Friday, June 25, 2010

The Menu

A lovely week...

We had a treasure hunt birthday party for Amirah. The treasure, of course, was torah, and the other treasure was the world Hashem created for us and everyone got some shells to take home to remind them of how wonderful this earth is. We also played a few other games and had a very homemade-looking ice cream cake. YUM. Everyone had a good time (and the whole thing only cost $10... sh!).

We also have two new hermit crabs happily walking around their new dwelling. They were the co-stars of the birthday party. They don't seem to like their crab pellets very much, but they're quite fond of cilantro and apple. One is very shy, and the other is extremely extroverted and will crawl all over your arm. Names are TBA.

We also went and visited the train museum for the first time. HUGE HIT! And the very reasonable annual membership gets us into the train museum, Ft. Jackson, the Revolutionary War memorial, and the history museum. A bargain! We had a great time climbing on some trains, admiring others, and Eli went nuts in the model train room - just absolutely loved watching the trains go around and discovering all the many details in the large setup.

The house is moving along. The agreed to all the repairs we requested (short list!). When we walked over to drop Amirah off at the kollel camp, the insulation man was there installing new insulation upstairs. When we walked back to pick her up the electrician was there covering up junction boxes. So... the weeks are ticking along! Moving date is scheduled for August 1! Probably move a few things over before that. Very happy about this.

AND our former next door neighbors from Portland will be visiting us over the weekend. Looking forward to some adventures with M, S, E, & E!

And the most amazing thing that happened this week... DH started saying Perek Shira last shabbos and davening for an improved job situation. On Day 1 he heard of a job for which he was well-suited. On Day 2 he applied AND it was the closing date. And on Day 3... suffice it to say that his work situation suddenly changed/improved drastically and it can't be explained by anything but perek shira and Hashem. I'm talking about major personnel changes and major changes in employee workload. The immediate benefit is that it's looking very much like he won't be working Sundays any more!!!!! There are still policies that make it not the most employee-friendly environment and he'll continue to explore alternatives, but at least (B"H) it's become much more manageable. Such a relief. And his co-workers are actually chatting in the hallway and telling jokes (NOT what was happening before!). So, "baruch hashem" is all I can really say in closing. BARUCH HASHEM!!!!!!!!

And now for the menu...

beef braised in master sauce
cucumber salad
soba noodle salad
Asian coleslaw
eggplant sesame salad
roasted vegetables
fresh Georgia peach upside-down cake

same thing, except chicken braised in master sauce

Monday, June 21, 2010


A nice big box arrived from Singapore Math today in the middle of dinner. Instantly, dinner was devoured, dishes cleared, and children's hands tearing at the box. But I did convince them to go for a swim first while it was still nice out! So after swimming, we took out the books and distributed them. Raizel was so excited to get her Earlybird Kindergarten books, Eli his 1A books, and Amirah the books that she'll need by September (2A/2B). We spent the rest of the evening happily doing math. It wasn't even too terribly crazy with all three needing help at the table. They were so excited, especially Raizel who was finally doing math with the Big Kids.

We haven't done much learning time in recent weeks, and I've really missed the regularity and excitement of our learning time. I've discovered that trying to do half-days of camp (at our synagogue) followed by half-days of learning time doesn't really work so well. It's hard to change gears from summer fun and playing with friends to learning time. It's much easier to go the other way! So... no learning now, but the next three weeks will be camp-less so we'll dive in to finish up a few things and maybe get a head start on some new things.

We've had fun with readalouds lately. The subsequent Boxcar Children books we've read have been MUCH better than the one I initially referred to, B"H! We've enjoyed tearing through those, and it's been especially fun to see Eli's narration skills increase quite a lot. Tonight we started reading Thomas Mallory's The Boy's King Arthur, first published in 1880. This was a big hit, despite the very different language used at times. I did substitute some words for clarity! They followed the story just fine.

For science, we've been setting up a hermit crab habitat and now that the habitat is ready and has the right humidity and temperature, we're ready for three little creatures to move in. We went to the aquarium place near our house, but it turns out they are closed on Mondays. :( Disappointed, we came home and had lunch and went to Miri's annual doctor exam. Then on a whim we zoomed up to a place that was about 25 minutes away. Alas, they only had the extra-fancy painted shell hermit crabs and we wanted the plain kind. But they did have small snails and we wanted a couple for Amirah's goldfish bowl, so we got those set aside for us while we looked at all the other amazing creatures. When we were getting ready to leave the man said there was no charge for the snails (!) and wished us a good day. Amirah's eyes got big and round and happily shouted out a big THANK YOU! She was obviously so touched that he wasn't going to take money for them. It was very sweet, and he was indeed a very nice man. A fun experience. Hopefully, the local store will have hermit crabs available tomorrow. If not, we'll mail order them. :)

A good week, as usual, and the house is moving along! We will submit our small repair list tomorrow, and hopefully they will take care of it. Closing is scheduled for five weeks from tomorrow! Still seems surreal...

Off (almost) to bed...

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Menu

Yep, another menu posting. You can tell when it's busy. House is proceeding as scheduled. The inspection was today, and only very minor things came up. We should be closing at the end of July. Very excited (and a little in shock).


For dinner...


It IS Amirah's birthday (7!)...


Hamburgers and french fries!
And challah and salad.
And dessert.

And for lunch...

tilapia cakes w/special sauce
eggplant salad
stuffed cabbage (in bbq sauce)
sweet potato kugel
three-bean salad
orange cous cous salad
sun-dried polenta squares
lemon poppyseed cake
coconut cranberry pineapple sorbet

And lots of guests (but we won't eat them)...

Good shabbos, all!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Menu

It's been a really busy couple of weeks with all kinds of adventures while grandma and grandpa were in town. So nice to have them here. AND we bought a house. Well, our offer got accepted. We weren't even shopping, but a great deal popped up down the block and we dropped by the Sunday open house. We saw it again with our realtor on Wednesday, made the offer on Thursday, made a better offer this morning (since two other offers were pending) and got it accepted this afternoon. So... how's that for efficient house shopping? This house was just too good a deal to pass up, especially for the amount of space it has. We were NOT, no way, nohow, expecting to get a house that was actually bigger than our old Portland house, but here we are. It even has a teaching studio with a separate entrance, which will be great for whenever I start teaching music classes again. I may do an hour or two this fall... we'll see! And Farmer Eli is already planning what crops he'd like to plant. For some reason he's really enthusiastic about spinach and (for good reason) kiwis.

Anyway... on to the menu!

For dinner:

chopped liver
chicken (for some) and osso bucco (for others)
roasted potato wedges
marble cake

and for lunch:

green salad
egg salad
turkey pastrami sandwiches
marble cake

All things I could make in a hurry since I've been a bit, er, distracted...

Shabbat shalom!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Relative humidity: 80
Temperature: 87

And the weird thing is... I like it (?!?!?). I always thought my ideal place was high up in the mountains by a tumbling stream. Never in a million years did I imagine loving a subtropical climate gearing up for summer. I've been trying to figure out why I like it so much, and really it must be that the air reminds me of some of the best memories I have before I had a husband and children to provide my best memories. Hiking in the Guatemalan rain forest and resting in the hot springs with a dear teacher friend (hi, MH!). Summer music workshops at Amherst. Summers in beautiful, beautiful southern Indiana where I went to college. Music teacher training several summers in Memphis. A solo trip I took through MA, VT, NH, and upstate NY one summer.

Of course, I also remember 100 degrees when the relative humidity is in the 90s. Utterly unpleasant. That will be here all too soon. But for now, I really like this weather much to my utter amazement. I've always emphatically said that I do not, not, not like hot weather (meaning anything over 80!). But those temperatures don't bother me here at all. Maybe it's dry hot weather that makes me wilt?

Time for shabbos. What a lovely gift!

The Menu

braised chuck steak
baked potatoes with green onions and tofu sour cream
green salad with French or grandma's special recipe
spinach pesto linguini
roasted yams/carrots/onions/garlic/summer squash
mango coconut sorbet (new batch; the strawberry-kiwi sorbet was the best one yet!)

and for lunch...

and more sushi!

and soy beans and miso soup and salad with miso dressing...

Good shabbos!