Thursday, April 28, 2011

Renewing the Rainbow

    I'm guessing that if you have kids you have some little bits of crayons that get thrown away periodically. Have you pondered about the sheer amount of crayons that are wasted at restaurants. I have three kids and we receive a minimum of two crayons per kid. In two to four dinners out we have accumulated a box of crayons! My husband thinks I am a little crazy for taking the crayons, but why waste?! What to do? Well, you make new crayons with them. It's a bit time-consuming, yet worth the time to see your children's amazed faces. It can be a great time to chat with your kids as you  peel the paper of the crayons. Or it could be an educational art project. The kids can see how a solid becomes a liquid when placed in heat and back to a solid as the wax cools. Just think you are teaching your children how to reuse their things and this a $0 project, which always make it better.
     First, gather all your crayons. Now it's time to start peeling the paper off. Try to get under the seam of the paper if you can with your nail. Some are stubborn and that is when you can decide if every crayon in that barrel is worth your time.

      A few minustes before you're done peeling, pause and preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Start layering the crayons in a muffin pan or mini-loaf pan as we used. Even better would be a shaped muffin pan. We did some crazy crayons, aka mixed up leftover crayons, and some in the same color range.
      Heat in the oven for 7-8 minutes and begin checking the crayons every minute or so until they look like rainbow soup.

     Remove and cool on the counter until hardened. We chose to speed up the process and stuck the pan in the freezer after they started cooling on the counter. Once the crayon begins pulling away from the pan you can take them out. I flipped my pan over and they popped out on their own.
     Here is our rainbow crayon which Mary was more than happy to display. This really is an easy, cheap and fun project. I hope you have fun and color up a rainbow!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Book Review: Make it Your Next Read

      I just finished reading an awesome book, The Final Summit by Andy Andrews, provided by BookSneeze on behalf of Thomas Nelson Publishing.  What if the weight of the world was upon your shoulders? Humanity's future was laid into your hands? David Ponder, an older gentleman whom learned many lessons from his life lived, is given that insumountable task placed before him in Andrews' novel. The Creator has had enough of the evil choices civilization continues to collectively make destroying themselves in the process. David Ponder is guided by the archangel, Gabriel to a meeting of some of the greatest minds of ages past to answer the posing question with in a set time period. How can humanity turn back upon the path to being a sucessful civilization?
      Novels are usually not my first choice reads. This time I was pleasantly surprised by the provocative writings of Mr. Andrews. It was refreshing to read a book that is somewhat historically based that incorporates philosophy and yet is primarily fictional. As with most novels I have a tendency to have a difficult time getting into the book. By about the second chapter I was enjoying my time, a bit further I was hooked and the last 50 pages I simply could not put The Final Summit down.
      Andy Andrews introduces historically famous characters into the narrative. The wit of Winston Churchill is evident and brings some smiles as does the likes of King David. Though a few notable names seemed to be dropped in for prestige or simple mention, most of the notables contributed a lot of life to the book. In fact, I had to remind myself that it was indeed a fictional narrative. As David Ponder sits in a great, divinely illuminated hall surrounded by these other characters I could only picture the scene too well as they conversed. It would be such an honor to be surrounded by their likes.
      During the exchanges as the characters seek the solution to humanity's demise I found the arguments for the proposed virtues intriguing to say the least. Once they stumble upon the answer after the allotted time was passed, the solution was simple in statement, yet rather harder to execute. It would be wonderful if everyone would take the time and make the sacrifice to live their lives with action rather than words. Andy Andrews definitely has penned The Final Summit with care, thought and imagination. I am thankful that he has fueled my mind with his ingenuity and passion.