My 4 year old, while we are in the car: “Mommy, I want the Bais Hamikdash song!”
I had absolutely no clue what song he was talking about, but he asked me several times while we were driving. I was going through my brain, trying to figure the song out. My oldest bought a few CD’s recently with his Bar Mitzvah money. It was not the Maccabeats, no, we have had those CD’s for a long time. I had Six13 playing and I quickly flipped through the songs for him. No. Well, perhaps it is Lipa. A brother helped me put Lipa in while I drove and we flipped through those songs. No, the only song he knew from that CD was “Hang Up the Phone.” No. No clue. Poor boy was so distraught. He wanted his Bais Hamkidash song! We had to wait and I asked my oldest if he knew what his little brother was talking about the next time we got into the car. It turns out that it was Cantor Helfgot and Itzchak Perlman! I was driving and the little boy was in the back seat, but the squeals of delight as he heard the violin start playing his song was wonderful. Beautiful song and it lasts 9 minutes and 58 seconds, and my youngest was singing along the entire time.
It’s been hard to get back into the swing of things after our winter vacation. It took a few weeks, but I finally sat down and redid our schedule. I was so proud of myself and I printed it out (took 8 pages), taped it together and attached it to our kitchen wall. As I was in the middle of taping, I noticed… a mistake. Oops. Oh well, it is hard to find all the mistakes until it is in print. We have made (well, really in the middle of the process of making) major and minor changes.
We had some things that had been working for us until recently, and with growing boys, we have made some executive decisions. Firstly, some of the minor changes I made. We have the older boys going through Rambam while watching videos with Rabbi Yehoshua Gordon on Chabad.org. While trying to be efficient with time, okay, it was mostly out of convenience, but don’t tell anyone, I would have all three boys watch the videos together. As long as I was in the room with them, that was fine. However, it is hard to stay in the room when another little boy “needs” to learn his school work. One might think that this is not an issue, until one realizes that once the parent leaves the room, the other boys tend to think that they can be boys.
So, we are working on getting their tablets all set up so that they can all listen to their Rambam videos separately, and wearing headphones (so they can be with me in the same room and I spend some time with my Bais Hamikdash boy) – which leads us to our major change. In order for them to be allowed to use their tablets, we have to make sure that when we sit them down with the tablets, they are likely to actually watch and listen, opposed to finding other things to do instead and I am not noticing. You know, like checking their email, etc. At first we were thinking that we would remove internet access to the tablets, which meant to remove the actual ability of the tablet to find any internet to try to connect to. To do that, you have to hack the tablet and start messing with the actual programming of it. Well, we got all the way to the last step and we “bricked” the tablet – meaning it won’t even turn on to use. Oops. We had to get another tablet. (We got the lower end tablets, and with a higher end tablet we would most likely would have been able to fix it by re-installing the whole system, similar to when one has to wipe out their Windows computer and re-install the Windows system.)
While waiting to decide what we are going to do now, I made the decision that the desktop computer was getting abused and I finally went and removed internet access to that computer – by pulling the plug to their internet router. We have two routers; one with a password, and one that was supposed to be filtered and with no password. (The filter, for some reason, stopped working.) Once the router that did not require a password was unplugged, there can be no access through tablets. That means we can upload videos through a thumb drive and do not have to worry about boys playing around so much (and don’t have to worry about screwing up another tablet!) Yes, we did get drop and spills protection, but that does not include when we root the tablet and mess up the programming end.
It’s been too cold to go out some days. Boys are kvetchy. Tried bribing them in getting work done fast so we can put up bookcases (a wonderful homeschool treat!!!!) Didn’t work. Bookcases came, school work was not done, and couldn’t get them to finish the work so we can put up the bookcases. A few days later and we finally finished screwing in all the screws to the 3rd and final Bais Hamikdash, oops, bookcase. 😉 We are still working on arranging all the books. With 3 new bookcases, you would think there would be some empty shelves. Right now I have 2 that are empty…for now, however, we are not done.
We have rearranged some furniture from our library (where the bookcases are) to the living room. We rather like it and think of keeping it, at least for now, this way. My chair is sitting right next to the bookcase on the hearth (and it’s within reach of my arms!) and instead of having my papers pile up all over the place, I am removing the books from one of the shelves and replace them with a few containers where I can store the papers and whatnot that I use throughout the day. I am hoping that it will make the fireplace area look a lot neater.