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Archive for the ‘movies’ tag

January 30th, 2014 at 5:00 am

Rediscovering Favorite Movies of your Childhood

IMG_3040There may be certain movies that you love from your childhood… “The Goonies”, “Mary Poppins”, “Bednobs and Broomsticks”, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, “Harry Potter” or even ”Star Wars”.  These movies carry a special place in your heart. You may have acted out scenes as a child with your friends. Now you are a parent with children of your own. My husband and I have discovered that so many years later you can create new memories of old favorites.

Locally, we have an old theater that plays old movies a couple of times a month. We have started to take our boys to experience these movies as we did on the big screen. Although, instead of finding myself engrossed in the movie, I am engrossed in my children. What are their reactions during some of my favorite parts? Do they like the same character that I may have hooked on to as a child?

Then there is the discussion after the movie. It is so much fun to hear them describe the movie and talk to you about your favorite parts. Some movies are even more fun because they might have toys that go along with the movie. My husband is a huge Star Wars fan, because of this he has many of his old toys packed away in our home. Watching the movies led to pulling out the old toys and sharing a part of his childhood. It was fun for the boys to see how toys used to be made.

Our Christmas was filled with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for my youngest son. Never did I think my knowledge of the turtles names and their catch phrase “Cowabunga” would ever enter my life again. Plus, my kids truly thought I was cool because I knew so much about the turtles.

It’s fun when your present takes a little trip of reflection into your past.

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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July 26th, 2013 at 10:26 am

Curing Summer Boredom

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Summer may only be half over, but it’s still not too early for boredom to already set in with you or your children.  After all, you can only spend so many hours at the pool or beach! There are still plenty of ways for everyone to stay occupied until school starts again.

  • Visit a local museum, zoo, or even an aquarium. Chances are the building will be air-conditioned and you’ll get to learn about all kinds of cool animals, artifacts, or science experiments.
  • Look for any upcoming events in your community, such as food festivals or carnivals. Some places even do outdoor movie nights to give you the experience of a drive-in movie without the cars.
  • But if you and the kids want a full drive-in movie experience, there are still some locations around the country. Maybe there’s one near you!
  • Check in with local churches, shelters, and community centers for volunteer opportunities this summer. Children can very often get involved and they will soon learn how rewarding it can be to give back.
  • Geocaching is fun for everyone, and all you need is a smart phone or GPS! Go to geocaching.com and search for the closest ones to you  The kids will love hunting for the geocache and seeing what’s inside!
  • Plant a garden.  There are many plants that grow well during the summer months, like cucumbers, lettuce, and radishes.  You can even get a head start on planting fall flower bulbs!
  • On really hot days, have a backyard water balloon fight or play in the sprinkler. These are easy ways to cool off without having to pack into the car.

Enjoy the second half of summer and take advantage of the beautiful weather while you have it!

How do you and your kids stay occupied during the summer months?

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April 9th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Want To Catch A Movie?

There once was a time when seeing a movie meant heading out to the theater to see it new, or waiting for the dvd release and going to the rental store. These days – well, there are a few more options. Now the theater can come to you, either delivered by mail or streamed online from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, or your local cable service, among others.

Choosing from all these options takes effort. But of course there are apps for that.

When heading out to the theater, it’s still about finding out what’s playing and where. For that, try Flixster. Not only does it tell you what’s playing nearby and when, it also lets you know what’s coming, current box office revenue, reviews and ratings (add your own), and even trailers. This app is especially useful when you’re on the road and want to check out the latest kids flick or blockbuster in an unfamiliar town.

If you are a frequent movie goer you might like a new subscription service called MoviePass. While it’s still in its infancy and by invite only (register to get on the list), this service allows you to see a movie a day for $25 – $40/month, depending on where you live. Sounds great but it’s only a bargain if you go to the movies a lot.

If you prefer to watch from your big comfy couch, you have options. Streaming sites make it  easy to either watch on your computer or TV (with the help of  a blu-ray player, Roku or gaming console). But how to figure out which service offers which flick? Try canistream.it. Just enter the movie you want and it will tell you which site rents it, or offers for digital or dvd purchase. It saves lots of time checking out each site. You can even sign up to be notified when your film becomes available in the desired format. Nice!

Not sure what you want to see? If you need recommendations, there’s no shortage of advice out there. You might try Flicklist, a new site (register for an invite), and see what others are saying about what’s playing. Get recommendations based on films that you rate. Rate, make lists, pin them, share on social media and follow others with similar tastes.

With all of these choices, it’s pretty hard to say there’s no good movies to watch anymore.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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April 4th, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Rainy Day Activities

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April’s got a reputation for being a rainy month, and with that comes the possibility that the kiddies will be stuck inside for awhile. Before they get stir-crazy early in the month, here are some fun activities that will keep them occupied until those April showers bring May flowers:

Make a rain gauge!  This fun project can go on all month long as your child learns how much rain has fallen throughout the month. Just put a jar outside in an open area before it starts raining. After it stops raining, have the kids stick a ruler in the jar to measure the amount of water inside. Have them record the amount of water each day for the rest of the month. At the end of the month, have them add up the totals for each day to find out how much rain fell in April!

Movie Day! Get everybody comfortable on the couch with pillows and blankets, make popcorn and beverages, and turn out the lights for an afternoon at the movies! Watch a current favorite DVD or put on some classic family movies from your own childhood.

An indoor treasure hunt will bring out your child’s inner pirate for sure! If you have wooden blocks, wrap them in aluminum foil for makeshift “silver” and hide them somewhere in the house. Leave clues around the house for your child to find that will lead them to the “treasure!” For example, the first clue might say, “The next clue can be found in the room where everybody eats.”  The answer would, of course, be the kitchen (or the dining room).

Story Hour My favorite rainy day activity to encourage is, of course, reading!  Either hold a story hour for your children or, if they’re old enough to read by themselves, encourage 30 minutes of quiet time with a book.  For younger readers, try Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, a humorous story by Mo Willems, and Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes.  For the slightly older set, I recommend The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and, for the young science enthusiasts, A Black Hole is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano.

What do you like to do with your children on a rainy day?

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December 10th, 2012 at 11:03 am

A Holiday Movie

This time of year is easy time for Family Night ideas. We spend a lot of our time watching Holiday shows and movies. There are so many great ones out there the hard part is all agreeing on what to watch. We have a bunch on DVD, but also fill our DVR with all kinds of holiday shows. A favorite place to find holiday shows is The 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family.

Need some ideas?? Check out some of our Favorites……

Frosty the Snowman- A classic cartoon about a snowman that comes to life! Great for young and old kids at heart.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer- A great story for kids filled with great songs. The story of a reindeer that is an outcast that end up saving Christmas.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas - One of my personal favorites. A lesser known cartoon of a clock-maker and the mouse family that lives with them. The story of Christmas being saved.

The Santa Clause series – A humorous movie about a dad who takes over the role as Santa Clause.

The Polar Express - The story of a boy rediscovering his belief in Santa.

A Christmas Carol - This story can be found played by the Muppets, Disney characters, and even live actors is suitable for people of all ages.

Home Alone - My boys watched this for the first time this year. They loved it and found it very hilarious. The story of a young boy being left at home while his family leaves on Christmas vacation.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation -  Humorous family classic depicting the story of a family celebrating Christmas. The sad part is that sometimes we find this story a little too close for comfort.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas - Whether you watch the story in cartoon or movie form it is the story of a creature that wants to ruin Christmas and its heart is changed in the end.

Elf - A funny story about an elf sent to the US to find his real family.

A Charlie Brown Christmas - Charlie Brown searches for the real meaning of Christmas.

Miracle on 34th Street - Whether you watch the new or old story discover how a little girl starts to believe in Santa again.

A Christmas Story - A young boy tries to convince his family that a BB gun is the best gift for Christmas.

Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas - A lesser know movie with Muppets in which an otter family risks everything to make their dreams come true. An absolute favorite of mine!

So, whether it be as a family or for a date-night at home, the shows above can add a little holiday spirit!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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