Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Sealing

First of all, jump on over to Elli's blog to read a beautiful post from Jeremy. I love him. He is such a good father. As we lay on our bed after I read it, both of us crying, we talked about how there aren't words to convey the depths of feelings raising and loving Elli evokes in us, but I think he did a pretty good job. (:

I'm a bit late in writing this post. I have actually tried a couple of times, but couldn't find the words to do it justice. I still can't, so I'll just rely on pictures!

On May 28, we took our family to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple to have Lexi and Sophi sealed to us. For those of you who don't understand the significance of that, I will explain. In our church, we believe that when we are married in one of God's temples, by proper priesthood authority, we are sealed to our spouses for all of eternity. We believe that family relationships perpetuate beyond the grave, and that children born to us under the sacred covenant of marriage are sealed to us forever.

When we adopt a child, that child has not been "born in the covenant," so there is a special ordinance that takes place to seal them to our family. During this beautiful ordinance, the children kneel at an altar with their parents, all dressed in white. When completed, those children become as if they had been born to that family, with every blessing and privilege.

There are no words to describe seeing your children, all dressed in white, in such a holy place and being reminded of what awaits us in the eternities. There is nothing like it to put daily struggles into perspective!

We had some very special, sacred experiences while in the temple. I am so grateful for my knowledge of Christ and for what He has done for my family.

Love you, our two newest girls!!

And... just for fun:

Elli's sealing, Salt Lake Temple, 2007

Graci's sealing, Provo Temple, 2008

Xander's sealing, Oquirrh Mountain Temple, 2009

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Exciting News... (:

Ok, so I didn't mean to be a tease like that! I had expected to get a video up before we left on vacation, but it just didn't happen. I don't know how... I mean, we had so much time on our hands!!

Well, I still haven't made the video, and Jeremy happens to be at scout camp for the week. (I don't know how to upload our videos.) But since you asked, I'll go ahead and do it with pictures instead of a video. (:

Anyway... I hope this isn't anti-climactic. This is such a huge event in our lives, but probably doesn't seem all that significant to some. As you may remember reading here, we didn't know if Sophi would ever walk. This is due to her weak right leg, missing fibula, and significant leg length discrepancy. However, we have worked a lot with her. I didn't see how she could possibly ever learn to walk, and some doctors doubted it too, but eventually she did learn to stand. Her poor right leg would just shake, and she couldn't stand for more than a couple of seconds, but she could stand! And then, almost overnight, she did it-- she learned to walk!!! It is the sweetest, most endearing little walk ever. She LOVES it. She wants to walk everywhere now and takes such pride in it.

We are so happy for our little Sophi!! I am hoping to get her to Shriners again soon. Now that she has learned how to walk, I am wondering if some sort of brace could be made for her to help give her weak leg some more stability and height.

So, so proud of you, Soph!!!!!

PS I am going to assume, because of our past pattern, that some of you thought the exciting news had to do with a new addition. (: That would be amazing, for sure, but we very much have our hands and house full right now. HOWEVER... I can't resist telling you that there is the sweetest, most precious little two year old girl waiting for a family. She is breathtaking-- just exquisite. I am sure I am drawn to her because of her special need, which is vision loss. She does have limited vision, and I have no doubt that if she is to retain it and possibly even gain more vision, she needs a good doctor soon. If any of you reading this feels a tug at your heartstrings and want to know more, please email me at

Let's find this princess a family!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Taylor's Fave Five

What a week and a half!!! Friday the 15th, we left for Island Park, ID (six hour drive). My brother Matt's in-laws have an unbelieveably beautiful cabin on the reservoir up there, and we were able to stay for five nights and have a family reunion. It was the first time in many years that my mom and dad and all of my siblings were together. All 13 of my parent's grandkids were there. We missed Tyler's wife, Laura, and hope to see her soon, but everyone else was present. It was a lot of fun:) We rented jet skis one day, visited Mesa Falls and Sawtelle peak, and played lots of games. We had our annual Thai food night, which of course I love:). The cabin was plenty big enough for all 22 of us comfortably. I'll post some pictures soon.

We got back from ID on Thursday night and left Saturday afternoon for Richfield, UT (2.5 hour drive) for a short reunion with Christi's family. Saturday night we drove from Richfield to Ferron (1.25 hour drive) to stay at Christi's parents house. We went to church in Ferron and then I had to drive Taylor back to our house (2.5 hour drive) so he could get ready to leave for scout camp. We got home about 8:15 last night and then spent 3.5 hours packing and prepping for his camp. He left at 8:00 am this morning. Christi and the kids are still in Ferron. They have to come home tomorrow in order to be ready for Jesi's medical procedure on Wednesday morning. Yeah, we're busy!

Last night as Taylor and I were eating cereal for dinner, he commented on it being a rather pathetic Sunday meal. He obviously missed his mom's cooking! I asked him what his favorite food was. He gave me this list:
-With a goofy grin on his face: IHOP's cinnastack is hard to beat!
-Mom's homemade chicken soup with rolls. (an excellent choice:)
-Arby's roast beef sandwiches
-Subway meatball marinara or turkey and ham
-He stopped for a few minute then remembered: Grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.

The kid is pretty easy to please:)


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Random Tidbits

Sophi calls herself "Wafee" (rhymes with "toffee")

Xander decided to "help" today and put in a full load of laundry (mixed colors) and even added an undetermined amount of detergent and OxiClean (of course in the wrong compartments).

Our microwave is possessed. Sometimes it works fine, and other times you push "5" and it turns the light on, or push "1" and the fan starts. Today I had to push approximately 30 buttons just to cook my oatmeal.

Tonight I have the job of packing for 9 people (Jer mostly does his own) for our upcoming adventure in Idaho. Nine people plus seven days equals LOTS of stuff. Lucky me!

Speaking of numbers, last night I counted 17 cute kids in my house. And that doesn't count Graci, who is at Girls Camp. I love summer nights and that friends like to hang out here.

I'm pretty sure I have a broken toe.

My sweet friend, Mary, is not only cooking dinner for us tonight, but just called and invited my kids to come eat it at their house.

AND... I have such exciting news to share! But I'm waiting for Jer to show me how to upload a video.

(: (: (: (: (:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Phthisis. Retinal Detachment. Band Keratopathy.

Those are the three words written on sticky note by Lexi’s opthamologist.

I didn’t realize how much I had held onto a sliver of hope that doctors here in America could do something for our Lexi’s eyes until I read those words. When we reviewed her file and fell in love and decided to adopt, we did so knowing that she was completely blind, and knowing that she would likely always be so. And whether or not there was anything that could be done to give her some vision had no part at all in our decision.

But I still held on to the idea that maybe, just maybe, sweet Lexi could have some sight. Shadows. Light perception. Anything.

We wanted her to be seen by a pediatric opthamologist from Primary Children’s. It took several months to get her in, so that entire time I was cautiously hoping, hoping, hoping. When I finally brought her in, the eye doctor was very optimistic. I told her that she was completely blind, and he said, “Well, I don’t know about that. We’ll just have to see!” He then went on to talk about various things that could likely be done to restore some vision. He spoke with hope. This after just a partial eye exam. So, for a short time, my heart was beating fast and I became a bit giddy inside.

Then he did an MRI on her eyes.

As it turns out, there is absolutely nothing that can be done. He sympathetically wrote those three words down without being able to look me in the eye the rest of the time I was there. He told me there was no reason to have her seen again unless she experienced such discomfort in her eyes that we wanted to consider removing them and giving her prosthetics. I put on my brave smile, assured him we already thought that was the case, and proceeded to gather our things.

Then I walked out to the van with Lexi, and I cried.

I allowed myself the evening to feel all of the emotions that finding out your child will never see (in this life) can bring. Then I decided to put a lid on it. After all, feeling sorrow, pity, disappointment, hurt, and grief for my sweet Lexi will do nothing for her but give her a depressed mother. I’ve learned that over the years—after hearing things about my children that I just didn’t want to hear…

Several people have asked how her appointment went, and I haven’t been able to share. It’s been over a month now, and I’m ready. Ready, and oh so grateful for my knowledge that she (and Elli!) will see me someday. That she will no longer tell me, “Mommy, my eyes need batteries. Can you get me some batteries for my eyes?” That every disappointment related to blindness will be compensated for by Christ’s atoning sacrifice. That every tear of sadness will be replaced by many more tears of joy for her!

This knowledge is mine, and I couldn’t live without it.

I love you, dear Lexi.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Even More 2010 Beach Trip Photos

Great parents, huh? First we let Parker try to feed the seagulls out of his hand.

Then we let him go a step further and feed them off of his head. He was successful, by the way, even though we didn't catch the big moment on camera:)

At the Butterfly Garden:

At Newport Beach on the Oregon Coast:

Play time during a picnic in the sand:

Flying a kite:

Around the campfire:

My brother Steven:

Always chilly on the Oregon coast!!!

Family friend Lori with Xander

The keeper of the fire-my dad, Allen:

Boys will be boys!

On the drive home we stopped at beautiful Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge:

We stayed overnight in Boise, ID at my cousin's house. (Thanks Spencer and Ilah!!!) While there, we narrowly escaped the clutches of Iron Man and Buzz Stormtrooper. You never know when a pink panda doll will be useful in placating a menacing action figure:)

This is what you get when you let Elli sit near an unguarded bag of starbursts. We noticed something in her mouth. I got to fish out this mess, wrappers and all:)

An so we come to the end of our 2010 Green Family Reunion. It is such a great thing to get together with family. My brothers and sisters are a particularly tight knit group, and it is fun to be able to spend time with them. So Jen, Matt, Ty and Steve (not to mention Mom and Dad): see ya'll real soon!!! And somehow, I think Tiff will be nearby as well.