Cranberry Christmas, a TOS review

Do you like Cranberries?   Cranberries are one of the healthiest native American products in the world.   Cranberries in Spanish are called Arandanos Agrios,  Yes Cranberries are very bitter if you eat the fruit alone.  But if that fruit is properly prepared, cooked or baked, my goodness they are yummy!   South America has not been blessed with this goodies, however, it is always good to know that while visiting South America, I can still find Canned Cranberry Sauce in any South American Supermarket.

Anticipating this Holiday season, I was very happy to review Cranberry Christmas, an.E-book published by the Old School House Magazine.  This fun E-book, is a compilation of history, stories, recipes, poems and art activities that can be enjoyed with your family while preparing for this Holiday Season.

cranberry Christmas

This book is recommended for the entire family.  Small Children (3 and up) can be delighted with the stories and the cooking; while older children do the hands on learning through poetry, games, crafts, recipes and history.  The book presents the stories, recipes and history in a fun way. The sequence of the book, makes the experience fun and easy to follow.

The Stories, the book has three sweet Cranberry Christmas stories that can be read aloud and shared with the whole family.  The first story left my children wondering about Christmas and wanting to use fresh Cranberries during this coming Holidays.  It also created expectation for the rest of the book.

The Season of the Cranberry, it is a wonderful resource to teach the children about the origin and cultivation of Cranberries.  My family is from up North, and we have a Cranberry Scoop as a magazine holder.  It was nice to imagen how scoops like that can be use today while harvesting Cranberries.

Healthy Art with Cranberries.-  The book also highlights alternative use of the berry, in Art and Health issues.   The links provided by the e-book, bring a lot of information for the reader.   After learning all the potential uses of the cranberry. who wants to use artificial colorants?  The best of all, I can buy the cranberries now and freeze them for when I need to use them.

The Poems, two short poems can definitely enhance the Season.  I am using them as handwriting and memorization  material for my children .  It was also fun to translate the poems and try to think them in Spanish.

The Recipes, I love cooking from scratch and this book provides really yummy recipes and links to make more Cranberry dishes. The recipes are perfect for children to follow, of course under adult supervision.  Home-made Sweet Rolls, Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Juice and Cranberry Relish will be cooked with the children to be enjoyed with my family during the coming holidays

Table Decorations, are just the little detail that make a family Holiday special.  The e-book provides with Cranberry Place Holders, Cranberry Napkin Rings and great ideas to decorate with Cranberries.

We started reading the poems, solving the puzzles and working on place holders for our guests on Thanksgiving day.


Perhaps we will be cooking next week and working on table arrangements.

How are we liking the book so far?  We are really enjoying it! It definitely brought more fun to our homeschool adventure.

Do we recommend it?  Yes we do, it is always fun to do some hands on learning while anticipating a Holiday.


Crew Disclaimer


The use of Tu, Vos and Usted from a bicultural mind perspective

tu y vos

A few weeks ago y watched a very funny, but still real video of the uses of Tu,  Usted and Vos in Spanish. In which Sarah, from a life with subtitles interviews her Hispanic husband.   The truth is that as Hispanic, you do not really think in why you use the three different pronouns to…
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Halloween? Day of the dead? Trunk or Treat?

Hola! I am back, after a long Harvest, I felt I needed some time to take for myself.  As I was thinking what to write, my fingers started to type and words starting to come and make my posts alive again.   With this post I do not intend to criticize, or diminish other people’s believes.  I just needed to come to a conclusion of why I do not celebrate Halloween or similar festivities.

todos santosCatholic Background.-  When I was a little girl my family was Catholic.  As good Catholics, every November 1st we would ask permission to go to pray for the souls.  We loved doing it, it was not just because we could pray and symphathyze with other people’s feelings.  But also, it was an opportunity to hang around with the neighborhood kids, eat some bizcochuelos and drink something yummy.  The last year I remember doing that, was the year my grandpa died, 1985.  That November my mom baked so many things at home.  All favorites of mi abuelito. People came and went to pray to the Altar we set up.  And I felt terrified by the fact that perhaps there was a chance my grandpa’s soul was still there. After all, he had the heart attack in that house.  We had the viewing in the house.  Everything in the house had memories of him.  I hated dead, I hated to not having my grandpa around anymore. A year after that, my family became Evangelical Christian.  With it, many of my fears disappeared.  Suddenly I did not fear death anymore, there was Esperanza.  And Esperanza does not resemble fear.

halloweenAfter moving to the States, I did not care much about Halloween.  In reality, I did not know much about it.  The only thing I knew was that kids would dress in disfraces and go Trick or treating to the houses.  I found it amusing, specially knowing that many people celebrating, would do it because that is what we do on October 31st.  Digging into History I learned that the history behind Halloween was very similar to Todos Santos.  Dead souls coming back on that date,  kids were just disguised to fool the souls.   And houses were decorated with spooky things to scare the souls away.   One thing I could not help but notice is, the incredible amount of candy that Americans consume on that date.

day of the deadDay of the dead,  trying to be a bit more empathetic with Latinos, specially Mexicans.  I started to read about the Day of the dead.  I came across a very similar focus to Todos Santos and to Halloween.  One thing it called to my attention is the point they make in Dead as part of Life.  Again, I still do not like having Catarinas, Calaveras, or anything that resembles dead around me.  I am a Christian,  I am not going to compromise my beliefs and what Christ has done for me, just to go with what the rest do.

Trunk or Treating then?  Last year we decided to take our kids to a Church event.  An event that would replace the need of Halloween or Todos Santos with something else. Well, it was different, I never did something like that in my life before.  I was specially surprised by the quantity of Candy my kids got.  Around 160 pieces in total.  I was happy to see 4 red apples in the mist of candy.  My mother in law laughed at me when she saw my Halloween face after I counted the Candy.

What now? So the question is, do I really need to celebrate Halloween?  Do I want to pass the Tradition to my kiddos? I live in a multicultural country where consumption and marketing dictate emotions, more than Culture or History do.  I do not want my kids to move just for emotions, traditions or free candy.  I want my kids to be leaders.  I want my kids to be free of death and have eternal life in the One who gives Eternal Life, in Jesus Christ.

This year we wont be trick or treating, we wont go to a church for candy either.  We won’t do an altar or Catarinas or decorate skulls.  Perhaps we will explore our background, Irish, German, Bolivian, Aymaran or should we just call it American?

Some Ideas I have

  • Bake something special.  Pizza, popcorn and caramel Apples.
  • Create a Genealogical Tree of the Family
  • Create a photo Album of the family.
  • Make my kids interview their great Grandma Dixie.
  • Give thanks for the lives of the ones that came before us, so we could enjoy this mambo called life.
  • Give thanks to the Giver for Life and Eternal Life.



What would you tell your kids is the best thing about being Hispanic?

blog hop 2014

I am happy to have found a group of people that accept diversity and encourage multicultural upbringing, not just in the States, but also anywhere you are.  We had a twitter party last night to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, it was fun!  These people are pretty fun to hang around!  While discussing diversity they asked:…
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Hispanic Meals to celebrate our Heritage

blog hop 2014

Is this time again to celebrate diversity in Latin America.  I am very excited to be part of the Multicultural Kids Blogs annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop.  Many bloggers got together and are not just having a super Giveaway; but also, we have a lot of fun articles that you can read about Hispanic Heritage and…
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