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ugust 5th marked the 5th anniversary of the 33 Chilean’s who survived a half mile underground for 69 days.  On November 13, 2015, Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. will release a new movie based on this real-life event when the gold and copper mine collapsed, staring Antonio Banderas and Lou Diamond Phillips.

Warner Bros. has made a special trailer (see below) for Christian and conservative outlets that spotlights the faith themes of the film.  I thought my readers may be interested in seeing it.

CNN also had a special on their story last week, sharing how the Chilean’s faith got them through their ordeal. One Chilians said, as everyone celebrated the rescue of the 33 miners, many pointed to a higher power — a 34th miner — who they say was with them all along.”  It is also worth watching the special on CNN.

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or those who have followed my blog through the years,  you will recall that we have a daughter who has had three open heart surgeries.  (She is now almost 19 years old and doing amazing!) Her heart defects were discovered a few days after she was born and she had her first open heart surgery at  13.5 months of age and about a month after that. 11843967_10153565140350439_214107533_n Before she had her first surgeries, her pulse oximetry was closely monitored, which is a way to measure the oxygen levels in your blood.  We had a machine at home, about the size of a tablet, but about 6 inches deep.  It had to be plugged in and then had a long cord to attach to her finger.  Through the years, I noticed the pulse oximeters getting smaller and smaller, but I never imagined I could actually own one!  

I own one now!  And it’s small . . .  and it’s portable . . . and it’s PINK!  :)  Right now Amazon has this Pulse Oximeter Oximetry Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor with silicon cover AND batteries for only $19.95 (regularly priced $69.99)!!  I’ve been very pleased with it’s accuracy and how quickly it shows results.  It also comes with the batteries.  If I feel there’s a need to monitor closely, it can easily be thrown into my purse.  

If this is something you or a loved one may need, NOW is the time to get one at a great price!!

I received this product at a reduced cost in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

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ow do you keep up with all that laundry is a question I am often asked.  Well, I don’t – many times.  There’s always yet another load of wash to be done.  It does help that we have two washers and two dryers and numerous laundry lines outside. The kids do a lot of their own laundry, which does help me keep up with the bedding and towels, kitchen laundry and my husband’s and mine along with whatever else gets thrown in.xxx
But then there’s still the mix-ups of missing socks and underwear.  There always seems to be unmatched socks and seems to happen within days after new socks are put into the laundry.  And, it can cause the girl drama whose socks are whose and who is wearing whose socks.  What has helped is each child has their own laundry basket.  But this has not eliminated the lost socks and undies, until . . . I started their own individual 
 Mesh Laundry Bags.

20150801_194921It certainly didn’t end all drama and as with trying to get into any new habit, it requires nagging reminding and more nagging reminding. When the kids finally realize they can always have clean, matching socks, it can inspire them!  Another thing that helped, was I put a key ring on the zipper part of the mesh bags, so they can be hung on a hook in their closet or over a hanger. Again, it keeps the Mesh Laundry Bags within easy access.

NOTE:  I was given a set of the Mesh Laundry Bags at a discounted cost in exchange for my honest, unbiased review and blog post.

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asn’t it amazing to see how well, God’s Not Dead movie went over?!?! I just received the following press release, to share!  I am excited to see this sequel!  

GND2 - First photo(Los Angeles, CA) Pure Flix, the largest independent faith film studio just wrapped production for God’s Not Dead 2: He’s Surely Alive.This film is the highly anticipated follow-up to the immensely successful God’s Not Dead, which grossed over $60 million last year at the box office. God’s Not Dead 2 features a star-studded cast that includes: Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey), Jesse Metcalfe (Dallas),David A. R. White (God’s Not Dead), Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), Sadie Robertson (Duck Dynasty), Robin Givens (Head of The Class), Fred Thompson (Law & Order), Maria Canals-Barrera (Cristela), with Pat Boone and Ray Wise (Robocop).

Other returning cast favorites include: Trisha LaFache (Amy Ryan), Benjamin Onyango (Reverend Jude), Paul Kwo (Martin Yip), andNewsboys (Michael Tait, Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein, and Jody Davis).

About God’s Not Dead 2:
Scheduled to be released in theaters Easter 2016, God’s Not Dead 2 will have audiences standing unashamedly and firmly in their faith during a time when it seems increasingly unfavorable and divisive to do so in the public square. The film takes audiences back to Hope Springs, Arkansas … home not only of Hadleigh University, but also of Martin Luther King Jr. High School, where beloved teacher of the year Grace Wesley (Hart) helps students understand and enjoy history. Grace’s love of teaching, her love of life, and her love of people all come from the same place: her love of Christ. So when Brooke (Orrantia), a hurting student grieving the loss of her brother, finds Grace at a coffee shop, their conversation naturally leads to Grace sharing with Brooke the hope she finds in Christ. However, when Brooke asks an honest question about Jesus during a lesson Grace is teaching about Dr. King and Gandhi, Grace’s answer lands her in big trouble—almost before she finishes giving her reasoned response. With the principal (Givens) and superintendent teaming up with a zealous civil liberties group represented by an attorney with no love lost for God, Grace faces an epic court case with, the help of a sympathetic and charismatic defense lawyer (Metcalfe), that could cost her the career she had always dreamed of—and expel God from the classroom once and for all. In a story that could easily be pulled from today’s headlines, it’s good to remember some things will always remain the same: “God IS Surely Alive!”

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aving had married off three of our children, we know the expenses of weddings and we did quite low cost ones at that.  One of our son-in-laws chose to have the guys buy their suits, and this actually saved money.  The cost of tuxedos sure can add up, with not only the cost of the rental but the driving to and from the chosen place, some times quite a distance off.

I just noticed on Amazon these Luciano Natazzi Men’s Modern Fit Two Button Faint Faint Pinstripe Navy Suits are on sale for $130-$170 which are normally, $550.  That’s quite a bit off!

In reading the reviews, I did notice these run small, so if you order, be sure to order at least one size up!

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often see him  at the gas station, walking down the sidewalk, and a couple of days ago, in McDonald’s.  He greets and smiles at people.  He makes most people nervous and avoid eye contact.  He smells.11650727_10153477225120439_1192076113_n (2)

He is our local homeless man. He is usually looking for pop cans, digging through the trash at the gas station, grocery store or along the streets.  Sometimes he is pushing a small cart.

This particular morning, I was stressed. Our situation with one car and the kids needing and wanting to go everywhere during the summer, me dealing with a knee that tells me I can’t do it all, and the joy gets sucked out.  I was having a private pity party at McDonald’s while my husband ordered us some senior coffees.  Yup, feeling old too.

And then he sat down across from me.  And my pity party dissolved.  He probably just turned in pop cans.  His pants were too torn to carry a wallet.  So, he carried his money in a plastic grocery bag. He was smiling. So were his eyes. If he can smile and have joy, where’s mine? I carry a large purse with my laptop, wallet, essential oils, cell phone, etc.  My nails were polished (and chipping) and he wore gloves someone probably gave him for while he looks for pop cans.  And I was complaining about a car and being tired and how to do it all.

A McDonald’s employee brought him over a coffee and breakfast meal.  Someone blessed him with it. His eyes shined more as he opened up a simple breakfast sandwich he did not have to use his pop can money with. God provided for this man.  I have seen over and over how He has provided for us.

An old hymn comes to mind, my dad used to sing . . .

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

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Finding new joy in the morning

Posted: July 2, 2015 in Family

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t’s been about a year off from regular blog writing here. Little did I know when I took a “short time off” from blogging  that God was preparing me for taking more time off when our lives hit a sandbar in the middle of the treacherous ocean and needed extra recovery time.  11693160_10153489341700439_1256981516_nSlowly, we are seeing how God is bringing beauty out of ashes, redemption and once again, joy in the morning.  It’s been some pretty long nights, and the clouds still become quite overcast at times, yet, we appreciate the rainbows more than ever.  I am learning more to stop and see and enjoy the small things that God created for enjoyment. Our baby lamb following our small MorkiePoo dog around, thinking it’s a dog, even into the house, brings new sparks of joy and laughter.  Our almost two year old granddaughter brings such new delights and joy filled air, especially when she says all on her own, I wuv you gama”. And a new grandbaby due in a few short weeks certainly brings wonderful renewed anticipations with new joyful mornings in the horizon.  Life is precious and worth fighting for, no matter what age.

My heart is not into sharing details but God was and is with us along this rocky terrain, even when He seems distant. When bad seemed bad enough, the storms was at the darkest when my dad died last September.  I traveled to his funeral on my birthday when it had been my hope to visit him, knowing his days were short.  I’ve sweet phone conversations tucked away in my heart and a message my dad left on my phone I replay every so often, hearing his caring, yet weakened voice that I now imagine back to it’s strong baritone boom. The hug good-bye I was yearning for, is postponed and exchanged for a “welcome home” hug someday, when all will be redeemed including heart, mind and body, all completely healed. I so look forward to it as never before. I imagine him talking to my son, Matthew, whom he only had met once on earth, and meeting our daughter, Angela, for the first time.  I wonder what their talks are like.  I am a bit jealous!  I miss talking to him more as time goes on since it was really my only contact with him for many years.  I miss his encouragements and him telling me he’s praying. Despite these heartaches, I am reminded in this song,

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

So we continue this race, not always bravely, while Jesus always remains faithful.  He’s shown Himself in amazing ways when the pit was pretty deep, dreary and lonely and tears seemed ceaseless.  One of the major life changes for us, after 22 years of homeschooling, our five youngest children went to public school – not without tears from this mama or our youngest.  It was not all good – nor, was it all bad.  Our children did amazing and had many wonderful caring teachers, including numerous Christian teachers that went out of their way to help our children adjust…and my youngest’s teacher encouraging me with a hug when I left him in tears, also telling me she’d be praying for him, and me.  Another retired teacher, an elderly grandfatherly figure in the children’s lives, would visit them at school, eat lunch with them and participate in special activities at school with them and even took them shopping before school started for backpacks and school supplies. They did great academically, and honor roll awards line our refrigerator. I am thankful for good friends the children have found and the opportunities they have had to share Jesus and be a light in a dark world. Most mornings my send off words to them has been, “shine for Jesus“.   They did, better than me many days!

During this past year, I did not stop writing.  Though I did not write here, I wrote many letters and filled up many journal pages writing to God.  My mind writes a lot – and I think of how I should write things down – and too many times, I don’t.  The Psalms remain my healing balm. Susie Larson’s Daily Blessings hit my heart almost on a daily basis this past year, with yes, Jesus, I need that.   Here’s today’s for “An Expectant Day” and maybe it will stir your heart as it did mine:

May God Himself restore to you something you lost and never thought you’d get back again.
May He heal a soul wound you thought you’d never get over.
May He pour out an abundance of joy and hope that makes you celebrate before the answer comes.
And may thriving, rich faith mark your life in every way.
You have access to the Most High God.
May you live accordingly. Have an expectant day today! 

And so, I will jot some thoughts down here and there, most likely in a different format. I will be doing more with product reviews and sharing links to my Amazon reviews I continue to do.  Thank you to the many who wrote notes asking where my blog posts are.  I’m sorry I did not answer most, but your prayers were and are appreciated.