Featured DVD: My Neighbor Totoro

March 8, 2010 Categories: Uncategorized | Comments Off  

Visionary and Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki (2002, Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away) has created a heartwarming, music-filled and wonderful world in My Neighbor Totoro, a delightfully animated family adventure. And now – exclusively in this 2-Disc Special Edition DVD – never-before-seen bonus features reveal even more of Totoro’s fantastic world!

Follow the adventures of Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei when they move into a new home in the countryside. To their delight, they discover that their new neighbor is a mysterious forest spirit called Totoro – who can be seen only through the eyes of a child. Totoro introduces them to extraordinary characters – including a cat that doubles as a bus! – and takes them on an incredible journey.

Bring home My Neighbor Totoro from Studio Ghibli and Disney for your family’s DVD library and experience the timeless classic film Roger Ebert calls “one of the very few that come along that are magical for all ages.”

Noah’s review: My Neighbor Totoro is a very good children’s move. I liked it because of the imagination behind the creatures, but I would suggest this more for younger kids than me. 3 and a half stars.

Jonathan’s review: My Neighbor Totoro is the best movie about moving into a new home. 5 stars.

Josiah’s review: This was just okay. 3 stars.

My Neighbor Totoro (Two-Disc Special Edition) is available now on DVD. The DVD special features include a behind-the-scenes featurette.

(Disclosure: My Neighbor Totoro was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review. The above link is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click on the link and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small percentage in commission.)

Featured DVD: Castle in the Sky

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Introduce your entire family to Castle in the Sky, featuring a timeless story of courage and friendship with stunning animation from acclaimed Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki (2002, Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away). Plus, this 2-Disc Special Edition DVD includes never-before-seen bonus features that transport you deeper into the film’s amazing world!

This high-flying adventure begins when Pazu, an engineer’s apprentice, finds a young girl, Sheeta, floating down from the sky, wearing a glowing pendant. Together, they discover both are searching for a legendary floating castle, Laputa, and vow to unravel the mystery of the luminous crystal around Sheeta’s neck. Their quest won’t be easy, however. There are greedy air pirates, secret government agents and astounding obstacles to keep them from the truth – and from each other.

Add Castle in the Sky to your DVD library, and this magical and uplifting classic from Studio Ghibli and Disney will thrill and amaze your family for years to come.

Noah’s review: Castle in the Sky is my most favorite Hayao Miyazaki movie. It’s about a girl named Sheeta and her magical blue necklace. I like Mayazaki’s animation, especially his backgrounds and how the airships are designed. 5 out of 5 stars

Jonathan’s review: I like the part when they became members of the Dola gang – the pirates. 4 and a half stars.

Josiah’s review:I don’t really like this one as much. 2 stars.

Castle in the Sky: Special Edition – 2 Disc DVD is available now on DVD. The DVD special features include a featurette about the studio and an introduction by John Lasseter.

(Disclosure: Castle in the Sky was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review. The above link is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click on the link and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small percentage in commission.)

Featured DVD: Kiki’s Delivery Service

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Discover Kiki’s Delivery Service, a fantastic coming-of-age tale full of magic, adventure and self-discovery from the sensational imagination of Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki (2002, Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away). And now you can explore even more of Kiki’s amazing world through never-before-seen bonus features – exclusively in this 2-Disc Special Edition DVD!

Kiki is an enterprising young girl who must follow tradition to become a full-fledged witch. Venturing out with only her black cat, Jiji, Kiki flies off for the adventure of a lifetime. Landing in a far-off city, she sets up a high-flying delivery service and begins a wonderful experience of independence and responsibility as she finds her place in the world.

Bring home Kiki’s Delivery Service from Studio Ghibli and Disney for your family’s DVD library and share Kiki’s high-flying adventure again and again.

Noah’s review: Kiki’s Delivery Service is about a young girl who is a witch in training. It is a tradition that when all witches turn thirteen, they must go away from home for their training. This movie about her training in a new city and the people she meets. 4 out of 5 stars.

Jonathan’s review: I like how all of the animation and graphics are done. 5 stars.

Josiah’s review: Jiji, the cat, is my favorite part. 5 out of 5 stars.

Kiki’s Delivery Service: Special Edition – 2-Disc DVD is available now on DVD. The DVD special features include a featurette taking the viewer into the world of the film, and an introduction by John Lasseter.

(Disclosure: Kiki’s Delivery Service was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review. The above link is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click on the link and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small percentage in commission.)

Featured DVD: Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey

March 3, 2010 Categories: Movies | Comments Off  


The world’s most beloved and inquisitive monkey is back in Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey, the fun-filled sequel to the hit animated movie. Join Curious George and The Man with the Yellow Hat as they set out on a madcap cross-country adventure to reunite Kayla, a homesick elephant, with her family. This unlikely trio faces all types of comic calamities and colorful characters and in the end learn that with family, friends and determination you can achieve anything. Featuring the voices of Tim Curry, Matt Lauer, Jamie Kennedy and Jerry Lewis, Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey, “proves that family, friends – and curiosity – are number one.” (Francine Brokaw, “Los Angeles Family Magazine.”

My kids loved the first Curious George film, and have watched it several times. This sequel didn’t quite keep their attention or focus in the same way. And I don’t know if that’s just because my kids are getting older or because it wasn’t quite as good. I do know that I missed the original voices of Will Ferrell and Drew Barrymore.

Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey is available now on DVD. The special features include two never-before-seen episodes of the TV series.

(Disclosure: Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of this feature. The above link is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click on it and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small commission.)

Bullet points update

February 21, 2010 Categories: Books , Homeschooling , Kid Stuff , Movies | 4 Comments  

~ We have added a cat to our already crowded household. This is Sam with Natalie.

~ We have started the second half of our homeschooling year. All is going fairly well, although I have decided I am officially very tired of Shurley Grammer. This is not the curriculum’s fault – it’s a great curriculum, and has taught us things I never learned even in college classes, but we need a change and so will be trying Learning Language Arts Through Literature next year. Natalie has declared that decimals are from the devil and algebraic addition is the stuff of fantasy land. I am trying to help her understand that while she may never again use this information, she needs it to graduate from high school, and so must soldier on. All four kids are taking a PE class this semester that includes bowling and softball – and are loving it.

~ We have started attending a church. I am enjoying the Women’s Bible Study. That’s about as optimistic as I feel like being with our recent church experiences.

~ Kevin’s sister Carol is not doing well at all. Her cancer has progressed to the point where all they can really do is make her comfortable. Prayers would be much appreciated.

At Books and Movies lately:

~ Book Review: Candor by Pam Bachorz
~ Interview with Pam Jenoff, author of Almost Home
~ Book Review: Almost Home by Pam Jenoff
~ Book Review: King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography by Chris Crutcher
~ Mini-review: U is for Undertow, City of Glass, and Wounded
~ Book Review: The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
~ Book Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
~ Guest post: Patrick Taylor, author of The Irish Country Doctor series
~ Literary Road Trip: Author Kirby Larson
~ 2010 Ireland Reading Challenge
~ Book Review: Spellbinder by Helen Stringer
~ Book Review: The Summer We Fell Apart by Robin Antalek
~ Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
~ Monday’s Movie: The Boys Are Back
~ Book Review: A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
~ Literary Road Trip: Author Molly Blaisdell
~ Book Review: Eldest by Christopher Paolini
~ Monday’s Movie: Surrogates

Vocabulary lessons with Jonathan

February 17, 2010 Categories: Kid Stuff | 2 Comments  

Jonathan: Mom, what does “gaunt” mean?

Me: Very skinny to the point of looking sick.

Jonathan: Like Lindsay Lohan?

Beyond Bedding

Categories: This and That | Comments Off  

Books, Movies, and all the various artistic forms of entertainment can change the way we view the world and help us to understand our world in a deeper sense. Stories told through the written word or acted out in film or on-stage have the capacity to evoke emotion and perhaps help us to have more compassion for others and learn about the human condition.

After viewing the wonderfully informative Chlidren’s Fiction section I realized that although this site is primarily about books, films, and other forms of entertainment there are many products that I feel also help to tell a story. Take nursery bedding for example. Decorating a nursery is more than just a little fresh paint and a pastel colors it’s choosing images and themes that may prove to be the beginning of their story.

Take for instance our ever popular Fire Truck Baby Bedding set is more than just a great 9 pc crib bedding set. Frankie is the name of the adorable fire truck that is the center of this bedding set and this theme is a perfect starting point for you to build a story of courage and sacrifice that your little boy will never forget.

Let your daughter’s imagination run wild with a classic yet modern cowgirl baby bedding set. With a wild west motif full of horse shoes, lone stars, and horses this amazing crib bedding set is another example of how a bedding set can aid in story telling.

Many parents choose to go with a stylish pink and brown bedding set but we urge you to go beyond color and patterns and think about how much a theme based nursery can help to inspire your child’s imagination.

(This is a sponsored blog post.)

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.)

At Books and Movies lately

January 23, 2010 Categories: Books , Movies | 2 Comments  

~ Mini-review: Looking for Alaska, Storm Front, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
~ Literary Road Trip: Author Joni Sensel
~ Book Review: Dragon House by John Shors
~ Book Review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
~ Movie Review: 10 Things I Hate About You
~ Book Review: This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
~ Literary Road Trip: Author Glenda Burgess
~ Whatcha Watchin’ Wednesday
~ Movie Review: The Answer Man
~ Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green
~ Book Review: Things That Make Us (Sic) by Martha Brockenbrough
~ Book Review: Now and Then by Jacqueline Sheehan
~ Book Review: Questions About Angels: Poems by Billy Collins
~ Movie Review: (500) Days of Summer
~ Book Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
~ Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
~ Mini-reviews: Where Water Comes Together With Other Water: Poems, Z for Zachariah, Ethan Frome
~ My top 20 books from 2009, part one
~ My top 20 books from 2009, part two
~ Recommended essay collections
~ Book Review: Darkness Be My Friend by John Marsden
~ Book Review: The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
~ Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
~ Book Review: The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment by A.J. Jacobs
~ Announcing Essay Reading Challenge 2010
~ 2010: The Year of Reading Deliberately
~ Book Review: Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
~ Literary Road Trip: Author Martha Brockenbrough
~ Book Review: Wait Until Twilight by Sang Pak
~ Book Review: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson
~ Movie Review: Shattered
~ Book Review: When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge

I know, I know….

January 21, 2010 Categories: Blogging , Kid Stuff , This and That | 4 Comments  

….it’s been a really long time since I posted here. My mom has informed me that she misses reading my posts and thinks that others probably do, too. I’m not so sure about that – but for the few of you that are still checking back here for updates about me and my life, here’s a quick bullet-points update:

~ We had a wonderful Christmas. Kevin and I and the kids headed south to Chewelah to my parents’ house on Christmas Eve afternoon. We had a wonderful dinner – homemade fried chicken a la Dad – and then headed to church for the Christmas Eve service, at which Natalie and I both sang. We stayed over at Mom and Dad’s and had Christmas morning there. The kids were thrilled with the Wii and played all day long – which resulted in a lot of sore arms the next day.

~ New Year’s Eve we spent with Michelle and Don. The boys played video games, while Michelle and Don and Kevin and I played Mad Gab and Scruples and enjoyed spinach dip and pomegranate martinis. I think that was the first time we were awake for ringing in the New Year in a while!

~ The latest Jonathan-ism occurred when we were having dinner at a friend’s house. He asked for a piece of “German shepherd cake,” rather than German chocolate. :)

~ The kids are getting ready to start second semester P.E. classes, which will include 10 weeks of bowling. They are all very excited.

~ Two of my sisters are dealing with health issues. Marni has been diagnosed with Graves’ disease, a thyroid condition. She’s on medication and hoping that it works and she doesn’t need more radical treatment. Andrea has Raynaud’s condition, which is lack of circulation to hands and feet that causes extreme cold. It sometimes occurs on its own; other times it can be an indicator of something else, like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. We’re praying for the former.

~ Speaking of sisters, all three of my sisters, with their husbands and kids, will be visiting in June. I absolutely cannot wait.

Well, that’s all the personal stuff I can think of at the moment. Hope this finds all of you well in this first week of 2010.