Saturday, September 30, 2017

Chicken Updates


The little pipsqueaks are growing!  They are the cutest.  I can never get a good picture of them because they will NOT sit still!  They are constantly moving and when they see me with the camera they really run!  They DO NOT like their picture taken.  Silly things.  You can start to see the pretty speckles on the Speckled Sussex chicks.

The mystery chick just might be a Rhode Island Red?  Time will tell.  I had purchased 2 buffs but one is definitely NOT a buff.  You can see her in the picture above.  She has LOTS of coloring and speckling on her wings.  At first, I thought ISA Brown, then possibly Rhode Island.  I'm leaning more Rhode Island, but time will tell.  It's so hard when they are so little and their appearances change SO FAST!  It's amazing how on some you would NEVER know that is what they looked like when they were younger.  Even as they grow through stages they sometimes look like completely different chickens.  If you saw a timeline of pictures of some breeds you would swear you were looking at completely different chickens.

UPDATE on Misty Dawn:  She has perked up.  Something is still off and not right with her but she is eating, drinking and pooping.  She hasn't laid an egg since she came in and I'm pretty sure she was the one laying an egg a day because I haven't had ANY eggs in the coop like the one that I am sure is hers.

We are certainly enjoying the cooler weather right now, especially in the evenings.  Fall has finally come.  Spring and fall are my favorite times of the year.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Captain Bayley's Heir REVIEW

Captain Bayley's Heir
Heirloom Audio Productions has done it again with their most recent audio drama Captain Bailey's Heir.  We were so happy to be able to review another one of their wonderful G.A. Henty adventures.  The kids really liked our last review of In the Reign of Terror and this one did not disappoint either.

The story, as usual, covers adventures from history.  This time it's about America's gold rush in California.  The drama opens with Mr. George writing to Ned and Gerald about his adventure in America. He tells them of a recent train trip where he meets two boys, Vincent and Dan whom he tells the story of General Robert E. Lee.

He's headed to the gold fields of California to research for his next book, Captain Bayley's Heir.  Before the story really begins he already experiences narrowly escaping a herd of stampeding buffalo!  He strikes up a conversation with his driver, Frank and that's where the story begins.  It opens in England and introduces a young man, Frank, and a young girl he fancies, Alice.  Alice is a Christian and Frank is not. They both live on the estate of Captain Harold Bayley.

We soon meet more characters.  Harry is a crippled boy who plays wonderful music and he has a dog named Flossy.  His mother, Mrs. Hall is a sweet, jovial lady.  The story takes off with Frank rescuing Harry's dog, Flossy, from drowning in the frozen lake.  We also soon meet Mr. Hall.  We also find out that Captain Bayley had an estranged daughter by the name of Ella who had gotten married to a gentleman by the name of Patrick.  Part of the story of his daughter is revealed at this point but is revisited again later toward the end of the story.

Frank attends a local private school whose headmaster is a Dr. Litter.  Frank is later accused of stealing and was scheduled to be expelled from school when he escapes and runs away to America to try to prove his innocence.  We have already learned in the story what an upright character he is so there is much turmoil as to if he is innocent or not.


Heirloom Audio Productions

Once in America, he experiences more adventures and ends up migrating to California and becomes part of the gold rush experience there.  While he is in America there are still adventures back in England with Alice and Captain Bayley and Harry.  Captain Bayley finds out that Harry is actually his grandson and  Alice never gives up on Franks innocence.

Once the gold rush experience comes to an end for Frank, he asks his friend who is headed back to England to inquire of Alice.  Frank gives him specific instructions based on whether he thinks Alice believes Frank is innocent or not.  Frank doesn't hear back and assumes the worst.  Meanwhile, Frank ends up getting involved in a shootout.

You must get this audio drama to find out what happens to Frank.  Does he survive the attack?  Does he ever get reconciled to Alice?  What becomes of Harry and Captain Bayley?  How do Mr. and Mrs. Hall take finding out that their "son" is Captain Bayley's grandson?  You'll be on the edge of your seat as you listen to Mr. George experience stampeding buffalo and an Indian attack.  There is never a dull moment in these dramas and the storylines always keep you engaged.

A HUGE plus to the resources at Heirloom Audio Productions is their study guides that they have available for each of their audio productions.  You must become a member of the Live the Adventure Club to access the additional resources but it is so worth it! We used the study guide for Captain Bayley's Heir and it really helped the kids to get so much more out of the story.  Not only does it include questions about each track but also causes them to think more in the Thinking Further question section.  The study guides also include extra information about the story and have Defining Words for each track also.  This can be used in many ways to expand their vocabulary.  I REALLY like the study guides and will now use them whenever we listen to these audio dramas in the future.  It causes you to get SO MUCH more out of the story and history covered. Please read more about this important resource in my previous review of In the Reign of Terror.




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

Please take the time to check out the reviews from my fellow Crew Review members.  You will not regret your purchase should you choose to get Captain Bayley's Heir or any of their other wonderful audio dramas.


Captain Bayley's Heir {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Misty Dawn is sick


We are sad today.  My son's favorite pet hen is sick.  We don't know what is wrong with her.  It could be old age.  She is only 3 1/2 years old (she will be 4 in January.  She is an Amber Link which is a production layer so it could be old age.  We have her inside pampering her.  She got a bath and some special food to help her feel better.  Her comb is of good color but droopy.  All else seems fine and doesn't appear to be egg-related or respiratory.  We will see how the day goes.  We will love her and spoil her and hope for the best.  It's a time game now.  Hopefully she will perk up and pull out of it.  it has been a bad year of losing hens this year.  I guess that's what happens after 4 years for some.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Let's Go Geography REVIEW

Let's Go Geography


If you are in the market for a good geography program then look no further than Let's Go Geography.  This hands-on fun homeschool geography curriculum is a hit with my crew.  I was excited to get a chance to review this product. It is written for K-4th graders but my 7th and 8th graders are also enjoying it.  The program is based on a membership option that can be purchased for the year (36 weeks) or by the semester (18 weeks).  It is an online program (you do need internet access) that works best when the modules are downloaded to your computer. You will need paper and a binder for your optional Travel Journal (Bonus Travel Journal covers are available as a free download when you sign up).


Travel Journal binder
Inside Travel Journal




This Charlotte Mason type curriculum is a wonderful way to learn this subject.  The program covers a country per week (30 per year) with a proposed 3-year curriculum (not EVERY country will be covered). You can start at any time during the year since each country (week) is a stand-alone product.  If you choose to start at the beginning of the school year you can submit your email to them and they will remind you to sign up before the school year begins.  I also really like that you have the option to get a weekly email reminding you to download the upcoming week's lesson.


Let's Go Geography
A typical week of lessons consist of: 
  • coloring your map
  • coloring, cutting out and pasting your flag
  • enjoying the music links provided
  • exploring and using the "sightseeing" links provided
  • coloring and making the craft
  • placing provided scrapbook pictures in your journal (optional)
  • writing in your travel journal what you learned (optional)
Flag page

I also have my crew complete the writing project each week on Friday which entails them writing about what they have learned for the week on the included journaling page from each lesson.

Featured craft for Hawaii

My older kids are just loving the coloring part.  They each have a heavier load this year and math has been taxing on both of them.  They enjoy the downtime to have some fun and that they are required to do some coloring.  While the lesson plan itself is geared for a younger crowd the information covered and learned through the provided links has been wonderful.  We are having fun exploring new lands and learning so many interesting facts about the different countries.  Did you know that even though Hawaii consists of 8 major islands there are in fact 137 islands?!!  Who knew?


I appreciate the optional library information for digging deeper into each topic covered.  Having all the links and information needed to enjoy a complete study of each country made this curriculum very user-friendly.  It was mentioned by fellow crew members that if they came across an expired or non-working link that the author was quick to fix it and offer any alternatives necessary.

Library info

Another fun activity that the kids enjoyed was making their passports.  There was opposition at first about pictures being taken, but once the protester saw the completed project they thought it was pretty cool.  We glue the country flag on the appropriate country page in the passport.


Proud of their journals and passports




We are keeping the pace just fine at one country per week and find it very doable.  We cover a lot of information, but it is far from overwhelming since we do just a little every day (you can easily choose to do geography on just one day a week and still keep this pace).  Each lesson for the day generally only takes about 6 to 15 minutes to complete.  We spend a little more time on some of it when we really get into researching some of the information available.  While it is written for K-4th grade my K4 student is really only interested in the coloring, videos, and activities.  When we read about or talk about the more in-depth material, she just colors.  I know that just by listening she is still learning. 

Continent Coloring Pages available as a free download

 The schedule allows for a break week at weeks 9, 18, 27, and 36.  No assignments are scheduled for those weeks and can be used as catch-up time if necessary.  Reviews (each covering 2 continents) are scheduled at weeks 12, 24, and 34 with a final review at week 35.  The final review looks like a lot of fun and covers games and an age-appropriate project souvenir for the kids to make and keep.  The project consists of printable pages that have fill-in-the-blanks that review what they have learned and a nice packet to create to hold it all in.


Coloring in her Continent Coloring Pages

Music link


The best part of all, besides the wonderful information learned, is that your subscription covers your family.  You can print out as many copies as you need for your students, it is not for just one.  It is a VERY affordable program at just $21.99 per year.  You can even break that into two payments of $12.99 (for an annual subscription) if you need to or one payment of $14.99 for only one semester.  What's even better is that if you are ready to purchase now they have 25% off coupon codes available right now.  I think the Let's Go Geography curriculum is a great fit for my crew and we recommend it if you want to learn more about our world and where to find what you are looking for on a world map.


Let's Go Geography


You can connect with Let's Go Geography on FACEBOOK and PINTEREST.

Take some time to also read about what my fellow Review Crew members think of this curriculum at the link below.  Happy Trekking!


Let’s Go Geography {Reviews}


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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Imagine. . . The Great Flood Book REVIEW


We are on a read aloud roll around here lately and were so happy to be able to add another great book to our library.  Imagine. . . The Great Flood by Matt Koceich from Barbour Publishing was enjoyed greatly by my 7th and 8th graders.  It is a nice, short, simple Middle Grade Fiction chapter book suitable for ages 8-12.  It consists of 15 chapters in 110 pages.  This is the first Bible Adventure book in the Imagine Series.  The author is a schoolteacher and missionary.



  IMAGINE... The Great Flood
Ten-year-old Corey is our main character who embarks on an adventure of a lifetime.  Imagine being part of history and getting to know Noah and his sons and see what Noah's Ark was all about in person!  Corey's family is getting ready to move from Texas to Florida.  Corey is not happy that he will be leaving everything he knows and all his friends.  His mom tries to convince him that God has a plan for them and things will work out but Corey is not buying it.  He takes his dog Molly on a walk to the park.  His mom continues to try to explain to him that God is in charge.

Corey does see that analogy between trusting in God and his dog Molly trusting him to lead and guide her through any and all danger.  It is getting ready to storm outside and as he chases Molly in the park he ends up falling and hitting his head. When he wakes up his mother and Molly are nowhere to be found and he finds that he has been transported back to 2400 BC in Mesopotamia!  He is faced with two lions and asks God for mercy in this situation. It is at this moment he meets Shem! Yes, Shem from the bible.  Shem, Noah's son.  Yes, Noah from Noah's Ark! Shem explains that things are different and the animals are not fierce.

Shem also introduces Corey to his brothers, Ham and Japheth and later his dad, Noah.  Shem warns Corey about the Nephilim, the giant hulk like superhuman creatures that are out to get them.  The Nephilim are huge, about 10 feet tall, and they carry large swords!  This story keeps you on the edge of your seat as you follow Corey battle it out with the Nephilim over and over.  He remembers his mom's words, "Rely on God, Rely on Him, Corey. He never changes." 

God has a plan.  His plan is that Noah and his sons preserve a remnant and the Nephilim will do whatever it takes to stop that plan from happening.  Corey misses his mom and just wants to go home.  He still doesn't understand how he even got to where he is. After Shem talks to Corey about God being a promise keeper and the importance of trusting in Him, Corey starts to realize that maybe his family's move to Florida was indeed in God's plan for their life.  Shem also reminds Corey that we must be obedient to God and not lose our faith in Him.

We soon meet Ardad who seems to be a friend to Noah and his sons.  Ardad is able to communicate with the Nephilim.  They ask Ardad to try to keep the Nephilim away from them as they complete the ark.  Ardad mentions the help of Elizar (whose name means The One Who Deceives) who is a sorcerer of some sort, but Shem declines his help.

As the story progresses and the Nephilim continue to attack, Corey comes to many realizations that relate to what he is experiencing.  He begins to see the "big picture" and that God really is in control and that if he puts his trust in Him, things will work out one way or the other.  With no weapons to fight the Nephilim Corey realizes that he must rely on prayer.

When Corey finds himself in a tight spot Elizar appears and offers to help.  He assures Corey that he is the answer and can control the Nephilim.  Thankfully Corey realizes that Elizar is not the answer and that relying on God is his only hope.  Elizar reminds me of when satan was tempting Jesus.  He keeps telling Corey that he has the answers and can even get him back home.  Just when Corey is about to accept Elizar's offer, Ardad steps in and interrupts him.  Corey trusts Ardad to get him to safety but soon finds out that he too betrays him and turns him back over to Elizar and the Nephilim.

Corey finds himself thrown into a well with no way out.  The flood is coming and his death is inevitable. In his deperation he realizes that only God has the answers and he cries out to Him for forgiveness and for Him to save him from his mess.  He remembers a story his Grandpa told him of the power of forgiveness.

The story is full of excitement and drama.  My kids (7th and 8th grade) really enjoyed it and hated the cliffhangers when we would stop reading for the day.  It will keep you wondering and guessing as to what Corey's fate will be.  Does he survive the Nephilim?  Will he be rescued?  Does he get to go back home? Will he ever see Molly and his mother again?  I encourage you to pick up a copy of this Christian Fiction for Kids book for your homeschool reading collection.  We really enjoyed reading Imagine. . . The Great Flood, a great Kids Fiction book.  It is a good reminder of the power of God and forgiveness, the importance of trusting in Him, and that He does indeed order our steps.  Corey learns a lot of valuable lessons that your kids can understand as he carries you through his harrowing story. It's a great example of Bible Stories for Kids.


Barbour Publishing
You can connect with Barbour Publishing on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and YOUTUBE.

Please be sure to check out the other reviews.  See banner below.

Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich {Barbour Publishing}
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

She's a Momma Again!


Oh boy!  Here we go again!  Silly mom who hatched out the 3 boys we have now decided it was time to sit again.  Sad thing is that I still don't have fertile eggs!  Ended up picking up 2 more buffs and 4 speckled sussex!!  I was SO, SO excited!  I really wanted to try some speckled sussex and there they were!  I am only keeping 2 (speckled sussex) and the other 4 are going to a friend.  Mom needed some babies to raise and this worked out just great.  She is such a good mom.  Babies are happy and healthy and oh so happy to have a mom :)  Be watching for more baby pic and updates in the future.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Carole P. Roman Book REVIEW


Our family always likes a good read aloud book so we were happy to have a  chance to review some books from award winning author Carole P. Roman.  The books we received were If You Were Me and Lived in . . . the Middle Ages, If You Were Me and Live in . . . the Mayan Empire, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis, and Oh Susannah: It's in the bag.  We were asked to choose two books and then the author sent two books of her choice.  I only received one of the two I chose but the other book that arrived was just as good (just not what we were wanting to learn about at this time).

Books by Carole P Roman


We really enjoyed If You Were Me and Lived in . . . the Middle Ages.  This book that was a good follow up to our study of the Middle Ages. We actually learned a few more things from this book.  Did you know it was not unusual for your sibling to join the church as a priest or nun, or to train to be a knight, or to be sent off (if you were a boy) at the age of 7 to live with a noble family to allow you to learn new things and make important friendships for your family? If you were a girl you might be having your marriage arranged for you at the age of 13 to an older man (my 7th grader did NOT find this amusing).  It gives more detail about the everyday life of a person who lived in the Middle Ages.  The story is told from the perspective of a young girl who lived in a family with a father, step-mother, brothers, sisters, and step-brothers and sisters.  Her family was a little higher in ranks than just a peasant so she did enjoy some extra privileges that others didn't.  She enjoyed a better menu to eat and a more distinguished place to eat at the table among many other things.



I also really like the extras this book provides for readers.  Unfamiliar or difficult words have a phonetic spelling included in parentheses. This even helped me on some of the words!  At the end of the book, there is a section listing famous people from the Middle Ages with mini-bios of each person listed.  The book concludes with a fairly extensive glossary.

There are several other books available from this If You Were Me and Lived In . . . Historical series of books that include Ancient China, Ancient Greece, the Ancient Mali Empire, the Amerian West, Colonial America, Elizabethan England, the Mayan Empire (see below), Renaissance Italy, and Viking Europe. This series is recommended for ages 8-15 but also works as a great read aloud for the younger crowd to be introduced into fascinating historical information in a fun story format with interesting illustrations. If you want to learn more about what it was like to live in the Middle Ages including types of occupations, what kinds of food were eaten, what type of clothing was worn and what people generally did, then this series is one you will want to include in your reading.

Books by Carole P Roman


The second book we received was supposed to be the one about Colonial America but we received If You Were Me and Lived in . . . the Mayan Empire instead.  This is another book in the same series as the one above.  This book has a different illustrator with different style graphics that are still interesting to the reader.  Maps are also included in this book.  The format is similar with phonetic spellings, a section at the end that includes famous names in the Mayan culture, and finally a glossary. I would not have initially chosen this book but it has some interesting history.  Did you know that employment was hereditary and that you could not change your job to improve your life?  Your job stayed the same for all your life. Whatever occupation your father had was the trade for your entire family from generation to generation.  Mayan women could not own land so if there were no boys born in the family they would eventually become landless.  You'll have to get the book to learn more about this interesting culture.

Books by Carole P Roman


Books by Carole P Roman


The extra two books I received were Oh Susannah: It's in the bag and Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis.  The Oh Susannah book is the first in another series she has (currently only two books in the series).  It is a nice, small, simple chapter book written for ages 7-12.  Susannah has a series of challenges that she does not want to deal with like unfinished homework, a banana she doesn't want to eat, books that she didn't really want to read, and many more funny issues.  In the end, she realizes with the help of her parents that communicating is key and help is always there.  Make sure you get this book to find out how overcomes being so overwhelmed by her mess.

Oh Susannah chapter book
Cute illustrations from Captain No Beard
Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis is from the Captain No Beard series written for ages 3-8.  It is a whimsical, fun series that covers subjects such as bullying, stranger danger, and sharing to name a few.  Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis is about stealing.  The pirates on board the ship know that stealing is wrong, but they must convince the Captain of this. Read this book to find out how they convince that Captain that the Aurora Borealis is what it is because of where it is and that taking things that don't belong to you is not right.  Read to find out their creative solution to enjoying the Aurora Borealis at home.
Carole P Roman Blog
We really enjoyed these books and I like Carole's writing style.  I encourage you to check out the other series that she has and follow the banner below to see what other Crew Review members have to say about the other books and series.

Carole P Roman


You can connect with Carole on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, and GOOD READS.


Oh Susannah, Bedtime Stories, Captain No Beard, If you were Me ... {Carole P. Roman Reviews}


Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The "Frenchies" Black Copper Marans



About 2 months ago or so I added 3 Black Copper Marans pullets to our flock.  They are so beautiful but mine are also pretty bossy and flighty.  Part of it is no doubt because we did not raise them ourselves from chicks.  They were already about 2 months old or so when we got them.  They are supposed to lay gorgeous dark chocolate tinted eggs. Most will not lay that dark of an egg but they sure are a pretty color.  I'm pretty sure at least two of mine are currently laying.  I hope their eggs get a little darker, but here is a sample of the darkest one we have been getting.


Can't wait till our Easter Eggers start laying next spring.  What's in your egg basket these days?

Friday, September 8, 2017

Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract REVIEW


Need a good idea for something different for a Halloween Tract this October?  Let the Little Children Come may have just the answer with their Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract.  These can be used in so many ways from passing out at your door, during a trunk or treat event, at a youth event or even to your preschool or elementary group to encourage them to share the Gospel message with a friend.



Let the Little Children Come Halloween Tract

These cute little 3D tracts come in a package of 20 sheets (20 pumpkins).  The little pumpkins are easily assembled with the included instructions.  They are quick and easy to use. You simply assemble and stuff with candy or goodie of your choice.  They can easily hold 6 - 8 pieces of small candy (more or less depending on size and type of candy).  The paper is a light cardboard type that is durable enough to assemble and hold the candy just fine.  The pumpkin is precut and easily punches out and the slots that are needed to put it together are all pre-punched also.



I really like that they are interesting, catch your eye, and have a Gospel message inside to boot!  The kids will be attracted to the shape and candy.  When they disassemble the pumpkin to retrieve their candy they will see the wonderful Gospel message shared with them.  The message is numbered and multicolored for more visual attraction.




Let the Little Children Come Halloween Tract
Let the Little Children Come Halloween Tract
Let the Little Children Come Halloween Tract
As the recipient reads through the message they will be walked through the plan of salvation that ends in a prayer to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Putting these together is a fun activity for your kids to participate in.  There are so many ways they can be used.  We plan to use ours at our trunk or treat event that our church hosts each year.  If you are looking for a neat alternative to a Halloween Tract, then I recommend that you check out Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract from Let the Little Children Come.


Let the Little Children Come
You can connect with Let the Little Children Come on FACEBOOK.

See what my fellow Crew Review members also have to say about these neat little evangelism tools.


Is There Anything Better Than Candy?  {Let The Little Children Come Reviews}


Crew Disclaimer
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