Tag Archives: children

So Much More Than Clothes

Christian Academy of Indiana senior Julia Lostutter shares why she’s seeking the community’s assistance and how you can help.


screen-shot-2019-03-13-at-4-39-58-pmLast year, I had the opportunity of going to the Dominican Republic on a school mission trip with Score International. Going into the villages and orphanages and seeing the devastation of poverty truly broke my heart.

One thing I noticed most of all was the hardships that a significant number of women and young girls face there. Many young girls are seen only as being good for having children and were growing up with no other life skills, forcing them into prostitution as a means to make money.

This terrible reality has stuck with me and filled my thoughts since June of last year. I am currently planning my return trip to the Dominican this summer, and I really wanted to think of a way to bless these young girls and women who had tugged at my heart so many months ago.


Recently, my boss, Olivia Rice, the owner of Styleheir, a new women’s clothing boutique located in Floyds Knobs, was looking for a place to donate some of her own children’s clothes. She wanted to give them to other little ones who were in real need. As we talked, my thoughts went immediately to the girls in the Dominican Republic and, specifically, girls in an orphanage that I had visited. Many orphanages for girls go underfunded because the government turns its resources elsewhere, thus creating a need for things as simple as clothing.

The girl’s orphanage that we had visited, Pasitos de Jesus, is located in Boca Chica and was started by a woman named Dalma Florian. It houses girls with disabilities and girls taken from homes of abuse. It started with just one girl but quickly included dozens, ages one to 18. Remembering the impact that Pasitos de Jesus orphanage had on the girls’ lives made me want to bless them even more and ensure that a basic need of theirs was met.

How To Help

Drop off clothing for girls of all sizes at Styleheir, 3620 Paoli Pike, Suite 6, in Floyds Knobs, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 11-16. You can find more about the boutique by searching @styleheir on Facebook.

screen-shot-2019-03-13-at-4-40-28-pmAfter speaking with Olivia about my desire to help, my boss at Styleheir eagerly agreed to involving her boutique’s involvement. So, I began creating something that will hopefully be a blessing to these girls and women for years to come.

“Chicas de Boca Chica” is Styleheir’s first-ever clothing drive, which will help to clothe the girls of a nation stricken by poverty and misfortune. Girls’ clothing of all sizes is needed and those who bring in at least one bag of clothing will receive a scratch-off worth up to 30 percent off a store purchase at Styleheir. Clothing can be dropped off at Styleheir from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 11-16.

The clothing will be taken by the Christian Academy of Indiana mission’s team to the Dominican Republic on June 9 and given to the girls of Pasitos de Jesus.screen-shot-2019-03-13-at-4-40-43-pm

By doing this clothing drive, I hope we – and that means I need your help! – can provide the orphanage clothing for years to come, spread the message of women’s empowerment, garner attention towards the orphanage and bring about change in the lives of these girls.

Writer Julia Lostutter is a senior at Christian Academy of Indiana.


screen-shot-2018-08-20-at-12-31-04-pmBy Farrah Alexander


Do they really expect me to put my precious child on a SCHOOL BUS? Is he really going to be gone ALL DAY? And he’s going to school EVERY DAY? How is this possible? How can he possibly go seven hours without his mama smooching his little cheeks?

What has really calmed my irrational fears and given me comfort before this transition has been every interaction I’ve had with the teachers and staff at my son’s new school. The only time I felt my eyes actually welling up with tears at the thought of my oldest child entering kindergarten was when I heard the school’s principal tell the parents about her morning routine of telling all the kids she loves them.

I’m not the only one nervous about kindergarten. Although he mostly talks about kindergarten with excitement, Daniel also has brought up aspects that make him nervous. He’s nervous about going to a new school he’s not familiar with and having a new teacher and new students and not returning to the school, teachers and friends he loved and knew so well in preschool. His previous teachers and school were amazing, so I understand his hesitation.

Like most kids, Daniel LOVES getting mail and was excited to get a letter addressed to him. When I read it to him, his eyes became wide and bright. There was no hint of nervousness on his smiling face. It was a letter from his new teacher. She introduced herself and talked a little about her family and how they’ve enjoyed the summer. She wrote that she’s so excited about the upcoming year and how fantastic it will be.

I was amazed that a busy teacher would use the precious time she has away from school to personally write every student a letter. As a parent, getting that letter was getting reassurance yet again that everything is going to be OK and that even when I’m not with my child, he’s still going to be with someone who cares.

In the letter, the teacher included her address so Daniel could send a letter or picture back if he’d like. Although this was all intended for my son, the incoming kindergarten student, and not myself, the nervous and neurotic mother, I’d like to send a message to all the teachers heading back to their classrooms this year.

To our teachers:

Thank you. Thank you for reassuring us and calming our unfounded fears by reminding us that you’re not only fully capable of keeping our kids safe and providing them with a quality education, you do all of this because you truly care.

You care about our children before you even know them. You’re teaching them and preparing them before you even enter the classroom for the first time. We see how hard you work both inside and outside of the classroom. We see you go far beyond the basic duties of teaching all the time. We see you and appreciate you.

It’s hard to see the babies we once held in our arms grow into big kids entering school. It’s hard to let go of the control we once had in their daily lives. It’s hard to kiss our babies goodbye in the morning knowing we won’t see them until the afternoon. It’s hard to realize that this time is fleeting and our babies aren’t actually babies at all.

During this time, thank you for recognizing that it’s a little hard and showing us kindness and empathy instead of saying, “My god, woman. He’s not a baby. He’s almost as tall as you and can eat an 8 ounce steak.”

Thank you for not verbally acknowledging that we followed the school bus in our minivans on the first day.

Thank you for being especially understanding when we forget things, even though you reminded us using several different forms of communication.

Thank you for helping our children learn what they need to excel and prepare for the next grade. I know you have a classroom full of children with vastly different learning styles, abilities, and challenges. I can imagine that in itself is an incredible challenge that changes every year. The fact that you conquer those challenges and make it look so effortless is amazing.

Thank you for protecting our children while they’re not under our supervision. Keeping an entire classroom of children safe is an incredible feat that comes with impeccable diligence. I know among all your other many responsibilities, teachers look for signs of trouble to ensure children are safe both inside and outside of school. When our children see your face, they feel safe and comforted.

Thank you for working so incredibly hard. I know your work day doesn’t only start and end with the ringing of the school bell. I know teachers are under a tremendous amount of pressure and the daily demands of your job are intense. Balancing the overwhelming load all teachers carry and managing to still be patient and kind to your students is remarkable.

Just as you make your students feel comforted and safe, I feel confident in your incredible abilities and fully trust you to take care of the most precious and loved part of myself. I can never say thank you enough. It truly takes a special person to shape little minds, and I feel very grateful my child has you.

Please enter the year knowing that what you do every day matters. You change little lives and the impact lasts a lifetime. Thank you, teachers. Have a great year!


Unicorns, Mermaids and Dinosaurs – Oh My!

By JD Dotson

Our Intrepid Explorer JD Dotson’s Went on The Hunt For His Favorite Finds For Little Ones



Unicorns, mermaids and dinosaurs, oh my! Regalo is the place to go for all things socks, and these adorable kid versions come in a set of three. Fits kids shoe sizes 4-8.

$16 for a set of three.


Buttercup the Magical Unicorn grants wishes and tells time from the wall of any lucky kid’s room while jumping over the rainbow. All this magic happening in a wall clock.



234 Pearl St., New Albany


562 S. Fourth St., Louisville




Pick up ceramic trinket trays for the secret mermaid or inner unicorn in the family. And, a gal is never too young to start a jewelry collection; these teething bracelets make a great accessory for mom and baby.

Trays $14

Teething bracelet $12


Your own little mermaid will be protected from the harmful rays of the sun in this two-piece swimsuit. The suit boasts a 50 UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) meaning only 1/50th of the sun’s harmful rays make it through. The only thing your kid will care about is the mermaid scales that appear when the suit gets wet.

$58 for the 2-piece set available in 18 month to 5T.

Dress and Dwell

138 E. Spring St., New Albany




The felted Zooties booties are handmade and fair trade by artisans in Kyrgyzstan and help reduce global poverty by giving the artists a living wage. Available in sharks, gators, whales and lots of land-loving critters, too.



I really wanted these Bling2o goggles to fit on my giant, adult-sized noggin. The adjustable kid-sized swim accessories adorned with bling, fake eyelashes or dino spikes may not make the kids better swimmers but they will be the coolest kids at the pool.



151 E. Spring St., New Albany




MESA is not only a culinary gem in the heart of New Albany, but a kitchen gift shop/accessory store as well. I found this amazingly adorable flamingo apron for my kitchen helper/aspiring Food Network child star. The adjustable strap will let the apron grow with the little master chef.


The best alternative to the store-bought high sugar ice treats is to make your own fruit juice frozen pops in these Zoku animal silicone molds. The kids won’t notice they’re having a healthy treat but will notice the animal form it takes.


MESA, A Collaborative Kitchen

216 Pearl St., New Albany




Mommy and Baby push toys come as a set of two-wheeled toys, the smaller nestled inside the larger for mom (or dad) and baby to play together. Seafaring and land-bearing creatures are available as a set of two.


Push puppets are a throwback toy from when I was a kid. This modern version is done in wood and brightly painted, but still offering simple, classic fun. All species of sea and land creatures collapse with the mere push of a button.


Brilliant Bumble Bee

426 Spring St., Jeffersonville



A Treat for Teacher

By Morgan Sprigler

The thought of sending my firstborn off to preschool in a few short weeks has me feeling all the feels. For two mornings a week, she will be in someone else’s care, learning and growing without me, making new friends and becoming her own little person (cue the ugly cry). I am equally as excited as I am terrified at the idea. For those of you with several years of sending your children off to school under your belt, I commend you.

So, for the woman who will bear the weight of schooling my toddler (who, up until this point in her life, has been the boss), we have made you a vase out of pencils. Same, Same?

screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-11-16-11-amMATERIAL LIST

• Smooth, round vase

• Pencils

• Glue gun

• Glue sticks

• Ribbon

• Fabric flower

• Letter to teacher

• Envelope

• Scissors

• Floral sticks

• Floral tape

• Faux apple

• Card holder

screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-11-16-16-amStep One – Glue

Choose a vase that is the same height as a pencil or a bit shorter. Begin adhering pencils around your vase with a line of hot glue, alternating the direction each time. Genevieve participated by handing the pencils to me once I laid each line of glue. Be sure that your pencils are even at the bottom to keep your vase level.

Step Two – Jazz It Up

Genevieve chose a burlap/lace ribbon and a pretty ivory fabric flower to wrap around the center of our vase (like mother, like daughter). Have fun with this part. The options are endless! Simply glue the ribbon around the center of your pencil vase and adhere your flower in the center.

Step Three – Type a Letter

The letter we composed to Genevieve’s teacher, Mrs. Jamie, will come in handy throughout the year because we gave her a little bit of homework by asking her to fill out a few questions about her favorite things. Her answers will help me surprise her with gifts of thanks during the school year. We used the same ribbon we chose for our vase to decorate the envelope, and finished off the back with a cute little button.

screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-11-16-05-amStep Four – Flower Shopping Spree 

This was our favorite step of this project. We traveled to Nance’s Floral Shoppe to choose the perfect arrangement for our teacher. Mr. Brian was kind enough to allow Genevieve to select any flower she desired and even took the time to teach her how to put it all together. He was a great teacher, and Genevieve was a natural.

Step Five – Finishing Touches

Once we arrived home with our beautiful flowers, we decided to add some final touches. Using floral tape, we secured a few pencils to our floral sticks and placed them inside of our arrangement. With a Sharpie, I wrote the initials of Genevieve’s new school on the front of our faux apple and then secured it to a floral stick using hot glue before adding it to the arrangement. Finally, we placed our card inside of the card holder. Ta-da!

We hope Mrs. Jamie loves her vase as much as we loved making it. Don’t forget to tag me with photos of your creations on Instagram – I’m @ Mrs_Sprigler. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy school year!