Saturday, July 6, 2013

Our Fourth

The Fourth was grand around here. As predicted, we had plenty of food for 25 people. I love to cook (I love to eat out too though), and had prepared a few dishes. My avocado salad/salsa was a huge hit. I did not expect everyone to clean out the bowl! My roast potatoes were gone, too, but my normal baked taters were left for me to make hash browns the next day. Some years people like gourmet, and some years they like simple. I had wanted to concoct a blueberry and raspberry crisp, but my husband convinced me I should only do blueberry. I did, and it was eaten right up, alongside someone else's fruit pizza, patriotic cookies and raspberry pie. I chuckle, because Mike ended up NOT liking my blueberry crisp.  I can't help but think adding raspberries to the crisp would have made it tarter and more yummy to his palate. 

I didn't get to play volleyball, I was too busy helping my sis in love in the kitchen. They had just arrived back from a river rafting trip in Oregon and came pack to host the Fourth. Needless to say, she had to be a roll the entire time. 

With tummies full, we pounded out a few patriotic tunes, prepared with sheet music and sound track by my husband's uncle. Grand fun.

We set off our fireworks along the road. Our church's youth group has a big fireworks stand every year, so we purchased from them. The ladybugs were adorable! And as tradition would have it, the sparklers were a favorite for my oldest daughter. They are always everyone's favorite. It would not be a Fourth of July in Washington without a little sprinkle, so right in the middle of things, it did just that. Just enough to cool everyone off, clear the air. Then it stopped and we continued with our light shows. There are a couple of gorgeous fireworks displays near the Lake Tapps area and from their home, we could see them clearly. Wonderful to wrap up in blanket and watch them from the comfort of their yard. 

We clambered back in the house to watch some Carol Burnett episodes. Very hilarious. What a funny, brilliant woman. Never is a complete night without erupting laughter.

Our kids did pretty well staying up so late. Of course, Reese would not lay down to save her life, but Katie was able to get all cozy on the couch. On the way home, all three girls fell fast asleep, which is saying something because Brilla almost NEVER falls asleep in the car.

Our family continues to enjoy this four-day weekend. Yes, my husband actually has FOUR days off from work! We are relaxing, watching movies, playing at the park and just being together. 

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Freedom and Other Things I Take for Granted

Well, we have hit summer hard and I think I'm wearing us out. Almost every single day of summer vacation, we have been going somewhere, doing something! It has been a blast, but also goes to show how used to our school schedule we are...lots of lying low, nose in books. Yes, my girls like to play, but we have been REALLY been playing hard! Makes for great naps, and even better bed times. As an aside, this heat and activity has completely cleared up Brilla's cough. (It had held on for a couple months.)

We are proud owners of a trampoline and small pool now :) The girls have been wearing both of those out, as well as the sprinkler and slip n slide. All this water usage has served double purpose since its watering my flowers too. No having to sneak outside and do special watering.

I hope this weather doesn't disappear. I've been loving it. W don't have air conditioning but I don't mind. We just go somewhere that does, then come home for naps. If I blow in cold air during the morning, keep the windows and doors shut when the sun comes out, and close the curtains, it stays fairly cool.

Tonight I made some yummy salmon cakes. That is what happens when your salmon comes out too dry the night before. Paired with cool sauce, it makes for a great low-key dinner.

We can't wait for the Fourth of July celebration around here. Very excited for berry cobbler, roasted potatoes, avocado salsa, and other food goodness. Also happy for volleyball, water games, and gorgeous sunsets. I think often we take family for granted. We are fortunate to have both sides of the family nearby and in good relationships. What fun we have, what awesome memories can be made.
I do miss my brothers and wish they could be joining us. Some day, maybe they'll stay in Washington, who knows,

Most times, I am totally okay with my brothers being across the country. But during holidays or here and there when I least expect it, my heart wanders and I miss them. Kind of go down memory lane and think about the days we were all together and thinking it would forever be that way. I miss the girls not seeing their uncles. Thank goodness for Skype, Facebook and phone calls, but nothing can really replace real life. Time happens though. And God has perfect plans for each of us and they don't all have to occur in the Pacific Northwest. He is continuously working all things for the good of those who love Him. I need to trust in that.

Happy Independence Day!!! This is right up there with Christmas and Thanksgiving for me. The birth of our country, the beginning of freedom for America. So many fought hard to make it so. Poured out their lives. I am humbled by the sacrifice of our forefathers and presidents. Hoping to read the kids some stories tomorrow about it.

Celebrate freedom!