Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 3 (and 4th night)

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.)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Chanukah, Day 1! :)

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!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A TV Day

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.