Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Introducing Isaac!

Isaac is a singer.  On December 2, many of the kids from SCH competed in the Special Olympics.  Isaac won a singing competition and got an award!  Here he is singing his song.

Isaac's challenge is nystagmus (both eyes shake from left to right) although he had surgery for that in April 2008 which helped to stem it.  He also has some mild speech issues.

Isaac goes out to private school and is of average to above-average ability.  Because he spent most of his years in the gov't orphanage, he never had the opportunity to go to school and thus he is delayed.  He just turned 9 years old.
He likes the ocean, riding in the car and his best friend, Caleb (whom you already met).

Caleb (on left) and Isaac (right)

Isn't he a CUTIE!?


We passed $4000 today!

Thank you to Staci & Robert
Bridget and Family (who put us over the top!)

Now I challenge you, if you have been planning to donate but have not yet, PLEASE, still do! Let's see if we can make $4500 before we leave! There is much good to be done for Sarah's kids and God has big plans for the money you are sharing!

I knew all along God would provide the funds for this endeavor! Isn't he awesome?

On the note of things for Sarah's kids, I bought a set of student clocks today for $9 (set of 12) so that I can demonstrate with the big clock and the kids can make the times on their little clocks.

We (RoseBud and I went shopping today) also got some more things for the touchy-feely books. We got the thingys that go on the bottoms of your chair legs, both the felt and the rubber ones, some acrylic scrapbook stickers, as well as some metal flower stickers and some gems (probably all choking hazards, now that I think about it--they'll have to read them with supervision) and we bought some permanent markers. Total for Target was $28, so total for today was $37.

RoseBud and I also bought a bunch of stuff for our trip
Pepto Bismol
Hand wipes (antibacterial)
Conditioner (for smothering tiny living creatures that crawl in your hair)
Granola Bars, fruit snacks (for RoseBud, not me!), prunes (for both of us, because we love them) and tuna in a pouch (in case we are starving somewhere, I guess)
A new document pouch because the zipper on my other REALLY NICE one BROKE!
Bungee cords (RoseBud thought for, you know, bungee jumping LOL) for attaching our suitcases together
Ziploc bags
A lice comb (ewwww!)
Laundry soap in a convenient travel size
A neck pillow (will the airlines even let us bring that???)

Total (this was NOT kid money...this was OUR trip money) $105.10 Yikes! We did buy a lot of granola bars.

Wanna know what I'm packing? 5 t-shirts, a skirt, a pair of tan capris, pajamas (1 pair), my salwar kameez, (see photo)

and a pair of sandals. Oh, and some unmentionables, which I won't mention! Y'all don't need to know about my unmentionables. Not that I'm mentioning them.

All are snuggly rolled and sealed into 3 gallon ziplocs. Or 4. I think 4, but there is room in the fourth one. The sandals aren't rolled. You can't roll sandals. Actually, they are still in the basement and I should run and get them right now, before I forget them and end up in India with only my dark brown suede Land's End mocs. That would make a fashion statement. Oh, and must run to get our electrical adapter. Forgot that this morning, too. Good thing I'm planning ahead! I have lots of time to remember the things I forgot!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Packing, Packing and more Packing!

I have 3 suitcases full (one for the master, one for the dame, one for the little boy who lives down the lane!).

Two are nearly full to the top with the uniforms from Land's End. I also fit the Teaching Clock in with the clothes as I wanted it padded so it wouldn't be cracked banging against other luggage. We'll see how it arrives.

In the third suitcase, I fit most of the teaching supplies I have already purchased. Yay! I was expecting them to fill up both of our remaining pieces of luggage.

The fourth suitcase is begun with the bare books and a big stack of paper I'm bringing for doing projects.

Still to fit in the suitcase: The laminated posters of the continents (may have to decide not to bring these...), any reproducibles I still have to make for our lessons, and our overflow from our carry-ons. I also need to get the liquids (shampoo, medicines) into the checked bags as you know the rule about 3 small liquid things in your carry-on! One of these will need to be toothpaste for our LONG arrival!

It will take us two full days, plus a little bit, just to get to Hyderabad (52 hours!) Granted, we have some significant layovers, but several of them take place in the middle of the night. Nothing like being forced to be wide awake just when you want to be asleep!

Also today, I cut out felt outfits for our felt puppets. Ours will not be THIS cute, but RoseBud pronounced them cute nonetheless. I made simple robes for them, felt hair in several colors, 3 crowns, a halo (oops, just realized I forgot to make wings!), a cross, a tomb and some gifts. Can you guess what we'll be acting out? Oh, also made a little baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes (totally random aside: in our Christmas Eve sermon, our pastor read from the New Living Translation (I think) and it says that Baby Jesus was wrapped snuggly in [some sort of cloths]. Anywho, it sounded like she wrapped him in a SNUGGIE when he read it! That gave me a snicker in church)

I also had RoseBud begin cutting out the continents I photocopied. She didn't get very far before running off to go sledding.

10 days from now we'll be leavin' on a jet plane! Whoo hoo! Pray for excellent winter flying weather, please!

Oh, and thank you to
Scott & Shawn
Gus & Julie (and family)
Jon & Aleta

Meet Christina!

Christina is 10 years old and she goes out to a private school. Her main challenges are some learning challenges, especially retention of what she's been taught, and speech issues.

She loves to dance and is very talented at it. She even got a major role in her school's dance program!

Isn't she beautiful? I love her big, bright smile! I can't wait to meet Christina. Word has it, she's also a great snuggler!

Video of Christina (and Christopher) singing Happy Birthday

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Tripmates

Leslie, adoptive mom of 2 from India.  Her daughter Nandini was at BSSK with Sunshine.  Organizing the trip.

Faye, fellow blogger, tagging along on our trip.  She will be staying with RoseBud and me at our hotel in Newark and the 3 of us are going to the Statue of Liberty on our layover!  She didn't know any of us before signing up to go.

Cherie, lived in Mexico doing missions for 5 years

Emily, her 13 yo daughter

Scott and daughters Kailee and Katie (18 and 16)

Linda, John and their dd Sam (age 16)

That's our official group, all 12 of us! 

There is also Erin, who is going on her own and staying a whole month, but who will be there at the same time we are.  She actually arrives a day after we do.

And that's all I know about everybody!

Thank you to Charlie and Cynthia for their donation!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and some Thank You's!

Thank you to

Larry & Rita
Howard & Denise (and Sri)
Jill & Tom

and to Mr. GT who raised $395 by "giving away" his candy!
Thanks to candy donors
Me (hey, I didn't even get any!)
and all the very generous people at American Girl

and to Nonny who kicked in an extra $5 to make it an even $400 (because you know that, except for parentheses, there is nothing I like better than for things to be even and symmetrical!)

Luke 2:10-15 (New International Version)

10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14"Glory to God in the highest,
      and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

From BibleGateway

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bare Books

One of the projects I want to do with the kids we work with is to make books with them.  I bought these "Bare" books--essentially blank books that we can illustrate and make into books.

I chose board books because I want my kids to make books for the younger kids.  Board books are chunky little books with thick cardboard pages, perfect for toddlers and little kids (they can't rip the pages!)

I'm thinking we'll make color books and my kids can read the books to the younger kids and help them learn colors, English names for colors and signs (sign language, which is what many of the non-verbal kids are learning) for the colors.  This will be as simple as coloring the pages with a marker or drawing pictures of something that color and possibly labeling the page with the name of the color.

What I love about this project is that it will reinforce the learning for the kids making the books by teaching someone else. (even if they know their colors, they can practice on their English by labeling)  Also I love the servant aspect of the project and I think they will be thrilled to do a project which will bless someone else.

I have several projects like that planned.

In addition to the color books, I'd like to make texture books.  I'm brainstorming right now what things would be easy to bring and stick into the books.  I've got velcro (both the fuzzy and the picky sides), sandpaper, felt.  There I'm stumped.  Anyone have any suggestions for some relatively flat, easy to glue in items that have interesting textures?

And the third book I'd like to make with them is some sort of Bible story book where they can "read" the story to the younger kids.

Cost for the Bare Board Books:  $39 for 30 books. (shipping was a very reasonable $3 and they came in about 3 days!  I was very impressed!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Meet the Kids We'll be Working With: Caleb

I'd like to introduce you to some of the kids we'll be teaching when we go to SCH.  I'll be talking about them while we're there (hopefully!  I hope I can get internet access)  and it will be good for you to have an idea of who they are.

Caleb is 12 years old.  He has cerebral palsy and some speech issues.  He is incredibly determined and a very hard worker!  Caleb is enrolled in private school and though he began in a preK program, (because he had never been given the opportunity in his previous orphanage to get an education) he quickly moved into the first grade.

Here's some more of his story.   Click on the link and watch the video of him saying his alphabet.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to fall in love with this little boy!

Indian Jingle Bells

There are a couple of versions out there on YouTube, but this one has the best picture. It does lose the sound after a minute. Oh well. It's so cute!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

More Thanks

Annette & Jack
Doug & Sandy
Jack & Therese
Len & Emmy
Pam & Harlow
Mike & Janet

Thank you!  Thank you!  We are so close!  God is going to do this!!

And a very big thank you (and a kiss!) to Mr. GT, who every Christmas makes over 3000 pieces of candy and gives them away, but who this year sent out a little note at work to trade boxes of candy for a $10 donation.  I'll post the results of this effort soon.  That amount is not yet included in today's total.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Only in India!

It's only dye!
Originally uploaded by journeymama

This is little Solo, 1ish son of Rae, who writes my favorite blog in India. She captures India so well and reading her blog lets me feel, a little bit, that I am there.

Go read about what happened to Solo!

Naughty Cat, Poetic Girl

Pepper just cracks me up!

Saffron keeps trying to climb into my Oriental Trading Company box.  It's a huge cardboard box, and I have the lid folded closed (you know, with the flaps tucked into each other)  The only opening is a slit in the top.

Saffron managed to work himself into the box (with the lid still closed).

Pepper is trying to learn her multiplication facts on the computer, next to the box.

She's already frustrated by multiplication.  Now she has to keep disciplining the cat.

I hear her shout:  "Saffron!  No!  I know your schemes and your plans and you may not go in there!"  She lifts him off and sets him on the ground.  

Not 30 seconds later, I hear her again, "No you may not go in there!!!!!!  That is a command and a rule that you are not allowed to break!"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Preschool Christmas Program

Sunshine the Shepherd

Jesus Step by Step

Hi Mom!!!

Shepherds come to the manger

Kneeling at the manger (sorta)

Better hurry back to the sheep!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Help a Starfish, or Why I Get Involved

(this version of the story is from StarfishNetwork

The story is told of a man walking along a beach the morning after a storm had passed through. The sand was littered with starfish that had been washed ashore. Down the beach he noticed a young boy picking up starfish and throwing them into the water. As he approached, he asked what the boy was doing. The boy didn’t hesitate as he explained that the sun was coming up and it would kill the starfish if they didn’t get back into the ocean. The man laughed and said, “There are thousands of starfish on miles of beach, you can’t possibly make a difference.” As the boy picked up another starfish and threw it back into the ocean he said, “Well, it sure will make a difference to that one.” 

If you let the thought of all the trouble in the world overwhelm you, you will drown.  Don't try to do it all.  Don't try to help everyone.  Find your passion, choose your starfish and throw just that one back.  It will make a difference to THAT one.

Monday, December 14, 2009

India is Gorgeous

Banana Boy wrote and choreographed this song himself. Please ignore the mess behind him.

India is in Asia
India is in Asia
India is a beautiful place
India is gorgeous

And One More Purchase

One more purchase to report.

Boys' underwear (1 pkg = 6 pair/$5.99)
2 pkgs size 4
1 pkg size 6

Girls' panties (1 pkg = 10 pair/$6.54) (why are girls' unders such a better deal???)
2 pkg size 4
1 pkg size 6
1 pkg size 8

Socks (1 pkg = 6 pair/4.99)
1 pkg 6-12 mo.
1 pkg 12-24 mo.
1 pkg 2T-3T
1 pkg 4T-5T

3 pkg Pampers Preemie Swaddler diapers @ 8.99 each (on sale)

Total: $96.07 (why does that add up so fast????)

Weighed my two already-packed suitcases the other day and one came to 20 lbs and the other to 25 lbs. I was really encouraged by that because
1) I have to drag these through like 5 airports
2) I won't have to pay extra fees for overweight luggage
3) I can stick MORE stuff in them!

The first two suitcases hold a bunch of Land's End school uniform clothing I got at the tent sale in August. Oxford shirts were about $3 each, dress pants were about $5, polos were $3. Really good deals to be had. It's almost all boys' clothes, but Sarah's boys will look fabulous! (BTW, this was not paid for with donation money--Mr. GT and I donated this)

Is This the Cutest Thing EVER????? (or what!)

...the shirt, I mean, not Rose Bud!

It looks way tinier in person.  It's a 0-3 mo. fleece sweatshirt from Land's End.  I was at the inlet the other day and found this on the clearance rack for (are you ready?) $3.50!!!  Won't that be CUTE on one of the babies?

I also found 2 size 4 fleece sweatshirts for some of those skinny-no-body-fat little peanuts Sarah just brough home. (They were less than $9 each) and some socks for $1 a pair and a teeny-tiny pair of knit shorts.  CA-YUTE!

So, I spent another $27.38.  I know.  This was sort of whim shopping, but those kids are SO skinny!  And it gets down to about 60 degrees there now.  There's even times of the year when they wear stocking hats.  I know from experience, those tropical kids can't handle the cold weather.  Banana Boy still hates to play outside in the winter and it took TWO years before he could even get dressed up in his snow stuff and stay out more than 5 minutes!

So one of you who gave about $25, you claim this purchase in your heart.  Know that you made some little ones very, very warm!

Your Dollars at Work

Another report on the spending of the money.

When RoseBud and I go, our main task will be teaching a group of children in a sort of mini-camp. Sarah has asked that we work with the kids on learning the continents and oceans, telling time, some science projects, Bible stories and sewing.

In preparation for that, I purchased some supplies from Oriental Trading Company to bring along. Not only did I have a coupon for free shipping, but it also included 15% off the whole order! I was thrilled to be blessed with such a good deal on OTC's already great prices! (for the best deals in coupons, check out RetailMeNot. Just type in the name of the website you want to shop at and you will find any coupons there might be out there. I love this site!)

So, here is what I bought from OTC:

Changing Faces Clock
3 sets of smooth cut scissors (I took a chance on these--I am a strict Fiskars fanatic and refuse to buy any other scissors for our kids' use. They are sharp and last forever. But these OTC scissors are very good and I'm happy with them. Sarah asked for scissors)
12 magnifying glasses
color mixing paddles
felt puppets
(these are just the bodies in various skin tones. We'll decorate them there)
50 felt sheets, asstd colors
scratch art crosses
nativity foam stickers
rhinestone cross ornaments
resurrection craft
valentine foam stamps
foam weaving placemats (fits in with the sewing unit)
5 million glue dots (best price I've found)
Continent posters
5000 tissue paper squares (saves me having to cut up all the tissue paper)
1000 tissue paper strips (ditto)
faux leather coin purses to sew (comes prepunched with laces, for sewing unit)

Total: $177 with discount. If anyone would like an itemized list, I can provide that for you.

I'll be posting more about the specific projects we'll be doing with the kids. I'm really excited about this! Sarah had chosen 7 or 8 kids with whom we'd be working, but she asked if she could add a few more to our group. She said the kids are really excited about doing this with us!

A Very Special Thank You

to Daisy, who shared $12.51 from her allowance. She's been saving it up for quite awhile.

And also to Banana Boy, who for Christmas gave me $11.20.  This included his $10 bill from his birthday.  Isn't that sweet?  Mr. GT said BB had been plotting for 2 weeks about sharing this with the kids in India.  He kept asking if they could use dollars in India.

Thank you also to
Nate & Susan
Mark & Lori
Wayne (again)
Lynn & Erik
Scott & Tracey
Keith & Teresa
Ron & Suzanne
Chad & Jenny
Stan & Mary

Thursday, December 10, 2009

When Your Cat Dies and Goes to Heaven

it will look like this.

Important to know:  There is also a fire burning in this room.

25 below outside, happy cat inside.

Please note:  No cats were harmed or killed in the making of this post.  Spider is fine.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

You Are All So Generous!

Thank you to

Barb & Keith
Tim & Gayle
Linda & David
Amy & Tom (& kids, I'm sure!)
Michelle & Terry

We are getting so close!  Less than $1400 to go!

Sarah is looking at wheelchairs today, and from what she said yesterday, there might be some good ones available for between $100 and $400.  I would really like to help to purchase at least one.  I will also be sending a check very soon to help out with some of the immediate expenses with the new kids.  Thank you everyone SO much for your generosity!

Please spread the word of this ministry and share Sarah's blog with others.  The more people who see it, the more who are available to help.  And if this ministry touches you, please consider sponsoring a child!  Any amount, given on a regular basis is a HUGE help to Sarah's ministry.  Remember, she has not corporate sponsors, as of yet.  All funds to run the homes come strictly from individual donors like you.

I have been so blessed by everyone's generosity in helping me fundraise for this trip.  God's blessings!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Visas came today!!!!

We applied for 10 year visas and they were granted!  Yippee! 

I was pretty certain I would get one.  The cost for a 6-month visa to India is $60.  A 5-year visa is $150 and a 10-year visa is also $150!  In addition to the visa fee, there is a $13 processing fee each time you apply and about $5 to FedEx it there and $21 to FedEx it back.  So to apply for a 6-month visa twice in 10 years (I've already been there THREE times in 10 years! well....It will be 3 times after this trip)  So to apply for a 6-month visa twice in 10 years is $60 x 2, plus $13 x 2, plus $26 x 2 (assuming the costs don't go up) for a grand total of (wait, I'm getting my calculator, because, while I am love math and all it entails, I did to be an airhead when doing calculations.  I also really love parentheses (I'm sure I give you Grammar Heads out there a headache) and tangents (another math item))))))))))) (did I get them all closed???)

Grand total of...$198 (that was two 6-month visas).  One 10-year visa was $189.

Are you bored yet?

I also got RoseBud a 10-year visa.  We DID debate the wisdom of that, seeing as how she is just 14 and it added some money to the cost of this trip.  But again, this is her 2nd trip in 3 years and we plan to take a family trip with the boys in 6 years or so.  What it came down to was that I asked her what SHE thought about it.  She brought up needing it for the family trip and we also discussed the possibility of her doing an exchange program or some sort of service trip in college.  I was so pleased that she was open to such a possibility and that India has captured her heart, too!  She is such a great kid!

One more interesting (to me) note about the visas, is that apparently you aren't automatically granted a 10-year visa, just because you apply for one.  Another person going to SCH when we are there was granted only a 5-year.

BTW, the visa is permission to enter the country to which you are traveling. You must apply to that country's consulate here in America and they decide whether to grant permission for you to enter their country.  The visa is a sticker glued into your passport and the customs/immigration folks check it when you enter the country.  At that point, they give you a cool little rubber stamp in your passport to show that you were checked upon entry.

Here ends today's visa tutorial.

(Last interesting factoid:  You cannot use your Visa to apply for your visa.  They only take a money order!)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Sweet Story

Here is the sweetest note I got in the mail from our very elderly former neighbor:

Dear Friend:
So glad to hear from you and about what you are about to do.  I'm not very good at writing but I'm afraid you'll just have to put up with it as my sister (whom he lives with) just isn't up to it.  She is sick to the extent that she just can't sit down and write a letter. At any rate we would certainly like to help if we can although it won't be so very much.  Enclosed find check.

Isn't that sweet?  Letter writing is definitely a lost art.  That an 85 year old man would take the time to write such a nice little note just blew me away!

Oh, and the "not so very much" help?  $200.  God is so very good!

Thank you to
Bob & Becky
Don & Dorothy
Stephanie & Jim
Dave & Ann

Sarah has been introducing the new children over the last few days, so if you haven't been over to her blog lately, do check it out. 

And now see several of her new kids:

This is April.  Isn't she beautiful?  She has no eyes and is blind.  Because she has been so neglected and unloved, she won't let anyone touch her.  She won't accept human touch.  At all.  She just sucks her thumb non-stop and lives in her own little world.

And what about this cutie-patootie!  Is she not the most adorable thing you've ever seen?  At two months old, she weighs 2.2 lbs.  She is VERY malnourished!

And then there is Shalene.  She is definitely not an adorable baby.  She is in her mid-teens and has been shifted from home to home.  She was promised rehabilitative services, but was then rejected at that place and left (unannounced, really) back at her original place.  As a disabled female orphan in India, she has no way to advocate for her rights or even for decent human care and respect.  Can you see that in her face?  I can't wait to see that face change over the course of the next 6 months with love, care, respect and basic human dignity she will be afforded now.

Really, have you ever seen such hopelessness?

Please pray for all these children, for their survival and growth under Sarah's care.  Pray for compassionate and loving staff to be hired to love on these kids.  Pray for the financial resources to come forward to provide for all their needs.  And please pray that we will be shown how we can make the biggest impact when we are there.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Over Halfway!

We've bumped over $2000!  God is so awesome!

Thank you to

Corey & Karen
Keith & Kim
James & Anita
Greg & Shannon

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The First Little Boy

Oh, my word.  Everyone knows there is suffering in this world.  Everyone knows there are orphans in the world.  Everyone knows there are things that break your heart in this world.

We aren't very often touched by it in America.

Be touched today.  Read about the first of the new children Sarah has.  His name is Jaron and he makes me want to fly there today, just to hold him and assure him that the world is NOT a terrible place.

Thankfully, Sarah IS doing that.  He is already responding to her and even laughing a little.

Romans 8:28 (New Living Translation)

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 

God can turn even the worst suffering, into good.  And through Sarah, he is. 

I can't wait to be a part of this!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Random November

Sunshine and Banana Boy sitting on my lap (drawing by Sunshine)

Saw this giant caterpillar in my yard one day...

Mary, Joseph  and  the infant flee to Egypt?

No room in the inn....

The day the cows got out!

Turkey One

What?!  It's a nice bed!

Turkey Two

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Thank You's

Thank you to

Cindy & Doug
Paul & Karen
Ron & Sue

Look at our total! We're only $60 away from $2000! We're half-way there!

BTW, do you remember what my goal was? I was counting on 100 donations of $20 and 10 donations of $200.

(I just love statistics!)

Do you know how many donors have put together the $2000? Only 29! TWENTY-NINE people/couples have donated $2000! People have been VERY generous and I am so grateful to each and every one of you!

Have you shared yet? Only 23 of my one hundred $20-donors have given. There are still EIGHTY of you out there! 80 times 20 is $1600 more dollars!

You might think that your little bit doesn't matter, but IT ALL ADDS UP! I'm counting on the small donors to help me reach my goal.

(BTW--even if you give $5, it makes a difference! It pairs up with a $15 donation and BLAM! Another $20 reached!)

I know God is working on this, and I'm still feeling really patient. It's not what I am doing with this, but what HE is doing! I am amazed every day at how He is providing for Sarah's kids.

Pop on over to the Chip-In. Don't be shy! Or email me at sandwichinwi at gmail dot com for an address to which you can mail a check.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The New Kids? There are FOUR TIMES as many as originally promised

Remember how Sarah was supposed to get 10 new kids? Well, the number has jumped to 40! FORTY! She needs help more than ever now!

Let me explain about these kids. They are currently living in a nearby, huge government orphanage. They have all been abandoned or relinquished by their parents. They are all classified as "mentally retarded" (this term is still used in India). Most of them have cerebral palsy. Some are blind. Some have other disorders.

They all are very neglected, weak and sickly. Here is what Sarah said on November 15:

Went and visited them on Friday. There are 24 children in the room for kids with multiple handicaps. They all look horrible. November is the last month of the monsoon and then there's winter. This is a cold season, especially for malnourished, incontinent, immuno-compromised children in a room with no heat, lying on a stone tile floor with no diapers and very little clothing. One 8-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, "V", is wheezing deeply and they all look terribly weak.

My spirit is groaning for them.

I can't see making any of them wait longer for affection and treatment.

Did you catch the conditions under which they are living right now? Can you imagine that children in America would be allowed to be treated that way?

In India, children with disabilities are considered to be the tangible evidence of a horrible sin their parent has committed. If people see that you have a disabled child, they will "know" you have done something terrible. So the people believe. Thus, disabled children are almost always abandoned by their parents, even if the parents love them. There are also few resources for treatment and care--even Sarah has trouble finding proper wheelchairs--there just aren't any. And nothing is handicapped accessible anyway.

There is so much more I could say, but please, please, just pray for the children, the caregivers and for the innumerable needs of all these children to be met.

If you feel so led, PLEASE go to Sarah's blog and give something. The amount of equipment, diapers, bedding, Pediasure, caregivers, space --everything to bring in these new kids is astounding.

If you would like to help Sarah directly, NOW, and you do, please let me know that you have, or leave a comment for Sarah that you know me, and I will add it to my $4000 fundraising total. It seems silly to have me sit on the money until January when Sarah needs it so much now.

If you prefer to still give to my fund and have me take it in January, that is fine, too. Just click on the Chip-In above or email me at sandwichinwi at gmail dot com for an address for sending a check.

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yes, I spent donation money

I had a question from someone today. Yes, it was $255 of the money donated so far that I was describing yesterday. Sorry for not being more clear.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another thank you and a report on the first distribution

A heartfelt thank you to

Arnold & Francine

As you may have read yesterday and today on this blog, Sarah has had a big week! One of the children, Justin had a serious stroke and had to be taken to the hospital in Ongole, then transferred to Hyderabad, a much bigger city with many more medical resources.

If you've been reading Sarah's blog, you've seen her other big news. She has been expecting a new group of children from the government orphanage. Currently she has 44 in two separate homes. This new group was to be 10 more.

Then it was 25 more by Christmas.

On the same day Justin had his stroke, Sarah got a call that the new group will be all 34 severely disabled children at the gov't orphanage AND....


Needless to say, Sarah has a lot on her plate this week! In addition to the unexpected expense of Justin's medical bills (expected to run $1500), there will be new expenses for the new children.

Sarah posts little tickers (interactive charts that tally donations--like a little thermometer) on her blog to show needs and donations. There were two tickers that have been hanging out there for a long time.

One was a collection for new beds for the first group of 10 children. Sarah estimated that $250 would buy a bed frame, mattress, mattress cover, two bedsheets, two pillows, four pillowcases, and one blanket. 10 sets of beds and beddings was $2500 and for over a week now, she has been just $63 from reaching that goal. So I covered that.

There was also a ticker to cover the cost of Grandma Suganam's cataract surgery, of which there was $188 remaining. I also covered that. (Here is the 1st part and the 2nd part of that story. Please do read it and see how your donation helped one of the sweet nannies who cares for the children to read her Bible!)

Including a little extra which will hopefully cover whatever little bit needed to wire the money, I sent a check to India's Hope for $255.

Please understand that I share all these details, not to gain glory or recognition for myself, but to be transparent with the donations you have entrusted to me. To God be the glory and may he do great things with what you have generously shared!

Update on Justin

God is already working on this miracle. Here is an update from Sarah:

Justin was not responding to painful stimuli on his right side yesterday. Today he is. Keep praying for him. He is able to use his left hand but is still only semi-conscious and can't raise himself. Not seeing any seizures. He's in ICU. If you can help financially, please do--could run $1500 easy. Paypal address is

Monday, November 23, 2009

Please Pray Now for Justin

One of Sarah's little boys has had a stroke. This is a very sweet, determined little boy. The deepest desire of his heart has been to walk and he has seen many of his friends get the surgeries they needed and begin to walk. His was upcoming in the next month or two and now as a result of this stroke, he will have some paralysis!

Please Please pray for healing for Justin! Nothing is impossible with God and He can wipe away all the effects of this stroke so that Justin can achieve his dream.
This is Justin in the brown, loving on little Yemima. Can't you see what a sweetie he is??

Read more about it on Sarah's blog

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sick, Sick, Sick & Sick

Banana Boy began Tuesday night with a fever. He had been coughing at night for about a week. He has had a fever every day since. And coughing. And whining. His mouth tastes bad. His breath tastes bad. Whatever we feed him tastes bad. Medicine tastes bad.

Daisy got a headache the next day and by Thursday night had a fever. She has been mostly achy and feverish, better today.

Pepper has had shooting pains in her earlobe. And a fever, a little achy, a little stuffy, a little coughing, since Thursday night. Better today.

Sunshine has been coughing at night and last evening began with the fever. He fell asleep in the chair at 6 pm. At midnight he brought his hot little body into my bed to snuggle up with me. He is incredibly sweet and loving when he feels bad. A hot little snuggle bug. After the ibuprofen kicks in, he is a wild man. We almost like him better sick! And this is on the dye-free stuff.

This afternoon Sunshine came to snuggle up with me in the chair and watch the Wiggles and the Big Red Car. All of a sudden he coughed and covered his mouth with his hands. We went running for a non-carpeted room where he continued to keep his mouth covered with his hands, thereby spewing not just downward, but in all directions. Rose Bud, who is useless in a puking emergency, lay paralyzed on the couch with her hands over her ears. I finally screamed loudly enough that she could hear me and she managed to escape out to the patio to fetch Mr. GT, our resident go-to man in all things barfy.

I managed to not lose my whole lunch right there on the floor while I waited for Mr. GT to come to my rescue. I bathed Sunshine and snuggled him up in the chair.

After he had a nap, we snuggled some more in the chair. Another cough---I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, I got the bucket up there in time. I told him he is Daddy's boy tonight. "Me Mommy's boy 'morrow," he told me. That's fine, I said, if you are done throwing up!

Rose Bud has been coughing, but thus far has escaped the fever. I thought she felt a little warm tonight. She went to bed early. She's determined to follow in her father's footsteps and go to school tomorrow, sharing all her germs with all her friends. We'll see.

I'm not catching this, BTW. I have been popping Wal-borne every 3 hours like clockwork. So far, so good.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Making sewing kits for Sarah's kids

For her birthday party, Daisy wanted to do something to help out Sarah's kids. Since Sarah wanted us to teach the kids to sew when we come, she had suggested we make little stuffed pillows out of felt. Putting the two ideas together, I decided the girls at Daisy's party could make up sewing kits for us to bring along.

We bought felt sheets and I made 3 patterns which the girls traced onto the felt with permanent markers. They cut out the pillows and used a gromet maker to punch holes all around the sides so the kids could just focus on the sewing skill without having to worry about pushing the needle through the thick felt.

The girls picked out yarn for each pillow and cut it to 18" lengths, then packaged the felt, yarn and a needle in individual kits in ziploc bags.

Daisy turned 11 and her friends were 8, 9, & 10, and this was a perfect craft project for them. The hole-punching was the hardest part, but each girl punched out her two pillows. When their hands got tired, they took a break and finished the punching later while watching a movie.

They look angry in these pictures, but really they were having so much fun! I think they were all just concentrating hard.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Isn't God Amazing?

Adding another $400 to the total in the sidebar.

Thank you to

Tom & Amy
Lyle & Janna
John & Marcia
Randy & Kory
and some anonymous donors

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thank You!

Heidi (via ChipIn)

We are over 25% of the way to our goal. Your generosity blows me away!

God Bless You!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Soon It Will All Be Over

Pepper, swatting flies in the livingroom:

"I know you don't want to be killed, but trust me, you'll feel better afterwards."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thank you!

Thank you for your donations to Sarah's Kids!

Grace & Jack
Jen & Preston
JC & Patti
Sharon & Lyle
Len & Paula

I've been posting my cash total in the sidebar under the ChipIn. So while it looks like, according to ChipIn, I'm not doing much, The total is actually really growing. Part of that is because people who donate through my church can receive a tax deduction for the donation. I'm going to have to look for another counter that better keeps track of my goal.

If you have been thinking about donating, but aren't really sure about where your money is going, please read this post by Sarah. In it, she explains exactly what happens to the money you donate.

What about the money you give to me for Sarah's kids? I have to check with Sarah, but based on reading her post above, I think I will deliver it to her via India's Hope, who will safely wire the amount to her. There is the option to bring it in cash, but that's a lot of cash! I'm not sure I would feel comfortable doing that. I do plan to get it to her in the most cost effective manner possible. Do they make $4000 traveler's checks????

And one thing I am considering using the money for is these wheelchairs. Watch the video--they are VERY cool! Of course, I do plan to consult with Sarah and see where her greatest need is when we go.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Found this old video on my old blog and it was so cute, I wanted to share.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Leslie made this video to showcase the kids. Just look at the joy and radiance in their faces and their eyes! These are kids that are loved!!! This is the miracle!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One percent!!!!

Lookie that! My ChipIn is already at 1% of our goal! And that with only 2 donors! It doesn't take much, I tell you. Every very little bit makes a difference!

I actually have another $200 in donations given to me personally, bringing the total to $240!

So thank you to

God Bless You!

Introducing You to Sarah

I can't begin to tell you how this ministry has invaded my heart. Sarah is an American, married to an Indian Christian pastor and they have 3 daughters.

The ministry Sarah has been called to for these children is nothing short of amazing. The children she serves had been some of the most neglected, unloved, unwanted children anywhere. Living (barely) in government orphanages, disabled children are throw-away children. I'll share pictures with you in a future post. These children were considered unadoptable and unworthy.

Anyway, Sarah tells it best, so I'll let you read what she has to say.

Here is a brief excerpt from her SCH brochure:

Sarah’s Covenant Homes (two
homes for 43 children with
neurological special needs) is
where the deepest desires of
my heart meet the deepest needs of children’s
lives. I want them, and they need
love and care from someone like me.
Here in India, children born with neurological
special needs like cerebral palsy,
mental retardation, epilepsy, and autism
are the most likely to be abandoned and
least likely to be adopted. Consequently,
they languish in institutional orphanages
where they’re seen as liabilities rather than
treasured individuals. Neglected physically
and emotionally, these children tend to
die young. They’re some of the most profoundly
alone human beings on the planet.
I approached the government institutional
orphanage in 2007 and asked them for five
children with special needs, specifically
mental retardation. They told me, “Why
only five? We have over seventy children in
this building with mental retardation. Why
not at least start with ten?” That sounded
great to me!
A month or so later, I was wanting to make
preparations for the ten children, and I
called the government back to ask for more
details about the kids we were to receive:
How many boys and how many girls? The
department director said, “I can tell you
this much. You’re getting about 30 boys
and about 20 girls.” My heart was overwhelmed—
with excitement!

Of course, I still didn’t know where the
money or staff would come from. But just
about a week before I’d gotten a promise
from the Lord: “I’ve taken great pains to
provide for the temple of the Lord….”
(said David to Solomon in 1 Chron 22).
He’d provided 37 tons of gold, 300-some
tons of silver, wood, and skilled workers.
Then David said, “Now begin the work,
and the Lord be with you.” We started by
faith, and the weekend before I received
the first shift of ten abandoned special children,
I received funds to begin and two sets
of foster parents stepped forward to commit!
Since that day, it’s been one miracle
of provision after another. It’s been a ride!

Just to show you what I'm talking about, here are before and after photos of Grace, taken 6 months apart. You can see the condition Grace was in when she came to SCH.And with 6 months of love, human touch, prayer, medical care (she had serious epilepsy) and good nutrition, here is the miracle that is Grace now.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Where We're Going

View Ongole, India in a larger map

We will fly into in Hyderabad (Green Pin). Ongole (Pink Pin) is our destination. Chennai (formerly Madras, Blue Pin) is to the south and a major city in this area.

Nonny, isn't it Guntur (Yellow Pin) where our friends live? I didn't realize we are so close.

We actually will fly into Mumbai (Purple Pin) and then take a domestic flight to Hyderabad (Green).

View Ongole, India in a larger map
BTW, the flag is New Delhi, the capital and the yellow house is where the Taj Mahal is located.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Help Me Help Sarah's Kids

November 2009

Dear Friends and Family,

As you probably know, our two sons were adopted from India. Now, we have been blessed with an incredible opportunity to return to India to give back to the country that has given us so much. My oldest daughter, Rose Bud, and I will be traveling to Ongole, India from January 9-20, 2010 to partner with Sarah’s Covenant Homes, a partner of India Christian Ministries (ICM).

Less than two years ago, Sarah received a clear call from God to care for some of India’s most severely disabled and unwanted children. To date, she has received 46 children from government orphanages and has placed them in two family-style group foster homes where children who came to her malnourished and suffering have blossomed with love, medical care, spiritual nurture, education and good nutrition.

Rose Bud and I will be sharing our love of education with some of the children while we are there. Sarah has asked that we set up a mini-camp and teach 8 children in the areas of geography, science, English, sewing, Bible and math. These are children ranging in age from 7-12 who, because of their previous orphanage experience, have received no formal education!

In addition to contributing our time, we also want to assist financially where ever we see the need. We hope to help purchase school uniforms, educational materials, wheelchairs and medical supplies among other things.

To that end, our goal is to raise $4000. We are praying for 100 people who will share $20 with us and 10 people who will share $200 to allow us to bless the children. This $4000 is not for any of our expenses, but to provide enriched opportunities for Sarah’s kids!

To share $20 with us, you would need to set aside just $2 each week between now and January! Of course, donations of any amount are welcome.

You may donate via credit card through ChipIn at the top of the blog. ChipIn works via PayPal. (FYI, PayPal does take a 2.9% fee from your donation, which on $20 is about 60 cents. If you wish to add a little bit to your donation to cover this, it would be welcome, but if not, we understand) If you'd like your donation to be tax-deductible, you can email me at for info about that.

We ask for your prayers:
For our mission and our team
For the children at the homes, for Sarah and the staff
For children still suffering and in need of homes

You can learn much more about Sarah’s Covenant Homes at her blog: This is an amazing, faith-filled ministry and India is an amazing country. We are so excited to experience more of India and to be a part of blessing these children.

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Please leave a comment in the comment section below.

God’s Blessings,
Sandwich and Rose Bud

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CC Meet 7

Last meet and it was a makeup meet from a rainy day several weeks ago. I didn't go because I had to work so there are no pictures, but Rose Bud had a very good time: 11:38. However, she finished 13th of 17, which shows what good times everyone else had! It was a fast race. One of her teammates came in 5th.

Great job this season, Rose Bud! We're very proud of you!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

CC Meet 6

I think we're at 6.

Rose Bud loves this course. She liked it last year and she enjoyed it this year too, in spite of the SLEET! Blech.

She placed 11 out of 32 and she was very happy with her finish. She was able to finish strong and zoom ahead of the teammate who zoomed ahead of her last week! She was pleased about that.

One of our 7th grade girls won the race. Considering 7th and 8th grade girls ran together, that was awesome. She has won every one of her races this season except for the very first big one (250 runners all together!)

One of our 7th grade boys came in second today. Considering 7th and 8th grade boys ran, together, that was awesome, too! And technically, he won the race because the first-place finisher cut a flag. But we won't split hairs at the middle school level. That guy had him by a mile anyway.

So, without further ado, the pictures.

About 3/4 of the way done.

A great finish!

JayHey had a terrific finish, too!