Wednesday, July 6, 2011

HUG of July

School ended on June 16th, and Craig and I have been busy, busy, busy preparing for our homestudy and finalizing paperwork. I want to thank the ladies at school for organizing an amazing raffle fundraiser for us, which brought in $320. People at school bought raffle tickets for $5 and there were over 15 different winners. I meant to take pictures, but I couldn’t find my camera! Friends from work were so generous in their raffle item donations, as well as purchasing the raffle tickets. I’m so lucky to work with such generous, fun, and positive people. Special thanks to Heather, Pinar, Gina, Sally, Sherry, Cindy, Stella, Sandy, Cynthia, and Rayme.

The day after school let out, I held a garage sale with donated items from friends and family. I want to especially thank Diane, from Columbia Credit Union for your half your storage unit and all those penguins!! Shopper after shopper kept buying up those penguins, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I learned Mr. Popper's Penguins came out that weekend. What great timing! Also, thank you to Kelly Blankenship, Renee and Brooke Bernazzani, Mary Eterno, Debbie Wu, Michelle Bealle, JoAnn Engelbart, Pinar Aksoy, Sally Denkhe, Linda Martin, and Traci Johnson for your donations to our sale. Friday was a beautiful day, and we had lots of shoppers. Tate and Preston (my nephews – 6 yrs. and 4yrs.) were my helpers. They were so well behaved and great company. Our total for the day was $480. Wow! On Saturday, I spent about 2 hours setting up before sunrise, and just when everything was perfect, and I was ready for business, it started pouring. Heidi, Randy, and the boys came to help with the sale, but we decided to close for the day, as everything was getting soaked.

We repacked and organized the garage and decided to have another sale on Friday, July 15th. If you’re reading this and you have anything you’d like to donate to our second sale, we’d love to take it off your hands! Please e-mail me if you’d like to arrange for a pick up or drop off.

Our homestudy is scheduled for this Sunday and Monday, July 10th and 11th. Our social worker’s name is Joann, and so far we've only talked to her via e-mail and phone. She's very helpful, has a great sense of humor, and is making me feel less nervous about the visit. Don’t get me wrong: My brother came over yesterday to frame out our fireplace, install shelving in our closets and pantry, and sand, stain, and seal other woodwork in our house. My sister came over today for several hours to help me clean out all cupboards, drawers, and storage in our kitchen. My mom and JoAnn are coming over tomorrow to help paint the Adirondack chairs my parents gave me for Christmas last year, as well as hang new window coverings and various other projects. Plus, Craig and I have organized and cleaned out every closet, nook, and cranny in our house. But at least I don't feel AS nervous. :)

Once the homestudy is complete, we just have to wait for approval from Gladney and send in another $2750. That will conclude all our agency fees, and we’ll (hopefully) get put on the wait list. We recently paid $750 for Gladney to review the homestudy. We still have about $750 in our adoption account, and we still need about $2000. The next chunk of money after that won't be due for another year and will go straight to Ethiopia, to help support the orphanage and make the adoption legal. I can't believe how far we've come. Thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged us in this journey!

Our newest puzzle piece sponsors are Grandma and Grandpa Gutridge, Ashley McNutt, Molly Gutridge, Diego Gutridge, and Grandma Lorraine Iseli. We still have 158 (out of 500) puzzle pieces left. Please check out our puzzle piece fundraiser blog for more info.

And now, for this month's HUG earrings! They're 4th of July themed, which I realize is a little late, since it's now July 6th. But since I couldn't find my camera for so long, I had to have my sister take these on the 4th! I did, however, find my camera yesterday as I was organizing a hall closet. Whew!

Red Facetted Glass with surgical steel (non-allergenic) $5

Ivory Mother of Pearl with surgical steel (non-allergenic) $5

Gray/Blue Swarovski Glass Pearl with surgical steel (non-allergenic) $5

For ordering info, please e-mail me at

Thank you!

Liberty, taking the word in it's concrete sense, consists in the ability to choose.
-Simone Weil