Sunday, July 11, 2010

Break from blogging

I don't know what my problem has been - it is now a month since my last post. Do I have nothing to say? Maybe. Not to mention all the pictures I have forgotten to take. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I must owe you all many, many paragraphs.

So, in the interim, what has been going on?

The school year wound down and all the chugim ended.
Dani graduated from elementary school and already started junior high.
Shana finished her 11th grade bagruyot and flew off to the States to work in camp.
Ayelet was very bored for the last two weeks of school and is now working, tutoring in math.
Ariella was Mitztayenet HaMachatzit (outstanding student of the semester) for first grade.
Camp started, which means it's nearly over

Now for a little more detail.

We lived through the school zimriya (performance of songs and singalong).
Ariella's class sang and did the standard hand motions, while Dani's class did daglanut, which was repeated at graduation a few days later, but in a much smaller space in which they had barely practiced. Awesome.The kids finished their chugim, which included Ariella's gymnastics performance.
Locally, sixth graders are deemed worldly and advanced, and ready to move on. So we make them spend the first half of sixth grade stressing out, attending open houses, taking entrance exams, enduring interviews, and waiting for acceptance or the feared rejection. Then they make their school decisions, and spend the rest of the year doing nothing. It's good they have all their experience and education under their belts to make the process easier. And then it turns into June, and they graduate, in the most non-American experience there is in this land of casual dress and informal attitudes. That pretty much sums up the evening, which, might I add, was moved indoors because of the intense heat, into a beit midrash WITH NO AIR CONDITIONING! I was impressed that no one passed out.

Dani then began a mandatory Gemara course at his high school in Y-m, which was probably more education than he had the whole year. At least in Gemara. He and three other boys who will be attending there in the fall learned how to navigate public transportation, as well as the more onerous task of buying ice cream, snacks, and drinks at the various establishments just steps away from the school campus.

Shana finished her bagrut tests of eleventh grade, for which she studied feverishly, and the initial results are excellent. We are very proud. Then she jetted off to the US to enjoy mother's helpering in beautiful Lake Como PA. Can't believe we sent her 7000 miles away. Guess she is growing up. She seems to be enjoying the experience.

Ayelet was beyond bored for the last bit of school - can't say I blame her, as no classes were taking place, just preparations for a play she was not in. She was most relieved when the last day rolled around. She enjoyed a couple of weeks of sleeping really late, and now she has started her job and can only sleep moderately late.

When the school year did finally end for everyone, we were very proud of the kids - they all did beautifully on their report cards. Ariella was even awarded Outstanding Student of the Semester - Kol Hakavod Ariella! And that just about sums up life - next up, baking, with far fewer visual aids...

I celebrated my birthday, won't tell you the number, but it will be the last one ever that starts with 3 (unless I live to 300, but that doesn't really appeal). Shana and Ayelet made me a beautiful and delicious cake.
I also made a birthday cake for a neighbor who is celebrating her daughter's 21st and her 50th - they are both buttercream enthusiasts, so I made sure to load it on.I tried a few new flavors: a whiskey-spiked blondie with chocolate and pecans, oatmeal fudge bars (a fudgy filling with an oatmeal base and crumb topping), and gooey raisin bars (ma have mentioned those before - shortbread with a gooey topping, kind of like a pecan pie, but with raisins). All were well-received, and will someday be photographed.
These platters, which I somehow remembered to photograph, were for a barbeque. They included thin mint sandwiches, lemon wedges, molasses cream sandwiches, chocolate dipped chocoalte chip cookies, and Mexican brownies. Here they are individually, to pad this post a little more...When I manage to upload and other pictures I may photograph, I will post again!


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