Friday, September 30, 2011

Update for the week and Giveaway Winner announced

Pinned Image

This photo has not much to do with anything, but it made me smile and everyone likes a cute photo, right? So... do you want an update to our grand total for the Mowen family?! As we stand on this fine Friday morning they have $140. It's rally time! Is there anyone you know that needs to know about Give1Save1? A blogger? A friend? Could you send them a quick email and help us spread the word far and wide? It means so very much to each and every family on here! You guys are awesome.

OK, well it's time to announce the winner of the giveaway. Congrats to Carrie Nelson, and thanks for helping spread the word. I'll be in contact to get you your copy of RadLab. And thanks so much to the Boutwells for donating it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shared rooms for lots of siblings

so this week we're celebrating (and fundraising for, don't forget to give!) the mowen family's set of siblings. if you're new, check out their story here. but basically, they are giving little jacob several more brothers and sisters. we're not sure what their age or gender is yet and of course, we'll let you know as soon as we find out. but anyway, it got me brainstorming about shared rooms. all those little bodies probably mean that somebody's going to be splitting a room. we're working on setting up our shared room over here too. and you know what i do when i'm brainstorming... i hit the pinboards! here's some treasures i found today. click the pic to go to pinterest and do some more digging.

i can't wait to get started on ours! i'll let you know how it goes. all i can promise is grey walls!

Monday, September 26, 2011

giveaway time


in honor of our mama of the week, tara, and her love for taking pictures, i've enlisted the help of some of my photography friends. did you know that i used to be a photographer? true story. now i blog and clean and play hide and seek. which is cool. not complaining at all. i'm also adopting a couple of girls from ethiopia and that's what brings me down this path. but anyhoo, the point is that i too love photography and i miss my photo friends. so hey, photo friends, this is what i do now! worlds are colliding today, so let me welcome the slew of photographers coming over today for the giveaway. welcome. here's what we're about on give1save1. we support an adoption a week by giving a dollar to the family. and we try to get as much money as possible for a family adopting from africa. and since a dollar isn't very much i very much need this to go viral.  it's a nice thing to do and adopting families have other stuff to deal with besides stressing over a loan.

so here's the scoop for today. you know those lovely boutwells? well, they have kindly donated a copy of RadLab to us this week. here's how you can enter: after you give your dollar over there to your right up at the top(cause you were totally going to, right?) help me spread the word about give1save1 or the mowen family. facebook or blog or email or whatever. and then come tell me what you did. i am blown away by RadLab! watch this video to see some of its' insane capabilities. thank you so much to the boutwells for donating! oh, and by the way, did you know that chenin has a rockin mommy blog, fudge banana swirl? check it out. all kinds of fun stuff over there. so go ahead and give and network and help me get some money for this family! comments close at midnight thursday night. i'll announce the winner friday morning. good luck!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

new week, new family: say hello to the mowens

you guys, i would like to introduce you to a really cool family with a really special heart. say hello to the mowens. tara and brad adopted little mr. jacob last year from ethiopia. isn't he stinkin' adorable?! well, while they were there they got to meet so many other children and developed a heart for the older children and the sibling sets. you see, siblings are actually quite hard to place. and the bigger the sibling set, the harder it is to find homes for the sweeties. well, the mowens are up for the challenge. pretty much immediately after the completion of their first adoption they got started on the next one! they are now being approved for a sibling set of 2-3 kids ages 0-10.

We just brought our son home from ET in May and couldn't wait to get started again. We fell in love with the older children while we were there and can't wait to see who God has for our family!

you've just got to read their letter from mom. this is a truly amazing family! usually we're raising funds for one kid, but this week the mowens are trying to bring home possibly 3! going from a house of one baby, to 4 kids is brave and bold and will take all kinds of organization, patience and planning. it's not always going to be easy. but WE can do something to lift a burden for these guys and let them focus on the important stuff. so go ahead and give. and then spread the word far and wide. maybe this is our Break $1000 week!

donate over there on your right. the top button goes right to the mowen family this week. so do that if you want to give more than $1 or if you just want to give to them. right underneath it you'll see the Dollar Mob. that will sign you up for $1 every week automatically. it's new and i'm going to update it daily. right now it's a little embarassingly small but we can get those numbers up, right?

Friday, September 23, 2011

adoption in ethiopia vs. congo

happy friday! so this post is to educate just a tad. i am certainly no expert on congo adoption (i'm not even an expert at ethiopian adoption, learning as we go!). but today i'm going to try to shed a little light on the two countries, some pros and cons of adopting out of each, and a little about life in each. that way if you're considering adopting out of africa you know a few little tiny tidbits to help you choose your path. so... here we go.

kathleen is our mama of the week and she was in an ethiopia program and made the switch over to congo. here's a little email where she shared some differences:

In my opinion Ethiopia almost feels like it's a "big city" compared to areas in Congo. Our orphanage is in Kinshasa. That's the "capital city" of DRC. In an email our agency sent out earlier in the week, she said, "One of our adoptive families once described the local copy center - a woman on a street corner with a small copier with the power cord going down the street. During my trip, I saw what I lovingly refer to as the Congolese Petsmart - a chicken, a monkey, a goat, and a stray dog - all either in a cage or tied to a tree on the side of the road. So, as you might imagine, nothing in Congo works anything like it does here and definitely NOT in the timeframe we Americans are used to."
I can't wait to see all of this first hand!

As for the program itself. We are with One World Adoptions out of GA. Terri is our caseworker and she has been fantastic. Make no mistake, the program is WAY different then Ethiopia. With Ethiopia being so popular, the agencies had a lot of experience in dealing with the courts, the people, etc. There were monthly conference calls, emails, etc... 
That's something we are having to get used to. The DRC is so new to international adoption that agencies aren't really there yet when it comes to constant contact with adoptive families and keeping them up-to-date on the happenings.
I will say that over the past month or so, our agency has really stepped up the communication with it's families. That's been wonderful to see.
One World (Terri) is so great to get back with you via email/phone when you have any questions or concerns. It really has been a delight to work with them.

so that's kathleen's experience so far. i'd love to hear from any of you guys who have compared the two countries. as i understand it, the wait time is generally shorter in congo since it's still a fairly new program. but it has less experience for the same reason. any of you guys have any input for people who are still looking at countries?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

just some pretty pictures.


click on pics for sources

just some pics today of the life and people living in the congo. tomorrow we'll dig into some differences in culture and adoption from ethiopia to congo for any of you interested in exploring the DRC route. the ellis family was in an ethiopia program and switched to congo, so they have some great insight on the similarities and differences of each one. have you given to the ellis family yet? if not, you can do so right over there on the right at the top. see it? thanks so much. your donations really mean the world to this family.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

uh-MAZING new prints from vol25


guys, i gotta show you this new awesomeness coming from vol25. we love jessica already, right? she designed the look and art for the give1save1 site. these are so perfect in every way. here are my faves. i just bought 'live simply'. can't wait til it gets here. and if you're in love with these and need a reason to buy now, well here it is. 40% off! the code is SAVE401. go shopping!

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

congolese hip hop artist, baloji

[vimeo w=400&h=225]


check out this little bit of awesomeness. this is congolese hip hop artist baloji. i've been trying to find more of his music, but not having much luck so far. i cannot lie, i have no idea what he's saying, so sorry if it's tacky or something. i took spanish, not french (though i wish i did!). anyhoo, turn it up. this is funky fun stuff. you can't help but dance. i dare you to try.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

new family, new week. new country even.

that's right, folks! you congo people have someone representing now! go DRC mamas.

so say hello to kathleen and clint. i've had the pleasure of getting to know kathleen over the last few weeks. she's a sweet gal with a heart of gold. here's a bit of her story in her words:

In early April of 2010, through a crazy appendicitis diagnosis, it was found that my body had been “taken over” by endometriosis. Not exactly what we were expecting!

After many months with our fertility specialist, I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure and Clint with Male Factor Infertility. Our hopes for created a new life together were quickly demolished.  Together we have comfort in knowing that God must have something very special in line for us.

Being a step-mom and a foster mom, my heart has experienced what is really means to love. That love doesn’t know a blood type, or DNA. Family is what you make it. I discovered that in a whole new way.

something special indeed. you can read their whole story here. they have been through fostering a sweet little boy (read more here on their blog). And they are now #7 in line for a baby girl and a toddler boy from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Congo is newish in the adoption world and is totally different from Ethiopia in adoption style and culture. so i'm really anxious to dig into that a little more this week and get a little more educated about it. join me. alot of people are going congo now, so let's get familiar! should be fun.

so join me in supporting the ellis family and welcoming their little guy into their lives. say hi and hit that dollar button. let's blast them! let's crash paypal like the target site on missoni day! who's with me?! i know paypal is a pain in the butt, but i timed it and the whole process should take less than a minute. one dollar and one minute. that would mean the world to this family.

***as a little side note about the dollar mob: i had to take down the official dollar mob button for a while. i have to get all through the nonprofit process which might take me a little while, so until then we'll have to do it the old fashioned way and just subscribe to the blog so you don't miss a dollar shower. sorry about that. i'll get the dollar mob officially squared away as soon as i can. ***

Friday, September 16, 2011

need an excuse for a pumpkin spice latte?

thought so. i'll take one where i can get it. so here ya go: this weekend you are officially allowed to fork out $5 for a pumpkin spice latte like a chump. i certainly will be doing so because in houston (i don't know about anywhere else. anyone want to do some undercover research?) starbucks is holding  a book drive for ethiopia reads. check out this donkey mobile library. it will make your day! so if you have some nice books to donate head on over. i'll be there, PSL in hand.

[vimeo w=640&h=360]

and congratulations to colleen, who won the pillowcase from rosehip!

update on the beds: jenn has brought in donations for 6 bunk beds and a toddler bed. not all of that came from us, but we're glad to help. if you haven't donated your dollar, hurry! before the week gets away from you. or you could just join the dollar mob so you don't forget. ;)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

little things.

word. i bet the kids at the noel orphanage are really happy about that little thing you did. that dollar. it's big for them. when combined with your friends' dollars and your neighbors' dollars and all those strangers' dollars... it gets big and solves a big problem. so thanks. one more day left on the giveaway. get in on that!

Monday, September 12, 2011

giveaway from rosehip

you guys may have heard of rosehip. anybody read a little blog by the name of decor8? yeah, i thought so. me too. well, in honor of our beds for orphans project that we've got going on, beata from rosehip is donating a fabulous pillowcase from her shop to one of you. all you have to do is give your dollar (you were totally gonna do that anyway, right?) and then leave me a comment. i'll pick the winner at random on friday. easy peasy. so if you want to just feast you eyes on some beautifulness,just click here and see a whole world of rosehip in one place.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

sweet sleep: our first project!

hey guys! i hope you had a good weekend. so let me tell you about a few things we have going on. two new things:

1. now you can officially join the Dollar Mob and make sure your dollar makes it's way over here every week (even if you don't). i know not everyone wants to read about africa and adoption all day, but you still want to play a part. or maybe you just don't get online all the time. or whatever. i know how it is. but if you join the Dollar Mob over there on your right hand side of the screen, $1 will come out of your paypal account each week and go to the family or project of the week.

2. so now that we're rolling i'd like to introduce you to our first project. we'll be doing one a month. so now you can expect $1 a week to go to a family adopting a baby, an older child, siblings, and a project. so there we go. ready to meet our first project? me too. jenn and chris have been waiting and waiting for their referral for their baby girl. but while they wait they're never  quite content to just chill. these guys are ON all the time. they just got back from a mission trip and have their hearts set on a particular orphanage, the Noel orphanage. right now their greatest need is beds. i'll let jenn take over:

Every night, there are children who lay their heads down to sleep on the ground, children who curl up on old, dirty mattresses, children who sleep with multiple other children on small mattresses. Most children living in orphanages do not have even the smallest amount of space that belongs to them, a bed. Sleeping on a sagging or misshapen mattress adds tension to a child’s joints because their bodies rest on the mattress for hours at a time. These injuries to their bodies only make them weaker. Old mattresses or scraps of foam are breeding grounds for bed bugs and allergens that contribute to startling increases in respiratory diseases, including asthma as well as rhinitis, eczema and bed bug bites. When children continuously do not get enough sleep it affects their health, makes them tired during the day, hinders their ability to do well at school and leaves them more prone to disease. (Info from Sweet Sleep)
In Proverbs 3:24, we are promised: “When you lie down you will not be afraid; when you lie down your sleep will be sweet.” That promise is not only for you and me, but also for these little ones. He loves them, He wants them to lay down at night knowing that they are loved and protected, that someone cared enough to ensure that they would have sweet sleep. My next few blog posts are going to be about a place in Rwanda that has completely captured my heart, the Noel Orphanage, which is home to over 600 children. Many of these children sleep 2 and 3 to a bed. Right now, Noel needs 50 new bunk beds for the girls and 20 new cots for the toddlers. Each bunk bed cost $135 and each toddler cot cost $65. (pulled from jenn's blog, pure and lasting.)

ok, beth again. i think we can at least come through for a couple of beds, don't you? the Dollar Mob is gaining in strength and numbers! let's make a difference to these kids and get them a good night's sleep! you know what to do. blast that paypal account. the 'donate now' button on your right will allow you to donate, um, you know, now and ONLY now and for however much you want. the 'join the dollar mob' is for $1 every week. so choose however you want to give. you can do both, too! so ready, go!

Friday, September 9, 2011

winner announced!

I really don't think my words are right to tell you how very very much i love this print. and all of her other ones too. all i can do is use italics and bold. i really need a thesaurus or something. check out 29blackstreet for some serious eye candy.

and do you want to know who won the giveaway? i picked randomly using and came up with:

Kori who said: I shared on my blog and on facebook on my personal and business pages! I am just really blessed by your heart and am thrilled to be part of the dollar mob!

We're thrilled to have you, Kori! Congratulations! I'll email you all you need to know. If you didn't win, you can still hop on over to Keefer Style Creations and check out all she's got. Remember she's fundraising for her mission trips and the money from the jewelry goes straight to that.

***UPDATE: The Willet's are up to $500, people! From $300 to $500 since last night. I'm so excited about what we're doing here! Like goofy tears in my eyes excited and proud. We still have a few more days, so if you haven't given yet just hit that button over to your right. And if you have, thank you so much. When the money goes to the Willets you're not only supporting their adoption, but keeping their ministries afloat.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the hunger strike

Hey Guys. So this month we're starting our first project sponsorship. But this isn't it. Yeah, remember we're supporting the Willtes this week, remember? Have you given yet?! What?! The week's almost over! Today I'm showing you this awesome organization called The Hunger Strike because it's totally relevant to the Willets. Kat is a field agent for The Hunger Strike. She's living as a missionary in Uganda right now. The simple premise of the Hunger Strike is to skip a meal and donate the amount of money that meal generally is to the website. And they feed the starving.

As I mentioned earlier, the Willets are literally and radically living to serve orphans in the name of Christ. I was up way early today reading this and it popped out at me and I thought I should share. It's out of Radical. You read that one yet? It's pretty awesome. Ok, here's what I read:

In 1 Timothy 6, Paul tells Timothy to command the rich "to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." This, Paul says, is the key to being free from the deadly nature of wealth and possessions. Give. Give generously, abundantly, and sacrificially. Give not because your stuff is bad. Give because Christ is in you. 

 So when I read this I immediately thought of the Willets. I was originally going to post about fall wardrobe selection! Maybe next week. Because this just felt necessary. You see, even as a fundraising family ourselves we always have more to spare than we think. We're supposed to share our excess, not hoard it. And the Willets have so freely used their money to adopt and serve in their ministries. And now the time has come that they need others to support them. They still have quite a bit of adoption funds to raise AND depend solely on donations to keep Kat in Uganda. They need money, you guys, and we have more than enough. Even if you don't have much to spare I bet you have a dollar. Please, OH please. This is me actually begging. I'll blog about whatever you want. Kittens? DIY projects? You can dare me to do junk. Whatever! Just give them a few bucks, ok ladies. We can blow this out of the water, I just know it. But there's only a few more days left! Right now, Thursday morning, the Willets have brought in $300. That's pretty good, but I'm desperate to do a thousand this week!!!

Once again, don't forget about the giveaway! Submissions are up tonight at midnight central time.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

etsy find: sisterbatik.

Custom made Scatter Pillows MIX and Match - three large 50x50cm throw pillow  covers- Genuine wax print batik 100% Cotton

check out this bit of gorgeousness! i found sisterbatik on etsy a while back. i mean fabulous. look at these rich colors. i fantasize about decorating with these. just piled up all over the place like this. i'm normally quite un-themey, but i don't see anything cheesy about this sophisticated version of african decor.

Blue Birds Pillow cover with Orange Trim - 12 x 18 inches Ready to ShipOOAK Handmade Patchwork Pillow cover - Genuine wax print batik/ grey burlap - 18 x 18 inches (45cms)

don't forget about the giving and giveaway this week! there's still time. winners will be announced on friday. we've got some fun stuff this week, right?!

Monday, September 5, 2011

GIVEAWAY time!!!

I'm so excited about our very first giveaway. It's a fantastic necklace generously donated by Keefer Style Creations. They sell all kinds of unique hand stamped jewelry. This is my favorite! Lisa is the artist and she has done some mission work in Haiti and is planning a medical trip to Africa in March of 2012. So if you don't win, maybe you still want to buy if you're in the market for some killer jewelry. It's how she's funding her trips to care for the orphans all over the world.

Africa cut out  hand stamped I will not leave you as orphans on hammered disk with Ethiopia heart necklace

Hand stamped Mixed Metal Necklace with Love,Faith,Hope

Hand stamped washer with copper family tree cut out necklace

Ready to hear how you can win it?! You just have to help me spread the word about Give1Save1. The reason I only ask for $1 is because I believe that we can get 30,000 to care enough to give a dollar. But they have to know we're here. So here's a few things you can do. Facebook, tweet, or blog about Give1Save1 and then come back and leave me a comment telling me what you did. You can even post your link. But you don't have to. I trust you.  Oh, and it also really really helps to actually give your dollar as well. That's always an important tidbit. Feel free to use any graphics on this site. I don't mind at all. Here's one. It's weird, I know. I was feeling a little urban or something.

So the entries start now and close at Thursday at midnight. Central time. So go go go! And let's make this thing happen this week!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

say hello to the willets

hey there! happy labor day weekend! i bet you're grilling something right now, right?  well have fun with it. a day off is always good. so let's get down to business. ready for a new family?! good. then say hello to kat and jeremy willet. the name might ring a bell as they are both in the public eye. jeremy is the lead singer of willet (check them out here ) and coauthor of carried (check it out here) and kat is a field agent for  the hunger strike (check it out, seriously). they have been working hard to bring funds and awareness to adoption and famine relief in africa through various means. right now jeremy is touring and kat is a missionary in uganda. adoption seems like a truly natural route for them to take and they have been waiting for their referral for a baby boy. they have saved, worked, and received grants to put towards their adoption, but have not quite made it yet. do you think we can help them wrap it up? good, me too. well, you know what to do. donate your dollar over there on the right hand side of your screen. i know it's a pain to go through the paypal hassle, but really each dollar when they start accumulating add up. and adding up is what we're going for here. so tell your friends. spread the word. i can't wait to tell you guys that we did something big this week!

Thursday, September 1, 2011



man, that's so true. have you ever had moments of precious peace when your bank account is telling you that you have every right to freak out? it's a fairly regular occurrence for me this year! we spent the first few months of the year paying for taxes. then vacation. and now adoption. tight budget year. but i have learned through awareness of how much i truly have and how much others truly don't that i am beyond ridiculously blessed to even have a bed tonight. and to have the problem of too many calories consumed. :)

the wayman family has been so appreciative of every dollar that they have been given. they have been really sweet. but as your blog host, i gotta tell you. they have brought in $35 dollars this week. um, ouch. obviously they would never tell me to say anything bad about that. they really really are thankful, but I just think maybe we could do a little better for them. is that tacky? sorry. if you think it's tacky, be mad at me. i just thought maybe you guys should know that though lots of people think the premise of Give1Save1 is awesome, it just doesn't really work the way it's supposed to unless you give 1. you know what i mean? you have to part with your dollar or it's just a nice thought. now, the waymans are attuned to their abundance, very much so. if we don't raise money for them it's going to be ok. they're still going to adopt baby Hayes. but i think we can come together and really support adoption in this so simple so tangible way. don't you?! who's with me?!  (*now i'm picturing armies of mommies at computer screens issuing battle cries!*) hit that button guys! their time is almost up!!!