Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hanukkah ends

We had an eventful Hanukkah. Family every night. Lots of presents for our dear little one. And for the first time I found Hanukkah story books that weren't awful. There are so many really cool Christmas stories, but I had never read a really cool Hanukkah story. This year I found three!

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel (this was my absolute favorite!!)
Hanukkah Moon by Deborah da Costa
Mrs. Greenberg's Messy Hanukkah by Linda Glaser and Nancy Cote

There are a few more I requested from the library, but being Hanukkah time I was too far down on the request list to get them in time for Hanukkah. No worries, I'll check them out for next year.

We are now planning for our annual family friendly New Years party! Do you have any resolutions? I'm still thinking about mine, but I'll post them here once I figure it out. Of course this will be hard for me as I'm not really a resolution kind of a girl. So, we'll see...

I do wish you all a Happy New Year! You are out there, right?

Monday, December 22, 2008

The fight goes on

A major letter writing campaign is in full swing. I have sent emails/letters to Senator Wyden and Senator Smith of Oregon, Governor Kulongoski of Oregon and the governor of Virginia. I have also contacted the list of social workers, therapists and Oprah. I am doing what little part I can to help support Stephanie, Connor, Tavvi and their family. Please do your part.

See the new website for more information: http://helpkeepthemhome.com/index.html

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snowed in

We are experiencing our second round of winter weather. After five, count them five, days indoors we finally got out yesterday. The first thing we did was go to see Santa at the mall. It was important that we see him before Hanukkah starts. My little one had to ask Santa if he brings presents to the kids who celebrate Hanukkah. Santa assured her that he will be bringing her a present...after all Hanukkah is a very important holiday in the Jewish calender. It is certainly an important day in our house!

And now we are stuck in the house again. We are finding lots to do. We read a fun Hanukkah book called Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins. What a great story! Then we read The Only One Club and were inspired to do some Hanukkah crafts. Now we're watching Disney's Robin Hood and we've got Madagascar and Wall-E standing by. And the bonus for me is that I get to blog and knit!

Tomorrow we plan to make sugar cookies. We were going to do that today, but my sister borrowed our rolling pin. And of course Hanukkah starts tomorrow.

What does Hanukkah look like for the atheist Jew? We have traditions that we love and new traditions that we started. Making decorations is one thing we do every year and every year as our daughter gets older the decorations change. We also light candles in the menorah each night for eight nights. The adults exchange gifts on the first night, our daughter gets presents every night and we have friends over for a Hanukkah dinner. This year our Hanukkah dinner is the last night. We always make potato latkes. One of these years my husband, the passionate baker, will make sufganiyot (soof -gah - nee - yoat) little donuts. The idea is to cook things made with oil.

Potato latkes and sufganiyot are both fried in oil. This is to remember the story of the rededication of the old temple. After it's destruction and a fight, the Jews took back the temple. In the temple is the eternal light. There was only enough light to keep the light lit for one day. It took them eight days to make the oil and the one day of oil lasted those eight days. That's why we cook things in oil and why Hanukkah lasts eight days. Hanukkah means dedication. And so the story goes. We love the tradition of it all. For us it's not a religious thing. It's about family, traditions and age old stories (and some new ones).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I know we're homeschoolers, but...

this is ridiculous! I know that many have the impression that as homeschoolers we spend all our time at home. That is so not true. We are always on the go. In fact, I am manipulating our schedule to allow us more time at home because we are gone so much.

This week has been all at home. The storm hit Sunday morning. The snow isn't so bad, but with melting and freezing there is lots of ice out there and the roads are slick. My dear husband tried to get me chains for my minivan, but alas, they were sold out.

My dear friend "J" has chains. Lucky girl. She got to get out of the house. Not only did she get out of the house - she also ran all my errands for me while she was taking care of her errands. She also dropped her older daughter "M" (best friend to my daughter "C") off at my house to play. "C" was ecstatic to have a friend to play with. They played for hours and had a fabulous time. And it gave me a little break from being the center of attention.

The weather doesn't seem to be letting up. I don't know when this is going to end, but it better end soon. Or I'd better have chains soon. I've got to get out of this house!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Reprieve

At the moment it is temporary, but hopefully soon they will find a permanent solution. I contacted Jamie, a dear friend and former weekend anchor at Fox News here in Portland. She offered her suggestions of how to get this situation aired on the local news. Hopefully this will work. If there is enough media coverage, justice and the rights of the children will prevail.

See this blog for details.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Tell Me How This is Right, Please

How is it right to rip children away from a home where they are safe, secure and loved? How can they be left with no resources to allow them to stay and and live the lives they are entitled to? I just don't understand how this can happen in this day and age. We know that we should do what is in the best interest of the children. Why does that not apply here?