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.

Southern Italy Also Sells Some Things In Bulk...

We know about Sam's Club or other such stores where it is easy to buy in bulk. It is a popular thing in the States, and it is sure helpful for party planning and picnics and the like, but here in Italy, it is not common to find so much bulk in one place. Every once in a while I come across an image that I just have to capture in a photo.

Bulk Size... Broom Handle?...:


Bulk Croissant (Briosce= Bree-oh-she)...taken in September 2010 when my parents came:


Bulk Bread (Pane= pah-ne...):




Bulk Tuna Fish In A Can (Tonno= Toh-sick to the top of mouth n-oh:


Vecchia??? Old???...


Anyone else think this is a little funny? I will now say: I AM NOT OLD! Okay, now to backstep for just a moment. This restaurant not too far from us is called Vecchia (Vek-ee-ah)Taverna, which means Old Tavern. You with me, right? Now, do you not think it awfully odd that old now means 1978??? hahahahahahahahah.... I felt it was... hm... odd, to say the least.

(Now, the food is good, but... if you prefer a relaxed environment, that is not the place to be.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Preschool Science Posts By Mozi Esmè...

This is a fun place for ideas for anyone homeschooling a preschooler or someone who just likes to have lots of ideas ready to keep a preschooler busy. There are lots of ideas, lots of crafts, lots of pictures, and so much more. Click here to see her Home Page. And, here for Motion, Matter, Mitosis, and Me science posts (great name!), which are awfully fun even for older kids, too, I think. :-) I may use some of these ideas for our summer keeping-busy activities. Learning together is always fun. Watching wheels turning in curious minds makes me glad. Being together and making such memories together is so priceless. I did games, experiments, animal studies, and the like, last summer, and it was a wonderful time together. The kids learned a lot, and even the laziest of days ended up being so interesting. I hope this summer will also have many such moments. :-)

Here is the link to her Book Giveaway blog called Winning Readings.

Enjoy browsing... I am sure you will find some fun stuff that you can utilize or pass on to someone else!! Happy Learning, too!!