Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Back in time for Christmas

Christmas is here almost. We just got back from Isral and it is wonderful to be home. The kids have begged until we got them a Christmas tree. Dad's job is getting the tree up, and the lights on. Mom and the Kids work hard to get the ornaments on and the dog admires the work. Deacon jumped right in and would get the stuff out of the storage box and onto the tree. He loves being a "big kid" and is a good helper. Nolan and Ashley want to know where each decoration came from and what it means. Kramer is fascinated with the lights and just stares.

We are glad to be home and we have missed the kids. We are not back on a sleep-wake cycle and this has really hit Kim hard. Hopefully she will sleep better tonight. It is like the kids didn't miss a beat. They are back to their normal shenanigans. Arguing, fighting, wrestling, yelling. Ahhhh, and we thought we missed that. I think it will be a long time till we go on another vacation without the kids.

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

The journey has come to an end

Well everybody the journey is coming to an end. Tomorrow we leave on a plane to get back to our family. There is a mixture of excitement and sorrow. This has been an experience that will never be forgotten. Our view of the world has changed. We went to Bethlehem today and saw the shepard's hills. We also went to sacrement service at the BYU Jerusalem center and looked out over the old city of Jerusalem. It was inspirational. We are excited to see our kids and hold them tight. That has been the bitter in the bittersweet of this trip. Good night to you all and see you very soon.

Picture of the gardens at the BYU Jerusalem Center

Mom and Dad in front of an ancient olive tree at the entrance to the BYU Jerusalem center

A view of one wall of the olive wood "factory store" in Bethlehem. They had some beautiful pieces of hand carved nativities ranging from $50 to over $30k for a 1/3 size replica.
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Friday, December 7, 2007

I finally got it. After days of trying!!!! Here it is...Kim and the Camel.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Walking where Jesus walked

Today was awesome. We spent half of the day inside the gates of the old city. It is the Nogales of the Middle East. Kids and old women begging for money, shop keepers that could put used car dealers to shame, and always having to check your pockets to see if somebody has taken your wallet. After all the excitement we had a wonderful afternoon in the Garden Tomb. We saw Golgotha and the tomb and the words of the angel touched my heart..."Why seek yea the living among the dead? He is not here, He is risen." I have no pictures yet to post of the tomb but hopefully tomorrow. Instead I hope it will post a picture that I have of the Old City. Internet connection here at the hotel has been patchy. We shall see. We love you all, Shalome and Ahava (Peace and Love)

Will and Kim

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Kim riding a camel in Jerico

It has been a day or two since our last post. While we were at the Dead Sea there was not internet connection. We arrived late in the afternoon and the pictures that we took were not great. I have heard stories of people floating in the Dead Sea and they were not wrong. Once you are floating out in the water it is hard to get your feet back under you. Ahhh but my skin is now soooo soft. Anyway...we made our way out of the Negev desert and are now in Jerusalem where we will spend the remainder of our time. I have posted a picture of Kim taking a ride on a camel that cost $3 (the owner of the camel made a fortune on 150 tourists at $3 a ride). It is sad to think that in a few days this will all be over. We have loved our time here in the Holy Land and it will always be a part of us. I only hope that someday we can return. Until tomorrow.

(I am having a hard time getting the video to publish. I will keep trying so check back later.)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Wonderful Day

Today started off rather ominously (sp?) with Kim not feeling so well. She had a minor stomach upset which we both think is from the abundance of fresh fruit and especially the fresh fruit juice that we have both been drinking. For an hour of so after a small breakfast (all of which came right back out the way it went in) she felt queezy and not herself. She stayed on the bus while we visited the first city which Christ rebuked for their rejection of him despite all the miracles he performed there. But after that she began to feel better and better. She did well the rest of the day. We spent all of the day around or on the Sea of Galilee. It was here that the Saviour spent more than half of his ministry. At each stop it was not difficult to imagine following him and it was as if he was there as the spirit certainly was. These first two pictures are of the Sea of Galilee the first looking south and west toward the city of Tiberius and the second from the city of Tiberius looking north and east. What a beautiful site. I can not explain what today did for my testimony and bringing these stories of our Savior alive in my mind.

As you can see Kim was feeling much better in the afternoon. We had a good lunch of fish...yes the whole thing. Head, tail, fins, eyes and all caught from the Sea of Galilee. Despite the sea being commercially fished for nearly 2000 years it continues to provide fish without end.

My final pictoral thought is that of this ancient olive press. It was in the city of Capernum where the apostle Peter had his home. Also here in this ancient city was a synagog dated to the 1st century and would not be unreasonable to say that Christ, he being a Rabbi, could have taught here. We literally walked today where Jesus walked. Now we must spiritually take that challenge as well.

We are loving our time here. We miss our children greatly but this opportunity to see where the Christ lived, taught, died and was resurected has been wonderful. What a blessing it has been for us to have this chance. We can't wait to see you again and share with you our wonderful experiences. Until tomorrow.
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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Hope this works

rainy day, here we are at a beautiful walk thru the ruins of Tel-Dan. One of the worlds oldest places.

Kim and I at the head of the waters of the Jorday River

More of the head of the Upper Jordan River

Atop a mountain near Nazareth where Jesus lived
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rainy day

yesterday was quite rainy. i am having a hard time uploading any pictures tonight for some reason. we are all well. kim is happy, eating well and feeling good. this place is not how i imagined it. it is a beautiful, agricultural area. more pics when i can figure this out.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Day Three in Israel

Hello again from the clan McLaws presently in Israel. We had a decent night sleep (lasting about three hours) before the sun was up and we had to be going. I took a few shots of the Mediterranean Sea as seen from the window of our hotel room.
Here is a picture of our hotel...The Blue Bay Hotel and Spa. It was Shabbat (the Jewish sunday) so there was little activity all day. It was clean, the beds were firm, and our electric converters worked...for the most part. After an interesting breakfast of salads, fresh vegitables (which are usually seen on a dinner plate instead of a breakfast plate) eggs, fresh bread, fish, fruit and yogurt we took a walk along the beach.

We collected a few sea shells, some coral, sea glass and other rocks. The McLaws blood in me mandates that I pick up a rock if it's pretty...oh well.

Before boarding the bus for the first day of travel and sight seeing. We stopped at Caesarea and saw a Crusaders Fortress, got pictures of an ancient Roman Aquaduct, saw the graves of the two LDS missionaries burried in Haifa, stood atop Mt. Carmel and recounted the story of Ismael and the wicked priests of Baal. By this time it was getting dim but we saw the valley of Armageddon (Har Megiddo), drove thru Nazareth and stopped at our final destination of Tiberius on the Sea of Gallalie. I will have some more picture posted soon. We love you all and can't wait to see you again.
--Will and Kim
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