Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Love my Daughters

Jesi and Grace are the cutest little travelers.  They have been bright-eyed and bushy tailed since 3:20 this morning when we woke them up.  They are so excited to be going back to China.  Jesi particularly seems to soak everything up.  Grandma and Grandpa Nelson gave each of the girls some spending money before we left.  They are so cute as they look at different things they could buy and weigh their options against possible treasures to be had once we get to our destination.

The other night I had a beautiful experience.  It was just a simple thing, really, but made me feel humbled to be a dad to such wonderful kids.  Graci was gone to a church activity and I was tucking Jess into bed.  As I stood there, I noticed a piece of paper on Graci's top bunk.  I started to read it.  It was a theoretical letter from our Heavenly Father to one of his children.  It talked about how much He loved her and how much He enjoyed hearing from her through prayer.  My heart was touched as I thought of my precious Graci reading this in her bed.  Thinking about her uniquely difficult and wonderful life.  Grateful that I have been blessed to be a part of Heavenly Father's plan for her.

As I thought about this, my mind reflected on something I heard in a recent General Conference.  I can't remember who said it, but it was along these lines: "someday those who minister to children with special needs in this life will find that they are ministering to them in the next life as well because these special spirits are noble and great and valiant."

I loved both of these thoughts.  I particularly thought of Graci and Elli, but these principles apply to all of our children.  What a privilege to spend a few of my years on earth helping them to reach their amazing potential. How excited I am to learn more about what Cali has in store for her!!!


Off We Go!

Sitting on a United Airlines flight from LAX to SFO.  Yes, we have to fly from Salt Lake to Los Angeles to San Francisco before we can fly to Shanghai.  Do you ever wonder who decides to charge you less for flying more legs and 600 more miles?

I had saved up some vacation days and had Friday, Monday and Tuesday off.  Thought this would give me lots of time to get ready and we could get a good night's sleep before we left.  Then we invited some wonderful people to our home for the weekend.  Something about having a camera crew following your every move (and requesting this shot and that) does not lend itself to lots of preparation time.  Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that Graci can be a part of the documentary they're working on.  It was just a much more exhausting experience than we anticipated.  Anyway, the end result was I had to jam all of my last minute prep into one day...and one night.  Since we had to leave at 3:30 am, I just never went to bed last night.  Christi got about 1 hour of sleep.  And thank heavens for Dean and LaRita.  I don't know what we would have done if they hadn't been there helping with the kids.

But now we're on our way!  Super-excited.  Nauseatingly exhausted.  Overwhelmed. Under-prepared.  And trusting in God that it will all work out somehow.  We love you Cali!  We're coming!  See you soon!!!