Escape from Planet Earth!

Sometimes as a blog author I get opportunities to promote products or try them out in response for my honest opinion of things.  Most of the time I say no as I believe that you the reader probably don’t want to read about things like eternity headbands or the latest dusting innovation. I figure if you come here you want to read about my random daily interactions with God and the crazy food we eat.  Or if not you’re likely a friend who comes to make me happy. Whatever the reason it’s probably not for promotions, but last night when I got home I opened my email and found a fun one.  The Senior Manager of Digital PR & Social Media Marketing for the company responsible for promoting William Shatner’s next movie had contacted me to see if I wanted to promote this movie on my blog.  That’s right, I said William Shatner.  The original Kirk who frolicked with Tribbles.  The original Star Trek Enterprise Captain. How could I say no? Even though I immediately wanted to say yes I did have to do some research on the movie so I dug a little and liked what I saw.

The movie is called Escape from Planet Earth and it looks adorable.  Opening on February 15th nationwide, it’s all about the little guy saving the day.  I enjoy a good underdog movie and this one looks really sweet. I expect there will be teamwork and action, adventure and lots of laughs.  The voice talent is stacked with personal favorites like William Shatner and Brendan Fraser along with Rob Corddry and SJP {Sarah Jessica Parker}. I think it’s going to be fun and a movie that I can enjoy with my son is always a winner in my book. Check out the trailer:

Now you might be thinking what’s in this for me?  Why are you telling me all about this movie Becky?  Well that social media marketing company offered to send a gift pack to one of my readers including a tattoo sheet, activity book & crayons, and a backpack clip along with a 25$ Visa gift card.  Pretty fun, right? I thought so. I wish my son could enter as he would love it!

While there is only one winner of the gift pack I do have a treat for everyone. Along with the gift pack, they sent along some digital valentines that you can download and print if you’re looking for unique designs that no one in the class will have.  Also they could be a fun way to jazz up some homemade valentines with pictures.  You can find those here:

Last but definitely not least I have discovered a pretty funny app for the iPhone {and Android if you’re into that kind of thing} that allows you to pose with a character from the movie and read the story. My son is currently obsessed with taking pictures of himself so I think this will definitely get a workout!

If you’d like to win the gift pack enter below with a comment stating your favorite family film.  The winner will be chosen with the help of Random.org after the giveaway closes on Wednesday February 13 at midnight.  One entry per person please.  Unfortunately this giveaway is limited to residents of the USA.  I promise a good one for the rest of you soon!

Escape-from-Planet-Earth- Image - Copy

P.S. – If you’re looking for more information you can find it at their website: Escape from Planet Earth

P.P.S. – I was compensated for this review and giveaway.  Not enough that I can take you all to the Olive Garden for dinner but enough that I think I can swing that for me and those who I love. Regardless as you know my opinions are mine and mine alone.  I was not influenced in any way and have told my honest thoughts and feelings in this review.

UPDATE:  The winner is Ashley Hewell! She was selected thanks to some help from our friends at Random.org.  Thank you all for entering!

The one where I admit that I am terrible at social media.

This is the one.  The one post where I admit the darkest thing any blogger could admit.  Here it comes.  My biggest blogging sin. I am terrible at social media. There I said it.  I’m terrible at twitter and connecting through 140 characters.  I like face to face interaction over coffee at a coffee shop.  I like to hear stories and really know people.  I find 140 characters very limiting.

It’s really hard to tell a story in 140 characters.  Take the story of God’s love for example:

God loves you.  Jesus came.  Lived a great life.  Loved, taught, shared and died – for you.  Now he wants us to share this news with others. 

It misses out on the key points right?  What about all those years God tried to get into relationship with us?  What about all the wandering and moving and leaving and running that happened before God finally said enough is enough I’m coming down there?  Where’s the salvation and hope and glory that goes with it?  There’s a lot missing when you can only speak in 140 characters.

It goes beyond just getting the point into 140 characters or less.  I also have a hard time remembering to do it.  One of the things I work very hard at doing is not becoming obsessed with my phone.  It’s hard. Really, really hard.  Some days all I want to do is sit and receive the instant gratification that knowing my posts were read/commented on or the entertainment that twitter can provide.  Somedays I want to but I know how annoying it is to sit at a table with someone at lunch and be ignored because they’re texting someone more important than me.  I make the choice daily not to do this as it’s not a nice feeling to be ignored.  So I don’t have my phone with me all the time.  I annoy people because I don’t instantly respond and that doesn’t serve me well in social media.  You need to be connected to be a social media maven.  I am not always connected.

My life is not lived entirely online and for that my blog might suffer.  There are people I see and interact with who matter to me.  I want to be present in their lives and also present in my own.  Life moves too quickly and I’m really trying to be present for it.  In the last month I’ve gone offline for a large chunk of the day.  I’ve enjoyed more of what life has to offer.  I’m present in the moment.  I read and devour books that I previously didn’t think I had time for.  I’ve been getting more done and I really like what that means for my life.  I have more time and I appreciate that time.

I’m terrible at social media but I’m okay with it.  I may not carry my phone with me wherever I go or tweet my news as it happens but I think that’s okay.  My life is lived here, in the present.  My time is spent with those I care about and I am able to use Twitter and Facebook for what they were meant to be used.  As a means to connect but not the entire connection.  I love the people I’ve met through the blog and twitter but somedays I wish we could just sit down and have coffee together.  I’m terrible at social media but I am pretty good at the face to face stuff.  I guess in the end that’s all that matters, right?

So now I turn the conversation over to you.  Are you good at social media?  Does it come naturally to you?  And if you are how do you manage your time so that it doesn’t eat up your life?   I’d love to know.

Things I love. The pre-fall edition.

The seasons are about to change. It’s in the air. We went from warm days and warm nights to warmish days and cool nights. Today is a rainy, chilly day and my son and I are staying in doors. Tea of the peppermint green tea variety will be enjoyed. Books shall be read. We may even bake cookies. I have a few books I need to finish for review {I’ve got Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley waiting for me on my iPad but I have to finish the others first!} and I think today will help me get at least part of the way there.

It’s a lovely day. There are many things to be grateful for and a lot to love in my life right now. Fall is coming, my favorite season. We all sat around the TV watching football last night. Requests are being filed for mashed potatoes and gravy. There are blankets and candles and warm beverages to enjoy. As much as I’ve loved summer, I will also love fall.  Here are a few of the things we’re already enjoying.

If you can get your hands on this candle, do so! It smells like apple pie in our house when it’s on and it requires no effort on my part. It’s most excellent. I’m also a fan of the Apple Pumpkin variety. It’s also quite decadent and definitely brings fall into the house.


I’ve been waiting since July to wear these jeans. They are the perfect shade of not quite but almost black. They have just the right amount of flair and they are ridiculously soft. I picked them up off a clearance rack for 25$ at Banana Republic while we were shopping for some golf shirts for my husband. I am in love!


I may have the coldest feet in the world.  I’m not making this up, ask my husband.  I also never wear socks.  I should but I don’t.  I wrap my feet in blankets instead.  This blanket is particularly lovely and I dug it out this week.  It’s soft and warm.  Everyone should have a blanket like this.

My tomatoes are growing like crazy.  I have some on the counter ripening {if they’ve fallen off or are just about there}.  They are great in sauces or raw.  They are delicious and moist.  I’m enjoying the fruits of my harvest and am excited for the larger tomatoes which are just starting to turn.  Thinking about the harvest has got me excited for squash and pumpkins and pie.  It’s going to be a delicious season.

Speaking of a delicious fall I’ve recently dug out one of my favorite cookbooks.  With requests coming in for comfort food I’ve been looking for different ways to incorporate healthy ingredients into the meals we eat.  Colleen Patrick-Goudreau never fails to come up with great options.

These are some of the things I’m enjoying right now but what about you? I’d love to know what things you love. How are you preparing for fall?

 

A new home.

My first post from my new home.  It feels pretty good.   I’m grateful for the amazing assistance of Kelly from Twenty70 hosting as she’s the one who got me here.  I’m grateful for work my husband has done helping me install and perfect the new look.   I couldn’t have made the switch without the help of these two fantastic individuals.

That said, what do you think?  Does it suit?  I think so.

I feel good and settled now so I guess it’s time to get back to work.  Tomorrow we will continue with our 28 days of Faith and Food series as we explore Daniel and his relationship with food.   There’s a delicious Spicy Mac’ recipe coming your way and if I can manage it you might just get a chickpea burger out of me as well.  There are stories to tell and adventures to share so I’d best get started writing!

Moving the blog.

I really love this blog.  I’ve enjoyed it as a place to discuss and dream.  In this place new friends have met old, stories have been shared and people have connected.  I really have enjoyed my time on wordpress.com.

That said I’ve felt a prodding lately.  Opportunities have come my way that I’ve sadly had to pass up. I was feeling a little constrained in terms of design and personalization and wanted more from the blog.  I kept feeling like it was time to move but wasn’t listening to those feelings.  I was ignoring that urge and just kept plugging along.  Until now that is.  I’ve finally decided to listen.

I’ve found a host, I’m taking the leap and I’m going to build the site I feel is right for me.  At first you won’t notice a difference, the domain name will remain the same and the format will be as well but as time passes and I get a little more comfortable I’ll be able to personalize it, I’ll be able to make it more of what I think it should be and I’m excited about that possibility.

That being said I’m absolutely terrified.  I’m terrified of failure, of having made the wrong decision.  I worry about losing all of my followers and you are lovely people, I don’t want to lose you.  I wonder if I’m misinterpreting this prodding and have gone off in a direction I shouldn’t go.

Ultimately I cannot live a life in fear, I must take that leap of faith and I think now is the time.  When we are frozen in fear we are frozen in place and that is never a good thing.  Without movement there is no growth, without growth there is no opportunity.

If you have subscribed through email I should be able to keep that going.   I hope so anyways!  If you have subscribed through wordpress.com we may lose touch for a while.  I hope you come over to my site http://ministrytomotherhood.com and visit.  I’ll have a subscription service set up or you can catch my RSS feed through your reader so we can reconnect.

It’s time to make the move.  It’s time to act in faith knowing that what comes next will be another interesting adventure…

A letter to the bunny.

Dear Bunny,

I’ve been attempting to co-exist with you for many months now.  I understand that you require a place to live and am happy to let you live in my backyard rent free.  There are however some rules that were explained to you when you moved in that you seem to have forgotten.  I’ve written them here as a bit of a refresher for you.

  1. Parsley is off limits.  We’ve cultivated our lawn to be a rabbit’s paradise. Filled with clover {and lots of it} you’re more than welcome to eat that. Unfortunately the parsley is mine, you have to stop eating it before I get the chance.
  2. While I would prefer that you stay away from the strawberries as well my primary issue with your consumption of said berries is the fact that you don’t actually like them.  Taking my berries, eating a piece and throwing the rest on the ground is wasteful.  I would enjoy eating my berries {again I point you to the clover if you are hungry}.
  3. Finally I’d like to remind you that there is an absolute buffet of clover for you to eat in the yard proper.  Please eat it.  Encourage your children to eat it.  I’ve seen you all lazily lying in the grass.  It’s time to start pulling your weight around here if you wish to stay.

Sincerely,

A frustrated gardener

Blissdom Canada here I come…

If you scroll down the page and look on the right hand side you’ll notice a button that screams “It’s mapletastic”.  That’s right, Blissdom Canada is ‘mapletastic’ and I’m going.  I guess as a Canadian I would be mapletastic too but we can get into that another day.   It’s actually a little funny that I’ve signed up for a social media/blogger conference as let’s face it

  1. I’m not that great a social media
  2. I have a blog and love it but it often gets swept to the side when life happens.
  3. I’m actually quite shy in real life and am slightly terrified at the notion of meeting people without ‘the job’ to fall back on.

As a minister I get to listen to people’s stories.  I don’t have to tell many.  I will say that I am a chatty person once I get to know you and I’m sure some people who have met me will think I’m not shy but trust me, I am.  I am a shy introvert. I love quiet time alone, it’s where I find my bliss.   Doesn’t mean I don’t love people, I just happen to love time away from them too.

Nevertheless, I think this will be an excellent experience.  Right now in my life God seems to be calling me into a different type of ministry.  I write, I engage people in the community and I just generally exist in my own little world.  This new way of ministry could benefit from some assistance in the social media field and networking with other bloggers is never a bad thing.   I am excited to learn more about engaging readers and building community.  I want to explore where I’m going with the blog and how I do it better.

So now I wait.  I wait for 155 days to be exact.
It should be interesting…

If God dropped by.

There is a tree in my front yard that is absolutely beautiful.  It flowers in the spring.  Has lots of full green leaves in the summer.  In the fall it turns color and begins to change into the stark stoic tree of winter.   Around dusk, when the light turns just the right shade, when the wind is blowing at just the right speed and the sun is at just the right height in the sky, it looks like it’s on fire.

The first time it happened I actually went out to examine the tree.  I knew it wasn’t on fire but it looked so strange and otherworldly.  It was quite the effect.  It’s happened a few times since and I enjoy the beauty that happens during that  exact mix of time, light and sun.  It’s quite a sight to behold.

When it happens I wonder how Moses felt when God made huge public displays of his presence.  My little light trick pales in comparison to the living, breathing God stepping into your presence by lighting a bush on fire or appearing as a swirling cloud.  Would Moses and the Israelites have taken these signs for granted?  Did they just get used to God’s big, bold appearances?

I wonder why those things don’t happen now.  Do they happen and we just don’t see them?  There are so many times I look back on a situation and realize how present God was with me but I missed it at the time.

Do you think God gets missed in the every day?  Would we even notice a burning bush these days?

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if God dropped by…

Disaster

My son has discovered a new word.  No.  {thanks Dad}

Strung together like a long word the repeated practice of no becomes nononononono and it echos through my home.   Would you like a cookie?  No.  Would you like a hug?  No.  Would you like a shower?  NONONONONONONO

He hates showers.

I should be happy.  It’s another word for his repertoire.  He’s now able to say all kinds of things like yellow, look, monkey, bubble, and why.  I would have though why would be the worst word.  It’s not.  No is.

When the answer to everything is no, the person asking the question can be quite frustrated.  On one level it’s entertaining.  On another, I just shake my head.

I wonder if this is how God feels when my instant reaction to difficult things is ‘no’.  Maybe I should give it chance and say ‘perhaps’.

Ten reasons I’m looking forward to the summer

I’m looking forward to the summer.  The sun, sand and swings are waiting.  I’m also anxious for strawberries.  Here are 10 things I’m looking forward to most:

  1. Warm summer nights.  There are few things nicer than sitting on the deck while a warm summer breeze blows at days end.
  2. Peaches.  The sweet, tangy fruit that drips down your chin while you eat it is one of my favorites.  I cannot get enough of them.  There are also strawberries and raspberries and well you get the point.
  3. BBQ.  I know we’re plant based now but there are so many things that belong on my BBQ.  From tempeh burgers to grilled mushrooms the possibilities are endless and waiting to be explored.
  4. Picnics in the park.  I just can’t wait until we can hit the park with our backpack filled with snacks and lunch so we can play all day.
  5. Watching the sunset on the deck overlooking the lake.  We don’t live right on the lake but there are plenty of restaurants that have beautiful decks with delicious food and a great view.  It’s one of my favorite date night activities with my husband.
  6. I love relaxed church!  As congregations get smaller and shorts start to appear in the pews I find people are more relaxed and people seem happier.
  7. Afternoons spent reading on the back deck.  My summer reading tends to be light and fluffy but it’s oh so enjoyable.  A glass of iced tea and a good book make for the perfect summer afternoon.
  8. I love to hike and explore the countryside.  We often hike while on vacation and love to go on long walks by the lake when we’re home.  I can’t wait to get back on the trails.  Perhaps I should begin training…
  9. Leisurely visits with friends.  As many of my friends are ministers and others are in school or have children in school I find that the best time for getting together is the summer when things quiet down.  With BBQs and get togethers happening weekly there’s no excuse to not see one another.
  10. Sandals.  I love when the weather is warm enough that I don’t needs to wear socks it means summer really has arrived.
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