Second Shabbat with my Granddaughter!

My almost-91/2-year-old granddaughter Noa has been with us for one week (she arrived last Friday) now, and she has been a pleasure!

It is so wonderful to come home from work to a child in the house again, even though I come home exhausted--I 'teach' and care for babies this summer, who have become toddlers--every one of them is walking now--assisting the main teacher (who does the art projects, child portfolios and conferences. Don't miss that part of it) from morning to early afternoon, part-time.  It's hands-on, and very physical, down to strapping everybody into what I call the "baby train," a four-seater Kindervan, powered by teacher-power only, and going for daily walks around the neighborhood.  Sometimes we have seven children, and not enough strollers and adults to walk, but most of the time we have six, so the extra 2 are strapped into a double-stroller and off we go!

But I digress.  I haven't had a kid here--either my kids, or grandkids-for a while now; and since my own kids are, well, not kids anymore, this is a real treat.  My D. H., the LUZ champion of the world (ask any Israeli who has been in the army what a "LUZ" is--pronounced "looz," by the way), planned a schedule in a Word document with a table, with activities for each day she is here (a little over 2 weeks).  So far, we have been to day camp for a week (Chabad), learned camp songs, Halacha (geared to her age level of course), and renewed friendships with a family whom she met two or three years ago, when she was last here.  They seem to be very close* (*private pun.  Ha-mayvin yavin...), and have done several things together, such as a 2-family picnic at the Botanic Gardens, Tiny Town, play dates, etc.  She and her Saba and Savta have already gone to a movie, had sushi with friends at the local (read: only) kosher restaurant in town (yeah, I know, we gotta get outa here; I miss Yerushalayim; Tel-Aviv's not bad, either...), and had Shabbat meals with friends and their children.  The biggie begins Sunday, when my "vacation" actually begins, and we drive to the mountains to stay in a cabin near Rocky Mountain National Park for a couple of days.  Yes, my D.H. the eternal optimist included "trout" on the menu...for breakfast, lunches and suppers!  There's also "Plan B" for if he doesn't catch anything, of course.  But we don't talk about that...

When we return, we have soccer game tickets for the Fourth of July, and the best fireworks in town...if they aren't cancelled because of the terrible fire season we're having here: the weather has been dry, dry, dry--no rain to speak of for weeks--and we have had over 5 days of heat-wave temperatures of 100 degrees or more.  Our airconditioning is working overtime to battle this, and we keep the shades, blinds, and curtains drawn to keep our townhome as cool as possible, which isn't saying much.  We are also planning a day outing to the narrow-gauge railroad in the mountains, and more.

Right now our lovely grandaughter isn't even home,  for gosh sakes.  She is at a play-date with her friends, after writing in her journal and straightening up her room for Shabbat.

Li'krat Shabbat (approaching Shabbat), I have to Do Stuff, as they say, so I'll leave you with the traditional hymn sung before kiddush at the Shabbat table, Shalom Aleichem, which welcomes the Shabbat angels "peeking through our windows..."


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