Saturday, October 9, 2010
Fast moving weeks
We were very glad that when we got back from Egypt so late that no one had school the next day, or even the next week. (At least none of our kids did, Dad and the BYU students had life as normal.) We were able to relax a little, catch up on shopping, etc.
The little ones had fared very well because Jill Judd had watched them. She is an amazing trooper. She had her three youngest and our three youngest with pretty much no one else around to help. Happily some of the missionary couples came to help her, so that each evening they read stories to the kids and helped them get ready for bed. But she was remarkable with them.
Meanwhile, I am amazed at the bond that the Egypt trip has created between the students and also between me and the students. I love them like a father and feel very protective of them. We are all very close now.
This week we got to do cool things like drive around and look at Sukkot booths, think about Simchat Torah, etc. It is great that as we return from Egypt and Mt. Sinai that they are celebrating the 40 years in the wilderness here in Israel, and the reception of the law at Sinai. The timing is meaningful for us.
Tashara turned 12 this last week. She is growing into such a beautiful and capable young woman. The day before her birthday there was a district wide youth activity. She was able to go along with BJ and Mom, who represented me in my role in the Young Men's presidency. I taught while they left, and Kaleb watched the other kids. Then I got down and we had a good day together. We shopped, played, etc. It was a nice day.
BJ and Tashara got to do such cool stuff. They went to Akko, a crusader town, and played in the crusader bay, went through crusader fort remains, and even out a Templar escape tunnel. Cool stuff.
Tashara bore her testimony in church on her birthday, and started young women's. I am very proud of her. The next day we had a little party/luau for her with the students, and made a huge hit when we all did the limbo.
We also went to the Church of all Nations at the Garden of Gethsemene, along with the Judds. It was a great experience. We got there just before they were going to close. Some nuns from St. Anne's were there singing, and it was incredibly beautiful. We had a very nice experience there. The sun set as we left, right over the Golden Gate. That was also beautiful, but it also meant that we needed to hurry home to make it there before dark. So we went up a very steep path, very steep, which is probably similar to the path that the Savior took each day as he went from the temple to Bethany. We had some crazy moments, but made it home just before it got really dark.
Other cool things this week was Julianne, Jacob, and Sabrina coming with me as we went on a field trip to Gath (where Goliath is from), the Ehlah valley (where David killed Goliath, Maresha, Lachish, which is an amazing site, and Beth Shemesh, where we could look down on where Samson grew up. The kids were fun, and the whole thing was amazing.
We are having great experiences, but we there is so much more to do.