Usually, the Christmas holiday lasts only 2 weeks, roughly from 23rd Dec to 9 Jan. But this year because of Corona Omicron lock down, the holiday started 1 week earlier, from 18th Dec.

For the 1st week (17th – 24th),

Sat My oldest child went to his friend’s family to stay over night.

Sun we had breakfast with my in-laws as usual.

Monday I did usual cleaning.

Tuesday we did Belgium’s science center close to Brussels because everything in Netherlands are closed. (If no lock down, usually we’d go to some museum using museum cards.)

Wed I brought the kids to Lidl for Christmas shopping. I also brought the vluglingen family with us. Right after I came back from shopping trip, I cooked some noodles for lunch, then we went to het zand to meet William’s friend. It was a rare sunny day, so the mother appointed at the lake for an outdoor picnic. We played from 2 to 3. Even helped someone found a missing black dog. Then we came home for some hot chocolate. 4pm, kids started to play games. I cooked dinner from 4-5pm. Dinner 5-6pm and cleaning up. Kids wanted to watch star trek, so they washed themselves quickly. We started startrek at 7pm and finished around 8pm, then story time and 8:30pm lights off.

On Friday, in the morning Lucy and William made the orange cheesecake. We had a very simple dinner with baked potato and sproutjes. If no Corona, this would be the 1 day that we go to Church for evening mass. It is made Children friendly. However this year, we just stayed home.

For the 2nd week (15th – 31st) ,

This is the busies week because of 2 major festivals.

Sat is the first Christmas Day. Our tradition is to eat Christmas lunch together. Due to Corona, visitors are limited to 4, so we cannot have all the family members together if we want to. But for my brother -in-law’s family, they went to the wife’s side family gathering. So it kind of solved the problem by itself.

My mother-in-law and I have had an early meeting before holiday to fix the menu and I did grocery last Wednesday accordingly. On Sat morning, I spent about 2 hours from 10-12 to prepare the few dishes. while Guus set up the Christmas table and also put up the plates and glasses.

Guests arrived at 12. Omatje this year cannot eat much due to her swallowing condition. My mother-in-law prepared special juice and pap and mousse desert. She is a picky eater, so my mother-in-law instructed me not to cook anything special for her because if it was not cook the way she likes, she also won’t eat. I think she had a good time just to be surrounded by us.

After a very full lunch, Omatje went to my mother-in-law. Guus, me and my younger brother-in-law went for a walk in the forest.

Sun & Mon I cannot remember what we did special, except Mon is always cleaning day.

Tue we did grocery shopping in the morning and in the afternoon, we went to Omatje’s elderly’s house and watched TV with her.

Wed I had to go for my booster shot in the morning 10:30 am. Wed afternoon I had calls with my friend and started to feel not well. Around 6pm, I went to bed. The whole day of Thu, I stayed in bed feeling terrible.

Friday when i got up, all the bad feelings were gone.I was just in time for the new year eve celebration. Lucy and William again baked an apple taart, using gortnet apple. Our tradition is to eat Olie Ballen for dinner. And this year we also had the apple taart. It was very delicious. Because of this, we had a warm lunch with meat and vegetables. I cooked.

I didn’t manage to stay til 12pm. This year is the second year that Netherlands forbids firework. So my younger brother-in-law couldn’t do his usual firework. He was not happy. But there were other people in the village that made firework anyway.

For the 3rd week (1st – 9th)

Sat & Sun, I cannot remember we did anything special.

Mon, Guus started normal working schedule. I did cleaning in the morning and also went to library and lidl in the afternoon.

Tue morning, I worked until 1pm. In the afternoon, Lucy’s friend M came and they played Mario Party and Kapla.

Wed I brought Lucy and William to the Turnhout swimming pool again in the afternoon. It was 14.5 for 3 of us. We also had Fanta and Belgium Fries (total to 10 euro) after the swim. They managed to also played at the playground. So all in all, it was a happy day.

Thu I cleared some Christmas decoration. Lucy’s friend F came and Lucy went with him to play outside. The other two just stayed at home. I had a long phone call to catch up with ex-colleague from Tableau.

Fri before breakfast and in the morning, I manage to squeeze like 1 hour to work. All 3 of them backed a cake for William’s birthday tomorrow. Around 12, I also dropped by Vluglinen family to give them the landcress seed and class photo for Shahed. Since they wanted to be awarded with 1 hour extra ningtendo time, they were very helpful to help to clear breakfast table, lunch table and the aanrecht after they made the cake. They had ningtendo from 3-5. I made extra nice dinner, chick leg/sproutje/patatos for kids, and korean pork belly/chinese cabbage/green pepper/kimchi radish and old rice for myself.

Sat morning, washing 1 load of clothes while having breakfast. After breakfast, cleaned up Christmas decorations in the living room (Whatever I didn’t finish on Thu). Packed William’s birthday gift (It is a new school bag. His current Pokemon is really worn out). I already ordered his new trui in the 2nd week and he already received them. Also Guus ordered Ningtendo controller this week, which had already arrived and unpacked.

I went to library and lidl, followed by Herenboer in the morning, back around 12:30pm.

After lunch, we set the tables and chairs ready for 3pm gathering. My in-laws, omatje and Guus’ two brothers and family will all come.

We will have bami for dinner, cos it will be a quick fix and I have bought Bami pakket from Lidl.

We played the game William got from his birthday. It was very fun.

Sun

Once I wake up, I started preparing english breakfast for our breakfast with my in-laws and Guus brother. I needed to prepare scrambled egg, fried bacon, sausage and toast. I forgot to buy Orange juice again, so asked my mother-in-law to bring some :p

Guus have already set up the breakfast table and he is in-charge of cornflakes.

After breakfast, like around 10am, we cleared the table and played the game William got yesterday. It was quite some brain work for opa & oma (they are one team, Lucy and Guus one team, Pieter & me) and they won in the end.

Then i started the washing machine. While waiting for the wash, I finished two paper photo albums I wanted to give to the vluglingen family.

At the same time, Guus, Lucy and William went outside to work in the garden. Then Sun has come out.

We were not hungry around 1pm. So everyone just carried on. I got plamkool in from the garden and planned to cook them with potato for dinner.

Around 2pm, Pieter’s friend S came to play, the kids played Mario Party while I watched for a while. The kids after finished their Ningtendo time, went outside to play. I started to cook around 3 and finished by 4. We ate early at 4:30. After Dinner, we watched some startrek and went to bed around 8pm.

This is just a 流水账 of what has happend in the 3 week holiday. Just in case I forgot where my time went. 生活的真实的面目就是这个样子的。没啥惊天动地的大事情。就是每天重复一些最基本的task/chore。然后一年就过去了。

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