Trick or Treat!

A couple of weeks ago we took our first trip to the Carmel Markel in Tel Aviv.  We were happy to find pumpkins at one of the produce vendors.  Kaitlyn and Daddy were ready to turn the pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern before we went trick-or-treating Saturday night.  Kaitlyn was super excited about her first pumpkin carving! 

She didn't expect that to be inside.

 Ron drew the first eye and Kaitlyn wanted to do the rest.  She drew the second eye and turned to ask "Is this perfect, Daddy?" :)

 Reaching in to help with the dirty work.

After the pumpkin carving, we got ready for our friends to come over for pizza before the Trick-or-Treat event. 
I made these cute little pudding cups for the big kids.

After everyone was full from pizza, we got the kids in their costumes and headed outside to start collecting candy.
We would have taken more pictures, but it was hectic getting 7 kids dressed and out the door.

The streets were crazy, but the kids had a great time!  Kaitlyn was a lot more tolerant of the crowds than I thought she'd be.  She stuck close with her Buzz Lightyear friend.

Jonathan had a BLAST!  He didn't do any trick-or-treating, but was happy to just freely walk around checking out all of the costumes.  Because he's still not completely steady on his feet, he looked like a true brainless scare crow stumbling around.

We had a great night!  After one more snack, and Kaitlyn taking a moment to check out her loot, the kids were off to bed.

Happy Halloween!

And just a little bonus, this is a project I did with the kids...handprint spiders!


Happy Halloween

The kids are all ready for Halloween.  Festive pajamas and of course, costumes are all ready to go.  Tomorrow night is our trick-or-treating event and we can't wait!

 Kaitlyn wanted to try on Jonathan's costume.  "If I only had a brain."

A long overdue random update post will be coming soon.  I promise!


Kaitlyn's First Camping Trip

This is Ron, my wife allowed me to take the reigns for this blog to document Kaitlyn’s first camping trip. The idea came from a coworker who casually mentioned his thoughts on going camping during the local Rosh Hashana holiday (last Thursday and Friday). After briefly checking into the proposed campsite and gathering initial information, we felt comfortable enough ‘winging’ the rest of it. We both received approval from the spouses to take the kids (wasn’t sure if Michelle would go for it initially, she felt better after checking out the campsite online) and planned to head out Thursday afternoon. Our destination – the Be’erot campground at a national park named Makhtesh Ramon in the Negev, a large desert region in southern Israel.

After packing our bags and checking them twice, Kaitlyn was excited to head outside and wait for our ride.

After a 2.5 hour drive, most of it through desert-style landscape spotted with camels, we arrived at the Makhtesh Ramon visitor's center (makhtesh is hebrew for crater).  This is one of the best locations to view the beauty and grandeur of the large Ramon crater.  We couldn't pass up the opportunity for a memorable daddy/daughter picture.
 Here's part of the northwestern rim of the crater and the road that drops you in.

Not sure where, but our campground is somewhere down there...
A random ibex on the rocks as we were checking out the views.
 We arrived at the campground around 5pm and checked out the area to find the best spot to setup camp.  Once the tent was up, Kaitlyn and her new friends, Hayden & Zev (right to lef), wasted no time making it their new playground.

There were a few options for tent locations, but we preferred the more secluded/private cove rather than the larger communal areas. There were plenty of other kids running around so we knew it wouldn’t be a problem to let the kids run wild.

After the tent was setup and our bags were unpacked, we walked around with the kids for a bit before getting ready for dinner.  The self-starting charcoal ensured a successful fire.
Enjoying the last bit of sun before it set behind the hills.

It was nothing fancy, some hotdogs with a few other side items for dinner.  We'd hoped to roast marshmallows afterwards, but the coals were done and we didn't bring any wood for a fire pit (note to self for next trip).

Kaitlyn had to do everything the big boys were doing, to include sitting on the wall for dinner.
After the kids enjoyed some awesome star gazing, to include seeing a satellite making its way across the nighttime sky (cool for us tech guys), the kids watched Tarzan before bed.  Kaitlyn seemed to be more interested in what her new friends were doing rather than the movie, which she watches regularly at home.
We woke up around 6:15am to a beautiful morning after a comfortable night's sleep.  The weather was perfect, a nice crisp and cool morning somewhere in the low 70s or high 60s.  Michelle and I are normally up early with the kids on a daily basis, the difference is on this morning I was rewarded with an enjoyable sunrise to start the day.

After enjoying a cereal breakfast, we decided to go for a very short hike before breaking camp and heading out to beat the desert heat and rising temperatures. 
Here's the entire Be'erot campground, which includes large bedouin-style tents, thatched roof coverings for multiple tents, and a few small coves.  For just under $10 per night, per person (for kids over 3), the camground had really nice facilities to include showers, bathrooms, and sinks.

 Kaitlyn pointing out our tent once she found it.
A small breakfast was provided in one of the large bedouin tents, but we were a little too early to enjoy it.
Heading home after an enjoyable trip.  Kaitlyn seemed to have a great time and said she's ready to go camping again in the near future.  The facilities were nice enough where I'd have no issues bringing the whole family out for our next camping trip.  Hopefully we'll make it back out before rainy season arrives.

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