Monday, July 6, 2009


Happy 4th of July to everyone!

Date the Declaration of Independence was approved: July 4, 1776 (although legal separation from England happened on July 2nd).

233 years later families all over our nation are still celebrating this holiday... I love history - it's always been fascinating for me. And I feel so blessed to live in this country. I remain optimistic that our country will pull through all of our current challenges. Americans always have found a way through tough times. God bless the men and women who keep us safe - and our ideals in tact.

Usually we quietly celebrate Independence day at home with our immediate family - sitting by the pool, cooking a few hot dogs, etc. For whatever reason, we decided that it was really important this year to get out of the house. Whether it's the war, the economy, tension across the world, or the wave of deaths in Hollywood - we just felt like honoring the flag this year.

We started out our weekend with a b-day party. My friend Merideth, who I think might be the oldest friend I still talk to - well her twin boys turned 5. It was right after I saw her boys for the first time that we became pregnant with twins. Something in the water I guess. We celebrated her boy's birthday at good ole Chuck E. Cheese. It's kind of like Vegas for toddlers. What happens at Chuck E. Cheese, stays at Chuck E. Cheese.

Jayson, Austin, and Justin being silly for the camera.

Austin with the "big cheese" himself. Emily knew he was a mouse, Abby thought he was a big rat.

Saturday morning we headed to Round Top, TX (population of 77 according to the sign) - home of the oldest 4th of July parade west of the Mississippi. This was their 158th annual parade and it was really cool. There were a lot of floats, classic cars, civil servants and local business people that participated in the parade - and most of the people were throwing loads of candy to all the kids. It was really funny - the excited kids looked like pigeons going after feed. After every toss, you'd see a cluster of kids - ours included.

We didn't bring any bags, so our kids filled up our "chair bags" with their booty.

Abby got lots of candy, but she was really interested in acquiring more bling.

Looking for diamonds, or maybe just making sure no sugar has disappeared.

By the way, our drought continues - and it was almost 100 degrees when the parade ended, and we were definitely feeling it!

"But there's still a few pieces of candy in the road. What do you mean we need to stay on the grass?"

On the way home we stopped and picked up some home grown tomatoes, watermelon, and cantaloupe. There is nothing I enjoy better than fresh tomatoes... I eat them just like apples. Yum! We actually made BLTs for breakfast this morning!

Later in the afternoon we went over to my friend Cathy's house and enjoyed some good BBQ with some good company. We then headed to a local church that had a huge firework display, including FREE hot dogs, snow cones, ice cream, popcorn, etc. Props to their church - they really put on a fantastic show! Good times! (By the way, Emily is absent in the picture below - she was having a slight diva moment. Nothing a snow cone couldn't fix.)

Austin and Nathan getting ready for the big show.

Emily is always riding on her daddy's shoulders

and telling "secrets" to us.

Waiting for the show to begin

and waiting for the show to end.

God bless America!