Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Calling all Compassion International Sponsors!!

To all of you who sponsor children around the world through Compassion International - I want to shout out a great big THANK YOU for what you are doing in the lives of your children! The help that you give your child/children through the monthly support you send is changing their lives and the lives of their families in very tangible ways.

We recently returned from a Compassion Sponsor tour to Guatemala and one of the things that impacted me the most was hearing how seldom sponsors write their children - and how DESPERATE the children are to hear from you! You can not imagine the joy that we saw on the faces of the children who do hear from their sponsors compared to the grief of the many more who do not. So don't stop your help when you send that vital support check each month - take five minutes and write your child a letter. Ask them about themselves. Tell them about yourself. Get to know them in a way that you have not done up to this point!

There are several ways to write your child. You can go the "old fashioned" pen and paper route, which is great, because then the child sees your handwriting. Many of the kids don't think that their sponsor is real (one child even suggested that his sponsor must be a robot, because he had never heard from him), so taking the time to hand write a letter and enclose a picture or two of you/your family will make you more real to your child.

In addition to that, you can go onto the Compassion website and write an email to your child. Not as personal, but hey - I think that if the choice is an email vs. not hearing from you, they will gladly take the email!!

If you have not signed up for an account on the Compassion website, please take a minute to do that. There are lots of great tips for what to write your child, the email function is there, you can make a quick donation for an upcoming birthday or tons of other fun stuff.

If you don't have a sponsor child, and would like to, you can go to the Compassion International website and get started right away. There are thousands of kids waiting to get that call "You have a SPONSOR!!" Not only will you change the life of a child, but your life will be changed as well! Click here http://www.compassion.com/default.htm

P.S. Just found out about this blog...all about writing your Compassion kids, tons of tips and tools - check it out!! http://www.bloggingfromtheboonies.com/

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dolphin Tale - A Must See Family Movie - Finally!

I don't know about you, but I get awfully tired of hearing about the next new "family movie" only to find it full of potty talk, kids slamming all the adults, and rebellion out the wazoo! It is so rare that I can actually show my kids a new release at the theater without previewing it first, well, forget rare - it NEVER happens!

I recently heard about a new movie called Dolphin Tale, put out by Warner Brothers. I saw the trailer for Dolphin Tale while watching Winnie the Pooh with my kids. The story line immediately caught my attention, as it did all of my kids. I was further intrigued to read about the movie on the Homeschool Movie Club site (http://homeschoolmovieclub.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/homeschool-day-at-the-movies/ ) in a review by Nathan Clarkson - this was the quote at the bottom of the short promo: "*also, you may be happy to know that there is no foul language, actors wear wetsuits and rash guards, and there are no romantic plots (no funny business :) and we have seen an early screening and would be happy to answer ANY question you may have about the movie". I was hooked! How often can you read a review about a family movie and get that kind of an endorsement?!

Last week, I saw a post on Facebook from Sally Clarkson, letting us know that "they" were looking for people who blog and are leaders to come and pre-screen Dolphin Tale. You can be sure that I dropped everything to get that email sent off, and sure enough, I was lucky enough to receive a coveted seat at the screening yesterday.

I cannot say enough positive things about this movie. First of all, it is in 'Real 3D"...fun for me for two reasons: 1) I have not seen a 3D movie yet and 2) I just came back from snorkeling in Belize and the underwater scenes in 3D....wow! It was almost like being back in the water...almost!

I am not an expert on the social life of dolphins by any stretch of the imagination, so seeing "Winter" getting into all sorts of mischief before her accident may be totally inaccurate, but for me, it gave me a glimpse into the playful nature of this dolphin (Winter actually plays herself!).

I was also touched by the relationships of the people portrayed in the movie. Sawyer is obviously a child with a heavy load on his shoulders...and his relationship with his mom is so real! I could see myself saying some of the same things to my kids that she said to Sawyer on the way to the Marine Aquarium! And 'Hazel', I want her to be friends with Liyah! What an engaging child, full of spunk and life.

I also loved the "family forever" theme that ran throughout the movie. You saw it with Sawyer and his cousin Kyle as Kyle went out of his way to make sure his cousin knew that he was coming back and with how Sawyer went to see his cousin after the accident when his calls were not returned. Also with Lorraine (Sawyer's mom) and her sister, who lived across the street from each other and were always there to support one another when times were tough. You also saw it in Dr. Clay's family, in his daughter and his father. All of the people really cared about each other and even when things were tough, they stuck together and got through it, a good example to set in the world we live in where it is very common for people to run away from dealing with the hard things in life.

If I say anymore you won't need to see the movie...so I am just going to say - GO SEE IT!! It receives my highest movie rating of "I would pay full price to see it AGAIN at the theater" and this time I will be taking all the kids with me! I really think we need to let the movie industry know that we want more movies like this one!!

So, go see it and come back here and let me know what you think!