Monday, July 25, 2011
July 25, 2011
It is a major milestone in Josie and Teresa's life today turning 10 years old. Looking back on the decade since there birth I would go out on a limb and say that they have conquered some pretty tough stuff and are still smiling today. Girls, you teach us everyday about the joy of life. Your spirits are infectious in there own unique ways. You make all of us around you strive to be better people. I know we are better by knowing you both. We can't begin to express how much we all love you. From Lety and Wencelao who brought you into this world and did the right thing for you both to the Cajas and myself who continue you to love you like you were born from us, we all are grateful for making us a very unique, but complete family. It is a glorious day today. We give thanks and praise for every moment we are given with you both. I hope all your wishes come true. Happy 10th Birthday to our dear girls!!Love, The Alvarezs, the Cajas's and Mommy Jenny
We couldn't celebrate together with Teresa today since we are still in Michigan and look forward the 6th when we do. Josie was incredibly lucky to celebrate with our very dear friends here in Michigan. We went to the Egers with the Livingstons and Clutterbucks for a great party. We are so incredibly fortunate to have these amazing families in our lives. Sometimes I wonder how we got so lucky to have landed in this special place in MI. We did and we are eternally grateful for our time here and our friends and extended family here. Thanks everyone for making Josie's birthday so great. We will miss you all terribly, Jenny and Josie
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Banner in Front of the Farms Park
My Swim Chick before the show. She adorable and the braves chick I know...Go, my girl Go!!
Campbelle and Josie...swim buddies for the past 3 years.
Swim Chicks Banner in front of the Farms Park
Eva's little girls group. She had the youngest ones and they were so cute.
Group picture with the coaches
Swim Chicks Team
After the show
Josie's cheer squad...you guys are the greatest friends. You come to support Josie even though it had to be 100 degress, 100% humidity, slight rain and in the sun. We love you for it. You make her so happy.
Josie's group getting ready to perform their closing number
Every year the coaches make each girl a paper plate award and hand them out one by one with stories of each girl. This is enjoyed by all.
Waiting for the much anticipated and beloved paper plate awards. Each coach makes them for her girls. They are adorable.
She got her awards
and the award goes to...our "Read, Set, Go girl" since she was always ready to practice and knew what to do and where to be everytime and also the "Lil Miss Sunshine" award for be such a great light to everyone.
So, the best day in Josie's life was here today...her Swim Chicks performance. This is hands down her favorite thing she does in her life. It is such a treat to see her have so much excitement for something that she can do on her own. All the girls had so much fun through the whole process. The coaches are amazing with them and build up their confidence. I wish we could find something like this in California. So I hope you enjoyed the pictures and could witness the joy of this sweet little 9 year old (9 for one more day and 10 tomorrow). She is having a great 2 days. Swim Chicks today and her 10th birthday tomorrow. Thanks for checking in on us. Jenny and Swim Chick, Josie
Saturday, July 23, 2011
OK so I just posted quite a few times today so keep reading down through the old entries...sorry.
Anyway, Josie's big rehearsal for the show was this morning. The girls were really excited and did incredibly well. You are never quite sure if they will pull this off or not, I mean the little girls, and by golly they do every year. Simply amazing. Josie loves being a part of this wonderful program. Everyone is so kind to her. It will be one of the very few team sports that she will be able to participate in. She loves the camaraderie of the group and how they support each other. Cutest thing happened today...one of the little girls in Josie's group who has been with us at practice everyday for 3 weeks finally noticed something different about her. Back track for just a second, in Maggie's defense she only sees Josie in the water never out. So today the team got out to have a donut break in between their 4 hour practice. I put Josie in her stander to take her out. It was the first time that Maggie noticed that she couldn't walk. She was so cute and says, "wow, what happened to Josie?" So I told her the story and once again the reaction was, "oh, ok. Let's go Josie we need to get back into the pool for practice." If the whole world could be kind and childlike we might have peace. So sweet and kind.
So Chicks is going great. I will post after the show so you can see her in action.
Happy many posts reading to you all.
Jenny and Josie
PS. Keep praying hard for my Uncle Steve. He has completed a miraculous 2 rounds of wrenching chemo. He has one more before the scan to let us know if it is working. He and my dear Aunt, Justine, could use many extra prayers right now. We are proud of the battle they are fighting so heroically. Go Team Noonan!!!
Stasia and Alex, our buddies that live across the river from us in Canada came to visit one night. Alex and Josie have gone to the same therapy center together for a few years. Josie just adores Alex and visa versa. They had fun showing off their standing tricks to each other. Alex amazed us when he walked across the whole room without any assistance...way to go Alex!!! You can't believe how hard these kids have to work to achieve even the smallest goals. We are so proud that Alex has achieved such an enormous one. We look forward to seeing you guys again soon. Jenny and Josie
We had so much fun having dinner with Przemek and Sylwia at there house. Unfortunately for us Max is in Poland visiting his relatives. I am sure he is having a blast, but we miss him. Anyway, Josie and I just love Przemek's polish meals. He is such an awesome cook. Josie was elated to have his mushrooms. I couldn't get her to eat those if I paid her, but Przemek is the magic mushroom maker obviously. We just enjoyed being together, talking and laughing. Zoya, the dog, wowed us with her tricks. Josie thought that was so cool. She is a cute little French bulldog. Thanks Tokarskis for having us. We miss you all so much when we are in California!! Jenny and Josie
After we left Ronald McDonald House we moved back over to our favorite house, Aunt Harriet's on Cloverly. We are so grateful to be able to stay here once again. Thank you Aunt Harriet and Jeanie for making it possible. We are missing not having Harriet here with us, but know she is recovering in the right place so she can move back home and be able to travel to her favorite place, up north.
We quickly got back into the swing of things with all our dear friends here. Josie wasted no time at all getting back to the the Little Club for more swimming. It is such a treat to be able to be members there even if it is for just a short time more.
Josie and Reggie also got back into there rock star routine with band practice at the Livingston's one night. We had a great barbecue there and then doing s'mores around the fire that night with the neighbors. It helps that the sun stays up until 10 PM. More time for playing!
Swim Chicks practice started as soon as be got back. Josie is so happy to be in her 3rd year with the team. It is such an incredible program and one of the great joys in her life. The show will be the day before her 10th birthday. I will post a lot of pictures and video after the show.
It is weird to be staying for such a short time. We are so used to staying for months. We are grateful for whatever time we get here. It is our Mayberry. Jenny and Josie
We are back in Michigan for a quick "tune up". Our adventure started out staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Detroit right next to Detroit Children's Hospital. We were grateful to get a room there. We had a humbling and wonderful experience there meeting so many families. It was a difficult setting but so many had such great hope and faith. We met an brave woman named Donna. Her twin boys were born 9 days before we got there at 25 weeks. Sadly, one of them only lived on earth for 2 days. She was having to grieve for one and put all of the rest of her strength into keeping focused on Gabriel. I felt blessed to have known such a courageous mom. Happy to report that when we returned 2 weeks later to cook lunch for everyone, we got to see Donna and find out the sweet Gabriel was still fighting hard. He was up to 2 lbs 7 oz and was being taken off the breathing tube to breath on his own. They have a long road ahead since his due date was October 8th, but he has a mom who loves him so much. Stay strong Donna, my friend. We met so many with extraordinary stories. I actually had a lot of guilt that we were on the recovery road. These families have such a fight in front of them. I am thankful that (hopefully) most of that is behind us. I know we still have things to do, but it makes it easier to take when Josie is doing so well. Thank you Ronald McDonald House for taking care of us for a few days. It will be an experience that we will never forget and will be grateful for the time we got to spend there. Jenny and Josie
Father's Day weekend at Martis Camp in Tahoe with Brian, Michele, Matt and Trent was magical. We had such incredible weather and better company. Josie had a ball with the boys. It was none stop fun. Matt, Josie and I went bowling at the barn. Upstairs in the barn there is an amazing art loft. Josie and Matt enjoyed doing their art work. We went all over Martis Camp one day. The new facilities are unbelievable. We also went to Father's Day brunch at Sunnyside by boat. It is always great to be on the water. Josie loves the water more than anything. Thanks Brian and Michele for having us. We love you all so much and miss not being together. We hope to return there when we get back from Michigan. Love, Jenny and Josie