Tag Archives: outdoors

Pinecone Birdfeeder {create}

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My daughter saw this project in a children’s magazine one time and has been anxious to do it ever since. So, yesterday was the day. It was a beautiful afternoon after lunch, so what better way to spend a little bit of time outside? (Well, aside from the kiddie pool, which they went for not long after this craft time!) So, I gathered up the birdseed, peanut butter, a couple of pinecones we have had in the house (I told you she’s been anxious to do the project!) and some string.

Four simple items are all you need for this kid-friendly craft!

Four simple items are all you need for this kid-friendly craft!

This craft is really easy and quick, but can get messy depending on the dexterity of your kids, so I took the project outside. My daughter, who’s 6, didn’t have trouble using a small spatula to cover her pinecone with the peanut butter. My son (age 4) wasn’t that into it, so I let her coat his, too.

Step 1: Coat the pinecone with peanut butter.

Step 1: Coat the pinecone with peanut butter.

When it was time to put on the birdseed, I had the kids roll the pinecones in a dish of seed, instead of trying to sprinkle it on. I figured it would be easier on them and a little less prone to messiness. This turned out to be a good idea. 🙂

Step 2: Roll the pinecone in a pan of birdseed until the pinecone is completely covered.

Step 2: Roll the pinecone in a pan of birdseed until the pinecone is completely covered.

After the cones were completely seeded, I tied on some string and we went off to the backyard to find a place to hang the bird feeders. This proved more difficult than I had expected because most of the good branches in our backyard trees were up too high for even me to reach, let alone the kids. So I ended up having to hang them up (and stretched up on my toes to do it), which I think was disappointing to my daughter, since she couldn’t do it. Maybe we can make some more of these sometime and find a different place to hang them up. It sure didn’t cost anything but a little time! Anyway, I was going to put the pinecones in different locations, but my daughter insisted they had to be on the same branch beside each other, because one was hers and one was her brother’s and they had to be together. I only wish the sibling sweetness lasted all day! 🙂

Step 3: Tie a string on the pinecones and find a suitable branch from which to hang them.

Step 3: Tie a string on the pinecones and find a suitable branch from which to hang them.

Homeschool Mosaic Review: The Waterproof Bible

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review disclaimer1Today’s review isn’t really a homeschool product, but it is one of the coolest things I’ve seen. Have you ever heard of a Waterproof Bible? I didn’t know they made such a thing! So I was pretty excited when my review copy of the New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs arrived in the mail. But I had trouble at first with intentionally dousing a *Bible* with water. In fact, my husband had to do the first test because I couldn’t bring myself to do it!

I needn’t have worried, because this Bible is made of tough stuff. Its synthetic pages are stain- and tear-resistant and 100 percent waterproof. Spill coffee or OJ while you’re reading in the morning? It’ll wipe right off and not leave a trace. You can hold a single page of the Bible and shake it around a bit, and it won’t tear (don’t try this with your regular Bible! :-)) The binding of the Waterproof Bible is stitched and sewn before it’s glued so it’s made to last. And there’s very little bleed-through of text between pages, so it’s easily readable.

Caught in a rainstorm? No worries; this Bible is easily wiped dry and the pages won't be ruined!

Caught in a rainstorm? No worries; this Bible is easily wiped dry and the pages won’t be ruined!

The Waterproof Bible, by Bardin Marsee Publishing, was the brilliant idea of two friends who enjoyed the outdoors and being out in the elements, but often wound up with ruined Bibles that couldn’t hold up. Or they just didn’t take their Bibles along for fear of ruining them. But they wanted to be able to read God’s Word out in His creation, and thus set about creating a Bible they could take with them and fit their active lifestyle. Their first product, called the Outdoor Bible, was a Bible in several volumes that folded like a backpacker’s trail map. It sounds pretty cool, but the format didn’t go over that well; people wanted a more traditional-looking Bible. So a few years later, the Waterproof Bible debuted.

For those who like to mark passages while they read, you can highlight on the Waterproof Bible’s pages with a dry highlighter (available here on the accessories page), as well as write with a pencil or ballpoint pen. The company does not recommend using Sharpies, gel pens or rollerball pens because those require the page to absorb liquid, which the Waterproof Bible will not do. Also, beware of using petroleum-based products, because the petroleum will smear the ink.

The Waterproof Bible is great for outdoor use, and is virtually indestructible.

The Waterproof Bible is great for outdoor use, and is virtually indestructible.

The Waterproof Bible is available in two types: the full version with Old and New Testaments (from $39.95) and a New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs ($24.95), and in the following versions:

You can also add a personal touch by imprinting a name or initials for an added fee.

The Waterproof Bible even floats!

The Waterproof Bible even floats!

What I love:

  • Its size: small and lightweight enough to stash in a pocketbook or tote bag (or backpack). At 3/4 of a pound or lighter with about a 1 inch spine, it’s not going to add a lot of bulk to your bag.
  • Its near-indestructability: I really don’t have to worry about the kids spilling anything on it, or accidentally leaving it outside in bad weather.

Potential pitfalls:

  • I think the only thing that might be a concern for some people is the font size. At the moment, that’s unavoidable, because when the company tried to make a Bible with a larger font size, it turned into a large book weighing about seven pounds, and that defeats the purpose of having a lightweight, smaller Bible that you can take anywhere. The font size is something they’ll revisit when the paper technology catches up (the synthetic paper currently used is about three times as thick as regular Bible paper, which is why it’s so durable, and thus, heavier). That said, neither my husband nor I had a problem reading the Bible.

The Waterproof Bible’s tagline is “Be Inspired. Anywhere.” And with their product, I believe that’s true! This would be the perfect Bible for military personnel on deployment and missionaries in remote locations–as well as backpackers, kayakers and families going camping. The possibilities are endless.

Where will you take your Waterproof Bible?

Where will you take your Waterproof Bible?

 

Edit: Check out what else you can do to this Bible in more Mosaic Reviews on the blog.

Easter Garden {cultivate}

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During last week’s homeschool art class at our church, the group did the cutest project for Easter. I had actually seen it surf by in Pinterest but had forgotten to pin it, so I was pretty excited when I arrived in class and discovered what the day’s craft would be! Most of the materials are things you’d find in your own back yard, so it’s even low cost!

You’ll need: a large terra cotta saucer (ours were 8 inch, I think), a small terra cotta pot, soil, grass seed, twigs, twine (and/or hot glue gun), small pebbles and one larger rock. I was baby-sitting a toddler for someone while the class was going on, so I didn’t actually get to see the process of putting it together (they did it outside), but it seems pretty simple enough. This site, A Homestead Heart, gives a great tutorial. I did help with the crosses on TG’s, and what we did was hot glue the two sticks together so they held and then we criss-cross-tied the twine over the twigs to help them stay put.

Easter Garden after 1 week.

Easter Garden after 1 week.

The site I linked to said it would take about 7-10 days for the grass seed to germinate and sprout, but ours took less than a week. The above picture was taken on Thursday, one week after they planted them, and look how high and filled in it is already! My kids have been thrilled to check it every day, water it and watch how high the grass is. It’s sitting on our kitchen table (to get some nice sunshine) and whenever I would check, I would see the big rock covering the “tomb” and would place it back to the side. I discovered the other day that my daughter TG kept putting the rock in front “because it’s not Easter yet!” And that, of course, is when the stone was rolled back and Jesus arose from the dead. Oh, how literal little ones can be! 🙂

I love the great reminder this craft gives that Jesus is risen! Every day we can look at our Easter garden and be reminded of that. And the science/gardening lessons they learned are pretty cool, too. 🙂 You’ve still got time to make one with your own family before this Easter holiday–sounds like a great weekend project to me!

In the shadow of the Cross

In the shadow of the Cross

Tiered Herb Garden, part 2 {create}

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As promised yesterday, here’s our tiered herb garden! It’s a really easy and pretty quick project, and definitely do-able in a weekend. We bought the materials and painted the pots on Saturday, and then on Sunday afternoon, we did all the planting.

Stacking the painted pots in prep for the herbs

Our chosen materials:

  • 3 different sizes of terra cotta pots (Wal-mart)
  • white primer spray paint
  • red spray paint
  • old plastic planter & large rock (to bolster the stacked pots)
  • herbs (we fit about 7 plants in our planters)
  • potting soil

We started out early on Saturday morning, visiting a few different places to scope out planters and herbs. I was surprised to discover that it was Wal-mart that had the types and sizes of terra cotta pots we needed, over a home improvement store and a nursery. We also bought local, organic herbs from a nearby nursery; they were only 25 cents more than the ones we saw elsewhere, and I was glad to support a local business and have organic herbs to boot.

Positioning the herbs so we can figure out what goes where before officially planting.

Once we had all the materials, we set to work priming the pots, letting them dry, and painting them red. The spray paint cans said it took 24 hours to completely dry, so we left things as they were overnight. Thankfully, Sunday was another beautiful day for outdoor work. To make the stacked look, we put an old plastic planter in the bottom container to hold the middle terra cotta pot, surrounding it with potting soil, and a large rock (also surrounded with soil) in the middle pot to hold the small terra cotta pot. The kids helped us plant the herbs, put in extra potting soil and water the finished planter (that was their favorite part).

The kids watering the new herb garden

The finished product, filled with chives, dill, Greek basil, oregano, parsley, sage, and sweet basil

Tiered Herb Garden {motivate}

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With our desire to eat more healthy meals at home, my husband and I decided to resurrect our herb garden so we’d have some fresh herbs to spice things up a bit. We had a small windowsill planter in our kitchen that held three plants, but we wanted something that would hold more than just our basil, oregano and chives. So, naturally, I turned to my new best friend, Pinterest, to see what creative displays others had done for their gardens.

Polka dots and bright spring colors

 {PositivelySplendid.com}

Love this tilted look

{homestoriesatoz.com}

Chalkboard Terra Cotta pots

This feeds my growing desire to use chalkboard paint on everything

 {farmandfleet.com}

Vertical Walled Herb Garden

Loved the different look to this walled herb garden, but sadly don’t have the room for it

 {brooklynlimestone.com}

Armed with inspiration, we set out to create our own garden over a gorgeous spring weekend. I’ll be back tomorrow with the big reveal, but here’s a sneak peek:

herb garden

Red pot….and what else?

{endquote}
“The air was fragrant with a thousand trodden aromatic herbs, with fields of lavender, and with the brightest roses blushing in tufts all over the meadows. . . .” –William Cullen Bryant