four bucks for ainsley

May 11, 2014 by

four bucks for ainsley


Ainsley Smedley is one of the recipients of my Four Bucks to Change The World campaign to celebrate my 40th birthday.


Ainsley is the daughter of my cousin Jenny. Jenny is really my second cousin, but in my family we are close-knit. I grew up attending a big reunion every summer with all my second cousins and third cousins and thought of them all as first cousins. Tami, my dear, dear friend, is actually one of those second cousins as well. Jenny’s dad, Winn, was always one of my favorites – he would play with the young kids as if he were one of the gang.

Jenny and Bryan, are the parents of five children, Meili-10, Rhyan-9, Ava-7, Ainsley-5, and Hudson, born about 6 weeks before Ainsley’s diagnosis, is now 1.

Aren’t they the cutest thing ever?

smedley-1 copy

I remember the first week of Ainsley’s diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and reading this post from Bryan, her daddy. It broke my heart that within a few short days their entire world had been turned upside down. Ainsley had just turned four years old and started having bruises appear on her legs. Jenny was concerned about another issue altogether – constipation – and was able to get her into the doctor just a few days later. Those bruises started spreading and her lymph glands swelled up. The next day, the doctor called and said he was fairly certain Ainsley had leukemia and needed to be admitted to the Children’s Hospital that very day. By the end of that week, Ainsley underwent surgery, had a chemo port put in, and started on the 2 1/2 year chemotherapy regimen. Can you even imagine your world changing that much from Tuesday to Friday? Add in a 6 week old to boot and a dad in medical residency and you’ve got the makings of one rough ride.

But the Smedleys have stuck together. They have learned to love and serve and sacrifice for one another in beautiful, heartbreaking ways. Last Mother’s Day, Jenny shaved her head when Ainsley’s beautiful red locks fell out in clumps.


They have sold Ainsley’s Army bracelets, made sure to laugh as much as possible, and have nurtured their faith in God’s miracles.

Since that fateful week in February 2013, Ainsley has been fighting with all she’s got. She is sassy, determined, and has more oomph than I can imagine. She has hollered at nurses one minute and thanked them the next. She is full of love and spice and just the right blend of humor. The Smedleys have a favorite phrase, “Cancer picked the wrong girl!” and Ainsley likes to finish it by saying “I’m gonna kick its butt!”

Cancer has changed their family forever, as it does everyone who faces it. The three girls have had to grow up quickly, baby Hudson has had a far different babyhood than his four older siblings – he’s been well-loved, but has had to get used to lots of different situations and helpers, and everyone has had to learn to survive on much less sleep. They have dealt with endless doctor’s appointments, puking children, lumbar punctures, steroid rage, five little children needing more time and attention than is humanly possible to provide when one of them has cancer, and so much more. They have also been surrounded with supportive family and friends who have walked this journey with them.

Bryan is often the one who writes the blog updates on Ainsley’s condition and I have come to love him through his words of pain, heartache, faith, and hope. Here is one of his posts and here is another one that show you the caliber of man he is.

I love this picture of Jenny and Ainsley! They both have some spunk!


Living in the land of make-believe and dress-ups are some of Ainsley’s favorite things.


Look at all that hair growing back in!


I haven’t seen Jenny for years, but I have always loved her parents and siblings and now, through the sharing of their journey through cancer, I have fallen head over heels in love with her husband, children, and especially Ainsley. My little Annesley is just one year older, has nearly the same name, and has the same zest for living, passionate emotions, and courage that Ainsley is kickin’ cancer with. I often hold my Annes a little closer and snuggle her a little longer because of what her cousin Ainsley is going through.


Let’s all chip in our $4.00 to help them with the medical bills that are piling up! If we each do a little and spread the word to help others do a little, we can make a big difference in their lives! Click here or go to to give Ainsley four bucks today.

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four bucks for dando amor

May 11, 2014 by

four bucks for dando amor


Dando Amor is one of the recipients in my 40th birthday celebration, Four Bucks To Change The World. Dando Amor is a local Idaho organization whose mission is giving love.


Dando Amor is a non-profit charity dedicated to blessing the lives of children throughout the world. Serving in Ecuador, Burkina Faso, and Haiti, Dando Amor takes regular service trips to all three countries. All are invited to join the Dando Amor team, whether on a mission trip, or helping fundraise at home, volunteers are always needed.


Dando Amor was founded by Travis and Jennie Gugelman and Lori Nordstrom. After going to Ecuador on a photography assignment and visiting many orphanages, they realized the orphanages backed by American organizations and businesses were far ahead of those that were not. The children living in orphanages who received funding from outside organizations were healthier, more educated, and happier. So they decided to make a difference by both supporting existing orphanages and starting their very own.


In 2013 Dando Amor opened their own boys’ orphanage in Quito, Ecuador. Boys over the age of twelve are no longer allowed in the normal children’s orphanages – they are seen as a possible risk. Most of them have no where else to go and end up living on the street. Travis, Jennie, and Lori decided to open their own orphanage for these older boys. This was and continues to be a very big undertaking, but the Dando Amor Team knew the time had come and they needed to do something to keep the children they loved off the streets.

We have been donating to Dando Amor for awhile now and are incredibly impressed with how they use their funds to save both lives and hearts. This year we didn’t give Christmas presents to each other and instead sent that money to Dando Amor. Our friends, Jen, Paula, and Lisa, have all gone on Dando Amor service trips with their families and all have been changed forever by the work Dando Amor is doing to Be The Good. My daughter, Blythe, is planning on serving with OSSO or Dando Amor soon. My goal with this Four Bucks Campaign is to help Dando Amor open a girls’ orphanage for the older teenage girls this summer. They need every penny we can send them. Check them out on Facebook or on their website.

Click here to give four bucks to Dando Amor.

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four bucks for maggie

May 11, 2014 by

four bucks for maggie


Maggie is one of the four recipients in my Four Bucks To Change The World project to celebrate my 40th birthday. I have been dear friends with Maggie’s mom, Jodie, for the past 10 years. We have worked together in various education endeavors and spent time in each other’s homes. I love Jodie dearly. She has taught me much about living with purpose, loving deeply, and seeing infinite possibilities in the world and people around us. She is a woman of vision and determination.

Here is their story as told by Jodie:

Maggie was born in the early morning hours of summer. She would be my first, my daughter, and the culmination of a dream I had once thought might never come true. Of course, we anticipated our babymoon would be spent counting her perfect fingers and toes, kissing her little pink body and taking in the scent of that beautiful newborn head.

We were blindsided by the unexpected. When she finally arrived she was non-responsive. Our limp little girl was whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). We felt like deer staring into the headlights of a MAC truck.

Maggie had brain damage. The news came quickly and horribly. Doug and I entered the NICU and saw our tiny baby wired, tubed, and needled. She lay limp, her little lips quivering, and black eyes frighteningly empty. How could this be the rolling ball of life that filled my womb just moments before?


From her very first moments here, we committed to give Maggie everything she needed to blossom. We used music therapy, cranial sacral therapy, homeopathy, brain gym, kangaroo care and good ‘ol breast milk. Surrounded by babies that had been in the NICU for months, those dark eyes quickly filled with life and Maggie was released only three weeks after sustaining a traumatic brain injury.

It’s been seven years since the MAC truck of brain injury hit our family. Maggie’s days have been filled with trillions of hours of feeding, endless trips to therapy sessions and specialist appointments, with little brothers and sister in tow from office to office to office. AND . . . thanks to donors like you, Maggie’s days have also been filled with birthday parties, swimming, hiking, beaches, snowshoeing, horseback riding, biking, movies, playing games, friends, learning to read way earlier than her mom even knew, loving math, freedom in an electric wheelchair, finally sitting up in the bathtub, doing chores, speaking with the iPad, and calling friends on the phone.

What of the next ten years? Well, that’s just the Magic of Maggie. When you’re told that you’ll never be able to walk, or talk, or feed yourself, or have a family of your own then, really, the door of possibilities just swings wide open! Dreams, belief, determination and opportunity are the four pillars of a miracle. Maggie has the dreams, the belief, and the determination. You can help Maggie access opportunity.

Maggie’s Month was inspired to help fund the opportunities Maggie needs for her miracles to happen. The opportunities that your donation will support are:

Eagle Eyes: a program that would allow Maggie to communicate her own thoughts using the movement of her eyes. Here is a video describing this awesome communication system.

The Upsee: A standing mobility system that would allow Maggie to participate in play, work, and learning in ways that she has never been able to before. Here is a video by the mom who invented the Upsee showing how it works.

Horse (Hippo) Therapy: “In riding a horse we borrow freedom.” says Helen Thompson. Hippo therapy has a host of benefits such as strengthening core muscles, relaxing hips, and encouraging better speech therapy results, but more importantly it brings confidence, comfort and joy to the rider, not to mention sweet, sweet freedom. Watch this video to learn more about hippo therapy from the National Ability Center’s Equestrian Program. Here is a Maggie riding her horse – get a tissue, I always cry when I see her on the horse.

Anat Baniel Lessons (ABM): ABM is a method of helping the brain re-pattern and organize itself through specific movement of the body. It has helped individuals develop body function that they previously didn’t have. The sessions are called “lessons” rather than “therapy” and the participants called “students” rather than “patients” because of the learning the brain does during the session. This has become our preferred therapy because of the remarkable results we have seen in Maggie in comparison to the hours and hours we’ve spent in traditional physical and occupational therapy. Here is a video showing the effectiveness of ABM.

Through the gift of her disability, Maggie has become a teacher of love, ability and healing. She has inspired people across the globe to live better and more fully, and to reach out in small and simple ways to make the world a better and sweeter place for all through family philanthropy. She is a bridge builder, a We Sherpa.

We hope that your family will be inspired to provide Maggie the gift of opportunity as she pursues miracles in her life. But even more importantly, we hope Maggie will inspire your family to regularly take up causes of good to support. Regular people, honoring the principle of giving have, do, and will make the greatest impact for good in the world.

Click here to give four bucks to Maggie!

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four bucks for aidan

May 7, 2014 by

four bucks for aidan


Raise your hand to help Aidan! Then jump over to my Four Bucks To Change The World page at and donate your $4.00 to bless Aidan’s life.

I met Aidan and his family a few years ago when God guided me into their lives. I was in the middle of doing a fundraiser for Make It For Maggie and knew in my heart there was a family in our local area we needed to support, but I didn’t know who it was. I kept praying to be guided to the family we were to reach out to and bless. Then God told me about Rachel and Lincoln Lear and their three precious boys.


I called Rachel up out of the blue (here is her beautiful perspective on the whole thing) and told her we wanted to raise money for her boys’ needs. As shocked as she was that a complete stranger was calling her, she graciously accepted my plan to make a difference in the life of her family. We have been dear friends ever since and I count them as one of the great blessings in my life. Aidan teaches me how to love more purely and more deeply. His heart is huge and he shares his love abundantly.




Here is what the Lear’s neighbor, Mary, said about them.

“I believe that some people need challenges and trials in their lives in order to turn their hearts toward God, and I believe that some people agreed to have certain challenges and trials in their lives and praise God through it all in order to turn other people’s heart to Him. Rachel and Lincoln Lear, along with their precious boys are just such people. Rachel and Lincoln are two of the most humble, kind, gracious and self-less people you will ever meet. They have been given tremendous mountains to climb during their journey on this earth. They have been blessed to be the parents of four beautiful boys, one of which is waiting for them in heaven.

Their other three boys have serious health problems. Aidan, the oldest, is 9 years old. He has been diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, which is the most severe form of childhood epilepsy. It is extremely rare, with one retrospective study estimating the annual incidence of LGS at 0.002%.

LGS is characterised by daily, multiple seizures of varying types, larger than any other epileptic syndrome. The wide range of seizure types can include Tonic, Myoclonic, Tonic/Clonic, atonic, atypical absence and non-convulsive status seizures. 78% of children with LGS have an underlying cause such as brain lesions, genetic abnormalities, hereditary metabolic disorders, encephilitus, meningitus, brain injury or history of infantile spasms (West Syndrome). In 22% of cases, there is no known cause. A cause has not yet been determined in Aidan’s case.

The onset of seizures usually begins between 2 and 6 years of age, with an average onset of 3 years. Over time the child will have multiple seizures that are resistant to treatment. Multiple anti-convulsant medications are usually needed to decrease the frequency of seizures, but complete seizure control is very unusual.

The combination of multiple medication side effects and multiple daily seizures take their toll on the child and causes a progressive decline in cognitive, physical and social development. The prognosis of these children is very poor. There is no known cure for LGS and a future free from seizures and normal intillectual and/or physical development is exceedingly rare, leading many Neurologists to identify Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome as a catastrophic diagnosis.

Aidan’s health has been declining over the past years and in January of this year, he contracted pnemonia in both lungs. There were many complications due to his already fragile state. He had a tracheotomy done and is now on a permanent ventilator as well as a permanent feeding tube. After over 2 months in the hospital, he was able to come home in March and is currently on hospice care.

The Lear’s second oldest, Jacen is 6 years old. He has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy with a seizure disorder. He has not been diagnosed with LGS, although his behavior and decline in health is mirroring what happened with Aidan.

Their youngest, Damon, is 4 years old. He has been diagnosed with epilepsy.

All three boys have varying degrees of developmental delays and regressions. They also all have a body temperature dysfunction, where they can’t regulate their body temperature so they cannot play outside, or over-exert themselves in anyway. The specialists haven’t fully diagnosed any of the boys, but they do say that they are dealing with a genetic disorder, that all the boys have the same thing and are just at different stages.

On top of it all, their angel mother Rachel, was diagnosed a few years ago with epilepsy herself. So she has her own migraines and seizures with all the side-effects to deal with on top of pouring every ounce of energy she has into caring for her boys and all of their needs.

Despite having more challenges than most people, the Lears are happy, grateful, giving, and positive people. They are most deserving of any and all good that could come their way. They need help buying medical equipment to improve the boys’ quality of life, medical expenses, and possible funeral expenses for dear Aidan.”

An artist painted this picture for Aidan last week – he loves it!


I can’t paint and my body isn’t strong enough to take care of him, but I can still show my love for him by raising money for his needs. I want to make a difference in Aidan’s life and the lives of his family members. Let’s get them the equipment and funding they need so they can focus on living and loving without the huge stress of “how do we pay for this?” hanging over every decision.

Go to to donate today. Then spread this far and wide. Let’s get 40,000 four buck donations.

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May 7, 2014 by



Today is my 40th birthday! For the past five years, I have been looking forward to climbing my favorite mountain to celebrate this momentous occasion, but now that my body is suffering with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, it is not going to happen anytime soon.


Maybe someday when my body is stronger and more capable of doing hard things, I will be able to climb my mountain. But for now, I have to come up with a new way of celebrating. I like to do big things – I thought of having a big party with 40 of my dearest friends. For a teensy moment I thought about what presents I wanted. I finally decided instead of a party or presents, I wanted to do something BIG for the world – something that would actually make a difference in the lives of those around me. I want to climb a tall mountain of goodness.

I have chosen my four favorite families/organizations that need help and am searching for 40,000 (yes, you heard me right, I am shooting for at least 40,000 people) to donate $4.00 to one of these causes. We can do this! We can bless the world with $160,000 for my birthday.

See, I know there is goodness in this world. As my body has fallen apart the past two years, I have been surrounded by love and service and sacrifice and it is time I spread that love far and wide. My donations to any of these four causes, will not make a big difference, but together, we can make a huge impact. We can change the world by joining my $4.00 with your $4.00 and spreading this post all over Facebook, contacting news organizations, and emailing our friends and family members to join with us in being the good in the world.

My Four Favorite Causes

Let’s make this go viral! I am convinced that through many small actions, we can make a HUGE impact. $4.00 is small, almost everyone reading this can donate $4.00, so do it now, and let’s BE THE GOOD!

Go to to donate today and then please, please, please, share this far and wide.

Does anyone have an in with a news organization? Have a big following on twitter? Please help me get this project out to the world. I don’t know 40,000, but we can reach that many if you will help me.

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Dec 12, 2012 by

Banner day.

My mother has a love affair with numbers. She set her alarm for 4:44 or 5:55. Our phone number ended in 3333 and then after that, 2222. We counted everything and screamed over any cool combination of numbers we encountered.

I have the same love affair.

So today is a pretty cool day. But I didn’t do anything to celebrate. I don’t know why. It wasn’t a conscious choice. It just felt like another day and I spent it with my children, reading, mathing, cleaning, and sewing. Not a bad way to spend any day, but there was certainly nothing exciting about it. I didn’t even notice when 12:12 p.m. rolled around.

I do, however, remember a December 12 from nineteen years ago when we had been married for just eight short weeks. On that December 12, on the night before final exams started, our first little house burned down. We were living without a working furnace in a singlewide trailer and I finally got so tired of being SO cold that I asked Richard to start a fire in the decrepit wood stove.

We left to go practice being Mary and Joseph in a church performance and came home to a house all aflame.

Oh, the tears. The absolute gut-wrenching sobs that poured out of my soul that night…and for many nights to follow. We lost everything we owned except for Richard’s scriptures, gun, and missionary memory box.

It seemed an army of kindness was thrown our way. So many people reached out their hearts and hands and helped us. We found another little house to rent and each night when we came home from school we would find boxes on our doorstep full of things we needed. We had only moved to the town in October and very few people knew us, but everyone knew of our plight and blessed us with their love.

Our family members tried to replace many of our wedding gifts and my great-grandfather sent me a quilt he made along with $500. My father sent us $1000 in JCPenny gift cards so we could get some clothing. My church in Wyoming sent us a beautiful handstitched quilt. Our aunts and uncles sent kitchen goods, blankets, and more love than we thought possible.

I will never forget that December 12. It changed me. Forever altered my being and cemented in me a great desire to make a difference in the world by blessing others as I had been blessed.

And for that I am grateful.

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giving = happiness

Dec 4, 2012 by

Oh, how I love December! I love how the whole world (at least it seems to me to be the whole wide world) unites in giving and loving and smiling and serving. I love the music and joy and food and generosity and miracles that I see every December.

I am a big believer in the equation of giving = happiness and I want my children to become committed givers as well. Doesn’t this Light ‘Em Up idea look fun?

This morning during our reading time, I snuggled in bed with Fisher and Annes and read The Quiltmaker’s Gift. It is one of my very favorite books and has been ever since it was published back in 2000. I remember reading it to Blythe over and over and over. She loved it so, so much. One of her favorite things to do as a four to six year old was to be just like the quiltmaker and giving her treasured items to all of our neighbors. I remember her walking over to our elderly friends and giving them her special rocks, dolls, drawings, flowers, necklaces, and more.

This morning when we read it again, I loved discussing how all the King’s stuff didn’t make him happy and our stuff doesn’t and WON’T make us happy either. We talked about all the secret things we want to do this month to spread joy to others. Tomorrow we will be reading the prequel, The Quiltmaker’s Journey and learn all about how the quiltmaker left her life of comfort to become some of God’s hands on earth.

That is what I want our family to be…God’s hands. I know from much personal experience how much of a difference service makes. When I was in bed this spring for weeks on end, Kat arranged for meals to be brought in to my home. Day after day, week after week, women came into my home and fed my family delicious warm food while I laid in bed in my pajamas crying from the pain of this labral tear. Many, many times people have brought groceries or given us money for tires, violins, dentist appointments, and oh, so much more. There is so much love in this world and I have been blessed immensely because of other people being God’s hands in my life.

I love our Save The World projects. I love to create events that bring people together to make a difference in the lives of others. Right now, I have a few projects up my sleeve and am filled with joy at how excited my children are to spend this month giving. One of our projects is putting on a Christmas play at the Senior Citizen’s Center. Another is Operation Pay For The Hole for my dear friend, Jessica. A lot of amazing people have donated to Jessica. If you want to contribute AND get some lovely things for yourself or to give as gifts, we have an awesome auction and affiliate program going on right now over at Balancing Everything. One of the affiliate programs gives you several years worth of music/composer instruction for your family for $19.95. I ordered it and it is awesome sauce! Another program is Richard’s energy work. You can book a session with him and he will donate 50% of the fee to Jessica. Win-win!

What fun ideas do you have in your plans to model that giving = happiness? I would love to hear how you inculcate this truth into your family culture.

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Make It For Maggie 2012!

Nov 4, 2012 by

What an amazing weekend!

Saturday (last Saturday! Yes, a whole week has gone by without the post going live about MIFM. I will try to explain why later!) was our third annual Make It For Maggie event. Kat and I started this project three years ago because we felt absolutely called to do something for Maggie’s Month. We wanted to involve lots of people and to bless lots of people…and Make It For Maggie has done just that.

We were there bright and early getting everything ready for our participants. Thank goodness for Keziah, Courtney, and Rachel…they set up the chairs and tables in all the classrooms, hauled supplies all over the building, and served at our beck and call for three hours before MIFM started. Jennifer came early and we quickly put her and her children to work as well. Kim came and turned the gym into a lovely dinner arrangement with all the tables decorated with children’s books and a fall theme. My favorite was the Make Way For Duckling table which had a copy of the book and then many squash turned into a duck family.

Around noon our guests started arriving. I love welcoming people to MIFM!


I love looking in their eyes and connecting with their hearts and thanking them for coming to MIFM. I love helping people feel special…because they are and they can feel it by the way I treat them when they walk in the door.


Ted (Kat’s dad) made everyone involved adorable pink name tags. I nearly died when I saw how stinkin’ cute they turned out. Emily, our photographer, snapped this photo of me and miraculously I look like a human being instead the ridiculous blob I normally turn into when a camera is pointed my way.


Ted also made us signs for the whole building and printed out piles of spreadsheets so we could keep everyone and everything organized. Kat’s printer is broken and mine has been out of ink for many weeks now, so Ted came to our rescue and printed up whole reams of documents for us.

This year’s event was a late night affair with classes ending at 9:00 p.m. and our teachers were superstars and stayed engaging and inspiring all day long.

Anne’s Laughter Yoga is always a hit.

Keri’s essential oil goodness was a hit during the 8:00 hour.


Sheila teaching about raw food scrumptiousness with gobs of samples everyone loved.


Here are Jana and Kim, our Dinner Chairmen. They did a fantabulous job! We didn’t have to worry about it at all!


During dinner we had a frenzy of last minute bidding on our amazing Silent Auction items, a delicious spread of soups, breads, and desserts (confession, I ate five pieces of pumpkin roll!), a tear-jerking presentation by Jodie (Maggie’s mama) that inspired all of us to work together as families to make a difference in the world for the causes we are called to give our hearts, resources, and money towards.


All during dinner, Kat calculated the donations to reach our grand total. Then, in a pile of tears (tears were flowing all around, not just from Kat’s lovely eyes) she announced to our recipients just how generous this community is.


The Osburns


The Roughtons


We thought we had $5000 to dispense to our three families, but we have run into some mathematical errors and are still trying to sort it all out. We know we have at least $4500 to split between them and are now trying to pinch hit to get back up to the $5000 we thought we had raised.

I am so, so grateful to be part of Make It For Maggie. My heart is bursting with joy over the whole thing! I am thankful to have a philanthropic project that involves my whole family. I want to smooch all of our amazing teachers – they are what bring our participants back each year. I am thankful for our awesome group of people who volunteered to make it a success this year – Jana, Kim, Charlene, Amy, Emily, Ted, and Lois all contributed of their time and talents and greatly lightened our work load. I am thankful for Katherine and the privilege it is to work with her make a difference in the world. Every single year my whole soul is taught of the goodness and generosity of individuals, the power of community and the wonderfulness of this community, and the miracles that happen when I am doing God’s work.

Thank you. Thank you for anything you have done to Change The World One Family At A Time.

May God bless you.

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mifm 2012 countdown

Oct 22, 2012 by

Five days until Make It For Maggie. Five days to get everything done. But really? Only two. Tuesday and Thursday. Because Wednesday is iFamily and Friday is gym.

So two.

Two days to pull off a miracle.

We still have gobs to do.

  • Get a gazillion more registrations.
  • Make name tags for all registrants, babysitters, chairman, and recipients.
  • Organize (and collect more!) silent auction items.
  • Collect more door prizes to be given out to our participants throughout the day.
  • Buy all the napkins, plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery.
  • Buy all the snacks for the children being babysat.
  • Make all the room signs.
  • Make all the handout books.
  • Make all the silent auction bid sheets.
  • Buy and make all the teacher thank-you gifts.
  • Make sure we have all teacher supplies ready and organized.
  • Make the agenda for the dinner time presentation.
  • Bring the microphone system (and test it to make sure it works!)
  • Fill my heart up with God’s love so I can spill it out on everyone who is joining us.

Pray for us. We need miracles and thousands of dollars in donations (YES, my friends, every little bit counts, so if you would care to join us in this mighty endeavor, head over to Make It For Maggie and click the donate button) to pull off our big dreams for these three lovely families. We need calm heads, strong spirits, and huge hearts to make this day as wonderful as it can be.

And we need you! Join us in Changing The World One Family At A Time.

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his voice

Oct 9, 2012 by

My heart is spilling over with gratitude today. Gratitude for the goodness of God. Gratitude for His patience with me. Gratitude for His majestic love. Gratitude for His voice.

He has been talking to me. Helping me learn to listen and then to act. Blessing me with His guidance.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to change the world…to make it a happier, brighter, and more peaceful place. I remember as a little girl growing up in our family grocery store how much joy I felt when I helped others get their groceries to the car, or find something they needed in the store, or brought them a smile as they checked out. I remember jumping up and helping others AND having a great time doing it. I remember playing knock-and-run to our neighbors and people in our town who needed our help. I loved it then and I love it now. I love helping people have a brighter day and a more secure tomorrow. In many ways, it is what I was born to do.

As a grown up, this poem sums up my feelings much of the time.


Motherhood has ruined me for life.

I want to nurse the world
A continent to a breast.

I want to cut up waffles
For all the third world
Send the dictator to his room
Ground the drug dealers
Wash out the pornographers’
Mouths with soap
And spray organized crime
With Black Flag.

I want to make all the politicians
And all the executives sit on the couch
And memorize the golden rule
And stand up and say it in unison.

I want to grab a bullhorn
And announce to the world 
That barbecues will stop
Until all the litter–all the litter–
Has been picked up.  

Oh, I could fix everything
If they would all just listen to me,
Listen to me,
Listen to me!

I have such illusions of grandeur:
I am a mother

~Carol Lynn Pearson

I am one of those people who would run off to a foreign land and spend my days bandaging wounds, feeding soup, and giving hugs. I would…if I could. And maybe I will someday. But God has called me to labor here in my home as a mother and to nurture these children He has blessed me with. While they are my first priority, those longings to save the world are ever present in my heart. Thus, Make It For Maggie was born. It all started back in 2009 when I first discovered Katie and Amazima. I could not rest until I created a way to be of service to Katie and the children she serves in Uganda. Women from all over the world joined with me in sewing pencil rolls for Katie’s schoolchildren and our family’s fall service project was born. The next year, my friend, Jodie Palmer, created Maggie’s Month and once again, I knew I needed to DO SOMETHING. I could not, NOT do something. Kat and I started brainstorming and Make It For Maggie was born. That first year was amazing. Things came together quickly (in three short weeks) and the outpouring of love from our community was enormous. In 2011, I really didn’t know if I was up to it. I had just been through an incredibly difficult six months with a breast lump and a variety of treatments and finally a lumpectomy that took me two months to recover from. But, Katherine was willing and God spoke to my heart, and with many helping hands we were able to create another wonderful event.

This year, there was no question in either of our minds if we would be doing it again. We are in for the long haul now. So back in August we started working on putting all the details together. By September things were rolling along, but we couldn’t decide on who our recipient should be. We had several excellent nominations and one fairly obvious choice, but as we prayed, we didn’t feel right about any of them. We went on planning, finding teachers, and working on the website, but we could not select our recipient with any amount of peace in our hearts. It was bizarre. In past years we knew exactly who we were working so hard for and had a central purpose driving us. This year, we had to keep working without knowing who all of this was going to bless. More prayers. More pondering. No peace. More work. More teachers. More people asking us over, and over, and over again WHO the recipient would be. More courage to wait until the peace came. More nominations. More prayers. No peace.

This went on for weeks and was a tad unnerving. But, we couldn’t feel right about just selecting someone because they needed our help. We wanted and needed to have confirmation from God that who we were choosing was right.

Registration was supposed to open on Saturday, but on Saturday we still didn’t know who our recipient was. Then, finally, yesterday, the answer came, with power and peace, it came.

I know this is long, but bear with me. It is worth it.

Last Sunday at church, when my heart was breaking over our ward split that would be happening in a few short hours, God spoke to me and told me to ask my friend, Heather, if there was someone at her church (where we meet for iFamily) who needed MIFM’s help. I thought, “Oh, that is a good idea.” But, I didn’t do anything about it. I think I believed I could still solve this whole thing and so even though time was fleeing rapidly, I didn’t call Heather. On Wednesday morning, as I was showering before I went to the temple with Keziah for her first time, I heard God speak to me again. He said “Tracy, someone is adopting children and they need your help.” I thought in my mind “Oh, we don’t do adoptions, we do children with disabilities.” Again, “Tracy, someone is adopting children and they need you.” “Hmmm,” I thought.

Later that day at iFamily, I shared with Heather our inability to feel peaceful about any of our nominations and the prompting God had given me on Sunday to speak to her about it. She told me about a family in her church who has two children with severe disabilities and told me she would find out more about their needs and how MIFM could help them. I thought, “Hmmm, maybe this is our family. I hope Heather finds out more quickly so we can make a decision and move forward.” As I turned to walk away, she kind of mumbled something about another family in their church who were adopting from the DRC. I froze in my tracks and asked her for more information. She couldn’t give me much, but I felt like this might be the answer we had been praying for. I still wasn’t sure and was rather unsettled by the whole thing. I kept thinking, “We don’t do adoptions. This can’t be right…but what if it is?”

But I kept thinking about it. On Thursday I told Kat about it and she wanted more information as well. Friday I left for SLC and our amazing temple trip. Sunday was spent watching General Conference and then working on the MIFM website into the wee hours of the morning. Monday was the last day to decide. We had postponed registration from Saturday to Tuesday in the hopes of having our recipient selected and our registration process smoothed out, but here it was Monday morning and still no recipient we knew was right. I kept pleading with God to teach me, to show me who we needed to select, to show me the path. Nothing. More website work. Finally, I called Kat and said “We must decide.”

And then we knew. We were flooded with peace. We knew we were to select TWO families and that one of them was our obvious choice from up above and the other was the adopting family from Heather’s church. I immediately called Heather and found out more about this family. It turns out that Todd, is the Youth Pastor at their church and is well-loved by many of our friends. It turns out that they have been praying and working for many months to raise the money they need to travel to pick up their sons. It turns out they had just made an awesome movie to share their message and their need. It turns out their seven-year-old son, JT, had just prayed that very morning for God to send them help.

And He did. JT, He did. He sent two crazy mamas who want to alleviate all the suffering in the world, but know they can’t, so instead they spread joy and love and goodness and build a community of people dedicated to changing the world one family at a time.

I can’t even begin to put into words my feelings about this. It is overwhelming to know, clearly know, God led us to this family who has been praying for someone just like us to find them. It is humbling to think of being an instrument in His hands. It is my desire to more fully align my will with His so He can use me more fully to bless His children.

So grateful.

Want to learn more about our recipients for this year? Check them out over at Make It For Maggie, then either click on the Registration button or the Donate button and join us in Changing The World One Family At A Time.

Thank you, God, for teaching me once again whose work this is and how much you love your children.

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make it for maggie wrap-up

Oct 30, 2011 by

make it for maggie wrap-up

Katherine and I are grateful and filled with love for each and every participant in Make It For Maggie. Words cannot do justice to the feelings we have in our hearts after yesterday’s event.

I walked through the day with a smile on my face and oodles of gratitude in my heart at the greatness of soul that was demonstrated by our community. It was a privilege to spend a day learning, serving, and laughing with you.

There were SO many amazing and wonderful and delightful moments throughout the day. Here are just a few of them.

1. Bill and Linda Watts helped us set up chairs and get each room ready for our classes to begin. We couldn’t have been ready on time without them!

2. Charlene walked in with the box of Handout Booklets at just the right time. We gasped when we saw how beautifully they turned out! They are lovely. Thanks to Charlene Hertzberg for her hours of work putting them together! We hope they prove to be useful in the lives of our supporters and they get used and used and used!

3. Several attendees showed up with friends! Yeah for spreading the love!

4. Check-in was super fun (although a little bit of a bottleneck!) because we were able to speak to each person, give lots of hugs, and connect with our attendees.

5. The decorations, table settings, and the whole flow of our lunch together was FABULOUS! Thank you to Kim, Stevie, and Zoie Conder for going the extra mile to make Make It For Maggie run a gazillion times more smoothly than it did last year. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

6. Liz sang to us at lunch and what can I say…her voice melts me every time. There were many tears throughout the room. Thank you for sharing your heart with us and blessing us with the gift of music.

7. The Silent Auction was a HUGE success! Thank you for your generous support and for bidding at the last minute!

8. Christine Paugas gave Maggie a cute little knitted turtle…wish I had a picture of it because it is adorable!

9. Our classes were thoroughly enjoyed! One participant said “I have been inspired by this group of amazing women. I can’t wait to come back next year!” Yes, we have wonderful teachers!

10. An anonymous and generous donor wrote us a lovely letter and put it in our donation box. Thank you to whomever you are…and may God shower you with blessings!

10. The Bartell family showed up at 5:00 and said “Put us to work! We are here to clean the building.” Woo-hoo!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

11. When Eric Browning saw that Brian Bartell was the only man putting up tables, he dropped his schedule and got right to work! Thank you Eric!

12. Lots of people put up chairs, swept floors, and got the building put back together! I drove away at 6:39! Yes, only 1 hour and 39 minutes after it ended! Thank YOU to everyone who helped!

13. I received so many wonderful hugs yesterday…and not your average-pat-on-the-back-hugs, but tight squeezes full of love!

14. Another donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, made a very generous last minute donation. She brought Kat and me to tears with her love for the Lear family. Thank you!

15. Melissa Bartell donated money from her Halloween Costume Party…such a fabulous idea! Thank you!

16. Many people brought in door prizes at the last minute and filled our day with fun and lots of winners. A special thank you to my mama, Dorothy, for bringing so many adorable and yummy items! Thank YOU!

17. I was able to snuggle my nephew, Easton, so his overworked mama could attend Jodie’s relationship class. He promptly fell asleep on my shoulder and I was in baby heaven for an hour. Isn’t the sound of a baby breathing in your arms one of the most precious things in the world?

Here are some pictures of our day:



Miss Maggie at lunchtime


Sharing information about some of our donors


Picking Door Prize winners


Lincoln Lear and lil’ guy Damon



Giving Maggie’s mom, Jodie, money for Maggie’s new Proloquo2Go Communication Program and two Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments. Yippee!!


Jodie sharing her words of inspiration and gratitude for Make It For Maggie. She showed us some of the blessings that came into Maggie’s life through Maggie’s Month last year.


Liz singing her heart out and bringing us to tears









Bill and Linda Watt’s amazing display of preparedness items to use without electricity


Silent Auction


Door Prizes


Making Tea Towels Aprons





Cosette’s Stewardship Approach to Chores class


Amy’s Just Add Water class


Dorothy’s Make It, Take It Wooden Craft Class


Kim, our amazing luncheon chairman


Liz’s Green Smoothie Class


Thank YOU to everyone for making Make It For Maggie a huge success! Thank you for joining with us in Changing The World One Family At A Time. Every single donation from $10 to $500 made a difference and we are humbled to be surrounded by such greatness of spirit.

Please feel our love for you and please spread the word, build the momentum, and join us next year.

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what are you signing up for?

Oct 9, 2011 by

Have you seen the new Make It For Maggie site? Have you seen the classes are up? What are you going to take? Registration will be up soon!

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why i do what i do

Oct 8, 2011 by

Sometimes I wonder what the heck I am thinking when I start a massive project like the 500 Pencil Rolls or Make It For Maggie or any of the other crazy things I do, and then I remind myself I am not crazy, I am trying to bring joy to this world. I am trying to share my bounty with others. I am trying to build families. I am trying to save souls. I am trying to follow my Savior.

It may look crazy on the outside…and trust me, it often feels crazy on the inside…but it isn’t. It is what I feel called to do and feel driven to do. When I saw this sign, it resonated with me. I want a big ‘ol ginormous version of it hanging in my house…maybe I will finally paint a wall for the first time in my life with this on it? Nah, I really won’t, I am too scared to pick up a paintbrush!


But I do love pondering it and recommitting myself to both believe in the good and to be the good. What other choice is there? Sure, I can focus on the evil, the sadness, and the just plain awfulness of life, but it makes so much more sense to me to focus on the goodness and greatness of God, the connection and courageness of people, and the beauty and blessings of our time here on earth…and I can be part of those things. I can love and serve and give and laugh and be part of creating the good in my life and in my lives of those around me.

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make it for maggie 2011 recipient

Oct 4, 2011 by




Our 2011 Make It For Maggie Recipient has been selected! Check out this adorable family and join with us in changing the world one family at a time!

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make it for maggie take two

Sep 27, 2011 by

Make It For Maggie is ON! Yes, Kat and I are joining forces again to make a difference in the world. Stay tuned for more information on our recipient, classes offered, location, new website, dates and times, and how you can help.

In the meantime, I need two things from you:

1. A comment here if you would like to be involved. We are actively searching for committee chairs and numerous other volunteers to make this event a huge success.

2. Suggestions for a Make It For Maggie recipient. We are going to have a new recipient each year and divide up the funding between our new recipient and Maggie.

We are tentatively scheduled for October 29th, so keep that date open. As soon as it is confirmed, we will let you know!

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happy birthday mr. presidents

Feb 21, 2011 by

“I love America, yes, I do. I love America through and through.” (Opening line to one of our favorite songs from Take Your Hat Off When the Flag Goes By by Janeen Brady.)

Take Your Hat Off

Yes, I love this land that was established as a bastion of freedom. I pray we will have the education, courage, and skills to return to the days of our constitutionally bound federal republic. I pray for men and women to unite together to recreate a land of freedom. I pray for wisdom in our current leaders. I pray for an end to the nanny-state, an end to entitlement programs, an end to regulations that limit our freedom and create dependency among our citizens.

To celebrate President’s Day, we read Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire. We are going to spend the whole week discussing Washington and Lincoln, freedom and slavery in all its forms, different forms of government, sacrifice, honor, and what it takes to be a truly great leader. My children loved our book for the day and I hope they enjoy our whole week.

Abraham Lincoln

If you like this book, you can check out all the other D’Aulaire treasures…we love their Greek Myths book!

We don’t want to just study the past on this special day. We want to make a difference in the world of today. We want to restore freedom to America. There are many ways to do this. On this day, we are supporting Ron Paul and inviting each of you to do the same.

I love Ron Paul’s vision of what our country could be like in our modern world. I am deeply grateful for his voting record in the United State House of Representatives. Since 1976 every single one of his votes has been in alignment with the Constitution of the United States of America. He is the only legislator with that record. Today, he has organized a Money Bomb…an attempt to raise oodles of donations from the people who support him. If you are one of those people, please join with me in donating today.

Here is his letter to our country:

Dear Supporter,

A great man was born 279 years ago.

George Washington was a freedom fighter, a leader, and one of our greatest Presidents. But, much of General Washington’s greatness was marked not by what he did, but by what he chose not to do.

He could have been a King.

Instead, he stood for Liberty and stepped aside after eight years, allowing our young Republic to grow into the greatest nation in Human history.

2012 offers our movement a tremendous opportunity. Our nation is beset with crippling debt, an out of control federal government, and a foreign policy that weakens our national defense and isolates us from the world.

But with hard work and determination, we can change course and turn our country back toward Liberty and all of its rewards.

Quite frankly, we need to elect a President in 2012 who will do a lot less: less meddling in the economy, less spending, less warrantless ransacking, less bailing out of Wall Street, less inflating, and less foreign aid and overseas intervention.

We need a President who will respect our Constitution, not someone who simply pays lip service to our traditions.

Because I want a President who does so much less, a lot of people ask me if this means I want a weak President.

My answer is “No!” I want a strong President – a President like George Washington.

I want a President strong enough NOT to take power he should not have.

It is no secret that I am weighing my personal political options for 2012, and that I am relying on Liberty PAC to fund my efforts while I make important decisions.

Monday, February 21st, is Presidents’ Day, which celebrates George Washington’s birthday, and we hope to make it one to remember.

On Monday, Liberty PAC will host its first-ever Money Bomb. Please mark it on your calendar and consider contributing. If we all come together and pitch in, we can take our country back from the statists that are stealing our Liberty and shredding our Constitution.

The next few months will be critical to ensuring a successful political operation for the 2012 cycle. I hope you will join me by making this Presidents’ Day, February 21st, truly special.

For Liberty,

Ron Paul

Happy President’s Day to one and all whether you agree with me or not.

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we did it!

Nov 9, 2010 by


Make It For Maggie was a huge success! Our goal was to raise money for seven dives for Maggie, bring our community together in service, and to help people learn skills and information that will bless their lives.

We did all three!

Through the great generosity of many, many people we were able to raise almost $1700 for Maggie. Isn’t that amazing! I am so blessed to be surrounded by people of goodness, people who are willing to share themselves with others, people who are willing to give and give some more.

The women who came together at Make It For Maggie made new friends, learned new skills, laughed, cried, and loved. It was a wonderful day of delicious food, inspiring classes, huge smiles, gushy hugs, and lots of laughter.

Although we were exhausted by the end of the day, we were also filled with joy from head to toe. I am so glad Kat and I decided to create Make It For Maggie. It was a wonderful experience that has blessed more lives than just Maggie’s.

My favorite parts?

1. Listening to the Laughter Yoga class giggle themselves silly.




2. Watching my friend Laura teach how to make her signature Mexican tortillas, beans, and salsa.


3. Listening to everyone have great conversations during dinner.


4. Mary Beth enjoying a soup so much she demanded to know who made it and what the recipe was.

5. My little sister learning how to get her baby into a sling.

6. The plethora of hugs I received during the day.

7. Kat’s dad doing the jobs of about 50 people and doing them fabulously well.

8. Seeing Anna give Maggie a doll that looks just like Maggie and then seeing Maggie love on that doll for the rest of the time they were here.


9. Smelling the deliciousness of the essential oils class.

10. Seeing Sarah teach a group of little girls how to knit.

11. Seeing the excitement in everyone’s eyes as they learned about raw foods, sprouting, freezer meals, calendula creme, cracker making, marinara sauce, sewing, and green smoothies.





12. Drinking Liz’s green smoothie of utter deliciousness mid-afternoon when I needed an energy boost.

13. Eating the best graham cracker of my life – thanks Carol!

14. Watching everyone laugh during the Improv Underground Dinner Show.

15. Watching Liz scream and shake her booty when she was announced as the raffle winner for a Family Photo Shoot by Moments by Tyra Photography (unfortunately all that screaming scared Miss Maggie).

16. Giving Jodie and Maggie a pile of cash to fund Maggie’s treatments and seeing the joy on everyone’s faces as they realized that each of us was part of something amazing.


Jodie, Maggie, Mary, and Jodie’s mom, Mary Ann, spent the night at our home (along with my mom, Mikelle, and Easton, and Camille, Abigail, and Eve!) and attended church with us. We had so much fun trying on baby carriers, designing options for Maggie to be carried more comfortably, reading books, eating granola and smoothies, coloring my hair, and watching all the children playing together.

Ignore my half-closed eyes…IMG_6169


Some firsts for Maggie happened right here in my home! Maggie stood up for several seconds by herself! She sat up by herself! She colored with a marker by herself! These are all new things and I am sure the nine dives she has had so far are the reason why. It is so super-exciting to be a witness to the transformation of Miss Maggie!

Annesley and Maggie…aren’t these two girlies adorable!


Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. Thank you for sharing your money, your food, your time, and most of all your hearts.

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make it for maggie – breaking news!

Oct 31, 2010 by

If you have been trying to make up your mind or trying to work out your schedule to come to Make It For Maggie, let me put a tickle in your ear…

Two pieces of exciting news!

1. Early Bird Registration has been extended until Monday at midnight! You must email either Kat at or Tracy at by Monday night with your class selection. Please mail your check on Monday to Katherine Jensen at 3506 Greenfield Dr., Ammon, ID 83406.

2. We are having a raffle!! Birth Happens is donating Doula Services with a retail value of $400. Anyone, attending or not, can buy raffle tickets by emailing Kat or Tracy how many tickets you want to purchase and sending your money in to Kat. Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5. If you win, you can use the doula services yourself or give them to your daughter, friend, or other lucky pregnant mama!

Please spread the word about the raffle to help us earn even more money for Miss Maggie.

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make it for maggie – new info!

Oct 23, 2010 by

(Before I get started on all the latest Make It For Maggie news, I need to let my loyal readers know that posts will continue being posted below this one until Make It For Maggie is over, so scroll down for my thoughts on a myriad of other topics. This one will be on top until November 7th).


If you have been trying to make up your mind or trying to work out your schedule to come to Make It For Maggie, let me put a tickle in your ear…

Two pieces of exciting news!

1. Early Bird Registration has been extended until Monday at midnight! You must email either Kat at or Tracy at by Monday night with your class selection. Please mail your check on Monday to Katherine Jensen at 3506 Greenfield Dr., Ammon, ID 83406.

2. We are having a raffle!! Moments by Tyra Photography is donating a One Hour Family Photo Shoot w/ CD and copyright release. Anyone, attending or not, can buy raffle tickets by emailing Kat or Tracy how many tickets you want to purchase and sending your money in to Kat. Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5.

Please spread the word about the raffle to help us earn even more money for Miss Maggie.

Miss Maggie

Our Make It For Maggie event is coming together and is going to be fabulous! This post has new photos, class descriptions, and oodles of information you need, so PLEASE read the whole post to make sure you don’t miss a single thing.

Make It For Maggie will be held at 2055 S. Ammon Road, the Stake Center (church building) on Ammon Road in between 17th Street and Sunnyside.

Updated Schedule


What are you waiting for? Register today and make sure you get the classes you want! Email Kat at or me at and tell us the classes you want, the sizes you need for sewing patterns, and any food you would like to bring from the menu down below. Mail checks payable to Katherine Jensen at 3506 Greenfield Dr., Ammon, ID 83406.

If you have already registered and would like to change your classes, please email Kat at or me at

Class Descriptions

Twirl Skirt – Pattern will be available in whatever size you specify

Learn how to make this adorable skirt with two options: either with the strips of different fabrics or just one middle piece. This skirt is available in all sizes. Please specify child, junior, or misses and what size within those categories.


Home Camera 006

Wear Forever Dress

Size 6 months – 3T

Okay, you can’t really wear it forever, but three+ years is a pretty long time. The ingenious strap and buttoning system allows it to grow with your child for a really long time. Come and learn how to make one for the little girl in your life.

Model in the pictures below is the lovely Jain who is nearly four and it still fits!





Adult Wrap-Around Skirt

If any of you know Kat well, you have seen her wear her brown skirt. You can wear it when you are thin, pregnant, postpartum, overindulged, or on a great work-out plan. It just keeps fitting! As there is no standard sizing in the US, please give us a waist and hip measurement so we can make your pattern correctly.

Home 082

Home 081

Roll-up Market Bag

This bag is generously sized to hold plenty. Rolls up compactly to fit in pocket or purse so it’s always handy. Tote’s self-fabric tab with snap closure keeps it securely rolled when not in use. Measures 19 1/2″ W x 27″ H. Makes a perfect library bag, farmer’s market bag, or grocery bag and will hold an entire paper bag’s worth of groceries.



Mei Tai Baby Carrier

Every mom needs a baby carrier and mei tais are easy to make, easy to use, and enable you to carry your baby from birth to three+ years. This class will teach you how to make a Ball Baby Carrier, which is Kimber Tower’s pattern. I use this carrier and LOVE it. I have even sewn one of these carriers and if I can do it, anyone can!

Here is one of Keziah as a seven-year old carrying Annesley:


Here is the one I made:


Whole Wheat Bread Making

Learn how to make delicious bread that your family will love for pennies compared to what you pay at the store!

Marinara Sauce & Breadsticks

Mary Beth’s marinara sauce is quick and easy and so yummy you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this deliciousness. Learn how to make it and then go home and tempt your family’s taste buds.

Mexican Tortillas & Fresh Salsa & Beans

Laura is an amazing mother of two and creator of scrumptious, authentic Mexican food. I could eat her food every single day and never grow tired of it. She will be teaching us how to make her famous tortillas, salsa, and beans. Come and enjoy her delightful personality and learn how to make these staples of the Mexican diet.

Cracker Class

Carol will be teaching us how to make graham crackers and wheat thins. Homemade crackers are the best! Save money and get peace of mind by only putting ingredients that you can pronounce into your family’s bodies.

April’s Easy and Yummy Beans + The Wonderful World of Lentils

April’s beans are my favorite. I LOVE them. She is coming to teach us how to make them and have them on hand for your family to use every day. She promises that they are super easy and anyone can make them.

Kari makes lentils taste divine. Come learn how to make this cheap legume a featured item in your family’s diet. She will have some samples on hand for you to taste test…yummm!

Raw Foods

Raw foods are delicious, nutritious, enzyme-packed, great for your digestive system, and more creative than you ever dreamed of. Come learn how to make eating raw fit with your lifestyle and reap the benefits of more energy, weight loss, and improved health!


Sprouting grains and legumes increases the protein, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and essential fatty acids your body gets. Come learn how to make sprouting work for you and taste a wide array of dishes made with sprouts.

Exercise Balls Workouts for Moms

Learn 10 things you can do in your home each day to improve your health, strength, and stamina!

Babywearing 101

Wearing your baby in a sling, mei tai, structured carrier, wrap, or pouch makes mothering a million times easier. Come learn how to use these contraptions to free up your hands, lighten your load, and help your baby feel secure.

Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga combines laughter with yoga breathing exercises for a one-hour workout session that includes 30 minutes of laughter. “Laughter truly is the best medicine,” says Anne Timpany, Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher and leader of the laughter sessions. “We all know that laughing feels good, and now scientific research is revealing the full range of physical and mental health benefits that come from the practice of laughter.” Come and enjoy an hour session and just see if your stress level doesn’t decrease!

Knitting and Crocheting Circle

Beginners and experienced knitters and crocheters will come together to learn the basics, improve on their skills, or work on their current project. Sarah will be there from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. teaching and sharing her stitching know-how along with her fabulous gentle spirit.

Freezer Meals

Come learn how to cook one day and have food for a month! Save time and money and always have dinner on hand when you need it on those busy days when the time to cook gets lost in real-life living.


Come and learn how to save hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill each month! Rachel will teach us how to make it work for you on the things you buy already.

Ribbon Hair Bows

Come and learn how to make adorable bows and barrettes for the little girl in your life!

Calendula Super Skin Cream

Calendula, a plant that has been referred to as nature’s first-aid, has been used to heal skin for ages. Recommended for those with eczema and other skin sensitivities, it works wonderfully on diaper rash, minor cuts and scrapes, and on the face and body for replenishing extra-dry skin. Come and learn how to make it!

Fabric Flowers

Learn how to make flowers with fabric that you can use on dresses, purses, barrettes, or on headbands. Super cute!


Charting Your Cycle

Come and learn what your body is doing each day of the month and how to keep track of it all. Basal body temperatures, cervical fluid, and cervical position provide you with a wealth of knowledge you need to be able to properly schedule medical exams, start on medications, know when you can get pregnant, and what your hormones levels are. Absolutely essential information for every woman!

Intro to Essential Oils

Come and learn how and why essential oils work to improve health, provide emotional support, decrease pain, and treat infections. Learn about the top five oils every home should have on hand and how to use them.


On top of all these fabulous classes, we will have some Cricut Cutting Machines set up all day long. You may bring your own paper and cut to your heart’s delight. Make your Christmas cards, a paper doll dress-up set, baby announcements, scrapbooking pages, and lots more!

For those of you with some holes in your schedule, we will also have a quilt set up to tie for the Humanitarian Center. Come and learn how to tie a quilt, put in some stitches, and go home knowing you just helped make a blanket for someone in need!

If you cannot attend, but would like the patterns for the sewing projects and handouts from the classes, you may pay the entrance fee of $15 and you can get them! Just email pattern sizes and handouts desires at Kat or me at and we will get you taken care of!


Yes, prizes!!! We will be giving fabulous prizes away all day long. You can earn tickets by registering early (the earlier you register, the more tickets you get!), registering a friend we did not invite (yes, invite your neighbors, sisters, friends, church members!), bringing food, teaching a class, or volunteering to be on the clean-up crew.

If you would like to donate a prize, please email Kat at or me at


Here is the menu for the day:

2:00 Snack

Fresh Fruit

6:00 Supper

Variety of Soups
Green Salads

8:00 Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Variety of Ice Creams
Strawberry Topping
Hot Fudge Topping
Caramel Topping

We have enough soups to feed everyone, but are still in need of everything else. If you would be willing to bring any of the above items, please email either Tracy or Kat and you will receive our endless love and gratitude!!


We will have some young ladies available to watch children on a limited basis. In leu of paying them, we are asking that you make an additional donation to Make It For Maggie. If you are need of babysitting, please let us know how many children and what ages so we can properly plan for them.

Late Registration

If you are one of those people who can’t make up their mind until the day of an event, you are in luck! We will be thrilled to have all of you procrastinators show up at the door and you can get in for $25. To get in for $15, please register and pay before October 30 or register TODAY and get lots of tickets for the prize drawing! The earlier you register the more tickets you get!


Did you notice the 6:00 time slot on the schedule? If not, go back up and look at it.

Drumroll : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

Yes!!! We are having dinner entertainment provided by the inimitable Improv Underground. Laugh your heart out while eating scrumptious food!

Share Make It For Maggie With Others

If you would like to share a flyer to share with friends, neighbors, church members, family members, etc. Download FLYER here (If the flyer link doesn’t work the first time, try again and it should work just fine.)

Make It For Maggie is going to be amazing! We are so excited to offer it to our community and to be working together with all of you to make a difference in this world. Please join us for a day of fun, friendship, and fabulous food all while learning and loving together.

p.s. If you are not in our local area and you would like to participate in Maggie’s Month: A Family Philanthropy Project, please visit Maggie’s Month for ideas on how you can help change the world for one little girl.

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make it for maggie: super saturday extreme edition

Oct 14, 2010 by

We have finished our plans and our excited to announce our Maggie’s Month project!

Please join us on November 6th from 1:00 – 10:00 at

Make it for Maggie: Super Saturday Extreme Edition

Make It For Maggie Schedule

How it works? Each person pays $15 to get in the door and you can take as many or as few classes as you wish. If you are doing any of the sewing projects, you need to provide your own fabric and machine (if you don’t have a machine, let us know and we will find one for you!) and patterns will cost $1 – $2 extra. There will be yummy snacks throughout the day and a delicious potluck dinner of soups, salads, and breads will be served at 6 p.m. At 8:00 p.m. there will be an ice cream sundae bar (you know I LOVE ice cream, right?) We have youth donating babysitting and ask that in leu of paying them, you make an additional donation to Maggie’s Month. You must register and pay by October 30, but you will want to register early to be sure you get into the classes you most want.

To register:
Email Tracy at or Kat at pynkhope@ with your name, phone number, which classes you’d like to attend, sizes for skirts if applicable, and if you would like to bring some food to share at our potluck. Makes checks payable to Katherine Jensen at 3506 Greenfield Dr., Ammon, ID 83406.

Classes include (see schedule above):
Whole Wheat Bread Making
Twirly Skirt (any size)
Exercise Ball Workouts for Moms
Freezer Meals
Wear Forever Dress
Babywearing 101
Adult Wrap-Around Skirt
Mexican Tortillas & Salsa
Roll-Up Market Bag
Laughter Yoga
Easy & Yummy Beans
Raw Foods
Mei Tai Baby Carrier
Knitting Circle
Charting Your Cycle
Essential Oils

More classes will be added in the next few days!

Here are some pictures of the twirly skirts…super cute, aren’t they!



Check back for more pics of the Roll-up Market Tote, the Wear-Forever Dress, and the Wrap-Around Skirt!

The menu for the day:

2:00 Snack

Fresh Fruit

6:00 Supper

Variety of Soups
Green Salads

8:00 Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Variety of Ice Creams
Strawberry Topping
Hot Fudge Topping
Caramel Topping

If you would be willing to bring any of the above items, please email either Tracy or Kat and you will receive our endless love and gratitude!!

p.s. If you are not in our local area and you would like to participate in Maggie’s Month: A Family Philanthropy Project, please visit Maggie’s Month for ideas on how you can help.

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maggie’s month

Oct 9, 2010 by

Maggie’s Month is well underway and hundreds of people are participating in making a difference for our dear Maggie. You can read all about current projects here.

Kat and I have created a project and we can’t wait to announce it to the world in the next few days. Just a tip…keep November 6th open…and know that you will have an unbelievably fun day learning new skills, making adorable skirts, and eating scrumptious food.

Until then, you can be thinking about what you want to do for Maggie’s Month.

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let’s help maggie!

Sep 16, 2010 by

Hello Friends,

The letter below is from my dear friend, Jodie Palmer. She and her husband have created a fun way for each of us to help fund some treatments for their daughter Maggie. I have been amazed at this family’s diligence and determination in helping Maggie reach her potential. Maggie is a joy to me and I have loved the time I have spent with her. It has been one of the joys of my life to watch her learn new skills. Several years ago, Jodie had Keziah and I over for lunch and Keziah worked with Maggie in learning to grab a toy. A simple task for most babies, but for Maggie it took every ounce of concentration she had. Keziah was so excited when Maggie finally grabbed the toy! I know there is a BIG spirit inside of her just trying to find a way to get her body to move. My family will be sponsoring an oxygen dive for Maggie and we invite you to join us in creating a fundraiser for your family to be able to do so as well. I love doing service projects with my children – it is one thing to let them serve others with their church groups, it is quite another experience to have a family service project. I have found that nothing binds us together as much as helping someone else.

I can’t wait to find out what amazing projects you come up with! I think we will be sewing and baking some wonderful things to offer up to the world in hopes of earning $150 for Maggie.

Love to you all,


Dear friends and family,

We hope that your family finds the opportunity below intriguing, exciting, and engaging. If you choose to participate we hope that it will bless you as much as it will bless our Maggie.

Please visit Maggie’s official webpage for more information on Maggie’s Month at

Jodie & Doug Palmer
Maggie’s Mom & Dad


Hi, I’m Maggie. I’m 4-years old and I have a disability called Cerebral Palsy from a brain injury at my birth. Learn more about ME here. I need your family’s help to get a special therapy called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). Click here to read more about HBOT.

Because of my brain injury I can’t walk, talk, feed myself, or even sit up by myself. But HBOT has the potential of helping me walk, talk, and do things that I can’t do right now.

Essentially, the theory is that when the brain is damaged from lack of oxygen, like mine was, many of the damaged brain cells go into hibernation rather than dying. Soaking the brain in oxygen essentially wakes these cells up so that the person regains motor function that was previously lost.

How it works is I go on a “dive” in an oxygen chamber for about an hour. The first round of treatment is 40 dives, 1 dive a day, 5-6 days a week. Usually two treatments are needed; that’s 80 dives.

Of course, I know there are no outcome guarantees, but the possibilities of improving my quality of life are worth the effort. Heck, I could even go to college some day and have a family of my own! I want to be ready for that.

My mom and dad have found a facility that will treat me here in Salt Lake City, which is where I live. It’s very expensive and isn’t covered by insurance.

So, my mom and dad had an idea that is really fun! We’ve created a special fund-raising project called, Maggie’s Month: A Family Philanthropy Project.

The idea is for your family to work together through the month of October to raise the money to sponsor 1 of my dives ($150). The funnest part is coming up with ways to work together so that everyone in your family can get involved. Click here for some really fun FUNDRAISING IDEAS. (Be sure to check out the read-a-thon idea, it’s especially cool!) Our goal is to get 80 dives sponsored.

Family Philanthropy is a really terrific way for your family to work together to make a difference in the world. Click here to learn more about FAMILY PHILANTHROPY.

So, here’s what you do.

1. Send my website or this email to everyone you know. You can use the Facebook and Twitter buttons on my site, or just email the link to your friends and family.

2. Sit down with your family and come up with lot’s of fun ideas to raise the money to sponsor 1 of my dives ($150). Make sure you have some yummy treats while you’re brainstorming. It makes your brain work better, and I know about brains!

3. Send my mom an email and tell her that your family is going to participate. Share some of your fundraising ideas. She’s going to post what families are doing and their experiences here on my website. You can also watch the dive chamber fill up with pledges at the bottom of my website. My Mom’s email address is

4. Send her updates through October that she can share with everyone. We want to know how it’s going and the fun that you’re having by working together for something really important. Click on the RSS button below so that you can be updated each time my mom adds a new post. Again, my mom’s email address is

5. At the end of October, get your family together to count all the money you’ve earned. Gather around the computer and click the DONATE HERE button together. Then give some cheers and go have more yummy treats.

Of course, if you’d like to just sponsor a dive or a portion of a dive yourself, you are welcome to do so at any time on the DONATE HERE page of my website.


My dog Ody Lew is really grateful for your participation, because he really wants me to be able to scratch his belly.

Thank you for helping me!

Maggie (and Ody Lew)
Special thanks to the philanthropic contributions of Charlie Pabst from Charfish Design for his fabulous Maggie’s Month header, and Abe Fawson from GoodFront for his expertise in WordPress.

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thankful thursdays 3/11

Mar 11, 2010 by

* Today we had the privilege of taking 170 books to F.A.I.T.H. – what a remarkable experience! I started the day off still agitated, impatient, and rather snarly, but delivering the books changed all that. I am filled with gratitude for the families that participated, the sponsors that gave generously, and the children that came today with big smiles on their faces to fill a bookshelf. I am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the world. I am grateful for fellow homeschoolers that came together to benefit our community and to change lives. I know the children at F.A.I.T.H. are going to LOVE these books. I can’t wait to do this again next year!

The empty bookshelf:


Posters about homelessness in America:


Putting labels on the books:



All filled up!


Some of the amazing home schooling children who donated books to F.A.I.T.H.:


* Fisher Eli is an adorable boy. Today he said “I wonder if I will do colloquia when I get big?” I asked, “Do you want to?” He excitedly said “YES! When I am as big as Keziah! Do you think I can?” I love homeschooling and I love that we are to the point of seeing results. Having my younger children look forward to learning experiences that they have seen their older siblings and parents participate in is so fun!
* I have finally completed Book One of my cello program! Woo-hoo! I am starting Book Two this week and hope to get through this book much faster!
* My sweetie turned 40 and our children made him some presents from their hearts.

Fisher’s giraffe for his papa:


Fisher’s whale for his papa:


Keziah’s card for her papa:

* I get to take Blythe and Keziah to Fiddler on the Roof on Saturday. It was their Christmas present from Richard and I and they have had to wait a while to get it fulfilled. We are all super excited to see this favorite play in person!
* Razor blades and metal spoons are simply amazing cleaning tools. The drink holders in the suburban had melted crayons, stuck-on gunk, old food decaying into solid rock, and more flower petals than I care to think about…after soaking in Purification essential oil and scrubbing with these magical tools, all the grime is GONE!
Time to go read Jerry Muskrat to Fisher…it is his new favorite book.

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joy pillow give-away

Feb 17, 2010 by

Dear readers,

My children are participating in the First Annual Idaho Homeschool Read-A-Thon and are reading to earn money to buy Usborne books for themselves and for F.A.I.T.H. – Families in Transitional Housing. They have been reading non-stop for the last 10 days and have been trying to find sponsors for themselves. I hatched up an idea to do a give-away to help them raise funds.

I made a pillow…yes, me the sewing impaired mama made a very cute pillow to give to some lucky soul!

Joy pillowBack of pillow

Isn’t that cute!

If you post about this on your blog and link back to this post and then leave me a comment with your website’s post, you will get one entry for this adorable 8 1/2″ square pillow. For every dollar that you paypal to the read-a-thon, you will earn two entries. All entries must be in by Saturday night at midnight and the winner will be announced Monday morning. Let’s spread this far and wide! Just think, if 1000 people donated $1, they would reach their goal of $1000. Let’s help them do it!

To paypal, my account is

If you prefer to mail a check, email me and I will send you our home address.

Thanks much! My little ones are having great time reading and earning books and are so excited to give books to the children at F.A.I.T.H. – Families in Transitional Housing.

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orphan miracle story

Feb 8, 2010 by

The amazing people at Utah Hospital Task Force gave themselves a mission of delivering food, supplies, medical professionals, and hope to the Haitians and bringing an airplane full of orphans (whose adoptions were in process long before the earthquake) back to the United States on the return trip. They DID it! This is a miracle story that had me crying the whole time I read it this morning. If you need some hope in your life, read on. You will see that God is turning bad things into good on a regular basis.

Haitian Orphan Rescue

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Jan 25, 2010 by

My heart is aching for those in Haiti. My family just watched this video and are going to be making receiving blankets and sending our meager donation to help those who are suffering. I encourage you all to do the same.

Help Haiti


If we each do something it will add up to something big.

All my tears aren’t going to do anyone much good, so instead I will sew some blankets and send some money and say some prayers and hope that we can be God’s hands to work a miracle for this poor country.

If you want to give to my church, 100% of your money will be used to help the Haitians. Our humanitarian services is run by well-trained volunteers who know how to get supplies and help to those in need, not through corrupt channels that end up taking supplies before they are used to help the ones who are suffering most.

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pencil rolls on their way!

Dec 1, 2009 by

Hallelujah! The pencil roll project has been a huge success! The pencil rolls have been coming in all month long, but the last few days have been the jackpot with 70 coming in on Sunday, 132 coming in on Monday, and 66 coming in today! Simply amazing!

The families that have participated in this project have given their time, money, materials, and hearts to the children of Katie’s school. They have shown me what a small group of willing women can do…I tell you we can do anything! We can make a difference. We can work together. We can touch lives, soften hearts, and bring joy.

There are people involved in this project that I have never met, people that I know and see regularly, and people who live far away. We have volunteers from Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska, and England! We have seamstresses of all ages, from girls under ten to grandmas over 70, and all abilities, from beginner all the way to professional. We have papas that watched babies so mamas could sew. We have people that donated fabric, sewed on buttons, delivered pencil rolls, and created patterns. We have a small army of volunteers who have taught me how to be give more selflessly. I counted up our volunteers and there are over 60 people who directly helped. One small blog, written by one mother in Idaho, has brought all of this goodness together to create something magical!

Here are some pics of the 516 (yes, we made it to 500!) pencil rolls:

Pencil Rolls 2

Pencil Rolls


Look at this cute inside fabric! It is pencils! Isn’t that adorable? You can get it at Hancock Fabrics.Roll with pencil fabric

And here is one of my pencil rolls I did by my very own self. I truly am sewing challenged and I’m sure my rolls took me ten times longer than they would have taken someone who is not inept in this area, but I did it and did lots of them. It was a wonderful project for me to overcome my fear of sewing and I improved a lot by the time I was done. Thanks to my mom, I learned how to sew buttons on with my machine!!! Hoorah!My pencil roll

I just took them to the shipping office and after repacking them into one big box from my three boxes and then repacking them AGAIN into a slightly smaller box (It was quite the sight, to have me inside a huge box on the floor, surrounded by pencil rolls, as I loaded up stack after stack of them! Why so many repackings you ask? Well, my three boxes would have cost about $120 with FedEx and $160 with the USPS with UPS somewhere in the middle, so we tried to save moo-lah by repacking them into one box, which was then a tad too big, so we repacked again, and got the price all the way down to 90 buckaroos.) they are on their way to Tennessee and then on to Uganda!

Thank you to all of you. Thank you for your sacrifices, your love, and your generosity. I pray that you will be blessed. I ask that you join me in prayer that our gifts will make it to Uganda in safety and that they will bring happiness to the children of Katie’s school.

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pencil roll tutorial!

Oct 28, 2009 by

Drumroll please


(doesn’t that look like a drumroll?)

Here are the long-awaited directions for the pencil roll!

Go to Kat’s website and you will find step-by-step instructions for our 500 Pencil Roll Project for Katie’s children. After hours of brainstorming, reading other people’s tutorials, and basically making myself crazy, we created this easy, step-by-step guide that anyone (even me!) can follow. I am telling you, if I can sew these, truly, anyone can!

We are not doing them with the different colored pockets for each pencil – they are WAY cute, but also time consuming, and we are trying to make these as quick as possible. These ones are made with one piece of cotton fabric for the outside, a different piece for the inside, and flannel hidden on the inside to give it some strength, or you can use interfacing if you have that.

Each person can sew from cotton fabric they have on hand or if you are willing to purchase some that is great as well. If you are willing to donate money to the cause for others to buy fabric they don’t have, that is wonderful as well…or donate fabric!

I have about 20 yards of fabric I bought at Home Fabrics $1/yard sale, so if you need some, let me know.

If you want to do them with wool felt or a wool felt blend of 35% wool/65% rayon or 20% wool/80% rayon, you can and I will give you those directions below. DO NOT USE craft felt found in stores!!! It is garbage and will not hold up to even a week of handling. You can buy the wool felt at and get a 20% off coupon by entering here. The discount button is over on the right hand side of the page about 1/2 way down. You can also get it at and use a 50% off coupon or 40% off coupon. The 20/80 blend is $7.99 and the 35/65 blend is $9.99, so with the coupons, it would be a great price! It is not available here in our local stores, but may be in the larger stores, just call and ask if you are interested. Caution though, if you do not know much about wool felt, call me before you purchase it so I can help you know if it is acrylic/polyester/eco-felt garbage or if it is the good stuff.

Now, you may be wondering why using wool felt is easier than using your leftover cotton scraps. If so, let me explain. Wool does not fray and does not need to be sewn right sides together/wrong sides out and then turned. You just sew right on to your piece of felt!

Wool felt tutorial:

Your finished product will be 10.5″ wide x 8″ tall.

Cut a piece of wool felt 11″ x 17″ and position it so the 11″ side is running side to side and the 17″ side is running top to bottom.

At the top, measure in 1.25″ and 5″ down the side and cut.

Fold up the bottom 4″ and pin in place.

Lay a thin no-damage ponytail holder on your table and hold it flat. Wrap a thread around it 1/2″ from its end.

Insert the 1/2″ side of the ponytail holder at the almost 4″ mark of your felt (where you folded up the bottom) and pin in place just below the top of that pocket. The big loop of ponytail holder should be hanging out of the fabric.

Top stitch at 1/4″ all the way around the wool felt, making sure to back stitch over the ponytail holder.

Measure and mark 7/8″ pockets on the part you folded up.

Sew pockets going a titch past the top of them so the stress point isn’t right at the top of the pocket and back stitch at both ends.

At the spot where the flap starts, fold it down and top stitch at 1/8″.

Put some tester pencils in and roll it up so you can figure out button placement for where the ponytail holder will attach. Mark where a button should go. Unroll, take your tester pencils out. and sew a big button in place.

If you want to make it super-cute, use pinking shears to cut the edges, making sure to not cut through the elastic.

Voila! You are done…now isn’t that easy peasy!

You may choose to use two piece of wool felt to make it more colorful and add to its strength. If so, just do everything identical, except insert the ponytail holder in between the two pieces of felt.

These are some pictorial instructions, but they don’t have the “cut the flap at an angle” step, and they use a ribbon instead of the ponytail holder/button attachment. The ribbon attachment is easy for adults, but not so easy for little children to wrap it around and tie, so we are using the button method. It also doesn’t have the top stitching, so make sure you do that. As soon as I make one out of felt I will post pictures, but it will probably take me a day or two to get to that.tracy

Now you have everything you need to get to work. Thank you so much for your willingness to help and please, please, spread the word and enlist the women in your life to sew with you! Right now, we are at 21 women, so that means we each need to do 24 rolls to make it to 500. As word spreads, the per person roll can decrease…so step out on a limb and encourage others to sew with you.

Also, there has been some confusion about the pencils. Amazima has a lot of colored pencils and we do not need to provide those. We are doing the sewing and they are gathering the pencils.

If you have any questions, let me know at

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call to arms…er, i mean machines!

Oct 26, 2009 by

Remember my post back in September about Amazima? Several of you said you were willing to help and now is the time!

I feel called to make colored pencil rolls for these children. I cannot get it out of my mind. I know this is what I am supposed to do, but I cannot do it alone. I need your help and I need it now.

There are over 400 children in the program. There are over 300 families. They said we could make one pencil roll holder for each family, but I want to make one for each child. My goal is 500 rolls. That way, every child can have their very own set of colored pencils that they can take care of and have a way to keep them safe…and they are cute! Any new children that are accepted into the program will be able to be given their own set of pencils.

The best part is, they have been overrun with donations of colored pencils. I have been wasting my time trying to figure out a way to get colored pencils in a huge lot for way cheap, when what I really needed to be doing was sewing!

So, we need 20 women to sew 25 rolls each…or 30 to sew 17…or 40 to sew 13…or 50 to sew 10…or 500 to sew one! Let’s do this! The sewing is easy…I know because I can’t sew hardly at all and I am taking this on! The difficult thing is time – but I know we can do this. A woman is going over in early December and she is going to take our rolls with her.

My goal is to have them shipped to her on December 1st, so they need to be to me no later than November 30. If we have 20 women sewing 25, that means we could sew 5 a week for the next 5 weeks and presto, they are done!!!!

I am still working out the details on the fabric, I have a lot of fabric I am donating to the cause and people are welcome to start with what I have. But donations of money to buy more fabric would be greatly appreciated. I am working on typing up step-by-step directions that anyone can understand. I am also considering switching plans to go with wool if I can get it for a great price, because those rolls would be MUCH quicker to sew. If anyone has any info for me on any of these fronts, please share!

So, what do YOU need to do? Write in the comments section that you are willing to sew and I will add you to the email list that will get updates as they are available. Enlist your mothers, sisters, friends, and neighbors in the project. You could collect them from everyone over Thanksgiving and then bring them to me on Monday the 30th. Spend the month of November sewing to bring JOY to some very destitute children in Uganda.

We can do this…I know it.

Here is some inspiration from April at By Small Means:

Pencil Roll Another Pencil Roll

or the wool one from Skip To My Lou:


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oompa loompa outfit

Sep 8, 2009 by

I really cannot sew. It hurts my brain. It tries my patience. It drives me batty. But for some ridiculous reason, I am drawn to sewing. I buy fabric. I buy patterns. I dream of creations. I long to be able to whip out something adorable for my children to wear. My dear friend, Kat, taught me how to make this outfit and then she insisted that I sew each and every stitch of it. She practically held my hand through the whole process and it took at least three times longer than she thought it would, but I did it! I think it is absolutely precious and I love, love, love it. It is super-wide, especially on Annesley who is the skinniest thing ever, and so we named it an Oompa-Loompa outfit.

Oompa-Loompa outfit

Isn’t it cute! Aren’t you so incredibly proud of me?!?

If you can’t tell from the picture, it is reversible and the bottom is supposed to be folded up so you can see the contrasting fabric, but, of course, I forgot to do that for the picture.

I have more fabric to whip up plod my way through some more, but I don’t know when I will get to it, as now I am thinking of making LOTS of colored pencil holders for the children in Uganda that attend Katie’s school. Anyone want to join me in making some of these?

Pencil Roll Another Pencil RollThese are the beautiful creations of the super-talented and creative April of By Small Means. Notice how each pencil has color-coordinating fabric? Notice the handy flap to keep all the pencils from falling out? Notice how bright and colorful and adorable they are? Don’t you want to help us make hundreds??? If so, or if you would like to donate fabric, buttons, flannel, or $$ to buy this stuff, please put it in the comments section and I will get in contact with you and work out a plan.

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servant-hood – a call to action

Sep 6, 2009 by

Last night I discovered a blog that touched me to my very core.

Before you read the rest of my thoughts, go and read (If you are like me and hate music blasting out of websites, turn your sound down before you you click on the link.) this blog post.


Do you see what I mean? Worms? 10 lbs.? Lifeless? Cardboard box-house? I knew this was out there, but now I KNOW. I know and now that I know, I cannot turn my back from them.

This girl is in Uganda trying to save lives AND save souls. She needs help. More help than we can imagine.

Go read this post of hers as well.

She is a normal American girl who has given her heart to Christ and to the children of Uganda.

Now go read her organization’s website.

Did you go to the “stories” link? If not, go back and read them. All of them.

I want to do something to help. I am pondering what it is that I am to do. What God wants me to do. I invite you to do the same and then let me know if you would like to be involved in a group effort.

I am a Christian woman. I want to serve my King. I want to serve His children. I want to be a force for good in this world. I want to bring all of these babies home with me, but since that is not possible, I need to figure out what I can do. What I must do to help my heart feel better about my service to my fellow-man.

Please post your thoughts and how you would like to help in the comments section. I will develop a plan of action and we will make a difference. I know it.

p.s. When I read the posts to Richard he asked if this meant I was going to Africa. He so knows my passions run overboard. So to those of you wondering this as well – no, I am not going to Africa. I am however going to figure out a way to help.

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