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An Evening Walk and Hike with the Dogs

Evening Walk with the Dogs

Special thanks to Hamilton Products for providing samples of their reflective dog leashes for our family to test.

We have been enjoying beautiful weather as of late. While the daytime temps are starting to rise into the 80s, the evening temps are still quite comfortable. It’s the perfect time of year for taking walks with the dogs. We enjoy evening walks as it’s when Daddy is available in addition to being the perfect time for a walk.

Hamilton Reflective Leash Review

The dogs were all too happy to test out their new reflective leashes. They are always up for a walk. The leashes that we received were 4 feet long which is a little shorter than we normally use, but it ended up being perfect for the walk due to the fact there were a lot of little critters running around. Given the fact that our dogs like to track and chase small animals, the shorter leashes that didn’t have any give in them meant it was much easier to keep them under control.

The reflective leashes come in a variety of colors. The leashes are well-made with secure stitching, and the reflective thread is woven directly into the webbing of the leash. There is no give in the leash material. The swivel snaps are secure and keep the leash from getting twisted with our dogs’ constant movement.

Hiking at Giant Rock

Since the weather was so beautiful, we decided that we’d do a little exploring and hiking with the dogs this past weekend. Munchkin needed to get some driving time in, so we had her drive us over to Giant Rock. The dogs were more than excited to get out and explore. Since these leashes didn’t have any give in the material, it was easy to maintain control going up and down the rocks and boulders.


We could also quickly stop them from trying to chase lizards. Yes, they were trying to scurry after any and every lizard that was hiding among the rocks. Like I said, they love to track and chase little critters. The dogs weren’t the only ones who enjoyed climbing all over the rocks and exploring the caverns they created.

Giant Rock

We’ve gotten rather comfortable with the cooler weather, so the 80 degree temps in full sun felt quite warm. We were thankful for the shade provided by the large rocks/boulders. We didn’t stay out too long as someone was setting up for a big event by Giant Rock. We look forward to exploring the area more at a later date when it’s a bit cooler.

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Bouldering: Pixie Boulder


Beautiful weather and the outdoors called to us this weekend, so we headed over to Pixie Boulder. Daddy and Munchkin wanted to attempt to tackle several of the lines on the boulder. Munchkin was a little more hesitant than Daddy, but she did well for her first time out climbing in quite some time.




She was happy to make it to the top of the boulder, but she wasn’t all that thrilled with needing to climbing back down. (I tend to agree that the trip down tends to be a bit more nerve-wracking.)




Daddy had a blast trying different techniques and problems (lines). His height gave him advantages on some lines while it gave him fits on other lines.


“You want me to jump? From here?” There were several conversations back and forth throughout the climb as Daddy encouraged her to try things that were within her skills but slightly outside of her comfort zone.






This line was quite tricky and didn’t get defeated this time out, but some progress was made on it.




Daddy and Munchkin did a scramble up the face of the boulder shortly before we called it quits for the day. It was a fun family outing.


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Pantry and Food Storage Organization

Pantry and Food Storage Organization

I received a sample of the chalk markers to help facilitate the writing of a honest review. This post may contain affiliate links.

Over the years, I have tried a variety of different items to label and organize my food pantry and food storage. For many years, I used Tupperware Modular Mates for all of my food storage needs and just applied small labels to the containers. (Here is a picture of my gluten free pantry while using modular mates.) This worked great as it made for easy moves and kept our food bug-free, but as I learned more about some of the concerns with plastic and food, I decided that I no longer wanted to use plastic with food whenever possible.

I gradually transitioned to using glass jars for my pantry storage. Our food actually tasted better when stored in glass. It was a bit of a pain to move, but everything made it without an issue. (The military movers would move our food if it was in Tupperware, but they wouldn’t move the glass jars of food as they weren’t sealed. We ended up moving them ourselves.) For my other bulk food storage, I transitioned to using 2, 3, and 5 gallon buckets with mylar bags and gamma lids.

One of the issues that I have had with using glass jars and buckets is labeling. I’ve tried a variety of different products, but I couldn’t find one that allowed for flexibility in what was stored in the jars. While there are some things that are consistent in my pantry, there are other things that are in constant flux. I loved the look of paper labels, but they didn’t allow for changing of jar contents nor washing of the jars.

Colore Chalk Marker Review

When I found the chalkboard labels, I knew that I had found my solution for the jars. My only issue was writing on them with regular chalk. It looked bad, and it was hard to read. When I saw the Colore Chalk Markers, I thought it might be the answer to the issue. They came in a variety of colors and worked on different non-porous surfaces. Each marker has the option of two different tips – chisel and bullet. You just flip the tip to use whichever style you want.

I found the chisel tip to be a bit of a pain to use, but the bullet tip worked well for me. Now, I don’t have fancy handwriting, so it may not look as pretty as something that is printed out. Even so, they work for me. I can easily wipe off the label when I want to put something new in the jar. I can even write directly on the jar if I want which is nice for those times that I’ve run out of labels.

Food Storage

Since I’m still in the process of switching my labels to the chalkboard labels, the jars in my pantry don’t look quite as pretty as they do when they all have the same labels, but I’m liking the new chalkboard labels especially now that I’m using the chalk markers. I look forward to when all of the jars have the new labels as it looks much nicer when they all match, but for now, I’ll just switch out the labels a little at a time.

For my buckets, I’ve started using self-adhesive poly pockets. I just stick them on the buckets and then insert the business sized cards that I have printed on cardstock. It allows me to change out the labels easily when needed. I can even change the style/design/color of the labels if needed/wanted.

These two labeling techniques have allowed me to get my pantry and food storage organized in a way that works for my eat-what-you-store, store-what-you-eat method of food storage. My food storage is basically just bulk storage for the items that are in my regular pantry stores.

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Explore Dinosaur National Monument with Noah Justice

Explore Dinosaur National Monument with Noah Justice

Special thanks to New Leaf Publishing Group for providing a review copy of this dvd. This post contains affiliate links.

Munchkin is my future paleontologist if all goes as planned. She has loved all things dinosaur from a very young age. In fact, it was her love of dinosaurs that originally lead us to find the resources from Master Books and Answers in Genesis. I wanted some resources from a biblical viewpoint to balance out all of the evolutionary content of most of the dinosaur resources that we had on hand.

Needless to say, when the Awesome Science series decided to visit Dinosaur National Monument, Munchkin was rather excited. She previously wanted to visit the national monument, but after watching the video, she has decided that we definitely need to take a trip. It also solidified the idea that she really wants to go on a dig.

We’ve been watching the Awesome Science series from the very beginning. It’s been fun watching Noah Justice grow up as the series continues as he and Munchkin are close in age. While much of the original footage was filmed when he was younger, the film has been put together in a manner that shows the footage with an older Noah. When you view the behind the scenes footage, you see a much younger Noah. The bloopers contain footage of both the younger and older Noah. You’ll want to watch the additional footage under the bonus features as it provides even more information as well as some entertainment.

In Explore Dinosaur National Monument with Noah Justice, viewers are given a look at some of the formations and fossils at Dinosaur National Monument from a biblical, seven-day creation viewpoint. It gives an alternative perspective into how the formations and fossils were formed. Just be warned, if you have dinosaur fanatic in your home, they may walk away from this video really wanting to go to the Dinosaur National Monument.

Awesome Science Dinosaur National Monument DVDDVD Overview:

In 1909, a huge deposit of dinosaur bones were found on the western side of the Rockies, in a vast area of western Colorado and eastern Utah of which 200,000 acres have been set aside as the Dinosaur National Monument. Explore this mysterious area and learn:

  • Which are the most common dinosaur fossils found at this huge site
  • What are the various rock layers in which the fossils have been discovered
  • The significance of fossil Unio clam shells, Native American petroglyphs, & more!

This series is produced by Kyle Justice, whose work has appeared on such networks as National Geographic, ESPN, and the Outdoor Channel, along with his creative homeschool-family team. Teen host Noah Justice serves as your guide to truth on the ground at national parks and other geologic locations, bringing you an educational and entertaining adventure!

DVD Details:

  • Actors: Noah Justice
  • Directors: Kyle Justice
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Compel Media
  • DVD Release Date: November 3, 2014
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • ASIN: B00JOP59MQ
  • Retail Price: $14.99

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Emergency Light: SuperNova 300 Lantern

SuperNova 300 Review

Special thanks to Intervine Technologies for providing a sample of their product for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links.

No matter where you live in the country, you always need to be prepared for natural disasters. Throughout our time in the military, we’ve lived in places that have been hit with floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, mudslides tropical storms, blizzards, and a variety of other weather related situations. We’ve also lived in areas where the power went out on a regular basis for no apparent reason. Because we’ve been through all of these situations, we’ve found it important to have a variety of different lighting devices available at our house as part of our emergency kit.

SuperNova 300 Top Carry Handle

We have flashlights, candles, oil lamps, and lanterns available for use as they all serve different purposes. I tend to stay away from candles and oil lamps when the power is out when possible, but we have them just in case. I prefer to stick to either battery operated or handcrank units for our lighting when the power is out.

Recently, I had the opportunity to test out the SuperNova 300 LED lantern in our home. Thankfully, we haven’t had any emergency situations lately, so it was more of an every day use test. Because we live in a location where there are no street lights, it’s nice to have portable lighting available on a regular basis.

SuperNova 300 Bottom Hook

I was pleasantly surprised at the smaller size of this lantern. It stands a little over seven inches tall, and the base is roughly 3.25 inches across. The square, rubber base provides stability and grip. In addition, the required 3 D sized batteries in the base provide weight, so the lantern does not easily get knocked or blown over. (That’s important when you live in an area that has high winds on a regular basis.) The batteries can be a bit of a pain to install unless you line up the slot on the base to the ridge on the battery compartment before trying to twist on base onto the battery compartment.

SuperNova 300 Low Light Setting

The lantern has 3 different settings: high, low, and strobe. You switch between the settings by pressing the power button. You can also remove the top of the lantern if you want a more focused light. The lantern has both a normal handle for hanging/carrying as well as a bottom hook for hanging upside down. The lantern has a small green blinking light right above the power button that can not be disabled. It’s not overly bright, but it’s bright enough that locating the lantern in the dark is easy.

SuperNova 300 High Light Setting

The lantern comes with a 5 year warranty. I always appreciate when a company stands behind their product with a solid warranty.

Overall, I’m impressed with the size and brightness of the lantern. I like that it is durable and sturdy. We tend to be in a lot of windy locations, so having something that has a little weight to it is a good thing. It provides ample light for most situations including camping and power outages.

Whether you’re looking to add a lantern to your camping equipment or to your emergency supplies, I have no problem recommending this compact lantern.

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