Thursday, July 30, 2009

Problem Solved

The Lord provides a way. The very next morning after Christi wrote of our need for a laptop in China, my friend, Boyd, called and said they had a laptop we could use as long as we needed. In fact, he said that the night before, he and his wife had been discussing just what they should do with this laptop they weren't using. So we'll be able to keep in touch in China:)

We're getting so excited. Before going to get Graci, and now as we prepare to get Xander, I can't help but wonder what is going through their little minds. Are they excited? Terrified? Do they have any clue what is about to happen to them? Will he like me? Will he miss the orphanage as much as my Parker or Taylor would miss our family if they were taken to China to live with a family there? What challenging, challenging times little Xander is about to experience. And yet I have to think he will one day be very glad that this change has happened to him.

Pray for him.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Houston, we have a problem!

One of our favorite parts of the adoption process is sharing it with our family and friends and keeping a record for our children to have as they get older. It is wonderful to blog from China and feel like we have you all living the experience with us. However, we have just realized that Jeremy will need to leave his work laptop at home-- so we are without a computer!!

If there are any of you out there in cyberspace that know of a laptop sitting around just dying to get used, we would love to hear from you!! Otherwise, we'll probably have to share our journey after we get home.

On a happier note, after spending the ENTIRE day on the computer trying to get the best prices/itineraries, we have our plane tickets!!!! I can't believe we are getting so close!!! And it looks like we will welcome Xander into our family on Monday, August 10th, with the official adoption day being August 11th-- our 11 year anniversary! Can you imagine a better anniversary gift than this darling little boy?!!! (:

Thanks so very much for your kind words and prayers!! We appreciate so much everyone who has been part of this process-- even those we don't know, but who are following Xander's story and praying for him-- we love you!


"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west." -- Isaiah 43:5

Friday, July 24, 2009


Every day, several times a day, throughout all of 2009, our kids have prayed that we would travel to China before school starts. I was beginning to wonder if the Lord had different plans for us, but today we received our Travel Approval!!! (Insert Happy Dance!!) We are tentatively planning on leaving within the next 2 weeks!! YIPPEE!!! This means we will be back two days before school starts-- important for many reasons, including being able to have my school teacher parents watch the kids. We are feeling so grateful, and are still praying for the many, many families who have not yet received travel approval and have been waiting longer than us. It is so difficult to know your child is half way around the world and feel powerless to take care of him/her, and we wish you all SPEEDY TAs!!!

We have a million and one things to do before we leave, and I am beginning to feel just a bit panicked with it all!! But we know it will be worth it as we will very soon be holding our little Xander in our arms. SURREAL after all this time...

We are coming, Alexander Chase! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Too Many Titles!

P.S. (As in pre-script, not post-script. Usually I try to put on a song that has something to do with my post. This song is just cool:)

Have I ever told you about my little sister, Jen? She's a talented, sweet, beautiful girl. She is a great writer, sometimes serious, sometimes tongue-in-cheek. Well, today I got an email from her entitled "Ode To An Empty Blog." It was a funny call to repentance for me. Here's a portion of her poem:

Onto the internet I log,
Cross my fingers and hope the blog
Of my brother and his wife
Will have an update (I have no life).

I check their blog about all six
Of their children – it’s quite a mix.
I also check the blog for Elli.
Did she learn a new word yet? (Like “jelly?”)

But alas, there is nothing there
Day after day, (feels like year after year).
Are they happy? Are they having fun?
What cute things have their kiddos done?


So write today, and make me happy.
Write anything…just make it snappy!



So Jen, here's an entry, and it could be a long one. There are a few things I want to share, so I couldn't decide on a title. Instead, I'll favor you with subtitles as I go along:)


The other day I was in my office downstairs. I heard Jesi and Graci playing in the other room. By the other room I mean our family room/play room/guest bedroom. We don't have an extra bedroom, but we do have an extra king size bed. (An EXTRA king size bed ?!?!?!? you may ask. Well, it's too long of a story for this post, but you could chalk it up to "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.") Anyway, this extra king size bed is in the family room/play room/guest bedroom. The kids love to play super-wrestling-attack-jump-on-each-other and similar games on it.

This particular day, Jessica was Batman Girl. (See picture below)

(Not to be confused with Spiderman Girl!)

When Jesi is Batman Girl, she wears Parker's Batman gloves. These are really cool gloves that make batman-type punching sounds when the wearer moves their hands. So a little kid (or a dad re-living his childhood:) can punch the air with a bunch of cool sound effects. Anyway, from my office, I hear Graci scream, "AHHH! A spider, a spider!" I grab some tissue to deal with the invader and go into the room. There are Graci and Jesi, kneeling on the bed. Graci is looking somewhat scared by the arachnid. Jesi (who has no fear of bugs, worms, etc.) has made a fist with her batman-gloved hand and is trying with all of her might to smash the life out of the spider. Try to picture it. Jesi in her batman gloves, pounding away (and making sound effects) at this poor spider that is very dead by the time Dad arrives on the scene. I was cracking up!


Have you ever watched something bad happen and felt like you were powerless to stop it because you could only move in slow motion...?

Last weekend we went on the 2nd annual Green Family Hike Up Lone Peak. This year, Christi's brother Matthew came with us. It's a great hike. Next year I'm going to take a GPS to see how far we go and how high we climb, but I'd bet it's about a 2 mile hike with about a 2000-3000 foot climb. It's a pretty good hike, especially when you carry a backpack that weighs 28 pounds and a gut that weighs 40. (Next year-no gut!!! But I digress.) Here are a couple of pics from last year's hike, since we haven't developed the ones from this year yet:

One of the things we like to do up there is sit on the big granite outcropping and look down into the valley below. It is a breathtaking view, made all the more wonderful by the fact that the only way to access this view is by a challenging hike. In other words, you feel like you earned it. We hiked up late Friday afternoon, looked out over the valley for a little while, then came down off the outcropping to set up our camp. After dinner, we went back up to the rock to see the sunset and watch as the stars came out. Even mid-July it can get a bit chilly up there at night, so we all brought our sleeping bags up to the rock to be cozy as we watched the heavens. Our sleeping bags were in stuff bags that were roughly cylindrical in shape. Shortly after we had come to the top of the rock, Parker put his sleeping bag down-still in the stuff bag-on the slightly sloped surface of the granite. It started to roll away. "Parker!" I yelled. But it was too late. I wanted to lunge after it, but I would have had to run downhill toward about a 30 foot drop-off. I helplessly watched his sleeping bag as it rolled down, down, and over the edge!

We looked for it on the sloped hillside beneath where it had fallen from the rock. It was just too dark to find a black stuff bag. So here we were, in the middle of nowhere, one sleeping bag short. Fortunately, this trip was in July (as opposed to last year's September trip!) The night was cool, but not dangerous. Parker slept the first part of the night in his clothes. He wore Christi's sweats on top of his own, and three sweatshirts. (He also wore a pair of my socks, which, for some 8-year-old reason, he decided were sufficient footwear to wander off in the woods in the middle of the night for a bathroom break! But that's a different story:) Early in the morning hours he got too cold, and Christi let him crawl into her mummy bag with her. What a great mom!

You know, I sometimes wonder why we love hiking and camping so much. My legs have barely recovered, and its over four days since we got home. I slept terribly (due primarily to the large root I failed to identify prior to laying out our sleeping tarp and the large slope of the ground I also failed to identify-oops!) It took forever to get the water to boil over our fire to cook our freeze-dried food. There was much clean-up after the trip was over. And yet, there are few things I enjoy more than camping with my family. There's something about getting out in nature. I think we feel a connection to our Father in Heaven that is hard to feel in the hustle, bustle and noise of our everyday lives.


Tonight I went downstairs to put Elli to bed. I heard the sound of gushing water from the bathroom. The toilet had overflowed and continued to pour out water for somewhere in the neighborhood of an hour. Not good. There was about an inch of water in the bathroom and it had poured out into the hallway carpet and our two unfinished storage rooms. Remarkably, I kept my cool. I quickly put Elli down in her room and tried to figure out what to do. First I tried soaking up the water with towels, but I quickly realized that this would be almost impossible to do without WAY more towels than we own. Fortunately I was able to borrow a wet-vac from a neighbor and was able to make the headway into the mess. Christi had been at a church meeting, but I was able to get in touch with her and she rushed home to help.

Water, when in the wrong place, is a terrible thing. Nothing can really stop it. It seeped under the walls into the adjacent storage rooms. Fortunately, these are just cement floors, but several boxes that were on the floor got soaked. Right where it came into one room a queen size mattress set was propped up on it's side. (Yes, if you're keeping track, that technically means we have an extra king size mattress set AND an extra queen size mattress set. But you can't really count the queen. It's over 20 years old, has been passed down through a few generations, and is more like a model of the grand canyon than a mattress.) Bottom line-this added a lot of work, not just tonight, but through the next several days as we make sure everything gets dried out and try to rearrange the stuff we moved and took out of boxes to dry. But, you know, that's ok. Cuz' we really don't have much going on in our lives. We're not preparing for an invasion of 50+ kids tomorrow night for a combined Taylor-Jesi-Graci birthday party. We're not trying to get ready to leave on a two-week trip to China to adopt a 4-year-old with special health concerns. We didn't just find out today some news that is complicating this trip and the time-off needed to take it. We're not supposed to leave this weekend to be in Christi's home town for a family reunion. We're not in the process of trying to refinance this home and possibly put an offer on a new home for which I would be the general contractor for the final 1/3 of the work that still needs to be done on the house. Oh wait, yes we are! could have been much worse. It could have been an upstairs bathroom. It could have leaked for a longer period of time, or even at a time when we were gone.

While I was not very happy with the situation, I was calm and collected throughout. How, you may ask, did I demonstrate such self-control? Well, I have this friend. It's called chocolate. Have you ever heard of Flipz? (If you are trying to diet, stop reading now!) Flipz are divine and terrible at the same time. They are pretzels covered in your choice of Chocolate, White Chocolate, or Chocolate and Peanut Butter. At Smith's they were on sale for $1.00/bag. Quite a deal! One bag contains four servings of 5 pretzels each-20 fabulous pretzels with a total calorie count of 560 calories. Christi thought it would be a great idea to stock up on Flipz while they were on sale-the kids love them. OK, I said. But (and I'm not kidding) I told her as soon as I got home with them she had to hide them REALLY well. This she neglected to do. We are both trying to lose a little weight prior to our trip to China. She wants to lose about 5 pounds in the next 2 weeks. I want to lose about 35. Anyway, I had to make repeated trips up and down the stairs in the process of cleaning up the water mess in the basement. Those doggone Flipz were just sitting there at the top of the stairs. Over the course of the evening I ate two bags of them all by myself. That's the equivalent of 4 and a half Kit Kats! What a pig. Well, there's always tomorrow. Maybe I'll shoot to lose 34 pounds in the next two weeks instead:)


Monday, July 6, 2009

What Fun!

Today I dropped the boys off for a baseball camp on campus at BYU. They will room together in the dorms for three nights. At first they were a bit nervous to go, but once they got there, saw their dorm rooms and got their meal cards, they started to get a feel for how much fun was in store for them. They will work on baseball skills from 9-4 each day. In the evenings they will be in a group with an adult counselor. Tonight they went bowling and played games. On Wednesday night they'll be going to Seven Peaks water park. They're very excited. It was fun to go back to my alma mater. Much has changed, but much is still the same.

On the way down, we were talking about how the older boys at the camp will be going to a dance with girls from a dance camp. I told the boys that someday they would want to go to dances, too, and that someday they would think girls were cute. Parker volunteered that he already thought one girl was cute. He then named a girl from school. I'll call her "Sarah" to protect the innocent. After Parker told me that, Taylor let me know that Parker also had an "arch-enemy." (Taylor's words:) I'll call him "Joe." Parker agreed that Joe was indeed his arch enemy. The reason for this is that Sarah likes both Parker and Joe. Parker said, "I was thinking I would like to trip Joe. Then Sarah would think he would he was clumsy! I wouldn't really do it, but I was thinking about it."

So Parker is noticing girls and has arch enemies. They grow up so quickly:)