Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Play

This evening was Evie's Christmas play at school.  She was very proud of her role as the 2nd wise man!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Evie's Christmas Centerpiece

Today Evie got to make a Christmas centerpiece at school. Felix and mama came by to watch and lend a helping hand. The finished product is beautiful and certainly something to be proud of.

Friday, December 16, 2011

O Christmas Tree

Last week we put the tree up and decorated. Atop the tree this year is a new star that lights up. We think it's perfect!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pakjes Avond

 Finally!  Time for Pakjes Avond, the evening that Sinterklaas brings all the presents!!  Opa Bas, Oma Wilma, Aunty Rachel, and Juriaan joined us for the festivities.  We ate some traditional Dutch winter food, boerenkool.   And then some real Zwarte Pieten came to bring the presents!!!  Two of them!!  Dank u, Sinterklaasje!

House and table decorated for Sinterklaas.

Yummy, boerenkool!


Family photo with the Pieten!






Sunday, December 4, 2011

In preparation for tomorrow's sinterklaas festivities, Tom and kids made kruidnoten today. Those are pretty much just mini gingersnaps, but then a little bit different. They are quintessential Sinterklaas treat. Thanks to a new mix available at the grocery store, they are also pretty easy and fun (and only slightly messy) to make at home.



Two Princesses

Dressing up like princesses never gets old!! And seeing our little boy dressed up like a fairy princess is still just as cute as can be! So here are the latest in girly-girly dress up time. And no, Evie is not making an obscene gesture in the second photograph, she is simply showing off her ring. How dare you think that!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Movember is Over

Being December first means that it is time to say goodbye to the mustache. It ended up looking pretty good on him. To be honest, I kind of missed it when it was gone, but enough is enough. Tom did a fantastic job raising money for prostate cancer research. He totaled close to three hundred euros! Here we have his last mustache photo and underneath a video of all the photos. Of course we weren't able to achieve the goal of a picture every day, but it still works with just sixteen photographs. Tom is planning on participating in Movember next year, so we'll have another chance of making a really cool morph video!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pieten Disco

Today it was time for another kids disco at the grote markt. This time it was a Sinterklaas theme, of course. Our kids donned their Piet costumes with black facepaint and all, and headed down to the Grote Markt. Unfortunately, there weren't nearly as many patrons as last month's Halloween party, but it was still loads of fun. Hopefully next month's New Year's party will be better attended.
My Evie Piet was ready to party!
Decorating eierkoek.
Our little breakdancer is back!
This was an albino piet, apparently...
Father-daughter dance.
At least there was plenty of room to spread out and dance.
Every time he would do a move he would hold it for about a minute or more leaving plenty of time to take a picture.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving again, and this is an American tradition that we strongly believe in keeping special in our household. We celebrate it on the real date of Thanksgiving, which inconveniently falls on a Thursday. Evie got to stay home from school, and Tom got to stay home from work, in order to participate in the preparations. Menno also took the day off to join in the good American fun! Liz had a strict schedule layed out starting promptly at two o'clock. While things were going on in the kitchen, Evie was busy making namecards and setting the table perfectly. The meal ended up being perfectly delicious. Another colleague, Sophie, joined us for dinner. After the kids went to bed we enjoyed a few hours of board games. It was pretty much a perfect Thanksgiving Day!
Ready to go!
The table is all set.

Here is one of the namecards Evie made. Each one was colored differntly according to the color preferences of each guest.

The unceremonial carving of the turkey.
Before eating we all gave our thanks. Evie was grateful for Mama, and Felix was grateful for Papa. What more could you ask for??
The meal: Roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, butternut squash, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, stewed pears, and cornbread!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sinterklaas Journaal

While Sinterklaas is here in the country, there are a couple traditions to be kept. One of them is the watching of the Sinterklaas Journaal, or Sinterklaas news. The show is hosted by Dieuwertje Blok. The kids loving saying, "Sinterklaas Journaal met Dieuwertje Blok." Even Felix says it well! The news is sent out at a pretty impossible time for us to watch it, so every day after dinner the kids watch that day's news on the computer. It has their full attention, as could be expected.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reading the Bible

Here we have a picture of Evie reading to Felix from her toddler Bible. It is one of her favorite books.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beekse Bergen

Today Opa Bas celebrated his birthday by taking the whole family to the Beekse Bergen, a safari zoo in the southern part of the Netherlands. Although the rest of the country was covered in mist, it stayed more or less clear and sunny for the better part of the day. Thank goodness!
Oma Wilma walks with Felix
The stroller was basically used as a carrier of bags... also quite useful.
The two little ones.
Tom got to take some cool pictures of the animals!
Later in the afternoon the fog rolled in again.
Gorilla!
I love this picture of the boy.
I always knew she was a little monkey.
Aunty Monkey!