I’m Going On A New Adventure…Filled With Pixie Dust

If you didn’t see the news on my Facebook, I made a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT last night.

Like HUGE!

Disney Travel Agent Kathy Hill

I’ve become a Disney Travel Agent! 

I’m with an awesome agency full of people I already adore called Travelmation LLC. They’re all dedicated to helping people plan the BEST DISNEY VACATION EVER!!

If you know the House of Hills, you know that we LOVE Disney, and we are constantly helping people plan their trips. So, becoming a Disney Travel Agent makes all kinds of sense!

The best part is that I can help you plan your trip at NO COST TO YOU! That might be my favorite part. I get all the fun of helping you plan your vacation, and Disney pays me to do it. Win-Win for everyone!

So, pop on over to Facebook to “like” my Travelmation page to keep up with all the latest Disney news. And, be sure to shoot me an email when you’re ready to book your trip!

I’m so EXCITED!!!!


Travelmation Logo - high res.

Book Review: The Selection Series

A guest post from Maggie…

A lot of times, as a bookworm anyway, you’ll get asked by a friend what series they should read next. Well this series is SO STINKIN’ GOOD I thought I should share it with all of you.

The series is called The Selection.
It is made up of three books, all the same story but spread out into thirds.
The first book is called The Selection.
The second is The Elite.
The third is The One.

The story follows a 17-year-old girl named America Singer in a dystopian future. The United States has been given a new name, Illea, a monarchy, and a system of castes. These castes separate the people and what jobs they can have. Caste 1 is royalty while caste 8 is basically considered dirt. America is in the fifth caste, musicians. America is soon entered into the monarchy’s nationwide version of the bachelor, and all against her will.

To find out what happens you’ll need to read it yourself, I don’t want to spoil anything!

Just to let you parents know, this series has some adult themes when it comes to romance. There is also some violence, very complex violence. That’s a weird phrase…

Have a Beautiful Day!

Maggie may be the youngest in the House of Hills, but she is the one with the most joy. You can find her YouTube channel here

Links are affiliate links.

HOHServe: The School Girl Project Via Mercy House

For those that have been around the House of Hills for several years, you know that I have a big heart for Mercy House. In fact, we’ve been supporters of  Mercy House since I discovered them back in 2010.


Well, Kristin has brought another need to my attention via her blog, We Are That Family. It seems that teenage girls in Africa are skipping school. They’re not skipping because they don’t want to go. They’re skipping because of their monthly cycle. They just don’t have the supplies they need to take care of business and so hide in their homes once a month.

Now, I have a teenage girl, and I can say that I see her wanting to hide in the house for a multitude of reasons in the future. (I mean, I remember wanting to hide in my house as a teenage girl. Don’t you?) However, I can say with some confidence that her cycle isn’t going to keep her at home. And, it shouldn’t keep these young girls in Africa home either.

Kristin has given us a VERY EASY way to help with this problem. And, she explains it quite well in her post over at We Are That Family. However, let me break it down for you.

You can mail: 
1. A check made out to “Mercy House” with “School Girl Project” in the memo line.
2. Sanitary Pads (all brands and sizes)  – please note that these girls don’t even have clean drinking water so while there are washable options available on the market, disposable is the way to meet the need right now.

If you want to mail sanitary pads, I did a little Amazon research for you. Both these options are Prime available. (affiliate links)



Mail your check or sanitary pads to:

Mercy House

8000 Research Forest Dr. Set 115-110

Spring, TX 77382

Deadline: Sept 26, 2015

Thank you for considering helping girls across the world so that they can continue to go to school. Nobody wants to miss the opportunity for an education.

No First Day of School Picture… Yet

It’s the first day of school for our county, but there is no first day of school picture for Maggie. That won’t happen until Monday, and it will look very different.

After much prayer, discussion, seeking of wise counsel, meetings, coffee dates, conversations, tears, “what-ifs” and more, the House of Hills has decided to homeschool.

This year.
Eighth grade.


The HOH Academy is born. (Yes, Maggie created the logo.)

Now, as you pick up the coffee cup you’ve just dropped on the floor, let me try to answer all the questions.

What are you doing? How are you doing it? Aren’t you working?

  • Yes, I am still working full-time. I am blessed to have an office super close to the house and flexible hours. We see it working the way my summer hours do. I get stuff done in the early hours before anyone arises. In fact, I can get more done between 5am and 7am then I can in four hours at the actual office. (Can I get an amen?) I will go into the office for part of the day. She’s totally capable of taking care of this herself. I’m just facilitating.
  • We will be doing our county’s online education system. We are so blessed to live in a county where they actually have all the classes (even the advanced ones) available for her to do online. She’s still considered a student of the county. Her teachers just communicate with her via the county’s online system rather then in an actual classroom. We’re not confident on how it completely works as everything pretty much just went live yesterday. And, we’re obviously still learning. For those that live in our county, think of it as “snow days.” All the assignments go up on the system with deadlines. My understanding is that she’ll have her work given to her on a weekly basis by Sunday night and have to turn it in by Friday night. I’ve already seen some of what she has to accomplish for next week, and it looks pretty cool.
  • Yes, I know there are TONS of different homeschooling models that she would love. Believe me, I’ve researched. We think this is best for the HOH because it gives her the flexibility she’s craving but allows her to slide back into the public school setting with ease when she’s ready.

AKA: Did something happen? Is everything okay? You swore you never would homeschool – so what is up? 

  • Maggie begged us for over a year. Seriously. She has been asking since the sixth grade to homeschooled. It might even have started in the fifth grade. She finally made enough great arguments that we started to listen. She’s willing to take on the responsibility for it and is excited for the independence.
  • Maggie is not wired to sit in a desk all day. I honestly don’t think any kid is, but for my little kinesthetic learner, it’s almost painful. Ironically, the first few weeks of middle school, she took a quiz in study skills class to determine what type of learning she was, and she was off the charts kinesthetic. I could have told you that without a test. I’ve known that since she was little. The middle school learning environment is not set up for kinesthetic learners. It’s just not. Yes, there is movement between classes, but when the actual learning is going on (which is when she needs to move), they are to sit and face the board or teacher. She even had one teacher that fussed at her for doodling. Kinesthetic learners have to move. The only “safe” way to move in that environment is to doodle. It actually helps them learn to be moving something. (Please note that not only am I a mom of a child with a different learning style than my own – so I’ve researched it – I also have an education degree and they taught us this stuff.) By being at home, Maggie will be allowed to move all she wants. And, I’m pretty sure as much learning will be done standing at the kitchen counter where she can bounce around on her feet as will be done at her new desk.
  • Maggie discovered how much wasted time there is at school. My girl may not have my learning style, but she is similar to me in some ways. She and I share the “can we just get this done and move on to the next thing” ideal when doing something we know we have to do. She has other things she would like to do with her time, but knows the education part is necessary. By pulling her out of a brick and mortar school, we anticipate shortening her school day by several hours. This will allow for more time to practice what she really loves and wants to spend her life doing – singing, dancing, acting. We’ve already moved several lessons to during the day, and because we won’t have to rush around after school (which ends SO LATE), are looking into different opportunities. When your daughter tells you she feels like God has made her to do a certain thing, you want to help her attain that goal.
  • There are health issues to consider. Maggie was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome last year. She’s not shy about it, so I can share. It has changed our lives here at the HOH. She is on a restricted diet, and that’s easier to do at home. She missed over thirty days of school last year for illness. That’s a lot. There are just some days that she needs to have easier access to the restroom and good toilet paper. (I have Crohn’s Disease, and she has IBS. Good toilet paper is very important to the HOH.) She can still learn on those days. She just needs to feel comfortable in her surroundings. Home is much more comfortable.

What about her socialization?

  • Have you met her? Have you met me? We like people. She’s got plenty of friends and plenty of activities. We’ve had conversations about having to work harder at friendships now, and she’s listened. Given the amount of texting that was going on last night with people swapping first day of school outfits, I think we’re okay right now.
  • Being home during the day means she can babysit during the day. Maggie is looking forward to adding the role of babysitter to her life. We have a few friends that are thinking of using her during the day for different things, and she’s going to be actively seeking more employment. That’s a whole different kind of socialization.
  • Are kids today ever really disconnected from one another? There are some upsides to modern technology. She won’t be isolated as long as nobody is grounded from their smart phone. In addition, from what I understand, there will be group discussions via her online classes. She may even make some new friends that are in the county.

So, that’s why there’s not first day of school picture today. But, there will be one on Monday, because that’s when her school starts.

We’re going into this year with open hands and allowing God to lead us where He wants us. This is where we feel He wants us to be right now. It could change next year, next semester, next week. We don’t know. But, today, this is what we’re doing.

Maggie gets two more days of summer.

Attempting a Family Selfie at Woodlands Camp

We picked Maggie up at Woodlands Camp this morning. Before we left, I wanted to get a family selfie so I could Instagram that we were back together. The family selfie taker of the group is David, because his arms are the longest – obviously.

Here is how it progressed…

HOH Woodlands Camp 1

YAY! A good family pick with the lake in the background.

HOH Woodlands Camp 2

Maggie makes a crazy face as David zooms in a little.

HOH Woodlands Camp 3

Yay! Another one of everyone smiling, but my husband has cropped out all his hair.

HOH Woodlands Camp 4

My husband seems to be disappearing.

HOH Woodlands Camp 5

And, Maggie makes another face.

HOH Woodlands Camp 6

We all make crazy faces.

HOH Woodlands Camp 7

I’m laughing. Maggie is looking bored. David is still in crazy face mode.

HOH Woodlands Camp 8

I’m now cracking up just waiting to see what happens next.

HOH Woodlands Camp 9

I love them.

Sometimes it’s the littlest things that bring the biggest smiles. So glad to have the girl home again. Although, I did enjoy five straight date nights.



21 Day Fix : Day 15

Today was weigh in day number two for the 21 Day Fix. Remember, when I weighed in after week one, I’d lost FOUR POUNDS. I was so excited. I was very sure I wouldn’t lose another four pounds, but I was hoping I’d at least lost a little bit. I was pleased to see I was down another TWO POUNDS when I got on the scales this morning. That’s SIX POUNDS in two weeks. Oh my wow! So awesome.

This is what I ate on Day 15.

Meal 1: 1 Red  1 Yellow  
2 Eggs
Sandwich Thin

21 Day Fix Day 15 Meal 1


Meal 4: 1 Blue 1 Red 2 Yellow 1 Orange 2 Green 3 Tsp
Chips (Yes, I admit to eating the chips. Not many, but I did eat some.)

21 Day Fix Day 15 Meal 2


Meal 3: 1 Red 1 Purple 1 Yellow
Skinny Pop

21 Day Fix Day 15 Meal 3


Meal 4: 1 Red
Deviled Eggs

Yes, I know there is all kinds of other stuff in there. We’re just ignoring that for a minute. Bad me. Bad me.

21 Day Fix Day 15 Meal 4


Meal 5: 1 Red 2 Green 1 Purple .5 Yellow  2 Tsp
1 Scoop Shakeology
1 Cup Berries
1 Cup Almond Milk
1 Cup Spinach
1 Cup Kale
2 Tsp peanut butter powder

21 Day Fix Day 15 meal 5


Totals for the day:
4 Green (short 1 )
2 Purple (short 1)
4.5 Red (under .5)
4.5  Yellow (over .5)
1 Blue
1 Orange 
5 Tsp

Workout: Gym Time

21 Day Fix Day 15 Elliptical and Bike



  • I cannot each just one chip at a Mexican restaurant. Nope, can’t do it.
  • I truly have a weakness for my deviled eggs.

The 21 Day Fix Series (June 2015)

21 Day Fix : Day 14

Day 14 of the 21 Day Fix. I can’t believe two weeks are done already! Tomorrow is weigh in day two. I don’t expect to do as well as last week, but I’m hopeful for some more change.

Meal 1: 1 Red    
1 Scoop Shakeology

21 Day Fix Day 14 Meal 1


Meal 2: 1 Red 1 Purple
Greek Yogurt

This has become my go to snack for at church. I serve at the first service and then attend the 2nd. So, I enjoy this in between. I just throw it in a cooler bag to keep it cool. I will confess that Maggie usually steals some of my strawberries. They’re her favorite.

21 Day Fix Day 14 Meal 2


Meal 3: 1 Red
I ate a chicken leg fresh off the Big Green Egg when I got home. Could not even help myself. I love when the hubby smokes meat.

No Picture. 🙁

Meal 4: 1 Red 2 Green 1 Purple .5 Yellow  2 Tsp
1 Scoop Shakeology
1 Cup Berries
1 Cup Almond Milk
1 Cup Spinach
1 Cup Kale
2 Tsp peanut butter powder

21 Day Fix Day 14 Meal 3


Meal 5:  1 Yellow
Skinny Pop

21 Day Fix Day 10 Meal 4


Meal 6: 3 Red 1 Purple 1 Yellow 1 Green 1 Blue 1 Orange 1 Brownie
Turkey Burger
Whole Wheat Bun
Multiple Deviled Eggs

Our small group had a cookout with all the families. It was a BLAST! And, there was lots of amazing food. However, most of the food was pretty good for you. Oh, we had some chips and such, but there was plenty for us 21 Day Fix folks to eat. There were two of us there. Unfortunately, I made deviled eggs and brownies – two of my all time favorite recipes that I make. (No, I don’t have the brownie recipe posted. Maggie has decided it’s a family secret.) So, I did a little indulging there. Weigh in day is tomorrow. Oops.

21 Day Fix Day 14 Meal 6



Totals for the day:
3 Green (short 2 )
3 Purple 
6 Red (over at least 1)
3.5  Yellow (short .5)
1 Blue
1 Orange 
5 Tsp
1 Brownie

Workout: Gym Time – Elliptical and Bike
I really do enjoy working out in the gym. I feel like it uses totally different muscles than the videos. And, there is no pressure on my knees. That I really like.

21 Day Fix Day 15 Elliptical and Bike


  • Don’t make my brownies and then be around them. They are like a siren’s call.
  • It’s more fun when you’re working out and doing a weight loss challenge with a friend. You can then rely on each other when times get tough.

The 21 Day Fix Series (June 2015)

21 Day Fix : Day 13

We’re entering into the second weekend on the 21 Day Fix. Weekends are hard friends. Your routine is different. Your family is around. You go out more. Weekends take planning.

Meal 1: 1 Red  1 Yellow  
2 Eggs
Sandwich Thin

21 Day Fix Day 15 Meal 1


Meal 2: 1 Red 2 Green 1 Purple .5 Yellow  2 Tsp
1 Cup Berries
1 Cup Almond Milk
1 Cup Spinach
1 Cup Kale
2 Tsp peanut butter powder

I LOVE my loaded shake!

21 Day Fix Day 13 Meal 2


Meal 3: 1 Red 2 Green 1 Orange 1 Tsp  
Lettuce and Veggies
Sunflower Seeds

21 Day Fix Day 13 Meal 3


Meal 4: 1 Red 1 Purple
Light Ricotta

21 Day Fix Day 10 Meal 5


Meal 5:  1 Yellow
Skinny Pop

21 Day Fix Day 10 Meal 4


Totals for the day:
4 Green (short 1 )
2 Purple (short 1)
4 Red (short 1)
2.5  Yellow (short 1.5)
0 Blue
1 Orange 
4 Tsp

Workout: Dirty Thirty
This might be my favorite workout of the DVDs. I didn’t do it last week because we were tromping through the woods on Saturday. So, today was my first time doing it. It was the first workout that I didn’t have to stop before the full 60 seconds were up. That felt awesome. I really felt like I accomplished a lot. I kinda can’t wait to do this one again.

Oh, and please notice my new workout pants. I <3 them.

21 Day Fix Day 13 Dirty 30



  • New workout clothes can make you feel good about yourself. Who knew?
  • Having a Facebook group via your Beachbody coach is kinda awesome. I showed them my whole new workout outfit, and they all appreciated it much more than folks who are not in the middle of this crazy struggle would.


The 21 Day Fix Series (June 2015)

#HOHGetsFit – A Comparison Picture

Last night at Legally Blonde Jr, we snapped a family selfie. We like family selfies.


I posted it to Instagram – like I do all good pictures of the family, and immediately got all kinds of response! Everyone was saying how much thinner I looked.

Here’s the thing. When you look at yourself in the mirror every day, it’s hard to see big differences. You see some of course, but not the full picture.

So, I went back in the iPhoto archives to find another family selfie. I believe in comparing the same angle of picture. In some pictures I look like I have five chins. In others, I only have two. So, the angle is important.

I found this one from early January before we started #HOHGetsFit


So, um, yes. there is a difference wouldn’t you say.  IN ALL OF US!

I’m so proud of my family for being on this journey.

Oh, and if you didn’t get the full effect. Here’s the comparison pictures I put on Instagram later that night.

HOHGetsFit Comparison

Can’t wait to see the difference another few months brings.

21 Day Fix : Day 12

Day 12 of the 21 Day Fix was a Friday. And, it was opening night for my girl in her camp production of “Legally Blonde, Jr.” where she absolutely killed it as Vivian. And, she looked too old…


But, you’re not here to see pictures of my beautiful daughter. Or, maybe you are. There are plenty to be had on House of Hills.

Let’s get down to what I ate on Day 12 of the 21 Day Fix!

Meal 1: 1 Red 2 Green 1 Purple .5 Yellow  2 Tsp
1 Cup Berries
1 Cup Almond Milk
1 Cup Spinach
1 Cup Kale
2 Tsp peanut butter powder

I have begun in my note taking to call this a loaded shake. It is LOADED with veggies and fruit and typically takes up an extra cup besides the Shakeology container. Y’all, it’s so good. Like, the other day I truly just wanted to eat these all day.

21 Day Fix Day 12 Meal 1


Meal 2: 1 Red  2 Yellow  
Corn (1/2 yellow)
Black beans (1/2 yellow)

I remembered I had some black beans in the freezer and pulled those out to have with the chicken and rice. Then, I went on a hunt for corn. For some reason I wanted corn with it. It was mighty tasty. So thankful my husband smokes chicken on the Big Green Egg for me (well us) on the weekends. It’s so great to have on hand all week long.

Oh, and I took a picture of these apart (I mixed them to eat them) so you could see HOW MUCH CHICKEN is in one red container. If you’re thinking about doing the 21 Day Fix but are afraid you won’t get enough food. Don’t be. There is enough.

21 Day Fix Day 12 Meal 2A


Meal 3: 1 Red 1 Purple
Light Ricotta

I know. I know. This is typically what I eat last. However, I knew I was going out to eat with the hubby for dinner, and I started getting hungry around 3:00. I have learned that if I don’t feed myself once I start to get hungry it becomes an issue pretty quickly. So, I had this as a quick snack. Plus, the peach was about to go so it needed to be eaten.

21 Day Fix Day 10 Meal 5


Meal 4: 1 Blue 2 Red 1 Yellow1 Orange 2 Green 3 Tsp
Taco Mac (yes, I just had it the other day)
Roasted Wings
Side Salad

Hubby and I went out to dinner after we dropped the girl at the theater so she could get ready for the show. Any other Drama Mamas out there? You know that early call time on the first show – right? So, we headed over to Taco Mac, which is close to the theater. I ordered 6 roasted wings (rather than fried) and a side salad. I’m pretty sure I paid extra for that side salad, but it was worth it. This meal was a very tasty and satisfying and probably about half of what I would have eaten there five months ago. Yes, I did have some blue cheese dressing on my wings, but not a ton. A girl’s gotta live – right!

21 Day Fix Meal 4 Taco Mac


Totals for the day:
4 Green (short 1 )
2 Purple (short 1)
5 Red 
3.5  Yellow (short .5)
1 Blue
1 Orange 
5 Tsp

I’m sure that by eating wings I got more blue, orange and tsp than that, but, like I said above, it was way less than I would have eaten at Taco Mac a few months ago. So, I still call it a win!

Workout: Cardio Fix
I die. Sweaty selfie proves it.

21 Day Fix Day 12 Cardio Fix



  • You can go on your date with your husband, eat real food, and not feel guilty. WIN!
  • My daughter is one talented girl, and she didn’t get it from me.

The 21 Day Fix Series (June 2015)