Friday, January 19, 2018

Learning About Canada and the Arctic!

I did not intend to spend time this year on Canada nor the arctic, but reading one of Jane Yolen's books for co-op led to another, which led to a discussion of the arctic and so I decided to go with the theme!

We read:

  • Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
  • Welcome to the Ice House by Jane Yolen
  • How the Narwhal Got Its Tusk by Alejandro Segovia
  • Powerful Polar Bears by Elizabeth Bennett
  • Wonderful Wolves by Justin McCory Martin
  • Sleek Seals by Justin Blake
  • Over in the Arctic by Marianne Berks

    Jane Yolen's books are just beautiful and we loved them both! Reading Welcome to the Ice House led us to want to see more animals in the arctic, so we watched scenes from Frozen Planet. The kids were also excited to find their owl and wolf shirts that went along with our theme!

    And we had a blast playing with "snow" from our friend Jessi! She sent a fake snow mix, and the kids absolutely loved playing with it!

    We also colored a page about Canada from Around the World Coloring Book and we colored a scene from the Arctic thanks to Dolls of the World Coloring Book.

    A friend from co-op hosted an Owl Moon themed time, and the kids painted snow scenes with full moons and made snowy owls, which fit in perfectly with our learning for the week!

    My sister also made my kids travel kits for Christmas! They are so cool, complete with laminated airline tickets and passports! We had fun marking that we traveled to Canada, which led to marking all the other countries we've studied in past few years. I also found extra stamps and stickers for their books here and here, along with a free whole Printable Passport Activity.

    We look forward to marking our passports for the Caribbean next week!

    Here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Peru
  • India & Pakistan
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Central and Southern Africa
  • The Middle East
  • Japan
  • Central America
  • Northern Europe

    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
  • Tuesday, January 2, 2018

    Wendy in Colombia

    in Colombia
    August 24, 1998

    We sponsored Wendy in March 2017 after another of sponsored children left Compassion's program. I chose Wendy because she was older and because she shares a birthday with me.

    Wendy lives with her parents (Alquinson and Cecilia) and siblings. Her brother's name is Brandon and her sisters are Luisa and Helen. So far we have received 4 letters. She attends SENA - a national learning service and is studying scenic arts. She also works at a shoe store as a sales cleark.

    • food - rice with chicken, pizza
    • subject - Spanish
    • color - green, blue
    • animal - dog
    • hobby - walking, music, reading
    • sports- soccer, table tennis
    • friends - Valentina, Jesica, Jetry and Cindy

    Wendy likes to go to the movies and the mall with friends. She is also happy to spend time with family and take trips with them. She participates in the program's devotional and likes memorizing Bible verses. 

    Friday, December 29, 2017

    Daniela in Colombia

    in Colombia
    July 7, 2004

    We began sponsoring Daniela in April of 2017 and have received 3 letters from her. My youngest daughter has assumed the letter writing responsibilities for Daniela.

    • food - chicken
    • color - green
    • subject - Physical Education
    • animal - dog
    • hobby - jumping rope
    • game Botetarro
    • best friend - Leidy / Valentina
    • aunt - Maria Ines
    • mom - Milena Quirama
    • sisters - Yuliana Andrea, Yeferson Quirama, Kevin Bedoya
    • nieces - Lucian and Valeryn
    • likes to play botetarro ( a game like tag with a can)
    • likes to skate
    • like to eat desserts

    • bought clothes with $ we sent
    • is in a dance academy

    Wednesday, December 27, 2017

    Yulesqui in Nicaragua

    in Nicaragua
    August 7, 2006

    After my trip to Nicaragua in January 2016, I decided that when the opportunity came to add children to our family, I would make an effort to add children from Nicaragua. In November of 2016 we had an opening and I chose to sponsor Yulesqui. So far we have received 7 letters from her.

    From what I can tell through letters, she lives with her father, siblings, grandparents, tios, and cousins (her mom lives in Spain).

    • food - rice, beans and cheese
    • color - red and yellow
    • class - Spanish
    • pet - cat
    • Bible character - Jesus
    • received scholar pack from the project
    • bought clothes and shoes with $ we sent
    • celebrated her birthday at the project - broke a pinata and received a gift of clothing


    • Wants to be a lawyer
    • Please pray for mom's health - asked twice
    • wants to learn to play guitar
    • received gift for good behavior
    • celebrated children's day at project
    • friend at the center, Katherine, died
    • saw mom at Christmas - brought gifts, shoes and clothes

    "I do not know you personally, but I feel you close. You are part of my family and I love you."

    Sunday, December 24, 2017

    Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas!

    Friday, December 22, 2017

    Learning About Northern Europe

    Over the past few weeks we studied Northern Europe! As usual, most of our books were recommended from Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin. We spent the first week learning about Scandinavia and Iceland, and the second week learning about the Netherlands, Germany and Poland.

    Here is our Scandinavian/Icelandic booklist:

  • Hedgie's Surprise by Jan Brett
  • Who's that Knocking on Christmas Eve? by Jan Brett
  • The Hat by Jan Brett
  • Trouble with Trolls by Jan Brett
  • The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
  • Fritz and the Beautiful Horses by Jan Brett
  • Going Fishing by Bruce McMillan
  • The Problem with Chickens by Bruce McMillan
  • Annika's Secret Wish by Beverly Lewis

    And here is our Netherlands/Germany/Poland booklist:

  • Mrs. Katz & Tush by Patricia Polacco
  • The Greatest Skating Race by Louise Borden
  • Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming
  • Katie and the Starry Night by James Mayhew
  • El Tesoro by Uri Shulevitz
  • Vincent Van Gogh's Cat by Indiana Second Grade Students of East Washington Academy in Muncie
  • A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert
  • The Boy Who Held Back the Sea by Thomas Locker
  • The Cow Who Fell into the Canal by Phyllis Krasilovsky
  • Katje the Windmill Cat by Gretchen Woelfle

    As always, Jan Brett's books and illustrations are a hit! Her artwork and storytelling is so entertaining. The kids also really enjoyed The Problem with Chickens, which is both beautifully illustrated and a humorous story.

    We absolutely loved The Greatest Skating Race, a wonderful WWII story of a boy who ice-skates his neighbors to safety. Our other favorites were Boxes for Katje, A New Coat for Anna and Mrs. Katz & Tush, all excellent post-WWII stories.

    We watched some about Scandinavia and Iceland on the Human Planet. (I refer to Wikipedia for the listing of what is shown in each episode.) The kids always love watching Human Planet. I love our Around the World Coloring Book and we colored a scene from Sweden from the Dolls of the World Coloring Book.

    After reading about the Netherlands, we learned some about Van Gough and looked at samples of his artwork. And then we made these "Starry Night" ornaments with swirls based on his painting! (I was originally going to do this craft for co-op, but it was more difficult than I anticipated, so I switched to paint for the large group of kids.)

    In our first week, the kids narrated in Spanish, and the second week, in English. Here are Rosie's:
    La problema de las gallinas es que actúan como mujeres. Las gallinas cantan a las ovejas. Ellas fueran a la fiesta. Las gallinas descansan. Entonces las mujeres hace ejercicios. Las gallinas estaban fuertes y mujeres dicen, "Remember you are chickens." Las gallinas vuelan. Las mujeres tienen huevos y vuele con las gallinas.
    - The Problem with Chickens

    Anna needed a coat. The stores didn't have stuff in them. They went to the sheep farm to get wool. They gave the lap to the abuela, and she made the wool into yarn. They picked berries because they wanted to make red coat. The weaver changed the yearn into cloth. The tailor made a new coat for the girl. They made a birthday party.
    - A New Coat for Anna

    And Juanito's:
    Había una vez un pero y su niña. Fueran al encima de la montaña. Luego las trolas quieren el perro, pero la niña darles sus cosas en cambio para el perro. Cuando llegaron al encima, ellos, los trolas, toman el perro pero la niña toma sus esquís y la niña susurra, "Yo puedo volar en estos."
    "¿Vuele? ¿Cómo vuele?"
    La niña dijo que necesita sus cosas para volar. Los trolas den las cosas a la niña y empújala con el perro. La niña y el perro van abajo de la montaña con los esquís.
    - Trouble with Trolls

    A boy Piete wrote a map in his notebook, the map was of all the places where the race was. Piete helped the kids, he helped them skate past the soldiers. He wanted to help the kids. He had to get them to their aunt's house, the house was not close by. They had to travel, they skated to Brugge. He went and showed the soldiers his map and they let him go. He said ti was for school and not a spy. And then they found the aunt standing on the doorstep just as Piete's grandfather had told them. And then Piete went back home.
    - The Greatest Skating Race

    We made a few meals, thanks to my favorite cookbook: Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook by Joetta Handrich Schlabach. We also made Dutch Muesli and Finnish whip (a cranberry and cream of wheat dessert).

    For co-op we made cranberry sauce and a bundt cake (well, I fully intended to make this Polish bunt cake, but after recovering from sickness we just made a box cake in a bundt pan and topped it with cranberry sauce):

    In co-op, we prayed for the Livvi-Carelinana people people group in Finland and read about them in the Wycliffe book Around the World with Kate and Mack. We played games from Denmark and Poland. The Polish game was a here are the instructions:

    The Old Bear

    Children chose one person as a bear. The bear is sitting in the middle of the circle pretending that he is asleep and it is snoring loudly; the children in a circle and sing:

    (children are walking in the circle and sing)

    Old bear is sleeping deeply,
    Old bear is sleeping deeply,
    We walked on our tiptoes as we're afraid of him,
    When he'd wake up he would eat us!
    When he'd wake up he would eat us.

    (children are standing round in the circle and recite)

    The first hour (passed) - the bear sleeps
    The second hour (passed)- the bear snores
    The third hour - the bear wakes up and he's catching us!!!!

    Then the person in the middle pretending to be a bear stands up and tries to catch somebody while children break a circle and run away trying to escape; the next caught person is a new bear and the play repeats!

    We also read a few books, made an Norse weaving craft, and painted "Starry Night" ornaments based on Van Gogh's painting! (Juanito's is red, José's blue, and Rosie's is the multi-colored ball.)

    We will see you again in the new year, starting off with the Caribbean!

    Here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Peru
  • India & Pakistan
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Central and Southern Africa
  • The Middle East
  • Japan
  • Central America

    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
  • Thursday, December 21, 2017

    My Uniform

    It's Dressember and I'm wearing a dress every day during the month of December to raise awareness and funds in the fight against modern day slavery. The first week and a half I wore a different dress each day. Then I got the idea to wear the same black dress every day, but style it differently each day. It was fun and a great challenge in creativity and simplicity, so I offered to got a second week if I got enough donations.

    The donations came pouring in, and I've been stretching my creative muscles finding new ways to wear the dress this week.

    It's actually been fun, and I've decided to up the ante and wear the dress again next week (I'll definitely take a break from it over the weekend). BUT....I really want to meet and then exceed my fundraising goal. So...for each $50 raised, I'll find a new way to wear this dress. If you can donate $5, $10, $20...any amount, it would greatly be appreciated.

    You can find my fundraising page HERE.

    Before you go, here's a story....

    Years ago my husband heard a news story about the problem of sex trafficking in Thailand. He was so disturbed and moved that when he got home he asked me if Compassion worked in the country of Thailand. I knew they did and we immediately pulled up the Compassion website to find a girl to sponsor there. The first photo to appear was that of Orm....

    We sponsored her right then, not even bothering to look at other girls. At the time we had no idea that visiting her and meeting her in person would be part of our future. A few years later we met a family that lived in Thailand and led a mission in Burma. In 2014 our family traveled to visit the Eubank family, and had the opportunity to meet Orm!

    When I first heard about Dressember, I couldn't help but think about Orm. I honestly have no idea if she was at risk of being trafficked, but I still wear my dress everyday for her and all the other girls in Thailand. 

    Once again, HERE is my fundraising page. Thank you.

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