Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Out and About

Shrek 4 - Forever After (in 3D) - Movie Review

First of all, I thought I was so clever taking the kids to the theatre today before everyone else got out of school (ah, the sweet perks of homeschooling!). Maybe I should have checked the calendar a little better cause they all got out yesterday and they all decided to go to the movies today. Aside from my sons learning a couple of new vocabulary words in the bathroom from our public-schooled counterparts (nice reinforcement for our home-school decision!), we had a wonderful time! 
I love the Shrek series! This final installment is a Shrekified version of the oft-told tale of "what life would be like if I was never born". Enter our villian Rumplestiltskin and Shrek finds out! A Shrek-less world is not a pretty place. Follow him as he tries to undo his ill-begotten wish and regain the life he now realizes wasn't so bad.
I know a lot of people have panned the 3rd installment of this series...I didn't think it was so bad (but I tend to view a film for what it is....a kid-oriented animated feature meant to engage our imaginations and funny bones; not a cerebral art piece vying for an award)...but this one was great and the animation is better than ever. The whole theater, children and adults alike, was laughing out loud and cheering.  It's hard to say good-bye to Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and the gang....To console myself, I think I'll make me some waffles!

The Spy Next Door - Video Review

This Jackie Chan meets The Pacifier (remember the Vin Diesel movie a few years ago?) is really cute. Jackie is an undercover Chinese intelligence agent on loan to the CIA who lives inconspicuously in a suburban neighborhood and is dating his next door neighbor. The only thing standing between him and domestic happiness are his job and his girlfriend's three children. Jackie impresses with his usual fight scenes using unusual weapons (ladders, chairs, bicycles, etc...) only on a little kid-friendlier level. Your kids are going to recognize the bad guy, Magnus Scheving (Sportacus from Lazytown) and as my kids called him, "Hannah Montana's dad" Billy Ray Cyrus, whose lines steal the show. Since we love a good, family-friendly action movie, this one is a great family fun night option earning it 6 out of 9 (yes, we gained our other movie reviewer, aka my oldest daughter, back for the summer!)

Avatar - Video Review

My husband and I decided to do a parental review on this movie and see 1)what all of the hype is about and 2) if it was anything the kids could watch. Well, we got our answers. 1) I still can't figure out what the big deal is. It's part live action, part computer generated animation and all fantasy/sci-fi. To be fair, I really, really don't like fantasy or science fiction so the mystique of this movie is lost on me. However, my husband loves sci-fi and he still didn't enjoy it. He was impressed with the animation but neither of us could get past the foul language which brings us to 2). Do not think (as I did at first) that this is an animated movie for is a movie made for adults with a lot of profanity. This one doesn't get any smileys.

Furry Vengeance - Movie Review

There is something terribly familiar about this movie...a family begrudgingly moves to a new town where Dad's job is to develop a new "green" master-planned community. The trouble is, the company's practices aren't so green and the current residents (think raccoons, possums and skunks, etc...) are mad and aren't going to take it any more! Think Dr. Doolittle 2 and Evan Almighty rolled into one! This movie has lots of laughs (especially appealing to the young boys in our family) and parents can relax as there are no objectionable themes or language (well...Brendan Fraser in his wife's sweats and again in his decide!) Stay for the credits at the'll love the music video!
We enjoyed this movie but would recommend you wait until it comes out on video. That said, we give it 4 out of 8 popcorn eatin' smileys.

How to Train Your Dragon - Movie Review

We love, love, love going to the movies. Especially now that everyone can sit through one!
We most recently saw How to Train Your Dragon. The story opens as we are introduced to Hiccup, the main character. He is a young man living in a Viking village plagued by a horrible pest problem. Not the normal bugs or rodents we would think of, but dragons. Hiccup's father is the leader of the village and the most fierce and prolific dragon slayer. Unfortunately, Hiccup dreams of joining the other Vikings in their battles against the dragons but, unfortunately, he is a little clumsy to say the least. I don't want to give too much away but we follow Hiccup on the journey of a lifetime and learn you should never judge a book by it's cover.

When we first decided to see this movie, I was less than enthusiastic. I'm a girl and generally do not enjoy stories about dragons. My husband doesn't particularly care for animated features. We figured we could zone out and enjoy the stillness of the kids. We saw the 3D version and were completely blown away by the amazing animation. The story was charming and funny with a great moral lesson. We highly recommend this movie for families with children of all ages (even if you don't have kids...borrow someone's and enjoy!).
8 out 8 in our family loved it! (Normally I have 9 but one didn't make it to the show)

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