Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Jon here...

Hello again! This is kind of early for an update but it needs to be said.

Last night I got home from school and had to take a shower. I went into the bathroom and Polly just jumps right into the shower. So I turned on the water and Polly just played with the water and drank some and just stood there enjoying it. I was like "ok Polly, I'm getting in and taking a shower now" so I got in and started getting all soaked up while water was splashing everywhere. Polly just played with the water and kept jumping on top of the tub and back in. She eventually got out of the tub but just sat on the toilet waiting for me to finish. I'll tell ya, it's kinda of strange taking a shower and then looking behind you to see your cat staring at you and your naked body. BUTT (ha...ha...ha) it was funny. Our cat loves the water. Lets hope she continues to love it as she gets older. Then Kasey and I watched the movie Superbad and Polly just sat on the couch on her blanket and watched to! She literally didn't take her eyes off the movie and when someone walked in front of her she would just look at them and then look back at the TV. It was So funny.

Another thing happened this morning. The house didn't really smell good cause of the cat food, so I started to spray some Fa-breeze around the house. I get to the living room and spray up high, when the entire lid pops off and the bottle full of liquid Fa-breeze falls onto the couch and then onto the floor. It starts pouring out on the couch and the floor! About 1/3 of the bottle emptied out. I quickly got a towel and soaked up as much as I could. It started to reek, so I told Kasey what happened and said "I'm sorry if you get sick and/or get a head ache today :p". That was my morning....

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Last two weeks...

Jon Here…

Hello everybody, very sorry for the late post. It’s been a pretty busy two weeks for Kasey and I.

Where do I start…Last week I had two field studies on Saturday and Sunday. We went to Herodian (Herod the Greats Fortress/tomb), Bethlehem, Tel-Aviv, Shiloh (Where the tabernacle was), Geba (Saul’s army against the Philistines) and Michmash (where the Philistine camp was and where Jonathan and his armor bearer slaughtered them). They were very very exciting, but by the time you get home after one of these your mind and body are exhausted. Body because in order to see a good view of the land we usually end up walking up a mountain/large hill and all over the place, and it’s about 80-110 degrees when we do it…so you are extremely sweaty. Mind because after the hikes or even during the teacher is talking non stop where you have to process everything and take down notes. So it drains you very fast, but it’s SO FUN! During the day you don’t really feel it cause you are in the zone, but as soon as you get home you pretty much crash (Kasey can vouch for me :P). OH! And usually after our Physical Settings field studies you have a paper or two that you have to write about the day and your thoughts, AND a test on the next day. So yes, very fun, and they are trying to “weed” us out to see who can and who can’t…let’s hope I can :P But trust me, it’s SO fun and I love every second of it…except Hebrew.

Friday Kasey came with me to JUC and chilled on campus doing whatever for 3 hours while I was in class (I don’t know which one was more boring :P). But after my class was done we went to a coffee place in the new city called “Aroma”. I got a typical frap, and Kasey got a HOT drink that she loved very much. We walked through a new outdoor mall, and into a cool part of the city were there is a big open area for people to sit/walk/eat/etc…very fun place. We were looking for a pet store because we wanted to get a cat. MOST pet stores (all the ones we went to) only have fish and birds for household pets. If you want a dog or cat you have to get them off the street or at a shelter. So we found some flyers and found a really good shelter where we could have our pick of kittens (2-3 months old) and only have to pay for neutering and shots (which have been done already). OH MAN! I just realized that we were going to get McDonalds while we were there, but we didn’t cause we had to book it to the shelter…dangit. Another day, another day…and next time we will take pictures so that you can see where the cool area is.

The whole process of getting a kitten took from about 1pm-7pm (getting home, waiting for the truck, and then find the place, picking out a cat, signing the papers and going home). When we got home with “Polly” Kasey realized that it was infested with flees…it was gross, and it’s making me itch right now. Anyway, we isolated Polly in the Spider bathroom…

Side note:

Kasey has gone into that bathroom a view times and has never seen the brown spider. I have been the only one to see it. So when we put the kitty in there we figured it was dead or it disappeared to somewhere else.

…and went straight to a pet store down the road to get some “Frontline” flea stuff. Kasey was very brave, yes MUCH braver than me, and took care of the cat and put the medicine on the cat and looked for fleas and grossness.

While Kasey was doing that I shut the door to the bathroom so that the cat couldn’t jump out. As soon as I shut the door the BROWN SPIDER darts out and starts running toward me at a tremendous spider speed! I as usual start freaking out and hit the lights to the hallway (they were off) but accidently turned the lights off in the bathroom where Kasey was holding the cat with fleas everywhere. She goes “JON! LIGHTS! I CAN’T SEE!!” I go, while jumping and backing up trying to find the stupid light switch to the bathroom and the hallway say “SPIDER!! THE BROWN SPIDER IS COMING TOWARD ME! I TOLD YOU IT WAS STILL HERE!” So I turn on all the lights, run back into the living room, grab my flip-flop and throw it on top of the demon spider. I don’t trust anything right now so I grab my other flip-flop and hit the other one repeatedly, scared that it got away with it’s lightning speed right before I tried to crush it. I had to start acting like a man so I stopped what I was doing and lifted up the shoe to find that nothing was there! IT got away and was above me ready to bite me!....I’m just kidding, I killed it. It is dead and there is not a soul who saw any of this…not cool.

We had to keep the cat in there from Friday night to about Saturday night (24 hours). On Saturday after church, Kasey went into the spider bathroom and checked for the remaining flees…she only found two! So we were happy and decided to take them off of Polly in the tub. We filled the bath up to a couple of inches thinking that this was going to be a bad experience with the Kitten, BUT to our amazement Polly just jumped in on her own and started walking around and licking the water! We were so happy that we had a cat that enjoys the water. We cleaned her off with shampoo and found out that there were way more fleas than just two left on her…maybe 10 or more. The worst part was when one jumped on Kasey’s thumb and she goes “AAHHH!!” and starts tossing her hand around trying to get it off…right in front of my body/face. So now that the flea is not on her hand and she is ok I am freaking out that it is on my body. I checked and I didn’t find anything. This bathing took about 1 hour to do. After we cleaned everything in the bathroom, and dry off Polly, she runs from the living room and back into the tub where she demands more water to play with. We gave it to her.

We made some Mac’n cheese because we didn’t really eat anything this whole time. Here we find out that Mac’n cheese is like cat nip for Polly…she goes right up to your bowl and will crawl all over your body just to get a hit of the cheese. We were also happy about this, now all that’s left is pizza (she didn’t eat chocolate ice cream or chocolate icing, which was kind of disappointing, but whatever).

Sunday I went all around Benjamin, from Jericho to Gezer (all the way east and west) learning about the land and the importance of it. I just got done writing the test about yesterdays field study. This week for me is really busy. I have a midterm paper to write and a field study on Friday. BUT Kasey and I are hoping to go to the beach in Tel-Aviv on Sunday and swim in the Mediterranean, which will be a fun day if we can manage it.

Prayer Requests:

-Jon has a very busy week this week with school

-Continue praying for Kasey as she teaches and for her students that they will be a blessing to her

-Continue to pray that God provides for us

-Pray for Polly, our new Kitty

Praise Items:

-We are moving into our new apartment on Thursday and will finally get to unpack everything and make it our own!

-We have a pretty awesome kitty

Friday, September 4, 2009

Jon's week

Jon here…

I have just finished my first week of school and so far I love it, except for Hebrew…I’m going to need prayer on that one. The worst part is that it’s a requirement for every semester. I’m taking Physical Settings of the bible (we go out on the field almost every weekend). In October we will start going on long trips (4-5 days). My second class is History of Ancient Israel. This one is very interesting, we are starting our study before the time of Abraham (around the time of the Sumerians). My third course is Archaeology, which I just finished today. It’s a 3 hour, once every week course. There are no tests or papers for the whole semester, until the final which is 100% of our mark. I KNOW! Crazy. My fourth, and least favorite, class is Hebrew…lots of memorization.

A typical day for me is, I get up in the morning, walk Kasey to her work, take a bus from Beit Haninah all the way to the bus station which is about a 2 min walk from Damascus Gate that let’s you into the Old City. I then walk through part of the Old City (mainly the Arab territory) and make my way to Jaffa Gate which comes out on the West side of the Old City which then takes you to the New City if you choose to go that way. Then I walk on the outside of the Old City to JUC campus.

The campus is completely made out of stone, and is ridiculously small, they have 2 classrooms where all the classes take place. There are about 100 people on campus this year, probably less. The classes are very spread out so I have lots of time (about 5-8 hours a day) to do my homework. I am studying hard. I get there at around 8:30am and if I am not in class I am in the Library doing my reading homework until around 4pm where I then make my way home. Monday and Thursday I have a night class so I don’t get home till about 10:30pm. I’m doing everything I can to learn and do well.

Last Sunday we had our first field outing, and went on a tour around the Old City. This Sunday we are going all around Jerusalem for 10 hours. We are going to be very sweaty.

The days that I have my night class I catch a ride with my professor where he drops me off on the street we have to go down in order to get home. From there I walk/take a bus to get home (around 10pm)., it’s about a 45-minute walk if I don’t catch a bus.

Last night after my night class we go to his car and make our way up this driveway were we stop, because it’s blocked by a truck and the owners weren’t there. There was also a festival going on in the city because of Ramadan so the street was full of cars. This one truck blocked us and about 3 other Arabs in their cars. So we get out and start talking to one of the men that is trapped and can’t move because of this truck. I suggest getting a bunch of guys from the school and picking up the truck (about a medium sized truck) and moving it over to the side. (I didn’t notice at the time but someone had kicked the door of the truck because it was blocking them leaving a very big dent). The professor and Arab man talk a little bit more and then he turns to me (my Jewish professor) and say “ya, lets give it a shot…we’ll move it and then most likely the guys will come back, get angry and we’ll have to fight them off and then we can all go our separate ways” (he was totally serious, which I thought was hilarious).

So I went to go get some guys, but when I found one of the second year students and asked him to come help me find some guys so we can pick up a truck and move it over to the ditch, the president of JUC was in a room next to him. So I was like “oh, no…it just figures that this would happen to me”. So the president comes out and says what’s going on? So I tell him what was happening and he says “well lets go take a look and see what we can do”. We walk and chat all the way up the driveway and when he get there and sees the chaos that is taking place, we notice the owners of the truck are back and arguing with all the guys there. So what does the president do? He walks right up to them and joins all the other people telling them off “you know you can’t park here, we’ve called the cops, etc, etc..” I was laughing. It was awesome to see my professor and President doing this. Everything was worked out and we drove away so that he could drop me off on my street. I’m really hoping that a bus comes or else I have to walk a long way.

I’m not going to lie it’s kind of creepy at first cause I’m literally the only white guy walking on this street. And I stand out like a sore thumb. While I was walking down the street last night, I noticed a group of soldiers (not Israeli) blowing a trumpet and having fun and drinking (don’t know if it was alcohol or apple juice…could be both, who knows) holding very big guns. After I saw them I was like “hmmm…a single white American walking down the road with a backpack on looking like a tourist (I didn’t have my camera though) at 10pm…I wonder what’s going to happen when they see me”. Nothing happened, plus I didn’t make eye contact. It seemed like they were just enjoying themselves. I eventually caught a bus going down the street and made it home nice and safe around 10:45pm.

On another note, about 2 weeks ago, I had to go to the bathroom. Sorry for the explanation, but while I was “sitting” there I saw a brown looking, small spider in the bottom corner of the bathroom.

Side note: when Kasey and I got picked up by Shane at the airport he told us a story. He said that if we ever saw a brown spider, leave in the heck alone because they are very poisonous. His brother was here one time and got bit by one and his entire forearm swelled up. And Shane is a big guy. (Kasey: he’s talking about a brown recluse, which can easily kill you if it bites you)

So while I was looking at this spider all I heard in my head was “leave it alone… it’s small and brown.” So naturally I blew on it to see if it was alive; it twitched. After I was done “sitting” I got on top of the toilet seat, grabbed the closest thing next to me (which was a squeegee thing) and proceeded to move it closer to the brown spider which I was specifically told not to bother. Before I even touched it, the spider jumped/vanished literally in the blink of an eye. I had no idea where it went. I, like a normal 6’4”, 235 lb guy, continued to cower on top of the toilet seat trying to keep it cool while I searched top and bottom for this small brown spider. After a while of searching the room and my own body I spotted a dark spot deep in the spiders next. I decided that was the missing spider. So I got out of the bathroom, shut the door… aaaaand that’s that… no more spider near me.

(Kasey: it’s important to note that to this day, all of us avoid that bathroom, A) because the scary spider is somewhere in there, and B) it smells funny.)