I went to a friend's birthday party at TechCity Bowl
in Kirkland. I'd never been bowling before, and I didn't know what to
It was dark and noisy inside, but I soon got used to that. They
gave me some red and white shoes, and then I selected a red bowling ball.
It was heavy! After a little while, I developed a special technique
for rolling the ball down the lane [right]. Sometimes it bounced off the
bumpers, but I also got a couple strikes, and I then I jumped up and down—my
bowling dance! The worst part was when one of the other kids dropped his
ball on my foot; that hurt a lot and I cried. But then the next time I
knocked down a group of pins, I jumped up and down with excitement all
Easter Eggs, April
Easter egg dyeing is magic.
You take an egg that Mommy has boiled and use a special wire to lower it
into a cup of colored water. You swish the egg around for a while and
spoon color over it. Then when you take it out—voilá—the egg is a
Mommy and I filled up a whole basket of
blue, pink, yellow, orange, green, and red eggs. They were beautiful!
This year I counted down the days until the
Easter Bunny would arrive. Sunday morning I saw that he had been here as
soon as I stepped out my bedroom door. He hid 40 eggs (he told me in a
note), and within a half-hour I had found 38 [right]. (I found the other two before the end of the
day.) He also left me a beautiful
Easter basket (Cameron, too). In it were a chocolate bunny, jelly
beans, tulip lollipops, pink dress gloves, a pink frisbee, sidewalk chalk,
and a bracelet.
After a small breakfast, I dressed in my fancy
Easter dress, complete with white hat, gloves, patent leather shoes,
and bunny purse. Then we went to Madison House to have Easter brunch
with Grandma. Guess who surprised me there? Peter Cottontail! He gave
me a big hug and some some chocolate kisses from his basket. Brunch was
nice, but thanking the Easter Bunny in person for all my goodies was the
best part of all.
morning Oranjeschool, the school held a Koninginnedag party for
all the students. It was very fun.
We played games outside—walking on
stilts, kicking a soccer ball through goals, throwing a ball to knock cans
down, throwing a beanbag through holes in a board, identifying objects
hidden inside boxes, and pinning a tail on a cow. After each one someone
stamped my game "passport." We had yummy food to eat, and I got
my face painted, too [left].
Lang zal zij leven!
My friend Luna had her birthday party at Kelsey
Creek Farm. When I arrived her dad gave me a cowgirl hat and a bandana
to wear [right], and then we toured the farm. We got to pet a pony, feed
the hog, say hello to the cow (she's old), pat a fuzzy baby chick, and pet
a black-and-white bunny. Then we went inside to sit at the crafts table,
carded real sheep's wool, and made little sheep with the wool, a pinecone,
and plastic wiggly eyes.
we had hotdogs and veggies for lunch. And then we broke open a piñata!
That was the best!
grow up, I want to be a cowgirl. Then I can herd cows into the corral.
In mid-May Mommy, Papa, and
I flew to the Netherlands. We had to get up really early to catch
our plane, but Mommy said I behaved the best I'd ever done on our ride
from Seattle to Chicago and then Chicago to Düsseldorf, Germany. (Mostly,
I watched in-flight movies.)
When we arrived in Düsseldorf, Tante
Lianne picked us up at the airport and we drove to Venlo, The Netherlands,
only about 30 minutes away. We flew there instead of Amsterdam because the
next day my cousin Christel was to get married!
I got all dressed up for the wedding, and
it was a long, exciting day. The bridegroom, Sjuul, and their flower girl,
Sima, arrived at the house, and Christel came down the stairs looking as
beautiful as a princess [left]. Sjuul's family came for a small reception.
Later we all drove to the main square of Venlo, and Christel and Sjuul
married in the stadhuis (city hall). I fell asleep half-way
through the ceremony because of jet lag. Tante Annemiek, Maaike, and
Jasper let me lay across their laps.
Immediately after the wedding we all went
outside into the square, and Christel's students (she's an elementary
school teacher) were waiting for her. They formed a line for the newlyweds
to walk through, and as they walked, the children let go of red balloons
they were holding. The balloons floated away; it was really neat!
The party was at a restaurant called
Galerie de Hoeve in Venlo. Christel and Sjuul opened gifts, we ate a
buffet dinner, and we had ice cream cake for dessert. Then the tables
disappeared so everyone could dance. I danced until about 9:00, when Papa
began to fall asleep i his chair, so it was time for us to return to Tante
Lianne's. I didn't want to leave because everyone else was staying,
but Mommy said that we still had lots of jet lag.
We spent the next couple days
staying with Oma in Vlissingen. We visited with family, took walks, and
Then we did
something wonderful: a day at Efteling!
We went on lots of rides and saw lots of sights: PandaDroom (Panda Dream),
a 3-D movie with realistic effects in the seats, like rain and wind; Volk
van Laaf (Folk from Laaf), an elevated monorail ride through a land of
magic little people; Carnaval Festival, a seated tram tour through dolls
from around the world making music; Monsieur Cannibale, with spinning
cannibal's pots; Bobbaan, a bobsled roller coaster; Gondolette boat tours;
Pagode, going way up high to see the whole park from above; and
Sprookjesbos, a walk through a magic forest filled with fairy tale
vignettes like Hansel & Gretel, Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel,
Rumpelstiltskin, and many more. My favorite ride was Droomvlucht (Dream
Flight), a seated tram tour through a magic fairy land.
lunch I had a plate of poffertjes, miniature puffy pancakes
slathered in butter and covered
in powdered sugar [right]. Delicious! Papa also bought me a stick of
suikerspin ("spun sugar"—cotton candy). That's my
The park closed at 6:00 and
we still hadn't seen everything (plus, I was too short for some rides),
but it was definitely one of my best days ever!
||From our home base back at Tante Lianne and
Oom Rob's house, the next day we drove to the city of Aachen,
Germany. It was a festival day, and although the shops were closed,
everyone was in the streets for speeches, music, and food. Papa had beer
and Mommy and I shared a cherry-covered pancake. At an inflatable jump
house for kids I asked Papa how to say, "Will you please play with
me?" in German. I don't think I spoke German well enough because the
kids ignored me; that made me sad. We went inside the Aachen cathedral,
and outside around the old town we found lots of different fountains (I
love playing in water). At the end of the afternoon we sat outside a small
cafe and had ice cream sundaes.
We also spent a day in the Dutch city of Maastricht.
It's on the river Maas [left], where we took a boat ride. We went inside
the St. Jan church, which was hosting an exhibition of Marc Chagall. I
liked the paintings, and Papa also helped me light a little candle. As we
were walking outside I saw a group of people surrounding a statue—and
then the statue moved! When I put a euro in the statue's hat, it bowed to
me and blew me a kiss! What kind of statue is that?!
Mommy left from Düsseldorf the next day, while Papa and
I returned to Vlissingen to stay for another ten days. I went to morning preschool at Franciscusschool
in Vlissingen; it
was fun to be with other kids. Papa also took me to the Arsenaal,
a pirate-themed play area and aquarium, in Vlissingen; the Bambini
play area; the Imkerij
Poppendamme, a bee farm in Grijpskerke, where I saw lots of bees and
got a bee costume; and the Sportpunt
Zeeland, a big swimming complex with lots of fun slides, in Goes. We
also went to Rotterdam for a day to visit with a group of Papa's friends.
Papa said that our visit was a big success because my
Dutch got even better. And I had a great time visiting so often with all
my Dutch relatives. But even though I saw Mommy on Skype every day while
we were apart, when I got off the airplane in Seattle and saw Mommy again,
and was really, really glad to be home again.
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