I love late summer and early fall. It's the best time of year to go camping, and we try to do a fair amount of it. Over the years I've done a lot of camping with Taylor and Parker. Our church also has an annual "fathers and sons" camp, so I get plenty of these opportunities with all of our boys. When Graci was nine or ten she asked why we never had a "father and daughters" campout. So we decided to make it happen. This year was the fourth time we've done it. There is a campground close by with great wheelchair access, and the girls love to go. Well, the younger girls LOVE to go. The older girls had to weigh their options a little bit more. But in the end, all five eligible daughters decided to hang out with dad:). (Elli would not do well on a camping trip.) Here are some pics from our adventure. Notice that Cali would not let me take a photo of her face in the morning, so she just held up her arm and gave me the peace sign;)
-One lucky dad!
The campground is called Willow Park because of all of the large Willow trees.
When we fell in love 15 years ago, we started down a path that has been challenging, exhausting, and breathtakingly beautiful. Here we chronicle the blessings and stressings of parenting some pretty amazing children. We think they're the perfect travel companions as we look forward to the next fork in the road. Welcome to our journey.
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Jeremy and Christianne
Our oldest by birth, he's the voracious reader, BYU fan, spiritual giant, math whiz, sports nut, huge-hearted ray of sunshine!
The red-headed social butterfly, he's our all-star athlete, top student, outdoor-loving, spunky second-born, with a heart of pure gold!
Jessica Anne "Jesi"--13
Our little princess with the big smile, Jesi loves dress-ups and tea parties, reading, playing with her siblings, and snuggling. She sparkles!
Jacob Michael-- 6/8/2004
Little one of heavenly birth, born too soon to bloom on earth. You have taught us so much--we love you, Jacob!
Emily Anne "Emmy"--9/28/2005
Emily's exquisite little hands and feet have left their mark in this world. Her body was tiny, but her spirit enormous. We miss her!
Elizabeth Mei "Elli"--12
Elli's world may be dark, but she's the light of our lives! Lover of music, chocolate, and Mommy's arms, she brings joy to all who know her!!
Gracelin Kate "Graci"--18
Showing true grace throughout her battles with heart disease and pulmonary hypertension, our Gracester is loved by everyone! She's smart, gorgeous, friendly, and has faith to move mountains!
Alexander Philip "Xander"--11
With a spunk and smile that could outmatch anyone's, our Xander has not let Cloves Syndrome get the best of him. Adopted at age 4 from China, he loves having a family, eating junk-food, and playing with his many friends!
Alexis Li "Lexi"--12
Meet the friendliest girl on the planet! Blind from birth, Lexi amazes all of us with her braille skills, determination, talents, but mosly by the way she spends her days SMILING. She is an angel in every way. We are thrilled to have our darling daughter home six years from China!!
Sophia Breanne "Sophi"--8
Her eyes called out to us from half-way around the world. Little Sophi is beautiful, smart, and coy. She can do amazing things with her little toes and we think she's about the cutest thing on the planet! Welcome home, baby girl!
Calais Rose "Cali"--16
Charming Cali joined our family in December of 2012. This girl is beautiful both inside and out. Born with spina bifida, Cali is confined to a wheelchair, but that does not keep her from enjoying life to the fullest. She is smart, opinionated, strong, and lovely in every way.
Conner Allen-- 16
Meet our newest addition! Wu Jia Xia is from Wuhan City in China. Blind from birth, he will blow you away with his incredible talent on the piano. More importantly, he is sweet, witty, kind and finally, OURS! Welcome home, Conner!