Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2009 Categories: Holidays | 1 Comment  

wheat.jpg

A List of Praises
Anne Porter

Give praise with psalms that tell the trees to sing,
Give praise with Gospel choirs in storefront churches,
Mad with the joy of the Sabbath,
Give praise with the babble of infants, who wake with the sun,
Give praise with children chanting their skip-rope rhymes,
A poetry not in books, a vagrant mischievous poetry
living wild on the Streets through generations of children.

Give praise with the sound of the milk-train far away
With its mutter of wheels and long-drawn-out sweet whistle
As it speeds through the fields of sleep at three in the morning,
Give praise with the immense and peaceful sigh
Of the wind in the pinewoods,
At night give praise with starry silences.

Give praise with the skirling of seagulls
And the rattle and flap of sails
And gongs of buoys rocked by the sea-swell
Out in the shipping-lanes beyond the harbor.
Give praise with the humpback whales,
Huge in the ocean they sing to one another.

Read the entire poem here.

Giveaway: Nancy Drew – Warnings at Waverly Academy PC Game

November 24, 2009 Categories: Computer games , Contests | 12 Comments  

nancydrew

You, as Nancy Drew, are undercover at a prestigious girls’ boarding school to discover the culprit behind the threatening notes and dangerous accidents aimed at its valedictorian candidates! Is there a secret someone wants to protect or are the malicious pranks intended to scare away the competition – permanently? Solve the mystery before the threats turn deadly and you’re expelled from the case!

Thanks to the generosity of HighWater Group, I have an extra copy of this game to give away to one of my lucky readers! Here are the details:

~ This giveaway is open to readers in the US and Canada only.

~ Leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway. One entry per person, please.

~ All entries must be received by 11:59 pm PST Friday, December 4, 2009. On December 5th, I will use Random.org to draw a winner.

Good luck!

Featured DVD: Santa Buddies

Categories: Holidays , Movies | Comments Off  

santabuddies

Disney’s irresistible talking puppies return in a heartwarming holiday adventure on Blu-ray with theater-quality picture and sound! Take a fantastic journey with your beloved Buddies to the magical world of the North Pole! Join Budderball, B-Dawg, Rosebud, Buddha and Mudbud in this classic Christmas tale that will have you believing in miracles. When Puppy Paws, the feisty son of Santa Paws, forgets the true meaning of the season, it’s up to the Buddies to remind him that the true meaning of Christmas spirit is about things you can’t wrap in a box or tie with a bow. Unleash a stockingful of Christmas cheer for you and your family with this fun-filled film, featuring never-before-seen bonus materials. It’s sure to be a holiday classic – especially in Blu-ray High Definition.

Noah’s review: Santa Buddies is probably the cutest of all the Buddies movies, because Tiny looks just perfect and had the perfect voice.

Jonathan’s review: It was a cute and very good movie. Everyone who watches it will think it’s great.

Josiah’s review: The Buddies series is a cute series. My favorite one was Snow Buddies cause I liked the cute little Husky – it was my favorite character. What I think is funny about Santa Buddies is that they call the dog catcher Mr. Scrooge.

Santa Buddies is available now on DVD.

Disclosure: Santa Buddies was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review. The above link is an Amazon Affiliates link. If you click the link and subsequently purchase anything, I receive a small percentage.

Bookish stuff

November 21, 2009 Categories: Books | Comments Off  

~ Book Review: The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
~ Book Review: A Killing Frost (The Tomorrow Series #3) by John Marsden
~ Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry
~ Book Review: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
~ Interview with Lorelei King, actress and reader of the Stephanie Plum audiobooks

Holiday Gift Idea: Nancy Drew – Warnings at Waverly Academy PC Game

Categories: Computer games | Comments Off  

nancydrew

You, as Nancy Drew, are undercover at a prestigious girls’ boarding school to discover the culprit behind the threatening notes and dangerous accidents aimed at its valedictorian candidates! Is there a secret someone wants to protect or are the malicious pranks intended to scare away the competition – permanently? Solve the mystery before the threats turn deadly and you’re expelled from the case!

Features:

~ Play as Nancy Drew and go undercover at an exclusive girls’ academy.

~ Immerse yourself in the high school drama by texting, cramming for projects, and navigating social cliques.

~ Snoop through dorm rooms and take pictures of possible evidence with your cell phone camera.

~ Run the school snack bar and play air hockey in the student lounge.

~ Take risks without starting over – the game will automatically return the player to the point before the fatal mistake.

~ Choose from two difficulty settings (Jr. or Sr. Detective) to allow players of all skill levels to solve the mystery.

Natalie’s review: Nancy Drew – Warnings at Waverly Academy is very fun and very different from any other Nancy Drew game I have ever played. In Warnings At Waverly Academy you are at a private school for teenage girls, and at this school it’s all about gossip and where you fit in, and if you are cool enough to hang out with certain people. That is the main thing that is different from any other game.

This game is awesome, you can play darts, air hockey, run a snack bar, and then of course figure out the mystery! This is my new favorite!

Disclosure: Nancy Drew – Warnings at Waverly Academy was provided to me by HighWater Group for the purpose of review. The above link is an Amazon Affiliates link. If you click this link and subsequently purchase anything, I receive a small percentage.

Review: Human Body Detectives – The Lucky Escape!

November 16, 2009 Categories: Curriculum , Homeschooling | Comments Off  

humanbodyHuman Body Detectives – The Lucky Escape is a CD audiobook with an accompanying workbook. The activity-filled workbook complements the educational adventure audio story, The Lucky Escape. The audio story and activity workbook are geared to serve as a tool for families, teachers and parents of home-schooled children, to supplement science and/or health curricula and share knowledge about the digestive system.

The boys and I listened to The Lucky Escape last week, and found it entertaining and informative. The cute story teaches about the various components of the digestive system and the function that each plays. The boys learned a lot, and laughed a lot at the frequent use of words for bodily functions. :)

The workbook is a perfect accompaniment, with puzzles and worksheets designed to give more information and reinforce the concepts already learned. This audiobook – and the rest of the series – would make a great addition to any homeschool health or life science curriculum.

(Thank you to Melissa Cassera of Cassera Communications for sending me Human Body Detectives – The Lucky Escape to review.)

Featured DVD: Spongebob’s Truth or Square

November 15, 2009 Categories: TV on DVD | Comments Off  

spongebobtruth

Nickelodeon presents SpongeBob SquarePants: Truth or Square available on DVD November 10th! The DVD features the Special Extended Director’s Cut of the “Truth or Square” TV Movie with celebrity appearances, including Robin Williams, Tina Fey, and others. It also includes the behind-the-scenes of the SpongeBob opening and karaoke music videos!

Truth or Square: On the Krusty Krab’s Eleventy Seventh anniversary, the entire crew finds themselves locked in the restaurant’s freezer! It’s going to be a really cold trip down memory lane. Featuring hilarious, never-before-seen flashbacks!

Porous Pockets: SpongeBob finds himself in possession of a shiny ball that looks a lot like a giant pearl, for which he’s offered a ‘small fortune,’ making him Bikini Bottom’s richest denizen.

Krusty Krushers: With a million dollar prize at stake, Mr. Krabs turns SpongeBob and Patrick into competitive tag-team wrestlers.

Choir Boys: Hearing Squidward is off to audition for the Bikini Bottom Men’s Choir, SpongeBob decides to join him. But only one of them can solo!

The Card: SpongeBob really wants what Patrick’s got: the super rare platinum, hologram, animated Mermaidman and Barnacleboy talking card #54.

While we no longer get Nickelodeon Channel, the kids still love that square yellow sponge and his friends. I love it when a new SpongeBob DVD comes out, because it means that the kids watch new episodes, instead of watching the same ones over and over and over and over again.

Of course, the episodes are only new the first time around, and the kids have already watched them each twice. :)

SpongeBob Truth or Square is available now on DVD.

Books, movies, and TV

November 14, 2009 Categories: Books , Contests , Movies , Television | Comments Off  

~ Book Review: Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich
~ Whatcha Watchin’? Wednesday: V, Fringe, Bones, etc.
~ Book Review: The Sky Inside by Clare B. Dunkle
~ Movie Review: UP
~ Book Review: The Geography of Love: A Memoir by Glenda Burgess
~ Book Giveaway: The Purloined Boy by Mortimus Clay

Featured DVD: Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed In At the House of Mouse

November 8, 2009 Categories: Uncategorized | Comments Off  

mickeychristmas

Celebrate the season with Disney’s most popular holiday movie ever! Starring Mickey Mouse and 35 of the world’s most beloved characters, this one-of-a-kind adventure joyously captures the spirit of Christmas and is sure to delight the entire family.

When a huge snowstorm leaves everyone stranded, Mickey and all of his guests at The House of Mouse, including Pooh, Belle, Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel and many more of his old and new friends, break out the cookies and hot chocolate to help Donald mend his tattered Christmas spirit. The fun starts when Minnie pulls out their favorite holiday home movies and everyone starts to reminisce. Their magical memories soon put everyone in the Christmas mood – even grumpy Donald, who ultimately becomes the star of the evening.

Featuring four unforgettable holiday tales, including The Nutcracker and Mickey’s Christmas Carol, and an epic finale of “The Best Christmas of All,” this holiday treat is bound to become a tradition for you and your family.

The Disney Christmas movies have become my kids’ favorites – coming out not only at Christmas, but any time of year that the kids are feeling in need of some cheering up. We have had this one on videotape, and it has been played so many times that the quality of tape is pretty bad, and the sound is shaky. The kids love seeing the older Christmas clips of Pluto and the chipmunks, Donald and the snowman, and, especially, Mickey’s Christmas Carol.

Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed In At the House of Mouse is available now on DVD. The DVD special features include the premiere episode of “House of Mouse;” Sing-Along Songs: “Deck the Halls” and “Sleigh Ride;” and “The Sounds of Christmas – A Disney Sound Effects Featurette.

(Disclosure: Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed In At the House of Mouse was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review. The link in this post is an Amazon Affiliate link. If you click on the link and then purchase something, I receive a small percentage.)

Featured DVD: Veggie Tales: Saint Nicholas – A Story of Joyful Giving

Categories: Holidays , Movies | 2 Comments  

stnick

Laura Carrot’s Christmas stocking might be empty this year because her dad is in danger of losing his job. While Larry thinks a letter to the North Pole should fix the problem, Bob knows what will really help…and tells the story of a little boy named Nicholas who made a discovery in Bethlehem that changed Christmas forever. But what did Nick learn and how can it possibly help Laura and her family? Find out as the Veggies discover the true joy of giving to others – at Christmas time and throughout the year!

The kids and I have been celebrating Christmas a bit early – at least in our DVD choices lately. We haven’t watched a Veggie Tales DVD in a long time, and I was a bit concerned the kids might have grown out of the funny, music-loving Veggies. They still seemed to enjoy this simple story, though, and I enjoyed the message that it promoted. This year’s Christmas will be one of the most difficult in a long time for a lot of people, thanks to our current economy. What better time to remember what Christmas is really about – and to learn that we can make Christmas a bit better for others by giving of ourselves.

Veggie Tales: St. Nicholas – A Story of Joyful Giving is available now on DVD. The DVD special features include: Give This Christmas Away, a music video featuring Matthew West and Amy Grant; a sing-along with Larry; a discussion guide; and a family activity.

(Disclosure: Veggie Tales: Saint Nicholas – A Story of Joyful Giving was provided to me by Special Ops Media for the purpose of review. The link in this post is an Amazon Affiliate link. If you click on the link and then purchase something, I receive a small percentage.)