Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Strep:)

The day before Christmas Eve.  I took 7 of the kids down for flu shots today.  Quite the experience.  Sophi yelled the loudest.  Xander howled the longest.  Lexi totally freaked out when she heard it was coming, but calmed down almost immediately after.  Then she said to the pharmacist: "Thank you for the shot!"  What a cutie:)

Christi has strep.  And a broken toe.  Elli is screaming at the top of her lungs for no apparent reason.  I'm in charge for at least the next 24 hours until the antibiotic kicks in.  It's times like these that make it painfully obvious how inept I am and how much our family depends on Christi.  Questions like: "What do I feed Elli?" or "Is it too late for Sophi to take a nap" indicate my level of competence.  Does anyone else find it strange that you need a license to open a car wash, but there is no vetting process to have a child? 

Well, the wails (now from Sophi, Lexi, Jesi, Xander AND Elli) are becoming too incessant to ignore.  Guess I better be a bit responsible...


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Twas the night before the night before the night before Christmas...

And Christi was out.
102 fever, trying not to pout.
Jess brought a soothing damp rag from the sink
Too bad it included a 3-day-old stink.
Jer's back is aching, he cant' stand up straight
(Middle-aged basketball-just tempting fate.)
Kids want to wrap presents, go places and play
Mom and dad need to rest in their bed for the day.
With all of the prep that still needs to be done,
Please say a quick prayer that our Christmas is fun!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Today I:

bathed, fed and dressed Elli and got her on the bus
fed the kids leftover pizza for breakfast
had a family council to plan the next few days
read with Sophi
had Lexi's best friend over for a few hours
cleaned, cleaned, cleaned (though you certainly wouldn't know now)
made caramel popcorn
settled a few domestic disputes
went to Taylor's Court of Honor
made glittery snowflakes with the littles
took Xander and Taylor to do their Christmas shopping
made sloppy joes
stayed in my pj's until 1:00
helped Jesi and Graci deep clean their room
was in tears over the bags of things they were ready to get rid of-- so hard to watch them grow up!
took Sophi to the bathroom about a jillion times
watched "The Grinch" with the big kids
ate a lot of junk food
read lots of Christmas cards/letters
visited with good friends
had sweet conversations with each of my kids
took a long, hot shower

I love having the kids home for Christmas break! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Gone

I could just feel the manliness oozing out of me tonight as I sat down in the auditorium with Jesi and Grace to watch a performance of the Nutcracker.  Two hours of men in tights.  Enough said.  However, I must admit that I was quite entranced by the amazing talents and skills of the performers.  I have never been to the ballet.  I can honestly say that I would like to go again.  Not tomorrow!  But someday.  And the girls just LOVED it.  Graci was actually cheering out loud at some of the lifts.  That girl wants to be a performer so bad.  An actress, a dancer, whatever.  But she really wants to be up on stage.

On the way home, I asked Jess and Graci what they were most excited about for Christmas.  Jesi replied: "I like that it is Jesus' birthday and I like the presents."  Graci's answer?  "I'm excited cuz it's on Sunday and church will be shorter."  Ah, Grace.  Such a unique perspective on life!

Now somehow I just have to get my manliness back before I coach the boys' basketball game tomorrow...!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why you have to love Jesi...

First of all, Jeremy found the diamond in our bed.  As in, between the sheets.  Which makes absolutely no sense at all, because on Monday I tore the top sheet completely off the bed before making it.  Wouldn't I have seen it then?  So weird!  To be honest, I was in more shock when he showed me he had found it than when I found out it was missing!  I didn't think there was any way I was seeing that diamond again.  It's good I have children and a husband with much more faith than I have.  They had been praying every single prayer that we would find "Mom's diamond."  (:  Yay for answered prayers!!!

I found a few cute pics of Jesi I had to share:

"Raking" leaves in her pajamas

Jesi got Sophi all dressed up warm and brought her out to play without being asked.  Notice all the warm clothes, but no socks or shoes!

The sign posted on our door on Thanksgiving

Jesi had to drink some nasty stuff for a medical procedure.  She hated it, so she alternated between it and a cup of Sprite.  It was hilarious to watch her go back and forth at the speed of lightning.  She was such a trooper!

We Found It!!! :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I have such bad luck with jewelry.  I am always losing an earring or breaking a necklace.  Jeremy has bought me one expensive piece of jewelry (besides my wedding ring) and I managed to leave it at a hotel.  I was sick, and told him to never buy me anything expensive again.  He loves to give me grief about that bracelet, but always ends with, "At least you still have your ring..."  (This is the ring that I managed to vacuum years ago, and that we spent a good deal of money fixing.)

Well, Sunday at church, Lexi was holding my hand and said, "Mom, why your ring broken?"  Sadly, I didn't pay any attention to her.  I was talking to someone else and thinking, "How could my ring be broken?"  Didn't even think to actually look at the ring.

Later that evening, at a Christmas concert, I looked down at my wedding ring to discover that the diamond was gone.  I think I kind of went into shock at that point!!  I'm not sure what is worse-- thinking about the sentiment of it, or the money that just vanished, or the teasing I'm going to receive for the rest of my life.

The only good thing that has come out of this is that I have finally cleaned my very messy room, in an effort to find the missing diamond.  No luck.

At least I have an excuse never to vacuum again...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Treading Water With Jesus

One year ago this week, we were in China, on a journey to give two precious little girls a family.

It seems SO long ago!  A world away, really.  What did we ever do without them?!

This year has been life changing, that is for sure.  Adding two little girls, (who couldn't speak a word of English and had pretty significant special needs) to our already big, crazy family has been a journey of faith.  And it is a journey I am so privileged to have taken.  I remember well the prayers we prayed as we contemplated bringing two more children home.  It seemed crazy.  It seemed overwhelming.  It seemed so, so scary.  And it seemed right.  I kept holding onto the quote:

" Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown. Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness. If everything has to be known, if everything has to be explained, if everything has to be certified, then there is no need for faith. Indeed, there is no room for it." (Elder Boyd K. Packer) 

We had to be willing to take a few steps into the darkness.  If we knew how it would all work out for our good, it wouldn't require faith and a dependence on our Savior, Jesus Christ.   And so I prayed.  I prayed for help in managing our home.  Help in meeting the emotional, spiritual, and temporal needs of each of our children.  Help in becoming more selfless.  Help in not going off the deep end.  (:

And I received it!  We have been so blessed this year.  So many people have stepped in to strengthen our family in many different ways.  Dinner fairies, laundry help, playdates for my kids-- even just words of encouragement have kept our heads above water, when  otherwise we would have felt as if we were drowning.  So, thank you, for your part in bringing home these two precious daughters of God.

You know, I try to be careful when speaking about adoption.  I know very well that every family is unique in their circumstances, and that adoption is not for everyone.  I know that there is no way for me to ascertain which family it may be right for.  And I certainly never look at any specific family and think, "Oh my goodness!  Why haven't they considered adoption?!!"  So please don't worry that I would ever judge anyone for not adopting.  Everyone is called to do different things.  I know that.

BUT...  (:

But sometimes I want to just climb up on my rooftop and shout to the world, "YOU DON"T GET IT!"  There are orphans on this earth!  They are real.  And they want families!!  I want to scream and cry and bang my head into my pillow over and over!  Because there are beautiful, beautiful families out there who could be so richly blessed by opening their hearts to adoption.  And there are beautiful, beautiful children all over the world who will not know Santa this year.  Worse, they will not know the love of a mother and father and brothers and sisters.  I do find solace in my faith that they WILL know the love of the Savior, who has not forgotten them, and who will not forsake them.  I have to have faith He is holding them, and loving on them, and strengthening them, even as He waits for us to open our hearts to them.

It was two years ago yesterday that I wrote THIS post.  Maybe there is something about this time of year that especially pulls on my heartstrings.  (:

You know, I hope I have never come across like adoption is easy.  If so, I am sorely misleading you!  Our life is hard.  It just is.  But it is good.  It is what our life is supposed to be.  My sweet friend shared a dream she had.  In the dream, she was in the ocean treading water.  She was aware of people around her, who she knew, also treading water.  And she was tired.  But she knew that Jesus was also treading water with them.  She saw Him, but His back was to her.  At one point, He motioned for her to help someone in the water.  As she turned to help this friend of hers, she saw the beach.  It was a beautiful, white sandy beach full of people playing and having a good time.  And yet she thought to herself, "Oh, it is so sad!  They don't know that Jesus is in the water."  That even though it was hard, and she was so tired, she wanted to be with Him.

That dream really spoke to me.  It reminded me that this life we have chosen, is where Jesus is.  We could have taken an easier route.  We could have played more and literally gone to the beach more!  (:  But this is right where I want to be.  Tired, and treading water.  But treading it with HIM.  

And, because of Him, and because of you, I know I won't drown.  Even when sometimes it feels as if I will.

I love you, my sweet Alexis Li and Sophia Breanne.  I have loved watching you blossom and grow into such beautiful, strong little girls.  I admire your strength and determination and happiness, in spite of your daily challenges.  I am so humbled to be your mother.   I am so grateful to breathe your spirits each day.  I have had such a sweet time this week going back into the blog archives and reading about our first days with you.  I loved you then, but I love you ever so much more now.

And I love you too, my sweet Taylor, Parker, Jesi, Elli, Graci, and Xander.  I love you for everything you are.  I love you for being willing to open your hearts to two new sisters.  I love you for your sacrifices and your examples and your sweetness and your testimonies.  I love you for your ability to do hard things.  And I love watching the Lord bless you for doing those things.  Bringing Lexi and Sophi into our family has strengthened my love for you, and made it grow by endless bounds.   

My friend Cristie is on her second adoption journey.  They just traveled to meet their newest sweet son.  You can read about it here, and scroll down just a bit to watch a video of it.  I would hope that maybe some reader out there will be open to promptings of their own to "visit the fatherless in their afflictions."  I am telling you, there are some of the most precious children right now on the waiting children lists!  (: There is one little boy, in particular, that has our hearts.  He is one year old, and was born with hypertrichosis (covered with hair.)  Oh my goodness, is he adorable!  I wish our family was in a place to give him a home, but maybe instead I can open someone else's heart to finding him a family.  Remember, you don't have to be anyone special!  Really, you don't!  You don't have to be any one type of family.  You can even be single to adopt.  (;

I think I've said enough.  (:

Happy Gotcha Day, Lexi and Soph!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Don't Scare Me Like That!

I just opened a letter from Lexi's school:

Dear Parent or Guardian,
Recently at a vision screening at your child's school, your child was unable to see the critical line for their age and did not pass for this or other issues...

Glad they caught that!


Monday, December 5, 2011

I think I'll keep them...

Yesterday after church, Jeremy asked if I wanted to go on a Sunday ride.  Let's see... go home and face the huge mess we had created that morning and the night before, or take a leisurely drive around town?  Of course, I picked the drive.  It wasn't very long before a few of the kids were obviously not having fun on the drive, so we offered to drop them off at home.  We kept Sophi, Lexi and Parker with us, and started off again on our drive.  I looked in the back and mentioned that Sophi looked a bit pale.  Seconds later, we heard a choking sound, followed by two rounds of VERY projectile vomit.

Just what we needed.  (:

So we turned right around (we were only a few blocks away) and I went inside to clean up Sophi.  I got her bathed and down for a nap, put Lexi in the tub, and went back out to the van.  Jeremy worked on getting that all cleaned up.  I was still not ready to face the house.  So, we did what any responsible parent would do... We told the kids that we were still going on our drive, except this time by ourselves!  We asked Graci to get Lexi out of the tub and otherwise left them with no directions.  You can do that with responsible kids like Taylor, Grace, and Parker.

Awhile later, we pulled into the driveway.  Taylor came out and told us that we should really go out for awhile longer.  In other words, we weren't supposed to go inside.  Hmmmm....

So, we continued on our relaxing drive around town.  When we finally got home, we walked into a beautiful, clean house.  The kids had obviously thought it would be a fun surprise, and boy were they right!  (:  What started out as a very overwhelming afternoon turned out to be a very pleasant evening.  We had pumpkin waffles, read, and played games. 

Thank you, sweet kids!

Friday, December 2, 2011


We love our annual trip to Cornbellys...  it wouldn't be Fall without it.   The dress ups, Pumpkin Princess, corn mazes, haunted houses, giant trampolines, slides, play areas, hot chocolate and donuts, train rides, shows, campfire-- we love it ALL! 

We are going to pretend that Elli did NOT eat mouthfuls of corn this year before I noticed what she was doing.  We are also going to pretend that Graci and Jesi didn't manage to get completely lost in the corn maze for a VERY long time, and that Jer and the boys didn't get lost trying to find them! It also certainly didn't end this year in a late night trip to the emergency room for Jesi (torn ligaments and sprain.)   Always an adventure with our family! (:

We'll also pretend Elli actually enjoyed herself.  (;