HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
I hope it was a wonderful day for everyone.
Here in Alaska we celebrated much like usual. The regular gang came out for the big celebration. Grandpa brought Amber and AJ, the Holmes family of 5 were there and The Norwood's came out with 3 of their 4. (Barry cheated and slept in.) Lastly, throw in Calvin, AJ's friend who has been one of the gang for many years now as well.
The parade was set to begin at 11:00 so we arrived at 10:00. You know, it can get rather crowded around here and it's tradition to sit right in front of the IGA. (They have the cleanest & closest restrooms.) Besides securing our favorite parade-watching spot, arriving early also gives plenty of time to purchase donuts, walk nearby to get a coffee and visit with friends up and down the street. In fact, one old friend I happened upon yesterday just returned from Florida and a visit to the Magic Kingdom. He was trying to make me jealous of the 93 degree weather he experienced (endured!) but I didn't buy it. The weather has been pretty awesome here.
We all wore our very best 4th of July attire and made quite a display of red, white and blue bling.
Grandpa was feeling much better ( He has been quite ill); it was wonderful to see him back in prankster mode. Cori, Cassi and Cali were glad to be able to hang all over him once more!
Cali was a joy this year. She thoroughly enjoyed waving at everyone that passed by.
The older kids love waiting for the candy. I never let them eat it all and usually give most of it away but I guess it's the thrill of getting it that still makes it so fun!
As for me, the parade is a great way to enjoy the wonderment and excitement of childhood. I love that my children still have the opportunity to be young and carefree. And the ones who aren't so young, well they still humor me and isn't that great too?
After the parade we headed over to the park strip for some more community meet and greet. And for some great junk food. The kids played in the trees while we lazed around a bit.
Once we grew tired of being lazy...well some of us never do...we left to head for Grandpa house for some BBQ. Unfortunately Scott had to work for a little while so he didn't go with us. The kids and I had lots of fun though. The Norwood's came out to share in the remainder of the day with us and we were finally able to connect with GiGi who worked the early part of the day.
After filling our guts we took to our new favorite past time at Grandpa's house. Super jumping everyone on the trampoline. The younger kids love it and the big kids get some real air. I love trying to catch awesome photos of them doing it!
Here are a few.
Here is GiGi. Isn't the photo a hoot! I haven't seen her allow the kids to do this to her before. My kids thought it was the best!
Cassi has become quite good at maneuvering herself for good photos and for coming upright while looking cool too!
I am certain this photo will find it's way to the senior slide show in a couple of years. And AJ's children will one day love this picture too!
I don't know how Calvin managed it but it looked like he levitated right off the trampoline. We made him sit up after that in order to get good shots but this one seemed to cool not to share.
The big guys love to try and throw Amber BIG so she is very cautious but in case you couldn't tell, she loves it!!!
We did manage to get everyone still for a split second for a shot of the gang! It is amazing what wonderful and fantastic kids they have all become. One day soon I will post an old shot so you can see the changes in them. It is an amazing and beautiful thing. I am incredibly proud of each one of them.
God Bless the USA and each one of you.