The whole darn fam

The whole darn fam

Monday, May 24, 2010

One Year of Sam.....

Today marks one year of our lives with our darling son Sam. It seems like the year has gone so quickly-but I know that none of us can really remember what it was like before this sweet boy was a part of our lives....

From this first moment we saw him...

And held him.....

We truly fell in love--at that very first moment.

He made it so very easy---with his happy demeanor and his beautiful face...

He made it so easy to love him. That love grew over two weeks in China...

and then as we got home--he had many more to love him....

and adore him they do!

There have been so many firsts for Sam...

the beach....

Halloween..(where I am sure that he thought that we had all lost our minds--you can see it in his face!!!)

a trip to Disney World....

Picking out a Christmas Tree....

His Second birthday.....

and Christmas!!

and unfortunately surgery...and spending his first Valentine's in the hospital for his second surgery... and then later in this day (on St. Patty's Day) he was headed back to the hospital for an infection...

and yet....he smiles....
and when he smiles, we almost can't breathe from the beauty of it...
He loves.....

He makes our lives fuller than we could have ever imagined.


We didn't know that we needed you. We didn't know that you would impact all of us and everyone that you meet the way that you do. But Someone knew. He had your story written.

We are so very blessed that we are fortunate enough to be included in your story dearest boy. We thank God every day that we listened to what He wanted from us.

You are a miracle. Amazing. Wonderful. The best addition to our family that we didn't know we needed. You are loved beyond measure....

Happy First Forever Family Day beautiful boy!!!

Mommy and Daddy

Monday, May 17, 2010



Hello Friends!

I hope that this finds you all well!

I am anxious to tell you about a new campaign that I helped organize through my volunteer work with Love Without Boundaries. For those that don't know--I just took a position there as the
fund raising coordinator for their Orphanage Assistance Program. For the next two weeks we are trying to raise money for specialized formula for babies in need. As a mom to kids that needed lactose free and soy formula because of their sensitive bellies, I feel so strongly how important this is. I could not imagine not having the right formula to help my baby grow and thrive. These babies are extra special though. They have no parents to advocate for them--that's our job. SO please consider donating to this very important fund so that this very necessary formula can be readily available.

Our goal is to raise $2,000 in two weeks. Wouldn't it be AMAZING if we could exceed that?? Please help me help these precious babies!!! Go to the link below and it will show you where you click to donate!

PS--It would be really great for me if we could show everyone at LWB that the first fund raising effort I was involved in was wildly successful!! Help me show off a little!! :-)

Blessings to all of you and thank you in advance for considering this important need!!

Amy Dinello
Fund Raising Coordinator
Love WIthout Boundaries Orphanage Assistance Program

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day--fantasy vs. reality

So you have all seen those commercials right? The one where Mom is in a fancy floral dress and is running in slow motion in the bright green lawn to hug her pristinely dressed child, who happens to be holding a beautiful bouquet of flowers for her? Or the one where Mom wakes up to a breakfast in bed--all carefully prepared by her loving children--with a rose in a vase to top it off--and steaming hot coffee?

Yeah--that right there's the problem.

We get our hopes up to a day that isn't realistic. Just to bring you all back to reality--I will recap my Mother's Day.

Get woken up by Caroline who is inches from my face screaming "MOM IT'S MOTHER'S DAY--WAAAAAKKKKE UUUUUP!!!"

Next comes the dog--pawing at my face, and licking my hands. (weird--I know)

Then in bounds Charlie and Joseph--and after Daddy reminds them to wish me a Happy day--they do..then climb in with the rest of us. In a matter of moments--chaos ensues.

"Mooooom--Joseph is kicking me!!!"

"Moooooom- he's stealing the covers!"

"Her breath smells funny!"

"I'm sooooo hungry!"

"What are we doing today??"

And so the day begins.

My wonderful hubby goes straight out to get me my favorite cup of Java. In the meantime--the endless bickering continues.

"Mom--open my card first!!"

"no MINE!"


To which I politely respond that I will open them all and I am sure they will all be wonderful! (inside my brain is jelly since my coffee has not arrived yet--and I am truly half asleep)

Open cards, homemade gifts (all adorable). Settle in on the couch to read the paper--with my coffee-thank God!

Upstairs Hannah is organizing a Mother's Day Show. (dear Lord!)

All I hear blasting down the stairs is Hannah yelling at everyone to cooperate and that if they don't they will be in a time out--or worse!

So consequently Sam, Charlie and Joseph are kicked out of the performance!

Next we look out the front window to see the three girls dressed up and coming up the walk. This should be good.

They are asking to see Amy Dinello (aka mom) for an important award to be presented by none other than Sarah Palin (aka Caroline in a pair of reading glasses and heels). We laugh so hard that we scare Sarah away and she retreats in tears because we are laughing at her! geesh--Sarah has to get a thicker skin!

(oh--and why Sarah Palin?? We have noooooo idea!!)

Anyhoo--I get a Mother of the year award--so fabulous.

Next is brunch.

My kids enjoy getting dressed up about as much as my dogs do--so getting ready in their "dorky" clothes was extra fun. We only had about three tantrums--not bad.

Brunch with Grandma was actually pretty good considering. However--if there is endless amounts of food involved--including a huge dessert table--and seconds (even thirds!) are encouraged--then usually my crew is pretty happy.

Next is naps for the babies and movies for the "bigs!"

I decided to treat the three older kids to a movie--and we saw Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Didn't think I would enjoy it--but I found myself laughing out loud several times--much more than my kids! Since the movies are in the mall--Hannah then just had to spend her Justice gift card right then. So naturally Caroline and Joseph were put out cause they weren't getting anything. Joseph almost took back the $2 he gave me in a card! hmmppf!

Then went home to have my fav--boneless hot wings and ice cream for dessert.

Several more fight ensued (my kids have really been fighting a lot lately!) and then bedtime. But not before Caroline was so sure she was going to be sick. And Joseph had a headache. And the dog threw up.

But--at the end of the day--I reflected on what the real meaning of Mother's Day is. It's not fancy presents--or "perfect" children. It's not about the Hallmark version of showering love over and over on Mom.

It's about the little things. The look of delight on your child's face when you make over the hand print made just for you. The tight hug and 'you are my favorite mommy' exclamation when you least expect it. The handmade cards, with thought out pictures of you on them. The goodnight snuggles where they ask you if you have had the BEST day ever--and you joyfully say "yes!-I could not have asked for a more perfect day."

And you mean it.

Because for all that it is worth--I would take my "imperfect" kids any day of the week. I love their spunkiness, creativity, and their warmth. They are perfect in their imperfection--and had they been model children all day, I am sure that I would have wondered what space aliens invaded our home and took my children!

Cause my kids are....well....KIDS!

And I love them JUST the way they are! Just like a mom should!

I hope that you all had a wonderful day yesterday and that you enjoy this journey of motherhood with all it's ups and downs as much as I do! For I think that we all know--being a Mom is not the easiest job in the world--but it surely is the best one!



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lots O' Hats!

(see the above pic?? It was taken by the most awesome photographer--she's worth travelling for--I promise! That's me and the kiddies last August! Totally check her site out--she's awesome!!)

So sorry that I have been MIA for awhile--springtime is busy at our house! We have had baseball start up, art shows, tryouts, and loads of other stuff keeping us very busy!~

I also have some exciting stuff to share! I now am wearing a couple of other hats besides my mommy hat! I have joined two incredible organizations in an effort to give back to the kids that are waiting in China.

I am now serving as the Fund Raising Coordinator for Love Without Boundaries in their Orphanage Assistance program. I am so excited because I have had so many ideas for fundraising that I have thought would be wonderful to implement--but no real idea where to start. With LWB behind me--we can hopefully reach tons more people and have these new fund raising projects be incredible success for the children in their OA program. Please watch for a project coming reaallllly soon--I will post more about it. I am also serving as a point of contact for anyone that wants to raise funds but does not know how. I especially am working on a BIG campaign for November--since it is National Adoption month. Please contact me if you have any interest in raising some $$$ for these incredible kids!!

here's my e-mail.....

I am also volunteering for An Orphan's Wish. This is a great organization that provides children with medical needs necessary surgeries, and/or treatment. I am going to have the privilege of writing reports on the children in their Special Care Unit.

Check out these great organizations and consider helping their kids--you won't regret it!!

I also had a wonderful visit recently with my sisters--that is a post in and of itself--so look for that one soon! :-)

Hope you all are enjoying the Spring--and the tease of summer!