Monday, October 24, 2005

Oma's visit 

Mom arrived mid September and was able to stay for about 2 weeks. We went to some of the towns around here and did a little sight seeing, the weather was pretty good. Then we all loaded into the Toyota and headed up to Holland. Mom had a special reunion at her school in Winterswijk so we timed the visit for that weekend. Upon arrival, we stopped by our hotel to make sure our room was ready, and then went on over to Mom's sister and brother-in-law's (Ini and Gerrit) home in Enschede. Jacob is well acquainted with them and was very excited to see them again. We spent some time visiting and then enjoyed dinner together.

Jacob played in the yard and ate ice cream while we were able to visit. Afterwards, Kenny Jacob and I headed back to the hotel and settled in for the night.

The next day we had breakfast, stopped by an antique shop and then went and picked everyone up in Enschede. We were headed to the Tierpark Nordhorn (a zoo) that was just over the border into Germany. It was such a nice zoo, just the right size and not too crowded. It had a really nice playground with a cafe next to it, which we took advantage of.

We enjoyed the morning there, and then headed off to a pancake house set in an old water mill. Driving to the pancake house was nice too, the farms and countryside were beautiful. Lots of small towns with neat and clean yards, fields etc. We were able to eat outside at the pancake house, since the weather was so nice. We did peek at the inside area, it was The inside was decorated with antiques and delft tile. There was a nice playground and a pen of goats that kept Jacob amused. As usual, the pancakes were delicious, one of my favorite things to eat in Holland. By the time we finished up there it was afternoon and we were tired. We headed back to the hotel, making a quick stop at a fishing supply store Kenny had spotted in the town of Borne. While waiting in the car for Kenny to do his shopping (Jacob was sleeping) I was able to watch all the people on bikes coming home from a day of work or school. It is not just a stereotype that the Dutch all ride bikes! They do, and they are very skilled at it!

The next day was the day of the reunion, so Kenny, Jacob and I decided to head into Amsterdam by train. The train ride was a little hectic, we kept finding out we were in the wrong section of the train and had to keep moving around. (Sometimes the trains separate and the rear section goes somewhere else.) We got into Amsterdam and decided to use the Canal Bus which is a canal boat that you can hop on and off all day. It stops by the museums and such, and saved us some walking with Jacob. Plus it was fun to tour the canals that way, it was something we had never done in our many trips to Amsterdam. The first one we took was really full, so she let Jacob sit up front next to her where she was steering. He thought that was pretty cool! We headed first for the Van Gogh Museum, this was another thing we had missed before. It was closed for renovation for a while so we finally were able to visit it. We had to wait a little while to get in, but not too long. Once inside Jacob saw the one of the first paintings, one that is featured in his Disney book about Holland. After that he went to sleep, and didn't wake up until we left. We took our time and enjoyed the art, and browsed in the museum store. After that we stopped for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe (a bad choice - more on that later) and picked up a t-shirt for Jacob.

We really didn't have any plans beyond that, so we wandered around and enjoyed the sights. We did some window shopping in the antique district, then walked through the flower market. We bought some tulip bulbs for our garden, hopefully I will have stunning pictures for you next spring. As the afternoon got later, we rode the Canal Bus back to the train station, found the right train to our hotel, and finally all collapsed into bed for the night.

The next morning everyone came to our hotel for breakfast, before Kenny, Jacob and I headed back to Germany. Mom was staying a couple extra days, and would return to our house by train. Our hotel had an outstanding breakfast buffet, one of the best I've had in Europe. They do breakfast a little different, but this was very good. Unfortunately Kenny and I were both stricken with some really bad food poisoning. We were debating staying an extra day, but decided we really wanted to be home in our own bed. Luckily Jacob wasn't sick, that would have been terrible. We are pretty sure it was the hamburgers at Hard Rock, we didn't eat anything else the same. Jacob had the grilled cheese, so that's why he was okay. It was a long ride home, with lots of stops but we made and by that night were both feeling a little better.

We brought home with us some souvenirs and two large balls of Holland Cheese, one stayed with us and the other went to Kindergarten with Jacob. He shared it with all his classmates. Mom came back Tuesday night on the train, and we had a few more days together before she went back to Florida on Friday.

There are more pictures that I didn't put on the blog, but they are over on the photosite in the Holland Sept 2005 section. Take a look if you have a chance

Thursday, October 20, 2005


So, I guess I have to go way back to start catching up on all we did the past month. Perhaps I will start with the more random things....

So, that's about it for now. I'm working on my post from when Mom was here and our trip to Holland, and then there is Kay, Richard and Nancy's visit still. I'm still trying to get my pictures organized!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

All alone... 

Well, we put Kay, Richard and Nancy on a plane to Tennessee this morning, as we drove back from Garmisch. We had a fun time with them, and I know they enjoyed seeing the sights. I don't think they wasted a single minute! I have lots of pictures, starting back from when Mom was here and we went to Holland. So, over the next few days I should start getting them posted, and caught up.

Now the house seems so quiet, just me, Kenny and Jacob. Back to our regular routine, and catching up on all the things I put off for the last month while we had visitors. It will be nice to slow down a bit, but it was also fun to have people visiting. Jacob always enjoys having new people to entertain!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Falling further behind 

Well, we got Mom safely back to Florida, and are ready to pick up Kay, Richard and Nancy (friends from Tennessee) on Wednesday. But I don't have time to write any posts! I have pictures from Holland, and notes from Mom's visit. We had a nice time, and a fun trip to Holland. Spent a day at the zoo (surprising isn't it? I'm sure you would have never guessed we went to a zoo) with my Aunt and Uncle, and took the train into Amsterdam. We have two trips planned in the next two weeks, and I'm sure I'll take more pictures. I can't keep up!!!!

I have been busy with church, we have been having a great time with our Women's group. I have been doing the "programs" which is a monthly special event, instead of our normal studies. Tomorrow is another one, so I have been working on the decorations, activities, guest speaker while Mom was here. I can't seem to find a spare moment, and when I do I'm usually so tired I just go to bed :)

Jacob is doing fine, we are almost out of bike riding season. It is getting pretty cool, especially in the mornings. So some days we bike ride to school, and other days we walk. And if it's raining, we go in the car, much to his dismay. Jacob has been busy at kindergarten, cooking and celebrating the fall harvest. He has decided to be a pirate for Halloween, so that should be fun. He wears the costume almost every day, and uses couch cushions for a boat.

Kenny has been fishing every chance he gets, soon the lake will freeze and then there will be now more fishing I guess. He did pretty well on Saturday, he caught 3 trout. One was pretty big, the whole catch was almost 3 kilos. The weather was miserable, but he enjoyed it. Jacob and I showed up near the end, and Jacob hung out to watch all the guys clean the fish. (I found some other things to do!)

Soon, I will catch up, I promise. So if anyone is still reading in the next couple weeks, it should become a little more interesting.

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