Winter

Some things we've been up to in the last month or so that we happened to catch on camera (from end of November to today):
Church at the Jerusalem Center
At a stalagmite cave in the Jerusalem forest

I should have known better than to think we could decorate gingerbread houses  and expect that the kids could wrap their mind around keeping them as a decoration. 

Michael was pretty proud of the decoy (pillows under the covers) he fooled me with during our game of hide-and-seek.
We all love the massage table. The kids think feeding each other through the head hole is soooo much fun.

London trip - Rob took Michael to a Premiere League soccer game.
While Rob and Michael were at the soccer game, I thought I would have some special time with Ella. But all she wanted to do was sit in her stroller holding her balloon while we listened to music. She kept wanting to sit there for at least a half hour. I ended up reading a book. After a child like Michael who craves constant attention, her independence confounds me.  
 Rob and I at our annual date to the Nutcracker, this time in a London theater, where we celebrate one of our first dates ever. I think back to each year we go as a snapshot in our life together. This year this picture reminds me of our trip to London to get a taste of Christmas while living in a non-Christian country. My lack of fanciness and jewelry will remind me of having two young children who timed epic tantrums perfectly so that I would not have time for such niceties like dressing up, plus a big pregnant belly so that I cannot fit into any of my nicer dresses. I get teary-eyed at least once every performance, thinking of all these snapshots over the years since the one we fell in love. 
Buckingham Palace 
The Tube - Cousin Preston, Ella and Michael
Fascinated by the trains. Michael still practically has the Picadilly Line memorized.
Michael's Christmas jersey
New Year's Eve celebration. Most Israeli's don't celebrate the western calendar new year, so we came up with our own celebration. I happened to find some unused bottle rockets on the beach several months ago, and sparklers can be bought at the grocery store year round here. So we lit some stuff at the beach with the kids, had them in bed by 9:00 and called it good. 
Today. A beautiful beach day in January. My favorite thing about Israel. The water is a little cold, but Ella really wanted to put on her swimsuit and go on the surfboard with Rob anyway.

 A funny note from tonight:
Ella was playing with her dolls and I heard her making smacking noises all over them. I was thinking she was doing some sort of funny kisses, but then she looked up and said "Mom, I'm a predator. I eat animals and babies."
Later she put the baby dolls on a tray and was sliding them under a chair. She informed me that she was baking them in the oven.
She's fooling us all with her sweetness!

Joy Candrian  – (11:12 AM)  

I love reading about your adventures and I really love the Ella story - ha ha, giggling at my desk right now!

AJ Candrian  – (12:52 PM)  

Love seeing all the memories you're making with your cute family! Ella kills me... I laughed out loud at her predator story!

Amy Lovell  – (2:52 PM)  

You seriously have some of the cutest kids. I love hearing these stories about them, so keep them coming.

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