Well, what a weekend we had. Saturday we watched Jari play soccer and then quickly left to whisk our chillies off to see Sinterklaas, arriving just in time to watch his boat harbor and collect a few handfuls of treats from Zwarte Piet. We then biked to the city center where we got pushed and shoved in a line with 'millions' of swooning children waiting for their chance to give the good holy man a hand...and collect their stash! We managed to stand in the perfect spot to make it in the top 20, meaning we were one of the first in line. Sinterklaas took his time with each child, asking what they wanted as a gift and settling each on his knee, before handing them a snoepzak (candy bag) filled to the brim with wonderful treats. It was pure magic. Just ask my seven year old whose eyes were twinkling as he made known that he wants a new ball, man sauce (Asia sauce, as Jari calls it...his fave), and Indiana Jones Lego for surprises at the door this year. Kaeden informed us that he is expecting a new laptop, a videocamera, and a cell phone. No worries, my boy, no worries (said as sweat trickles from my brow). But truly, it is magical, and it is special, and I have this year left to fully enjoy every aspect of the magic with my children. And when I trip over their shoes sitting filled with carrots and pictures at the door, or have to pick up markers and paper yet again after another 'tekening' was created, I will do so with happiness...thrilled that my children have been offered a life in which they can be free to dream, to fantasize, to hope and to believe. Believe in the magic of the season.
Oma and Opa kept the boys overnight (what a TREAT! THANK YOU!!!) while Erwin and I attended my yearly St. Ceciliafeest for my choir. We had so much fun. We shared lots of laughter and great conversation, and were awarded by understanding just a little more of the dialect spoken than we could last year. The food was all about fish, ever course being a special serving of fish, which was a huge disappointment for the two of us who cringe just at the thought of fish, but luckily we could remove some of the seafood and still had a nice meal. And the desert bar...to die for! YUM! Our theme this year was Famous People...Erwin went as Batman while I managed to become President of the US for a night. What a high walking into the party venue and receiving cheers all around as I waved my American flag, and was greeted by yet another Obama face in the crowd. The costumes were varied and fun, making the atmosphere really come alive. We staggered home at 2am and fell into bed, only to sleep in until nearly 11am without our spawn to awaken us. Did I say THANK YOU yet to oma and opa???! So, all in all, a very saintly weekend filled with fun...and magic...and well, life is quite good.