Where Has The Time Gone?

KIMG1645Spring is amazing here and I am trying to soak it all up before it gets too hot to do much. I have been enjoying walks in the morning before boys need to get up.

Purim came and went and now Pesach is next week! I am having such a hard time wrapping my mind around that! Yes, I have been cleaning, I’m not too worried. I cleaned two main rooms before Grandpa came to visit us before Purim. I finished my room yesterday and we are working on boys’ rooms. I have bought all our Pesach needs except the fresh fruits and vegetables and a few odds and ends (I left our Pesach broom 1441 miles north of here 1.5 years ago since we needed something to clean with after all our stuff was gone and my regular broom was broken anyways.) Not quite sure what I did last year with all the matza crumbs, but, somehow I managed, don’t feel like figure it out right now.

We are in hail season right now. We went to bed Purim night to 15 minutes of strong hail. Woke up in the morning and it looked like it snowed! Damaged our metal roof, took theKIMG1595 paint off the fence, and dented the cars. But, Baruch Hashem, it did not break through our roof or any windows (just a couple of miles away, there were such things happening!) We had more hail this past week. I have come to expect that – it does not just rain here, as I found out last year. It pours. Gista mabul! (It’s flooding – yiddish)

Life is a bit different lately. Other than just things happening, it does feel strange not to be teaching any limudei kodesh things. Yes, I sit down with my little one and do his work with him – the watching of the videos, reading the school work and writing down many of the his dictations. But still, does feel weird. The little one told me he needed to make a new haggadah. Ah, yes, we used to do those. He does have a nice one his Saba Saba (Great Grandfather) bought him shortly before he passed away, but he wants one he makes. I was rummaging through my mind to try to remember which ones I have in my 3 inch binder that would be good for him. I am thinking the circle one would be good for him. Will look it up and pull it out.

*2 days later*

KIMG1640
Tea Time! With strawberries dipped in cocoa water and then sugar. Utterly messy, but utterly delicious!

Well, I went to go look on Chinuch.org for it to link to it, but I got caught instead looking at some other amazing things they had there. And then 2 days passed by somehow. I showed Mr. Little another haggadah, and he wanted it all printed out. It is a full haggadah but has some nice comments for children in it and he liked it. I printed out all 90 ish pages and then messed up royally on the hole punching… We won’t go down that road. I still have to fix one set of holes so it goes in the binder. And no, we have not gone over any of it because of that. Sigh. Wonder if there is anything else I can do. I guess I can just punch holes all around to make it look like it is supposed to be there – there are already holes on the other side! Or, I think I might just find some cardboard and tie yarn through holes. Yes, I think we can do that. I will let him decorate the outside when he gets bored.

I am not sure how I would manage cleaning the house if the boys were in school. We have spent 3 days on two rooms upstairs. Yeah, well okay, the boys spent one day painting – you know how it goes, all you wanted to do was clean, but out comes the paint. That room has not been painted since we moved in, and it was really needing it. All 4 boys (and Mommy) were into the painting. I was going to just do 3 walls but they did all 4. That room has a KIMG1643ceiling with 3 sides (almost like a barn), and they painted two of the sides as well, just leaving the actual ceiling alone. One beautiful boy went up and beyond and made sure it was all trimmed – ceiling, walls, in between the windows. He did not stop until it was done. Mr. Quiet is good that way. And to give my heartfelt thanks, I took him out. No one knows where we went (except Daddy), and we went on our hideaway to get some ice cream! I told him not to tell anyone where we were going. The others worked, and I am proud of that, it is just that he went up and beyond. I wanted to thank him for that but don’t want the others to feel bad for they great as well. So much for trying to work on my diet. I couldn’t just let him eat by himself (the date was quiet as it was – we are both quiet people,) and no, even though I was not going to have any, I did. So, we enjoyed our ice cream, together, in silence. I think he enjoyed himself. 🙂

Other than painting, we played musical rooms, and three boys moved rooms. Three in one and one in the other. So, boys all slept in their new rooms last night – and all rooms are KIMG1648cleaned for Pesach. Now, to just deal with all the stuff that was put outside on the landing….. I wonder how much of it I can really throw out. Not sure I can get by with all of it, but I think I must try! After getting a black garbage bag full of garbage from one room (and yes, I HAVE cleaned it out several times since last Pesach!) I need to have less stuff in that particular room. Much less stuff. Meaning, I would love to have nothing really, so anything there I know is garbage! But, realistically, maybe just a desk? It has drawers so he can put things in it. I might get by with that. Worth a try.

Somehow we still managed to get some school work done. We are about done for cleaning – mainly just the landing upstairs is left. And the last big thing is the kitchen. A few odds and ends, but that is about it. I think we are doing good. The boys cleaned out our inside freezer (we have a separate fridge and freezer in our kitchen) and it is stuffed withKIMG1650 our Pesach foods for I refuse to clean the outside freezers. Too much work for me. So, Baruch Hashem, we can manage without them. We are really excited and all enjoy the Yom Tov. The boys are looking forward to making sure we have enough makkos for the seder. We usually end up missing some of our hail every year, and occasionally some wild animals go missing. And, we are looking foward to family coming over for the last days. That is always exciting. Apparently they liked us so much last year that they wanted to come this year. Woohoo! 😀 Baruch Hashem our house is plenty big for everyone! “Boys are excited about seeing their cousins” is an understatement.

I won’t keep y’all any longer. Wishing everyone a Kosher Pesach – free from both physical and spiritual chometz, with lots of joy and happiness. We should all be free from our personal slavery, and there is still time for Moshiach to come and take us to Eretz Yisroel 🙂

Post Pesach

20130325_163908Pesach has come and gone, I hope everyone had a good holiday. I really like all the Yomim Tovim and miss them when they go. I know I’m weird for most people are excited and can’t wait until the holidays are over, but I just love them. I love the cooking (and I do simple things and don’t drive myself crazy,) love spending time with the boys (still!) and of course my husband, and just love the Yom Tov feel. I honestly do not mind being with my children, even the day after. I wonder if it is because I am with them all day almost 365 days a year and they really are my life, for now. Some how I think holidays are more of a break than a burden for even though they are still with me, I have one less job to do during the day so it is like a vacation. 🙂

I try to do at least one nice, fun thing during Chol Hamoed. We do not go all out and crazy and feel like we have to fill up all the spare time, I guess it is partly because I spend a lot of quality time with the boys all year long, and partly because I don’t like to feel crazy. I like the lazy, nice, fun, relaxing vacation. We drove to Niagra Falls to meet up with my brother and his family who came in to Toronto to his wife’s family from all the way across the continent. Unfortunately it was for only an hour because I misunderstood our meeting area and went 20 minutes the opposite direction and then had to backtrack. 🙁 But, I will take that hour opposed to nothing! We had not seen them since last Pesach. We also went to the Children’s Museum on Friday afternoon before my pass expired. It was a fun time, I was able to send the older boys off to do whatever they wanted while I took the little one around for the stuff he wanted.

While other mothers were frustrated from sugar highs and otherwise seemingly cooped up children (and parents) the day after, I used20130329_134501 this time to put the boys to work. They worked on finishing up the packing that I did not get to finish at night and taking everything down to the basement (which really was not that much work, but I was glad I did not have to do it!) I even got my floors mopped for me which saved me from having to purchase a new mop head for one more week. We did daven and do a small bit of Torah learning but really did take the rest of the day off. It was really nice.

So today was the first day back at school. We even started on time! Davening, parsha and then the rest of our scheduled day. Since we have a schedule set out for when everything is done during the week, and this is the only day of real “school” for the week, I just let the boys pick out whatever they wanted to work on for the most part. It is a nice treat for them. There was still some left over sugar/Yom Tovness left inside of their beautiful bodies and some of the concentration was just not there, and yes, some tantruming was still present, but by the end of the night things have settled down and one boy is enjoying himself as I type and is on a night hike with his scout troop. I assume they have enjoyed their smores by now, and are about ready to walk back to the cars. Today was a nice change to the snow and nice cold we got on the last day of Yom Tov! It was in the 50’s and sunny, a great time for a hike! Spring has definitely come now.

My 3 year old did not want to sing any songs before or during Pesach, but now that it is after the holiday he has started singing his “Ma Nishtanah” for all of us to hear. That is so like him! He asked me yesterday when Pesach is coming again. I think he’s getting ready for next year quite on the early side! Now, it is time to make some shlissel challah (a “key” challah) for the segula of parnassa (money) which is customary to do the first Shabbos after Pesach. Usually this is the time where my school schedule starts to dwindle away somehow and I have all sorts of new ideas to try out for the coming year, but I think since Pesach was so early this year, I am still in the current school mode and am confident that next week will be a great start to the rest of the year.

Pesach

Well, as Pesach is getting close to being finished, I have decided that I actually have time to sit down and write, though my luck the boys will come in from outside or the little one will get up from his nap before I can get very far.

“Ma nishtana hashanah hazeh mikol hashanos” (Why is this year different from other years)?

For some reason this year was very different with all preparations than any in the past.  When the boys were younger, I was the soul teacher, and it was easy to take a morning or afternoon and we would all head to one room in the house, tear it apart and clean it.  The next day, or the day after, the same thing would happen to another part of the house, until it was all done.  I do not remember what happened last year, but this year it was a little different.  Firstly, last year I made a mistake – I started in the bedrooms and then worked my way to the basement, (leaving the kitchen for last.)  It was a mistake for by the time we did the search for all the chometz, my dear husband was very upset for the rooms had been lived in again and there was absolutely no way we did any cleaning! (I think I vaguely remember after him yelling at me for the umpteenth time, telling him that next year he could do the cleaning…..)

So, this year I vowed not to let that happen again.  I decided to start with the least used room, and work up to the most used (messiest) room in the house, and then the kitchen.  There was only one problem – now that my boys did set classes online with their Rebbe, how was I going to grab their help for any length of time to clean?  We ended up doing a room on a Sunday, and then on a non-school weekday (a Friday – yes, we only do a 4 day “schedule” – more on that in a later post, G-d willing) tackling the basement.  We are lucky, there is not much in the basement (on purpose), and it was just cleaned a week or so before for our company that came over.  The rest of the house I did the week before Pesach.

Why did I leave it so late?  Well, other than just not wanting to drive myself crazy and work in the evenings and get to sleep late, I prefer to take the easy way out.  Both cellars were closed off, as well as the garage, a few of the closets and the pantry.  I also take the easy way out and make simple meals.  I have a nice recipe I use for a whole turkey – I can make a soup, roast turkey, and shnitzel, in less than 2 hours.  That is about 4 meals worth of main dishes.

My husband took all the boys to the zoo (2 hours away!) for the day, and that let me clean our room, as well as all the laundry.  I won’t mention the bedroom took 4 hours (ouch!)  As our room gets to be the “storage” room on a regular basis, it was so nice to get it back again!

I did not teach the week before Pesach, however, the boys attended their online classes.  We enjoyed our seders.  The boys look forward to jumping frogs, hail landing in their grape juice, and the largest locusts seen.  And, while the rest of the parents are taking their children all over town this week, I am taking yet another week off of school and hiding in my room, letting the boys read, run outside, go to the library, and try to fly a kite.  Sometimes I feel like a “bad” parent – but then again, I remember I spend quality time with my boys the entire year, and do not have to try to cram it all in to a few days at a time several times a year.  It was not all so bad, they did have a bochor who came over for one afternoon and spent several hours with them teaching them different things, as well as another playdate for my youngest the next day.

We are also a one car family, and the weather the last few days has been weird, and I have been letting my husband take the van instead of riding to work on the scooter in the rain.  And now, it is nice and sunny, no hail, no rain, and we do not have a car to go to the (local) zoo.  Perhaps tomorrow 🙂  And yes, I know tomorrow is erev Yom Tov again, but there is plenty of time to cook and go to the zoo and take showers!

So, for those that read this during Pesach – I wish all of you a wonderful rest of the Yom Tov, and for those that read this afterwards, hope you had a wonderful and Pesach.  Hope all of us are able to pull free from our enslavement of our Egypt this year!

(Oh, and yes, all boys came into the room, but they were kind enough to let me finish typing! Yeah!)