Angry Birds :: Fun on a Lazy Day

Ray and I spent this last weekend in Dallas. We actually spent a night and full day more than originally planned, due to a snow storm in Salt Lake City just as we should have been flying through. Dallas is loads of fun and we definitely made the best of our free night away. (We have lots to share, so stay tuned.)

Needless to stay today was a lazy day. We did manage to get the older three kiddos off to school, but Josh was feeling a bit under the weather, so he stayed home and lounged with the rest of us.

Do you want to know what we did all afternoon? We played Angry Birds!


Playing Angry Birds on our Samsung Smart TV, using Gesture Control, is just as easy as playing on an iPad or iPod, but much more fun! There is this certain satisfaction you get when using your hand motions to pull the little birdies back and then release them onto the pigs. I dare you to try it!

This is post 5 of 8 Samsung Smart TV with Motion Control sponsored posts. All opinions are mine.


This Busy Mom :: Finding Time to Exercise

As you may know, I am on a quest for health and fitness. A huge push has been my recent diagnosis with Fibromyalgia, but the fact that I weigh a whole lot more than I ever have (excluding while pregnant, but including immediately post-partum) plays a big part, too.

I’ve mentioned before how I have been trying to carve out the time to exercise, but it has proven to be a bit more difficult than I had hoped. School with Ben and Noah, playing with Timmy, alone time with Ray, work, chores around the house, and our new puppy all seem to take priority over getting in shape.

Well, as part of the Families in Motion campaign, I have committed to spend more quality time moving with all of my kids, and I think I may have found a way to do it all… I found my very own personal trainer, thanks to an app on my Samsung Smart TV – Fitness VOD. With this app we have immediate access to dozens of fitness videos, and they are all tons of fun. If I can keep it up, I am hoping that I will move my flabby abs, booty, and thighs in to a firmer, stronger, leaner body.

Ethan, Ben, and I have had the most laughable times moving along with the videos in the Fitness VOD studio, especially when we have the Virtual Mirror turned on! I always knew my boys were goofy, but it cracks me up every time they turn silly while doing something serious…

Now, I am not at all in shape, so even just 10 minutes at a time is tiring. But, you know what? I plan to focus on my abs, thighs, and booty, for now. So, 10 minutes is a perfect amount of time to squeeze in several times a day, I don’t have to get dressed and load up the kids to head to the gym, and we all are in motion!

I’d say that’s a win-win!

This is post 4 of 8 Samsung Smart TV with Motion Control sponsored posts. All opinions are mine

Learning at Home :: Beyond the Books

My older kids are off at school all day, as most of you know, leaving me with my three youngest for seven wonderful hours each day. I definitely miss Ethan, Zach, Julia, and Josh all day, but I am really enjoying the time I have with only my younger kiddos at home.

Each morning I work with Ben and Noah, plugging away in all things kindergarten and 1st grade, until lunch time. Timmy sits with us for a while, but grows antsy pretty easily. As is to be expected, his two-year old little body just wants to run and jump and play.

Actually, Ben and Noah’s little bodies can’t sit still for long either. They can only handle “book work” in short spurts. Which is why we incorporate quite a few different ways of learning.

  • We get up and move. With the warm weather deciding to stick around, we like to “move it, move it” around here in the house. We dance and sing to The Music Machine and Bullfrogs and Butterflies. We also play The Skip Count Kids and have made up fun little dances to each song. These songs teach Bible stories and multiplication facts (respectively) and make learning about the world around us lots of fun.
  • We watch LeapFrog episodes often. When my twins were little, we would play The Letter Factory every single day. They loved that video! (Yes, this was way back when we played the good old-fashioned VHS tapes!) Now, there are five different episodes from which to choose – all available on Netflix – The Amazing Alphabet Amusement Park, Numbers Ahoy, Numberland, and Phonics Farm.
  • There is always something to be learned from George, the curious little monkey. In fact, Timmy is obsessed with Curious George episodes, which can be quite educational at times. Cultural diversity, creativity, love of adventure, and how things work are only some of the lessons learned through George’s escapades.
  • We love to play games and search for information using apps on our Samsung Smart TV. With access to loads of ebooks, and the ability to browse the internet, I’ve made our Smart TV a virtual white board. But more than that, we keep learning fun with all of the educational games available. I am very pleased that I can include my kiddos screen time as school time.

How do you incorporate modern technology and social platforms into the education of your kids, whether you teach at home or not?

This is post 3 of 8 Samsung Smart TV with Motion Control sponsored posts. All opinions are mine

Family Time is Fun Time

Family time in the Young household is very important, especially because we are such a big family and we know the value in staying connected. This dedicated time that we spend together is very special and we create many fun memories.

Here are some of the ways we spend quality time together…

  • Each week we have a family movie night. We take a break from school, work – pretty much everything – and gather around in our living room. Every once in a while we will order pizza for movie night; that way we don’t have to cook, and clean up is a breeze. We plan to purchase enough 3D glasses for everyone so our next movie night will be extra special, thanks to our new Samsung Smart TV! We already have the movie all picked out – Marvels Avengers. (Honestly, I didn’t even realize that our ES8000 had the 3D feature until we pulled it out of the box and discovered four pairs of glasses!)
  • Family game night is always popular. Uno, Dominoes, and Parcheesi are some of our most played board games. The twins like to play chess with Ray and I am holding out hope for the day that I can talk everyone in to playing Yahtzee with me! We now also play play Angry Birds and Cut the Rope on our new TV, using motion detection. Darts and Memory are a few more that the younger kids enjoy playing.
  • We all have such a blast on family outings. Sometimes we’ll spend time at museums in downtown Sacramento – the Train Museum is a blast – and we all look forward to Pioneer Days over Labor Day weekend every year. San Francisco is another one of our go-to places to spend a family day – Fisherman’s Wharf is always a treat and the Ride the Ducks Tour is tons of fun. And, of course there is Lake Tahoe – the perfect place to spend an afternoon in the winter, just after a snow storm.
  • Campfires after dark means scary story time and our most favored treat – S’mores. We love to build a fire on warm summer days and even on cool autumn evenings, as long as we can get all bundled up.
  • YouTube browsing has quickly become a favorite pass-time for our family. Ray and the twins recently spent an entire evening watching videos of goofballs doing the Cinnamon Challenge. Look ’em up – they’ll keep you busy for hours and before long you’ll be tempted to try it!
  • We also have special nights with each of the kids. One by one, youngest to oldest, each child gets to stay up past bedtime and they choose an activity to do with Ray and me. Sometimes they choose to watch a movie or show, and often times they decided they’d like to play a game with us. Since Timothy was born we haven’t made the time to do these special nights, but about two weeks ago Ben asked me when he could have his night to stay up. So, we started these individualized again. First was Noah, then Ben, and so on. My kids love their nights to stay up, because they get to do what they want to do without having to compete for our attention!

What are some of the ways you spend quality time with your family? Please share!

This is post 2 of 8 Samsung Smart TV with Motion Control sponsored posts. All opinions are mine.

Our TV Wasn’t Smart Enough. The Samsung Smart TV Changed All That.

Our kids thought we had a very boring TV. It was a Samsung, of course, but it was simple and small. It couldn’t do much more than show our favorite movies and make it possible to play our favorite Wii and Xbox games. Lame, huh? Most of our kids begged us for weeks to purchase a larger, better TV. So, they pled their case and we listened…

Wouldn’t you like to watch a show, or sit quietly in the living room with your friends, while we play our games or watch a movie in the other room? Why yes, that would be nice.

What if we want to have our friends over to watch a movie, but you guys want to watch something else? It’d be great to have a nice TV in the living room and one in the front room, wouldn’t it? Yes, of course.

This got us thinking…

We do love to sit in the living room in the evenings and talk quietly after a long day, not to be disturbed by gaming lingo and music.

Ray does enjoys watching soccer tourneys on Sunday afternoons, while I find them boring and the kids would much rather be playing soccer than watching.

Our family movie and game nights could be way cool with a Smart TV. We could access Netflix or Vudu directly from the TV. A smart TV – one with motion detection – may even get us up and moving.

We convinced ourselves we needed a new TV, finally caved, and so began our search for a larger, better TV. We didn’t look very long before I got an email from the folks at Samsung. They wanted us to be a part of their 8 week Families in Motion campaign and try out their newest Smart Tv – the ES8000. Talk about perfect timing!

So, yeah… We had a boring TV. But, now? We have a Smart TV.

The kids were thrilled when our Samsung Smart TV ES8000 showed up as a total surprise to them all. Ben and Noah got to break the good news to the older kiddos when we picked them up from school. They just couldn’t wait to get home and check it out!

It was several days before we pulled our new TV out of the box. Not at all because we liked our old TV better, but I think we were just nervous about setting it up. After all, it’s a Smart TV, and this was a first for us. But, there really wasn’t anything to worry about and setup was a breeze.

So far, we have played YouTube videos, browsed the interwebz, Skyped with my brother and sister-in-law, and we’ve had a couple of movie nights. This afternoon we’re all gonna try out the new (to Samsung Smart TV) Angry Birds game. I am fairly certain that, even after three weeks, we have yet to really see just what this TV can do. Can’t wait to share all that we discover with you!

Samsung launched a fun sweepstakes last Saturday. To enter, make sure you follow @SamsungTV and then tweet a photo of yourself playing Angry Birds on a Samsung Smart TV with the hashtag #AngryBirdSaturdays. There are some great prizes, including Samsung Blu-ray players, Angry Birds Plushies and the grand prize of a new Samsung ES8000 Smart TV. Don’t worry if you don’t own a Samsung Smart TV – you can play the game at many retail locations!

This post is 1 of 8 Samsung Smart TV with Motion Control sponsored posts. All opinions are mine.