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The little book with BIG resources!

Tell Me A Story: The Importance of Reading To Your Child

Good Evening, Kansas City!

We’re just a few weeks into 2016 and social media has been abuzz with updates on New Year’s resolutions. From increased physical activity to a healthier diet and just about everything in between, most of us try to make steps towards self-improvement with the turn of the calendar each year. Tonight, I wanted to take a moment to encourage each of you to resolve to do something with your children this year but, first, allow me to introduce you to the most important person in my life:

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This is my daughter, Charlotte. She will be 5 in February and she is both my greatest joy and my greatest inspiration. Charlotte will be starting kindergarten this year and I’m scared to death excited for this next great adventure in her little life. Like many of you, I have a strong desire to help build a foundation for my child that will inspire a lifelong love of learning. I want to foster a strong desire within my daughter to learn and explore and I’m doing that, in part, through reading. Children’s Mercy research shows that 15 to 20 percent of all children will experience difficulty in learning to read which makes building a foundation for success critical in the early years of life.

Quotes On Reading To Your Children

Reading to your children is one of the easiest ways that you can help grow their love for learning and to promote literacy, a skill that will carry them through their lives. This year, resolve to read more to your child. In the midst of your hectic schedule, dedicate at least 10-15 minutes before bedtime to snuggle up for a good book. I think you’ll find that this short amount of time will not only help your child develop a love for reading but will also bring you closer to each other. Reading is also a great way for your young child to develop a bond with elderly grandparents. Charlotte spent some time reading with my grandmother over the holiday break which was such a sweet image to capture:

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Charlotte and I have been reading aloud together since she was a newborn and we’re finally at the point now where she’s taking an interest in being the reader. We’re actively working on developing her early reading skills and I wanted to close tonight’s post with some tips and resources that I, personally, find helpful in this critical period in my own daughter’s life. Take a look…

Reading Tips For Your Family: 

  • EngageWhat is your child’s favorite book? One of Charlotte’s current favorites is “Pick Me”, a story about a shelter dog who realizes that he doesn’t have to impress anyone in order to find a loving home. In random conversation, I’ll ask Charlotte questions about the story: her favorite parts and what she learned from it. It’s a great way to gauge how much information is being retained with each book and, who knows, you may be surprised at the new favorite books you’ll discover!
  • FosterHow do you want to cultivate a love of books in your kids? I would say that one of the most challenging things for parents is learning how to make reading FUN. On your drive home from work tomorrow, spend a few minutes thinking about how YOU can help instill a love for reading within your own child. Our family sometimes comes up with our own stories before bedtime and it’s always so fun to hear what Charlotte has come up with. The other night, she told us a story about a dragon who came to our home and stole our pets. When we approached the dragon, we discovered that he was lonely and in need of a friend so we sat down for a family meeting and came to the mutual agreement that the dragon would give up our cat and fish in exchange for keeping our dog, who had been naughty earlier that day (Charlotte was still mad at the dog and it manifested itself during storytime).
  • Dedicate– What tips do you have for other moms who find themselves too busy to read regularly to their young children? As you sit down to think about how you’ll dedicate time to reading with your hectic schedule, consider what you would tell another mom who was in your shoes. Sometimes viewing it from a different perspective helps us find time that we didn’t otherwise realize we had.

Children’s Mercy is a resource that I have found to be tremendously helpful through the years with Charlotte. In addition to the quality care that they provide at their hospitals and clinics, they also offer an abundance of resources to help families with everyday needs as well. If your family is struggling with reading, I suggest looking into the Children’s Mercy Rhyming to Reading program.

“Developed by our pediatric specialists in speech pathology, Rhyming to Reading™ is a systematic, multi-sensory and research based program that is designed to help educators, speech-language pathologists and parents teach young children early reading skills through visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile means.”

Be sure to take a peek at the Children’s Mercy Facebook page for more everyday parenting tips!

From iFamily to Yours,

Holli

Holli_iFamilyKCTeam


This Weekend At The Box Office: “Kung Fu Panda 3”

Happy Friday, Everyone!

The weekend is (ALMOST) here and we’re back with another installment of “This Weekend At the Box Office”. We recently had the opportunity to send some of YOU, along with iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Emily, to the red carpet screening of “Kung Fu Panda 3”. We heard the screening was a blast and have been excited to share Emily’s thoughts on the movie with each of you ever since. Take a look…

Kung Fu Panda 3

“Everybody was Kung Fu fighting…” I’ve never been so impressed by a family friendly movie as I was with Kung Fu Panda 3 in 3d. My family had such a great time at the red carpet world premier hosted by the Merriam Cinemark over the weekend. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for pictures from the event! There was face painting, giveaways from Mix 93.3, coloring stations, snacks, and even a visit from one of the new characters from the film, Mei Mei! Speaking of characters, let’s get right to it. I’m so excited to give you my review of Kung Fu Panda 3 in 3d.

The characters and actors/actresses who play them made this movie amazing. I haven’t seen the first two movies in years, so I was pleasantly surprised to be drawn to the characters as soon as they came on screen. This film has a way to make you fall in love with every character you meet. Jack Black brings humor and a quirkiness to Po that only Jack Black can bring. You see facial expressions on a cartoon character that completely illustrate the one and only Jack Black. Tigress is a fierce feline that learns become a friend in this film. The film also brings new characters. The most important two being Li, Po’s long lost father, and Kai, the villain in the film that returns from the Spirit Realm.

Master Oogway and Kai meet in the Spirit Realm where Kai reveals his plan to return to Earth as an immortal. Oogway reveals that it was not in his destiny to defeat Kai and Kai returns to Earth seeking power and revenge that leads to an ultimate battle with Po. Back on Earth, Po is reunited with his birth father who was sent from “The Universe” to find him. Po returns to a secret cave that holds a secret no one on Earth knows about with his father after his friends have been alerted that the town was in trouble with the villain Kai. Po must find out who he truly is in order to have a chance at defeating Kai. Be sure to catch the film when it comes to a theatre near you to find out what the secret cave holds and watch the ultimate battle between good and evil!

The film starts out with a scene that looks like a pop out version of a story book. The animation in this film is amazing! I can say it is hands down the best animated film that I have ever watched. In addition to this, the 3D feature offers a unique experience. In my opinion, a lot of 3D movies have just a few parts that come out at you, but it isn’t anything special. Kung Fu Panda 3 masters the art of 3D animation! It feels like you are wrapped within the movie and it almost feels like you are actually there. My favorite part of the animation is towards the end. There is an animated dragon that snakes around in front of you. Spectacular work! I would definitely recommend watching this film in 3D.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

Emily

EmilyM_iFamilyKC_MomSquad


The Kindness Challenge

Good Afternoon, Friends!

I am a firm believer that kindness and love are what make the world go ’round and today’s post, from iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Leah, illustrates just that. Leah recently started challenging her son to do random acts of kindness for others and what she found was that it actually helped nurture their relationship in the process. Take a look…

The Kindness Challenge

As most of you know I am a mother to a 13 year old son. The older he gets the shorter I find our conversations. I miss the days where he found me to be the coolest person on earth. I find myself on a never ending search to get that connection back. I know with each year that passes my impact on him will become more and more vital to his character and I know with raising a child comes tremendous responsibility.

I have the ability to teach him and show him how to view the world.

If that task alone wasn’t enough pressure…throw in raising a young gentleman to the mix. The last time I checked, I am not a man. However, that is a not necessarily a disadvantage in this case. The fact that I am a woman raising a son means that I have an advantage. During the times my son is here it is my job to show him what a woman is and should be. Oh, how at times this is a struggle. I wish I could tell you that I never yell, lose my cool, or get frustrated with him. If I told you that I would be flat out lying. There are many days that I question everything I do in regards to my parenting. I cry, beg God for help, and ask my mother to reassure me I am doing a good job. Here is the reality…

I am doing the best I can. I can always do better.

It is my job to learn daily how to improve for my son and his future. I do not take that lightly. It is my job to be my best version of myself so he can see this daily. I am showing what to look for in a woman by the woman I am.

The other day I was drawn back to memories when I used to pack his lunch. I used to include little notes and quizzes daily. I honestly never thought he paid too much attention to them. Then one day I was looking through his backpack and found every one of them. He kept them and saved them to look back at. That reflection made me think of a new idea to do. I grabbed a blank card and created a “Daily Challenge ” for him. I honestly didn’t expect him to fill out a challenge for me. When I saw he completed it I was brought to tears.

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I rushed on Facebook to share my excitement. I was blown away with the positive response our little challenge received. I had numerous people tell me they were going to try the challenge with their families.


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As you can see this is a very simple thing to do. It truly takes about ten minutes of your time. However, I think this may have just had the impact on our relationship we needed. Our challenges have created things for us to talk about. I encourage you today to start a challenge with your family.

Have fun with this and please share your challenges with us here on the iFamilyKC blog. I love seeing other people join in our journey! 😉 Get your challenge on! What do you have to lose ?


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From iFamily to Yours,

Leah

Leah_iFamilyKC_MomSquad


This Weekend At The Box Office: “The 5th Wave”

Happy Friday, Friends!

The weekend is here and, we all know what that means, new cinematic adventures are hitting the big screen today! We sent one of our team members, Jennifer, to an advanced screening of the new movie “The 5th Wave” earlier this week and are excited to share her review with you today. Take a look…

The5thWave

This week I had the opportunity of seeing yet another young adult fiction book come to life on the big screen.  “The 5th Wave”, an action-adventure film, depicts a teenage girl and her strong love and protection for her little brother.

The plot begins with Cassie Sullivan (Chloe Grace Moretz) living a routine and familiar teenage life going to school, hanging out with friends, and crushing on a particular boy.  Her life quickly turns upside down when aliens invade and begin to take over the earth with “waves” of destruction.

Each Armageddon like “wave” is a different disaster that the characters must fight through to stay alive. The first four waves are exciting, but unfortunately are hurriedly depicted. The fourth wave generates a turning point in the film, and you could possibly begin to wonder if aliens are the only enemy. Hanging onto this intrigue and trying to figure out the real plot twist, was probably what helped me remain attentive to the film. As the fourth wave comes and goes, there is a brief calm in the storyline until Cassie accidentally gets separated from her little brother Sam (Zackary Arthur) who she vowed to keep safe. Now her only mission in life is not just to survive, but to find her brother and nothing will stop her from that.

The story begins to crawl, with the fifth and final “wave” being nearly the last two-thirds of the film. The ending leaves the audience hanging a bit which obviously means there is (hopefully) intention for another film.  But it was not an intense cliffhanger as if “I must run and see the next film the day it comes out!”

Overall I wouldn’t say the movie was too bad. I still enjoyed the action and the story behind it and I think Chloe Grace Moretz is a beautiful and good young actress for the film.  But I think the film will appeal only to teens who enjoy the trend of reading post-apocalyptic type survival thrillers, and then seeing the movie after reading the book.  With two books left in the trilogy, we can only hope that the next movies are a little better plotted.

From iFamily to Yours,

Jennifer & The iFamilyKC Team


What’s For Dinner?! Easy Acorn Squash: A Recipe

What’s going on, Kansas City?!

If you’re anything like me – you probably have NO idea what you’re going to do for dinner tonight. I am the WORST at planning my family’s meals ahead of time so I’m usually just winging it most evenings. If you’re wondering what you should put on the table for dinner tonight, allow me to share an EASY recipe for stuffed acorn squash that I made the other night. I promise it’s easy – If I can do it, so can you! Take a look…

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For this Easy Acorn Squash recipe, you’ll need: 

Small Acorn Squash (I suggest one per adult and 1/4-1/2 per child)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to Taste (I used a garlic pepper blend for my seasoning)

Stuffings Of Your Choice (I used kale, quinoa, and smoked cheddar cheese)

Preheat Your Oven to 350 degrees (Total time: 40 Minutes)

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Step One – Cut & Prep The Acorn Squash

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I typically cut the side that has the most pointy end off of my acorn squash so that it easily rests on the cookie sheet & plate once it’s ready. After you’ve cut the top off, scoop out the middle section (with all of the seeds) until you see a smooth surface.

Pro tip: Using an ice cream scoop to carve out the center is a lot easier than using a regular spoon. 

Step Two – Coat w/ Olive Oil & Seasoning

Easy Acorn Squash

Lightly coat the entire inside and top of the acorn squash with olive oil before seasoning with salt & pepper (I used a garlic pepper blend).

Step Three – Bake at 350 for 25 minutes

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Step Four – Take a break for your favorite tea.

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Go ahead and sit down for a few minutes and let the oven do some of the work.

Pro tip: Send your children and family to another part of the house while you’re making dinner. That way, they’ll never know that a) this recipe was so easy and b) that you took a five minute break. 

Step Five- Stuff the Squash

Easy Acorn Squash

You can fill your squash any way that you’d like. Last time I made it, I filled it with chicken meatballs, kale, and quinoa and then topped it with a colby jack cheese but this time I didn’t have any ground meat or meatballs on hand so we opted for a vegetarian meal with kale and quinoa.

Step Six- Bake For An Additional 15 Minutes

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Step Seven- Serve & Enjoy

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I love cooking with seasonal vegetables – they’re SO easy to use and taste delicious. The best part about them is that your family will be so impressed by your ‘hard’ work, they might even do the dishes! Happy Cooking!

From iFamily to Yours,

Holli

Holli_iFamilyKCTeam


First Birthday Gift Ideas!

Good Morning, Friends!

Happy Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week, folks, YOU CAN DO IT! Did you know that, on average, you share your birthday with nearly 18 million other people worldwide?! Given those statistics, it should come as no surprise that we’ve been getting a lot of birthday invitations recently. From first birthdays to big milestone birthdays and everything in between, it’s hard finding the right gift for the occasion. Today, iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Erin shares her suggestions for the perfect first birthday gifts. Take a look…

1st Birthday Gift Ideas

1st Birthday Gift Ideas!

My son recently turned a year old and I cannot believe how fast this year has gone! I gave birth to him, I blinked and he’s 1 now! But that is another whole topic in itself! So to celebrate my little tiny itty bitty baby turning 1 (he’s not small at all actually, he’s the size of an 18 month old at least) I wanted to find the perfect gift him.  I did some research and we ended up with some pretty neat stuff! So if you have a little one in your life celebrating their 1st birthday soon, check out these ideas:

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  • Shape sorter:  This fun toy allows babies to work on problem solving and reasoning and hand-eye coordination skills.  We purchased a Little Tykes Discover Sounds Kitchen that has music and sounds on the burners and the refrigerator is a shape sorter with a triangle cheese, square milk, and round egg!
  • Push toy:  Children around this age are starting to walk and a push toy gives them the ability to be a little more stable while taking those first steps. I picked one up at a consignment sale for next to nothing when my son started walking.
  • 4 in 1 trike: Radio Flyer makes an awesome little trike that I think is a great investment! The age range is 10 months to 5 years.  It has a handle that comes up for the adult to steer in the beginning. It also has a bar that wraps around them and a three-point harness and a head rest to keep them safe. It has a cup holder for snacks on the go! This is something we decided was the perfect gift for our son. He absolutely loves it and since it’s still winter, he likes us to push him around the house in it!
  • Books, puzzles or musical toys: Melissa and Doug brand makes some fantastic toys and we have a few of their puzzles that make sounds when you put them together.  My son loves music and dancing!  There are so many cool electronic toys that sing little sweet songs that kids just love!  
  • Contributions to a college savings account:  If the child has an account set up, make a small contribution to their college savings account. Before you know it, that kid will be out the door on his way to college!

These are just a few simple ideas that I’m sure your child will love!  Feel free to comment on these ideas or add your own gift ideas!

From iFamily to Yours,

Erin

ErinB_iFamilyKC_MomSquad

 

 

 

 

 

Erin Booth, mother of 2 little ones and 1 big. Grandma to another little one.

(1 year old son, 6 year old daughter, 20 year old stepson, and 8 month old grandbaby girl)


Beat The Cold: 5 Cheap (or FREE) Indoor Ideas For Snow Days!

Good Morning, Friends!

Happy Monday! Like many of you, I am at home with my daughter today celebrating Martin Luther King Day and I noticed that we’re anticipating 1-4 inches of snow overnight on Tuesday so there’s a chance that we might have another at home day later this week. iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Stephanie has some GREAT tips for activities you can do with your kiddos INDOORS during this cold, cold weather. Take a look…

5IndoorActivitiesForSnowdays

As a mother of four kids, it is often hard to spend time with one child – ALONE! I’ve made that one of my goals for this year to spend more time with each of the kids individually. With that being said, I’m also not wanting to spend tons of money on these activities! I’ve decided to compile a list of free (or super cheap!) activities to do indoors during these cold, winter days!

#1. Let them pick a movie – Between Netflix and Redbox, I can almost always find something the kiddos want to watch. During the younger kid’s naptime or after they have gone to bed, I make some popcorn and cuddle up to their choice of a movie – or introduce them to some of my favorite movies when I was a kid!

#2. Play a game – The possibilities are endless with this option! There are board games, card games, games the kids have made up… you really can’t go wrong with this one!

#3. Cook something together – my oldest daughter loves to cook anything in the kitchen! She got an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas and wants to make cookies, cakes, ect. almost every day after school. We talk about her day at school while I teach her about reading and following directions and measuring the correct amount of water.

#4. Read a book – While this is something that we already do every night, sometimes I ask them to pick their favorite book and we can snuggle and read it together. (This is also nice for times I’m exhausted and just want to sit down for a minute!)

#5. Have a spa day – my daughters love spa days! We paint our nails, I let them use my “smell good” lotion (aka my Bath and Body Works lotion!) and we try new hair styles!
I hope this list gives you some ideas of things to do with your little ones!

From iFamily to Yours,

Stephanie

Stephanie_iFamilyKC_MomSquad


How To Throw An “Invisible” Birthday Party In 5 Easy Steps

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

Yesterday was one of those rare occasions where the calendar was completely free and nobody in my family had any obligations. So when my four year old daughter informed me that her invisible friend, Butterfly, was celebrating a birthday – I knew we had to do something special. Afterall, invisible friends only turn 12 once, right?!

Charlotte was visibly excited when I suggested throwing a little party for Butterfly and we had such a great time planning out the events for the evening (right down to the last minute invite of another family to join us). If you’re considering throwing your child’s imaginary friend a birthday party of their very own, this post is for you. We spent less than $10 and it was well worth it for the fun memories we created together as a family. Take a look:

InvisibleBirthdayParty

 

Step One – Set The Date & Invite Some Friends:

One of the many benefits to imaginary friends is that their birthdays, too, are imaginary. Our situation was a little different in that my daughter informed me of Butterfly’s birthday last minute but YOU have the luxury of selecting the date of your child’s imaginary friend’s birthday yourself, so I suggest doing it on a day that you don’t otherwise have plans. This would make for a very fun play date option where your child’s friends could invite their invisible friends along for the fun, too (hopefully it won’t get too crowded ;)).

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Step Two – Decide On The Theme & Budget:

Apparently Butterfly’s favorite color is pink so deciding on a theme for her last minute invisible birthday party was fairly easy. Since we typically do pizza night on Saturdays anyway, we decided to do a pink pajama and pizza party. We established a budget before leaving the house for the store to alleviate any impulse buys from the four year old.

Our budget was $10 and we easily stayed under that (minus the cost of the pizza – which we would have had for dinner anyway) by shopping for boxed cake mix ($1.08) and whipped cream topping ($1.69) at the grocery store and everything else (a birthday card for $.50, 16 balloons for $1.00, party hats for $1.00, and noisemakers for $1.00) from Dollar Tree. I already had a few party decorations on hand that I’d purchased from Target so we were able to set up for the party at a really low cost.

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Step Three – Get The Kids Involved:

After we got home from the store, it was time to clean. Everyone knows you can’t throw a birthday party in a messy house so this gave me the perfect opportunity to get Charlotte involved with cleaning up – The invisible parents of imaginary friends can be awfully judgy about dirty homes. After we got everything straightened up, we threw up a few decorations and started working on the cake. My four year old helped me every step of the way and was so eager to bake (a term I use loosely since we used boxed cake mix).

Pro Tip: If you find yourself pressed for time and needing to used boxed cake mix, substitute the water for milk and the oil for butter and your mix will taste more homemade. 

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Step Four – Wrap The Invisible Gifts:

A birthday party is simply not complete without an invisible gift so ask your kids to sit down for a few minutes and think about the imaginary gift they’ll be giving at the party. Charlotte opted to give Butterfly an imaginary orange sparkly kitten for her birthday gift which proved to be slightly more difficult than I ever imagined it would be to wrap. This will give mom and dad a few minutes of peace and quite (hopefully) while the kids are busy at the table wrapping the invisible gifts.

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Step Five – Have FUN:

I know it seems so silly to host an invisible party for an imaginary friend but I promise you – it’s a ton of fun and your kids will have a blast. I’m all about creating memories and this party was something that I’m sure I will look back on (especially when Charlotte is too old to play pretend) later on down the road. Let loose with your kids and enjoy the party!

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From iFamily to Yours,

Holli

Holli_iFamilyKCTeam

 

 

 

 


This Weekend At The Box Office: “13 Hours The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”

Happy Saturday, Folks!

The weekend is here, the Chiefs will be playing this afternoon, and it’s COLD outside! If you’re looking for some indoor activities for date night tonight, we’re here to help! Yesterday we shared a review of the new movie “Ride Along 2” and today we’re going to share our review of the new film based on real events “13 Hours The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”. I had the chance to catch an early screening of this movie earlier this week and am anxious to share my thoughts with you today on the blog. Take a look…

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“13 Hours The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” recounts the actual events of a terrorist attacks on the American Consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya which have since been the source of investigations and controversy. Nearing the 11th anniversary of the attacks in New York, the Pentagon, and the downed American Airlines flight in Pennsylvania, the threat level in Libya was deemed critical and Benghazi was considered to be one of the most dangerous places on Earth. So, when American ambassador Chris Stevens’ team was attacked at the US Consulate, there was no help available beyond his small security team that was already in place.

The bulk of the film documents six members of the security detail assigned to the nearby CIA annex who risked their lives to try to save the ambassador and his team in the early hours of the attack. Once back at the annex, however, the team quickly realized that their night had just begun as the militants issued several waves of subsequent attacks on the annex forcing the team to fight for not only their lives but also for the lives of dozens of CIA operatives who were inside the compound at the time.

War films highlighting modern day political conflict can often be a harsh reminder of the world we live in but also serve as a reminder that there are people who are willing to risk their lives to save others – which is exactly what the “secret soldiers” of Benghazi accomplished. All in all, these men fought for nearly 13 hours before being able to return home to their families lives changed, some lives lost. The film depicts the gravity of war and brings you on an emotional journey that will break your heart.

Overall, I recommend “13 Hours The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” to moviegoers who are interested in war films or for people studying the recent history of our war overseas. On a scale from 1 to 10, I give this movie a 7.45309.

See you at the movies!

From iFamily to Yours,

Holli

Holli_iFamilyKCTeam


This Weekend At The Box Office: “Ride Along 2”

Good Morning, friends!

Congratulations, everyone! We’ve *officially* made it to Friday and, as we finish out this last workday for the week, many of us are looking forward to date night this weekend and also to spending lots of quality time with the little ones, too! If you’re considering heading to the theater this weekend, you’ve got many options to choose from. We’ve got a couple of reviews headed your way for movies that are being released nationwide today. The first of the two was written by iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Emily M. Emily had the opportunity to catch an advanced screening of the new comedy “Ride Along 2” earlier this week. Curious as to what she thought?! Take a look…

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Ride Along 2

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 101 min

Release Date: Jan 15, 2014

Kevin Hart and Ice Cube are hitting the big screen again with the sequel to the first “Ride Along”. Seriously Funny. Sound familiar, Kevin fans? I am a huge Kevin Hart fan, so I am so excited to be sharing my review of “Ride Along 2” with you. Just like the first film, I find myself watching these two amazing actors perfectly capture the characters they are playing so naturally. Kevin Hart is a natural comedian. In this film, like every other, Kevin doesn’t just play his character- he becomes him. He is so full of wit, charm, and maybe even a few corny jokes you can’t help but laugh at. Ice Cube comes in as his clashing, somewhat grumpy, self.

The pair are playing the infamous brother-in-laws-to-be, Ben Barber and James Payton, working to take down a drug lord in Miami… right before Ben’s marriage to James’ sister! Ben is a fresh newbie officer of Atlanta a month out of the police academy who is now partnered with James. Expect to see Ben bounced around, kicked, hit, and just plain pushed around. Just from this alone, you can expect lots of laughter to ensue as you watch this film. New additions to the film include Olivia Munn and Ken Jeong. Olivia Munn has been casted to play character in this sequel as a Miami homicide detective. Ken Jeong has a more interesting character. He becomes a computer whiz that makes Ben look at least a little bit dignified. Well, unless you ignore the fact that he literally eats nachos out of a trash can!  

I firmly believe that the characters in this movie are what makes it great in my eyes. From the perspective of a movie plot, that area could use some improvement. “Ride Along 2” is not much different (plot-wise) than the first. But what more could you expect from a sequel such as this? Overall, I really enjoyed the film. I found it to be witty and had moments where I could not stop laughing. That being said, I would rate the film as 4/5 stars simply for the fact that the plot could be a lot stronger and new ideas could be introduced.

From iFamily to Yours,

Emily

EmilyM_iFamilyKC_MomSquad