Garage Sale Fun

We had a Bring-Nathan-Home garage sale a couple of weekends ago. Here are some pictures!

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Our friends collected all types of treasures for us from all over, and one special friend made some amazing goodies for the girls to sell. Peter thoroughly enjoyed playing with all the toys on the driveway! He was a little disillusioned when they began to disappear due to people purchasing them. ūüôā Mary’s favorite part was counting the money when it was all over!

The Dinner

Well, the big tri-tip and spaghetti dinner is over, and it was great! ¬†God blessed our efforts, just as He has done faithfully through this whole adoption process. ¬†Lots of people came, the food was delicious, and we had lots of fun serving it. ¬†Here’s a glimpse of the evening in pictures.

Steve coaches football at a local high school. Some of the guys came out to lend a hand with the advertising.

The football players at work in the drive-through.

It was a HOT day working in the drive-through!

Come One, Come All!

There’s no need for anyone to cook tomorrow night! ¬†We’re joining with one of the other families who’s adopting a child from China, and we’re having a tri-tip and spaghetti fundraiser dinner tomorrow night. ¬†On the menu is tri-tip, spaghetti, bread, corn, and homemade cupcakes with homemade frosting.¬† Mmm-mmm!¬† We are so excited!

The tri-tip, bread, and corn have all been donated.¬† We are amazed at the way God has worked on behalf of this dinner!¬† We have sold lots of tickets, our faithful friends have sold lots of tickets, and ticket sales are still going strong today!¬† Some people have donated money, even though they can’t come to the dinner.¬† We are super encouraged!¬† Our family has never done a dinner like this before.¬† The other family has, and they are amazing!¬† We’re following their organized lead and it looks like it’s going to be a splendid evening!

Our family is in charge of the drive-through and the decorating.  The girls have made signs to coax people in who are driving by.

Today my mom and I are busy making cupcakes and frosting and putting together the centerpieces for the tables.  Busy, busy!

See you tomorrow!

Garage Sales Are Great!

We are big garage sale fans. ¬†We have a garage sale at least once a year. ¬†This is largely due to the fact that Steve loves to gather other people’s discarded items and sell them. ¬†He saves his finds until we have enough to make for a solid garage sale, and then we go for it! ¬†Steve and I also love to organize and re-organize, so we always have plenty of our own stuff to add to his rescued treasures.

The girls love garage sale days.  They always have a cookie/brownie/muffin/punch stand.  The day before the sale, we bake and bake.  We go to the store to get cups for the punch, after getting the easel out of the garage and making a sign for it.  Emily readies the fanny pack to hold all their earnings, they coordinate what they are going to wear, and they are ready.  On the morning of the big sale, Steve wakes up super early and goes to get donuts.  Who can sleep with such anticipation?  Everything goes out on the driveway and we start selling, all the while munching on donuts.

Soon the girls are all set up with their stand. ¬†While the garage sale starts out with a bang, business is always a little slow for the girls at the beginning. ¬†One of my favorite garage sale moments was when one of the girls was getting pretty grumpy about the fact that no one was buying any punch or cookies at 8am.. ¬†I mentioned that people would probably be more likely to do business with them if they were friendly and smiling. ¬†One of the girls said, “I wouldn’t be so grumpy if they would buy something!” ¬†But just when they start to get frustrated by their lack of customers, it usually picks up.¬†¬†Soon, they’re asking me to make more cookies, and fast! ¬†Every couple minutes they run in the house, asking when the cookies will be done. ¬†They don’t want to lose a single customer! ¬†By early afternoon, the excitement has pretty much worn off and we’re over it. ¬†We close up shop, and go inside to count the money.

Taking a break from all the hard work selling cookies and punch!

The girls love to count their money.  They conscientiously count and re-count. Usually they have already made a plan for their earnings.  Almost always, they decide to use it for something together, rather than dividing it three ways.  After we decided to adopt, we had an adoption garage sale and they wanted their cookie/punch stand earnings to go toward the adoption as well.  God granted them more success than ever before and they had a blast, as always!  Here are some pictures.

Hurray for garage sales!

July 4th Smoothies, by Sarah

International adoption is a lot of work and costs a lot of money. ¬†There’s no way around it. ¬†That’s just the way it is. ¬†It seems so very wrong. ¬†There are approximately 153,000,000 orphans worldwide, with about 1,000,000 in China alone. ¬†With a need so great, one would think the process of adopting one of these children would not be overly difficult. ¬†Nothing is further from the truth. ¬†The piles of paperwork, length of time, and huge amount of money required keep most people from pursuing adoption. ¬†It is most definitely a daunting task. ¬†But… the need remains the same.

It’s been asked, “What difference does it make to adopt one child when there are millions who need adopting? ¬†In the vast sea of orphans, it doesn’t even make a dent.” ¬†But it does make a dent. ¬†It makes a difference to the one. ¬†In fact, it makes all the difference. ¬†And so for us, it is worth it. ¬†It is worth the time, money, and hassle.

We have been super encouraged by the fact that the adoption community has proven to be extremely helpful, supportive, prompt, kind, and largely committed to following the call of Christ in their lives. ¬†We have heard over and over that money doesn’t stop anyone who is following God’s lead to adopt. ¬†We have heard story after story of the amazing and miraculous ways that God has provided every cent that is needed. ¬† God cares about the orphans.

So, encouraged and pumped up, we’ve been doing some fundraising with two other families in town who are also adopting children from China. ¬†One family arranged for all of us to sell pre-made smoothies on July 4th. ¬†Hannah made smoothie costumes for the kids to wear, which were very cute and successful! ¬†Emily and Hannah also made July 4th key chains with handmade paper boxes to sell that day. ¬†We had a lot of fun and are thankful for the way God blessed our efforts.

Notice the homemade boxes, made by Emy. Hannah’s key chains are inside.

The Cookie Sale By Emily

When my teacher told me and my class about the orphans in Bulgaria, I felt mad that people would treat other human beings like they were animals. ¬†I wanted to do something about it. ¬†That was taken care of. ¬†My teacher had planned to do a cookie sale to ¬†raise money. ¬†My class would sell 5” ¬†cookies for a dollar every Friday after school. We did five cookie sales and raised over 1,000 dollars. ¬†We ¬†gave the money to Grace, a lady who is adopting from the orphanage in Bulgaria. ¬†She will take it with her when she goes to Bulgaria to get her daughter. ¬†She will put it to get a baba (a grandma who holds the babies at the orphanage) or formula. ¬†lovesransom.blogspot.com ¬†This is her blog that tells about her daughter that she is adopting and about the orphans in Bulgaria. ¬†Our class made signs that told what was for sale.

selling the cookies

our signs

On the day of the sale, some people carried the signs and some people helped sell the cookies.  I helped with both.  It was hard work, but it was fun.  When we were done with the sale, I helped count the money.  It was good practice for my math.  When the second sale came, my friends and me were running all over the place delivering cookies.  I liked running around and helping.  When all the sales were over,  I was sad.  I  still miss running around and screaming!!