February 21, 2004

Settling In

We are feeling more settled in our apartment. We have a routine now (Scott goes to work; Tiffany, Tyler and Brooke stay home). We will feel even more settled when our stuff arrives, hopefully this week. It passed customs inspection on Thursday. Every day Tyler looks out the window for the moving van.

Tiffany and Scott have also been taking Hebrew lessons. It has been a challenge just to get through the alphabet, but we are starting to understand a few words here and there. Tyler said, "woof," when the Hebrew teacher taught Tiffany the word, "dag," which means fish. We learned the word, "bouba," which means doll, early on because that is what everyone calls Brooke when we go out.

Panoramic picture of our apartment. Click and drag to move around.
Click here if the above link doesn't work.

This week Tiffany and Scott celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary. We all went to a French restaurant called Hashmura-1872. The food was excellent. We had goat cheese puff pastries, peppercorn steak, and of course we finished the meal with creme brulee. Tyler and Brooke behaved very well, so it even felt a little like a date. Maybe by next year we will have found a babysitter.

Happy Anniversary

Pink and Blue

In the picture below, you will see a pomelo. It is one of our favorite fruits. It is supposedly the ancestor of the grapefruit. To eat one, you have to peel the thick but soft rind, and then pull the fruit off the membrane. It seems almost dry compared to a grapefruit and is tangy and sweet.

A pomelo - one of our favorite fruits

On Friday, our "Saturday," we took Tyler to a big park next to the zoo. Tyler was a little nervous at first around the playground equipment, but warmed up to the slides. That night, we went to dinner at Scott's manager's house. He has two boys, one about Tyler's age. Dinner was very good and Tyler loved all their toys. Ever since, Tyler has been asking to go back. He just wants to play with the toys; he could care less about the boy his age.

Tyler at the park

A submarine through the telescope

Posted by sjbowden at 8:12 PM

February 15, 2004

Momentous occasion

Attention please! Brooke, age 4 and 1/2 months, on this date did hereby roll from her tummy to her back!

Brooke rolling

Posted by sjbowden at 8:07 PM

February 14, 2004

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

What a week!

On Wednesday, Tiffany and Tyler felt the apartment building sway from side to side (we are on the 14th floor). Our apartment building feels pretty solid, so it was very unexpected. Tyler said, "What WAS that mommy?" We had an earthquake. It was about 5 on the Richter scale and centered about 100 miles away from us at the northern edge of the Dead Sea. Scott was in a basement of Intel, so he just felt some vibrations. Tiffany's mother made us promise that we wouldn't have any more earthquakes. We will try our best not to.

On Friday, we had a Branch activity. We went to the church building and had a lesson, played games, had dinner, and the children danced. You can see in the pictures that Tyler was a hit with the girls.

Tyler and Eliana

Tyler dancing with Uliya

Also on Friday we learned that our shipment from the U.S. arrived in Israel. The shipping company called and apologized because some miscommunications had delayed the shipment significantly. They even offered to reimburse us for expenses that we had due to the late arrival of the shipment. Now we just have to wait for customs to process our shipment which could take 5 to 14 days.

We wondered why we hadn't received any mail forwarded from Portland, so Scott contacted the mail forwarder. The bank had declined our credit card (that is a whole other story) and so the mail forwarder was just waiting for us to call them. Hopefully we don't have any important bills coming. Don't worry our credit is fine, our bank just assumed that our card must have been stolen since there were numerous charges in Israel.

We were driving in the car the other day and Brooke was babbling. Tyler said, "Brooke is talking to me in Hebrew." We thought that was pretty funny. We wish it were true, our Hebrew vocabulary is pretty small. We are taking lessons, so that should improve soon.

On Saturday morning we got up and discovered water all over the family room floor. Scott looked out the sliding glass door and saw 2-3 inches of water on our balcony. The drain had gotten clogged, not a good thing during the rainy season. Scott had to open the door to go out and clean the drain, letting in even more water. Thank goodness for tile floors.

We are having lots of fun (we opened a bank account, Tiffany started driving in Israel and we have been to the mall), eating lots of good food (pita, hummus, schnitzel, and shawarma) and enjoying the sites (Sea of Galilee, Haifa and the view from our apartment).

This way to Nazareth (note also the Israeli stop sign)

Tugboat tugging a container ship

Posted by sjbowden at 8:34 PM

February 7, 2004

Still settling in

Well, another week has gone by. We were disappointed to learn that our shipment from home has not arrived in Israel, even though it had been scheduled to. Scott got a phone call from the airline in Amsterdam, who asked him security questions about the shipment. Apparently the shipment has gotten bumped a couple of times and as of Thursday was sitting in a cargo warehouse in Amsterdam. We are doing fine but are anxious for books for Scott, scrapbook stuff for Tiffany, toys for Tyler and baby items for Brooke.

Scott was asked to teach the youth seminary class every other Sunday. Tiffany will be teaching nursery. Last week our talks went well, we just did prepare enough and so we finished a little early. Today, like every fast Sunday, the Spanish "twig" met with our branch. The meeting today was translated into English, Spanish, Russian and Hebrew. However, most of the meeting was only in three languages, as everyone else in the congregation speaks at least two of the four.

Tyler was invited to a birthday party for the daughter of one of Scott's co-workers. They are a family from Costa Rica who are also here on relocation. It was fun to meet with Scott's co-workers and their families. There was a whole lot of Spanish, some English and a little bit of Hebrew. Tyler loved his ice cream cone and was very excited that his party favors included a "razor," or as we would call it, an eraser.

Birthday party

Brooke has been sleeping for nine hours, at night even, for the past week! We hope it is a trend. She also has a play-mat so that we can set her down to play. It is a good thing that Toys R'Us is in Israel. With how wiggly she is now, we have been nervous about setting her on the couch.

Tyler and Brooke on their playmats

We learned a new way to turn the power off in our apartment. We just need to use the oven for a couple of hours. The brownies we were trying to bake shouldn't have taken that long; we just had a hard time figuring out the oven. The brownies tasted good, we just had to eat the part between the crispy edge and the gooey middle.

Tiffany and Scott had their first Hebrew lessons this week. Tiffany's was here at our apartment and Scott's was at work. We now know how to write and read the first few letters of the Hebrew alphabet, but only in script, not printing. Fortunately, the first two letters were easy to remember: aleph and bet = alphabet.

Tyler's green car

The moon through our telescope

Posted by sjbowden at 9:21 PM