Monday, September 30, 2013

"Burton the Scarecrow–Friendship Tales" from the Farm Series by V. A. Boeholt

Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.

It's fall now. Time to get out the decorations, prepare for Halloween and get the seasonal books out for the kids, I'm sure I'm not the only mom who does this. (Well, I'm not really sure actually. Am I??) I like to keep seasonal books together in the closet, then I can get them out to show the kids and excite them about changing seasons and upcoming holidays. It was especially fun in the preschool and toddler years.

The product:

“A sweet, enchanting story of friendship, with memorable opportunities for learning. Everyone needs a friend like Burton the Scarecrow!”
–Meridel Hedges, National Learning Styles Consultant and Educational Reading Specialist

Website: / List price: $14.95

V.A. Boeholt brings Burton the Scarecrow to life with endearing tales about gardening, farming, and friendship. Whether he’s protecting Farmer Green’s crops or helping his friends, Burton sets an example of kindness and commitment that will help young readers develop these strengths within themselves. Interactive readers’ guides and curriculum supplements help parents and teachers apply Burton’s wisdom at home or in the classroom, setting the stage for character development in an enjoyable, memorable way. Boeholt’s Friendship Tales from the Farm series a must for children and their caregivers, creating delightful moments of interactive storytelling that will enrich any learning environment.

What we thought: So, the truth is my oldest son is past the preschooler age. But that means he can read and enjoy books on his own, whenever he wants, now. Burton is a kind scarecrow, not the scary kind, and he helps children learn about many different things. Your children will find this story cheerful and entertaining. And since it's the season for all things fall, this will fit right in with your other activities. I know that your children will enjoy this book just as much as my son and I did.

Where to buy: You can find Burton the Scarecrow online.

"Mended" by Angie Smith

Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.

I first heard this author speak a few years ago at a Women of Faith conference. She is so funny and really personable, even when she speaks to a crowd of thousands of women. Angie Smith has some amazing stories to tell about her life and living in God. Her story of lovingly carrying a pregnancy to term, knowing the baby would not live, is heartbreaking. But she relies on God for all the hard times in her life and shares her story of faith.

The product:  "Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole" (B&H, September 2012; ISBN-13: 978-1433676604, $14.99) -- We love to cheer for the underdog and believe to our core that every life makes a difference. And we are right. There is no one God can’t use and no one whose brokenness is too broken for God. We know this is true for our friends when we want to encourage them. Yet, when it comes to the places of our innermost sense of shame and regret, we often wonder if it is really true that God can work all things together for good for those who love Him.

Mended takes you on a journey to show how faith lived in the regular events of daily life is all that it takes to be a part of creating God’s picture of redemption in your life and those around you. Your life does make a difference—because of how He is magnified in the cracks.

About Angie Smith

Angie Smith is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Dove Award winning group Selah), author of "I Will Carry You and What Women Fear," and one of the most popular speakers and blog writers in the country. She holds a master’s degree in developmental psychology from Vanderbilt University and lives with her husband and daughters in Nashville, Tenn.

What I thought: I was really excited to read this book. I so enjoyed hearing Angie Smith talk at Women of Faith. But I had not had a chance to read any of her books yet. It turns out that she writes a lot like she talks. She has a funny, relatable, down to earth way of sharing things. I get her. And as a mom of young children, I get so many of her stories.

In Mended Angie Smith paints a great picture of the way God fixes our broken lives. We are all broken in some way. And this book is just the uplifting encouragement you need to start putting the pieces back together. You'll enjoy this devotional. It is written in little sections that you can read every day. I hope that it gives you the encouragement you need. It also makes a nice gift for any woman in your life.

Where to buy: You'll find Mended by Angie Smith in stores and online.

Big Top Scooby-Doo Blu-ray & DVD

Disclaimer: I received this product to review. All opinions are my own.

Scooby Dooby Doo where are you.... You know the song, and your kids probably do too. Scooby is in this original movie Big Top Scooby-Doo on DVD/Blu-Ray now.

The product: Big Top Scooby-Doo - Shaggy, Scooby and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang are looking forward to a vacation in Atlantic City. Things are never that easy for this gang and they end up in a circus mystery. This time they get to go undercover and join the circus.
Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the gang arrive in Atlantic City for a relaxing vacation...and land center stage in a three-ring mystery! 
After visiting a shuttered big top that's being hounded by werewolves, the gang goes undercover to find out why. It's up to Daphne the clown, trapeze artist Fred, Velma the human rocket, ringmaster Shaggy and the amazing trick dog Scooby-Doo to solve the mystery and save the circus. But when they repeat their crowd-pleasing performance for Shaggy's favorite Swedish metal band, Wulfsmoon, the beasts come back for one more hair-raising ruckus. Scooby-Doo and Shaggy juggle fun, fright and feats of bravery and puzzle-solving skill in the greatest original Scooby-Doo movie on earth.

What we thought: This movie was a fun mystery with all of the gang involved. It's nice to get a full Scooby movie once in a while versus the short episodes. And the circus theme made it that much more entertaining. This is another fun film that the whole family can enjoy.

Where to buy: You can find the Big Top Scooby-Doo on DVD and Blu-Ray in stores and online now.

Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Ruh-Roh Robot! DVD

Disclaimer: I received this product to review. All opinions are my own.

I don't have to tell you that my son is a big Scooby-Doo fan. I know I've mentioned it before. This latest Scooby Doo DVD set will not disappoint.

About the product:


Release Features an All-New 22-Minute Scooby-Doo! Cartoon

BURBANK, CA (July 2, 2013) – Join Scooby-Doo and his pals for 13 zany, animated adventures on Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Ruh-Roh Robot! available in stores September 24, 2013 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE). This two-disc set will feature an all-new, 22-minute cartoon titled Scooby-Doo! Mecha Mutt Menace, plus 12 exciting mysteries that will delight kids and adults alike. Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Ruh-Roh Robot! will retail for $19.98 SRP.

Scooby-Doo and the gang are together again in this exciting collection that’s comprised of fan favorite episodes which are offered together for the first time in one set.  Strange and mystifying happenings take our favorite Great Dane and his pals on a variety of thrilling escapades the whole family will enjoy watching together.

On Foul Play in Funland, the gang is compelled to investigate a sea-side amusement park, which appears haunted when it comes to life all on its own. Scooby-Doo visits Mars on Way Out Scooby. A thief finds a way to shrink cars in order to steal them onDisappearing Car Caper. The gang is terrorized by a dinosaur on The Dinosaur Deception and encounters killer bees on The Bee Team. The ghost of George Washington haunts the White House on Night Louse at the White House. These and other captivating mysteries await viewers on this not-to-be-missed release.

Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Ruh-Roh Robot! offers a wonderful mix of popular Scooby-Doo episodes plus a brand-new, 22-minute cartoon we created especially for this set,” says Mary Ellen Thomas, Vice President of Family and Animation Marketing and Partner Brands. She added, “We think consumers will enjoy the selection of cartoons we’ve chosen for this set. The cartoons have been culled from a variety of different Scooby-Doo animated series. If you’re a Scooby-Doo fan, this is an entertaining release you won’t want to miss.” 

Featured Episodes:

  1. Scooby-Doo! Mecha Mutt Menace – All-new 22-minute cartoon
  2. Foul Play in Funland
  3. The Scary Sky Skeleton
  4. Way Out Scooby
  5. Who’s Scooby-Doo?
  6. Disappearing Car Caper
  7. The Dinosaur Deception
  8. The Hand of Horror
  9. Doom Service
  10. A Code in the Nose
  11. The Bee Team
  12. A Night Louse at the White House, Part I
  13. A Night Louse at the White House, Part II

What we thought: As expected my son loved this DVD. It's just a fun cartoon, especially for a 7 year old boy! Shaggy and Scoob always have great burping and farting funnies. What 7 year old wouldn't love that?

This DVD has 13 great episodes of spooky tales. And it's just in time to gear up for Halloween. I think your kids will enjoy this Scooby Doo collection.

Where to buy: The Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Ruh-Roh Robot! DVD is available in stores and online now.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season 2 Part 1: Danger in the Deep DVD

*Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.*

The product:


Release Features 13 Episodes from the Hit Cartoon Network TV Series

BURBANKCA (September 18, 2012) – Captivating new mysteries and intriguing new villains will delight viewers on Warner Home Video’s DVD release of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season 2 Part 1: Danger in the Deep, available November 13, 2012. The latest incarnation of the popular Scooby-Doo! franchise, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated follows teenage pals Daphne, Fred, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo as they investigate strange happenings in their hometown of Crystal Cove. The release will feature 13 episodes from the second season of the hit animated series and will retail for $19.97 SRP.

In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season 2 Part 1: Danger in the Deep, the gang returns to their hometown, Crystal Cove, to solve a series of baffling mysteries. First on the agenda is the elusive Crybaby Clown, who tortures the Cove’s inhabitants and evades Scooby-Doo and the gang’s every attempt to capture him. Velma travels to Russia and comes face-to-face with legendary witch, Baba Yaga. A creature named Dreamweaver begins to haunt people’s dreams. Crystal Cove is attacked by a menacing beast known as the Hodag of Horror. It’s a season filled with engaging mysteries and dramatic developments that’s not to be missed!

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season 2 Part 1: Danger in the Deep presents fans with a fresh and fun version of the classic cartoon we all know and love. The stories are richer and more complex. The characters show greater depth and personality,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Vice President Family & Animation Marketing and Partner Brands. She added, “While it’s aimed at kids, adults will find themselves easily wrapped up in both the personal storylines and the unfolding mysteries. If you’re a fan of Scooby-Doo!, this is a must-have for your home entertainment collection.”

The first season finale of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated was Cartoon Network’s most watched program of the day and ranked #1 with Kids and Girls ages 2-11 and 6-11, while also ranking in the top 3 with all Boys.* Additionally, the animated series’ first season finale delivered over 2.5 million total viewers.*

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated centers on Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo, who solve mysteries in the spooky town of Crystal Cove, a sleepy coastal village that boasts a long history of ghostly sightings, werewolves and glowing deep sea divers. Because of all the paranormal activity, Crystal Cove has become a tourist hotspot that capitalizes on its haunted reputation— and the gang's meddling is therefore not appreciated by the people of Crystal Cove. Executive produced by Sam Register, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated draws on the iconic look and feel of the original Scooby-Doo! series and is presented in a modernized visual style created by some of today's leading animation artists.


  1. The Night the Clown Cried
  2. House of the Nightmare Witch
  3. The Night the Clown Cried II: Tears of Doom!
  4. Web of the Dreamweaver!
  5. The Hodag of Horror
  6. Art of Darkness
  7. The Gathering Gloom
  8. The Night of the Haunted Mountain
  9. Grim Judgement
  10. Night Terrors
  11. The Midnight Zone
  12. Scarebear
  13. Wrath of the Krampus

What we thought: My son is crazy for Scooby Doo. And why wouldn't he be. I loved Scooby Doo as a child too. I think it's great that there is a cartoon that is loved by generations. That said, I'm a little more for the old school Scooby. This is part of the newer series. The animations and characters are a bit different in the newer cartoon, but Zachariah loves it none the less. He watches on TV, but it's great to have this DVD to take with us on the road or at home. It's one that your kids will all enjoy too.

Where to buy: The Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season 2 Part 1: Danger in the Deep DVD is available in stores and online now.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Maesto Classics "Carnival of the Animals" CD

Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.

The product: Over 50 National Awards ...

A Stories in Music CD for Narrator, Soloists, and Orchestra
Featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Stephen Simon, Conductor

"If your little ones are past the age of getting their classical music from Baby Einstein, here is the perfect next step." -- Entertainment Weekly

"You don't have to love classical music to fall under theenchanting spell of Stephen Simon's magical production." --Parents' Choice Awards


NEW YORK --  Maestro Classics™, winner of over 50 prestigious awards for its Stories In Music™ CD series, proudly announces therelease of the company's tenth CD for family listening, a sparkling, child-friendly rendition of Camille Saint-Saëns' famous,whimsical masterpiece for narrator, soloists, and orchestra, Carnival of theAnimals. (Maestro Classics, $16.98, for ages 3+ and families, run time 70 minutes).
Lions roar, elephants dance, roosters crow at clucking hens, kangaroos leap, fish swim, wild donkeys race, xylophones clatter like fossils, clarinets cuckoo, virtuosic flutes imitate sounds of the aviary, the cello plays its famous swan song, and the tortoise does the world's slowest can-can in Saint-Saëns' musical picture gallery of the animal kingdom that also includes pianists practicing scales and some animals with long ears who are rumored to be music critics.

The Maestro Classics recording of Carnival of the Animals features thedroll verse that Ogden Nash wrote for each of the work's fourteen movements, recited here by Maestro Classics' beloved narrator, Yadu(a.k.a. Dr. Konrad Czynski).
With eminent conductor Stephen Simon directing the London Philharmonic Orchestra, stellar contributions by pianists Wendy Chen and Donna Kwong, a lovely interpretation of the French folk song "Au Clair de la Lune" by soprano Rachel Barham, and intriguing observations by Stephen Simon and "elucidator" Bonnie Ward Simon, in addition to a French/English interactive singing project and activities offered in a beautifully illustrated, 24-page program booklet, this recording of Carnival of the Animals will be treasured forever by children and adults alike.

Notes Bonnie Ward Simon, "The story goes that in 1950, America's pioneer pops conductor, André Kostelanetz, noticed that no one in the audience was smiling when he performed Carnival of the Animals.  They thought that all classical music should be serious!  He was so taken aback that he personally commissioned Ogden Nash to write verses to go with the music so that audiences would understand that Saint-Saëns intended the music to be funny.  Generations of children now remember the pianos roaring like lions and couplets like 'Elephants are useful friends, Equipped with handles at both ends,' as part of a wonderful childhood experience with music."

What we thought: Here is another great children's CD from Maestro Classics. My son really enjoys the classical music with their CDs. And it is so neat for them to make fun lyrics and music that children love. My son enjoyed this one, and I think it's perfect for children of all ages.

Where to buy: You can purchase the Carnival of Animals CD on their website or Amazon.

How to connect: Learn more about Maestro Classics at You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter. 

"Taming the Wind" by Tracie Peterson - Land of the Lone Star #3

*Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.*

I think I've mentioned my love for historical fiction on here before. (Probably more than a few times.) You also probably know that I like the author Tracie Peterson (a lot!). So it was wonderful when I was able to review Taming the Wind by Tracie Peterson.

The product: Taming the Wind is the third book in the Land of the Lone Star series by Tracie Peterson. Here's a little description from the publisher:
Though grateful for the blessing of her daughter, Carissa Lowe has accepted that widowhood is her lot in life. Bound by fear and mistrust, she feels incapable of opening her heart again.
Tyler Atherton has never forgotten Carissa. When he discovers she's living with her sister on a nearby ranch, his life becomes intertwined with the lovely widow's. But while Tyler longs to provide a home and future for Carissa, he is haunted by an obligation he feels unable to fulfill.

What I thought: This book was a great way to wrap up the series Land of the Lone Star. The second book, Touching the Sky, is about the Marquardt sisters. This story fast forwards a few years with the sisters in a new place with children and a new life ahead. But Carissa is in a unique situation as a single mother in this time. However, that doesn't mean than she won't find love again.

I enjoyed this book. It was nice that we get to hear the continuing story of Carissa. Her life really has changed and she learns more about herself as life deals new adventures and problems too.

Where to buy: Taming the Wind by Tracie Peterson is available in stores and online.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Poppin Hoppies By University Games

Disclaimer: I received this product to review. All opinions are my own.

My 7 year old son, Zachariah, loves playing games. From the time he was little he enjoyed puzzles, then simple card games. Now he can play just about any adult game and keep up with us. From Monopoly to Go Fish, he loves them all. His room is full of fun games and puzzles that he enjoys daily.

The product: We received the game called Poppin Hoppies from University Games, who has many other great games and activities for kids. It is a fun game and perfect for younger children. Poppin Hoppies comes with a game board, people puzzle pieces, and little "hoppies" with suction cups and springs. Everyone helps hold down the "hoppies" until the fun begins. When the designated paler gives the command, all the "poppies" are released. They pop up at random and the object is to catch as many as you can. It's harder than you'd think. Then you get to pick a coordinating color piece of your character. The first one to complete their character puzzle wins.

What we thought: Poppin Hoppies is easy for my 7 year old, but it's fun to play together. There isn't much thinking or strategy involved in this game, but it's full of energy and excitement. The little "hoppies" jumping at random sure make things interesting. My mom and I have played this with Zachariah as well. You'd think it would be really easy for the adults...but you'd be wrong. While the idea is easy, it's actually tricky to catch those little "hoppies" as they are all popping all over the place.

I like that this is an easy game to set up and play quickly. People of all ages can join in the fun. Have a fun family night with your kids with Poppin Hoppies.

Where to buy: You can find Poppin Hoppies in stores (book & game stores especially) and online.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


I am a bit behind at posting winners for some recent giveaways. I know there haven't been as many lately, but stay with me. There will be more to come.

Winners of the Escape From Planet Earth Blu-ray/DVD combos are...

#175 Cynthia R


#209 Michelle C

Winner of the Brew Over Ice prize pack is...

#32 brookea_2006

Winner of the Kia Hamsters $25 iTunes gift card is...

#76 Wild Orchid

Congrats to all the winners!! You have been notified via email with instructions for claiming your prize. Be sure to come back soon for more giveaways.