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Archive for the ‘Home Shuling’ Category

This boy gave a big portion of his bar mitzvah $$$ gifts to the local food pantry where he volunteers, and they sure did stock up on necessities for fall!  We can’t believe how much they could purchase with his donation .. I’m so proud of my boy for paying it forward.

 

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I have to admit … we agonized about planning this day, for months (maybe years). It’s no small feat putting together a very ‘do-it-yourself event’ for 150 people – but we made it through (we hung 100 balloons, nearly that same quantity in Ezra baby photos, and managed to master uplighting ourselves).  But the most impressive part is Ezra himself, and his bands of musical kids who performed!  Ezra learned Hebrew so quickly (a little more than a year) and then ran a service like a grown up.  We are so proud.  We got so many compliments on his singing/chanting abilities which – I’m assuming is rare during this age when kids’ voices begin to change and crack! (think Greg Brady.)  Anyhow here are some great pix taken by our photographer on that day.  It now seems so silly that I agonized over hanging all my ‘gold and white’ themed decorations when – not only did the uplights overshadow it all – but my boy’s maturity is what really won the spotlight …

(By the way – we painted those recycled wine bottles to make our own centerpieces; and a special thx to grandma, grandpa and Aunt Becca for the fresh flowers! They provided the flowers at my wedding as well. Gotta love family with mad gardening skills.)

the flowers in front of Ezra here are in honor of deceased loved ones – and will continue to grow in the synagogue’s garden in their memory

a portion of Ezra’s money gifts are going to Lion’s Share Food Pantry, where Ezra volunteers every month

clearly, we have a lot of photos of Ezra’s childhood to add to the walls!

Cousin Angelo may grow up to have the same “performance knack” as Ezra

Zoe loves being the MC

the epic slide show put together by Ezra’s dad

and speech crafted by mom

friends and giggles during the slideshow

when the jazz band was done, cousins stepped in so that Ezra and family could dance the Hora

and Ezra got a ride in the chair – mazel tov to my boy!

 

 

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Just before New Year’s Eve, we made a trip to Kansas City for cousin Stella‘s Bat Mitzvah! Aside from the joy of watching Stella lead a service and turn 13 on the same day, we also got the added bonus of some time to dart out to get some yummy BBQ and see the American Jazz Museum. Now that Ezra has made the move to Louis Armstrong Middle School, it was extra fun seeing all the info on our own musical great in the museum – while also learning about the (new to us) Kansas City jazz scene. Of course in the end, Zoe was sad to leave the cousin crew – and we can’t wait to see them again.

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enjoying the Jazz Museum

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and some of its instruments

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and of course, the bat mitzvah girl herself!

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Mazel Tov cousin Stella!

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Zoe was too sad to leave, and tried to hide in the hotel coat closet ; (

 

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I do love this crazy, orange month with it’s hot and cold flashes and … hopefully… some changing leaf foliage soon.  We’ve been building a sukkah at our synagogue and enjoying the last of the Jewish New Year holidays and atoning.  Our synagogue is in Flushing Queens, surrounded by Chinatown which – as it turns out – Chinese Harvest Festival is going on at the same time as Sukkot.  And if you haven’t seen all the crazy Halloween costumes on social media lately, you must stop in at Target to try them on.  Zoe can’t get enough of dress up:

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Chinese Harvest Festival – dancers at the Flushing Queens MallIMG_9753

You know you wanna try one!IMG_9760IMG_9761IMG_9764IMG_9769

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We were hellbent on frolicking in waves while we can … even Louie enjoyed the beach in Sagaponack and smelled like sea air for a weekend.  Zoe loved having mosquito netting .. er, ‘princess canopy’ .. on her bed.  I don’t think we could find a better spot of ‘moving water’ for Tashlich!  (Don’t know what tashlich is? Click here).  The waves were huge like the day we got married in this same spot and – I’m not lying – the sky really was that pink during sunset hour:

 

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(this pix of my loves by Greg Kessler)IMG_9621IMG_9647IMG_9669

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Cousins Alison and Stella took us to the Mitzvah Garden near there synagogue, where we learned a thing or two about collecting water in rain barrels and planting vegetables for summer!  I plan on using some info I gleaned about keeping purple martins around with bird feeders .. so that they will linger to eat all our bugs!

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Ezra getting zen with some small planting

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