Sunday, August 31, 2008

August... August... Aaaaauguuuuuust!

September 1st... tomorrow? What? How did that happen? When did that happen? Apparently I was too busy to notice. What was I up to you ask? Well, let me just tell you about it...

I was busy being blessed with opportunities to make and save money for the upcoming adoption expenses. For those of you who might be looking for some ideas to raise funds for your own adoption, here's what we've been up to:

1. Adoption Benefit Sales/Garage/Bake Sales... We had three this summer with a grand total of $1,612.00. We held one at my house, one at the church, and one at my parent's house in South Haven. HINTS: the more people to help and the more people's stuff the better. Have your sale where people driving by can see it and can stop easily. Be sure to put out a donation jar. You'd be surprised how many people out there have very generous hearts. We had a couple of donations from KIDS that really stuck with me and encouraged me. We even had a total stranger write a check for $50.oo that caught me off guard so much, I was speechless! If you can do this at your Church it also gets people involved which is such a huge blessing. It will definitely cause you to see how awesome it is to be a part of a body of believers. CAUTION: Sales are A LOT of work, so take your vitamins and plan to rest up for a few days afterward. :)

2. Start a Business: Thus, Blue Nile Irrigation... My wonderful husband started this underground sprinkling system business this Spring. It's named after a river/ waterfall in Ethiopia. Ben has managed this type of business in the past so he already had the know how and most of the tools, so it was a lower cost start up as far as businesses go. Go Ben!

3. Child Care in Your Home: This works out pretty well if you are home with your kids already. Although the hourly wage may not be huge, every little bit adds up. It's also good to know a church secretary, because they are apparently in the loop for the community's child care needs. They may even need you to watch their kids while they work at the church...thanks Jessie!

4. Spending Freeze... I have been realizing that we don't really need much as a family. We have clothes and blankets and shampoo, etc. in back stock, so we don't really have the need to buy anything other than food. So, we declared a spending freeze. I decided I could wear the same clothes I have been wearing and not worry about being trenderific. I've cut back on grocery spending as much as I could and found that we actually eat healthier when I make snacks instead of buying snacks, for example. Plus, I hear Aldi is coming to our side of town and I can't wait! So be creative and wear whatever you have lying around and you can save a bundle.

5. Have a House Guest... we've had a grad student friend stay with us for 2 years (who is now happily employed on the West Coast -yeah, Bryan!) and we recently added an exchange student to the mix. This set-up provides low rent for them, English practice, fun and financial help for the adoption. Plus, the kids love it!

Well, that just about wraps up August. I guess I was playing with my kids and my day care kids too, making homemade snacks, tagging garage sale items, making business cards for Blue Nile Irrigation, cooking for house guests, and getting the house ready for our home study inspection. Phew, makes me tired just thinking about it.

Speaking of tired, a good friend of mine just gave birth. She was a week overdue, and I would suspect a bit uncomfortable. This weekend the doctors decided it was time to induce labor. But because of the way the baby was responding to the contractions, the doctors decided changingthe plan to a c-section was best. So, my dear friend was whisked away into the operating room and the surgery was performed. The result.. a perfectly beautiful baby boy and a tired, recovering mother.

In light of my darling friend's experience, a few garage sales and bit of day care doesn't seem so difficult. Perhaps, this is my labor. The result.. two beautiful children and one tired, recovering mother.