Sunday, December 21, 2008

Parker's Award-Winning Rap

Last school year, the PTA had a contest called "Reflections." Kids could enter artwork, songs, poems, etc. which were their original works. The theme was "I can make a difference by...." The night before it was due, Parker decided he wanted to enter, so he went into his room and wrote this rap entirely by himself. Watch out LL Cool J! He won an award for it, too:)

Joy to Everyone

We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas week! We wanted to share a beautiful song and video which has touched our hearts this season. As our family continues to grow in a multi-cultural way, the pictures here were particularly beautiful to us. Click here to view it.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's in a name?

I have just a few minutes, so I'm going to answer one of the many questions we've had about Dang Xu Chu. Hopefully I'll get some time soon to sit down and write more details about him.

Are we giving him an American name? Yes. The problem is deciding on the name. Trying to find one that Jeremy and I and all the kids can agree on is a little tricky! So I am enlisting your help! Please take a good look at this sweet face and let us know what names come to mind!

A few of our favorite are Skyler, Dallas, and Thomas. Feel free to weigh in on those.

His middle name will most likely be Philip, after my dad and grandpa.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Clever Kids

This morning Taylor came in and proudly proclaimed: "Dad, I untied my shoes before I put them on." Like many fathers before me, I often extol the virtues of this simple procedure. When one does not untie one's shoes prior to putting them on, one runs the risk of smashing and ultimately breaking the material on the back of the shoe. Such an untimely demise requires the father to open his wallet and see more of his hard earned money sucked out as a new pair of shoes is purchased. (I don't say it quite like that to the kids.) Anyway, Taylor made this declaration, for which he was duly praised. I then asked Parker, who was standing right there, "Did you untie YOUR shoes before you put them on?" Parker smiled his goofy grin and said "Uh, I don't know. Well, no." So I again extolled the virtues of this simple procedure. Parker replied with, "But Dad, I always put my finger in between my heel and the shoe, so the back never gets smashed down." Ignoring the obvious sense of his argument (as a father is wont to do when his wisdom is questioned) I quickly came up with this comeback: "That will stretch your shoes out." Without missing a beat, he turned to me and said, "Then they'll last longer!!!" How was I to argue that?

Those of you who know Jessica know how amazingly sweet she can be. (You also know how temperamental she can be, but that's for a different story.) You know the tender, sweet voice she can use when she's in her sweet mode. One of her favorite things to do is say "If you need any help, tell me." Or, holding something in her hand, "If you need any (insert whatever item she's holding), tell me." So a few days ago, she comes up to me, holding several pieces of tissue in her hands. (When I say tissue, I really mean strips of toilet paper pulled off of the bathroom roll). She says, "Daddy, if you need any tissue, tell me." So, being the attentive father I am:) I immediately said, "Jesi, I could really use some tissue." "OK, Daddy," she replied, handing me a piece. I then pretended to blow me nose and threw away the tissue. Jesi then told me I needed more tissue, which I gratefully accepted and pretended to blow my nose again. After I threw that piece away, Jesi came right up to me (I was sitting down), stared up my nose, and said, "But Daddy, you still have boogers." I humbly accepted yet another piece of tissue and tried to eradicate the offending material from my nose. After this final attempt, Jesi again examined my nasal cavities and told me my boogers were still there. At this point, Christi came to my rescue and said, "Jesi, it's just hair. Sometimes daddies have hair in their nose." Jesi accepted this and we thought that was the end of it.

A couple of days later, Christi and the 4 oldest kids were in church (I had generously offered to sacrifice and stay home with sick little Elli.;) In the middle of the service, Jesi was sitting on Christi's lap, tummy to tummy. Before Christi had any idea what Jesi was doing, our little angel pushed Christi's nose up (like someone imitating a pig), stared up into her nostrils and said (again, in the middle of our church service), "Mommy, you have hair boogers." Christi quickly whispered in her ear that it isn't nice to talk about such things, to which she replied, "But Mom, you DO have hair boogers!" Christi, of course, was grateful to be enlightened.:)

That night at Sunday dinner, Jesi stood up on her chair and said, "GUYS! GUYS! Shhhh!!!! Listen to me!" After everyone quieted down, she announced in her very important voice, "Parents have hair boogers!" She thought she had made the discovery of the century. Thanks, Jes.

I learn so much from my children in so many different ways. In spite of the many challenges that come with parenthood, I not only wouldn't trade them, I'm excited to face the new challenges, joys, lessons, successes, and everything else that will come into our lives when we adopt Chu Chu next summer. By the way, we're very grateful and touched by the kind and excited comments so many of you have posted regarding our upcoming addition. Many of you have asked questions about Dang Xu Chu, and we promise to answer them. Right now, it's a little crazy around here, but we'll post some more details about him soon.

Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Darling Elves

Hey y'all. Our family didn't all fit in one elf movie, so we added Grandma and Grandpa Green and made two. Anyone with kids should try doing this-- your kids will get such a kick out of it!

Please note that this is NOT the "movie" that I've directed people to that has the fun surprise and that the kids were excited to share. That movie is underneath-- under the title "What's missing?" (:

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What's Missing?

The kids were SO excited to make and share their "movie!" (: Be sure to pause the music at the bottom of the blog before you push play. Merry Christmas!!!


PS-- We fixed the pausing problem, so it should be smoother viewing now:)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Random Thoughts

My Brother Matt will be heading to Iraq on December 14th. At least a year away from his wife and his kids. What a sacrifice. The fact that it is 11 days before Christmas only makes it a little more poignant. If you find it appropriate, I hope you will join us in taking a minute this coming Christmas morning to pause and thank God for the men and women (and their families at home supporting them) that are serving each of us as members of the United States Military. Matt and Carla, you are in our thoughts and prayers! We love you. Thank you!

Parker is now a Cub Scout! They don't make 'em much cuter than that, do they:) Taylor has loved scouts so much that Parker has just been dying to be part of the program. They both have great leaders, which really makes a huge difference. By the way, thanks to Grandma Rose for taking time during her recent visit to help Parker earn his Bobcat award.

Grandma Rose and Grandpa Green were here for about 10 days. They came the Friday before Thanksgiving and were here for Parker's baptism, which was a very special day. We're so proud of him and his commitment to make right choices. After Parker was baptized, Grandma and Grandpa took him out to get a CTR ring. For those not familiar with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, CTR stands for "Choose the Right." When children are 5 or 6 years old, they get an inexpensive ring that says CTR on it. When they wear this ring, it helps them remember to make right choices. If you want to, you can also purchase a higher quality version, which is what Grandma Rose and Grandpa Green bought for Parker. I hope he will always remain as determined as he is right now to "Choose the Right!" Grandma and Grandpa Nelson bought him a beautiful set of leather-bound scriptures as a baptism gift. He loves both of them very much.

I love having my parents here. They're both tremendously helpful with the housework, laundry, etc. My dad looks all around for odd jobs that need to be done. He fixed a couple of holes in the drywall, glued together a broken drawer from the boys' dresser and loaded and unloaded the dishwasher at least twice a day. My mom did tons of laundry while she was here. They even let Christi and me go out overnight. What a treat! Needless to say, they're welcome to stay as long as they want! :)

A couple of weeks ago, Jesi had to go to the doctor to get some shots. She hid in a small cubby in her closet and basically said, "Talk to the hand..." Poor kid:( A least she was prepared for what was to come. Poor Elli had no idea what hit her!

Yesterday, Graci decided to clean behind our downstairs TV. This TV sits on a small, old entertainment center that is positioned kitty corner. There is a fairly large space that tends to collect stuff that falls down behind the TV. So Graci had me pull out the TV, and she and Jesi climbed through and cleaned up the junk that had collected down there over the past year. What a great kid!



Graci thinks English is so strange. Yesterday she tried spaghettios for the first time. She asked why they were called spaghettios, and I told her it was because they were shaped like little O's. She scrunched up her face and asked, "then why the other ones not called 'spaghetti-long-ones'?" (: