Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall is here....

Today I realized that regardless of the hot days here in Kona, fall is here! It's almost October for goodness sake! I love what I do with ministry here with YWAM and these next few days are some of my favorite. As we start our last quarter of the year here at the University of the Nations we welcome hundreds of new faces and students to our YWAM family. I love how the campus is buzzing with so many passionate young people, who are ready and excited to encounter the living God is a fresh way! So many come in for a Discipleship Training School, which is the ministry of discipleship and training (hence the name, obviously), that Graham and are specifically plugged into and love working with. Students come from all over to be trained as missionaries to go out literally "into all the world" to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19&20). And that is truly why I live here in Kona - not because it's Hawaii, for the beaches, warm weather, lack of seasons....but because I am called to raise up a generation and release them to bring the gospel and with that, revival, to the nations!! The base here in Kona is the LARGEST young adult, evangelical, mission sending, facility in the world - so if that's my calling, it only makes sense to be here, right?!

This quarter is incredibly special to me to because my sister is coming (in fact she arrives is just a few hours!) to do the Community Transformations DTS!! Though she is my younger sister, she is actually my best friend, and I am beyond thrilled to have her here for the next three months to run together again. It is such a treasure even for Levi to spend time with her too and for him to get to know his Auntie even better. The Lord is so good and he sure surprises us sometimes!

To learn more about what we do here, check out our website! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rolling and running

This past week, both Levi and I have started new things and you can probably figure them out from the title :)

12 weeks!
Yesterday Levi turned 12 weeks old! He celebrated by sleeping two, six hours stretches at night and then by conquering the roll over this morning. I could not be more happier (and rested!) about that first accomplishment and Levi is pretty impressed with his new trick of rolling too. It means he no longer needs to spend anytime on his tummy - he just flips!

I've taken on a return to running. Now, even before I was pregnant I wasn't really a super runner or anything, but I decided just shortly after giving birth that I would set a goal to run a 5K before the end of the year. Ok, I know 5K (or 3 miles) really isn't that far, but come on people, I just had a baby! :) I found this fun training program online called "Couch to 5K" that literally sets out a plan for even a lazy couch potato to learn to run 3 miles (without stopping) in just two months. So I'm on week #2, with a goal to do my first run on November 24th (American Thanksgiving) in a free Peaman Event called the "Wobble & Gobble Run" here in Kona. Who knows, maybe I'll catch the runner's bug and my next goal will be a half marathon :) Either way I figured blogging about this upcoming 5K would at least help hold me accountable!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Today I feel like a mom

I know this might sound funny, but today I truly feel like a mom :) I know that I've "officially" been a mommy for almost 12 weeks now (wow! how time files!!), but something about today made it feel official as a part of who I am and was made to be.

Maybe it's because I'm practiced at diaper changes at Target, or feeding wherever I have to (the car or beach being my specialties), or not panicking when the little guy has a meltdown. Or maybe it's because I love my "after 8pm" rituals of getting stuff done like doing dishes, folding laundry, going for a run, or catching up on blogging. Or it could simply be because, at almost three months into this I'm getting into my daily rhythm, have deeper understanding of how to read Levi, and have a sense of confidence as a mom that has been growing and developing these past months. All that to say, that it's amazing to see that even when you're been created to do something, there's still the process of learning and settling into it - even when it is your destiny. Now, I have not been one to want to do or continue with anything that I'm not good (or should I say, perfect) at instantly. But motherhood has definitely been a different story! There's no quitting this one when things are not at my perfect standard - there's just learning from mistakes, perseverance and growth! But oh, the joys of learning!!

I never knew I would love giving away all of my time, energy, and life to someone who can only give me sweet gummy smiles back in return - but isn't that the joy of being a mom? Giving and expecting nothing in return? Isn't that the example that Jesus demonstrated with his life? Clearly the Lord is teaching me a ton about His ways and His heart!

So here's so feeling like a mommy in every sense I know in this stage of life - looking forward to learning more and loving having this be part of who I am!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Crazy for Cloth

When I was pregnant I started a mental list of things and ways I wanted to raise my children....promote development by playing games, make my own baby food, have a "get & give away" mentality with new toys, and use cloth diapers, were some of my top decisions.

Now, I am not known as a very "homey" or naturalistic person, but I sure am a researcher and learner! Being the diligent gal that I am, I started off to conquer my goal to cloth diapering since that was an obvious first thing needed for a baby! So with commitment to this decision I decided to start implementing it while still pregnant by spending hours souring the internet and chatting with friends who were like minded and doing the same. I'm pretty sure Graham got quickly tired of, "hey, guess what I learned about cloth diapers today?" followed by many tidbits and trivia of my recent findings, including how cost effective, good for the environment, best for baby cloth diapering is! (To humor you with one piece of trivia...Did you know that a disposable diaper takes 500 years to completely decompose in our landfills?! Yuk!)

Anyway, I was sold, and committed to the cause!! Then week 39 of pregnancy rolled around :) I was tired, very hot, done being pregnant, tired, and as I was pulling out my cloth diapers to set up Levi's things, the thought of having to do laundry as quick as my little guy would go through them in those first weeks, stuff those pocket diapers, and start over again ever 2 days sounded even more, I sort of let go of my cloth diapering aspirations and figured I would try when Levi was older. So out went my convictions and hours of research at the last minute.

Levi in his cloth diaper :)
So Levi was born and safely home already when friends and supporters of ours from Florida sent us a very special gift - a diaper service!! I was completely overjoyed and blessed beyond belief! I could start my cloth diapering when Levi was 4 weeks old and not even have to worry about the laundry!  So I became a client with The Now Family and their diaper service, as a generous (and very practically and needed!) gift from our friends. Here's how it works: every week I have 70, clean, pre-fold cloth diapers delivered. As Levi uses them, I dump them into a pail (garbage bin with a liner) where then I switch them out again the following week for the clean ones. It's brilliant! Plus, I LOVE the company who does this service - they'll even wash your own stash of cloth diapers for you if you want, or arrange for special adds on to the basic pre-fold package!

So now I am officially crazy for cloth! Since I've started I've had lots of friends both here in Kona and other places ask me for suggestions on how to start, what to use, etc. So below I've created a list of my recommendations so far. But at the end of the day it's always fun to see hard work, desire, research and diligence pay off to benefit both my family and maybe yours too!

Alissa's Cloth Diapering "Must Haves"...

For research: Check out this blog All About Cloth Diapers 
For an affordable diaper service and store to up your stash and accessories: Check out The Now Family  (located in Kona)...anything I mention below and recommend you can get directly from these guys! Plus, let's support our local businesses right?!
For Newborns: Do pre-folds!! I was shocked how easy they are! Since your little one basically poops around the clock, this is by far the BEST way to start cloth early I think. You'll need about 70 total for a week (or less and wash more often), then you just add a couple of diaper covers to your stash (I love the ones by Thirsties so far the best) and some snappis (no more pins!) and you're set!
For on-the-go: An all-in-one diaper is key! It's just like a disposable, but cloth! I love the ones from Bum Genius because they fit from 8lbs until out of diapers. And of course you'll need a wet bag for your diaper bag too so you can put the dirties in until you get home. Planet Wise has cute ones with patterns.
Getting older: I have yet to try these, but from my understanding and what I have seen, I am going to go with a Hybrid diaper when Levi is older - either the Flip or Best Bottom system. I do not want to stuff pocket diapers or pull out the insert when it's messy...but I'll review them for you once I've given it a try!
Other suggestions: Friend, you HAVE to get a cloth swim diaper! Especially those of you in Kona where basically going to the beach is one of the only fun, free options. I got a cute one from my friends at The Now Family who carry the Turtle Soup brand. Lastly, I have been sold on cloth wipes! Who knew I would be so green huh? But seriously, if you're going to do laundry, why not use the wipes too! Have loved using Thirsties Wipes as they're cute colors :)

Friends who are cloth diapering too - I would love to hear what you use and love too!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Malinowskis in Kona

We are just coming off of two incredible weeks with Graham's parents visiting us and meeting Levi here in Kona and wow, what a blessing and privilege it was to have them out here! Not only were they meeting their newest grand-baby, but also seeing the island for the first time and also the YWAM base where we work! They spent time cuddling Levi, watching him play on his mat, helping him learn to love him "tummy time", treating us out for dinner and going on adventures to (their all time favorite!) Kukio beach. Below are some pictures showcasing our time with them!
Meeting Levi for the first time at the airport
Cuddles with Nana
Snoozing at the beach
With Mom & Papa at Kukio Beach
Levi also went for his first ocean swim! :)
Three Generations of Malinowski Men

Thank you David & Cynde for making the long trip from Florida out here! I know that we (including Levi) will truly treasure this trip and your time spent out here investing in us and our family!!

Friday, September 2, 2011


Today we are celebrating a couple of things! Five years ago today, Graham and I were married in Abbotsford, BC, Canada in a beautiful outdoor garden ceremony and then had our reception under white tents with glittering lights and bright colored gerber daises. It was such a remarkable and beautiful day of many people's contribution and blessings!
September 2nd, 2006

As I reflect on these past five years I have no doubt of how blessed I am to have a man who is godly, encouraging, really humorous, a great friend AND now also an amazing, compassionate and devoted Father! Graham, you have pushed me to be all that I can be as a passionate follower of Jesus, wife and now Mom too - for that I am truly thankful that you have promoted me above all to walk in the fullness of who I am! In 5 years we have lived in 3 different states (which includes 2 major cross country moves in rubbermaid bins!), traveled to 8 different countries together, been invested in all different types of ministries, all the while being best buddies! I cannot even begin to image what new adventures we'll take on in the next five years - now with our little Levi in tow!

2 Months Old!
Secondly, we are celebrating Levi (yes, again!!) as it's his two month birthday!! At 2 months old, he is now 11lbs, 2oz and 22inches long. We have a healthy and happy little guy (who did great with his vaccinations too!) And this little, wriggling, beaming, finger sucking, sweet boy has in such a short amount of time brought even more joy to Graham and I proving the fruit of these past five years of marriage! Here's now to two months as a family of THREE!! Thank you Lord that there's so much to celebrate!

(You have to compare this two month picture with his one month one in a post below! Oh, how they grow and change in just 30 days!!)