Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cooking Scarcely in a Large Family

This week I began cooking on more of a regular basis. What I mean by regular is actually daily. As strange as that may sound, for the mother of ten; I will proceed to explain how this has come to be the case around our home. Yes, of course we do have regular meals; although I'm not necessarily the one who prepares them.

The days when I used to cook daily are all a blur now. A faint memory is all that's left. Why and when did I stop cooking? The answer is quite simple really. As our family grew and our home education began to take on more of a formal approach, we began to teach the kids some basic cooking skills. With time they begin experimenting with new recipes. Mostly at the beginning, the cooking was along side mom or dad. But shortly after, the kids were allowed to cook on their own due to their progress in learning.

So many benefits stemmed from this first decision to teach them cooking. To begin with, working with recipe books proved to be an excellent way for learning fractions. All I recall, is one day asking my daughter how she had come up with the correct quantities for doubling or tripling the ingredients. She went on to explain to my amazement how she had added the fractions. She was at the time around six or seven I think. This was such a surprise to me, specially since I had not deliberately introduced her to fractions. Besides learning a necessary skill for life which is great in itself, another added benefit was teaching character; for in preparing meals for others, one also learns to serve. As if this all wasn't enough we had the added benefit of more help to get things done around the house, which is actually pretty terrific.

Cooking and baking has been a natural learning process around my home. My older kids I taught, naturally, However my younger ones mostly picked up this skills from their older siblings. I don't think a week passes by without the younger ones 8-12 baking some cookies, trying a new recipe, or preparing a dessert for Shabbat. I have then come to the conclusion through personal experience that work and education go hand in hand. What an advantage it has been to us, the freedom to teach at home with more of a hands on approach.

To conclude, I'd like to add that I'm proud to say the students have exceeded the teacher. The food the kids help make is always tasty and prepared with such creativity. I want to specially give credit to my two dear daughters. They do an excellent job. I'm glad to think that in this area at least they are preparing well to be future homemakers. And as for the boys, it's great that they can depend on themselves when necessary too. So now I'm off to start my new week preparing dinners, and as crazy as this may seem, I'll be asking for my daughters' input and opinions. It seems to me they have a much better idea when it comes to deciding on the quantities I'll be having to cook. =)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Psalm 145 and Memorization

 We will be working on memorizing Psalm 145 as a family. I think it is such a good way to tune our hearts to Hashem and His Word. This Psalm is part of the Mincha prayers and one of my personal favorites.
I often think about how we sometimes without hesitation memorize all sorts of things that interest us like music lyrics for instance. But when it comes to the Word of G-d, we don't seem to have the same willingness; sometimes reasoning that it's too difficult.
Some time ago, I remember going to the library with my kids to supplement their reading. One of my kids decided to get a Ripley's Believe It or Not!  Book. After reading through it a while he shared with me with great amazement about a person that had memorized incredible amounts of books by heart. While I can't recall the name of the man who broke this record, I do remember one thing. The man was a Rabbi that had memorized the Torah along with several other works related to the Jewish faith. The love and dedication this Rabbi had are just amazing to me.
I hope we can learn a lesson from this. If we set our minds to it we could memorize more than we actually think we can. If we love His Word, than it should motivate us to learn it by heart. When I find myself having to make decisions in life, I often recall G-d's Word, and it guides my way. This brings to mind the Psalm 119 -"Oh how love I thy Law, it is my meditation all the day,". If His Word is in our hearts constantly than we'll be able to meditate on it throughout our days. 
     1. I shall exalt You, my G-d the King, and I shall bless Your name forever and ever.
2. Every day I shall bless you, and I shall praise Your name forever and ever.
3. The L-rd is great and very much praised, and His greatness cannot be searched.
4. Generation to generation will praise Your works, and they will recite Your mighty deeds.
5. Of the majesty of the glory of Your splendor and the words of Your wonders I shall speak.
6. And the strength of Your awesome deeds they will tell, and Your greatness I shall sing.
7. Of the remembrance of Your abundant goodness they will speak, and of Your righteousness they will sing.
8. The L-rd is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and of great kindness.
9. The L-rd is good to all, and His mercies are on all His works.
10.        All your works will thank You, O L-rd, and Your pious ones will bless You.
11.        They will tell the glory of Your kingdom, and they will speak of Your might.
12.        To make known to the children of men His mighty deeds and the glory of the majesty of his kingdom.
13.        Your kingdom is a kingdom of all times, and Your ruling is in every generation.
14.        The L-rd supports all those who fall and straightens all who are bent down.
15.        Everyone’s eyes look to You with hope, and You give them their food in its time.
16.        You open Your hand and satisfy every living thing [with] its desire.
17.        The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds
18.         The L-rd is near to all who call Him, to all who call Him with sincerity.
19.        He does the will of those who fear him, and He hears their cry and saves them.
20.        The L-rd guards all who love Him, and He destroys all the wicked.
21.        My mouth will speak the praise of the L-rd, and all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mi Vida Sencilla

Decidi con el deseo de compartir con los lectores de habla Hispana, escribir un poco de mi blog en este idioma. Mi vida es una sencilla, sin embargo, una que me llena de satisfacion. Soy casada y junto con mi esposo hemos abrasado la fe Judio Messianica. Tambien hemos sido bendesidos en grande manera con el privilegio de una familia de diez hijos. Por gracia de El Todopoderoso desde de que nuestro primer hijo era aun muy chiquito desidimos educarlo en casa. Esto ah sido una gran bendicion, mas de lo que podria esplicar en un pequeno blog como este. Esto de educar en casa aun que sea algo muy peculiar en algunos lugares, es algo permitido y legal en Estados Unidos. Claro algunos de los estados son un poco mas tolerables que otros. Lo bueno es que nos encontramos en un lugar donde somos libres de hacer esto. Mis dias los paso en casa libre para estar con mi familia, servirlos, y alludarlos en su educacion. Donde vivimos esto es algo fuera de lo comun, lla que la costumbre por aqui es de que la mujer tambien trabaje y aporte a las necesidades de la casa con un sueldo propio. Me alegra decir que mi esposo no comparte de este pensar, y me apolla en que me quede en casa. Como mastra de mis hijos soy responsable de lo que ellos aprenden o no. Para comensar nuestro dia, primer procuramos dedicar un tiempo a la lectura de las escrituras. Esto es vital, lla que la fe debe tener prioridad al conocimiento. Despues de esto, cada quien por su cuenta se pone a estudiar dependiendo de su edad y el material de estudio disponible. Sin entrar mucho en detalle, despues de el tiempo separado para "la escuela en casa" seguimos nuestro dia, cada uno con varias tareas del hogar. Me alegra decir que mis hijos mallores de dies anos pueden cocinar y hacer casi cualquier cosa que se propongan. En mi humilde opinion creo que la educacion es mas que conocimiento acumulado. Nuestro deseo es que nuestros hijos crescan en la fe y puedan ser personas de bien que puedan tambien aportar algo a la humanida para beneficio de otros. Para terminar quiro decir que aun que hemos decidido tomar el camino menos escojido y en ocasiones mas dificil, lo hacemos con alegria y el deseo en nuestros corasones de servir a HaShem con lo que el nos a encomendado. (Pido disculpas tambien a mis faltas de ortografia, lla que mi idioma principal es el Ingles.)

Comparto aqui un buen articulo sobre la educacion en casa:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What about mentoring?

As a daughter to a widow that was always working and struggling to provide for the family, I grew up pretty much on my own. One thing I'm very grateful about, is the fact that my mother never gave up on trying to do what was best for us and always did strive to draw us close to G-d. Amid the struggles she was there, an amazing woman that to me deserves all the respect and love in the world. But due to her need to work and make ends meet, she was absent much of the time as I recall growing up. As a young lady and specially as a newlywed, I missed the wise words of counsel. I lacked direction in many ways. Only by G-d's grace was I able to find comfort, purpose, and the direction I badly needed. As I grew more and more in the knowledge and faith of our L-rd, did I realize that it would have been much better if I could have had the opportunity of a mentor. I didn't think it in such words, but I remember telling one of my sisters that I would have appreciated it so if someone had taken the time to share with me about their experience and knowledge in light of G-d's Word. It is because of my own personal struggles and the difficulties needed to overcome, that I have a special heart for others finding themselves down that same road. What ever happened to mentoring? This I wondered about at times. I'm thankful that I see more and more people aware of the need and benefits of mentoring. I myself am trying to serve and do what I can by mentoring at this time. Not only should we be practicing this within our families, but at some point of our lives we may meet someone that we can help along the way down a path we have already taken. As I see it, Something we have learned is something we can share! I pray for the wisdom to see and help others in need, and encourage others to do likewise.
May our walk be one of wholehearted love for HaShem and also a love for those He has created.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tallit Katan

    David my firstborn recently bought his tekhelet and was in need of a tallit katan for daily use. We decided to make a tallit katan at home ourselves. To begin with, I bought him some plain white t-shirts. I thought about the buttonholes a bit and couldn't decide on how to go about it. I haven't sown in a long time except for a couple of sashes my girls needed for dance class so I wasn't sure if I could do this right. After some thought I opted to cut out the buttonhole strip from another shirt that we no longer needed. To begin the tallit, first I cut a six inch slit on both sides of the shirt to create the corners for the tzittzit. After sowing the edges of all corners; a small square of the shirt with the buttonhole was sown in to each of the corners. Once the buttonholes were in place, the tallit was ready for the tzitzit. I attached the tzitzit which my son had previously prepared by tying the knots beforehand. The whole proccess was much easier than I had thought, and I'm now ready to work on a tallit for my other boys.

37 The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying, 38 "Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. 39 "It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, 40 so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God. 41 "I am the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God ; I am the LORD your God."    Numbers 15:37-41





Monday, October 18, 2010

Shabbat and Feast Celebrations

         bIBLICAL fEASTS...

              Special Memories of  
                     the year