Big Bang Mini for Nintendo DS release January 20

I love playing games. I've been a fan since Atari :) Once Nintendo came out though, there hasn't been a system I have liked better.

The Nintendo DS is a favorite in our house since it is portable. The girls can play at home or while out. I even like to snatch it from time to time to play a fun game.

Nintendo is always releasing new games, one of the newest releases is Big Bang Mini which comes out this tuesday january 20th!

Use your firework arsenal to blast your way through this arcade style shooter!

This fast-paced shoot 'em up puts a new spin on classic arcade style gameplay allowing you to blast down hordes of imaginative enemies with explosive fireworks launched at the flick of your wrist. Maneuver your ship through the enemy fire and falling debris as you collect stars from vanquished foes to advance towards big boss battles. A number of special powers will be made available as you move from one exotic locale to the next where one wrong move or one missed shot could be your last.

  • Main game mode offers up 9 fantastic worlds with 9 levels each ending with intense boss battles and bonus challenges
  • Post your top scores on the worldwide leaderboard using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
  • 5 game modes including Arcade, Challenge, Relax, Mission and Versus play
  • Exceptional art, sound, and gameplay design keeps the game fresh as you advance


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Cozi ~ Making my life easier in 2009

I joined Cozi back in August of 2008 and I absolutely love it. With both my girls in school there are always school activities going on, not to mention all their dance classes, etc. Being a mom gets hectic, anything that helps me out is much appreciated!

Haven't heard of Cozi yet? It is a totally FREE web service that helps busy families manage crazy schedules, track shopping and to do lists, organize household chores and stay in communication, all in one easy-to-use solution. Cozi not only provides a shared family calendar, but also includes customized shopping lists, quick messaging tools, mobile phone access and a family journal. With Cozi, busy moms can get shopping lists and schedules on any mobile and everyone one in the family has access to the same information. Cozi even syncs with Outlook.

In addition to the ways that moms can get their shopping lists and calendars already on any mobile phone via text message and using our toll free number, Cozi now has a mobile version especially for the iPhone and Windows Mobile phones. Families can now sign-in and access their Cozi account using their mobile web browsers. They can add and edit shopping lists and view and edit their family calendar using the mobile version of Cozi right from their iPhone. This is a new feature! You can learn more about it here.

Mom Central has partnered up with Cozi to help families keep their resolutions to get and stay organized in the New Year. From December 31st, 2008 through February 4th, 2009, everyone who signs up and tries Cozi will also be entered to win a two-day home organization makeover with professional organizer, and incoming NAPO President (National Association of Professional Organizers), Laura Leist. In Laura's two-day visit, she will makeover either the kitchen or home office in one lucky winners' home; a service with a retail value of $5,000.

Why I love Cozi ~

  • Family Calendar ~ All my appointments are in one place. Each family member is color-coded, making it easy to see who has what . I can also add the family calendar gadget right to my computer!
  • Customizable lists ~ Cozi remembers my grocery list, shopping list, chores and more! I can also send then right to my Husband's cel phone via text message.
  • Reminders and Messages ~ I love how I can send a reminder or quick message right from my Cozi family home page to anyone of my online family members. Now that my girls use email, this is a fun way to let them know what is going on. They like the mail & they see it in writing!
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Katie & Kimble A Ghost Story by Linda Thieman

I had the chance to read a wonderful story by Linda Thieman recently. It is geared towards kids ages 7 - 10. Katie & Kimble A Ghost Story is the first book in this wonderful new series.

About the book ~
Nine-year-old Katie Russell and her family LOOK like a normal family. But the Russells don't know they are living with Kimble, the ghost of a ten-year-old girl. That is, until Katie discovers Kimble and the two of them set off on a quest to find out what happened to Kimble's mother. -- Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story is a chapter book at RL3 (reading level 3), and is the first in a series. The Katie & Kimble books are funny, engaging and exciting, but are not fear-based.


I read this book first before handing it over to my 7 year old.
I don't usually do this, but since I'm part of this book tour I wanted to read the book as well. I am so glad I did, it is such a sweet and touching story.

Katie is just the sweetest little thing with a huge heart. I think the book is interesting for kids because Kimble is a ghost. It is something different. Plus there is a great story line, you want to keep reading each chapter to find out what will happen next.

I can see this book being a great jump start for discussions as well. A lot of these topics, you don't just bring up during a regular day ~ Death, Ghosts, Dreidel, Friendships, Making hard choices, Talking to your parents

I love how Thieman weaves stories into her story. For example, Kimble was Jewish. She leaves a dreidel for Katie, her mom explains to Katie what it is. Later on, Kimble actually teaches her how to play it.

I highly recommend this book. It is a good story that both boys and girls should enjoy. It is geared towards ages 7 - 10. Since the book is not scary at all, kids younger should enjoy it as well as kids a bit older.

You can read chapters 1 - 6 here for free. This is a great way to see what a wonderful story this is for kids. You can purchase the paperback book for only $5.95 or download the e-book for $2.48. You can also purchase both Katie & Kimble books at Amazon.

Katie & Kimble have a wonderful blog. It is full of information on the book, coloring pages, children guest reviewers, even teacher classroom downloads to go along with the book. You can find interesting facts about the research behind the books as well, did you know that Kimble's Dress is an actual 1918 dress, read about Linda's research here.

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Review ~ Ironside by Holly Black


I read Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale last year, then picked up the next two books in the Holly Black series this year. If I could go back, I'd have read them all closer together because Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie through me off a bit. I'd have to say the third book ~ Ironside: A Modern Faery's Tale was my favorite. I tend to do that with trilogy type books though, I love the closure in the third or last book.

Ironside brings us back to the story of Kaye ~

In the realm of Faerie, the time has come for Roiben's coronation. Uneasy in the midst of the malevolent Unseelie Court, pixie Kaye is sure of only one thing -- her love for Roiben. But when Kaye, drunk on faerie wine, declares herself to Roiben, he sends her on a seemingly impossible quest. Now Kaye can't see or speak to Roiben unless she can find the one thing she knows doesn't exist: a faerie who can tell a lie.

Miserable and convinced she belongs nowhere, Kaye decides to tell her mother the truth -- that she is a changeling left in place of the human daughter stolen long ago. Her mother's shock and horror sends Kaye back to the world of Faerie to find her human counterpart and return her to Ironside. But once back in the faerie courts, Kaye finds herself a pawn in the games of Silarial, queen of the Seelie Court. Silarial wants Roiben's throne, and she will use Kaye, and any means necessary, to get it. In this game of wits and weapons, can a pixie outplay a queen?


I really enjoyed Ironside. I loved the Faery world that Black has created. I highly recommend this series if you enjoy books about Fairy. I would add to get all 3 books together and read them in a row. In my opinion it makes Valiant more enjoyable because Ironside ties in Tithe and Valiant in a way I didn't expect.


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