Saturday, December 31, 2011

Can it be?

The last day of 2011!

I would have to say that the past year has been filled with adoption ups and downs. I remember my heart ache when we learned in April that there would be no more EPs for the Korean program for 2011. And how that mourning was turned to dancing the minute I saw Carson's face!

Seriously, looking forward to 2012 and bringing our fifth child home.
(And getting back to school so I can get my computer time/blogging time back in the morning. I am looking forward to catching up on many of your posts!)

As you reflect on the past year and look forward to the new, pray about adoption. There are millions and millions who wait, wait for someone to extend the hand of hope.

Maybe 2012 is the year for you and your family?!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas...

from the Apisas...
plus 1!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just arrived...only 2 left!!

I took this necklace off the store site last week because we sold so many and didn't think we would get anymore in before Christmas BUT in true elf fashion, Kalina shipped what had sold AND 4 more.

If you order one of these this weekend: FREE shipping and delivery ensured by Christmas.
I'll do my best to update as they sell.

$25 donation (through paypal or check)
Thank you, again.

Don't forget about the FREE t-shirt deal below.

Friday, December 16, 2011

On last sale: FREE t-shirt!

One day soon, this blog will be flooded with pictures of my 5 kids and deep insights on life.
But today...another sale.
I'm a bit over it, too, but feel like we need to at least sell as much of our inventory as we can.

At this point, we paid for our referral fees but still have travel and finalization to cover.

Please bear with me, because I do have other things to share.
But today...another sale.

Every $30 or more this weekend will receive a FREE t-shirt.
We will ensure delivery by Christmas if your order is placed before Sun. midnight.

Order here:

Leave me a comment or email as to which design (got love? or (-1)) and size. You can leave a color choice but understand if needed I may need to substitute for what is in stock, but I will try to send your first choice!

Thank you for still following and reading through the fundraising stuff.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stocking Stuffers Reduced!

Are you looking for a stocking stuffer or two?
We have several items that would fit perfectly.

On sale, this week or until they are gone, with no shipping costs!
(We accept donations through paypal or checks.)

There is only one of each of the following:
Key Fobs-were $12, now $11
1st fob (polka dots)--SOLD
2nd fob (brown/pink)--SOLD
3rd fob (blue)--SOLD
5th down (orange with silver disk)--SOLD
6th fob (black)--SOLD

Leather braided bracelets--were $14, now $12
Minus 1 bracelet--SOLD
Love bracelet--SOLD
Oval Charm on Leather rope--was $17, now $15
"got love? adopt." flower charm on black leather rope necklace-was $26, now $24
We only have one of each of these items--You may want to email before donating to be sure it is still available, I'll update as things sell.

Thank you so much for helping us clear out our inventory AND build up our funds to bring Carson home!!
I have said it before... fundraising is only successful when people-friends-choose to invest in your cause. Thank you!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Final Sale Day

Today is the last day to get the sale price on our travel cups.
All colors are still available.
They're really moving off the shelves--actually out of the boxes in our basement--so order yours soon!!

Warm and sunny beach vacation not included. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Food Photography

I don't think I have ever posted pictures of food that I have made. I think all of you know what Ragu sauce poured right out of the jar on top of hot store brand noodles looks like. So, I spare you the post. :)

But this Sweet Party Mix is worth sharing. It is an easy, delightful snack year round but also makes for a nice teacher or neighbor gift. So here goes....
1. In a large bowl mix 8 cups of corn or rice square cereal, 2 cups pretzels knots, 1 cup sliced almonds. (We left out the almonds this year since nuts can be pricey. It is still just as yummy.)

2. In a medium saucepan combine: I always double this!
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 Tbs butter
3Tbs light colored corn syrup

Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils. Continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, without stirring for 5 more minutes. Remove pan from heat.

3. Dump the dry mix on baking sheets (I use cookie sheets) and pour the hot liquid mixture over the cereal mixture; stir gently to coat. It won't cover all the dry mix but don't worry, it will.

4. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes; stir and bake 5 minutes more. Remove from oven; stir in 1-2 cups dried cranberries.

5. Spread on a large piece of buttered or sprayed foil to cool. Break into pieces.

Dont' forget to check out the sales going on at the store:

All travel straw cups and Minus 1 gear is on sale.
We need to clear out our inventory and get our son home!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Back by popular demand and a SaLe!!

The pink travel cup with lid and straw (BPA Free).
They just arrived today...and I would love to sell them out by tomorrow!

(Starting Dec. 10 the price will return to $13.95)

Monday, December 5, 2011

"What is good?" Micah 6:8 shirts

One size fits all stockings AND helps bring our son, Carson, home!!!!!!!!

What is good?

We don't have them on the fundraising store but still have some in stock at our house.
We have several colors but limited size choices.

I would love to clear them out!
Please, email me first ( to be sure that the color/size choice is still available.

We have dark heather (grey), pink, navy blue, orange and a few tye dye (which are so fun!). We have adult mediums and larges with one adult Xlarge and youth large in grey.

$17 (includes shipping and a FREE "got love? adopt." car decal!)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Want a new family tradition?

I wrote this post last year on what to do with Santa Clause. I intended to share it sooner for anyone who might want to celebrate St. Nicolas Day.

This may not be a question you've asked yourself, but as Ethan got older, we struggled a bit with this. I felt like I sat on the fence: The idea of Santa Claus is so magical, exciting and fun but it also seemed to distract from the true reason of the season. I wasn't so comfortable with telling the tale and having my children wait in anticipation of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, but I also didn't want to have the one kid who "spoiled" Christmas for all the other preschoolers!! :)

As we approached the Christmas when Ethan was 2, I read the story of the evolution of Santa Claus. I was surprised to learn that it derived from the true tale of a Christ loving man by the name of Nicholas. His love for the needy is inspirational. He demonstrated the gift of mercy as he cared for the poor.

I couldn't remember ever learning this. He died in 343 AD and his good deeds made known and people began to celebrate St. Nicholas Day. Over time, with the change and corruption of leaders his saint title was altered and he became known as Father Christmas in much of the world. There is much more to the story of how this real man came to be a chubby, red suited gift giver. I think every family needs to decide how to celebrate Christmas.

With the help of Martha Zimmerman in her book Celebrating the Christian Year, we began celebrating "Sinterklass" like they do in Holland. The beauty of celebrating a holiday like this is that you can choose your day. We aim to have it around Dec. 6, but coordinate it with our tree and Christmas decorating. (We also do it on a weekend so Tim won't have to rush out to work). We read the book The Story of St. Nicolas: More Than Reindeer and a Red Suit. This is a great book with beautiful illustrations. It explains so sweetly the story of Nicholas and how today we can celebrate HIM in Santa Claus--so you can tell your kids he is real and they won't spoil anyone else's family celebrations! :) That night the kids put their shoes out because Nicholas would throw money and food through open windows. Some was always caught in the shoes and socks that were put there to dry.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Drumroll please..........

And we couldn't be more happy!

Our new son will be one this month.
He is adorable.
He has two teeth and can stand on his own.
He is chubby.
And all around perfect!

Carson Kye Louis, you are exactly what this family needed!

Thank you for all the sweet well wishes and hollers of praise!

Out of all the correct "boy" guessers, Kristy K., was picked for our new color combo t-shirt. So new, in fact, that I don't even have a picture of it yet--but hopefully I can add it to this post this later today or tomorrow.

In honor of our exciting news--ALL MINUS 1 GEAR IS ON SALE THIS WEEKEND!!! I have dropped the prices on the
(-1) Burn-out baseball tee and regular tee shirt and Minus 1 jewelry.
Each order will include a FREE car decal, too!

From now until about Dec. 19th, we'll be offering discounts and incentives to buy from our fundraising site. This momma has a sweet son to bring home!! :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our phone rang....

on November 21 with some very excellent news!!
You didn't think I could just reveal our last picture without a contest, did you? Leave us a comment as to whether you think our sweet, new addition is a boy or girl. We'll draw a name Friday morning from the winning guessers to win a new, not-sold-in-our-store yet "got love? adopt." t-shirt.

(If you already know the answer and want to be included...leave me a comment telling us to include your name.)

"Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what He has done."
1 Chronicles 16:8

(The Nov. winner with the correct date guess was Brooke A.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Small Business Saturday

Did you know that tomorrow is
"Small Business Saturday"?

Did you know that Minus 1 Project (-1) is a small business store?

Tomorrow is the last day to get your FREE t-shirt with $50 and more orders.
Leave your design choice ((-1) or got love? adopt.) and size choice in the comment section and we'll include it with your order.

A sincere thank you for choosing to invest in our small business but more importantly in the life of a little one an ocean away.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tonight's menu.....

pretzel sticks, popcorn, jelly beans and toast.
It is our Thanksgiving Eve tradition to eat the above while watching
Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving.

Try it tonight...your kids will love it and your husband, well, he'll probably sneak upstairs to eat some leftover meat and potatoes! :)

But it makes for a very fun family time.

Be thankful.
Enjoy your family.
Happy Thanksgiving Eve.

Monday, November 21, 2011

WE'VE GOT OUR SALE ON. Shop with us: FREE t-shirt deal this week

I have been reminded by blogs, commercials, emails, and facebook walls that Christmas in right around the shopping corner.
Every store is pulling out its deal busters to get your business...including ours.

Let the sale begin.

Every order $50 or more placed on our store
starting today through Nov. 26 will receive a FREE t-shirt.

I know there is a shopping code for check out on the yahoo store BUT I'm not quite savvy enough for that and I have a sick kiddo so...

Place your $50 or more order and in the comment section leave me your size and design choice between (-1) and "got love? adopt."

We will include your FREE shirt in your package as a thank you for choosing to shop with us.

*Note: We will choose the color for the free "got love? adopt." tee from our in-stock colors.

Just hear those sleigh bells jingle....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Let's clear the air...

I want to be sure that we are all clear on something. It was brought to my attention while reading an article on adoption. There was a line that read something to the affect that children do not want to be projects. Adoption shouldn't be viewed as a missions project.

Can you see where I'm going with this? Our blog title.

I want to clarify that from the beginning the "project" in our Minus 1 Project has NEVER been our child, but the means to which our family would work, sacrifice, save to bring our son/daughter/sister/brother home.

I sincerely hope that no one has come across our blog and thought otherwise.

If I had a dime for every time I heard, "We would love to adopt, if it didn't cost so much", well, let's just say, our fundraising would be complete. :) We certainly had financial concerns when starting this second adoption. I think most families do. That is when we began thinking of projects that we could do as a family to save and earn money to complete this adoption. A challenge, if you will, to show people you don't have to be rich and famous to adopt.

I started reading blogs and seeing what others were doing to fundraise. It was then that we decided to start a blog and try our hand at selling the idea of "got love? adopt.". Like every good blog, we needed a catchy title and that is when we came up with Minus 1 Project. Our blog would document all of our little projects, from an empty orange juice container for change to a neighborhood bbq, in hopes of inspiring other families to get up, get out and work some projects to make adoption a possibility for their family.

Again: the projects are what we have done to fundraise, not the little one our family's hearts are dying to see.

Over the last year and half, we have been amazed at how our project has grown. Our orange juice container still sits on our counter and collects our spare change
but we now have a inventory notebook and order log to keep up with. To say we are a bit amazed would be an understatement. We are humbled by the hundreds of people, many in the midst of their own Minus 1 Projects (adoptions), that invest in ours.

Through this post, I hope you see my family's heart for adoption. Adoption has changed us. It has changed our priorities and what we thought were our needs. This child, even though we have yet to see him/her, is the drive behind every project we do, whether big or small.

He or she--is worth it.

(And "Minus 1 Project" is a bit more catchy than Apisas Plus 1...although I'd love to have a blog title change in our very near future! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Purchases with a Purpose

It is that time of year again.
Forty days until Christmas.

Most of us have gifts to buy.

I've got a bit of a challenge to hand out:
Try to make your purchases count twice. There are so, so many families out there working hard to create and sell items to raise money to complete their adoptions.
I have seen some wonderful-not sold in store-items that would delight any gift receiver.

Why give your money to Target, Belk, Walmart, etc....

Please take a few minutes to look over the links posted on

and hand out two blessings with every gift!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Last but certainly not least...

Ben's birthday!
Ben turned 11 yesterday.
He had to get to his swim meet before the sun was up so we decorated and celebrated later in the day.
He is already looking forward to his next birthday when he can sleep in.
(The big home swim meet is always this weekend in Nov. so last year he had to get up early, too.)
He was very excited to get a hiking backpack as he is looking forward to moving up to Ethan's Boy Scout Troop in March. He wants to hike with the big dogs! :) I'm excited for them to get to do that together.
Last week Ben said several times how great it would be if we got our referral on his birthday. He might be the most anxious of us all to see his sibling's face!
This boy has such a sweet and gentle heart when it comes to little ones.

And just as the saying goes: All good things must come to an end....Our birthday celebrations are over and now we are on to a week of check ups. From birthday cakes to booster shots!! I'll spare you the pictures and blog posts.

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hoodie orders

Our first HOODIE order is being placed on Monday.

Come on, make my day, order a hoodie.

You, me and a little one across the ocean will be glad you did.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Teenager in the House!

As of yesterday, we have a teenager living in our house. I'm trying decide which birthday was harder to except: My baby turning 5 or my oldest turning 13. I think it is a toss up!

We aren't big birthday party throwers but we felt like 13 deserved a bit more attention, so we planned a surprise party for Ethan last Sunday. He returned home from swim practice to 6 of his best buddies and a 29 gallon fish tank!!

Here they are waiting for Ethan to get home. (We cracked up at how the girls were just hanging out in the midst of all these boys!)
The boys all gifted $5 toward Ethan's fish tank fund. (They wrote their name on a fish and attached their gift.) He has been asking for a big tank with cabinet for a while now. You can imagine my excitement when about 2 months ago my neighbor mentioned that her father, who lives locally, was getting rid of his. SCORE!!
He was definitely surprised!! and extremely happy, too!!

Now, to yesterday, his actual birthday: Good Morning, Teenager!

Ethan brings so much adventure to our family. He is always looking for the next outdoorsy thing to do. I have come to be very thankful that he is home for school, giving me many more hours with him than I would have if he wasn't home schooled. They really do grow up fast and I am realizing what a privilege, all be it hard sometimes, to spend so much time together. I've come to appreciate his maturing conversation skills and sense of humor!