Our Dutch heritage is very important to my family. My parents both emigrated from Holland in the 1950’s. We decided that it would be a fun tradition to celebrate that heritage every year. In Holland the queen’s birthday is celebrated the last Saturday of April. Originally it was to celebrate Queen Juliana’s birthday which is April 30. The Dutch tradition is to have street markets and celebrations in every town. So now our family will celebrate “Koeninginnedag”, or the queen’s birthday every year. Our family is always game for a party especially with good food. Pam has a great party house and she is always willing to be a wonderful hostess. The kitchen was decorated with tulips, lace and Dutch flags, three of my favorite things. So our families all came dressed in the patriotic color in Holland, Orange. We ate just about anything we could think of that was an old Dutch recipe. We love to have croquettes with patat frites (hot french fries). To add insult to all of the fat this food is cooked in, we add what is called frite sauce and mixture of mayonnaise and mustard. Pam even served them in the traditional friet bags like the ones we use in Holland. We also had hachee, rodekool, huzarensla, stroop waffles, droop…. need I go on? We stuffed ourselves with good food. Then for dessert we had Dutch apple pie (which isn’t really Dutch but we like it anyway) and Valerie made a cake that looked like the Dutch flag. Pam had gone all the way to Los Angeles just to find a Dutch store to stock up on stuff. Besides our usual camp fire and conversation we played VanderHoeven Family Jeopardy on the big screen and a really tough Dutch trivia game. Opa and Ady were the best at it since they are both fluent in Dutch and since Opa grew up in Holland he knew the country’s history. I love our family; we always have so much fun together. We really know how to play and work together. After all as the Dutch say,
I am the office manager in an orthodontic office so smiles are something I notice quite a bit. My boss, Dr. Whimpey, has been practicing in Federal Way for around fourty years. He is a very kind and wonderful man. Dr. Whimpey is also a member of the church and has been a bishop and in the stake presidency. It is pretty fun because I know so many of our patients from church some of which are in other wards and stakes so I wouldn't be able to catch up with them as often if their kids weren't patients. We also have seen, in some cases three generations of patients from the same family.
So far three of our kids have made it through braces and we are just embarking on the fourth. Laura started her orthodontics a little over a month ago. She had to wait quite a while for her permanent teeth to grow in. I don't know what it is about my kids but they seem to be pretty far behind in the teeth growing business. Jennifer was past two years old when her first tooth grew in. We were worried she would never have either teeth or hair. She has mostly both now. Anyway, Laura was really excited to get her braces on. It seems that in our office we always have kids that are really excited to get their braces put on and then about a year later they can't wait to get them off. In the office we always take a picture of the kids with Dr. Whimpey on the day they get their braces on and Laura is no different. It is fun to see the changes that occur during the time they are in treatment.
We are grateful to the Federal Way Police Department. The other day Daniel, my seventeen year old son had a scary experience. Daniel attends Highline Community College and usually takes the bus to my office after school. Then I take him to work. On this day six guys, who I refer to as thugs, followed him off of the bus and tried to rob him. They had bandannas over their faces and wrapped around their fists. These guys were threatening to "mess him up" if he didn't give them his money and cell phone. Meanwhile I had the feeling to just go to the bus stop to pick Daniel up instead of waiting for him. I happen to drive up just as these "thugs" were pulling on his backpack and getting ready to punch him. I really believe that the Holy Ghost was directing me to pick him up. I usually would always wait for him. We did call the police and four of the six were arrested. We were very impressed with the professional way the officers handled the situation. It is pretty scary to report things like this to the police but this kind of thing will continue to increase if we don't fight back and let the police do their jobs. The police said they were familiar with these guys and said they were glad that we called. I am just grateful to Heavenly Father that Daniel is no worse for the wear.
Yesterday Jennifer and I drove Adrian to Portland to meet his ride to Rexburg. It is about a 2 1/2 hour drive each way from here, so we left really early in the morning. We always like to listen to lots of crazy music, drink Diet Coke and talk lots. We are going to miss Adrian though. It is so fun to have him around. He will be attending BYU-I for the summer semester. Having the kids at home makes me laugh so much; they are so funny. I don't know where they got such creative personalties. I have really enjoyed having them around. Adrian has grown up to be a son I can really be proud of. He is truly a good person. I will really miss him. Thank goodness for unlimited minutes on the cell phones.
One of our favorite thing to do is go shopping. (everyone except Jack) Today Adrian, Jennifer and I decided to take the drive up to North Bend to shop at the factory outlet stores. As much as anything we love the beautiful drive and the setting of the shopping center. Adrian is heading back to Idaho tomorrow and since apparently they can't buy good stuff there we had to stock up on summer stuff. The thing about outlet stores is that they are supposed to be a big bargain. I guess if you regularly buy Coach bags and $150 jeans it is a bargain. We did find some great buys there and Adrian was able to stock up on some stuff.
We also try to call my niece Jacki any time we head anywhere north. She lives all the way in Sultan which seems to be all the way in Montana. We love to shop with her and she always has her two cute boys with her. Connor is 17 months old and Corey is about 3 months. Jacki is really busy but she does a great job! Connor especially liked to play on the riding toys outside.
It seems that the thing now is to post your history online for the world to see. I like the idea of writing about the simple things in life in the hopes that someday it will spark good memories. My family is by far the most valuable thing to me. They bring me joy every day.
Not much happens in my everyday life but I think that this will help me to look at things a little differently. I will try to remember the funny things, interesting things and simple things in life.
We have a pretty busy family. My daughter, her husband and 2 1/2 year old son (the greatest grandson in the world) live in Oregon. We have two kids attending Brigham Young University - Idaho. One High School senior and one attending Middle School. Between jobs, church, dance, cheer and friends things are always hopping in our home.