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    Seven Quick Takes on Bible Study Winner, Hiking, Las Vegas, and MORE!

    March 4, 2016 by Brandy Vencel

    Seven Quick Takes

    :: 1 ::

    journal and doodleI am thrilled to announce that the winner of the Gospel of John Journal and Doodle Bible Study is Christa Walker! Congratulations, Christa! ♥ For the rest of you, the discount code that will give you 20% off this brand new John study by Kari Denker is AFTERTHOUGHTS20 and is only good until tomorrow so don’t forget to use it before it expires!


    :: 2 ::

    Last week was our break week, and so we went hiking out at Wind Wolves. I like to do one extended hike or nature day of some sort during our break week. Anyhow, this was our spectacular view:

    Wind Wolves

    I love Wind Wolves in the spring, especially in years like this when it has actually been raining a little. The wildflowers were much better than they’ve been the past couple years and there was so much to see that it was hard to know where to look!


    :: 3 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    • M4.9 – 6km SSW of Wasco, California from USGS Caltech
      • This earthquake was last week, and the epicenter was a little too close for comfort. Everything was fine — our home is built to withstand a much larger earthquake than that — but it did give me an adrenaline rush.
    • 5 Reasons Every American Should Oppose Donald Trump from The Federalist
      • I haven’t paid much attention to the previous debates, but I did listen on the radio to the one last night, and I am just shocked that Trump is the front runner. I know I’ve said that before, but seriously? He is so uncouth.
    • Attend! Eyes and Ears from ladydusk
      • I can’t tell you how much I loved this post from Dawn.

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2014:


    I listed out what I consider to be the six major steps to planning a Circle Time that works for my family.


    :: 5 ::

    Speaking of Donald Trump, I feel like my country has forgotten the important lessons we learned from the Back to the Future trilogy. Does no one remember what it was like when Biff was in charge?


    :: 6 ::

    Last weekend, Siah took me to Las Vegas. I had never been before, which is unusual since we don’t live very far from it. Anyhow, for Christmas, he had given me tickets to see Cirque du Soleil’s Mystére. I have always wanted to see a Cirque du Soleil performance, so I guess I can check this one off my bucket list! It was beautiful and amazing and I’m so glad we went, even though Las Vegas itself sort of freaks me out. It is beautiful and interesting in its own way, but at night the culture is so pornographic that I didn’t know where to look! We might have been the only people in the city in bed by 11!

    We walked everywhere, and that was fun to experience — where we live, you can walk for an hour and not get anywhere you want to go. On Thursday, we dropped by the Hoover Dam before we went into the city. It was amazing! I was in awe! We took the tour, and I’m so glad we did.

    On Saturday, we walked over 11 miles — I had to bring my FitBit and track it all, of course! {I tallied up over 100,000 steps last week!}


    :: 7 ::

    TRwBB Set 4_K Cover 600In other news, I’ve gotten everything typed up for the new Teaching Reading with Bob Books Set 4/Kindergarten Sight Words combo set. The free lessons have been going up on the website, and Hayley is busy working away at formatting everything for the printable set. It’s exciting to see it all coming together! Some of you have been asking me when it’ll be ready. I can’t know for sure, but I’m hoping before the end of this month!


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  • Reply Julia March 5, 2016 at 5:28 am

    I am Canadian so the election is not (on the face of things) any of my concern but I have been amazed that Trump has gotten this far. This is like a very bad joke.

    The kids and I are just about finished ‘Whatever Happened to Justice?’ This book has been such an eye opener for me. We use Trump as an example of what Maybury is referring to for just about every reading.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 5, 2016 at 7:44 am

      It *is* like a very bad joke! That is a good way of putting it. My friend who is from England said that the rest of the world considers it our IQ test and we’re not doing very well. 😉

  • Reply Amber Vanderpol March 4, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Last night’s debate was the first I watched – so nice that we could stream it over the Internet. Living in CA makes me not particularly interested… since CA will elect the Democratic nominee no matter what. But since the field is narrowed and there’s a chance that one of those four men might be president, it seemed like good idea to watch at least the last one. My 14 yo daughter, husband and I were riveted, which we didn’t expect… but it was also pretty scary too. My daughter was appalled at some of the things Trump said. What Ever Happened to Justice? is definitely having an impact (on both of us!)

    I’ve never been to Las Vegas, but Wind Wolves looks lovely! And probably way more my speed – although I’d like to see the fountains in L.V. 🙂

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 5, 2016 at 7:46 am

      It seems Whatever Happened to Justice is a very formative book for many of us!

      Wind Wolves is wonderful, but it makes me nervous in the summer when it is dry and the rattle snakes are out. I don’t go very often then, but this time of year we eat it up!

      I was listening to this podcast and they were discussing the fact that Trump won Nevada and they said, “Why is this surprising? Nevada is basically Donald Trump in state form.” Ha.

  • Reply Karen @ Living Unabridged March 4, 2016 at 9:39 am

    My sister lived in Vegas for several years (her husband is in the Air Force). It was a fun place to visit, but “The Strip” is definitely crazier than I thought it would be. Seeing the fountains was the only reason we went downtown and they were pretty. Trying to keep my kids from seeing anything else was the challenge. 😉

    They’re stationed in California now and our family is planning another cross-country trip to visit this summer. Anything in the L.A. area you think we should plan to see?

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 4, 2016 at 9:48 am

      I honestly couldn’t believe how many kids were on the strip, both day and night — and night was much, much worse! The fountains are pretty, aren’t they? I think I watched the Bellagio fountain show three times. And the Mirage volcano once. 🙂

      L.A.? Hmm…I’m trying to think like a tourist. 🙂 The Huntington Gardens are nice. The La Brea Tar Pits are interesting. I like the Museum of Natural History, but it is much like other museums of the same sort, so if you’ve already been to one, you might want to skip that. The Getty is lovely.

      And then of course Venice Beach is … well, if you want to see weird, go there. 3rd street in Santa Monica used to be fun, but I haven’t been there in 13 years… 🙂

      Fun trip!

  • Reply Virginia Lee March 4, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Yes, Donald Trump/Biff! Wisdom in my inbox for the day. =)

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