It is so sweet to be here.....We were invited a wonderful family for dinner and then another wonderful family for lunch. Both had great kids, including girls who were either our kids' ages or thereabouts. On Friday night, Chana and Ilana stayed late to finish an exciting game of "Perpetual Commotion" after the rest of us came home and Ilana turned into a real Israeli kid Shabbos day when she stayed late to play with our hosts' daughter (who will be in her school class) and then walked herself home, including keep her head on when she got a little confused about which way the stairs to our street were, and found her way back to our hosts' house to get better directions (the older sister walked her back). She and I then went next door, to our neighbors who made aliyah 3 weeks before us (they're the old-timers!); they have a daughter also in Ilana's class and the girls had a good time playing along with Adina's younger brothers. Meanwhile, two girls (one from Penina's class and one from the neighborhood who will be at another school) came over to visit Penina and then took her back to their houses with them.
We got a beautiful reception at the local shul, where they announced the aliyah of us and another family and gave Shalom Shachne an aliyah to the Torah and sang "v'shavu banim ligvulam" ("Your children shall return to your borders") after his aliyah. It was so, so sweet.
Baruch Hashem, we have had our refrigerator since Thursday. It is SUCH a big help (we had a "fun" few days of buying milk in the morning and throwing it out at night). Having the fridge made it much less of a challenge that our new stove arrived and then sat in its wrappings until this morning. There is some sort of shtick here that you void the warranty if anyone other than a certified technician unwraps the appliance. So we waited several days (but several days less than it could have been--see Shalom Shachne's post "We Are New Immigrants") for the guy to come in, unwrap the stove, throw the wrapping stuff all over the floor, plug the stove in, and tell us that we had no gas account and he could hook up the gas but it wouldn't work until we got our account with the gas company. Sheesh! Sine we can use the oven and just not the stovetop, we are definitely in better shape than before :)