Sunday, August 30, 2009

Let's make a difference!!

Well God is at it again..He is one busy Guy! Three years ago we became internet friends with family much like our own from Michigan. They had a son named Andrew, very close in age to our Andrew and a daughter,Emma, around Audrey's age also adopted from China. The Anderson's were also waiting to bring home a special needs child from Paul's orphanage as we were waiting to bring Paul home ourselves. Shortly after we adopted Paul, they adopted YuMei a sweet 9 yr. old girl born with a cleft lip and palate. YuMei has adjusted wonderfully, so much so that the Anderson's set out to adopt again. Over the last year they have been working on adopting a 12 yr old boy from China, Lin Lin. Here is the catch...their adoption agency just told them about another SN girl who needs a family ASAP. This girl will turn 14 in October. After the age of 14 kids are no longer allowed to be adopted. China, will allow the Anderson's to adopt her along with Lin.....but not for free. We could haggle back and forth why they can't adopt her at no extra expenses....but that is NOT the point. The point is that this girl has reached her last chance of finding a family to call her own. The Anderson's need approximately $7500 in the next month to do this (in additon to $20,000 or so for Lin's adoption).

Here is where the Homan's come in. I know about that tug at one's heart when God is calling you to do something that seems impossible or even crazy to most people. We all know that God works in mysterious ways. The Anderson's will be frantically fundraising over the next month. Paul and I are making a road trip to MI on Friday to help with their garage sale. I would love to fill our van with garage sale items, baked goods, surplus food garden vegtables. My goal is to have enough room for me and Paul and our sleeping bags and the rest filled with items to help the Anderson's out. If you have any items you would like to donated please bring them to our house by Thurs. Here is a simple list I hope to bring:

Garage Sale item: clean, packed at efficiently as possible, even price marked if you have time
Fresh Baked Goods
Veggies from your garden (fresh please)
*good old cash donations accepted too~if everyone on my email list and facebook friends donated $5.00, I could give the Anderson's $500, wouldn't that be awesome*

Paul and I plan to leave by 5:00am Friday. If you can't help in anyway please pray for the Anderson's and for a safe journey for me and Paul.

To read more about Tina and her family:

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Fastest Week Ever!!!

You know how they say "Time flies when you're having fun"....well, it flies twice as fast when you're on vacation!! We just got back from our first beach vacation with the kids. Andrew saw the ocean when he was 9 months old, but none of the other kids had. Earlier in the year I set out to raise enough money from 2 garage sales to pay for a beach vacation. My sister got us started with a unexpected check (thanks Renee) then we all worked hard at our 2 sales to rent a beach house. A few months back we decided on the Outerbanks. We looked on the internet for a house in our price range that would sleep 7 and allow pets (we couldn't leave Boots at home). After a 14 hour drive we arrived in Nags Head and could believe how nice our rental house was. It was within walking distance of the sound (beach area in between two bodies of land) and a short drive to the ocean. We were lucky enough to coordinate this trip with Rita's BFF Anna's trip to the US for her last surgery. It had been almost a year since Rita and Anna saw each other last summer when we met in Wheeling, WV. Just like last year, Roynda and Tutu (Anna's grandma) spoiled all 5 of our kids with all kinds of goodies!!!! We even got to met Anna's grandpa, Roy. Ted and Roy had plenty to talk about since Roy was a mechanic too. We spent the day at the beach and pool at their hotel. They treated us to lunch at Sonic and then Ted grilled out at our house for supper. It was a quick visit, but we were so glad to see them again. It is too funny how Rita and Anna just 'fall' right into their old friendship. Thankfully, Good-Bye to Anna, was not as traumatic to Rita as last year. Rita is learning that Good-Bye means "until next time" not "I may never see you again!!"
The rest of the week was spent just having fun!! We of course went to the beach everyday. The only arguing the kids did was what beach we would go to first. The little kids liked the sound side because they could walk out really far and the water would still only be 2 feet deep and fairly calm. Andrew and Natalie preferred the ocean so they could body surf on the boogie boards. I couldn't believe how uncrowded the beaches seemed. I didn't much care as long as I had the umbrella and a book. I read 2 books in one week...verses my normal of reading 1 book in 2 months!!
Ted and Andrew got a lot of fishing in. They spent their time between two different fishing piers and even went on a head boat (chartered boat with lots of people on it, so it's not as expensive as a private charter). One day they totally surprised me by leaving the house at 6:00 am to go fishing.....I didn't even think about getting out of bed until well after 8:00!!

The thing I was most surprised by the Outerbanks was how much we could do with spending very little or NO money!! We climbed Jockey Ridge (big sand dune) and toured a Bodie light house for free. We spent one morning at the Wright Brothers' Memorial and it only cost $8 for our whole family!! We ate all of our meals at home, except for the trip to Sonic with Anna's family. The boys' fishing stuff was most expensive but even with their head boat and pier fees they spent just over $100. Ted was thrilled about how little money we spent while on vacation!! My most expensive purchase was a new camera died on the 2nd day. I got a $40 camera from RiteAid. I think the pictures turned out decent considering....

What did Boots think of the trip? Well, he didn't like the ocean and got too stressed out trying to protect his family from all of those "evil" people on the beach, so Boots spent most of his time at the house. There was a fenced in yard so he enjoyed running free in the back. The funniest Boots moment was when we were coming home. It was the middle of the night and we had been rerouted on some back West Virginia highway because of an accident on the turnpike. Ted was driving straight up some hill, while making sharp turns every few seconds. Boots had his front paws on the dash board looking out the window, then he would look at the GPS, then he would look at Ted, then back out the window. He kept looking at these 3 things in a circle as if to say "Ted are you sure you know what you're doing?"

Our BIGGEST surprise was when we came home. My mom was feeding the cat and watering the flowers while we were gone. We were shocked when we walked in and she had cleaned the WHOLE house!!!!! Thanks MOM!!! My house had never been this clean. She was so sweet, she said that I had been doing so much for other people this summer that I deserved to have something nice done for me. Awwwwww, Mom. I almost cried, but I was too tired from the long drive home. What a relief to come home to a clean house, I can't think of a better gift!!!! You can bet that the Homan's will be saving hard for vacation next year. All week long we all kept saying "when we come back next year.........."
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