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May 22, 2015

Honeybee Mama

Life is what you make of it; make honey.

Web 2012


The Cave House

Welp, we made it through 2012 and what a year! I thought for my final post of the year I should tell you about what was probably the most interesting, strange, fun and completely accidental adventure we had in 2012. Let me first say, that our family is committed to adventure. By that I mean we always have our eyes and ears open, and we (especially as adults) try to be flexible enough that we're always willing to pull the car over when we see something interesting! That said, a couple weeks ago after our trip to WaterWorks Art Center, that flexibility came into play. As we were pulling out of the parking lot to head to lunch, I looked to the left and saw this strange looking building. I pointed it out to the kids and said, "Hey guys, look at that weird little...

Posted at 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments


Holiday Outings

So, I had fully intended on writing a separate post about all of these outings, but after weeks of tending to a sick husband, sick children and being sick myself, I think I'm going to have to just condense it all into one. There are so many fun and inexpensive things happening around Tulsa for the Holidays. Some of them have already passed, but many are still happening and this weekend is your opportunity to get out there and take advantage! Every year, the Tulsa Holiday Parade of Lights is full of music, dancing, floats and so much more in the streets of downtown Tulsa. This year, I took the bigs and my nephew, Jack out to check out the holiday cheer. We showed up after the parade had started, but we cleverly planted ourselves at the end of the parade route so we...

Posted at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Sick of Sick

Oh boy. 'Tis the season for sickness.  Since the week before Thanksgiving, we have had a whirlwind of sickness in our house. First, my six-year-old and his chronic reoccurring cough have had us in and out of doctor's offices several times with prescriptions that don't work and nights of endless coughing. That poor kid has spent more time propped up on pillows sipping tea and watching cartoons in the middle of the night than he has in his own bed! We are finally trying some new things with alternative and holistic treatments combined with some major diet alterations and that seems to be helping.  But it didn't stop with him. A little over a week ago, my husband came down with some horrific mutation of influenza, which turned into a stomach bug, THEN...

Posted at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


WaterWorks Art Center

This past Saturday, while I fixed breakfast for the kiddos, I had the news on the TV as usual. I was super excited when I heard them talking about the entries for a gingerbread house competition on display at WaterWorks Art Center. I already had a couple of other things I wanted to do with the kids that day, and figured we'd swing by and see them while we were out and about! WaterWorks Art Center is a super cool facility that's part of Tulsa Parks and Recreation. It was the original water treatment plant for the City of Tulsa, then was renovated into the city's first municipal swimming pool in the 1940's (there are some really fun pictures of patrons swimming framed inside the building). Since then it has undergone a series of renovations that have transformed it...

Posted at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments


Valley Grove Pecans

My step-kids go to school in Glenpool, and every time I drive to take them to school or pick them up, I pass this place on 151st Street: It's the most darling little shop set right in front of a gorgeous pecan grove. Every time I pass it, I think to myself, "Self, you should stop in there one of these days and see what they've got!" So, this week we did! Valley Grove Pecans is a family owned, locally owned and run farm in Bixby, Oklahoma, located at 2301 E. 151st Street. They are only open during the November and December harvesting season, so they sell only the freshest pecans. The littles and I had fun exploring their shop and all the goodies!  Besides fresh pecans, they have all kinds of candies, gift baskets, pecan oils (apparently...

Posted at 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments


Encouraging Holiday Giving in our Kids

In our family, we try to encourage giving spirits in our children. We often give to charities, do acts of service for others, and give to those in need. Every few months, our children even go into their rooms and choose toys they no longer play with to collect and give away.  Encouraging this kind of behavior is even more important during the holiday season. At the office where I used to work, I usually volunteered to collect money and go and purchase gifts to donate to Toys for Tots and would bring my kids with me to pick out toys. So I was ecstatic to receive a text yesterday from one of our favorite babysitters telling me about a Toys for Tots fundraising event last night at Bounce U. Kids could pay $8.00 admission or bring an unwanted toy for donation to the charity and...

Posted at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments


Sushi, Anniversaries, and Christmas

Although I mostly write about fun things to do with your kids in Tulsa, I really enjoy telling you guys about great date night destinations, too. Recently, I shared about how my wedding anniversary didn't quite go as planned, but I was able to make the best of it. My sweet husband told me, "It doesn't matter. It just means that wasn't our anniversary. We'll wait and celebrate on our REAL anniversary!" As it turned out, we were able to have an even better anniversary date last weekend.  One of the perks of being a divorced parent is the regular (hopefully) breaks you get from parenting because of sharing your kids with the other parent. A perk of being married to a divorced parent means that if you're really lucky, you occasionally have...

Posted at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments


Eat Street Tulsa

It's no secret that my family and I love food. My husband and I really enjoy cooking, trying new recipes, and trying out new venues around town. Even more than that, we are extremely interested in supporting locally owned restaurants. If you've been following my blog for any amount of time, you already know that! You know what else we love? Food Trucks! Did you know about the growing trend of Gourmet Food Trucks flooding the roads of America? Thanks to shows like The Great Food Truck Race on Food Network, well deserved publicity is making its way these entrepreneurs. Many very talented and inventive chefs anxious to start their own businesses shy away from their culinary dreams because of high overhead costs of opening a restaurant. They have found a way to both realize...

Posted at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Winners and Losers

There has been a lot of election talk in our house lately. A lot of it has been from the kids.  "Whoever finishes dinner first gets to be the President!" "Mommy, we voted today in school for storybook characters. Bear won!" "Ok, Alec. Here are our movie choices from the library. Vote on which one you want and say what percentage you want to watch it. Mom, you need to vote too because we need a tie-breaker." "Mommy, can we vote on tonight's vegetable? Because Aidan likes fresh green beans but I like canned green beans." "Hey Dad, we already voted at school for the President and Barack Obama won. I voted for him and I'm glad he won." My husband and I are quite interested in politics, government and...

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Being Mediocre

I don't know if you're like me or not. Coming from the understanding that most of us have more in common than we think, I'll assume you are. At least a little bit.  Don't you want to be a great mom? I sure do. And I'll admit that yes, sometimes I want to be Supermom for others. I want people to know I'm a great mom and say, "She's doing a good job. What well behaved, smart, accomplished, impressive children she has." But most of the time, I really do just want to be Supermom for my kids.  I don't want them to miss out on anything. I want them to have things I didn't have as a child, and in many cases things I did have. I worry that if they don't have extracurricular activities, go on vacations, experience art and...

Posted at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Fall Crafts on the Cheap

You've probably picked up on the fact that I like to do things inexpensively. I love coupons, groupons and free activities and do as much as I can to stretch a buck for myself and my four kids.  Decorating is no different. If I'm not making something myself, I'm finding it at a thrift store, garage sale or bargain bin. With the holidays approaching and the season changing, I'm itching to bring some Fall colors into our home, but not wanting to spend a lot of money! Any time I can involve my kids in fun activities and crafts I do, so I thought I'd share with you some of the fun ways we've been bringing the inspiration of Fall into our home.  First, we went on a nature walk and collected leaves for a Fall Garland. Leaf Garland Tutuorial...

Posted at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


My Not-So-Anniversary Date

Who says you have to go out with your husband on your wedding anniversary anyway? Boring! Okay, before you start thinking REALLY bad things about my marriage, I should tell you that my husband had every intention of taking me out for our anniversary. In fact, he was beside himself when he found out that Norah Jones was playing the Brady on October 16th, the very same day we were married last year! He bought tickets, and we'd planned a whole evening out, dressed up and complete with dinner at one of our favorite spots.  Then, he got called to work out of town. Like, several really important meetings with really important people that were all converging in another city in the kind of "perfect storm" you can't try to change on the calendar (and he did try...

Posted at 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments


Making History at Weber's

We're kind of suckers for bar stools and hamburger stands. Well, I know I am, and maybe that's why my kids are too. I love places like Steve's Sundry, Brewburger and Tally's where I can sit up high, side by side with others and twirl around in my seat while I wait for my delicious treat! If you're looking for delicious treats and a trip down memory lane while you dangle your legs, you've got to head over to Weber's Superior Root Beer Stand. The oldest business on Historic Brookside, Weber's is one of a kind and sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Indoor seating is limited, but there is plenty of outdoor seating, and you can also phone in and pick up to-go orders.  What's so special about Weber's? Well, for starters, Oscar Weber...

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Get to Gilcrease!

Have you been to  Gilcrease Museum lately? I'm a big believer that museums are not just for grown-ups. Don't shy away from taking your kids just because museums are quiet and refined places with lots of things kids shouldn't touch. It's like taking your kids out to eat. Unless you want to forfeit the privilege of ever dining out without having to pay a babysitter, you're going to have to bite the bullet and teach your kids some skills in politeness. In the same way, why deprive yourself of fine art and at the same time cause your kids to miss out on exposure to art and culture because you're terrified of having to keep a closer eye on them? Fortunately, institutions like Gilcrease Museum have all kinds of fantastic programs and opportunity just...

Posted at 07:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Money Saving Tips for the Fair

Can you believe I have 5 and 6 year olds who had never been to the fair until this year?? For a while they were so young they really didn't know it was happening and weren't disappointed to miss it. Then as they got older and were visiting their dad or other school/work schedules didn't mesh, we just didn't go. Last year, there were enough carnivals and other fall festivals to attend that they were happily appeased. This year, though, my littles have been duly noting EVERY commercial on the radio and TV advertising for the Tulsa State Fair. I knew there was no way I was getting out of it this time! It's not that I'm afraid of braving crowds or germs or fried food with my young children; honestly, coming up with the cash is more the thing that's...

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Some Things Never Change

Last Saturday, we had a garage sale. It was just time. We'd been putting it off for far too long. You never think you actually have enough stuff for a garage sale until you actually start pulling things out of closets and cabinets and piling it up. We had more than enough.  With a high in the low 80s and few clouds in the sky it was a perfect day to be outside. I have to be honest; I was really wishing we could go ride bikes on Riverside or peruse the farmer's markets, or find some other kind of adventure, but I remained faithful. I stayed home and held the garage sale.  There are sometimes when we stay home with the kids on a Saturday and they pester us incessantly to go somewhere or do something. Then there are other times when they are perfectly happy...

Posted at 07:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Lazy Saturday and Local Pizza

Have you ever heard Jerry Jeff Walker's Pick Up Truck song? I was not familiar with Jerry Jeff Walker until my husband introduced me to him. Oddly enough, my husband knows more about growing up in the country being from Florida than I do having lived in Oklahoma almost my entire life! I mean, I've always had trash and mail service where I live; his family had to haul their trash to the dump every Saturday and drive into town just to see if they had any mail! The Pick Up Truck song describes a Saturday morning driving around running errands and enjoying the day by not really having a plan, but taking your time and seeing what comes along. Last week it seemed that was just the Saturday we needed. It was a little dreary outside, but just dreary enough to be relaxing and...

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Scotfest Rocks!

Fall is well on its way in Tulsa, which means it's time for all the Fall Festivals! We've already missed a few this season, but the littles and I were able to make it out to Scotfest this past weekend, in spite of the rainy weather. We're so glad we did; it was lots of fun! Scotfest 2012 was held at Riverwest Festival Park (home of Oktoberfest) September 14-16. We didn't make it out until Sunday afternoon, but I think we ended up going at the right time. It seems all the events were making the most of the final few hours of the festival! The Highland Games are incredible to watch. The Caber Toss, Hammer Throw, Sheaf Toss, and Weight for Height are all age old feats of strength which were also used in times past for warrior and militia training. Here's...

Posted at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


I'm a Model...Well, Almost!

Over the past couple of months I've had some opportunities to do things I never get to do. It's been really fun to branch out into the world of Fashion and Style (just a bit) and get to feel special. I shared about my recent styling adventure with Shannon Schroeder and my TV hosting debut which was such an adventure! I've also gotten the opportunity to be a model! Recently, my good friend Dawn Westmoreland (who did my hair and makeup for my wedding) contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in modeling in my wedding dress for her portfolio. She and Jessica Chang have teamed up to create Couture by JJC, which is high fashion bridal photography. They specialize in creating truly unique images that look like they belong on the pages of Vogue and InStyle. It's...

Posted at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Too Soon to Crush?

When I picked my littles up from their second day of school, I routinely asked them how their day was.  My Kindergartner quickly replied his day was fine and asked to turn on the movie in the car. My first grader, on the other hand, started in on a long winded explanation (which is not out of the ordinary if you know him). Aidan started in, "Mom, when you were a little girl, was there a boy in your school that was the most handsomest boy in school, and you wished you were the prettiest girl in school so he would be your friend?" I answered and said that yes, probably that was the case at some point in time (or more times than I'd like to admit). He then asked if I could tell him what to do, what to wear, what to say because there is in fact a girl that is...

Posted at 07:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Improving Birth Rally in Tulsa

This is not a debate between women who plan on getting their epidural in the parking lot of the hospital as they're in labor and those crazy crunch granola women who want a natural childbirth experience. This is a presentation of facts. The fact is, in spite of our ever increasing access to and use of technology and outlandish spending on maternity care in our country, the U.S. ranks behind 40 other developed nations in regards to maternal mortality rates. This means that more women die from childbirth related causes in our country than in 48 other countries. Do you find this shocking? Consider these facts: Cesarean sections pose substantial risks to both mother and baby.  The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that average rates of cesarean...

Posted at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


More Than Just Hair at Q-cuts

I was behind on everything involved in getting kids ready for school this year. Our littles didn't start school until last Thursday and instead of buying clothes and shoes on the tax free weekend, bought everything that following week. Instead of buying school supplies early, I waited until the night before school started and couldn't find half of what we needed. I put off making an appointment for free hair cuts at JC Penny in August, then ran out of time to wait on the phone to make an appointment. (JC Penny is still doing free hair cuts though, maybe you'll have better luck getting an appointment than I did!) I'm glad I didn't make that appointment though, because I remembered that I'd heard about a super cool new kid's hair salon in South Tulsa,...

Posted at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1


Mommy Styling HELP!

A few weeks ago, I was offered an incredible opportunity to host a segment on Great Day Green Country on Fox 23. As soon as I knew I was going to be on TV, I emailed local stylist and fashionista (who also hosts segments on GDGC), Shannon Schroeder for help with my look! I don't know about you, but I get stuck in such ruts, with colors and styles, and it's great to have a fresh set of eyes to see things you don't. Let's be honest; since leaving the office to work from home full time, I've adopted quite the "mom look." She helped me pick out several looks I would have never picked for myself, but looked amazing when I tried them on. Shannon offers several different packages, and will customize them to your needs. Isn't she cute?...

Posted at 07:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Date Night Dancing

Looking for some new date night ideas? If you're like us, when you finally do get a night off from the kiddos, it's far too easy to opt for the good ole' dinner and a movie. We may not be post college kids any more, but we're not signing up for the early bird specials yet! Something we've been wanting to do for a long time is try out ballroom dancing to mix things up a little. It was perfect timing when my husband, Marc, met a ballroom dance instructor at a business meeting recently. Michelle, our new dance teacher friend, teaches at Strictly Ballroom and invited us to their guest party. Every few weeks, instructors and students invite people to a dance party with amazing free food, open bar, and dancing with a DJ. The awesome thing is that as a guest,...

Posted at 07:23 AM | Permalink | Comments


Kids Film Festival at Circle Cinema

Did you know Tulsa has its own non-profit independent movie theatre? Well we do! Circle Cinema is located at 12 South Lewis, across from Zeiglers Frame Store.  It may not be the first or most fancy movie theatre in Tulsa, but it's the oldest one still standing, and has even been placed on the National Register of Historic Places! How cool is that? The history of Circle Cinema is rich and fascinating and we are really privileged to have such an interesting piece of time preserved. Right now, they're having the Beat The Heat KidsFirst! Free Film Festival, and last week, my dad (Grampa Roger) invited us to join him for a show! The architecture of the building is cool, with inlaid glass all around. Inside, the building has a real industrial feel with...

Posted at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments


Mom Blogger Playdate Fun

How are you beating the heat these days? It's been so hot the last several weeks, sometimes even the swimming pool seems daunting! This past week, a fellow blogger was in town from San Antonio and we were able to get our families together for a little playdate at the Riverparks 41st Street Plaza. Amy Johnson, a.k.a. Maker Mama, and I met each other through a mutual friend several years ago. It was only recently that I found out she had a blog and was the super crafty seamstress I always wished I could be! I mean look at her super cool cross stiched iPhone cover! We have had a lot of fun following each others blogs and sharing info on crafts and thrift store finds. It's been years since we saw each other in person, so it was fun to sit and visit in the shade and...

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


The Magic of the Swimming Pool

This has been the first Summer that we decided to join a neighborhood pool. Since it was my first Summer at home with school aged children, I knew I would need a "go-to" activity for the kids. At first I thought about getting a gym membership, so there would be other options besides the pool and possibly discounted or free day camp options. Then, my sister-in-law mentioned the idea of sharing a family membership to her neighborhood pool. I figured that was the best of both worlds since I would pay a one time fee which would cover us for the whole Summer. It turns out that joining Forest Creek Pool was one of the best investments I could ever make. Honestly, it doesn't have many bells and whistles. There's no kiddie pool, splash park or super cool twisty slides....

Posted at 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments


Totem Pole Park

One of my neighbors and I had been chatting back and forth about wanting to take our kids on a road trip. I had several weeks of being on call for a doula client and couldn't go out of town, so we both looked around for ideas and began planning for a week when I could be more flexible with travel.  We didn't want to go further than something that could be a day trip, and since we would be taking four children under the age of six, we figured it shouldn't be too far out of the way anyway. We also didn't want to spend a lot of money! I decided to get on Travel Ok's website and check out their list of Things To Do In Oklahoma. I followed links for road trips and Rt. 66 adventures and found this listing for Totem Pole Park. It fit all our needs for an...

Posted at 07:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Double Life

Once you're a divorced parent, you enter into a strange double life. And I don't mean double life like you become a secret agent for the government, although sometimes I think that might feel more important.  See, parents that have their children living with them in their home full time often say things to me like, "Gosh that must be nice to get a break every now and then. It must be like a mini-vacation!" No. It is not like a mini-vacation. It's a huge wrench in the wheel of life is what it is.  Imagine something being taken from you on a semi-regular basis that isn't necessary for your everyday life to continue (like glasses or medication), but that is just a constant part of your life. I'm struggling to think of a truly...

Posted at 11:30 PM | Permalink | Comments


First Friday Art Crawl

Last Friday night we were looking for something adventurous to do, but needed to NOT spend money. Even though we wanted to keep a tight reign on the purse strings, it was Friday and we did not want to sacrifice fun! After tooling around online looking for things to do, and getting some suggestions from friends we ventured to the Brady District for the First Friday Art Crawl. Once a month, the art galleries and other venues in the Brady Arts District open their doors late and offer refreshments to the public. I so love Downtown Tulsa. Just the old buildings and all the stories they hold is enough for me to wander around and be happy for days. I love the collection of creativity revitalizing Downtown and the Brady Arts District. Not all of the places we passed were...

Posted at 07:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


A Surprising Trip to the Zoo

It's been a while since I took the littles to the Zoo. So when we completed the Summer Reading Program and earned our coupon book with free admission passes, I figured it was time to take the Library up on their offer! Note to self: don't leave your coupon books in your husband's car and let him leave for work when you've already told the kids you're going to the Zoo! Oh well, you can't ever get enough of animals, so I went ahead and took them and paid full price and figured we'd use our coupons another day. I love how they're excited every time we go, as if they've never been before. Alec can never help himself; he has to get a picture with the lion statue out front! As soon as we walked in, we found the Helmerich Gem Dig,...

Posted at 06:39 AM | Permalink | Comments


No Adventure Too Small

After my moment of super inspiration last Monday, it just felt wrong to stay home for the afternoon. We were looking for adventure, and it almost didn't matter how we found it. We headed to Brookside   I thought we'd start on Brookside and I figured we might just stroll up and down the streets looking at the shops, and maybe stop for a snack. As I exited onto Peoria from the highway, I remembered that Quality Thrift Store is right there south of I-44. Check it out, they have a facebook page!   Also, if you're interested, there's an antique mall, my parents' favorite Hispanic grocery store, and Allen's Coney Island all in the same shopping center. There's quite a bit of quirky fun all in one shot!   As soon as we...

Posted at 05:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Loving Lafortune

Have you been to Lafortune Park lately? Man, taking my kids to Lafortune takes me right back to childhood.  My mom used to jog the three mile jogging trail that encircles the entire park, located between 51st and 61st off of Yale. I remember taking my bike and riding ahead of her, then turning around to circle behind her. Now, as an adult, it's been one of my favorite places to run when training for the Tulsa Run and Route 66 Half Marathon. It's a huge park, so it's fun to explore. My littles like to play Follow the Leader, especially if it means making ME follow THEM! On our most recent trip, Aidan was intent on following the ducks. He was just sure he could catch one, but I let him know that ducks that give nasty bites! So, we moved...

Posted at 07:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Concerts for Kids

I love music. I love live music. There's a special community connection with others when you share an experience together like life performance art. Unfortunately a lot of "grown-up" music performances are expensive and are held after I prefer my kids to be in bed for the night! And let's get real, I DO enjoy activities without my kids sometimes! But did you know there's a place in Tulsa that has concerts for kids? Connor's Cove Theater at Hardesty Regional Library boasts free performances for children and families like story tellers, musical performances, author visits, puppet shows, fun nature and science presentations, historical reenactments and much more. Coming attractions are posted outside the theater, as well as on bulletin boards...

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Market on Main

Oh blessed Summer. There are so many days to fill with the kiddos, and so many things to do! We adore getting out and about, seeing the town and visiting local businesses. It's about the only thing that keeps my sanity! One of my most favorite Summer activities, besides berry picking, is visiting the Farmer's Markets around town. The closest one to us is the Market on Main in Downtown Broken Arrow. You'll find it right in the center of town near the Broken Arrow Historical Society.  Just south of the museum is a big open town square. On Saturday mornings, it's filled with booths of local vendors selling their goodies! Like the lovely family that owns Eden Veggies. They have an indoor, hydroponic garden and grow fresh, local produce all year...

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Tulsa's Beloved Drive-In

In honor of the grand reopening of Tulsa's very own Admiral Twin Drive-In TOMORROW, I thought I'd share some pictures from one of our most favorite and memorable dates! The Admiral Twin is a Tulsa legend. Pinball Rebel's blog tells more about the history of the Drive-In, showcasing pictures of what it looked like before it burned to the ground in September of 2010. My husband, Marc and I were fortunate enough to have one last adventure there and were able to experience it as it was for so many years. Opened in 1951 as The Modernaire Drive-In, the Admiral Twin is located at 7355 E. Easton St. off of historic Route 66. He had a whole plan for optimizing the comfort of our truck bed. We had gorgeous weather and clear skies. Back then, you...

Posted at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


The Great Summer Activity: Reading

Have you signed up for the Summer Reading Program yet? We have! Tulsa City-County Libraries have a fantastic Summer Reading Program for kids of all ages to encourage literacy and keep up school agers' reading skills during the vacation. The Children's program is for children birth through 5th grade. Those that aren't yet reading independently can count books that you read to them toward their prizes and coupons! If your kids are 6th grade or older, as our oldest is, check out the Tween and Teen Summer Reading Program. This is as new for me as it is for Carter, so as nervous as I am of being a mom of a middle schooler, I'm really excited to begin exploring the world of activities and resources for older children! All you have to do to sign up is go to your...

Posted at 05:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Digging For Crystals at Great Salt Plains State Park

As a relatively new work-at-home-mom, I am incredibly thankful for veteran stay-at-home-moms and others that work from home. Several weeks ago, my neighbor and I shared some breakfast and lovely conversation on my back porch and enjoyed our last few hours of quiet time while our kids were all at school. I asked for her input on Summer activities and inquired about how she usually fills the days and weeks with her girls during the vacation.  We talked about summer camps and pool options and brainstormed about road trips and other adventurous ideas. She mentioned there was one thing she wanted to be sure to do, that she had done years ago when her girls were younger and began to tell me about the Great Salt Plains in Jet, Oklahoma.  The Great Salt Plains State Park is...

Posted at 07:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Our Camping Adventure at Robber's Cave

Have your kids been begging you to go camping? Ours have. BEGGING. Constant begging.  So, we FINALLY took them. We had the time available, scrounged up the gear by either borrowing from others or digging up items in the garage, researched the best camp sites in Oklahoma and chose our destination. I was thrilled with Marc mentioned Robber's Cave State Park because my youth group used to hold retreats there when I was in Junior High. I have fond memories of the area and was eager to get back and see if it was as beautiful as I'd remembered. I was also equally as excited to find out all the activities available there. My experience was from one of the group camp grounds and hiking around the caves; I had no idea there was swimming, kayaking, canoeing, paddle...

Posted at 05:00 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1


Our First Day of Summer

It seemed only right that we have a picnic at the park to celebrate our first day of Summer. My best friend's mom, called Yaya by all the grandkids, invited us to Hunter Park for a special picnic and play time.  Hunter Park is located in South Tulsa on 91st Street between Sheridan and Yale. It backs up to the Creek Turnpike, with access to the Rivertrail. It's a blast from the past to me because I grew up right across the street. We used to walk to Hunter Park to play and get to the jogging trails. Yaya put together some clever hot dog and tater tot skewers for us. How cute are they? I was in charge of the fruit, so I made fruit kabobs! Alec cracked up every time I said the word "kabob," which just made me want to say it more. What is...

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


My Mayfest Date

I've always said Fall is my favorite time of year, but I'm really growing to love Spring. Flowers coming up in the garden, sun dresses, meals on the patio, berry picking, farmers markets and festivals all make way for bustling Summer activity. It really gets my gears going! Mayfest is a 40 year old tradition in Tulsa of bring local art downtown, and the Blue Dome Arts Festival is a staple as well. I love being outside and perusing the many booths to see amazing art and meet the artists. This year, we had camping plans for the weekend and I knew we weren't going to be able to get out there with all the kids, so I had to figure something else out. There's no way I'll miss a Mayfest! So, since my pre-schooler only has half days of school, he got to be the lucky...

Posted at 08:36 AM | Permalink | Comments


Playdates Remind Me to Play Nice

I love my kids. You know when someone starts a blog post with "I love my kids," there's probably about to be a big "but, [insert various reason your kids drive you crazy here]." I will refrain from telling you any reason why any of my kids my drive me crazy on a day to day, or sometimes minute to minute basis. Instead I'd like to share about a little parenting lesson I'm learning. Playdates are good for me, probably even more than my kids. Not the playdates where my mom friend comes with and we sit and sip coffee or cocktails and ignore the children making chaos upstairs because we need "Mommy Time." No, playdates where I invite other people's kids over to play with mine and I actually make an effort to provide interaction and...

Posted at 06:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


Thunderbird Berry Farm

Oh. Boy. It is nearly summer, friends, and that means berry time! I have a friend from high school whose family owns Thunderbird Berry Farm in Broken Arrow. She's been telling me for years to come out and pick berries, and like so many things, I just haven't gotten to it. Well, this past Saturday I got to it! Thunderbird is one of Oklahoma's Pick-Your-Own farms, where you pay $3 per pound and pick your own berries! They're not too far out of town, at 321st and 71st. Though they have mostly blueberries, they do have a few rows of strawberries and have been encouraging people to come and pick the last few weeks before the official open of the blueberry picking season. We were thrilled to finally have a Saturday morning that wasn't filled with traveling,...

Posted at 08:42 PM | Permalink | Comments


Happy International Doula Month, Tulsa!

Guess what. May is International Doula Month and Tulsa has a reason to celebrate! Doulas are non-medical professionals who offer physical, emotional and informational support to laboring women, their partners and families before, during, and just after birth. Both birth doulas and postpartum doulas are indispensable in the childbirth experience. Women who have a doula present at their birth are:   28% less likely to require a cesarean delivery 31% less likely to require oxytocin to progress labor 9% less likely to use any pain medication during labor 34% less likely to view their childbirth experience negatively less likely to require instrumental delivery with vacuum extractor or forceps more likely to experience a...

Posted at 05:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


A Tulsa Treasure - Gardner's Used Books

I really enjoy writing this blog, and sharing about great family activities and local businesses in Tulsa. It seems like it's relatively easy to find the Chuck E. Cheese's and Zoos in town, so I really like to do what I can to squeeze into the nooks and crannies of our city and find the hidden gems of adventure to share with you guys. I have a special love for books. Especially old books. In college, my favorite place to study was in the basement of the library where the shelves were lined with old yellowed pages of hardbacks filled with history and character. I don't even read as much as I'd like, but I still love books. Real books, with real paper pages that I can feel and turn. I've shared before about Steve's Sundry, a fantastic nugget of Tulsa...

Posted at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments


A Little Change of Plans

This past weekend, our family had every intention of attending the Discover the Dinosaurs Exhibit at the Tulsa Convention Center. We even went as far as to inform the bigs that we would be going (which of course is a HUGE no-no if there's the slightest chance it might not happen, and we know better). Saturday was such a lovely, lazy day that we opted to hang out at home, play outside, nap, watch TV and movies, and we couldn't bear the thought of packing up to leave the house. So, we didn't. We decided to put it off until Sunday. But after picking the littles up early from their dad's and realizing that tickets to get our 6-pack into the Dinosaur Exhibit would cost us about $70 (minus all the extras we'd need to shell out for activities, face painting, snacks...

Posted at 10:20 PM | Permalink | Comments


Go Ahead! Put Me in the Dog House!

One of the things my husband and I have in common is our mutual affinity for hot dogs. Marc would tell you he has a particular affection for "crappy" truck stop hot dogs since he spends so much time on the road, but I think my tastes might be slightly more elevated than that. A couple of months ago, I got to talking with a fellow mom at dance class who told me about a new hot dog joint she'd been to that was amazing. She used the word gourmet. About hot dogs. I knew I had to check this place out. Low and behold, a few days later I saw a groupon for The Dog House, the very place she'd told me about, and I had to buy it! So, I've been sitting on this groupon for two dogs and a side for a while now and knew it was about to expire. I thought it was about time to...

Posted at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Comments


Groupon's Not Just for Grown-ups!

Do you get your Groupon? If you don't, I bet you will once you've heard of it! Groupon is one of the latest and greatest social networking trends that offers discounts for goods and services in cities across the country. The service works when businesses offer discounts for their products and set a limit of purchases for the discount to go into effect. For instance, today you can purchase a wine experience for two or four at Tidal School Winery at a 53% discount. Since ten people have purchased the groupon, the deal is on! To get in on the trend, sign-up with your email address and location and you'll begin receiving emails with offers specific to your area. When you refer friends you get credits too! It's like clipping coupons - you...

Posted at 11:50 AM | Permalink | Comments


Eat Mor Chikin

C'mon, who doesn't love Chick-fil-A? "Eat Mor Chikin," you say? If it puts a smile like this on my kids, you've got yourself a deal! Those nuggets? The waffle fries? Get out! And when I have more willpower, their grilled chicken sandwiches and wraps are super yummy. Get this, they now have real fruit squeezies and grilled nuggets. So, you really can feel good about taking your kids for fast food!   Now, I know I'm usually the one to roll out the banners for smaller, local mom and pop restaurants, but this is a chain I can get behind. The restaurant is always clean, and everyone who works there is incredibly friendly; they even come to your table to refill drinks and clear your trash. Maybe it's because it's a company that...

Posted at 03:15 PM | Permalink | Comments


Luchador Run 2012

Last Saturday, I was honored to have been asked to babysit my nephew, Asher, while his momma ran in the Luchador Run. Not only am I completely and utterly in love with Ash-man (how could I not be?!), but I was pretty thrilled at the opportunity to pack up the littles and cheer on Aunt Rebekah and all the other runners! This also happened to be the day that the mighty flu attacked me, and I just thought it was nasty allergies. The following Sunday I felt like death, hence the lack of blogging in my life lately, but I have since recovered - finally! You all probably already know that Elote Cafe is hands down one of my favorite restaurants in Tulsa, and not just because their food is awesome. They are big on supporting local farms and vendors, support sustainable practices in...

Posted at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments


Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness

"Urban Wilderness" I mean, doesn't that say it all? Don't you feel the need to pause for a moment and shiver after you say the word wilderness? As if you're dropping the last line of a ghost story on your terrified listeners? Okay, okay, maybe it's not THAT dramatic, and maybe I still have ghost stories on the brain after my six (have I mentioned how not okay I am with the fact he's SIX?) year old's "backyard campout" birthday party last night, but still. The word wilderness gives me the sense of adventure, and stepping into the untouched world of the wild. An urban wilderness must be that much cooler, because it's a touch of the untouched right at our fingertips in the heart of the city! Last week, during Spring Break...

Posted at 07:10 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1


A Whale of an Adventure

Oh my goodness, was it a wet Spring Break last week! We did our best to stay dry and still have fun, but by Wednesday, we'd had it with movies, crafts and indoor playgrounds. Looking out the window at the rain pouring over our city, I figured if we were going anywhere, we were going to get wet. I told to boys to pack their safari hats, swim suits, swim shirts and crocs and meet me in the car. Oddly enough, I didn't imagine they'd think we were swimming (way to go, Mom); I just wanted them to be able to wear clothes outside that are supposed to get wet so they wouldn't complain about getting wet outside! Destination: The legendary Blue Whale of Catoosa! I knew it would be about a 45 minute ride, so the boys packed some activities and snacks, and we ventured...

Posted at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments


Pajamas in Public and Free Movies

Monday night, a Broken Arrow Moviestar offered free showings of The Lorax and Journey 2 for students at our littles' school! I have a hard time passing up free things, especially when it involves activities with the kids. Those are the ones that are usually the most expensive! The boys were SO excited about it; I'm glad both of them had good days at school and we didn't have prior commitments so I didn't have to tell them no! The movie didn't start until 7:20, so I let the boys go ahead and take their baths and pick out pjs to wear to the show. They both chose footie pajamas, which make it interesting getting shoes on. Aidan picked the cowboy boots (which took coaxing to get them away from Alec), which is a fashion statement to say the least! Man, I love...

Posted at 07:35 AM | Permalink | Comments: 2


TASM - Out of This World!

When writing my post about cool places and events on my radar, I confessed that until recently, I had no idea Tulsa HAD an air and space museum. Last weekend, my husband and I took our older two kids to check it out! It was a gorgeous day and Corrinne was doing cartwheels in the parking lot before we even went in! The Tulsa Air and Space Museum is a beautiful facility. It's filled with replicas of airplanes, space crafts and tons of historical information. They have a supercool NASA space craft simulation machine. I forget what the name of the machine was, but it simulates what astronauts use to navigate outside the space craft (I keep wanting to say rocket ship...but I feel like that's not a technical term...) to make repairs on the space station...

Posted at 07:40 AM | Permalink | Comments


Savoring the Moments

There's an interesting rhythm of life one experiences as a work-at-home-mom. Any working parent has to develop juggling skills, carefully balancing responsibilities of work and home, but when you work outside your home, you have a physical separation of the two. I've become convinced that "working from home" is distinctly different from being a "work-at-home-mom." Here's why: you are part stay-at-home-mom and part business owner or whatever vocation you have that produces income. But they're both jobs. Picking up kids for a play date, monitoring naps and the refusal thereof, attending school parties, instructing during homework time, and delivering forgotten lunches are all equally important tasks as returning emails and making phone calls. I...

Posted at 12:35 PM | Permalink | Comments


Picnics and Playdates

There's something about having someone else's kid in my car for a playdate that makes me feel like a real mom. I feel the same way about picnics at the park. Don't you? Isn't there just something about taking kids to the park that makes you feel good, like you're doing the right thing? Eat your veggies, check! Get a little exercise, check! Read a book every now and then, check! Take your kids to the park instead of planting them in front of the TV, checkola! My four year old has a little BFF. He's ca-ute, and the two of them together - even cuter! His mom and I occasionally trade off picking up the other from their Pre-K class and have a playdate for the afternoon. They are truly well behaved together and have so much fun. It's not in any way...

Posted at 02:35 PM | Permalink | Comments


Kids Crafts at Sooner Scrapbooks

On President's Day last week, I had the opportunity to spend the day off with my little bees and we had quite a day! After hanging out in our jammies most of the morning and eating pancakes, we got cleaned up and headed out to run some errands and find some fun. I shared recently that Sooner Scrapbooks was on my radar, and last Monday they had a craft activity for $5 per child. We showed up for snacks and stamps and made some pretty cool art! Sooner Scrapbooks owner, Shannon, had put together some darling name art and bubble wrap crafts for us to do that day. What's cool about their crafts, is that all the supplies are covered in the $5, and you pretty much have access to anything she has that you'd like to use in your project including stickers, stamps, scissors...

Posted at 07:35 AM | Permalink | Comments


Darryl Starbird Car Show

Being a mom of boys is fun! There are a LOT of boys in our family. My husband and I have three boys, seven nephews, and another boy cousin who might as well be a nephew. Last weekend we had just our little boys with us. As shared in my recent post about events on my radar to attend with the kids, we had planned to attend the Darryl Starbird 48th Annual Car Show on Saturday. To make it even more fun, we decided to invite my brother's boys to go with us. The boys were super excited to see all the hot rods, and when they found out there would be freestyle motor cross and monster truck races too, they were beside themselves. Since it was rainy and cold, we were really glad to have something exciting to do indoors. After a pit stop for snacks at Wendy's, we made...

Posted at 05:58 AM | Permalink | Comments


On My Radar

You know what’s fun about supporting local businesses and blogging about fun things to do with your kids in Tulsa? People who know what you do give you ideas all the time! I wanted to let you know about a lot of fun places I’ve been catching buzz on, and a few upcoming events to put on your calendar! Muskogee War Memorial Park and Museum – A friend from high school sent me a message on facebook and told me about this, knowing I’m a fan of local businesses, and it sounds really interesting. Her grandfather runs the place, which is also fun. They’ve got submarines, bombers and all kinds of other WWII memorabilia, as well as what looks to be a moving memorial. We love visiting Muskogee; they’ve got River Country water park that we frequent in the...

Posted at 01:55 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1


Mama Monday - Infant Immunizations

One of my jobs as a birth doula is assisting my clients in writing their birth plans. Birth plans include both a mother's preferences concerning procedures and the environment surrounding her baby's birth, as well as her wishes for newborn care. I have been receiving a lot of questions recently about information regarding immunizations for newborns, and I've also seen some pretty interesting posts in health blogs I follow. I think the questions of whether or not to vaccinate, and on what schedule to do so are important questions for parents ask. I posted a controversial article I found on my facebook page several days ago, and posed the question, "How do you feel about immunizations?" hoping to spur on some conversation. I was not disappointed, and was...

Posted at 01:09 PM | Permalink | Comments


Bouncing Around At Bouncy Barn

Does anyone else struggle to find ACTIVE activities for your kids during the cold winter months? Granted, we have been really spoiled with a mild winter this year, considering most of last year's winter was a blizzard, but it's still hard for me to get out and watch my kids play at the park when my fingers are numb! If your littles start crawling the walls of your home when they're cooped up for too long like mine do, you might need another option in your arsenal of toddler energy busters! A couple of years ago, we were invited to a birthday party at a place called Bouncy Barn, which was then located at 51st and County Line. Recently, as I drove by the shopping center at 81st and Elm (Houston and Elm) in Broken arrow, I noticed they'd moved just down the...

Posted at 08:53 AM | Permalink | Comments


Exploring Extracurriculars - Gymnastics

One of the areas of motherhood I'm really enjoying as my children get older is exploring their interests and talents through extracurricular activities. It is so much fun to watch them learn, grow, and be challenged in ways that truly expand their horizons. It can be difficult to decide where to start, and how to invest. While we don't want to force kids to commit to activities they don't love, we also want to teach them about committment, hard work, and finishing what they start. We also don't want to spend lots of money on gear for an activity they may not stick with! So, it can be a guessing game as well as a treasure hunt! I shared last fall about finding a great dance class for our little bees, and so far it's been a great fit for them. We tried a...

Posted at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments


Mama Monday - Doulas and Epidurals

As a Birth Doula, I have encountered many questions about whether or not a woman should hire a doula to support her in her birth if she plans to receive an epidural analgesia for pain relief. This is a very good question, and I'd like to offer some information that might help you make that decision if you're wondering the same thing! The first thing to remember is that a doula's job is to offer physical, emotional and informational support to a woman before, during, and just after birth. Every woman giving birth needs support and encouragement, regardless of her location (home, hospital or birth center), or choices of pain relief during childbirth. Many make an incorrect assumption that doulas only serve women seeking natural and unmedicated births; in fact, doulas...

Posted at 10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments


Spreading Some Small Business Love

So, I've been planning all kinds of fun activities to do with the kids to share some great ideas for fun things to do around Tulsa, and as fate would have it, things haven't gone as planned!   One of my little guys was sent home with a terrible cough yesterday morning, so I had to cancel a play date I'd planned with a few other moms at Bouncy Barn's new location in Broken Arrow. Don't worry, it's been rescheduled for next Monday, so you can look forward to my review!   With sick man in tow, I needed to get a few errands done, and since I was in the neighborhood I thought I'd stop by Sage Culinary Studio to check out hours and get some info on classes. It's something I've wanted to do with the kids and knew it would be a...

Posted at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments


Mama Monday - Exercise in Pregnancy

Happy Mama Monday, friends! Today I'm writing about a subject that is very important to any expectant mama: Exercise! Many expectant mothers have questions about exercise, often a result of fear. It is understandable and expected that a woman would want to protect her growing baby, and as a result women often fear harming their baby with the strenuous, jumpy, or jerky movements associated with exercise. Add to that fear the intense fatigue that accompanies pregnancy, and the notion of exercise can quickly fall by the wayside! Always, always consult your physician first, but generally, if you are experiencing a normal pregnancy without any high risk factors, you should be able to engage in low impact activities to stay healthy and prepare for birth. Here's the deal:...

Posted at 01:27 PM | Permalink | Comments


Bowling at School Spirit Night

I love our kids' school and the School Spirit Night opportunities they provide. Every few weeks, the school cooperates with a local business so that a percentage of the proceeds from that evening go back to your school. Not only is it a great way to support local businesses and your school, but it's an opportunity for the kids to get to see their friends outside of school, and for us to get to know other families! Last week, Spirit Night was at one of our favorite places for bowling, Broken Arrow Lanes, at 101st and Elm. They had special pricing for games as well as a family meal deal for pizza and soda. The little bees were so excited and begging me to go. That's an easy yes right there! First, we had to get our shoes. A friend once told me she and her friends...

Posted at 03:26 PM | Permalink | Comments


Celebrating a King

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that is. This morning, after taking the kids for donuts, we got into a discussion in the car about today being Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I explained to the littles that there was a time in our country when people were separated by the color of their skin, and not all little girls and boys were allowed to go to the same schools and play with each other. I told them that Dr. King was a pastor and loved God and loved people and stood up for what he believed was right. That he told everyone that God made everyone the same and loved us all, and gave a speech about how he had a dream that we could all live together and be friends.   I hadn't planned on attending the MLK Day parade downtown until my five year old asked a few minutes later,...

Posted at 02:57 PM | Permalink | Comments


Home Depot's Free Kids Workshop

Years ago, a good friend of mine told me about the Free Kids Workshops held at Home Depot. This friend was definitely the resource of all resources. She was a coupon and sale queen, home schooler, and knew all the places in town for a great kid outing. She always seemed to know what was going on, an how to get a good deal on it. Oh Sara, you're such an inspiration! Since then, in the back of my mind I keep thinking to myself that I ought to find out more about this kids workshop and check it out. Last Friday night, it occurred to me that we didn't have any Saturday plans, and I thought I'd get online and see if I could find anything out. I was literally in bed, and grabbed my phone (thank goodness for smart phones!) and got on Home Depot's website. Sure enough,...

Posted at 10:02 AM | Permalink | Comments


Mama Monday - My Journey of Health

Call it a resolution if you want to, I call it time. It's just time. For a change. I realized as the new year rolled around that I've been on a yo-yo with my diet, health and weight my entire adult life. Since college, I've gained and lost weight, gone on "health kicks" and given up so I could "just enjoy what I ate." I've joined and dropped Weight Watchers twice, started and stopped South Beach Diet twice, counted calories, become a health club addict, trained for a marathon (and gave up), run two Tulsa Runs, one Rt. 66 Half Marathon, and successfully packed on 20 lbs in a decade. Twenty pounds. To be clear, I don't think I look bad (in clothes anyway); in fact, I look very normal and average. Sadly, though, average in our...

Posted at 11:20 PM | Permalink | Comments


Osaka - A Special Birthday Dinner

What do you do for an eleven year old's birthday? Nothing really seemed to fit the bill when we tried to figure out how to celebrate, even when we asked Carter. Bowling? Nah. Movies? Not really. He's kind of over the whole Incredible Pizza thing too, though that's always a favorite with the family. Then, something hit me. Maybe it's not an activity we need, but dinner that's also entertainment! As far as I knew, none of our kids had even been to a hibachi grill, or Japanese steakhouse, so I suggested Osaka to Marc. He thought the idea was brilliant, so we made reservations! Last night, when we arrived and sat at our table, Marc gave the kids a reminder rundown of the rules when we're at a restaurant. I just love looking at pics of our...

Posted at 03:06 PM | Permalink | Comments


Kuts 4 Kids

Anyone else have trouble finding a great place to get your kids' haircuts? Now that I think about it, I guess I've never actually TRIED all that hard to find a great place because life is always so busy! I always end up going to the nearest walk-in quickie cut place, and end up unhappy with what they do to my kids' locks, as well as heated with frustration from having to keep my kids from climbing the walls while waiting! A couple of my friends have raved about Kuts 4 Kids near 81st and Lewis, so I was more than willing to try it out. We showed up around 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon, and I was not the only one with the brilliant idea; the waiting area was filled with kids and parents, so the waiting list was considerable. No one seemed to mind...

Posted at 12:25 PM | Permalink | Comments: 2


Mama Monday - Mom Blog Highlights

I know, I know, it's Tuesday. But I still want to do this post. I guess I could just call it Mom Blog Highlights, but it still qualifies for my Mama Monday category, so let's just pretend it's still Monday, mkay? Thanks :)! I love sharing with you what I'm reading and what inspires me, as well as supporting fellow Mom Bloggers. I don't pretend to think I've got the market cornered or that my blog is the end all of parenting and life inspiration. We all have our unique take on life and each of us has unique gifts that we share. Here are my latest loves! All For the Boys I heart this blog!! I love sewing and crafting, but so many of the projects you find online are centered around little girls. I LOVE me some little girls, but male definitely...

Posted at 09:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

About This Blog

Having always said that life shouldn't get in the way of living, Missy strives to find adventure with her children even when things get hairy. Missy and her husband, Marc, have four children. With busy schedules and a small business to run, Missy is not lacking for things to occupy her time. She understands the challenges of being a single parent and is learning to be a stepmom. A Tulsa native, this mama loves exploring fun activities locally and shares her experiences with you in her blog. Upfront and honest, she doesn't pull any punches about meltdowns in the mall or potty accidents at public events. She carries her unique perspective into every challenge she encounters, sharing insights with her readers along the way.

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