Posted in Contests

Homeschool Clothing Sale AND Giveaway!

I love having a homeschool shirt of my own. If you’re like me, or want some homeschool clothing for your family, check out this sale!

homeschool clothing sale

Homeschool Clothing Sale AND Giveaway!

All Homeschool and Christian t-shirts are $5.99 US, now until September 15th! Also, for a limited time Great Products is offering all adult and child regular tees for $5.99 US and all other clothing (v-necks, ladies/girls t-shirts, tye-dyes, hoodies, sweats, long sleeve shirts, hats, totes) will be 20% off with coupon code: SAVE20. Choose from:

  • Hundreds of designs
  • Dozens of colors and styles
  • Group ordering is available

Here I am in my Keep Calm and Homeschool On design shirt, in my favourite colour, purple (it’s even my favourite shade)! It’s a ladies fitted tee. I prefer them to the boxy tees, as I like having a shape, even as a homeschool mom 🙂 I’m wearing a size medium here and it fits to size (although if you like yours more roomy, I’d suggest going up a size). These ladies fitted t-shirts are on for 20% off but you can get regular, adult t-shirts for $5.99 with this same design if you like.

homeschool t-shirt

And it’s not only homeschool t-shirts that are available during the sale, but also Christian t-shirts. All t-shirts are $5.99 US each through September 15th. Click here to check out all the different styles and logos you have to choose from:

homeschool clothing sale

Once you’ve checked out your favourite t-shirts at the link above, enter my giveaway below! One of my readers will win a FREE homeschool t-shirt, with their choice of design, size, and colour! Pick one for yourself, or choose a t-shirt for one of your family members. Contest closes at 11:59pm Atlantic Time on August 29th, 2016. Open to the U.S. and Canada only. Winner will be notified via email – if winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen. Good luck!

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Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

homeschool clothing sale

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Posted in Contests

Whoohoo! Enter to Win Up to $20,000 in Educational Prizes

enter to win up to $20,000 in educational prizes

Whoohoo! Enter to Win Up to $20,000 in Educational Prizes

I am so excited to share this with you today! Would you like to win up to $20,000 in educational prizes for your homeschool?

How would you like to build your own Barefoot Books library?

Win up to $20,000 in educational prizes

Or enjoy a $250 US shopping spree on Educents? What fun!

win up to $20,000 in educational prizes

How about an incredible vacation for inspiration to sunny Florida?! Yes please! This is my personal favourite.

win up to $20,000 in educational prizes

And there is a whole lot more. Click here to enter to win up to $20,000 in educational prizes with this Educents giveaway! No need to enter to win what you don’t want, just click on the giveaways you want. Giveaways end May 31, 2016 so enter now. Good luck!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please Note: This article contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Reviews

Homeschool T-Shirt Sale, Review AND Giveaway!

I’ve always wanted a homeschool t-shirt of my own. If you’re like me (or you’d like some t-shirts for your family), check out my review and this great $5.99 t-shirt sale and then enter the giveaway below!

homeschool t-shirt

Great Products has been making homeschool t-shirts since 1992. They offered me a t-shirt of my choice in exchange for an honest review. I chose the Keep Calm and Homeschool On design, in my favourite colour, purple (it’s even my favourite shade)! I chose a ladies fitted tee. I prefer them to the boxy tees, as I like having a shape, even as a homeschool mom 🙂 I’m wearing a size medium here and it fits to size (although if you like yours more roomy, I’d suggest going up a size).

homeschool t-shirt

These ladies fitted tees are made of comfortable, 100% combed ring-spun cotton jersey. My t-shirt is so soft and comfy! I like the weight of the fabric as well – it’s not too thin (like some t-shirts you might purchase online). I also love that I can promote homeschooling, something I love to do, simply by wearing my shirt. Regularly priced at $12.99 US, this shirt is just $5.99 during the Great Products sale until September 10th!

And it’s not just homeschool t-shirts that are available during the sale, but also Christian t-shirts. All t-shirts are $5.99 US each through Sept.10th. Click here to check out all the different styles and logos you have to choose from:

t-shirt sale

 

Once you’ve checked out your favourite t-shirts at the link above, enter my giveaway below! One of my readers will win a FREE homeschool t-shirt, with their choice of design, size, and colour! Pick one for yourself, like I did, or choose a t-shirt for one of your family members. Contest closes at 12:00am Atlantic Time on September 1st. Open to the U.S. and Canada only. Winner will be notified via email – if winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen. Good luck!

**The winner is, Catherine Strohman! Congratulations!**

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Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Resources

Canadian Books and Curricula Review Roundup

The Canadian Homeschooler Learning Centre

Looking for Canadian books and curricula? Check out this roundup of some of my reviews, and don’t miss the giveaway at the end! (This giveaway has ended)

Canadian books

Canadian Books and Curricula Review Roundup

Canadian Learning Bundle Sale 2017

Digital Field Trip Series
Take digital field trips to Canada, the U.S., and Belize with this environmental DVD curriculum set, created by Canadian company Digital Frog International. Learn about wetlands, rain forests, and deserts.

A Canadian French Curriculum – The Easy French
Great Commission Languages, based in Saskatchewan, takes a Christian approach to teaching French, including Bible memory verses and encouraging French instruction for mission work. I particularly enjoyed the French culture information included for both Quebec and France.

Kill Shakespeare: Graphic Novels
Kill Shakespeare is a series of graphic novels made in Canada that are a great way for older teens to enjoy Shakespeare’s characters.

Financial Literacy for Teens: enRICHed Academy
A fantastic, thorough curriculum to teach financial literacy to your teen! Created in Canada, it includes financial information for both Canada and the U.S.

Crush it at College: An Essential Guide for the College or University Bound
This book is a must-have for anyone headed to a post-secondary institution. Written by two Nova Scotians, I wish I’d had it when I went off to university. I’m glad to be able to hand my son a copy next year!

Do you have some favourite Canadian books or curricula? Please share to help others find them! And feel free to check out Favourite Canadian Books for favourites from other Canadian homeschool bloggers 🙂

Giveaway! *This Giveaway is Over*

And now the giveaway! It’s for a set of 8 books from the Disaster Strikes! Series for Grades 4 and up. They feature major moments from disasters in Canadian history. CANADA only. 18+. Ends March 12th at 12:59am AT (March 11th at 11:59pm EST). Click below to enter! Good luck!

Entry-Form
Posted in Contests

$200 Clothing Gift Card Giveaway! Open Worldwide

giveawayDo you love to workout, or do you love active wear because it’s just so comfy? Check out Alala Clothing! It’s especially great clothing for busy homeschool moms on the go!

Wear these great clothes for work, play, and homeschooling – from an early morning spin class, to yoga with your kids, to a late dinner with friends. Look fashionable, not frumpy, in functional clothing.

giveaway

I always have cold hands (cold hands, warm heart, right), so I love that many of their pieces keep your hands warm, too!

giveaway

And the best part? Alala offers $10 flat fee shipping and FREE shipping for orders $150 and up. You have a chance to WIN $200 worth of this awesome active wear in Alala’s Fall Giveaway! Open worldwide. Enter in the rafflecopter form, below. Good luck!

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Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

This post contains affiliate links, if you click through and buy I may make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia.

Posted in Contests, Resources

Final Day to Win $100 worth of Homeschool Curricula!

Enter to win $100 worth of homeschool curricula!

I’m so excited!

The BIGGEST digital homeschooling
curriculum sale EVER is almost here!

Enter the giveaway, and then this week… 

Save up to 92% on popular homeschooling curricula!

ONE WEEK ONLY – July 21-28, 2014!

Click here to be reminded

What is the “Build Your Bundle” – Homeschool Edition Sale?

The “Build Your Bundle” – Homeschool Edition contains the best educational digital products on the internet! Included are well known publishers, including products on Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 list!Unlike overwhelming bundle sales filled with ebooks you don’t want, the “Build  Your Bundle” – Homeschool Edition is a brand new concept that will allow  homeschoolers to pick and choose what they want to purchase ~ all  at a MASSIVE discount of up to 92% off!

Take a Sneek Peek at Our Bundles:

Tots & Preschoolers BundleTeach your little ones about God’s amazing creation and the value of virtue using our Tot & Preschool Bundle!

This bundle gives you a complete Christ-centered preschool program, including age-appropriate character-building tools, a stick-figure Bible study, a creation-based coloring book, a handwriting curriculum, an independent activity guide (for those times when you need a moment to focus), and much more!


Kindergarten – 3rd Grade BundleTeach your K-3 children basic skills and core truths through easily understandable
lessons and hands-on activities. Our K-3 Bundle includes reading, math, science, handwriting, character training and Bible resources.

Your children  will experience life in 17th century America as they learn about the settlers and America’s 13 original colonies. You will have everything you need to savor these first days of discovery!

Elementary: 4-6th BundleYour 4th-6th graders will develop foundational skills and gain insight into  the ancient world using the comprehensive collection of resources found in our 4th-6th Grade Bundle.

This bundle features both a science curriculum and a creative writing course  from Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 picks. You will get a popular curriculum  that has a blend of history, geography, and art. Also included: Math, Bible,
handwriting and copywork resources, writing guides, timeline cards, ancient  history notebooking pages, creative writing for both boys and girls, and an editable weekly homeschool planner for Mom!


Middle School BundleYour middle school students will tour the classical world and develop academic excellence using our Middle School Bundle.

This bundle features a full language arts curriculum and two science curricula,
one from Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 picks, as well as a complete geography and history curriculum, a popular history timeline/book of centuries, Renaissance and Reformation notebooking pages, a classical music curriculum and famous composers notebooking pages, and a creative writing collection that even “non-writers” will love!

Bundle for High SchoolersYour high school students will develop academic mastery and intellectual maturity using our High School Bundle.

This bundle features a New Testament Bible curriculum, an introduction to psychology, a full year of math curriculum, resources for world history  and geography, philosophy, home economics, college prep, grammar, a creative  writing collection that even “non-writers” will love, an anatomy science
unit study from Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 picks, and more! You will receive enough materials for a full year of high school!


Charlotte Mason BundleAmazing things await you in our Charlotte Mason Bundle!

This bundle features a complete curriculum using the Charlotte Mason  Methods for language arts, handwriting, and reading, a full geography  curriculum, a plethora of resources for studying nature, artists, poetry, and a variety of “extras” just for mom!

Learn all about Charlotte Mason and enjoy a special bonus (a $90 value all by itself) of great, classic audio books! This bundle is jam packed full of amazing resources your family will love!

Bundle Just for Moms!Save money, strengthen your marriage, and streamline your schedule using our Mom Bundle. Find the encouragement you need and the insight to speak to your child’s heart (even that difficult child!). Whip your home into
shape and train your children to do their chores effectively using a popular book “chores program”.

This bundle brims with useful tools to help you bring calm to the chaos. Get them all for just $10!


“Build Your Own” BundlesOur “Build Your Own” bundles offer you the opportunity to select a certain number of products with a retail price of $19.99 or less for up to 80% off! We have MANY items to choose from, including Cathy Duffy Top 100 Picks!

When you purchase a combination of any 2 “Build Your Own” bundles, you will get the 3rd one at 50% off!


*Lots of ways to save!

  1. When you purchase ANY 2 pre-assembled bundles you will get the 3rd
    pre-assembled bundle of equal or lesser value for 50% off!
  2. When you purchase ANY 2 “build your own” bundles you will get  the 3rd “build your own” bundle of equal or lesser value for  50% off!
  3. When the sale goes live on July 21st, tell your friends about it using our referral system that will be found on the top of the website! When 10 of your referrals visit our site using your unique link, we will give you a code to save 10% off your total purchase!

    The image will look like this:

    Pre-Sale Promotional Giveaway – Enter to win $100 towards the purchase  of ANY of our individual or “build your own” bundles! Winner announced the day the sale starts!

 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

Posted in Contests, Resources

Win $100 to Build Your Own Homeschool Bundle – Giveaway

The first ever “Build Your Bundle”
Homeschool Edition sale is almost here!

 

You can enter to win $100 to spend when the sale goes live on 7-21-14! Enter now through 12:59PM AST (11:59PM EST) on 7-20-14. The winner will be announced the day the sale starts! I’m so excited!

When you Pin the giveaway on Pinterest, watch for the special coupon code you will get in return!

For one week only (July 21-28) you will save up to 92% on bestselling
homeschooling products, including MANY on Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 list! Wow!
Not interested in entering the giveaway, but want to be reminded
when the sale goes live?
 We can send you a reminder email! Click
here and enter your email address and click “Remind Me!”

Take a Sneek Peek at Our Amazing Homeschool Bundles:

Tots & Preschoolers BundleThis Bundle includes products for little ones:

  • Character Training Resources
  • Handwriting Curriculum
  • Preschool & Toddler Activities
  • Bible Curriculum
  • Full Preschool Curriculum
  • & More!

Kindergarten – 3rd Grade BundleThe K-3 Bundle includes products in the following subjects:

  • Reading
  • Math
  • Science
  • History
  • Handwriting
  • Character Training
  • Bible Resources
  • Full Kindergarten Curriculum
Elementary: 4th-6th BundleThe 4th-6th Bundle includes products in the following subjects:

  • History
  • Language Arts
  • Geography
  • Art
  • Math
  • Bible
  • Keyboarding
  • Writing Guides
  • Handwriting andCopywork Resources
  • Timeline Cards & Notebooking Pages
  • Customizable Homeschool Planner

Middle School BundleThis bundle features a full language arts curriculum from Cathy Duffy’s
Top 100 picks
and two science curricula, one of which is also from Cathy
Duffy’s Top 100 picks
, as well as:

  • A Complete Geography and History Curriculum
  • History Timeline/Book of Centuries
  • Renaissance and Reformation Notebooking Pages
  • Classical Music Curriculum
  • Creative Writing Course
  • Math Materials
  • Keyboarding Course
Bundle for High SchoolersThis bundle features:

  • New Testament Bible Curriculum
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • A full year of math curriculum
  • Resources for World History and Geography
  • Philosophy
  • Home Economics
  • College Prep Tools
  • Grammar
  • Creative Writing Course
  • Anatomy Science Unit study from Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 picks,
    and more!

Receive enough materials for a full year of  high school!


Charlotte Mason BundleThis bundle features a complete curriculum using the Charlotte Mason
Methods for:

  • Language Arts
  • Handwriting, and Reading
  • Geography
  • Nature Study
  • Artists Study
  • Poetry
  • And a variety of “extras” just for mom!Learn all about Charlotte Mason and enjoy a special bonus (a $90  value all by itself) of great, classic audio books!
Bundle Just for Moms!Save money, strengthen your marriage, and streamline your schedule using
our Mom Bundle. Find the encouragement you need and the insight to speak
to your child’s heart (even that difficult child!). Whip your home into
shape and train your children to do their chores effectively using a popular
book “chores program”.This bundle brims with useful tools to help bring calm to the chaos. Get them all for just $10!

“Build Your Own” Bundles

Our “Build Your Own” bundles offer you the opportunity to select a certain number of products with a retail price of $19.99 or less for up to 80% off! We have MANY items to choose from, including Cathy Duffy Top 100 Picks!

When you purchase a combination of any 2 “Build Your Own” bundles, you will get the 3rd one at 50% off!

Don’t forget to scroll up and click on “Enter Giveaway Now” to enter the Homeschool Bundle giveaway, with $100 to spend! And be sure to come back here to check out all the incredible homeschool products on sale on July 21st!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Contests, Home Economics

Meal Planning Help! Build A Menu Giveaway

Meal Planning Help with Build A Menu!

Need help with meal planning? I’m getting the help I need in our busy homeschooling lives with Build A Menu‘s great recipes and meal plans!

For just a few dollars a month, you get access to recipes that are easy on your budget. Create a meal plan for your week, along with a shopping list, in just minutes! Includes choices for breakfast, lunch, supper, dessert, and snacks! Include Build A Menu in your home economics course in your homeschool, to teach your child the great habit of meal planning.

How does it work? There are just three, easy steps.

Step 1: Choose your grocery store (don’t worry, there’s an “Any Grocery Store” choice).

meal planning

Step 2: Choose your meals (from any category, including Dine on a Dime, Low Carb, Vegetarian, and more).

meal planning

Step 3: View and print your recipes and calendar, complete with shopping list!

meal planningI am happy to offer a FREE 6-month subscription to Build A Menu to one of my lucky readers!

Meal planning

Sign in below with either Facebook or your email address and then simply follow the Punchtab directions to enter. This is open worldwide until June 30, 2014 at noon Atlantic Time (11am ET). Good luck!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I make a few pennies to help keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia.

Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Contests, Parenting

12 Pearls of Christmas: Wrapping Paper and Fancy Bows Not Required AND Giveaway!

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!
**I am pleased to be hosting the 12 Pearls of Christmas once again this year. I hope you enjoy this guest post, and if you live in the US, you can click on the Rafflecopter link and enter the giveaway! ~ Kimberly
Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below! The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***

Wrapping Paper and Fancy Bows Not Required
by Jodi Murphy

For more than a decade I worked in the luxury design field, and every year around Christmas time there were holiday show houses and charity events where the designers would hold nothing back to create the most beautiful displays for the Christmas season—trees with baubles and sparkles, swags of fresh greenery festooned with handmade bows, every room dressed to the nines, dining and breakfast tables set for imaginary entertaining, and hundreds of perfectly wrapped packages that would make Santa’s elves go green with envy.

The sights, sounds and smells were magical! And though I enjoyed the “eye candy” and appreciated all of the creativity, I often left these events on a “sugar high” of the season’s pufferies and feeling disconnected to the spiritual significance of Christmas.

As we begin to count down the days toward December 25th, I will do my share of simplified decorating as a way to mark such an important day, and I will be celebrating Christ’s birth with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the gifts God has given to me . . .

My Parents

I was blessed with parents who loved and respected me. I was always important, seen and heard. They gave me the confidence and strength to go out into the world because I knew they were standing right behind me in case I stumbled. They modeled generosity, loyalty and commitment.

My Sister

Tenacious, strong-willed, and determined balanced by a friendly, supportive, “I’m there for you” spirit—that’s my amazing younger sister. She’ll step out on the front line to stand up and defend you or throw on some work clothes and volunteer to help with whatever dirty work needs to be done. No questions asked . . . you need her, she’s there.

My Husband

My husband is so comfortable in his own skin. He doesn’t compare himself to others or secretly long for what they have. He doesn’t get embroiled in other’s gossip or petty arguments. His loving influence has made me happier and more at peace. Every day I wake up to the joyful realization that I am his friend, wife, and life partner.

My Son

My firstborn. My son with Aspergers Syndrome. Raising him is the most extraordinary journey. He has made me more accepting, patient, and understanding. He has helped me find my passion to support and advocate for him and those just like him. He doesn’t filter or concern himself with being anything but who he is. I admire his strength to put himself out into a world he doesn’t fully understand.

My Daughter

She was born with grace and an “old” soul. From a very young age, she had an understanding and compassion for others well beyond her years. And when she was excluded for not following the crowd, she never compromised her values in order to fit in. She personifies all that is good and right in our world.

So I’m taking a pause from the hustle and bustle of the designers’ holiday season. This Christmas, and every Christmas henceforth, you’ll find me singing praises of “Gloria!” to God for the walking, breathing beautiful gifts of my family.

***
Jodi Murphy has been a freelance marketing specialist for the last 25+ years working for clients in a variety of industries, a journalist in the design/luxury lifestyle industry, and co-founder of Nesting Newbies, one of the first independent lifestyle digital magazines. But her most important role and her life’s passion is being a mom! She founded Geek Club Books to share her son’s life on the spectrum in a positive and entertaining way. Her focus is on building a community of spectrum and neurotypicals who are engaged with and inspired by the Geek Club Books’ message of self-acceptance—“I’m unique. I’m a geek.” Jodi writes original content on the blog, and, with the help of her talented kids and top-notch creative team, she produces audio stories, e-books, and interactive storybook APPs.

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Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Contests, Parenting

Mother of Pearl: Mother Ship by Melody Murray

Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother’s Day blog series—a nine-day celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today’s best writers (Tricia Goyer, Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, Beth Vogt, Lesli Westfall, and more). I hope you’ll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother’s Day.

AND . . . do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful handcrafted pearl necklace and a JOYN India bag. Enter at the bottom of this post. The contest runs 5/4-5/13, and the winner will be announced on 5/14. Contest is only open to U.S. residents.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info, subscribe to our blog, and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl: Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith to help support Pearl Girls™.

 
And to all you MOMS out there, Happy Mother’s Day!
~

Mother Ship by Melody Murray

Mother Ship (N.) – a ship that serves or carries one or more smaller ships.

Raising two boys in India is quite nice, really. We have monkeys, scooters, plenty of dirt, and mountains. The challenges are comical. I found very quickly on that if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. It’s been an excellent motto for our three years thus far, one I learned shortly after our arrival here in June of 2010.

We’d been in India for just three days when I had my first major meltdown. Our two boys, ages three and four, were sitting in big plastic buckets in our smelly bathroom, covered with mosquito bites, jetlagged as can be. I was frantically pouring cold water over them, trying to scrub off the India grime that had caked on their scrawny little bodies. I was having to hold them like puppy dogs so they wouldn’t scurry out from underneath the cold water. It was a far cry from the sweet, warm, bubbly, happy bath time we’d experienced together for the past four years in the States! Talk about culture shock. They were in shock. I was in shock. I’m sure the neighbors were in shock, too. I’m not sure my boys have ever seen me scream, cry, and stomp that much. Thank God it is just a memory now.

Somehow, by God’s grace, we’ve figured out life here. It looks much different than I had ever thought it would look, especially as a mother. We don’t go to the library, make elaborate crafts, play T-ball, shop at Target, sing in church choir, or take family bike rides. I have had to redefine my ideal upbringing for my children and have had to let go of many expectations. But I’ve managed to grasp hold of a new set of dreams.

My children are global kids. They have an incredible adventure every day. They see the “majority world” firsthand. I think they are some of the most privileged kids I know. I’ve stopped feeling sorry for myself that my kids don’t get to go to ballgames or have a huge tree house or wear cute clothes. Why focus on what I think they’ve lost, only to lose sight of what they’re gaining?

My attitude shift didn’t come easily. I can be quite stubborn. I clung to what I knew and what I thought was “normal” and “right,” as all of us moms do. I’d cry after phone conversations with friends back home who had their children signed up for karate, soccer, and swim lessons, with loads of choices for good schools, churches, and neighborhoods. I had nothing of the sort available for my kids, and I felt bitter and resentful.

But then I slowly began to change. Slowly, after months of getting over culture shock and cold baths, we began to love this place and the people we were with. We began to know them, understand them, become like them. Our community here became our family. Just this week, I’ve been sick with an awful kidney infection, and my living room has been full of my Tibetan, Nepali, and Indian friends, bringing me food, rubbing my feet, playing with my children, washing my dishes. I’ve never experienced community in this way before. My boys are loved so well by so many. And they are learning how to love back, even when it’s not easy.

My attitude shift didn’t come quickly, but when it happened, it took a 180°. I realized how wrong I’d been. These people I live with—their kids don’t have organized sports, church choirs, or fancy vacations either. Their kids aren’t signed up for after-school activities and aren’t becoming multi-skilled elementary school prodigies. Yet, in spite of this, they are content. Like none I’ve ever seen. They love each other. Like none I’ve ever seen. They have very little, yet they have so very much.

In the western world of comparisons and endless striving, I believe we sometimes lose touch of the things we actually care most about. I know most of us moms actually don’t care whether our children are the best at T-ball or whether their crafts look better than the next kid’s. But I think we all care deeply that our kids are loved, and that they know how to love. We all have a common dream that our kids will grow up to be world-changers, to strive for what is right, to love the unloved, to see the world in a different way. These are the deepest dreams of moms. So let’s not forget that the most important things we can give our kids are not the things we can buy them or sign them up for. One of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is to give them sails, let them explore new things, meet new people, and learn to make lasting change in this world.

So join me this Mother’s Day. Let’s all be “mother ships,” leading our kids to new adventures, new beginnings, new relationships. Let’s serve and carry our little ones to places they can only dream of, whether it be making dinner for a neighbor, smiling at the homeless man in front of the grocery store, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or moving to India. Let’s take them with us and teach them how to sail.

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” —Grace Murray Hopper

###

In June 2010, an opportunity arose to work with a small needy community in the Himalayas, so David and Melody Murray and their two young boys packed their bags and moved to Rajpur, North India. Mel has grown JOYN, fulfilling her passion to connect artisans with western markets. They now have a diverse and growing team of Americans, Australians, Indians, Tibetans and Nepalis working together to create a community that strives to take care of each other and bring opportunity to as many as they can. Visit her website for more information.
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