Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Holy Experience

holy experience

If you haven't already subscribed to should.

She has a new book coming out in January 2011.....

Take time today to read what she has to say about listening to God.... then get caught up there reading.

Just don't forget you still have to cook dinner, you could be there a while!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sewing your own sling!

I know it seems like a lot of work, but I wanted to offer some sling tutorials to those who are interested in sewing their own sling but don't know where to get started!

First here are some links to different kinds of sling patterns!

Maya Wrap

Padded Sling

Sling a ma Bob (probably the easiest sling design to follow, the most similar to ours!)

Jan Andrea (EXCELLENT instructions with photos and drawings to help you make a sling!

Sewing slings are really an beginner project at it's finest! You are sewing a rectangle! No fancy edges or stitches to sew. If you can sew a straight line, you can sew a sling! Take a look at the different options above, if you would like to try your hand at sewing a sling, see my website for a kit! It inlcudes material as well as the rings that you need for the sling (they have to be specially ordered from Sling otherwise)

Thank you for all your kind words and compliments about us closing up shop for a while! Slings are going pretty quick. I may try and sew up some more that I have all the parts to laying around to move things as well as raise money for this family.

You know when you feel kinda helpless in a situation, you don't know quite how to help? Well I asked God what it was He wanted me to contribute to this adoption. Prayer I could do, really that requires nothing more than time right? But as the days went on I kept thinking about their burden to adopt, their obstacles in bringing their baby home, their passion to fulfill James 1 :27. And at first I felt guilty. I didn't have that same burden! I have 4 kids of my own and never dreamed about adopting or helping orphans anywhere! Then I started asking God what it was He wanted me to do, because I felt there was something there....but I didn't know what it was! A few sleepless nights and weird dreams later, I had my answer.

I had written and scheduled the post about closing up shop before this had even become a seed in my heart. I was sad to close doors, happy to have a chance to recover some of the money we had spent on materials and such. But it still felt incomplete. And then in the middle of the night, literally, I felt like God put the 2 of them together for me. Here was a chance I had to help. I pray now that God blesses what we have to give and helps Tiffany and Jim get a little closer to what they know to be God's will for them! I am excited to see what God has for them! And I feel like God has planted a bigger seed in me. One that for know remains a whisper and a secret. But something happened there in the middle of the night, something unexplainable....only God knows at this point where it ends and blooms, for now it remains watering what others are planting.

SO if you want to help Tiffany and Jim AND need a sling, sling kit or some Hawaiian Print Fat can visit the Keiki Kuddlerz website where 20% of your purchase will be donated directly to their fund to bring their baby home. If you don't need any of these I urge you to take james 1:27 literally and be a part of rescuing orphans. There is so much you can can start with prayer as I did and see what the Lord has for you! To donate directly to Tiffany and Jim visit Tiffany's blog and click on the upper right hand corner Chip In! EVERY cent counts towards helping save one of God's children!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lapbooking Mania

So I wanted to share a little more about what we are doing this school year for Gracia...and they are centered around LAPBOOKS! I am just loving this idea the more I find and make them! I've made 4 of them now...and printed off enough materials for a few more! Here are some photos of one of them to give you an idea of what it looks like::
     On the Farm
This is the cover, a regular file folder opened, and re-folded so the opening is in the center.
 Activity pockets are attatched on either side of  the file folder, and filled with various activities!

This particular folder had a lot included! I didn't add anything to it! Everything tucks away neatly into it's own pockets!

Activities like sequencing, matching, coloring, puzzles and more!

Because I LOVE my laminator so much I even laminated the coloring sheets! You can have your child color on the laminated sheets with dry erase markers OR.....
Cool huh? Found em at Toys R Us but I'm sure you can find them else where! They even come with a little eraser mit! So I have those stashed away for Gracia to try out!

I've tried this lapbook out with Gracia and here is what I can tell you to help you along the road:

  • For her age (she JUST turned 2) you'll have to do a lot of working along side her. As she gets a little older she'll be able to do the activities on her own.
  • Laminate EVERYTHING! Little hands are NOT gentle with the parts to the lapbook!
  • Break down the activities into smaller activities. For instance, for with the head and tails matching I would have 1 head and give her a choice of 3 tails to choose from, too many options seemed to overwhelm her.
  • Some of the activities have a lot of cards that go with them, it gives you a bit more room to use a larger envelope for the holder and past the title on the envelope. That way the lamination doesn't pull away from the file folder::

 This folder has 2 alphabet pockets with 26 letter each, that makes for a lot of cards for one little pocket!

I found great bold colored business sized envelopes at Office Max, sealed them, cut the end off and glued it open side up to the file folder, then when you laminate over it, take sharp scissors or a razor blade and gently  cut the lamination right about the envelope to make it a pocket!
  • I would also Book rings (found at Office Max) to keep the letter and color books together. I've seen some lapbooks with them staples but, being a Mom of 4 kids and knowing that ALL 4 are going to want to flip through these, I think the rings will make them more user friendly for a longer time!

  • Use your older kids to "teach" the younger! Within each school day I have time set aside for each child to work (or play!) together. It's a time they really look forward to as a treat! Using a lap book with an older child would be a great way to reinforce what the older child knows already as well as create a bond with the younger!
  • Don't forget those older kids! They love lap books and file folder games as well and Homeschool Share has lapbooks for ALL ages! You can look on their Scope and Sequence for science, phonics, history (anything!!) and surprise them with a lapbook all of their own!
  • Using your publisher program (or windows) you can spend some time and make your OWN lapbook! I've got a few in my head floating around that if I get around to them I'll be glad to share the pdf's for!
So get started on those lapbooks! They are very easy to make if you can print, cut and glue you are on your way!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ergo Performance Carriers

I love my Ergo! Over a year ago I was sent an ERGO to try out when Gracia was a little wee one. We loved it, infact she STILL loves it and she's now 2! But ERGO has added yet another great product! Read below to find out what!


We are thrilled to announce the unveiling of our innovative new line, the ERGObaby Performance!

The ERGObaby Performance carriers are made for babies, moms and dads that are active and love to be outside in almost any climate.

ERGObaby Performance Carriers
The ERGObaby Performance carriers feature a high-performance polyester exterior, ideal for outdoor activities in all climates; a breathable mesh lining, keeping babies and parents cooler and more comfortable; and a CoolMax panel for extra moisture absorption and protection.  

This sleek, streamlined design offers a smooth, supportive fit for parents and babies of most sizes and, as with all ERGObaby Carriers, can be used to carry babies from newborn to toddler on the back, front and hip positions. 

Of course, like every other ERGObaby Carrier, ERGObaby's Performance line supports the correct ergonomic position for both babies and parents. 

Performance Special Features
Lighter weight (1/3 lighter than our Standard Carrier)
This lighter weight fabric, with mesh lining, is ideal for active parents who want to be on the go and bring baby along.

Durable, quick-drying outer layer, ideal for outdoor sports and activities
The rugged, quick-drying exterior is perfect for the outdoors, and can be worn in water!

Stylish with a rugged outdoor look and feel
Two great new colors and a handy Cargo Pack

Comfort contouring on shoulder straps
Contoured shoulder straps keep your baby close to your body.  Non-water-absorbent foam padding provides cushion without bulk.

Chest strap on slider for easy adjusting
Easily adjust the chest strap to accommodate your own comfort with the sleek and streamlined slider.

Waist belt extends 5" longer than Standard ERGObaby Carrier
Extra length in waist belt provides a better fit for babywearers of all sizes

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just for {U} Review and giveaway!

It's not common that something comes along for Hawaii customers only....but we are in luck! If you've been in Safeway lately you'll have noticed all the advertisement for their new program "Just for U". If you are like me you retrieve the coupons out of the newspaper each week as well as print some off of your own. Well most people get to the trimming and organizing of those coupons as well but honestly....I can't tell you how much printer ink and paper I've wasted on printing coupons! In the shuffle of things I usually forget to cut the coupons, leave them at home and then find them once they've expired! No lie! But Safeway's Just for U program changes all that!

Now you can "load" your Safeway card with all of those great printable manufacturer's coupons, print off a list of what you have (all on ONE sheet of paper!!!) and have all the coupons automatically deducted with NO extra work from you past putting the product in the cart!

On top of that great perk Safeway also looks at your purchasing history and offer's you personal deals based on what you buy!

There are rules and conditions you need to follow so you can check here for those.

I tried it out last week with the $50 giftcard provided by Safeway and it was great. It really was as quick and easy as it was advertised to be! And I didn't waste 15 sheets of paper and tons of printer ink. In fact I purchased items and had a fun fondue night with the family! If you'd like to win a $50 giftcard here's what you can do::

Leave a comment below telling me what you'd buy with the giftcard

Leave a status update on Face book about this giveaway

Sign up for Just for U!

Winner will be chosen on July 21!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Story of Easter by Gwen Ellis

I received my first book from Book Sneeze.....okay to be honest I received it around Easter time,'s now that we are getting around to reviewing it as well as blogging about it! But really do we only have to teach about Jesus' gift during one time of year? Of course NOT!!

 The Story of Easter, Retold By Gwen Ellis

I acquired this book from Book Sneeze absolutely free to review with my kids as well as my Sunday School class. It's been tried out on kids ages 1-6, quite a wide variety of ages and understanding!

Because the book was broken into events of Passover to the Ascension, I chose to read sections through out the week to the kids and include an easy craft that coordinated with each section. This book was easy to read and understand for all ages, the illustrations were bright and wonderfully drawn, enjoyed by the kids. It delicately handled the death and resurrection of Jesus without watering down the message or changing it. It also included Biblical references that you could use to further the study of each section, especially helpful with older children!

The book also came with a 15 minute DVD that covered the same sections as the book and then extended it's coverage all the way up to the Pentecost and beyond! It was an excellent addition to the book and we used it as a completion of what we learned, sort of as a review of all we had covered throughout the week. The kids really enjoyed this set, and since they've referenced both the book and DVD since we've read it! Definitely worth they buy!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Closing up Shop {for a bit}

We stared making slings 4 years ago with the birth of Ellie, our oldest daughter. I remember seeing another Blogging mom wearing her baby and I was amazed! I leaned in close to the computer screen with my mouth wide open, just staring. What was that thing???? Of course I asked her, it was a sling! I was a new mom, I had a Bjorn but it wasn't as comfortable as I had hoped.......oh I needed a sling!

After googling and searching I saw that slings were not only gaining popularity but they were.....expensive! Something I definitely could not afford. But being the crafty art major I was I again started searching the internet for instructions on how to make them. I found them easily enough and that very day I was a the store buying fabric for my very first sling. That is how the ride began.

It took months before we had what we thought was a great product. I had tried pleated shoulders, unlined, lined, flannel, cotton, closed tails, open tails, new folds around the shoulders, steel rings, aluminum rings, adding toy tags and inseam pockets. It was an adventure, and I loved it. I still do.

In lean financial times God provided a way for our family. We had the privilege of meeting tons of parents, inviting them into the world of baby wearing and sending them away with what we thought was a stellar product. We were proud of our work done late at night when everyone else was sleeping! We had fun picking out new fabrics and trying out new ones for ourselves. We were proud to be a small business at the Big Baby Expo, born out of necessity, grown in love.

But sometimes in life we have to make hard decisions....heart decisions. The idea of closing up shop has been lingering for over a year now, maybe even longer. I am so hard headed I didn't want to believe that closing the business and shutting down the website was even an option. It wasn't something I was ready for. But sometimes when you hold onto something and continue for it to be a burden and a stress, well it turns into being a huge negative mentally, physically and for me even spiritually.

Life has seasons, and though my babywearing season is far from over, my sling making season needs to be on pause. I can't say I'll never make another sling (especially for gifts AND myself!) but to try and run a business, care for a family, homeschool and serve in Ministries at's all too much. So after much prayer, muh sadness and even tears, we've decided to pack it up for a while.

Now while it's sad for us, it may turn out to be a great deal for some of you! If you are looking for a sling to buy OR make. I've decided to sell off the slings I have made and packed at our wholesale price, and to sell sling making kits as well. The kits will include the top material cut and ready to go, the rings, toy tags and instructions for sewing. You provide the liner of your choice! I might even go as far as to sell some fat Quarters of my material because boy do I have a LOT!

Here are some links to the website highlighting all the deals for anyone interested.

Keiki Kuddlerz

Let me know if you have any questions and don't forget to check back, I'll be adding already made slings as well as kits and fat quarts as I locate the images in my computer! If you see a material you'd like in fat quarters but not a kit, please contact me at:: and I'll let you know what I've got available!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rockin' the {Green}

And I ain't talking about golf green.

In our home we choose to use cloth diapers most of the time. For a variety of "green" reasons, one of those being money! After crunching the numbers, we came to the conclusion that cloth diapering is much more cost efficient than buying disposables for a family that has at least 2 kids in diapers and one in pull ups some nights. That's a lot of cash and a lot of trash! (especially for living on a little island!!)

We started out when Ellie was a newborn and we've been able to use the same cloth diapers for our now 3rd little cloth baby. Of course we've experimented with styles, matierials, AIO's covers, soakers.....we've done it all. But that isn't what this post is about........

I am a bit embarrassed to admit that after 4 years of cloth diapering I have never even heard of cloth diapering soap! My routine was to rinse, soak in Oxyclean to take care of stains, hot water wash with no soap (or a little Felsnaptha) and line dry. And that has worked really well, but there is a slight odor that comes out when the diaper is soiled.

So after doing some research I found Rockin Green. And let me tell you I love it! They were awesome to send me some free samples to try out so I am spreading the green love!

Here in Hawaii we have some very unique water conditions, lots and lots of minerals in the water that leave nasty rings in toilets and sinks and don't come off with CLR and other mineral cleaners. SO naturally our water is hard and on top of that DIFFICULT!

I tried 3 different washing routines with the Classic Rock formula as well as the Hard Rock formula and the results were amazing!

Trial One:
I soaked the diapers in hot water overnight in Classic Rock and Oxyclean, prewashed and washed in the morning with an extra rinse. After they were dried there were no odors or stains!

Trial Two:
I soaked the diapers in Oxyclean over night and washed the diapers the next day using the Classic Rock formula, still no odors or stains!

Then I toughened up. I thought we are really gonna try this...NO SOAK! (I always soak because little newborn poo tends to stain)

Trial Three:
I did a pre rinse in cold water, washed the load in hot water with Hard Rock (mmmmm watermelon) and did an extra cold rinse.......guess what???? NO STAINS and NO ODOR! Seriously I almost can't believe it except I 've closely examined and sniffed the diapers.

AND....the bonus was using the diapers after being washed, there was no odor when the diaper was soiled! None! Well, there was an odor....just not the same one I had noticed before. This is one very happy customer!

So I am going to place my very first order of Hard Rock diaper watermelon scent!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's that {homeschool} time again!

I said I would never home school my kids....after all aren't they a little weird? Yup they sure are, in a brainy, nerdy, sweet creative sort of way. Just the way I like em!  I really did say I would never ever home school. Especially being an Education major, how could I!

But as time grew closer and closer for Jonah to enter the public school system (because private school wasn't an option for our location or budget) my heart and my anxiety level took a turn.We decided when he was 4 we would start home schooling for specific reasons (mostly based on fear), but then as time went on, those reasons have transformed into reasons entirely different! And though right now I couldn't tell you if we will always home school, I know that in this moment it is the absolute right choice for our kids. And for that I am thrilled!

We started really when he was about 3 working on "Hooked on Phonics". He was quick with the Literary concepts which kept me motivated. Then at 4 we started informal preschool a few times a week, lots of hands on "fun school" activities geared towards learning the basics. Last year we were able to enroll him in an online Kindergarten even though he was only 4 at the start of the year and he flourished! I had to order the 1st grade reader to keep up with him. Ellie joined us for subjects like History and Science and I started teaching her Letters, numbers and such and of course Gracie has to be in the mix coloring it up next to those two until she gets bored!

But this coming home school year is going to be a challenge for me for a variety of reasons....I now have 4 kids to care for, Jonah will be in 1st grade and Ellie is now enrolled in K4 with her very own classes and curriculum and Gracia just has to be involved! Of course we'll have to add in nursing and diaper changing/potty training breaks as well.....and Mommy sanity checks now and then! And on top of that I am highly considering homeschooling a daughter of a very good friend of mine.

As curriculum comes in the mail every few days.....boxes are opened and manuals are flipped through. I am beginning to get more and more excited about the whole year. You see I AM a nerd at heart. I love spending long hours in the Library and writing lesson plans till wee hours of the night. And as of late I have a new obsession.......Lapbooks! And because I am already addicted to my laminator, well that just goes right along with it!

To be honest I am hoping that along with some creative scheduling, blanket training, rotating hands on activities and lapbooks, homeschooling with Gracia this year won't be as stressful and chaotic as last year. My Motto is if you can't beat em, join em! Gracia already thinks she's 4 years old, just ask her! So instead of trying to shuffle her out of the room or off the table.....I've decided to enroll her in Totschool.

Okay so it's an unofficial enrollment, but she's in there alright! This is by far one of the best links I have found in a long time. It's kept me up late at night and gotten me out of bed early in the morning! I've been devouring her ideas and burning the midnight printer ink in preparation for the school year just for Gracia, and I can't wait! It's all I have in me not to try out the lapbooks I've made on Gracia today! But I've been a good little home school mommy and have them hidden. I've got 4 so far and I'm out of ink so I need to get another cartridge and get going! But before I do here are some of the ideas I have for Gracia this year, granted she's only 2, but she really wants to be involved like the big kids so my theory is to start instilling a love for learning now with lots of hands on fun activities geared for her age level!

  • Lapbooks and file folder games on subjects like colors, shapes, sorting, sizes, etc
  • Puzzles of all types!
  • Lacing beads and lacing tiles
  • Felt counting fish and games (currently in the process of making!)
  • Books, books and more books!
  • Alpha activities of all sorts
  • Bible stories with the big kids
  • Coloring....lost of coloring!
  • Playdough and crafts!
I'll have to update you a little later with some photos of all the fun things I've made! For now, take a peek at the links I've posted! You'll be inspired! Link lup below if you have any fun ideas to share about home schooing with toddlers!! 

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Service with a smile

    How has selfishness and me~ism seeped into our hearts and minds? Well for me it's an internal attitude and thought process that continually puts myself at the forefront. It's a selfish desire on my part for someone else (namely my husband) to help out when it is my own servant attitude that needs a check up. I'm not saying a husband can't help with the house or the baby. But how is my attitude?

    I have been catching myself more often (as I believe the Holy Spirit is working on me) identifying these attitudes. One night after I had cooked dinner, cleaned up the kitchen and bathed the kids, I asked Dave to get their toothbrushes from downstairs. He did, and left them on the counter. Was I thankful or grateful he helped by doing that? No, my immediate thought was, "Well sheesh you could have brushed the kids teeth for me! I just made dinner, cleaned up, AND bathed the kids!" Right away I was stung with the reality of my lack of a servant attitude and grateful heart. Even though most times these thoughts don't escape my mind, they are dangerous and damaging in the thought process alone. They speak volumes of where my heart is in all of these matters.

    Matthew 20:16
    16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

    Serving others is laying down your life, and taking up theirs. Honoring them and placing them in a position of utmost importance. Serving others is often times doing what is necessary instead of what is convenient. 

    1 John 3:16

     16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

    I have heard so many times how the woman needs to put herself first, take care of herself because no one else will. Look out for #1. Yet this is the antithesis of what they Bible teaches! Our lives are to be layed out in service to others, there is no greater love than this! And yet we are fed lies that we should be above others, we have a thankless job of service, we are doormats that everyone rubs their muddy shoes on. We've heard some of these things so often I think we have become brainwashed into thinking we deserve to be treated better than others. And when it doesn't happen we are bitter and angry about being left in the dust. For me this is pure selfishness!  

    True servant-hood requires and expects nothing in return, sometimes not even a thank you or acknowledgment that something has been done! It can be so difficult to lay down the act of serving, get your heart in the right place, ready for your service or work to be ignored by man. We long for human praise and acknowledgment like the pharisees in Matthew 23, lengthening our meaningless tassels, enlarging our empty phylacteries. But never forget that God sees your service. But He also sees your heart, if your heart is not in the right place, what good is the service! 

    The joy of true serving is in knowing you are meeting the needs of others as well as serving God in the process.


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