Saturday, March 26, 2011

ishine Bible review

zoe is showing a greater and greater interest in reading the Bible for herself. she is no longer content to listen to us read together at night for our family devotions. she wants to get into the book and learn for herself all that it has to say.

i have been watching for a Bible that would be age-appropriate for her. i don't want to get her a "story" Bible that just gives her the stories of the Bible without context. on the other hand, i don't want her to feel squashed in her desires to read through the Bible because the text is too difficult to understand.

i have long been a fan of the new living translation for its accuracy and understandability. now, there is a version of the new living translation that is marketed to tweens call the ishine Bible.

normally, i balk at the idea that the Bible has to be marketed to such specific groups of people:  the Bible for women, the Bible for men, the Bible for people who like chocolate, etc.  when it comes to my kids, however, i am happy for them to have some encouragement, something that makes the Bible feel personal for them.  this Bible is pink and very girly so i hope that that will help zoe feel a sense of ownership--her Bible definitely looks different than mine (there is also a version in blue for boys)!

i didn't know very much about the ishine tween brand but their purpose is to equip "tweens and their families to illuminate and reveal their value, identity and purpose in Christ."  the Bible includes full-color pages that focs on these central themes:  being valued by God, finding their identity in Jesus and the purpose that this gives to their lives.  there are articles dealing with questions tweens may face, as well as articles about having a relationship with Jesus and growing in faith.

while i hope that zoe will spend more time reading the actual text of the Bible, rather than the articles themselves, this is very similar to the Bible that i grew up with.  the extra articles and features were encouraging and helpful for me at various times in my life, and actually encouraged me in my own personal Bible study.  i hope the same will happen for zoe with this Bible.

overall, i am glad to be able to offer zoe something that meets her where she is right now:  still a young person, but growing out of childhood and childish things.  i hope that receiving a Bible like this will encourage and inspire her on her own journey of faith.

i received the information and a free copy of this Bible from tyndale for the purpose of this review.  regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

nutella makes everything sweeter...

this was how things looked the night before.  i knew i would forget to take pictures once we got started...
 for a long time now, i had been planning to ask some of the moms from tate's class over for coffee.  i kept putting it off, feeling a little nervous about letting people see my less-than-perfect housekeeping, as well as some old-fashioned insecurity circa the junior high period of my life.

when nutella offered me a party package to sweeten our get-together, i knew it was time to find some courage and plan the party.

we had such a fun time cooing over babies, swapping parenting horror stories and commiserating over tantrum troubles.  what made our time extra sweet was the big jar of nutella that sat at the center of the spread, surrounded by fruit, whole grain breads and bagels.

did you know that nutella was invented by pietro ferroro?  during world war 2, rationing meant there was a short supply of chocolate.  he used hazelnuts, which are plentiful in the northern region of italy, to extend the chocolate supply.  and, of course, we are all so happy that he did!

the nutella website explains that by adding nutella to whole grain waffles, bagels and breads (and even tortillas!) in the morning, moms can get their kids to eat the whole grains that kids might normally refuse.  by eating a complete breakfast (whole grains and fruit), kids are able to concentrate better and are more likely to meet their nutritional intake recommendation throughout the day.  for our family, nutella has more sugar than i like to have my kids to have first thing in the morning, but it makes a fun snack when spread on some of the whole grain choices we keep on hand.

my kids were very skeptical about the nutella spread at first.  this made me laugh because, if it looks like chocolate, smells like chocolate, it has to taste like chocolate, right?  i let them dip their fingers in the jar to taste it so they could discover the chocolatey goodness for themselves.  it only took one taste, and they were completely hooked!  nutella is an alternative for children with peanut allergies, since nutella contains no peanuts or peanut ingredients and does not come into contact with peanuts during manufacturing.

my friends brought their samples home and had a similar experience with their own kids.  i think we are going to be starting a whole new generation of nutella lovers after this party!

if you want to try it for yourself, there is a coupon for $1 off here.  let me know what you think.  maybe next time, we can have a nutella party together!

i received information, nutella samples and coffee tumblers for 10 guests, as well as a 13.5 oz jar of nutella to serve at my party.  regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

Friday, March 25, 2011

stroller envy

i confess...i am totally guilty of stroller envy.  when we're driving around, i crane my neck trying to read what brand of stroller people on the street are using.  when we go for a walk, i'm sure people wonder what i'm staring at:  i just want to get a better look at their stroller.

some days it feels like everyone has a nicer stroller than i do.  i know exactly what i want in a stroller, it is just a matter of being able to afford one!

bugaboo just came out with a new stroller called the "donkey" that meets a lot of my requirements in a stroller and has made the ugly green envy monster rear its head--and the stroller hasn't even officially been released yet!

take a look at this beauty:

notice how there is room for your child, as well as an extra space to carry groceries, lunches or other necessary items? that bag next to the seat has handles for easy removal once you get to wherever you are going. this would be perfect for those time i walk to the grocery store and need some space for my groceries. there is also additional storage (up to 10 lbs) underneath the seat.

what truly make the donkey remarkable is its versatility. this is a stroller that can be a single stroller with a bassinet, a single stroller with a child seat (rear or forward-facing), a double stroller in any combination of bassinet and child seat--either two bassinets, two seats or one of each. if you have it as a double and drop off one child at school, you can just push the stroller together to make it a single stroller again. this would be perfect for the times that tate wants to ride when we are downtown. when we are home again and i only need the stroller for lilianna, i can just push it back into a single stroller.

all the clips and safety latches on the donkey are white so you know exactly what you have to do when you are making any changes to the stroller. the goal of the designers was to make it very user-friendly.  you can also use this stroller with a graco infant carrier, if necessary.

take a look at everything that you can get with this stroller:

this is a great stroller for first-time moms who don't want to invest in a double stroller immediately, but who know that a double stroller is in their future. this is also a great stroller for someone expecting twins. the stroller is easy to steer and easily fits through standard doorframes. the wheels are larger so i could navigate this stroller through sand and snow, both of which i'm sure to run into here along the shores of lake michigan.

i do think that the bugaboo donkey stays pretty big even when folded up, but i'm not sure you can find a double stroller that gets smaller. if you want to be able to see both your kids (and not have one hiding beneath the other one), this is a great, maneuverable double stroller that lets either or both kids face you or face away from you.

let me know if you end up purchasing this one. i like to know the people that i'm envying!

i attended a release party for the bugaboo donkey where i received a bag of fun donkey accessories. regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

recognize any of these people?

these are all photos taken by our (new) good friend, pam mosely.  by day, pam is a great school teacher, but once she leaves school, she takes out her faithful true companion, her camera, and she uses it to capture images of families, children, and individuals in new and unique ways.

check out her website to see what else she has done...

in which i am amazed how time flies...(and winners are announced)

well, i apologize for my winter blahs that made even the thought of sitting in front of the computer seem like too much work.  now that temperatures are rising, i am ready to get back on the ball in terms of blogging. 

of course, there is no better way to get back to work than to announce some winners!

the winner of the big g cereal giveaway is...

lili!  maybe you can use the jump rope on a day when you don't feel like running! 

the winner of the pillsbury bake-off prize package is...


congratulations everyone!  again, my apologies for my tardiness in getting the results to you!

you can also find me here

some other groups i've joined


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