Thursday, August 30, 2007
1. Find a babysitter for Erev Rosh HaShanah, Rosh HaShanah, Erev Yom Kippur and Yom Kippur (all day). Does this count as one thing or 4?
2. Make sure all my children have clothes to wear to the Family Services on Rosh HaShanah.
3. Work on Sermon...oh wait, start sermons.
4. Pick stories for Family Services, Alternative Services, and the other Family Services.
5. Mark up the Family Service prayerbooks for my new songleader.
6. Decide if I'm going to bake apple cakes for the whole world again. People do love them. I do love making them. How many should I make? It definitely falls into the "I don't know how she does it" category. But do I care about that category?
7. Make sure I have clothes to wear for each service.
8. Schedule a manicure.
9. Take some time to self-prepare for the holidays. My own teshuvah always seems to get neglected. I start with such good intentions.
10. Decide what we're going to do about decorating our sukkah.
11. Plan, if we want to, a Sukkah Open House. I think we'll do it on the day of the Sukkah Trolley Ride, since we are a stop...and we won't have to ride the trolley except to our house and then we can be done! I think this is a great plan. Guess I should check with my hubby...
12. Convince the baby to sleep through the night.
13. Get over whatever bug is making me sick right now. Sore throat, headache....feels like strep but the rapid test was negative. I know this too shall pass. But look at this list!!!!!
I do love the High Holy Days. But the lists always seem to creep up on me! I thought Thursday Thirteen was a great idea for today's post. See more Thursday Thirteen here...
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
My throat hurts.
My head hurts.
My body hurts.
I had such plans for this post, I think I'm very close to the end of the 30-day blogging challenge (too tired to make a link, see sidebar for link) and I wanted to write great things.
Some days, you just have to drink orange juice and eat popsicles.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
He has a very adorable daughter that he features in photos (I love photos) and they hosted a tiny chocolate lab puppy for a few days that was beyond cute with the little girl. I like reading about how he's trying to make the blogging part of his parenting as well as his work, which is a lot like how I see my blogging as well!
So go check him out...and you too can enter his contest:-)
Five Places I've Been This Week
The Mindset List from Beloit College...the mindset of entering college freshmen. Wild.
How to Fold a One-Page Book...just because it's cool!
Spell with Flickr
From Momma Zen...on balance
The Fall TV line-up - I can't wait for my favorite shows to return:-)
(from my del.icio.us )
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I wasn't able to find a picture of the small piece that we bought. It has the image of tree trunks. I love images of trees...I think trees are so incredible and wonderful as a symbol of longevity in nature. I also love the Jewish imagery of the Torah as the Tree of Life, and I also love the idea of a family tree. Overall, I'm a tree girl.
I did find this image, though, and it is quite beautiful. There is also a story about it that the artist's husband shared with us while we perused the booth. He said a blind woman was walking through an art fair they were doing once, and she bemoaned that she couldn't really see all the art that her companion was describing. He offered to let her touch this painting (at the time it was all white, with just the texture of the image -- it's hard to see in the picture here but all her art is very textured), and as she ran her fingers over it, she said, "oh, it's tulips!" but they hadn't even told her what it was.
It is amazing how our senses work. Many people who have full functional use of their eyes are "blind" to the world, not seeing beauty or love....or not seeing problems in the world. This story was a beautiful reminder that we shouldn't always just see with our eyes...
Friday, August 24, 2007
Now we don't do that anymore. He's old enough to know that there is tv available on other days of the week....and he likes to watch it. But we learned that it is possible to be non-traditional in your observance of Shabbat and make the day very special.
So now we struggle with some special thing to define Shabbat in our house, other than our Friday night dinner activities. I would like something special to do or not do on Saturday as well. I think that this may become easier as my children grow older. It's hard to explain to a 2-year-old and it's hard to be consistent in our house when mommy works on Shabbat!
How does your family observe Shabbat? What are some non-traditional traditions that you've developed to make this day special? Leave me a comment!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I actually remember the word cards my father made to help me learn to read. They were so much fun to play with and mix up. I'm pretty sure I used them to play school for a long time.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
I must admit, my life is not so restful. The two little ones are not sleeping well and therefore, neither am I. Tomorrow I am driving myself and the baby back up to camp for the conclusion of the NFTY Summer Kallah, then back home again on Sunday. There are many things to do...
But Shabbat is here.
During this month of Elul, I'm trying so hard to prepare myself for the High Holy Days. I'm trying to embrace the opportunity that this month offers, to think through myself and my actions...so today, I offer this line from Psalm 27, traditionally read each day during the month of Elul:
"Only one thing I ask of God, this I seek: May I dwell in the house of God all the days of my life, to behold the pleasantness of God and to visit God's sanctuary."
If each day of my life is lived as though I am in God's sanctuary, then even the dirty kitchen will hold holiness, for it is in God's sanctuary.
May this Shabbat bring rest and peace and joy to you and yours.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Thirteen Things I Love (not including people and in no particular order)
1. Black Cows at Kiltie's in Oconomowoc
2. Fabric Stores
3. My Blackberry (Crack-berry)
6. Books books books
8. my Laptop
9. my family sticker on my car
10. Google desktop/reader
11. going barefoot
12. pre-made Margarita mix (with the alcohol already in it, saves time!)
13. the smell of coffee brewing
See more Thursday Thirteen here...
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
He was so unhappy and NOTHING would make him stop crying....I'm pretty sure it's teething and it was also a post-nap crabby time, and he wouldn't even let me hold him...so I thought I'd try to jog him out of it with the camera, which he usually loves to pose for and to hold and see the pictures....when even that didn't work I took the picture of the crying!
He finally settled down...as you can see, on the couch with a little help from the paci and Winnie the Pooh...
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Fighting the languor of sultry days,
Call us to begin the examination,
In the month of Elul,
Call us to the consultation of our souls,
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Everyone keeps telling me that this stage is so short...and to enjoy them...and I try to....but not on a day like today!
P.S. Did you know yesterday was National Smores Day? I had no idea...yet yesterday, out of nowhere, David and I made smores. Who knew!? He was not happy with the smore I made, by the way, since we cooked our marshmallows over the gas burner on the stove and they got a little blackened. I'm sure that was not the safest way to make smores. I will return to the microwave in the future.
Friday, August 10, 2007
If however, there is a needy person among you, one of your kin in any of your settlements in the land that the Eternal your God is giving you, do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kin. Rather, you must open your hand and lend whatever is sufficient to meet the need. (Deuteronomy 15:7–8)
This line is one of the first lessons we teach our children as we begin to teach them about Judaism. The need to help others, no, the requirement that we help others, is a central focus of what Judaism is all about. The commandment to help others appears so often in the Torah that the Talmud tell us (Bava Batra 9a) “Tzedakah (charity) outweighs all other mitzvot.”
So how can we make this a part of our family's regular activities? Here are some suggestions for making tzedakah a part of your regular routine:
- keep a tzedakah box in many places in your house: on top of the dryer for loose change, in the kitchen, on your dresser, on your kids' dressers...
- teach your kids to divide their allowance. My son has a piggy bank with separate slots for "spend" "save" "invest" and "donate" (we bought it from Amazon) -- we regularly talk about putting the money into the Tzedakah slot and what we can do with it.
- when you sort through clothes and toys, take your children with you to deliver them to Goodwill or another organization.
- suggest that your child's birthday party be a collection, asking for donations or items for others instead of gifts for the child
- collect every "request" that comes into your house and once a month (or at whatever interval works for you), sit down with your family and look at all of them to determine where your family's tzedakah money will go.
- create young philanthropists -- give your kids and/or grandkids a bank account or budget from which they can make their own gifts...discuss with them regularly what it means to make your tzedakah dollars "go far." Teach them about "matching gifts" and make arrangements to "match" your kids' gifts...or invite them to ask other family members to match their gifts.
- use tzedakah as a reward or incentive: offer to give money to the charity of your kids' choice in honor of an acheivement or milestone.
These and so many more ideas will help your family to make tzedakah (charity) and gemilut chasadim (acts of lovingkindness) regular parts of your family's life. Through these actions we can truly fulfill our mission on earth: to make this world a better place.
How does your family engage in tzedakah? Leave a comment with your ideas.
(crossposted on rabbiphyllis.blogspot.com)
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I'm thankful for ...
...the joy of breastfeeding
...my wonderful office staff
What are you thankful for!????
Quote of the day: "Do not worry about the world coming to an end. It is already tomorrow in Australia."
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
2. Organize David's closet (put away old clothes)
3. Sort through the clothes I acquired at the rummage sale
4. Go to the gym
5. Start thinking about the High Holy Days
6. Start freaking out about the High Holy Days
7. Find a babysitter for Labor Day Weekend
8. Find a babysitter for Hebrew School Wednesdays
9. Buy Harry's camera for graduation
10. Finish Rashi's Daughters: Book 2
11. Sleep more.
12. Go to the gym
13. Did I mention go to the gym?
14. Stop blogging and start doing!
Monday, August 6, 2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
The Fly Fishing Rabbi -- a classmate of mine who has a strange fascination with fish. But still a good read:-)
An Unsealed Room -- no relation, but Allison Kaplan Sommer writes a pretty nice blog about life in Israel. Last summer she gave excellent commentary on the war in Lebanon. (Isn't it hard to believe that was just last summer??)
Jewcy's Faithhacker -- so many interesting things on Jewcy I can't even start to count them! Not all family-friendly, so to speak. But all are thought-provoking, for sure.
Juggling Frogs -- for the links to the parasha (Torah portion) cakes alone, this blog is great!
So as I'm writing this post, I'm totally getting distracted by other blogs...ack! Start with these and if you have some more to suggest, please comment below!
...and of course, if you want more there's always jewishblogging.com -- I can't seem to get registered on their site.
Five Places I've Been This Week:
The Awakened Heart Project - check out the podcast of the morning prayer service.
Rabbinical School is Ruining My Love Life - on Jewcy, a great site. And it's by a friend of mine from way long ago from camp
Mama Merit Badges - I so want a set.
Wedding Dresses on eBay - no, not getting married again. contemplating selling mine!
Gymboree -- we had so much fun doing Gymbo with Anne Marie in Cleveland that I think we're going to sign up Sam and Yael forthe fall....
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Well, it turned out that we all love our water filter. So much so that we took the darn thing with us to camp. (It only worked for a week, though, before the filter conked out. Camp water, very much in need of filtering.) We bought a bunch of Nalgene bottles and Camelbak bottles and we seem to be all set.
Who knew we were on the cutting edge of environmentalism. Not me.
But we are. There are now articles about how bottled water isn't better. And how it's an example of our overconsumption and indulgence. There are campaigns to end bottled water consumption (see Think Outside the Bottle and Refill Not Landfill). And hey -- I'm all for it. I even put into both of our cars a stack of paper cups and straws so we can drink on the go from drinking fountains. (Straws make it all easier with the almost-2-year-old and more fun for all of us.)
Some facts to consider:
- Last year, Americans spent $15 billion on bottled water, even though bottled water isn’t healthier or safer than tap water.
- While the EPA regulates the quality of public water supplies, the agency has no authority over bottled water. Some studies indicate that certain brands of bottled water test positive for chemical and bacterial contamination at higher levels than tap water.
- One out of six people in the world has no dependable, safe drinking water. The global economy denies drinkable water to 1 billion people, while delivering to us an array of water “varieties” from around the globe, not one of which we actually need.
- Americans went through about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year, 167 for each person. We pitch into landfills 38 billion water bottles a year - more than $1 billion worth of plastic (while the recycling rate for this particular kind of plastic is only 23%).
- We’re moving 1 billion bottles of unnecessary water around a week in ships, trains, and trucks in the United States alone. That’s a weekly convoy equivalent to 37,800 18-wheelers delivering water. (this one scares me!)
So...can you do it? Can you put an end to your bottled water consumption???
crossposted on rabbiphyllis.blogspot.com