July 29, 2004


This past weekend we went to Herziliya, near Tel Aviv. We went out to dinner with our friends, James and Heidi, while a babysitter watched their children and ours. It was great to go out on a date. In preparation, Tyler and Scott got haircuts courtesy of Tiffany.

We recently got some more pictures of us in Petra from our friends. We thought it would be fun to have proof that we rode on camels.

Riding camels in Petra.

In the picture below, Brooke was supposed to be standing unassisted. Unfortunately, by the time we got the camera and turned it on, she had fallen down. It is still a cute picture, but you will have to take our word that she was standing up.

Brooke after standing up.

Joy Boy is a puppet that Tiffany uses when she has Joy School with Tyler. Tyler loves Joy Boy. Below Joy Boy is helping Tyler with some puzzles.

Joy Boy doing puzzles

Here is Tyler's school picture. We took this picture to put on his drawer at school. His drawer is where they keep his diapers and where they put his artwork for us to take home.

Tyler's preschool picture

Tyler is already picking up Hebrew from school. One morning, our building maintenance man asked him (in Hebrew) if he was heading to school and Tyler responded in Hebrew! This was a surprise to us. When we ask Tyler what he did in school, he replies, "I don't know."

Brooke enjoys playing with Tyler's toys. Now that he goes to school in the mornings, she can play with them without the screaming in the background, "She's getting my toys!"

Brooke finding Tyler's stash of Matchbox cars.

Scott has been carpooling with Aaron Nielsen, an Intel relocatee from Oregon. That lets his wife Sarah and their daughter Arwen hang out with Tiffany, Tyler and Brooke. Arwen is 18 months old and loves to play with Tyler. She cries everytime she has to leave. The Nielsens will leave Haifa in September so that their new baby can be born in America.

Arwen and Tyler

We also went out to dinner with the Nielsens this week, but we chose a bad night to do it. Most of the restaurants were closed, but we finally found one that was open. A little while later the police showed up and told the restaurant to close. We finished eating just as the police showed up again to make sure that the restaurant closed. Turns out there is a law that on that particular day that all forms of entertainment must be closed in remembrance of the Roman destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Oops. Next year we'll just stay home.

Scott's group took a morning off of work to have a team building activity. They went bowling. Scott won both games, with scores of 138 and 123. He surprised all of his coworkers and received a toolbox as a prize.


"Family Home Evening room" - The family room.
"It turned on." - Glow in the dark car
"You're talking too loud, I can't hear my music." - to Scott and Tiffany.
"My big people have grandmas." - Making the connection that our mothers are his grandmas.
"Are they going to church with us?" - about the cars pulling jet skis.
"Where is our jet ski? Where is our trailer hitch?" - same as above.
"They are such a good size to take to school." - Matchbox cars.
"I'm the fronter man." - Tyler has to be the first one up the stairs.
"But she's not a baby!" - Tyler was confused that Yaron could have an older sister and not a baby sister like Brooke.

Posted by sjbowden at 9:20 AM

July 20, 2004

Everyday Craziness

We finally made it to our apartment swimming pool. Tyler loved it and we had lots of fun. Afterwards, we barbequed on our balcony.

Even though we live in a rented apartment, we still have things to do around the apartment. This week, Scott replaced the screens of the screen doors because we were afraid that Brooke would go through the weak spots. While we have lived here, Scott has installed light fixtures, sanded doors that scrape on the floor, replaced a lock, replaced a showerhead and rewired light switches.

Brooke moves fast and she goes everywhere! Her favorite place to be is in the middle of Tyler's toys. This irritates him to no end.

Remember anyone else doing this?

If you look closely at the picture below, you can see where Tyler took a bite out of the cone. We told him that he should start at the top in the future.

Tyler's mini cone


Adventures of Tyler (video, may take some time to download)

Here is a picture that we have been saving for a slow week.

Nighttime view out our office window


"Penciling" - Writing with a pencil.
"Tail cars" - Cars with rear spoilers.
"That little building down there, its called a city. We should go to it someday." - Remarking on our view.
"Pajama" - It is not plural because it is one piece.
"Daddy say, 'Of course that's a good idea'" - Putting words in Scott's mouth.
"The boys are going bye-bye. The boys leave and the girls stay home." - Describing how Tyler goes to school and Scott goes to work.
"I have a green tour bus because at the mall they don't have a purple tour bus so I have Tawni's green tour bus." - Describing his new Matchbox car. Tyler's favorite color is purple and his aunt Tawni's is green.
"Thanks for letting me swim in the other swimming pool." - Happy to be swimming in a pool and not at the ocean.
"Our building is turning." - After spinning around and getting dizzy.
"I don't want my pretzels, I want some of Arwen's pretzels." - The grass is always greener ...

Posted by sjbowden at 10:09 PM

July 13, 2004

Travels even farther North

Brooke is standing up. Boy, are we in trouble now. She pulls herself up every chance she gets. She has only fallen once. She can also get around pretty quickly. She spent an afternoon following Tyler around trying to take his Matchbox cars. Watch the video below to see how to crawl on tile floors (no knees!).

Brooke crawling (video, may take some time to download)

I'll be walking soon.

Our friend Allen Hansen, one of the church members here, volunteered to show us around the Golan Heights, the northern most part of the country. Allen is nearly at the end of his military service and had a free weekend. Despite the fact that the Golan Heights is technically disputed territory, it is actually very safe.

We visited Nimrod's fortress first. It is way up north near Syria and Lebanon. It is a 13th century Muslim fortress, despite a tradition that it belonged to Nimrod of the Old Testament.

Nimrod's Fortress

Nimrod's fortress is one the highest places in Israel, 815 meters (2700 feet) above sea level. Don't forget, the lowest place on earth is the Dead Sea, over 400 meters below sea level. Now we have been to the lowest and one of the highest places in Israel.

View from the top

Nimrod's fortress has cool spiral staircases that descend into the mountain. From these rooms there are lookout points and arrow slits.

Spiral staircase

We visited Banias next. It is one of the sources of the Jordan River. There is a an ancient shrine to the Greek god Pan. The location is called Banias because there is no "p" sound in Arabic. Also at Banias are the ruins of Caesarea Phillipi.

Banias stream

Tyler entranced by Banias stream(video, may take some time to download)

On the Sabbath, we had an exciting day. The new missionary couple came to Tiberias. They will be helping support the church members in this area. They are the Powells from Bountiful, Utah. We are thrilled, they will be a big help to our little branch. A new family came to church as well. They are also here on relocation for Intel from Portland. We were glad to meet them, they even have an 18 month old daughter for our nursery class. We are glad to have new friends living near us in Haifa. After our church meetings we had our monthly potluck dinner.

The other big news this week is that Tyler started pre-school. Tiffany is pretty reluctant to have him go, but at the same time is excited to have a break. It is half-day, every weekday. So far he hasn't been without Tiffany there at least part of time because we are easing him into it. He has already painted, held a hamster and watered a flower garden. He likes his new friends, but he mostly likes the new toys.


"I have a tour bus like outside would have." - After choosing a Matchbox bus.
"She has a little mouth, that means a little spoon and a little bowl." - Watching Brooke eat.
"I didn't wake up the neighbors and screamed loudly, I screamed softly." - Explaining his actions at 7 a.m.
"Actually ..." - When he wants to emphasize something.

Posted by sjbowden at 10:28 PM

July 6, 2004

Travels in the North

We had fun visiting the northern coast of Israel this week. We had hoped that it would be cooler, but we were disappointed in that hope. One of the attractions was visiting the third and (we think) final cable car in Israel. Tyler was thrilled to ride in the cable car, but he wanted to ride in an orange cable car. Unfortunately, there were only yellow and red cars.

Rosh HaNiqra view

A cable car at Rosh HaNiqra

Rosh HaNiqra is right on the border with Lebanon. The cable car takes you down over the white chalk cliffs to caves right at sea level. We watched a video about the history of the caves, walked through the caves and ran into a large group of Jewish girls from the United States on an "Experience Israel" tour. They reminded us of LDS Young Women at Girls Camp. They asked us if we knew the Hebrew word for banana. It's "banana."

The cliffs

In the caves

After we left the caves we bought ice cream from the conveniently located stand. They had a lot of business. We then went to Qeshet cave, also on the Lebanon border, but higher up in the mountains. You will notice from the picture that it does not look like a cave. It used to be a cave, but now all that is left is an arch. Note a key difference between the US and Israel: no railings. Don't worry, this picture was as close as we got.

Qeshet cave

We also visited Ahziv beach nearby. It had some Phoenician ruins. It was too hot to play on the playground equipment so we left.

Tyler was invited to another birthday party this past weekend. Scott's manager's son had a party at a place like Gymboree. At first, Tyler wasn't thrilled with the clown. It was the only fire-breathing clown we have seen at a child's birthday party. Tyler warmed up to the clown when the clown started passing out bouncy balls. Since it was our first Israeli birthday party, we enjoyed the traditions. One tradition is to sing a song called "Where's the Cake?" Another is to lift the birthday child up in the air on a chair as many times as they are old.

Tyler loved the play area. He loved driving the motorhome, baking balls in the motorhome oven and climbing on everything. Tyler had so much fun that we stayed until the place closed. Tyler cried on the way out.

Motorhome driver

Brooke also enjoyed the party. At the beginning she slept through all the kids yelling and screaming because she was so tired. She loved the ball pit. She reminded us of Tyler at her age.

Fun in the ball pit

Brooke can almost pull herself up to a standing postion, especially with the help of her piano or her crib slats. We're starting to worry that she'll walk before she crawls. Easier on the knees though.

She will be walking soon


"Her brother" - Tyler's latest reference to himself.
"You forgot to say yes" - That's because Tiffany said no.
"The wind keeps blowing me down." - Yeah right.
"I want the phone to ring." - Hoping to get a call from Grandma.
"Shh, you'll wake up the neigbors." - We are more worried about waking up Brooke.
"MOMMY, BE QUIET!" - At the top of his lungs during Brooke's nap.

Posted by sjbowden at 10:13 PM