This morning, we let Ariella play hooky from gan and took the kids into Jerusalem to the Kotel. We parked near the Dan Pearl, and the kids walked all the way through Shaar Yafo, past that sketchy Arab part, then through the "maze" of the rova and down the stairs to the kotel. Donny and I stayed in the car and napped. Ha ha! No, we actually went with them. Ariella was very into writing a note and sticking it in the wall. She also wanted to know when "instruction" (i.e. construction) would begin for the third Beit HaMikdash, and would people be allowed to daven at the kotel during "instruction?" Ariella and I went as close to the Kotel as possible and said "Shema" and "HaTikva" because we are both Jewish and Israeli. She wrote a note which said, "Dear Hashem, Thank you for good food. I like blintzes. Thanks for making good food. Love, Ariella and Yaakov." She spent a long time trying to find a good "hole" for her note. She decided not to ask God for anything, because, "She might take a really long time to give it to you." (Yes, Ariella consistently refers to God in the feminine.) So she settled for giving thanks. She finally found a proper hole for her note, and then we walked backwards away from the Kotel. We met the boys, and then headed back to the car. The way back was longer, mainly because there were some tired and cranky children (I will not mention names), who insisted on being held, and whined for a good portion of the walk back. We made it back to the car, and then attempted to drive to Kiryat Moshe, where Donny's uncle lives. We stopped at 2 bakeries on the way back, and in true Israeli style, the best bakery was the hole in the wall one - awesome ruglach, (not that I would know. ..) In Kiryat Moshe, Uncle David met us and led us to where Donny's grandfather and his wife live. They recently moved to a retirement home near Shaarei Tzedek. People, let me tell you, sign up now - this place was gorgeous! Fancy lobby, pool, shuls, near tons of shopping and eating places. You have to be at least 60 to move in. Donny's already counting down - only 29 years left! We had a nice, but short, visit with Zaidy and Sonia, and then headed back to Modi'in. The highlight of the afternoon was Ariella getting to "sponga" the mirpeset. The mirpeset has its own faucet, so she and Donny let the water rip and squeegeed all of it down the drain. Very efficient. I had the more boring job of actually cleaning the rest of the apartment. Meanwhile, poor Yaakov slipped 3 times on the wet floor! Ever since he broke his leg, I panic when he falls. But once I see that he can stand, I'm like, "Oh, get over it, you're fine." Now we are preparing for our 2nd Shabbos at home. Last night I attempted to organize the toys a little - the living room set-up is not ideal for our couches and toys, so the toys were stuffed in the back and the kids couldn't get to them, leading them to fight over the 2 available toys, leading to crying, hair pulling, and shouting (all me). Last night, I started the cleaning by repurposing a big Rubbermaid container. It was being utilized for the all-important function of holding a bent wire hanger and a capusule of Zyrtec. I threw those out and put the art supplies in it, then reorganized the living room. The peace and calm that is my living room now will last about 3.5 seconds, but I will enjoy every nanosecond of those seconds. I am very impressed with how far we have come in 3 weeks: We have a relatively clean apartment, there is homemade chicken soup (which may or may not be edible), chicken, cholent, the infamous carrot kugel and some rice which I realize I have not made yet so maybe I should go do that now. Shabbat Shalom!