Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cookies and Cowboys

School's out for the summer (for me at least) and even though I have more time it obviously has not been spent blogging. Oops. I've spent a fair amount of time reading all the books I didn't get to read during school, trying to find adventures for us, playing some Wii and trying out a new pastime.

Debbie has been spending this time working full time. That's right, 40 hours a week. It's been a big change for us, but Debbie has been awesome at home and at work earning the admiration of her supervisors and her subordinate (me).

Avi and Itai have been as active as ever. Avi has been has been progressing at school and even went on a field trip. We hear he loved it. His therapist left Utah for her wedding and won't be coming back. She was really good with Avi, but he's still doing well in his therapies without her. At one session his therapist gave him a box of juice. She was trying to persuade him to talk about it so she mentioned that Cookie Monster was on the box. She kept talking about Cookie Monster, imitating him, singing about cookies and so on. Then they moved on to something else. Eventually he wanted his juice back so he said, "Want drink!" Then he paused for a second and said, "Want drink cookie!" Debbie and the speech therapist realized what he meant at the same time and started laughing. He was happy to drink his cookie juice.

Itai is continuing to learn and grow. He is fascinated with just about anything mechanical, but he especially loves trains and garbage trucks. He's also learning about people. For instance he recently learned about cowboys and they cool things they get to do. Our little town has no shortage of belt buckle bearing, cowboy boot and hat sporting men. We were walking into the grocery store when one of these men came out. Itai looked up, gasped and said with all the decibels of his toddler excitement, "He have horsey! He ride horsey, Abba!" I smiled and whispered, "Yeah, you're right." The man just stared at us while Itai didn't take my whispering hint. Then he shouted, "He a cowboy!"

So the last month has been a fun mix of growing, playing, reading and cookies and cowboys.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I feel pretty lucky. My little family got to celebrate Passover and Easter this week.

Almost all of Debbie's family gathered at our place, even her brother in New York joined us via Skype. In our typical fashion we prepared enough food to feed all of the children of Israel during their sojourn. The boys helped me transport wagon-load after wagon-load to our neighborhood clubhouse. Debbie's brother in law in from the South and as such seems to have been born with a genetic predisposition to barbecue with a panache I'll never master. I was very relieved to hear that he'd be the one grilling the lamb. That is until we found out later that he wouldn't make it to the dinner until later. I did NOT want to be the one who ruined Passover. Luckily the lamb shanks turned out to pretty tasty, but I wouldn't gamble any other holiday on my shaky barbecuing skills.

All of the males wore kipas or yarmulkes. Itai loved it. Avi did not. Neither of their reactions surprised me at all. I spent a great deal of the night looking for Avi's kipa, chasing him down, or sneaking him food because he just could wait any longer to eat. Itai was pleased to sit and drink the grape juice we had in the place of wine.
Once dinner was ready and everyone was gathered Saba began his discourse on the Passover and it's connection to the Atonement. It is an interesting topic and my favorite part was his discussion on the Savior and his last Passover. The elegant simplicity is beautiful.

Then a few days later we met with the other side of our family for Easter. This gathering was a bit smaller than most of our family's gathering. We missed the people who weren't there, but it was nice to see the family members who were there.

Sadly, I forgot my camera so I didn't get photos of Avi running in circles with Itai and Aileah in his wake. Or Heather and Valerie talking while throwing crocheted chicks at the children. I missed out on pictures of Sheri playing with the three children while the rest of us noisily chat over Easter dinner. I missed out on pictures of my mom sitting in the middle of most of her family with a gentle smile on her face, a smile I am glad to see.

I am lucky to be able to celebrate both holidays and to be able to celebrate with people I love so much and who are so incredibly kind to me. I am grateful for a holiday week spent reflecting on the Savior and his Atonement while surrounded by family.
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