Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nativity Story

By request, here is last Christmas's family film.

Presenting...
A Nativity Story



video

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas and Babies

We had a truly lovely Christmas. It was fun to be surrounded by family and it was exciting to open presents. I enjoyed seeing the girls get excited about new toys...it was a little magical to hear Callie talk about Santa bringing her a bike and toys. I've enjoyed all of us hanging out in the family room together and talking or playing video games or watching movies while Sammy breaks a light bulb from the lamp or Callie breaks a bowl. I mean, those are some special times. It was a great Christmas and I couldn't have asked for more (other than my parents being here too).

You all know that we have started the adoption process, and as I've mentioned, it seems like the paperwork is going through even faster than it did for Callie. I've been really nervous about this baby because it seems like the jump from 2 to 3 kids is a big one. We'll need to buy a new car. And I only have 2 hands ya know? I get nervous. But I've also had the reassurance that this is right and that makes me excited and helps put my fears aside. But even still, I get a little worried. That's only human right? Well the past 2 days have been interesting for me. I feel ready all of a sudden. Not that I'm stupid enough to think that "oh, it'll be so easy to have a 3rd child." NO, not at all. I know it will be an adjustment for our family and our lifestyle, but we are ready for that...and I really feel....ready. In fact, last night we were with the extended family, and while we were there, I really felt like I should have been holding a baby. It was odd. That has happened only once before over the past couple months, but last night it was so much stronger. I can only imagine that that is Heavenly Father's way of preparing me, to some degree anyway.

I kind of got excited about that experience...imagining what it would be like if we got a baby soon. It's a little overwhelming, but what an amazing experience that would be for our family to spend time together with our new baby before Marcus starts working. There would be nothing keeping him from being around. (Update on Marcus: He's hopefully defending his dissertation in February!!!) If we have to travel anywhere for our baby -- out of state again like we had to for Callie -- and stay there, he'll be able to do that with me this time. But, that's all under the unlikely circumstance that there's a baby in the next few months for us.

Either way, baby now or later, I feel so blessed right now. I know there is a baby out there for us, and my arms are beginning to really ache for him/her. It's an awesome feeling.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Carol

Last year, as a little Green family, we created a video version of the Nativity. We decided that this would be our new tradition. Well, we didn't want to do the exact same movie, so this year we chose A Christmas Carol. That's right -- 2 kids and, I think, 7 characters! This story, in particular, has a lot of memories attached to it as it was a tradition for my family growing up to go and see it performed around Christmas time. Apparently my parents didn't get out to see it this year...maybe this will count. It's longer than our video last year, but if you are interested, sit down, enjoy some music and a story, and be grateful for the spirit of Christmas.

We hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas!

video

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pressing Forward

Tomorrow I am teaching a part of the Young Women's Christmas lesson. I've taken a lot of time to think about this, and I keep coming to "Pressing Forward." This isn't quite the typical Christmas message, but I do think it applies quite well.

There was a time when people were anxiously awaiting the birth of their Savior. Now, we anxiously await the Second Coming -- and we need to be prepared. We have amazing young women who are faithful and strong. So, what more can I tell them but to press forward in faith? My hope is to encourage them to continue on the path they are taking, to be faithful -- even when there are those around them saying that these girls are crazy or stupid for believing what they do.

As I was lying in bed the other night, I was going over some of my thoughts for the lesson...and that led to other thoughts. I started thinking about my life with Marcus and our girls. I started to think about how we are living with my in-laws, have no income (though the next day that was solved -- more to come), and we are adopting? Are we crazy?! Then I thought, "People probably think we are the stupidest people they have ever met." Because really, it seems like the craziest time to even consider adoption...and not just because we are living with our in-laws and have no job. (I already told you we were crazy.) We already have Sammy who takes a lot of time, and Callie is still young on top of that. So, why would we adopt!?

Because it's what we know we need to do.
Not for us, necessarily, but we need to do it because we have felt prompted to do so.


For some reason, at this time, Heavenly Father wants us to prepare ourselves for another child. I've had several little experiences that remind me that Marcus and I must press forward with this adoption. We need to finish all the paperwork. We need to be prepared. I'm not sure when we'll actually hold our next baby in our arms. But I do know that if He were to come tomorrow and look me in the eyes, and we had shied away from this adoption because of how "crazy" it seems right now, I would be ashamed. I would be ashamed because I KNOW it's what He has planned for us to be doing right now. Perhaps the plan isn't to have a baby today, maybe it's still a year from now, but either way, we press forward because it's what we've been told we, personally, must do right now. To me, pressing forward implies action -- force -- work -- acting on what we know, not passively watching or waiting. So, we try to do that. And I'm better in some areas than I am in others. But that's ok. We keep pressing forward.

I'm really not trying to toot my own horn here, because I recognize that there are so many areas where I lack. But I have found so much peace in doing what I feel like we've been told to do. I imagine it's how Callie feels when she takes her shoes off and puts them in the box in the hallway and we jump up and down. She gets really happy knowing she's done what is expected of her. I guess, I'm feeling that way right now. Happy. And, one day in the relatively near future, we'll have our reward snuggled up in our arms. That's pretty amazing.


A note on the Adoption Process:
Here in California background checks get done very quickly because it's all online. We only have a couple more things to do and then we're ready. We started the process in October, and we're already close to approval. With that said, our caseworker told us that if a baby were to appear for us tomorrow, they would do what they needed to to make it work because we're that close to being there.

I remember last year when we got the phone call about Callie. There was no emotional prep time. We didn't know about her until she was already born and ready to come home with us. It was so fast. But it was such a blessing. She is such a blessing. Will that happen again? Who knows. But we'll be prepared.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Portraits of Mormon Women

My mother-in-law wrote this lovely article. It's worth a few minutes to read.

Hopes

I hope to be as good as this little guy one day! Hey, if you can play...who needs words?


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Santa and Sammy

Today Santa came and visited Sammy's preschool class. Sammy sat so well on Santa's knee that the photographer took about 50 pictures of them! She was so happy and content sitting on his lap. Guess Santa is magical after all.


Merry Christmas to all....






Even though Callie's not in Sammy's class, they let her have a picture with Santa and even made a present for her to take home too! What great teachers Sammy has!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Book Thief

My last book, most likely, of 2009 was fabulous. I've read some great books this year and this did not muddy up my list one bit. I loved this book. I truly loved this book. LOVED it. I did cry, but I also laughed and longed to know the characters more. It left me thinking a lot about these people who I had come to know. I felt very deeply for these characters. I just loved it loved it loved it and suggest it to everyone! The most interesting part was that to me, though this took place during WWII, it was not about WWII. It was background to the real story. And the perspective it is written in is so unique. Once again, loved it. Read it people.

"A mysterious narrator gives an account of a young girl who has an unusual vice: she steals books. Death comes for the girl’s brother as she and her mother wait for a train to take them to a foster home where the children will be safe. It is he, the collector of souls, who is the only witness to the girl’s first thievery, and he begins to follow her story.

Life in Liesel’s new home is a difficult adjustment, plagued with nightmares, but through them, she and her foster father form a bond through reading the book Liesel has stolen: a grave-digger’s manual. As Liesel grows, over and over written words touch her life: abook stolen from the embers of a Nazi bonfire, from the mayor’s library, written to her by a man in hiding.

Death follows her story as a foreigner in her world, relaying the sequences of events with raw imagery and striking language, often creating the feel of a black-and-white picture with one color highlighted through it. Liesel’s journey is both joyful and heart-rending, harsh and beautiful. This is the most unusual World War II story I’ve ever read."

(This summary was taken directly from this website.)


Trusting in the Lord

My good friend, Rachel, sent this to me tonight. I love how life doesn't turn out like we plan, but if we're patient, we see how it turns out better than we could have planned. Depending on our particular circumstance or trial, it may take us longer to get to the point where we see the blessings that come from our trials, and our life molding into something far more beautiful than we could have orchestrated ourselves. With each new step in my life -- each new "adventure" that I must overcome, I hope that I am able to more quickly turn to the Lord for His support and guidance. Until then, I'm face with one trial after another until I master humility -- and that may take a lifetime.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gratitude

I'm grateful for a couple things today.

#1 -- Sammy slept until 8:55am this morning, and it wasn't longer because we had to wake her up! WHAT?! Wake her up? That's right. This little punkin' slept in. Sure I was in a panic starting around 7am, but I didn't dare go in to check on her, for fear that my paranoia was just that...paranoia...and that I'd wake her up.

#2 -- Good phlebotomists. Today Sammy and Callie got their blood drawn (mainly because we had the worst pediatrician appointment known to mankind on Tuesday...story to come later). Sammy, with her good night sleep, was very chipper and the phlebotomists were very entertaining as they drew their samples. Sammy didn't cry at all. In fact, she gave a giggle. A giggle?! Yes. What a sweetheart. Callie had a harder time, but when they were done she thanked them anyway.

#3 -- Lasagna. Just because I like it and it finished my day off well.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

For Carly

For many, this will sound just like screams and babbles, but for Carly, Sammy's SLP (speech therapist) back in Spokane, this may be fun to hear. Carly, we love and miss you!



video

Saturday, December 5, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Last night we went to get our Christmas tree -- and it really felt like Christmas to me. This year has been different because we are already here, physically. There will be no traveling or anticipation of travel...and it's fabulous...but it has also delayed my holiday feeling. Christmas carols have helped, but last night as we got into the car and left the house, it really felt like Christmas.



As you can see in this little video, Sammy was pretty excited to go tree shopping. It is a short clip, but she was jumping throughout the whole parking lot.

video



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And there's nothing like a good chain-saw to make one smile and giggle. Yes, it really is starting to feel a lot like Christmas.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sammy Takes On The World

We all know that Sammy loves opening and shutting doors, but now she has a new favorite. She loves spinning this globe!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Callies Does Football

Callie has learned some football signs. This was perfect timing for the incredible BYU v. Utah game!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Callie Counts

A few weeks ago was exciting. I think I mentioned it before, maybe not. We were reading books together when she just started counting the objects on the page. I was in shock! It was perfect. I've tried to get video of her doing it since, and I got a really great one. But unfortunately I accidentally deleted it. Isn't that just so typical?! So, this just has to do.

video

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Mother's Love

A few weeks ago, I was asked to write an article for Mormon Women, a website that both explains and celebrates Mormon Women. I think it's an excellent website that addresses a variety of topics for both LDS women, and women of other faiths. Today, my article was posted. If you are interested in reading...the article, A Mother's Love, can be found here. But do take some time to go through the site.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nothing to Post

I feel like I've been very neglectful lately to our little blog here. It's not really that I don't have anything to post. In fact, I have some pretty cute videos. But I can't find the cord to download it to the computer...and I refuse to go out and buy one since we have no income currently. So, I wait, and make you all wait as well. But, here's a teaser of what's to come:

Callie Counts
Callie Does Football
Sammy Spins World



So, there you are. Hopefully you'll see those soon, because I tell you what...they are dang cute!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

She Loves Me

Yesterday was pretty great. Two big things happened. Yesterday, Callie and I spent some time on the couch reading. She LOVES to read. Can't get enough. We have several counting books, and normally we count together. Well, yesterday, Callie started counting the babies on the page, and she counted from 1-10 all by herself! I couldn't believe it! Now she can't stop. It's so so so cute to hear her count.

Later last night, after Sammy had gone to bed, Callie and I were sitting on the couch together. She was sitting on my lap, facing me. I'd call out a body part, and she'd point. This girl is very clever. She's got a lot of the basics down now, so I'm working on ankle, wrist, knuckle with her. Every once a while her eyes would get really big and she'd jump up to give me a big hug. Oh, what a sweetie. During one of these hugging episodes she said "I love you." WHAT?! Did she just say what I think she said? So I said "I love you too." And she said "I love you." Oh my good heavens. I melted. I can't get enough of this little girl. And now I know, it's official, she loves me too.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Help Needed

Today we got some pictures taken. We want to use one of these for our adoption profile, so we want to pick the best one. We understand that maybe it's not the best picture of each of us individually, like any family picture -- so we're looking for the overall best -- the one that captures a good feeling. Ya know? Which would you want up on the wall. That kind of thing. (Click on the picture to get a better view)


#1 -- This one we'd zoom in a little cutting off the girls dangling legs.


#2 -- We'd photoshop Dylan out, as cute as he is.


#3 -- Sammy is a little "over-smiley" maybe. But not sure.

#4 -- Girls not the happiest, but not upset at least.

#5 -- Marcus and I are a little squinty...but we aren't sure if it distracts from our family picture at all.




Scott, it seems like you're our family photo guy. Thanks for taking our pictures...again!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Peek-a-Boo


Sammy loves holding onto the table -- and chewing on it. I love seeing her little head pop over the edge. Such a cutie!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Callie's Box

Callie loves getting into anything she can get into!




Sammy's Door

Samantha, as I've probably mentioned before, loves opening and closing doors. She has one door here, in particular, that works the best for her. Callie frequently points to the door now, and says "Sammy door." Yep. That's right Callie. That's certainly Sammy's door.

video

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Callie's Smile

I have quite a few things to catch up on. So, this week, I'm devoting a lot of time to catching up on pictures. First topic of discussion: Callie's smile.
I happen to think Callie is a super cute kid. Not only is she just cute, but she has a personality that just oozes cute-ability. People love this kid...and for good reason. She's smart, funny, and knows how to charm people. One thing she'll have to perfect over the years is the on-the-spot-smile. That's right. "Callie. Smile." It always turns into this beauty.


I mean, she looks like she's going to rip your throat out. It's a very threatening look. I can just see 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade pictures...year after year in the all important yearbook -- this. Oh it makes me laugh really hard to think about it. But if she doesn't work on this, it may not be so funny down the road.


Now this smile...the natural, in the moment smile is much more appealing. I just think she's so beautiful when she has her relaxed natural smile. Oh, but that other one can sure make us laugh. So, for now, we're loving both smiles.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More Halloween 2009

At the ward Halloween party. Callie was checking out Sammy's wings.

In front of the big pumpkin. Callie's smile...does that look forced?


Halloween night before Trick or Treating. It was quite a trick getting a picture of these two together. This may be the best we got.



Ready to get this party started!



Sammy's warm up before going to a few houses
-- opening and shutting the door.

Halloween

Here they are...our two little fairies ... Tinkerbell and Rosetta. They were quite a hit where ever we went. We had a lot of fun at our ward Halloween party and the next night trick or treating. They were just so cute.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Callings

I know, I'll get pictures up again soon. It's hard (relatively speaking) when I don't blog off my own computer.

But, here in sunny California, Marcus and I have new callings. We actually got them our second week here...but I just haven't really talked about it yet. So, for those of you interested...

Marcus is teaching the 12 and 13 year olds Sunday School class. And I'm the 1st counselor in the Young Women's presidency. So, I'm over the Mia Maids -- freshman and sophomore girls. We'll both be working with the youth and we're really excited. I actually think Marcus will have a busier Sunday than I will. Everything is planned out for the rest of the year for me...but Marcus will have to prepare a lesson every week and work with chatty kids. He'll be great. We're both excited. We'll see if that lasts. :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A-D-O-P-T-I-O-N

It's that time again folks!

That's right. The crazy Green's are gettin' in gear to crank out the paperwork for adoption --second time 'round. It seems like only yesterday we were doing this for Callie. Time goes quickly. But we are really excited to start this process again. We've been feeling a lot of similar feelings and emotions that we had when we started the process for Callie, so it's just a really exciting thing for us. Perhaps this time we won't have our baby in 8 months, but if that is the case, we'll be ready. (At least, I'm praying the Lord prepares us so we really are ready.)

We've officially begun the paperwork and we're hoping to get it done as quickly as possible. We've been busy gathering everything we need and getting organized. Here in California, they say the background checks go pretty quickly -- which was what took the longest time for us in UT -- so we're happy about that. Here in CA, there are only about 45 couples looking to adopt through LDS Family Services. But, we were informed by our case worker that there are also far fewer babies put up for adoption in the state of California.

So, dear friends, we ask you again to keep us in your prayers and in your minds. If you hear of anyone who is seeking the choice of adoption and is looking for a family, think of us. Pass our names, emails, blog, anything along. That's how we found our Callie. What an amazing experience it was for us, but also for that family that connected us.

I can't begin to explain how grateful we are for those mothers out there who selflessly put aside their how heartbreak for the future of their child. I'm truly awestruck when I think of it. Because without that, without them, our family would be incomplete. I can't imagine my life without Callie -- and it's because of the love of another mother.

You Never Know Where It'll Be

Lately I've been trying to make some big changes in my life. #1 Fitness/Health and #2 -- though maybe it should be #1 is my spiritual health. I really feel like if I want other areas in my life to improve, I need to make sure I'm doing my part spiritually, so all things can align correctly. I've tried to be better about reading my scriptures, about saying personal -- thoughtful and sincere -- prayers. I try to keep the Savior in my thoughts as much as I can remember. I'm working on it.

On Wednesday, I had to go down to a Downtown San Jose office. I was there for quite some time doing paperwork, getting finger printed, etc. Samantha came with me....and she was quite the attraction. One woman approached me asked how old Sammy was. We got in a more in-depth discussion. I shared with her Sammy's story, Callie's adoption, etc. I briefly mentioned that we were living in Utah at the time. She asked what part. "Provo. We were at Brigham Young University." I asked about her life. She proceeded to tell me about some horrible things that are happening for her, and then she said, "I need to go back to church." I boldly said, "You do. There's no question about it." I didn't know where she went to church, what her religion was, but I do know that as we try to bring ourselves closer to God, it's an improvement in our life. We will be blessed for the small steps we take towards finding the truth and turning to Him. She then told me that her daughter's father had just left her because he didn't want her to take the daughter to the Mormon church. (Woa, did you follow that sentence?)

"Oh, so you're LDS?"
"Yeah, but I haven't been inside a building for over 25 years."
"Well, you need to go back, especially if you've been thinking about it lately, you need to act on it. Come to church with me Sunday."
"Ok."
"Here's my name and number. Give me yours so I can give you a call."

Of course I found out that she lived close by and all that. This was an interesting experience for me for a couple reasons. One, I've never been so bold. Even when I was a missionary and met someone for the first time, I don't remember making statements like "you need to go back to church" and "come to church with me Sunday." I normally invited people "will you come to church?" or "will you read the Book of Mormon?" But Wednesday, I felt so comfortable flat-out saying these things.

I was also reminded that the Lord is involved in our lives. I'm not sure if this lady will end up coming to church with us on Sunday. I'll certainly call her, but I don't know what will happen. Maybe she'll be busy. Or maybe she's not quite ready to make that jump. I don't know. But, how much of a coincidence is it that as she's been actively thinking about how the gospel is lacking in her life, and the steps she needs to make in order to come back to where she would like to be...and then she meets me at an office downtown? How cool is that for her? And for me, I got to thinking...you never know where it'll be when you need to give some of your deepest feelings in a 5 minute conversation. I really felt like the Spirit was there guiding me what to say. It was a really cool experience.

Funny thing is, that trip I made to the office was completely useless in terms of the "work" I needed to get done that day. I ended up having to leave and come all the way back home to get different paperwork and then go back up and spend a couple more hours there. But I think it was a time well spent nonetheless.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thanks....

for your jewels of wisdom. Really. Some of your tricks...backwards on the seat...wow. And I never thought of going in during nursery to take her to the bathroom. I mean, it seems so logical. Why didn't I think of that? See now, this is why we have friends. I feel much more motivated to get this thing done!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Potty Training

I have a question...and I need your advice.

We are potty training Callie. Actually, she's been doing it herself. It's been going on for some time now. We didn't tell anyone -- but a few of you -- because I know there are a bunch of you thinking we are crazy because she's too young, etc. But, I'm stuck; so we need to break our silence and come out and just say it. When Callie was 19 months we started the potty training process -- and it has been great so far.

But, here's where I need help.

She's pretty consistent. She tells us when she needs to potty. She poops and pees in the potty. We decided to progress to underwear...but then I thought "Gosh, if she's in underwear, what happens when we go out? She'll really have to use the potty and #1 that's gross (public potties) and #2 she's too small for a potty without her potty adapter (or whatever you call it). Plus, what do we do when she's in nursery?" Now, I guess it's not a big deal. They just take her to the bathroom, but she needs help because she's so tiny. So...after buying the undies, we decided to hold off for just a little bit longer. Well, something has happened in the past week. She has stopped telling us she needs to go potty except if she wants out of her high chair. Does she go potty? Noooo. Of course not. Diapers are getting wet again. She's regressing.

I feel like this means that we need to move forward. I don't want the potty to be a struggle. She's the one who wanted to start using the potty -- so we let her. We bought the seat. We bought a stool (though she still struggles getting up there). And I feel like if we wait on this, let her get used to not using the potty, that we'll lose her to the potty wolves. It'll be a definite struggle to get her back.

Any input here? And, tell me about the transition to underoos. Can you ever leave your house again after the diaper comes off? Any other helpful hints would be appreciated.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Smile?


Oh Callie. That smile just looks painful!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Shopping Cart

Sammy and Callie have a toy that they both like playing with. The shopping cart. That's right. It's just their size and there are just so many things they can fit in it. Callie likes putting her little babies in the front so they can sit there while she shops for toys around the family room. Sammy likes pushing the shopping cart, and then taking an occasional stop to shake it around. The other night, the girls discovered that they could share this toy! What a wonderful concept! Sharing! Who knew it was so easy? (Callie also learned from Sammy the excitement of shaking the shopping cart. Way to teach your little sister Sammy!)


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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Little Runner

While I was in Utah, Lori's son, Taylor, did the cutest thing. He crouched down, and Lori said, "On your mark, get set, go!" and off he went running. He loved running as fast as he could. When I got back, I thought I'd try it on Callie. Lo and behold, she is a fan! Here's our little track star...
video

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Callie's Puppy


Callie just loves puppies. So, a couple days after we got here, Grammy took Callie to Build-a-Bear to build her very own puppy. She loves loves loves it! Thanks Grammy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quick Trip to Utah

The week of our move, Samantha and I headed down to Utah for a very quick trip. She had an appointment with her neurologist. There were a lot of people that I wanted to catch up with, but our time was really short. Lori -- THANK YOU for letting me stay with you and use your car -- was a lifesaver. And it was so fun to catch up with her. Lori, I didn't get any pictures of us together! Grrr Dumb Jenny. We stayed up way too late watching Grey's Anatomy and talking talking talking, but it really was a fabulous short trip. (And, I learned that trip that I think I want to buy some Proactiv. Does anyone else out there use it? I want more testimonials from people I know. I used it one day and felt like I saw a difference. One day? Is that possible?)

Me and Arielle before the appointment

The day of the doctor appointment I caught up with some freshman friends. That was 10 years ago! Yikes. I was already in SLC, so we met up at Marci's place. It was so fun. I love these girls. You know those people that you don't see forever, you don't have a conversation with in forever, but when you see each other, it's just like the good ole days? Yep. These are those girls.

Reagan, Me, Marci and the gang after the appointment

After I went to the doctor, I met up with the ladies at the zoo. The Hogle Zoo isn't really anything to jump up and down about, but it was a whole lot nicer than when I went 10 years ago. I'm impressed. They've really worked on this zoo. And the kids loved it of course. Thanks Marse for the zoo pass. It was fun.


After a few too many late nights and a trip to the zoo, Sammy was pretty tired on the way back down to Provo...but even with her eyes half shut, she still has a little grin. That's my little sweetheart.

It was also fun to be in Provo to see Bryan. He's a busy man but made time for his #1 sister-in-law and Sammy. (Annie, you're a really really close second...and my feeling is at Christmas you'll pass me up. Heads up Bryan, our gift for you isn't too hot.) Anyway. It was fun to hang out with Bryan. I met Bryan before Marcus and I were dating. I felt like we always clicked -- maybe he just has enough social intelligence to make me feel that way. But either way, I just like being around him. Even though this picture looks a little vampire-esque, I think it's darn cute.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Goodbye to Friends

Somethings I won't miss about Spokane...namely, the snow. But I will miss my friends that I made. I will miss the Knighton's house. I loved going over there, though I didn't do it enough if you ask me, and having Samantha and Callie play with Jacob and Anna in their yard. I loved that they had a yard! I loved that they had a garden with a small plot of dirt set aside for the kids to play in, and Callie would regularly put handfuls of dirt (unfertilized) in her mouth. I loved the swing that they had on the patio that Samantha loved. And I loved this meal that Amanda and Holly put together for us. It was yummy,and it was just a fun way to say goodbye.

Looks like Sammy was playing in that dirt too!



Me, Amanda, and Holly



Jacob and Jaden. Love these little boys! I love that Jacob was always so excited to see my car pull up and to play with Sammy and Callie. And I love that whenever Jaden saw me, he'd say "It's Jenny Green." So cute!



Callie was on a huge watermelon kick around the time we left. I learned something new: watermelon can stain. I had to oxyclean it and use bleach (thanks Holly)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Goodbye to Therapists

Leaving Spokane was sad, but one of the hardest things for me was saying goodbye to Sammy's therapists. They were just so great! We are still waiting to see if we can get Sammy into some therapies here...so I'm still praying we'll get some good ones like we had in Spokane.

April (OT), Sammy, and Carly (SLP)



Shawna (CST) and Sammy. For a couple years now we've been doing what is called craniosacral therapy. It's categorized as "alternative" but I'll tell you, I love it. And Shawna was amazing. She didn't take our insurance at first, so we only met occassionally. But, she wanted to be able to make it so we could see her more and she could work on Sammy, so she went through the process of getting our insurance accepted in her place. It's a long process, and she did it for Sammy. She had just recently bought the place, opened a new one in the valley, and then went through the mess of insurance. I love her for so many reasons. She is great! If you are in Spokane, her place is Synergy -- they do OT, PT, and massage therapies as well.


Cute Callie. I just love this picture. When we ask her to smile, this is what we get these days. It's a little devious, but I think it's sure cute.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Out of the Dust by Karen Hess


Loved this book. I had to read it a few years back for a class and I really loved it then. But recently, I reread it for our book club and I love it more if that's possible. I'm on a lucky streak of good books right now I guess. I kept forgetting that the little girl is a little girl. I kept thinking of her as older with all the stuff she had to go through. I can't imagine living during the Depression in the dust bowl. I was impressed by the writing (unlike my quick review) that was filled with beautiful description. I could feel the dirt scratch my eyes each time I blinked and feel it grit between my teeth. It was tragic, yet very hopeful. Each time I've read this book, and I think this is my 3rd or 4th time, I walk away feeling so sad for the situation, but also very hopeful for the future. This last time, I did more self-reflection than I've ever done in the past. Am I a person who puts her roots in the ground and stands firm, no matter what? Am I that stubborn? Or am I a tumbleweed who floats around from place to place...a little flippant, but also more willing and able to adapt? Anyway, it's a great book. It's an extremely quick read -- I read it in about 2 hours. So, everyone should take time to read it. It's a Newberry Award Winner. It also got me into writing some poetry myself. Amazing what good literature will inspire you to do!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

I loved this book. My sister-in-law suggested it to me. I had been wanting to read it for awhile, just didn't around to it. So it sat on my bookshelf for quite some time. Then, the day came, and I fell in love. I haven't read a book like this in some time. I was so interested the entire time. I wanted to know how Francie's life would shape and the girl she would become. I wanted to know how her family would survive...everything that they were going through. I, particularly, enjoy the omniscient point of view. Recently I've been reading a ton of first person, which I really enjoy. But I found myself so interested in knowing the thoughts of everyone. I think it was important to this book to have an omniscient point of view because this book, to me, was more than a story about this one family's life. It was about Brooklyn. As I read, I found myself completely disgusted with our society. We feel like "sacrifice" means not getting our nails done, or lowering our cell phone minutes. Give me a break! These people during this time were all starving! They were lucky to have bread, and yet we complain that we can't buy the house of our dreams? It was a big reality check for me, and I was tempted to suggest this book to list full of people I know! I loved reading it. Just loved it. I know a lot of people who said, "Oh, I hated that book." But I just loved it. And perhaps it was different for me because I didn't have to read it in high school. Maybe my stage of life has something to do with the appreciation I have for the book. Either way, I highly recommend it! This one's a classic for a good reason. 5 stars!

I Have No Pictures to Post

So, is it even worth posting if I have no pictures? Probably not. But alas, I continue to type. I just feel like I haven't been in touch with anyone in so long, yet we've only been here a week. Here's the update:

* I have an appt. with Sammy's new school on Wednesday -- Argonaut Elementary
* We are waiting to find about certain other programs, which includes therapies
* We're pretty much all moved in
* Marcus is sick
* We think Sammy was/is sick
* I got sick today...but seem to be feeling a little better already
* Callie is the lone survivor on the sick list
* I've been trying to work on Christmas presents
* Decided to send out Christmas cards -- yikes -- and need to get on those (we'll see if it really happens this year)
* We started the paperwork for adoption and want to get that rolling
* We already bought the girls' Halloween costumes (so cute I could barf! isn't that a pretty picture?)
* Marcus is headed to Provo next week to meet with his professors to work on his dissertation
* Planned on starting Callie's quilt, but think the sewing will have to wait until after the New Year
* Started The Book Thief, which I already really like, but have had no time to keep reading it
* We have Direct TV in our room -- thus no time to read these days. Boy did I miss cable. HGTV,TLC and I have had a great reunion and found out we're the original BFFs -- internet is not in our room, and well, Blog, I loved you but you've definitely taken the back seat.

I feel like we've been so busy, but we haven't really done anything. You know that feeling? I really don't like it. Like you're always going, but nothing is really getting done. Grrrr But, pretty soon we'll have a schedule again...Sammy will get into school, therapies will start up, and we'll be much more structured. I thrive on insane busy life. I feel like I get more checked off my to-do lists.

Anyway. That's our quick update. More to come!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here in California

Yes folks, we survived the drive and we are here in California. Things have been really busy this first week but we'll be sure to get some updates posted soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sammy and Callie Meet the Dentist

Here in Washington we have what is called ABCD. It's a pediatric dental program which allows for so many dental appointments, flouride treatments, etc. I decided we better see the dentist before we leave Washington's amazing programs, and so, Monday I took the girls to their first dentist appointment. It was a huge success. The dentist said they had wonderful teeth -- he said Callie's were perfect!



I love pediatric dentist offices. They are so kid friendly.


When I tell Callie to smile, this is the face I get these days.



I couldn't get a picture of Sammy or Callie in the chair as I had to hold them during the checkup. It was no problem -- rather easy which surprised me. But, this is a picture of Callie, looking a bit fish-like with her mouth gaping open like that, as she waited for her turn with the dentist. What a fun trip! Hope we find a fun dentist in California too!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Last of the Physical Therapy

One of the saddest parts of us leaving is leaving behind some of our fantastic therapists. Today was Sammy's last session of physical therapy. As you can see, she has some new leg braces on her legs which we will be purchasing. They are knee splints. As her knees are locked, it forces her to move differently, to use muscles that she refuses to use. So, to Echo and Leanne, thanks for all the physical therapy. This past year has been amazing!

video video

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hair

When Callie wakes up, she generally looks something like this:

I don't want that for the poor child. She really does have beautiful hair, I think, but this...well, this just isn't beautiful. It's something in the crazy category. I've been told by a few mamas out there that what I need to do is braid her hair after I've conditioned it and it's still wet. "Do it right there in the tub." So, in an attempt to manage the mane, I braided it after conditioning and while she was still in the tub. Callie was pretty compliant, more than I thought she'd be. I think it's actually pretty cute. Just another alternative I suppose. All the women said I could leave the braids in all week. No. I can't. I did and last night was WWIII. So, next time, I'll just leave it for a couple days like I do with the pig tails. One day I'll get it. Poor Callie.



Sunday, September 13, 2009

Trip to California

A couple weeks ago Samantha and I went to San Jose. We were on a mission. I had decided I was going to get everything set up for her before we got there...or at least get the ball rolling. I heard a lot of "Wow Jenny. You're so prepared." "Wow Jenny. You're so proactive." Those were all very nice, but when I got there, it was nothing like I had planned it out to be. I didn't get anything done that I couldn't have done through the mail. All my plan fell through. And my number one reason for going -- getting her pediatrician established -- fell through. I got to the appointment, and extremely long story short, he didn't see Samantha. It was a very stressful few days, and made me think "Wow Jenny. Maybe you should just take it easy and just roll with things instead of trying to take control." Not that I was trying to control things -- I was just trying to take care of things. Oh the frustration.





video


Our flight was delayed. While we waited in Seattle, Samantha had a fun time keeping herself occupied. She was squealing and "talking" so loudly that she was echoing off the walls. I didn't even attempt to stop her. Maybe I should have, but I was tired, and there weren't too many people around.



When we got to CA, it was pretty late, somewhere around 11 pm-ish. She was not giving any cute smiles as much as Colin and Analisa tried to get them out of her. But, the one she did let slip out was pretty cute.

Monday, September 7, 2009

BYU v. OU

In case you missed it...here's a pretty good highlight clip. It takes a little bit to load, so give it some time. It's worth it!





We couldn't be happier over here in Spokane.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We're Moving on .... Out




That's right. We're moving on out...to the west side. Some of you know, to some, this will be news. But, after a year in Spokane, WA -- a year filled with massive amounts of snow, great friends, and a great internship for Marcus, we're headed to San Jose, CA where Marcus will work on finishing his dissertation. We feel blessed to have had this time in Spokane, and we feel blessed to have the lucky opportunity to live with his parents while Marcus works on his paper. "Lucky opportunity" you ask? Living with your in-laws is a lucky opportunity? Why, yes. I'm not stupid, there will be challenges for all of us...but it will be great because I just happen to love my in-laws. I truly do. When we adopted Callie, I was able to live with my parents for 3 months with Samantha and Callie. It was wonderful. I loved being close to my mom and dad. I loved seeing them with Sammy and Callie. And I loved their help with my new baby. And now, we'll have the opportunity to do that with Lee and Peggy. I'll get to know Granny and Grandpa (Marcus' grandparents) better, which I really have been wanting to do. We'll be around a lot of extended family. We'll have Scannie (Scotty and Annie), and Dandrea -- or Anvid, not sure yet which combination I like better -- (David and Andrea) close by. Colin and Chris (bros-in-law) will be here. How great is that?! My aunt, uncle, and cousins live not too far, and Ted and Peggy (brother's family) live not too far away in the other direction. Yippee.
So why California? Marcus will be working on his dissertation. He will need to travel to Provo, most likely, a couple times. 1) Washington -- we'd have to pay rent with no income. Travel to and from UT is a little more expensive than from CA to UT. 2) Utah -- not as many resources for Sammy and we are concerned about her therapy, etc. Furthermore, we'd still have to pay rent with no income. 3) Michigan -- way too expensive to go from MI to UT a couple times. 4) California -- $80 train ticket from CA to Provo and services are here for Sammy Sam Sam. #4 is the winner. Plus, when we prayed about it, we felt good about it.

We're sad to say goodbye, but the closer it comes, the better we feel about this decision. We are looking forward to the transition. So, at the end of the month, we'll be packing up and moving on out. (I hate packing. Grrr)

First Day of School

I love that Samantha is now in school. Just the idea of it makes me happy. I'm not sure why, but I think it has something to do with how she is just so small, so little...and to think of her in school...it just makes me smile.


Sammy all ready for her first day of school.



With Daddy on the side of the school -- where her classroom is.


Waiting with Mommy at the teacher's desk.


Ready to play and learn!

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