Sunday, November 8, 2009

Holiday Party Information!!

Third Annual NEO Guatemalan Adoptive Families, Inc.
Holiday Party

It’s almost that time of year again! Soon, the snow will be flying and Santa will be getting ready to visit all our homes! It’s also the time of year when we all get together to share in the joys of our children and families.

NEO Guatemalan Adoptive Families, Inc. Holiday Party
When: Saturday, December 5th, 2009
Time: 1:30 – 4:00
Where: Massillon Recreation Center
505 Erie St. North
Massillon, OH 44646

Please join us for lots of food and fun! We will have a full lunch, gifts, and crafts for the children, and of course Santa will be making his appearance again this year! There will be one OPTIONAL gift exchange. ORNAMENT EXCHANGE – Please bring a NON-gender CHILDREN’S Christmas ornament for this exchange. Please make sure your ornament is wrapped and is appropriate for young children.

Your family will also have the option of swimming this year! The Massillon Recreation Center has a wonderful pool area with a lot of wonderful slides and activities for our little ones. If you are interested in swimming, tickets can be purchased the day of the party. Just make sure to pack your swim gear and a towel. There are locker rooms available for you to use. Please note that you will be fully responsible for your children if you choose to swim.

Ticket Prices:
3 and under are FREE
Ages 3 and up are $6 a person
If you do not want to swim but want to just accompany your child into the pool area the price is $2 a person.
Cost per family this year will be $30.

You must RSVP to me that you are coming by: NOVEMBER 13, 2009 and ALL payments MUST be received by: NOVEMBER 20, 2009

Please understand that up until payments are received that all purchases come out of my pocket. Please note that if your RSVP is not received by NOVEMBER 13th that you will not be able to attend. It is crucial that I have the final guest count for food and other purchases by this date. If you need additional time to send in the payment please just contact me personally. As always, I do NOT want people to not come because of financial reasons so if this is the case for your family I completely understand and you just need to contact me. Please make sure you write down the above dates!

I would love for several people to volunteer to bring Christmas cookies to the party. Please do NOT bring more then 2 dozen cookies. I would really appreciate you taking the time to bake some cookies for the party. There is nothing better then Christmas cookies!!

Lastly, I wanted to give everyone a quick update on our Guatemalan Sponsorship Students Pedro and Ana. They are doing wonderful! Believe it or not, it is time to renew our sponsorship for them because in Guatemala students begin school in January, not August like they do here. They just finished up their school year. We received wonderful letters for each of our students along with their grade cards. Their letters will be on display at the Holiday Party. In order to renew their sponsorships so that they can continue to attend school, we need to raise $300 between all of us. Please do not feel that you have to donate to this cause, this is and always will be optional. If you are interested in donating please e-mail me.So here is what I need from you!! I need to you to e-mail me back to let me know if you do intend to come by NOVEMBER 13th. After you RSVP, please send your payments to me. From this point on, all checks for our events should be made out to:
NEO Guatemalan Adoptive Families, Inc.
Please e-mail me for my home address.

Please print the section at the bottom of this e-mail and return it with your payment.Thank you for your understanding and I can't wait to see all of you!! I know it will be another awesome time and I am looking forward to seeing all of your beautiful children. Christmas is such a magical time and I love that we get to spend part of that time together celebrating in the joys of our children. I will see you all soon and as always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Have a safe and wonderful upcoming holiday season!

Mindy Ousley
NEO Guatemalan Adoptive Families, Inc.

Please print this bottom section and include it with your payment. Thank you!

The _______________________ family will be attending the Holiday Party.
We will have ____________ adults and _____________ children.

____ Yes, I will bring Christmas cookies to the party this year.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Join us at Boo at the Zoo!

This year, our group will be participating once again in Boo at the Zoo. Last year, unfortunately, was a total washout. We are hoping for better weather this year, although some of us did tough it out in the rain last year and had an AWESOME time regardless.

Date: October 24th
Location: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 PM

Tickets can be purchased online at or at the zoo box office. Tickets MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE as this event sells out EVERY year. I have been attending this event for 7 years now and I can promise you, it will sell out and tickets will not be available the night of the event. So please, but your tickets in advance.

We will be meeting at the front entrance of the park by the ticket box office. We will meet at 5:45 and then will proceed into the park as a group. If they try to direct you to the back of the zoo to park, tell them you are meeting a large group at the front entrance and that you need to park in that area. This year, due to the size of our group, we will not be eating as a group inside of the zoo. It is so difficult to find places to eat during this event with as many people as we will have and with how crowded this event is every year. Please make sure you eat before coming. It’s just so much easier as the kids do NOT want to sit and eat because they can see all the fun activities going on. They want to GO!

Please RSVP to this event by October 16th so that I can make sure we have enough treat bags and prizes for all the children attending. I hope you all can come and I look forward to seeing you there!

If you are attending the Fort Rapids trip in February, I will be sending you information on how to book your room shortly. I am still awaiting our final group contract that contains this information from the person handling our trip at Fort Rapids. So please be patient and as soon as I receive the information, I will immediately pass it on to each of the families attending. We have 20 families signed up to attend this trip!

Lastly, in the last e-mail that I sent, I included an attachment of all the upcoming dates for our events. Please correct the date of the Christmas Party as the date is incorrect. The CORRECT date is Saturday, December 5th. I apologize for this mistake.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful fall and I am looking forward to seeing you all in October!! Please copy and paste the following RSVP for Boo at the Zoo if you are planning on attending. Thank you!

YES, the __________________________ family will be attending Boo at the Zoo and

we will have __________ adults and ___________ children.

Mindy Ousley
Northeast Ohio Guatemalan Adoptive Families, Inc.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Summer Picnic 2009!!!

What a wonderful time this year! Thank you to everyone who came!!! It was so much fun and we had wonderful weather:-)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

NEO Trip to Fort Rapids Water Park Information!!!!

Dear NEO Guatemalan Adoptive Families,

This next year we have planned a lot of wonderful, fun events for your families to participate in if you choose to do so. It’s wonderful to see how our group has grown over the past three years. Our children are growing and some of our families have grown as well!

I wanted to inform you of our First Annual NEO Guatemalan Adoptive Families trip to Fort Rapids Water Park in Columbus, Ohio. This event will take place on the weekend of February 5-7th, 2010. I am so excited about this!! I have been working closely with the Manager of this water park to ensure a great time for all families that want to attend. So here is the information:

Location: Fort Rapids Water Park
4560 Hilton Corporate Dr.
Columbus, OH 43232

Date: February 5-7, 2010

Cost: The resort has offered us a discounted rate of $159 a night and this rate includes 4 water park passes that are good for TWO days. Additional water park tickets would be $21.95 per person, regardless of age and this, too, is a discounted rate. However, we have several families that will have extra tickets because they are a family of three. These extra tickets will be dispersed to families with more then 4 people. This discounted rate is for a 2 QUEEN-SIZED BED HOTEL ROOM.

Families can choose to stay one night or two nights depending on what works best for your family. All families who choose to attend the event are required to at least spend Saturday Night at the resort.

At this time, we need to have a TENTATIVE number of families who want to attend no later then AUGUST 28, 2009. This early deadline is to ensure that we are able to reserve an adequate number of rooms and was set by the resort, not by me. Please know that you can choose to reserve a room and change your mind at a later date. Cancellations are accepted 72 hours prior to check-in.

Once I have a tentative number of families, the resort will then proceed with blocking off a section of rooms for our group. At that time, they will send me the information that YOU will need in order to call and reserve your room. There will be a special code that you will use when you call in. Once again, rooms can always be canceled up to 72 hours before check-in, so please, even if you are still unsure, reserve a room so that if you want to come you are able to.J

We are working on some fun things to do on this trip and as soon as those details are finalized they will be sent to the people attending. Some of the things include a trip to COSI on Sunday and a Valentine’s Day exchange for the kids Saturday evening. We will also have a group dinner on Saturday. It’s sure to be a wonderful time and I am looking forward to spending some time with all of you and your children!

Please e-mail me if you would like to attend this trip and let me know if you have any questions at all! Please keep in mind the deadline to let me know your intentions, even if you are unsure, is AUGUST 28, 2009. I will see some of you in a few weeks at the Summer Picnic!

Mindy Ousley
NEO Guatemalan Adoptive Families

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Come Join us at the Summer Picnic!!

Saturday, August 15th, 2009
Portage Lakes State Park
5031 Manchester Road
Akron, Ohio 44319-3999
The picnic will begin at 1:00 PM

We chose this location because it seemed more centralized for our group and it will also hold a large amount of people. While I have not yet personally been to this location, other people I know have and it seems like the perfect place for our group to enjoy a wonderful day together!

Our picnic will be held at the Big Oaks Shelter. I took these specific directions to the location of our shelter from the Portage Lakes Website:

As in the past, each family that attends will be asked to sign-up to bring something. I will be creating a list in the next week as the RSVP’s come in and e-mailing it to those who plan to attend. Things on this list will include side dishes, deserts, etc. I send the list to people in the order that I receive your RSVP. Those who RSVP the quickest get the list first. I decided last year this was the fairest way to do this. The past two years we have had hamburgers and hot dogs. This year we will be getting party platters of sandwiches instead. This is for several reasons. First, the group is getting so large that it is difficult to cook for the entire group. Secondly, I worry about our children playing around the hot grills.

The theme of the picnic this year is FIESTA! We have lots of fun activities and things planned for this year’s picnic and it will surely be an event to remember. A special addition to the picnic this year will be a table set up of goods from Guatemala that will be for sale. The group that NiCole, one of our group board members, contacted and is working with is called Maya Works and you can view the products, some of which will be available the day of the picnic, at This is a wonderful organization and I encourage you to look at their site!

The cost per family this year will be $20. This will help cover the rental fee, beverages, sandwich platters, tableware and all activities.

I know that we will all have a wonderful time together and that the kids will enjoy the day as much as us! I really enjoy planning these events and seeing the smiles on the children’s faces when we get together throughout the year. However, it really takes a lot of effort and time to plan these events. Therefore, it is really, really important that I hear back from you. Each of your names is on a list that I have created for this picnic. I will mark them appropriately with your response as soon as I hear from you. Whether you plan to come or not, I really need to know. If you are NOT sure if you will be attending, please let me know this as well. This helps me immensely when trying to gauge the funds for activities as well as how much tableware and food I will need to purchase. Please let me know your intentions by MONDAY, JULY 20th. I really appreciate your cooperation with this as I am sure you can truly understand the amount of time it takes to prepare such an event. All payments for the picnic should be sent to Gina Rihn, our group’s Vice President, NO LATER THAN JULY 31st. Please contact me so that I can give you the address as I do not want to post it online.

As always, if you for any reason do not think you can make this payment, please contact me. We do not want any family to not attend due to financial reasons. We want this to be a time where we can get together and celebrate in the joys of adoption and our children. Please let me know if you cannot pay the picnic fee as we still want you to attend!!!

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to e-mail or call me at anytime! I am so excited about the summer picnic and can’t wait for all the new memories to be made. We have many new families that have recently joined our group and I can’t wait to meet all of you! It’s going to be an awesome time and I hope to see all of you there!

Please copy and paste this and then send it my way!


_________________________________________ FAMILY NAME

See You Soon,
Mindy Ousley
President, NEO Guatemalan Adoptive Families

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

Dear Families,

Spring is just around the corner (thankfully!) and that means Easter is coming! This year we will be having Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at the same location as we did last year. Here is the information:

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
Quail Hollow State Park
Saturday, March 28
Time: 10:30 AM
13480 Congress Lake Ave.
Hartville, OH 44632

Last year this event was a huge success. This event is put on with the help of the local drama department from the local high school. All proceeds from the event go directly towards the park. Just like last year, they have given us our own special time and private room for this event. The breakfast includes French Toast Stick and Sausage. They also will have an Easter Egg Hunt specifically set up for our group. The prices for this event have not been set but the coordinator said that it should be around $5 a person. I can tell you from last year this is a wonderful deal and it supports a great cause. We had such a fun time last year!!

If you would like to come to this event I need to you to please RSVP by Friday, March 6th. All RSVP’s MUST be received by this date in order to give them an accurate head count. Please understand that this is very important. Within the next week or so I will know the final cost per person and will e-mail all those attending with the form that must be filled out and sent to the park. This form will include your family’s payment. NO PAYMENTS FOR THIS EVENT WILL BE MADE TO ME! All payments will be sent directly to the State Park and specific directions for that will follow soon.

I really hope that you will come and join us for a fun-filled morning! The kids really enjoyed seeing the Easter Bunny last year and the Easter Egg Hunt was so much fun.

Please RSVP the following information if you plan on attending:

FAMILY NAME________________________________
ADULTS ______________________________________

Thank you so much and I hope to see you all in a few short weeks! As always, please contact me if you have any questions at all!

Mindy Ousley

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Valentine's Day Event

Dear families,

I hope your holidays were wonderful and that you are all enjoying the New Year! As a group we have many new and exciting things in the works for 2009. We are planning for this to be our best year ever and we are so thankful for all our wonderful families that make up the NEO group! It’s been amazing for me to watch this group grow since its beginning and to see all of our beautiful children become friends. I hope that you enjoy the time you spend at our events and that you have been able to make lasting friendships.

We have decided to have a Valentine’s Day Playdate this year. We are trying to have events every two months throughout the year and so this will be a new tradition starting this year. Our Valentine’s Day event will be:

Saturday, February 7th
Chuck E Cheese in Belden Village
6370 Strip Ave. NW
Canton, OH 44720
(330) 494-7140

We will be meeting at 11:30 AM in order to avoid arriving during the lunch rush.
We have been in contact with them and because we are not yet a non-profit organization we were not able to reserve the private areas. This means that each family will have to find their own table. We are hoping to be able to get our tables close together but with the atmosphere of Chuck E Cheese, most children and families will be playing most of the time. It is important, however, if you want to come that you arrive promptly in order to obtain a table since we cannot make reservations.

We will be providing cake for all the families and children that day. We are also having a Valentines Exchange for the children. Bags will be provided for the children. Please bring a Valentine and/or small treat to put in a bag for each child that attends. I also wanted to make all of you aware that we have 2 children who have nut allergies. Please keep that in mind if you purchase candy for the childrenJ A week before the scheduled event I will contact all the people attending with a final children headcount so that you can plan your cards and/or treats accordingly.

It will be the responsibility of each family attending to purchase their food and game tokens. If you would like to contribute $1 or $2 towards the purchase of the cake, cake plates, napkins, bags, etc. that we will be providing we would appreciate it. However, this is NOT required of you.

This is sure to be a really fun day for our families and I am looking forward to seeing all of you again! As always, please feel free to contact me at any time by either e-mail or phone if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

Please RSVP to me by January 28th so that we have time to buy the things necessary for this event. You can RSVP by copying and pasting the following section of this e-mail and sending it to me.

Yes, my family will be attending!

Family Name

Number of children AND children’s names

Thank you everyone for helping make the group so wonderful and I hope to see you in a few short weeks to celebrate Valentine’s Day!