Monday, December 1, 2014

I'm "retiring"!

Remember when I took an extended break?  Well I'm extending it indefinitely.  Running this blog has kept me inspired and active with my kids and I have loved it!  However when my plate gets too full I have to let something go and apparently it's not blogging season for me anymore.

I will leave the blog up and I hope it can be a resource to you and yours!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Review: Buffalo Song NAHM Blog Hop

I received a copy of "Buffalo Song" by Joseph Bruchac for the purpose of this review.

Honestly when I sat down to read this book with Chiquita I didn't expect to like it.  The realistic illustrations aren't my style and I wasn't sure Chiquita would have the patience for the historical tale with no little girls in it. 

I was wrong.  

After choking back tears for the first few pages when a herd of buffalo were killed for their tongues, both Chiquita and I fell in love with Little Thunder Hoof, the surviving buffalo calf.  As we followed the story of the little adopted herd's journey to find a home under the care of Walking Coyote I was transported too.  I remember at the age of 19 seeing an American Bison for the first time at Yellowstone National Park and just being in total awe!  I know we will make this trip next year so Chiquita can have the same experience.  Scroll down for a chance to win the beautiful book.

Our life is a little crazy right now so we didn't do a craft, but Chiquita has been really into beading and we did talk about how some Native American tribes used beads as money.  Chiquita thought that was a great idea, she'd actually suggested it several times before, even filling her piggy bank with beads. When the settlers came and  traded with the people for beads it took some time for them to catch on that the beads didn't have the same value to the Europeans since they were able to mass produce them.  Chiquita's first lesson on hostile inflation.

 photo 2014NAHMbutton-001_zpsc85ee76c.jpg
I'm thrilled to cohost the first annual Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop & Giveaway!  Link up your posts on Native American cultures below, and be sure to enter to win one of our great prize packages!

For more great posts about Native cultures, be sure to follow our Native/Indigenous Cultures board on Pinterest!


November 3:
November 6:
November 8:
November 10:
November 13:

Our Giveaway

1st Prize Package
US shipping only
Children of the Tipi
Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days, edited by Michael O. Fitzgerald
2nd Prize Package
, by Chief Jake Swamp
by Joseph Bruchac
Jim Thorpe's Bright Path
Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path, by Joseph Bruchac
3rd Prize
Himdag postcard set
Postcard set from Paper Papel Papier: pack of 12 craft postcards decorated with the word himdag (value $18).  Himdag is from the O’odham ├▒iok language of the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona and northwest Mexico.  To embrace Himdag is to walk in balance, alone, with others, with nature, and with the Creator.

Native American Cultures Linkup

Now it's your turn to share!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Easy, Fast, Cheap Halloween Costume

I had to throw a last minute costume together for a party.  After wracking my brain and scouring pinterest I realized the answer was obvious: Dia de los Muertos Calavera.  Mexican Day of the Dead is full of colorful skull images dressed up as they were in life, so for this costume all you need is makeup.  You really can wear any clothes you want. 

I made myself a tissue paper flower and went with a dress and scarf for a little more traditional look, but I think it would be fun to add different twists.  The make-up was $2 at Walmart and took me maybe 10 minutes to put on.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

No Carve Pumpkin Decorating

Is it already October?  We've been so busy moving this month that we're barely starting Halloween activities.  Chiquita and I picked up some little pumpkins to decorate.  I decided we should try out a bunch of different decoration techniques I had found on other blogs.
  1. Melted wax from Life with Moore Babies - I got a little tea light candle and with careful supervision Chiquita heated up a crayon and let it drip on the pumpkin, sometimes making dots and drawing. 
  2. Googly Eyes from All You - I didn't have any adhesive backed eyes and I knew that glue was going to be messy or prevent Chiquita from fully participating.  So I poured a little glue on top of a sponge and let her dip the eyes in it.  She still got glue all over her fingers and wanted to wash her fingers after one pumpkin.
  3. Gluing other random stuff on it from Chiquita. I was going for themed pumpkins, but she wouldn't have it.  I gave in and let her glue googly eyes, chunks of pipe cleaners, buttons, and anything else she wanted on the last pumpkin.  It's all about happy kids, right?
Speaking of making kids happy, I couldn't get an "after" picture because Chiquita wanted to play with them and take them places.  The wax pumpkin is currently loss.  Wish me luck finding it before it rots!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pirate Princess Party on a Budget

This post includes affiliate links.  If you click on a link AND make a purchase I receive a small commission.

Chiquita wanted a princess/pirate/flower/frozen/Dora/Smurf/kitty party.  I made her narrow it down...
After she picked Pirate Princess as her theme I started looking for inspiration.  You can check out my pinterest board here.

1. Loot - I decided not to do goodie bags, but to give out plastic coins during the party and let the kids pick their own toys from a little treasure chest.  That way I hoped they would actually like what they got and not just throw it away.  Here's what we included in our treasure chest:
Every kid took a bag home but I still had so much left that I think it will cover Halloween trick-or-treaters.  Spent: $35 
 2. Activities
  • Pirate dress up: When the kids first arrived I had a dress up station with pirate bandanas, pink or black paper pirate hats, and tp roll telescopes.  Some kids came already in costume.  I had a few older neighbor girls help me with the party (in return for cake and loot) and that was particularly helpful here.  Spent: $16
  • Princess Jewels and Pirate Necklaces: I got pretty pony beads for the princess jewels with pink wrapping ribbon to string them on.  For the pirate necklaces I had black and red pony beads, skull beads and black wrapping ribbon. I popped them into ziplock baggies and the kids could pick pirate, princess or both!  Chiquita of course did both - on one necklace!  Spent: $15
  • Walking the plank:  Just a board on top of two boxes.  We happened to have a blanket my sister made with an alligator on it to put under.  It would be fun just with a blue tarp or some ocean toys under the plank. Spent: $0
  • Treasure egg hunt: I spray painted a bunch of left-over easter eggs silver and filled them with plastic coins (to buy loot). The idea was to have an egg hunt outside but it rained TONS.  So I did some quick thinking and came up with:
  • Fishing for treasure: I just took a shower curtain rod and shower curtain and set it up in a doorway.  The kids had a fishing rod made from a stick, some string and a paper clip.  Spent: $8
  • Storytime: I found a book, "Pirate Pearl" that was perfect for this party.  A princess is raised by pirates and gets the best of both worlds.  I let any kids who wanted come into another room for storytime.  It was nice to bring a little quiet and calm into a very high energy party.  Spent: $5 (Could be free if you could find it at your library)
  • Pin the Eyepatch on the Pirate Girl.  I enlarged a picture of a pirate girl and cut out a bunch of pink eye patches.  Really easy!  Spent: $0
  • Treasure Chest Pinata: I knew I could make a pinata that was basically just a box!  I found an easy tutorial at and then filled it with fruit snack and pirate lollipops.  Spent: $15
3. Decorations - I didn't do a lot for decorations.  I honestly expected to be outside so didn't do much.  I printed out these pirate pennants from this website and glued them on burlap triangles.  I sewed the triangles onto yarn with a zigzag stitch and hung it in the kitchen.  Done!  Spent: $6

4. Food - I won the cake at a neighborhood service auction.  Awesome right?  It was delicious as well as beautiful.  I added some goldfish, Pirate Booty and cut a watermelon into the shape of a ship.  I got the idea from this post by Fit Body Full Life.  I also served lemonade in these cute little skull sippy cups from Walmart.  Spent (with napkins and plates): $25

I spent $125 total and we had over 15 kids come!  That means I spend less than $8.33 per child.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pronouncing Rs: 31 Days of ABCs

This post is part of a series, 31 Days of ABCs.  Scroll to the bottom for the full schedule of posts.
Until I was 4 or 5 I had trouble with my Rs.  My grandpa gave me a doll and named her Mary Rasmussen to give me an excuse to work on my Rs.  Now I see Chiquita is having trouble with her Rs (both in English and the rolling R in Spanish).  I know she and I aren't alone.  What can parents do to help kids that struggle pronouncing this tricky letter?

I read this article on Mommy Speech Therapy that was helpful.  I feel much better know that R really is a tricky letter, in English there are "at least 32 different R sounds".  The author suggests identifying which specific R sounds your kids struggles with so you can work on that specific sound.

North Shore Pediatric Therapy posted this article with very specific suggestions.  My favorite was making animal sounds like roosters, cats and tigers.  She also put my mind at ease by stating that the age for master of the letter r could be anywhere from 5 1/2 to 7 years old.  Chiquita and I are totally normal and on track!!  Yeah!

While I was looking for suggestions in English I wanted to check on info for pronouncing rollings rs in Spanish.  Basically in Spanish if there are two rrs together (used to be it's own letter erre) then it's prounounced with a trill.  A single r is barely pronounced (so Chiquita has no issues) unless it's at the beginning of the word, in which case there's a very slight trill.

I found this hilarious video on facebook.  I'm not sure it will help Chiquita, but it certainly made her laugh.  She will watch it over and over again.

at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:
at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:
at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:
at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:
at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:

Anyone have any suggestion?

31 Days of ABC - October 2014
Check out the rest of the series:
31 Days of ABCs

Anything ABCs – October 1

A – October 2

B – October 3

C – October 4

D – October 5

E – October 6

F – October 7

G – October 8

H – October 9

I – October 10

J – October 11

K – October 12

L – October 13

M – October 14

N – October 15

O – October 16

P – October 17

Q – October 18

R – October 19

S – October 20

T – October 21

U – October 22

V – October 23

W – October 24

X – October 25

Y – October 26

Z – October 27

123’s – October 28

Prewriting – October 29

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

ABC Pinterest Boards – October 31

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I'm on a Blogging Break!

Maybe you've notice things have been quiet here...  I've had to take a little break from blogging while my family moves house!  I hope to be back soon with new adventures and ideas.  In the meantime please enter my giveaway that ends on October 15th!