# Monday, 08 July 2013
# Sunday, 16 June 2013

Why can’t I have cheesecake for lunch?

I came home for lunch earlier, and asked the Boss what was on offer. She directed me to a pan of pasta, and suggested I have pasta and cheese. As I was about to pick up the pan, I noticed a rather yummy-looking cheesecake just behind the the pan, and suggested that I have some of that instead.

For some odd reason, the Boss didn’t think this was such a good choice for lunch, but I pointed out that cheesecake has both protein and carbohydrate, two essential ingredients for a healthy lunch! She didn’t seem too impressed with this remark.

Undeterred, I had two helpings of cheesecake anyway, which was delicious (thank you Grandma). In response to a further remark from the Boss, I repeated my claim to having had a balanced meal, when she pointed out that there wasn’t actually that much carbohydrate in the cheesecake, as the base wasn’t that thick. Grudgingly agreeing to this, I happened to look in the fridge, and saw the remains of a large trifle that my dear Mumsie had provided for Shabbos. “Ooh, carbohydrate!” I exclaimed happily, and removed it from the fridge.

Due to the family nature of this blog, I won’t describe the look on the Boss’s face at this, but I pointed out that trifle is even healthier than cheesecake, as it has carbohydrate in the cake, protein in the milk in the custard and vitamins in the fruit. OK, so it was tinned pineapple, but it had probably seen a vitamin somewhere along the production line.

Some people think that a balanced diet is a piece of chocolate in each hand. I disagree. I think a balanced diet is cheesecake and trifle!

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# Monday, 10 June 2013

Chaya Devoira’s three word sentence

I took Chaya Devoira and Gittel to the park on Shabbos afternoon. One of the climbing frames there has a sort of arched bridge, over which Chaya Devoira decided to cross. Knowing that she has a problem with steep inclines, I moved towards her to offer some help.

She put on a fierce face (which is hard when she's so cute!) and shouted "No! Yaya!" (which is her way of saying her own name), then broke into a big smile, waved at me and said "Bye bye." She made it very clear that I wasn’t to help her, and she would do it all by herself, which she did.

She repeated the same thing a couple more times whilst we were there.

If someone had told me ten years ago that I would be so excited about a four and a half year old child saying a three word sentence, I think I would been surprised, but truth is, I was chuffed to bits. Whilst she is significantly more vocal than she was six months ago, she is still a long way off proper speech. However, a three word sentence is pretty impressive for her right now.

By contrast, Gittel had just finished reciting the last six of Shakespeare's sonnets, and was moving onto Milton! OK, so that's not quite true, but her speech isn't far off that!

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# Monday, 06 May 2013

Two more pictures of Miriam

By popular request, here are two more pictures of the latest addition to the family.

First off, we have the loving father cuddling his daughter, who seems more interested in something on the ceiling!

Yoel cuddling his favourite (and indeed, only) daughter

Next we have a picture of Gittel with her arm around Miriam. This time, Miriam has taken her eyes away from the ceiling, and is now looking at something more interesting to the side.

Gittel with her arm around Miriam

One day we might even get a picture of her looking at the camera!

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# Sunday, 28 April 2013

Cute picture of Miriam (as if there could be any other kind!)

Taken last night, as the Boss was giving her a cuddle...

Miriam
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# Thursday, 28 March 2013

Mazel tov! We're a babby and a zeidei!

With huge thanks to Hakodosh Boruch Hu, we are delighted to announce the safe arrival of Yoel and Nechoma Bryna's first baby. Without further ado, here is a picture...

Baby Yosefson

She was born at 1:55pm on first day Pesach (26th March '13), weighing 6lbs 13ozs (613 as Yoel was happy to point out!), and arrived home (ie our house) at around 6:30pm the same day! Thankfully she had enough sense to be born between the two evenings, so everyone managed both sederorim, albeit a little tired (understatement of the year!).

I had half a mind not to post a picture of the baby, but rather to repost this picture of Gittel, which co-incidentally was taken exactly two years ago to the day, as the new baby looks just like Gittel did at a few days old. Mind you, Gittel looked like all of our other children at the same age, so I could have reposted a picture of any of them! At least we know she's one of ours!

Further pictures to follow when we get some!

P.S. If anyone is wondering about the title of this post, there are various ways of pronouncing the Yiddish for "grandma." According to Yoel's tradition, they use Babby, rather than Bobby or Bubby, so that's the Boss's new title!

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# Sunday, 23 September 2012

Loquacious updated

Avid readers of this blog (well, I can dream can’t I?) may recall that almost a year ago to the day I added a blog post about Loquacious, a fancy word picker for Windows that allows you to paste long and pointless words into your emails (or whatever) with minimal effort.

This program amused me, and I have been adding words to it over the past year. One problem is that I can never remember what word I want, which means I would need to read down the list to find it. The other problem is that I like to do things quickly, and I wanted to be able to pick a word with the minimum number of keystrokes possible. The version I posted last year allows you to type a letter, and it will highlight the first word in the list that begins with that letter. However, if you have a lot of words beginning with (say) “s” then you have to use the down arrow to get to the one you want, which can be a bit painful. I rarely have the patience for reading the list or repeated clicking, so don’t use it as much as I would like.

I decided that it would be far more useful if you could search for words using more than one letter, and also search the definitions. Enter... loquacious version 2 (drum roll please).

Loquacious version 2

As you can see, a text box has been added at the top, which you can use for searching. When you first start loquacious, it behaves exactly as before, so typing a letter will highlight the first word in the list that begins with that letter. However, if you type Ctrl-f (“f” for “find”), then the focus is put in the text box, and you can type more letters. The list of words below will be filtered to include only those containing the letters you type. This includes the definitions, so it allows you to search for a word by its meaning.

At any time, you can click either the Tab key or Ctrl-w to set the focus back into the list of words, allowing you to move up or down the list with the arrow keys, or press Enter/Return to choose the word. If you press Enter/Return when in the text box, then the first word in the list will be chosen. As before, clicking the Esc key closes loquacious without choosing anything.

You can download loquacious by clicking here. See the previous post for instructions on how to install it.

I hope this is useful. Feel free to leave me any feedback or comments. Who knows, I might release version 3 in a year’s time!

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# Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Four little girls in pink and white striped cardigans

No excuses for this one, just a gratuitous cute picture. The Boss went shopping (ooh-eck) the other day, and returned with some clothes for the younger girls. Amongst these were some rather cute pink and white striped cardigans, which you can see in the picture below...

Four little girls in pink and white striped cardigans

Chaya Devoira liked hers so much that she wore it on Yom Tov, over her brand new dress!

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# Monday, 20 August 2012

The Smile Gemach Summer Holidays–A Pictorial Review

This year, the Smile Gemach headed north of the border for our summer holidays. We went to a family camp, that was housed in an agricultural college in a village called Ecclesmachen (or Ekkershmacher if you ask Simcha), just to the west of Edinburgh. Amazingly enough, we had gloriously hot, sunny weather for pretty much the whole holiday, and came back tanned. Well, some came back tanned, some came back pink, and some came back plain mucky, but we all changed colour!

This is a quick summary of the holiday in pictures. Due to some very boring, and obscure technical reason, the pictures shown below are not actually in chronological order, and are largely just cropped, rather than being lovingly touched-up (who says the camera never lies!).

Aryeh Yehuda does his impersonation of Eric Morecambe, whilst demonstrating is balancing skills on a post. If you are more interested in seeing Aryeh Yehuda demonstrate his skills at falling off things, keep reading :)

A beautiful sunny day on Musselburgh beach, or rather just off Musselburgh beach for these four. And yes, they got very wet by the end of it!

Chana Liba getting wet, and enjoying every moment of it. She didn't enjoy sitting in a wet patch in the car on the way home though!

Chaya Devoira was in the middle of solving some very high-level mathematical problem, when she was distracted by what she found at the bottom of her bucket (no, I'm not going to tell you what it was!). Her favourite activity in school is the sand pit, and so going to the beach was pure Heaven for her. She couldn't decide where to dig first, and spent most of her time shovelling spades-ful of sand from one part of the beach to another.

In his usual style, Aryeh Yehuda spent a good part of his time on the beach carving elaborate structures out of the sand. This one is a particularly accurate model of our old house. By the time we left the beach, he had carved out the back garden as well, including the succoh and the back steps! I didn't get a good photo of the final product, but you get get a good idea from this one.

Shayna Brocho doing her impersonation of Eric Morecambe. As you may have guessed, this is a popular thing to do in our family!

As promised, a photo of Aryeh Yehuda falling off something. He was doing a very good job of balancing on the rope, and I just managed to catch him in the process of toppling over backwards. B"H he regained his balance, and landed on the ground vertically, and without injury.

Simcha on a bridge. Not the best photograph of her, but a good summary of how she spent most of her holiday (laughing that is, not standing on a bridge in a pink coat!)

Chaya Devoira finds a particularly funny piece of sand.

Eliyohu laughs at some obscure and long-forgotten joke.

Somewhere in Scotland, there is a forest that is partially devastated by two little girls, who decided to go picking flowers. As you can see, Chana Liba was fairly enthusiastic in her picking, especially with the lengthy frond in her right hand, of which you can see just over half!

The Boss watches Simcha being a little more modest in her flower picking activities (this time at least).

No, I have no idea what she was doing, but she was happy!

Simcha wonders if she has enough to keep her amused in the car. What you can't see are the two plastic carrier bags, stuffed with other things by her feet!

Reminiscent of Shayna Brocho at the same age, Gittel absolutely refused to set foot on the sand, and spent her time on the Boss's knee. Here, Chaya Devoira joined her, and they held hands, singing. They do this quite a lot actually, it's very sweet!

Gittel looking as cute and radiant as ever.

Simcha finds a nice place to rest. Unfortunately (for her at least), her comfy bed was part of an obstacle course, which caused some problems when Chana Liba wanted to get past!

Chaya Devoira takes delight in spinning Shayna Brocho on some Medieval instrument of torture in a play park. You can just see Shayna Brocho's hand sticking up, as she desperately tries to grab on to something solid. Actually, she loved every moment of it, but that's beside the point!

At the entrance to Linlithgow Palace (birthplace, and country residence of Mary Queen of Scots), there were (and probably still are) some holes in the walls, where the guards would look out and defend the palace against intruders. Eliyohu tries out one of these holes for size.

Predictably, Chana Liba finds a small space, and squeezes herself into it. I'm sure that girl was a sardine in a previous incarnation!

Chana Liba swings Shayna Brocho in another play park. What you can't really see from this picture is that Chana Liba's feet are about a foot off the ground! You can see the rather surprised expression on her face though!

Chana Liba and Simcha show off the very latest in ear fashion!

We still don't know how he did it, but somehow, Aryeh Yehuda managed to ease Gittel onto the sand without her realising. She grabbed a spade and did a little digging, which she enjoyed until she realised where she was and rapidly shot back off to the safety of Aryeh Yehuda's arms! You can also see the pre-pink state of Aryeh Yehuda's knees in this picture. They were a rather brighter shade by the end of the day!

I took this shot of the sun behind a solitary cloud in the middle of the day, when it was very bright and warm. Due to the angle of the shot, the camera did a short exposure, making the sky look dark. I rather liked this one, even though it doesn't look a great deal like the real thing! If you look to the right of the sun, you can see an aeroplane that had recently taken off from Edinburgh airport.

Aryeh Yehuda holding Gittel.

The Boss in a frivolous mood!

We came home last night, very tired, but very happy. Actually, the Boss and I came home exhausted, and in need of a good rest, but that's pretty normal for a family holiday!

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# Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Chaya Devoira banging a milk bottle

One of the children's breakfast time games is taking an empty milk bottle, placing the lid on gently and banging the bottle to make the lid fly up in the air. They then blow into the bottle to re-inflate it before repeating.

In this fascinating documentary, we are taken behind the scenes at Smile Gemach World Headquarters, and see Chaya Devoira banging the breakfast milk bottle...

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