Thursday, July 24, 2008

Family Fun Night

In May, we organized a family fun night and silent auction as another way to raise money for the adoption costs. We knew a family that hosted a similar event last year. So, we basically thought we'd try the same thing.

My friend Melinda and I spent two months planning the event. Melinda is an event planner-extraordinaire and a super great friend who would do anything for me. It took hours and hours of planning but was so incredibly worth it. We ended up with over 100 auction items (a lot of which were packaged items), a gym full of carnival games, hundreds and hundreds of hot dogs, chips, and drinks (about 400+ of each!) and a completely overwhelmingly great evening. We had people donate their time to run carnival games, serve food, bake goodies for the bake sale, supervise the auction tables, and set-up and clean-up. Honestly, I had a fear that after everyone showed up to help with the event that we wouldn't have anyone left to actually show up as guests! But the gym quickly filled up and I think we had well over 300 people come. We had so many auction items that I also thought we wouldn't have enough people to buy everything. But nearly everything sold! We earned $3,000 from ticket and food sales. We earned another $3,000 from the auction items AND an additional $9,000 from two auction donations of granite countertops! Yes, that is a total of over $15,000 in just one night!
One of the most amazing things about the whole night was that most of the people who helped us and came to support us were from our church that we have only been a part of for a little over a year. We had so many people whom we didn't even know offer to help. It truly was a visible example of the body of Christ working together. We knew that God would work in great and small ways to make this adoption possible. And we saw a great work of God that night. We are so thankful to every single person who came to enjoy the night and who came to serve that night. (Hopefully those who served enjoyed the night as well!)

Above: admission table and cotton-candy maker Ryan (he was COVERED with cotton candy by the end of the night and must have had a very sore arm b/c he never moved from this position the whole night!)

Below: Kara gets her face painted by a clown who looks very much like a good friend named Paige! My dad and John working hard in the kitchen. Andy's mom working at the overflowing table of baked goods. Real live goldfish for prizes and two balloon artists made things extra fun!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

garage sale madness

We had a garage sale in May to raise money for the adoption. We asked friends to donate things for us to sell. We ended up without use of our garage for nearly three months (Mar-Ap-May) and so much stuff to sell we were completely overwhelmed. I wish we had taken a picture of our garage. It was piled five to six feet high with stuff. This is what it looked like on the day of the sale. Crazy, crazy, crazy is all I can say. It took hours for Andy and me and my very good friend Angie to unload everything from our garage and out into the open. Andy's mom came to help and another dear friend Christina came to rescue us all from exhaustion! It was hot, hot, hot and busy. We planned on doing the sale the next day as well (Saturday), but that was when the record amount of rain poured down all day and we had to postpone the sale until the following weekend. That day was just as hot and busy. We had tons and tons of things leftover. We sent what seemed like a million bags of clothing to a local church that was taking clothing donations to Honduras for a mission project. We took the leftover toys and household things to Goodwill. So, even the leftovers went to a great cause. All in all, we made about $1,500 from the two days! That is the cost of one plane ticket to China. We were so grateful. But, YIKES, it was a ton of work! And my, oh my, do we all have too much "stuff" in our lives.

Getting the bedroom(s) ready

No updates on our paperwork. But things were busy at home this weekend. In preparation for Caleb joining our family, we moved all the kids into new rooms. The girls were sharing a room until this weekend. Now the girls each have their own room and Nathan and Caleb will have the largest room with the bunk bed to share. It was quite an ordeal shuffling all of their belongings. We moved nearly every single thing from the 3 bedrooms (except the beds). We now have a long list of things to do to make each of the rooms special for the kids. They are all picking out paint colors and having fun putting their things in just the right spot.

Nathan has been upset that he is the only one in the house that doesn't get to share a room with someone. He can't wait for Caleb to come and have a roommate. On the other hand, the girls couldn't move their things away from each other quickly enough. They can not comprehend why Nathan would want to share a room with anyone. Sad but true: you never appreciate what you have and somebody else seems to always have it better than you. At least that is what our kids think!
I have a rather pricey Biblical Worldview Curriculum on my list of things to buy for school this year. I think it will be worth the investment and I may need to start that subject first!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

i800 form in the mail

Andy got the i800 form in the mail on Thursday, July 3rd. We had a few questions regarding one part of the application and we are hoping we answered it to the satisfaction of whomever reads it. It was confusing even to "form-filler-outer-extraordinaire" Andy. We sent a letter requesting, begging really (!), for our paperwork to be expedited. I told Andy I feel like we are basically asking to "cut in line" of tons of other people who have been waiting way longer than we have. It is worth a try. And we would really love to have Caleb home as soon as possible. julia.