Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fit in Six

Fit in 6 starts tomorrow!  If any of you sent me an email and haven't heard from me or have heard from me but haven't been added to the facebook group, please leave a comment to let me know!!!  Also, it's not too late if you still want to join-- just send me an email.  (:

Now off to have some chocolate ice cream!  (:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Conner on the Piano

Conner is doing so very well.  He is making more and more friends at school and church.  His English is progressing and is finding more joy from life in America.  He is enrolled in two music classes at school:  choir and orchestra.  Below is video of a couple of his performances with both groups this past semester.  We are so proud of him:)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Tiny update

Jer just noticed that I typed my email address incorrectly on the Fit in 6 post.  It has been changed and is now correct, but if anyone emailed me and hasn't heard back, please try again.  Sorry!  (:

Fit in 6

I am just finishing my last bite of peppermint ice-cream.  It was dessert after my healthy lunch of leftover Christmas candy and a Snickers bar.  Or maybe I'll just call all of that my mid-morning snack and go fix myself some lunch after I'm done with this post… Yes, I have a problem!  I have been quite out of control with my eating habits for several weeks now, I haven't been exercising beyond the hustle and bustle of taking care of 10 kids (and now a dog) and I'm at my all time highest weight-- yikes!  Jeremy must have felt sorry for me and gained some weight of his own so I wouldn't feel bad.  (;  We've had a fantastic time eating out at our favorite places and stuffing ourselves with homemade rolls and pumpkin pie and all sorts of other yummy things, but we (along with our ill-fitting clothing) have decided that 

enough is enough.

Come Monday morning, January 12, we are making some changes in our lifestyle and we are inviting you to join us!  Have you heard of "Fit in 6?"  I have done this program once before with my friend, Jan, and I really enjoyed it.  It basically reminds you to make healthy choices.   I feel it's more doable than many "diets."  I personally lost 12 pounds on the program (many people lose more), but even better was the way I felt-- more energetic, toned and happy.  (Admittedly, I was a little grouchy about it sometimes-- but that's all part of the process, right?)  I like the six week duration-- long enough to see real progress and to create better habits, short enough that I don't feel like I'm giving up my favorite foods FOREVER.  (:  There are some indulgences built in, so a treat here and there is ok.  It also gives points for those things you should be doing anyway (getting sleep, drinking water, taking vitamins, reading scriptures, etc.)  But the best part about it is that you are accountable to someone.  Everyone that chooses to join will report to ME!  Don't worry, I'm not judgmental and we're in this together!!  We will be each other's cheerleaders on days when we hate the scale or would rather do anything else than exercise.  

What do you say?

The basic premise of Fit in 6 is that you get points for healthy choices and lose points for unhealthy choices.  You can choose to "pay in" either $10 or $20 (we'll take a vote) and then the winners divide up the money at the end.  Or if you want to join but don't want to pay in, PLEASE feel welcome-- you won't be eligible for the prizes but you'll be a part of it in every other way.  This isn't about money (though it's an incentive for some) but about motivation and accountability!

The details of the program are too long to post here on the blog but I can easily email them to you before you decide.  Just leave a note in the comment section or email me if you are interested!  I will send you detailed information on the program rules and if you decide to join (I just KNOW you will)  I will add you to our Fit in 6 Facebook page.  Sounds like a party, right?!!  (:

The program runs January 12- February 23.  That means you'll have a few days to eat your favorite foods and avoid the gym and stay up late while you wrap your head around the fact that YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!  YOU CAN BE HEALTHIER AND HAPPIER IN JUST SIX WEEKS!!!  

Who's in??  (:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A child's prayer

I've recently decided I needed to start recording Sophi's sweet prayers because they just make my heart so happy.  Here is her prayer from tonight:

"Dear Heavenly Father, please bless my dear little dog, Molly, that she will have a really good sleep.  And bless her to not bite people or jump on them or do any bad thing.  And bless my two sisters, Elli and Lexi, that they can see again.  And bless my brother, Conner, that he can see.  And bless my sister, Cali, that she can walk.  And bless me, that my eczema will go away and I will have skin that doesn't itch.  And bless us all that we can love Molly and we can be gentle with her and not be mean to her even when she does bad things.  And bless anybody that passed away that they can be happy in heaven.  And bless us that we will be nice every day and choose the right and obey and read our scriptures and go to church all the time.  And bless that when we are in church we will sing the songs the right way and not the wrong way.  And bless that when we are in kindergarten that we will say the pledge of allegiance the right way and not the wrong way.  And bless us not to be silly and to be respectful to our state.  And bless that we will be good to each other and not kick or hit or whack and that we can just all love each other and when we do bad things that we can say sorry and we can forgive each other.  And bless my friend, Claire, that she can know that it's ok sometimes when we have to go through the office door instead of the kindergarten door.  And bless her to be my best friend.  And bless that we will just all love each other and not hate anybody but just love everybody.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

I'm so lucky to be your mommy, sweet Sophi!

(and yes-- more about Molly in a post to come!)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Three of Our Ridiculously Cute Daughters at Their Dance Recital

I think my favorite picture is the one of Sophi doing Jesi's make-up:)


 Sophi and her best friend, Claire:

Friday, January 2, 2015

Sophi Eats at the Bar

Sophi is an independent kid who wants to do what the other kids do.  Sometimes she wants to eat at the bar in the kitchen.  The fact that she can't reach her feet that high is no impediment!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!  One of my resolutions is to blog more regularly in 2015, so here's a start:)

Over the years, Christi and I have formally or informally divided many of the household chores.  She does most of the cooking, I do most of the yard work.  She takes the kids to doctors appointments, I take them to the dentist and orthodontist.  And so on.  All of these are quite flexible.  For some reason (i.e. Christi is far more artistically and creatively talented than I am) she has taken on the job of helping the kids with their science projects.  I've never fought for the opportunity to take over this responsibility.  It can be a very time-consuming endeavor.

But somehow this year I ended up helping Parker with his.  About two thirds of the way through a thought struck me.  Every kid, every year has received an A on their science project.  If Parker gets anything less, Christi will never let me hear the end of it.  I began to lose sleep at nights.  I would have sudden panic attacks without warning.  Occasionally I found myself sobbing for no apparent reason.  OK, perhaps I'm exaggerating a bit, but I really did want Parker to get a good grade on this.

Never fear!  Parker is a brilliant student.  In spite of my assistance, he got an A and all is right in the world.  Thanks for pulling me through on this, Parker:)


PS.  He built an electromagnet and determined that increasing the number of times the wire is coiled around the nail has a greater impact on the strength of the magnet than increasing the number of batteries that power it.  Sadly, I did not take a picture of the final poster:(

Monday, December 22, 2014


A few days ago, Christi was going through the internet history on our computer.  She came across this gem of a progression showing what had been searched for on google (in order):

earrings that cost about 20$
christmas earrings that cost about 20$
christmas earrings that cost about 20$ from ross
earrings for girl teachers
earrings for girl teachers not weird ones

Any doubt that it was Jessica who was doing the googling was quickly erased by the 25 pages of American Girl doll stuff that immediately followed in the history.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

First Kiss

Today at school, the TA in Sophi's class observed an interaction between Sophi and a boy named Eli.  Apparently Eli said, "Sophi, you are so beautiful!"  Sophi responded by smiling and then leaning over and kissing him on the cheek.  She then turned to her TA and exclaimed, "I want to sit in Eli's row!"  You go girl!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Girls' weekend

These three friends have been my safe place for the last 15 years.  We have laughed and cried and talked and traveled and strengthened each other in ways that I couldn't have lived without.  We have survived numberless trials together and learned so much along the way.  Between the four of us, we are raising 24 amazing children and four sweet husbands!  These girls know pretty much everything about me and still love me perfectly.  In every up and down, they are there.

Oh how I love my dear best friends!!!

Oh the comfort,the inexpressible
Comfort of feeling safe with friends
Having neither to weigh
Thoughts, nor measure words,
But to pour them all out
Just as they are
Chaff and grain together
Knowing that a faithful hand
Will take and sift them,
Keeping what is worth keeping
and then with a breath of kindness
Blow the rest away

He hears our prayers

 The family hoping to adopt Haden has received pre-approval from China-- which means that I can finally share that 


The Miller's seem like a wonderful family who will bless Haden tremendously, as I know he will bless them.  They wanted me to convey how much they have appreciated the love and support felt here and at the fundraising page.  They have experienced a lot of hardship and negativity during the last few weeks as they have sought to become Haden's family and have therefore been even more grateful for the positive comments, prayers, and financial support.   (:  You can continue to help support them financially HERE.  Let's lighten their burden as much as we can.  As a community of people, we can do a lot if we each give a little.   I want to personally thank our friends and family and followers that have helped change Haden's life.  You should know that the fundraiser page was very instrumental in the Millers going forward with Haden's adoption.  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who wants to see a picture of Haden's beautiful new family????  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Haden update and three more angels!

First off, my apologies!  I've had several people email me wanting to know the status of Haden.  I'm so sorry I'm just now sharing.  Life has been incredibly busy-- but even more than that, I've been waiting to find out more information before I posted and it's been a little tricky…

I told you that we had friends who wanted to adopt Haden but finances were standing in the way.  I also told you there was another family interested.  Both of these families are already in the process of adopting girls from China and both have been doing all they can to save and raise money for those adoptions.  Well, the first family I spoke of (the ones we are friends with) are not going forward with Haden's adoption.  They have spent a LOT of time in prayer and don't feel like they have the answer to move forward.  The other family went to their agency three weeks ago asking to adopt Haden.  This particular agency is very careful/wary about letting families adopt two at once.  Unfortunately, they are also very SLOW.  We keep thinking that this family is going to get their final answer and then the agency comes back with more questions and no answers.  Last week the family was given a final set of essay questions to fill out.  Those will be turned in today and they should have a final answer very soon.  Time is running out and they need to be proceeding NOW if they are to make it work, so please pray that this agency can answer in a more timely manner than they have been recently.  If this family is turned down, Haden does still have one last hope.  There is another family who recently returned from adopting in China who would also love to bring him home!  I have been in touch with them and they are just waiting to see if the other family gets a "yes."    There would have to be some pretty good size miracles happen in order for them to pull it off time-wise, but we know that our Father in Heaven is a God of miracles.  So we continue to pray that somehow, one of these families will be bringing Haden home.

Int he meantime, I have extended Haden's fundraiser until Christmas.  I did this at the request of the family who is trying to adopt him so that if they get the go-ahead, they can inform their friends and family and be able to direct them to the site.  I want to tell you how extremely grateful this family has been to know that there are funds to help them make this whole thing possible.  They have worked hard to raise money for their current adoption.  They have baked up a storm, sewn quilts, etc… all to help bring their daughter home.  Because of the generous donations so many people have made and the fact that the orphanage has waived their fee for Haden, finances will not stop them from being Haden's family.  What a beautiful thing!  And if their agency does turn them down, the money in Haden's fund will bless the other family who wants to try.  So once again, THANK YOU for your generosity.  And I promise to keep you posted as soon as I know anything more!!

It's December, which means we're going to go back to blogging more about our family (it's our way of keeping a journal) and less about adoption advocacy.  But since I missed so many days in November, I'm going to close this post with three more beautiful kiddos.  (:  As always, if you want more info, please let me know!  There are so many children who desperately want families!!!!!!!!!      

Meet Joseph:

Oh man, this kid has my heart!  He is perfect.   There are some photos where he looks so much like Xander it's just crazy!  Please, someone see him!

Meet Andy:

Andy has KT Syndrome-- which is what Xander was initially diagnosed with.  Their legs and feet look similar.  PEOPLE!  KT Syndrome does not make him less deserving of a family!  It's a need that will most likely NOT take a lot of extra time and he is worth it!!!!

Meet Yi:

Like Cali, Yi has spina bifida.  This is what her orphanage had to say about her:  

Yi is a very shy and bashful little girl. She is affectionate towards those she knows well, and Yi is very well behaved. She loves to watch people, cars, and animals in the neighborhood outside of the orphanage. Because of Xuan Yi’s spina bifida, her lower limbs are paralyzed. Yi can say simple sentences and words. She is a fast learning! Yi loves to play with others, and is extremely clever and well behaved. We hope this smart and beautiful little Yi finds her home!