Tag Archives: family

Family Movie Night

We’re currently making family movie night every night. Now on our movie nights, we do one of two things. We either watch an actual movie, and lately they’ve been themed. So we watched all nine of the Star Wars movies and then the four movies in the Hunger Games series. Lately we’ve been watching marital arts related movies, which include the 1984 and 2010 versions of Karate Kid. On Friday night we watched the 1992 movie “Sidekicks”, which I read is underrated and which I agree is a lot of fun.

The other thing we do on family night instead of watching a movie is show half an hour of a video or videos that we would like each other to watch. My husband usually shows us a Ted Talk, such as this one done by the 13 year old who built a nuclear reactor. My daughter will usually show us something done by a YouTuber, such as this video where Michelle Khare is challenged to carry 5 gallons of water for two miles, like they do in Mozambique. 

Personally, I try to find something that is educational, and so that means more often than not I am looking for something on kanopy.com, which many people can access through their library, and which has currently expanded its free offerings.

Here are a few videos we have watched in the last little while:

World School

This 46 minute video is about an Alaskan mother and her ten year old son who spend a year travelling the world. Mary and Corin Katzke visited 28 countries in three continents. Interestingly, although the son said he loved Dubai the most, his mother said he was most engaged in China.

Forever, Chinatown

This 31 minute documentary is about an 81 year old artist, Frank Wong, who makes miniature dioramas of his memories of San Francisco Chinatown. The miniatures are exquisite, but alas he wishes to have them cremated with him, so here’s your chance to see them—and to learn something about the Chinatown history.


This 1 hour and 20 minutes video is about the 2 year solo sailing trip around the world a 14 year old Dutch girl made. Laura Dekker was the youngest person to sail around the world, and she had to go to court first to be allowed to do so. The only warning I would give is that she swears a lot; however, it is a very inspirational and thought provoking movie.

The movies and videos I have written about are all appropriate for those who are at least 13 years old; however, some may be OK for those who are younger. If you are unsure, you can consult the parent guide on imdb.com or commonsensemedia.org also has age guides, such as this one for Star Wars movies.

What about you? Do you have any videos or films for families you would like to recommend?

Shoe’s Sunday Stories

@Copyright 2020 Linda Schueler


Objects Tell a Story

Ever since I read Jane Urquhart’s “A Number of Things: stories of Canada told through fifty objects”, written for Canada 150, I have wanted to write my own book about family and personal objects.

Last year I bought my parents’ house. It’s belonged to my family for over 50 years, so you can well imagine that it has accumulated some stuff. A lot of this stuff has meaning, and in sifting through it, I have had to consider very carefully what to get rid of and what to keep. So I have decided that now is the time to start writing that book about personal and family objects. 

I treasure the time that I spent with my father going through his photo albums from Africa, writing down the stories he told me as we looked at every picture. I wish I could have done the same with my mother and her childhood albums. So that’s one reason I want to write a book about our objects. I want to write it before every one forgets the meaning behind the objects.

Objects in people’s houses are interesting things. They may have meaning for only one person, or different meanings for all family members. They may be very mundane or incredibly valuable. Some you may keep out of guilt and others bring up warm memories. Whatever the meaning, it is fascinating to go through and consider all of them.

I’ll start with some family objects in this post.

Here’s a selection of mine:

  1. The “push present”

I was surprised and delighted when my aunt gave me this teacup. It turns out that it is the push present my grandfather gave my grandmother upon my mother’s birth. I was amazed that my aunt had kept this for so long, but also touched that she thought to give it to me. She gifted it to me when she was in Canada, attending my dad’s funeral two years ago. I had never ever heard of push presents until recently, so I was surprised that my grandmother had received one. I thought it was a relatively new invention, but I guess it’s not. It made me wonder if my mom got any push presents after she birthed her children. Come to think of it…where’s my push present?! 

2. The volcanic rock

This volcanic rock comes from the Mwatesi River that ran through the farm my dad lived on when he was a child in Africa. My uncle gave it to my father, and I kept it. It is on my “bucket list” to travel to the area in Africa where my dad was born and raised. I keep it as a reminder of that dream.

3. The sugar bowl

I have a hard time getting rid of this sugar bowl, despite its battered appearance. It just reminds me so much of my childhood. When I look at it, I see my father’s hand reaching into it with the special flower embossed silver spoon we only used for the sugar bowl and sprinkling sugar on his morning grapefruit. I have temporarily repurposed it for my daughter’s hair bands, since they end up everywhere anyway. I noticed that the bowl comes from Bavaria. In fact, I noticed that a lot of our older family objects come from Bavaria. They must be gifts from my dad’s brother, who stayed in Germany while my dad and his other brother immigrated to Canada.

This is just a small selection, but at least I got my book started.

In another post I’ll talk about some personal objects.

What about you? What objects have you kept that tell about your family history?

Shoe’s Sunday Stories

@Copyright 2019 Linda Schueler