21.5.15

Movie Review: Unbroken Legacy of Faith Movie and Documentary



When possible, I actively schedule educational and purposeful movies into our movie viewing time. This review from FishFlix.com made that easy as we received both a historical patriotic film and an additional documentary. The 2 DVD set Unbroken Legacy of Faith Edition included the recently released DVD Unbroken, the story of Louis Zamperini, as well as over 90 minutes of interviews that clearly reveal his faith. 



My husband and son were most interested in the Unbroken movie, but the entire family watched it together and then again with grandparents. The guys noticed details like types of planes and antique cars, but the true story captured my attention. 

This is a story of an American Hero who is a prisoner of war. Mr. Zamperini spent the majority of WWI as a captive in Japanese camps. As a war movie, it is filled with violence though some is implied more than displayed. The movie is rated PG-13. We did watch both the movie and the documentaries with all of our children. 

My son, during the long portions about the men on a raft, reminded us of a similar raft we read about recently when we visited the Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum. It was a different raft, but similar enough to make the movie more realistic for my son who still questions which books and movies are factual and which ones are fiction.
"Out in the middle of the ocean with no food...you can make promises in dire situations."
 Themes of resilience and courage were evident over and over in Mr. Zamperini's story. 

There are situations in this movie that might be scary to viewers of any age. I recommend parents watch it first to determine appropriateness for your own children.




The additional DVD included in our package was so interesting. The documentary "The Story Behind The Film" shares how Louie was able to change from wanting to kill the guard that had treated him so atrociously to forgiving him after learning about Jesus Christ at one of the first Billy Graham crusades. The next beautiful footage shows Mr. Zamperini sharing just how a person can have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

A friend now lives on Kwajalein, one of the Marshall Islands, and in through her pictures it seems like a tropical paradise. I didn't know this part of the sad history of those islands until watching this documentary.

In  kindergarten, tough young Louie already smoked but couldn't speak English. His mom prayed for him from his childhood. The documentary includes footage of interviews with Mr. Zamperini. I loved the story he shared of his nightmares (because of prison camp) ending after accepting Christ as his savior.

"Forgive the sin. Smile on the sinner...Love thine enemy. Forgiveness must be complete. Instead of hate I'm gonna pray for them." 

Connect with them online:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Google+
YouTube

Other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed this and other Christian DVDs by FishFlix. Click the banner below to read more reviews. 


FishFlix.com Review
Jennifer



20.5.15

The Virtual Refrigerator


Welcome to The Virtual Refrigerator.  The theme for May is FLOWERS. Share your flower filled art, but even if you don't follow our theme you can still join us. Just link your art posts below.

The hydrangeas in our front flower bed look bluer than I remember them ever being. Joseph drew this picture for me like the hydrangeas that we have on our table. 




Our weekly blog hop is co-hosted by Every Bed of RosesHomeschool Coffee Break, and a Glimpse of our Life. Link up your art tutorials or projects that your children have been working on. Then pin the same to our virtual fridge by joining our group pinterest board, just ask any of us to add you. Join us at the blogs of any of the four bloggers who are hosting the Virtual Refrigerator. Link up, visit others who join us, try something new, then come back and share that, too. We want to see your child's masterpiece on our #VirtualFridge 
Jennifer


Click these links to visit the co-hosts' blogs.   
 Every Bed of Roses 


Forest For The Trees, A Schoolhouse Crew Review


We live in the middle of a pine tree forest. Given a choice from many of the unit studies by Homeschool Legacy, our first choice was Forest For The Trees. This Once-A-Week thirty-seven page unit study was download then accessed with Adobe Reader.




This study was all about botany with a primary focus on trees, but it included a lot more than science, too. This Forest For The Trees unit study combined nature study, art, literature, language arts, geography, history and even life skills, music, and Bible study.



We have delved into unit studies before, but this was set up to have everything we need with "no prep" required, which was one of the features that first grabbed my interest. I was indeed able to use much of it just by reading what was included to my kids then having them follow the directions. As it has been designed for grades 2-12 I was easily able to include all three of my children (currently grades 5, 9, and 11) in this unit study. A camera is used in several lessons, and a tree field guide is frequently referenced. We were easily able to find most other items around the house: magnifying glass, paper, glue... If you don't already have a nature journal, complete instructions are included for just how to make one from a 3-ring binder. 

Tree identification was the main focus of week one. Along with pine trees and oak trees, we have a variety of fruit trees on our farm. "Go climb a tree" is actually an instruction in this unit study. My son eagerly followed that lesson plan. He also led us all on a nature hike. Here, he explored the upper branches of a mulberry tree. Bush? Tree? If a bush grows enough, is it considered a tree?

climb a tree
"Go climb a tree."

The study is set up to be completed over four weeks and covers the following:
  • Tree Identification
  • Tree Anatomy
  • What Trees Provide
  • Forests and Forestry
I've shared before on the blog about controlled burning here. The next big thing for our trees will be thinning. Just today, tractors and equipment were used by the power company to trim limbs near power lines, and my son watched from a safe distance. Week four fit right in with management of the trees on our farm.

Field trips were even suggested such as visiting a place with old growth trees. Even the oldest trees on our farm are not considered old growth. Next time we go to the coast, we can see if our arms with all of our hands held are long enough to wrap around one of our favorite old growth trees: The Friendship Oak. A field trip checklist can be printed then filled out and gives some guided questions for students to answer in essay format.

My kids recognized the poem Trees from hearing it before on Superman.

I mentioned earlier how many subjects are included in this unit study. Now I'll show you just how that is done. Language is covered by having the kids write about what they learn. It is suggested that younger kids can even dictate theirs, though my children all did their own writing. Books and videos are suggested which complement each week's lesson. We will actually be extending this study as recommended videos come to the top of our Netflix queue. History is built into the lessons with information such as fool's gold and the California redwoods along with black and white photographs. Science included blanks to fill in different tree related information when read from the recommended books. Although our library visits had increased to once a week, we only visited our library once during this entire study, so we used some books not listed in addition to the ones that were on the list that we already had at home. My collection of Childcraft books also included several that fit our tree theme. Though the main lessons (even the family devotional) are done once a week, assigned independent readings and family read alouds are done daily. Look through my Virtual Refrigerator posts for two of our tree art watercolor pictures. At the end of each lesson, my son especially enjoyed the "Stump Your Dad Trivia." All of us are interested in trying to grow a bonsai tree. 

American Heritage Girls, Boy Scouts of America, and 4H project requirements can also be met using this and other unit studies from Homeschool Legacy. This unit study is written from a Christian worldview, and notations specify when recommended resources include evolutionary content.

Connect with Homeschool Legacy online:
Twitter
Pinterest
Facebook

Other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew used this and other unit studies from Homeschool Legacy. Click the banner below to read their reviews.




Homeschool Legacy Review

Jennifer



19.5.15

Movie Review ~ American Sniper

Read details about this GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post.

A preview of this newly released DVD was provided for the purpose of this review.


Because this differs so much from my typical reviews on this blog, I must preface this with a notice that this is not a film for an immature audience. Even the previews include violence. This movie is rated R for language and violence. 

The atrocities of war are loud and clear in this movie from the grenade toting child pushed toward the American convoy in the very first scene. 

The first fifth of the movie sets the stage. American Sniper is the graphic story of one man: Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL, now an American hero. Glimpses of his past are shown in brief flash backs, not always pretty, scenes to build our understanding of his character, not always a positive opinion either. Quick scenes of hunting with his father, church going, and an unloyal girlfriend were all used to build the viewers image of the man who entered SEAL training as a 30 year old. Just a glimpse of Navy SEAL training is portrayed followed by a hint of the sacrifices required once that SEAL title was earned.

This isn't a family movie. It's instead a story of one hero fighting for us to have the freedoms we do in this country. War isn't pretty. This isn't a feel-good movie.
"Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated adaptation of Chris Kyle’s autobiography AMERICAN SNIPER is moving and meaningful filmmaking, depicting the heroism of both the service member in combat and the family left stateside. It is not an easy film to watch, given its subject matter, but it is, I believe, an essential film to watch to help us better understand the cost, to those on the battlefield and on the home front, of the freedoms we hold so dear." 


The movie ends with an inside look at PTSD and Wounded Warriors. These men have given so much for our freedom. From cowboy boots to combat boots and back again...this is just one man's story. It represents so many more that are untold. 

The DVD hits stores today, May 19 – just in time for Memorial Day.

Press Release:

Warner Bros. is donating a dollar from the sale of each DVD, up to $1 million, to the Wounded Warrior Project, whose mission is to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. That’s part of what makes it such an honor to work on this project – to know that we’re doing more than raising awareness about a movie; we’re helping those who were injured fighting for our country.

Burbank, CA, April 15, 2015 – From director Clint Eastwood comes “American Sniper,” arriving onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on May 19 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, A Mad Chance Production, A 22nd & Indiana Production. “American Sniper” stars Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter.

A two-time Oscar® nominee for his work in “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle,” Cooper stars alongside Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin Lacz, Navid Negahban and Keir O’Donnell.

Oscar®-winning filmmaker Clint Eastwood (“Million Dollar Baby,” “Unforgiven”) directed “American Sniper” from a screenplay written by Jason Hall, based on the book by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. The autobiography was a runaway bestseller, spending 18 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, 13 of those at number one.

The film is produced by Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan. Tim Moore, Jason Hall, Sheroum Kim, Steven Mnuchin and Bruce Berman served as executive producers.

“American Sniper” will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and includes the film in high definition on Blu-ray disc, a DVD, and a digital version of the movie in Digital HD with UltraViolet. Fans can also own “American Sniper” via purchase from digital retailers.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will donate a portion of the proceeds across physical and digital sales to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). One dollar of each purchase will be donated up to $1,000,000 from April 21, 2015 through December 31, 2015, void in Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi and South Carolina. To get involved and learn more, visit http://www.woundedwarriorproject.com.

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To learn more about WWP’s life-saving programs and services, please visit http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs.

SYNOPSIS

From director Clint Eastwood comes “American Sniper,” starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield.

But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter.

Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield, and as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world.

Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

“American Sniper” Blu-ray Combo Pack & Two Disc DVD contains the following special features:
· One Soldier’s Story: The Journey of American Sniper
Join director Clint Eastwood and his creative team, along with
Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, as they overcome enormous creative and
logistic obstacles to make a film that brings the truth of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's story to the screen.
· Making of American Sniper




Grace Hill Media provided the DVDs for this review and giveaways. No other compensation was provided. This is disclosed as per FTC guidelines. 

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this American Sniper (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) here: 

Blu Ray DVD American Sniper

16.5.15

Scripture And A Snapshot



Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.

Psalm 143:8 


     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot. Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a Snapshot. Take time to visit  some of the other links, too. If you would like to join our group Pinterest board for Scripture & A Snapshot, simply follow the board then leave a comment to let me know your Pinterest name or email used there. 
Jennifer

Scripture and Snapshot



14.5.15

Rainbow Days

GIVEAWAY!!! 

It is almost my baby's birthday, and by baby I mean my youngest but he is already taller than his Grandma so that endearment is rarely used. He is incredibly excited to get to go to a Lego Discovery Center to celebrate. Designing with Legos is one of his great joys, and he was the one who discovered that the long dreamed of attraction was near our Texas destination.

The real reason for the trip is Lilla Rose, specifically a regional training event for consultants. In the past, I traveled alone for continuing education, but now we prefer doing things as a family. Lilla Rose has a yearly convention in California, but tickets for our entire family to fly there haven't been in our budget. When our Unit Director shared that she planned a training event in Texas (close enough to home to drive) the girls and I knew we wanted to make the trip. I've shared before how being a consultant for Lilla Rose is something I signed up for with my girls. They are actually getting to share  some of their favorite #PrettyHair tips with the other consultants.

While we are off celebrating, Lilla Rose is throwing a birthday sale for my son. Okay, the corporate office probably didn't know the dates were so close, but the events are all happening together. More of the new products revealed at convention (and to consultants like me in videos) are being released Thursday. To add something extra for you to this celebration, I'm offering a giveaway of one of these brand new flexi-clips to one of my blog readers!

They are calling it the new color line. Seven sizes, five colors: 



Sale details:
Visit my website: https://www.lillarose.biz/prettyhair
Sale prices are already changed on the website and will be evident in your cart. 


Giveaway details:
If you don't already have another consultant, sign up below for a chance to win one of the new flexi clips in the color line or any flexi clip with a regular price up to $16.00! 


***Update*** If you are interested in the consultant opportunity, now is a great time to sign up. Free shipping with all enrollment kit orders placed during the sale was just announced! If you have any questions about this business, please ask. 

Just in case that isn't quite enough of a rainbow for you, I'll share one of the treats we are making to take with us to share. My sister and I first tried these at a Christmas party years ago, and they quickly became a family favorite. Ready? It's simple. 

Just two ingredients:
White chocolate
Fruit Loops cereal

Melt the chocolate, stir it over the cereal until coated, then drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Measurements don't really matter. If someone found the white chocolate chips and you only have half a bag, just use less cereal. Enjoy the rainbow sugar high.
Jennifer


Socks

The following is a review of socks from Uncommon Feet.


My kids and I were recently given the opportunity to choose socks from http://www.uncommonfeet.com for this review. 

If your family is anything like mine, socks are something you need a lot of. I do not like cold toes, and I keep socks on most of the time. My friend in Colorado shared a picture of their snow covered back porch yesterday...in May! It feels like summer here in Louisiana. Either way, in their cold or our air conditioning, I want comfortable socks. These socks are comfortable, soft, and cute.


Aren't these just the cutest socks? As if we don't have enough cats on the farm already! Now my daughter has cats warming her toes. I chose the elephant print in green and dark gray. My girls and I all received women's matched sets. These fit our feet (ranging from size 8 to 12) perfectly.  For you adventurous friends, they also offer mismatched socks! 


My girls' feet: 

My son claimed the pair that would have perfectly fit my husband: Airplane Pilot socks for men in navy blue. They are just a little too big for him, but they are now his favorite socks.


So far, none of these have been lost in the dryer. Do socks disappear at your house? Look and see what design you would choose first. This is a fun idea for a Father's Day gift, too.
Jennifer





13.5.15

The Virtual Refrigerator


Welcome to The Virtual Refrigerator.  The theme for May is FLOWERS. Share your flower filled art, but don't worry if you don't follow our theme you can still join us. 




We first used berries as ink last year. Mulberries and blackberries have been growing on our farm, and Emily made ink again but this time used it for painting. Read more about her process here


Our weekly blog hop is co-hosted by Every Bed of RosesHomeschool Coffee Break, and a Glimpse of our Life. Link up your art tutorials or projects that your children have been working on. Then pin the same to our virtual fridge by joining our group pinterest board, just ask any of us to add you. Join us at the blogs of any of the four bloggers who are hosting the Virtual Refrigerator. Link up, visit others who join us, try something new, then come back and share that, too. We want to see your child's masterpiece on our #VirtualFridge 
Jennifer


Click these links to visit the co-hosts' blogs.   
 Every Bed of Roses 


Book Review: S is for Smiling Sunrise

The following is a Schoolhouse Crew Review. 


     Most of the time, my blog reviews are for things that I use with my own kids. One of our Schoolhouse Review leaders suggested that S is for Smiling Sunrise: An Alphabet Book of Goodness, Beauty, and Wonder would be a fun book to share with little ones even if we just had older kids who babysat. That fit us perfectly, so even though my sweeties are all past this stage my girls do both babysit and help with younger children at church and in our homeschool co-op. WordsBright's first book is also the first book by the author Vick Wadhwa. This is indeed a different type of ABC book.

     For this review, we received a hardcover copy of this book as well as the accompanying teacher's guides and MP3 download. 

     The colorful illustrations are cheerful and bright, one page per letter. Each letter has one or two corresponding words as the title suggests. In addition to S is for Smiling Sunrise, G is for Gift, Q is for Quiet times, and O is for Ocean. Each of the 26 letters of the alphabet has a different associated word than is typically found in children's ABC books. I've read "K is for King" in many books. In this book, K is for Kaleidoscope as pictured below.


     At the top of each page, capital and lower case block letter illustrations are featured and the prominent word is shared in large colored letters.

     Along with the colorful pictures and rhyming verses, a downloadable song (MP3) lets you hear the words sung accompanied by lovely piano and guitar music. Children who are already able to read can follow along as they listen. Others can learn the words by singing to the tune of the familiar ABC song. The verses beneath each letter and featured word aren't filled with additional words beginning with the same letter. Instead, the words fit the cadence of the song. At the end of the book and song, children are invited to start over. "Lets sing A to Z!" 

     My daughter's first comment after originally reading this book was that she, too, could write a book like this. I'm encouraged that she found it so inspiring.

     Teacher's guides for pre-K and grades K-3 are also included which provided additional corresponding concepts, guided questions, vocabulary words from the book, and activities.

     Connect with the author on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wadhwavick

Click below to read other Schoolhouse Crew reviews of this book. 
Wordsbright Review
Jennifer


9.5.15

Scripture And A Snapshot



Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 

Happy Mother's Day!

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot. Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a Snapshot. Take time to visit  some of the other links, too. If you would like to join our group Pinterest board for Scripture & A Snapshot, simply follow the board then leave a comment to let me know your Pinterest name or email used there. 
Jennifer

Scripture and Snapshot