didn't make them start with a song and prayer at the dinner table)...
After all that, I remembered that I had a meeting that night at 8:30 and would probably have to leave dinner a bit early (can you say double standard?!)  I was not discouraged though!!  WE WERE GOING TO HAVE A FUN FAMILY NIGHT EVEN IF IT KILLED US!!!!! and we did and everyone lived and I made it to my meeting just a few minutes late.

Spring break ended and the kids all went back to school.  The sun was shining...the birds were singing (or trying to break through the bathroom vent and peck my eyes out)...the trees were getting their new leaves so they were that pretty green that I love (you know the green I'm talking about, right?!) I celebrated by sitting in my bed crying because the house was too quiet.  I know!!!  I'm the weirdest!!  I hate how quiet the house gets after the kids go back to school but look how pretty the leave were!!

A few weeks before Easter, we took Carson out for some Forced Carson Fun.  He was sooooo excited!!

This cute little boy of ours is SO LAZY!!  I had to bribe him with Round Rock donuts to get him to go have a little fun at an Easter egg hung!!  I told him if he found 2 eggs, he could have 1 donut.  He decided to counter-offer with if he found 1 egg he could have 2 donuts.  So funny!!

He did kind of enjoy himself but I just don't think he gets the point of Easter egg hunts.  That 30 minutes of sunshine nearly did us all in.  He was tired and I left with a headache.  Do you remember Mad Madam Mim from "The Sword and the Stone"?  That's how I felt...."I HATE SUNSHINE!!  I HATE HORRIBLE, WHOLESOME SUNSHINE!!  I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT!!!"  Not really, I love sunshine...just not when it's combined with 30 minutes of trying to convince a stubborn 12 year old that egg hunts are fun!!

He was happy when it was over. ;)

Another exciting thing that happened in March, Carson went to a Boy Scout Court of Honor and received the Happy Camper Award!!  He loves camping and has up to this point been to every single one they've had (even when he's been feeling under the weather all week)!  As you can see...he was pretty darn excited about that award!!  

Finally...we were all sitting around watching the Women's session of General Conference, when someone knocked on our door.  I got up to see who was there and found an Easter basket for Emily.  She started opening the basket while we were watching until Emily looked at me and said "Mom!!  I think this in an invitation to prom!!" so we paused conference until she put all of the pieces of a puzzle together and sure enough, it was an invitation to prom:

She was pretty excited and answered by buying a pack of Magic cards (it's a game that a lot of teenagers are into right now...I don't get it) with a note attached that said "It would be "Magical" to go to prom with you."  So cute!!

So...that was our March.  Phew!!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Parable of the Blue Bonnets

A few years ago, I was serving in the Primary presidency in our ward, and was looking for a way to help the children learn to be happy with who their Heavenly Father created them to be (this principle, by-the-way, is one of the hardest things for me to internalize so I believe that this was an answer to a prayer that I had been praying more than it was what I was supposed to be teaching to them).  

This parable came to mind as I was driving to an appointment one day during the height of blue bonnet season.  I call it:

The Parable of the Blue Bonnets

The blue bonnet is the absolute favorite wildflower to the true, blue Texans.  They (the blue bonnets) are the pride and joy of Texas.  People gush, they stop and take pictures, they bring props and pose their children in the beautiful fields of flowers.  They are a big deal here.  

So, imagine my surprise when I just didn't see why they were such a big deal.  (I'm pretty sure I just heard a collective gasp uttered by the proud Texans).  I mean they are pretty but they don't really stand out much.  They kind of blend in with the green grass.  When you come across a field of wild flowers, I prefer the yellow one.  Why don't the Texans gush over them? 

Then I saw a field with only the yellow flowers and the yellow ones didn't stand out like they did when they were with the blue bonnets.  

Then I drove past a field that was covered in tons of different colored wild flowers and was in awe of how pretty they were.  There were yellow, pink, red, orange, purple, white flowers of different heights and types of flowers.  What a beautiful sight!!

That's when Heavenly Father spoke to me and said:

"Shanon...My children are like this field of flowers.  I created them to be different from one another.  Sure, some of my children are bluebonnets and are recognized by the world as "standouts" but I made you all unique and gave you all unique gifts so you could complement each other.   That's why the world is so beautiful!  Celebrate being a yellow flower, or an orange flower, or a pink flower!  For that is what I intended you to be!" 

So now, when I start to wish that I were different than what I am, I remember the day that God whispered to me that He loves me just the way I am.


Friday, April 3, 2015

The Diabetic Mom's Life

Last night, our teenagers told us they had big plans for today.  I, being the mom that I wish I was all the time, said "you can do all of those wonderful things you have planned on one condition..."  What was my condition, you wonder?  They had to clean their bathrooms...the way I clean the bathrooms.

This may surprise you....their idea of a clean bathroom and my idea of a clean bathroom are two totally different things.

It was a holiday from school so I let them sleep in a bit.  When Emily woke up, I asked her to wake up Jared (Carson does not believe in sleeping he had already been up for hours) so they could get started on their job.

I heard a knock, knock, knock on his bedroom door and I thought "Oh good, she did what I asked her to do!"

I heard another knock, knock, knock and thought "Wow, he must be sleepy!"

Then I heard a louder knock, knock, knock and I thought "Surely that will wake him up."

A minute later, I heard a bang, bang, bang (a pounding sort of knock bang, not a gun shot sort of bang) and I thought "Oh, my gosh!!  He went into a diabetic coma while he was sleeping and now he is dead!!"  

So, I ran up the stairs, unlocked the door with trepidation because I just knew that he was dead and he looked at me and said "What?!"

Then...I killed him.

No...not really.  I gave him my "You don't just lay in bed and ignore the knocking!!  You say "I hear you, I will be up in a minute." or at the very least "I'm still alive, mom!!"  You gave me a heart attack!!" speech.

Then I killed him.

No...not really.  I went and ate chocolate until my heart rate went back to normal.

That kid is going to be the death of me.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Rico Suave, Jr.

I don't want to forget this story and I have the worst memory ever so I am recording it here.  I really wish that I had taken video of it.

Carson and I were hanging out at church last night after our youth fireside.  I was talking with friends and he was in the gym shooting baskets (the basketball kind, not the Easter bunny kind because that would be a totally inappropriate activity to do, especially in church).  I went to find him because it was time to go home.

As soon as I walked into the gym, he looked at me and screamed "NO MOMMY....GO AWAY!!!!"  {He really does love me...he just doesn't like it when I interrupt his basketball playing}  So, I turned around and walked to the door but I didn't leave.  

There he was, trying desperately to get his ball into the basketball hoop but what was so funny was that there were about 10 of the youth standing around watching him.  Every time he shot the ball, they would cheer and right before my very eyes he turned into Rico Suave.

He was flirting with the girls, he handed over his jacket to Brandon (one of the older boys), he kept walking over and giving Kate (one of the cutest girls at church) a high five, he was STRUTTING AROUND LIKE A PEACOCK! He did everything but sign autographs (that would have been tacky) and he hadn't even made a basket!!!  

Still...they stood and cheered him on.  

Then the funniest thing happen, I saw it with my very own eyes, every time he would go to bend his knees in preparation to shoot the ball, everyone in the gym was bending THEIR knees, like that would help.  Finally, I said "Okay, Carson, one more time and then we have to go home." (I was hungry!!)

He dribbled the ball a few times, he looked at Kate to make sure she was watching, the room went silent, he dribbled a couple more times, he bent his knees, everyone in the gym bent their knees and he launched the ball into the air.  It hit the rim and then fell in the basket.  

Everyone in the room cheered!!!  

He put his head down all humble like, gave Kate another high five and then strutted out of the gym as they all cheered and said "bye Carson!!!"  He strutted all the way out to the car (he paused to get a drink at the water fountain because, even famous basketball stars need water every once in a while).  He walked through a group of men and one of them tried to give him a fist pump but Carson tricked him and dodged the pump right at the last second.  He (the man) was, of course, devastated!  

Then Carson and I walked to the car and he let me chauffeur him home.

It was the cutest thing I have ever seen!!

Why didn't I video it?!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

How I Became the Favorite Parent

In Carson's eyes, no one is more wonderful than his Dad.  If he gets hurt, he asks for Daddy.  If someone makes him mad, he wants Daddy.  If he wakes up in the middle of the night (which he does most nights), he always goes to Dad (I don't mind that part).  Daddy is his favorite.  Never mind that I am the one that prayed him here, carried him in my belly for 9 months, threw up for months, lost my girlish figure, fed him, took care of him, drove him to his therapy appointments all while the favorite parent worked for hours on end and was hardly ever home.  When his Dad walks in the door, all smiles and cuddles go to Dad.

Don't worry....I'm not bitter...much.

Today, though, I am the favorite because Gary committed the abominable sin of making Carson a peanut butter and jelly sandwich using OAT AND NUT BREAD AND NON-SMUCKERS STRAWBERRY JAM!!  Duh...duh...duh...

Carson took one look at that foreign sandwich and stomped his foot, yelled his displeasure and then refused to eat it.  HE WANTED PIZZA!!!

Gary...who usually gives in to his demands, was uncommonly stubborn today and refused to get any other food for him which made Carson really, really, really MAD!!

He showed Gary, though, because he immediately went upstairs and packed all of his clothes into a few overnight bags, put on his favorite scout troop shirt and tennis shoes and told us that he was going to go to college and NO....I COULD NOT TAKE HIS PICTURE!!!

I am obviously very obedient.

After I took his picture and he put his shoes on, I gave him a hug and told him how much I was going to miss him.  Then I took the opportunity that presented itself to me and said "Would you like a bowl of chocolate pudding before you go?"

See what I did there?

All of a sudden, the shift happened and Carson was all "I love you, Mom!!" while glaring at mean ole' Dad.

So now, when you ask Carson "Who is your favorite, Mom or Dad?!"  He points to me, glares at Dad and then blows me a kiss.

All it took was a little bowl of chocolate pudding and BOOM!!

I am the favorite!!

For a little while anyway.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


The month of February is quickly leaving my memory so I thought I'd better sit down and write out all of the fun and exciting things that we did.  First off, I am very aware that February is a month that a lot of people would like to take out of the calendar because it is a bit of a dreary month but ours was a lot of fun!!

Carson had a dentist appointment at the beginning of the month.  I was really dreading this appointment because he is so scared of anything dentist related (kind of like me, only he doesn't have that filter that tells him "don't make a scene in public" so he just freely yells, screams, hits, cries, kicks...whatever makes him feel better.)  We walked in and as we were headed back to the crying room (lest he scare all of the other children) one of the hygienist said to the one assigned to Carson "yell if you need me..." That is never a good sign.  Anyway...he walked into the room, climbed up into the chair, let them lay it ALL the way back, accepted their Batman blanket, wore the sunglasses, watched the movie, laughed when they "tickled" his teeth, didn't mind "Mr. Thirsty" (the mouth sucker thingy), laughed when they squirted cold water and was just generally a MODEL patient!!  We were all so surprised we didn't know what to do.  The dentist came in and said "well...I think we've turned a corner" which meant "Yay!!  I didn't get kicked in the face this visit!!"  You think I'm joking but he has managed to kick a few doctors in the face with his awesome ninja (or neeenja, as Gary would say) skills!!  He had no cavities (I even got praised for my awesome home care skills...I didn't confess that we are not the best at that...I just took the compliment).  He did say that Carson probably should have ortho work and I can only imagine how Carson will go for that but maybe he'll be okay.

Not the clearest picture but look at that laid-back kid with the smile on his face!!

Kinsey officially entered the MTC (Missionary Training Center) on February 4.  I got to talk to her for a few minutes before she went in.  She was mostly excited but also nervous.   Her roommates and friends took her since I couldn't.  Here are some pictures:

Emily went on her first date.  They went to see the musical that the middle school was putting on.  Her date doesn't have his license yet so she had to drive.  He didn't have money to pay for the tickets so I paid for them.  He got really annoyed with her when she clapped and told her to clap softly with her hands together...just tapping her fingers!  He was a pretty quirky date but all the girls love him and she was pretty lucky that he was free to go with her so she didn't mind putting up with his weird behavior. 

Admit'd put up with his quirks if you had a chance to go out with him!!

Gary and I got to chaperone the youth temple trip to San Antonio.  That's one of my favorite things to do.  We had a bit of a tense situation when we pulled into the parking lot.  Carson had been pretty happy the entire 2 hour drive but I learned that was because he was expecting us to stop for donuts first.  When we got to the temple without having eaten a single donut...duh.duh.duh...he was a teensy bit annoyed and refused to get out of the car.  We promised him a hamburger on the way home so that calmed the donut beast.  Other than that, it was a perfect day.

Jared did something that none of our other kids have ever done...he got a job while still in high school.  He started working at Main Event.  He is enjoying it and I think it is a great learning opportunity for him but he doesn't get home until after midnight on Friday nights and my imagination takes on a life of it's own after midnight.  I have imagined all sorts of awful things happening to him while he's driving home.  There's something to be said for kids who don't drive until their 20 but I'm glad that he has this opportunity.

Emily went to the Sadie Hawkins dance put on by our church youth group.  She didn't know what a Sadie Hawkins dance was so when I explained to her that she was supposed to ask a boy to the dance, she freaked out a bit and decided to go with her 2 friends instead.  That problem with that plan, though, was that all of the boys were there with their dates so she didn't dance very much except with her friends.  On the bright side...she looked pretty cute all dressed up for the occasion.

On the Friday before my sister's birthday, Emily went to a thing at the school where the boys dress up like girls and pretend they're on a fashion runway...Tiaras and something.  She enjoyed it.  Jared was working so Gary and I decided to order dinner from Olive Garden, put Carson to bed early and celebrate Lori's birthday by watching a movie (Return to Me) that I remember her telling me she loved.  I had seen it before and Gary thought that he had seen in but we are getting old and can't remember what we've seen and what we haven't's just like watching something we've never seen before!!  We shared a piece of Black Tie Mousse Cake even though I didn't want to share. :)

Carson had to do Valentines for all of his friends at school because they were having a big party.  He was assigned to bring chipdip (that's what he calls it).  He was very focused on writing out the names.  He had the list and every time he got to a new name he would say "My friend!!!  That's my friennnnnnd!!"  He was so cute, I was forced to do a video but I'm going to spare you because it's probably something only his mother will love.  He loved it!!  See...

He was just annoyed that I had the camera
"Mom...I'm trying to concentrate...give me some space!"
The Valentines turned out pretty cute but one of my children who shall remain nameless looked at them and told me that all the kids would hate them because they weren't candy.  Carson was pretty thrilled with them though.


We celebrated Valentine's day with Round Rock donuts.  Carson helped me make the table all fancy for our breakfast.


Carson thought that his bag would have a toy inside so he was pretty disappointed when he opened it up and it was a box of Swiss Cake Rolls.  He wanted a do-over!! pictures of this lame gift!
In honor of Lori's birthday, my sister, Beth, posted some pictures that I like to call "Shanon...the ugly years..."  Lori would have been 45 this year.  The surprising thing from these pictures was all of the nice comments on Facebook from people we have had the pleasure of knowing over the years.  Heavenly Father has blessed us with lots of wonderful memories of great people.

Gary and the kids had the day off for President's day so he took Carson and his mom to see the movie Big Hero 6.  Emily went with her friends to see the same movie only at an earlier time so she wouldn't have to be seen with her family and Jared went to a Magic thing (it's some sort of card game that I don't get) at a friend's house.  I stayed home and tried to get Emily's new room cleaned out so I could get it painted.  I finally got it painted later that week.  It seemed to take forever!!  I spent most of one day sitting on a shelf in the closet painting the ceiling and walls.  That was quite the feat!!  We are still working on getting it decorated and all of the furniture moved in.

That night was Family Home Evening night.  (this is a typical FHE at our house...I am sharing this so that you will feel better about your own FHEs)  We all seemed to have a meltdown at the same time.  Emily was late getting home and missed most of FHE, then she yelled at Gary for not getting the fire pit set up (she was having a party at our house on Saturday night..I found out about it when they announced it at a meeting at church...nice, huh?!), Carson had a crying-screaming-hitting-the-wall fit because Gary told him to go potty before bed then he peed all over the bathroom and his shorts and got mad when I told him he had to find new clothes to wear, Jared pestered every one at FHE, refused to say prayer (he was sick, so I guess that's kind of a good excuse) and thankfully went to bed without further incident, I had been trying to get a letter written for Kinsey but my phone wouldn't send my pictures to me and my computer was being uncooperative so I was annoyed, and Gary...I think he was just fed up with the lot of us and just wanted to go to sleep. as usual around here.

Kinsey left for Washington that week.  Carson and I got to talk to her before her plane took off.  She met a man on the plane that had served a mission on Deseret Ranch and knew her Uncle Steve and Aunt Lori and her Grannie and Papa.  He let her borrow his phone so she could call home.  She was excited to tell me that the sun was shining in Washington (one of her biggest worries was the lack of sunshine in has been sunny most days since she got there).

Talking to Kinsey

Kinsey with her Mission President and his wife
Kinsey and her new companion, Sister Harris

That Saturday night Emily had her get together for the 16-18 year old youth from church.  Gary finally got the fire pit out of the box (after about 5 years of it being in the garage).  He worried and fretted about the smoky smell all night long so I don't think we'll use it very much. ;)  I think the kids all had a fun time.

Sunday was my birthday.  Gary made crepes with Nutella and strawberries/bananas for breakfast.  They were yummy.  I was feeling a little under the weather all day (probably the unhealthy breakfast) but it was a nice day.  They spoiled me with nice gifts.  I also had tons of birthday wishes at church and on Facebook.  I loved hearing from all my friends.

We also took a family picture:

Head shots are soooo overdone!!
To carry on the tradition, Beth (my sister) posted pictures for my birthday.  More "Shanon...the ugly years..."

I actually love this one.

I got to celebrate my birthday a little longer because a few of my friends invited me out to lunch.  My friend asked me where I wanted to go and I told her I HAD to pick Chuy's (a popular Mexican restaurant here in Texas) or I would be in danger of getting kicked out of Texas so that's where we went.  They spoiled me with lunch, gifts, and cards that said nice things that I probably don't deserve being said about me.

Carson has started to get a bit more homework.  He is supposed to do it on his own but I have no idea how to do that.  I read him the story and then read him the questions that he was supposed to answer in a complete sentence and he just looked at me like I was out of my mind.  I finally just told him what to write.  Then I had to spell it all for him.  Then he sighed and said things like "oh!my!gosh!, Mom!!" and "I tired!!" and "sigh........!!!" It was a fun as you imagine it was.

Early on a Saturday at the end of the month, we went and helped with a service project at the church spreading mulch around.  It was about 31 degrees outside and raining.  They had so many people there that they sent me inside to deep clean the kitchen.  The morning cleaning crew had already been there and had mopped the kitchen so the floor was still wet.  I was in there filling the sink with soapy water when the man that had mopped the kitchen came in a told me the kitchen floor had just been mopped so I wasn't allowed to walk on the floor or get anything out or breathe the clean air.  I looked at him and said "I'm sorry...I saw the floor was wet and I felt really bad about walking on it but I got an assignment from my bishop to deep clean the kitchen so I will re-mop the floor when I am finished, put everything away, and hold my breath the whole time I'm in here!!"  Then he laughed at me and went on his merry way to mop the bathroom. Phew!! ;)

Later that night we went to a church meeting and then out to dinner with friends.  They even paid for our dinner to celebrate my birthday!!  I feel like I got spoiled rotten this month.  Gary and I are not social butterflies and stay home a lot of the time so this was quite the treat.  It made us want to go out with friends more often!!

Phew...that was our month of February!!  Lots of stuff going on but it was a great month!!