Sunday, December 20, 2009


  •  Why do the schools have holiday parties that consist of sugar, sugar, sugar & more sugar?  Erin came home from school Friday in tears.  She just can't tolerate so much sugar.  The stuff makes most people go haywire & hyper.  Erin crashes into a state of exhaustion.  It's ridiculous that they do this - to both the children & the parents.
  • Why are most of the crafts during these parties centered around Christmas?  Do they not realize that there are other holidays?  Erin got to make so many Christmas crafts that even she was pissed off.  The only thing they did for Chanukah was to make - yes, you got it, an edible dreidel  - pure sugar.  But she did come home with a Christmas cookie & a Christmas ornament.  What about Kwanzaa?  What about Diwali?  If the schools don't know enough about these holiday, then they need to get educated.  Erin finally put her foot down in the cookie decorating class.  When her teacher gave her a Christmas tree cookie to decorate, she gave it back, told them she is Jewish & where is her dreidel cookie to decorate.  (They didn't have too many of those!)
  • Why do people think email thank yous are alright?  As a child, my teachers always sent handwritten thank you cards for the gifts we gave them.  My mother saved them for me, & they are in a momento book that I still have.  Erin's teachers all thanked her by email - as if she is allowed to have an email account at 7 years old.  What happened to the art of sending the thank you by mail in your own handwriting?  It's no wonder children have such horrendous handwriting these days!
  • Why is it that this time of year, when everyone should be in a good mood, most people are grumpy?   The economy has nothing to do with it either because I've noticed it for years.
  • Why is it that Erin throws more tantrums during Winter Break than at any other time?  I know that she needs her routine & schedule to be precise so even though she goes to the JCC for camp, I drop her off at the same time, & David picks her up at the same time.  She still gets unruly which makes me nuts.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The 4th Night: OR All Caught Up!

It depends upon how you look at it.  I felt that I had to catch up with my lack of blogging since I got my new camera.  After this, I can go on as usual.

Tonight is the 4th night of Chanukah.  I didn't think Erin could get any more excited.  I was wrong.

Waiting for permission to open her gift.

Woo Hoo!!! I LOVE this!!

This is the BEST present ever Mama & Dada!

This DSi was a hit! I guess we didn't have to get her everything else.  Ha!

Chanukah: The Fun Continues

Our friends Lori & Marc don't have enough on their plate.  They had to mix it up a bit & throw a Chanukah party for the DD & their buddies.  Erin was more excited about the party than she has been about her gifts.

Our wonderful hostess Lori

Grace prepared this yummy brie!
I'll be trying this for New Year's Eve I think.  It went so fast we had to remember to save some for Lori!

How could you not want to try this yumminess!?

A beautiful Chanukah feast!

A bubble wrap dance contest.
Only Marc could come up with this!

The grab bag pile.  The children were waiting quite impatiently to start this activity!

When I was but a young child, this game was called "Kerplunk!"
We got home, & Erin tore right into it.  Lots of fun!

Lighting candles for the 3rd night.

Enjoying some latkes made fresh by David!

Oh my! More presents!?
Yes.  Another set of Star Wars Legos.

The 2nd Night of Chanukah

We went to my in-laws for a Chanukah brunch.  Erin looks forward to lunch with her Grandma & Grandpa.  She knows there will be plenty of bagels & lox.  Today, there were also presents!

These 3 have a mutual fan club going on.  My in-laws adore Erin, & she adores them.

She loves the new DS games Grandma & Grandpa got her!

The 2nd night at home lighting our newest Chanukah menorah.

Erin loved these 2 CDs from her godsister Kerri.
(Ssshhhh!!! She doesn't know that Kerri sent her more stuff.  It's hidden away!)

On the First Night of Chanukah . . .

Erin got quite a large box!

 Doesn't David look thrilled?

You think she's excited?

 It wasn't even set up!

Personalized just the way she wanted!

Apparently it is quite the comfy couch!

Because she knew the couch was going to be one of her presents, Erin asked if she could open a 2nd gift.  This isn't the norm for us.  We usually stick to 1 gift each night, but what the hay! We went for it.

She loves to open gifts.  No dainty unwrapping here!

More Star Wars Legos!

Pics from the new camera

I've been having a hard time figuring out how to use my camera.  David was insistent that I get a new one this year.  I ended up deciding upon the Nikon D60.  We got a great buy & all the doodads that came with it terrify me!

When it arrived, they had forgotten to pack the 18-55 lens.  Oops!  The business I purchased the camera from was pretty shocked that they had left it out, but they were pretty prompt in getting it to me.  When the box arrived, David put the lens on so that I could start taking pictures, but he only uploaded the software for me yesterday.

Tonight I uploaded all of the pics! All 357 of them.  I deleted quite a few since, well, wow, they stunk!  David & I differ in how we approach things.  He goes with the flow.  I need to learn everything first & then start using my toys.  We had a war.  He won.  I started taking pics & don't have a clue as to what I'm doing.  I'll figure it out, but in the meantime I'm having fun. 

Lots of practice is needed, but here's where I've started.

Lovin' the camera!

Troi is still pretty ticked off that she isn't the only pet in our house!

Don't let his innocent face fool you! He's taking over the house.

Star is always looking for an angle, hoping for pizza or sushi.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It's Not Your Mother's . . .

. . . Avon.

My friend Lori has taken on yet another venture.  She's just not busy enough with all that she does for her family & friends.  Somehow, she managed to squeeze in a few more minutes in her day to do more! No one is surprised.  When Lori decides to do something, she doesn't waste a single minute.  She grabs life by the horns & runs with it. 

A few days ago, Lori opened her very own online store.  She has some wonderful deals & is doing lots of fun give aways.  Go on.  Take a few minutes & peek around.  You're going to be surprised.  Today's Avon is not the same as what our mother's were used to.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

My Thanksgiving Table

For those of you who don't believe we cook, here's our proof.  No Boston Market here!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Chanukah is coming!

And I am just not ready!

The presents are here but unwrapped.  With all the crazy hours I'm working, & with Erin's constant need to have either David or myself with her, there has been no time at all.  I haven't gotten the chance to take a picture for our card.  I'm really late with this since Chanukah starts Friday night.  However, I do have an idea that is kind of neat.  I just have to set it up.  I may have to have David take Erin to karate this week so I can wrap presents.  Then I'll need to find time to take a few pictures.

Wow! I've never been this far behind before!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

Started with this.  'Cause you know nothin' would have happened without it!

Decorated the table with Crafts by Erin

Set the mood with this yummy candle!
Mia Bella's Hot Orange Danish (Think orange tootsie pop.)

Had a quick snack for energy.

Got down to this.

Erin enjoyed cracking the eggs.  No shells in here!

Dishing it up.

Overfilled the pans.

It would have helped if I'd paid attention & greased the pans but alas, this was an exercise in fun with Erin.  After we discovered this problem, we went out for a light lunch since we eat pretty late in our house.  David & I decided to go shopping & pick up a few last minutes items for our meal.

When we got home, I set the table so we could enjoy some relaxation before David started cooking.  He prepared a wonderful meal for us - Cornish game hens, stuffing, roasted potatoes & onion, mashed sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn on the cob, salad & crescent rolls followed by a quick apple crisp for dessert.

The table looked so lovely that David decided to capture it on his camera.  And, if I knew where the darn camera was, I'd have uploaded pics.  Oh well. 

In the end, this is what I am thankful for.  Each & every day.

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's Just a Camera

So why can't I decide which one I want? 

I'm getting a new camera for Chanukah.  It's time.  I'm looking for more out of my pictures than I've been getting lately, & my camera isn't up to the task.  David just wants me to choose one.  The problem?  He's a Nikon guy for as long as I know him.

I've been a Canon girl for as long as I've been in the digital world.  Trust me, it isn't that long.  When I got my first Canon, it was what we could afford.  Barely.  I loved my Canon.  It's just that now the Canon I think I want is really expensive & may be more than I'm ready for.

Canon EOS - The Rebel

 But this is a very expensive camera, & I don't have it in me to spend that kind of money on myself.  That said, we found this little beauty with the help of Viv's niece Jessica.

The Canon SX20 IS

But then, there's the Nikon that is not quite as expensive as the Rebel & has features I'm interested in.

The Nikon D60

So.  What's a girl to do?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month. 

For most people that doesn't mean anything.  Not a cotton darn picking thing.  In my family?  It's a big deal.  For many of my friends, it's also a big deal.

It was 1986 when I found out that biological children would never be in my future.  After grieving for a while, I (as my dear friend Lisa says) put on my big girl panties, sucked it up  & moved on. 

Adoption wasn't a foreign word to me.   It isn't that I knew anyone who told the world that he/she was adopted.  It just wasn't a foreign concept to me.  After all, who hasn't grown up watching Shirley Temple in The Little Princess?  Or Heidi?  Come on.  Face it.  Adoption was pretty hush hush back then.  Now, lo these many years later, we shout "Adoption" from the rooftops.  Now adoption is a topic to be dealt with.  Those of us fortunate to be adoptive parents tend to be pretty open about it - especially if you have adopted internationally.  Let's face it.  Many of our children don't resemble us. 

Anyway, this is our month to celebrate.  We celebrate our families.  We celebrate how our families came about.  We celebrate our friends & their families.  This group, this clique, if you will, is different.  We understand each other.  We know how important adoption is & why.   We know the stress of the journey.  We know the stress of trying to come up with the money involved because unlike a biological child, there is no insurance to help defray the costs involved. 

We know that somewhere out there are birthparents who for whatever the reason, gave up their child.  Forget the bureaucracy.  Forget the paperwork.  These children are what it's all about. 

Happy National Adoption Month to all of my family & friends!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bubbles = Giggles

After a yummy dinner prepared at Chez Publix, David ran a bath for me so I could destress. 

When I walked into the bathroom, there were bubbles.  Let me rephrase that.  There were bubbles everywhere!  I love bubble baths but never take the time to treat myself.  Lately, it's been an in & out sort of shower or bath with no time to relax.  Tonight my guy made sure I took the time.

Erin came in to sit with me & have our evening chat.  She saw the bubbles & was immediately delighted.  The smile on her face was pure joy.  So I got to sit in the tub, relax & watch my girl as she played in the bubbles, giggling uncontrollably as she blew bubbles everywhere.  The cats both ran for the hills!

I only wish I'd had my camera with me so I could have captured the joy on her face.  Then again, the world is probably a happier place because I didn't.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Teamwork is Working Together

Every once in a while, I come up with a lesson that really gets the kids moving.  I'm working with a new teacher this year so I'm trying to change up the same ole lessons.  Thankfully Motti is up for almost anything.

The Tower of Babel is a great Bible story.  I can still remember learning the story of how all the different languages in the world were brought about because people didn't understand how to work together.  Considering I went to an Orthodox yeshiva (think Jewish parochial school), I got a lot out of these stories  rather than the rote memorization that was expected.

Now it's my turn to be the teacher.  I get to come up with all kinds of lessons around the Bible, teach Hebrew & in general show children that school can be fun - even on a Sunday morning.  My classroom is an interesting place to be.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm all about organization & not chaos.  I like peace & quiet.  My class is very different.  I like to think of it as "organized chaos."  Even the teen volunteers enjoy working with me & my students.

Anyway, today's Bible story has so many themes, but the lesson I like to work with is teamwork.  Motti was up for anything, or so he thought.  Remember that the theme of the day was "teamwork."  After our individual Hebrew lessons, we joined our classes.  I read the story Tower of Babel aloud to the children.  After that we did a word search on the board.  The children needed to volunteer to find a word, but if they needed help, the rest of the team helped out.  After the story, we had the children do a team exercise.  They had to build their own tower together.  However, they weren't allowed to talk - no speech.  Nothing.  Zip.  It was a lot of fun to watch!

After building our tower, we went to visit the art exhibit the synagogue is holding.  The students were told that they were going on a scavenger hunt in groups.  They were given a sheet with a list of questions that had them looking for things in the art.  At the end of our scavenger hunt, they had a session with the school director who asked all kinds of questions.  Because they had worked in teams all morning long, they were prepared to help each other answer questions.

We ended the day having snack together & working on a bulletin board project.  The theme?  "Teamwork is Working Together."