Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sport Court

I have never felt so busy in all my life.

Building a home on top of all that comes along with having 9 children has been quite the adventure.  Most of the time it is absolutely crazy FUN, but I will admit I constantly feel on the edge of a nervous breakdown.  In a good way, if that's possible.  (:  With all that is going on, our current home has fallen completely apart (I don't think you can even tell the color of the carpet in our bedroom) and the kids are doing more than their share of babysitting-- but we know it will all be worth it in the end!  I had no idea that picking out stone, stucco, flooring, tile, baseboards, window coverings, paint, etc. could be so time consuming.  I also didn't know I could have so much fun doing it.  This is in large part due to the fact that I have the most darling interior designers helping me out.  As I've said many times, we are in awe of all of the kind people out there who are giving their time to the project.  It's amazing.  

In the middle of all of the house stuff, we've had lots going on with the kids.  Lexi went to a cooking camp for the visually impaired.  Can't wait to blog about that!  We've managed a trip to Idaho for a family reunion on Jeremy's side.  Again, another fun blog post.  But tonight is reserved for something extra special!!!!

Taylor and Parker have always dreamed of having a sport court outside.  I don't know how many times we've had the discussion of whether or not it will ever happen, how expensive it is, etc.  A couple of months ago, the Puzzle Them Home committee approached Sport Court West about the project and asked if they would be interested in being part of it in some way.  I was STUNNED to receive a reply that very day that they would love to see what they could do to DONATE a court.


People:  We are talking an actual sports court!!!  Can you even imagine?  I still feel like it's not real.  And for two months I've been keeping it a secret from the boys.  I must say, it is the hardest secret I've ever had to keep.  We were trying to think of a fun way to let them know about the court-- something that would make it extra special-- but we hadn't decided yet.

Well, this past week, Taylor and Parker attended BYU basketball camp.  This is their third year going and I can't even tell you how much they love it.  They work and save their money all year to be able to go.  It is a FANTASTIC camp.  They love playing ball all day long, doing fun activities in the evening, having devotionals from their awesome counselors, and of course getting to experience dorm life.  Jer and I always try to stop by a couple of times to watch some of their games.  Tuesday evening, I did just that.  It was so much fun to watch-- Parker scored 18 points in his game and Taylor scored 20 out of his team's 44.  This is while only playing half of the game (they rotate the 10 players in and out.)  They are both turning into such great athletes!  After their games, I visited with them for a minute and then we parted ways-- they went walking toward their dorm and I went to my van.  

As I walked to the van, I found Coach Rose (BYU head basketball coach) and Coach Pope were standing directly in front of the van having a conversation.  Usually they are surrounded by kids getting autographs or pictures, but this time they were all alone.  I had the thought that maybe I could talk to them about the whole Puzzle Them Home project and sport court.  The thought lasted about .2 seconds.  What would I say?  What would they think?  What was I even asking for?  So I chided myself for being silly and instead called Jeremy to tell him about the boys' games.  As I was sitting in the van talking to him, I mentioned that Coach Rose and Coach Pope were standing a few feet away from me, resulting in the following conversation:

Jer:  "Go talk to them!"

Me:  "About what?"

Jer:  "About the project!"

Me:  "I had that thought too, but I wouldn't even know what I was asking for..."

Jer:  "See, we both had the same thought.  It's a sign."

Me:  "I'm not talking to them."

Jer:  "Get out of the van now!"

Me:  "No."

Jer:  "Hurry!  Think of your boys!"

Me:  "I don't even know what to say!"

Jer:  "It doesn't matter.  Get out now!"

Me:  "I can't do it."

Jer:  "I am hanging up the phone.  Go now before they leave."


I don't know why it's so hard to talk to people so much cooler than oneself, but for me, it was a big deal to get out of that van.  Besides their obvious cool factor, I didn't even know what I was asking for.  And I hate asking for things!  

 However, I had the thought run through my head that maybe it wasn't coincidental that I had the head coach of their favorite team standing two feet away from me.  So... I stepped out of the van and managed to give a little spiel about the fact that I had two boys at the camp and that we had adopted several special needs kiddos from China resulting in building a home with the help of all kinds of amazing people and that the home would be in the parade and that a sport court company had donated a sport court and that the boys didn't know about it yet and that maybe a couple of their players could come up and sign the court...

Yes, it came out sounding that jumbled.  And I'm certain my face was bright red.

As it turns out, these are some stellar men.  They were gracious and kind and arranged for something more amazing than we ever could have dreamed.

Thursday afternoon, the entire camp (hundreds of boys of all ages) were gathered in the seats of the gym for roll call.  Coach Pope had the mic and asked for everyone to be especially quiet, as he had something he needed to talk about.  He said that it would be the most important thing that they heard all week.  He then asked if Taylor and Parker Green would come down on the court.  

(This is where the planning went a little bit awry-- Parker's team happened to be up at the Marriott Center instead of at roll call.  Oops.  So he carried on just with Taylor.)

As Taylor walked down, I couldn't tell what he was thinking.  He hadn't noticed that I was there, and looked a bit nervous.  He later told me he thought maybe he had lost a key or something and was going to be chided in front of everyone.  Ha!  Coach Pope then told a little bit about our family and what incredible brothers Taylor and Parker must be to have welcomed so many kids into their home.  He then told them that Coach Rose had a little surprise for him.  Coach Rose then came onto the court and talked.  He then called the BYU basketball team down on the court for a special presentation.

Of course, I'm crying at this point.

Our new friend, James, from Sport Court West, had given us a couple of pieces of sport court to have the team sign.  Coach Rose showed Taylor the tile and explained that Sport Court West had heard about our family and wanted to give the boys a brand new sports court.

Taylor went into shock.  He had the biggest grin on his face.  He said afterward that he couldn't even wrap his head around what was happening.  It was such a special moment for our family.

 Um, why am I here?

 Starting to catch on that this isn't a bad thing...

What is this tile???

A sport court?  WHAT??

 Starting to sink in...


Of course, we felt SO bad that Parker had missed the whole thing, so we headed up to the Marriott Center with the signed court pieces.   On our way there, we noticed a few of the players and talked to them.  One of them was Nate Austin, who happened to be one of Parker's coaches for the week.  He agreed to pull Parker aside and present him with the court.  Parker's reaction was absolutely priceless.  These pictures tell the story well:

 Um, what's going on?

 Still not knowing what's going on?


 It hits him.

 He could hardly contain his emotion.  He kept asking if it was a joke.  (;

 The face says it all.

 This is him on his way down to the floor.  (:  Yes, he did hit the floor in excitement/disbelief.

I can't even express what this whole thing meant to me.  From having the sport court completely donated to what I believe was our Father in Heaven arranging a very special way of having it presented to the boys--   this is definitely among the most incredible things that has happened in my life.  I love these two boys with all of my heart and I know firsthand the sacrifices they have made to have the kind of family we do.  Every time I look at that court I will be reminded of how the Lord knows them and is watching out for them.

Of course, the sport court will be loved by the other kids as well-- especially Xander!  We made a big deal of telling him that the court was a special surprise for him too.  He was soooo cute about it and so excited to play ball with his brothers.  And the girls just might have a little (or HUGE) surprise coming up for them as well...  (:

Thank you, BYU basketball!  And THANK YOU, Sport Court West, for giving such an AMAZING gift.  I can guarantee it will be amongst the most beloved sport courts in history.  (:


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Princess Perceptive

Christi and I had been out making some decisions for the house (a common theme these days!).  We arrived back home, and Graci, who had been babysitting, came up and nonchalantly said, "I think Elli's sick."  "Why do you think that?" I asked.  "Because she's just laying on the bed, and (almost as an afterthought) because she threw up all over the windowsill.

That's generally a good sign someone is under the weather.

And when poor Elli gets sick, it becomes like the old adage: "When Elli ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"  She's been doubled up in pain on the couch all night.  And she's letting all of us know she's not doing too well.  Poor kid!


The Power of a Parent

Tonight as I was tucking Jessica in she asked me, "Dad, would anyone ever rob our house?"  This was completely out of the blue and I was kind of taken aback.  I replied, "Well, it's very unlikely."  She said "Sometimes when something gets lost for a long time, I worry that somebody robbed us.  Or when you're gone for a long time, I get scared that somebody took you."  

"Jessica, nobody is going to rob us."

"So I shouldn't worry about it?"


Jessica (with a big smile on her face):  "OK!"  Then she rolled over and snuggled into her blankets.

What power we have as parents.  The power to calm fear or inspire fear.  The power of being completely trusted by our children.  What will I do with that power?  I read a great quote from Abe Lincoln today:  "Whatever you are, be a good one."  I love the simplicity of that advice.  Here's hoping I can be a good dad!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013


The Lord answers prayers in His own timeline.  Sometimes that timeline is the same as ours, sometimes it is not.  Sometimes the timeline is about as quick as it can possibly be!  Last night I asked for your prayers to help us get two of the green utility pedestals removed.  Today, one of them was removed!  That quick!  WOW!  We still need prayers on the other one, but I actually received some good news on that one today as well.  We continue to feel SO blessed.

Here are a few pics of the house with drywall up.  It is unbelievably exciting!


Mud room


Master Bedroom

Great Room

Bonus room and loft

View down the stairs from the loft

Elevator Shaft
We are so in love with this house!!!!!  Thank you!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Prayers Needed!

The drywall is mostly up!  We were gone all last week for a family reunion.  It was so much fun. (More on that in another post...)  While we were gone, the framers finished up, inspections were passed, and insulation went in.  They started drywall on Wednesday of last week and should be all done with mud and tape by the end of this week.  It's on a fast track!

However, we are really quite a bit behind the schedule we need to be on to finish by the Parade.  That's where the prayer request comes in.  We really need some miracles!  One specific miracle we need is some help with moving the green utility pedestals on our property.  Since this was originally two properties, the utility pedestals are now right in the middle of our property and right where we need to pour our driveway.  We are working with the utility companies to get them moved, but their timeline is not going to work for us to be finished by the parade.  So we need a miracle! 

I really believe this is going to happen.  I'm excited to see the doors that the Lord opens along the way.  Thanks to all of you for all of your support.  We are feeling SOOOOOO blessed!


Thursday, June 13, 2013


"...when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind."-- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

One of the many blessings of Puzzle Them Home has been the privilege of meeting some of the kindest people on earth.   When we broke ground a couple of months ago, lots of sweet people showed up to support us.  One of these was a blog reader by the name of Jill.  She drove up from Payson with her cute little kids just to be there and show her support.  I had never met her, and it meant a lot to me that she would go to such great efforts to be here.  She told me that she had a brother, Steve, who had a moulding business who would like to be involved.  (Ok, I just found out when I put that link in that he has some awesome pics on his page of what I'm writing about...)  Several weeks ago he drove clear down from Syracuse to meet us and see if we could use his help.  He does stain grade moulding.  I'll admit, I didn't even know what that was!  But I soon learned that it meant the our moulding would be beautiful if we went with him!!  He offered to do all of the labor for free, and he told us that his sweet sister had offered to pay a substantial amount toward the cost of materials-- wow!  Because of this, we are able to put stain grade moulding in our main living area upstairs.  It will be beautiful and we feel so grateful!  

As if that weren't enough, he emailed Jeremy a couple of weeks ago and said that he had been thinking more about our family and what he could do.  He had a little something up his sleeve.  Last week when we returned home from the pinewood derby, there were two absolutely amazing picnic tables sitting in our driveway.  He had handcrafted them himself.  We were stunned.  It was an unbelievable gift and was one of the most touching moments I have ever had.  He put so much thought into these tables.  The round one is obviously amazing and beautiful and can fit so many people.  The rectangular table is one of the coolest things I've ever seen.  It can be a normal picnic table, two benches (one reads "Green" and the other "family), or a bench and a half table in all kinds of configurations.  He had Cali in mind especially for this so that she could wheel her chair right up to the table and not have to transfer.  I know!  Thoughtful beyond words.

Our kids absolutely LOVE the tables.  Every time Sophi passes them she says, "Those tables are SO AWESOME, huh?!"  We have never had picnic tables.  Every time we have a birthday party or big gathering we are borrowing the neighbors-- it will be so much fun to have our own!!
From acts like this to cute little friends (thank you, Lauren, Logan and Erin!) who just set up a lemonade/duct tape bows stand to raise money for the home to generous, thoughtful online donations to donated and discounted goods and services to my sweet committee who works so hard in our behalf-- we are feeling the goodness and kindness of so many people right now.  Every contribution has been felt-- however small or large.   You have lightened burdens and gladdened hearts.  You have given us the strength to do the things that we feel we've been called to do but couldn't do on our own.   You are all angels.

 We love you!

And, just because-- I had to add these two of Sophi with her ice-cream cone.  Her new thing is giving "thumbs up."  (:  We'll all try to ignore the fact that her hair isn't done and her shorts are a little too short.  (;


Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I love my job.  Being a sales rep has it's ups and downs like anything else, but overall, it's been a really good career.  One thing I usually don't like about my territory is that I have to go on overnight trips once or twice a month.  (I know, there are lots of jobs with lots more travel.  I don't feel sorry for myself-just Christi!)  But during the summer months, I tend to enjoy these trips.  When the kids are out of school, I take some of them along with me:)  Monday I had to drive about 3.5 hours to Cedar City, in the south of Utah.  I got to take a rather large group with me!  Lexi, Jesi, Graci, Xander and Cali all crowded into my company car (well mini-SUV) and off we went.

The kids know the drill:  If they will suffer patiently through a long drive and waiting in the car while I make some sales calls, they get to stay in a hotel, go out to dinner, go swimming and usually catch a movie while we're there.  They love it!  And I love being with them.  We checked into our hotel about 6pm.  We had eaten a late lunch, so we went straight to the swimming pool.  What a fun group to go swimming with.  I carted Cali, Lexi and Xander (and occasionally Jess) around the pool.  I threw Xander and Jesi into the water.  I caught the three younger ones as they would jump in from the side.  I had to be very careful with Lexi, who still can't quite get the grasp of jumping out instead of up!  A couple of times I had to grab her and pull her towards me to prevent her from falling straight down onto the edge of the pool.  Fun times!

We went back to our room and rushed like crazy to get bathed and ready and then headed off to the Historic Main Street Theater to watch The Croods.  The kids loved it, and I was quite entertained.  I love to go to movies with the kids, but I'm a bit of scrooge when it comes to treats in theaters.  I just can't get myself to pay four bucks for a soda or three for a candy bar.  So I made them starve.  They did have the movie as a diversion, though!

After the show we went to Winger's for dinner.  The kids love to eat there because the free appetizer is popcorn, so at least they got their popcorn fix!  We ate lots of wings (except Jesi, our little miss picky.  She had a kids meal waffle.)  After dinner we crashed in the hotel.  Springhill Suites is my favorite place to stay when I travel.  We had a room with two double beds plus a pull-out sofa.  Christi often talks about how great it is to nap with Lexi, so I figured she would be a good choice to have in my bed.  Boy was I wrong!  That little twit twisted and squirmed and even snored all night long!  I'd be surprised if I got more than four hours of sleep.  She got a big smile on her face when I teased her about it in the morning.

It was a fun trip.  I'm grateful to have opportunities like these to bond with the kids.  As we watched the movie, I had an overwhelming emotional experience.  I was sitting next to Lex.  Part of the time she would just sit there.  Sometimes she would laugh when the rest of the audience laughed.  At times I would hold her hand.  Occasionally I would try to explain to her what was going on.  During one of the times when I was explaining the action to her, the following occurred:  The Crood family had been walking through a forest with a young man to guide them.  He decided to show them something they had never seen.  They all climbed to the treetops and popped their heads out into the open sky.  As they did so, they were able to see the night sky full of stars for the first time.  I said to Lexi, "they are looking at the beautiful stars!"  As I said this, I was suddenly overcome with emotion as I realized that this is something Lexi herself will never experience, at least in this life.  Tears streamed down my face as I thought of the many moving, even spiritual experiences I have had while looking at a sky filled with stars.  Oh my sweet Lex, what you are missing.  And that is just one, solitary scene that you cannot see.  You will never be able to experience the beauty of the world through your eyes.  My heart aches for you.

And I am writing this, a little whisper has come into my heart.  It has let me know that Lexi's lack of eyesight will enable her to experience things I will never experience.  Her appreciation of the sounds she hears is surely far superior to mine.  Her ability to trust in those around her is surely far advanced compared to someone who learns to trust so much in their own vision.  And I would guess that her ability to feel and listen to the Spirit is far greater than the ability of most of us who are so distracted, intentionally or unintentionally, by the visual stimuli that constantly bombard us.  Last, but certainly not least, I believe that she will receive some special blessings in heaven which will more than compensate for any opportunities lost in this life.

I love my Lexi.  She is a tremendous example of facing catastrophic challenges with the utmost grace. What a privilege it is to call her my daughter.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Puzzle Them Home

It's been awhile!  I have so much to write about that it is an overwhelming task that I keep putting off.  I guess I'll just have to zero in on one thing-- how about the UNBELIEVABLY OFF-THE-CHARTS INCREDIBLE  HOUSE THAT IS OURS?!!!!!!  Oh my goodness, the thing is AMAZING!  I still am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it is our home.  Every day, I fluctuate between feelings of excitement, gratitude, guilt, happiness, sheepishness, and a joy I can't describe as I contemplate what this will mean to each of our children.  We are having SO MUCH FUN with this whole process.  Nearly every day, there's something to do pertaining to the house-- a meeting, planning session, trips to pick out stone, stucco, flooring, cabinets, lighting, countertops, etc...  That on top of an already busy end-of-school-year with nine cute kiddos has kept us super busy-- but in the best possible way.

We love to take trips to "the house" and are over there every day-- often more than once.  It's kind of like Christmas every day, seeing what new things have been done and just basking in the awesomeness of the whole thing!  I am glad to say that every time I go over there, I love it more and more.  (:  It is seriously breathtakingly beautiful-- a dream home in every way.  As I said, I still can't believe that it's ours.  I want every one of you who have been part of this in any way that we are so incredibly GRATEFUL.  Don't ever doubt it.  I know that I will never be able to convey the depth of it to you...

We are getting a bit nervous for our incredible builder, Bret Wright of Huish Construction.  He has had some setbacks that are not his fault and getting this home done in time for the Parade is going to take some miracles! He is working his tail off and could still use help.   If you are aware of anyone wanting to contribute in the areas of landscaping, painting, staging, sheetrocking-- please let us know. 

Because it's somewhat unclear on the Puzzle Them Home page, I want to explain a little bit better how this house is coming to fruition.  Last week, our construction loan finally came through.  It took a long time because it was a bit of an unconventional loan.  Citywide has been amazing.  They learned about the project and have worked so hard to make this happen for us.  They have waved thousands of dollars in fees, plus, they have allowed us to use pledges of free or discounted labor/materials as down payment for the loan.  In other words, because of the incredibly generous, good people out there who are helping with the building of the home, we were able to qualify for the loan.  That combined with the just over $30,000 in cash contributions  has allowed us to build the kind of home that will meet and exceed the needs of our family.   Our Father in Heaven has given us great financial blessings over the last couple of years.  We have seen miracles happen that have allowed us to qualify for this kind of a home.  I am so VERY aware of these blessings-- and I know that there are so many out there struggling financially right now-- many of whom have contributed to this project.  Like I said, it is very humbling.  We are very grateful.  It will lighten our burdens in so many ways to have this home, and we are committed to continue to strive to lighten the burdens of those around us.

This whole thing is nothing short of a miracle.  It has reminded me of the great love that God has for each of His children.  The love He has for me.  I feel so blessed that my children will grow up in a home such as this, but I'm aware that most children will not. 

I KNOW of His love for each one of them, and I have faith that His watchful eye is over them.  I KNOW that mansions await in heaven... I am so grateful for that knowledge so that I might enjoy this blessing with a little bit lighter heart.

We have met so many wonderful people along the way.  I have one especially neat story to tell concerning a brother of one of our blog readers-- but I'm waiting for pictures to put with it!  You will die-- it is so cool!

In a couple of days we will be taking a new family picture for our puzzle!!  This is the puzzle that will hang in the living room during the Parade of Homes (and of course afterward) with the names of all those who have contributed IN ANY WAY printed along the edge of the mat.  The names won't be printed for a few more weeks, but we don't want to leave anyone out-- I am so paranoid about that-- so I thought I would list the names that I have right now.  I have deliberately left out a couple of names that will give surprises away to my kids.   I am SURE I have missed others, because there are so many involved and keeping track is very hard!  In fact, I can think of some people now that have helped and I just can't think of their names...  If you know of someone missing (including YOURSELF) I would just DIE if you didn't tell me!  You can comment here or send me an email (  With so many people helping, I don't want anyone to fall through the cracks.  And I want to be able to look at that puzzle for the rest of my life and just bless your sweet names!!!  (:  Oh, and if you are listed individually but want your family/spouse listed, or if your name is spelled wrong or ANYTHING else-- please let me know!  If your business is listed because you discounted or donated materials and you want individuals listed as well, please tell us!  I will update this list on our blog every week until we print it so that we can get everything right!  Obviously, donations received after today will be added to the list.  Also, we received a few anonymous donations.  Whoever you are out there, you have made us look at everyone in a more Christlike light-- it is humbling to realize that anyone we associate with could be that anonymous giver.  (:

Here is the list:

Bret Wright and family
Huish Construction
Danny and Chrissy Probst
Rick and Julianne Rawlins
Brad and Lauren Hardcastle
Sorensen Legacy Foundation
Children and the Earth
Jackie Jones
Laneel Perry
Tami Huber
Erin Weist
Chris and Jenn Johnson
Kirk and Megan Voss
Honeyville Farms
Jamie Walker
Walker Home Design
Adrian Tidd
American Standard
Jacob and Monica Burby family
The Sunshine Foundation
Marathon Moulding
Steve and Jamie Brown
Ethan, Erin, Emily, David, Annika, and Isaac Olson
Gary and Denise Christiansen
Lauren, Logan, and Erin Christiansen
T.J. Thorne
John Weichers
Chadwick Lighting and Design
Angie Mann
Sami Davis
Dawson and Carson
Antje Lee
Blackburn family
Amber Brosig
Jodi Frkovich
Elizabeth Liljenquist
Dan and Brooke Liljenquist
Allen and Rosemary Green
Lance Purser
Creative Spaces Landscaping
Great Harvest Bread
Rose Canyon Stake Young Single Adults
Clyde Smith
The Sunshine Foundation
Jeff and Kristen Perry family
Aston Enterprises
Reid's Concrete Services
JC Jones Construction
Burton Lumber
Beehive State Builders
The Nest on Main
Vanessa Stevens
Densley Plumbing
Quicksilver Construction
Western Air
Hansen Insulation
Dave and Elaine Kruckenberg
Finish Guys
Carpet Diem
PoBoyz Karpet
Hearth and Home
The Cabinet Gallery
RC Willey
Victor Rathaar
Munchkin Radio
Amber Creek Counseling
Missy Jessop
Emily Johnson
Donna Straight
Jennifer Green
Tiffany Wade
Naomi Osuna
Craig Wales
Jeremy and Leslie Larson
Hong Carter
Colleen Smith
Shandie Evans
Hilary Johnson
Matt Curtis
Virginia Vaeth
Angela Stephens
Cameron Nelson
Stephen Rawlins
Wayne Storey
Nicholas Nelson
Michael and Tonja Yost
Dean and LaRita Nelson
Chris and Becky Wilson family
Danny and Breanna Nelson
Matthew and Megan Nelson
Mikelle Stephenson
The Jewelry Jar
Lynda Wilson
Maegan Davis
Carmen Smith
Steven Dalton
Tiffiny Perry
Nixon, Brynley and Landon Winzeler
Catherine Kipp
DJ Gibb
Kylie Read
Kevin Brinkerhoff
Mark and Jean Vanderkooi
David and Sydney Young
Markus Schellenberg
Jenny Hunter
Allyson Jacobs
Michael and Kerry Dorius
Adam and Jill Kynaston
Katie Auger
Jon Risley
Ray and Jolene Simon
Patricia Norwood
Kimberly Jackson
Yuexia Zhu
Princess Rose Petal
Princess Butterfly
Selda Einsiedel
Sandi Sabin
Katherine Singleton
Ashley Flora
Jason and Kara McKendrick
Ramach and Raumrty Kompella
Dominic Fawcett
Gregory Lee
Chad Smith
Duane and Linda Elmer
Todd Cheney
Michelle Wickham
Wayne Wright
Jodie Ann Wright
The Children's Circus
Kaye Holman
Steven Wasserbaech
Ed McLughlin
Kristen Landsgaard
Stewart Behling
Mark Baker
Jocelyn Egbert
Robert Merrell
Sarah Gray
Eggers Family
Steven Wise
Brian J Thorsen
J & C Spectrum LLC
Charles Harrell
Tony Pearce
Marty and Linda Utley
David Wallentine
Rosalie Warnock
Debbie Perez
Chris Parker family
Debra Miller
Ted and Linnita Proctor
LM Post
Camille Cox
Emily McClelland
Kristin Bishop
Larry Clark
Brynn Steimle
Suncrest Software Solutions
Justin Honold
Shauna Cox
Woody and Betty Whitlock
Ashlee Swensen
Julian Wolfson
Gayla Schmidt
L. Scott Leishman
R. Steve Davis
Lowell Leishman
Nancy Kidder
Leslie Rupper
Lois Rosier
Savannah and Christopher Rosier
Leslie Peay
Lora Hardman
Julie Markham
Boyd and Shelly Stewart
David Larsen
Jason Fabert
Wendy Stubbs
Brent Davis
Tamara Jo Taylor
Gary Brown
Josh Gorringe
Lynn Nunes
Philip A. Harding
Jenny Reed
Julie Dennis
Laura Parker
Michael and Brittany Houck
Lowell Snow
Lori Brubaker
Dawn Yocus
Laila Gridley
Emily Gilgen
Carol Sampson
Nancy Bates
Kathy Kratchmer
Elizabethe Hawes
Gwen Rich
Kathleen Hewlett
Bills Family
Jenny Morris
Jan Douglas
Dustin Butler
Jacob Carley
Suzanne Newbold
Leslie Bonham
Charmaine Gaudet
Elissa Looney
Laura Johnson
Janice McAllister
Amy Haran
Tracie Dakters
Dennis Dooley
Barry Nelson
Elyse Walker
Julie Seamons
Gigi Fioresi
Steve Critchfield
Mark Miner
Jennifer Brinkerhoff
Josh Hansen
Rebekah Johnson
Ketherine Ralie
Jan McKinnon
Seth and Nikki Devey
Debbie Womack
Seth and Chelsea Miner
Annemaria Duran
Joseph Cloward
Audrey Dang
Laura Johnson
Dirk Johnson
Jacob Johnson
Julene Johnson
Adam Johnson
Karen Johnson
Amanda Tomaszewski
Jessica Barrett
Gary Fordham
Denise Parch
Natalie Celske
Keith Mortensen
Vanessa and Ben Henry
Teri Suiter
Alisa Weeks
Stephen Rawlins
Emily Yungfleisch
Jennifer Johnson
Patsy Despain
Clint Muhlestein
Andrea Hales
Ted and Debbi Nelson
Amanda Wilkinson
Jim Brantley
Bandice Bringhurst
Chelsie Pykes
Kathleen Hansen
Pauline Syles
Karen Stuttard
The Duncan Family
Matthew Boyce
Paul and Vicki Peacock
Rigby Family
LaRue Larsen
Suzanne Stott
Families For Children
Ryan and Melissa Barclay
Steve McMurtrey
Doug Hecox
Holly Richardson
Nikki Malmgren
Jenny Hanson
Channy Philips
Leah Cox
Karine Christensen
Jeanette Buttars
April, Julian, and Anabelle Wolfson

Just so you know, writing this list was a beautiful experience as I remembered one by one everyone that has been part of this.  Thank you so very much!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

First Day of Summer

Yesterday was the last day of school for eight of our kids, making this the first day of summer break!  (Poor Cali is in a year round school and has to go for four more weeks:(  The kids love the days of staying up late and sleeping in, reading, going to camps and family reunions.  They are not so much in love with the chores.  We had the "beginning of summer" talk today.  We talked about fun things we want to do during the time off school.  Christi and I also talked about some projects we wanted to accomplish and set up some rules regarding bedtimes, screen time, etc.  For the most part the discussion went very well.  There were definitely some scowls and exaggerated sighs, but by the end, we got really good buy in.  I love my kids!

Tonight we went to the rec center and swam.  Taylor chose to stay home (he said it was so he could mow the lawn and get that out of the way for tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure it had more to do with the NBA finals game he wanted to watch:)  Graci also wanted to stay home.  But the rest of us had a great time.  Other than me coaxing Lex to go down a bigger slide than she wanted to (and her conking her head on the side) everyone was all smiles and giggles and splashy fun.  Parker and I did some flips off the diving board.  For some reason, he looks much better doing those than I do.  He adds twists to his and looks awesome.  We jumped off the high dive and went down the big slide.  For the last 20 minutes or so, all of us were together in the mini lazy river.  The little girls LOVE that.  Sophi was particularly sweet.  She just wanted to cuddle up to me as we went around and around and around.

The home continues to progress, although not at the rate our builder was hoping for.  The framers are still there, but will hopefully done soon.  One major thing happened yesterday.  As we had looked at the plans, it appeared that the elevator would not be able to go up to the bonus room.  Once they had framed upstairs, however, we saw two things:  1.  The loft/bonus room is much bigger and cooler than we had thought, meaning Cali would most likely be wanting to go up there more than we had anticipated.  2.  It was actually possible to have the elevator go all the way up to the bonus room!  So, we've modified things a little bit, and Cali will be able to get to every room in the house!  How awesome is that?

We continue to be amazed at the home.  It is really a dream come true!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

When did he grow up?

When did our little boy become a man?  It's crazy how big Taylor has become over the past year.  I notice it most when I shake his hand or give him five.  He has man hands.  They're almost as big as mine!  He is wearing a size 13 shoe at this point.  It's crazy.  It's a frequent reminder of just how quickly  they are all growing up.  Take advantage of each moment of these precious years while they are at home.

Speaking of homes, ours continues to progress.  There have been some minor issues in the past couple of days, so the progress has been a bit slow, but framing should be complete on Friday.  Plumbing, electric and HVAC are all going in at this point.  The timbers on the front porch arrived and are gorgeous.  It is SO fun to watch our beautiful home go up.

Thank you!