Monday, February 9, 2015

MONOPOLY–Will you be the next Canadian Monopoly Champion?

Did you know that Monopoly is turning 80 years old in 2015?  

To celebrate this amazing milestone, Hasbro Canada is holding a special tournament in Toronto on May 1st and 2nd.  Forty-eight contestants will be invited to compete in the 2015 MONOPOLY Canadian Championship tournament.  

A special website has been released in to determine who will compete at the tournament.  Specific details about the tournament will be provided to the 48 contestants who have been declared as qualifiers via the website.    The Canadian Champion will receive $10,000 CDN in prize money as well as a trip for two to the MONOPOLY World Championships in Macau, China.   

If you want to try out the qualifications, click on the image below to access the qualifying process.   Good luck!


Also, Hasbro has released a brand new edition of the famous game – the 80th anniversary edition of Monopoly!

The game hasn’t changed much – it stills makes you purchase locations.   This classic game has been an icon in many households since the 1930s.   As I grew up we had a version with wooden houses and hotels.    This anniversary version of the classic fast-trading property game features tokens from the 1930s to the 2000s.   The gameboard and the cards have a retro look but you still have to build houses and hotels as well as see if you can bankrupt someone else.   Keep an eye on your own money though because you never know when the dice will land you with a massive rent bill to pay. 

The 80th anniverary edition of MONOPOLY includes a gameboard, 8 tokens, 28 title deed cards, 16 Chance cards, 16 Community Chest cards, 32 houses, 12 hotels, 2 dice, 1 pack of Monopoly money, 2 dice and a game guide.


This new edition of a classic game would be perfect for a gift to teenagers or young adults.   I think that it would also make a great gift for a wedding.  

The 80th anniversary edition of Monopoly is available for purchase at your favorite game store, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the above mentioned products for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.


The Drop Box documentary

20140719-L1028705The Drop Box is a documentary about the work of Pastor Lee Jong-Rak and his heroic efforts to embrace and protect his community’s most vulnerable childre.    Hundreds of unwanted babies are abandoned on the streets of Seoul, South Korea, every year, forgotten by the surrounding culture.   By installing a drop box outside his home, Pastor Lee provides a safe haven to babies who would otherwise be abandonned on the streets to die.  

The documentary is a heart-wrenching exploration of the physical and emotional toll associated with providing refuge to save those deemed unwanted by society.  The documentary is mostly subtitled in English as most of the talk is done in South Korean.  But even with the fact that you need to translate in your mind while reading, you can’t miss the story and how it all started.

The documentary covers many aspects of the ministry like who is the pastor behind it and what is his story, the ministry that he offers, the kids and the volunteers, the routine that everyone go through on a daily basis and much more.   20140719-L1028884

You will walk on the street of Seoul and see where the babies were abandoned on the streets before Pastor Lee decided to install a drop box.   Most of the time the babies left in the drop box do not have any information about the mother or the day of birth.    In South Korea, it is extremely difficult for a young woman to be pregnant out of wedlock.   Highschool girls who are discovered loose their schooling opportunities.  Consequently they often abandoned their babies.    Even the adoption process is not an option since you have to give your citizenship number and they can easily find you.   Besides going through the regular adoption process requires to go through seven administrative institutional steps just to deal with the abandoned child. Before the Drop Box was installed, many single girls would be suicidal because of what would happen to them.   In 2013 alone, more than 204 babies were abandoned in Seoul.   Orphans are not well viewed in South Korea.

Pastor Lee and his wife have raised a son who is a special need child.   Now at the age of 26 years old, he still spend his days laying down.   Their child has taught them Doing so prepared them to the task that the Drop Box requires of them.    The youngest baby that came through the Drop Box was about 1 to 2 hours old.   Still they took the child and care for her.    So far, over 594 babies have came through the Drop Box as of 11/14.    Pastor Lee and his wife have adopted some of them – some having special needs.   One of these kids is a gentle heart 10 years old boy who doesn’t have all his fingers and toes but wishes to take over the ministry of his dad – Pastor Lee – when he is older.    He even spend quite some time with his older brother who requires help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.    Seeing him helping with these kids touched me heart and made me hope that my kids will also want to help others when they are older.

Throughout the documentary you will also have a visualized cartoonish story telling the story of what is being told as well as testimonies of the work done through the ministry.  You will also learn about the issues that they have caring for the kids as well as the health problems that Pastor Lee has.

As I watched this with my oldest son, it was hard to hold my tears.   Part of me wanted to fly to South Korean and adopt one or two of these kids.  They are indeed precious in God’s sight.   I know how a disabled child can be a blessing for a family because I have a special nephew who without even realizing it teach us to love anyone without restraint.     It breaks my heart to hear about how these kids are being abandoned and I rejoice to see the many volunteers coming to help Pastor Lee and his wife to care for these children.



The documentary is a heart-wrenching exploration of the physical and emotional toll associated with providing refuge to save those deemed unwanted by society.   It is also a story of hope and a celebration of the reality that every human life is sacred, has a purpose and is worthy of love.

This documentary was made by Brian Ivie.  He learned about Pastor Lee’s baby box and orphanage in the Los Angeles Times and knew it was a story worth sharing.   However, he didn’t expect that through the journey of making this documentary, he would co-found Kindred Image to support Pastor Lee and come to know Christ.  


On March 4th and 5th, the documentary will be played in theaters throughout the country.   In Ottawa, you will be able to go to Landmark Cinemas 24 in Kanata, Cineplex Odeon in South Keys and Silvercity in Gloucester.  To find if the documentary will be showing in your city, please go to the DropBox website.  I really think that everyone should take some time to go see this touching documentary and discover how God cares for these little ones.   But please be aware that you should bring some tissues with you because this documentary will touch your heart.


Disclaimer: Thanks to Graf-Martin and Focus on the Family for allowing me to preview the documentary in advance in order for me to promote the Drop Box. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Introducing DKfindout

DKfindout webbadge

About a week ago, DK has launched an exciting new online learning resource for kids, parents, teachers and educators of all kinds.    Personally, I think it is a fabulous website for homeschoolers.   The site is called DKfindout   and between you and I, I think the name fits perfectly.    This website took nearly two years in the making.   DKfindout is a global education website that brings together DK's unrivalled collection of amazing images and expertly researched text to create a safe - and useful - online learning environment!   It caters to visual learners of all ages – and is perfect to learn more without the kids realizing…   This amazing free website allows people to create their own journey of discovery and learn remarkable facts along the way.

The best part is that it is accessible on all devices, iPad, phone, laptop and computer!  So no matter where you are, you can easily swing by DKfindout and learn (assuming that you are in a free wifi area or you have coverage on your device). 

When you get to the website you will see this screen.  You can either select a theme or type in what you are looking for. 


  Further down the page, you can go to videos, answer questions on quizzes, what galleries of photos, discover what’s new on the site, learn fun facts and even have your own folder of stuff to read about.


Since we are going to study China with our coop at the end of March, I thought it would be interesting to do a search on China.   Here’s the different subjects we can explore on China on this website – The Great Wall today, Kingdom of Ancient China, more Chinese inventions, Ancient China, The Great Wall of China, Chinese printing, more Chinese pottery, Chinese farming, Chinese trade, what the Chinese traded, the First Emperor, Chinese pottery, the Terra-cotta Army, Chinese junk, Confucius, Chinese writing, Chinese paper-making, Chinese Dress, Chinese family life, Chinese inventions, giant panda, and Chinese medicine.     The search also brought up Richard Nixon, measuring earthquakes, parts of a flower, what is a fish?, what is a mammal? and leaves.  I suspect that China is mentioned in these articles. 

Below is an example of my search on China – more specifically how the Great Wall of China was built.   On the image, you can see labels which allows the person navigating the site to discover more about specific words related to the search.

imageDKfindout bags

I am very impressed with this site and I think it is a wonderful site to explore with your kids when studying a specific theme.    I highly recommend DKfindout to anyone who love to learn.


One of my readers will be able to get a DKfindout tote bag.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for the opportunity of having a giveaway. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, February 2, 2015


9780764216954Esther – Royal Beauty
Written by Angela Hunt
Published at Bethany House

About the book

When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people.

When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king's heart and a queen's crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king's permission to exterminate all Jews--young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people...and bind her husband's heart.

My Thoughts

In this biblical fiction, you will discover how Angela Hunt views the life of Hadassah a.k.a. Queen Esther was in the time of the ruling of Xerxes, King of Persia.   Through the pages of the this book, you will be transported in the time of the ruling of Xerxes and the event that will bring young Hadassah to become Queen Esther.   This book also novelize the story behind the plot to kill the Jews and ultimately how Esther herself put her life in danger in order to save her own people.

I don’t mind historical fiction but I am a bit uneasy on taking a biblical story and novelize it.   Though I must admit that reading this book makes you wonder if her life was like the one portrayed in the novel.   The author was able to portray the life in Persia and compared the Persian women with their Jewish neighbors.  You can see the differences of lifestyle and almost smell the odors from the market.  You can close your eyes and visualize the life of the queen, how the parties were thrown and even be a witness of the life of the slaves in the palace.

As much as I admire the fact that the author has penned a great story around a well known biblical account, I ponder on the purpose of doing so.   I am torn inside between sticking to the book of Esther in the Bible and allowing my mind to venture into what might have been to be in her shoes, how life was in an harem, what Hadassah really thought so many years ago and what life was for her as a queen.  How did she really interact with the king?  Did she really loved him?    What was her feeling at every steps of her life?    Part of me would prefer to personally imagine it.  Part of me enjoys having the novelize version of Angela Hunt. 

If you enjoy historical fiction – more specifically biblical historical fiction – I think you will enjoy Esther – Royal Beauty.

Esther is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even and


Kindle Edition


Disclaimer: The book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Miracle on Voodoo Mountain

_225_350_Book.1464.coverMiracle On Voodoo Mountain – A Young Woman’s Remarkable Story of Pushing Back the Darkness for the Children of Haiti
By Megan Boudreaux
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book

"It took months of God waking me up in the middle of the night before I realized I was the one He was calling to leave my comfortable American life and move to Haiti."

Miracle on Voodoo Mountain is the inspirational memoir of an accomplished and driven 24-year old who quit her job, sold everything, and moved to Haiti, by herself-all without a clear plan of action. Megan Boudreaux had visited Haiti on a few humanitarian trips but each trip multiplied the sense that someone needed to address the devastation-especially with the children, many of whom were kept as household slaves on the poverty-stricken and earthquake-devastated Caribbean island.

God guided her every step as she moved blindly to a foreign land without knowing the language, the people, or the future. From becoming the adoptive mother of former child slaves, to receiving the divine gift of the Haitian Creole language, to starting, building, and running a school for more than 500 children, "the amazingness of what God did after I made the choice to be obedient is incredible," said Megan.

Three years later, six acres on Bellevue Mountain in Gressier is the home of the nonprofit Respire Haiti at the former site of voodoo worship, and in the area that many still come to make animal sacrifices, Megan and her staff of nearly 200 are transforming this community as they educate, feed, and address the needs.

Who is Megan Boudreaux?

Megan Boudreaux, at the age of 24, founded Respire Haiti, a non-profit to fight for the freedom of Haiti's estimated 300,000 child slaves. Megan followed God's call to begin a feeding program and transform a barren hillside into a refuge and a school for 500 children. A medical clinic is nearing completion with future plans for a church, community center, and library. Megan has adopted four Haitian children and in 2013 she married her best friend, Josh Anderson.

My Thoughts

When I saw this book available for review I was immediately curious because it was about how a young woman has decided to follow God in a country that was in turmoil in order to help kids.   She left everything that she knew about and move to Haiti in an area she had previously went to on a Mission trip.   I love real stories of people selflessly leaving everything behind and going where God has asked them to go.    So I didn’t hesitate a seconds and got the book in ebook format in order for me to immediately start the reading. 

And I got hooked from the first few pages I read.   I was able to read this book within a week – which is a miracle nowadays when you homeschool your four kids and incorporate regular activities in the mix.    And let me tell you that this book will allow you to see God on the move when we seem to doubt about it (well in North America anyway).   God was with Megan Boudreaux from the time she had the dreams through her moving in Haiti, giving her the gift of speaking and understanding Creole, providing for her needs above and beyond she could even imagine, giving her kids, a husband, a ministry that is thriving and much more.   

Reading this book gave me goose bumps and made me dream of bringing my kids on a mission trip in the future.  We have seen God moving when my husband and I were part of a mission trip in Dominican Republic back in 2005.  We know that He is faithful to provide for needs we have.  We believe that He wants us to bring our kids on a mission trip and I trust that He will provide for this to happen.  The story of Megan Boudreaux is touching, real and will bring you in awe of how God can provide.

If you like biographies and stories of how God move in order to bless kids and adults, this book is definitively one that I highly recommend. 

Miracle on Voodoo Mountain is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.