Happy Fourth of July! We had quite an eventful day today, getting things ready and heading over to Nana and Ye-Ye's house for a meal and a lot of outdoor fun.
You can see here that Madison was loving every moment of it. This was probably the highlight of the afternoon for her, a game where we'd try to toss water balloons from towels, and then catch them without dropping them.
The teams were actually pretty good at it, so the water balloon started getting ridiculously high in the air, at one point hitting the telephone lines above, splattering up there and sending down water on us!
This seemed like such a simple idea, but for some reason it just went on and on, and everyone was enjoying it, especially Madison, who found it hard to compose herself because she was laughing so hard.
But then again, so was everyone else. You can see we were all dressed in our patriotic shirts. Nana and Ye-Ye wore these particular shirts to the Olympics in '96. That's how long these shirts have been around - we always joke about the matching patriotic flag shirts. Daddy has his own shirt too:
Aunt Shain didn't have a patriotic shirt. She did have a red one, and what was on it was funny - it was a Katamari joke, a Stormtrooper pushing around a big Death Star ball. Madison got the joke right away. Here's Aunt Shain in the front yard, probably laughing at this towel game again!
We did other things too, of course. We started the afternoon with croquet, and the weather was really hot. But a storm came around, and wow, it really came down out there. We had to go rescue Nana, who was right in the middle of walking the dogs somewhere a ways away. And when we got back, we were already pretty wet, so some of us were sitting there finishing the croquet game in the rain.
In between all this was lunch/dinner - and delicious desserts. Mommy had made some great angel food cake, and there was the patriotic jello that she and Madison made yesterday. Also there was a birthday cake for Hannah, who just had a birthday on Sunday.
The rain cooled everything off outside, and although there was a slight drizzle at the start, the rules are clear: we must have a big squirt gun fight with water balloons. Madison was ready for battle!
She wasn't posing for the camera here. This is her game face! She had such a great time out there, squirting everyone, and even dumping buckets of water on people from time to time. She loves squirt gun fights so much - always has.
But who doesn't? Here's David Austen, taking cover by our car, just before getting pretty soaked. Everyone was ganging up on him, including Daddy.
But David Austen was ready to strike back. And that's the way squirt gun fights go: everyone is a winner, because everyone usually gets soaked!
It was a fun time there this afternoon. I think we stayed until about 6:30 or so. It's been a great tradition to go over to their house on the Fourth of July. The food is great, and the so is the company. And yeah, when it gets hot, it's fun to cool off with a big squirt gun fight.
We got home, and the volume increased on the rockets going off in the neighborhood. Some of these things sound professional!
Here's Madison with a sparkler and an American flag. We were invited across the street last night, because a neighbor had a small arsenal of fireworks to shoot off in the street. Madison was excited to go, and so were we. Here's the kids, holding just a few of the items set to launch.
They had such a great night. Seriously, it all started out with the sparklers, and there were plenty of those to go around. The kids were running around the front yard, waving those sparklers around, screaming as they went.
We've been doing the sparklers every year, as they always make interesting pictures. We love this one above. There's usually the sparkler picture where we keep the lens open for a while and make all kinds of shapes and so forth. Here's Madison waving around a sparkler, maybe spelling out her name.
This year there wasn't as much time for that, because soon it was time to launch the big fireworks.
This was just on our small street. The neighborhood was exploding with colorful fireworks, big booms and crackles filling the air. The kids just loved seeing the show, looking up at all the amazing pyrotechnics.
These were some big fireworks. And many of them were huge, right over our heads!
How nice to not have to go driving out some place, dealing with traffic and possible inebriated drivers and police checks and all the things you might have to deal with on this sort of holiday. No, we just went across the street, and watched our neighbor launch off one incredible firework after another. Here's Madison and the little boy across the street watching a ladybug get launched skyward. This was a loud one!
What a blessing today was. This is somewhat of a tradition, to go see fireworks, and we got to finish the day strong. Like I said, all over the neighborhood, there were incredible fireworks displays shooting upwards - we were completely surrounded!
In the end, the kids just had a great time. Mommy had brought out snacks, and the adults sat around talking as one firework was launched after another.
He wasn't an expert on fireworks. The kids actually picked the ones they liked, based on pictures on the front of each package. One package actually had President Trump on the cover, so the little boy thought that one would be yuge. And it actually was.
So apparently that's all there is to fireworks. Just look for the nice pictures, and be prepared to spend some money. Our neighbor has a relative that gets it all at cost, so we had more bang for the buck, so to speak. But it was still all his investment for the street, and a wonderful gesture on his part. The families there enjoyed it a lot!
As did Madison especially. We got home and went straight to bed. She was talking all the way, so excited about the fun day she had. It was a fun day.
We finished reading the Rocket and Groot book already, mainly because we were so close to finishing it, we read more than usual tonight, but that ending was so close by so we just went ahead and got to the end. It's a fun read!
And we read from the devotional too, and prayed once more. We prayed for our country, and thanked God for this great nation of ours. Happy Fourth of July!