Calculator Cake

October 26th, 2016


This calculator cake is super easy to make and is perfect for a nerd, a math teacher, or anyone who enjoys math. All you do is bake a rectangular cake in whatever flavor you want. We placed the cake on a piece of cardboard lined with foil and taped at the back. Then we frosted the cake with chocolate frosting.

We used white icing for the top rectangle, which is where numbers show up on the screen of the calculator. If you’re clever, you can put some numbers into that rectangle. (For example, 4+4 or something along those lines.) You can find candy numbers in the baking aisle of a grocery store or in the cake supply aisle of a craft store.

I left the screen blank because the calculator is off. We used Sweet Tarts for the buttons of the calculator, but you could use any round candy that is about the same size.

Now your calculator cake is complete. Give it so someone you love and stand back and watch the amazement in their eyes as you present them with an edible calculator!


If you enjoyed making this calculator cake, you will probably also like these hands-on math activities:

2:1 Conference 2016

October 24th, 2016


This is the first time I’ve attended a 2:1 Conference, and I loved it! This conference is for Christian homeschool bloggers, so all the other women at the conference are similar to me in that they love to blog while homeschooling their children. This year the conference was in Sandusky, Ohio on October 7-9, 2016.

If you go to this conference next year (which will be in Washington DC), I recommend arriving a day early so you don’t have to focus on workshops the same day that you traveled and have jet-lag. I arrived a day early and was able to get to know other bloggers before the weekend began.

When I found out the theme of this conference was “Revival,” I was overjoyed! I have been praying for revival for my church and local area for the past couple of years, and I feel a burden in my soul that the American church has become worldly.


Here are my two rommates: Lara from Everyday Graces and Misty from Joy in the Journey. I told my husband I would be bunking with Grace and Joy. They were wonderful! They truly have hearts for the Lord, and they love to blog. It was so fun to get to know them in person, after seeing them online for years.

On Friday night, 7 Sisters invited us to their hotel room for soup and other snacks. I was able to meet many other bloggers, and we had some fun conversations. Afterwards BJU Press hosted a dessert night. We actually roasted raspberry or coffee-flavored marshmallows over a low fire and made s’mores out of them by adding chocolate and graham crackers.


Zan Tyler from Apologia gave the first keynote, “Revival and Servanthood.” Here are some takeaways from this session:

  • Rejoice in the way God made your children.
  • Our kindness to others heals them. Teach our kids to be kind.
  • Jesus came to love and to serve, so these two lessons are the most important lessons we will teach our children.
  • Recognize others when they are in need. Show your kids a picture of disaster victims, and point out who in the picture is suffering. (Maybe during the break between church services, I can ask my children to look over the crowd of people and see if they can pick out someone who is suffering. Then go minister to that person!)
  • Teach children how to interact with the elderly.
  • Our children are not here on this earth to have fun; they are here to use their giftings to serve God.
  • Do something good to someone who has wronged you.
  • Selfishness and hedonism pervade our culture.
  • Develop servant leadership in our children.

After the keynote on Friday night, we had the option to go to a prayer group. I spent some sweet time of encouragement with Hal and Melanie Young. This was my favorite time the entire weekend.


The next morning, we had our second keynote session by Carlisha Williams, “Choosing Faith Over Fear.” Here are some of the takeaways:

  • Share my authentic self to bring God glory.
  • For us to experience revival, we need to put down the cup we are holding out that is wearying our lives. The cup may be full of resentment, anger, and/or grief from crisis and tragedy that we have endured.
  • Cast our cares on Him. To receive everything God wants to give us, we have to open both our hands to God without holding baggage.
  • Tackle your fear. “If we aren’t willing to risk our reputation, we will never establish God’s reputation.” – Mark Batterson
  • Define the dream. We’re afraid to ask God for those bold promises in His Word. If God asked you, “What do you want Me to do for you?” what would you say?
  • Manage your time. Identify and eliminate time-wasters. Is it efficient, or is it just time-consuming? Where is your time going?
  • Yes-criteria: what top 3 things must be true for you to say yes to a new activity that someone is asking you to participate in? What will bring you closer to your mission and your vision? Does this promote your spiritual development? Does it build or does it steal away from your family? Is it one of my unique strengths?


The breakout sessions were wonderful, and I chose workshops on the craft of writing, on newsletters, and on marketing. The session on writing by Brian Wasko made me want to write more personal pieces that include stories and illustrations to make a powerful spiritual point. This is my favorite kind of writing, but it takes longer to come up with those spiritual posts than the hands-on learning ones.

Heather Bowen makes a full-time income as a homeschool blogger, so she shared how she uses newsletters effectively to make her tribe happy and engaged. This was a helpful workshop with lots of ideas that I could implement right away.

Heather Aliano taught a workshop on marketing: how to plan a social media campaign. This was another highly helpful session because when you have created great products for homeschoolers and you have a limited budget, you need to be more creative in letting people know about those products.


The last keynote was Brooke Taylor, who delivered the message “Serving God with Joy.” Here are some takeaways from this session:

  • Choose joy in the midst of suffering. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Understand who you are in Christ.
  • Expectations–wake up like it’s the best day ever. Rejoice in what God has in store for us.
  • Live deeply, as if your life is limited. It goes fast, and you might not ever have the opportunity to do what you will do today.
  • Look at all the things we miss by not slowing down. What kind of a legacy are we leaving?
  • Things are not what they seem. If your life looks messy, it doesn’t mean you are not successful. After all, Jesus looked helpless and hopeless on the cross, but it was His moment of greatest triumph. By being faithful, we are accomplishing way more than we think!


I enjoyed meeting the authors of many homeschool products. Everyone was so friendly and uplifting. We were able to look over the products from the different companies to see if we wanted to use their products for homeschooling our children. I saw a high school government curriculum from Notgrass that I loved, so I ordered it as soon as I got home.


On the shuttle bus back to the airport, I was able to talk to the author of Grapevine Bible Studies, and I realized that we have similar hearts about teaching children God’s Word. We were fed up with the shallow Sunday School materials and wanted kids to understand the deeper things of God, which is why we both created our own materials to do so. Grapevine curriculum enables kids to retain the Bible lessons through drawing stick figures on time lines. I love it! And I love this precious woman who is truly committed to the Lord.

I enjoyed this conference so much! It’s just what I needed. I met bloggers in person that I had only known online for years. I highly recommend this conference to Christian homeschool bloggers because for once you will feel normal! You will be surrounded with people just like you who love to serve God through blogging while homeschooling. I walked away refreshed and encouraged.

Airplane Cake

October 21st, 2016


I’m going to show you how to make this cool airplane cake. My son recently had an airplane-themed birthday party, and we placed his model airplane in the middle of the table on top of some sand as the centerpiece for the table.

We baked a rectangular cake and up-ended it on a cutting board. I cut out the shape of an airplane. The wings weren’t long enough, so the cake that was cut out of the sides–I used this extra cake to expand the length of the wings. I also placed a triangle on the front of the plane.


I placed foil on an upside-down cookie sheet. Then I frosted the cake with chocolate frosting. If you want to use candy for a propeller, you can add that detail.


We looked for an airplane piñata, but we couldn’t find one. We saw a beach ball piñata, and we covered it with blue and green tissue paper to create a world. The world, after all, is for traveling. Airplanes help people to travel around the world!


We covered the entire piñata with blue tissue paper first and let it dry. Then we cut out continents from green tissue paper. I outlined the continents with black Sharpie marker.

If you want to see our Airplane Unit Study, it is in the large Modern History section of the Unit Study Treasure Vault!

Elementary Physics Series

October 19th, 2016


This post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

We had a great time learning about Elementary Physics, using the book Christian Kids Explore Physics by Bright Ideas Press. Here is a quick index of the different experiments we performed for you on video, to help you as you study this subject.

The first unit of this book is called “The Foundations of Physics.” It describes what physics is all about; how to measure distance, time, temperature, and weight; and it familiarizes us with famous physicists. Here is a demonstration of how we see physics all around us:

The second unit is “Matter.” If you have taken Elementary Chemistry, you can skip these chapters, which are a review of chemistry. If you have not taken Christian Kids Explore Chemistry, here are the experiments from this physics book that you will need:

The third unit is “Mechanics,” where we learned about force, gravity, work, friction, and energy. Here are the video demonstrations we performed to learn about mechanics:

The fourth unit is “Matter in Motion,” where we learned all about motion:

The fourth unit is “Energy in Motion,” where we learned about electromagnetic energy, light, color, heat, and sound:

The last unit is “Electricity and Magnetism.” Here are a couple of experiments that we did for this unit, in order to understand electricity and magnetism:

These fun experiments are from the book Christian Kids Explore Physics by Bright Ideas Press. We really enjoyed studying physics in such a hands-on way. Why not study physics with your own kids by grabbing a copy of this book?


Make a Compass

October 17th, 2016


Today we will make a compass with a lid, a cork, a needle, and a magnet. This is a simple yet fun experiment to understand magnetism.

First you will want to get a bowl or a lid. I used a peanut butter jar lid because it is large, deep, and plastic. It’s also a great red color. I grabbed a black Sharpie marker and wrote N for north, S for south, E for east, and W for west. I drew a dot in the middle.

Fill the lid with cold water.

Cut a cork in half. Make a groove down the center of the cork like I show you in the video demonstration. If you don’t have a cork, you can use butter or margarine to coat the needle so that it will float.

Now grab a bar magnet and stroke the needle ten times in one direction, using the north pole of the magnet. Insert the needle into the groove of the cork.

Place the needle and cork into the water, and you will notice that it will point to the north pole. Even if you turn the bowl, it will still continue to point in the same direction. And if you pull the needle out of the water and put it backwards, it will spin to align itself to the north pole!

Take a look at this experiment on video:

This post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

We have loved all the hands-on activities in our book Christian Kids Explore Physics by Bright Ideas Press. Why not pick up a copy of the book and try some of the experiments? Physics has never been so easy to learn!

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