Welcome to Loyal Reader #45 Lanie "Time to Update My Blog" Kellman!
Cheryl, I don't think my own brother even reads my blog (sniff, sniff). He is a rabbi now, with many more important things to do. For instance, I hear he's planning to turn the walls of the shul into a giant "Magic Eye" mural! (For all of you KJBS members: Just kidding! At least I think.)
To my good friends MomzRealDaughters: Mazel tov on the birth/bris! May he grow up to Torah, Chuppah, Maasim Tovim, and Loyal Readership! (Though not necessarily in that order.)
OneTiredEma: We are so very sorry that we are not home this week to welcome you properly to Modi'in. Please accept this, on behalf of myself and Baila:
Welcome to Modi'in!!! Yay!!!
Well, I am sending my first Dispatch from the Kinneret:
First, I will start with a funny Ariella story. On Shabbos, as I planning to take my usually unsuccessful Couch Nap (unsuccessful because it is a delicate balancing act between making sure they don't fight, but also don't sleep, which means that I usually don't sleep), I warned them very explicitly that for the next half hour - I have low standards - they were not allowed to either fight or fall asleep. However, what I did not say was, "You are also not permitted to wake me up in order to ask random irrelevant questions." At 12:50 I put my head down on the couch. At 1:10 I heard that dreaded word, "Mommy?"
Okay, maybe if I ignore it, it'll go away.
"Mommy?" Darn, still there. Close eyes harder. Must reenter realm of semi-consciousness.
"Mommy, I have to ask you a question." Ok, last attempt to ignore Inquisitive Child.
"Mommy, I have to ask you a question." Yes, clearly the reason I am not answering you is because I don't hear you. Good idea to ask again. And again.
"WHAT?" I grumble to Inquisitive Child. "What is sooo important that you had to wake me up? Did you need the number for the ambulance because your arm is falling off? Or is someone here with a suitcase full of cash and you wanted to know if you can accept it? (The answer to that, by the way, is always yes.)"
"Mommy, what ocean did we cross when we came on an airplane to Israel?"
The next day, when Inquisitive Child wanted to know what ocean our lift traveled over to get to Israel, I said, Wait, let me fall asleep so you can WAKE ME UP in order to ask that.
But really, we love her inquisitiveness. Just not when we're sleeping.
So yesterday began our First Vacation in Israel. We are currently in Rosh Pina, at a "tzimmer" which turned out to be a very nice little two bedroom that is clean and cute, with a garden, and THREE cable TVs (ensuring endless discussions of why we can't pause the shows), and a construction lot next door. The construction workers, however, are NOT on vacation, so the noise and action started quite early this morning, much to Yaakov's delight.
Yesterday we stopped at Park Menashe on our way up and made a barbeque, which we generously shared with the local fly population. We got to our tzimmer around 5, at which point the kids parked themselves in front of HOP (the Israeli kids' station) and Donny went out to buy some necessary victuals.
Discuss: Why, with endless TV channels and kids' shows, does Yaakov insist on watching his "Yuval Hamebulbal" video that we brought from home? (And all day today, in the midst of our Fun, he kept asking if it was time to go back and watch Yuval.)
This morning, we went out for breakfast - ahhh, the joys of vacationing in Kosher Country. No more schlepping pots and pans and preparing food and worrying about our next meal while gazing wistfully at the non-Kosher folk who can just eat out anywhere. We then headed out to a water hike at the Kinneret. Yaakov and Ariella were real troopers - they walked the whole time and Yaakov only needed to be held at a few points where the water reached his chin. We looked for fishies and generally enjoyed the wetness of the activity. After, we celebrated our trooper-ness with ice pops. (i.e. lunch)
You're probably thinking, could the day get any better than this? A hike in the water, how cool! But I am here to tell you that it did. We drove a little bit to one of the Kinneret beaches and went swimming. Swimming in the Kinneret ROCKS! (Literally and figuratively). The water was the perfect temperature, and we swam around and experienced merriment for over two hours. I am actually thinking of building a house right in the Kinneret. You see, this was the first two hour stretch we've had in a while where no one said they hated anyone else, called anyone "stupid man," (Yaakov's insult of choice), pulled hair, hit, or caused disturbances of any kind. So I'm thinking, hey if we actually LIVE in the Kinneret, they'll be well-behaved all the time! It's a fool-proof plan!
After the swimming, the kiddies entertained themselves by looking for "smooth" rocks. For Ariella, this trip was especially exciting because she learned a while ago in school about the Kinneret, and how we have to use less water because the lake is getting smaller. She asks all the time: "Is this water from the Kinneret? Is the water we flush from the Kinneret? How about this water that I'm drinking now? And this water?" Then, whenever we mention water conservation, she places the blame for Israel's water crisis squarely on Yaakov's shoulders. "See, Yaakov, it's because you use so much water when you wash your hands. Now there's none left in the Kinneret."
Her impression upon seeing the actual, live, Kinneret waters?
"Mommy," [dubiously] "this sure looks like a lot of water."
We finished our day with some not bad pizza at a local mall here (take that Owings Mills, Towson Town, and Garden State Plaza!)
The one downside is that though the children are exhausted by the end of the day, they express this by forcing their little overtired bodies to stay up very late, alternately playing and fighting, instead of collapsing in their beds and letting us watch a movie and eat popcorn and Milkies. I think it's because our tzimmer, while it does have stunning views of the Kinneret, is not located in the Kinneret. Gotta see what we can do about that.
Ahhh...now they have finally, after much cajoling (us) and crying (them) fallen asleep. Time to take back the TV and watch anything but Yuval HaMebulbal.