Saturday, December 22, 2018

A Mindful December: Being Willing To Fail

"Well, I'd rather fail at work than at home."  This was said by a contestant on a baking show who had just made a major mistake on the current challenge.  It was such a random and unexpected place to hear such profound wisdom, but it immediately rang in my ears and for days after. 

Nobody is super okay with failing so the statement above isn't a common thought in our society.  It is obvious to see that so many of us choose work over home simply by looking at all of the failed marriages and disconnected families everywhere.  Even for those of us who are committed to our families, it is so easy to give the best of ourselves to tasks and other people in the name of stress and urgency.  And it's the same whether you are home all day or work long hours away.  By the time we get face to face with our people, aren't we tired and drained from dealing with all the other stuff?  

When we started December, I knew that we needed to be more mindful of each other and of the important things.  I started Mindful December to re-energize us with a purpose.  Mr. Butler had been really feeling stressed, I was getting cranky and the kids were getting stuck in the whirl-wind.  And in the most important way, it was a success!  Mr. Butler and I had a chance to really communicate and invest in each other, things we needed to be better in life.  The kids, of course, follow suit and find their sweet spot as well.  What wasn't a success was my writing about it. There was a lot going on that first week and then we left for a week-long trip. Since we have come home, all the holiday preparations are in full force.  Sometimes there's only so much room in my brain.  So in a small way, I've failed at work in order to succeed at home.


The overarching theme of this blog is balance.  I easily get stuck and need to be balanced all the time.  I don't mean to imply that you have to fail at work in order to succeed at home or even that you can't be successful in both.  I just think we need to be willing to entertain the notion sometimes.  As parents, especially us mothers, we are all really trying to do it all even though we KNOW we can't do it all all the time. I needed to be a gentler kinder person to my husband and he needed more kindness and gentleness in his life.  Without focusing on that for a while, the stabilization of our marriage probably wouldn't have happened and instead our stressed out state could have undermined everything else we are trying to do in our life.



With work usually being such a public thing (business, reputation, etc.), the urgency to succeed can ramp up way higher than family success.  The love of our family by nature seems flexible and constant therefore easily put off until work is settled.  And sometimes it must be so.  But the feeling you get when someone chooses to put your needs above all other demands is incredibly powerful and healing.  Balancing this multi-faceted life is very hard, but genuine security and committed love is worth risking some much less important work here and there.

Monday, December 3, 2018

A Mindful December: Day 3

Tonight Mr. Butler and the kids made snowflakes as a part of our mindfulness activity.  We talked about how unique and special each snowflake is and then used our journals to talk about what makes us special.





There are many occasions when we assume someone knows something (especially about themselves), but never say it out loud or confirm that they know it.  What if people were walking around unaware of their value and importance?  That could certainly change their entire attitude towards life.   The next time someone difficult or strange crosses your path, consider the possibility that they are hurting far more than you realize.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

A Mindful December: Day 2

One of the troubles with trying to carve out new habits is the notorious life that tries to get in the way.  Today was Sunday and full of church-related activities.  This meant that I was preparing food for potluck in between services and it also meant that my kids would likely drag their feet about anything related to getting ready on time.  Rushing around doesn't exactly feel very mindful to me, but I did feel relatively calm despite the hurry-up mode we were in.  

We didn't find the time for our mindfulness activity until after dinner tonight, but it worked well just the same.  Everyone got their journals out and we copied down Philippians 4:6-7.
 
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It was a lot of words that they had to double and triple check for spelling help and it ended up taking them a long time.  Honestly, though, I didn't feel bad or mind it taking so long.  For my kids, just taking that time focusing on one thing until it is completed is a mindfulness exercise all by itself.  After it was finished, we talked a little bit about the verse and then about finding ways to calm ourselves when there is life around us is upsetting or overwhelming.  In addition to prayer, we practiced slow breathing and listening to our breathing.  It made me feel better, but I kind of wondered if it made any kind of impression at all on the kids.  

As the kids were getting in bed, miss Z was starting to get really excited about getting to sleep in J's room and without skipping a beat J says, "Remember Zoey, calm down.  Practice your breathing. Like this."  She immediately stops, saying "Oh, yeah!" and proceeds to breathe a few calmer breaths and jump in bed.  It was amazing.  

To be honest sometimes I feel compelled to concoct really big gestures when really small ones might work even better.  Tonight was a great example of that!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

A Mindful December: Day 1

I don't know about you, but the Butlers here lately have had a hard time being joyful about our life.  With so much to be thankful for and blessings we can't deny, bad attitudes and bad habits should not be the theme.  And yet, I feel like we have been fighting off satan right and left.  From anxiety to unhealthy eating and complaining to outbursts, we just need help.  

This week I have started taking a more aggressive approach to my weight-loss (cutting sugar and bread most of the time and increased workouts) and after the first 36 hours or so, I noticed a difference right away.  The momentum I've felt in years past just fell into place.  The wedding cake last night was almost easy to refuse because the clear mind and motivation it brings is just so addicting!  That being said, it is more than just my eating and bodily health that needs reviving.  And I'm not the only one.  The saying, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" is true in more ways than one.  If Mom has a bad attitude or is in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed or stress - you better believe it is going to influence everyone around her, from Dad all the way down to the dog.



One of the biggest struggles we are all having is paying attention to the things we are supposed to.  It's not new, but it is still a problem, the distraction of our 'modern' world.  Comparison, avoidance, addiction, apathy, there is just so much that we can get sucked into.  And we have given in to a lot more the past few years largely because the worries and troubles have just been a lot.  A lot more than we were prepared for.  But the big storm has passed and the trauma of it all has faded, so there's really no excuses anymore.  It's time to act and choose purposefully rather than reactionary.  


mind·ful·ness
/ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/
noun
  1. 1.
    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
    "their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"
  2. 2.
    a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.


When I am floundering, I just need hope.  And a plan.  A Mindful December is part of that plan.  This month we are taking some time every day to focus on mindfulness. Day 1, we started with a Mindfulness Journal with these cute journals from Sam's that I had bought a while back and the verse below.



Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Do not be conformed to this world,[a] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

The natural question that arose was how do I need to be transformed?  In discussion and in our journals we talked about our weaknesses and how we need to improve.  It was a good thing.  There is still mounds of laundry and a very neglected kitchen floor, but we're setting our gaze in a better spot.  December is one of the best and hardest months depending on the year and who you are.  It is just so full and that fullness - even when it is full of joy - can quickly suck our spirits dry.  I really want my spirit - and my family's spirit - to be full of THE Spirit.  But wanting and accomplishing is not the same and it does not happen over night.  So, one day at a time we're practicing mindfulness in hopes of building our fences in the Spirit.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Baking Butler

Currently, I'm sitting at the bar in my kitchen while Mr. Butler throws together some gingerbread dough while he waits on his butter to soften for the puff pastry he's making for honey poached pears.  The pears are something he wanted to try for Thanksgiving and the gingerbread is largely something to pass the time.  I don't know about you, but baking to pass the time between other baking has never been something I have done. Ever.  He still amazes me at his drive and ability to do anything he decides to.  



A couple of months ago, I stumbled onto The British Baking Show on Netflix and mentioned to him that he would probably like it.  Not easily invested in a television show, I expected him to dismiss me, again.  But a week or so later, after the kids went to bed he sat down and said, "Let's watch that show of yours."  After that he was hooked and had the itch to bake.  I'll have to admit that I get the itch watching it myself and I'm not much of a baker myself.  Since he started, we've had cinnamon rolls, sour dough bread, shortbread, jam, crackers, and today rough puff pastry and gingerbread.




 We honestly do try to limit our break intake as a family, but we have been a little lax lately, especially with Daddy and all his homemade goodies.  It certainly is a wonderful blessing for these homeschool kiddos to learn how to cook all kinds of things.  We've always made a point to include them and give them skills in the kitchen, but this has really taken things to another level.  They love watching the show with us too which seems to have given them a vocabulary boost as well as a lesson in European cultures.



 My nature is far more skiddish and apprehensive about things I don't 'have a lot of experience with, but Mr. Butler just takes care of business when it comes to trying new things.  My children are so blessed to have him, especially to fill in the gaps that I usually leave.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

J and My Motherhood Turn 8

Being the emotional creature that I am, J's pregnancy and first days are seared into my brain.  I knew how fleeting the days were and I just didn't want to miss anything so I wrote and I observed as much as I could.  To this day I can still see the leaves in the yard and the sun streaming into our living room at the time.  We had placed his bed in front of the window to help with a little bit of jaundice.  It wasn't perfect - breastfeeding was way harder than I ever dreamed - but life with him was so exciting and beautiful.



I've told people that I'm just not sad that he's turning 8 because the Race Car looks exactly like him so it's like living it all over again, only easier!  That being said, I do feel like this year has been a turning point.  All of our weaknesses have shown a lot more and we've had to really struggle on some points.  There are times in life when so much is going on or certain big things help you ignore the small issues that are growing larger. When it all calms down, then the real work begins.  That's what 7 to 8 has been for us.

I absolutely love this kid so much because his heart is big.  When he was born, I felt like he immediately hopped to my side and said, "Let's do this, Mom!"  I know and love him because he shares my emotion for things, but that also means I know the dangers set in front of him.  This year, both of us have had to come to terms with who we are and what that might mean for the future.  Avoiding the hard things is an easy choice that becomes a habit when we're not careful.

I'm learning what it means to know your child, even when it tells you more than you're ready to hear about yourself.  Celebrating birthdays are still just as much about the parents as it is the child.  Bringing this child into the world and sustaining life is a big deal and a luxury some don't have.  On Saturday, we'll be celebrating Magic Tree house style, which only makes me love him more.  The adventures of motherhood are continuing to evolve, but a couple of things stay the same.  He has made me grow, he has taught me love and he has brought me joy!




Happy 8th Birthday J!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Master Kitz The Starry Night: A Kidzaw.com Review

Kidzaw

One of the biggest things my years in education has taught me is that with a desire to learn, anyone can learn anything.  Art is one of those subjects that can often get cast aside by people who didn't naturally love it or somehow got the idea that they "aren't good at it."  We do so much disservice when we eliminate a subject because we aren't naturally talented at it.  There is just as much (and sometimes more) educational and developmental value to artistic pursuits as math or science. It seems to me that we just need more opportunity to develop artistic skills.  My kids are all expected to sing, read music, learn instruments, and draw/paint regularly - not because I knew from the womb they would be gifted at it, but I know that with repetition their educational development will be enhanced and they will obtain some kind of proficiency in those skills.  Like learning to use a knife or greeting people, I believe equipping our kids with all kinds of knowledge (not just the kind they are naturally gifted at) is a vital part of education.  Today we're reviewing an art kit from Kidzaw.com that helps students create projects that resemble the masters and teaches important elements about that artist.   Master Kitz The Starry Night, available on Amazon and on their website here, equips students to create their own version of Vincent Van Gogh's famous painting.


In our kit we received 2 pieces of sturdy paper, 1 stencil, 1 page of stickers, 3 bottles of paint, 1 sponge roller, 1 patterned roller, 4 oil pastels, 1 page of instructions and 1 booklet of information on Vincent Van Gogh.
This photo was after we had used it so the paper is missing.


Since there were two pieces of paper, we planned from the start for J (almost 8) and miss Z (5) to each make one.  One of the first things I would note is that the stencil comes rolled up in the box.  When we set out to paint, I hadn't thought about that and the stencil was very difficult to keep flat.  We ended up having to tape it, but it wasn't ideal.  In the future, I would recommend flattening it out with a heavy book on top of it to make it more usable.





The second challenge was using the stickers the second time.  They did not come off of J's page very easily (some of them ripped) and then didn't stick to miss Z's very well. However, they were essentially just circle stickers of varying sizes that could be bought in any office or craft department. 




Other than that, the instructions were clear and the rest of the elements were easy to use.  After being introduced to this process, it can now be easily repeated with the addition of more paper and paint. 






Are you afraid of diving into art projects like this?  The kits from Kidzaw.com make it easy and guide you step by step.  If you want to take it further, you have been beautifully set up.  If you're just looking for an introduction, this fits the bill! They also have sculpting kits that look super interesting!  Check Kidzaw.com out on social media and find out what kind of an experience other families had by reading the Crew Reviews.


Kidzaw.com on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kidzaw-160167827376266/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidzaw
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/kidzaw123?blend=1&ob=5
Master Kitz The Starry Night {Kidzaw.com Reviews}
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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Lester Dougherty: A Joyful Spirit



As we move through life, there are certain places and people that serve as beautiful background music that weaves in and out of our focus.  After my parents sold my childhood home, it took a few years but I eventually grieved over that house - imperfections and all.  I didn't appreciate all that it was until it was long gone.  Other times you know the value of something - or someone - and dread a day in the future when they won't be around.  This week a very special man, Lester Dougherty, died and has since changed the soundtrack of the lives who knew him with his leaving. 

One of the most memorable things about growing up in the church of Christ is the singing.  I have been blessed to be part of congregations who could sing and sing well!   But that doesn't happen by accident.  It happens because of people who not only love singing, but they pursue it in worship and outside it.  Lester has always been one of those people.  With a smile and a twinkle in his eye, I have witnessed him lead songs over a thousand times in my lifetime.  Even with illness here and there over the last few years, that has remained a constant image.  Since I've never been without that image for very long, it just doesn't compute that the song is really over.

In our very technology and media heavy world, you see skills being passed down from generation to generation less and less.  I'm so proud and thankful to have witnessed Lester's sharing of music with so many, including my children.  Just watching him lead songs and sing in their few years has begun the groundwork for many years to come.  Sometimes I think it was even without trying.  He had an enthusiasm and joy that can't be taught and you just don't see very often.  

I was telling J good night and he told me - without me even asking him - what his favorite memory of Lester was.  "I remember that time he taught me that great trick.  He would put a quarter on his elbow and then catch it.  But he would tell me to close my eyes and he would put it in my pocket!  I loved that!"  His song-leading is iconic in my mind, but even more he was a very good man.

There is so much power in your influence.  I have been so blessed by Lester's.  Don't waste yours on things that don't matter.  Use it for good. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Balancing Diapers & Deadlines: A Lisa Tanner Writing Review

Lisa Tanner Writing
As you know, I am involved in a few personal business ventures in addition to my responsibilities as a wife, mother and home educator.  It is not a simple thing to manage all these things successfully and not burn yourself out.  Truth be told, I am still not really balancing my family and work-related things very well.  I get stuck diving into one or the other, but throwing in the towel when I try to manage both.  You can understand, then, how Balancing Diapers and Deadlines from Lisa Tanner Writing speaks to the exact place I am in.  This review came at the very time I was trying to determine a better way of incorporating work into my life without staying up all night 3 nights a week!  
Balancing Diapers and Deadlines
Balancing Diapers and Deadlines is an online course designed to walk moms through the various hurdles you encounter as an entrepreneur too.  Lisa Tanner, mom of 8, knows what it means to be busy and struggling to balance it all.  This course allows you to learn from her mistakes and feast from her 'what works' pile.   I only have 3 children, but turns out it doesn't matter that much - the hurdles are much the same.  Also, the title says diapers, but if you have strictly older children, most of it still applies.  She even has some lessons divided up by age group - babies, toddlers, middles, etc.  If you have children at home and you are also doing business from home, she has some great advice!

This summer I took an online course on freelance writing that came highly recommended.  In regards to freelance writing, it was exactly what I needed to know.   Now it is three months later and I'm still struggling to be where I want to be.  Writing itself is on the easy side of the spectrum for me (hence pursuing it), but the meshing of business tasks and household/homeschool tasks is very specific and just plain hard.  Lisa's course covers everything that I've been frustrated with.   She certainly doesn't sugarcoat trying to manage both, but the course does offer encouragement that it really is that hard while providing simple tasks and ideas to streamline and incorporate both within your day.





Throughout the course she provides printable charts and ideas designed to help you get a hold of your family management and minimize your decisions.  I knew this to be a struggle for me, but hadn't really said it out loud so she was spot on for my needs.  One of my favorite suggestions was her annual meal plan.  I have been successful with a 2 week and monthly meal plan, but I had never even considered an annual plan.  The interesting way it works is by setting a theme for each day of the week and then having 4 or 5 options under each theme.


You've heard the phrase, "Work smarter not harder," haven't you?  I have been working really really hard the past few months and I needed some help working smarter.  Balancing Diapers & Deadlines is a wonderful, realistic guide to making wiser choices and really making the balance work!  


Keep up with Lisa Tanner Writing on Social Media: 

Facebook: https://facebook.com/lisatannerwriting
Instagram: https://instagram.com/lisatannerwrites
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lisatannerwrite
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/lisatannerwrite

Do you have only older children?  Check out some of the other reviews to see a different perspective!

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines {Lisa Tanner Writing Reviews}
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Friday, October 26, 2018

The Consequence of Whining



When you are 5 and you persist with a complaining, ugly attitude you just might be forced to walk your bike all the way back home (rather than ride).  When you are an adult, the punishment might look more like avoidance and less invitations.  Nobody enjoys a whiner.  May we all learn this lesson sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

St. Bartholomew's Eve: An Heirloom Audio Review

Heirloom Audio Productions
Are you concerned about what your children are consuming on all their screens?  I think most of us are, even if we feel limited sometimes in doing anything about it.  As far as I can tell, it is impractical and unnecessary to abolish all screen time.  What we can do is provide plenty of activities that are engaging without dependence on a screen.  A great alternative to screen time is audio books and stories.  Heirloom Audio shared with us their newest audio drama production, St. Bartholomew's Eve to review and it has been a multi-faceted blessing!

St. Bartholomew's Eve

I am happy to say, this isn't our first Heirloom Audio review, but our third.  Heirloom Audio's audio dramas are more than just an audio book. These are full theatrical productions inspired by the adventures of G. A. Henty.  The beauty of this type of strictly audio adventures is that it requires a listener's brain to create a visual companion to the sound effects, music and fast pace dialogue. This kind of creativity and learning just isn't matched by videos, but equally as engaging.

The 2 CDs we were given are over 2 hours long.  St. Bartholomew's Eve takes place in 16th century France and tells of the Huguenots' (Protestant Christians) struggle with persecution for their differences with the Catholic church. The story follows Philip and his cousin François as they prepare to stand up for their "God commanded" rights to worship God how they believe to be right.  The actors have varying (story appropriate) accents which can make paying attention really important and sometimes challenging, but a really good exercise in active listening.  



One of the growing pains we are experiencing in our homeschool is my need to focus on tasks separate from my children conflicting with their inability (unwillingness) to stay on task and contained for periods of time.  Mr. Butler is always telling me to utilize the television more, but this has given me a great reprieve and sufficiently engaged my kids as well! J has been more than happy to curl up in a sleeping bag in his room or the school room and listen away! It has prompted questions about the freedom of worship and reinforced how significant the history of America's revolution is in the world context as well as just our own national history.  As a family we have had discussions about those who don't believe in God or those who don't feel it important to obey Him.  While it is confusing at first to consider multiple groups claiming to love and obey God and still be at war, the kids have enjoyed the excitement and have gained a little more historical context.


St. Bartholomew's Eve

In addition to the audio CD's, there is also a host of resources at Live the Adventure Club and Live the Adventure Letter for further study of all Heirloom Audio presentations.  Do you have middle school or high school age children?  Consider browsing some of the other crew members for different ways to utilize these audio dramas - like note taking or history studies.  


Keep Up with Heirloom Audio on Social Media: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeirloomAudio
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeirloomStories
Google+: https://goo.gl/d8btpX
Instagram: @HeirloomAudioOfficial


St. Bartholomew's Eve {Heirloom Audio Reviews}
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Monday, October 15, 2018

Homeschool Hesitations: Hurdles, Hardships & Help

As a homeschool parent, do you ever find yourself hesitating to share your own experiences?  This is the third installment of the Homeschool Hesitations series and time to dig into the hard stuff.  Parenting is hard and being around your children more than you are not - while so very rewarding - can also create unique hurdles. How do you find time for yourself? What if you are an introvert and your kids suck your energy out every day? How do you find time to clean? How do you do structure when you're not that great at it and you don't always HAVE to? What if my child is struggling? Will everyone blame me and the homeschooling?



Why We Hesitate:

When we make choices we always want to feel like we made the best ones.  Rent or buy.  New or used.  Breastfeed or Supplement.  When it comes to how we educate our children, we absolutely want what is best for our kids AND we want others to consider us wise and good parents.  That works just fine as long as our children excel and flourish, thus 'proving' our choice in homeschooling is right for them.  Isn't that how it works in our heads?  Unfortunately, the outward proof we are looking for is likely not possible for another 20 or 30 years.  When we hesitate to share our struggles, it is often out of fear that we will lose the imaginary argument we have going with anyone who might judge or disagree with us - this is true for so many topics.  Or is it just me that does that?

The Benefit of Sharing:

Making a choice to go down a different path is always going to spark questions and criticism.  ALWAYS.  The gift of age helps us to care a lot less about what Sally or Jennifer think and more about what God and those closest to us think.  Still, somehow I get to thinking I have to keep my homeschooling 'stuff' to myself because in one way or another it isn't relevant or welcome in mixed company.  That IS self-preserving, I guess, but it IS NOT productive to mental health or the health of my relationships.  How can we be friends if we aren't able to talk about circumstances unique to each other?

I love organic learning - the kind that just naturally grows in the right environment!  I know that learning is rarely precise, but it can be such a beautiful thing.  Still, there are textbooks full of learning disabilities that our children might suffer from sooner or later.  What then?  There are so many scenarios where we need help and support.  Sometimes the BEST person to ask is a seasoned school teacher or a parent of a child who has survived a similar struggle.  Instead of worrying about any conflict or judgement, we should consolidate our resources any chance we get! And have you every thought about that public school parent whose child is also struggling in their own situation?  The out of the classroom perspective you bring just might be the answer they need right now.

With conflict being such a difficult thing for me to cope with, I managed to forget all of the good that can come from sharing our struggles with people in vastly different life circumstances than ours.  No, not everyone will respond with understanding or concern, but that's okay.  Good comes from all types of scenarios down the road.

We want to have and be the friend who will sit with us when we hurt and rejoice when we win.  So what if we can't identify with the circumstance.   I desperately want that, if we're being honest.  It has to start with me, right now.  And that is a really hard step to take sometimes because of awkwardness or defensiveness or you name it.  But we - as a society and certainly as a parent who educates their children at home - can co-exist with joy and fulfillment.  Let's stop hesitating to pursue healthier relationships.  Stop hesitating to ask for and offer help - no matter how different someone is from you.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Underground Rising: A Brinkman Adventures Review

Brinkman Adventures
Ever since I had kids, I've been keenly aware of the impact excessive screen time can have on children.  My kids are happy to watch television or youtube videos any time of the day, much like the rest of the world, but I have discovered that they can be just as happy with many other things.   Just tonight, they begged me to read "one more chapter" of a book we're reading together (even though I had already read two).  It is impossible (and not necessary) to eliminate screen time altogether, but I do believe there are many other activities that can capture our attention just the same.  Our latest review is about the Brinkman Adventures, an exciting radio show that chronicles real life missionary stories through the fictional Brinkman family.  We were given Season 6: Underground Rising to listen to and enjoy as a family.  

Underground Rising Season 6 Brinkman Adventures
We were given the digital version which included the following six 25-30 minute episodes:

55 – Dutch Underground Part 1 (Covers the time period of the second World War in Holland featuring Reng and Lynn VanKesteren, Netherlands)
56 – Dutch Underground Part 2
57 – Twice Born Fly (Understanding Salvation)
58 – I Wonder Why? (Learning to trust God’s Plan. Missionary family in India)
59 – Free Burma Rangers Part 1 (Follows the life of a missionary Dave Eubank from school, through a career change and onto the mission field in Burma, assisting persecuted villages and sharing the love of Jesus. Thailand/USA)
60 – Free Burma Rangers Part 2


My 5 and (almost) 8 year old have listened to all six episodes and have really liked every one.  There are some serious themes and periodically there will be a warning to listen with your parents if you are under 10.  The is a precaution I appreciate, not really because the stories are too intense.  My kids are on the more sensitive side when it comes to sad or scary stories.  One or both of them will be the first to ask to turn it off it gets remotely intense.  The importance of the precaution is more about being available to answer questions or continue the conversation.  

When I asked them if they liked the Brinkman Adventures and how it compared to other audio books/drama they have listened to, they decided they liked Brinkman the best for a few reasons.  


  • Music - They found the background music in the Brinkman Adventures to be just the right amount and the right amount of intensity.  
  • Fighting - In other stories they have listened to, there was a bigger focus on fighting (think battles, attacks with swords, etc.). Brinkman focused more on dialogue and what the people were doing.  This (along with the music) kept the (negative) intensity at a minimum.
  • Real life - While there is a lot of history being talked about, you also get plenty of modern day living.  This makes it more relate-able to their own life, I think.



We listened to the episodes on our computer and after the first episode, they decided it was more enjoyable to listen in sleeping bags!  

We listened to Season 6, but that means there are 5 more seasons available.  In addition to the physical CDs or digital downloads, there is curriculum available to use the Brinkman Adventures in a family or group setting.  It definitely looks like an enjoyable way to dive in to scripture and real life issues in a different way.  Most of it seems suitable for the 8-12 age range.  They also produce a podcast that goes behind the scenes, sometimes interviewing the actors or the real missionaries themselves.



While I have not experienced a missionary life on a foreign field, I have been taught by many who have, from the pulpit and friends as well.  Considering yourself a missionary at home or welcoming the call to a foreign field is not something we pick up on television or in our mainstream culture.  One of the important things The Brinkman Adventures does is it introduces the realities - and importance - of the missionary life into our families' perspective and vocabulary.  



If you are considering purchasing The Brinkman Adventures, from now through the end of October you can receive 10% off your order with the code FALL10.  If you're interested in an older child's opinion of this series, click on the image below to read other Crew members' reviews.


Brinkman Adventures Season 6 Reviews

Follow Brinkman Adventures on Social Media: 


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