17Jun

Thriving Thursday 6/18 {And a week in review}

This post may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

We’ve had a busy week!

One of my new favorite sites and a $25 Giveaway

Dover Rewards Ad

I’m introducing you this week to a site I discovered through a fun goodwill find…and I’m giving away a $25 gift card too! Be sure to head over there and enter!

Make Learning Fun with Science Experiments

Continuing my “Make Learning Fun” series and this week is all about science experiments :)

Dead Sea Experiment Bobbing Egg 2

 

Vacation!

Our family had a great time at Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg this past week, and I’m looking forward to sharing more specifics about it in the coming weeks. For now, here are a few photos:

vacation

What have you been up to this week?

There were so many FANTASTIC posts linked up last week and I can’t wait to see what you ladies have to share this week :)

Thriving Thursdays Link Up!!!

Thriving Thursdays is a link up for family-friendly bloggers, who are choosing to THRIVE in their lives. It’s a place for us to encourage and inspire one another to live life to the fullest–in Jesus Christ. Link up your posts about thriving–in marriage, faith, parenting, homemaking, relationships, in the kitchen, in frugality.

Everything we do can be a ministry and worship to our Lord. Link up as many posts as you want, and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit some other participants as well.

I am so blessed by the posts you all share! I really look forward to seeing all of the encouragement shared here each week. Keep it coming! Sometimes I highlight posts here, and I also pin my favorites to the Thriving Thursdays Pinterest Board.



17Jun

A Fun Goodwill Find {& A $25 Giveaway!}

This post may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

I have to say that I feel like someone has been holding out on me. I’ve heard of Dover Books of course, and have a passing knowledge of their company. I remember a few of their books from my school years, and my boys are big fans of their sticker and activity books.

However, I just recently discovered how awesome they were. This might be old news to everyone but me.

I’m an avid goodwill shopper and I usually head straight for the books (and then the clothes, and then the household stuff…you know how that goes). The nearest goodwill is at least an hour away, so that’s probably why I’m crazy excited when I get the chance to go.

Anyway, here is my goodwill treasure, that I got for $.50.

woodland indians dover

It’s this really neat coloring book that has beautiful illustrations to be colored, along with descriptions and educational information on each page. The drawings are great, and I thought it would be nice to have a second one for use in our homeschool, so the boys could each have their own.

So, I went to Dover’s website to see if I could order another Woodlands Indians coloring book. And oh my word!

I spent about an hour discovering the awesomeness at Dover. I truly had no idea the scope of their products, and feel like I’ve uncovered a treasure. I placed my first $50 order (to get free shipping), and I still have a long wishlist!

Dover Books & Educational Coloring Books

While I was searching for that Woodlands Indians coloring book, I found many more educational coloring books, in a wide variety of topics. Seriously, I can’t even list them all here…but I’ll list a few of my favorites because I just can’t help myself. Now remember, these are all educational coloring books.

Believe it or not…this is just a small sampling!

I also found lots of other children’s books, lots of nonfiction, etc. Just lots of fun stuff there!

yhst-137970348157658_2367_1353730404

You may have surmised from some of my other posts that I have a fascination with America’s history. Particularly those western pioneer days. So, this book was a gem for me! I’m excited for myself to get this book and look through the ads Mr. Olymer has compiled.

There were many more great books in all subject matters.

After I looked through the many educational coloring books, and books in all subjects, I found that they also offer fun-filled collections of products in different themes.

Their kits and products are exactly the kind of learning materials we love to use in our homeschool–the ones that incorporate real life into learning, and make it accessible and meaningful to our children. They are learning through meaningful activities and fun rather than busywork.

I will definitely be heading back to Dover when it’s time to shop for homeschool curriculum.

Rewards Program & A Discount Code

Dover Rewards Ad

A couple things worth mentioning for my fellow bargain hunters:

Earn Rewards on your purchases. Dover has a rewards program and you can earn 1 point per dollar spent on purchases. You also get 30 bonus points just for signing up, (bonus points may not credit on mobile devices–use a laptop or desktop to be sure you get your points) and it only takes 65 points to earn a $10 egift certificate.

Coupon! Through 9/1/15, you can save 25% on your entire purchase. Just enter code WHBD at checkout! And, you get free shipping on orders $50 and over.

FREE Samples & Coloring Sheets. Head over to their site for your free samples and printable coloring sheets.

Sale & Clearance. Be sure to check out their huge sale & clearance section while you’re there.

Giveaway!!!

Because I love Dover so much, I want to share it with one of you! I will be giving away a $25 gift certificate to one of you! Enter via the raflecopter below for a chance to win. And don’t forget you can come back for more free entries every day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What’s your favorite Dover product?

14Jun

Make Learning Fun: Science Experiments

This post may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

Dead Sea Experiment

Don’t let the title scare you! Many science experiments are actually very easy to do with your kids.

Hands-on is fun for most kids. Messy experiments are even more fun. But the beautiful thing is that they can also be educational!

Hands-On Learning sticks

Research shows that hands-on, experience-based learning sticks.

Kids will remember more of things that they do than what they are told. Completing a worksheet or reading a paragraph on a topic is one thing, experiencing it for themselves is something completely different.

And that’s what experiments provide.

Fun

Too often, between busy work at school and hours of homework, learning becomes a drudgery for kids. I know you’ve seen it too. Experiments help our kids see that learning can be fun. It doesn’t always have to be worksheets and book work. It can be fun.

One of my most favorite things as a homeschool parent is to get to experience learning with my children. I love to see their delight as they learn something new and figure things out. Get in there and do some fun experiments with your kids–see the joy on their faces.

Tip: Let go of perfection for this. It’s okay if things get a little messy. Make up your mind to enjoy this time with your children.

Practical & Relevant

Experiments help kids see the “why?” behind education. I remember as a kid asking my teachers “why do we need to know this?” Experiments help answer some of those questions. We can show our kids that learning is a process and that it can be intertwined with our daily lives. It shows them that learning is relevant, and that they can understand things that matter to their everyday lives.

Science experiments are also great because they incorporate so many other subjects and disciplines.

Your kids can learn without even realizing it and that’s my favorite kind of learning. 

Ideas & Resources

The dead sea experiment that my boys and I did a while back is one example, and it’s incredibly simple. Your kids can learn about the dead sea and viscosity all while playing with water.

Dead Sea Experiment Bobbing Egg 2

 

Another good at-home science activity for the summer is making your own ice cream–what could be more fun than that?

If you’re worried about the mess, move it outside and enjoy the sunshine!

There are literally hundreds of science experiments that you can do at home, using household supplies. And many that require almost no preparation in advance.

You can find tons of great ideas for free on pinterest, but if that’s not your thing, here are some other resources, including kits already put together for you.

Kits

Books

Other Fun Science Experiments with Kids

This post is a part of my “Make Learning Fun this Summer” series. Click here to read the other posts in the series.

summer learning fun 2

 What fun experiments have you tried with your kids?

 

10Jun

Thriving Thursday 6/11

This post may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

Welcome back to Thriving Thursday! This is the vacation edition as my family has been on vacation this week. It’s winding down though and I’m planning to share all about it, hopefully next week.

What I’ve been up to this week…

Starting a brand new series: Make Learning FUN This Summer!

Summer Learning Fun Series

I’m so excited about this series and I hope you’ll join me each Monday all summer long :)

DoTERRA Essential Oils Review & Giveaway

doterra post

I had the opportunity to try out and review some great essential oils from DoTERRA this week, and I’m also hosting a great giveaway! Head on over and enter for a chance to win a DoTERRA introductory kit to get started on your essential oil journey!

Your Turn!

What have you been up to this week?

There were so many FANTASTIC posts linked up last week and I can’t wait to see what you ladies have to share this week :)

Thriving Thursdays Link Up!!!

Thriving Thursdays is a link up for family-friendly bloggers, who are choosing to THRIVE in their lives. It’s a place for us to encourage and inspire one another to live life to the fullest–in Jesus Christ. Link up your posts about thriving–in marriage, faith, parenting, homemaking, relationships, in the kitchen, in frugality.

Everything we do can be a ministry and worship to our Lord. Link up as many posts as you want, and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit some other participants as well.

I am so blessed by the posts you all share! I really look forward to seeing all of the encouragement shared here each week. Keep it coming! Sometimes I highlight posts here, and I also pin my favorites to the Thriving Thursdays Pinterest Board.



09Jun

DoTERRA Essential Oils {Product Review}

This post may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Thank you for supporting Serving Joyfully.

doterra post

I’ve shared with you a few times here that one of my goals for my family is to use more essential oils. So, when my friend Amber, offered to send me some DoTERRA oils for review, I jumped at the chance.

What I received:

  • Modern Essentials (book)
  • Introductory Kit (5 ml each of lavender, peppermint, and lemon)
  • 5 ml melaleuca
  • 5 ml serenity
  • 5 ml balance
  • 5 ml Mood Matrix (a blend of their mood oils)
  • On Guard toothpaste sample
  • Deep Blue Sample

You might imagine, I was like a kid on Christmas morning when I got this awesome package of oils! It was so great to smell the mixture of scents coming from my package…especially when I knew the benefits of them!

Learning about Essential Oils

One of the biggest obstacles I have found in my journey to using more essential oils is that I am just completely overwhelmed with it all. I don’t know what oil to use for what ailment, which are best topically and which are best in my diffuser, what combinations of oils work best together, etc.

I feel completely lost and to be honest, that lack of knowledge has been paralyzing to me, leading me to put off using them because I’m so overwhelmed by what I still have to learn.

There is so much inaccurate information out there and my family’s health is not something I’m willing to gamble on!

This is why I was so excited to receive the Modern Essentials book. I still have a lot to learn about essential oils, but now I have the resource I need.

Even if you aren’t planning to purchase your oils through DoTERRA, I highly recommend getting a guide book such as Modern Essentials so that you can start your essential oil journey fully prepared.

My Favorites so Far

In many ways, I still feel like I’m just scratching the surface with these oils, but I just couldn’t wait to share them with you! I’m sure I will share about them more as I learn more about them and experiment, and figure out what works best for us.

I shared with you a couple of weeks ago some of the health problems I’ve been having, in addition to my usual depression and anxiety. In that post I said that I really want to try more natural remedies for my family, and these essential oils are a great step toward that.

For now, here are some of my initial thoughts.

Peppermint. I love this oil for so many things. I’ve been adding it to our natural flavored water when I don’t have mint on hand and it’s so refreshing on a hot summer day! Another thing I love peppermint oil for is headaches. I get migraines and have found that a little dab of peppermint oil can make a big difference in decreasing the severity of them.

Lavender. My youngest son is one of those people who has really bad reactions to mosquito bites. All last summer, he had sores all over his arms and legs from mosquito bites. It was pitiful, and even left some slight scarring on his skin that is noticeable now that he’s been out in the sun more. The lavender oil really seems to help these bites not get so bad. It seems to be very soothing for them and I’m looking forward to comparing this year to last year.

I’m still trying to find a perfect natural bug/mosquito repellent recipe, so feel free to leave suggestions if you have them!

Serenity & Balance. This seems to be helping with sleep and ADHD issues. We haven’t been using it as consistently as I would like and it’s one of the things I’d like to step up once we get back from our upcoming vacation.

Mood Matrix. I’ve talked a lot here about my depression and anxiety issues. I haven’t been as consistent as I’d like with this either, but I am hopeful that using this in conjunction with the other things I’m doing will help some of those symptoms, and help me feel more energized and have a more stable mood. I’m hoping to be able to share a more thorough update about this one after I have been more consistent in applying the natural remedies that I know about.

Melaleuca (tea tree oil).  I recently did a poll on my facebook page asking about your favorite 3 must-have oils, and this is one that consistently showed up on those lists. This is another oil that is good for skin irritations, and also protecting from environmental and seasonal threats.

Lemon. There is a reason that so many cleaners smell like lemon. Although most mainstream cleaners nowadays are filled with yucky chemicals, lemon is well-known as a natural cleaner.

More Info & a Webinar

When I was talking to Amber about this review, she asked me which oils I wanted to try and what kinds of health problems or other needs I would most like to address for our family. She then counselled me on which oils would be best for our particular needs.

I know that she would love to do the same for you! You can contact her via her website with any questions.

Doterra class

Mark your calendars because Amber will be hosting a live webinar on June 22 at 9 pm EST. Register here for the webinar . It’s quick and easy to register, and the webinar is FREE!

Giveaway!!!

I’m so excited that Amber is generously sponsoring a giveaway. One of you will receive a DoTERRA Introductory Kit!!! This kit contains 5 ml bottles of lemon, peppermint, and lavender. A bonus is that the lid of the box gives usage suggestions for each one. So even if you are a complete newbie, this set will be a great way to get started.

doterra intro kit

Remember how I told you that I surveyed my facebook asking about must-have oils? Well these three showed up on nearly every single list! If you were going to start out with just 3 essential oils, these would probably be the absolute best choice, and one reader is going to get to try them out for free!

Just enter via the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Connect with Amber

You can connect with Amber for more info about DoTERRA oils:

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