Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

This year's Halloween was a very special one.  It was the first Halloween for both of my kids!  It's pretty neat that, despite a ten-year age difference, they experience a lot of firsts at the same time.

When Mark and I were in Ukraine and saw Ruslana's photo on her file, besides instantly knowing that she was our daughter, I said that she looked like a little Snow White.  So after she saw the movie and loved it, we decided that it would be a great costume for her! Here's her original file photo, the first time we ever saw her:
And here she is, our beautiful Snow White: 
Mark told her that she was so beautiful that Snow White dresses up as Ruslana on Halloween :)

Levi dressed up as a Lion. His baby talk makes for a mean roar. And that mane? Stop it. Too. Darn. Cute. 

 We went trick-or-treating down our street with some friends and had a great time.

Ruslana loved celebrating Halloween and told me that she loved having a family to protect her. When we asked her what her favorite part of the night was she said "CANDY!!!" Of course...what a silly question.  Her favorite candy (and food in general) is a Snickers bar, so when she was presented with this gigantic Snickers, she was over-the-moon!!! This thing is a cut it in slices to eat it! WOW! It's seriously awesome.  I guess I'll have to rethink my strategy of telling her she can have one candy bar at a time! 

We had a wonderful time having some Halloween fun! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

And the winner is...

THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the raffle! We raised $1,010!

Out of 221 entries, the winner is...

ASHLEY BROCKHAUS SAUNDERS! Congratulations, Ashley! 

Christine and Neil, "Marjorie's" soon-to-be mom and dad, have a message for those who donated:

 "A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the raffle! We are so grateful to you -- our friends, family, and some who we have never met. You are all part of our journey to bring our daughter home! We are amazed and humbled by the Lord's provision through you. And we eagerly await the day she is home with us forever. May the Lord bless you for your kindness to our family and to Marjorie. 
With Love, Christine & Neil"

Saturday, October 19, 2013

9.5 hours and counting!

There's about 9 and a half hours remaining until the fundraising raffle (listed below) closes.  We are only $75 short from reaching our goal.  Can you help us by donating just $5?  You could walk away with over $200 worth of cool stuff and help a sweet child be reunited to her forever family!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fundraiser for "Marjorie"

Ruslana's best friend, known as "Marjorie" on Reece's Rainbow, was hosted over the summer by a wonderful family (check out their blog here).  They fell in love with her and are now pursuing her adoption.  Look at how cute she is:

"Marjorie" and Ruslana during the hosting trip
Mark and I know personally how overwhelming the financial aspect of an international adoption can be.  But we also know that we have incredibly generous readers who have a heart for orphans.  So, let's rally together and help bring this girl home to California where she belongs! 

I'm hosting a gift basket raffle similar to the one we did during our fundraising. The winner of the raffle will take home ALL of the items listed below--valued at over $200! These would make great Christmas gifts! 
$50 Target Giftcard
$25 Starbucks Giftcard

"Weave Around" Handbag
"Silver Lining" Watch
"Flower Power" Wallet
"Fighting Snakes" iPhone 4/4s Case
"Shrinking Violet" Earrings

How does the raffle work? Make a donation by clicking on the donate button here:
For every $5, you receive an entry.  So, $10 will be two entries, $20 will be four entries, and so on. There is no limit to how many entries you can have. 

After you have made your initial entry by donating, you can get another entry just by sharing this raffle on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog! Just comment at the end of this page with a link to your post (or email me at 

Raffle entries will be sold until Saturday, October 19 at 7pm pacific time. Then the winner will be announced! 

Let the raffle begin!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Swim Party

To continue Ruslana's 11th birthday celebration, we had a swim party at our house last Saturday.  She invited some of her friends from school to join in on the family fun.  I think everyone had a great time eating cake, swimming, opening gifts, and enjoying the candy bar.  Check out some photos from the day:

Thanks to my mom for making the cake so beautiful!
And look, Kim Pell├ęt, your Hello Kitty showed up for the party!
Having fun on her friends shoulders
Ruslana told her friend that she wanted chips and chocolate for her birthday. haha!!
Ruslana's friend brought her guitar to play Happy Birthday to her. So sweet!!!
Ruslana with her great grandparents
Enjoying the candy bar
What a blessing it was to celebrate our daughter's very first birthday in America! We hope this year is her very best yet. We look forward to seeing her continued growth.