IDO3D ~ Review

We had a blast making our projects using IDO3D who hired me to try out their product and tell you about it.

The kids and I had the opportunity to try our hands at making 3D projects using IDO3D.  We had a lot of fun creating our masterpieces!  This was an easy craft idea for the kids that would work great for those upcoming snow days!

FullSizeRender-2 (5)

The IDO3D kit contained:

  • Five 3D pens (colors vary, but ours included:  2 red, 2 green and 1 yellow)
  • 3D Guide Book
  • Spotlight (It takes 3 AAA batteries, not included)
  • One Plastic Sheet
  • One Half Sphere Shape (Plastic Piece)
  • One Half Egg Shape (Plastic Piece)

The first step is to determine the pattern you choose to make and if it needs to be done on the flat plastic sheet, the half sphere or the half egg shape.  Next you take off the lid on the desired color and replace it with the adjustable top.  It was simple to determine how thick the lines were by opening/closing the top.

We found that if they cured the ink just a bit after drawing they could achieve greater detail on their projects. There was a bit of a learning curve involved for the kids, in that, they had to make sure that their lines touched so that the art piece would hold together.  Once the projects were cured enough to remove from the plastic sheet I placed them in a sunny window to finish curing.  I cleaned the sticky remnants of ink off the plastic pieces using an alcohol pad.

Brock, Adisyn, Eli and Rebekah were able to complete 3D projects by themselves.  I helped Quinton squeeze the pen so that he could complete his.  We used coloring book pages under the plastic sheet, so that Adisyn, Eli and Rebekah could create Christmas ornaments. Brock also used a coloring page to create a 1965 Mustang.  Quinton used the sphere shape to create a ball (one of the projects in the Guide Book).


Adisyn beginning her ornament.

Curing along the way.

Curing along the way.

The kids really had fun creating their 3D masterpieces!!  I would recommend IDO3D to those children 8 and up if they are completing it on their own.  However, with minimal assistance younger children can create projects as well.  (The hardest part for Quinton was being able to squeeze the pen enough to get a steady stream of ink.)  This was a fun project and the mess was minimal.

The completed projects: Rebekah's ornament, Adisyn's ornament, Eli's ornament, Quinton's ball and Brock's Mustang. (clockwise from left)

The completed projects: Rebekah’s ornament, Adisyn’s ornament, Eli’s ornament, Quinton’s ball and Brock’s Mustang. (clockwise from left)  We put them in front of the window to finish curing.



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Ordering Trees and Shrubs for Our Farm

One of the first upgrades we are making to our farm is planting fruit and nut trees, berry bushes and shade trees.  There are many different places available to purchase these trees and bushes, one of the places I am utilizing is the Missouri Department of Conservation Seedling Order Form (MDC).   The order for the MDC Seedlings is placed in the fall and then the trees are delivered in the spring.  (I know that other states also offer this type of tree and shrub order form, check with your local conservation department.)

In the spring of 2014, I planted elderberries and currants that I ordered in the fall of 2013 from MDC.  They came as small twigs; however, a few of the elderberries did bear fruit this year.  Those elderberries have grown so much I don’t think I will be successful in moving them.  This morning I dug the currants though, in hopes that I can get them to transplant successfully.  They have grown since we planted them but they were still easy to dig; the dirt was damp and loose.


This year for my order, I went together with my friend, Julie over at Missouri Farm Girl:  Health and Homeschooling on the Homestead to place my order.  We ordered 25 elderberries, 25 pecans, and 10 pawpaws that we will divide in half; and she ordered 10 black walnuts.  By coordinating, we could save on the cost of the individual trees/shrubs and also on shipping.  Our order should arrive in March.  My part of the invoice came to $18.47.  (This amount includes tax and handling.) The trees and shrubs that I ordered averaged $.62 each.

I also joined the National Arbor Day Foundation and purchased several trees through them.  With my $15, 6 month membership I was able to receive 10 free trees.  The bundle I chose was called the Autumn Classics.  It contains:

  • 2 Sugar Maples,
  • 2 Red Maples,
  • Scarlet Oak,
  • Red Oak,
  • Sweetgum,
  • Silver Maple,
  • White Flowering Dogwood, and
  • Washington Hawthorn

The trees in the packages are grouped according to the types of trees that will grow well in my location.

I also ordered various fruit trees from them including:

  • Red Delicious Apple
  • Stayman Winesap Apple
  • Early Harvest Apple
  • Bing Cherry
  • Black Tartarian Cherry
  • Golden Jubilee Peach
  • Hale-Haven Peach and
  • Elberta Peach

I spent $108.84 with the Arbor Day Foundation.  I will receive 19 trees (they offered an additional free Red Maple with my order) for an average of $5.72/tree.

Even though I am pushing the envelope on getting them planted this fall, I asked for them to be shipped to me now so that I can go ahead and plant them.  Hopefully I haven’t waited too long to get them!

I know there are orchards that I could get bigger trees from but I also would have had to spend more to get those bigger trees.  I had set a budget of $125 for myself for the purpose of buying trees.  I ended up spending $127.31 so I stayed pretty close to my budget.  :)  I decided I would rather get all the trees now and wait an extra year for them to produce rather than having to wait to finish buying trees.

My hopes are to get various berries in the spring.  I would like to get strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  I am going to try to move the grapes we planted in the spring of 2014.  I don’t know how well that will work.  If it doesn’t work to transplant them, I will purchase more grapes.






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ESV Men’s Devotional Bible Review and Giveaway

In these days of troubling news and wars, it is such a relief to know the One who is in control.  What better way for men to get to know Him than to dive into his Word.  Recently, Scott had the opportunity to review the ESV Men’s Devotional Bible published by Crossway.

“The purpose of Crossway has been, from its founding as a not-for-profit ministry in 1938, to publish gospel-centered, Bible-centered content that will honor our Savior and serve his Church.   They seek to help people understand the massive implications of the gospel and the truth of God’s Word, for all of life, for all eternity, and for the glory of God.”

This particular Bible has 365 devotionals drawn directly from the Bible and written just for men.  Dr. Sam Storms provided editorial oversight for this new resource that contains contributions from over fifty Christian leaders.  The goal of the ESV Men’s Devotional Bible is to strengthen men in their walk with Christ, helping them apply the gospel and the truths of God’s Word in their homes, churches, and workplaces.

It features:

  • 365 brand-new devotions
  • Brand new book introductions
  • 14 brand-new articles
  • Dictionary of key terms
  • Ribbon marker
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Lifetime guarantee on TruTone edition
  • Packaging: TruTone slipcase, L-card, permanent slipcase (Cloth over Board)
  • It retails for $34.99

esv bible

Scott has been enjoying his new ESV Men’s Devotional Bible. When he picked it up he just started reading in from the beginning.  The introduction to Genesis presents the Background, Key Theme, and the relationship between the book of Genesis and a Man’s heart.  He found more encouragement from the article written by R. Kent Hughes about Genesis Chapter 3.  This is a paragraph from that article:

“Men, if there ever was a call to be a man of the Word, this is it.  And here is what the ultimate Man says:  ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4)  Feed on it and live it-for the glory of God in your life, your family, the church, and the lost world.”

The ESV Men’s Devotional Bible will certainly be a Bible that he enjoys for many years to come.

I am so excited to be able to offer a giveaway ESV Men’s Devotional Bible this would be a great resource for you or a special man in your life.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Connect with Crossway on Social Media:




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. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

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14 Educational Stocking Stuffers from Educents

(This post contains affiliate links which help to make this blog possible.)

Are you looking for some small educational presents or stocking stuffers? Educents has worked to bring you 14 Education Stocking Stuffer Ideas!  We enjoy giving our children education and worthwhile gifts so this list is really helpful.  We also encourage the kids to give each other presents, most often these are homemade gifts.  The following list even includes some great DIY projects that the kids can make for each other.  That is a win-win in my view!

educational stocking stuffer ideas

Personalized Letter from Santa

Gone are the days of trying to write in “Santa’s handwriting.” Educents has made it so easy to make your child feel special and loved by Santa! The personalized letter comes straight to your front door from the North Pole in a beautiful red envelope, and highlights your child’s exciting accomplishments this year. The letter also includes some fun Santa-approved activities for you and your kiddo to spend some sweet holiday time together, like a recipe for Mrs. Claus’ Famous Cookies, two snowflake craft templates, a packet of reindeer food (glitter!) and a sheet of festive stickers. This special letter will make for an imaginative and exciting addition to the very top of our Christmas stockings this year!


This letter will make for an imaginative start to any Christmas morning, but there’s more pressure now to keep the fun going! Here are some other easy stocking stuffers to keep the magic going for your kiddos this year!

Educational Stocking Stuffer Ideas

1. FREE DIY Crystal Christmas Tree Experiment – An opportunity to spend more time together as a family is one of the best gifts you can give! These directions for a DIY salt-crystal Christmas tree can get the whole family involved and teach everyone something new!

2. DIY Push Light Planets – Create these amazing lights for your kiddo’s bedroom. Each light is decorated to represent one of the planets. To encourage planet recognition, even paint the names of the planets onto each pushable light!

Push Light Planets

3. Show Me the Kwan - Looking for a great, fun game for the whole family to play after all the presents have been opened? This clever and upbeat word game gets kids excited about vocabulary, word construction and more and is the perfect size for a stocking!

4. Matching Games for Little Learners - These handmade wooden matching games from Mama May I are a very sweet stocking stuffer for little learners. Choose from Zoo, Trucks, Vegetables, Space and more !


5. The Familia Craft Kit - This craft kit has all the tools for your kiddos to decoupage little wooden peg dolls to create their own story or to include in a new adventure! They come in a slim tube that’s easy to fit in a stocking!

6. DIY Domino Set – This homemade domino set is one you and your family can play for years to come. To make this set special for the holidays, use green and red puff paint!

DIY Domino Set

7. DIY Pop-Up Alphabet Sponges – This simple gift is a low-cost way to make baby’s bath time fun and educational! Cut sponges into the shapes of alphabet letters and numbers.

8. DigiPuppetsThis adorable animal finger puppet acts as a touchscreen-sensitive stylus for phones and tablets. Use them on their own to keep kids engaged with digital learning tools, or head to the app store to download DigiPuppet’s educational games.


9. Just Add Milk Science & Art Kit - This kit is filled with fun science and art projects you can do along with some at home ingredients, and it’s just the size of a milk carton! If your child is lactose-intolerant, don’t worry, the experiments work with non-dairy milk as well!

10. DIY Telling Time Clock Pillow – Crafty family members can take a few hours to create this comfortable accessory for kiddos learning to tell time!DIY Telling Time Clock pillow

11. Clever Catch Math Balls These inflatable balls make math-learning fun with active games you can play with 2 or more people. Just keep it deflated, and this blow-up Clever Catch is ready for the stocking! Choose from: Numbers 0-25, Money, Multiplication, Addition, or Subtraction.

12. DIY Hopscotch Mat – Here’s a fun game you can make yourself, roll up into a Christmas stocking, and then play on Christmas Day and many, MANY days after that!

13. DIY Bongo Rice Shakers – Use some household materials to make shakable, musical instruments for little ones to use while Christmas caroling on Christmas Day!

DIY Stocking Stuffer Instrument

Looking for more ways to make your Christmas stockings and holiday gifts extra special this year? Head to Educents’ Give the Gift of Education page for more ideas, tips, steals and deals!




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Our Own Blue Ribbon Awards ~ Crew Year 2015

It is so hard to believe that I have now posted my final review for our first year on the Schoolhouse Review Crew!  This past week the Crew votied on our favorite vendors/curriculum for different categories for the Blue Ribbon Awards.  I think that may have been the toughest part of being on the Crew!  We have been so blessed to be able to try out so many great products this year!  In some categories I really wanted to vote for more than one.  I mean really who can chose between Heirloom Audio: In Freedom’s Cause and their With Lee in Virginia, they were both so good!

I thought it would be fitting to give our run down of our favorites from this first year.  Many of our favorites were also Crew favorites.

Favorite Reading Curriculum

Favorite Writing Curriculum

Favorite Spelling Program:

Favorite Grammar:

Favorite Literature Program

Favorite History/Social Studies Curriculum

Favorite History/Social Studies Supplement

Favorite Science Curriculum

Favorite Science Supplement

Favorite Math Curriculum:

Favorite Math Supplement

Favorite Foreign Language Curriculum

Favorite Fine Arts Curriculum/Product

Favorite Elective Curriculum

Favorite Christian Education

Favorite Christian Education Supplement

Many of our favorites were voted as Schoolhouse Review Crew Favorites as well.  To see who won the official Schoolhouse Review Crew Blue Ribbon Awards click on the banner below.

Review Crew






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