Friday, December 31, 2010

Highlights of 2010

Before ringing in the new year, we take a few minutes in this video to remember 2010 with the Schutte family. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Second Christmas Day

For most of 2nd Christmas Day we just took it easy and enjoyed the time together. While Felix slept, we watched Evie's new dvd, Beauty and the Beast. Later in the afternoon Menno came bearing gifts and treats! He brought gingerbread cookies, Christmas chocolates, cookie bars, and cupcakes - all homemade, beautiful, and delicious! For dinner we had cheese fondue - soooo yummy!
Felix opening some blocks.

Felix wasted no time sampling the goodies.

Evie was looking festive again in another new outfit from Aunty Panda.

Ready to enjoy the fondue!

So yummy!


The kids like it, too!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

First Christmas Day

After opening the presents and eating our Christmas breakfast, we all packed up to head to Zoetermeer to celebrate with Oma Wilma and Opa Bas, as well as Aunty Rachel, and Oma Oma.
Waiting for the tram at central station.

Evie wore one of her new outfits from Aunty Panda.

She was so happy with her new Hello Kitty plush.

She helped everyone open their presents.

Oma Wilma

Opa Bas

Oma Oma is feeding Felix some yummy Christmas pears.

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning we awoke to a tree full with presents. Santa most definitely stopped by. He ate a few cookies and all the milk, and even left half a cookie on the table! The kids were very happy with all their presents. It was a beautiful Christmas morning.
O Christmas Tree!

Evie went right to work sorting out the presents.

Felix enjoys a traditional Christmas breakfast.

He got a bunch of Felix the Cat memorabilia from Grandma & Grandpa.

One of Evie's favorite presents was a house for her hamster, Storm.

Felix was also thrilled with his new "hello".

Opening the stocking.

A new backpack for school from Grandma Nan. It even matches her lunchbox!

Felix got a real steel Tonka dump truck. He actually pointed at it all wrapped up and said, "toot-toot," his name for everything with wheels.

We weren't even done opening everything at this point. It took us more than two hours to get everything opened!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was spent at home with Oma Els, Opa Erno, and Bincky. For dinner we had a chicken roulade, winter squash casserole, green beans, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, and pudding for dessert! It was all very yummy and festive.
Playing with the chalkboard with Opa Erno.



Oma Els & Opa Erno

Tom & Liz

Evie eating one of the Christmas tree cookies we left out for Santa.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Playing in the Snow

It's a winter wonderland in Holland again! It is absolutely beautiful and it should stay this way through Christmas. Tom spent a few hours getting all the kitchen packaging together for trash pick-up while the kids had fun playing in the snow.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tiling Begins

Today Tom started work on getting the tiles done in the kitchen. He ended up getting a late start meaning that he didn't finish nearly as much as we intended. On top of that, the blade got blunt right after closing time, so he had to stop working. The good news is, we are very happy with our tile choice. It is a very dark gray and a very light gray. It looks great with the wood countertop, and it will also look great with the new flooring when it's done.
Tom busy at work.

End of the first tiling session.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Carols

Seeing as it's Christmastime, we have been singing lots of Christmas songs. The kids can both sing along with Silent Night. Evie is also quite good at Jingle Bells and Away in a Manger. She even can sing the Twelve Days of Christmas quite well.

Kitchen Installation - Day 3

Today was the last day of kitchen installation. Because of the heavy snowfall of last night, the guys didn't get here until nearly ten o'clock. They quickly got to work doing the last bits of work. They made one more trip to Ikea for a new sink, and got everything finished by three o'clock. Now the finishing can start! Knowing us, it probably won't go as quickly as the installation has gone.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kitchen Installation - Day 2

Today was another full day of kitchen installation. The two guys got here at 8:30 and started right away to get things done. At around eleven o'clock Ikea showed up with the new panels. Of course, one of them was the wrong one. Another colleague went to the Ikea himself to pick up the right one and then joined the other two for a while here.

The stove, oven, and fridge have been installed as well as the sink, drain and dishwasher. After getting the sink all in place they tested it for leaks and, sure enough, there's a leak. It was discovered that the bottom of the sink wasn't finished properly, causing the leak.

Tomorrow they will come back to install the cabinet shelves and attach the handles. One of them will make a quick trip to the Ikea to exchange the sink. And then.... the kitchen will be done! Well, not really. We'll still have to do the finishing - tiles, wall, paint, and floors. But the biggest chunk will be done!

Busy at work.

And then there were three.

End of day two.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas at the Church

This evening was the Christmas service at church with Evie's school. All the kids sat together with their teachers. There was a lighting of the candles and a Christmas play. Evie wasn't in the play, but all the kids sang along with the songs. The parents joined in singing some of the more well known Christmas songs.

Kitchen Installation - Day 1

Today was the first day of the kitchen installation! It didn't quite go off without a hitch, but it did go rather quickly regardless. The first problem to be discovered was that there weren't enough end panels ordered. The problem is easy enough to fix - just make a run to Ikea to pick up more. So that was put on the to-do list for after dinner.

Then there was a little scratch on the back panel of one of the cabinets. It was so minor that we decided to ignore it. Then one of the workmen damaged one of the end panels by accident. We also heard that the outlet for the fridge was actually to high and was supposed to be under instead of behind the fridge. Something for Tom to do when Liz goes to Ikea...

When the cabinet doors started to be unpacked we found the next problem - the panels have a slight color difference compared to the cabinet doors. They are supposed to be the same, but it was a visible difference. Slight, but visible. Via the installation company we heard from Ikea that they are the proper panels and that there isn't a color difference. Once at Ikea, Liz tried to get the story straight about the color difference. At the time of the order I saw on the order that the cabinets were "white" and the panels were "ecru" and pointed it out. The man there assured us that it was only a change in name, but that the color is the same. But after seeing the two colors it was clear that they are not 100% the same. The new panals that I had to pick up were labeled with the color white, not ecru. So I went to customer service and explained everything and it was arranged that tomorrow the old panels will be picked up and replaced with white ones.

The very last thing we came across was that our lamp in the kitchen was just a few centimeters too close to the cabinet doors. So Tom had to move that, too, so that the doors could open. This means we'll need to get a new lamp in the kitchen, which is something Tom is thrilled about! He despised the fluorescent lights we had there.

The two guys who are here doing the work are great. They know exactly what they are doing and take their time making sure everything is level and even. At the same time, they are also very fast! One started putting together the cabinets, and two seconds later he was already working on cabinet number four! We would have probably only been able to assemble the cabinets in one day, maybe. They have assembled, secured, and leveled all of the upper and lower cabinets, and almost all of the tall cabinets. They come back tomorrow morning and should have the job finished by suppertime. Fingers crossed for no more hiccups!

The kitchen ready to be fitted.

This picture reminds us of all the things we don't have to do ourselves.

Progress in one day.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Centerpieces at School

Today was the Christmas craft afternoon at Evie's school. The parents were welcome a half hour before the end of the school day to see the kids make some beautiful Christmas centerpieces. Some the parents lent quite the helping hand, but I let Evie just do her thing. After all, she's a natural artist.
Evie got all excited about the ornaments that were available to use.

The finished product!

After they were done the kids sang songs witht he teacher until the bell rang. Evie is the second one from the left.

Ever-shrinking Living Room

Since this whole kitchen project started a few weeks ago, space on the living side of the house has been getting smaller and smaller. First it was just a few square feet that we lost to the construction zone, which wasn't really that bad. It was actually nice mixing things up a bit in terms of furniture arrangement.
But with the day the couch got pushed further away from the kitchen, eating into our regular space.

But now we really don't have any more living room space to spare. We are now cramped into the last corner of the living room.

But, of course, we had to make room for this:
Our new kitchen! (in boxes)

Everything has been counted and checked. There are more that 100 packages with a total weight of 750 kg! Starting on Wednesday the builders will come to assemble and install the kitchen. Looking at all the boxes, we are so happy to be having someone else do that part.