I can’t believe I’ve been celebrating Passover for 14 years now! Being born Catholic I had never celebrated the holiday before meeting my husband Amir. I have to admit it has become one of my favorite holidays and my in laws do such a beautiful Seder! The kids were so involved this year and so excited about it. They followed along with the Haggadah (the Seder prayer book which tells the story of the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt) they even sipped on juice or seltzer (instead of wine) and they loved the part where they were instructed to recline in their chairs. They especially loved being able to reenact the 10 plaques using their puppets! My in-laws always put together a very traditional Seder table with a Seder plate and the Elijah cup and a traditional meal which consists of Matzoh latke’s (my favorite) and my mother in-law’s amazing Matzoh ball soup, and of course a feast filled table! Although a handful of our favorite family members were not able to join us this year it still ended up being a very special passover. Thank you Ema and Aba!
The Ten Plagues is one of the most fun parts of the Passover Seder for me and the kids! My kids love acting out the plagues, and these quick and easy to assemble plague puppets are perfect to get them involved and help them (and myself) learn more about the Passover story. Last year we made these cute plague puppets for the kids to use during our Passover Seder. I had bought a set at Party City years ago and when I went to take it out I found that some pieces were missing (my youngest had gotten into the bag and well not sure what happened next but some pieces were torn and chewed up). Instead of buying a new set I decided to quickly make one. I found a cute printable set here and here. We printed them out, laminated them ( I actually used large clear tape to laminate them because I don’t have a laminator!) , and cut each one out and glued them to a straw (didn’t have Popsicle sticks!). I found a cute little shoe box and had the girls decorate it and we use it to store our plagues. I was so excited to find it in one piece and can’t wait to use it tonight! Happy Passover!
Our family is an interfaith one. My husband is Jewish and I’m Catholic. We are raising the girls Jewish, but are also teaching them about many of my Catholic traditions. In our home, it always seems like we are celebrating something! It’s been fun for me learning all of the wonderful Jewish traditions and holidays as I experience them with my husband and daughters. I am always looking for ways to incorporate Judaism into the girls daily lives. Being Catholic though, it doesn’t always come natural for me to teach them about Judiasm, but I do try in any way that I can. A few years ago my sister in law told us about this wonderful program Called PJ LIBRARY. They mail us free Jewish children’s books and music to families on a monthly basis. (you can go to pjlibrary.org to find out more) Every month we look forward to a new book or music CD. The books are usually sent in accordance with a holiday or tradition that we are celebrating! It’s been so great and helpful in teaching the girls more about their religion and holidays. And I have learned so much as well, even my husband enjoys reading them with the girls! It makes them feel connected and special when we receive the books! Signing up was so simple and since then we have received well over 24 books!!!!
We purchased this whiteboard for the girls over a year ago. You can find a similar one here. It’s the most played with item in our home. Every single one of us including my husband has used this board to draw or teach something to anyone whose willing to learn. Melina especially loves teaching her class with it. There is not one day that goes by (unless we are not home) that she does not sit in this corner and play school while using this whiteboard. She literally becomes a teacher. I seriously believe she is ready to teach kindergarten! It’s so cute to watch. I love her passion. She puts on her little high heal shoes, gets her teaching books out, her dry erase markers and she just teaches, teaches, teaches. Sometimes her sisters and I sit in on her class. Sometimes her dad does too! It always amazes me how she always has something prepared for us to do, whether its an art project or a new letter to learn. I think she will make an amazing teacher one day, whether it’s a classroom full of children or a dining room filled with her own children. There is a seed inside of her and I can’t wait to see how it grows.
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I found the site when my oldest was about 4 years old. I always wanted to be a teacher so I was and still am constantly looking for material and resources I could use to teach my kids. I found this site called teacherspayteachers.com and I’ve been hooked ever since! You simply sign up and download files for free. Of course there are resources and materials that cost money but I’ve never had to pay for anything. The freebies are awesome! I’ve taught all three of my kids their alphabets, numbers, site words, writing and reading with the help of some wonderful learning materials that I have found on this amazing site! Today Lia, my three year old learned a little about Hybernating Animals simply by putting together this little booklet I downloaded from Teacherspayteachers. I printed the pages, cut and stapled the book together and Lia loved coloring the animals and cutting and pasting them by herself into the book. When she was done I had her highlight the words as we read the book together. The project was quick, fun and FREE!
I don’t know what it is but when all three of my children are home together, they can not help but turn their play room and bedroom into a ginormous mess! I know one reason may be because I only allow them to watch TV in the morning and maybe if there is time, a half hour before they have to get ready for bed. So in between that time, they have to find things to keep them busy! And they definitely do! I have to admit, it’s taking some time for me to accept that this is just how they play and if I want to keep them away from wasting their day on TV and electronics that I can not keep getting in the way of how they choose to play. Up until not to long ago (maybe a month ago) I literally would follow them in and out of each room, cleaning up after them constantly, never allowing the rooms to look like the photos above (and I think this was definitely extreme!! Not sure what they were thinking today!). My whole day was literally spent picking up and putting their toys away and complaining about all of the stuff they had. It’s definitely great exercise but I knew I had to start letting go a little bit (This is bad though, and probably will never happen again! Not to this extreme!). And so, little by little instead of cleaning up right away or nagging them to clean up (I don’t want to be a nag!) I have decided that as long as the mess stays in their room and the playroom they can leave it until they are done playing (can’t promise I will last that long but I will try). They have to clean it up and everything has to go back where it belongs at least an hour before bedtime. Today was really the first day I didn’t nag them about the mess. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of ignoring it. But I did take the pictures so that one day I can remind them! They really do play so nice and I really do enjoy having these memories of my little girls playing together as they should. I want them to look back at their childhood and remember how much fun they had together!
The holidays are gone and I’m finally getting around to posting the results of our holiday party! I can’t believe I didn’t get many pictures of my little reindeer family! We had so much fun dressing up though, and the party was lots of fun! I did my best with the makeup! Some thought we looked like little mice but definitely very cute little mice! The girls loved the reindeer ears and wore them throughout the holiday! We definitely celebrated the holidays for the entire month of December. Between 5 birthdays, Chanukah and Christmas by the time January came we were pooped and ready to start a new year!
We are invited to a holiday party at my sisters house and were asked to dress up for the occasion. Our family is going as santa’s reindeer. To keep things at a low cost, I bought the kids these cute pajamas from kohls instead of buying costumes.
and these cute antlers from Oriental Trading. They came in a pack of 12 which was cheaper than buying them separately. I keep the extras in a basket and whoever comes during the holiday season can wear them! I even brought one to my dads. He wore it for the entire evening! So cute!
To complete the reindeer outfits I made these tags from the extra cardboard sitting in our garage. I used permanent markers to write the name of each reindeer and used glue and glitter to embellish the tags. I bought the cute little bells from the dollar store and hot glued them at the bottom. Then I hot glued some thick string I found in my craft box and ta da! Reindeer Tags!!! Now everyone will know who is who! I cannot wait to see my little reindeer all dressed up!
This year I did a lot of my holiday shopping online and because of that we have so many boxes in our garage! I always like creating stuff from our empty boxes. We’ve made tons of treasure boxes, spaceships, beds for dolls and puppy dogs but I have never made a house! I guess since we have a huge doll house I never thought of making one until I stumbled upon one here. I thought it was so cute and thought it would be so fun to make one with my little Lia. Ruby from mycakies has specific instructions you can follow. I kinda winged it with mine so it’s not as fancy as hers but we definitely had so much fun creating it and theres still more decorating we’d like to do. I’m proud to say that I let Lia do a lot of the decorating herself without trying to take over the entire project! This was a great way for the two of us to spend time together.