The Secret Life of Pets & Fandango Collectible Gift Cards Now Available



 I have accepted free Fandango promotional codes from Fandango in exchange for this feature. No monetary compensation was received. 

A movie with pets and you just can't go wrong, right!?  The Secret Life of Pets has been topping the box office.  We have been waiting for this movie to come out, one we've really been looking forward to.  I'll be honest, we haven't seen it yet.  We had a death in the family and that's been keeping us busy.  So while I can't give a review of the movie, I can join you in the excitement of seeing the movie!

The Secret Life of Pets is also shown in 3D which always makes any movie more fun to see!  The Secret Life of Pets is about Max; a spoiled terrier who enjoys a comfortable life in New York until his owner adopts Duke - a giant and unruly canine!  While they are out on their walk they run into a group of alley cats and end up in a truck that is on it's way to the pound.  Luckily for them, a rebellious bunny named Snowball is there to save them from ending up in the pound.  But, Snowball wants something in return - Snowball wants Max and Duke to join his gang of abandoned pets on a mission against the humans who have done them wrong.

Check out this cute video of a 7 year old interviewing the cast! 


In celebration of the movie's release, fans can now buy these fun collectible gift cards from Fandango.  Available in both digital or physical form at fandango.com/giftcards.

Fandango is giving one of our readers a $50 Fandango Gift Card.  Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only 18 years of age and older.   Prize fulfilled by Fandango.  









UPDATE


Just wanted to give everyone an update as we've been out for the past two weeks.  My Father In Law became ill almost two weeks ago.  The outcome was not good.  So we packed up and hit the road quickly with a seven hour road trip ahead.  Last weekend we were told there was nothing more the Doctors could do.  He had multi-organ failure and his heart was only working at 15%.  Last Monday, they placed him in Hospice care and he has been fighting on his own since then.  Our kids are leaving for church camp this Sunday and we had to pick up our dogs from boarding so made the long trek home today.  Hospice nurse's say he doesn't have much time left.  Thank you!

We left knowing he is now at peace and is comfortably resting.  I ask for continued prayers for him in his last days, as well as our family throughout this difficult time.  

We will resume this Tuesday

FIRESTORMERS


**Disclosure: We were provided a copy of the book 

FIRESTORMERS: ELITE FIREFIGHTING CREW an exciting new middle-grade adventure novel by Carl Bowen.  From the creator of the acclaimed military series SHADOW SQUADRON, comes the story of a new combat force fighting a very different battle: the war on wildfires. The National Elite Interagency Wildfire Rapid Response Strike Force recruits the cream of the crop from fire services nationwide—only those willing to fight infernos wherever they pop up.  As the climate changes and the population grows, wildfires are increasing in number, size and severity. Only an elite group of men and women are equipped to take on these immense infernos: FIRESTORMERS!  Like the toughest military units, they have the courage, the heart and the technology to stand on the front lines against 100-foot walls of 2,000-degree flames. Their gritty, life-or-death missions are sure to make any reader sweat.

“I was thrilled to take on the challenge of presenting the everyday heroes of Firestormers,” said Bowen.  “I loved the contrast between the hi-tech gear and the low-tech labor that goes into controlling wildfires.  My own brother is a firefighter in Georgia, and I have tremendous respect and admiration for the work these people do every day.”

Bowen’s SHADOW SQUADRON series earned a starred review from Kirkus, who called it “breathtaking” – and about FIRESTORMERS Kirkus writes:
Bowen, who has a previous tightly woven thriller under his belt in Shadow Squadron: Elite Infantry (2013), tenders another taut piece of beyond-the-call-of-duty adventure. Here he introduces a cast that only rarely makes the headlines: firehotshots, smokejumpers, firestormers, or, as the government bureaucracy would prefer: National Elite Interagency Wildfire Rapid Response Strike Force—the SEALs of the forest fire fight . . . full of good shoptalk for daredevils and gearheads, excellent visualization (and forest-firefighting wisdom) than melodrama by a factor of five: "Fire flowed over a landscape like water—not downhill, exactly, but seeking out paths of least resistance." Bowen handles gender issues with a good degree of diplomacy and sophistication but is less successful with race, giving readers little reason to believe that any of his characters are anything other than white. He also introduces an ethical quandary regarding Humboldt marten habitat, making it an issue, not just a pesky indulgence. When the smoke clears, a group of characters emerges deserving a unique and universal respect.

**My son read this book, in fact he thought it was so good, he wrapped it up in three days!  He didn't want to put it down.  He said it was so exciting and was always on the edge of his seat.  The book was full of action and excitement!  Highly recommended by my 13 year old son!**

Super League Gaming Discount



**Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  We were provided with two tickets to a local event.  


Minecraft Summer Splash featuring Captain Sparklez


The first and biggest recreational league where gamers of all ages compete, socialize and play video games on the big screen in movie theatres worldwide.Treat Your Kids to MINECRAFT Summer Splash in a Movie Theater! Exclusive underwater-themed MINECRAFT game play on the big screen! July 18 - 22, 9am - 12 noon. Get tickets at https://superleague.com/buy-tickets Save $10, use Promo Code: USFAMILY10

Check out superleague.com to find a theater near you.

A Way Out


My heart is breaking this morning as we wake up to this horrific breaking news that occurred throughout the night.  A man shot and killed his wife in back of a store as she was trying to get away and also shot and killed their three children as well as him self back at their apartment.   This all happen about five minutes from where I live.   But, it's not that, that is disturbing.  After all, we live in Vegas and the crime rates seem to be climbing.  What is disturbing to me, is that the poor lady and her children have probably lived with the abuse for years.   The news is reporting that they have had a domestic report with him in the past and with the oldest child being 15 years old, I am sure this is what they lived with all these years.  My heart just breaks for her as well as those kids.  

I am a domestic violence survivor.   After ten long years, I thank God he gave me the courage and strength to get out of the relationship and get out for good before it was too late.  I really believe that anger is the devil, that it can just overcome someone and make them do things they wouldn't normally do.  I can almost be certain that this family has had a hard time, that this was not the first, second or even third time abuse has happened.  People say all the time for the victim to just get out, but it's not that easy.  I kept hanging on thinking I could help him or that he would change.  We always give the benefit of the doubt.  I remember thinking - what about all my stuff, what about my family, where will I go, I can't do this on my own.  

There were times my ex-husband would beat me in public and I would just pray for someone to call the police, that someone would offer help.   No one every did.  Not once did anyone call for help or help themselves.   And I totally understand not wanting to get involved and possibly fearing their own safety.  And if that is the case, call the police, let them handle it.  But please, please do not do nothing!  I guarantee you, that if you see something - it was not the first time and it won't be the last if you don't call.  It could even save a life.  

When many think of abuse, they think of physical abuse. Abuse comes in many forms. This includes mental and emotional abuse as well.  If you are the subject to any abuse, I highly encourage you to reach out, get help, tell someone!  There is hope, you just have to take that first step.   I am now married to an amazing man!  I have never had a man treat me so good and take care of the kids and I as good as he does.  He provides, he loves, he's faithful, forgiving, encouraging and a wonderful role model to the children.  I am so blessed and thankful for where I am today.  I am a survivor!  And I want you to be the same!  I have listed some information below and if you want to talk, please don't hesitate to reach out! 



Because of you, a victim of domestic violence may become a Survivor


Share your outdoor photos from National Get Outdoors day with #ForestFotog


June 11th was National Get Outdoors Day!  Remember how easy it was to spend time in nature growing up? Today it can seem hard to break free and get out there to share that same experience with your kids. But it's worth it -- and nature is closer than you think.
Every neighborhood has a #Naturehood. To find a neighborhood park or green space near you, visit DiscoverTheForest.org.  These “naturehoods” are just a short-drive away, making it easy for families to unplug from the daily routine and reconnect with nature. 

Populations have shifted away from rural settings to metropolitan areas, with over 80% of Americans living in cities, and with fewer connections than ever to natural areas. DiscoverTheForest.org highlights that urban forests offer many of the same benefits as national forests, but they’re right in the neighborhood. Beyond the swings, slides and clearings, there are trails, trees, wildlife and water just waiting for the urban dweller.
 
Research has shown that children who play outside have lower stress levels and more active imaginations, become fitter and leaner, develop stronger immune systems and are more likely to become environmentally conscious in the future. According to campaign research done by Euro RSCG, 88 percent of children today say they like being in nature, and 79 percent wish they could spend more time there.

DiscoverTheForest.org features an interactive map tool that enables users to search for nearby forests and parks, and filter by zip code and desired activities. Free outdoor activities are also available for download and printing, which you can take the next time you visit.  So, what areyou waiting for?  Get up and get out toDiscover the Forest for yourself!  #ForestFotog 

Discover the Forest is a non-profit public service campaign created by the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council with the primary goal of inspiring kids and their parents to re-connect with nature. The campaign brings to life the joy and excitement kids have when they discover the wonders of nature, helping create lasting memories, interest in their environment and a lifelong relationship with it. The campaign website, www.DiscoverTheForest.org, includes an interactive tool that enables users to search for nearby forests and parks, as well as downloadable activities for them to print and take with them when they visit. The campaign also features online communities on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

*This is a guest post provided by Element Associates on behalf of the AdCouncil and U.S. Forest Service