-->

Family-Friendly Entertainment

Mompact Meet the Moms Giveaway

5/31/12
Mompact.com is hosting an amazing giveaway of products made by Moms, for Moms that help promote independence and make growing up just a little bite easier! The products are AqueDuck, Baby Dipper Bowl, 3R Cards Chore Chart, Antsy Pants, Thumbuddy $100 Value




Here are some reviews of these amazing products! 

Aqueduck
http://www.simmworksfamily.com/2012/05/creating-independent-child-with.html
http://jadelouisedesigns.com/how-aqueduck-faucet-extender-can-help-your-child-be-more-independent/
http://www.mommytesters.com/2012/04/aqueduck-brilliant-toddler-must-have.html

Baby Dipper 
http://koalafuzz.blogspot.com/2012/05/meet-moms-giveaway.html"
http://www.hottmamainthecity.com/2012/05/baby-dipper-bowl-review-prize-pack.html"

3R Cards Chore Chart
http://homemaidsimple.blogspot.com/2012/05/growing-up-and-doing-it-yourself-chore.html"

Antsy Pants:
http://momvantage.net/antsy-pants-cloth-trainers/
http://www.wyominggirlcoastiewife.com/2012/05/preparing-for-potty-training.html
ttp://www.sunshinepraises.com/2012/05/praise-giveaway-growing-up-doing-it.html
http://rapowell.blogspot.com/2012/05/thumbuddy-to-love-reviewgiveaway-from.html


Disclosure:  I received no compensation for this post.  This giveaway is being hosted by Mompact and I am sharing it with my readers.

Wordless Wednesday: Best of Friends

5/30/12





For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Five Minutes for Mom.  You can also share your W/W post in the linky below.  

Coppin's Hallmark Gifts: My Pillow Pet Giveaway

5/29/12
"It's a Pillow....it's a Pet....It's a Pillow Pet!"

pillow pets
Remember that song?  It kinda gets stuck in your brain.   Originally, I found the commercials annoying and pretty much wrote it off as another t.v. infomercial gimmick.  What was so special about another stuffed animal?

My son wanted one of these many years ago but never got one.  I guess that is a mom fail for me.  Because these My Pillow Pets are actually pretty neat inventions.



Yes, it's another stuffed animal.  And yes, My Pillow Pet Panda is an awfully cute stuffed animal.  It's incredibly soft and cuddly.  This little guy is also machine washable on the gentle cycle (they recommend putting it inside a pillow case).  I ran it through the washer on "hand wash" and it came out just fine.  It is line dry, but it dries pretty quickly over night.

Its 18" is also a great size for my 17 month old.  It's a little big for her to carry, but she loves jumping on it and cuddling it.  And it will be something she can continue using as she grows.



But the pillow aspect of it is what my daughter really loves!

It has a velcro strap that you undo to allow the animal to lie flat on its belly and become a soft, cuddly pillow.
My Pillow Pet Panda, pillow pets


The velcro strip also has a soft cover you can place over it so it doesn't stick to anything like the carpet or your child's clothes (a big plus!).



I had to do some research to find out on the My Pillow Pets site that the recommended age on this is 3+.  As with other stuffed animals, if you have a younger child it will require supervision.  I also do not allow her to sleep with this at nap time or at bedtime yet.  When she is older, I'm sure she will enjoy using it at those times too.  For now, she lounges on it during the day while I am with her.


The panda is definitely a hit at our house!  (and has been borrowed by a few family members at times too)  I have my eye on this adorable matching My Pillow Pet Panda Blanket!


Something for everyone:

Coppin's Hallmark is one of the largest online Hallmark retailers in the US. They have a variety of gifts for the family ranging from jewelry like DaVinci beads, Willow Tree figurines, and toys and games like My Pillow Pet.



Giveaway:  
Coppin's Hallmark has generously offered one of my readers their choice of My Pillow Pet!



Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  


This giveaway is not in any way associated with or endorsed by Facebook or Twitter.  Giveaway Ends 6/13 at 12:01 AM.  US Residents **18 and older** only may enter. One entry per household and IP address.  Winner will be drawn using random.org and will have **48 hrs** to respond to email or another winner will be chosen. If mandatory entry is not completed, additional entries will not count.  No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.  Sponsor is responsible for shipping out the prize to the winner; I will not be liable for undelivered prizes.  


Disclosure:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free for the purpose of review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  

Enter to Win a $3000 Disney Cruise For Your Family

5/21/12


Here's the moment we've all been waiting for! Acadiana's Thrifty Mom has teamed up with American Family and an awesome group of bloggers to bring you our BIGGEST giveaway yet! 

One lucky fan will win a Disney Cruise for a family of 4 valued at $3000! That's right, a Disney Cruise ♥ This awesome giveaway is brought to you by American Family and Acadiana's Thrifty Mom, and hosted by Frugality For Less, and Debbie Does Coupons. GOOD LUCK! 

 *This giveaway is opened to U.S. residents only. You must be 18 years of age to enter to win. The winner will be responsible for transportation to and from the port of departure. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Google, Pinterest, or Twitter in any way. Please read HERE for complete rules.

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  This giveaway is being run by the blogs listed and their sponsors are providing the prizes; I'm one of the bloggers helping promote it.  

My Mother's Day Adventure

5/17/12
This year there was just one thing I wanted on Mother's Day:  to go on an adventure.  I wanted to soak up the beautiful sunny 70's weather we've been having, but also something that involved gardens.  There's just something about being surrounded by beautiful flowers on Mother's Day.  I didn't care if my allergies made me sneeze.


So I searched online for a place that would be fun for me as well as my hubby and a toddler (my son was at dad's for the weekend so we'd celebrate with him later).  


In my search, I found Hershey Gardens up in PA.  Moms get FREE admission on Mother's Day!  But that was a 2 1/2 hour drive for us each way.  Not a pleasant thought when your tot hates riding in the car for very long.  


children's gardens, clubhouse
Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD:  Children's Garden tree house
Then I found Brookside Gardens at Wheaton Regional Park.  This was less than an hour's drive and there was no park entry fee.  Not only did they have a 50 acre garden, and a nature center, but the park also has a miniature train, recently remodeled adventure playground , and a carousel.  This looked like the perfect place to explore. 


And it was!


Parking was pretty easy at 9:30 AM.  (I'm glad we got there early because it was pretty crazy later) 


We started our adventure in Brookside Gardens at the Visitor's Center.  A friendly person at the desk gave us a map and showed us the different garden displays and how to get there.  He also answered our questions about how to get to the other area of the park (there are separate entrances).


Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD:  Japanese Style Garden
Originally I was going to ask for a wheelchair, since I just got orthotics after my foot injury and wasn't sure I could walk well.  But I took the orthotics out of my shoes and decided to give it a try.



Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD:  Formal Gardens

After walking through many of the gardens (which was about as much walking as I could handle), we visited the Wings of Fancy Butterfly Exhibit.  There was an admission fee for this, but it was pretty reasonable and little miss was free.  Luckily we got there before the line was incredibly long; we had about a 15-20 minute wait.  They only let in groups of 10 people at a time so it doesn't get overcrowded.  


Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD: Wings of Fancy Butterfly Exhibit




The Attic Baby was fascinated with the butterflies!  Unfortunately, none of them landed on us.  I think that would have been fun!




butterflies, Brookside Gardens, Maryland
Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD:  Wings of Fancy Butterfly Exhibit

It got a bit hot inside, so we left and made our way back to the parking lot to venture into Wheaton Regional Park.  We bought tickets for the carousel (again little miss was free) and The Attic Baby took her first ride on a horse.  She seemed okay at first, but once it started going around a few times, she got scared and cried.  Her daddy had to hold her the rest of the ride.  I think next time we visit, we'll go on the train.


You can picnic in the park, but we went out to eat on our way home.  It was the perfect way to spend my Mother's Day.  If you're ever in the area, this park is definitely a must-see for family fun!


Disclosure:  This was not a paid post.  This was shared for the enjoyment of my readers.  All photos are captioned per Brookside Gardens photography policy.

Backwards Blog Tour: Pursuit of Proverbs 31








Guest Post:  Author/Blogger Amy Bayliss

It's amazing how often we can allow ourselves to become surrounded by stuff we really don't want or need. Yet we hold on to it and spend precious time caring for it. Over the last year I’ve been simplifying and minimizing our household.

It all started when we were going to move. I read all of the “how to sell your house fast” information and the one thing all the experts agreed upon was that if you wanted to make your home more appealing to buyers you needed to get rid of the clutter. I didn’t realize how silly that statement was until I had done it. 

I made myself comfortable on the sofa and just took in my surroundings. I wasn’t really prepared for how I felt. As I laid back, enjoying my home, free of burdensome, dust-ridden knick-knacks and stuff I’d probably never use, an overwhelming peace come over me. I was enjoying my home. I had not done that in a while. That’s probably when it hit me. The fact that I was only content in my home when I’d prepared it for someone else. And, if I was able to live without this stuff for the duration of our home being on the market then did I really need it? If getting rid of all of that made my home more appealing to others— and me—then why keep it? Choose to surround yourself with things that you really love. Keeping the home simple saves time, energy, and space.

If you've ever wanted to tear the 31st chapter of Proverbs out of your bible this book is for you. She is a wife, mom, business owner, seamstress, she serves the needy, speaks life and wisdom, and seems to be quite the major overachiever, perfectionist type. Except that...she's not. 






Come along and journey with Amy and take a look at the real woman of Proverbs 31. She isn't as perfect as she seems. In fact, I think she is a lot like you and me. If you want the Kindle version, get it here: Pursuit of Proverbs 31 for Kindle. You can also download the free Kindle app on your PC, iPad, iPhone, or many other devices. For the downloadable, printable PDF version, get it here: Pursuit of Proverbs 31
Amy Bayliss

Amy is a small town Cajun girl living life in the big city. She and her husband Ryan have four children, all boys, ranging in age from toddler to teen! Amy is a full-time blogger and WP designer at My Southern Media. You can visit her at her personal blog, Cajun Joie de Vivre or you can follow her ramblings on Twitter and keep up with her mischief on Facebook.

Visit the other blogs on the Backwards Blog Tour:


Day 1:   Recognize God as the source -- http://www.themominitiative.com/ 
Day 2:   Spend more time with Him in the everyday -- http://www.milkandcookiesblog.com/ 
Day 3:   Ask Him to change your heart and open your eyes -- http://lifeasmomceo.blogspot.com/ 
Day 4:   Take inventory of your expectations -- http://www.piecesofamy.blogspot.com/
Day 5:   Be willing to surrender your mindsets  -- http://thequeenmommy.com/the-blog/
Day 6:   Discover the person God created you to be -- http://www.theencouraginghome.com/
Day 7:   Define your purpose -- http://diannaauton.com/
Day 8:   Create goals and a plan -- http://thecandidpastorswife.com/
Day 9:   Work on one thing at a time -- http://www.bethanylebedz.blogspot.com/
Day 10: When you fall get back up -- http://www.positivelyalene.com/
Day 11: Develop a support system -- http://www.granolamom4god.com/
Day 12: Ask your husband -- http://www.thechuppies.blogspot.com/ 
Day 11: Ask your kids -- http://www.gratefulwithtwo.com/ 
Day 12: Practice living in the now -- http://shelleyring.wordpress.com/ 
Day 13: Never stop learning -- http://maryhess.com/ 
Day 14: Making time work for you -- Http://thepelsers.com 
Day 15: The art of managing -- http://www.momwithheart.com/ 
Day 16: Find an efficient way to work them -- http://repurposedmind.wordpress.com/ 
Day 17: Be aware of your surroundings -- http://www.atticgirl.com/ 
Day 18: Consider your resources http://www.centsiblestewardship.com/ 
Day 19: Unleash your Creativity -- http://theemptynestexpress.com/
Day 20: Get out of the "it's for me" mindset -- http://tarasviewoftheworld.com/ 
Day 21: Implement meaningful activities in the home -- http://bethcranford.com/ 
Day 22: Set a family night -- http://christianmommyblogger.com/ 
Day 23: Don't compare yourself -- http://tgmagazine.wordpress.com/ 
Day 24: Be a master planner - http://www.multitaskingmama.com/ 
Day 25: Schedule a prep day for cooking, homemaking, and activities -- http://www.simplylivingforhim.com/ 
Day 26: Yes, there is a ministry inside of you - http://www.InspiredDesignPublications.blogspot.com 
Day 27: Do you have to do it all? http://chelseythall.com/ 
Day 28: How are you like the Proverbs 31 woman? http://triplebraidedlife.com 
Day 29: Consider your faith. http://inamirrordimly.net/  
Day 30: Find inspiration. http://www.servingfromhome.com/ 
Day 31: Remember it is all about Him. http://intentionalbygrace.com/


Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post. This post is shared for the enjoyment of my readers because I love to support authors and fellow bloggers. 
 

Wordless Wednesday: Perfect Reading Spot

5/16/12
Maryland parks, reading, gardens
Brookside Gardens, Wheaton Regional Park

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit Five Minutes for Mom.  If you have a W/W post, feel free to share it in the linky below.


Harlem Globetrotters Summer Clinics Keep Your Kids Active

5/15/12

For the very first time, the Harlem Globetrotters are conducting summer skills clinics to bring boys and girls ages 6-14 behind the curtain to see the Globetrotters’ electrifying skills and tricks, while also having fun staying active.

The clinics will take place at approx. 40- 24 Hour Fitness Clubs in 9 states over a 10-week period.

summer activities for kids, sports, basketball, Harlem Globe Trotters

What they will learn and do:

Drills! - stars will coach the fundamentals - shooting, dribbling and passing
Skills! -stars will lead fun scrimmages and games
Thrills! -stars will help kids create their own signature move, perform a Magic Circle on court AND give them their own personalized HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS nickname!



Each participant will also receive:

  • A free ticket voucher (valued up to $40) to see the Globetrotters during their 2013 World Tour
  • Autographs and photos with the stars!
  • 3-day trial pass to 24 Hour Fitness


Clinic Locations:

Phoenix 
Houston     
San Francisco       
New Jersey
Denver        
Dallas        
Los Angeles         
Seattle
St Louis       
Miami       
Las Vegas


Save $10 on registration! Enter the Coupon Code USFAMILY on the cart page after completing your registration or mention when calling 1-800-641-HOOP (4667) 


(Space is limited to give kids maximum interaction with the stars)

Disclosure:  I was not paid  for writing this post.  As a US Family Guide Blogger, I will receive a promotional product for participating in this campaign.  All opinions are my own.






Disney/Pixar's BRAVE Mother's Day Spot

5/14/12


There's something special about the relationship between mothers and daughters. I truly love my mom. We may butt heads from time to time, but always have each other's backs.  I imagine I'll probably have that same kind of relationship with my daughter.  


  This latest clip from Disney Pixar's upcoming movie BRAVE says it all.


   


I hope that you had a wonderful Mother's Day! 





Set in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland, Disney•Pixar’s “Brave” follows the heroic journey of Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald), a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to change her fate, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) andcantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane), unleashing chaos in the kingdom. When she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters), she is granted an ill-fated wish and the ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her resources—including her mischievous triplet brothers—to undo a beastly curse and discover the meaning of true bravery. Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and produced by Katherine Sarafian, “Brave” is a grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and signature Pixar humor. Opens on June 22, 2012, in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.


For another sneak peek at the movie, view the trailer The Prize.

To keep up with the latest news on BRAVE coming to theaters June 22nd:

Like BRAVE on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PixarBrave 
Follow BRAVE on Twitter: twitter.com/disneypixar



Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  Information was provided to me by Walt Disney Studios Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

Mother of Pearl Blog Series: Rhonda Shrock

5/13/12

Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother's Day blog series - a week long celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today's best writer's (Tricia Goyer, Sheila Walsh, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Bonnie St. John, and more). I hope you'll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother's Day.


AND ... do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful hand crafted pearl necklace. To enter, just {CLICK THIS LINK} and fill out the short form. Contest runs 5/6-5/13 and the winner will on 5/14. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents.


If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we're all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls™ products (all GREAT Mother's Day gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.


And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother's Day!


What I Didn't Know by Rhonda Shrock


I always knew I wanted to be a mother.  As a girl, I played house with my dollies, shushing them when they cried and kissing their plastic heads.


Looking back at that girl, I realize now that there was a lot she didn't know.  This morning over my fresh-ground coffee, this mother of 22-1/2 years scratched out a list of 10 things she didn't know then that she knows now.


1.  I didn't know - how could I? - just how completely a tiny, helpless scrap of humanity can capture the heart and hold it forever.  From that first whooshing heartbeat and the first butterfly brushes, a mother's heart is never again her own.  For all eternity, it enlarges, walking and pulsing and moving outside of her body; in my case, in the shape of a blue-eyed boy with rooster tails.  Times four.


2.  I didn't know that the size of a mother's heart is always changing, stretching to embrace each new baby that comes, then growing again to love their friends and then their own families.


3.  I never knew, as I changed my dolly's dress, how many reasons there are to worry when you're a mama.   Didn't know about the nighttime vigils.  Didn't know the anxiety of separation, the terror that floods when you turn around in the grocery store and they're gone.  Didn't know about the fear of the pond next door or the concern that pays for swimming lessons.  Didn't know the thousand-and-one reasons that keep a mother awake, whispering prayers on her pillow in the dark.


4.  No one told me that loving so much means that you will hurt hard and keen;  that what pains your child hurts you even worse.  I didn't know then that a playground taunt travels through that smaller heart and lands square in yours, stinging and burning like fire.  I didn't know that motherhood makes lionesses of us all and that there'd be days I'd have to bite my tongue and pray to not sin.


5.  I didn't know how exhausting it is, being a mother.  I didn't know that it takes everything you've got and then some.  Didn't know the bone-deep exhaustion; how it strips you bare and shows how selfish you can be, but, too, that you have more strength than you know.


6.  I didn't know, playing house, how much joy mothers feel; joy so big that it makes up for the pain.  Just looking at those eyes and the curve of the cheek can make you so happy it hurts.  Watching them grow and find their talent and win at something...all the money in the world can never buy that kind of happiness.


7.  I didn't know how making babies and raising them, how it binds you to their father.  I didn't know the intimacy you feel when your eyes meet above those tousled heads, and your smiles say, "Just look at what we've done."


8.  That girl in the homemade dress, she didn't know that letting go is one of the hardest things a grown-up mama will ever do.  Rocking those babies in that small rocking chair, she didn't really know that babies grow up and walk away and there goes your heart, out into the big, wide world.  No one told her that part.


9.  I had no idea how rewarding it is, being a mother.  How the happiness that comes from boy kisses and awkward hugs can't be bought or sold.  How proud you feel when you see what they're growing up to be and that all the planting and pruning and watering and feeding is finally making fruit!


10.  I didn't know how much my babies would enrich my spiritual life or how they would change the way I pray.  I didn't realize they would lead me to a deeper dependence on the Heavenly Father or how I much I would need His wisdom to raise them aright.


These are things I didn't know before I was a mother.  But I know them now.  Oh, how I know them now!  And I’d do it all again.


###

Rhonda Schrock lives in Northern Indiana with her husband and 4 sons, ages 22, 18, 13, and 5. By day, she is a telecommuting medical transcriptionist. In the early morning hours, she flees to a local coffee shop where she pens “Grounds for Insanity,” a weekly column that appears in The Goshen News. She is an occasional guest columnist in The Hutch News.  She’s also blogged professionally for her son’s school of choice, Bethel College, in addition to humor and parenting blogs, and maintains her personal blog, “The Natives are Getting Restless.” She is a writer and editor for the magazine, "Cooking & Such:  Adventures in Plain Living."  She survives and thrives on prayer, mochas, and books.  





Exciting News – the latest Pearl Girls book, Mother of Pearl: Luminous Legacies and Iridescent Faith will be released this month! Please visit the Pearl Girls Facebook Page (and LIKE us!) for more information! Thanks so much for your support!






Mother of Pearl Blog Series: Carey Bailey

5/12/12

Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother's Day blog series - a week long celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today's best writer's (Tricia Goyer, Sheila Walsh, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Bonnie St. John, and more). I hope you'll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother's Day.


AND ... do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful hand crafted pearl necklace. To enter, just {CLICK THIS LINK} and fill out the short form. Contest runs 5/6-5/13 and the winner will on 5/14. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents.


If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we're all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls™ products (all GREAT Mother's Day gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.


And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother's Day!






He Will Walk With You by Carey Bailey


As a little girl, I loved baby dolls. Loved them! I played school, adoption agency, daycare operator and babysitter all day. I felt like I was born to be a mama. Therefore, I was a bit anxious when the ages, 22, 25, 28 and 32 came and went and there were no babies. Have you ever desired something so much and feared never getting it? That was me.


My day finally came at the age of 34. I soon realized that God knew what He was doing when He had me wait. To my shock, it wasn’t as easy as playing with dolls. I was surprised that it wasn’t the dream world I imagined it would be! I felt like life became a gigantic prayer.


“God, HELP me!”


“Please, God. Please, please, please make it all better. I can’t do this!”


“God, this feels impossible. Where are you?”


While I adore motherhood, it is harder and there are more adjustments than I expected. (I am hoping there are some nodding of heads and Amen’s being said out there in cyberworld.) Not only did I have a new life to care for, but my identity suddenly felt all scrambled up. It took me until my son was one to finally feel confident in my new role as a mother, confident that I could drop my child off at preschool without crying, confident that I could go out with the girls’ and the world wouldn’t fall apart, and confident that I could go on a date night and have conversations that didn’t revolve just around our son.


I was feeling settled in my new world and then WHAM! I discovered I was pregnant again. Can I be vulnerable with you? I actually cried when I found out. And they were not tears of joy. I feel awful saying that out loud, and I hope you will give me a moment to explain. It was not that I didn’t want another baby or feel like I couldn’t love a new life, it was just that I got scared. Discovering a little person was on the way sent a panic through me. Would my son still receive the love and attention that he deserved? How was my husband going to feel about my body changing again? Would I ever be able to pursue the vision I felt God had for me in writing and publishing? I was truly wondering if I was going to be able to handle another intense wave of identity crisis like the one I had just been through. I wasn’t sure.


God and I needed a serious talk. And in that conversation He carefully reminded me of this:


For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


He reminded me in our time together that I, too, am His child and He has every intention of loving me, caring for me, and giving me the future that He has planned for me.


As mothers, we can get so caught up in parenting that we forget that we, too, have a spiritual parent who loves us as His child. He loves you as much as He loves the children He has given you. He will never forsake you.  And on those days when motherhood seems too overwhelming and too impossible I step back and take a deep breath. Then I remember that this journey I am on, right now, is the one He has designed and create uniquely for me. I simply need to live in it, learn from it, and allow His love to sweep over and through me.


He will walk with me! He will walk with you! Grab His hand.


###


Carey Bailey is a recovering perfectionist, wife, proud mama, and the Family Life Director for her church in Arizona. She hosts an online community for moms called Cravings: desiring God in the midst of motherhood where she strives to make God time easier. Not less meaningful, just easier. She is the author of Cravings {The Devotional} which is a set of forty devotional flashcards for the mama on the go. Visit Carey online blog: www.cravingstheblog.blogspot.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CravingsOnline and Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/careycbailey/



Exciting News – the latest Pearl Girls book, Mother of Pearl: Luminous Legacies and Iridescent Faith will be released this month! Please visit the Pearl Girls Facebook Page (and LIKE us!) for more information! Thanks so much for your support!

Mother of Pearl Mother's Day Series: Bonnie St. John

5/11/12

Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother's Day blog series - a week long celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today's best writer's (Tricia Goyer, Sheila Walsh, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Bonnie St. John, and more). I hope you'll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother's Day.


AND ... do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful hand crafted pearl necklace. To enter, just {CLICK THIS LINK} and fill out the short form. Contest runs 5/6-5/13 and the winner will on 5/14. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents.


If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we're all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls™ products (all GREAT Mother's Day gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.


And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother's Day!


Stepping Out on Faith by Bonnie St. John

"Darcy . . .”


“Yeah, Mom?”


I momentarily held the undivided attention of my teenage daughter. Her thumbs, free of their ubiquitous texting keypad, quietly dangled by her side. Her computer and its omnipresent Facebook page were completely out of sight. I had almost forgotten what she looked like without all these adolescent accoutrements. As we sat down together on the burgundy leather sofa in our living room, I realized this fleeting state of electronic dislocation was my chance to hatch a plan I had been formu- lating for the past several weeks. Carpe diem.


“How would you like to write a book together?”


“About what?” I asked my mom. Write a book? This was a real surprise. I felt a bit suspicious, but still curious.  I love to write, and Mom kept telling me I was really good at it. I like writing poetry, fantasy, and sci-fi, though.  The books Mom wrote were all nonfiction.  I wondered what we could possibly do together.


“Well . . .” I hesitated. If I wanted her to commit to any extra work out- side her busy schedule at school—not to mention work alongside her mother—I had to make this really great. “It would be about women as leaders,” I continued, “a mother-daughter investigation into leadership styles and structures.”


“Leadership?” I blurted. It came out as if I had a bad taste in my mouth—which I did.  I couldn’t imagine a more boring topic to write about. What is there to say about leadership anyway? When you’re in charge, you just get things done, right? Who wants to talk about that?


Her furrowed brow told me I was losing her fast. “Um . . . we could find women leaders all around the world!” I said impulsively, frantically casting the ultimate bait.


“Really? Would we get to travel a lot?”  I hadn’t thought about that. Heck, I’d write about the mating habits of tsetse flies  if I got to go to Africa to do it!


But this project wasn’t just about the influence it would have on Darcy. I wanted to do something that could have a potent impact on an alarming trend I had witnessed in workplaces across the country: far too many women appeared to be making a choice not to apply for top leadership positions when presented with the opportunities to do so.


This project, then, was a bit of a Trojan horse. On the one hand, the saga of a mother-daughter journey could seduce female readers, who might never bother to read the Harvard Business School dissertations on the subject, into a meaningful conversation about leadership. At the same time, if Darcy met a series of brilliant, accomplished women— people even a cynical teen would be in awe of—perhaps they could tell her all the things I’d like her to know—and more.


And she just might listen.


But where to start? How would we make it work? I suggested we do most of our research by phone, as I did for How Strong Women Pray. My telephone interviews with a governor, some CEOs, actors, sports figures, a college president, and others yielded great stories and information. I promised my intrepid co-author, though, that we could punctuate these conversations with a few visits in person to exciting and exotic places—all with reasonably priced airfares.


“Why don’t we follow each subject as she goes about her daily life? That way our readers get to come along with us and get a behind- the-scenes look at what happens to them. Instead of just a boring interview, we—and our readers—get to hang around with these women, see them in their natural habitat, and even see how other people treat them.”


Although I agreed it was a wonderful approach, this idea of “job- shadowing” each featured subject wasn’t going to be easy. Would these high-powered, important women deign to allow us that kind of access? Would they be able to impart the kind of wisdom that would resonate with our readers and truly make a difference in their lives?  We looked at each other, both of us hooked on a crazy idea that we weren’t sure we could pull off.


“It sounds impossible, Darcy,” I said. “We might as well get started.”


And so, we stepped out . . . on faith.


###




Bonnie is a 1984 Paralympics silver medal winner in ski racing. Her education includes a degree with honors from Harvard, a Rhodes scholarship, and an M.Litt in Economics from Oxford.  Her career includes positions as an award-winning sales rep for IBM and a Clinton White House member of staff. She now is a much-in-demand speaker, who makes nearly 100 speeches each year to corporations and civic groups. You can visit her on the Web at www.bonniestjohn.com.




Re-printed with permission from How Great Women Lead by Bonnie St. John and Darcy Deane








Exciting News – the latest Pearl Girls book, Mother of Pearl: Luminous Legacies and Iridescent Faith will be released this month! Please visit the Pearl Girls Facebook Page (and LIKE us!) for more information! Thanks so much for your support!




Auto Post Signature

Auto Post  Signature