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