Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chanukah Craft

I'm dipping my toe back in...

We had a really serene, pleasant day today.  The weather is beautiful here right now (though we're desperate for rain!) and, thanks to a dear friend, I realize I need to extend our time outside while we're getting readjusted to our rhythm after a two-week hiatus (due to a stomach virus and some outings with visiting family).  So, today, the kids biked along the path in the forest and in cul-de-sac for almost three hours.  I realized for the first time today that Elie can glide (no feet) for quite a distance.  He really loves his balance bike so much.  Every time we go to my in-laws' apartment for a get-a-way, partway through the day he gets agitated starts asking where his bike is ;)

The time outside gave me a chance to finish my third little chemo hat for my friend's daughter.  The first two were with Purewool (the one on the right) and the one I finished today was with Three Irish Girls.  The TIG one is so incredibly soft.  I'm hoping it will feel good on her bare little head....  They're made with the same pattern - "Race for Life 2009" on Ravelry, but I made the Purewool one with the wrong sized needles - size 5 instead of 5mm - whoops!  It actually still fits Yoav but it's tight - if it doesn't fit my friend, there is, sadly, no lack of bare little heads in the pediatric oncology ward :(

In the afternoon, we made salt dough menorahs.  The idea came from Marsha Johnson of the waldorfhomeeducators Yahoo group.  We made salt dough (2 cups white flour, 1 cup salt, 1 cup water per menorah), molded it into a menorah, poked our candles in to make the holes (the holes need to be a little bigger than the candles because the dough shrinks slightly in the oven), then painted with Stockmar watercolor paints and finally put in the oven at 225F for about three hours.  Yoav LOVED this project more than any other in recent memory.  He kept saying he loved it and he also sang the whole time (we were singing Chanukah songs - you can see his mouth open singing in the photos LOL).



Finished (out of the oven):

And this is just a sweet photo I just uploaded from a few days ago - in addition to the obvious hand-holding cuteness, I love the look of brotherly love on Yoav's face:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bloggy Break

So I'm just making it official - I'm taking a bit of a bloggy break...

A good friend's five-year-old daughter was just diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer (Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma) and it's thrown me for quite a loop.

I'm spending time each evening trying to make sense out of this - I recently read a book called "Living Inspired" by Rabbi Akiva Tatz and loved the book and now am looking to him for some answers...  He has fantastic podcasts here about all sorts of things one (Jew) might wonder about, including ordeals and crises and the meaning/purpose of life...

And while I listen, I knit "chemo caps" - I found this sweet pattern on Ravelry and sent one off with my MIL when she left here a few days ago and am busily making more in various colors and sizes to be sure there's at least one or two that is comfy for her.  I'm so glad for my Three Irish Girls yarn now - it's about as good as it gets for a sweet little bare head....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Playing Together



I had so much fun posting the bike video, I thought I'd try again :)

Yoav and Elie were so sweet to watch playing together at the Suzan Dalal Center in Neve Tzedek the other day.  The Dalal Center is a cultural center for dance and has a fun area with water flowing under the walkway (it's recycled and continues running through the same paths) - a fun game is to put a ball in one opening and wait somewhere else for the ball.  In the video, you can see the boys waiting and then Elie running with glee to show Safta his find.  It was sweet watching the boys lying the way they were, heads together, focused on the singular goal of finding the ball...

Yoav Riding a Two-Wheeler


Yoav has joined the ranks and can now ride a two-wheeler.  We took the training wheels off a little over a month ago.  At first, he was excited to try to ride the bike, but as the days went on, he became more aware of the difference between two-wheel versus training-wheel bikes and noticed that some much younger kids on the moshav were riding two-wheelers and I think he felt a bit deflated.  He refused to try for about two weeks.  Then when we had friends over for his birthday, he saw that his seven-year-old friend was just (excitedly) learning herself and another 7yo had just recently learned.  So, after that, he was more willing to try and quickly learned to glide and then on Nov 10, got it all together to pedal a bit ;)  The cul-de-sac outside our house is a perfect place to learn to ride a bike because it's slightly inclined but not too much, so to learn, he walked the bike up to the top of the incline (over and over and over and over LOL) and practiced gliding down and finally pedaling down.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wacky Morning

We've had such an odd morning here!  First, a group of about 30 bicylists congregated in the cul-de-sac - they are biking to Jerusalem and back.  One came in to use our bathroom and we chatted with another who had a two-seat bike and who offered to give Yoav a ride (he declined).  Then, a few minutes after they left, a lost horse wandered into the cul-de-sac.  We asked our neighbor who has horses if it was his - it wasn't, and he said the horse would find his was home.  The horse wandered off after about ten minutes.  Then, less than half an hour later, a bird flew into our house!  We opened all the doors and she eventually found her way out.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Somewhat Anthroposophic Apron


I made this apron for my birthday - it's the first thing I've made for ME on my sewing machine.  Pretty fun - I love that the recipient of my gift definitely wants what I made and loves my fabric choice :)

I've been dreaming of this apron since I saw it on the cover of the book "Linen, Wool, Cotton" by Akiko Mano.  I got the fabric a few months ago from Gray Line Linen.  It's the Warsa linen - I asked them for a recommendation for an apron.

I probably would have put this off forever (since I thought it was just for *me*), but in the Waldorf world, aprons are actually important for the mama/teacher.  Here is an article about the kindergarten apron.  The reasons from the article that made me push to finally make the apron are:
* Protects clothing (the obvious standard reason for an apron)
* Protects one's etheric self (has a fortifying effect, like armor)
* Takes children's focus off what we're wearing
* Creates a softness about the mama/teacher
* and more...

My apron is a cross between the author's Aprons #3 and #4.  It has a strap around the neck and has similar back coverage to #3 (minimal), but is split horizontally between the bib and apron like #4 (which seems to be a negative anthroposophically-speaking, because the body is visually split for the child).  The author was happy with both her #3 and #4, so I feel that this is an acceptable apron.  As a Waldorf apron, it should have a slightly wider bib, shorter neck strap (I'd make it two or three inches shorter) and the skirt should be a little wider so it meets in the back when tied.  It was very easy to make and seems comfortable, though.  I'm going to start wearing it at home (probably just when Jer's not around so he doesn't think I'm wacky LOL) so I'll post any other thoughts I have about it in terms of comfort and the kids' reactions.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baby Bunting Doll


The boys were playing dollhouse a few days ago and Yoav wanted the baby to sleep with the mother; Elie wanted the baby to sleep with different dolls.  Back and forth - Yoav wanted it here, Elie wanted it there.  Before I knew it, I don't know if I suggested it or if Yoav asked, but I had agreed to make a new one and Yoav was picking out fabric ;)

I used this tutorial.  I enjoyed making it but I'd love to make another one with velvet fabric and with more defined arms like the original Evi baby doll (I assume it's obvious, but the Evi doll I was trying to match is on the left, mine's on the right.)

In the morning, when Yoav saw the doll, he said it was "lost" and needed a mother.  I loved the word choice.  I'm not exactly up for making a mother, though - I thought the idea was that this would be the mother's second baby rather than a baby from a different family!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Elie's Hat


I finished Elie's hat today.  It's with my new Three Irish Girls yarn; pattern is Knitting Pure and Simple Basic Hat and Mitten Set for Children; #8 needles. I LOVE it - I love the colors.  It's like a rainbow minus the red and purple.  Such soft, sweet colors.

And, it's probably obvious, but I adore this photo.  I was trying to get a photo of them each wearing their new hats and Yoav started cuddling Elie and somehow I got this one!!  Woohoo! 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Yoav's Birthday

Thanks to all for the Birthday wishes!  Yoav had a magical birthday!  And he's very excited now to be the big SIX!

Here's some photos from the big event:

Beanbags for the scavenger hunt:

Table when Yoav came downstairs in the morning - six gifts from nature (a few cool shells, broken piece of beehive (found on the ground), feather, and two more little things), felt birthday crown (which I need to make bigger for next year - it was a little tight on him this year), lit candle and presents:

I gave him the handmade items I posted about - crayon roll with crayons, needle book with needles and embroidery scissors, and a nature bag.

Yoav's doll has the same birthday - I made him a little wool hat (per Yoav's request):

Playing with cars from Uncle D and Aunt L and Baby A:

Playing with cars from Uncle D and Aunt L and Baby A:

Making a necklace with Aunt C (and family)'s lovely wooden beads:

Riding bikes after the party:

We did most everything per my plan - the only changes were that I did "Sweet Porridge" (Grimm's) for the story because I didn't manage to make the playsilk I would have needed for the other story.  I also switched to the carob cake in "The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book" because Yoav said he didn't want the same one again, but he didn't like the carob cake (he does like carob, though - the cake just seems a bit dry to me).  We're having a dinner for family for his birthday in a week and a half, so for that I'll have to experiment a bit to make sure he likes the cake..

One change I want to make for next year is to get Jeremy in the loop so he can help more.  I should have had him prepare the snack while we were on the scavenger hunt so it would have been ready when we got back.  And Yoav shouldn't have worn a shirt with a big #3 shirt ;)  He has a #6 somewhere but I couldn't find it.  Oh, well.  

Now to start planning for Elie's birthday on Dec 5!