Give the Gift of Literacy Giveaway

Hi everyone! I’m so excited for today’s post!

Mainly because I’m partnering with one of my favorite ministries, Samaritan’s purse. And also because I have a fun FREEBIE for you today AND a giveaway!

The bloggers of iHomeschool Network have come together to help support the Samaritan’s Purse Literacy Campaign. We’re sharing our favorite books, along with some fun family activities, as well as giveaways!

The Jesse Tree

The past couple years we’ve been putting up a Jesse Tree in our home to help remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.

The Jesse Tree gets it’s name from Isaiah 11:1-2 “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him.”

The main Branch is a Biblical sign of the expected coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ and the faithfulness of God. The other branches of the tree represent a piece of the stories that make up the whole story of God’s relationship with His people. As we read through the stories we see God’s people awaiting the coming of the Messiah. Similar to how we anxiously wait through each day of December in anticipation of celebrating the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.

Creating a Jesse Tree for your family is a fun, hands-on way to walk through the story of Jesus. As you read through the daily devotions, you’ll add an ornament to your tree. Each one representing the ancestors of Jesus and the events leading to Jesus’ birth.

I created the Jesse Tree Advent Unit along with ornaments for our family to use with the study. The ornaments come in black and white so your kiddos can color their own ornaments, and full color if you prefer a ready-to-go pack!

–> Download the Jesse Tree Advent Study <–


The download includes the Jesse Tree printable ornaments, as well as a daily reading schedule starting on December 1st and running through December 24th. Each day you will read the associated scripture for that day. Then have your kiddos color and hang the appropriate ornament on your Jesse Tree.

Optional: Have students pick out one key verse from the day’s reading, and copy it onto the backside of that day’s ornament as a nice reminder.

The Tree:

We normally use a small Christmas tree to hang our ornaments on, but you can use anything that works for your family. I’ve seen people create a tree silhouette with black construction paper taped to the wall. Or you can even have your kiddos create a lapbook, and add the ornaments to that for a lasting keepsake! The download includes a cover page for a lapbook, or you can just use it as a fun coloring page!


To go along with my printables, I’m also offering a giveaway for one of our favorite Christmas books, The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean.

What’s the story?

Mr. Butterfield, the carpenter, has serious work to do – he’s carving a new Jesse tree inside the church. But a curious young boy wants to know what he’s doing, and is very persistent. In order to explain his carving, Mr. Butterfield begins retelling the great stories from the Bible that he knows and loves so much. As he does so, and in spite of his short temper, small miracles begin to happen.

This colorful story goes so well with the Jesse Tree daily devotions in my download, so we read it as we go through the month of December!

Enter to win a free copy of The Jesse Tree by filling out the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A special note from Samaritan’s Purse:

“Literacy is essential for those who yearn to escape poverty. Yet all too often, poverty-stricken children never learn to read and write because they cannot afford to attend school. Your $15 gift can provide supplies or a month’s tuition for a child who is eager to learn and ready for God’s wisdom.”   ~ Samaritan’s Purse


Wow, so I know that’s a lot for one day, but I hope you’ll enjoy the Jesse Tree download and giveaway. And I pray that this post helps raise awareness for the Samaritan’s Purse Literacy Campaign!

If you choose to participate in the Jesse Tree Advent activity: Make sure to send me a photo of your tree, I would love to see them! Or leave a comment with a link to pics your blog in the comments below!


  1. Fav summer scent is absolutely the scent of cut grass!

  2. My favorite scent is a good fire while camping with all my friends and family sitting around talking at night. Can’t wait for this weekend!

  3. I love the smell of the ocean and sand. The beach is one of my favorite places <3

  4. Jennifer Bailey says:

    Fresh air, sun lotion, and the pool! All those smells together bring back great memories…of a time long ago when I could sit quietly at a pool and not chase baby/toddler/boys. 🙂

  5. My favorite summer scent is the outdoors smell in my children’s hair. I love how after they’ve been outside to play they come in smelling of the fresh, earthy outdoors!

  6. I love the smell of fresh cut grass and barbeques/grills in the summer time. Just reminds me of those long summer days and playing outside with my boys.

  7. The magnolia blooms. Smells light and fresh. It is sort of like gardenia but not as overpowering.

  8. My favorite summer scent is the thick, damp smell that comes after a summer storm.

  9. Oh I love the smells of fresh cut grass and honeysuckle…

  10. I love the smell of fresh cut grass in the summertime! It has such a clean fresh scent. Makes me want to relax with a glass of lemonade on the deck while I watch the kids play and soak up some sunshine.

  11. I love the smell of Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion. Reminds me of the beach…….

  12. Favorite summer scent…… I’d say the pool, not because I love the smell of chlorine, but because I love swimming. And if I’m smelling chlorine that means I’m swimming.

  13. I love the smell of an ice cold, freshly cut watermelon! There is nothing better on a hot, summer day.

  14. The beach. Candles, perfume, air freshener. If it says ocean or beach – I buy it.

  15. I love the smell of the salty ocean air. It reminds me of vacations to the beach as kid.

  16. My favorite scent is my two little boys with that stinky little boy scent that means we’ve had a fun day playing outside.

  17. I love the smell of food on the grill!

  18. Deb Howarth says:

    My favorite scent has to be….too many to pick from…I will go with the smell of lilacs blooming. Brings me back to my childhood spending a day at my grams house. Oh how I hold those memories dear to my heart!

  19. I think two of my favorite summer scents would be to smell the fresh breeze and all the wonderful summer scents that float in the air – the flowers, the grass. I also love the smell of fresh, clean clothes just off the clothes line after they’ve been flapping in the sun and fresh breeze!

  20. Salmon smoking in the smoker! I adore July and August in Alaska for the beauty God has gifted us with and the smells that come along with it!

  21. I like the smell of fresh cut grass which reminds me of staying with my grandparents during the summers. I also like the smell of Coppertone which makes me think of the beach which is one of my favorite places. 🙂

  22. I love the smell of the ocean, sun screen, fresh cut grass and clean clothes.

  23. Lisa Marshall says:

    Clothes dried on a clothes line during the summer.

  24. I do love summer! The smell of the salty sea air at the beach, sun tan lotion coconuty smell at the pool and the smell of fresh cut grass all bring thoughts of a warm and fun summer!! 🙂

  25. Sarah Ann Wong says:

    My favorite summer scent is honeysuckle. It smells so sweet and good.

  26. My favorite summer scent is the sweet smell of honeysuckles. 🙂

  27. my favorite summer scent is a mixture of sunscreen and chlorine…

  28. The smell of fresh cut grass and the cleansing smell of a good summer rain. Two things that I miss living in the desert.

  29. I love the smell just before a storm, in the summer. I love the slightly damp smell and the calm that comes with it, especially if it is near sunset. The best!

  30. I love the smell of sun screen as I get myself and the kids ready to go outside for a fun afternoon.

  31. Lemon is my favorite scent in the summer. That and a fresh cooler morning.

  32. Barbecue or grilling smell for sure!! 🙂

  33. My favorite scent is probably jasmine or gardenia while sitting outside. Love it!

  34. Lisa Fetty says:

    my favorite scent is the smell of my children right after their Bath….that, and chocolate chip cookies baking.

  35. Favorite summer smell is fresh cut grass. There is nothing like it! 🙂

  36. The smell of the peach orchard while picking peaches!

  37. Cut grass, hands down. BBQ runs a distant second 🙂

  38. Courtney Brooks says:

    I love the smell of something yummy on the grill! 🙂

  39. Donna McNew says:

    Thanks for offering this, Erica!! I was just thinking about making a Jesse Tree this year, and what do I open my mail this morning to???? Perfect! I think my favorite summer scent is the kiss of sunshine that remains on my clothes hung out to dry.

  40. my favourite summer smell would have to be barbecue!!! nothing says summer like the mouthwatering smell of homecooked bbq chicken and grilled veggies.

  41. I love the scent of dry, crisp pine trees! Camping and hiking memories flood back!

  42. My favorite summer scent is ice cream!

  43. Hi Erica

    Your timing is perrrrfect!! I have recently been browsing the web for some good Jesse Tree studies, symbols etc., and hadn’t found anything that really stood out. So, I just sat down to continue my search – when search no more – I received your amazing all-in-one-place- everything I need to know and use offer.

    Ahhh – you have made the start of my day (it’s very early morning here in Australia) just perfect….

    Thank you, for all you do – have a great day (or evening)
    Lil x

  44. My favorite is a summer barbeque smell…and taste.

  45. Homemade ice cream and ocean breezes.

  46. Fresh cut grass is summer memories all the way!

  47. Favorite Summer Scent: Fresh cut grass!

  48. Jen5253 Range says:

    I LOVE the smell of Lilacs. We had a Lilac bush on the side of our house growing up, and when it bloomed, I knew it meant the beginning of summer.

  49. Tammy Kindig says:

    The smell of rain as a storm rolls through.

  50. I love the smell of salt water and hot sand. The beach is the best place to be during the summer.

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