Saturday, July 23, 2011

Please "like" something

This will be a very quick post but want to spread the word.  Show Hope(grant organization) is giving $1 for every new "like" on Facebook.  Through August 10th up to 8000 likes.  This is being done by a donor!  This can help so many.  All you have to do is click like.  Simple & took me all of 2 seconds. 

http://www.facebook.com/ShowHope?sk=app_190322544333196

Thanks.  Just had to share.  More pictures tomorrow afternoon.  Was a long day. Much more to share, much more to come but for now, need to sleep & finish organizing.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Alex & Alyona's party (part II)

Time to have not so many words for a change.  Time to see what the new kiddos have in store for them once home. 


 Alyona showing off one of her gifts.  Candy and a giant cookie.  See, the girls' friend had already given Alyona a present before she left for Chicago.  She JUST got off the plane & came straight to the house for the party & wanted to have something for Alyona.  Very sweet of her.


Irina, took a picture of herself.  She loves messing w/ the camera.


 Everyone starting to line up for a swing at the pinata.


Nik, lining up the pinata to try and get the best swing in possible.  Alex was not too happy w/ a heart pinata.  Hey, we buy them when they're 75% off.  So, Valentine's heart it was.  LOL.  He wanted a shark.  I said next year I'll get you the shark.  Remind me to go to the summer pinata sale.


 Well, someone came up and knocked the pinata off the string & it couldn't be re-hung.  So, Max decided to aid w/ the distribution of candy. 


I think there's more kid than candy in that pile!  I had a couple bag fulls in there though.  Trust me, they had plenty.  After the pinata & swimming, all kids were going back inside for cake and ice cream


 Some of the group getting ready for the birthday cake.  Other people are standing in the other half of the room.  It was a full house for sure.


 Their Aunt Lisa surprised the kids by coming for the party.  She's lighting the candles on the cakes and cupcakes.  Alex is 11 yo and Alyona is now 12yo.  So hard to imagine.  Where'd my little toddler go? 


Alex and Alyona giving it their all to blow out all those candles.  We had cake and ice cream and of course watermelon for such a hot day.  

That's part 2 of their party.  I'll do the gift opening and then more swimming part later.  We had an all night slumber party so the party truly never seem to end.  Kids had an awesome time for sure.  MOre to come on their party. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Family Needed NOW for Jack!!!

Okay, there are 2 wonderful boys I must tell you about.  They are from EE.  Two different countries.  Neither country will let me post photos.  One country is a Hague country, one is not.  Both countries I have or am in process of adopting from . ha, there's your hint.

Joey-- Joey is a 3yo little boy.  We are awaiting official dx of the limb difference.  What I see is all 4 limbs are indeed there.  Nothing going on w/ the arms from what I can gather.  Keep in mind, I'm NOT an expert.  Basing on Bojan a bit as he has digit differences, clubfoot, and missing leg.  Joey is healthy other than the limb difference.  Now, the orphanage feels he may or may not have hearing issues but unfortunately, can not be tested until stateside.  As a parent w/ a child w/ limb differences and a child w/ hearing issues, I can assure you both are quite manageable and a normal life is absolutely a possibility.  This little boy has SO MUCH potential with a family in the states that can get his hearing tested and address the limb difference.  Are you this little boy's mom or dad?  This country will allow singles and older parents.  It will also allow big families. 

Jack-- Oh my oh my!  I could scoop this one up in a heartbeat...no lie!  His personality just shines through in photos.   That sweet blonde haired kid will win you over.  Just sweetness exudes from him.  Jack is 6yo and going to an institution.  His main issue?  Arthrogryposis.  Yep.  That's it.  And, it only effects his legs.  He does have a few other issues as well but most are related to the limb differences such as scoliosis and hip dysplasia.  His legs are in a criss cross position.  He is 6yo.  Developmentally, he is fine.  He has a life sentence coming to him when he turns 7 in November.  It's an institution where he will remain.  A family MUST be found for him and soon.  He is not a big boy at all.  There is a $5,000 grant available as well to help w/ expenses of his adoption.  A family interested in Jack will have to keep in mind medical care will be necessary when home.  So access to medical care or a Shriners is important.  

Okay, I personally have a kid w/ limb differences.  I can assure you, it does NOT stop Bojan from doing anything whatsoever.  There are no limits.  None.  Bojan is getting ready to go to middle school.  Had he stayed where he was, this may not have been possible.  They always told me he'd be someone's President someday.  Anything is possible if given a chance.  Jack and Joey need this chance.  A chance at love, a chance at a family, a chance at life.  Both can go so, so far in life especially since they are both young.  I can only imagine the possibilities.  Endless.  But, it starts with a simple yes.  Please consider these two boys.  If you can't adopt, at least help spread the word.  Jack especially is running out of time. Once in the institution, he has no chance of being adopted out of there. None. All hope lost.  Please think of these two boys.  One's life is in the balance.  I'm sure you've seen the results of transferring these kids to an institution.  And for a limb difference?!  Give Jack a chance at a new life.  A life where he can do things.  Reach his fullest potential.  Not lie in an institution and wait to die.  This kid has spunk!  He's got life and ready to live it.  Please help him do so.

For either of these kids, you can connect Kids To Adopt out of WA state for more details.  I have some other details but they'll have lots more of course.  Ask to speak to either Katie or Sandy.  Both can help you w/ your son.  I would not be advocating for these two if I didn't think it was critical.  There are these two kids and the sibs w/ CF(cystic fibrosis) that I know have a ton of potential.  The 2yo and 3yo sibs w/ CF have no chance at life if they stay.  Their fees are low.  Any of these children you can find out more info on.  Their website is www.kidstoadopt.org and it has their contact info on there.  All 4 of the kids I've spoken about are from Eastern Europe.  Thanks for taking the time to look and feel free to pass it on.  These children need a home and fast!

Visa apps & much, much more

So many things going on, not sure I can keep up.  I'll give it a shot though. 

 Last night I receive a very late night email saying I MUST fill out the DS-230 and send them over ASAP.  Why?  B/c our visa appointment was today at 2pm Bulgarian time.  Umm, ooops!  I had done the I-800 and gotten approval. I had done the I-864W's and was reminded to do the DS-230's.  In my Chaos Manor going on's, I must have forgotten. Nothing like waiting till the last minute.  Poor Warren.  Coming home from beyond a long day/ week at work and having to help w /this stuff.  Don't worry, we had Alaska chewing the dining room wall to keep us awake.  Then, Max was up late.  Asked him why there was a salt shaker in the shower.  Truly, I don't want to know half the stuff my kids do.  I never did get an answer on that salt shaker.  Don't even know who took it up there.  All I kept playing in my head was the scene from Seinfeld where Kramer was cooking in the shower.  Yuck!  Anyhow, visa stuff filled out and done by 2am.  Long, long day yesterday.  Waiting to hear the next step.  Hey, each thing accomplished is another step closer to bringing our kids home. 

We also learned last night that more funds are due.  Thought they'd be due after court but that is not the case.  We must, must come up w/ $5,000.  NOW.  We can't charge it as that is what the airline tickets will be put on.  Can't borrow from retirement or home equity.  We've used tax refund and my job for the rest of the fees already paid.  So, we have paid for everything thus far.  This is the only thing we're short.  It won't take much at all to reach the goal and that's what I have to focus on for sure.  God will provide is what they always say.  And in every other adoption that has been the case.  I need to keep the faith that it will happen this time as well.  3 lives are depening upon us.  We've done 7 international adoptions by ourselves and was hoping we could complete these ourselves w/out assistance except for orphanage donations.  That is now not the case.  The reason were short actually?  The bogus CPS investigation that was done to us months back.  (those new, yes, we were totally cleared..long story).  See, we had travel dates for April.  Delayed travel cost us an extra $4K total due to airline tickets and this time having to have a sitter.  Original travel dates fell over spring break & we had way more options.  So, clearly this was unexpected.  We have thought of every possible way to make it work & can't come up w/ anything as of yet. Right now, there is a donation site being worked on.  It is going to be tax deductible.  I have been posting on Craigslist whatever I can.  Trying to think of quick fundraisers.  I have watched fundraisers go from $300 to $20K in 2 days time because people came together.  I just need $5 from 1000 people.  That's it.  I figured I can hit that goal.  It shouldn't take much for someone to make a tax deductible deduction of $5.  It's cheaper than a value meal AND doesn't go to your hips!  LOL.  Shoot, just 50 people at $100.  Though I know $100 is hard for many.  But I do know most can spare $5 or $10 to help save 3 lives. I've seen it done.  And honestly, I wouldn't ask if we weren't in a bind.  This bind was beyond unexpected. I mean truly.  We had everything planned out.  Where we'd borrow the money from, how to pay it back, etc.  Just like w/ every other adoption.  Shoot, Warren still needs $8K worth of dental work that insurance won't cover.  It takes a village for sure.  I know a village can help get these kids out of their orphanages and home to the family that loves them more than words can say. 

Just received an email w/ some pictures from Camp Cheerio.  Heres the link:  
http://springcampcheerio.org/2011-camp-photos/  This will give you an idea of what the kids do there.  We go each and every year and have so much fun.  It's in May every year.  Kids cue, sign, and speak.  So anyone and everyone can come.  It's just such a refreshing time to share w/ others struggles and accomplishments w/ your deaf/ HOH child.  I'll let you all know when it's coming up again next year.  Some even fly in to come. 

Okay, we did a TON and I mean a TON of scrub cleaning today downstairs.  I mean from scrubbing walls to oven hoods, to you name it.  We cleaned it.  I am frankly shameful of all the dust and dirt discovered.  I'm sure we could have named a new species w/ some of it.  The list was approximately 45 items long.  9 of us were cleaning.  We got it done fairly quickly for the most part.  We're going to conquer some more rooms tomorrow. 

We're planning on going to the Marbles Museum tonight.   There is a free event locals for special needs kids and their families.  We've gone to this before and every single time the kids have had a blast.  Can't wait to go.  Afterwards, we're going to get slushies!  Yes, we're hooked.  Just such a cheap, yummy summer treat. 

We have people who are also adopting from Bulgaria coming over on Saturday.  Can't wait to meet them.  They are adopting a son.  Different region but so neat to compare stories.  They also have been on their first trip as well.  They have 2 girls at home & I know my kids will be doting all over them when here. 

Other than that, trying to organize a possible local FAS get together for swimming and food.  Also, trying to sell items to come up w/ the money necessary for the kids.  Working on a tax deduction thing and more on that hopefully tomorrow. We are at crunch time and it was totally out of left field.  So, trying to sell items we no longer need.  Also, prepping the house for a possible sale.  Don't even ask about the house for sale thing yet.  Long story.  Another post to come.  Yana is halfway through the prednisone thank goodness.  Much more to come.  Have to chase Warren away from work first so he can go with us to the museum.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Alex & Alyona's party (part I)

Saturday we celebrated Alex & Alyona's birthdays.  Both their birthdays fall on times when we were super busy so we had to wait.  First, we were in Bulgaria, then to PA for a family reunion, then the 4th of July, and we finally landed on this weekend for a party.  They were both great at being patient & waiting for their party though I was asked quite a few times when it was.  thought I'd share a little of how it went yesterday...and today as it is 3:33pm and some of them are still here.  Well, I started this on Saturday.  It's now Wednesday. 


 Prepping for the party.  Kyle demonstrating a little static electricity.  Funny as all of Alyona's hair can stand up.  All the kids helped blow up balloons and Kyle taught them how to blow up a balloon inside of a balloon.  It really was pretty cool.  

Yana, looking less than thrilled to help out w/ the balloons.  I had taken her shades away.  It was getting ridiculous w/ those things and trying to cover up the eye when nothing was swollen.  Hence, the not happy shot.  


 We had lunch not too long after everyone arrived.  I think there were 25 guests or so so we pretty much ate wherever.  This is a shot of some of them at the table.  

Birthday boy gobbling down some corn and loving it.


 Birthday girl Alyona w/ her friend Elizabeth.  Elizabeth is from the orphanage Yana and Alex were from.  They all were in the same hosting program.  Great thing is, they don't live too far. 


 Nik & Yana getting ready to do something not so smart, I'm sure.  Daredevils.

Yana and Nik.  I think they're having fun, how about you?


 Poor Max.  But, he's always a willing participant.  Ben(a friend), Bojan, Alex and Max goofing around.


Max had just finished throwing one of the kids in the water.  


Elizabeth, Irina, Moriah, and Yana enjoying some girl time.  Notice Nik's flying leg in front of them?  Never dull.  Hey, got a picture which is a miracle w/ all the action.  

So much more to this party that lasted, all day, all night and an entire next day.  But, I have forms to fill out and got to get ready for an appointment today.  Stay tuned for more to come.  And, I have 2 limb difference kids to find families for.  One is a 3yo boy and the other a 6yo boy.  CUTE kids and seem like great personalities to boot.  More details to come. 2 different countries.  One is being moved to an institution soon so time is of the essence.  More to come. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

URGENT NEED FOR FAMILY!!!

I wrote a post a few posts back.  You can view it here .  I must reiterate as I don't think I was adament enough, these kids MUST have a family.  Not a single person has contacted the agency regarding these children.  Their fees have been reduced.  I would do this in a heartbeat.   I really would.  I know we have 3 coming home but I truly would commit in a heartbeat if they'd let me.  Doubt they would though I haven't asked.  LOL.  So, I must, I must find them a home.  I can not let these darling little ones go who need a family so badly for their medical needs.  Both kids have CF. They are a sibling set.  One is a two yo little girl and the other a 3yo little girl.  This is a Hague country.  Family would need to be able to do paperwork fairly quickly.  Last we heard, these children are healthy at the orphanage...for now.   But, we all know that with Cystic Fibrosis the orphanage is not the best place for them to be.  Please help spread the word on these precious kids.  Some kids just touch you.  These two do. I just can't get them out of my mind.  Please help me in spreading the word.  Thank you so much.  It can literally mean the difference between life and death for them. 

Dog days of summer

Well, we are in the dog days of summer here in NC.  High 90's, 100's.  Hot, humid, sticky out.  Those that live in the south can totally relate.  Thought I'd share a little more of what we do in Chaos Manor during our dog days here.


 We eat tons of watermelon during our dog days here.  This is Alyona w/ a nice white shirt on.  I should frankly make them go shirtless when eating this but can't really do that w/ the girls.  Nothing like watermelon after a swim.


We find shade in our yard.  Favorite spot as usual is in the hammock under the canopy of trees.  It's great.  Alex had woken up here.  Before, he was sound asleep in the hammock. 

 Shucking corn is something you find us doing quite often in summer.


Here's Max shucking some corn.  Don't mind the help but hate it when they leave the hairs(corn silk) in.  Drives me bonkers.  


 True dog days of summer.  Digby of course is the only dog allowed out w/out any leash.  He's just enjoying his time in the shade 


Some dog days are spent riding toys down a steep hill in the yard in our bathing suits.  Umm, no, we are not competing for yard of the year...ever.  My kids have too much fun riding up and down the driveway and yard w/ bikes and such.

And of course, we absolutely swim tons during our dog days of summer.  All my kids and their friends are fish in the water.  And if you're wondering, no they can not jump from that trampoline into the pool.  

More happens here in summer but that's a good idea.  We do intend in August some time to venture to the beach.  Warren hates the beach.  Can't wait to go this year.  It's a day trip but so much fun.  Other than that, we're laying low here.  Waiting for our kids to come home finally.  Got to go.  We're doing operation clean up outside today.  Right now, we're all taking a break.  More to come. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

A family stuck

I do not know this family personally but I can assure you it would be a horrible position to be stuck in w/ your new son and not able to get home.  There are complications to his medical status in order to leave the country.  (long story but can read it fairly quickly).  On top of this, her sister passed away today stateside.  They have been there for 33 days so far in Ukraine.  Prayers is what she asked for and I figured I can at least pass a link around for others to pray for what may seem like an impossible situation.  My heart sank for this family.

http://buildingourvillage.blogspot.com/

Manic Monday

Can't believe it's already Monday.  We've had such a crazy busy weekend w/ the parties and such.  So, think I'll try to catch up here a bit as well.

Adoption front-- no new news except that we got the I-800 approval.  Oh, and it's wrong but that's no big deal.  They have one of the kids' b-days wrong but that should be an easy fix.  Still waiting on FBI prints to get back too so that those will be ready for court. Otherwise, we should be good to go.  Oh, many are telling me to go ahead & get local police checks for court as well.  Okie dokie.  Always better to be safe than sorry.

House-- working on some little repairs here and there.  In addition, we are purging big time.  Clutter be gone.  Going through all kinds of things.  Hoping it will bring in a little cash too as trying to figure out the last of the fees that will be coming up. More on that later too.

Dogs-- Digby is great.  He really is.  We love that dog to pieces.  Digby is definitely Warren's dog.  The dog waits for him to come home from work.  He'll start laying by the door.  too cute.  Then we have the pups.  Oy!  Yes, they're still running us ragged.  We are trying our best to find a fence solution but we really can't afford the one side we need.  Trust me, we've already spent enough on trying to contain these mutts.  So, if anyone finds free fencing or very cheap locally off Craigslist or something, let me know.  Otherwise, puppies are doing okay.  Kota is still King Kota.  Trying to throw him off the throne.  Working on it.

Homeschool-- I am trying to get ready to homeschool the kids.  My goal is to start in August.  We'll see.  I'll start off w/ homeschooling Irina, Alyona, Alex and Nik.  From there, add the three new ones in when they get home and then most likely second semester(Jan.) add the last 3 into the mix.  I've purchased a few supplies and written down somewhat what I want to do as far as plans go.   Working on what all they'll be studying & how w/ the different levels that they have.  Slowly, I'll get there.  Very slowly. 

Medical-- everyone is healthy for the most part.  And, the predisone doesn't seem to be negatively affecting Yana which is great.  Nik's implants are messed up again.  He went swimming w/ them.  Lovely.  Dried them out but still will most likely need to get one repaired.  Fighting for his speech therapy to come back.  Stupid insurance.  Bojan's new leg seems to be doing much better since we got rid of the Otto-bock knee disaster.  If you are a rep people and someone asks you a specific question to a specific patient and you say yes, then you best back it up!  URGHHH!!!  Months of aggravation b/c someone did not believe that a boy could do this much damage to an adult knee.  Important part is it is fixed now.  Different knee.  No issues whatsoever.  Everyone is caught up on their shots and things.  Nothing else really needed.  Praying it stays this way for a while. 

Donations-- Donations are starting to come in.  This is awesome.  And, some are sending monetary donations for us to purchase items.  There is someone that I really want to write back but no way of getting in touch.  Please Pat, write me back if you get a chance.  Thanks.  I've picked up some local donations as well.  Still, we're at half a suitcase at the moment.  However, I have $85 worth of donations that I'm going to purchase. I'm waiting till August 5th here b/c that is tax free weekend here.  We get more bang for the buck so to speak.  This truly is going to make a difference for the orphanages.  I can not wait to see the look on their faces.  Going to get some girlie makeup and items for fun for the teens at the orphanage.  Confidence can go a long way in life.  Imagine being a girl in your teens and not having access to this stuff.  I'm sure you ladies remember those years as teenage girls. 

Questions-- Ask me anything questions still coming in here and there.  Going to reply hopefully this Wednesday.  So please, if you have a question, ask it.  Nothing off limits really.  Our life is pretty much an open book anyhow.  Whether it's questions about big families, costs of adoption, discipline, FAS/RAD, moving, food, etc. ask it.  Put them either in the comments or write me privately.  Can't wait to answer some of them!

This week-- Should hopefully be a clean up & organizing week. Haven't had one of those for ages.  And it unfortunately shows.  So, it's time.   We had 15 kiddos here today.  2 have left and another 3 are leaving shortly.  I am hopeful that one day this week it will be just my kids here and we can accomplish some things.  I'm trying to raise money so clearing our clutter and selling.  Every little bit helps for sure.  Got to get to work on some grant apps.  We need to raise around $4800.  More on that in a separate posts.  I'll need ideas for sure.  For now, seeing what I can raise on my own.  This week I'm hoping will be mellow.  We don't have places that we have to be so that is good.  Plus, I couldn't go anyhow w/ 14 to 15 kids here.  No room in my van.  Another issue that has arisen. 

I am praying for a peaceful week.  Okay, started this earlier today.  So much for peaceful.  It's been awful!  And NOT from the littles I sit for.  No.  It's the teens.  URGHH!!!  And not just mine.  Dare went on today.  Yana swallowed a spoonful of cinnamon.  You know you really can't swallow cinnamon, right?  It's all over the web.  She drank lots of water and I told her you must throw up.  Gross but that will help.  She has burst capillaries from coughing so hard.  I was less then pleased w/ them all.  Really less than pleased.  I was ticked off but that is not the word I'd use.  It is a mess.  She can talk now but mostly a whisper.  And this would be why I do NOT let MY teens use the net.  Yet, they are "participants" in all this so they are to blame as well.  Hoping a lesson was learned.  She's okay.  She is just really angry and when you're on prednisone, that is not a good place to be.  Peaceful...out the window! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Feathers, fences, flies & freaking out

Weird title but been weird week here and there.  We'll start and work our way through the title I guess.  Feathers. Hmm.

Yes, bringing feathers in the car was not the best idea for the driver or passengers for that matter.  They kept playing w/ these feathers.  More on these in the  next post as they are just gorgeous.  For those wondering though, never bring long peacock feathers in the car.  


Max & Bojan worked on fixing the fence in the backyard.  We took the chain horsewire fence and added the black panels we already had to raise the height of the fence.  Obviously, trying to contain Alaska and Kota.  It's working for that part of the yard but we have one side that must be fenced in.   Trouble is, no money, no fence.  URGHH!!!  One small side of fencing and our lives would be quite a bit easier.  Going to keep an eye out on Craigslist & local list for fencing and if any of you see any, let me know. Has to be at least 6' high. 

Does she look a bit different?  Okay, this was taken when the bite hadn't gotten so bad yet.  The next day she woke up w/ her face literally swollen shut.  She only had one eye.  Wore shades the entire day.  Doc gave her predisone for 12 days and it has since gone day quite a bit & pretty much back to normal.  They said horsefly bit her, I think it was yellow jacket.  


Okay, so we're not freaking out here b/c the garage should appear on hoarders.  No.  We're freaking out here b/c of what was found in our tea container.  The big red thing next to Nik.  Inside it is not a tea bag. No.  It is a mouse w/ a nice tail.  Can you say YUCK!!!  When the kids went to get the container & took the lid off, there was definitely some freaking out involved.  

More pictures to come about Alyona & Alex's parties.  More posts too.  We have some MAJOR advocacy calls to get out.  We really do folks.  I finally got around to doing the RSS(reluctant spouse syndrome) post.  BTW, Warren wasn't too mad about it.  He took it in stride.  He also said you really shouldn't give your secrets away on here.  LOL.  If you haven't, please read the post on orphanage supplies needed.  It is two posts back.  I can not thank the people enough who've stepped up right now.  BTW, if you are Pat, please, please email me at boydbunch@gmail.com.  I can not find a way to write you back.  A playground would be VERY needed as theirs is very broken.  Would love to speak to you more about your ideas to help the orphanages over there.  

Got to go.  Dinner awaits....to cook.  More to come.  Tons going on.  Oh, please keep questions coming.  Really need some more questions.  Can't wait to get to answering some of them.  Again, any question is fine.  Whether it's about adoption, mental health dx's, grocery costs, moving, sibling rivalry love, etc.  Ask me anything.  Will answer them this week.  Hope your weekend was a great one.  Ours was l-o-u-d! 

A special opportunity to help

Not all can adopt a child.  I am more than well aware of that.  Not everyone wants to adopt a child either.  Well aware of that also.  However, I do think generally in overall human nature, we have the desire to help children.  Well, I have a chance for you to help many children.  Hundreds believe it or not.  In addition, it will only cost you a penny, a dime or a quarter.  Some may splurge and spend a dollar.

Okay, let me explain a little further.  When I was over in Summer's orphanage, I saw a few things that were just hard to witness.  Children deserve to be able to play.  Plain and simple.  Yet, these children live many days without the play they need.  It is not for not caring, it is simply a shortage of funds or toys to play with.  When we were supposed to be playing with our daughter, we were brought a garbage bag full of "toys."  These were broken pieces of toys.  This is what all these children had to play with.  Share a bag of broken bits.  The playroom was beyond sparse.  There was literally nothing in there to play with.  So, they brought in coloring book and markers.  Maybe 2 out of the 10 markers worked.  And it was as though you're writing w/ invisible ink.  Just sad.  Hard to witness, hard to think about.  These kids go around collecting snails and such.  And that's fine.  But, imagine the rainy and winter days.  They must stay inside.  Nothing really to play with or color or let your mind grow.  I would like to help their minds grow a bit more.

This is not just for ONE child. This is for hundreds.  There are roughly 50 children in the older childrens home we went to where our older sibs are.  These kids need stuff just as much.  So, I'm trying to fill two suitcases FULL of donations to let their minds grow.  Right now, Staples is having a penny, dime and quarter sale.  Yes, that's right.  A penny can go far for these kids.  It really can.  We are attempting to collect things such as coloring books, markers, crayons, yo-yos, hacky sacks, Frisbees, inflatable balls, etc.  Also, girlie makeup like lip smackers and eye shadow.  The smile I received from R's group was EAR to EAR!  Those girls thought they'd hit the lottery w/ just ONE thing of eyeshadow to share and three lipsmackers.  Think about preteen and teen girls not having that little luxury.  I know many don't think about the self-confidence it brings to girls in those developing years but it does.  And, a little goes a long way.  Orphanages must spend their money on food and necessities, not on what is considered a luxury for girls.  I want to bring these kids fun and happiness that will last a little while.  You all can help with that.

Some folks are sending me packages w/ things to take.  Some have left donations off at our doorstep.  Shoot, if we get enough, I would be willing to wear the same thing the whole trip so I can take an extra suitcase full of donations.  Locals can easily help as we can easily pick up items or meet you somewhere.  We are stopping by a home tonight after VBS in fact. Okay, started this the other day.  I'll get to the point.  So far, we only have barely half a suitcase full.  That's it.  That is not nearly enough to change lives.  It takes a village to raise a child.  Yes, yes it does.  You can be part of that village.  Nothing is too small.  Especially locals where I can pick up a box of crayons or markers.  If you prefer, a simply donation of $5 or $10 could work wonders for these children.  It really can. 

Just do it.  Don't think about it when you're at the store.  Pick up that quarter  pack of crayons.  Trust me, there's a ton of cheap markers & crayons this time of year w/ all the back to school sales.  Easy to pay an extra dime if you're already there anyhow. I'm willing.  I'm able.  I hope you will be too with me.  We really can make a difference and seriously, we won't notice it.  Take a dime out of the car or couch cushion.  We all have them.  Go to Staples & buy something for the kids at the orphanages.  I wish you could see the look on Summer's face as she's trying to color but nothing comes out.  Trying time after time after time.  I stood there and couldn't do a thing.  We donated money from  generous donors to the orphanages as you know.  However, that was used for necessities such as shoes, desks, and food.  Food people!  We need some fun for these kids.  Let them be kids for just once.  Just have a little fun.  Please help me make this dream a reality.  I know most American kids wouldn't consider markers, coloring books or crayons a pile of fun but these kids would be beyond grateful.  If you can help, please try.  It would mean a lot to them.  It really would.  Thanks so much for listening to all this speech. I really want to have at least one suitcase full of donations.  The hard part would be picking an orphanage to give them to if I only get one suitcase full.  IF you donate w/ money, please, put supplies in the subject line somewhere.  That way, I'll know exactly what it's for. Thanks again.  You have the opportunity to help hundreds of kids live a real childhood w/ the simple things in life.  Oh, someone recently gave me yo-yos.  That was awesome!