Friday, October 31, 2008



Thursday, October 30, 2008


Every year Trevor and I go to the city, Chicago that is...Just the two of us. We usually hit a play and go for a nice lunch or dinner somewhere fancy... We've seen Lion King (amazing and Trevor's choice), Annie (amazing and my choice), just to name a few. This year however, we couldn't decide on a play so Trevor asked if we could go visit my sister Emily and her boyfriend Mike. They both live in the city and attend IIT. Mike and Emily are both in the architecture program which is very exciting and will be graduating soon.

We drove up to their apartment to park then we hit the train to bring us into the heart of the city. Emily chose a great Mexican restaurant for lunch and we just sat there and talked for almost 2 hours! Then we decided to walk off our lunch by checking our Columbia College (Trevor would like to attend this school), the Art Museum, Millennium Park, The magnificent mile...Just to name a few... We walked off our lunch and more! Our final stop was Garrett's Popcorn, it was delicious and a perfect ending to our perfect day!

This is a tradition I hope to keep with Trevor well into his adult years. We all go to the city pretty often which is great! Before I met CJ when it was just Trev and mom several years ago, we would hop the train for a day at a muesum, the zoo or just to walk around and shop. I love this time with him. He's growing up so fast, I love him so. =)

My Trevor...
Mom and Trevor...He's so TALL!

Mike and Trevor on the train.

My little sister Emily and Trevor. Isn't she pretty!

Awww, Mike and Emily...Love birds.

Mom and Trevor at lunch. He's so darn cute!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I WON!!!!

I won this dress through auction at this site

Please go to this blog. This family is trying to raise funds to bring their precious daughter Rachel home from China.

Click on the picture to see the detail of the dress. I LOVE this pattern! This dress will be Linzhi's. First of all, it's size 2T which is Linzhi's dress size...Yes, my almost 4 year old is still is a size 2T for dresses (she's a little peanut!) AND I want her to have a special dress for a keepsake AND all the proceeds go to bringing this precious child home.

Not much else to report around here. It's been pretty quiet. Trevor and I went to Chicago to visit my sister Emily and her boyfriend Mike. We had a great time, I'll post about that later in the week with pictures.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Arthrogryposis **UPDATE AT BOTTOM**

My Linzhi.

I know it's a pretty big word but both of my little girls can pronounce it. Our Linzhi faces it's challenges everyday. I decided to write about it because I want my little girl to read her mother's words one day and see how much she inspires me.
I praise God everyday, Linzhi has Arthrogryposis. I know some may scratch their heads at this but it's truely how I feel. Arthrogryposis is not a condition that will worsen, spread or keep her from living a long, happy, productive life. I have seen so many families hit with life or death situations that we will take Arthrogryposis with open arms. Yes, she will face her challenges that will require some accommodations and creativity but I have to tell you, our little girl would knock your socks off if you could see how she manipulates the rest of her body to get what she needs to get done!

Today, as I was holding my little baby from China, I was filled with emotion thinking we're almost at the one year home mark. I just held, kissed and sniffed her precious head thinking of all she has overcome and all HE has in store for her. I praise God when I hear her say for no particular reason "mama, I happy" Oh, Linzhi, if only you could get in mommy and daddy's head and heart to know how happy you make us. God blessed all of us with Linzhi. God blessed us with Arthrogryposis and the sweet victories we see when our little girl who was abandoned at a hospital stairwell can scratch her head and feel her hair on her own for the first time. I see God and his grace in all my children and I thank him everyday for all their special needs(cause none of us come perfect) and that CJ and I are able to care for and love them just the way they are.

A few have asked what is Arhtrogrypsois. Here is some information I received from stuff I've dug up on the Internet. All is in aligned with the doctor that sees Linzhi at Shriners. **Please note, Linzhi only has it in her elbows, hands, fingers and wrists. She is considered mild because it has only affect her upper exteremities.

Arthrogryposis is the name given to a group of disorders characterized by multiple joint contractures throught the body present at birth. In the U.S., it occurs about once per every 3,000 live births, and affects both males and females of all ethnic backgrounds.

CausesArthrogryposis is usually caused by decreased fetal movements in the womb. The fetus needs to move his/her limbs to develop muscle and joints. If the joints don't move, extra connective tissue develops around the joint and fixes it in place. Some of the causes of decreased fetal movements are:

· Malformations or malfunctions of the central nervous system (most common cause), such as spina bifida, brain malformations, or spinal muscular atrophy
· An inherited neuromuscular disorder such as myotonic dystropy, myasthenia gravis, or multiple sclerosis
· Maternal infections during pregnancy such as German measles (rubella) or rubeola
· Maternal fever above 39 C (102.2 F) for an extended period, or increased maternal body temperature caused by prolonged soaking in hot tubs
· Maternal exposure to substances that can harm the fetus, such as drugs, alcohol, or phenytoin (Dilantin)
· Too little amniotic fluid, or chronic leaking of amniotic fluid, may cause reduced space for the fetus to move around
SymptomsThe particular joint contractures found in an infant with arthrogryposis vary from child to child, but there are several common characteristics:
· The legs and arms are affected, with wrists and ankles being the most deformed (think of the fetus folded up inside the uterus, locked in that position)
· The joints in the legs and arms may not be able to move at all
· Muscles in the legs and arms are thin and weak or even absent
· The hips may be dislocated
Some infants with arthrogryposis have facial deformities, curvature of the spine, genital deformities, cardiac and respiratory problems, and skin defects.
TreatmentThere is no cure for arthrogryposis, but early vigorous physical therapy can help stretch out the contracted joints and develop the weak muscles. Splints can also help stretch joints, especially at night. Orthopedic surgery may also be able to relieve or correct joint problems.
Ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scan can identify any central nervous system abnormalities. These may or may not require surgery to treat. Congenital heart defects may need to be repaired.
PrognosisThe life span for an individual with arthrogryposis is usually normal, but may be altered by heart defects or central nervous system problems.

Information for this article was taken from:Chen, H. Arthrogryposis. eMedicine, accessed at

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Well, my family got some great news this week. My dad does not have CANCER!! I am so relieved and humbled that the Lord spared my father in this way. Thank you for all your prayers!

My cousin Lindsay is half way through chemo and is doing pretty well... Good and bad days but seems to be doing her best to take one day at a time. Here is a link to her Caringbridge website if you would like to read her posts.

Here's an update from the aunt of Julia, the little girl from China that is going through treatments for Lukemia. I posted about her with a picture some time ago.

Tuesday Julia had her chemo along with spinal tap and a bone marrow aspiration. Julia's doctor called to tell us all results came back good, meaning the bone marrow sample showed fewer leukocyte cells, (chemo is working) and once again, spinal tap showed no sign of cancer cells in her spinal fluid. YEA!!! I have to tell you all I was surprised by the phone call even though Dr. Daggert clearly said she would call, but somehow I already knew her results were good. It is like what the bible says, "It's a peace that surpasses all understanding." I am so grateful to be spiritually at this place. Not to say there are not moments when I want to fall apart, or that it's not extremely difficult to watch Julia go through these brutal intensive treatments that play such havoc on her tiny body, but I am very positive on her outcome. We still are grateful for good results, and continue prayers for them, but Brian and I continue to stand in faith that ALL her results will be positive from now on.

Julia did get a platelet transfusion Tuesday which seems to be a trend with her. They usually perk her right up.

Again, I thank each and every one of you for your continued prayers. There have been so many acts of kindness shown to our family and we are sincerely humbled. Julia has been provided with so much love, support and distraction from the invasive procedures. Many of you have replaced her tears of pain with smiles of relief. We thank you so much.

Please continue to pray for sweet Lindsay and Julia!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Now you see them...Now you don't

Congratulations Trevor on getting your braces off. For 19 months you have suffered the ache of tightening, the pain of rubber bands popping in your mouth, food jammed in your teeth, sensitive gums and most important...The lack of corn on the cob, popcorn, gummy bears, gum chewing, Laffy Taffy, Sugar Babies...Just to name a few but you YOU MADE IT anyway and you look fantastic (you looked fantastic with braces too). Here's to another milestone my boy. I love you!


He said as we were driving home. "Mom, I have big teeth like you now" I replied, "no babe, you've always had big teeth like mom, they've just been covered up for 19 months"... We had a good laugh. BTW... I like our big teeth! =)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

High school homecoming and Perry Farm

On Saturday, Trevor had his high school homecoming. The group decided to take pictures at the beautiful Perry Farm. Trevor brought his date Amanda and a fun time was had by all. It started by taking pictures, going out for pizza, hitting the school dance, wrapping it up with two games of bowling. I am so proud of my boy, he's an honest, clean living kiddo and all his friends are cut from the same cloth. I can't tell you how happy I am to see my teenager living for the Lord. Aw, makes me misty eyed.

After the teens headed over to the local pizza place, we took the girls to a different area of the farm to visit the quarter horses, goats, chickens, turkeys and ducks. Miss Rachel LOVES animals, she's my nature girl so this was the highlight of the evening for her. She loves to feed and pet as many animals as she can. Now, Linzhi is a different story, like her mama. I will look but please don't ask me to touch! LOL... It was so precious to see them running around enjoying their first fall together. This weekend coming is the annual "Night at Sleepy Hallow" it will be held at the same farm. It is a fun time for both little kids and bigger kids. This will be Linzhi's first time at Sleepy Hallow and the pumpkin patch which we're going to try an squeeze in as well. I vividly remember last year at Sleepy Hallow when we were so close to leaving for China to pick up our little one. I can still see Rachel at the craft table making a trick or treat bag and my thoughts were "next year, she'll have her sister to share life with..." So this year, I will be snapping pictures of my little girls sharing the Sleepy Hallow experience together, I know my heart will be full. Trevor will be there too, he volunteers for the hay rides so I'm going to sneak some pics of him too!!!

We ended our night with a yummy dinner at Cracker Barrel. Now, that was the highlight of my Linzhi's night. She loves to eat...Just like mama, oh and daddy too! =)

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Beautiful Perry Farm

Sweet baby Rachel loving on the quarter horses.

Time to clean out the shoes...Monkey see, Monkey do!

My guy.

Miss Linz trying to figure out if she likes the quarter horses??? Not so sure... that a tongue I see sticking out of Linzhi's mouth??? Rachel in the background noticing before I did!

My little one LOVES little ones...

Trevor was the only teen that asked to take a picture with his mama. =) =)

The guys... Trev's tie was a little short...OOPS!

Guys and dolls.

Trevor and his date Amanda. Aren't they cute!

Rachel looking at the girls in their dresses but not wanting her picture taken!

Linzhi LOVES her daddy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sunday Baptism

Daddy, Rachel, mommy, Linzhi Rose and Pastor Bob. I love how Rachel is looking at her.

Daddy, Linzhi, Mommy, Rachel (very nervous) and our Awesome Pastor Bob.

My little sister Sage and Rachel Catherine

Miss Linz with Grandma Vanessa (my mom) and Grandpa John

Trevor, mom, Linz and Rachel before the service. I love my babies!

Trevor, Grandma Sharon (CJ's mom), Linz and Rachel, before the service.

Hello everyone, it's been awhile since I put in a post. Last week was very busy as we were preparing for the girls Baptism. We had a wonderful time on Sunday and my heart was full. I come from divorce, my parents separated when I was four and let's just say they didn't seem to get along after that so I've always had two of everything for Trevor... Two birthdays, two, holidays, etc... By the time Rachel came I decided it's time for a change. Now I only have ONE event for respective birthdays and holidays. I prayed heavy on this a few years ago, I would get stressed and nervous knowing my parents would be under the same roof but God is good and is so much bigger than my little worries and of course, like always he takes care of the big and little things in our lives. My point is, on Sunday I became a little emotional as I witnessed my sweet babies being marked with water to potentially be inheritors of God's kingdom. It's a comfort to know they have the support of family and church family as they make the journey to Jesus. Our pray is that our girls, like their brother did, will accept the sacrifice Jesus made for them and look to him as their savior. I believe wholly this is the path my babies will take. I see them loving him and seeking to know more about him with such an innocent wonder. Children are so precious and I know how much more precious they are to our heavenly father. So it was a blessing for us to watch our girls take this step closer to Jesus, of course together.

Secondly, for the first time I saw my parents and their spouses sitting at the table eating lunch together LAUGHING and talking like they have been friends all along. I have to say, my sweet step-mother Cathy has been key in this right along with God. Cathy is the ice breaker and always has been when it came to my parents. I will always be so grateful to her for that! I was so happy to witness this, I can't express how HUGE this is for me. I've wanted this for a very long time! =)

Lastly, a BIG thank you to my mom and mother-in-law for helping me with the food for the luncheon and the help you provide for the girls during the week.

My heart is full tonight.