Monday, September 29, 2008

American Kids!

This morning, at 7am, we left the house to drive to Manchester for interview for my N600 applications for Cees and Tim. The N600 form is to apply for citizenship certificates since they legally became citizens when I got naturalized.

The N600 just confirms by getting them citizenship certificates. To prove beyond any doubt that they are American citizens.

We arrived there in time, got checked for weapons and such, and put our papers in the 'appointment letters' basket at Window 1. It didn't take long till they called us at Window 2 to prove that Cees and Tim really did exist.

They had to take oath that they were telling the truth, and they had to sign many forms, their pictures, and their Certificates of Citizenship. They also took the Oath of Allegiance.

Now they are the proud new owners of those certificates, to go with my Certificate of Naturalization. Interesting to see that they have different ones (citizenship instead of naturalization) than I do.

I am happy I got this done and can cross another BIG item off my 'List Things To Do: URGENT!'

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Next Week

Next week, we'll get to take home a puppy!

We all are excited!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I love birches.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Picture of the Day

Courtesy of my friend who grabbed my camera and took the picture before we went out to go geocaching.

Apple Picking

Apple picking, a favorite fall activitiy.

I would include witty sentences, and long stories, but I have too much life going on today.

Enjoy the pictures and make up your own stories!

I am grateful for many apple orchards where we live, and I even have some apples on my OWN apple trees.

Will try to get some pics of those too. In my spare time, that is :D

Happy Monday to y'all!

Happy Equinox

The leaves are turning!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Moose Tracks and Bear Poop

Yesterday, life was perfect and we went geocaching. The cache was hidden at a local nature area.

Yes, those are bullet holes, thank you. Why are you asking?

I had never before heard about this area, but it's actually really close to one of my friends.

Cool how geocaching always gets me to new and beautiful places.

We breathed in the air of nature, enjoyed the sounds of birds, and talked about boobs (don't ask!)

We found the cache pretty fast and easily and decided to continue the hike to hide another cache.

Life was perfect.

Heck, it was perfect before we started the hike, but got even more perfecter while we were hiking. Yes, I do realize that this is mathematically impossible, thank you.

This is Maggie the beagle, we found her in the cache.

Huge mushrooms.

Bear poop.

So many moose tracks!

And an abundance of ripe and juicy berries. Did I mention about the goodness of the universe?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Berry Picking

We went raspberry picking with our homeschool group.

I would have long and cute stories here, but I am happy that I even get this post out on top of life.

Anyway, the raspberries were GOOD! I love being able to just pick them from the bushes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mabear Had Her Baby!

Go over and see the pictures and congratulate her on the safe birth of #13 !

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Don't ask.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Who would have thunk the cache would be 'down there' It was Very Much Down There.

So I sent my kids down first, and then slid down myself, not even wanting to think about how I would get back up later.

Well, at least we did find the cache, so that made it all worth it.

And the climbing back up was ... interesting. But we did make it and went off to easier trails!

Yet another geocaching day trip.

We found six caches altogether. Not bad at all. We also Did Not Find two caches, but I will refrain from mentioning those.

Attack of the Giant Killer Zucchinis!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Voted, I Voted, I Voted, I Voted!!!!

Today, for the Very First Time ever, I voted as an American citizen in the state primary elections. All the hard work paying off! Finally a return on my investment! I haven't voted in Dutch elections either, because of being too far away and the absentee ballot being a pain. So I didn't vote at all for the last fifteen years.

I had been kind of waiting for a post card or something to tell me where to vote (I seem to remember this from the Netherlands) but nope, nothing. When I told this to a friend, she explained to me that that isn't the way things are done here in the States. OK ^^ So, this morning, when I saw 'Vote here!', I decided to check it out. Of course, I discovered that I did not live in this ward, so I had to go to another location. Wasn't too hard to find the correct polling place.

I went in, stated my name and address, got my ballot, and went into one of those voting booths. There was a nice pen to colour in the 'ovals of my choice'. Interesting. Very low tech, and in the end I stated my name again, dropped the ballot into a box and that was it.

It was surprising to me that I didn't have to show id to be able to vote. I can see how it might not be too hard to pretend to be someone else. But I didn't have to be someone else, I could vote in my very own name as an American citizen!

Monday, September 08, 2008

I Miss Him

A few years ago, my father passed away, and the longer it has been, the more I miss him. Today, I was cleaning and found an old picture with him, making me more aware of his continued absence.

Of course, he is not really absent, because he taught me so many things I still use in my daily life. I think the biggest gift he gave me is this quote:

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. " --- (John) Calvin Coolidge

This quote has guided me through a large part of my life, and is still guiding me every day. It makes me aware that life is not about perfection and that it is ok not to be perfect yet. It makes me aware that even if I don't get everything done that I want to do, it is ok. It makes me look more consciously at what I did accomplish instead of what still has to be accomplished. It makes me persist in my life journey, even when things are not always as boring as I want them to be.

He lives in my memories and in my every-day life, and in the way I parent my kids. He lives in my hikes through the woods, where I can feel his presence in my enjoyment of nature and birds. He lives in the way I tackle new studies, the same way he was always learning new things. He lives in the stories I tell his grandkids, even when his youngest grandkid has never met her granddad in person.

"Where the determination is, the way can be found." --- George S. Clason

I am grateful for a wonderful father and the wisdom he has given me. I credit him for the persistence and determination I have developed, and for my sense of humor. I love you, dad!

Eggplant and Imams

I was browsing cooking blogs (less work than actually cooking) and I found this recipe for Eggplants So Sensual That They Made the Imam Faint at Tigers & Strawberries. Hmmmm, I had eggplants to use AND how could I resist a name like that?

I got everything together, and it didn't take long till Dawn joined in. My eggplants were a bit beyond baby stage, but it still turned out well anyway.

We cooked and the house smelled really good, and it didn't take long before we had this eggplant dish on the table.

No, we didn't quite let it cool down, but gobbled it right up when it was still warm and it tasted very good. Who would have the patience to wait till it was cold?

I had some leftovers cold the next day, which was quite nice too, even if Dawn didn't like it cold. That was ok, meant that there was more for me. And even if you don't want to make it right now, you should go over and read about the fainting imam.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I Like This Picture

I love her facial expression.

What Happened To Our Kitchen...

One morning, my friends were over and Dawn and Jane started talking about what they could paint now. It didn't take long before they had suckered my friend into taking them to a store to buy new paints. Yes, they did take my credit card!

The store was almost closing, so they chose colours in a hurry. It didn't take long before they came home and started painting.

And the kitchen started looking like this. The walls used to be white, how boring!

Gotta love friends like this ^^