Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kyrstin's 15th Birthday in Israel/Jordan

So this is the 3rd time that I've been to Israel and I had the pleasure of bringing my youngest daughter Kyrstin with me. What a memorable time we had! I have enough memories to fill a very large treasure chest. The 1st time I went to Israel, our Pastor, Russ Wilson took a group of 35 people with him, including my hubby Roger, our son Brandon and myself.

in 2008 with Roger and Brandon
in 2008 when Roger, Brandon
and I are about to
board the plane to Israel
for the first time
Our tour guide, Arie Harel, had come to Saskatchewan in Spring of 2009, after that first tour, and invited me to begin taking groups of women to Israel. Well, how could I refuse?  I loved Israel so much and my hearts desire was to take each of my girls to Israel as this seemed the perfect way to do that. :)

in 2009 with Alysha
So for the 2nd time I journeyed to Israel in November 2009 and took a group of 7 ladies with me to Israel, including my middle daughter Alysha. Now, in November of 2011, for the 3rd time, I returned to the Holy Land with 12 ladies, including  my youngest daughter Kyrstin. :)  What a pilgrimage it's been for me in the past 4 years. Praise be to God!

In 2008 Arie giving supberb historial
teaching at Bet She'an with
Brandon and Roger listening
intently (top two guys!!)  :)

Brandon always listened so intently to everything Arie
had to tell us at each spot (2008)

Alysha and I with Arie in 2009

Pastor Russ, Brandon, Roger in '08
in 2008
Each of the kids had been about 15 when they came to Israel, and we had the same tour guide each time. How special it was for him to meet each of us and get to know our whole family. Having him as a tour guide has been just excellent...he's become a very dear man to me, like an uncle or a grampa. :)  Arie Harel is an excellent tour guide, very thoughtful and dedicated, being raised an Israeli and having Jewish parents who both survived the holocaust, having been born and raised in Israel.....well he just has a wealth of knowledge and history to offer any tour group. Thank you Arie!! This post is also to celebrate the time that each of my family has spent with you in Israel! Thank you for the many many special memories that you've had a part in giving to us! We love you! :)
gotta have a picture with a cute guy! :)

tremendous gift making sand art in jars!

hiking to Petra!!

this is pretty cool, mom! :)

the place where marriage/family vows
were made at Petra :)

group pic at Petra..except for Frances
we lost her to shopping.....again! :)
oh how she liked to shop and
was often found in any store
where there was stuff to
be if we were
missing her...well we knew where
to find her! :)  LOL

goin down :)

had to enlarge this one BIG so that you could enjoy the look on Kyrstin's face :)   maybe the camels were stinky?? :) LOL
LOVE the look on Judy's face to while she's getting down off the camel! LOL

say kiss kiss...and he kissed me! :)
this is the same camel that kissed Alysha in 2009 :)

hiking down from the top

Brandon would like this
cane with a sword
inside it mom!  Yes I
know he would but
I'm not buying it for
him this time! :)

Well, Kyrstin celebrated her 15th birthday here in Israel....well actually, in Jordan too.  We were in Eilat, Israel, the most southern tip of the land right on the shores of the Red Sea. We had a day tour to Petra, one of the ancient wonders of the world. It was a great day!  Kyrstin got to ride a bus to the border, walk into the Land of Jordan, hop onto another bus to drive to Petra....well together with us ladies of course...and ride a camel and a horse there and then take the bus back to Eilat of course. :)

Everyone we run into who finds out it's her birthday...well, they of course say Happy the border crossing, on the bus, in Petra, at the hotel, in the elevator!  :)  So, she had people in Israel and in Jordan say Happy Birthday to her. :) AND...we had 3 other nice folks join us on this tour as well and they were from Belgium.

One of the fellows, Rudy, it was his birthday as well. :) So when we were at the restaurant for a late lunch after touring Petra, the manager and workers of the place came and brought a cake while singing Happy Birthday in their language. :)  It was pretty cool!  I posted a video of it  below.

While in Petra, she also got to ride a camel for her birthday.  She, of course, thought they were CUTE! :) ...but she wouldn't let the friendly camel give her a kiss.  :)  For someone who is constantly kissing and hugging the dog, she wouldn't let that camel get his face close to hers!!  hah!  I did though. There's a pic of it too to prove it! :)

It was a good day!  I don't think she'll forget this birthday for a while....if ever!  :)  Especially the cute guy in Jordan singing Happy Birthday to her and helping her blow out her candles THAT WOULDN'T BLOW OUT!  haha!  That was hilarious!!  :)

ice cream cake
from Arie!!  :) yay!

And then coming back to the hotel in Eilat for a late supper and enjoying a very very tasty ice cream cake that Arie had specially made just for her, cause he knew that was her favorite! :)  Wow!  Thanks Arie!!  ;)  It was indeed a very special day!

me n my girl! :) Happy Birthday!
sharing the cake with the others :)
eeeeee...I gonna stab da cake!! :) hah
enjoying cake with all, even Arie!
Kerri treated her to cheese pizza
on her birthday too, for a night snack

It's been a FANTASTIC day filled with many great memories!!  Thank you God for this most amazing gift of experiencing the Holy Land with each of my children. So this indeed was a memorable birthday, not only for Kyrstin, but for me as well to commemorate being in Israel with each of my kids and my wonderful hubby!!  Thank you God!

ps. be sure to watch the couple of short (about 1 min in length) videos posted below to give you a taste of the celebrations on this day. :)  Enjoy!

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