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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ducky Themed Birthday Party

This week we are getting ready for Hazel's birthday. Our tradition is to do a family/mostly adult party for Hazel on her birthday and then have a bigger kid oriented one later with her school friends since her birthday is always over Christmas break. This year she wanted her family party to have a ducky theme. I thought this would be easy. I had bought some duck printable paper ages ago so I used it for the invitations. I found a few cute ideas for wording on-line and combined the parts I liked.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Learning about the Inuit with Books: Alego and Arctic Adventures -- Book Reviews

Disclosure: Groundwood Books gave me copies of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I am going to share with you two beautiful books that teach about the Inuit culture. This winter we have had a very warm December, however today the chill was back in the air and snow and sleet are in the forecast for overnight into the morning, so it seems the right time to share about the Arctic.  The first is a book of tales from the lives of Inuit artists. After each story is information about the artist and a picture of his or her work.
http://houseofanansi.com/collections/imprint-groundwood/products/arctic-adventures



Sunday, December 27, 2015

Easy Christmas Thank You Notes -- Free Printable


Did you have a nice holiday? We had such a great time with family. It is always nice to be back with my parents and sisters and to see my nephew!! We do not get to see my oldest sister and nephew all that much since they live in North Carolina. Hazel got just about everything she wanted and some things she didn't know that she wanted (or that they existed or they would have been on her wish list). Now that Christmas is over it is time to write the thank you notes. As a beginner reader and writer I wanted to make this task relatively easy on her and me. I made up some fill-in-the-blank thank you notes.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Hands-on Bible Craft Book -- Crafty Weekends Book Review & Link Party

 Disclosure: Kregel Publications sent me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

We have been enjoying a very busy week with our Christmas celebrations. Have you? However we have found some time for crafting! Today we are sharing Hands-on Bible Craft Book by Christina Goodings.

http://www.kregel.com/childrens-activities/hands-on-bible-craft-book-1704/

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!! Features from Sharing Saturday and the Party Continues for Another Week!




Thank you to everyone who has shared with us so far in our two week party!! There were so many wonderful ideas shared!! Today I am sharing a some of the Christmas ideas shared thus far and repeating the same party so you can check out everything shared and still share with us for features for next week!! I have also started a new craft link party (the crafts just have to be family appropriate and not necessarily kid related) and it is a place to share crafts, reviews of patterns, craft books, etc. and patterns. I hope you will come check it out tomorrowThis month's Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is open for all your posts that are culture (multicultural) related!

I am celebrating the holiday with my family and will be computer free for the day, so I am sharing these fun features for the day in case anyone is looking for a last minute Christmas idea!! 

To see how I made the card

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Crafts & More


Although I have not been sharing them all, we have been doing some crafts for Christmas. So for my Christmas Eve post, I thought I would share some of what we have been up to and a few other things we love for Christmas!! By the way Sharing Saturday is 2 weeks long and still going on. For Christmas Day there will be some Christmas themed features and the continued link party!!


Let's begin at the beginning of the season. In November Hazel and I purchased four rabbit ornaments for the Multicultural Kid Blogs Ornament Swap. I also made three (well five) ornaments from fabric.  


Jingle Bells, Christmas Miracles & More! -- Book Reviews

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copies of these book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own, and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Christmas is fast approaching us. Are you ready this year? If you are looking for some last minute holiday spirit gifts check out these books. There is something for everyone!! Did you know in Iceland books are exchanged on Christmas Eve and they spend the rest of the evening reading? I saw it on Facebook and the picture is credited to Arizona Penny Dreadfuls. The books I share today with you would be perfect for children's gifts as well as some adult gifts. The first book is Jingle Bells: A Magical Cut-Paper Edition by James Lord Pierpont and illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat. 
http://candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=title&mode=book&isbn=076367821X


Monday, December 21, 2015

Little Loving Hands -- Product Review

Disclosure: Little Loving Hands sent me this month's box free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

Have you noticed all the monthly box subscriptions out there? There are so many of them and they all have a slightly different theme, however here is one that teaches kids to about charity and giving. Little Loving Hands offers a monthly subscription where a box with a craft arrives each month and with the craft is also information about who the craft is for and an envelope (with postage paid) to mail it to the charity. The explanation of the charity was double sided




All About the Philippines -- Multicultural Monday Book Review

 Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

Today I get to share with you the latest book int the All About Series at Tuttle Publishing. I love this series!! The books are perfect for learning about each country with stories, crafts, recipes and information and so much more!! Like the other books: Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and China, All About the Philippines by Gidget Roceles Jimenez and illustrated by Corazon Dandan-Albano  goes into so many details about the Philippines as well as the culture. 
http://www.tuttlepublishing.com/books-by-country/all-about-the-philippines-hardcover-with-jacket

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

Sharing Saturday and Crafty Weekends are still going on!!

 Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop! The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids. We can't wait to see what you share this time! Created by Frances of Discovering the World through My Son's Eyes, the blog hop has now found a new home at Multicultural Kid Blogs.
This month our co-hosts are:


Saturday, December 19, 2015

How to Sew Little Felt Animals -- Crafty Weekends Book Review & Link Party

Disclosure: Search Press gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I am going to share with you the book How to Sew Little Felt Animals by Sue Quinn. Now I have a confession to make. I was planning on make several of these adorable animals to write this review, however first Hazel could not make up her mind which she liked most. They are all adorable and thus hard to chose. We finally decided on the female mole since she is different than most animals we have. Then I just didn't get started on it and when I finally sat down to do it I realized I needed joint sets for them which I have never used and do not have on hand. Since I was not going to attempt the crowds at the stores today it was not going to happen today, but I want to share this fun book with you still. 
http://www.amazon.com/How-Sew-Little-Felt-Animals/dp/1782210709/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1450575878&sr=1-1&keywords=how+to+sew+little+felt+animals


Friday, December 18, 2015

Sharing Saturday 15-50 -- Two Weeks Long!!




Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week!! There were so many wonderful ideas shared!! I had a hard time picking just a few features!! This week's party is going to last for two weeks since next weekend is Christmas and I will be celebrating with my family. Be sure to check back and share again and see some new features!! Our features are just a sampling of the wonderful things shared, so if you haven't checked out the rest you should!! The features for this week include Christmas Math & Science, Christmas Crafts, Holiday Lessons, and a few favorites. I have also started a new craft link party (the crafts just have to be family appropriate and not necessarily kid related) and it is a place to share crafts, reviews of patterns, craft books, etc. and patterns. I hope you will come check it out tomorrow.  Sunday will be the beginning of this month's Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop for all your posts that are culture (multicultural) related!

Winter Fun Books: Max and Marla and The Thing About Yetis -- Book Reviews

Disclosure: Penguin Random House Books gave me copies of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

It is starting to get cold outside here in New England (it has been unbelievably warm this year) and winter is just around the corner. Although most people I know feel we had enough snow last year for a few years to come, we also know the season is coming. Today I am going to share with you two new books from Penguin Kids that bring winter into our focus!! The first book is Max and Marla by Alexandra Boiger. 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399175040?tag=randohouseinc7911-20


Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Day the Crayons Came Home -- Book Review & Giveaway Link -- 12 Days of Picture Books


Disclosure: Penguin Random House Books gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

 Today I am going to share with you one of our favorite picture books, The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. Now I know I shared this book with you this summer when it first came out along with the first book, The Day the Crayons Quit. But today you can enter to win your own copy at Penguin Kids Facebook Page!! I just had to share the chance with you since we LOVE this book. We are giving this book and The Day the Crayons Quit to two of Hazel's younger friends for the holidays!! They would also make great teacher gifts for elementary teachers!! Plus if you can enter yesterday's 12 Days of Picture Books Sweepstakes for our other favorite book, The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak, through midnight tonight!! This book is an extremely funny read aloud book!! Hazel wanted it so badly that I bought it for her earlier this year!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Church Services Around the World -- Christmas in Different Lands

In many parts of the world church services or masses are an important part of Christmas. Many countries have traditional times for the service. Does yours? Growing up we always went to what was called the midnight candlelight service. It started at 11:00 p.m. and ended around midnight. The service always ended with singing Silent Night and having each person light a candle from the flame of the Christ candle in the Advent wreath. Now we usually go to the earlier Christmas Eve service so Hazel can stay awake. 

Novena

 For many the celebration of Christmas takes place in the church. In some countries the church services begins on December 16th. In Venezuela there is an early morning church service called Misa de Aguinaldo held every day from December 16 to December 24. Often there are bells and firecrackers to wake the parishioners for the early services. In the capital city, Caracas, it is tradition to roller skate to these services. As a result the streets are often closed to cars until 8 a.m. On December 24 the mass is at midnight and is called Misa de Gallo. (Source) Chile also celebrates with a Novena. There are church services throughout December in Chile, but on the 16th special prayers begin the day as well as visits to local churches. (Source) The Philippines also have early morning or pre-dawn masses for the nine days prior to Christmas. (Source) In Puerto Rico it is called Misa de Aguinaldos and is held from December 15 to December 24th. The mass is held at dawn (around 6 a.m.) and the services are usually sung with traditional Puerto Rican instruments accompaniment. On the 24th the mass is at midnight and is called the Misa de Gallo. (Source)

Saint Anthony the Great -- Book Review

Disclosure: Wisdom Tales Press gave me a copy of this product free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Recently we decided to switch churches. As a family we are going to an Episcopal Church now. Steve is Catholic and I was raised in a United Church of Christ church and have always gone to one. We found the Episcopal Church to be a combination of the two and fit us all. We love being able to go to one church as a family and go almost every week together. Not having grown up in a church that focuses on the saints I do not know much about them. Now that we go to a church that focuses on them more I would like to learn more about them and teach Hazel more about them. I was happy to see this new book at Wisdom Tales Press, Saint Anthony the Great by John Chryssavgis and Mailyn Rouvelas and illustrated by Isabelle Brent. 

http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Anthony-Great-John-Chryssavgis/dp/1937786463

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Peg + Cat: The Race Car Problem -- Book Review with Math Lessons

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Have you discovered Peg + Cat? Hazel loves the television show and I love that it makes math fun for kids. So many this make math seem like it is a horrible or boring subject. Peg + Cat seems to at least take that image away for younger kids. I was very excited to see this book by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson called Peg + Cat: The Race Car Problem
http://www.candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=Title&mode=book&isbn=076367558X&pix=y


Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas in Different Lands: Stockings, Shoes and more!


For my post today we are going to explore the Christmas tradition of stockings and/or shoes. This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs' Christmas in Different Lands Series. Growing up stockings were always a big thing. One of my sisters loves stocking gifts. We all would run down the stairs and get our stockings and start opening the gifts. As we got older it changed to us taking turns opening one stocking gift at a time so everyone could see it. As we got older still (adults) we started buying a few stocking gifts for everyone. As a child I always thought my stocking was not as exciting as the rest of my families. I had a hand knitted one that was going to be a sock for my father, but was too big. Everyone else had felt ones that had fun decorations and their names on them. My mother tried out all sorts of things on her sewing machine when making them before my birth. My sisters always tried to tell me my plain one was better because it stretched, but I didn't buy it. When we were adults my mother hand knitted new ones for all of us that are beautiful. She still has them at her house in case any of us are there for Christmas morning (my family usually is not but everyone else often is). My family still has the stocking tradition. Hazel is always very excited to hang our stockings and actually has made, bought and found stockings for Ducky and some of her dolls. (I recently shared one that I made for her doll as well.)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Handmade Christmas -- Craft Book Review & Crafty Weekends Link Party

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?
 Disclosure:  Ryland Peters & Small sent me a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I am going to share the perfect book for any crafty Christian family this time of year. Handmade Christmas by CICO Books is full of different crafts and recipes for different age crafters! There are specific crafts labeled as kids' crafts and some of the other crafts are kid friendly as well!!
http://www.rylandpeters.com/handmade-christmas

 The crafts range from sewing to paper crafts and even some tin and more!! The three chapters are Decorations, Cards & Giftwrap and Gifts. Some are traditional crafts like paper snowflakes.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Sharing Saturday 15-49

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?



Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week!! There were some fun ideas shared and lots along the holiday theme! Our features are just a sampling of the wonderful things shared, so if you haven't checked out the rest you should!! The features for this week include Christmas and Holidays. I have also started a new craft link party (the crafts just have to be family appropriate and not kid related) and it is a place to share crafts, reviews of patterns, craft books, etc. and patterns. I hope you will come check it out tomorrow.  

DIY Christmas Cards & Gift Tags

Disclosure: My Memories gave me a copy of this product free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.

Are you getting ready for Christmas? Have you mailed your cards yet? Wrapped the gifts? There always seems to be so much to do this time of year. I always look for ways to stop and enjoy the season. In our house this often includes some crafts. This year we made our own Christmas cards. We always do a photo card and we still did, but we added our own personal touch with a simple craft. I had bought the tree punch at work as well as a pack of spruce flat cards. We punched them and decorated them with gel pens, liquid pearls and washi tape and then glued them on to the cards and added a sticker star. Some we used plan cardstock and covered in the washi tape and then punched.



Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Chosen Series -- YA Book Reviews

Disclosure: Jeff Altabef & Novel Publicity sent me a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

Back in July I introduced you to The Chosen Series by Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef with the first book, Wind Catcher. This book thrust me into reviewing young adult books and I love it!! Now I fell in love with the series in the first book. It is an amazing series with such well developed characters. While waiting for the second book in the series to come out, Jeff and Erynn wrote a short book called Second Chances. You can get a FREE digital copy of this book by signing up for Jeff's newsletter!!
http://www.amazon.com/Second-Chances-Chosen-Fantasy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B0153VNHSM/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1449771613&sr=8-6&keywords=Jeff+Altabef


The Snowman and The Snowman and the Snow Dog & Naya's Arctic Adventures: Meet Naya -- DVD Reviews and Giveaway!!

Disclosure: NCircle Entertainment gave me a copy of the DVDs free of charge and is supplying the ones 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!

Today I am sharing with you two fun DVDs that are perfect for winter and Christmas. Both are really wordless!! The first is a combination of two favorite ones one of which we have reviewed in the past The Snowman and The Snowman and the Snowdog. They are based on the books of the same titles by Raymond Briggs. Now both stories are available on one DVD!! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin -- Book Review & Math Application

Disclosure: Wisdom Tales Press gave me a copy of this product free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Hanukkah started on Sunday at sun down and lasts eight days. It is a Jewish holiday that celebrates several miracles that occurred during a time when Judaism was outlawed and their temple was desecrated. Last month we explored Hanukkah as part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs' Hanukkah for Kids Series by taking a look at dreidels. I mentioned a few books we had read and one we had not gotten our hands on yet. Well today we get to share this beautiful book with you. The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin by Martha Seif Simpson and illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard is a story that takes place in Prague a century ago that reminds us all that money does not buy miracles.
http://wisdomtalespress.com/books/childrens_books/978-1-937786-28-1-The_Dreidel_That_Wouldnt_Spin.shtml


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mitford at the Fashion Zoo -- 12 Days of Picture Books Review & Giveaway Link

Disclosure: Penguin Random House Books gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today is the fifth day of Penguin Kids 12 Days of Picture Books Giveaway!! And today they are giving away five copies of Mitford at the Fashion Zoo by Donald Robertson and we get to review it for you here. 
http://www.amazon.com/Mitford-Fashion-Zoo-Donald-Robertson/dp/0451475429



Monday, December 7, 2015

Little Tree -- Book Review -- Penguin Kids' 12 Days of Picture Books Giveaway

Disclosure: Penguin Random House Books gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

 Today for Penguin Kids 12 Days of Picture Books prize is Little Tree by Loren Long. This book has so many lessons and discussion topics in it. I love it!!

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Tree-Loren-Long/dp/0399163972/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449448001&sr=8-1&keywords=Little+tree

This book is about growing up and learning to let go of what you know and what is safe. A little tree is happy as it is young and surrounded by other trees the same size. It is happy to have the animals playing in it and the turtledove singing in it. Then the seasons change. The leaves change and all the surrounding trees let their leaves go, but not Little Tree. Little Tree holds onto the safety of its leaves. In spring as the other trees are growing new leaves (and a bit in height) Little Tree has the same brown leaves. The animals keep telling it to drop its leaves, but it won't. Years go by and soon Little Tree cannot feel the sun since all the surrounding trees have grown tall. It is still holding onto its first leaves and is so afraid to let them go. But finally it does and Little Tree finally gets to grow up!
Source

Now I love reading this book to Hazel who is always so full of anxiety and nervousness. She is often afraid to be by herself. This book has opened the conversations about how sometimes we have to do the things we are afraid of and let it go. Sometimes we may have to go into a room by ourselves or try something new and it will be all right. The words to the story are simple and the illustrations are beautiful. This is a book we will be keeping on our bookshelves and reading often!!

Be sure to check out the 12 Days of Picture Books Giveaway!! Four copies of Little Tree are being given away!! Also be sure to check out the Penguin Young Readers Holiday Gift Guide for more great book suggestions!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas Candles in Different Lands

Candle Photo By By Elmar Ersch (Own work)
 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This year for Christmas in Different Lands each post is exploring some aspect of Christmas in at least three different continents. Today we are looking at candles. How do you use candles at Christmas time? With electricity there are not as many uses as there once was but some are still used for special events. In New England often there are single candles (and for some multiple candles) in the windows of a house or church. I shared a bit about Christmas in New England last year.

Picture of New England Church during Advent
 Candles are also used in many other ways. Often there is a candlelight service on Christmas Eve at church as well as the Advent wreath candles during Advent. I shared a bit about our Advent wreath a couple of years ago. Many countries especially in Europe use Advent wreaths and/or Advent candles. Countries like Germany, Austria, Croatia, and Belgium often have Advent wreaths as well as the United States.