back to school give back

Friends, I am in some serious denial about school starting.

Normally by this time, I have been in my classroom making lists and updating the walls/pictures, outlining the first semester, and organizing my supplies.  I have usually been out to shop for Back To School clothes at least twice and supplies at least once.

It is the week before I have to go back and two weeks before kids show up and I have done nothing.


That is not true.

Saturday I took my gift card that Cort randomly gave me (I wasn’t planning on any back to school clothes this year since we are tight for money with the new {to us} car and another little man who will be in daycare full time) and I bought a few tops to comply with the new school dress code of no sleeveless shirts.

And Sunday I took the family too my classroom for the first time to move some of the big stuff around and hook up my computer and other electronic stuff.  And to get all the stuff I was storing out of our basement.

I’m in a new building this year, and my new room was a computer lab before, so this has been my first opportunity to get in all summer.

At first I was anxious and crabby about it.  Then I settled in and let it be because, well, it helped me build the wall of denial that I would have to leave my boys every single day for 9+ hours at a time.

But people?  It’s coming.

I’d like to say I am excited.

And I guess I am.  I mean, it will be a new adventure for our district and I am happy to be part of that.  I am also eager to get back to doing things other than house work and changing poopy diapers and filling toddler plates and hoping it will be eaten.  It will be good to be back with teenagers who get my jokes and adults who well, have adult conversation.

But I will miss my boys.

Usually the back to school shopping both for clothes and supplies is what really gets me in the mood. I mean wearing something other than yoga pants and a pony tail every day is something to look forward to!

I tend to use up my allotted money for each year on clothes and then ask for shoes for Christmas.  This is silly because when I get my clothes, I always imagine the shoes or boots I would want to go with them.

Well this year, I have some shoes to start they year.

ignore the lack of pedicure. I told you, the dinero is in short supply for “fun” things.

These happen to be the San Diego in champagne from California Footwear Company. They are SO comfy.  Which is what I need since I am on my feet from 7am until 3pm.

They are cork (with latex and cushioning and a leather “cover”) and they are shaped to fit my…er a person’s…foot.  It is ridiculous how wonderful this feels.

Here is a better look at The San Diego:

If I had some extra money to spend, I would also get a pair of The Ventura in either turquoise or yellow since I attempt to go sock-less until the snow flies here in Michigan.

(I totally wish I had these when I was pregnant.  I needed something that was this comfy and supportive, yet cute.)

Do these shoes make me more excited to go back to school?

Well no.

I am still struggling with those emotions.

But at least I will have cute, comfy feet, right?

I know you want a pair (or 5) of these sandals, yes?

Well, from now until Sept 30, you can get 15% off your total order AND 15% of your purchase at California Footwear Company will go to Brittany’s Hope Foundation.

Remember Brittany’s Hope Foundation from this post about Mommy at Heart (which, by the way, you can still get 25% off your order with the code KATIES00READERS093 through August 31 and $5 of your purchase will go to Brittany’s Hope Foundation) ?

So the lovely ladies at California Footwear Co saw how much I adore Brittany’s Hope and told me they would love to help fundraise for them too.

When you make your purchase, use the code SLUITERNATION at check out and BOOM 15% off your total order AND 15% of your total will get donated to Brittany’s Hope.  No restrictions.  Anything on the site counts (including the kids Clawgs and the boots).  The more you spend, the more they send to BHF.

You buy shoes for the back to school season; you help orphaned children around the world.


That is how it works.


I was not compensated for this post in anyway.  I was provided with the pair of San Diego sandals pictured above for review purposes, but was not send anything else by way of compensation.  All opinions are my own, including my passion for helping Brittany’s Hope Foundation. California Footwear Co is also featured in an ad on the sidebar of this blog.


Don’t forget to check out my friend, Jac’s blog where she is talking about the new journals she has available for pre-order in her etsy shop.

Mommy at Heart

In December, the day before Cort’s 33rd birthday, a plane landed in Grand Rapids with his sister, his brother-in-law, and his two nephews…fresh from Ethiopia.

I’ve mentioned the adoption many times on facebook and twitter and have linked to MacKenzie’s blog so you can read about their journey.

Adoption is not new in the Sluiter Family.

Cort’s Grandpa and Grandma Sluiter fostered children while raising eight of their own children.

Cort’s Aunt and Uncle have seven adopted children and one biological.

Another Aunt and Uncle adopted a son after raising three biological children to high school age.

After my second miscarriage, Cort and I prayed a lot about what to do next.  We held hands as I told him I had one more try left in me.  If that resulted in miscarriage I simply did not have any room left in my heart for pregnancy.  It was too painful.  And so, the summer of 2008 we prayed the question, “baby by pregnancy or adoption”

And the Lord sent us Eddie.

In 2010, shortly before Eddie turned a year old, MacKenzie and Dave sat with us and told us they felt called to start a family…through international adoption.

You can read their story, but I literally jumped out of my chair and mauled MacKenzie with hugs and love.

They felt their children were in Ethiopia, and they were right.

Cort and I haven’t let the idea of adoption go completely just because we have been blessed with two healthy biological sons, but it’s not up for discussion right now either.

Even though we are not necessarily ever going to adopt, we are still active in advocating for adoption and children’s charities. I have participated in fundraising for MacKenzie and Dave, but also for my friends Kacia and Diana.

And recently, ever since reading about how Beth Anne’s family sponsors a child, I have been praying about doing that too.

While it has been on my heart, I got an email from Reece at Mommy At Heart. All she asked of me was a possible facebook post or a tweet or two about their super cute mom shirts that help to raise money for different charities, this month, Brittany’s Hope Foundation.

As I poked around the sites, my heart exploded.

While yes the shirts are super cute…

What’ll ya have, Mac? I mean, Ed?

…but I after reading about how $5 of each sale goes to a charity, and then spending an almost embarrassing amount of time on Brittany’s Hope Foundation’s site, I immediately emailed Reece back that I really, REALLY wanted to share this on my blog.

It’s too important to me.

Please check out Mommy at Heart, and maybe get a shirt.  You can get 25% off your order with the code KATIES00READERS093 from now through August 31st.  Every shirt you buy sends $5 to Brittany’s Hope Foundation and helps orphaned children all over the world.

And then I encourage you to take one step further and check out Brittany’s Hope Foundation.  Just look around. They are not an adoption agency, but they do help orphans who are waiting for a forever home.  Maybe by visiting, your heart will be moved to do more than buy a T-shirt.  Maybe you will feel the tug I do…to do more.

The Legal Stuff: I was not compensated in any way for this post.  Mommy at Heart asked for a tweet, and I gave a blog post.  That is how important this is to me.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.