Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Girl's Trip Post Script

…and thank you, my wonderful, amazing Jeremy, for holding down the fort with all of the other kids while I was gone!  I love you, too!

(I know she meant to put that in there somewhere ;)


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Girls Trip #1

When we traveled to China for Conner's adoption back in May, we were able to meet the man who had taught Conner piano lessons for the past year.  He was very excited to invite us to a concert he was performing in near Philadelphia and explained in his broken English how honored he would be to have us come.  We told him we would do our best, but due to expenses we would likely not be able to make it.  Over time, Jeremy and I discussed it at length and decided that it was an opportunity for Conner that we just couldn't pass up.  We were able to get free lodging and had enough sky miles to get free airfare so it worked out great!   We made the decision for me to take him and to have Graci come as well so that Conner would have someone to talk to (his English was VERY limited at the time.)

Truthfully, I wasn't too excited about the whole trip until I had the magical thought to invite my SISTERS.  My little sis, Leslie, and my sis-in-law, Megan were both able to make the trip and it turned a "this is going to be a long, hard weekend" (remember, Conner could barely communicate at the time and wasn't really into doing anything that involved walking more than 10 feet) into a total girls trip with Graci and Conner tagging along.  (:  As we started planning things, we realized that Philadelphia was just a short bus ride from New York City, and Leslie had never been there.  So we kind of turned the whole thing into a NYC trip with a little side trip to Philadelphia.  We spent five days together and it was AWESOME!  I had the time of my life with two of my favorite ladies in the whole world!  Conner and Graci were fun "tag-alongs" (I know, I know-- the trip was supposed to be about Conner, but let's face it-- a Mom needs some girlfriend time whenever she can get it).  We were able to experience so many things and places including Valley Forge-- a place I've always wanted to go.  But out of all of the things we did, my favorite memory is just the hours spent talking and laughing with my sisters!!!

Conner's birthday happened to fall on one of the days we were there.  We tried to think of how we could make it meaningful for him and realized that we were close to the Juliard School, which is the most prestigious music/arts school in the world.  I called and asked about getting a tour and they said that there were no public tours that day.  After explaining how Conner was blind and had just been adopted and loved the piano so much and the fact that it was his birthday 
(all while Leslie and Megan were praying in the background) they consented to let us come over.  (: Conner was able to play the piano during the tour and it was something that I hope he will always appreciate.  Combine that with plenty of KFC and Chinese food and I think it's safe to say he had a happy birthday!  

Because it's late and I'm needing to get to bed, I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.  (Don't worry-- we did have lots of fun with Graci-- she just wasn't into letting us take many pics of her.)

Thank you, Les and Megan for making this trip one of my funnest memories ever!  I love you!

Monday, October 27, 2014

This morning's quotes from Sophi

I've been gone this weekend  (more on that later) and got home very late last night.  This morning, Sophi was full of information about her week.  Here are a few of my favorites (I started jotting them down because she was just enamoring me!) :

"Mom…ok…so, Sunday was SO bad!  Daddy had to do girl hair and he is just SOOOOO bad at it!  Ugh!  But don't tell him, ok?"


"I got to play with Eli.  It was AWESOME (every time she uses that word it is said very dramatically.)  We got two marshmallows.  Big marshmallows.  Which was AWESOME.  And he had a square trampoline instead of round like ours which was AWESOME.  And he had a dog that was a girl but I kept forgetting and calling her "him" and we played fetch and it was AWESOME!  And he has a iPad with netflilx.  Which is AWESOME!"  (This was all said with such fun exuberance!)


Sophi: "Mom, I want to play with Claire.  Cuz it's been FOR.EV.ER since I've played with her.  Like more than a year."
Me:  "Sophi, you just played with Claire on Friday."
 Sophi:  (thoughtful pause) "Oh… yeah!"


Me:  "So was it fun to have Dad be your babysitter?"
Sophi:  "Yes!  Funner than when it's you.  (realizes what she just said and looks up in desperation) "I mean, not funner.  The same fun.  Cuz you're so fun too, so don't be sad about what I said."


Sophi:  "Soooo…. tell me about the trip.  How was the beach?"
Me:  "It was so much fun!  Except I put my sunglasses on my head and forgot about them and a big wave came and crashed on me and knocked my sunglasses off just like it happened to Jessica."
Sophi:  "Mom!  Don't worry!  Cuz when it's your birthday I will say to Dad (insert very demanding, harsh voice) 'Dad!  Take me to the store RIGHT NOW so I can buy sunglasses for Mom with my own money!!!"


Me:  "Jer, are we out of pull ups for Elli?"
Jer:  "Oh, yeah.  I forgot about that.  I'm so sorry."
Sophi:  "Ugh.  Dad, you are FIRED!"

Love that girl!

--Chrtistianne (:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Meet The Mormons

Christi and I went on a date a couple of weeks ago to see the new movie, Meet the Mormons.  (In case it isn't obvious enough from our blog, our family belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon church.)  We LOVED the movie.  It isn't a proselytizing effort.  It's just an opportunity to see the variety of different types of people who belong to the Mormon church and to hear some of their very inspiring and uplifting stories.  Christi and I were both so glad we went. If you haven't seen it, take a look at the trailer:


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bunny Rabbits

A couple of months ago we attended a community preparedness fair.  There were displays on things like making meals from food storage and utilizing solar ovens if electricity is out for an extended period of time.  It was also a pot luck dinner, and it was amazing how delicious a food storage dish could be:). One booth had some cute bunny rabbits in a pen that the kids could pet.  Sophi and Jessica fell in love!

The booth made the curious decision to have a large computer screen right next to the cute little bunnies which had a looping slide show with step-by-step images of how to prepare them for a meal.  Fortunately I realized what was showing soon enough to divert Sophi's attention, but it was quite traumatizing for our sweet Jess.  Ah, life!  They sure enjoyed the live bunnies, however!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Soph!

Sophi's annual request for her birthday is Dad's Apple Betty.  This is a recipe that my Grandma Green and then my mom would make.  It is a wonderfully sweet Apple Crisp.  It's full of apples and brown sugar and oatmeal and cinnamon.  What's not to love?

As usual, she wanted an Apple Betty birthday cake this year.  As usual, Dad acquiesced.  As usual, she wanted pictures taken in lots of different poses:


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Xander Commander!

A month or so ago I took most of the kids to see Maleficent.  (Loved it, btw!)  Xander saw a movie poster and had to pose:

In keeping with his tough guy persona, our X-man shook off a double barreled soccer injury like it was nothing:

He took a ball right to the nose!

In more upbeat soccer news, X-man scored his first soccer goal a few weeks ago.  We were so proud of him.  When the average score for them team this season was between 0 and 1, a single goal is a huge deal.  Way to go Xander Commander:)


Monday, October 20, 2014

Pinewood Derby!

Xander and I had the opportunity to build a pinewood derby car for his race in September.  We worked hard and got a lot of help from Taylor and Parker, who found some joy in reliving the experiences they had had as younger boys.  We started with a block of wood and created a pretty darn good looking car:).  He won "Best of Show" for how it looked.  It raced well enough to place second in several heats, but he didn't place overall.  We sure had a fun time working together!!!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Beautiful Mind

Jessica is wonderful!  She has a unique perspective on most things in the world.  She is bright and talented and brings so much joy into our lives.  As I was doing some math homework with her, I was very impressed.  It's been awhile since I've helped her with math, and I can see why.  She is very good at it!  Her mind clicks quickly and grasps concepts well.  For this assignment, she was working on simple fractions with variables.  It was new to her and she needed some guidance.

We went through most of the problems.  She continued to do very well.  Then we got to a problem that showed how creative and yet unique are the processes that go on in her head.

Problem:  Windy Bay is 48 miles away.  Make up your own fraction word problem with multiplication.  Be sure to include a non-unit fraction.  (Jess had to educate me on the definition of a non-unit fraction.  Once again, I was impressed.)

I helped her create a problem:  When you are 6/8 of the way there, how many _____ (I was going to finish this with "miles have you come?"  But I wanted her to determine the units for herself.  So I verbalized it:  "When you are 6/8 of the way there, how many…."  Blank stare.  I repeated:  "When you are 6/8 of the way there, how many…."  Again, I waited for her to come up with the correct unit.  Again a blank stare.  Me again:  "When you are 6/8 of the way there, how many…."  Pause. Pause.  "Cats?"

Me:  "Huh?"

Jessica:  "Cupcakes?"

Me:  "What?"

Jessica:  "Eyeballs?"

Me:  "Huh?"

Jessica:  "What?!?  I was thinking of Halloween!"

One of many notes that make my life a rich symphony on a daily basis.


Friday, October 10, 2014


A dear friend of mine texted yesterday wanting to make sure we were still alive, given that there had been no new blog posts for a couple of weeks.  Thanks for the encouragement, Mike!

Conversations with kids:
Sophi:  "I'm going to be a ninja for Halloween.  I LOVE ninjas!  [pause]  What's a ninja?"
Me:  "You love ninjas, but you don't know what they are?"
Sophi, after a moment of reflection:  "I know they have light sabers!"

I walked into Parker's closet a couple of days ago and noticed something on the wall about 6 inches above the floor.  I looked more closely and it was a pin he had received for making the honor roll at school.  A pin.  Stuck into the drywall.  Six inches above the floor.
Me:  "Whose pin is this?"
Parker:  "Mine."
Me:  "What made you think it was a good idea to stick it into the wall?"
Parker:  "I KNOW it was a good idea. I made the honor roll!"

Quick thinking, bud.