Category Archives looking back

Disney Letter N

Think about the Disney alphabet and most of the time you immediately go to characters. With the letter N, Nemo is prominent thanks to his adventures in Epcot and entire area at the Art of Animation Resort. This week I decided to mostly head outside of the traditional box when gathering photos for the theme. Of course, that also made me go back a few years and see just how much my boys have grown. So many magical memories and hoping to have lots more in the years to come.

Cinderella's Castle in the early morning

Figment and Donald Duck Nerds

Signs by boat marina at Grand Floridian Resort

Disney Junior Party food

Neverland friends at Epcot

Nemo Dreams at Art of Animation Resort

Focused on the Magic

Be sure to stop by Focused on the Magic by clicking on the button above to join in the Disney magic this week.

It's Me

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Israel Bound and Making Aliyah

When I was little, I loved spending time with all of my aunts and uncles. I have a lot of memories of special times with each of my parent’s siblings. My mother’s brother showed me how to swim and dive at my Nana and Papa’s pool. My mother’s sister lives in California, so time with her was more about seeing my cousins and playing with them since they were older than us. My father is the oldest of his siblings, this meant that my brother and I were the only grandchildren for some time. This allowed us even more moments that I can remember before my younger cousins came into the world. My father’s sister introduced me to the VCR, concert watching, crafting, and a lot of other things. Dad’s brother and his wife would come to visit and take me out alone. When my little brother was little, I recall them taking me to a pizza place, teaching me to play Pac-Man, and introducing me to The Polk Street School books.

Old School Photo

I remember seeing their wedding photos from England (Aunt A is British) and hearing stories about their times in what is now Russia. Even back then, everyone talked about them moving to Israel. It was never a question of if they would, more of a when it would happen. I remember when they moved back to the United States with their family and settled in Pennsylvania. We were able to see them a lot more and watch my cousins grow up. Then as I went into teaching, I would talk to Uncle J about things because he is an educator.

Years have passed and all of my cousins are grown up now and three of them are already living in Israel. In fact, one is getting married in under two weeks. About a year ago, Aunt A and Uncle J announced that they were indeed moving to Israel during the summer of 2013. This meant extra special family gatherings before they were on their way. Over Independence Day weekend, they came into town and we gathered at the lake. Just before they left for home, I got a picture of the boys with them. Though I know we will see them, it will not be as often and I wanted this photo for my kids.

Before making Aliyah

NHL and JSL adore spending time with Aunt A and Uncle J. They have so much patience and understanding of children. Uncle J helped NHL in the pool over that weekend and he still talks about it to this day. JSL loved playing games on the floor with Aunt A.

I wanted to take this time to say Mazel Tov to them on making their dream a reality. This week, they flew to Israel and made Aliyah. Wishing the two of you the best as you get to know your new home. Please send our love to everyone and take lots of photos of H & M on their wedding day.

It's Me

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Tenth Birthday Milestones

Dear NHL,

I sit here in disbelief. Ten years ago right now, I thought I had another two weeks before you would arrive and was trying to finish the latest Harry Potter book that had come out. I knew that once you were here, I would have little time to read. Of course, you decided to surprise me on the evening of August 16, 2003. When I stood up, heard a pop, and ran because I knew it was going to be time. The next twenty-four hours were a blur. I only remember seeing your sweet little face and falling so much in love.

Baby NHL - August 2003

How can you be turning ten already? I find it too hard to understand the concept of you being in the double digit numbers already. Even harder for me is to realize how much you have grown up this past year. Of course, a lot of that was not by choice. Circumstances happened and you had to learn to be an advocate for yourself. Though I wish some of the items never occurred, I am so proud of you and how you handled yourself. Though your new independence and tween attitude is hard to get used to, I will always love you no matter what.

Now let’s take a look back at the last year that has become a tradition of sorts.

Your ninth birthday was filled with all things related to Harry Potter. You loved all of the special LEGO books, the Hagrid’s Hut set, and the Hogwarts set that people gave you. You spent a lot of time building and rebuilding all of them while having nightly read aloud of the books with Daddy.

LEGO Hagrid's Hut for Birthday

Fourth grade started and you were an amazing big brother. I think you may have been more excited about JSL being in the same building than anyone. You showed him our first day of school traditions and helped us to get him ready for the day. Meanwhile you could not wait to meet your substitute teacher who would be starting the year in your classroom. Little did we know that she would be an angel to our entire family to get you off to a fantastic start. (September 2012)

First day of grade 4 and little kindergarten brother

Much of the month of October was spent getting your Halloween costume ready. For the first time in many years, you knew exactly what you wanted even before we went to the store. It was no shock to us that you wanted to channel your inner Harry Potter. I have to admit, your glasses really made the entire thing work beautifully. (October 2012)

My Harry Potter

November started a stressful time with a lot of changes to your world. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, we were all ready for some time away from school. The long weekend gave you time to play with your cousins, celebrate Chanukah a little early, and get some fun back into your life. (November 2012)

Celebrating Chaukah with cousins

During part of November and December you were participating in Science Club once a week after school. You adored the experiments and items that you learned. I think it was thanks to this that I knew the camp we had to look into this summer. Along with celebrating Chanukah, you adored getting to go outside and actually play, build, and explore in the snow. (December 2012)

Fun in the December snow

2013 began rather quietly. Behind the scenes I was working on items to help you at school. There were a lot of road blocks and I think you likely sensed my frustration. As you know, I did not give up and eventually we were successful in turning things around. I only wish I had raised my voice a little louder and not let some bullies stop me. As we go along this journey, you will see that I learn something new about parenting while we move forward. You and JSL also helped me to do some book reviews. Both of you loved when they involved using the iPad. (January 2013)

Brothers reading together

Snow, winter break, and power outages meant that we stayed inside a lot. We made forts and even tried something new that I found on Pinterest. You loved helping to create the slime and used it for hours over many days. Another favorite item was creating mazes with the bricks that you received for Chanukah from Aunt A and Uncle J. (February 2013)

Forts, slime, and building

Spring time was a bit rocky from time to time. You were so very frustrated with some items happening outside of home and nobody else was listening to us. Then you did something that I was so very proud of, you learned to use your words and voice to be an advocate for yourself. You told people why you were scared of certain things and in doing this helped to teach others about autism. Of course, while all of this was happening we also prepared for Passover and you had fun being silly during our Seder. (March 2013) Slaying of the First Born Male

As the weather started to get warmer, things started to settle. It was so nice to see you happy and excited about things again. Seeing the smile on your face made me know that I was doing everything right as your advocate. One of the highlights for our family was going to the Albany Children’s Book Festival. You made getting author and illustrator autographs a sport. (April 2013)

Meeting Authors

As testing season at school began, we told you that we were not going to allow you to take them. This was hard for you to understand. In the end, you realized that it was not a punishment to you, rather we were looking out for you. One day you will understand more of why we were vocal about this topic. The rest of the time you were busy helping us to prepare for JSL’s birthday and making Mother’s Day special with my boys. (May 2013)

Memories of Mother's Day

The end of the school year was filled with supporting teachers and educators. Dad and I made the decision to take you and JSL to the rally at the NYS Capitol. It was a powerful day seeing you there with your teachers. As we made our signs for the rally, we talked about the importance of learning and why your teachers need to have more freedoms to do what is needed in the classroom. In addition to this, we went on your field trip, got to pick strawberries, and went bowling a number of times. (June 2013)

Monsters, end of school, bowling, and strawberry picking

The summer has been a time to get to something rather big. Just before Independence Day, you had your braces put on. You were amazing when they went on and have done so well following the rules. You also went to Science Camp for a week and had a blast. I think you were sad when it ended. We have also gone to visit a lot of science museums thanks to our membership at miSci. (July 2013)

Braces, museum, and lots of science

I hate to admit to you, but this birthday of yours is making me extra sappy. Turning ten just seems like such a milestone and is hard for me to really imagine. It seems like only yesterday that you were starting kindergarten and now here you are going to fifth grade and your last year of elementary school in a few weeks.

My NHL is 10

Always know that I am standing behind you and cheering loudly as you not only show me, but everyone else in the world who you are and why they need to get to know the real NHL. Never let anyone tell you that something is impossible, if you put your heart into it you can make any and every dream come true.

Love,

Mommy

Past B-day posts to NHL:

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Twelve Years and Counting

Walt Disney World Anniversary Button

Twelve years ago today, I married JL who later became TechyDad. On that beautiful June day, we were with our family and friends at the synagogue I grew up in. We were so young and naïve at the time.

TheAngelForever marries TechyDad

All of the preparations for this day were finally real and we could celebrate the beginning of our life together.

My family under the chuppah

It’s funny looking back at the photos from our wedding. While I remember some of the things that took place, many do not ring a bell because we were so into the moment meeting and greeting everyone that came to be with us. I would not change much, but would probably stop to step back and watch a bit more. Of course, my mind was a bit distracted. TechyDad and I were so excited about our honeymoon. We saved to go on an amazing Walt Disney World trip, his first ever.

With Mickey Mouse 12 almost 12 years later

JL, thank you for always being there the last 12+ years. No matter what happens, I know you are in my corner and cheering me on. I can not wait to see where the next years take us and what new magical moments will come our way.

It's Me

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My Little Guy is Six

Dear JSL,

For months now, I have been teasing you and begging you not to turn six. Of course, I knew that no matter how I wished and begged it was not really going to happen. Although I look forward to watching you grow up and become more independent, I am going to miss these moments because they are going so quickly.

My Kindergarten Kid is going to be heading into first grade soon. Not only did you learn all of your alphabet and letter sounds over the last year, you learned to read and write. Your sweet little messages makes me smile and I adore how you know just what to do or say to everyone to make them feel loved and special. Here is a look at your fifth year.

To celebrate being five, the two of us set out on an adventure last year. We started to read The Magic Tree House books. Over the months, we caught up to where the author was writing. Of course, Perry and Jake were always close by and you loved going to Nursery School. It was also the time where you learned how to ride your new scooter. (May 2012)

May 2012

A lot of milestones happened soon after you turned five. You said goodbye to your amazing speech teacher and to everyone at nursery school. Suddenly, you were my new Kindergarten Kid. We had a few weeks together before NHL was finished with third grade. We went to craft events and had a lot of fun together. (June 2012)

Nursery School Graduate

Over the summer, you, NHL, and I continued to have fun going to crafting events, checking out items at the library, and exploring other items. You quickly discovered that you really like mini-golf when we went with Nana and Papa for the 4th of July. Later in the month, you and I went out alone and made a new special friend while looking for a birthday present for NHL. (July 2012)

July 2012

The reminder of the summer was filled with crafts, reading, going to the park, and birthdays for Daddy and NHL. We also went on a few special trips to Hoffman’s and then, before we knew it, it was time for Kindergarten Orientation. (August 2012)

August 2012

September was a tough month for both of us. Taking my baby to kindergarten was hard, but it was a big adjustment for you as well. Soon we had a new routine that we continue to this day. Each morning, we practice the Kissing Hand so we both feel better about being apart each day. You also expanded your ducky collection, got a new baby doll, and started Hebrew School that month. (September 2012)

September 2012

The Fall saw another hurricane threaten to come into the area. While you were home two days, we did crafts and played. We also went on your first kindergarten field trip to check out the apple orchard. No apple picking since the crops had a bad year. When the weather was nice, you played on your scooter and enjoyed looking at caterpillars. Halloween meant that Captain America saved the day for all of us with his fantastic smile. (October 2012)

October 2012

As the weather grew cooler, we worked on reading more and you started to get homework from school. Thanks to the book fair at your school, we found Pete the Cat and you fell in love with this silly singing feline. Thanksgiving weekend meant that cousins came into town and you loved seeing them and playing with some early Chanukah presents. (November 2012)

December 2012

As 2012 came to a close, you were keeping busy. You finished up Art Club, became the Star of the Week, and stayed with Nana and Papa for a few days. You also fell in love with my new laminator. Together, we made Disney map projects for you to use on pirate play. Of course, you also loved lighting Chanukah candles, playing in the snow, and spending time with NHL and me during winter break. (December 2012)

December 2012

2013 started off and we spent a lot of time trying to stay warm outside of school each day waiting for NHL. At home, you loved doing homework, working on your reading, and making crafts. You spent some time helping me with reviews about iPad apps as well. While we never made a giant snowman, you loved creating one for a school project to share with your friends. (January 2013)

January 2013

Snowstorms and power outages happened a few times over the winter. You had so much fun helping us to make forts and playing inside them. There may not have been snow outside, but you were keeping warm. You loved spending time in your fort with NHL using your LEGOs. Slime was also a big hit during winter break. You spent many hours using that over and over again. (February 2013)

February 2013

After a long winter, you were ready for the spring and could not wait to get outside. You loved getting to test out your new Big Wheel and racing up and down the block. This was also the time we convinced you that you could read to all of us. It was so much fun sitting down to listen to you read us all a book. I quickly saw that my “baby” was growing up way too quickly during this time. (March 2013)

March 2013

After we celebrated Passover, we spent time going out to places in our community. You adore going to the NY State Museum and had so much fun checking out all of the CANStruction items featured there. In addition to this, you loved meeting new authors and illustrators at the Book Festival. You were so proud of the book that you picked out, the drawing you made, and wearing your wizard hat. (April 2013)

April 2013

Now I look at how grown up you are and can hardly believe my eyes. In six short years, you have changed so much, but at the same time you are still the sweetest little guy who genuinely wants to help and make others happy.

May 2013

Though I have tears in my eyes as I type this, I am excited to see the little boy that you are becoming. I can not wait to see more of your personality come alive in the years ahead. Thank you, JSL, for letting me be a part of this journey with you. As much as I am sad to see you get older, I am excited.

Happy 6th birthday sweetie and here is to many more happy and wonderful memories ahead.

Love,

Mommy

Past B-day posts to JSL:

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