Friday, April 29, 2011

clearances and fundraising

Yesterday Belle had to get poked and prodded and stuck at the vet. Poor thing, but she is such a trooper! She was scheduled for her annual booster, but we had to add a couple more exams to it to get her cleared for a sister...of human kind, not canine kind. She did a great job too. I was so concerned about shielding her from the three pitbulls in the waiting room that I forgot to get my phone ready for pictures. I'm a bad mom. I promise pictures will be taken of my actual child!

Thanks to her clearance we were able to send off round 2 of paperwork yesterday. We have five more documents to turn in before being DONE with paperwork at this level. I'm sure more paperwork is to come when the homestudy is complete and we are moved to Holt, but for now we can see the light! The remaining paperwork is a beast though. Apparently we saved the more detailed stuff for last, ugh. Part of that decision is needing Kevin home to help me fill it all out. In the next week we need to write out a budget and our life story. As you know from my previous blog, I DO NOT do money/budgets so it's a must for Kevin to be home for that. So, those are the biggies left to do.

Belle isn't the only one cleared for take-off; I got an email today from Villa Hope that Kevin's background check is back and he's clean! Whew, we were worried about that. This was huge news to get because until our background checks are completed we can't move forward with the actual homestudy meetings. Now we're just waiting for mine. I wonder why it's taking so long... Kidding! We also can't move forward until we pay our first bill. We still have about $500 left on this bill to pay before we can move forward. May 28th is our scheduled yardsale and we're praying we can raise at least that. Of course, when this bill is paid, we're faced with the second (and I think final) bill which is about $1500. Oh, money.

Speaking of money and fundraising, I've been making phone calls about scheduling a 5K race. We'd like to have it in November since that is orphan awareness month. The only hindrance with the 5K is event insurance. Renting the place is doable. Paying the officials is doable. Discovering how to get event insurance does not seem doable. If we can pull this off it will be such a blessing so I'm praying God opens doors quickly.
Kevin has been working on designing a t-shirt. We haven't ordered them yet but here's a sneak peak! Let me know if you're interested. :)

Continuing our auction...
Tonight's auction is from my dear friend Angelyn. She has an Etsy shop set up for her own fundraising for her trip to Africa this summer. She's a blessing to us and has kindly donated her talents to our adoption. Please check out her shop and buy something to help her get to Africa! If you like what you see post a bid in the comments.

One last thing. Our precious friends, The Bices, are having their adoption yardsale tomorrow in Hoover. Message me for the address if you are interested. They have some GREAT stuff. Check their blog for some teasers. I will be there bright and early to make sure no one gets the stuff I want!

Sending Hugs

Thursday, April 21, 2011

korean culture

I'm on a mission to learn more about Korean culture. I figure that would be helpful, seeing as we will be traveling there in about a year or so. I realize that my seemingly new obsession will seem contrived to some. Trust me, it's genuine.

It all started with my gateway drug, Memoirs of a Geisha. (Read it. It's fabulous.)

And then I found Thousand Splendid Suns and Kite Runner. Wow. Those were actually so good that Kevin read them. If you don't know, he's strictly a non-fiction reader.

And then I was all about southern culture books, my favorite being a recently read The Help.

I attribute my love for cultural literature to my friend Kristy, whom I taught with at Homewood a few years ago. She is a multi-culture genius! Some seriously good reads came from her.

So now I'm going in the direction of Korea. It is an obvious choice, but I promise the roots were planted long ago. My eye is on Please Look After Mom. It's about a mom going missing in a train station and is told in four perspectives, all family members. I was in Barnes & Noble tonight and saw it on the New Arrivals table...for $24.99. No, thanks. Amazon will give it to me for about $14, used. I'm cool with that. Maybe I will order it this weekend. Or maybe the Easter Bunny will bring it. If I can get my hands on it, I promise a book review. Bookworms unite!

To go with my Korean research, I'll leave you with a lovely Gilmore Girls clip AND a great blog I found authored by Korean-American sisters. Winning!

Sending Hugs

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

money lessons, faith, and the first send off

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Do any of you remember Blue's Clues? It was this cute kid's cartoon featuring a blue dog named, what else, Blue, and his oh-so-jolly owner Steve. Blue and Steve would go on a little mission each episode, finding Blue's clues that would lead them to the final prize. The show was after my time, but I used to watch it while baby-sitting. Anyway, there was a mailbox song they would sing every show in celebration of the fan mail coming in.
Here's the mail, it never fails! It makes me want to wag my tail. When it comes I wanna wail MAAAAIL!
I should confess now that I often sing that song in my head as I check the mail. Getting mail is a delightful thing and I really do look forward to it every day. Even the bills. Just kidding.

We have been getting some cool mail in recently, along with bills. Two of our sweet friends, Sarah and Mrs. Laura (and hubby Mr. Bruce) graciously sent us surprise donations. These are people that Kevin has gotten to know while traveling the country. So they were able to catch him on the road a week or so ago and offered some adoption money they felt led to give us. Kevin, being the sweet husband he is, requested that they send their gift to us via snail mail because I love getting mail. Truly, that was his reason. My wife loves getting mail, can you send it to us that way? And they did! It was fun! I am so grateful to the people who have felt called to help us and donate to this cause. I will never ever be able to repay the kindness.
I mentioned bills too. Yep, those have been coming in with the fun mail. Contamination! Villa Hope and Holt have both sent bills to us in the last week. The good part of adoption bills, at least at this stage, is you don't have to pay them right away. Villa Hope will proceed with our home study whenever we decide to pay them. Simple as that. Well, you know me, we're doing this as quickly as possible! I'm like Monica on Friends. When a bill comes in, I do not wait to pay it. If the money is there, send it. In this case the money was very much NOT there. The Villa Hope bill was rocking out at $1150. Not $11.50. Good news is that we do have a savings account set aside for adoption so any donations we get go straight into that. Bad news is that it isn't a big account. Definitely not $1150 big.
But the Lord is big and I'm having to remind myself of that daily. I paced the kitchen for two days (not the whole two days, I'm not crazy) after that bill came in.
How in the world are we gonna pay this?
What else can I do to fundraise? Should I take a second job this summer?
Are we saving enough out of our paychecks each month?
This bill is small compared to what we'll be facing in about 9-12 months. How will we ever pay that?

I'm a money fretter, ask Kevin. If you asked me to budget $20 I'd find a way to stress about it. So you can imagine what this was doing to me. During those two days of me pacing and questioning I kept being reminded that this journey we are on is not ours. It's the LORD's path. I cannot control how fast it moves or how it gets paid for. I can be responsible and plan and do my part, but I can only do so much. My prayer life needed a spark, apparently, so God is starting to show me how huge this adoption thing is, financially. All I can do is pray about how to be a good steward through it all.

Now on to the fun updates!

With all that mail coming in, it was time for me to send some back.

We are finally getting things checked off our list. Did you notice on the list that Belle will need to send her updated records? She's so lazy, who knows when that will happen! Ha! :) I'm taking her to the vet next week to get her all caught up.

I checked the status of our fingerprints and they have safely made it to Virginia. Now the long wait begins to get the background check completed.

The first of many mailbox send-offs. :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

time with a police officer

This past week was something new for us. Yup-- time at the Helena Police Department. Though we weren't there for trouble we had caused, it still felt a little funny walking in the door. So.. We decided it would be enjoyable to snapshot our journey in getting our fingerprint cards filled out. Pictures below are for your viewing pleasure.


Sending Hugs

Saturday, April 9, 2011

yard sale

Next month, probably May 28th, we are having a yard sale to raise some money to bring home Baby Huguley. Let me know if you are interested in donating items. I'll gladly come pick them up, if needed. Thanks!

Sending Hugs

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

home study update/wreath winner

Today's meeting with Villa Hope was very productive. We were given lots of info to think through and tons of paperwork to read over and sign. Paperwork is no obstacle for me. Bring it! In the next week my goal is for us to get our "life story" written and get fingerprints done. I would like, too, to get Belle's vaccination records in hand. I didn't think she would have work to do! Ha ha! I was encouraged to hear that our entire home study could be completed within 2-3 months.

Getting this work done along with grad school and my teaching job is a lot. My prayer is that I'll stay steady and not get overwhelmed and shut down. I'm pumped about finally getting everything rolling, but I'm also seeing how much work is involved. Planning and organizing are the keys here. I might purchase new cutesy binders that will inspire me to organize all our new goodies. :)

Kevin has posted the sunglasses on eBay. Search under hugulkd so check them out.

Congrats, Deedra, for winning the book wreath! My sister asked me if there were two winners for that like there was for the other wreaths. I'll check on that and let you know. Deedra, I'll pass Michelle's email to you soon and let y'all get the detailed figured out. Don't forget to plug your donation into the paypal button. Thanks so much for supporting us!

Sending Hugs

Monday, April 4, 2011

ebay item and prayers

If you are interested in the neat-o book wreath, remember to bid in the next 24 hours. Kevin says if the wreath bid gets up to $50, he'll personally find an antique book to use next time he's on the road. Right now my sweet sister has the bid at $20.

The photography package by Page is still open at a great price. Only $100 for a pretty amazing session.

Tonight Kevin and I will be putting some sunglasses on eBay. Look 'em up! We have Costa Del Mar, Ray Ban, Maui Jim, and Kaenon. These are some high quality sunglasses that you could get for a lot cheaper than retail. I think eBay keeps their items up for a week.

Keep us in your prayers tomorrow as we have our first home study meeting. Apparently it will be a lot of paperwork, but that isn't a problem for me. I seriously think I'd be a content young lady if I could do secretarial work all day. Except filing. I do hate filing. But organizing and filling out papers...done.

Here's me getting all the preliminary paperwork ready to go for our meeting. Exciting!

Sending Hugs