Friday, August 30, 2013

Flash Back Friday - Mathare Slum Kenya

I came across these boys enjoying a game of tetherball and couldn't help but stop and watch them for awhile.
They paid me no attention, unlike the many others that I had following me.
They were having so much fun with this game they made from a string and a soda bottle.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

3rd Birthday in Pink Princess Party Style!

We missed the 1st and 2nd birthdays, so we wanted to go big with her 3rd. Pinterest to the rescue, although a broken front axle on our ailing van held us up in Calgary, so it cut my preparation efforts down to a day and half... never the less, we think it was pretty pinktastic!

I had started with an over sized 3d collage. I wanted the collage to be her first 3 years. Unfortunately, I don't have many photos of her before we met her, but the few we had were certainly enjoyed by everyone.

Luckily, I had started this weeks ago. Let me tell you, it was not an easy project. If you are interested in making one, I have posted some shots below that will show how I made it. After the structure is complete, you cut and paste photos with Mod Podge.

I hung pink plastic table clothes from the dollar store, to look like curtains, tied back with tiaras.

I made tissue paper pom poms, and suspended them from the ceiling with fishing line. Tutorial Here. I did cut mine in various shapes and sizes for variety, and hung them at different heights.

Sparkly pink tulle from Walmart adorned our chairs.


Water bottle labels that I created on PicMonkey.

'Morning Dew' made from pink lemonade and lemon/lime soda, garnished with strawberries.
Cute little Tea Sandwiches, cut out with cookie cutters. We had 2 flavors, strawberry cream cheese/banana and marshmallow puff/strawberries. Yumm!
'Royal Gem' fruit salad, which I provided wooden skewers so the kids could make their own kabobs.

Pink Popcorn was a hit! Recipe Here.
Pink Strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese icing.


The refreshment table, if I would have had more time, I would have added the pink plastic table cloth curtains the back dining room wall.

For activities, we had a few different stations.

'The Royal Closet' which provided dress up fun!
 Princess Spa
We also had a couple other stations that I didn't get a chance to get photos of. We had the Royal Crowns, which was tiara and crown making. Tiaras were made out of hair bands, pipe cleaner and beads and the crowns were foam crowns purchased from the dollar store which we provided glitter etc for decorating. We also have the Palace Painting station, where the kids painted wooden masks, also purchased from the dollar store.
Zahra actually was actually catching up on her beauty sleep when the guests started to arrive. When she woke up, she was excited that 'her party' was finally here.
She was a little shy being the centre of attention, so she asked if her sister could help her blow out her candles.
Because I'm always behind the camera, this is the only photo I have of me on her birthday. You can see my pink highlight. Yes, I dyed my hair pink for her party!
When it came time to open presents, she once again felt a little shy with all eyes on her, so she asked her sister and friends for a little help.

It didn't take long though before she got into the swing of things.
After the children went to bed, this is how the parents ended the evening... with Pink Champagne.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Exciting News!!

I have some great news to share with you... !

One of my hearts greatest desires while in Kenya, has come true. During our stay in Kenya, I had the opportunity to meet and get to know some of the greatest children. My heart was heavy for them as I knew they would never have the opportunity to have a forever family.

While Hannah taught me so much about Kenya and the orphan crisis, I was able to put a little seed in her heart. You see, she didn't know much about adoption, and didn't think much about it either. Could parents actually love and care for a child that isn't theirs they way they could a biological child? And what about a child of a different race?

Adoption is not as socially acceptable in Kenya as it is in other parts of the world. If a child was adopted, it was kept a secret.

It wasn't until Hannah met us and our other Canadians friends when she saw the bond and love that we shared with our children, before she realized that adoption can actually work. She believe that God has used us to open her eyes and her heart, and now she is ready to let go of the children she loves so dearly because she can see how much brighter their lives can be in a forever family.

Before I left for Kenya, I spoke with the board members of Mogra about the possibility of becoming licensed for adoption. Hannah and I visited and observed the operations of the largest Orphanage in Kenya, who has successfully adopted 1400 (as I recall, may have been more) children. They way I saw it, adoption brings about 3 benefits. First, as much as any orphanage can provide for a child, they simply cannot give a child what a forever family can. They can't give them a Mom and Dad at the dinner table, an arm to walk them down the isle, a home to go home to for the holidays... security in a place to call home and know they will forever belong and be loved... etc. In addition to this, if we are really in this business to save children, there is no better way to save more than to facilitate the ones we have to Forever Families, to make room for more children. When I was in Kenya, people were literally banging on the Mogra door pleading them to take more kids. Babies who had nowhere to go. Mogra only has so much room, and as things were with 4 babies to a crib... many children were turned down. The equation is simple then... the more children adopted out, the more children they can welcome in and literally save! As a bonus to this all, adoption will raise awareness to all the other programs they are struggling with, like the Mogra Star School and their feeding program... assisting children in the slums.

So I guess you have figured out where I am going with this?

Mogra is now licensed to adopt!

Even more exciting, they have actually just adopted out the first baby! As many of you who have been to Mogra, will know Teddy. 11 months now, Teddy is always a happy baby and one of the favorites. Teddy has been adopted by an American family who currently reside in Kenya. They are head over heels for Teddy, and from the photos, I can tell that Teddy is very much enjoying his new family!

And if you don't think God has hand in these matches, or believe in fate... Teddy's first name is the same as his adopted Father and Grandfather!

Teddy got the ball rolling, and since then, Rose (Teddy's crib mate) has also been adopted by a local Kenyan family and many other have been referred and are just waiting for their families to come to Kenya! I simply cannot tell you what a smile this puts on my face, when I think of these babies in families!

To keep up on the latest news from Mogra, please join their facebook page and help us raise awareness to the great work they are doing!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pink Princess Party

I thought I would share our invitations that I made for Zahra's Welcome Home/ Birthday Party. We really want to have a large celebration to not only celebrate her 1-2-3rd birthday, but also as a special day to share her with our family/friends and celebrate her coming into our family and home. We are going to do this party up big and PINK. Look out Pinterest!