Sunday, December 27, 2015


A few weeks ago I saw a brilliant movie called Bridge of Spies. I won't go into detail about the actual movie, but there was a certain part of it that I really loved.

There is a scene where a lawyer is telling a Russian spy who has been caught that he will possibly get the death penalty. The spy, a soft spoken man in his late 60's just looks at him and nods his head. "You don't seem very upset about this news," says the Lawyer. "Would it help?" replies the spy.

There are a few scenes like this throughout the movie between the spy and his Lawyer. Where he is given not great news but he meets it in a very calm way, just accepting it.

Thats not to say one should not get upset or emotional, we are human beings at the end of the day. But there are times when getting emotional really won't help a situation, in fact, it can actually make it worse.

People often tell me how 'calm' I am during stressful times. The cleaning lady didn't show up on Friday. A friend was over cooking with me. "What are you going to do????" she gasped, "Why are you not freaking out?" "Would it help?" I replied with a smile.

When I first became a mom over ten years ago, I remember wondering why every time my son was hungry he would cry as if the world was falling apart. I mean, I was feeding him on demand, when would he learn that I am his mommy, I love him with every part of my being and my goal in life was to be there for his every need. He really didn't need to get so emotional every time he needed something!

And then came the separation anxiety. I remember so clearly putting him in his high chair and going into the next room to get something. The screams from that poor child, you would have thought I was leaving on a one way ticket to Mars, never to return. Even if I would talk to him while walking away, he would cry his eyes out until I returned.

Obviously our kids all grow up and realize that mommy isn't going anywhere and they learn how to communicate. But those few events stuck in my mind for a very long time.

One of my biggest personal challenges in my life is having Faith. Having Faith in Hashem that He is the one in control, and whatever is supposed to happen, will happen.

But over the years, I have learnt a lot, especially from my babies.

If only our babies just 'knew' that we will feed them, or change them, or return to the room in a few minutes. Why the anxiety? Why the need to scream as if its not going to happen?

We are very much like these little ones. We are often in situations in our lives where it seems like Hashem has 'left the room' so to speak. And we get anxious, and scared, and don't know what to do.

Thats where the faith comes in.

When in a situation where we feel we want to scream, the cleaning lady let you down Erev Pesach, your kids are fighting and driving you nuts, your car broke down, whatever, I am sure you can fill in the blanks with all your own situations, take a deep breath. Getting upset and frustrated really is not going to help. Its a feeling, but not a productive feeling.

Take a deep breath and think, okay. Hashem 'has left the room' for a minute. He will be right back and whatever is supposed to happen, will happen. Will screaming and crying help right now? No. There is a time to cry and get upset and when those times happen in our lives we do not need to ask ourselves if this is a time to cry.

But the times where we have a choice to react, or take a breath, take the breath. Hashem will pave the way whether we believe it or not. But having faith that Hashem will hold our hand and take us exactly where we need to go will make the journey a whole lot easier.

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Tree Trimming

When we moved into our home almost 10 years ago, aside for incredible bicoastal views and lots of space, one of the best things about this house was the huge avocado tree growing in the back yard.

This tree gave the most delicious buttery avocados I have ever tasted. The avocados were huge, about the size of a large grape fruit and some years we had so many avocados we had to send friends home with 8-10 avos each time they came over.

I lived on these avocados when I was nursing my first child, absolutely terrified to eat anything that might cause the poor baby gas or any other side affects I had read about.

Fresh mashed avocado was the very first food for all of my kids.

Pesach, we always had an abundance of the most delicious avocados.

This tree was so huge, it cast a massive shadow over our back porch giving it a natural shade from the strong Hawaiian sun. It was truly our magical tree.

Until one day the Maui Health Department arrived on our doorstep telling us that our dear avocado tree was too large and needed to be trimmed for various reasons.

In New York you get in trouble if you don't shovel the snow off your side walk. On Maui you get in trouble when your trees are too high. Go figure. Okay, we didn't actually get in trouble, we just had to take care of it right away.

So along came the tree trimmer. A trimmer. You go to the salon for a trim and she cuts an inch, maybe 2 off. Apparently, tree trimming on Maui means, cut most of the tree down leaving the trunk and a few stubby branches.

It was so depressing to see. I know, its just a tree you say. But this was a huge gorgeous tree, now just a brown stump. Okay, not a stump, its still the tree but imagine a huge tree with no branches or leaves. I was sad. The kids were all sad. Anyone who came over who looked at our tree got sad too.

Here it is. So so sad.

Well, the tree trimmer didn't seem too concerned. And any of our friends who know anything about landscaping and trees were just like,  "Wow, that is the best thing you could have done for that tree!" "Its going to grow back and be so much healthier!" "Your next avocados are going to be insane!"

Yeah, okay, whatever. The tree is gone, stop trying to make me feel better. It's really not working.


A few mornings after the tree was cut down I noticed this rather unusual influx of monarch butterflies flying around the yard. We're talking Disney Movie imagine the princess in the forrest and all the forest creatures flying around her amount of butterflies.

The kids would lay in the grass and have butterflies land on their noses, and we soon discovered a tree that had been somewhat smothered by the avo tree was now just blossoming, and I guess it was a tree that butterflies eat from and build their cocoons on cos now our garden is filled with these gorgeous butterflies.

And then the next morning, sitting at the kitchen table, the sun just came streaming in, creating this really gorgeous warmth. A warmth that had been blocked by this huge tree all these years.

After about a month, I started to notice these tiny green shoots coming out of the cut branches. These shoots have now turned into full on luminous green leaves.


I guess the tree trimmer wasn't just a chain saw happy meanie who destroyed our tree. I guess he knew what he was doing. Because now our tree looks really happy. And we have sun at the breakfast table. And there are butterflies flying around our garden all day. I guess its all going to be okay.

Kind of like life.

Sometimes, it seems like things are really good. And then something happens where it seems really really not so good. And it makes us really sad. We reminisce for the old life we had. How we wish things could just go back to the way they were.

But little do we know, that what seems really difficult is actually Hashems way of making us stronger. It is Hashems way of bringing in the butterflies, and the sunshine and the new brighter leaves.

We just need to listen to the experts. The landscapers who say its good for the tree to trim it down, cut down all the branches. To make room for the incredible blessings to come.

We all know that saying, 'It will all be okay in the end, if its not okay, its not the end.'

Its called having faith. And the next time you feel like a tree that has just been cut down, hang in there. Hang in there really tight, because sometimes the only way to let those blessings in, is by cutting down the tree.

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Making Life Easier

We are all so busy, some of us more over whelmed then others. Some of us are naturally organized, some of us, not so much. And as much as I wish I had a set schedule of chores for my kids, I don't. And as much as I wish my house keeping ran nice and smooth, it doesn't. Which is why I have managed to find some awesome things that have helped me tremendously in my home organization and cleaning adventure. Some are pricey, some more affordable. But check out my personal recommendations:

The Roomba

A very good friend of mine (I love you Janine!) was leaving the island. She offered to buy me a gift and asked what I wanted. I jokingly and not so jokingly mentioned I dreamed about having a Roomba of my own. And the very next day she arrived on my door step with my new best friend, the Roomba.

Every night before I go to bed, and all the kids are sleeping, I turn it on. I come down stairs in the morning to spotless floors and the Roomba happily charging in its station. Yes, when it is finished sweeping the entire downstairs, it brilliantly takes itself back to the charger. Erev Shabbos when my cleaning help doesn't arrive, I just turn on the Roomba. Clean wooden floors. Perfectly vacuumed carpets. Whether or not you have stairs, it knows to stay off of them. Every mother should own one of these.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

I have tried time and again to make a menu plan at the beginning of the week but I never seem to stick to it. I wish I could say I have all my meals planned each day, but sometimes its 2pm and I have no idea what I'm making for dinner.

This Pressure Cooker was a gift from a tourist who visited us. The other day I took an entire chicken, threw in some veggies and in 30 minutes I had the most delicious chicken soup that tasted like it had been cooking all day. Last night I took a roast that I had defrosted that day (yay, go organized me!) and put it in the pressure cooker with potatoes, carrots, onions and spices and 35 minutes later, thick delicious stew. I have made numerous soups, 1 minutes Quinoa, no joke and for moms who tend to do things last minute, this is absolutely for you.

Mason Jars

These are just great to store all food in. They keep food fresher longer, make it more appetizing to eat and the price is great. I make juices for the day and keep them in the fridge. Divide soup into one serving jars so you can just pop it in the microwave if you want a quick bowl of soup. I cut up veggies and salads and they are really great to just keep fresh foods stocked in the fridge.

Personalized Towels

This really helps with laundry. Each kid has a towel for the week. You shower, you dry yourself, you hang up your towel and wash it once or twice a week. Keeps things simple.

Days of the Week Shelves

I never figured out a laundry system, I am sure I will one day but as it stands the washing machine is just constantly going in my house, be it clothes, table clothes, towels, there is always something washing and drying.

This shelving system is great because you can set up the kids clothes for the week. Stick in a shirt, underwear, pants, socks. If they wear something twice like pants or skirt, just put it in the next days shelf at the end of the day. No more 'mommy, where are my blue pants?????'

The White Board

This is my command center, kids homeschool planner, to do list. I have a small one on the fridge where I write down groceries as we run out. I have a small one next to our calendar on the wall of things that need to get done and a really big one where we do our school work where I have divided it into days of the week and each child has their own box where I write what they need to do or have done etc.

I'm a very visual person and jotting things down in my phone is really not for me. I need to see it in front of me, not look for it.

Feel free to share any tips or products you own that make your life easier, and  I hope this was helpful to you.

                                   Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Israelis at the Mall

If you look at a globe and take your left hand and place it on Hawaii then your right hand and place it on Israel, you will see that these two places are literally back to back, on complete opposite ends of the globe.

Many Israelis come here to work in those famous kiosks in the malls selling Dead Sea products, Hair products etc. They are really really good at what they do. Some of them come here for 6 months, some for a year. Either way we end up meeting lots of them as they often join us for Shabbos. No matter who it is, the moment they step foot into our home on a Friday night, there is this instant feeling for them of home. The smell of fresh challah, hot chicken soup on the stove, the many Israeli salads we serve, Matbucha, Chatzilim, Chumus, Techina.

Over the years we have developed some very close relationships with many of them, some who spent Shabbos with us every week, some who came every Friday night. Every time one of them left the island to go back home, they would always gift me with a lotion or a hair straightener or whatever it is they were selling. Lets just say I have built up such a collection I could probably open up my own Kiosk!

We often poke innocent fun at them for being such aggressive talented sales people and how good they are at selling their products.

There is one young man, Shlomi, who we have grown very close with. He comes here almost every Shabbos and he has become a part of the family. My kids adore him and he is just a sweet heart.

He often tells us about these amazing products that he sells and we just laugh it off telling him we are not buying any of it and we are sure its all great stuff.

This past Friday, in honor of Chanukah, Shlomi gifted me with 3 of the lotions that he sells. One for the eyes, one for the neck and one for the face. I told him I'm 36 and have no wrinkles but he made sure to point out that indeed, I apparently have a bunch of lines on my face, around my eyes and on my neck that I had never noticed before. I thanked him profusely for pointing them out to me. (Insert sarcasm font here).

He was then so excited to instruct me what to do, literally an hour before Shabbos. So we both stood in front of the big mirror at the entrance of our house and began... but I will tell you I definitely was skeptical.

I followed his exact directions only on the left side of my face so I would be able to see the contrast. Apparently the results were instant.  The lotions came with these adorable tiny spoons. I put a spoon on my finger and dabbed the eye cream around my eye.

Within seconds, this happened...
Look at the left eye how it just lifted up and all the little lines around it literally disappeared. It was so cool.

Then I put the neck lotion on my neck...
Like I said, I never noticed lines on my neck but I put it on my left side and the lines vanished. See some lines on the right? No lines on the left. So awesome.

And then I put the face lotion all over the left side of my face, check out the left side vs. the right. The lines literally disappeared before my eyes.

So no, this is not a beauty blog, and if you know me personally you know that daily mascara and moisturizer is as fancy as I get. But this stuff is amazing. And its a tiny jar with a years worth of lotion. You do it once a week. I felt I needed to share it with all of you.

I immediately did the other side of my face so I wouldn't get any weird looks from our Shabbos guests. 

I asked my hubby if he noticed anything different about me to which he answered the only safe answer he knows any time I ask him how I look- 'You look perfect.' So he was of no help for this one.

We had a bunch of people for dinner and all our regulars kept making comments to me- 'did you lose weight?' 'did you get some sun?' 'are you wearing make up?' Lots of nice compliments. I sounded like one of those Israelis at the table swearing how fabulous these products are! 

So, I asked Shlomi how much these products usually cost. I also told him I have a blog. I also said I would like him to offer these products to my readers at 45% off the price he usually sells them for and with free shipping. Not asking for much, right?

So if you want to treat yourself out, give Shlomi a call or e-mail him. How often do we pamper ourselves? These are the lotions Shlomi gave me, you can get one or all three:

Shlomi also said that for Rabbanit Danit, he will honor a 45% discount for my readers only and with FREE SHIPPING anywhere in the world. You are all welcome. Just mention you saw the products on my blog. Shlomi: 808-495-6645 or

And just by the way, its been 5 days since I put on the lotions and the lines are still not there. Pretty awesome.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Joys of Reading on Shabbos

Oh, how I love Shabbos.

Now that my kids are getting older, and we live in a warm climate, Shabbos is the day they get to see all their friends that they don't get to see during the week. 

They play outside all day, I barely see them except for the meals.

We have great company come over and I love all the delicious foods.

But most of all, I love love love- did I mention LOVE?- my Shabbos afternoon reading time.

After the meal, my husband makes me a cup of chamomile tea and I go to the living room which has huge windows which are always open, letting in the most gorgeous breeze. 

I plop down on the big leather sofas choosing the spot where the sun is shining onto and just curl up and read, read, read.

Oh, how much I enjoy my reading. 

During the week, I will admit that I am too distracted by life, computers and smart phones to sit down and read. Even in the evenings, I usually just crash after a long day.

But on Shabbos, when I know there is absolutely nothing that needs to get done, the kids are all entertaining each other and I get this juicy time to indulge.

The books I am currently reading and loving are:
The Rising Life by Rochie Pinson
Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma
Flourish by Mary Jo Tate

These books are so fantastic in their own way and truly compliment each other. Here are some of my favorite parts of the books. I highly recommend each one!

The Rising Life

"On Shabbat we return to our essential selves. The fact that we cannot create anything new on Shabbat means that we, and the world, have the permission to simply exist, exactly as we are, for this one day of the week. What a relief!"

"Nobody's Challah dough is inherently prettier then the next persons. It's not about the finished product. When we are fully present during the process, the results- though they may not be 'perfect looking'- will be a flawless reflection of our love and care. And, therefore, the Challah is perfect.

This idea holds true, so true, in the raising of our children and the nurturing of our loved ones. When we parent and nurture with our whole being and focus on the process rather then try to achieve desired results, we find that the results end up being sweet and perfect."

Cleaning House

"Do your kids expect clean folded clothes to magically appear in their drawers? Do they roll their eyes when you suggest they clean the bathroom? By racing in to make their lives easy, have you unintentionally reinforced your children’s belief that the world revolves around them?
Dismayed at the attitude of entitlement that had crept into her home, Kay Wyma got some attitude of her own. Cleaning House is her account of a year-long campaign to introduce her five kids to basic life skills and the ways meaningful work can increase earned self-confidence and concern for others.
With irresistible humor and refreshing insights, Kay candidly details the ups and downs of equipping her kids for such tasks as making beds, refinishing a deck chair, and working together. The changes that take place in her household will inspire you to launch your own campaign to dislodge your kids from the center of their universe."

Her goals at the end of the book (and mine too!):

Top 12 things a Kid should know before leaving Home
1. how to make a bed and maintain an orderly room
2. how to cook and clean a kitchen
3. how to do yard work
4. how to clean a bathroom
5. how to get a job... outside our home
6. how to do laundry
7. how to host a party
8. how to do handyman jobs
9. how to work together
10. how to run errands
11. how to put others first through service
12. how to act mannerly

Flourish-Balance for Homeschool Moms

This is really great for all the overwhelmed Homeschooling moms out there. She has this great Pre-Book Self Evaluation that you do before you begin to read it with questions such as:

"What is the most frustrating aspect of your daily life?
What brings you the greatest satisfaction?
What are your biggest personal challenges? 
What are your biggest family challenges?
What is currently missing in your life that you'd like to make time for?"

It really helps put so many things into perspective and helps those of us who just have so much going on put things into their boxes and deal with every issue one at a time.

You would think I was writing a thesis on Motherhood! But I am enjoying these books so much and they truly compliment each other in so many ways.

Wishing you all a wonderful and happy Chanukah,

Monday, November 30, 2015

I'm actually replaceable, who would have thought!

Whether we like it or not, we all inherit certain qualities from our parents, both good and not so good. I got my creative and artistic side from my dad, which I am so thankful for. He also gave me really chubby fingers, the ones where you can't try on any rings in a jewelry store cos none of them fit. Yup. Thanks Pops.

One of the wonderful things I inherited from my mom, aside from bouncing back quite quickly after each birth and pretty quick and uneventful labors, I inherited the wonderful (insert sarcasm here) gift of varicose veins. And throw in 4 pregnancies in 4 years and its a nice recipe for those big bulging thick really unattractive veins on my inner right calf. The ones where at the end of every day I need to lay down and elevate my feet up on a wall because they feel so heavy and itchy.

After my recent trip to NY where I walked some serious milage, I vowed that as soon as I got home to Maui I would take care of my veins as they were really starting to bother me and effect me on a daily bases.

So this past Tuesday I went in to get them taken care of. It was an hour procedure called Radio frequency Ablation followed by a Phlebectomy. Basically they zap the veins with radio frequency then remove them. Its gross but they gave me some serious meds that sent me to a very happy place where I really had no idea what was happening but I know I walked out of there without my big bugling veins so whatever they did, it worked.

This is an out patient procedure and apparently I should have been up and running the next day, even that day- but the drugs they gave me did quite a number on my body. I didn't take any pain killers or anything else once I got home, but I guess my body was really sensitive to whatever they gave me for the procedure that I just needed to be patient and let it work its way out of my system.

I was a serious zombie and all I could do was sleep and take short walks every time I woke up until I got dizzy again then back to laying down again.

Now being the super organized wannabe that I strive to be, had I known I would have been out of commission for the week I would have made meals, hired help and organized all the house help I would need. But this caught me by surprise and I was so out of it I actually didn't even care what was happening in the house, it didn't even occur to me who would make dinner or watch the kids. I was just flying high.

By Friday afternoon I was coming back to down to earth and as I was landing I witnessed some pretty interesting things.

The house was clean. The laundry was up to date. Shabbos was cooked. The kids were busy and happy. Life continued. The world did not fall apart while I took a ride on my little space ship.

Of course none of this happened by itself, and if not for my husband who ran the show then the house probably would have fallen apart, but it was a really great lesson for me. Something that somewhat liberated me.

There are so many other people, including the kids, that can do this mom job. Why put it all on our shoulders? I realized the more help, the merrier! Get help with the laundry, the cleaning, babysitting, even cooking. Whether its paid help, family jobs and delegation, we do not have to do it all.

Of course there are things that only a mommy can do, like bed time snuggles, morning hugs, kissing boo boos, but I realized the more others can help the more available we can be, the more free we are. And its so good for the kids! The big ones helping the little ones, the little ones cutting their own chicken with a plastic knife, the more they do by themselves the better.

So take off that super mom cape, theres no prize for doing it all except burn out. Put on the delegation hat, look at the areas in your life that anyone else can do and try find ways for others to fill those up, even if its your kids.

Baruch Hashem, I'm feeling so much better but I did not jump right back into the super mom role. I'm rolling with this 'everyone can pitch in' thing. It's working out pretty well for everyone, even if I get a few eye rolls here and there from some of my helpers who are not on the payroll.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy week,

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Who's running the show?

I just got back from New York about 2 weeks ago. I went with my older kids to visit my family. We are a really close family and it was an amazing trip. No matter where I live in the world, New York will always be home. No matter how cold. No matter how smelly (in my 6 year olds words). No matter what.

You see, we run a Chabad House on the gorgeous island of Maui, Hawaii, and while most tourists who meet us tell us how lucky we are to live in Paradise, there is a part of me that longs to be in New York with my close friends and family.

Living here is a huge sacrifice. 

Yes, I get to look out my bedroom window every morning and see this.

And the day before Rosh Hashanah we just walk over to our neighbor to picks these...

And yes, my daughter just runs outside to pick me these any time she wants to.

And yes, I get to look out my kitchen window every evening and see this.

And this is a regular Sunday afternoon, 10 minutes away, any time of the year.

I can flood this post with photos that will take your breath away.

But honestly, its hard.

Today was an especially difficult day. You know those days where all you need is a good laugh with your sisters. Those laughs where you can't even speak, where you forgot what was even funny but tears are streaming down your cheeks and your belly aches. It was one of those days where I longed to just meet my best friend at a good Kosher restaurant, order the most fattening dessert on the menu and have a good juicy chat. I was feeling very homesick.

I was coming home from running some errands when I pulled into my driveway and saw a beautiful woman standing outside my house with this huge smile on her face. As I got out of my car she walked right up to me and just went on and on about how 'amazing' we are that we live here, and how we help so many people and she just went on and on giving me this huge amount of strength that I so desperately needed at that exact moment.

She had come over with her husband to pick up Kosher food which we provide for Jewish tourists and her timing, warmth and encouragement could not have been better.

After showing her our mikvah she mentioned she had a blog... a fashion blog.... Fashion-Isha.

Wait, whaaaaaat? I LOVE that blog! I totally didn't recognize Sharon, but she is one of the nicest, warmest, most down to earth people I have ever met. You probably all know her blog as she has like thousands of followers on Instagram, but if for some reason you haven't seen it, go check it out: She's incredible.

So we said our good byes and feeling so much better, I went inside to see 2 letters on the table that arrived in the mail for me. I don't remember the last time I got a handwritten letter in the mail, I mean who writes letters these days, right? I opened them both, and they happened to be from 2 different tourists thanking me personally for certain things I helped them with while they were here on Maui.

And it was all very clear.

I am so often caught up with organizing and cleaning my house, homeschooling the kids, figuring out what to make for dinner, shlepping the kids to appointments, missing my friends and family, that I lose focus of why we live here.

So Hashem sent Sharon over this evening. And He gave these 2 woman the great idea to mail me these gorgeous thank you cards. Because HE knows what we are doing here, and this is His way of saying, 'Hey, I know its tough, but keep it up! You're doing great!'

I have really been blessed with so many amazing people in my life who live here, who have become like family. Wonderful people who are warm and caring and who are there for me any time I need them. And so when feeling homesick, its also so important to remember that Hashem brought them all into my life.

May we all be blessed to get these doses of strength in just the right moments from just the right people. Hashem is rooting for all of us!
Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Grounding Kit

As homeschooling moms, there is always so much going on in our lives.
Its not easy and often we can feel like we are just running in circles.

A very good friend of mine introduced me to The Grounding Kit.
Her name is Rus Devorah and she is the founder of Toratherapeutics a Torah Inspired Approach to Holistic Growth & Healing. I cannot recommend this resource enough.

Here is how it works:

The idea is to have a little box or bag and inside keep 5 of your favorite things corresponding to your 5 senses.

Here is what I have in mine:

 ~Something Sweet~
Taste- I found these candies in Whole Foods and I'm hooked. They come in other flavors but I love this one.

 ~Something Soft~
Touch- This is a piece of Satin from a gown I made for my sister in laws wedding many years ago. It is soft and stretchy and feels amazing.

~Something Soothing~
Sound- This is one of my favorite stations on Pandora. It is called Classical New Age Piano.

 ~Something Fragrant~
Smell- A good friend gifted me with this bottle of Serenity by Doterra. It smells exactly like what it says it is. Absolute Serenity.

~Something Beautiful~
Sight- This is one of my favorite photographs. I actually took it from my kitchen window. It wows me more and more every time I look at it.
When you are in a place where you feel things are just getting too much, and we have all been there, go somewhere quiet if possible. You then take each one of these objects and enjoy them for 30 seconds each.

Close your eyes and listen to the music. 
Pop the candy into your mouth, close your eyese, and savor the flavor. 
Look at your photograph and get in touch with what makes it so meaningful to you. 
Hold and stroke the fabric, run it through your fingers, along your cheek.
Smell your essential oil or whatever scent is yours. 

Take 30 seconds for each one and just stop every thing you are doing and savor each thing.

That is 2.5 minutes out of your entire day.

This is not something that you need to do every day. Its something to do when your mind is everywhere and you need it back here, focused, present.

This is YOUR kit, for you. Some of you may need to think really hard about what their favorite things are to make this kit, because being moms and busy all the time, we tent to forget what we like, what we enjoy because we are so busy taking care of everyone else.

Here are some links to where you can get some of these products:

And here is more info on Toratherapeutics:

Enjoy and have a wonderful Sukkot~


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Yonah in the Big Fish Craft

Today we made an adorable craft for Jonah in the Big Fish...

Here it is with instructions- enjoy!

Step 1:
Get an empty water bottle

 Step 2:
Cut the base off and dry it out completely. Flatten the water bottle and cut a triangle on each side which will turn into diamonds once the water bottle opens.

Step 3:
Color and cut out a picture of Yonah, I printed mine out from here

Step 4:
Slide Yonah into the water bottle. Flatten the water bottle and tape it closed Tape the triangles closed forming a tale. Tape on fins made out of construction paper. Glue on googly eyes or make your own.
Heres a closer look...

And here's the finished product-

How cute?
Wishing you have an easy fast and may we all be inscribed in the book of life


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fabulous Tefillah Curriculum- The Tefillah Box

We all daven with our kids. Its just part of what we do every day.

Some of us use musical instruments, CD's, points, whatever we can do to keep the Davening exciting and not monotonous.

 Now the thing is, at least for the English speakers among us, how many of our kids actually know what they are saying? Do they actually feel connected to Hashem when they are davening or is it just for the stars on their chart or the fun songs?

We recently purchased The Tefillah Box. The second I saw this I knew we had to have it as part of our Homeschool Curriculum.

This is what we received- a Box filled with goodies and a Teachers Guide:

Inside the Box is the Student book and a bunch of miniature toys- an instant attention grabber for the kiddos:
Here's all the miniatures it came with:

We all sat at the table and turned to the first page, Modeh Ani 

We all sang Modeh Ani and began the discussion in the Teachers Guide about expressing Gratitude to Hashem for waking up, we spoke about how we charge our iPads over night so they're at 100% in the morning, the same thing happens with our Neshamas. 

We then discussed how Scuba divers go exploring the Ocean floor for hours at a time, but they need to come back up to the surface to refill their oxygen tanks, just like us when we go to sleep. Thats how we refill our tanks. And when we wake up, we say 'Thank you Hashem for refilling my Oxygen tank!' 
And then we had an adorable Scuba toy to pass around and play with and make the lesson so much more tangible.

Each Tefillah has its own page with the Tefillah written in Hebrew, Transliterated and Translated into English. Then there is an adorable poem explaining what it means and how we can personalize and connect to it. The toys are the cherries on top.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Thank You Hashem for opening my eyes every morning! 
Kids love wearing their funny glasses for this Bracha and they really understand it.

Thank You Hashem for giving Strength to the Weak! 
We went around and saw who had the most strength by blowing the ball the highest.

Thank You Hashem for Straightening us Up- this little Bendy Guy is too much fun, we bent him and straightened him reenacting how we wake up and stand upright.

Thank You Hashem for not making us a Slave- we have the FREEDOM to be the best Jews we can be! Just like a bird is free to fly high, we have the freedom to reach high levels!

Its just so interactive and hands on and the kids GET IT- they really do. 
Morning Brachos are not 'just brachos' anymore. They actually understand that they have SO much to be thankful for and it is such a beautiful way for them to connect to Hashem.

I highly recommend My Tefillah Box as it really has enhanced our davening experience and I am sure it will yours. 

This is such a fabulous asset to a Jewish Homeschool Curriculum.
I am sure you will enjoy it as much as we have!

Have a wonderful Shabbos

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