Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday NOT Thankless Thursday|Reeces Rainbow

You may be wondering whats up with the title of my post? First of all those of you know the tradition of "Black Friday" & how every year people rush out the day after thanksgiving to get the latest & greatest electronics or other deal items. I do admit us girls in my family have done this almost every year not necessarily for the very best deals but the fun of getting up early to shop & spend time with each other just the girls. Last year, when store opening times went into thanksgiving we went shopping later still on Friday & I told my Mom I wanted to be sure to support the businesses that stayed closed on Thanksgiving. We went to Jc Penney (one of the rare stores I find clothes I actually like) as they were one of the main stores that stayed closed. I had seen some picture of a sign on their door (or something?) that they wanted employees to spend time with their families on thanksgiving so they would be closed that was floating around on facebook. This year when I saw how many national store chains will be open even earlier on thanksgiving (including Jc Penney) & how little stores that will be closed thanksgiving day I was mad & sad at the world we live in. ITS NO LONGER BLACK FRIDAY BUT INSTEAD THANKLESS THURSDAY CAUSE REALLY YOU JUST DON'T WANT TO BE THANKFUL FOR FAMILY BUT INSTEAD BUY MORE & MORE STUFF! This is why I will no longer be participating on Thursdays shopping event. If I happen to be out & about Friday great but I'm not purposely shopping for anything. Today, I'm thankful that I'm not one of the 147 Million orphans in this world. So instead of thankless Thursday let it be a thankful Thursday of what God has blessed you with & give to those that have nothing. 
If you recall my Lost Get Found Giveaway, & the other times I have mentioned him their was a lost boy named "Heath".
Well I'm THANKFUL TO SAY HE IS HOME WITH HIS FAMILY!!!! Thank you God for laying him on my heart & allowing me to find a "lost" American Girl doll so this Lost could be found!
If you want to be thankful for what you do have & make it Thankful Thursday by giving back why don't you order some coffee to help Joshua find his forever family?
Or you can donate to his grant
Support Haisten too by donating to his grant
ALSO TOMORROW THE MY THIRTY ONE GIFTS FUNDRAISER ENDS & I HAVE ONLY GOTTEN A FEW ORDERS. 50% OF PROCEEDS GOES TO THE BOYS. SO GO TO MY LEAH H. (ONLY PARTY ON THERE) PARTY TO ORDER! Lots of cool things that would make great Christmas gifts! When you spend $35 or more you can get a medium utility tote for just $7!
I wish you all a very blessed & thankful thanksgiving this Thursday! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

National Adoption Awareness Month|Reeces Rainbow

Happy National Adoption Awareness Month! To start this post let me share what I posted on my facebook the other day.
"November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Though my family nor I (at least not yet for me hehe!) have adopted we have had many friends over the years that have & from all sorts of adoption from private to foster care to international. We have seen their joys & struggles that have come but the joys have overcome the struggles. Many of these kids I know personally have blessed my life in more ways than one & shown me what love can truly do for a child. We also know somewhat of the other side of adoption as we have a dear friend who had to give up her son a long time ago. Adoption is a blessing & it saddens me that today on Orphan Sunday don't know or celebrate that fact.
Their are millions of orphans waiting & I know not everyone can adopt but we all can do something to help! Pray, Donate, advocate, bring a meal to an adoptive family, help with a fundraiser, donate handmade or other items to an auction, etc. I know I talk often here about it but once my eyes & heart were open especially by the plight of special needs orphans overseas I knew I had to do something. I grew up fantasizing adoption & use to say I would have a houseful of adopted kids. In 2010, through a posting about a fundraiser on a friend of my moms fb page I followed the journey of a little girl named Sophia. Then I found a whole new world & discovered mental institutions still exist in other countries. That broke my heart to hear that other countries were what it was here 25+ years ago. I was 18 at the time & thought what could I do to help at my age? At that point is when sad, desperate little boy captured my heart strings. And if you have known me that long you know the awesome ending to that little boys fate. You see if I had said I'm way too young to help & looked away his ending might have turned out differently but God made it beautiful. So you see you may think your too old or young to adopt, or to help but I say you can! Age is but a number! Just read my god stories on my blog & I have heard even younger kids making a difference in the adoption community. Thank you if you took the time to read this!"

So you see if my eyes had not been opened, I would have never looked into the depth of this boys eyes & said yes I will help you.
He might have never known the Love of a family & I'm so thankful he found his forever family.
My heart would never have been stolen by this precious princess
Then yet again this one
One day, changed the princesses fate & my heart hurt for them & still does to this day. But Beauty rose from the ashes as my two beautiful butterflies helped two beautiful butterflies find families. (one still has two others she has helped waiting for families!) Berkeley's family could still use some support! go donate here

Which has also lead me to this darling butterfly
And this one!

And it continues on & on, including the new boys. Point is Adoption is beautiful. This is where my heart lies helping orphans find families, praying & doing whatever I can even though I can't adopt right now. Special Needs orphans in particular hold a soft spot in my heart since I have a sister with Down Syndrome. Right now here's a way you can support an orphan or two & do some christmas shopping by going here

Monday, November 4, 2013

Blessing of a camera

My camera has truly been a God blessing & whenever I tell the story people are amazed but that is only part of the story. The real truth of the story plays back in my mind everytime from my perspective which never fully I have shared the story but today I will. 3 days before my Birthday, I read this post & wanted to help in whatever way I could. I was simply wanting to support an orphan & though it would be nice to win a prize my main reason was to support Peter.
I did not have much to donate but wanted to help Peter (thankfully he is home with his family!) so I donated what little I did have but as it got further along into the Giveaway I wanted to do more. My Grandma had given me $ to send to a child on Reeces Rainbow & I of course chose to donate to  Peter & Artem. The day before/of the winners were to be announced I was saying surely I'm not gonna win it. I think I might have prayed I would win it. Well, when this post popped up on my blogger feed I nervously started reading til I reached the part announcing my name as the winner of the Nikon camera & Kept thinking to myself is this real? I was in shock, never have I won anything that big! I was so excited & my friends that were in the room when I read it I told them not to tell my mom as I wanted to surprise her that I had won. (Thankfully she did not read that post before it arrived) The day it arrived either Mom or I carried it in, she was asking me what it was & when I opened it up she asked where did this come from & then I proceeded to tell her the story & how I wanted to surprise her. 

For the past two years I have come to enjoy this precious gift. 

But what's more special is the return gift God has given me by using it myself & my sweet sister's photography skills.
He gave me great Moments captured in my own life & others.
Countless of blessings coming home to their beloved families.
And babes held in my arms
Treasured memories of my Nephews birth

Special events that will last a lifetime
And days when you just decide to play around with your camera
Then it turns into something beautiful,
Precious memories cherished all because God wanted me to bless another 

The beauty of God's nature adored
From fall to winter

Note ALL PHOTOS CREDIT GOES TO MYSELF & MY SISTER Stephanie of Stephanies Photography. Please do not copy or use without our permission. 
First of all God gets all the glory for this all, secondly I thank my friend Patti who did that Giveaway two years ago & her friend who gave up their camera (they had only used it once) to use as a prize to help a orphan for that I appreciate the camera even more so. Looking forward, to see how God allows me to use this gift even more for his glory in the future!

Angel Tree 2013|Reeces Rainbow

It's beginning to look like ANGEL TREE time!!!
So what is Angel Tree?

Running from November 1-December 31 each year, the Christmas Angel Tree is Reece's Rainbow most important fundraiser.

In only seven years, more than 1200+ children with Down syndrome and other special needs have found their “forever families”. The vast majority of this funding comes from our Angel Tree Project each year!

I have had the pleasure of being an Angel Tree warrior for the past 3 years & excitedly I am pleased to be warrior to these two precious boys! 
Haisten who has no photo.
What does a Christmas warrior do?
A Christmas warriors goal is to raise their child/childrens grant by $1,000 from Nov 1-Dec 31 but most importantly to raise awareness of the child/children to find families.
In the past, they ask you to stick with just one child to be a warrior to but this year they had so many kids included/added & towards the end their were kids without warriors so they said we can double up & thankfully they all have warriors now!
So crazy me, I was originally not going to do Angel Tree at all then I could not stand the thought of a girl who is about to age out who did not have a warrior but thankfully she got one so then I went back & just could not decide. Finally it was down to 5 left, all with no photos & it made me sad thinking why no one chose them. I took that huge leap of faith & still kinda freaking out how in the world I was going to fundraise $1,000 now I need to fundraise that for two! But, I'm trusting God will provide!
I have some fundraisers currently going & about to start a few more if you would like to support them:
Do you love coffee or know someone that does? With the Holidays fastly approaching you will need a gift & it supports an orphan! Part of the proceeds will go towards Joshuas Angel Tree goal!
So go order here at Joyful Joshua shop
Do you see the My Memories Software button on the right? How about the code right below it?
Every time someone purchases the software using that promo code they get $10 off & I get $20 in my paypal. Right now the software is $25.98 which is 35% off the original price! I have done many projects with the software including these:

So go order it here & be sure to use the promo code STMMMS49256 at checkout!
You can also go find their names here to donate.
Donations of $35 or more will receive an ornament with their photo on it. For Haisten you can still request an ornament for your donation of $35 or more but no photo will be on it.
For Joshua, his new photo will probably not be on his but you will still get his adorable baby one
So you know $5 of your donation of $35 or more goes to the cost of the ornament, & 10% gets taken out for paypal fees. If you would like to help them avoid paypal fees you can always send a check:
Reece's Rainbow
PO Box 4024
Gaithersburg, MD 20885
Just make sure you note in the subject line it's for Joshua and/or Haisten
My friend who has adopted through RR has graciously decided to help me out with hosting this fundraiser for both boys.
My thirty one is a awesome faith based company that sells organizational personalized bags of all shapes & sizes! 
Right now they have an awesome deal going for every $35 you spend you can get the medium utility tote for just $7! 
To order go here 50% of the sales will go towards Haisten & Joshuas grants!