Friday, September 28, 2012

Yom Kippurim

Yom Kippurim

Lev 23:27-32  “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to יהוה.
 “And you do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before יהוה your Elohim.
 “For any being who is not afflicted on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people.
 “And any being who does any work on that same day, that being I shall destroy from the midst of his people.
 “You do no work – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
 ‘It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.”

This is how we spent the last 24 hours, “afflicting our being.” Each year we fast, pray, repent, focus on the atoning work of Yeshua ha Moshiach, and read the book of Yonah/Jonah. This year started out as such a blessed time. We tuned in to Passion For Truth Ministries'live Kol Nidre service. Each member of our family went around hugging and asking forgiveness of each other. Asher 5 and Analise 3 especially blessed this momma’s heart by going around at random times and asking for forgiveness. It was such a sweet time and we could really sense the Ruach’s/Spirit’s presence.

During the day we spent time reading the Word, praying, meditating, and reciting the Al Chet prayer  (which has become a very special prayer to us). All fasted from Brice 8 up. Asher 5 said he wanted to, but could only make it to lunch. We were all so proud of Brice and Asher : ). We have adopted the tradition of reading the book of Yonah on this day and so I centered some children’s activities around it to give the adults time to be by ourselves uninterrupted throughout the day and to keep them somewhat occupied. 

I borrowed heavily from this site for our children's activities. Below are some pictures from our day.

Shalom and may your name be found in the Book of Life!

Asher coloring our "big fish".


Daddy encouraging Bricie that he could make it until the end of the fast and telling him how pleased he was of him :)

Joel reading Job

Bethany highlighting some meaningful Scripture

Dylan and James studying

Asher and his Book of Life coloring page

Bricie with his Yonah coloring page

A game of "Pin Yonah on the Big Fish"

Analise made it in the fish

My Zippy giving it a try

They asked to play multiple times. I guess it was a hit :)

They don't look too afflicted do they? Don't worry. They were afflicted when I told them no movies several times throughout the day. lol

Zippy eating his natural lollypop for pooping on the potty!

They played a game of "Throw Yonah Overboard" in which they had to toss their Yonah into the "big fishes" mouth.

Zippy's turn!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yaffa's 1st Year

Yaffa Joy

Today Yaffa is 1 year old!!! She has been such a blessing, a joy, my easiest birth and easiest baby. Thank You SO much, Abba, for this reprieve. This has been a trying year in so many ways, but Yaffa was not one of them.

.    1.I’m thankful that Yaffa has been sick only once in her first year. 
  2. I'm thankful Yaffa wakes each morning so excited to see me.

  3.  I’m thankful for her chubby little arms that she throws straight up in the air for me to pick her up.

  4.  I’m thankful for long legs and cute toes that demand to be chewed and sniffed while nursing.

  5.  I’m thankful for our sweet cuddles at bedtime as she lays her head on my shoulder and pats my back.

  6.  I am especially thankful for the Beautiful Joy she brings to my life.

Abba, may You bless her and guide her all of her days. May she live her life in the way of our Moshiach, Yeshua. Pour out Your Spirit upon her to live a kadosh and righteous life.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Family Update

Fun Family Update

It’s been QUITE a while since my last post. Summer was hot hot hot and a wee bit…..distracting. There are so many things that seem to take priority over writing and rightfully so. I’d rather be known for living life than just writing about it. But there are times when you know you need to sit down and document what’s going on around you before you’re pondering where the years have gone and trying to remember who did what and when. This post is a family update on what’s what and who’s who lately.


Bethany will be 18 in December O.o (yes, those are my eyes bugging out!) Where has the time gone??? There were times when I thought we’d never get through her childhood and times when I could feel the eminency of it creeping up on me.

Bethany is turning into such a lovely young lady even though she has had to overcome (and still is overcoming) many struggles over the years. Isn’t that the way a butterfly forms? I know our Heavenly father is perfecting her beauty for His great name’s sake! Her passion for the Word and dedication to purity is unrelenting and a great example to the rest of the family.

Bethany’s duties, which she rarely needs reminded of, are: the family laundry, helping with dishes, setting the table, keeping us all on task (she calls herself our “day planner”), and mom’s babysitter. She’s always on task and likes to get things done,   l o v e s  books of all kinds, writes book reviews and stories, and ponders much about her future. I don’t know what Yahweh has in store for her, but whatever it is will be a great testimony of His faithfulness.


Dylan just turned 15 last Friday, is taller than his dad (yes, little Dilly Willy), hates school  is not educationally minded, is bow crazy!, wears nothing but camo –well mostly-, has mad survival skills, can build a mean fort, and is THE hardest working 15 year old I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Dylan works about 25 hours a week with his dad, donating most of his earnings toward helping his family out with bills. He’s managed to buy himself a few things, too, like a new bow for deer season. He’s planning on filling the freezer this fall. He’s also quite generous and has bought his brothers new airsoft guns so they can run around pelting each other with them.

Anyone who knows Dylan knows how he loves babies. Yaffa is no different. He carries and coddles her daily. He just can’t turn down her pleas to be picked up and played with.


Jordan, who prefers to be called by his first name James now- which is just so hard since he’s always been my Jordy (sniff sniff)- is such a wise and responsible young man (most of the time). He is 12 and takes much responsibility on himself. He’s chosen to be Zion’s buddy and takes that very seriously. He thoughtfully takes into consideration other’s needs and feelings, usually before his own. He’s well-mannered and very friendly. His never-met-a-stranger personality is heartwarming and inspiring.

Jordan James loves all things outdoorsy, especially gardening. He aspires to either be a farmer or an herbalist.  He does much reading and field work on the subject. It’s amazing what that boy has picked out of the yard and put into a smoothie :o) He also enjoys spending tons of time with Dylan and Joel building, destroying, playing airsoft, or doing some kind of death defying feat. James is also working on a long list of bar mitzvah requirement for his upcoming 13th birthday since he’s decided to publicly become a son of the commandments. He’s studying very hard (as usual). James is passionately teaching himself to play the mandolin, fiddle, and harmonica. My favorite thing about my Jordy is he always has a hug for me and can always lift my spirits.


Joel is my resident aspiring chef and Bobby Flay wannabe. He’s just turned 11, but he already knows he wants to own his own kosher restaurant. He’ll be great, too! He’s relentless at learning his way around a kitchen and is currently taking a Wilton cake decorating course. He’s internally motivated –which is the best kind of student.

Joel does his school work with minimal complaining and is a good student. He’d rather be out climbing a tree or playing airsoft though. He’s teaching himself the guitar in his spare time along with the harmonica. We have some fantastic friends who have given the oldest boys some instruments.

Joel struggles at times with being one of the middle children, not quite fitting in with the older boy’s maturity at times, but too old to enjoy the younger one’s company for extended periods. He always tries to make the littles happy by taking them out to play or swing, getting them drinks or snacks, and chasing them around and being crazy. He can be quite thoughtful at times. My Joel always wants to please and is usually very respectful.



Brice is now 8 and very smart. Most things come easy to him except knowing when to stop. Sometimes it’s hard to know when to pick my battles as to not break his spirit. He’s got a lot of energy and a love for all things electronic. He would sit at a computer all day long if we let him. Brice also loves playing board games. His most asked question would be, “Do you wanna play a game?” He’s really into Risk and Scrabble right now. He’s worn us all out on Chess. lol

Brice has a heart to serve and is always trying to help. His responsibilities are emptying the trashes, and rinsing dishes. On our cleaning day, he is also eager to vacuum, sweep, and mop and is disappointed if he doesn’t get to do at least one of them. Brice is memorizing the Ten Commandments and usually asks to say the blessings on Friday night (I think he just likes to wear his daddy’s tallit) .


Asher means happy and boy is he! If you need a smile or a hug, he’s got about a dozen for you. Asher and Analise play with their stuffed animals just about all day long. They have quite the imagination. Asher also likes to play video games with Brice and climb trees in the yard. Asher turned 5 in February so we began his K-5 curriculum. He can already read a slew of one vowel words and sentences. He really enjoys his school and is especially good at math (a first for my kids, besides maybe Brice who’s just good at it all). We’ll probably be starting 1st grade work in January at this rate.

Asher has a heart for prayer and passionately prays at the dinner table, family devotion time, in bed, and whenever else prayer is needed. On Friday nights when it’s time for husbands to bless their wives, Asher always comes over with Tom and lays his hand on my head and prays along with his dad. Blesses.My.Heart.Every time!


Princess Analise is…. well… quite the princess. Both her first and middle names mean grace. And BOY do we need it with her! She’s very sensitive and wants what she wants exactly when she wants it. She is most times entirely not amused. Came out of the womb that way. I pray every night that Yahweh will help her to be content and joyful…..He must still be working on that.  She and Asher are the best of buds doing all things together. She mimics most of what Asher says and does except being joyful and content (funny how that works).

Analise likes playing with her stuffed animals and baby dolls dressing and undressing, diapering, and carrying them around the house. She really likes playing Feeding Frenzy on her brothers Xbox and would like to play games on the computer if we let her. One of her funny moments was recently when she meowed her prayers and on another night when she prayed, “…and help us not to hit or throw people through the window…”. I about choked trying not to laugh about that one. You can tell she has 6 brothers can’t you?

I really enjoy having another girl in this house so full of overflowing testosterone. Tom is convinced that all girls have major drama issues after raising Bethany and now observing  Analise for almost 4 years, but I think Yaffa will prove him wrong : )


Zion is our 2 year old ray of sunshine. He wakes up happy and ready to fill the day with excitement and adventure. He has a craving for all things soft; blankets, clothes, diapers, stuffed animals (LOTS of stuffed animals), my robe, the end of my braid…the list just goes on. He’s cuddly and sweet. Talks eloquently (for a 2 year old) and is the most photogenic child we have. He amuses me with his sweet and loving disposition every day. I could just contentedly watch my Zippy be Zippy for as long as my life will allow.


Yaffa Loo, as we call her, is an amazing baby! She snuggles and gives sweet hugs. Mostly, my babies have not been snugglers, so, I’m thoroughly enjoying this time I have with my snuggly girl. She’s always smiling and is most of the time content. She loves going outside and being in her swing. Her favorite sibling would be Dylan (all my babies loved Dylan). Yaffa is just beginning to walk. I thought she’d be walking way before her 1st birthday on September 25th, but she’s savoring her cuddle and carry time with everyone. I am very much enjoying my time with my Yaffa Loo and hope that time can slow down even just a wee bit so that I can take in all of the beauty and wonder of motherhood.

I hope you enjoyed the update on all the kiddos. I look forward to the many adventures, memories, and journeys ahead.

Julie XO