{Saying Goodbye}I drove up to Vancouver after church so that we could fly out for our trip. I did several rounds of hugs and kisses with the crazies first. Good to know they were in great hands with Ben and Auntie Meghan.

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{Miserable Flight} The flight over to Amsterdam was terrible. It was SO cold the whole time. I was wearing jeans with yoga pants over them, two jackets, socks and slippers and was huddled up to conserve body heat. (We have no earthly idea how that lady was in shirt sleeves!) The way back was a piece of cake...nice temperature, we brought out own snacks and the flight was not full so Kelly and I each sprawled out on our own row of three seats to watch movies.

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{Walking the Streets} We dodged the cyclists and scooters and did a whole lot of walking through the city, stopping for lunch and snacks whenever possible.

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{Rijks Museum} My dad is one of the most creative and artsy people I know. He was one happy guy to spend a day at the Rijks Museum, where he knows crazy details about all the artists and many of the paintings. Art is Therapy indeed!

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{Fries and Mayo} Crispy fries with a big dollop of Dutch mayo on the top, this cone was enough for all of us to eat for dinner.

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{The Hiding Place} I can't even express the blessing it was to go to the hiding place where the ten Boom family hid Jews during World War 2, saving their lives. The book, The Hiding Place, deeply affected my life from the time I first read it when I was about 14. The courage, love and blessing of this family could be felt all through this tour. “No pit is so deep that He is not deeper still; with Jesus even in our darkest moments, the best remains and the very best is yet to be." Corrie ten Boom.

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{The Birthday Boy} This was the first time since he was eight that he spent his birthday in the country he was born. To celebrate, we took the train to Epe, where he showed us the house he was born in. For years he told Kelly and I that he was born during the war on the kitchen table and we thought, "Poor Nana!!!" It was only in our twenties that we realized he'd been lying to us all those years. Of course, they still had beds during the war. He's looking pretty good for 71, isn't he? (Photo taken in Amsterdam)

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{Canals} Kelly and I biked all over the city and discovered so many lovely places, once we figured out how to go with the flow with the cyclists everywhere. With the evening sun it was even more perfect!

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{Cheers} Here's to a great trip together!

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{Home Sweet Home} Is anything better?

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{Handcuffs} I knew these handcuffs I bought for each of the boys for 2 euros apiece would be a big hit...and they are. I find them in bed handcuffed, eating dinner with their feet chained together and offering to lock my hands up behind my back. Boys.

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{Sharing} I found these awesome little squeezy popsicle things in Europe. We've been blending up watermelons and freezing them.

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{Related} Auntie Meghan to Ruby to the movies and let her buy a hat on the condition that she'd wear it all night. Ruby slyly opted to buy them BOTH hats and Meghan had to don her fashion piece.

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{Suessical} Pictured with our VERY TALENTED friend who played Gertrude brilliantly. We so enjoyed the musical!

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{Super Dad} So glad we have him. He's our favorite person.

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{W is for Wild and Wacky Hair} For the last month, kindergarten has been having special days for every letter of the alphabet. I was running out of steam and for Wild hair day, Tymen was going to get some mildly gelled hair from his unimaginative mother. Good thing he has a fun auntie who roared off to Walmart with the two boys to find spray and gave him a fiery red mohawk. Auntie rocks.

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{World Cup} Going for orange.

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{Field Trip} Zoo field trip with kindergarten today. Four years ago I was there with Ruby's class. Jasper and Tymen were toddlers and I was pregnant with Theo. A lot changes in a few years.

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{Forty} It's a big number. I am so thankful that forty is filled with blessing and love. God has had His hand on me my whole life and for that, I am deeply grateful. The best is yet to come.

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{Belonging to Jesus} On my birthday, this precious boy made the decision to give his heart to Jesus. He's a special guy and we can't wait to see what God does in his life. (Best birthday gift ever!)

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{Lifegroup Beach Night} We have a wonderful "small" group from church that meets every other week. We also do a bunch of fun stuff with our families. Here's a shot of the kids on their island after a night of mucking around together at the beach. We had about five families that couldn't come that night...you can imagine how crazy (and fun!!) it is when all the kids are together.

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{With Daddy} On Father's Day, the weather was crummy so we popped out after church to take pictures of Ben with each of the kids. He is such a pillar to all of us. I love how affectionate he is with them and yet how he teaches them to work hard and have character.

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{Snoqualmie Falls} We had such a fun hike with our friends that were staying with us. Jared and Amber were little kids when I taught them and now they are all grown up, married, and KID MAGNETS. We love their hearts and told them they are high on our list of "Easiest Guests Ever".

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{Super Artist} Can't even say how very much I love little kid art and all the details that start coming.

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{Running} Sometimes it's the most random photos that grab me when I come home and upload my pictures to my computer. I just love this one of Jasper running at the beach. The look on his face, the way I can see he's growing. That's my boy.

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{Library Days} It makes me happy to see how the kids bury themselves in new library books, especially ones that I loved as a child!

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{Cooper} Jasper loved the chance to be a cooper at Ft. Langley and help prepare the wood to become a barrel.

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{Cuzzies} There were a ton of cousins at my cousin's 25th anniversary party the other night. The kids had a blast on the trampoline, in the hockey area, in the pool and hottub, dancing and then practically dipping themselves into the chocolate fondue fountain.

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{World Cup} Last three minutes of the game the Netherlands scored. My dad, who's watched 42 of the 50 games so far and who'd been chomping worriedly on his nails through the game....lost it. Theo freaked out with the noise and I laughed my head off as I shot away.

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{Balloons} I bought some big balloons for my first silhouette mini sessions and had my crazies try them out first.

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