Jan 28, 2010

A mother, a paintbrush, a brother and some ailments...

... in no particular order. These have been the things that have kept us busy throughout most of January, and busy we have been!

On the 14th my mom arrived at Schiphol Airport after 2 days of travelling. She was flying stand-by and was unable to get onto her connecting flight in Atlanta because it had been overbooked. I didn't like having to wait for her a whole other day, just as she didn't like having to ask a big black man called Fran├žois to give her a ride to a nearby hotel. But hey, we managed (and survived!). I'm loving having her here for the following reasons:
1. She brought me a bunch of American treats, and a whole lot of clothes (mostly for the kids! Yay!). I have to say thank you to Marissa for the clothes as well. They're wonderful!
2. She brought Mad Libs and we've been playing a lot of them.
3. I can talk to her all the time!
4. She doesn't mind babysitting while I'm off painting/seeing a movie/napping.
5. She cooks dinner. Yum.
6. We have adventures and laugh a lot :)
7. She's my mommy and I love her and miss her when she's not around!

This is an old photo but until I have some new pictures of all that painting that has been going on in the upstairs, this one will have to do! Just imagine me 5 months pregnant, and with white paint everywhere. We've had a few people come and help over the past week (thank you's to Loek, Emily, Marianne, Maarten, Lisa and Api!) and we were able to get SO much done. Basically all the walls and ceilings are now finished, including the staircase. Next up is all the woodwork, which I personally find more of a challenge... but with a little bit of luck a few more of my wonderful, beautiful, amazing and talented friends (if you feel this applies to you, you know what to do) will come over and lend a hand!

One thing is for certain: This baby tumbling about inside of me is not shy at ALL. It took the ultrasound technician exactly 0.15 seconds to find out if this baby would a)tie the score, or b)forever tip the scales in favor of the gals. So I am happy to report that come early June, we'll be welcoming a second little boy into our hectic home! We have balance again, Sander did the dance of joy, and I wasn't even surprised at the news. This pregnancy is exactly like the one with Max, and nothing like the ones with the girls.... score intuition!

Alright readers (that's me being overly optimistic about having more than one?), I'll go easy on you concerning the last topic to cover. Definitely no pictures, and I'll keep all descriptions down to a minimum. Suffice it to say that Lara and I spent a good 24 hours 'lightening our loads' and needed a lot of extra tender love and care! Then to top things off, I got another one of my infamous tooth aches and finally decided that enough was $#&#*$ enough! I googled my way into a new dentist's office and was actually treated really well! Something I'm not accustomed to when it comes to dentists. I bravely suffered through a root canal treatment and am happy to report: the pain has left the building. Maybe this will be the year for my teeth to shine like I've always known they were intended to! I think a celebration is in order.... this calls for one thing, and one thing only. Oh Yes. Steve Martin in a white coat. Enjoy!

Jan 13, 2010


... moms can't help but gush over their children, so here you go. I know he falls, it's sad! But he lived and is he cute or what?

And then he had a musical moment during Christmas! Awwww (yes, Julia is without underwear as usual, try to ignore!)

If anybody can tell me how to keep the vids from overlapping on the right side, please do so! Youtube doesn't offer a smaller version in their embedding codes :(

Jan 11, 2010

ch ch ch changes

Yup I decided to change up the look of the blog again, whaddaya think?

I was baking again last night after suffering another one of my seemingly usual nightly chocolate cravings, and I made this chocolate cake. I think it turned out very well but the cake definitely needs a good frosting to go with it because on its own it's not that sweet.

So, there has been snow on the ground here in Den Haag for about 3 solid weeks. Maybe even 4! The past couple of days the Dutch meteorologists even gave out an official 'weather alarm' for those in the 4 most northern provinces. It looked like Siberia up there:

Not quite as much snow as that here but enough to make it a weird sight driving the kids to school in the morning. Do old ladies go out on purpose when it's super slippery and still dark? They fall over like fainting goats all over the place. Oh my, that just reminded me of my Oma like nothing else...

I miss you Oma! Some of my favourite Oma quotes:
1. "Chiel! In een TASJE!" (Chiel, In a BAG!)
2. "Op de een of andere manier... heb jij tanden en kiezen." (One way or the other.. you have teeth and molars.)
3. (in front of a bunch of people at church, when she hadn't put together a coherent sentence in weeks):
"Diaantje, ik wilde gewoon even zeggen dat jij hele mooie borsten hebt." (Diane, I just wanted to say that you have beautiful breasts.)

Jan 7, 2010

gifts anyone?

For me that is! With one bread winner and a family of almost 6 to clothe and feed, Sander and I haven't even had the audacity to think of things we would like to have. There were simply too many needs that we were getting a bit behind on. But this is the internet, Sander is at work, the girls are at school, Max is quietly playing... and it's time for me to dream a little, right? Also I read somewhere that expressing and visualising things you want helps to actually achieve them, so here goes!

For months now I have been dreaming of sewing. I would just love to go out and find nice fabrics and make them into all sorts of fun things we could actually use around here. A new apron, a school bag, a duvet cover, perhaps even a sweet little summer dress. I keep wanting to personalise the mainstream items I've bought at cheap stores like Zeeman or Hema or Wibra, by adding a border or some appliques. I never do because I get so discouraged at the thought of having to sew things on by hand! Well, I can handle a button, but you know. So my first item of desire is a SEWING MACHINE!

The number two on my list of serious wants has to do with the fact that I will actually have a decent size outdoor space to sit in this year when the weather turns a bit nicer. I saw it online a few months ago and went berserk with desire to buy one on the spot... it just looked SO colorful and comfortable and and and... just PERFECT! I'm talking about a hammock chair!

I mean seriously, how wonderful would it be to have one of those on our sunny roof terrace and sit and swing in it a bit while nursing a newborn?

I'm feeling so naughty letting you all in on this, it's wonderful.
So next, and lastly (for now! I might have to do this more often) here is one more item I desperately want. I don't so much want it for myself even! It's something I think the kids would go nuts about, and would look fun in their room. Ready? Here it is:

A TeePee! Yay! Obviously I wouldn't add the laptop for the kids, but I wouldn't mind having one of those either (wink wink)... but wouldn't this be so much fun for them to have their own little pow-wows and secret stashes of STUFF in?! OK maybe I secretly want it for myself too and I might just play in it a bit more than they do when they're at school.... sssshhh.

So in conclusion: I mainly wrote this to get it out into the universe and hopefully get the wheels turning to actually making these things appear in our home this year... BUT, if you're feeling extra generous, I wouldn't mind supplying you with my address and phone number after you've left a comment. Ha!

Jan 6, 2010

the new crocheting year has begun....

.....and it has begun with this little headband I made for the girls:

Ridiculously cute, and the headband turned out sweet as well ;)
Another thing that turned out sweet? The extremely scrumptious brownies I made this morning. Between that and the Pasta Alfredo from last night (that turned out amazing!) we're all bound to have gained a kilo or two overnight. It was SO worth it.

Jan 5, 2010

my sort of resolutions

New Years resolutions sort of scare me. It must have to do with the fact that when I was younger and more enthusiastic I would go absolutely nuts writing them down and ending up with about 40 resolutions that I was adament about keeping to perfection. Needless to say I got REALLY disappointed REALLY fast! This is the first year since a good while that the ol' resolutions seem to be finding their own way into my head and life so it seems appropriate to 'say them out loud' and ease myself back in to this basically good tradition.
Behold, my resolutions for 2010:

1. Continue to blog on a regular basis that feels right.

2. Try new recipes and make them more than once if enjoyed by myself and the family.

3. Go to the dentist after I have the baby. I might share my dentist horror history here sometime. Suffice it to say for now that things inside my mouth are, well, not good.
4. Remember to make the kids my first priority in everything.
5. Email/call/visit friends and family as often as I can, and maybe even try to make some new friends.

6. Never have more than 3 loads of laundry waiting to be done.

There. Six of them. I think I should be able to handle that. I've already been going strong in #2, much to my and my family's enjoyment! So far I've succesfully tried the following recipes: Cream cheese&vanilla Fruit Dip, Oriental style meat balls, Mini Bacon&Onion Quiches and Chicken Quesadillas. Tonight I'll be trying my hand at this recipe for Fetuccine Alfredo which I am looking forward to like you wouldn't believe!

Jan 1, 2010

2009.. what a year

Happy New Year everybody!
We had a fun New Year's Eve with just the 5 of us. Sure it was a bit explosive as well... several gasoline bombs went off right outside our door, shaking the very foundations of our home. Also a group of incredibly drunk youngsters right outside played Techno music that was louder than the fireworks and installed a bar on the sidewalk. Oh they also built a bonfire using Christmas trees, any wood they could find, furniture, shopping karts and a moped. It was interesting! But the new view we had from the new upstairs was absolutely phenomenal. We watched the city of Den Haag EXPLODE at midnight. It was gorgeous. We ate ourselves into a frenzy (I tried a new recipe for chicken Quesadillas and fruit dip, and both were yummmmy) and watched some fun movies.

So I thought I would do a little review of 2009. I thought I was really happy to see it go because it's been a very rocky year for me... but then I was compiling all these 2009 picture collages and I realised there was a lot more good than bad in the past year.
 Allow me to share with you some of the 'old' (click on the collages to see them in more detail):

There were a lot of Birthdays! In chronological order: Max turned 1 on June 19th, I turned 28 on June 25th, Julia turned 4 on July 28th,  Sander turned 30 on October 28th and finally Lara turned 6 on December 17th.

We went on a LOT of fun outings and holidays! We visited Belgium, England and France and went to several amusement parks, petting zoo's, family get-togethers and petting zoo's.

I went from losing the plot to relative sanity.

A perk that came from me losing the plot: I went into crochet-madness-mode and created a bunch of fun things I'm actually quite proud of!

I've been missing my family a LOT!!! Two beautiful new babies were born: Jace Blom and Ella May, Marissa graduated from BYU, Mike made it through another year of Iraq safely, and it looks like a lot of fun was had (without me! boohoo).

A lot of fun was had at school and church. Julia made the big transition from the nursery to primary, and into first grade at school.

And last but not least.... 2009 was full of SILLINESS!

All in all a beautiful year even though it was rocky. But I think the tough times are the most special times because they allow for the most growth and personal accomplishment.

The Koot family are ready for Twenty-Ten which will bring more birthdays, a new baby, a visit from my mother, a bigger house and hopefully many new friends. I love you guys, make the New Year a good one!

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