Saturday, January 1, 2011

WOW! Happy New year to all of you! We had such a wonderful, blessed Christmas season this year! It was especially joyful now that our little bird (Madelyn) is in the nest. I remember last Christmas, our home was packed up and ready to be moved into our new home and we were still waiting to hear from USCIS on whether or not we could move forward with our adoption for Mady... And look now! Unpacked and loving life with my hubs and 4 babes! Things have slowed down for a bit which has been lovely but we are all ready to get back into our school routine which starts back up on Tuesday. Although, we have stopped most of our school work, CJ and I have been reading so they don't fall backwards, especially Madelyn since she is doing so beautifully! Rachel Cate reads very well and Linzhi is starting to read short sentences, as a matter of fact, tonight she read an entire page from her K-beginner book! Madelyn continues to read her Mandarin books as well as her English reader books, we told her she needs to keep learning Mandarin AND English and she agreed that she would like to speak and read both languages! I LOVE IT! She is teaching her sisters and mama a little too. So here's a little update on the kiddies...

Trevor- My eldest child will be 18 on the 12th of this month, I am excited for him but at the same time shocked at how fast the time went and how much I miss that little guy that was my shadow for so many years, just the two of us. He has grown into a wonderful, Godly young man and we are both so very proud of him! He loves his job and is having a great time with his friends. We'll be meeting at the local community college to discuss next year and then in no time he will be off to college. He chose to start at the community college and live at home for 2 more years and then he would like to transfer to Columbia College, downtown Chicago which isn't too far from me...sniff sniff... I also have a sense of accomplishment that we now have one child raised. I was a young mama when he came into my life and the odds were against me God gave me what I needed to raise him to the best of my abilities with mistakes along the way :) The night before I delivered him, I made a promise to him that not one day would go by without him knowing how much I love him and without a doubt I have told that child everyday how much I love him, some days he would brush me off but now I think he gets it. I will never stop.

Madelyn- Oh where to start with this girl. Everyday we learn more and more about her life in China, she is an open book and LOVES to tell us everything about her China mom and dad and we LOVE listening to her, she's lived a fascinating life before her move to the West. I just eat it up, so does CJ. Little girls are talkers and this one tops them all! We continue to pray for her China mom and dad and since she knows more English and can understand us better we made sure she knew we want her to continue to love and think of them as her parents along with us. It seems once she understood we don't want her to forget her past or that we didn't want to know about her life in China that on the contrary we wanted all her memories to stay alive AND the love for the people she left behind, she became an open book AND her grieving stopped! Don't get me wrong, she cries at the drop of a hat but it's because of an argument or she's extra tired but honestly every time I ask her if she's missing China she tells me "No, but I go back one day to Wuhan and cuz I happy with you" My cup over flows...

Rachel Cate- Oh this baby girl, she is daily reminding me of how alike we are! I have alittle history buff on my hands and I'm LOVING it!!! We are now hooked on a TV show called "If walls could talk" it's on HGTV, we DVR all the episodes and watch them together. It's our special thing together and just having her with me, just us is a precious time for me because she's always on the move! Rachel continues to amaze me at how willing she is to help her sisters that need some extra care once in awhile. CJ and I are very careful that she doesn't get burdened but honestly we feel this is something between the Lord and Rachel. She has been given a heart of compassion for those that have some struggles and it melts my heart to see her blossom into a wonderful sister. (She is also the ringleader in much of the mischief around here too...LOL)

Linzhi Rose-my baby. She is our youngest and that fits her just fine! This little teeny tiny girl has such a BIG heart. I always tell her that she has been given a servants heart and that it is a spiritual gift from God. She always smiles and says "I like to help God" (oh my heart). Linzhi is my shadow, no doubt! Where I am, she is. The other day I was cleaning upstairs and noticed my shadow wasn't with me, all the way down the hall I saw her walk from my room to her room, I asked her what she was doing and she replied "Looking for you!" Where did you go??? This coming from the little girl that didn't want much to do with me when she was placed in my arms at three years old and now to a little girl that has to have her mama within an ear shot....AMEN is all I can say, thank you Jesus! Linzhi Rose has a big year ahead of her, she will be having the first of several surgeries coming up in the spring. We are excited and scared all at the same time so I will be updating on the blog when we get a more information. I will be calling out to my prayer warriors.

CJ and I feel overly blessed to have so many wonderful blessings in our children and our family and friends. Life can be interesting and scary sometimes but it's such a security to know Jesus has all of our backs...All of us! Many this year bring you closer to the Lord and Saviour Jesus!

Here are some pics, not all in order but I wrote captions...



Christmas Eve at Grandma Nessa and Grandpa John's
"Elf Madelyn" making Christmas presents for her family. ( I was Mrs. Claus and CJ was Santa-all week long...LOVED IT!)
"Elf Linzhi" She was really happy, promise!


"Elf Rachel" putting in overtime at the workshop!



My little bro Sean...Lovingly called Seany by all. =)





Linzhi Rose loving her dolphin pillow pet, the only thing she wanted! I asked for what she would like for her upcoming birthday and her reply "Another dolphin pillow pet" =)




Miss Mady and Rachel Cate on Christmas morning.







group shot!
Mama helping Lu Belle with her gifts.


Sage, Rachel and Madelyn

Christmas morning!


Opening up presents from big bro.

This is a true expression from Rachel. Her DSI was stolen from her over the summer and she knew it was expensive so she asked for a new one at Christmas. I kept telling her, I don't know, it's a lot of money... She was truly surprised, just liked we wanted it to be. =)

Again, more excitement and more to come because Madelyn was opening us her DS. Linzhi Rose still has her DSI from the summer but really all she wanted was that pillow pet!

And the pillow pet is opened!


We had many activities this Christmas season and one that we look forward to is the dance recital. Our girls attend a Christian dance studio so the entire show was to celebrate Jesus! Look at Madelyn, she was nervous! There were over 200 people in attendance but once she was on stage, she and Linzhi did great! Rachel is in a different class this year.


Rachel posing before her acrobat show.



Waiting for Rachel to come on stage.

Madelyn loved every minute for the three hour recital. Notice the look on her face...How do you spell relief??? My. dance. is. over!


Trevor loving the recital...maybe not all of it! He's a trooper!





















31 comments:

Football and Fried Rice said...

Wow - Rachel certainly WAS excited about her DS! I love it! The kids all look so full of joy..I am glad your Christmas was magical - we had a great one too.

Loved the updates on ALL the kids. I can't believe how far Madelyn has come - and could she be more beautiful!? And sweet to hear about L's lobe for her momma!

You are certainly blessed as we enter into 2011!!

Hugs,
Sara

Amanda said...

LOVE IT!!!!!!
The girl's faces are priceless! I can almost hear Miss Linzhi squeal. LOL

So happy for you!

Sophie said...

Beautiful photos, have a happy and blessed New Year.

CK said...

Love your post! So great to hear how everyone is doing and to see pictures too--
(I know, I know I really need to update my blog)

Teresa =) said...

I'm so glad you decided to keep blogging. You have such a wonderful heart for God and your posts truly uplift me every time I read 'em. (Plus I love to see those gorgeous kids of yours as they change and grow.)

Looking forward to seeing Linzhi Rose's progress after her surgeries...I will be glued to your blog, praying for smooth sailing and quick recovery, and investigating if this would be an option for Carson.

Happy New Year from Ohio!

Teresa =)

Janet and Kevin said...

Happy New Year to you all, too! What an exciting year it has been with our new children, hasn't it!!!

2011 is the year of our Sophia, so we are gearing up here for one more chick to come into our nest. Can hardly wait.

Loved seeing your family in pictures and catching up with what has been going on. Your children are just precious. How beautiful that they love Jesus!

:)
janet and gang
http://threefingerprintsofgod.blogspot.com

Laine said...

A great update, Amy! I loved reading about each of your babies! And the pictures are adorable! It's so fun getting to peek into your holiday! Looks like a lot of fun was had by all!

It is hard to believe that last year yall were still waiting to hear from immigration! That was an amazing amazing amazing story...thanks for reminding me of God's faithfulness to bring sweet Madelyn home!

Love you,

Laine

TanyaLea said...

Amy, I just LOVED this post. The updates on the kids is exactly what I wanted to read! And all the great photos (including Rachel's excited one!!) were like the cherry on top!! Total EYE candy! I just can't get over what a beautiful family you have... both inside and out! You are so TRULY blessed my friend! God is good! What a difference a year makes!

I'm SO behind on my own blog, that I serioulsy don't know where to start again. I may borrow your format to update on my kids. Did I mention, I LOVED this post!?! ;)

May your 2011 be filled with MANY blessings! <><

OXO,
Tanya

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