So what have we been doing since Graduation Weekend in the middle of May? It’s been quite busy actually.

The big project has been the Maimonides School annual dinner. We put together the 68-page Tribute Journal & Yearbook, made 3 custom Photo-Books for the 3 honorees, shopped and schlepped and cooked and baked, and thankfully, it was a wonderful evening on May 28th and an important fundraiser for our children’s school. Being that the day coincided with “Jerusalem Day” the dinner had a Jerusalem theme, and we captioned the school pictures in the journal with quotes and verses about Jerusalem, which took quite a bit of research and thought.

We also did two large Kosher catering events, which help the bottom line at Shabbos House. Thanks to the students still up here who helped us tremendously with the food prep and the food shlep. One event was for the Federation at Ohav Shalom, the other was a Bar-Mitzvah at a scenic vineyard in the rural edges of Guilderland.

For the Shabbat of Memorial Day we went away to Mendel’s parents. It was our first Shabbat away since December or maybe even November. We enjoyed time with family, and with families in the community whom we don’t usually see on Shabbat. There was a Shalom Zachor (late Friday Night get-together after the birth of a boy) that we attended until midnight, and a nice farbrengen at the Shteeble synagogue after the prayers on Shabbos morning. Shabbat afternoon would have been nice to catch up on sleep but it was also an opportunity to catch up on a big stack on Hebrew magazines that Mendel’s father gets. A few of the kids went to friends’ houses all Shabbos afternoon.

Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day were quite busy with the Bar-Mitzvah catering but we did squeeze in quality time with the kids each day. On Sunday we walked the nature trail in the wood behind North Bethlehem Park on Russell Road. The trail is shorter now because of a new housing development going in next door, but it still is a great feel of nature tucked away in suburbia. After that we drove to the Crossings Park in Colonie where the kids enjoyed watching the cows graze at the farm next door, and then we bought Italian Ice from the ice-cream truck and sat down by the pond to enjoy it. On Memorial Day Monday we ate Kosher ice-cream at Price Chopper, where we also bought stuff for a fire-pit, and got apple-wood at Yonder Farms on Route 155. We also drove out with the kids to see the vineyard where the Bar-Mitzvah was wrapping up, but got there just as Raizy was leaving with the crew. After unloading all the cars and getting stuff away, we enjoyed an end-of-Memorial-Day fire pit, with s’mores, roasted corn, hotdogs and some other fire-roasting experiments. The apple-wood burned hot and a tad sweeter than usual firewood.

One day the sky turned dark, and heavy rain came down with strong winds. There was a tornado warning while we were out shopping in Price Chopper. As it turned out a tornado did touch down in Duanesburg, a rural area west of here. Thanks to the students and alumni who texted or messaged concerned from downstate, but thankfully we were perfectly fine.

In other big Shabbos House news, we picked up the very heavy and expensive 20qt commerical mixer purchased using last year’s Lchaim Unity 2013 funds. It sits now on a cart (with locking wheels) next to the fridge and freezer. To give you perspective – the whisk/beater itself is approximately the size of our Kitchen-Aid mixers. We hope to put it to great use with all kinds of doughs and mixes, for years and years to come!

For the last Shabbos in May we had our first Cozy-Shabbat of Summer 2014. A few graduate students still around, a student or two taking summer classes, and we invited the Kochmans from the community (some of you would recognize R’ Shmuel from Kosher Price Chopper) and a dear alumni couple from ’06 & ’07. We had Minyans for all 3 prayers, relaxed and enjoyable Shabbat meals and a super-long Shabbat afternoon filled with nosh, kids and sleep. Saturday night came in so late, we did nothing.