Thursday, March 27, 2014

Science Success

Once again, Taylor is at the state science fair competition.  It's held every year on BYU campus, and it seems like just about every year Taylor is there.  This is certainly a testament to his strong science aptitude and his ability to communicate.  But it is just as strong a testament to the dedication of his devoted mother.  Way to go Christi! Doing a brief calculation in my head, I estimate that my relative contribution to the combined 467 science projects our family has completed over the past several years is approximately 2.06%.  (On the other hand, Christi's participation in the boys' Star and Life ranks in scouting is approximately the same number:).

Graci and Parker have also done well with their projects over the years, always advancing at least to the school-wide level.  Parker actually took first place in his division at the state level last year.

Despite the large number of science projects our family has already completed, we are still less than half way through.  But that's ok, cuz they're Christi's favorite thing to do!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I'm sure all of you with kids are aware of how challenging it can be to help your children keep their rooms clean.  It's difficult for kids to find the motivation or the belief that cleanliness is an important thing.  Many of you know what it's like to have a bedroom shared by two young girls.  One age nine, one age five.  It's a pretty tough prospect to ensure that the rate at which things are put away exceeds the rate at which they are strewn around the room.

Now imagine if the nine-year-old was blind and the five-year-old had no arms.  Entropy defined!  That's the situation in Lexi's and Sophi's room.  Christi will spend a couple of hours deep cleaning it with them. Graci, Cali and Jess will help get everything picked up.  No matter how clean it gets, you can guarantee that 24 hours later (at the LONGEST) there will be about eight million items scattered about the floor.  

There is always lots of doll stufff.  Often cereal or crackers or something edible and slowly crumbleable.  We have this container of craft beads that for some ridiculous reason we have never moved out of their room that gets knocked over at least once a week.  Every so often this tips over and scatters literally hundreds of beads around the floor.  It is virtually impossible for Lex and Soph to clean these themselves.  Pillows, blankets and stuffed animals from the beds are common as well.  (Being a man, I still don't understand the necessity of 18 decorative pillows on a bed, but hey, like I said, I'm just a man...;)

Probably the hardest thing about this situation is how challenging it is for Lexi to navigate her room when it's in this state.  Particularly when she wakes up in the night to use the bathroom.  She groggily stumbles through a variable and veritable obstacle course.  When we tuck them in at night, Christi and I try to at least clear a path from Lexi's bunk bed ladder to the door of their room in hopes that our sweet Lex can make it out unimpeded.  

Last night after the girls were already asleep, Christi called out to me, 'Look in here!"  I peeked in the room and saw rocks all over the floor.  Like, well over a hundred of them.  1/2 inch to 1 inch diameter rocks.  All over.  What?!?  We cleaned them all up and made sure Lexi could get out of the room without stepping on something painful.  

The next morning I asked, "Who put the rocks on the floor in your room?"

Both girls got BIG smiles on their faces and said, "We did!!!" with great gusto.

"Where did you get them?"

From the rocks at the bottom of the deck stairs."  (We have a nice gravel path that leads from these stairs to the grass in the back yard.)

Me, obviously not in touch with little-girl logic, "Why did you spread them all over your floor?"

Another big round of grins:  "We were playing they were trolls!"

Forunately I had seen Frozen and therefore understood this concept.  What cute little girls.  We had a small lesson about leaving the gravel where it's supposed to be:)


Monday, March 24, 2014

Blind leading the blind...

Lexi loves to help out around the house.  Her lack of sight makes some tasks more challenging, so we are often looking for ways to include her in chores and other ways to help.  The other day we were all sitting down to dinner.  Elli was down in her room.  I asked, "Lexi, would you like to go get Elli and bring her to dinner?"  Keep in mind that when Elli doesn't want to come, even our strong teenage boys have a hard time getting her upstairs.  Without hesitation, Lexi said she would help.  With her cute and unique "excited walk" she headed downstairs.

Several minutes later, Lexi walks into the kitchen with her hands on Elli's shoulders, guiding Elli toward the dinner table.  (Fortunately Elli was feeling like coming up that day! :)  I was so proud of our Lex.  Always willing to take on any challenge, including being the "sighted guide" for her very disabled sister. Way to go, Lexi!


"Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn't mean he lacks vision."
-Stevie Wonder

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Valentine's Party

I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer for Xander's and Jessica's class Valentine's day parties at school.  At each party I was in charge of a station that a few kids at a time would rotate through.  For Xander, I led a small relay race.  The first racer on each team would put a piece of paper with a heart on it on the ground.  They would then step on the paper with both feet.  The then placed a second piece of heart paper in front or them and stepped on the second paper.  Finally they would reach back, pick up the first paper and place it in front of them again.  In this way they slowly moved down the hallway and then back.  The kids had fun, although the papers were pretty hashed by the time we rotated to the fifth group.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to get any pictures.

For Jessica's class I led a "Minute To Win It" station.  The tasks that had to be done were:
-move an Oreo cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands.
-Eat a piece of licorice without hands
-Move 10 Sweethearts into a cup using only a straw
-Stack 10 sweetheart into a tower
It was a fun station and provided plenty of laughs.  Jesi did a good job and won a couple of the events in her group:


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Everyone Needs a Jessica

Jesi is our cryptic child.  Often she tries to answer questions in sign language.  Only she doesn't know sign language.  She points and gestures.  Tries to spell the answer in "air letters."  Uses varied facial expressions.  She frequently sneaks up on you (or tries to).  This morning Christi and I were exercising to a workout DVD.  I saw a blond flash out of the corner of my eye.  I turned to look and it was gone.  A moment later it appeared again.  This time I looked behind the couch.  Sure enough, there was Jessica.  Not a word came out of her mouth, she just tried to slide around into a position where I couldn't see her.

Jesi is so much fun.  We love her fun personality and her spunk, her creativity and her one-of-a-kind thought processes.  Last week I walked into our master closet and found her dressed like me.  She said, "Look.  I'm you!" and got a serious case of the giggles.  I rushed for the camera, knowing she would fight me on any pictures, but I finally prevailed:

My hat, tie, coat, belt and shoes.  Love you, sweetheart!


Friday, March 21, 2014


Last school year Taylor decided he wanted to play the trombone in the school band.  He's done quite well with it and has been the 1st chair trombone this year.  This week they had a small ensemble concert.  The kids performed in small groups.  Taylor's group played "Love is an Open Door," from Frozen.  I was quite proud of him:)

Enjoy:  (In case you're a complete band novice, Taylor and his trombone are on the far right.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Master Chef

The other day Jessica found a brownie mix on the pantry shelf.  She asked Christi if she could make it for dessert.  You bet!  So Christi helped her to get all the ingredients out and then left Jesi on her own to put it together.  A little while later Christi came back to check up.  Jesi had already poured the batter into the pan, but Christi noticed a small eggshell on the side of the mixing bowl.  She asked, "Jess, did you get any eggshells in the brownies?"

"Yes, but I got them out."

Christi said, "Hmmm.  Maybe we'd better check."

Upon further instigation they found this small piece of shell embedded within the batter in the pan:

Yes, that is like a third of an egg.  That was the only one they found, so they put it into the oven.  Shortly after it began baking, Christi noticed that the flour she had set out appeared untouched.  "Jessica, did you put the flour in the brownies?"  Jesi paused for a few seconds with a contemplative look on her face.  "Oops!"

Hey, you can pay big dollars for a flour-less chocolate cake at fancy restaurants.  Jesi's just reaching for the stars!

Love you, sweetie:)


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Creative Cali

Cali is very artistically talented.  She can draw and sketch beautiful pictures.  She loves to sing and just performed in her first school choir concert.  We also just found out she has quite the knack for sculpture!  Her art class at school was doing a sculpture out of wax.  Here is what she came up with:

Pictures don't do it justice.  It's really quite an amazing first effort.  We may have it bronzed.  Cali's art teacher, as well as all her other teachers:), raved about her at parent-teacher conferences last week.  We sure love our girl!


Monday, March 17, 2014

Basketball Stars

The 2013-2014 basketball season was a great one for our boys.  They both played on their Providence Hall Junior High Varsity team.  They both did very well.  Taylor started basically every game and Parker started quite a few.  They had tons of points and rebounds (Taylor) and assists and steals (Parker).  We had so much fun cheering for them on the same team.  They also both played on super league teams, again as big contributors.  Graci may have been the most valuable player as she helped a LOT with Elli while we were gone to games.  Thanks, Grace!!!

The Providence Hall team took third place in the state tournament.  Way to go guys!  Taylor was co-captain of this team.  They enjoyed posing with the trophy:

Team co-captains!

Parker's super-league team played in a weekend tournament in January and won their division.  They are a fun team to watch!

Taylor is now officially six feet tall.  he has these loooooong arms.  His body type lends itself quite nicely to defense.  Here are four blocks from ONE game, along with a free throw:

It is so fun to watch your kids succeed:)


Thursday, March 13, 2014

An Actual Conversation...

Sophi (riding alone with me in the car):  "Dad can you turn on some Christmas music please Dad please cuz I love Christmas music so much?"  (Sophi's conversations do not include commas.)

Me:  "Why do you love Christmas music so much?"

Soph:  "Cuz it's almost going to be summer!!!"



Wednesday, March 12, 2014


"Can you come out and play basketball with me?"

Too many times I've responded, "Sorry, son.  I'm just too busy."  Not today.  Today, I thought for a moment.  Today, I decided that 10 years from now it won't matter at all if I got to those overdue emails, but it very well could matter if I spent more time with my kids.   So today, I played ball.

Today, a good man passed away.  A friend.  Not a close friend, but someone I had come to know and respect.  The father of one of Taylor's and Parker's longtime basketball teammates.  He was hit while riding his bicycle and died instantly.  His name was Bryan Byrge, and here is a link to an article about him.

Today I looked at each of my kids and was grateful for the time I have with them.  In 2004 my little sister, Tiffany passed away.  She was in a car accident and died instantly.  I miss her.  A few years before that, she wrote an email to our family.  Written just two days after the 9/11 attacks, it was her reflection on what is important in life.  Here is a copy of that email:

-----Original Message-----
From: "**Tiffany Rose**" <>
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 5:10 PM
To: Jeremy M Green;
Subject: Fwd: Recent Remarks from Pres. Hinckley

Hey guys,

I'm not sure if you've read this or not, but I thought I'd pass it along.  It's a copy of Pres. Hinckley's remarks at the memorial service, for the victims of Tuesday's tragedy. I've had trouble comprehending how anyone could justify an act so deadly. Reading the words of our prophet has brought a little more comfort to my thoughts.  As I'm sure we will be warned at conference next month, the end is near. With life ending so quickly for thousands in NY this week, I've found myself trying to live each day as if my tomorrow will never come. I realize it's not as easy as it seems--I'm still making mistakes. However, I begin each day with new goals and resolutions in mind that will make me a better person.  It's rather sad that it takes an incident as terrifying as this to make us, or at least me, appreciate life and all my blessings to the fullest.

This past year, I've taken a number of flights [to] California.  With this in mind, the past few days I've tried to imagine what it would be like if suddenly one of my flights had been hijacked. What would I have said if I was given the chance to make one last phone call to the people I love? Well, I'm not on a plane right now facing death. I'm at work...doing nothing.:) Regardless, I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you all how much I love you. I don't know if my tomorrow will come, so I've decided to take Garth Brook's advice and "tell that someone that you love, just what you're thinking of...if tomorrow never comes."

I realize that sometimes I get caught up in my busy schedule of three jobs--it's hard for me to break away from my familiar routine. However, don't ever think I've forgotten about any of you.  I know you're there and appreciate the little things you do.  Take mom for example, who's willing to stay up at any hour to help her children out.  Such as hem a skirt for me, review my resume, or iron an outfit I need in ten minutes.  When I come home at midnight, after working two jobs in one day, I'll find yogurt coupons or my vitamins on my dresser.  Seeing these in my room brings a huge smile to my face.  Little acts of kindness from mom let me know just how much she loves me. 

And then there's dad, who's been working such long hours lately.  He's always there to answer my questions regarding "adult matters.” Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the "stuff" I'm suddenly supposed to know about credit cards, insurance, and cars.  Dad is always there with the answers.   Quoting from our favorite family movie, (It's a Wonderful Life), "Ask Dad...He Knows."

My point is, I appreciate and love all of you.  I can't picture our family without any of us in it.  I'm looking forward to this Christmas when we'll all be together.  I love hanging out and laughing our heads off.  I love recalling old memories with each other.

I am thankful for all of you.  I am thankful each of us is alive and well.

I love you,

Tiffany Rose

I'm so grateful that Tiffany had the foresight to send that email.  I pray that I will be wise enough to always remember just how fragile life can be.  That I will always interact with others in a way that I would be at peace with if tomorrow never did come.  I'd like to close this post with a part of the remarks Tiffany referenced in her email.  These are words from President Gordon B. Hinckley, a man whom I believe with all my heart was a modern day prophet of God:

"But dark as is this hour, there is shining through the heavy overcast of fear and anger the solemn and wonderful image of the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace, the exemplar of universal love, and it is to Him that we look in these circumstances. It was He who gave His life that all might enjoy eternal life.

"May the peace of Christ rest upon us and give us comfort and reassurance and, particularly, we plead that He will comfort the hearts of all who mourn and ask it in His holy name, even the name of Jesus Christ,


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It Works

So, as some of you know through facebook, I'm doing something crazy.  Have you ever heard of that "crazy wrap thing?"  I first heard about it a year or so ago and through it just sounded weird.  But last Fall, a couple of my best friends from Tennessee became distributors and started posting about it.  Hmmm.  They are not weird, so maybe the wraps aren't so weird.  (:  I asked a ton of questions and the answers were good enough for me to want to try some of their products.  Since using "the greens" (a powder you add to water and drink every day-- giving you the nutritional benefits of 8+ servings of fruits and veggies) both of my friends and their families have seen incredible health results.  One example-- my friend has had high blood pressure her whole life and it is now low.  She has tried many other things and this has had by far the best results. Her mother has had tinnitus for years and now it is completely gone.  There have been so many other issues they have dealt with that are now better, and they and their families are enjoying more energy and better health.  Sounded awesome, so I wanted to learn more!

Well, to order products from It Works, you should really do one of two things:  become a loyal customer (you are obligated to buy a product every month for three months) or become a distributor.  Doing one of those two things gives you the product at much lower prices.  So I asked my friend, Gretchen, what I should do.  She told me that if I had at least four friends I thought would become loyal customers, that I should become a distributor and therefore earn commissions.  Sounded great.  There's only one thing-- I HATE selling things.  I've never done it.  But she assured me that these products can sell themselves and so I decided to give it a try.  (By the way, Gretchen has been a distributor since September and is now making MUCH more than she is making at her job as a kindergarten teacher-- I am SO happy for her!)

But before I put myself out there and shared it on the blog, I wanted to see if it really worked for myself.  I didn't want to promote something that I didn't believe in.  First I tried the wraps.  Actually, Jeremy and I tried them together.  We were totally laughing as we took the before pictures, put the wraps on, and wrapped each other in saran wrap to hold them in place.  At first, it just felt a little wet, but within a few minutes it felt tingly and awesome.  We watched a show with the wraps on and did not want to take them off because they felt so nice!  We took the obligatory after photos, both that same night and 72 hours later.  To be completely honest, besides the fact that it felt AMAZING, I didn't know if it really worked-- I couldn't tell if I looked different.  Until just now-- when I loaded my photos onto the computer and used a side-by-side app to see if this is something I could really blog about.  There was a DEFINITE difference.  My stomach looked more contoured and less bulgy 72 hours after the wrap.  So cool!  I am not comfortable posting my own before and afters, but I'll add some from people I know at the bottom of this post.

WAY more important to me than the stomach thing is that after using "the greens" for a few days, I am definitely feeling better!  I have more energy and am accomplishing more-- something I have been CRAVING for a long time!!  In fact, a couple of weeks ago I went to the doctor to have him check my thyroid-- I was sure it must be low because I was just so tired all the time on top of some other related symptoms.  My blood work came back-- thyroid was normal, but my vitamin D was low.   I got a prescription for vitamin D but honestly haven't even started to take it yet (I keep forgetting!) because I am feeling so much better from the greens.   

A disclaimer about the greens.  I got the berry flavor because I was told the orange was nasty, but the first time I tried it, I thought she must have told me the wrong flavor b/c it was NOT great.  I asked Gretchen if she had hints, and she told me that some of her kids add it to lemonade or juice but that if I kept drinking it just mixed with water, I would develop a taste for it.  She also told me to mix it with really cold water.  I didn't think she could be right, but she was-- I'm totally fine with the taste now and have only been doing it for a week.  I don't like the smell, but the taste is fine.  And apparently they have "chews" now that you can take if you don't like to drink it.  The chews seem to be a big hit for kids because they taste like Skittles.  (:

So... if any of you are still reading and are interested, go to my page and check out the products.  Then leave me a comment if you want to find out more.  If you live close and want to just try one wrap to see if you like it, let me know and I'll give it to you at the loyal customer price without you needing to sign up.   I'll be happy to wrap you myself.  (:  But I'm telling you, I have only heard amazing things from everyone that is trying these products so if you want to look and feel better, you should consider either becoming a loyal customer and trying out a few different products or a distributor and sharing it with your own friends.  You can ask questions in the comment section or you can just email me at if you want to find out more-- or you can just order directly from my page

Happy drinking and wrapping!  (;


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Daily Dose of Soph

The other day Christi was out with Taylor and Parker.  Lexi, Xander and Jess were at our dear friends, the Christiansens.  I had a mess to clean up in the garage and Sophi (of course) wanted to be near me.  So she came out in the garage with me.  She foraged around in the still-not-completely-unpacked area and came up with this getup:  (Christi may want me to point out that this was on the day she was skiing with the boys, so Sophi's hair was completely my responsibility…)

And I had to include these two pics.  Can't imagine a more delightful dish!

Living with this kid is seriously an unsurpassed blessing.  What we would do without her???


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Daddy Date

A few weeks ago I Xander and I got to go skiing.  It was his first time, and by the end of the day he really started to get the hang of it.  We had a delicious bowl of turkey chili at the lodge and had a great day together just the two of us:)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sophi Waking Up

Sophi has a split personality.  Most of the time her super sweet, wonderful, can't-get-enough-of-that-girl personality is present.  Occasionally the other personality is present.  In the morning if you hear her being sweet or singing or playing with Lexi, that's a good sign!  Some days she's stays in bed for quite awhile and talks or sings to herself or her stuffed animals.  Here are some surreptitiously obtained images from one early morning: