This Thursday I am thankful for:
1. Dutch letters! Oh, they are the most wonderful confection.
I get them only once or twice a year, but they are wonderful… especially the ones that come from my cousin’s world-famous bakery (Jaarsma’s) in Pella,Iowa. While I was home last weekend, I got to partake of their flaky goodness, and rich almond paste centers. (Am I making you drool yet??)
This was the day our little group of six ventured into Bethlehem, while the rest of our group was catching planes to go home. Bethlehem is less than 6 miles south of Jerusalem. However, Bethlehem is under Palestinian control so that means a boarder-crossing to enter the city. On any given day, this crossing can take hours. But because it was a holiday for both the Muslims and the Jews, we literally drove straight up to the gates and passed right on through. It was a Christmas miracle! …or something like that.
On our drive through Bethlehem, we passed signs for Boaz’s Field Restaurant, Ruth’s Restaurant, and a green and white “Star and Bucks” cafe.
Our first stop in Bethlehem was at the Church of the Nativity – the traditional site of Jesus’ birth. We visited the different sections of the church, designated for different denominations. We even got to go a back way down into the cave where the traditional site where Jesus was born. (more…)