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Where we live..

is pretty fabulously diverse. It’s why we moved here. It’s why we raise our kids here.

That’s Ezra to the right in a photo taken by his dad (below). His last school – and most of our neighborhood – is predominantly Spanish speaking or Asian/South East Asian and Bangladeshi, Hindu, Muslim and Chinese.

My in laws joke that if they want to travel the world, all they have to do is come and visit us.

We all live on top of each other with the same goals: love our kids, stay well, help our kids thrive. When I travelled to India and South East Asia that was my takeaway – we all seem culturally different but we really have so much in common.
And kids in Ezra and Zoe’s classes are hungry for knowledge .. future doctors and lawyers and teachers. The gratefulness for opportunity is palpable – when you cross a border or an ocean to do something new for yourself you don’t sit around waiting for opportunity. You find it and take it. It’s a great vibe to be around.

Recently everyone’s been seeming and feeling a little scared, even if here legally. It’s ironic to me that the President elect is from Queens. I think he’s lost touch with his origins – but then realize that I’m assuming something that younger New Yorkers experience. Maybe he grew up in Queens when Archie Bunker’s character was developed? See here.

It never occurred to me that having my kids in a dual-language Spanish speaking program (or that our neighbors have their kids learning Chinese) would be an ‘elitist’ endeavor. I thought growing globally was a ‘looking toward the future’ thing that we were all on board with. It’s ironic how you perceive ‘success in the future’ as one thing, and then it can in theory shift so quickly. I can’t imagine now that we know how to access global information so readily, we would want to shut it out so thoroughly. But only time will tell.

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and scenes from Zoe’s Multicultural Day Celebrations at school:
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Have a great Thanksgiving

Are you looking forward to turkey and pumpkin pie?  I sure am.

If you have any spare time and want to create the cool banner in the photo below, check out the instructional here.

We hope the world is happy and at peace for a long weekend and have a great holiday –

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It was a crazy busy week last week of movie premiers and parent/teacher conferences. We ran off to a friend’s house in the country to enjoy the foliage but it was covered with snow by Sunday! Here are some snaps from IG of some of the highlights :

met Anthony Bourdain while at a peaceful protest in our hood!

met Anthony Bourdain while at a peaceful protest in our hood!

checked out the new movie 'Fantastic Beasts'

checked out the new movie ‘Fantastic Beasts’

so warm outside on Saturday..

so warm outside on Saturday..

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suddenly crazy snowy by Sunday!

suddenly crazy snowy by Sunday!

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November

Well this month has started off with a bang yes? With election results not quite what some of us had hoped for but then again, the future always seems to be in discord and full of surprises, right?

A public figure so vocal about his misogyny, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, anti-handicap, anti-climate change is just shocking. I hope he can be subdued..
But now that it’s all been said, we cannot even trust the subdued.

I know we are not the only people who witnessed frightened children on Wednesday morning – many of whom couldn’t understand how the school-yard bully somehow came out on top. Because name calling and making fun of people – that’s something that we adults try not to do, and try to teach our children not to do.
It was a hard lesson to try to teach… that sometimes the person picking on people comes out on top?

I feel like I do when my kids get into a class with a ‘meh’ teacher: like I have to work harder to be constantly on the pulse of what is going on, and not let a single thing slide. Watching, reading, ready for action. When my kids luck out with a great teacher for the school year, I can sit back and coast with the confidence that someone is working with my kids on a similar wave length to that of my own.

Now there will be no auto pilot for awhile – I guess that’s the most tactful way I can put my feelings down about all this post election grieving and anxiety.

For now I hope to stay buoyant with a walk or hike (hopefully) this weekend to look at foliage, before it’s gone.

Try to enjoy the weekend friends.

photo by Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

photo by Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Photo found here

We had some tombstones and skeletons that we bought at the store (as well as last year’s fuzzy spider) and sadly they all got swiped from our front lawn a week ago! Enter: the challenge to make some decorations that would live INSIDE our house and away from the elements (and sticky fingers). Zoe and Ezra made bats out of paper and a ghost to hang from the tree, and I made some big eyes to look down at potential thieves. It was fun getting some time to do things from scratch – like trying our hands at carving pumpkins. E and Z’s dad is the pro at instructing us on this .. Look how proud these little artist are! And roasting the seeds at the end is the best reward.

the objects that disappeared from our lawn!

the objects before they disappeared from our lawn!

our more creative option to keeping the decorations inside

our more creative option to keeping the decorations inside

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so proud

so proud

roasted with salt, brown sugar, and curry powder!

roasted with salt, brown sugar, and curry powder!

Rocky and Unicorn enjoy the decorations before moving out to get candy - photo by gregkesslerphoto.com

Rocky and Unicorn enjoy the decorations before moving out to get candy – photo by gregkesslerphoto.com

Our Alley-ween

Since we have only a limited amount of time after school and work today (Monday) we decided to have a Halloween ‘carnival’ of sorts in our alley for the kids.  As it turned out the weather was amazing and cooperated until about dinner time, when the skies opened up and rain drove us all indoors.  Our house provided a bean bag toss (like this easy one to make), and there was a Diwali station where kids could henna their hands.  We created a photo booth, and other neighbors set out chalk stations, apple bobbing, karaoke and ‘Boo-sket ball’ hoop.  In each station, kids could earn a ticket (or many) for participating and scoring.  At the end of the alley tickets could be cashed in for treats – including berries, pretzels and access to the chocolate fountain!

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since the Indian festival of lights is happening now as well, a neighbor created a station where hands were henna’d

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the chocolate bar has treats for tickets

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‘Rocky’ is ready for Halloween

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Zoe as a unicorn!

Sukkot in DC

We had shakshuka in the sukkah at cousin Stephanie’s house. What a treat! I do love this holiday and eating outdoors for what feels like the last days before the real bitter cold comes around. We feasted outdoors for lunch as well before hiking around Rock Creek National Park a bit. I guess I didn’t realize how many friends and neighbors can build sukkahs in their yards when you live in the suburbs. In the city I’d grown accustomed to just visiting common sukkahs in synagogues or if an apartment building was fortunate enough to have large garden space. And of course what’s best of all is getting to see cousins again for the weekend.

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hooray for cousins!Zoe already pouting about going home ;(

hooray for cousins!Zoe already pouting about going home ;(