June 2, 2014

An April with friends....equals many pictures!

This promises to be one of the most photo-rich posts of the year! April presented several very special times with friends and thus we have quite a few snapshots. We have such photogenic friends! :)

If you don't have time to read this entire post, feel free to visit the album here
Early in April, there was another fun English Country dance night, with friends!

It was fun having Melanie join us this time! :) 

Lovely Rena...it's so special watching these girls grow up!

After the dance was officially over, and volleyball time began, several people wanted to learn/practice the Austrian folk dance the lendler. They have gotten quite good at it!

Leah dear

Then they went on to dancing Laura's Waltz- another favourite

Amelia looking like Juliet or something


dancing Laura's Waltz

Elodie looked sweet sitting there with that background...so I took her picture :)
Early in April, while the men from church had their monthly ''men's meeting'' at church, several of the ladies spent an evening out together at a thriftstore, and then talking at Panera's!  Lovely time. I was the only girl in my family able to go (the others had a guest over and our Mum went to a seminar at our chiropractor's) so we are all looking forward to next time.
Birthday decor stays up for a while in our house...here is the remnant from Valerie's birthday in March. I love this design which Nikola created. It casts a special shadow on the wall!
Nothing says spring like blossoms....our neighbour's heirloom pear tree was beautiful this year!
Sam caught a wee flying squirrel and built a great cage for it. Soon after captivity, we discovered it was a little lady since she gave birth to two tiny pink babies! By now (June) all are still alive and thriving. And adorable. :) They are nocturnal, but poke their heads out during the day. Also come out about twice a day. It's just slightly difficult to sleep during the day in our house.
Nectarine tree blossoms
I will never tire of springtime....the dandelions and red nettle resemble a carpet on our neighbour's lawn....
the back of our neighbours' is also a carpet of wild violets. This is where Jessie and I exercise almost daily...can you imagine the bliss of exercising on violets? With lilacs in bloom nearby?....and the pear tree in blossom...Ahhh....
Katia loves skipping around with her big siblings. Here Sam is testing airguns which he reviews for different companies. They are going to take a look at the results on the target.

One morning Laura-Lise gathered a display of everything in bloom during spring in our yard.
One morning Nikola took some sweet portraits of Katia
One of those pictures where you see a glimpse of the woman she will be in 10 years! This somehow reminds me-a lot- of bridal portraits. :)

Oh....and now we reach April 18th!
 We finally had Melanie, Matthew and Micaiah over to our house! We had the Best Time. :)
First, (after gathering at our humble abode), we ''children'' piled into our beloved ''big van'' and headed to our favourite park.

....Fort Bellefontaine. In the spring time. Beautiful.
I know what everyone is thinking....and I will be generous. I will kindly allow 10 wedding's portraits to be taken here. maximum. And may you always remember...this is the Belley's fort! ;)

I wonder who the enthusiastic citizen is who plants these gharish cakes everywhere important in St. Louis? Anyway...Laura-Lise seems to enjoy them. And no- in this pic. we are not worshipping her.

small walls were meant for jumping from one t'other.

....and larger walls were meant for climbing!

Sam looks like he needs some encouragement. Actually- he ended up climbing the wall hands only!

the triumphant wall-climbers.
We went to the base of the hill for the best view of the river. After throwing half the shore's supply of sticks in to the water, we got a group picture. Somebody suggested each of us hold a stick. That is why everybody is sporting sticks.
I love all the different and conflicting facial expressions in the next pictures :)

that's better. A picture with Melanie

Sam and Matthew having a discussion atop the pillars of stone. I am reminded of those monks who spent their lives on similar piles of rock. Never saw the point to that.

what happens when an 11-year old finds the ''fish-eye'' setting on the camera....sigh...haha.

Melanie got an impromptu mini photo shoot. :) It actually only took a couple minutes, but we had three cameras snapping so the results were great. :)
I love this one!
Of course, Melanie makes every picture look perfect....

Micaiah on the wall

Laura-Lise on the wall...I really like this picture, Elodie!
while we were on the wall having a stick fight with those below, Katia watched. She was not allowed up on the wall according to the safety precautions of the family. ;) (the hospital is the last place I wanted to end up with her that night)

the guys found the perfect diving board....if you want to swim in the Mississippi, that is!

They built this in honour of me, I see! :) It's a 'waterfall' thingy. Which rushes into the river. I'm so fond of those numbers. 

On the way back, the guys ended up the day with more scaling of the wall!

trying to pack as much fun into the day, we played several lively, crowded rounds of Nerts.
Thank you, Thomases for that GREAT day! :) So much fun. The next day we wish't we could do it all over again. With friends you never run out of things to do or talk about.

just a glimpse of one of the weddings Nikola and I served at in April. I'm trying to take more pictures of the place instead of just serving wedding after wedding and having them all jumble up in my memory!

Later in April, we went to a WWII reenactment at Jefferson Barracks. A bunch of great friends also went so it was a really nice time.
We spent a while at the German quarters.

Laura-Lise and a German motorcycle
Matthew and Marian
How special it was to see the Niednagels again! Marian is getting so big...and so pretty!

Elodie took these good pictures

too sweet to be true! :)

this gentleman looked just like someone in a movie we've seen.

still at the German camp

Lots of people pictures.....
I like people.
Hope you do as well. :)
(these are pictures from Sam's camera, btw. Which means either he took them or Elodie did.)

pretty little Marian! Love her eyes. 

view of the battlefield

a young Mr. Brown

watching the battle...


small friends

looking for bullets or something

Marian liked Elodie. 
But then, all children love her! I'm trying to understand her trick. Or maybe it's just something about her.

the same day as the reenactment we headed over to some friends' for volleyball. Some little friends from earlier in the day came as well and therefore I spent the evening swinging and playing with little Victoria. She's quite the character. Love her.

Resurrection Day, after church, we went to the Burnses for a meal and a lovely walk. Of course we talked quite a bit as well. :)

our sweet friend Sara

walking and talking

Nikola on Resurrection Day

Katia on Resurrection Sunday
my lovely, lovely sister Nikola

the B's and B's. One of the families is getting smaller and smaller in number, (although in the process, adding on more members) but we are still close and love spending time with our 'Burns'!
Speaking of. just a few days later Valerie and I were able to travel a couple of hours up in Illinois with Mrs. Burns and Sara to spend 2.5 days with their married daughter Lisa and her family. They are moving into a new home which is better for their growing family! We had a great time painting and watching the kiddos.

the painting/babysitting crew
Lisa finally gets her blue kitchen/dining room!

painting was so much fun. We talked the whole time- covering every topic possible, it seemed. And we listened to just as varied an array of music on spotify! Christian songs, Beauty and the Beast songs, Nick's ''love'' playlist, etc. :)
The first night Mrs. Burns, Sara, Valerie and I talked about courtships and weddings for a few hours.
The second night we piled onto the blowup mattress and watched the Amazing Grace movie. V and I had never seen it before! That was fun. I liked the actor Rufus Sewell best actually. 
The last day we finished up painting and then spent some time at the local park with the children, before heading back home.
Good times. There's nothing like working with friends.

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