8 Simple Steps to a Meaningful Hanukkah

The following post was originally  written by contributor Robin Zipporah of The Not-Ever-Still Life in December 2009.

Hanukkah or Hanukah or Chanukah – however you spell it, it’s a perfect holiday for reflecting on parenting without fuss. This Jewish eight-day holiday, is ritually considered to be a minor festival.

Hanukkah’s proximity to Christmas on the calendar has inflated its significance and its reputation for eight days of gifts but at heart, this is a small holiday with a big idea: that thousands of years ago a group of Jews had only enough oil to light the Temple’s Eternal Light for one day, and God made a miracle happen. The oil lasted for exactly eight days – just long enough for a fleet of messengers to travel the distance to retrieve more oil. We light candles for eight nights to commemorate the miracle of the oil, and in that spirit I offer you eight activities for an enjoyable family Hanukkah.
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On Raising a Three-Child Family

Contributor Robin Zipporah of The Not-Ever-Still Life is filling in today at Simple Mom while Tsh is on maternity leave.

Raising three kids is not simply raising two kids plus one more. A three-kid family has a different dynamic, and it’s not the default dynamic of most family situations.

Event tickets are sold in packs of four.

If you’ve just had your third kid, you might not be able to fit your kids’ car seats and boosters in your family car.

You’ll go to a restaurant and be asked to wait a minute.

They’ll push a table over for you while a family of four is seated immediately.

You’ve exceeded the norm. Four is a tidy number and five is not, but since when has raising children been a tidy process? As we celebrate with Tsh as she joyously expands her family, I would like to share my observations on caring for a family of five. Our children are four-years-old, two-years-old, and four-months-old, respectively, and here are some lessons I’ve learned by having three children.

Read the Rest at Simple Mom

Storytelling Day: The True Story of the Biting Bedbugs

Good night,

Sleep tight,

Don’t let the bedbugs bite!

Not so long ago, and not so far away, there stood a happy house filled with happy people. The happy family spent their mornings together, busying themselves with orange juice and crossword puzzles and playing tag in the front yard and making their beds. They spent their days apart, busying themselves with kindergarten and second grade and going to work. And they always spent their evenings together, busying themselves with setting the table and finishing homework and playing a little basketball in the sunset. The details of the days sometimes changed, but every day in the happy house ended right back where it began, with the happy people climbing in their nicely made beds, and going to sleep to chase some happy dreams.

That’s not so different from your house, right?

You know that we share our lives with all kinds of tiny creatures we can’t see, and so did the happy family. Deep inside the mattress of one of those nicely made beds lived a little bedbug family. Bedbug families are not so different from people families. (They’re not so different: except they usually have more kids, and they prefer to stay in the dark.)

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March’s Storytelling Day: The True Story of Fuzzy Wuzzy

Our storyteller, Robin, is back with a wonderful story for you to share with your kids …

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy,
Was he?

Fuzzy Wuzzy was the oldest bear in a big bear family. He didn’t know for certain, but he thought he was the grandpa bear. He speculated that he might even be the great-grandpa bear. He contemplated that he might even be the great-great-grandpa bear, but there was no real way to know. It’s hard to count that high with paws. What he knew for certain is that he loved all of the younger bears in his family very much — and that they loved him just as much, and that that was all that mattered.

Bears know that family is one of the most important things a character can have.

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Storytelling Day: The True Story of Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory dickory dock

The mouse ran up the clock

The clock struck one

The mouse ran down

Hickory dickory dock


Mouse families aren’t so different from people families.
Mouse families live together and love each other and play together and support each other. And just like you do, every mouse in the family has a job or two. Yours might be to set the dinner table or put away your clean socks. Most mice don’t wear socks, but they do still have responsibilities.

Field mice divide their responsibilities between managing the burrow and collecting food. Field mice are interesting, of course. But this is a story about house mice.

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