Day 201: Clara Maria Cheese Farm and Clog Factory Tour


It is below zero out today! And it feels like it really is freezing! I was standing outside in the parking lot, trying to chat with friends with my boots, scarf, and down coat on but I couldn’t stay outside for long. It was that cold! So when we were looking for something to do today, we weren’t all that excited to be touring the streets of Amsterdam. Luckily it wasn’t raining, because that would have been even worse.

I took April and Steve to our local cheese and clog farm because I could easily park and go inside with them. Luckily the farmer was available today and chose S to help with the clog making demo. I got a kick out of watching her learn and helping the farmer. She got to take home a souvenir, a hollowed out clog trophy with their family name on it.



We learned about the cheese making process and they bought some gifts to take home.

The cheese is made from the dairy cows on the farm.

It was our lucky day as two new calves were born today and yesterday and we got to see the farm animals too.




Cheese, clogs and cows – not a bad way to fight jet lag!

Day 18: Family Day in Schijndel


We just finished spending nearly 12 hours with family and we’re all talking about when we can get together again. That should summarize how much fun we all had today.

I love how the Dutch entertain. It’s very laid back and there is no sense of hurry or rush. People sit together and really just enjoy one another’s company and that’s entertainment. The young and the old together, drinking coffee, working together, eating together and playing together. I’m not used to sitting still for so long at any given time, so this is new for me and I am beginning to become more comfortable with it.

Today we enjoyed coffee and homemade delicious chocolate torte cake with homemade whipped cream soon after we arrived at Gerard and Anita’s house. Afterwards, Anita set out a lunch buffet for us which included some new foods to taste like filet americanse, and kruiten boter (which I hope I’m spelling correctly!). Several types of Hagel slag were also available and we all made our own sandwiches or broetjes as they call them. Oh and sandwiches are made with butter, which I remember my mom making but I forgot about it. We typically make sandwiches with mustard and/or mayo. I love doing things differently and lunch was delicious.

After lunch, the kids all went to play the Wii, and Risk and Twister. They played outside with balls and a hula hoop, and everyone played together, including the high school girls. This was impressive as the girls are beautiful and sweet and interested in family and being together. I loved that they weren’t too busy or too “cool” to want to hang out. I’m impressed and thankful and J Is making plans with K to get together again next week. Love it.

After lunch, Opa Tijn came for a visit. We all sat out on the patio and enjoyed another cup of coffee. Opa Tijn doesn’t speak any English and just talked to us in Dutch like we understood. One day we will understand better but for now it was just fine. Anita and Gerard did a great job bridging the language barrier and we all enjoyed just being together.

When Opa Tijn left to go to a party, we left to go to Rio and Helma’s house to visit and check out the dairy farm. We all had so much fun.

The kids rode on a tractor and learned how the harvester machine worked. They got to pet and feed the cows and learn how
milk production works. I got to be Rio’s helper for the evening milking at 6 pm. 20120812-224125.jpg

Stella & Dot on the farm!!

The cows are milked twice daily, once in the morning at 7 am and again at 6 pm. It was a very cool experience. Little C was having fun riding a pedal go cart around… Just good old fashioned fun. And then they all went swimming and moved the trampoline close to the pool so they could jump off and into the pool. I think they had a great day! I know I did.

And the day wasn’t even over yet. There was still time for a BBQ! Lil’ C loved helping Gerard with the grill and CJ was happy using the deep fryer to make fresh frites. The girls all helped with setting the table and bringing food out. We had a large variety of mixed meats and sampled our first frickadel (spelling?) sausages topped with frites sauce, onions and curry sauce. Yum! Dinner was amazing and BBQing felt like home.

The days are long here in the summer and we didn’t leave until past dusk at 9:40 pm! I hope we didn’t overstay our welcome. We were just having too much fun to leave! Thank you G&A&R&K for sharing your day with us and for all the delicious meals. Thank you Rio and Helma for having us over for drinks and snacks and sharing farm life with us. We had a wonderful day with y’all and look forward to seeing you again at our house.

Life is good!!


The cute and loving farm dog!