More Writing, Less Blogging

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It occurs to me that it is almost the end of September and I have not finished the two books I told myself I would publish before the end of the year. So I will slow down the blog posts and focus on writing. One book is the second volume in the Izzy Adventures Series (bilingual books) and the other one is the fourth volume in my How To Homeschool Series, i.e. 101 Tips for Second Grade Homeschooling.

English-Russian cover of Kitten in the Storm

English-Russian cover of Kitten in the Storm

At this point, just in case you are wondering, I should probably mention that, through it all, I am not motivated by money. Here’s a financial tip: if you want to get rich quick, do not take up blogging or writing. I am doing both simply because I enjoy myself in the process. I have the publishing bug, what can I say? Continue reading »

Pushing the Publish button after typing my heart out gives me more thrills than a chocolate eclair. OK, so many not as many, but it’s right up there with vegan banana split topped with locally produced honey or watching the sunrise over the ocean or strolling through the Champs-Élysées. You get the picture.

The second volume of the language series is pretty much written, I just have to review it. The other book is just a little past the planning phase. Nevertheless, I have great hopes to be finished with both by the end of this week, which is our first fall break of the school year. What else am I going to do with my newly acquired vast chasms of time? (Sorry, Thomas Jefferson!)

One of these days I will plop myself on my therapist’s armchair and ask her why I cannot just walk outside my front door and smell the roses. Well, besides living in the mosquito capital of the American South East. Until then, I will be here typing while my children play, still bewildered that they got a whole week off from school.

Expect two blog posts a week for the next foreseeable future until I place the books into the capable hands of my designer. And thanks for reading.


Izzy Language Series – Bilingual Picture Books

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Quick, tell me the last five bilingual books you have read to your children… In my experience, I can’t even think of five titles other than the English-Spanish books we used to find in the Cheerios boxes. If you have never heard of Cheerios, it’s a morning cereal in the USA. Sometimes sponsors will pay for these free books to be inserted in cereal boxes, which I think is a smashing idea.

So… I decided to get a bilingual picture book series going myself, in 10 different bilingual editions, with English being the one language that stays. I have lots of international friends all over the world and many with professional translation skills. I am glad to share with you the first volume in the Izzy Language Series – Kitten in the Storm. For now, I have published the English-Romanian edition on Kindle. Very soon, you will see me promote the Russian, German, and Italian versions.

The first volume of the Izzy Language Series, in the English-Romanian Bilingual Edition

The first volume of the Izzy Language Series, in the English-Romanian Bilingual Edition

Later on, there will be French, Japanese, Mandarin, and Swedish. Last by not least, Korean and Danish will follow. If I receive a request for another language, I will definitely look into it. Just let me know in a comment below. To be clear, these books will all be bilingual editions.

If you have any Romanian friends, by all means, please spread the word. Kitten in the Storm is a heart-warming story which introduces readers to Izzy, a kitten whose adventures will teach children vocabulary in different languages. Paperback versions will also be available later on this summer.

Should you want a cute kitten story for your children’s bedtime reading tonight, feel free to get this one. You don’t even need to own a Kindle. Amazon.com will let you download a Free Kindle Reading App. You can read the English version and the kids can look at the illustrations. You don’t even have to study Romanian… In less than a minute, you could be reading Kitten in the Storm to your children.

Izzy is the name of our cat and these stories are based on true events. In Kitten in the Storm, I tell the story of how Izzy came to know my husband, Matt, and be his pet. The vocabulary covers introductions and greetings – perfect for a first language lesson – as long as you are not an absolute beginner in either language.


Wonderful Wednesday – Cat Nature Study

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We have a cat and we study it almost every day by virtue of sharing our lives with him. The kids have learned how to feed him. They are not coordinated enough to pour water in his bowl. Or, at least, my fear of spills will not allow me to allow them that chore yet. The kids also open the door for the cat to go in and out of the house.

Large male tabby cat

Our 18-lb, 10-year-old male cat, Izzy

Our cat lost its mommy in a storm and stumbled upon somebody’s porch. That somebody knew somebody who knew my husband was a cat lover. My husband took the kitten in and called him Izzy.

One year later, I came along. I am not particularly fond of cats. In fact, I am allergic to cat dander.

My first thought when I saw Izzy was, “I need to tolerate this one.” But I did more than tolerate him. One afternoon, as I was sitting on the couch in the living room, Izzy walked over to me and got into my lap. He started purring and suckling on my pant leg. He thought I was his mommy. He left a wet spot on my pant leg and won me over.

I have written two books about him, but never edited them properly. I had children instead.

We took some magnifying glasses to Izzy’s fur for this particular cat nature study. My son noticed a dried leaf shaped as letter “P” caught in Izzy’s fur. He did not need a magnifying glass for that. With all the catkins outside, our cat is bound to pick up some.

Children observing cat with magnifying glasses

My children observing our cat, Izzy

We made two notebooking pages about Izzy. I gave my daughter a simple blank piece of paper and we glued the cat study topper from the Outdoor Hour Challenge May newsletter. For my son, I printed out the mammal notebooking page from the same blog. I filled both of them out as we talked about cats. My children are still too young to write themselves.

As I read the Handbook of Nature Study to prepare for this lesson, I was surprised to read the recommendation that we train cats not to hunt for birds. I would have thought that a naturalist would want a cat to follow its natural instincts no matter what those may be.

We have seen our cat hunt for mice. We have observed his fear the day after a black bear visited our yard. We have had to deal with putting away dead mice, moles and birds – always daddy’s job. We have had to brush his fur or put up with cat hair on our sofas. Sometimes, both.

I have sneezed many times not realizing I had just sat in our cat’s latest favorite spot.

When the vet diagnosed our cat as a diabetic last year, we could not put him to sleep. Instead, we chose to give him shots.

I do not know how I got the courage to give him his shots, but I did. The kids watched me and daddy as we administered the cat’s shots and were amazed by how passive the cat was. We were, too.

We also fed him less and let him go outside more. Exercise, a leaner diet, plus the insulin shots did the trick.

His blood sugar levels went back down and he did not act as sluggishly as before. He actually got better. The vet declared him healed.

All this to say, we love our cat and study him daily in our homeschool.

For other Wonderful Wednesday nature studies, please click here.