It's not exactly snowing here in Florida, but it's snowing somewhere (and if you watch the weather channel, it kind of seems like it's snowing everywhere).
The kids were more than happy to pretend winter had arrived in art class, even if they are peeling off layers of clothing as they leave school each day.
We made several different kinds of snowmen and snowflakes this week - and they're all now living on the bulletin board, alongside a Florida snowman. We used the basics - paper, scissors, cotton balls, popsicle sticks, glitter and some googly eyes too. So simple, no fancy supplies needed - and the kids had a blast. I'm loving how each cut-out snowflake is different and how each snowman has his own happy personality.
You gotta love a snowman with sunglasses and shorts, eating an ice cream cone. It seems Florida does have its perks!
Coming soon: Winter Break and going nowhere, cause really, we live in our vacation...so stay tuned for a Florida Staycation!
My brother-in-law came down to Florida to visit us this past weekend and while it is always very exciting and fun when we have company, for me, the most exciting part was this: (sorry, Yossi!)
I filled up the van with gas. All. By. Myself.
I know that this sounds completely ridiculous. I've been a driver for a good 17 years, but in New York you only pump your own gas by choice, and in New Jersey, drivers are never allowed to pump their own gas, by law.
It never occurred to me that it might be any different in Florida. So a couple of weeks after we moved, I pulled the van into a gas station with the kids in the back. And we waited. One minute, two minutes, five minutes we're sitting there and so weird - no one is coming out of the little gas-station-house-thing to pump my gas. I contemplated honking the horn but the one thing I did notice about Florida is that no one honks their horn. Almost like cars don't have horns here. I don't know. But I gave the horn a little tap and nothing, no one came. Annoyed, I drove home and figured Josh would go out later on and get gas.
Fast forward a few months, and I am much more at home here in Florida and also, very aware that it's every (wo)man for himself at the gas station. Josh took me a couple of times, and each time he talked me through it. And once, on the way to the airport to pick up my parents, I stopped at a gas station alone but panicked and wound up texting Josh a picture of the gas pump and he texted back instructions.
But this week, I did it and it was all by myself. It's such a small thing, something people do everyday but it terrified me. I still don't love going to get gas - it's all dirty, I don't even want to imagine how many germs are on the handheld part of the hose and will be eternally grateful to anyone who fills my van up for me - but at least I did it.
And you know what else I did this week?
I, by accident, let a rather large Pyrex dish fall off the countertop and smash into a million pieces. If you ever wanted to know what that might look like, well, here you go. And you're welcome. As it was falling onto my ceramic tile floor, I remember thinking - it won't break, that glass is so thick. I was wrong, very wrong.
It hit the floor and I went for my shoes and the broom. And also for a cardboard box to hold all the pieces of glass. I went into the garage to get a box and even though we have many many boxes in there, I could not find one that did not have a hole cut out of the bottom. Wanna know why?
You know I'm going to tell you anyway, so I'm going to make pretend you said yes.
My boys made a pretend yard sale yesterday. And the boxes were used as tables and to store yard sale items and also, as something to cut up because they like to use scissors. So no box for me, but here's a pretty funny (and long) sign one of them taped to his bedroom door, inviting everyone to the his yard sale in his room.
And thanks to Uncle Yossi being here, the kid actually made a sale (!).
It's a week later and I can almost say that the smell of fried foods has left the house. Slowly.
It was a long, wonderful and hot Chanukah here in Florida. We had sleepover company, dinner company, Shabbos company, a bbq with new and old friends and more than our fair share of visits from the FedEx guy, carrying huge boxes. And now a stomach virus.
I can't say for sure, but I don't think I've ever gone almost a month without sharing here since I first started blogging. It felt weird - on many levels. I have so much to say and yet no time to say it. I kind of feel that way with my kids too - so many lessons to impart, so many ideas I want to share but between their hours in school, my hours in the classroom or planning for the classroom and then the few hours between school and bedtime, crammed with homework and baths and stories and playing outside, there's not too much time left to talk.
Which is why I really liked Chanukah this year. The kids are a little older and for the most part, were not passing out by the time we lit candles. And then there was all this time while the candles were burning to sit around and read with them or play board games; it was kind of like Friday night, but for eight straight days. We even sat around one night eating latkes, debating the merits of applesauce vs sour cream - even though not one of my children, and most likely Josh, have ever, in their lives, even tasted sour cream.
I know it's a little late, but here's a glimpse at Chanukah 2013, in no particular order:
1. Some of my classes made these menorah dripmats in art, right before Chanukah. I was not at all sure how they would come out - or rather how'd long they would last under a drippy menorah with lots of melty wax, but they survived. After eight nights, they were beyond covered in wax so I just chucked the ones my kids made (I know, I'm horrible) but it was throw them out or scrape the wax off with a knife. I hope you would choose the same.
We made them with 18" square floor tiles I found sitting in our garage when we moved in, some paper, scissors and Modge Podge glue. That's it. We let them dry for a couple of hours and then hand-delivered them to the waiting cars on the pick-up line. You want to drop your very-breakable-floor-tile project? Do it on your own time. I'm sending home intact projects.
2. Chanukah in Florida? It's weird. Lovely, but weird - it kind of feels like I should have been decorating the sukkah in 80 degree weather, not putting out menorahs. On the flip side, our tangelo tree is doing wonderfully. As is our palm tree. I'm just saying.
3. Remember the Chanukah raffle I was working on for the school? All I can say is - thank goodness it's over! It was super successful and I am super-relieved because can you imagine the whole thing falling apart on my watch? I can. I imagined it over and over and over. I stayed up at night thinking about it and my general anxiety level was definitely at code orange if not at code red. But as I've learned - mostly from having newborns - every day ends and another dawns and the "day after" always comes. The day after the raffle came and I breathed again. Breathing is really great.
These are the cupcakes I made with a friend for the dessert portion of the raffle:
A special thank you to whoever posted these cupcake toppers on Pinterest. They saved me.
4. I only have one thing to say about the jelly donuts this year:
They ain't from Brooklyn. And they ain't Dunkin Donuts either. But they'll do.
5. If you've been following along for a while, you might remember these Judah Maccabee cookies we made last year. If not, we made them again this year - and if I would have looked at last year's post before baking them, I would have remembered just how much of a pain they were to make. Oh well.
Packed them up and gifted them to a few individuals who've been beyond helpful to Josh since we moved here.
6. And finally, I just have to say again, even though it's not Chanukah weather, you really can't beat sitting in a hammock in December, even if you might need a little sweatshirt late in the day.
Winter break is coming quickly, here and in NY. The bed and breakfast is open, the guest room has clean sheets and slots are filling quickly. We'd love to see you if you're making like a bird and heading south at any point this winter. I'll even clean the bathroom before you come.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)