Saturday, February 24, 2007

DVD: Akeela and the Bee

Two unlikely people can learn to work with each other towards a common goal.

Akeela Anderson is a 7th grade African American girl who has been dealt a rough life. Losing her father at age 6 is tough. She feels like she just doesn't fit in at Crenshaw Middle School.

Akeelah has unique hobbies. One is playing Scrabble on her computer and her other is talking to her father's picture. One night she sees the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition on television. At school she takes a spelling test and it is discovered that she has a hidden talent. Crenshaw Middle School has never had an entrant at the district spelling bee. Mr. Welch, her school principal, encourages and hires a coach for her. Dr Joshua Larrabee has taken a sabbatical from his professorship at the UCLA due to some family issues.

Akeelah starts on her track to the national bee but is faced with many challenges. Her mother is far from supportive in Akeelah's quest for an achievement. Her coach, Dr Larrabee, is facing some haunting memories, is very strict with her and threatens to quit. She strikes up an unexpected friendship. Her biggest fear is being afraid of herself. Her biggest competition is Dylan Chu, who is a 3 time entrant in the national bee and is coached by his rigid father.

Akeelah's main encouragement is her brother who is a serviceman. He promises her that if she makes it to the national level in Washington DC he will be there for her. She discovers that if she just breaks apart the large words there is no word that she won't be able to spell. She also learns that if she just looks around her there are plenty of coaches. The sense of community and lots of people joining together to help her gives this movie a heartwarming feel.

Giving out the final ending of the movie would not be helpful. This is a movie which can be enjoyed by all members of the family. Every time we have seen this movie we always see something that we haven't seen previously. Heartwarming and entertaining!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Earth to Betsy by Beth Patillo

Beth Patillo has done it again. After reading "Heavens to Betsy," I had hopes that the sequel would be equally entertaining. "Earth to Betsy" kept my interest all the way through the book. You never knew what kind of humorous situation the heroine would get into.

The story begins where "Heavens to Betsy" leaves off. She now is dating her long-time best friend David. On their first official date, he has a surprise for her. He proposes for her and the couple is instantly thrown into an engagement party. That in itself would be nerve-racking enough, but then David's mother has an announcement of her own. She wants to save her dying magazine "Budget Bride" by organizing the complete wedding using thrifty ideas.

Having two mothers competing for their children's wedding is enough. David and Betsy really don't have time to plan a wedding anyway. The results are far from what anyone would expect. From the good china being a mismatched set of china from a thrift store to having a staged bridal shower without the bride even present are just some of the humor around the wedding.

Reverend Becky is being faced with trials with her church as is David. Betsy's church has dwindling attendance and offerings, they have an offer to sell the church and relocate. David is spending more time with the fire marshall than he is with his fiancee'. There are quite some colorful characters in both churches especially Betsy's who you can't help falling in love with. Will the churches be saved?

Is there hope for the wedding to come off with the 2 mothers being happy and the couple? Or is it impossible? This book will have you laughing page after delightful page. Who can't identify with wedding plans and all the trials and tribulations of that.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Nativity Story by Angela Hunt

Did you ever wonder what it would have been like to live in the time of Jesus' birth? "The Nativity Story" by Angela Hunt gives the read clues as to what life would have been like for Zechariah, Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary.

The story is familiar to anyone who has or spends any time in the Bible. However, more insight is given to how others could have reacted to these unusual happenings in these people's lives. Elizabeth is in her old age when suddenly she is told that she will be having a baby. Her husband Zechariah doesn't believe it, so he cannot talk until their son is given the name of John. At that time, sons were named after their fathers or another relative. Mary is there to help Elizabeth in her time of need.

How Mary's parents must have reacted when they realize that their young daughter is pregnant even though she is not yet married. What sheer determination it took Joseph to take Mary as his wife even though he's not the father of the baby. She could have been stoned for what she had allegedly done.

There are also chapters of the book which talk of the three Magi. Their sighting of a strange star and their journey to see what has happened. The chapters about them are interspersed with the story of Mary.

This book is very enlightening and makes me even more anxious to see the movie which is currently in the theatres with the same name.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Facing the Giants

Are you ready to see a movie that will change your life? If so, Facing the Giants is the one to see. You will find yourself laughing, crying and contemplating aspects of your life when viewing this film. Your faith will be built up while watching this video. The message of this film is very powerful and overwhelming at times.

Grant Taylor is a high school football coach with many problems. In his 6 years of coaching, the team has never had a winning season. He and his wife Brooke are unable to conceive a child. Their car is constantly breaking down. He is unable to provide the kind of house for his wife as he wants to. After 3 straight losses in the new season, some of the player's fathers want to have Grant lose his head coaching job. What makes it even worse, is one of his assistants and a man who Grant considers a friend has teamed up with the fathers. One of the best players on the team transfers to another team. It seems to him and Brooke that things can't get much worse?

Grant meets with an individual in one of the school's hallways who gives him some advice. He turns to the place with all the answers: the Bible and his God. He prays for strength and how he can build up faith in himself, his team and his God. He starts applying these principles to his football team through a wide variety of means. He uses Brock, one of the team leaders, to build up endurance and the courage to give it all he's got. Direct scripture references are throughout
this film. The Shiloh Christian Academy Eagles are building more than just their physical strength but also they mental strength. The team is joined by a young student named David who has never played football only soccer. David's wheel-chair bound father is his main inspiration as he never gives up trying to stand.

With alot of prayer and hard work, the season starts turning around for both Grant and the team. They start winning games. Grant's life starts turning around. The Giants are the 3 time defending state champs but they have yet to face their toughest opponent. Nothing is impossible with God.

This is a must see family film! Even those people who aren't especially fond of football will find this film an inspiration. Its action packed with a great story line and heartwarming characters.
We all face Giants each day, but we are never alone.

Be My Valentine by Debbie Macomber

Are you looking for a couple of nice Valentine stories to inspire your romantic side on this upcoming holiday? If so, Debbie Macomber has placed two of her stories in one volume and published them under the title "Be My Valentine."

The first story is "My Funny Valentine." Dianne and her children Jason and Jill were abandoned by her husband and father of the children. Dianne has an overbearing mother whose only fault is that she doesn't want to see her daughter lonely and have to raise the children herself. So like any mother, she tries to arrange "dates" for Dianne. With less than stellar results, the children try to find a man for their mother too. Its just days before the big community center dinner, and Dianne has locked her keys in her car. Does this just turn the key to unlock her bad luck with men.

She meets Steve Creighton, a tow truck driver. She knows that her back is to the wall to find a date for the dinner. She makes a preposterous offer to him. She will pay him $100 to attend this dinner with her. With her mother and children asking questions as to how they met, she invites Steve to her house for dinner. Of course, he brings the tow truck over and a stuffed animal for the children in order to look good in their eyes. Her demands on him for this one dinner get more and more ridiclous as the story progresses. Will this date just end costing her money or does it open the door to romance and a better future?

They attend the dinner and some startling discoveries are made on the part of Dianne. Some of the things that happen in the context of this book are downright laughable. Surely you have found yourself in some pretty strange circumstances. Telling the ending of the story would make you not want to read it for yourself. But you certainly won't be disappointed in the story.

The second story in this book is called "My Hero." Bailey York is an aspriring romance writer. No matter how many times she revised her manuscript, she just can't seem to get the hero right. So she is in search of finding a real-life hero in order to model for the Michael in her book. It seems as if this man she knows from the subway would have some of the same desired characteristics that she wants for Michael. So she tries chasing him down in order to get to know him.

What she doesn't realize is that their lives, Bailey's and Parker's have definite similarities to Janice and Michael's. They begin to date but they always claim that they are doing "research."
Research takes on many more meanings and they share their deepest secrets. Bailey has rewritten the whole Michael in her story "Forever Yours," but realizes that Janice has some faults now. Or are these faults just Bailey's herself?

This story captivates the romance reader's imagination and it is very difficult to put this book down until you complete it. Flowers and research opportunities will challenge this twice left at the altar female and burned in love man to be saying "Be My Valentine."

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Its time to snuggle up with a good book!

I plan on going to snuggle up with a good book right now. This whole weekend is going to be pretty cold here. Tomorrow's high temperature is 2 and maybe 5 on Sunday. Sure wish I lived somewhere it was warm. Perhaps, I will be able to add another entry onto this blog sometime tomorrow. I do pretty fast or so I have been told. Let me know what kind of books you like too.

Blog Readers?

Has anybody reading my blog? Let me know if you are checking this blog out.