Saturday, August 10, 2013

I am that blogger.

Tonight I was reading through a friend's blog post about their recent trip to Ethiopia when I saw my blog on the sidebar, way down, showing the latest post about 3 weeks ago.  I can remember seeing other blogs like that and wondering how can someone let their blog go that long without an update.  So a humble apology to all of you who have gone weeks without updating. :)

Somehow our summer has been just as busy as the school year.  A different busy but busy all the same!   I think part of it comes from our boys getting older and having their own agenda for the day.  I remember the days of just throwing them in the stroller or car, no questions asked and no complaints.  It is taking a bit more effort to keep family times just the family, but we're doing it!

A family week at the beach was just what we needed.

We returned home from the beach for a whirlwind of 2 weeks packed with swim meets, a birthday party, Guatemala serving trip, visit to my sister's and a skunk family nesting under our porch.  I'm looking forward to this next week of nothingness on the calendar to hopefully refresh before having to start thinking about school.

I hope you are enjoying your summer.  Soak in these next few weeks with your family before your calendar and days are full!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tiaras for Teresa

I think many of you may have been following the Bartlinski's story.  Their daughter, Teresa, was adopted from China and recently passed away.  She left an amazing mark on many, thousands of people.  You can read all about her story on their family blog,

For the next 2 weeks we will be running a fundraiser for them to help with their medical expenses.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Triathlon of Faith

If you've been following our family's blog for some time, you know that we enjoy a good triathlon.  I actually did my first triathlon as a fundraiser for Carson's adoption.  It wasn't successful as a fundraiser but it did get me hooked on the sport.  My dad really enjoys them. His favorite line is, "I did my usual:  last overall, first in my age group."  I'm determined to keep doing them well into my 70s so I can be first (and only) in my age group. :)

This is Tim after completing his first triathlon of this season.

Tim has committed to travel to Guatemala soon to serve through Potter's House.  (You can learn more about this organization at

He designed this shirt to help raise the money he needs for his trip.  100% of the money goes towards his funding so we are keeping it separate from our Minus 1 site.  If you'd like to help support him and sport a cool, super soft tee at the same time, please let me know.  Shirts can be ordered/purchased through paypal to or email me,, for our address to send a check.

The shirts are $25 and come in adult small - adult 3XL (a tad more of 2x and 3x).

Thanks, friends!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Poolside Photo Bomber

I was excited this morning when our visors arrived.  They came at the perfect time for me to pack up and ship all that had been ordered and be home in time to take the kids to the pool before naptime.  I brought one of each visor with me for a photo op.

I think it turned out good and visors, great!  All colors are in stock and ready to ship,

 And just as I was taking one of my last pictures, along comes the cutest photo bomber in his fancy sun hat.

 He later tossed the hat to share a snack with a sweet little neighbor!

I hope your official first weekend of summer included some sun, water and a snack shared with a friend.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Box Fun

While I have been working on organizing and consolidating Minus 1 store stuff, I've recovered some empty boxes.  I know you've heard people say how kids like boxes better than toys.  I am thinking that might be true:
 (My three youngest and two neighborhood friends.)
These boxes were houses, trains, buses, robots and more!

And just when I thought they had exhausted all uses for them.  This happened:
(Note the squirrel to the left of the stick.)

They made a squirrel trap!  The other four kids were upstairs waiting patiently, holding the end of the yarn, for the squirrel to go after the treat they left for it.  Carson, however, was just wanting to shoot it. 

They did "catch" (I use that term loosely:) one but by the time they came down the steps and plowed over Carson to get out the door, the squirrel had popped the box over and was high tailing it out of our yard.  I'm not sure what the plan was if they actually did catch it but I am sure it would have been a "catch and release".

Moral of the story:  When considering your next toy purchase, consider hunting down a few big boxes. I think they encourage imagination, team building, cooperation and a whole lot more.  (Not to mention that they are easy on the summer budget.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New name...

What do you think?

We are working on our store site and most likely are going to drop the "Project" from our store name.  The Minus 1 Project originated as our blog title with the "project" referring to all the things we would be doing to make there "minus 1" orphan in the world.  We wanted to document all of our fundraisers in hopes of giving other families ideas and sharing what was successful.

I like the simple "Minus 1" for the store name and underneath something like 
"because every adoption = (-1)Orphan".

I'm hoping that will allow us to work on some new new (-1) designs.  I get loads of questions when I wear my shirts with that because people are curious as to what it means.  

**We were disappointed to hear that our new chevron "Take It All" bag is in very limited qualities.  If you were considering ordering one, don't wait.  I don't think they'll be on the site much longer.  We are searching for another great bag to replace it, hopefully soon!

 Take a minute, too, to read the post below if you haven't already about our store site.  Have a great day!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Minus 1 Project Then and Now

If you've been reading our family blog for some time now, you know that we have many adoption themed items that we sell at our Minus 1 Project (-1) store site,  You also may know that this site was created as a way to raise the money we needed to complete our son's adoption from Korea in 2012.  My creative husband came up with the phrase "got love? adopt." and that is how it began.

Actually it really began while traveling to bring our daughter home from China in 2007, when we met the Rices.  They were also bringing their daughter home from the same orphanage, same room as our daughter.  The Rices owned a printing business, Advertising Authorities.  Since then, they have opened a retail and on-line store by the name of Under the Carolina Moon.  While fundraising, they went above and beyond to help us.  They took some of our ideas and helped us put them onto fun, high quality merchandise that kept people coming back to our Minus 1 Project.

 I still am amazed at the response and support we received.  I spent my spare time collecting free, random boxes for our sales.

We always enjoy surprising our customers when their item(s) arrive.  Fun boxes come with no extra cost. :)

I am excited to report that this was just the beginning!

After our son came home, we excitedly decided to continue our site to aid other fundraising/adopting families.  We added some new products and our Minus 1 Project began to take over our spare closet,
our living room

and the back of our van.

We helped other adopting families by allowing them to purchase from us items to sell (at no profit), donating items (and shipping them) for adoption raffles and basically giving away the money we made along the way.  We KNOW fundraising.  We KNOW the joy that comes in the stranger's donation no matter how big or small. 

I have enjoyed almost every minute of our selling journey.  I thought the excitement might wear off after our son was home but it didn't.  I love getting to chat (via email or facebook) with other adopting moms.  I love being able to (hopefully) encourage and pass on ideas for successful fundraising.  But just as much, I have enjoyed coming up with new designs and items that help families share and celebrate adoption.  

Recently, Tim's work in the building construction field has slowed down.  Companies just aren't building at the rate they were five years ago.  We have seen our family's income hold steady (or drop) as expenses have increased.  As we began to explore and pray about other options, (a second job for Tim or something I could do from home) we both had the same sensing from the Lord.  We began to see that He had already answered our prayer.  We really believe that God began answering it BEFORE we began asking Him, way back when He set two sweet, little Chinese orphans in the same room in a large orphanage in Chongquing, China.

And so it is with great excitement and anticipation that I announce to all of our past, present and future customers and blog readers that we are on our way to establishing our family run business, Minus 1, have trademarked our logo "got love? adopt."and are moving all of our "stock and shipping products" to South Carolina underneath Advertising Authorities.  (Just to clarify:  we are not moving but will be storing and shipping our Minus 1 Project gear from Advertising Authorities' warehouse.  This will allow us to have more items in stock.)  We have grown about as large as we can out of our home but our vision continues to expand. We know that the bigger we can grow, the more we will be able to partner with adopting families and orphan care ministries, like Little Flower Projects.  We are excited about a whole new line of items aimed at celebrating adoption, gotcha, family, airplane days.  I know most of you, like our family, want to share your family's adoption stories and want your children to see the joy that accompanies their story!

We are setting out to help families do just that!  You can feel confident knowing that your decision to purchase and your money spent is going to a small (but hopefully growing in the future through adoption) family owned business.

A family that loves the Lord and each other.
A family who is committed to continuing to support, encourage and help adopting/fundraising families in every way they can.
A family who knows and has experienced the difference that adoption makes in the lives' of everyone in the family.
And a family that knows that EVERY adoption = Minus 1 Orphan!

**And as always, a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you who have supported us along our journey.  I really cannot express the joy I have received from all your kind words and encouraging comments.  I so much appreciate all the pictures that have been sent my way of your families and un-orphans wearing our shirts or holding our cups!  I know that you certainly don't have to do that and yet, many of you, as busy as you are, take the time to share with us your family's picture and stories.  That is what makes this so unbelievable to me...that the Lord would allow us to be a very small part in so many lives.  Lives that are walking with Him, listening to Him and changing lives and hearts (-1) orphan at a time!  

Thank you,
Kelly, for the whole Apisa family

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Adoption Celebration Items

A fellow adoptive mom shared with me several months ago that for her daughter's adoption day, they would buy a "Happy Birthday" card and cross off the "birth" and write in "adoption" day.  And although I found this very sweet, it bothered me.

It is also gave me a fun idea.  After much discussion and polls about what families call the day their adopted child joined their family, we decided to launch a whole line of items aimed at helping families celebrated their child(ren)'s SpEcIaL dAy!

You'll find on our Minus 1 Project site there is a new category labeled "Adoption Celebration Items".  I am so excited to share with you our first two items that have been added and are ready to order.  (We will be continuing to add items throughout the summer, as well.)


The shirts would be super cute for many occasions, not just adoption days.  If you're like me, you enjoy a multi-celebration type shirt that can be worn many times a year!

I am hoping we will have some new items up mid-June to add to our new section.  We want to help you celebrate and make your child's day as special as it can be!

I know you'll agree:  Adoption is something worth celebrating!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bags, Hats and Cuteness Galore!

There have been a lot of happenings around our home these days.
We have been wrapping up school and activities.
And just as exciting, we have been adding new items and working on new designs for our ever growing Minus 1 Project (-1) site.

I shall alternate between new items and some Apisa family cuteness.

New Item


New Item
(Available in 7 colors, for a limited time.)


New Item


New Item
(An additional front fabric panel can be ordered with last name embroidered on it.)


New Item
(An additional fabric panel can be purchased embroidered with last name.)

To see all the information on the above new items (colors available, size, etc...) please visit our
Minus 1 Project (-1) site

To see more cuteness continue to follow our blog. :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Minus 1 Project doll style

I find this very bizarre.

Lucy really enjoys the people from her Loving Family doll set.  That isn't what I find bizarre.

She likes to set them up around her while she plays.

(Above they are helping hold her cards while we play a game. I like the dad juggling two babies and his playing card! :)

She likes to set them up around her while she does her school work.

I don't find either of those bizarre but rather cute!

What I did notice today about the Loving Family, I do find bizarre.
Something I have failed to notice in the past...some of the family's clothing.

Exhibit 1:

 Above is the mom or actually, this might be, the teenage babysitter from across the street.
Below is one of our Minus 1 Project designs.

Exhibit 2:

Above is one of the daughters.
Below is one of our Minus 1 Project designs.

What's up with that?  Bizarre...

 I thought we were being original with our designs but maybe subconsciously we have been trying to outfit all adoption shirt wearing people to look like the Loving Family from Fisher Price.

We did however model our doll house family after our own...just look at the sisters.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Photo Session

I can often be seen in or around our yard searching for good spots to take pictures of our Minus 1 Project (-1) gear.  

Sometimes it pays to be mommy's little helper. :)

Don't forget to order your "got love? adopt." Tervis tumbler soon.
We only have the 16 oz. (with or without handle) left.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Minus 1 Project (-1) Package Disclaimers

We are so excited about how our Minus 1 Project (-1) fundraising site is growing.  We have plans to add several new designs and items over the summer.  The past week our house has been busy trying to ship out our new "adoption is..." t-shirts.  As you can see our living room has turned into the distribution center:

We always enjoy delivery day and a good photobomb, too. :)

When a shipment arrives we do our best to package and ship it out the next day because we know many of you have waited several weeks.  We now have this design in stock and can ship right away, hint, hint. :)

Disclaimer 1:  I enlisted two helpers for this last shipment.  Actually, not sure if they were enlisted or they just insisted to help.  Here they are pictured next to their packages holding a Minus 1 Project (-1) car decal and magnet.  The magnet is free with every purchase, the decal is not.  Can you see where I am going with this?  I placed them side by side on the table.  One of my adorable helpers' jobs were to place a magnet in each package before sealing them up.  And only afterwards was I informed that one or both of the girls had confused the magnets with the car decals.  Therefore if your newest package arrives with a free car decal, thank my helpers. :)

Disclaimer 2:  Packages from Minus 1 Project (-1) do not contain oatmeal, running shoes or items from GameStop.  They do not need to be refrigerated.  We do, however, need to consider purchasing some boxes with "got love? adopt.", "Adopt on!" or "Adoption = (-1) Orphan so we can share the adoption message throughout the postal service and neighborhoods. :)

Reminder:  Mother's day is just around the corner.  Be sure to get your order in soon so we can ensure deliver in time for your special day.

And don't forget your opportunity to support Little Flower Project in China with the purchase of a Mother Teresa quote tee, available with the adoption message or without.

Order from Minus 1 Project (-1) today.