Monday, June 9, 2014

minnows, cakes and surprise birthday parties

June 6th,
We arrived in Ede just in time to go with Sanne-Joy and Lois to their swimming lessons. They first learned to swim at our home in Phoenix and now they swim like little minnows.

Lois is not the fastest but she gets high scores for form.
Sinking is not an option.
Sanne-Joy is quite accomplished, one of the best in her class. 

The swim center is just down the road in a near by town.
Rebecca is a terrific baker, making cakes of all sorts, but especially children's birthday cakes. 
This cake is for Fenne, the little girl in the middle. Her parents stopped by to pick it up and Sanne-Joy and Lois wanted to see it one last time before it was gone. 

June 8th,
Rebecca's family planned a surprise birthday party for her brother Hans for Sunday afternoon. It worked out really neat for Blanka and I to get to see everyone one more time before returning to the US. We were busy most of Saturday getting everything ready. Cake baking, grocery shopping, yard clean up and setting up the grill and chairs etc.
As we set off for church Sunday morning it was raining. That did not bode well for our surprise birthday party but by the time we got back home the sun was shining and cooperated for the rest of the day.
Following along the cake theme above, Rebecca baked this delicious carrot cake for all of us. Yes, a total of 13 of us for the surprise birthday party.  
From left to right: Hans (the birthday boy), Jonathan, Anne, Wilmar, Carla, Lois, Rebecca, Benjamin, Jenny, Henk, Sanne-Joy and Blanka. Only Rebecca's brother, Benjamin and his friend Carla, both from Amsterdam are not included in earlier blog posts. 
Anne and Hans
Lois is using Carla's thumbs as a steering wheel as they travel fast down the highway.
A toast to the birthday boy, who was totally surprised.
How do you toast involving 13 people, "clinking" glasses with everyone without crashing into one another?
You do it with a smile.
Rebecca and Wilmar have been wonderful hosts. This extra reunion with our Dutch/Belgian family was the frosting on the cake.

Now we have to figure out how to get all our stuff back into suitcases in preparation for our return to the US.