Friday, December 25, 2009

Today is a new day

Last night was spent surrounded by family, yummy food and the best coffee I have ever tasted! The children and i went sledding. Monkey pet a dog for the first time and said "thank you". Helper sat beside Grandma at dinner and glowed under the attention and care while they shared tea at dessert. Magoo glowed under his big cousins' watchful and helpful instruction with his helicopter and now Magoo & Helper are playing nicely and loved their stuffed socks (hammer and nails for Magoo, a mini version of Mummy's mixing bowl and a candle stick holder for Helper).

We were going to go to the Gathering today, but after being over burdened with all to get ready for OWBS we are staying home and packing.

Thanks be to God for the gift of peace in our hearts and the energy to keep pushing forward!

Hubby is off to pick up the keyboard for the Bible School and everything is falling into place.

Skates sharpened
Bible bags packed
Children's clothing packed
Winter Gear packed
Sleds brought up from the Basement
Crafts nearly ready

and a pot of Cranberry Pomegranate Tea is waiting for me(Hubby is so thoughtful with his gifts!)

Until Next Friday we are signing off then. God be with you all in the study of His word.

"Now the God of Peace be with you All, Amen"
Romans 15:33

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You know you are doing too much when you wake up at 5:30am in bed in the middle of an anxity attack.

Yup that was me this morning!

So today instead of getting that list done I am taking it easy, hemming Helper a dress we let down for the winter, making secret yummys for Hubby and wrapping presents with the Goons.

Thankfully a very special young lady is here to help me today!

I have to learn to leave everything in God's hands. Especially the Ontario Winter Bible School. Everyone thought it was a great idea, said they were coming but then never registered. However we are trying to make the most of it.

If I think about it for even a minute I get very depressed!

And on top of that they are calling for 3C ABOVE on sat....and we have outdoor winter activites planned as they have 100 cm.....we'll see

All in God's hands, I know

My heart understand,

My brain is trying to, really hard!

So instead of lovely pictures and everything I'm signing off to cuddle with the kids and try very hard not to cry over all of the negative - gross - ness going on in our area.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

and blogger crashed while uploading photos again! ARGH! I will try again tomorrow!

ps: Saturday was special because a very dear to our hearts couple joined us for dinner and brought dessert!
Oh dear, is it really Sunday night already!

Yes, I know the whole "posting a few pics a day" just simply didn't happen last week, appologies! This week I will try my best. We have been insanely busy, but a joyful insane busy! Thursday was Magoo's last day before Winter Break at CHC. So that afternoon extra plans for fun and friends started with The Cousins over for hot chocolait (with candy canes stirred in to make it mint!) and plates full of coloured mini marshmellows, cookies, gingerbread boys, muffins and the table was completely with the sounds of rioteous laughter reached its peak! I felt uplifted afterwards because of such nice and missed chats with a very dear sister in law and Auntie Loving Kindness (the latter of which babysat in the evening so that we go out for a joint B-day dinner!)

Friday brought on the cookies exchange. 8 adults and 23 kids and LOTS of SUGAR. It was fun I think we did too much having to fit in the piano lesson and cleaning as well. Next time we'll drop the cleaning!

The weekend has been full of the usuals, the blessed routine of congregating to worship our Father and for fellowship afterwards. I felt terrible at the momment that I realized I'd left the strawberry jam that a certain dear sister was going to take for me to her Mother out West....oh dear my brain was not awake this morning.

Today the children impressed us, they sat for Memorial and then in the car for a 4 hour round trip to pick up a used - new to us stove (KichenAid!) and then straight to sit through Bible Class (and a very good one on Esther!)

After all that you are wondering "and where are the photos!"

They will follow!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekly Menu

Monday: Chili

2lb ground beef
2 med. onion chopped
1 med pepper (whatever colour you want) chopped
1 celery stalk chopped
1/4 dressing (Greek or Italian)

1 28 fl oz can of chickpeas drained
2 sm Ziploc baggies of frozen purred tomatoes (or 2 19 fl oz cans of diced tomatoes)
1 tsp chili powder

cook the first group until cooked through then add the second group, mix well, bring to a boil and then reduce to med-low heat and simmer for 20 minutes (or whatever time you have!)

Served tonight with homemade white bread and Balkan style yogurt and shredded cheese.

Tuesday: Roast chicken, potatoes, carrots & brussel sprouts with cheese melted on them

Wednesday: Broccoli and cauliflower quiche, garden salad, pull-apart rolls

Thursday: Make your Own pizzas with Auntie Loving-Kindness while we go out for a joint B-day dinner!

Friday: Shepperd's pie (make on Thursday afternoon as we have a cookie exchange and Little disciple on Friday)

Saturday: Roast, potatoes, brussel Sprouts, cauliflower, gravy

Sunday: Crock pot Fajitas (cut up leftover beef from night before, add 2 tsp taco seasoning, 1/2 C water, 1 onion sliced, 1 pepper sliced and 1C mushrooms sliced, heat on high for 1 hour then turn down to "keep warm" until we return from meeting) Salad for Mummy ;-(
Why oh why does blogger load the photos in the reverse order that you select them? Oh well, so this is our day in Haifa but backwards!

This is Tel Dor where we went swimming at the end of the day. The actual Tel (or the archaeological ancient site for those who don't know what a "Tel" is) is on the top of the hill and under the water under the point of the hill. We really wanted to go up and hunt around the ruins but time was the enemy as was our exhaustion by the time we got here.

This is at the "Illegal Immigration Museum" The kids are standing in front of an actual ship that they used for Aliyah B as it was called. A was the British approved Aliyah and the B is for the secondary groups that made it to the shores of Israel during the Mandate period after WW2 when the Jews basically had no where to go but home! Usually you can go into the ship and it is all set up as it was back then but it was closed for renovations ;-(

Here are the 2 Goons inside an Israeli Navy Sub....they had audio playing to mimic a battle.

I thought this comic published at the time of the so called "white paper" during the Mandate period was a perfect representation of what was going on.

This is a Israeli Naval Patrol boat that Daddy took the kids into while Mummy watched Monkey play with rocks.

They had a great movie and display about the camps at Cyprus. After surviving the horror of WW2 the British put all the Jews that they caught coming into the land "illegally" and put them into camps on the island of Cyprus, a very said and disturbing time in history.

The Girls and I and my humongous hips!

This is the Sub that we went into...very cool!

This is the view of the full ship that they had that was under renos. It was a really neat museum as there was so much actual things to see and touch. Even terrorist boats and such that they have captured. They even had the wheel of the Arab ship they caught full of missiles and such smuggling to the so called palestinians...but why them calling themselves that is wrong and not historical is another blog post in itself! I will simply refer to them as Arabs.

Well that's it for today!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hello Again

Or should I say Shalom! Yes, we have been absent online for just over two weeks, but a needed break was essential to get everything running again on the homefont in our little place of sojourn this side of the Kingdom. The flight home went really well, considering. Helper fell asleep right away and slept for a solid 9-10 hours, Magoo fell asleep after they served dinner (at 12:30 am!) and slept on and off for about the same. Monkey slept (flinging herself about in Mummy's arms) for about 8 hours waking here and they basically switched right away back to "Canada Time" as we have taken to calling it. Thankfully they were all happy and well behaved on the plane. We were so very thankful to have a happy and cheerful, simply wonderfuls Sister in Christ pick us up with a smile on her face.... at 5:30 in the monring! This made the arrival back a lot happier then it would have been, having left our home in Israel to come back to the land of ice and snow (well none yet, but I digress). We stopped of a MUCH NEEDED Starbucks on the way and then she dropped us home and headed straight for her day teaching at CHC....yeah she;s one of those Proverbs 31 kinda Lady that puts the rest of us, okay > ME to shame!

We walked in and were surrounded by the love of family. 2 bouquets of flowers on the kitchen island, groceries in the fridge. Dessert and dinner already made! It was such a nice welcome back from them.

So everyone settled in and Magoo kept commenting that "there is no sun in Canada Mummy" which was no all that helpful! Needless to say the children never napped that day so Daddy and Mummy were up for basically 48 hours straight!

The only catch of the whole day was finding black mold growing in the fridge and the smell had travelled up to the freezer so we had a throw out everything in the freezer and clean with bleach and then soap and vinegar.

It was wonderful to fall into bed that night, finally after a long 48 hours, well I think we got to bed at 47.5 but whose counting.

Now we have gotten back into the routine of CHC, Sunday school (the play was last week and went very well), everyday chores, piano lessons and preparing for the first ever Ontario Winter Bible School. Which we are very excited about! Today I finalized the plan for the children's class we are doing and it is focused on our vision and hope of the Kingdom. Such a thrilling topic. Thankfully even though we don't have snow they have a meter up North! So if anyone is reading this and going (cause no one leaves comments and mentions latter they read I have no idea who may glance at this) bring your stakes and sleds!

So the next two weeks will be on the verge of insanity but good spiritual busy insanity! We finally moved all the pictures and video from D's work laptop to the home computer so we aim to post 5 pictures each day for the next couple weeks of our trip to Israel to share with you all.

May God bless you in the study of His word of Truth!

Monkey crashed before we even drove out of the airport! Helper fell asleep soon after but Magoo was too excited to sleep!

I love this shot of Magoo helping Daddy by pushing a pram full of bags.
He is turning into a little man! The airport is really neat you go down this ramp as you arrive and departures are on the other side of the glass walking up.

Our first day in Jerusalem, the children simply loved playing around
the Roman pillars in the Cardo area.

The Kotel (our first of three visits, the second was for the
Rosh Chodesh march and the third was while sheltering from the rain on the last day)

Lunch on the first ful day there. Hummus on Challah bread rolls with letuce, mini cucumbers and the such like. I think Monkey is in bed in this picture!

Monday, November 23, 2009


It is with a heavy heart we sit down and type tonight. Today was our last full day in God's land. We got up and out after the usual yogurt and fruit breakfast. We drove and found a house that another family in the Truth are thinking of renting and then found our way back to Mamilla to park.

We walked up Yafo (Jaffa) street to the main post office to post a book to Avi and get stamps for the plethora of postcards we need to send before we leave. We picked up the postcards a week ago with the plan being that we'd mail them early so that the recipents would get them while we are still gone...yep that never happened, but plan B is to get them into the cute little (very British looking) mailbox in the Old Quarter tomorrow.

Then we walked back through the mall and through to the Yafo gate. We walked through slowly taking our time as we had all day. Such a nice relaxing feeling. As walking down the narrow lil street (which is stressful as it is one narrow lane for traffic and NO sidewalk and we have a double side by side stroller!) anyways we noticed a bunch of Jews coming out of this archway and had noticed before and finally asked someone and lo and behold it is a way into the Quarter without having to go through the bulk of the "dangerous for a double stoller and children" way.

We did get a bit turned around but since we knew we were in a safe area (and very clean!) we felt fine and it was a good and fun adventure for all of us. Saw some beautiful window boxes and clay pots all over their balconies (this is the mainly residential area of the Jewish Quarter) they make great use of any growing area. There was one spactaqular Bougenvillea (pink) growing down from a 3rd floor blalcony. We found our way through and wished we'd known about this short cut earlier as it saved us a lot of stress.

We headed to the Hurva square and bumped into Avi right after mailing his book ~ Oy! It was a really nice surprise to see him again before we left. We settled into our cafe and ordered a salad for me for lunch as my gluten free tummy is fed up of all the bread I've had, even with limiting myself to bread at lunch only, and the odd pastry. Such a beautiful greek salad, it was beautiful and tasted to yummy! they grated the feta it was much tastier that way. D got a cappuchino but since I'd had the shakes earlier I decided to forgo the usual caffeine shot.

We then popped over to the Ariel Institute of the First Temple but it was full of a class trip. The kids played on a playground right beside the Broad Wall...another only in Israel moment! Poor Princess got a bit hurt so we went to find Daddy who had been shopping. We then wandered down to the Temple Institute and went in to see the actual models, well they aren't models but they've actually tried to make the instruments of the Temple, the musical instruments and the Menorah and the Table of Shewbread, and the priestly garments and so many other smaller items. They have done this to prepare for Moshicah (Messiah) to come and set up the Thrid Temple. You've got to admit that is very cool and amazing mindset!

We left with 4 bags!

Yeah I know...

Puzzles and a game for the kids (to teach the different offerings and Feasts according to the Law of Moses) and a print for the wall and a couple mini things.

Gift shopping for the Goons is offically done!

Then we walked back and popped back into Esther Wiess' shop to get headcoverings for the other 6 sisters we needed hard to do as they are completely different colours as last time (of course) and hard to decide for someone else!

Then we walked back via the shortcut and down to the mall for a loo stop (very clean there!) and 2 cappuchinos for the parents. The plan being to drink them while the GOons played at the YMCA playground, well that didn't happen as we had to wander around for a bank machine to get INS to pay for parking. So by the time we got home to the apartment they were drunk!

We unloaded the car and sat and rested for about 30 min and then headed out to the playground (we like the YMCA one as it has a gate so Monkey cannot escape). After about an hour we headed home to make dinner. Lamb kebab sausages, potatoe & cheese pastries for everyone else, peas and rice for me. While that was cooking we did the readings with the Goons.

Monkey is in bed now and we got Magoo and Princess to do their postcards and D is atempting to attack the stuff we have to pack. The problem is that we thought we could take 70 lbs so had to use our extra bag on the way here......oh dear me!~ We got a box and some tape from the Temple Institute but it's still going to be tricky.

The 2 Goons are still up because we need to switch them back.

Li La Rev and Shalom for a final time from Yerushaliyim.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Li La Rev

Yesterday was a really nice ending to our ventures outside of Yerushalyim. We were able to be up and off by 9:30 with our packed lunch, some chips (and here they actually fill the bag, fancy that!) some chocolate wafer cookies and lots of water bottles. We headed out on hyw 1 and hit traffic. A police motorcycle had been in an accident so we were down to one lane. Those who have been here know how slow going it is when the heavy trucks are in front of you!

So instead of 1 & 1/2 hrs it took about 2 and a bit. We stopped at a rest stop for a cafe and crossants and Micah left his New Zealand hat there he was absolutely devestated and even though we tried to get there on our way back, you couldn't as it was on the other side of the divided hyw 6 (the toll road). So we are very glad we picked him up one at The City of David.

So off we went and got up to Migiddo. Ate lunch in the car in the parking lot and went in. They had a short video which helped explain the different time periods found at the site. Then we headed up and out to the Tel.

Wow, it was huge! and amazing whole city is up there, complete with 2 palaces (Ahab's and Solomon's) and the horse stables (Solomon's) and a yard for the horses and chariots and an Assyrian city and the views were astounding, the entire Jezreel valley was in view and Mt Tabor, and the IDF base there (complete with them doing flights over the valley!). Then we went down Ahab's water system. See they had a problem as there was no water source on the hill so they dug a tunnel down and through the hill to the water source and then buried it on the other side with rocks and gravel so that in a seige they would have water and the enemies would not. We went all the way down and the turned around and climbed ALL THE WAY UP as it ends at the hyw 66 and we would have had to walk along it for 600 m. with kids this was not really an option.

In total we spent about 3 hours there, buying a good book on life in New Testament times there and wishing we had space for stuff for Apps Mill!

Then we drove home and had pasta with peppers and onion for dinner and did the readings. Then we walked up to Ben Yehudah street to get pastries for today and donuts as this is the month of Hanukkah they celebrate buy boiling and frying lots of food in olive oil. The kids loved theirs and so did D but mine was more like a thick bagel. Not so impressed.

We picked up a surprise for Magoo and so far have managed to hid it!

Then we walked home and tucked everyone into bed. Monkey keeps waking up just before 7!

Well we are off today to spend the day where God has choosen to place His name.

We hope you are having a wonderful day as well!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just tried to upload pics again....

Blogger keeps crashing when I try to load pics....

Promise to upload lots when we get home!

Shabbat is over, and you can tell as the car traffic is picking up outside our living room window. We had a nice slow morning, eggs on toast for breakfast and then packed up the car and off to Tel Aviv we went as it was the closest beach. We drove down and parked in the same parking lot as three years ago, and low and behold our fav cafe is still there in the mni mall on the beach. A latte for D and an iced coffee for me and we were ready to wade through the sand (it is so super fine!) to get our picnic blanket down and get set in. The beach was nice and clean and there really wasn't that many people there considering.

All of us really enjoyed our time there. D and I taking turns taking the older Goons into the water to splash in the waves and the other would stay on the beach and play in the sand with Monkey. She was having an absulote blast using my iced coffee cup to make sand castles.

Princess asked to be buried, so we did and she kept giggling and it was very funny.

We headed back to give the sandy Goons baths and then took them to this really nice park across the road from our living room window.

Came home and made dinner. Pastries, potatoes & corn YUM!

We had been planning to walk up to Ben Yehuda street for cafe Afulk and pastries but we are too tired. I finally fell asleep around 1:30 am (a lot on my mind) and the sun has exhausted all of us.

We are about to do the readings (read Jonah 1 on our was to Tel Aviv = Yafo) and are doing Nehemiah with the Goons right now.

The older two are currently working on their scrapbooks and Monkey keeps rubbing Magoo's head and saying "Hi, Hi" and when they say "Hi" back she starts jabbering away in her own little made up language.

We are off early in the morning (God willing) for Megiddo.

God Bless & Li La Tov

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

You know, at the beginning of this trip (in the planning stages) I was preety annoyed that we were going to have basically 1 & 1/2-2 days of each week where nothing was open. Other then in Tel Aviv that is. Here in Jerusalem most things close at 2pm at the latest. The National Parks (which is most of what we want to see) are not even open Friday and Saturday.

Now we are learning to enjoy the slower pace on these days.

Today we stayed in bed until 10:30, of course the kids did not and we had to get up a couple times to sort out toys and get Monkey her milk. We had the usual breakfast of fruit, toast and yogurt. Made a grocery list and headed out. Grocery shopping here is an adventure. Once again I thought we bought eggplant salad, only to get home and open it and be let down again - Salsa! As I told D: "I'm not asking for help anymore in the grocery store!"

Seriously every aisle or two I get to try out my "Sli-ha, Mavin(a) Englit?" and yep, everyone does or the one lady that didn't understood French so there I was in the middle of Jersalem trying to get my brain in French gear.

After dropping off the groceries at the apartment (and smearing raw egg down my skirt after a mishap in the front door) we headed off to the Mamilla Mall again. This time for a good look at the bookstore there for a cook book (left without one, but with 2 bags full of other goodies) and a stop at our fav cafe, which we have no idea what it is called in English but recognize the black and red Hebrew lettering. This is the shop that serves chocolate stuffed crosants (that are actually in the shape of squares) that are about 5 in square and about 2 inches high and oh so delectable! We always order 4, and the kids never have a problem eating all of theirs! They also do the typically European thingy of giving you a chocolate with your cappuchino or latte (which we have discovered are the same thing in Israel) which is nice.

Then we had a bit of a parking fiasco. See it is free for the first 3 hours, but apparently we parked in the wrong side....because the other side was full and had to pay! oh well it was only 17ins but still.

We headed home and the Goons had mini cucumbers for lunch with some cheese and bread, but us grown ups were still full from the Lattes and pastry. I don't know how the kdis eat what they do! Then the girls went for a nap and before we knew it the afternoon was gone. We downloaded the many pics and videos....laughing at my pathetic atempts to take pictures through the window and video while the car was going 120km! Not so clear but gut aching hilarious!

We woke the girls up around 4 as the sun was starting to set (Shabbat had started) and walked around the corner to the YMCA where they have a lil playground and basically it took both of us to keep Monkey from seriously hurting herself-that girl has NO fear! Then walked back to an oven full of hot dinner.

Roast Chicken, baked potaotes, peas and Challah bread (which is INFANITELY better then the recipe I make).

We kept Monkey up for the first reading and then after she tucked into bed we had our Memorial Service. Which is always especially touching in Jerusalem. We ended by singing the 2 hymns that the Goons know well and then they were tucked into bed as well.

Now everyone but me are asleep, typical! I was exhausted 2 hours ago and now can't fall asleep!

Tomorrow is another easy day and then we will have 2 busy days before leaving for our place of sojourn,

God Bless

Sorry for the delay in updating. Bloger keeps crashing on me so that we type up an update and then it disappears.

And no I didn't drive in Jerusalemn after all. Lost my walet so had to walk.

Wednesday was a really nice day. We headed off to En-Gedi and since it had rained in the dessert the night before it was really neat. The steps and pathway had placed where you were walking through the clear, cool water. We saw a few conies (Psa 104) and even a mama and baby together. We also saw a group of about 30 (at least!) ibex crossing high up on the cliff edge. Unfortunately Monkey and I were up ahead so D only got the tail end on video and missed the huge Daddy one with massive horns. The Goons simply loved En-Gedi, hiding in caves, and trying to figure out which ones David would have used.

Since it was hot we treated ourselves to some ice cream before heading across the road to swim in the Dead Sea. This time everyone got in, though Princess got some in her eyes and came out after a few minutes. Even Monkey went in! Magoo LOVED floating and didn't find it scary at all. He was having the time of his life. D & him must have been in the Dead sea for half an hour. Mummy went in as well, and then we found salt crystals on the rocky beach and some neat red, orange and green rocks.

We headed home for dinner and found we were locked out! we've only been using the code and not the key and the landlady had been in to check something and had used the key. So we blasted the heat in the car and dried Monkey's pants (she got soaked at En-Gedi) and got ready to leave for dinner at the YMCA (famous building a block away) when someone arrived to let us in. We treated ourselves to dinner out anyways. A cheese platter very different from in Canada! Pasta for the Monkeys, fresh bread and such creamy butter. D had some grilled chicken wrap thing that was good and I had some Arabic "pizza"s lets just say I was not impressed.

So that was Wednesday.

Thursday we went to Budget and they were going to look in the other rental car for my walet (slightly freaking out, but D got me calmed down and put a hold on our cards and all that) We headed off by 8:30 travelling south to Timna.....of course there was a protest on the road so it took a bit longer then 3 hours. Timna was amazing. Copper mines which Solomon used (laver in the Temple) paddle boat ridding in a artificial lake, exact model of the Tabernacle and collecting sand in bottles (black, red, bright yellow and white are all found there) then plugging the bottels with clay found there as well.

Then we headed as far South as you can go to Eliat. We missed the underwater observatory as we arrived at 4 (because of the protest) and choose to swim as we only had an hour of daylight left. We had purple and orange fish swimming around us, pointed out Jordan, Egypt & Saudi Arabi to the kids and had a lesson on the crossing of the Red Sea.

Had dinner at the food court at the mall there and Lattes in the car for the driver. We drove down by the dead sea and had to drive back through the mountains so as not to go into the Biblical Heartland at night. Switchback after switchback and feeling like you were going to fall off of the mountian! Freaky drive home for the first part. Oh and Monkey SCREAMED for a good hour of it.

Now we are up, slept in a bit as we got woken at 4 am with either gun fire or distant tank fire (they were setting up in the Negev for a night training session as we were driving through) but there is nothing on the news yet as what that was all about!

God Bless

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blogger keeps "error"ing and I can't upload any pics! Have tried twice and will try again later.

Right now I am off to drive to the grocery store............ah! We are off early in the morning and need some stuff for our usual packed lunch.

God Bless and we will try to update about our wonderful day today latter (Dead Sea & En-Gedi)
Highlight Day!

Wow, what a spectacular, incredible, unbelievably amazing, stupendous, simply wow!

Today we had to get up earlier, about 7am. D went off to the King David hotel to pick up another, and bigger rental car, as we needed room for Avi (our guide for the day). After he left the kids got up and dressed and fed just in time as he and Avi pulled up and we were able to go straight from the breakfast table and out the door (Mummy frantically washing up the dishes from cereal as they put on their shoes and then took them off and put them on again, this time on the correct feet).

We pulled out of here around 8:30 to start our jam packed day. To start with the drove North, through past the security wall. Which in fact is only 10% built and doesn't stop anyone really as they can go through the drainage system. All this fuss about a "security wall" that barely covers any area at all. Where we drove through it ended nearby where we could see with our own eyes the truth of this fact.

So yes, we drove into Area "B" and up through we think Hawara (in any case it was an Arab town) all the way to Elon Moreh. Here we parked, got out and had a perfect lookout over to Mt Gerizim and Mt Ebal even able to pick out the ancient altar which has been dated back to the time of Joshua with binoculars. It is not safe to go up there as it is near Nabulus. Everywhere we got there are fragments of pottery, and the children were given bits that Avi picked up. He was simply great with the Goons, relating it to them, asking them questions, even squeezing an ripe olive to show the oil coming out from it.

All the way along the road Avi was pointing out so much info and then kept having us get out the Bible, open it up and read it! Amazing, simply amazing!

So anyways, we jumped back into the car with our open Bibles and headed back through Hawara as we had to get through there before the kids (esp the teenagers) got out of school and started throwing rocks.

So we got through no problem and headed towards Shilo (Shiloh) which was incredible. The remains of the town ARE STILL THERE!

Think about that for just a sec.

Stop and think.

We know that the accounts in the Scriptures are true.

Do we really realize that the evidence is there.

In Shilo you walk through the gate, and down the ACTUAL path, past the foundations of store houses where the wheat, oil and wine was kept for the offerings. Then you round the corner and there is a flat place. Get this....the ONLY FLAT place large enough for the Tabernacle. and it is surrounded by a low wall. Here it is. The actual place where Samuel lay down and slept near the door where God called to him, where Hannah poured out her heart to God. Where Eli fell and died (okay that was at the gate and the gate is there! and Avi had Micah act it out for us).

Yeah that really took my breath away. One thing to hear about it, another thing to climb over the rocks and pick up pottery and get "Israeli scrapes" as Princess calls them (yes, she got another one today and was so pleased!)

As we left they were having a "big wigs" meeting about this town, which is in fact a town. Actual built houses, not exactically what you picture when you here the word "settlement". We are talking about families homes with flowers out front, toys and bikes in the small parking place or side walk. Strollers. I read an article recently that discribed them as subarbs of Jerusalem...but I digress,

We also saw a model of the Tabernacle and watched a short video of the Scriptural accounts that took place there, including the destruction of it by the Philistines. Which is why it is preserved so well as they burnt it and it was barely used afterwards in History.

Avi found and gave to Princess and hunk of white pottery that is curved and clearing part of something. He said probiblly part of the edge of the top of a large pot. She was thrilled!

See pottery, laying everywhere.

Then we headed to Bet-El (Bethel) and what a wonderful time we had there. Magoo thought the bits of the solider lookout towers and 2 army bases and seeing them practice shooting was all "so cool", I think we need to have the whole concienous objection chat again with a certain little man.

First we drove around a bit, about 6,000 people. Regular houses (small by North American standards) and caravans and apartments full of people there becuase of their faith in the promises to Abraham.

We drove through and right up to the top, the oldest section of the hill where there is a Biblical timeperiod cave burial (look it up in Genesis!) and the probible place of Jereboam's fake temple. This is the thing, I always pictured a town as in the size of a small city in Canada. The hilltops are not that big. AND it is definate from discriptions and wqhen you go there it isn't "oh well maybe it can be the next hill" no it is obvious!

Then we got to see a school there which has been in the Bible Magazine. So amazing listening to these 6 year olds recieting Genesis from the begining...and we have kids that complain about a single memory verse a week, pathetic!

We spent quite a bit of time there, chatting with the kids and looking at the walls that have posters of Noah's ark, the Tabernacle, the vessels of the Temple, all Bible stuff!

Then we visited across the road where the Jr highschool has been set up (7-8) and through a girls Yeshiva (part regular building part caravans) and then down past the ritual Mikveh (closed so the guys couldn't go in) and then into Arutz-7. One of the guys there was from Canada before he made Alyiah and he even hooked Magoo up to a mike and recorded him for a commercial for Eyesh Chyl (Woman of Valour) that I listen too. Wasn't expecting that so it was so cool. Except he wasnted to "interview" Magoo and he froze and was all "I don't rememeber, I don't know" ARGH mother's frustration.

They sort of remembered Dad and asked if we were Christians from Philidelphia and I just had to laugh as we get that all the time instead of Christadelphians. Asked to buy shirts and they couldn't find any....oh well we can always order them off the internet.

Well to get back to Jerusalem Avi had us pick up a hitch hiker that was heading here which at first I wasn't so sure of but he made sure they knew where they were going and everything. It was great a real genuine Israeli experience. Afterall Bet-el is only 15 min from the outskirts of Jerusalem! Settlement my foot.

Dinner was in again, as the kids had been SO good and needed some time to goof off and run around and simply play. So as D returned the rental we made salad (you don't need dressing as everything is so fresh and gorgeous) and lipton's feticinni alfredo that was brought over in the suitcase. We have now just about gotten through all the food we brought (well we only brought some basics) and so we will be able to eat out more now as we get more tired.

D is looking through video clips from today, and we weren't taping when we thought always. Oh dear, but still some gems. Of course the clip of the Area "A" sign (another rant but I'll leave it for now) was all a blur.

Going into the Biblical heartland was simply amazing. Seeing it for our very own eyes. Touching it with our fingers. Is it safe to to there? Definately (though I would say with a guide as the GPS shuts down and you wouldn't want to get lost!)

We look forward to that day soon to come when the tribes will be again settled in their new cantons. Benjamin and Judah as bookends to the holy area for the Prince and the Sanctuary.

May we be granted grace and blessing in that day to serve our Heavenly Father there.

Some pictures of the last couple days. For those who are wondering what all the fuss is about Silwan (borrowed of the net as we didn't dare taking photos!):

Then we finally arrived at the Mount of Olives

One of our Favorite places to end the day (Sambooki for Pastries)

and because it was the very end of Shabbat, we got fresh and hot ones!
the only ones missing from the photo are the ones we ate!

Daddy had a Cafe Afulk here instead

Monday, November 16, 2009

Li La Rev

Apologies, yesterday evening we gt in late and spent the little time before crashing into bed trying to get D's cell phone working (it does now) and preparing the backpacks and clothing for today, so were not able to update.

Yesterday we were able to get off to an early start, doing a load of much needed laundry while eating breakfast. We decided that since we were going to be so late leaving the Old City that we would park the car in the Mamilla Mall just outside of the Jafo gate which would cut out walk into half.

We spent about 30 minutes walking around the mall and another half hour getting a Cafe Afulk and pastries there as the english tour of the David Citadel (which has nothing to do with David by the way) did not start until 11. We got there in plenty of time and followed it as we went up to the top (so high and yes I am a wee bit scared of heights I am discovering) and were given an overview of the city. Because of the timing we were up there trying to listen to the guide while the Moslems had there 1 of 5 call to prayer, Oy so loud. We all giggled a bit when she said "this is a bit disturbing" and agreed. It was so loud you couldn't even hear yourself think!

Then we followed the tour for the first 2 hours as they did the section on Biblical Jerusalem and then left as it was 1 pm and we needed to get the Goons lunch. We walked through the quater to the Quarter Cafe which is very high up and over looks some Roman Ruins and also the stairs down to the Kotel. Potatoe Latkes, brocoli quiche, veggie soup, falafal and eggplant baked something was the menu which we all shared out between us.

To get down we walked on the tops of houses and past some of their neat to see. Then we entered the Burnt House for the portrayal of the Roman descruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. It was very moving and near the end poor Magoo was in tears and so upset to see what the Romans did to God's people. So him and I left with Monkey and waited for Daddy and Princess at the end. This opened a door for us to talk to the children about AD 70, the prophecies it fulfilled and the reason for God's judgement on the Nation at that time. They really took it in, as we sipped hot cappuchinos (it was cold yesterday) and coke. We met up with the Sweenys and had a nice restful visit before they went off to Tel Aviv and we went throught the Herodian Quarter.

After 1967, because most of that section (nearly 100%) was destroyed and leveled by the Arabs, they had the great oppurtunity to excavate and found 4 houses (as well as the bunrnt house) remaining with the chared beams and mosaics and walls and baths and so many things. This was great as the kids love running around the ruins and exploring and trying to figure out what they are. It is like a giant puzzle to them. They had a reconstructed model with lil people in it down there as well which really helped us understand what exactically we were looking at.

Then we popped into some stores just to look and headed slowly down to the Kotel Plaza where they were gathering for the Rosh Chodest March (the New Moon celebration under the Law, but since there is no Temple they march around the Temple platform singing the Psalms of Ascent and praying at each gate, I forget how many, for Messiah Son of David to return and build the thrid Temple and bring redemption to His people.) We thought it started at sun down (5ish) but instead it was that Ethiopian celelbration instead and then we waited forever. We could see the truck with the Temple flags, but nothing was happening. Then Moshe arrived to say he found out it wasn't starting until 7! Oy. The kids ate snacks while we waited of fresh dates and the gummy bears Aunty L had sent for the trip (thank you!) Then it started (2 hr wait) and we watched from the stairs as it was too late to go on it with tired children. We had the oppurtunity to explain it to a couple from England that had helped with the stroller at one point. Also had a good chat with them about the Truth.

We stopped in the Jewish Quarter for Swarma for dinner, and the is much leftovers as the kids were full from snacks. Oh well.

Now I am desparately drinking coffee and trying to wake up. Got woken up around 6am with the garbage truck or something loud. Avi arrives in less then an hour and so off to the shower I run!

God Bless on this day!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shalom on Sunday

Apologies at the start, my brain is weary so this may be short, or it may not. I will try to make it flow though and make sense to the readers.

Today was a busy and rewarding day. We had our usual breakfast and decided instead of paying for parking we would walk up to the Old City again, through the Armenian and Jewish quarters and the down all those many many steps at the Kotel and out the Dung gate, hang a left and head down to the City of David.

They are doing even more excavating in the area where it used to be a parking lot and they have cut outs in the boards beside the sidewalk so we were all able to peak in at the latest excavations. We found out later that they have found a Roman earring, some pottery and such in a large building so the theory right now is that this is Queen Helena's Palace (she converted to Judaism and it is recorded that she built a palace in this area of the city). Then we went in and enquired about the english film and mentioned that we hadn't been shown around King David's Palace last time. They were SO accomidating, no hassle whatsoever. They called back and a guide came out and we got our very own tour of King David's Palace (and video taped it of corse) and then she rushed off after we were done as another VIP group was here. We also saw the guy incharge of all the City of David excavations and now know that we have his photo. It is simply amazing all the discoveries that have been made on Mt Zion. Then we had to wait a bit (for the said VIP group to get out of the way) for the video so we spent a lovely long time in the gift shop and fhound a great book about the excavations, and D just was flipping through it and it mentions Henry Sulley! WOW! Got some presents to bring home as well. D tempted me to get a necklace but I will keep looking around for the best deal. We may end up going back.

The movie turned out to be 3D and was so moving. It takes you through the whole history of the City of David. Monkey freaked out a bit but we sorta expected that to happen. We taped it but only the second half with the glasses so the 1st half is burry but the audio is still good. The Goons really took in and absorbed a lot of info from it. Princess didn't like the bit where birds flew at you that much but since it wasn't gory at all she enjoyed it as well. They even showed Jeremiah in the pit and Isaiah on the walls shouting at the Assyrians. Definately worth going back for!

Then we crossed back over to go into the Davidson Center. At this point we noticed the increased security and low and behold the US peoples we mentioned before arrived at the Kotel. They seem to be following us around.

The Davidson Center was much better this time without a sick child. They also had a 10 minute movie using thier virtual reality set up (which you can pay 160 INS each to go in....we obviously did not) to show you what it would have looked like at the time of Christ to walk up to and through the Temple.

They also have exhibits of daily items from that time period that were found there just outside the Temple platform, many coins, oil lamps, pot sherds and also items from the Ummaydian period.

We spent some time walking up the road that dates from the second Temple time period past remants of shops where the pilgram would have purchased his/her sacrifical offering which led to the staircase that ends at Robinsons' arch.

This time we were able to go up the ACTUAL ORIGINAL (that blew me away) steps to the Hulda and Triple gates. Last time this was closed and locked. The kids loved climbing all over the ruins and actually "acting" things out. They had a blast going up and down the stairs to the Mikveh "Look Mummy I'm on the dirty side I'm going to get cleansed" Princess said. Magoo kept jumping from one side to the other thinking it was hilarious!Monkey simply wanted to pick up each and every single stone on the path!

Afterwards we climbed up the many Many steps back to the Jewish quarter and headed straight for the Hurva Square and our fav cafe. They have the most amazing iced coffee! The Goons shared some Bamba (a fav Israeli snack food that looks like chessezes but are peanut butter flavoured instead) and a coke and D had a Cappuchino. Then we popped into Shirorisim again and this time picked up some Hebrew Calligraphy cards.

We walked back past Esther Wiess' and grabbed some headcoverings for gifts but we will need to go back as there are more that we need to get for. I only got 2 this time, be proud!

D bought some bread and we munched on that as we walked back out of The Old City and down Argon St to the King David street...and straight past the Saban Convention that is going on! No wonder there was heavy security. Then as we walked past the King David Hotel the US group was leaving.

We had Chesed's potatoes, swiss chalet gravy, peas and chicken for dinner and as that was cooking quickly threw the Goons in and out of the bath! My they were dirty.

Now we are enjoying the relative peace and are hoping that the Sweenys will pop by this evening.

Tomorrow is turning out to be jam packed. David's Citidel Tour at 11am, Burnt House Tour, Ariel the 1st Temple Institute around 1pm, The Temple Institute, Start the Rosh Chodesh March and then turn around at the first gate (Moshe said this is safe to do) and have dinner overlooking the Kotel and then meet up with the march at the end near the Golden Gates!

Li La Tov!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Change of Pace

With Shabbat being today (until 6:20ish) we took a much slower pace, and it was needed. We had a very yummy breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage (beef) and hashbrowns and toast. The sausages weren't exactically what we are used to at home but still good. Then we headed up to the playground on Ramban Street that we visited frequently on our last trip. The children loved the chance to play and run and yell! They are quite shy around others, even at home, and more so here where they do not understand what is being said around and to them. After about 30 minutes of good solid play time we walked home and had lunch. Phyllo pastry squares stuffed with potatoes and cheese...oh yeah and some salad for our goodness :-)

Monkey went down for a much needed nap and we settled into the living room for a memorial service. We started with "Lead me Lord", D read the three daily readings, the memorials and then ended singing "Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem" (those are the children's two fav. hymns).

Princess then tucked into her own wee bed and we had about 30 min of peace, sipping tea and nibbling the last 2 pastries leftover from our complany on Erev Shabbat.

Noticing the time we got the girls up and out the door as this time we wanted to make sure that we got to see the Mt of Olives (a miss because of the sickies last trip). So off we went, merrily following (blindly following) the GPS. We were both a bit concerned as it seemed to be taking us away for Jewish Jerusalem to the East....Oy

Yep, we ended up in Silwan, again. This time though we were on such narrow roads that there was no way that we could turn around at all. The windows were up and the doors locked! It is amazing that the momment we drove a block from the Jewish area into the Arab area it was covered in garbage, and just basically disgusting. Says a lot doesn't it.

So we got through. At one point we were stuck still behind a bunch of cars and kids were coming up to the car...At the one point we were stopped and the kids were goofing off and one walked backwards into our car and then we had them yelling at us. Great here we are stuck in Silwan (again) with cars parked in front of us, cars parked behind us, no way to turn around and kids yelling at us....Yes I prayed our way through there. Oh yeah and a group of them had this horse tied to a rope and as a couple of them were holding on to the rope the other kids was beating it with a stick!

It was a huge relief to recognize that we were coming up to the City of David and the Old City walls. We got up to Olives and parked the car in this random car pull in and got out. After enjoying the view of the Old City and a couple of pictures, D noticed stairs going up. So we crossed the road and climbed the rest of the way through the graves up to the top of Olives (Magoo was disappointed there was no gamal = camel) and took some more pics. At which point I realised that I'd left my backpack with walet IN THE CAR! There were police guarding the one entrance to the Jewish cemetery and another near the Dung gate on our way home. Definately something going on tonight!

Oh and did I mention that that entourage that we had pass us the other day on the hyw to Jerusalem was Clinton and Arnold Swar....however you spell his name! they are staying just around the corner at the King David. Though we haven't seen them we had a VIP group pass us at the City of David tour (ours was stopped so that we wouldn't be near them) and overheard the one lady (dressed to the nines and in stelleto heals, yes I rolled my eyes!) chatting away about how Hillary was mad cause Bush was late and the plane was late.... interessting.

Anyways. That's not why we're here just an interessting aside.

So we made it home, thanks be to our Heavenly Father. Dinner was Fetichinni with stirfried veggies, sauce, chicken and left over Challah bread. After dinner we headed out and walked up to Ben Yehudah street in time for we thought an Ethiopian Jewish celebration....well I don't know what happened but it didn't happen. So we walked through and down Jafo for a cafe Hillel for Daddy and Pastries at SamBooki for the whole family. They were still warm as Shabbat had only just ended.

We popped into some shops on the way back and picked up a print for the wall. Princess and Magoo walked the whole way there and back, so impressed with their little legs! Of course it helps when you are playing games to pass the time.

We noticed the grocery store was open again so we popped in for fresh, still warm bread, melon and some dried apples and treats for breakfast and lunch tomorrow.

We are hoping to see the movie at The City of David that we missed the other day and then maybe the Davidson Center.

God Bless and until next time...
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Some pics from Wed-Thurs
Monkey in Ceasarea

The Family in Ceasarea

Magoo discovering the ruins there

The Fortress of Elah

Bougenvellia cover the country!

Shabbat Shalom

This morning we actually set the alarm as we had to phone The City of David to get information on the english tour that went out this morning. Today is Shabbat so they were only doing the 10 am tour instead of another one in the early afternoon. No problem we thought, we have just over an hour to get showered, dressed, fed and out the door.

Well, that wasn't the problem! We got out in time, leaving by 9:20 to get there for 9:45. Do remember this is very close, it SHOULD be a ten minute drive.....MAX!

However you see they have these roads in Israel that one minute are two way and the next minute, with no signs whatsoever of what is coming up switches to one way. Not going the way you are driving, of course. So here we are driving around the circumfrence of the Old City and Bam, there in front of us, taking up the entire road, is a massive tour bus and a not so happy driver. Okay, he was mad. Thankfully D was driving (okay lets be honest here, the ONLY reason I am on the car rental and the ONLY way I will be driving is if there is an emergency and D can't because he is in an ambulence or something like that). So we reversed merrily down the road, around the bend and down the hill, until we could pull in and turn around on some little wee street.

Yeah, so then the real fun started.

We "followed the signs" to The City of David. In Canada these actually point you in the right direction, here they sortof point in the general direction and the left is left up to some inner geological positioning capabilties that Israelis must posess.

Four tries, and a near tears wife as we are once again lost in a not so great part of town, and into "Peace Forest" that was covered in anti-Israel graffti (someone please explain how THAT is peaceful!) and we finally discovered a little old road that lead down the Gihon valley and in the general direction of where we'd like to go.

Then we had to park

Enough said about that!

Magoo and Mummy ran in to find out that yes we were late (10:20 instead of 9:45) but all we had missed was the movie, and we could come back to see that on Sunday, and yes we could catch up with the English tour if we left "right now". So with much rushing about and everything we made it.

Was all that fuss worth it? Absulotely!

The tour was amazing, so much has ben uncovered since we were last here 3 years ago. What everyone thought was the pool of Siloam is not! instead they have uncovered the actual steps down from the Temple to a massive pool that Herod had re-done that messures 30 METERs square. Herod did nothing small did he! but not all is dug up, see they have this wee problem of the fact that a good portion of it is under land owned by the Greek Orthodox Church and they being what they are will not let anyone excavate...typical!

They also have uncovered the stairs with remants of those Jews that hid under them in AD 70, this is recorded in F. Josephus when he tells of the Romans breaking up the stairs to find the last Jew and destroy them. Remind you of anyone?

The stuff from the time of King David was simply breath taking. His actual Palace, the fortified walls and the tunnels. They have just found a tunnel in the past 2 months and are excavating it right now.

I was on video duty as Monkey wanted Daddy...and we have a full high definition video of the sky, ground with crying child in it as I kept making mistakes and having it on when it should have been off.

Note to self, when walking down steep and see through steps and afriad of hieghts, pass the video camera to someone else!

Since it is Shabbat we had to stop at the grocery store for food, and it being when it was ended up not getting home for lunch until 2:30. For all you freaking out because of the poor children, they had snacks on the drive inbetween.

This afternoon it POURED rain (odd occurence right now) for a good 15-20 minutes. The girls had a long 2 hour nap and we got dinner ready and a wonderful couple in the Truth that are over here right now. That was how we spent our evening, dinner and a Bible reading with others in the Truth, refreshing!

Now it is time fo Li La Tov. Tomorrow is going to be a relaxing day, we may go up the Mt of Olives and then just let the kids play.

Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shalom from Erezt Yisrael

It is so nice to have older children to play with Monkey when she wakes up and Mummy is exhausted. Princess & Magoo gave her, her bottle and played with her as we attempted to get up this morning. Breakfast was yojurt, it is so creamy (3%) and delicious here, this morning's choice turned out to be strawberry cheesecake and banana and toast.

Once again our rental car was loaded up with strollers, beach towels, packed lunch, 2 huge water bottles + 4 smaller sippy cups and bottles full of water, GPS, maps, diaper bag and swimming stuff. Off we went West towards Tel Aviv and then up hyw 2 to Queserya (Ceasarea). On the way we told the children the Bible stories surrounding the places we were going to visit today. Paul persecuting the ecclesis then being in prison himself there (yesterday's reading!) for 2 years. Cornellius and Peter and then the best we saved for last, Herod being eaten alive by worms! Magoo thought that was cool. We slightly changed plans and headed for the actual Tel first and ate lunch in the parking lot.

It is humbling that Paul witnessed even to the Roman authorities even appearing to Ceasar himself and how that we need to follow his example.

Last time we went (3 yrs ago) there was almost no one there, today it was packed! The children absolutely loved runing and climbing all over the ruins and there were quite a few hilarious episodes. Magoo thought the sand on the path was ancient, Princess was so excited to get yet another Israeli scrape on her arm, Monkey driving us all nuts in the background of nearly all the video clips. This trime we watched a 10 minute video presentation on the history of the city which was very good, though we didn't get to record it as we were sitting to close to the screen. The Hippadroom was huge and they had a pretend chariot there for the chidlren to climb up on, a highlight for Magoo. The tiled mosaics on the public bathroom floors were neat, the theater was great and they actually still use it today for events and productions. We have a hilarious video clip of the Goons up sitting in the theater with Daddy but that will have to wait until we download it all!

There seem to be so many more tourists around this time. Even at the Aqucduct (which is a couple minutes up the road) there were 2 full buses full and so many people. The children and Daddy still swam (we choose to pretend we couldn't read English and ignor the sign posted there) while Mummy stayed with Monkey near the car as she was FINALLY asleep! After about an hour or a bit less she woke up and we joined the family on the beach to collect shells and perfectly smooth rocks. I cen see luggage weight being a problem on the way home! Princess was so sweet chatting away as she picked up rocks "and this one is a Daddy shell and this lil one is a baby shell..."

Thankfully we packed some snacks as it was 5 when we left and shoule have taken about an hour and 15 to get home. We sorta forgot about rush hour and spent forever stuck in Tel Aviv! People watching, trains and giggle fits kept the children entertained. Watching 8 police cars race up to Jerusalem made us wonder what was going on tonight.

Oh and Monkey learnt a new word "yes" which comes out as "bes"

Finally we got in around 7:30 and quickly made a dinner of fried eggs on toast and fruit. Tomorrow we are planning on staying in Jerusalem as they are calling for rain (it sprinkled on the way up the mountain) and there is a wet warning!

Li La Tov!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We arrive!

Park across the road

Haifa Museum
Princess at Tel-Dor
Monkey in Tel-Dor

Magoo loved the crab & lil fish in the water!

Read Below for Post, here are some photosof the first 2 days!
Shalom on day three

Today has to be one of our favourite days in Israel. We actually got out of bed in record time this morning, Magoo and Monkey (D says that should be Sprout's new name) getting up around 7:30 and Princess not to long afterwards. Breakfast was a combo deal of basically what was left in the kitchen. Toast with raspberry jam, mango yogurt, strawberry yogurt, bananas and cereal. We had packed up the night before (you wouldn't believe how much time it takes to gather together all the stuff we need) double checked our water supply for the day as it was to get hot and we were planning on spending the day outside.

Our first stop was to the King David Hotel right up the road to double check on a different rental car for'll have to wait to see what we are planning that day! Then we were off and this time didn't have to do any illegal u-turns in order to follow the GPS, which is a great source of ammusement and it has taken us a total of 5 different ways into Jerusalem so far. We're wondering just how many different ways it can by the time we head home. The best was the first night when it took us through Machaneh Yehuda and the edge of Me'a She'arim. But I digress...

It was simply stunning, espcially after turning onto highway 35 S which leads to Bet Shemesh and places beyond in the Shomron. Daniel pulled over a few times for photo ops and then we found and stopped at a look out where you can see the valley leading from Gat (Gath) to Bet Shemesh where we are told in the Scriptures that the ark came up on a cart lead by 2 milch cows when it was returned from the Philistines to Israel. We drove through Zoar and Esh-tol; Samson territory! Then we looked and found the little dirt path that leads to the Fortress of Elah. Amazing discoveries there in the past couple years ( has a lot of neat info and a video).

Basically you have to find this small dirt road (and there are numerous) after Z(ec)harya and then choose another of 4 dirt paths. The driving instructions said to take the second path, and we thought we took it. But, well, it was a neat drive and then we realized we were on the wrong side of the hills! So Daniel amazingly managed to turn around (the first of two amazing turn arounds today) and go down the correct one. There is nothing there but the ruins that they are just now excavating...exciting. The kids thought seeing a turtle was neat, and the ruins were breath taking. So much more to write about that but I'll let their website to that for us.

We then munched on the usual lunch in the car driving South again on 35 to La(c)hish. We drove around the kibbut first and thought it was neat that in the same spot is another "watch town" for Jerusalem. It was a wee bit of a climp UP to the ruins on the very tip top of the hill/mountain. Daniel took the time to explain to the children all the importance of the town and it's history as a watch/signal town and the destruction by the Assyrians. Monkey was such a great sport and loved walking around and up and over the steps to the ruins.

The view was incredible, again. We know we saw the hilltop of Hevron, but didn't know which one it was. You can completely understand why it was used as a signal and guard settlement when you see the layout from the lookout at the top of the ruins.

It was very hot there, no shade and it was at least 26 degrees C. Us girls washed our faces off after the hike before we got into the air conditioned car. We understand now why everyone carrys water with them in Israel. Seriously everyone carrys watter around!

On the drive back up and North to Jerusalem we desided to go up the Burma Road...intended for jeeps only and sign posted as such. After much intakes of breath and giggles we turned around (the second amazing turn around, I am so very greatful that we didn't go off the edge or get stuck on the cracks in the road!)...we have a priceless video clip of it but as with everything we are needing to download it all.

Monkey needed a wee nap so we headed home for a break. A cuppa on the belcony laughing at all the horns honking on the road was refreshing. We then trekked up to Ben Yehuah and I enjoyed the "descreet skirt shop" a wee bit too much and got two new skirts and blue one and a khaki one. As I brought mainly denim ones these will be great as it is much hotter this time then the last trip during the same time!

We had our first Swarmma for dinner (54 INS=15CAD for all of us to eat!), and no I couldn't figure out how on earth to order a juice so we walked up for Daddy's Cafe Afulla at Sambooki and got strawberry and peach juice for the kids there instead. So yummy, oh yeah and a BOX of pastries for our dinner guests for Shabbat (if we don't eat them first Laurie!)! It is by weight and so delicous. Thank goodness for all the walking otherwise I would be returning to Canada so extra weight not in the suitcase but around my middle!

(as it was we were overweight coming as we thought it was 70 lbs but it is 50 lbs aloud, not sure how we are going to manage coming back!)

Then we walked back home via the grocery store and Magoo and Mummy ran in for breakfast and lunch fixings for tomorrow. Thankfully I found another young Mom (with kids in tow) and she spoke english and was so kind and figured out which butter I wanted (regular, salted, garlic, onion, mixed...).

So now the children are (we think) asleep and we are working on plans for tomorrow. It is so nice to just decide the night before what to do.

God Bless from Yerusaliyim!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shalom on day two!

Hello again, to whomever may be reading this...

We had yet another wonderful day, but then we are in God's land so how could we not? It was much harder to get out of bed this morning. Sprout has developed an evening cough which keeps her and Mummy up and I simply am having a bit of a rough go with the time change. Is it worth it? definately!

This morning breakfast was bowls of "harvest crunch" that we brought over in our suitcases and very sweet apple juice. They grow different varities of apples here and you can certainly tell the difference in the juice. It was a bit of a mad ash to get ready as we had desided the night before to go up North to Haifa to visit the Illegal Immigration and Naval history Museum. The car ride was great, I mean where else in the world can you have a running commentary of Biblical stories based on the view? and the questions from the kids were as usual, ammusing. We saw a flock of pelicans flying from the Med. Sea inland and tried to capture it on video but Mummy had not yet figured out the zoom feature on the camcorder. Lunch was eaten on the way up (Challah rolls with smoked turkey for the boys, the same in pitas for the girls and mini cucumbers and gold fish crakers).

We arrived (thanks to the trusty GPS) only to find that the main exhibit (an actual boat used to bring Jews from pots WW2 Europe to Israel that is beached that you can walk through and see what the living quarters were like) was closed for construction, typical. However the rest of it was good. A highlight for the children was to actually walk into and through an Israeli Sub. and a navy intercept boat. There were many models, a notable one of the Exodus (and if you don't know about that google it!) Ship. Magoo loved climbing up and all over the various caputred terrorist boats and old Israel boats and weapons. It was a great place for the kids and really interessting, espceially for me, was the section on the blockabe and deportation to Cyprus by the British of so many Jews because of the White Paper. Such a sad part in history! But God had stated that the Jews would be back in the Land and so the British were over-ruled by the Highest power!

After a few hours there we loaded back into the car and headed South to Dor/Nacholim where the ancient Tel-Dor is. We were a wee bit too tired to hike up to the actual Tel and so changed into our bathing suits and splashed about, built sand tunnels, exclaimed over a poor spotted crab and collected shells. Sprout was simply adorable and ingenious as she soon was using a shell as a shovel! The sun started to set as we headed back to the car, quickly dried off (as the tempurature was dropping quickly) and sat down for a snack of personal sized cucumbers and oranges.

Get this, we bought a bag of oranges (about 20) for 2.99 INS that is LESS then a dollar! Wow!

It was soon evident to Daddy that we were not going to make it home for dinner as Mummy's head was simply splitting. So we stopped at Zichron Yaakov (which was on our list to do thanks to the Loveridges) and you are going to roll your eyes, had Burger King for dinner....I know pathetic! but everywhere else was more Shekels and it was still an interessting experience as we don't speak Hebrew and the cashier didn't speak English (I got laughed at twice, but that'ws fine). So with some pointing and holding up numbers of fingers we got our supper...such a yummy salad and burger! They always have salad here, so healthy. Then Daddy, who was full of marvolous ideas popped into another cafe for Cafe Afuuk (upside down coffee = cappuchino) and chocolate stuffed crossants. Wow were those good.

So there we are standing at the front of the car simply swooning while eating these pastries and I look over and Sprout is sucking on her thumb, not unusual...and her hands are covered, COVERED in black oil from the tire of the car next to us. We're eating chocolate and she is eating car grease, great! Purelle saved the day, and wet wipes which we are thinking we should have brought 3 packs instead of 2, but I digress.

The rest of the drive was uneventful, other then a bit slow going on the way up to Yerusaliyim and we figured "great some so called important person is visiting so they are checking all the cars" which by the way does happen as last time we were going the other way and it was lined up for miles because Condalessa Rice was visiting, blah. But it was just a car bump, how boring.

Now the Goons are tucked into bed. Princess dreaming Gravol dreams again (she is finding it hard) and are planning out tomorrows great adventures.

We plan on going to the Elah Fortress,

great article on the importance of the site.

Until tomorrow then, God Bless and Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.

Monday, November 09, 2009


What a wonderful and very full day we have had today. This morning we enjoyed a slower pace and set out first thing for the grocery store, enjoying the walk and then really enjoying the lovely creamy yojurt and bananas. At that point it was desided that Sprout really needed a nap! Lunch was lovely doughy fresh pita and Challah buns with with poppy seeds, onto which we sliced tomatoes (which tasted so fresh as from a garden) cheese (which we think was a variation of Havarti) or turkey and iceburg letuce. The best part of lunch were those mini cucumbers so crisp and sweet! Well, that and the humus!

After lunch we put on our walking shoes and ventured up toe the Old City. Such a beautiful walk through the most stunning park we've seen. The lushness of the bougenvillea vines, the old and knarled olive trees, the roses bushs and fragrent evergreen bushes, everything was just perfect especially the views up to the old city. We also walked past the famous Windmill and through that area which has been inhabited by Jews since the 1870s.

After asking for some directions in the park (as the map showing roads were not infact real roads) we made our way up to the Jafo Gate instead of the Zion Gate as had been planned since we were on that side of the valley. Both Princess and Magoo walked the whole way there and through to the Jewish Quarter.

After entering the Jafo Gate we remembered the narrowness of the sidewalk...and that is only when they exsist! They always disappear when you need them the most, such as going through a tunnel and around a blind corner!

It was refreshingly familiar to walk this route, past the Pizza Carbo where Esther Wiess has that amazing headcovering shop (and no I only looked today, no purchasing!) and stopped in the Hurva Court to enjoy an iced coffee, cappuchino and sprite. Mainly we spent our time today just walking around, enjoying the sites and taking the time and patience to explain the significance and importance of the Broad Wall remains, the remnant of the original city wall from the time of King Solomon, the model of the Menorah, the Pillars from the Roman Period.

After a good chat with Moshe (and promises to come back) we headed down the many, many, MANY stairs to the Kotel.

To me the Kotel signifys all that has been there and also the Hope of the future when once again the Temple will stand, though in a much larger size (it will take up all of the Old City area). I took the girls down because Princess doesn't remember seeing it, and she could not get over the size of the stones.

We spent some time just watching everyone there and then went back UP all those stairs, and yes we were carrying the double stroller with Sprout in it the whole time.

Poor Princess got a blister from her crocs so she was allowed in the stroller from the Kotel on (excluding the steps) and good 'ol Magoo walked all the way back explaining to Mummy all the differences between Israel and Canada....this taking, in his absent minded professer way, nearly the whole walk home until we turned off of Ramban/Argon and headed down to our lil road.

Now the children and tucked in for the night, Sprout having excepted this as home for now, with their tummies full of chicken, rice and salad.

We are going to have our memorial here in Yerusaliyim and then tuck in as well! Our feet certainly deserve a rest and we must get up early for our next adventures.

God Bless and hopefully we will have an update for you again tomorrow.

In the Hope of Israe!
(ps: pictures to follow, and the spell check is not working, sorry!)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Shalom from Yerushalylim

The 11 hour plane ride went resonably well. The children went to bed at 4 30 and we woke them at 715pm to go to the airport. Expecting them to sleep in the car turned out to be hilarious, of course they were as excited as we were. Thankfully Dave drove with us so that we didn't have to pay to park the car for over two weeks! You won't believe it but we all fit in the Mazda 5 AND 2 strollers (a double umbrella thanks fo Ashley) and a regular unbrella storller. The children's clothing and the food (rice, pasta, cereal & snacks) and enough diapers for 18 days and wipes all fit into one medium bright purple suitcase we borrowed and our clothes, reference books and scrapbook stuff all fit in our usual suitcase. Then we had 5 backpacks.

The two older ones finally fell asleep about 2 hours into the planr ride, Sprout was off and on. She'd sleep for an hour, then wake up, then sleep for an hour the wake up...finally sleeping for a total of about 4 hours in between play time on Mummy's lap. We were so glad to have packed many little bags of different toys as they all came in handy with her. She finally got fed up after we entered Israeli airspcace, but it was too late for her to get up! They have a security code that no one is aloud out of their seats once in their area, so there was a mad dash to re-pack carryons and such as we were only given a 15 minute warning.

Seeing the lights as we approached for landing literally brought tears into my eyes, strugglying to keep my composer to explain to Magoo what we were seeing.

What a blessing it is to be back here. G-d is so good to us.

Well that is all for now, we need milk for the ceareal we brought so off for our first adventure, grocery shopping in Hebrew with no-one here to help! Oy!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A Wee Look at our Homeschooling Days:

Magoo's work done for the day!

LOTS of time for Legos

Our pathetic Brussel sprout harvest, oh well less to blanch and freeze before Sat!

Time to get out the mittens and hats from the winter dresser in the basement (such a good organization trick)

3 Goons battling for more space at the chalkboard!

Monday, November 02, 2009

10:16 am

That is what my body is telling me it is right now, though the clock on the computer screen reads 8:16am. We have been waking up at 7 (in reality it is 5) and I can tell that the kids have made this switch fine, it is the parents that are struggling! Five more hours of time changing to do, and in reality that simply is not going to happen, so we are aiming for another hour changed and then we would be just about half way there. Really the sunrise is spectacular.

The hardest aspect of this week is the cabin fever. Magoo is doing well with his homeschooling, and seems content to spend the days inside at home (too cold outside as it would trigger his asthma) I on the other hand am going stir crazy mad!

Oh well, it is all for a great cause and we only have 5 days left! This morning Magoo was bugging me to "pack up the adult things" since the children's clothing is all set aside and ready to be put into bags and suitcases.

The Husband's new toy arrived last night, a mini camcorder to record our visit to Israel this time. He was very excited, and recorded us trying to wake up this morning, the the children gleefully recounting that "it's five o'clock Daddy, five o'clock!"

well I'm off to work on the workbook for Apps Mill, yet another job to get done before we leave!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

10 days

WOW! in only 10 days we will (God willing) be flying off to Israel with the three Goons. Lists are being made, and changed...and changed again. Clothing is being put aside as it comes out of the wash. Dreams of places to visit are making their ways to the forefront on our brains....and in all this there is a nasty cold going around school so Magoo is now being home schooled until we leave, in total 4 weeks (while we are away as well).

So today was hospital tests, no word really on that, and our first at home day. Magoo was so dedicated and managed to get 2 days work done in math & English so we were able to go to Apps Mill for a lovely 1.5 hour hike. The rest of the day was spent helping a friend on a history diorama...such fun.
Now I am off to get more done, prepare for school work tomorrow and semi-transform the dining room into a home schooling where did we put that chalk board we got 2 yrs ago that I knew would come in handy!

Oh and heads up we will be blogging while in Israel so stay tuned!

Friday, October 23, 2009

What a wonderful-gut day we are having here today. Rain streaming down the windows and creeping under the back door (yet another job) highlights the warmth and cozy feeling of being inside and home. We've been struggling with the whole "home schooling" Fridays, even thought we love them, they seem to run away on us! However after a few weeks, well I suppose 2 months at it, finally it is all coming together seamlessly. Here is how we have found the day works best for us:

8 - wave bye-bye to Daddy

8-830 play time while Mummy drinks a cuppa, set the table, prepare something special (pancakes, fruit bowls with yogurt, eggs, etc)

8:30 eat breakfast & get dressed

9:30 start school work. Usually 5 pages of math & English for Magoo, Princess is working on her letter writing and recognition, Sprout scribbles happily on a pad of paper
(at the same time Mummy makes the 2nd weekly batch of bread and pops it into the oven to rise)

10:30 Story time (length varies as to when work is completed)

11 a quick library visit

12 eat lunch, turn on the oven to bake the bread (use timer to turn it off as we will be out), gather piano books

12:40 leave for piano

1 Magoo's piano lesson (sometimes the "ladies" take tea at a local shop, or hang out in the car like today while Sprout sleeps)

2 arrive home, "nap time" which consists of Mummy ignoring the gleeful sounds descending the stairs from the children's rooms ... for as long as I can stand...20-30 minutes.

3 Baking of important and essential items such as chocolate cookies, gooey bars, tarts!

3:30 or 4ish Tea Time starts as the first batch of the above comes out the oven, "Pippy Long stocking" always Joins us from Sweden (from Grandpa B.and Grandma C...which if you are reading they LOVE!)

5 freak out dinner isn't ready......through something yummy together

6 Daddy gets home, dinner is served

7 Daily Bible readings as a family (one chapter, questions, books brought off the shelves to show the kids...pictionary!)

7:45 Bed time

8 Bible Tape Class starts

11:30 ish Mummy falls into bed!

(Have I mentioned how much we simply adore Fridays!)