How to have Bilingual Story Time at Home

bilingualstorytimepicturebookespanol
Bilingual Story Time Tips

It was 8 a.m. this morning when we gathered around the table to eat our freshly baked Dutch Pancake that had just come out of the oven. In the background, I could hear one of my boys giggling that we were going to have dessert to start the day, another one passing out napkins, all while the baby was saying “mama, mama,” his favorite word these days (which I love hearing!).

It was raining, the door was open, and soon after saying Grace, I served them a slice of ‘dessert’ (the morning joke) topped with bananas and honey, and a glass of milk. We talked about the weather, rain for the third day in a row, plans for the day, and the usual taste test they do at meal time. They often like to pretend they are in a cooking show as the judges. They are so funny.

When we were close to finishing the meal, I pulled out the picture book planned for this morning’s reading aloud time. This morning we read a bilingual picture book called I Want My Banana! Quiero Mi Plátano! part of the I Can Read Spanish – Story Book Series.

For breakfast we were eating the “dessert” with bananas. One of my children said, “hey! the book is about bananas, just like what we are eating!” It is so cute when they make connections between what they are reading or hearing and what they are actually doing.

The fact that we were eating bananas made the picture book so much more authentic, especially because one of the goals of the book is to teach children to make offers and accept an offer in Spanish.

  • ¿Quieres comer un plátano? Do you want to eat a banana?
  • ¿Quiero comer un plátano. I want to eat a banana.

We were able to extend this short dialogue to offering other fruits and vegetables. It also paved the way to changing the verb and asking

  • “¿Quieres salir?”      Do you want to go out?
  • “¿Quieres dormir?” Do you want to sleep?

 

There are many aspects of the language that can be learned through a bilingual book. I consider the following points.

bilingual-read-aloud
Bilingual Read Aloud English and Spanish

 

How to Use a Bilingual Picture Book

  1. Read all the way through in one language. Then read it again another time in the target language (Spanish).
  2. Take turns reading the book. Have a parent or another person read the parts in the second language.
  3. Decide teaching objectives. Read the book, before introducing it to the children, find out what aspects of the language could be learned from this book. Such as:
    • question formats
    • adjectives
    • singular/plural
    • verbs
  4. Make connections. Make the book real to them equals making the language come to life. Use props or real elements to illustrate the story. For example, I had real bananas at the table, so each of my children could ask the other one Quieres comer un plátano? Quieres comer lechuga? (Do you want to eat lettuce?)
  5. Plan an activity. Be intentional and plan for ways you want the children to use this new piece of the language they are acquiring from reading this story. You will want this activity to be as authentic as possible so they can see a real need to use the language.

 

Because my children have been exposed to English and Spanish since birth, I was able to read the story completely on my own.

How to Read a Bilingual Picture Book

  1. Draw observations. Look at the cover, ask the children to tell you what they see. What objects/animals do they see? What is happening on this picture? What are the expressions they see on the people or animals? Are they happy or sad?
  2. Read the title. Read the title in English and Spanish.  My children asked right away if the story was going to be in both languages, to which I replied si (yes) .
  3. Make predictions. I find that asking the children to make predictions at the beginning or throughout the story keeps them engaged. Ask: ¿Qué crees que sucederá después? What do you think will happen later?
  4. Vocabulary. I usually let my children infer the meaning of new vocabulary based on context. Usually they understand it. Other times, I read the sentence as is and I might give them a synonym in Spanish to the new vocabulary word.  I also tell them to repeat the new word, usually after reading the story.
  5. Feel free to read it in ONE language. Pick the target language. There are times when I pick up the book and I only read it in Spanish. This way, I am able to ask them comprehension questions and let them ask questions about the story so that I can know how much they can comprehend.

 

¿Qué Piensas? How do you read Bilingual books in your home? What tips do you have? Please share in the comments. 

 

 

 

Nos vemos,

 

Fabi
    

Five Spanish phrases I can’t live without

muletillasImage source

 

Being bilingual has lots of perks like being able to know more than one way to say something. However, there are certain filler words or muletillas  that I just hold on to a little more tight than others just because they are part of my culture. A lot of times I catch myself wanting to throw them into the conversation, intentionally or not, mainly because they are just part of the way I talk and part of who I am based on the fact that my first language is Spanish and that I lived in Chile for part of my life.

Although at times I can get away with it, like when I speak with other bilingual friends from Chile or when I say them around some of my monolingual friends who have been around me for so long that they know the meaning of some of these words and phrases by now. Por si acaso (just in case) you are reading this blog, kudos to you!

Bueno (Well) I really like to say these words (muletillas or filler words) because they add more meaning (or sabor – flavor) to the conversation.  In my opinion, these words add spice to the conversation. Perhaps it has something to do with the intonation used when saying them.

Here is my list, I am really curious to hear what Spanish fillers or slang you really want to say when speaking in English. Let me know in the comments.

  1. no cierto? Literally, it means “isn’t it true?” I use this phrase a lot, usually to imply agreement.  For example, it was such a nice day at the beach and the water was just perfect! no cierto?  In English, I just say “right?” in place of no cierto?
  2. a ver – Literally, it means “let’s see” I usually say this when we are about to make a plan or when we need to coordinate something. For example, “a ver, what is the plan for the weekend?”
  3. pucha – My college roommate pointed out how much I said ‘pucha‘ long before I realized I said so much! Pucha means “bummer”. For example “pucha, I’m sorry you can’t come!” or “Pucha, hope you feel better!”
  4. si po – The poh is traditional of Chilean Spanish, so as far as I know it is only used there. If you are traveling to Chile and want to sound fluent, jump on the wagon and say ‘poh’ at the end of your sentences.  “Si po” means ‘yeah’ like a Chilean.
  5. o sea – Literally, it means “that is”. I think this is one of those convenient words that I like to say, because I can just say one word to mean “that is”.  O sea is used as a way to clarify a precedent idea or rephrase a sentence. For example, they are coming on Thursday, osea in two days.

 

What words do you want to say in Spanish when you speak English? What advice do you have for when you want to say them and can’t? What other words would you add to this list?

Nos vemos See you soon!

Fabi

 

Want to learn more Spanish slang and idioms? Check out these books and reference guide:
                 

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Favorite Spanish Nursery Rhymes

When we brought our first bundle of joy home, my natural mami instinct was to sing nursery rhymes to my baby. I remember learning these songs from a young age, next to my Mamá and my Abuelita. These songs brought many smiles to our faces when we would take turns singing them or when we would sing them along a tape I used to have.

Throughout the years I have been teaching these nursery rhymes to my children to expose them to Spanish. Below you can find 4 benefits that I believe have helped them learn Spanish through music.

Use Nursery Rhymes to Teach Spanish

Benefits of using Nursery Rhymes to Teach Spanish or Any Language

 

  1. Music is catchy! – It is easy to learn a new language when we can learn to say new words and sentences in a quickly manner. It builds confidence! We want our children to build confidence with their language skills and this is exactly what nursery rhymes do. Due to the catchy tunes, we often catch our children repeating the same songs which in turn helps them build language skills.
  2. Benefits the Brain – Many of these songs contain repetitive lines which helps to teach how language works in our brains. It helps make the connection of how words are put together to form sentences with agreeing verbal tenses and articles. In other words, it helps to teach grammar in a natural way.
  3. Shares tradition – In this case, it is all about passing language and sharing cultural traditions. In other words, these nursery rhymes were sung by me, my mama, grandmother, and great-grandmother. These songs are passed from one-generation to another. Usually before singing a nursery rhyme, I often share a story that goes along with the song. For example: “I remember one time my Abuelita was singing this song to me when I was little girl.” Or “my uncle always sang Arroz con Leche to me when we took a walk together.” These memories are associated to these songs which in turn creates an emotional bond to the language used in sharing the memory and the nursery rhyme.
  4. Social Activity – We like to sing nursery rhymes as a group and we like to do the motions together. There are times when I find my children taking the lead on singing a nursery rhyme like Las Manitos and teaching another child how to do the hand motions for it.

 

Spanish Nursery Rhymes: 

 

  1. Las Manitos
  2. Cucú Cantaba la Rana
  3. Los Pollitos Dicen
  4. Un Elefante
  5. Arroz con Leche
  6. Caballito Blanco
  7. Corre el Anillo
  8. Tengo una Muñeca Vestida de Azul
  9. Pimpón
  10. Que Llueva, Que Llueva

 

In a separate post I will include the lyrics and a video/activity that will go along with each song to teach Spanish. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, you will find it very easy and catchy to learn these nursery rhymes along with your children.

What is your favorite Spanish Nursery Rhyme? Share in the comments! 

 

Enjoy! Music is a great way to learn a new language!

Fabi

 

 

Sausage and Spinach Quiche

sausage and spinach quiche

 

Sausage and Spinach Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 1 1/2 packages of mild sausage
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups of cheese
  • salt and pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Grease baking pan and heat up oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Roll out crescents dough from the can and lay it on the baking pan. This will be your base for the quiche.
  3. Cook sausage in the sauteeing pan (this is my favorite pan).
  4. Remove sausage, set aside, and cook spinach until wilted in the pan.
  5. Beat 12 eggs in a separate mixing bowl and add a bit of milk, salt, and pepper. You can also add a bit of chili pepper to the eggs if you would like. Totally optional.

 

Time to assemble:

Lay your sausage on the crescents dough, pour your egg mixture, and then add your spinach. Top it with cheese. Bake it at 375 degrees for about 23-25 minutes. Until it looks golden and the eggs are fully cooked.

Enjoy this dish with your favorite sauce if desire, we like Salsa Valentina around here, and a cup of cold milk.

Happy cooking!

 

~ Fabi

This post contains affiliate links. These are items available through Amazon or other vendors. Commissions are earned when purchasing a product at no additional cost to you. The commissions allows me to continue blogging and providing while still being a stay-at-home-mom. Thank you for your support! 

Classic Croissants at Home

Favorite Tools for Cooking Healthy Foods

Today I want to share with you what I am using in my kitchen to cook healthy foods for our family in the most effective way possible. We look at it as an investment, whatever we are putting into it now will help us save big in the future. Our children will learn healthy eating habits and we will be taking care of our own health as well.

There are certain tools that I believe can be used in a variety of ways, think outside the box to make some pretty awesome, refreshing, energizing recipes. Healthy eating can be a lot of fun and really tasty! I promise.

  1. Spiralizer 

The Spiralizer is a machine that allows us to cut any vegetable or fruit into long spirals using any of the four different blades. It is very easy to clean, lightweight, easy to store, sturdy, and BPA-free.  It can be used to make zucchini noodles or zoodles like the picture below, carrots, sweet potatoes, or even apples. This machine is soooo easy to use! Even my 7 year old has used it to make noodles.

 

zucchini noodles bowl

Recipe: Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Chick Peas Garbanzos and Fried Egg

 

2. Blender 

Originally, I had started making green smoothies using an Oster blender that my Mom gave me. It worked pretty well for making simple banana, spinach, water or milk smoothies. However, once I started getting more into it and I wanted to use apples, oats, frozen fruit… the blender broke! I have actually broken 2 Oster blenders not because they were bad, but because these weren’t made for the heavy duty work I needed.

So the Hubs got me a Ninja blender this year. I AM IN LOVE. It is the BEST blender I have ever, ever owned. Oh my word. What took me so long?!?! I make all sorts of things in it. It is great for all kinds of smoothies, nice cream, and sauces, and blender muffins.

I love that the Ninja comes with the all-powerful blender, two single serve cups, and a food processor. It really is the full package.

Ninja Blender

Quick & Delicious: Make the Most of Your Blender
from: Craftsy

3. Stainless steel pots and pans

As far as pots and pans, I have upgraded to using stainless steel with copper bottoms. They work really well and it’s really easy to clean. Plus they look nice, lol. Being serious, though, stainless steel cooks the food better. Tefflon can actually bring off unhealthy fumes to the food.  We got this set last Christmas on clearance, with two additional coupons at Macy’s. These are the best pots and pans I’ve ever had!

4. Cast iron skillets

Lastly, I also make use of our cast iron pan and grill. There are several benefits, but these four here are the mains ones for me.

  1. great for searing meat
  2. very durable
  3. can be used on stove and oven
  4. it doesn’t need soap for washing —save some $ here!
  5. it transfers iron into the food (this is really good!!!!)

grilling

Craftsy has a class on How to cook with an iron skillet (currently 25% off). It teaches how to make flatbreads, one pan meals, stewing, and most importantly, how to cook vegetables. Check it out below:


Cooking With Cast Iron

veggie cast iron

 

 

With just a few appliances, like the ones mentioned above, you can make a variety of healthy foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner, even baked goods. These are my personal recommendations. I only share what I truly think is good and effective.

 

What are your favorite tools for cooking healthy foods at home? Let me know in the comments below.

 

See you soon,

Fabi

You might be interested in the following classes by Craftsy:

 

This post contains affiliate links. These are items available through Amazon or other vendors. Commissions are earned when purchasing a product at no additional cost to you. The commissions allows me to continue blogging and providing while still being a stay-at-home-mom. Thank you for your support! 

How to Teach Children to Eat Fruits and Vegetables

I am so conscientious of the fact that we must eat a healthy diet consisting of plenty of fruits and vegetables. That the food we eat is more than to satisfy our hunger (and hanger!) but also to give us some serious nourishment. Therefore,  cooking and learning to make healthy foods that include vegetables are top priority for me. I feel like it’s so important that I teach my children how to eat healthy and that eating healthy does taste good in order for them to continue doing so when they grow up and have their own families.

How to teach Children to Eat Healthy?

how to get kids to eat healthy

1.Talk about the types of vitamins and minerals included in fruits and vegetables. Talk about how these foods are good for us and how that helps us.

For example, we are eating carrots which is a good source of vitamin K, B6, and it’s also really good for our eyes. Or we are eating bananas which is loaded in potassium, it helps our hearts.

I often use my phone and just look up “lettuce vitamin” and then I read the information to the kids. It’s really convenient and we all get to learn why it is important to eat what we are eating.

Go ahead and teach them how to say the names of the fruits and vegetables in different languages. My son one time said “I don’t like bananas.” I was very surprised by this statement, until he said “I like plátanos!”

2. Talk about how fruits ad vegetables are grown and harvested.

Use YouTube, library books and talk about how vegetables are grown. There are so many videos available that show people planting and harvesting their own vegetables.

3. Plant Fruits ans Vegetables at Home

Whether you have a large or small space, make use of it. You can grow tomatoes even in a small patio! Start out with herbs, plant your seeds or get a small plant from a local store to continue growing some herbs at home. Have your children water them, care for them, and cut a few leaves here and there when you need them for cooking. They will be so proud of themselves for being able to eat something from their very own garden!

3. Take them to a field to harvest fruits and vegetables.

picking fresh fruit

Even if you can’t have your own garden, there are many places all around where you can go and pick your own fruits and vegetables. It is such a fun family activity. A great time to put the phones away, disconnect, and connect! It’s really bonding activity and you get to find food for your home.

This year we have gone to pick organic strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. It’s been quite the experience! Find out what is in season and find a location near you. Enjoy your time together!

4. Cook with fruits and vegetables throughout the day – even for snacks!

baked oatmeal berries banana.jpg

You can include as many fruits and vegetables into meals as you’d like. One of my favorite things about vegetables is the variety of colors available in different peppers and fruits! It makes a dish look so pretty. Make smoothies or serve veggies with a dip and you are good to go. Just put it at the table and they will come!

Go here to see my family’s favorite healthy snacks.

5. Allow children to help cook with fruits and vegetables.

One can wash veggies, one can peel, and another one can use a spiralizer. Everyone can have fun! Keep in mind their abilities and adult supervision.

6. Model Healthy Eating – Lead by Example! 

vive sano vive fresco

Like the Chilean saying says “Hay que comenzar en casa”. We have to start at home. I have to make sure I am intentional about the way I eat too. I could spend all day talking to them about eating this or that. BUT if they don’t see me doing it, will it make a difference? Probably not. We must model eating healthy so they can also do it.

Chime in: How do you teach your children to eat fruits and vegetables? What would you add to the list?

If you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends and pin it! Thank you!

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How to Keep a Prayer Journal

 

prayer journal

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This year I decided to write down my prayer requests in a prayer journal. I’m quite fond of notebooks, so I like to use a lined notebook, a Bic pen,  and Sharpie pen for underlining and doodling on my Bible and journal.  By the way, these Sharpies are great for writing on the Bible since they don’t bleed through the pages and they come in fine point.

How to keep a prayer journal?

  1. Write in Detail: Although we know God knows, we can write down a detailed situation or prayer request. Writing it down helps me organize my thoughts and sentiments regarding prayer requests.
  2. Record the Date: It helps me to see how God is moving, perhaps He is answering in a way that is different from what I would expect but writing down the date helps me to see that He is indeed at work and that He is doing something whether is the way I would hope or not.
  3. Scripture: Write down the verses and Bible stories that you see God using to speak to you. God and the Holy Spirit use Scripture to help you, encourage you so that you know that He is with you.
  4. Record Updates: This is related to number 2. Write down how you see God moving. Write down what happened or what didn’t happen.
  5. Writing down in a journal is another way to lay it down at His Feet.  It really helps me remember that I am not in control, because God is overseeing everything. Sometimes, it is so easy to want to be in control or not do anything because of fear…but when I am writing it down my requests, I am realizing that there are things that are just beyond anything I can do.

 

Keeping a prayer journal helps me to remember that I need to be still and wait upon the Lord.  -Fabiola W. 

The purpose in keeping a prayer journal is so that it can serve as a reminder of God’s faithfulness. It is helpful to look back on different life experiences and really see how the Lord worked those situations out.

I encourage you to keep a journal, to talk to the Lord and be open with Him. You will be soon be on your way to discovering how God will answer your prayers!

Fabi

What we read this week and Reviews- April Week 3

In April we focused on reading books related to nutrition and eating healthily.  Below are some of our favorites this month.

Read Aloud:

  1. The Complete Tales & Poems of Winnie the PoohThe Complete Tales & Poems of Winnie the Pooh: We read several stories from this book, the Heffalump one was a favorite. It also has poems in the back. We read those and used a couple for copywork.

Preschool Picture Books:

  1. Pie Rats Ahoy – I will definitely check out more books about pirates from now on.
  2. If You Give A Mouse a Cookie – Such a cute story, a classic. This is a great story for teaching sequence and cause and effect.
  3. Si le Das una Galletita a un Raton – Of course, we had to read it in Spanish. It helps to build vocabulary and work on comprehension skills when reading a story in two languages.

Science:

  1. Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition  – This book will offer a great introduction to eating healthy for children. My kids were especially fond of the page regarding the digestive system. They were amazed to know there are two intestines with distinctive functions.
  2. Sylvia’s Spinach – Sylvia’s seeds are the last ones to sprout and she doesn’t like spinach either. Very cute story about patience, diligence, and learning to eat a new vegetable.

First Grader Independent Reading:

Chapter Books

  1. Amelia Bedelia Means Business – This book is based on young Amelia Bedelia. My daughter absolutely loved this one and had her laughing really hard.
  2. Disney Fairies Fairy Tales a Treasury – Build reading comprehension and confidence when children read familiar stories. My daughter loves the Tinker Bell movies so reading this book was very fun for her.

Have you read any of these books? What did you read this week?

Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Chickpeas Garbanzo – Vegetarian Recipe

zucchini noodles bowl.jpg

 

I’m on a quest for eating healthier and using more vegetables and fresh fruits on daily basis. I have doubled (if not tripled!) my consumption of fresh foods and I am already seeing some amazing results. I have been feeling much better and I am craving sugar much less than I used to. I’m working on making healthier choices and being conscientious of HOW I am nourishing my body.

This week I made this dish using a spiralizer, a machine that helps you cut ANY vegetable into noodles. I love, love, love pasta I just don’t like how full and uncomfortable I feel after eating a whole plate. I mean, it puts me ready for a nap!!!! I want to be able to eat and feel like I can go on with my day.

This dish includes some of my favorite and most nourishing foods: pulses (garbanzos – chickpeas), vegetables, and eggs.

I want food to nourish me to the core. 

Roasted Garbanzos with Zucchini Noodles Recipe

Ingredients:

2 Zucchinis

1 1/2 cup salad mix (spinach)

1 cup garbanzos (drained and roasted)

1 egg

Valentina sauce

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven at 400.
  2. Drain and soak the chickpeas/garbanzos to remove the peeling.
  3. Spread garbanzos and sprinkle with oil (very little). Sprinkle favorite seasoning, I used seasoned salt and cilantro.
  4. Bake for about 30 min.
  5. Broil for 8-10min.

Definitely keep an eye on the garbanzos and check them often.

6. Spiralize the zucchini into noodles. Sautee noodles for about 3 minutes. Do not season and do not peel zucchini.

7. Fry egg or cook over medium. Runny egg yoke is the goal here.

8. Assemble.

Salad, zucchini noodles, fried egg, and garbanzos. Pour Valentina sauce. Enjoy.

 

Eating healthier is so worth it and very simple. Let me know when you try this dish.

Happy eating!

Fabi

 

 

Favorite YouTube Channels to Teach Spanish for Kids

 

youtube channels to teach spanish


One of the main reasons I homeschool is so that we can teach our children Spanish. We want them to learn Spanish as well as develop fluency in the language. It is imperative for us that they learn it and they get to hear it on a daily basis. Besides family and us, we have to make sure to include it during our day too. This is why I use YouTube for teaching Spanish, it exposes them to authentic use of the language and creates opportunities for us to discuss games and traditions and memories from our early years with them that could be related to one of the songs or stories we show them from YouTube.

I have picked most videos based on songs that I remember from my childhood. Many times, I’ll share something I remember about it and then show them the video. Children can pick up songs so easily, they’ll be humming and repeating the words in no time. For example, the song Cucu Cantaba la Rana used to come in a happy birthday cassette my mom had for me. Or Topo Gigio’s songs which I used to listen to before going to sleep in my early childhood and now one of my kids loves.

Most videos are short about 3 minutes or so. I pick songs that are fun, catchy, or that sound cute. Any song that gets them to move around and dance like Chuchua by Piñon Fijo also becomes  a keeper. If they have a question about a word, we pause the video to tell them the word if needed.

Because I tend to choose songs, most videos will contain repetitive vocabulary which will ease the process of learning the language. I find that the videos by A Tiempo Preescolar have the most repetitive and predictable vocabulary that comes up through the different songs, games, and stories.

Below are my preferred YouTube channels for teaching Spanish:

  1. A Tiempo Preescolar: This is a Chilean channel with a lot of catchy songs, stories, and games for the children to play. My children really enjoy Perro Chocolo’s songs and Josefina’s stories.  Definitely check out this channel. This is currently our favorite channel!
  2. Luna Creciente: I use this channel mainly to watch videos of the Mono Silabo, a puppet that teaches how to read in Spanish. If you are in the begining stages of reading or want to reinforce some syllables, check this out.
  3. Once Niños: Mexican channel with different series such as Monstruario where the children talk and give a description of the monster. Each description comes accompanied with an image. This would be a fun series to watch. Perhaps, have your children draw monsters first; or have them hear the descriptions, pause the video, and have them draw what the description they just heard.
  4. Biper y sus Amigos: This channel has the most contagious songs for children in Spanish. We love all of them, especially Mami, Los Abuelos, Lavarse los Dientes, and several more.  These songs will make learning new vocabulary a breeze! All their songs are also available through Amazon.
  5. El Reino Infantil: This channel has some cute songs for preschoolers like La Araña Chiquitita or La Lombriz.
  6. Cuentacuentos Beatriz Montero: This channel has riddles and classic stories told by Beatriz Montero. She is well known in Spain for her storytelling skills.

My children are really into cooking, these are some of the channels we have watched to learn to cook while hearing Spanish.

  • Mis Pastelitos:  Great way to expand vocabulary on giving directions, imperative tense, and food vocabulary.  The recipes look so yummy too!
  • Quiero Cupcakes: More recipes to make oh-so-yummy desserts and learn Spanish along the way!

Cuentame: What are your favorite YouTube channels for teaching Spanish to your children? Let me know in the comments. 

If you found this post useful, let your friends know about it and send them this way so they can also teach Spanish to their children.

 

Fabi

 

 

 

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