Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Motherland - A Time For Healing

Not long ago, I embarked on a challenge. I was to review an upcoming documentary, "Motherland", that features the lives of six women who were grieving the loss of a child. In the documentary, these women, in the deepest of mourning, were asked to participate in a journey to South Africa for 17 days and meet people of the country who experience losses on a daily basis to AIDS. The documentary was to look at the effects of the lives of the South Africans on these American women and to explore whether their grief could be "eased" by being in the presence of the South Africans.

Their Information


An honest and intimate look at the complexities of grief and healing, “Motherland” is about resilience, triumph of the human spirit and the power of unconditional love. It also reminds us of the vastly different ways in which disparate cultures confront deeply felt personal challenges.
Each year over eight million families around the world suffer the loss of a child. In Steinman’s moving and inspiring first feature, a 17-day trip to South Africa transforms the lives of six grieving women from across the US. Unexpectedly and eight thousand miles from home, each finds comfort and healing in a landscape that appears, at first, to offer little more than melancholy. Prior to their journey, the six intrepid women of “Motherland” have each suffered the death of a child but otherwise have little in common. And although the anticipation of a long, emotional journey with a group of strangers evokes anxiety, the women all share a desire to make sense of their tragedies and to move forward with their lives. They travel half way around the world where they live with local families and work with African organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children. As they come to know each other, they assist teachers in over-crowded day care centers, lead activities with abused and at-risk teens and help care for physically-challenged youth. The work is meaningful and rewarding and a welcome reprieve from the depression, isolation and stagnation of life at home. In the end, the women share not just their stories and their pain but themselves – with and for each other and even more profoundly, with the children who touch their hearts at every turn.

"Motherland" was the winner of this year's Emerging Visions Audience Award at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival. Its other awards include the Jury Prize for Best Feature at the 2009 Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival and Best Documentary at the 2009 California Independent Film Festival.

My Review

I am going to admit that I hesitated about viewing this documentary. I was afraid that, with all the grief portrayed in the documentary, I would not be able to watch it, much less give a review. I was very surprised.

I connected with these six women and felt their pain throughout the documentary but you could see the healing that was coming from it. One even commented about how much it helped that she did not have to go through the days "pretending" that everything was okay and that she was moving on. With this group of women who shared the same grief, she was able to receive an understanding that most did not have. She could cry or talk about her child, knowing that everyone there knew what she meant and how she felt.

I think that is so important for the healing process.

The ladies connected through their grief and the grief of those they met in South Africa. They visited the schools and the children and interacted in the lives of these people who suffer such great loss of life DAILY.

What I liked best about "Motherland" was watching the progress and "break thrus" of these women. They were healing themselves and the others just by sharing the most horrendous of tragedies: the death of a child.

I strongly suggest to you, my reader, that you view this documentary. Particularly if you are going through a tragedy such as this. You may not be able to run off to South Africa, but knowing that there are others like you and that you can join together to grieve and heal, well, that's very important.

I thank GOD that I have my child and he is well. I cannot imagine the pain and grief that these women suffered but I do know that somehow life must go on. I think "Motherland" can help to show you how.

"Motherland" opened nationally, today, August 26th. Please, take the time to view the trailer to this documentary HERE.

For an online screening of this digital film release, go HERE.

Thank you for stopping by, my friend. God Bless You!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Get in The Zone

If you have a teen at home, this scene is probably what you see every time you enter their room. Can they really live like this? Argh!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Never fear, Wal-Mart is here with their "teen" line called "Your Zone". It contains all you need to get your teen's room together and in the latest style.

For more information about "Your Zone" just click. You also may want to head over to Suzanne Calling and enter to win a $500.00 Wal-Mart gift card, perfect for a room makeover.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!

Yep, 4 years ago today, Ollie and I went out for the first time. We have been together ever since.

Not to be sappy, but, honestly, I never knew "this" existed. I had thought I was in love before, but it was nothing like it is with Ollie. He's my best friend.

It's really nice to be able to experience HAPPY. Outside of my son, Cody, I didn't know what happy was.

This is not the best of photos, but we haven't had any taken together. This picture is from our vacation two years ago. It was the week of the 4th of July. Super hot and then, we got rained on. Oh, and I whacked all my hair off. heehee

Anyway, Ollie is still away in Nebraska, working on that job that will last until April or longer, but he does get to come home next weekend so we can celebrate US then.

Today I celebrate Ollie, our life together now and in the future.

Happy Anniversary, sweetie!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Beautiful Redheads

Yesterday evening I attended a birthday bash for Jazmine, my great niece. She is 3 already! Where has it gone? It seems like yesterday she was just born. Now, she's 3 and has a little sister, Makayla, who is 7 months. These are my redheaded angels.

Tell me what you think:

For years, I was the only redhead in my family. My hair is more auburn but, as I have aged, it seems to be a little redder. I got my red hair from my Great Grandmother, Opal, and my Great Uncle, Paul, on my Mother's side. As my siblings and I got older and started having children, my oldest sister, Destie, had a redheaded boy, Kurt. He was the only redhead out of our children. Now, he has the two redheaded girls, Jazmine and Makayla. Here's a picture of them all together, with their Mommy, Angelica.

Such a beautiful, young family.

Love you all!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Custom Greeting Cards Giveaway - 2 Winners

With all the major holidays fast approaching, what better time to have custom greeting cards and/or custom postcards on hand?

It's true! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years will be here before you know it and it's always nice to give family and friends something "personal" in recognition or celebration of an event.

Well, you're in luck. My friends at Digital Room (UPrinting network) want to help you get ready for the "big event".

That's right. Digital Room would like to introduce you to their Custom Greeting Cards and is offering to giveaway:

250 - 7" x 5" Greeting Cards

The cards are half-fold, 10 point cover in your choice of matte or gloss coating. They are full color on the outside and blank inside.

Even better is that Digital Room is giving the Custom Greeting Cards to TWO of my followers!

They do require for the shipping to be paid by the winner. (Offer Valid for UNITED STATES SHIPPING ONLY.)

To cover the basics of the giveaway, I will remind you to make sure that you leave contact information if you are not linked through a blog. You don't want to be passed over just because I can't find you. You must complete the main entry to be eligible for extra entries.

This contest will run until 11:59 pm CST on September 2nd. Once winners are chosen, they must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be drawn. I will notify you if you win and UPrinting will then contact you via e-mail with the coupon code for your prize.

Now, to the "meat and potatoes" of the giveaway......

Main Entry:

Tell me how you would use this prize if you win it.

Extra Entries:

(1) Follow my blog.

(2) Follow UPrinting on twitter: @uprinting

(3) Follow me, @SereneMoments, on twitter and tweet this giveaway. Leave the link, please.

(4) Enter the Ugg Boot Giveaway at my Yummy! Yummy! Yummy! blog. Leave me a link to your entry. (2 entries)

(5) Fan UPrinting on Facebook. Leave your Facebook name.

Good luck and Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Family Photo from Way Back When

What do you think? You know, it's not that old. I mean, I'm (holding) 25 (14 yrs. and counting) and that isn't old at all.

In the back on the left is my brother, Scott. Beside him, my brother, Tom who is the oldest.

On bottom, going left to right is my youngest sister, Lena, next is ME, then my oldest sister, Destie.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Read and Share Toddler Bible - Review

About This Title...

This new addition to the Read and ShareTM brand contains 40 stories plus a 60 minute DVD including bonus features just for toddlers.

The Read and Share Toddler Bible is a delightful way to introduce little ones ages one to four to God’s Word. Gwen Ellis’s engaging retelling of Bible stories along with Steve Smallman’s colorful art communicate God’s Word clearly to small tots with short attention spans. Stories from both the Old and New Testaments include all-time favorites ranging from Creation, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, David, to Jesus’ birth, miracles, death, and resurrection.

My Review:

I was totally amazed by this book. Never have I seen such a well written bible for children, nor have I seen one this well illustrated. As if that isn't enough, after each story, there's a note to parents about an activity to do with your child to teach them the lesson learned from the bible.

I have to tell you, as I read this book, I enjoyed it and I was very excited to think that my niece would be getting this as a gift from me. Jazmine will be 3 in September and I know that she will have a much better understanding of God and the people of the Old and New Testament after being introduced to this Bible. The language and illustrations are perfect for a small child's comprehension level.The lessons are on a level for the child to grasp, too.

I think that any family that is teaching their child/children about God should own this book.

The book also has a bonus DVD that contains an hour of Bible stories and features. It also has a dedication page at the beginning, perfect for gift giving.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

Genesis 1-2
In the Beginning
God made everything.
He made the warm sun to light up the day.
He made the moon to light up the night.
He made all the pretty stars, too.
God made puffy clouds and flowers and trees.
God made wiggly fishes. Splish! Splash!
God made big birds and little birds. Flap! Flap!
God made all the animals - puppies, kittens, bears, and many, many more.
God made man. "Hello, Adam."
God made woman. "Hello, Eve."
God was happy!

The note for parents:
Help your little one use pictures of animals and flowers from old magazines to make a collage. Together name each of the animals and flowers, and then thank God for making them.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson Books for allowing me to review this book. I hope to bring you many more inspiring books of faith from them.

If you are interested in reviewing books for Thomas Nelson, please, click on the button on the sidebar.