Monday, February 18, 2019

Mud, Mud, and MORE Mud!



Just when you think it can't get worse, it does.  This horrible wet, cold, winter can now leave, please!  We have had just too much rain/snow and not enough sunny, warm days to dry it up.  Our backyard is a soupy mess and the chickens are not happy. The above pic is from the area around the outside of my main coop.  We have tried to lay straw down but it just isn't holding up under all the mud.  Walking from the house to the coops to take care of the chickens has become an Olympic event!!  To make matters worse, we have more rain in the future forecast. So glad that the area where the chickens have their runs does not have all this mud since we have worked on building the areas in the runs up so to diminish/eliminate any flooding issues.



The other super crazy part is our weather.  It can't make its mind up.  We go from the above picture to this!


And then back to the wet soupy mud.  Ughh!!  It really gives one reason to complain!  But God says to rejoice in ALL things.  Trying to find the joy in all this mess.  I know it's in there!

Anxiously awaiting warmer weather and sunnier days.  Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.  Many blessings to you!



Friday, February 15, 2019

G.A. Henty For The Temple REVIEW



It is time again to share with you another wonderful audio drama review from Heirloom Audio. For those of you familiar with these outstanding stories from G.A. Henty, For The Temple will not disappoint you. I have done several reviews for Heirloom Audio and their productions are always astounding.  I received a physical product consisting of 2 audio cds in a trifold case.  I also received a link to download a PDF version of the study guide that goes with this story.




If you are not familiar with these audio dramas, you are in for a treat!  Heirloom Audio does such a fantastic job with their cast lineup and the quality of their radio dramas.  Of course Brian Blessed is once again in the lineup.  We never cease to be drawn into their stories.  You feel as if you are right there in the midst of the story.  The audio is so intense and the acting is phenomenal.  Some of their stories are so intense that I think they might be much for younger ears but this one was not quite as intense.  I felt it was appropriate for both my 15-year-old and my 6-year-old.  Their audio dramas are generally recommended for ages 6 and up with ages 9-15 being the key target age, especially with the boys!

The story begins as they all do with Mr. George off on an adventure of some sort.  He meets someone and then the storytelling begins.  This time it begins with spilled coffee and a request for any stories attached to his attache case.  He is in a Vienna cafe and a gentleman, Peter, walking with his coffee trips over Mr. George's attache case and accidentally spills his coffee.  Peter is an artist looking for inspiring ideas and Mr. George commences to share one of his stories with him.

The story of For The Temple is based on the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. The setting is 67 AD when the Roman empire was headed by Emperor Nero and occupied Jerusalem.  Mr. George stresses that the greater problem at the time though were the Jewish leaders. A young Jew, John of Gamala, soon to be betrothed to Mary a family friend, is one of the main characters.  His family owns a vineyard that he stands to inherit. Mary takes off in a boat and gets John to swim after her.  She rows too far out and a storm begins to carry them out to sea.  A ship comes along with Josephus as the Captain.  Josephus offers John to enter the military he leads and John decides to go.

Throughout the story, John meets many Bible characters we are familiar with such as Joab, King Agrippa, Simeon, Tiberius, and Nicodemus.  He gets training to be a warrior and participates many battles.  He ends up being a great leader of a band of warriors that have many successes.  In the end, he is captured by slave traders but manages to use a ring that Titus gave him to get out of his situation.  He does get back home safely.  He marries Mary and they begin a family.  Through his journeys, he learned of Jesus and he goes back, much to Mary's dismay, to learn more about this Jesus. I don't want to give away the details of the story, you must listen to it yourself!  As the battles ensue you will be on the edge of your seat as to what each outcome will be and how John will once again escape death.  I also like that there are some underlying themes of forgiveness, perseverance, honor, and integrity woven throughout the story.

I can't end this without mentioning the study guide.  I LOVE when they include study guides with their stories.






This is not your ordinary study guide in my opinion.  It is jam-packed with review questions and resources that allow you to immerse yourself and your students in the subject matter.  The study guide for this audio drama consists of 51 pages.  It begins with a list of the production crew and the cast. Each track on the CD matches up with a page from the study guide to cover "Listening Well," "Thinking Further," and "Defining Words."








In The Listening Well section there is a set of excellent review questions for the track just listened to.  The Thinking Further section asks your student to work a little harder and either look something up, draw conclusions, or speculate about Harry and what he is doing. The Defining Words section is an excellent way to add a language arts aspect to the study.  There is a list of vocabulary words to look up or use any way you wish. Every so often there are extra boxes that have extra information about the background of the story/characters/time.



This study guide concludes with a list of resources for further study, a bible study, and a background story with more details about the story.







I was not disappointed and I would highly recommend you check out For The Temple from Heirloom Audio if you want your kids to have an interesting and fun way to learn about history.  Be sure to check out the other reviews through the link below!  Have fun!  You can also check out my other Heirloom Audio reviews (In the Reign of Terror, Captain Bayley's Heir, Wulf the Saxon, and St. Bartholomew's Eve).

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




For The Temple {Heirloom Audio Reviews}


Crew Disclaimer

Monday, February 11, 2019

Rain, Rain, Go Away!


We have had so much rain over the past month.  I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but we have had just TOO MUCH rain.  It has rained, flooded, froze, thawed, rained more, froze more, and on and on.  It has been raining almost nonstop again since yesterday and isn't supposed to stop till about noon tomorrow!  Our ground is so saturated and our backyard is badly flooded in several spots.

The walk to the chicken yard multiple times a day has become treacherous due to the ice and/or mud depending on the temperatures. When the weather has been at and below freezing temperatures I have had to make extra trips to the coop to collect the eggs before they freeze.  So far we have only had one frozen egg I had to throw away.  Not bad when we are currently getting 12-15 eggs per day.

Enough whining.  There have been some beautiful days, but I am so ready for spring to be here!  Ready to get the garden started.  Ready for warmer, sunnier days.  May your day be blessed.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Is Spring Just Around the Corner?


The girls were enjoying our unseasonably warm weather the other morning. I always crack up at their "water cooler" chat times.  You can just imagine what they were discussing or complaining about!  You can see the crazy garden in the background in utter disarray.  Wow, got a lot to do to get it cleaned up for this year's planting!  I was sure we would get it prepared before winter but we didn't.

We have some exciting plans for the garden this year so I am excited to get started on it.  Perhaps this weekend if the weather permits.  It is still winter but I plan to take advantage of any crazy warm days when we can.  Last week we enjoyed some beautiful robins, bluebirds and a cardinal.  I have never seen so many robins in our yard at once.  It was so odd, yet very special and beautiful to see.  Based on the wildlife around here it seems that perhaps spring might arrive a little early.

We still have more cold on the horizon, but we will enjoy the next few days of warmth while we can.  How is the weather in your neck of the woods?  Have you noticed that spring seems perhaps a little early where you are too?

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