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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  51. My favorite summer scent is chicken barbecuing on the grill. Oh and don’t forget about the veggie packets and salmon. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

  52. Favorite summer smells. . . Grilling on the BBQ, fresh cut grass, and coconut suntan oil.

  53. Fresh air and flowers. Nothing like looking out over a beautiful landscape and feeling the warmth of the sun.

  54. Wendy Lambert says:

    My favorite summer scent is burning wood and fresh cut grass. They each have a very unique anda pleasant smell to me.

  55. I love the scent of a summer rain. Preferably with a porch to sit on and watch and smell.

  56. Love the smell of food on the grill!

  57. I love the smell of pine trees on a warm day. As you walk among woods the smell and sound of the wind through the branches elevates you to a place of peace.

  58. My favorite winter scent is evergreen that reminds me of fresh cut Christmas trees.

  59. I love the smell of cut grass and any real flower.

  60. I love the smell of evergreen trees.

  61. My favorite might just be pomegranate

  62. All year I look forward to the smell of a fresh Christmas tree in my home!

  63. Honeysuckle after my grandma just finished watering her garden.

  64. My favorite winter sent is my mother’s pumpkin pies. There is nothing like coming home with the hubby and kids in tow, after not seeing them for six months, and to open the door to the smell of the best pumpkin pies in the world wafting through the house.

  65. Clean sheets in bed that have been line-dryed

  66. Leena Albright says:

    My favorite winter scent is cinnamon and apples. It fill the entire house and you can’t help but feel like baking something up with the kiddos.

  67. My favorite winter scent is the smell of burning wood. It brings comfort, warmth and security. The room fills with the sounds of crackling and the smells of pine and cedar.

  68. I love the cinnamon smell. My family always put on a cinnamon stick/orange/clove concoction on the stove to simmer throughout the day. reminds me of family

  69. I like Jasmine and vanilla because they are so sweet and calming and remind me of visiting India and drinking Jasmine tea.

  70. My favorite Christmas scent has got to be apples and cinnamon!

  71. I love the smells of fall….pumpkin pie, apples and fresh baked bread for Thanksgiving.

  72. My 2 favorite winter scents are pine trees and cinnamon. :)

  73. I love the smell of gingerbread, cinnamon and a Christmas tree.

  74. My favorite winter scent is cinnamon. I love to get the scented candles & pinecones!

  75. Janie Carlson says:

    My favorite winter scent is frozen, snowy air. When you go outside and the inside of your nose freezes. So clean!

  76. Hi Erica,
    Thank you for always having these wonderful goodies for your readers.
    My favorite year-round scent is that of my husband and kids. We lost my brother-in-law unexpectedly in a car accident (he was hit by a 17-year old driver) several years ago. For that reason, I appreciate my husband’s scent – because I am grateful that he is still here with me.


  77. My favorite scene is stepping outside onto the front porch right after a heavy snow storm. I love the next day when the sun shines down on the beautiful white landscape and there’s a stillness in the air. Nothing like it! God gives us such beauty to enjoy here on earth. I can only imagine the beauty in heaven…

  78. One of my all time winter scents is the scent of pumpkin, or apple spice. I keep a candle burning all through the winter months with those two scents. Love it, they remind me of old fashion home gatherings for the holidays, and all the smells coming from the kitchen of food cooking. <3

  79. My favorite winter scent is sweet, spicy, warm-from-the-oven Christmas cookies.

  80. My favorite winter scent would have to be cinnamon. Some how it seems like a comfort scent to me. I love it. It is like the smell of home and family.

  81. My favorite scent is dinner cooking! That means the family will soon be together!

  82. My favorite Winter smell is cinnamon spice!

  83. Fresh Christmas tree smell and cinnamon!

  84. I love the scent of pumpkin desserts and fresh cut pine trees.

  85. My favorite scent is apples and cinnamon in the winter. Brings the Christmas spirit into our home!

  86. Favorite scent is Sandlewod, or cinnamon spice.

  87. I love the smell of clean bedlinen, dried in the sun!

  88. My favorite winter scent is the smell of the kitchen while baking cookies all day! It smells like vanilla, sugar, flour, and warmth and happiness. All mingled with the giggles and love from the kids!

  89. Stephanie Dobbins says:

    My fav winter scent is Yankee Candle’s Christmas Cookie!! It smells just like you baked a batch of sugar cookies! It makes my house smell so sweet,even when I’m not baking :)

  90. I love the scent of cut grass in the summer!

  91. I love the smell of vanilla anytime of year!

  92. Kerrianne Gahr says:

    My favorite winter scent is my kids coming in from playing in the snow, white chunks packed into all their winter gear, rosy cheeks….not sure one would understand until they smell it themselves! Strange, but true!

  93. My favorite winter scent is the smell of gingerbread cookies baking.

  94. Fav winter scent would be the smell of the Christmas tree followed by the smell of cookies baking on a cold day.

  95. Pine is my favorite winter scent. It reminds me of Christmas’ with my dad. He would always get us a real Christmas tree to decorate. I remember the pine needles falling off the tree as the days went by. I remember the colored bulbs and the handmade ornaments. To many it was probably the ugliest tree, but not to us. It was beautiful.
    Christmas was my dad’s favorite holiday, he loved God and he loved to give to others. He was a jolly man.

    I miss him. This will be my fifth Christmas without him. He never got to meet his grandson, but when I smell Pine I remember him and I know he’s not that far away. I”ll see him again.

  96. My favorite scents are Yankee Candle’s apple-berry-spice and home for the holidays… they both create an atmosphere of warmth and coziness during these cold winter days/nights… :)

  97. Pine trees, cinnamon cones,
    Oranges in a stocking
    Shortbread, apple pie
    And turkey in the oven.

  98. Peppermint! It’s so refreshing.

  99. Peppermint

  100. The smell of fresh cut Christmas tree

  101. I love, love LOVE the smell of pine needles. When you take off a needle and crush it with your fingernail then sniff. It smells like love to me:)

  102. Love apples and cinnamon!

  103. My favorite winter scent is a fresh pine Christmas tree!

  104. I like that cinnamony, spicy flavor of Christmas, like spiced cider.

  105. My favorite winter scent is pumpkin baking in the oven. As a child, Grandma’s house was “home”. Every time we would visit she would bake at least on pumpkin in pie.

  106. I love the smell of fresh baked bread. It reminds me of snow days, the only time when we had time to spend all day making bread.

  107. I love the smell of fresh pine after we decorate our fresh Christmas tree. Then every time I vacuum it smells like Christmas. :)

  108. Mmmm… My favorite scents would have to include apples and cinnamon. Those blended together are like a warm hug!

  109. Gardenias!

  110. Bayberry, I love the smell and I really can’t describe it. My grandmother always burned bayberry candles at Christmas time and so did a few other people who were very import to me in my childhood. That smell is home to me and I go out of my way to find a good bayberry candle to burn just for the season.
    We have allergies and asthma so me burning a candle of any sort in the house is really rare and my kids have grown to look forward to that one candle and the smell!

  111. My favorite winter scent is Winter Candy Apple from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. It is only sold at Christmas time so it counts even though it’s artificial, right?! :) I love, love, love that scent and look forward to it every single year!

  112. My fav winter scent is by far evergreen trees! It smells like Christmas in the forest!

  113. can’t beat peppermint! Reminds me of the candy canes my grandma gave me.

  114. I love the smell of a good fire!

  115. I love the scent of my children’s hair after their bath!

  116. My favorite winter scent is a fire in the fireplace :)
    Laurie Cassano

  117. Alicia Robinson says:

    my favorite smell is cinnamon, especially when you are walking through stores that have that smell on the decor. When we light a cinnamin scented candle i love that the kids come running down thinking i am baking.!

  118. My favorite scent is my little girls hair after her bath and fresh washed laundry! I guess I love the smell of soap! Haha! :)

  119. I’m so confused by all the summer scent comments~ but I digress~
    Favorite winter scent(s)
    Earl Grey Tea

    Either refreshing, uplifting or comforting, depending on the scent~

  120. My favorite scent is the smell of a freshly cut Christmas tree…cant wait to go get ours this year :)

  121. I love the scent of pine!

  122. Erin Johnson says:

    Thank you for this printable – I was looking for something new to do this year!

  123. cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves….love baking this time of year. Also fresh pine trees in the winter

  124. Maybe a pumpkin vanilla scented candle in the fall season :)

  125. My favorite winter scent is the smell of evergreens.

  126. The smell of cookies baking is my favorite winter smell. My mouth waters and I can almost taste them. Molasses Ginger cookies are a reminder of baking with grandmother.

  127. Cinnamon apple! Perfect during the fall.

  128. Christmas/Pine Trees. The crisp woodsy scent reminds me of the natural aspect of the season. Mix it with a touch of baking…heavenly.

  129. One of my favorite “winter” scents would have to be the smell of almond extract. It means the Christmas cookies are being made and Christmas is just around he corner.

  130. I love my French Vanilla….almost smells like sugar cookies baking! Love it!

  131. My favorite scent is vanilla.

  132. My favorite winter scent is a weird one – I love the smell on Thanksgiving and Christmas morning of the turkey roasting in the oven. Great printables and giveaway! Thanks so much!

  133. My favorite winter scent is peppermint in hot chocolate, especially after coming in from playing in the snow with my children.

  134. My favorite smell is apples & cinnamon, either scented candles or the real thing baking in the oven

  135. I love the smell of a freshly cut evergreen! ‘Thanks for the free printables and giveaway! 😀

  136. tammy cordery says:

    I would love to do this with my kids. the book looks good I’m going to down load it later.

  137. Summer rain, winter air, fresh-baked bread,…my favorite scents make a fairly long list! thanks for the Jesse tree printables.

  138. Hazelnut or anything that has a nutty and toasty aroma that makes you feel warm and comfy in the cold weather .

  139. I absolutely love the pine scent, near cinnamon. They both remind me of the peace during this season – and the joy of giving to others.

  140. My favorite winter scent – apple crisp – fresh apples baking with oatmeal cinnamon and butter.

  141. I love the smell of cookies baking! This reminds me of my mom baking during Christmas.

  142. I co-own a candle company and my favorite winter fragrance we do is called Winter’s Night. It is a comforting combination of pine tree, spiced berries, with a slight undertone of a relaxing fire!

  143. Roxanne Ervin says:

    My favorite summer scent would have to be the ocean, because that would mean I’m there! Followed closely by chicken on the barbecue. Yum!

  144. I love the smell of food cooking in the kitchen, turkey and stuffing or pies cooking!

  145. sandi sybert says:

    My favorite winter scent is a wonderful pine/evergreen…reminds me of a fresh Christmas tree. Since we use an artificial tree, I usually spray the tree or light a candle with evergreen….wonderful scent of

  146. Kristin George says:

    I love the smell of pine trees. Brings the fresh scent of nature indoors!

  147. Hope Corbett says:

    My favorite winter scent is cinnamon anything. Makes me think of hot cinnamon rolls and other yummy desserts that I love to smell baking. It is a soft, yet warming scent.

  148. My favorite winter scents are cinnamon & pine!!!

  149. I love the smell of cedar logs on the fire.

  150. I love the warm smell of cinnamon, especially in apple pie!

Speak Your Mind