Thursday, September 29, 2011


First of all, remind me to never make promises again about daily posts. It seems each time I do, life gets busier than ever before!!

Something about each of us:

Lexi-- I loved this email I got from her teacher this week:

"I wanted to share a cute story about Lexi that happened the other day. I was talking with her and she was holding onto my arm. She felt a little bump on my arm and asked me, 'What's that?' I replied with, 'Oh it's just a little bump on my skin.' She said, 'No....That's not a bump...It's the letter A.' It took me a minute to remember that the letter A is one dot. I thought that was really cute."

I don't know if I mentioned it, but Lexi is in a regular classroom. She has a full time aid that helps her and she has vision/mobility specialists that work with her as well. She is doing really well at learning braille and just LOVES school. The special education department head said in an email this morning, "We are LOVING Lexi, she is just this bright light in our school. Always so positive and kind."

Xander: We received quite a shock a couple of weeks ago when we took Xander to a new doctor up at Primary Children's. My sister had found this doctor through her son's orthopedist and we were both delighted to find that he actually knows what he is talking about when it comes to conditions like our sons have. He just came from Boston-- the absolute best treatment center in the world for these kinds of conditions. Anyway... we have been told this whole time that Xander has KT Syndrome, when in actuality, he has Cloves Syndrome. They are similar in many ways, but this new diagnosis is actually a very good one for Xander! There are only 55 diagnosed cases worldwide. It brings with it some good news-- there is a possibility of debulking his leg!! He will be getting a few rounds of sclerotherapy, starting next week, and then we'll see where we are at. It looks like we may have to travel to Boston for some surgeries. Totally not what we need right now, but on the other hand, I've always wanted to go to Boston! (: I am so glad that he is now under the care of an extremely competent and likable doctor. YAY!

Parker: Received his Arrow of Light this week. I can take virtually no credit for it either-- his dad does all the scouting at our house. But it's nice that it's the moms that get to come up and have their boys give them a pin. (: We're proud of you, Parker!

Lexi loved playing the drums!

Taylor: I always talk about how good Parker is with the littles, but I forget sometimes to mention that Taylor is pretty sweet himself! The other day I asked him to watch Sophi while I ran somewhere. When I came home, he had dumped all of the toys out of the Barbie basket and had her in it, "giving her a bath." They were playing some make-believe, darling game that made Sophi so happy. I think it's a pretty good brother that would do something like that.

Graci: Grace was so excited to share with us that she got one of the top three scores on a test in her math class-- woo hoo! She does so well with her schoolwork, despite the fact that she's doing it all in her second language. (: On a more serious note, at Graci's last cardiology appointment, we found that her health issues are getting a bit worse. She is going in today for a cardiac MRI that can hopefully show the doctor what to do next. We would love if you would keep her in your prayers.
This is Graci with the things she knitted for her dolly. (:

Sophi: Is finally loving preschool! Took her awhile to get used to going, but now she leaves with a smile on her face. YAY! She goes twice a week for two hours, which is perfect for her. Here are some "first day of school" shots that were actually taken on the third day-- oops!

Elli: Elli, oh Elli. What can you say? She fluctuates from being the sweetest thing on the planet to a HUGE handful. Sometimes it's day to day, and sometimes minute to minute. Good thing we love her so much!! We were able to go to a school carnival/fundraiser a couple of weeks ago and meet her wonderful teachers. What would we do without these kind of people in her life?!!

: Started ballet and loves it. She loves to come up with different outfits to wear each week. (This is actually Graci's skirt from Grandma-- isn't it cute?)

Us: We had the absolute greatest time on our little getaway. We drove down to Manti and attended a session at the Manti Temple, where we were married. It was such a beautiful experience for both of us. We stayed that night in a nice bed and breakfast and just had such a good time being together and SLEEPING IN! We drove the Nebo Loop on our way home. It is a gorgeous drive. Especially breathtaking this time of year with the leaves turning colors. That evening, I attended Women's Conference with my mom up at the Conference Center. The talks were all wonderful, but we both especially enjoyed Elder Uchtdorf's. He is such a great man. What a treat for me-- two nights off in a row! (:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Emily Anne

"The Lord takes many away even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again. . . . All children are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and the moment that children leave this world, they are taken to the bosom of Abraham. The only difference between the old and young dying is, one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable wicked world.”-- Joseph Smith

"Each of us will have our own Fridays--those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

"But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death--Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.

"No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or in the next, Sunday will come.

"I testify to you that the Resurrection is not a fable. We have the personal testimonies of those who saw Him. Thousands in the Old and New Worlds witnessed the risen Savior. They felt the wounds in His hands, feet, and side. They shed tears of unrestrained joy as they embraced Him."-- Joseph B. Wirthlin

My tiny sweet angel, who changed my life in a thousand ways... Happy Birthday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jer!

Can you tell she adores him?

Today Jeremy turned 39-- just one year away from the big 40! I think he gets hotter every year-- I LOVE the salt and pepper look on a guy!

I am so grateful to have this man in my life.

He is kind and fun and thoughtful and forgiving and intelligent and spiritual and talented and amazing.

Except when he is not.
(He deserved that!)

This morning for his birthday, Jeremy had a small breakfast in bed, then got up to make lunches for all the kids. After that, he transformed into Johnny Appleseed so he could surprise Jesi, Xander, Lexi, Elli, and their respective classes. Johnny Apppleseed's birthday is next Tuesday, but Jer couldn't do it then, so he volunteered to do it today instead.

This is how he feels about dressing up as Johnny Appleseed:

Ha, ha. Actually, he is a very good sport. He sings the Johnny Appleseed song with them, reads a story, and hands out caramel apple suckers. This is just one example of why my kids have the best dad in the world. (:

Quotes from men I admire:

“Brethren, noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of the divine attributes of our Father in Heaven. A father should be many things. He should magnify his priesthood and be an example of righteousness. In companionship with his wife, he should be the source of stability and strength for the whole family. He should be the protector and the provider and the champion of the members of his family. Much of his love for his children should flow from his example of love, concern, and fidelity for their mother. By his uncompromising example he should instill character into his children.”-- James E. Faust

"What more can a husband do to support his wife, the mother of their children? First, show extra appreciation and give more validation for what your wife does every day. Notice things and say thank you—often. Schedule some evenings together, just the two of you.

"Second, have a regular time to talk with your wife about each child's needs and what you can do to help.

"Third, give your wife a 'day away' now and then. Just take over the household and give your wife a break from her daily responsibilities. Taking over for a while will greatly enhance your appreciation of what your wife does. . . .

"Fourth, come home from work and take an active role with your family. Don't put work, friends, or sports ahead of listening to, playing with, and teaching your children."—M. Russell Ballard

I'm so grateful for a husband who is this kind of father and husband. I am so blessed to call him my best friend. And I am so excited to go on an OVERNIGHT birthday date with him tonight (our first overnight in over a year-- thanks, Mom and Dad!)

Happy Birthday, Sweetie! And Happy Birthday, Jenny!!

PS. Honey, this is for posting pictures of me at the hospital. (:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quotes from the Kids

Last night Taylor gave me the following sage advice: "The only thing women like better than to be told they're pretty is to be told that they're prettier than someone else." Thanks, Tay:)

The last several evenings Xander has asked, "Can we read more of 'Ginger Bread?'" He is referring to Eleanor Estes' Newberry Award-winning book: "Ginger Pye." Cute!


Sunday, September 18, 2011


After church today we loaded up into the van. I glanced back into the rows and rows of seats behind us and noticed that Lexi wasn't buckled. "Lexi," I asked, "can you buckle yourself?" She responded: "No. But I blind." Wow. That hit me like a ton of bricks. Where did she get the idea that her blindness prevented her from buckling her seatbelt? What other preconceived notions does she have or will she pick up as she gets older. Lexi, you can do ANYTHING! A silly little seatbelt is a piece of cake. We will continue to look for more and more opportunities to help Lexi see what she can do in spite of her lack of vision.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Quote of the Morning

So many to choose from, but I'll have to go with Graci's:

"Mom, can you make your homemade rolls for my cooking class today? And don't worry, cuz it's not til 11:10."

I love kids.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


This may come as a shock to everyone, but there are lots of jobs to do around our house. It's true. Xander loves to help out, but his ability to actually move the work forward is somewhat limited. One job that he can do very well is take messy diapers out to the garbage. He has become our default "dirty-diaper-taker-outer." Now, this job is not really as disgusting as it could be. By the time he receives the package, it has been placed into an old Walmart bag. The bag has been tied up so as to minimize exposure to any toxic contents. All he has to do is hold it by the handles, go outside and to the side of the house and deposit it in the trash can. Not too terrible, right. He often lets us know his displeasure at the assignment, but given the small amount of work he does overall, I'm not that concerned about it.

Apparently he is. Unbeknownst to us, he has begun protesting his lack of union representation through an act of civil disobedience. Taking these bags of human waste with a smile on his face, he has quietly been walking out the back door, stopping on the porch...and tossing them in the window well just to the side of the patio! Monday evening I happened to look down into said window well and there were at least 15 messy diapers piled up down there! I actually impressed myself with my reaction. First, I asked who had done this. Xander admitted it was him and I thanked him for his honesty. I then gave him a bucket and lowered him into the window well to clean up the mess. He pretty much freaked out in fear of spiders and whatever else might dwell down in those depths. I doubt he will ever put another diaper down there again:)


Monday, September 12, 2011

Funny, Sweet Kids

Graci picks up some interesting expressions. She often says the word, "Curses!" Tonight we were playing a card game called "Set." (It's a cerebral game which is great for older kids and adults.) I got a point that Graci thought she was going to get. She exlaims: "Curses you! No offense, but Curses You!" No offense taken Grace.

Tonight we cooked out. After we were done with our hotdogs, we cooked s'mores over the grill. Christi says: "Lexi, do you want a s'more?" "No." "Lexi, a s'more is a marshmallow with chocolate." Huge grin: "SURE!"

I love listening to my kids say their prayers. They are so innocent and sweet. Apparently Jesi has recently learned the word, "ability." She went through each of our children in her prayer last night. "Please bless that Elli will have the abilibity to see someday. And please bless that Sophi will have the abilibity to have arms someday in heaven. And please bless that Graci will have the abilibity to have a healthy heart.... You get the idea. She is very sweet. I hope that I can have the abilibity to have the faith of a child.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Some pics from my phone:)

If I had to use one word to describe Lexi, "meek" would be a strong contender. There is something so sweet and accepting about her. She can be a bit demanding when she wants something, but that is at least partly due to the culture change she experienced less than a year ago, not to mention how a lack of vision inhibits her ability to observe how other people interact with each other. Lexi has her MRI:

Lexi can fall asleep anywhere...and frequently does. The other day on the floor of the living room:

Graci had a school assignment last year where she was supposed to dress up as a historical figure, real or fictional. Christi is the master of coming up with a fantastic project from virtually nothing. Thinking through wardrobe choices, Christi thought of Graci's "Make-a-Wish" dress. By putting it on backwards, the ties would look like something from the middle ages. Hence, we have...Lady Katherine Rose. (A name Graci came up with herself:)

Jesi receives her t-ball trophy this year. You've never seen a cuter player:)

Sophi with her cousin, Katie Rose, at our annual family reunion. This year we were at Island Park, ID:

Taylor had a birthday party at the park this year. They played night games and had tons of fun:

Graci goes in for her back surgery. What a cutie:)

Christi goes back for her appendectomy. She's not quite as at peace with this process as Graci seemed to be:)

(Almost) All of Grandma and Grandpa Nelson's grandkids. Just missing the youngest two (Soph was taking a nap).

Grandma Nelson with three sleepy girls:

Taylor and Parker visit the "Up!" house. This was part of the Salt Lake Parade of Homes. The interior was decorated just like the movie. VERY cute!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Cereal Box Saga

Teri, I’m seriously considering your offer. (:

After reading Jeremy’s posts I committed to not make the Walmart runs quite so frequent. As I was first reading them, I thought he was stretching things a bit, but the more I thought through the last couple of weeks, I realized he wasn’t stretching it at all—I had been calling him daily asking him to pick up various items. Yesterday I was determined that we would go Walmart-free. (: I guess that’s just not in the cards for us right now…

Let me backtrack… Wednesday after school, Parker told me he had to decorate a cereal box into a “writing box.” Ah… the first school project! (Actually, as I type that, I realize that’s not true. We’ve already decorated paper dolls for the first graders.) Anyway… I told him to call Jer, because he had already mentioned he was stopping at Walmart after work. (Surprise, surprise.) By the way, not all of these shopping trips have been for food. Sometimes it’s a “Mom, I need a padlock for PE,” or “Mom, we’re supposed to bring a different kind of notebook than what you bought,” or “Mom, I need a zippered pencil box I can put in my folder.” You get the idea…

So anyway, Parker called his dad and asked for a cereal box. It was kind of strange that he had to do this in the first place, as we are a cereal family. We ALWAYS have cereal. TONS of it. But we always stock up when there are big cereal sales and fill the storage room shelves full of it, and it has been a long time since there was a big sale. Currently, we only have the Malt-o-Meal bagged kind.

When Jeremy came home with two boxes of Cracklin Oat Bran, I was so excited. My favorite cereal, hands down. (Even though when we have brought it to church in baggies as a snack, children have been known to ask, “Why are those kids eating dog food?”)

The only problem with this cereal is the size of the box—too small for Parker’s project. Of course. So that evening, after his church meeting, Jer stopped at the store once again. This time he got Lucky Charms. We never get Lucky Charms, at least the brand name, so Parker was excited not only about the size of the box, but for the cereal itself. Score.

Except for one thing. The power went out. His idea to decorate the box from pictures on our computer wouldn’t work. And at this point, I was getting frustrated. It was late, he was supposed to be in bed, and we were working by the light of a candle. We tried some different ideas, but nothing was working. I finally told him he would just have to ask if he could have one more day. It was at this point that he decided to tell me, “Well, I guess that might work, ‘cause I don’t even know if it’s due tomorrow.” Thanks for telling me that NOW, sweet boy!

As it turns out, it wasn’t due until Friday, so we did have another day. And, you’re going to laugh… as I told him to fetch the Lucky Charms box last night so we could get started, Jeremy walked in holding it saying, “You mean, this box?” The box he was referring to was indeed the correct box. Except it had been completely cut up by none other than our sweet Graci. In her defense, she was only following the directions on the back of the box, which was to cut it up to create some sort of game.

At this point, the littles were already in bed and I was already out of gas. Like I said, I was committed to not make any more trips to the store, so I told Parker he would just have to borrow a box from a neighbor. Our cute Parker hates to do things like this, but I told him he would just have to be a man and do it. He went to our next door neighbor. He’s the nicest guy in the world, even if his rooster does wake us up in the morning. (As a side note, that should end today, as he has told us that rooster is their dinner tonight. Whew.) Parker came back with a cereal box, but once again, it was too small. He begged me to go the store, but I said we’d just have to try another neighbor. This time I called first and specified it had to be a big box. He went over to get it. Rice Krispies. In a big box. Except even though it was big (very tall) it wasn’t quite wide enough. Oh well, it would have to work.

We get to work on the computer picking out pictures. His idea was to put funny, crazy pictures of our family all over the box, collage style, with a caption that said, “I get my writing ideas from my unique family.” Pretty cute! We had a ball picking out silly pictures, and stayed up a bit too late doing so. We finally sent the pictures to the printer. After one page printed, the printer stopped. Two cartridges were out of ink. No problem, I think. Jeremy’s always got spares on hand. Except of course, tonight he didn’t. Which meant…

Another trip to Walmart.

Actually, I tried for Smith's first (it's closer) but of course, they didn't have the correct kind of cartridges. I did however, get a box of Corn Flakes that was just the right size!

Luckily, as I was at Walmart walking down the aisles like a zombie, I called my mom, who mentioned the fact that Elli’s birthday is today. A fact I already knew, and had thought of all week, but had spaced that whole day. I needed to get her present and little noise makers to share with her class, making it a good thing that I ended up at Walmart after all. (:

I shouldn’t admit that I sent Parker to bed and stayed up gluing the pictures on the box myself. I usually don’t do homework projects for my kids, but he needed his sleep and the whole thing really wasn’t his fault. It turned out pretty cute!

If you're keeping track, these are the cereal boxes we went through: Cracklin Oat Bran (1st trip to the store), Lucky Charms (2nd trip to the store), Honey Bunches of Oats (neighbor), Rice Krispies (other neighbor), and the winner, good old Corn Flakes. (:

So what do you think, can we make it today without visiting our second home???


PS. I’ll try to come back later to blog Elli’s birthday. We sure love you, birthday girl!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


A funny? side note...When I came home from Walmart last night, Christi saw the chili-chocolate bar in the bag. Knowing that I shouldn't eat it, she snatched it away and ran, trying to hide it from me. I was too quick for her and grabbed her arm. She called out to Taylor to come into the room so she could toss it to him. He didn't hear. I finally got it back from her, but not before my elbow accidentally smacked her nose. So now she has a broken toe, a broken tailbone, and maybe a broken nose...

Walking Walmart

Some people have to go the gym every day to get a workout. Me? I just count my daily trip to Walmart. Well, I do try to get to the rec center regularly, but I really do go Walmart almost every day. It's kind of crazy. It's never been this way before. But there's something about making seven school lunches that changes things a bit. There are certain types of items that just work well for a school lunch. If we're all eating at home, we can make a big pot of spaghetti or warm up leftovers for lunch. But when I'm packing for the kids I try to put in a sandwich, fruit, some kind of dessert, pretzels or chips or crackers. Then there's the snacks for the 1st and 2nd graders. And we just blow through it so fast. Plus, our pantry is tiny, so we can't stock up too much. I'm sure we'll get the purchasing down better as we go along:)

Yesterday as I wrote I forgot to mention one thing. I really enjoy making lunches for the kids. At one point, Christi and I talked about how much we actually save packing them instead of buying hot lunches. It's not that much. On an hourly basis, I'm probably making less than minimum wage by preparing them myself. But I really do enjoy it. It puts me right in the middle of the morning school rush with the kids. I enjoy getting them all packed up and waving to them as they run out to their carpool. They're good kids!

Abrupt topic change: why is it so hard to lose weight?!? I've been between 220 and 226 for a long time. Years. I know I should be around 190. So why don't I just do it? I did get down to 190 about 7 years ago. That lasted about three months. I feel so much better when I eat healthy and drop a few pounds. And then there's the other end of things. Mornings like today, when I have what a friend of mine calls a "fat-boy hangover." I've never had a real hangover, so I don't know what it feels like. But it can't feel a whole lot worse than this. I woke up at about 4am with some wicked heartburn, and it's still with me. Plus a headache. I just drowned my sorrows in a cup of alka seltzer. I use different remedies depending on what we have around. Christi's favorite is when I drink pepto straight from the bottle. She tells me it's hot when I do that:) So what did I ingest yesterday to precipitate this type of misery? Well, I started out very well. (I start basically every day thinking this will be the day that I really begin to eat healthy. And I'm not necessarily talking about a super-calorie-restrictive diet. I'm just talking about healthy.) By lunch time I had had a bowl of oatmeal, a banana, a tuna sandwich on whole wheat and some almonds. Pretty good. Then I got the cravings. Through the rest of the day, in addition to a good sized dinner, I had a large Butterfinger Sonic Blast (similar to a Dairy Queen Blizzard) a Skor bar, two bowls of Cracklin' Oat Bran and a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. And my bowls of cereal aren't exactly small. Then, just to top it off, I had to make a SECOND stop at Walmart to pick up something for a school project for Parker. Of course I meandered down the candy aisle. Actually, there was no meandering about it. I knew exactly what I wanted. Have you ever had chocolate infused with chili pepper. Sounds strange if you haven't had it, but it's actually quite delicious. But it's a "gourmet" chocolate item, so it only comes in the giant sized bars. It is dark chocolate though, so of course it has some healthy anti-oxidants in it, right? (Yes, I realize that is pathetic:) And so I proceeded to eat 75% of that giant chocolate bar to end the night off. And that, folks, is a great recipe for a "fat-boy hangover." May you never suffer through the consequences of such a binge. Actually, may I never suffer through the consequences of such a binge. You're on your own!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dab makes lunches!

Sophi call me "Dab." She can say "Daddy," but can't seem to put the "d" sound on the end of a word. This morning she sees me stumble into the kitchen to make seven lunches for our fantastic kids. "Dab?" she hollers out. "Yes?" I respond. "Morning, Dab." She truly is amazing, just the way she is:)

I grew up in a family where if you were served food, you ate it. Period. With a smile on your face and gratitude in your heart. (And for the record, that would still be my policy, if it were mine to make.) Christi grew up in a home where if you had different taste preferences, the head chef would make something different for you. (Which, for the record, is a very loving way to cook for your kids.) Early in our marriage, I tried to curb Christi's tendency to cater to the individual culinary appetites of our individual children. We had some "discussions" on this topic. I finally came to the realization that if someone is willing to cook 99% of the meals for me and my family, I better shut my mouth and let her cook whatever she wants for whomever she wants. (This is similar to the realization I came to that if someone is going to do my laundry, I better not complain that the shirts are hung up facing left instead of right. But I digress.) I will say that on the rare occasion that I do cook, the kids know that they will eat what is served to them. Period. With a smile on their face. Chili and pears from a can are AWESOME. Now eat!!! Actually, I've become a bit of a softie myself. For example, when I make mac and cheese, I will hold out some of the macaroni before I add the cheese. This is for Jesi, who likes it with spaghetti sauce. Anyway, you get the idea.

So when making lunches for seven kids who are used to being served foods that they personally prefer, there are a lot of things to remember. Graci won't eat chocolate. Jesi will only accept a half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. No tuna. No turkey. No peanut butter and honey. And it has to be seedless jelly. Grape is best. Taylor prefers white bread for his sandwiches. Unless it's tuna. Then he prefers wheat. And the tuna has to made with fat free Thousand Island dressing. Not mayo. Graci prefers turkey, but will eat peanut butter and jelly. Especially if it's raspberry jam. But if you put it on wheat bread, she will only take about one bite of it. Parker wants ranch on both sides of his Turkey sandwich along with cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles. Taylor wants turkey AND ham (two slices of turkey, one of ham) with mustard on both sides, cheese and lettuce. NO TOMATO! Graci only wants a little ranch on one side, lettuce and cheese. Taylor prefers plain old traditional potato chips. No Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos, sour cream and onion or barbecue for him. He will settle for Sun Chips if that's all there is. Graci prefers Cool Ranch Doritos, Cheetos, Regular Doritos and Sun Chips. In that order. Elli will only eat a sandwich if it the second Tuesday after the full moon. Chips are the third Friday. She does better with a granola bar and pretzels. Got all that and have an hour a day to spare? You're hired!!!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sophi!

Our little Sophi bear turned three on Sunday. I can't stand how fast she is growing up! She was treated to breakfast in bed (oatmeal, yogurt, and chocolate milk), small gifts from all the kids, and lots and lots of “Happy Birthday” songs. Of course, she LOVED all the attention.

As I think back on the story of Sophi, and the great leap of faith it took to pursue her adoption while already in the process of adopting Lexi, my heart is filled with gratitude. I am so grateful for the promptings of the Spirit that led us say “yes” to this little girl. We cannot imagine our lives without this precious daughter of God, and we are so humbled that she is ours.

A few things about Sophi:

She knows how to use the potty, and if we take her often enough, will stay dry. However she is terrified of wearing underwear, so I think it will be awhile before potty training is complete. Sophi isn’t picky, but especially loves fruit, sweets, and yogurt. She loves playing with her baby dolls. She is very particular about her bedtime routine. She needs both Minnies, both babies, her blanket, a sippy cup with ice water, and Aquaphor on her legs (for her eczema). You have to sing her “Jingle Bells” while dancing the two Minnies to the beat. (I think it’s her favorite song because we adopted her at Christmastime, so it was the first song she learned.) She says her prayers by herself. Then she wants a “poof story.” Which is basically a made-up story with lots of “poofs” in the middle, where crazy or funny things happen or someone unexpected shows up. I think we learned this from the Merediths. (: Sophi is starting to talk so much more, putting together short sentences and communicating most of her needs. She loves to go places, and starts begging to go as soon as she hears keys. She is a pro at whining, but is usually good to change her ways with a little reminder to talk nicely. She is amazing at figuring out ways to accomplish what she wants. For instance, she might put a wrapper in her mouth and walk to the garbage to spit it out. She is getting so adept at walking, but will sometimes take a spill, and it’s heartbreaking to watch her, because she can’t catch herself like most of us can. She sprained her weak ankle last Thursday and so is mostly scooting right now. ): Sophi started preschool today. She will go two days a week for two hours. It’s an early intervention preschool that is just fabulous, but I must say it was so tough to walk away to her screams! I am praying she will adjust quickly and that it will be a wonderful experience for her. (And that I can get a bit more organzized!) Sophi has a new "smile" where she scrunches up her nose and squints her eyes anytime there's a camera around. She is so loved by her brothers and sisters and they take such good care of her. Her nicknames are Soph, Sophs, Sophi Bre, and Butterfly.

Happy Birthday, Sophia Breanne!

I was at the store buying stuff to make a cake, and when I went to get the ice cream, saw these premade Pepperidge Farm cakes on sale "buy one get one free." They looked so yummy, so I put the other stuff back and got them instead. While it was nice to not have to bake, these are not as tasty as you would think for Pepperidge Farm. (:

The kids were babysitting Soph while Jer and I were busy, and this is how we found her on the couch.