Category Archives: reviews

3 beautiful Ellie Claire Art Journals ~ a review

Art journals, you say? What are they? Glad you asked. An art journal is just a book that includes different types of pages, ideas, and prompts to get you not just writing but being creative and artistic as well. Your quiet time is ideal for focusing on God’s word and what He has said. These art journals can help focus that time even more, on a passage, a word, or an idea. Creating visual images with colored pencils, pen and ink, or markers can help you really zone in on what God is saying to you. Each of these journals are lovely, really beautiful, and they feel comfortable in the hand. They are all very different in content, though, so let’s take a look at each one.

 The Illustrated Word: An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal

The Illustrated Word is a hard-cover journal that is about 6″x9″. There are about 150 pages (unnumbered) that are filled with opportunities – to create, to learn, to write, to copy, to color. The pages of this book are nice and thick, somewhat rough like construction paper. 

In the old handwritten Bibles, the scribes would often illuminate the pages. Many examples of this are included in this journal as inspiration, generally one per two-page spread. The pages with these examples are lined. Every few pages, there is a full-page image to color. Many of these are Bible verses but a good number are examples from old manuscripts recreated for you to color. These manuscripts are cited, which also gives a nice historical connotation to the illumination. 

This is one I am claiming as my own. It is beautiful and the line drawing recreations of the ancient illustrations are a joy to color and fill in. It allows for meditation and time spent thinking. It will be a wonderful journal to use for sermon note taking each week in worship time. And I will be able to think on the notes over and over as I color in the images. 

THE ILLUSTRATED WORD
Amazon: http://bit.ly/Illustrated-Amazon
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/Illustrated-BN

Faith & Lettering Journal

Focusing on the scripture that tells us that God’s Word does not return void is where this journal had its beginning. Krystal Whitten is a graphic designer and professional letterer. She had combined her faith and lettering to further enhance her own understanding of God’s word. In the introduction to the journal, she talks about how she came to combine faith and meditation time with lettering and journaling. She designed this journal to inspire one to “reignite your devotional time, to imprint Scripture upon your heart, and to help you dig deep into the Word of God through the art of lettering.”

Included in this journal are the basics of hand-lettering, Bible journaling, sermon sketch note-taking, and space to write about using these in your devotion time. Some pages contain a full-page, full-color Bible verse that has been hand-lettered. The pages accompanying those are lined for journaling. There are several scriptures that are lettered in a vertical column for you to see it done, trace it, and then practice it yourself. These are two -page spreads. There are a number of lettering styles that are shown with space to practice. These are done with graph pages so that there is a way to make sure your spacing and sizing stay consistent. There are some other pages for you to do your own work on that are pages with dots in a grid. Many of these have small images of quotes or verses, as well. There are pages to practice flourishes and banners and other things. 

This hard cover book is 160 pages (unnumbered) and about 7″x8″. The pages are smooth and thick, making it ideal for a variety of writing tools. The cover is beautifully decorated with different images and words to encourage. It is embossed and contains some beautiful gold accents. There is a pen loop on the spine of the journal to be able to keep a pen or pencil close at hand. This journal would be great for someone new to the idea of hand-lettering for Bible study and figuring out how to get started. It gives some great letter styles and decorative ideas to get someone started. And it is just overall beautiful.

FAITH & LETTERING
Amazon: http://amzn.to/FaithAndLettering-Amazon
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/FaithAndLettering-BN

Illuminate Your Story Journal

Once again, this journal has its origins in the illuminated texts of times page. The illuminated pages gave color and beauty and significance to the texts. For someone just starting to learn how to created these lovely illuminated letters, it can be overwhelming. This journal is a great start, though. Illuminate Your Story Journal includes a number of things to help instruct one new to this type of artistic expression.

Inspired by this history of illuminated letters, the journal begins with a written history of them. It talks about the different regions and peoples to use these and gives lovely examples. There is instruction in the process of illuminated letters and then help for creating your own, including a list of suggested supplies. Then the journal really begins, for you start to do your own work. 

The journal has step-by-step instructions, both visual and written, to guide you through drawing and creating the entire alphabet in illuminated letters. There are two styles for each letter with steps for creating each. There is a Bible verse or quote to go along with almost every letter. (I did notice K, Q, V, and X did not have one.) Along the way there are also visual and written instructions for creating other flourishes, animals, flowers, and the like. Quite a variety of ideas and inspiration. The pages with the instructions all are on dot grids to help with size and space. The pages with the quotes and verses are lines for written reflection or whatever practice you might desire. 

This lovely hardcover journal is about 6″ x 8″. The 160 pages are thick and smooth, allowing for beautiful layers of color and smooth writing. It includes a woven ribbon bookmark sewn into the binding. The blue cloth spine includes a matching pen loop, both of which coordinate lovely with the cover image. The embossed cover is simple yet elegant and there is a keepsakes pocket on the inside of the back cover. And, to keep from losing anything, the book is held closed by an attached elastic band that goes around the whole book. All in all, this will make a lovely gift for one of our girls who enjoys doing hand-lettering but isn’t very far along with the skill yet.

ILLUMINATE YOUR STORY
Amazon: http://bit.ly/Illuminate-Amazon
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/Illuminate-BN

Overall Thoughts –

Y’all, these are all three just lovely art journals. Ellie Claire has created beautiful works of art to help you create your own beautiful works of art. There was another campaign for other Ellie Claire journals and oh how I wish I could have seen those journals since these are so lovely and high quality. (Unfortunately, I didn’t get my name in on that one early enough!) But these, I highly recommend these for anyone in your life starting on the path of hand-lettering or creating Bible artwork, whether they are new to it or looking for new inspiration.

Blessings,
At Home.

Preparing for Christmas ~ book reviews

Both of these books are available from New Growth Press.

A Better December: Proverbs to Brighten Christmas by Steven Estes

Many of us know just how insightful the book of Proverbs in the Bible is to our daily lives. But have you ever thought about how much it applies to the holiday season? to Christmas time? 

Me, either. But Steven Estes did. And his humorous application of the Proverbs to the holidays is a joyous read. This is a short 80-ish page read and is broken into chapters focusing on things like gifts, children, longings, others, and disappointment. Each of the chapters seems to be right on target for so many of us as the holidays can 

If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the holidays, the commercialism, and the “stuff”, take a peek at this book. The insights will help you grab hold of what is important, what is necessary, and the joy that should be fueling our holidays. As we are brought into “Someone greater than Solomon is here”, the beauty of the plan of God is revealed and Jesus is introduced. This easy to understand transition is the perfect way to introduce Jesus to those who don’t yet know him. 

The pen-and-ink drawings that add whimsicality to the book. This neat little book would be a great one to share with others this holiday season.

Prepare Him Room by Marty Machowski

Are you looking for a series of family devotionals to guide you through the season approaching Christmas? Some folks call this time Advent. I didn’t grow up using that term and we don’t use it with the girls but the time approaching Christmas is still a time that hearts tend to be open to hearing more about our Savior. This book is a series of family devotionals for the 4 weeks of Advent to celebrate the birth of Jesus. 

Broken into 4 weeks, this series of studies looks at the prophecies the foretold Christ’s coming and the fulfillment of those prophecies. Each week has three family devotionals and a chapter of a Bartimaeus story that unfolds one week at a time, concluding in week 4. Each family devotional includes a list of supplies needed (so you can be prepared ahead of time), a warm-up activity, reading the prophecy scripture, and a written out series of thoughts about the prophecy. Another section is titled Talk About It and it related to the scripture read. There is at least one carol included in each devotional for some singing and you can get a companion CD if you wish. Then there is a family activity to close the devotional. 

The time required for each devotional will vary depending on if you choose to use all of the activities and how much discussion you include. You may even wish to include a significant amount more scripture to really bring the impact of the message home to your family. In this case, you will need to go digging and that will take some additional time but I find that when we open up that kind of discussion with the girls, we all learn a whole lot more and can understand scripture more. 

This is a simple way to add some meaningful Bible time to you holidays.

Blessings,
At Home.

Kidzaw.com Master Kitz ~ a Crew review

Read the Review for Kidzaw.com

Art is something that can be implemented in a gazillion different ways and all of them are good. Kidzaw.com is a company that has presented us with the opportunity to review one of their Master Kitz. This is a kit that teaches the student a bit about a master artists and then helps them recreate one of that artist’s masterworks. In this case, we received Master Kitz The Starry Night to help us recreate a painting by Vincent van Gogh.

what comes in the Master Kitz

The kit arrived in a compact box that is study and contained everything we needed except for a plate or palette for the paint and clean up supplies. If the students want to add more color than yellow, orange, white, and blue oil pastels, then that will also be something that you will need to supply. The kit includes:

  • 2 pieces of deluxe art paper (16‘x20’)
  • 4 oil pastels (it says 5 on the box but ours came with 4)
  • custom “van Gogh” paint roller
  • three acrylic paints
  • star mask sheet
  • sponge roller
  • composition stencil
  • instructions
  • learning materials

A couple of days before you plan to work on the project, it is a good idea to get your paper and stencil out of the box, roll it gently backwards of the curl in it, and then place it under something heavy to flatten it out so it will be flat for the project. That will make it much easier to work with.

The process is pretty straightforward and the instructions (inspiration!) are step-by-step and clear. From the placing of the star masks to using the rollers, most of it was easy to do. The stencil required multiple hands, though. When Miss J was working with it, both Miss E and I had to help her keep the interior parts of the stencil flat so that paint would not get under it. When Miss E was using it, it was a little easier and I was able to help her on my own. It is such a large stencil (almost 16″x20″) and it has such a small amount of interior support, the roll that was put in it from the box was just problematic. However, do take a look at our finished products and you will see it didn’t really hinder us. Yea – we had to have additional hands but we were all around the table anyway so it wasn’t an issue.

Kidzaw.com background work

Before we began, Miss E read to us from the instructional materials that were included in the kit. We talked a bit about what we remembered from previous studies of van Gogh and as additional artist names came up (he was influenced by a number of people and had a number of famous contemporaries), it was good to be able to talk about things the girls recalled and how they all intersected.

We learned a bit about using the different materials – acrylic paint, stencils, rollers, and oil pastels. We learned about how to “mask” (or protect an area) from paint so that it will remain the color you want. We learned how to combine textures and materials (oil pastels over acrylic, mixing color in oil pastels, etc.).

Master Kitz Starry Night from Kidzaw.com

We were able to use this for two projects at the same time, though it did take a bit of finesse with materials going from one paper to the next, having to make sure they were dry before the second paper, etc. There does appear to be enough of everything in the box except for the paper to create a third project. The star masks we had to be very careful with – they had a tendency to stick too hard to the paper and we did have a couple of places tear, in addition to making sure the paint didn’t smear when taking them off and the paint being dry when putting it on the second page. For the most part, the materials were of good quality and with everything being in one place, it was a very convenient activity for a rainy day.

It took a couple of hours to get these two paintings to the color stage – where they were using the oil pastels to create the stars and add any other additional color. From that point, it is up to the individual artist how much longer they want to spend adding details. Miss E took about two more hours to decide on her colors, practice and put that on the artwork. It is certainly not a quick project but will definitely be shorter if you are doing just a single project. Clean up took a while, as well, since we did try to preserve the materials for another go at the project for Miss L after we get some more large paper.

Miss E's finished productMiss J's finished product

One comment Miss J made I need to share – “I didn’t like that we didn’t get to use a paint brush and learn to paint.” That is a mistake on my part. I must have misled her accidentally by talking about doing a painting similar to one created by van Gogh. She thought she was going to get to learn how to paint like him. I am sharing this so that others might not make that same mistake with their kiddo. She did actually enjoy the project once she knew brushes were not involved.

I am looking into the additional kits that are offered by Kidzaw.com, including Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh, The Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt, and Water Lilies by Claude Monet. Check out their website for more options. They would make fun gifts and projects so with Christmas on the horizon, this may be a very good item to add to wish lists.

Blessings,
At Home.

Please visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read additional reviews of the Kidzaw.com Master Kitz projects from other families.

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Balancing Diapers and Deadlines ~ a Crew review

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We all have times where we have to balance a load of things – from work to children to studies to teaching to daily chores to, well, you name it. We all have it and this review was an easy to process online course that helped me to think through some of the day-to-day that bogs down through time. Balancing Diapers and Deadlines is a fully-online, reading-based course that takes you step-by-step through daily life and choices. Brought to you by Lisa Tanner Writing , there is something for everyone in this course.

lisatannerwritinglogo

Lisa Tanner is a mom and business owner. Working from home with 8 children around her, she has had to think carefully about how to help it all run smoothly. Now, I don’t have 8 children that I am trying to mother and educate and help guide but I do have three. And with this blog, I have business-like items I need to consider and plenty of deadlines I have to keep in sight. And we live in a house we would like to have somewhat neat and tidy with laundry we would like to not wear dirty. 🙂 So, there was a lot in her course that touched my daily life.

Once you purchase the course from Lisa Tanner Writing , you will have access to the entire course right away. You just start at the beginning and go through it one online-page at a time. After each page, you click a box that tells the program to mark that section complete and you will be able to find where you are the next time you log in. There is no need to write it down; just look for the little green check marks next to the titles of lessons to see what you have finished.

Table of Contents showing completions

There are 6 units, in addition to an introduction and a closing thoughts. Each of the units has several chapters in it and each one of those has at least one activity that will help you put your thoughts and ideas down on paper and make the decisions that need to be made. These action steps are small and easy to accomplish.

I worked through this course a little at a time. I would sit down with my notebook and pen and some tea. After logging in and pulling up the next chapter, I would read the ideas and personal testimony Lisa shares. Then I would look at her action step for that topic. Some of these steps took just a couple of minutes and others took a bit longer. Many were things I was already doing. (Yay for feeling like I was on the right track!)

morning routine

Many topics had print outs to help you with the action step, whether it be a schedule or a sample of her schedule or a checklist or something else. From making a plan for the day or figuring out the laundry or scheduling tasks related to the business, there were plenty of ideas, suggestions, and personalized discussions, making this an easy to read and implement course.

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines is designed for anyone who has multiple parts of their life that they are trying to keep in order, particularly if you are running your own business and trying to grow it. Now, at this moment in time, I am not actively trying to start or grow a business but there were a lot of action steps that did apply. Some of these included were thinking through a morning routine or scheduling quiet time. Maybe you need some ideas about how to schedule your meals (insert the lesson here about the year long menu!) or getting your children involved in helping with your business.

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There is something here for everyone, even if you feel like you have your life running smoothly. The thing is, we all have places in our lives where we can improve our systems or get our children more involved. The ideas and baby steps included throughout Balancing Diapers and Deadlines will help you and your family.

Blessings,
At Home.

Please make sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew anchor post for Balancing Diapers and Deadlines reviews by other families, many of whom are growing their business. See how this course from Lisa Tanner Writing  can help you!

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Gathering of Sisters ~ book review

Gathering of Sisters

Interest in family, in life, in day-to-day activity – it is what keeps us all moving forward and finding meaning in life, isn’t it?

Gathering of Sisters: A Year with My Old Order Mennonite Family by Darla Weaver is a book that records a year’s worth of family time between Darla and her sisters, their mom and their children. Each Tuesday, the girls gather at Mom’s house to spend time with each other, in work, in play, in helping, and in relaxing. They cook and eat. They read and discuss. They encourage and challenge. They even ridicule and tease a bit. After all, isn’t that what life is about?

Darla grew up the oldest of nine children, five of which were girls. When she married and moved to her own home a few miles away, she ended up making a weekly trek home to visit with her mother and family. This grew into a tradition, not by choice but by enjoyment. As her sisters also grew up and began their own families, they all acquired the habit of visiting home on Tuesdays. This “family check-in” became a time of joy and renewal for all of them.Gathering of Sisters cover

Darla allows us to see glimpses of her family, of her life, and of who they are. And that includes their intentional and purposeful following of Christ. Their religion is an inherent part of who they are and how their lives are lived and that comes across neatly in this book. Life is filled with joy, fellowship, and lots of food. Everyone has to eat, right? So each week we hear a bit about all of these things, including whether or not they can get the intense writing habit Darla has to ease a bit and be replaced with coloring and card-making. (This was a fun aspect of the story for me, as I enjoy writing and crafting.) Spoiler – at the end, we do see Darla pick up a colored pencil. 🙂

Family is of utmost importance and life revolves around that. From helping younger nieces and nephews in daily moments (tumbles, desires, upsets, and laughter) to helping a sister after the premature birth of a child, we watch this family live and grow as they serve God in their homes and lives.

Many of us look at the Mennonite community and wonder. This book opens up a lot of that community to me (at least from this central Texas perspective I have) and I can now relate more to their lives. I strive to put God first and serve my family as homemaker. This is what these sister do, too. I have dreams and desires and have to make concessions about what I can or cannot purchase. These sisters do, also. (I was very much able to relate to the worn-out shoe story where Darla talks about not purchasing a pair of shoes for herself so she can get something her family needs.) Church and God come first for the sisters and I am striving for that, too. Struggles, failures, successes and growth – all of this is something we all have and this book shows these parts of life in living color and in all their glory. Yes, glory. For without a few struggles, the hopefulness is not as sweet. Without a failure, we don’t understand and celebrate success. Gathering of Sisters gives up a glimpse of this in the life of this family and shows us that it is common among us all.

Darla Weaver wears many hats. In addition to a members of the Old Order Mennonite community living in the hills of southern Ohio, she is a wife, mother, homemaker, gardener, and writer. She has written other books in addition to Gathering of Sisters, including Water My Soul and Many Lighted Windows. At the end of the book, there is an interview with Darla that sheds even more light on the community she lives in and their beliefs, as well as a “Day In The Life” feature that shows what one day looks like for her.

Herald Press (www.heraldpress.com) is the publisher of Gathering of Sisters. Gathering of Sisters is the sixth book in the Plainspoken series from Herald Press. Each Plainspoken book is written by Amish and Mennonite people about their daily lives and deeply rooted faith. Each book includes “A Day in the Life of the Author” and the author’s answers to FAQs about the Amish and Mennonites. The book has a cover price of $14.99 and is a softback book of about 265 pages.

There is an excerpt available for you to read if you are interested in learning more.

Blessings,
At Home.

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St. Bartholomew’s Eve (Heirloom Audio) ~ a Crew review

St Bartholomew's Eve from Heirloom Audio

Shrieks of joy are always heard in our home when Heirloom Audio releases an new title and St. Bartholomew’s Eve produced nothing less. Miss E and Miss J (14 and 9) took it out of the package and immediately high-tailed it to the bedroom to listen. After about two hours, they reappeared and let me know how wonderful it was. Another hit!

Heirloom Audio Productions is a company producing Christian entertainment through high-quality audio dramas. These are stories that are done with voice actors, sound effects, and all that goes into a movie, without the video. The audio dramas allow your imagination to stay engaged and for your brain to process and understand the story as it develops. Heirloom Audio is working to produce the novels of G.A. Henty in audio drama format and have done about 10 titles so far. We have been able to listen to all of them and have truly enjoyed each one, learning a lot about the situations, history, and people of that time.

inside set of St Bartholomew's Ever

The current production, St. Bartholomew’s Eve, begins in 1567. We find the Hugenots (French Protestants) under persecution by those in the nobility and the Catholic church. An English lad, Philip, has been sent to France by his family, and gone willingly himself, to assist those in danger and fight for what is right. He wants to assist those who are fighting for the right to worship peacefully, without terror and persecution.

Philip and Francois (his cousin) join with the Hugenots and we find them preparing for battle. They march out in battle and in the process of talking with those they are with, they find out that this persecution began over a meal. Philip is told that the Catholics were upset when the Hugenots ate meat on a Friday and sang songs that allowed all those in attendance to participate. The Catholic leaders were upset and decided that these people needed to be removed. Thus, the persecution.

In the first battle, Philip and Francois are extremely helpful and they are given awards. When Philip decries his award, saying he was doing what is right and that he was afraid while acting to save the prince, he is told that he was very brave. He questioned it and was told “Fear is what you feel; brave is what you are.” (What a wonderful quote!)

At another battle, the army is about to advance when Philip reminds them that they need to pray. In his prayer, Philip asked God to help them don His armor (quoted from the Bible – I loved that part, too!). Though they are betrayed and some of the party is captured, their hopes remain high and their faith in God is strong. At one point, when they are surrounded and all seemed lost, a young voice began singing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” All joined in and faith was bolstered, hope renewed. It was a beautiful singing of a lovely hymn.

Some high points in the story:

  • God and the ability to worship him rightly was the purpose behind the battles.
  • The song “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” was beautiful. It began and ended with a child’s voice, reminding me to have a childlike approach before God.
  • Philip mentioned more than once the “glory and duty” of worship. That is a good reminder for me.
  • The purpose of the battles was not for human glory but was rather to protect those who needed it and to secure peace, particularly in worship.

One thing to be aware of is that this is a war story. Life was not simple for them and they did have to fight to worship in peace. Some of these scenes are vivid and some of the sound effects, well, they leave little to the imagination. You may want to know this before you allow your children to listen; it may not bother you. Either way, it is definitely a battle and war story.

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As always, Heirloom Audio has brought us a rendition of a G.A. Henty novel that shows us life in another era. This is a story I am going to try to find to read now, as there is a chunk of the story that feels like it is missing. It is difficult to condense all the detail of a Henty novel into a two-hour production so there is much more to be gleaned by reading the story itself. And that also provides a great correlation to discuss with the girls.

I would love to see Heirloom Audio continue to put out their study guide curriculum to go along with their audio dramas. Those have been extremely well-done in the past and help to fill in some of the holes of the story. It also bring to light some of the details that the listener might not gather while those who worked to research and write the audio drama know them intimately. I would really like to see the guides continue to be produced alongside the audios. It was sorely missed with this production.

All in all, another wonderful production is found in St. Bartholomew’s Eve. Other productions by Heirloom Audio include (links are to our previous reviews):

Blessings,
At Home.

Please visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog by clicking on the graphic below to read about what other families thought of Heirloom Audio’s production of St. Bartholomew’s Eve.

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Brinkman Adventures Season 6 ~ a Crew review

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Having Season 6: Underground Rising, Digital version, arrive in our inbox created a lot of excitement from all three of the giggly girls. They thoroughly enjoy Brinkman Adventures and so it was a fun surprise to show the girls that we were going to get to review their newest stories.

Brinkman Adventures tells the stories of a fictional family that is involved with a number of different missionaries. Over the years, they have encountered people from all over the world serving God in varied ways. It is an audiodrama (focus on DRAMA here) and much is not true. They note that all stories are based on real people and real stories but they are dramatized, some of them quite extensively.

Season 6 includes only 6 episodes, four total stories as two of them each have two parts. The stories run about 30 minutes per episode. This season includes Dutch Underground, parts 1 and 2, Twice Born Fly, I Wonder Why, and Free Burma Rangers, parts 1 and 2.

Dutch Underground takes place during WWII. The story is narrated by the children’s great grandmother and tells of her and her husband’s participation in the Dutch Underground Resistance during the German occupation of the Netherlands. It does a very good job of showing the danger and difficulty faced by those seeking to serve God by helping those in danger.

Twice Born Fly addresses facing fears that you have and following God. In this story, one of the young boys accidentally swallows a fly and faces his fear of dying. The father helps by telling a story about a dream he had about being in prison and not being afraid when you are following the right person. This is an allegorical story and includes a lot about life in prison, including a few implied statements that were unnecessary for the actual story.

I Wonder Why is about a family who moves to India to serve in an orphanage. The daughter doesn’t understand why God would send them there and has difficulty in seeing any good. After time, changes take place (though I have a problem with the miraculous way they show this). The daughter has a changed heart and it ends with her happy to be in India.

Free Burma Rangers is about a missionary family, particularly the father. It talks about his growing up and becoming a Green Beret. Then it transitions into a mission they are on to free people in Burma, fleeing an approaching army that is causing destruction and damage to people and property. The Brinkman family are on this dangerous mission with the Free Burma Rangers.

These fictional adventures are an interesting look into lives of missionary minded people around the world. BUT, they are fictional. Names are changed to protect people but also, the episodes are written and changed to be more adventurous and dangerous in the name of entertainment.

There are a couple of places I would want to be aware of before young children listen.

  • Twice Born Fly has a large part that takes place in a prison. It is not a happy place and there is a lot of bullying and extortion that goes on in the story. It is easy to think that the father is a bad man; they do end up saying it was a dream but not until very close to the end. It is very misleading and I do not feel it was appropriate for children under about age 12. My 12 year old questioned many things, stopping it in the middle to discuss it with her older sister to make sure she understood it. Without that, she was confused.
  • I Wonder Why contained much that was “miraculous” and life is not that way for most people. The miracles that took place lead one to think that if you follow Jesus then life will be wonderful and all will be okay in the end. Even with her confidence in her own understanding of the Bible and what God tells us, my 12 year old daughter was concerned about the way the miraculous changes of heart occurred. She expressed concern that people would think that if they just said “God, please come into my heart” then their whole life would be changed and all would be well, that they would be saved. She knows that God does not promise that in the Bible so this is a concern with this particular story.
  • Also, in I Wonder Why, one of the miracles is that a child is healed miraculously from life-threatening allergies. While there is a disclaimer at the end of the recording, warning children with allergies not to just expose themselves and trust God to cure them, it is easy to miss it. (I did – my daughter informed me that I turned it off too soon since I turned it off when they began their “thanks for listening.”) If you have a child with allergies, know that this is in there and needs to be addressed prior to listening to this story.
  • There was a warning in Underground Rising, Part 2 for intense scenes but I did not feel it was necessary. I felt that the prison scenes in another story were much more likely to scare and intimidate a child.

There is much good in Brinkman Adventures and I would not stop my girls from listening to it. It opens up good discussions when they hear things they don’t believe follow God’s word and it shows them how other parts of the world live and encounter God. The view of other places and the work others do for God is wonderful and enlightening. I really like this about these stories.

This season of the Brinkman Adventures reminds us that we should know God’s Word, the Bible, and know what God actually teaches. I would cautiously recommend this season due to the content that specifically states that you can be saved just by silently saying you want God in your life. The Bible tells us differently. Even my daughters registered this issue and asked me to mention it (which I was going to do anyway).

A neat feature of Brinkman Adventures is that they are based on real people and their stories. One the Brinkman Adventures page, they have a link for the Real Stories that inspired these episodes. Please visit their website to read more about these real people who serve God around the world.

Miss L’s thoughts:
I would have liked more of the family because it makes it more relatable. I was expecting that since they have it in the other albums. It is fun to get to listen to the kids. Of Season 6, they were all okay but I didn’t really have a favorite. Two of these didn’t follow our beliefs so it was harder to relate to those.

Miss E’s thoughts:
It was a really good season. I really liked the Dutch Underground episodes because I like reading about that time period. I also really liked I Wonder Why. I enjoy the Brinkman Adventures so much because it is generally about a family that has all sorts of crazy problems. But because they are a family, they are living their life like normal and I like that. Even the things that go wrong. The only thing I didn’t like about this season is that it wasn’t really about the Brinkman family. It was more about other people and their lives, though there were a few appearances. They were in each episode in a small way but I would have liked to have more of them. Because I really like this series, I was a bit disappointed that there were only 6 episodes. But then when there were really only 4 stories, it was really disappointing.

Brinkman-Adventures-Season-Six-Discount-Coupon-Code-October-2018

DISCOUNT: Brinkman Adventures is offering a 10% discount to my readers. The code is FALL10 and is good off of purchases from their online store. The code is good from October 10 – October 31, 2018.

Blessings,
At Home.

There are many other families who have been listening to Season 6: Underground Rising. Please visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read what they have to say about these stories.

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