Birthday Prep


For the Carnival Birthday party I took a white beverage 
tub and put some vinyl diamond shapes on it
 and made this birthday sign.



I use a dollar store glass vase and put 
chevron vinyl around it.


Then made the centerpieces.
Using Popcorn buckets, gumballs, and suckers






My husband cut out a Carnival font
 shaded one out of plywood.
Below is it painted and finished





Keeping Shabbat



Shabbat starts 18 mins before the sun goes down.  Why 18 mins? Because you need to light the candles before Shabbat starts.  We do not do Shabbat as Orthodox Jews.  We will still turn lights off and on, use the car, and possible spend money.
The first Shabbat we made a nice dinner and had everything ready in time.  Then the kids were angry and didn't want to eat so it sucked.  The next one we did it rushed then the kids left for the weekend. Every week we are getting better.
We do not work for sure.  We will have a meal and light the candles, the kids will come to the table for the candles and challah bread but then we let them leave.  We feed then ahead of time so we can eat and take our time without them crying to leave the table.
We play games with the kids or do craft projects ( which I am sure is breaking the rules on what you are allowed to do but we have to do it our way).  We read the Kids Torah and talk about it with the kids.

So each week it gets easier to give up the hassle of the outside world and relax.

                                                             The first Shabbat




Now we make it a weekly holiday
We use the Waterford China, a white table cloth, and cover the
 Challah bread with the same Linen each week.





It gets better every week.

Now we really do look forward to Shabbat each week. It is crazy because when we started I thought "How can we do this every week" But we look forward to making it special.  The kids now eat with us even though they eat cheese pizza and we eat a nice dinner.  We read Torah and on Saturday they play outside.  We don't drive anywhere or spend money any more either.  We have enough food left over from the dinner to feed us on Saturday also.  My husband and I watch movies and relax.  The Temple near our home only have services on Shabbat (friday night) we haven't started going because we don't want to give up this great time together to drive and be with other people.  I wish they had a service on Saturday night when Shabbat ends.  But I don't know if any synagogues do that.  The best part is when people come by my daughter tells them Happy Shabbat.  When she plays tea party now she says it is a shabbat party.  It is so nice to see them embracing the changes so well.  


  Every week we get a little better and make it more of a party- holiday
We use 5 candles.  2 Candles are the Shabbat candles.  One for Remembrance and one for Observation The other 3 candles are used because we have 3 kids.





The cover for our Challah bread.









New to Shabbat I will walk you thru it.
Challah bread - We buy ours online because there isn't a baker to buy it from close to us.
The shipping is about $10 so we buy 4 loaves at once and vacuum sealing them and freezing them.
Do not vacuum them tight so the bread starts to lose shape.  Just enough to get the air out.  To unfreeze just put it out on the counter on Thursday night.  I cut off the vacuum seal first before thawing.

http://lillysbakeryshop.com/



This video is great on learning how to do Shabat


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITxfUOlsIfI


This one will also say the blessing instead of singing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs3PJTl8CgU



































































Balloons on a string

The plan was to copy this oh so easy
 looking balloons on a string.  
I used fishing wire and a large sewing
needle.  Mine didn't make a perfect line
so I pushed them together and hung it on
the wall.  Now to put on the wall.  I tied a knot
on the end, leaving enough room to put a nail head 
through it.  Then tighten the knot.  Hammer nail head
in the wall.  Then I taped the wire near the nail just
to make sure it stayed put.  A lot of tape.









Core beliefs check list

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND I AM NOT TRYING TO CHANGE ANYONE'S FAITH.  JUST WRITING MY STORY. 
Step 1 
The first thing I did was see what beliefs Judaism has and how it differs from Christianity,
I need to know if there was beliefs I would be happy following or if it was just went against my core beliefs.  I have very set values and it takes a lot to change them.  I ask my husband if he thought he could give up Jesus, Christmas, Easter and maybe a few other things may have to change.  He didn't care either way. I was a little surprised he didn't feel a struggle with the holidays at least.  Or the fact that we would be different from everyone else.  At this point I didn't know if he was going to go down this road with me.

I googled why do Jews not believe in Jesus.  From that I learned what the messiah in the Bible was suppose to do and Jesus didn't do those things.  

http://www.aish.com/jw/s/48892792.html?s=mpw


  Christians say he will in the second coming but G-d didn't say there would be a second time.  And if there is going to be a second time why not a 3rd or 4th time.  G-d will do what he says when he says and not change the rules.  He is perfect.  He didn't say he would send a messiah who isn't going to do the things the messiah is suppose to do but promises he will do that next time he comes.


Judaism believes that Jesus is one of the false Jewish Messiah claimants because he failed to

fulfill any Messianic prophecies, which include:
Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease.
As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)
Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says:
"God will be King over all the world ― on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).
Regarding the Christian idea that these prophecies will be fulfilled during a "second coming," Ohr Samayach states 
"we find this to be a contrived answer, since there is no mention of a second coming in the Jewish Bible. Second, 
why couldn't God accomplish His goals the first time round?" Rabbi David Wolpe believes that the Second Coming was "grown out of genuine disappointment" and invented by Christians to theologically compensate for Jesus' death.

  And Hebrew was not translated the same when the Greeks translated it.  So the old testament is different from the original Hebrew.  Like the messiah is a person not the son of G-d, he is born to a woman who is old enough to have a child not a virgin.  From the line of David which Mary was not so Jesus is not.  He would be a king (a real earthly one) not a heavenly one.  He would do many things.  http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm
When I read the answers I honestly didn't know how anyone could belief Jesus was anything more than just a man or maybe a made up story.  We don't know.
THIS IS MY OPINION PLEASE DO NOT FEEL OFFENDED.  JEWS ARE NOT OFFENDED THAT YOU DO BELIEVE SO PLEASE DON'T BE OFFENDED THAT WE DO NOT.
 I found so many Greek and pagan gods that predated Jesus by at least 300 years with the exact details as Jesus. It seemed like they just retold a stolen story.  All these different gods were born the same day December 25, to a virgin,  had 3 wise men bring gifts,  followed a star,  had 12 disciples, died for 3 days and came back. http://www.sanfords.net/Framed_pages/origins_of_christianity.shtml   After learning this information I felt like this is something I should have known already.  How is it that no one talks about this stuff. Why has it taken me this long to check out this information.
I googled other Jewish beliefs like Life after death, Sin, and Satan,  Everything I read I thought was wonderful.
The beliefs I read I wholeheartedly believed and agreed with already.  It was such a burden being lifted off of me. I wasn't a non believing Christian any more.  I knew then that I was a Jew. It had been here all along waiting for me to find it.

The pages I read are listed here.

.http://www.shamash.org/lists/scj-faq/HTML/faq/12-35.html  http://judaism.about.com/od/judaismbasics/a/Do-Jews-Believe-In-Sin.htm
http://www.jewfaq.org/olamhaba.htm

Churches I have attended base so much on fear.  Fear of satan doing something bad to you.  Fear of not getting into Heaven.  From what I read about Jewish beliefs there is no fear of those things.  All actions are done to show G-d how thankful we are and living a good and meaningful life.  It is about finding the joy around you, living fully, and experiencing this world for all it has to offer.  I have never hear this before from a religion.  I thought we were here to learn to love G-d and trying not to do anything that would keep you from Heaven.  To not be of this world so Jesus can make a heavenly home for us. But to enjoy life is a new movement for me.  It is like on a child's birthday and he opens the present you worked so hard to get him and you just watch him play with it for hours and he is so happy, which makes you happy.  I feel G-d is that parent and he wants to sit back and watch us enjoy this gift of life he has given to us.  This thought has made me feel so much closer to G-d.  A G-d that wants my happiness and joy as much as my obedience.

At this point I have been talking with Lewis about what I had learned.  By the end of our reading he was on born.  Lets do this..All the way.
And the learning continues.
All the prayers in Judaism seem to be about worshiping G-d not a wish list of things for G-d to do for them.  Usually prayers are, Lord help me do this, help so and so do that, help us get things we want or want to happen. G-d seem a lot like a magic genie to a lot of people. I also loved how much love Jews feel for all people no matter their faith.  There is no hard feeling between people of other faiths which is such a relief.
When you grow up in the south there is a lot of fighting over which Bible is the best to go by and each denomination thinks their way is the best way,  So many holiday or just family visits end up with an argument about a verse out of the Bible and how it means one thing and someone thinks it means something else.  They will never stop trying to save you if they know you don't belief in Jesus or you do believe but don't go to church. Now I love that I can respect other people's belief no matter how they differ from mine.  Rabbi Ginsburg's you tube videos show how Jews believe and what it means to be Jewish.   He has so much respect for others with different beliefs.  I respect others more when they aren't telling you that you are wrong and you need to believe the way they do.  Why do people get so upset and angry when you don't believe their way.  I would never talk anyone into becoming Jewish and I don't want others trying to get me to be a Christian.  Thanks for care about my soul but it is already in good hands with G-d (no jesus required) but I know it is coming from a good place so thank you.  I may have to repeat this a lot since people around me fight over religion when it is talked about  and they are all from the same religion.  But there is no reason to fight.  Believe in what fills your heart and makes you feel as if your happiness is bursting out of your pores.  If your religion doesn't do that for you then don't be afraid to learn about another one and find G-d's love for yourself.

Step 2

From learning Jewish beliefs I became accepting of all religion and people.  When someone is mean or rude, I feel for them instead of becoming filled with anger toward them.
I have learned that having the best life right here and now is very important.  Being happy, caring for others, giving to charity and experiencing new things ; have been pointed out over and over again in my studies about Judaism.   G-d gave us this life to enjoy and  to show our dedication and thankfulness to him. I was always told to not worry about the worldly things because G-d is making us a heavenly home and that is what matters.  Jews believe in this world.  Love it, live it, experience it everyday.  I will not waste the time G-d has given me here on the earth he made for us to enjoy.   Our Covenant with G-d is why we follow the 613 commandment and  I will honor and keep the traditions set by G-d.
We decided to start the traditions and holidays as Jews right away.  This is a lot harder than it sounds but more on that later.

Step 3 -- Living like Jews

We got a mezuzah for the front door.
I made cute signs for above the kids beds that have the Shema prayer on it.
We started studying the Torah and the Talmud.
We have Shabbat every Friday night through Saturday.
I have learned that there is a lot we have to do to be Jewish.  It is not an easy or a quick decision to make.   We have to learn a lot of Hebrew words and prayers.  We have to change most of our holidays and learn a lot of new ones.   We have to learn the Torah and the Talmud but for the first time in my life it isn't a HAVE TO thing.  I want to do these things.  I feel honored and blessed to get the chance to keep a covenant with G-d.  I want to do the traditions and holidays because it is a way to honor G-d and Thank him and is truly a very small price to pay for what he has given us.
Any one who has known me would not believe that I would feel this way.  I never said these things.
All of my harsh feels and resentment for G-d was lifted when I learn about G-d from the heart of a Jewish Rabbi.     Everyday that I see my husband growing more in love with Judaism as he learns new things I grow more in love with him.  I want us to share this passion and love with each other and for us both to share it with our children.
I feel I am giving my kids an amazing gift of Judaism.  I was worried I was taking so much away from them by giving up christmas and easter.  It was a big worry at first but the more we learned the less it mattered and then  I was happy to not have these holidays.

Step 4

Learning time.  I watch Rabbi Ginsburg everyday about 2 or 3 videos on Jewish belief and traditions.  My husband also watches a few each day.  We both read a part in the Torah and then at night we review what we each heard and read today.  We discuss how we will apply these new things into our lives.  I never thought I would be the kind of person who reads a Bible everyday.  I prayed when I wasn't angry at G-d but that was the most I could do.  Religion made me feel judged and I always came out of the judgement feeling less than the others around me.  As if I wasn't good enough to believe and to worship.  Which is why I am so grateful to Judaism and it's welcoming ways and people.   I have emailed questions to Rabbi Ginsburg and he has answered my emails and even emailed a few days later to make sure I didn't have follow up questions.

For now we will continue on this path with more information to come.

.

Finding Our way to Judaism

Finding our way to Judaism. We are still on our road so more post to come-

I have always loved all things Jewish.  At Christmas I use blue and silver decor because I love Hanukkah colors.  I had told my husband many times I wish we were Jewish. Because I love tradition and the ceremony of it.  I only thought someone could convert if they married into Judaism.


But this is not how I made the decision to check in to Judaism.

Unlike a lot of people who find G-d in a religion usually they stories start with pain or addition and end with finding Jesus.  From what I have read so far most stories of why people become Jewish is for Love.  Either for the love of a Jewish person lead them to it or the love of the cultural.  Mine was to give my kids a religious identity that I believed in and felt was the truth.  I was not at the lowest point of my life but at the best.  My life was very good. Which wasn't always the case but I had healed myself and was happy and healthy.    
But I knew I needed to guide my kids and give them something solid to believe in.  I didn't put a lot of time into.  I was hoping it would just work itself out.  What pushed me over the edge was when my sister in law made a casual comment about her 21 yr old son being an atheist.  My sister in law has Christian parents and believes in G-d but hasn't been a church goer just like me and my husband.  My sister in law wanted her kids to make up their own minds about G-d but with no direction they learned nothing about G-d so to them there is no G-d.
I realized that if we didn't give our kids a belief in G-d then they may not find one and will be nonbelievers also. They can change their religion or beliefs when they get old enough but we have to get them started to finding G-d's place in their life.  I want them to feel at home at a church.  I don't want them to feel as uneasy as I always felt.  I do not like or believe in the things that Christians believe in. My husband and I don't go to church because we just don't want to pretend we feel something we don't feel.  If I go to church I want to feel a burning for it in my heart.  I see others with that feeling but I feel like everyone can see that i stopped listening and that I don't believe which is why they are always trying to get me to be saved.  Even though as a kid at a Pentecostal church I was saved countless times.  I think they could see I wasn't where they were their religion.  
PLEASE CHRISTIANS DO NOT TAKE THIS WRONG..THIS IS BASED ON THE CHURCHES I HAVE BEEN TO IN MY HOMETOWN AND I KNOW NOT ALL CHRISTIANS ACT THE WAY I AM STATING.  THIS IS JUST WHAT I HAVE DEALT WITH.  NOT A STATEMENT TO INSULT ANYONE.

 I did go to church as a kid and knew I needed G-d and loved him but I couldn't feel what the others at church felt.  I felt judged and not good enough to go to church.  The bible says try to be like Jesus and he was suppose to be free of sin.  To me I felt I was not good enough and I imagined that everyone else never doubted what they are told about Jesus as I did.  So to me Jesus was in my way.   I believed the old testament but if I could just deal with the Jesus part I could be like everyone else at church.  But even if I did believe I didn't want that part of religion.  I didn't need the new hippie style of this Jesus.  I like my G-d of Abraham. A tough but fair father who loves us but wants our devotions.


 I talked to Lewis ,my husband, about needing to give our kids a direction toward G-d but I couldn't stand the thought of going to church myself. He didn't want to take them to church.   Maybe we could send then to a private christian school (like he went to as a kid).  He ask me what happens if the kids become like the judgmental christian types I have come across.

WHEN I SAY JUDGMENTAL I MEAN THE ONES WHO EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE A DAILY RELATIONSHIP WITH G-D BUT DO NOT ATTEND A CHURCH, THEY FEEL THEY NEED TO HELP YOU BECOME BETTER THAN THAT BY SAVING YOU AND GETTING YOU TO GO TO CHURCH.  THEY DON'T CARE WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THAT OR EVEN IF YOU ARE JUST FAKING IT.  IT IS JUST IMPORTANT THAT YOU GO TO CHURCH.  THEIR G-D TAKES ATTENDANCE I GUESS AND HE ISN'T HAPPY WITH THE DAILY ACTIVITY I HAVE WITH HIM EVERYDAY.  SO IF I HAVEN'T MET YOU THEN I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU.

What if the our kids look down on us or are trying to save us all the time. We couldn't think of what we should do.  Which is worse having kids that are none believers or having ones that are preaching to us all the time.   I shelved the idea for a few weeks.  Then one day I was looking  for new work ideas I googled, Love is a verb.  I thought I would find a cute definition for love being an action word.  I found an article about a therapist talking to a man about how to love his wife.

That the feeling of love comes from how much love you put into that person.  Your love for your kids is more than their love for you because you put everything you have into them and never ask for anything back.  So if you want to love someone more or regain the love you once felt you need to show more love to them everyday. Love is not a feeling that is there or is not there. Loving others is one our G-d's commandments.  If he can command you to feel something then it can't be something that you just feel or you don't.  You must be able to control it or he wouldn't command it of us. The love feeling is what happens after you put the love into action.  I was so moved by this idea of love that I printed it out to talk about it with my husband.  I noticed it was a Rabbi not a therapist.  I loved the way this rabbi saw the world.  I loved the do something attitude.  With most Christian things you are told to put it in G-d's hands.  Which is a lazy (don't blame me) kind of attitude.  I want to put things into action and make them happen.  I know G-d is with me but I believe G-d wants me to put in the fight to get what I need and want.  I don't believe in "Meant to be".  I can change my life all the time with the choices I make.  I feel G-d will get me to a good place but it isn't because I am a train that is following a track,  destined to a certain out come that I can't change because it is meant to be.
When I told my husband about this he ask why we don't look into Judaism if it feels this healing to me.
This wasn't the first time I had told him about Jewish beliefs and how I want to apply them to our lives. I just never thought I could convert and I never saw him as someone who could be with a religious person.  He told me he would not be happy if I was a 3 times a week church goer.  His beliefs just aren't the same as what we hear at church.  So for him to point me in the direction of a religion was very different but I guess he felt it would help with this year of healing I was going through.
I have been going to angry management sessions.  Angry management sounds mean but I guess that was who I was, a mad and disappointed person.  I have learned so much about how I was misjudging other peoples actions and how my negative attitude was causing the crappy stuff to happen.  I had even put my harsh feeling toward G-d aside with the first meeting I had.  I knew that he had lead me to that place to meet the lady who helped me understand people and helped me to heal myself.  I felt G-d was saying these thing to me through her.  But I still couldn't go to church.  The G-d I knew wasn't the one they talked about.  I never read past the old testament, I don't like to see crosses, I don't pray through Jesus, and I didn't know why G-d never lead me to a church that made me feel his hand on me as much as I felt it when I first met my healing teacher (which is what I started to call my anger management teacher)  Now the newly healed, kinder and more loving me wanted a relationship with G-d that didn't make my stomach flip and make me run from the room (I do this when visiting new churches)

So I needed to start the steps to find out if  I could be a Jew.

Please leave comments telling your Jewish story.  I would love to hear them
.

Fall is Here and a new decor for the new season

I have a buffet set up for Halloween


 

Made these vases with glass candle
 sticks from the dollar store.  Then a 
dollar store vase sitting on top of 
the candle stick.  Filled with dollar 
store candy.Then added my vinyl letters.



My tree for all seasons.  I got this little tree 
at Pier 1.  I will use it year round.  I put apples 
on it last month for Back to School and Rosh Hashanah 



Fall Fireplace





I have a lot of holiday photos that I bring out every season.  I love seeing all the Halloween pictures of days gone by.



Make your own family signs

Family sign.  Using $5 wood plaques from Michael's
 & Hobby Lobby.  Then spray paint and add a 
$11 vinyl decal.  Less than $20 dollar gift.
Buy the vinyl decal 

Once you get your vinyl and buy and paint your wood sign.
Here are the different sizes I purchased from Michaels

Then pull back the white backing, Leaving the
 vinyl lettering on the tape.


Then Place the vinyl decal as you want it on to the wood.
Run a credit card over the tape a few times 
making the vinyl press onto the wood 


Then peel back the tape slowly making sure the 
vinyl letters come on to wood and off the tape

Lots of different styles.

Whole family name sign


Great housewarming gift or Wedding gift





This sign can be waterproof with some clear 
paint that is used to weather proof decks.

This sign was a gift for a man that had just 
finished building his own garage.




This one I just cut down a piece of wood that was 4ft by
 4 inches.  I cut it down to 21 inches long 


Cute Family sign


Another one that includes all the family names



A smaller 8x9 shaped wood