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Friday, December 7, 2018

Teen Girl Devotional Review #hsreviews #devotions #DevotionsForYoungWomen #Beloved #books #reading #bookstagram #christianity #faith

This year has gone by so fast and with the calendar year almost over so is the Homeschool Review Crew year. Even with the Crew year closing, Beloved: 365 Devotions For Young Women from Zondervan will last all next year.
Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women
Beloved is a 384-page hardback book a little over 5"X7".  It has 365 daily devotionals geared toward young women. Each daily devotional has a scripture verse at the top of the page printed in red with a devotional printed in black underneath. At the bottom of each page are a few lines where you can take notes or write your thoughts and prayers. The margins of each page are pink with a red flower pattern that is very pretty.

The scriptures used throughout the book are all about the women of the Bible. Deborah, Rahab, Naomi, Hannah, Esther, Martha, and Mary are just a few of the women we look at but there are also devotionals for a wife of noble character, the woman at the well, queen of Sheba, and the Proverbs 31 woman, and many more. After reading the scripture the devotional text talks about what is going on and what young women can do to either apply those traits to their own lives or why they should try to keep those things from entering their minds and hearts. They look at women's accomplishments and their sins.

The front of the book discusses the wife of noble character and then there are a few other days that discuss the "ideal woman". The devotions look at this character and talk about her qualities we can apply to our lives even if we aren't' married. Later in the book, we see the relationship between Naomi and her daughter-in-law and how we should have good relationships with our in-laws, teachers, and bosses. The end of the book looks at Galatians 3:28 and discusses how even though we are all different and are in different situations in our lives we can all one in Jesus.

Since my girls are older they have been using Beloved on their own. We actually have two copies, one for Delaney and one for Alaina. They have added this to the daily devotions they already do every morning. It only takes a couple of minutes for them to read through the verse and the text. Even though they only take a few minutes a day to read there are some great topics that make it easy to remember. I like how these devotionals show my teens how they can apply things they read about in their own lives even if they aren't in the exact situation the Bible woman was in.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women
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Studying the devotions in Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women every day will help any young woman gain wisdom and inspiration from them. It will also help them to keep God in the forefront of their minds and hopefully will remember those scriptures when they need them. 
Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women {Zondervan Review}
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Monday, December 3, 2018

Beloved Teen Devotional Review #beloved & #FlyBy

Before my kids could even read I started having them sit down with their picture Bible to think about the story that was there and to pray by themselves. As soon as they learned to read I had them read a page in a very easy beginner Bible. I wanted them to get in the habit of taking time out of their day to spend in God's word and prayer. We recently received Beloved 365 Devotionals For Young Women for one of my girls to use.

This hardcover devotional obviously has 365 daily devotionals. Each page has colorful flowers going down the sides. The Bible verse is in reddish print and the encouraging devotional is directly under it typed in black. There are also lines at the bottom where you can write your thoughts or take notes.

These devotions are geared to females. They discuss girls and women of the Bible that you can gain wisdom and inspiration from. Studying these women will help you keep God in the forefront of your mind. The Bible verses chosen are about Abigail, Ruth, Tamar, Elizabeth, and other women. After reading the verse the devotional talks about what is going on in the text and how we can relate it to our lives. Beloved is geared for young women, but any women can be encouraged by reading them.

I really like this devotional because it is showing my girls women that they can look up to and learn from how they lived and maybe they can use them as an example for their own lives. I think sometimes we miss what these women did in the Bible because we are more focused on the story not on the individual women.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Ellie Clair Journals Review #ellieclairegifts #journaling#handlettering

I have always encouraged my kids to keep an art or writing journal. Some of them have kept the habit up for years and years and some of them never write in one. Ellie Claire has three new beautiful journals out that would make wonderful gifts for your loved ones that like to draw, write, or color. And they may inspire some people to start keeping a journal even if they never have. We received all three journals and they are all hardbound and very pretty. The binding is a bit different and makes these journals more unique. The spine is a thick fabric with the front and back has embossed hardboard covers. All three journals will lay completely flat to make writing and lettering easier. The paper is very high quality and will not bleed through.

The Illustrated Word is an illuminated Bible coloring journal. The cover is embossed vine design. It has lined pages for journaling with a colored image in the corner. It has coloring pages of images and some of them are just squiggles. There are also some that contain a scripture with its reference.

The Faith & Lettering Journal comes in a floral and pink cover. The added eyelets and fabric piece on the side makes it look like a scrapbook and it can also hold your pens. This journal was created by Krystal Whitten a graphic design artist who has a passion for hand lettering. She hopes this journal will inspire you to reignite your devotional time and help you imprint Scripture on your heart. Krystal is also the creator of The Lettering Prayer Journal and wants you to slow down and make time to focus on Scripture.

This journal is a little different than most I've seen. It has pages for hand-lettering practice, Bible journaling, sermon sketch note-taking, and places to just write. Some of these pages are lined, some have a faint grid or dots to help you perfect your writing. Words of encouragement, thanksgiving, and Scripture are throughout the journal allowing you to copy the hand-lettering the exact same way.

Illuminate Your Story Journal is also hardbound with a fabric spine with added eyelets and fabric to make it very attractive and to hold your pens. This one also has an elastic ribbon coming out of the back cover to wrap around the front cover to keep it closed. The simple lettering design of the cover gives the journal a peaceful feel.  I was surprised to find the History of Illuminating Letters in the front. There is also an article on The Process and a list of supplies needed to create your own lettering. This journal has pages divided into blocks to teach you how to create letters. There are letters to copy, a design to add to them, and graphics, vines, and squiggles to intertwine each letter. There are also some pages set up the same way but you draw birds, flowers, and squiggles. Lined journal pages are throughout the book and they each have a quote on the top.

When we were asked if we would like to review the new Ellie Claire journals we were given the option to of any of them or all three. I decided to take all three partly because I wouldn't be able to decide which one to get and I'm glad I did. They all far exceeded my expectations and my girls were already claiming the one they wanted as soon as we opened the package.

Journals always make for great presents for people who love to write, but these journals would also make a great gift for people that don't already journal often. The designs and variety of pages are not as overwhelming as a blank journal. People who already journal will love to practice their lettering and fill these pages with their thoughts.

Disclaimer: I received three journals free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Guitar 360 Method Review #hsreviews #guitar #onlineguitarlessons #immersivelessons #guitar360method #confidencefreedomcreativity #connectingthedots #musicalconfidence

Guitar 360 Method
As any parent knows providing private music lessons for your kids can get expensive especially if you have several kids or several instruments. Guitar 360 Method is a good choice for guitar lessons. We received the Semester 1 Bundle including 5 weeks of Absolute Beginner lessons, bonus songs, and the 13 weeks of Semester 1.

Guitar 360 Method is taught by Krisz Simonfalvi. He is originally from Budapest, Hungary and started taking guitar lessons at the age of 6. He became very good at classical guitar but he didn't enjoy it. He didn't really understand the guitar and quit playing after six years. As a teenager, he began to play the electric guitar and some of the fundamentals he had learned early in life came back to him. He has been touring with bands, recording in studios, and producing music since then and he figured out everything goes back to the simplest most practical method. He began teaching lessons in 2009 and has taught students of all ages in North America and Europe. The reason he teaches is to invest in others and he has had students that have gone on to win competitions.

Guitar 360 Method
With the Semester 1 Bundle, we received Semester 1, Guitar Course for Beginners, and two bonus songs.

The Guitar Course for Beginners is a three-week course for the absolute beginner.  Week 1 teaches the student the parts of the guitar, the left hand and right hand basics, how to tune the guitar and includes practice exercises. Week 2 covers chords and strumming. Week 3 combines it all together so the student can play their first song.

Semester 1 is a 13-week course for the ambitious beginner or someone that knows how to play but just wants it all to make sense to them and give them a foundation to build on. Each week starts with Krisz explaining the goal for the week. The other lessons for the week have Krisz explaining what to do. The course teaches chords, flats, sharps, notes, articulation, scales, strumming, fingerstyle, scales, intervals, triads, and more. There are practice segments, quizzes, and ear training lessons for some weeks. Once you click on your lesson you can see the video and have access to the downloads you will need for that lesson. From this screen you can also go back to the previous lesson, the next one and see the list of lessons for the week at the bottom and there is also a commnet box. Once the student completes the lesson they can mark the completed box.

Bonus Song #1 teaches students to play the unplugged version of Don't Stop Believing by Journey. Bonus Song #2 covers the gospel song Rejoice by Israel Houghton.

We have had a guitar for several years. The girls will pick it up and pick out songs & chords and Amber can teach herself to play a song but I don't consider that learning to play the guitar. She is only learning to play songs. Being busy with school, work, and her own piano students she hasn't really had the time to commit to taking guitar lessons every week as well but adding Guitar 360 Method makes squeezing lessons in easier. She has played the guitar more than anyone else in the family so she started with the Semester 1 lessons. Alaina knows nothing about the guitar so she started with the Beginner lessons. They are both learning so much from this course. Alaina is not one musically gifted so she has to spend more time per lesson. Amber picks musical things up really quickly so she is moving right along with the program. They both think the lessons are really easy to follow along and Krisz does a very good job explaining what they need to do.
Not only is Guitar 360 Method a good choice for guitar they will be adding Keys 360 Method and Drums 360 Method in the near future.
Guitar 360 Method
Coupon Code: HOMESCHOOL20
The regular price for Guitar 360 Method is $149. I have a 20% off coupon code so you can purchase the course for $119.20. 

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Guitar 360 Method
Guitar Lessons with Krisz Simonfalvi {Guitar 360 Method Reviews}
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(in)courage Devotional Bible Review & Giveaway

A lot of times I purchase cards from Dayspring. I just recently found out that they wanted to bring their vision online to women in 2009 when they started (in) Courage. They wanted (in)courage to be a friend that comes alongside you by building an online community to help women build more meaningful relationships & to find herself. 

Now they have published CSB (in) courage Devotional Bible. This Devotional Bible includes 312 devotions including stories from 122 women and how God's story has changed their lives. This Bible offers several features:
  • Women of Courage~ There are 50 women from the Bible highlighted in a text box throughout the Bible. These boxes explain how God showed his love in each of their lives. 
  • Reflective Devotions~ There are 52 devotionals designed to help you get into God's Word each week. 
  • Book Introductions~ Each book of the Bible includes an introduction to help you see the context of the book and how it connects to our lives.
  • Theme Verses~ There are 20 Bible verses that are highlighted with a beautiful design for you to memorize or meditate on.
  • Journaling Space~ At the bottom of each Scripture page there are lines at the bottom where you can take notes or journal.

This (in)courage Bible comes in a fabric covered hardback cover. It is very durable and one thing I love about it is it has two book ribbon bookmarks. It is very beautiful and the devotionals can be a great encouragement to women. These devotionals can really help you see that other women have gone through the same things in their lives that you or your loved ones may be dealing with.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of The (in)courage Devotional Bible free of charge from FrontGate in order to write this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Lisa Tanner Writing Review #hsreviews #mompreneurlife #workingfromhome #productivity

Lisa Tanner Writing
Being part of the Homeschool Review Crew we get to hear about and use some great products. It is really exciting when one of those products comes from a member of the Crew. Lisa Tanner is a member of the Crew and I received her new online course Balancing Diapers & Deadlines from her business Lisa Tanner Writing!
Balancing Diapers and Deadlines
Balancing Diapers & Deadlines is an online course that will help you minimize your decisions, show you how to integrate your kids into the business, and maximize productivity. The course is divided into 8 Units with several Lessons in each except the Welcome Unit. Some lessons include downloads to go with it and each lesson ends with a baby step to help balance life out. Lisa says changes don't happen overnight but you can slowly build your career as well as keeping every other area balanced.

  • Welcome to Balancing Diapers & Deadlines
  • Building Your Foundation with the Basics ~ This Unit discusses ways to get your family on board with the idea of starting a home based business and how to plan your day while remaining flexible.
  • Minimize Your Decisions~ You can free up your brain from constant decision making by giving your kids each one day, having an organized house, and having a plan for the laundry and chores. 
  • Minimize Your Decisions: The Annual Meal Plan~ This Unit title is self-explanatory. Planning meals for a whole year. Planning breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and your shopping list.
  • Sustainable Growth~ Lisa talks about getting enough sleep, setting boundaries, and making sure you have some time to yourself as well as times you should pay someone else to help you.
  • Growing Your Business with Your Kids Around~ No matter what ages your kids are there is a lesson on how to grow your business with them around and how they can help you grow your business. There are also lessons on how to get 2 1/2 extra hours per week to work by implementing family writing time and gaining new ideas with family brainstorming.
  • Boost Your Productivity~ These lessons include tips on how to make your morning and evenings work to your advantage and how to use every minute of your day even when you aren't working. 
  • Closing Thoughts~ Helps you realize you have the option where to focus your energy, time, and talents.

We have always homeschooled our five kids, I started an in-home cake decorating business 27 years ago when our oldest child was an infant, I have volunteered at our church and our local homeschool group in various areas over the years so I have always had a lot going on. To top all that off my husband is always on call and is gone around 30 hours at a time. Now that I have one daughter living at home in college and two grown kids living 4 & 24 hours away I find it harder to make time for myself and make sure I get the sleep I need and learn to say 'no' to things in my life. So I have benefited from the Sustainable Growth Unit the most. Lisa explains why I need sleep and some time just to veg for me. She suggests downtime with the kids and my husband which I already make a priority, but she also suggests time for yourself as well. One of the Action Steps for this unit is making a list of things I enjoy doing in my free time to relax and refresh. And including them in my daily schedule.

I am not a meal planner. My husband has a crazy schedule. I cook bigger meals when he is home and when he is gone we tend to eat a lot of leftovers. Lisa has an annual meal plan and now she has inspired me to start my own meal plan. Ours doesn't look like most plans because we buy a cow and a hog once a year. I can enough salsa & spaghetti sauce to last all year plus other things from our garden. So I have created ours kind of like Lisa's Themed Dinner Planner. That way we can choose what we want according to who is home and how much we need to prepare.

Lisa Tanner is a mom of eight homeschooled children. She started her freelance writing, virtual assistance, and blogging business in 2015 to help pay the bills. She has a master's degree in Elementary Reading & Literacy but left teaching other peoples children in 2012 to stay home with her own family. Her goal with Balancing Diapers & Deadlines is to help other moms' grow or start their own business.

Working from home whether you are getting paid or volunteering can be challenging at times when you are also homeschooling and taking care of the house and everything else. Lisa Tanner has done a very good job with Balancing Diapers & Deadlines. She offers so many work at home productivity tips and helps with time management for busy moms. There is so much information to help moms' with kids of all ages. Don't forget to stop by the Crew Blog to read what other Crew members thought of Balancing Diapers & Deadlines.

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Balancing Diapers and Deadlines {Lisa Tanner Writing Reviews}
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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Chris Tomlin Holy Roar Review & Giveaway #HolyRoar #FlyB

Chris Tomlin has sold more than 8 million albums and he is one of four people to receive the Sound Digital Radio Award for over 1 Billion digital radio streams. The other three award winners are Justin Timberlake, Pitbull, and Garth Brooks. He has sold out large venues in major cities and he just recently started his own imprint record label, Bowyer & Bow, in partnership with Capitol Christian Music Group.

That is pretty impressive and he just released a new album called HOLY ROAR. It is about the freedom, the experience, and the wonder of worship. It is seeing the church come together, hands lifted and praising God with an eternal song in our hearts.

  • Holy Roar
  • Nobody Loves Me Like You
  • Resurrection Power
  • Goodness, Love and Mercy
  • Satisfied
  • Impact
  • Praise Him Forever
  • Is He Worthy?
  • Forever Young
  • I Stand In Awe featuring Nicole Serrano
  • Praise Is The Highway
  • How Sweet It Is featuring Pat Barrett

I have been listening to this new CD with my family. We have heard Resurrection Power on our local radio station and we all really like it. One of my favorite songs on the new album is Nobody Loves Me Like You. The lyrics show how much God loves us and how we are reminded of that love in the world around us. This whole album is full of lyrics that show the wonders of God's creation.

I have one copy of Chris Tomlin's new CD, Holy Roar, to giveaway to one of my readers. I will choose a winner on November 6th at the end of the day. 
To enter just leave a comment on this blog post.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wordless Wednesday My Girls

Me & My Girls

St. Bartholomew's Eve Review #hsreviews #HeirloomAudio #LiveTheAdventure #BringingHentyBack #AudioAdventures

Heirloom Audio Productions
You know when you read a good book and you know there will be a sequel coming soon and you can't wait to read it to see what happens. That is kind of how my girls and I feel about the audio dramas from Heirloom Audio. We can't wait for each new radio theatre to be recorded. We recently received St. Bartholomew's Eve and it is just as good as the other Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty. 

St. Bartholomew's Eve
Heirloom Audio produces the stories of G.A. Henty in dramatic audio dramas for ages six and up. G.A. Henty (1832-1902) was an English novelist and war correspondent. He is best known for the historical adventure stories he wrote that takes fictional characters and places them in history. The stories make learning events in history more fun and the audio dramas really bring them to life.

St.Bartholomew's Eve is recorded on two cds and last for 2 1/2 hours. It is a great recording that makes you feel like you really there. The background music, the battles, and the characters make remembering details about the Huguenot's easier than just reading them for yourself. This Heirloom Audio like the others use just the right voice actors to play each part. Of course the voice of G.A. Henty is Brian Blessed from Star Wars, Tarzan, and King Lear and this is just what we imagine his voice should sound like. Elizabeth Counsell from Chronicles of Narnia, David Shaw Parker from The Muppet Christmas Carol, Brian Deacon from Bonhoeffer & The Jesus Story, Andy Harrison from The Secret Garden, and Hugo Docking from Oliver Twist become the characters of St. Bartholomew's Eve and take us back in time.

Huguenots were French Protestants in the 16th -17th centuries that were persecuted by the Catholics. In St. Bartholomew's Eve we meet 16-year old Philip Fletcher who is English with French relatives in his mother's family. He decides to take a stand and fight in the Huguenot wars taking the side of the Huguenots. He stays with his cousin Francois in France as they both fight for the freedom to worship as they please. Philip advances himself and is recognized for his bravery and is sent on secret missions and even uses the carcass of the dead cattle in the battle plans. Philip and Francois are good examples of Godly young men through their devotion to God and their friendship with each other.  These young men keep God in their daily thoughts by referencing the Armor of God and continuing to pray while the battle is upon them.

Each Heirloom Audio story has a quote to represent the theme. The quote for St. Bartholomew's Eve is very appropriate: 

"Whom shall we obey? The King of France or the 
King of Kings?"

The first time we listened to St. Bartholomew's Eve the girls and I were on our way to a church rally a little over 2 1/2 hours away. After we got settled and on the interstate we put in the first cd and the very first track was called Skipping First Service. Well we had just had the conversation about what time we would be getting to the church building and I told them we didn't have a lot of extra time so hopefully we didn't have to stop. Alaina thought it was hilarious when the track title showed up. She said we would probably be late and be "skipping first service." We weren't late so we didn't have to skip any services.

We listened to the audio drama several times together and Alaina listened to it again. We all enjoyed the adventure for the entertainment and for the morals it teaches. Philip and Francois are both young but we get to see their bravery and their willingness to do whatever it takes to help people live for God instead of living by the King's decrees about religion.

We have reviewed all of the Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty from Heirloom Audio and they are well worth the time to listen to them and we look forward to the next one to be recorded. Eighty Crew members received a copy of St. Bartholomew's Eve so make sure you read their reviews as well.

St. Bartholomew's Eve

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St. Bartholomew's Eve {Heirloom Audio Reviews}
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Friday, October 12, 2018

Underground Rising Audio Drama Review #hsreviews #AudioDrama #MissionaryStories #AudioMissionaryDrama #BrinkmanAdventures

Brinkman Adventures
Every time we head out for a road trip my girls want a new audio drama to take on the drive. We all love to be transported to another world or time while we sit in the car. Our newest adventure is Season 6: Underground Rising Digital Edition from the Brinkman Adventures
Underground Rising Season 6 Brinkman Adventures
The Brinkman Adventures are not new to use. We have several of their past seasons and we all agree they just keep getting better. The stories are about modern day Christian heroes but we get introduced to these heroes through a family of six, the Brinkmans. Of course like any family the Brinkmans have their own excitement wherever they go. 

The Underground Rising is the sixth radio drama adventure album from the Brinkman Adventures. This new season has six tracks instead of twelve tracks that are on the previous albums. This new album takes us on adventures from real people that have given themselves to help others. They are all based on real people and events but they are recorded with a dramatic element and are very entertaining as well as informative. We go back to WWII and meet the VanKesterens, learn of a prison licence plate factory, see kids giving up everything they know in order to help orphans in India, and about Dave Eubank and how being a Green Beret in the Special Forces had prepared him to use his experiences for God in the conflict zones in Burma.
  • Dutch Underground Part 1
  • Dutch Underground Part 2
  • Twice Born Fly
  • I Wonder Why?
  • Free Burma Rangers Part 1
  • Free Burma Rangers Part 2

We listened to each episode a few times. Our last road trip we left early in the morning and my girls slept most of the 3 1/2 hour drive so I didn't listen to it without them. We were house sitting for my oldest daughter and she had just moved so we listened while we were unpacking some of her boxes and also after we got home while we were making caramel apples. We all agree that our favorite adventure on this album is the Dutch Underground Part 1 & 2. This seems to be my girls favorite time period to learn about and hearing the story of Reng & Lynn VanKesteren and their friends is very inspiring. Learning about people that are willing to put their own lives at risk to save others they do not know really helps you see the good in mankind. 

After listening to each episode we really enjoy heading over to Brinkman Adventures page for the Real Stories of these amazing people. Some of their background story is there as well as photos of the actual people and some of the actors as well as some information about the recordings or how they found the actors. There are also short video segments that add to the stories and links to the podcasts interviews of the real people.

I think it is good for our kids, and us, to learn of people that have put everything on the line for God or to help others. I like my kids to have real life role models and heroes to look up to and learn from their examples. Season 6 also shows that it is never to late to give your life to God. Even if you haven't seeked His guidence in the past it is never to late. 

Don't forget to read other Crew reviews about the Underground Rising and make sure you use the coupon code: FALL10 while you are shopping at the Brinkman Adventures. 

Brinkman Adventures
Underground Rising
My Brinkman Reviews
Brinkman Adventures Season 6 Reviews
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