My daughter and I were having breakfast in a neighboring town this morning when she blindsided me quite neatly.

Bela (pointing): Hey, Mom, you need that lighter! 

Me: Which one?

Bela: That skull lighter!

(Note: I love Day of the Dead and anything related to it!)

Me: Why?

Bela: Because it’s awesome!

Me: And I am, too?

Bela (sincerely): Yeah.


Rockin’ It

Bela has been losing weight for a while now since her meds are on target.  I thought she was down more lately, and when she put on these jeans, we both knew.  In the picture, she is rocking a new shirt as well.  We love Day of the Dead themed clothing, so when I saw this shirt, I bought one for me as well!

She loved her new shirt, and the jeans were  ones she couldn't wear before!

She loved her new shirt, and the jeans were ones she couldn’t wear before!


The Book of Life

I saw the preview of this movie, and I knew I had to own it.  My high school students wanted to watch it as well, so as soon as I saw it out in stores, I grabbed a copy.  Ysabela and I ripped the package open, grabbed some snacks and got the party started.  So far she has seen it four times.  In one week.


Guillermo del Toro directed the movie, and the voices were spot on.  I was surprised to hear Ice Cube’s voice!  It was quite unexpected (yet perfect).  The animation and graphics were phenomenal, and the songs were catchy.  Now I have one more awesome resource to use for Dia de los Muertos.

Day of the Dead is my favorite holiday, and I set up an altar in my classroom.  My grandparents’ pictures are always there.  Sometimes I put pictures of pets I’ve lost over the years as well.  After all, the altar is there for loved ones who are no longer with us except in spirit.  Students are also welcome to add pictures to my altar.  We do several activities for Day of the Dead like decorating sugar skulls, but I digress….

I took the movie to school the next day so my students could enjoy it, and they did!  If you haven’t seen The Book of Life, you had better grab a copy!  It’s a keeper.

Hanal Pixan

I have started setting up the altar for Hanal Pixan (Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead). I have a picture of my grandparents as the centerpiece, but there are so many other pictures I could add. I also included a picture of Ysabela with La Catrina and a frame with a few photos of the graveyard in Seye. I wanted to include those last two frames to help educate the students.

I have an arch of marigolds, the flower of the dead. The arch allows the spirits to pass through to visit the living. There are several elements to add, of course, so this is a work in progress.

There is an explanation of Dia de los Muertos along with the pictures.  This is part of Ysabela's State Fair exhibit.

There is an explanation of Dia de los Muertos along with the pictures. This is part of Ysabela’s State Fair exhibit.

This is me with my grandparents.

This is me with my grandparents.

The Chicken Chick

4H Fair

Bela decided to try her hand at a new category of exhibits this year—Heritage. I like the category because it’s something she knows well—her family and traditions. She put together a family grouping with photo albums and a book about Melungeons. In the category Other Cultural Exhibit, she made a small display about Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Nobody else has done exhibits like these. I was proud to see that both of her projects were chosen to go to the state fair this month in Grand Island! Those fancy purple ribbons make the tables look so much nicer!

Day of the Dead table

Day of the Dead table

Family grouping

Family grouping