Archive for the Tag 'Langendoens'

07 Dec 2017

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Family

Sinterklaas 2017

‘Tis the season to make poffertjes!

This past weekend was our annual Langendoen family Christmas gathering. Every year, for the past 11 years, we have set aside the first weekend in December (as close to 5 Dec as possible) to celebrate Sinterklaas with all 15 cousins. This year we added Brenda’s cousin Anna and her family who have moved to Alberta this year. In all we had 31 for much of the weekend. This year we all met a the senior’s center in Rocky Mountain House – it’s wheelchair accessible for Brenda’s Dad and very close to their home, so that worked out very well with lots of room for everyone.

The gathering has changed a lot over the years – five of the kids are adults over the age of 18 now. But many things remain the same as the first time we met up for Sinterklaas in 2007 at the Banff Gate Resort in Dead Man’s Flat. We still have wooden shoes full of Dutch treats, a visit from Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet, board games and lots of food.

Poffertjes are a staple for brunch on the Sunday – every year Brenda and I bring poffertjes and bacon and it never fails to be a hit. This year, we made almost 700 of the little pancakes – we have to double the recipe and then make 3 of the doubled batches. We made them at home the day before we headed to Rocky and re-heated them while we cooked the bacon.

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31 Mar 2012

Posted by under Family

Oma’s Birthday Brunch

Oma’s birthday was the 13th of March, but we are celebrating today with a big waffle brunch.




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19 Feb 2011

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Family,Mr. FixIt


It’s been a while since the last post (especially if you missed the 1-day Robbie Burns Day item) so I’ve got a gallimaufry of topics that I’ll lump together here. It’s a cold miserable day – again. Brenda is so mad about the groundhog’s prediction at the beginning of the month that there will be 6 more months of winter that she appears to have hunted down poor old Balzac Billy and made a nice vest for herself…

Maybe you’ve wondered where our Sinterklaas post was for this Christmas season (OK, maybe not); well, we were busy welcoming our newest nephew into the family at the beginning of December.  As a result, we held Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet off by a month and had the annual Langendoen Christmas gathering on the first weekend of January after the new year.  We all met at Ronny and Carla’s place outside of Rocky Mountain House and had a great weekend with all of the cousins having a fine time skating and sledding and eating far too many treats that Oma picked up at the Dutch store.  We had a fun weekend and, despite the serious blizzard that swept across southern Alberta that weekend, none of us had any trouble on the roads. Anyway, here are a few pictures:

During one of the cold snaps that we keep having this winter, I noticed that I’d start the van (2002 Mazda MPV) up and the radiator fan would immediately start running on high, even if it was -28°C out. A few days after that, the fan started randomly running on high at any old time. A little trouble-shooting and googling uncovered the fact that the fan control module was the likely culprit and that it was the subject of a recall to replace it. So I took it to a Mazda dealer only to find out that it had already been replaced on our van. So I shelled out $100 for a new one and then waited 2 weeks for a day nice enough to do the repair outside.

It’s not too bad of a job, but I had to pull the battery and the battery tray out to gain access to the three wiring connections. All three were a pain to disconnect – 5 years of accumulated grit always makes separating under-hood connectors difficult. Once that was done the swap was pretty simple. The new module has a different part number than the old one, so I hope it’s improved.

One trick that I’d heard about when disconnecting a car battery is to use an automotive “settings keeper” to preserve the vehicles computer settings and radio presets. This prevents the computer from forgetting the various bits of data that it uses to optimize settings for fuel economy and performance and maybe saves a bit of gas for the few weeks after the repair. I couldn’t find one locally, so I made my own. Sadly, it didn’t work. After the repair was done the radio presets were lost. I think that the 9V battery couldn’t keep up in the cold. Next time, I think I’ll try wiring a 12V wall-wart transformer to the cigarette lighter adapter, rather than the battery.

The kids have this coming week off school, so we are hoping for a bit of a chinook and maybe we can take the opportunity to have a family outing – maybe a day in Banff? Or at least an afternoon matinee in a nice warm movie theater if the weather won’t cooperate.

…it seems that miserable groundhog got what he deserved…

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26 Jul 2010

Posted by under Family

Summer Birthday Bash

This past weekend was the 3rd annual Cousin’s Birthday Bash for all the cousins on Brenda’s side of the family. We’ve been at Cow Lake Recreational Area each of the last two years at the day use area on the beach. It was nice but also a bit of a chore to keep track of all the little ones so near to the water and organizing all the food and presents was a logistical challenge. This year we decided to try something a little different.

Ronny and Carla are adjacent to a church camp property and have a good relationship with the camp board. It turned out that the camp was not in use this weekend, so Ronny booked it for the family to use for this year’s birthday bash. We also increased the duration of the event and started on Friday evening and went right through to Saturday evening. We started with a pizza supper in the camp dining hall to kick things off. Accommodations were all at Ronny and Carla’s place – Barry stayed in Ronny and Carla’s guest cabin (Breana, who is expecting in the fall, stayed at home with Noela). We drove up in the RV and used the parking pad and hookup next to the guest cabin.

Friday evening after dinner, Ronny set up a screen and projector and we all watched a movie in the camp dining hall. Some of the older boys decided to sleep at the camp in one of the cabins. Once the younger ones were settled the adults all gathered around the campfire and chatted til after midnight. Morning came soon enough with the kids eager to start the day – each family had breakfast on their own and a free morning for the kids to just run about.

After having tacos for the noon meal, we gathered all the kids for the gift exchange. Instead of drawing names as in past years, we did the gift exchange “Yankee” style – each present fit the theme “Summer Fun”. The rest of the afternoon the kids played with their gifts – at least the ones they could retrieve from their uncles! We played some wide games until the injuries put a stop to the fooling around – no serious damage, but I did bang up some ribs and Steven twisted his foot.

Dinner was burgers and smokies , then we just let the kids all run about until dark.  As the adults were tidying up in the evening, we commented on how great it was to see the kids forming and reforming little groups of 2 to 5 as they got an idea for a game or project. We also noticed that we had a mountain of extra food. So we decided, on the spot, to extend the party for one more day.

Sunday we slept in a bit, then had breakfast by family again. Later in the morning we watched a slide show of Brenda’s trip to England and had a family church service. There were more than enough leftovers for everyone to have a good lunch. After cleaning up the camp kitchen and dining hall, we headed for the beach at Crimson Lake with all the kids and spend a couple of hours just enjoying the sun and the water. We stayed at the beach til after 6:00pm.

By the time we got back to the RV, loaded up and headed home it was getting late. We pulled in about 10:30, did a lightning unload and all fell into our beds. It was a great summer weekend!

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