Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer -- To Do List

To inspire my kids (ages 11 and 13) during the summer, I created a Summer -- To Do List.

It's broken down into categories: Be Healthy, Read and Learn, Make the World a Better Place, Be Social, Explore and Create, and Help Your Family.

I have my kids make a goal for themselves for the week and I add a Mom's challenge for the week ie: drink 3 or more bottles of water each day.

I've offered different goals ie: check off two things in each category in the week for a PRIZE! Maybe it's a family movie night at home with popcorn or going to the local swimming pool or ice cream sundaes! Things we'd likely do anyways, but it's so much more fun to call them prizes.

I put the paper in a page protector and have my kids write on it with a dry erase marker. If you leave the marker on the page protector for too long it will turn bumpy, but it's still useable.

If you want a free copy of this Summer To Do List, you can e-mail me at: sowingdandelions(at)yahoo(dot)ca  but put the actual @ and . in the e-mail address! I'll even make a few changes for you if you want to personalize it more.

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Friday, July 14, 2017

"When Calls the Heart" Season 3

When Calls the Heart is a rare gem of quality family entertainment.

When Calls the Heart is produced by Michael Landon Jr. and based on the book series by Christian author, Janette Oke. This series is set in the early 1900s in western Canada and features enduring characters and rich storylines.

Season 3 brings the storyline back to the coal mining town and focuses less on the big city of Hamilton. Fans of the show were glad to see a return to the small town simplicity of season 1. The mystery continues from season 2, as do rivalries between key characters. New mysteries and new characters are also introduced in season 3 (including one character played by Brooke Shields).

Season 3 starts off with a special New Year's Eve episode that I can see becoming a lovely tradition for our family to watch each year! This episode shows how the residents of this small town in western Canada celebrate New Year's Eve and anticipate all that the future has in store for them. I'm being intentionally vague so as not to give spoilers, but there might be a New Year's Eve kiss by a couple of lovebirds.

This boxset contains both When Calls the Heart episodes as they aired on the Hallmark channel as well as movie length versions of the episodes so you can choose how you would like to view them. You can even keep one set of DVDs for yourself and give the other set of DVDs to a friend -- although you'll have to decide who gets to keep the case.

My family continues to rely on When Calls the Heart for quality entertainment that the whole family can enjoy. We typically watch an episode on a Sunday night with a bowl of popcorn and cuddles on the couch. So few shows these days are appropriate for young viewers and also enjoyable for adults. This show meets both requirements with flying colours!

Check out: Fish Flix for When Calls the Heart DVDs as well as other Christian Movies that your family is sure to enjoy!

Buy It: When Calls the Heart Season 3
For those who act quickly -- there is a SALE on When Calls the Heart DVDs and even a When Calls the Heart Season 1-3 Combo Deal !!!

Also, for those Hearties who love to colour, there is a When Calls the Heart Colouring Book ! How fun would that be?!

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product for free in exchange for an honest review on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe would be good for my readers.
~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Random Acts of Kindness -- Love One Another

Jesus:  “A new command I give you: Love one another. 
As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, 
if you love one another.”
John 13:34 and 35

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Monday, April 17, 2017

2017 Children's Choice Book Awards

Every Child a Reader is hosting the 2017 Children's Choice Book Awards!  How fun for kids to have the opportunity to read new books and vote for their favourite!

My kids and I have participated in something similar in the past, but without the chance to cast a vote officially.  Getting to have an actual vote will be so much more exciting:

Check out the books that are eligible in each category and see if your public library or bookstore has them.  Read as many as you can and let your kids decide their favourite!  I make a chart where my kids can make comments about the storyline and illustrations and rate each book.  This helps them to compare the books afterwards and come up with their winner!!!

Here's the sort of chart I use.  You can make your own or, if you are interested in getting a copy, feel free to e-mail me at: sowingdandelionseeds(at)yahoo.ca

  ~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Friday, January 20, 2017

Child of the River by Irma Joubert

"Child of the River" by Irma Joubert is the story of Persomi: middle child of poor, white sharecroppers in South Africa during apartheid and World War II.

"As Persomi navigates the changing world around her -- 
the tragedies of war & the devastating racial strife of her homeland -- 
she finally discovers who she truly is, where she belongs, 
and why her life -- and every life matters." 

The distinction made in the novel between "real" children and those that are children of bywoners (sharecroppers) is significant in understanding where Persomi comes from.  As the novel progresses, Persomi is continually trying to find her place in the world -- a world that isn't always welcoming of an intelligent girl from a poor family.

With the arrival of World War 2, Persomi finds herself caught between conflicting views of war as they are represented by the people she loves most.  Themes of apartheid affect her life as well and she finds herself standing up for the equality of all races -- even though many of those closest to her disagree with her stand.  The main stand she takes is against the Asiatic Land Tenure and Indian Representation Act -- where the location of residences and businesses were determined by racial classification.  After putting herself through law school, Persomi fights for the rights of her East Indian friend and his family.

Learning more about South Africa's history through the eyes of Persomi was enlightening, but Persomi's personal story is also intriguing.  Plagued by family secrets and overwhelmed by a longing for love, Persomi's story is compelling to read.

Thankfully there is no foul language in this novel, but please keep in mind there are certain mature themes at the beginning of the book that are minorly addressed.  This book is a good read for any adult reader -- especially if you like reading historical fiction.

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hidden Figures

My family and I recently went to see "Hidden Figures" which is based on the untold true story of three women who overcame racial and gender barriers at NASA.

Elijah (10) said when we left the theater:
 "That was a movie I could really relate to!"  :)

When I asked him what he found he could relate to most about the movie he said he liked how the women stood up for what they believed in.  What a great source of inspiration this should be for all of us -- to stand up for what's right and make a difference in our world.

Check out History vs Hollywood (after you've seen the movie of course!) for a comparison of the movie and real life.  Katherine Johnson -- the main character in the movie -- is currently 98 years old and says of the movie: "It sounded good...  It sounded very, very accurate."

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Books I've Read in 2017

I love reading books meant for all ages.  Any book with stars by it is one I'd consider reading again in the future (or would consider having my kids read in the future) so presumably you (or your kids) might like it too.  If you've read (or wondered about) any of these books feel free to comment -- I'd love to chat with you...  Oh and if you love a book I don't (or vice versa), we can still be friends.

Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury
This novel was hard for me to read because it felt so disjointed.  This is a philosophical look at life and death from the point of view of a 12 yr old boy.  Mature themes.

Kindred, Octavia Butler
Dana, an African American living in 'present day' 1970s, time travels back to a pre-Civil War plantation.  Themes include slavery, inter-racial relationships and moral dilemmas. This was an interesting read, but I hated the ending sentence.  Mature themes.

Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion (Book 1), Julie Campbell 
I used to read Trixie mysteries back in the day and found this a refreshing read after Nancy Drew #2 was so simply solved.  Aimed at pre-teens.

Elizabeth Gail and the Mystery at the Johnson Farm, Hilda Stahl
I grew up with Elizabeth Gail books so this was a nostalgic read.  I found out this was turned into a movie back in 1989!  Aimed at pre-teens.

Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective, Octavia Spencer
I like the writing style of this novel and the main character, Randi.  But, I am so confused as to why Octavia Spencer did not have her main character be black.  Spencer has been disappointed about the roles available to black people in Hollywood and this would have been a great way to 'ensure' a role in a future movie for a young, black actress in a leading role.  Aimed at pre-teens.  Desiree highly recommends it.

A Piece of the World, Christina Baker Kline
This novel tells the story of Christina, who was the inspiration for artist Andrew Wyeth's painting "Christina's World".  Farm life, love, bitterness and living with disability are themes in this novel.  I prefered the author's book "Orphan Train". 

X -- The German Girl, Armando Lucas Correa 
An interesting premise, but a difficult read.  It was hard to know which character was which since the two girls sounded so similar despite being generations apart.  Tuesday: "the worst day of all" became very tedious.

X -- Nancy Drew #2 -- The Hidden Staircase, Carolyn Keene
I've read Nancy Drews before, but found this one so tedious.  Very unrealistic, simple resolution to the mystery.  Aimed at pre-teens. 

Out of the Silent Planet, C.S. Lewis
I love the Narnia series, but this wasn't as much my style.  Ransom is kidnapped and taken aboard a spaceship to another planet.  I feel like I'd like this better as a movie...

X -- Two by Two, Nicholas Sparks
Ordinarily I like a Sparks novel for a quick read, but this was like watching a marriage fall apart from the inside.  The last of the novel was better than the beginning, but it took so long to get there...     

Pinky Pye, Eleanor Estes
Published in 1958, this novel is the continuing story of the Pye family and their newest addition -- Pinky the cat.  I didn't enjoy this book as much as "Ginger Pye", but owl fans may enjoy it.  Aimed at kids. 

*Child of the River, Irma Joubert*
Check out my review here

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

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