Saturday, January 21, 2012


Rachel got a Chewbacca backpack for Christmas.

She loves that thing.

She loves Chewbacca.

Recently, we went to Disneyland and guess who had to come with us...Chewbacca of course. He was helpful, I must admit, he carried Rachel's sweatshirt, stocking hat, and water bottle.

All day long she talked about him. "Chewbacca's hungry". "Chewbacca's legs are tired". "Chewbacca doesn't want to ride that ride". Thus I give you this blog post...

"A Day with Chewbacca"

Strolling down the middle of Main Street...
Having lunch...
Enjoying a ride on the Rivers of America...
Having a snack...
This Storm Trooper wasn't too happy to see Chewbacca...
Sitting a spell and deciding where to head to next...
Hanging out with our favorite Cast Member before she heads to work...
Hoping to visit his friends and family on Star Tours...
Waiting for the World of Color to start...
I have a feeling Chewbacca will be making many more journeys with us to Disneyland...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The "I Am Hallway"

Back in October, Rachel went to a photo shoot for an upcoming project at Loma Linda University Medical Center. I am happy to share that this project is now complete and this evening, we went to a reception in honor of all those who participated.

The project transformed the main corridor of the Medical Center into what is now called the "I Am Hallway". Lining this hallway are about twenty pictures, very big pictures. And everyone one of the pictures has an "I Am" statement.

Here is Rachel and her picture:The inscription on her picture reads:
I am Beautiful

"There is something that draws people to Rachel; it might be her sparkling eyes, or gentle heart. It might be her smile that captures others. That smile came at quite a cost to this young girl who has already had 5 surgeries in her few short years. Born with a unilateral cleft lip and cleft palate. She had her first surgery at five weeks of age. The most recent one required a bone graft from her hip to form the front gum line and nose revision. Through it all, she has had a host of people praying for her and her family. The result is beautiful, but everyone knows it’s not the skin that creates beauty—it’s the caring spirit that shines from within. That is beautiful!"

What a wonderful evening. We met some people with amazing stories. We are very blessed to have been part of such an amazing project.

We were given an 8x10 framed picture of Rachel's picture with her "I Am Beautiful" inscription, as well as a button. All the participants were wearing theirs proudly. The photographer will be putting up all his pictures onto a website soon, so that we can download the pictures we want, for free.

After a few words from the people who made this happen, they went around the room and had each participant introduce themselves and share their "I Am" statement. All very touching. But the one that touched me most of all was when Rachel stood up on her chair, her teddy bear clenched in one arm, head held high, and she said "I'm Rachel and I am Beautiful!".

Friday, January 06, 2012

Spa Day

For Christmas, the girls each received a gift card for a Pedicure from Uncle Robbie and Auntie. What fun it was to learn that their cousins, McKenzie and Haylee, received gift cards in their stockings as well! So a spa day for the girlies was planned!

Auntie made the appointment and we showed up. The women working in the salon that day were so helpful and happy to see such four cute girlies having a spa day. Because of their age, Rachel and Haylee's gift card covered both a pedicure and manicure. Rachel said she could get used to this type of pampering. That's my girl!!!After being treated to a pedicure and manicure, the six of us girls went to lunch together!! It was a fun morning indeed!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Month of December

The month of December was just any other December month, busy!

Rachel participated in the children's choir at our church. She sang up on stage, with the worship team, three Sundays. There's nothing sweeter than seeing kids doing their best and belting out Christmas worship songs. They were adorable! And my sister in law did a great job at directing them. Every year, our school puts on a big production. Last year, it was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Rachel really wanted to try out, but the auditions were to begin two weeks after her bone graft surgery. Our Speech Therapist thought it was really best that she not do it, due to the fact that she'll have just had major, major surgery, and we weren't really sure what the recovery would be like for her. So she did not try out last year. So this year, once the posters started being posted about auditions for Beauty and the Beast, there was no doubt in Rachel's mind she was going to try out this year! And thus, that's how the afternoons of the last week of school were spent, auditioning for Beauty and the Beast. By the end of the week, students were sent home with a letter informing them whether or not they'd gotten a part. And indeed, Rachel had gotten a part!!! We will learn exactly what part at a parent meeting when we return to school!We celebrated the beginning of our three week Christmas break and the girls each getting a part by visiting the newly opened Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour in a neighboring city. Rachel not only enjoyed her ice cream, but she enjoyed watching the balloon man make her this silly hat!The first week of our Christmas break found the girls spending two separate nights at Gramma and Papa's house as Mommy and Daddy had functions to attend. It also found us spending and afternoon and into the night at Disneyland with good friends. We knew the parks would be busy seeing it was four days before Christmas, but it was a must to enjoy the sights, sounds, and festivities one more time before Christmas! We dressed our kids in festive shirts and went about the Disneyland Resort snapping pictures with the festive backgrounds and decor. It's hard to believe we've been coming to Disneyland since the two oldest were just months old!! Christmas this year was different, as it fell on a Sunday. Our church had a Christmas Eve Service as well as our normal Sunday morning service. We attended both. Here is Rachel dressed up for singing on Christmas morning at church. The girls all got new robes and fun hats from Gramma and Papa for Christmas, together they make a great fashion statement, yeah?? One of the things Rachel has wanted for months and months has been a Chewbacca backpack. They can be purchased at Disneyland. Steven had told her on several occasions that he'd buy her one if she just would give Pirates of the Caribbean another try. She's not one to make deals real easily. Therefore we got it for her for Christmas. She absolutely loves it!On New Years Eve day, we ended at The Long Beach Aquarium. We had free admission tickets and they were expiring that day. Rachel loved seeing all the fish and beautiful sea creatures. She was picked to help participate in the sea otter show and loved it. It was a nice way to end the year, and end the busy month!