Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Book Giveaway 2011...

I cannot pass up reading material that is free and seems interesting and worthy of making a home in our library. So, I give you, this book giveaway... from Italy.

Click HERE to find out more about La Pesca Di Natale 2011!!!

Three winners! The first winner will recieve 3 books. Can you feel my excitement now?? The second will receive two and the third winner will recieve one book. Not too shabby.

Come lo scorso anno, anche per il 2011 i libri in palio sono 6, che andranno: 3 al primo, 2 al secondo, 1 al terzo.


The books are called/ I libri ci sono:

"Due scimmie in cucina" put out by Topipittori

"Inseguendo Degas" put out by Kite Edizioni

"Papà Famondo" put out by Carthusia

"Stan e Mabel" put out by Lapis

"Il giorno in cui la mucca…" put out by Or.Acerbo

"E per colazione?" put out by Sinnos


Per partecipare c’è tempo fino alla mezzanotte del 23 dicembre.
I vincitori verranno annunciati la mattina del 24 dicembre.

To participate you have until midnight on December 23rd. Theh winners will be announced on December 24th.

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 17, 2011... Holiday/Castagna Party at the Centro Sociale...

Oh, I just had to share this. We had a Holiday/Castagna (chestnut) party on Saturday afternoon. The kids have been memorizing songs, poems, music scores, song lyrics, and dance moves, and on Saturday, December 17, 2011, parents, friends, relatives, and townspeople joined together to witness their work. They did a stupendous job!! It was GREAT.

I loved that I felt like we were caroling inside, as they even sang songs Christmas songs, beginning in English, then switching to Italian. I was so proud of each and every one of them!! I was amazed as I watched them, as I have seen these kids as little munchkins and so many are now teens. It is odd. Sigh.

But anyway...

Here is the link to our town's newsletter to see a few pictures of the event by the photographer and editor of Il Cassanese News (click Il Cassanese News to read the whole newsletter, even old posts, in Italian).

In the picture of all the parents and guests, see the lady standing with the red shirt? I am peeking out about 2 or so heads to the left. hahahahah... And, my oldest, A, is actually slouching to the right of her elbow with the paper to his mouth.

In the picture of all the kids singing with balloons above their heads, G, L, and M are towards the front. G and L are wearing black sweatshirts. M is to the left of the girl wearing white on the front row. ;-)

I hope to post more pictures soon! Until then, enjoy the glimpse!

For a couple more images of castagna festival related posts, click HERE and HERE... Browsing the blog will give you insight into cultural differences, laws and practices, and such... All in Italian, so you may want to consider

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Some Neat Festival Things Over At The Italian Dyes...

Since I posted a little while ago about the "Castagna" festival near us, and since we ended up not taking pictures of the one to which we did visit, I thought I would share a post from the daughter of some friends of ours. Apparently, in the town near them they had a Castagna-ish/ autumn-ish festival, and theirs included not just chestnuts, but a HONEY vendor. There are some really neat pictures which will give you an idea of what their visit to the festival was like. Please DO take a look. You will like it, I guarantee it. :-) Click HERE to see what I mean!

And, if that is not cool enough, my friend, Middle Missie's mom, shared a really neat post regarding a Living Nativity Scene (Presepe Vivente) that sounded really interesting. I have never seen one here myself, so this was quite a treat for me, too. I loved all of the pictures she posted, and I just knew that you would appreciate it as well!! Click HERE to see more on that.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Old News At My Other Blog...

Just wanted to remind you... Our family blog is where I was, for many years, posting all things about my life here in Italy. Feel free to browse over there until I can, little by little, link to some of those posts at another time.

You can find it HERE.

Have a great week!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nel Nido Giveaway To Ward Off The Cold And Greys of Autumn...

This giveaway is massive. Lots of goodies to take the chill and edge off of the grey days of autumn. ALL are welcome to enter, even interenationally. Kind of her, don't you think? So... There are TWO possible winners, and these "kits for Autumn survival" include lots of things chocolate, something hot to drink, and lots of seasonal goodies that I am not even sure how to explain effectively. Just know, this sounds like a really neat and pampering sort of giveaway. So go HERE to just leave a comment and your email address. :-) Expires the 12 of November at midnight here in Italy... (We are 6 hours difference AHEAD of Eastern Standard Time- EST, so that means that when it is noon in Pennsylvania, it is 6 in the evening here.)


Un grande giveaway per TUTTI, anche internazionale, per l'Autunno. Un consolazione per i giorni freddi e grigii di questi mesi. Se vuoi provare di vincere cicca QUI: (DUE VINCITRICI!!!!)

"kit di sopravvivenza all'autunn... che comprende:

- una tavoletta di cioccolata (che ancora non ho comprato perchè verrà scelta a seconda dei gusti della vincitrice: fondente, al latte o bianca). Ovvio, un kit di sopravvivenza serio non può non partire da qui: lo sappiamo tutti che "Chocolate is the answer to everything", no? ;)

- una selezione di tè/ tisane/ infusi/ cioccolato/ caffè, insomma tutto quel che si può bere caldo in una mug colorata.

- ma esuliamo un attimo dal tema mang/bevereccio che, seppur preponderante, non è certo sufficiente per un kit che si rispetti. Come si può sfruttare degnamente un pomeriggio freddo, uggioso e magari (se avete la fortuna di abitare in zona) pure nebbioso? Creativando, ovvio! Quindi nel kit ci saranno 5 sacchettini di confetti (scusate, ma non so proprio come si chiamino in italiano ^^' Se avete dei dubbi sono questi) per arricchire la vostra scorta di craft supplies. Ho scelto confetti a tema autunnale, ovvero:
1) Foglie rosse, dorate e arancioni.
2) personaggi di Halloween: gatti neri, zucche, fantasmi, paioli traboccanti e tanti cuoricini neri.
3) Meline colorate che sono di stagione.
4) Soli e stelle d'oro, argento e rosso.
5) Palle di neve e stelle bianche e azzurre, perchè non manca poi molto al Natale.

- creativare però non basta, bisogna anche coccolarsi a vicenda, quindi aggiungo alcuni fogli di carta da lettere con "francobolli" decorativi coordinati di Diddl e un bigliettino autunnale di Winnie Pooh di cui ho sempre amato molto l'atmosfera (è l'immagine che vedete nel banner).

- infine, per illudersi che Natale sia vicino prepararsi al Natale il kit comprende un pezzo di nastro decorato con bordo di ferro e 5 chiudipacco della Disney."


La scadenza... scrivervi fino a sabato 12 novembre a mezzanotte!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Un Mondo di Legno: Mini concorso:come arriverà il bebè?

Un Mondo di Legno: Mini concorso:come arriverà il bebè?

Dai, corre a questo sito per condividere una idea... come arriverà il bebè? Questa idea divenne un pezzo d'arte! VAI!!!


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Hi!! Click on the link to see more about this giveaway. It is one to stimulate some creative thinking that is for sure. This artist is asking for ideas to inspire how a baby might show up on a piece of art... Look at the examples to see what I mean. Then, she is asking for your own creative suggestions. Go!!

:-)

Creating With Hands giveaway...

Oh, questa giveaway mi piace tanto. Io vado pazzo per lavoretti fatto di carta. Questo giveaway è di scegliere tra due libri: "Giochi Con La Carta" e "Tante Idee Per Natale"...

Dai, è un bel opportunità di imparare qualcose che vi puà fare con le mani. Se hai interessa, premi QUI...

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Oh, this giveaw is one I like alot. (It is right down my alley.) I love to work with paper. This giveaway is to choose between two books: "Giochi Con La Carta" (which means "playing with paper") and "Tante Idee Per Natale" (which means "so many ideas for Christmas").

This is a great opportunity to learn something new, something utilizing your hands and creativity. If you are interested, click HERE...

A Muscial Giveaway - cd...

Qui c'è un giveaway musicale!! Per celebrare 200 "followers", Simplymamma sta offrendo un cd di diversi tipi di musica.

Lei dice...

"un cd interessantissimo che presenta diversi brani musicali classici e jazz per lo sviluppo delle attitudini musicali del bambino. i brani sono caratterizzati dalla loro brevità adatta ai tempi di concentrazione infantili e sono collegati ad immagini riprodotte nel libricino.
i brani contenuti nel cd sono:

Isaac Albéniz, El Puerto da Iberia
Chick Corea, Children Song III
Edvard Grieg, Anitra’s Dance da Peer Gynt, Suite n. 1
Dominic Muldowney, The Toy Soldiers Fantasy da The Brontës
Irving Berlin, I’m putting all my eggs in one basket
Carl Maria von Weber, Rondò da Adagio e Rondò J. 115
Maurice Ravel, Pavane de la belle au bois dormant da Ma mère l’Oye
Daniel Speer, Sonata in la minore per tre tromboni
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Rondò Allegro da Eine Kleine Nachtmusik K. 525
Anonimo, Chachaneh tsaghadzoreh
Modest Mussorgsky, Il balletto dei pulcini nei loro gusci da Quadri di un’esposizione
Claude Debussy, Scherzo - Intermezzo: moderato con allegro da Piano Trio n. 1 in sol maggiore
Igor Stravinsky, Vivo da Suite Pulcinella
Camille Saint-Saens, Il Cigno da Carnevale degli Animali
Benjamin Britten, Playful pizzicato da Simple Symphony Op.4
Jacques Ibert, Allegro da 3 Pièces brèves "

Se hai interesse, premi QUI...

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This is a musical giveaway. To celebrate reaching 200 followers on her blog, Simplymamma is giving away a cd of different types of mucic. She states that it is


"un cd interessantissimo che presenta diversi brani musicali classici e jazz per lo sviluppo delle attitudini musicali del bambino... i brani contenuti nel cd sono:"

(TRANSLATION more or less)A cd that is super interesting and it presents different musical styles from classic and jazz for those who appreciate that to kids music... The pieces contained on the cd are:

Isaac Albéniz, El Puerto da Iberia
Chick Corea, Children Song III
Edvard Grieg, Anitra’s Dance da Peer Gynt, Suite n. 1
Dominic Muldowney, The Toy Soldiers Fantasy da The Brontës
Irving Berlin, I’m putting all my eggs in one basket
Carl Maria von Weber, Rondò da Adagio e Rondò J. 115
Maurice Ravel, Pavane de la belle au bois dormant da Ma mère l’Oye
Daniel Speer, Sonata in la minore per tre tromboni
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Rondò Allegro da Eine Kleine Nachtmusik K. 525
Anonimo, Chachaneh tsaghadzoreh
Modest Mussorgsky, Il balletto dei pulcini nei loro gusci da Quadri di un’esposizione
Claude Debussy, Scherzo - Intermezzo: moderato con allegro da Piano Trio n. 1 in sol maggiore
Igor Stravinsky, Vivo da Suite Pulcinella
Camille Saint-Saens, Il Cigno da Carnevale degli Animali
Benjamin Britten, Playful pizzicato da Simple Symphony Op.4
Jacques Ibert, Allegro da 3 Pièces brèves


If you are interested in finding out more or in participating in the giveaway, go HERE.

Cappuccetto Rosso Giveaway!!...

Va bene, va bene... Questo Giveaway è troppo carina per non condividere. Per piacere, vai a QUESTO SITO dove c'è un "teatrino" mini di Capuccetto Rosso, completo con il Lupo. Solo devi lasciare un commento!!

Troppo Carina!! VAI; VAI; VAI!!! :-)

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Okay, okay... This giveaway is too cute not too share. Please, go to THIS SITE where you will find the cutest little "mini theater" of Little Red Riding Hood, complete with the Wolf. You just have to leave a comment!!

Too cute!! GO; GO; GO!!! :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Giveaway...

Ciao!! Oggi è un bel giorno per i "giveaway"! Sono veramente contenta condividere questa opportunità. Per me, i libri sono un grande piacere nella vita. Il fatto che posso leggere e godere la parola scritto è un grande benedizione al mio cuore. Poi, per trovare i siti sul internet che pensano anche così... mi fa tanto piacere.

Adesso, se vai QUI, leggi per vedere come vi può vincere un libro chiamata "Voglio Due Compleanni" di Tony Ross (Ed. Lapis).

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Hi!! Today is a day of giveaways! I am so happy for this opportunity to share this with you. You see, books are a great pleasure for me in my life. The fact that I can read and enjoy the written word is a blessing I do not take lightly, but take to heart. So, without further ado, I share with you this giveaway (in Italy, though if you are interested you can ask if it is applicable overseas).

Go HERE if you would like a chance to try to win this book: "Voglio Due Compleanni" (Translation: I want two birthdays) di Tony Ross (Ed. Lapis).

Hope you enjoy this BOOK site. Really informative on what is available on the Italian market. While I do not agree with all choices listed, I like that it is very child friendly in images and writing. Enjoy browsing!!

A Giveaway...

Hi, here is a giveaway right down my alley. I love gadgets and tabletops, and this allows for both. It is a portable tabletop for kids, with pockets for gadgets on the side. You had better bet that if we win it, I will try it for myself first to make sure it is ONLY for kids. (ahahahahah)

Go HERE to find out more!! It is an Italy giveaway, but I am not sure if it is open to internationals on the other side of the ocean. Worth asking if you are interested.

Her site is a travel and book blog and fun to browse through. Check it out. Have a great day!!


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Buon giorno!! Qui c'è un "giveaway" per un prodotto meraviglioso, penso io. è un tavolino portabile per bambini!! Ha anche le tasche ai lati per mettere libri o altre cose. Guarda QUI per vedere più informazione!

Il sito è un blog dei viaggi, libri, e diversi idee apparatenendo ai bimbi. è bello! Vai a vedere!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

November 29, 2011- La Festa Della Castagna... Part 2...

I have been finding such cute things to share regarding the castagna that I just thought need to be shared. My kids thought this one was a lot of fun. :-)

HERE You will find a nice little selection of proverbs (proverbs or quotes which, to be honest, are not very encouraging), indovinelli (riddles), e conte (like rhymes or poems)...

I liked this one which explains why the castagna sometimes grows big: "L'acqua d'autunno fa grossa la castagna." That means "The waters of autumn make the chestnuts grow big." More or less.)

Here is the poem/riddle I memorized with my kids as I was helping THEM to try to memorize it. Hahahah...

Indovinello (title)

Son piccina e rotondetta (I am small and round)
Son dolcina, son moretta (I am sweet and brown)
Son di razza montanina (I am a mountain thing)
dell' autunno son reggina (I am the queen of autumn)
Son dei bimbi (I am a thing of children)
la cuccagna (um... not sure...)
E mi chiamo... (and I am?...)
La castagna. (The chestnut.)

November 29, 2011- La Festa Della Castagna...

Today is La Festa Della Castagna or The Festival of the Chestnut. Towards the end of the harvesting season of the chestnuts, towns gather to have a party. They give away free chestnuts, offering booths to buy other goods and then a band that has been hired plays LOTS of traditional music, and dancing ensues by locals who know the Tarantella and lots of the other tunes. There are people of all ages, of all walks of life, and there is excitement in the air.

I went online in search of some info on the "castagna" (Cahs-tahn-yah... Chestnut), and I found some cute resources for children. I made a copy and had the kids take them to their teachers. Two of my kids returned having to memorize one of the poems. Well, perhaps the teacher had it prepared for them already. I hope so, or their extra work may have been attributed to me. I am glad I can help find some cute, new stuff they can use for their students, though. Call me an over-zealous mommy, but any new helps are worth looking into, in my frame of mind. Keeps life interesting.

Anyway,

http://castagneitaliane.blogspot.com/2010/11/detti-e-proverbi-legati-ai-marroni.html
This site had some neat little proverbs regarding the chestnut or castagna. Frankly, I do not understand them all, but someone out there might appreciate them anyway. Some of them are interesting, though. I would translate them, but many don't translate well and will sound odd if I do. Some could be in an almanac for how they are related to giving clues by how the weather is in January or during the summer... like the weather in those months affect the crop to come. Something like that. By the way, another name for the castagna, I have recently learned, is marroni (mah-rolled r's-oh-neh)

Here they are:

"Quando il vin non è più mosto, il marron è buono arrosto"

"Da Maria a S. Michee la castegna la va o la vee"

"Gennaio secco, castagno ogni ceppo

"Era buona e saporita se ci crede ancor mi tocca di leccarmene le dita per sentir dolce in bocca"

"Quanti necci e farina e polente , e castagnaccio, se ne fan certe pappate da pigliare il calcinaccio…"

“La castagna l'ha la coda, chi la chiappa è la sua” (The chestnut has a tale. It belongs to whomever catches it.) See??

"Castagne verdi per Natale sanno tanto e poi vanno a male"

“Dove son passati i ruspaioli, non si sfaman più neanche i maiali”

“Sei come le castagne, ogni tre un bacaticcio”

“Hai la testa bucia”

“Ha cavato la castagna dal fuoco con la zampa del gatto”

"Cavar le castagne dal fuoco"

“Sole e acqua, gonfia la lappa, acqua e sole gonfia il marrone”

“Gli è avanzato men di una castagna”

“Fare una buona polenta di castagne, cuocere un uovo, fare il letto al cane, insegnare a un fiorentino, sono le cose più difficili”

“Per Santa Maria, 12 Settembre, il marrone fa la cria (si inizia a formare)"

"Nel tempo delle castagne il porco ride e la pecora piange"

“I castagni non fecero mai aranci” (Chestnuts will never make/be oranges.)

“Per San Michele la succiola (castagna lessa) nel paniere”

"Per San Simone e Giuda casca l'acerba e la matura"

“Se piove al solleone castagne tutte guscione”

“Quando piove di giugno la castagna si secca senza fummo”

“Per San Martino, castagne e buon vino”

“Benedetta la castagna e quel frutto che la mena siam satolli io e la cagna e la pentola è sempre piena”

“La donna è come la castagna; nella di fuori, e dentro è magagna”


http://www.proverbi.info/proverbi/castagna.html
Here is one proverb that was not mentioned as those above, so I decided to list it as well.

“A San Michele, 29 Settembre, la castagna è nel paniere”

http://www.proverbipopolari.it/proverbi/Proverbi-campani-Proverbi-della-Campania-Proverbi-regionali.asp?proverbi=campania&pg=1

Here is another proverb not mentioned before:


A San Michele 'a castagna sotto a 'o pere.
A San Michele la castagna sotto al piede.

http://www.filastrocche.it/nostalgici/filastro/castagna.htm

Here is a filastrocca (like a poem) of the castagna written by someone names Simona:


La castagna
(Se vi piace questa filastrocca, dovete ringraziare Simona (29 ottobre 2000).)

La castagna nasce nuda
poi si veste con la spina
lei patisce poverina
ma nemmeno la si lagna
la buonissima castagna!


http://www.filastrocche.it/nostalgici/filastro/fila2.htm
Filastrocca della castagna
Questa è la filastrocca della castagna,
che entra di bocca in bocca dalla montagna.
La castagna non si bagna
quando piove su in montagna;
nel suo riccio imbacuccata
al riparo se ne sta.
Quando poi fa capolino,
il momento è ormai vicino,
la stagione è incominciata
e in un sacco finirà.


http://www.fantasiaweb.it/poesieaUTUNNO.asp#Farina di castagna
Some of these filastrocche were just too cute not to share... These were all found at the same site listed just above.


Farina di castagna
(A.Sforna)
Nel bosco si odono
castagne che cadono
escono dai ricci spinosi
che si aprono.
Poi la dolce polpa
sarà frutta e farina
buona a mangiarsi
e bella in vetrina.


Girotondo dell’autunno
(da “L’Arca di Noè” ed Leonardo)
Giro giro, giro tondo
l’autunno è in tutto il mondo.
Sotto gli alberi giganti
i funghi sono tanti.
Ci son sulle montagne
le noci e le castagne
e poi nella pianura
c’è l’uva ben matura.
Vi sono i bei frutteti
che tutti fanno lieti
mele e pere succose
per le bimbe golose.


Indovinello
(da “Raccogli idee” ed. Tresei scuola)
Son frutto gustoso
ho il riccio spinoso.
La buccia ho moretta
son dolce e duretta.
Se in acqua son cotta
mi chiamo ballotta:
se al fuoco son posta
io son caldarrosta.
Io vivo in montagna
e mi chiamo…
(castagna)


La castagna
(anonimo)
C’è un frutto rotondetto,
di farina ne ha un sacchetto:
se lo mangi non si lagna,
questo frutto è la castagna.
La castagna in acqua cotta
prende il nome di ballotta.
Arrostita e profumata
prende il nome di bruciata.
Se la macino è farina:
dolce, fina, leggerina:
se la impasto che ne faccio?
Un fragrante castagnaccio.


Indovinello
(da “Raccogli idee” ed. Tresei scuola)
Non è per capriccio
se nasco in un riccio.
Son buona, son bella
lessata o in padella.
Son frutto autunnale,
non faccio mai male,
mi trovo in montagna
e son la…
(castagna)


Ottobre
(Anonimo)
Il tuo pennello dipinge
i boschi e i prati.
E’ pieno il mio cestello
di grappoli dorati.
La castagna e il riccio
sorridon tra le foglie.
Viva l’autunno…
e tutto ciò che si raccoglie.


LA CASTAGNA (Inviata dall'Ins. Giusy)
C’è un frutto rotondetto,
di farina ne ha un sacchetto;
se lo mangi non si lagna,
questo frutto è la …….. castagna.


L’AUTUNNO (Inviata dall'Ins. Giusy)
Foglie rosse , foglie gialle,
È arrivato l’Autunno.
Tanti frutti buoni avremo
e noi li mangeremo:
uva castagne e melagrane,
tanto succose e appetitose,
delizia di tutti i bambini golosi.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Homemade Birthday Parties in Italy: M's 1st Birthday...

M had two birthday parties... One on her actually birth date, and the other we had at a local pizzeria/ristorante (restaurant). I did nothing for her birthday at home except make a cake and take a kid picture.

This is M with three of her brothers.



And this is her very simple cake. :-)



Unfortunately... I just realized that the pictures we had of her restaurant party have disappeared from my file. AH! So... I have nothing to show for it. Sniff-sniff...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chestnut Season And Recipe Links...


This image is from http://www.chestnutsonline.com/...

This month, October, is chestnut harvesting season. Chestnuts are called "castagne" (Cahs-tah-knee-eh)in Italian. My father-in-law has already begun harvesting or picking (raccogliendo... Rah-cohl-ee-en-do). I am just getting better after a seriously bad cold (un raffredore... Rahf-reh-doh-reh), so I have not gone yet; but the chances are that I will soon, now that all of the kids (bimbi... Beem-bee) are in school or preschool (Scuola... Skoo-oh-lah). Of course, I will not go when they are home for sickness or any other reason.

Chestnuts are very popular to this particular area of Italy. They grow in trees and are protected by very tough and spiky shells. As they begin to dry, these shells begin to crack, expose the seed which is the chestnut, and often the seed then falls to the ground. So... a harvester goes to pick up those seeds. Sometimes the shell has fallen with the seed inside, and that is when I have just used my shoe to roll it a bit on the ground to encourage it to open.

By the way, wearing work gloves or old dish gloves IS highly recommended as the spikes sure hurt if they poke the skin. And, the only real danger is that there are often splinters in socks and pants left causing irritation at the end of the day due to dried out spikes that have broken off and attached to clothing. Other than that and normal autumn weather, and long hours bent over, of course, it is easy work.

And, at this site, this site, you can find some interesting facts on the health benefits of chestnuts.


This image is from the site http://pearlconcussion.blogspot.com/

The following link is a neat find. A lot of information on one page, easy to browse through. Though it is in Italian.

http://paneamoreecreativita.it/blog/2009/10/100-ricette-con-le-castagne/

It has 100 recipes (in Italian) for using chestnuts. I was particularly interested in the recipe for "Gelato Di Castagne" (Chestnut Ice Cream). Hmmm... May have to figure out how to make that one! I also want to, eventually, make the "Crema Di Castagne" (Chestnut Cream filling).

I have tasted a few different ways that chestnuts have been cooked or prepared. My most favorite is roasted. When done correctly it is just yummy. I will occasionally eat them boiled, after they have been dried. It is super sweet that way. And... there is another way... like a toasted and dried mix which almost makes it taste as if it has been sweeted with some sort of liqueur, but it hasn't. A more acquired taste that way. I have also had a cake roll with a mix of chocolate and chestnut cream, too.

I think that some of my preferences may be due to the fact that some of the recipes including chestnut flour or cream were perhaps not following a good recipe, so I would like to try for myself to see if I will love this healthy and sweet alternative.

For now, I hope that you can utilize some of these recipes. Oh, I have also found a site called chestnutsonline that has information on all kinds of things chestnut, including gluten-free recipes and some "Recipes from Tuscany". I have not looked at the entire site, but found it interesting, so I will pass it along to you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And This Box Says: Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid!...


"Teme L'Umidità"... Which means in box language... "I Am Afraid Of Humidity! It hurts me!"... more or less. :-)

Woh! Information Overload!...



Image from my friend, Anne's, blog called The Italian Dyes: Based On A True Story. Click on her name to read about her adventures in living in Italy. This pictures made me giggle. I kind of thought that maybe they gave so much information on this roll of toilet paper in case you had nothing to read in your "spare" time. Like saying, "Rest assured, friends. This roll from your toilet paper is eco friendly. Just know that if, per chance, you have to use an outhouse, in a million years, this roll will NOT be there." Not sure, but... it is interesting in an odd way.

It is funny to me that each of my friends who also live here have some very different experiences than I. Anne has a lovely family, a sweet sense of humor, and shares lots of snapshots of their lives through words and photographs. Enjoy!!

The Big Job That's Worth The Effort...


This picture is titled "The Big Job"... Click on title for link.

Disclaimer: I did not choose the picture for any other reason than it made me giggle and I thought it was cute since we were mentioning "The Big Job" and all. So... Moving on...

I have so many things I have been wanting to post here, but have not been able to make it to the keyboard to do so. I did come across this post, and I really just wanted to share it. I am sure that there are many mothers, especially,and, yes, some fathers, too, who can echo what this mother expresses in this post below. I wonder how many, actually.

Anyway, please do take the time to read this post by Medea at Perogies & Gyoza, a Canadian mama in Japan. Just click on her name, and it will take you directly there. It is a post that echoes the challenges of having a child learning two languages and the battle of keeping balance between the mother tongues of both parents. There is sometimes jealousy or hurt involved, but there is also tremendous pride. Medea expresses herself honestly and eloquently, and I just felt it was worth reading.

And, since I am having issues leaving comments right now; Here is what I wanted to say to her, but could not publish...

"You are clearly a mama who cares and is interested in the best for her children. Keep up the good, and hard, work of pouring into your kids. They are sponges, ready to take whatever you have to pour into them, so I DO believe that there will come a day when you will see the fruit of your labor. We live in Italy, go to school here, and are daily confronted with Italian, but my kids also love the English language. I battle with similar things that you are battling, but I am also encouraged that, at their own pace, and in their own time, they are getting it. It may not be the way I hope, but... Don't we spend our whole lives learning? A little maturity, a lot of opportunity, and our pouring into them... it all goes to building up kids who WILL eventually get it. Keep up the good work, Medea mama. You can do it. You are not alone in your journeying."

Okay, if anyone knows her, please DO pass on that message. I cannot for the life of me figure out why I cannot leave her a message. Bummer, but... I did make a post out of it. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Soon!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Good Reason...

I do have a good reason for not posting... We have been on vacation to the US. We are nearing the end of our trip, and I figured I had some down time, so it might be worth mentioning. Finally. HAH! Hope you are well... Will try to post more soon. Blessings.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mommy Maestra: Cars 2 Giveaway

Mommy Maestra: Cars 2 Giveaway

If you kid(s) loved Cars (the first one), here is an opportunity to win some paraphernalia for Cars 2. Check it out!! Mommy Maestra says this about the giveaway,

"One lucky reader will win a youth size t-shirt, set of 3 Bumper Stickers, 2 temporary tattoo sheets and a puzzle! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post.

The deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Friday, June 24th."

Blessings!
celita

Monday, June 20, 2011

Welcome... Thanks to Red Rose Alley!!...

Found this image at Red Rose Alley. The authors are Sheri and her two daughters, Jess and Nel. They share this blog and fill it with lovely things to share from their days. It is breath of fresh air.

Here is an image I thought would be nice to share with you... it was taken by Jess.


"Welcome" in English, Spanish, what I assume is French, Italian, German, Australian, I assume Japanese, and I assume Chinese... Either way, I think it is neat to see a word or phrase listed in SO many languages.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Homemade Birthday Parties In Italy: G's 4th Birthday In 2006...

Hm. I am surprised that I have so little to show for this party. I think this year I was bummed because I still had not managed to make the 4th of July fun as I was used to it back in the States, while still maintaining a fun birthday environment. G's birthday falls so near to Independence Day that we usually combine both events. The challenge: Italians don't celebrate the American Independence Day. Sigh... So, I may have been a little emotionally challenged at this time. I can say that games were minimal. I had the kids playing outside, running around and just being kids. Adults sat around and talked and ate. Not much else to it. Here are the photos for this party.


Theme poster with this verse on it:
Psalm 139:17-18
New International Version (NIV)

How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.



"Siblings" Picture... My 3 little guys and my one baby-gal...


G and his cake. With that I must explain. I thought it would be a fun thing to order the cake and have a "professional" make a dinosaur. Great idea, right? Well, the baker decided he did not know how to make a good dinosaur, so he figured a lizard would work. hahahahah... It turned out okay. This is one of a few bought cakes we have gotten here. I am officially a fan of homemade cakes. Just working out the gliches and figuring out what works has been a challenge. By the way, did you know that altitude affects how cakes and cookies bake? I know that now. :-)


G waiting to take the kids-and-cake shot...


I used connected foam rug numbers as a banner above the doorway. They were hollow, which, looking back, might have been better with construction paper added to add some color and make them stand out more. I used a few of the actual numbers as extra decoration on the wall. In general this idea was easy, festive, and convenient.


Guests included various adults (most without children) and a few kids. My husband's parents and his sister and her family were also there.

Homemade Birthday Parties In Italy: L's 2nd Birthday In 2006...

Living in Italy, and not being near my usual resources for cheap buying, was a challenge at first. I know where to find the things I need at the local (in PA) Michaels, AC Moore, dollar stores. That is where I most likely would rely on buying my birthday needs. Oh, and probably Sam's Club, too... If that is still around. hahahah... But, I don't have that here. So, I have resorted to using what I have, making stuff, or buying simple additions to make birthday parties fun and unique. I plan ahead and scour the internet for game and activity ideas that are practical, easy and fun for the ages involved, and I make my own cakes. I bought at first, but when the bakers decided they did not like to listen to MY preferences for the cake we were buying, I decided it was best to make my own.

I had to adjust a lot of my plans for this simple fact: parties need to be bilingually friendly for us.

So... I will begin with the first birthday I have digitally recorded in our files since we have lived here... By the way, at the time, I was still trying to figure out how to make occasions like these special without my usual resources. This party was the simplest of them all, but it began my journey to making fun, homemade parties for my family. I slowly found my "groove". :-)

My third son, L's, second birthday party in May 2006.



The party is based on this verse:
Psalm 139:13-14
New International Version (NIV)
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.



2's, Hands, and Feet frame the theme poster.


I made this poster with the verse: "This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)It is written in Italian. It is one of my favorite verses for birthdays. I use it almost every year. I still have this poster, too. :-) I also made construction paper balloons to frame the corners. Turned out cute and colorful.


I used foam rug number 2's to decorate the wall!! I put half red and half green paper against the back to make it bright and stand out.


A "brothers" photo. My first three boys!! Love this giggling picture. Miss them being small like that.


What better way to celebrate how God created us than to utilize Mr. Potato Head pieces symbolizing parts of the body. :-) I really like how the idea just came about. Really like how simple but fun it is. Don't be afraid to use toys or objects you have around your house for cake toppers. Super easy way to make a cake look good. :-) And quick, too.


Here is my two year old L posing for his cake photo!! What a cutie pie.


Guests included various friends of ours, mostly adults without kids. But... we also had my husband's parents and his sister and her family. Not all are shown here.


These are some of the kids that came and posed for the cake photo. At two years of age, not all are willing participants. :-)


At this age, games were simply having balls out to chase after and throw around. Ballons were a hit.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

More Pizza Box Pictures...


Pucinella...


What is up with the guy at the front windshield, exactly? hahaha...


Totò is on the right...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Packing Checklist For Kids by mammagiramondo...

When preparing for un viaggio (a trip), how do you know what to pack? Well, I usually do that for our famiglia (family), at this time, but there may come a time when my bambini (kids) will help with that.

I found these check lists over at mammagiramondo, and I thought this was a simple way to show a kid the basics that need to fit into that small, zippered valigia (suitcase).

While it is not exact, it is a great way to fit in some vocabulario (vocabulary) learning. Each clipart picture is labeled with the word that belongs to it. It is all practical stuff that would be helpful to know.

I might have to actually go and study this list. ;-) No... really.

Per Femminucce (girls):


Per Maschietti (boys):


She made these checklists from clipart she gathered at artvex and clipart-free.

Great idea, isn't it? Seems like an easy way to make our own visual vocabulary lists.

Gioco-Giveaway Creativamente. Indovina dov'è nascosto il Giro Giro mondo

Gioco-Giveaway Creativamente. Indovina dov'è nascosto il Giro Giro mondo

This is a brilliant game giveaway. It is in Italian but is a having to do with countries around the world. It is like a globe-trotting game. It requires reading of different questions, for example, like, "Dove sei se stai mangiando un Wiener Schnitzel?... Come si dice sorriso in brasiliano?" Okay, in English, "Where are you if you are eating a Wiener Schnitzel? How would one say "smile" in Brasilian?"

I think it sounds like a fun time learning. Check out the giveaway! And, know that there may be more information on this game somewhere online, as they have hidden 5 boxes of this game in 5 different locations: one in Oceania, one in Africa, one in America, one in Europe, and one in Asia. All you need to do is guess one place in one of those countries, and you could win that game in that location. For example, I said Canada. This game is put out by a company called CreativaMente.

(CreativaMente ha nascosto 5 scatole del gioco in cinque diversi stati (uno in Oceania, uno in Africa, uno in America, uno in Europa e uno in Asia).
Prova a indovinare dove sono stati nascosti e...quella scatola sarà tua!!)"

Wishing you well...

Out On the Language Field... Language Wars?...


It is funny how, in this blog world, one may not be able to "meet" others face to face. It is an invisible relationship, but, I do not discount it and say it is unreal. I am just stating that it is a little harder to "see" the warning signs of disagreements or confrontation without truly seeing the physical evidence on a face or heard in a voice.

I am catching glimpses of different parents- and professionals in medicine- in mini "language wars". Charging in, as if we are all at different booths at a convention. Stopping by each booth, they have remarks to share to others who may not be doing things as they do. The "my way or the highway" attitude getting them nowhere with me, but... makes me ache for a leisurely stroll, relaxed and pleasant to chat, observe, and learn together, instead.

I am able to be as nervous and anxious as any other parent out there. I am, and have, stressed that my kids are not learning at the pace they need to, grasping the info to the extent they are supposed to, etc... I want them to excel. Though, I also want them to ENJOY learning. I want them to have a taste of what fun this language journey can be, so they will take initiative and learn because they WANT to at some point. Of course, there will be moments I will have to spur them on because they may be discouraged, tired, or bored, but... In general, I don't want my kids to feel stressed out, frazzled and seeing this quest into languages as a burden. And, I certainly don't want to battle it out with other parents and adults. I want to respect what each is doing for his or her family and know that she feels she is doing her best. I know I can learn some things from you, but I also know that perhaps I can also share some interesting things with you, too. I am doing my best. It is not someone else's best, it is mine.

We are all different. We all have particular talents we can share with our kids. We have particular ways of teaching, approaching, learning, but... I think that is as valuable as the languages themselves. What one may not be able to observe, learn, and utilize from me, she can possibly find what she needs from another. That goes for me, too. I browse the blogs and sites of others in my blog hopping. All information does not apply to me, but I pick and choose what I can use, what I need to hear, what I like, and what I can share on my own blog. It is okay!

If we all did the same things, the same ways, etc... How uninteresting would that be? I value one that can try some new things and find that it works for them. I have been a "booth judger" at times, myself, but... I can honestly say that I battle that in myself because I have seen, time and time again, that what works for me may not work for someone else, and vice a versa.

I hope that we can just enjoy this bilingual journey together. Appreciating each other's characters and perseverance and ingenuity, and, if nothing else, gaining support; and maybe even a friend.

Stroll with me, won't you?

Chillola.com Foreign Language Learning For Kids...

This new site is very useful. You can learn your first words in five languages: English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian. There are "activities...a kid's gallery, and lots of information to get your kids creating and interested in learning." Click the language you are interested in to be directed to the individual site page.

Topics to learn about are:
Alphabet
Numbers
Colors
Shapes
School
Animals
Fruit
Vegetables
Food
Calendar
Weather
Time
My Body
House
Positions
Opposites
Musical Instruments
Country Information

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Valuable Info On "The Silent Period"!!!...


"As we know children in the silent period should not be forced to speak before they are ready. They need time to listen to others talk, understand what they hear, and observe their peers’ interactions with each other. Even when they are silent, they are learning the language!"

You can find more information on the "Silent Period" on these two posts. The first post is called "Understanding the Silent Period", and the second is called "Silent Period- Suggestions for the classroom teacher"

Thank you!!

My kids all had a long silent period, and began utilizing words around 3 and 3 1/2. I heard so many negative things about this, but I knew it was the norm for my kids. I knew that they would be just fine given time to just sponge up the languages, two at a time, and that they would join in the communication chaos when they were ready. In fact, my second was silent for so long my husband began to get really worried... until he turned 3. Now we have a hard time making him hush. :-) But, it makes me glad. It proved my "gut feelings" correct. So now, as we are dealing with the same things in my youngest two, well, I am trying to remember those "set and confident" feelings I had those years ago. Somewhere along the line, I forgot that it is normal, and they will be okay.

But, as my memory is getting refreshed, so is that "set and confident" me. Thank you to those of you who have taken time to post such great and useful information for moms like me who just need a reminder that we are on the right path. :-)

Language, Music, & More has important definitions listed!! Go see!...

Here is a new blog that I found interesting, easy to follow, and full of great and useful information. http://languagemusicandmore.wordpress.com/

I was particularly interested in these definitions, listed HERE.

The post begins... "If you grew up in a bilingual environment, you probably never heard of these terms. However,in an education setting, teachers and speech therapists who work with bilingual children, use a lot of different terms that they should know in order to make the best assessments and eventually develop the appropriate program for these strudents. The following words are used to describe certain chracteristics of the very complicated bilingual language acquisition!"

The definitions, very simply put, will cover these following words:

Passively Bilingual

Language Loss (or language attrition)

Code Switching

Borrowing

critical period hypothesis

These are "just to name a few", as this blog writer says that there are others that will be mentioned in the future. I think these are definitely worth knowing and understanding. Happy learning!!

By the way, I was particulary ECSTATIC over the definition for "Code Switching". The writer said, "mixing languages in the same sentence or conversation. This is very important to understand when working with children who are bilingual. It can be seen as lacking enough language skills in both languages. However, when a bilingual person can switch between two languages, it means that their skills are proficient enough to be able to manipulate the languages in different ways."

I find that to be SUCH A relief. Thank you!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Peek Inside Myself...


Got this image from http://www.mytinyphone.com/wallpaper/432406/

Yesterday was blog-hop day for me, and I have entered into a bilingual world that is both a joy and makes me uncomfortable at the same time. You see, I grew up in a Spanish environment, but did not fit the usual Puerto Rican image, nor follow the same habits. I have been shunned by my own "people". So, the result is being an adult insecure with a language that I love. Though I have been known to "get by" to communicate in Spanish, I have taken on Italian as substitute because I now live in Italy and am married to an Italian; but I miss that part of my heritage. My kids are actually the ones encouraging me to get past my insecurities. They do pretty well in English and Italian, but they, especially my oldest, LOVE to learn whatever they can in Spanish. It is allowing me to refresh my memory and just share, knowing that they have no judgements, no preconceived ideas, and they are open little, hungry books.

It is nice to know that being multi-cultured DOES have a place. Multicultured people are SO interesting, and have so much to share on things they have learned along the way, experiences they have had, places they have visited, etc... I love that I grew up on the East Coast of the States as I have a love for the big melting pot of cultures. I grew up with so many different people, and we managed to get along, make memories, and share with each other. I think, more than art classes, karate classes, dance classes, etc... all of these GOOD things, I value most the life class of multi-language living. That is where one can be well- rounded and learn so much. ON SO MANY SUBJECTS. I hope that makes sense.

Now, living in Southern Italy presents me with a very different challenge, how to fit in being one of the different ones. Over these last 7 1/2 years that I have lived here, there has been an influx of immigrants from Romania, Albania, China, Morroco, Africa, etc... I am glad only because this multiculturalism is something I have missed. Living in an area that has been led by traditions carried on from one generation to another, for what seems like forever, is interesting, and yes, beautiful to some degree, but... coming in from the outside can be a harsh step with people unused to change, different ideas, and even a bit of intolerance for what has not always been a part of their lives or families over their history, including those different foods. (Can I get a YAY for Chinese and Mexican foods?!?! Yum!!)

So.. Moving on... When my kids speak English and Italian, they switch between both, often unintentionally, even within one sentence. They can explain things in English, but if an argument, for example arises, it quickly goes to Italian. Funny, I like that in them. I actually encourage that in them, while also encouraging them to remember the way they need to say something in the other language not being spoken in that moment. They are learning to communicate in two languages. What is not to like about that?

But... I am not so merciful with myself. I grew up with Spanish around me,but was not considered truly Puerto Rican because I did not go to PR for vacation, did not 100% fluently speak the language, and I got a lot of flack from other fluent speakers who described the true PR Latina as one wearing tight, bright clothes, hair slicked back, natural tan, knew how to dance the traditional dances, and knew her language perfectly. Well, I am light skinned, was never "taught" Spanish from my parents, I just picked up whatever I could, and am modest in what I wear. I DO occasionally wear the slicked back pony tail; though, my curls are not the tight, kinky kind. :-) I grew up with a lot of insecurities as I claimed to be Puerto Rican but had "little" to prove for it; but, as I read what other blogs have to say about Spanglish and mixing, I find that I am RELIEVED!!!

Yesterday my 5 year old daughter, out of the blue, said "Muchas Gracias" (probably from watching Dora the Explorer, For more on this show in English and Spanish, click Here and Here) after I did something for her. My husband and I just looked at each other. I leaned over and said. "Te gustas hablar en espanol?" (Do you like to speak in Spanish?)SHE SHOOK HER HEAD "YES". My husband still does not think she really understood what I said. My kids' interest in my own language is encouraging me to get back to using what I know, and letting that develop a love for the language, so that maybe they will study it on their own some day.

I have lived life being very sensitive to the criticisms against Spanglish, which was often spoken in my PR home and family. Part of that was due to things I heard as a kid from other Spanish speakers, critical Spanish teachers, or monolinguals, that Spanglish was low, used by the uneducated... This caution and insecurity has kept me from sharing this part of myself with my kids. I have focused mostly on English and Italian with them as they are the two most practical languages they need to know as we live in Italy, and all of my family is in the States and speak English. Now, I see that my kids really love the idea of learning Spanish, and I am really seeing the value of that. I am seeing that my "all or nothing" approach to sharing MY heritage with my kids is being unfair to them and also to myself. I am inching past my own ingrown insecurities so that I can share this part of me with them. It is an interesting development, and I am truly glad for it!!

I suppose that my lack of knowledge for my own language is similar to this idea. Not exact, but it is my example. I don't know all the rules of playing basket ball, but I CAN teach my kids to throw and make a basket. I can teach them some vocabulary: Foul, walk, dribble, pivot, etc... I think that we just need to take each opportunity we have to let our kids learn whatever they can. Even if it is just pieces, it is better than nothing, as it can be just what is needed to build interest to learn more. No es mi culpa (It is not my fault) that I did not grow up ON the island. I still know about gandules, Spanish rice, platanos, frijoles, pasteles, pan dolce, coquitos, and lots of other things. That is still part of my heritage, and so it is also a part of my kids' heritage.

In my blog hopping, I have been blessed to read about several others just encouraging us to utilize what we know to teach our kids. I LOVE that! I am going to do it!! My kids will be happy, and I am sure it will bring back lots of memories that I can also share with my kids: about my Abuela who has since passed away, about going to a Spanish church from birth to nine years old, about lots of things.

What is wrong with me being proud of my heritage, even if it mixes languages? Nothing... it speaks of a people determined to leave what they new to make a better life (my great grandparents from Spanish Islands, my grandparents from PR) for their family. It speaks of history of hard work to pass on something better to children (my parents) and grandchildren (me, my siblings, and cousins). It is real life. I value good, true, well-spoken language as much as the next person, but... with all the culture switching, intermarriages, and all, it sure makes things easier to know that it is okay to say. "Hola, Come va?, I am well"

Thank you to each of you who have shared your hearts on your blogs and shared what you had to say with me and others. Your encouragement may sometimes seem like it is making no impact, but I tell you, it has touched my heart. I needed to know it is OKAY to not be perfect, to just do my best, and to share what I can and let my kids' natural curiosity and interest lead them. I needed to know that I am not alone in this bilingual journey. I am just "getting to know you", and I am so grateful for you.

Blessings from my heart,
Celita


Here are some links that are related in one way or another to what I myself shared above. Hope you enjoy these reads and each perspective into the life of other bilinguals.

http://www.mommymaestra.com/

http://multilingualmama.com/2011/06/01/do-you-franglais-what-code-switching-means-to-me/

http://www.spanglishbaby.com/2011/01/why-does-spanglish-get-such-a-bad-rap/

http://www.dianadudgeon.com/speaking-spanglish/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-bilingual/201101/intermingling-languages-conversation-literature

http://www.multilingualliving.com/2011/05/19/codeswitching-much-more-than-careless-mixing-multilingual-bilingual-know-rules/

http://bilinguepergioco.com/2011/05/31/homelessness-of-a-third-culture-kid/

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mommy Maestra: Homeschool Essentials: Letter Tiles

Mommy Maestra: Homeschool Essentials: Letter Tiles

Oh!! I love this idea!! It is just BRILLIANT!!! Pull out your Scrabble game tiles, and have a go at these great game ideas!! Click this title to go directly to the page where this information is posted! You have to see the possibilities! You will like them, I know you will!!

Now, the only problem I have... I need to buy a set of Italian Scrabble (Scarabeo), as an Italian set is mostly vowels. Did you know that? Yup. My American set will not be sufficient to spell a lot of Italian words.

"If you're looking for the next linguistic challenge, try an Italian word game such as Scarabeo (Scrabble), Paroliere (Boggle) or a cruciverba (crossword puzzle). It's a great divertimento and a terrific way to improve your vocabulary skills...

If you're staring at a rack of Scarabeo tiles including the letters A, A, E, I, O, U, and L, don't despair! Consider these word oddities:

•aiuola (more or less it is said...Ah-ee-oo-long o-lah...flower bed) has 5 syllables and 6 letters; its plural AIUOLE is the shortest Italian word with all 5 vowels.
•funamboleschi (more or less it is said...foon-am-boh-leh-ski...about funambolists) longest word in Italian with no repeating letters
•calafatata (more or less it is said...Cah-lah-fah-tah-tah...caulked) has 5 A's. Other words with 5 A's are ASSATANATA (possessed by the devil), ACCAVALLATA (crossed), SANTABARBARA (powder-magazine), and ACCALAPPIACANI (dog hunters).
•effervescentemente (more or less it is said...eff-ehr-veh-shen-teh...sparklingly) has 7 E's.
•indivisibilissimi (more or less it is said...een-dee-vee-see-bee-lee-ssee-mee...very unsplittable) has 8 I's and no other vowels. INDIVISIBILI (unsplittable) has 6 I's and no other vowels.
•contropropongono (more or less it is said... cohn-troh-proh-pohn-goh-noh... they counterpropose) has the most O's.
•cuscussù or urubù (couscous and a kind of condor) have the most U's.
If after a shake of the Paroliere board game there are recognizable letter combinations amongst the game cubes, take advantage of the fact that Italian nouns have a pattern to their singular/plural endings. And since regular Italian verbs have consistent, repeating endings, use combinations such as -iamo, -ate, and -ano to form new words.
L-o-o-o-o-o-o-ng words
Besides word games, you can impress your friends with Italian word trivia. Here are a few examples of unusual Italian words:

•precipitevolissimevolmente (as fast as you can) is a word created in 1677 and is traditionally considered the longest word in Italian.
•sovramagnificentissimamente (in a very, very, very magnificent way, 27 letters) was used by Dante in "De vulgari eloquentia" in the 14th century but is unknown now.
•Chemical names and numbers can be even longer words. In Italian, 444,444 is quattrocentoquarantaquattromilaquattrocentoquarantaquattro and has 58 letters).
•anticostituzionalmente (anticonstitutionally) is described as the longest Italian word in common use."

(As quoted on About.com "Italian Language" post)..."

"Crafts For Better Reading" According To Scribbit...

I have had this post bookmarked since Michele over at Scribbit: A Blog About Motherhood In Alaska wrote it.

What a great idea! To take the favorite-for-now storybook and make it the center of a learning activiy; adding crafts and activities to really make a message, a story, a life, characters more real, more tangible, remembered.

You HAVE to see what Michele accomplished based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's book, Little House In the Big Woods. I read this to my kids last year, and ALL of them loved it; even my boys. It is full of educational opportunities. I will have to do a post just on those sometime. :-) Explanations of how they did things in the past, even with pictures... So interesting, and fun.

Anyhow, I enjoyed this post, and would love to be able to do as she did, with a touch of craftiness, to make the characters come alive for my daughter. As Michele states... "You could do similar activities with other great children's books--Charlie and the Chocolate Factory could inspire an entire world of candy creations that the little people could explore, Little Women could have a similar set up to what you see here. The Chronicles of Narnia would be beautiful with salt dough lions and wolves and beavers, and the White Queen would be the best as a peg doll. King Arthur and his knights, fairy tales, the Beverly Cleary books, Winnie the Pooh, the Jungle Books, there are plenty of worlds you could create."

Now go see what she did with Little House In The Big Woods!! Enjoy, and Have fun being creative!!!

To see other "crafts and activities" that Michele has posted on, click HERE. I use her ideas EVERY summer to keep my kids busy and new things in the mix of our days. You may also find some really fun and useful ideas, and you may ending up having some fun yourself. At least, I can say that I walked around with a smile on my face as I heard my kids creating, learning, and having fun at the same time. Great summer!

Language Impairment In Bilingual Children Part 2... (A continuation of the previous post...)

This is a Part 2 of the last post, but this one is more of a clarifying post. This article is really worth reading, and may help to clear up some doubts or concerns.

As quoted on this blog... "It’s hard to know whether these errors are indicative of language impairment or the normal influence of one language on another. Let’s start by quoting our friend and colleague Kathryn Kohnert that bilingualism does not cause language impairment."

What a relief!! So... now go over and read the rest of the article.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mommy Maestra: Bilingualism and Language Delay

Mommy Maestra: Bilingualism and Language Delay

I have already explained how we are experiencing some interesting issues where bilingualism and learning progress are concerned. While my kids know two languages, they are a little behind in vocabulary and such in the country within which we live. They love English, but are learning well in both languages, considering, I think. I am currently recieving some stress from the Italian pediatrician, teachers and some family members regarding this. I was fine with my kids' delays for so many years, but this year, along with various other trials, I have felt weakened and discouraged by others. So... I was extremely grateful to come across this post, which confirms my feelings on the matter. Please, read this post over at Mommy Maestra. You may also be put at ease if you are going through similar issues. I know I am feeling so much better. :-) Blessings...

Mommy Maestra: Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People {GIVEAWAY}

Mommy Maestra: Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People {GIVEAWAY}

I cannot resist this giveaway. I have recently become aware of and become a fan of this poet, and knowing that I have enjoyed his work as I have, I could not pass up sharing this giveaway with you as well... You very likely will enjoy this blog in general. I do. It is such a fun and pleasant place to visit. Go see...

Caillou CD-ROM And Workbook Giveaway...

I like this Caillou CD-ROM giveaway because it is a multilingual preschool learning program. In her own words, Mommy Maestra says, "Created by Brighter Child, each set features Caillou and comes with a color workbook and a CD-ROM. The three sets are: Colors & Shapes, Alphabet, and Counting. The best part? They are multilingual! The workbooks are written in English and French, and the exercises on the CD-ROM can be played in English, French, or Spanish. They also include the voices of some of the Caillou characters."

The deadline for this giveaway is July 5, 2011 at 11:59 EST.

So There You Go...

Here is a quote I thought was worth sharing regarding bilingualism and aging, especially regarding Alzheimers... It is from an article sent to a blogger friend. Go see... Click Here.

Pizza Box (and other food and product advertising) Art...

I have a thing for taking pictures of pizza box art and other food advertisements here in Italy. Not all are worth sharing, and those I did not capture in photos; but I have taken several pictures throughout the years that I will show you as I find the pictures. This is a view of life in Italy that I do not think most people would think to share, but I hope you enjoy my quirkiness as expressed by these images. :-)





More or less says, Let yourself be conquered by the great tastes of Burger King.


When you come in, say hello. When you leave, mind your own business.


Hilarious!! Tom Cruise, George Clooney, And Brad Pitt...


I did not know that Betty Boop was Latina? ;-)


This means, "Beware of Dog... Owner... And All the family." (too funny!!) We saw this one a friend's neighbor's gate.






Found this discarded cigarette box. Thought it worth sharing for its ironic content. First, the cigarettes are called "Black Devil". If that is not bad enough...


"Il fumo uccide" means, "smoking kills." True, but I think the clincher for most people would be this one...


"Il fumo invecchia la pelle" means, "smoking ages your skin."

All that to to say... Don't smoke, it is bad for your health. The ads say so, even though they are controversial in their everyday pull-people to vs. push-people away.


This pizza box has some famous Italian people, including Totò who is the bottom character.


This is one for the Macelleria (Ma-che-le-ree-ah) A.K.A the butcher shop. I thought it was disgusting, yet interesting. Hence the photo...



A Note Out To Grandparents, In Particular...

Grandparents, never underestimate the memory you create in your grandchildren's minds when you read to them. The memory of being close, your voice as the narrator and reader, the story... all become etched in the space of time; Special and to be treasured always.


My dad and my daughter in September 2010 when they came to visit. Precious memory.