We've been enjoying our first few days in The Netherlands with the kids. Unfortunately, Ben has had to work, since it's been mid-week, but we've seen him in the evenings for dinner and usually a movie and conversation at night. One of the highlights is always their bedtime routine with the children. We're lucky to have them raising our grandchildren. They're great parents.
What makes their bedtime routine so special is that it's a family affair. In most homes, including ours when the children were small, bedtime involves parents telling the children it's time to go to bed and the little ones arguing about it and bouncing out of bed for a while until both children and parents are exhausted. While this is going on, the parents attempt to talk or watch television.
Here, bedtime is something to look forward to. They climb the stairs together, Mama and Daddy supervise the choice of pajamas and help with brushing of teeth and other necessary chores. Then the fun begins. First they read a scripture, followed by a story. The children take turns picking out what story is going to be read. Then they each choose two songs to sing together, and everyone sings along. After that, each one takes a turn describing the most special part of their day. This is followed up with bedtime prayers and tucking in the little ones. Daddy then produces a children's travel type spill-proof bottle of water for each of them, and it goes on the corner of their headboards. A final kiss goodnight, the covers are pulled up, and the children are down for the count. It's really beautiful.
During the day Ruth is constantly picking up toys, cooking, and doing craft projects with the girls. Day before yesterday she let us sort colors from a box of Fruit Loops into little cups. Then we transferred each color into a plastic baggie and mashed them up with a rolling pin, then put them back into the cups. Each of us (yes, Grandma made a picture, too) got a sheet of construction paper. We'd paint with glue and sprinkle Fruit Loops onto it. Shake the extra back into the bowl and then glue paint where you want the next color. It was really fun. The pictures, once dry, got hung in the entry way for Daddy's loud exclamations of amazement.
Today John and I will travel (alone!) to Paris. We're taking the train, and we're both moderately terrified. Neither of us speak French, of course. I get lost really easily, so can't be left alone anywhere. It wasn't always this way, but certainly is now. (Have a few seizures and see what changes for you...) Ben made all the travel arrangements—train and hotel, so that's half the battle. We just have to figure out how to get from the train station to the hotel, and from there to everything we want to see.
You'll probably get updates, since the Concorde La Fayette, our hotel, has free WiFi. I wish we had thought to pack the GPS. Or maybe it wouldn't work over here. I think we would have had to buy maps. Probably worth it. At least I've got the iPad to help now. I think I can find anything on it that I could on a computer. Oh. It is a computer. It's so small and portable I almost forgot. The whole house is sleeping, and I'm sitting at the kitchen table posting a blog on my iPad. How sweet it is. Thank you, John. He thought it was a smart decision for my writing, and he's definitely be correct.
So as you are all heading into the end of your Friday, we're starting our Saturday here. Blessings to us all.