August 29, 2005

Efrat and Rivi's wedding

One Sabbath after church we drove to the top of one of the hills next to the Sea of Galilee and took this picture. It was a really clear day, so we got to see the Sea of Galilee with very little haze.

Sea of Galilee

One of Scott's co-workers, Efrat, got married this past week and we were invited to the wedding. We went out to ice cream with Efrat and Rivi a few months ago after they got engaged, and of course we have seen them both at several Intel activities. Efrat is the only woman in Scott's group, and she makes sure that everyone is taken care of. It was the first Jewish wedding that we got to go to. The reception was before the wedding ceremony. We talked with most of Scott's co-workers and sampled some of the fun appetizers.

A Jewish wedding takes place under a Hupa, an arch which symbolizes their future home together. The bride and groom are separately escorted to the Hupa by their parents. Then the rabbi says the betrothal blessing and the groom places the ring on the bride's hand. The rabbi then reads the wedding contract which is written in Aramaic. Next, there are seven blessings. Each blessing was read by a different relative of either Efrat or Rivi.

Efrat and Rivi under the Hupa

At the end of the ceremony, the groom has to break a glass by stomping on it. Once he does this, the party starts.

Hupa Ceremony (video)

After the Hupa ceremony, we went to the banquet hall for dinner and dancing. Dinner was nice: roast beef, salmon, chicken and lots of other good food. While we were still eating, Efrat and Rivi performed a dance that they had learned in their ballroom dance class. Rivi's brother and his friends sang a song they had written for the couple and several children sang another song.

The dance

The dancing started out with a little skit set to music. Rivi's family comes from Yemen, so apparently it is a tradition in their family. In the skit, a man dressed as an old man in robes staggers across the floor with the help of a cane and then collapses in the middle. A woman and another man talk to him and then all of a sudden the old man jumps up, throws away his cane and starts dancing. Then they started pulling in people from the dinner tables. The dancing lasted the rest of the evening. Some of the music was traditional Yemen music and some was popular music.

Yemen Dancing (video)

The party was still going strong when we left at midnight. Here is a view of the banquet hall.

Banquet hall

On Thursday night we had a Tu B'Av Intel party. Tu B'Av is the Jewish Valentine's day. Since it is like Valentine's day, we left the kids with a babysitter and went out for a fun evening as a couple. The party was in Atlit, about half an hour away. At the party there were performers making balloon animals, mimes, and even a "bride" who had lost her groom and was asking everyone if they had seen him.

We had a light dinner, with sushi, pita pizzas and other fun things. Then there was a concert by Ivri Lider, a popular Israeli singer. We even recognized some songs that we had heard on the radio. During the concert, people passed out glow sticks, heart necklaces and candy rings with lights in them.

Tu B'Av Concert

At the end of the concert, there were fireworks. We ate some treats and then left for home. On the way out we each got a plush heart that says, "I love you," when squeezed.

Intel fireworks

Here are Brooke and Tyler posing with all of the loot we brought home from the Tu B'Av party. They had lots of fun with the toys.

Tu B Av Toys


"Sugar" - Parmesan cheese, as in "Put more sugar on my spaghetti."
"Why did you want me to be Tyler? I wanted to be a different kid" - We don't know who he wants to be.
"I like Haifa, but I really like Yerushalim." - Tyler really wants to go back to Jerusalem.


"Book" - We are now required to read a book before naps and bedtime. It is no longer optional.
"Shoes" - Brooke loves shoes. Almost every day she tries on all of Tiffany's shoes in the closet.
"Open" - When she wants the fridge opened.

Posted by sjbowden at 10:20 PM

August 27, 2005

Castel and Jerusalem

We had District conference at the BYU Jerusalem Center, so we decided to go a day earlier to visit Jerusalem. On our way, we saw a sign for a national park, so we stopped. We have a national park pass so it was free. The site is called Castel, and it was a key strategic site in the Israeli War of Independence. It is high on a hill overlooking the main road into Jerusalem from the west. We hiked up the hill behind an ambulance which was very interesting for Tyler. The ambulance was there to rescue a lady who had slipped and fallen and was a little dizzy. As a result, Tyler was very careful not to fall and he held our hands the whole time.


The view from Castel is beautiful. You can see the hills surrounding Jerusalem.

Looking towards Jerusalem

Here are some of the trenches used in the defense of Castel.

In the trenches

After we visited Castel we went to a nearby mall for lunch and some shopping. We ate at a KFC! It was great; there isn't one in Haifa. Tiffany got lots of fun clothes and Scott got some new shirts.

We had planned to visit the Tower of David museum which had a special railroad exhibition; however, the museum was closed. Instead we went swimming on the roof of our hotel. Brooke and Tyler loved it. We splurged and bought ice cream bars and popsicles at the poolside bar.

Swimming in Jerusalem

After dinner we ate at Cafe Paradiso (no relation to Cinema Paradiso). It was wonderful. We had goat cheese stuffed ravioli, bruschetta and then creme brulee for dessert.

On the Sabbath, we checked out of our hotel and went to the BYU Jerusalem Center. There we met all our friends from the Galilee branch and Jerusalem-Tel Aviv branch. There were a couple of new families one of which had children about Tyler's age. They had fun playing together.

Our meetings were in the concert hall which has a beautiful view of the old city. This allowed us to enjoy the beautiful organ music while we sang the hymns.

View from the Jerusalem Center

After our meetings we had lunch: fried chicken and hummus. We sat near the new family whose children Tyler was playing with. We had fun getting to know them.

After lunch we talked with the Jerusalem Center missionaries and our friends. We then took pictures on the terraces behind the Jerusalem Center.

Brooke with a view of Jerusalem

Here is a picture of the Dome of the Rock. Tyler thinks that the Dome of the Rock is Jerusalem. He also calls Jerusalem "Yerushalim," the Hebrew pronunciation.

Dome of the Rock

The gardens around the Jerusalem Center are beautiful. We enjoyed walking around outside. Here is Tyler on the stairs back up to the Jerusalem Center from the terraces.

Climbing the stairs

We had a wonderful trip to Jerusalem. Tyler had so much fun that he started to cry on our drive home. He kept repeating over and over, "I don't want to leave Jerusalem."


"Slowing" - The opposite of fasting (from food).
"Adult cookies" - Tyler asked for these; the good cookies that we don't normally share with our children.

"Window" - She loves to look out windows.
"Cokor" - Color. Brooke loves to color with pens, pencils, crayons, with anything on anything.

Posted by sjbowden at 10:05 PM

August 16, 2005

End of year party

August 15th was Tyler's last day of preschool. He has a two week break and then he starts again. He will still be in the 3 and 4 year old class, but the older half of the class is moving up to kindergarten. Tyler will miss some of his good friends.

A week before the end of the year, Tyler's preschool had a party. It was on a Friday, our day off. We went to a local kibbutz with nice swimming pools. There was a big lap pool and a couple of shallow kiddie pools. All of the parents had food and drink assignments. We got off easy; we only had to bring a few bags of Bamba and some lemonade.

Here are Brooke and Tiffany swimming in the big pool.

Bathing Beauties

Tyler has recently gotten brave enough to swim by himself. He loves paddling around with his water wings. He drove us crazy because he wanted to swim near Shai, a girl that he likes.

Swimming alone

After we ate lunch, and while the kids ate popsicles, there was a short program where the teachers gave each child a book and a folder with three pictures.

Class party

This was the front of the picture folder.


This was the second picture in the folder, a self portrait.

Self portrait

Here is the third picture, a picture of Tyler's class.

Class photo

The book that Tyler received was a book about him. Each page had blanks that Tyler helped the teacher fill in. It is about looking for a lost dog. In Tyler's story, his dog is named Snoopy and was given to him by his Grandma and Grandpa for his fourth birthday.

His teachers wrote a poem to him in the front cover (well back cover for us English speakers that read left to right). Here it is (mistakes not corrected, although his teacher apologized for them):

Tyler is a smurt and a prilly child!
Sometimes "pussycat" - sometimes : wild!
His Hebrew is now much batter,
He mixes "he" and "she" - but it doesn't matter....


"one-teen, two-teen" - Easier than eleven and twelve.
"Meatland" - Disneyland. Tyler has a Disneyland plastic cup that he likes to drink milk out of. He gets Disneyland mixed up with a local store called Meatland.
"The boys play with cars and the girls play with everything else." - A typical day at school.


"More" - How come it is always more treats and never more vegetables?
"Mine" - She is very possessive with her toys.
"Boat" - We think she learned this from watching out our windows.
"Plane" - She likes planes like her brother.
"Yellow" - Learned from her friend William.

Posted by sjbowden at 11:08 PM

August 9, 2005

Intel party, Mike's Visit, Branch Activity

Just like last year, Intel had another summer water activity. This year it was at Club Akziv (or Ahziv or Arziv depending on how you want to transliterate). It is right next to a Club Med location and used to be part of L'Ambert castle at the time of the crusaders. One section of the park even has ruins from Crusader times. Akziv is located right on the beach so we had a beautiful view from the pool.

There was food and soft drinks and lots of water activities. We didn't ride on the catamarans or jump on the bungee-trampolines because Brooke and Tyler were too small. However, we had lots of fun in the swimming pool.

Intel summer activity

We ate lots of popsicles and watched part of the movie Shark Tale (in Hebrew). Tyler and Brooke charmed Scott's co-workers. Tyler even spoke Hebrew with them. He usually doesn't speak Hebrew when we are around. Tyler also impressed them with his love of pita and hummus. Brooke was sweet and kept asking to be held by the females.

Tyler helped Scott play laser tag with Scott's co-workers and their significant others. If you look closely, you will notice that Tyler didn't put down his watermelon, his favorite fruit, to help.

Laser tag

Of course we think Brooke is the cutest girl in the world. See for yourself.

Cute girl

Tyler loves his Duplo Legos. He is always building vehicles and hotels and garages. This Lego tower is a hotel. Notice the people stuffed in the windows and the cars parked on the roof.

Lego tower

We went to Herzliya for another of Tiffany's dentist appointments. Scott and the kids played and hung out with Mike, a BYU student who is interning at a company in Tel Aviv.

After Tiffany was done we all ate at a fabulous Japanese restaurant and then returned to Haifa with Mike. We showed Mike around Haifa, including the German colony, Stella Maris and the Baha'i gardens.

Bahai Gardens

Brooke and Tyler had lots of fun with Mike. Fortunately he was very good natured about their pestering.

Mike and the kids

Here Mike took our picture at the top of the Baha'i gardens, looking down over Haifa Bay.

Haifa Bay

Mike spent the night at our apartment and then we took him with us to church. After church, we took him to some of the more important sights around the Sea of Galilee. Here Brooke is looking at the stained glass in the church of St. Peter's Primacy.

Brooke with stained glass

After our sightseeing, we helped Mike catch a bus back to Herzliya.

The watering system on one of our balconies broke and our landlord hasn't been able to find someone to fix it, so we have been watering the plants by hand. Here Brooke and Tyler decided to help.

Watering the plants

This month we had a Branch Picnic. After dinner, we divided up into groups and drew pictures of the Garden of Eden. Brooke helped by coloring the flowers blue.

Coloring at branch activity

Brooke's hair is finally long enough to put in pigtails. We think she looks really cute that way. She did pretty well with them. She usually pulls out her barettes after an hour or so. The pigtails lasted almost four hours.

Pigtail girl


"Do they have kids? When you get married you get kids." - About Jeff and Augusta.
"Mom, don't look where I colored on the table. It was an accident." - Oops.
"How does your hair stay on your head?" - Another profound question.
"Some people's mommies and daddies speak Hebrew." - Until recently, Tyler thought everyone's parents spoke English.
"When I'm a daddy will my hair turn black?" - After observing his father.
"Is this like jet flag?" - Disoriented after a late nap, he thought he had jet lag.


"No" - We are afraid this is now her favorite word.
"Go" - Probably her second favorite word. She runs to the door if we say something like, "it is time to go to bed."
"Purple" - The color
"Preple" - Pretzel
"Car" - While riding in the car, she often says car and points out the window.
"Owie" - When she gets hurt
"Oopa" - This is the Israeli way to say "oops".
"Uppie" - A multi-purpose word, which replaced up and down.

Posted by sjbowden at 9:14 PM