Cinco De Mayo Fun, Food and Activities for Everyone

Cinco de Mayo (Fifth of May) is a commemorative celebration of the  Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during Franco vs Mexico War  from 1861-1867. It is celebrated (most commonly) in the United States and Mexico. Cinco de Mayo is often misidentified as Mexico’s Independence Day which is September 16th.

History of Cinco de Mayo – A fantastic history and clarification about Cinco de Mayo and Mexico’s Independence Day  (September 16th).

Fried Taco Shells if you have a large family, this is definitely the most economical way to do taco shells. Many Corn Tortillas are Gluten Free (Gluten is an issue at my house and I prefer a fried corn tortilla over a gluten free ‘flour-like’ tortilla-ANYDAY!)
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Plastic Maracas from Easter Eggs and Spoons -Oriential Trading Company
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Cinco de Mayo Coloring Sheets Other activities and ideas as well.
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Fantastic Cinco de Mayo Food I really love the idea of individial Dip Cups!
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Mini Pinatas from empty toilet paper rolls
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Festive Lime with Candles Centerpiece
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Cinco de Mayo Jello
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Lavender Margarita
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2.5 oz of Jose Cuervo Traditional
1 oz of Parfait Amour Orange Liqueur (where the purple color comes from)
1/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
Garnish with a Lime

Cinco De Mayo Nail Art
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Ormonde Ray Dingman

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Ormonde Ray Dingman of Gaines,  Pennsylvania was one of the greatest men I’ve ever known. He spent 83 remarkable years touching the lives of everyone who knew him.

On Monday, January 19, 2015 Ormonde was peacefully summoned home by the Lord. 

Ormonde was born June 17, 1931, in Cross Fork, Pennsylvania, son of  Benjamin Edward Dingman and Pearl Dingman (Pearl Knickerbocker). 

Ormonde was a brother to Bruce Dingman, Edward Dingman, Coolidge Dingman, Rella Nease (Rella Dingman), Clarissa Wentling (Clarissa Dingman) and Nina Taylor (Nina Dingman). Ormonde was also an Uncle to many Nieces and Nephews.

Ormonde married Jo Anne Marilyn  Dingman (Jo Anne Marilyn Grass) on February 23, 1953 in Houlton, Maine. Ormonde and Jo Anne had three children together. John Dingman, Rae-Ann Dingman and Karen Dingman. Ormonde and Jo Anne have
11 grandchildren and 21 great- grandchildren.

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Ormonde was a Korean War veteran, having served with the United States Air Force. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and a member of the Masonic Oriental Lodge #20 in Mesa, Arizona.

Ormonde was an avid outdoorsman and loved to hunt and fish and was revered as the “original” Mountain Man in the area.

He is loved and missed by family and friends as the Lord takes him by the hand to lead him to his next life. 

Memorial service were held on Saturday, January 24th at 10:00 AM at Carleton Funeral Home in  Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. Interment immediately followed at Knowlton Cemetery in Marshlands, Pennsylvania.

Brotherly Love,  Relief and Truth.

Make Good Men Better

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New Retail Location :|: Casa Grande Jewelry and Pawn

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The Gypsy Bayou is pleased to announce that their Soap Products can now be purchased locally at:

Casa Grande Jewelry and Pawn
1326 North Pinal Avenue
Casa Grande, Arizona 85122.

As of current, they are stocked with a random assortment of Soap Products that include Clay Soaps, Organic and Vegan Soap as well. All products are located in a behind the counter display.

Gets ring 2015 together!

Pineapple Ginger Chicken Rub Recipe

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After using a pound of Ginger Root for Homemade Ginger Elixir, I had a pound of cooked Ginger Leftover. It seemed so wasteful to dispose of the Ginger so I wanted to find a way to keep it from going to waste when I concocted this recipe.

What you need:

• One Pound of Peeled, Chopped Raw Ginger Root

• 4 Cups of Water

• Lidded Sauce Pan

• Pineapple (Either Canned or Whole)

• Cooking oil

Bring water to a boil with your Ginger Root pieces in it. Let boil covered for 3-5 minutes then reduce heat to about medium and simmer until strained off liquids equal about two cups. Let cool. Strain 2 cups of liquid off and set aside. Take remaining cooked Ginger pieces and place them in the blender and add Puree the Ginger pieces until it is about an applesauce texture. If you need to add liquid to the blender, you can add Pineapple Juice. I add liquid very slowly because I like my mixture to be smooth.

I chose you separate my Pineapple Ginger Marinade in Breastmilk Freezer bags in approximately 5 to 6 oz quantities and store extras in the freezer.

To use it, I thaw a pouch of marinade in a small glass bowl and add my chicken pieces to the bowl and give it a good mix around.

Each method of cooking gives different results. Ive cooked this every way imaginable. When I bake Pineapple Ginger Chicken, I add a small amount of oil to the bottom of my baking dish and a small amount of pineapple juice with chunks of cored, cut pineapples.

When grilling, I lightly spray olive oil on the chicken breast BEFORE its taken to the grill (never spray oil on a lit grill). I also cut pineapple slices and and grill them and serve over rice with vegetables.

When Ive cooked it in a skillet on the stove top, I first separate a ounce or two of marinade to be used later then I marinade the chicken in the remaining portion of Ginger/Pineapple Marinade and then cook the chicken in hot oil until its almost finished cooking. I add the unused, portion of marinade that was seperated before the chicken went into the marinade directly into the pan and then I brown the chicken into a nice color using the added marinade. Serve with sides or serve over rice and veggies (steamed Broccoli and carrots are nice)

The two cups of Ginger Root Broth that was poured off at the beginning was used to make Homemade Ginger Elixir which also works wonderfully as a sweet and tangy glaze over chicken.

Canned Pineapple Chunks were used for the photo. Caramelized onions taste amazing. In my experience, red carmelized onions seemed to compliment the flavor nicely. I think I prefer chopped/diced caramelized onions to sliced caramelized onions. The kids dont seem to want to pick them out of their meal this way. So score!

Do you have a Ginger recipe that you just love? Something that you’ve concocted? If so, Id love to try your recipe! Share below…

Homemade Ginger Elixir

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Let’s talk about barf. Vomit really isnt something that anyone really *WANTS* to think about until you are dealing with a “situation”.

The culprit of the vomiting isnt always known. In some instances, if nausea is a factor and if it can be calmed, vomiting may be able to be reduced or in some cases avoided.

Ginger has some amazing properties that aid in easing a nauseated stomach caused by anything from motion sickness to morning sickness.

Since I was a child, Ive suffered from an GI problem that was allowed to go untreated for way too long. In recent past the condition has become something that has got to be addressed before it is allowed to go any further.

One of the things that has worked the best for me in soothing upset stomach is  Ginger Root. I carry purse fulls of Ginger Chew Candies that I pick up at the health food store but sometimes I need something a bit more immediate. Thats where my Homemade Ginger Elixir comes in. And its easy to make.

What you need:

•1 Pound of Raw Ginger Root (peeled and sliced into small, thin pieces)

•Sauce Pan with lid

•4 Cups of Water

•4 Cups of Sugar

• Strainer (Mesh)

After peeling and cutting your raw Ginger Root into pieces, add your Ginger pieces to your sauce pan and add water. Bring the water and Ginger to a boil and then reduce the heat to a medium and cook until your liquid reduces by half (you want to be able to pour off about two cups of Ginger Infused broth/water).

Once your Ginger Broth/Water has cooled, strain your water to remove any large ginger particles or pieces. Return liquid to sauce pan (discard the strained particles) and bring to a boil and slowly begin to add your sugar while stirring. Reduce your heat to low and continue to stir until all of the sugar has completely disolved and it begins thicken into a syrup like thickness.

To use, you can take it by the spoon or you can add it to a small glass of warm water (this is how I consume it when I know vomiting is coming  because warm water “comes up” much easier than cold water). Stores it in the fridge for about 7-10 days. I usually keep a 4 oz jar in the fridge and freeze the remaining in 3.5oz portions in Breastmilk Freezer Bags and thaw in the fridge as needed.

In addition to being great for helping an upset tummy, it is also great in coffee, used as a chicken glaze or added to tea.

If you are not familiar with Ginger, particularly fresh ginger, it does have a kick to it. It is warming to the senses, but not in the same way Chili Peppers are. Its hard to explain. Most children say its ‘hot’ but its only ‘hot’ breifly.

You can save the cooked Ginger for a Pineapple Ginger Chicken Rub/Marinade Recipe.

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Detangling Dolls Hair is Easy

Do your kids have Barbie or My Little Ponies that need some serious detangling? If so, here is a great way to easily detangle and revitalize synthetic doll hair (or synthetic wigs)

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Make your own detangling spray for dolls, cheap and easily. Maybe even with things you already have around your house. 

What you need:

•Spray Bottle
•Liquid Fabric Softener
•Assorted Combs and Brushes

Mix 50% Water to 50% Fabric Softener (1 cup to 1 cup) and mix around in the spray bottle. Undress doll and hold over sink and mist the dolls hair with the solution and begin working knots out from the ends, gradually working your way towards the head with a wider toothed comb while brushing until knots have brushed out. After all dolls, ponies, doll heads, etc had their hair detangled, I quickly rinsed each dolls hair (and I rinse the body as well because it gets a bit sticky from the fabric softener being all over your hands). Once all of the dolls hair have dried, they are good as new.

I did observe that not all doll hair could be corrected/detangled. I have included a photo (bottom of page) of a pony who has a tail that is unhelpable.

Take caution in where the mist of your detangling spray lands. If it lands on flooring, it may become very slippery and its pretty difficult to mop off tile so that the tile doesnt become slippery when it gets wet in the future.

Pinkie Pie Equestrian Girl : Before

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Pinkie Pie Equestrian Girl : After

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After hair has completely dried
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My Little Ponies : Before
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My Little Ponies : After

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Barbie Head : Before

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Barbie Head : After

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This is the hair of the pony who couldnt be fixed. Before and after photos dont bear much of a difference. I ended up forcefully separating this ponies hair into 3 sections and gave her a tight braid and banded her hair.

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And since fabric softener is a chemical compound, its probably a good idea to only use this on dolls and synthetic that have been checked for compatibility in an inconspicuous place. And dont drink it or leave it where your kid could drink it or wash the dog with it, despite it might make the dog smell mountainy fresh…still not a good idea.

Nursing through Triumphs and Tragedy

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As I laid next to my almost 10 month old son and nursed him to sleep tonight, I couldn’t help but marvel at everything it took to get us to this point. He is my third child. My second son. My second breastfed baby. The journey hasn’t been easy.

I have to say that my breastfeeding journey began before I ever held a baby of my own in my arms. My oldest, Oliver, is almost 6. I didn’t even try to breastfeed him. I had debated it during my pregnancy, and in the end decided not to breastfeed. It was a mixture of ignorance on my part and lack of support I quickly regretted this decision and spent many months fighting back tears as I mixed bottles of formula and fed him with bottles. He wasn’t even a month old when I became determined to breastfeed our next baby.

In October 2011 I was given that chance. Our sweet daughter, Lucy, was born and within her first hour she latched on and our breastfeeding journey began. This time I had support, but was still not educated on how it all worked. I just assumed it was going to happen naturally, or in my eyes, easily. How wrong I was! Within days I had cracked, bleeding nipples. I worked with an IBCLC and we managed to get to the point where it was more comfortable, but breastfeeding Lucy was never very enjoyable. After the guilt and regret I had with not breastfeeding Oliver, quitting was not an option. I pushed through and we continued to nurse until she was almost 20 months old. At that point I was about 23 weeks pregnant with our third child, another boy, and my milk had dried up toward the end of my first trimester. Lucy continued to comfort nurse for some time, and when timing felt right we gently weaned.

In September 2013, our third child was born. Max Christopher was my first out of hospital birth, and he too latched quickly and began nursing within his first hour of life. While his birth was peaceful and wonderful, there was a lot of anxiety and fears that came along with him joining our family. You see, during my pregnancy, we had found out via ultrasound that Max was going to have a clubfoot. Our oldest son had been born with bilateral clubfoot (meaning both feet were clubbed), and I knew the pain and heartache that comes along with it. It meant lots of travel, probably surgery, and years of nighttime brace wear. Yes, it was fixable. Yes, we were thankful that it wasn’t anything worse. But when anything is wrong with your baby, oh, how your heart aches.

My milk came in within 24 hours of Max being born. I quickly started to recognize that we were having the same problems that I had had with Lucy early on. I managed to get his latch somewhat corrected, however after taking a close look in his mouth, I realized we had another issue on our hands: Max was tightly lip tied and also tongue tied. This can cause major issues with breastfeeding, and I was sure that it was the culprit of my trouble with Lucy although I didn’t know it until much later.

Although I knew Max had these ties, and I knew it was going to cause us problems, the logistics of getting it fixed was another issue. The dentist that I wanted to go to to fix it was 3 hours away. At 8 days old we began the treatment for Max’s clubfoot, and that involved driving 2 hours each way every Monday for weeks at a time. I was exhausted, both mentally and physically, and the thought of more driving and doing anything else to him was too much to bear. I just kept putting off the lip tie and tongue tie revisions as long as I could.

Getting Max’s clubfoot corrected involved weekly appointments where he would get his foot and leg casted and slowly turn the foot into a better position. Each Monday was long and tiring. He was often uncomfortable after the appointments, and unlike a lot of babies, nursing did little to comfort Max. When he was in pain or uncomfortable, he wouldn’t breastfeed. I often felt rejected and angry that the one thing I was given to be able to help him gave him no comfort whatsoever. When he was 8 weeks old Max had a minor surgery (although when its your baby, it definitely doesn’t feel minor) called a tenotomy where they cut the Achilles tendon and put on his last cast which stayed on for 3 weeks. He hated breastfeeding during that week after his surgery. I had to pump and freeze my milk because he wasn’t eating much at all. It was heartbreaking. I remember about two weeks after his tenotomy Max nursed and fell asleep, the first time that had happened since before his surgery. I cried with relief that we hadn’t lost that precious time altogether.

Three weeks after his surgery his cast came off and he began wearing his bar and boots brace. It took a little getting used to nursing with the brace. Max couldn’t really turn into me when he breastfed, so we had to get used to him being restricted by the brace and just turning his shoulders and head into my breast to feed. Nighttime was especially difficult because he usually would lay on his side and nurse since he slept in our bed next to me. He isn’t able to easily lay on his side with the brace on, and again, Max doesn’t like to nurse when he’s uncomfortable.

I also struggled with oversupply and overactive letdown. Max gained weight very quickly. (before each new cast was put on, Max was weighed and gained anywhere from 1/2 a pound to a pound a week! It was crazy!) He would nurse and then I could pump 8 oz. I had to slow down on pumping because I was worried that I was just making it worse. In the evening, Max would latch on, gulp gulp gulp, and scream. Then my husband or I would have to work to burp him and he would let out a huge burp, and then be hungry again. We would repeat this cycle for up to two hours. It was exhausting. He also seemed sensitive to things I would eat, but it was hard figuring out what exactly.

There were so many times I wanted to quit. Wanted to just throw up my hands and walk away. I wanted to be left alone, to cry, to scream, to be able to do whatever I wanted to do for however long I wanted to do it without feeling the physical effects of my baby not wanting to nurse. Instead I felt tied to a baby who often rejected feedings and emotionally, I felt like was rejecting me. Max has the sweetest, most amazing disposition and I simply adore him. But there were definitely times I resented all of our struggles and desperately needed time to myself and a decent night’s sleep.

It was only a few weeks after Max got his bar and boots brace that he ended up in the hospital with an infection (unrelated to his clubfoot). He spent two days in the hospital and it was a horrible, traumatic experience for me. Thankfully, he nursed well while we were there, but I started to feel like we just could not catch a break.

When Max was about 4 months old we decided to really look into having his tongue and lip tie revised. We made an appointment for March 13 with Dr. Notestine. I was looking forward to finally having this taken care of.

Two days before we were to leave for our appointment, my father-in-law went into the hospital for a routine procedure. Things did not go as planned, and he ended up in ICU that night. Tragically, he passed away two days later, and we obviously did not make it to our appointment. I have never felt so grief-stricken as when we lost our precious Poppa. I had to fight myself to eat the first few days, and I worried that the stress would affect my milk supply. I had to spend a lot of time away from Max during those days, and had to trust others to bottle feed him. It was very hard to leave my baby with others and worry about pumping so often.

Max was just over 6 months old when we finally were able to get his tongue tie and lip tie fixed. While it was hard to see him go through anything else, it was the best decision we made for our breastfeeding relationship. Dr. Notestine explained that instead of truly “nursing”, Max was using the wrong muscles and “sucking” to get milk out. His lip was very tightly tied and he also had a posterior tongue tie. The laser surgery to release the ties took very little time, and I was able to pick up my baby right away. We went into a quiet room and nursed and wow! What a difference! It was the first comfortable latch I had ever felt, and it brought tears to my eyes. For the first time, it felt like Max actually emptied my breast while feeding, and wanted the other side. Dr. Notestine came in and watched the end of our feeding and commented on how good it looked. For once, I felt such relief and happiness with our nursing relationship.

While I tried to introduce some solid foods to Max after his lip tie and tongue tie healed, he really wanted nothing to do with it. It wasn’t until he was closer to 9 months old that he began showing any interest in foods. While I have no problem with exclusively breastfeeding for an extended period of time, we continued to have challenges. Max is a very easily distracted baby. I often have to go into my bedroom and lay down with him in the dark to get him to breastfeed. Doing this with two older children is not easy. Going out in public with Max basically means he won’t be nursing for however many hours we will be gone. He will go 6 hours or more without eating if we aren’t home. No matter how hard I try or how full of milk my breasts are, he won’t have anything to do with nursing. It would become extremely painful for me, and he would often cry from hunger, but still would not nurse. This was probably the most frustrating part of breastfeeding for me. Now that he is eating some solids, it is somewhat easier. Recently, our family had to spend 5 days away from home taking our oldest to St. Louis for surgery to treat a relapse of his clubfeet. I had to pump and bottlefeed because unless we were alone in the hotel room, Max wouldn’t breastfeed. I had so much pain and felt so inconvenienced having to stop and pump just to turn around and give him a bottle.

Max has also had problems with ear infections, and once had a terrible allergic reaction to an antibiotic that we gave him when his ear drum ruptured. Its often cited that breastfed babies have fewer ear infections than bottle fed babies, but this doesn’t seem to be the case for Max. It feels as though it is one thing after another with this sweet baby. Its very humbling to have a child who often gets sick when you feel you are doing everything “right”.

Despite our many struggles, heartaches, and frustrations during the past 10 months, I have to say that breastfeeding has absolutely been worth it. So many times we talk about how wonderful and amazing breastfeeding is. Its true- nursing my child has been all of those things. And its also been heartbreaking, aggravating, painful, and at times, downright unenjoyable. We don’t often talk about those things. But as I lay next to Max and feel his soft hands holding onto me, listen as his breathing becomes slower and heavier as he drifts off to sleep, I am so thankful for these times and that I am able to breastfeed my child. These memories will last a lifetime.