The Traveling Sisterhood: August 2016

Tuesday, August 30

"The Biggest Story" DVD Giveaway--A Captivatingly Beautiful Animated Film Everyone Should See!


This movie is a work of art in every way you can imagine! The animation is gorgeous and the paraphrase of the Bible rrom creation to Jesus resurrection is portrayed as beautifully as I've ever seen it. The voice of the narrator and the spoken word is perfect. Sometimes the illustrations are abstract to keep it visually interesting through parts you can't really illustrate or aren't appropriate for children which I thought was very tastefully done.
 
The DVD comes with a poster--this is one side, the dove is the other. They would be beautiful to frame and hang in your child's room. These are an example of the beautiful artwork in the film. It's only 28 minutes but it really gets the message across--the "biggest story" ever written.
The movie takes you from the very beginning when Adam and Eve sinned and tying together everything in the Old Testament and the New to show you the importance of both. How much they need each other.  But, more than anything, how incredible God's grace is.
The movie reminded me of this truth. It's all about God's perfect grace for us, the grace He has that is so much bigger than our mistakes or our sins no matter how bad they may be. I've done things in my life that I regret and this was just a perfect reminder of how much He loves me and that He's not done yet. I was quietly crying by the end of the movie. The older I get and the more I understand God's grace toward me, the weepier I get, I must admit! But this is definitely a movie everyone should see--it's perfect for kids and will get through to them, but it will touch the heart of any grown-up, too!
Enter using the form below. Ends 9/9/16 at the stroke of midnight!



"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Saturday, August 27

KitHub STEAM Kits Make Even the Most Un-Steamy Kids Fall in Love with Electronics! And a Robot-Making Kit for Only $9!!


Special thanks to the wonderful people at Kit Hub for providing us with these products to review! 
  What are these STEAM kits?  Well, KitHub empowers kids, parents, educators and DIY enthusiasts to dive into hands-on, fun and creative electronics projects by providing theme-based kits and easy to follow instructions. They help your kiddos build the confidence and skills they need to create, experiment and design creative projects using electronics. And they are awesome!
One of my daughters wanted to make the Light Up Mask, which is a fun and entertaining introduction to simple circuits. My daughter designed her own light-up superhero mask using electronics. It came with everything she needed, even the lithium battery and LED light. She loved following the easy directions, experimenting with the LED, and making the mask her own!
My son couldn't wait to make the Motorized Bot! He had so much fun discovering what made the LEDs light up, what made the circuits work, and getting the motor to drive his bot around. It was really cool to watch! Such an awesome introduction to robotics! It only costs $9 with the discount (use the code School10) and it comes with an led, battery holder, battery, hobby motor, alligator clips, cup, wires, everything you need!
Now, the day before I introduced my kits to Kit Hub, my oldest daughter said she didn't like electronics. She thought they were boring. She sat at the kitchen table the next day and said, "Well, I guess I'll do the circuit board." Oh my goodness, I cannot even tell you how cool it was to watch her get interested! She was figuring out what made the circuits work, what happened if you didn't do certain things, or if you did certain other things. I watched her become a little scientist right before my eyes and it was awesome! She was asking questions and doing experiments for hours with this little circuit board! She was so proud of making it work that she wanted to hang it on her wall as a night light.

You can get the Kit Hub kits for $10-$15 each and they also have classroom kits! There's a discount, too! Save 10% on your order with the code SCHOOL10. Let me know what you decide to make with your kiddo!

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Thursday, August 25

Visiting the Tuzigoot Ruins and Living History!




Crowning a desert hilltop is an ancient pueblo. One thousand years ago, perhaps a child stood there scanning the desert landscape for the arrival of traders. On the day this photo was taking, my children did the same. From the rooftop of the Tuzigoot pueblo it was easy to imagine such a moment.
The Tuzigoot ruins are an ancient village built by the Sinagua people of Arizona. They were farmers and artists with trade connections that spanned hundreds of miles.There's a trail to walk, homes and worship centers to explore, and a museum. There's a Ranger's Program which our kids participated in and it's all free!

Our kids loved this place! We're always visiting national parks and they are just getting so much appreciation for the outdoors, history, and taking care of and preserving our past. It makes me a proud mama!

You can actually go inside the main feature of the ruins! Walking through the different rooms, you can imagine what life was like there for people who really weren't that different than we are today. People have always been the same--living, loving, caring for their family, their friends. I love imagining what it would have been like to be a young wife and mother in such a place! And, yes, I feel so blessed to have all the modern conveniences we have today!

Maybe Arizona isn't anywhere in your neck of the woods but I encourage you to search out national parks or monuments in your state or a neighboring one. They make such an incredible field trip and are often free, especially if you are a veteran family or military.
What's your favorite national park or historical landmark? Share with me! We love roadtrips and are always looking for new places to visit!

Tuesday, August 23

Animal Dollhouse DIY: Get an Early Start on Something Charming for Christmas


In just three more months, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be upon us! For that reason, I'm posting my first Christmas Gift DIY. This is something that's been cherished by my children for 3 years and was very affordable to make but does take some preparation. If you decide to try it, let me know! And I'd love to see pictures!

Last year, my husband and I made this Animal Dollhouse for our children for Christmas.  I was inspired to create it when I was looking for animal houses along the Calico Critter styles, yet all of them were too small for more than 1 or 2 children to crowd around! I designed the plans for this simple home, my husband put together the boxes with scrap wood from the garage and Home Depot, and I filled it with items I found at the Dollar Store, on Ebay, and around the house.  The boxes can be stacked to make a 4-story home, can be placed back to back for more comfortable play, can be shut when not being played with, and the playground is removable.

I made the rabbit's table out of two cookie cutter tree scraps.  The ladder is made with a dowel rod that I cut and then hot glued.  I wound it with thick string for aesthetic appeal.
 
I found a 4-pack of tiny chalkboards at Michael's for $1! The rug was part of a 4-pack of coasters I found at the Dollar Tree.  I bought the books on-line from Amazon. The pages are real and can be turned and written in.
 
The only thing I "splurged" on was this nursery set--my youngest daughter loves babies so we just had to have a nursery!  The rugs here are made with cut and frayed washcloths from the Dollar Tree. 

I made the canned food out of small thread spools I colored with a silver paint marker and then taped printable labels to them I found by Googling "free dollhouse printables".

This bamboo flooring is made from a placemat from the Dollar Tree.  The blankets and pillows are made from felt.  Felt is wonderful because it doesn't have to be hemmed! For the pillows, I didn't even sew--simply hot glued them together.  The train pictures on the wall are old stamps which I hot-glued cut off pieces of the flooring to as frames.

This flooring is felt I bought at Michael's for about $1.  The birdcage is meant to be a ornament.  The mirror came from a 10 pack of craft mirrors which I got at the $1 section of the craft store.  The picture frames here are made from toothpicks hot-glued side by side.  For these pictures, I simply mounted the stamps on a piece of cardboard for more durability.  I also glued pieces of scrap plastic between the stamps and the frames, though I didn't do that with the train pictures.

These small cakes are from a bead store.  The wallpaper is simply old material I had laying around.  In other rooms of the house, I used scrapbook paper as wallpaper and material placemats from the Dollar Tree as carpet and bamboo floor coverings.  I purchased most of the animals from Ebay in "Mapletown Lot".  Mapletown animals are a cheaper 80's version of Calico Critters.  The lot came with tons of animals and furniture for about $70.


Almost a year later and my kiddos are still playing with their animal house, adding to it with new family members and friends whenever they have saved up allowance or birthday money. It makes my heart so glad that they love this gift that I put so much thought and time into!

Gift Your Pooch with an Adorable, No Sew Pet Bed & Free Purina Beneful Samples!


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NewBeneful #CollectiveBias

How cute is our Lucy in her new pet bed?  With Christmas just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to give you guys a great gift idea for your pets!
I love the way it turned out, and the best part?  It costs as little as $2 to make! This no-sew pet bed is so easy to make, you don't even need a needle and thread. Just a couple yards of fleece fabric or an old blanket and some stuffing is basically all you need.
You'll need 1-2 yards of fleece fabric. I found this at Wal-Mart for under $2 a yard. I wanted a different color on the bottom (gray) with a print on top (the owls) so I purchased 1 yard of each. However, 1 yard total folded in half would have been the perfect amount. Fold the fabric in half and cut down the middle.

Lay one piece of fabric down, place your foam or old shirts for stuffing (we used foam for ours so that does increase the price; old shirts or other old material or cotton is perfect, too), and lay the second piece of fabric on top. 

Cut tabs one inch by four inches wide all around the fabric. Make sure to cut through both pieces of fleece at the same time so it all lines up.

Tie the tabs into a double knot all the way around the dog bed. Make sure that you are tying one tab from the top and one from the bottom and that they are all lining up. Don’t miss one or you’ll have a hole.
The whole process takes about an hour and we had fun doing it together. This is something the whole family can help with! Let me know how yours turns out if you decide to do it, and I'd love to see pictures! Besides making special things for Lucy, we also like to treat her to goodies--treats and healthy food like Purina Beneful IncrediBites.
I feed her both the dry food with Real Chicken and the little cans of wet food that contain Real Chicken or Beef. The dry food is the perfect, small size. I was also thrilled to find these cans! I love that they come in a single serving for small dogs and that the meat is cut up very small. Before I switched to IncrediBites, I had to take the time to cut the food up smaller and save half the can for later... and to be honest, wet dog food just doesn't appeal to Lucy much after it's been in the fridge for a day and it more often than not went to waste. This is so much better!
Treating Lucy is a simple part of showing our love for her which is why I choose the food she eats carefully. She's small so it's important to me to purchase food for her made especially for small dogs. Otherwise, it's hard for her to chew and digest. I also look for meat as the first ingredient in Lucy's food. It turns out, lots of dog owners do! That's why Purina decided to reformulate Beneful to made real meat the #1 ingredient with no sugar added. Lucy has tried both the beef and chicken and she loves it all! I buy her the IncrediBites for small dogs, but there is also an Originals formula also made with meat as the #1 ingredient for larger dogs.

Free Samples!
Get your free sample of Purina Beneful IncrediBites or Originals with real meat as the #1 ingredient here!

Where To Buy It
Your pooch has tried Purina Beneful and loves it? Well, now you can find it at Target, Walmart, and regional grocers like Kroger, Fry's, and Albertsons. Remember, dogs can be sensitive to change, especially when it comes to food. Even if you currently feed your dog Beneful, you'll want to transition to the new Beneful recipe slowly. Make the change over 7-10 days, gradually adding more Beneful and less of the previous food to your dog's dish each day. Let me know if your pooch tries it!


Wednesday, August 17

The Coolest Ever Playground Ball! #ChristmasInAugust

As soon as my son started holding the box, his new Reactorz Playground Ball started lighting up. It's not as easy to see it in the daytime but it is very cool! Later at night, the kids turned off all the lights in the house and played catch. And the dog... oh, the dog... you've got to see her to believe her! She didn't realize this ball was for the kids! She thought it was for her!

video
There are Reactorz balls for just about every sport requiring a ball--basketball, football, soccer, even smaller ones like this Micro Gripz Ball. You can see them all here.

Reactorz are made by Coop Sports. You can follow them on:
Enter to win a Reactorz Ball in your choice of style using the form below. Ends 8/24/16 at the stroke of midnight!
 Special thanks to the wonderful people at Reactorz for providing us with this toy to review and give away!

Dreamland Fairy Kit Giveaway! #ChristmasInAugust

 
Once upon a time, some pretty little pocket fairies needed a home...

Would it look like springtime?
Or would it look like nighttime?

Or maybe even something in between?

That's up to our daughters' imaginations!
Dreamland Fairy has a wide variety of adorable items like this one! They've also got a Tooth Fairy Fort, a stuffed fairy doll, and accessories like the ones you see above. Their kits inspire creativity and are made incredible well. You can see all of them here and shop for them, too, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

I was so impressed with the Dreamland Fairy items and my daughter is eager to give her fairies a home! And I am eager to choose a winner to receive a house kit (either Fairy Fort or House) and accessory set. Let me know which you love best in the comments below! Ends 8/24/16 at the stroke of midnight.
Special thanks to the wonderful people at Dreamland Fairy for providing us with this product to review and give away!

Lull Baby to Sleep (or Kids, or Hubby) with a Sound Machine Giveaway! #ChristmasInAugust

The new Baby Sound Machine by Red Rooster is wonderful! It includes 6 different sounds:
the ocean, a heartbeat, a lullaby, rock-a-bye, twinkle twinkle or white noise. It's very easy to adjust the volume as quiet as you'd like it, or as loud. I love that it's nice and small, perfect for traveling with. My favorite sound is the ocean.

As you can see, it's very simply made. Simply press the power button and then choose the sound and volume. You can also choose the time--it's easy to set it to go for 15, 30, or 60 minutes. I wish I had had this when my twins were babies!  As it was, I really needed it for my kids and hubby who like noise at night. Now we use it for trips where the hotel is too quiet and we need a bit of something to hear in the night for perfect slumber.

Enter to win a Sound Machine of your own using the form below. Ends 8/24/16 at the stroke of midnight! Just in case you don't win, add it to your Amazon wishlist!
Special thanks to the wonderful people at  for providing us with these goodies to review and give away!