Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Corrie ten Boom - the Hiding Place

Last year before we travelled to the Netherlands, the Children and I read the Trailblazers book on Corrie ten Boom.   I wanted to visit her house and in doing so have an idea of what she did to help the Jewish people during World War 2.  We waited in line for the hour as recommended only for some students to jump in front of us.   That left us as next in line and they only let 20 in. We were bummed.

When we went back this year, the children asked if we could try to go as well.  They were great as we had to wait in line for over an hour, but at the end of the day it was well worth it!  All 3 said it was their favorite part of the trip. That's high praise considering we had done an amusement park.

Here they are waiting outside:

Going in.

The only place in the home that pictures were allowed was in the room with the hidden area in the wall, the Hiding Place. Since they were the only children on the tour, the guide allowed them to demonstrate how they would crawl into the wall.  It was simply deep enough to stand up and only wide enough for 6 people.  Truly amazing, especially since 6 people had to stay in there 48 hours when Corrie and her family were captured. 

The children had tons more questions afterwards about the atrocities of the war, but the guide was fantastic to always point back what Corrie believed and that was in Jesus is our Lord.  The guide several times shared the gospel.  She also shared about how God has a plan for each of our lives and ended with what is on Corrie's grave:

Jesus is Victor!

Monday, April 16, 2018


The reason I came on this trip!  Tulips, tulips and more tulips. The theme of Keukenhof this year was, "Love is in the Air." One of the houses was full of roses, which is where we started.

The girls favorite roses were the rainbow ones. How did they do it?

The kids loved playing on the bridges. 

From there it was all tulips.  My father growing up would take a picture of every fish when he was snorkeling.  I am like him in some ways in that I took tons of tulip pictures. I will go back and look at them as I love tulips. There were so many varieties both in color and shape.  Grayson and Micahela stopped adn smelled all of them!  Poor Hope's allergies blew up.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Day 2 our plans also changed. The plan was to go to Keukenhof as a family, however, it was overcast and supposed to rain. It was not an ideal day to view flowers in our opinion.  Instead, we decided we are accustomed to doing theme parks in less than beautiful weather, we packed the car and headed to Efteling. It's a theme park based on fairy tails. How fun.

Entering the park.

First stop was the haunted mansion!  Fun, except, not surprisingly, we couldn't understand a word. The good news is that it made it less scary for Michaela.

The second stop was at a ride fashioned after a bobsled. A roller coaster without tracks. What fun!

Here's Grayson and Jamison being silly about how "scared" they were.

We ventured in to a model city with miniature trains.

The park featured a walk where they set up fairy tails.

Red Riding Hood

Hansel and Gretel

Roller coasters...what the kids were waiting for.

The first one had a straight down drop followed by several twists and turns. Your legs dangled free. The free fall drop was enough for me to say, "no thank you." Plus, Michaela wasn't tall enough. Jamison said he could do one coaster and earned dad of the year by going with Grayson

It was off to the Flying Dutchman which was a combination roller coaster with a water finish. I got soaked as I was sitting on the outside.

The we went on for Michaela's first wooden roller coaster ride.

While Grayson went to another roller coaster (with a double loop), the girls and I went to the swings.  I use to love roller coasters, but my age is catching up with me!
Right next to the swings was the swinging ship. I have always hated this ride.  The girls loved it. They would jump off and run around to get on again. It reminded me so much of when I was young.  Grayson joined in when he got off the roller coaster. I think the final count was 7. The park was closing or else we may have been there for the rest of the day.

Overall, what a fantastically fun day!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Tulip Fields

As we left Amsterdam, we decided to drive the scenic route down to Leiden where we were staying.  Jamison took the route down through the flower fields. While the tulips were not in full bloom, we did find some beautiful fields When in Holland, do as the Dutch do. They were out in the fields taking pictures so we got out and took some as well.  We were super careful to walk on the edge and not trample them. The magnificent beauty.

We have been in awe about God's creativity through Europe. This is another display of his wonderful majesty!


I have a love/hate relationship with Jamison's travel. In the States it meant that I would be left behind for a week and usually the children would pick that week to be, well, children.  Sometimes they would bicker, sometimes they would all get the flu or a water pipe would break. No matter what it was always a very tiring week. On the positive side, we accumulated airline miles which meant "free" plane tickets later on.  I am really missing those points these day.  However, traveling here means that on occasion the kids and I can JOIN Jamison on his trip, provided that they are on break from school.

As it would work in my favor, Jamison had a trip to Rotterdam during the April break. Yippee! I love tulips and that meant I could go along for a visit.  Peak season is April for the tulips to bloom. We were about a week early but they were still magnificent.

We decided to go over the weekend before his business trip and to do some family things. Since we have done a lot of history, this trip was strictly a "fun" trip.

Day one we planned on doing a very limited view of Amsterdam.  NO way I was taking the children any where close to the Red Light district.  They did get a whiff of a peculiar smell.  Fortunately we let it pass.  The first part of the day we were to go see the Dutch painters in a museum, but there was a plane mishaps. As we started down the runway, the plane started to slow down.  Apparently a warning light came on and we didn't take off.  By the time we made it we just had time for a quick stroll before our appointment with pancakes!

First stop on the quick jaunt, a small Cheese Museum. Yum!

A few blocks down was the Anne Frank house.  WE couldn't get tickets to go in, but it was good for the children to see her house. Hope has read her book and the other two will read it when we get home.

Now on for some real fun, the Pancake Boat! 

We took a cruise on the river with all you can eat pancakes. Pancakes with apples, pancakes with apples, plain pancakes and with all kinds of fun toppings.  Dutch pancakes are a cross between a crepe and an American pancake.

Let's get this party started

We could have rolled off the boat.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Ray of Sunshine

We have had a rough couple of weeks in the house, which I have blogged about earlier.  To top it all off, the English weather has settled in for the last few weeks. Rain, rain and more rain. I have felt very down and Jamison prayed for me this morning a ray of sunshine. He meant it as some encouragement, but that is not the answer he got.  Above is the answer to his prayer. At the end of the day, I was able to get out of the house for a bit to go to a spin class. As I was getting out of the car, I glanced up and saw this. It was for a brief moment before the clouds covered it up.  I quickly snapped a picture to send to Jamison, "your answer." It made me smile! A quite literal answer to his prayer.