Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tea Party

Jessica's class apparently worked very hard to earn a "tea party." Anyone that knows Jesi knows that tea parties are right up her alley! In fact, I don't think she has ever been so excited for a school event. She spent a long time planning out the perfect outfit and hairdo.

I love our girly girl!

PS Is anyone else having a tough time loading pictures on blogger? For awhile it was uploading pictures in a new, easier format, but now it seems to be back to the old way and is being ridiculously slow. Any ideas?

Monday, February 27, 2012


Meet Patti:

Saturday night at about 10:30 p.m., this sweet dog showed up on our porch. She was shivering and her paw was bleeding. She walked right in when I opened the door. At first I was a bit taken aback, and tried to shoo her out the door, but luckily I have very compassionate children (and the mother of one of Parker's friends) who wouldn't let me.

Graci immediately named her Lizzi and was in love. She begged and begged to take care of it. We got her cleaned up and fed her some chicken (the only thing I could think of... I'm not a dog person.) She scarved it down and seemed much happier afterward.

Later on that evening, a couple of the kids took a peek at her and decided she was a boy. So she was renamed Shiver (because of all her shivering, of course.) We put her in a box with some blankets and Graci slept next to her.

Jeremy was away on a weekend with his brothers, and I couldn't get ahold of him, so I sent a text "Um...we have a dog," and then went to bed. He was quite confused until we were finally able to talk later the next day.

The next day I tried to locate her owner. I thought that surely it was someone right in our neighborhood. I made some calls and even announced it in church, but nobody knew anything. The kids begged to keep her, and I was wary to call animal control because I didn't know what would end up happening to her. We borrowed dog food from a neighbor (Shiver didn't like it) and tried our best to take care of her. She was SHOWERED with attention, if you know what I mean. Poor dog. She hobbled around the house trying to escape Sophi's constant desire to smother her. We joked that with her "special need" she knew just which house wouldn't turn her away and she fit right in. (:

This morning after the kids went to school, I looked closer at Shiver and decided "he" was a she. Back to calling her Lizzi. (Let's see how much we can confuse the dog.) I took her to a lady in the neighborhood who grooms dogs and asked her to look at her paw (the one that was bleeding.) I didn't want to pay to have her seen at the vet when I didn't even know if it was serious. While I was there, the animal control truck pulled up to the park right in back of her house. Crazy "coincidence." I decided to take a chance and see if they had a scanner, in case Lizzi had a chip. I drove up to the truck and approached the lady and told her how we had found this dog, and wanted to possibly keep her if she didn't have an owner looking for her. She asked what kind it was and I told her it was possibly a yorkie chihuahua mix. Her face brightened and she said, "I know the owner, and she is frantic!"

I was hesitant to just hand over the dog, because my kids were so attached and would want to know exactly what happened and where the dog lived, so I asked if I could follow her to the owner's house. When we arrived, the owner was outside waiting for us (the dispatcher had called her), crying with relief and excitement. She hugged me and with tears streaming down her face kept proclaiming, "It's a miracle!"

We found out that "Lizzi" is actually Patti. (Yes, they spell it without an "e" just like all of my girls-- they got a kick out of that.) She is a 12-year-old dog, and had special, significant meaning to the couple who owned her. They really loved her. They had gone through some terrible tragedies in the past few weeks (including her 33-year-old brother passing away) and had left Patti with a dog sitter to go to St. George. The dog sitter apparently lost Patti, and was devastated. She called the owners, who left their trip early to come home and try to find Patti. They had spent hours combing the streets with flashlights last night, trying desperately to find her. They were mostly looking for a corpse, as it has been VERY cold at nights, and they didn't think she could have survived. We were all shocked at how far she had traveled to get to our home (a couple of miles).

The owner invited me in and showed me the laminated posters she had just made to post around the neighborhood. I took one home to show the kids. She invited me to come back on Saturday with the kids so they could meet the owners and say goodbye to Patti.

When I returned home, Sophi asked where the dog was and immediately burst into tears when I told her she had gone home. After school, when I picked the kids up and told them the story, Xander did the same. He was so, so sad. The rest of the kids were old enough to understand that this was a very happy ending, even though they were sad to lose Lizzi/Shiver/Lizzi/Patti. (:

Of course, you all know the REAL ending to the story. Our kids are now desperately begging for a dog. They have wanted one before, but never this much. I feel like I have my hands full (go figure) but I don't know that they are going to back down so easily now. (: I must say, if we were to have a dog, Patti would have been perfect. She didn't make a sound and was as sweet as could be.

So what do you think? Is a dog too much work?? Could we handle one with all we have going??? What is the most patient dog breed out there? (:


Saturday, February 25, 2012


Lexi has come so far the last few months. Something has finally clicked with braille, and she is beginning to read simple three-letter words by herself. It is sooooo exciting to watch! She still struggles with many letters, but she is getting there, and can braille most of the alphabet by herself now.

She still surprises us with how bright she is. The other day I was practicing spelling words with Xander. I gave him the word "water" and he wasn't paying any attention at all (typical) and began "b..." Lexi, who was in the room but busy with something else, exclaimed, "XANDER! That would say "bater! Silly you!" This from a girl speaking English just over a year.

Lexi is our social butterfly. She has been so blessed to find a "best friend." Her name is Erin, or "Erin C." as Lexi always calls her (there are two Erins in her class.) I will often hear Lexi in the morning laying in her bed singing "I love Erin C." to various tunes. (: Today I overheard Parker tell his friend about Erin. I thought he described her perfectly:

"Erin C. is so great because she treats Lexi like a real person. She doesn't baby her, but she's so nice to her at the same time. She actually plays with her and acts excited to be her friend."

That's our Erin C. I love that girl so much for what she has done for Lexi. They have had many playdates together and I am so grateful for that! Lexi is not fun when she is bored, so playdates are a good thing! On Thursday, Erin and Lexi were walking from school to their cars and Erin fell down and cut her forehead. She ended up with a few stitches. I'm not sure who was more traumatized-- Erin or Lexi. It took Lexi over 30 minutes to stop crying. She kept saying, "I'm so sad that Erin C. is hurt. I really really really want Erin C. to be better!" She was hysterical, and still talks about it several times a day. "Remember when Erin C. fell down?" she says constantly, and then has to relive the whole thing. Such sweet friends.

Lexi loves to be like everyone else. It is poignant to be watching a show and have her laugh when everyone else laughs even though she didn't see what was so funny. She is such easy company. She's happy to be doing anything besides sitting by herself. Jeremy has taken her along with the boys to go to BYU basketball games and she is a great sport, just sitting there and cheering when everyone else does.

Lex is a great sleeper. She can fall asleep at any time and both Jer and I love to have her join us for naps. She'll lay quietly by you and stroke your face for a second and then just drift off to sleep. So so sweet.

Lexi loves to share her testimony of Jesus. She still tells anyone who will listen how Jesus is going to fix her eyes. It can be so incredibly heartbreaking when she cries to me, "Mom, why can't He do it now?" She's been begging for a "blind friend." Anyone know of someone nearby? Sometimes she will put Jesi's glasses on (so cute!) and say, "Why I not wear glasses to help me see like Jesi?" Oh that glasses would work!!!!!!!!

I'm in love with you, my Lexi Li! I am so privileged to be your mother!!

The Abominable Snow Pants

Jeremy has these awesome snow pants. They are black, bib overalls and are super fluffy/poofy. They make him look twice his size, especially in the "posterior" region. (: I've always been amused by them.

These pictures do not do the "poofiness" justice, but I'll share anyway and add a couple of cute pics of the kids.

Last week he had the opportunity to go skiing with his boss and his boss's boss. As he was packing, I gently suggested (maybe with a little giggle) he consider getting some new snow pants since this was a business ski trip. Jeremy doesn't like spending money on himself, especially when the old pants "work perfectly fine." I worked and worked on him, telling him how much use he would get out of some new pants and how much better he would feel in them. He finally caved and ended up buying himself some nice ski pants.

I was so glad to see this picture he just emailed me of his ski trip yesterday with his brothers. The pants have been passed on to Tyler. (:

Painted Nails

Jesi and her friend were having fun painting their nails. Xander saw that Sophi was feeling left out and decided to do hers. How'd he do? (:

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt!

This is one of Xander's and Sophi's favorite games. She's the baby, he's the daddy. Oftentimes Jessica is the mommy, and once in awhile I get roped into being grandma. I'm not sure the purpose of dragging her around in a laundry bssket, but it works for them. They love it, and I thought it very cute. Cute enough to take pictures.

Then the other day as I was rushing into my room to get something, my foot accidentally got entangled in the rope that was still tied to the laundry basket. I was rounding a corner, the rope pulled tight, and there was nothing I could do but fall absolutely flat on my face. Hard. My head, neck, and back felt like it had landed on asphalt. Parker couldn't understand why it hurt me so much. He tried falling down flat, and said it was no big deal. Guess I'm just getting OLD. A couple of days and muscle relaxants later, I was no worse for the wear, but I am a bit more strict on untying the ropes when they are done with their little game. (:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Double Date

One of the best decisions we ever made was to make time for weekly "mommy dates" and "daddy dates." We take turns rotating through the kids. We've been doing this since it was just Taylor and Parker, so that's a lot of dates with the kids! Most of the time the dates are simple-- ice-cream at the park, a basketball game, movie and popcorn downstairs without the other kids, etc. But sometimes we go all out. This was one of my latest mommy dates:

It was my second time taking these two cuties skiing. I loved every minute of it! It was a bitter cold day, but it didn't matter. We went out to dinner and stayed in a hotel, making it a real adventure. These two boys of mine are among my best friends. I'm so blessed to their mom! They are going to make some girls VERY happy someday. (:

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I haven't even checked my email today.

I'm just sayin'.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Precious Moments

Jesi had been going through a phase where she definitely wasn't in to dear old dad. Hugs and kisses were hard to come by. Trying to be cute with her was met with raised eyebrows and a scornful look. It was hard for papa to deal with the fact that he wasn't everything to his baby girl. Happily that has started to change over the past few weeks. More hugs, more looks of endearment, fewer "Dad is a moron" moments.

This morning I had one of those precious experiences I will treasure always. Nothing big, but oh so special. Elli was having a rough night (lots of those lately!). She was up from about 5am, hollering and generally making it difficult for mom and dad and the boys to sleep. (The other kids rooms are situated so that they can sleep through Elli a bit easier.). I went down to help her. Changed her diaper. Danced with her. Tucked her back in. I also turned on the bathroom fan between her bedroom and the boys' as a white noise maker. Didn't help much. She is still hollering away.

When I came back upstairs, I noticed that someone was in the bathroom. A quick bed check let me know it was Jess. I sat down outside the bathroom and waited for her to come out. She opened the door and smiled a big, sweet, uniquely Jesi smile at me. She didn't say anything, just started to go to bed. I held out my arms and asked for a hug. She gave me a huge one. We sat there together for a couple of minutes before I said, "I could stay here forever and be happy!" "Really?" She asked. "Yes." Then she said, "Thanks for the McDonald's yesterday." (I brought home fast food for dinner.). What a funny thing for her to think of right then. But the whole experience was so tender, it melted my heart. I gave her a princess carry in to bed, tucked her in again and said goodnight.

I am so grateful for the little moments that define life as a father. President Gordon B. Hinckley once said that life is like a train ride. Much of it is pretty ordinary. The view out the window can get monotonous. But occasionally, a vista will open up that will absolutely take your breath away. The secret is to persevere in between the vistas so you can enjoy the beauty of those magnificent views. (I am very loosely paraphrasing.) I think there is nothing in this life that provides so many vistas as being a father. How blessed am I to have fatherhood times eight!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Things I both love and hate

**Waking up at 4:00 a.m. to the sounds of Elli playing the piano and singing "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" at the top of her lungs.

**A big pan of scotcharoos.

**The fact that Graci is old enough to attend EFY this summer.

**Doing big homework projects with the kids.

**Finding that Sophi has applied "make-up" just as we're ready to head out the door.

She always scowls when she's been caught doing something "fun."


So Sophi!

Yesterday Christi was doing Sophi's hair. When she got done, this conversation took place:

Christi: "Sophi, you are so adorable!"

Sophi: "Yep! I am!"

:) -Jer

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Hello. My name is Christianne, and I am an internet-holic.

There, I said it. That's the first step, right?

I don't mean to be like this. I sit down with the purest of intentions-- and it always begins with just checking my email. This is something unavoidable, as it's how we communicate with teachers, among other important things. It has to be done. But before I know it, I'm sucked in-- reading stories off of yahoo, then moving on to Foxnews, checking favorite blogs, following adoption journeys, finding a recipe for that evening, looking up medical information for one of the many ailments affecting the kiddos-- you get the idea. All good things, until I realize that an hour of more of my life has been sucked away, all while Sophi is parked in front of the TV. Yeah, I'm a great parent sometimes.

It wouldn't be as big of deal if it didn't often happen multiple times in a day. I walk in my bedroom for whatever valid reason, see the computer, and I'm like a nail being pulled to a magnet.

Can anyone relate, or am I the only moron out there?

I don't do facebook, because I know how I'd be. I did it for about two days before I realized that it would soon take over way too much time. I go on once in a blue moon. And I've always kind of patted myself on the back for that. "At least I don't facebook," I tell myself, knowing deep inside that I probably spend a good deal more time on the computer than facebookers. And at least they are keeping up with friends and family, not some random news stories on the web.

The funny (sad) thing about this ridiculous issue of mine is that there are many productive things I could be doing while sitting-- but I always think I don't have time for it. Blogging, for instance. Blogging is one internet activity that I feel no guilt over-- there are a million good reasons to blog, not the least of which is the positive impact it has on my kids. They LOVE reading the blog, and it is such a good, easy way for me to keep a journal. I enjoy writing. And yet, most days I sit down thinking, "I don't have time to blog-- just to "check email" or whatever other supposedly short activity I have in mind. An hour later I realize I've done nothing of great value, and could have spent that time doing several blog posts if I had any foresight or discipline whatsoever. Also, there are many times that I somehow don't take the time to answer an email or follow through on something important because I have so much to do-- and yet I read the latest story on KSL.


So there it is. I'm putting it out there. Why? Because I need help. You see, I have eight lovely children that need my love and attention. I have a house that needs all kinds of help. I have an empty fridge to fill and full baskets of laundry to empty. And even 20 minutes a day spent toward those good things, rather than surfing the internet, would be a great blessing to my family.

Therefore, I am making a commitment. And I'm making it public, because I think that will help me feel more accountable! This is what I want to do. For this week, I promise to change my habits. I'm starting small-- I can't just let go of the computer cold turkey. I will allow myself 20 minutes in the morning to check my email and whatever other thing I choose to do on the computer. I think it's a good release for me after getting seven, sometimes eight (on preschool mornings) kids ready and off to school. After Elli has gone and it's just me and Sophi, I think it's ok to get my breakfast and sit down for those 20 minutes. BUT, before I spend even a minute more doing anything on the computer that day, I have to do five things. Read my scriptures, say my prayers, clean the kitchen, start a load of laundry, and read with Sophi. After that, I'm allowed computer time IF, and only IF, I blog first. And even then, I will commit to be more aware of the time I spend. How does that sound? Because, like I said, the time I'm on the computer is usually used for good things, and I think that's ok, if I'm not giving up BETTER things.

So there you go. It's my commitment to you. I think you'll be hearing a lot more from me this week. (;


Friday, February 10, 2012

Family Reunion 2011

Last July we had our annual Green family reunion. Most years we go to the Oregon coast, but this time we were lucky enough to be able to go to beautiful Island Park, ID. We stayed at an amazing and spacious cabin right on the reservoir. (Thanks, Matt and Carla!). The first floor is almost entirely one giant great room, so we we able to fit our entire family and still be comfortable. The kids loved spending time with grandma and grandpa and all of my siblings. It was a great week with some way fun activities.

The kids loved hanging out with Steve:

Katie Rose wants to play the computer with her toes, just like Sophi!

This year for the first time, we had a talent show night. Taylor pitched a baseball, Parker stood on his hands, Jesi danced, Graci did origami. Elli gave me a kiss, Xander cooked, and Lexi and Sophi just looked cute.

My brother Tyler had the most muscular act by supporting all 5 of his nephews plus his son, Ben, and the same time:

(Taylor is in there. Can you find him? Hint: look for his tan and white plaid shorts:)

One of our days there, we rented jet skis and had a blast on the reservoir. we had them all days and were able to pull tubes behind them. Everyone had a blast, including grandma and grandpa. Great sports! We won't mention which family member fell off the back of one of the wave runners and flew several feet up in the air before landing in the water, but we also won't forget the story any time soon:). One down side of riding tubes in the water, especially when you are 6 feet tall, is that your knees slap against the surface at high speeds for a l one time. Here's a bunch of us with cool cloths to sooth our knees from a combination of the abrasion and a little too little sunscreen.

There is a mountain near Island Park called Sawtelle Peak. You can drive right up to the top and the views are spectacular:

Canoeing, fishing and swimming were favorite outdoor activities. Ping pong, air hockey, Guesstures and other family games were great in the cabin. Before we left, my mom wanted a family picture and a picture of her "four big boys":

(Not too hard to tell who the old guy is...)

Grandma and Grandpa with all of their grandkids!

The whole group!

On the way back home, we stopped at Mesa Falls and Matt and Carla's house in Rexburg, ID:

Sophi and Steve enjoy the teeter-totter:)

All in all a fantastic trip. This summer we are headed back to the Oregon coast. Matt and Carla, we will miss you. Laura, hope you can make it this year.