Embracing a Healthy Family

Join in the Adventure by Heirloom Audio For the Temple Audio Review






To some, past events are boring or irrelevant or some might even feel that we have too much history to even bother diving deep into some of the past. One of the resources I like to turn to in order to change up my homeschool routine is through the stories by George Alfred Henty also better known to many as G.A. Henty. He was an English novelist and war correspondent and is known for his historical stories. Historical fiction novels are some of my favorites and although they are fictional, it still induces an interest in history. We were thrilled to be offered a chance to review For the Temple from Heirloom Audio. The two CD set and instant MP3 download audio theatre presentation is unique as it allowed us to use our imagination and provided many points that really captivated my daughter as we listened to it on a road trip. We really enjoy Biblical based stories and having the chance to listen to the events surrounding the fall of Jerusalem.




We had started listening to the first audio at home but when they knew we were going on a road trip, they requested we take it on the road with us. My middle daughter spent some time getting familiar with the audio set and reading the material contained in the set before we left. The CDs contain two and a half hours of great story time with actors such as Brian Blessed from Star Wars, Tarzan and King Lear as well as Chris Larkin from Master and Commander and others that really round out this ancient drama. The stage is set with the main character, John, who lives on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. From the forces of Romes to other factions, John will have to decide who and what he will fight for.





Heirloom Audio also provides a study guide to accompany the audio presentation. It is designed for parents with younger children to help them explain and guide them through the story and lessons. It's also great for older children as it provides written assignments. The way it works, is the study guide has sets of questions that covers approximately four to eight minutes of the audio. Each set has three basic components:

  1. Listening Well is great to ensure the child understands what he or she heard as well as tests the retention aspect of what they just heard. 
  2. Thinking Further challenges them to think a bit deeper and has them utilizing their thoughts and imagination more. Some of the challenge questions might include the task of researching for answers.
  3. Defining Words is great for introducing new words not only from a spelling asset but also to build their vocabularies. My dad was a stickler about learning words and he would have loved this.

I'm going to utilize the set that matches A Mighty Armada from the study guide to provide a more in-depth look into how the study guide works with the audio presentation. The top section contains the three sets of questions of Listening Well, Thinking Further and Defining Words. I like how thorough the sets of questions are such as "How does Josephus reply?" or "What plan does John suggest?" It not only ensures the child listened to the audio but also understood what they just heard. This was a favorite of my daughters as she likes to compete against her old sister and beat her to the answers. The assignment outside of our road trip included looking up the Defining Words and writing them out. The final section on this page of the study guide included more about Gideon's Army and contained a beautiful illustration along with more questions to encourage further thought.




In between listening to the story, I utilized the study guide to reinforce what they heard. I also had an image of the vocabulary words I had my daughter look up and write down but my photo was left behind as I'm finishing this review on my road trip. Although the trip lasted a little over five hours, the complete audio set allowed them educational entertainment. 


"It's really neat that they use sound effects to go along with the story instead of just people talking," Jamie (my middle child)

They were fascinated with the story line and the use of different actors to present the fullest opportunity to let their imagination take over. My youngest was just asking me questions about Jewish history so this was perfect timing. As John continue to endure the events of the time during the Roman occupation and all the unrest, he meets Josephus and joins his Jewish forces in Galilee. The adventures of battle are realistic and I feel better than a movie since the listener can decide the appearances of each character. John survives and returns home to continue fighting the Romans. His tenacity and loyalty continue in making him a formidable character among the Jewish people. It's a truly captivating story and a great opportunity to introduce or reinforce children to people from the Bible if they are not already familiar with them. Overall, we loved Heirloom Audio's For the Temple.

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For The Temple {Heirloom Audio Reviews}




Bison at Kankakee Sands, Indiana





Less than a year ago, we drove by the Kankakee Sands Nature Conservancy in Morocco, Indiana with no luck of viewing these majestic beauties. Bison, like many other areas in the country, used to roam plentiful across the Indiana prairies. This all changed with the encroachment of man, agriculture and industry. It's reported that in 1824, a traveler came across a bison near the current preserve's location and killed it. By 1830, they were all gone. Since 1996, the Nature Conservancy has been purchasing acres and restoring the prairie lands to their customary habitat. In 2016, a herd of around 23 were introduced to the prairie along with viewing areas off of Highway 41 for anyone to see.


Not only are there bison to see but it's also a birder and wildflower enthusiast's paradise as the website explains. I'll admit when I drove by, I wanted only to see the bison so my limited scope of interest and of time, prevented me from exploring. It now has 8,000 acres of wetlands and prairies and is one of the largest east of the Mississippi. There is also a sign depicting a place called Beaver Lake which would have surrounded the area except in the late 1800s, it was drained. One of the largest lakes in Indiana, seven miles long and five miles wide, it provided food, furs and shelter to the then Native Americans and later food and furs for the early settlers. It took over 20 years to drain it and it was eventually turned over to farm land.

My photo didn't turn out very well compliments of the snow storm we drove into:



After taking in the bison or walking the trails, drive a bit further to Kentland and view an ancient meteor crater that was discovered in 1880.

Can Students Learn More Effectively from Print Textbooks?




So many parents and schools are turning to eLearning as it's convenient especially with the trend towards eLearning days with various schools. It sounds good from the ease of being able to provide less books to carry and the fun notion of everything electronic but is it really a better alternative. Ignoring the entire cost aspect and the breaking the screen fear that probably many parents have, there has been a debate on the potential harm devices can do to children. There are stories about how Steve Jobs never let his children use the devices at young ages and then there is the concern of new types of ergo injuries from the use of fingers, wrists and arms to posture problems. There seems to be a host of potential con's associated with devices and the newer growing concern is the effectiveness of reading and retention. 

A new study authored by Patricia A. Alexander and Lauren M. Singer, conducted a review of the literature since 1992, found that students were in fact, able to better comprehend information in print for texts longer than a page in length. They attribute it to perhaps to the disruption factor of having to scroll to the next page which to me, makes sense. They furthered the hypothesis by conducting three studies to explore college level students' ability to comprehend information on print versus screen. Overall, the students preferred to read on a screen and read faster but the research questions asked of them showed their comprehension was higher with the printed medium.

I've also read in other literature that students who write their notes from lectures versus typing them into a laptop tend to retain the information better as well. It seems that perhaps the school systems have jumped in too fast to embrace technology at a time when it appears students are already struggling making the grade. Perhaps we, as a society, should relook at all the eLearning options out there and return to the old school methods? As devil's advocate, maybe the researchers aren't looking at it the right way and the comprehension could be achieved if a better mode of learning went hand in hand with the eLearning options.  For myself, I utilize a mixture with my children relative to some online courses, some via documentaries and others in the form of print material. 

Connecting Family History with Homeschooling





I've been interested in my family's history for as long as I can remember and I attribute that to my father. His father and other members of the family traced the genealogy of our family back when it was a bit harder than today. They actually had to travel and visit libraries, churches and governmental facilities and graveyards to garner some additional knowledge. The old fashioned pen and paper was instrumental in reaching out to others around the world in hopes of finding someone with a mutual interest and information that would unlock some doors. I still have a couple of the letters that my paternal grandfather sent seeking out members of my family and I have numerous photographs and handwritten documentation outlining the family tree. 





Thanks to technology, it's so much easier with online databases and sites such as Ancestry.com. I started out making my tree as a GED file and then gravitated towards Ancestry due to the flexibility of finding others. I not only stopped at ordering the service for my DNA but I added one for my mom. I find it all so fascinating. The two biggest issues I have with Ancestry is the cost and if you don't maintain a subscription, you lose the access to key documents you previously saved unless you saved them on your hard drive. Ultimately, I love using it and I have expanded to using many others mostly due to the DNA factor and trying to find other family members. My mom was an only child and after she left England for America, she lost contact with her cousins and grandparents. I have tried to find them with no luck. However, I have found so many interesting facts that I have been able to utilize many components with my children in the name of learning.





As most families, we have so many different lines that it's hard to keep track of who came from where. I have focused some of my research at times to utilize them as learning points. For instance, my mother's grandfather served in World War 1 for England. I was able to use resources such as maps of England and the various locations he served in the war. I was able to utilize history to further their knowledge about WW1. I was able to find out he was injured not once or twice but three times by gun fire. If that wasn't enough, he lost a 12 year old child while convalescing. These events help to provide a captivating edge to learning while personalizing them and providing a desire to learn more for them. By showing them the family line, they became interested in genealogy and wanted to learn more. 

On my father's side, we have a small tree that comes from France and one member of that family (a distant cousin) ended up becoming a prominent member of history in North America. Again, I was able to utilize history and geography to add a bit of excitement to what could have been boring subjects. I think my next project will be to create some worksheets to further enhance their knowledge of the family, the countries, the events and the time periods.

Have you ever incorporated your family history into a homeschool lesson?


Libraries are Assets to Communities


 
 

My girls just love the library and it doesn't hurt that we live so close to one. We visit the library so often that we are on a first named basis. Until we moved to our latest town, we didn't go to the library very often and shamefully, I can admit, only once or twice in their lifetime. Our routine is to visit the library minimally once a week and sometimes more than that. I had no idea how vital a library was to a community until we started going to one and after my sister started working at another one. Not only are the book selections amazing but there are a host of other items such as games, movies, etc. Another gem are the classes and fun events that they offer.

Not too long ago, our local library had a Taylor Swift event and of course, my girls and grandchildren just had to attend! It was a cute event that was completely free! It was a bit overcrowded and it wasn't high end but it was free and it was very cute. I was so impressed with all the other courses and events they provide. At another branch, they provided interested students an opportunity to learn about airplanes and to find out how to obtain a pilot's license. The courses, events and classes are endless as they cater to all ages and interests. 

Libraries are not just limited to coming in person to take advantage of the resources as there are many other resources available online from subscriptions to online classes and much more. My children just love the library and it truly is a vital asset to any community so if you haven't patroned your local library, check them out today to show them how much they are needed in your community!

Hiding the Washing and Dryers Behind Cabinet Doors





We recently purchased a house and unfortunately, the house is over a 100 years old and it didn't include a laundry room. This house is set up to contain the washing and dryers in the kitchen which is not the worse thing that could occur as I'm more than happy that I have room for it! However, I didn't really want to have it out in the open as I've been watching a lot of British and other Commonwealth home improvement shows and they display their's often in the kitchen in the open. I started researching ways to cleverly hide them and am now in the planning stage.  Here are some of the one's that I like:







I've never made cabinets so this will be a first for me and I've not had a lot of experience working with hinges and other types of fasteners so this is what I feel will be a fun challenge. I have looked and looked for premade cabinets for the purpose of this but unfortunately, they are not readily available. I suppose I could have them specially made but I decided to try my hand at them with some simple 2x4's, plywood and other building materials. I'm going to make mine go from floor to ceiling and I will add on a cabinet that will house laundry detergent and more. I have 10' ceilings so it should be an interesting project. We just finished placing beautiful Fasade Gloss White Glue-Up Ceiling Tile, Earth Tones Whiteford Brick Hardboard Wall Panels and vinyl wood tiles.  I'll post my cabinet once I complete it so stay tuned!



Renovating a 100+ Year Old Home







This past year was an interesting year as we undertook a major move in purchasing a fixer upper. This wasn't just any fixer upper as it's over a 100 years old and in spite the sad story behind it going up for sale, it's been an experience. An experience in which I can proudly state that I had the most wonderful dad ever. Through the many years where I was side by side any chance I could get, I was watching and observing. I don't think all parents realize how much their children do see and how much they learn just from being present so the next time you are ready to create something in the kitchen or fix something in the yard or garage, ask your child along. My sister and I have taken on some of the projects ourselves and as we proceed, we've impressed ourselves with the knowledge we retained from our father. Our father was a man who could just about fix anything and if he didn't know, he just kept trying until he did. We grew up rather on the poor side so picking up a phone to call a repair man was not an option nor was the luxury of having new appliances, lawn mowers or vehicles. In my early 20's, I was even able to apply bondo and fix the vehicle from an appearance aspect due to my dad's love for me in explaining all that he did. I digressed a bit so I'll return to the house.

Nearly every feature of this home needed or needs work and determining where to start as amateurs was decided by which rooms were important at first. We did watch a lot of home improvement shows which did lend additional knowledge so I am grateful for Amazon Prime and no, this is not a post with affiliate links! The kitchen, dining room and bathroom were our first victims. A lesson learned was to not order appliances too early and to understand that what seems like easy tasks are never quick tasks. We thought we would have had the kitchen done quite some time ago but due to an issue with needing to upgrade some pipes, we fell behind. I also learned that we really should stick to a room at a time as it's been two months and we have no finished rooms. I've also learned that contractors are much needed as there is an apparent shortage in people providing these services. I just read an article that stated the US is experiencing a blue collar shortage because more Americans than not are going to college. I did go to college and it did help me secure an excellent career but one thing I'm teaching my children is a four year college degree isn't essential any longer. Depending on what you want to do, a trade school or even a two year degree can be sufficient. As we struggle with some contracted work, we continue to forge ahead with success.

This weekend, we are hoping to finally finish the kitchen and start putting drywall up. I even purchased a drywall lift after seeing how heavy "lightweight" drywall really is! All the YouTube videos and fixer up shows have been helpful to date and one thing I recall from one YouTuber which is golden advice, be careful whos advice you take as just because there is a YouTube video on the subject, it doesn't necessarily mean they did it correctly!

Stay tuned as I share the ceiling tile project that will be completed this weekend hopefully and a photo of the sink base cabinet that my sister and I did complete with cutting out the hole for the sink!

LG - Watch W7 Smartwatch 44.5mm Stainless Steel Review



The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product.





Christmas is right ahead of us along with the new year and with every new year is a renewed hope for many to start fresh with getting healthier. There are so many different avenues to help achieve fitness levels and the one that I have found that helps me to be accountable are devices. I like my devices and apps and have used them for years now which is why I enjoyed having the opportunity to try out the LG - Watch W7 Smartwatch in 44.5mm Stainless Steel which I must say is ultra sleek. I will also admit it is large but I don't mind that at all as with the touch screen, it's perfect. Powered by Wear OS, it provides Google Assistant and offers fitness tracking features which is ideal as I can pair it up with my Android phone. I also love the stainless steel design for the look and it resists corrosion and scratches, which is a bonus as I live in a cold wet climate and I am also a bit clumsy.

Nearly all of us have heard the Swiss are supreme watch makers and this watch has a Swiss-made gear box ensuring precise hand movements for the very best time monitoring. Now that I've touched on some of the cool specs, I'm going to focus on the other features that appealed to me from the fitness and health standpoint:

  • Updated Google Assistant is ready to go with optimized AI and new fitness features making every minute matter with smart help assistance and health coaching right at your wrist.
  • Access to Google Fit: Health and Activity Tracking providing motivation to help achieve a healthier life with coaching and activity tracking based on American Heart Association and World Health Organization guidelines.
  • Proactive Help from the Google Assistant that helps you by being one step ahead of the game (AI). Personalized help from Google Assistant providing the help before you even ask! That is nice!
  • A feature that allows you to maximize your busy time with notifications that allow you to only glance and manage easier along with smart replies for when you are on the go or just short on time.
  • First Wear OS by Google has mechanical hands AND a fully functional touchscreen that is easy to use. I had no issues maneuvering around the screen which makes the size of the watch perfect for this feature. 
  • For those that prefer the watch only mode, the W7 will last 100 days between charges!

The LG - Watch W7 Smartwatch 44.5mm Stainless Steel is compatible with the iPhone/iOS and Android.

So far, I love it!  I've only have had it for a week and a half and I think it will help me stay on track with my health goals and it does help me as I'm quite inquisitive and am constantly looking up things up on Google!  There is still time to go out and buy one as it would make a great present to someone or even yourself!


Zondervan's Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women Review



Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women

As a mom to three girls, it's important to me to help my daughters' faith grow. There are many avenues in helping to assist in achieving that goal and one in particular that I like, are devotionals so I was thrilled to be able to receive Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan to review. The book is charming from its physical aspect with it not being too large to having a beautiful cover along with built-in ribbon book marker. The beginning page offers an entry if providing the devotional as a gift. There is a nicely written introduction for those that are new to devotionals providing a great way to start with an open mind to read each day's inspiring words. The beauty with the Bible is its timeless and a devotional provides a complimentary way reinforce what we learn.



Zondervan



As we took turn reading it daily, we found we really enjoyed each day's Scripture and devotional. Every day, my 15 year old would come and tell me what she learned and how it tied in to each person whether it was Ruth, Mary or another prominent female from the Bible. She likened how the stories were suitable to something she had already faced in her short little existence. On the site, you can take a look inside to see how nicely it has been put together and how easy it is to read whether you are young or older.




Another aspect I enjoyed about Zondervan's Beloved 365 Devotions for Young Women is the fact that although it is a devotional geared towards young women, it isn't one that tries to take the modern spin on feminism and run with it. It's one in which helps the young woman to see how they fit into the world in a Biblical viewpoint by using Scripture to empower each of us in every day life. I believe we are present to compliment one another and utilizing a devotional is a wonderful daily reminder on how Scripture can enrich our day to day lives. Having a silent moment to take a break when times are troubling or trying, or even when times are good, is a great way to remember why we should always have gratitude. Daily devotionals are superb for this.

As we progressed through each day, it's clear that Zondervan has geared the verbiage towards a modern word. Take Day 141 for example, "if you spent much time inside a school, a large group of people, or even just on social media, you've probably witnessed your fair share of bullying." Noting not only a current issue that is in the news, even though it's an issue that has been around probably since the beginning of time, but also calling out social media since this is the newest weapon for bullying. This helps to drive home the message as when one can relate to what is being conveyed, it has more of an impact. 

Every day touches on a key part of life that a young woman might be able to relate to or possibly will at some future point. If they aren't able to, they will be able to reflect upon what they read and utilize that information on helping them make the right decision. I think it will arm them in being better prepared and understanding how to emotionally take charge of situations. Day 192, for example, reinforces that sometimes things happen for reasons that we may not understand but God will bring us through it. That is always something to remember. Each day is filled with key points that will help us build a stronger bridge of love with God.

Overall, we enjoyed the Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan. We felt it was perfectly sized to take on the go or to have next to you without taking up a large space, the built-in bookmark allows you to never lose your space, each page is short, concise and easy to read and it provides an excellent message of Scripture to inspire the reader whether it's an issue they might be facing in real time or just something that will inspire them to help someone else or to prepare for something in the future. Each message is written in a modern way so the young woman can relate to it easier. My daughter enjoyed reading it and didn't object to reading it daily. I bought my oldest one a devotional years ago and think it's a great tool to have for any child and adult to not forget such an important rule which is to be grateful. It also provides an opportunity to have a conversation with God and to reflect daily with something that might be going on with the young woman's life when she might not feel she has anyone to turn to other than God. 

Christmas is coming and this would also make an excellent gift!

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Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women {Zondervan Review}


Adorable Utilization of Vacant Building Sites: Pocket Parks





I admit that I've never heard of pocket parks until I visited my sister in a small town tucked away near the Illinois border but still in Indiana. In this small little town that once had an overnight guest that would later become one of the most important presidents in the history of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, is a downtown area trying to revitalize it's small little place in a county that was once a vital hub. A town holds many fascinating pieces of history and is there for the taking if you have the time to see what is unique and hidden. Towns like Princeton are rich in history but hidden by obscurity only due to an apathy towards history in my opinion. There are many interesting factoids that could lend an 'aww' or an 'ah ha' if only given a moment. One of the newer features that caught my eye as I tried to find remnants of the past removed and now converted into pocket parks nestled neatly between two other buildings in the downtown area is a growing trend. 

These pocket parks are also known as parkettes, mini-parks, vest-pocket parks and vesty parks. No matter where you reside, they are fun and some are quirky. They are a hub for photographers given the beauty and natural features provided as a free resource. We weren't the only ones who partook on a journey for photographic excellence as we had to wait our turn if we wanted one of the more beautiful pocket parks so we settled on this gem right next to the best pizza place in Princeton called Susan Bobe's Pizza if you are ever in the area.

Here are some more of my favorites:









A Belated Halloween Post






This year was the first year in a few years that our children were able to trick-or-treat thanks to the weather cooperating. A few past years of really cold weather that swooped in just in time to put a damper on the event coupled with rain caused one of my children to catch a cold. A cold wouldn't normally be a big deal unless your one with a compromised immune system or asthma induced by colds. We spent a few days in hospitals and emergency rooms after such occasions so whenever the weather proves to be less than stellar, we sit it out. They were beyond delighted to take their costumes out and impress others more so because the two oldest picked out their costumes and helped to piece mill them together.

Alice didn't require much as I can admit, I wasn't in the mood to sew a costume mostly due to time restrictions. The Mad Hatter, on the other hand, allowed us to have some creativity as we perused through different shops to put a maddening costume. From Amazon to Ebay to the local Goodwill store, we were able to create this in a modest way of spending under $50. The bonus was a jacket and a pair of slacks she could rewear if she opts to.

The two younger children were the brilliant creation of their mother, my daughter. She is an amazing creator of many things and sewing is one of her vast talents. She made the circus ringleader costume as well as the lion shirt her son is wearing. I'm quite proud of her achievements and on a side note, she can bake a delicious and beautiful cake!

Lisa Tanner Writing: Balancing Diapers and Deadlines Online Course Review



Balancing Diapers and Deadlines

All of us moms are in need of some helpful guidance and advice at times. What if you wanted to start a business or already have one and are struggling? I know I've been contemplating starting a business for years but never really wanted to believe I had the time with three kids, working full time at times and homeschooling. Time management is a skill that takes practice if you don't have it down already which is why I was happy to review the online course by Lisa Tanner Writing titled Balancing Diapers and Deadlines. I was particularly interested in reviewing this course because Lisa is a mom to eight and has her own freelance business! Her life learned experience resonates with timely practical advice throughout the course.
Lisa Tanner Writing

The course is broken up in units and lessons:

  • Welcome to Balancing Diapers and Deadlines
  • Building Your Foundation with the Basics
  • Minimize Your Decisions
  • Minimize Decisions: The Annual Meal Plan
  • Sustainable Growth
  • Growing a Business with Your Kids Around
  • Boost Your Productivity
  • Closing Thoughts


I found the information contained throughout each unit and lesson helpful. Some I already practice, perhaps in a different way but I did pick up valuable time management tips that will definitely help me stay on track while I try to complete my novel I've been writing for ten years. I think particularly for newer parents or those that are sticklers to schedules, Lisa's advice to alter schedules during times of sickness or appointments are words to heed. We don't always have to stick to preset schedules and by allowing flexibility, as Lisa states in the Making a Plan of the Day lesson, "our days run more smoothly."

In another lesson, A Day for Each Child, I liked the basic idea to allow one child to have mom's undivided attention and provided the other child(ren) flexibility to gain more independence but I honestly don't think it would work with my kids. Granted, I should try it before saying so, but my youngest would absolutely melt down if we did! I think it's a good idea since you can encourage your children time to explore what they want, gear lessons to meet their needs and to foster independence which I feel is sorely missing in many of the younger generation. There are also nice downloads to supplement the lessons as well as additional resources.


Keeping the House in Order reminded me to let my kids do their chores without going back and redoing them. She also keeps it real with practical advice such as your floors don't have to be so clean that you can eat off of them. I could never be one of those people that have to have everything in order and drive everyone around me crazy with being so neat and clean so Lisa's lesson reminds me that I don't have to be 100% all the time. For the unit Growing a Business with Your Kids Around, Lisa breaks up the lessons into age groups as well as special needs children which allows one to skip over if there isn't a specific age group it applies to. I really liked getting your older ones involved with your business venture by giving them tasks such as internet research, taking pictures, proofreading and more. What better way to instill a sense of importance and excitement in your children than when they help you? This would be ideal with my kids as they love positive feedback and they love to help me.

There are many lessons for each unit and I only discussed some of them. The course is full of sound advice and opportunities to gain some extra time in your life whether you have your own business, want a business or just want some time for a hobby or me time. I do recommend Lisa Tanner Writing online course titled Balancing Diapers and Deadlines.

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Balancing Diapers and Deadlines {Lisa Tanner Writing Reviews}

St. Bartholomew's Eve from Heirloom Audio Review: Great Historical Adventure Adapted from G.A. Henty



St. Bartholomew's Eve


Sometimes taking a different route from learning is a nice break away. I know my girls enjoy when we do something different from traditional books, television documentaries and movies and even online learning programs so listening to St. Bartholomew's Eve from Heirloom Audio was a nice break to our evening family time. I am a fan of G.A. Henty and have been since I started homeschooling and his books were a part of the very first homeschool curriculum I purchased. The audio contains over two hours of wholesome Christian entertainment that encourages them to utilize their imagination and set themselves back in history. It was a bonus for me as my family was from that time period so I was able to really understand and relate to the time period and the persecution of Hugenots.

St. Bartholomew's Eve



The story centers around main character,  Philip Fletcher, who is visiting his family in France from England. It's lively and the actors portray each accent perfectly allowing the children to really feel they were there. The actors are even some you might have heard of such as Brian Blessed, Elizabeth Counsell and many others. We listened to audio one on a road trip and I enjoyed it. My girls did too but not my husband but I think it's because he's not really big into history and doesn't really understand that homeschool part of different learning opportunities. This audio is adapted from G.A. Henty's book, St. Bartholomew's Eve. 

Heirloom Audio Productions

The story is exciting and full of almost non-stop adventure and drama and my youngest particularly loved how often God was mentioned as well as the Christian theme. She liked the music and was okay with the fighting as she is pretty mature and understands the struggles in fighting for what is right. I think in this time and age, it's an unfortunately timely reflection of the persecution that is now occurring. This audio provides the leaders of tomorrow an insight on what it's like to fight for what you believe in.

Philip proved to be our favorite mostly because I'm half English and have quite a bit of French in me. I liked how the story provides examples of not giving up and putting one's faith in God. In one of the events, they are outnumbers trying to hold a fortress in spite of being outnumbered. They prayed to God and a plan came into fruition allowing them to win. You have to listen to the audio to find out how they overcame this and many others events leading to the win for Christianity.

Follow Heirloom Audio on social media:  FacebookTwitterGoogle+Instagram. Heirloom Audio provides good quality Christian entertainment for kids by as their mission, is to engage the listener's imagination by taking them back in time. Take a look as there are many other products to continue your children on an adventure! This is a very professional adaptation that will not disappoint.


Read what others on the Crew thought:

St. Bartholomew's Eve {Heirloom Audio Reviews}

Brinkman Adventures' Season 6: Underground Rising Digital Review



Underground Rising Season 6 Brinkman Adventures



I remember growing up and listening to old audio recordings of shows my dad would listen to when he was young. I found them interesting and loved how they made me use my imagination to see how main characters looked, placed appeared and how people might have looked during emotional times. This review of Brinkman Adventures' Season 6: Underground Rising reminded me of the times I spent with him since it's all audio. The digital story starts as two sisters visit their grandmother, Omie as she preferred to be called, and she tells the story of her time during WWII. Lynn VanKersteren, Omie, immigrated to Canada from Holland and tells the story based on true accounts of her and her husband's life in Holland during World War II. 

Part I: Dutch Resistance


Part I is all about the Dutch resistance which was important in helping the allies during WWII. As the war progressed and Germany invaded and took over Holland, brothers Hans and Reng, Omi's husband, began working to resist them. They even helped the Jewish people who stayed behind. The entire episode details what they did and the danger they submitted themselves to in order to resist. Some audios are hard to understand when either utilizing foreign actors or actors attempting to speak in the accent needed but this was not the case with Season 6: Underground Rising. As a bonus, if you check out the Real Stories page for Season 6, you will see many photographs, supplemental stories and facts as well as a great sounding recipe for Oliebollen (Dutch doughnuts) and they look good!

The next episode was called Dutch Underground Part 2 and left off from the last episode. They even provide a recap of the last episode and a parental recommendation to listen with parents if under the age of 10. The story continues with the right amount of dramatic music, sound effects and continues with actors that are easy to understand. It's really done in a great manner invoking emotions and the imagination while providing a great historical look into what life was like as part of the Dutch resistance. 

Twice Born Fly and I Wonder Why


The next episodes, called Twice Born Fly and I Wonder Why touches two different stories from a Godly aspect. It also has the same type of dramatic music, easy to understand vocal actors and a sense of being there with the story. It provokes the imagination to conjurer up what the characters look like such as Jack and Louis. Details about places like the Factory added to the story line. I Wonder Why is the story about 11 year old Samantha  who long with her family leaves for India. It brings the listener into a world believing they are watching it with the trials and tribulations they endured. It teaches about God and love with their work in the orphanage. They even touched on asthma which my 11 year old was happy about as she has asthma and she feels it's often a neglected disease.

Free Burma Rangers Part I and Part 2

The next and final two episodes are titled Free Burma Rangers Part I and Part 2. This tells the journey of Dave Eubank from boyhood to his Green Beret career. These episodes teach about Burma and their long continued fighting. It's a story of a kid who grew up in a missionary family and grows up still helping others. Part 2 details how he and his wife, Karen, worked to help the people of Burma in a time of desperate fighting and killing.

One story includes how 400 Burmese soldiers were coming after a village. Thanks to Dave's Green Beret training, he and his Free Burmese Rangers were able to protect the village. It's a story filled with God and faith.

I noted the Real Stories above and really recommend reading the page either before or after or even both after listening to the audio as it provides great information to the story.



My children enjoyed listening and found Part I and 2 of the Dutch Resistance was their favorites and I agree. They were lively and being that we're WWII fans, it really appealed to us. Season 6 should appeal to anyone given the Christian based theme behind each episode. They are professionally done with high quality sound affects and a great alternative to allow young ones to conjure up images versus watching it on a TV or computer.
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Brinkman Adventures Season 6 Reviews