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Friday, January 31, 2014

Sharing Saturday 14-5

Sharing Saturday Button


Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week!! We had some amazing ideas shared. I hope you have had time to go check some out. We had a tie for most clicked.


1) From Mums make lists: Kids Screen Time

2) From Crafty Journal: Sparkly Heart Button Covers


Holiday Features
With today being the lunar new year, Sunday being Groundhog Day and Valentine's Day being only a couple of weeks away, I thought I would feature some of the holiday posts shared.



1) From Gift of Curiosity: Chinese New Year Drum Craft for Kids

2) From I Heart Crafty Things: Groundhog Day Mask Craft

3) From Momdot: Valentine's Day Shoulder Friends - I'm Stuck On You

4) From Zingzing Tree: Needle Felt Pebble

Then I picked a few more favorites. Two are things I was involved in this week and I love to share what others have done in my groups as well.



1) From Afterschool for Smarty Pants: Choosing Multicultural Books for Children

2) From Afterschool for Smarty Pants: Cooking with Children: Lomo Satlado

3) From Dabbling Momma: Ice Hockey on a Baking Sheet


Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 

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Featured Button Code:


From Your Hostess:
This week we shared our Around the World in 12 Dishes Peruvian dish: Mazamorra Morado, Multicultural Book Reviews for Multicultural Children's Book Day, Thurgood Marshall for the kick off of Black History Month, a product review of GE Reveal Light Bulbs, and Lunar New Year Traditions around the World including a Book Review.






 



Now for This Week's Party  
A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share 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 Sharing Saturday 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 FacebookGoogle+, and Pinterest 

5) If you do not have a blog, but want to share an idea you can leave it in the comments or e-mail it to me with a picture (if possible).

 
 Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lunar New Year and Year of the Horse Book Review


Disclosure: I was sent these books digitally to review free of charge from Immedium. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Although we celebrate our New Year on January 1st, there are many places around the world that celebrate the new year at a different time (and some celebrate it at two times January 1st and a cultural traditional time). Friday, January 31st is the lunar new year. Now some cultures that celebrate the lunar new year are the Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Mongolian. The Chinese are the largest group that celebrate it and is the one we hear about most often.


China
Source
 Now China is the largest celebrated lunar new year. Traditionally the celebration of the lunar new year lasted fifteen days. Now in modern times it is usually two or three days. The days leading up to the new year are important in China. The Chinese clean their houses from top to bottom prior to the new year and never on New Year's Day in fear that good fortune will be swept away. They pay off their debts, buy new clothes and shoes to wear on the first day of the year (it is considered lucky to wear all new clothing on the first day of the year since wearing old clothes brings bad luck in the year to come) and have their hair cut. As the old year ends people focus on their mistakes and failures and think about how to act better in the new year. Oranges and tangerines are traditional gifts for friends and family. They are also a favorite offering to the ancestors. Tangerines still have their leaves attached to make sure the family ties remain secure. For food, a chicken is served to ensure prosperity, a Tray of Togetherness (circular or octagonal candy tray) serves sweets each symbolizing happiness, long life, good health and other good wishes.



 The Shēngxiào also known as the Chinese Zodiac relates an animal with each year in a twelve year cycle. The year ending tonight is the year of the snake. The new year is the year of the horse. There are different legends of how the animals were picked and the order they go were picked in. Each animal presents certain personality traits for the people born in those years as well as ways the year should go. People born in the year of the horse love to be in a crowd and extremely active and animated. They love to be the center of attention and can be impatient and hot-blooded. 



I was lucky enough to receive a digital copy of Oliver Chin's The Year of the Horse: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac from Immedium. This adorable story goes through the live a foal and a young boy, Tom. Tom and the foal, Hannah, become good friends. The young boy's teacher has been asked to send a painting for the governor. She needs someone to deliver it, but everyone is busy. Tom offers to do the job, but the teacher feels he needs someone to go with him. All of the horses in Hannah's family are too busy to help so Hannah volunteers. Hannah and Tom ride off to make the delivery. They come across some challenges: a snake, a tiger, and dark, chilly nights, but together they are able to get through/past all of them. Hannah jumps the snake and walks nimbly by the sleeping tiger. Together the pair spends the cold night in a cave with a fire. They make the delivery and the governor invites them to dinner. They see a few sights of the city, but want to get home. They enjoy the sights on the way home since they do not have an important job to accomplish anymore. When they arrive home, the teacher shares a copy of the painting. It is the Chinese word for horse and the teacher says it describes Hannah's valiant spirit. The two friends loved to play together and remained good companions.

For more on China check out DIY Fortune Cookies, Chinese Cinderella, Chinese New Year 2013, Chinese New Year Instruments,

Sources: World Book's Celebrations and Rituals Around the World New Year's Celebrations  and Wikipedia and China Highlights



Korea
In Korea the lunar new year is called Seol. Generally it falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. It is a family holiday with much respect for one's family and ancestors. The Korean house is usually cleaned and special foods are prepared. The house lights remain on throughout the night and the people stay up to greet New Year's Day or Seollal. On Seollal people dress in the best clothes and start their day with Chayre. Charye is the ritual to make the food offerings to their ancestors. An altar table is set carefully with special foods. The family's leader conducts the ritual while someone else reads the chuk mun, the list of ancestor's names. Then the children perform Sebae, when they formally greet their elders (parents and grandparents). The children receive money and cakes and then there are special breakfasts, visits with neighbors, games, fortune telling and dancing. A typical game is yut which involves four sticks being thrown into the air and telling a fortune from how they land. Everyone in Korea eats one bowl of ttokkuk, rice cake soup on New Year's Day and they count their age by the number of New Year's Days they have lived through or how many bowls of ttokkuk they have eaten.

For more information and stories from Korea check out our past posts: The Korean Cinderella, Chap ch'ae (Around the World in 12 Dishes), and Kongi and Potgi: A Korean Cinderella.

Sources: Wikipedia and World Book's Celebrations and Rituals Around the World New Year's Celebrations 

Vietnam
Source

In Vietnam, the new year is called Tết. It is the most important celebration of the Vietnamese culture. People prepare for it by cleaning the house and preparing special foods. There are also many customs that go along with it like visiting friends and relatives and forgetting the bad of the past year. Similar to the Chinese, children receive red envelopes of money from their elders on New Year's Day. The first day of the new year is reserved for nuclear family. Since the Vietnamese think the first person to enter their house in the new year determines their fortune for the whole year, no one visits without an invitation. Sweeping during the holiday is taboo in fear of sleeping away good luck. The second day is usually reserved for friends and the third for teachers. They have some traditional food. One such food is Hạt Dưa or roasted watermelon seeds.

For more on Thailand check out The Golden Slipper post.

Sources: Wikipedia

Mongolia
Source

Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian New Year, literally means white moon. It is one of the most important holidays in Mongolia. Around the new year families burn candles on the altar to symbolize Buddhist Enlightenment. Typically the family meets in the dwelling of the eldest member and dress in traditional Mongol costumes. When greeting their elders during Tsagaan Sar, Mongols perform a greeting ceremony called zolgokh. The eldest receives the greeting from each member except his spouse. After the greeting the family eats mutton, sheep's tail, dairy products, rice with curds, and buuz and exchange gifts. 

The day before Tsagaan Sar the Mongols completely clean their homes and herders clean their livestock barns to provide a complete fresh start for the new year. They also have a ceremony that includes burning candles on this day. 

Source: Wikipedia




So that is a bit about the lunar new year. What will you do to celebrate? We are planning on making some dumplings and having a Chinese inspired meal. We did make horse stick puppets. The pattern and idea came from Better Homes and Garden.



Finally, as promised here are some more ideas for learning about the Chinese New Year and crafts to do--these all came from last week's Sharing Saturday!


1) From Afterschool Learning for Smarty Pants: 8 Ways to Teach Your Kids about China


2) From In the Playroom: Chinese Crafts for Kids - Chinese Fans


3) From Gift of Curiosity: Chinese New Year Do-a-Dot Printables


If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button. I hope you will join us for this week's Sharing Saturday!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Product Review--GE Reveal Light Bulbs

Disclosure: I was sent these books digitally to review free of charge from GE Reveal. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.


I was sent a package of four 75 watt GE Reveal light bulbs to review. Now the truth be told, since Steve is an electrical engineer, I tend to leave light bulbs up to him. However, we both agree that we do not like the compact florescent bulbs since they have mercury in them. We don't want to add extra dangerous materials into our home. So my first question about this review was what type of light bulb am I getting. They have a halogen technology inside instead of the florescent bulbs. 

Now that I have my package I needed to decide where to try them. First I tried them in my bedroom. I love to read in bed, but hate having the overhead light on since it shines in my eyes. So I added one to the lamp on my bedside table. Now here it is really important that the light bulb not be the kind that contain mercury. Our dear cat, Fluffy, likes to check out my lamp and often knocks it off the table. We have had some broken light bulbs as a result.

You can see how the light is brighter and cleaner. I am rather excited to try it out tonight with the new novel I took out of the library today.

The other three light bulbs I decided to use in my overhead light in what we call our computer room. This is a room that is an interior room with access to windows being a room away. When I first moved in there was no overhead light in this room, but when we did our updating a few years ago and we had them remove the meringue or plaster of our ceilings (and it really did look like meringue) I had them add an overhead light. I picked one out that I thought was pretty and Steve would like. However, the light has been a nightmare because one or two of the bulbs constantly are burning out almost immediately. However when I added the GE Reveal bulbs a couple of days ago, and they are still going strong (this is a record).


In these pictures you really can see how the light is whiter and more clean. Now I get to really enjoy my light. A total success in my book!

Now you may be wondering where you can purchase these amazing light bulbs. Target has them and they are offering a discount on them with their Cartwheel app. Now I do not have a smart phone or any device to download apps so I could not review it, but it sounds pretty neat. You download it and can scan an item at Target to see if there are any coupons or deals on that item. Here is the information and links to the app as well as a coupon for more savings or for people like me.



Check out Target’s Cartwheel app for 25% off GE reveal® light bulbs. Just search “GE reveal” to find it. Offer expires 2/28.  (Download Cartwheel on your IOS or Android.)



You can also print and use the following coupon for even more savings:
$2 off GE reveal at Target -  Expires 2/8

So where do you need to do a lighting makeover?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Black History Month: Learning about Thurgood Marshall

Congratulations to Rebecca, Natalie and Michele for winning the Baker's Passports Little Bites!




February is Black History Month! Carter G. Woodson, an American historian, started Black History Week in 1926. He chose a week in February to honor the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. To me Black History Month really starts with Martin Luther King, Jr,'s birthday. Multicultural Kid Blogs is hosting a blog hop which I am participating in, and I wrote the introduction post for the MKB blog. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To celebrate this, the theme of Black History Month this year is Civil Rights in America. (Source) However MKB has decided to extend this to Worldwide Civil Rights. Throughout February I will look at different people, events and more of the Civil Rights Movement and some ways I am introducing it to Hazel. Today we are going to look at Thurgood Marshall.


NAACP leaders with poster NYWTS
NAACP Leaders (Source: By New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer:
Al Ravenna [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
Now I knew Thurgood Marshall was the first African American Supreme Court Justice, but I did not know his role in the Civil Rights Movement. I happened to take a book out of the library on Thurgood Marshall and read it to Hazel. The book, A Picture Book of Thurgood Marshall, by David A. Adler is a wonderful book to introduce younger children to Thurgood. Marshall.

Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was named after his grandfather, Thoroughgood Marshall. His grandfather was a freed slave who served in the Union army during the Civil War. Thurgood shortened his name in the second grade because he did not like writing the long name, Thoroughgood. As a child, Thurgood was a trouble maker. He often was punished in school. The principal punished him by sending him to the basement of the school with a copy of the United States Constitution. He was not allowed to come back to class without having a portion of it memorized. Before he graduated, Thurgood said he made it through every paragraph.

His father, William, worked as a waiter. He enjoyed reading about trials and went to watch them in the visitors gallery whenever he could. William Marshall was the first African American to serve on a Baltimore grand jury. William taught his sons to debate and to prove whatever they said. He also taught his sons to be proud of themselves and their race. Thurgood's mother, Norma, was an elementary school teacher. She believed in hard work and a good education. She sold her wedding and engagement rings to help pay for Thurgood's law school expenses.

In 1925 Thurgood went to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He joined some African American friends who did silent protests against segregation while in college. He also met Vivian Burey who was a student at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1929 Thurgood and Vivian married. In 1930 Thurgood graduated from Lincoln University with honors. He wanted to go to law school and in particular he wanted to go law school at the University of Maryland. The University of Maryland was an all white school and did not admit him. He went to law school at Howard University in Washington D.C.

At law school, Thurgood discovered that law was what he always wanted to do with his life and devoted himself to his studies. One teacher he had was Charles Hamilton Houston. Houston worked at the NAACP and was the first African American to win a case before the United States Supreme Court. He taught Thurgood and all his students to use the law to fight segregation and discrimination. Thurgood graduated law school in 1933 and opened a law office in Baltimore. Then he began working for Houston and the NAACP.


Thurgood Marshall 1957-09-17
Source: Thomas J. O'Halloran, U.S. News & World Report Magazine
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In 1935, Thurgood Marshall one his first case against segregation. He and Houston argued for the right of Donald Murray to be admitted to University of Maryland Law School. They won the case and Donald Murray became the first African American to be admitted to the law school that Thurgood Marshall had once been denied access. In 1938 Thurgood Marshall became chief lawyer for the NAACP. In 1940 he argued and won his first case before the United States Supreme Court. He won twenty-nine of the thirty-two cases he tried before the Supreme Court. His most famous victory was in Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka in 1954. This was the court case decision the made all the schools desegregated.

In 1954 Thurgood Marshall stopped working to stay home to care for his sick wife, Vivian. She had cancer and died in February 1955. Later that year Thurgood Marshall met Cecilia Suyat. They married and had two sons.


Thurgood-marshall-2
Source: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Thurgood Marshall continued to fight segregation and became known as Mr. Civil Rights. In 1961 President Kennedy nominated Thurgood Marshall to be a judge on the United States Court of Appeals. It took almost a year for the Senate to approve his nomination. Four years later President Johnson appointed him United States Solicitor General, the government's top lawyer. His nomination was approved in just one day. Then on June 13, 1967, President Johnson nominated him to be a justice on the Supreme Court. He became the first African American Supreme Court judge. He remained a Supreme Court judge for twenty-four years. He retired in 1991 because of poor health. Justice Thurgood Marshall died on January 24, 1993. He was eighty-four years-old. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Thurgoodmarshall1967
Source: By Okamoto, Yoichi R. (Yoichi Robert) Photographer
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
 Sources: Wikipedia and A Picture Book of Thurgood Marshall by David A. Alder


 Some other books to check out (some I have looked at and some I have not):


 Civil Rights Movement Books that have Thurgood Marshall in them:




Justice Thurgood Marshall played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement in America. Some say his victory in Brown versus the Board of Education Topeka, was what many African Americans needed to truly start fighting for equal rights. He is just one of many who played significant roles in fighting for equality. I hope you will join us as we explore others as well and check out all the great posts shared here to learn more about Civil Rights Movements worldwide. 

We have not done any activities or lessons, however here are some around the web you can try:


Multicultural Kid Blogs is sponsoring a blog hop in honor of Black History Month. Please visit the participating blogs below to learn a bit more about the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement worldwide. Join the discussion in our Google+ community, and follow our Black History board on Pinterest! You can also share your own posts about Black History below. 
 
Participating Blogs

Monday, January 27, 2014

Julie the Black Belt Series - Product Review

Today is the last day to enter my current giveaway!!


Disclosure: I was sent these books digitally to review free of charge from Immedium. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

http://www.pragmaticmom.com/2014/01/multicultural-childrens-book-day-celebrating-diversity-childrens-literature/

Today is Multicultural Children's Book Day!! Last week I reviewed Cathryn Falwell's Rainbow Stew as an official reviewer for the day. Now over at Pragmatic Mom and Jump Into a Book are the blog hop with all the books shared in one place and you can share your own review of a multicultural book. There are also some giveaways being held by a few of the sponsors!   Barefoot Books  is hosting a giveaway on their Facebook page.

After reading my Rainbow Stew post, Immedium contacted me to see if I would review a few of their multicultural books. I of course jumped at the chance. They sent me three Asian American books to review. I am going to review two of them for you today and the final on on Friday for the Chinese New Year. I hope you will join me on Friday for my other review. 


http://www.immedium.com/products/julieblackbelt.html
http://www.immedium.com/products/julieblackbeltfire.html 

The books I am reviewing today are a series. The second book in the series, Julie Black Belt: The Belt of Fire by Oliver Chin was recently released. Since we had not read the first book in the series, Julie Black Belt: The Kung Fu Chronicles by Oliver Chin, they sent us that one as well.
Julie
Julie is a young Asian American who loves Brandy Wu, a kung fu master actress. Her parents ask her one day if she would like to learn kung fu and maybe earn a black belt like Brandy Wu. She decides to give it a try. Her younger brother, Johnny, also wants to try, but she says if he is good she will teach him after she learns. She tries on the uniform for class and thinks it needs a belt. At the class she is surprised when her teacher or Sifu (teacher in Chinese) as the students call him is a young man. At first she thinks all she is being taught is easy things but when she tries them she discovers they are much harder than she thought. At one point Julie is ready to give up and that is when Sifu whispers that a black belt is a white belt that doesn't give up. After that she is enthusiastic about kung fu and earns the yellow belt in the end. She knows she is on her way to a black belt.


Sifu
The Belt of Fire picks up where the Kung Fu Chronicle leaves off. Julie goes to her first yellow belt kung fu class. Then as they are starting the doorbell rings and a student in a different color outfit but with a yellow belt enters. He is introduced as Brandon, who moved into the neighborhood. Julie becomes jealous because Brandon seems better than her. She tries to compete with him. Soon the two students are making mistakes left and right because they are too focused on each other than themselves. Sifu's teacher comes for a visit and she helps Julie and Brandon learn to work together and to focus on themselves instead of each other. It works and they are able to make a great team. 


Johnny
What I love about both of these books is how it takes the girl to be the heroine in a typically male sport. I also love how it brings races (Brandon is white) together to have the same goal of bettering each person. The messages are so well woven into the stories. In the first book, Julie learns to not give up and keep trying even when it seems hard. In the second book, Julie and Brandon learn not to compare themselves to others, but to focus on oneself. The books themselves are written in an almost comic form, so it is a great way to expose younger children to comics and the upcoming graphic novels. I read the first book to Hazel this morning and she really liked it. She cannot wait to hear the second one. 

Both books are available for sale at Immedium's website. They are each $15.95 in hardcover. They are a wonderful way to introduce kung fu to young children as well as teach a few of the lessons from it.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Around the World in 12 Dishes--Peruvian Purple Corn Pudding

Have you entered my current giveaway yet? There is just over a day left to enter!!

This month we are exploring Peru with Around the World in 12 Dishes. Now for Peru, I e-mailed my friend, Daria for recipe advice. Daria actually lived in Peru for part of her childhood. She suggested we make a mazamorra morado or Peruvian purple corn pudding. She even suggested a recipe for us. But before we get into our delicious recipe, let's talk about Peru. Now we discussed a little of Peru awhile ago when we reviewed Daria's A Child's Life in the Andes and the companion CD Little Songs of the Andes. Both are available for sale at Daria's Little Village Store.











Peru is a country in western South America and was home to many ancient civilizations including one of the oldest in the world, Norte Chico, and the Inca, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered Peru in the 16th Century and Peru gained its independence from Spain in 1821. Peru has the peaks of The Andes as well as the rainforests of the Amazon Basin. Spanish is the main language in Peru, however many Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. (Source)



Now let's talk about our mazamorra morada. If you want a wonderful scent in your house, I suggest you cook this pudding. I can still smell the sweet pineapple, cinnamon and cloves in the air a day after making it. Now we used this recipe found on About.com. Normally I post my Around the World Dishes on the third Tuesday of the month, however I had some trouble finding purple corn. Daria had suggested a Hispanic market. I called six I found on-line. Only one answered (and one had been disconnected). The one that answered did not have purple corn, so I goggled it and found it at Amazon. I didn't get it until after the third Tuesday and then I had to get the other fresh ingredients.

Mazamorra Morada or Peruvian Purple Corn Pudding



Ingredients:
1 pound dried purple corn
1/2 pineapple (including rind)
1 quince (or a green apple if quince is not available)
1 teaspoon whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 apple
1 cup dried fruit: prunes, apricots and/or cherries (we used prunes)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
juice of 1 lime

The first step is to put the dried fruit in a heat proof bowl and cover it with boiling water. Then set aside to cool.

Next put the purple corn in a large pot and add 10 cups of water. Then cut the pineapple into small bite sizes. Put the cut pineapple aside but add the rinds to the pot. Quarter the quince and add it to the pot with the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Bring the water to boil and boil uncovered for about 30 minutes until the water is purple (which it is almost instantly) and the quince is very soft. While it was boiling, Hazel juiced the lime and we took a pineapple break with the other half of the pineapple. It was the first time Hazel liked a fresh pineapple though she did get a hurt tongue from eating too much of it.

Once the mixture is done, strain the liquid and return the liquid to the pot. Throw away the corn, pineapple rinds, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Take 1/2 cup of the liquid and put it in a small bowl with the cornstarch. Set it aside for later. Peel and cut the apple into small bites. Add the sugar, pineapple, apple, dried fruit (strained from the water), and a pinch of salt to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for about 20 minutes until the apple is soft. Stir occasionally.

Add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil again. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Cool. Serve room temperature or chilled. Sprinkle with cinnamon when serving.

We loved it!! Steve thought it was a bit spicy, but he enjoyed it.

We of course enjoyed some stories from Peru. Hazel really loves hearing the different stories from all the different cultures.


We also listened to some Peruvian music with songs from these CDs. 


We also looked at some resource books.


Now a few of these books are craft books. The textile book suggested a Peruvian weaving as a craft. Since we did a weaving recently, I decided not to attempt this right now. We did however try the Peruvian clay whistle from the World Crafts Musical Instruments book. Ours did not turn out well though. (It was suppose to look like the yellow one on the cover.)



So that is our exploration of Peru. Have you explored Peru or made a Peruvian dish? Feel free to link up here and visit the others to see more dishes and explorations!! Also print out the Peru Placemat and Passport Pages to have explorations with your own kids.