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ACTS of Kindness and a FREE Imagination Station eBook

ACTS - A Call to Serve

This summer {well, ok – often}, we’ve really been stressing the importance of service with our kids. It’s something we long to instill in each of their hearts and we try to talk about it a lot. This week our children started VBS at a local church and at the end of the first day, the parents were invited to sit down and hear the kids sing a song they had been working on.

The title of the song? Go Serve Our World.

The kids have apparently been listening to us {oh, hooray!!}, because as soon as they ran to meet me, they were telling me all about how the theme was service – and “WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THAT AT HOME! ISN’T THAT FUNNY?” {And yes, they were yelling. And it was very loud. They may have been very excited…or truthfully, just always loud}.

Our ideas for service and helping out in our community have required a little bit of imagination and creativity in some ways, but we have come up with a list that we are working on: helping older people {including grandparents} with yard work and weeding, assisting during VBS {older girls}, babysitting for moms, helping an older couple with their horse farm and mucking stalls. We’re also going to bake cookies for others, make a few meals for someone who is sick, and…well, the kids are still working on our list!

Some of the ideas may not be as fun as others, but sometimes serving others means we have to get a little messy, right? The point is our heart attitude and being willing to serve.

ACTS: A Call to Serve from Adventures in Odyssey


This summer, Adventures in Odyssey is prompting children {and families} to serve others around them, both near and far. Children can win some GREAT prizes, including a missions trip to Costa Rica!! You can find out more details at www.whitsend.org/acts.  Families can also download

Will you join in? Grab a copy of the Weekly Service ideas, print it off, and get the ideas flowing as a family.

A FREE eBook and an Imagination Station Books 1-3 Giveaway!

AIO Giveaway

Our family really enjoys listening to Adventures in Odyssey {lately, it’s been something the girls have enjoyed listening to before bedtime}. Our summer reading also includes their newer Imagination Station books, a wonderful chapter-book early reader series. If you’ve been curious about the books, be sure to check out and download a FREE e-book of Imagination Station #1: Voyage with the Vikings!

AND – Adventures in Odyssey is giving one of my readers a set of the first three Imagination Station booksVoyage of the Vikings, Attack at the Arena, and Peril in the Palace. To enter, just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Giveaway is open to US residents only or those with a US mailing address. Giveaway ends Friday, June 21, 2013 at 11:59pm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Giving More For Christmas…But Not to Ourselves

Giving More for Christmas - ideas for giving hope, support, and healing worldwide

This year Christmas is going to be a little different in our house. Scaled back on presents for everyone.

Maybe it was my trip to Africa with Compassion earlier this year. It could be some of the various books that I’ve been reading {including 7: An Experimental Mutiny against Excess by Jen Hatmaker}. Could also be the sermon series that our church has been covering lately on Giving More.

It most definitely is something that God has been putting on my husband’s and my heart more and moreover the last six months.

This year our heart is to give above and beyond what we spend on ourselves as a family. We would love to encourage you all to do the same.

There are a few places that we love and support, in case you need a few ideas of places that will bring hope and healing – worldwide.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Compassion International ministers to children in twenty-six countries around the world ~ meeting their physical, social and emotional, cognitive and spiritual needs. You can support Compassion with a one-time gift by shopping in the Compassion Gifts catalog, but I would highly encourage you to sponsor a child today!


Mercy Ships - Bringing Hope and Healing www.mercyships.org

A dear friend of ours has worked with Mercy Ships for years and this is another ministry that we love to support. This organization provides much needed medical care and surgeries to individuals in developing countries. During the month of December, every gift you make to support Mercy Ships will be matched dollar for dollar!!


Gifts like chickens, goats, ducks, school supplies and more abound in the World Vision catalog – and these are gifts that can bring hope to families in other countries by providing nutrition and income. Give a meaningful gift to a family this Christmas.

Operation Christmas Child is a part of Samaritan’s Purse and we have participated in packing a shoebox for a needy child the last several years. This year we invited a bunch of friends and held a shoebox packing party {MUCH fun!}. While it’s too late to pack a shoebox at home, you can build a box online and also check their online gift catalog for additional giving opportunities.

These are just a FEW of the many organizations that are helping others around the world. I’m sure there are many in your own community as well that would welcome your help too!


What organizations and ministries do your family support year round and during the holidays?


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Apologia Educational Ministries ~ producing resources to help homeschool families learn, live, and defend the Christian faith.


Maestro Classics ~ introduce great music and classics stories to children with this classical music series. Don’t miss their newly released Carnival of Animals that you will want to check out!