Daily Archives: February 16, 2010


….is always suspicious when there are four kids in the house. Last night there was much whispering, and then dead silence for a few minutes. I knew the boys were up to something, but I wanted to see how it played out.

Not too much later all four of them knocked on my open bedroom door and asked to come in. They had huge smiles on their gorgeous little faces. The oldest handed me an envelope. It had a Happy Anniversary card in it, for me and the KoD, signed by all of the kids, with a couple of them adding their last name, in case I wasn’t sure who it was from. I bawled like a baby, they rolled their eyes, and we had a group hug.

I was very impressed that they did this on their own, went to get the card with their own money without my knowledge. I called the KoD straightaway to tell him. His first comment – did you cry? Am I that much of a sap? Yeah…..ok.

Here it is…..

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Computer Filters

We are planning on setting up a computer for the kids to use, probably once we get down to Monsey full time. The school my boys attend here doesn’t require the boys to do any online research, or much homework at all, so they have no pressing reason to be online. I allow them to check email a few times a week, but am always watching where they go online. Maybe I am a little over protective in this regard, but knowing what’s out there, monitoring them isn’t so wrong.

The schools they will be attending will need more from the kids in the way of homework and research papers and projects and won’t be anti-internet. So the boys will need access to the ‘net. I want them to not feel I am looking over their shoulder all the time, but not be free to go wherever they want to online.

I know there are filters out there that you can tailor to fit your personal preferences – and that can text you or email you when the child tries to access a site he is not cleared for. KoD set one of those up for friends, and he has the technological know how and experience to set this up for us. (phew, because there are some things which this mama cannot do). Which filters do you use, how easy are they for the kids to hack, how easy are they for me to use, if I want to change access to a denied page for the kids? Someone once suggested to me that installing filters means you don’t trust your child to follow your rules. I do trust my children, but I know how much temptation there is out there in cyberspace and I would hate for any of our kids to get sucked into something that they don’t know how to handle.

I guess each child would have different access permissions? Can you set it up like that? What do you do in your house? How does it work? And let me just add on another question. With four kids in the house full time, the other 3 there sometimes – how do you set up a computer schedule so that everyone is happy, without resorting to buying a few laptops?


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Boys Boys Boys

Why do they not notice when they smell? Seriously! My boys all shower every morning. It wakes them up and they are fresh smelling and clean for school. One of the older ones came home from school yesterday, and it was extremely obvious that he had been running around all day long. He really needed to shower and deodorize. In his school they do not change their clothes for gym, and they certainly do not have any showers there, so they can’t exactly shower after gym. (A rant for a different day). They all have deodorant in their lockers, but that can only mask so much even when they remember to use it.

He came home, and we schmoozed about the day, and I asked him politely to go take a shower and get comfortable. He didn’t feel like it. Sweetie, I think it’s best that you take a shower now. Nah, Ima, I’m cool. I took one this morning. The soft approach was totally not working.  Eventually I looked him in the eye, and told him that he smelled very ripe and needed to take a shower NOW. He got all offended and stomped off, complaining how I am obsessed with cleanliness, how he showers in the morning, and he doesn’t smell, and life just isn’t fair. But he got in the shower, and I stole his dirty clothes out of his room so he wouldn’t put them back on. (Do your boys do that? I cannot figure that one out!!)

When he had come out, got himself dressed and was calm I asked him how I should go about asking him to shower next time, when he really needs it and doesn’t realize it,  without him getting all stroppy with me. Telling him that he stinks is rude and offensive – something one of his brothers would say, not me. So I expected him to come up with a code or a cool catchphrase. No. At sleep-away camp his counselor had told them they needed to shower in a unique way. He wanted me to tell him the same way. “You smell like a horse, hit the showers”. He says if I ask him that way he won’t fight me. It just seems mean though.

Everyone tells me that once these boys discover girls they won’t need to be reminded about showering and deodorant and grooming etc. But what do I do in the interim? Invest in a gas mask?

Helpful tips desperately needed.

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Another thing….

…I like about Jewish religious rites. When you go to a bris (circumcision) there is always a l’chaim to be had on decent scotch. Drinking scotch at 8.30 am on a Tuesday – Priceless. L’chaim!

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Plea for life

I have been asked to post the following. I am not familiar with any of the details of this case, and only post it so that those people that wish to help this person out can be given the chance to do so.


As you may or may not know, a Jewish man is slated for execution in Florida today. Martin Grossman was convicted of killing Margaret Parks, a Florida Wildlife Officer, in 1984, when he was 19 years old.

He did so while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and in an act of panic, not premeditation.

He has conducted himself as a model prisoner since his incarceration some 25 years ago and has shown profound remorse and regret for his actions.

National Council of Young Israel has joined other Orthodox Jewish groups including  Agudath Israel of America and the Orthodox Union, in asking Florida Governor Charlie Crist to grant clemency , from the death penalty to life
in prison, to Mr. Grossman, and we have also requested a meeting in person with Governor Crist to discuss the matter.

But it is important that the Governor hear from the grassroots as well – certainly from people who live or spend significant time in Florida, but even from non-Floridians.

His e-mail address is Charlie.Crist@myflorida.com , his phone number is (850) 488-7146 and he can be faxed at 850-487-0801.

Letters and calls should be polite to the Governor to take into account Mr. Grossman’s youth and impairment at the time of the crime and his good behavior and remorse in the years since.

And the request should be that Mr. Grossman be permitted to serve his debt to society by serving the rest of his life in prison.

May we have happier occasions to demonstrate our achdus and ahavas Yisroel.

“Even those who strongly support capital punishment would limit it to recidivists or people whocommit the most heinous of crimes.  Martin Grossman fits neither of those categories.  He does not belong on death row.  His crime, committed when he was a teenager, was  unplanned,unpremeditated
and impulsive—the product
of a serious mental illness, that can now be proved by medical technology that was unavailable at the time of his sentencing.  He has been in prison for more than a quarter of a century, during which time he has been a model prisoner who has shown great remorse for what he did.  All that he is seeking now is a 60 day postponement of his execution, so that his supporters can martial the evidence and present his case for clemency.  No one should be rushed to execution while doubts remain unresolved.  Justice demands that he be given the 60 days to prove that he does not deserve to die at the hands of the state.”

Alan M. Dershowitz

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A teachable moment ;)

We were watching TV last night – the Olympics. My son was looking at all the TV announcers and reporters. He asked me “How come all the TV people have such perfect teeth and such shiny white ones too?” It was on the tip of my tongue to say they spent thousands of dollars to fake their smiles. But I said instead “Because they listened to their mama when she told them it was time to brush their teeth”.

Think it got through?

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