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!