Clean House: Party Planning!

images (19)Last week I joined in the book group discussion of Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12 Month Experiment to Rid Her House of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma. You can read those thoughts here, mostly that we are very challenged in all areas of the book! Thanks to Amy Sullivan and Steph from Only Here, Only Now  for hosting the discussion.

Task 8 for the Wyma family was Party Planning and Hospitality. I had to ask my daughter Ellie to guest post on this one!


2 year old Ellie: Who are we going to see today? What are we going to do? She’s always had a knack for welcoming people, planning parties, hosting special times and generally just reaching out. I see God working through her gift of hospitality.

Hospitality is a beautiful way your whole family can encourage and love others. It’s also a great way for your kids to think outside of themselves. 


What made you think of starting Tropical Treats?

My Grandma gave me a shaved ice machine and a palm tree. That’s why I call it tropical treats. It’ really fun to make them and for people to pick the flavor they like. I really like giving people treats.


Tell me about using duct tape to make gifts for people. 

I have a habit of making crafts. I just starting thinking of lots of things to make for people using duct tape. I like to take someone’s personality and bring it into what I make for them. It feels good to give people things.


What’s the hardest part about hosting parties? What’s the best part? 

The hardest part is finding activities every would like to do and not fight about, especially if there is boys and girls at the party. The best part is people’s face expressions. I like doing this stuff to see people’s faces having fun!


How do your kids get involved in serving through hospitality? 

Kids Books About the Topic of Immigration

Reading with your kids is an easy way to place your whole family in the proximity of renewal.

As parents, it’s important to teach our kids the perspective of those who have immigrated to a new home. Immigration reform is a huge topic right now. My husband is teaching an Office of Social Justice curriculum entitled The Church Between Borders all over the United States right now. Children’s books are an excellent way for us to teach our children.

the name jar

The Name Jar by: Yangsook Choi (In a new school, Unhei struggles to use her Korean name.)

harvesting hope

Harvesting Hope By: Cesar Chavez (The story of Cesar Chavez who sought to improve the lives of migrant farm workers.)

kite dragon

Henry and the Kite Dragon by: Bruce Edward Hale (A story based on true events, two rival groups of children from Chinatown and Little Italy learn what they share.)


Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan By: Coretta Scott King (Based on true events, orphaned boys from the war in Sudan, walk to a refugee camp in another country.)

whispering cloth

The Whispering Cloth by: Pegi Dietz Shea (life in a refugee camp in Thailand, a little girl tells her story through traditional pa’nadau)

hate english

I Hate English! by: Ellen Levine (the struggles of learning a new language in a new country.)

one green apple

One Green Apple by: Eve Bunting (the story of a young Muslim immigrant)

lotus seed

The Lotus Seed by: Tatsuro Kiuchi (a young girl immigrates from Vietnam.)

days to america

How Many Days to America By: Eve Bunting (a family is forced to flee their Caribbean home and board a boat to America.)

the color of home

The Color of Home By: Mary Hoffman (Hassan feels homesick after fleeing Somalia, to a refugee camp, to a new home in England.)

hannah is my name

Hannah is my Name By: Belle Yang (a young girl immigrates from Taiwan to San Francisco.)

waiting for papa

Waiting for Papa By: Rene Colato Lainez (Beto and his Mama have left El Salvador and with the help of an immigration lawyer they wait for Papa.)

leaving vietnam

Leaving Vietnam By: Sarah S. Kilborne (Tuan and his father flee Vietnam and immigrate to America.)

myname is jorge

My Name is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River (poems in English and Spanish) By: Jane Medina (Jorge tries to assimilate to his new home in American and hold his Mexican heritage close.)


Super Cilantro Girl By: Juan Felipe Herrera (Esmeralda Sinfronteras is a super-hero who goes great lengths to rescue her Mom. The story highlights concerns children may have about national borders and immigrant status.)

Kids Books and Resources about Hunger

Make a difference.

These books are great to read as a family and cover the topic of hunger and food security. 

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Beatrice’s Goat By: Page McBrier (Beatrice receives a goat named Mugisa that can lift her family out of poverty.)

images (9)

One Hen By: Katie Smith Milway (Kojo from Ghana helps his family out of poverty with the gift of a hen.)

Follow up these books by sharing global gift catalogs with your kids.

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Faith the Cow By: Susan Bame Hoover  (Susan grew up across the street from a barn that raised baby cows for Heifer International.)

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Bone Button Borscht By: Aubrey Davis (A version of the classic stones soup, a beggar shows a village how to work together.)

images (10)What the World Eats By: Peter Menzel (A books that shares photographs about what people around the world eat)

images (16)The Good Garden By: Katie Smith Milway (A struggling family in Honduras revives their family with a gardening project.)


Visit The Good Garden Website.

Meet the now grown Maria Luz of the story. Watch a video of her journey from hunger to having enough.

Meet Real People whose lives were changed from good gardening.

Educators can find curriculum to the Good Garden here.

Water Aid Kids Activities

water aid

2,000 children die every day from easily prevented diarrheal diseases. We can educate our kids to make a difference for kids around the world that do not have access to clean water and safe sanitation.


What kids doesn’t want to fight poop justice?


Enter WaterAid kids resources..

The Learn Zone at WaterAid has a sense of humor just right for kids.


Download a Water Splash Coloring Book for 3-5 year olds.

Play Games

  • Pani the Handlepump (quiz game) 
  • Turdliwinks (flick your turdliwinks into ‘toilet targets’)
  • Soozhal (Be an investigative journalist in India)

Watch 13 different videos all appropriate for kids. The issue comes to life when you see children moving through the challenge of finding clean water.

Download Information Sheets for Kids

Watch an On-line Comic Book featuring:

  • Vinny the Poo
  • Super Toilet
  • Driplette
  • Soapy Hero



WaterAid is a partner organization of Mom Bloggers for Social Good and the Global Team of 200.

Try one of these out with your family and tell us all about their reaction! 


Students Speak Thanksgiving!

Adeline and Thomas, Age 4 and 9 months, thankful for each other!

Maci and Ava, Age 4, thankful for cousins!

Nora, Age 6, thankful for Miss Julie’s Baby

Joshua, Age 7, thankful for his mi familia

Amelia, Age 3, thankful for the Wiggles. {on the left is green Dorothy, purple Jeff, the right is blue Anthony and yellow Greg/Sam}

Involving Families: Ryan and Jimmy

Kids can make a difference!

Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together By: Herb Shovelier is a book your family will want to read together. The book is geared toward 3rd-6th graders. The book is part of the CitizenKid Collection of stories to encourage kids to make a difference globally.

In first grade, Ryan Hreljac of Kemptville, Ontario learned that not everyone in the world had clean water. He sought to earn the money to buy a clean water well. After a newspaper ran his story, his work received international attention. He was able to fund a clean water well in the Agweo Village in Uganda, Africa. His school became pen pals with students in Agweo. One student, a young orphan named Akana Jimmy longed to tell Ryan thank you in person. Ryan was able to travel to Uganda and meet Jimmy. The book is about their friendship and the difference they have made.

The story continues as Jimmy was abducted by the LRA, a resistance group in Uganda. He escaped to his friend, the project coordinator of Ryan’s Well. After time and paperwork, Jimmy was able to come to Canada and live with Ryan’s family. They now have a foundation called the Ryan Well Foundation.

The Foundation website also has school curriculum ideas and clean water projects you can be involved in.


Be encouraged by a friendship and the power one life has to make a difference!