Cheder Activities 17th Tammuz 5781

We’ve started a Co-op Cheder where we live while the local Rabbi is away and working out whether or not he and his family will stay. Of course, no matter what other people in the Jewish community are doing, my own kids need to keep learning about Judaism and studying Hebrew! I figured while I was teaching my kids I may as well teach other kids who are keen! So this is what we did this week:

Important Day Re-cap

Today is a fast day – the 17th of Tammuz. Last week we spoke about this fast day in preparation, as well as the three weeks. So we just had a discussion talking about the 5 terrible things that happened on this day in history, as well as what we do or don’t do on a fast day. Prizes (a single M&M!) for each thing a child contributed.

13 Principles of Faith Activity

We did an introduction to the 13 Principles of Jewish Faith last week, so this was a follow on, consolidating activity. On strips of paper the students had 18 different “principles” they had to read and sort through. Some were ridiculous and funny (Hashem’s favourite food is ice-cream), and others were there to throw them off course like listing some of the 10 commandments! Once they chose what they thought was right I would check and tell them how many they needed to swap. And we continued this until everyone had it correct.

Together we talked about how the principles can be grouped into sections, and we put them in the right order and they glued them on their paper.

I instructed my children to put it on their bedroom walls so that they could check it regularly and commit it to memory.

I expect to do another activity on this topic next week to continue their learning.

You can download this activity for free here.

Shema Activity

This was primarily a translation activity. All the students in the group are familiar with this prayer, but this activity would also be appropriate for students that were unfamiliar with it. All the students in our group were also able to sound out the Hebrew (at least the letters if not the nikud).

I had cut out all the transliterated and English words, and the students had to sort them and connect them to the right Hebrew words. I encouraged students to first match the transliteration, then the English.

Dear Chaya // 12 Months

baby girl lying on a quilt with the letter "C", and "twelve months" written below

Dear Chaya, congratulations on reaching this auspicious milestone! May you have a long life to 120! Amen!

This month we celebrated Sukkot. It was nice to give you some gifts, and spend so much time in the sukkah. I think you enjoyed it! Of course we ended the holiday with Simchat Torah, which we kept pretty low key this year. Covid is still a thing, you know?

You are down to 2 bottles at the start of this month, but by the end you’re only having 1 every few days. It happened pretty quickly, and you just seemed to loose interest in it, and gain a BIG interest in eating lots of food!! You love to eat pureed apple with homemade fermented coconut yoghurt and farex, any type of meat, but especially fish. Sweet things, of course (much to my disgust), and lots of fruit. Berries are a keen favourite. This month you’ve been having rice bubbles with almond milk for breakfast every day which is super cute. And you eat quite a lot! I was worried you would be demanding food as soon as you work up in the morning, because you liked your bottle early, but you’re not. You eat at about 6:30 when I wake up. Which is about 2 hours after you woke up!!

So yeah, the waking up thing. You sleep pretty well in the night. Maybe you wake a bit but you put yourself back to sleep very easily these days. BUT it’s coming up to Summer, and you’re awake when the sun wakes! Blackout blinds are making their way to the top of our priority list very quickly!

You have five teeth now, and the 6th isn’t far off! You are a fairly easier teether, you just get a bit cranky and clingy. Sometimes a little bit of drool, but other than that it’s not too bad.

12 month old toddler

You have five teeth now, and the 6th isn’t far off! You are a fairly easier teether, you just get a bit cranky and clingy. Sometimes a little bit of drool, but other than that it’s not too bad.

You still mostly have 2 naps a day – usually because you sleep easily in the car, and tend to fall asleep as we go out in the mornings, or even just if it’s a morning we have to drive a little further to drop Ahava at kindy. BUT if you stay awake then you just have one long sleep towards the middle of the day, and I like this much better!

You are so so so close to walking full time. You can DEFINITELY walk, and you like to do it a lot, but you don’t always choose to walk. You get better and more confident every day, and I expect any day now you will be a full time walker. It’s been so exciting to watch you develop in this way – you have strong strong legs, and I love to watch you use them. 馃檪

You are a bit of a chatterbox too – always trying to talk to us and tell us exciting things. You LOVE to point, and I really do want to start teaching you some baby sign soon (I’ve been saying this for…. oh, 7 months now?!)

CC you love to smile, and you give AMAZING cuddles. Legit, people comment on what a good cuddler you are! You’re a little wary of strangers at the moment, but still, for the people you know you give massive cuddles. They are so warm to receive and fill my love tank to the brim!

Thanks for being part of our family, our precious Chaya Sefira.

Parsha Noach

At first I was adamant I wanted to try and represent something other than the rainbow for parsha Noach, but then I asked myself… why? I’m just trying to get these done – stay committed to a task for the whole year. I don’t need to make this so complicated! So inspired by a rainbow it is. But thankfully not too conventionally rainbow-y!

Parsha Bereshit 驻专砖讛 讘专讗砖讬转

Back into art journaling. It鈥檚 been niggling at me, and I think the time is right to make with my hands again. I need it I guess.

I鈥檇 love to have a whole Torah worth of art journaling pages – one for each parsha. So that鈥檚 what I鈥檓 trying to achieve. I鈥檝e attempted it many times before and failed, but here we are again!

EDIT: Also, I think when I publush this the Hebrew words in the title are in the wrong order. But they鈥檙e correct on my phone… so bare with me while I work out how WordPress wants me to do that!

Dear Chaya // Eleven Months

Dear Chaya,

You are eleven months old, and a very loved member of our family.

Just a few days after I wrote you last letter you started standing up on your own! Everyone is so excited for you. And it’s very exciting to see you take these next steps (literally and figuratively!), especially after all the work we’ve had to do getting you to reach your earlier milestones. But seriously, this was like over 20 seconds that you just stood there for, and we could hardly believe it. You’ve continued to do lots of standing over the next four weeks.

By the time I write this eleven month old letter though, you are not only just standing for a few seconds, but legit taking steps around the place!! It is beyond exciting to watch you do this, and you LOVE the attention when you take some steps.

You got your second tooth – right next to the first one. This tooth was another surprise attack, as I’ve been eyeing off your two top eye teeth thinking they should come through soon (they’re very bulgy), and I didn’t even feel any gum bumps where these first two teeth have come up!

We had Rosh Hashanah this month, and this is when you took 3 or 4 big steps on your own! You’ve been continuing to practice these every day since. Also on Rosh Hashanah you got chicken pox. Lior had them first a few weeks ago, and now you, Eli and Ahava have all got it at the same time. Thankfully you don’t seem too uncomfortable – just annoyed at all the creams and weedy pesto I try to smother over your spots to help you heal quicker. The itching only seems to bother you at night, and makes you wake up and moan and cry. The up side is that I realised that you sleep so well normally! We’d just fallen into good sleep with little to no wake up so naturally that I didn’t even think much of it (with the others it’s kind of a big deal, with me forcing them to stop feeding in the night or things like this). So Baruch HaShem, you sleep so well. This chicken pox sleep schedule is just a hiccup. Other than having spots on you and getting cranky at night when you should be sleeping, you don’t seem drowsy or “sick” at all. Though you have had some long day sleeps after all these restless nights…

We started you in cloth nappies this month, which is very exciting. Better late than never, right?! I gave you a break from them while you had the pox, because I didn’t want you to get any nappy rash or infections from moisture on the pox. We’re getting into a little groove with it all, but probably need to increase our stash a bit, as a fair few of the second hand ones we were given are newborn size.

Personality wise, you are definitely showing your strength these days CC. You pull things back from people if they’re taking something you’re holding, and you are very opinionated, even if it is mostly in grunts!

Your favourite game is pulling things off people’s heads, and you love to laugh when people rub their head into your belly and tickle you. You are also my potting up buddy, and love to get dirty! You hate baths, and don’t mind showers. You like to babel and explain things to people with your tongue sticking out and your noises not making sense. You love to be with Imma all the time, 24/7. You do not like to be put down on the ground anymore, and you wish you could watch the world from your little perch on my hip! You love screens. You’re not allowed to watch on them of course, but you still love to kit the keys on the keyboard and touch the phone or iPad and see things change. You make your presence known, and it seems the lasting effect of the chicken pox is in making your squeal more frequently (not ideal!). Hopefully that one wears off…!

CC, my chooch, my baby doll, my precious one. Oh how I love you. Oh how I to hold your hand at night, and cuddle next to you when we sleep. Oh how I love your laugh and your smile, and even your crying face. I love every part of you, and hold onto every part of you. I love you Sunshine.

Love Imma.

A Gratitude List // September 2020

  • A sleepy baby girl sitting at my feet on the couch
  • A long morning nap this Shabbat
  • Finishing putting together all my 2019 photos, so that I can keep going on the photobook
  • A big home with lots of room and space to move and breath
  • Bird song all day every day
  • A growing garden
  • Making delicious things in the dehydrator lately
  • Rabbi Mendel & Esty – great friends!
  • All our friends that has stuck by us for so long, through quite a lot. It was Katie’s birthday this week and I worked out we have been friends for 15 years! What?!
  • My (bigger) kids are so excited about Father’s Day tomorrow, and that makes me so proud
  • Deep breaths. Like, REALLY deep breaths.
  • See my doctor on Monday. I’m excited to get my test results back and hopefully get something to help my problems!
  • My beautiful plant wall