Thursday, April 28, 2011

Now that's talent!

Sophi just spoon-fed herself an entire bowl of oatmeal, and only spilled a less-than-pea-sized amount. I'm pretty sure that's better than any of my two-year olds with arms ever did! (:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Break

Remember Jeremy's "Guy of the District" award? Well, this past week we put it to good use at DISNEYLAND!! We felt soooo blessed to be able to do this-- it's something that obviously costs a LOT when you have eight kids, and his award was able to cover all of our expenses. (: We brought most of our food in (PB & J, etc.) but we were even able to buy some fun food in the park. It was such a treat to experience the magic of Disney with all of our kids. It was even worth the hours and hours and hours spent driving with our big clan! (Driving is hard enough with most kids, but it's especially hard when you can't see. No looking out the windows, watching movies, reading books, etc. Way to go, Lexi and Elli, for hanging in there!)

We were able to spend four whole days at the park. It was perfect. Luckily for us, Disney is very good to children with special needs. We were able to get a special assistance card that let us use our strollers as wheelchairs (meaning we could bring them in line with us) and let us use the fast pass lane for all of the rides. This was a HUGE blessing. We would never have braved Disneyland if we didn't know we would get this help, because there is just no way we could have managed otherwise. It was so great, because even though we had to take things slow, and took about 100 trips to the restrooms each day, we were able to go on lots and lots and lots of rides!

The park was especially busy because of Spring Break. Even still, we managed not to lose any of our kids. I call that a successful trip, don't you? (:

A bit about each of the kids at Disney:

Graci: Loved the princesses the most! Wore her Minnie ears every day. Devoured turkey legs. Was brave enough to go on any ride. Such a good helper with the littles. Had surprising stamina for all that walking.

Taylor: Loved the rollercoasters and Tower of Terror. Disappointed Splash Mountain was closed. Devoured soft pretzels. Loved to sit with Lexi on the rides because she would laugh so hard. Admitted on the last day that he was totally and utterly exhausted!

Parker: Also loved the big rides. Got a kick out of "Turtle Talk with Crush." Always looking out for his little sisters. Was coerced into volunteering to help "The Incredibles" show. Devoured churros. Was convinced we HAD to spend 17 hours in the park on our last day (7 am to midnight) and was only slightly disappointed when we dropped dead 20 minutes short of his goal.

Jesi: Loved the characters. Told us she would wait in line any amount of time to see Rapunzel. Surprised us by going on EVERY SINGLE RIDE and asking to repeat the scary ones. Devoured mangoes. Liked to use the restroom every hour or so. Never got ornery with lack of sleep.

Elli: Hated it. Basically shut down the entire time we were at Disney. Spoke maybe 10 words the entire four days. Developed a vocal tic. Did seem to get some enjoyment out of Tower of Terror on the last day, and was therefore taken on it three times. Devoured anything sweet.

Lexi: Loved EVERYTHING about Disney. Now includes "Thank you for Disneyland" in every prayer. Ended every ride by saying, "More, more!" Was happy as a lark the entire trip. Was everyone's best friend as she allowed the kids to go in the fast pass lane on all the rides Elli and Sophi couldn't or wouldn't go on. Devoured ice cream.

Xander: Was so fun to be with as it was also his first time at Disney. Asked about 20 thousand times for a lollipop before we finally caved. Didn't care for the scary rides, but did try them all. Loved the merry-go-round, Dumbo, etc. Was such a trooper walking so long with his leg conditions. Devoured anything and everything, meaning he asked to eat as often as Jesi asked for a restroom. Claimed, "This is the best day of my whole life!" after his first day at Disney. Announced, "Now all my dreams have finally come true," when he was allowed to buy a pirate sword on the last night.

Sophi: Developed a love/hate relationship with Disney. Was terrified of the characters, including Minnie Mouse, yet begged and begged (in her own way) to buy a little stuffed Minnie on the last day. Liked the very mild rides. Kept saying, "All done, all done!" in the most frantic little voice on anything remotely fast or scary. Devoured frozen lemonade. Had everyone enamoured with her.

Jeremy: (Yes, I'm including him in my kids, because he becomes one at Disneyland.) Loved everything about Disney. Paid a ridiculous amount of money to take his girls to breakfast with the princesses. Was the master planner. Never became Grumpy Mister. Devoured turkey legs-- his favorite food ever. Could barely get out of bed the day we had to check out.

As I'm sure you can tell, we had a great time. I'm pretty sure I was the bravest I've ever been to even attempt this trip, and it all worked out. (:

On Friday, it took us forever to get packed up and out the door. Then we spent 7 hours driving to St. George to stay at my sister's house. We got up early the next morning, exhausted, and drove out to our Easter reunion. We were only able to spend a few hours there, but I was so glad we went. Maybe next year we'll actually dare to camp, but it seemed way too overwhelming this year, especially with the new ones. Lexi managed to get about 20 slivers in her hand from a piece of wood (poor girl) but was very much cheered up by riding around camp with Uncle Matthew on the four wheeler. (I must point out that he was going very slow and just in little circles-- hence no helmet.) Elli began to become herself again, thanks to lots of Easter candy and Grandpa to hold her. Soph was content just to hang out. And the rest of the kids had a ball climbing rocks and ziplining. A perfect afternoon.

Sunday was spent at Grandma's. Anyone else impressed that we actually got to church that day? I am! Even if we were 15 minutes late. That afternoon was spent loving on grandparents and Uncle Ted and Aunt Debbi, eating, and driving the long road home. The kids did great on the long drives overall (probably 30 hours-ish for the week) but I think we were all ecstatic to climb out of the van Sunday night when we finally arrived home!!

Believe it or not, suitcases are already unpacked, though I don't see how I will ever catch up on laundry. We're settled back in to baseball games and homework projects and therapy and doctor appointments and everything else our crazy life affords us. Maybe I actually am ready to get back in that van!


PS. Mom, you can click on "view all images" to see the pictures bigger. (:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jello Hazards

My kids think jello and Sunday go together like cookies and milk. This Sunday, I had tripled the batch and was being oh-so-careful as I placed it in the fridge, seeing as how it was almost to the top of the dish. Then, at the last second, my foot slipped a bit and this happened:

What do you do?

Well, the camera was right there, so I took a picture (somehow taking pictures of messes alleviates much of the pain) and then my mom and I cleaned it up together. It took a good deal of time getting the jello out of all the nooks and crannies of the fridge. When we finally finished, our hands were stained a beautiful red, but I was glad that at least there still seemed to be enough jello for dinner. As I carefully put it back, we realized that jello had likely seeped under the fridge. I asked Jeremy to come and move the fridge so we could clean underneath. The fridge doesn't move easily, so you have to use a back and forth motion. (I'm sure that you're smarter than I and can see where this is going.) We actually didn't find much jello underneath, but there was a plethora of other junk/crumbs/nastiness. Lucky for me, I was in the middle of making rolls so my mom took on the fun task of cleaning.

As Mom is cleaning, Jeremy happens to open the fridge. Come to find, as the fridge was being moved, the jello had again sloshed around-- creating the exact same mess we had just cleaned up. Except this time, it was a bit more set--making it even harder to clean.

I love when I'm smart like that.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blessing Day

Today was a special day for our family! In our church, there is a special ordinance where children receive a name and a blessing. Usually children are infants when they receive this, but Lexi and Sophi were exceptions, of course. (:

It's always a feat to get eight children ready for 9:00 church, and today was no exception, but we actually managed to show up early for once! Maybe that had to do with the fact that my parents are here and so there was lots of extra help. Taylor was so cute, asking if he could get Sophi dressed and ready-- those two have a special relationship. (: The girls looked beautiful in their white dresses. Sophi wore the same dress that Elli was blessed in four years ago, with the sleeves tucked in, of course. Lexi sat so still during the blessing, with her little hands folded in her lap, seeming to know full well the importance of what was happening. Afterward, Jeremy lifted her up for the congregation to see and she had a huge smile on her face. Sophi was also very good-- I had wondered if she would start screaming as hands were laid on her head, but she was very content. Such special, beautiful girls and such a wonderful blessing from their Father in Heaven and their father on earth. (:

I feel overwhelmed with gratitude for our Heavenly Father's plan for our family. I would never had thought that I would have this family He has blessed us with. EIGHT beautiful, cherished spirits in our home, and two waiting up above. I cannot express how much I love being their mother, and what joy each one brings to me. Lexi and Sophi are so perfect for our family, and I don't know what we ever did without them!

So grateful for such a wonderful Sabbath day!

Love you, Lexi Li! Love you, Sophi Bre!

Friday, April 8, 2011


To be, or not to be. That is the question.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ice cream cones

I love experiencing "firsts" with my kids. Last night, it was ice cream cones. Sophi was brilliant with her feet, as you can see. And Lexi (who, incidentally, I didn't take pictures of soon enough) was so cute. She sucked every bit of ice cream out of her cone-- even tearing it apart to get each drop. Then she called out, "Mommy, I done!" and handed it to me. When I taught her that she could actually eat the cone, her eyebrows raised and a huge grin spread across her face. She giggled after each bite. I LOVE these girls!

And since I didn't get a picture of Lexi with her cone, here are a few enjoying her first fudgesicle-- she thought that was pretty cool too! (: