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Spring 2009

Spring in Holland: In mid-May Sofia, Jan, and Amy flew to the Netherlands. The trip included celebrating the wedding of Jan's niece Christel and her new husband, Sjuul, in Venlo, lots of time visiting with family, and trips to the Dutch theme park Efteling, the city of Maastricht, and Aachen, Germany. Amy stayed 10 days; Jan and Sofia stayed an additional 10 days, during which Sofia successfully attended morning preschool at Franciscusschool in Vlissingen. The weather was blessedly warm, very similar to Seattle, and it was wonderful to see Holland in bloom. Sofia did so well with language that by the end of the trip she was actually starting to both read and write (phonetically) Dutch, and strangers had no idea that Dutch was not her primary language. (Read more in Sofia's album.)

The whole De Rie clan at Christel and Sjuul's wedding reception

Jan and friends in Rotterdam

Peter Cottontail:  Sofia was very excited for Easter this year. Sunday morning she immediately saw that the Easter Bunny had hidden eggs around the house, and pretty quickly she found 38 of the 40 he wrote that he'd left (the other two were recovered before the end of the day). He also left her a beautiful Easter basket. (Cameron, too.) She was able to dress up in a fancy Easter dress, complete with white hat, gloves, patent leather shoes, and bunny purse, in order to have Easter brunch at Grandma's retirement home. And when she arrived there, who should be waiting for her but Peter Cottontail [right]! 

Brilliant, luv!: Amy and Cameron spent the week of March 28th through April 5th touring England and Scotland with a group of 40+ students and some of their parents on a trip led by EF Tours. The sights included London, Windsor Castle, Wicked at the Apollo Theater, Stonehenge, Bath, Stratford-upon-Avon, York, Hadrian's Wall/Housesteads Fort, Gretna Greene, and Edinburgh. We couldn't possibly see enough of any of these wonderful places, but we had a blast getting a taste of each and look forward to going back for more someday. Many of Amy's photos can be seen on PicasaWeb.com; read about Cameron's experiences in his album.

Zoom, zoom, zoom:  On March 16th, "Isabelle" joined the family, and Cameron could barely contain his excitement. Izzy is a 1987 BMW 325IS, Cameron's first auto purchase (the Corolla he had been driving was on loan from his stepmother). After spending months researching (and drooling over) this particular model, Cameron found a seller in Issaquah, and after having the car inspected, talked her down from her asking price of $2300 to his desired cost of $1200. The car has 210,000 miles on it and needs a bit of engine work and even more cosmetic improvements, but Cameron sees no limitations, only possibilities.


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