Fisher Price GIANT Crawl Jungle Activity Centre LIKE NEW 2799P SOLD

The Crawl and cruise musical jungle offers endless fun and activity for baby Baby can put and take 1 of 6 balls in the hippo's mouth as he spins a full 360 degrees The hanging jingle bell rewards baby with music and lights as it is batted The crocodile rocks back and forth as baby plays, acivating music, lights and motion Baby can also place the balls into the monkey's hands He will drop the ball down the spiraling ball shoot surprising baby as the balls roll out of one of the two ball ramps

Be Ready

Lately I have been enjoying reading Max Lucado's book "And the Angels were Silent". He has a neat way of writing and a neat way of making you see stories in the Bible in a totally new light.

 In one chapter he talked a lot about these verses (and the rest of chapter 24 and 25):

   Matthew 24:42-46
  "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you be ready too, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
  Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes."

Chapters 24 and 25 of Mathew are Jesus last sermon and He spent that sermon telling the people over and over again (in various ways) to be ready! Jesus would be coming again and Jesus doesn't want people to put off getting ready until it is too late.

I really like some of what Max said about this and so I will quote part of the book:

  "His return is certain.

   His return is final.

   Upon His return "He will separate them into two groups as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. The Son of Man will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left."

    The word separate is a sad word. To separate a mother from a daughter, a father from a son, a husband from a wife. To separate people on earth is sorrowful, but to think of it being done for eternity is horrible.

   Especially when one group is destined for heaven and the other group is going to hell.

    We don't like to talk about hell, do we? In intellectual circles the topic of hell is regarded as primitive and foolish. It's not logical. "A loving God wouldn't send people to hell." So we dismiss it.

   But to dismiss it is to dismiss a core teaching of Jesus. The doctrine of hell is not one developed by Paul, Peter, or John. It is taught by Jesus Himself.

    And to dismiss it is to dismiss much more. It is to dismiss the presence of a loving God and the privilege of free choice. Let me explain.

    We are free either to love God or not. He invites us to love Him. He urges us to love Him. He came that we might love Him. But, in the end, the choice is yours and mine. To take that choice from each of us, for Him to force us to love Him, would be less than love.

   God explains the benefits, outlines the promises, and articulates very clearly the consequences. And then, in the end. He leaves the choice to us.

    Hell was not prepared for people. Hell "was prepared for the devil and his angels." For a person to go to hell, then, is for a person to go against God's intended destiny. "God has not destined us to the terrors of judgment, but to the full attainment of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." Hell is man's choice, not God's choice.

   Consider, then, this explanation of hell: Hell is the chosen place of the person who loves self more than God, who loves sin more than his Savior, who loves this world more than God's world. Judgement is that moment when God looks at the rebellious and says, "Your choice will be honored."
So what do you think? Are you ready for Jesus return? We don't know when it will be but He is asking us to please get ready!

Adventures in Local Eating - Chicken

It's been 6 months since I watched Food Inc. and decided to make some big changes in the way we approached food and eating. I've found a wonderful local beef and pork raised on pasture. I've had a lot of fun making our own snacks and a lot of our own bread and rolls. Local fruits and veggies are pretty easy thanks to the huge farmer's market. The one missing food that I was having a hard time finding is locally raised pastured chicken.

I recently found a farm that raises their chickens much like Polyface farm. The family was very nice and I was happy with what I saw at their farm. I was excited to take the chickens home and enjoy the first chicken dinner that we had had in a while. It's gorgeous, right? Those are local potatoes in the bottom (stored from last year by the grower).

It looks beautiful and it tasted good (not over the top wonderful, but good)... but there was one problem. This farm raises "Freedom Rangers" instead of the widely used Cornish X broilers. A lot of homesteaders are starting to raise Freedom Rangers because they feel they're able to forage better since they don't grow as large and grow slower. The Cornish X's are a fast growing breed that we're used to seeing on the grocery store shelves. Some people will say that these birds grow so fast that they can't forage well but my sister's Cornish X's last year did very well free-ranging.
So, I thawed my 5 pound Freedom Ranger and noticed immediately how different it looked from every other chicken I've cooked. The breast meat was about half the size and the legs looked scrawny. After it cooked and I was dividing it up onto our plates, I was disappointed to realize that this chicken would hardly make two meals for our family of four (the kids only eat half of a portion.. if that). I was planning to get 3 meals from this chicken like I do with most chickens I roast. Getting only 2 small meals from this one bird meant that each meal was going to be more expensive then our budget will allow.
5 pound Freedom Ranger at $3.10 a pound = $15.50 / 2 meals = $7.75 worth of chicken per meal.
Our meals usually cost less then $7 total for the entire meal. Spending almost $8 for just the protein portion of our meal isn't practical for us.
So, I'll ration the 2 chickens I have left in the freezer carefully. My sister is very generously raising 25 broiler chickens for me this summer. I'll be helping her to process them in August when I go visit her in Maryland. We figured that with the cost of the chicks plus the cost of feed (they'll be on pasture too) the end cost will be about $6 per bird. Knowing that these chickens will be large enough for 3 meals makes them an incredible bargain! Thanks Katie!


Idayu's Order

Idayu had this lovely Alphabet Animal panel (I'd love to have one!) and sent it over to me and simply asked me to do it up nice for her lil' boy. It was bright with such lovely colors. One look at it and I knew what I wanted to do with it. So it was a 2" solid banana-leaf green as sashing in between and all around . . .

Next, framed it up with a 2.5" marbled dark blue fabric. And finally was strips and strips of 2" colorful fabric I had in my scrap basket. It brought out all the bright colors of the animals.

Backing fabric was the IKEA big striped and went for bold solid yellow as binding.

Absolutely DELICIOUS!!! Hope you feel the same way :-)

Measurement : 44" W X 64" L
Made out of 100% American cotton
Status : SOLD!

Orcas & Dolphins

This is it people! The last of my Orca fabric from down under.

Cut them up into various sizes to capture the orcas and dolphins in different positions and put a solid lime green sashing in between. Wanted to work with only 3 colors - lime green, white & sea blue.

So the lime green went all around, then it was a 2" solid white fabric all around and a 6" perfect striped fabric that had all the 3 colors I wanted! What a find!

A printed green fabric looked good as the backing and the binding was a marbled dark blue.

L.O.V.E.L.Y !

Measurement : 44" W X 52" L
Made out of 100% American cotton
Price : RM200
Status : SOLD!

Happy 3rd Birthday Jackson


Bunny Rabbits

 We have had so much fun at our house this week enjoying a small part of God's wonderful creation- baby bunnies. A week ago Saturday my dad had run over a nest of them while tilling his garden, the mother left and there ended up being 6 babies that needed care. My sister Keren has 3 and they brought us 3 on Sunday night as well.

We are trying to care for them as best we can until we are sure they are able to go off on their own. When they told us about them I figured they would be cute but I wasn't prepared for how cute they are and how easy it would be to get totally attached to them! I have never been a animal lover but baby bunnies could possibly change me.

We have to feed them milk replacer with a medicine dropper several times a day. When we first got them they would jump all over, especially if we touched their whiskers, and not eat to much but now they are just like a baby with a bottle, they latch on and eat for all they are worth. Mara feeds them most of the time and I do it some too.
The second night they were here they were in a fairly shallow box (about 10 inches tall) and during the night they got a bit restless- they have a tendency to be more active at night. The next morning Jonathan checked their box and reported that it was empty, where were the bunnies?!

 We looked all over the entry way (in our split level house it is in between levels with stairs going both directions) but no bunnies, then Mara checked downstairs and sure enough there were the bunnies. The were right at the bottom of the steps, all lined up (shown in the picture above). Somehow they had all tumbled down and ended up together.

The next night 2 of them burrowed under the rags while the third one would climb on top of them and the rags and then try to jump out over the top of the box. We had changed them to a bigger box so this one was now about 15 inches or so tall. He never made it over but he tried over and over. Ken and I enjoyed watching and laughing for some time.

The next night after Mara had given them their nighttime feeding Aaron and Megan took two outside and Megan sat hers down and left it for a bit. When I found out about it and we all went out to look for it we couldn't find it anywhere. I felt pretty bad but it did have a tummy full of milk, it knew how to eat grass and clover and such and it could run fast so I am really hoping (and yes I have been praying!) that it is okay. I just feel bad that it is separated from its siblings as they do so love to cuddle and snuggle and care for each other.

  The other two are enjoying eating greens more and more too. I suppose it won't be long before it will be time to release them too.

They are learning how to hide.
They like to munch on Dandelions.
But we are going to miss them!

A "swimming pool" for a warm day

The saying "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." has long been a favorite of mine. I love the challenge in that saying and I love how contented I can feel with what I do have. I have always hoped to pass on to my kids the enjoyment of making do and just being happy with what we have.

  Yesterday provided a fun example of their creativity and fun in making do. We have been having warm weather recently and I have been thinking that it might be nice to buy a wading pool for this summer, that hasn't happened yet however and yesterday was rather hot. I was busy planting the garden and I had a tarp laid out that I planned to plant tomatoes through that had gathered some water in it. The girls thought it was rather fun to play in but since I didn't really want them jumping and compacting my garden soil I showed them another tarp they could use.

  My intention was for them to just lay it out, spray some water on it and have fun with a few puddles, they however thought that making a swimming pool would work better, so they made this:

This really isn't a long term solution (Ken had them put everything away yesterday evening) but it provided a lot of fun for one morning and cooled them off in the process.

Every little project like this is helping them to realize how much fun we can have simply using what we have and a little creativity and that is something I am pretty happy about!

For more Frugal Ideas visit Life as MOM.

Virtual Garden Tour

After having a hot, dry start to spring, the garden is really taking off thanks to some much needed rain the past two weeks.

I thought it would be neat to take a video of the garden instead of posting 20 pictures of each thing.

So, here is the main garden....

And here is the back garden..

I wish the video quality was a little better so you could really see the plants but this gives you a general idea.

This weekend I'm planning to finish the back garden (plant hot weather plants, stake tomatoes, back fill potatoes) and to mulch both gardens.

My pinwheel sweater is completed

If worn upside down, it becomes a short bolero type sweater with a large collar/hood.
Amazing pattern for sure.

Strawberry Season

A week and a half ago, I bought 6 gallons of strawberries at the farmer's market at $8 a gallon (a pretty good price for around here). I'm glad I bought them when I did because it seems strawberry season is ending a bit early this year due to the early heat and lack of rain we had this spring.

I made 3 batches of freezer jam with about 2 of the gallons.

With most of the rest of the strawberries, I pureed them in the food processor and bagged them in 2 cup amounts and froze them. The strawberry puree will be used to make mixed berry jams when other berries are in season or to add to applesauce in the fall. I froze 10 two cup bags.

I saved one gallon of strawberries for us to enjoy fresh. And enjoy we did! This is Charlotte's strawberry shortcake. She told me exactly how she wanted it assembled and was very specific about only 1 strawberry on top.

I think she approves.

Parenting with less stress {Bedtime and Co-sleeping}

Concerning my children and bedtime and sleeping I feel very blessed. I have known of other families that seem to have a lot of trouble in this area and we haven't. I think we got a good bunch of kids! :-) (God also knows what we can handle I think.) Anyway today I thought I would share our methods in case they might be able to help anybody else as they raise their kids.

 So concerning bedtime....

For our Babies:
We did have beds for each of them. With Mara we were given a little bassinet which I had fun getting all set up before she was born and then I don't think she ever slept a night in it. I do remember putting her in it for a daytime nap a couple of times. :-) Obviously she was sleeping somewhere and that somewhere was our bed. We are blessed with a California king size bed so there was plenty of room (But my parents had all of us kids sleep with them when we were babies and that was in a double bed, so a king size bed is not essential). For the rest of our kids we did again set up a crib or bassinet and I did start using it a little more because we placed it right next to our bed rather than in another room but generally I would just put the baby in it when they first went to sleep and then later on when they woke up I would pull them into bed with me.

  What I liked about Co-sleeping was:
  • I could nurse them easily without having to get up and be wide awake. Mainly- I didn't lose as much sleep. With sleep being a precious commodity for a young mother this worked very well for me.
  • Being near my babies and being able to be sure they were okay.
  • I have read that is reduces the risk of SIDS because the baby follows the parents sleeping pattern and heart beat.
  • We had more bonding time.
   Co-sleeping isn't without its interesting moments. Generally when I would bring the baby to bed I would nurse them (while lying down) and then slide over closer to Ken again and give the baby space. While we slept Ken would slide over a bit to have more space and then the whole process would be repeated with me pulling the baby over to nurse and then sliding over towards Ken after which Ken would slide over towards the edge. I don't know how many mornings we would wake up to find Ken on the very edge of the bed and the baby would have 1/2 of the bed to him/herself.

  I know some parents have many concerns about this method such as:
~"They might fall out!" I'll be honest, this did happen a couple of times but it was when they were bigger (and rolling), it was on carpet and they didn't get hurt- we just both got scared.
~"They'll never want to leave your bed." We chose to "kick" them out at around 1 year and never had much difficulty with that, none of our kids sleep with us now.
~"We won't be able to have physical intimacy as a couple." This doesn't need to be unless you choose it to be, and if that is so you need to get creative and fix that problem.
~"We'll crush them." As long as you haven't been drinking alcohol or are on drugs (which Ken and I never did and I hope you are doing that either!) this is very unlikely to happen. I did prefer to keep the babies over on the other side of me (I slept in the middle) since I would bring them to bed in the middle of the night and with Ken being a pretty sound sleeper he wasn't necessarily aware of it.

I never had a baby who slept through the night but with co-sleeping I was able to survive even with middle of the night feedings. It worked quite well for me. When our babies were still under a year they were pretty much on the same schedule as us, going to bed when we did and then getting up a little after us but then they would take many naps.

For our toddlers:
Around 1 year of age Ken and I chose to train our children to sleep through the night and the co-sleeping ceased. I remember there was a couple of tearful nights but I would go to their bed (which was in our room) and pat their back and try to help them get back to sleep without nursing. Those couple of nights were a bit of a challenge but they were soon over and then they would sleep through the night. We did try to make sure that all of their needs were met before we ever put them to bed. That they had just been fed (if they were still nursing) or had a drink, they had a dry diaper and were warm enough.

  At this point in time we started putting them to bed a little earlier and they started napping a little less.

For our kids:
We don't have an early bedtime for our kids compared to many families that I know. Our kids go to bed around 9:15-9:30pm. This works for us as generally they don't have to be up super early either as we eat breakfast as a family at around 8 am. Since Ken doesn't have to be to work super early and we home school we can be a bit more flexible. Going to bed a bit later works well when we are out in the evening for church or any other event.

Ken is in charge of bedtime with the kids. This started when Jonathan was a baby and Mara was 2. At this point I was getting both kids ready for bed and then I would take my shower and by the time I got that all done it would take quite a while and Ken would be waiting for me to finally be ready for bed. So he ended up taking over making sure Mara was ready for bed (though I would do the bathing when necessary) and then read her a bedtime story. Each time a baby was added Ken would have another kid to be responsible for though then they could take care of themselves fairly well.

 Our routine now is that the kids dress themselves for bed and brush their teeth (at this point they are all fairly self-sufficient) and then Ken reads a bedtime story to them. After they are in bed I sing a song and pray with them. We both kiss and hug them all and tell them goodnight.

  One thing we have been fairly firm on in our training is that once they are put in bed, they stay in bed. Otherwise bedtime can turn into a very long drawn out process with children popping out with a new need every few minutes. Sometimes our kids do forget to go the bathroom or get a drink and we aren't inflexible but they know better then to get up and mess around.

  Now that Mara and Jonathan are reading a lot we do allow them most nights (they request it each night from Ken and he gives them a limit) to read with a lamp on for a bit. Usually he allows around 2 chapters.

Over all bedtime has gone pretty smoothly for us. We have had to do some training but it has worked well and bedtime is pretty stress free. I do really like the traditions that have developed with reading, singing and praying to help them get ready for sleep.

  What works for you all when putting your kids to be? Do you like Co-sleeping or not? I would love to hear your opinions too.


I had this blue fabric which had brightly colored trucks, lorries, tankers, tractors and the like for some time now. It shouted out for a 'boy' quilt. So I went to work on it. I cut the fabric up into 6" squares and decided on my favorite log-cabin pattern.

Made up 12 blocks and went with 2 different shades of yellow and 2 different shades of red. Both colors brought out the colors of the trucks, tractors, etc.

After the dual-color log-cabin around each block, I wanted to break away from the bright colors and went with a 2" soft quiet baby blue as 1st border. Then I finished it off with a bright aqua blue polkadot that was perfect with the blue background of the truck fabric.

A lovely shade of BIG polkadot blue for backing fabric and went with red for its binding.

Looks nice! Very boy-ish :-)

Measurement : 44"W X 54" L
Made out of 100% American cotton
Price : RM200
Status : SOLD!

Flower Fairies - Lilac

Its a beautiful Flower Fairies panel (just like the one in pink posted sometime ago) but in lilac this time. Bought it on etsy. Each fairy block measures 6" X 9" and I used only 6 blocks and put a solid lilac as sashing. Turned out nice & pastel.

As the 1st border, I decided on a 3" printed lite purple & lilac fabric. 2nd border was a 2" soft cream fabric and finally finished off with a 5" dark purple leaf fabric. Put a lilac pinwheel at all four corners just coz' I felt like it :-)

Had a lovely purple fabric with small rose bud - that worked perfectly! . . . and binding was yet another shade of purple.

Turned out really sweet.

Measurement : 41" W X 54" L
Made out of 100% American cotton
Price : RM200
Status : SOLD!