Light the lights

Tonight is officially the last night of Hanukkah, even though the holiday lasts for 8 days it never seems like enough time. I’m going to miss lighting the menorah with the family. Every night I say that I’d like to just sit and watch the candles flicker but that never happens as life is so hectic and filled with so much busy work. Growing up catholic I never had the pleasure and joy of lightning a menorah. It is truly a wonderful and beautiful event to experience. In learning and growing more in the Jewish faith I’ve realized that this is an event that Jesus had once celebrated and that brings comfort to my heart as I celebrate Hanukkah as a catholic mom with my Jewish husband and children. Next on our list are the Christmas lights! For the past 13 years, one of favorite holiday books, has been titled Light the lights. It describes exactly how our family experiences both holidays. I can’t wait to read it tonight.

Dreidel dreidel dreidel

We made you out of clay, and when you’re dry and ready we hope that you will spin.

This is our first year making our own dreidels out of clay. The kids are older and can actually do this kind of stuff on their own. I actually sat back and watched this while eating some pumpkin pie. This was dad’s idea, anything that has to do with using your hands to create something is his cup of tea. He’s so good at that.

We used polymer clay. The clay was as hard as a brick when we opened it. I read that baby oil would soften it up, so they went ahead and baby oiled the clay, and continued to knead it until it softened up. It took a few minutes but soon enough they were able to start sculpting their individual dreidels. We popped them in the oven at 275 degrees for about 45 minutes, maybe more and out came these adorable dreidels. Tomorrow we will see whose dreidel does the best job spinning. I bet it will be dad’s.

Everyone should Latkes

Everyone needs potato latkes in their lives. I absolutely love making and eating potato latkes. Hand shredded potatos and onions,  mixed with flour, egg, some salt and pepper and fried in oil. These babies are gone by the time I take the last latkes out of the pan. A side of sour cream or apple sauce and you will be hooked. Happy Latkes, Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah to the ones who light up my life everyday.

Thankful

I love thanksgiving. I love the foods and the cooking. I have a print out of all my recipes that I glance over as the holiday approaches. Studying each recipe to make sure I get it right for the big day. Almost like getting ready for a test. Anxiety creeps in but excitement overpowers. I love gathering with my family, years past we’ve been close to thirty something people, so 20 this year felt like a breeze. Although I missed those who weren’t here terribly! The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are spent at the supermarket and the days just before the big event are spent in the kitchen, getting by mainly on adrenaline and bagels. I think I lost about 3 pounds which takes away any guilt of over eating on the big day.  Between going to work, keeping up with a home and four kids, the 3 days before Thanksgiving my family is left to fend for themselves eating weekly leftovers and bagels! It gets stressful taking care of the daily things while trying to make sure everything is close to perfect. I told oldest, “if you can all just leave the house for the day and show up when the guests arrive I’d be happy”.  Somehow it all gets done, tired body and aching feet, the idea of relaxing starts soon after all of the food is warmed up out of the oven, the turkey is carved and everyone is eating. You know you’ve done what you could and everyone is eating and compliments are thrown around the table, a sigh of relief and a feeling of success fills your heart. Some time to rest before some of the cleaning begins and space is made for dessert. Alot of work is still up ahead. But the mental work is all behind me, the worrying, the anxiety and the stress. As tired as I am I can enjoy myself and the company around me. Dessert brings delight and also full tummys and fear of not getting rid of it. I make sure to announce many times “guys take home dessert, make some plates of food” I tell them “please, this helps me clean up quicker”. Oh the clean up, I think the clean up is always the worst part. Sometimes I just wish I can sell the house and start over, run away and leave it all behind. But somehow with the help of my guests taking a doggie bag, my husband putting away the tables and my mom washing the dishes, me putting away things and washing g the floors, somehow the house returns back to a home. I stand back and look at all of the clean rooms that were filled with people, chatter, spills and crumbs and it looks like nothing ever happened. Midnight approaches and my bed is calling me, when I arrive I feel like my body can’t sink enough into the mattress. My mind is clear, all of the hard work behind me. I smile, and speed off to dream land. I’m so Thankful for the morning after, everyone still asleep, just me, a cup of coffee, a magazine. Next comes Hanukkah.

Thing 1, 2, 3, and 4

Happy Halloween to my four favorite things! My modest thing (btw where are your shoes?) my stylish thing (love the earrings and skirt) , my funny thing (why is Lia the only one wearing the boa I bought?), and my messy thing (how did you get your shirt dirty already?) . You guys make me so modest, so stylish, so funny and sometimes messy. Thanks for bringing out the best things in me and sometimes the worst things in me. 

Terrible twos

I love the terrible twos! For me, there is nothing terrible about being two other than adults not understanding you! Two year olds are my favorite. They always have been and after 4 kids they will always continue to be. Two year olds are so funny, so loving and so innocent. They love being with you and hearing “mommy” is the sweetest sound your ears can hear. They light up when they see you, everything is new and refreshing through their eyes. Life is good when you are two. Playing with a two year old is so much fun. They love making you plates of food and don’t mind running to get the ball they kicked over a hundred times. They’re such people pleasers and can warm your heart with a simple smile. A tantrum here and there, hmm I don’t really blame them! It’s hard hearing “no you can’t do this”, or “no you can’t have that” or “share” or “eat your peas”. The fun times a two year old can bring you definitely outweighs any of the terrible moments being two can bring. This is my last two year old and I plan to enjoy every single sweet, ugly, frustrating, wonderful moments.

Two!

Happy second birthday to our sweet little boy! You are a gift from God. You are an endless amount of joy, full of love and cuddles, attitudes and whining are never too far. You are our favorite ball player, outdoor runner, dog walker, blippi watcher, trampoline jumper, ice pop muncher, night time riser, early morning riser, mess maker. We love you all the way to the moon and back and an infinite amount of times back and forth again. You are a treasure, may you bring this world lots of goodness!

Happy 17th anniversary

Seventeen years of a beautiful marriage and
I couldn’t have asked for more than these four kids we brought into the world together. They are a symbol of our love and God’s love for us.
Seventeen years ago we would have been on our way to Hawaii, but today I’m so excited and looking forward to hopefully fitting in a nice long walk
Coffee on the porch and
Sharing left over fried calamari!