Thursday, October 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #174: October 19, 2017

Welcome back to... 


I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around October 19th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Last year I focused solely on recipe posts for the posts I wanted to share, and the year before that, I shared past review posts. It was fun remembering some of the recipes and reviews I had forgotten about. This year I will be sharing random posts.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)


Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above if you would like your post to qualify for the Featured Post. Most weeks I find that there is a wonderful post, but I can't feature it because it is a current post, not from the past. I love reading the current posts, if you want to share them. However, I am not able to feature them, because the spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Originally posted October 20, 2015
Littles Learning Link Up: Pumpkin Fun Round Up


Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Jen from A Helping Hand Homeschool shared The Importance of Truly Teaching.


To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Throwback Thursday Blog-Style permalink please.



Happy Throwback Thursday!


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: October 18, 2017 (w/linky) : Skating

We went skating with our homeschool group last Friday.



Aren't these nifty? I've never seen them before. So helpful for little ones to gain confidence!!











Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button on your Wordless Wednesday post or in a list of Wordless Wednesday linkies. Just link it to my Wordless Wednesday permalink please.



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Littles Learning Link Up: October 17, 2017


 Each month you will find:
  • A seasonal round-up (usually toward the beginning of the month)
  • Posts where I share what I have been up to with my early elementary children and the preschoolers in my co-op class (including occasional highlight posts where I share how we used ideas that have been linked up here on Littles Learning Link Up).
Each week, I will host a link up, where you can share either what you have been up to recently, or old posts that may go with the theme.  Feel free to link up more than one post.

Each week I will continue to feature a couple of posts from those that have been linked up. 

I hope you will continue to share your wonderful posts, and I hope you will find something new to try with your child(ren).

It would be great for everyone to stop by and visit the other linked-up posts as well. Check them out, leave some comments, pin those that interest you. Let's make this a real party and socialize with each other.

What have we been up to?

Last week was our first week long break this school year. We have lessons for 5-6 weeks and then take a full week off. When I was looking at my schedule the weekend before last week, I couldn't believe it was already time to take a week off. We could have gone another week, but then we would have only had 4 weeks of school before having to take off for Thanksgiving. 

We had a nice relaxing week. I was able to work on my two reviews without having to worry about "neglecting" school. We also didn't have co-op last week, as there was something going on at the camp where we meet. So, I don't have a craft to share. 

I would however like to share the fun pictures the children and I made while playing this fun card game I acquired several years ago called Pick and Draw. I may have to share more about this game later on in its own post. The children were trying to find a way to keep quiet and busy while I was working on my last review, and they pulled the game off the shelf. They were having such fun, we played again that evening so I could play too.

Here's the two I made:


Amelia's:


Harold's:


When I find Tabitha's and Hannah's I will add them to the post. 

Let's take a look at that review schedule real quick:

Last week I posted my reviews for CTCMath and Brinkman Adventures Season 4. I only have two more reviews for the Crew this year. In November I will be sharing my reviews of The Pencil Grip's Thin Stix Creativity Pack and The Magic Stories. I can't believe our Crew year is already coming to a close for 2017. Speaking of which, if you are a homeschooler who also actively blogs, the Crew just recently opened up applications for the 2018 Crew year. Stop by the Homeschool Review Crew blog to check it out.

Some things I would like to share with you:

Those autumn leaves are falling down. If you are looking for some ideas that focus on fall leaves, I invite you to check out my Fall Leaves All Around Round Up:


And pumpkins are popping up all around. Though we don't celebrate Halloween, I do love pumpkins. A couple of years ago I posted my Pumpkin Fun Round Up.


Finally, as it is Fire Safety Month, don't forget to check out my Focusing on Fire Safety Round Up


Now onto:
Littles Learning Link Up Features

On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 7 wonderful posts linked up. I will be picking one randomly selected post to share, plus the top clicked-on post.  

Please, don't forget to stop by other posts that are linked up. See what catches your eye, stop by, pin the post to a relevant board, and perhaps leave a comment to let the author of the blog know you have been by for a visit. I know I appreciate others commenting and letting me know they have read my posts, so I am sure others do too.

This week's randomly selected post is:


Crystal from Crystal & Co. shared Preschool Mouse Craft Using Cupcake Liners.

And here is this week's top clicked on post.


Grandma Edie from Homeschool 4 Life shared The Sounds of A-Z Alphabet Books - Grandma's Reading Corner

Join the Party!

I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your young children? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on one of my relevant boards, and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up.

Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our school time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your child, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Monday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Littles Learning Link Up permalink please.






Monday, October 16, 2017

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- October 17, 2017


Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.
Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Fun Fiction Friday - October 13, 2017

Fun Fiction Friday
October 13th, 2017

Welcome back to Fun Fiction Friday. 

In my Fun Fiction Friday I share the books the older girls and I are reading, and a short review of a Young Adult or Juvenile book I have finished, if applicable. I will also ask the girls to tell me something they would like to share about at least one of the books they are currently reading.

I was able to finish The Uncloaked by J. Rodes. You can find my review at the end of this post.


These are the three main books on my "To Be Read" pile.


I took The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer back out of the library. But then I ended up starting Generation One by Pittacus Lore after all. I have no clue when the next book in this new series will be out, but I am looking forward to it. Not quite the same as the original I am Number Four series, but still a page-turning, action-filled quick read. I also started The Testing by Joelle Charbonneu, but set it aside to finish The Uncloaked. That one is quite intriguing too. Wish it was still summer so I had more time to read. We have a long trip coming up on Monday, maybe I will have a chance to read. 

I still have these Novella compilations from the I Am Number Four series out from the library. I actually forgot about it until I was writing this post. I'll get to them eventually. 


Moving on...

We are still reading All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor and The Tanglewoods' Secret by Patricia St. John. All-of-a-Kind Family is a book that was listed in our My Father's World Creation to the Greeks Teacher Manual. We are learning about the Jewish feasts this year and this book includes several chapters in which the family celebrates the Jewish feasts. It is set in the early 1900's in NYC. The Tanglewoods Secret is another scheduled read aloud in our curriculum, however, it is not really connected to the lessons we are reading. So far the children and I are enjoying both of these books.


Tabitha finished The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis, and is now reading Prince Caspian.


Tabitha's thoughts on The Horse and His Boy:

The story is about a boy named Shasta who was about to be sold by his "father." Not really his father, but a fisherman who took him in when he was a baby. Shasta discovered a talking horse whose name was too hard for him to pronounce, so he just called him Bree. Bree is a horse from Narnia. He was going to take Shasta to Narnia to keep him safe.

On their way to Narnia they meet another talking horse and a girl rider. They are both girls. It was during a lion chase. Now during their adventure they run into this lion a couple different times.

They had a lot of adventure on their way to Narnia. They stopped in a city and Shasta met a prince. This prince looked a lot like him and the book tells us something interesting about him later on (no spoilers). I had a suspicion about what happens later on, and I was right. 

I really liked this book because it was full of adventure. I am also enjoying all the Narnia books.

Amelia is trying to make her way through Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Plus she is finally finishing up Voyage with the Vikings.


In this book Harry Potter goes to see the World Cup with the Weasley's, after seeing Dudley's tongue grow with Ton Tongue Toffee. When he gets to the campsite type thing where they find out that the reception type guy is a muggle. He said that someone tried to give him wizard money, but he didn't call it wizard money, he called it gold coins. 

Don't forget to check out my reviews of the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls books (books 1 and 2) by M.J. Thomas and Imagine . . . The Great Flood by Matt Koceich.


Fun Fiction Friday
Book Review

The Uncloaked by J. Rodes is the first book in a young adult Christian dystopian trilogy. I have enjoyed other dystopian series in the past, and was intrigued by the fact that this one is a Christian book. 


In this story, a pastor's son, Braxton Luther is close friends with a girl named Eliza. She is a much stronger Christian who believes that persecution is on its way with the new party coming to power. It appears that this America is struggling because of a past war, though I didn't quite understand what exactly had gone on in the past to make America the way it was in the present. Somehow it had to do with religion, which is why there was persecution coming for those who clung to religious beliefs. In the America that was shown at the beginning of the book it appears that circumstances are quite unequal for different classes of people and there is a huge push for this new Progressive Party to come in and make everything equal. That is, unless you refuse to give up your religious beliefs. 

Braxton thought Eliza, along with his father, were getting all bent out of shape for nothing. However the Progressive Party nominee then wins the presidency and things begin to change drastically in what seems to be just a few month's time. It becomes harder and harder for those who refuse to go along with the Party to even go about their day to day business. People are thrown out of homes and businesses, they don't have enough food to eat, they are getting beaten and sent to some sort of reformation camp. 

Braxton can't understand why it would be so wrong to just SAY they were going along with the party so they can eat and live their lives without fear of persecution. Both his and Eliza's family end up facing a lot of persecution, and he ends up pledging and taking the "seal" in an attempt to save them, which he ends up realizing was a foolish thing to do. Though now it appears he is one of the cloaked, instead of the uncloaked, as he is in with the Party, but is helping those who are still resisting. 

The book ended quite abruptly and now I just have to get my hands on the next book to see what happens next.

I did enjoy the book, but I don't think it is one I will pick up again soon to reread. There is a LOT of violence in the book, some quite graphic as far as I am concerned, especially the scene of Braxton's father being tortured and killed. Though sexual depravity is hinted at, there is nothing graphic, for which I was thankful. 

Frankly, I fluctuate between feeling sorry for Braxton and wanting to shake him. His father didn't treat him the best, and this is one of the reasons he fought so hard against his father's beliefs and didn't see why it was so wrong to join the Party, even if it was done superficially. At the same time, he seemed to keep making rash decisions and was all "woe is me" way too much. I don't know. I want to read the next book to see how it is going to play out. I am hoping he becomes a strong Christian in this fight against the Party. Because as of right now, all the strong Christians are suffering and there doesn't seem to be any hope for them, the Party is winning and sin is rampant. 

Definitely NOT a book for young children. Some of the scenes I wouldn't want my teenagers reading. Though it is quite short, so doesn't quite feel like an adult book, esp because the main characters are teens. Though there are almost 300 pages in the book, they are quite short pages. 

I'm sharing over at:

What to Read Wednesday

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Exciting Missionary Drama with The Brinkman Adventures {A TOS Review}


I have mentioned time and again that our family really enjoys listening to audio dramas. The third season of Brinkman Adventures is one of the products that we really enjoyed reviewing a couple of years ago, and we still listen to it from time to time. So, yes, we were thrilled when we found out we were going to get to review Brinkman Adventures Season 4. When our CD set came in the mail we were all set to be entertained and amazed by 12 all-new fictionalized stories of real life happenings showing God's amazing power.  And this season didn't disappoint. We've been enjoying an episode or two (or three) on our journeys here and there for the past month, sometimes even enjoying them while sitting around relaxing in the living room. 


We received the 4-CD set which contains over 5 hours of inspiring stories. These adventures are a mixture of fiction and true life events which occur in the lives of the Brinkman family. This family is actually a fictionalized family based on a real family with ten children. The last time we visited with the Brinkmans they were a family of 11; however, the first episode in this set welcomes the newest baby, Micah, to the family. What's really intriguing to me, is that the children of the real family, the Bultman's, play the children in the stories. 


Each of the four discs contains three 26 minute adventures. Here is the list of episodes that we were treated to this time around:
  • A Paradise Lost
  • Remember Nhu
  • Aisha's Fear
  • Heart Song
  • The Crashed Kitchen
  • Crisis in the Congo
  • The Mysterious Palm Feller
  • War of the Raccoons
  • The Five Guys
  • Toughest Man
  • Cambodian Quest
  • What Brings Us Together
Because some of these stories deal with real life events in the lives of different missionaries, there are times when the story has some tense and/or violent scenes. I really appreciate that there is a warning before such episodes. And after the episodes they will mention whether each story was based on a real story or if it was completely fiction, as "War of the Raccoons" was. While those fictional episodes are fun to listen to, and can be a great break from the intense episodes, I have found that I prefer hearing about God's amazing power and grace that are found in the tales of the missionaries. 

This season takes us from a camp in Wisconsin, to Cambodia, over to the Middle East and then back up to Russia. Then we head to Africa for a few episodes set in a couple of different countries. "War of the Raccoons" brings us back to America for that fun-filled episode before taking us back out to an undisclosed country. We then head back to Cambodia before concluding with the Brinkmans in Wisconsin. 

Let's take a look at some of these episodes:

Our adventures in Season 4 begin in "A Paradise Lost" with a stay at a camp where the family is supposed to be a part of a fun missionary adventure. However, as sometimes happens in life, things don't go as planned. As they arrive at the camp the dam breaks, draining the lake, destroying the bridge and leaving no way in or out. Which means not everyone who was supposed to attend is able to make it, including the guest speaker. Thankfully there are enough supplies for the families who are already there to not be in any jeopardy. The Brinkmans come up with this grand idea to have a competition which includes a Trust Walk and Bible Translation challenge, which then culminates in a Bible Smuggling event. 

During this camp adventure we have some humorous situations, such as when young Peter gets up in the middle of the night and heads to the kitchen to "help" get breakfast ready. There are also some typical naughty moments involving a bucket of water popping up where it doesn't belong and a pair of children spying on the others which gives them an unfair advantage in one of the tasks. And of course there are those tense, gripping moments such as Mrs. Brinkman going into labor a month early, in the middle of an intense storm. And because of a mistake in judgment, there are a host of children running around outside during this storm, refusing to be found by parents. Now, I'm not going to give away anymore details of this episode, which quickly became a family favorite. But yes, everything works out fine and we are reminded that God is in control.

We then move into another favorite episode. "Remember Nhu" starts off at the camp where the guest speaker has finally arrived. Carl Ralston has time for only one of his six sessions, so he tells his story about a search for a young girl in Cambodia who had been sold into slavery by her grandmother when she was 13. Mr. Ralston learns about Nhu while in seminary, during a time in his life when God had been silent. During a presentation he finally heard God speak to him, saying only, "Remember Nhu." He wasn't sure what this meant exactly, but it led him on a two-year quest to not only find this poor Christian slave, but start a safehouse for girls in her situation. What I am about to share is a bit of a spoiler, but I'm not giving any more details. The real Nhu actually plays Nhu in this episode, which wasn't actually planned, but seemed to be a "God thing." 

We are then introduced to a friend of Mr. Brinkman's named Nik Ripken (not his real name) who relates some compelling tales of Christians in persecuted countries, along with God's miraculous power in their lives. During the season we hear from him four times. Two of the episodes are also family favorites: "Aisha's Fear" and "Heart Song." 

In "Aisha's Fear" a Muslim lady is married to a mean, violent Muslim man who beats her and wants nothing to do with Christians. That is until he is close to death and becomes a changed man thanks to the Christian doctor from the clinic across the street. Seeing her husband change has a profound effect on Aisha, and the remainder of the episode shares her story.

In "Heart Song" we find ourselves in Russia, during the time of the USSR and communism. We learn about Dimitri who desires to teach his wife and son about the truth about God and Jesus. Things take a turn for the worst when a multitude of people in their town end up joining in these teaching sessions. Sessions that end up looking suspiciously (yet unintentionally) like church services. Dimitri is imprisoned yet stands strong for his Lord, until he thinks his family is in danger. He almost gives in, until a miraculous event strengthens him.

Before hearing more from Mr. Ripken we are treated to some stories that take place in Africa. The first one involves a missionary trip to Zambia to help Aunt Sarah reach out to the people in the village where she is ministering. The next two episodes focus on missionaries Glen and Rita Chapman who are sharing the Jesus film in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A couple of the Brinkmans are along for the ride and are blogging about the adventure.

After that really intense episode called "The Mysterious Palm Feller" involving a witch doctor, it was a nice break to hear about Ian and his robot RD. "War of the Raccoons" is Harold's favorite episode, which is no surprise seeing as there is a robot involved. Also included are paintball guns, mischievous, fish-murdering raccoons, and a police chase centered around the rogue robot, a police dog in training, cop cars, and a boy on his bike. 

In "The Five Guys" and "Toughest Man" we again hear from Nik Ripken and see God's miraculous power. The episode "Cambodian Quest" brings us back to the story of Nhu as Mrs. Brinkman and Kitri travel over to Cambodia to help out at one of the Remember Nhu safehouses. 

The season concludes with a long awaited wedding filled with drama and catastrophe. 

I have to tell you, there are quite a few times when I got goosebumps listening to these episodes and seeing God's miraculous power. Sometimes it seems as if God is quiet in our lives and we wonder where he is. In one of the episodes there was a question about why there seem to be all these miraculous stories coming out of these different countries, but we don't here about them here in America. I liked the explanation suggested, that God "works miracles when necessary to reach people." It is really amazing to me to see how God worked in these lives.

We enjoyed all the season 4 episodes. I really appreciate that each episode has a theme that is being shared. Themes such as "God is in Control," "Persevering," "Overcoming Fear with Love," and "Faithfulness in Work" to name some of them. You can see what the themes are for each episode by stopping by the Brinkman Adventures Season 4 page on their website.

Now, I already mentioned that most of these stories are taken from real-life events. If you would like to know just how much of these stories are dramatized, you can visit the page on the Brinkman Adventures site called Real Stories. Though, if you haven't listened to the episode yet, there will obviously be spoilers. Each of the episodes for each of the seasons have section where you can learn the story behind the story.

And if you would like to learn more about Season 3, I invite you to stop by my review from a couple of years ago. One of these days I hope to get a chance to get seasons 1 and 2, plus I recently learned season 5 has been out for a while now, and season 6 will be out soon. I am sure we have missed some wonderful adventures.

I highly recommend The Brinkman Adventures Season 4. It is a wonderful audio missionary drama to share with your families. Godly principles are taught through the stories, and you can see how God is still working in the world today. 

You can find Brinkman Adventures on Facebook.

Don't forget to click on the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about Brinkman Adventures Season 4.

Brinkman Adventures Season 4

Crew Disclaimer

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #173: October 12, 2017

Welcome back to... 


I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around October 12th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Last year I focused solely on recipe posts for the posts I wanted to share, and the year before that, I shared past review posts. It was fun remembering some of the recipes and reviews I had forgotten about. This year I will be sharing random posts.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)


Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above if you would like your post to qualify for the Featured Post. Most weeks I find that there is a wonderful post, but I can't feature it because it is a current post, not from the past. I love reading the current posts, if you want to share them. However, I am not able to feature them, because the spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Linda from Apron Strings & Other Things shared I.R.L. I Want to be a "Yes!" Mom.


To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Throwback Thursday Blog-Style permalink please.



Happy Throwback Thursday!


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