Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Year Brings New Changes

Our Christmas vacation was full of fun and good times.  We were busy baking and partying from start to finish.  The girls were tickled pink that Santa again made a stop in the Netherlands just for them.  The stockings were filled with goodies from both lands which did slightly confuse them, but they soon understood that Santa knew a good thing when he saw them and collected the best of both worlds when choosing the items for their stockings.  We did not have a white Christmas as we'd thought we might.  The ice soon began to melt, but not before the girls could get out and walk on some ice.  I wish it had been thick enough to get out our skates, but it was just too risky.  Besides, there was a deadline to meet: Christmas.  As you may have already read, our finances were stretched to the last thread during the most critical month of the year and so when the paycheck finally came in we made a last and final mad rush along with the rest of the last minute shoppers in Amsterdam. 

To put a little rest into our busy shopping day we took the girls to the English Reformed church in the middle of the begijnhof just to the north of the Spui for their Christmas Choir service.  Sitting in the middle of this sanctuary sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the streets and crowds we were welcomed into the English speaking church and enjoyed an hour of Christmas songs and a simple Christmas service.  The girls did remarkably well for not having attended a church service for over a year and we left with warm hearts and general feeling of Christmas cheer.  It didn't take long to finish our Christmas shopping and we were headed home to our lonely kitten and sparkling tree.

I had meal upon meal planned so we feasted all Christmas on this recipe or that with a few Christmas cocktails thrown in for a little extra warmth during the cold nights.  Luckily the liquor lasted to ease our nerves after the frenzied birthday party with 14 children running through our house as well as to help us sleep through the neighbors drunken New Years Eve party.  Though, I am glad we have run low as it is now time to say farewell to the holidays and approach the New Year.  It is always hardest to say goodbye to this particular holiday.   Summer vacation is shrugged off with knowledge that you'll still have several remaining weekends with sun and beaches before the cold fall winds began to blow, but the Christmas/New Year vacation ends abruptly leaving you with only cold and dreary weather to look forward to for the next several months.  Still, it has left us with many a happy memory. 

Amara turned 5 in a blur of all things pink and princess and has chosen to stay just as cute as she ever was with a little extra sparkle.  As tradition would have it we gave her the choice to get her ears pierced or not and she braved the many stores which rejected to pierce a child so young and the many clerks who tried to scare her into thinking it was "too much pain" to finally find a store and clerk willing to give the child what she so desired.  (More on this Dutch attitude later.)  She walked out with beautiful red earrings and huge smile on her face.  We did go ice skating, though not on the canals it was just as fun as we were in the company with friends who we hadn't spent enough time with over the last several months.  Friends and fun have filled our holidays this year and we will remember each event with happiness.

Though I feel like we walk out of those happy holidays into an empty year, I am also looking forward to a new year.  I have never been one to put much stock into New Year's resolutions, but this year I have a few things in mind for the betterment of my soul and my family.  There will be some changes in our routine and the way we live from day to day.  Things have gotten a bit slack in the last couple of years due to so many changes and we seem to have lost our focus or headed in the wrong direction here or there.  While change can be a stimulating experience I prefer not too much to change, so I'm on a mission to redirect our path to find some of those treasured walks we miss to much in little family.


daphne said...

Change is necessary, i know, but you guys have been through so many, so quickly after each other, it is only normal that you felt a little out of sync.
This new year will bring new and better things - if only they were small, know that the surprises planned for you and yours come from a kind, warm heart.
love, daphne

t i m said...

Aww, sounds like you hand a wonderful festive period albeit it wasn't quite a white Christmas, just like it was in England yet again. :(

Happy New Year & all the best for 2008. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sherry,
Love your new blog, hope to see you tomorrow at school.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year from Winnipeg. The two-week silence has been revealed. I love your new home-page. It must have taken mega-hours to design, the result is wonderful.

Mannyed said...

what a beautiful blog set up! very nie! I'm marveling at all the new stuff! Good for you!

Jungle Mama said...

@ Daphne - Not too many changes. Just the regular things like making sure the house gets clean, the excercise program starts up again, the kids are well brought up. Those types of things. Oh, and the new email addresses and blog.

@ t i m - So sorry to hear England had another whiteless Christmas :(

@ Michelle - You found me! Yea! We'll see you soon enough. Though it seems to be put off 'til way too long, hasn't it?

@ Winnipeg - I'm glad to see you've followed the bread crumbs. Hopefully now that I've gotten everything set up I'll be writting on a better schedule again. Thanks for your comment ;)

@ Mannyed - Yea! You're here! Now I just have to my own act together to match the blog again, eh?