Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Our Four Kids and It Movie Premiere Reunion With Friends #fourkidsandit

Four Kids and It is a charming and whimsical story featuring a star-studded cast including Paula Patton (2 Guns, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) and Matthew Goode (TV’s “Downton Abbey” and “The Crown”), with Russell Brand (TV’s “Ballers,” Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and the voice of Academy Award® winner Michael Caine (1999, Best Supporting Actor, The Cider House Rules;  The Dark Knight franchise, The Prestige). Based on iconic children’s author Jaqueline Wilson’s Four Children and It, the story is a modern twist based on E. Nesbit’s 1902 classic Five Children and It, and also stars Teddie Malleson-Allen, Ashley Aufderheide, Billy Jenkins, and  Ellie-Mae Siame. The film adaptation is directed by Andy De Emmony (TV’s “The Nest” and “Spitting Image”) and written by Simon Lewis. 

On a seaside holiday, four kids from a blended family visit the beach, where they discover a floppy-eared creature that grants their wishes. But there’s a catch: the kids’ adventures in rock-climbing, pop stardom, and flying end promptly at sunset — leaving them in danger each time. Can they learn to control the magic before something dreadful happens?

Four Kids and It is now available on Digital, Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand, including major digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and others.

The 411:

I love my daughter’s friends so I invited them over for a movie review/lunch/reunion get together. They were very happy for the opportunity to hang out and when lunch and snacks are provided it is an easy sell.

We Door Dashed lunch and since it is impossible in my neck of the woods, I used my work address and met them in the parking lot.  

Getting them to stop talking at the table took some time. It has been months since they have been together but eventually they all came over to the living room.

I put a blanket down on the floor so that the kids could maintain social distancing but they all ended up on the blanket eventually. 

Sooo these kids are ages, 14, 15 and 17 so they are not necessary the age group the film makers had in mind but it was so fun listening to these kids talk about the movie as we watched. 

A couple meet at a vacation home with their kids but the kids don’t know these two have been dating. Both sets of kids have been hoping for the family to get back together. Needless to say the kids are upset, disappointed and kinda pissed off. As a parent I couldn’t imagine doing this to my kids. Springing a boyfriend/girlfriend surprise on them while they are hoping their families get back together would not have been my route but you do you.

Tony immediately decided not the storyline arc only 10 minutes into the movie. https://www.instagram.com/p/CCEj8_xnVeY/?igshid=16o3dpkf4byec

The teens had a good time laughing and talking about the families.  They were concerned that there were a few times the parents were a little to frisky to be a kid movie but I told them it was fine it was only because they were older that they got the couple sinking down below the counter in the kitchen or laying on the beach waiting for their opportunity to be alone. They were also concerned that the parents never seemed very worried that the kids were gone for long periods of time. I honestly had a blast listening to them and haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. It was the perfect way to spend the day.

The movie is perfect for a family movie and I think that these kids will be talking about it for a long time. As I drove them home they were talking about it although their review wasn’t stellar after seeing it. Teens are funny like that.

Tony’s review immediately after watching. He is 15 years old.

“Why? Was the camera so bouncy? Couldn’t they put it on a tripod. It made me crazy how jumpy it was. There are parts in the movie that I don’t think are kid friendly although the youngest kid had one of the best lines, “my father left us for a 20 year old with a tight tushy. 

The antagonist was baffling. The villain didn’t have a single good line in the entire movie. The only comedic relief came at the 3rd act where birds pooped on his head as he was climbing up a cliff.“

Personally I think the kids had a great time and they have some inside jokes that they were saying will last them a lifetime “suckable toes” (The creature had toes that they could not stop discussing).  So while I agree with some of Tony’s insight I myself LOVE Russell Brand. I also loved the magic moments that the kids had in the movie and think families will find it hysterical that the “IT” needs to puff up to grant a wish.  I found it cute and told the kids that if they had a good time, it was a good movie. 

To Watch on Blu-ray, DVD or to Stream https://amzn.to/3dRUSI1

Disclaimer: I received a code to watch the movie as well as DoorDash gift cards and candy for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

No Kindergarten for Us


No Kindergarten for Us

I have decided that my son will NOT be going to kindergarten this year. Back in April I discussed his IEP meeting and how I was confident that another year in Pre-K would be beneficial to him.

The school for some reason seems to be against his staying in Pre-K. They believe that I should put him in Kindergarten and if he needs more time, he can repeat Kindergarten. This just makes no sense to me.
inst his staying in Pre-K. They believe that I should put him in Kindergarten and if he needs more time, he can repeat Kindergarten. This just makes no sense to me.
What is the most frustrating, is that my son who has been in Early Intervention since he was 21 months for a speech delay would be fine in Kindergarten but it is not Kindergarten that I am worried about. It is every grade after that. He is academically ready for 1st grade but his academics have never been the issue. My kid was telling me B-L-U-E spells blue and H-O-U-S-E spells house when he was 22 months old.
My decision has been based on his IEP as well as my daily interactions and concerns with him. I have been telling his therapists that I recently made a call to the school to let them know that I have made my final decision, he will not be coming in September.
There was a bit of an attitude on the phone from someone who I thought was my ally. Maybe they were having a bad day or maybe there is some red tape they will need to go through now that he is 5 (above Pre-K age), but still in services.
I have no idea.
What I do know is this…
My son had a speech delay which contributed to a social, emotional and mental delay. This along with the personality of a pre-schooler (testing the waters, talking back) and the inability to remain focused, along with a self esteem problem because for the past 3 years he has been corrected every time he tried to say something and a classification of a preschooler with a disability = a definite reason to delay the start of school.
While he has been making great progress since starting services, I see no reason why this is meeting with such resistance.
There are mainstream children who have no classification or present any of the above mentioned reasons for delaying Kindergarten, yet because of their birthday or immaturity wait a year to begin. So, why are we rushing my son?
He is enrolled in a preschool that I have been talking with for over 4 months now and I am excited to see what September hold for him.
Supposedly he will also get speech and OT at the Elementary school 4 times a week but if this does not fit into my schedule (I do have another child and we will be waiting in town for close to 2.5 hour a day, 4 times a week), I have no problem cutting off therapies, giving him a year off and resuming again when he starts kindergarten.
I have a call into the Special Education Department to discuss more what will happen in September. Hopefully all goes well and they and I can continue to work together for my son’s benefit. If not, I will have to confront them on their attitude and demeanor on our last call and ask that they refrain from further discussions of my son with me unless we are in a Board of Education Meeting.
School Issues in July?
I thought we were all getting along.

Monday, June 29, 2020

My Life In Pictures May 8 - 16, 2020

May 8 - Pizza Friday means another trip to the pizzeria. My son eats a pie by himself so he doesn't' mind running in to grab them.  My daughter gets the door for him. Honestly, this may be the only time they work together on anything.

May 9 - Yes! That is a dusting of snow. So weird to have snow in May. My poor plants are very upset. We lost all the basil.

May 10 - We are saying goodbye to my Explorer. She served us well and we got her for free from my sister-in-law. I will truly miss her!

May 11 - My son turned 17. It has been a weird year but we had a mini parade thanks to the Police and EMS crews in my town.  He enjoyed his parade and two of my co-workers were nice enough to join it as well as a neighbor. Very sweet and he was so excited to get balloons, donuts, popcorn and candy bars as well as a handmade card from my co-worker.

May 12 - Me but better. Thank you Snapchat!!!

May 13 - This is probably one of my favorite sketches! She is adorable and I don't hate it. 

May 14 - I am so proud of my daughter's work. Look at this art project she had to do while homeschooling during the quarantine. Soooo good!

May 15 - NOTHING.

May 16 - My new car! Isn't she pretty. I am so gonna miss my Explorer but I love all the bells and whistles

My Life In Pictures - May 1 - May 7

May 1 - The "New Normal". I don't like it. I want my old normal but my son looks adorable even though I can only see his ear, neck and arms. He is wearing one of his favorite shirts.

May 2 - I made fried dandelions and they were amazing. It is a ton of work because you have to rinse them a bunch of times before using them and I probably ate at least one tiny ant because every time I rinsed there still seemed to be ants but I would do it again!

May 3 - My daughter doesn't eat much but she does love veggies so I asked if she would try stuffed peppers. She said yes but was very specific in what she allowed in it. No meat, no breadcrumbs, no anything. She just wanted rice, Italian seasoning and she added hot sauce. Very plain to me but she ate all 4.

May 4 - Me only better. Thank you Snapchat!

May 5 - I allowed myself to take a few hours to read. I always feel so guilty when I am doing nothing around the house but it was a good book and a beautiful day. 

May 6 - The birds have left the nest. They hopped around the deck for a few hours providing much entertainment for my 3 cats.  This little guy and Luna stared at each other for 15 minutes. 

May 7 - I stopped by one of my daycare kids to play a game of laser tag and say hello. His parents are awesome. My little guy came out and handed me an envelope which I opened up when I got home. It was very thoughtful. So sweet to be appreciated. 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

You Will Be Craving French Vanilla Coffee After Trying This! #GIVEAWAY

Crave Coffee has many flavors you will undoubtedly crave but this one was so good that I am craving it 15 minutes after my last cup.  Like all Crave Coffees it is made with 100% Arabica beans giving you a tasty, full bodied cup of coffee full of flavor. 

Crave fits Keurig machines including 2.0 and is reasonably priced so you can get the perfect cup of coffee every time without spending a fortune. It has been at least 2 years since I stopped to get coffee from a coffee shop. I fill my and my husband's commuter cup every morning and we bring our own to work. We are saving at least $500 a year by bringing from home and I don't even miss getting coffee out. Mine is always better. 

Since I received the French Vanilla, I decided to try limiting my creamer. I use Italian Sweet Cream in my coffee which is 35 calories. I have gone over to Coffee Mate(Not sponsored) 

which is only 5 calories. It was an easy switch and my coffee taste amazing. Saving over 60 calories just drinking coffee!  Got to save those calories where I can. I am not getting any younger!

Doesn't it just sound delicious!?

Creating a Home Cinema: A Guide

Not so long ago, the idea of creating a home cinema was way beyond the reach of all but the very wealthiest among us. However, with significant advances in technology and tumbling price points, the cinema set-up of your dreams is now a very affordable prospect. Setting up a home theater 
is relatively easy, so long as you stick to a few general rules. 

Room size

Audio tends to distort if you can’t properly space out speakers so avoid smaller rooms where possible. An integral part of home cinema is the surround sound – and for audio to properly engulf you, it needs space. You could, of course, use a soundbar but for the full cinema experience, you’ll want to go for multiple speakers.

Also, with the larger TVs on the market today, you need to be a reasonable distance from your screen. Ideally, go for a room at least 10ft x 12ft (bigger if you have space).

The sound system

Sound is 50% of the cinema experience. To get the best effects from your home set-up, you’ll want to invest in good audio equipment.
Modern speaker systems allow full spatial audio, meaning sounds come from all around you - behind, from the side and in front. Just like the movie theater, you’ll want intelligent, immersive sound in your home cinema system.

The most popular sound systems come in 5.1 and 7.1 varieties, with the numbers representing the number of speakers vs subwoofers. So, in a 7.1 set-up, you’ll get a total of seven speakers (two front, one center and four satellites) plus one subwoofer.

The screen 

Screen choice is vitally important to the home cinema experience. There is a dizzying array available, but the most important considerations are:

While TV screens these days come in truly gargantuan sizes, for most systems, 48” will be ample. Screens of 80” and above are not uncommon – but bear in mind you’ll need an equally spacious room to adequately accommodate anything this large.

Screen technologies have come a long way in a short time. These days, the most significant debate is between LED or OLED technology. OLED ​screens feature self-lighting pixels rather than the backlit system employed in LED technology meaning OLED features blacker blacks, higher energy efficiency, ultra-thin screens, and better viewing angles. 

Just a few years ago, Full HD was the buzzword, but the technology has since been superseded with Ultra HD 4K and even 8K. In simple terms, 4K offers four times the pixel density of Full HD, giving significantly improved picture quality and crisper images. It’s probably not worth going lower 
than HD 4K but if you want to be future-proof (well, as future-proof as you can be), 8K is the best option – particularly if you choose a large screen.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) screens offer better contrast, more accurate color replication and deeper blacks. HDR capabilities should feature on your list of TV requirements.  

Extra considerations

With all this great kit, you’ll also need to consider how you’re going to connect everything. Surge protection is also essential to prevent electrical damage, and you may also want to look at getting wall brackets, cables, AV amplifiers and antenna. Companies like thewireszone.com offer a one-
stop-shop for home cinema devices and peripherals as well as offering specialist technical advice to achieve the best home set up. 


Once you’ve selected the right kit, you’ll need to think about positioning. For a 7.1 set-up, you should place two front speakers on either side of the screen, one underneath and four surround units pointing towards the center of the room. There are several smartphone apps that will help you 
find the sweet spot for your home audio set-up.

While it may seem a little daunting at first, the rewards of home cinema are well worth the investment. Following the guidelines above will help ensure you get the best results.  ​

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Yard Decorations

Those who have yards may look for ways to make them look a little prettier and less dull. While their grass may be green and their flowers blooming, the layout could look a little empty and in need of a few things. There are several things one could put in their yard to make it look homier and more put together. Here are three things that most people look to add.


Putting lights around your garden or yard is beneficial for multiple reasons. There are styles you can choose from that will decorate your home, as well as light your home. Lights are always needed, so there’s always an excuse to add some to your yard. You could choose from battery-operated, solar-powered, gas, or even plug-ins. There’s a light that’s out there for you.


People love to put flags outside their homes to help spruce it up and make it fun. They can hang from tall poles, be placed in the ground, or hang off your home’s windows. You can choose ones that support your favorite teams, represent your school, or show off what you love. If you want to show you support your loved one in the military, something like Air Force flags Birmingham AL are great to display.


One of the easiest ways to add some life to your yard is to add different garden accessories all around. You could choose some animal statues or have your family paint personalized rocks. Different plaques and decorations can also be spread throughout. Having various décor can break up the monotony of the dirt, grass, and flowers in your beds.  

Adding to your yard can be easy and still make a world of difference no matter how simple. These are just a few of the ideas you could choose from to use.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Strategies to Optimize Your Oral Health

Keeping your mouth healthy is important to having a beautiful smile as well as avoiding potentially serious health complications or restorative dentistry. Here are some things that you can do to stay on top of your oral care to achieve your best possible smile while preventing having to spend extra time at the dentist.

See Your Dental Care Provider on a Regular Basis

While many people don’t particularly enjoy going to the dentist and others are in fact somewhat afraid of sitting in a dentist’s chair, it’s critical to keep up with regularly scheduled exams and cleanings. Don’t put off going to the dentist because you think that you’re too busy or you don’t want to have to go until you experience some type of discomfort. Regular checkups are an important part of addressing problems early, and they can help avoid minor problems from becoming serious. It’s helpful to choose a dentist who is experienced in treating patients who are apprehensive about dental care. When you’re looking for dental services Westminster, choose a provider who has positive reviews from current and former patients. When you know that you’re getting help from a well-reviewed dentist, it may help to alleviate some of your anxiety about it.  

Simplify Your Home Care

Several tools can make your home care a little bit easier and also more thorough than relying on just a toothbrush and floss. A water flosser can help you remove plaque between your teeth and tartar trapped below the gumline with ease and efficiency. In addition, an ultrasonic toothbrush can help to clean every part of your mouth thoroughly. Be sure to spend some time brushing below the gumline rather than just the surface of your teeth. Lastly, using a tongue scraper can help to remove plaque that’s built up on the back of your tongue, which can make your breath a lot fresher throughout the day.

Wear a Night Guard

Some of the worst damage that teeth sustain isn’t caused by improper home care but rather by chronic grinding and clenching, also referred to as bruxism. Wearing a night guard can help to prevent damage from nighttime grinding that can cause broken dental work, chipped teeth, and even broken teeth.

Regular trips to your dentist, attentive home care, and preventing wear and damage caused by grinding will keep your oral health in good condition. If you have specific concerns about your oral health, you should seek out help from an experienced dentist as soon as possible

Summer Giveaway: Summer Fun, Facts and Fantastic Adventures Book #Giveaway


National Geographic Little Kids Big Book of Why (ages 3-7, $15) - What makes a car go? How does mushy dough become a crispy cookie? What does the doctor see in my throat? An essential parent reference, The Big Book of Why invites children to ask big questions, think big thoughts, and get answers that are accurate, engaging, level-appropriate, and based on sound educational findings. This book helps parents share fascinating, accurate answers, and inspires kids to be curious, ask questions, and explore the world around them. Games and parent tips encourage interactivity and extend the experience of the book beyond its pages. Highly photographic and playful, this big, sturdy book is an adventure in exploration.

I love National Geographic Children’s books. They are so educational while still fun. So many colorful photos and even the reluctant reader will find this interesting.*


National Geographic Little Kids Big Book of Why (ages 3-7, $15) - What makes a car go? How does mushy dough become a crispy cookie? What does the doctor see in my throat? An essential parent reference, The Big Book of Why invites children to ask big questions, think big thoughts, and get answers that are accurate, engaging, level-appropriate, and based on sound educational findings. This book helps parents share fascinating, accurate answers, and inspires kids to be curious, ask questions, and explore the world around them. Games and parent tips encourage interactivity and extend the experience of the book beyond its pages. Highly photographic and playful, this big, sturdy book is an adventure in exploration.

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021 (ages 8-12, $15) - The latest installment of the New York Times best-selling almanac features amazing animal stories, explorer profiles, and outrageous attractions, plus more of the incredible inventions, awesome games, and fresh challenges for curious kids who want to learn all about the world and everything that's in it!  Tons of fun facts, crafts, activities, and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, conservation, and more is why this is the number one selling kids almanac on the planet.  There's a whole chapter full of fun and games, including activities, jokes, and comics and the colorful compilation also includes an Almanac Challenge 2021 — which inspires kids to reduce their plastic waste and encourage others to do the same — and also highlights the winner of the 2020 Almanac Challenge.  

The Explorer Academy series by Trudi Trueit (ages 8-12, $17 each) —  Adventure, danger, and a thrilling global mission await Cruz Coronado at the elite Explorer Academy, where he and 23 other kids from around the globe  train with the world's leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there's more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at the Academy than he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. In the midst of codebreaking and cool classes, new friends and augmented reality expeditions, Cruz must tackle the biggest question of all: Who is out to get him, and why?  Deemed “captivating” by the editors at Parenting.com and “exciting, fast-paced” by Booklist, the series is filled with thrilling adventures, high-tech cadets, cool science, far-away lands, and codes to crack.   With four critically acclaimed titles in this series now available, two companion nonfiction activity books and literally hours and hours of videos, games, and info on real-life explorers at ExplorerAcademy.com, Explorer Academy is the perfect way to keep kids learning, reading and engaged this summer.  

Enter the giveaway before July 10

Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was offered for hosting this giveaway. Prize will be mailed out by the sponsor.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Questions for Pregnant Women to Ask a Potential Adoption Agency

Photo Source

When pregnant women consider using an adoption agency, it's best that they find one that fits all of their needs. For this reason, it is crucial that they are doing as much research as possible and asking the right questions. Below are some very important questions every pregnant woman using an adoption service needs to ask themselves, and the service, before committing to one service.

Do I Need Housing?

One thing many pregnant women don't think about when choosing an adoption service is that some services provide a place for pregnant women to live during their pregnancy. If a pregnant woman is in a strenuous housing situation, then it would be in their best interest to look into adoption agencies that provide housing. With free or supplemented housing, there will be one less thing for pregnant women to worry about during their pregnancy. 

Do I Want an Open or Closed Adoption?

One of the most important, and permanent, things a pregnant woman needs to ask themselves is whether the adoption will be open or closed. In an open adoption, the birth mother and the adoptive family (including the baby) will all have some kind of contact with each other. The terms of this contract will be decided by both families before the baby is born. This can range to seeing the child often to being able to send birthday presents. In a closed adoption, there is no contact with the birth mother and baby or adoptive family after the baby is born. It's best to do research on each of these options to decide what will be best for all people involved.  

Will I Receive Any Payment?

Some adoptive parents and/or adoption agencies do give birth mothers a payment for putting their child up for adoption. However, this is obviously not a good reason for women to become pregnant on purpose, as adoption agencies and adoptive parents, more often than not, do not give any large payments to birth mothers. In fact, it is illegal in most states to pay a mother to put up a baby for adoption. However, there are some expenses that adoptive parents might cover. These can include but are not limited to, medical bills, living expenses, and therapy costs.

Make sure to ask yourself these three important questions before considering putting your baby up for adoption. Adoption is right for some people, but not for everyone. That's why it is so important to figure out whether it is right for you or not.