SEA LIFE Aquarium in Grapevine, TX #ad

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SEA LIFE Aquarium.  All opinions are my own. 

Sea Life Aquarium #adThe kids and I were so excited to make it out to SEA LIFE Aquarium in Grapevine, TX over the weekend!  If you are traveling in the area with kids, this is a great activity for the family! 

Fishies at Sea Life Aquarium #adWe all loved the various exhibits!  The tanks were so different from one to another.  In this tank the fish swam round and round you.  I saw fish that I don’t every remember seeing before!

Sea Life Scavenger Hunt #adAt the entrance the kids were thrilled to receive a scavenger hunt!  They had fun learning and scratching off their cards for the answers throughout the aquarium.  The helped the little boys with their cards as the boys were completely wrapped up in the viewing of the sea life! 

Sea Turtle at Sea Life Grapevine #adThe sea turtles are one of my favorite exhibits.  They are so interactive! 

Scuba Bunny Sea life #adWith it being the weekend before Easter we were able to be there for the Scuba Bunny.  My children were enthralled in the show they put on of hiding and another scuba diver finding the eggs.  

360 Underwater ocean tunnel Sea Life #adThe 360 degree aquarium was so neat.  The boys were a little tentative as they walked out onto the glass.  It is amazing to see all manner of sea creatures swimming all around you! 

In the shark Sea Life Aquarium #adAnd for the fun photo opportunity.  My kids love these!  As promised, I jumped in.  See I was there!  :)

We had a wonderful time at SEA LIFE Aquarium.  It took us about an hour and a half to see the entire thing.  It was a great and educational family activity.  Definitely add this to your stay in Grapevine.  Even the little kids loved it.  Oh and don’t forget to get your kids go free coupon before you head out! 

#MomIsHere No, really she is! #ad

This sponsored post was written while participating in my partnership with Sprout and One2One Network, but as always, all opinions are my own.

FB-Cover-Photo-2014_2Mom is here, yet you don’t see her!  At least that so many times that’s the story of moms lives from photos.  In our home anyway, Mom is the picture taker, forever capturing our memories on camera.  You all have told me so many times that I need to get in the photos.  How many holidays and family outings have I shared that don’t include me in the photos?  Countless! 

sprout-momishere-logo_TEAL-BACKGROUND

Sometimes I don’t even realize until after a full day of vacation or a holiday is over that not even one photo with me in the picture was taken.  How much more am I missing being included in the memories we create every day!  Other times I feel…funny asking, “Please get a photo with me in it too!”  So I just don’t do it.  Ten, twenty years from now the kids are going to look back at family photos and wonder where I was.  I am here!  Mom is here!  I’m stepping out and asking to be in the photos. 

SproutĀ®, the first 24-hour preschool network, has kicked off the second year of its Mom is Here initiative. This social campaign urges moms to take pictures of themselves with their kids, in the middle of those fleeting everyday moments that pass by so quickly. Photos uploaded to www.momishere.com or to Instagram using the hashtag #momishere will have the opportunity to win a prize and be featured in a Sprout commercial.

#MomIsHere #ad

Here is my photo that I entered!  So many happy memories in the back yard chasing and playing with our puppy! 

Enter momishere.com by uploading a photo.  You can also tag photos on Instagram with #momishere & #sproutchannel to be entered into the sweepstakes.

Prizes:

  • Grand Prize – $2,000 Spa Package
  • Ten First Place Prizes – $100 Spa Finder Gift Card.
  • All entries also have a chance to be featured in a commercial which will run on Sprout and also see their photo on Sprout’s electronic billboard in Times Square.


Official Rules: 
Please note, official rules state that the sweepstakes is offered only to women 18 or older who are a parent/legal guardian of a child 8 years old and under. 

Official Rules can be viewed here: http://momishere.com/#official-rules

The Problem with Pat Answers

Problem with Pat AnswersWe’ve all been the recipient of a pat answer, and probably given them out ourselves too.  Christians are just as good at giving them out as anyone.  

  • You just need to get over it.
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13
  • Eat less and exercise! 
  • If it happened, it must have been the Lord’s will.
  • Be happy you still have…
  • Think on what is true. 
  • Just pray and read your Bible. 
  • Be consistent.

The thing about most of these types of answers is that they are true., therefore the bearer of the pat answer feels justified and even quite spiritual at delivering such an answer.  Even though the phrase may be true, I think that generally it is wrong to give them out.  What?  How can they be wrong if they are true? 

I think they are usually wrong because they are generally delivered without love, care, or concern for the person.  When someone comes to me with something they are struggling with or sin in their life, they have just willingly become vulnerable.  It’s humbling to reach out to someone for help.  The last thing they probably need is a slap of truth as I walk away feeling great that I gave a spiritual answer.  Yes, we need to speak truth and help someone see where they are wrong at times, but not by a pat answer.  We need to speak the truth in love, bearing one another’s burdens.

I think pat answers are usually spoken out of self righteousness.  If someone comes to me with an issue that I have struggled with or am struggling with, the responses are much more along the lines of, “Wow I’ve been there.  I know it’s hard.  I’m having a tough time with that too.  Let’s pray for each other.  Here is what has helped me.  Why don’t we do a Bible study together?  When that happened to me, the verse that really spoke to my heart was… What can I do for you?  How can I help?”  It seems to me that pat answers come most often when a person hasn’t struggled in those areas.  Without even realizing it, we’re self righteous.  We minimize the  struggle or sin issue of someone else as simple since it’s not a temptation of ours.  My struggle with anger isn’t somehow more legitimate than someone else’s struggle with worry.  Both actually demonstrate a lack of trust in God.  When I remember that my sin nailed Jesus to the cross, it’s a lot more difficult to be self righteous when it comes to other people’s sin.

Oh well, then there is always the person that has absolutely no idea what to say so they just end up blurting out a pat answer and hoping for the best.  I know I’ve been there too!  When I am the recipient of a pat answer, I try to give the person the benefit of the doubt and put them in this category–bless their hearts!  :) 

As I’ve been pondering the whole pat answer issue, I realize that I have been guilty of all these ways of giving pat answers: without love, in self-righteousness, and sometimes out of sheer helplessness of knowing what to say.  But I don’t want to be that way.  Would that I could always speak the truth in love!

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