Saturday, April 16, 2011

Finals and Family

Family at Qumran (where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found

When Jacob had had enough at Masada

Sabrina taking Care of Jacob at Masada

On Sunday we had a great field trip. The whole family came. We went to Qumran, Masada, Ein Gedi, and the Dead Sea.

Jacob, Julianne and I at Ein Gedi

Kaleb and Alexia at Ein Gedi

It was cool. I think our kids really enjoyed the field trip. Swimming in the Dead Sea went better than expected. We had some tears, and a few only lasted a few minutes, but it was less crying than I thought would happen. And a few even had a really good time.

Alexia celebrated her birthday at school (a few days early). Of all things, she wanted a cake with the river Nile, crocodiles and palm trees on it. What kind of kid wants that? Only my kind of kid I guess. Julianne is amazing with cakes, even with only a moment's notice.

We also had a good free day, where we got a few things done. And we did our part in the talent show: Pirates of the Caribbean again. We are busy getting ready for our families to come visit, less than 24 hours now. Class has been good. Today was the lesson on the atonement, and I think it went well. As I thought about all the sorrow various people have felt that the Savior suffered, I got a bit too emotional, and had a hard time continuing for a while. But overall I think it was a great lesson.

Arrr! We be Pirates!

We had one more good class, and then spent the day getting ready for our parents to come. Some students helped with cooking and cleaning so that we could be all ready. They take up a lot of our spare time, but they try so hard to give it back. They are wonderful.
Finally everyone arrived. We ran upstairs to meet them. It was so exciting to see them getting out of the van. The kids were so excited. Jacob grabbed Grandma Muhlestein and just started hauling her inside. He was so happy, he wasn’t going to let go of her. He didn’t want to stop and talk to anyone, he didn’t want to pause in any way, and he was not going to let go of her hand. He just kept pulling and pulling, wanting so much to bring her home. Everyone was so excited to see them.
We let them come in and visit and unpack for a minute, but only for a minute. Then we took them on a tour of the building that lasted over an hour. We finally came down and made a dinner. It took us a long time to unwind, and then finally we let everyone get ready for bed.
The next day we hit it hard. We went to the Holy Sepulchre.

Julianne, Tashara, Grandma Muhlestein, Aunt Kathy, Grandma and Grandpa Larsen at the edicule (tomb) in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

What a wonderful place! The symbolism, the devotion, the commemoration there is incredible. I think everyone had some sweet moments there. Julianne did such a great job of preparing us for the place. Then we walked through the Old City (which is always an adventure) and went to the remains all around the temple mount. It is always incredible to be in places where we can be sure the Savior was.

All of us in the shops around the temple

I think everyone really enjoyed seeing these places and talking about the amazing events that happened there. We also went to the Western Wall and saw some Bar Mitzvahs there.

Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall

Then we did some more Old City shopping. Finally we got to come home for a good dinner and bed.
The next day was my final. Julianne took everyone around to stores, pita factory, etc. while I gave my final.

Alexia and Sabrina as we look out from Gibeah of Saul at the areas Jonathan and Saul fought in

Afterwards we went out to Gibeah, where Saul’s palace was. We went through the cool stories that happened there and in places nearby.

Family at Nebi Samwill as we look at maps and try to get a sense of the geography

Then we went to Nebi Samwill and went through the many stories that took place close by there. I think that what everyone is enjoying most is seeing the scriptures come to life. I have been trying, and hopefully succeeding, in telling the stories in the places in such a way that they become even more real. I think it is working a bit. That night we all went with the students to the Western Wall and welcomed in the Sabbath. It was very crowded, the Passover crowds are here. We also saw Patrick Stewart there. Weird, didn’t see that coming.

Family at Nebi Samwill

At night I tried to get some grading done. We are working on keeping up. But it is great to share these things that mean so much to us with our beloved family. I think they are really enjoying it. I hope it is as good as they were hoping for.

1 comment:

  1. It's fun to see some extra family in the pictures. Love the picture of Jacob resting. And I'm pretty sure no other little girls have requested Nile cakes. Unless Barbie was prominently featured swimming in it....