Thursday, September 13, 2012


This morning Taylor had a minor sore throat.  He was doing all he could with his body language to demonstrate to us that if he went to school, he would probably pass away before the day was over.  Christi was going to let him decide, but with the possibility that he will miss a week or two while we are in China, I wanted him to go if he could.  I asked him how he felt.  He said, "I'd really just like to go back to bed."  I replied,  "I would like to go back to bed, too."  Immediately,  Jesi and Sophi shouted out, "NOOO!"  Jesi followed that up with, "You can't go back to bed!  You have to go to work so we have money for food and clothes!"  Sophi then said the same thing.  Thanks for the news flash, girls:).

Speaking of girls shouting...Sunday night I stayed with our friends the Merediths in Tennessee.  They have six kids.  A bit smaller than our family, but still a large group by pretty much any standard.  I got up on Monday morning in time to have breakfast with them and say good-bye to everyone as they were leaving for school.  The difference between their house and ours on a school morning was astounding.  They were calmly paced and quiet.  You seriously could have had a reverent church service in their living room.  Then this morning I'm back at our house.  Multiple times during the get-ready-for-school rush I had to say (shout?), "Everyone quiet so I can hear so and so."  It is absolute chaos around here in the morning.  Uber-impressed with the Merediths.  Sometime maybe Christi and I can go spend a week observing them and see how they manage to be so organized and on top of things!

Christi has been working on Sophi's plurals.  Soph finally got the hang of adding an "s" to a word.  Yesterday she came home from school with a picture.  Christi asked, "Is that Little Bo Peep?"  "Yes!  She lost her sheeps!"  Gotta love English?!?

Thursday through Saturday of last week:
  • Thursday morning:  Xander has an appointment to get his drainage tube removed from his leg.  Christi is going to take him while I go to work.
  •  9:30 am - Christi finds out she has an important meeting she needs to attend.  I have to rearrange my work schedule to take X-man.
  • 10:30 am - Arrive at the doctor's office
  • 11:00 am - Doctor comes in and removes the drainage tube.  This thing has been in Xander's leg for well over a month.  I had pictured the hollow tube extending an inch or two into his leg.  Instead, this thing came out!  It entered his leg just below his knee and went almost down to his ankle.  Nasty!!!

  • 12:30 pm - Drop Xander off at school.  Looks like he's doing well.
  • 5:00 pm - Christi brushes Xander's skin and practically gets burnt.  X has a 104.4 degree temp.
  • 9:00 pm - Ibuprofen has kicked in.  Temp is down to about 99.5
  • Friday morning:  Typical ridiculous madness to get kids off to school (other than Xander of course.  He's already missed enough school to make him repeat 2nd grade!)
  • 8:01 am - Christi calls Primary Children's to see if Xander needs to come in.  They tell her to call back at 9:00
  • 9:00 am - Christi calls and tells nurse the situation.
  • 9:30 am - Doctor calls back and tells Christi she needs to get X-man in right away.
  • 10:30 am - I have a video conference call.  Can't have a screaming Soph in the background, so Christi drops her off at the Blackburns on the way to take X-man to the emergency room
  • 11:30 am - Xander enters the emergency room and has bloodwork done.
  • 12:30 pm - infection confirmed.
  • 2:00 pm - Christi obviously can't pick up the kids from school, so I have to rush home and get the crew.  On the way home I take a preliminary survey among the kids:  If mom and Xander have to stay at the hospital, would you rather:
    1. Try and have all of us (minus Christi and X) go camping tonight?
    2. Go to the ward event but just stay for dinner and games and then sleep at home?
    3. Skip the campout altogether, stay home, watch a movie and have popcorn?
  • I get a mixed response.  Jesi and Lexi desperately want to go camping.  Graci wants to go to the dinner.  Taylor doesn't care.  Parker wants to go to Cole's house and play.  (In case you hadn't noticed, that wasn't one of the options.  But does that stop a kid from asking?)
  • 2:15 pm - Drop Parker off at Cole's house to play until further notice.
  • 2:17 pm - Elli arrives home from pre-school.
  • 2:18 pm - Elli is balanced on the stair rail singing "We will never, ever get back together."
  • 2:20 pm - Christi calls to let me know the doctor wants to admit Xander and keep him at least one night while he starts an antibiotic.
  • 2:30 pm - I decide we'll go to the dinner and then come home.  Dinner starts at 6:30pm.
  • 2:35 pm - Don't know how I can finish my paperwork and juggle the remaining kids by myself.  Get a great idea!  "Lexi, do you want to play at Erin C.'s house?"  "YAYYYYY!"
  • 2:40 pm - Call and ask if Erin C. can play.  Her mom is going out, so Lexi can't go over there.  But if Lexi would like Erin to come over to LEXI's house....  Why not.  Come on over.  A gaggle of kid is a gaggle of kids.
  • 2:46 pm - Lexi announces to the house that Erin C. is coming over.
  • 2:47 pm - Jesi begs to have Riley come over.  Sure.  A gaggle is a gaggle...
  • 3:00 pm - Riley and Erin are now at the house.  They take Parker's and Xander's places, so there are eight children beautifying our home and the universe is right once again.
  • 3:15 pm - I have tried to escape to my office to get some work done.  Jess, Lex, Erin, Riley and Soph are playing together and entertaining each other.  Taylor is reading.  Graci is the oragami queen.  And Elli is doing whatever it is that Elli does.  All was well until the girls decided to play dolls.  I forget that when Jesi was looking for an Elli-proof location for Penelope's bedroom the best option turned out to be in my office.  Normally this isn't a big deal.  If Jesi is playing with Penelope in there, it is usually just her.  A few quiet comments to Penelope add ambiance to my work environment.  On this particular day, however, Jess and Penelope were joined by four other girls and at least one more American Girl doll.  Made for quite the focused finish to my work day:).
  • 4:00 pm - Parker calls to check in.  I tell him we will be leaving for the ward dinner around 5:45.  (It's about a 30 minute drive away.)  Call again around 5:30 to make sure we're going.  
  • 5:30 pm - Parker calls to check in.  Begs to stay at Cole's house instead of come with us.  Permission granted.
  • 5:40 pm - I finish up a project, jump up from my desk, and think I can get everyone ready in 5 minutes and leave by 5:50 at the latest.
  • 5:42 pm - I call Erin's mom to make sure she is back and I can drop Erin off.  She volunteers to pick her up.  I decline this offer.  Dumb mistake!
  • 5:43 pm - I send Riley home.  (2 minute walking distance).
  • 5:45 pm - I ask Graci and Taylor to help Elli and Sophi get in the car.  They do.
  • 5:52 pm - I finally find Sophi's shoes and ankle brace.  I take them to the car.  Do a quick head count.  Still need Lex and Jess.
  • 5:56 pm - Lexi now has socks and shoes on and is in the car.  Jesi is still missing.
  • 5:57 pm - Find Jessica in her room with a cute little bag filled with jammies, toothbrush, etc.  "What are you doing?" I ask.  "Packing for the campout."  Apparently daddy did not explain clearly enough that due to a lack of sufficient parental units, we were not going to be camping tonight.  I now tried to gently explain that we were only going for dinner.
  • 5:58 pm - Total meltdown from Jessica.  End-of-the-world-level tragedy.  This is the only time she would be able to camp with Riley.  Her best friend.  Who is moving to Canada soon.  We have to go camping.  PLEEEEASE, Daddy!"  Broke my heart.  Can't do it.
  • 6:05 pm - Finally get Jess in the van.
  • 6:06 pm - Run downstairs and grab a sleeping bag and pad just in case Riley's family is there and is willing to let Jess stay with them.
  • 6:08 pm - Leave to Erin's house to drop her off.  
  • 6:12 pm - Arrive at Erin's house.  Jesi says, "Dad, you didn't let me get shoes."  Let you?  You're nine years old!
  • 6:15 pm - Almost back home for the shoes.  Tell Taylor in the passenger seat, "When we get there, you jump out with Jess, unlock the door, and lock it behind her when she's done."  
  • 6:16 pm - Taylor and Jess are in the house.  Lexi says, "I have to go to the bathroom."  This is not going to be a quick stop.  Figure I might as well change Elli at this point.  I had forgotten to change her after school and had grabbed a pull up and wet wipes as we left the first time.  Go around the van.  Look at Elli's feet.  No shoes or socks.  Sweet Grace.  Sometimes she has the common sense of a cantaloupe.  When I asked her to put Elli in the van, I had assumed she would realize that socks and shoes were indicated.  Not so.  Kudos to dad, I didn't say a word.  Just took care of it all myself.
  • 6:22 pm - Off like a herd of turtles.
  • 6:51 pm - Arrive at the dinner.  Still plenty of food left, and no long line!  Late has it's advantages.  Send older kids off to eat and play.  Set Elli and Sophi up in the stroller by a table and set Lexi up at the table.  Go to the buffet to try and dish up food for the four of us all by myself, using three plates.  Manage OK.
  • 7:02 pm - Get back to the table with food.  Am surrounded by angelic women who see a floundering father in need.  Thanks to Channy Phillips, Missy Jessup, Nikki Bailey, Julianne (and Rick) Rawlins, Amy Bills, the Pedersons, and anyone else who helped feed, hold, play with and otherwise take care of my children that night.  It was EXTREMELY appreciated!
  • 7:45 pm - Dinner is done and the older kids are having a ball playing with their friends.  Taylor is up a tree:

  • Graci is playing with Allie and letting Lexi tag along:

  • Jesi is having the cutest time with a bunch of kids her age.  They are playing tag and "wizard, elf, giant" and all kinds of games.  It was a joy to watch her.
  • 8:30 pm - Time to go to home.  Mosquito bites are abounding.
  • 9:15 pm - pull into the driveway.  Sophi is sound asleep...until Lexi jumps out of her seat and crawls all over Soph trying to get out.  Still try to put Sophi straight to bed.  Doesn't work.  At one point she ways, "I want a new family!"  At least that's what I thought she said.  Figured out she was really wanting family prayer.  So we skipped the whole striaght-from-the-car-to-the-bed thing and did the whole nighttime routine.
  • 10:15 pm - Littles are tucked in.  Parker has come home.  Finished watching a college football game.  I head out to Smith's to get ice cream and "The Muppets."
  • 11:00 pm - Start the movie.
  • 11:30 pm - I tell the kids good night and crash in bed.
  • Sometime around 1:00 am - My wonderful older kids turn off the TV and get into bed themselves.  Quite the 36 hours we had.  I've run on too long as it is, so I'll just skip Saturday.  
Life is never dull around here!


  1. Wow. Just wow. There are so many details on which to comment, but I'll limit it to one...and that is how hard I laughed out loud picturing Elli standing on the railing singing Taylor Swift. Hilarious. You-tube it!

  2. Jer, It was good to see you Sunday!! Savannah told me later,with a big smile, that she saw Jessi's dad.

  3. Whew! I would have flown across country for a quick break, too! Ha! Good seeing you - wish Utah wasn't so far away!

  4. No way...NO WAY! Who does this? You guys have the most unbelievable human capacity imaginable! I mean really, who lives this and then titles the post Hodgepodge...ummmm how 'bout "Help, I can't find time to breathe" or "If our life was videoed in slow motion it would still look like it was sped up".

    Really I am in utter awe at your sacrifice, and devotion to those beautiful 8!

  5. Dude - I'm moved to say "I am not worthy!!" Nominating you for a gold level man card!

    extremely impressed bro - not necessarily surprised - but extremely impressed.

    Prayers for all y'all - get us an update on Xander when you can -

    love you guys - aus and co.


Thank you for your comment! It will be reviewed and posted shortly.