Friday, January 27, 2012

House Bill 250

If you have a couple of minutes and you live in Utah, please send an email to Representative John Dougall at, in support of House Bill 250, which reinstates a state tax credit for families of kids with special needs.  Reference HB250 in the subject line.  (He needs these emails by Sunday.)



Saturday, January 21, 2012

No Offense...

We have  a gut-wrenching, tear-your-heart-out hobby around here.  We peruse adoption agency waiting children lists.  We're not looking to expand our family, but with our collective appreciation for and love of all things adoption, we tend to visit these sites periodically.  Usually, it's just Christi and me.  But today, Christi had the kids gathered around her, looking over her shoulder at the iPad.  We saw a couple of boys from Thailand, ages 9 and 7.  We saw a pair of siblings from Taiwan.  Then we found a 13-year-old girl from China.  This sweet girl will turn 14 in May, at which age Chinese law prohibits her from being adopted.  The agency is looking for someone who has their paperwork all completed and can go soon to bring her into their family.  But this post is not about the joys, trials, rewards and blessings of adoption.  At least not another adoption:) 

This is about our sweet Graci.  Our sweet Graci who's favorite phrase is "no offense."  As in, "Dad, you have a fat offense."  Or "Dad, you don't have very much hair on the top of your offense."  She finds many interesting ways to use this phrase.  We've tried to help her understand that if you say something offensive, then say "no offense," it doesn't quite work.  But somehow the concept is still a little fuzzy for her.

So today, we're looking at the profile of this beautiful 13-year-old girl.  Graci says, quite sincerely, "She's cute!  No offense, but I'm cuter."  Ah, our Graci.  Never afraid to speak the truth, no matter how awkward it may sound:)


Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Thanking

The sign Jessica hung on our door over Thanksgiving:

Freudian Slip?

Jessica, after observing the tattered state of my clothing, went to Christi and said, "Mommy, can you go to the store and buy a new Daddy?  I mean buy a new shirt for Daddy?  His has holes in it."  I'm sure Christi gave it some serious thought...


Hoops Heaven

Taylor and Parker have put a lot of time and effort into improving their basketball games.  Parker plays point guard on their team and Taylor plays forward.  Parker's ball handling skills have improved dramatically from last season and Taylor continues to improve as a shooter.  When he is on, it's really kind of crazy.  He scored 21 in our game last week, including 2 threes. 

Besides the Salt Lake County league they play in, Taylor has also been playing on a church team.  The church league is at a lot lower skill level than the other league he plays in.  It's just a "whoever shows up can play" kind of league.  But it's for 14-15 year olds.  There weren't enough 14-15 year olds in our congregation, so they invited Taylor (age 12) to play up with them.  Instead of being the tall guy on the team, Taylor is the shortest.  He plays point guard for them.  Last night he scored 26 of their 56 points, had some beautiful passes and led them to a 30 point victory.  Afterwards, one of the 15-year-olds (who's got to be 8 inches taller than Taylor and built like a man) came up to him and said, "You are officially a better basketball player than me!"  Needless to say, Taylor had a huge grin on his face all night:)


Sorry, Hon!

"Hon" is now Sophi's favorite word.  As in, "Sowwy, Hon."  "Bye-bye, Hon."  "I love you, Hon."  It's the cutest thing:)


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Baseball Heroes!

Last spring I coached Parker's baseball team.  We won first place:)  Parker's best friend Cole's dad and I have coached their teams for four straight years.  We've finished 1st, 3rd, 3rd and 1st.  Loads of fun:)  Our season last year ended with a tournament.  We won two games and lost two games in the round robin portion.  That put us facing a very tough team in the single-elimination portion.  We were down 5 or 6 runs in the last inning...and pulled out the win!  Our whole team (including a very passionate yours truly) went crazy.  It was of the two best experiences I've ever had as a coach.  (The other being when Taylor hit a game-tying shot with less than 1 second on the board in a 3rd or 4th grade basketball game.)  I'm a fortunate dad!  Here's a picture of Parker with his 1st place trophy.

We have a lot of stuff to catch up on!


Just because you needed this in your life:)...

Merry Christmas!

Wow!  We had an amazing Christmas!  We started out our Christmas Eve with our usual traditions.  We loaded up the van, went through the drive-through at Arby's (2 Reuben sandwiches, some fries, and about 20 jr. roast beef sandwiches:).  While we ate our dinner, we drove through the annual Christmas Light Festival at Thanksgiving Point.  On our way back, we listened to a version of the Christmas Carol that the Green family has been listening to for over 60 years.  It is a 1930's version with Basil Rathbone as Ebeneezer Scrooge.  I listened to it every Christmas Eve as a kid, and we have continued with the tradition in our family.  The older kids really enjoy it, and this year was even better because we saw a stage play version earlier in December.  (Graci and Jess probably prefer the "Barbie Christmas Carol Movie" but hey, at least they'll listen with us.)  Once we got home, we acted out the nativity.
Graci was Mary, Xander was Joseph, and Lex was baby Jesus
Taylor was the donkey?!?
Jessica was the angel
Dad was the narrator

Parker was a wise man (giving a gift to baby Jesus)

And Sophi was just cute!
After acting out the nativity and singing several Christmas Carols along with it, we moved along to "grand bags."  Originally, these were "grab bags" started by my dad.  He got a few presents for each of us one Christmas many years ago, but didn't have time to wrap them.  He got a paper grocery bag for each child, and put the gifts in these.  Then we went around, with each person pulling out one thing from their grab bag each time it was their turn.  This became a tradition that has lasted well over 20 years.  The first few years we had kids, we went to my parents house for Christmas, and my dad put together one his grab bags for each of his grandkids.  But Taylor and Parker, knowing they were from GRANDpa, thought they were called GRAND bags.  And so they have been "grand bags" ever since:)  Grand bags contain mostly food items that you wouldn't normally get throughout the year.  Favorite cereals, different types of cookies, crackers, chips, and juice.  Nuts, pudding, whatever.  The kids love them.  I went a little overboard this year-four of the kids had to have and extra bag to hold all of the loot I got them!  Fun stuff:)

Jesi gets her very own Pumpkin Hot Cocoa!
Then, just as we were getting the kids tucked in altogether downstairs...

...we heard a knock at our front door!  Christi and I had an idea what might be waiting for us on our front porch.  A couple of weeks beforehand, we received a phone call from Santa Claus!  He told us he would be calling back in 24 hours and wanted us to put together a Christmas Wish List for our eight children!  True to his word he called back, and we listed a few things that each child had asked for.  We figured he would be able to have some flexibility that way.  Instead, Santa brought everything the kids had asked for, plus stockings full of treats, plus a Christmas Dinner complete with a delicious ham, plus several presents for mom and dad!!!  Wow, were we spoiled.  Thanks, Santa Claus:)!
We each opened a present from Santa on Christmas Eve.  Boy did our kids feel special that Santa made a special, early visit to our family:)  The next morning, we opened another Santa present, then we got our sweet, beautiful kids all ready for church.  When we got home, we finished Santa presents and presents from each other:
What a great way to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  Thanks to the many, many, many people who have done so many, many, many wonderful things for our family.  Merry Christmas.