Guus Bosman

software engineering manager

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Nora completed Veilig Leren Lezen

Nora completed Veilig Leren Lezen, a Dutch reading curriculum for first grade. It's the curriculum used by 75% of all Dutch kids to learn how to read and write.

I'm extremely proud. We started in February 2017, and in those 22 months Nora has learned how to read chapter books in Dutch, how to spell basic words and she expanded her vocabulary greatly. I remember that I had to tell her what a put was.

One of her favorite first books was Op is op by Annemarie Bon, who became one of her favorite authors. A big thank you to Mieke, who helped us with a lot of materials.

It's been fun for me to teach her. It's like homeschooling, I suppose. We did one or two sessions a week, mostly in the weekends. In the past few months she has been reading independently so wrapping up Kern 12 today was a formality, but a nice milestone.


Putting up the Christmas tree, 2018

Yesterday morning after gymnastics we went to Home Depot to buy the tree. Like last year, we wanted a manageable size -- on that wouldn't be too dangerous if falling over -- and we found a fresh 5' tree that suited our needs.

Adrian took some branches from Home Depot ("baby boom") and Nora took random string of rope (which I secretly threw away a few hours later). After lunch we brought the tree inside, as promised, and then it was nap time. It took Leo a long time to fall sleep. I brought Nora to a birthday party in Clarendon and when I came back the boys were deep asleep.

After dinner we decorated the tree. The kids also played with the Dick Bruna nativity scene, always a favorite.

In the morning the boys were downstairs for a while... then I saw Adrian walking around with a dustpan. When I asked what happened, Leo explained that they were kicking the big blue exercise ball, it bounced off the fireplace and then hit the tree and broke one of the Christmas balls. "We waren erg geschrokken", said Leo. Other than that, no damage so far.


Visiting Sinterklaas 2018

Saturday afternoon we went to the Dutch Embassy to visit Sinterklaas.

This year the boys have been really into the celebration, they understand it well now.

Nora was calm and collected, and has a conversation with Sinterklaas. Leo and Adrian didn't say a word, Leo was smiling all the time though.

After collecting the gift, Leo whispered: "Ik wil slapen" and so we left back to home.


AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

I just completed the exam for AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, a certificate that shows I have basic knowledge about the different Amazon Web Service offerings.

The exam was relatively easy. I've been preparing for this conference for a while, and done quite a bit of studying on the various AWS products. I did study a few trial exams from, and those were helpful for questions on more basic stuff like the Billing and Support models -- the less technical topics.

Still, it's been a while since I had done an official test and I was a little nervous, and now I'm very happy I passed the test. "Certified individuals" also get access to a special area here at the re:Invent 2018 conference.


AWS re:Invent 8K Fun Run 2018

I'm attending a conference this week, and this morning there was a charity run. It was a fun morning. We walked 30 minutes from our hotel to the start of the race, did the race and then walked back -- so plenty of exercise.

I was wearing my E*TRADE T-shirt and halfway the race someone ran next to me and shared that he used to work at E*TRADE. In fact, someone I vaguely knew -- it was nice catching up with him for a few minutes.

Back in the MGM I finally had my first cup of coffee and a nice breakfast. Then immediately on to the first session of the day, on Amazon Prime Video technology.

5 miles
44 minutes

Thanksgiving 2018

We had a lovely Thanksgiving meal with the Zane family and my cousin Eva.

More text later -- here are the pictures.


Eva arrived

Eva arrived today! She is joining us for Thanksgiving and she traveled from Chicago today. In the morning she went to the Dutch Embassy, and in the afternoon she came to Arlington. Eva and I picked up Nora from the bus -- Nora loved it. She jumped up and down and pretending to be shy but then they walked home hand-in-hand.

We made a Sinterklaas kijkdoos together and in the evening when Sasha came home we to Pilates the three of us. At night Eva read a story to the kids, and more went they went to bed (though Adrian insisted to be read by me).

It's great to see her, and an excellent start of the holiday.


No plumber needed

The cap of a soap bottle got stuck in the drain of the bathtub. We use it for bathing the kids, so it's no big deal if draining is slower, but next week we'll have guests so I wanted to fix it.

I spent 30 minutes trying to get the bottle cap out, no luck. I went downstairs to call a plumber, when I did a quick Google search. Someone recommended to use a shopvac for this situation and sure enough -- that did it! The cap came out in 5 seconds.


Sunday morning 6.30 am

It's really wonderful to work with a kid one-on-one, teaching them.

Even on Sunday morning at 6.30 am.


Haring & Paling 2018

We went to the Haring & Paling event at the Dutch Embassy last night, always a nice event. We had a really good time together, enjoying the good food and having a relaxed dinner. The kids loved the sandwiches with Dutch cheese and vlokken and Adrian even had a haring sandwich which he liked a lot.

Nora did all the ordering of our food and drinks for us, which went well, and the kids played with another Dutch girl they met.

We bought vlokken, drop and a package of herring to take home.


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