Monday, December 31, 2012

The Year in Review

To close out my blogging year, I thought I would choose one picture from each month in 2012.

Here goes:

January.  We sent off Carson's care package.
 February.  Ben picked out Carson's bedding since they would soon be roommates.
 March.  The girls continually moved Carson's referral picture around the house with their other babies..
April.  Finally!!  Our walk from SWS to our hotel.
May.  Our circle feeling complete.
 June.  Our family's Minus 1 Project complete and our money jar no longer needed. :)
 July.  So many words for this one.  Adoption/Family/Home = security, joy, love, redemption, grace...

August.  The start of the school year.
 September.  The Three Musketeers.
 October.  Halloween fun.
November.  Celebrating birthdays.
 December.  Each of us holding our Christmas 2012 ornament from my parents.

My Christmas ornament this year was a house with the words, "Bring Love In."  Tim's was a tin tree with the words, "Apisa family, est. 1996."  I think these two will be kept out of storage and will instead by hung on my kitchen window so as I'm looking out and watching my children play in the yard or doing dishes, I'll remember.

I'll remember that this family has been established, through the Lord, in love and for love.
Happy New Year.
May your heart and home bring in all the Lord offers.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Now our salvation has a name.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fabric for Seven

Some may say that it is just a coincidence that in the fall of 1996 while purchasing Christmas fabric to make stockings for Tim and myself, on our first married Christmas, I actually bought enough to make 7 stockings...but not me.

I think it was God's sweet grace because He knows that little things like matching stockings are important to me.  I have smiled with thankfulness while sewing each one.  First for a loving husband, followed by a first born son, a little brother for the first, a daughter born a world away, a surprise daughter and our newest addition that has filled our house with joy and laughter.

As I finished up Carson's stocking last week, I took a look at the left over fabric.  I do believe I have enough for one more!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Birthday Boy!

This week we celebrated a certain special boy's second birthday.  I think the first birthday home is such a huge thing--it just feels so right celebrating the life of your child.  It is so sad to think of the millions of children whose birthdays come and go with no special distinction in the day.

We rightfully cancelled school, ate lots of treats, played lots of cars and watched Yo Gabba Gabba galore!
 So much better than his first year celebration when all we had was a referral picture.

He was so excited that he blew out both his candles!
Ready to eat!

I'm so thankful Carson is home and I cannot imagine our family without him.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Mother's Call

The other night Lindsey snuck into my room for a few extra goodnight kisses.  She wrapped her arms around my neck, told me she loved me and then, literally, skipped back across the hall to her room.  Her room, that she shares with her sister, was all aglow with Christmas lights.  I peeked at her as she arranged her pillows and stuffed animals just so, pulled up her covers and was still.  And then it hit me...this feeling of urgency for all the little girls in China who are orphaned.

I read an article recently about a new foster care type home in China.  The idea to try to offer some of the orphans a family-like setting where they would be in smaller groups with a caretaker.  An older girl was interviewed for the article and her quote just hurts my heart.

"I just can't wait to have a mom to call me in when it's time for dinner."

And although I don't have it exact--the point is clear.  Really?  This is what she was excited about?  This is what she has waited to have?  So many interviews I have read from waiting children state their longing for a family, a belonging, an acceptance and a purpose.

There is no biblical model for an orphanage because children were not created to live in warehouse type buildings, bed-to-bed.  Children need families to grow, thrive,

There are these moments in my life lately, like the other night, that bring on this "orphan ache" in my heart.  A feeling of pain and hurt for the millions of orphans that are still waiting to be a part of a family, who are waiting to hear their mom call them in for supper...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

All Colors Are In!

We just reordered all colors in our Travel Straw cups.  Also included is aqua, red, graphite, clear, yellow.  (Sunny and warm beach vacation not included. :)

Take a look: .

Pick a friend's favorite color and candy put them together for a fun gift = Another great gift idea brought to you by Minus 1 Project!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

One Day "Special"

Today only, you can choose two long sleeve shirts from our fundraising site for $40!  Or three for $56!

See post below for our newest long sleeve!

Click on over to and shop under "Specials".  You will need to email me, or comment in the note to seller section your design and size choices.

Give one, keep one:  Merry Christmas to you and a friend!

The site:  Minus 1 Project.

The Special:  2 long sleeve for $40
3 long sleeve for $56

One day only.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Deal

You may be tired of seeing Minus 1 Project fundraising site stuff BUT we are excited about the new things we are adding for this time of year.

 Here's why:
 ~More people are spending more money during the next few weeks than any other time of the year.

 ~Many families are stepping out in faith and obedience to grow their family through adoption despite the huge financial total.

~The main purpose of our Minus 1 Project was to fundraise our way through all the fees and payments while sharing our ideas in encouragement to others.

~God has given us a good thing, creative ideas and huge a huge support system, making it a joy to share.

~Bottom line, millions of children are waiting.

 So if you haven't yet, take a look at our site. We are working hard to make sure there is at least one thing you would like to purchase for yourself or for a gift. We've had several requests for long sleeve shirts. Here are our newest. These won't stay on the site much past Christmas, so order soon and order plentifully.

 Green, super soft cotton 
Pink, women's cut

Grey, super soft cotton 

Pink, women's cut

I hope you are enjoying this first weekend of December.  

Give the gift that gives twice.

Spread the adoption message.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Monday...ShOp!

Minus 1 Project is a small business aimed at supporting and aiding adopting families.

Why shop anywhere else?  Except for the fact that we don't carry toys.

We had a big ole' shipment in this week of hoodies, long sleeve shirts, tees, Tervis and key fobs.
Take a look:

Carson really likes the Tervis tumblers.  Thankfully they are crack/break proof = toddler proof! :)

Shop today.
Shop tomorrow.
Shop next week.
As long as families are opening their hearts and homes to children,
we'll be here,
supporting them as much as we can!
Have a great week.
Adopt on!

Friday, November 23, 2012


The Best Part of Thanksgiving Day

From my perspective:
 getting to rock and love on my new baby niece.

From the boys' perspective:
having an all day airsoft battle.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Blue Leaf

On this day, last year, shortly after lunch our phone rang.  I answered to the lovely voice of our case worker telling us our referral had come in.  After tearing up, grabbing a jacket, really tearing up, walking outside, crying, conference calling with Tim, really crying, we heard that we had a son.

What a fantastic moment.  After all the waiting to know that we had been chosen to be the parents of a 11 month old little boy.  We decided to wait and tell the kids together that evening.  We had planned on doing our "Tree of Thanksgiving" that night so it worked perfectly.

Tradition has it that we write or draw things we are thankful for.  Then go around and take turns reading them and hanging them on the tree.
I wrote, "We are thankful for your new baby brother."

I could hardly read it because I was so excited!  Their reaction was priceless!

I am so happy that Carson is home this year to terrorize and wreck our Tree of Thanksgiving.  ;)  This little man has brought so much joy and laughter into our home the past 7 months.  I remember so clearly that night reading this verse...
"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name;  make known among the nations what he has done."
1 Chronicles 16:8

Make known what he has done.
What had He done?
The Lord used my family to be His hands and feet to offer love, acceptance, hope, joy, peace, redemption, security, belonging to a little boy that had a terrible start to his life. 
The Lord, like in all lives, set out to create a redemptive ending to a tragic situation.

There is nothing like seeing your child's face for the first time, either out of the womb or in a referral packet.  That, in itself, is a work of the Holy Spirit.

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name;  make known among the nations what He has done."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving dinner Peanuts' style


I look forward to them every year.

Next week's tradition is dinner and a show.

The dinner consists of pretzel sticks, jelly beans, popcorn and toast.

The show is "Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving".

Each year as I grocery shop for the Thanksgiving dishes I'm responsible for, I make sure to pick up the above items.   We've been doing this since Ethan was little and the kids look forward to it each year. I enjoy a night off of cooking--except for the toast and popcorn.

Here are a few pictures from last year.

I'm looking forward to our Peanut's Thanksgiving dinner again this year.  It may be a challenge to get Carson to eat anything but the jelly beans. :)

So as you're writing out your grocery list for next week, be sure to include all you need to enjoy a "Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving" feast with your family.  You'll be sure to get some fun/cool mom points, too. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In a nutshell...

Here is our family's three birthdays in the past five days in a nutshell and some pictures.

 It began with Lucy's 6th birthday last week.

 It is very much like Lucy to specify her cake choice.  This year a pink cat with purple polka dots.  (Last year it was a rainbow unicorn.  I am very thankful for the easy cake sites that show you how to cut round cakes and piece them together to make different things.)
The annual birthday week, love, love that Carson is in this years!

Down with the pink/girlie decorations the next day and up with the teen decorations. :)

Carson started getting used to this cake and ice cream every day.  When we put him in his seat he would lean in like this and say "cake".

We enjoyed two days without streamers and balloons all over the kitchen and finished up the first two cakes only to bake and decorate one more time.

The end results:  a very happy 14, 12 and 6 yr. old, five extra pounds around my middle and two new words for Carson, "cake" and "balloon".  Until next year...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Doesn't this make you smile?

We are hoping to place the order for these new shirts this week.
I think it would make a great gift for your adoption loving friends or spouse.

You can order one at
Click, shop, give, support and make many people smile! :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012