Featured DVD: I <3 Jonas

January 25, 2010 Categories: Reviews , TV on DVD | Comments Off  

Crushin’ on Jonas? Get ready to experience the lovable antics of three of the world’s most famous musicians with 7 specially selected episodes of the hit Disney Channel Original Series in I Heart Jonas.

Watch and see how Joe reacts when he discovers that Stella has a date with another guy, and check out what happens when the tables are turned and a struggling young actress makes a play for Joe. Plus, with the never-before-seen DVD feature, “You’ve Just Been JoBro’d! – Surprising Jordin Sparks,” I Heart Jonas is a must-have for any Jonas Brothers fan!

Natalie’s review: The Jonas series is pretty much the same as every other Disney TV show, but this series, I think, keeps you laughing a lot longer the any of the other shows. I think Kevin Jonas is the funniest guy on this TV show. I do recommend this series to people who are big Jonas Brothers fans!

I Heart Jonas is available now on DVD.

(I <3 Jonas was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review. The above link is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click on it and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small percentage.)

Featured DVD: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie

December 15, 2009 Categories: Movies , Reviews | Comments Off  

(Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review.)


The most magical event of the year is now even bigger, with more thrilling adventure! Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie Extended Edition features exclusive footage, behind-the-scenes bonus and awesome extras that take you deeper into the mysterious world of wizardry!

Embark on a supernaturally exciting adventure as the Russos, your favorite family of wizards-in-training, join together on a quest full of heart-stopping action and hilarious magical mishaps! While on vacation, Alex (Selena Gomez) accidentally casts a spell that threatens her family’s existence! Max (Jake T. Austin) tries to keep his parents together while Alex and Justin (David Henrie) use every trick they know as they search for the “Stone of Dreams” to reverse the spell and save their family. You won’t want to miss one extraordinary moment of this extended, magic-filled and action-packed movie!

Natalie’s review: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie is a very fun and exciting adventure movie for kids of all ages. I really enjoyed it. Wizards of Waverly Place has always been one of my favorite TV shows. I do recommend this to kids!

Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie is available now on DVD. The DVD special features include on-location featurettes about special effects, stunts, props, and more.

Links for Friday – September 18, 2009

September 18, 2009 Categories: Books , Extreme Health Makeover , Kid Stuff , Movies , Reviews , Television , TV on DVD | Comments Off  

Today is Jonathan’s birthday – he’s turning 10. Which means that our house will be inundated with Playstation-playing boys this evening. Three extra boys, plus Natalie’s friend for a sleepover equals 8 kids in our tiny house. Kevin may run away.

I haven’t done an Extreme Health Makeover post in a couple weeks. We didn’t have a meeting on Labor Day and I had a week where I gained 1 1/2 pounds, then the next week lost 1 1/2 pounds, so no further loss so far. Workouts are going well – starting to get into a routine. Listening to the fourth Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book on audio – makes the workouts go faster.

We’re in a routine with our homeschooling, too – the kids are doing well. The boys love the Horizons Math (we switched from Saxon). Natalie’s not completely thrilled with her history, though I don’t think that’s the curriculum’s fault. She’s enjoying her science and I’m enjoying the short stories we’re reading and discussing.

Even though my web surfing time has been seriously curtailed, I still managed to save a few links to share with you all:

~ Ten Scariest Sea Creatures – and Kevin wonders why the ocean is one of my biggest phobias.

~ The Telegraph: 50 Things That Are Being Killed By the Internet

~ New trailer for New Moon – two people in this house are very excited to see it.

~ Our own Andrea of HJ has an awesome post: Why I Still Homeschool

At Books and Movies recently:

~ Literary Road Trip: Author Jennifer Bradbury
~ Book Review: The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
~ Whatcha Watchin’? Wednesday – Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fifth Season
~ Book Review: The Twelve by William Gladstone
~ Book blogs you should be reading
~ Still time to enter my BBAW Giveaway – win one of eight books. Enter by 11:59 pm PST tonight.
~ Book Review: Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares
~ Literary Road Trip: Author Terry Davis
~ Book Review: Holly’s Inbox by Holly Denham
~ Whatcha Watchin’? Wednesday – Monk: Season 7
~ Monday’s Movie Review: District 9
~ Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Featured DVD: Disney Nature: Earth

September 8, 2009 Categories: Movies , Reviews | 1 Comment  

(Disney Nature: Earth was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review.)


On Disney Blu-ray, Earth is an absolutely stunning example of cinematic storytelling with its crisply detailed images and theater-quality sound.

An epic story of adventure, starring some of the most magnificent and courageous creatures alive, awaits you in Earth. Disney Nature brings you a remarkable story of three animal families on a journey across our planet – polar bears, elephants and humpback whales. Filmed with spectacular clarity and beauty, Earth is both majestic and intimate as it captures rare footage of nature’s wildest and most elusive animals. From the landmark Disney Nature collection, Earth is an astonishing and heartwarming film filled with adventure, suspense and humor that will take your breath away – especially in Blu-ray High Definition.

The kids and I enjoyed watching this DVD very much – the photography is beautiful and breath-taking. At times the sheer magnitude of nature – the number of birds in a flock, the height of a waterfall, the endlessness of the desert – simply astounded me as we watched. James Earl Jones’ voice is the perfect match for the grandeur of this film.

Noah’s review: This is a very good nature movie. I completely love animals, so this was a good movie for kids who love animals.

Jonathan’s review: It’s an inspiring movie. It’s really cool how the birds make a clicking noise to communicate and how they try to attract a mate by looking like a big face.

Disney Nature: Earth is available now on DVD. The DVD special features include filmmaker annotations and a making-of featurette.

Links for Friday, September 4, 2009

September 4, 2009 Categories: Books , Contests , Funnies , Homeschooling , Movies , Reviews , TV on DVD , Videos | 2 Comments  

Well, we made it through our first week back to homeschooling – it went well, we are all still speaking to each other, so far, so good. Natalie is getting used to her bigger load – she’s in junior high now – and will start her weekly babysitting gig next week. (It’s hard to believe that the baby girl I used to take to Bible Study nursery, where a homeschooled teenager would babysit her, is now the homeschooled (almost) teenager doing the babysitting!)

I only have a couple minutes before I’m heading to the gym. Fun way to spend Friday night, right? Actually, I love the gym on Friday nights – it’s so empty and quiet.

I just finished reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner – if you like science fiction, dystopian fiction, YA fiction – actually, if you just love a mind-blowingly good story that keeps you turning the pages, you should definitely read it. It’s being released on October 13th. I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC for review – my review will be up at Books and Movies in the next couple of days.

~ A Life in Pages: Send a man to the grocery store – this video is a bit long, but so funny.

~ Mommy Brain was linked to from the Rural Health Blog, as part of the Get Fit Colville program.

~ Scribbit: Should children have allowances? Some good thoughts here.

~ A Life in Pages: Funny wedding moment – another fun video.

~ Moomin Light: For Star Wars fans – this guy is incredibly talented.

~ Don’t forget to enter my Ginger Kids giveaway – it’s a great tool for teaching cooking and geography!

At Books and Movies:

~ My ever-expanding list of must-reads
~ Literary Road Trip: Author Michael Harmon
~ Whatcha Watchin’? Wednesday: Scrubs, Season 8
~ Book Review: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
~ Book Review: The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
~ My Life According to Literature Meme
~ Favorite classics (so far)
~ Literary Road Trip: Author Meghan Nuttall Sayres
~ Book Review: Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff
~ Whatcha Watchin’? Wednesday: Psych
~ Found in the pages of Bookmarks Magazine, September/October 2009 Issue
~ Book Review: Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
~ Monday’s Movie Review: Stop-Loss

Featured DVD: Delgo

August 13, 2009 Categories: Movies , Reviews | Comments Off  

(Delgo was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review.)


The land of Jhamora is torn apart by the mutual prejudice of two peoples – the winged Nohrin, masters of the skies, and the terrestrial Lockni, who harness the mystical powers of the land. When Delgo (Freddie Prinze Jr.), a reckless Lockni teenager, forms a forbidden friendship with the spunky Nohrin Princess Kyla (Jennifer Love Hewitt), hostilities between the two peoples escalate, setting the stage for an exiled Empress (Anne Bancroft) to exact her revenge and reclaim her rule.

Noah’s review: This is a very funny movie, but something about the story – I can’t put my finger on it – but I just didn’t like it. Besides that, though, I loved all the creatures – so 3 stars.

Jonathan’s review: It was a real good movie. My favorite part was when the army came and the battle started. 5 stars.

Delgo is available now on DVD. The DVD special features include audio commentary, making-of featurettes, and deleted scenes.

CD Review: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Soundtrack

August 12, 2009 Categories: Music , Reviews | 2 Comments  

(Wizards of Waverly Place: The Soundtrack was provided to me by Special Ops Media for the purpose of review.)


Inspired by the Emmy-nominated hit Disney Channel series starring Selena Gomez, as well as the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie of the same name, the Wizards of Waverly Place album features brand new songs and interpretations of classic tracks from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, each one about magic.

Natalie’s review: Selena Gomez is a good, pure singer that has a great voice. She sings 4 songs on the soundtrack: Disappear, Magic, Magical, and Everything is Not What It Seems, the theme song of the Disney TV show! I love this CD and I recommend this to everybody!

The songs on this CD are…

1. Disappear, sung by Selena Gomez – This song is really good, one of my faves!
2. Magic, sung by Selena Gomez – This is one of my faves also!
3. Magic, sung by Selena Gomez – Everybody has heard the song Magic! Cool song!
4. Strange Magic, sung by Steve Rushton
5. Magic, sung by Honor Society
6. Everything Little She Does is Magic, sung by Mitchel Musso – One of the stars of the Hannah Montana TV show is a great singer!
7. Magic Carpet Ride, sung by KSM
8. Magic, sung by Meaghan Martin
9. You Can do Magic, sung by Drew Seeley
10. Some Call it Magic, sung by Raven Symone – The star of That’s So Raven sings this song. It is awesome!
11. Do You Believe In Magic, sung by Aly and AJ – I LOVE ALY AND AJ! This song rocks!
12. Everything is Not What it Seems, sung by Selena Gomez – The theme song of Wizards of Waverly Place! Awesome!

Wizards of Waverly Place: The Soundtrack is available now.

Featured DVD: Hannah Montana: The Movie – plus, a giveaway!

August 10, 2009 Categories: Movies , Reviews | 11 Comments  

(Hannah Montana: The Movie was provided to me for the purpose of review.)


Get ready to be dazzled by Disney’s big-screen smash hit Hannah Montana: The Movie – now even better on Blu-ray Disc with sensational visuals and theater-quality sound! Plus, this 3-disc set has exclusive extras, including “The Hoedown Throwdown Dance-Along” and more! Hannah Montana: The Movie Deluxe Edition: More Music & Moves! delivers laughs, adventure, family fun and fabulous music as Hannah returns to her roots, mixes it up with awesome guest stars (Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and Vanessa Williams), and faces the most important decision of her life! When Miley Stewart (aka pop star Hannah Montana) gets too caught up in the superstar celebrity lifestyle, her dad decides it’s time for a total change of scenery. Miley must trade in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood for some ol’ blue jeans on the family’s Tennessee farm, where she’ll have to decide if she can truly have the best of both worlds. Bring home heartfelt entertainment for the entire family.

I am the first to admit that I’m not a huge fan of the Hannah Montana television series on Disney. It’s not horrible, just a bit cheesy for my taste. So when Natalie wanted me to take her to see Hannah Montana: The Movie, I expected more of the same. I was wrong – and I ended up enjoying the movie very much.

First of all, Miley Cyrus is a much better actress than you would think from the TV series. When given a script that isn’t hokey and exaggerated, she does well. I also enjoyed the music – and it was fun to see Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts perform.

This is a great family movie – my sons even enjoyed it. So don’t hesitate to give it a try, even if you’re not a huge fan of the TV series.

Natalie’s review: My mom took me to see this movie at the drive-in and then we got it on DVD. I really like this movie; the singing and acting are great and it is just a great girly-girl movie to watch with girlfriends! The stars that sing in this movie are Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, and Steve Rushton!

Hannah Montana: The Movie will be available on DVD on August 18th. The Blu-ray edition includes the movie on regular DVD, plus seven music videos, bloopers, deleted scenes, and more.

Thanks to Click Communications, I have an extra copy to give away to one of my readers. Here’s the scoop:

~ Simply leave a comment on this post for one entry.

~ Blog, tweet, or in any way link to this post, and leave me a comment with the details or link for more entries – one for each link.

~ I’m shipping this myself, so the giveaway is open to readers in the US and Canada only.

~ All entries must be received by 11:59 pm PST, August 21, 2009. I will draw the winner on August 22nd.

Featured DVD: The Tigger Movie

August 6, 2009 Categories: Movies , Reviews | Comments Off  

(The Tigger Movie was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review.)


Experience a fun-filled celebration of friendship in the beloved Pooh tradition with this special 10th anniversary edition of The Tigger Movie.

Share the excitement with all your friends from the Hundred Acre Wood as Tigger sets off on an amazing adventure. He’s hoping to find fellow Tiggers to play with, and along the way, he’ll discover something even more remarkable: the true meaning of family!

Featuring original songs by the award-winning Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins), plus two new-to-DVD Tigger stories, this timeless Pooh classic will bounce its way straight into your heart!

The Tigger Movie is our favorite of the Winnie the Pooh spin-offs. In fact, this movie has a very special place in my heart – it’s the first movie that moved Natalie to tears. She was about five, I think, and she cried and cried because Tigger didn’t have a family of his own. It was so sweet!

The Tigger Movie is full of the characters we know and love – plus it has fantastic songs, like “Whoop-de-Dooper Bounce” and “How to Be a Tigger.” I admit the kids weren’t quite as enthralled with this movie as they were when they were a few years younger, but they still enjoyed it – and so did I.

The Tigger Movie is available now on DVD. The DVD special features include 2 Tigger Adventures: The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: “King of the Beasties,” and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: “Tigger’s Houseguest.” Also, an interactive trivia game, a matching game, the Kenny Loggins Music Video: “Your Heart Will Lead You Home,” a sing-along song, a Disney DVD storybook, and the featurette “How to Make Your Own Family Tree.”

Featured DVD: Race to Witch Mountain

Categories: Movies , Reviews | Comments Off  

(Race to Witch Mountain was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review.)


Fasten your seat belts for the thrill ride of your life in Disney’s Race to Witch Mountain, starring Dwayne Johnson. Jack Bruno (Johnson), a Las Vegas cabdriver sruggling to stay on the right path, gets an out-of-this-world incentive when two aliens, disguised as teenagers, suddenly appear in his taxi. In a race against government agents, an alien hunter and time itself, Jack must help the children recover their lost spaceship so they can return home and save their planet and ours. Breathtaking chases, close calls and special effects make this an action-adventure the whole family will enjoy.

The kids and I enjoyed Escape to Witch Mountain when we watched it a few months ago, although the kids commented that it was a bit slow. They’re used to family movies for the twenty-first century – for audiences with a shorter attention span, I guess. Race to Witch Mountain fits the bill perfectly.

Now, if you’re a fan-atick about the original, you probably won’t like this, because it’s completely different. If you’re not too attached to the original, though, this makes for a great evening of family entertainment. I like Dwane Johnson – he has found his niche in the family action-comedy genre. (He should, however, skip anything that requires dramatic emoting – see: Gridiron Gang.) AnnaSophia Robb is wonderful, as always – and my daughter Natalie thought Alexander Ludwig was very cute.

Race to Witch Mountain is available now on DVD. The DVD special features include deleted scenes and bloopers. The Blu-ray edition includes the featurette “Which Mountain?” – discover hidden references to the original movie.