April 30, 2014

Another marvelous March: 2014

Early in March, there was another dance with friends. We always love these times when we get to talk and dance with dear friends!

The second Friday night/first Saturday morning in March Nikola, Jessie and Elodie and I attended a Croatian dance workshop with a famous dance instructor from Croatia. We haven't done these workshops in a while. I was especially interested because this teacher is the one who choreographs the Croatian dances for every season of the Duquesne University Tamburitzan's shows. Croatian dances aren't my favorite; I prefer Serbian and even dance more Serbian-style (according to the Croatian teacher), lifting my knees too high during these intricate dances.
After, we drove through some of University City and stopped by at a middle eastern restaurant (the best!) to use up a groupon coupon for our Dad's lunch. 

another middle eastern restaurant nearby....mmmm...makes me hungry.

Our Dad looking ''cool''! :) I rarely take pictures of him for some reason, but this one was too good to pass up. 
I take a lot of pictures of Elodie. :)

enjoying the architecture around us

.....as well as the locals. Oh my. Now that is a hat.

A group of business-like young adults waiting to cross the road

they had no idea I was taking pictures of them. ;)

Jews, leaving their Sabbath meeting place. University City has a lot of Jews.

That same Sunday, the 16th, was Valerie's 28th birthday! 
In our family we have a rule. After twenty-two, you don't get a birthday theme any more. but 'just' a pretty table...but sometimes we get carried away. This one was definitely a theme. :) Basically a Persian springtime! So lovely. I had picked up an entire bolt of fabric free at an Amish fabric store. (it was free, I didn't steal it.)
This was essential for the draping above the table. 

Nikola cut out all these shapes and pasted them together, creating a neat archway thingy.

By the way, this is the decoration that inspired the whole theme: a paper ''V''!

Happy birthday, Valerie!

We celebrated more on the Monday. With the gifts and such. We also watched Riverdance because after all, it was March 17th. :) Surprisingly, we never really watched the entire Riverdance video I have. It's really fun (minus the flamenco and tango numbers). Of course we danced clogging-style all day. But my evening we were back to Persian-style music. And most delicious Persian foods that our Mum made.
a new sweater
Sam was a little tired. It's so fun to have him for birthdays again. As in, he's done studying. Of course he will soon have a full-time job so now we are treasuring every celebration we can spend with him.

Odie. Who would have thought her eyes could look so green. She never wore dark green until she got this shirt.
sisters! :) LOVE.
It was a gorgeous day. We took some lovely walks down the road and down the country lane....
at home I had an inspiration for a game, and Jessie wrote down a bunch of Nikola's and my ideas for a game about the birthday girl. 
Valerie likes games such as this and after we'd finished answering the questions for her, and laughing over the answers, she had us to it for the winner, and then for another sister...and another...
March 18th, we drove to historic St. Charles- a place one can't help but love! We walked the cobblestone streets, looked through the little shops at all the fun things that we didn't need to buy. But enjoying ourselves. (there's nothing like going on a day of shopping and coming home with just as much money. :))

at least he wasn't murdered here. yikes.

beautiful old woodwork in one of the antique stores.

look- it's the employees' exit!

sweet Jessie.
We had a snack-picnic over by the river.
Back home, the little ones remembered the promise of ''a movie'' and chose A Little Princess. That caused most of us to dress up again, just as we did the last time we watched this family-favourite film last fall. Most of the movie takes place in New York. But the beginning captures the beauty of India so well that of course we dress up Indian! My outfit even matches the theme of the film- green. Seriously, everything in the movie is green. The house. The outfits. The rooms. The vegetables. 
We really like this song from the movie:

Marjo: ''let's get a picture since we never do when we're having fun like this''
Elodie: ''okay''
somehow...results were not that impressive. We were all suffering from....un-photogenic-ness.

Next morning:
Oh, Laura-Lise. :) This is so her. AND I LOVE HER!!!
Our friend down the road just had a shipment of free, slightly-old produce. We were thrilled. Peppers, mushrooms, and bread. We were busy preserving the mushrooms and peppers.

We ate a bunch of delicious, super-healthy and delightful Persian-style meals that week. 

A springy spread later that week- and egg dish, fresh vegetables, hummus and pita bread. Mmmmm....

April 15, 2014

Canada Day 3- April 12th 2013

(A video Sam put together after our trip; contains impressive footage of our travel and the first couple days in Montreal. I am not responsible for the choice of footage. Unless you are desirous of learning French, you can skip the whole middle part which stars Katia eating lunch at Mamie's. I mean..she is sweet. But there's a limit to how long you can watch a sweet girl eating lunch. Unless you want to learn French from the background conversations.):

April 12th 2013

We have been thrust back in time, back in a wintry world! 
It's lovely, although unnecessary.
On the way from our host's home to our french Grandma's:

Sam entertains Katia with Jessie's dog

The Biosphère is a museum in Montreal dedicated to the environment. It is located at Parc Jean-Drapeau, on Île Sainte-Hélène in the former pavilion of the United States for the 1967 World Fair Expo 67.
We always see the Olympic stadium from 1976 as well. And always take a blurry picture of it. But I hadn't chosen one for this post.  

At Mamie's apartment place. Nikola and Valerie were of course the most important of the grandchildren as they still speak good French and spent more years with Mamie than the rest of us. They talked a lot with her...the rest of us smiled and looked sweet and over-used the words making up our too limited French vocabulary. (we understand perfectly. Just are timid to try speaking for real.)

Mamie is so sweet and caring; we love her.
A common sight in Quebec (meaning both the bicycles and the snow :) )
''Maman'' and son...
we had a wonderful time looking at beautiful old pictures we had never even seen! Our delight was genuine and of course this pleased Mamie. I spent a while taking pictures of these pictures. I love family history.
Mamie- we love this picture! She was so beautiful.

''Papi''- our Dad's father. We thought this a great picture as well!
He passed away several years ago, by the way.

This photo of our Mamie was copied as a painting by a friend of hers:

 It was hard to keep Katia, Laura-Lise, Alexandre...Sam...out of the realm of Mamie's current cat....
meet The Cat. 
Worst temper in the world. 
And after Sam uploaded its portrait on Picasawebalbums, that helpful program sent me an email suggesting I tag this cheerful feline's physiognomy as...myself. 
Oh dear.
I have a feeling that this cat is a super-ESTJ or something.
This is the picture Picasa thought was me.

Today we didn't feel quite as festive or adventurous. And now we sit around with Mamie. And we're wondering how long we can sit around without really moving! I found that luxury, a scale, in Mamie's bathroom and we all had fun weighing ourselves for the first time in years. Of course it consequently feels slightly terrifying to simply...sit. But I have a grand honest cavern in my tum which hopefully is eating away the fat.

Tomorrow will be fun, because we are going to the Cabane A Sucre! I'm going to eat bacon, eggs, maple syrup...:) It's going to be worth it. It's going to be worth it. Seriously.

mirror fun

guess what this means :)
this should help
 we all headed over to our Aunt Sylvie's home where we spent the next few hours.

we won't be getting too many pictures like these during future Aprils! (in Missouri, that is)

To my pleasure, Aunt Sylvie is quite a healthy person and a good cook of healthy food as well! We dined for supper on a full course meal of dark  (marinated) chicken, stir-fried carrots, and beans, roasted new potatoes and bread from the bakery. Ahh...
To my surprise, salad comes after. Then dessert and lastly tea.