Before we get to Grandma's visit Jacob and Abi had book week at school. They did various activities during the week. Allen went in and read to both classes which went down well with Jacob and Abi. On the Friday they got to dress up as a character from their favourite book. Jacob chose Harry Potter and Abi chose Winnie the Witch. Luckily Allen was in the UK for half of the week and managed to find a Harry Potter cloak in Toys R Us, for Abi we just put together an outfit but did buy her a broom in Sittard. I've included a photo of them both while they paraded through the school to the gym. They both looked great.
Mum, Matthew and Amy arrived on Sunday. Abi and I went to get them from Genk train station. They'd had a good trip across although Steve had had to drive them into London due to a mix up in the train timetable from Harlington. They settled in, playing and exploring around the house. On the Monday we had borrowed bikes for everyone so we cycled into our nearest town, Sittard. We went to a good cafe called Bagels and Beans. I've included a photo of the cousins sitting on the soft bagel! We had a look around the shops although lots were closed as it's half day closing for many of the shops here on a Monday, they also close Wednesday afternoon. We cycled home and, after lunch, went on a walk. We walked up to the local ice cream parlour, unfortunately it too was shut. So we did a long walk following wooden owls - they are carved into tree stumps and point the way to walk. It took us an hour and a half as I'd not done it before and didn't know how long it would take! We enjoyed it all the same and it was lucky I had kit kats in my bag to help the walkers along. On the Tuesday we decorated the house for Halloween and made Halloween cookies to decorate later. Allen then took the kids onto base to go swimming as they had an inflatable in the pool followed by hot dogs to eat afterwards. Mum and I walked into Munstergeleen and looked around the little shops that are there - very gifty but nice. Wednesday we got the train to Maastrict. It's on the river Maas, hence it's name, and is a lovely old city. We just wandered around, stopping for coffee, shopping, lunch and ice cream. There is definitely more to do there so we will visit again. Jacob and I took them back to Genk station on Thursday for their trip back. They managed to miss getting off at Brussels but still got back in time for the Eurostar connection! It was great seeing all of them and hope Dad, Katharine and Steve will visit next time. I've included a photo from Maastrict too.
Michelle came and picked us up on Thursday mid morning and took us onto base where we had lunch and went bowling. They then brought us back and stayed playing for a few hours. She has Landon and Logan who are in Jacob's year and also go to cubs with us. Abi baked more biscuits for Halloween. On Friday we got ready for Trunk and Treating also on the American base. Abi went as Tinkerbell, Jacob an army man, Allen a vampire and me a cat. We had a good time with the kids ending up with way too much 'candy'. We also went bowling again as it was free. I forgot the camera but will remember to take some photos on the 31st! You may notice that Abi is holding a bear in each photo. We have had Barnaby bear for half term. She has to take Barnaby with her and write about what he does. So Barnaby has been everywhere with us and Abi has written loads!