First of all, a shout-out to a "loyal but silent" reader. Shoshi, don't worry, I won't give away your identity here, but I thank you very much for your email and it's good to know that you're out there. I am touched that I am now Shoshi's premier internet time-wasting activity, not that I would share that.
Another shout-out to my good friend Jenny Sassoon. The Sassoons were here for Shabbat (more on that later) and it turns out that Jenny has a blog as well! We're like twins! However, there is one minor difference. Jenny's blog actually has a purpose, and she intends to do good in the world through it. Ok, maybe more like distant cousins. Anyway, Jenny is a life coach (and a very good one at that since I shamlessly take advantage of our friendship to get her advice) so if you know anyone who needs some life coaching, or if you're in need of some yourself, head over to Jenny's blog at http://getrealcoaching.blogspot.com/.
On Thursday, we had a pretty normal ulpan/gan day. Apparently there is some massive stomach bug afflicting all the gans throughout Israel. On Wednesday the teachers warned me that it was going around; Yaakov hadn't eaten his yogurt at snack time and they found this an ominous sign. They said to keep an eye out because he might come down with the bug. I figured it wouldn't be too hard to "keep an eye out" seeing as it's sort of hard to miss your kid puking all over the place. Anyway, Thursday morning, I rang the bell at gan and it was like I was thrown back to the Middle Ages in the time of the plague. They opened the door a crack and looked us up and down. You can almost hear what in my mind is John Cleese's voice saying shrilly, "Hath he the signs of the plague?" What they actually said was, "Has he been vomiting? Diarrhea?" When the answer to both was negative, they opened the door wide and welcomed him in with open arms and a big smile. Ophira, the ganenet, had a list of all the kids who were blacklisted from gan until their stomach virus was gone. Phew! However, though we seemed to have dodged the bullet for now, I'm sure, as they say here it's "Rak inyan shel zman" until this comes to YOUR house. Oy.
Later in the day, Ariella and I went shopping. At the checkout line, the woman tried to pressure me into getting the Supersol credit card. She was explaining how the diapers I bought would have been so much cheaper on the credit card. Hmmm, I started to think, maybe it IS a good idea! No, no, don't do it! said another voice (which sounded suspiciously like Donny's). You'll regret it! They'll charge you fees! Say no, say no! So I said no, repeatedly and she eventually gave up, but only because I had put all my bags in the cart and was fleeing out the door.
Thursday night "the grownups" aka Momz, Dadz, Leezy (who, for clarification purposes, is NOT the same person as "Lisa"), Elie, and Donny and me - went out to eat at an excellent restaurant called Buffalo in Jersualem. First, Donny and I had to make a shiva call - Donny's grandfather, who lives in Jerusalem in the awesome retirement home, lost his brother, who lived in Baltimore. So we went to see Zaidy and Sonia and heard some interesting stories from Zaidy's past. Afterward, we went out to the restaurant. Since Momz, Dadz, and Leezy got lost, Donny, Elie and I took the liberty of ordering some food "for the table" while we waited. Nothing like eating while you're waiting to eat. Anyway, the whole party eventually made its way to the restaurant, we ate good food, and general merriment was had by all. The kids were with their favorite Israel babysitter, Melanie, so we knew all was well on the homefront.
Friday we prepared for our Shabbat guests - Robbie & Jenny Sassoon, along with Noam, Tehila, and Hadassah. They arrived by bus Friday afternoon (remember, they are REAL Israelis) and Donny picked them up from the bus stop. We had a most wonderful reunion Shabbat. Ariella and Noam were so happy to be together again, and the 4 "big" kids came up with this really creative game which involved taking our big green snake, straddling it like a broomstick, and running in circles around the house, singing "Mi rotzah rakevet! Mi rotzah rakevet!." This usually ended in Yaakov crying. Poor kid. It's not easy being the littlest and slowest. Don't worry, he made up for it by knocking down their block towers. Anyway, I can't stress enough how wonderful, amazing, fun, enjoyable, and super our Shabbat was. Even if I would write it in bold - wonderful, amazing, fun, enjoyable, super - it would be hard to convey the wonderful-amazing-fun-enjoyable-super-ness of it all. We are looking forward to the next installment of the Rose-Sassoon Chavayot.
Saturday night Momz and Dadz came over for some of Donny's homemade pizza (which is why, Laurie, I was unable to post until tonight.) We hung out for a while, because it takes Donny a REALLY long time to make that pizza. After eating, the 'rents said goodbye to Donny and headed back to Bet Shemesh.
Today was our final get-together with Momz and Dadz. I picked up Yaakov a little early from gan, when Ariella got out, and the three of us headed over to Bet Shemesh to Leezy's. First, the men - Yaakov, Netanel, and Dadz - napped. After they finished their beauty rest, we headed over to this little park right outside of Bet Shemesh. Netanel played in dirt, Dadz, Leezy, and I played on the swings, and Yaakov and Ariella ran around in circles ("running around in circles" is a recurring theme.) We went back to Leezy's, ordered Burgers' Bar for dinner, and then said goodbye to Momz and Dadz/Bubby and Zaidy. (There were tears.) Don't worry, May's right around the corner, folks! Think about it this way - this gives me 6 months to buy stuff for Momz and Dadz to put in their suitcases!
At the playground, Dadz found a very large, smooth, and heavy rock. This being in Israel, we wondered if this was a historical rock. Perhaps, as Leezy thought, it was the very rock on which Yaakov laid his head down and slept. (Yaakov Avinu, not Yaakov Lev, who is rarely caught sleeping on anything.) Or, mayhaps it was the rock with which David slew Goliath. This brings us to the Poofah section of our blog. How many famous rocks, biblical or otherwise, can you come up with? Feel free to post often in the "Comments" section. Each response is worth 30 NPs. (NPs are "New Poofahs" - Donny felt there was massive poofah inflation, so we have now converted the poofah system to New Poofahs. Each NP is worth 100,000 old poofahs. Dadz, a Certified Public Poofah Accountant, can help you figure out your net worth in poofahs.)
Also, you may have noticed that the Minister of Polls has put up a new poll. The results of our previous poll indicate that GILA PASSED HER DRIVING TEST although we're not sure about you folks out there who voted for "predictably" aka "Donny's dancing at the Microsoft day of fun predictably put everyone to shame." Maybe it's because you've never seen Donny get down and boogie. We'll let it go this time. Anyway, if you are a loyal but silent reader like Shoshi, be sure to get out YOUR vote.