Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Christmukkah Miracle

I am sitting at #17 on the Consular register.  That slot - according to the shadow register - would be the "oldest" 5.47 on the list. The only possible meaning: I  PASSED RUSSIAN!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

In the spirit of giving ... or not

We have decided the last night of Hanukkah is "donation night".  Instead of giving the kids toys, we handed them the envelopes from the organization Bubby donated to in their names. We talked about doing what we can to make sure every person has enough food to eat, or warm enough clothes, and mentioned a few of the places we've donated to in the recent weeks and the different ways they help people. I reminded Alex of a few weeks ago when we boxed up old toys and clothes and filled the car to the brim to donate them to the IWC Bazaar. We talked about the good feeling we get when we know we've helped someone.

As we talk, her face gets sadder and sadder. Finally, I asked what was wrong.

"I want a present."
"So you aren't sad about all the little children who didn't just get 7 nights of presents?"

I guess 5 is a little young to get it. We'll try again next year.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Auntie Heather & Uncle Howie's Hanukkah presents arrived in today's mail. This was a bit of a Hanukkah miracle, as tonight the kids got pajamas from mom and dad. Zoltan was handed his package and said without even opening it yet, said "I don't like this one".

I think they may need a lesson in gratitude and appreciation. Maybe spending some time with no toys other than a red pencil and a blue pencil might just be the trick (as a friend's aunt had during the Soviet days).

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like winter ...

We finally got enough snow and some time to get the kids outside playing in it this weekend. Maybe next weekend will bring sledding?

I've got my life back!

The downside to the language exam being over, is that I am 95% sure I didn't pass. I now know what I need to focus on, as well as hoping and praying that if rumors are true that the level I need to pass is about to increase to S-3 from S-2, that it doesn't happen before I re-take the test in June.

I'll report back to confirm when I get the results, which should be somewhere between a week and 3 weeks.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Hanukkah

The first night of Hanukkah went astoundingly well. I made latkes for the first time (fondly remembering the time my husband's sister kindly made them and I was not able to give any advice, not having ever done it myself). The kids were almost as excited for the candle lighting as they were for the presents. They loved the Hanukkah song I sang and wanted to hear it again.

And the presents! Tonight came courtesy of Bubby, whose gifts are the only ones, save ours, that have arrived.

There was even a little something for us ... a gorgeous new sheet & comforter set that was a joy to nap in.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Alex's new favorite colors

So last night Alex announced that she has new favorite colors. Red and green. Being the time of year that it is, and being the Jew that I am (and she is, although she doesn't understand anything about it yet) I hold my breath after asking her why those colors.

The answer: because those are the colors apples are.

That's my girl! Well, that's actually more like Terry's girl, but why quibble.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


until my language test. It's next week. My Russian teacher today gave me a mock interview, guessing at the types of questions I may get on the Real Thing. After incorrectly conjugating the very first verb I ever learned, then making the same wrong-case mistake with one of the most common words in conversational Russian three times in a row, I have decided this: I need more exercise and meditation, and not necessarily more studying.

And if the exam goes as badly as things went today, I can always hope and pray the removal of the grandfathering clause that lets me get my points at a mere level 2 rather than 3 waits another 6 months, although the rumors are growing that it is imminent.