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Kids’ Mitzvah Checklist for Passover

nissan_simaneihaseder_magidI am taking a break from my regular Passover (Pesach) preparations to think of my kids. One of my favorite new traditions is involving the kids by helping them get excited about doing the mitzvos for that holiday. I already had a reader/friend ask where my next holiday checklist for the kids was! So here is this holiday’s mitzvah checklist for your children.

Kids’ Mitzvah Checklist for Passover

I like to print these out in color for my kids and post them on the door of their room. They love adding stickers for each mitzvah they complete and then we go for a family reward after the holiday. Thanks again to Chinuch.org for the great clip art!

If you are still in the middle of your holiday preparations and need some tips, here are my past related posts on Passover (Pesach):

For other related posts, check out:

Have a wonderful and meaningful Passover!

 
 

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Lessons from losing my father

Losing my dad last week has taught me some important lessons that I thought were appropriate to share here, before I get back to my regular blog topics. It feels weird to get back to my regular life, without reflecting. I know a few of these ideas might sound cliché, but I hope my thoughts resonate with you and help spur you to take action as I am doing.

Be sure you have a will, a medical directive, and guardians set up for your children in the event that you, your spouse, or both of you pass away. Also, if you can, make funeral arrangements or at least make a record of your wishes. (Funeral insurance is a new option to help with this.) We had started working on this years ago, but had never really finalized any of it with a lawyer. We just didn’t have the money to get it done. My dad’s hospital stay and passing was my wake-up call about how important these things are. My dad did not have a will or a  medical directive, which meant we had to guess what he would wan. It also made the day of his death that much more stressful. We cannot wait anymore to do these things, especially since we have young children that need to be taken care of!

Shiva is an important mitzvah that should not be overlooked. I have attended only a few shiva houses (Jewish houses of mourning) that were not of family members who had died. I did not realize what an important chesed (kindness, help) this is until experiencing it myself. It was so nice of people to take time out of their day to come visit us and also for those who sent food, cards, etc. It was also a great opportunity to learn more about my dad and his impact on others. I am proud that despite his quirkiness and mistakes, he still left a legacy of chesed and extreme kindness to others. I will definitely make more of an effort to pay shiva calls as often as I can.

Don’t have regrets in your relationships, fix and work on them now. We often don’t think about losing a loved one. No one wants to face that someday that person will be gone from our world. I, of course, cannot stop thinking about all the things I should have done and said to my father. A friend reminded me that having those regrets does me no good if they just make me sad. But if I use them to better my current relationships, then those mistakes and thoughts have a purpose.

Prayer has amazing power. I have heard this so many times and am definitely a believer. However, I also saw it first hand while my dad was in the hospital. He made it through so many hurdles and so much longer than any of the doctors thought. I have to believe that this is not just because he was a fighter, but because of all the people davening (praying) for him and all the mitzvot (good deeds) he did while he was alive.

Don’t wait for the opportunity to do a mitzvah – seek them out. One thing one of our rabbis who was close to my dad said was that my dad always searched out ways to help other people. He was proactive in his chesed. He would often go into debt helping others. What a powerful example!

Be a good neighbor. I was so touched that my dad’s downstairs neighbor came to see me during shiva. She said she had come to think of him as her own dad. She looked out for him as he did her. These last few weeks she has been helping keep an eye on his cat, too. At other times she would give my dad toys and clothes her kids had outgrown for my kids. She had never met me until shiva! What an amazing relationship! I am glad my dad had someone living close by to keep an eye out for him!

Thank you for reading/listening to my thoughts. Perhaps one of you shares my feelings, having gone through a loss of your own. I hope something may be of help to you or may influence you to work on your own middos (manners) and actions.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in General site info.

 

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New page: Family Fun Outside the Home

Down the barrelI have recently been posting about family activities to do in the summer. However, summertime is not the only time for excursions! We are fortunate that we have a lot of great websites and booklets of events in St. Louis. However, not every town has this and there are some national sources for outings that are not always publicized locally.

I have thus created a new page on my blog with links and ideas for all kinds of outings – year-round, holiday-related, and summer. I have tried to provide links to resources so that you can find what is available in your own town. I will add new ideas there as I find them and occasionally link back to related posts. I hope you will check it out!

Click on the heading “Family Fun Outside the Home” in the menu toolbar under the website name.

 
 

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Starting a Family Control Journal

3 ring binder (opened)

I have mentioned before in several posts (“Office in a bag: A great Flylady tip,” “Setting up your Pesach Control Journal,” and “When did we repair that last?”) the benefits of putting together helpful tips and forms in one place for a specific purpose.

  • My routines list in my planner helps me stay on top of things at home (I also have one for work).
  • My menu planning, grocery list forms, and price list make menu planning and shopping easier.
  • My Home Maintenance Journal helps me keep track of home repairs and information about our home and appliances.
  • My Pesach Control Journal helps me keep track of all that needs to be done before Pesach and all the articles and tips I have gathered for it.

But I have been thinking a lot lately about how many things that I take care of in our home that my husband doesn’t necessarily help with. He is definitely a big help with so many things (cooking, dishes, changing the laundry, errands – to name just a few). However, I do a lot of the “home management” stuff. It made me realize that if G-d forbid something were to happen to me, my husband might not know where all that important information is (or even where important things in the house are!).

I decided that I am going to babystep my way (as Flylady says) in putting together a Family Control Journal. A fellow blogger at OrganizedJewishHome has her own Control Journal called a Shalom Bayit Book. She uses hers mostly for her own purposes, but she has some great tips and forms, which complement those on my blog.

What I am proposing is a slightly different book – one that would be good for emergencies, long-term stays away from our kids, etc. It will have a variety of information in it that my husband may not know where I keep. Now, I have had two long-term stays in the hospital on bed-rest where my husband had to take care of everything at home without me. However, some things were just too complicated for him to handle – like the bills. He didn’t quite know my system or where everything was kept. One part of this control journal will include that.

First get a 3-ring binder just for this use. We are going to add one component at a time.

For this week, print and fill out a “Medical Consent Form for your Children.” If you are single, this is good to have for yourself in case of an emergency. A good friend of mine, Michelle, keeps this information by her door in a marked envelope.

Here are two resources to create yours:

When might my child need a medical consent form? - can come in handy in a variety of situations

Printable Medical Release Form for Children - just print and fill in your information

You might want to put the finished form and the article in a page protector. Step one complete to starting your own Family Control Journal!

* If you decide that putting together this binder is too much for you, print this form and keep it with your babysitter information, so you will have it if needed.

 

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