Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holiday themed bentos

We love to add creativity to meals, especially bento time! Chef Johnny (a.k.a hubby) heads that department around here. Check out previous nummy posts here and here.
Halloween Bento
Mandarine orange pumpkin with seaweed face and a green bean for stem, sushi rolls with egg and veggies, and rice colored with carrots
Thanksgiving Themed
Rice Turkey: Seaweed eyes, cheese nose, apple skin gobble, pretzel legs, and candy corn feathers
Christmas Themed
Rice Snowman: Seeweed for buttons and face, pretzel arms, and gardetto's rye chip for hat
Rice Candy cane: seaweed for stripes
I should add, these are John's perfect versions (that man has a gift) and these are mama's ideas of fun kid food: pancakes with marshmallows and grapes! That's fancy right?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Baby Sensory Board

Exposing your little one to a variety of textures and sensory stimulation, sensory boards are not only classified as educational, they are wildly entertaining as well. What's great about this project is that you can use items that you already have around the house! The main thing is providing things to look, touch, and feel- soft, bumpy, shiny, rough, etc that can be fixated down securely. As with any play, you want to make sure you give them plenty of time to discover the different things on their own but with direct supervision.

How to get started:
Poke holes in sheet of cardboard & securely tie ribbons & pipe cleaner
(make sure there are no rough edges)

Supply List:

  • Cardboard sheet, Hot glue gun, Stock Paper
  • A Variety of ribbon, Pipe cleaner, Leash (shortened)
  • Zipper, Fake flower , Fake jewels
  • Foil, Fabric swatches, Pinwheel
  • Magnets backed with foam sheet
  • Pom-Pom balls

Cover with stock paper
Fixate flower with hot glue after poking through cardboard
Add fabric swatches, foil "mirror" & pom poms
The J & ? are magnets that I backed with foam for safety before
hot gluing them on
Remove the top portion of the pinwheel, poke through the cardboard, and glue securely.
Trim the pointy edges of the pinwheel so they are rounded 

The Finished Sensory Board:
It has been such a hit around here that the older girls wanted to make their own boards too! We will have to share what they came up with as they used things that were challenging for each of their age (preschool & elementary). I may just name them Bored Boards!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sexual Abuse: A girl's journey to finding her voice

This. This is a hard one. A post that makes it hard for me to swallow. Hard to breathe. Hard to be vulnerable and share from a place of STILL healing rather than being completely healed. A place where I can't say that after all of these years, I am not still in the trenches, dealing with the aftermath of a war in which for so long I felt my only choice was defeat. For deep down I was damaged goods and had somehow deserved such a status even if it was one that I had only given to myself. So here I am sharing from a place of transparency rather than expertise and that is HARD for me in and of itself.

It started small. As a young girl, in the form of unwanted touches in-between the halls. Unbuttoning my blouse somehow so slyly in a classroom full of people and yet no one saw. And yet I said nothing. I had had a crush on him so maybe I had asked for it? Because I liked him. I meekly tried to ask him to stop and he did not. My voice didn't matter. At that moment, my innocence felt taken from me.

Then there was the supervisor. The one that was more than twice my age. But he didn't really mean what I thought he meant right? He worked with children and everyone TRUSTED him. I trusted him. He told me that he "wanted to know...what boys and girls are supposed to do" as he cornered me all alone. Had I asked for this again? I didn't want to make waves but felt as though I needed to speak out for other kids' sake. If he was saying these things to me, was he saying them to other girls? Younger girls? I told my boss and felt like a fool. I still had to awkwardly work with him. I ended up leaving one of my first jobs as a teenager.

At the age of 17, I was raped. When I confided in someone close, I was told that "That's what happens when you put yourself in bad situations". For years, in my mind, I believed them. It was my fault. And I had lost my voice.

My ill attempt at facing the situation (after a few self-destructive paths) was deciding I would never be a victim again. I was self-sustaining, tough, and trusted no one. I became a master at hiding my heart. I also had a very skewed perspective of who I was as a girl/ woman outside of being a sex object. Those lines were very blurred for quite some time. For awhile, I swung from being what I felt like men wanted me to be to being a complete man hater and not even allowing the opposite sex to open the door for me.  I was never going to let it happen again. I was never going to lose my voice again. I would just speak LOUDER and STRONGER and FIGHT HARDER. I. I. I.  All by my awesome self-sufficient self. Because if I would have just done a, b, c, and wouldn't have happened once. Let alone the next time and the next and the... I tried to protect myslef and heal on my own.

The thing is, we can't do it on our own. Too often sexual abuse is something we chalk up as a norm for girls. Every one of us know of someone who has been abused or harassed in some way and so if it's normal it must be ok. If I've learned anything, it is that it is NOT ok. But it's not about woman power and banning together and burning our bras together and man bashing.

It's about coming to the feet of Jesus, in our brokenness, in our despair, in our desperation, in our cocoon that we have spent years and years and years building around ourselves for protection one thread at a time. Maybe. Just maybe, we can allow God to strip away each thread of false strength. Each self- built bandage and let the healing really begin. At our core. Because deep down out of that suffocating cocoon, comes forth life. Beauty. And Freedom.

So here I am, by the grace of Jesus, getting one wing out at a time, for my husband, for my little girls, and for me.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mommy Truths: How you know you have a toddler

*  Being a mom with a toddler is "like having a blender without a lid" as pinterest so eloquently stated. Dang it. At times, I have to agree. BUT having a toddler is SO much more. They are full of life and wonder are constantly full of surprises.

*  You know you are a parent to a toddler when you have said "use your words" so many times in a day that you accidentally catch yourself saying it to an adult and better yet your spouse. Oops.

*  If little sticky fingers hand you wrappers, gum, jackets, cups, bugs, backpacks, broken toys, snotty tissue or tissue with other residue on it, are a human trash can mama. And then two seconds later turn around for snuggles, high fives, tickles, thumbs ups, blown kisses, "presents", pictures of their scribbles and masterpieces, and their little hand to pray =)

*  When everything out of your mouth is taken literally. "Ruby you crack me up!" "But mommmmmmmyyyyy! I didn't break you into a bunch of pieces!"Or when those adorable responses turn into a somewhat embarrassing moment... Me to a friend: "I can't wait to spoil her!" (referring to her soon to be baby girl). Cute adorable literal toddler then becomes nearly hysterical: "Mommy!!!!!!!! You can't!!!!! You can't BOIL her!" Even after an explanation, apparently spoil and boil are the same thing. Good to know.

*  You know you are a parent to multiple kiddos when going to the bathroom is a license for the kids to bicker. And here you are sitting on the john (to which I imagine my toddler's response would be "Why are you sitting on Daddy?????") disciplining through the door...."Be nice to your sister!" But that just happens to other people.

*  A toddler having a fit (I call it being passionate) is a small glimpse at what I must look like to God at times. I had one right along with my 3 yr old the other day. We both shed a few tears together after a rough morning which thankfully is few and far between. Even if it's just down in my heart, how often do I have an adult "tantrum" of my own? When I dig my heels in and refuse to do what He asks because "I can do it". May I extend to my girls the same grace that He gives me. For their I- WANT- TO- DO -IT- MY- OWN- WAY moments.

* And last but not least, you know you are a mom to a toddler when you don't want to admit that your little one is no longer considered a toddler at all! Welcome to being a mom of a preschooler.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Repurposed wood art

Art on wood is nothing new and it seems that now it has made it's way from the world of pinterest and etsy onto the store racks and after seeing them, I went home eager to make my own version for my bestie. I'm a words kind-of -gal. Words that fuel the heart and soul. Words that speak life and not death. My bestie is the queen of words and is ALWAYS encouraging those around her so it was something that I was hoping would bless her!

I started with a few pieces of scrap wood that we had in the garage. All were the exact same size and had that distressed effect from the paint peeling so they were all ready to go.
Next was adding wood glue in between each panel and firmly placing them together,
and lastly, adding the hand-painted quote:
To make it extra sturdy & for hanging purposes (the glue is not enough to hold it together for a long period of time as I found out the hard way) add metal brackets to the back =) Is it bad that I ended up liking the version that was created at home better then the one in the store??

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bento day is back!

Ladies and gentlemen, bento Friday's are back in session now that the little (and now little-s) are in school. Last year, we started a tradition of creating special bentos for school lunches for Nevaeh. Here is a recap of some of last year's bentos!
Chef husband Johnny has time and patience that baffles me but here is what he did to kick of the first  Friday:
The frog is insanely cute!  Like so cute I want to kiss the little froggie! 
We try to use all natural dyes- beets, celery etc can be boiled down or even added to the rice while boiling in fine pieces. BUT when you are in a hurry and have to get up early to make sushi rice and and and... a drop of food coloring works just as well as you can see! Can't wait to share what's for lunch here and there along with some tutorials. Stay tuned =)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

In a blink: A letter to my daughter & capturing her faves each school year

My Dearest Daughter-

My how you have grown. Your inward beauty, your determiniation, your creativity, your attention to detail, your let's play chase and tickle each other side and let's see how to push mommy's buttons stubborn side, your crazy love and natural ability of sports and your artistic eye, your imagination and let's build a house for fairies and let's make daddy's car into a bat-mobile side and your logical black and white side. Your ability to make something out of nothing, your excitement of learning and school, your organized let's create a pattern and do everything like so side (like making check lists for drawings- "Draw the leaves- check, draw the flower- check...") and your caution to the wind/scribble side, your let's clean everything perfectly side and let's get messy side. Your big sisterly protection and teachers' heart with your little sisters. Your leadership. Your HEART. I see YOU.

I Love You A Million Horses Nevarooni-



Sunday, August 25, 2013

Art Wall Makeover

For my awesome Mama's (A.K.A "Mimi's") bday present, I decided to surprise her by creating an art wall full of her grandbabies' masterpieces! There was a PERFECT emptier then empty wall in the hallway in between the living room and kitchen that needed some TLC. Although I didn't get a "before" picture, I'm sure you can use your noggin to imagine a completely blank tan wall and now THIS:

 My parent's house has a lot of bronze hues and a tropical vibe (we were raised on Kauai before we moved to the awesome Northwest) so I wanted to incorporate that feel into the frames. Not so much my "style" but it was all about blessing my Mama. 
The frames and large wooden A-R-T letters were snagged at the good ol' craft warehouse. 

 I am over the moon with how it turned out and what was so special was the look on her face when she saw it! Truth be told, it was hammered up in close to 20 min. before she got home so I could surprise her and because I never ever ever use any form of measurement it was all done very scientifically....I eye-balled it.
Behind those sentimental frames filled with her grandchildren's time, sweat, and imagination are multiple holes in the wall from mis-attempts at hanging them properly. Soooo it looks like for my Mama's next bday, I will be buying her some spackle !!!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Growth in pictures: Part Three

You can catch up on miss J Part One and Part Two. Eventually I promise to re-name them so they make more sense with her weeks/age but right now I'm just stoked to be able to weekly record what's going on even with the piles and piles of clean/dirty/clean laundry of three little busy girlies....that for now, can wait another day =)