Friday, February 22, 2013

Hiking with the Horton's

Hiking with the Horton's sounds like it could be a Dr. Seuss book doesn't it!  Monday was a beautiful day and my friend Dana and I wanted to get the kids out of the house and out into the fresh air.  We decided on Turkey Mountain for a hike.  We chose the blue trail because it was only supposed to take about 40 minutes.

  Well we had 5 children with us, we found a pond, we found rocks, sticks, and dirt.  It didn't take us 40 min it took us almost 2 hours which was fine.  We had a great time except toward the end when we came back to the pond...hmmm, wonder what happened?  We were following the boys and they went straight we said you missed a blue marker we have to turn here. All I'll admit to is that we should have gone with what the 8 year old and 11 year old boys wanted to do, these city slicker mama's had no clue and no sense of direction but we made it back to the parking lot safely. 

As we were getting ready to leave an older gentleman came riding up on a horse of course!  He let the kids all pet Sugar (his horse) and even let Malia and Kenzie climb up on the horses back.  My phone's battery was dead by now but Malia got a pic of Kenzie for me.  

Next time we're thinking about heading out to Redbud Valley Nature Preserve.  What's your favorite hiking spot in your neck of the woods?

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

House Hunters

 I'm sure most of you are aware that we sold our house back in September, it only took 3 weeks to get it sold.  We were so happy but then uh oh, what are we going to do for a house?  We've looked and looked and talked about building and looked some more.  We've looked at almost 150 houses and to be honest I would be happy in almost all of them, but we have a person in our family that's just a tad bit picky.  He wants what he wants and won't settle for anything less. We also had a family decide not to sell after we chose their house and another house sold before we could make an offer on it.  We are taking the approach that they must not have been meant for us, plus there is that fact of the picky person.  I know he's just looking out for our family but I'm ready to move on to the next house and this new phase in our life.

 We lived here for 13 years and it was the only house the kids ever knew.
 I know we are all going to miss the pool this summer, unless our new house has one too!

Kevin's parents have graciously allowed us to live with them while we are searching.  It's a bit cozy but has turned out much better than we all expected.  In a little over a week we will be house sitting (this was such a blessing for our family) for some friends of ours that are going to Uganda to bring home the newest member of their family.  If you would like to read about their amazing adoption journey click here Arms Wide Open.  They could be gone from 6-8 weeks and I'm just praying that we will find a house in that time frame and close on it before they return home.

 We are making a big change for our family, moving from the Owasso area to the Broken Arrow area.  It's not that far but it's so much closer to UPS and Kevin won't have to commute on Highway 169 anymore, that will be a huge relief.  He's been involved in several accidents on 169, none of them were his fault either.  It's just a crazy, busy highway.  If you think about it, please say a prayer that we will find the perfect house for our family.
We have another family that's going through the same thing as us.  They sold their house and are living with family, we have a lot in common and meet often to get out of the house.  We've always loved the Horton's but we are bonding through this process much like we did when we both adopted from South Korea.  I'm sure you will be hearing a lot more about them in future posts, as a matter of fact I'm working on Hiking with the Horton's and will post in a couple of days.

We did have something interesting happen.  I applied for HGTV's House Hunter's TV show and never heard back from them until last week...
Thanks for reading,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Apologia-Zoology 3 (Land Animals)

My kids were thrilled when they found out that we were picked to review Apologia's Zoology 3.

Textbook $39.00

  We've used Apologia for the past several years and my kids soak it up like a sponge.  When asked what their favorite subject in school is they always say, "Science".  I can't blame them, if I would have had such a fun, engaging science curriculum when I was in 5th or 7th grade then science would have been my favorite subject too.  I have to say that I'm enjoying it with them, yes I do know almost everything we've learned so far but I've learned a few things as well.  For instance have you ever heard of a Raccoon Dog?  Neither had I!  No, they are not a regular raccoon, they look like one in the face but their legs are those of a dog and they are only naturally found in Japan.  How cool is that?  Here's a picture of a raccoon dog, just in case you were curious to see what they look like.  I know I certainly was, we even found a couple of videos on YouTube and watched them.

In the past 2 years we've used Zoology 1 and 2 but we never used the Notebooking Journal.  We missed out big time!  I should have purchased the companion journals for only $24.00 each they are well worth the price and add a whole new layer to our science experience. The suggested age range is K-6 but we've found plenty of "extra" work for my 7th grader and it seems right on target for my special needs 5th grader.
This year Apologia sent us the Textbook and the Junior Notebooking Journal for my 5th grader that has some special needs and I purchased the Regular Notebooking Journal for my 7th grader.  The Junior Journal is better for children that have limited writing skills, there are 2 coloring pages to start each lesson, the pages that do require writing have the primary writing lines (with the dashes).  Both notebooks have copywork, templates to complete notebooking assignments, miniature books, Scientific Speculation sheets for science projects, and something my kids have really enjoyed is the Map It stickers found in the back of the journal.

Junior Notebooking Journal $24.00

What a typical day looks like for us is I'll read several pages out of the textbook while the kids either color in their notebook journals or draw what we are discussing.  When I'm finished we discuss anything that they didn't understand. Then, we work on vocabulary words and  look a lot of things up on the internet (like pictures of animals) then comes the fun stuff like the mini books, crossword puzzles. When we finish a chapter we always do a science experiment.  All 3 of us LOVE science experiments!

M&M Predators
One week we were discussing natural selection and so our experiment corresponded with what we had been studying.  We tore up sheets of colored paper and crumpled them and then threw them into a laundry basket. This mimicked a habitat.

We separated the prey into colors.

Next, we "hunted" for our prey. 
 We were able to discover which M&M's were best suited to survive in this habitat and which were found easily.  We recorded all of our info into on the Scientific Speculation Sheet in our notebooks.  My son remembered this experiment and used it as an example when we were discussing camouflage at the Bass Pro Shop, the salesman was very impressed!

Our experiment showed that the blue and yellow M&M's would easily die out but the orange ones would flourish and multiply.

Thanks for reading,
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. No other compensation was received. All opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Weight Watchers Dump Cake

Over the last year I've found the ease of the "dump cake" and my family and I've enjoyed several different versions of it from peach cobbler to pineapple blueberry and a multitude of versions in between.  I just started weight watchers and didn't know what I was going to do for our dessert night.  We always have dessert one night a week as a special treat.  Dump cake has a TON of butter in it so I knew that wouldn't jive with my new Weight Watchers Points Plus plan.  I went on a search and found a Weight Watchers friendly version of the oh so famous and well loved dump cake.

 All you need is Sprite Zero, some type of fruit (we chose peaches) and a cake mix
 I lightly sprayed the pan with Pam, then poured some peaches in the bottom and spread them evenly.  Next I dumped a box of cake mix over top of the fruit.
 Last step was pour 1 and half cups of Sprite Zero over the cake mix, it gets all foamy and something wonderful happens!  Then stick it in a 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.  

VERDICT: Everyone loved this version and said it was wonderful.  I forgot to take a picture of the final product and we didn't have any leftovers because my nieces were here.

The website that I found this recipe on said that the WW point plus were 4 for a 1/16 size piece of cake.  I also found out that you can use diet Root Beer with a Spice Cake, diet cherry coke with white cake or ever devils food cake sounds good and another one mentioned was diet orange soda with white cake!  Sounds like we will be mixing it up and trying all different types of the WW Dump Cake. 

If you have a version that you prefer leave me a comment and tell me about it, I'd love to taste test it!

Thanks for reading,

The Flirtation Experiment-book review and giveaway

About the authors:  Lisa Jacobson  is an author, a podcaster, and the founder of, an online community of Christian women aut...