Monday, April 28, 2014

DIY - Slow Feeder Dog Dish

This dog is a sweet little girl who loves three things in life.
Her ball, her people, and her food.

We didn't raise Jinx from a puppy and so we did not get a chance to help her develop good eating habits. 
This girls can down her dish of doggy kibble in less than 30 seconds.
This results in the most noxious gas emanating from a peacefully slumbering pooch that you have ever smelled.
She can clear a room, people.
So I hopped online to do a little research on what could be done about doggy gas. I learned 2 helpful things;
elevate her food, and get a dish that will cause her to eat slower.
When I looked online for these fabulous dog dishes, I found that they could run anywhere between $10 and $25.
The cheaper ones are made out of plastic.
I didn't like the plastic versions and the stainless steel ones were expensive. I got to thinking about it and thought that I could come up with my own solution for much cheaper.
My solution cost me less than $5.
Want to make your own?
This is what you will need:
2 stainless steel bowls.

These were purchased at our local hardware/home improvement store. The little one cost less than a dollar and the large one cost less than $4.

You will also need some silicone sealant.

Now because Hunky Hubby is a carpenter, we happened to already have a tube of silicone. However you should be able to pick up a tube for around a buck. You could also look for a silicone glue like E6000 in the crafts section of your nearest big box store.
Just a little warning: you will not come close to using all the silicone.

Turn the little bowl upside down and glue it into the bottom of the large bowl.
Let dry.
You now have your very own slow feeder dog bowl.
Want to see it in action?
I know you do.

Miss Piggy now has to take smaller bites in order to eat around the small dish in the middle. 
I could actually hear her chewing!
Now, because I have a Lab, I wanted to use the large dog dish so I would have enough space for her to get her muzzle in between the sides of the dishes. I also wanted to be able to add enough food.
These sizes worked great for us.
The next step is for H.H. to build a stand for the dog dish to sit inside so it can't be knocked off the overturned laundry basket it was set on.
Do you want to hear the best news?
These two techniques have definitely slowed down Jinx's food gulping. It has also seriously reduced the amount of stinky flatulence that emit from her!
This is a win-win, people.
Cheap and easy project + less stinky dog.

Guess what?
Our Jinx is going to be a mommy!
If you or anyone you know are interested in a labradoodle puppy, stay tuned for future updates and pictures. They are due in a little over 2 weeks.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Egg Decorating

This year our egg decorating party included some of the girls from NBI.
It was so much fun! 
Most of us were old egg dying pro's, but one of us had never dyed an Easter egg before in her life!
I won't tell you who it was, but I don't think this will be her last time. 

Because I am a bit thoughtless, I forgot to take a picture of the boys dying eggs too. We were all in this together, even Hunky Hubby.

We really get into our egg dying around here. We made our own dye with food coloring and Vinegar.
We use wax, glue, and crayons to put designs on our eggs.

We dye them once, and then again, and sometimes a third time! 
It's hard to know when to stop.
Dying things is addictive.

Anyway, I love it when the girls come around. 
The boys don't mind it either.
Don't let them convince you otherwise.
God didn't give me a daughter of my own, 
but each year I get one, or a few, to enjoy.

There is always a lot of laughter and fun when these girls are around. And best of all, they are sweet young women who love God and want to serve Him. 
Plus they do their own dishes! 
It doesn't get much better than that.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Easter Traditions

I have two favorite holidays, Christmas and Easter.
Both of these holidays are based on and centered around Jesus. 
The most important man to have walked the Earth. 
Both of these holidays have been commercialized to the point that some children could actually grow up and not know that these days have anything to do with Jesus or God or salvation. 
I absolutely don't want my kids embracing the commercial ideology of these Holy holidays. I don't want my children's main reference for these holidays to be about Santa or the Easter Bunny. I'm not saying that I think those things are wrong or evil. But I don't want these worldly icons to be the first thing that comes to mind when these holidays are mentioned.  I want my children to understand that these holidays wouldn't exist if it hadn't been for the birth of a baby named Jesus. In fact, they wouldn't even be referred to as holidays if they hadn't begun as Holy days. 
As the keeper of traditions in my family it has been up to me to find meaningful ways to teach our kids the Biblical importance and meaning behind these Holy days. 
I like looking for new ways that we can stress the religious importance of these days with our kids. One thing we have participated in has been the Good Friday service at my Father's and Mother's church. This year, we are participating in our first Seder meal with our church. 
But, one of the simplest tools we have found to use is something called Resurrection Eggs. 
It is like an advent for Easter. You all know I love a good advent.
Resurrection Eggs were developed by the ministry, Family Life. 

Inside each kit is a dozen colored plastic Easter eggs.

There is also a guide and devotional for each day.
It contains daily Bible references for reading the Easter story and a devotional narrative. 

Inside each egg is a small object that coordinates with the days devotion.

The objects are sturdy for little hands.  

I have found that the hands on aspect of the objects in the eggs helps the daily lesson be more concrete in the minds of my children.

The last egg is saved for Easter morning for a very important reason. My little boys would always ask "Why is it empty?" because they were expecting another trinket. To which I could then respond, "Because God's not Dead!"
What a great object lesson to share with them! 

We really love this easy and creative way to keep Christ as the center of our Easter traditions. It is a great way to break down the Easter story in small bits for a child's short attention span. The hardest part is remembering to get it out 12 days before Easter!

You can find your own set of Resurrection Eggs here. It is being sold for only $9.99! 
We have had out set for 5 years and everything has held up really well. I would suggest that you keep it set apart and not let your children play with it like a toy.  We only get out the egg of the day and pass around the object inside. Then we put it away. Losing the pieces would make it a lot less fun next year. At the end of the holiday, I just pack it away with the rest of our Easter stuff. Because even though I want to keep our main focus on Jesus during this holiday, we still decorate eggs, have Easter baskets and egg hunts! I'm not about squelching all of the fun, just changing the focus!
If you are really crafty, I am sure you can find a few examples on Pinterest for making your own set of Resurrection eggs. 

It's not too late to start a new tradition for your family. Or you could pick one up as a creative baby shower gift! Do it this year even though you're getting a little bit of a late start. Otherwise you know you'll forget until next year! 

This opinion is my own. I was not compensated in any way by Family Life for the review on this product. 

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