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Transferring Site!

Dear readers,

I am currently in the process of transferring this site to a new host, so I apologize for any blips or glitches along the way.  We should be up and running, better than ever, very soon!
Thank you for your patience!

Leanna & her Monkeys

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Kids on the Go: Apple Hill (Guest Post on Glittering Muffins)

Kids on the Go - Apple Hill, CA - Alldonemonkey.comWe are so pleased to be doing a guest post on Glittering Muffins about one of our favorite spots to take Monkey – Apple Hill in Northern California.

Apple Hill is a collection of apple orchards located in the foothills of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains.  It is the place to be in the fall, when the leaves change colors and apples are ready to be made into pies, cider, and other delicious treats.

This post is part of the Glittering Muffins’ Kids on the Go series, in which bloggers around the world share information about their favorite kid-friendly spots, from zoos to museums to parks, located in all parts of the globe!  We are proud to be a part of this series, just one of the amazing features on this wonderfully creative blog.  So hop on over Glittering Muffins to learn more!

Kids on the Go: Apple Hill (Guest Post on Glittering Muffins)

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World Citizen Wednesdays #3: Keeping Holidays Stress-Free

World Citizen Wednesdays - Alldonemonkey.comWelcome to World Citizen Wednesdays, a new feature on All Done Monkey!

Each week we pose a question to members of the fabulous Multicultural Kid Blogs group and share their answers here.

You can find out more about these wonderful bloggers by visiting our Facebook page, subscribing to our Facebook feed, following us on Twitter, or following our group Pinterest board! On Twitter, you can also find us by using the hashtag #multiculturalkids

This week we share the answers to our question:

How do you keep holidays and family get-togethers from being stressful?

Tallulah of Bilingual Babes: Regular fresh air!

Alyson of World Travel Family: We are expats in Australia so all our family is a very long way away. We do Christmases differently too, my husband is a chef, he works Christmas day. Our family tradition is to stay at his 5 star resort hotel for a few days over the holiday. We take a little tree and all the presents with us. He has time to open gifts with us in the morning and takes a few hours off in the afternoon to play in the pool. I don’t have to cook or clean for a few days, it’s non-stress, but I miss wintry Christmases in the UK. The whole holiday is very different in Australia, for everyone, not just chef’s widows.

Becky of Kid World Citizen: Simple traditions like sledding with hot chocolate, riding around to look at Christmas lights/decorations, decorating cookies, huge puzzles, watching certain Christmas movies every year= pure fun, no stress!

Jody of Mud Hut Mama: I’m not very good at keeping holidays stress free, especially Christmas. Although I’m not religious, Christmas has always been a special holiday for my family and I have wonderful childhood memories of Christmas (especially Christmas Eve). It’s important for me to be with extended family at Christmas and that usually means we have to travel. I want to start special traditions with my daughters but I’m battling with that since the traditions have to be portable and adaptable to whatever part of the family we are visiting. Since my oldest was born we’ve had one Christmas in Zambia, one in the U.S., last year here in Malawi, and this year we are heading to Botswana. I’m trying to put less pressure on myself to recreate what I grew up with but I do miss the States the most during the Christmas season.

Melissa of Where going havo?: Last year we had a newborn and stayed home for the best Christmas ever. With no one but ourselves to please we could cut down on all the extras and just focus on a select few activities with our older child. In our case this meant gingerbread, sausage balls, and pomanders (for gifts), each of which we did two or three different times. Add in some candlelight and music once in a while and we had the least stressful holiday season on record.  This year my in-laws are coming to us for Christmas and we are going to my family right after Christmas, but we will still try to keep the calm, simple atmosphere without too many distractions.

Amanda of Maroc Mama: This obviously isn’t the best solution for everyone but having families who celebrate two different sets of holidays and live an ocean apart keeps familial stress down. For the holidays we do celebrate we try and set our own parameters and let family know when we’ll be there, or what we’ll be doing instead of having them tell us when they expect us. When there are a lot of people around and space is at a premium we’ve opted to stay in a hotel to keep our stress level down, give us some space and have some control over our time, diets and kids!

Like Jody, I have found that I tend to have high expectations when we get together with family, especially since we see our extended families so infrequently.  With young children, it’s just not possible to have as much time for long chats with everyone as I would like, so I try to adjust my expectations and just enjoy being together, in whatever form that takes, and appreciate that I am creating holiday memories for my child as well.

Thanks to all the bloggers who shared their answers here! We will continue to share answers to this question next week.  You can also read answers to earlier questions in our previous installments of World Citizen Wednesday!

To find out more about these amazing bloggers, check out the Multicultural Kid Blogs Facebook page!

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21 Days of Gratitude: What I Am Grateful For

Inspired by Family Magazine

This post was written as part of the 21 Days of Gratitude challenge on Inspired by Family Magazine.

More than 40 bloggers have joined forces to share the ways that we are grateful and to inspire others to do the same, because we believe that gratitude can be contagious.  Each day a different blogger will walk along side of you in this challenge and share their experience. 

Want to join in?  Go to 21 Days of Gratitude for more details!

What I Am Grateful For

Fireplace - What I Am Grateful For - Alldonemonkey.com

I am grateful for a safe, warm place to sleep at night.  I am grateful to be able to sit in front of a fireplace on a cold, rainy evening with people I love.

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Random Acts of Kindness: Bilingual Babes

PhotobucketThis is the third installment in our new series on Random Acts of Kindness. Each week a different blogger will share about a day that they and their little ones dedicated to committing random acts of kindness.

Readers will have a chance to share their own experiences with committing random acts of kindness on our Facebook page, to be a part of our final series post on December 19.

This week’s post comes to us from Bilingual Babes, who shares about her Random Acts of Kindness Day in the UK with her two young children. Visit the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page for a full schedule of the posts in this series.

Random Acts of Kindness: Bilingual Babes

I proudly informed my kids that today was a ‘Random Acts of Kindness Day’ and so therefore we were going to be doing kind things for other people. Pan-Pan was very surprised. ‘But we’re always kind!’ he said. How lovely that he thinks we don’t need a special day for it!

Papa thought he was being very witty: ‘Random Act of Kindness Day? Ask someone to give up their seat for you on the bus!’ In the end, we didn’t go with that suggestion! Here are our random acts of kindness, which actually ended up being spread out over a few days:

1. We stuck some coins to a parking meter.

Bilingual Babes - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.com - Pic 1

Sticking change & a note to a parking meter

One of my own pet hates is not having any change when I need to park, so we hoped this would help someone out of a fix.

Bilingual Babes - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.com - Pic 2

The note reads: ‘Help yourself to change (a random act of kindness)’

A couple of days later we went back to see how it was going, and found that, wonderfully, no-one had nabbed the lot, but a few people had indeed used the coins they needed🙂

Bilingual Babes - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.com - Pic 3

The parking meter with some of the coins taken

2. Pan-Pan gave a little girl her 10p back.

This was actually a completely spontaneous and unprompted by me in any way act of kindness! A little girl dropped 10p at the ice rink and couldn’t find it. After a lot of hunting her dad eventually decided they simply couldn’t hang around any longer and off they went, but the little girl was clearly disappointed.

Pan-Pan was very moved by witnessing all this and kept on looking. After a while he spotted the 10p, which had become lodged underneath one of the metal legs of the bench. He tried to hook it out with the blade of his ice skate, but it was too thick. Finally Papa hooked it out with his key.

Bilingual Babes - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.com - Pic 4
At the ice rink

By then the family were long gone so I said Pan-Pan could keep the 10p, although he looked hopefully around for them in the ice rink car park before we drove off. A few roads away, we pulled over to buy some groceries and Pan-Pan suddenly screeched, ‘It’s them, it’s them!’ And indeed it was! I opened the car door, called out so they turned around and Pan-Pan delightedly thrust the precious 10p at them. They was very surprised and very grateful, while I was quietly very proud of my generous little boy!

3. We gave away our shopping trolly with the £1 still in it.

Bilingual Babes - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.com - Pic 5

Schmoo lurking near the trolley stand, waiting for a victim to be randomly kind to.

After shopping at Sainsburys, Schmoo offered our trolly to a lady who needed one. She tried to give us the £1 for it, but we explained it was a ‘random act of kindness’. Once again, our ‘mark’ was very surprised and very grateful!

4. We let a very busy-looking lady jump the queue at the Post Office.

I realise that letting someone queue-jump is one of the simplest kindnesses you can do when you’re not in a hurry and there’s someone behind you who clearly is! I’m going to try and be more aware when out and about so I can do this more often.

5. Schmoo and Pan-Pan each made a picture for their Grandma far away in Ghana.

Bilingual Babes - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.com - Pic 6

Bilingual Babes - Random Acts of Kindness on Alldonemonkey.com - Pic 7

Bilingual Babes

Bilingual BabesTallulah is bringing up her children, Schmoo (age 8) and Pan-Pan (age 5), to speak 3 languages: English, French (non-native) and a little bit of Twi. Her blog is “the story of our multilingual misadventures, involving 2 children, 3 languages, and a great many chocolate bribes in my attempts to bring language and positive identity to our kids.”

You can read more about their adventures and Tallulah’s research on multicultural products at Bilingual Babes. You can also visit Bilingual Babes on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Watch for a post next week from Little Red Farm! You can see a full schedule of the posts in this series by visiting the main Random Acts of Kindness Challenge page.

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Fall Traditions: Multicultural Kids Blogging Carnival

Vibrant Wanderings - Fall Traditions on Alldonemonkey.comWelcome to our very first Multicultural Kids Blogging Carnival!   I am so honored to be working with the wonderful bloggers that form the Multicultural Kid Blogs group.  Today marks the beginning of a new collaboration: a monthly blogging carnival, where we share posts that we have each written on a topic of common interest.

This month we wanted to celebrate the season by sharing fall traditions important to our family and/or community.  Since we are spread out around the world, the posts below give us a window into how families all over the globe welcome fall!

You can find out more about these fabulous bloggers by visiting our Facebook page, subscribing to our Facebook feed, following us on Twitter (#multiculturalkids), or following our group Pinterest board.

Celebrating Autumn

For many bloggers, the change of seasons itself was a cause for celebration.

Busy as a Bee - Fall Traditions on Alldonemonkey.com

Maria of Busy as a Bee in Paris takes us on a nature walk and vegetation harvest in France with her and her girls…Busy as a Bee - Fall Traditions on Alldonemonkey.com

…then shows us how to make the treasures they gathered into beautiful crafts for the home.

Vibrant Wanderings - Fall Traditions on Alldonemonkey.com

Melissa of Vibrant Wanderings, recently returned to the US after years in Guam, glories in the season through her family’s new fall traditions.

Holidays and Festivals

For many of us, autumn marks the arrival of special holidays and festivals.

Little Artists - Fall Traditions on Alldonemonkey.com

Varya at Little Artists gives us a glimpse of what it is like to be in China during the Mid-Autumn Festival, as well as sharing some of the legends on which it is based.

Bilingual Babes - Fall Traditions on Alldonemonkey.com

Tallulah of Bilingual Babes shares her family’s Halloween traditions, including pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and “jacket potatoes”!

Babel Kid - Fall Traditions on Alldonemonkey.com

Souad of Babel Kid gives us her take on the English tradition of bonfire night.

Gato and Canard - Fall Traditions on Alldonemonkey.com

Annabelle at Gato and Canard gives us a new expat’s view of the traditional German lantern parade on St. Martin’s Day.

Melissa of Where Going Havo? shares about how a similar lantern parade tradition looks in a Czech preschool.

Bell Craft and Video - Birth of Baha'u'llah - Alldonemonkey.com

My little Monkey and I celebrated the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh recently with a bell craft and song.

Further Reading

For more on how fall is celebrated in other communities, Jennifer at The Good Long Road has put together a wonderful collection of fall/harvest holidays around the world.Good Long Road - Fall Traditions on Alldonemonkey.com

What are your favorite fall traditions?

You can find out more about these fabulous bloggers by visiting our Facebook page, subscribing to our Facebook feed, following us on Twitter (#multiculturalkids), or following our group Pinterest board!

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World Citizen Wednesdays #2

World Citizen Wednesdays - Alldonemonkey.comWelcome to World Citizen Wednesdays, a new feature on All Done Monkey!

Each week we pose a question to members of the fabulous Multicultural Kid Blogs group and share their answers here.

You can find out more about these wonderful bloggers by visiting our Facebook page, subscribing to our Facebook feed, following us on Twitter, or following our group Pinterest board!  On Twitter, you can also find us by using the hashtag #multiculturalkids

This week we continue to share the answers to our question:

If you could take a fun trip with your kids anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

In case you missed it, you can read answers to this question from other bloggers in our first installment of World Citizen Wednesday!

Amy of Delightful Children’s Books: I would love to return to Botswana, Africa, where I studied in college. The people who I met in Botswana were very friendly and spent each evening outside with their families cooking, telling stories, singing and dancing. It was also amazing to see elephants, giraffes and other animals up close.

Jody of Mud Hut Mama: I’m going to have to wait a while for my dream vacation as you have to be at least 15 to go Gorilla trekking but the whole family will go as soon as my youngest is old enough. I’ve always wanted to see these amazing primates in their own environment (Uganda, DRC or Rwanda) and while there are a lot of organizations dedicated to protecting Mountain Gorillas, I fear that it will not be possible to see them outside of zoos in the future. In the meantime my girls’ favorite place is Mvuu Spot (Hippo Spot) right here in the wildlife reserve we live in. They love to play in the sand while watching the hippos and crocodiles in the river.

Joanna of Mamá de nuevo a los 40: My little girl wants to go to Paris and look Eiffel Tower, but I prefer travel inside Venezuela first, Jejeje Here we have. Desert, snow, Amazon fores, amazing beach and ancient mountains (the oldest in earth) I would like both kiddos love our country. And because my husband came from Peru, I would like to know all about Incas! We went to Lima last vacations for a month and they love it. We like to trip again for 2013 Christmas and enjoy it another way.

Aisha of Hartlyn Kids: I would love to take my little one to Trinidad and Tobago. It is where her father grew up and when I went to visit with him it truly helped me to understand him more, his values and his desires. I would love for my daughter to have that connection with her father and his culture. Plus – the food and culture are amazing and it is a beautiful culture with great beaches. Great learning experience and great vacation as well.

Yumei of Mum & Babies: I would love to take my little one back to Xiamen, China, to spend sometimes with my families there! It’s located in the southern part of China, a beautiful island city where i grew up.She is going to love the food there (stir fly rice noodles and sea food). The beautiful piano museum on the Gurang island which is just 10 minutes away by ferry from the main city. She will enjoy walking on the island without worrying about cars or bikes passing through because you won’t find any there! She is going to speak and hear People speak Chinese everywhere and make some new friends!

Frances of Discovering the World through My Son’s Eyes: That would be Puerto Rico! Little one has been there a few times before. We’re planning on returning when he turns 5 next year.🙂 This time, I want him to see Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center most important archaeological site in the Caribbean. Where our ancestors the Taíno Indians lived, played and had their ceremonies. They even have replicas of the “bohios” (houses they lived in); and visit The Cemi Museum where they have lots of archaeological pieces dating back to the Taínos era, and indigenous petroglyph (rock engraving). It’s going to be a life-learning experience for him. We have already started reading books about our Taíno ancestors this will further his understanding of where he comes from.🙂

My answer?  I would love to take my Monkeys to Bolivia, where I did volunteer work many years ago.  It is a beautiful country with such a rich history, and I still have many dear friends there.  I was there before I was married (before I had even met my charming husband!), so it would be such a gift to be able to introduce everyone to my family.  We are also planning on taking the kids to Israel to visit the Bahá’í holy places there; however, we want to wait until they are old enough to appreciate the spiritual significance of such a trip.

Thanks to all the bloggers who shared their answers here!  You can read more responses to this question on last week’s World Citizen Wednesdays #1.  Watch for a new topic next week!

To find out more about these amazing bloggers, check out the Multicultural Kid Blogs Facebook page!

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