Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leiden and The Pilgrim Museum

Happy February 29th!! :)

After leaving the Hiding Place, we headed about 40 minutes south to the town of Leiden - where the Pilgrims lived in Holland before coming to America!!  It was so neat to be able to see it in person and we were also able to visit the Pilgrim Museum that has some neat artifacts dating back to the time of the Pilgrims and also much earlier.

 While we were driving, we saw these tree stumps and thought it was just kind of interesting how they left them there.

 On the way to Leiden, we enjoyed the bread and cheese that we got at the market in Haarlem.  It was delicious!!!

Seth wanted me to snap a picture of this castle-looking clock tower.

More bikes!!

We arrive at...

The Pilgrim Museum
Although they don't know that a pilgrim actually lived in this particular home, it is the only home that has been preserved as it would have looked during the time of the pilgrims.

 It's set up on the inside with a lot of authentic furniture from the 1600's (and older!).

Note: I couldn't use flash inside the house, so some of the pictures are a little hard to see - I did the best I could though!

 Seth got to hold a child's golf club from the early 1600's

 This is a baby's highchair from the same time

 The tiles in the front of this picture represent the different children's games from that time period.  The greenish concrete block in the back is actually a very old child's drawing.  Friends of the owner of the museum found it covered in cement in the ground when they were remodeling their home.  When the museum owner cleaned it up, he was surprised to find the drawing on it (and happy they didn't just throw it away!)

 This book was printed in the early 1600's.  The castle pictured here is Leiden Castle which dates back to the 11th century.  It served as a refuge for the people of Leiden and their belongings in times of peril. What's neat is that...

...the ruins are just down the road!!!
(we went there afterward)

 The fireplace

 Shenandoah got to hold a piece of Roman pottery that was excavated somewhere nearby (I don't remember exactly where! :)

 Sayer had the pleasure of sitting in an 800 year old chair!

 One of William Brewster's baby daughters is buried in this church just across from the Pilgrim Museum.  This side of the church dates back to  1370.

 And the other side dates back to 1470!

Walking through Leiden.
It obviously looks much different than it did when the pilgrims were here, but it was so neat to be able to walk through this town in Holland where the pilgrims walked, where they lived, where they realized they were losing their children and needed to make a change.  

 The arch in front of the castle 
(I thought it looked too neat to miss getting a picture of it!)

 The castle above really looks like the illustration in the book!

Inside the walls

 The view of Leiden from the top was wonderful!

 You know you're close to the North Sea when there are seagulls overhead!!

 This is a church on the other side of Leiden.  This is actually the one where many of the Pilgrims were buried including John Robinson, their beloved pastor who stayed behind when many of the pilgrims went to America.  But I've included a couple of plaques about them below.

 "But now we are all, in all places, strangers and pilgrims, travelers and sojourners..."

In memory of John Robinson

One more historical note before leaving this church is that we discovered that Jacobus Arminius  is also buried here.

 I wonder how old these trees are!

 Looking out over the town

 Daddy said the person who built the castle probably never dreamt that there would be a tube of toothpaste within his walls :).  I think it's supposed to be a funny looking bench.

 Walking back through the town

 My travel partner

Looking at...

 ...a beautiful swan and...

 ...down the canal!

After heading back to the van, it started to rain.  By this time it was about 5:45, but we still had one goal left - to visit the North Sea.  You wouldn't think it would be that difficult to get to when you're only 15km away and know right where it is, but the roads don't run in a grid like they do in Oklahoma!! :)  Anyway, we forged the rain, raced against the setting sun, and made it to the waters edge - rain and all - just as it was almost dark.  It was beautiful though!!  All of the huge white waves rolling in because of the storm and the rain in our faces... You won't believe it though - our only picture somehow turned up missing!!!  We don't have our picture of the North Sea!!!  I was really disappointed about that when looking through the pictures today.  Oh well, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it...

These last to pictures are kind of off the topic and were taken after arriving back at our TLF close to midnight...
 I was exhausted and while waiting my turn for the bathroom, I laid down on my pullout bed.  I thought the design the light fixture made on the ceiling was pretty neat though! :)

It was nice to have some American outlets!!  I took advantage of them and got some extra charging done (since we only have so many converters! :)

Credits: John Robinson plaque -,_Leiden
"Strangers and Sojourners" plaque -

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Small Things In Life!

Occasionally, for Friday family fun night, we like to have apples and popcorn and watch something worthwhile as a family. Well, seeing how we're in Germany and I didn't bring our popcorn popper (although with all of our luggage you would have thought it was in there!!) we debated on what to do. I then remembered that a friend shared with me information about Ramstein yard sales - where you can buy nearly anything second hand. Well, we looked and found a European popcorn popper!! That was just the beginning! We then emailed back and forth through the website, trying to figure out when would be a good time to meet. We set up a time and then discovered that the standard meeting place is the parking lot of Burger King on Ramstein AB. After this was coordinated, we showed up at the appointed time and location. It must have been the day for yard sale meetings because the parking lot was full! Everyone was was walking around asking "Are you here for the fan? Do you have the crockpot?" etc. - you get the picture! Anyway, we finally managed to meet up with the woman who had the popper!! Best of all, we had a delightful Friday family fun night with apples and popcorn - popped on our new European popcorn popper! Yes, sometimes it's those small things in life that bring the greatest joy. 

Blessings to you all.  Ellen

 Here's our new European popper!

 Shenandoah and Sayer

Sienna with Sayer in the background

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

The Hiding Place

It was so neat to be able to visit the Ten Boom home and actually get to go inside the hiding place.  To be in the place where the Ten Boom family stood for what was right in the midst of a great wrong and with no regard for and in risk of their own safety, they sacrificed themselves to assist those who were in need.

Two interesting points before we go on...

Mommy actually got to hear Corrie Ten Boom speak when mommy was about 15 years old.  Her message of forgiveness and her faith in God has touched the lives of many.

I have always thought it would be wonderful to be able to go to visit it in person, but would never have dreamt that it would actually happen!  I remember one of the first VF Father/Daughter retreats that daddy took us to, I was filling out the father/daughter questionnaire and one of the questions was "If you could choose one place in the world where you really wanted to go, where would it be?"  I put down the Hiding Place (I think I was about 12).

So without further ado, I'll get to posting the pictures.  They were a little restrictive of what pictures you could and couldn't take, but at least I could get some.  I hope you enjoy them!!

The alley beside their home

The crowd gathers 
(thankfully we had made reservations the day before!!)

Listening to the tour guide in the living room

The living room without anyone in it

In which we enter (the same way they would have)...

...the hiding place!!
It was really amazing to be able to go inside.  It's one of those things that just kind of has to take a minute to sink in.

The plaque on the wall

Corrie's room was much smaller than I had imagined

In fact, all the rooms were!

The bottom stair there is where the ration cards were hidden.  The cards are actually what caused the Ten Booms to be taken away.  The Gestapo suspected them, but couldn't find any evidence of the Jews being there (even in tearing apart the house).  But when they found the cards, that was enough for them to convict them.  They helped so many Jews during the couple of years that they had the hiding place.  At the time they were taken, they were currently hiding 6 Jews.  They were all okay (except for an older woman who got caught later under different circumstances).  The Jews were in there for two days during which time the Gestapo were guarding the house.  After a couple of days though, the Dutch police took over the guard and friends of the Ten Booms were able to find sympathizers in the Dutch police who allowed the Jews to escape.

We got to walk through much of the house where they had different family pictures and information about their work, etc.

Looking down into the alley from the upstairs window

The stairs were really narrow and there were many different flights of them!!  I can imagine how difficult it was for them to quickly get up to the hiding place!!

Our tour guide was a really nice Christian lady and did such a great job!

Mommy and Daddy in front of the house