Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Your Gifts are on their Way to Kaz!

All the gifts are finally wrapped, packed and on the way to Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan. I wish we could have gotten pictures that would show all of you how nice everything is that the 17 kids in Family #9 at the RBS Orphanage will be getting for their Holiday. We got 60% off, with 15% off that price for everything we bought. Even the toys were on sale. (Thanks for the tip, Ginny!) We have never gotten prices this good shopping for our grandchildren. Along with hoodies, sweaters and long sleeve shirts, we sent a Star Wars character for each boy and a Pet Shop doll and animal for each girl. We included bags and bags of candy and, of course, candy canes.

The clothing, toys, candy and paper products cost $548.97. The shipping was $230.94. The charge for having a person who works with The Antares Foundation deliver the three boxes is $30. The remaining balance is $220.09. I have asked if it would be possible to have a Christmas Party for the children and what the cost would be. I won't have that answer for about a week or so. I'll let you all know as soon as I get an answer. I'm sure we will have money left. There is a young girl who has Type I diabetes and has to get her insulin here in America. If everyone agrees, we can donate the remaining money for that purpose. Someone traveling for the adoption of their child brings the insulin with them for Diane.

Ken and I can not thank all of you enough for your generous donations. Christmas is traditionally a time of giving, but many do not think of those so much less fortunate than ourselves, our children and grandchildren. Seventeen children from the ages of eight to ten in an orphanage half-way around the world will receive a gift, something brand new just for them, from an American who cared. Puts a smile on our faces, for sure!
Ken and Barb

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Trip to New NYC and Radio City Music Hall

Ginny, Timmy, Jen, Michael, Ken and I had a great time in New York City with Zach, Kara and Ryan. The kids were captivated by the Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall. It was awesome to see their eyes so big and them so quiet. Of course, we made a trip to Toys R Us. I think it is the biggest toy store I have ever been in. Ryan loved the gigantic dinosaur. Then it was on to Rockefeller Center where Zach loved seeing all the American flags . You know, the Flag Day birthday boy. Seeing the Empire State Building tower shrouded in fog was eerie. We didn't go into St. Patrick's Cathedral. The last time I was in there, my sister, Suzy, got robbed. We had a great dinner at Tony Di Napoli's on 43rd and something street. The entrees they serve feed two to three people. We had fun choosing different dishes. I think we almost spent as much on the deserts as we did on the main courses. But they were awesome, as you can see with Kara enjoying her brownie chocolate sundae and Ryan loving all the whipped cream on his strawberry shortcake. The ride home was very quiet. Ryan fell fast asleep next to Papa. We were all exhausted. But we had a great day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Grand Total

This is a photo Ken and I received of Nina about six months after we became her sponsors. She looks so much happier than the first picture we had received of her. Knowing someone cares and loves you can make all the difference in the world in the heart of a child.

We have tallied our total through today's mail, and we are proud to say we have received $1030 to provide a beautiful Christmas for the seventeen children in Nina's family, Family #9, from our families and those as close to family as is possible. When we first began our quest, we never even imagined we would receive this amount of money. I know times are hard and we all have less than we did before the change in the financial status of the stock market and the escalation of food prices, clothing and just about every living expense we all incur. I knew Ken's and my family would come through for these orphans, as we all have first hand knowledge of what life in an orphanage is like for these children. We commend you all for your response to our plea. As my brother, Tim, asked me, "How much are you going to beg?" And my answer to him was, "As much as it takes." It certainly didn't take much. You all jumped on the band wagon and did more than your part.

All the needed gifts have been purchased. I have to make one more shopping trip for candy and wrapping paper. Then the wrapping begins. I even found a picture of Father Frost (Kaz's version of Santa) and The Snowmaiden (his helper) and made labels with their pictures for the packages. The boxes get mailed next week!!

Thank you just is not enough. We have always been able to count on our families, but this response has been overwhelming to us. As a piece of our hearts is with each child living in an orphanage world-wide, especially these older children whose chance of adoption is far less, we are so proud of all of you for caring. They will know someone cares and that alone will make all the difference in the world in the heart of each of these children.

God bless,
Ken and Barb

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Update on Christmas for Nina's Family

This is a picture of Nina's family, Family #9, we received shortly after we became her sponsor. As you can see, at least one child was cut out of the picture. Children are moved to a family by age. Therefore, family members change frequently. At this time there are 17 children in Family #9. It really bothers me that each family is a "number." I wish the orphanage's practice was to name each family something nice and warm. But that will never happen. We are buying two extra gifts in case children have been added to the family: one for a boy and one for a girl.

I want to update all of you on the amount of money donated so far to provide Christmas gifts for each child in Nina's family. We have a total of $895 to date. Ginny, Ken and I have already purchased hoodies and sweaters for all the children. We still need nine shirts. We would like to buy a small toy for each child. These children only have candy when their sponsors send it to them, so we want to buy some chocolate and candy canes. We have to see how far the money goes, as shipping costs will be in the hundred's.

I can not begin to tell you how proud I am of our family and Ken's. One of my dearest friends, who is much more like a sister to me, and her three children made a very large donation. I can not thank them enough.

I am hoping The Antares Foundation (the not-for-profit organization we work through) will be provided with pictures of the children with their gifts. I would love to share them with all of you.

There is still time to make donations. The additional money received will be used toward the cost of shipping. Again, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
The Hines Family

Friday, November 7, 2008

Coach Dave, Can I Play?

Hey Uncle Dave here's my recruiting video. I hope this file isn't too big to play - maybe I can teach your boys a thing or two!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Day at the Farm

We spent last Saturday with Zach, Kara and Emily at Liberty Ridge Farm. Zach loved the carts you peddle. Kara and Zach loved the gigantic wheels on tracks you have to make move along the track by running inside them. Emily's favorite were the animals. It was a fun day. Next year Alex will be old enough to come along. But we would need to bring two cars. One of ours is not big enough for my four little ones!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Send Off for Kiki and Scott - November 16, 2008

Please join us Sunday, November 16 to wish Kiki and Scott well before they leave for sunny California. Stop in between 1pm and 3pm to 11 Roosevelt Court for cake, coffee and conversation. I know Kiki and Scott would love to see their family and friends before they leave.

Daddy's Girl

Halloween 2008

Hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween! As you can see Kaitlyn and Carrick did! Kaitlyn wanted to be a mouse and Carrick was a dog - we wanted a baseball player but he cried when he saw Kaitlyn was going to be a furry mouse and then he asked to be a dog. The last picture is Kaitlyn's preschool class. Her best friend is Batman. He won't even go into school unless Kaitlyn is with him.

Christmas for the Orphanage - Remember the Children

Hi everyone. I have received donations for Nina's Family Christmas, but need lots more to be able to buy these wonderful, unfortunate children a gift of their very own for Christmas. So far we have donations of $720.00. We really need at least $200.00 more. Please send your donations soon. Ginny and I have to get out and finish shopping. Everything needs to be mailed by mid-November. Share what this donation is for with your children, as one of my nieces and nephews have. It is a wonderful time to show them that Christmas is giving, not only receiving. The Antares Foundation Blog is listed on the right side of this blog. Share it with my nieces and nephews! Please help these children. The shipping alone will be at least $200.00. Thank you to all those who have been so generous. Just think of the smiles on the faces of all the children in Nina's family. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
(Aunt)Barb and (Uncle)Ken

Halloween 2008

Ken and I had a great time with our four monsters Halloween. I think it would have been so appropriate if that is what they had all been dressed as. Zach was in his glory as a Star Wars character, which one I have no clue. Kara was a beautiful vampire, loving wearing her goulish dress and all that makeup. It was so funny to see Emily as as the sweet, girly Sleeping Beauty she was. Then there was Alex, his happy, smiley self. He was a cowboy riding his horse and thought it was great. I wonder what our two year old really thought of the day. We had another awesome Halloween with our grandchildren, the loves of our lives.

Saturday, November 1, 2008