Sheltering Mercy

Short but sweet this week! I figured ya’ll are like me and up to your eyeballs in Easter Preparations, so another thought from me is just adding to your list… but I did want to share a little something that I have been dying to get my hands on since it arrived in my mailbox. Besides, it’s been a while since my last book review and I figured it was about time.

Let’s dive in. “Sheltering Mercy” by Ryan Whitaker Smith and Dan Wilt is described as “prayers inspired by the Psalms”… and it is exactly that! A little purse-sized hardcover containing a collection of poems or writings based on the first 75 Psalms. The writings are not exactly scripture, nor paraphrases, but, as the writers put it, “free-verse prayer renderings”. For me, they are perfect for quiet meditation, and I have been dying to do some journalling, artistic illustrations to go along with each collection! (If only there were more time in the day, right?). I think this little book would be perfect for that type of meditation as the paper is heavy and the margins spacious. There are a few black and white illustrations scattered through the book, but a splash of coloured pencils would be perfect!

If you’ve been reading mittonmusings for any length of time, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with David and the psalms, not to mention my own practical versus artsy personality. I’m just not sure where I fit in. This little collection hits home when I need to foster the creative side of my devotions. In case you didn’t pick it up, Ryan Whitaker Smith is the son of worship singer-songwriter Michael W. Smith. That collaboration is a lesson in itself for worship, reflection and artistry in the contemporary Christian world. Why wouldn’t these potential song lyrics be just right?

So, if you are itching for some traditional written prayer meditation for your Easter Season, or maybe you are looking to branch out with your artistic side, give “Sheltering Mercy” a gander. Published by Brazos Press and lovingly donated to mittonmusings by Nuts About Books, I’m looking forward to marking it all up over the holiday weekend!

Happy Easter, my beloveds, until next time!

Investigate Chromatography

Well… day whatever of self isolation. I’m missing routine. I’m unmotivated and finding it difficult to find things to blog about. They’ve just announced that school won’t be back in session until at least May 31st. Pray for us mommas. In light of all this, I thought I would repost this article I wrote for a fellow blogger looking for some science ideas. It’s not been posted on my site, so – perhaps it would be a fun project you could do during isolation? God’s creation is vast and colourful, and hopefully spring will bring me some new ideas to muse about, but until then, enjoy this one! Stay safe, friends.


Greetings!  I am so pleased to share some thoughts with RedHeaded Patti as a guest blogger!  As a scientist and mom of four (plus the extra odd neighbourhood kids and students that sometimes visit) it was a no brainer for me to answer her call for a SUMMER OF STEM ideas!  We are always learning and love to share with others! So let’s get right down to it:  Let’s investigate Chromatography!  We originally tackled this project for this year’s science fair and it is a perfect investigation for all sorts of children or students… you can tailor it to any age by investigating just a bit deeper or a little less.  We wanted something easy, fun and colourful to learn about!  To read about our finished project, check out the link here.  We post every Tuesday and would love to have you join our adventure over at mittonmusings.com!

ChromatographyChromatography, in its simplest terms, means “separating parts of a mixture”.  Scientists do this for all kinds of mixtures:  gases, liquids and solids can all be separated into their various parts.  For example, blood can be separated out to search for specific diseases.  Oil companies often use chromatography to weed out impurities in their products. Gases can be diffused and distilled to investigate all about bombs and warfare.  Distillation is closely related to chromatography and is another method for separating mixtures.  Perhaps you can investigate the differences!  For our example, we are going to be using paper chromatography to separate liquid pigments (in markers) into their various colours.  Pigments are also found in other everyday objects like leaves and candy… even more to investigate!

So… let’s gather our materials:

paper cups

coffee filters

markers (various colours and types)

rubbing alcohol

elastic bands

a dropper

a coin

water

Once you have all your materials now is when the fun starts!!  Here’s the basic method and what our results were.  Feel free to try all sorts of markers and colours and see what results you get!

We took 6 cups and wrapped one coffee filter on the top of each cup and secured it with an elastic band

We picked 5 sharpie colours and traced the coin to make a circle on the filter

We dropped a few drops of alcohol inside the ink circles and watched the circle as it “grew” and separated by moving along the filter paper

We did the same with the Crayola marker, except we used water instead of alcohol (you’ll see why later)

Our Results:

colours

The ink separated (spread) and some turned into different colours along the coffee filter.

Green…. showed yellow

Dark Blue…. showed a light then darker blue

Purple…. showed pink and violet

Teal…. showed yellow and blue-green

Black (Sharpie)…. showed purple

Black (Crayola)…. showed blue and pink

Our favourites were teal and purple!!

Wasn’t that fun?!  Now, as good scientists, we have to ask the question: WHY?  Markers have ink — that’s what makes the colours.  Ink is a mixture of a fast-drying liquid and pigments (the substances that give something colour).  Sharpie markers have alcohol-based ink (permanent), and Crayola markers have water-based ink (not permanent).  So, when we added more liquid (alcohol or water), the ink spread out and separated into other colours.  Did you notice that black is really a mixture of a whole bunch of colours?!

We also observed that some colours spread out further than others.  The water based marker spread the most. This is because “solutes” (the things that make up a mixture) will move along depending on how much of the solute there is in the mixture.   Water based inks have a lot of “solvent”(the stuff that solutes are mixed into)…which is why they are not permanent and are easily washable. Some inks showed more than one colour even though they started out looking like only one!  This shows us that inks (or pigments) are really made up of a mixture (or solution) of different colours that produce the various shades of “single” marker colours.  Isn’t science great?!

We hope you enjoyed this fun and easy science experiment.  Remember it next time you are enjoying some colouring this summer with your markers — and don’t ever stop learning!leaves

Hosting a Party!

Happy Blog-a-versary to us!! This week, mittonmusings.com turns two years old! I can’t believe it! What started out as a little “learning experience” has grown into a full fledged toddler — complete with the meltdowns of a terrible two year old! (I recently had to delve into the world of website analytics. Let’s just say I don’t get it — yet.) But, I have learned a lot. A lot. And I want to thank you all for supporting me and this little adventure with your comments, encouragements and “likes”.

You’ll notice some subtle changes as we “grow up” a little. I’m hoping our new look is a little more streamlined and easy on the eyes. It’s been fun learning blips and blobs of this huge world we call “technology”. And it changes fast… so we are learning to keep up! We’ve just about hit 200 followers with just under 2 000 views. We’re active on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and you can find our Facebook page here. We are not YouTubers yet, but maybe we’ll be cool enough for that someday. Won’t the kids be so impressed?! Videography is on the list of things to learn. We dove headstrong into our first ever daily email campaign, 30 Days of Blessings, and had lots of great feedback. God has truly blessed our little ministry.

So what are we going to do to celebrate all our slow, but exciting progressions?! We’re hosting a party! Well, sort of. As much as I’d love to have you all over for cake and ice cream, the introvert in me says ” uh, no.” So, we are going to do the next best thing, we are going to all sit at home and drink warm beverages on the couch — and colour!!

Colour, you say? Yup. For the next several weeks, mittonmusings will be studying all about colours! I’m no artist, but I’ve enjoyed colouring since I was, well, two years old. So I thought it would be fun to do a study on colours, their symbolism, their psychology, and why God gave us such a rich resource to play with! We might even look into Bible Journalling and colour coded study. Are you up for it, my friends?! Fabulous!!

And what would a party be without presents? Oh, we are going to have those too! How can you get one?! By joining us on the adventure! And sharing it with others! Throughout the colour party, I’ll be looking for likes, shares and new followers! It’s how the internet decides we are “worthy” of taking up space in it’s crazy world! Simply click on the side “follow” button, or join the adventure when prompted in the pop up! Then pick your favourite post, write a raving “colour commentary”, and share it on your favourite social site! It warms my heart to think that I have had a little impact on making people think, helping them grow, and encouraging blessings along the journey. Will you help me celebrate?! I’ll meet you on the couch next week, with crayons in hand!!

Can’t wait to have you join us!