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Homeshuling

Homeshuling

Bio

I'm a mother of two girls, raised in suburban Baltimore, and transplanted to a small New England town. I teach, write, and try to create a vibrant Jewish home for my family while spending very little time in synagogue. I guess you could say we're home-shuling.

Birthdays, part 2

posted by Homeshuling

Zoe celebrated her fifth birthday last week and really, really wanted a birthday party. So much so that she began planning it sometime around December. So far, we have celebrated the girls’ birthdays with a family get together, or a […]

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Birthdays

posted by Homeshuling

Today is my (ohmyGodwhendidshegetsobig) five year old’s birthday. This year, it happens to fall on the same day as Israel’s birthday, Yom Haatzmaut. For us, celebrating one birthday is quite enough, and since I’m sure Israel won’t cry if we […]

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A mama tracht, und Gott lach*

posted by Homeshuling

While my two girls are the best of friends (when they’re not busy never playing with you again for the REST OF MY LIFE) they couldn’t be more different. Despite nearly identical upbringings, one of them eats everything, and one […]

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Omer advent calendar, version 2.0

posted by Homeshuling

I know the Omer is supposed to be a time of mourning, but around here, it’s a time for jelly beans. I may not have made counting the Omer any more meaningful (I have been counting for much of my […]

Scenes from the Garden

posted by Homeshuling

11 See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. 12 Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land Shir HaShirim 2:11-12

Something old, something new….

posted by Homeshuling

The girls and I spent most of Passover at my mother’s house in Baltimore, where we also visited with a wonderful woman whom I met through this blog. (She was already friendly with my mother from shul — it wasn’t […]

Surprisingly decent Passover cookies

posted by Homeshuling

The kids and I are in Baltimore for most of Pesach, which means that I get to raid my mother’s recipe box. You know, the kind that’s jammed packed with stained 3 x 5 cards and newspaper clippings, all bearing […]

Last year’s omer counter

posted by Homeshuling

Reposting from last year, since I haven’t done anything creative this year. Yet. from April 2009: With all things Passover pretty much packed up until next year, we’ve been experiencing something of a denouement around here. I’ve been wondering what […]

What matters?

posted by Homeshuling

“What matters?” Zoe likes to ask, her arms held up in the universal child-asking-a-question gesture. She thinks it means “what’s the difference?”  To me, she sounds just like Yenta in Fiddler on the Roof whenever she says it, most often […]

Best way to use up chametz

posted by Homeshuling

Or at least the most efficient, since I could have easily eaten the entire batch in one sitting. My standard refrain about living in a small New England city is “everything is great, except for the bagels.” Now I can […]

Do what you love, love what you do

posted by Homeshuling

I spent my first year of graduate school in Jerusalem. Because this was some twenty years ago, communication with friends and family in the States was primarily by mail, which often took two or three weeks to arrive at its […]

And we can eat matzah why…..?

posted by Homeshuling

Did you ever wonder why, if we aren’t allowed to eat products made with wheat on Passover, that matzoh is totally kosher (so to speak?) I must admit that this question puzzled me until my mid-20’s, when I spent a […]

Well, I’m glad I’m sending the right message

posted by Homeshuling

Here’s what one reviewer on Goodreads had to say about my book, A Mezuzah on the Door. “This book helped me to realize that you should disregard your values, traditions and beliefs simply because you are in an environment where […]

What rhymes with Nineveh?

posted by Homeshuling

I know it’s not near Yom Kippur, but my brilliant, creative (and single just long enough to start dating again) brother just posted this to Youtube. It’s a song about Nineveh, the town that saved itself by doing to teshuvah, […]

I’ll have your spam. I love it.

posted by Homeshuling

These are the kinds of comments that spammers send my (and every other blogger’s) way to try to get their links on our sites. The first time I got one, I actually fell for it and approved the comment. I […]

I wish I had a better answer

posted by Homeshuling

Yesterday my girls and I were sitting in “family service” at our shul (ok, more accurately, Ella and I were sitting in family service while Zoe made endless what-is-the-opposite-of-beelines to the water fountain.) Even though I insist my children come […]

A recipe review of questionable value

posted by Homeshuling

A little over a month ago I asked for challah recipes for my bread machine. I’ve been working my way through the many kind contributions, and wanted to report back. This report will inspire in you little or no confidence […]

When I wasn’t looking…..

posted by Homeshuling

Homeshuling turned one! My first post was on March 1, 2009, and featured my great-grandmother’s hamnetashen recipe. I started the blog because I had been fantasizing for a while about writing a Jewish parenting book, and thought that starting a […]

Using up chametz – more recipes

posted by Homeshuling

For our Purim seudah, I decided serve breakfast foods. I have quite a few random hunks of challah in the freezer, stowed away for french toast, that I wanted to use up, but was too lazy to make french toast […]

Mishloach Manot, or, they’re really just not that into us

posted by Homeshuling

For the first four years of Ella’s life, we delivered many mishloach manot baskets, but did not receive a single one. We don’t live in a very observant community, and many of our friends are either not Jewish or non-practicing […]

A Freilichen Purim

posted by Homeshuling

Ella, dressed as “Esther, but not Queen Esther.” Zoe is Princess Isabella, a character in a computer game she plays on line when I’m ignoring her.

The Birds, the Bees, and the Incredibles

posted by Homeshuling

Overheard in play room Zoe: I’m having a baby, I’m having a baby! Ella: Quick, get some scissors! Me: You know, a mommy doesn’t usually need to get cut open to have a baby. The baby comes out the vagina. […]

Scenes from the megilla

posted by Homeshuling

Courtesty of Ella, age 6. evry one in the cassol is yelling at Vashty to Never Come back a servint is dragging Vashty. But evry One is still yelling. Now That the king dos not have a kween he is […]

Could these be any cuter?

posted by Homeshuling

My four year old, Zoe, invented these bite-size hamentashen in our marathon baking session with bubbe. Aren’t they adorable?That’s a nickel in the middle, for perspective. With all the 100 calorie packaged snacks on the market, I think we could […]

V’nahafoch hu

posted by Homeshuling

A theme of Purim is v’nahafoch hu, a celebration of things getting turned upside down. Haman builds gallows for Mordechai, and is hung on those same gallows. Haman plans a fantastic reward for himself, and instead has to bestow this […]

Telling it like it is…

posted by Homeshuling

not quite how i imagine esther Recently Ella has begun creating her own megillah, a telling of the book of Esther, which she is hanging on the walls of her and her sister’s bedroom. Consequently, she’s been trying to clarify […]

What’s even *fancier* than Valentine’s Day?

posted by Homeshuling

A few years ago, my daughters went to a Valentine making workshop at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. This is a gem of a museum, and the program was wonderful (my lack of enthusiasm for Valentine’s Day […]

Looking for fans….

posted by Homeshuling

In the hopes of spreading the word about my blog, I’ve created a facebook group. If you’re on facebook, will you become a fan of Homeshuling?

Why I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day

posted by Homeshuling

I’m a holiday kind of gal. I really enjoy excuses to celebrate special days, especially when the celebrations involve preparing food. But Valentine’s Day? I’m just not that into it. There’s been some shakla v’tarya amongst the Jewish mommy bloggers […]

And some kind of help is the kind of help…….

posted by Homeshuling

Written for The PJ Library March e-newsletter Remember the Little Red Hen, who searched the farm high and low for help baking bread? Well, she’s back. Only this time she speaks Yiddish, and she’s getting ready for Passover. Unfortunately, not […]

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried

posted by Homeshuling

Today, Zoe had her Kindergarten screening. Since I teach at her future school, I got an insider’s report about how the morning went. The teacher began by asking the children to name one of their favorite things. A few children […]

Sydney Taylor

posted by Homeshuling

The world of Jewish literature has changed enormously since I was a child. If there were any shiny, beautifully illustrated picture books, the kind that the PJ LIbrary sends out by the thousands each month, I never saw them. I […]

The last re-run

posted by Homeshuling

Unseasonal, but probably my favorite post ever. From way back when I had time to be creative. Leads to Mixed Dancing My mother sent my girls an early Purim present – a Haman punching bag.According to the description, “the punching […]

Re-runs, almost over

posted by Homeshuling

And the seasons, they go ’round and ’round From August 24, 2009 written for the The PJ Library® September e-newsletter There are some indisputable signs that Autumn is coming – the lettuce has bolted, the broccoli has gone to seed, […]

Re-runs, #4

posted by Homeshuling

Speaking of re-runs, is it almost time for a new season of Mad Men? Please? From July 13, 2009 When my daughters were babies, I really knew how to sleep them. I put them to bed early (and I do […]

Re-runs, #3

posted by Homeshuling

In the midst of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer…. from May 31, 2009 This past week, our family planted a vegetable garden in our backyard. It was a day of dirty knees, even dirtier […]

Re-runs, Day #2

posted by Homeshuling

Not only did I love this little book, but the post reminds me how much difference a year makes in the life of an early reader/writer. from April 1, 2009 Why I send my daughter to a Jewish Day School […]

A week of re-runs

posted by Homeshuling

I’ve been writing this blog for close to a year. While I’m no Finslippy (heck, I’m not even an Ima on the Bima), my readership seems to be slowly increasing. For all of you who are new to my blog, […]

Here’s how it looks……

posted by Homeshuling

But how does it taste? I’ll let you know after shabbat- not puking anymore I used this recipe, but I can’t wait to start trying and reviewing all the recipes you wonderful readers have shared with me. Stay tuned…. Shabbat […]

Bread Machine challah recipe, anyone?

posted by Homeshuling

I’m trying to figure out how to work challah baking into my new-ish life as a mom who works full time outside of the home. Tonight I decided to try making the dough and forming the loaves in the evening, […]

My favorite tree book

posted by Homeshuling

In honor of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year of the trees, I want to recommend my very favorite book on the subject. (And no, it’s not The Giving Tree, which, despite the title, just really isn’t about trees. Thank […]

Taking care of ourselves

posted by Homeshuling

Becoming a parent has unquestionably made me much more thoughtful about Judaism. Being a role model and a full time educator (and I’m not talking about my job) means that I’m always paying attention to how Jewish I’m being, or […]

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Really.

posted by Homeshuling

One of my favorite things about writing this blog is getting to “meet” so many other Jewish parenting bloggers. I’m fantasizing about some giant Jewish mommy cocktail party one of these days. (Not giant Jewish mommies, mind you, but maybe […]

Cute, cute, cute…..and for a good cause

posted by Homeshuling

Earlier this year, my first grade class designed a beautiful Hebrew alefbet, which we’ve had printed on t-shirts and mugs as a tzedakah project. All proceeds will benefit the Northampton Survival Center, one of the many institutions supporting the victims […]

A new tradition?

posted by Homeshuling

We attended a family havdallah gathering at Ella’s school tonight. When we returned home, I asked the girls if they had fun. “It was pretty good,” said Zoe. “But it would have been a lot better with a bounce house.”

Talking about God with your children

posted by Homeshuling

When Ella entered the Kindergarten at our local Jewish day school, parents were invited to spend an evening in the classroom. Each teacher made a brief presentation about the curriculum, and then opened the floor to questions. After reading the […]

And the winner is……

posted by Homeshuling

Edible Torah, for his stunningly creative use of X-mas chazerai. Here’s his winning entry, re-posted on his own, wonderful blog. I especially like #5 and #6. Shabbat Shalom!

Happy Whatever

posted by Homeshuling

Blue moon, shmoo moon…..

posted by Homeshuling

People are really jazzed up about the blue moon occurring on New Year’s Eve. What is a blue moon, you may ask (besides a song that was featured in the movie of Grease, but not the Broadway production?) It’s the […]

When tragedy hits (really) close to home

posted by Homeshuling

I’ve written before about my attempts to engender a sense of social responsibility in my daughters. We donate bags of food and clothes, as well as tzedakah money, to our local food bank, and they’ve helped distribute bags throughout the […]

Announcing a contest!

posted by Homeshuling

red rabbi and his lulav My dear friend Danielle had a great idea for a blog post. As it happens, I’m not nearly creative enough to pull it off myself. The idea came from a conversation we were having this […]

Limmud NY

posted by Homeshuling

For the first time ever, I’m going way for a long weekend. Without my kids. To learn Torah. I am so, so, totally excited. I’m going to Limmud NY, a “gathering, a festival, and a retreat from daily life. Over MLK weekend, […]

Jewish. Goyish.

posted by Homeshuling

Let me start by saying that I love my in-laws. They are wonderful people who have been not only tolerant, but supportive, of our Jewish family. They send high holiday and Hanukkah cards, prepare vegetarian meals for us, and attend […]

Peace Oil – olive oil just got even better

posted by Homeshuling

From another former Mosh-nik, David Sokal. Thanks, Judi, for the heads up about this worthy project. (Oh yeah Mosh, you look so good to me…..) I sell a very special olive oil for Jews and anyone else who cares about […]

Tis the season for olive oil

posted by Homeshuling

Thanks to my brother Tom for a guest post on Olive Oyl olive oil: My friend Mike is a connoisseur of olive oils. He can taste an olive oil and tell you the oil’s country of origin, the blend of olives […]

Have an oily Hanukkah

posted by Homeshuling

Every year, I spend a few weeks drooling over boxes of fancy-schmancy Hanukkah candles – you know, the beautiful beeswax, hand-dipped kind that don’t look like fruit-flavored twizzlers. I ruminate for a good long time over whether or not to […]

The Giving Tree in Ashland – a follow up

posted by Homeshuling

I blogged a few days ago about my friend’s decision to remove a Christmas tree from the school where she recently became principal. The letters to the editor in the local newspaper have been overwhelmingly nasty, and mostly not worthy […]

Hanukkah songs – the great and the not so great

posted by Homeshuling

Many years ago, my brother was in an alt-country/folk band called 5 Chinese Brothers. Their oeuvre included a truly wonderful hanukkah song called Age Old Story. You can listen to it here. I posted the lyrics below. (Now he writes songs […]

The way it should be, the way it shouldn’t be

posted by Homeshuling

keep this one My younger daughter, Zoe, attends a secular preschool, as did her older sister Ella. We chose the school for many reasons and have never regretted the decision (except, perhaps, for the time they fed Ella a treif […]

Truly Divine Hanukkah Gelt

posted by Homeshuling

Chocolate production doesn’t much resemble the magical world portrayed in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. No chocolate rivers, no trained squirrels, and sadly, no everlasting gobstoppers. However, there’s one very unfortunate similarity – the size of the laborers. […]

Thanksgiving

posted by Homeshuling

As critical as I am of many things that go on in, and at the hands of, our country, I’m not ashamed to say that I am so grateful to be an American. I’m excited to be hosting Thanksgiving for […]

Playing Christians

posted by Homeshuling

from the December e-newsletter of The PJ Library: My daughters begin asking for Chanukah books at bedtime early in the year – even before the supermarkets start piping in Christmas music, which happens, I believe, in August. Last night, Zoe, […]

We’re off to Teva!

posted by Homeshuling

A little over 15 years ago, I had my one great idea. After spending two years working at Nature’s Classroom, a five-day environmental ed program for elementary schools, hosted at an overnight camp, I thought “We could do this.” And […]

The weekly Jewish Blog Carnival is up

posted by Homeshuling

Every week, Jewish bloggers from all around the world are featured in Havel Havalim. Check it out at Ima on the Bima, one of my favorite Jewish parenting blogs.

It’s time for another Jewish Mama (and Papa) Meme (but not peepee)

posted by Homeshuling

get it? I made up a Jewish mama meme when I first started this blog, mostly as a way to connect to other Jewish parenting bloggers. Now that my blog is a little more established, I’d like to try it […]

Who knew?

posted by Homeshuling

Ella has the flu and no appetite to speak of. My mom’s advice? Jell-o. Ever the only-somewhat-dutiful daughter, I went to the local co-op and asked for “something resembling jello, but not jello.” They knew just what I meant, and […]

Come out, come out, wherever you are

posted by Homeshuling

After blogging for eight months, I’m beginning to discover that I have readers who aren’t, you know, my mom. Who are you? How did you find my blog? Please post! (You too, mom!)

Baby Einstein Refund – a great talmudic debate?

posted by Homeshuling

When I was pregnant, I fully expected to keep my kids away from tv for a good, long time. I managed to live up to this goal for about a year. That’s not to say that I didn’t watch tv […]

Thanks, Mom

posted by Homeshuling

My mom sent me a link to a wonderful article by Anne Roiphe for grandparents.com, called Grandmothers Should Be Seen and Not Heard. It’s written for grandmothers, but it actually was a wonderful read for me. I wish I didn’t […]

How lucky am I?

posted by Homeshuling

Today, after school, I took my girls to a book fair with 16 local authors and illustrators. We got to meet and talk to Jane Dyer, Rich Michelson, Mo Willems (gasp) and Patricia Maclachlan (author of Sarah, Plain and Tall) and […]

Yummy but ugly

posted by Homeshuling

  click me! One of my all time favorite casseroles, posted by request for our shabbat guests this week. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture, to prove how unappealing it looks. But….YUM. And while it has more prepared […]

My Pagan Daughters

posted by Homeshuling

Pics, as promised: Now we face the real dilemma – what to do with all this candy? While we usually have cookies in the house, and occasionally ice cream, we don’t ever buy candy. My children have had so little […]

How pagan is too pagan?

posted by Homeshuling

In my daughter’s day school, talk of Halloween is off-limits, because of its origin as a pagan holiday. If I had to guess, I would bet that 96% of the 100 students who attend her school celebrate the holiday, which, […]

Why I send my child to Jewish day school, part 3

posted by Homeshuling

Despite our green instincts, we bought paper cups for our annual sukkah party. I took out a sharpee so that people could label their cups, rather than reaching for a new one each time they put one down, and Ella […]

Shabbat at last

posted by Homeshuling

My appreciation of shabbat has increased about a zillion percent since going back to work full time. While I’m not as traditionally observant as I once was (you know, before I married a goy), I take the idea of a […]

Still catching up on Sukkot posts

posted by Homeshuling

I’m nowhere near as crafty or fastidious as the Bible Belt Balabusta, but we did make some adorable model sukkahs in my first grade classroom. The goal of the lesson was to reinforce the concept that a sukkah is made […]

Graffiti I can get behind – and a contest!

posted by Homeshuling

It was a wet sukkot this year, and we didn’t have the chance to invite our friends to join us in decorating the walls. But we managed one good day of painting: Here’s Ella writing on the walls of the […]

A month without holidays…if only

posted by Homeshuling

Early fall is an exhilarating, but exhausting time in our house, involving a lot of cleaning, cooking, inviting, celebrating, and a little more shul that we are used to. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot fill almost three consecutive weeks, […]

I’m taking Tishrei off, dammit

posted by Homeshuling

I’ll be back when this crazy month is over. Maybe a post a day to brighten *mar cheshvan? (*The Hebrew month of cheshvan is known as mar cheshvan, or bitter cheshvan, because of the absence of a single Jewish holiday […]

The Book of Life

posted by Homeshuling

I’m reposting this from my classroom blog – a note to parents about how I talked with first graders about the Book of Life: To prepare for Yom Kippur, Kitah Aleph learned the traditional greeting “Chatimah Tovah”, which loosely translates […]

….row by row

posted by Homeshuling

At the beginning of the summer, I blogged about our garden. I promised an update, both on the harvest and whether I succeeded in using the garden to teach my girls about the agricultural mitzvot. Some of our crops were bountiful. […]

L’shana Tovah

posted by Homeshuling

Wishing you joy, peace and harmony in the year to come. With Love, Homeshuling

Teaching teshuvah

posted by Homeshuling

reprinted from the PJ Library newsletter, September 2008 This past month, my daughter Ella received a copy of The Hardest Word from the PJ Library. In this story, a giant mythical bird called the Ziz accidentally destroys a vegetable garden […]

Look no further (or is it farther?)

posted by Homeshuling

Are you looking for a wonderful apple cake recipe? I was going to post my mom’s, but it turns out that smitten kitchen and I have the same mom. Or at least the same recipe. Her write-up is a lot […]

Bread machine bread that actually tastes good

posted by Homeshuling

I’ve been a little underwhelmed thus far by my new (if you consider something from good-will new) bread machine. The bread smells great but it looks funny and has an odd texture. I’ve come up with one recipe, however, that […]

Is it time for a seder already?

posted by Homeshuling

Although I’ve hardly had time to think about it, Rosh Hashanah is, in fact, just over a week away. We have a couple of new-ish family traditions (we’re a new-ish family after all); I make my mother’s Jewish apple cake […]

At least there’s Sunday

posted by Homeshuling

  better than I can make Last week, for the first time in a very, very long time, the majority of my waking hours were spent at work. In addition to being at my new home away from home for […]

Big disappointment

posted by Homeshuling

Both Ella and Zoe’s PJ Library books for the month of September arrived today. Zoe ripped open the envelope to reveal “Oh, no,” said Zoe. “I hope I don’t get that book,” added Ella. Sigh.

You can’t homeshul if you’re never home

posted by Homeshuling

Last week I returned to work full time after six years of part-time employment (and full time parenting, of course.) I’ve spent most of my waking hours in meetings and setting up my classroom in anticipation of the first day […]

No worries

posted by Homeshuling

In case I was ever worried about Zoe’s self esteem: Me: Zoe, what do you think Rosie (a friend from pre-school) would like for her birthday? Zoe:  A big picture of me when I was a baby. In a heart. […]

And the seasons they go ’round and ’round

posted by Homeshuling

written for the The PJ Library® September e-newsletter There are some indisputable signs that Autumn is coming – the lettuce has bolted, the broccoli has gone to seed, the Perseid meteorites have showered down in the night sky, and the back […]

Looking for shortcuts

posted by Homeshuling

In exactly a week and a half I will be returning to full-time work out of the home for the first time since giving birth to Ella, six years ago. While my husband will be taking on some of the […]

Bedtime revisited

posted by Homeshuling

Last month I wrote about how my husband and I had just about lost control of the bedtime hours. When we returned from our vacation at the beach, I decided to tackle this situation before the girls go back to […]

Life is sweet. Not salty.

posted by Homeshuling

It’s a widespread custom to dip challah in salt before eating it. Why? When the Temple was standing in Jerusalem, the Israelites worshipped God by offering sacrifices, which they were commanded to salt.  By dipping the challah in salt, our […]

Back from vacation

posted by Homeshuling

We’ve actually been home for almost a week, but I’ve been having a hard time getting back to blogging. We had a fantastic vacation, visiting my mother at the Delaware shore, and part of the reason I’ve been reluctant to […]

Celebrating birthdays, big and small

posted by Homeshuling

written for The PJ Library August e-newsletter One of the challenges of parenting is getting to know our children as individuals, and giving them what they really need, as opposed to what we think they need, or what their friends […]

All I ever wanted….

posted by Homeshuling

We’re off to the beach. Don’t expect to hear much from me until August.

How good I have it

posted by Homeshuling

what to make when life doesn't even give you lemons Like many parents, I overthink a lot of decisions, and worry about things that probably don’t matter a whole lot in the final analysis. Can I buy the cheap No-Ad […]

The Tushy Book

posted by Homeshuling

Perhaps the best part of my visit to Camp Ramah last week was getting to meet Fran Manushkin and scoring a review copy of The Tushy Book. To say may daughters love this book would be a profound understatement.To paraphrase […]

Goodnight Shma

posted by Homeshuling

When my daughters were babies, I really knew how to sleep them.  I put them to bed early (and I do mean early) and on a consistent schedule. They slept for 12 (or more!) uninterrupted hours, and napped regularly. I […]

Homeshuling goes to camp

posted by Homeshuling

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend the last two days (without my kids!) at Camp Ramah of New England with a group of authors. The trip was organized by the PJ Library, with the goal of inspiring us to […]

Challah, and a few other things

posted by Homeshuling

taken by our nifty oven-cam Until recently, I was buying my challah from a parent of one of Ella’s classmates. Not only are her challot delicious and inexpensive, but she delivered. For free. Not surprisingly, the little business grew and […]

My not so adventurous eater

posted by Homeshuling

Yesterday they were giving out samples of crackers with goat cheese and apple at Trader Joe’s. After Zoe, my four year old, took a bite I asked her if she would like me to buy her some goat cheese. She […]

Tell me how you do it

posted by Homeshuling

At the end of August, I’ll be going back to work full time for the first time since Ella was born, six years ago. It was too good of an offer to refuse – I’ll be teaching at the day […]

Getting it right – the bar/bat mitzvah party

posted by Homeshuling

  you never see these I tutor seven or eight kids a year for their bar mitzvah ceremonies, and consequently I attend a lot of parties. In fact, it’s become my husband’s and my main source of dates, since both […]

But is it good for the Jews?

posted by Homeshuling

  don't we look cool? Here are the girls and I heading off to buy some challah on our brand new Xtracycle. I recently accepted a full time job for next year, and decided to splurge on something that I’d […]

What’s in a name for an interfaith family?

posted by Homeshuling

written for the July PJ Library e-newsletter My husband and I had many arguments  long discussions about what we would name our children. He wanted French names, all of which evoked the Apostles, and I wanted Hebrew names, which seemed […]

Redefining Shabbat, again and again

posted by Homeshuling

I grew up in a home that was not shabbat observant. While we sometimes went to synagogue, we also went shopping, to the movies, and to Memorial Stadium. As a participant in NCSY, I had an idea of what it […]

Why rush into things?

posted by Homeshuling

  the calm before the storm It’s 6:30, an hour after we usually start shabbat dinner during the school year, no matter what time the sun sets. But this is the first friday of vacation. My husband stopped for a […]

Almost fool-proof chicken

posted by Homeshuling

Although I was a vegetarian for over 25 years, I sure do love chicken. We keep kosher in a town where there is no kosher butcher, and sometimes the only Empire available is a whole chicken, which is great for […]

The End of Days

posted by Homeshuling

  i went to college w/the director Overheard:   Zoe, my 4 year old: “What’s the last day?” Ella, almost 6: “Do you meant the last day of school?” Zoe: “No, the last day.” Ella: “Do you mean the last […]

The ultimate shabbat dinner

posted by Homeshuling

No, this is not a recipe post. This is about one of my favorite ways to spend Friday night – at a potluck. I’ve organized a few family potlucks for my shul, and every time I do, I wish we […]

What’s great about your shul?

posted by Homeshuling

I recently joined the education committee at my synagogue. The board and the professional staff have all voiced a commitment to, and a glaringly obvious need for, some major revitalization of the way we “do” education. However, I’m not sure […]

Hip Kosher

posted by Homeshuling

I’m not at all hip. But we do keep kosher. And my mom bought me a great little cookbook called Hip Kosher, which took me a little while to warm up to. But now, I’m sold. Lots of easy recipes […]

“Oh, a bear”

posted by Homeshuling

Yesterday we went for a walk on the bike path across the street from our house. “Oh, a bear,” Zoe remarked casually, pointing to the neighbor’s backyard. Indeed.

It doesn’t take $95

posted by Homeshuling

The Kindergarten shabbat box was delivered to our door after school today. (Ella was home for a “personal day” because we have family visiting from out of town.) She and Zoe were so excited that they arranged a special shabbat […]

Queen Kosher

posted by Homeshuling

Today I spent the morning packing bags of food for area children at the local food pantry. One of the items I was supposed to include in each package was a jar of grape jelly. When I was receiving my […]

Inch by inch

posted by Homeshuling

This past week, our family planted a vegetable garden in our backyard. It was a day of dirty knees, even dirtier fingernails, and lots of shoveling. By the time bedtime rolled around, everyone was exhausted. But of course, not too […]

Baruch Dayan Emet

posted by Homeshuling

I’m leaving today for my aunt’s funeral. It’ll be a quick trip to my mother’s place in Baltimore, and then back just  in time for Shavuot (if I’m lucky.) I’m picking up cheesecake for the family at Trader Joe’s before […]

It’s the economy, stupid. (I SAID, don’t say “stupid!”)

posted by Homeshuling

Here’s a newsflash – I’ve been thinking a lot about the economy recently. It’s hard not to, of course. Who hasn’t been touched by the recession in one way or another, and who isn’t at least a little worried? As […]

Jewish Mommy Meme

posted by Homeshuling

I’m discovering a whole world of Jewish mommy bloggers, and I’m fantasizing about having one giant shabbat dinner together…..or maybe even a shabbaton? But for now a virtual shabbat will have to do. So here’s my shabbat meme, otherwise known […]

Prayer for my children

posted by Homeshuling

Yesterday I received an email from Artscroll, an Orthodox publishing house, with a prayer to be recited over one’s children on Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan, the evening before the new month of Sivan begins. The email explains that since the […]

And the winner is…..

posted by Homeshuling

Rebecca! Thanks to random.org for selecting the winner of the Nicole Engblom mezuzah.

Sometimes life imitates art

posted by Homeshuling

You might be familiar with the book The Shabbat Box, by Lesley Simpson. It’s a sweet story about a little boy whose preschool teacher sends home a special shabbat box with a different student each Friday. On his week, he […]

Time for another giveaway

posted by Homeshuling

Since I’ve finally mailed off the prize for my last contest, I thought it was time for another giveaway. Since I’m a big advocate of putting a mezuzah on the door, I’m giving away a very cute child’s mezuzah case, […]

Happy Lag B’Omer

posted by Homeshuling

There were no Lag B”Omer bonfires in our town. So, we made our own. I almost can’t believe this is my backyard.    finally used those Passover marshmallows     Rabbi Riqi claims to be a pacifist Zoe did not […]

Breastfeeding, breastfeeding, breastfeeding

posted by Homeshuling

  once again After seeing a sudden spike in visitors to my blog, I discovered that if you do a google-images search for breastfeeding, my site is the first one to come up. I guess any traffic is good traffic, […]

Dvar Torah – Parshat Emor

posted by Homeshuling

Yes, it’s last week’s parhsa. So stone me. I delivered the dvar torah in shul this morning, while our Rabbi is on sabbatical. This week’s Torah portion consists of a long a list of important laws about the Priesthood, the […]

Another Mother’s Day present

posted by Homeshuling

I found this list, written by my five year old, while cleaning off the kitchen table this morning. For those of you less experienced with creative spelling, it looks like my family was voting on whether to give me breakfast […]

A Mother’s Day Present – sort of

posted by Homeshuling

Conversation at pickup from pre-school: she only *looks* generous Zoe: Here mommy, I have a card and flower for you for mother’s day. Hands me a white carnation and a card.  One minute later: Zoe: Actually, mommy? The card is […]

More about Barbie – my first guest post!

posted by Homeshuling

My friend, writer and jewelry maker, Lisa Oram sent me a wonderful piece she wrote a few years ago about the “Barbie dilemma.” She’s kindly given me permission to reprint it here.  The Slippery Slope to Barbie I never had Barbies when […]

Barbie

posted by Homeshuling

So far, my daughters have been relatively insulated from the horror of Barbie dolls. I recognize that Barbies are not pure evil – after all, lots of wonderful, strong women I know grew up grooming and dressing those stacked little […]

A shabbat stroll with a purpose

posted by Homeshuling

On this beautiful Shabbat morning, instead of going to Tot Shabbat, I took my daughters on a long walk though our neighborhood. We were carrying (and thereby violating the Sabbath) fifty empty bags given to us by the local Survival […]

How we celebrated Yom Haatzmaut

posted by Homeshuling

Well, mostly we didn’t, since there wasn’t any kind of celebration or event in our community. We usually do nothing on July 4th, either, so at least I’m consistent when it comes to a lack of interest in patriotism. But […]

The downside of an invisible God

posted by Homeshuling

I never know quite what to say when my children ask about God. It’s not that I don’t believe in God, it’s just that at 41, I still haven’t figured what I believe. I speak vaguely, but comfortably, about God […]

Who’s the boss?

posted by Homeshuling

Here’s a family portrait my four year old, Zoe, drew the other day. at least she didn't make *me* bald That’s me on the left, her father in the middle, and her big sister on the right. Judging from the […]

Why Hebrew? (Or, why I send my child to a Jewish Day School, part 2)

posted by Homeshuling

I spent yesterday at a conference about teaching Hebrew to students with various learning needs. The conference wasn’t as useful as I had hoped*, but it left me thinking a lot about why, of all the second languages my children […]

In honor of Bubbe

posted by Homeshuling

  only bubbe gets this smile My mother came to visit this weekend so that she could be here for Grandparents Day at my five year old’s school. She lives six hours away, but I wish she lived around the corner […]

Perhaps I should change the name of my blog

posted by Homeshuling

or close up shop altogether, after reading this wonderful piece.

Conversation in Car

posted by Homeshuling

(newly!) four year old: Mama, were you sad when you worked for Pharoah? me: Honey, I didn’t work for Pharoah. That was a long time ago. four year old: But you said you were in Egypt! me: Yes, but I […]

What’s Jewish about Earth Day?

posted by Homeshuling

In another lifetime, I was an outdoor educator. My work involved taking kids to play, and sometimes live, in the woods. For several years after  college I worked as a teacher at Nature’s Classroom, a five-day residential environmental education center, […]

Jewish Advent Calendar

posted by Homeshuling

With all things Passover pretty much packed up until next year, we’ve been experiencing something of a denouement around here. I’ve been wondering what to blog about….what Jewish thing is going on in our lives now that the ultimate home-shuling […]

What to do with all that leftover matzah?

posted by Homeshuling

  it will look nothing like this A thousand pardons for not posting my favorite passover recipe before, or at least during, Passover, when you might have actually appreciated it. On the other hand, if you’re like me, and bought […]

The Book of Exodus-a photo essay

posted by Homeshuling

Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens.  And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go   And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted […]

The ultimate in home shuling

posted by Homeshuling

  everyone does seder a little differently Almost every Jewish family I know, no matter its level of affiliation (or staunch non-affiliation), participates in some kind of seder. It may not take place on one of the first nights of […]

Crazy Kosher!

posted by Homeshuling

Check out my article on interfaithfamily.com ! My husband and I did not find one another until our late 30s. While I sometimes pine for the years we might have spent together, there were also advantages to meeting relatively late […]

Why do I (almost) turn into someone else on Passover – part two

posted by Homeshuling

I posted a couple of weeks ago about how much my grocery shopping habits change as Passover approaches. Over the last few days, I’ve noticed a similar phenomenon in my environmental footprint . I’m a cloth diapering, line-drying, walking-not-driving, composting […]

Gefilte Fish

posted by Homeshuling

I dragged the girls to the park to recite the blessing of the sun, and it started snowing. My children shivered under blankets while we sat through an unbearably long recitation of prayers (at least from the perspective of two […]

It’s time

posted by Homeshuling

When the Bon Ami starts to look like spilled flour, it’s time to go to bed. A parting link, in case I don’t get back on before tomorrow night – a great new seder resource put out by JOFA, the […]

Really?

posted by Homeshuling

From the 2009 OU Passover Guide:   Leave the dishwasher unused for twenty-four hours,  make sure that the dishwasher is clean, and then run  two cycles. If the lining of the dishwasher is plastic,  it is debatable as to whether […]

And the winner is…..

posted by Homeshuling

Bible Belt Balabusta, for her elaborate afikoman treasure hunt. I envy her kids for having a mom willing to spend so much time and energy making the seder fun and engaging.  Check out her blog and website – there’s all […]

How far do I go?

posted by Homeshuling

  feh It’s Monday morning, approximately 48 hours before the prohibition on chametz takes effect, and I’m only just now beginning my Passover cleaning. We have nearly emptied out our pantry, but I haven’t had time to even consider the […]

What are these Jews talking about?

posted by Homeshuling

A very lovely edition of Haveil Havalim, the Jewish Blog Carnival, is now up over at Ima on and off the Bima. Check it out!

Using up some more chametz

posted by Homeshuling

My three year old’s favorite self-described “healthy food” is noodle kugel. As with many of my other  recipes, this dish involves very little preparation and very few utensils to clean. It’s fast to prepare, and it’s always a hit at potlucks. […]

Why I send my daughter to a Jewish day school – part 1

posted by Homeshuling

Here’s an excerpt of a 12 page book my daughter created during her free time at Kindergarten yesterday.   the cover love matzah love haggadah   love afikoman love netillat yadayim (go figure) love baby moses

Why do I (almost) turn into someone else on Passover?

posted by Homeshuling

I admit that I am fairly uptight about what foods I will serve my kids. We buy mostly organic produce, local dairy and eggs, and absolutely no foods with trans-fats or high fructose corn syrup. The effect on my daughters’ […]

Overheard

posted by Homeshuling

5 year old: Get OUT of my chair. 3 year old (in tears): You’re acting like Pharoah!

Home-shuling at Shul

posted by Homeshuling

small, but so beautiful after our ikea-remodel! Our house is very small – two bedrooms, a 13×13 eat-in kitchen, a living room and a sunroom, but no dining room. Consequently, it’s very hard to have more than one other family […]

This Jewish Life

posted by Homeshuling

did you know he makes great balloon animals? Many years ago, there was a story on This American Life about some guys who attempted to use scientific data to create the world’s most annoying song. Admittedly, I love almost everything […]

Making seders kid-friendly: A contest!

posted by Homeshuling

  i hate these As Passover approaches, I’m seeking your best ideas for making the seder fun and meaningful for children. Last month I wrote a column for the PJ Library about our family’s re-enactment of the Exodus from Egypt. […]

And the winner is…..

posted by Homeshuling

Phyllis, aka Ima on the Bima, whose name was selected from the list by Random.org! Enjoy your Alef-Bet Yoga for Kids poster, compliments of Kar-Ben. Mazel Tov!

Something Jewish about breastfeeding

posted by Homeshuling

I spent the afternoon with my friend Tanya today, who writes a fantastic breastfeeding blog for Motherwear. I promised I would write “something Jewish about breastfeeding” for her.  “The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was […]

Using up chametz

posted by Homeshuling

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be trying to use up all of our chametz – the wheat, oats, barley, rye and spelt products in our kitchen – to prepare for Passover. (The rye and spelt part will be a […]

Should I stay or should I go?

posted by Homeshuling

A couple of weeks ago I posted a listed of reasons to join a shul. My #1 reason? It’s not going to get any better without you. But what if you’re starting to wonder whether it can get any better, […]

My first give-away!

posted by Homeshuling

  yours won't say sample A few days ago, I received a review copy of Alef Bet Yoga for Kids from my friends at Kar-Ben. I can state unequivocally that this is the most fun I have ever had reading an […]

Trader Joe’s makes me a better Jew

posted by Homeshuling

We’ve been preparing a lot of meals for friends and community members recently. As I posted earlier, it’s a mitzvah I’m always eager to sign on for. But the truth is, sometimes I can barely manage to get a homemade […]

Shameless self-promotion

posted by Homeshuling

Yes, I nominated myself. But will you still vote for me? Please?  Click here:

Here comes the sun

posted by Homeshuling

  don't look directly at this picture All of my favorite Jewish rituals involve observing and/or connecting more closely with the natural world. Waiting for the sun to set to light candles, eating and sleeping lying outside for a little while […]

Nu? What’s for Shabbat dinner?

posted by Homeshuling

My blog has been up and running for a little less than two weeks. I’ve had over 600 views, and an average of 60 odd hits a day. Here’s my first attempt to find out who, besides my mother, is […]

Nothing Jewish about this post

posted by Homeshuling

  I actually can say no to this face 3 year old with an armful of dolls: Can you pretend to be Olivia’s mommy? Me: Not right now, honey, I’m really busy. 3 year old: Can you pretend to be […]

The anti-Halloween

posted by Homeshuling

  The kids were not drinking beer Last year, when John McCain was in Israel, he described Purim as “their version of Halloween here.” It’s not as bad a gaffe as, say, choosing Sarah Palin for VP, but he’s pretty […]

Leads to mixed dancing

posted by Homeshuling

My mother sent my girls an early Purim present – a Haman punching bag.According to the description, “the punching bag is filled with an ugly picture of Haman and the words ‘Down with Haman.’ The adults will love punching Haman […]

and no dead goldfish

posted by Homeshuling

  mac & cheese – the new gragger Today the Hebrew school where I teach held an out of the ordinary Purim celebation. There were no prizes at the carnival – instead, every booth gave out paper “mitzvah money.”  Kids […]

Shul-shuling

posted by Homeshuling

  not our actual shul Today we went to shul. And it was kind of….great. Our first good move was not arriving until 11am, exactly when Tot Shabbat begins. And forget everything I said about starting to outgrow tot programs; […]

Kashering the toothbrushes

posted by Homeshuling

Just before the boiling water hits We’re so frum, we kasher our toothbrushes between dairy and meat. Har har. Actually, Ella had strep and the doctor suggested we boil the toothbrushes. But we do keep a kosher kitchen. At least, […]

That’s what I like about shul…..

posted by Homeshuling

Although we are devout (dare I say frum?) home-shulers, I can’t imagine not being a member of our local synagogue. So today – let’s hear it for the shul! Homeshuler’s Top 10 Reasons to Join a Shul 10. Your mother wants […]

Party Pooper

posted by Homeshuling

I hate party favor bags. Call me a big old stinky-butt (I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before my own daughters do) but I don’t understand why parents insist on sending home a bag of crap every time […]

Even cuter

posted by Homeshuling

“Who made you so cute?” I asked my 3 year old. “God,” she answered. I’m glad she doesn’t know what a rhetorical question is.

Oh my oh, once. Oh my oh, twice.

posted by Homeshuling

  See the milk situated treacherously close to our fleishig soup? We like to live on the edge around here. A friend and colleague was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She’s about a week out of surgery and starting chemo […]

Why we home-shul

posted by Homeshuling

Admittedly, the title of my blog is a wee bit misleading. We are, in fact, members of a shul. (Actually, we are members of two shuls, if you count my honorary membership at the synagogue where I teach.) And we […]

The Best Hamentashen Ever

posted by Homeshuling

Even though Purim is over a week away, we baked three dozen hamentashen yesterday. I am not the kind of person who typically prepares for a holiday (or anything, for that matter) many days in advance. But we had good reason […]

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More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Homeshuling . This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Truths You Can Use Inspiration Report Happy Reading!!! ...

posted 9:57:03am Jul. 06, 2012 | read full post »

Teaching the Four Questions to young children
One of the greatest privileges of being a kindergarten teacher in a Jewish day school is having the opportunity to teach children to recite the four questions. Unlike almost anything else I teach them about Jewish ritual, this is "real work." ...

posted 7:36:03am Apr. 01, 2012 | read full post »

Guess what's Kosher for Passover (this will change your life.)
I'm not exaggerating. The bane of my Passover existence has been pareve baking. I cook a lot more meat during the holiday than I do the rest of the year, which means a lot more pareve desserts. Which has, up until now, usually meant margarine ...

posted 5:02:27pm Mar. 22, 2012 | read full post »

Why I love the New American Haggadah (and it's not just because I got to have a martini with Nathan Englander.)
I'm not a haggadah junkie. I know many Jews whose shelves are overflowing with numerous versions of the Haggadah - from the traditional Maxwell House to the not-so-traditional Santa Cruz - and whose seders are an amalgam of commentaries, poems, ...

posted 9:25:37pm Mar. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Best Hamentashen Ever, even better. And, a Purim opera.
This time of year, I'm always excited when I look at my google analytics and see that people have landed at my blog by searching for "hamentashen recipe". I love the idea of people all over the world making my great-grandmother's fabulous ...

posted 7:13:38pm Mar. 05, 2012 | read full post »

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