About Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace

Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace

LUCY SHIMMERS AND THE PRINCE OF PEACE tells the story of five-year-old Lucy and the incredible influence she has on those around her, especially hardened criminal Edgar. Lucy, with the help of her guardian angel, create miracles that change his heart and inspire a second chance in his life.

Second chances start when a hardened criminal crosses paths with a precocious little girl who is helped by an angel to change hearts during the holiday season. 

My review

I love a good Christmas movie! This one is cute! I loved the little actress who played Lucy Shimmers. She was adorable and she made me laugh. The way she went about doing good to everyone around her, even those her dad told her not to, was so sweet. I want to be like her. The way Lucy snuck around with her grandfather’s ghost made me laugh!

Certain times during the movie, I was sad by the way Edgar was treated. Sure, he was a criminal and a prisoner. But he was a human being. And I really wished that those around him had treated him that way. Lucy didn’t treat him unkindly, she went out of her way to show him love and concern. That was so sweet.

I really loved the way this movie ended. Don’t get me wrong, the end was sad and I bawled. But it’s beautiful. That’s probably why I cried.

I really enjoyed this movie. Make sure you take the time to watch it for yourself! It will bring you joy and make you want to help your fellow man, especially at this time of year.

I was able to watch Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace as a gift from the producer. All opinions are my own.

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About The Santa Box

the santa box

For 12-year-old Kallie Watts, Christmas is anything but merry. For the last five years, the tinsel-strewn holiday has spelled disaster for her family, so when an apartment fire leaves Kallie and her widowed mother homeless just in time for the holidays, it comes as no surprise. There’s only one logical conclusion: Kallie is cursed by Christmas.

When her mother finds a new job in a small California town, Kallie steps out of the moving van and into her worst nightmare: a real-life version of “Whoville,” overflowing with holiday decorations and brimming with Christmas cheer. Forced to navigate the complicated ins and outs of her jolly new surroundings, Kallie is shaken out of her gloom one day when she discovers an ornately carved wooden Santa box on the porch, addressed to her. The moment she lifts the lid, Kallie’s life is changed forever as she rediscovers the true magic and meaning of Christmas …

My review

It seems like forever since I’ve gotten to review a movie. I miss the days of getting to go to movie premiers and all the fun that went with that. Hopefully they’ll be back soon.

But I got to review this Christmas movie. And it’s amazing! You’re going to want to buy your copy right away.

I loved everything about this movie. The main character, Kallie, was hilarious. I loved how sarcastic she was. Kallie hated Christmas because everything bad seemed to happen around then. She and her mom were moving, because their apartment had just burned down. I loved the way Kallie was able to see that she needed to change her thoughts about Christmas and look to others in order to be truly happy.

Kallie was also really aware of the people around her and what they needed. So, when she received, The Santa Box, asking for her wishes, she shared other people’s wishes. I loved watching her fix problems for kids at school. That made me smile. And her mom wasn’t left out, either. Kallie shared a wish for her as well.

This is a cute, heartwarming Christmas movie. I loved everything about it!

If you’re looking for more great Christmas movies, some of my personal favorites are included below.

I was sent a copy of The Santa Box DVD in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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The Santa Box_Theatrical_Trailer1 from Ron Brough on Vimeo.


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About Heart of Africa

Heart of Africa

A Congolese man runs from a terrible accident and finds himself at a revolutionary camp, where he is told that he has a great destiny. He tries to escape and start a new life by going to another town, joining a new religion, and becoming a missionary. Ultimately, though, he finds himself back in the very place he had tried to leave. He must face his fears and his shame—but also his magnificent possibilities.

Heart of Africa is the first full-length, faith-based film to come out of the nascent Democratic Republic of Congo film movement. After decades of colonial oppression and civil war, the country’s scars run deep. Cinema is emerging as a cathartic new medium, and director Tshoper Kabambi is a leader of a new kind of revolution: one driven by stories that he hopes will heal the hearts of his people and the DR Congo.

My review

It’s always interesting to learn about what some one else thinks or has gone through. This movie shows what one man in Africa did to learn about the church. And how he changed and grew because of it.

I liked the movie. It’s plot is interesting and it kept me captivated. It’s a drama and there were a few moments of intensity that could be scary for younger viewers.

One thing about this movie is that the whole thing is in the language of the DR Congo. I could understand bits and pieces actually, I think it might be a language based on French. But the movie has plenty of subtitles. I thought that the subtitles were well done. There was plenty of time to read them, and they were in short bursts. If that makes sense.

I really liked the way the main character, Gabriel, was put with an American companion, who he couldn’t stand. But Gabriel and his companion eventually learned to love each other through their shared experiences and their commonalities that they didn’t think they had at first.

This movie shows us all that we can learn to love those around us. Even when it seems as though we have nothing in common.

I was sent a link to watch Heart of Africa for free. All opinions are my own.

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About Christmas Jars

Christmas jars

Based on the New York Times best- selling novel by Jason F. Wright

Hope is an aspiring reporter who has had her fair share of tragedy in life. Abandoned at birth, she’s grieving the recent death of her adopted mother when her apartment is burglarized of all her possessions. While reporting the burglary to the police, Hope discovers a jar full of money, labeled “Christmas Jar.” Shocked and grateful for this act of kindness, Hope discovers that people all over her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, have been receiving Christmas Jars for years during times of need. The jars are always anonymous and always contain different amounts. In this heartwarming Christmas classic, Hope goes undercover to discover the secret behind the Christmas jars, putting into motion a series of events that will change her life, and her community, forever.

My review

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved this movie! I’ve already watched it twice. Our whole family enjoyed it. It’s going to be one of those movies that we watch each and every Christmas.

This one’s based on a book by Jason F Wright. I felt like they did such a great job with the movie. It really made the book come to life.

Hope is the main character of the movie. She’s an aspiring reporter. She finds a Christmas jar on her doorstep right when she needs kindness the most. Then she starts investigating and finds out that there have been other Christmas jars throughout her town. And the whole plot just snowballs from there.

This movie reminds me of several of my favorite movies all rolled into one. It’s just amazing! Make sure you go and grab your own copy to watch!

I was sent a copy of Christmas Jars as a gift. All opinions are my own.

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About A Candle in the Window

a candle in the window

“Papa, would it be okay if we put a candle in the window so Mama can find her way home?”

John’s family is struggling to face Christmas without his loving wife. However, six-year-old Emily is full of faith. Even though her older sisters try to gently lower her expectations, the young girl truly believes her mother will visit on Christmas Eve. In fact, she is so certain her mother will come that she puts a candle in the window to guide her mother on her journey home. Before she passed away, their mother made sure the most cherished holiday traditions would still be there beautiful handmade dresses, new patent-leather shoes, and a lovingly crafted doll for little Emily. But on the way to a Christmas Eve celebration, the doll is lost, and Emily is heartbroken. Emily and her grieving sisters need their mother more than ever.

Inspired by true events, A Candle in the Window is a beautiful reminder that our loved ones never leave us and prayers really do get answered especially when you have the faith of a child.

My review

Christmas movies are my very favorite movies to watch. I love the way there’s usually a movie or two like this one released each year. They’re set long ago, and they have an inspirational message. It’s always fun to show our kids what Christmas would have been like. And it’s fun that this was based off the story from one of my favorite authors, Michelle Ashman Bell.

I loved the actresses in this movie. All three of the girls who play the daughters were cute and did a great job. I would say that little Emily stole the show though! Little things like her prayers just made me laugh. And it was great to see the magic of Christmas through the eyes of a young girl. I also loved her faith that her prayers would be answered, that she’d see her mom again. That part might have made my eyes a bit teary.

This one’s not long. It’s a perfect little video to watch with your family as the Christmas season approaches.

I was able to go to a pre-screening of this video. All opinions are my own.

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The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith

About The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith

THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN 2: FIRE OF FAITH continues the epic true saga of Elder John H. Groberg’s missionary adventures in Tonga as depicted in the eponymous Disney-distributed hit film of 2001. Whereas the original movie detailed Elder Groberg’s first mission to Tonga in the 1950’s as a 19 year-old bachelor, the sequel tells the inspiring true story of his return to Tonga in the 1960’s with his wife and five young daughters to serve as President of the Tonga-Fiji Mission.

Shortly after arriving in Tonga, John’s wife, Jean, becomes pregnant with their sixth child, a boy who is born with a serious illness that threatens to end his tiny young life. In fact, the boy is born too weak to be evacuated to another country with medical care sufficient to properly diagnose and treat him.

With their child’s life on the line, John and Jean face the ultimate trial of their faith only to find themselves enfolded in the love and prayers of thousands of Tongans of various religions who unite in a nationwide fast for the health of their little boy. Barriers of inter-religious strife are broken down as all unite in hopes of a miracle that will save the Groberg baby boy’s life, as well as that of the son of a non-Mormon Tongan minister who has been beaten within inches of death.

My review

I was blessed to be able to go to the World Premier of The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith the other night. I’ll just tell you up front that The Other Side of Heaven is one of my all time favorite movies. And the second one is just as great! I loved everything about it. Guess what?! The movie opens today, go see it!

The movie stars Christopher Gorham, as Elder Groberg or Kolipoki. He was also the star of the first movie. I loved the way they did that, it just works for both movies to have him be Elder Groberg in both. He does a great job.

One thing I really loved about this movie were the nods to the first one. I loved seeing Feki again. The scene at the beginning with his family that uses some of the same words, music and dancing as the first was just fun! And just the little things, like the woman who worried about his feet or Feki’s comments. It’s kind of hard to explain. But I just loved it.

There were so many parts in this one that made me laugh. Many of those things involved Elder Thomas S Monson. There was at least one time I can remember that the audience was kind of crying, and right then something funny happened and everyone was laughing through tears.

I loved the way this one portrays Elder Groberg’s family. The first movie was about his mission to Tonga. This one is about the family’s mission. There were so many awesome things about that. I loved Jean in the movie and the girls that played his daughters were adorable. It’s a bit hard to imagine his family being in some of the situations shown. I would personally have been a bit scared for our kids in them. But it just worked!

Another thing that really touched me is the religious aspect in it. Elder Groberg is, of course, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That was why he was in Tonga to begin with. But the movie also includes the story of a Tongan minister. Can I share with you the scene that touched me the most? It was when Elder Groberg’s is so sick in the hospital, and the minister prays for the boy. This was such a poignant scene, I guarantee I won’t soon forget it.

This movie is amazing! I loved everything about it. If you want to watch a family movie that will make you laugh, cry and think about life and maybe even religion in a different way, go watch this movie!

Movie Trailer

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About The Trial of Porter Rockwell

The Trial of Porter Rockwell

Based on the True Story

When former Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs is shot by an unknown assailant, rumors quickly spread that the Mormons are responsible for the attempted assassination of the controversial politician. Never a friend of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Boggs had four years earlier issued the infamous extermination order that pronounced, “Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State.”

Rumors gain new momentum when recently excommunicated member John C. Bennett implicates the Prophet Joseph Smith and Porter Rockwell in the crime. Though these accusations are vehemently denied by Joseph and his supporters, arrest warrants are issued for the Prophet and his protector. Joseph’s warrant is dismissed; however, Porter Rockwell, not yet thirty, is arrested. After spending nine months in jail, Porter is finally brought to court for a grand-jury hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to indict him—a hurdle the state of Missouri must clear to proceed with a full criminal trial. This taut courtroom drama brings to life the friendship of Joseph and Porter and the original story behind the larger-than-life, legendary Porter Rockwell.

My review

I love the way there are things from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints history making their way to movies. It makes the events they depict so much easier to understand. I feel this one really gave life to this event and helped me understand so much better.

Who doesn’t love hearing stories about Porter Rockwell?! He’s one of my favorite characters from history. The way he’s portrayed in this movie really made me understand him better. I loved that it showed that he was a human. He may have made mistakes, or been the “Destroying Angel,” but number one he was a man, a husband, a father.

This movie isn’t very long. But it does a great job of showing what the trial would have been like. It’s well worth your time to view it! I think this would make an amazing family Sunday or Family Home Evening activity.

I was sent a copy of The Trial of Porter Rockwell DVD as a gift from Covenant Communications. All opinions are my own.

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Just a bit of housekeeping before I get started today. This will be my last post before Christmas. I’ll be back next Wednesday with more book reviews. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas with your family.

I’m really excited to be part of a Christmas DVD blog tour and giveaway today! I enjoyed watching both of these movies. I can’t wait to tell you about them!

Christmas DVD Giveaway

About Christmas Break-In

Today was supposed to be one of the best days ever for nine-year-old Izzy Rush. But now, on the last day of class before Christmas break, she has been left alone at school. To make matters worse, the biggest blizzard this town has ever seen is blowing and snowing full force. Which is why three bumbling crooks on the lam decide to take shelter in the seemingly empty school. When Izzy discovers that the criminals are holding her friend Ray, the school custodian, she decides it’s up to her to save the day. But what can a nine-year-old girl do? You’d be surprised!  

My review of Christmas Break-In

This movie reminded me of one I used to watch when I was a kid. It’s kind of like Home Alone in the way that Izzy ends up in the school by herself. And right in the path of the bad guys too!

I loved the way she was inventive and resourceful. She was my very favorite character in this movie. Izzy is sassy and determined. She really was great!

I need to say that I was a bit annoyed by how ditsy both of Izzy’s parents were. Really?! There were parts that they both were just so stupid. It almost detracted from the plot a bit.

Izzy’s friend, Ray, the janitor was great. I loved the way he goes out of his way to help Izzy with everything. He even misses a concert and puts himself in harm’s way for her.

The criminals in this one were just kind of funny! They stole from somewhere that I would never have imagined. And their get away vehicle made me laugh. I did like that there was a thread of change and redemption in this one. The bad guy doesn’t always have to be bad.

All in all this one’s a cute one that you will love to watch year after year as part of your Christmas celebration.

Christmas Break-In Trailer

Christmas Break-In 60 second Trailer, Koan from Ron Brough on Vimeo.

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About The Christmas Apron

The children in Millie’s family can’t wait for Grandma to arrive with her special Christmas apron. According to tradition, each grandchild will write down the gift he or she wants most in the world, and then slip that wish into the apron’s pocket. Then, on Christmas morning, those wished-for gifts will be magically waiting under the tree. But then eleven-year-old Millie overhears her parents: the family can’t afford gifts for all the little ones. She pictures the disappointment on her siblings’ faces: nothing to open on Christmas morning. Is Millie willing to sacrifice her own whole-soul wish so that someone else’s can come true? Full of tender emotion and delightful surprise, this story reminds us of the miracles that unfold when we think of others before ourselves.

My review of The Christmas Apron

This little movie was just cute! I loved the characters in it. The way they are willing to give up their own heart’s desire for each other was just sweet. It brought tears to my eyes.

This one’s only about a half hour long, but there’s a lot going on in the plot. It kept me interested. I loved it! I can’t wait to get to watch this one over and over!

The Christmas Apron movie trailer

The Christmas Apron Trailer from Ron Brough on Vimeo.

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jane and emma

About Jane and Emma

jane and emma Sister Jane Manning, a free black woman, and convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, returns to Nauvoo to find that Joseph Smith, her prophet and friend, has been assassinated.

Jane spends a ceaseless night with his widow, Emma Smith, sitting watch over the body of the Prophet, as a whirlwind of memory, loss and confusion leaves them wondering how either one of them will be able to move forward.

Through the long night, Jane wonders if the Prophet’s promise to extend the blessings of eternity to her has died along with him.

Join these two remarkable women of faith on an imagined night that reveals the essence of their complex, raw, and ultimately beautiful friendship.

My review

Several years ago, I read a series of books about Jane Manning James that really made me curious about her and her life. I’ll leave links to them after my review, so you can check them out. But since then, I’ve read other things about her and been curious about her. This movie has been on my to watch list, since I learned that it was coming out.

jane and emma


I got to go to the Salt Lake premier of this movie the other night. This movie enthralled me from the very opening scene. It opens with Jane having a dream. This dream leads her back to Nauvoo and Emma’s home. There she finds that the Prophet Joseph Smith has been murdered and Emma is there all alone with his body.

jane and emmaThe night the two of them spend together with Joseph’s body is heart wrenching. Obviously, Emma’s just lost her husband. But she also feels so insanely guilty about his death. As though it was her fault for calling him back when he was going to leave. 

I loved the actors that portrayed the characters in this one. Emma played by Emily Goss seemed believable. At first, I thought that she seemed a bit harsh, but she had just lost her husband. And Emma really went through a lot of things that most women will never have to because of who her husband was. Emma to me is one of those women that I will always look up to. She holds a special place in my heart.

Jane played by Danielle Deadwyler was probably my favorite character in this movie. I loved the way she kept trying, even when things were hard. Being kicked off the steamship without any clothes, would have made me rethink my journey to Nauvoo. Walking hundreds of miles from Buffalo to Nauvoo is not something I would even attempt. This woman was strong, she was courageous and she’s one of my all time favorite women ever! 

I got to talk to Danielle Deadwyler for just a few minutes after. I asked her what her favorite part of the movie had been. I’ve been thinking about what she told me ever since. And I think what she said can have an application in our lives. She said her favorite parts were all on one day. They shot the hardest, most gut wrenching scenes the same day. And that for her, knowing she could get through that day showed her that she could do hard things. We all have days that are hard, and just like Danielle, we can focus on being able to do the hard things. To get through them and to thrive. I love that!

Anyway…Jane and Emma is a fantastic movie. It’s one that I can’t wait to watch again. If you live in Utah where this movie is opening this weekend, go see it! If not, make sure you go to janeandemmamovie.com to find out how you can request that this movie play in your state.

Jane and Emma Movie Trailer


Books about Jane Manning James that I mentioned earlier





little women

Do you have books or movies that you read or watched as a kid that still affect you as an adult? For me Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is one of those. I loved reading the book and I loved watching the movie as well. I still consider both of them to be  favorites.

So when I saw that there was a new Little Women movie coming out, I was really excited! And I was even more excited to get to go to the movie premiere the other night before the movie actually came to theaters. My oldest daughter, also a Little Women fan, went with me.

little women

I loved the new movie. The way they changed up the plot was clever, I loved it! This version has the girls as adults, focusing mainly on Jo. But she flashes back to when they were kids and you get to see the whole plot. And this version is set in modern times, so the girls deal with things that kids now would be dealing with. I loved that as well! This movie made me laugh and it made me cry. Make sure to take some tissues for yourself!

It was really fun to see characters in this one that I recognized from other movies. There were a couple from the High School Musical series as well as some of my other favorite movies.

little women

Another thing that’s really awesome about this new movie, is that the 150th anniversary of the book’s release is coming up in just a couple of days on September 30th. I love that a whole new generation of girls can come to love these characters and this story through this movie. That’s fantastic!

Little Women opens in theaters today! Make sure to take the time to go see it. 

About Little Women

From girls playing in the attic to women living with purpose, the March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy — are always committed to supporting one another. When Jo moves to New York to pen a novel, her editor challenges her to write about something much more interesting — her family. When tragedy brings the siblings back home, sticking together takes on a whole new meaning as Jo tries to comfort Beth when she gets sick.

Check out the movie trailer!