Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Little Pony-Party of One app review

  If you don't know who My Little Pony is then you must have been living in another country for quite some time.  My teenager played with My Little Pony when she was young and her brother even liked to play (not sure he would admit to that now though).  I was taken back into the world of Pinkie Pie and her friends in this interactive educational app.  Although, I don't personally have pre-schoolers anymore I do know that they would love this app and would have fun learning to read while using it.
In case you were wondering who PlayDate Digital was here's a little blurb about them (taken from their website).
PlayDate Digital Inc. is an emergent publisher of high-quality, interactive, mobile educational software for children. PlayDate Digital's products nurture children's emerging literacy and creativity skills by turning digital screens into engaging experiences. Designed in collaboration with leading preschool education experts from insights gleaned from years of extensive research, PlayDate Digital content is built in partnership with some of the world's most trusted global brands for kids and developed and published for iOS and Android devices.
For more info click on any of the following links:

Platform: iPhone/iPad
Cost: $2.99
Ages: preschool & elementary

I love that you can track your child's goals and reading progress throughout the story.
My Little Pony: Party of One is based on a popular My Little Pony episode.  It follows the character Pinkie Pie as she tries unsuccessfully to invite her pony friends to her birthday party.
The sight words had pictures to go with the word which significantly helps your child remember the words.
I also liked that they story was interactive and you could click on a highlighted character and then they would do something or make a noise.  Very fun app for younger children, especially those that love My Little Pony.
other reviews
Thanks for reading,

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Sparkle Box-children's book review

About the book:

Sam is so excited about Christmas! He's thinking about what to put on his Christmas list, anticipating holiday parties and puzzling over one very mysterious gift – a sparkly box sitting on the mantel above the fireplace. Written by Jill Hardie and brought to life by the rich illustrations of Christine Kornacki, The Sparkle Box is a heartfelt Christmas story that celebrates the beauty and excitement of the Christmas season, while gently bringing the true meaning of Christmas into focus through a story that features a powerful Christmas tradition. Children and adults of all ages will be captivated by The Sparkle Box and forever changed when they discover the Sparkle Box is a gift that honors Jesus on his birthday. Readers moved to adopt this faith-centered Christmas tradition in their homes can put a Sparkle Box, included with the book, under their own Christmas tree.
Can be purchased at for $19.99 by clicking here

About the author:

Author Jill Hardie, her husband, and their two children began the tradition of placing a Sparkle Box for Jesus under their Christmas tree approximately seven years ago. The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they experienced profound peace and happiness. It's Jill's hope that The Sparkle Box book will ignite a new Christmas tradition that helps center Christmas in the true joy of the season. 
"There are many traditions that help us remember the remarkable and beautiful story of the birth of Jesus. My hope is that The Sparkle Box will help us remember Jesus as he is today – in the present. It encourages us to ask the question, 'What gift can we give Jesus on His birthday that will bring Him joy?'
Jesus taught us that whenever we do something for someone in need, we do it for Him. I think loving and caring for each other in His name is the greatest gift we could give to honor Jesus on His birthday."

You can contact Jill Hardie at

About the Illustrator:

At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children's books began to take shape. She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming café in New Haven, Connecticut.

My opinion:

As parents to my children my husband and I have tried to balance out giving to others within our family.  Sometimes we've found it harder to help or give than other times.  When Makenzie was 9 she decided to start a blog and ministry called Punky Monkey Missions.  She felt the Lord was leading her to help others in any way possible, she started by sewing tiny clothes for the popular WebKinz.  Next, she learned to crochet so she set out to help keep the homeless in our community warm with a handmade scarf and hat.  After a while she wanted to include helping others by donating to their adoptions or blessing them with money for their mission work.  If we would have had this book back then our Sparkle box  would have been stuffed full of papers telling all of the ways Kenzie has helped others.  Kylan even got on board and wanted to help!  I'm so proud of my kids for giving freely of their time, money and energy to help others.  That's exactly what The Sparkle Box is all about!  As you read through the story you learn that a Sparkle box is included for your own family and as you continue reading you learn how you can help others and fill your box up and that is your gift to Jesus.  This is a story that is sure to be loved by everyone and might just become a holiday tradition in your family.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy 13th Gotcha Day Makenzie!

Thirteen years ago Kevin and I woke up in LA and anxiously awaited Makenzie's arrival from South Korea.  Our life was about to change forever and we didn't have a clue how to be parents.  We were so thankful that we were finally getting our precious little one that we had prayed for, for EIGHT years!  If you know someone struggling with infertility, adoption or maybe they are just longing for a child of their own please encourage them.  Adoption was a wonderful option for our family, it's not for everyone though.  I can't imagine our life without adoption.  Not only did adoption bless us with 2 beautiful children but we've made so many lifelong friendships, it has opened up a whole new world to us.  We didn't know anything about Korea when we first started the process of adopting and now we could probably write a travel book or at least a brochure, we cook Korean food, listen to Korean music and now my friend Mika has me watching Korean Drama's. Below is a picture of Mika and I with our sweet girls.  Both of our families have become more than best friends, we're family now!
1st Gotcha day-Nov 14th, 2000
Enjoy some of our first moments as parents!
and Makenzie and our friend Jared on their 1 year birthday or Tol Birthday.
To read more about our "Gotcha Days" in the past click on the year


Thanks for reading,

Monday, November 11, 2013

Visiting Duck Commander

If you live in the USA you've probably been hearing a lot about Duck Dynasty the popular TV show  on A&E.  It's basically about the lives of the Robertson family.  They're live in West Monroe, LA and own Duck Commander, which is the family business.  It all started with the dad making duck calls in a little storage building on their property and now it's a multi-million dollar business.  Our family likes the show because it's good clean (often muddy and messy) but still clean fun.  No cursing, sleeping around, drugs, etc. we love it because we never have to worry about what our children might hear.  They are HILARIOUS at least they are too us...I've heard that others don't care for them but that's ok the show isn't for everyone.
The last week of October 2013 we were headed back to vacation in Orange Beach, AL with our friends the Schnable's.  We had such a great time last year at the Sand Box that we decided to head back again this year.  We were not disappointed, beauty abounds in Orange Beach and the surrounding area.
  Typically, we head through Memphis, TN and then on down to Mobile, AL and over to Orange Beach but this year we were trying to figure out a route that would take us past some Civil War sites in the South.  We're studying the Civil War for history in homeschool and wanted to take advantage of any type of historical sites along the way.  As I was researching I found that Vicksburg has a top rated Military Park and was a pivotal turning point during the Civil War.  It just so happens that  West Monroe, LA is only about an hour from Vicksburg and added about 35 minutes onto our drive if we planned everything just right we might be able to see both on our drive down.
We put 117 Kings Lane, West Monroe, LA into our GPS and away we went.  When we arrived at Duck Commander we were surprised that it's just right off the highway and down at the end of a street with a giant parking lot!  We'd been warned that sometimes the line wraps around the building and you have to wait hours just to get into the showroom.  Since we arrived on a Thursday that wasn't the case at all.  Only about 50 people were walking around the showroom and the grounds of Duck Commander.  Of course we had to take pictures under the famous sign!
Here's our family shot.

We were so excited to look around.  We're almost certain that this is one of the wives because she kept her head down and just kept walking to her SUV across the street, but we didn't see any of the Robertson men.


The kids got pics with the cardboard cutouts, it was the closest we got to the "stars" of the show.

 We saw the world's largest duck call.

The loading dock that the guys flooded in one of the first seasons of  Duck Dynasty.

The huge Duck Dynasty trailer.  We were only there for about 35-40 minutes and then we headed for Vicksburg but we realized we wouldn't make it before closing time at the Military Park so we headed on to Mobile, AL and the USS Alabama Battleship!  Look for my post about it in the next couple of days.

Who's your favorite Duck Dynasty character?  Mine is Jace and Miss them both.  Kenzie's is Si, Jace and Sadie,  Kylan's is Jep and Kevin's is Si.

I also really like Sadie Robertson, the teenage daughter of Willie and Kori.  She's a wonderful example for other young teenage girls, she started a video devotional that Kenzie and I have been watching.  You can tune in each Monday night for a new devotional on her YouTube channel I Am Different.  She is also developing a modest clothing line...say WHAT?  Modest is hard to find!  We search high and low for modest shorts and shirts for Makenzie and it's tough to find.  If you notice in the above picture her shorts are much shorter than she would like to wear but we can't seem to find longer shorts.
Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Walk Off The Earth

About a year ago we were staying the night at a hotel and Kylan was playing on the iPad and I heard this amazing music.  I said Kylan who is that?  They sound great!  He told me that it's a group from Canada that he likes called Walk Off the Earth.  For the next hour we sat around listening to their music and watching the videos.  Thanks, Kylan you found a cool group that mommy loves.
This is my favorite video that they've made.

If they ever come to Tulsa or Oklahoma City, I HAVE to go see them.  Maybe even Dallas if I can talk Kevin into it.  They are all multi-talented and are fun to watch plus they have great voices!  What do you think?  Am I the only fan out there? They have this raw, amazing talent that just speaks to me!

Thanks for reading,

Friday, November 01, 2013

See the Light art review

Every year my children have tried a different art program, and we've loved some of them and gave them rave reviews and some we just didn't mention because they were failures for us.  See the Light has been so inspiring for myself and my children, and I knew we just had to share with you!  We had the option to choose from several DVD art classes and we chose Pointillism.  We learned about the famous artist Georges Seurat and how he used small dots of paint from the very tip of his paintbrush and he added layer upon layer until he achieved the desired affect.  Here's a list of the different artists and art projects that are in the See The Light DVD series.

Create Your Own Masterpiece In The Style Of 9 Famous Artists!

Art Projects - Pointillism Fruit
  Makenzie was intrigued and couldn't wait to start.  We chose to use an orange, apple and banana for their fruit still life. First, she lightly sketched her fruit.

 Then she started adding color around the edges of the fruit with the tip of a Q-tip.

Next, she filled in each fruit with a solid color.

During each segment of the video Pat Knepley is instructing on how to shape the fruit, shading, she goes over the color wheel, she shows examples of Georges Seurat's gorgeous paintings and she also opens up her Bible and reads scriptures that go along with what she's speaking about.

Makenzie started working on her shading in this step.

Finally, she finishes her painting by making sure it looks just like she wants it to with shadows, all the stems on and a table line added.

 I love the finished painting, Kenzie did a great job.  Kylan did too but he asked me not to post his work so I'm honoring his wish.  I hope he will let me post it sometime in the near future so you can see what he did too!  Our next project will be creating a paper flower in the abstract style of Georgia O'Keeffe. 

A couple of things you might want to know before you get started are make sure you have all the supplies that are listed on the DVD.  They make it easy for you!  Set aside about an hour and a half or so to watch the DVD and work on each lesson. 

To contact See the Light click on any of the following links:





See the Light blog

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...