2009 is starting really well! As of tomorrow Matthew will be treated as outpatient, and Efi is being released to outpatient care as well. They are both very excited about it, and so am I!

Yesterday my brother Simeon and his wife Alissa (yes, the one with whom they separated earlier this year), hosted the annual Novi God celebration at their home. Most of my other siblings showed up with their kids, so there were 26 kids and 14 adults, with a special visit from Ded Moroz himself. Ded Moroz sounded an awfully lot like Anton Avramovich, Alissa’s father! I was super surprised to hear my two youngest ones converse with him in some basic Russian. Of course, this is what happens when your kids are babysat by their Russian aunt a lot! I am actually very happy about it, and it confirms my suspicion that my kids got their affinity for languages from me, rather than from their mother. :-D Now only if I could get them to learn another Western language! Though if Efi gets his way, my kids will be fluent in Arabic by the time they are teenagers.

In addition to the insane amount of individually wrapped Russian candy that my kids consumed–they wer edisplayed all around the place in nice baskets, and I’m talking about at least 25 lbs of candy here–we stuffed ourselves on pirozhki and some festive Russian cakes. Some of the adults shared some vodka (Kalinka, Szlava ajánlásával… :-) Na nem, annál jobb volt!) and we had good Russian tea from a real samovar.

My kiddos had a lot of fun, they all got all kinds of presents, including a bunch of books that they inherited from their older cousins. Matthew is just starting to read Hebrew, and he prefers books he has already read in English or Hungarian, so his cousins’ now out of print books really help.