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       Publishing my first picture book--a bucket list item for several years--has given me a chance to reflect on my family heritage and savor times of the past. Publishing during the COVID pandemic, I witnessed how families co-habitated in different ways, many to a slower, simpler pace that I hope will continue. 

       A goal of mine is to inspire questions and opportunities for conversations with adult and children. Young family members need that sense of belonging and the confidence that comes from understanding their family's connections. That's why I included a list of questions for young and old to discuss together.

      Life was not always easy as Olga Agnes (my real-life mother and main character in One of Thirteen) experienced in her large family growing up in the 1940s.

       Being one of thirteen children to Russian immigrant parents in the small hamlet of Maplewood (near Watervliet, NY), my cousins and I often heard hardship stories of the past. Some of those stories, I'm sure, were embellished over the years. Through her 89 years of life, Olga maintained her love, gratitude, and pride being one of thirteen children in one family. 

       It's safe to assume the face of families are changing, but the same important family values remain

-- unconditional love, care, protection, support, encouragement, teaching right and wrong.

       I’m extremely grateful for my immediate family as a wife, mother, and grandmother. Living in upstate New York, I am inspired by many great picture book authors, nature, along with the creative world around us. In my spare time, you might find me trying new recipes, dragon boating, playing pickleball, or traveling. I enjoy my day job working with third and fourth graders as a Teaching Assistant and proud to be a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

       One of Thirteen (ages 5-10) is the first book in a One of Thirteen series about Olga and her adventures with her brothers and sisters.

2021 -- Hello and Welcome New Year!!

 

Change is such a big part of life.  Seek positivity, since we tend to find what we’re looking for.  Don’t give up on hope in the new year.  Don’t let fear take over (easier said than done). Put faith in God for only he knows what is to come.  Find joy in each day .

Reflecting and trying to keep a grateful spirit in 2020, below are some of my personal highlights.  This is what I usually do at the beginning of a new year. To read, click on "2020 Reflections" below.  We seem to forget so quickly from year to year the many good things in our life (doubt we'll forget 2020 though).   This too, I hope will be passed down to future generations of my family.