Welcome to my blog

In this blog I will write about everything that has to do with being a mum and a woman. It will be about my personal experiences as well as about things that I find interesting and which I want to share. It will also be about my faith in God. Please let me know that you visited my blog, by posting a comment.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Hello again !

It has been a little quite on my blog lately but today I'm doing another Hello Monday post to share what we've been up to in the last weeks.

Hello Monday.

Hello 7 year old Yovannah.
Yovannah turned seven years old exactly one week ago today.

Hello birthday clothes.
Unfortunately we spent all morning of Yovannahs birthday in two hospitals and on the way from one to the other and we were home around 5 in the afternoon and was so tired because I did not sleep enough in the night. So she only ended up putting her special clothes on late in the evening and we had chocolate cake afterwards.

Hello to helping to Yovannah helping to make her own chocolate birthday cake.

Hello to learning to ride on pony's.

Hello short hospital stay for Ixora.

Hello Bear doctor Ixora.

Hello special Zoo time

Hello to getting to sit in police cars on the way to the Zoo and back.

Hello to playing on the bouncy castle.

Hello self-made hut/tent in the garden.

Hello ice cappucino from Starbucks.
I 've never been a real coffee drinker especially since I have been pregnant or breastfeeding the girls for years in a row. Lately I have been drinking it now and then when I felt too tired in the morning because of lack of sleep. So when I was offered two of these, I gave them a try and I really loved them ! I even bought one in the shop today. I found out that they sell them in the supermarket. But they are not that cheap so I won't be getting them often.

Hello Vanilla Coffee latte from Nescafe
Another coffee I tried lately is coffee late with a vanilla taste. Absolutely yummy. And I am really drinking this a lot now.

Hello gym time.
I finally made it to the gym last weekend. I went with a friend to a gym where we could do a trial lesson. We did Body pump and Zumba classes I had done before last year when I was regularly going to the gym. I  enjoyed the Body pump and I am still feeling the muscle pain.
The zumba class had too many different dance steps (like a whole complicated- like choreography) and the fitness level was a bit too low for my taste.

Hello favourite flowers that I managed to get for under 2 euro in the supermarket.

Hello more medical tests for Ixora.

Hopefully by the grace of God these were really the last !!!

I love you girly. I know that you''ll be all better soon !

Hello new week. Please be a great one !!

What are you saying Hello to today ?

Love  and blessings,

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Reading and writing at an early age.

As you might know I went back to school to become a Montessori teacher. It wasn't a very easy year. I especially did not like being away from the girls so much. But I am so grateful to God that I made it. Unfortunately after moving back here, I have come to the conclusion that the profession 'Montessori teacher' does not exist here. In Ireland this is a teacher who has studied Early Childhood Education and the Montessori method and who is qualified to teach children from 2,5 years to 6 years old. It is quite sour that I worked so hard to become a Montessori teacher and that that's just not a possibility here. I miss working with children and teaching but I know that the time to do that will come again one day. And for the time being, I can make myself useful by helping out in the kids church of the church that I attend and I can use my skills to help my girls with their school work.

It is not easy to see how little the Montessori method is used here with young children, because it is something that I really believe in. But I think that it just does not suit the school system here in Holland. Children in Holland start primary school at 4, no matter when their birthday is.
They then go in group 1 and they normally move to group 2, if they are 5 when the new school year starts. But sometimes exceptions are made and children who turn 5 later in that calendar year, are allowed to go to group 2.
In group 1 the children don't learn a lot about reading or writing yet, but the children normally share a class with group 2 and in that way they can pick up something earlier. Children from group 2 are taught phonics and can try to write letters. The real reading and writing here in Holland starts only in group 3.

My youngest daughter Nevaeh started primary school in february from last year. Because she only did group 1 for a few months, she started the new school year in group 1 too. She has picked up the phonics which the kids of group 2 have been learning already and knowing that children should be able to learn to read from 3,5 years old according to the Montessori method, I started to teach her a few words made up out of three phonics. She understood it very quickly and was so excited to learn. I also worked with her myself regarding writing and taught her how to write her own name, which she is thrilled about too.


I guess for primary school here in Holland the only benefit of young children learning to read and write from an earlier age is that they will do a little better than their classmates when they are in group 3. It will be easier for them to start reading and writing and to progress in that area.
In Ireland some schools start reading and writing from age 4 in a class called Junior infants which you could compare with group 1. Only in this class, children need to be 4 before the school year starts and in some schools children will learn the phonics shortly after the school year has started and at the end of Junior Infants the child will be able to read a few simple books already.

It was not easy to accept how different it goes here but I am trusting that the girls will end up just fine. I see that the fact that Yovannah had learned reading and writing in her first school year, has really helped her to progress fast in group 3 here, even though the lessons are in Dutch now.
And through practising with Nevaeh I can see that I could help her myself with learning to read. So she will progress faster when she will be in group 3.

My opinion about learning children to read and write at an early age is; if there is evidence that they are capable of doing it, why would you deny them to possibility to further develop in that area ?
But I do understand how some schools and countries prefer to let children play longer, because children learn through play too. It promotes all areas of their development. Maria Montessori did not really believe in play but since there are benefits to play too, I would not completely leave it out and I would definitely like to have it as part of the curriculum. But I also would not deny children the possibility to obtain kills that they are well capable of obtaining.
It will only help them to be more succesful in education later in life.

Today it is the last day of the blogging challenge and even though I have a couple of ideas, it took me a while before I knew what to write about and decided to choose this topic.

What do you think about the Montessori method ?
I would love to hear from you.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Happies and Crappies

Today I wanted to do a Happies and Crappies post about things that were very okay lately and things that have not been okay.


The bouncy castle has arrived. After more than 1,5 years the girls finally have access to the bouncy castle again. My mum was so kind to post it to us from Suriname where we spent two months and where we had left it for the time being. We only have not been able to use it yet. Mainly because the blower has an Irish plug so I need a special plug adapter to be able to use it here in the Netherlands. I tried to find it here in Ijburg today but I've not yet been succesful in finding it. So the girls will have to wait a little bit longer before they can jump on it again.

After spending the whole weekend without a bank card, yesterday evening it finally turned up.
I knew that I had left it on the table on Thursday afternoon but it was not there in the evening. Later that day the smallies had been playing close to the table with a big box which they had loaded loads of stuff in and Yovannah went to sit in it, waiting for me to take a picture.
I already had wondered if my bankcard had ended up inside the box and I had looked in it a little bit but not throughly yet. And then one of the girls decided to clutter the livingroom floor with stuff out of the box for some reason. Ofcourse I was not pleased with it at all, but then I remembered that the bankcard could have ended up in the box, so I quickly looked at the stuff on the floor and yes. my orange card was lying under a bunch of stuff. Yay ! It was about time because I was running out of cash.

Yovannah in the box she went to sit in for fun

I found a tray for planting veggies in the Blokker today. We have a lot of tiny veggy gardens , the so called 'moestuimtjes' from the Albert Heijn but somehow we were too late in purchasing the tray that you could use with it. I was quite disappointed when I realised that we could not buy it anymore. But now I feel so blessed that we've found something else instead. God is good ! So I hope to plant all the veggy gardens this week with the smallies, when we have a free afternoon. We have to hurry because it is almost June.

I found a bag with garden soil for my garden in my local supermarket for 1,25. It was the last one so even though I was walking, I purchased the 25 kg weighing, bag of sand and carried it home, while thinking ; this weighs heavier than Nevaeh and I never walk so far carrying her either. But I managed. Well, I had no choice if I wanted the bag of sand to make it to the garden. I hope that it will be enough to fill up the big gap in the garden, possibly caused by the smallies who tend to use it as a sandpit.
We got invited to a social shopping day where we could pick out some free new clothes. I got a new pink coat for the summer, two skirts, shorts and figure skates. And then I got a card to shop at a special discount shop where I could get things like a bag of diapers for 0,90 cents which would normally cost around 7 euro. I really felt so blessed. God is good,

One of the new skirts that I got for free


The appointment I made with a handy man, did not go through last week and he hasn't told me when he can make it. This means that the things that I had planned to have finished, are still not done.
Still some walls without paint or wallpaper and still no curtain rails.
Only God knows why....I have thought about trying it myself but so far I am way too busy with taking care of the girls and taking them to different appointments and so on.

My big little girl is still not well. She had to have a lot of tests done over the past weeks but I hope that the tests that we did today, are the last ones and that it will be clear what causes her problems and that she can get the right treatment for it. But more than that, we believe that God can and will heal her. So even though this is not an easy time, I'm keeping my eyes on God and I'm praising Him in advance that this illness will soon disappear from our lives in Jesus' name !

What were your happies and crappies from this past week ?

I would love to hear from you.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Never have I ever...

Today it is Sunday, so it is time for another fun post. I decided to do a ' never have I ever' post.

Never have I ever run a full marathon .....but I ran a half marathon for women once in Dublin.

Never have I ever owned a brand new car ......but I owned two second hand ones, even though I only had an Irish learner drivings license.

Never have I ever had a book published...... even though I am intending to do that one day.

Never have I ever traveled to the United States......., even though I hope to have that happen some day.

Never have I ever gotten a baby boy........, but this would really be a dream come true.

Never have I ever had a dream wedding.....,  but I am believing that this is still possible.


Never have I ever gone skiing....., but I hope to give it a try one day.

Never have I ever swum with dolphins......., but this looks like an amazing thing to do.

Never have I ever had a baby shower......., even though this seems very cool to experience.


Never have I ever owned my own house........, but I believe that this still can happen in the future.

Never have I ever learned to play keyboards.........., even though I started but then the keyboards that I borrowed, broke. But maybe some day...

Never have I ever had a real baby room/nursery  for any of my kids....., but who knows ....maybe in the future....


Never have I ever learned to make corn braids well.. ....,even though I have tried and I hope that I will be able to one day.

Never have I ever been a mission trip for longer than two weeks......., but I am expecting that that will change.

Never have I ever given up on my faith in God .......,but only by His grace !! (Thank You Lord !)

What is it that you 'never ever have'  (and maybe possibly would want to in the future ) ?

I would love to hear from you.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Loving photography

It seems that I am getting the dates a little wrong when it comes to some of the topics.Oh well. I meant to do a post on photography this week. Now I realise that that was the topic of a few days ago. Since the topics are optional, I decided to post on this topic anyway today.

I always loved taking pictures from a certain age, There is something about it that interests and fascinates me. I love looking at beautiful pictures too. At some time in my life I decided to work in a photo studio. I would sell photo products, book photo and video sessions for parties, handle orders and take pictures in the studio too. I also was in training for video and photo work at parties.
It was actually very exciting and I learned a lot from it but at a certain time I changed jobs to help someone out and then moved abroad.

I always wanted to do a photography course to learn to take better pictures but unfortunately all I did was order an online course and then never taking it because I was too busy. I still hope to do a course one day.

I love taking pictures at weddings and sometimes I think that I would love to be a freelance photographer. I have a lot of learning to do though.

Lately, I mostly photograph my girls. Unfortunately I don't even have a normal camera now (just one on my old phone ) so the pictures I take are nothing much but I just love to have a record of some things that have happened. Just creating a record of some memories. 
I love my pictures.  They mean so much to me. Losing pictures through broken or stolen phones, broken memory cards, broken or stolen laptops or pc's really hits me hard. It really breaks my heart and it takes some time before I am over it.
Even though I must say that I have too many pictures that I have never printed out or did anything with and I think I should at least do more with some of them This would help me to be able to keep them too.

So that is my plan, to that one day. To look through my thousands of pictures and pick the most special ones out and/or put them online somewhere,

Today I wanted to share some of my favourite pictures. I have not tried hard to find them. I remember an email I sent someone two years ago in which I attached some of my favourite pictures that I recently had taken of my kids. So I decided to share some of those. Most of them were taken with a camera. Only the one from Nevaeh in the car, I took with my phone.

Yovannah at the beach in Bray, Dublin Ireland July 2014

Nevaeh in the car in Para, Suriname September 2014

Nevaeh at a playground in Amsterdam Holland August 2014

Yovannah laughing at a playground in Amsterdam Holland August 2014

Nevaeh at a playground in Amsterdam Holland August 2014

Yovannah playing at a playground Amsterdam Holland August 2014

 I hope that you enjoyed this post.

I would love to hear from you.

Love and blessings,

Friday, May 27, 2016

The stairs

I have never been in favor of spanking children, even though the bible mentions it. But unfortunately I can’t say that my girls never have gotten a slap, but it has really been more reserved for special circumstances like when they kept going on and on with wrong behaviour despite warnings or they had done something absolutely crazy or dangerous or other situations where I felt really desperate enough, like them making loads of noise in the night when we were staying in someone elses house. But I normally feel bad about it. I just don't like hurting anyone and especially a child, even though it is a way to correct them. 
Unfortunately, children are children and they don’t always listen or sometimes do something naughty or bad.  When Ixora was 2 and we were living on our own, I started to use the time out method. When she repeatedly would not listen, I would send her in time out in the hall. Then we moved to Ireland and moved in with others and in cases like that I don’t feel that I can use that method well because the child might protest and cry and that would make me feel really bad that I would disturb someone in the house. So I don’t feel that I can discipline well around others.  And later I did not think about this method anymore.  Years later I happened to see  a few episodes of Super nanny and I liked her ideas of time out and over the years I have tried it a few times but I never really kept using it.
The time out method also came up when I talked to a parenting expert but again I was living with other people at that stage, so I could not really use it.
At a certain stage, I started using a countdown when the girls did not want to listen. I then say : ’ I ‘m counting till 5. ‘ and then I started counting  ; 1, 2, 3,…….And for some reason, that really started to work.  I used it a lot and it helped me get the required result: make them stop doing what I don’t want them to do and/or start listening to me.
We are now living on our own and a while back, I started to use the stairs as a place for time out.
It has turned out to be a good way to discipline  the girls. It especially helped me a lot when I would be really angry. When you are angry, you have to be careful that you don’t react by slapping.  But I noticed that the stairs really helped me.  Sending them to the stairs just felt enough. There would be no problem for them ‘sitting their time out ‘ either, because they knew that they had done something wrong and that you were angry at them and they didn’t mind sitting in time out to think things over and to get ready to repent and say sorry.
Because I guess. that is really what it is about. That the child gets the chance to calm down, think things over and then gets to discuss the issue with the parent, say sorry and receive forgiveness from the parent. All with the hope that they will learn from it and that the next time, they won’t do it again or that they will listen more quickly.
The girls are getting more used to the stairs now since I am using it more and more.

I use it for instance when certain rules are not being followed. Yovannah sometimes has a hard time to control her emotions and then she can scream really loud and throw a chair on the floor.
Then I say; ‘You know that that is not allowed  in here’ and then I send her to sit on the stairs.
So I am not really using the same method from super nanny. I also normally don’t leave them on the stairs for a long time. It is a correction method, a principle : ‘You are not following the rules, so you need to live with the consequences.’
I lately added other forms of punishment though, like no dessert or not allowing them on play dates for a while.  I see that it seems to help, so I’m really pleased with that. Slaps are really very rare and even though some people might think differently about slapping, I personally feel better disciplining through time outs and taking certain privileges away.

What is your favourite method to discipline your children ? What works best for you ?

I would love to hear from you.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Letter to my 17 year old self.

Today's optional post topic is a letter to your younger self. So I decided to write a letter to my 17 year old self.

Dear 17 year old me,

I know that a girl from your school with your type of hair, has recently put those ‘curly perm’ curls in her hair and after  chemically straightening your hair for years, you also want the same curls.
Don’t do it. You will end up in a hair salon where they will tell you that you can’t get the curls unless you cut all the hair off that is previously straightened and even though you don’t want that , the hair dresser will tell you, that she will start cutting your hair to make it even and she will cut so much off that everyone thinks that you might as well let her cut off the straightened hair because she has cut a lot of your hair already.  So she will do that and you will get the curly perm that you desired so much.
But it is a very short do, so it will end up looking nothing like the curls of that girl. You will not like it. And your hair will never be as long as it was back then. You will find out much later that you have natural curls that you love and you will keep your natural hair for years for that reason, even though there are times in which you yearn for straight hair but you are too afraid to lose your natural curls, so you will stick with them and only now and then use a flat iron to straighten your hair. Your choice for natural hair will also be because you hope that your hair will grow long again and even longer than it has ever been but you will not make enough effort to give your hair the extra care that it needs, to retain length, so it will not work much.

Me with natural curls a few years ago

You have done well in passing from the HAVO and because you have math and physics, you believe that your best choice in study is physiotherapy. Think about it some more. It will be nothing like you expected, really very medical, because you need  to know all names of bones and muscles. You will not like it and will not be successful in completing it. You will decide to a totally different study  after 1 year and move back to Suriname where you first do a preparation year at the university because you need to have the subject Economy to be allowed to study Law.
You will pass this and start Law but will never finish it but it will always keep you  thinking; maybe one day I will still finish my Law studies.  It is something your late father always wanted you to finish and you told him that you would.  And you will never give up on the possibility to do it because your dad also got a university degree when he was in his sixties and he received the title of professor in Dutch literature.
You will end up finishing some other education which you never expected and which I am sure your dad would’ve been proud of too. You end up studying Childcare and Early Childhood Education when you will be a lot older. But it will change your life so much and you will desire to even study further in this area.
I know you think that you are ready to live on your own, while you start your physiotherapy study but you are not. You don’t have a choice because your mother decides to move back to Suriname because of sickness of her partner. You also want to be close to the school, where you are studying so you don't have to travel far, so you decide to move to a city where you hardly know anybody. But living on your own will not be as great and easy as you thought.  You will not have a tv and you will not have any nice house mates (only two strange guys) and not a lot of good contacts where you live. Even though you do have some friends, you will feel quite lonely in your room and you will not like being alone so much and this will stop you from really being able to study like you should.  When you move back to Suriname, where you start your law study , studying goes much better for you. You only go live on your own again when you are much older and then you can handle it better.
Don’t worry about growing up and being independent, everybody does that on his own pace and you will get there on your time. Even though you are 17, inside you are still a little girl. Don't worry, you will end up just fine.


Current me.

What would you like to say to your younger self ?
I would love to hear from you.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What Kids Wore Wednesday; Pink love

Today I am sharing an outfit that Nevaeh was wearing a few days ago.

In the below pictures, Nevaeh is wearing a pink top with long sleeves with the face of a dog on it.
We got this on sale in the Dutch shop HEMA and she loves it. I also think that this top is very cute.
She is wearing the top with a denim skirt from NEXT, which I really love.
I love clothing from NEXT. They have cute clothing for kids in very good quality but it is not really cheap so when we were living in Ireland, I used to look forward to the NEXT Summer Sale where you can buy clothes with big discounts. This skirt is an item from the Summer sale from a few years ago. I especially love how NEXT uses a lot of denim but then they decorate it with colour, like on this skirt, I really fell in love with this skirt, which I initially got for Yovannah but has now been passed on to Nevaeh. There are a lot of cute drawings on it, for instance an orange smiling sun.
The skirt is combined with leggings in hot pink with some glitters on them.
We got them on sale in the Dutch shop WIBRA. They are from a very stretchy material. 

Top : HEMA

Skirt: NEXT

Leggings: WIBRA

I hope that you liked this WKWW post and if you are sharing a similar post on your blog, I would love to see it. Please leave your link in the comments below.

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Our Summer Bucket list

The girls will be in school for a couple more weeks but Summer is coming soon (here in Holland it is not officially Summer yet) and I thought it would be a nice idea to start thinking about what we are going to do this Summer.

So here is our Summer Bucket list for this year, so far.
I chose 20 things to put on the list.

1 Visit the beach

2 Go to an amusement park.

3 Have a barbeque.

4 Get small braids plaited.

5 Play with water balloons.

6 Have a water fest with watose er guns, water slide etc.

7 Have a picnic in the park

8 Do a karaoke night.

9 Go camping and make smores.

10 Make a yummy treat and a kids cocktail.

11 Make popsicles.

12 Fly a kite.

13 Make drawings with sidewalk chalk.

14 Dance in the rain.

15 Go to the movies.

16 Go swimming.

17 Grow flowers and veggies in our garden.

18 Go to a kids farm.

19 Go fruit picking.

20 Eat watermelon

What are your plans for the summer ?

I would love to hear from you.


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