Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pie Chart, Party 2009, A New Name

I just noticed that I haven't updated the pie chart on the right in a while. We've had a few expenses as well as some additions lately, but the current chart still nets a good improvement. As you may recall, this chart definitely does NOT represent all the money needed to complete this adoption. But it does represent the amount we are shooting for to officially get started. We set a goal of $6000 to cover the home study, the first agency fee, and a lot of the miscellaneous costs incurred early on. We are now $605.27 away from that goal! Praise God! I think I have $5.27 in my pocket now. Anybody got $600? ; )

School lets out tomorrow, and Tim assures me that he is going to hit the paperwork hard for me...well, as soon as he catches his breath. It's been a tough last week of school. Just very, very busy. Then we should be ready to start sending things in.

Okay, at our age maybe we "have folks over" rather than actual partying. Whatever you want to call it, I'm launching our 2009 Party Contest. If you remember this from last year, the rules are the same. Click here to go to a full explanation on our website. This is such an easy way to make a big difference.

For the last several weeks, Tim and I have been discussing a name change for one of the girls. We've decided to change Maggie to Mattie. I don't want to go into our entire discussion here because I don't want to embarrass anyone or hurt anyone's feelings. For those of you who have adopted, you might confirm that I've heard that most of the time the husband needs a little convincing to get fully on board. Since Tim suggested this change, I took that as a very positive sign, that the girls have been on his mind lately as well as mine. I also like the fact that I can use this name to honor my dad's mother. I never knew her because she died of cancer at the age of 42 (before my parent's had even married). Her name was Bertha Matilda, and while I'm not prepared to use those exact names in 2009ish, I will certainly think of her often when I say Mattie.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

5/21-22 Yard Sale

We are so tired tonight, but all in all it has been a good yard sale weekend. Counting the rainy attempt a couple of weeks ago, we have raised $782. That's better than we averaged last year, so I'm tickled! I think we confused a lot of people with the "Donations Only" concept, and I'm afraid it didn't translate very well with the non-English or limited-English customers. We'll have to work on that for next time.

I did learn that the "Donations Only" tactic works better on the Friday crowd. They are your "professional" yard-salers. They know what things ought to be worth and either offer that or a little more. The Saturday crowd either gets nervous because they don't have a clue what to offer for an item (hint, hint...why do you think I hate to price things? I don't have a clue either!) or they expect nothing at a yard sale to be more than 25 cents. Even a couch or something. So when they hear they can just make an offer, they gather an armload and offer $2. For those of you wondering, yes...I took the $2. This was sort of an exercise in faith. I simply trusted that it would all balance out in the end. And if someone wants to look me straight in the eye and take advantage of our adoption, fine. God knows, and if they have any conscience left at all, they won't sleep well tonight. It balances with the grandmothers who shared their stories and give us "a little something extra 'cause I know how hard it is (to adopt)." One dear lady even came with pictures of her sweetie to encourage us that we were doing a good thing by adoption. Another bought just a couple of little things and gave me $40. So see? It worked out.

I'm ready now to clean out the leftovers and get rid of them. Then we will start fresh later in June.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rain, Bunk Beds, and Summer Break

We still have not had our yard sale yet. Two weekends ago, we set up in the garage "just in case" it rained any. Any? It rained most of the day. I found that even though we kept our stuff dry, PEOPLE don't get out in the rain to go to yard sales. DUH! Oh well, we made $40, and I had fun visiting with Cindy.

Last weekend the forecast called for a greater chance of rain than the previous weekend, so we decided (before even advertising) that we wouldn't even try. Yep. You guessed it. It was pretty most of the day. Granted, a nice storm came up earlier than we would have closed, but the sky turned black ahead of it. We could most likely have gotten everything put away in time after having been open a good 4-6 hours.

Another factor in skipping last weekend was that this coming weekend was looking promising...0% chance of rain. By Sunday, it was 10%. Monday 30% for Friday and 40% for Saturday. We've got to get this yard sale over with!!! : ) As each weekend has flopped, we have gotten more donations (yea!), and we can no longer walk through the garage to get into the house. We used to actually park there...both vehicles!

On a more exciting note, we have gotten bunk beds for the girls!! This is such an exciting step for us. I've noticed that we say things like "the girls' beds" and "the girls' room". I think this has made our adoption more real to some. It certainly has made it easier to talk about the adoption with some. I think that they figure if we are going to buy bunk beds just maybe we are serious about this adoption thing. Ya think?

Last thing... Colton has officially finished 1st grade! I think we have had a most productive year. I slipped a bit on getting him library books to read, but we've been reading a bunch in the last week or so, and he is doing very well. We still have a couple of DiscipleLand lessons to finish because we got behind and missed a day here or there, and we are going to continue history on into the summer because we didn't start until after Christmas (so we are a semester behind and I'd REEEALLy like to start second grade "on track"). I've already picked out what I need to purchase for next year, but the Homeschooling account is dry after purchasing classic literature on DVD-ROM and an ebook reader. (Yikes! but Cool!) We'll get to it eventually.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

5/9 Yard Sale Update

I guess you could say our yard sale went pretty well today--considering the fact that it rained and rained and rained. We had a few sunny/muggy moments. Then it would turn cool and rain some more. All in all, making ANY money on a day like today should be considered a success. Oh, how much, you wonder? Drum roll, please..........We made $40! (Crowds roar) Okay, that's not astounding, but it's $40 we didn't have yesterday. Plus, I got to spend the day with Cindy (my college roomie), and we met some folks who wanted to talk about adoption.

If I didn't mention it before, we decided to try a "Donations Only" sale. For the few items that sold, $40 is more than I would have priced them. So I think I really like doing it this way. Only once did I think someone offered too little, and it turned out they changed their mind and didn't take the item.

The next step is to pray really hard for pretty weather next weekend and do this again then. By having to set up inside our garage, I only had room for about 1/3 of the stuff we had (and still leave room to walk around). AND we still have 3 or 4 folks who wanted to donate, but we didn't hook up in time for this weekend. So, we're going to try to put everything out next weekend, make better signs, advertise better, etc., and see what we can do.