Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hangin' in Israel

We've had a very busy few weeks getting settled in Israel. We're going to stay here thorough the birth of the baby in August/September. After the baby is born we need to apply for a passport and and a 'birth abroad' status from the US Embassy. I'm guessing that's going to be a big learning opportunity, so, we're keeping our fingers crossed.

First off, we found a ministry through our friends from Prescott, AZ. Dane and Tasha Chinnock. It's called For Zion's Sake and it is a humanitarian outreach to Russian immigrants making Aliah (return to Israel) Many of them come with only the clothes on their back and need basic things to get adjusted to a new life here. We were able to go to Jerusalem and see their offices and warehouse through which they provide clothing, food, furniture, etc. We are praying about going to help however we can for a few months while we're waiting for the baby, and are excited to be a part of this outreach.  Please check out their site:

Speaking of the baby.......we met with the midwife and Rachel and I had a really great meeting with her. She moved to Israel from the US in the early 70's and has done midwifery for many years. She has 'birth cabins' on her property which we could go and have the baby in, and she was open to having the kids there to help and experience their brothers' arrival! Her website is:

We're all VERY excited to meet the baby and are having fun collecting clothes and stuff for when he gets here...basically we can't wait. The other kids are already 'fighting' over who he's going to sleep with and snuggle with. I think we'll do a number system and take turns. Rachel is doing amazing considering it's summer and a boat is NOT a comfortable place to be pregnant. She has her standard great attitude, and smile, but will glad to be holding the baby in her arms not belly!

This past week, our friends Rodney and Debbie Kirby that we'd met in Costa Rica came for a visit. It's been great connecting with them and visiting and catching up. They have 3 kids: Elijah-11, Alexa-7 and Joe-5 so the kids are having a ball playing with them. 

We drove to Jerusalem, showing them cool stuff we've seen and some new things we hadn't seen. Today, we're off to the weekly market in Tel Aviv.....the Shuk Carmel Market. It's a sensory overload, fresh fruits of every kind imaginable, meat markets, cheeses, clothes, everything! You could easily live off everything there. And with the crowds and the vendors yelling to get your attention, it's quite a mix!

This next week we have plans to go to the Dead Sea with them and hike the Western Wall tunnels to see the latest archeology UNDER the temple mount....something I'M very excited about and the children get dragged into.... I think they'll thank me later. 

Somewhere in the next few days/weeks we're going to move the boat to Ashdod, (yes, the place where all the fuss over the Turkish boats was) and either park the boat, or have it hauled out of the water to repaint the anti-fouling on the bottom. So....that'll be a bit of work for Levi and I. 

So, not much sailing happening, but a lot of living, so I guess that's good! We're trying to be open to whatever the LORD leads and are anxious to see how HE is going to work over the next few months! 


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Goodies from the Galley....:)

Hello All...

Yes we're still alive...and baking! :)

Thanks to my wonderful friend Miss Nikki I made pumpkin bars for last Friday night. I wanted to make something special for dessert and I had found a can of pumpkin in the store so I email Nikki and asked for the recipe....Thanks again Miss Nikki :)

If you don't know what a pumpkin bar is.....well I call it a slice of heaven but that's just me! :) It almost tastes like pumpkin pie but in a cake form. Along with thick cream cheese frosting on top!!

Luckily the recipe made two whole pans but as of now..........this is all that's left!

Thanks for looking. Til next time,


Monday, June 7, 2010

cyprus to ??

Hello again! long time, no chat, but we're here! 

We thought and prayed long and hard on where to go from Cyprus, and had been waiting for what seemed like forever waiting for the 'right' winds to go west, but God had other plans. Part of it feeling like forever is the 'dock' in Larnaca is not comfortable at all. There is a large swell that pushes in from around the corner to the south and all day and night you get this surge that pulls and pushes you to the wall. we ended up breaking our passarelle (the bridge to get to shore) and lost a couple of dock lines. we even surged enough to smash one of the hulls against the dock and chunk up some fiberglass. not fun. We couldn't wait to move on, but where Larnaca is located, it's a long way to anywhere. so......we actually made plans to head west to Rhodes and left the marina when the weather said it should be favorable, but when we finally got clear of Cyprus, found wind on the nose and a long 'hill' to climb going west. 

Part of the feeling of wanting to head back to Israel was also the fact that doors for having the baby in other places were closing quickly. Greece did not seem plausible, Turkey was out, and unanswered question on whether we could get to Malta ot Italy early enough to fins a doctor to take us. 

So, with no further ado, and because the middle of the ocean is not the best place to sit and bob around, we pointed the nose south and started the trek to Israel. We thought, 'why are we pushing doors that are not opening?' Easier said than done!!

The passage back was not as smooth as the first one, and because we were heading to Tel Aviv, instead of Haifa, it added another 12 hours to our trip. We continued taking turns at the helm, and taking shifts for the night watches. More or less uneventful, although, because we made a wide pass from Haifa (never closer than 35nm) we did not hear their radio calls once we approached Israel. We heard broken calls, and tried to respond, but VHF is only good to about 25nm at best. Well, that changed on the second morning as we were about 6 hours form Tel Aviv. I checked the horizon, then went below to keep track of our position, in case we got another call. All the sudden, I first felt wakes, and clear as crystal heard a radio call for a sailboat at our location. I peeked out the window and the Israeli navy was RIGHT next to us, guns pointed at us, and not just pistols, 50 cal. mounts! ........This was a new feeling.....I must say. 
I answered the radio (very quickly!) and told him who we were. The captain was upset about why we had not answered any earlier calls and I explained we'd answered ever call we heard. He calmed down fast, knowing we were no threat and we went though the whole drill of who was on board and passport numbers and all. By the end, he sounded apologetic, telling us to enjoy our visit and to enjoy Israel. 

We did not think then that only a week later, this same boat would be involved in the international commotion about the Turkish vessels in the exact same spot where we were sitting. 

For now, we're back in the marina at Hertzliya, meeting with the midwife next week, and getting settled for the next phase of the adventure! Anxious to see what God has planned for us while we're here. 

So long...........Hems