What you did not yet know about Elodie's 1940's-themed birthday was that we went camping for the weekend! I haven't done that in forever, and it was surprisingly easy!
In fact, the hardest part was the food prep, which I did two days ahead...and that was only long because I was simultaneously creating birthday party food for the 1940's themed party!
Anyhow...I love camping. :)
Provided I don't get ticks.
Which I didn't.
(other did- but I didn't- hehe!)
So I was happy.
(and that's all that matters, right? ouch.)
We went to Hawn State Park, a beautiful place the boys usually go every year. It was great (with decent bathrooms/washrooms to Elodie and Nikola's immense relief!), but we had to pay for two campsites because we are so large.
So were the campsites, but for some reason we weren't allowed on one alone.
I suppose we look too dangerous.
And we had some issues with firewood, since we didn't bring our own. ahem.
I bet none of you ever looked so purty while camping!
(I hasten to explain, this is not me! It's Jessie. :) )
typical: me directing traffic and Jessie
digging in enjoying the experience
playing in the creek
disco-like lighting ;)
there was a lovely sun-dappled sandy path leading to our campsites!
Our tents were right beside a creek, which sounded heavenly in the middle of night, when all other sounds stilled!
(in other words, when my brother ceased playing music and making the younger ones giggle!) At about 4 am I awoke to the sound of a whippoorwill!
I was delighted! They are beautiful.
Breakfast time! I brought a pre-baked blueberry streusel coffee cake and a pre-baked (just like the junk food at the grocery store!) egg casserole, which we
burnt heated over our little fire.
Katia doing a happy dance :)
memories of my childhood flood back at this sight!
Elodie got a new camera!
She's really good with it, and I look forward to sharing her stellar shots in future posts! BTW, inf case you were wondering, it was a cold morning.
Don't criticize my wardrobe choices.
the extent of my grin in the morning. In case anyone's wondering,
I only look alive from 11 am-9 pm.
I am not responsible for my appearance the remaining hours.
Just telling you.
Jessie :) She looks consistently alive thank goodness since
I see her more than I see myself. :)
The above and following pictures are from Sam's camera; mine died.hike a bit. We did the whispering pines trail which we did a couple of Novembers ago. It wasn't as impressive in summer, surprisingly!
The pines didn't really cooperate 'cause it was a still summer day. And I was shadowed by a bee which was impersonating a mosquito...and the trail was a lot longer than we realized...and the place where we stopped to peacefully do our quiet times was slightly tick-infested...but it was an AWESOME day! :)
Sam's favourite part of the trail- and only 10 minutes into it too! This is Pickle Creek.
trekking through the Missouri wilds, single file
by the time we reached the top! haha. tired...
the view at the top is always beautiful! A little more breathtaking in Autumn
(the first time we did this trail, it was November!) but still lovely in summer.
Jessie taking in the view.
Following this walk, we consumed a picnic lunch (miracles happen, folks!
The chicken salad I packed the previous morning stayed cold until the next afternoon!
In July!), and then headed out to Elephant Rocks state park!
At first, we were confused by how boring the rocks looked as we traversed the confusing maze of pathways...seriously, it looked just like the Zoo...but with no animals.
Then we happened upon the point of the whole park! The lookout! This place is amazing. One could spend an entire day exploring amongst the massive rocks!
Elodie and I managed to get ourselves a little lost, so I recommend you give yourself plenty of daylight hours, as we did!
A proud moment to go down in history: I actually went through this here crack! Seriously!
This was during Elodie's and my little exploration.
It looks just Jordan or Israel! I love it!
I took these pictures, by the way. :)
She fits through small cracks, too! Not a safe place during monsoons, I bet!
I LOVE this picture I took! :)
We love our St. Louis Zoo!
I think we've been going more as adults than as children!
Carousel art, courtesy of Nikola
Katia astride a...rabbit. Seriously?
She's probably the first child to have chosen that hideous thing!
Carousels are so pretty!
This little girl was like a little fairy or angel or something! adorable.
Haha- somehow it always looks funny to see people astride some animals...like Papa on a gorilla! I rode the red panda, of course!
But then I turned around and saw Nikko on a small cat and I realized how ridiculous I probably looked as well! Oh well.
We rode a few times, then walked quickly around much of the Zoo before heading home to do useful deeds.
flamingos at the Zoo.
More memories of July:
After years of sqozing into our plastic kiddie pools...
(insert embarrassing examples)
the B. family pool! (otherwise known as a stock trough but we just won't mention that!)
It is fantastic! We can fit 8 of us at a time!
We look pretty silly, but we have fun and that's what counts!
Actually, what delighted me most is that if I time my day just right, I get to swim in it by myself for about 20 minutes before the kiddies take over...
since the pool is 9 ft. in diameter, I have just enough width to stretch out and honestly practice my breaststroke (always my pride and joy!),
regular and enthusiastic kicking (can't really do the arms and legs at once),
and surprise: the butterfly stroke!
I'm so excited and can't wait for next summer! As I write, it is October and we have retired the pool until next year. But I swam in that lovely water until it was too cold even for me! I think the last time I swam the air was 60 degrees and there was no sun...but it was invigorating! :)
The last day of July, we all dressed up and went to a dance at the Mahler Ballroom in St.Louis! The event was hosted by our friend and dance teacher Dr. John Ramsay and it turned out to be a lovely afternoon!
What with the crowd and live music, this felt so special as we walked in!
to our delight, some friends attended as well!
the place was quite elegant!
a small gent
Nikola and our Dad polka-ing...I really like this picture!
because I love lights. :)One fun aspect of the afternoon was a guest couple performing the Big Apple and the Lindyhop! The couple was from the Lindyhoppers of St. Louis! It was just so appropriate, considering Elodie's recent birthday theme! And they were so fun to watch....I want to lindyhop!
Laura-Lise took some aerial shots! We were doing the Black Nag
Elodie and Jessica
Mrs. K, Zoe and Valerie
Well, I do believe you will agree with me that we had a FULL July! I think part of the reason it was so family-ish was because our Dad was still out of employment (he started his new job on August 3rd). Which of course is stressful! Yet when he was with us, we forgot and just enjoyed ourselves! :) So we made some priceless memories together.
We did find a new movie which went with Elodie's birthday theme and we love it!
The second half is a little depressing 'cause it's so realistic, but the first half is so fun! Just a great picture of immigrant family life in the '40s! Beautifully filmed!