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In September our whole family had a chance to visit Jerusalem with Grandma Duggar. It's just amazing. The crazy thing is that when you get on the highway there are signs that say, "To Jerusalem" and I remember thinking, I can't believe I'm reading this on a street sign.
It was something that we had hoped to do someday, but we never dreamed we'd do it this soon. Especially with all of our children, but it worked out. And even our son Josh and our daughter-in-law Anna and their kids were able to go, too, as well as our niece, Amy. (For those of you counting, that's 26 of us on a trip!) It happened that Grandma Duggar's birthday was this year -- she turned 70. And the dream of her life, from the time she was a little girl, was to get to go to the Holy Land.
So we told her on her birthday that we wanted to give her a trip to Israel. At that point we were thinking we would buy two tickets and send her with a family member. But we all ended up going, and it was something Grandma would have never thought would've happened -- all of her grandchildren in Jerusalem with her. It was so neat.
For some of the children it was their first international trip. We arranged our flights to coincide with bedtime, so they were able to sleep most of the time. And we made sure to pack plenty of snacks and toys. Our youngest, Josie, loves to listen to music on her sister Jill's phone - it's her favorite toy now. (We're going to have a hard time keeping her away from cell phones from now on.)
The youngest girls each had a baby doll, coloring books and crayons and stickers. And our son Jackson brought his little car. The older kids had a traveling chess board and their laptops. The kids did great.
Getting to walk where Jesus walked, and to see the places that the Old Testament writings describe was amazing. We also saw some of the architectural remains of different empires. It was so neat to be over there, and just get to go to all the different places that we've read about for so many years in the Bible was so wonderful.
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