Passover was a whirlwind. My friend B, who lives in Florida, spent the first half of the holiday with us - her, her husband, and her three sons. The house was certainly overflowing! David got back from New Zealand the day before the first seder, so he was REALLY CRANKY for seder. He has since calmed down.
THe boys were on vacation during the week of Passove,r but Sofia was in school. I did keep her out one day, when my niece Lilie was with us too. We took all 7 kids to the Armory Museum in Worcester. Really cool, and a good choice for this set of kids. But exhausting.
B and her Family stayed until Thursday, and on Saturday my folks came up for dinner. Late afternoon, David and I decided to head over to the Toyota dealer because we had a coupon which was expiring... and ended up staying for 2.5 hours, buying a new car. Minivan, red, of course. See, I clearly need a minivan (today I think I have 5 kids with me at swimming/gymnastics...I've lost count). And our driveway is VERY steep, so I need All Wheel Drive. Which narrows it down to a Toyota Sienne XLE. Again. (And I only buy RED cars).
That was March 30. I picked up the car...this Monday. April 29. Yup. It took them THAT long. And i had to go back today for the Inspection Sticker and the floormats.
But at least now I'm driving around in my sports car minivan Clown Car. Nice and clean and the brakes work really well (which is taking some getting use to!).
Let's see, what else happened in April. It was nice to have David home for the month. We actually had time to go out together, and lots of good family time (once he got over the jet lag).
The world, especially Boston area, has certainly been busy. Patriots Day was really nice (at least to start). We went down to David's office to watch the marathon. The kids love watching from the office window (which is right over Route 135), but I get nauseous watching all the bodies bobbing up and down. IT's easier, and more social, to be outside in the crowd.
We were home by the time the news hit about the bombing in Boston. It was interesting having the boys be connected online - Sam has Facebook, and both he and Micah were watching the news with me. Eventually we turned it off and tried to concentrate.
Sofia was on school vacation that week, but the boys had school, so we were there a lot. Tuesday was Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel Independence Day. There was Israeli dancing (which the kids and I all love), and Shakshouka, a Middle Eastern dish of poached eggs in tomato, chili pepper, onion and cumin. YUM.
Wednesday I had to teach my Torah Trope student, so Sofia went to the MWJDS first grade class for a while (thank you to the Learning Specialist who could get that time). Thursday was her regular day there anyway.
And Friday, we were in lock-down.
Well, technically WE were not in lock-down, being several towns west of the locked down area. But many of our teachers at MWJDS live in that area, so we closed school. Which also meant I spent an hour in the morning doing phone-"tree" (I don't think its' really a tree when only a small handful of people are doing all the calling). I'm now exploring automated phone calling for the school...
Ok, then back to a normal schedule. OH! Oh that's right. When last I blogged, Sofia had not yet started in the sub-separate classroom.
Well, what a difference! Even after only a week, she was talking more and WAY more engaged in things. It was SUCH a good move for her.
Tuesday night last week, there was a teacher's meeting at teh day school, where a whole lot of interesting changes were announced. And I'm not at liberty to say anymore about it yet, except that we continue to have meetings, and people are full of side discussions and whipsers. And it has not yet been fully announced to the kids yet. So "I can neither confirm nor deny" any rumors you may have heard at this time.
Thursday, I got to leave home - yes, I did! - and go to the SuLaM Shabbaton. I had gone in the fall, along with the Head of School and the Director of Teaching & Learning. This time the Director could not join us. It was a really interesting conference. Our subject matter for the weekend was "Teaching Israel and Zionism in the day school classroom", covering preschool through high school. We explored texts from the Bible, Talmud, and all the way through modern documents. REALLY interesting.
It was a very long and busy weekend, though. We had to be downstairs at 6:50 on Friday, for a study session, and then we took a bus ride into NYC. First we went to the United Nations and met with a member of the Israeli Delegation, and then we went to Columbia University to hear fro a Hillel professor who has developed a curriculum about teaching Israel.
Shabbat was fun and busy. Prayers or study sessions or meals with interesting conversations. A little bit of rest time - I took a walk and then a nap. Israeli food celebration at night.
Sunday, during breakfast, they gave us all the notes about various programs, and I found out that all the budget proposals and receipts and everything for my Birkat Hamazon curriculum have to be submitted into their office BY MAY 10 if we want to get any funding! YIKES!
I got to drive the sports car down to the conference (in NJ) and back. Fun, but I was really tired! David was with the kids all weekend (which was fun for me to "observe" from a distance), but he had to leave Sunday for Costa Rica before I got home.
So this week I've been doing a lot of work on that, as well as trying to push along with the Yearbook. And I had to take Sofia to Children's in Waltham for her eye re-check (it was supposed to be the day of the lock-down), and then take Sam to the pediatrician (strep is running through the school and he wasn't feeling well. Quick test was negative, so he went back to school today).
I ordered Sofia another pair of glasses. A more durable frame, very twist-able, and scratch coating and transitional tint lenses. Will post a photo when they arrive.
I've got my synagogue choir "concert" tomorrow night after services. Ugh. I have very high standards for choir singing... and this is a totally community-based choir. I'm pleased to say that Sunday, after a 5 hour drive, I managed to NOT rip anyone's head off...
My folks are coming up tomorrow, because... Saturday morning I have a 6am flight to Costa Rica! YEAH! A few days with just my honey. No kids! I get back after midnight on Tuesday night. I can't wait. My parents get to take Sofia to her ballet dress rehearsal. Whew. And I've warned Micah's and Sofia's teachers that the kids might be a bit "off" while my folks are there (Sam will be totally fine).
THen it's Yearbook, Curriculum, and supporting all the changes at the school that were announced (that I can't yet talk about). And the usual round robin of child activities and extra kids and things...