Good to be home!

It sure is good to be home again! And again it hits me, – I get to call JERUSALEM home!!

I am HOME in YERUSHALAYIM!!!

Children at the hotel

The children feel it too. We were walking on a Jerusalem street, going to familiar Jerusalem shops to get school supplies along with the rest of the Jerusalem families, and my son turns to me: – “Everyone is speaking Hebrew, Imma! And, like, there are Jews all around! It’s not just us… It is so nice!!”

It has been great to meet up with friends here, to reconnect with our community. You know, our daughter, she is such a social bee, we had not been home from the airport for even an hour, and the phone started calling, – it was her friends wanting to set up a playdate!! And for me too, it has been really nice to catch up with dear friends here at home. We share so much. Our hearts get excited about the same things. It is so good to be together.

Becca at the hotel

Yes, it is a wonderful blessing to travel and get to go away, – but there is nothing like coming home to where you belong!

When we prayed at synagogues in the States and in Norway, it always struck me how central Jerusalem is in the prayers. We attended quite zionistic synagogues (which is a bit ironic when they are not in the Land, kind of…), and they were very clear in their prayers for the Land of Israel and for Jerusalem. I loved it. It made me happy. It made me sad. I have a very zionistic heart, and really, as much as there is a need for Jews everywhere, we can really use a few more here in the building of our homeland too!!

Family at the hotel

There is a Hebrew song that has been going around in my head many of the days since we got back, and it has a phrase in it, – dwellers of Jerusalem! And I am one of those! Imagine!! I get to be a dweller of Jerusalem!!! Wow! What a privilege!

I want to be a daughter of Zion who rejoices in Jerusalem! I am so thankful to God that I get to live my life right here, that this is what I get to call home.

And now I can feel it in the air that Shabbat is coming. There is a smell of chicken soup and fresh challot. Our table is set for us and our guests for when we come home after the synagogue service tonight. And all the neighbors have been preparing too. We are all doing this together. Oh, it is GOOD to be HOME!!

(The photos in this post are from one of the afternoons this week, when we attempted to get a family photo taken at the Kotel (western wall). I think we may have to go back and try it again… The sun was too much of a challenge! But we LOVE the Kotel! There is nowhere like it!!!)

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Been off in a bubble in Norway…

Oh, that´s right, I have a blog!?! I guess it is about time to actually post something there then!!! The thing is, teenainjerusalem has not been in Jerusalem….. and now that I am back, I feel that I have to update from the weeks in between before I can really start blogging about life in Jerusalem. So, here is a post about some really wonderful weeks with my dear family and friends in beautiful Norway.

Norwegian fiord

Whenever I am there, I feel like I get a break from life´s normal realities. It´s like being in a little bubble, disconnected from the regular pressures of life. We stay with my parents who live on this beautiful island in a fiord with 350 people living on it.

Fogn

Everyone knows everyone, and a third of them are family! I grew up there, and I had to take a boat to school like other people take a school bus!

view from home

I am very thankful that my children get to experience the summers there, which is in every way soooo different from life in Jerusalem. Everything is so green and lush. We are out on the boat almost every day.

I just LOVE the sea! It is something I really miss in Jerusalem.

boating

So, while I feel like I get my batteries recharged when in Norway in general, they get supercharged when out on a boat trip!

boat life

And this year we even went for a couple of overnight trips on the boat. Good times indeed!

boating

Imagine waking up to this type of view!

boatlifeAnd then enjoying a cold morning swim in the North sea, searching for the viking blood somewhere in you…

morning swimThe children run around with cousins, and enjoy good long, bright Norwegian summer days.

dancing cousinsI am so glad to see the strong ties they already have between themselves as cousins even at such young ages, – and in spite of the geographical distance most of the year.

cousins

cousins on the boatThis year there was even a new little one to meet! Sweet!! (*And his little big brother is very sweet too!)

little cousinsThere were new skills learnt, – like fishing. Our son proudly brought home a lot of fish during the summer (now, if he would just as happily eat it… sigh…).

fishingI love all the time I get together with my sisters and brothers (including sisters and brother in law) in the summer. And this summer we had several opportunities to go running together.

running

running siblingsMy husband was in Israel for a lot of the time that the children and I were in Norway, but for the last bit he came and joined us, which I am so thankful for. He also loves being there, and especially he enjoys being out on the boat.

on the boat

And sometimes I feel like he is the toughest viking among us, because he very seldom misses an opportunity to jump in the water from the boat!

swimming from the boatMy dad has several different types of berry bushes, with plenty of produce to share, so we pick berries that we bring frozen with us to Israel. That way we get the wonderful tastes of Norway all throughout the winter!

picking berries

While I live far away from the family I grew up with during most of the year, we certainly make up for it in the summer! Here I am coming back from a late evening walk with my mom. I looooove the light summer evenings in Norway!

summer eveningOne of the highlights of our time in Norway, is always the visit to my dear grandparents. I am so thankful that my children have the opportunity to get to know them!

great grandparentsThis is becoming a long post with tons of photos… sorry about that. There are soooo many to choose between! I just have to show you a few more! Here is the beach we always went swimming at when I was a child:

beachAnd to get there, you have to walk this cute little path, which really is best experienced walking barefoot:

walkingAnd here is just one more, – coming in to park the boat:

boatlifeI am thankful for a wonderful summer!!