Our Last Yom Kippur in Israel

Today Israel celebrated the holiday of "Yom Kippur", the Jewish day of atonement and the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.  One of the most interesting things about living in Israel is being here for this holiday as it's the only place in the world where the entire country shuts down for about 24 hours--that includes all stores, airports, television stations and radio broadcasts.  The streets are completely empty as no cars are allowed on the roads, with the exception of emergency vehicles, and because of this, Yom Kippur has become known as the "Bicycle Holiday". 

With this being our last Yom Kippur in Israel, we wanted to live it up and take advantage of this one-of-a-kind holiday.  We headed out onto the highway with our friends Stan and Rachel and thier kids early in the morning and joined the many others already on the roads.


 "Where'd Daddy go?"

 We rode on the highway to the exit south of ours and took a break to play on the hill.

Jonathan was practicing his somersaults before the whole crew joined in....

Boys will be boys....


Yes, that's a parked car. 

We all had a great time!  Kaitlyn was a rock star having pedaled for a total of about 2.3 miles without a single compliant.  We were shocked with how well she did considering she doesn't usually have an interest in riding her bike and when she does, she usually complains about the slightest incline.  Today, she rode up the on-ramp all by herself without a single peep.  Enjoyable experience that we'll miss once we're gone.


First Day of Preschool

We just got home from dropping Kaitlyn off at her first day of preschool.  It went surprisingly well (for Kaitlyn and for Mommy and Daddy).  She's been very excited about school and she came running into our room this morning saying she wanted to get dressed for school.  As expected, once we got there she held on to Daddy's hand a little tighter than normal.  She was happy to see her friend Amelie in her class and got to coloring.  Once her teacher (Miss Emma) was able to take Kaitlyn's hand and guide her in the classroom, the teacher waved us back indicating it was a good time for us to leave.  Sigh.  We didn't get to say goodbye or "don't worry, we'll be back in a couple of hours", etc., but I'm sure it was for the best.  Now we're counting down the minutes until we pick up her up at 1pm. 

As we drove away from the school, Jonathan kept asking for Kaitlyn.  Since we've been home he's been enjoying having ALL the toys to himself. :)


Kaitlyn's 3rd Year Slideshow

I realize I'm 6 months late, but I FINALLY finished Kaitlyn's 3rd Year slideshow!  Woohoo!
Check out her two previous year here:
Kaitlyn's 1st Year slideshow
Kaitlyn's 2nd Year slideshow
How did she get so big, so fast??


Monkey Girl

Kaitlyn has always been a little monkey and as she's gotten older, her skills have gotten more impressive.  Here are some recent examples:


Little Fishies

We've been spending quite a bit more time at the pool as the days have gotten hotter.  Much like last year, Kaitlyn was not interested in actually swimming, she just wanted to play and splash on the steps.  As much as we'd encourage her and remind her that she knew how to swim, she wasn't having it.  One morning at the pool, as she protested our requests to practice swimming, some of her friends started arriving at the pool.  Once a few of them jumped in and started swimming, she hopped out of the pool, grabbed her goggles and quickly swam to Daddy.  She just needed to decide on her own when she was ready...and have an audience, apparently.  And since then she hasn't stopped!
We've been working on teaching her to tread water so she can come up for air and she's starting to get it.

Jonathan has also been getting more and more comfortable in the water:

(The screaming you hear in the below video is not Jonathan.)


Bye Bye Baby

Jonathan has recently gone from being an absolute saint at bedtime to screaming like a mad child when it's time for him to go to bed.  He's fine until it's time to actually lay in the crib.  To top that off, this has been happening more often...
Last night I must have put him back in bed about 15 times (while he threw a fit) until he decided he wanted to lay on the floor.  He ended up falling asleep there and we put him in the crib later when we were going to bed.  We thought maybe he was just upset about being confined to the crib, so tonight the kids helped Ron take apart the crib. *sniff*
Almost ready...
 Once it was all done, he wanted nothing to do with the bed and wouldn't even get into it for a picture.
Bedtime was just as difficult tonight and he's currently on the floor again.  Whatever makes him happy!  Hopefully, he'll get over this phase soon. 

I just can't believe we're done with cribs already!  :(


Things I'm Loving Lately

It's been a while since I've done one of these "Things I'm Loving Lately" kind of posts.  Here are some things I'm loving lately:

Mumford & Sons
I don't remember when I very first heard of this British folk rock band, but about a month ago I read an article that they were performing at the White House for the state dinner in honor of the visiting British Prime Minister, David Cameron.  When I read the article, I realized I had heard the name before, but had never heard their music.  Then a few days later someone posted a video of one of their performances at the SXSW Festival.  I watched the video then went to iTunes and YouTube to hear some more of their songs.  And then I was hooked.  I downloaded their album and have been listening to it non-stop since---much to the annoyance of Ron.  This was the song/performance that sucked me in:

I can't listen to this song (or the album for that matter) without tapping my feet, drumming my fingers and wishing I could play the banjo.  Ok, not so much the last one, but these guys rock. Here's another favorite of mine from the album. 

I might be a little obsessed.  I would LOVE to see them live!

Up All Night
We got this show much later than when it began airing in the States so we're a bit behind on the episodes, but this show is hi-larious!  Super funny cast, great writing..love it!

Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected by Kelle Hampton
I'm not even 1/4 of the way through this book, but I love it already.  I was probably crying within the first couple of paragraphs.  I have been following Kelle's blog for a couple of years now and upon discovering it, she quickly turned into my favorite blogger.  I always look forward to reading her posts.  She inspires me to be a better mom, a better friend and to live life to the fullest.  The book tells the story of the day she happily went to the hospital to give birth to her 2nd "perfect" child, but when Nella was born they discovered she had Down Syndrome.  She beautifully tells the story and how this moment changed her life forever.  Kelle's zest for life can sometimes seem a little over-the-top, but you can't help but be moved by her cheerfulness and her expertise at Enjoying the Small Things.

I know there's more, but can't think of them now.  If I think of them, I guess they'll make it into the next post.  What are you loving lately??


Dairy Farmers for a Day

The day after we went to the Soreq Cave, we joined a group from the embassy for a day at a dairy farm.  When we arrived, the kids gathered grass.

...and fed the bunnies.

Jonathan really like this little guy.  Once the bunnies were full, we got to go into his pen and get a closer look.
At first, Kaitlyn didn't want to go near him, but after seeing all the kids around him she finally gave him a chance. 

Next, we prepared bottles so we could feed the baby cows.

This calf was a bit aggressive.  He pulled the bottle out of our hands.

The second calf we fed was much calmer so Kaitlyn bravely gave him the bottle. 

Once all the calves were fed, the "Farmer" asked Kaitlyn to help him.  Without skipping a beat, she went right along with him.
The kids paid close attention as he explained that we'd be making chocolate milk and butter. Yummy!
 Jonathan got to help skim the fat from the milk for the butter.
 He was quite proud of himself.

Kaitlyn helped mix the chocolate milk.
Then had a taste...delicious!
She shared with her brother.
Then he realized he needed his own cup.  Smart boy!
Jonathan found a little girlfriend for the day.  This is Naomi.  Isn't her outfit adorable??
She gets all of Kaitlyn's hand-me-downs and she just happened to be wearing one of Kaitlyn's old outfits this day.  :) They held hands all afternoon. It was pretty darn cute.
We ended the day with a picnic in the nearby nature reserve.

The kids had a great time and it was quite a fun experience.
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