Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Ed visit!

So glad we've been able to welcome our first set of grandparents for a visit!  Serendipitously, they arrived the night of our anniversary ("Gee, Barbara, 24 years ago we also stayed up really late together!") and we had SUCH a lovely week together.  Some/all of us were together every day, which is impressive since they were staying in Jerusalem.

We really got a fabulous amount of quality time together as we did things as varied as going to the Kotel together (and seeing an amazing new virtual reality "tour" of the Temple.  It's so new there wasn't even a sign up to find it and I can't find it online to give you a link. So glad Barbara's friend had been to a sneak preview the previous week) and even just playing a game on Shabbos afternoon (Grandpa Ed won in "Apples to Apples").  Yesterday felt rather boring with just our regular schedule going on and no fancy dinners to make or eat, but we'll focus, instead, on how great it was to have them here :)

Monday, September 5, 2016

"Once More Unto the Breach!"

Ah, our favorite line from Henry V has been said rather often around these parts in recent days.....As you may have guessed, the school year has started.

We have switched Ilana to another school that seems like it will be a good fit for her and our family.  Delightfully, another family we knew a bit from Boston, "The O's", made aliyah over the summer and their daughter is also in Ilana's class (she, in fact, is the only first year olah and Ilana is the only second year olah in the class.  Despite this, there are a lot of English speakers in the class/school.  The school even sends out notices in both languages, which is a delightful change from last year that saw us hunching over Google translate.  It also feels a lot like "cheating".....).  Penina has remained in the school she was in last year, as the school Ilana is in doesn't have an 8th grade.  We will look into the possibility of switching her for 9th grade.  We are right in step with other olim, as quite a large percentage of people switch their kids' schools, sometimes within the first weeks of the school year (props to us for sticking it out a year!).

Ulpan started today.  Shalom Shachne is not going back this year, as his level is above what they offer and, frankly, the schedule he kept last year is impossible to do long-term (in brief, here's what he did: wake up at 6:15.  Go to shul from 6:30-8:00.  Come home and eat breakfast. Sprint to ulpan to get in workout because there is no other time. Attend ulpan until 12:45, although his class always ran at least 10 minutes late.  Walk home and arrive around 1:20.  Eat lunch/shower/power nap/down-time until 2:30 or 3:00 when he would start his work day.  Work until midnight or later, with breaks for dinner and davening.  Set alarm for 6:15 a.m. and start all over.  See how that could get a bit old after a few months?!).

I am trying out level gimmel, the highest level there, but may decide to do bet for another semester before going to gimmel.  We'll see.....I was following along just fine until the teacher told us we were now going to listen to, and translate, the news.  I was grateful that no one else was able to describe exactly what the report was saying about Angela Merkel....

Once more until the breach!!!!