Dec 13, 2017

Ferdinand Movie Review

As an elementary school librarian, I have been anxiously awaiting the new movie, Ferdinand, since I saw the trailer earlier this year. The book, written by Munro Leaf in 1938, is a childhood classic and even though the movie took a few liberties with the original storyline, the main message is still strong: Don't judge a bull by its cover.

The movie begins with a young Ferdinand in the yard at Casa del Toro surrounded by his bull friends, all waiting eagerly to learn which of their husky fathers will be chosen to be shipped off to the bullfights in Madrid. The theme of "Meat or Fight" is established pretty early on in the movie - meaning they either fight or get sent off to the butcher. My 6 year old looked at me after the first ten minutes with sad and confused eyes. We are vegetarians, so the thought of a cow going to market or to the butcher is a true unknown for her. If your little ones are sensitive, you may want to prep them for this theme of the movie. 

Sweet, kind, and friendly Ferdinand finds a way to escape Casa del Toro to follow his heart and finds a family who loves him unconditionally. To avoid any plot spoilers, I'll just quote another Metro Detroit Mommy blogger here:

"So, what do we know about Disney* movies? #1) Something horrific happens. Usually a parent dies a tragic, untimely death, catapulting our young protagonist headfirst into the plot; #2) The animation is top-notch and awe-worthy; #3) The songs are catchy and moving; #4) The characters are easy to relate to and we inevitably fall in love with them." ~Dana "Moana - The Ocean is Calling: Movie Review"

*Ferdinand is NOT a Disney movie, but all 4 of these are true!

While the movie has the typical age-appropriate humor and whimsy most kids will enjoy, there are also a lot of hilarious one-liners and laughs for parents too. I laughed - out loud - a LOT. Especially at Kate McKinnon's character, Lupe the goat. 

Other great aspects of the movie were the warm, vibrant colors and lively music - appropriate for the setting in Spain. And while there wasn't a lot of music, the few songs included did help to move the story along and added to the general feel and mood of the film. One of our favorite songs was during a lively and exciting dance-off between the horses and the bulls. 

The overall message of the movie was clear, the ending was satisfying, and we all left the theater feeling uplifted. It was a really great movie that I'd love to go see again, and I definitely plan to purchase a digital copy for our family when it becomes available. 

It is rated PG for "Rude humor, Action, and Some thematic elements," but I would have no problem taking my 4 year old to see it.

Ferdinand is a beautiful, uplifting film that I highly recommend. In a world with so much uncertainty and cynicism, it was a great escape into the world of Ferdinand the flower-sniffing bull, full of kindness and love.

FERDINAND Official Channels


Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Where Do You Hide the Holiday Presents?

The annual parental struggle will be upon us soon, for those who like to get a head start on the season, it is already here. Where to hide the holiday presents! It's easy enough when our children are babies. They can't look and don't know to search for them. As they get older though, it gets complicated and when things get complicated parents have to get creative. I recently asked my Facebook friends and family their favorite places to hide holiday presents and I'm happy to share them with you.

Amanda Stein 2011

  • in a box in the garage
  • at a friend's or relative's house
  • on a shelf in the basement
  • in stored suitcases
  • at the office
  • Grandparents' home
  • in the garage rafters/storage
  • in a giant cardboard box
  • in storage totes
  • in closet with a deadbolt
  • under the kitchen sink, behind the cleaning products
  • wrap them and put them under the tree but use mislabel tags: Grandma, Uncle Adam, Aunt Amelia
  • in the craft closet under the yarn
  • in plastic totes in your bedroom
  • trade with a friend so even if the kids snoop they'll be super confused on Christmas morning
  • extra room with a lock
  • where ever the cleaning supplies are stored-they'll never find them!
  • trunk of the car
  • in a canoe in the garage
  • in boxes labeled 'old clothes'
  • in the empty holiday decoration storage boxes
  • don't bother hiding them. Just threaten to return them if the kids are caught snooping
  • the laundry hamper/pile
  • in the attic under the Halloween decorations
  • top shelf in the closet under blankets
Where ever you choose to hid the presents, or however you celebrate the holidays, nothing beats the look on your child's face that day.
Amanda Stein 2010

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

FREE Parenting Workshop in Brighton: Understanding IEPs

Understanding Individualized Education Programs 
with Sandee Koski

Friday, January 12th, 2017 
9:00 am - 12:00 pm 
opens at 8:30 am 
Light breakfast provided 

The Arc Livingston 
Conference Room 
2980 Dorr Road 
Brighton, MI 48116

This workshop will help you better understand the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for children and youth who receive special education services. When you understand the IEP process, and how to participate, you will have a better chance of your child getting the services they need to be successful in school. 

Our goal is to help you understand the basic IEP components and how they work together, specifically: 
* The present level of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP statement); 
* Writing measurable goals and objectives; 
* Support services; and 
* Plan implementation.

Register by 1-5-18 with Kanika Littleton
(248) 557-5070 ext 115 or

If it is after the deadline and you haven't registered, please call or email to check the status of the event. 

If you require accommodations or materials in an alternative format, please let us know one week before the workshop.

View a PDF flyer for this event and find other workshops on our calendar of events.

Have questions about this event or other special education questions?

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Free Parent Workshop: Overview & High School Graduation Requirements for Students with an IEP

with Kelly Orginski

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
opens at 6 pm. 
Washtenaw ISD
Seminars 3 & 4
1819 South Wagner Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

This workshop is for families of students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and the team members who work with them. We will provide you with information and resources to start planning now for the future. 

This workshop will provide information for parents to help young adults plan for a successful transition to adulthood. We'll look closely at 
* Educational Development Plan (EDP) 
* Graduation standards 
* Diploma vs Certificate of Completion 
* Transition page of the IEP 
* Rights and responsibilities 

Learn how high school classes and the school environment can help develop important skills and build pre-employment knowledge.

Register with Kristen Columbus by 1/9/18
(734) 662-1256 ext 203 or

If it is after the deadline and you haven't registered, please call or email to check the status of the event. 

If you require accommodations or materials in an alternative format, please let us know one week before the workshop.

View a PDF flyer for this event and find other workshops on our calendar of events.

Have questions about this event or other special education questions?

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Dec 12, 2017

Harlem Globetrotters Giveaway {ends 1/2/18}

Harlem Globetrotters

The Harlem Globetrotters, known for their one-of-a-kind family entertainment, will bring their “Amazing Feats of Basketball World Tour” to Little Caesars Arena on Saturday, February 3 at 1 p.m. to take on their long-time adversaries the Washington Generals.

The Harlem Globetrotters will face a revamped Washington Generals team which recently launched a more competitive profile over the summer, making an appearance at The Basketball Tournament. The new tournament-tested team is looking to snap a 47-year losing streak against their world famous rivals during their 2018 season.

With a star-studded roster featuring Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard and Cheese Chisholm – plus female stars TNT Lister, Ace Jackson and Hoops Green – the Globetrotters’ show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment. Their game at Little Caesars Arena will showcase incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequaled fan interaction. After the game, Globetrotter stars will sign autographs and take photos with fans.

For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, visit the Globetrotters' official Web site: and follow them on Twitter @Globies.

Show Info:

Saturday, February 3 at 1:00pm

Little Caesars Arena
2645 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48201

Ticket Info

Metro Detroit Mommy Price:

Box Office Price:

*Call 313-471-3095 and ask about our “Birthday Bash” and “Magic Pass” Packages!!.

You can purchase tickets by phone at 313-471-3095 and mention Metro Detroit Mommy .
Or you can purchase tickets online at use the Promo code: MOMMYLCA- If you having trouble using Internet Explorer, please use Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

Questions can also be directed to my email


Enter for a chance to win 4 tickets to the Saturday, February 3 at 1:00 pm  performance of the Harlem Globetrotters at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Harlem Globetrotters Giveaway

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

Tunnel of Lights-Warren

If your family is like ours, going to see festive holiday lights is one of the best parts of the season. Many of us already know about the Wayne County Lightfest, Holidays at Greenfield Village, and downtown Rochester's Big Bright Light Show, but one of THE best holiday light displays in our area is actually right down the road in Warren!

Pack up the kids, grab the hot chocolate (with marshmallows if preferred) and head to 12 Mile & Schoenherr for the annual Tunnel of Lights on Eiffel Street.

The Skurda family began the tradition in 2009, and over time their neighbors and friends began to get involved too. "It grew pretty quickly every year and when we ran out of room on our yard we started putting our decorations on the neighbors yard and then next door to them, " said Heather Skurda. Now, nearly the entire block is aglow with a spectacular light show featuring over 100,000 lights the entire family will love!

Heather's husband Brent makes all of the arches for the neighborhood with another neighbor and starts putting them up in October.  Next year, they are anticipating even more of the block being decorated, so they plan on starting in September.

The Tunnel of Lights officially opens on the first Saturday of December, and every year it seems to get bigger and better. This year, Santa arrived on a firetruck to commemorate the event, and some of the neighborhood children were even dressed in holiday costumes passing out candy to those walking by.

While our family didn't make it to opening night, we did head over the next day and the weather was perfect for us to walk through the beautiful displays. Families were hanging out outside and it was a joyful evening.

What's nice is that because it's a free display in a private neighborhood, it's relatively relaxed and easygoing, with neighbors waving hello and everyone having a great time together. And although there is no charge, this is the first year they are accepting donations for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Michigan. Heather said they will pick a different charity every year going forward. 

Most of the decorations are on the east side of Eiffel with plenty of photo opportunities, but even the west side of the street has gotten into the Christmas spirit. I have a feeling over time the entire street will get involved.

This is DEFINITELY a display you'll want to get out of the car and walk through - so dress accordingly and bring the wagons or strollers in case the kids need a break. There is no parking on the east side of the street but plenty of parking elsewhere in the subdivision, then it's just a quick walk over to Eiffel. We are lucky enough that my sister lives around the corner so we threw all the kids in a wagon and walked over together. 

Eiffel Street is just west of Schoenherr and north of 12 mile, in the subdivision across from Warren Woods Middle School. The Tunnel of Lights begins at sundown and lasts through the evening. 

Do you know of a hidden gem light show that we should know about? Is there one in your neighborhood? Share in the comments!

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

The Lego Ninjago Movie Blue Ray DVD #promo & Giveaway {ends 1/11/18}

The Lego Ninjago Movie is a newer children's action film about a fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas that must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their true power and defeat the evil warlord Garmadon. Featuring the talent of Olivia Munn, Michael Pea, Justin Theroux, Abbi Jacobson, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, Fred Armisen, and others and directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, Bob Logan.  This Warner Brothers video is set to hit the shelves, just in time for Christmas on Decebmer 19th.  

You can pre-order your Blue-Ray copy from here: (Afilliate Link)

The Lego Ninjago Movie

Read what MDM Blogger, Amanda, had to say in her movie review.


Enter below for your chance to win a copy of the Lego Ninjago Movie on Blue-Ray and a Lego action figure.  


Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger: