Thursday, October 25, 2018

Hailey's First Month-Plus

As of yesterday, this little pip-squeak is now 6 weeks young!  But when I mentioned to Mama Eva that it seems way longer than that, even she agrees.  Surely she's older than 6 weeks?

And now I will let the cat out of the bag.  I have made the decision to stop my weekends of Saturday's Color and Watercolor Sunday posts on Facebook, which means I'll no longer be doing the monthly posts here...after November.  The end of November will mark 3 full years of those posts, with no breaks.  It's time for me to stop...

...and replace them with, guess what ????????????????  HAHAHA!

I'll have to figure out how I'll do/name them but it's important for me to keep a monthly (?) record of Hailey's growth here on In Soul.  I've already shown her birth announcement, followed by her scary first-week saga in the hospital.

Since then....

Opa Jaap celebrated his 66th birthday on 26 September when Hailey turned 2 weeks old.
Three generations:  grandparents, father and daughter.

Two weeks later, at age one month...

we babysat Hailey (for 10 hours!) while Mama and Papa were at an important wedding.
OMG!  How can she be so cute (and Hailey, too, HA)!!

When she's in her crib awake, she becomes best friends forever (BFF) with Llama and Nijntje.

At this age, she's getting a 100 ml bottle every 2-3 hours during the day.
Oma Astrid is the one who gets the bottles ready.  Oma Ginnie does the feeding.

After a week of antibiotics in the hospital, Hailey still has severe cramping after feeding.
Who knows how long it will take before her gut is "normalized."
In the meantime, we love her through it all...until she falls asleep.

Lullabye and good night, Little Angel.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

When Mama and Papa returned that night, it occurred to me to offer another babysitting stint the following week when they could be alone for the evening...their first time since Hailey's birth and before Eva's parents arrived back from vacation this week.  They both immediately took us up on the offer...which was this past Saturday, at 5 weeks old.

Goody-goody gumdrops for us all!

Since you've already met Llama, look how close they've become.  
When you start blowing bubbles, you know for sure you're BFF (left-center).
BTW, I understand babies don't really see in focus or full color till around 5 months.
Don't you wonder what she sees?

It was precious of Oma Astrid to zoom in on our hands.
One is 73 years young; the other is 5 weeks old!
If these hands could talk!

Then it was time for our first book of the evening...a Rainbow Fish story, translated into Dutch.
Mama and Papa have been doing this since coming home from the hospital.  Don't you love it!

One book down and the omas are hungry (too early for Hailey).
Saturday night at Pumpkin Creek is peanuts night for us, which we brought with us, yes.
But I think Oma Astrid just about fainted when I offered one to Hailey (left images).
OMG.  If we can't take a joke, right?!  :D

All peanuts are gone and it's time for another book...this time about bunny-rabbits.
Look how Oma Astrid caught the furrowed brow...
because Hailey couldn't understand a word of what/how Oma Ginnie was reading????

See?!?  She doesn't have a clue what I'm saying because I don't have a clue.  HAHAHA!
Actually, it's a fun book, translated into Dutch, about guessing how much I love you.
One day maybe she'll help me read it to her in perfect Dutch.
(We already have a deal:  I'll teach her English and she'll teach me Dutch.)

Bottle time.  Cramping.  Nighty-night.
And before we knew it, Mama and papa were home (4 hours this time).

Are we in love or what!
(special thanks to Oma Astrid for all her pics!)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Totally changing the subject, Astrid and I are flying back to America next Wednesday for a week, October 31 - November 7.  SIL Peggy's memorial service is on Saturday, November 3rd.  Her death is the "beginning" of the trail that will now follow, truth be known.  It's important for me to recognize this moment with my other sibs, since we're at that age.  We will all take it as it comes, pondering these things in our heart....

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Condolences for Nelson, Elder of the Tribe

This is not the post anyone ever wants to write, nor would the recipient of it ever wish to be called the Elder of the Tribe.

But this is for Nelson, my brother, who IS the elder of those of us who remain...the very one you have already met here from this past January when he visited us here in the Netherlands for a week.

Nelson's wife Peggy, of 53 years, "passed over the bridge" last evening.
Four days earlier, last Saturday, she suffered a bleeding stroke from which she never recovered.
It was sudden and, one could say, a blessing that it all came and went so quickly.
[recent image from sister, Ruth]

One of my favorite memories of Peggy is how relational she was with all generations.
She would always seek you out to find out how YOU were doing.
This was her gift which she gave freely, seeking nothing in return.

In 2006 she was as physically well as I've ever seen her.
But over the last years her health deteriorated.

Now we all deal with the emotional shock, of course.
Our brother, Bennett, died in 1996 (age 47), 22 years ago...our generational level.
We knew, with 8 kids, plus spouses, this time would come.
Within the next 22 years I'm guessing most of us will be gone,
so this is hitting hard.

Little did we know you would go before us, Nelson, after the untimely death of Bennett.
You didn't intend to lead us but it has fallen to you...and now we follow.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Astrid and I had not originally planned to fly back to Michigan for the memorial service,
but we will do just that as we find out the details.  We want to be together as sibs.
I'll keep you informed...

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Son Mark in the Netherlands, 2018

He came, he saw, he conquered.  HA!

Actually, it all came and went too quickly, because we really did so much, when we look back on it.  See for yourself:

Day 1:  Sunday, September 30:  AMSTERDAM

We picked Mark up at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport bright and early...
and in plenty of time for me to snap 8 of the 34 Elephants on parade there till 12 October.

Because seeing Amsterdam is a must, we spent the day sightseeing.
Taking a canal cruise is one of the easiest ways to see the city, if you're stuck for time.
But we also walked to the Rijksmuseum area, because it's a favorite spot.

Eating at Wagamama is also a must for Astrid and me.
I don't think he was disappointed.

Day 2:  Monday, October 1:  KINDERDIJK

It was an on-again, off-again rainy day but we made the most of it at Kinderdijk,
followed by eating pannenkoeken out in the polder.
(It was our first time to see the new war memorial near Kinderdijk.)

Day 3:  Tuesday, October 2:  LOCKS and AIRBORNE MUSEUM

Mark has an avid interest in WWII movies, like "A Bridge too Far," which we watched together.
It was then perfect to see up-close-and-personal the Airborne Museum and cemetery in Oosterbeek,
as well as to cross the "bridge too far" in nearby Arnhem.
Along the way we showed him what big Dutch locks look like in Tiel and Driel.

Day 4:  Wednesday, October 3:  BRUGES, Belgium

Lucky for our visitors, we're close enough to other countries to make a day trip!
Mark's first choice was to see Bruges, about 2 hours away.
It just happens to be one of Europe's favorite destinations for tourists.
Of course, we "made" him eat a Belgian waffle.

Day 5:  Thursday, October 4:  GORINCHEM

This is where we live, as you know, so a walk around our citadel was imperative.
We are always so proud to show family and friends where we live!

That evening we took Mark to meet Jeroen and Eva...and 3-week-old Hailey.
(We were also getting instructions for our first babysitting stint tomorrow evening!)

Day 6:  Friday, October 5:  WIJK bij DUURSTEDE and FRIENDS

Astrid drove along the Diefdijk, part of the Dutch Waterline, to see the war bunkers,
on our way to Wijk bij Duurstede.
We love the only drive-through windmill in the world...and the nearby castle.

We got back home in time for our community's Happy Hour,
Mark did tell us he wanted to have DUTCH food, so we took him seriously!

That evening we were guests at Femke's and Jeannette's for Italian.
They sure know how to do it up big!  Mark was more than impressed.
(And yes, we celebrated Hailey's birth with beschuit met muisjes.)

Day 7:  Saturday, October 6:  DEN HAAG and SCHEVENINGEN BEACH

To get to the Scheveningen beach, you first drive through Den Haag/The Hague.
So we first stopped at the Peace Palace, housing the Int'l Court of Justice (top-left),
and then the Kurhaus Hotel (bottom-right) before hitting the pier.
Talk about a perfect day for the beach at the North Sea, Holland's most famous seaside resort)!

Day 8:  Sunday, October 7:  LOEVESTEIN CASTLE

By now you know that the Loevestein Castle across the Merwede river from us is our favorite castle.
It was built in 1361 and caters to everything medieval, especially for kids' birthday parties.
It's hard NOT to love such a fun, interactive place, let alone feel the history.

Afterwards, on our way home, we stopped in next-door Woudrichem...

...Gorinchem's sister city across the river.  It was important for us that Mark see it.
We want all our visitors to see what makes US tick here where we live.

You've seen some of these food images in the above collages,
but here I've collected the 10 more-Dutch-you-cannot-get foods Mark ate while here.
He had specifically said before he came that he wanted to eat Dutch food, and he did!

But, can you match the images with the 10 foods he ate ??  Try it (in alphabetical order):
beschuit met muisjes
boerenkool stampot
frikandel speciaal
nasi met saté (Dutch Indonesian)

Day 9:  Monday, October 8:  SCHIPHOL AIRPORT (for his early departure back to Atlanta)

THANK YOU, Mark, for the time and expense it took you to come visit us.
We'll never forget it.  Make sure you come back again one day!

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Watercolor Sunday and Saturday's Color: September 2018

As I speak, my son Mark, from Atlanta, is here with us here in The Netherlands for a week.  His first time here ever!  But that's for another post, later.

This is what's on deck for this week:

First, my Watercolor Sunday posts on FaceBook for September 2018:

September 2 (photo manipulation):
"No matter what people tell you, your words and ideas can change the world."
--Robin Williams

"In a gentle way, you can shake the world."
--Mahatma Gandhi

September 9 (photo manipulation):
"Truth is like the sun.  You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away."
--Elvis Presley

September 16 (photo manipulation):
"September tries its best to have us forget summer."
--Sir Bernard Williams

September 23 (photo manipulation):
"Keep calm and yell O."
"Just duck it."
"Wake up and be O-some."
"I got Duck fever...and the only prescription is...more quack."
"Once you are a duck you are always a duck.  Go Ducks."

This past Thursday, g'son Nicholas moved into his dorm at the University of Oregon,
where he is now a full-fledged student.
He attended his first Ducks football game as a student yesterday.
Too bad they lost to Stanford (31-38) but I'm sure he'll "Keep calm and quack on."

September 30 (photo manipulation):
"Today you are you!  That is truer than true!  There is no one you-er than you."
--Dr. Seuss

In honor of my one and only daughter, Amy Tiffan Dunn, who loves Hawaii's Plumeria flower.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My Saturday's Color posts on Facebook for September 2018:

(finished on 21 June, posted on FB 1 September 2018)
Here's another design on which I used my gel pens but ran out of ink on 2 of them halfway through!
Luckily, I had other pens to more or less match the color.
Like I said before, I like the pens but it's a deal-breaking shame that the ink runs out so quickly!
(from my Techellations book)

(finished on 17 August, posted on FB 8 September 2018)
After all these years, coloring on black-paper background is still my favorite.
It makes me think about the positive aspects of black/dark, enhancing color and light.
There's probably a sermonette in there somewhere?
(from my Kaleido Color book)

(finished on 9 December, posted on FB 15 September 2018)
Summer loosens her grip as autumn breaths down her neck, at least where we live.
It's my favorite time of the year!
But for those of you facing hurricanes/storms of whatever kind, please stay safe.
(from my Stained Glass book)

(finished on 15 September, posted on FB 22 September 2018)
Some of you know that our g'daughter Hailey spent her first week in the hospital, fighting for her life.
I started and finished this mandala last Saturday, praying out to God Almighty, 
with every stroke, for her health.
On her 8th day of life, this past Thursday, she was able to go home, finally.
This is for you, Hailey.  YOU GO, GIRL.

(finished on 23 September, posted on FB 29 September 2018)
"The sun will come out tomorrow; bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun!"
After everything we went through with g'daughter Hailey's birth, 
it was good to color this Vintage Patterns design and think of this Annie quote.
(Hailey was born on 12 September; I finished this 11 days later.)

More about Mark's visit in my next post....