Archive | October, 2012

Cycle 1 Week 7: Science, Latin, History Statement helps & resources

31 Oct

Here are some resources for Week 7. Hope they’re helpful! 🙂 Enjoy! If you missed my Ancient India resources from earlier in the week, you’ll find them here.

Science-How Do Animals Reproduce?
I made the file below and we used them in class as “flashcards.” As we sang the song, 4 children were in the front of the class, and they would hold up the appropriate flashcard. This could easily be done at home. 🙂 I cut out the pictures and mounted them on construction paper for durability. In class we sang “How do animals reproduce?” to the tune of “Happy Birthday.”

Download the Animal Reproduction Flashcards

Here’s a GREAT power point by Crecia at CCing it One Day At a Time. She created a “guessing game” showing different animals, and the children have to guess which form of reproduction they used. On one slide and the following slide shows which form of Animal Reproduction used. AND…it’s kid-friendly, which is always a plus when we’re dealing with the topic of reproduction and talking with our children. 🙂

A Nest Full of Eggs: Let’s Read and Find Out Science series (Priscilla Belz Jenkins): I got this book at a used bookstore and have been wanting a good excuse to use it. 🙂 I LOVE this series of science-focused books! As we continue through Science this year, I’m sure there’s a corresponding book for each week’s New Grammar. It would definitely be worth researching. 🙂 We have From Seed to Pumpkin that we’re going to use in a few weeks as we delve more into seeds and plants. 🙂

This is a fun You Tube video of a chicken hatching. Here’s another You Tube of a baby Robin hatching from its egg. This would be a great one to view after reading “A Nest Full of Eggs” since the Robin is the featured bird in the book. 🙂

History Statement
For my Abecedarians this week, I used hand motions for our History Statement since it was a rather long one. 🙂 Most of the hand motions we had already used learning our Timeline. I love when the hand motions repeat, and the children are able to see that the History Statement is also a part of the Timeline! Here are the hand motions I used:

Hinduism: Sign from Timeline song for “Hinduisum”

Founded: Sign from Timeline song for “Founded”

One: hold up 1 finger

Divided: Sign from Timeline song for “Divided”

 Castes: Pretend to have a broken arm with a CAST

Founded: Sign from Timeline song for “Founded”

Buddhism: ASL sign for letter B

Siddartha: Hold hands like praying

Enlightened One: hold up 1 finger

I have continued making the Latin picture pronunciation worksheets for my Abecedarians. I feel like this helps them with pronunciation and also helps my visual learners (like myself!). Click here to download the Latin 3rd Declension Pronunciation Guide Here are pictures of what they look like:

Latin 3rd Declension Singular

Latin 3rd Declension PluralYou can put these in page protectors and have the children trace the letters. Or, you can cut them up and have them match which Noun Case they correspond to. (Nominative: Singular-Various, Plural-es, etc.)

Nashville City Saver book–free shipping today (10/31)

31 Oct

I missed my opportunity to get a copy of the Nashville City Saver book from one of our local middle schools. I was SO bummed because we LOVE the City Saver book! Some of our favorite coupons are Sweet CeCe’s, Nashville Zoo, FOUR free movies from Comcast On-Demand, Cheekwood Botanical Garden, Phillips Toy Mart, Cori’s Dog House, The Chocolate Covered Strawberry…and I could go on and on and on! The book costs $25, but we easily make up for that in a couple of coupons–especially the Comcast On-Demand movies! There are 4 coupons for a free $4.99 On-Demand movie. That’s already saved us $20! AND…we quickly use up every Sweet CeCe’s coupon, but let’s not even talk about how fast we use those 4 coupons. 🙂

If you’re like me, and you’ve missed out on buying the 2013 Nashville City Saver book, you’re in luck! You can order it online today from their website and the shipping is FREE! I’m taking advantage of this and ordering my copy now! 🙂 In other words, I’ll see you at Sweet CeCe’s when my City Saver book arrives next week. 🙂

Zaxby’s Kidz Club & Kids Eat Free today if dressed in costume?

31 Oct

We live about 30 seconds from Zaxby’s in our town. When we moved here 18 months ago, several people warned us that such close proximity to Zaxby’s was dangerous. We didn’t have a Zaxby’s nearby where we lived previously, so I didn’t understand what they meant. Fast forward 18 months, and I now TOTALLY understand what they meant. 🙂 Zaxby’s=highly addictive.

One of our first months here, our boys got kids meals from Zaxby’s. On the kids meal sack, it had a form for enrollment in the Zax Kidz Club. I filled out the form for all 3 of my boys and mailed it in. The form said they got a FREE COOKIE just for joining (my real purpose in signing up!) and a free kids meal on their birthdays. I had LOW EXPECTATIONS for the Zax Kidz Club and actually forgot that I had enrolled. I remembered the following  week when all three boys received a Zax Kids Club postcard with a Free Cookie coupon. Several months later, in July, my two sons who share a birthday month both received their Free Kids Meal coupon postcard in the mail. The next month, August, they all received another Free Cookie coupon in the mail for Back to School. In October, they all got a Free Kids Meal coupon for Halloween and in December, they got free cookies for Christmas. In February, they each got another Free Cookie coupon for Valentine’s. In May, they each received a Free Cookie card for Mother’s Day; they were supposed to use it as a gift for their Mom on Mother’s Day (how cute?!?!?). Wow, Zaxby’s! Thanks for all of the yummy, Zaxby’s food…for free! 🙂

After initial LOW EXPECTATIONS for the Zax Kidz Club, I’ve turned into quite the advocate for it! My boys get some really great yummy, free Zaxby’s food all throughout the year. They love taking their coupons in and getting free cookies or kids meals, and I love how it stretches our Eating Out budget. 🙂 For example, this past Sunday we had Zaxby’s for lunch after church because my boys had just received their Free Kids Meals postcards for Halloween last week. We usually eat out for lunch on Sundays, and earlier last week, I was wondering how we were going to stretch the $10 left in our budget for Sunday’s lunch. The next day, the Zax Kidz Club postcards arrived. 🙂

If you haven’t signed up your child/children for the Zax Kidz Club, you totally should! You can download the form here and mail it to them. Your Free Cookie card will arrive in a couple of weeks. The Zax Kidz Club is open to children age 10 and under. Make sure to fill out individual forms if you have multiple children. Don’t forget to fill in the date of your child’s birthday; he/she wouldn’t want to miss their Free Kids Meal around birthday time!

Also, our local Zaxby’s is giving a Free Kids Meal TODAY to kiddos wearing their Halloween Costumes. I have a lunch date there with a Civil War Soldier, a Ninja and a Knight! 🙂 If you have a Zaxby’s close by, call ahead and see if they have the same promotion.

Cycle 1, Week 7 Books about India & a missionary biography!

29 Oct

India/Hinduisum books

Story of the World: There’s a chapter on Hinduism in SOTW Volume 1 (chapter 30). The book is currently 40% off at Amazon! It’s one of our favorites! You can also buy Audio CDs for Story of the World. 🙂 Save your voice, and let your kiddos listen to the chapters during afternoon Rest Time! SOTW Volume 1 Audiobook CDs are currently 35% off at Amazon!

Ancient India Tales: I found some GREAT books about Ancient Indian tales and folk stories at our library. My boys thoroughly enjoyed the Greek Myths and Roman Myths, so I thought it would be fun to read some from Ancient India. I had not found many books listed on other CC blogs, so I was expecting NOTHING when I went to the library. I actually hit the jackpot!! Here are some of the ones I found below.

The Elephant’s Friend and other Tales from Ancient India (Marcia Williams)

Once A Mouse…(Marcia Brown)-The pictures  in the book are amazing! They’re actually woodcut illustrations. WOW! It’s also a Calcedott Medal winner. AND…it’s one of the “4 for 3” books with Amazon, which allows you to the 4th book free when buying 3 participating books. That’s how I scored my FAVORITE Burgess Animal books (YAY!!!) Rama and the Demon King (Jessica Souhami)-Another beautifully illustrated book! Also, another “4 for 3” book with Amazon! My boys laughed out loud when we read this. It is the retelling of an ancient Hindu tale.Kingdoms and Empires (Carson-Dellosa Publishing)- I had never heard of this series, “History of the World,” but I found this at the library as well. It’s a 6-volume set that journeys through World History. I’m excited about this one (volume 2) because it covers much of what we’ve been learning in the timeline–Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome…and several others that I’ve found LIMITED resources for–Ancient India, Persian Empire, Chinese Dynasties, Ancient Japan. Hopefully, it will be a great resource. We’ll see!

One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale (by Demi)-The illustrations in this book are truly stricking.This is the story of a greedy Raja who hordes rice and fails to share with the villagers in the midst of a famine. He is outsmarted when a peasant girl from the village, rewarded for her kind actions on the Raja’s behalf, asks for one grain of rice on Day 1 and the grain of rice to be doubled the following 29 days.

The Story of Little Babaji (Helen Bannerman)-This is a story of Babaji, a little boy growing up in India. He ventures off to the jungle wearing new clothes, and the tigers of the jungle  talk him out of his new clothes. 🙂 I love the illustrations, accurately depicting the images that are still cemented into my mind from my travels there a decade ago

Manu and the Talking Fish (Roberta Arenson)-This story is about an Indian prince named Manu. Manu rescues a fish, who is actually the Hindu god, Brahma in disguise, and the fish, in turn, offers to help Manu. The fish helps Manu prepare for a flood that is coming and that will destroy the earth. This is the Ancient Indian version of the flood account, which we, Christians, know from the life of Noah in the Bible. The hardcover edition is currently 60% off at Amazon.

Missonary Biography:

Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems (Janet & Geoff Benge)-
If you’re unfamiliar with the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series, please, please, please introduce your children to it! I was first introduced to the series last year with Sonlight. I read aloud their book about George Muller; literally everyday, my boys BEGGED “Next chapter, please! Next chapter, please,” when we read this. They have books on many well-known missionaries and Christians from the past: David Livingstone, Corrie Ten Boom, William Taylor, Eric Liddell, C.S. Lewis. I was so excited to read on Melody’s blog, And Here We Go, (one of my FAVORITE CC blogs!!!) that she was using our study of India as a time to learn about Amy Carmichael. What a brilliant idea! She actually made a list of Christian Heroes/Missionaries to correspond with all of Cycle 1–yay!

Amy Carmichael was a missionary to India in the last 1800s/early 1900s. She served in India 55 years and worked tirelessly on behalf of young girls sent to serve in Hindu temples or forced into prostitution. (Did I mention that she was single?!?!) She also worked against India’s caste system. I can’t wait to read this book to my boys! It will create the opportunity for wonderful conversations about India’s caste system, Hinduism, and missionary life. I have been to India twice and experienced the caste system and Hinduism. There is a Christian presence in India, but it is definitely in the minority, so this will be a great opportunity to talk and pray together with my boys that the gospel may go forth in a spiritually dark place.

The Christian Heroes: Then and Now series also has one about the life of Jim Elliot, who was another missionary serving in South America. His name may sound familiar if you’ve been listening to the CC Timeline song! He and his wife, Elisabeth, are one of the CC Timeline cards! We’ll be reading that book in the Spring! All of the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series books are a part of Amazon’s “4 for 3” book promotion! Go buy 3 of these, and you’ll get the 4th free–making them only $6.50/each!

A friend mentioned the Torchlighters series to me when we were learning about Eric Liddell
this summer. This series also has a book and a movie about Amy Carmichael. You can watch the Torchlighters’ Amy Carmichael movie online through Amazon Instant Movie Downloads, and Torchlighters website has free resources on their website to go with the movie.

I hope these are helpful books as we focus on Ancient India the next 2 weeks in CC!

Kids Eat Free @ Chili’s (Today through 10/31)

29 Oct


If you don’t feel like cooking tonight, tomorrow night or Wednesday night, head over to Chili’s for KIDS EAT FREE. 🙂

Why I love Kids Eat Free @ Chili’s:
*2 Kids Meals per paying adult. At other establishments, it’s a 1:1 ratio. We have three kiddos in our family, so we still have to pay for one child during Kids Eat Free at other restaurants. Not so with Chili’s! For each paying adult, you get TWO Free Kids Meals. All Mosley children eat free at Chili’s. 🙂 That makes the Mosleys’ wallet happy. 🙂

*I love Chili’s Chips and Salsa. I confess–I’m addicted to chips and salsa. There, I said it! Chili’s has the best! Kids Eat Free is nice on the Mosleys’ wallet, and it also helps me feed my chips and salsa addiction. Did I mention that they’re BOTTOMLESS?!?!?

I found out about Chili’s Kids Eat Free promotion this week because I’m a member of their Email Club. If you’re not a member of their email club, go here to sign up. You get a free Chips and Queso appetizer immediately after signing up! You’ll also get a Free Dessert each year on your anniversary with the Email Club. I also get special coupons and promotions every other week–Free Appetizer, Free Dessert, etc. Chili’s Email Club is one of the best around.

Enjoy your dinner @ Chili’s this week. Eat some chips and salsa for me! Better yet, find me in the restaurant when you drop by. I’ll be in the corner enjoying Bottomless Chips and Salsa. ha! 🙂

Vertebrates and Invertebrates resources (CC Cycle 1, Weeks 5 and 6)

28 Oct

I’ve been pretty silent the last 2 weeks over here @ Suzanne Shares. Our family enjoyed a wonderful vacation to St. Simon’s Island in Georgia. It was much needed, and we returned well rested. However, I’ve been playing catch up ever since (and thus, my negligence of the blog). Our trip to St. Simon’s paired well with our CC Science Grammar. We saw tons of different invertebrates on the beach–crabs, clams, whelks, oysters and some amazing vertebrates–sea turtles at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, dolphins swimming in the ocean, and son #2 even caught a shark! What a fun to memorize the major groups of invertebrates and vertebrates…and to see them in real life a few days later!

If you’re not heading to the beach anytime soon, you can still use some of these great resources to delve deeper into sponges, stinging-cell animals, mollusks, flatworms, round worms, segmented worms, sea stars, arthropods, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds!

Books: The Burgess Seashore Book for Children (Thorton W. Burgess)–If you’ve never read any of the Burgess books for children, YOU MUST! We’ve been reading the Seashore Book to get ready for our beach trip. If you are heading to the beach on a vacation in the future, pick this book up the week or two before and read it. Take it with you on your trip, too!

The fact that it says “for children” is true; the animals in the book all talk and are delightful! In this book, Danny Meadow Mouse accidentally climbs onto an airplane and is transported from his home in the Meadow to a Seashore. He meets Graywing the Gull and Jimmy Fox, who eagerly teach Danny all about the new animals and creatures that he’s observing for the very first time. The stories are captivating. My boys ALWAYS ask me to read the next chapter—again and again and again, when we’re reading this. However, the fact that the book says “for children” is also deceiving, parents, I promise you will learn just as much as the children do! I’m just as guilty as my boys; I always want to read just one more chapter, too! Favorite things about this book: short chapters; rich, factual information in an accessible, enjoyable way; delightful animal characters; my boys are learning without even realizing it!

Also, check out The Burgess Animal Book for Childrenand The Burgess Bird Book for Children; both of these are currently a part of Amazon’s 4-for-3 promotion, which allows you to buy 4 books (or lots of other great non-book products!) for the price of 3. That’s how I bought these!  A House for Hermit Crab ( Eric Carle)–Who doesn’t love Eric Carle books?!?! This is one of our favorites from the past. It was fun to pull it back out and use it in connection with our CC Science Grammar about Invertebrates. There are many, many, many invertebrates in this book.
Are You My Mother? (P.D. Eastman)-Out of the blue, son #2 asked me to read this book to him last week. So, as we read it, I made him tell me which group of vertebrate each animal belonged to as baby bird searched for his mother.

Vertebrates and Invertebrates Activities:

Vertebrates and Invertebrates Sorting Game-This is a great resource from Homemade Montessori. This file can be downloaded and printed (and even laminated to last longer!). It gives you TONS of pictures of invertebrates and vertebrates, and your child has to sort them.

Vertebrates Collage-We actually did this last year with our Sonlight Science curriculum. We learned the 5 groups of vertebrates, and I thought it would be fun to make a collage for each one. We scoured through old magazines and cut out any mammal that we could find. I had a huge roll of paper that my neighbor gave me, so I rolled out a long strand wrote “Mammals” on the top. We glued all of the pictures there that we found. When we learned about Birds, the next week, we did the exact same thing! We continued on through all 5 groups of vertebrates. They turned out really well; I still have them as decoration in our homeschool room. 🙂 I love them!! 

Read, read, read-Does your child have a favorite book filled with animals? If so, use this as an opportunity to have your child classify the animals in the book. Some suggestions (back to Eric Carle!) are shown here

Happy learning!

Finding Hope in Autism: Free Ebook resource

20 Oct

My husband is a church planter, and we are thankful to have just celebrated 2 years with our wonderful congregation at Redeemer Church. If you had told me 3 years ago that we would be planting a church, I would have laughed and given you a laundry list of all the reasons why we’d never do that. In God’s beautiful divine sovereignty and providence, He directed us into church planting. It’s been an amazing, wonderful, difficult, unclenching-my-fists-and-will, sanctifying, glorious, experiencing-God-like-I-never-had-before adventure. I’m thankful that He’s much wiser than me and knew that calling our family to plant a church would result in Him drawing me (and my husband) to Himself and making me more like Christ.

Two of my DEAREST friends, Betsy and Jo, from our sending church grew up and went to college with Christine over at Grace Covers Me. I remember them telling me about her and her family moving to Virginia to plant a church. Fast forward 3 years later and my friend Betsy told me that Christine blogged about her experiences church planting and being a church planter’s wife. (Insert angelic voices singing and a beautiful rendition of “Hallelujah Chorus” here) Her blog has been such an encouragement to me. If you’re a church planter’s wife or ministry wife, you should subscribe to her blog. I promise you’ll love it! She also has a new book coming out soon called The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart. I can’t wait to read it.

Right now she has a FREE RESOURCE on her blog called, A Beautiful Brokenness: a Mother Finds Hope in Autism. It is the story of her journey after her oldest son, Will, was diagnosed with Autism. She is offering it free in hopes that it will be an encouragement to others and a way to honor Will. I love Christine’s writing style–down-to-earth, funny, and encouraging. If you know of someone with a son or daughter, send them the link to the FREE BOOK at Grace Covers Me. You can download it in Word or as a .pdf.

This is another great resource that I couldn’t wait to share–a great blog for ministers’ wives and a GREAT book for Mothers of Autistic children. I pray that it’s encouraging and points you to Christ today.

Cycle 1 Week 5 & 6 Resources: Ancient Rome

8 Oct

My boys have LOVED going back through the Ancient Civilizations with CC this fall. We LOVED studying this last year with Sonlight, and it’s great to have a review this year and to go further in depth with Egypt, Greece and Rome.

Here are some resources for Week 5. Our family is going to take Weeks 5 and 6 to focus on Ancient Rome. What we don’t get to this week, we’ll try to tackle next week. 🙂

Ancient Rome resources:

Illustrate the History Statement-I’m continuing to have the boys illustrate the History Statement. If you’re on CC Connected, we’re using:” C1 History Sentences to Illustrate copy” by loriberlie. On the blog, CCing It One Day at a Time, she’s got some great resources including this one, which gives you a document to illustrate the Week 5 History Statement, including a fill-in-the-blank version with the illustration. Great stuff!

Story of the World-There is a section in Story of the World about the split of Rome. You can find the CC Weeks matched with Story of the World here.

Map Of The Roman Empire

The Roman Empire and the Bible-Again, shout out to Melody at And Here We GO! I love this resource that she shared. The author lists the succession of Roman rulers paralleling the New Testament. SO HELPFUL! Excited to share that with my kids NOW! Wishing that I had learned this in my earlier years as a new Christian. Matthew 2 and Luke 2 talk about the Roman leaders in place when Jesus was born. We’ll also read about Paul appearing before Caeasar in Acts 25-26. This would have been Emperor Nero. We’ll talk more about him related to the Christians he martyred. (see next item).

Christians Martyred under Roman rule–I’m going to take this opportunity to talk to my boys about Christians martyred under Roman rule. My boys remember Nero was a bad dude from our Sonlight studies last year, but this will give them specific examples.

    • Foxe’s Book of Martyrs-Did you know that NERO was the ruler of Rome during the time of Peter and Paul? Nero is famous for martyring many Christians; Matthew, Mark, Peter, Paul and many of the other disciples were martyred during his reign. You can read more about this in Foxes Book of Martyrs which is available to read free online here. Chapter 1 has specifics about when Matthew, Mark (killed by citizens of Alexandria, Egypt–great tie-in with Week 5 Geography), Peter, Paul and the others were killed.
    • Perpetua–I was privileged to travel to Tunisia in Northern Africa after college. I was able to see the ruins shown in the picture above. This is the location of where Perpetua was believed to be martyred by the Romans because she was a Christian. Read her story here. Perpetua was a Christian, wife and mother to a newly-born son. She was martyred shortly after her son’s birth by the Romans.

Books about Ancient Rome–We hope to read some of these over the next 2 weeks.

City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction(by David Macaulay)–We loved his book about The Great Pyramid that we read in Week 2. We’re excited to read this book about the amazing forethought and planning that was the city of Rome.

The Usborne Time Traveler-This journeys through many ancient civilizations including Rome. My boys loved this last year, so we’ll read through it again. I loved their explanation of the Roman roads, traffic, specific buildings that were used as well as the illustrations.

Detectives in Togas and Mystery of the Roman Ransom (by Henry Winterfield)-These would be good Read Alouds for Weeks 5 and 6. Detectives in Togas is the first book and Mystery of the Roman Ransom is the second book. These books are set in Ancient Rome an center around 7 school-age boys studying in a CLASSICAL SCHOOL. 🙂 The boys discover an unsolved mystery in both books and attempt to solve them. I probably enjoyed the books JUST as much as the boys! The end of each chapter leaves you hanging–in a HUGE WAY, so we could not put either of the books down.

Magic Tree House: Vacation Under the Volcano (by Mary Pope Osborne)-We love the Magic Tree House series as Jack and Annie travel back in time via their Magic Tree House. (I must confess that I covet their Tree House and wish that I could travel back in time with them!). I can’t believe I haven’t linked these books with Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. Those are great ones! “Vacation Under the Volcano” is set in Ancient Roman times and is specifically about the city of Pompeii, which was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius. This would be a fun Read Aloud or a great independent read for an elementary schooler.

Magic Tree House: Ancient Rome (a Nonfiction companion to “Vacation Under the Volcano”) –
This has a wealth of facts about life in Ancient Rome. It is the nonfiction book to be used in conjunction with “Vacation Under the Volcano.” Even if you don’t read it as a stand alone book it will be a great resource on Ancient Rome.

Romulus and Remus-This is a great easy-to-read story about the twin boys, Romulous and Remus, who founded Rome. Your kiddos will love this story if they’ve never heard it. The boys were raised by wolves! As you know this is a Timeline Card for Week 4, so I can’t wait to read this with my boys.

Roman Myths-My boys love Greek Myths so much that we will definitely check out this resource! From the looks of Amazon, it must be out of print. You may want to check your library; ours had it! yay!

Lots of great Week 5 Ancient Rome literature resources! I’ll included other resources for the other subjects for Week 5 in a separate post. Enjoy!

How to plan an Ornament Swap for the Advent Jesse Tree advent calendar

7 Oct

I shared last week about our 2 favorite Advent Calendars. Our set of ornaments for the Advent Jesse Tree advent calendar came from an Ornament Swap. It was magnificently genius! If I had been given the responsibility to make all 25 ornaments–myself–in order for us to have an Advent Jesse Tree advent calendar, well, I probably would not have had one. 😦 Just the thought of that seemed overwhelming.

So, when I received an email inviting me to an Ornament Swap for the Advent Jesse Tree, I signed up immediately! I knew that I could make 1 ornament 25 times–easy! Again, this was an ingenious idea! (Thanks, Faye!) If you’re interested in having an Advent Jesse Tree advent calendar to use in December, you should plan an Ornament Swap!

Planning an Ornament Swap: Step-by-step instructions:

1) Create a list of the 25 ornaments needed for the Advent Jesse Tree advent calendar
I’ve made this easy for you. 🙂 Here’s the document: Advent Jesse Tree ornaments

2) Set a date and location for the Ornament Swap
I have participated in Ornament Swaps in September and October. I recommend having the swap in early fall. The closer you get to Christmas (and Thanksgiving, for that matter!) people are so busy that you may not have enough people who are capable of participating. Set the date, time and location before moving to step #3. I would, also, recommend giving people 2-3 weeks minimum to have their ornaments made.

3) Spread the word and recruit your ornament makers!
Create an evite (you can list the 25 ornaments as the “Items to Bring” and conduct sign ups that way), create a Facebook event and invite potential participants, or email your friends. Spread the word, far and wide. This will ensure that you get 25 participants. I would consider having a Waiting List in case someone backs out at the last minute.

If for some reason you don’t get 25 participants, see if anyone would like to make more than 1 ornament. I have participated in several Advent Jesse Tree Ornament Swaps long after making my first set. This makes a wonderful Christmas gift for others in your family. One suggestion was to send an Ornament set to missionary families serving around the world. It was such a joy to send sets to my friends serving in Africa and Southeast Asia.

4) Plan the Ornament Swap event.
At the Ornament Swaps that I participated in, we always had a “Christmas” theme–spiced cider, Christmas music and yummy food! It was a festive time (even though it wasn’t Christmas!), which I always enjoyed. At the swap, everyone explained how they made their ornaments. This was one of my favorite times; I loved the creativity and stories behind each ornament. I still remember many of those stories as I get out my set each year.

If someone can’t attend the event but desire to participate in the Ornament Swap, make sure that they have their 25 ornaments to you before  the actual event. I participated in one swap where one gal didn’t have her ornaments made in time. She mailed the other 24 participants their ornaments–eek! Pricy!

Consider what you will do regarding the Advent Jesse Tree devotion book. Will you order 25 copies and have everyone pay you at the Ornament Swap? Or, will everyone be responsible for ordering their own copy of the book?

I hope that many of you are able to have an Ornament Swap! If so, please come back and let me know! I’d love to hear about it!

Traditions: Advent Calendars for Christmas

7 Oct

As a follow up to this post on Traditions for Thanksgiving and Christmas, a friend emailed and asked if our family used an Advent Calendar throughout the entire month of December. We actually use two.Sometimes, I’m a little over the top. Can you tell!?!? Actually, the 2 that we use are on different levels (One geared towards younger children. The other is more devotional in nature and geared for older children and adults. We obviously scale this back for the time being, but we will be able to expand it more as they get older.)

    • Advent Calendar #1: In the book that I mentioned in the previous post, Treasuring God in Our Traditions, Noel Piper mentions an advent calendar that they used in their home. I immediately checked with the Desiring God online store, and in 2004, they were selling them. So, I bought it!  WE LOVE IT!! Sadly, they don’t sell it anymore. I emailed them a couple of years ago to inquire about it. They emailed me back and confirmed that they no longer sold it. However, they emailed me a Word file with the Advent Calendar Script! The Script is the document that is read each day with the calendar. You might try emailing Desiring God to see if they would do the same for you. It’s a wonderful script, and you could use it to make your own 25 pieces for the Advent Calendar. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Piper Advent Calendar for the ages my boys are now (ages 7, 5, and almost 3). The script repeats each day, so they have the whole Christmas story memorized by Christmas. 🙂

–>UPDATE: My friend Kari found the text to the Noel Piper Advent Calendar on her blog.
Go download it here–FREE! Thanks, Kari! <–

I also did some research and found this CUTE, CUTE, CUTE felt Advent Calendar, which is loosely based on the  Piper Advent Calendar. On her website, she has a script, instructions and patterns so that you can make your own. She also has them for sale on her Etsy site, Heart FELT Truths.

  • Advent Calendar #2–Also, at our sending church, one of the elders’ wives always had an Advent Jesse Tree Ornament Swap for use with an Advent Jesse Tree devotional book. We, thoroughly, enjoy the Advent Jesse Tree devotion, and it traces Jesus from Genesis through the entire Bible. Each devotion works its way through the Bible making connections with Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. At the Ornament Swap, each woman would bring 25 sets of one ornament. Then, each of us would swap the ornaments and leave with 1 complete set. You could easily organize an Ornament Swap with women from your church or with friends.This is the Advent Jesse book shown below. The book includes suggestions of ornaments for each of the 25 devotions:

There are hundreds of different Advent Calendars available (including a Star Wars one!), so do some research to see which one works best for your family. We enjoy these 2 because they are helpful tools for our family to focus specifically on Christ every day in December leading up to Christmas.

Do you have a favorite Christmas Advent Calendar that your family enjoys?