Posts with category - Faith


{Purim} is the day we celebrate the Jewish people overcoming a plot by the Persian Empire to wipe us out.

You may have heard the expression ‘The whole Megillah’? Meaning the whole long story. That comes from the reading of the Megillah or the Book of Esther on Purim.  Its the story of {Haman} (boo hiss) and {Mordecai} (yay) and of course the phenomenal {Queen Esther} (woohooo!!!).

We also give food parcels to friends and the needy. These {gift baskets} should contain at least two different foods/drinks so that two separate brochas (prayers) can be said over them.

A large part of Purim is that it is a celebration.  As such we have celebratory meals and parties.  Everyone gets dressed up, including the adults, and fairs/carnivals and parades with much singing and dancing take place.

This was our first Purim in Israel and it was quite the eye opener.

The children started by having special dress up days at school throughout the two weeks leading up to Purim.  They had Hat/Hair do Day, Country Day, Celebrity Day, Pajama Day to name a few.  They had face painting and hat making days.  They made gift baskets to exchange with each other and to bring home.

The Friday before last was the annual Modi’in Purim parade.  There were floats and jugglers and stilt walkers.  There were ice cream vendors and candy floss and popcorn.  There were balloons and bubble guns.  There were entertainers and actors and singer and dancers.  There was lots of fun!

On the Monday evening we went to the annual Absorption Centre Purim party.  This is a party for Olim (new immigrants) and was great fun. Lots of kids, music, games, popcorn, candy floss and a show.

Then both Paul and I had work Purim parties.  My theme was Supermarket and I went as Fairy Dish-washing Liquid.  Paul didn’t have a theme so he went back to his roots and went as Clark Kent/Superman.




The kids were off school on Thursday and Friday so Paul and I took off Thursday (we get Friday off every week) and we dressed up and missioned around town doing our thing.  We went to an anglo Shul to hear the Megillah and landed up getting there late and only hearing the last 5 minutes.  I wasn’t feeling well so Paul took the kids to the {Se’udah} (meal) that we had been invited to.  They had lots of fun eating and drinking and playing with all the kids there.

On Friday we were supposed to go to the Purim fair but by that stage I think we were a bit Purim’d out so we went to the park and just relaxed.

Needless to say, Purim in Israel is insane. Fun but insane.

Here are some pictures that Paul took over the Purim weekend.










And that’s enough of that :)



Here’s that post I promised about school in Israel

Since everyone is posting back to school photos and posts I thought it was time to tell you a bit about school in Israel.

*Please note that I may get some facts wrong.  I will try to make sure that everything posted here is as correct as possible.  Also note that a lot of what I am going to write is my own experience and that everyone will experience the school system differently.

The majority of schools in Israel are State Schools.  This means they are funded by the Department of Education and are therefore free.

For Aaron, who is in Kita Aleph/1st Grade, we still have to pay for his books and stationary.  We probably have to pay for a PTA type levy or a class fund but no one has asked us for anything like that yet, maybe because we started school in the middle of the year.

Faiths Gan (Pre-Kindergarten) also happens to be free (at least I hope so as they have only asked us for the PTA levy/class fund money and not anything else).

Children in Modi’in are assigned to schools according to their residential address, Aaron’s school is two blocks up the road from us. Faith’s is the same block as us, just on the road behind us (we can see the playground out our bedroom windows) and there is a nifty little path next to our apartment that cuts to the road behind us.

We drop the kids at school anytime between 7:30 and 8:00 and Aaron’s school day ends at 12:45 while Faith’s school day ends at 13:45.

Since we are working we have enrolled both children at aftercare.  This is a paid service and you have to register through the Education Department.  You can fetch the children no later than 16:45.  It is quite expensive but the children are given a hot lunch (yesterday they had chicken soup, hamburgers and salad), the older kids get homework supervision and they also have some kind of entertainment, either art class or drama or something sporty.

In Gan there is no uniform at all, kids wear what is comfortable for them.  In grade school the children wear a modified uniform.  They can wear any pants/skirts and shoes that they like.  T-shirts and sweaters/hoodies have to be plain (though can be any colour) and need to have the schools logo/badge printed on them.  The stores that sell the shirts also iron on the badges.

That’s the basics.


Faith is loving Gan.  She is making friends and learning Hebrew.  She adores her teachers.

Aaron’s school is fantastic.  They are arranging for him to have additional Hebrew lessons so his vocab will increase and they also help him along during the day too.  He has made friends and is generally a very happy boy.

So far we are really really happy.

**It looks like a did get a fact or two wrong. Here is a comment that Dan left on Facebook for me:

You’ll have to pay for books every year. The school can charge an additional 1 time amount – depending on grade but with a cap set by the MoE – for extra activities (i.e. the annual trip.) The parent’s association may or may not ask for money at the start of the year but may ask for specific things – depends on the parents. The after-school is run by the municipality with no oversight from the MoE whatsoever. Education is from 3 and up in municipal schools although there are some schools in the city that are subsidized by the MoE and charge an extra fee and those any resident of the city can sign up for.

Go follow <Dan> on Twitter, he is funny and a font of information on Modi’in and living in Israel.  He also likes Star Wars so he gets extra points!


The Pox

We reached a childhood milestone this last week.

Aaron was miserable and moany for a few days.  He woke up covered in spots. Chicken Pox!


Poor kid is covered. Everywhere. He is achy and moany and miserable and sore.

Now we wait to see if Faith gets it…



Your favourite things – Faith

TV programme:  Anything Superman!
iPhone App:  You love taking pictures and videos on my phone. You also love the Toca Boca apps on the iPad.
Meal:  Spaghetti and mince.
Fruit:  Bananas.
Vegetable:  Sweetcorn and peas.
Breakfast:  Coco Pops.
Drink:  Cream Soda.
Toy:  You love your superman figurine.
You love:  Joshy. You guys are getting married and having 5 children and going to live in the mountains.

 faith 2
Something that happened yesterday:

Joshy came to play at your house.  It was the BEST DAY EVER!

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You will never catch me…

Thanks {Laura-Kim} and {Cindy} for the inspiration today :)

You will never catch me fighting with the kids about brushing their hair on the weekends, its just not worth the aggravation.

You will never catch me saying no to carbs.

You will never catch me without nail polish on.

You will never catch me wearing high heals unless its a very fancy function.

You will never catch me drinking decaf coffee.

You will never catch me drinking fat free anything.

You will never catch me running. Not unless something nasty is chasing me and even then, if it looks like it would be a quick, painless death I still may not run.

You will never catch me eating gummy bears, Turkish delight or licorice.

Gratuitous pics of my kids ;)


Aaron 1


faith 1



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What does love mean?

So, I fell off the #writersbootcampZA bandwagon, life is just way too hectic at the moment to be blogging everyday, as much I want to.  I may go back and revisit the topics and do them at my leisure though.


Last night, while lying next to Faith at bed time, I told her I love her.  She said, “I love you mommy” back to me.  A minute later she pipes up, “Mommy, what does love mean?”

I thought for a moment, what does love mean, when I say I love her or she says she loves me?

I told her that it means that the person you love is in your heart all the time.  That she fills up my heart and that is why I tell her I love her.

She thought for a moment and then said, “And I am in daddy’s heart too!”

Yes baby girl, you are in all of our hearts!!

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Three things.


On Thursday Aaron was at a play date.  They have a rather large and friendly dog who loves to play.  Aaron is very aware of the protocol for greeting ‘strange’ dogs, ask permission from the humans, hand out first so the dog can sniff him and then play gently.  The kids must have been a bit rough with the dog because Aaron got bitten on his arm.  Thank heavens he was wearing a hoody and a long sleeve T.  The bite broke the skin but didn’t bleed and we landed up having an anti-tet shot (which he has amusingly been calling a anti-TIT shot).  Thank heavens the experience didn’t scare him off dogs, he is still eager to play with any dog we come across.


On Saturday we were at our cousins for tea and the kids were playing in the garden, there was a flower bed/rockery that Faith was climbing in and she must have tripped over a rock and she landed on her right wrist.  It swelled up immediately and she wouldnt move her arm.  So off we went to the ER and an hour or so, and a few x-rays later we discovered she has a green stick fracture in her wrist.  She is in a soft cast for a few days and on Wednesday I will take her for a hard cast.  Poor poppet was a bit miserable but she seems fine now and she has adjusted to using her left hand without any fuss.  Such a little trooper!


Then on Saturday night, Aaron and I cleaned Ben the hamsters cage and played with him for a bit before bed time.  Sometime in the night Ben managed to break his back leg and when Aaron took him out to play with him in the morning he noticed it.  We rushed poor little Ben to the vet and were given three options, pin the leg and keep it immobile for six weeks, amputate or put the little thing down.  The first two options were risky in that he may not have survived the surgery and they would also mean he would have been in pain for quite some time.  I couldn’t put the poor boy through that so we made the decision to send him to the big hamster wheel in the sky.  Faith didn’t seem to really care when I explained it to them, she was more interested with the picture of the anatomy of a dog on the wall.  Aaron was a bit upset but he accepted that Ben wouldnt be in pain and that he was going to heaven.  He was quite happy when I told him that Uncle Cliffy would look after him.


So, all in all an adventurous few days.  Lets hope that when they say bad things happen in threes they are right and we are done now.


Flesh – A discussion with my 3 year old

This morning, Faith told me that Michael Jackson has black hair and that his skin is black and that she is flesh coloured.

Where to even start.

I hate, hate, hate that ‘flesh’ is still/even considered a colour.  I have no idea where Faith got the concept from, I spoke to her teachers at school and they said they haven’t taught it to the kids, they speak about pink, peach, chocolate and brown.

I found this image on Google, not sure where it came from originally

I found this image on Google, not sure where it came from originally

I tried to explain to Faith that flesh is not actually a colour, that it is the word we use for {skin, muscle and sinews} in our body. I told her that Michael Jackson is actually brown (yes, I know, a totally different discussion) and that she was pink.  I said that I am also pink and that Aletta, our nanny is brown like Michael Jackson.

She seemed to understand although I think I will have to keep reinforcing the concept.

I never had this issue with Aaron. When he was little he spoke about people’s colour in terms of the clothes they were wearing, for example, the man wearing a blue t-shirt was a blue man, the lady in the pink dress was a pink lady, the kid in the purple shirt was a purple kid.  I still have never had a skin colour conversation with him actually.

Has this ever been an issue with your kids?  How did you deal with it?


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Where did my sweet, easy going child go?

Faith has always been my easy child.  Hardly any tantrums, happy to go off on her first day of play school without a tear, does anything her brother wants her to do, goes to Kindermusik and swimming lessons with enthusiasm.  She is a happy, smiley, easy going little girl.


Except for the last few months.  She cries at the drop of a hat.  She refuses point blank to go to Kindermusik, wouldnt even get out the car.  She will swim for 5 minutes of her lesson then howl and perform until I take her out and change her.  She gets teary when I drop her at school.  And last week, after spending the day at her best friends house, the mom called me to say that even though she had been pretty happy most of the afternoon, she would cry at random times and refuse to play.

The only big change is that at the beginning of the year I stared working full time again.  But that was January and this only started in the last month or so.  We discussed that I was going to be going back to work after bringing the kids home from school and having lunch with them.  And she knows I come back every afternoon.

Im at a bit of a loss as to what is making her so very miserable.  I just want her to be happy.


You favourite things – Faith

TV programme:  Gumball, just like Aaron, in fact if Aaron loves it so do you.
iPhone App:  You like listening to music on my phone.
Meal:  chicken nuggets.
Fruit:  Bananas and green apples.
Vegetable:  Carrots.
Breakfast:  Coco Pops.
Drink:  Cream Soda.
Toy:  Lightsabers, and anything your brother is playing with at that moment.
You love:  Your brother, your dummy and taggie, Aletta, Amber or as the two of you are referred to ‘FAmber’.

Something that happened yesterday:

You were sick yesterday and I took you to the doctor, afterwards he offered you a sucker which you took, you then looked at him and asked him if you could take one for your brother.  You said please and thank you.  Most impressed with you my angel!

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