Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Travel-schooling ~ Sailing lessons

The Hemingway's on Mehari
 After getting on to the sailboat, our family quickly realized that if we all did not learn sailing and the basics ...we would be in a heap of trouble. We also realized that the burden of this adventure could NOT solely lie on Erik.  Which meant school must now take a dramatic change.  Erik and I were excited about this, however I am not sure the kids were at first. 

Erik has always been one of those people that LOVED learning.  I can remember being newly married and going to the library.  His stack of books were always "How-to's" and topics which fascinated him. This has also been our goal for Homeschooling.  There is no way we as parents can possibly teach everything a
child wants or needs to know, but if you teach a love for learning or skills so that they can teach themselves, then that is success!  So we were in a perfect situation to teach our kids this very lesson.

First, all kids were given basic sailing books.  Boat terms and vocabulary. Emergency procedures,  and equipment.  We all needed to know the proper names of things in order to be on the same page. Levi was also given a diesel motor maintenance book, because guess who was now going to learn to up-keep the

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Love and Morocco

This blog will combine things you don't normally see together. 
Love and Moroccan Food. 
So here I go......

February 14th! Valentines Day! Mom and Dad, Toni and Larry (some friends that were visiting) And my boyfriend Josh and I went on a triple date :) For Valentines day guessed it......a Moroccan Restruant here in downtown Jerusalem called DARNA. 

When we were seated our Waitress came and asked our order. She was a Russian who had moved here some time ago. With her russian accented English it made it hard to understand what was on the menu. She kept telling us she was a 'good recommendaton.' So after 30 minutes of trying to understand what she was ordering for us.....we finally told her to bring what she thought was best....And indeed  she did bring us a yummy feast!!! :) 

We started off with some salads which, on this side of the world just means some small bowls filled with different veggtales.  In the bowls were olives, cooked potatoes in lemon and parsly, hot chiles, cucumber salad, shredded cabbage with dressing and sesame seeds

Then she brought out the  main dishes. They were: Cornish Hen, Lamb Shakes, Meatballs with Celerey, Stuffed Artichokes, Slow-cooked Veal.....ahh just thinking about them again makes my mouth water! :D

We had such a fun night together... Thanks Larry, Toni, Mom and Dad for letting me and Josh join you guys :) And happy late valentines everyone!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Travel-schooling ~ Life Lessons

After the last 2 posts about Homeschooling,  Erik and I have started calling our school...."travel-schooling".  We figured, "Why not?"  There are thousands of books on home-schooling,  car-schooling,  why not "travel-schooling"? Our kids have learned so much more while traveling than only their academics.  They are learning life lessons that can not be taught in a book or at school.  Two of which I was reminded of while we were on our trip recently to Jordan.

Best Buds :)
The first one is about family friendships.  While we have been traveling our kids have learned to be close friends with each other.  Although we tried to be a close family before we left the US, traveling has encouraged closer relationships among our children. If they don't get along....they don't have a friend.  Our family "motto" has always been:  Friends come and go, but family is forever. (Thanks Rosie:)  Lily(6) and Zoe(4) are very close and are now joined at the hip. Zoe informed me the other day that she never wanted to get married,  because then she would be lonely without Lily.  Even doing school with Lily,  Zoe sits patiently by her side until she is done.  I have even found them many times holding hands while they are sleeping! Too precious!  Maggie(16) and Levi(15) are similar.  They are both well into the teen years and have a developed a close friendship.  As they experience "teen issues", they are able to talk to each other about it from the opposite perspective...boy/girl.  I can only imagine how having a "boy perspective" in my teen-age years could have helped me.  Some people have told us.....traveling will either test any relationship, strengthen or weaken it.  This is true!  It has done both in our family at different times.

Mags & Levi waiting at a 
museum for us to be done :)
The next thing I was reminded of is how we have learned to WAIT.  Yes, wait.  I am not sure in America I ever truly knew how to wait....or my kids for that matter.  While you travel you must learn to wait.  You are waiting for visas, in lines, crossing boarders, while driving, on trains, on buses, for buses, help in a store, for the wind, for the right weather, for your anchor to hold....and the list goes on.  I must say when we first started this adventure we were all very impatient and did not know how to wait. But eventually learned and are still learning, (by the grace of God) to wait and wait patiently.  

I could go on more but you will just have to "wait" for the next blog......Rachel :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

skater up's and downs

I have learned that sometimes we take the simple things for granted, like grabbing your board, getting in your car, and driving to the skate park. At the start of this trip, I didn't really think about how big of a deal skating would actually be!!

When we first got to Greece, I tried to put my skate-board back together, since I had taken it apart for the trip over. I soon discovered that my little sister Zoe(4) was playing with and somehow lost ONE of my wheels.  Easy enough...right?  Wrong! After searching 3 different islands in Greece for a skate shop or even a parts store, I had given up hope of finding new skate wheels... :(  

When we got to Turkey, I began looking AGAIN....only finding 1 Sponge-Bob skate-board in a toy store. I almost bought it just for the wheel!  We then got to Marmaris and settled into a marina, I had my

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lily's Art ~ Family

I have decided to share on this blog a little bit of "Lily's world".  She has been drawing and coloring pictures since she could hold a crayon.  We have literally STACKS and STACKS of pictures and cards that she has drawn for all of us just since we have left the US.  And if you are the parents like Erik and I are,  we feel extremely guilty for getting rid of any.  Not to mention how can you choose a hand full of your favorite pictures when you love all 100 of them.  So,  I have told her that we will post some of them on our blog so that you can share and be a part of we,  as a family,  get to see everyday.  I have encouraged her to draw some of the places that we have been,  but most days she draws whatever,  movies she watches,  rainbows,  flowers, and of course....princesses :)  I hope you enjoy her art as much as we do!

"Mehari" at anchor

Dinner with the Bedouins

Yes, it was a really exciting trip to Jordan!!! :)

Like Dad said we had dinner with them in our tent. A fire was made in the middle of the tent (for warmth and cooking) then they brought out chicken that had been soaking all afternoon in some yummy spices and began to grill it on the open fire. Soon after, the whole tent smelled of grilled chicken!! :D While the chicken cooked "chief" brought out a dish of wild rice, plates of Pitas and a bowl of camel yogurt. It kinda tasted like normal plain yogurt but thicker and more creamy. Since we hadn't eaten in 12 hours (we skipped lunch!) we ate it all up so fast!! We warmed up the pitas on the open fire and they were sooooo yummy!! I must have had 4 pitas myself!! :)

<----It was to dark when we ate to take a pictures of the table of the rest of the food but here's one of the chicken getting grilled :)

Thanks for reading!! :) Til our next exciting meal......-maggie :) 

Jordan II - Bedouin Camp

We knew we were only staying in Jordan one night and wanted to try and arrange to stay with a Bedouin family in a tent. We had heard this was possible and looked into it a bit online before we left, but didn't exactly have an email address when we left. And after a few phone calls with the taxi driver at the border, we were off to Wadi Rom, an area in the middle of the desert about an hour away. 

We learned that the Bedouin people are nomadic shepherds of sheep, goats and camels and throughout all the arab countries in the middle east, there are basically 3 large families of Bedouin who have been grazing these deserts for thousands of years. 

We were met on the road by a Bedouin man and his 'taxi', we threw our 3 backpacks in and were off across the desert. We made a pitstop in his house where we drank tea and met up with another group of 4 college students from the US who were going to the camp as well. Then all of us got back in the jeeps and headed out to

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Trip to Jordan

Whew, it was a long week! Our visas for Israel were due to expire on February 1st and it was going to cost close to $400 to renew them 'over-the-counter' here in Israel, without having to leave the country. So we thought we'd kill two birds with one stone so to speak and take a trip into the neighboring country of Jordan, see Petra, and get new visas while we were at it. 

We had thought at one point to make the trip down to Egypt, but with the turmoil there, the border was basically closed to Americans. We'd heard the US Embassy was trying to fly Americans out of Cairo all week and thought that probably was not the safest choice at the moment. 

We left Sunday, around noon and spent the afternoon wandering along the Dead Sea, stopped for pictures, and  making our way to the beautiful seaside city of Eilat in Israel. It sits at the very peak of the Gulf of Aquaba, between Israel, Egypt, and Jordan/Saudi Arabia. We ended up staying in the van (long enough story for another blog) and 'camped' right next to the Red Sea. When we arrived

Thursday, February 3, 2011

workin' for a livin'

Here's Levi's winter project. He's been playing guitar and mandolin since we moved on the boat, and has been improving quite a bit over the past year. He's always been very musical, playing the fiddle, and has slowly expanded his skills. 

He's also met some friends since we've been in Jerusalem, Tom, Rachel and Becky from England, and Viivi from Finland. They had an idea one afternoon to 'busk' Play on the streets downtown and see what kind of money they could make. 

Well, things went well and they usually spend one or two nights a week wandering downtown playing for tourists or locals. It's a fun study of people to see who comes and watches and donates. They usually average about $40 an hour for the four of them, unfortunately, they usually play for an hour or two and then all go spend it for pizzas and Cokes. I guess there's worse things than eating for free!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011