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The Scenic Route: Joshua Tree National Park

S Curve Dirt Road

We were heading down the hill to get some groceries and see a movie, but we decided that we would take an off the beaten path route instead of the traditional highway route. We put on our hiking boots and brought our camelbaks “just in case”. Daddy did a quick check on his truck to make sure everything looked good, and we hit the road.

Rocky Hill

Our normal drive, while still pretty, takes us on paved roads and highways. This alternate route took us through Joshua Tree National Park and down some “4-wheel-drive-only” dirt roads.

Rock Pile

We drove a few popular climbing and hiking spots and kept going. If we weren’t on a semi-schedule, I’m sure we would have checked out these spots a little more, but while we weren’t on a tight deadline, we didn’t come out to really explore this time around. It was still fun to watch others bouldering, free climbing, and harness climbing.

Daddy in his Truck

Daddy wants to to back out sometime and do a little bouldering. ;) The free climbing seems way crazy to me.

Desert Road

At one point during our trip, we decided to pull off the dirt road and eat a picnic lunch. Because the area didn’t have anywhere to sit, we ended up eating in the truck with the windows open. It was beautiful weather – not too hot, not too cold with a nice breeze blowing.

Curve in the Road

I love these drives as it gives us an opportunity to talk without a bunch of distractions. The drive wasn’t nearly as crazy as we thought it might be based upon some things other people had told us. You definitely want 4-wheel-drive in certain areas, and you wouldn’t want to take a car down some parts of the road. That being said, it wasn’t anything crazy.

Dead Tree

Overall, this little scenic route was a nice drive that got us off the pavement and onto the dirt. :) We did discover towards the end of the route, nearer to our final destination that it wasn’t an area that you would want to drive at night which is good to know. ;)

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Book Review: Critical Condition by Richard Mabry

Critical Condition by Richard MabrySpecial thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing an advanced reader electronic copy of this to help facilitate the writing of this review.

Critical Condition Book Description:

Dr. Frasier couldn’t save the gunshot victim on her front lawn. Now she’s fighting for her own life.

It began as a quiet dinner party honoring Dr. Shannon Frasier’s colleague, but became a nightmare when a man was shot on her lawn, reviving emotions from a similar episode a decade ago. Then a midnight call from her sister, Megan, causes Shannon to fear that her sister is on drugs again.

Her “almost-fiancĂ©” Dr. Mark Gilbert’s support only adds to Shannon’s feelings of guilt, since she can’t bring herself to fully commit to him. She turns for help to her pastor-father, only to learn that he’s just been diagnosed with leukemia.

Shannon thought it couldn’t get any worse. Then the late-night, threatening phone calls begin, the rough voice asking, “What did he say before he died?”

With everything around her in a critical state, simply staying alive will require all the resources and focus Shannon has.

Richard MabryAbout the Author:

A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry is the author of four critically acclaimed novels of medical suspense. His previous works have been finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Award, and have won the Selah Award. He is a past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas.

Book Details:

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401687407
ISBN-13: 978-1401687403
Retail Price: $15.99
Electronic versions also available

My Thoughts:

Richard Mabry has written another wonderful medical suspense novel that grabs your attention from the first page and never lets go. Once again, I found myself not wanting to put down the book as each chapter seemed to bring in some twist to the story.

As in the previous books (Heart Failure and Stress Test), Mabry does an excellent job taking his personal knowledge of medicine and weaving it expertly in the books in a manner that allows the reader to understand what is happening while not making to over-the-top or fake. This knowledge adds an authenticity to the story.

The main characters who draw on their faith are at different places in their walk with the Lord, and they are facing demons from the past. Their lives aren’t perfect nor are the people around them. They have genuine responses to the craziness in their lives. In other words, this story reads more like real life rather than a neat little novel which means readers will find the characters in the story genuine and believable.

If you like Christian suspense novels, I recommend adding this book to your “to read” list.

Disclosure Statement

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier Coloring and Activity Pages

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Movie Poster

Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes out in theaters across the country today, Friday, April 4, 2014. Our family really enjoyed the first Captain America, and we’re looking forward to seeing this second installment. While we had the opportunity to see a sneak peak of the movie on base, we ended up not seeing it due to it only being in 3D which doesn’t work so well for either Munchkin or D. We’re waiting to see if D’s schedule will allow us to go see the movie this weekend.

In honor of the theater release, I’m happy to share these Captain America coloring page and activity page packets. Just click on the images below to download the two different packets. Enjoy!

Captain America The Winter Soldier Activity Pages

Captain America The Winter Soldier Coloring Pages

Coloring and activity pages provided by Marvel Studios.

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Phantom’s Training: Backing Up and Yielding Forequarters

Hanging Out with Dixie

We were thrilled to have Daddy home with us a couple of weeks ago which meant that we not only tackled a few projects that needed to get done, but we also put some good time into training the horses. On Sunday, Daddy and Munchkin worked with getting the horses comfortable with going in and out of the horse trailer as they had an appointment with the vet on Monday night. Thankfully, the prep work ahead of time worked out as they both did well not only loading and unloading but also with getting their blood drawn for their Coggins testing.

Phantom Running

Phantom had to get back into the habit of listening after a little time off which meant a little running needed to be done. I love watching D work him. He quickly picked up on the backing up, but he’s still not a fan of the yielding the forequarters.

Phantom Training 1 Phantom Training 2 Phantom Training 3 Phantom Training 4 Phantom Training 5

Dixie, being the head-strong Arabian that she is, didn’t want to back up or yield the forequarters, but Munchkin kept at it until she made some headway with her. With several days of training on the same techniques, she started to get better. I’m proud of how Munchkin is sticking to the training even when it gets frustrating. We know this groundwork will make a huge difference when it comes time to start riding again.

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Movie Review: Explore Glacier National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park with Noah Justice

Moms of Master Books Awesome Science DVD Review

Special thanks to MasterBooks, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group, for providing a copy of the dvds to help facilitate the writing of a frank and honest review.

About Awesome Science DVDs:

Episode 7: Discover a place of majestic mountains, alpine lakes, vast meadows, and remnants of once-massive glaciers and snowfields. Travel with Noah Justice to Montana to explore the amazing sites and geology at Glacier National Park. He’ll research evidence for this area being created and eroded quickly by the effects of the Flood. List Price: $10.00; Run Time: 30 minutes

Episode 8: Rocky Mountain National Park includes spectacular mountains, streams, pine forests, diverse wildlife, and lush vegetation. Go on an expedition with Noah Justice to the Rocky Mountains to explore how they were formed and eroded by the catastrophic tectonics of the Flood. List Price: $10.00; Run Time: 30 minutes

About the Series:

This series is produced by Kyle Justice, whose work has appeared on such networks as National Geographic, ESPN, and the Outdoor Channel, along with his creative homeschool-family team. Teen host Noah Justice serves as your guide to truth on the ground at national parks and other geologic locations, bringing you an educational and entertaining adventure!

My Thoughts:

In Explore Glacier National Park, Noah talks about the mechanisms needed to create an Ice Age as well as discussing how the Bible provides answers for massive worldwide extinctions. Noah’s tour through the park includes a look at the geologic formations in the park comparing both the evolutionary viewpoint as well as the Biblical viewpoint. The tour begins with background information on the park as well as a look at the different animals and areas of the park which was quite fascinating. The photography and videography was quite stunning.

In Explore Rocky Mountain National Park, Noah discusses how the evidence of erosion and mass wasting shows a recent formation at the park. He discusses the ways that mountains are formed and gives examples of those methods. He takes viewers on a tour of the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Garden of the Gods, and Devils Tower. Once again, Noah states what evolutionists state and then give a different perspective seen through Biblical glasses. While I have been to Rocky Mountain National Park, this episode has reminded me why I would love to go back with D and Munchkin some day.

It’s been fun watching Noah grow up through this series. He and his family have done a wonderful job putting together this information videos presented through a Biblical worldview. We look forward to going on more field trips with Noah in the future. As I’ve stated before, you’ll want to watch the bloopers as they give a fun look into the making of the video and show that Noah is just a regular kid. Science… It’s Awesome!

Moms of Master Books Disclosure Statement

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