Wednesday, July 29, 2015

High Adventure Camp

For the second year in a row, Christi was good enough to let me go with my older boys to Boy Scout High Adventure camp.  What a blast!  We did a COPE course, went mountain biking and cliff jumping, shot pistols, shotguns, bows and arrows and threw throwing knives, and ended it all up with a whitewater rafting trip down the Sevier River.  All of this took place in the spectacularly beautiful setting of Beaver High Adventure camp in Southern Utah.  We had a blast!  My brother, Tyler, was also able to come.  It was a great opportunity to get to know my boys better as well as some of their friends and leaders from church.

Here are a few pictures:

Taylor and his buddy, Harrison:

Taylor on the high COPE course:

Taylor, hanging on for dear life:

Parker makes his way across:

He, too, comes down:

And finally, a video of Taylor on the zip line:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


I often contemplate the unique path that our life has taken.  There are many blessings and many challenges that go along with a large, multi-special-need family.  Many members of our family have increased responsibilities simply because of the sheer number of people in our home.  But they also have increased opportunities for growth and a unique platform to develop understanding of the beauty of diversity.  We share different cultures and backgrounds, experiences and abilities in a way that most families don't.

Some of the blessings we experience, Christi and I anticipated as we started our adoption journey.  But many of the beautiful blessings we continue to receive come as complete surprises.  One of these is the ability we have to bless the lives of others simply by being us.  When our family goes out to a restaurant or to church or to the bowling alley or to Disneyland or to one of our kids' sporting events or pretty much anywhere, we almost always observe someone who is clearly touched as they watch our children interact with each other.  Often people observe us on their own.  Just as often, they are drawn in by an invitation from Sophi or Lexi, who are gregarious little ambassadors to the world.  Either way, we receive so many comments about what wonderful examples of strength and goodness our sweet children are, both those with obvious special needs and those without.  It really is a privilege for Christi and me to watch this unfold in our lives.  We are stewards over these fine young people, but it is God who has blessed them with their diverse and beautiful talents and abilities.

This morning I was reminded of how people love to hear about what our kids are doing.  Love to hear about the successes and the shortcomings, the fun and the angst of our family.  We received this email:

I am a fifteen year old girl and fan of your blog, writing from India.

I love to hear about all your children and I think they are amazing!! Christi and you are wonderful parents!!!!!!!! You guys are such an awesome family!! :D

I read your blog religiously and every post brightens my day :)

I wish I lived there, so I could help out, but unfortunately I can't do much - a fifteen year old from India...

I've told all my classmates about this blog and most of them read it - it is so nice to see such a bond within a family with so many exceptional children :) We've had so many discussions about how nice it is that you have created an amazing life for seven other children and love them unconditionally :)

The bond which exists within your family has inspired a lot of people here! :)

Usually, you guys blog pretty regularly, but it has been over a month since there has been any written material. I'm not sure if I missed something or you guys are just busy over there
I know it seems selfish, but I've been dying to hear the latest news and would really really really love it if you guys could update your blog :)

I really wish I could offer some help, but not much is possible from here! :(

Hope you have a great year ahead!! :)

Warm regards and greetings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
- Jwalika :)

Thank you, Jwalika, for your reminder that blogging about Sophi's sophistication, Lexi's laughs and Parker's pratfalls not only acts as a journal for our family, but also brightens the day for many readers throughout the world.  Each of our children bring such precious and profound moments to my life on a daily basis.  I am truly grateful for this platform to share them with our extended family and others who love to follow along!