Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tips for Affording Adoption

So adoption is crazy expensive, and most adoptive parents have to do some sort of fundraising to put their kiddos ransom together...if you happen to have $25,000-$50,000 laying around your house, then kudos to you, this post will be for the rest of the riffraff like me. ;)

Fundraising sucks...lets just go ahead and get that out of the way. It sucks to feel like a beggar even though you're working harder than you EVER have in your LIFE to raise money. It sucks to feel like a sweatshop employee if you happen to know how to do a craft. In conclusion it sucks to fundraise...but I think we've already established that. So, what to do about it? The good news that saving money works EXACTLY the same way that raising money works, but without the side eye looks from strangers. :) If you're not spending money, you have extra money to put into your own adoption funds, judgement free! So, without further ado, here is a list-o-crazy ways to stretch your pennies and build up that adoption fund!

Enjoy!

Unplug everything except the refrigerator
Turn off ALL lights except when you need them
Use a clothes line, not the dryer
Do not eat out
Don not step foot into your favorite store (I'm looking at you, Target)
Do not use quick stop stores
Enjoy free activities like walking trails
Cancel the gym membership
Cancel cable
Cut off house phone and only use cell
Sell extra items around the house
Learn to use (and enjoy) what you already have
Go to the library, not the bookstore
Enjoy time at home with friends and family instead of going out
Take shorter showers
Use displacement setting in your toilet tank to use less water
Turn water off when brushing teeth
Hand wash dishes instead of using the dishwasher
Save metal: drink cans, veggie cans, scrap pieces that you would trash, take them to the scrap metal yard
Make your own household cleaners with white vinegar
Use rags instead of papertowels
Use cloth napkins instead of paper
Make your own laundry soap
Make gifts instead of buying them
Make your own greeting cards
Take a drink with you so you don't need to stop and buy one
Repair clothes instead of buying new
Shop thrift stores for childrens clothes
Learn to say NO..to yourself, and your kids
Go makeup free
Squeeze toothepaste to the last drop
Forget buying shave cream, use your hair conditioner
Color your own hair
Cut your husbands hair
Learn how to can food: if you don't have a garden, you would be surprised how many people are willing to GIVE you their gardens surplus
Buy whole milk and add a little water to stretch it
Cook from scratch
Cut meat down to just a few days a week
On meat days make casseroles so a pound will stretch
Join sites like swagbucks
Search youtube to learn how to make razor blades last FOREVER
Pay everything on time to avoid late fees
Turn your air up a few degrees
Turn your heat down a few degrees
Shop loss leaders
Make a written budget and STICK TO IT
Consolidate trips to save gas
Smash TP rolls so they roll slower (kids will use less)


Who has other ideas?! We would love to hear them!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Two Years Later

Ok, so I'm a blogging failure, that's not really debatable. I promise that I think about blogging, and I plan to do it, life just totally gets in the way. I'm going to do my best to catch everyone (is there anyone left?!) up on what life has been like with Kenzi.

On October 18, 2012...almost two years ago (!!!) we officially became the parents of our sweet Kenzi girl. On November 20th 2012 I traveled alone to Russia to pick her up and bring her home forever! Here are some pics from Kenzi's Gotcha Day, our time hanging out in Moscow, and finally heading home to the US, where Miss McKenzie became an official US citizen when the wheels hit the runway at JFK airport in New York City on November 27, 2012!











After what seemed like FOREVER, we finally landed in Nashville, TN where daddy and some family friends were waiting to welcome our girl home!






Then it was time to head home for a good nights sleep, because the next day, Kenzi was going to meet her brothers and grandparents for the first time!





Next we celebrated Thanksgiving (better late than never!) and Christmas!







On February 1st 2013, McKenzie underwent open  heart surgery and completely rocked it! She was out of the hospital in just 12 days!





To try to make a long story short, Kenzi blossomed into a vibrant, funny, smart, amazing child in 2013. In March she celebrated her birthday for the first time ever at a Cinderella themed party. In April she went to her first Easter Egg Hunt, on Father's Day she took her first steps unassisted. She spent the summer swimming in her grandparents pool, and celebrated Halloween for the first time ever that fall...then once again she was spoiled rotten at Christmas time! Here are some photos from her first full year as a cherished daughter and sister. <3





















And in 2014, McKenzie continued to grow and bloom into an amazing little girl! The highlights (so far) have been:

-Her first road trip (we went to New Orleans)
-Her first pony ride
-Turning 5!!
-Trip to the zoo
-Church Dedication
-Her first time going to VBS
-Attending Day Camp at church for the first time
-Starting Kindergarten!

Here are some pics of Kenzi's highlights!






































Now you're all caught up!Sorry for the length of this post, but hopefully going forward I can keep this semi updated! No promises, but I'll at least post on holidays and things. 

Thanks for reading!