Its school again!

Seriously, the summer vacation just flew by and I have a blog post brewing about all the fun things we did.

But in the meantime, Faith and Aaron have gone back to school.

Faith is now in Kita Gimmel (3rd grade) and Aaron is now in Kita Hay (5th grade).

Can they slow down just a bit please?

The story of our (not so) little miracle.

When we made aliyah, we made the heartbreaking and very emotional decision, not to bring our dashies with us.

You can read about it here. Suffice to say it was the best thing for them. And they landed up going to an amazing family, they are spoiled rotten, go for car rides and vacations to the beach and sleep on the bed. We get regular updates on how they are doing and pics of them all the time.

When Paul started his new job, which is a work from home/remote office job, we decided that we would look into getting a dog.

One of my stipulations was that we would take in a rescue dog, a doggo that needed a new home. Whether because they had been abandoned, or were too old to be adopted or had health issues. After having to give up our babies and seeing the love and care they were given in their new home, we wanted to pay it forward.

So one day a few months ago, I got a call from Vanessa, her pupper’s sister needed a new home, would we be interested?

Well, maybe.

I called the vet who was in charge of looking for a new home for Nessi and got the details of her current human. Within a week we made a plan to go see her and within a week from then we brought her home.

Here is her story.

When Nessi* (and her sister Sox and the rest of their litter) were about 2 weeks old, they were found on the side of a main road, their mum had been hit by a car . The pups were split up and went to a variety of people to hand rear them.

When they were about 5 weeks old, one of the foster moms older dogs attacked Nessi and cracked her skull/jaw. She was not allowed to be adopted out until she was fully healed.

She was then adopted out to a wonderful guy in Tel Aviv. Because of the pups losing their mum so early, they all have varying degrees of anxiety and other issues from not having that maternal protection. Nessi also has a few extra issues from her attack at 5 weeks. Her human spent hours and hours with her and a trainer working through her anxiety and issues and helping her overcome them.

And then her human got sick. Unfortunately his illness meant he was unable to look after a rambunctious, energy full, crazy puppy and he had to make the very hard and heart breaking decision to re home her.

Which is where we came in.

On 4th April, Nessi came to live us.

For the first day, she lay in one spot, refusing to move or interact with us at all. We left her alone, put out food and water for her and basically ignored her even though we just wanted to shower her with love.

When it came time to take her outside before going to bed she wouldn’t let us come near her to put her leash on and Paul spent ages sitting on the floor with treats, tempting her to come close enough to him to get it on.

That night she slept on the couch in the lounge and would not come sleep in her basket in our room.

To cut a long story short, she warmed up to us within a day or two. She has now taken over the entire house. She sleeps on the couch with us when we watch TV. She sheds everywhere. She sleeps in her basket in our room at night or on the mat next to Paul’s side of the bed.

She loves playing tug with her rope or her rubber bone and get super excited when the kids come home from school.

She loves the children and lets them lie all over her and kiss and hugs her. She is very much a puppy and loves to bite and chew everything, especially people!

She still has very bad anxiety and we give her homeopathic doggy anti-anxiety pills twice a day which definitely helps but we need to take her to training. She really doesn’t like strangers, especially when they come to our house, so we need to help her deal with that or we will never be able to have visitors again.

All in all, adding Nessi to our home has been the best decision. We love her and she brings joy into our home.

*Nessi in Hebrew means miraculous.

6 months

No I’m not pregnant. Just been absent. For 6 months.

For some reason I just stopped blogging. No great secret, no shocking reason. I just stopped. I also seem to have stopped using Twitter. Again, no idea why, no real reason. I just stopped.

So, whats happened over the last 6 months?

Paul has a new job. Its a pretty cool position in an awesome company that he gets to do from home.

We got a dog! Her name is Nessi which means miracle in Hebrew. She is the cutest floof ever, even when she bites and nibbles to get your attention. I will write another post all about her soon.

The morning after Nessi came to live with us.

The kids have finished school and are well into summer vacation. In September, Aaron will be in 5th Grade and Faith will be in 3rd Grade. Where has the time gone?

Our third Pesach in Israel. It was a good evening with my family and our friends.

We all finally got our Israeli passports. This means we can travel easily throughout Europe. So give me your suggestions. Where should we visit?

I dyed my hair. Purple and blue! I love it.

Other than that, the last 6 months have been pretty quiet. Just the way I like it.

Hopefully I will be back in the writing mood now and will post more often. Or not. No promises.

 

3 Years

We have been living in Israel for just over three years now.

Some days it feels like yesterday and some days it feels like forever.

My Hebrew still sucks but my kids are fluent.

They are both doing well in school (with some serious encouragement) and have so many friends.

Im still at my awesome job and Paul is freelancing and being an amazing house husband (I hardly ever have to do a load of laundry myself).

We have amazing friends, Israelis and Expats.

You cant ask for anything more.

Life is good.

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!

Retro TV

 

What does one do in winter, when it is too cold to go outside, you don’t have a car and there is no public transport on a Saturday?

Why, one pops some corn, cuddles under a blanket with the family and watches childhood favourites on Netflix!

A while back we decided to introduce the kids to an 80’s classic, Back to the Future.

They LOVED it!

We have since watched the following two Back to the Future sequels, The Never Ending Story, The Princess Bride, Jurassic Park, A Knights Tale and Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. 

We have also introduced the kids to such classics as He-Man, She-Ra and most recently Inspector Gadget.

I love that our kids are excited by the movies and TV shows that we enjoyed when we were their ages. And its a kick to go back and enjoy those shows again ourselves.

What are some of your favourite childhood movies and shows?

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.
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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 https://gnatj.com/

Its been a crazy few weeks

So the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of school holidays, Chanukah candles, fried foods, family dinners, Faiths (belated) birthday party, a visit from Wendi’s daughter, Sivan, a visit from our Australian family and my mom came to visit for two weeks.

I think I will just let some of Paul’s photos do the talking…

 

Me me meme

So I’ve seen this floating around Facebook recently and since I havent posted anything this week, I figured why not…

  • Are you named after someone? Yes, I am named after my dad’s late sister, Natalie. My actual name is Gina-Natalie.
  • When was the last time you cried? I actually cant remember the last time I had a real snot en trane (snot and tears) cry. I do tear up at least once a day because of something I’ve read online or because something reminds me of someone I’ve lost, but no real tears.
  • Do you like your handwriting? Sometimes. If I’m not rushed.
  • What is your favorite lunch meat? Thin sliced turkey breast.
  • Do you have any kids? Aaron and Faith 🙂

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  • Do you use sarcasm? Me? Use sarcasm? Never!
  • Do you still have your tonsils? Nope.
  • Would you bungee jump? Hell no!
  • What is your favorite cereal? I don’t really eat breakfast and never cereal. It gets soggy and that’s just yuck.
  • Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? No.
  • What is your favorite ice cream? Plain ol’ vanilla.
  • What is the first thing you notice about people? Their smile and if its genuine or not.
  • Red or pink? Red.
  • What is the least favorite thing you like about yourself? I am not patient enough with my kids.
  • What was the last thing you ate? Mac & cheese for dinner last night.
  • What are you listening to right now? The sound of the aircon in my office.
  • If you were a crayon what color would you be? Something in the blue range.
  • Favorite smell? The first rain of the season.
  • Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? The mom of one of Faith’s friends.
  • Hair color? Really? I have no idea. Reddish, brown with blondish tips??
  • Eye color? Green.
  • Do you wear contacts? No.
  • Favorite food? Sushi.
  • Last movie you watched? Captain America: Civil War.
  • What color shirt are you wearing? Black with a white lace pocket.
  • Summer or winter? Neither, I prefer Autumn and Spring. But if I HAD to choose it would be summer. I hate being cold!
  • Hugs or kisses? Depends who’s giving them.
  • What is on your phone lock screen? A picture of my family taken a year ago at Rosh Hashanah.

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  • What did you watch on T.V. last night? Star Trek: The Next Generation. Season 5 Episode 18 to be precise.
  • Favorite sound? Gentle rain on a tin roof.
  • Rolling Stones or Beatles? Stones!
  • What is the farthest you have traveled? Between South Africa and Israel.
  • Do you have a special talent? Not letting the stupid drive me crazy?
  • Where were you born? Johannesburg, South Africa.

#Zombieprompts – Share some old family photos

I have a whole wall full of family photos (and a whole bunch of much more recent family pics that need to be printed and put in frames and hung up).

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My absolute favourite photo is this one.

We are not entirely sure who he is. We think he may be my moms grandfather. I found the photo when I was going through my grans old photos. She had photos from her wedding, photos of her brother and other important family photos and then this one. There is no writing on the back and Paul is convinced its just the photo that came with a frame. But…

I dont think frames came like that back in the day. It wasnt in a frame when I found it, just tucked in loose with the others. And, he looks like my grans brother. Definitely family!