"" Life A Bit Sweeter: July 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Don't Want to Mow the Lawn....so please help!!!!!!!!

So we can be a bit of a competitive family. We really like pushing each other which can be good thing....well... until you make a friendly wager with your husband, right?  So far, Tony has sold 10 tickets to the Zumba adoption fundraiser.  I have sold two. Of course that's given him bragging rights...and I wasn't having that so I made a wager with him.

The Wager: I bet Tony that I could sell more tickets for the Zumba adoption fundraiser than him by next Sunday, August 7th. Of course, he'd never stand down from a challenge so the bet's on!  
The one bonus is that donations can be included into that total.

What's at Stake: You guessed it! If I lose, I have to mow the lawn. Please understand that I have NEVER mowed our SIZABLE lawn before and I'm pretty okay with that. I hate the outdoors and it's pretty humid outside now so you have to mow it earlier in the morning. 

If I win and collect the most dollars/tickets from July 27 to next Sunday, August 7th, he has to clean the ENTIRE house AND make sure that I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner served to me in bed. I L-O-V-E it!!! So let's go team! I'm sure his boys will be trying to help him out so I have to get moving because I sure would love a clean house and meals served to me in bed for an entire day!

How To Cast Your Vote

Make a donation because you can't attend the event... 
     1. Go to www.firstgiving.com/michellemckinney
     2.  Vote with your donation by putting my name or Tony's name in the comments section.
    Purchase a ticket to the Zumba event... 
         1.  Go to www.zumba4selah.eventbrite.com
         2.  Vote with your ticket purchase by putting my name or Tony's name in the 'who referred you to this event' box.

      Since he's not typing this post, I sure hope you'll favor me, me, me this time, right? (smile)

      Saturday, July 30, 2011

      So She Thinks She Can Zumba!!! (Fundraiser Video Promo)

      So by now, you may know I'll do 'just about' anything for fundraisers that we dream up to bring our daughter home...that includes gettin' right silly! This week was no different.  Check out this crazy video promo with me and my friend, Trenace.  BIG thanks to Marty Cunningham for the camera work and putting it together, as well as Kristen for her hand in directing.  These are all my co-workers (believe it or not --lol) but they're actually more like family.

      Enjoy....and don't forget you can purchase a ticket at www.zumba4selah.eventbrite.com or if you'd like to donate but can't attend, hop on over to our partners at www.firstgiving.com/michellemckinney and let us know that you saw the video.  Many thanks friends!

      Thursday, July 28, 2011

      Final Fundraiser...Zumba! Zumba! Zumba!

      Yes indeed! Yes indeed! We are all set to host our final fundraiser on Friday, August 19th and I can't wait! As some of you know, I don't like to work out or eat healthy BUT I found something that I actually really like....Zumba! Don't get me wrong...I'm not the most coordinated chick in the bunch. Beyonce would totally pick me last on her dance squad....trust!  Yet, there's something about Zumba that makes me happy.  Sometimes I have taken the back row spot at the class and other times, I venture up to the front.  It's a great workout but it's so much fun.  So....why don't you join us and heck, if you can't come, purchasing a ticket at $10 will sponsor me and I'll shake my booty just for you.  LOL!

      Purchase tickets here:  www.zumba4selah.eventbrite.com

      Thursday, July 21, 2011

      Announcing Twins!!!!

      Not me sillies....but my friend, Chelsea who is an amazing photographer in Fairbanks, Alaska just posted their recent adoption of twins....and oh my goodness! They are soooooo super perfect.  Yes, I watched every single minute of this video and was in awe.  I totally felt like I was there as I watched this beautiful love story unfold that her hubby captured.  Check it out for yourself and then head over here to Chelsea's blog to see her amazing photography work.  I bet once you see her work, you'll be ready to throw on your heavy coat and head over to Alaska just for a session with MachC Photography!  Well, at least that's what I want to do! Ya think Sarah Palin will stash me in her suitcase on her next return trip from here in Washington, DC???? 

      Untitled from Chelsey M. on Vimeo.

      Tuesday, July 19, 2011

      Pink Never Looked So Good: New T-Shirts!

      So this is my girlfriend, Deborah.  She is all things international and a phenomenal mom.  We first met while working in the corporate world together.  Since then, Deborah has moved on to do bigger, better things.  In fact, check this out -- she owns an awesome business called Lessons From Abroad where she and her dynamic team teach children and adults foreign language and culture.  Check them out by clicking here.  Deborah's been a dynamic supporter of our adoption from the very beginning.

      So here she goes again....she's looking FANTASTIC in our newest t-shirt by Mocha Club.  Pink never looked so good on!  So much so....you have to snag one for yourself.  Just like the original Mocha Club shirt we were selling, this one also has the explanation of the shirt printed on the inside....quite clever!  Haven't seen the explanation of 'I Need Africa More Than Africa Needs Me' yet? Check out the YouTube clip...every single word shared is printed inside the shirt: 

      Beautiful message for a beautiful person like you!  Yep...even strong men wear pink so if you're a gal, grab one for your guy.  Sizes: XS, Small, Medium, Large, XL.  (Deborah is wearing a Medium in the picture above.)

      Ordering (requesting a t-shirt) is easy as 1-2-3!

      1.  Make a donation of $20 or more at our partner site www.firstgiving.com/michellemckinney. As a thank you gift for your donation, the shirt is all yours!  We'll even pay for shipping within the USA.

      2.  Put the words 'shirt' in the comments section when submitting your donation information. 

      3.  I'll contact you via e-mail to retrieve your size and mailing address.  (I currently have some shirts on hand but will need to place an order if we run out. In which case, please allow 7-14 business days for your shirt to arrive.)

      BONUS:  Your donation through our giving partner, First Giving, is tax-deductible. Double yay!

      Saturday, July 16, 2011

      Really....Why Are Our Medical Exams Always Drama-Filled???

      So....here we go again on our merry-go-round of lab work and physicals! As we prepare to update our home study, as with last time, the medical piece is never a piece of cake.  So we fasted this week and went in for our labs.  When I went online to review our lab results, I immediately realized that they did not pull all of the required labs to comply with our America World physical examination form.  So....I went to my doctor's office to let them know and it was agreed that we would fast again last night and then go back this morning to get the additional labs pulled along with a urinalysis.  Now please know that I REALLY enjoy food so fasting for me often leaves me crabby. My solution:  go to bed really early so that I don't have to deal with myself.  (LOL...yeah, it's that deep.)

      I got up this morning, kept myself busy with house work and was then off to the lab.  I arrived only to find that the labs hadn't been ordered and I'm thinking No! No! No! There's no way I'm going to fast again.  So the lab tech said they could just pull a 'rainbow collection' of my blood work and just wait until the doctor is back in on Monday to have her order the tests.  Cool with me!  So my blood was drawn, I tinkled in the cup (like a lady --lol), and was then headed home to get me some grub.

      Next up was my hubby....he didn't start his fast until later the previous night so he had to go to the lab later.  He arrived at the lab only to have them tell him the same thing about no lab orders being in the system.  He had the lab tech call me.  I explained what the previous lab tech did.  She said we really didn't need to fast for this second set of labs....I'm thinking 'oh great!' She shares her take on what needs to be done which is different from what the other technician had me do.  So now....I'm just hoping that somewhere in the middle of this madness, we get what we need before our physical exams on Thursday with our doctor ....and then on to the paperwork nightmare of dealing with Kaiser's medical form process.  The one highlight in this part is working with our doctor and her nurse.  They really are sooooo sweet.  But really....why are our medical exams for this adoption process always drama-filled???

      Tuesday, July 12, 2011

      New Orphans & Widow Glass Tile Pendant! FREE with Donation.

      Limited quantity available. (Will post here when supply runs out.)

      Whether you're an advocate for orphans or widows, or perhaps both, this necklace makes such a beautiful and bold statement.  "He fought for me.  I'm fighting for them." 

      On the back of the necklace the scriptures from John 3:16 and James 1:27 serve as a reminder of how He fought for me and what I should do about it.

      How did He fight for me?  John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

      How should I honor His fight for me? One way is by doing what He shares in James 1:27 for them:  "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

      Make a bold statement and remind yourself each time you put it on that we are called to be His hands and feet by taking care of orphans and widows.  Hold the reminders of those two scriptures close to your heart.

      Great gifts for: Adopting parents, family and friends who are supporting your adoption, missionaries, orphan advocates, widow advocates...and others.

      Ordering (requesting a necklace) is easy as 1-2-3!

      1.  Make a donation of $20 or more at our partner site www.firstgiving.com/michellemckinney

      2.  Be sure to put the words 'necklace' in the comments section when submitting your donation information. Because of the various types of donors to our site, you MUST state in the comment section the words 'necklace' to trigger us to send you this special gift.  Note:  If you would like to request more than one necklace, your donation should be in multiples of $20. 

      3.  I'll contact you via e-mail to retrieve your mailing address.  (Because each necklace is handmade, please allow 7-14 business days for me to create your necklace.  I generally try to get completed on the earlier side of that time frame.)

      BONUS:  Your donation through our giving partner, First Giving, is tax-deductible. Double yay!

      Monday, July 11, 2011

      Fearless....well at least today! (smile)

      Well last, week -- July 4th to be exact-- I confessed that I had been procrastinating on getting started with our home study update.  Our adoption agency, America World (AWAA) sent us the info but based on how things went last year, I've been putting it off....BUT guess what? I got over my pity party and moments of fear right after I typed that post!  Yes indeedy!  That's one of the things I love about blogging.  It's so therapeutic because I get to blurt out all of the craziness and then usually, I'm totally fine.

      So....I filled out all of our paperwork! Milestone!  Here's a brief version of our remaining things to do:
      1. Get fingerprints done at local police station and then send them in to CJIS in Pikesville, MD.
      2. Drop off medical forms at our medical center for me, Tony, and the boys.  THIS PART IS THE PIECE THAT WAS THE NIGHTMARE LAST YEAR.  Get the forms notarized and sent in to AWAA.
      3. Get lab work done prior to physicals scheduled for next week....yep, 12 hour fast needed first.  Send completed forms back to AWAA.  (Our medical center takes about 14 business days to complete).
      4. Drop off child protective clearance forms off and obtain receipt.
      5. Send completed Home Study update form to AWAA.
       Now here's what the long version looks like....yep, I'm pretty much into writing out the details:

      Thursday, July 7, 2011

      Six Months DTE!!!

      Yes sir! Today marks 6 months of us waiting to be matched with our daughter.  It's so funny that we are here in THIS seat because I remember when we were still waiting to get our paperwork, I was in such AWE at those who were at this milestone.  So....we wait!

      Each month, we try to celebrate by serving others.  I don't have any specific pictures of what I've been doing to serve someone specific.  One really cool thing since our church's 'God is for the Poor' series is that I've been working with a homeless gentleman to prayerfully get him on his feet.  I learn a lot from him but it is his faith in God that always humbles me.  My kids know him by name and if they see him while we're out, they'll say, 'Hey there's Mr. Such and Such'.  They see me talking to him in the parking lot, giving him money, groceries, or whatever.  I just pray that they'll do the same and so much more in learning to serve others.

      So family............here's to 6 Months!  We're getting closer!

      Monday, July 4, 2011

      I Have A Confession

      Yes...I have a confession. I have paperwork anxiety. We found out last month that we had to renew our homestudy and clearances because it's been almost a year since we were first approved....darn lengthy process! (smile...okay...maybe I'm not smiling)

      I've had the update paperwork that our adoption agency, America World, sent to us but I haven't been able to budge yet.  Yeah...I've been extremely busy at home and work but I was busy when I went through this paperwork pile last year.  I was fired up and ready to take on the challenge.  The difference now is that I remember how difficult....I almost want to say horrible....the process was with our medical records and clearances.  We have an HMO plan and our providers go through a particular process.  Every single piece of it was tedious and sometimes the 'system' doesn't work as simple as I'd like.  We had to mesh our agency's process with our provider's process and both are pretty particular. So.....here we are...having to do this all over again--YET.....when I think about my daughter, it gives me just a 'little' push to beginning tackle this tomorrow.  Pray for us, our medical clearances, security clearances, that I don't get cold feet, and that things won't be as bad as I remember last time.

      Happy 4th of July! Hopefully, this is the last one we'll spend watching the fireworks as a family of 4.

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