New family member

Today we welcomed a new family member to family : Benjamin Pascal van den Berg. Benjamin will have four older girls to look after him: his sisters Saskia and Sylvie and his nieces Roos and Alex.

Thanksgiving dinner

Today is thanksgiving in the US. There are a few traditional meals. The turkey is the most famous but roast beef is also ver popular. The traditional side dishes are creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, gravy and horseradish cream. All things Roos and Alex like. For desert we had Yorkshire pudding…. Not a favorite of the girls.

Roos is also sporting a new hairdo … Very short but it looks cute !


Play date weekend

This weekend was play date weekend. Alex had been invited for an early Thanksgiving dinner at her friend Juliette. She dressed up really nice. We wanted to make a boterkoek for her to take as a surprise but sadly it didn’t come out well. The problem was probably the flour which was a flour mix instead of the regular one. Lexi instead took some roses from the garden as a surprise bouquet.
Roos also had a play date yesterday with her friend Vivi. The girls went to a musical: ivy + bean. Afterwards Roos had a sleepover at Vivi as well.


Today Vivi is at our house and we have gone biking this afternoon. We also got mom a present because her birthday is coming up !

Long weekend in Holland

On my return from a business trip, I was able to spend a long weekend in The Netherlands. It was already pretty cold here, at least for me coming from 35 degree weather in Jeddah. That winter was coming was clear from the seasonal dishes served. Snert was for sale in most restaurants and I had some for lunch.


I was of course visiting with my dad and we had some time to catch up. We went to Apeldoorn to do some shopping and go for a nice meal in Hotel de Paris.



This month is Movember or ‘ moustache November ‘. Like pink ribbon week for women’s health, Movember is to remember men’s health. Many men grow a moustache to show their support for the initiative. At work several people started last year and I joined in. Here is me one after one week. Next week I am traveling for work to the Middle East and I won’t stand out at all.


Roos is on her first science camp…

This morning Roos departed for her first science camp. She will stay 3 days in Forrest Falls. This is a 58 sq km. area that has waterfalls and mountains ranging from 1500 to 1600 meters high. Roos will be camping in cabins and spend a lot of time outside. Below is the update from the principal for today.


Dear 6th Grade Parents,

Our 6th graders arrived safely at Outdoor Science Camp this morning in Forest Falls without any incidents (or any motion sickness!)  The weather is a beautiful 55 degrees with deep blue skies and a nice crisp autumn breeze.  Lows tonight are supposed to be in the high 30s but the camp has plenty of “found” warm jackets that they keep on hand just in case anyone forgot to bring one.

Upon arrival, the kids all met their cabin counselor and unloaded their gear into their cabins. Kids will be spending 24/7 with their new counselor this week along with their Vista Verde cabin mates and a few new friends from another school.  Lunch (veggie and hot dogs hot off the grill!) will be served soon in the big dining hall for all students and adults and will be an opportunity for everyone to get to know one another.  There is plenty of food served at every meal and the kids are allowed to eat as much as they like without being wasteful.

Right after lunch, the counselors will be concentrating on having the cabin mates get to know each other and establishing the expectations for camp life. They have an afternoon filled with activities planned for all cabins including a hike through the woods or along the river bottom with a concentration on either wildlife, ecology, or geology.  There’s a craft activity planned before dinner with an exciting night hike scheduled before bed.

Our teachers report that all the kids seem very excited to be at camp and are anxious to get onto the next fun activity that the counselors and teacher have planned for the day!

We’ll have additional updates (and photos!) on Thursday evening after I return from my visit to the camp tomorrow night. Best wishes for a nice, quiet evening with the rest of your loved ones tonight. Rest easily knowing that your 6th grader is having fun at camp!