The Dutch Rush

they're Dutch...and life's a rush

Category: Family Life (page 1 of 4)

The Beuvings vs. flight 287

Just to assure you, we really did have a great trip, and we are so glad we got to have this experience. Our kids did such a great job traveling. There are also serious things to share about our time, and I will get to that. Our family has laughed till we’ve cried over this story for two days in a row. I thought some of you would appreciate knowing the horror of our last flight.

FullSizeRender (3)The only trouble with traveling for two weeks in Europe with only backpacks (no checked bags) is the tiny fact that ALL of your belongings have to go through security on EVERY flight.

Thanks to the TSA security story that broke while we were visiting our missionaries in Albania, getting home through security was not the breeze it was on the way over.

On our last day of travel we had been rushing all day, a small flight, a train, a subway, with a sick child in tow…and now we were on the last leg of a very long trip. A 10 hour flight home to San Francisco. (Non-stop, thankfully.)

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Security at Heathrow was not for the fainthearted, and it was unfortunate that not only were we running late, but I was so busy helping that sick child get through security, I had forgotten what I was suppose to do for myself. Things like take my belt off, take my shoes off, take the money out of my pocket, take the bottle of hand wash out of my purse, take the scissors out of my purse…

Yes you CAN travel with scissors, the blade just has to be four inches or less. (Cause a four inch scissor blade never hurt anyone, apparently.)

Anyway, they took one look at me and said “oh that woman travels with scissors, we’d better stick our hands down her pants”. So first they sent me back, cause, belt. Then the change in my pocket. Then frisk. Then check down my pants, cause that’s where all normal women keep scissors. I almost smacked the lady, I was so taken off guard, but I had the good sense to realize that if I did that, we would miss our flight.

So by the time they had pulled aside three of our five bags to inspect, I will admit that my patience was getting thin (long day, sick kid, just had a lady put her hands where they don’t belong) .

I arrived at the special desk where they search purses for scissors…oh. Scissors? Uh yeah. Oh, kids medicine that had made it through security for 7 OTHER flights? Nope, not today at Heathrow.

Him: “Uh ma’am, these are 118 ml bottles, and regulation is 100 ml, and my boss is standing right here…”

Excellent. I think I looked at him silently.

Him: “You can just go downstairs to the pharmacy and buy more”.

Me: “Um nope, late for my plane.”

Michael could see trouble brewing, and when he heard me say “nope”, he grabbed the bags and helped hurry us along. He’s a genius.

Boy was I glad to get on that plane. But not for long.

On that flight, Michael was able to get a seat in the exit row for all of his 6’6″ self, and I was in the middle row (four seats) with the kids a couple of rows back. I dosed everyone up on their Dramamine, and settled back in my seat.

The plane hadn’t even taken off yet, when I happened to look over at Alyssa, who was whacking at something between her and Joel’s seat with her notebook. I first thought spider, but Joel looked unconcerned, so I looked closer, and it was the foot of the person behind her that she was determinedly smacking. (!)

Whack. Whack. Whackety-whack.

Alyssa! I reprimanded her…but I was giggling so badly, I could hardly talk. She explained that they hadn’t moved their foot when she put her arm on her seat, so she had gone the notebook route.

The guy behind her was completely covered with a blanket…we had no idea what he looked like.

Creepy.

At that moment, the guy across the aisle from Alyssa took out a large bottle of whiskey and poured a considerable amount into a glass. Plane HASN’T EVEN TAKEN OFF YET.

A few minutes later, it looks like shes arm wrestling someone on the other side of her. Now the guy has his foot on the other side of her on the arm rest, and as hard as she was pushing, he wouldn’t budge.

Michael took that moment to wander over to see how we were getting on…and got the flight attendant to help with the arm wrestling.

I decided it was time for movies. That is one of the fantastic things about British Air, they had a TV screen in the back of each person’s seat, with a LOT of movie options, all free.

Later we’ve had movies and a meal, when the sickest kid starts having problems.  A few hours later, I had just gotten that one feeling better when someone else looks at me, white lipped. Uh oh.

“MOM…I’m not feeling very well.”  (Very well is one of my favorite understatements.)

So, bathroom, at the back of the plane cause they’re all full at the front, I have become a semi-experienced traveler by now and know that only zip-lock makes tough enough bags to puke your brains into on the plane. (After a leaky puke bag incident on our flight over.)

Naturally, child doesn’t want to be sick alone in the bathroom, so they want me to come in with them. Oh sure. I’ll just grab my shoe horn and fit your sick self, and myself in here.

Back to seats. Green child. Sit down.

Man across the aisle is still drinking whiskey.

Second child: “MOM…I’m not feeling very well” more pale lips. Same deal, only this child is bigger, so getting them down to the back of the plane and squeezing into the bathroom with them is getting significantly harder.

I get Michael from his blissful escape over in the emergency row.

We take turns taking sick children to the bathroom, tripping over other travelers.

Man across the aisle is meanwhile drinking a lot of whiskey and watching us intently.

One of the children has a giant hole in their sock, so we walk up and down aisles into bathrooms with their large toe sticking out of their sock until Michael can’t handle it anymore and wants to know where their shoes are. In the overhead bin, of course. On the other side of the plane.

Naturally.

Okay, so he leaves the bag in the overhead bin to start unloading shoes, because he’s Michael, and tall people can do stuff like that…

Only he drops several shoes on top of two SLEEPING people in front of us.

NOOOOOOO.

I was laughing so hard as I heard him in a HORRIFIED voice, saying over and over “oh, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry”. He said they looked at him like he was the devil. Uh yeah. We’re lucky that’s all they did.

Our eyes are huge. When will this be over?

Still taking turns walking with sick children to the bathroom.

The flight attendants decide that now would be a fantastic time to serve pesto sandwiches. The plane reeks of pesto. I look up to see Michael happily eating his. I look at him like HOW CAN YOU EAT AT A TIME LIKE THIS, YOU OGRE?!!

Incidentally, it had become much harder to take children to the bathroom with the “trolley” in the way.

But we managed.

On our way over to Europe, our family had spilled three cups of liquids in the space of 10 minutes during the chaotic puking/landing the plane adventure, so I knew better than to let people have open cups of anything at this moment. The only “well” child looked at me like I was a lunatic for not letting them pass orange juice over my head 45 minutes before the plane landed.

The flight attendants must have thought I looked a bit addled, because four of them offered me “a bit of tea or coffee” on their way through. They weren’t quite as helpful as they imagined they were as I was juggling children and the cleanest zip-locks back and forth.

We’d mostly given up on any sense of propriety, and had taken to  walking across seats to get to where we need to go. There was kleenex everywhere, because the originally sick child also had a runny nose, and another child was continuously sneezing for no good reason. I think they were avoiding the reality of also being sick, passing it off as “being allergic to Europe”. We even brought a box of kleenex with us to the airport.

It was bad, people.

Finally one of them fell asleep, and one of them puked.

Good old trusty, overpriced, zip-lock bags.

The plane finally had the decency to land, so the man put his whiskey away. He had watched us more than he had watched his TV. We must have been the on-flight entertainment.

Henry

I figured it was time to introduce you to our newest dog…and update you on some of our mundane bits of life. Alert: bad phone photos throughout this post! Sorry!

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Yes, we are the proud owners of not one, but two puppies. Jack is now a year old, but Henry our newest, is about four months. He’s cute, which is very good for him, as he has caused quite a bit of trouble…what with his love of eating shoes and books, barking at bugs, digging in the “off limits dirt pile”, and generally causing chaos and confusion. I suppose he fits right in around here.

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The reason I am holding his face in most pictures is because getting this dog to sit still for a picture is similar to having Josh sit still for anything.

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I apologize, terrible picture quality! My phone pictures get so blurry when I try to crop them, so there you go. Ugly shoe basket is a bonus.

Let’s see…what else is going on? Oh. I have a new garden, and it came with a gardener. Isn’t he quite the hunk? This is apparently how the Dutch garden…on their knees with scissors. (He would like me to mention that I was the one who planted those carrot seeds so close together…)

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I assure you, by the next time I take a picture for you, there will be some beautiful grass where you see that dirt. We are in the middle of a back yard reclamation project. Kids and dogs have been banned from this small section until the grass is grown…by that tall, handsome grass grower.

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We do let this child back there. Because she does calm things like write stories and illustrate them with water colors. She’s pretty wonderful.

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Did I tell you we are going on a trip? We are visiting some of our church’s missionaries in Albania in a few weeks. Oh boy. Look out missionaries! We will spend the next few weeks trying to be proper and work on using our “inside voices”, and attempting to NOT scare/tickle everyone we come in contact with. (Ahem, Michael.)

This has been a very exciting/shocking turn of events for this non-globe trotter! We are all going, and even crazier…we will be using only backpacks, and will not be checking any luggage. I promise. I will document this with pictures. Yes, I know how I pack for a weekend. This is different. (We will be checking non-personal luggage on the way over to bring needed supplies to our missionaries.)

Recently, I read this great post and loved the idea of a family book. Reminiscent of the bathroom calendar, but on the counter so it’s more accessible to people who don’t happen to be using the bathroom. We have all enjoyed reading and using it so far. I chose a mild day to show you…but it is open to all, so if you come over, by all means, check it out!

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And for the grand finale, I must tell you about my heroic dryer cleaner. He saved the day. I do not have a picture of this event, you’ll have to refer back to my Dutch gardener pictures.

It turns out that Someone had the misfortune of washing a curtain that had been hemmed with a hot glue gun…I think the person doing the hemming did not have the foresight to fathom the possibility of ever needing to WASH this curtain. Well, the fateful day came, and the curtain was washed as if it had never encountered hot glue…

But then my dryer looked like it had turned into a hot glued curtain of horror. These are the times I am just so glad that I do not ask Michael to do the silly things like vacuum, cook, and do laundry. Those are just plain boring. Because on days like this, I need a super hero who will sweat over my dryer with harsh chemicals. He fought the dryer and won! My HERO. I have offered to pay him back in some way, but he said that I do that every day by cooking and cleaning, and other stuff…

Isn’t he the best?!

last night

I usually try not to moan about sickness around here. I mean, everyone gets sick. So it’s not terribly interesting to anyone who isn’t sick.

These weeks have made me glad I read Auntie Leila’s Sickie Manifesto a few weeks back. It was a timely reminder…

Josh is in the middle of one of the worst flu/colds he’s had in years. And by middle, I mean he’s at day 9. Ahem. But he soldiers on. Some days he still does his school work from the couch, and that’s a good thing. We need to keep that little active mind BUSY. Right now he is giving me looks because I said I’d help him with his puzzle, but I am on my computer. He thinks that’s lame.

So. When I started laughing uncontrollably at the events of last night, I thought I’d throw them out there for you.

Things were going fine. The typical coughing fits that happen around bed time. Joel came in later  to tell me that Josh was growling in his sleep…Joel felt that this was disturbing.

For goodness sake.

Of course the growling was just Josh trying not to cough. But for some reason Joel was timing it, and as it happened every two minutes precisely, it was a little weird…

At about 1:30 (am) things got a little crazy. Michael picked this moment for one of his gigantic mother-of-all-that-is-holy allergy attacks.

If you’ve been to our house, then you know there is not a single place for him to blow his nose that would give the rest of us any peace.

So, naturally that was all Josh needed to launch into one of his endless coughing fits.

For awhile we were all in the living room together, and the NOISE…

Lets just say there’s nothing quite so soothing to a child caught in a coughing spasm as the sight of his Dad bumbling around the house in…whatever he wears to bed, blowing his nose loud enough to wake the dead.

The amount of times Michael crossed the room blowing his nose and snarking his tonsils out is making me cry, I’m laughing so hard.

This went on for about 20 years. I mean minutes.

Meanwhile, Josh and I are waiting for his cough medicine to kick in. We moved back to his room after he’s quiet enough the I don’t think he’ll wake Joel up.

I had a flash of inspiration when I thought of reading Josh a story to help him get back to sleep. I stumbled back to the living room and grabbed a book.

I’ll just mention now that Josh is quite use to me and is also a very patient child. So when I pulled out my phone to use as a flashlight and began whispering through Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, he sighed and settled right in. After about the third time of dropping my phone on him and getting tangled in words like “soporific” and “improvident”, it began to occur to me that 2:15 in the morning is not the choicest time for a little “light reading”.

We settled on back scratches instead.

By the time I got back to our room, lights were on everywhere and Michael was reading a gripping theology book.

Okay then.

Then he launched into his usual story about how our overhead fan is probably the cause of his allergy attacks.

Uh huh.

Then he decided that this would be a perfect time to ponder  how much it might cost to make a loaf of homemade bread. (I hate that question, and do not want to figure it out.) Since he sensed that he would get no answers from me, a intensely long guessing game began of what bread ingredients might actually be…

He was starting to settle down when I realized that the race was on. The snorking and snoring during spring allergy season is unmatched. I thought maybe I would get some rest if I could only beat him to sleep.

Nope.

Fast forward several annoying hours…

I woke to the sound of tap tap, tappity tap. Bam Bam Bam.

It turns out, someone who had gotten plenty of sleep last night was outside hammering the last nail in an effort to attach an empty rubbermaid (with the bottom cut out) to the post outside the door. (It has been explained to me that this will be perfect for dunking basketballs.)

I can’t think of a way to end this. It’s going to be a very long day…

Hard Work

 

How precious a thing is the [family]. Is it not worth some sacrifice in time, energy, safety, discomfort, work?  Does anything come forth without work?

-Edith Schaeffer

 

Some books change your life. But you don’t realize it till much later.

What is a Family?” by Edith Schaeffer is one of those for me.

Another was “Auntie” Leila’s blog. I have learned so much. I’m grateful.

Hard Work mixed with encouragement and grace has been a major theme of their writing. They remind us that it’s normal for it to take a lot  of work to make a home, cook from scratch, and keep the laundry ahead of the nakedness.

I’ve needed these ladies to remind me that life will never be perfect, and that perfection shouldn’t be our goal.

We can (and should) work hard, love each other, and do special things for our family.  But when the goal of ultimate perfection creeps in, it causes unhappiness and discontent.

Reading old books reminds me of how amazing it is that we have plumbing and appliances that make this a good day to be a wife and mother!

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Yet somehow no matter how many “work savers” we have, the fact remains…there is a lot of work to do every day.  It is my experience that the more I try to run from it, the worse it feels.

It’s only when I make myself get right into the mess and work, that things start to change. For dramatic effect we could also call it “heading into the eye of the storm”, because honestly, some days that’s what it feels like.

But those old books also remind me that we have grabbed some strange beliefs in our culture. Maybe we were sold some lies when we weren’t looking.

We’ve been told that having children is hard enough, so we shouldn’t be expected to also cook, clean, and keep things running for our hard working husbands.

We’ve been told that we “deserve a break”, and sometimes we take that to mean something it doesn’t.

We’ve been told that a clean house doesn’t really matter, that our husband should get dinner for himself, that no one knows how hard our life is, so they shouldn’t expect anything from us.

We feel entitled to a life of ease.

But I don’t see a life of ease for Christ’s followers described in the Bible anywhere.  God calls us up to a different place.  He says that to be great, we must be servants of all.

Being “servants of all” is such a different philosophy from a life of ease.  They aren’t even really compatible.

It can be very unpopular  to question these beliefs.

It’s scary to tell women that hard work can be the best thing to happen to them.

But I will question. I will be brave. Tomorrow.  We’ll have part 2.

Don’t worry.  Like everyone else, I have my bad days.  I have a post bookmarked for days like that.  It is gentle and comforting and helps me get back up the next day and try again.

I hope this last idea gives you the comfort and peace that it’s given me.

Human beings are very unbalanced and prone to go off on tangents. In every area of life- with too great emphasis on one thing, leaving out another important thing altogether. None of us will ever be perfectly balanced in our spiritual lives, our intellectual lives, our emotional lives, our family lives, in relationships with other human beings, or in our business lives. But we are challenged to try with the help of God.

-E. Schaeffer

The Q-tip Conspiracy

After yesterday’s serious post, I had to throw this out there.  I feel it is my duty to sound the alarms. Get to the store, people!

If you are getting close to running out of Q-tips, get yourself to the store and get some.

I do realize that this town does clean up nicely for the holidays, and maybe every single person in the county had made plans for their annual ear cleaning.

I bet they had some sweet, clean ears for Turkey Day. There was a shocking amount of empty boxes that should have been holding hundreds of packs of Q-tips when I arrived at the store.  But no.

They were gone. Every last pack of Q-tips.  Gone.

Next I always suspect Pinterest.

What in the world is Pinterest up to now, that the entire countryside got up that morning, and rushed to the store to buy massive amounts of Q-tips?   Probably Q-tip wreaths.

But then I went back to the store this week.  And got one of the three packs that were left. I had to buy the expensive brand due to my lack of planning.  But then I looked down at the cotton balls…and they were gone.  Every single pack was gone.

I am talking about HUNDREDS of packs of cotton balls.  GONE.

WHAT IS HAPPENING???

The Giant and the Ice Cream Cone

This really is random, so look out. We’ll start with some past cuteness.

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Fall is my favorite.  I like candles,  soup, and sweaters.  Somehow it makes more sense when the temperature is below 80.

Our family had quite a day at Apple Hill.  I will not relay to you all that we ate.  But I assure you, it was substantial.  I took out my phone to take a picture of us, when all heck broke loose.  Most of the pictures are taken while I am shrieking, waving my hands around and kicking Michael because I had just put half a doughnut in my mouth when he started taking pictures.  Joel is determined not to smile, and Alyssa and Michael can’t stop laughing.  Good times. FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (3)FullSizeRender (6)

In other news, Josh got baptized last week.  He was bold and clear about his love for Jesus. We’re a little proud of that guy.

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I’m a terrible photographer.  But hey, at least there is photographic evidence of the event, right?

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Yes, we’re still naturing it up around here.  Meeting of the Idiots still happens most weeks. I think one of our favorite things about that time is the freedom to call each other idiots. In love, of course. It is the only time certain children may use that word, so it’s a treasured hour of their week.  Naturally, it would be the same hour that we are attempting to identify and draw nature.

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And speaking of nature, Josh and I turned part of the boys bedroom into a nature table to display his findings.  You are probably wondering to yourself  “Is that table also a home for dirty and clean socks?  Water cups?  Old bandaids?  Church bulletins?”  No.  No, it is not. Any of these items get instantly and dramatically re-located to the floor.

And for the grand finale, I will tell you a story of  “The Giant and the Ice Cream Cone”.

It was one of those days recently.  The sort that I was once determined I would never have. Ahem.  During a series of unfortunate events, Michael realized that it may be a good night to take me to dinner.  Even if that meant having roadkill down the street.  There had been countless ridiculous situations during the day, unexpected company (not uncommon around here), and various other small things…very small, but somehow not so small to this woman’s mind on that particular day.  So Michael packed the kids off to various locations, and took me out. Around here “out” has various meanings, being pretty far from what most people think of as a city.

During the drive I had plenty of time to discuss important issues, such as whether or not I knew how to tell if a bicycle tire is low on air, how to check it, when one would decide to replace the tire (tube, they are called apparently) and what not. Lovely, charming dinner date.

Between the time I began to discuss my vast knowledge of bicycles, and the time we got to dinner, I became aware of the fact that I was possibly being slightly difficult, due to the fact that Michael was very quiet.  If you know Michael at all, you know that he and quiet are incompatible.  But when faced with the fact the his wife knew much MUCH more about bicycle tires than he did, even though she admitted that she didn’t…well he knew what sort of night he was going to have.  He loves it when I get like that.  It’s his favorite.

Incidentally, he has mentioned that he knows that I will have those days and feels that my efforts not to have those days could be better used on just admitting to being difficult. Which is actually good news for me.  It is a lot easier to say sorry for being difficult on those grouchy days, than to never have them at all.  Whew.

By now you’re wondering how ice cream comes into the story.

Okay.  So realizing my difficult state, I CHEERED up.  I mean.  I could have fooled you if you had run into us.  Which is usually what happens at a time like that.  But not this time. Instead I noticed the ice cream machine right behind his head and decided yes, that man needs some ice cream. All he needs to do is reach around behind his head and help himself to a mini ice cream cone and everything will be all better.  And here is the proof.

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See?  All better.

The entire time he is eating that ice cream he is telling me that he doesn’t even like this ice cream, and he doesn’t know why he’s eating it, and he should not have had it in the first place.  This brings emotional eating to a whole new level.

And now you have the story of the Giant and the Ice Cream Cone.

I am glad to be able to mention that we actually had a much better second part of our date and got along perfectly.  I think.

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