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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!!

As I am celebrating the miracle of Easter with my family, I thought I would share a few things with you.
He is Risen!
We added some peg dolls to our Resurrection Garden to act out Easter morning.

We also of course decorated some Easter eggs. This is one of Hazel's favorite things to do.


Finally don't forget to enter my giveaway--you only have one more day!

Happy Easter!! 


Friday, March 29, 2013

Sharing Saturday 13-13


Have you entered my current giveaway?
 Since the wonderful Virtual Book Club for Kids author of the month is Julia Donaldson, The Gruffalo Brand is offering a lucky U.S. resident and reader of Crafty Moms Share two of her amazing books--The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child. I hope you will come enter to win these great books!!




Thank you to everyone who shared last week. Once again I am so inspired. Now I just need to find enough time to do some of the fun activities and crafts with Hazel. We had a tie for the most clicked so we are not sharing them this week. Please make sure you stop by my co-host, Having Fun at Chelle's House to check out her features!! As for my features, they are split into two categories, Easter Favorites and Some Other Favorites!



1) From Sugar Aunts: Easter Bunny Cuties (I love the simpleness and all the great activities!)
2) From Powerful Mothering: Salt Dough Easter Eggs (I love this idea especially with the paper mache nest and pipe cleaners!)
3) From JDaniel4's Mom: Easter Story Cookies (Tell the Easter Story while making these cookies. I love it!)
4) From JoyJonne Hooks: DIY Bunny Ring (So cute!!)


1) From BlogMeMom: Jellybean Bush (Ok, I love Kevin Henkes' My Garden book, so I love this idea!)
2) From Organic Aspirations: For Our Feathered Friends (Some great tips and ways to attract birds to your yard and why you should.)
3) From ArtClubBlog: Punk Rocks (Ok, this one just made me smile!)
4) From 4 kids, 2 guinea pigs one happy family: Jack and the Beanstalk Growing Experiments (So many wonderful lessons and ideas!!) 

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! If you were one of the ones picked as a feature here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog.
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My Week in Review:
This week I shared our Resurrection Garden, a Spanish American Cinderella with a Christian twist, The Snail and the Whale, Some Passover books, and Easter and Spring Match Games.
 

Now for This Week's Party 
 
A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share and Having Fun at Chelle's House via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the newly updated button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.
NewSharingSaturdayresized_zps6f405a2b
Button Code:


4) I would love it if you would follow me on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest as well as Having Fun at Chelle's House at Facebook and Pinterest
Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share and Having Fun at Chelle's House permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest

Easter and Spring Match Games & More!

Only a few more days to enter my current giveaway!!
Today I thought I would share some Easter and spring games I made up with free printables. The first is a sequence game of the Easter story.
All of these cards tell the story from Palm Sunday to Jesus rising in heaven with pictures. My thought was to be able to tell the story through figuring out the sequence of events. If you would like this game, you can download it here.

The next game is a Easter Match Game with religious symbols. I made a few changes to this one after I took the picture. I changed the picture of the angel and fixed the back of the cards to say Easter Match Game.
Making these I had focused on what was being taught in Hazel's Sunday School class and the symbols that went with them. If you would like this game you can download it here.

Then I also made a not so religious Easter Match Game.
I even made the back of the cards to be non-religious. If you would like this one you can download it here.

My final Match Game for today is a Spring Flower Match Game. I made this with my strong desire for warmer weather and to see my spring flowers, but also so Hazel could start to recognize some of the flowers by name.
I used photographs of the flowers, so she could really see what they look like. If you would like this game, you can download it here.

I hope you will come back and let me know how your little ones liked them!



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Virtual Book Club for Kids--The Snail and the Whale

This month the Virtual Book Club for Kids Author is Julia Donaldson. Last week I shared Hazel's favorite Julia Donaldson book, Room on the Broom. This week I thought I would share my favorite, The Snail and the Whale

Before we get to the book, however, just a reminder you have until Monday to enter to win two great Julia Donaldson books--The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child--both have been made into movies as well. There are many wonderful activities to go with these books in the blog hop below!
This rhyming story tells about a snail who wants to see the world. A whale offers him a ride on his tail. They tour the world and see wonderful sights, and then the whale gets beached. The little snail thinks quickly and goes to get help by writing a message on a chalkboard in a classroom. The people in the town save the whale and the snail and whale continue their trip. When they return back to the snail's rock, they tell the other snails about the amazing sights and they all hop on the whale's tail.

This book is an amazing tale filled with so many wonderful messages on friendship, helping one another, helping nature, not making fun of others for their dreams and more. I absolutely love reading it. It also gave us a chance to learn more about whales and snails. We found some great information on whales at The Ocean Adventure. The snail information we read was from Snail World and Wikipedia (on Sea Snails).
For crafts, I needle felted a whale and a snail for Hazel to reenact the story. Then I found a great whale pincushion pattern in Stash Happy Felt by Amanda Carestia. I changed the pattern a bit and made a snail pin instead of fish ones.
Then our final craft was to make snails from shells and clay. These are very easy. You shape the clay to look the body of the snail and stick them into the shell.

Now it is your turn to share an activity to go with a Julia Donaldson book!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Multicultural Tuesday--Passover

Have you entered my current giveaway for two amazing children's books by Julia Donaldson yet?

Since we have started our Fairy Tales in Different Cultures on Mondays, I have not had any other Multicultural Mondays. So in honor of Passover starting last night, I thought I would share a bit about Passover. Having grown up in a town that had a large percent of Jewish residents I have many friends who celebrate Passover. 

A Little History:
Passover is the holiday festival that Jewish people remember when God saved them from slavery in Egypt 3,300 years ago. The story is found in the book of  Exodus in both the Christian Bible and the Hebrew Bible. The book of Exodus includes how the Pharaoh enslaved the Jewish people and killed the males as well as the birth of Moses and how he was saved. Then how Moses and God led the Jews to freedom. The Bible tells that God helped the Jews escape slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the ancient Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves; the tenth and worst of the plagues was the death of the Egyptian first-born. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord knew to pass over the first-born in these homes, hence the name of the holiday. When the Pharaoh freed the Jews, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise. For the duration of Passover no leavened bread is eaten. Matzo (flat unleavened bread) is a symbol of the holiday. (Source)
Matzo (Source)
Celebrating Passover:
To celebrate Passover, first one must cleanse the house of all leavening products (chametz). Many Jewish families will clean their house completely to ensure there is not a speck of chametz left in it. Many families also have a separate set of dishes for Passover as to not chance having any chametz residue during a meal from a plate. 
http://www.stmarys-waco.org/pictures/passover-disposable-seder-d.jpg
Seder Plate (Source)

It is traditional for a family to gather on the first night of Passover for a Seder (a special dinner). During the Seder the story of the Exodus from Egypt is told using a special text called the Haggadah. (Source) Seder customs include drinking four glasses of wine, eating matzo, partaking in symbolic foods on the Seder plate and celebrating freedom. There are six items on the Seder plate. An egg represents the sacrifice offered at the Jerusalem Temple. The shank bone symbolizes the lamb sacrificed at the Temple in Jerusalem. The bitter herb symbolizes the bitterness of slavery. Charoset/Haroses a sweet brown paste made of fruit and nuts symbolizes the mortar used to build the Egyptian store houses. Lettuce or Chazeret is Romaine lettuce or grated  horseradish also symbolizing the bitterness of slavery. Parsley which is dipped into salt water which stands for hope and new life and the salt water for the tears of the Jewish slaves. (Sources: Wikipedia and Passover Magic by Roni Schotter)

Children play an important role in the Seder. The youngest child present has the important job of asking the four questions. 
Why is this night different from all other nights?
Why on this night do we eat only matzoh?
Why on this night do we eat bitter herbs?
Why on this night do we dip parsley into salt wter and bitter herbs into haroses?
Why on this night do we recline at the table?
During the Seder the questions are answered by the adults reading the Haggadah. (Source: Passover Magic by Roni Schotter)


I wanted to find a way to introduce Passover to Hazel. For her age I decided on some story books. When we were at the library, I had her pick out a few books that looked good to her in the Passover section. Here are her choices.
These stories are wonderful ways to show how to celebrate the holiday. If you do not read the author's notes you will not learn the history of the holiday. I am not sure she is ready for this, so I have not extended it yet, but will at some point.

I hope to also have or attend a Seder with Hazel. The year I got pregnant with her my church held a Seder. I had helped in the planning a bit. I am hoping she will experience it as well at some point. As a Christian it is important to remember the Jewish holidays as well. For our communion comes from Jesus celebrating Passover with his disciples. 

I hope I have clearly and correctly stated about Passover and wish all my Jewish readers a very Happy Passover.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--Little Gold Star

Make sure you enter my current giveaway for two wonderful children's books!!


Source
With this week being Holy Week, I thought I would share a Cinderella story that has a Christian twist. (With Passover starting this week I considered doing a second Jewish one, but decided to put that off until next week.) I found two versions of today's story. One is told in Spanish and English, however it does not have the Christian twist. Both are called Little Gold Star and take place in the American Southwest--New Mexico to be more precise. Now my experience with New Mexico is very limited. My family traveled across country when I was young and I remember stopping at the Four Corners so we could stand in four states at one time. This was my only time to New Mexico. For those that do not know United States geography well, New Mexico is one of the four states that meet at one point (this is the only place in the US that it happens). The four states are Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
Map of the United States with New Mexico highlighted
Source

New Mexico is located in the Southwestern part of the United States. It was part of the Spanish colonies as well as part of Mexico. It has the highest percentage of Hispanics among the 50 states. It also has the second highest percentage of Indigenous peoples of the Americas among the states. The tribes consist mostly of Pueblo and Navajo peoples. As a result the culture of New Mexico is very unique and has a high influence on Hispanic and Native American cultures. Even the state flag shows this mix. The colors of the flag are similar to the Spanish flag and the symbol on it is an old Pueblo-related symbol called the Zia symbol.
Flag of New Mexico
Source
The name New Mexico was given to the state before the country, Mexico was named. The Spanish explorers named it thinking it was a land rich in culture similar to the Mexico (Aztec) Empire. New Mexico and Mexico developed as two neighboring Spanish speaking communities with independent histories. 
Wheeler Peak--Source
Aztec Ruins National Monument--Source

The landscape of New Mexico ranges from rose-colored deserts to broken mesas to high snow-capped mountains. The northern part of the state contains the southern part of the Rocky Mountains. The climate is semi-arid to arid in most of the state. There are areas of continental and alpine climates as well. New Mexico has many different types of plants and animals. It has the desert plants like cacti, yucca, mesquite and trees like the spruce, fir, aspen. Birds include the wild turkey and the greater roadrunner. The animals include the black bear, Mexican grey wolf, cougars, coyotes, skunks, porcupines, bighorn sheep, deer, elk. (Source)

Today we are looking at Little Gold Star by Robert D. San Souci. I am also going to share some of the difference found in Joe Hayes' bilingual version. The first distinction is the names of the characters and the second main distinction is that the bilingual version has a hawk as the magical being and San Souci's magic comes from the Virgin Mary. The other major difference I found was in Hayes' there is a prince versus a wealthy man in the village in San Souci's. In honor of Easter, I will share San Souci's version.

In a village in what is now New Mexico, there lived a sheep farmer and his daughter, Teresa. Her mother had died, so Teresa did all the housework while the father herded the sheep in the mountains. A widow moved into the community with her two daughters and asked the farmer to marry her. When he refused she began to weep. He agreed to marry her just to get her to stop crying. Teresa was not fond of the woman or her daughters and it only got worse. She still had to do all the housework as the stepmother and her daughters did nothing. One day her father came home with gifts for all the women. He gave his wife and her daughters flowers from the mountains and gave Teresa a beautiful white lamb. Teresa loved the lamb. As soon as her father left, her stepmother killed the lamb and told Teresa to take the fleece to the river to wash it so she could make it into a pillow for herself. 

Teresa was upset, but feared what her stepmother would do if she did not obey, so she went. While washing it a fish took the fleece and swam downriver with it. Teresa began to cry since she did not know what to do and did not want to return home without the fleece. A woman dressed in blue asked her kindly why she was crying. Teresa told the woman what happened and the woman told her to go to a shack nearby and tend to the infant and old man who were there and to sweep out the shack. Teresa did as she was asked. 

When she got to the shack, the infant was crying so Teresa rocked him and sang him a lullaby until he was asleep. Then she brushed the old man's tangled hair and beard. Then she swept out the house. After finishing these tasks the woman came with the fleece looking bright white. She told Teresa her kindness was a gift of its own and touched her forehead where a gold star appeared.

Teresa rushed home with the white fleece. Her stepmother was angry that she was gone so long and tried to wash the gold star off her forehead. The more she scrubbed the brighter it shined. Then she sent her eldest daughter to was the fleece since it returned to its dirty state as soon as the stepmother touched it. The eldest daughter went to the river and a fish took it again. The woman in blue, the Virgin Mary, came again. She sent the daughter to the shack and asked her to tend the infant and the old man and to take the soup off the fire. The girl went and got upset with the crying baby, the Holy Infant, and ignored the old man, Joseph. She also spilled the soup all over the floor. When Mary returned with the white fleece, she touched the girls forehead and told her she would pay for her unkindness. When she touched her forehead a pair of horns grew out of her forehead. When the stepsister touched the fleece it turned dirty again. She ran home.

Her mother was even more upset since the fleece turned dirtier when she touched it. She tried to pull the horns off, cut they just grew bigger. She sent her other daughter to wash the fleece. The same things happened with the fish and Mary appearing. Mary sent this daughter to tend the baby and old man and to clean out the ashes of the fireplace. This daughter spanked the Holy Infant and put the ashes all over the floor. Again Mary returned and touched her forehead. This time donkey ears grew on her forehead. The stepsister took the fleece and ran home.

The mother was upset and tried again to pull off the donkey ears, but could not and only made them bigger. She made her daughters large black mantillas to cover their horns and ears. The girls called Teresa "Little Gold Star" taunting her with the name. One day Don Miguel, a wealthy young man in the village was throwing a party and invited everyone. Since Teresa did not have nice enough clothes to go, her stepmother and stepsisters left her behind. However she decided to go on her own and while there, Don Miguel danced with her. Her stepmother saw her and told her to go home at once. Don Miguel was upset when he realized she was gone. He set off to search for her the next day by looking for the woman with the little gold star.

When he came to the house, the stepmother locked Teresa in a small room and then the stepsisters served the cakes that Teresa had baked that morning to Don Miguel. When Teresa touched her gold star wishing she could be with Don Miguel, the cat spoke and said, "Little Gold Star is here." Don Miguel was told he was hearing things as they all batted at the cat. The cat however managed to remove the mantillas and the girls ran off in terror with their mother following them. The cat took Don Miguel to the room. Don Miguel asked Teresa to marry him and she said he had to ask her stepmother's permission. He sent a note asking for the permission the next day. The stepmother decided Teresa must do three impossible tasks to marry him. She and her daughters went to the market telling Teresa she must fill ten bottles with bird tears, stuff twelve pillows with bird feathers and prepare a feast before they came home. Dismayed but wanting to try, Teresa looked around the house and found only rice and a few beans for food and no birds in the sky.

She heard a knock on the door and it was Mary. Mary told her to touch her gold star and ask the birds for whatever she needed. She did this three times and got each task completed before the stepfamily came home. Realizing Teresa was blessed, the stepmother gave her permission for the marriage. Teresa's father returned right before the wedding. The gold star stayed on Teresa's forehead for the remainder of her life reminding them that she and her family are blessed. Her stepsisters and stepmother became nicer to her and eventually the horns and donkey ears shrunk down and finally disappeared. 

This is one of my favorite versions thus far since it really showed the good is rewarded. Plus the stepsisters and stepmother turn and become nice. And of course I love the involvement of the Holy Family. 

As we are catching up after being sick, our only crafts were the peg dolls.



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Resurrection Garden



This year I wanted to try making a resurrection garden with Hazel. I had seen one last year and pinned--or thought I had then searched again for it and pinned one this year. The one I found is from Raising Little Disciples.

So to make this we used a relatively flat large circular pot (I had bought a terracotta saucer, but couldn't find it), soil, rocks (we used small ones), a small clay pot to be the tomb, a rock to cover the opening, some sticks and string to make crosses, seeds--grass and flowers.

To start we filled the flat pot with soil and placed the small tomb one. Then put the small rocks down as a path. I also tried to get some soil (and seeds) on top of the tomb. Unfortunately with watering it didn't stay well. Then we planted some grass seeds and flower seeds. Then we made three crosses from sticks we picked up in our yard and put them behind the tomb.

When we had our one nice spring day in between snowstorms, we found a rock on our nature walk.  Our grass needs cutting and some of the flowers are getting their leaves at least. I cannot wait to see what it looks like on Easter morning. Hazel loved making and loves checking it to see the growth. It is such a wonderful way to prepare for Easter and remember the true meaning of the holiday.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sharing Saturday 13-12


Have you entered my current giveaway?
 Since the wonderful Virtual Book Club for Kids author of the month is Julia Donaldson, The Gruffalo Brand is offering a lucky U.S. resident and reader of Crafty Moms Share two of her amazing books--The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child. I hope you will come enter to win these great books!!



Thank you to everyone who shared last week. Once again I am so inspired. Now I just need to find enough time to do some of the fun activities and crafts with Hazel. We had a tie for the most clicked so we are not sharing them this week. Please make sure you stop by my co-host, Having Fun at Chelle's House to check out her features!! As for my features, here they are...


A Few of My Favorites
1) From Buggy and Buddy: Art for Kids Inspired by Henri Matisse (What an amazing activity--museum visit and then creative artwork inspired by what you saw!)
2) From Wilamette Valley Wonder Woman: 20 Spring Stay-Cation Ideas (Ok, this list is not just for spring vacation week, but for just about any time including weekends and summer! I cannot wait for the snow to melt and stay away so we can get outside more.)
3) From For the Children: Ladybugs!! (Ok, I admit I have a bit of an obsession right now since my daughter's symbol for her nursery class is the ladybug, but what great ideas!)
4) From Wilderness Wife: 12 Easter Egg Trees to Make (Ok, this one reminded me of the craft I promised Hazel we would do after reading The Story of the Easter Robin--Excellent book and we need to make bird eggs to hang on Easter morning!)
5) From Taming the Goblin: Spring Flower Craft Paper Alium (Oh, I so want to see spring flowers in the ground!!)
6) From We Made That: Water Transfer Experiment (This one is neat--not only watching the water travel but mixing colors too!)


Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! If you were one of the ones picked as a feature here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog.
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My Week in Review:
This week I shared our St. Patrick's Day food and crafts, The Irish Cinderlad--an Irish male Cinderella, Room on the Broom with giveaway, Holy Week Crafts, DIY Stop/Slow Sign, and Large Chenille Stem Animals
 

Now for This Week's Party 
 
A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share and Having Fun at Chelle's House via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the newly updated button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.
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4) I would love it if you would follow me on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest as well as Having Fun at Chelle's House at Facebook and Pinterest
Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share and Having Fun at Chelle's House permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest