Friday, January 30, 2009

My Future?

I took this picture while out shopping with the boys. I couldn't help but smile. Is this what my future holds...

...Me pulling the train of kids,

Jimmy riding the two-wheeler,

Glade in the little bike trailor,

Baby Girl (it's gotta be a girl next, right?) in the carseat attached to the back of the bike....what the?

And I thought I drew a lot of attention to myself!

(After studying the picture, I think the carseat is on the back of the bike just so it can be locked up. When in motion it is placed "safely" in the bike trailor. Let's hope.)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How do you get to church?

I've had many questions about how we get to church, how long it takes, what our building looks like, etc. Last Sunday I miraculously was ready with time to in about 30 seconds...just enough time to grab the camera! So here it is...our journey to church...

The ideal time for us to leave our house (ideal meaning we won't have to run to make it to the metro) is 8:53 am. More often than not we are running. I would love a picture of me running in my skirt and tall boots, carrying my baby and overloaded church bag. I'm sure I look fabulous. I proudly run like the girl I am! Thankfully this day there was only brisk walking involved.

We get on the metro at 9:01 am and ride for 4 minutes.
We then get off the metro, cross the tracks, and head into the station building to buy a train ticket. We head up the escalator and wait for the train. Our train leaves at 9:11 am and arrives in Gouda at 9:23 am. The train is Jimmy's favorite part. You have to take a huge step to get on and then either go up or down the stairs depending on where you choose to sit. The 12 minute train ride is quite peaceful.

Once we get to Gouda we walk about 5 minutes to our church building, which looks nothing like a church building, btw.

We walk in the church about 9:28 am and church starts at 9:30 am. One hard thing about public transportation is if we were to be running even 2 minutes behind and miss our metro or train we would at best be 20 minutes late for church.

It costs Jarom 5,20 euros to get to church and back. It costs me 7,20 euros because I also have to pay for the metro (Jarom's work pays for his metro card). We will buy a discount card soon so our train tickets are cheaper.

That's a little more exciting than arriving by car, eh? I thought about taking pictures inside the church and was tempted to video tape the congregation singing a Hymn in Dutch...but I don't that a little too irreverent? :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Moon Sand

Jimmy got Moon Sand from my family for Christmas and we have LOVED playing with it. It's fun to squish and has such a neat texture. Here he is digging for dino bones...

So if you're ever missing the beach and the feeling of having sand down your underwear...give this stuff a shot. ;) It's like bringing the beach inside! Really though, he loves it and each time we get it out it occupies him for at least an hour (the first time it was 3 hours). The End ;)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Difference #1

I thought it would be fun to occasionally post about the differences I notice from my life in Utah to my life in Holland. So here we go...

#1. The Mail
In order to send mail I have to visit a local drop box in my neighborhood or a post office (postkantoor). It takes about 3 minutes to walk to the neighborhood drop box and about 6 minutes to walk to the postkantoor...not bad.

Incoming mail is nice because it is dropped right inside my house. Jimmy still thinks this is so cool and every time he hears the mail he gets excited..."De mail here!" and he runs to get it. Now I no longer have to worry about my mailbox getting so full that the mail lady complains!

One obstacle I didn't think about before coming here is that all of our utilities, bills, etc are obviously in Dutch. It's made paying bills more interesting!

FYI: To send mail from the US to the Netherlands it costs $0.94 for a typical letter/card. You can use just regular stamps so long as they add up to $0.94.

Monday, January 12, 2009

He Walks

This video was taken a few days after Glade started walking. You can see a clip of him walking in between the horsey rides. This movie is already out-dated...he practically runs now!

High Time

Okay, so it's time already for a New Post. I've been thinking about it daily and just haven't made the time (and now this post has been sitting in my drafts for 5 days). There are grandparents dying to see pictures and videos of the munchkins, right? I promised I would post them...oh about 14 days ago...two weeks behind isn't too bad.

It's been another busy week. The Jimmers has become a pro at the potty. We "got serious" about it on Monday and he went ALL day (13 hrs) with absolutely NO accidents!

Three 300 cheers for Jimmy!

He's been doing excellent ever since and I cannot believe how good it feels to have only one child in diapers. Now I have to worry about finding bathrooms when we are in public. OH MY! That is SO difficult here. And when you do find one you often have to pay to use it. I better go scout out all the public bathrooms beforehand and make sure I have lots of change on hand.

Well, other than going without heat in our home for a day and a half, our week hasn't been too out of the ordinary. We've experienced first hand that the customer service here is horrible compared to the US. You have to pay at least .10/min to talk to (& to wait on hold for) any customer service rep or even just to call any store in general and then most reps will say just about anything to get you off the phone. Boy is it frustrating. We had to wait a whole day before anyone could come out to fix our heat and then water was running down our wall ten min after the repairman left. We called back and again were told it would be another day before anyone could return...even though the problem was never fixed correctly in the first place. UGH. Anyway, it's over now and I am very grateful to have heat. Speaking of heat, I was talking to a Dutch friend the other day. I thought you might enjoy this...

Him: "Do you keep your heat on all night?"
Me: "Oh yes. Of course."
Him: "Americans. So wasteful." (Have I told you how blunt people here are? VERY. I'm used to it now...for the most part.)
Me: (chuckle) "Wait. You don't?"
Him: "No. And we open our windows at night."
Me: "Really? Why?"
Him: "Fresh air."

Hmm, I'm willing to sacrifice the fresh air for the comfort of being warm. Okay, well here are a few Christmas goodies for you.
Waiting to come downstairs...poor things had to get dressed before coming down since we had a church breakfast that morning.

The following video shows how pretty much the whole present unwrapping went...Jimmy opened all his gifts and his brother's. Glade didn't care to open anything but rather liked to eat everyone's candy while watching Jimmy open gifts.

What kid likes to get crackers in his stocking? Jimmy!

Jimmy's big gift = tool work bench (to replace his beloved one that I sold before coming here) Glade's big gift = lego table

Both boys also got a puzzle, movie, Dutch pic book, Nerf gun & of course candy (of which Jimmy ate ALL of his on Christmas day. There was no way I was going to stop him. I believe that's part of the fun of Christmas's all yours and you decide when to eat it. I'm sure I deserve a parenting award for this!). We had a wonderful break from the norm. Here's proof it was time to get back to the norm... Hehe, actually none of us were ready to get back to the norm. We all enjoyed the break so much and wished it could've lasted longer. We were planning on going to Paris but that never happened...hopefully it will soon. It was too cold and we chickened out when thinking about wandering around in the cold with two little boys. We did however finally get chairs for our dining room table and I consider that to be a huge accomplishment. I still can't believe we went without them for 2 months.

Sorry grandparents...more videos later. It took me days to get the one video on here. I'm not sure why. We took mainly videos on Christmas and didn't take many still pictures.