Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Advent Conspiracy

This year during the Christmas season we are trying to focus more on giving to those in need than giving and receiving presents under the tree. This video is a great example of why we are doing what we are.

[AC] Promo 2011 from Advent Conspiracy on Vimeo.

Here are some great places to shop and give during this holiday season. These are places that we have purchased gifts to give our loved ones this year. We were excited because it not only will give our loved ones pleasure but the purchase provides help, hope and sustainable income to those in poverty. The products are amazing and the service is incredible so give them a try! (I know it's late this season but keep these in mind throughout the year. They would be great for birthdays or any day.)


WorldCrafts "WorldCraftsSM develops sustainable, fair-trade businesses among impoverished people around the world. Our vision is to offer an income with dignity and the hope of everlasting life to every person on earth."

Rahab's Rope "exists to give hope and opportunity to women and girls that have been forced into the commercial sex trade of India. By creating a safe and loving environment, they are enabled to grow and develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. Our work provides basic education and vocational training for each girl and woman who come through our centers; ultimately, allowing them to integrate into their communities in a positive and constructive manner."

Freeset "Freeset is a fair trade business offering employment to women trapped in Kolkata's sex trade. We make quality jute bags and organic cotton t-shirts, but our business is freedom! We would like to see the 10,000 sex workers in our neighborhood empowered with the choice of leaving a profession they never chose in the first place. "

Glad Tidings - Holy Land Designs "Our Glad Tidings Workshop in Amman, Jordan was started in 2001 as part of an effort to provide training and employment to people who are underprivileged or have physical disabilities."


Here are some other trusted ways to give to help those in need. This coming year we will be saving our change to buy a goat from Goats For The Old Goat because you get a picture of the family with the goat holding a picture with your name on it. After we buy a goat, Gess wants to buy ducks from World Vision and I want to buy some water filters from Baptist Global Response. My biggest heart is for Human Trafficking so we will also be giving to the International Justice Mission to fight that very thing. There are many other ways to give, the important thing is that we do it.

World Vision Gift Catalog - "World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice"

Baptist Global Response - "Baptist Global Response (BGR) is a disaster relief and community development organization with a heart for helping people in desperate need...BGR and its partners respond to people with critical needs, whether those needs arise from chronic conditions—like extreme poverty, contaminated water, or endemic hunger—or acute crises—such as natural disaster, personal trauma, or social upheaval."

International Justice Mission Gift Catalog - "International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems - police, courts and laws - effectively protect the poor."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bookit Reading Program

For those who don't know, Pizza Hut has a Book It Reading Incentive Program that offers free pizzas to kids just for reading books. This program is available to homeschoolers as well.

We are doing Book It this year and Gess is thrilled getting her pizzas! She has always enjoyed reading, but since her school year is a bit more packed I noticed she wasn't reading as much as she used to. Reminding her she will get a free pizza for reading seems to help her remember to do it.

Today, during a massive amount of holiday and grocery shopping I thought it would be the perfect time to redeem that coupon from last month. Thanks Pizza hut for making our day brighter and reading lots of fun!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Crafts and Activities

Gess and I have been reading through the Christmas story in the Bible during her devotional time each day. It is, of course, one that she is very familiar with. The other day, when she had some free time, I asked her to go write her own book about Christmas. I stapled some construction paper together and set her off on her own. I guess it shouldn't have surprised me that she wrote the story from the Bible. While her version of the book wasn't very "wordy" it certainly had every aspect of the story there (and with NO guidance from me). Here you can see, each page (including the cover) in order.

She did a good job, don't you think?

That was just something I had her do on a whim. For actual craft time I went again to Kaboose and found a Craft Stick Christmas Tree Ornament Craft to do. (It is under the Easy Christmas Ornaments craft section.) You can find the directions on their page.

First you paint the craft sticks. You paint one brown for the trunk (it called for a larger one but we just used the same size) and the rest green for the branches. (You must also break these apart so that they scale down to look like the tree.)

Then you glue on the sequence.

Then you glue the sticks together. And there you have an Easy Christmas Tree Ornament. (They had a star on the top of their tree but we had these tiny bows that I thought worked well.)

These are just a few of the activities we are doing this season. To see other Christmas activities we have enjoyed in the past, visit my Christmas section of the blog. I hope you find this season brings you lots of cheer. May each one of you have a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Making Science (Doing experiments)

Gess' favorite subject is Science. It just so happens that it is not mine. Granted we found some curriculum that makes it easy enough. Still, I always had trouble getting around to the experiments. I just have so much else to do and messing up my kitchen during the time I usually am about to start cleaning it isn't really motivation for me. So, we came up with a solution. We now study the material during the school week and daddy and Gess do the experiment for it on the weekend!

This semester we were using the Real Science 4 Kids Pre-Level 1 Chemistry book. I had blogged previously about how we were using this but because I never got around to the experiments I gave up and went with other Science options. However, now that daddy is helping, we will have this book completed by the end of the semester! (I had also mentioned how you could purchase this product by the chapter, but they don't allow you to do that anymore.)

Gess looks really forward to the experiments each weekend. (Well, we do go through the material slowly so she doesn't do one every weekend, but she sure looks forward to it when we do.) There are times she will even try to do them on her own. The other day she was in the kitchen and spreading cups out all over the table. When she was asked what she was doing she said "making science," hence the title of my post. Here is the experiment she was trying to copy that day.

In chapters 4 and 5 we learned about acids and bases and how they are different and how they react to each other. We learned that acids taste sour and bases are bitter. So for our experiment we had several liquids and were going to determine which ones were acids and which were bases and which were neutral (neither an acid or a base). Our experiment called for the following ingredients:

white grape juice
lemon juice
grapefruit juice
baking soda water
mineral water
alka-seltzer water

Then we had to boil red cabbage in distilled water to make some cabbage juice to use as our indicator (what will tell us whether they are acids or bases).

Once we have our indicator ready, we line up all of our liquids in marked cups.

First we guess what we think the results will be. She has to guess which she thinks will be sour, bitter, or neither. Now it's time to do the taste test.

After tasting them (I am thinking she did not like the taste of the alka-seltzer water) we write our results of the taste test.

Next, we use our indicator to see if they change colors. When we add the cabbage juice a base should turn green, an acid should turn pink, and a neutral liquid will remain purple.

Now we have our results, notice their color changes.

Gess absolutely loves doing Science experiments and these are pretty easy to do. I could even do them myself if I had the mind to, but it is nice to have daddy involved some. It gives them some quality time to look forward to each weekend and gives her a much thorough explanation of the experiment than I could ever give!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Toydle Fort Christmas Giveaway!

How would you like to get one of these forts for your kid for Christmas absolutely free? Well, Toydle has teamed up with the TOS Homeschool Crew to give away, not one, not two, but THREE of these forts which are valued at $240.00 each! As a member of the Crew, I am not eligible, but I would be thrilled if one of my readers won one.

Visit the TOS Homeschool Blog to find out how to enter your chance to win this Toydle fort for that special child on your Christmas list. Good luck! I hope one of you wins!


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