Friday, April 11, 2014

A few updates + new fundraiser (with a way to give to orphans)!

The update:
I finally got my official copies of my home study a week ago. Woohoo! On Monday morning, I sent my USCIS application in! It should arrive at the USCIS facility TODAY! That is so exciting to think about!


The fundraiser:
My newest fundraiser is all about giving to the orphans in Zola's country. I have 26 Beanie Babies that I no longer need. I figured that there was no better way to get them out of here than to donate them to the children in Zola's country who are still living in orphanages and waiting for their forever families!

The details
- For every $5* donation, you can "sponsor" a Beanie Baby and choose which one will travel with me to Eastern Europe. (*Chilly the polar bear, the big beanie, is $10)
- Once a beanie is sponsored, I will add your name to a "thank you" post stating which one you are sponsoring (if you wish to remain anonymous, please let me know).
- When I travel to Zola's country, I will bring all of the beanies with me that have been sponsored.
- To sponsor a beanie, please donate to my Reece's Rainbow FSP and e-mail me at zolas.adoption@gmail.com or comment here with which beanie you'd like to sponsor.

My Beanie Baby collection!

(l-r): Congo the gorilla, Hoppity the bunny, Rosalie the bear, Pouch the kangaroo, and Stretch the ostrich

(l-r): Bongo the monkey #1 (a teeny beanie), Bongo the monkey #2 (a teeny beanie), Doby the doberman sponsored by Shelby J. (in honor of Logan), Derby the horse, Velvet the panther, and Stripes the tiger

(l-r): (not a Beanie Baby) polar bear sponsored by Shelby J. (in honor of Francine), Almond the bear, Mystic the unicorn sponsored by sunflowerlove, Mel the koala, and Mel the koala #2 (a teeny beanie)

(l-r): Spinner the spider, Batty the bat, Claude the crab, Iggy the iguana, and Rainbow the chameleon

(l-r): Wise the owl (class of '98) sponsored by Cat H. (in honor of husband and daughter), Strut the rooster, Gracie the swan, Jabber the parrot, and Quackers the duck sponsored by Shelby J. (in honor of Faith)

Chilly the polar bear. He's the $10 one, you can see the difference in size compared to regular sized Rainbow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A fundraiser that is SimplyFun!

SimplyFun develops unique and engaging board games that support the educational needs of today’s kids, parents and teachers. SimplyFun games are recognized for their easy-to-learn concepts, interactive components and specific skill-building features, that help children from toddlers to teens with language, science, math, geography and more, and are fun for the whole family.

My party runs through Thursday night (March 27, 2014)

SimplyFun received over 50 product awards in 2012!

Their games can be played in 30 minutes or less. These games are perfect both for homeschooling families and as a fun family activity before bed.

The games are high quality, truly unique, and cannot be found in stores!

Here is the link to my party: Stephani's SimplyFun Party

MARCH SPECIAL - Spend $50 and buy any or all of these games at Half Price! Mathroom, Front Runner, and or Fourmation!

Here's one of the many games SimplyFun has to offer:

Tibbars Find My ABCs & 123s
Price: $22 (SALE) regular price: $28
Teaches alphabet, colors, counting and early reading

Together in one bundle, Tibbar's Find My ABCs and Find My 123s will take your child on a learning adventure. Your pre-schooler will delight in assembling each oversized floor puzzle while learning the alphabet, numbers 1 thru 10, and colors at the same time!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hearts for Zola Reminder!!!

"Hearts for Zola" will run through the end of the month!

Every $5 donation to my FSP (click on the widget with Zola's picture on the right side of the blog) gets you one heart! We've had 16 donations so far! Can we get that to 20?! I know I promised pictures at 10 donations but we don't have the the hearts up but they WILL be up by the end of the weekend and I will post them as soon as they're up! "Love for Zola" will be running through the end of February! We have 10 more days to get as many donations for this as possible!

We're also doing a "Love Across America for Zola" fundraiser together with the "Love for Zola" one! Every time someone from a new state donates to my FSP, I will fill in a state! So far, there are only 7 states filled in! My goal is to get donations from all 50 dates! I'd love to do one for Canada, too, so if you're from Canada, please feel free to donate and let me know so I can start a Canadian map!

This is what the map looks like so far, please help me fill it in! Zola's future home state isn't even colored in yet! Bummer!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Check Out These Magazines!

It's a two-fer Tuesday. I'm going to highlight some of the wonderful magazines available in my magazine fundraisers. The magazines I chose to highlight today are great for parents and children.

Adoptive Families
The leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption. (Bi-Monthly)

Ranger Rick Jr.
Photos, answers to kids' questions, fun activities & games. Ages 4-7. (10x)

Parents
America's #1 Family Magazine—the source for trusted advice for over 75 years. (Monthly)

Hearts for Zola

My mom has been incredibly helpful with all of my fundraising. She's even doing her own fundraiser this month! It's called "Hearts for Zola". For every $5 donation to my FSP (here), a heart will go on the wall with your name on it. You get to choose the color of your heart. These hearts represent the love people have for Zola, the prayers said, and the gratitude I feel towards those that have helped in any way they can.

We have four hearts to hang right now. Once I get to 10 I will take a picture and show the progress that is being made. Only 6 more donations to get there! If you feel moved to donate and do so through my FSP (link is above and also on the right side of my blog), please comment with the amount and color of heart you'd like. If you don't want your name/amount published, you can always e-mail me (skobenauf@gmail.com). I've also set up a GoFundMe account that you can donate to (here).

Please feel free to share my fundraiser, donation links, or blog with anyone you think would benefit from my journey. Thank you so much!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Magazine Fundraiser (and more!)

At any given time, there are dozens of people actively fundraising so that they can bring their adopted son or daughter home. Well, I'm adding another one into the mix but I'm trying something new -- a magazine fundraiser! There are two ways you can help:

1. Shop my online store filled with 1500+ amazing items -- I'll receive 40% of every purchase!
2. Share my fundraiser with your friends + family by posting it to Facebook + Twitter.

There are magazines with options for both a paper copy and a digital copy. We also have cookie dough, gifts, wraps, and accessories you can purchase!

Friday, January 24, 2014

What is Down Syndrome?

There isn't a lot of factually correct information about Down syndrome on the internet. Due to this, there is a lot of misconception about what Down syndrome really is and how it effects individuals.

Here are a few facts about DS (from ndss.org):

-- Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.

-- Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.

-- Down syndrome occurs in people of all races, nationalities, religion, and economic levels.

-- People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions, such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer's disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.

-- A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all.

-- Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades - from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.

-- People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways.

-- All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses.

-- Quality educational programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care, and positive support from family, friends, and the community enable people with DS to develop their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.

Most importantly, people with Down syndrome are more like others than they are different! They are just the same as you and me!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January Updates

First of all, I am hoping to finish my home study THIS WEEK! Well, I will have gotten all of the paperwork together, I just need to get it to my caseworker. One step closer, one step at a time. I will also be working on completing all of the paperwork for my dossier.

If you follow the link, you will find an auction to benefit us and another family (they're adopting FOUR children!). There are so many adorable items! Each item says which family it benefits. The auction ends 1/19. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.201479056710362.1073741846.100823080109294&type=3

My Pampered Chef party goes through the 17th. I will attach a link to the Facebook invite and the direct party link. The FB page shows the special purchase. If you purchase $60 in product, you can get your choice of spatula for FREE (mini-serving spatula, large serving spatula, or slice 'n serve). FB link: https://www.facebook.com/events/572779746148753/ or direct party link: http://new.pamperedchef.com/pws/bugaboo/guest-landing/8854022569115

You know the Etsy site where you can buy Pralines? Well now you can order ANYTHING off their page and I can get a portion of the sales! How wonderful is that!?! They have winter hats, dish cloths, an adorable tutu, scarves, and more! Here is the link to PlusOneAdoption: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PlusOneAdoption?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Also, please don't forget my Amazon link! It's already half way through the month and I haven't had any orders! http://www.amazon.com/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=obenfamiadop-20

Monday, December 30, 2013

We have a matching grant! + a few other fundraiser updates (mmm...pralines)!

One:
Currently, my FSP is at $410.61. Once it reads $500 ($89.39 more), I will have a matching grant of $100, bringing the total in my grant up to $600. This means that for every dollar you donate, I will receive about $2.12. You will more than double your money! BUT!!! It will not happen unless I get $89.39 more! The money is tax deductible so you have the potential to claim it on your taxes.

Two:
I am still selling my bath salts and body scrubs. $18 each, including shipping. The link is at the top of my blog. If you're interested in purchasing more than one, please e-mail me directly.

Three:
The owners of the Etsy shop PlusOneAdoption are generously donating a portion of their sales of pralines to me. The family that runs PlusOneAdoption is currently in the process of funding their own adoption as well! These pralines are $25 for a baker's dozen and come in 5 delicious flavors: Emily's Original, Bayou Bourbon, Café du Mile, and Ragin' Cajun Rum. When ordering, please make sure you select "Obenauf" on the family to benefit option. https://www.etsy.com/listing/165089800/pralines-bakers-dozen-of-one-pralines?ref=listing-shop-header-2&show_panel=true

Four:
As always, I have my Amazon link. It doesn't cost you anything to use it but a portion of your purchase does help me out. A win-win situation! http://www.amazon.com/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=obenfamiadop-20

Five:
In January, two wonderful ladies will be sponsoring an auction for both me and another lady (her and her husband are adopting FOUR special needs children from EE). If you have anything you'd like to donate, please e-mail me and I will put you in touch with one of the ladies putting the auction on. I will also update when I have the auction dates.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Time to get your bidding on!

The auction for Zola started last Thursday and will run until 8:00 pm EST on Wednesday evening (12/18/13). Please make sure to check the link and bid on something! There are still many items without bids!

The auction is on Zola's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HelpZola

And a few items: