Saturday, February 28, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Amazing People!

So many people are so good to our family!  We have felt unbelievably loved and supported by family, friends, community, church, Facebook friends and even people around the world who we've never met but who have been introduced to our family in one way or another.  Here's a small example of the blessings we so frequently receive.

Lexi LOVES singing.  Anyone who has been around her for more than three minutes knows that she will spontaneously break into song on a regular basis.  An not just any singing.  She sings with a deep, rich voice that sounds like it belongs in a broadway musical.  She really enjoys her singing lessons with our friend Amara Blackburn.  When "Into The Woods" came out as a movie, Lexi decided she just had  to see it.  We bought the soundtrack for her and she has listened to it dozens of times and sung the songs even more than that.  A couple of weeks ago, Christi decided she would take Lexi and Graci on a mommy date to see the movie.

They were able to find a showing at the local theater that had a descriptive service for visually impaired people.  Lexi wore headphones while watching the movie and the was a recording that went along with the show that give detailed descriptions of what was happening visually.  Lexi loved it!  After she saw the movie, she sang the songs even more than she had after she got the soundtrack.

Recently we found out that Herriman High School was putting on…you guessed it…"Into the Woods."  Believe it or not, our little Lex was dying to go.  Our schedules are so busy right now that there was just no way for Christi or me to take her.  Christi got a brilliant idea:  she would post to Facebook that Lexi would love to tag along if anyone we  knew was going to attend.  Lexi wouldn't be much extra work.  She is basically self-sufficient and very polite.  So Christi asked if anyone was already going.

The first response she received was from a sweet couple from our previous church congregation.  They are empty nesters, and worked with our children when we attended services together.  The husband had worked with Taylor and Parker in scouts, and the wife had been Elli's special helper during Sunday school time.  This allowed Christi and me the opportunity to attend classes.  The love she showed to Elli during the time she worked with her was so tender.  And each week as soon as sacrament meeting was over, Elli would start asking:  "Sister Terry?  Sister Terry?"  This wonderful couple said they would love to take Lexi to the musical.  They had not been planning on attending, but were willing to spend an evening with our Lex to bring some light to her life.

What a beautiful example of love and service.  What a demonstration of Christ-like love.  When they dropped Lexi off after the play this evening, Lex was literally squealing with joy as she described what a fun time she had.  Her smile lit up the room.  Thank you!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Civics Lesson

Last night was a divide and conquer night.  Taylor and Conner went with the young men in the ward to a Utah Grizzlies hockey game.  (Conner has become SO much better at going to activities with the young men.  He is really adapting to life with a family in America in so many ways!)  Graci and Cali walked to the church for a young women's activity.  Christi had to drive 30 minutes away to watch Parker's super league team play a tournament game.  (They lost ): )  I got the privilege of staying home with Lexi, Xander, Sophi and Jessica and having a mini family home evening.  (I was out of town on Monday, our regular FHE night.)

I was pretty late getting home (about 7:30) due to one of my monster shopping trips to Walmart, so the kids had everything planned out.  Dad would give a short lesson, for the activity we would watch a Cosby show, and the treat would be doughnuts, which Sophi had added to the shopping list Christi gave me.  (I didn't get the doughnuts, but the kids were satisfied with the sandwich cookies I brought home.)

Once we got the groceries put away and dinner all cleaned up, the four kids and I cuddled up on the couch to watch the show.  Sophi just melted into me.  She is SO perfect to cuddle with.  During an advertisement, an image of New York came on screen.  Sophi totally perked up and exclaimed, "That's the Statue of Liberty!  She's so special!"

I thought, "Wow, that's really neat that our little immigrant daughter has such an appreciation for the the Statue of Liberty and what she represents."  I asked Soph, "Why is she so special?"

She replied, with a touch of scorn in her voice due to me not knowing the obvious, "She's special 'cuz she's so fragile and she would break if someone knocked her over!"



PS.  As I've been posting this, dear little Sophi woke up and is singing "Tomorrow" from the new Annie movie at the top of her lungs.  She is absolutely irreplaceable!  Here's one of HUNDREDS of selfies she has taken on Christi's phone:)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Road Trip

Taylor's basketball season has been a blast this year.  He's done very well, playing JV and varsity as a freshman.  (6'3" doesn't hurt!)  A few weekends ago, his teams went on a road trip to Eastern Utah, and I took some of the kids and followed them.  We drove a total of about 8 hours in two days.  They played in Altamont and Manila.  JV and varsity both won both of their games.  Varsity's game against Manila was particularly fun, with a packed house and an overtime win.

Cali, Jesi, Lexi and Xander drove with me.  We stayed overnight in Vernal.  Of course the kids loved the swimming pool and eating at restaurants.  But the non-basketball highlight of the trip was the dinosaur quarry at Dinosaur national monument.  Boasting possibly the most concentrated collection of dinosaur bones in the world, it was a fascinating exhibit for the kids.

Thanks, Taylor, for giving us a reason for a road trip!


Monday, February 23, 2015

State Champs!

Parker's Junior High basketball career came to an end last week in the best way possible:  their team won the state championship for charter schools.  They won games three nights in a row to clinch the title.  Parker played very well in all three games, but was spectacular in the semi-final game.  This was the most competitive game, with the score still tied with about six or seven minutes to go.  Parker scored 25 points (his all-time high), dished out several assists, had at least three steals, and led the team as the point guard.  What a player!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Elli update

Jer asked me to blog tonight while he read to the kids and I about hyperventilated.  I get that way when I've gone a long time without blogging and feel I have a thousand and one things that I want to record and don't know where to start!  So much to share, so little time-- argh…

Tonight I'll just write a little bit about our Elli-Belly.  

Elli's life is full of ups and downs and I'm so happy to say that overall, she's been UP for a few weeks!  We're getting good reports from school, fewer tantrums at home and most importantly, we have finally figured out a 90% effective way to keep her from playing with the contents of her diaper!  Woo-hoo!  Thanks to my friend and my super-mom, Elli has ribbons sewn on all of her Houdini jammies that when tied properly, keep her hands from finding their way into her p.j.'s.  It has pretty much been life changing for us!  After often spending HOURS a day cleaning up her tremendously awful messes, I was to the point of a serious emotional meltdown.  So the new and improved Houdini jammies hold the top spot on my current "most favorite things" list.  (:  She wears them night and day when at the house.  In fact, she's wearing them in this cute little video.  It was taken one night, an hour or two after putting her to bed.  As often happens, I heard her singing her heart out when she should have been sleeping, and I snuck down to record her:

Pretty precious, that girl of ours!  Tonight when I tucked her in bed I asked her if she wanted to pray.  I always ask but usually get a "no."  Tonight she said, "yes, please."  She continued to say the sweetest prayer.  She actually started it by herself, which rarely happens.  "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for licorice."  Long pause.  I had to prompt her to go on, "Thank you for…"  I waited a few seconds and then she said, "Sophi."  That was so cute because 1. she rarely says thank you for a person and 2. Sophi had just given her licorice.  (:  She went on to fill in the blanks to my "thank you for…" with Molly (our dog), suckers, home, Daddy, music, toys and then a bunch of crazy random lines from several different songs.  (Don't know of anyone else who prays, "Thank you for 'Because of you I never stray too far from the sidewalk'.")  LOL.   I'm so thankful for my Elli!


Thursday, February 19, 2015


Parker was in the mudroom in between basketball games.  His junior high team had just won its first tournament game by 30 points.  He was changing into his super league uniform to head off to a game his team would win by 10 points.  When I came across him, his shirt was off and his back was to me.

"Aaaarghh!"  I screamed, shading my eyes.  "What is that?  Oh…it's the glare off your skin."

Parker slowly turned around, gazed at me for about 7 seconds with an almost bored, semi-disgusted, "really?" look in his eyes.  Then, with complete disdain for his old man's attempt to tease him about his fair complexion, he pointed at his six-pack and replied:  "Call me when you get one of these."


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Christmas Ties

Taylor, Parker and Xander all got shirts and ties for Christmas.  They liked these gifts enough to change out of their pajamas Christmas morning and come model the new attire for us.  I think they're a pretty good looking group of guys!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentines Irony

Does anyone else find this picture a bit funny?

Yes, that is a box of terrifying WWE wrestler valentines right next to a box of cute little kitten valentines.  Nothing says "I love you" like a semi-clothed, full-grown man who looks like he wants to tear you to pieces.

On the other hand, I found great humor in the valentine gift Taylor found for me.  Once he saw it, he HAD to get it:)  A nice variation on the traditional box of chocolates, don't you think?  (Notice the sasquatch hair bordering the box.)


Monday, February 16, 2015

Still Here!

Taylor pointed out that it's been over a month since we've posted.  Rather remiss of us!  Since it's clear that a general desire to blog more consistently in 2015 has not been the motivation I need to keep the posts coming, I'll go back to something that has worked in the past.  I hereby commit that, starting today, there will be 60 posts in 60 days.  Taylor, I'm so glad that you enjoy reading our blog.  Sorry for the pathetic track record of late.  Hope you enjoy the next two months!

To start us off, I'll share a picture that shows just how tall Taylor is getting.  He loves looking down at mom.  He LOVES looking down at me!!!  Currently 6'3".  Note that Taylor is in his bare feet and Christi has boots on:)