This Week's News: December 6, 2014- Headed to Christmas

We are headed into the Christmas season, full steam ahead. I can't believe it's here already. This was a busy week, only the first of many busy weeks. Here is a look at our week.



What we’re learning:
We started the week with a little Sunday school. We were behind on our Poppins Book Nook fun because of the blog being down for over two weeks! So we read our book- which I had had picked out for forever- and did some fun activities on Sunday evening. Our theme was In the Kitchen, and you can see my post here. We had some geography fun with the book How To Bake An Apple Pie and See the World. And then, of course, we baked an apple pie.


Ashlyne, Rachel, and I are in Europe now in My Father's World geography. They played the Geography Game with their Europe boards. The game, that comes from the curriculum, involves matching countries with their place on the map. They are doing pretty well to have just recently begun Europe.

We started our Jesse Tree this week- December 1. We love doing this each year as a countdown to Christmas. It's good for keeping our focus on Christ and for learning a little Biblical history. You can read more about the Jesse Tree in this article I wrote for the Review Crew.




What we’re reading:
Kingdom Tales Trilogy is our whole family/lunch time read aloud. We've moved into the third of three books. I'm truly loving this allegorical fantasy novel, and I look forward to reading it to the every day.

Indian Captive by Lois Lenski is still the book I'm reading with the little girls. It's slow going right now because we're interspersing it with some of our Christmas picture books. I wrote a post about some of our favorites here. 

I just finished a great book, Christian nonfiction, by Annie Downs. Titled Let's All Be Brave, it was inspiring, encouraging and convicting. I reviewed it here.


Where we’re going:

On Tuesday, Kathryne, Charles, and I, along with my mom, volunteered at our local Operation Christmas Child processing center. If you've never packed a shoebox, you should check out Operation Christmas Child's website. 

This amazing ministry, a part of Samaritan's Purse, sends shoeboxes full of gifts to needy children all over the world. The gifts truly touch the children who receive them, and we saw a video Tuesday about how the boxes can get into countries that the gospel cannot.

After families and churches pack shoeboxes full of goodies, the boxes are delivered to processing centers. There are only a few nationwide, but we happen to live close to one. Anyone age 13 or older can volunteer to process boxes and prepare them for shipping. Kathryne and I have volunteered for three years now, but it was Charles and my mom's first time.

The whole thing is always amazing. From the kindness and love from all of those that we meet, to the awesome stories about kids who have received the boxes, to the way that every single thing in this ministry is bathed in prayer, you can't help but leave encouraged and inspired. And we already can't wait to go back next year!
    
Kathryne inspects a box to remove any money.

On the line, working

Me with Mercedes- our team leader for the evening

On Wednesday night, our church children's choirs had their last meeting for the semester. They had a cookies and carols program for parents, so I went to be with Ashlyne and Rachel.

 This weekend is Christmasville, our town's Christmas celebration. There is a parade and events downtown- gingerbread house competition, rides, Vendor markets, and much more. Ashlyne and Rachel walked in the parade last night with their gym. It was a little frosty, but we went out to see them.



Today we had rain, rain, rain. Rachel and Kathryne were supposed to dance with their praise and worship group on one of the stages downtown, but it was rained out. We still went downtown with some of our friends so that we could walk around and see the sites. We had a good time, despite getting a little wet.




What’s on the blog:

Tablets and Homeschool: Why and How You Should Use Them takes a look at how to effectively use tablets in your homeschool. And there is a great giveaway for a Kindle Fire- which will be open until December 16.

Christian Fiction for Christmas Giveaway- This is my own giveaway of five great Christian fiction reads, just in time for Christmas. This one will be open until December 19, so enter to win! 

Blogging Through the Alphabet: E is for Educents- I give a look at Educents, a great place for discounted curricula and learning tools. And I have an exclusive subscriber freebie from Educents, just for my readers! 

What’s coming up:


Next week is going to be another busy one. I'm counting days to see when we can pause for a Christmas break. I don't think the kids realize that I enjoy those as much as they do.

I'm linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers for Weekly Wrap Up. 
Weekly Wrap-Up
 

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