Saturday, September 18, 2010



The children had Friday off school so Allen took that day off too and we went to Efteling Theme Park. It's about and hour and 15mins from here - if you don't get lost! We have an in built GPS, it gives a bit too much warning so we turned too quickly off the motorway and then couldn't u turn for 7 miles. Got a 2 day pass with one night at the park's hotel. The actual park was nicely spread out. There was easily enough in it for a 2 day trip. Abi was too small for the main roller coasters so I had a good excuse not to ride them! I don't know what has happened to me I now feel sick on most rides! The only one that was OK was the water ride. I've put in a photo from that one plus a few from the hotel. We had a themed suite in the hotel which was only a 5 min walk into the main park. The hotel was much better than the Paris Disneyland one, very child friendly. In our room there was a present when they got there, sweets on check in, lollies, candy canes, marshmallows and a colouring set all in the room too. It had bunk beds for them and a curtained off area for the TV, a proper pod coffee maker. The food was excellent too with entertainment for the kids so we had a peaceful time. Expensive but worth it.

Helped out in Abi's class this week, off to see Jacob's teacher on Tuesday. Back to the UK next weekend for mum's 70th birthday. Looking forward to doing some shopping and seeing the family. Jacob's signed up for cub scouts, he's in the wolf den. I'll probably be helping out.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bokrijk Park


The week flew past. I stayed in a couple of days to try and sort the house a bit more. Getting our big sideboard delivered tomorrow so at least I can put away all of the stuff out in the lounge/diner at present. I did cycle into Sittard and met some British ladies for lunch. It was good to meet other people and have seen a few of them out and about since. Also had the back to school night. It was nice to meet the teachers but I still want to talk to Jacob's teacher more so we're going to ask for an extra appointment with her. Helping out in Abi's class again this coming week. Finally handed in all my teaching paperwork. Sounds like they need someone immediately so I could be in Reception pretty soon. Am going to go and help in there this week too.

When Allen got back from work on Friday we all cycled into Sittard, about 4 km, and had tea. An easy cycle so we'll do that quite a bit. There are loads of places to eat on the town square although we need to be careful which beer we drink as some of it is quite strong and you can be stopped on your bike as well as your car out here!

Abi went to her first gymnastics class on Saturday. Lots of British speakers in her group plus one girl from her class at school so that's good. Signing up Jacob for cub scouts tomorrow (Monday). After the gymnastics class we went to a park in Belgium. It's a huge place with a museum too but we just went to the outdoor park as it was free and the sun was shining. It was huge. They loved it all but the large slides were a favourite. I've put in a few photos from the afternoon.

Went on base for a Battle Of Britain church service. The children went and did a Sunday school thing and then we met them for a lovely lunch.

The kids have Friday off so looking forward to a day out.
Hope all is well


Sunday, September 5, 2010

3 Country maze and Jacob's first party.


Our first Saturday out and we went to a local maze from where you can see Holland, Belgium and Germany. I've put in a photo showing the 3 flags and the 3 countries. We had fun in the maze, it was confusing and it took us an hour. Once we got to the centre the information said it should take between 30 to 40 mins! There were water bits to get through, I was the only one who didn't get soaked! - they turn off now and then so I was just lucky. Once out of the maze there was a great play area and a bar so Allen and I sat enjoying an ice cold Dutch beer in the sun reading our books while Jacob and Abi played. There was a huge tower that you could walk up and view all of the countries but we were knackered after an hour in the maze so we'll do that one another day! So there's a photo of me and the kids on one of the bridges in the maze and one of them at the end.

Today Allen flew back to the UK, he had to go via military transport so that was an hour in MT (military transport) to a bus pick up point. A 3 and a half hour bus ride to a military airport in Germany, an hour flight to Birmingham. He then picked up a hire car and is off to Stanford for his 6 weeks follow up appointment for his knee op. The military are supposedely saving money sending him this way, they pay for his food each day and hotels. If he'd just flown on Monday and returned the same day, using a cheap airline, surely it would be cheaper? The military flight only returns on Wednesday so he's then stuck until then. Silly if you ask me, I reckon I could save the military money better than this idea. Anyway it's lucky Allen is back as we needed a few British items - weetabix, ritz crackers, rubbishy magazines and some cards! I'm sure I could get most of those things here, it's just finding them.

Jacob went to his first class birthday party today. A Norwegian girl whose family all spoke very good English. It was at an indoor playplace in Germany about 20 miles away. I took Abi as Allen wasn't around. It was good fun. I've included a few photos from the party.

Filled in my 50 page application forms for doing supply at the International school, lots were military ones. Hoping I will be cleared at some point to work/help! I went in on Friday and helped Abi's class make fruit kebabs. Her teacher's very good, strict but good. Hoping I can help out regulary in both their classes once my clearances are through.

Anyway need to eat so I hope all is well with everyone.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Arrival in The Netherlands


We are finally here and have the internet. Got a Dutch dongle at present as they can't properly connect us for a month so no phone number yet, well I have got a Dutch sim card, trouble is it turns everything dutch on the phone so now I don't understand a thing! Really need to learn the language as I don't want to spend the next 3 years feeling stupid every time we go out. People can speak English but they choose not to until we really haven't got a clue and then they feel sorry for us! Jacob and Abi are doing German at school so I think Allen and I are going to do that and learn a few main Dutch phrases too. We have been to the library and got some cd's out.

The house is very Dutch, box like, 4 bed but small. Lovely small garden as I am not a gardener this does not bother me! The trampoline just squeezes in which is fine. Haven't got enough storage for all our stuff or perhaps we have too much stuff! Off to the Kringleloop today - a second hand bargain shop that has everything from stretchers to clothes. Taking Allen for his first time and I'm sure we'll come back with some weird things.

Driving is strange too they have a law that means you give way to people pulling out from your side of the street, this is only on small roads, also at roundabouts everyone else has right of way, again this is only on small roads. Have got to read their highway code as I've already had 3 near misses.

Have managed to get a bank account, ID card, driving license and ration card. Pretty good going as it takes some people at least a month and we did it in less than a week. Can't register the car for a month though so it'll be tight on the insurance. That cost is 3 times higher out here - they must expect us to crash!

School has gone down brilliantly. Abi cried on Sunday as she had to have the day at home and NOT school! Abi's in with a Dutch teacher and Jacob's is Canadian. They are in IY3 and IY4 respectively. Abi's teacher thinks she's wonderful and I haven't heard from Jacob's teacher yet! He got some maths homework that he could have done when he was 5 so I'm hoping it'll get a bit harder or else I'm going to have a bored little boy on my hands. He is impressed that he is allowed to free read and we are well into the first Harry Potter, he's loving it. Abi has moved up 2 levels from what she was on in the Falklands and is impressed with that. I'm going in to help on Friday, making fruit kebobs (can you tell by my the spelling it's a bit American!). They also have recess. The Brits are in the minority here, very American. There's a big American base near us but I haven't been on it yet. Haven't checked out the area much as it's been raining most of the time since we got here! I am also trying to unpack. The sun is out now though so I need to get out. Have got to get our bikes adjusted as, by law, you have to all have back mud guards, reflectors and bells. Taking the kids down to the loacl bike shop to get it all sorted, there's one down the road from us.

I've included a photo of the house, we're joined to the neighbours by the garage, one of them across from the house - you can see all the fields, this is also the view I have while I'm typing this! The other is of them biking down our street - very safe. So I think we'll enjoy it here, bit too much dog poo though, too many dogs really! The neighbours all seem very nice. There are about 12 British families although my neighbour is German married to a Brit. She hates kids but seems nice!

Hoping we'll get lots of visitors

Rachael xx