Monday, August 30, 2010

Do you GROUPON??

I admit it, I am hooked. On GROUPONS that is. A friend told me about and I'm sure she regrets it because I keep advertising for referral credits. haha.

Groupons is a website where you can get awesome deals around Tucson...or other cities...for deep discounts. Today I got one for the Seven Cups Tea House. For $5, I got a $10 gift certificate. The one I'm REALLY excited to use is at Chad's Steakhouse on the east side. I spent $5 and got a $30 gift certificate for steaks! Just in time for our birthdays! So far I've got screamin' deals at Tohono Chul Park, 17th St Market, gifts for family in other states...

Well, see for yourself. It's free to register and get your GROUPON!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Adoption Fundraising Update!!

Yay! We've just put 3 dots on the mileage map! To date we've raised $2,117!! Thanks to the Ramos, Kirk Bushell, Slater, Miracle, McKinney, Corbin & Jackson families for your coffee, T-shirt & purse purchases. You helped us raise $153 of that total! We are so thankful for your support.

We passed our first milestone marker so it's time for our first raffle drawing for 2 sets of Thanksgiving (4 cards) & Valentine (8 cards) greeting cards featuring my artwork & signature. Retail value $27.00.

And the winner is..................LOU KIRK!! Congrats Lou!

There are more raffle drawings coming up for everyone who purchases our fundraiser items or donates via the PayPal button on our blog. More fun products with my art including: Custom Coffee Purse, Print of my art, Wood plaque with my art, $25 gift card.

Still working on our dossier paperwork. Thanks everyone!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Chili Pepper Purses!!

**UPDATE****** Just finished a chic little wristlet clutch. Love it! Click on my Etsy store link at the bottom of this post to purchase. Remember, all sales go toward our adoption!
Clutch - $16.99

Messenger/Diaper Bag $34.95

I'm having too much fun creating these chili pepper purses! A few more for sale in my Etsy shop!

I made a large messenger bag..or diaper bag...and I like how it turned out. It was a bit laborious to make, mainly trying to get dimensions and pockets to work. This one has an adjustable strap and is fleece lined to make it sturdier. It's not intended for a laptop or several heavy books but will definitely carry several items and electronics like Kindles, iPads, etc. There's a small pocket on one side to hold a cell or keys. If you're like me, I hate digging through a large bag for my keys!

This morning I finished a cute little chili pepper purse...perfect for a night out with your favorite man or just the girls. It would also be a fun purse for a teen.

You can view & purchase them in my Etsy store:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

1st Football Game!!

On Sat., Don got free tickets to the AZ Cardinals football game. Nate went to his very first pro game and I had the afternoon & evening all to myself!!

Nate had a great time, got a little bored toward the end, but loved it when the Cards scored & people all round cheered & Hi-Five'd. He was carried into the house zonked out when they got home.

I enjoyed the peace & QUIET and decided to treat myself to a movie that night. Wish I picked a better choice. I saw "Eat, Pray, Love" and the only thing I liked about it was the scenery. ha. Oh well. Still a good day.

Click below to see a few photos....including a couple from a fast, intense summer storm that blew through tonight.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

HOT New Chili Pepper Applique Purses for Sale!!

Well, this was fun! I just finished making two applique purses from recycled coffee bags, with a fun Chili Pepper design.

But the kicker is..........

The interior is lined with my chili pepper fabric! Kaufman fabrics printed up a few different designs using my chili pepper art and marketed them to quilt shops across the U.S. They sent me about 2 yards of each design so I decided to use them to line my purses. SWEET!!

I also started experimenting with a way to make the seams and handle loops sturdier. Voila! Double folded seams & canvas loops worked out perfect.

Check out my Etsy site to view & purchase the purses. Please pass it on to your friends & family! All proceeds go toward our adoption.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


My baby is growing up into a handsome little boy. Today he started his 1st day of preschool!!

Ok, but.... let me back up a bit.

Monday, we got him ready for school, totally pumped him up for his BIG first day! Got all the way there and my first thought was, "Where are all the kids?" We walked up to the classroom only to hear the teachers say, " doesn't start for him until WEDNESDAY!"

Doh!!!!!! I'm already scatterbrained on my kid's first day of preschool!

Poor Nate was SO disappointed & sad. How do you explain to a 3yr old that you screwed up on the dates? He looked ready to cry but he didn't. Sooo......I had some making up to do. That day was a 100% "Nate" day. We went to Sbux & got his favorite chocolate milk. Then we went to the fabric store where he picked out fabric for a shirt that I PROMISED to make him for his official first day. Then we went to the mall where he had unlimited play on the playground, rode up & down the escalator & glass elevator multiple times. THEN, he got an ice cream cone.

I also told him not to expect this every time..that it was a special treat. haha. So we made up for the mixed up dates.

And finally, the big day arrived. I made him the shirt I promised (and believe me, he asked about it), and he had a great day at school! Got good remarks from the of them was sad that he wasn't in her class, and ate his entire lunch, including the carrots!

So proud of our little man! Here's photos (click on the words below).

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Apple Annie's Orchard

Today we took a little road trip to Apple Annie's Orchard & Farm in Wilcox, AZ...about 2 hrs southeast of Tucson. We had a GREAT time and it was easy to get carried away. They gave you a bucket to pick peaches and we had to restrain ourselves from over picking! You have so much fun, you don't realize how many peaches you've picked until it's too late.....then you realize you have to pay for them. ha. They were handcranking homemade peach ice cream and we had homemade peach pie ala mode. Ohhhh so good!

My grandparents used to have a peach tree & I loved picking as many peaches as we could while mom took them home to make peach cobbler. (speaking of which, is in the oven. yum!)

After our peach pickin', we headed over to their farm to pick veggies. Nate had a great time, picking black eyed peas, okra (which is sort of like brushing against fiberglass. He & I kept complaining we were itchy), yellow squash, zucchini, and eggplant. We had a ton of veggies and still only cost $18. Don found a caterpillar and Nate thought it was interesting until it tried crawling up his arm. haha.

It was a great day. Don & Nate are shelling the black eyed peas (which Nate still thinks is "fun"....and we'll let him.) and I can't wait till this peach cobbler gets out of the oven!

Click on the words below to see the photos:

Friday, August 6, 2010


Every week, we receive a newsletter regarding Ethiopian adoption from our agency. This adoption will be different from Nate's, in that we will have to make 2 short trips to Africa, appear before a judge in Ethiopia, and different paperwork requirements must be met. Below is the latest newsletter on what we would expect from our first trip to Ethiopia:


Dear Families,
Hope you’re looking forward to a great weekend.


Our first group of families to travel for the 1st trip of the new 2 trip process has returned to the US after visiting their children and giving their consent to the judge to adopt the child that they were referred. I think the greatest words that the families heard during their entire trip was when the judge said “He’s (she’s) yours”.

After arriving at court in the morning with a Children’s Hope representative with them, the 7 families found themselves in a full room with other families nervously waiting to present themselves before the judge. The families were called one by one (as a couple) into the judges chambers to answer a series of questions and give their consent to the adoption. Families reported that the judge was so pleasant and seemed genuinely excited and happy for them and glad to hear their stories. This made the families feel more at ease. The entire hearing for each family took on average about 5 minutes. Some of the questions that the judge asked were about the children (if any) that the couple may have already at home – their ages, gender, etc., how were their children at home prepared for the adoption; why the couple wanted to adopt, why from Ethiopia, questions asked about addressing the race and cultural identity of the child; if the couple had actually meet the child that they were referred and the couples consent to adopt the child - then “He’s (she’s) yours”. The adoption was approved at that point. There is still a lot of paperwork that has to be done now in order for the children to come home (adoption decree, passport, birth certificate, visa medical, TB testing – for children 2yrs and over), but the judges’ approval made the adoption final. Families were also reminded that the adoption can not be overturned in Ethiopia once it has been approved by the judge.

Both parents are asked to appear in court for the first trip. However there will be exceptions made for families who have a valid reason as to why the other parent can not attend. This reason has to be documented in a letter to the court along with a Power of Attorney from the non travelling spouse.

Regarding the families leaving their children behind in Ethiopia until they return for the 2nd trip to bring the child home, one family mentioned that it gives them an opportunity to prepare their home and family for the new child now. They know his personality, what size clothes to purchase and just what he will need when he comes home. They called it a blessing to know what to expect and how to parent him. They also mentioned that the care that the children receive for the staff at the HOH (House of Hope) is excellent and therefore they had no reservations leaving their child as they know that he is in very good hands.

The time in country is only 3-4 days for the first trip. These families were able to visit their children more than one time on this trip. All of the families who could, stayed at the HOH guest house and they bonded so well together that they are looking forward to going back together as a group for the second time. Keep in mind that it is very likely that the group that you travel with on the 1st trip will be the same group that you will travel with on the 2nd trip, but not always. For example, if a family’s passport, fingerprints or CIS approval are close to expiring and they have to get documents renewed after returning from the 1st trip, depending on the timing of receiving those documents back, it could push someone off schedule as far as traveling with their original group for the 2nd trip. Therefore, please always stay mindful of when your CIS approval and fingerprints expire - even your passport, if you have had it for a while, and have them renewed so that there are no delays later. On average we expect a 5-6 week wait between court approval and travel.

Two more families will be traveling home this weekend with their new children. Congratulations!


__8_children home to _8_ families

__4_ girls _4 boys

__0_ sibling groups __0_ set of twins

__1_ single completed this month. After transferring from the Vietnam program after its closure and waiting 14 months for a referral in the Ethiopia program.

As of today

_ 44_ dossier families on the waiting list for a referral

_ 22_ families with a referral waiting to travel

103 families in the Home Study/dossier prep stage

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Happy 3 yr Gotcha Day!

3 years already?? Still seems like yesterday when we met our son for the first time in China. I'm sure I'll be saying that every year for the rest of my life. haha. Nate is older now and we've told him that he is adopted and how we flew on an airplane all the way to China to bring him home. Of course, he doesn't fully understand it but he smiles, nods & says, "Yep!" He knows how very much we love him.

Our little Nathaniel is growing up. Today we had preschool orientation and Monday, is his first day of preschool! He is so excited. I know he's going to love it. The kid just loves to learn!

Tonight we'll celebrate low-key and try out some Dim Sum at a local restaurant. We'll have to watch his Gotcha Day dvd and get all weepy eyed again. Ahhhh...what awesome memories to have forever.

So reminisce with us. Here's photos of our journey to on the words below.