A List Maker's Life: November 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Got Cord Clutter?

Thanks to the our  little one's drinking habit (which he has finally kicked now that he is one;), and that of a few of his little buddies, I had enough formula containers to get our cord clutter under control!  
It is delightful to know just where to find the pieces of our electronic gadgets when I need them.  They all fit perfectly in an otherwise awkward shelving space built into our stairs. In addition to loving the practicality of this simple solution for managing a mess, the sticker labels make me smile!

 What do you do to keep your cords under control?  

I recently saw another great suggestion from Andrea of  Simple Organized Living. She, by the way, is another West Michigan blogger and her mad organizing skills put mine to shame!

Any other clever ideas to share for cords or recycling formula containers?

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Thursday, November 24, 2011


This year I am thankful like never before. 
Thankful for little hands, strong hands, a lovely home, wheels in my driveway, and always enough.

More than just thankful, I am filled with gratitude
The kind of gratitude that lives when you believe that every thing is a miracle.
Grateful for the not so simple things
like sitting, standing, and defying the odds.
For feeling. 
The pokes in the thigh and the nudges in my heart.  
Grateful for trials, temptation, and God’s perfect timing.  
Grateful when He says not yet or perhaps not ever.

Some agree that the more grateful we are, the more we will receive from life . Sounds happy and good and perhaps true.  I believe that the more we receive from life – you know, the not so good and happy, but the situations that will be redeemed - the more grateful we will become.  And there we find Joy.

Wishing you a thanks full, beauty full, joy full Thanksgiving!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

To Shake My Heart

Inspired by Love, last December we placed an empty jar on the shelf in our back room.

What could you give today with a joyful heart?

There was no schedule for giving, forced amount required on allowance day, or established goal. Just a thought provoking request.

With the example of generosity modeled for our family this year, it has become even more compelling for us to teach our children the habit of giving freely without expecting anything in return. As the months passed our jar began to fill with pennies, coffee quarters, and golden tooth fairy dollars.

This weekend's family fun night was likely our best ever.  We dumped the jar, sorted coins in piles, reviewed coin values, and made piles all across the table.The kids didn't know how the piles would be spent. Until we handed them a certificate with our grand total and took them shopping (online).

The sincerity, the questions, the thought put into each purchase, and the excitement as we each took turns choosing gifts for the children of Uganda was a gift to me.

 {I am just so happy my heart is shaking. ~Anne Hope}

About us, this is not
It's about Him
About holes and hope
About the changes possible with a joyful heart

Would you like to get involved? Hands of Hope has an online catalog. All orders placed before November 21st will be delivered to the children of Redeemer House in Uganda in time for the holidays. 
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bounty Full

the chill and emptiness take little to notice
we choose instead to
focus on the blessings
one gift at a time
abundant life creeps back
into each slumbering branch
as I hang the treasures of my heart
gratitude for all that is ours
comes alive in all who are mine as well

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Thornton Wilder
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Saturday, November 12, 2011


On the three days this week that Anne Hope didn't fall asleep as soon as she finished her homework, our quiet time boxes were a bit hit!  She surprised me with her ideas for how to use some of the materials from last week's boxes, as well as the amount of time she was interested in spending with them.  Since two of our boxes are yet unused, I only replaced materials in three boxes this weekend.  

Here are the new supplies lined up for next week:
{a collection of adventurous looking Little People. a snowboard, helicopter, and car. many postcards we have collected from interesting sights around the world.}

{paper frogs numbered 0-20. 2 dice. frog painted rock manipulatives}

{fall colored leafs. pine cones. smoothing tool. magnifying glass. small seashells}
When she has this box I will also be giving her a wooden tray full of sand.

Did you put together some quiet boxes of your own?  How did it work for you?  If you would like to read more about the idea behind it or see our boxes from previous weeks click here.  Any local friends want to start a quiet box "library" check out system to share & borrow materials?  

Enjoy your quiet!
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Friday, November 11, 2011

We Must Go Back to Hogwarts

Giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to comment #2, Connie P.  She is the winner of the Deathly Hallows Part 2 DVD.

On Friday nights Kevin and I look forward to unwinding with a movie after the rest of our family is tucked in bed.  Instead of sending him off to the Redbox to make our pick for the evening, I thought I would surprise him by picking something fun.

Tonight as soon as he walked in he said, "Harry Potter night!  I'll go get it."

Bummer, I forgot that released to DVD today and I already had my excellent movie waiting.

Even bigger bummer, the excellent movie I chose - NOT so excellent.   While we are kind of watching, eye brows raised, we are having more fun with this Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 widget.  Truly hoping that the movie will still be on the shelves at our local store when we check tomorrow.

Or maybe we will just hit eject and send Kev off to the store right now...

Partner's Hub has offered a DVD giveaway to the readers of A List Maker's Life.  By leaving a comment on this post you will be entered to win a copy of this epic conclusion to the Harry Potter's series!  A winner will be selected randomly on Monday, September 14th at 10PM.

If you are a serious Harry Pottery fan you won't want to miss the All Things Potter trivia quiz included in the widget. If you take it, I'd love to hear your score. ( I got a 60%....honestly, anything I did get correct was a complete guess).
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Eyes: All Her Own

{ a ruffle here}
{ a flower there}
{a signature splash of pink}
{an undeniable twinkle}

sweater: Eagle's Eye
shirt: Carters
corduroy ruffle pants: Pixie Dust Designs
felt flower headband: momma made
maryjanes: stride rite kids

Linking this post to Small Style on Mama Loves Papa.
Photo Credit: Fits N Giggles Photography
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bringing the Quiet Back

There was an idea I quickly passed over one day on Pinterest thanking my lucky stars that I still had three afternoon nappers.  It wasn't more than 2 weeks later that Anne Hope started complaining she just isn't tired after lunch anymore. Her routine was always books or a writing journal on her bed for at least an hour.  After picture reading a stack of books and sound spelling a note or two she is Miss Antsy Pants for the rest of the hour, shouting down at least twice a minute for an update on the time.  Really, I wouldn't mind if she skipped the sleeping and sticks close to me for awhile, the thing is with two other nappers in our small space the QUIET part is necessary!

Then, THE* jodi michelle shared a post on how she put together quiet boxes for her son.  I was inspired.  More than just another plastic tub filled with a learning center that needs full momma assistance (which I am the self proclaimed queen of putting together and rarely getting out for the kids). Jodi filled her boxes with ordinary items meant to inspire imagination and creativity.

My only requirement in putting together quiet boxes for Anne Hope was that I could only use things we already had in the house (because me in the $ Tree on a mission =  way over spending on fun little thingy things the kids might enjoy).  I had to empty a few random tubs to find 5 matching sizes and lid colors. Typically, I love to create graphic labels but with my budget of $0 I ended up using stickers from our scrap box instead.

Here are the first 5 quiet boxes which will make their appearance next Monday after school. I also have a growing list (you aren't surprised by that, are you?) of ideas for materials to re-fill the boxes for the next week. Most of my materials are small toys that are always available to the kids, but aren't always played with.  Hopefully if I sort through the collections and made displays, much like a museum curator, they will find new value in old treasures.

I have certain ideas of how each of these materials might be used, but since the idea is for Anne Hope to think outside of the box (but, in a box...hmmm...) I am going to let her direct the quiet play and I'm going to let you dream up your ideas as well.  What would you do with the things in each box?  I'd love to hear what you think!
{mirror. dry erase markers. headbands. jewels}

{my pog collection from the 90s (seriously!). bottle caps}

 {colorful foam sponges cut into triangles, rectangles, and squares.}

{mini blank books. twistable crayons. pencils, shape stencils.}

{wooden blocks. finger puppets}

Hopefully this solves the quiet time issue and creates some special memories for Anne Hope.  If all goes smoothly I know just what project I will tackle during Monday's quiet time. Any guesses?

*insert: creative, expressive, honest, talented, entertaining, dreaming, scheming, organizing, baking, loving, learning, living, local friend!
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Three years ago tonight we were sitting in Russ' trying to enjoy a dinner I didn't have to plan (or clean up).  A bit of a struggle as four and two were hopped up on sugar from the night before's Halloween haul. In an attempt to eat as quickly as possible and get everyone home to bed Kevin choked and had to excuse himself.  Cue a spilled chocolate milk. Yikes! I began to wonder if our little family would every be mentally prepared to handle add a third little love.  Hey, at least we still had 2 weeks to get it together. Ha!

We headed home and tucked everyone into bed in hope that sleep would soon come for momma as well. No luck with sleep. I  gave up on settling my mind and spent time instead recapping our Halloween.

I wrote, relaxed, and drifted to sleep on the couch without even a hint of the wonder to greet us in less than 9 hours.

As he falls to sleep each night I can't help but think of the unanticipated excitement he brought to my day and the adventures he will embark on during the next. There may not be as much time to write, relax, and sleep ;), but there is crazy joy (and always a hint of wonder).
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