Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

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This is the third week of the Hispanic Heritage Month. We are participating in the Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop and Giveaway. You can enter the giveaway here by scrolling down as well. We are sharing something we have done to celebrate or learn about Hispanic cultures each week during the month. Today we are sharing the story of Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe. We discovered this story by reading The Beautiful Lady: Our Lady of Guadalupe by Pat Mora. There are however many books that discuss the story and the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We also have enjoyed thus far Tomie de Paolo's Our Lady of Guadalupe. Here are some other books we found at the library that share some part of the story or how the festivals are celebrated.

The story/legend takes place in 1531. Juan Diego was an Aztec who converted to Christianity when Mexico was taken over by the Spanish. On December 9, 1531, Juan Diego was walking from his village to church. It was a long walk. When he reached the top of Tepeyac Hill, he saw an apparition of a beautiful woman. She identified herself as the Mother of God. She told Juan Diego to go to the Bishop in Mexico City and tell him to build her a church where she was standing so she could help all who needed her (in one version of the picture books it is also said she wanted to be closer to her Indian children). Juan Diego went to church services and then went to the Bishop's house. 
Christ the King Church, Tres Valles, Veracruz, Mexico01
Source: By Enrique López-Tamayo Biosca
 [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
After a long wait, he finally gained time with the Bishop. Juan Diego told the Bishop of the beautiful lady and all she said and asked. The Bishop told him he was very busy at the time and to come back in a few days and talk to him again. Juan left the Bishop's house feeling like he failed the Mother of God. She was waiting for him on his return to hear what the Bishop said. She insisted he must go back to the Bishop's house the next morning and ask again. He did this. This time the Bishop told Juan Diego that he needed proof that it was the Virgin Mary really asking for this church. He told Juan to ask the lady for a sign. Once again Juan left and found the Virgin Mary on the top of Tepeyac. He told her the Bishop needed a sign. She promised to provide one the next day. Juan Diego went home to find out his beloved uncle, Juan Bernardino, who was like a father to him, had fallen sick and was near death. 
Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Irapuato, Guanajuato State, Mexico 08
Source: By Enrique López-Tamayo Biosca
 [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Juan Diego sat with him and attended to his sick uncle forgetting about his plans to meet the Virgin Mary the next morning. In the early morning hours on the day following the day he was to meet Virgin Mary, Juan Diego went out to get a priest for his uncle's last rites. He tried to avoid being seen by the Virgin Mary by going around the bottom of Tepeyac Hill. She however met him at the bottom. She was carried by an angel with colorful wings. He told her why he had not met her and she told him she would of course take care of his uncle and that he was already healed.  Then she told Juan Diego to go to the top of Tepeyac Hill and pick the roses that were growing. She told him to gather them in his tilma and bring them as proof to the Bishop. Juan climbed to the top of the hill thinking there was no way there could be roses in the winter, but when he got to the top he saw beautiful roses growing everywhere. He picked the best ones and put them in his tilma. He brought them to the bottom of the hill where Mary arranged them for him and sent him to the Bishop's house. She told him to show them to the Bishop before showing them to anyone else. When he finally gained entrance to see the Bishop, he opened his tilma to have the roses fall. He noticed that all the eyes in the room were not on the beautiful roses but on his tilma. There on his tilma was a picture of the Virgin Mary exactly how Juan Diego saw her.  Needless to say, now the Bishop believed him and went to see where she wanted this church. 
Statue of St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin.
Church of San Juan Bautista, Coyoacán, México DF.
Photo taken by Hajor, 15 December 2003
Upon returning home, Juan Diego found that Juan Bernardino was cured and he too saw the Virgin Mary. She had asked him to tell the Bishop of his sighting of her and cure and to tell him she wanted to be known under the name of Guadalupe. (Sources: Books pictured above and Wikipedia)

Now to go with these wonderful books of the story, I wanted to do a little craft. When I googled Our Lady of Guadalupe crafts I discovered many ideas. Our first craft was a tin cross with Our Lady of Guadalupe on it. We got the idea from Oh, Night Divine: Our Lady of Guadalupe Tinwork Ornaments. We cut a cross out of a large tin baking pan. Then I gave Hazel some permanent markers to color it. I gave her a picture (I googled for images of Our Lady of Guadalupe) and we pulled out some decorative flowers.

Hazel is now deciding whether we are going to hang it in her room or in the kitchen. I loved the idea of doing a tin ornament since tinwork is an art of Mexico. 

Our next craft came from In the Heart of My Home: Advent and Christmas with Tomie de Paolo. I loved this one since it showed the miracle of the image. We used "rose" stickers that Hazel got from Trader Joe's.

Now Juan Diego was made a saint and his feast day is December 9th. And according to Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day is December 12th. One of the ideas I saw was to have a "tea" party for Our Lady of Guadalupe serving Mexican hot chocolate. I loved this idea but since it was hot yesterday, we did not do this. We did however make Juan Diego's somberro cookies. I would love to show you the source of this idea, but it looks like I did not save it. (If it is yours, please let me know so I can add it!!) They are sugar cookies with gum drops and frosting decorations.

The final craft idea came from Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families: Happy Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was to make a peg doll of Juan Diego with the image on him and sequins for the roses.

Now we have some fun crafts to remember the story by.

Now for the giveaway and the blog hop. Remember this is week 3 of it all.

heritagemonthWelcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 22 of our member blogs! Don't miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky! Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, "celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America" (from Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:
MKB HHM Twitter PartyDon't miss our Twitter party "Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids," Tuesday, September 23, from 9 - 10 pm ET! Follow #mkbhhm to participate!
MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs

Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win! Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Smart Play PadSmart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.
Traditional Mexican toys and games.
A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.
LanugoA basket from Lanugo that includes Lanugo’s new book, “Lula la Consentida,” a limited edition “Latino de Corazón” infant apparel, and Seventh Generation’s earth conscious baby product essentials. US shipping only.
Spanish games for kids.
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
Bilingual poetry book from Lee and Low.
Spanish poetry book for kids from Lee and Low.
A Movie in my Pillow and Poems to Dream Together - Books of poetry in English and Spanish from Lee and Low.

First Prize Package

Peru prize basket - Kid World CitizenA child's sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.
Spanish games for kids. A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
Spanish songs for kids.
Chocolalala - CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.Hola Hello - A CD of children's songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Spanish poems for kids.
Mis primeros poemas - A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.
Spanish color activities from Mundo de Pepita.
Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.
Lingua ToysSpanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.
Bolivian GuiroHand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.

Second Prize Package

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua.
Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.
Spanish ABC book from Libros Arellano.
Spanish book for kids from Libros Arellano.
¡Las letras! and Señorita Bienvenida en el aeropuerto - Two children's books in Spanish from Libros Arellano.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.
A CD of children's songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Children's songs in Spanish from Mister G.
ABC Fiesta - CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
High frequency words books in Spanish.
Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.
Guatemala purse - Alarcon RestaurantsHand woven and leather Guatemala coin purse, a fun and vibrant gift. Given by - from their Gift Gallery in Antigua Real Restaurant, Mukwonago WI.
Bonus Prize: France Shipping Only!
Las piñatas de LalyBeautiful piñata created especially for this contest by Piñatas de Laly.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Link Up Your Posts Now it's your turn to share your posts! The linky will be open through October 15, so come back and share throughout Hispanic Heritage Month!

Monday, September 29, 2014

DIY Sesame Street Birthday Party

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My good friend's youngest son turned one last week. For his first birthday party she decided to do a Sesame Street themed party. She bought some decorations, but did much of it herself with some help from me and a few friends and her mom. She had the party at our church. She and her husband have large families, so there are a lot of people. She made some adorable tissue paper characters. They sat on the cake table. She got the idea here.

For decorations she had some Sesame Street tablecloths and bought a couple of decoration kits. Then she made favor bags. She had Cookie Monster, Elmo, Bert and Oscar. Sorry I didn't get any pictures of the Cookie Monster ones. She got the idea here.
Her mother and she made Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes. They were so cute!!

Then Hazel and I made a bowling game for the party. We were inspired by Sharing the Wealth: Sesame Street Birthday Party. They are very easy to make. We used empty plastic water bottles, construction paper and some printouts of the heads as well as Bert and Ernie's shirts. The heads are copyrighted, so I cannot share them, but I just googled the characters until I found what I wanted. I made them about 3.5 inches wide.

We wrapped the bottle in the paper and then glued on the heads. By the end of the party they were destroyed, but this is because several of the young boys were very hard on them and wanted to just kick and step on the bottles. We used the ball from one of Hazel's toy bowling sets.

She also bought a pin the nose on Elmo game. This would be pretty easy to make yourself. The one nice thing of the bought one is the noses were stickers.

She wanted two crafts for the kids whose ages really varied (one to preteen). The first was to decorate a hat with foam stickers.
Hazel wore her purple hat the entire time. She loved it! The second craft I found for her at Katherine Marie Photography. We decided to use paper cups instead of plastic for the ease of glue sticking.
These were the samples of Cookie Monster, Abby and Elmo that Hazel and I made. We only had pom poms and eyes. The two crafts got combined by the end and many of the older kids made character hats and used the foam on the cups. They had fun.

So that was the fun first birthday party we went to this weekend!! So many great DIY ideas!! We loved it!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

WordWorld: Kooky Spooky Halloween DVD Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: NCircle Entertainment gave me a copy of the DVD free of charge and is supplying the one for the giveaway free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the DVD on NCircle Entertainment's site for your convenience. You can also find their DVDs at local retailers!

I am so excited to share this DVD with you today. Now before I share it I want to make sure you know a couple of things:
  1. I really do not like the scary part of Halloween. I like taking Hazel trick-or-treating, and seeing the young children in their cute costumes.
  2. Hazel is scared easily and does not like the scary parts of Halloween.
  3. Hazel is learning to read and sound out words at school this year.
Now knowing those three things, I have to say this is one of the best Halloween DVDs for her. She has been asking me to watch WordWorld. When we first saw it on television she was in the Waldorf School and we were already breaking the rule of no media and I was not about to introduce words to her as well. Then when she switched schools we could never find it on any of our PBS stations. So I jumped at the chance to review a WordWorld DVD. It being a Halloween one scared me a bit seeing how even The Wiggles: Wiggly Halloween frightened her a bit last year in parts. However the WordWorld Kooky Spooky Halloween did not frighten her at all. She loved it and so did I.
If you know nothing about WordWorld, the animal characters and many of the objects and scenery are made out of the word of what it is. As you can see on the cover, the pumpkins have the word "pumpkin" on them. The characters can make anything as long as they have the letters for it. In one of the two stories on this DVD, Sheep made her costume elements by pulling out the letters to spell "dust", "crown" and "wings". Once the letters were put together to spell the word, they magically became the object. As she spelled out the word and the magic was happening, she sounded out each word as well.
Character Flashcards Source: NCircle Entertainment

In the other story after some of the characters heard a ghost story and were scared to walk home, but got over the fear by being told ghosts do not exist, Pig sleep walks with a sheet over him. He is looking for B's so he can make his goody bags for Halloween. He has all the -ag he needs, but is out of B's. The viewer gets to watch as he removes the B from words like "ball" and "bike" and when the B is taken the objects become just letters. The other animals are awakened and frightened to see a ghost and are wondering why the ghost is taking the B's. In the end it has a very happy ending.

More Flashcards Source: NCircle Entertainment
Now on the NCircle Entertainment site they have two free WordWorld downloads. One is the flashcards which I still need to fold in half and glue as well as memory game cards (print two copies).

Memory Game Cards Source: NCircle Entertainment
I have not shown them to Hazel yet, but I know she is going to love both of them. This is such a fun video and has some fun and educational games to play with it. I highly recommend it. Now I also get to give a copy of the DVD away to one lucky winner who lives in the USA or Canada. Please follow my giveaway rules and do what the Rafflecopter says.

a Rafflecopter giveaway