It’s A Sad Day When Parents Are Buying Bullet Proof Backpacks For Their Children #SchoolShootings

Bullet proof backpacks

I can not even fathom what the parents and the children of the latest school shooting in Florida have endured. What they are still going through in the wake of the shooting. I can not comprehend what the parents, children and staff have gone through with other school shootings. In a month span we have had several threats of school shootings where we live as well. One happened yesterday and that is alone scary enough with just a threat so I can not even begin to imagine when one occurs what the after math and what the parents, students, and staff have gone through, I really can not even comprehend that this is something we have to wrap our heads around to begin with.

I also want to send out our heart felt thoughts and prayers for all of those in Florida who were affected by the latest shooting. It was heartbreaking to watch on the news as it was live and I could feel my heart racing while watching it. I can not begin to put myself in the parents shoes that were there waiting to see their child/children. I can not even begin to express as a parent how I felt as I watched this unfold on the news. I personally never thought that there would be a day that we would have to fear for our child’s safety while they were in their classrooms and school, as I’m sure many of you didn’t as well. Unfortunately, it has become a reality and something that we as parents have to face with our children.

Today as I was scrolling through my facebook feed, the reality of it really hit me as I saw some parents stating they were purchasing Bulletproof Backpacks for their child/Children. WHAT! When did that become a thing!!!! I had never heard of a Bulletproof Backpack before. I’m sure they were a product not just recently made and have been around but I had never done a “Hey let’s see if they make a Bulletproof Backpack” search before because why would you. I mean maybe if you were in a profession that was dangerous like a Police Officer or something like that you would need one. But to go to school…who would think that you would want to purchase one for your child! It is seriously a sad, sad day when you go and look at them and a lot of them are sold out because parents are purchasing them for their children. When did we go from Paw Patrol, Frozen, and other Character backpacks to nope we don’t need Characters we need Bulletproof! As a parent I have to say that this does not put me at ease by any means! There has to be a better way to protect our children then purchasing Bulletproof Backpacks.

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One Stop Shop For Christmas Gifts, Including Last Minute Gifts At Cracker Barrel

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I know your thinking Cracker Barrel is great for their breakfasts to their dinners. They are just so good! From the Hashbrown Casserole to their Holiday Sampler Breakfast to their Holiday Family Meals to go in just 3 hours or less for your family to enjoy this holiday season your sure to fall in love with Cracker Barrel. I can promise you that you will love the food. I even craved their Blackberry pancakes when I was pregnant with my son. They were always my weakness!

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However, Cracker Barrel is not just a restaurant, they also offer an amazing gift shop. Now, if you haven’t been in their gift shop area you have been missing out! It could really be your one stop shopping spot for everyone on your Christmas shopping list! Now, I know what your already thinking! How could it be my one stop shopping spot for the holidays? You can find everything from toys, vinyl, records, cookware, religious figurines to books, candy for stockings, adorable children’s clothing, Burt’s Bee Products and so much more! Your sure to find that perfect gift for everyone on your shopping list.

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Even if you have a hard to buy for person on your Christmas list or a last minute addition and need a gift a Cracker Barrel Gift Certificate is sure to please! They have beautiful Rocking Chairs that come in White, Black and of course Wood stain, they would be perfect in any home. The Large Tic-Tac-Toe game would be perfect for any child or adult on your list, They offer the most adorable Holiday outfits for Children, Winter Wraps for Women and girls, Star Wars items that will have any Star Wars fan thrilled! I could walk around their shop and find items for everyone on my Christmas Shopping list and all at great prices! I found the most adorable Dresses for little girls starting at just $20! The Little boys outfits started at $20 as well. If you have someone on your list that loves to cook the cookware is going to blow them away! They will love the cast iron pans, as well as other bakeware that is offered. I’m going back to get myself a cast iron pan for my kitchen! I have one on my Christmas wish list so I did hint that they were available at Cracker Barrel to my family but I will be purchasing extra for our large family so we have enough to make goodies for the whole family as when my daughter’s and grand children are over we have 9 people.

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As I walked around the store, I found more and more perfect gifts for everyone on my list. Then when I passed the candy area of the store it had me just drooling. I couldn’t leave without getting some candy sticks in different flavors for all the kids Christmas stockings. I mean they were 7 candy sticks for $1! I even have our Elf On A Shelf holding onto them for the kids as one of their little daily surprises which they just loved! They are so good! I of course had to get a couple for myself as well! Shhh….don’t tell the kids, they will want to raid my stash!

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Not only can you make everyone on your Christmas shopping list thrilled with their gifts but you can get the perfect gifts all year round or even spoil yourself a little as well. Your sure to find everything to cure your sweet tooth to having some old fashioned family fun with games.

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DIY Stained Glass Looking Ornament #KidsDIY #DIY #Christmas

stained-glass-ornament-with-all-colors

I have always loved the look of a stained glass window and I like to find different ways to make a stained glass look to my craft projects. This is no exception, I tried to find a easy way for children to make stained glass looking ornaments for the Christmas tree. We make a lot of our ornaments for our tree together as a family.

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This is a perfect ornament for the family to make together and you can make the designs any way that you would like. Your not limited to the designs that can be made with this ornament. I made this one a little simple so that it would be easier for the real little ones to take part in. They come out so adorable and so pretty when the Christmas lights twinkle on them. It just creates a beautiful stained glass look when the lights are on.

Materials:

* Ceramic Tile (Lowe’s Item #
* Alcohol Ink (I used Red, Blue, and Green) you can use whatever colors you like
* Alcohol Ink Applicator pads
* Twist tie from garbage bag
* Chalk board vinyl (Get in School Supplies aisle) or black Vinyl at craft store for wall decals
* Modge Podge
* Plastic gloves (Dollar Tree)
* felt (I get the felt 4/$1) at Craft store
* Metal D Ring hangers for hanging pictures
* Hot Glue gun and glue sticks
* Ribbon

Step 1: Cut very thin strips of Black Vinyl you will need 3-5 strips per ornament

Step 2: Measure how much vinyl your design will need as you design it. You will push down with your thumb where you want to cut the vinyl against your ornament. Then cut so that you have enough vinyl to make your design.

Step 3: remove the backing off the vinyl and place them where they will go on your ornament. If your making the same design as I did it will be an X with a strip through the middle.

Step 4: You now have your outline of where your going to go with the Alcohol ink. Alcohol ink dries quickly! So you will want to have your twist tie pushed in half and then bend the bottom of the twist tie so that it’s a little flat to help you use it with the application pad to get it in the areas that you would like them.

Step 5: Put your gloves on and you are going to want to dab the alcohol ink in the areas you want them. You do not want to keep the ink placed on the ornament or it will run into the other areas. So you want to be sure to dab and continue to the areas colored.

Step 6: Continue to ink the areas as well as the sides of the ornament. Once they are done you will let it dry for 10-20 minutes.

Step 7: Now you can open your modge podge and use a foam brush to dab on your modge podge. You do not want to brush it over or it will take the ink off again. The modge podge will seal the ink and keep it on your ornament. Now you will allow it to dry for about 20 minutes moving the ornament every 5 minutes to make sure it doesn’t stick to your work surface.

Step 8: You will trace the ornament design onto the felt that you will use for the back of your ornament to cover it. You will need to do a little trimming to get it down to where you would like it to be and not show around the edges of the ornament when your looking at it.

Step 9: You will now hot glue the D ring hanger to the back of the ornament. Let it sit for a few minutes to ensure it has enough glue.

Step 10: Now you will hot glue your felt in place on the back of the ornament. Again let it sit and cool.

Step 11: You will now take some Ribbon and cut it as long as you would like the ornament to hang on the tree. Now you will tie a bow so you can hang your ornament.

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Stylophone Gen X-1 Portable Analog Synthesizer Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

stylophone Gen X-1

I received the Stylophone Gen X-1 Portable Analog Synthesizer and I have to say that I was pretty excited to try it out as I had not seen anything like it before in stores. Now, I was also worried about how easy is it to use and does it really work?!?! You know how you see some products and they should do one thing but sometimes they fall short. So I had many questions whirling around that I really needed answered before I could decide if I really liked the Stylophone Gen X-1 Portable Analog Synthesizer.

I loved the size of it, the Stylophone Gen X-1 Portable Analog Synthesizer is very compact and portable and can be taken anywhere you go. I loved that you could plug in a headset so that you didn’t bother anyone around you if they were studying, watching t.v. or whatever others in your home are doing when they play with it. It is also made well, it’s not a cheap piece of plastic, you know what I mean, those things we purchase then get and regret the minute we open it because we know it’s going to be broken in no time flat.

When I took it out of the box, I was really impressed with the way it was made. I was intimidated when I saw all of the switches and buttons but I have to say that it normally only lasts a few minutes, it’s my initial reaction to a lot of new things but then I just dive right in. I read the instructions and I was really excited to get started with theStylophone Gen X-1 Portable Analog Synthesizer. I have to say it was really cool the way you could make all different sounds with the Stylophone Gen X-1 Portable Analog Synthesizer.

I was really loving all the different sounds and pitches that you could make with theStylophone Gen X-1 Portable Analog Synthesizer. It really was amazing that it could do so much different tones, sounds, and pitches depending on what you adjusted while playing. We have been having so much fun with it. My son’s and my daughter’s boyfriend were having a great time playing it and seeing who could come up with the most unique sounds. We were having such a fun time playing it and everyone coming up with something new. We even had a judges round where some played and some judged the sounds. Some were so funny, that you couldn’t help but laugh. We have been playing it everyday since it arrived. My daughter’s boyfriend and some of his friends have a recording studio that they use to record songs that they sing. So he asked if he could borrow the Stylophone Gen X-1 Portable Analog Synthesizer to take to the studio with them to give them some unique sounds for their music. I of course thought that it was a great idea for him to use for his sessions. So they are really excited to see how it will work with their music. I have to say that I can’t wait to see how it sounds as well.

The Stylophone Gen X-1 Portable Analog Synthesizer would be perfect for children, teens or the adults on your holiday shopping list. It really does some amazing space sounds as well as other unique sounds and the whole family can get in on the fun!

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Revel Star Wars Last Jedi Models Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

Star wars millennium falcon

I received the Revel 1/78 Poe’s Boosted X-wing Fighter™ Plastic Model Kit, 1/164 Millennium Falcon™ Plastic Model Kit and 1/164 First Order Heavy Assault AT-M6 Walker™ Plastic Model Kit the Last Jedi Star Wars Models to put together with my son’s. They are huge star wars fans and have watched every movie released. So they were so excited about the models and putting them together with me. We looked at both of the models and the boys chose which one they would like to put together.

star wars walker model

Since it was their second models they were putting together I just wanted to see if they could put it together by themselves. I have to say that made them pretty excited, so I was working on my laptop and watching them but just peeking to make sure all was going well with putting them together. They put the pieces out in front of them and started to read the instructions on how to put the model together. The boys were laughing and having a great time putting their model’s together.

They were doing really good putting them together and of course I acted like I was not paying attention but I was watching so I could see if it was easy or hard for them to put together. They were having no problems putting each piece together and you could just see in their eyes how excited they were as they continued to put it together. They kept telling each other to look and see how far each of them had gotten on their model. When they had finished the models, I was thrilled to see that they had not needed me to help them at all which was great since it was only the second model that they had put together. I figured they would need a little guidance but they did it all by themselves. When I asked the boys if it was difficult at any point to put the models together they stated it was not hard but that they loved the finished models.

star wars X wing fighter

I have to say that they are so excited about making models now and want to have shelves in their room to display them on. They are both avid fans of Revel models now. They wanted to know when they would be getting the next model to add to their collection. I told them that they better add it to their Santa lists so that he knows what they would like. So both of the boys have been look for which models they would like to add to their lists on the site. I have to say that before the boys put the models together they had said that they did not want to put any together they were not interested in them at all. However, it is now a whole different story. They now want to put them together and start a collection.

The pieces for the models are a nice size and when they are put together go together easily. They also loved the Star Wars models, they really kept their interest as well as got them excited about making more of them. They just loved the way they looked when they were put together. Both of the boys stated they looked just like the ones in the movies. They had to show everyone how well they did as they were so proud of the models. Everyone that they showed them to just loved the models and want to get and make them as well. You can use the store locator to find where to purchase these great

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Valence Game Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

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I received the Valence Game to review. Now, I have to say that I played the game with the creator. He and his wife came up with the game to help kids to learn to love and grasp Chemistry. It’s a card game, it offers a way to learn different ways that elements are used to make bases, Chemicals, and other items.

You are dealt cards, with those cards they each have a number value as well as colors on them, they also tell you if they make a base, Chemical or another item. You then figure out what you have in your hand to create a base to earn points. However, because the game is so fun the kids do not realize that they are learning. They make the game seem like they are almost super powers so it makes it fun for them to learn. They can learn about compounds and when you put them together what they create. But as they are creating they are just having a lot of fun.

I watched a number of children playing Valence and they were all laughing and having a great time playing. When the game was over they wanted to play again. It’s great for ages 9 years old and up to learn. You could have your child know about all the elements, bases, Chemicals as well as other Chemistry before they have it in school. The best part is that you will not have to fight with them to learn them. They will have a great time playing Valence and learning about Chemistry. It’s perfect for a high school student as well if they are having problems with Chemistry but think it’s boring or just have no interest in the subject. They will want to play and learn at the same time! I have to say I am very impressed with Valence and how the game brings Chemistry to a whole new level of fun while still being able to retain the information as well. It would be a great study tool for several students to play as well in a homeschool or classroom setting.

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I played with my son’s and they were also very impressed with Valence. We have Map testing coming up in March so we are using Valence to make sure my son is ready for his testing. There are not many fun ways to learn Chemistry so I thought that Valence was just brilliant to have to make sure your child is learning Chemistry and having fun while learning. You can purchase Valence on Amazon. It would make a great Christmas gift kids to adults or a great gift for a teacher as well.

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Klask The Magnetic Game Of Skill Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

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I received the Klask Game to review with my son’s. It’s a table top game that has magnetic pieces that you move as you play the game. It reminds me of a tabletop Ice Hockey game. Now, when I first saw this game I had to get in on the action as there were so many people playing this game. So I watched some of them playing and then I had to get a game to play with a friend.

So we sat down and we got our magnetic game pieces ready to go. There are two other magnetic pieces on each side that you send the piece around or through to score with the game. We were having such a great time laughing and playing. When a person gets it through into the other person’s “pocket” they score a point. Now, I have to say the game is not as easy as it sounds. There are challenges to the game!

Your not going to score every time you push the ball across trying to get into the pocket. The other person can block your shot, it can go in a different direction then you had wanted it to, and the pieces that you put on both sides can also make the ball go into another direction. So, if you think your going to be bored with this game think again! There are always challenges but those challenges will have you and the person that your playing with laughing at where the ball is and where it’s going. You and the person your playing with will want to keep playing because your having so much fun.

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I let my son’s play Klask as I had already played it so I wanted to get their point of view on the game. They just loved it! They were battling and keeping score on the score board that is on the side of the game. You slide the score wheel to the next point if you earn one. Once the boys played a few times with the ball, the boys just enjoyed it so much that when their cousins came over they had to play with them. They also loved it just as much as my son’s did. Now, I should say that the boys range in age from 7 years old to 16 years old. We let the kids play for a while and then the adults took over and the boys played a different game. We all just had so much fun and as we were playing we were calling ” I play the winner!” and we put our names on a dry erase board so we knew who was suppose to play next. We played most of the day with the kids and adults having a great time. We also played on Thanksgiving as well, it was a non stop fun day of games and everyone had a great time.
Klask would make a great gift this holiday season for a child or adult. You can purchase Klask at . You will be thrilled you did! I do have to warn you that it is an addicting game! So when you become addicted to playing the game you can’t blame me you were warned! lol

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Freezer Meals to make with leftover Ham #FreezerMeals #HamMeals #HamRecipes #Thanksgiving

There are a lot of great recipes that you can make and freeze with leftover Ham from Easter. So I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Ham & Cheese Homemade Hot Pockets

Pizza Dough
1-2 cups chopped ham
slices of American Cheese
bag of Frozen Broccoli

Take the dough roll it out to a small circle, add some ham pieces, slice of cheese and a couple pieces of Broccoli. Then fold in half and take a fork and close the edges on both sides. Be sure not to over stuff or they will leak. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. Let them cool and put them in Sandwich bags to freeze individually. Then just take one out and heat them in the Microwave till hot and serve.

Here are some more recipes that you can use as well:

Ham & Scalloped Potatoes

6 potatoes
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup of Ham
1/2 cup of Milk

Clean and slice the Potatoes, You can leave the skin on or remove it, Then in a freezer bag, just throw the potatoes in and Ham, then mix in the Cream of Mushroom Soup. (Do not add the Milk to it till you cook the dinner.

Ham and Macaroni and Cheese (from the oamc digest)

8 oz. elbow macaroni
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 cups shredded cheese
2 cups cubed ham
2 cups thin white suace (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook macaroni and drain. Place half of the macaroni in and 2 qt casserole dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Add all of ham. Top with remaining macaroni and cheese. Pour white sauce over casserole. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

THIN WHITE SAUCE (for macaroni and cheese)
1 Tbsp. margarine
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup milk

Melt butter. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Use as directed in recipe for macaroni and cheese.

Notes from a tired oamc cook (don’t know who this was!): I was tired and worn out at this point. I decided that the Ham and Macaroni and cheese would have to be a SAR (Some Assembly Required) meal. I placed three cups of cheese in a qt. size freezer — then I placed 2 cup bag another qt size freezer bag. I placed a rubber band around these and froze them. At meal time – I will use this recipe. I will stir in the ham before baking.

The following recipes are from “Dinner’s Ready” by Andrew Schloss and Ken Bookman, a “chain cooking” cookbook, where you make completely different meals out of leftovers from previous meals. These look good. Where there is a leftover used, I posted that recipe too, in case you wanted to do it their way or adapt these recipes.

Here are some more great recipes:

* Delicious Ham & Potato Soup

* Ham & Cheese Ziti

* Cheez Ham & Potato Bake

* Ham & Bean Soup

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Free Pumpkin Stencils #Pumpkin #Halloween

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There are so many great free stencils that you can use to make some great pumpkins with your family. I have included some of my favorite sites that offer free stencils for you to print out and use to make your pumpkins. I know it’s going to be difficult to chose which ones to use as there are so many great ones. I suggest picking up a few more pumpkins to keep the fun going for the Halloween season!

We are doing several pumpkins this year and we are using glow in the dark paint. This way they will show in color during the day and then come evening they will glow the images in the dark. We are using the stencils as a way to know where to paint. So this is a great option as well for the Halloween season. Once your finished you can put them on your porch or in your windows for everyone to enjoy.

* Sugar Skull Stencil, Deer Stencil, Zombie Stencil and many more

* Elmo Stencil, Haunted Pirate Ship Stencil, Thomas The Tank Stencil and more

* 100’s of Pumpkin Stencils

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