Here is our first Israeli Vacation, told in pictures:
while Donny did the Manly Barbeque Thing.
Afterwards we had an intense game of baseball. It was very close, but Yaakov broke it wide open in the seventh.
After arriving in Rosh Pinna, we couldn't wait to get started. However, we made sure to start off every day with a healthy breakfast, usually involving chocolate milk.
(We're proud that the children are developing, if nothing else, good restaurant habits.) They needed the energy for our daily activities, including water hikes
swimming in the Kinneret,
and collecting, sorting, and washing rocks. Especially Yaakov's favorite, the "teensy teensy wocks."
Our days could be exhausting.
especially the day we took a super intense (30 min there, 45 min back) hike to the Hexagonal Pools. (Don't worry, swimming was definitely allowed, although the water was too deep for the kiddies. Donny and I, however, had great fun taking turns swimming to the little waterfall.)
But even during the longest and hottest of hikes, there was always the promise of ARTIK (Hebrew for ice pop) at the end to keep our energy up. During our vacation, ARTIK = LUNCH.
We celebrated our accomplishments with dinner out. Warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream tastes even better after a day of trooper-ing around Israel.
Sadly, though, our vacation had to come to an end. As construction is not yet finished on our house in the Kinneret, we packed up our things and headed back to Modi'in, stopping for one last nutritious meal on the way.
I will end with a Yaakov story:
Those of you who have young children, or who used to have young children, or who were once young children yourselves, understand the dire importance of said young children NOT NAPPING in the car, lest the nap inhibit their ability to fall asleep later. Notwithstanding the fact that our children seem to stay up till the wee hours of the night, nap or no nap, we did NOT want Yaakov falling into a deep car sleep at 4:00 PM. On the first day, as we were driving up and Yaakov was nodding off, we passed a gas station. "GUM!" I exclaimed. Yaakov immediately snapped to attention. So we pulled over and bought the kiddies some gum, a rare treat. And it worked - Yaakov happily chewed away, going through an average of one box an hour, and did not fall asleep. Monday we overdid it - he ended up chewing so much gum throughout the day, that when we needed it to excite him out of his nap, he sleepily mumbled, "Don't want more gum." We then made it an explicit policy that the gum was only to fend off unwanted naps.
Scene: Tuesday night. Donny and I are in our room, reading (Donny) and blogging (me), while we patiently wait for the kiddies to succumb to sleep so we can watch a movie (Slumdog Millionaire.) Ariella has given up the fight and is sound asleep in bed. Yaakov wanders into our room, sucking his thumb and clutching Blue Blanket.
Yaakov: I want gum.
Me: What do you mean?
Yaakov: 'Cuz, 'cuz, 'cuz, 'cuz [he has a bit of a stutter] YOU said I could have some!
Me: What are you talking about?
Yaakov: I'm falling asleep! You said if I got tired I could get gum. So I need gum now!
After picking ourselves off the floor, on which we had been rolling in a fit of hysterical laughter, we gently explained to a very disappointed Yaakov that the gum was only so we wouldn't sleep in the car; we would be more than happy if he fell asleep now.