Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fred's Birthday

July 30, 2009, was Fred's 30th birthday. His wife Teri, threw a birthday bash for him the Saturday before. All of us that live around came to celebrate.

I have to say that you can see where Danny gets his good looks from! Fred sure looks good for 70!

In case you don't know, "Opa" means grandpa in Dutch. Fred is full blown Dutch. He lived through the Natzi occupation of his country Holland. He was 8 years old then and really has some amazing stories to tell. He came with his family to America when he was 16 years old.

Several years ago, I was browsing through the church book store and came across a little journal called "Grandpa, tell me your story." It was a little journal for granparents to give to their grandchildren reminiscing their childhood memories. There was a page for each day of the year and asked the grandparent to relate a specific story about his life. Such as "tell me about your favorite teacher." "Tell me a favorite story with your maternal grandma." "What was your favorite pasttime as a child." I had a strong impression to pick one up and give it to Fred to fill out. I had a feeling that he would complete it. I picked one up for all of the other grandparents too. It was around Christmas time. I gave each one to the grandparents telling them that it would be their Christmas present to us the following year.

Sure enough, the following Christmas Fred handed me back the completed book! What a treasure! The kids have absolutely LOVED to hear stories about Opa. Everything from finding out that he owned a sailboat and loved to sail when he was young, to purposely step in cowpies when he was young (you read it right) because it was warm on his toes, to more serious things like what he witnessed during the Natzi occupation in Holland. We are thrilled to have it, it is priceless.

Fred is an awesome Opa. He is always thinking of fun things to do with the kids and is always calling to just talk to them to see how they are doing. They love him. They are so lucky to have such a wonderfully thoughtful Opa.

The kids in attendance: Derek, Debbie, Fred, Danny & Daren

getting all the grandkids to cooperate for a pic is not easy.

I think this was as good as it got. At least everyone was in it!
Happy Birthday and Every day Fred!!