Fourth of July

 
Our day began slow and easy, just how I like them.  Breakfast for all, laughter, crafts at the craft table and then we loaded up the family vans for some lake side fun and ice cream in Excelsior of course.  Well, actually, Lake Ann had been first on the list but when we arrived seems there was much ado about nothing.  We trudged along to Excelsior and were not disappointed.  Food trucks, fishing contest, people everywhere, flags waving and happy kiddos.  What more could you ask for?  There was exploring and  people watching and some decisions to be made.  One that was easy though was a stop for Licks ice cream.  It was our family's first trip there and as you can see in the photo below we were satisfied customers. 
 
 Licks ice cream, yum!

Walking around the lake,
Thing 1 has a picture with this girls big sister in the very same outfit.

All my peeps

With a melt down not far away for the two littles we headed to the vans for a "car picnic".  We lunched and laughed and then the Horels sped away before chaos ensued.  Once back at the house Husband Jared and his girls headed off for an adventure to the Verizon store where a certain teenager (Thing 2) joined the ranks of cell phone user!  Thing 4 rode his bike and while the Horel family had nap time I readied the kitchen for the next meal.

Celebrating Uncle Jeff's birthday with strawberry shortcake cake, it's all about him!

 Once back at the house Husband Jared and his girls headed off for an adventure to the Verizon store where a certain teenager (Thing 2) joined the ranks of cell phone user!  Thing 4 rode his bike and while the Horel family had nap time I readied the kitchen for the next meal.  Once the families were rested and ready to face the afternoon we set up  the holey board and the grill and had some more fun.  There were kiddos all around and happy squeals from everyone.  With Uncle Jeff's birthday being so close to their visit we decided to surprise him with a cake and some singing after dinner.  After that it was wait and wait some more until fireworks time.  Oh, and Thing 1 had been invited to a friend's house so she spent her fourth of July away from the family for the first time.  Things are changing around here I tell ya! 


The Four Things and Polo, this makes my heart happy
 
A group decision was made to view fireworks from the bluffs near our home.  Littles were bathed and dressed in jammies and trying ever so diligently not to fall asleep before the festivities.  Our Things were ready for some sparkler fun.  I was placed in charge of photographer in order to capture some "artsy" photos according to Thing 2.  I tried.  Although when it was time for sparklers the ones I had purchased were nowhere to be found.  Seems I had placed them in a special spot so I wouldn't forget where they were when the time came.  And beings I had bought them over a week ago my brain could not remember where that was.  Oh well.  Our sweet friends came to the rescue and even joined us for some sparkly fun! 
 
Horel family with some sleepy girls
 
 
Creating with our sparklers, I think that is supposed to be a "W"

Thing 2, being all artsy, as she says

Autumn's sparkler
 
The view from the bluffs did not disappoint.  We had about ten firework shows to choose from and the one at Valley Fair seemed to go on and on.  It was beautiful and watching it with the Horels and our Things, well at least three of them, was the perfect ending to an already fantastic day. 
 
Not the best quality but one of the only ones I have from the actual fireworks display!

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