New Years Eve

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Well, 2018 is finally coming to an end.  It wasn’t a particularly amazing year, but not the worst either.   We relocated from Ireland to the Netherlands – so loads of changes with the kids – school, language, houses, etc all the extra stress of that but we also go to vacation in Boston & New England for a month in the summer which was pretty amazing!

As with most NYE’s – our plans involve staying home, having cheese & chocolate and fondue, playing games and of course fireworks for the boys.

Both kids were telling me this morning they are going to go to bed early so they can wake up at midnight… hummm.   I’m not even sure I can make it to midnight!  I normally am in bed by 9 pm so 12 am is a HUGE deal for me.  I might join her at 9 and perhaps I’ll wake at midnight or not.

Turned out, we never played games and I ended up watching Bird Box on Netflix, while S played FIFA19 in the man cave and N & M took a 3 hour nap!  Now we have loads of nibbles to eat which we’ll do tonight while we watch the Big Friendly Giant or playing some games – or both.

Anwyay, while I cooked, M made slime adding in shaving cream.   Said it was the best slime ever!  It was pretty cool.

FIREWORKS

Before you go any further watch this video from SURVIVAL GUIDE TO THE DUTCH – it is hilarious.

Today, we specifically drove the local Lidl to buy a few of the fireworks they had and then we went to Tuincentrum GroenRijk [beautiful garden stuff btw] on the Graafseweg is clearly Den Bosch’s answer to ‘Where you get your fireworks in Den Bosch?”  It was packed and there was a system – you get an order form from the guy, walk around the shop looking at the items on display – loads were already sold out, place your order, pay and collect your goods.    Some guys were buying €400 worth of fireworks – I joked we’d like to come to their house at 12:01 am!  Personally, I’m a bit of a party pooper – I find them a big waste of money & DANGEROUS so would rather watch others and save my money, but I know N & S find it fun and to spend about €25 was fine!!    I read the Dutch will spend €70 MILLION on fireworks to use on this one night!!

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For the past couple days there has been so many loud bangs throughout the day and night.   And now that it’s actually New Year’s Eve – you can’t go 1 minute without a huge bang and considering where we live in the city center of Den Bosch, it’s quite tame.  There is a joke on my facebook page that just wait – the Netherlands on New Years Eve, is like Bagdad during Operation Desert Storm – crazy!!  Of course that is an extreme exaggeration  – but here is a great example.  A bit like Dublin on Halloween – all the a-holes come out and there is major, unnecessary violence!

Lucky for me, I didn’t have to leave the house to have a nice viewing of fireworks.  Especially from the back windows, M & I saw tons of fireworks going off from behind in the park, nearby houses and surrounding neighbourhoods.    We even saw a crazy guy putting fireworks in the street – turned out to be N! 🙂

Each year, Scheveningen (the North Beach) and Duindorp (the South Beach) compete for the title of the “highest bonfire” in the Netherlands on New Years’ Eve. This year, with winds, it got a bit out of hand and all the flickers from the bonfire we back into the dorp and things were catching on fire – it was a bit crazy.  Here is a video posted on nu.nl and here.

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CHEESE FONDUE

I personally do not like the taste of kirsch, so I don’t use it in my cheese fondue.  Instead I make it using a mix of chicken and veggie broth, crushed garlic and lemon juice, then remove the garlic, add the various cheeses and stir.  Serve with broccoli, carrots, apples, peppers, celery and bread.  It was yummy!

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We were to also have  Chocolate Fondue but we decided to put that off until New Year’s Day as it was too late with M & N long nap.   I woke her a 5 minutes to midnight to watch the countdown on tv, some of the fireworks from the windows, but then she went back to bed.   She was so tired – I know she really wanted to go out with the boys, but she’s too young – maybe next year …. agreed and happily went to bed.   She did join the boys early for a bit of a walk around and lit off a few simple fireworks… so that was her fill this year.

HAPPINESS, GRATEFUL JAR

I saw this on Pinterest – I LOVE PINTEREST!!  and think it’s a great thing for our family.  The kids and I are going to make this today and put in up in the dining room by the fireplace.  We don’t need to do it each day but when there is something good, accomplished goals, memories worth saving, meaningful or overall just something that made one of us happy – write it on this post it, and put it in the jar.   Then on Dec 31st, New Years Eve, we’ll open this jar and we’ll be able to reflect back on 2019 to see all these wonderful moment which  made us happy.

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NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS & WISHES FOR 2019

While normally I don’t make any ‘real ones’, but this year, I’ve asked each of us in our family to come up with some resolutions and wishes for 2019 this is what we’ve compiled.  Some are for the adults and others are for the kids.

  • EAT BETTER – consume less meat & processed foods.
  • EXERCISE MORE – Go for walks, bike rides, overall be more physical
  • LOSE WEIGHT
  • LEARN DUTCH MORE – I stopped my Inburgering lessons and will self-study for the next month or so and see how that goes.
  • SOCIAL LIFE – Expand our social circle of friends.  Host friends at our home more often.
  • READ MORE BOOKS AND THINGS IN DUTCH – oefenen, oefenen, oefenen!
  • ALWAYS GIVE OUR BEST IN OUR SPORTS, DANCING AND PIANO
  • FOCUS ON SELF CARE – BOTH MENTAL & PHYSICAL
  • ASK FOR HELP
  • GET IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA
  • GET A PARK TIME JOB
  • LESS DEVICE TIME, MORE FAMILY GAME TIME
  • GET MORE SLEEP – Go to bed earlier & same time each night
  • SLEEP IN OWN BEDS
  • LIMIT ALCHOL – Avoid alcohol during the week
  • PERSUE OUR PASSIONS AND HOBBIES
  • KONMARI A FEW OF THE CLOSETS IN THE HOUSE & MY CRAFT ROOM
  • DON’T PUT UP OBSTACLES
  • VISIT MORE MUSEUMS
  • EXPLORE NETHERLANDS AND NEARBY COUNTRIES MORE OFTEN

Wishing everyone a healthy, happy & prosperous 2019 for all my friends & family near & far!

 

 

 

 

 

New Years Eve & Wishes for Snow

As Boston is celebrating First Night & preparing for an upcoming Nor’ Easter, we’re enjoying a quiet evening in here in North Norfolk.   Though Nils for some crazy reason, appeared with some fireworks and sparklers for the kids.   I’ll take some photos and share them later, but for the record, I’d never have purchased them.  I’m afraid of injury and driving the neighborhood mad with noise, though Nils suggest we light off early with the kids.

Just yesterday the kids were asking if we were going to get a snow storm soon.  I’d like to say yes, but prefer to it either come asap like this weekend or until after Nils’ big event in Dublin towards the end of the January.
I was looking at older photos from the kids during our past 18 months here in the UK and then viewed some from our lives in the States.  Some from their old birthday parties, farm visits, trips to weekends in the White Mountains and then I came across some from Beverly.  These were taken during the blizzard of January 11, 2011.  They made me smile – I couldn’t help but get a little nostalgic and a bit home sick.

Neighborhood kids snubbed poor little Soren who waved with such excitement.
View from front porch.
Back deck – BBQ covered and Nils’ beer in the snow.
Our neighbor’s beautiful home.
Soren and Nils in our driveway!
View of yard from back deck.

Another part of why I may feel home sick was because today another family I know, from Boston who lives in London, is returning back to the states after being in the UK for three years.

Then again, while we have friends and family to return to, we no longer have a place to live, stuff, etc. so that makes the desire to return asap not as strong.  I’m sure one day we’ll return.

I’ll have to come up with a resolution and a list of some things I’d like to do, change, see, try, etc in 2014 and reflect back on 2013 – but I’ll do that another time.

The kids had fun holding the sparklers which Nils brought home.  Maebh was nervous at first, but warmed up to them after a bit.  Soren was a pro – and wanted more & more.

At midnight, Nils chose to light off the snakes firework reel which he bought – though Soren and I suggested we skip it and do it in on the beach some day – like at a beach bbq in the summer. LOL

chance, he insisted he was doing it and off he went into the garden. Once the larger booms started, I was so embarrassed, I ran in the house.