Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Miss Me :(

I miss me.

Once in a while I'll catch a glimpse of my former self. Laughing, playing, taking a spontaneous trip for EIGHT for slurpees. But for the most part, this move is devouring me alive. I have no time for anything or anyone. My kids are starting to suffer from my distractedness. I used to so be the mother that would jump into the car at a moment's notice and go to the zoo! farm! museum! park! bay! beach! hike!

Sadly, now I am drained. Physically, emotionally, financially, drained. I think that the one thing I am looking forward to most about this move is the return to normalcy. Don't get me wrong. I know that it might take a good 6 months until we see the other side of THAT rainbow, but at least I'll feel closer to calm once we get there. For now, I'll bid my former self a fond farewell and hope that we meet again soon.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Passports and Pizza!

Excitement is in the air! We played a little hooky today when I took the kids home with me at noon to go get passports. Five of them, as one kid already has one that's up to date.

The kids were so cute and excited to go downtown during school hours and hang out with us. Then, we went home and ordered pizza and played outside the rest of the day. It was a great day to just hang out and take care of things. Not much else to report, and it's late... it's also so good to see the kids excited and asking questions and feeling good about the move!! BH!! Can't wait :)

The goal:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Me and Grubby-Grub

So, with only roughly 5 weeks to go, after our successful "Gold Party" (for our local elementary school, no, not to send the Ws to Israel), I took my loot and decided on a (nother) run to Target. I am trying to hard to embrace the spirituality of moving back to Israel, while at the same time trying to avoid my inner Grubby-Grub who wants only to Run! Purchase! Shop! Grab!

So I make careful and calculated purchases. My cart looked like this: shinguards (for 3 kids starting soccer this week), 2 comforters, shampoo, plastic bins, a RipStik. Everything was going fine until the RipStik. Never, ever, EVER shop with a 7 year old. Or, Just Say No. But, Grubby-Grub ALWAYS says "Yes. Of course! Put it in the cart! We may never, EVER get another chance to buy a RipStik again! What type of life would that be?!?!"

There is also the pre-lift drama where every thought throughout the day goes something like this:

While doing laundry... "Hmm..this detergent sure smells good! Do they have this one in Israel? Should I go buy 435 bottles and put them on the lift? I don't even have a washing machine yet! Yes, but is it cheaper to do that and pay $100/sq. foot for laundry detergent? Am I shallow? Who needs detergent? I know, I'll put Borax on my lift! Borax? Borat?"

And so forth... that is why none of you can reach me, my kids are complaining I am never listening, and why my teeth are constantly clenched. Stress anyone?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Erev Open House

So, here we are in the wee hours (are there any others anymore?) preceding The Open House.

The stager has given her 2 cents, which somehow add up to $150. As per her advice, we have managed to removed any semblance of human life form from this house:
Laundry baskets? "Oh, no, no, no!!"
Animals? "Ha!"
Garbage cans/pails/bins? "NO!"
All family pics MUST be down and out of sight. Rabbis off the wall. All personal effects packed or chucked. Such a warm and cozy house we now live in...

The painter has painted all that we can paint ($1600) and the floor guy who was ridiculously cheap at $700 has buffed and shined. Target has lovingly provided new throw pillows, mini-blinds and shower curtains for a mere $200. Hours upon hours of cleaning lady, roughly $250.

Moving to Israel: PRICELESS :)


Sometimes in life, it's just easier to shell out the $50 than it is to find all the pieces...

(Special thanks to Hashem for the $50. Special thanks to Target for the convenience.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

The sign is up!

SOOOO, we've made it through our last 2 day Yom Tov, which was the last real milestone to "get through" before we send our lift.

Today was a Friday filled with packing, cleaning, painting, shopping and playing Wii, depending on who you are and where you fit into the food chain over here. The "For Sale" sign went up today causing much of a stir. Our 3 year old ran around telling the big kids that "we're leaving for Israel tomorrow! Our house is sold!"

If only things were that easy. Now we have permanent nervous stomachs, working our way towards the open house this Sunday. OH, and did I mention that DH has his last catering gig this Sunday???

For Sale, Rochester

So, I guess it's really happening. Here's our house. Here's the "For Sale" sign that mysteriously appeared sometime last night. Very mixed feelings here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I guess the best place to start this "Journal of my Journey" is with the pilot trip that I took two weeks ago. I guess maybe labeling it a pilot trip isn't the most accurate, as a pilot trip is usually when you go to see if/how/when this can all work. We'd pretty much decided that we were going to make the move (once and for all, with no going back!) and all we needed to do was get an apartment, and look into schools.

With 6 kids ages 15 months to 11 years, my biggest concern was the schools. My kids are currently in a small co-ed out of town day school where the largest (mixed!) class is currently 13 kids. The school is great in so many ways, and really goes out of it's way to cater to every student (hey, how hard can it be when there are so few, right?). My biggest fear of Aliyah (or in our case Chazara) is the schools. How will my kids transition to a new place, a new school, in a new language?!

So, goal #1 for my trip: locate and choose non-terrifying schools for my 5 school age kids.
Goal #2: Find a reasonably priced 4 - 5 bedroom apartment to fit our family. Shouldn't be too hard, right? We're only coming from almost 3,000 square feet with an enormous (front and back!) yard on a shady tree lined street. Seriously, how hard could it be?

Well, after much begging my mother to come with me, it was clear that she wasn't going to be able to make the trip with me this time. So, I turned to the next best thing, a very dear friend. She herself has been planning on coming to Israel to learn, and this upcoming year with Hashem's help, she'll finally be able to make the trip. She agreed right away and made her ticket as soon as she could. I won't bore you with the details of the logistics of a mother of 6 and teacher in TWO schools to actually get it together to be able to leave for a week. We'll leave those scintillating details to your own imagination. After much planning, and travel time, we were finally off!
SO, after initially setting up my blog over two years ago, with a one line post of "I did it!", I decided that maybe now with all the changes going on in our lives it was a good time to pick up and start for real. As of right now we are the average out of town frum family with six kids. Ok, maybe average isn't such a good word; as I get older I realize that when it comes to people there is no average.

We originally made Aliyah to E"Y in 2002 and stayed for a short three years. We moved back to the states for what we said would only be a few short years. Suddenly, "a few short years" has become FIVE years, and we are on the road of return to the holy land. The house has been officially listed as of today, the contract as been signed for a rental apartment in Ramat Beit Shemesh (previously our home for the first 3 years), and planning for the lift is well underway.

What spurs me to write again are the feelings of happiness and "coming home" that I am feeling lately. It's a hard thing to communicate to people who aren't moving in Israel, or to family members that have reservations about us going. But these passionate feelings of going HOME are too much to keep in check, so I figured now is the time to write! And, whoever wants to listen to my rants are welcome. If they don't interest you, then, hey...we can still be friends :)