Share The Joy This Season

imagesEvery year as I begin my Christmas shopping for my children I reflect on how lucky they are to have as much as they do. For me it’s important to remember  that there many people in the world with very little, including a number of local families that struggle during the holiday season.

I believe that it’s very important for my kids to understand how lucky they are and to “share their joy” with others.  That’s why I always volunteer at my children’s elementary school for the Stocking Program.  It’s a great program where each grade at the school joins together to fill a huge stocking, or cardboard box that is decorated like a stocking, with presents for a family in need.  The presents can be anything from winter clothes to toys to grocery store gift cards that can be used for meals over the holidays.  As a school we always fill about 8 or 9 stockings.  As a family we always give generously to at least one family.

I make sure that my children are very much a part of the giving process. We talk about the ages of the kids that we are buying for and what they might like and need.   Then my children and I carve out a day to go shopping for relevant and fun items for each family member.  We always help to decorate the stocking (box) and we actually deliver the stocking right to the school that the family belongs to.

The whole process is designed to be as valuable to the volunteers as it is to helping out a local family that may not have the means as others do in providing a wonderful Christmas for their family.  For my kids it’s a great way to understand the meaning of giving back to the community and the true spirit of the holidays.

397719_518717761494344_51720000_aSimilar to my local efforts, and as a KINDER Mom, I like to share with you another great holiday kindness program that KINDER® has on right now.  For the second year in a row, KINDER® has partnered with Children’s Miracle Network with the “A Joy To Share” program.  The “A Joy to Share” program is one of the ways KINDER® is helping bring joy to families this holiday season.  As families come together this holiday, it is a wonderful opportunity to teach our little ones (and loved ones) about what it means to help others.  This isn’t just a donation – but a call to action for Canadian moms and children to create a greeting card as a means to share some holiday joy to  children and their families at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals this holiday season.

Starting Friday November 22nd, for each greeting card that is created, KINDER® will donate $1 to the Children’s Miracle Network.

Have fun creating your greeting card and remember to Share The Joy this holiday season!

Disclosure: I’m part of the KINDER® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

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Who else thinks Mike looks good as a glitter ball?

As the school term came to a close we drew up a list of activities that we would like to enjoy this summer holiday. Days at the beach, waterpark, cycling, theme parks, picnics…it’s a long list and I’m not sure if we’ll fit it all in, but we’ll definitely have fun trying.

One ‘to-do’ we’d already crossed off in week one was a trip to the cinema to see Monsters University. We’ve been waiting for this…since…what seems like forever – since we heard a sequel (or in this case prequel) was in the pipeline. Of course when it comes to these complex Pixar masterpieces the pipeline is so very long.

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We don’t tend to go to the movie theatre that much – only for the real big ‘must see’ movies and although Pickle has seen a few biggies at the cinema over the last few years, this was Bowser’s first. He enjoys TV shows, but his attention tends to wander before a DVD movie is through. We’d been in our seats for only 10 minutes before he had declared he was bored and we were still on the trailers, so I prepared for some fidgeting and thought there might be need of gentle persuasion (“here, eat more popcorn”) to allow me to see the whole movie. However, I need not have worried – as soon as little Mike Wazowski the preschooler appeared on screen Bowser was captivated and sat still and engaged until the closing credits, with the last few Maltesers in the pack a melted mess clutched in his sweaty palm. Result!

To be brutally honest, I was a bit disappointed in Monsters University. It was a good movie, but it lacked that certain something that makes a great movie. The script was sadly lacking in laughs compared to the hilarious Monsters Inc: such a hard act to follow. The brilliant teaser trailer where Mike becomes a glitter ball was, IMHO, funnier than the rest of the gags that actually made it in to the movie. So for me and anyone else who thinks Mike looks good as a disco ball…

But who cares what I think? I’m only a parent. The kids loved it and that’s all that matters. What’s more, I know they are going to love the new Monsters University Kinder® Surprise® packs. For the first time ever specially-marked Kinder® Surprise® packages are guaranteed to contain 100% licensed toys. That’s right, every Kinder Egg in these packs will contain a Monsters University character, so get ready for your kids to go nuts with monster fever as they try to collect the whole cast of 12 minifigures. Visit Kinder Canada’s facebook page now to see the new toy collection and cast a vote for your favourite monster.

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Disclosure: I’m part of the KINDER® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Each One Is Different!

After I had my first child I thought I had everything figured out about this parenting gig.  I thought that it would be no problem to have a second child as I have learned so much with my first….how different could a second child really be?  Don’t all children do the same things and act the same way?  THEN, I had my second child, who granted was a boy and not a girl like my first child.  But, having gender differences was to be expected.

What I didn’t expect was the complete and total opposite distinctions in both children from all aspects of their personality.  My daughter would eat anything I put in front of her.  My son won’t touch any food unless it’s caked in sugar.  My daughter takes over an hour to settle into bed and fall asleep.  My son falls asleep as soon as his head hits his pillow.  My daughter is super artistic and creative.  My son is a sports jock through and through.

When it comes down to the more emotional differences my daughter is stubborn as….well….as me 🙂   My son is the true meaning of the saying “water off a ducks back”.  My daughter is independent and only rarely really needs a snuggle and hug from mommy.  Whereas my son holds my hand whenever possible and showers me with kisses….even when his friends are watching!

Both children have such great attributes and both have some challenging attributes.  I could never have guessed that either would turn out the way they have and each personality would be so thought provoking to handle.

One trait that both my children share is their love of singing.  It’s rare that I can get them to sing together anymore but I do want to share this video of them singing a couple of years ago…..I’m a bit bias but I think it’s very cute!

Kinder® Surprise® Pink and Kinder Canada understand that each child is unique.  In order to celebrate our children Kinder Canada will hosting an exclusive Facebook contest. With the contest already started, you will be able to participate simply by becoming a friend of Kinder Canada and telling Kinder Canada what makes YOUR child so unique! You could be lucky enough to scoop up one of three $250 VISA gift cards!  You can also check out their new fun toy collection for girls and boysFor more contest details follow this link and good luck!  www.facebook.com/KinderCanada

Disclosure: I’m part of the KINDER® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Madagascar 3 and Kinder Eggs: What a Combo!

There’s been lergy in our house: a nasty stomach flu (is there any other sort?) has been raging through us leaving no man, woman or child standing. So of course there has been lots of TV viewing. Once every recorded progamme had been viewed, the family favourite DVDs have come out for an airing. While I’m a bit sick (no pun intended) of Scooby Doo after the 10th episode, I’m happy to snuggle up on the couch and be entertained by one of our fave movies like Madagascar.

But here’s some news to cheer us up. While we were chained to our sick beds last week a new Madagascar movie was released! When we’re finally all better we’ll be off to the cinema to catch the madcap crew of Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria back in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted!

As a huge bonus our friends at KINDER® have teamed up with DreamWorks® and in the new batches of Kinder Eggs you’ll find 9 original Madagascar 3 circus train toys.

If you visit Kinder Canada’s facebook page between now and June 17th you have the chance to instantly win 1 of 120 Cineplex® Family Passes to go see the movie. Each family pass is valued at around $75 and includes two adult general admissions with two soft drinks, and one popcorn, PLUS two children’s admissions (ages 13 & under) with two kids’ tray combos (drink, popcorn, treat).

Madagascar 3 and Kinder Eggs: What a Combo 🙂

Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.