Unfortunately this blog will have to be temporarily discontinued due to certain matters going on in my life currently. I apologize for the disappointment. In the spirit of this blog, one last (for now) yay: Thanks to G-d for taking care of me no matter what and for always being there when I need to talk.
Your life will not be the same after you read this book! I'm not kidding! Your life will always be yayful if you remember that God controls everything and everything God does is good! Pray to God in your own words- Thank Him for everything and ask Him for all your needs and desires! No matter what's happening in your life you'll always be happy if you cultivate your emuna! Don't wait until you're going through trials and tribulations- Take the time now to work on your relationship with God so you don't have to go through trials and tribulations!
I'm so grateful to my friend who gave me a copy as a gift! You know who you are. May you be blessed with health, happiness, and all your heart's desires.
What a day! I would have written this last night (it's about yesterday) but I had to go to sleep at some point....
3rd day (and night of 4th)
While Rena attended preschool, I had talk with Rebbetzin Ellis. It was so good to talk with her, as always. One of the Chabad rebbetzins sat down to talk with me, too, which I also enjoyed.
I had a really good prayer session that morning, too. I even tried meditation later; it got me all relaxed.
Back at Grammy and Grampy's house, Rena and I incredibly saw another "rainbow" on the wall! (See previous post.)
Later, I put the Maccabeats' awesome Chanukah music video on Grammy and Grampy's huge TV in the TV room, several times. (Yes, it has access to YouTube.) Rena and I danced wildly and joyfully to it until we were all tired out! :) While dancing (and singing to the song) I was thinking, life is awesome! :)
We attended her school's Chanukah party that evening. OMG, I LOVE Chanukah! :) The kids performed some songs for their families. They were soooo cute, especially Rena!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) I'm not even saying that because of my clear bias, being her mommy- One of the teachers came up to me afterward and exclaimed about her performance. (She said later that Rena was the star! :) ) She really did a wonderful job, singing the songs, doing hand motions, and even breaking out into spontaneous dances! :) Now that's nachas! :) The latkes served tasted just like the ones I grew up. (See my first post in Foodiscovery for why that was so special to me.) There was lighting of a giant menorah and a special guest came to do it: someone dressed up in a penguin costume! The kids were delighted! :) They all got to dance with him afterward. Also there was a bouncy-house for the kids that looked like a giant dreidle, and face painting. I felt so wonderful at the party, so connected with all my people all over the world celebrating this holiday about the triumphant survival of Torah Judaism despite attempts to suppress it. I'm so proud to be Jewish, proud to be a part of this wonderful people who are so strong in standing up for God's truth, to outlast all the nations that try to crush it.
As if that weren't enough excitement for the day, I received a very touching email from one of my new friends here in Winnipeg. A public thank you for being such a good friend! :) (You know who you are.)
YAY, I'm SO happy an eight-day holiday has started! :)
It began on Motzai Shabbat (Saturday night). Though gift-given is not a traditional aspect of Chanukah observance (kids used to receive a small amount of money, or "gelt" in Yiddish), it's been incorporated in modern times due to the influence of a popular non-Jewish holiday that occurs around this time. I think it's wonderful to include gift-giving as part of Chanukah festivities. I know I loved receiving a gift each night of Chanukah. Anyway....This year, Grammy picked out a bunch of wonderful toys for Rena. Last night, after the menorah was lit, Rena got a very special Elmo toy called Baby Sniffles Elmo. It's a baby Elmo that wears a diaper, carries a "tissue," and sneezes. He perpetually has a cold. It's perfect for her because she loves Elmo and also loves to pretend that her stuffed animals are sick so she can "heal" them. I could totally see her becoming a doctor, dentist, nurse, or something when she grows up.
We just stayed at Grammy and Grampy's house all day due to the weather. Rena and I were playing as usual when we spotted two of the most beautiful "rainbows" on a wall, evidently due to light being refracted through the glass barrier next to the staircase. Wow, we could actually see all the rainbow colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (Roy g biv). As if that weren't enough, after the light shifted and those "rainbows" faded, we saw another on the opposite wall! I thought this one was even more beautiful than the other two! The rainbow colors on this one were very bright! Wow, we saw three "rainbows" today....That must be a sign of something really good to come! :) Perhaps they represent my family....Or something. Whatever the case, thank you, God, for showing me such beauty today! :)
Soon after the rainbow sightings, Rena's Aunt Elaine dropped by for a quick visit and to give Rena a gift. It's a really awesome drawing toy called Stencil and Learn Studio. Now she doesn't need an iPad to practice tracing letters.... (Btw, I do think it's cool that I can hand my three-year-old daughter the iPad with the cover still closed, and she knows how to open it, turn it on, unlock it, and find the app she wants to use; and she's proficient at tapping and dragging. For most apps that she likes, I encourage her to do what she can herself because there are so many apps designed for preschool-aged kids, with activities such as letter-tracing, puzzles, ebooks....)
Rena received her second night's gift before the first day was technically over so I'll include it here, too: A Dora the Explorer Singing Star Microphone! :) She loves it, of course, since she's obsessed with Dora.
Rena's excitement is infectious! :) I almost felt as if I were a kid receiving gifts again!
Rena was getting over a cold so she was allowed to chill and watch a lot of TV today. We were delighted to see an expanded version of one of our favorite stories that she has, Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers, about a boy who finds a penguin. At first he thinks the penguin is lost but in the end he comes to realize that the penguin is just lonely and wants to be his friend and to stay with him. Powerful story.
Also, after not being able to get it to work for awhile, we are again able to use Netflix on Grammy and Grampy's huge TV! Turns out the remote just needed a new battery. Rena loves to be able to pick her favorite shows at any time. Normally we limit her TV viewing to two shows per day (except Shabbat since observant Jews do not use electronic devices on Shabbat) and never after dinner but we let her watch one show after dinner just this once: Go Diego Go. (It had been a long time since she'd seen it because it is not shown on the little kids' channel that she watches, Treehouse.) Her other favorite show is Dora the Explorer, as you probably gathered if you read this post that mentions her October birthday party. Dora and Diego are cousins and appear in each other's shows. If Rena has to watch TV, at least these characters are good role models for kids to follow. Diego rescues animals, and Dora goes out of her way to be kind and helpful. Rena thinks Dora and her friends and family are Jewish. She has a set of small figurines of Dora and other characters from the show, and she once set up a Shabbat dinner for them with some of her toy food.
-I spent hours replying to an email from a shul friend. (I'd actually received the email last night but it was technically today already by the time I finished.) I am so blown away with the love and kindness of this community!
-I got to speak with Rebbetzin Ellis today after she dropped off her kids at school, mostly to tell her how I was doing. She also informed me that someone with whom the Ellises had connected me for a potential job opportunity had told her that I'm a "beautiful person." See above "blown away" sentence.
-The head of the school had me do a really cool job: today, in addition to my usual library help. I learned how to use a lamination machine to laminate pages of a book that was just printed on a computer page by page. I guess the author didn't get it published but she sent the printout to the Chabad school here. It's a beautiful book for kids about Jews in Israel during Temple times, how they grew their own food and proudly did mitzvot and went to the beit hamikdash to thank God for all that He gave them. It described how olive oil was made and then used to light the menorah in the beit hamikdash.
-One of the rebbetzins of the Chabad center did some work at the front desk today and played nice Jewish music while working. I got to chat with her a bit. At one point, when I was not near her, she went to find me because she had a thank-you card for the gift we'd given her son at his recent birthday party. The card had a cute drawing that he'd made in addition to words of thanks (most likely written by his mommy).
-At one point today I wandered around the Chabad center just drinking in the holiness of the place.
-One of the rebbetzins of the Chabad center who has usually been giving us a ride lately did not have time today so Rena and I stayed for awhile to look at books in the library. When we were ready to go, all prepared to head home on foot, the Rebbetzin who'd been working with music said she was going soon and could give us a ride. While we were waiting to go, I spotted a pair of lost mittens and got all excited at the chance to do the mitzvah (good deed/commandment) of returning a lost object. The Rebbetzin had gone to a different room for a moment, and when she returned, I asked her where the lost-and-found was. She took one look at those mittens and realized that they belonged to one of her kids! So I actually got to return them to the family of the owner. When she dropped us off and we thanked her profusely (see "blown away" sentence again), she said she was glad to be able to give people rides. I told her I'd heard that giving people rides is actually considere to be part of the mitzvah of providing hospitality. She said that her mitzvah should be in the merit of the Land of Israel. I added that my earlier mitzvah of returning lost objects should also be in Israel's merit.
-Could this day get any better?! Upon returning home I checked email and was surprised to see a reply to an email I'd written to the husband of a friend in Israel who, in his words, "doesn't do email." I was overjoyed to see that my friend herself replied! Thank God, her family is safe and sound.
-I feel like clarity regarding a difficult situation in which I find myself is imminent. I know that God will make happen what is good for my family. God knows what is best for us, better than we ourselves know, and I know that sometimes what we think is best for us is not actually what is best for us, and vice versa. I will do my effort to the best of my ability and pray to God, knowing that He is there for me.