A trip to the Netherlands wouldn't be complete without going into Amsterdam. Cherie is standing in front of the Grote Kerk-the oldest church building in Amsterdam, dating from the 1200's.
The ever-present, unbelieveable urinals dotting the streets of Amsterdam.
Central station is an architectural jewel in the downtown area.
We walked from central station to the Dam, which is a large square in the center of the old city. The Royal Palace is the most beautiful building on Dam Square.
Another prominent building is Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. The birds on the square reminded us of a scene from Mary Poppins.
We went inside the Royal Palace for a glimpse of how royalty lives.
The recent rennovation of this building has given tourists a better idea of the grandeur of earlier years.
The Royal bed chamber.
The chandeliers alone must be worth a pile of money. Add to those the beautiful old paintings and the antique furnishings and this building becomes a priceless treasure.
Outside again, we wander along the streets and canals of old Amsterdam.
After looking at these beautiful old buildings for a year, I think I would be able to pick out a picture of Amsterdam from anywhere else in the world. This architecture is very unique.
Our visit to the city wouldn't be complete without stopping for 'frites' - Dutch french fries.
Yes, I love the frites. For some reason they really are better than the french fries back in the states. It must be the Dutch aardappelen.
These houses are so classic Dutch. Gotta love 'em!
After returning to Diemen we convinced Elder Beckstrand to drive with us to Muiden. This lovely windmill is located beside the river along our route.
We wanted to show off 'our' castle to Cherie. It is such a beauty.
As we walked along the main street of the town of Muiden, Cherie insisted on getting a picture of her missionary parents.
The river Vecht is a popular place for boaters to keep their boats.
We had Elder Beckstrand take a picture of us beside the monument that shows Muiden's founding date of 1050 - that's a LONG time ago.
I'll miss this gorgeous, green countryside and all the water everywhere.
Sunday was Elder Mueller's birthday. His request for his birthday cake was chocolate frosting on white cake with gummy bears on top. He placed the gummy bears himself - they were a work of art!
We had 10 for dinner counting all the Amsterdam elders and sisters, the Pankratz, and Cherie. A moment of panic set in when we returned from church and found the chicken and vegetables that had been in the oven for 4 hours still raw. Oh the joys of a tempermental oven.
On Monday morning we went to Zaanse Schans, just north of Amsterdam about 15 minutes. This wooden shoe museum had some beautiful and unusual clogs.
These are beautifully decorated wedding clogs.
These are very interesting - but who would want to wear them?
This was a windmill that was used to saw wood.
It was a blustery day and the wind off the river was quite chilly.
Inside one of the sawmills, we watched the logs being cut. Because the wind was so brisk, the sails on the windmills were turning quite quickly. It made cutting logs a snap.
The logs are soaked to get all of the parasites and harmful substances out of the wood. It also makes the wood easier to cut.
We couldn't stay too long at Zaanse Schans because we had a party planned for FHE. Cherie caught a picture of me making french bread to go with the soup we'd planned for dinner. A whole lot of elbow grease is needed to get the same result that I used to get with a flick of the switch on my Bosch bread maker.
At FHE we had a party for Rick and Joyce, who are being married on October 18th.
Mmmmm. Hot soup and fresh french bread. Thank goodness Cherie was here to cut up the vegetables for the soup while I make the bread.
The girls in front are sisters of the bride and groom. Kim - our FHE chairman extraordinaire - is in back. She has the responsibility of planning all the activities for Family Home Evening. We're so grateful for her!
There was a contest to see whether Team Rick or Team Joyce could make the most lovely, modest wedding gown out of toilet paper. Elder Schulte was a perfect model.
Ivo makes quite a lovely bride, too.
Here, Emma agrees to be a model for Team Joyce.
It's done! How do you like it? Personally, I'm not sure about the veil....
Vanessa, Emma, and Yareena show off their creation. Team Rick won for the most modest dress. Theirs was more compatible with temple standards, which is essential, after all.
The next challenge was to write a song for the newlyweds. Team Joyce wrote theirs to the tune of "Choose the Right."
Again, Team Rick won the competition with their rendition of a song put to the tune of "Called to Serve". The missionaries brought down the house with their "Rick and Joyce good luck - you'll need it, now it's just one week away".
Cherie was on hand to take a photo of the entire group before the evening ended. What a fun night!Good luck - Rick and Joyce. We hope you're very happy!