Little Passports Fundraising For Your School!

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

I love Little Passports.  The advertising seems to market to little kids but I think this is a really cool thing all the way into middle school.  Kids get mailings with all kinds of souvenirs and activities from different places (you can either do US or international).  It helps them learn, not just by reading, but also by experiencing each culture a bit through the various senses.  It is always exciting to get mail, especially when it is *stuff,* and Little Passports is no exception.  We love it.  That's why I thought it was really cool that Little Passports can partner with schools for fundraisers!

Here's how it works: You can distribute a flyer at your school (or any other group you are fundraising for).  You then get 15% of what is spent donated to your school.  People love ordering the Little Passports for their kids because it is a fun and award winning educational program.  It is even better because they are doing it for a good cause.  Little Passports can even be used as a holiday gift that keeps giving all year!  Get more information here: The fundraising period is from October 21 - 28 and the deadline to sign-up is October 10th so check it out today!
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Enter to Win and Link Up at the Chain Linky Climb!

I am so honored and proud to be a part of the Chain Linky Climb.  I also love that my readers can enter to win all these great prizes!!  You can't go wrong with Pay Pal money, gift cards, and free advertising!

So, feel free link up and visit the other blogs in the bloghop!  This goes on all month long.  You can link up four posts now or come back and link up one every week!

God’s Growing Garden
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It's the month long Networking Blog Hop 
With our 11th CLIMB GIVEAWAY!
Networking means helping each other grow!! 
If you want to promote a CLIMB link, then use #ChainLinkyCLIMB on Twitter or Google+ so that we can all help each other grow!
Here's how the Giveaway & Co-hosting works - the co-hosts from the previous month's CLIMB will have the opportunity to participate in a Giveaway during the next CLIMB - that gives co-hosts 2 months in a row of blog growing fun!!  (If you would like to co-host please sign up at the end of this post using the last "Linky") 
Please enter below -one person will win:
- $10 Paypal Cash
- 1 Ad Space on A Peek Into My Paradise for 30 days - $30 value
- Turbo Sponsor Spot on 100lb Countdown - $10 value
- 1 Ad Space on Cuddlebug Cuties - $10 value
- 1 Ad Space on Sew Crafty Angel - $15 value
- 1 Ad Space on God's Growing Garden - $15 value
- $10 Gift Certificate to Kelly Michelle's Etsy Shop
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$10 GIFT CERTIFICATE to KellyMichelle's Etsy Shop:  "Kelly Michelle Art"
(Digital Art PDF Printables)

Total prize value is $100!!

CLIMB Giveaway Rules & Conditions:
- this is open worldwide (void where prohibited)
- You must be 18 years or older to enter 
- You MUST have a valid Paypal account to win the Paypal Cash (otherwise this will become a second place prize)
- You MUST have a blog to win the Ad spaces (otherwise this will become a second place prize)
- You understand that if you win & you go over the $10 Gift Certificate (from Kelly Michelle's Etsy Shop) that you will be responsible for the amount above $10
- This Giveaway is open from August 30th, 2014 until September 28th, 2014
- Winner must respond within 48 hours or a different winner will be chosen
- Giveaway Hosts & Co-hosts can NOT enter this Giveaway!, however - SEPTEMBER 2014 CLIMB blog hop co-hosts ARE allowed to enter this Giveaway (provided they are not also part of the Giveaway)
- correspondence is done through email and the winner's email addresses will only be used to deliver or set-up e-prizes.  Email addresses will NEVER be sold or shared.
- Paypal Cash will be delivered by Angel.  All other prizes will be delivered by the contributing Bloggers.
- if you have any questions or concerns about this Giveaway please email one of the hosts:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now onto the CLIMB (blog hop):
We have changed it up a bit - instead of linking your homepage you may now link up to 4 of your family friendly blog posts per month!!

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By participating in this blog hop your understand that your link might be promoted on social media.  Also, by participating in this blog hop your email address will be added to our CLIMB list & you will be sent an email reminder next month. 

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Remember - If you co-host you will receive a free Weekly Sidebar Ad and your blog button will appear on both Angie's blog & Angel's blog!!

(The Ad will run live a few weeks after you have co-hosted)

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7 Ways The First Day of School is Like a Heavy Metal Concert

I guess I'm really going to have to change the name of this blog.  Both my kids are in public school now and they started today.  I want to pour my heart out in this post and explore all my conflicted feelings along with all of my founded and unfounded fears, but instead I will tell you why going to the first day of school is like attending a heavy metal concert.

I attended a lot of hard rock shows back in the day and dropping my kids off this morning brought back those memories for me in the seven following ways.

1) When you get there, nobody really knows where they should be going.  They all just follow the big mob.  
Photo by Enric Turull Source

           2) There is a feeling of excitement in the air but nobody looks happy.

3) Everyone pushes towards the front of the entrance, the way concert goers move towards the stage.  Unless you plan on starting a mosh pit, you are unable to to move in any direction.
4) It's intimidating!  Everyone is scary and you're not sure if you really belong.

5) There is no order.  It is total ANARCHY!  Nobody is lining up on the first day or watching their behavior.  All last year's conditioning is gone. Social norms are out the window.  There are kids and parents and backpacks and pencils everywhere with no regard for the powers that be.

6) The press.  The paparazzi parents are all over on the first day of school.  If you're not careful you'll be blinded by flashes and you might find yourself in the background of a gazillion Facebook photos in the most unflattering of positions.
7) Finally, it is LOUD. Between the

 7) Finally, it is LOUD. Between the squeals of happy tweens greeting their friends and the wails of crying preschoolers wanting their moms, your ears could be ringing for the rest of the day.

squeals of happy tweens greeting their friends and the wails of crying preschoolers wanting their moms, your ears could be ringing for the rest of the day.
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Back to School Checklists for Kids

This school year is going to be bringing about a lot of changes for my family.  The biggest change is that A is going back into public school. This will be the first time in ten years that I have no children home with me! I am going to increase my work hours at home so that I work for the entire time the kids are at school.  I also am taking on a weekend job outside the home in social services.  My husband may even be taking on a new position at his job.  Lots of changes afoot for us!

My kids will have at least two extra curricular activities each at any given time.  That's how it always is.  We try to ensure they see friends at least once a week as well.  Basically, we are going to be busy.  Life becomes a whirlwind during the school year. 

I am determined to stay organized this year. I will admit it is hard for us to stay organized even without being busy.  I can do it but it takes a lot of concentration and energy for me being a dyspraxic (and I am realizing as I get older that I may have ADHD, too).  My daughter has executive functions issues along with her dyspraxia.  My hubby is the most disorganized of all of us.  He is a genius in his field but keeping track of appointments, homework, and even car keys is not his strong suit.  

To keep the kids on course, I have made them checklists for before and after school.  This way they know what is expected and it is not overwhelming.  As long as these things get done we'll be okay.  I will have to make up some lists for myself as well!  

If your kids need organization help, feel free to download these lists for yourself or copy and tweak them to meet your needs.  

You'll notice I added in setting a goal in the morning.  This is because I know for myself that when I set an intention in the beginning of the day things go much more smoothly for me.  When you tell your mind what you hope to accomplish and you have a direction set, things fall into place for you and you feel more secure.  I want this for my kids.

I also added prayer time at the end of the day where the kids need to be thankful for what is good.  Taking the time each night, even for just a minute or two, to be grateful and appreciate what we have can make such a difference in how we feel and what we take to the others we interact with.  I also say for them to ask for help with anything they need assistance with.  This gives a sense of control and of faith.  If anything is going wrong we are taking the time to do what we can by asking for help and turning our struggle over to a higher power.  

I added family time to the after school list as well.  I know with the activities there may be days where we can't fit in a game or a craft but it is something to shoot for as much as possible.  I am going to really miss my kids this year and I want to make sure I spend time with them whenever I possibly can.  I feel this is good for all of us.  I miss them already and they have not even gone back to school yet!

Link to Checklists:

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