Tuesday, October 16, 2018

St. Bartholomew's Eve (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

One of our favorite vendors to review has to be Heirloom Audio. Thanks to being on the Crew we are proud owners of hours and hours of fabulous audio dramas based on the popular book series of The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty. Once again, Heirloom Audio has put out a great adventure….St. Bartholomew’s Eve.

 If you aren’t familiar with G.A. Henty you need to be. He was a famous war correspondent and author back in the day. His books are filled with all of the virtues we hold dear…courage, integrity, and faith. Heirloom Audio has produced outstanding adventure after adventure. We have listened to these historical tales on long trips, on the way to Co-op, lounging in the living room…pretty much everywhere we can.

Before I talk about the audio production itself, I want to tell you about this era in history. The French Religious Wars happened between 1562-1598. The wars happened between Roman Catholics and a group called the Huguenots. The Huguenots were Protestants. Just a fun fact. According to my family history, some of my French ancestors were Huguenots. They eventually settled on the island of Manhattan, which at that time was not much more than a forest.

The events of St. Bartholomew’s Eve lead up to the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. The hero of our story is a young man from England named Philip. His mother is French-born and he has come to France to visit family and aid in the battle to help the Huguenots escape persecution. Along the way, Philip meets a young Huguenot, Argento. He also happens to have a fetching older sister. The story isn’t all love and sunshine. There are some truly intense moments. Being persecuted for one’s faith and the dreadful events of the massacre kept up riveted. How fortunate we are to live in a country where we can worship how we chose.

One of the most poignant moments included the singing of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” It was beautiful. And so very inspiring. For the purposes of this review, we received a 2-CD set. You can also purchase a digital download. The ages for all of Heirloom Audio’s adventures is generally 6 and up. You, of course, will have to decide what is appropriate for your family. We LOVE every bit of the productions No matter how uncomfortable they might make us feel. Persecution isn’t comfortable.

 I just want to make a quick comment about the quality of St. Bartholomew’s Eve. It is EXCELLENT. Brain Blessed, as usual, plays G.A. Henty himself and narrates the story. I have said this before in some of my other reviews, Brian Blessed is a treasure. His voice is wrapped in gold. In fact, all the actors voicing the characters are tremendous. Heirloom Audio never disappoints with the musical scores, acting quality….pretty much all of it. This is one we will enjoy for years to come.

You can connect with Heirloom Audio via the following social media outlets. Don’t forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeirloomAudio
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeirloomStories  
Google+: https://goo.gl/d8btpX
Instagram: @HeirloomAudioOfficial

St. Bartholomew's Eve {Heirloom Audio Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Brinkman Adventures Season 6 (A Homeschool Review Crew)

I might have mentioned this a time or two, but I was born on the mission field. My parents were missionaries at the time of my birth in Managua, Nicaragua. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for those who have given up the comforts of home and family to explore the world and tell others about Jesus.  And I'm always excited to hear their stories. Some of our favorite reviews have been with Brinkman Adventures. This time around we got to review Season 6: Underground Rising (digital edition).

Brinkman Adventures come from real life stories. Some of the names and particulars have been changed to protect those involved. They are audio dramas...filled with intrigue, adventure and much, more! They are not only inspiring to listen to, but they are also fun!

Season 6: Underground Rising includes:

Dutch Underground Part 1
Dutch Underground Part 2
Twice Born Fly
I Wonder Why?
Free Burma Rangers Part 1
Free Burma Rangers Part 2

They come to about 2 hours of listening in all. Having a digital download allowed me to download to multiple devices. We primarily listened to the adventures in the morning while we sat around the table. They were a terrific way to start out our day.

All of the stories were just terrific. They took us from the Netherlands to Burma. We met resistance volunteers in the Dutch Underground during World War II. We traveled with a young girl as she joined her missionary parents in a foreign country. We also got to meet a Green Beret and hear of his adventures from boyhood to working with and aiding the people of Burma.

While I can't possibly recap all of the great stories, I can tell you that the history of the Dutch Underground kept us spellbound. We are great fans of The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Dutch Underground was a wonderful retelling of real events. I don't think that those of us living in a free society understand the danger these brave souls put themselves in. Would I be as self-sacrificing? These still were questions some of the characters had to ask.

They do recommend for kids under 10 to listen to this particular story with their parents. You have to know that this particular part of history wasn't sunshine and roses. There are some intense parts. I didn't feel like they were particularly violent or distressing.

One of the treasures and special parts of Brinkman Adventures is that they always include information about the real-life stories on their website. I personally love looking at all the pictures and reading a bit more or "the rest of the story." I can't recommend spending time poking around the site enough.

Just one other note of appreciation. I won't give away the story in Twice Born Fly, but the Brinkmans are enjoying a "day of rest." We have been talking a lot about this particular idea lately. As pastors, sometimes we feel wrung out...I appreciated the further nudge from the Holy Spirit about a day of rest.

I haven't yet, but I plan on burning the digital files to a CD. We have a long trip planned around Thanksgiving and I know my husband will love these stories! In fact, I've been inspired to get out the other seasons of Brinkman Adventures we have in our possession.   If you would like to read my reviews out  Season 2Season 3 or Season 4 you can do so by clicking on the links.

We also received a coupon code to share with our readers for 10% off the site. Use the code FALL10. It is good from October 10-31.  I think any of their Seasons would be wonderful gifts.

Go check it out!

You can connect with Brinkman Adventures via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews.


Brinkman Adventures Season 6 Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

CashCrunch Careers (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

Josiah and I recently reviewed CashCrunch Careers from CashCrunch Games.

It's possible I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. When I was quite small I had dreams of the ballet. Of course, there wasn't a tutu within 50 miles of our little hill town. But it was the call of the archaeologist that held my attention for most of my childhood and teen years.

Obviously, I didn't grow up to be Indiana Jones.

I worked as a hairstylist. I was a telephone operator. I have been a teacher of music, kindergarten and pre-school. I even became the lunch lady at a sweet little preschool.

Best. Job. Ever.

Now I can call myself a freelance writer because (on occasion) I make a little money writing. It's hard to believe, I know.

Josiah wanted to be a weatherman when he was little. Or a football player with the NFL. Now he has the illustrious goal of playing video games or at least, an 80's rocker.

The boy needs direction.

CashCrunch Careers is intended for those looking to change careers or begin one.

The goal is to provide users with the necessary tools to learn more about themselves and in turn explore different careers based on those strengths and motivations.

When we first logged on to the site we took a survey. I have to say it was eye-opening. Josiah is fairly laid back and I was surprised at some of his answers. Let's just say he sees himself differently and perhaps has more ambition than I realized.

I do have some advice when taking the survey. Go with your first instinct. There are some answers that seem similar or not applicable, but it's best not to labor over the thing.

After we took the survey we got a report.

I'll show you some of mine first. It gave me a summary of my Career Work Style, Motivators & De-motivators, Career Attributes, and Career Match.

The Motivators & De-motivators summary reassured me that I generate useful ideas and creative...among other things. All which are pretty correct.

Below are my Career Attributes with the strongest ones listed first.

I was terribly disappointed with my Career Matches. I thought for sure Fairy Princess, Expert Book Reader and Super Hero would towards the top of my list. 

 To be honest, I was surprised with all the "manager" positions. I just really like to be left alone. The site explains that there are jobs within those jobs.

When I clicked on the top career "General and Operation Managers" it gave me a list of tasks someone in this profession might need to do.

 Another neat feature is that it gives you a list of colleges that have programs within that particular career field.

Now here is where it gets more specific. Within my top career of "General and Operation Mangement" is a whole list of specific careers. I do have to say that some of the accounting titles freaked me out. I think accounting involves math. 

Josiah's report was different enough that I could see that there wasn't just a set report sent to everyone. 

I thought "close supervision of work" as a de-motivator was spot on. Also being alone in a room, without a phone. Sounds like heaven to me...but apparently doesn't appeal to Josiah.

Many of our Career Matches were the same...though there were some differences. I did have to explain to him that "Gaming Managers" was not managing a bunch of guys playing video games.

Take a look at this video to see it in action. 

There is a whole lot on this site. It is available 24/7 so you and your kiddos can revisit as often as you need to.

Personally, I found the whole process fascinating. For one, it reaffirmed some things I know about myself but perhaps had forgotten.

Josiah had a blast exploring the site. You can also check out the FREE CashCrunch 101 games. It also nice to know that the creator of CashCrunch is a teacher on SchoolhouseTeachers.com. He has a Personal Finance in Bite-Size Chunks.

This was neat experience and we plan on revisiting it. Though I do have a suggestion for another Career category. I hear there is a big market for Fairy Princesses.

You can connect with CrashCrunch via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to read MORE reviews by clicking on the banner below.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/721791248014409/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CashCrunchGames @cashcrunchgames
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cashcrunchgames/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cashcrunchgames/ @cashcrunchgames
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FortuneAndVenture

CashCrunch Careers {CashCrunch Games Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, October 5, 2018

Books of the Bible At-A-Glance (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

The study of the Bible is a big deal in our home. Some of us are a bit more studious about it than others...for example, The Muffin...who is also a Pastor. You might know that the Bible, itself, has 66 books. It can overwhelming to put all of those books in perspective and context. We just got to review a product from Teach Sunday School that is a perfect tool for such a study. It is called Books of the Bible At-A-Glance

I received the Books of the Bible product as a download. There are soooo many ways that you can implement the sheets. Each book of the Bible has one page. That is it. You can add them to an exsisting study or use them as a study unto themselves. I chose to use them as a study by themselves. 

But more on that in a minute. 

The sheets are colorful and really easy to navigate. Josiah is dyslexic and I worry about products that are too busy or filled with small print and cluttered graphics. The Bible pages are clean and flow in such a way that the reader can get to the point. 

The sheets are uniform in appearance. You will find the name of the book, the author, when it was written, most famous verses and more. Most importantly, you will find the important stories and points that the books make. 

I chose to print off a set for both Josiah and myself. They fit nicely in a binder. However, you can certainly print them off and make a family binder to use a reference book during your studies. 

Books of the Bible at a Glance

The possibilities for Books of the Bible At-A-Glance are numerous. I am going to continue to use them once a week as a separate study. I like the idea of choosing a story and verse to focus on weekly. 

They also would be terrific in a Sunday School setting.  They are extremely accessible and would be easy to use with those who are familiar with the Bible as well as those who don't know anything about it. 

You could also use it as a general reference tool in your own personal Bible study. They aren't just intended for kids. 

One of the BEST things about this product is that it is extremely affordable. You can download the entire thing for a mere $9. That is about a cup and a half of coffee from one of the more popular coffee joints. AND upon purchase, you can use it with your church or household. 

This product is really fantastic. It has made the study of the Bible make more sense to my very visual learners. 

It's a keeper! 

You can connect with Teach Sunday School via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews! 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/biblefun/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teachsundayschool/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SundaySchoolSample

Books of the Bible At-a-Glance { Teach Sunday School Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Forensic Faith for Kids & Case Makers Academy (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

Some of our favorite reviews to do are the book reviews. I have a great one for you! I had the opportunity to review Forensic Faith for Kids and Case Makers Academy from David C Cook.

Forensic Faith for Kids teaches kids how to investigate and defend our faith. It was written by J. Warner and Susie Wallace. Now here is the cool part. Mr. Wallace is a former cold-case detective. He's been featured on programs like Dateline and Fox News.

He and his wife, Susie have written this book just for kiddos ages 8-12.

In this book, a group of young police cadets are on the case! A sweet and cuddly corgi puppy named Bailey seems to be missing his owners. It's up to the young cadets to find who Bailey belongs to. Along with the case of Bailey's missing owners, the young cadets learn how to defend their beliefs.

Along following along with the fun mystery, the reader is also given a certain number of assignments. The CSI assignment encourages the reader to look up certain scriptures in the Bible. The Dig Deeper sends the reader to the online academy to check out more activities. There are also  Detective Definitions (defining police terms) and more!

This is such a great book. Not only is the mystery and characters engaging, but it solidly points to Scripture. We were tickled with the resolution of the case. It was perfect.

Okay, friends. This is where it gets really good.  The Case Makers Academy is FREE and absolutely awesome.

There is a section for every chapter.

Each section contains downloads and activities. These include an Academy Notebook. There is even a terrific Adult Leader's Guide just for you! 

I LOVE this. It's like a little literature/Bible Study course.

And the videos are just an extra special treat. Mr. Wallace talks us through the book.

Your kids can even print out certificates and badges at the end of the study.

Of course, we all are mystery super fans here in this house. So all of the "detecting" stuff is really fun. More importantly, the Wallaces do a marvelous job of pointing to Christ.  And helps the reader learn how to "make the case" for the existence of God and learn how to be a follower of Jesus.

I recommend this book for any and every homeschool library. Even beyond homeschooling families ....it will appeal to kids of every educational persuasion.

It's a keeper!

We aren't the only family to enjoy this book. You can check out other reviews below by clicking on the banner.

Forensic Faith for Kids {David C Cook  and  Case Makers Academy Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

First of Fall Musings

Good morning, my friends.

I'm in my usual spot. The corner of my comfy couch. I've got some hot coffee sitting beside me. Yesterday, I bought both the sugar-free versions of pumpkin pie spice creamer and peppermint creamer.

It doesn't get any better than this.

I have a doctor's appointment a little later.

Yup. It's THAT doctor. I would hate to read his notes about me. I am sure they are not flattering. Though one would think he has encountered pre-menopausal women before.

"Unhinged" might appear once or twice in those notes.

Today is mostly a test and then a little chat with him. I decided I'm definitely wearing mascara and one of my favorite pair of dangly earrings.

I don't know about you but I'm EXHAUSTED with the current news cycle and political nastiness. I am not here to defend my own thoughts on the matter. I'm fairly certain that most of us are just stinkin' tired of it all...no matter where you land on the political spectrum.

Then there are just seasons of life that are more challenging than others.

Maybe you are experiencing one of those right now. I am sorry to say that I don't have any easy solutions to navigate those seasons. There are no magical pills or mantras that I can pass along.

We are a society of "quick fixes." Unfortunately, some trials are to-be endured. And it is up to us how we endure. I made up my mind a long time ago to endure those trials with us much grace and positivity as I could. I also learned that most of the time I'm a hot mess and need God's help with the grace part.

Amen and amen.

I've also learned that I need to temper my expectations about what I think "life" should look like. I need to embrace those small moments.

The small moments might look like enjoying a hot cup of coffee with pumpkin spice creamer. Sitting with a loved one and listening to his or her story. Filling a vase with sunflowers or putting a pumpkin on your front porch to greet guests.

All of these things are happening at my house today.

Today is the day that you need to fill your life with a little beauty. It is the day that you need to turn your attention from the ache in your heart to something lovely.

Just do it. Wear those dangly earrings and plant a vase of wildflowers in the middle of your table. Call a friend or doodle a scripture verse on a journal page.

Make a loaf of pumpkin bread or take a long walk. Breath in and breath out. Sing loudly and joyfully. Take a hot bath (my momma's answer to all of life's ills) or make your bed.

Everything will fall into place...or not.  But the world will look a little brighter through the lens of contentment.

So that's about it. It's about time I get around and dig out those dangly earrings. I've assigned Josiah some math and reading. He's currently doing a Bible Study using Tim Tebow's book, "Shaken." I think he's really enjoying it.

It's hard to tell with the boy.

Have a beautiful day!

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