Thankful Monkeytree

 

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This is a year that I have to balance what I’m thankful for having heavily against the tempting ideas of what I don’t have. What am I thankful for? My husband, my children, God’s provision of a house, our health and that we have a life with Christ in eternity to look forward to. I’m thankful for the opportunity to help others, and have to balance that into a spirit of contentment and diligence.

Foggy Thoughts on My Monkey Face

1011702_370993829689677_151010753_nSo what’d you do today after the alarm woke you up? Made coffee, made plans, picked up yesterday’s TO DO list? I drank the coffee, read the list, was super psyched to have a terrific day, then my foot started to swell so I thought I’d sit and elevate it. Then I fell asleep. Then I woke up and it was 5pm. What??

I burnt my hand and foot nearly two weeks ago now, I’m nearly all fixed up, and now actually getting off the pain meds. I get how people accidentally become addicted to those. Once my body got used to them, skipping gave me quite the quakes! Having only taken pain meds a matter of ten days or so I hope to bounce back to normal without any trouble. So drank coffee, napped and I guess it’s time to feed my family and bathe them all. If you’re reaching my blog through Reece’s Rainbow’s Angel Tree page, off of Kolya’s FSP, THANK YOU. We are on our way to $200 now. I’d actually like to ask you to donate to the children at the bottom of the tree. For a donation of $35 or more, in addition to a holiday ornament with their picture and the name of the country that they are from you will receive a gorgeous wall calendar from Reece’s Rainbow for 2015. This is a terrific way to share the Reece’s Rainbow love all year around with your family and friends and coworkers.

While I’ve been bed and chair ridden recovering from burns that were completely my fault I have not have had the presence of mind to write and just have been with half comprehension reading. My interest is always how I can further help families and waiting orphans. Direct sales. No one attends my parties, but if I were a representative myself I could give another edge. So I have been writing in search words like, “Direct sales” in bing.com and finding Initials, Inc. Clevercontainer.com, LinenWorld and Gardenuity, the list goes on and on, just like the hours of my recovery from accidental burns gained while trying to make an awesome meal. Am I the guy who always trips up good efforts gone bad? These business are all cool for something unique they bring, and it has to be that way to be a success in the multilevel marketing world, which is what these things are. Just a portion of the proceeds go to the guy or gal sticking her neck out for the business, usually starting at 20%. I like LinenWorld because they already are geared toward fundraising which is what I’m into.

Earlier this year my kids and I did door to door sales for CelebratingHome. Everyone who bought from us has said how much they loved the product. That company is offering a November sign up special of $39 for full paper supplies required to be an official consultant for their company. Aside from it having a good quality product, I’d have the opportunity to sign up under a wonderful mom who already sells with them, so by registering I would be helping her out to.

My husband has always been my wonderful voice of reason. I had these websites lined out to show him this morning. His first words were, “Well first off, it has to be better crap than what people can just pick up at Walmart.” He added that second I have to make sure I’m not being taken advantage of. Isn’t that life’s big balance. Help out, provide quality, and don’t be the sap who gets cut the shortest stick.

Anyway. I love this graphic of the fuzzy primate. It fits my name, and the text is excellent too. So there. Again, if you’re here through Reece’s Rainbow Angel Tree, thank you for visiting there. It’s absolutely the best thing happening this holiday season. Saving money for waiting children is something wonderful that I’m so glad is in your life now.

 

 

 

Can I do a Party for You?

steeped teaActually, yes! You could.

 

I have a Tastefully Simple, Steeped Tea, Pampered Chef, Origami Owl (jewelry), Ava Anderson (non-toxic products), and Damsel in Defense, Scentsy, all running until Dec 12. I’m also selling outgrown but in good condition clothing, and have just gotten in a small mountain of knit caps and baby booties to sell. It’s a little overwhelming!

The question is if I can get people to actually attend and buy.

With a co-warrior now I am so temped to just bow out. Would my house be cleaner? Would I be more energetic and less moody? My co-warrior’s brother is doing a country western concert proceeds to Kolya. Her son’s class is hosting a bake sale and each of his 3rd grade friends are doing a personal coin drive and selling candy door to door.

Yesterday I just found out that there is a Craft and Vendor fair with two open tables on Friday. I would need my sister to go with me. She’s been a barista so she can handle money, I would also need a baby sitter! Why can I not know about these things months in advance? Its been in the works since September, but I just learned of it through a friend’s Facebook “share”. Arg! How can I come up with a sales buddy, a baby sitter and an organized table set up in two days? With determination, stick-to-itiveness and a willingness to fall flat on my face in complete humiliation for lack of preparation.

Last year I switched off two Angel Tree children. Mickey was mine, so was Dylan. I ended up with little Mikey, who is now home with an adoptive family. This year Dylan’s warrior does not have a blog, last year he had one that had met him. Mickey is rocking a warrior that has adopted from his country and has a well organized up to date writings on her plans and progress on her personal site: Faith, Hope, Love & Family

Not having a blog does not mean not making money! One of the FSPs last year hung out at the bottom with $0.00 nearly all season then shot up to the full goal.

Happy Angel Tree time, warriors and those who surf the auctions and sales and receive Christmas ornaments for spending over $35 on any one child on Angel Tree 2014.

Team Kolya

It begins ANGEL TREE 2014 is up!
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Here’s the tree: All the kids pretty much at zero on the first day. Clicking each face brings you to their personal profile. The number that you will see there is there point of credit toward $1,000. They have until December 31 to meet that goal. The Angel Tree logo on that profile, if it’s clickable, leads you to their Warrior’s blog. Which for Kolya is this site, which is why I’m pausing my morning to write this blog post.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Laura. I’m 29 and from Washington state, I’m a Christian mom to four kids and have been married nine years to my love. We met over the Internet 10 years ago and have been coast to coast in our jobs and travels, eventually for now settling in the beautiful pacific northwest 2 miles from my childhood home.

So, this year is our second year “Warrioring” for a child on Reece’s Rainbow Angel Tree. Last years child was a baby from Ukraine who has since been adopted by a wonderful family with another child from the same orphanage.

We are joined by a class of 3rd graders from Ohio last minute! They contacted me and asked if they could help raise the funds for 10-year-old Kolya. I am so thankful for this, not even about the money, but about the fact that a whole group of eight year olds would spend their last couple months of the year giving attention to a child that they have never met across the ocean. So far they’re going to do a coin drive–send home letters to their families and create little jars to keep at home for pennies, dimes and quarters around the house. I encourage anyone to do this! Submit it at $35 for an ornament.

What to expect: We’re launching a children’s clothing auction. I have to estimate shipping and take photos of what I have before I list. I also have hats and scarves and baby knit sets to list for buy-it-now sale.

143_28_10_2008_KolyoWe have an Origami Owl fundraiser, Tastefully Simple, and a Damsel Defense sale also currently running. These give a 35 to 40% to Kolya, which means a $100 purchase would get you an ornament. I will also be start a Steeped Tea to run the duration of AT, if the consultant approves that idea. The usual running time of a party is two weeks. By the end of the day I will add clickable links to all of these. If you are local, please ask me for a physical catalog and order form.

Welcome to Team Kolya. Join us in the next few weeks to get Kolya to $1,000.

The Facebook page is Kolya’s Angel Tree Party Stop please come by and LIKE the page, I have direct links to my parties there and will promptly cross post images of any all items for sale to Kolya’s credit. There are over 200 kids on Reece’s Rainbow’s Angel Tree. Wonder why I picked Kolya? Please read my blog post Kindness Keeps. Each warrior has a special story and most of them have blogged those reasons for their choice. This is absolutely my favorite time of the year for orphan adoption advocacy.

Twins! I have to admit it. I love twins. These two are no exception.

Meet Hadden and Hadley. They are not yet listed on Reece’s Rainbow, and have a very short description on the agency’s website where they are sourced through. Currently these boys live in an orphanage in Eastern Europe, waiting for their forever family.

The little boys were born in 2009. The same year that I gave birth to my second son, who as I write this is at preschool hearing a Bible story and working on his letters and numbers. In a few minutes his class of 15 kids at our local church will be having their little snack time for which they will pray a thanks to God and after another craft and music time each will be picked up by his or her mom or dad or gramma or grampa.

What do Hadden and Hadley do this time of day in their little world? They’re pictured wearing matching shirts and Hadley’s hand is being held by what looks like an adults. Are they enjoying an age appropriate group activity? I don’t know.

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All that you or I know is,

Boys, born 2009
Hearing impairment
Hadden and Hadley are two precious twin boys who need a family!

Not their month of birth, story of how or when they were placed in state care or the term of their pregnancy, or any hospital stays that have been involved in the care of either. What is known is that these boys are guys that need parents, maybe siblings and love and opportunity to be whoever God has set for them to become.

Hadden and Hadley are not yet listed on Reece’s Rainbow, so donations toward their future adoption cannot be made. However I have learned that the cost of their adoption will be considerably less since they are biological siblings.

This is not my first post about twins from their country. On my other blog I wrote about Nadia and Nancy who are going home to a wonderful family. My entry was called Two Twins. These girls are the same age as my oldest son. Whether I want to admit it or not, I must be drawn to children my children’s ages. Once I tried asking on the boards what families believe pulls them into the story of one child to go through the journey of adoption for. Seems to be teetering on the edge of taboo. That aside, my mission is always the same! Advocate, pray and hope that a family will come and be able to hold through the path to bring a child into a stable home that gives the opportunity to succeed and lead a fulfilling life in ways that they would not otherwise be able to do. So, join me in sharing Hadden and Hadley, and in cheering on in any way possible parents who have responded to the call to adopt.

“You are the helpers of the fatherless.” (Psalm 10:14)

UPDATE: The boys now have a FSP, which means they can receive donations (with a 10% deduction) through Reece’s Rainbow. See the place where donations be made and will be held for Hadden and Hadley by clicking on this link.

Origami Owl for Kolya

I just learned about Living Lockets, maybe this is your first time hearing that name too. My story begins with asking for home business owners to offer their party proceeds in part to my mission to raise money for Kolya, a waiting orphan in Bulgaria.

When I was offered an Origami Owl party I had no idea what it was but would never turn down an opportunity to bring awareness for the waiting child in Eastern Europe who I have committed to raise funds for over the next six weeks. The wonderful consultant who I am working with offered to send me a charm collection and a locket along with the catalogs and brochures that I requested. She directed me to a web link to choose the charms. I picked a Silver RN symbol, “Love to Read”, “Hope”, a Silver Starfish, and the crystal silver L initial. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect.
Isn’t the classic locket a circular pendant that opens on a small hinge, sometimes with small engravement on the exterior and some sort of holding fixture on the inside for securing a photo or other special flat memento? Not in the Origami Owl world! This is an all new idea to me, with not one consultant in my state. Not only a great fundraiser as no one else is doing it in my local area, but a wonderful opportunity if I or another friend around here would choose to become a designer…what an amazing business venture! My designer told me that a local host got 30 women to her party and with their purchases, as a hostess got $600 in free stuff. Those lockets? Click “Categories” then navigate to ” Living Lockets” at first glance, just looks like hoop earings. They sells earings too, but this isn’t the place. I hope you have time to scroll through, because this is an amazing selection!

Recently added are leather bracelets with the clear faces where you can order charms that tell your personal story inside. This is beyond the chain with glittery emblems attached on the exterior ready to snag on any material that you come in contact with!

Little Losses.

 

This doll is 32 months old now. She has two older brothers, one older sister and one who is missing. One who would be seven years old now. My eyes fill with tears and my throat lumps up and I type that in. So many years ago. 431420_10151448530505425_1667089029_n

My second pregnancy passed on a windy August late afternoon. In my heart I knew my baby was hurting and gone deep inside the part of me that unexplainably understands my children. I knew because I didn’t feel butterflies. I didn’t want to barf up my breakfast, and I didn’t need a nap. About 11:30 my neck felt cold and I developed a headache and pain in my lower back. I went to sit and felt the sensation of needing to use the bathroom and began to bleed. All I could do was cry. Once I stopped I was on the phone with my doctors office with my husband at my side. We were told that a quick ultrasound would confirm the viability of the baby’s life.

This was the only fetus that I’d given a name. You know. I was sure that it was going to be a girl and that I’d name her Bethany Elisabeth (debating if it should be a “z” or an “s”) while I was deciding and watching the, “Your Baby This Week” updates I called her, “Little One.” That’s become fuzzy now as I’ve thought of the precious sweetie so many times. Imagining how she would be like now, if she’d grown up a part of our family. One in four women experience at least 1 pregnancy loss.

Why is it that your baby’s life isn’t valued until you look like this? Don’t fight me on that one. What I’m trying to say is that it seems to be just Mom who imagines the child’s future and treasures who they are when they’re the size of a peanut.10391512_329716550424_582872_n Little One fit in the palm of my hand. I took a picture of her, absolutely astounded by the wonder of God’s amazing creation. My child had itty by arch of a back and what looked to be weeks from arms and crunched up legs. My camera couldn’t focus to the detail of her body or get beyond the red that I could not wash off.

I’ve never been into mourning life. I celebrate and thank and remember forever.

Crying is healthy, forgetting is injustice. If you are that one in four, you are told, “At least you have your other children.” Or, “You two can try again when you feel ready.”

No one will ever replace the child that I lost. I have never bought a onesie that says “Little One” on it or will consider naming a child Bethany Elizabeth because I loved that one and would never appear even to myself to replace her because it cannot be done.

Don’t forget to love the children that God has given you, and yes, to try for more.

Try means adoption if that’s the plan that is meant for you.

Never say no to children being a part of your life, and never think that one can be replaced by another.

They’re each fearfully and wonderfully made.
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Treasure life and know that it is in God’s hands, no matter if that life never made full term entrance into the world, regardless of whether or not that child ever breathed the air that you and I do now he or she was formed and is of value in God’s eyes.

Someone decided that today, Oct 15 is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss day. This is my story. Share yours if you’re one in four and have the desire to do so. I tell this story of Little One who would eventually, in my mind’s eye, be a little girl named Bethany Elizabeth because I consider her story one of my birth stories. Just because she didn’t make full term doesn’t mean she isn’t real.

Recalling the story of my pregnancy lost in 2007 cannot be done without speaking of my husband’s taking me out for ice cream after the obstetrician told us that my pregnancy was not normal. I said that was OK, and he said, “No, I mean it’s not viable.” Instant tears. Darren knows I love icecream and drove me the 20 minutes to the local ice cream hang out. I had either pistachio or chocolate mint. And salted it with tears. I went home and cried all night. It was done.

It’s 2014 now and I have four children running about, active and full of life. It’s a struggle to get them to bed on time and to get them to settle and sit still at those times that society mandates quietness. If every moment that I hush them I were thinking of how much I wish I had that fifth to hush I couldn’t live. So it’s not that way. Because I am needed to be present and realistic. That reality is that it’s 8pm and that I have two kids to settle into bed yet.

You have my encouragement to live now and remember yesterday looking forward to seeing your child again in eternity. If that isn’t something to be excited about, I don’t know what is!

Why Angel Tree?

Reece’s Rainbow was all new to me in 2012. I was hook and line stuck from moment one when I came on to Newly Listed and saw the gorgeous face of Yana a child in Russia. That was in May. I emailed the New Family Liaison who quickly connected me with further photos of the young child and a blurb of information beyond the paragraph on the Reece’s Rainbow website. Daily I checked Yana’s FSP to look for changes. This little girl captivated me. I found her in my dreams and would cry for her as I fed my three month old. Somehow her existence far across the ocean in a world very apart from mine, she was part of me. How could I help? I’d never asked for money or deposited money anywhere that wouldn’t render me an item in the mail in three to five days, such as an Amazon.com order or what not.

Alaric1What a strange idea: Giving money to a child who has no adoptive parent. Money that goes nowhere. It just sits and waits, for a family not of my choosing. Someone will commit to a child that I feel close to and use my money to bring her to their house.

One day. I realized I wanted her on My Family Found Me. I looked there as well as checking and giving to her FSP. Days turned into weeks, those blurred into months. September. The Reece’s Rainbow website was ablaze with talk of this thing called Angel Tree Season. The website was covered with advertisements so bright that the viewers attention wasn’t on Child of the Month.

September came. By the middle of the month Yana had a Angel Tree Warrior badge on her profile. I really didn’t know how it got there because I had not investigated the process having little to no confidence in my ability to do more than pray my heart out for this one child.

November. The face of the website changed. In rows the children’s faces from all the countries that Reece’s Rainbow works with were lined side by side, each with a big blue $0.00 underneath. The emotion looking at them all was a big wave washing over me as it would with anyone that I could possibly imagine. All of these months I had seen no one but Yana. Hers was the name that I searched. A total of two or three minutes on the website, a prayer of thankfulness and one of petition that Jesus would see fit for her family to come then on with my day.

December 31st. Within the very last 24 hours of Angel Tree 2012 that gorgeous girl had a family. Her sweet mama to be contacted me right away having read though a prominent blogger my very first orphan advocacy entry. The season was extended through the first week of the New Year in honor of Russia’s late celebration of the new year. In that very time frame, Putin closed Russia sealing children like Yana and so many others in country. Her commitment to the family in the USA was now broken.

Advocating will never end. As long as there will be orphans who need families, there will be cause to celebrate their chance of leaving poverty. I choose to do that largely in part by donating to waiting children’s funds for their future adoption.

Angel Tree is the season that we really put on our party hats, thinking caps, and pool together all the confidence, patience, determination and those strong bonds of fellow orphan advocates while we pull off the biggest fundraiser of the year!! Don’t be shy. Register to be an Angel Tree Warrior to honor my Yana or of any other that we were left not know the end of that season how they would ever know a family. God knew and for that I can celebrate.

Party hats! When you start off. Know God’s got this. He’s going to help you make the money towards your financial goal. Starting is better than never trying! Have a great attitude, a beautiful smile and just make that orphan loving contagious.

Thinking caps! Collaborate. I love the Official Facebook Group. When you sign up to be an Angel Tree Warrior you will also be invited to join a group exclusively for people who have taken on the Raise $1,000 between Nov 1st and December 31st, 2014 goal. Get on the group and ask who sells. I just did. I got 36! Know what? They’d all contribute their profits. That’s awesome. So you’ve asked. Get their information. They’ll guide you through the process of collecting interest and pulling off sales.

Confidence, patience, determination. You could contribute $1,000 out of your pocket. Really, you could. Or.. you could talk, vend and vent to the world about the crisis overseas and get some education out there about what can be done while growing these kids chance of going home.

Strong bonds. Over 100 children still need personal advocates. These people, and the wonderful people who have already signed up are your very best friends for the next few weeks–you will have an encouraging word, suggestions and experience to share, new bright ideas. The one who are not connected to their kids yet: Find Them!!

Talk about Angel Tree 2014 and why everyone should be apart of it. Power yourself up with all the reasons that orphans abroad should come home and why this is a great way to get them closer.

We no longer have the waiting children from Russia, but we do have other countries. Children in orphanages who need redemption. Children who will be as much a missing piece in someone’s family as they need that future family to support them and pick up the slack on medical and nutritional care that the orphanages and institutions have not been able to meet.

Angel Tree: Too Much to Ask?

Today I am sitting down wanting to motivate you to sign up while feeling shaky myself. In order to really be the uncertain, weakening the undecided I have gone to the discussion boards looking for support and suggestions. I have asked and gotten an overflow of answers and ideas. The question remains: Why are there over 100 children without sponsors with less than a month standing between now and the biggest fundraiser of the year in orphan adoption advocacy?
Motivational tool today: Pictures of children lacking Warriors. Visit the Official Reece’s Rainbow website to sign up and make one of these children one less in the number, and one more on their way to reaching $1,000 between November 1st and December 31st 2014.10696223_10152799957415561_821380478416269928_ndanielfeb2009November 1st through December 31st is the extent of the biggest fundraising event of Reece’s Rainbow, the online adoption advocacy website featuring children with Down Syndrome and other special needs that just celebrated 1200 children home in eight years.

This organization is not an adoption agency, rather it coordinates the connection between families seeking to adopt children with special needs internationally and those children in orphanages abroad who need parents.

WendyIn Twenty Three days Angel Tree starts and we are short by 103 Angel Tree Warriors. How it works:

You sign up to be coordinator of fundraising for one child listed on the Angel Tree children page, a badge is placed on their profile connecting to your blog so others interested in helping raise money for that child’s future adoption can read what you have to say about that girl or boy and participate in any fundraising activities that are being organized in honor of that child.

The goal is to raise One Thousand Dollars between November 1 and December 31. As I settled in to write this I questioned why I had hesitated to sign up. And how I can bust through those anxieties not only for myself, but for the future advocates of those over one hundred children who still need someone to speak for them

Dylan-144x300What were my anxieties and how could I break them down? First of all, I am not a marketer. Second, I’m not crafty. Third, how can I persuade people that my cause is worth supporting? To work on these questions I went online to ask who could craft, had stores, and would give a portions of proceeds to adoption support.

The response was wonderful. KayasLittleBoutique can be found on Etsy and Facebook, beautifully crocheted hats and scarves and anything else you may want she’s up for trying! This shop owner is also a Scentsy distributor. She has a blog full of crochet tutorials. There’s always room in life for learning! And who can say no to a face like Dylan‘s here, he is just one of the young children yet needing an Angel Tree Warrior this year. Last year I registered to be Dylan’s warrior. Someone else took my place who had met him, and I just know that there is another wonderful person out there to speak out and write for this 11-year-old.

DoloresAndCompany makes sweet little girls dresses, directly saying that they are helping others fund adoptions of children with special needs.

400211_323621384423698_220723702_nHooked on Hope design and make intricate afghans and smaller items such as hats, mats, baby booties.

Their orphan advocacy is genuinely immeasurable as they went above and beyond to aid in bring home a couple very dear children from Eastern Europe earlier last year and continue to speak out and donate proceeds to families working through the adoption journey.

Do you remember learning how to make hair bows in 4-H club back in fourth grade? I do! We found discount ribbon and had pretty much our first experience with hot glue guns. Those medal clasps that would bite your finger if you closed them wrong when you were pinching to secure the bow correctly on top while avoiding burning yourself? Well this mama is so far funding the beginnings of her sons adoption through the sales of what you forgot that you loved doing. Yes.

Meet McKenzieBethBows entrepreneur extraordinaire bow maker. Please visit her site, and by all means, crown the girly-girl in your life with one of her creations. This woman is the soon to be mama to a sweet boy in Eastern Europe named Cliff.

Rebecca Collier, who is adopting twin girls from Eastern Europe makes quiet books. I have seen pictures of them and know that she is doing proceeds to their adoption. These felt books are high quality and look time consuming to create, rather than putting her forward as a vendor I rather set her forward as an artist who deserves support as 100% proceeds are toward the redemption of two special girls from a life alone in a mental institution. She’s a motivation to pull together your own talented for your passion and to do your best for something and someone that you love.

This list started to promote resources to support Angel Tree confidence and has sprung into pride over how many talented people give up their profits to give to those who are going through something that they as artists are passionate about.

The Magenta Leopard, shares multifaceted interest supporting love of adoption open to special orders.
And the list goes on. I’ll add!

I also need to talk about vendors who lend commissions and ideas that former adoptive parents gave!