Nathan’s World Tour 2008 continues with his first visit to Finland!



Being 25% Finnish, he thought it was only fitting to mark the occasion by introducing two world-premiers … crawling and teeth! But what may be even more shocking was that a hand drawn picture of Nathan, done by Nathan’s great grand-mother, was hanging on the wall!!! Or was it a picture of another family member?


Daddy needed to double check … well whoever it may be, they look like a boy!


Back to the Finland visit, Nathan did not waste any time testing his new teeth, especially on all the delicious Finnish food his father recommended!


Of course there is alway the formal part of any state visit.

Dear Iso-Isi, may we introduce you to your great grand-son …

Dear Nathan, this man is someone you can look up to and be proud that you share the same name ‘Leonid’!


Of course, Else-Maj had plenty of cuddles for Nathan, from both her and Iso-Isi!


We are very luck to have Finland as part of our family roots. It was a vast playground and adventure for me as a child and it brings a warm feeling to my heart to watch my son start enjoying the same environment, which I started to enjoy over 35 years ago!


Again, thanks goes to Mother Nature for giving us 5 days of great weather, especially when they predicted rain the whole time!


With the long summer days … as when I was a child … time again appeared to slow down, giving that wonderful sensation of peace and relaxation. Time that we could really use to enjoy Nathan’s company.


Of course no family visit would be complete without being formally recorded. Started by Mummu in 1976, every member of the family has their height recorded on the Keidas wall! I am very proud to see ‘JNL’ initials taking their place on the wall! Of course we have to wait till 2011 to see if Nathan is going to be taller than me or not!


Now that we have introduced Nathan to Finland, we are very much looking forward to visiting more often, giving Nathan the best playground to grow up! But more importantly … to allow his Finnish roots to grow!!!


What can I say? We had a great time and I love my little family!!!


Thanks again to the Finnish bunch for all being part of Nathan’s first taste of Finland!

Love JJ xxx

\The Great North Run (21.1km) is just 3 months away, with the Great Yorkshire Run (10km) being just 2 months from now! The Naarden Vesting Run (14.5km) in May helped prove that I am still able to run further than the end of my driveway!

Hannah has opted to move to the other side of the planet to escape this punishment. Talla has opted to do work rather than run along side me. Gabby … what can I say? What a girl! Faithful, trustworthy Gabby is still in the running with me for the Great Yorkshire Run! Bless her! wink

This week I am starting with my campaign to diet & exercise to reverse the damage of Florida! I am also starting my fundraising campaign:

I would really appreciate it if the family would give me a good start … please share this link with your friends too to help me raise money for the ‘Brain & Spine Foundation’.


Of course, I cannot go to Florida and not mention anything about food! The third ingredient to a great holiday combined with family & friends and shopping! Food … food … food! The part of the holiday that I enjoy so much! My taste-buds are still singing with joy with such a varied menu starting with:

  • Raindancer
  • Cheesecake Factory
  • City Place restaurants
  • Park Avenue Ribs
  • Food courts in the Malls [Boynton, Boca Raton, Wellington, and Gardens]
  • Charlie’s Crab

This list does not even cover all the places we ate … nor the amount of times we ate in these places wink

Boy … food is a wonderful thing!

If my words are not making a few family members cringe with jealously … may be these pictures will help!















One cannot go to Florida and not mention the shopping. With so many female members in our family, it is import to emphasise the shopping … the endless shopping … the discounts … the discounts on discounts … the foreign’s discount card on top of discounts on discounts … the incredibly cheap dollar … and that’s just for starters!

So how does shopping work for women? It is a very complex formula that I do not understand, but it factors in:

  • The need to rent an enormous car to cope with the luggage & shopping.
  • Turning the villa into a Macy’s department store with purchased items, items to be returned, items to get price adjustments, & items that may or may not fit in the suitcases at the end of the holiday and may have to be returned (I think that is all the catagories Barbara mentioned).
  • That each person can take 46kg of luggage excluding carryon luggage.
  • Actual total luggage weight (including carryon luggage) on the way home was 162kg!!!

So how does shopping work for the guys? Just walked into Abercrombie & Fitch (better known to JJ as Applecrumble & Fudge), bought everything I liked and was done for the whole holiday.


Anyway, just for the girls … a few pictures of shopping …





JJ nearly buggers up the holiday before it starts! Can you believe it!?! No passport for JJ! Searched high and low for over 4 hours … tipping the house upside-down searching hopelessly … tipping Leija’s house upside-down … then burrowing into mess again! No passport! Called Schiphol lost ‘n’ found (as I may have lost it after my Portugal trip) to find that lost passports are handed to the police. Called the police … closed! Called the British Consulate … closed! Just after 11pm, we decided to stop packing, as we concluded that we would not be able to go on holiday without my passport. Back at the computer to search how to get a replacement passport quickly … JJ looks inside the copier and what is squashed inside … his passport! Why was it there? Who cares … the holiday was back on … with a bit of a rush to start packing again!

What a holiday! Four weeks away from the office, escaping sufficiently far enough to ensure that we are more or less unreachable in our little sanctuary that we like to call Palm Beach. The traditional retreat for anyone called ‘Jan de Haas’. Naturally a good excuse to introduce the next generation ‘Jan de Haas’ to the good life!






What a good boy! I have to admit that the prospect on being twice on a 10 hour flight with an 8 month baby was daunting! On top of that, what would he make of the time difference, the heat and humidity, being is a strange home and bed, being forced to go on endless shopping trips, and most importantly for his Dad … what was he going to be like in a restaurant? Well, all I can say was that he was magnificent … a natural world traveller … a natural restaurant connoisseur … a natural ‘Jan de Haas’  wink  Best yet … he found shopping boring like his Dad!


What could possibly go wrong? Well, after the initial holiday hiccup regarding JJ and the mystery of the missing passport, the holiday also introduced us to the world of American Medical World with 4 visits to the Emergency Room … three visits relating to a virus that Nathan, Barbara, and JJ shared … one visit for after Barbara stood on a Macy’s security pin that was not removed from her purchased clothing. Fortunately, we all recovered within days minimising the impact on holiday, especially with the TLC that Macy’s provided!

All in all … the little guy gave it his best!


What more could there possibly be? Well … Parts 2 & 3 of Florida 2008!

No I am not going to write about Angie’s babbling. I do not have time, nor sufficient disk-space for that!

But on the day after Nathan’s christening, we got some great pictures of Angie, Nathan, Barbara, and myself enjoying the great weather on the Blaricumse heide!





Mmmm … not a bad looking ‘de Haas’ bunch!

Sunday 20th April 2008 was a special date for us. Firstly, it was the birthday of my grandmother. Secondly, it is the date that is exactly between my father’s birthday and Barbara’s father’s birthday. But most importantly, this day marked a special occasion in our family. The baptism of our son, signifying the beginning of his journey with God.





My son, as God said to his son, I say onto you, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”


Thanks goes to my family and friends who helped make this day very special for us!

I can’t get my head around it … my boy is already half a year old … 6 months!!!

And at 6 months, I have the most wonderful smiling, 70cm, 7500g, bouncing boy!

In the picture below, he is modeling his latest outfit … making him look so grown up!


He is the most perfect little boy and it is so much fun to see him develop his on little personality … and his quirks:

[1] As at 5 months, when he is hungry … he is HUNGRY!
[2] Now started experimenting to find that ‘just right’ sleeping position!


In true ‘de Haas’ style, the bubbles flowed in celebration!

Happy ½ Birthday my little coconut! Love Mum & Dad xxx

Well we can’t stop him from growing so fast! His appetite his huge and when he is hungry … he is HUNGRY! He is a quiet and happy little guy … but with no tolerance when it comes to having to wait for his food. When he is hungry … he will let you KNOW it … and the neighbours … and half the people in New Zealand!

Anything that goes remotely close to his mouth suffers the same gravitational pull as a black hole.


Snacking on mummy’s hand between meals is becoming more frequent, especially now that he has discovered his own fist is not big enough for his appetite. He is definitely taking after his father and grandfather, when it comes to enjoying a good size piece of meat!


Caught again!!!


Happy 5 months our little guy!!! Love Mum & Dad xxx