13 hours ago
Happy Hanukkah to all my readers who observe. It always sneaks up on me and as always I got my nieces and nephew in New York their gifts ordered too late to get there for the first day. But luckily it got me motivated so now all of my Christmas shopping is also done and everything should be here in plenty of time. I definitely got my money's worth out of my free trial of Amazon Prime. No I didn't pay anything for a free trial but I feel like I should have with all the 2 day shipping I've used in the past few weeks.
Mike's sister Julie converted to Judaism and is raising their kids in the faith. The above picture is from their family vacation to Aruba last year. We are hoping to be able to make it to Abbie's Bat Mitzvah in a year. It will be my first and I'm interested to see what it is like. We unfortunately only see the family once or twice a year whereas I often see Kai and Ani once or twice a week. It is sad that I don't have the same relationship with her kids as I do with my other nieces and nephews. I always really enjoy visiting with Julie and her whole clan. I think if we lived closer there would definitely be a good friendship between us.
Abby is the oldest and she is a little bookworm. She and Mike had a few long debates about Harry Potter and for awhile she would e-mail him quizzes to see how well he remembered the details from the book. She had every single thing memorized including the title of all the chapters. He gave her The Hobbit last year to see if he could turn her onto Tolkien and at first read she didn't get it. After the second time I think she had decided she liked it.
Cassie is the middle child and I feel a connection with her on that front. She is feisty and has a devious little grin that I find adorable. The first time I met her she had just come back from a ride with Grandma and her Mom. Betty had pointed out some flowers to her and she had said, "I don't like those fucking flowers." She was a sweet looking 3 year old at the time and I found it hilarious, especially since she had used the word in such a perfect context.
Ben is the youngest and he is the sweetest boy you will ever meet. He is so polite and friendly that it always amazes me, especially since we see them so rarely. He will crawl up on your lap and start charming you 5 minutes after you meet him. When he was 2 Mike had picked him up to reach something and he said thank you in this high pitched baby voice. Mike and I still use that voice when we say thank you to each other all the time.
I got the girls the Happily Ever Crafter kit that I had to order through Imagine Toys since it was out of stock at Amazon. I did find a 15% off coupon which helped make it more in line with Amazon's price luckily. It has 9 different projects with directions to learn the fundamentals in crocheting, embroidering, and sewing. Since they aren't here for me and their Aunt Debi to help teach them the love of crafting I'm hoping that this will inspire them to appreciate the handmade world.
I also got Abby Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, which should be required reading for girls her age in my opinion. I got Cassie The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo also by Blume. I haven't read this one but it is about being a middle child which I thought was appropriate.
I got Ben a big set of Wikki Stix and some activities to do with them. They are crafty but the description and reviews made it sound like boys enjoy them just as much as girls so I hope he likes them. They are a colorful, non-toxic wax and yarn product to stimulate imagination and creativity, according to the description. Sounds like fun to me!
So Happy Holiday to you whichever holiday you choose. Yes, I do always say this rather than Merry Christmas. It just feels more right to me since you just never know. I have another in-law that identifies as Buddhist and other family members that are both atheist/agnostic so I think "Happy Holidays" covers it all. We all enjoy the season and I don't think it is a slight to Christmas or Christ in any way.