Dear Friends and Family,
Yes! It’s that time of year again! We were so grateful that we were able to spend everyday of this year together, in good health and safety. No major injuries to be had and our day to day rituals were as boring as your families were.
We did have a few momentous occasions this year though. We won Oprah’s Big Give in April. They came and added on to our home. We now have a big dining room that we can all fit in! Then, they went farther and redid our entire home from new grass and backyard to siding and new beds, mattresses, sheets, towels and so forth. They left no stone unturned! It was truly a remarkable experience. It ended up being the second biggest give in the country. $10,000 quickly became over $200,000. We are so grateful and LOVE our new home as much as we did before.
Also, John graduated from BYU (Brigham Young University) with his Master’s of Public Administration. That was a fantastic time and we are all so proud of his hard work and dedication to his education. This led to a job change from BYU Aspen Grove to the Utah Foster Care Foundation. We dearly love Aspen Grove and the people we were able to associate with there, but the new job affords more time together. It was a very tough choice to make but Heavenly Father helped us to make this big change.
We adopted four children this year, in May. Jacob, Andrew, Lydia and Benjamin rounded out our family of 16! They have added so much to our family: laundry, homework, more arguing and fighting and all that. They have also added great joy as they have blossomed as they have found a sense of security and love.
In October, we took the tribe to Disneyland and Universal Studios in California. We had a fantastic time! We took the kids to Newport Beach where they saw the ocean for the first time and learned the danger of waves with a couple of close calls. Disneyland was great but it was tough trying to keep track of everyone especially at night. We had some wonderful friends, the Boyd’s, who went to Disney with us for both days and showed us what to do. We couldn’t have done it without them.
However, our biggest joy of the year happened at the end of October. Aleceeya moved back home! This was a long two years and things are working out pretty okay. We love having our family back together under one roof.
I would be very remiss if I didn’t mention that we now have a teenage driver. Kodey can drive on her own and with siblings. That has truly been a blessing, although no one told me how scary it can be to let them go that first time by themselves.
We have had a fun year. Therapy, doctor, ortho. appointments; laundry, grocery shopping, driving the kids everywhere, school, preschool, fun family nights, hundreds of meals to prepare it has truly been a blessing to be able to have done all of this! Our love and prayers are with you all this holiday season. May your lives have been as blessed and uneventful as ours.
John, Cayce, Kodey, Josh, Aleceeya, Jacob, Nathan, Jonathan, Andrew, Zachary, Kloey, Gallie, Lydia, Ben, Joseph and Katie Grace