If you are looking for a pick-me-up this weekend, go see Disney’s McFarland USA! After the longest, most exhausting day ever, we took our family of seven to check out the latest Disney sports film. I left feeling better than I have in weeks…more grateful for what I have, more understanding of others and their situations, and more generous. I wasn’t familiar with the story behind the film so it was completely new to me while watching. After meeting the boys and seeing the hispanic community where they lived, it reminded me of my husband’s former school in Arizona. He was the principal of a 4-8 school in a very low-income neighborhood in Arizona. McFarland USA did a fantastic job of depicting what several of the hispanic families in AZ go through on a daily basis to put food on the table. Picking crops at dawn, going to school, and going back to the fields was not unusual. It also showed what a generous, hard-working, and kind group of people most were. Even if they didn’t have much, they would still give whatever they did have if you needed it! I’ve seen that first hand on a number of occasions.
One of the most inspiring parts of McFarland USA was the reachability of their dream. They weren’t setting out to go to the Olympics, join a professional team, or be world champions. They were working hard so they would be able to go to college and make a better life for their families! Besides a good pair of running shoes and a great deal of determination, not much else is needed to become a runner. Their achievable dream of becoming great cross-country runners was just that….achievable. Let that be a lesson to us all.
Some of these facts may give away some plot points so read at your own discretion!
Here are 10 fun facts about “McFarland USA”:
1 – The main actors in McFarland USA trained for over a month before filming started running 5-6 miles a day. After running they would do cardio and other workouts to be in the best shape possible!
The latest Scooby Doo! movie definitely lives up to it’s predecessors. It’s funny, witty, entertaining, and full of surprises! In “Moon Monster Madness” Scooby and the gang win 5 tickets to space! It’s all fun and games until a mysterious alien appears and the madness ensues! My kids really enjoyed the space theme and actually ended up learning a lot! One of the special features on the DVD will teach your kids about the amazing technology currently used in space! There is even a clip about space food. Who doesn’t love space ice cream! We do Overall this was a great DVD and my kids learned more than on some of our other Scooby Doo! DVDs!
Nickelodeon Favorites: Springtime Adventures DVD features a great collection of spring-themed episodes! Even though it is still snowing in most of the United States, the warmer weather is just around the corner. Get ready by spending a couple hours with several of the cutest Nick Jr. characters, all on one DVD! This collection was perfect for my kiddos because they all have different favorites. My youngest loves Wallykazam!, my daughters love Bubble Guppies and Dora, and my older son still loves Team Umizoomi. (I won’t say how old he is!) This was an exciting mix of episodes for everyone!
Here is a list of 7 episodes included in the Springtime Adventures DVD:
1 – Wallykazam! – Picnic: Impossible
“Naptime with Theo and Beau” held a special place in my 6-year-old son’s heart. He thinks it should be called “Naptime with Jinkie and Statton.” When I went to write the review for this book I couldn’t find it anywhere. We had read it a few times but I looked in their rooms where I keep their books and it wasn’t there. I asked all four of my youngest kids (my daughters read it too) and no one knew what happened to it. About a week later I found it in my son’s backpack. He had brought it to school to show his class. I couldn’t be upset after I realized how much he loved it! He frequently falls asleep next to, on top of, or under our boxer Jinkie. Here are a few pics of this adorable book and my son who is obsessed with it!
Here is Theo’s adoption story…
“We found our puppy tucked together with his two siblings in the backyard of the Santa Cruz SPCA. Theo was the shyest of them all, but he bounded instantly into Beau’s lap as soon as Beau entered the pen. The look on the puppy’s face and the way he responded to the kids so quickly convinced us that we had met our newest family member…
I’m not sure how we got so lucky to bring this particularly perfect pup into our lives,but he has changed all of us for the better. There’s a reason they call Rescue Dogs their very own breed. They are unique and loving, and I’m so glad Theo chose us.”
Nickelodeon’s latest series, Dora and Friends, is a great addition to the Nick Jr. collection! My girls both love Dora and were so excited to see that she had grown up and was attending school! Her new friends, Kate, Naiya, Emma, Alana and Pablo, are just as excited about learning and going on adventures as Dora is. Besides the new environment and new friends, my daughters noticed Dora’s new hairstyle! It’s a little longer and fits better with her latest role. I really enjoyed watching this DVD with my girls. It had enough new elements to keep it fresh (there’s even a new “map app”), but Dora, and her a”dora”ble personality were still there! On the Nick Jr. website there are some fun games to play featuring Dora and her new passe! Check them out below!
Here is a list of 4 episodes included in the “Dora and Friends” DVD:
1 - We Save a Pirate Ship! - Dora and her friends are at a Pirate Festival to benefit the restoration of the city’s ancient seaside fort, and Dora promised a little boy named Jorge that he could steer the festival’s pirate ship ride. But when the pirate ship ride doesn’t show up, Dora, Kate and Pablo must build their own. They find an enchanted ship’s wheel that takes them to a talking pirate ship with secret treasures.
Transformers Rescue Bots: Jurassic Adventure includes a great collection of episodes from the Rescue Bot series! I wasn’t familiar with the series until the DVD arrived and my brother told me how much my nephew loved it! They were visiting from Utah and it came in the mail the day they got to our house. My nephew is four and his face lit up like a Christmas tree when I showed him the DVD! A few of the episodes included in this disc are new and a few have been aired on TV. They were all new to us! You can’t go wrong with Transformers AND dinosaurs!
Here is a list of 6 episodes included in the Transformers Rescue Bots: Jurassic Adventure DVD:
1 – Family Of Heroes
As a child of the ’80s I was a huge fan of Pound Puppies! I had several different small Pound Puppies toys and also bigger stuffed animals. They were so adorable! When I heard about the revamped series that premiered in 2010 I was so excited to share it with my kids! We are huge dog lovers and have a female Boxer named Jinkie.
The latest Pound Puppy DVD, “Puppy Love” has 5 of our favorite episodes! Cookie is my daughter’s favorite character (she is a Boxer mix that looks just like our dog) and is prominently featured in “The General” and “When Niblet Met Giblet.” The other 3 episodes are entertaining too! This DVD would make a perfect Valentine’s Day surprise for your little ones!
Here are the 5 episodes included in the “Pound Puppies: Puppy Love” DVD:
1 - Toyoshiko! Bark Friend Machine – When a Robot dog name Toyoshiko comes to the pound, Strudel finally meets someone that understands her.
Every year millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, only to give up after a few short weeks. You may not be surprised to find out that the most common goal we make is to lose weight or become more healthy. So many factors come into play when we make this resolution in the middle of the winter! Cold weather, clouds, Christmas debt, and post-holiday blues are just a few of the reasons why it’s so easy to give up. In fact, there is an actual formula created by psychologist Cliff Arnall showing how these, and other factors, contribute to the feelings most of us struggle with towards the end of January.
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Pilot, A Mini-Movie, and the Square Shorts is a great mix of all things SpongeBob! It’s crazy to watch the very first episode and then a few shorts that are more recent and laugh just as hard! While many parents have their own opinions about SpongeBob, I think this clever cartoon has definitely withstood the test of time. Somehow SpongeBob is just as loveable today as he was 15 years ago! (I can’t believe it’s been 15 years.) This collections of shorts, a mini-movie, and the very first episode is a must have addition to any SpongeBob collection!
Here is a list of 7 episodes included in the SpongeBob SquarePants: The Pilot, A Mini Movie & The SquareShorts DVD:
1 - SpongeBob’s Legendary Dance Party
My girls were so excited to see two of their favorite Dora movies in one gift set! They are obsessed with mermaids and Dora the Explorer so this was the perfect mix. Now that they spend all of their free time at the beach, I think they enjoyed the other ocean themed episodes even more! After watching the 6 episodes included, be sure to check out the music videos! They are super cute and will have your kids singing and dancing along. Even my 9-year-old daughter still loves Dora, Boots, Benny, and the rest of the gang!
Here is a list of 6 episodes included on the Dora The Explorer: Mermaid Adventures Collection DVD set:
1 - Dora Saves The Mermaids