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Showing posts from December, 2010

The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible

Hi, my name is Tina and I am a Bible addict. If you’ve read through my reviews you may have noticed that little tidbit already. My recent acquisition is The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible. This is a New King James Version (NKJV) with additional texts from Max Lucado.




The lessons in the sidebars have great information and encouragement for interacting with the biblical text. I was reading in Proverbs and was tickled to find a reference to Homer Simpson in the sidebar. The lessons include: Situation, Observation, Inspiration, Application, and Exploration. There are also numerous study pages throughout the book that focus on a specific idea. New believers and old salty ones are all addressed with features and reading plans in the Bible.

If you are a fan of Max Lucado’s work then this is a welcome addition to your library. And if you are not a fan of Max Lucado, it’s worth getting because of the various reading plans and side notes about the text. This bible is one geared towards your …

Unstuff by Hayley and Michael DiMarco

Unstuff: Making Room in Your Life for What Really Matters by the DiMarco’s is a book that I thought would help me get the rest of my junk out of my garage. I was surprised to discover that it was that and so much more.


The basic principle is that anything that is not God is stuff. Even the things that we do in service to God can be stuff, they can take up room in our mental and physical lives and prevent us from truly worshiping God. The book has six different areas that typically need unstuffing: Wallet Stuff, Mind Stuff, Body Stuff, Love Stuff, Worship Stuff, and Future Stuff.

The two areas that hit me the hardest are Body and Love. I was challenged in the body stuff about acceptable sin:

Just look around the pews at your local church and see how many people there are carrying unhealthy weight. If we looked around the church and saw that exact number of people smoking cigarettes, would we be as calm? Or what if the same number of people were groping their partners or wearing tube to…

Rules Rules Rules

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules

Colossians 2:20


I am one of those people that sometimes looks at things and says "Why?"  Unfortunately, my daughter asks the exact same question but isn't quite old enough to get reasoning.  Which can make for some very long days.  Anyway back to why I started typing this morning. 

Last spring, I went outside in my pajamas.  And my first thought was not "I'm so thankful that I can come outside and see what Hannah wants me to see."  It was "I'm out here in my pajamas, that's not right."  And then my second thought was "Says who?!?"

I was kind of surprised to see this verse this morning while I was reading.  Because it reminds me to ask "Says who?"  There are so many rules and regulations in our lives, some to keep us safe and some that are just weird.

I like the rules about manufacturing…

From our home to yours!

Down, Down, Down to the Ocean

I happen to have a daughter that not only loves dinosaurs, but the ocean as well.  And as much as she loves the entirety of it, she is most fascinated by the very deep parts.  I think a lot of it started with The Blue Planet series, especially the Open Ocean/The Deep.


Isn't that a great image on the cover.  We watched it on Netflix instant and she wanted to know more.  The next time we went to the library, we checked out a bunch of books and this one was a family favorite



One of the really neat things about Down, Down, Down is that it separates the animal by depth and the art is that cool kind of paper quilt stuff. I don't know the best way to describe it, obviously, but it's paper that has been cut and torn and colored to create a picture.  Anyway, it's awesome and we love it.  I think we've checked it out more than once and I know that we've read it a ton of times.

Castles

The following post was created by Hannah as dictated to me this morning.  The drawing is her original creation. 


Castles are very special and kings and queens and princesses live there. The king and queen wear crowns. 
They don't have thumbs.  Castles are very pretty.
They have beautiful gardens.  In Rapunzel, the prince said "Rapunzel Rapunzel let down your hair" And her castle in the movie was just a straight castle. They have bridges so people can cross the water. And they don't know God. In their gardens they have pretty flowers. They have tiger lilies and roses and more tiger lilies. The princes are charming and beautiful because they have shiny clothes on which is called armor.  And the princesses bed was beautiful and also in Rapunzel a dragon guarded her tower.  They had an apple tree with tons of apples. 

The End

What's for dinner?

When Joel and I first got married, we would go to the grocery store and just buy whatever looked or sounded good.  There was no real plan for meals and sometimes we would go to the store, spend a hundred bucks and come back with absolutely nothing for dinner.  It was terribly expensive and I was always finding rotting food in our fridge.  Mainly because we would buy things with the idea of eating them, but with no real plan to eat it.  About a month in, I realized that our budget could not afford this kind of shopping, so I made meal planning into a mental game with monetary benefits.


First of all, I look at the week ahead and see if there are any evening meetings for the family or days that Joel will not be home.  I think about how much time I will have for meal preparation on each of those days. I take a mental inventory of the things I have in the house.

Next, I turn to the sales paper for the grocery store.  I peruse which meats/protein sources are on sale or if there is an abunda…

Unplowed ground

I've been reading Unstuff lately.  I'll be doing a formal review soon, but it worked in really well with a passage of scripture that I have been meditating upon today.  Here's the passage I've been thinking about



Sow righteousness for yourselves,

reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the LORD,
until he comes
and showers his righteousness on you.

Hosea 10:12

Here's the idea that I have been noodling on.  When we don't act upon our true desires, but instead leave a ground fallow with the hope of something else then there is a great possibility that weeds and the likes can grow in that ground.  We hold on to things in hopes that it will serve a purpose in our lives, we cling to things with the idea that its value in the future is immense.  But what we could actually be doing is leaving the ground barren and open for something else to grow.  And because we aren't cultivating that area with the intent o…

Of Dinosaurs and such

There is one section of the library that Hannah somehow found the first or second time we went.  It was the dinosaur section.  When she goes to the library and wants to check out a book, that's the first place she heads.  She loves it!  We checks out four or five at a time, but she returns to this one series time and time again. The series is written by Dougal Dixon.  Unfortunately, there is no overarching name to the series, but it is the name of specific dinosaurs.  Here are a few of them... The thing that I like about them is that they are easy to read.  There is a two page spread for each dinosaur that has text on one side and a drawing of the dinosaur in its original habitat on the other.  Each one has phonetic pronunciation of the name of the dinosaur.  Another feature through out each one is a picture for carnivore or herbivore that is easy to remember and identify.  There is also a common size measure in each of the books.  One feature of the dinosaur, either physical or be…

Fun little tradition

The first time I ever met Joel's family was right after Christmas.  They live in Seattle and I was going through my adoration of Starbucks stage.  I would always order a grande breve latte.  It was divine and I had no idea that I was chugging down a pint of heavy cream.  We were at the local Starbucks and I saw the most adorable cup with a little Santa Bear that went with it.  The whole adorable thing came home with me.  And we started a tradition around the bear.  His name is Santa Bearista and he brings hot beverage fun-ness for Christmas. 


Isn't he adorable?  And the cup is still cute, ten years later.  Hannah immediately asked if she could use it when I brought it out to take a picture of it. 

Santa Bearista has brought a large variety of beverages, including Alton Brown's Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix, tea sets, coffee's galore, and even an appliance or two.  He's a nice guy that Santa Bearista. 

What kind of fun traditions do you have in your family?

Christmas and St. Nick

I find it amazing how much Hannah believes in Santa.  For the longest time, even last year, we stood firm to the fact that Santa does not come to our home.  We have told her time and again the story of St. Nicholas, the gracious benefactor that saved two sisters from poverty, but alas, the commercials and movies have won out.  She is a believer.  Even when I ask her questions to discredit the reality of Santa she has an answer waiting for me.  Or she just stops talking conveying the message that I am a lost cause. 

But it does make we wonder if this man who supposedly did exist and gave with such a generous heart would appreciate what has become of his legacy.  And then I wonder about what my legacy will be.  You see there is someone that I am striving to incorporate into my life.  His name is Jesus.  He was born almost two thousand years ago and he has the best legacy that I've ever encountered.  He loved those that made his life miserable, he wasn't afraid of germs, he alwa…

Snowflake from TheLongThread

Over at The Long Thread, she had a little tutorial on making a shrink a dink snowflake necklace.  I had some of the shrinking magic and I've been wanting to use it for quite some time, so today, Hannah and I had some fun. 

Here's a picture of my new necklace


I had outlined mine in order to cut it out and then added some details to it as well.  Quite a fun project.  I wonder what else I'll make this winter...

Joy

Isaiah 35: 6

Then will the lame leap like a deer,


and the mute tongue shout for joy.

Water will gush forth in the wilderness

and streams in the desert



This week's Advent candle is Joy.  In Sunday school we talked about the passage above.  We did a little thing where we hit the mute button and then we shouted Joy.  Joy is definitely one of those things that is a mystery to me.  I don't talk about it much in day to day conversation.  How about you?  I think it's something to be achieved.  But at others, like when I'm reading about the fruit of the spirit, I think it's a gift, not something that I can go out and capture, but instead, something that captures me.

This is the second definition of joy at dictionary.com 

asourceorcauseofkeenpleasureordelight;somethingorsomeonegreatlyvaluedorappreciated

The other fun thing at dictionary.com is that it says that a synonym for joy is rapture.  That might very well, change a couple of conversations for me.  If rapture is a…

Blogging on Saturday

Sometimes, when I come to blogger on Saturday and see the lack of new posts in my blog feed, I feel like I've come into the office on a day off.  Why is that?  I guess some of the blogs that I read are professional, even if they are in reference to something that most of us don't get paid for (homemaking).  Maybe it's because people are spending time with their families, so they are not sitting in front of their computers blogging while the kiddos watch cartoons.  Who knows, but it is kind of a fun feeling being the only one around. 

I thought that I could give you all a couple of updates on things going on around here.  I think I covered homeschooling the other day with the info about the long break, how about a picture of my hair, which I am still growing out and I think it looks pretty nice today.


I haven't had it cut in months and I've been trying my best to put it up in ponytails :D
Hmmm, the next thing is probably Project 52.  I haven't forgotten about a c…

More thoughts on Love

Last night in Bible Study we were talking about our understanding of the world and God's understanding.  We were reading the passage about John the Baptist in prison, sending his disciples to Jesus to ask him if he was indeed the one that they had been waiting on (Matthew 11:2-11)  We discussed what it must have been like to be in prison and wondering if he were the real Messiah and how we look at our own personal problems.  And then this thought hit me, when we go through struggles, it's like when a child is in the backseat, trying to get their juice box open asking for help, all the time the driver is trying their best to avoid a ten car accident that is occurring in front of them.  We are so focused on our small passing concerns and desires that we never even realize the real struggle that is going on around us.  This fight that we Christians undergo is not against things of this world.  It's not really about getting the rent paid or achieving the best education, the st…

Love

I have this book that Joel and I read together our second advent season.  It was so wonderful, that I still love it and bring it out read snippets of it and wish that it didn't have things that were so real that I want to protect my daughter from them for just a little while longer.  The book is Tracks in the Straw by Ted Loder




Here's a snippet that I feel in love with the other day:

That night I learned what power really is: It is choosing to come close, to break through the fences that separate us, to share yourself whatever the cost, to be vulnerable. A simple, complicated choice. That's all...and that's everything. Honestly sharing yourself is being willing to let yourself be a jackass...or a child, or a friend, or a lover. That is what love does.


One of the interesting things about this Advent reading is that it is not told from the normal perspectives.  It's not the third person clean and tidy account that we get in scripture and Christmas plays, it's about…

Hosting a party for 50

So there I was, bone tired and my brain not firing on all cylinders, that's what Lyme disease will do for you.  And I knew that not only did we have a house guest but also an open house coming up.  I wanted to have it catered, but it appeared that every time someone was going to give me a name, it fell through.  I turned to our grocery store, which was a viable option, but it's so hard to pay thirty dollars for dip you know you can make for 5!  And then it happened, pies went on a BOGO sale.  I sent Joel to the store to stock up.  He bought 10 pies!!  According to Martha in one of her early entertaining books, 10 pies is all you need for a party of 50.  We were set.  But then the week of, shrimp went on sale, so I went and bought six pounds of 26-30 count.  After three hours of baking the day before and a half hour of boiling water the day of, we were set for our party.  Joel was gracious enough to throw in some homemade salsa and a cream cheese dip.  But here's how I knew…

Long Winter Break

This past summer, I decided that I was going to be a bit of a rebel and continue with our school work.  It was not so well received by Hannah, but I trudged through any way.  Every morning we would do our lessons and then we would get on our swim suits and go swimming or watch a movie if the weather was bad.  It was kind of nice and good rhythm. 
And now, it's been so nice not having to get any lessons done, but devote myself to the tasks that are at hand for the projects that are coming up.  And now, with our Christmas party a memory of laughter and conversations, there is an entire season of hope, love, joy and peace awaiting us.  It's quite lovely.
I've been struggling with the idea of letting Hannah just do what ever she wants.  The teacher bit can be difficult to step out of, but I think it has been a good time for her as well.
I've been praying about our next year of school and looking forward to adding in some curriculum and returning to what we were doing thi…

Pleased as Punch

For the longest time, I knew that we would need a new computer, probably for the past six years or so, I have been waiting for the day that we would get one.  And today was the day.  We went and got a brand new laptop from Best Buy.  I was torn between the reliability and longevity of a desktop and the total lack of desire to have the computer set up in one room, not in the midst of the activity of our home.  In the end, it was the seeing that two Windows laptops can be purchased for the price of one Apple.  I decided the price was worth it.  I even hope that we'll be able to by a new desktop for our school work sometime next year.
But here I am, typing in the middle of the night.  That could be a bad habit, but I doubt it will be a regular basis.  I just wanted to say hello to you while I could. 
I am glad to report that I have made a complete recovery from my bout of Lyme disease.  I  am so utterly thankful for my doctor at the Henry Ford Medical Center that diagnosed me and mad…