Sunday, December 13, 2009

Heroes In Our Midst

Tis' the season to be is the time to remember that there are not only those among us in need, but there are those who inspire us to take a step to make the world a better is just one story. What would happen if today, you stopped on your way past some men standing outside, rolled down your window, and asked, "Are you hungry?"...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Put on your yamulkes...

Tonight is the first night of Chanukkah!

Taken from the LA Jewish Journal

December 10, 2009 4:28 pm
The Hanukkah Wish
Posted by Rabbi Ilana Grinblat

“What do you want for Hanukkah?” Bubby asked my five-old-son Jeremy.
“The Horton Hears a Who Book,” he answered. “That’s my favorite.”
“But you already have that book.” she replied gently, “You don’t want two copies of the same book. What else do you want for Hannukah?”
“I want to draw. I love drawing.” Jeremy replied, and so Bubby decided to buy him an art set.
Overhearing this conversation, I was struck by the fact that both of Jeremy’s wishes referred to things he already had – his favorite book and the ability to draw. Rather than longing for what he didn’t own, Jeremy wished for what he already possessed.
This week’s Torah portion also speaks of a boy’s wish. In the beginning of the portion (Vayeshev), Joseph is blessed with a carefree childhood, as his father’s favorite son. However, Joseph wanted more. As a teenager, Joseph envisioned grandeur; he dreamt that his brothers and parents would bow down to him – and he told them so!
By the end of the Torah portion, the absolute opposite of Joseph’s wish occurs. He is alone and forgotten in prison. As he languishes in prison, Joseph then longs for what he previously had – freedom, companionship, and family.
Joseph’s story reminds me of a tale I heard Rabbi Jonathan Bernhard tell.
Once there was a king who had a court painter from whom he regularly commissioned royal portraits. After many years, the king grew tired of these paintings and asked the artist instead to paint a picture of love. The court painter had no idea what to do – so he left his home and his family and searched the entire kingdom to find a fitting image. After a year of searching, he returned, having failed to find a picture of love.
When he came home, the painter knocked on the door of his house, and his wife answered. Her face glowed with joy to see her husband again. The painter then realized that he need not have searched the kingdom for a portrait of love. It was before him the whole time.
So often, like the court painter, we search far and wide for what we want and overlook the blessings that we already have.
So this year, like Jeremy, what I want for Hanukkah is Hanukkah with the people I love.
And I wish the same for you.
This is my wish for Chanukkah as well...may each of you spend the holiday season with the people who love you and who you love in return!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tis The Season For???

The message above is what I have felt like.
Well, what is it going to be this year?

Will we be living in our bellies and our wallets?

My family, we are striving to live in our hearts during this time of the year. As a Jewish family it can be tricky this time of year. We do celebrate Chanukah, but it does not carry the same weight as the whole Christmas thing does, especially in the wider culture around us.

None the less...we begin with Thanksgiving, spending time outside in appreciation for nature. That is the theme of our long weekend...the more outside the better! At least this way we build up great appetites to go with the wonderful foods of the day.

Chanukah is the 11th through the 19th of December and we will be having fun with our many many Menorahs...By the eigth night of Chanukah...we can heat our home with all the candles that are burning!

We have begun to celebrate Kwanzaa as well, very much as a way to center our hearts on family and gratitude as we go into New Years.

I hope each of you are ready for the holidays and make sure to not get buried under all the preparation and lose time for your families and your own precious hearts.

I have a big favor to ask...

I am looking for great ideas for small quick crafts with fabric to give to teachers and other community helpers this holiday season. Let me know any great patterns or tutorials you know about!

Take care all...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where Oh Where Has Nann Been??

Well, it has been sooo very I write this I am overwhelmingly grateful today.
My absence is as a result of my getting ready to start graduate school...which is now in full swing.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to learn and expand my world.
I am also a year since my gastric bypass surgery and am now 220 pounds less than I was this time a year or so ago. There is more to this new living than I can tell.
My children are well.
And I am sitting in my living room watching this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, our president, speaking at the Human Rights Campaign event and telling us all that he is urging congress to repeal the defense of marriage act. I am listening to a president speak of the importance of Stonewall and the history since.
It is a good life...hope you all are well in blog land!!!
Oh, and in the universe of quilting...Sho is doing the crafting these days. She just finished Jane's disappearing 9 patch swap blocks and is now working on the 3 sets of blocks we just got as part of the Quilt Around the World Swap. It rocks to have 2 quilters in the house.
Pictures coming once I figure out how to work the new camera!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ahhh...Back from a wonderful Camp Trip

Got home last night from 5 wonderous days at Gold Camp at the Lair of the Golden Bear. It was a wonderful Adoptive Family Camp called Camp Always. We grown-ups got a chance to mix, respite, and learn from a wonderful trainer (and a couple of so-so trainers)... The kids each got to be in age appropriate activity groups, and then there were wonderful meals, family pool, craft, and sports time. We had disco bingo, dance party, and campfire nights. Campfires were complete with talent, music, and SMORES! There is nothing like a camp full of wonderful college students to bring an energy and positive enthusiasm to a time like we had. This was our first family vacation since the boys have been with us, and they took to camping and the woods like they were born to it. Sho, got to fulfill a lifetime dream of going fishing one morning. One of the other parents fishes every morning when he is at camp, so he invited Sho to get up at 5am and head down to Pinecrest Lake. They came home with a beautiful trout that the kitchen staff promptly grilled and we ate it for breakfast...mmmmmm!

Well, since we never go away without some kind of hand project in tow...I wanted to let you all know about Craft Hope. They have just put out the word for their 3rd project. They have crafters make something for a particular location with a need and collect all the items at a central location. They just finished a project of making dolls to go to Nicaragua. Now they want to get beanies, booties, and blankies together for an agency in India. Check out their website and see if there isn't a little something you can send their way.

As soon as my camera re-charges there will be a post about my pincushion, my hotpads, and some other wonderful goodies sent in the mail...also, the stash we came home with after stopping at The Quilted Cabin in Oakdale, CA on our way home from camp yesterday!!!

Also, this is my first announcement about doing a swap...I will be hosting a swap for the holiday season for all of us belonging to the tribe! That's right a Chanukah Quilt Swap. I will be posting for sign-ups in early July...tell anyone you know who might be interested.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Be Back Sooner Than I Think...

We are off to family camp in the Sierras...see you all my bloggy friends next week!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Busy, busy and then some...

I think sometimes I get craftin' when I am stressed. It really is the best therapy for me. In any case, I have joined yet another swap. Aunt Pitty Pats has a wonderful disappearing 9-patch swap happening. It is a fast turn around, but I am certain we will get some wonderful blocks from this. You can sign up through June 30 but have to have the blocks sent by end of July!

I have completed my pincushion swap and will mail it today, not posting any of it right now as it is a surprise!

I am almost done with my items for the Friends swap, and am pretty happy with the items I have put together. I have a wonderful partner and really hope to make her day!!! Again, no peeking since it is a surprise!
OOps, and one more little thing. I still have one opening in my Pay It Forward. Just email me or click the PIF button on the right for details!!!