Bethlehem

Since our family didn’t end up going to Bethlehem during the last trip. Here is a slide show of a few of the pictures on our way to and in Bethlehem (including where Jesus was born) around Sepetember.

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Jerusalem

While we stayed two nights in Jerusalem at the Notre Dame Hotel, my family and I went to go see the Dead Sea Scrolls. We were suppose to also go see the Holocaust museum and also go into Bethlehem. We didn’t end up going though. I had a really fun time hanging out with my family and going to the familiar area of Jerusalem and learning about the Dead Sea Scrolls and going to the Israeli Museum.  So, since we did not go into Bethlehem, I will show the pictures from this visit (which isn’t a lot since I was having camera difficulties) and then the last time my family and I went to Bethlehem (since it is so unique and interesting and not many people can go on any given weekend to Bethlehem).

Our recent trip to Jerusalem:

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Explanations:

1. Notre Dame Hotel

2. Inside the Notre Dame Hotel

3. Eating at a small restaurant for lunch (shwarmas) in the Christian Quarters

4. The brick oven at the amazing pizza place

5.  A free extra lemonade because we spilt accidently

6. Chocolate pudding for free (it was nice of the waiter, but it did not taste good)

7.  My brothers and I in front of the second temple replica

8 -10. Pictures of the second temple replica

11. My brothers and I in front of a cool statue at the Israeli Museum

12.  Looking at a hour glass looking statue

13. Looking at our distortions

14. My brother with a cool little sculpture guy

Letter from Santa

I know these next few posts are pretty late in timing and I’m sorry.  I am making cream puffs from the Cake Boss cook book I got and we had fondue tonight.  It’s been really nice so far. But for the late Christmas spirit here is the reply of what Santa wrote back to me:

*you can click to see the larger image in order to read what Santa wrote.

I think the most touching thing that Santa wrote was about having a good heart regardless of your age. Part of the secular meaning of Christmas (I think) is to really have a good heart, to share with others, and just to be nice to everyone around you.

Merry Christmas Everyone and Thank You!

I hope you all had a very nice Christmas! For me I had a wonderful time. It was one of my most favorite Christmases ever. I really just want to thank my parents for making it such a nice Christmas. I really appreciated and understand how the sacrificed more than usual this Christmas for not giving each other Christmas gifts in order to make sure we have a nice Christmas full of nice presents. Here are the nicest and my favorite gifts that I would like to mention: my watch from Switzerland (from Santa) , a Motoblur phone (since my old phone became so old that it started to malfunction), a opal stone ring from Bethlehem, a nice sweater coat, a Cake Boss cook book (I am in love with the TLC TV show of Cake Boss), a very inspiring book called Kisses for Katie, and a Zoku popsicle maker (from my grandparents).

Here are all the pictures:

Also my brothers got me very nice gifts as well. My oldest brother got me to pair of earrings — peace signs and crosses (from Bethlehem) — and my other brother got me a nice warm hat for winter that covers your ears with the Phillips Exeter logo.

I would just like to thank my parents, my brothers, Santa, and my grandparents for the nice presents. Thank you for such a wonderful day!

Sugar Cookies!

My brother and I (although I did basically everything) made the sugar cookies! They are delicious and are really easy to make and fun to decorate!

Here are two pictures of my favorite decorated cookies:

If you would like to attempt at making these beautiful and delicious cookies here is the recipe:

What you will need:

1. electric mixer

2. bowl

3. whisk

4. rolling pin

5. 2 cups of all-purpose flour (plus extra for rolling the dough)

6. 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

7. 1/4 teaspoon of salt

8. 1/2 cup (one stick) of butter

9. 1 cup of sugar

10. 1 egg

11. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) in a medium size bowl with a whisk. In the electric mixer beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes until its creamy. Then, at medium speed, add the egg and vanilla extract until blended. Add the dry flour mixture. Pack the dough until a nice ball. Then, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit there for about half an hour to an hour in the fridge (or out if it is less than an hour). Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until nice and even. Take any cookie cutters you would like to use and cut out the cookies. Put them on a cookie sheet and cook for 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool. After, put any decorations you would like.

If you would like me to make more of these recipe type blog entries let me know.

Wordle of December

To do something special, I decided to make a Wordle of everything that has happened, or that has some importance to it for this month. So here is the Wordle for the month of December:

(I had to take a picture with my camera, because the screen shot wouldn’t upload to wordpress, if any of you have an easier/better approach please tell me). Again if you click the picture you should be able to see a larger image.

Plans for Tomorrow! (The Big Day Before the Big Day)

Christmas Eve is tomorrow! I am totally excited, but have many things to accomplish.

My To Do List:

1. Finish my handmade cards (part 2 will be uploaded).

2. To carry on our tradition, make sugar cookies with my oldest brother (I will let you know the recipe and how they turned out).

3. SSAT studying (yes even today I need to study because I have less than 3 weeks before I take the exam. This is a required part for applying to Exeter. I really hope I get in! Today was the day the whole application was finished. I’m really excited to see what’s to come! I know that I will be having an interview soon — either over the phone, or with a person here in Israel!)

4. Read a chapter of October Sky (I need to finish the book by the end of the winter break).

5. Practice piano and cello

I have realized making a “to do list” of everything that you need to accomplish (if it’s for homework, or during the break) really does help. This way you can use your time efficiently and be sure to get done everything you needed to complete for that day.

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