Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Just a friendly reminder that October 31 is the deadline for Christmas gifts for your sponsored children. It's important that we get our monetary gifts in to Compassion, so the total can be added up and divided evenly among ALL the children Compassion ministers to. The suggested donation amount per child is $25, but you can donate any amount to the Christmas fund.

Also...while you are at it, why not log into your account and send a card or note using the Christmas themed templates Compassion provides. There are quite a few to choose from, and sending it now will guarantee delivery before Christmas. You can send a card the old fashioned way, but it will likely get scanned and sent electronically to your child.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Learning About Tanzania!

The last few weeks we learned about Spain! Now we are finishing up learning about Tanzania. As I mentioned before, the main books we are covering are recommended by the Five in a Row [FIAR] curriculum and Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.

Our next FIAR book is actually Harold and the Purple Crayon, but I wanted to include an African country, specifically one where we sponsor Compassion children, and so I squeezed Tanzania into our studies between The Story of Ferdinand and Harold and the Purple Crayon! Here are the books we read:

  • Elizabeti's Doll by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
  • Lala Salama: A Tanzanian Lullaby by Patricia Maclachlan
  • Under the Baobab Tree by Julie Steigemeyer
  • We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs (also available in Spanish: Nos Fuimos Todos de Safari)
  • Grandpa Kobe Helps Amani and Pendo in Tanzania by Nadia Hammond

    (You may notice that the list is slightly different than the books on my plan because I wasn't able to find all my intended titles at the local library, so I subbed in some books that our library did have!)

    We had fun finding Tanzania on the map, locating where our stories took place, praying for our Compassion girls from Tanzania, and learning about animals that live in Tanzania!

    And then we went on a hunt for Tanzanian animals hiding in our house... It was educational because the kids learned that bears don't live in Tanzania, nor do tigers, but lions do! They put them in the "zoo" after finding them all:

    Even José found a Tanzanian animal...

    We also had fun looking through Jessi's photos of her trip to Tanzania, which you can find on her blog: Me and Mr. Jones. When Jessi came back from Tanzania, she also taught me a Tanzanian game called Simba and Swala. Rosie wasn't very interested in the game, but Juanito and I had fun playing tag with one person being the simba, or lion, and the other being the swala, or gazelle. In addition to looking at Jessi's photos, we also watched some Compassion videos about Tanzania, and this was our favorite:

    In reading Elizabeti's Doll and Lala Salama: A Tanzanian Lullaby, the kids noticed that the moms wear their babies on their backs like I wear José. So they decided to get some cloths to wear kangas like the Tanzanian moms do:

    We spent some time praying for our Compassion girls in Tanzania: Maria, Elinami, Magreth and Rose! The kids colored some pictures too, and so I sent our girls letters showing the photo of Juanito or Rosie holding their photo and I also scanned and attached the kids' coloring!

    We did narrations for Elizabeti's Doll. Juanito's:

    She has a baby and she didn't have her doll and she found a rock and named it Eva. She went to go visit her friend and she didn't have a doll so she found a rock and named it Malucey. She went to get water, she put Eva next to the other rocks so she wouldn't be lonely. When she came back she couldn't find Eva, and then she found next to the pot and she rolled it and her mommy cleaned it off and rocked the baby in her arms.

    And Rosie's:

    A niña, she uses the rock para una muñeca. She can't find her mami, cause she cookin'. She carries him in the room.

    And then we did narrations for We All Went on Safari. We had to learn to draw elephants for our narrations and used these instructions. Juanito's:

    Encuentran un leopardo y encuentran elefantes, jirafas y hipopótamos. Nos fuimos todos de Safari y vimos ñúes, jabalíes, cebras, monos y leones. Hicieron un fuego y durmieron.


    Vi elefantes, jirafa, cebras, jabalíes, ñúes, leopardo, a monkey. Hoo hoo ha ha.

    And then because we learned how to draw elephants, Rosie wanted to read her favorite elephant books, the Elephant and Piggie Books, which are also available in Spanish!

    We've had a great time learning about Tanzania! Next up, France!

    To view my complete plan for the year, click here. And here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain

    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.
  • Monday, October 10, 2016

    What to Write ~ Commandment 9

    I've been writing a series of letters to my kids based on the 10 Commandments. You can find my other letters in this series by following the links below.

    1. first letter (introduction)
    2. second letter (first commandment - no other gods)
    3. third letter (second commandment - no idols)
    4. fourth letter (third commandment - don't misuse God's name)
    5. fifth letter (fourth commandment - keep the Sabbath day holy)
    6. sixth letter (fifth commandment - honor your father and mother)
    7. seventh letter (sixth commandment - do not murder)
    8. eighth letter (seventh commandment - do not commit adultery)
    9. ninth letter (eighth commandment - do not steal)


    Greetings from Oregon! How are you doing? I hope this letter finds you well. We have changed seasons again here in our little corner of the world. Summer has come to an end, and Autumn has arrived. The temperatures have dropped, and our days and nights are cooler. The rains have returned, and all the leaves are falling off the trees. I think this is my favorite time of year.

    Let's talk about the next commandment, shall we? This is the ninth out of ten - we are almost done! Exodus 20:16 says, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." This is just another way of saying, you must not lie. We give "false testimony" by leaving something out of a story, telling a half-truth, twisting the facts or simply making up things that are not true. 

    We find further instruction about lying in Ephesians 4:25 - "So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body."

    Anytime we mislead or trick someone into believing something that is not true we are lying. We can even lie by the way we act. If you pretend you are happy when you are not, you are lying to those around you. 

    In the Bible we see that Satan or the devil is the "father of lies". In John 8:44 it says, "For you are the children of your father the devil and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies."

    But in John 14:6 we see something entirely different - 'Jesus told him, "I am the the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."' JESUS IS THE TRUTH! 

    If you have ever been lied to, you know how bad it feels. Sometimes telling the truth can be hard, but it's always the best way. God doesn't want us to get tangled up in a web of lies. He wants us to be like Jesus and Jesus is the truth. 

    I hope this encourages you to tell the truth and thus keep this command. May God bless you. 

    Saturday, October 1, 2016

    Learning About Spain!

    The last few weeks we learned about China! Now we are finishing up learning about Spain. As I mentioned before, the main books we are covering are recommended by the Five in a Row [FIAR] curriculum and the book Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.

    Our FIAR book this week is The Story of Ferdinand, so we are learning about Spain! (Since we see Ferdinand measuring his height, I thought introducing rulers would be a good side topic, along with discussing how the Spanish language originated in Spain.)

  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munroe Leaf (available in Spanish!)
  • The Three Golden Oranges by Alma Flor Ada
  • The Little Matador by Julian Hector
  • Toot and Puddle by Holly Hobbie
  • Say Hola to Spanish by Susan Middleton Elya
  • Say Hola to Spanish at the Circus by Susan Middleton Elya
  • How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller

    (You may notice that the list is slightly different than the books on my plan because I wasn't able to find all my intended titles at the local library, so I subbed in some books that our library did have! We chose Toot and Puddle because Juanito remembered that one of the pigs goes to Spain on his adventures and we read the books by Elya because we talked about how the Spanish language came from the country of Spain.)

    To go along with How Big is a Foot? and Ferdinand measuring his height, I found some rulers and we measured a lot of things (including both kids).

    The kids have really enjoyed having their own "books" for narrations, so I also gave them each one for science. We will use them mostly for nature walks, but we recorded some heights in it for our measuring activity. Rosie really enjoyed the idea of measuring with one foot, and so she traced her foot into her science notebook.

    They wanted to watch some about Spain, so we watched this 15 minute documentary in Spanish about the Sierra Nevadas:

    We had fun finding Spain on the map and locating where our stories took place!

    And our friend Rachel, a fellow co-op mom, found a cardboard bull craft! Juanito and Rosie had a lot of fun putting these together. We also made some fans like we saw the ladies holding in many of our books!

    The kids had so much fun making cardboard bulls that they wanted to make Duplo bulls too. We have a book with instructions for making Duplo farm animals, so Juanito made the cow and then added horns.

    He named the bull Ferdinando (the Spanish version calls the bull Ferdinando). And then he made Ferndinando's mom, with little horns, and two little bulls to be friends (he named them Oscar and Juan Jose, after the boys we sponsor with Mana 4 Lempira). He also made a tree for Ferdinando to sit under and flowers for him to smell. Rosie decided she likes pigs better because they're pink and made a pink pig.

    Juanito had a blast playing Luna, Estrella from Sidewalk Games Around the World by Arlene Erlbach.

    In fact, he enjoyed it so much that we played the games from Chile and Argentina also! We talked about how people traveled from Spain all the way to South America and taught many people there Spanish, which is why Spanish is spoken in Chile and Argentina.

    We did narrations for three of the books, first The Story of Ferdinand and The Little Matador, since they are similar story lines. Juanito was frustrated with trying to draw a bull, so we printed and I helped him trace this bull (which Juanito picked out) for both stories.


    Ferdinando sits under the alcornoque. He gets hurt by a bee. The hombres see him and they knew he was strong and mighty. They took him to the party. The hombres got mad because Ferdinando didn't want to lucha. Ferdinando was oliendo las flores de las mujeres. He got home and smelled the flores. - The Story of Ferdinand

    Tuve miedo del toro. El matador no le gusta lucha. Le gusta dibujar. He stopped el toro with the picture del toro. Y su papi hace un buen decisión y decidió que el niño va a dibujar su mami y papi. - The Little Matador


    Ferdinando se siente en flor y abejón. He has owies. - The Story of Ferdinand

    His daddy and su mami. El niño shoots. He draws cardinals, turtle, zorro, a bunny, ducks. He [toro] tries to get him [niño]. - The Little Matador

    Next we did narrations for The Three Golden Oranges. Here is Juanito's:

    The woman told them to follow the rules they didn't follow the rules, but a brother did. Matías followed the rules. He took off the branch, went to the cave and then she cut the orange. She said go to his fields and obey the rules. He married somebody, Blancaflor. That's the end.

    And here is Rosie's:

    The niños grabbed the branch. The niños are sad. The mami wants to be abuela. The princesa, she grabbing oranges.

    After narrating The Three Golden Oranges, Juanito was playing in the sand and decided to make the mountains and castle and orange grove from the book! The mountains were described as rocky, thus the rocks in the sand and he used leaves for the orange trees.

    I hosted our co-op, which just means organizing the activities that I want to do about the book. We had a lot of fun! We made castanets (loosely based on these instructions, but using Coke bottle tops instead because that's what I had):

    We also watched some Flamenco dancing:

    And we made cheese empanadas! The Food Network Cheese Empanadas Recipe says advanced, but I just cubed the cheese ahead of time and we wrapped the cheese cubes in dough. Not very pretty, but the kids were able to do it and enjoyed eating what they made!

    We've had a great time learning about Spain! Next up, Tanzania!

    To view my complete plan for the year, click here. And here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China

    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, September 28, 2016

    September Joy

    We received 13 letters this month - they are just rolling in!

    Here are some highlights....

    ORM - I feel very happy for received the letter from you. I always attend the project activities together with my friends. The project celebrated the Mother's Day and I told love to my mother on that day. 

    PORTIA - I have a lot of friends at school and have learned to serve others and to be obedient to all. 

    COLLINA (2 letters) - Collina says she loves listening to the word of God at Sunday school every Sunday. She wants to know whether you have any memory verse that you would love to share with her. 

    WINFREY  (2 letters)- Joyous greetings from me. At the project I am still doing well. I love the project because they always help me with things I don't have. We have new small children at the project. I usually play with them and talk with them about Jesus.

    LIAN - My father doesn't live with us but he cares for us. Thank you for getting me. The Bible verses you send help me in life. At the project I am taking imitation jewelry lessons to make bracelets and necklaces.

    JACKSON - (2 letters) I am always happy when I remember our relationship. I always feel encouraged. Are you happy of our relationship?

    I would like to inform you that I am a Sunday School child who is willing to follow Jesus Christ.

    NABUDUWA ESTHER - I am happy for the continuous message about the 10 Commandments.

    We also received letters from Joseph, Preeti, Collins and Bridget


    Sweet Nadege in Burkina Faso turned 9 on September 25th.

    photo update

    Preeti in India


    I had the wonderful opportunity to attend an advocate gathering in Vancouver, WA. It's always inspiring and encouraging to hang out with like-minded people, and reconnect with other advocates. It was also a blessing to see Gilbert Mfitundinda of Uganda again.

    And now it's your turn! Here are some guidelines for you to follow for this link-up:
    1. Link up by entering the URL to your blog post (make sure it's a link to the actual blog post and not just your blog).
    2. Be sure to link back here to Compassion Family and tell others you are doing so. Feel free to grab the button code for your post (it's on the right side of the blog).
    3. Set aside some time to visit the other participants and leave some comment love.
    4. Begin taking notes and making a list for next month.
    I should also mention that I reserve the right to remove anyone's submission if it fails to meet the link-up requirements or is inappropriate. 

    ***If you have trouble linking up, simply leave a comment and I'll be sure to visit your blog.

    ***If you don't have a blog, share your blessings in the comments!

    Saturday, September 17, 2016

    Learning About China!

    I know that typically I focus on Compassion countries, but this year I wanted to include a few other counties that went along with Five in a Row [FIAR] books we are doing with our co-op group. And many of the books we are using were recommended by Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin (if you want to learn more about this book, check out Jill's post). My goal in sharing about our activities is to give ideas to other moms of preschoolers who desire to give their kids a global perspective! And I am also wanting to record my ideas to use again when José is ready for preschool. (To view my complete plan for the year, click here.)

    Since our first FIAR book was The Story About Ping by Marjorie Wise, we also started learning about China! We also read:
  • Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim
  • Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin
  • Ling and Ting Share a Birthday by Grace Lin
  • Ling and Ting: Together in All Weather by Grace Lin
  • Ling and Ting: Twice As Silly by Grace Lin
  • The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin
  • Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong
  • New Year's Reunion by Yu Li-Quiong
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel
  • The Empty Pot by Demi

    (You may notice that the list is slightly different than the books on my plan because I wasn't able to find all my intended titles at the local library, so I subbed in some books that our library did have!) If you have time just for one book about China, we absolutely loved The Empty Pot!

    We marked where our stories are taking place, where some Chinese animals live, and found the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers on our map.

    Eric (my husband) had the great idea of showing the kids a little of Wild China and we were able to watch cormorants diving for fish, just like we read about in The Story About Ping! And we found a Chinese houseboat in this DK book:

    In watching Wild China, Juanito noticed that some of the people in the movie were praying to idols. This lead to a great opportunity to pray for the people of China, and especially our missionary friends there and whose photo is on our fridge! We ate some Chinese food--just simple stir-fry, sweet and sour chicken and rice.

    We also took some time to play with ducks in the bath...

    And to build some of what we had seen with Legos! Rosie made a houseboat like we saw in the The Story About Ping. Juanito made a houseboat too (bottom left), and we all pitched in and made rice fields (like we saw in Wild China), and the Great Wall of China. Juanito made sure to put some "bad guys" on the other side of the wall and the "good guys" climbed over to chase them away.

    Then the kids had some ideas! In reading Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same! and Ling and Ting Share a Birthday, Rosie noticed the rolling pin and asked to make dumplings with her play-doh! And Juanito decided instead of making dumplings, he'd make a birthday cake like Ling's cake!

    Juanito really wanted to make the turnip cakes from Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas. There is a recipe in the back of the book, but it's a little complicated for my taste when cooking with two enthusiastic preschoolers. So instead we made scallion pancakes...My hope was to use the How to Make Scallion Pancakes recipes, but we were out of flour so instead I used this recipe with bisquick (without the carrots and subbing chives for scallions since we have an abundance of chives in the garden).

    They were good and so easy to make!

    Finally, we did some narrations. I thought Juanito would be able to do this, although I wasn't sure if he would enjoy it. But he had a blast and even asked for instructions for drawing a duck and fish to glue into his picture of the story! Our first narration was The Story About Ping:

    He disobeyed and went to a different one and that means sin. He disobeyed God. He disobeyed his capítan. He saw a boat, he went in the boat. A niño brought him in the boat, he was in the water with a string and got Ping. The niño picked him up without being noisy and put him in the water.

    Rosie also wanted to narrate the story (I think she is calling the niño Capítan):

    He go in the barco and then he fall. Capítan fall in the agua. Ping a duck. Cuac!

    The kids loved narrating so much that we did some more narrations about our books on China! I'm having them write all their narrations in a booklet, so they're each proud that they're "writing" their own books! So we also narrated Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas. Here is Juanito's (complete with a Ninja Pig saving the day in Goldy Luck's bedroom):

    Goldy Luck trae los pasteles de turnip y los caen en el piso. Y los tres osos lloran. Ella cae de la rocking chair and she goes in the bed. Y los tres osos ven aquí a la casa y encuentran Goldy Luck en la cama de las pandas. Ella dashed home. She went to the bears y da la tazón al niño oso. Ellos cocinaron pasteles de turnip.

    Rosie had me draw the three pandas for her to color and she said:

    Goldy Luck y los tres pandas. Goldy Luck fall en piso y los pasteles cayeron en piso. Goldy Luck sleep en su cama. Goldy Luck sienta en silla and Goldy Luck fall.

    And our last narration was The Empty Pot. Juanito's retelling:

    There was an Emperor and all the children put on their best clothes to greet the Emperor. They got special flowers. There was a boy named Ping. He obeyed by telling the truth. He brought an empty lot. It was the best he could do. The pot was empty because he couldn't grow a flower because the seed was cooked. Ping became the Emperor.

    And Rosie said:

    Ping, he's a niño. He takes some flores. Puts semilla en olla. It's azul.

    We've had a great time learning about China! Next up, Spain!

    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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