Friday, February 27, 2009

Cell Phone Fundraiser

We've started a new fundraiser since we still have a long way to go in paying for Michelle's adoption. It is our goal to pay for the entire adoption at finalization instead of taking out an adoption loan like we did with Steven (and which we will be making payments on for quite a while). So far, we've raised about $400 toward the $9,500 or so that we still owe.

The agency has subsidized our adoption through their own fundraising, and they are letting us defer payment until finalization (sometime around July or August) instead of requiring it at placement (December 29th), which is at least a 7 month difference.

The new fundraiser is collecting and recycling old cell phones (working or not). The company then pays us for each cell phone (from $1 to over $30 depending on model). It's an easy way to raise money, and it keeps cell phones out of landfills. This works best for local readers or readers who live near Mark's family. However, you're always welcome to mail them to us :)

We are also continuing our magazine sales/renewals fundraiser. It's a great way to buy or renew a magazine at up to 85% off newstand prices and help us out at the same time. (We get 40% of all sales for our adoption fund.) Thank you so much for everyone who has already bought magazines!

Our final fundraiser that we have right now is the chip in listed on the sidebar. It allows people to donate money directly to our cause if they don't have cell phones to recycle or any magazines that they want to subscribe to or renew.

I'm also continuing to sell lia sophia jewelry. I'd love to do a party at your home, or you could do a book show. I would make money for the adoption, and you'd get great hostess benefits! A new catalog just came out this month, and there are many new pieces, and there are great specials every month. You can view an online catalog here.

This summer I'll also be holding another fundraising garage sale (if you have anything you want to donate to that, let me know!) Our fundraiser sale for Steven raised almost $1,000 (mostly due to donated items)!

I hate to sound like I'm begging, but we're still far from our goal. We are trying to avoid selling any stocks right now because we'd lose so much money on them.

Most of all, we appreciate your prayers for us. We have no doubt that God will provide the funds in His way and timing. We're thankful for these different fund raising ideas that God has provided, and if you have any other ideas, please let us know (unfortunately, we are not eligible for grants.)!

Thank you for your prayers and any help that you might be able to give. We have been blessed beyond measure, and so many of you have already been used by God to help and encourage us. We appreciate every prayer and penny.

Thank you!

Rebekah

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Birth Announcements Photos

Today we finally got around to taking pictures for their birth announcements. We never got ones out for Steven, so I decided to just send joint ones. A friend gave us these amazingly cute outfits for them, and we had to wait until Michelle grew into hers.

Kissing Baby Sis!


"Hugging" Baby Sis



Squashing Baby Sis

Finally, one we can use!


Just couldn't resist getting one of the little buddy laughing
at peek-a-boo!

We didn't order to0 many for now, so they're all going out of state family (didn't have enough money to order more). I'm hoping to get more soon, so I can send some out to friends as well.

Bebe Pod

Since Michelle has pretty good neck muscles, I decided to pull out the bebe pod I got for her off Craig's List. She didn't really know what to think about it, but all the smiling pictures from the post below were taken while she was in it, so I think it's safe to say that she doesn't hate it :) However, she didn't really hold her head up as well as she needed to. You can see her head is leaning back in this picture, so the seat is getting put back in the closet. She'll probably be ready for it in a few more weeks.



While I had it out, I thought it would be interesting to put Steven in it. Needless to say, he didn't find it quite as fascinating to play with once he was in it!








Once he was out, he was interested in it once again!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Smiles!

Not only is she smiling, she's also talking!




Hanging out with Daddy

The forecast for yesterday was 3-7 inches of snow, and I work 45 minutes away every Saturday. The bulk of the storm was while I was at work and for a few hours afterwards. I didn't want to cancel, but we were also afraid of my trying to drive home in the snow, so Mark and I decided to go up as a family and get a hotel room for the night.

I helped Mark get checked in and unloaded and then went to work. The kids were great for him, and Steven played contentedly in the room the entire time. The hardest part was to get him down for his nap since he's now used to napping with Mark in the room, but Mark got him down and he slept for a few hours.

I left work five hours later, and sure enough, the roads were pretty bad. I didn't see any snow plows, and nothing had been done while I was at work. We hung out in the hotel room for most of the evening, with each of us taking a sight-seeing trip down the halls with Steven. Once Steven finally fell asleep last night, he was good for the night. When he woke up, I just told him that it was still night-night time, and he went back to sleep. Way to go little boy! Michelle also did great in her pack n play. I even put her down awake at one point, and she went right to sleep! That's amazing.

Checking things out with Daddy.

Talking to Daddy while Mom's at work.

Just lounging around.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pray the Date

Will you join me in praying the date for Ian and Alec to come home to their forever family?

Most of us have heard of the "save the date" invitations that are popular now for upcoming weddings. But today I'd like to suggest a "pray the date" instead. In communicating with LaWanna, Ian's nanny, I learned that she will be in Haiti until June 24. I am so thankful that Ian will still experience her loving care for several more months.

After that, however, I feel it is so important that he not be transitioned into yet another person's care - but that instead he and Alec both would transition directly into coming home. And so that is my specific prayer now ... that God would bring Ian and Alec home before June 24. This would be before LaWanna leaves; before our I-600 expires in July and we would have to renew it; before our homestudy expires in October and we would face the enormous expense of flying another social worker to Chile.

Please pray. Please, please pray ... and know that there are other concerns expressed in private that cannot always be shared publicly. There is much that weighs on our hearts and minds during this time of waiting and not knowing the outcome. Yet we choose to trust that God is bigger than all of these circumstances and that He will fulfill His purpose in bringing Ian and Alec home!

~Stephanie

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just Couldn't Resist

This was an ad on our local Craig's List. Um, I'm going to take a guess that he/she isn't getting too many customers.

Let me right your resume ans cover letter!!

for only $50.00 I would be pleased to write a profressional / business type resume and or cover letter for your potential employer . We all know that it is very hard finding a job in these times let alone a career. That is why it is very important to show your interviewer why they should hire you out of every one else who is applying . Having a well written resume and cover letter that shows all of your talents , skills, contributions, accomplishments and dedicated work hstory is a great way to land yourself a great job maybe even and exciting career! . Trust me, through several attempts to land my dream job , it was a resume and cover letter that got me my job. IT DOES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. let me help you. Serious inquires only please !! If interested send me a message

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pictures

For Valentine's Day, I bought Steven a big ball, and to say he loves it would be an understatement. That kid LOVES balls.


Playing in the laundry basket and playing with Baby Sis' saline solution.


Doing his favorite thing--reading a book!


Playing Peek-A-Boo with Blue


Sharing Daddy's lap with Baby Sis. Can you tell it's bedtime??
He was happy when I went to get the camera, and by the time I was back, this is the look I got :(

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tummy Time!

Tummy time isn't an exceptionally happy time in our house, and it's quite hard to do. I can't put her on the floor when Steven is awake, and I also have to watch for the dog. I also hate to put her down after she eats because she inevitably spits up on the play mat. However, we're working on getting more tummy time in because we need to work on those neck muscles!


Of course, Steven now finds the play mat quite fascinating and loves playing with the toys. Another good reason to not set her down when he's around!

Reading in Bed

I think that Steven read my last post because he's been staying in his crib until after noon! I go in several times to see if he's ready to get up, but he's been refusing. He just wants to stay in his bed and read books. I give him new books each time, and he just sits there and reads them. This kid rarely turns down food, but he doesn't even want to get up for breakfast!

Steven's been super picky on what books he wants to read at naptime and bedtime. Sometimes I lift up 8 books before he approves of one! He is very emphatic and insistent (to the point of almost throwing a fit). Several times this week, we've started one book only to have him slam it shut a few pages in. We're working on saying "no thank you."




Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Slowing Down

Last Wednesday through Friday I had a hard time breathing, which I attributed to my asthma. On the news they said that this is the worst time of the year for asthma, so it seemed to make sense. The only thing that didn't make sense was that my inhalers didn't help at all. I wasn't able to take full breaths, and needless to say, that was very frustrating.

I finally called my doctor on Friday morning (while at MOPS), and she wanted to me come in right away. It was our first MOPS meeting since before Christmas, and I told her that I had no intention of missing it :) I agreed to come in as soon as it was over unless it got worse at which point she said I would need to call 911 (yeah right!).

I went right before MOPS ended, and they hooked me up to a nebulizer (my first time). I then started feeling faint and was very shaky. The main doctor came in (at this point there were two doctors, two nurses, and my two babies with me in the room) and had them stop it right away. He listened to my lungs and said that it wasn't my asthma, which is why the nebulizer made it worse. He had my lie down and they took Steven and Michelle out of the room and played with them so I could actually rest.

Instead, he said that I was too stressed. It had been a very busy week. I wasn't sleeping well, and that just added to the stress. I don't remember what we did Monday, but I'm sure we did something. We had Bible study Tuesday morning and then went up to my work for an African dance/music presentation. Wednesday we had small group and something else that I can't remember. Thursday we had a play date and went out for my birthday. Friday we had MOPS. In short, we were just too busy.

My parents ended up coming to pick me up and drive my car home. They took the babies home with them so I could rest, and I slept for a long, long time.

We've purposely slowed down this week. I cancelled our play dates and cleared our schedule. I planned on still going to Bible study, but I was up late the night before (finishing my homework!), so we didn't go. I hate missing Bible study, and it is one thing I refuse to cut from my schedule. I've also been able to get out of the house by myself (just to Costco, but still something). It's helping, but it's still a bit crazy here at home with a 6 week old and a 14 month old.

To top it off, Steven's been getting up earlier than he was last month. Granted he's still better than most babies, but he went from getting up at 10:30-11:30 to getting up around 9:00 or earlier (and still goes to be at the same time--between 8:00 and 9:00). Trust me, I'm not complaining! It just adds more to my day.

A good thing is that Steven is doing much better with Michelle. He hugs and kisses her and likes to show me her eyes (not good!), nose, mouth, and hair. He kisses her and gives her her pacifier if she's crying, although I saw him take it out of her mouth first today. He's not very jealous, and I'm so thankful for that. I can now hold her without him having a meltdown.

His pronunciation of words is getting much better to. Before we were working on the first sound of the words (ch ch for cheese and p p for please), and just in the last day or two he's been saying cheese and peas. He uses peas non stop when he wants something and doesn't understand why he can't have it. We had fun this morning when he wanted Lucky Charms instead of Cheerios. (Can you tell daddy started that??) He finally stopped asking, but he never did eat his Cheerios.

I just realized how long this is, so I'll stop. I'll try to post pictures sometime soon. I got a few cute ones of him reading in his crib this morning :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Two More!

This week Steven had two more teeth pop through. That makes 4 in the last 3-4 weeks! No wonder he's been chewing his fingers like crazy. Over all, though, he's a great teether--no real fussiness or crying. I'm sure he's been a bit more fussy, but we just attributed that to all the turmoil in his life from adding a baby to the family.

We're thrilled that he finally seems to have adjusted to Michelle. He is no longer losing it when I'm home alone with them and holding her. Yesterday when she was crying, he tried to give her her pacifier. Granted it ended up more on her nose than in her mouth, but he was trying to comfort her. (And I'm pretty sure he didn't steal it to begin with.) It's so cool to watch a bond start to develop between them.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

One Step Ahead

Sometimes Steven surprises us with what he understands and, more importantly, how he interprets it. A while ago, Mark teasingly told Steven that if he didn't finish his cracker, they'd have to give it to the dog. Well, Steven decided to simplify the process and just handed over to the dog. (We later found out the reason for his sudden dislike for the graham crackers was because that box tasted like moldy cardboard.)

This morning, he ate all his pineapple (current favorite) and most of his eggs. I gave him some green beans, which he usually eats. He ate one or two but didn't want anything to do with the rest. I ate one of his tray and told him it was yummy. His response? Picking up a handful and giving them to me to eat. Is that a sign of sharing or a clever way of getting out of eating them?? (In the end, he did eat them all.) What a crazy little boy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Shoplifting!

This morning, Steven found a bag that I had laying around. I saw him pick it up and didn't think anything about it until I looked up and saw him ready to load it full of dvds! He knows that he's not allowed to pull them off the shelf, yet he was ready to risk it hoping that I wouldn't notice.

I got him up and put a ball in it instead. We then filled it full of balls, which he thought was the coolest thing ever. This kid loves balls! (When we tell him that the nursery has balls, he can't ditch us fast enough!)







His excitement at the balls in the bag makes me a little scared of what Halloween will be like this year. Although, he'll probably get better treats than the lollipops he got last year. He (meaning I)needs chocolate!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Huge Praise!!

This came from Loren's parents yesterday (see next post):

Just a quick note to let you know that we arrived home in good speed yesterday. Our “kids” are doing well in processing the loss of their little daughter, Keren. Family and friends are surrounding us with care. This morning, David’s barber, a Palestinian man who has followed Keren’s life carefully, trusted Christ!