A List Maker's Life: March 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

1st Day of Spring

I take back all those mean and nasty things I have said in the past about March.
Dreary, cold, and never ending.

This month's weather has gone a long way toward improving its' reputation for teaching long suffering
The screens are washed and in the windows
The spring clean up has begun on the yard and under our beds
We're working on our dust bunnies
Watch out cobwebs

The summer clothes have been swapped in to the kids' closets
They are actually wearing them
Tank tops. Shorts. Sunglasses.
They read on beach blankets under giant umbrellas
on grass eager to shed the top layer of dead thatch

The tulips?
Found blooming in full color in the beds of our not so sleepy downtown.

The kids rolled in the sand,
built castles and
chased the waves today

Washing away the blah! of winter in the chilly waters of Lake Michigan

Record breaking here,
and oh. so. wonderful.
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The Voice

The Voice New Testament: Revised and Updated  is a modern translation of the Bible that reads like a story or screenplay. It is presented as a collage of narratives, poetry, songs, wisdom, and Truth. The Voice is an engaging translation of the God inspired text that whispers His love and gives us hope.

This is the story of God's relentless pursuit of us, and in the story we will begin to hear His footsteps following unfailingly behind us.

In December I joined the world of e-readers with a Kindle.  To begin building my bookshelf I looked to Thomas Nelson's collection for e-books to review.  I was excited to download and engage in reading The Voice.  Realizing that it is now mid March I see that reviewing the whole New Testament is no quick task. Truthfully, I did not read through it from front to back.  I did commit to using it for all of my New Testament reading for three months.  In addition, since one of my favorite book is Philippians, I spent extra time studying carefully through each verse there.

Here is a clip from Philippians 4: 5-6

Keep your gentle nature so that all people will know what it looks like to walk in His footsteps.  the Lord is every present with us.  Don't be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything.  He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come.

The simple to follow language makes this an effective translation to offer those who are new to reading scripture or to those who enjoy studying passages written in many different expressions.  This translation maintains the integrity of the Bible, as the inspired Word, in a unique voice.  Commentary and historical notes are included throughout the text to enhance devotional study.

For the reasons mentioned above, and more, The Voice would be a nice addition to a group study, especially if the group is reading passages aloud. I especially appreciated the introduction which carefully explained the reason for publishing this translation and the hope for reaching a new audience. 

I would love to see The Voice include Psalms and Proverbs in future printings since there were many times I wished I could reference them.  We use these books quite often in teaching and redirecting the kids.  I was also a bit distracted by the embedded commentary as I felt compelled to read everything on the page.  In some instances I focused too much on the extra information instead of the verse during my personal reflection time.

Overall, I enjoyed the flow of the text and found The Voice to be another welcome resource in stepping further into the story of Scripture.

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Disclosure:  Thomas Nelson Publishing provided me with a free download of the digital copy of The Voice in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, March 12, 2012

With Open Hearts

The quiet of prayer and the idle hands quickly lead me to distraction.  My prayer journal becomes another to do list. Fully aware of the power of prayer, I am determined to learn the art of conversation with our Father.  Just as determined to teach our own children to express themselves not just on their knees at the bedside, but throughout the circumstances of everyday.   

As Neil Anderson explains in his philosophy of the three levels of prayer

We have discovered a new dimension when we are comfortable in His presence and don't feel obligated to talk. It's much like a marriage relationship. A mature couple can ride together in the car for hours, enjoying each other's company, without having to say a word. I can just be with God and I'm learning to listen.

We are practicing visual prayer.
With quiet background music and a table full of creative supplies. 

{with open hearts}
 {with thankfulness}
{with listening ears}
{with reminders of newly memorized passages of scripture}

It is the beginning of a beautiful conversation.
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Quiet Boxes cont.

In the last several weeks of quiet boxes Anne Hope has enjoyed several prepackaged craft kits.  Most of them we haven't taken pictures of because they aren't original ideas.  However, we have a few other fun boxes to share. 

{spirograph stencils}
{patterning cards, construction paper, scissors, paper clips}
We followed up this quiet box with some patterning play on Illuminations Shape Tool.

{plastic circus character manipulatives, early readers}

 {wooden ornament coloring kit}
We pick these type of kits up at Michaels through out the year when they are on the clearance racks

{robot matching cards for storytelling or game pieces, early readers}

{various types of dried beans, measuring instruments}

{toothpicks, marshmallows}

{alphabet cards, play dough}
These supplies are from the Handwriting Without Tears program.  Anne Hope used the cards and dough to build words and play with word families.

Quiet time boxes continue to be an enjoyable part of our afternoon routine.  It is also a good way for me to remember to rotate out many of the small toys and books that might otherwise be forgotten by the kids.  It is also a good time for me to  fit in some work on the ridiculous grad class I am taking this semester that keeps me from being able to write here as often as I would like.  Although Gibson is still a faithful afternoon napper I might create a set of boxes for him as well that we can use while Gabe's therapist is visiting or during that frightful hour when I am trying to make dinner (wink!).

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Extra! Extra!

A fabulous friend of ours turned 40 this week and we enjoyed being part of her surprise celebration! The invitation encouraged each guest to bring 40 of something fun, funky, or cheap.  I actually racked my brain on this one for awhile because I really didn't want to give something mean or omgyouaresostinkin'old - ish!  A while back I saw a 30th birthday gift that included 30 suckers and a tag, 30 Sucks.  Hmmm...not really, but clever.  So, I was left thinking gift baskets, treats, and a  positive message.

Here's what we came up with...
40 is EXTRA special

EXTRA wisdom
EXTRA smiles
EXTRA beauty
EXTRA gray hair???
EXTRA memories
EXTRA parties

You get the idea!  

Here's the EXTRA details -  

40 {or 50, 60, 75...} packs of gum
floral foam
small gift basket
tissue paper
hot glue
popsicle sticks
colorful paper, stickers, or punches for message tags

Cut the floral foam to fit the bottom of your container.  Wrap the foam in tissue paper.  Line the container with tissue before wedging in the base.  I made tags in my digital scrapbook program and printed them on photo paper.  Once they were printed they were cut into circles using the Stampin' Up circle punch and backed with coordinated papers cut with the scallop punch.
Then my #1 crafting assistant, a.k.a. Anne Hope, lined up all of the tags and packs of gum.  We hot glued a popsicle stick to the back of each item.
When they were nice and dry we picked off the crazy hot glue strings and had fun arranging the sticks by pushing them in to the floral foam base.  I was excited with the way it turned out.

Extra cheerful, don't you think?
Thankfully we got a couple pictures of it before delivery because it didn't take long once it got to the party for the kids to disassemble the whole bloomin' thing. 

 I guess it looked EXTRA tasty.
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