Friday, October 19, 2018

Roosters are the Bomb!

My son Sam with my buddy rooster Pepper

I know I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, "Roosters rock!"  Poor roosters get a bad rap.  If you've ever been chased or flogged by a mean/bad rooster, then you know what I mean.  I have been blessed to raise all my roosters from young chicks and I really can't imagine having a flock without them.

Baby pic of one of our young roosters, Pip
(Silkie/Olive Egger mix)

Seriously, there are definite pluses if I didn't have roosters.  There wouldn't be that LOUD crowing at ALL hours of the night and day.  The hens wouldn't have bare backs.  The hens wouldn't be harassed on a daily basis.  Things might be a little quieter in the chicken yard.  HOWEVER, I would also miss that extra level of protection from predators, the referee who breaks up silly squabbles between hens, the protector who helps keep new babies safe in the chicken yard, and finally the comedy and antics that would be missed without my roosters.

Dudley, another one of our young roosters
(Black Copper Marans/Olive Egger mix)

To clarify, yes, I have had some bad/mean roosters that I have raised from babies.  When I see that their temperament and personality is going to be less than sociable, then we don't keep them.  Mine have all gone to freezer camp and been appreciated and enjoyed on the dinner table.  I have had some that have been sweet, but harass the hens way too much and have not been the protectors they need to be.  Those have either been rehomed or put to freezer camp.

Percival (Percy), our second in command in our main coop
(Plymouth Barred Rock/Silver-Laced Wyandotte-we think- mix)

I really don't like hatching eggs for the simple reason that I know I will have to deal with rooster decisions.  I want to keep them all, but of course you can't.  As it stands right now, before our last hatch I had gotten it down to 7 roosters.  Since this past spring due to hatches and a purchase of unsexed birds from a friend of my husband, I am back up to 14 and have more decisions to make.  Four of them are pretty easy since I am completely unattached and they will simply make some good future meals.  Of the remaining 3 we still want to keep 2.  The 3rd of the 3 is a sweetheart but I have no where to rehome him so alas, he will be appreciated for the food he provides my family.  Of the two extras we want to keep, one of them is the son of a rooster we had to rehome and is no longer alive and the other has found a very special place in my heart.

Hazel, our sweet silkie roo

If all goes as planned I suspect we will end up with 9 roosters.  That is still too many for the flock we have but if they behave we might pull it off.  I have 3 separate pens.  One pen has one rooster, another has two and my main pen with most of my hens has the other six roosters.  The six roosters include our patriarch, Cedric, who is crippled and pretty much lives inside the coop now, Percival and Kristoff (brothers, Kristoff is now the main rooster), Hazel (our silkie boy who is very quiet and keeps to himself, everyone loves him), and finally our two newest Pepper and Pip (pip is the son of our other silkie roo we no longer have and Pepper has become my newest buddy).

A mix pic of some of our boys.  The top left is Sir Galahad
 that we rehomed, but he perished.
The bottom left is Sweet Pea, another one of my favorites

When you have a rooster who does his job, he can be worth his weight in gold.  The extra protection and ability to help keep peace in the flock (except when they are acting up!!), is invaluable.  Have you had positive or negative experiences with roosters?  Would you, or do you keep roosters in your flock?

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

St. Bartholomew's Eve from Heirloom Audio REVIEW

St. Bartholomew's Eve

If you haven't read any of my previous reviews on these wonderful G.A. Henty audio dramas, or if you are not familiar with these wonderful stories, then let me introduce you to Heirloom Audio who creates these wonderful audio dramas of the stories from G.A. Henty.  We were so excited to have a chance to review their newest adventure in St. Bartholomew's Eve.  I received a physical 2-disc CD set of this Christian audio drama.  It is created for ages 6-16 but recommended for all ages 6 and above.

We popped the CD into my computer and listened away at the wonderfully dramatic retelling of this sad time in history.  It was just my 9th grader and myself this time as I felt it was a little too much for my just turned 6-year-old daughter.

The story begins with Mr. George who tells a story of the Huguenots.  The Huguenots were French Protestants who followed the Reformed tradition.  The story begins in 1567 with a young English boy who would fight in the French wars of religion, only 15 years after Martin Luther introduced his ideas on the Reformation (which became the Protestant faith).  Even though the Catholic Church persecuted the Huguenots, there were some Catholics who believed as the Reformers did.

St. Bartholomew's Eve

Francois and Philip are two of the main characters throughout the story.  As they work together to join the religious wars with the Huguenots, they survive through many battles.  Several Huguenots are captured and imprisoned.  Philip meets a young boy, Argento, along the way who helps in many ways.   Argento leads Philip and his small army to key officials all of whom they capture as their prisoners.  Philip then has them sign a document that would free their imprisoned Huguenots, including Francois.

We really liked it when Philippe prays before a battle.  The enemy was almost upon them but he took the time to pray and ask for protection.  This meant a lot to my son.  The battles continued, and even children were persecuted and hung.

During one of the battles Argento is shot in the leg and a Monsieur DuBois brings Argento to Philip.  Argento heals but does have to have his lower leg amputated.  As the battles continue Admiral Gaspard de Coligny comes to their aid with his army.  After Francois and Philip are injured in a battle,  Admiral Coligny grants knighthood to Francois and Philip.

King Charles' mother, Catherine, starts a rumor that the Huguenots have a plot to overtake the court, and it spreads to King Charles.  Even though King Charles had promised peace, they convince him to strike against the Huguenots.  He orders Admiral Coligny and his forces to be annihilated.  So many Huguenots lost their lives.  Philip loses Francois but Argento survives.  Philip continues to fight for the cause and marries Claire and they have two children.  It is a wonderful story of persistence, faith, and sacrifice.  So many lost their lives to stand for their cause and belief in God and that they could interpret what God had to say to them through the scriptures and that they did not need a mediator (the Catholic Church) to dictate it to them.

It goes without saying that we wholeheartedly recommend you check out St. Bartholomew's Eve from Heirloom Audio.  It will keep you on the edge of your seats while teaching you yet another important story from our history.

Heirloom Audio Productions
You can connect with Heirloom Audio on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, and INSTAGRAM (@HeirloomAudioOfficial).

Please be sure to also check out what my fellow crew members have to say about this wonderful resource.

St. Bartholomew's Eve {Heirloom Audio Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, October 12, 2018

Another Brinkman Adventures REVIEW

Underground Rising Season 6 Brinkman Adventures
I don't think it needs much introduction but in case you haven't seen my previous reviews let me introduce you to Brinkman Adventures.  This company produces wonderful, fact-based audio dramas that allow you and your kids to enjoy exciting and intriguing experiences with real-life missionaries through the stories of a fictitious family, the Brinkmans.  I had the privilege once again to review one of their newest products, Season 6: Underground Rising.  I received a digital copy of this audio drama.  It was quick and easy to download.  If you purchase the physical CDs there are 2 in this set.

Season 6 opens during World War II in a time when the Nazis were persecuting the Jews.  It contains six approximately twenty-six-minute episodes (a little over 2 1/2 hours total). The stories are based on biblical themes that your children can learn from while enjoying them. They are fun and exciting to listen to. The audio and dramatic effects are wonderful.  You definitely feel immersed in the story.  Each episode can be listened to independently (except for those with two parts) and in any order you choose.

The episodes and their related themes include:
  • Dutch Underground Part 1 - Help those being led away to slaughter, even when doing so is costly.
  • Dutch Underground Part 2
  • Twice Born Fly - We don't need to fear death with Jesus as our Savior.
  • I Wonder Why - We obey God even when the plan doesn't make sense.
  • Free Burma Rangers Part 1 - God uniquely prepares us for our mission.  God isn't a killjoy.
  • Free Burma Rangers Part 2

The Dutch Underground story begins with Kate and Kitri Brinkman visiting their great grandmother Lynn VanKesteren (Omie) in Canada. Lynn was born in Holland and immigrated to Canada.  This story is based on a book written by Lynn (Great is Thy Faithfulness).  They begin by enjoying coffee and cookies with Omie.  Omie tells the girls a story of her past during the war before she met her husband.  We really liked this story because it reminded my son of the Harriet Tubman story and we have also covered Corie Ten Boom and the Hiding Place so this brought back to remembrance of that story for him.  It was neat to learn in the REAL STORIES section of the website that Reng most likely stayed in the same place as Corie Ten Boom at one point!

In Twice Born Fly Charlie accidentally swallows (inhales) a fly and has cause for fear. He goes to his dad for assurance that he will be okay.  They discuss a trip Charlie is getting ready to take to visit his Oma.  He now has fear about the trip and whether everything will be okay.  But his dad tries to assure him that with Jesus he will be okay no matter what happens.  I really like the theme behind this story and that "Jesus saves us, not our own goodness or efforts."  The science aspect of the fly larva pupating had my son's interest at the get go.

I Wonder Why is a story about the Wonder family and their decision to sell most of their possessions and go to be missionaries in India at an orphanage there.  The characters in the story are Samantha (Sam) and her family.  Her mom recently lost a baby and her dad explains that "all things work together for good to them who love the Lord."   It has a glorious ending of salvation and healing!  We really resonated with this story because we fostered kids for about 6 years and it was pretty difficult on our son.  He experienced a lot of rough kids too that were not very kind, but needed love more than anyone.

Finally, in Free Burma Rangers we learn about the real-life missionary Dave Eubanks and his life as a Green Beret in the Special Forces. The story opens in Burma (Myanmar) (his parents are missionaries) with Dave telling his mom he is going to be a soldier and then a missionary.  There are some intense scenes so you might need to preview this one as it may not be appropriate for those 10 and under.  I really liked this story and it has so much depth to it, including his courtship of his wife Karen.  It really shows how persistence can pay off and that when you seek God and ask him for direction, he will surely direct your paths!!

Brinkman Adventures
  I highly recommend you consider purchasing Season 6: Underground Rising from Brinkman Adventures.  You can go to their website and check out the information about the real stories and hear podcasts of the actual people and watch videos about the stories on the REAL STORIES tab.  I have also been given a coupon code, FALL10, for you to use for 10% off of your purchase from October 10 - October 31!

You can connect with Brinkman Adventures on FACEBOOK.  Also be sure to check out what other reviewers are saying by clicking on the link below.

Brinkman Adventures Season 6 Reviews
Crew Disclaimer
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