I loved painting when I was little, unluckily at that moment most of Vietnamese people thought that artist was not a poor job. No-one in my family encouraged me to do it. I stopped painting sinds I was eight or nine, I can not remember exactly.
Since I have been living here, I knew many western people (Dutch, Russian, Romanian….) paint very well. I admire them. I had never thought that I could paint or draw. I even did not ask any of them giving me a guide, although my farther in-law, my friends are artist. Painting was not my concern.
One day of January, one of my classmate took her new painting to class. It was beautiful. I asked her to teach me. And she said yes! A few days after I came to her house and she gave me a first lesson.
If she had refused me, I had never gone back to painting. I recognize that the love for painting is never disappear in my heart. Thank you very much Julia for waking up my hobby.
We moved to this area when I was pregnant for six months with our first. We moved to this area because it is close to my husband’s parents. We bought this house because it is big enough for a young family like ours.
I used to complain about the size of the house. I wanted to have more space, bigger rooms, a larger garden and especially no neighbors around. These things were always on my mind, even more since the second
This afternoon, during taking a little walk with my kids, I saw a toad. My daughters suggested me to take him to the canal which lies behind our house (I am happy that was not a frog. Then I’d have to kiss it. I already made that mistake before). We walked to the bank (me and my daughters, not me and the toad), I put the toad under a brush. It hopped away. My kids were standing there between the wild yellow buttercups growing along the bank, in the spring. What a beautiful sight! I stood up and looked around. It was there all along for me to see, but I did not spot it for years. I felt the loss of all the moments I missed in my life.
My house is just a twenty minutes travel by bike to the town center or train station. It takes me five minutes to go to the nearest supermarket. There are many children playing around.
I feel as if we are livingonasmall peninsula, surrounded by plants and trees. There is a small hill in front and a quiet canal behind our house. A small forest is just out of our view.
My children have neighbor friends. When the spring comes, children go out walking, picnicking, biking and fishing. In the summer, they go to look for hazelnuts on the hill. They wear swimming suits to play with water in the garden. It is not lonely in the winter, because we still can see people walking up and down the street.
I stop thinking about moving to another place. My area is so beautiful. Life is always beautiful.
My children are always looking forward to their own birthdays as well as my honey’s and mine. Why so? It is not just that they will get presents anyway. They will meet many people, and it is a party.
Since a few weeks, they kept asking when my birthday came. They knew the month, they knew the date, but they did not know exactly how long it would take.
Yes, I had my birthday.
Guess how they and their father arranged the party? They packed the gifts together a day before. Early in the morning my biggest daughter came to lie next to me (they come to my bed every morning). She said: Happy birthday mom. I love you very much.
She kissed me. She touched my face and asked: “Does your tooth still hurt, mama?” (I got a tooth infection. It was surgery two months ago).
“No, it is gone my dear,” I answered her.
“I wish you would not be sick forever, mom!” she exclaimed.
She left my room. She went back to her room to wake her little sister.
The little one also came to my room and wished me happy birthday. Both of them went downstairs. My honey started getting up. He went upstairs to pack the gifts for the children. He could not do it the night before, because the kids were always by his side.
I was not allowed to go downstairs till they called.
“Mama! You can come down now. We made the table!” they called.
They did it. They put plates, stuff to put on breads, gifts and tea on the table. They did it just like we we do it for birthdays.
The biggest kid sad: “I do not know how to use the boiler, so I made tea with cold water. “(Luckily, she did not use the boiler).
Can you imagine how happy I was? I love them more than I can say. Thank you very much for being my kids. Love you.
I believe that Vietnamese people would be surprised if they knew Dutch people went swimming in the winter.
People in Vietnam prefer to stay home or at least inside when it is cold or it rains. What do Dutch people do in the winter? The weather is quite stable here: it rains heavily and a lot of wind blows most days of the week. Would you go for a walk? Do you want to go shopping or go out for a cup of coffee with your friends on these day? I would not join you.
Children will not like to go shopping with you either. I think. They will be not happy staying at home or inside throughout the winter. How can they burn their energy? Take them to the swimming pool!
You will meet your friends, your neighbors and maybe even someone who you like to disappear from the earth in the swimming pool.
Do not be surprised if you see many pregnant women or parents with their little children, not even toddlers, swim and play around you.
My first child went swimming when she was four months old. She liked it very much. The second child began went she was seven months old. Both of them like swimming.
Every Dutch child must have swimming diploma A. That is the
basic level. Many children have lessons until they have diploma C. My children are busy practicing.
I do not have any swimming diploma, luckily I still can swim. My family often goes swimming. Yup! Also in the winter.
My youngest daughter recieved a card from her classmate. It is so cute.
My honey brings the kids every morning to school. This moring he saw a little boy (my kid’s classmate) hold something in his hand. He ran quickly into the class to look for my kid.
He sat next to her, then he waved the card to get her attention. Unluckily, she did not care what he got in his hand. He put it on her leg. She thought something went wrong, she casted it down to the floor.
He felt downcast. He picked it up and hesitateted giving it to her. She got it. She took it to their teacher: I think this is for you, teacher. But i am allowed to open it.
Teacher said: It is for you, kíd.
She said to me; I wonder why he give it to me, mama!!! 🙂
I am planning to do research on how much a family spends on food each month.
I never paid attention to the cost of food before we had children. Whatever I felt like eating, I bought, and we often ate out.
Now that we have children, our expenses went up and looking for savings, I had a look at our eating pattern. Ater a short investigation, I expected savings could be made there, without sacrificing my cherished hobbies: cooking and eating.
I started not too drastically: 40% cuts. From €6-700, to €400-ish. Can one survive?
How about you? What do you spend on food and eating? You don’t mind to share your knowledge about hidden gems of good and cheap food, or have tips about efficient cooking and eating? Let me know!
I’ll start local: places in and around Zwolle where good food can be had for a good price.
For each others benefit I ask you all to give me advice on how to decrease the cost of our food, while increasing the quality of the ingredients and the taste of the result.
For everyone who likes to participate: I’ll send you my questionnaire (or we meet in person) and if you don’t mind, I use the results for a future blog post
So, what about you? Where do you buy your food? What do you pay for it? Are you happy about the quality and the way the products are produced?
Someone has asked me whether I am happy with my life or not. It’s not an easy question. Why?
I had good friends when I was in Vietnam. I now have good friends here as well. Ten years ago I lived in a busy city. I’m now living in a quiet place. I have different life presently.
When I was in Vietnam, I enjoyed a single life. I did whatever I liked. I’m now very busy with my kids. I feel happy with my nuclear family, but I miss Vietnam so much. I miss the food. I miss the weather. Actually, I miss everything there.
It is very quiet and peaceful here, it reminds me
that I will be easily forgotten.
You asked me whetherI feel at home here? I am not sure. I can not give you an answer. Sorry!
I launch my blog on a foggy day. It is not in my plan, but I need to start somewhere someday, so that is today.
The south of Vietnam is my mother’s land, where there are only two seasons: dry and wet. When I was in Vietnam, I wished that one day I could see and touch real snow. My wish became true when I married to a Dutch man and after living almost ten years in The Netherlands, I do not like winter, snow and even autumn at all. I am practicing to love them, but they also need to be nice with me. Which season is your favorite?
I love spring and summer. In those seasons I can wear nicer clothes. I can go cycling with my man and my kids. The two little girls on this picture are my love, my life and my daughters. Here they are on their way to their dancing class. I’m quite busy with them. Sometimes I am angry because I do not have any time for myself, but I’m happy double, triple when they come to my life and be with me.