Monday, June 30, 2008

Another fun filled weekend...

This week was our annual summer festival. Rachel remembers it from last year and couldn't wait for it again this year. Well, all week we've been driving by the festival area watching the works put up the Ferris Wheel, Dragon Ride, Bumper cars, etc... Linzhi had no clue what we were looking at but she joined Rachel in oooohhhing and aaahhhhing.... it was too cute. Sunday was the finale so they end it all with a huge parade filled with candy throwing, loud fire engines, scary clowns and the Shriner's Camel car driver's (I think that's what they drive)? We were also joined by grandma Vanessa and Grandpa John.

On Saturday, we had a family cook-out/swimming party for CJ's Mom and Step-dad, brother and sister-in-law and cousin Phillip. The girls LOVE Phil, especially Rachel!!! We love Phil too! =) It was a great weekend and another one is on the way as we are hosting my family's annual reunion on Saturday, not to mention another BBQ on the 4th of July...YIKES!!! I think I'll need a day at the spa after all this...LOL... Ya, know...I've never been to a spa...?? Here are some pictures of the weekend. =)

PS. I don't have ANY pictures of Trevor at the festival as he was hanging out with his friends...Ya know, it's NOT cool to hang with your parents in public...LOL =)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer fun...

Happy Monday!
Saturday, we hosted a graduation party for Sonny, my cousin's eldest child. He graduated from the 8th grade...Congratulations Sonny!! On Sunday, after church we decided today was a day for just the five of phones, no teenage friends, no working on the house...NOTHING! We swam, cooked out, talked, laughed, etc... it was WONDERFUL!!! We are a family that eats dinner together every night, I work from home so I'm here with the kids, CJ is President of his own company with his office here in the house, granted he does work outside the house everyday but he is typically home no later than 4-5pm so we have plenty of time to be together. BUT it seems life is getting much busier as each year passes so it's hard for us at times to just be together without outside distractions and with CJ being self-employed his cell phone rings A LOT!!! Trevor is always with friends at our house or working so a lot of the time it's just the girls and me. I love it but I miss my guys!! So Sunday was a wonderful day to reconnect with limited interruptions... ;-) Here are some pictures from the weekend.
Have a great Monday!

Friday, June 20, 2008

My future make-up artist!!

Rachel is a clone of me, I promise you this and I believe Linzhi is not too far away either but today, I have to write about Miss Rachel. My office is also the playroom so yesterday, I was finishing up my work day, Linzhi was napping and Rachel was BORED! So, I asked her if she would like to play with make-up and of course, she said YES!!! Now, I know she's 4 but I LOVE, LOVE make-up and Rachel has become a lover of it too. I saved all my old powders, eye shadows, lip sticks, etc...knowing my daughters one day would like to play dress up with it. Well, that day has come especially for my Rachel. Plus, Grandma Sharon cleaned out her old Mary-Kay stuff and gave it all to us (thank you). Next to my desk is Rachel and Linzhi's "Little Mermaid" vanity set and chair. We went in the bathroom got wash clothes, water, brushes, make-up, make-up remover, etc...she was in officially in business! I was able to work without any interruptions (very rare) plus, I had a bird's eye view of my daughter being creative, expressive and HAPPY! It was a joy to watch and a lip bitter not to giggle when asked "How do I look"...BEAUTIFUL MY DARLING, JUST BEAUTIFUL...geesh, I love that kid!!!! =) Enjoy the pictures!!
Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

ooohhh...La La....

I love my new blog design! Thank you Becky and Verna!!! I've been waiting to do this for some time now and with their special offer for June of only $25...Well, I couldn't resist. You can get to their website by clicking this link... or

It's so me!!!

Thanks again!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Our big day!!!

Well, today was an exciting day! We left home around 10:45am, drove to grandma and grandpa's house to drop Rachel off. They girls had a little gift bag from G&G filled with fruit snacks, goldfish crackers and a stuffed animal. Mom and dad had a little cooler filled with bottled water, granola bars and grapes...Thanks Grandma Sharon and Grandpa Willie. =) Once we got back in the car, Linzhi became a little worried that Rachel's car seat was gone and Rachel was missing too. It was sweet to see she missed Rachel. We reassured her we would be back to pick her up. We weren't on the road more that 10 minutes and my cell phone rang. It was Rachel wanting to talk to Linzhi!! How cute is that! The story behind that is, Rachel got mad at Linzhi before we left and hit her. She was feeling bad about it so she just had to talk to Linzhi to make things right. Whenever the girls hit (I know it's normal) we always make sure after" time out" is over and an apology has been made and accepted, the "offender" has to go in the corner to pray. Well, grandma and Rachel were about to have a snack so they began to pray and Sharon said all of a sudden Rachel confesses to grandma what happened and that she need to talk to Linzhi. So once we were at the hospital I had Linzhi call Rachel on the cell phone. They had a little conversation and ended with "I love you" and " see you soon" WOW! What a blessing to see our baby girls love on each other. =)
OK...Now to evaluation... Oh, one more thing... CJ and I feel so incredibly blessed to have been given the opportunity to parent our beautiful Linzhi...I am still in awe of HIS grace. ~OK~ now I'm ready!! Today we received the information we've been waiting almost a year for...a DIAGNOSIS!! Today at Shriner's we learned Linzhi has a condition called "Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congentita" try and say that three times in a row... =)
Basically, she has severe contracture "stiffing" of the joints in her wrist, fingers and elbows. The doctor also classified her as a "mild" case because it has not affected her legs, hips, ankles, etc... The Occupational Therapist did tell us it will not worsen or move to additional joints and should improve with OT therapy 2-3 days per week, home exercises (2x's daily) and she must wear splints every night as she sleeps.
I cannot begin to tell you how awesome it was to be at Shriner's. The staff was incredible and to top it off the specialist that has taken Linzhi's case is the head of orthopaedics at Loyola Hospital in Chicago(one of the best in the nation). God knew exactly where we needed to be for our baby. She did so good today! No panic attacks, just a few tears during x-rays and her splint fitting...WHEW! I can't tell you enough how much your thoughts and prayers mean to both CJ and I. I love the adoption community and all my wonderful friends that I've met through our journey to Linzhi. I mean it, you're all the best! =)
So now, we need to find a local OT therapist that has experience with this type of condition, exercise her precious little arms twice daily, strap her splints on at night (which she loves...go figure) and most importantly PRAY. The Lord is so good to us!! Here are some pictures of our day.
***update*** Last week I mentioned my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer. Today her MRI showed the cancer DID NOT move to her lymphoids (s/p?) so the prognosis is better than we thought...Praise GOD! I am waiting to talk to my aunt for more information but wanted to give an update. Thanks again for lifting her in your prayers!

Amy's going private...

I've been thinking about setting my blog to private for obvious reasons but never got around to it until my sweet blogger buddy Laine went private. This got my wheels turning so I am now doing the leg work of gathering email addresses to send invites... SO, if you would like an invitation to view my blog please send me your email address @ I have several but I definitely need ANNA B, BARBIE and CHELLEY (from Australia). So if you gals could send it to me I would appreciate it!!! We must stay in touch!! =)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mani's and Pedi's...

I was putting away laundry the other day and noticed my two little one's were awfully quiet. So I tip toed in my office to see what was going on. I was sweetly surprised to see Rachel giving her sister a manicure and pedicure...too cute for words so enjoy the pictures!! =)
Ps... Tomorrow is Shriner day!!! =) =)

Monday, June 16, 2008

2 more days until Shriner's....

I am on pins and needles! Every time I think about Wednesday, I get a lump in my throat!!! I look at Linzhi and PRAISE GOD she's ours and now we get to see what the Lord has in store for this precious angel. We also discovered (tears welling up) our Linzhi is LEFT handed... We've gone 7 months thinking she was a right handed girl because we would put crayons, spoons, forks, etc... in her hands because she couldn't. Well, now Miss Linzhi can do it herself and she favors her left hand. When I saw her take the crayon out of her right hand( after mama put it there )and move it to her left hand, I was overcome with joy and emotion. I know this may seem trivial to some but ask any parent with a special needs child how it feels when they witness any miracle they thought or was told would be impossible. When we were given Linzhi's file, we were warned nicely that she would probably never be an independent person. Our understanding is her file was returned twice because of the negative reports back from the American doctors who reviewed her file for the families interested. Believe it or not, this information did not scare CJ or me at all. Actually, we felt this fire ball of protection over her immediately and when we opened her file and looked at her face for the first time BOTH CJ and I knew that was the angel God chose to be our daughter. And now, we get to witness the miracle of our Linzhi being blessed by the one who created her perfectly. See... ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD.

I guess I'm a sentimental Mama today...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!

Just wanted to wish all the wonderful Father's out there a happy, God filled Father's day! May the Lord Bless you all!

CJ, you're a wonderful husband, father and step-father. We are blessed everyday with you!

Love you forever,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Prayer request...

Hello everyone,

Please keep my cousin Lindsay and her family in your prayers. Today, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she's 31 years old and the mother of 5 beautiful children & the wife to a wonderful guy.

I'm at loss for words...


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008


This is an older picture of Linzhi but boy does this show exactly how she was today! I think I said "Linzhi Rose" at least 30 times....Miss Linzhi is starting to act like a typical 3 year old. As I always thank the Lord for giving my little angel her wings to fly out of the dark days she has had as she's learning to just be a kid...TODAY WAS GROUNDBREAKING...We have a little stinker on our hands!!

We did have a very busy and HOT day between going to church, driving 45 minutes to see aunt Sage in her dance recital (in a very hot and sticky high school gym), eating a very late lunch, pee-peeing through her diaper because mama forgot to change it, touching grandpa's corvette when told not to, getting her leg out of car seat in order to stick it in Rachel's face, kicking the back of Trevor's car seat all the way home...after being told 100 times "NO MORE KICKING, LINZHI ROSE" and to top it off she tried to flush tinkerbelle's leash down the toliet...All with a smile on her face! Now, I know this is typical but Lord have mercy, not my sweet little Linzhi!!! LOL... Rachel had this very confused look on her face as she's so used to being the child in time out...LOL... My sweet Rachel has been an absolute angel lately. I think she's starting to mature into an almost 5 year old a bit... ;-)

Anyway, Linzhi is now fast a sleep and this mama is so thankful for my little Chinese dragon...LOL I called her that today in fun...BECAUSE SHE WAS!!! ;-)