Sunday, September 30, 2007

Stephanie

I love you too!

Stephanie dances

I can't remember if I already posted this.. forgive me if I did but I thought it was sweet enough to post again!

Happy Birthday Princess Stephanie!

A big Happy 12th Birthday to our beautiful and sweet Stephanie! It was actually yesterday but we have been very busy this weekend so I'm just now getting a chance to blog. I know I've shared many times before that their birthdays are the hardest days of the wait. I've managed to cry on every one of them and say a prayer that it will be the last one we miss. We think there is a good chance we will miss Jude's 10th birthday in November as well. We still celebrate them even though we are apart. We surprised Stephanie with a phone call to sing her happy birthday and tell her we miss and love her. I had been practising Creole and had all sorts of things I wanted to say to her and ask her. It did not work out as I had hoped as the connection made it even harder for us to understand each other. So with the help of a couple of the older girls we managed to have a very broken conversation. Stephanie had them ask me when I was coming to Haiti to bring them home and I could answer nothing other then "I don't know" (which was what led to the tears after the phone call).

The weekend was a busy and fun one. Saturday morning we called Stephanie, Saturday afternoon we spent at a birthday party of a friend that shares Stephanie's birthday, Saturday night we played games with friends until the wee hours of Sunday morning. This morning we visited a new church and the rest of the day flew by with non-exciting yet busy things.

Tomorrow is a big day as Jim has the day off and we are going as a family to the San Diego Zoo. The kids are super excited. I'm personally not a fan of going to zoo's but am excited for our kids.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Quick family update

Johnny-- Thank you so much to everyone that emailed me regarding advice and prayers about Johnny. The same day I posted our concerns we got him in to an appointment with the doctors. Nothing really came of it other then a blood test that I feel will not lead us to anything (been there done that... nothing there). He was SO great about the blood test and because he's such a charmer he came home with 6 stickers, 3 lollipops, and a book ... as he said "All this just for having a blood test!" Please continue to keep him in your prayers and that God would give us wisdom in what to do as I have a feeling it will be much like my seizures where we will ultimately be the ones to find out what is causing it and how to treat it.

Drivers License- I have been checking the mail every day hoping to receive something that says I can drive again. When nothing came I called my insurance company to find out that they held on to my paperwork for 3 weeks and just sent it to the doctor for a signature, who will then have to send it back to them and they will send it to DMV--where it will likely sit on someones desk as well (can you see how much Haiti and America have in common?). The whole thing is totally crazy as it would take less then 2 minutes (totally serious) to check a couple boxes and sign the form. Lovin' my HMO! ;) The good news: Still seizure free and totally loving it, license or not!

Our kids in Haiti- We have lost our Internet connection with them to send emails. We are missing them so much. They should be back online soon. Tomorrow is Stephanie's 12th birthday and we plan to surprise her with a phone call. Be praying for my lacking skills in speaking Creole as I fear it will be a short conversation. At least we can sing Happy Birthday to her and tell her we love and miss her very much.

My coffee mug- I posted a while back that I really wanted the coffee mug that says "NO NEWS YET". It cracks me up. No one caught my very subtle hint and sent it to me so I think I will sweet talk my hubby and see if I can be sipping tea this winter out of a very funny mug. Ah, the little things that make me happy....

Hopefully I can update this update with much more exciting and positive news soon! I will be typing the update from the drivers seat, with a cup of hot tea in my funny coffee mug in the other hand, with at least 6 of our kids in the car (but don't tell DMV that)!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tagged

I have been tagged by a friend so will do my best to answer these questions. I have not seen this one before. Since it requires me to reveal my middle name I would also like to share a middle name fun fact: My middle name is Jean (after my Grandmother who is amazing). We decided for a middle name for the children we are adopting we will keep their birth last names. For Stephanie and Jude their birth last names are Jeannis making their middle names very similar to mine. Kind of sweet. ;)

So. The rules: You have to post these rules before you give the facts. Players - You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. At the end of your post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.

J- I'm surrounded by people I love that have names that start with J. My husband Jim, and 3 of our sons Jacques, Jude, and Johnny. My brother, his wife, and their 3 kids all have names that start with J. I also have a nephew named Justin. Love the J's in my life!

E- eating dark chocolate often- My favorite food.

A- Angela- Obviously my name! :) Someone recently emailed me that they noticed my last name begins with Laugh. What I would add to that is that my first name begins with Angel so put them together and you've got Angel Laugh-- that's a lot of pressure to be good and cheery! ;)

N- No-nonsense- Okay no one is buying that... Does the opposite of no-nonsense qualify for an answer to the letter N? I'm so not a no-nonsense person. More like a constant nonsense type person. Oh.... I could have just used the word nonsense (see what I mean??!!)

Okay, Now to share the love I get to tag others. I'm going to break the letter rule (like my friend that tagged me did) and just put names of those I would like to see respond-

J- Ange at http://havingfunservinghim.blogspot.com/
E- Keziah at http://myhaitiankids.blogspot.com/
A- Linda at http://www.baurerbits.blogspot.com/
N- Mandy at http://moreonthemoores.blogspot.com/

PS: Good thing I didn't tag our son Kyle who's middle name is Yzaya. Can you imagine him coming up with answers for that one?! Also the middle name we had the MOST fun with in picking out names for our kids was our son Luke. Some of the names considered Luke Around, Luke About.. Warm.. E.charm....Skywalker....And our favorite that we came so super close to naming him (and still kind of wish we did) Mahnohans. For those of you trying to figure out why Luke Mahnohans would have been such a great name: say it slowly and it sounds like "look ma, no hands". Just proving my lifestyle of nonsense point!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Link to Mom song Video

By request I found the video on Youtube so I could pass on the link. You can find it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_oc1j5NakY

For all Moms or anyone who has ever had a Mom!

video

A great big thank you to Vicki Jean for sending me this funny video!! It's so funny.

A review by Johnny:

(giggle giggle) "That's just silly!" (giggle giggle)

September 2007 Update

We really wish that this mail finds all the family in good health.
Now the physical evolution of this month for your kids.
Lovenie: 20 lbs & 35 inches.
Jude: 55 lbs & 51½ inches.
Stephanie: 85 lbs & 58 ½ inches. They are really in good form.
The birth parent interview went very fine, now we are waiting for the answer.
A good photo is attached to that mail, love again!!!!
NLL,

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another day in paradise!


Calvary Chapel Chino Hills 2007 Baptism

Jim and Me from our viewing point on the hill


Johnny, Luke, and Kyle watching their friends being baptised



Kyle, Johnny, and Luke- the people on the beach are the ones waiting to be baptised

Jim and the boys at sunset-- cold, tired, and very happy!
What a beautiful and wonderful day we had. It's days like this that I am so happy we live in Southern California (even if we really miss our precious TX friends!). The weather was gorgeous and we went to Corona Del Mar beach for the Calvary Chapel Chino Hills baptism. There was around 400 people signed up to be baptised and around a dozen of them were friends that our family really adores. It was such an honor to be there on such a special occasion. We had a great time also just hanging out on the beach, playing, and spending time with our wonderful friends. We are all so tired tonight but had a really great time!





Friday, September 21, 2007

Jacques O

I happened to be on Youtube and noticed Kez had posted this video of Jacques for me. I don't know how I didn't see it before. Oh, I miss him SOOOOOO much!!! Is he the most handsome boy in the world or what???

Celebrations and Concerns

The GREAT news: I'M SIX MONTHS SEIZURE FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!! SIX MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



The GOOD news: Luke put the I love Mom shirt back on this morning. It seems I have been forgiven of my seemingly unreasonable request of him.
The CONCERN: Johnny is complaining more and more of not feeling well and feels like his bones are shaking. I feel at a loss of what to do and how to help him. The neurologist ruled out epilepsy (which is good). An Urgent Care doctor said that she thought it was Tourettes and that was also ruled out. Now what?? We are going to make an appointment with a new doctor and are just praying and praying for help. Will you please pray with us for our little boy?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ideas for tormenting your kids...


Okay the kids are driving me crazy today. :) Luke got mad at me when I made a simple request and he ran to his room and changed his shirt. Doesn't sound bad, right? Except that he changed out of a shirt that said "I love Mom"! Johnny is having one of his days that he has to be told the same thing over and over. Today's favorite is me telling him not to play with his pencil because he could get hurt (he puts it in his face and near his eyes) and sure enough he ran with one and accidentally rammed it in to the side of my leg-- OUCH!!! So I'm thinking of ways that I could torment them in return... any ideas?


I wish I was as creative as my parents. Here's just one example of a joke they pulled over on me. We were all sitting around the dinner table when my Dad made me the offer. "Angela, I'll give you a dollar if you let me break 2 eggs over your head." I began to protest and say I didn't want to do it. My Mom and brother joined in and encouraged me to do it. After all I would get a whole dollar, "egg is good for your hair", and "we can do it over the tub and wash it right out". Okay, I gave in. The whole family went in to the bathroom and watched as I leaned over the tub. My Dad stood by with an egg in each hand and smashed one on the top of my head. They all had a good laugh and started to leave the bathroom. I yelled "Wait a minute! Where is my dollar???" That's when my Dad laughed and said "I said I would give you a dollar if I broke TWO eggs over your head and I only broke one!"


This would have worked except that I started to cry. My Dad gave in and handed me a dollar. I had the last laugh... all the way to the piggy bank!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Learning of Johnny's Autism

I guess Oprah had a show yesterday about famous Mom's of children with Autism (I did not see it). It now seems to be popping up all over on the news and online. It's caused me to think about Johnny and how very far he has come in the last several years. I'm very grateful that he is high functioning and also grateful for how much he is changing and growing.

The signs:
I tend to lean towards believing from research and experience that there really is something to the belief that autism is possibly brought on by immunization shots (specifically several given at once). When Johnny was 18 months old we had just moved to TX and taken him to a new doctor that told us he was behind on some shots and gave him several at one time. It was around that time that we started to see concerning things in Johnny's behavior. He rarely spoke in the first 4 years of his life, but instead he would meow like a cat. He got really good at it and we had many conversations when we had visitors in our home when we had to insist that we really did not have a cat and it was just our son (he sounded so good people took a while to believe us). When we would try and take him to class at church he would flip out. He would cling to us and when we put him in class he would go wild. He would scream, hit, kick, and bang at the door. When he would give up on that he would crawl under the table and refuse to come out until we got there. We thought he was just being "difficult", "strong willed", and "rebellious" so continued to consistently put him in class thinking he would get over it, but he continued to get worse. As my health got worse and we had to have baby sitters and child care while Jim was at work Johnny really lost control. He would have what we call "meltdowns" and would be sitting in one place playing nicely one minute and the next scream, kicking, and flailing around. One day I picked him up to hear that he had one of these meltdowns and was hitting and kicking at his baby sitter (who was also one of my closest friends). I left her house and just cried and cried. We tried every punishment imaginable with him... what more could we possibly do? The more we would punish him the worse he would get. Jim and I both noticed that there was something wrong but couldn't quite put in to words what was going on. It did seem as if Johnny couldn't help himself when he would snap. Even as we recognized it we also wondered if we were just giving an excuse for poor parenting. From the time he was 18 months until he was 4 years old were some very difficult years. When he turned 4 his meltdowns began to disappear. He would still get very upset if taken in to a social situation. We attended a weekly home bible study. One night Jim was carrying Johnny inside the house (filled with people we had known a long time) and Johnny saw all the people and panicked. He grabbed the door and clung to it while screaming and crying. We could see it in his eyes... he was really terrified! This and many things like it went on over and over again. We were at a loss for what to do or what we were doing wrong and could not get a doctor to help us. As he got older and his symptoms mellowed out a bit we were able to see more clearly that something really was just not the same for him as other kids. One week I took him to his Sunday class and came back to find him curled up in a ball (at 6 years old) in a corner of the room shaking and crying out of fear. I decided then and there that I would never again put him in a social situation so intimidating to him. I know... what took me so long, right? There are so many other things... he has trouble looking anyone in the eyes, he is constantly fidgeting and moving, makes unusual noises and sound effects almost non-stop, has trouble following or holding a conversation or remembering directions given to him... the list could get quite long.

The "news"-- I am sure all parents react differently to the news that their child has autism or any other disabilities. However, Jim and I had been sure that something was up for a very long time. Even if the doctors did not recognize it as a problem in the short time they spent with him, we always knew something was not right. Johnny was 6 (and many of his symptoms were much milder) when a doctor finally caught on. She was doing a really thorough exam for our adoption home studies. We told her (just like every other doctor) about our concerns about Johnny and she listened. She did some tests with him. Then she turned to us with a very sweet and sympathetic smile and gently "broke" the news to us that she believes our son has autism. This is the point she expected us to fall apart and we instead smiled, nodded our heads in agreement, and asked "How can we get him help?" We could tell that it was not the reaction she expected but it was better then the "Well DUH" we were saying in our heads. :)

The changes: We have made some major decisions about how to handle problems Johnny faces and life has become so much better for us all! Home schooling him has been FANTASTIC for him and we can't even begin to imagine putting him in a public school situation and expecting him to learn. We no longer put him in situations where he is scared or intimidated by his surroundings and if we accidentally do it we immediately take him out of that situation. Instead of harsh punishment for everything he does we punish only clearly rebellious actions and not the ones that we know he does without making a conscious decision to do so. Recognizing his needs and struggles has been so helpful in his feeling safe and allowing him to be himself. He no longer has any of the meltdowns and is about the sweetest, most loving, and even very obedient child you could ask for!

What I would do differently- If I could do it all over again I would not have trusted so much in the doctors. I would have listened to all my instincts screaming at me that I was missing something. I wish I would not have forced him in to situations that terrified him or punished him for things that he could not help... I just did not know at the time.

Johnny is such a joy in our life and a really wonderful gift from God. While he may always have things he struggles with (and who doesn't?) he is also very talented, smart, and kind. I believe with all my heart that God has a very special and exciting purpose for Johnny's life and I look forward to seeing it play out. It's an honor to be his Mom!

Monday, September 17, 2007

We're out sick...

Sorry for the lack of posts but Jim and I have been attacked by a virus and have nothing exciting to share except how we spent the weekend laying around comparing random symptoms. I've decided to spare you this dialogue and instead tell you about someone that can relate:

A man returns from an overseas trip feeling very ill.
He goes to see his doctor, and is immediately rushed to the Hospital to undergo a barrage of tests.
The man wakes up after the tests in a private room at the hospital.
The phone by his bed rings."This is your doctor. We've received the results from your tests. We've found you have an extremely nasty virus, which is very contagious!"
"Oh my gosh," cried the man, "What are you going to do, doctor?"
"Well we're going to put you on a diet of pizzas, pancakes, and pita bread."
"Will that cure me?" asked the man.
The doctor replied, "Well... no, but it's the only food we can get under the door."

Friday, September 14, 2007

Youth making a difference

One of the things I really wish I would have done differently in my life is to have spent my late teens and early 20's serving God and touching the lifes of others. That is why I get so excited to see other people in that age range that do care about more then themselves and what party they will go to. It is a tough age and so easy to get sucked in to selfishness and unproductiveness. I've had the honor of recently getting to know some people in this age range that are making a difference and I admire them so much.

One is my friend Kez and you can view her blog at http://myhaitiankids.blogspot.com/

Yesterday I received an email from a friend about a 20 year old making a big difference in Haiti. If you have a couple minutes please take a moment to read about his efforts as well as watching a great video regarding Haiti. The link to this article and video is:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/americas/09/11/jackson.heroes/index.html

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Warning Signs of Blog Addiction

10. You check your blog stats a LOT. You occasionally get up in the middle of the night and sneak a peak.
9. Your significant other suspects you are having an affair with your blog. Even when you’re alone with your special person, you do find yourself thinking what your blog might be doing right then…
8. You “mental blog” while driving or on the train, and sometimes even when you are alone in the shower.
7. You filter everything through your post-writing. You can’t watch a movie, see a play, read an article, or share a sweet moment with your child without thinking of whether it’s blog-worthy.
6. You suffer from “blog envy” when another blogger posts something juicy before you do. You suffer “comment envy” when said post gets 40-something comments
5. You “binge blog” 3 or 4 posts at once—only to feel guilty and empty afterward.
4. You ditched all your real friends for blog friends, because, well, “they understand.”
3. You think, “I can stop at any time.”
2. Your lunch hour has become your “blog hour.” You keep a few posts tucked in your desk in case you need them during the day.
1. After 5 minutes of meeting someone really interesting you ask, “So - do you blog?”

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Luke Reads

Today I decided to start teaching Luke to read. He is a 4 years and 2 months old but has known his letters, sounds, and several site words since he was 3. I used Hooked On Phonics and he caught on immediatly and within minutes was reading his first story.

Way to go Luke, we are proud of you!!!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Confessions of an Ex-Con: Doing hard time

Got you attention did it? No, not ex-convict, ex-convulser (yes there is a good chance I made that word up.) It's with a very excited and grateful heart that I say I have been 5.5 months seizure free. On Friday I saw my Neurologist to get the last check over to get the okay to drive again. The appointment went well and the insurance company is filling out the paperwork and sending it in to DMV who I am hoping will soon notify me that my license has been reinstated and there is nothing more I need to do (one can hope!). It would be so good to be behind the wheel again.
I'll admit it felt pretty fantastic to see a doctor because I am well instead of because I am sick! It has caused me to really take a look back at the 4.5 years I've had while having so many seizures, lived with a lot of pain, having surgeries, seeing doctor after doctor (some of them not so kind), constant migraines, not being able to take care of our children or even myself. There were some really rough times. I used to lay in bed (oh, I forgot to add insomnia) while every else was asleep and pray begging God to please heal me or take me home but PLEASE do not leave me alive to live everyday this way. My doctors had me taking so many drugs that I do not even remember some days (maybe this was actually a gift?). Not only was it a miserable existence but I felt as if I was nothing but a drain on my family and friends and I had become totally useless. There have been so many times when I would cry and cry because of either the pain or the humiliation of convulsing in public places.

Now that I am doing better then I could have ever thought to hope for I can look back on those days and see what's come of them. During that time I had the most amazing friendships I've ever had. Jim and I grew strong spiritually and laid a strong foundation of faith for our family (even if it didn't always feel like it at the time), God opened my eyes to my pride and my desire to do things in the flesh. One day after having convulsions at an appointment at the hospital I was able to share my faith with a nurse who was struggling with a lot of hardships in her life. I left the hospital praising God and thanking Him for every seizure I had ever had because if it did nothing more then lead to that moment it was all worth it. I could go on and on. I've learned and changed so much and I know that so much of it had to do with being results in my life because of such a hard time.

So many of our greatest gifts have come from our hardest times in life. One that comes quickly to mind is how Jim was totally unexpectedly laid off right before our home study when we started our adoption process. Since I home schooled and my health was bad I stayed home and could not have worked outside of the home if I had wanted to (I did get a job but had to let it go when I realized my many seizures would not allow it). Because of that lay off, that had at the time been so stressful, we were able to move back to CA. Jim has a fantastic job, works way less hours then he did before, and has some exciting opportunities. They also have great adoption assistance program. It has been a wonderful change for us but would not have happened without the lay off.

Finally: here we are in the "hard" times of the adoption. What we thought would take 6-9 months (or less because of Lovenie's disabilities) has now taken 2.5 years and counting. So much has happened during this wait. Our family has continued to be blessed with more children that we may not have known about if the adoption was quick. We have made close friendships with people all around the world who are also waiting for their children. And at some point it will bless us with children that we could not imagine our lives without.

There will be hard times in all our lives. What I have begun to notice is how much good can come from those times. I can honestly look back at them and say "Thank you God for allowing the seizures and the pain in my life." "Thank you for allowing Jim to lose his job at what seemed to be the worst possible time." "Thank you for causing our adoption process to not be what we thought or wanted it to be because we know that from this also you will bring us joy and blessings beyond anything we can imagine while going through it." I can't imagine going through lifes hardships without God at your side making it all for the good for those who love Him.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Happy Birthday Johnny James!!!!!


Johnny plays a video game while Luke, me, and Kyle watch.

"The big kid" gets in on the games. Jim was able to take the day off work and hang out with his family for his little boy's birthday.


Kyle reminding Johnny that he should make a wish.

Johnny: Deep in thought about the wish.



Candles out in one puff! I made the above train cake at Johnny's request of a blue train like Thomas and the specific request that he wanted it on railroad tracks. The first think Johnny asked for when I wished him a happy birthday this morning was to see his cake. I showed it to him and he said "It doesn't really LOOK like Thomas" Doesn't this kid know by now that his Mama is not an artist or a talented cake decorator.. I tried. :)



Johnny requested the piece of cake with the number 7 on it, never mind that it was in the MIDDLE of the cake! It is his birthday- he was granted his request.


Luke cracking up because he caught on to what Johnny was doing and asked for one of the windows- also awkward to get to--- you can see he got his wish.


Johnny pointing out his Spiderman shirt in front of the Chuck E Cheese Spiderman picture.


Kyle and Johnny showing off one of his presents.


Just a sweet picture of the birthday boy. Is he cute or what?!!


Showing off his present from my parents. It's a fold out stand filled with books and activities.

He also got CASH from his other Grandparents and Uncle. He got them in birthday cards last night and FLIPPED OUT-- He's quite sure he is very rich. :)




Yes, another birthday already. It is so hard to believe that our little Johnny turned 7 today! We are so proud of him. He is so smart, funny, and sweet. He's the "cartoon character" of our family and cracks us up with his comments and facial expressions. When Johnny was first born he had a hole in his lungs and we were not totally sure he would survive. Thank you so much God for giving us the gift of our sweet little Johnny!!!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The gift of letters from the kids!!!

In the last couple days I have received these letters from Stephanie, Jude, and Jacques. I'm so very grateful to be able to communicate with them, even if it is just to remind them over and over again of our love for them!

From Stephanie:

Hi mom
How are you? I'm fine thanks to God. How are the others? I hope that everything is ok for all of us.I write you in this address because Keziah left Haiti last sunday.She told to Argentine that I can write to you on her address mail.I want you know that I love you so much.
I'll always pray for all of you.I love you so much and I miss you.
Sincerely
Stephanie
P.S- Say hi to dad and gives a kiss to my brothers for me please.

From Jacques:

Hello mom
how are you? Yes i had a good birthday. My friends celebrated with me and i received some candies and letters. I was very happy. Thanks for the presents. They are very beatiful. Today i have gone to school. For dinner i didn't eat.
your sweet son; Jaco.

From Jude:

Hello dad, mom and my brothers
I'm very happy because you wrote to me.
Today I went to school and I played wih my friends.I ate cookies.My teacher gave me 10 above 10 for my lesson.

I love you so much and I miss you.
Your son
Jude

3 more earthquakes

It is not yet noon today and I've already heard and felt 3 more earthquakes. They are small and not at all scary. I've never felt so many in such a short amount of time. Looking at the websites that tell where the earthquakes are coming from shows that we are also having LOTS of earthquakes this week that are not big enough to feel, as well as the several we have heard and felt.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Our precious son

Okay, every birthday I'm without one of our children is always depressing and I always end up in tears. Today being Jacques birthday I have been able to think of almost nothing other then him. I have managed not to cry, that is until I read my friends new blog. She has lived with the kids of HFC and is so loved by them. She is the reason we "met" Jacques. On her blog she shared this about her recent trip to Haiti:

I spent Saturday night at the boys’ house. During devotions, Jacques was asked to pray out loud. He started praying for me, for safe travel, for a swift return to Haiti, and thanks for all that I have done with them. I was crying by the time he ended.

Dry eyes are a thing of the past and a stream of tears took their place. He is just so precious and kind. A very exceptional person. I have done nothing to deserve the precious gift of our many children and yet I'm so thankful God would allow us to know and love them. Lord, please bring our children home!!! Praying for miracles today.

2 more Earthquakes today

This morning I felt another earthquake. This one was much shorter. The boys were watching a movie so did not hear or notice it. I was standing in a quiet room and heard the loud booming sound and felt our house shake really quick and then it was over. We had two near our home today but the first was not big enough to feel.

Here is the information on them:
3.4 2007/09/05 08:16:47 33.736N 117.470W 1.3 15 km ( 9 mi) WNW of Lake Elsinore, CA
1.8 2007/09/05 07:47:30 33.729N 117.507W 7.6 17 km (11 mi) SSE of Corona, CA

Happy Birthday Jacques!!!!

Today is Jacques birthday. It is our first birthday apart since we learned that he was going to be a member of our family. Birthday's are always the hardest days for me in the adoption process. I want so much to be with him, celebrating (I would be giving him the day off of school), giving him hugs and kisses, and even throwing him a party. This year I will be praying for him and thinking of him while hoping that we will spend every birthday after this with him. We sent him a birthday gift that Kez delivered to him when she was in Haiti (Thanks Kez) and he said he was going to open it today. I hope he will like it! I am writing this in blue because it is his favorite color and we made the cake pictured below in the green, white, and red stripes like the mexican flag because that is Jacques's favorite soccer team. Happy Birthday our dear Son!!!!




Happy Birthday Jacques!!!!

While Jacques is in Haiti and we are in America we want him to know we love him and are celebrating his birthday.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

God Grew Tired of Us Trailer

Here is a trailer for the Movie I told you we watched this weekend and loved! We laughed really hard and I cried pretty hard at times. I wish everyone would see it!

Labor Day Weekend

Jim got a chance to practise Spray Paint Art again. He's getting really good at it!

Johnny and Kyle helped me to find just the right cake topper for Jacques cake.

This weekend was filled with fun, relaxing, and some errands. Saturday we got a call at 5PM from some friends that asked us to come over for a swim and bbq. I said "You mean right now?" and she responded with a "yes now". Since spontaneous is our favorite way to live our lives I got Jim and the boys out of our pool and threw a change of clothes in a bag for later and it was not long until we were at our friends house. It was like being on vacation at their house. Their backyard and pool was gorgeous, the food fantastic, and at night they lit tikki lights, candles, and had colored lights flashing on the pool. The boys really loved it too and swam until late into the night. Afterwards we put on movies for the boys and the grown ups got to indulge in a bunch of fun games (for our game fanatic friends we played: Catch Phrase, Apples to Apples, and Pit). We had so much fun that we had to force ourselves to leave at 1AM!
Sunday we had our Earthquake excitement. In the afternoon Jim went to Sam's club to do our grocery shopping but it was closed because it had no electricity (can you imagine how much money they lost day before Labor Day?). We watched movies at night, including one I'll share with you about in another post because it was good enough to deserve it's own post!
Monday was filled with mostly errands. We finally got to do our Sam's Club shopping, buy the kids some shoes, and get cake baking and decorating supplies. Tomorrow is Jacques birthday and Friday is Johnny's so today I will be busy baking Jacques cake. I'm excited about it because this will be Jacques 1st birthday that we have known we are a family. I'm going to attempt to personally make his cake (even if he can't eat any of it). We got a birthday present to him from Kez taking it to Haiti recently. She said he set it aside and was going to wait until his birthday to open it. I was very pleased to hear that.

Last night Jim bbq'd steaks. I made a giant salad and we had very fresh baked french bread that I had unknowingly won for free. I was at the bakery department getting a "sample" cookie for the kids. While we waited there was a man next to us picking up a cake that stood right next to us YELLING in to his phone (does this bug anyone else, because I think it's totally rude.) I guess while our boys were getting their cookies and the man was yelling in his phone the store made an announcement that they had fresh baked bread in their bakery and the 1st 3 people to ask will receive a free loaf. I didn't hear any of this announcement but I was in the bakery to pick up French Bread. Right behind the bakery counter they had a cart full of french bread we could smell and I knew they had just finished baking. I asked the lady near the cart if it was just baked and could I have one. She grinned and wrote a note that she taped to it. I looked puzzled at the note and she explained the announcement to me. I guess those fortune cookies were wrong, or my luck has taken a turn for the better. I'd laugh in the face of the fortune cookies if they had one!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Earthquake

Today our boys experienced their first Earthquake. It startled us all. Johnny was still sleeping , Kyle was playing on the computer and fortunately Luke was near us because he went in to freak out screaming mode. Jim and I both jumped. It was LOUD as if a building near us had exploded or something and our house shook pretty hard and then we had a bit of an aftershock. We yelled for the kids and just to be safe we curled up together under the table. Luke took a while to calm down and Johnny complained about it waking him up and Kyle told us he doesn't ever want to feel an earthquake again. Our response.... Welcome to California boys! :)
It is a good reminder to make sure we know what to do and have emergency kits ready. I also immediately thought that if Stephanie, Jude, and Lovenie had been home I wouldn't have known the words to explain to them what was happening so it probably would have been even more scary for them. So, something else to consider learning how to explain in Creole. We are all safe and fine and the earthquake happened pretty near our home (why it was so loud) but was just a 4.7 so it was big enough to get our attention but not big enough to do any harm.