Friday, February 13, 2009

Finally a new post. Sort of.

It has been such a long time since I have updated Dad's post. Back in October on his 80th birthday Jacki Keenan made an amazing video celebrating Dad and the family that he helped to raise. I cry every time I watch it and decided to post it here in case any of you missed it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is Opa's 80th birthday. We celebrated with a party at Pam's. We are all so grateful for our dad! We love you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

European Vacation 1973

One of the memories that I have is that when I was about 12 years old my parents decided to take the whole family to Europe before Diana left for college. They wanted us to see where they had grown up and where our heritage was. We saved and prepared for about two years. Mom made us a bunch of clothes, I can remember she made Pam and I some matching pantsuits. Mom was always so organized on trips; she knew exactly where everything was and always had our swim suits on top so when we got to the hotel we were ready to go.

The first leg of out trip was for us to all, there were eight of us, somehow fit into our Buick LeSabre with enough luggage for three weeks, and drive the miles from Kansas City to New York City. Lucky for us there were no seat belt laws. I am not sure how we did it, but I do remember sleeping on the floor of the car. New York was terrifying because to us it was such a big and unfriendly place. We stayed in a Holiday Inn close to JFK airport. This is where the first of our trip “disasters” happened; someone at the hotel stole all of the traveler’s checks out of our bags. Back then you didn’t have debit cards so you would purchase traveler’s checks to pay for everything. Dad needed to run around to get those replaced and we were off to the airport.

Our flight was on a charter airline called Saturn Airlines. We were not the savvy travelers that we are today. We were of course early, that is the VanderHoeven way. We waited hours and hours to finally board our plane. I can’t imagine being my mother trying to keep six kids and Dad all clean and happy as our flight delays continued.

We landed in Frankfurt, Germany, rented a VW bus (the original mini van) and drove to Dad’s sister, Mary Ann’s, home. She lived close to a park and we were able to play with the local German kids. It was really lots of fun.

In Holland we rented a place in the Hague. It was called the “House of Trudy”. This was our base so that we could travel all over Holland to see the sights. Some of my best memories were of traveling through the canals of Amsterdam on a tour boat, walking along the beach and boulevard in Schevningen, seeing lots of tulips and windmills, and meeting family we had never before met. We also were able to see the homes that my parents grew up in and lived in during World War II. One of my favorite places there is Madurodam, it has scale models or buildings and things that can be seen all over the Netherlands. It is so fun to see how even the trees are cut to look like they are in scale with the small buildings. It was pretty cold when we were at Madurodam and Jeffrey turned out getting pneumonia. He was pretty sick for a while but once he got on medication he recovered pretty quickly.

There are so many memories of that trip but I will let my sisters and brothers write about some of their memories.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Happiest Place On Earth

One of our family’s favorite vacation spots has always been Disneyland. No matter where in the country we lived we would always plan a trip to southern California to go there. Mom sewed most of our clothes back then and we were always impeccably dressed. Mom would go in her stiletto heals; I don’t have any idea how her feet were able to do that, and a dress! Some of my favorite family pictures are from trips to Disneyland. One time Dad’s sister from Germany, Mary Ann, came to visit with one of her friends from nursing school, Olga. Of course Disneyland was on the agenda. We used to all pile into the station wagon, no seat belts needed, with all of our camping equipment and camp our way across the country.

Things have changed a lot at Disneyland since the 1960’s but it is still the “happiest place on earth”. Even though the crowds have grown as has the price tag, my own family has enjoyed vacations to Disneyland.
The next generation of Disney lovers!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I Will Be Kind

Growing up Dad used to always say to us, "I will be kind". He used to write it on our lunch sacks and even on our kites! My dad has always thought of others and has lived by that motto. My Dad is also very generous. He likes to shop at the grocery outlet, dollar stores and other off the wall places. If he sees something on sale that he thinks we would like, he buys one for everyone in the family.

This picture is of Karen, Ady and Diana on Dad's back and Judy (me) on the ground. It is in our back yard in Ogden, Utah in around 1964.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The VanderHoeven Machine

This picture was taken on Saturday, June 7th at Virginia Mason Hospital, just before The VanderHoeven Machine went out to the streets of Seattle to do battle in the Great Urban Race. In the back row are Brian, Jacki, Jacob and Jeff. Baby Corey is behind Opa with Karen on the Dad's right and Pam on the left.