Kid’s Travel Pillow

This easy to make kids travel pillow does double duty as a toy for entertainment and a neck pillow for when your child finally falls asleep on those long road trips.     It’s time for Week 2 of the So You Think Your Crafty Contest! If you missed last week’s project, click here! This week’s theme is “Kids Can Do”. How fun is that? Now, it’s fairly easy to keep entertained at home when you’re working on a project together like my very easy to follow angel wings wall hanging project. But I decided on a Kid’s Travel Pillow for this project, because it’s so hard to keep kids entertained while traveling in the car. To make the pillow you will need: A pair of argyle soccer socks (any size, I chose a size large since my kids are older) You can order these green ones on this website. Red and Pink craft felt Poly-fiberfill stuffing Wiggly Eyes in two colors Craft Heat Bond, Craft Glue or Fabric Glue Large needle and embroidery floss (to match your socks) Small pieces of stick on velcro (optional) You can keep all of your material in your diy wooden tool box if you’ve already created one! To make the mouth, cut two pieces of the red felt into ovals. Trace the red felt pieces onto the pink felt for the interior part of the mouth. Cut the pink felt, with the red being slightly smaller so you can see the two colors. Pink felt first, then the red on top will make an…
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Blue Moon Ice Cream

Did you see the Blue Moon this week? It’s the second time this month we have had a full moon, the second cycle is referred to as the “Blue Moon”. The phrase “once in a blue moon” has brought on new meaning to me as I have gotten older. There are things that I just never have time to do that I enjoy, one of them is making fresh ice cream. Life is too short not to take time for simple little pleasures. Blue Moon ice cream is a Wisconsin favorite, a best seller at our family’s restaurant. It has the suburb combination of watermelon, blueberry and raspberry that can’t be beat. You can make your own ice cream simply with a few plastic baggies and ice, it’s a fun project for kids and great entertainment for a hot day. Ingredients: 1/2 pint fresh blueberries 1/4 of a large watermelon, Rhine removed, seeded and chopped into 1″ cubes 1/2 pint fresh raspberries (you can substitute 2 Tablespoons low sugar Raspberry jam if needed) 2 cups almond milk or whole milk 1/2 cup sugar 4 cups ice 1/2 cup table salt 2 large gallon sized zip lock baggies 2 sandwich size zip lock baggies   Directions: Blend the fresh fruit and milk together in a blender until smooth. Add the sugar, blend again. Pour the mix into two sandwich baggies, only filling them about 1/2 way. Close the bags, releasing as much air as possible. Divide the ice and salt into the two gallon sized bags. Close the top, shake the…
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How to Keep Your Family Safe Online

Keeping your family safe online is a huge topic of discussion and concern for people today. I hear every day of families who are distraught, trying to keep their children safe from the uncontrollable Internet. The statistics of children viewing porn and graphic content at younger and younger ages is staggering, even among Christian families. No one is safe from it. As a parent, I don’t want to see it either, it is annoying, frustrating and shocking. One wrong click of the mouse and your child’s innocence can be lost forever. How are we to keep this unwanted content out of our homes? There are a number of things you can do to keep the Internet in check. 1) Set up parental parameters: Devices your children use such as the Wii, XBox, Nook, the Kindle and hand held game systems have improved internet safety software to keep children from viewing inappropriate content. Set up a parental login and get started.  Check regularly to see what your children are viewing and downloading online on each system. If you don’t know how to set up your device, call technical support and have them help you set it up over the phone.   2) Set Up Cell Phone Blocking. Did you know you can pay a few extra dollars per month to your cell phone provider to block inappropriate content on all the phones on your plan? We use AT &T, they only charge $4.99 per month for this service.  Click here to find out more information. You can set up time usage…
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Global Discovery Vacations

    Returning from vacation can be stressful. Re-entry into the regular routine slow for me. I keep dreaming of the beautiful beach we saw in Gulf Shores, Alabama. It was our first trip there, it definitely won’t be our last. We stayed at the Plantation Resort, part of Global Discovery Vacations. I call it a travel club. The way it works is you pay a one time fee up front to join, then a small yearly fee. We get two weeks a year at any resort they are affiliated with, anywhere in the world for $189.00 per week for a one bedroom suite with kitchen, living room, laundry, etc. You can upgrade to a 2 or 3 bedroom if you choose, but different rates do apply. It has been well worth it to us. We have taken several vacations in the last two years and they have been great. The facilities are clean, quiet, attractive and very serviceable. I keep forgetting to take pictures of the inside of them, my mind is always on the view. I actually felt sorry for the folks back home in the subzero temperatures. It wasn’t that warm while we were in the Gulf area, but even a cold day at the beach is warmer than a subzero day back home. Eye candy for the soul. The resort had several pools both indoors and out. We pretty much had the entire place to ourselves. There were a few other midwesterner’s around during the off season, but not many. The off season is Jan-Feb. Peak…
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Crater of Diamonds State Park

    We are back from our early spring vacation. It’s always hard to get back into the swing of things after a restful time away. I find it takes me at least two or three days for each week we are away, to be able to re-focus and figure out what direction we need to take for to go forward. I need time to catch up on mail, laundry, shopping, and the ever growing email accounts and social media obligations. Time away is necessary, I find, to re-evaluate where you are and which direction you should be going next. I have never failed to come home with a new vision and a clear perspective. There were many years where we didn’t take any vacations as a family, but as our children begin to leave home, we have decided to make family trips a priority. We now make an effort to take at least two trips a year together. The last couple of years, we have concentrated on exploring the beach areas, as I am addicted to warm sands and southern sunshine. This trip was no different, but I will tell you about the beach in my next post. We began our journey by driving south and making a small detour through Arkansas to the Crater of Diamonds State Park. We have never been there before, but it was well worth the trip. Arkansas is a beautiful state. We first read about this park as part of our home schooling journey, in a monthly children’s publication called Which Way USA. It is…
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Confetti Soap

        I recently taught a soap making class. It was so much fun! A group of local home school Mom’s and a few of their kids got together for a time of fellowship and learning. I am not really sure who learned more, me or them. That’s the funny thing about being a speaker, you go in expecting to teach, but come out having been a student. Even if it’s something you have been doing for years, like making your own soap. I would do it again in a heart beat. We spent the entire night discussing soap bases, herbs and essential oils. We debated about different chemicals in the bases, what’s good, what’s not. We even googled a few technical terms for clarification. It was a blast. We experimented with new molds, tested new soap bases, mixed beautiful new colors and tried out new experimental techniques. The results were beautiful. They smelled even better than they looked. My favorite soap of the night was this Confetti Soap. It’s not at all complicated. The basic soap has a combination of 3 Butters, Mango, Shea and Cocoa butter. It’s the first time I have used this product, and I love the way it moisturizes my dry winter skin. The beautiful color comes from adding chopped up bits of Glycerin Soap that I made previously. We simply chopped the soaps into little pieces and added them to the white liquid soap base when it was poured into the mold. How easy is that? I had been working on this…
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DIY Candy Cane Soap

  We have been hard at work on making Christmas gifts. One of the joys of homeschooling for us over the years has been to learn basic homemaking skills, along with a few skills that are just fun projects. Making soap is just plain fun. It’s an easy project for younger children, and the next thing you know they are 16 years old and begging to help you make soap for gifts. We love Candy Canes at our house and decided to combine the two for our very own DIY Candy Cane Soap. If you didn’t know, sugar has long been known to be an excellent ingredient for smoothing and exfoliating the skin. You can buy sugar scrubs, make your own, or have one professionally done at your local spa. Since we had a bundle of candy canes around the house, they became our inspiration for this holiday soap. We made a couple of different batches, experimenting as we went. I had a bunch of left over glycerin bars from another project, I think it was a 1 lb. bag that we melted on the stove top in an old pan. The first batch was poured into small bars (you can buy molds at the craft store) where we added crushed candy canes to the melted glycerin (center bars). The bars hardened quickly and looked so pretty with the crushed candy in them. So far, so good. Then, we got braver and made a bigger batch, using crushed candy canes in the bottom of a large bread pan, then adding the…
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