Archive for January, 2014

Fitness Fix!

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

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Back in the day, when I actually used to faithfully exercise, when we wanted a new workout we’d order a new VHS from a catalog and get it in the mail. Today there are all kinds of target fitness clips on youtube. Above is one that I did tonight.

I’m also throwing in a little humor here, because that’s what it takes to boost into exercise.

“What’s your favorite exercise?” “Chewing” If it weren’t for tasty food I wouldn’t put on pounds, or so I like to say. I’m used to being either pregnant or breastfeeding, thus have the luxury of taking in extra carbs/calories, what have you. We were always taught that portion control and an active lifestyle are the way to go, so I going to make a conscious effort to be more careful of what I put in my body and to move around more during my day.

OF COURSE fitness goals can be made and met to benefit orphans! Visit and join Weight Loss for Orphans on Facebook to learn more.

Here’s the video that I followed tonight. The main reason that I do not get out the yoga mat and tennies
regularly is the extreme difficulty of getting through a routine without the interruption of kids. Two days a week I only have 1 child home, that’s certainly a No Reason Not To.

Here I come, goal weight.

Also, I must mention I face a temptation that I did not prior to having kids. I now eat the food that my children do not finish, this is a problem. Throw away, “perfectly good.” food? I know some people store individual food remnants in itty containers and force it back on their children when they are hungry again. Anyway, this is a situation that I keep bumping into. Not every day, but certainly a thing.

Oraeley’s Adjustment

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

My online effort today was adjusting my sidebar on the blog. If you visit my site you’ll notice the changes when scrolling past the tracker that shows the location of people who are visiting oraeley.com Hopefully what is there makes sense.

The design alterations here are pretty comfortable and easy to look at for me, I love to know your thoughts also. The back drop is Psalm 91:2. It’s a wonderful spiritual message (not that you can see anything beyond half of the Celtic style cross) I love the parchment texture impression.

My next post is about the Claus family. I’ve put a widget in my sidebar for their adoption journey. Visit their family blog In Search of Pearls if you are interested in getting to know them a little and reading about current fundraising events. Thanks!

I have also modified my name a little. I am now “Oraeley: Mama and Orphan Advocate” The tag line is still “Life According to Laura” as it has been for many years.

Angel Tree 2013 Wrap Up.

Monday, January 27th, 2014

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Angel Tree 2013 had a grand total of $266,548.61 as far as money gone into individual children’s funds. Click the words Angel Tree above if you don’t remember the faces on the tree or want to see the total that they got in their goal to reach 1000 between November 1 and December 31st.

Checks were made payable to Reece’s Rainbow by mail at PO Box 4024 Gaithersburg, MD 20885. Memoing whichever child you wanted to receive a donation or by clicking on the child’s image on the Reece’s Rainbow website. Donations over $35 got you a Christmas Tree ornament with the picture of child you had supported along with the name of their country.

Darren and I let our children each pick a child to pray for they chose.

Abegayle chose Octavian who is one year old this month. He is a baby in Eastern Europe who has Down Syndrome. He unfortunately fell short of the 1K goal, reaching $590.00 which brings his adoption fund to $2776.00–It’s a case of better than nothing! The more money in these children’s adopt funds the great their chances of being adopted. There are so many families who say that they would adopt, were the funds there which is why we fundraise: the make that gap even the smallest bit narrower.

Koen chose Daniel, a 13 year old who looks likes maybe 6 or eight years old. If you click on his name, you can read a description of what he’s like. He sounds like a fun, quite young at heart little boy who desperately needs a mom and dad. Daniel’s warrior worked so hard to get him to $1000, and I believe actually took on a second child when there was a shortage of people sponsoring boys. He unfortunately did not make the goal. Every penny counts, and I do praise GOD that people gave to Daniel’s fund. After the completion of 2013’s Angel Tree season this guy has $571.00 more than he had before.

Carly chose Ashley who hung out at the half-way mark with days left of AT season, a donor came along and gave her a beautiful boost to $1057.25 throwing this 4 1/2 year old right over her goal, she’s still waiting for her forever family to come forward. Currently her adoption fund, almost one month later is at $1,194.25 Adoption from her country, total cost including travel is estimate is $31,000-36,000 extending beyond a year in length. It is one of the newest adoption programs working with Reece’s Rainbow, the international adoption advocacy program for children with Down Syndrome and other special needs.

Diederick chose Davian, a 13 year old who has spent his life in a stroller. His medical label is Down Syndrome. Davian met his goal and even exceeded it by a $3.46. He now has $1025.96 in his adoption fund. That money will wait un touched for the family who will Lord willing come for Davian, wherever they are. If he dies, or for another reason becomes unavailable for international adoption, that money will be awarded to another waiting child.

As a family we sponsored Mikey, a little guy from Eastern Europe who we can’t believe hasn’t been scooped up yet. By the end of Angel Tree 2013, he had $1015.35. His fund has grown since then and now has $1243.77

Through the season I got a number of interesting thoughts on where the money goes. From questions on if I’m giving money to the Ukraine government (???) These questions make full sense, because who has ever heard of setting aside money for specific children who do not have families committed to adopt them.

Another question was how do I know these children are REALLY orphans. For a child to be legally available for international adoption their family has to sign not only legal rights away, but that they permit for this child to be adopted away to another country. This child is not disappearing. There are, unfortunately, children who live and die in orphanages held from being taken into a loving home by biological family not giving permission for that child to go beyond the walls of the institution where that child has been confined.

Dylan and Kati
The boy laying down in this picture is such a child. He’s a teenager who will likely die of the natural effects of his hydrocephalous. The boy standing next to him is Dylan, a AT child who is in this picture with his sponsor. Dylan’s fund marched up $556.65 from where it was prior to November 1st. Ten year old Dylan now has $5429.45 toward his future adoption through Reece’s Rainbow.

I originally signed up to sponsor Dylan, but when I found out that Katie Zimmerman had spent time with him and gotten a chance to be his friend, I knew Jesus wanted her to do this for him. Thank you, Katie!

And thanks everyone who worked SO VERY HARD to push kids to 1K. Congratulations everyone. $266,548.61 is pennies worth being proud of. See you, warriors all back Angel Tree 2014, bring your friends!

Click HERE for a video of my daughter singing about Ashley. I can’t seem to get to the place on YouTube where I get HTML code to enter the video clip right into this post. Please do take a moment to follow the link.

Once again, THANK YOU! For participating.
If you bought an ornament, keep it up all year around and keep storming heavens gates with prayers for that sweet little (or big!) one. They are precious in His sight.

Hero’s Home

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

…in Heaven that is.

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She’s an 8 month old sweet baby girl with Down Syndrome born in Eastern Europe, to be adopted by an American family. News came just yesterday that Hero died due to a complication during heart surgery. Her time on Earth was done, and she’s in the arms of Jesus now.

Hero’s adoptive momma and daddy will never get to stroke her soft skin or look in to those beautiful blue eyes this side of eternity. But they love her so, and will miss that they never got to hold, dress, snuggle and nurture this daughter as they imagined that they would.

Every life is precious, and needs to be recognized where it can be.

Rest in peace, Hero, now that you are home.

Give your Reece’s Rainbow cousins who have gone before you a kiss!

You are held In Loving Memory, sweetie-pie.

Hermit Mode

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

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Friday lasted forever. I didn’t get to sleep until one hour before my alarm went off in the morning. I got the kids taken care off and two out to the bus then went back to bed and slept until noon and finally had the morning chores churning by the time said kids got home.

I walked around all day soaked from head to toe in complete exhaustion, and put an early end to their day despite it being the beginning of the weekend.

Today was so beautiful outdoors! But I only went outside to feed my rabbits and to go buy Coffee Girls after my nap. I ordered the special.

What I could really use is a list of excellent ways to turn a blah, sleepy day around. I usually go back to bed and start over!

It’s just about 10pm. I want to post tonight Stop the Mommy Wars: Empowering Photo Series which is exactly as the title gives away: woman putting out their differences and standing united despite those tremendous differences. Looking through these pictures I realize that I am, while held to circumstances of course, empathetic, in a time or place of my personal motherhood experience in agreement to a degree to what is on each sign. Within my 8 years.

Being in Hermit Mode is OK for a day, but not OK if I let that one day become too many one days strung together. Saturday was today and is done, we got to see my brother his girlfriend which was awesome, and it’s on to another week in 2014. Soon we’ll be in February, in which my baby will be turning 2 years old.