08 July 2009

Independence Day

A few highlights of our Independence Day activities...

Cousin camp was held at the Freedom Festival this last week. The kids activities were fantastic, and best of all... FREE! If you didn't get a chance to go, I definitely recommend it for next year.

There were BIG blow up toys, dancers, jugglers, arts and crafts, and Jack's favorite... the reptile show.

This guy had about 15 different reptiles for the children to see, touch, and hold, while delivering an awesome dialogue that had us all laughing. Yes, even the adults! I think Grant (9 years old) enjoyed the guy more than anyone as he was BURSTING out with laughter at the kid and adult jokes. His laugh is classic!

Notice Jack standing behind the other children. He was so excited he couldn't sit, and for a lot of the show was pacing back and forth mirroring the guy who was presenting. He couldn't take his eyes off of him, and spent a good part of the next 1-2 hours asking questions, holding the snake, and telling him everything he could remember from his reptile and spider books.

I thought this was a pretty good way to end the show. Who wouldn't like holding a GIANT snake?

Last week was also Jack's final week as a Kindergartner. He has LOVED his class and teacher this year, and made the transition from Bangkok so smoothly. It's been nice to have him be thrilled to go to school each day, and even a little upset on the days I had to pull him out for one thing or another. I got this picture of him with Mrs. Peterson on the day she asked him to bring his violin in to play one last time for the kids. She really is as sweet as she looks.

Jane and the girls loved getting their hair done at the Paul Mitchell booth... very fun.

The festivities downtown were fantastic. I was even tempted to go back the next night with Jeff so he could at least see the reptile show. Jack wouldn't have minded seeing it again, that's for sure.

Saturday morning, we got up early and enjoyed watching the balloons take off in Provo. I LOVE this event, and haven't been for years. I can't get past these vibrant colors... so gorgeous. Mimi was a good sport to carry Jane much farther than she probably should have!

Jack took this one while we were watching the balloon competition. Those blue skies and morning air just couldn't be beat.

We took a few pictures of our Patriotic little Alice. We're no photographers, but how bad can you do with such a cute subject?

Barbecue #1 at Mimi and Papa's along with a little pool time with the Rich cousins...

and barbecue #2, crafts and fireworks at the Hillmans. The 4th of July, along with Christmas Eve, is my favorite holiday. What could be better than relaxing with family, eating good food, remembering how blessed we are to be Americans, and letting kids be kids?

Alice is so lucky to have so many cousins to look after her!

Jane loved the fireworks, but they do get a little loud. This was my view as we did the first part of our fireworks. (Jane's sporting Ellie's fireworks hat)

One of the highlights of my day was watching Jane and Ellie on the seesaw. They don't always get along, but when they do, they sure have a great time, and Heidi and I can't stop smiling either!

It was a beautiful evening for an early fireworks show with the kids.

(Napa and Dipu, notice Jane's little puppy purse you gave her on the ground. She LOVES that dog and takes her everywhere! She misses you!)

I LOVE our country, and love celebrating it. Of course, there will always be something to complain about with our government, policies, and such. It's not perfect. But when it all comes down to it, our country is amazing and I can honestly say I've never felt so blessed to be an American!

I found some lovely pictures on my camera as we left the Rich family gathering. I thought I'd share so everyone can see how beautiful my family really is... enjoy.

I just can't decide which is my favorite... can YOU pick?


Andrew & Vanessa and kids said...

I Love it! How did you make the collage of 9 pictures? Can I stick this on my blog?
You made me laugh out loud!
We've sure had a fun summer so far, haven't we?

Joanna said...

I laughed out loud at these, too! Wish we could have gotten everyone in on it! We are so blessed to live close and enjoy these fun times together! Love you lots!