Friday, July 11, 2014

Celebrating the 4th of July

The 4th of July was a week ago and I still haven't posted any pictures!  Despite my lack of plans this year we ended up having a really nice day with family and friends.

Usually we go to a friends home for a BBQ and to watch the fireworks, but this year they weren't able to host the party.  My children were so excited when Uncle Brian and Aunt Meagan called on the morning of the 4th to see if we could come over to swim!  

While the big kids played in the pool with their wild crazy Uncles (my brothers Scott and David were also there, and so was my sister JoAnn!) my little ones had fun visiting with their Aunts and playing with pinwheels.

Bud especially loved playing hide-and-go seek and getting chased around the big tree in the back yard. 

. . . At least it was all fun and games, until "scary" Uncle Brian was on the other side of the tree! 

Nice one, Bri! 

(Speaking of my brother Brian and his family, can you please offer a prayer for a safe delivery and healthy baby? My newest niece is due on the 23rd and could be arriving anytime!) 

While all the big kids were eating, Bud and I took advantage of the calm water in the pool!

We headed back home by 6pm since we had invited a friend over for dinner and a rematch of Ticket to Ride, following some "Hockey!"

And Rose was just as cute as ever...

All the children were given little straw hats from the local building supply store during the parade the weekend before. She wrapped the chin strap over her hat to pull up the sides and turn it into cowboy hat. She had dressed herself for the 4th in her red cowgirl boots, jean skirt, hello kitty shirt, and hat!

After hockey we grilled Tilapia Burgers to go along with potato salad and veggies. I skipped the bun.

Other than purchasing Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries and Cherries along with some Vanilla Ice Cream, I hadn't planned any treats this year. After we got home from swimming I decided to pop a couple gluten-free desserts (Vanilla Cake and Chocolate Brownies) in the oven to go along with the fruit and ice cream.  It was the first time I had tried the Gluten-Free Brownie Recipe on the back of the flour blend… It totally stuck to the non-stick pan.

I didn't have time to try and make another, so we pieced it together, covered it with frosting and berries. (From a distance) You could hardly tell and it still tasted delicious. 

After dinner our oldest two boys set up Ticket to Ride to play with Marc, Sean and I.  It is always such a fun game to play.  You can see my green trains running from San Francisco all along the bottom of the US, then up and down the east coast.  Green won! ;) 

While we were playing Ticket to Ride we heard what we thought was someone shooting a gun, until we went outside to check.  One of our crazy neighbors was setting off fireworks!

It had me worried all night (especially considering we are surrounded by trees and fire danger is high right now!) but the kids loved seeing them through the trees.


  1. Gosh, your big girls look SO big lately. Just beautiful girls. I love the red cowboy boots, are those from gymboree? I was eyeballing those,lol.

    2014-07-12 21:47:32

    1. I know! They have been growing so fast. The red cowboy boots are from Gymboree, but I purchased them last year. I bought them big so they still fit this year, though probably not for long! :)

      2014-07-12 22:08:07

  2. We love Ticket to Ride! Its one of our favorite games! :)

    2014-07-13 01:24:50

    1. It's a favorite here too! Such a fun game!

      2014-07-13 01:32:13

  3. JMJ Looks like a lovely day! I've played Ticket to Ride and have enjoyed it very much. Didn't think the little ones (who are really not so little any more: 11, 9 , 8) would like it. Might have to consider buying one! Take care!

    2014-07-13 01:52:19

    1. It's too hard for our 7 year old, and the 9 & 10 year olds sometimes need a little help (or to team up with either Sean or I) but our 12 and 13 year olds LOVE Ticket to Ride.

      2014-07-13 02:46:25

  4. What fun!! We have some crazy neighbors who I think must spend a thousand dollars every year on fireworks. We never buy them anymore because they never compare. The bad thing is they set them off at all hours!

    2014-07-13 02:40:26

    1. I was so surprised when I saw the fireworks. Then I started wondering if they do them every year and we just never knew since we haven't been home on the 4th since those neighbors thought their house. I'll have to ask one of the other neighbors if I remember. :)

      2014-07-13 02:47:53

  5. Uh… you tell scary Uncle Brian that for scaring my godson, he just went on my list! And it's not the "Nice" list.

    2014-07-13 02:48:12

    1. He's still on my list for jumping out of my little brother's car trunk in a gorilla mask, after they took me out there to show me "something they got for the kids" last Christmas Eve, while another brother recorded my scream. . .

      2014-07-13 22:22:17

  6. You had an action-packed day! In our neighborhood, my husband is the crazy neighbor. Everyone else gets a free show. We do it pretty early though -- before the city's fireworks.

    2014-07-13 13:51:05

    1. We really were excited to see the fireworks - especially since the only "local" public fireworks are at the fairgrounds north and south of us, and quite a drive. I'm just really thankful that we didn't have any fires start. Everything is SO dry this year and the fire danger out here is very high. . . I'd feel much safer seeing those types of fireworks in town!

      So, is it legal where you live to have your own fireworks? The maximum allowed here is like 12" or something tiny like that. The big fireworks are illegal for the public, without special permits, with a large fine, possible jail time, and the bill for fire suppression if you start one. (My Dad actually had a fellow contractor get a multi million dollar bill in his mailbox after accidentally starting a fire while welding during the summer!)

      2014-07-13 21:42:51

    2. Technically the fireworks he buys are not legal to set off in our state. But they sell them all over the state, so we are certainly not the only ones setting them off. I'm not sure why it's legal to sell them but not set them off. We don't buy any of the big artillery shells that make huge booms. We have little ones next door and we try to keep it more quiet. We also do it early in the night. This year, however, the little ones watched their first fireworks right in their own driveway. We (my husband and sons) set them off in the paved street so there is little risk of fire and it's been so wet here, there is nothing dry to catch. I always worry about the police showing up, however, and someone getting burned, so I pray. ;-)

      2014-07-14 02:03:43

    3. That sounds like a lot of fun. I'm sure my kiddos would love to be the kids next door!

      2014-07-14 16:08:03

  7. We used to have the "crazy neighbor" fireworks, too, at our old house and it went on and on and on late and it was BIG! Now, our new house has an awesome view of a neighboring town's fireworks!!! Bad uncle Brian... :) Bud's shoes are "the bomb"!!!! I love those kins of sandals on little kids!

    2014-07-13 19:09:11

    1. Those were actually handed down from our oldest son! Four boys have worn them and they are still in excellent condition. I have always loved Salt Water Sandals! My siblings and I had them when we were kids too! :) And I just heard that Brian and Meagan are at the hospital!!! My newest niece might be arriving today!

      2014-07-13 21:45:16

    2. OH, SO EXCITED!!!!! I hope she has a safe delivery and healthy baby!!! Do keep up posted, please!!!!

      2014-07-14 00:32:01

    3. She arrived last night, July 13th! 7 lbs 10 oz, with 10 fingers and 10 toes. Thank you God for a healthy baby and safe delivery!

      2014-07-14 16:10:22

    4. I was 7lbs. 9oz! So, close!!! :) How WONDERFUL that baby is healthy and they have a new little baby to love!!!!! I am so happy for them!!! I am betting your niece is soooo excited to be a big sister to the new baby and what a joy it will be for them both to have one another!!! Are you sending over meals to them???????????? :) I hope your SIL agreed to you helping out (but I bet now that the bay has come, she will REALLY want the help!) ;) SO very sorry to hear about the 2 yr old child that died! How very tragic!!! Hail Mary, full of grace...

      2014-07-14 16:48:52


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