United We Fly


What a family of six looks like in an airport…funnneeee! We are not all pictured here, but the site of our luggage, crumb filled car seats, and kids we checked in was chaos in itself. First, we dropped off Leo, our 13 year old golden retriever, at the Pet Care Cargo with United. They let us know that their computers were down and we couldn’t check him in. Oh lovely right? We had a plane to catch! We patiently waited and were eventually able to check him in where they had access to a full service kennel for Leo. He was in good hands. Then the moment I dread most…goodbyes, tears, and runny mascara. We had to say goodbye to my sister in law. She is an amazing mama and best of friends. It was a hard goodbye for sure, but we did it with big smiles and never ending laughter. She drove away and then came back to our rescue. By the time we got ALL our luggage and tired and hungry kids inside the airport we realize that we do not have the important black briefcase with all our passports and important papers for traveling. What’s a family to do? As the Schumann’s say, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one lost passport.” In our case it was six lost passports.


Well, the kids keep calm and carry on. Royce and I frantically search backpacks and suitcases. Then he gets a hold of his sister on the phone and she ends up going back to Pet Care to grab the black briefcase and bringing it all the way back to the airport. Meanwhile, back at the fort the kids grab their car seats and take a seat. While waiting for our passports, we ended up reading the Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton. And yes….we are dancing and doing the motions as we patiently wait. This is also when I realize something is wrong with my back. I can’t bend. I hadn’t even gone through security. What’s a mama to do? Things do get better….we run into our language trainer, Anne-Marie. She happens to be on the same plane going to Amsterdam and offers some prayers for us to find our passports, make it through security, and find our gate on time. I’m so thankful God answers prayers.


 Mary Kate is just elated we are finally going to our new home in the “Nedderyands.”


This is not the cute picture I had planned in my head for our airport send off pic, but it had to do. We had to get on that plane! We did not want to miss our flight!


Pigtails and pink jellies were just a bouncing as our three year old makes her way to her first plane ride.


Tinkerbell and Friends…take flight! Mary Kate loved the plane ride for the first 15 minutes. Then mom had to get a little creative with toys and games. She watched a few movies. By the time I would get her headphones adjusted and the movie started she would say, “I don’t yike this. It’s scary.” Lance, Lane, and Maci were all about the movies and games on the backs of their chairs. We were in such a hurry to get to the gate, we didn’t get the chance to see the plane…big mistake for Mary Kate. She wanted to see the airplane’s wheels and asked about them constantly during the flight. That and snacks and the duration of the flight. How do you tell a three year old that you have 8 hours left before we land at our final destination?


We are here! After about a 9 hour plane ride we arrived at the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. What JOY! Note to self: When the taxi says he will pick you up in the meeting point, he is not talking about the arrival hall. He is talking about the red and white checkered tower in the middle of the airport.


Now, we are off to our new home in the Southern part of the Netherlands. We ended up riding a small bus for about an hour and half to our village. Our driver was so patient with us in helping pick up Leo, load ALL our luggage, and our super tired and hungry kids. This journey of a thousand miles began with six lost passports.




  1. So glad everything went as well as can be expected when traveling around the world with 4 kids. The movies are a lifesaver!! Poor Mary Kate. Mark wasn’t really interested in the movies either that first summer we went to Germany when he was 3. Was she able to sleep on the plane?

    Our first night in Germany, I was the one up at 3:00 reading Kristen larensdatter. My boys went to sleep around 11-12 and woke up around 11-12 for the first few days then they started going to bed earlier and waking up earlier.

    Cecilia was telling me all about the drop off with Leo, the lost black notebook, and the taco truck lady honking, and the lady with the Funyuns. We laughed, but those mishaps are part of the journey and memories.

    LOVE hearing about you adventures.! Grocery shopping IS a challenge, but you’ll get the routine down soon.


  2. Oh, I am still laughing about the taco truck and the lady with the Funyuns. What an adventure and you guys had not even left Houston yet. I am glad the rest of the trip went ok. MK needed her Issy because that is exactly how they watch movies here. We turn it on and then they run away and start to play. I think they just like the idea of a movie playing. :)

  3. Oh, and I love the send off pic in the airport. It captures so much in y’alls faces.

  4. Wow! what an adventure! You have such an awesome attitude!! :)

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