Wooooosh!

That’s the sound of another year flying past us.

On 1st September Aaron and Faith started their new school year.

Aaron is now in Grade 4 and Faith is in Grade 2.

For Faith this means she is now part of the main school, she gets to play where ever the rest of the school plays. The Grade 1’s were restricted to their own playground that they shared with the Grade 0’s, so this is a big step for her.

It also means there is no more sandpit for her to play in which means no more sandpit coming home in her shoes and pockets. Yay for me!

She is also going to aftercare every day, where they will hopefully help her with homework since I am useless with most of it.

So far she is loving being in ‘big’ school.

Aaron, on the other hand, no longer has aftercare. He is now in Grade 4 so both the school aftercare and the private aftercare say he is big enough to look after himself in the afternoons. 

::puts head between knees, takes deep breaths::

My baby is almost 10 and is now coming home from school all on his own. Making himself something to eat. All on his own. Doing his homework. All on his own. Looking after himself until one of us gets home. All. On. His. OWN!

But I think this child will be just fine. No, I know he will. He is a smart, independent, compassionate boy.

Here’s just one of the reasons I think this child is awesome!

Yesterday when he went home, the downstairs neighbours dog was outside. He called me to ask what he should do. I told him to knock on the door and if no one answered to try open their garden gate or try pick her up and put her over the fence.

They were not home, he couldn’t open the gate and she was too heavy (and growly) for him to lift, so I told him to leave her, I was sure her humans would be home soon and its not the first time she has been out, she never strays far and waits near the door for them anyway.

He wouldn’t hear of it. Told me it was too hot and she couldn’t stay by herself. So he coaxed her into our place, gave her a bowl of water and she then proceeded to climb on my couch and lick and bite herself for an hour, leaving a big wet slobber patch and half her hair all over my couch.

But my sweet, kind hearted boy refused to leave her vulnerable. He makes my mama heart so proud.

Here’s to a new school year. May it be as awesome as my children are!

Holiday

The summer one. The one that lasts almost 9 weeks. The one we have to find camps and childcare and things to keep the (not so) ankle biters out of trouble. For almost 9 weeks!

For the first 3 weeks the kids were at day camp at their school for the first half of the day and then at an aftercare for the second half of the day.

Then for 2 weeks they were at camp dad. Thankfully Paul was able to be with them and they went to Tel Aviv and to Haifa and visited museums and the Baha’i Gardens and went swimming and generally had a good time.

Then for 3 weeks they went to a half day camp for immigrant children arranged by the absorption department and they had an amazing time. The afternoons were spent with dad. 

And where was mom during all of this? Working. Because its 9 (!) weeks of holidays and I just couldn’t take time off (especially since I started a new position).

But I have this week off and the kids and I have some plans. Swimming, ten pin bowling, ice creams and the zoo just to name a few.

And then, on Friday, they go back to school (don’t ask, its 1st September and they go back to school on the 1st, never mind its Friday and only half a day and would make more sense to go back the next week).

Aaron will be in 4th Grade and Faith in 2nd Grade. I cant get over how big these kids are getting.

So that’s a catch up of the last 2 months and a preview of whats to come. Hopefully things will be more settled and I can blog more. 

Healthy homemade burgers

The last two days I have been home sick with Aaron. He’s ok, just another bout of viral-thing-itus. But, being home meant plenty of time to cook.

Over two days, we made homemade pizza, homemade chicken burgers and we made another batch of pasta sauce.

Here is the recipe for the chicken burgers. They were so good we ate all (8!) of them in one sitting!

Print
Breaded Chicken Burgers
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Quick and easy to make breaded chicken burgers
Course: Main Course
Servings: 8
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 500 g chicken mince
  • Half onion minced or grated
  • A few cloves of garlic minced
  • Half cup breadcrumbs/panko
  • Salt, pepper, sweet chili flakes to taste
  • 1 egg
  • More breadcrumbs/panko for covering the patties
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients well.
  2. Take handfuls of the mixture and shape into balls then flatten to desired thickness (my kids did this part and had a blast).
  3. Set the patties aside and heat some oil in medium heat pan.
  4. Dip each side of the pattie into the crumbs before placing in the hot oil.
  5. Fry for 5-10 min each side (depends on thickness of patties).

Your Favourite Things – Aaron

TV programme:  We recently finished watching the White Rabbit Project and you keep asking when the new season will be starting.
iPhone App: Clash Royale
Meal:  Pizza. I don’t think this will ever change.
Fruit:  You don’t really like fruit. Apples at a push.
Vegetable:  Fresh carrots and cucumbers.
Breakfast:  Pretty much anything, oats, cereal, toast.
Drink:  Water. My healthy child.
Toy:  When Nana was here in December she brought you a VR headset, unfortunately its not compatible with your current phone, but we will work on that.
You love: Making YouTube videos about games you are playing.

Something that happened yesterday: We went on a tiyul in the Ben Shemen Forest and you picked pine cones for me to add the my pine cone vase, you made sure every one was perfect. 

Things I have recently learned…

Boys are gross

OK, so not something I didn’t already know but still. 

I could not look at Aaron’s room for a single minute more on Friday. So I asked demanded that he clean everything. I made him pick up and throw away every last piece of paper, string, broken toy, piece of crap off his floor. He had to clean out his toy box, bedside table and computer desk. He had to dust everything, wipe down all the surfaces and then sweep the floor. I then came in and used my awesome steam mop thingy to clean the floors. The best part was when I told him I want the floor clean enough to eat off. His eyes almost bugged out until I told him that it was a saying and we were not really going to eat off the floor.

So now his room is pretty clean, except for the cardboard boxes he is turning into a plane. Lets see how long it lasts this time.

Winter – Pic taken by Paul

The vacuum cleaner wasn’t broken

About 2 years ago we bought a really cheap vacuum cleaner from the local grocery store. It was cheap but it worked really well. For the last little while I’ve noticed that it wasnt working as well as it used to. We cleaned it out. Paul pulled out a fair bit of fluff and hairballs and it worked a bit better but no where near as well as when it was new. I thought that was that. Its a cheap machine, obviously has a short lifespan. I asked Paul to give it a clean so I could use it on the above mentioned boy’s room. Paul landed up taking the thing apart and actually washing one of the big sponge filters, which was disgustingly dirty. 

Let me just say, the machine now works like I just took it out the box. It even picked up glitter off the tiles and carpet. 

Moral of the story? Clean and service your appliances before throwing them out. 

Jerusalem – pic taken by Paul

You can make cake using plain Greek yogurt and no sugar

I felt like making a cake for tea yesterday and I didnt have any diabetic cup for cup sugar replacement available. What I did have was stevia liquid. I searched online and found a simple trick for using liquid stevia as a replacement in a regular recipe.  Basically 1 teaspoon stevia for each cup of sugar as well as 1/3 cup liquid for each cup of sugar. In my case I used plain yogurt.

The cake came out delicious!

Greek Yogurt Lemon Cake
A dense and yummy lemon cake with no sugar.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 3/4 cups flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 tablespoon butter (you can use the equivalent in oil)
  6. 3 eggs
  7. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  8. 2 teaspoons stevia liquid
  9. 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  10. 1/2 cup lemon juice (you can also add a bit of lemon rind if you used a fresh lemon but its not necessary)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. In 1 bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a 2nd bowl mix the butter/oil, eggs, vanilla, stevia, yogurt and lemon juice.
  4. Slowly add the dry bowl into the liquids bowl, mixing well as you add them together.
  5. Mix well until there are no lumps.
  6. Pour the batter into a prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes.
Notes
  1. We ate this cake straight from the oven. It was totally delicious.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Party!

Last week was Aaron’s birthday party at our house. It was hectic and loud and fun!

Here it is by the numbers:

  • 10 children
  • 7 packets of microwave popcorn
  • 6 (possibly more) litres of juice
  • 3 hours of party time
  • 3 bags of Bisli
  • 2 packets of marshmallows
  • 1 packet of suckers
  • 1 movie (Tintin)
  • 1 melktert
  • 1 very happy birthday boy

aaron

I cannot get over that my first born is 9. He is almost as tall as I am, wears a size bigger shoe than me and we wear the same size jeans!

Where has the time gone?

Questions for kids

A friend posted these questions on FB and I grabbed them for my kids. 

Starting with Faith

  • What is your name? Faith
  • How old are you? 5 and a half
  • When is your Birthday? December
  • What is your favorite colour? I don’t know. Blue or pink
  • What is your favorite food? Sausages and chocolate ice cream and Choco (chocolate milk drink)
  • Who is your best friend? I don’t know I have a lot of friends. Noa. 
  • What is your favorite song? Something on a minecraft video and Let It Go
  • What is your favorite animal? Lions
  • What are you scared of? I don’t want to tell (whispers snakes and spiders)
  • What makes you happy? My taggies and stuffed doggy
  • Where is your favorite place to go? To the Gymboree 
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? I don’t know. I want to do everything 
  • What does love mean? That you love people. 


And now for Aaron

  • What is your name? Aaron. Jacobson. 
  • How old are you? Do I say 8 and a half or 9? Ok 8 and a half. 
  • When is your Birthday? 5 November
  • What is your favorite colour? Red
  • What is your favorite food? Pizza!
  • Who is your best friend? Noam
  • What is your favorite song? I don’t know what it’s called. It’s a Minecraft song. I think it’s called I’ll Make A Cake. 
  • What is your favorite animal? Hamster
  • What are you scared of? The internet dropping 
  • What makes you happy? That I see Noam all the time
  • Where is your favorite place to go? Uncle Matthews house
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? That’s very hard. Oh easy! Youtuber!
  • What does love mean? For me? I dunno. Nothing. 

Your Favourite Things – Aaron

TV programme:  Anything super hero. You love watching Avengers cartoons with Abba.
iPhone App: Minecraft!
Meal:  Pizza. Still. If the day ever comes that you dont like pizza I will know the world is ending.
Fruit:  Apples.
Vegetable:  As long as they are raw and not cooked you love carrots. You also eat red peppers and have decided you like shakshuka but still wont eat a regular tomato.
Breakfast:  Yogurt. With chocolate cereal balls mixed in.
Drink:  Juice mostly although you love weekends when we drink cold drinks too.
Toy:  Not so much a toy, you love riding your bike. Without training wheels!
You love: Minecraft. Reading. Super heroes. Harry Potter.

aaron1

Something that happened yesterday: You dropped your pillow off your bed last night, it knocked over your metal water bottle and you woke up with a huge fright. I sat with you for a few minutes and got the best middle of the night cuddles before you went back to sleep.

Bilingual Children

I’ve spoken before about how amazing my kids are in regards to learning Hebrew. How that, within the 1st few months of living in Israel, they were already able to hold a conversation with their friends, teachers and the cashiers at the supermarket.

The fact is that both kids are now fluent. They even know words in Hebrew that they don’t know the English for. Lots of dictionary looking up going on over here.

kids

One of the things that struck me this week is that Faith tends to speak Hebrew when she is playing by herself. I often listen to her playing with her dolls or other toys and speaking in Hebrew to them and making them speak in Hebrew. She very rarely speaks to her dolls in English. She also sings in Hebrew all the time.

Its interesting to me because I don’t think Aaron would do it if he still played with his dolls and action figures by himself (he tends to prefer reading when he is by himself now).

When they play together, just the two of them, they will play in English with a few random Hebrew words or phrases thrown in. When they play together and they have friends over, they speak Hebrew mostly but they switch to English when they are telling each other what to do or fighting about something. I have to keep reminding them that they must speak Hebrew even if it doesn’t involve their friends because its rude to speak English in front of people who don’t understand.

Totally fascinating how they have adjusted.

 

Neighbourly Neighbours

On Thursday afternoon, while on the way to a work fun evening, I received a message from our babysitter that she was ill and wouldn’t be able to fetch the kids. The problem was that, because it is Chanukah holidays, the kids finished their after school program earlier than usual and there was no way Paul or I could get to fetch them on time.

We panicked. Paul called a variety of our friends who have kids at school with ours but they were all unavailable. Aunty Roro (who has been my saving grace before in an emergency) was not at home either. In the mean time, I had hopped on a bus to get back to my office so I could catch my regular bus home and Paul was at the train station waiting for the next train.

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The after care teacher had called me to see where we were as she needed to leave and a mom who was at the school waiting for her kid to finish an extramural said she could wait another 15 minutes with my kids. At this point I was at least 1 hour and 15 minutes away and Paul was an hour away.

That’s when Paul had a genius idea. He contacted our neighbour who has 3 children, 2 older boys and a girl Faith’s age. As it turns out, the oldest boy was able to run up the road and pick up Aaron and Faith and take them to their apartment.

When Paul got there about 45 minutes later they were all happy and playing and pretty much unaware of the crisis.

I’m not sure what we would have done without our amazing neighbours. We took them some yummy donuts as a thank you and from now on, Aaron will have a key to our apartment just in case they need to walk home from school. I’ve said before how hard it is not having immediate family close by but I can say that our neighbours and friends are a huge part of a village that is raising our children.