Thursday, April 26, 2018

Freebie: Sparkling Ice Mountain®Brand Natural Spring Water


Get a coupon by mail for one free 8-PACK of Sparkling Ice Mountain®Brand Natural Spring Water. Coupon is valid on 12 ounce cans or half-liter bottles.

Offer ends on 7/31/18 or when all coupon supplies are depleted, whichever occurs first. Coupon expires 12/31/18.  Offer is valid to residents of the USA.

I signed up to receive my coupon and I'm most excited to try the Triple Berry Flavored Sparkling Water. Which flavor do you want to try?

God Bless You & Good Night - Children's Book Review and Giveaway


Book Overview:

God Bless You and Good Night is now available as a full-size picture book! This beloved bedtime classic has touched more than 250,000 families, and the gift edition is sweeter and more beautiful than ever before.

My Review:

A book that originally released in 2013, God Bless You & Good Night continues to be a favorite for bedtime stories.  Perfect for toddlers, this short storybook is written in rhythmic form.  It features cute illustrations of animals.  There's giraffes, polar bears, penguins, and more.  The story starts with seeing the moon so bright, goes to reading a book, and ends with getting tucked in bed.  This book is just the right length for a bedtime story and children are given a reminder of how much they are loved.


Win It!

One person will win a God Bless You & Good Night children's book.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received book for review from Tommy Nelson.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SONIC Drive-In Announces SONIC Summer Nights


SONIC Drive-In decided to skip spring and move straight to summer this year.  Guests can come celebrate with SONIC at SONIC Summer Nights – this summer’s social evening destination that will satisfy any late-night cravings.

Guests can find half-price Floats, Shakes and Ice Cream Slushes after 8 p.m. every day at SONIC. They’re also adding new Floats so guests can pair their creamy vanilla ice cream with either Root Beer, Coke, or Fanta Orange.  (I'm partial to the Fanta Orange myself!)



It's not often that I get the pleasure of dining at SONIC Drive-In.  The nearest location is half an hour away from where I live.  But I certainly enjoy the food and available drink purchases when I do get to eat there.  Their deals and deliciousness are worth the drive.

Bring the family together at your local SONIC Drive-In for the SONIC Nights specials.

How often do you eat at SONIC Drive-In?  What's your favorite menu item?

I received product in exchange for this post.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 119

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 119.  If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

1 Peter 5:8 
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
-------------------------
While I was at Women's Camp last weekend, one of the speakers was a local woman who is principal of the Christian School.  She was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in June 2014.  Listening to her speak, I was amazed by her faith and comfort in God.  She was candid and admitted to being fearful, but she showed an overflow of love for Christ. 

Since her diagnosis, Susan had a camp of prayer warriors surround her.  She underwent (and continues to) many, many rounds of chemo.  She's a mother to two young boys and a wife.  Close to the onset of her diagnosis, Susan was told that the cancer was shrinking.  She was becoming a miracle.  The doctors were in awe of the regression of cancer. 

Susan came to speak at Women's Camp Saturday to tell her story.  She wanted fellow women to know the love of Christ she has, even during hard times.  She also wanted to give praise for answered prayers.

Although many of Susan's prayers had been answered, she had some devastating news to bear.  Just two days before she came to speak to us, she was told by the doctors that the cancer in her lungs had come back.  And it was triple in size from the beginning.  The cancer in the bones of her pelvis have also spread.  It's back to being a very terminal diagnosis. 

With all that said, I ask that you please, please, please keep Susan in your prayers.  If anything, she's been able to give an amazing testimony.  My heart hurts for her and her family, and I ask that you please lift her up in your words to God.  Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Secret Life of a Weight-Obsessed Woman - Book Review


Book Overview:

Do you think about food too much? Envy those "skinny bitches" and wonder how they do it? Use the needle on the scale as a measure of your self-worth? Are you "just ten pounds" away from happiness? You are not alone. Iris Ruth Pastor, too, was a weight-obsessed woman who found a way to eat all those tempting goodies--without putting on a pound. At age eighteen, she began bingeing and purging daily and didn't stop for forty-six years. 

How did she tame the triggers that led to bingeing and purging? Deal with the ravenous monster within? The Secret Life of a Weight-Obsessed Woman is Iris's story of ripping down the facade of her "perfect" life and taking steps to break free of her lover ED (Eating Disorder, not Erectile Dysfunction!). If you are grappling with anything that prevents you from operating at full throttle, Iris's bluntly honest, humorous, and inspirational story reminds us all that recovery is within our reach. In this honest, insightful, and inspiring book, Iris Ruth Pastor shares her story of recovery from a decades-long battle with bulimia. She brings a poignant and relatable honesty to this memoir, using both wisdom and humor to bring readers on the journey from despair to healing


My Review:

Although I've almost always been overweight, I've never struggled with an eating disorder.  I don't know what it's like to be obsessed with being skinny or counting calories.  But, I do know what it's like to have other struggles and thoughts consume my time and mind.

Author, Iris Ruth Pastor, puts into perspective how an eating disorder affected her for many, many years of her life.  She's very honest with how it consumed her and how the ED was a large part of who she was.  Interestingly enough, there wasn't some big moment in Iris' life that made her start bingeing and purging.  It just sort of became a part of her daily routine.  

Iris talks candidly about her secret life with ED and her recovery.  I wish there would've been more detail surrounding how the eating disorder affected those around her.  I feel like I still don't know a lot about the "whats" and "whys".  But, I appreciate Iris' resolve and candor.  She's a woman of wisdom who mentors readers and helps bring hope to people who are tackling conditions, especially ED. 

I received book for review from Smith Publicity.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Night Night, Jungle - Children's Book Review and Giveaway


Book Overview:

The remarkable bestselling Night Night series is moving into the jungle! Night Night, Jungle pairs the fun, rhyming text from bestselling author Amy Parker with the award-winning artwork of Virginia Allyn to help your kids wish their world “Night night!” From sleepy sloths to tired toucans, your little wild one will love the colorful art of cute animals settling in for bedtime. The jungle theme features fun and exciting illustrations of wild animals, inviting your children to say “Night night!” to each animal and to the loving God who made them.

My Review:

As a way to settle in to sleep, Night Night, Jungle is a short and entertaining board book.  The story is told in rhythmic form and the illustrations feature all sorts of cute jungle creatures including toucans, jaguars, and lemurs.  

The story brings in jaguars as they pounce and play just one more time before going to bed, and chameleons asking for another bedtime story.  A monkey is rocked peacefully to sleep, and readers are given a reminder that God loves all His creatures.


Win It!

One person will win a Night Night, Jungle children's book.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received book for review from Tommy Nelson.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordful Wednesday - Crossing Women's Camp

water slide that dumps you into the lake

Late last year our church was able to purchase a camp at a price that couldn't be beat.  After some cosmetics and improvements, the place is now able to be used.  I spent Friday night and part of Saturday there with about 65 other women, and I'm already wanting to go back.

I felt like I'd been transported back to my 12 year old self, being sent away to church camp.  Exploring a new world and meeting new friends.  I was waiting for someone to break out the autograph books.

But, rather than getting to stay a week, we got less than 24 hours.  That's what we get for being adults with responsibilities.


One side of the housing building was for bunkers who wanted to get an early start at bed.  Only about 20 gals opted for the 10 pm "Lights Out" option.  Which meant the other side (where I stayed) was pretty full.  Bunks were lined up in prison formation.  Us late-nighters were up till midnight, when the "room mother" shut off the lights.  

My bunk happened to be directly across from the one and only downstairs bathroom.  Which means I can say that EACH and EVERY woman had to get up and go pee at least once.  

Peaceful Scenery Selfie

Ali taking in the scenery

The scenery of the entire place was so serene and peaceful.  We spent a lot of time outdoors, walking the trails and going on a prayer hike.

Although our time was spent worshiping God and doing devotionals, there was also a lot of time for fellowship.  Campers had options to go horseback riding, play games, paint on canvas, color books, exercise, and lots more.  Like I said, just like church camp back in the day.  We even had to fight for shower time.

Our bunk house and dining hall

Fooseball and Jenga

My only complaint about the entire experience was that it didn't last long enough.  I'm voting for another one in the fall.  

Yes, us grown ass women had a bounce house!  I'm jealous I wasn't one of the girls who had the bright idea to sleep in it.  

Did you ever attend church camp as a kid?  Or as an adult?

Friday, April 20, 2018

Ain't Nobody Got Time For Blog Drama


I must not be on the up and up because I don't know the specifics but I've been reading a lot lately about blog drama.  Either readers are making snide remarks about how a blog's content isn't relatable or other blog owners are dissing about who's doing what.  I've even been reading how some bloggers are so stressed out because of all the demands and trying to keep their readers happy that it's making the rest of their life miserable.  SAY WHAT?!!

I know some bloggers stay at home and receive most of their income from blogging.  Project deadlines are expected.  But if a person is going to be so stressed out that their head starts spinning and they're spitting pea soup, I say TAKE A BREAK. 

There's thousands upon thousands of blogs out there.  Some have been here a while (I'm almost nine years in) and some fade as quickly as they come.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a person's blog should be about what they want to write about.  It's their piece of the world.  It's not mine and I have no right to tell them what they want to talk about.

A few years ago there was a blogging community that thrived on bashing others.  It was a Mean Girl's Club.  After the popularity wore off, it died down.  Or so I thought....

I'm 41 years old with six kids, a husband, one dog, and two cats.  I also have a full-time job, on graveyard shift.  Try to tell me what I can and can't write about.

People who hide behind keyboards and take pleasure in degrading others are cowards.  It's the same people who wouldn't say it to your face.

I have no problem if someone doesn't agree with what I type.  They even have a right to tell me that.  But they better have some couth in doing it. 

In a time where women are supposedly building each other up, we ought to be actually doing it.  Everybody put on your big girl panties and play nice.  Word.

Have you been a part of blog drama?  Or heard of the absurdity?

Affinityy.com: $20 With Your FREE Membership + Cash Back

I recently discovered a new site that not only offers cash back on your purchases but also pays you $20 just for signing up for a FREE account.  How can you say no to that?!  Affinitty.com is a new, easy-to-use cash back portal.  (It's like the equivalent of Ebates.)  Members enjoy exclusive discounts on their favorite merchants as well as hand-picked promotions that can’t be found anywhere else online. To start earning just find the store you’d like to shop at, click through the link and complete your purchase to earn cash back at hundreds of online stores such as Walmart, Macy's, Groupon, Fandango and many more.

Here’s how to get your FREE $20 right now:

Sign up for an Affinityy.com account
Verify your email address
Enjoy your free money!

If you shop online a lot you should consider getting a premium membership.  Premium members get DOUBLE cash back on all their purchases.  Don’t want to pay for the upgrade?  Invite 3 friends to join and when they accept, you will be upgraded to premium for free.  Don’t forget, your friends get $20 just for joining too!

The nice thing about Affinityy.com is that you can request your earned cash via PayPal or check. Don't delay; Sign up today!

The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.  This post contains a referral link.

Get Crafty for Earth Day! | Go Organically® Organic Fruit Snacks - Giveaway


In honor of Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, Go Organically Fruit Snacks wants to share some creative ideas to switch up snack time.

You know what they say: "One man's trash is another man's treasure." This rings even truer as we approach Earth Day and think of ways to teach our kids about keeping items out of landfills. For us, it's the perfect excuse to get creative and give new life to everyday objects by turning them into upcycled crafts. Check out the step-by-step instructions for making this awesome DIY dreamcatcher, then read on for additional super-simple craft ideas using household items like paper tubes, coffee cans and plastic water bottles. What better way to celebrate Mother Earth?



DIY Dreamcatcher

Originating in Native American culture, dreamcatchers are believed to offer protection to little ones by "catching" bad dreams in mid-air while they sleep. With a web-covered hoop to snare nightmares, dreamcatchers traditionally feature natural decorative accents like feathers and wooden beads. Try your hand at making your own upcycled dreamcatcher with our easy tutorial!

What You'll Need:

A piece of decorative fabric from an old shirt, shawl, scarf or table runner
Embroidery hoop
Sharp scissors
Wooden or plastic beads with a 1/8" hole or larger
Feathers and/or ribbons
Safety pins

What You'll Do:

Dig through your closets to find an interesting old T-shirt, shawl, scarf or table runner that you no longer use. Look for an eye-catching graphic or interesting material that's lacy or crocheted. Cut your fabric so that it's slightly wider than the embroidery hoop, and at least twice as tall.

Unscrew the top of your embroidery hoop and separate the two hoops. Drape your fabric over the inner hoop, lining it up so that plenty of extra fabric hangs down at the bottom.

Place the outer hoop on top and press down into place, adjusting the fabric and pulling it tight. Once you're happy with the fabric placement, tighten the top screw.

Take your scissors and cut the fabric hanging from the bottom of the hoop into long, thin, vertical strips. Trim any excess fabric from around the rest of the hoop.

String beads onto the ends of your fabric strips and knot them in place. Use safety pins to attach feathers and ribbons onto your fabric strips at random places for an eclectic effect. Loop a longer piece of ribbon through the hardware at the top and hang with pride!

Repurposed Household Items

Why toss these everyday objects when you can turn them into useful, kid-friendly crafts?

Paper Towel/Toilet Paper Tubes

Birdfeeder: Spread peanut butter on the outside of the tube using a butter knife. Roll the tube in loose birdseed, covering it completely. Slip your birdfeeder onto a tree branch, then compost tube once birds are finished snacking.

Wrapping Paper Cuffs: Prevent rolls of wrapping paper from unraveling with paper tube "cuffs." Simply slit tubes lengthwise with a pair of scissors and slip over either end of your wrapping paper roll to keep it contained.

Cord Corral: Roll up power cords and stuff them inside decorated tubes for a cute storage option that will prevent cords from tangling.

Coffee Cans

Pencil holder: Remove the lid and label from an empty coffee can. Cover the entire outside with colorful duct tape in a fun pattern. Fill with pens, pencils and highlighters for an instant desktop accessory.

Bank: Remove the label from an empty coffee can and paint the outside a bright color. Add a dollar sign with stick-on gems. Cut an opening in the lid to use as a coin slot.

Planter: To make a rustic-looking planter, wrap the outside of an empty coffee can with a sheet of burlap and glue in place. Tie a simple raffia ribbon around the center and fill with dried flowers.

Plastic Water Bottles

Sensory Bottle: Calm rowdy kiddos with a mixture of water, glitter glue and loose glitter inside a plastic water bottle. Just add the ingredients, put on the cap, and let kids shake the bottle like a snow globe for an instant dose of zen.

Bowling Pins: Fill 10 plastic water bottles with two inches of water or a bit of sand at the bottom, then put the caps back on. Arrange your "pins" on the floor and let kids roll a ball to knock 'em down.

Penguin Pal: Fill an empty clear water bottle with cotton balls, then use foam sheets or sturdy construction paper to add the wings, head and feet. Don't forget the googly eyes!

Happy Earth Day from Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks. Made with real fruit, the gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free kids snacks are a great choice for your on-the-go life. Be sure to follow Go Organically on Facebook for more kid-friendly ideas.

Win It!

One person will win three boxes of Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks (one box of each flavor).

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received no products or compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 118

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 118.  If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Romans 10:9-10 NIV

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My Faith Journey: 52 Week Guided Devotional with Scripture - Review


Book Overview:

Keep moving forward on your personal faith journey with this inspiring new devotional journal.

Inside My Faith Journey you'll discover a full year of spiritual activities, designed to help you to grow with God week by week.

Gifted artist Robin Pickens provides 52 beautiful line drawings, based on Scripture verses and uplifting messages, ready to color with markers, gel pens, colored pencils, or watercolors.

Each illustration is accompanied by insightful prompts that will guide you to reflect on what faith means to you, and the role that God plays in your life. You'll find plenty of lined space to write, and opportunities to pray, in this finely crafted journal.

My Review:

I have no shortage of adult coloring books.  Spending quiet time filling in lines with color is relaxing to me.  Due to time restraints, I haven't really delved into my coloring lately.  Until recently...

My Faith Journey has several inspirational scripture designs to be colored, and I've been spending quiet time coloring in the pages.  There's lots of pretty designs and uplifting sayings.  The paper itself is archival-quality and acid-free.  I haven't used markers in this book because I don't want to take the chance of the ink bleeding through, but gel pens and colored pencils are perfect for coloring and jotting your thoughts.



You can use this devotional in a way that works for you.  If you want to go ahead and color all the pages before finishing the spiritual prompts, it's quite okay.  I've been working with this devotional a week at a time, front to back.  For instance, one week I may be prompted to answer the question about why hope is an anchor for the soul.  Or, I may be asked to write down the difference between joy and happiness.  There's plenty of lined writing space to answer the questions, and the pages are for you to write your own answers, thoughts and reflections.  Once I am finished with this devotional, I am going to keep it in my cedar chest and hopefully bring it out from time to time to go over what I learned and what my reflections were during that period.

I received product for review from Fox Chapel Publishing.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

TowelTails - Mermaid Tail Towels Review and Giveaway


If you have kids, chances are you know mermaids are all the rage.  There's no shortage of mermaid merchandise, and products with the theme are in high demand.  TowelTails was thought up in 2016, and the company appeals to those with a mermaid fascination.

Toweltails® Towels are a great product for children between the ages of 3-16.  Although they are designed for kids in that age range, I've found that teens and adults can use them too.  I know plenty of adults who wanna be a mermaid. #MeIncluded

 Toweltails are 100% cotton, machine washable, and crafted at the highest quality.  They are approximately 55" long and 23" wide.  That means most anyone can fit in them.  Because they're made of cotton, they will shrink just a little bit after washing.


There are currently nine fun and attractive styles to choose from.  I'm personally excited to see more added.  I think the color and style combinations are endless.  There are seven total mermaid designs, some more patterned than others.  If you're a boy (or a girl who doesn't like mermaids), the company offers a shark and dragon tail pattern.  

TowelTails can be used as beach, bath, or pool towels.  They're also long and wide enough to lay on while sunning.  Or, if you just want to cozy up inside one and pretend you're a mermaid, that's cool too.

The fins at the bottom of the towel have openings for your feet to go all the way through.  TowelTails are just that - towels.  They're super cute and super fun to wear, but they're not meant to walk around in or go into the water with.  To make them even more appealing, these towels are packaged in an adorable box.

Win It!

One person will win a TowelTails towel of choice.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

My First Book of Lacrosse - Book Review


Book Overview:

My First Book of Lacrosse, the fifth book in the best-selling Rookie Book series from Sports Illustrated Kids, explains this fast-growing sport to young readers.

A fun guide for beginning readers, My First Book of Lacrosse introduces kids to the plays, positions, and basics of lacrosse through a visual retelling of a professional game. From the face-off to the game-winning goal, checking, scooping, passing, and more are all explained using simple text, cool graphics, and real Major League Lacrosse and college level photography to help young kids feel like they are on the field experiencing the game. Illustrated “rookie” characters—a girl and a boy—appear on every page to guide kids through the book as they read alone or along with their lacrosse loving (or bewildered) parent. 


My Review:

A hardcover book that's being released today, April 17th, My First Book of Lacrosse explains the basics of the sport in a fascinating and understandable way.

Did you know that the rules and equipment used by men and women are different?
Or that a lacrosse game is usually divided into four quarters that are 15 minutes each?
You'll learn that and more in this book about lacrosse.

I confess I don't know a lot about the game, so I admittedly thought this book was interesting (even if it was written for the younger crowd).  If I ever view a game of lacrosse, I'll at least know what I'm watching out for.  The realistic pictures of people playing the game, coupled with the cartoon characters and thought bubbles, make this book even more engaging.

Have you ever played lacrosse?
What sport do you have problems understanding?

I received book for review.  The opinions within t his post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Rimmel London MAGNIF’EYES PALETTE COLOUR EDITION - Review


 I like to experiement with makeup and Rimmel London is a brand I've come to love.  A co-worker changed my world a few weeks ago when she gave a makeup application tutorial that I could understand.  I'm still no pro by any means but it's made me much more excited to try and apply new makeup.  

Rimmel London recently introduced the MAGNIF’EYES PALETTE COLOUR EDITION.  At $8.99, it's the newest palette in the collection that’s redefining the way you wear eye shadow. 

With 12 shadows, you're sure to find the color you want.  Mix up the combos with each application to keep it fresh. The texture is smooth and the wear is long.  

The eye shadow colors can be readily seen through a transparent case, and there are two small duo sponge applicators included.  Personally, I use a different kind of applicator and haven't used the ones included because I like bigger brushes.  The eye shadows blend well together and stay on for quite some time.  I like having so many colors available in one palette so I can create the look I'm in the mood for.

Rimmel London is available at mass market retailers and drugstores nationwide including Walgreens, CVS, Target and Wal-Mart. Visit www.RimmelLondon.com for store locations.

Do you use Rimmel London makeup?
What color eye shadow is your favorite?

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Check It Out: Easy Stiks Suction Toy Giveaway


It's spring, and Jenn at A Mustard Seed Toys thought it was a great time to do a Easy Stikz Suction Toy Giveaway.  There will be 10 winners during the giveaway to receive Easy Stikz. 

Easy Stikz create tons of learning and fine motor opportunities for kids, all while having fun.  From helping advance the pincher grasp to sorting by colors, you and your kids will both have fun. 

There will be TEN winners during this giveaway, so enter to win before time runs out on 4/22.

This post contains a referral link.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Two Years and Still Lots of Tears

2011
Mom knew me and Traci were nuts.  And she still put up with us.

They say time heals all wounds. 

I don't know who "they" are but my wounds are still pretty raw.  I'm just learning to heal, if even a bit.

I'm no stranger to death.  Many family and friends have passed away.  I've grieved, and I've carried on.  I watched my father, step-father, and mother take their final breaths.  But none have been so traumatic as the death of my mother. 

I have dreams about her still.  None of them good.  She's always sick and fragile.

I've went through the process of absolute rage and anger, towards everyone and everything.  Except God.
2007 - Her grandkids could do no wrong and she'd follow along with their antics.

I've been to a counselor and cried to the poor sap.  Then cried again when I got the bill.

I turned to alcohol as a way to numb the pain.  It took a reality check from my husband to realize I was spiraling downward by doing that.  I now take "happy pills".

I try to think of good memories with my mother.  I have plenty.  But most come as images of her weak and frail.
2015 - her last Mother's Day

I literally feel like a part of me died when she did.  Look into my soul and you will see a black void that went when she did.

Each day is a new step towards progress, towards becoming whole again.  I have an amazing support system of friends and family.  My God brings me hope that I will see my mom again.

It's not two years of her death.  It's two years of celebration, that she is in her eternal home.  And, someday, we will meet again.
2013 - She loved her "Precious" dog.

Grom Social and MamaBear: Social Media Site and App for Children


I am pleased to bring to your attention a social media website for children (by children – and supervised by professional adults for safety and security) called Grom Social.  It was actually started by then-12-year-old Zach Marks (now 17) and its grown to include over 17 million registered members.  Importantly, Grom Social launched version 2.0 of its incredible mobile app called MamaBear. The app combines cutting-edge parent-child communications with online monitoring and travel tracking functionalities and the newly-released MamaBear version 2.0 updates all of the app’s real-time functionalities, further enhancing the user experience for parents and children alike.

Available on iTunes and Google Play, MamaBear delivers powerful safety and awareness tools including social media monitoring, family mapping, reputation management as well as alerts to cyber threats towards their children.  MamaBear also offers a private platform allowing families to communicate and keep abreast of family activities such as kids’ team sports and school events.


 More about MamaBear:

Grom Social Enterprises is making MamaBear version 2.0 available in four distinct levels, including an advertiser-supported free version, a one-month trial version, a three-month plan and a six-month plan.

The ad-supported free version of MamaBear includes such core functionalities as View current location of your child in map; View uploaded Instagram photos; View follows on Twitter; View tags and location check ins on Facebook; Create a restricted word list for social media posts; Communicate with family via in-app messaging; Check in with Doodles; and Child can send Panic alerts to parents/guardians.

The one-month trial ($5.99) and three-month plan ($14.99) offer all of the functionalities available in the free version along with See a week of location history; Set safe and restricted places; Receive arrival and departure alerts for safe/restricted places; Set and receive driving/speeding alerts; and Monitor text messages (on  Android devices only).  Both the one-month trial and three-month plan eliminates ads in the newsfeed and provides for Priority Customer Support.  The six-month offer ($24.99) provides a free first month.

Recognized as "A Best Parenting App" by Mumii Family Awards for 2017, MamaBear recently surpassed the one million download milestone.  “We are excited to unveil MamaBear version 2.0, bringing families an even more enhanced user experience with significant updates across all functionalities.  As a result, MamaBear serves as a must-have for parents applying advanced technology to bring peace of mind as children go online or go about their daily travels.



MamaBear features include:

Family News – Where family members can send check-in messages with doodles, emoticons or photos all in one place.

Social Media Monitoring – A state-of-the-art monitoring tool that provides real-time updates regarding the child’s Instagram uploads, as well as Facebook and Twitter upload activity.

@mention activity – An acclaimed Android Text Message Monitoring function that allows parents to review all incoming and outgoing text messages.

Location Sharing – MamaBear’s specially-designed map that lets parents set home, school and other places for arrival and departure notifications.

Speeding Alerts – A popular feature of MamaBear providing alerts when the child is driving or riding faster than a speed you set.

I received compensation for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.