November 2009

In honor of Black Friday, a couple of friends and I went shopping yesterday. However, it was the 2nd largest Muslim holiday and this is what we saw in much of the Old City.

We did find a few shops that were open and got some “bargains” or should I say we bargained for a decent price. Hmmm…

Thanks Mindy and Laura for a fun afternoon!


Last night was our first Thanksgiving away from family, but we are so thankful to have our JUC family in Israel. We saw this when we arrived and knew we were in for a wonderful meal.

Brandon and Keith were servers so Laura and I were on our own with the girls for a while.

Dinner was amazing!!!

And this entire bird was leftovers…

After dinner we had dessert…pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cherry pie, apple crisp, cheesecake, baklava, cookies, chocolate banana pie… There are major benefits when 20 people are contributing. Oh, and I was too busy eating to take a picture at this point. ūüôā

Happy Thanksgiving!

Some friends of ours,¬†Diane and David¬†Beaureguard, are in charge of Thanksgiving dinner for everyone at JUC. Since they have a lot to do to prepare for 90 people, Brandon and I are helping when we can. This morning we chopped LOTS of veggies. Brandon cut 50 carrots. I sliced 8 heads garlic. Someone else was slicing 200 potatoes. The guys even had to chop the head off the turkey! (It was already dead and plucked.) My plan was to post a few pics, but I forgot. Some of you are thankful for that given the last statement. ūüôā

Tomorrow I’m making my first pecan pie, we’ll help set up in the afternoon and Brandon is one of the servers. They’re hoping to make things a little more formal than filing through the cafeteria line. It should be fun. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Yesterday morning Joanna had a well-baby appointment. It’s actually still the 2nd half of her 1 year vaccinations, but that’s another long story. (If you’re wondering why a Sunday morning, Sundays are like Mondays here as everyone has church on Saturdays to align with the Jewish Shabbat.) Her appointment was at 10 am and it takes about 20 minutes to walk there. I must have been walking a bit slower than usual because I realized I would be about 2 minutes late. I called the doctor’s office to tell them I was almost there but that I’d be a couple minutes late. First the nurse tried to tell me my appointment wasn’t until 11:30, and then she tried to get me to reschedule because they didn’t have the vaccines on hand. I was nearly to the clinic by then so I said I’d come anyway.

Here’s the entrance to the clinic. Notice there is no sign. Let’s just say it wasn’t the easiest place to find on my first visit.

There is no reception desk. Only this waiting room.

Nearly everyone working there speaks Hebrew and little English. Thankfully my friend Laura had just taken her daughter there and informed me that I needed to write my name on the list that is on the doctor’s door. In a few minutes it was our turn. At this point I still did not know whom I had spoken to and why it even mattered if I had a 10 or 11:30 appointment if it was a matter of who’s next on the list.¬†Anyway, we did the whole check up thing and then were told to wait for the vaccine. I asked how long and she said, “I wait minute by minute.” I assumed that meant anytime.

Finally at 11:30 other children started wailing during their check ups. Since no one was coming to get us to say the vaccines had arrived, I flagged down a nurse. Sure enough, the vaccines had arrived and I needed to wait until she was done with the next patient. At noon Joanna was getting her two shots. At 12:30, after our mandatory 20 minute wait period following vaccinations, we finally began our 20 minute walk home.

Oh and here’s a pic of our shortcut to the doctor. Walk through a rundown, deserted parking lot, cross through the trees, turn left pass the bars (pictured below), turn right on the brick road and left at the railroad tracks.¬†Don’t worry, it’s safe, just a bit bumpy for Joanna. ūüôā¬†

Super Deal has mini-shopping carts for kids. I’ve always thought they were cute but never had the extra time to let Joanna push the cart. Since she’s dropped her morning nap, we have lots of time to fill before lunch. Getting groceries is one of Joanna’s¬† new favorite things to do.

Sometimes she pushes.

Most of the time she pulls.

She even picks things off the shelf to put in her cart.

When we get to the check out line she has to help me put everything from her cart onto the conveyor belt. Then before I can even start bagging groceries she’s pushed her cart back to the front next to all the other shopping carts. I think it’s one of the cutest things she does right now.


When my mom was here she commented that several things about how we live reminded her of the 50s or 60s. Our grocery store reminded her of the old Hospers grocery store.¬†Super Deal, our store, is¬†small with narrow isles and although there is a wide variety of items we don’t have multiple varieties of each item. For example, there are 2 kinds of spaghetti, not dozens like you would find in the States.

Here’s the outside of the store.

And the inside.

And when you check out, the checkers are all sitting down. You generally bag your own groceries unless you’re going too slow. Then the 1 bagger for 4 lines comes to help. Quite often they start checking out the next person in line before I can get everything bagged. Then it’s a matter of claiming your goods¬†before the other guy does.

Super Deal is our closest grocery store, just a 5 minute walk. It’s also has the most imported good and is the most expensive store.¬† The other store is 20 minutes (I’ll post pictures later.) and then there’s always the 45 minute walk to the Shuk.

While my parents were here, a friend of mine¬†had her mother-in-law visiting for a week. Just before her mother-in-law¬†left she sent me an email saying, “Have a good week. I’m sure we’ll both be de-toxing.” I laughed when I read that thinking, “So true.”

This is the first time Joanna has ever had a long visit from grandparents, and she’s old enough to really know who they are. I thought the week was going quite smoothly considering all the attention and activity she had last week. Today Joanna woke up, went into our bedroom, pointed to the bed and said, “Grandpa.” Tonight she needed me quite a bit more than normal. So we are de-toxing. What can I say, Grandparents are the best! Here’s Joanna watching for Grandma and Grandpa to come back.

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