the very first chanukah















It obviously isn’t our first Chanukah. We’ve been celebrating Chanukah as a family since before our first was born but in so many ways this year feels like our first real Chanukah. It’s the first time at least one of our kids (Sam) has figured out what’s going on and his utter joy and excitement each day when he realizes that tonight is indeed another night of family, prayers, food, dreidel and of course, presents is just making this Chanukah seem better than any Chanukah in the past. It’s different when your kids are still infants, and you’re shoving gifts and latkes (fried potato patties) in their face, and they are just staring blankly back at you wondering why you’re doing all this weird stuff and interrupting their normal bedtime routine. It’s like throwing a party but the guest of honor never shows up. Yes, of course, Chanukah is a religious holiday and while we always keep that in the forefront of our minds, celebrating the holiday with children just makes it so much better. Watching Sam devour his third latke at dinner, I said to Gabe, “This is why we had kids.”

The photos are of the first night. Most of our decorations are homemade and made from colored paper and items from the dollar bin at Michael’s. Sam insisted on wearing his dinosaur pajamas all day and because I was too busy preparing for the evening’s festivities, I allowed it. My parents came over and my mom helped me cook while Gabe and my dad entertained the kids and talked about manly things, I’m sure. Probably bees and hunting.

The kids were overjoyed with their gifts. Typically we give a “big” present on the first night and then each night the gifts become progressively smaller. I suppose you could say gifts given on the seventh and eighth nights are the equivlent to what Christians refer to as stocking stuffers. Not everyone does it this way, but it was how I was raised and so I decided to carry on the tradition with our kids. Eddie received a new pair of pajamas and a wooden Kuerig, complete with wooden coffee pods, mugs, and cream and sugar. She loves watching me make coffee every morning and has always been fascinated by the Keurig. I thought it would be a hit and I was right. She and Sam have been “making” me coffee for four days straight. Sam also received new pajamas as well as a 180 piece set of Goobis, which are basically little magnetic sticks with magnetic balls and plastic joints for making structures. He absolutely loves them. It was a perfect first night.

wednesday yarn along (and other things)




Joining Ginny.

I didn’t get a chance to take a picture wearing the hat(s), so this will have to do. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to do my very first test knit! Sam Lamb (have you read her blog? She designs the cutest knitting patterns and just released her first sewing pattern!) chose a few people to test knit her newest knitting pattern, the Hillier Hearts Cap. The hat is knit in a worsted weight and I chose Cascade 220 Heather by Cascade Yarns. I haven’t created a project page for this hat on Ravelry yet, but I plan on doing it in the next few days and you’ll be able to find more info there. After I knit the first hat in the small adult size I had plenty of leftover yarn so I decided to make a matching hat for Eddie in the toddler size. She loves it and it looks so sweet on her. Even after knitting two hats, I still had plenty of yarn leftover so I modified a basic mitten pattern that I found and made Eddie some matching mittens, with a little heart on each palm. I attached them with an i-cord to prevent loss. We have a habit of losing mittens around here. I am so in love with this pattern. There are endless color combinations and it’s adorable on a child but not too cutesy for an adult to wear.

Tonight is the fourth night of Chanukah. I will post more about our festivities on Friday but I will say that we are having a great time and it makes such a difference when your children are actually aware of the celebrations going on around them. Sam is participating more in the prayers; his Hebrew is terrible but he’s only three and it’s adorable to watch him try. Eddie hums along with the songs and they both picked up (real fast) the certainty that they will receive a present each night before bed. Saturday night one of the local congregations is having a Chanukah party and we plan on attending and hopefully we will meet some new friends. I love this time of year. Family, friends, songs, prayer and of course…the food. Is there anything better?