Family Fun at Landmarkt Mesch

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Yesterday was our fourth time visiting Limburgs Landmarkt Mesch and I think we have solidified it as a family tradition. We have gone the last two years with Flora and once the first year we lived in Maastricht (before children), but this was the first time that she will remember it. It was a day full of sunshine and joy.

Who knew sitting on a stationary tractor could be so much fun? Thibault loved it and I didn’t think Flora would be that into, but she was. A nice change of pace from our normal fun of playing dress up with princess dresses and Disney Princess Barbies.

Landmarkt Mesch brings back memories of visiting the Dutchess County Fair and it really reminds me that I am a country girl at heart. I loved seeing Flora fascinated by bulldozers and old farm equipment, petting the animals at the kinderboerderij, and watching the equestrian horse shows. It was super fun and at the end of the day she didn’t want to leave.

It also signals that summer is officially over. I was clinging to the warm weather and we officially had to break out the fall vests and jackets this week. Summer is over and we’re moving on. Sometimes I wish I could just freeze this moment in time. Flora is so in love with everything we do as a family and it’s even more fun with a four year old! And then I remember how much we miss sleep. 🙂

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Walks with Thibault- Soaking up the sun

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We are taking full advantage of every sunny moment we have with the kids. Trips to the our local playground, trips to big playgrounds & parks, playing in the garden, painting outside, etc. Whenever the sun is shining we are outside. The weather is changing and the warm days are becoming less and less. I feel like I’m clinging to summer!

Our town recently renovated our local “speeltuin”, which is just a five minute walk from our place. We’re so happy with the new changes. It really got a huge upgrade. It’s so nice to see more children and families visiting this spot. We’re so grateful that our children have a nice place to play in our neighbourhood.

Last weekend, Flora and Jaap hung around the speeltuin and Thibault took a nap on the road. I love our neighbourhood. I can leave our house and within five minutes, we’re walking amongst sheep in the meadow. I just love this peace and serenity in our backyard. And what is cuter than a sleeping baby?

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First Day of School

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First few moments in groep 1!

I officially have a school-aged child. The past week has been a whirlwind of emotions and not because Flora was worried about her first day, but because I was worried about her first day. I started writing this post last week, but the emotions were still too raw for me to put this down in words. I just can’t believe my daughter has started Groep 1. All of a sudden I saw the last four years flash before my eyes. I was taken immediately back to being on maternity leave, cuddling Flora, and sipping coffee at Coffeelovers. Where did the time go?! I just can’t believe she is in school now. You see this picture below? I’m happy we have a picture of us smiling because I was fighting back tears! Even though I broke down, I was happy that I was able to hold it together until after we said our good-byes. 🙂

I’m so proud of this little girl. Flora said some things to me that will stick with me forever. The night before I said, “Well, you’re not my baby anymore.” And her response was, “It’s okay, Mom. I can be your baby big girl.” How sweet is that? And on our walk to school, she grabbed my hand and said, “Mom, am I going to be okay?” Cue tears!!! I almost lost it. Thankfully Jaap was there to buffer the whole situation. This mom gig is not easy, but it’s never boring. XOXO

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Our Week in France- Fontenay Abbey

 

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A day trip to Abbaye de Fontenay was a nice closing to our time in France. Warm weather, beautiful sunshine, a simple picnic, and plenty of fresh air. The Fontenay Abbey is a 12th century Cistercian Abbey and a Unesco World Heritage site.

The abbey is peaceful, meditative, and serene. It felt like the perfect way to end this trip. A nice slow down before heading back in the car and beginning the journey home. There were so many fun moments on this day. Here are a few that stuck out in my mind: Opa cuddling his grandkids on the picnic blanket during lunch; trying to to keep the children quiet inside the abbey; admiring the clean architecture; large, but simple, fountains; beautifully blue skies and warm sun; and by far my favorite– Opa leading his family in a 3-part round of a movement from Mahler’s First Symphony inside the abbey. Other visitors were so amused, they even joined in. It was a perfect meeting of like-minded choir nerds. Musically, I was quite impressed. 🙂

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Our Week in France– Vézelay

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Perhaps the most relaxing day of our week in Burgundy was our day trip to Vézelay. The Oma and Opa creche was up and running and we were off for a day without kids. My main goal was to have a relaxed lunch of yummy French food. Mission accomplished.

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We had a delicious menu for lunch outside on the main street. I just love how everything tastes better in France. It was so nice to chat with Jaap and Mieke and have a relaxed meal without having to entertain small children. My coffee and accompanying sweet treats was a great ending. These tiny homemade pink marshmallows were delicious!

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Afterwards we took in some sites, visiting the basilica and checking out the views. Vézelay is a tiny town situated on a top a large hill and the few from top was beautiful. I’m so grateful my in-laws were willing to give us this relaxation time. Whew.

Our Week in France–A day for the kids

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A first for Flora– pony ride!

This vacation could not have been planned better. Luckily we only had one day of rain and the rest was filled with relaxing  days, a little history, French architecture, and of course, a day for the kids. The owner of the gite recommended this zoo park and it was the perfect activity. So, if you’re ever in the Burgundy region looking for kids activities, this place was great!

Here’s a link: Parc de l’ Auxois

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Thibault and his cone

I have very few pictures from this day, which probably means I was having too much fun to check my phone. I had so much fun watching Flora have fun with her cousins. I love this age. We saw lions, zebras, camels, and more—but the kids were most excited about the playground and carousel rides. Flora had her first pony ride, Thibault had some good naps, and everyone was happy.

Perhaps my favorite part of the day was our outdoor BBQ. Back at the gîte, the kids were swimming in the pool and Jaap was behind the grill. I love this photo of Jaap. It was the perfect ending to a fab day. Another win for the Jansen family!

Our Week in France—Family Time

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Exploring Chateau Bussy-Rabutin

We visited Château de Bussy-Rabutin as a family day trip during our Burgundy trip. We enjoyed a cozy family lunch at a local cafe complete with local cheeses, meats, and wine from the region. We had packed a big picnic lunch, but forget half of it back at the gîte. Ooops. At least we were able to laugh about it and we made the cafe owner very happy with our visit.

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The chateau turned out to be a fun family activity. Exploring the interior and running around the grounds. The sun was shining, Flora was exploring with her cousins, and Thibault slept on Jaap most of the time. It was a successful family day trip.

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