Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It's Bigger Than a Dress


I'm one week into Dressember and so far the challenge of wearing a dress every day has been fun. I've rediscovered my love of wearing dresses regularly. I really wish this was just a silly fashion challenge. It started out that way. Blythe Hill, founder of Dressember, was a bored college student interested in fashion. She decided to wear a dress every day for the month of December, and called it her Dressember challenge. She got through it, had fun and thought that was the end of it.

But the next year, some of her friends asked if they could join her in wearing dresses every day of December. Blythe and her friends wore dresses every day, and again Blythe thought that was the end of it. But the next year, friends of friends were asking to join in. By the 4th or 5th year, Blythe thought maybe she should connect this interest and forward movement to a cause.

She had an interest in fighting human trafficking and decided to name International Justice Mission as the recipient of all funds raised. Since then, the movement continues to grow each year and new ministry partners have been added.

Did you know that human trafficking is a $32 billion industry? 20% of cases are labor involved and the other 80% are sex trafficking cases. This is appalling and must be stopped. We can be part of ending slavery, just as we can be part of ending extreme poverty. But it takes funds and people who are willing to speak up.

I set a goal to raise $350. I'm about 1/3 of the way there. I'd love to not only reach that goal, but completely blow that goal out of the water by surpassing it. Every time a new donation comes in it gives me a burst of encouragement to keep fighting.

Will you take a minute and donate any amount to my campaign? You can find my fundraising page HERE.

If you want to know more about the Dressember movement, this is an interesting TED talk with Blythe Hill

Friday, December 1, 2017

Learning About Central America

Over the past few weeks we studied the Middle East! As usual, most of our books were recommended from Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.


Here is our booklist:

  • Sopa de Frijoles by Jorge Argueta
  • Mango, Abuela and Me by Meg Medina
  • Abuela's Weave by Omar Castaneda
  • Alfombras de Aserrín by Amelia Lau Carling
  • La tienda de Mamá y Papá by by Amelia Lau Carling
  • Los músicos de Bremen by Rose Ros
  • Uncle Nacho's Hat by Harriet Rohmer
  • The Gold Coin by Alma Flor Ada
  • Fernando's Gift by Douglas Keister
  • The Umbrella by Jan Brett
  • The Forest in the Clouds by Sneed Collard III
  • The Little Painter of Sabana Grande by Patricia Markun
  • New Shoes for Silvia by Johanna Hurwitz
  • Guatemala ABCs by Marcie Aboff

    As usual, Jan Brett's books have amazing illustrations, and The Umbrella followed suit. We also really enjoyed Abuela's Weave and The Little Painter of Sabana Grande, because of beautiful illustrations and glimpses into rural Central American life. Juanito loved The Gold Coin and although it's a bit longer for young kids, it is such a great story. Rosie really liked New Shoes for Silvia, I think because she could identify with Silvia! And we colored some girls in traditional dress, you can find Ana of Costa Rica and Maya of Guatemala via the links.


    Since we write to four Compassion children in Central America, we spent some time praying for them!


    We watched some Compassion videos, and these were our favorites:




    We also watched some of the North America, since it showed some of Costa Rica. And the fun thing was that our science topic, sea turtles, coincided well with Central America since many sea turtles lay their eggs in this part of the world! The kids had fun making sea turtles thanks to the prep of a fellow mom in co-op:


    We did our sea turtle narration in English and our book narrations in Spanish this week. Here are Rosie's:
    We can help sea turtles:
  • We can pick up the trash
  • We can not put balloons outside
  • We can tell people
  • Turn off the lights
  • Obey the signs that protect the sea turtles
  • Tía Rosita envía zapatos rojos a Silvia. Silvia le gusta sus zapatos. Los zapatos were tan grandes. Los bebés de oliva se duermen en los zapatos. Estaban montando en los zapatos porque Silvia estaba fingiendo que zapatos son un tren. Al fin, Silvia crece y puede lleva los zapatos.
    - New Shoes for Silvia

    And Juanito's:
    The leatherback is the biggest reptile in the world. Throw your trash away because it can kill and even hurt sea turtles. Turn your lights off so the sea turtles don't come towards them. The eggs hatch and then they drag themselves to the beach so they can swim in the water. Sea turtles eat jellyfish, clams and plants.
    Juan era un ladrón. Juan ve una mujer con una moneda. Y después ella dice, "Soy la mujer más rica del mundo." Y después el hombre Juan la sigue a todos lugares que la mujer va. Pero estaba cosas para hacer. La mujer estaba ayudando los enfermos y dando una moneda de oro. Al fin, Juan vi la mujer parando al frente de su casa, la mujer pide si necesita una moneda. Juan toma la moneda y la niña estaba parando atrás de la mujer y ella digo, "¡Rápido! Mi mamá está solo y el bebé está hace en una momento." Juan da la moneda a la mujer, "El bebé va a necesitarlo más que mí," dice Juan.
    - The Gold Coin

    We made a few Central American meals, including Costa Rican enchiladas, Nicaraguan egg soup, and of course, rice and black beans, thanks to my favorite cookbook: Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook by Joetta Handrich Schlabach. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos... And we made Guatemalan plantains and El Salvadorian cheese muffins for co-op!

    In co-op, we prayed for the Q’anjob’al people group in Guatemala and read about them in the Wycliffe book Around the World with Kate and Mack. To go along with learning about the cloud forests, we used markers to color toucans, butterflies and quetzals on photo paper, which gives such a fun, shiny effect.


    In addition to sponsoring kids via Compassion, we also sponsor a number of Honduran kids with Manna 4 Lempira, so we watched some videos about the Manna program:




    And then we made Easter cards for the Manna 4 Lempira unsponsored children! My kids also made cards for their friends in Honduras, but I wanted to include all of the co-op in the letter writing.


    Next up, we are heading to Europe!

    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




    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.
  • Wednesday, November 29, 2017

    Dressember


    In December I'll be wearing only dresses. 

    Why?



    I'm so glad you asked. 

    I'm participating in Dressember...a campaign that uses dresses as their uniform to raise awareness and funds in the fight against human trafficking. I first heard about Dressember a couple years ago when one of my online friends participated and posted about it. I was intrigued, but forgot to plan to do it the next year and by the time I heard about it again it had already started. This year I remembered to look into it and am excited to participate. 

    I love advocating for those who cannot speak up for themselves. I also love to wear dresses. Combine the two and you have the perfect combination for Dressember. 

    I'll be posting about my experience throughout the month. In addition to wearing dresses and telling people about the campaign, I'll be reading books, watching documentaries and finding other ways to educate myself and figure out what I can do to fight this atrocity. If you have recommendations for me to read or watch, please let me know in the comments. 

    If you want to learn more about this movement, go HERE.  If you want to donate on my page, go HERE.

    It's not to late to join in if you are so inclined! Or perhaps you want to just commit to wearing a dress one or two days a week and pray for the victims of modern day slavery. 

    Friday, November 24, 2017

    Learning About Japan

    We learned about Japan, and based our booklist off of the recommendations from Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.


    Here is our booklist:

  • The Magic Fan by Keith Baker
  • The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel
  • How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina Friedman
  • Around the World in a Bathtub by Wade Bradford
  • Crow Boy by Taro Yashima
  • Hachiko by Pamela Turner
  • Grass Sandals by Dawnine Spivak
  • Grandfather's Journey by Allan Say
  • Tea with Milk by Allan Say
  • Kamishibai Man by Allan Say
  • The Boy in the Garden by Allan Say
  • The Bicycle Man by Allan Say
  • Home of the Brave by Allan Say
  • An Ancient Art by Michael Burgan

    We fell in love with Allan Say's books. The writing and illustrations were incredible. Our three favorites were Grandfather's Journey, Tea with Milk and Kamishibai Man, but now I want to find more of his books! The kids loved how The Magic Fan has a fan to open on each page, and they got a kick out of the The Funny Little Woman. I also really enjoyed How My Parents Learned to Eat, and how it shows the blending of two cultures.

    I love our Around the World Coloring Book and we enjoyed the Let's Learn About Japan activity book.


    We made a number of Japanese meals, including sukiyaki (thanks to reading about it in How My Parents Learned to Eat) and a stir-fry from my favorite cookbook, Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook by Joetta Handrich Schlabach, along with homemade sushi with tuna and imitation crab.


    Rosie narrated The Funny Little Woman:

    The funny little woman, she says, "My dumpling, my dumpling!" She goes to tell somebody. And then the fun little woman laughed and the people say, "Hide behind me because the wicked oni is coming." He put her in the boat and swimmer across the ocean to the weird house, she had to cook rice. She bringed the rice paddle and she goes in the boat, and then she called in the mud. The wicked oni spat all the water out, and then she goes back home, and she got some for the little babies!

    And Juanito narrated The Magic Fan:

    Yoshi found a magic fan. And then he opened the fan and then he build a boat to sail across to touch the moon. Then he built a kite and then a bridge. And then the huracán came. And then all the personas went to the bridge and they stayed there until the huracán was gone. And then when people saw their houses driven away by the huracán, Yoshi said, "We can build houses and fences, wagons and walls." Yoshi didn't need a magic fan because the magic he discovered was his own.

    For co-op, we prayed for Japanese sign language people group and read about them in the Wycliffe book Around the World with Kate and Mack. Then, we read X and X. For snack, we ate pocky.

    We made two crafts, one was mini koi and another was making cherry blossom paintings.


    Next up, Central America!

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




    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.
  • Friday, October 20, 2017

    Learning About the Middle East

    Over the past few weeks we studied the Middle East! As usual, most of our books were recommended from Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.


    Here is our booklist:

  • The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
  • Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams
  • Lost and Found Cat by Doug Kuntz
  • Sitti's Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Sitti and the Cats by Sally Bahous Allen
  • The Hungry Coat by Demi

    The Librarian of Basra, Four Feet, Two Sandals, and Lost and Found Cat are really good ways to introduce the issues of war and refugees in the Middle East (although, in hindsight, Four Feet, Two Sandals should be on our reading list for Pakistan...I made a note for the future!). Juanito has been motivated to pray for refugees since reading these books, but at the same time, these books did not instill fear of unrest. And, as always, I highly recommend anything by Demi! We loved The Hungry Coat and the lesson shared!


    We watched some about the United Arab Emirates 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. We also watched a few short videos on Youtube about rug making! Here's a sample:


    I love our Around the World Coloring Book, which we used for Saudi Arabia and Israel (and Turkey for our co-op).


    We played sidewalk games from Iran and Israel, thanks to Sidewalk Games Around the World. As you'll see, we improvised and used duplos instead of rocks and peach pits.


    We also made two meals, a Turkish veggie bake and Iranian Musaka, thanks to my favorite cookbook: Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook by Joetta Handrich Schlabach. The kids were excited to try eggplant since we had read about eggplant in The Hungry Coat.


    I am working the kids into narrating in both English and Spanish. Since they each narrated about whales in Spanish, we did English narrations for the Middle East for the book The Hungry Coat. Here is Rosie's:
    He didn't have some food and the people didn't give him food. He took a bath with the donkey. He changed his clothes and he went back. He gave the food to his hungry coat.

    And Juanito's:
    Nasretti liked to help whomever he could, and then he heard a cook scream in the caravansary. And then he went there and put apples on the floor, little pieces of apple, and then the goat nibbled to the last piece and he was able to catch the goat. The cook invited him to eat with the other guests, but he said he was going to a banquet with an old friend. And then he decided he didn't have time to change his coat, and then he sat in the corner with no food. And he tried to talk to the guests by yelling to them across the room. And then he trotted on his little donkey and headed home. And he had an idea. He took off his coat with patches upon patches and smelling of goat. And he took a bath and poured a whole jar of soap until the room was filled with bubbles. And then he put on a shiny new coat. And he hopped onto the donkey and trotted to the banquet hall. And then they served him food and drink. And he picked up a lot of food and put it in his coat and poured a bottle of wine into his coat. And then one person said, "Why are you feeing your coat, my old friend?" And then he said, "Remember, look at the man, not at the coat. You can change the coat but not the man. Even a good man can wear a bad coat, and a good coat can cover a man with the heart of a wolf." And then they celebrated with dancing and fireworks.

    For co-op, we specifically focused on Turkey. We prayed for a missionary couple in Turkey, since our usual book (Around the World with Kate and Mack) didn't have a people group from the Middle East. Then, after reading The Hungry Coat, we colored the flag of Turkey, along with a map of Turkey from the Around the World Coloring Book. And we played a Turkish game that was similar to London Bridge! I found the game from the Turkish Culture Foundation.

    We looked at samples of Ebru art, and then made our own via these instructions from PBS:


    For our snack, the kids started with hummus, which my kids had helped me make earlier in the week!


    While the kids were snacking on hummus, I prepped some orange tea (with apple cider to cool it off) to eat with apricots and date bread! The Turkish tea cups are from my dear friend.


    As you probably know, I am quite passionate about sponsorship...and tying our studies into writing and praying for our sponsored kids. So we turned our Ebru artwork into cards! Here's what I made for our Manna 4 Lempira girls with my test artwork from the night before (I wanted to be sure that the project would work!):


    Next up, Japan!

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




    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.
  • Friday, October 13, 2017

    Birthday Buddies

    Six or seven years ago, we incorporated the idea of birthday buddies into our family sponsorship experience. Yesterday was my youngest daughter's birthday (and also Joylyne's in Kenya!) and we worked on this story for a school project. I took a video of her practicing her presentation and thought I'd share it here.




    Friday, October 6, 2017

    Learning About Central & Southern Africa!

    I learned last year that sometimes our local library does not carry many books about a particular country. So this year, when I was searching our library database for the books recommend in Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin, if I only found one or two on a country, I moved out and focused on a region.

    For the month of September, we started in southern Africa, highlighting South Africa and Botswana, and then we moved north to central Africa, highlighting Chad.


    Here is our booklist:

  • Elephants of Africa by Gail Gibbons
  • Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky by Elphinstone Dayrell
  • At the Crossroads by Rachel Isadora
  • My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me by Maya Angelou
  • The Dove by Dianne Stewart
  • The Gift of the Sun by Dianne Stewart
  • Rain School by James Rumford
  • Calabash Cat by James Rumford
  • Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke
  • Good Luck Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke
  • Story of David Livingstone from Hero Tales by Dave & Neta Jackson

    I really loved Rain School, and decided to focus on Chad for our co-op (more what we did later). Rosie's favorite was My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me (she was joking she couldn't tell us funny things because we're not chickens), and Juanito really enjoyed both South African stories, The Dove and The Gift of the Sun, and the Anna Hibiscus stories. In hindsight, Anna Hibiscus should be on the west Africa reading list!


    We watched some of the Human Planet, since it included people from Botswana. (I refer to Wikipedia for the listing of what is shown in each episode.) The kids always love watching Human Planet.

    We colored the South African flag, and we colored a scene from Botswana from the Dolls of the World Coloring Book.


    And then we played a South African sidewalk game, thanks to Sidewalk Games Around the World. Due to the young ages of my kids, we did have to improvise and switch from throwing a tennis ball to kicking a soccer ball! But everyone had fun, even José, who's only one!


    We also made a South African meal of meatloaf and cornbread with greens, thanks to my favorite cookbook: Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook by Joetta Handrich Schlabach.


    I am working the kids into narrating in both English and Spanish. For English, I let them choose their book. For Spanish, I chose Rain School. Here are Rosie's:

    The story is about a girl. She puts beads on her and she has a chicken. She lets the chicken runaway and the boy screams. They paint with feathers from the chicken. The little girl's best friend is the chicken. The girl tells her secrets to the chicken.
    - My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me

    El niño se llama Thomas. Thomas va a escuela. Los niños tienen que build, construir, la escuela. Ellos van adentro. Escribe la letra. Los niños usan lápiz y libros. La tormenta viene y la escuela se cayó.
    - Rain School

    And Juanito's:

    There was a hurricane and then it took away everything it could carry but one house was still built. Grandma Muloko's house. Grandma Muloko couldn't plan her crops until the rain stopped so she kept working on her beads instead. Then the rain stopped and the sun, pushed, pushed, pushed its way out of the heavy clouds. And then they saw the dove and Grandma Muloko said, "Go get some food for it." So Lindi did, so Lindi got the corn and fed it to the dove. It came back for a lot of days and then didn't come again. And then they had to leave and go somewhere else because of all the damage. And when they were on the rain, people were talking about the hurricane and all the damage it caused. And when they arrived, they walked to the bead store, but the girl said, "We have too many bead sellers here, why don't you go to the bead beach?" And then they went to the beach and then went home. And then when Lindi woke up one day, Lindi turned to her grandma, "Can you help me make a dove?" "Yes," said her grandma. And she helped sew everything together. And then Lindi said, "How lovely dove! Can you show it to the people in the art shop?" And then Grandma said yes and took it to show them. But they didn't;t buy the beads and then she remembered the dove. And then she gave it to the community art shop lady and she said, "Oh, yes! Can you please make more?" And then Grandma Muloko returned to her house and Lindi said, "Did they buy the beads?" "No, but they bought the dove and asked us to make more." And then they spent hours making more, more, more dolls. Y fin.
    - The Dove

    Thomas va a escuela. Los niños construyen su escuela. La construyen la paredes con palos y lodo y usaran césped para el techo. Thomas ayuda a traer las sillas. La maestra dibuja una letra, la A. Thomas dibuja la A con sus manos. La mataste trae los libros y los lápices para los niños. Thomas aprende las letras. Estaba el último día para escuela, y la lluvia viene. La escuela se derrumbara y nada queda.
    - Rain School

    For co-op, we are purposing to pray for a people group or missionary. Since we were focusing on Chad for co-op, we prayed for the Tunia people group and read about them in the Wycliffe book Around the World with Kate and Mack. Then, after reading Rain School, we colored the flag of Chad, along with scenes from daily life in Chad.

    Then we made mancala boards, thanks to instructions via Compassion's Explorer Magazine!


    Finally, for our snack, we had bananas and beignets soufflés, both of which are eaten in Chad!


    Then, before leaving Africa in our studies, we took a jaunt to the west to Kenya briefly and read The Marvelous Mud House by April Graney! April is a fellow Compassion sponsor and she wrote the story after visiting her sponsored child in Kenya!


    The story parallels the lives of Ben in the USA and George in Kenya, and how they meet and influence each other's lives. Since our family is so passionate about sponsorship and our kids are growing up writing to sponsored kids, this book really touched home. The story is beautifully illustrated and has become one of Juanito's favorite books!

    Next up, the Middle East!

    Here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Peru
  • India & Pakistan
  • Mexico
  • Brazil




    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.
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