Another favorite thing about living in the Netherlands this year: next-door neighbors with children. While Steve and I chose where we lived this year very carefully, we got even more than we were hoping for. We hoped to live without a car in a historic city within easy commuting distance to Amsterdam where there was an international school for our kids. It took us months of research and good luck to find this house in Utrecht. Google Earth helped us to scout out the neighborhood before we signed on the dotted line. But what we could not know, and could not even imagine, was the special enclave of young families into which we stumbled. There isn’t space here to do justice to the appreciation we feel to our neighbors. They have welcomed us, invited us to dinner and birthday parties, taken us for boat rides, signed our kids up for gymnastics, art, and horseback riding with their kids, and taught our kids more Dutch than they learned in school. We have been so blessed.
Our neighbors told us that they had an annual neighborhood photo tradition, see above. Tonight, they confessed that it was staged for our benefit, and gave us an album with shots from the year. Thankful!