Friday, January 30, 2015

Family Movie Night Giveaway: 23 BLAST

For the last 6 months, my middle son has been having some health issues that, depending on what we find, could potentially spell the end to his athletic dreams.  Soccer is pretty much his world. 

After every medical test, we brace ourselves for the results.  So far, we have no answers.  That’s good.  We’ve tested for some pretty serious stuff.  And bad.  Because, well, we have no explanations for the pain he is experiencing.

So it’s understandable that when he saw this DVD sitting on the coffee table, he took one look at the back and groaned.  “Did you get this for me to watch?”



He shot me a disbelieving look.

I held up my hand.  “Seriously. I didn’t.  The trailer just looked really good.”

“Yeah.  Well.  It looks like there’s a pretty strong parallel between this and me…and that would be something you would do.” 


But I honestly hadn’t thought about the parallel.

We invited a few friends over and had ourselves a movie night. 

23 BLAST is loosely based on the real life story of Travis Freeman, a teenage football star who loses his sight as a result of an infection.  Travis (played by Mark Hapka) must find the courage to carry on with his life.  It’s an inspiring story about overcoming obstacles and chasing your dreams. 

The beginning of the film was a bit sketchy and I thought I might lose my teenagers to the game system in the other room.  The dialogue left out important details that would have been helpful in understanding what was going on.  And the acting was questionable (as teens like to say), especially the hospital scenes with the doctor and his parents.

But my guys (and guests) hung in there and I’m glad they did.  Because the rest of the movie was really good!  Everyone (even all three boys) said it was a great movie!  It was funny, and touching, and totally inspiring.  And the life lessons in the mix were perfect for what my son may have to face.  I love it when God works like that!

I especially appreciated the extra features which told more about the real life characters on which the movie was based.  Travis Freeman goes on to become a pastor.  :)

I highly recommend this film!  

The rating is PG13 because of a scene where Travis’ best friend Jerry is seen drinking on school grounds.  But it is brief, and portrayed as the bad choice that it is. 

For a chance to win your own copy of this DVD film, please leave a comment below.  I will draw a winner from the comments on Friday, February 6, 2015.  Good luck!!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Why I Am So Proud Of My 73 Year Old Mom

Around Christmas, Mom started having trouble with her cable company.  Every two or three days, they would turn off her phone and cable.  Calling them got her nowhere.  So each time, my brother would have to take her and her canceled check to the regional office. 

After four frustrating trips, she switched to another service provider.  

And…added…INTERNET!  Yep.  My 73 year old mom got internet to use with her tablet.

She now has faster internet than we do!  Of course my boys are jealous.

The day after she had it installed, I called her up and talked her through how to sign into face book.  She was hesitant at first, but we got it done.  It totally makes me smile now to see her like something someone posted.

Next, I helped her install Messenger.  It was comical at times, because  her operating system is slightly different than what I have on my phone and it puts things in different places.  Plus, I was learning about Messenger right along with her!  I would ask her what she was seeing and then have to figure out where she was and what she had done.  I seriously expected her to give up.

But she didn’t!

After our very first phone lesson, she sent me this picture all by herself!

Meet Ralph, the stray kitty that has taken up residence on her porch.

Mom and RalphI can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of her!!

Since then, we’ve exchanged countless messages, videos and pictures.  It’s nice, because I can usually send messages even when I don’t have any signal to make or receive calls.

I’ve sent her soccer pictures, pictures of awards ceremonies, silly hellos and even pictures of my chickens.  Why not?  I love my girls.

Then came Words With Friends. 

It wasn’t long before she had EIGHT games going on at once with me. 

And she began NUDGING me when I took too long to play!   Haha!  

Just the other night, I got up to use the bathroom and decided to play a word in one of the games before I fell back to sleep.  Within seconds, she played right back.  Surprised that she was up, I messaged her and we were able to chat at a time she wouldn’t have dreamed of calling.  And that was nice, because I know sometimes the nights are long and lonely for her.

Earlier this week, she sent me this picture of the not-so-big-snow.  :)

Mom snow

It’s wonderful to be able to connect in this new way.  For so many older people, technology is a daunting thing.  And it certainly still is in many ways for Mom.  But she is trying new things, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. 

I guess if there is a moral to this story, it would be, don’t give up on the older people in your life!  If my mom can do this, anyone can!

And now, I need your help!

Mom has lots of the puzzle and solitaire type games.  But do any of you have any other favorite games or apps where two people can play?   

I’m getting worded-out.  ;p

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Because I Have Teenagers

Yes, I’m still here!  And I have a confession to make. I have been very much mistaken about what happens when your kids get older.  I seriously thought that because my boys could bath themselves, do their own homework and, with a little prompting, do their own laundry, that I would magically find a few minutes to pull out some of my forgotten pastimes. 

I know.  You can stop laughing now.

It’s not all bad.  It’s just not what I expected. This is our Christmas picture. It’s such a good representation of the dynamics around here…  47 4x6 final…Older boys all full of crazy, youngest son still snuggly, me wondering if we’ll get the picture taken before Hubby bales out, and Hubby just barely tolerating the whole lot of us.  ;)

My three boys, especially the teenagers, have mastered the art of monopolizing my calendar, car and kitchen even more thoroughly than they did when they were in diapers.  Some days I collapse into bed so tired that I wonder if I’ll even hear my alarm in the morning.  So I set three of them.  Can any of you relate?

Because I have teenagers, I’m learning…

  1. Don’t expect anything in particular from teenagers.  They are completely unpredictable.
  2. Write everything in pencil.  They’ll make you change it five times.  Better yet, don’t bother writing anything.  Just ask them, “Where to now?”
  3. Hide the scissors.  Or one of the Teenagers will loose them in his room.  (Or forget he put them in his book bag and slice open his finger in school.)
  4. Triple your food budget.  Male athletes leave nothing but crumbs.  And when they have friends over, even the mice go hungry.
  5. Find a soft fuzzy blanket to leave in your car.  It makes the 5 hours you spend each day as a taxi driver a little more bearable. 
  6. When your son impulsively joins the swim team, even though he doesn’t know how to swim, go with it.  It will be the cleanest he’s been for a very long time.
  7. When one of them drops his cell phone for the 4th time in 16 months, DO take your time replacing it.  The boy will survive.  And so will his girlfriend.  He may even dust off his Nintendo DS and involve himself in real live conversations.
  8. Feel free to use bribes.  And food.  It’s the only way to get teenagers to spend time with the family.
  9. Enjoy (and remember) every hug.  Especially if your son initiates it.  :)  It will help you not to strangle him ten minutes later.
  10. Seize every placid moment to talk about important life stuff.  If you are lucky, you may get 49 seconds per day.
  11. Remind each one of your children that God has a plan for his life.  Because He does.  Encourage him to seek it.  And pray for him.

Just my thoughts for today.  :)

Have a wonderful Tuesday!