Archive for December, 2012

English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Babies love sensory play as much as Toddlers love to move!

Au Pair Sis has pinned 35 ways to play with your one year old to her Pinterest page. Yes, I know I am a little older than one, but who (of any age) can resist a rainbow gelatin sensory tub? Gelatin and Kool Aid are edible (make them a little sour to limit the amount sthe kiddos actually eat), and the colors are awesome. Using the bathroom for the play room makes clean up a snap.

Want more sensory tubs for your littlest ones? Here’s a link for more, with a chance to subscribe for updates.

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English dialects

English dialects (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

The main page for Go Au Pair on December 6, 2012 contains the following paragraph in the featured blog article “Au Pairs: The childcare choice with no boundaries.”

Not only does Go Au Pair require all of their applicants to take personality tests to help Host Families determine who will be their best fit, but they also search for Au Pairs who have excellent English speaking abilities. In last year’s Au Pair ClearingHouse Awards, Go Au Pair was the only agency to receive an “Excellent” score in the area of “English Skills.”  Go Au Pair ranked in the 90th percentile, and as a result received the “Host Parent’s Blue Ribbon Pick.”

A major cause of breakdown in U.S. families with au pairs is a lack of English skills.


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A page from Loughridge's Dictionary

A page from Loughridge’s Dictionary (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

au pair

[oh pair] noun

 1. a person, usually a young foreign visitor, employed to take care of children, do housework, etc., in exchange for room and board: We sent the children to the beach with the au pair.

After World War II the changing social and economic factors in Europe, especially women’s emancipation, led to a need for inexpensive live-in childcare, where the caregiver is treated like a member of the family.European au pairs are part-time caregivers, and usually part-time students. In the U.S., au pairs may work full-time in addition to their schooling. Au pair means “equal.”

Go Au Pair is a designated provider of au pairs from many countries around the world who come to live and study in the U.S.

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Biscochitos are small, cookies with a sweet cinnamon and anise sugar coating. Addictive from the word go, they are de rigueur for a proper Albuquerque Christmas. Cut into special shapes like circles, stars and triangles, biscochitos appear after Thanksgiving and continue through the New Year.

Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen, www.janebutelcooking.com, provides a classic Spanish biscochito recipe online with a downloadable pdf for simplicity. Biscochitos are the New Mexico state cookie.

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English: San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church lo...

San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church, (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Old Town Plaza is a major tourist attraction in Albuquerque throughout the seasons, but it becomes a magical place for Christmas. Luminarias are paper bag lanterns filled with sand and a candle that are said light the way for the Christ Child throughout the Southwest, and particularly in New Mexico.

Local residents gather to fill the bags and arrange them in elaborate decorative patterns—transforming the historical Plaza into a Christmas Eve place of enchantment and festivities that conclude with a quiet evening Mass at San Felipe de Neri Church, originally built in 1706.

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Since 1997, there has been a bright and shining display of very special lights at the Botanical Gardens each Christmas. Known as the River of Lights, all kinds of local people have donated their time and workmanship to create a magical garden display of whimsy:

 “Nowhere is the spirit of the season more evident than at the River of Lights, where snowmen live in their own small world, and lights throughout the Botanic Gardens come to life as oversized bees, flies, butterflies and more. See yellow submarines, scuttling scorpions, and watch Pegasus take wing. It’s the 12th River of Lights, where every year brings new displays, which just keep getting better. “

 At a cost of $10 per adult and $5 per child, from the end of November through the end of December each year, this display ranks high on the agenda of au pairs and Host Families.

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English: Maria Moline, instructor, coaches her...

Zumba, Stuttgart. (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Au Pair Sis is an awesome woman! Her page of au pair exercises on Pinterest leaves one tired and energized at the same time–tired enough to sleep tonight (we all need that!), and energized knowing that a month of steady attendance from home at these workouts will banish that fatigue for good.

What are my favorites? Yoga poses give relief for the cold and flu season—a must for any household with small children. Tanandtoned.tumblr.com has run/walk progressions (and more) for those who don’t have a gym nearby. And, of course, Zumba.

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English: Aspen Lumber Company Building, built ...

Aspen Lumber Company Building, built circa 1882. (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Views to die for! Schussing down a slope of white powder, and watching your Host Children learn to walk on skis. Enjoying art, ballet, and film. These and more activities in Aspen, Colorado are highlighted on GoAuPair’s blog for Aspen, Colorado.

Colorado is one of the most beautiful areas of the United States. Ongoing events are showcased at the main website for Aspen/Snowmass. In the summer, biking replaces snow sports.

There are many rewarding reasons to become an au pair, but the amenities at Aspen, Colorado add a whole new dimension to the experience.

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Los Alamos National Laboratory and the town of...

Los Alamos National Laboratory (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Los Alamos is the location for Los Alamos National Laboratory, the site where the atomic bomb was developed prior to the ending of World War II. With such a background, it is not surprising to find a growing list of Bachelor’s and Master’s level classes at the local UNM campus—in addition to the more common rural offerings for GED and trade programs.

A second area of specialization, this time at the certificate level, is Organizational Learning and Information Technology (OLIT). Internet learning and entrepreneurship form a main support for the coming world economy. However, because so many classes are delivered only online, au pairs must use caution in choosing these courses at UNM Los Alamos. General evening classes provide the on-campus alternative, and classes are often accelerated. For au pairs needing help with English as a Second Language, UNM at Los Alamos may also be a significant resource.

“The UNM-Los Alamos Adult Learning Center provides free classes, instructional materials, tutoring and computer practice lab for English as a Second Language (ESL), General Educational Development (GED) and Adult Basic Education (ABE) students.  Services include instruction in ABE basic skills: reading, writing, and computation, GED preparation in reading, science, social studies, writing and math, and all levels of ESL instruction and citizenship, and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) preparation.”


Brown Mackie College(505) 559-5200Albuquerque http://www.brownmackie.edu

Brookline College – Albuquerque Campus(505) 880-2877Albuquerque http://brooklinecollege.edu/locations/albuquerque/

Central New Mexico Community College (505) 224-3000Albuquerque http://www.cnm.edu

University of New Mexico(505) 277-0111Albuquerque http://www.unm.edu/

Clovis Community College(800) 769-1409Clovis http://www.clovis.edu

Dine’ College- Crowpoint Site(505) 368-3500Crowpoint http://www.dinecollege.edu

Luna Community College(800) 588-7232Las Vegas http://www.luna.edu

The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM)(505) 662-0344Los Alamos http://www.la.unm.edu

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