Autumnal antics

After a glorious summer holiday, the first smells of autumn, it struck us full force a few weeks ago. The result: lots and lots of felled trees, blown-over fences and queues in front of the shops selling roof tiles.

We came off lightly. Nothing broken, nothing bruised. Well, if you don’t consider Steve’s elbow, which had an unfortunate meeting with some tarmac after tripping over a ridge in the dark while collecting the Batman from scouting on a dark Friday evening.

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Luckily, no cast was necessary, but it does restrict your movements… Luckily, there’s always a little dwarf at hand to tie shoelaces 😉

The other dwarf was inducted in the water scouts, and is now wearing his uniform loud and proud.

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2013-11-01 19.55.53And yes, he LOVES mud… 😉

I’d rather be…

in Donegal…

 

 

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And before you know it, the first autumn storms have flattened many a tree, Sinterklaas and Xmas are just around the corner…

But it is so much fun being able to look back on two weeks of Donegal madness. We’re hard at work sticking the many many many photos in an album, to leaf through and enjoy for years to come… 

It would totally let the blog grind to a halt to add all the pictures, so here’s a few…

Ireland snaps

Swim till you’re winning!

Yesss, the last of the swimming certificates is ‘in da pocket’! This means that we have come at the end of a 11+ year swimming mom career, starting with pregnancy swimming classes and ending with the B diploma of Mister Batman… A relief but also quite sentimental, to be honest… And a great thank-you goes out to all the teachers that we have dealt with over the years, from Ankie and Barbara to Eddy and Bauke. I think we will all actually miss you!

Batman in action! There will hopefully be more pics soon on the Viz Facebook page

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Bye Eddy!

From winter to spring…

And before you know it, 4 months pass… 4 months of winter, with cold, wind, snow and ice. We loved running around in home knits, but after a while, it does get a bit boring… Luckily, the world has thawed out now, and we’ve started working in the garden again. It’s lovely to sit outside again, with a cup of coffee and the Saturday papers… squinting at the sun – yes, still with an extra coat on, but outside! The first laundry has dried outside as well, great!

So, what did winter look like here? Well, something like this…

Christmas

Ready for Xmas dinner…

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Boxing day walk on the beach…

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And then the heavens opened. The first of the snow arrived…

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And when there’s snow, there’s shopping with the sleigh. The car was given a rest and we did lots of white walking…

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With lovely views all through the city.P1017070

New Year’s

On New Year’s Eve we picked up Steve’s mom from the airport and drove to our ‘cottage’ in Noordwijkerhout. After a trip into the city, where we had lunch, we headed back home, had a celebratory drink and then woke up to this view on New Year’s Day. We had a lovely day in, enjoying catching up!

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Of course, we couldn’t have her over without a trip to the Big City. So, on January 2, we were on the bus into town…

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And this is, of course, SHOE HEAVEN! Hannah posed with lots of her favourite shoes: sneakers!

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We had lunch in a lovely lunch in the Sneeker Pan.

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Did some hardcore shopping and then had an ice-cream at the ice rink. The kids didn’t get to have a go, but it was fun seeing all the others skating around.

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The next day: Haarlem! We just love this city! And look at this, Café Colette! Of course, Hannah Colette had to have her picture taken here 😉

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And looking the other way, the impressive Bavo Cathedral, with Sam…

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We missed out on a canal trip in Amsterdam, so when we saw the tour boat in Haarlem, we decided to jump on board here. First, we had to cross this cool bridge.

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And the views on the water were stunning. So many swans, lovely trees and the sun hitting the buildings… Beautiful!

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The next day, we started out at the beach at Noordwijk.

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Smile!!!

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Then we headed out to Leiden. And the girls are still smiling, haha…

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As are the boy(s)!

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However, for Sam, the third city in three days was proving a bit too much. Luckily, there was a huge staircase (town hall) to climb up and down, while the girls were in (yet another) book store.

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And there is always a Hema for lunch and fun…

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But we can also do kissses outside!

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And pull silly faces! Granny Mary-Ann, we’ll miss you!!! See you in the Summer!

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January

Sam being sick and drawing a cool picture of how he felt…2013-01-30 21.32.45

Gorgeous early morning walks after dropping the kids off at school…

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Gaming! The kids love playing dungeon!2013-01-18 20.05.25

Cuddling the rabbit. Our Flappie has now been joined by Stripey, and after a ‘furious’ few first days, they are now best of friends…

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Judo tournament. Sam got his orange slip and then decided he just didn’t like it anymore. And after another month of lessons, we really realized there was no more point going there with him kicking and screaming, crying while putting his outfit on. Maybe we’ll try again later…

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February

As it was still freezing outside, still lots of playing inside, and building lots of Lego houses…

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And Carcassonne…

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We had a Birthday girl!!! Hannah turned 10!

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Which meant there was a Birthday Party! We had fun making cake pops and painting a smiley picture. Hannah also picked out two friends to stay over for a pyjama party.

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Ad of course, we made something yummy for school! Big girl now!

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Even though spring was nowhere to be seen yet, we made plans for the garden…

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And after moving lots of plants about, placing five square meter gardens and adding lots of woodchip, the garden was ready for spring…

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And so were we!2013-02-07 13.43.15

Another addition to the family was a blending board, which has resulted in our own wee shop: Peeriewinkle (only on Etsy, until the real web store is finished).

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And we are enjoying lots of mini bug pancakes 😀

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March

A gymnastics tournament! Hannah won gold! This was the first qualifier for the Frisian championships, and as she got enough points in the second tournament, she qualified, and will be tumbling and jumping about on May 25 again.
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We had our first lunch outside…
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And then got another load of snow only a few days later…

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The kids decided that our bed was actually nicer, and why use the entire bed when you can scrunch up on one half…

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And we went to the Brei & Haakdagen in Nieuwegein, to promote the National Spinning Guild…2013-03-29 09.47.26

and give spindling workshops. It was lots of fun!
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April

Finally! Time to get the garden ready! Sowing in progress and plans made to retile the path and the ‘parking’ area…

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The rabbits like our new garden too… Sigh…

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The first package for Peeriewinkle sent off! Hooray!

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And another investment, a cool drum carder…

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Sam also is in the mood for some crafting… First, a bit of Ministeck…

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And then, weaving! He’s quite good at it too!

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A surprise package in the post, with a new spinning wheel!

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I’m a tester for the Woolmakers‘ Bliss, and I’m loving it so far.

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And to finish off the month, celebrations for the new King! A great party at school to start with! With Sam in his home-made royal robe.

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Awaiting the royal visitors…2013-04-26 09.50.54

The arches is ready…

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And there they are! The soon-to-be no-longer-Queen and Willem Alexander, Maxima and the kids.

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And then it’s off for a celebratory march! Sam with his mate Jayden.

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We also introduced the kid to pool. It was great fun seeing them potting there first balls!2013-04-27 16.19.49

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Up to date now!!! More news from the Moss house soon, promise!

Snowy city

A few days ago, Mister Winter arrived in the country. As the kids are always in total denial of the cold, it is near impossible to get them to go out in warm clothes, with socks on (!), and wearing a winter coat, hat, scarf and mittens. But I think that by now, they realize that those items actually come in quite handy when you’re outside and it’s minus 10.

And despite it being cold and streets and pavements being covered by a thin layer of snow, you can still try out the bike that you got from Sinterklaas.

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There were also warmer gifts, such as a funny girly game…

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And, you guessed it, LEGO! 

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There was plenty of outdoor activity this week, like walking in empty but icy city fountains…

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A visit to the library, and deicing their balcony…

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And a trip out to collect Hannah after a sleep-over. Note to self: get lock de-icer, proper window de-icing spray and some antifreeze… The view on the way to Burgum was amazing though!!!

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This all bode well for our trip up the Achmea Tower a bit later. And yes, indeed, the view was great!!! Blue skies, misty in the distance, snowy roofs… How cool is this!

The view North:

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Northeast:

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East:

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South:
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West:
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Dancing into the party season

The festive season is upon us… and before Xmas, and even before Sinterklaas, we have the festival of Sint Maarten to celebrate! It’s a bit of a mix of festivals, with kids going round the doors collecting sweets, but not trick or treating, but carrying colourful lanterns and singing songs. This year, because we had a mad week and didn’t have time to go to the school lantern making session, we decided to sit down and make our own. And with we, we mean: Amy. How the kids do it, no idea… but in the end, who’s the one that ends up cutting and glueing everything together? Well, they DID make an effort… Hannah cut out all the shapes from her lantern, as did Sam. The tidying up was done by mommy… Photos courtesy of daddy! Who then also went round the doors with them. Hannah went on for a bit longer and collected loads! She found out that there are a few streets where kids hardly venture. And we guessed that, because our doorbell didn’t stop ringing… We were out of sweets, tangerines ánd apples by the end of the evening…

Finished!!! Can I colour now??? But Sam, we haven’t even started!

Have you seen my beautiful picture?

Peekaboo!

I can squint really well too!

Oh, something in my eye…

No, not tired at all…

Now, go away with that camera!!

Hannah’s musical lantern…

And what happens when you give the camera to Sam…

Ready to go outside and collect sweets!!!

And where the dancing comes in??? The Kiddy Disco!!!

Swish new disco lights!

Gangnam stylie…

Sam having a chill moment with Mega Mindy Sharissa

Hannah and Tamara

Sam and Julio

Hannah, Anne-Meike and Naomi pouring over a telephone game…

Blink…

And it’s November! Oh, my… we’ve been bad!
But, we have a good excuse. It’s been extremely busy here… First, someone decided to leave her family in the lurch to go galivanting across Shetland for a week…

Then someone celebrated his birthday – while his mommy was away, but with the stay-over bear from school, his daddy and sister, and his granny. And lots of presents!

Happy 6th birthday big boy!!!

Then we also celebrated Sam’s birthday again, together with our niece Famke, who turned 3, and Amy’s sister Gerbrich.

A certain lady had to go to hospital for a small procedure…

And then someone decided it was Autumn break…

Sam and Hannah at the Woudagemaal with their granny.
Watching a 3D movie…
Upside down?
And signing the visitor book!

There was the first kids’ disco in the community centre…

A thirteenth wedding anniversary to celebrate…

And lots more… Yes, we were busy! But we had great fun, enjoying Autumn whenever we can, working like crazy, and cherishing the longer, darker evenings…