products we love

Ya know how you find yourself recommending the things you like to people? There are some things that come up over and over around here and that you'll no doubt see in blogposts.  We get no payment for recommending this stuff, it's just stuff we like and we think you'll like it too.

Jesus Storybook Bible

Are you a Christian and wanting the Bible to make sense to your kids? To make the entire thing from Adam & Eve to Jesus to the End Times be cohesive, to have a point? Look no further. I wept like a baby at every single story the first time we read through it. It is wonderfully written to make the redemption plan of God clear throughout the bible. There are other products that go along with it that can be purchased separately from the book like lessons, advent, videos, etc.

Amazon, book stores, and Christian book stores all have it. Bring your kleenex box!

Phil & Ted's Gear 

Disney with all 3 kids loaded. 4 year old comfy in the back!
After using products from P&T's, I must say I imagine New Zealand to be one of the coolest places ever. It must be if they can come up with baby gear like this. We have a Phil & Ted's stroller buggy (our type is no longer made...they've updated them since then). You know you have found the epitome of strollers when everyone at Disney World and the mall can't help but point to your stroller and then look disappointingly back at theirs. True Story.

We also have "The Traveller." Quite assuredly the BEST baby travel bed on planet earth.  I don't joke about naptime folks, not at home, not while I'm traveling.

Phil & Ted's


"Advent" - taken with the 50mm lens.
We have a Canon Rebel T4i. The rest of the world knows it as the 650D, but out of continuing fondness for Agassi's hockey hair we Americans still call it a Rebel. We wanted a DSLR, but we didn't have a ton of money. We chose this one because it has a great video mode and the ability to back button focus. We have the 18-55mm kit lens which we don't use a ton. We also have a 50mm f/1.4 lens which gives you those yummy shots where a person is in focus and the background is blurry. We all love those right? Fancy pants photographers call that "bokeh," but only in print because they don't know how to pronounce it either. We're newbies to the photography game and more apt to apply the Rule of Thirds to dinner helpings than photo composition, but we're learning.

We also have a Canon point and shoot.

Go here for online camera buying:
Canon T4i
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 - It hasn't left the camera since we got it! Imagine the kit lens on steroids. It's fantastic for getting all our kids in the frame and it's fast f/2.8 means low light isn't much of a problem.
Canon 50mm f/1.4 - our go-to lens for portraits. We used it on Sharon's maternity shoot.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 110

Here are a few helpful websites and videos if you want to get started using a DSLR camera.
Photography Basics
Learning DSLR Video

Strider Bikes

Or rather, more generally speaking "Balance Bikes." Tiny little kid bikes that don't have pedals. The theory behind them is that BALANCE is the hard part about learning to ride a bike (duh) and so if you master balancing first, adding pedals later will be a non-issue.  All I know is that my 2 year old was able to balance on his bike and I never had to teach him.
Here's a youtube that will give excellent visuals.

We bought "JD Bug" balance bikes  in Kuala Lumpur. Couldn't find "Strider Bike" brand here in Malaysia. These worked great!

 Strider Is the brand we would recommend if you're buying in the US.


"NORDEN" IKEA Dining Table

The #1 compliment I receive in my home is that folks love my table. I love it too.  It's huge, but not pushy. You will see it often on the blog. I leave it fully extended at all times.  It is not anything fancy nor is it hard to find in that I bought it at IKEA.  That blue and yellow organized piece of heaven. {sigh} I had 2 qualifications for a dining table. 1) It had to seat a ton of people (website says 10 but we've gotten 12 around it, honest) 2) It had to be solid wood, not veneer.
 I know you didn't NEED an excuse to go to IKEA, but now you have one.
US Site
Malaysia Site

Also, at IKEA, you can buy fun table cloth material and get it cut to the length of the table. Double Awesome!



I am quite convinced that our ability to stay sane with 5 children is because we are serious about bedtime.  If our kids got up all hours of the night- or much too early as our first did in the beginning- we would lose our minds. As it is, our kids go down around 7:30/8pm and sleep all night. Mornings go better with this invention from heaven.
A cute little storybook comes with every GroClock with the instruction "Stay in bed until the sun!" or, as we say to our Littles, "Don't get up until the clock turns yellow!"

A light for an alarm is awesome because:
1. Your child doesn't need to know how to tell time to wait to get up.
2. There is no alarm sound, only light that changes from blue to orangey-yellow. Ya know, just in case they happen to sleep past it!

It's a UK product, but here's a Canadian link (maybe search ebay in the US) and the GroClock Homepage.

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