July 23, 2016

Imagination

As I sit here this evening, I am caught up in the sounds around me. The hum of the crickets and cicadas outside. The tick of the clock. The drip of the faucet in the bathroom (gotta fix that). And then I hear the sound of motors running. Closer closer. Closer they come. But never fear, it's just the two boys "working" on their "farm".

"We've got a big load to do, Mommy! Make sure you watch where you step!"

And they parcel their land out between them, and work independently at their "job". Back and forth. Up and down. Mouth motor never stopping. Gotta get that hay in. Gotta plow that field. The will sometimes spend two hours like this.

In their eyes, the laminate floor is a ripe wheat field, ready for harvest. They have jumped into their combine and are hard at work bringing it in. Or they have their haybine hooked up and the field of clover ready to be cut and baled. And so they mimic what they have seen and heard around our farm. I hear my husband's words coming from their lips as they strive to get done before the big storm arrives.

You don't know HOW much a child can learn outside of the classroom, until you watch them caught up in their imaginary world. It's the beauty of letting children PLAY freely. I love watching them play when they are caught up in their own special world. And it doesn't take actual toys. Give them sticks, and boxes, and dirt and they will make something magical!

Don't forget to let them have time to just BE and to just PLAY. Their brain will be working harder than ever, as it weaves figments of imagination together, bringing it to life in their eyes and hands. It's what they do best. And why seeing the world through the eyes of a child is so coveted. We have lost our skills with imagination, because we want to quantify what we know. We've lost much of our own imagination, but if you sit down with a child, I promise you will be able to find pieces of it again. 

Now excuse me, but I've been summoned. Apparently some cows got out and I need to go drive the small tractor and herd them up again. If you need me, I will be on the floor relishing in their imagination.
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July 20, 2016

Live the Adventure and travel to Ancient Rome with Beric the Briton {Product Review}

Ever since we were first chosen to review an Heirloom Audio Productions audiodrama, we discovered that they were a perfect match to our family. We love HEARING the adventure as we travel in the car and it's something we all enjoy. We've been blessed to have been on the review list for ALL of the audiodramas they have produced thus far, and I was so glad to once again be able to review their newest product Beric the Briton!
Beric the Briton from Heirloom Audio Productions {a review}

About the Product

Beric the Briton is the FIFTH installment in the audiodrama collection of adventures based on the classic adventure books by G.A. Henty produced by Heirloom Audio Productions. Beric the Briton takes us back to the days of Ancient Rome during the time of the Roman conquest of Britannia during the first century AD. The story follows the life of Beric the Briton, a young man who takes on the incredible power and might of the Romans. Rising to fame in success in battle against the Romans, he then is captured and rises to fame again in the gladiator world in Rome itself. Conflict arises when he is introduced to the forbidden Christian faith and he must decide how far he is willing to go for what he believes in. 
Beric the Briton has the voice talents of greats like Brian Blessed (Star Wars, Tarzan), Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, Braveheart), Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Honeysuckle Weeks (Foyle's War), Cathy Sara (Downton Abbey), John Rhys-Davis (Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones) and more! Emmy-Award winning composer John Campbell contributes a fabulous original soundtrack. With full movie sound effects, this isn't just any old audiodrama--it's an ADVENTURE!
Beric the Briton is a 2 CD set (2 1/2 hrs of story) for $29.97 and comes with instant access MP3 download. You will also receive the following bonuses:
1. The complete Beric The Briton eStudy Guide and Discussion Starter (50 page PDF)
2. A beautiful, printable copy of the inspirational verse as quoted by Julius in Beric the Briton which can be framed.
3. The Official Beric the Briton Soundtrack MP3 download.
Perfect for ages 6-100+, this is a high quality production, you don't want to miss!
We were given the 2 CD set, and the bonuses to review with our family.

Our Thoughts on Beric the Briton

When I showed the boys the audiodrama package, they immediately noticed the lion on front and were asking if it was going to have lions in it! Because I didn't know, I simply said that we would just need to make sure we listened to it to find out. LOL. We prefer to listen to the audiodramas in the car where I can make sure we have everyone's attention for a period of time. Needless to say it was the listening choice for our very next trip into town. 
As before, the story opens in "present day" with Mr. George writing to the characters Ned and Harold--two boys he met back in the first audiodrama (Under Drake's Flag)--about how he was on his way to a new adventure in Egypt and couldn't wait to tell them all about it--but in the meantime was going to share a story about Ancient Rome...and that's how the story gets started. 
As usual, the high quality of the audiodrama sucks you in immediately. We love the soundtrack with its movie quality effects that surround us with the sounds of a swamp or the clang of swords in battle or the roar of the crowd in the Colosseum. The actors and actresses are so talented and bring us into the story so well. 
In this story, we were able to introduce the boys to Queen Boadicea and Emperor Nero in this story. I was so excited when I heard Queen Boadicea in this adventure! I LOVED learning about her back in world civ in college, so it was cool to hear her play a part in this drama. The historic characters involved in this audiodrama really opened up some conversations. We spoke about who was fictional and who was real. We spoke about the challenges of being a Christian in Rome and what the Apostles were going through living during the time of persecution. 
The boys both agreed (me too!) that the most exciting part of the audiodrama was Beric in the Colosseum as a gladiator. Oh how we waited with bated breath as we listened to the scene play out! It was simply fabulous and I think that particular portion is what made it the "best one yet". 
Both boys agreed that this was their favorite audiodrama because they said it had "way more exciting adventure stuff!" I think it was the best so far because it really made some fabulous rabbit trails. My oldest wants to know more about Ancient Rome and especially about the gladiators.
Now, Beric the Briton also comes with a downloadable eStudyGuide. While I don't choose to use it WHILE we are listening, I do like to pull it out and pick some questions to ask them after we listen to chunks of the story. They are great for checking comprehension. I also love the "thinking further" sections which take it beyond the story--like reading a poem about Boadicea, reading biographies, going to maps, recipes (!!), and more. I enjoyed having it accessible on my Kindle.
Another thing that I really liked, was being given the mp3 version of the audiodrama as a bonus and I was able to have the audiodrama with us everywhere without having to keep track of the CDs. I played it on my Kindle during lunch a couple days to catch us up!

Would I Recommend Heirloom Audio Productions?

100% yes. It is a great product for all ages and it will be enjoyable for everyone. Not only does your child get to enjoy a great story, but they get to dabble their toes into history and meet some historical figures for the very first time! We have consistently found that the audiodramas were things we spoke about months after we listened and especially when we ran into a similar topic later. For instance, somehow my oldest learned that there was a movie called Braveheart and it was about William Wallace--and he remembered that this was what our In Freedom's Cause story was about. Recently he saw a preview to the new Ben-Hur movie and recognized the Colosseum and Rome thanks to the descriptions of it in Beric the Briton. So it's a great way to bring history to LIFE for your family!

Want to Know More?

We absolutely enjoyed our review of Beric the Briton from Heirloom Audio Productions! I hope you will pop over and check out what the other 99 reviewers thought about it!
Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review
Heirloom Audio Productions is ALWAYS chatting about their fabulous audiodramas and are quick to spill the beans on any of their new products, so make sure you follow them on these social media outlets:
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/HeirloomAudio
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/HeirloomStories 
Google+
https://plus.google.com/b/114534826166314080647/114534826166314080647  
Instagram: 
@HeirloomAudioOfficial

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We just love the audiodramas that Heirloom Audio Productions creates and I do think that Beric the Briton has moved up in the ranks as being our favorite. I know it definitely opened up some rabbit trails for us to follow, and Little Britches is eager to learn more about Ancient Rome and the Gladiators because of it.
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July 16, 2016

Nature and Verse Graphics to Snag for Saturday 7/16

It has been awhile since I shared any of the nature and verse graphics I like to put together. It is always fun to sort through photos and then match them with scriptures. Sometimes the scripture come first--other times the photo. Today, I have two graphics to share with you--and in both, the photo came first. 

Please feel free to use these on your social media sites if you desire, but as always, I'd love a nod of some kind to let people know where you found them. 


This one will fit a cover photo for Facebook.
Aren't they just lovely? I especially love the cover photo. So much peace in that scene. And the world needs peace. Lord knows we do. 

May you have a beautiful and blessed Sabbath today, and a gorgeous weekend!

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