Friday, September 28, 2012

Fundraiser Friday

Our Usborne books fundraiser is almost over! Amy will be closing the show on Tuesday, October 2 at 11:00 p.m. This fundraiser is going WONDERFULLY! We currently have $620.45 in commissionable sales which means we will be receiving $155 that will go towards our adoption AND we will be able to get $220 in free books! My original goal for this fundraiser was to get $650 in commissionable sales so we could get $240 in free books, which is what I thought was the maximum amount. However, Amy told me yesterday that there is NO CAP on the free books! For every $50 in commissionable sales over $650, we will get an additional $20 in free books! So my NEW goal for this fundraiser is to get $1000 in commissionable sales, $250 going towards our adoption, and $520 in free books! With 4 more days left in the fundraiser, we would only need to have $95 in books purchased each day. I KNOW it can happen. So click here and start shopping for high-quality, entertaining, and educational books. If you need suggestions, let me know and I'll give you some!

I also want to give you a sneak peak of what we have coming up next. Usborne Books has a "true" fundraiser called Cards for a Cause. I say "true" because that is their actual fundraiser. This current book show is a fundraiser because Amy is giving us her commission. With Cards for a Cause, you get 30 handmade cards with matching envelopes in a keepsake box for only $30. That is $1 per card! There are 2 boxes available. Box 1 has all-occasion cards and box 2 has novelty cards for kids. We will receive $13 per box and once again Amy will be giving us her commission so we will actually get $15.89 PER BOX. Check out the website here. We have to have a minimum of 15 boxes ordered before it can be submitted, but I'm hoping to have more than that! I'll be ordering both boxes with some of my free book balance, so if you live near me you can look at the cards. This fundraiser will run from October 7-28. You can take a look at some of the cards you could get below. 

Aren't they SO CUTE?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fundraiser Friday

Since I talked about our Usborne Books fundraiser just a few days ago, I thought I would highlight some of our other fundraisers that we are doing all the time.

Books: Half-Price Books buys used books and there happens to be a store in Omaha. So, let us help you clean off your bookshelves so you can buy more Usborne Books (I had to tie that in there, it was too perfect)!

Coupaide: This site will allow you to get a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant of your choice for only $20! For every gift certificate that is purchased for $20, we will get $10! So treat your loved ones to a night on the town at your favorite restaurant and help us bring our child/ren home from India!

Amazon Associate Get all your favorite products from Amazon and help us in our adoption at the same time!

Sponsor a puzzle piece: We will be putting together the Indian Princess puzzle shown below. You can sponsor a piece for only $5 and get your name written on the back of the puzzle piece. When we frame it, we will put glass on the back so our child/ren will be able to see all the people who helped bring them home. Also, since there are 1500 pieces, if we get all the pieces sponsored by the time we are finished with our dossier, we will have ALL the money raised to send it in!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fundraiser Friday (a few days late)

Wow, I can't believe I forgot to blog again on Friday! Maybe adoption brain is coming early. In any case, right now I am having an Usborne Books fundraiser and it is going GREAT! My goal is to get $650 because not only will we get a check for 25% of that, but we'll also be able to get $240 in FREE books!

You can read the details here, but there has been a change....we have extended it until October 2! So you still have 15 days to get your orders in! Right now we are at $331.75 in commissionable sales so we are over half way to my goal and we have made approximately $83 that will go towards our adoption. Feel free to let your friends and family know about this. These books make EXCELLENT Christmas presents. Click here to begin shopping!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Home study paperwork

Today when I went out to the mailbox, I saw a familiar-looking manilla envelope that I knew without even looking was from our home study agency, Nebraska Christian Services. In addition to the paperwork that we have to complete for America World, we also have to have a home study. The purpose of a home study is primarily to prepare the family of things that could come with adoption, allow us to ask questions, and to prepare us mentally and emotionally. I can remember how nervous I was the first time Cindy came to our house for our first home study visit. Garth and I spent an entire weekend getting it cleaned up for her. In all actuality, Cindy spent about 5 minutes looking at the house and the rest of the time talking to us. You can read about that home visit here. This time I'm not NEARLY as nervous. Cindy is very easy to talk to and has given us some great advice with the boys so I know she will do a great job with this adoption as well.

The documents that have to be completed for NCS are:
  • Contract form
  • Release of information
  • Monthly Income and Expenses worksheet
  • 5-6 references
  • Physical Exam for Children (1 form that we list both boys' names and our doctor will sign off on it saying they are healthy)
  • Physician's Report on Garth and me
  • Fingerprinting/background checks for Garth and me
  • Request for information from the Nebraska Adult and Child Abuse and Neglect Registry
The fees for the home study include:
  • Adoption Training and Education to be done online $139
  • Home study when adopting a 2nd/3rd child when NCS did original home study $500
  • Mileage when she comes to our house. This amount will be at current IRS rate for round trip
We will be going to Omaha on Friday to get our fingerprints taken so we will get that taken care of quickly. I also had my yesterday so hopefully my doctor will be able to fill out this other form from that. Garth's physical is on Friday so he'll be able to take both forms. I have also received my certified birth certificate so I was able to check that off my to-do list. YEAH!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

They keep on growing

I just realized that I hadn't posted any pictures on this blog since July so it's time to catch you up on how big the boys are getting. Today, I went to the doctor to get my adoption physical so since we were there I had the boys' height and weight measured as well. The last time we had them measured at the doctor's office was in March. At that time, Jeremiah weighed 45 lbs. and was 42.5 inches tall. Today, he is 44 lbs. and 44.25 inches tall. Simon in March was 40 lbs. and 40 inches tall. Today he is 40 lbs. and 41.25 inches tall. At first I was surprised that they didn't weigh any more (and in Jeremiah's case lose a pound) but they have been doing a lot of running around this summer so probably just worked it off! Here are some pictures from the last few months.

Jeremiah and Simon on top of hay bales

Aren't they cute?

Simon is the king of the haystack!

Jeremiah and Granddad

Jeremiah and Simon

Jeremiah playing checkers

Simon with his pants inside out

Boys with silly hats


Simon's T-rex growl

Ready for bed

More dancing first

Jeremiah, Grandma, and Simon

Jeremiah and Simon at the O'Neill park

Me and my boys

Jeremiah and Granddad playing checkers

Grandma and Simon playing a matching game

Jeremiah and me playing Uncle Wiggly

Granddad and Simon playing the match game

When I went to check on the boys before going to bed on 8/20, this is what I found

Jeremiah and Simon...I love them soooooooo much!

Grandma, Simon, and Jeremiah

Eating watermelon

Taking a 4-wheeler ride

Jeremiah and Simon found 2 pairs of Granddad's sunglasses

Simon caught the first fish

Jeremiah caught the only painted turtle (though several of them ate our worms)

I caught the last fish

A contrast in moods

Sitting with me in the booth at the Burt County Fair

They still got to take naps under the table. They really can sleep anywhere...

When Daddy got back from work, they got to go play

Eating at my favorite O'Neill restaurant, Tia Zia, on Granddad and Grandma Kelley's 50th anniversary

Jeremiah climbing up the support beam

So then Simon had to too

Playing in the sprinkler at the park

Jeremiah making silly faces

Simon wearing Daddy's pants

Jeremiah, Simon, and their friend Gezahegne at the zoo

Simon riding the rhino

Simon smelling a rose

Jeremiah smelling a rose

Granddad and Simon

Simon and Jeremiah with a present from Lisa Manley, a Blessings Unlimited consultant


This puzzle has 3 different sizes of pices. The inner circle is bigger pieces, the next one is medium, and the outer is small. It's called a family puzzle because all ages can do it together!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fundraiser Friday

I am SO excited about this next fundraiser! When I was growing up my parents read books to us all the time and I LOVE to read. Usborne Books has some amazing stories and they are entertaining and educational all at the same time. Some of the boys' favorites that we have purchased include The Gas We Pass (which is not only funny to the boys but very educational), 100 Paper Planes to Fly, Boys' Activity Book, Knights, and 20 Birthday Cards to Color, to name a few.

The consultant who is having this fundraiser for us is Amy Adkins. I have never met her personally but I have several pictures of her because she and her husband were the 2nd family to take care packages to Jeremiah and Simon while we were waiting to hear when our court date was. We also got several pictures from them, some with them in it. Amy started her Usborne Books business to bless other adoptive families and will be giving us 100% of her commission. This fundraiser will end on September 23 so don't delay! Click here to start shopping. 

Today I Kissed an Angel

Today I kissed an angel. I knew it from the start. The first time my angel smiled at me; I gave away my heart.

Today I kissed an angel; This angel child of mine. Though not of my creation, My child by God's design.

Today I kissed an angel. My heart is dancing wild; Our family, by a miracle; Blessed by our angel child.

All I Really Want by Steven Curtis Chapman