Roos’ 15th birthday

Today Roos-Marion turned 15 years old. She was very adamant about the cake she was going to get and it is with mixed emotions that I realized the last Dutch had gone out of her. I tried to convince her to get a “real” cake from the bakery but she wanted an Oreo cookie cake from the frozen section in the supermarket. I have to say that it tasted pretty good though !

Tonight all of us also had dinner together at a Chinese restaurant. Gary’s dad and uncle where there as well and Alex and mom brought the presents. Roos got a tablet that allows her to draw on her computer.

Roos officially a teenager ! 

Today was Roos’ 13th birthday ! This means she officially is now a teenager. To celebrate, Alex and myself sang for Roos and Mascha came over in the morning also to have some cake.

After the four of us had lunch in Santa Ana,  we headed to Downtown Disney where we rented out the movie theater. At least it appeared liked that because it was only us in there.

We finished with Icecream in Mission Viejo. Roos ordered the ” pig’s trough”. Before and after pictures are below …

It was a great day. Next month it’s Lexi’s turn..

Belated birthday party

This weekend friends from work came over to celebrate my (belated) birthday party. We started out with an early morning hike. There are some great cooks amongst the team and everybody brought great food. There was a great birthday cake and lots of BBQ. Roos and Alex had sleepover parties but were back early in the afternoon and were able to enjoy the food. The chicken and steak from a local butcher near work in Del Amo was the best.







Happy birthday Alexandra !

Alexandra celebrated her 9th birthday today. We already started with the gifts a little bit yesterday as she picked out new curtains for her room. This morning Roos also had a (tasty) present for her sister and dad got Alex a necklace. Alex also wanted to go to a ‘fancy’ dinner. It is a good reason to wear her nicest dress and shoes. In order to fully prepare we also need to get a pedicure and manicure of course …
Together with mom and Roos we went to Happy Nails salon to get that taken care of.


Roos’ 11th birthday

Roos is turning 11 years old today. Her birthday present involved horses this year. Following Alexandra’s horseback riding adventure in Hawaii, Roos also wanted to ride a real horse. So for her birthday we organized lessons at ” Bridges equestrian school ” in San Juan Capistrano, about 10 minutes away from dad’s house.



There were a lot of presents for Roos on her birthday. Mom was going to buy her an iPad mini (although dad is still trying to convince her to go with the new Microsoft Surface) and Roos also got a project desk for her bedroom.

Tonight we will be heading to the restaurant Roos picked for her birthday dinner: The Fish Company.

Er is er een jarig….

This morning we started of with singing Happy Birthday to Mascha. She is turning 31… again 😉

Alexandra had used her weekly allowance to buy mom a book on the Book Fair that is currently running at school. She bought the Vista Verde Cookbook. This is a cookbook with recipes from Vista Verde School families and it also has a recipe from our family. The recipe is called ‘Dutch Goulash’. Actually this isn’t Dutch Goulash at all; it is Hungarian Goulash and Cor found the recipe on an online recipe site a few years ago. But this is in best Dutch tradition: Dutch Tulips are originally from Turkey and Delfts Blauw is originally copied from China. In a few hundred years from now, when they dig up that recipe book it will be ‘Vandenberg family traditional Dutch Goulash’.

Mascha also got a Jawbone Jambox for her birthday. This is a bluetooth wireless speaker that will connect to any iPhone or other bluetooth device to play sound and music. It also comes in handy for making handsfree calls when you are at home.

Tonight we will have dinner at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Beach and hopefully with a nice sunset because the weather hasn’t been to great here in the last few days.

Cor is jarig en krijgt….. the Big Agnes !

Gisteren was ik jarig en ik wist al een beetje wat ik zou krijgen. Ik had namelijk al een slaapzak en een grondzeil gezien maar ik wist niet dat ik ook een tent zou krijgen… en wel het model ‘The Big Agnes“. Zal wel een redelijk comfortabel model zijn als het genoemd is naar Oma 🙂

Ik wilde al een poosje wat spullen hebben om te gaan kamperen. De afgelopen paar jaar hebben we aardig wat gehiked hier in California en ik kom regelmatig langs hele mooie plekken om te kamperen. De enige keer dat we dat gedaan hebben was op Catalina Island maar dat was behoorlijk behelpen met de veel te warme oude slaapzakken. De tent is een 4-persoons tent en de kinderen zullen het vast ook wel leuk vinden maar we proberen het eerst maar eens in de achtertuin.

‘s Avonds heeft Mascha me verrast op een etentje bij de Grill in Pelican Hill. Vanaf hier nog slechts 364 dagen tot the big four-oh.