13 December 2017

Our Fifth Year Wedding Anniversary; Celebrate With Me!

If there are many beautiful love stories in the world, the love story of me and my husband is my most favorite! Hahaha! I never expected and it was not in the plan that I am going to meet a guy through the internet, to fall in love, and to get married.

Our love story is now a history. 
After our 12-12-12 wedding in

the Philippines, he took me to the Netherlands, in his home
Thai Chicken Soup

where is also now my home. We were blessed to have a son, he is now four years old. I still love to recall how we met, how things fall into the right places between us throughout our marriage. And we both glad to celebrate our fifth year of our marriage. Yesterday, we celebrated it by just having a simple dinner together with our son at Delta Hotel Vlaardingen. Our celebration is just quiet, simple. The Delta Hotel is a fifteen minutes drive from our home. The night was freezing, but the ambiance as well as the food were very warming.
At the lobby of Delta Hotel
The staff and crew of Delta Hotel reserved us a table with a great view. From where we were sitting, we watched the passing of the cargo ships in Waterweg, the continuation of the big Europort. I love to share with all my readers, this one of the special days of my life. One that I love to celebrate every year until forever.

05 December 2017

The Beautiful Dutch Winter On My Mind

This picture of a foggy morning reminds me of certain book cover. At the Oud Haven

It feels really good to be back... To sit for a while and to write. I have some special things on my mind that I want to jot down, but free time sometimes elusive now that my son is already in the basis school and has five days a week schooling. 
The delicious erwtensoep (pea soup) by my husband

It is a relaxing time for me to compose what I feel. It is December already. The Dutch weather is very unpredictable, but everybody is already on with their winter gear, the temperature gets low that I wish I can stuck warm in bed forever. And perhaps next week will be snowing. My son always tells me now about snow.

What makes the Dutch winter special? Maybe because I came from a tropical country, that is why the four seasons always mesmerizing. The beautiful sights of Dutch winter always attract me and holding interest as if by a charm. The peak season for tourist in the Netherlands is during summer. The statistics show that tourist numbers are lowest in winter. Popular tourist areas and attractions are less crowded. It gets dark early, most people find it cozy, some find it boredom. Trees are now bare, their time to rest until next spring. I also come to love the Dutch erwtensoep (pea soup), the famous winter soup in the Netherlands that my husband deliciously cooks. There are more to see in the coming days of the Dutch winter. It only just began. I have some photos that I want to share... No snow yet... But it is officially winter! 

25 November 2017

A New MacBook To Fuel My Blogging Life

From my love for my love of writing: a new MacBook
As I am writing this, I feel like it is a turning point in my blogging life. The time that I was about to stop writing, that is the time that  got a very special present from my husband, a new MacBook Air. I was not expecting it. I did not expect it. I blog to my heart's content. I write whatever my heart pleases because for me, writing is my form of release and relief. I have readers around the world, and I am grateful to Google for placing ads in my blog. I feel a sense of accomplishment even for just a little personal earnings from there, because inactivity is worse than failure. I am a full time mom, a full time housewife. Spending some of my free time in writing a blog is a mind enhancement. My husband is very supportive in each of my endeavors. He is happy to see that I am enjoying life. I am happy, I feel so blessed. With my new MacBook, I promised to myself that my blogging life continues... With more colors and meaning.

15 November 2017

Visiting The Batavia-Werf, Home Of The Century Old Batavia Ship

The century old Batavia
In the Netherlands, there is this place named Batavia-Stad, the center of outlet shopping. It is a walled center of branded goods such as Sketchers, Esprit, and Benneton.
Looks like an skeleton of the ship. The ship reconstrucion site

my Dutch family in the "flagship"

old canyon inside the Batavia

Ropes of all sizes made for the ship

This traditional blacksmith made a beautiful souvenir for our son

This Batavia-Stad is in the Lelystad, the Home of the Batavia-Werf. What is Batavia Werf? Batavia Werf is a shipyard that uses the traditional Dutch shipbuilding techniques to create authentic constructions of famous ships such as the Batavia.
Me and my family visited Batavia-Werf, and it was an awesome experience, not only for me but for our whole family. What made the Batavia-Werf a must-see place is that it authentically reconstructed the 17th century VOC ship ever made. I was fascinated when we went on board the Batavia that moored across the road. The feeling was like I see Captain Hook there. Inside the Batavia remains a lot of replica from the bygone era.
An ancient navigation system
There are old canyons that were used to protect the land from the enemies. It is like a scène in an adventure movie. Aside from that, we also explored the shipyard, see the traditional crafts in workshops, and the work-in-progress in reconstructing a ship. It was a great experience. When we went at the gift and souvenir shop, I was a bit disappointed that the book Batavia is not available in English.
Me on the top :)

At the lower ground of the Batavia
We ended our tour by having a cozy lunch at the restaurant just there at the Batavia shipyard.
A huge shipyard that visitors need signs

At the Batavia gift shop
If ever you will be visiting the Netherlands, you can add the Batavia-Werf in Lelystad in your itinerary. It is really worth your trip.

14 November 2017

My Son's Struggles For Being An Only Child

"if adults have struggles, children have too."
As I was folding our laundry this afternoon, this blog came across my mind.
As I was neatly folding the tiny clothes of my four year old son, suddenly, something came into me. The thoughts that even a four year old child somehow have struggles too. The struggles of being a single child. Single, no sibling or siblings.
When we say struggles, it implies an energetic attempt to achieve something,  a strenuous effort. Let me tell why I can say that my son struggle for being our single child. Yes, there are pros and cons being an only child in the family. To name some of the pros are, the parents' undivided attention, parents dote on the child more, providing more, because it is their only child. When it comes to disadvantage, there is the term that I derived from my reading, the "Little Emperor Symptom." It refers to a Chinese situation involving parents and their single child. The tendency for a single child to grow spoiled, but a good parenting is a big help to avoid such unhealthy situation.
Being a single child there is a feeling of loneliness. I cannot tell right now if my son is feeling lonely being our only child, he is happy having us as his parents as well as the other immediate family members. But I see it, his longing to be with other children. To have a regular playmate, that is one reason why he loves school. Maybe as he grows older, maybe he will feel too the longing or wishing to have a sibling whom he can share thoughts and memories. He is always alone, only with me, or only with me and my husband. That is why, when he started in school, the teachers told me that my son seems doesn't know how to communicate with other children.
I have tried to reach out to other mothers, so my son can also learn to be with other children, learn the joy of sharing and giving, learn the sweetness of having a good friend. But it was like, I am just forcing people to like us, to accept my son. Yes, my son is naughty, my son is noisy, but it is still too early to conclude what kind of a person he is. He is a very curious child, but a happy hearted child. It touches my heart, to see that he never forgets the people who show love to him. If I as a mother has my own struggles, my son have too. If only I can grab him and take him to the place where we will be accepted as mother and child and fair, I will definitely do that. Still, I am thankful that I got the greatest gift of all... My only child.

02 November 2017

Visiting Urk, The Historical Fishing Town In Noordoostpolder

The Breathtaking Urk
Urk is first mentioned in historical records dating to the 10th century, when it was still an island in the Almere, a lake that would become part of the Zuiderzee in the 13th century after a series of incursions by the North Sea.
A must-see fishing town
In 1939, a dike from the mainland to Urk ended the town's island status, just as the Afsluitdijk project was changing the salt water Zuiderzee surrounding Urk to the less saline IJsselmeer.
With my family
Later in the 20th century, seabed areas surrounding Urk were reclaimed from the sea and became the Noordoostpolder.

The mainstay of the town's economy has always been fishing, and the products of the sea coming in through Urk's harbour continue to be exported widely, although today Urk's fishing boats must travel greater distances to gather them than was required in most historical periods.
Me and my son

The lighthouse

Picture perfect

During our vacation in Flevoland, I was able to see this extraordinary place. From the vacation house, we traveled about thirty minutes to reach Urk. Those beautiful windmills that I see on our way going to the vacation house, as well as when we are traveling, going to our assembly hall, I captured up close. I do not know that there is a lighthouse there. Standing on the top of the hill, beside the lighthouse, the view was spectacular, overlooking the vast sea, windmills that look like dancing flamingos. I feel happy to be back and share some of the photos I made in Urk.

20 September 2017

My First Taste Of Cataplana (Portuguese) At Chillers Emmeloord

my plate of cataplana consists of squid, crabmeat, shrimp, mussels, and three kinds of fish meats.
Dining out is a part of our family life, if not of social life. During vacation, dining out with family is one of those special moments that we love to remember, then afterwards. We still have two days left before we go home. This evening, we went in Emmeloord to have dinner.
Chillers Emmeloord
We have dinner in Chillers Restaurant. The restaurant has a fantastic view, it is beside the look lonesome bridge, it sits in the river. Inside the restaurant, the staff guided us, we can choose any area we like. If ever I am alone, I would love to sit outside, in the terrace, facing the river. Since we have our little boy, and Gimma (I am Gemma), my mother in law's dog, we took our place inside the restaurant.
my glass of Oreo cappucino

Chillers Emmeloord serves international dishes. I ordered their Portuguese cataplana. It really surprised me, that my big big bowl of cataplana consists of sea foods and many vegetables. They served it with rice. This is my first time to eat a Portuguese food/dish, and I really enjoy it!