Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy birthday, USA!

How in the world we've gotten to July already is beyond me. I'm quite convinced that someone, somewhere has sped up time and is just playing one huge practical joke on us. How the 4th of July has already come and gone for this year astounds me.

For the 4th, we spent a leisurely morning at home and then tromped over the bridge to my brother and sister-in-law's house for a family BBQ. It was a wonderful way to spend our nation's birthday ... with family, friends, good food, and gorgeous weather. As we drove to their house, I was thrilled to see that my mountain was out for the day ... at least, it was until the clouds came in later on and hid it!

After we settled in, got the potato salad in the fridge, and said our hellos, the guys decided it was time to show the kids what the 4th of July was really about ... no, not our country's fight for freedom!! Things that go BOOM! (Or in our case: Things that go POP ... except for the duds, which just went "Fffttttt".)

Eric and Annika setting off a bottle rocket

Conor's turn to make noise (more than he usually does, at least)

Brothers + beer + bottle rocket = What could possibly go wrong there????

Ian taking his turn with the hit-and-miss fireworks

Troy showing us all how it is really done!
It doesn't get much better than these little faces!

Because I'm a wimp who abides by the rules, I picked up some non-illegal entertainment for the kids. I saw a package of those English party popper thingies and figured the kids were most likely not going to lose a limb or any fingers using them. And, HEY, I was right! There were a few duds, but for the most part, the kids had a great time making the little containers shoot confetti all over Troy and Staci's driveway. (Yes, Troy, we did clean it all up!)

Because fireworks and party poppers only last so long, eventually, we retreated to the backyard for general fun, relaxation, and holiday camaraderie. Ian, our nephew, pulled out their badminton set at some point (no net, just rackets and birdies) and became the star of the day. Our kids became instant badminton fans and many rounds of "how long until the kids' rackets make contact with the birdie" were under way. At one point, we even had an old tennis racket in the mix. We are one wild bunch! Oh yeah, baby!

While taking a breather from the badminton tournament, a few of us started talking about the BBC show called Mrs. Brown's Boys. Rod (Troy and Staci's neighbor) had seen the clips I was referring to, but Eric and Joanne (Rod's wife) hadn't, so Rod pulled out his phone and found the clips on YouTube. Rod was literally in tears as he watched Mrs. Brown... rightly so, it is a REALLY funny show!

Canadian friends + BBC .... that just screams out 4th of July to me! 

As we badmintoned our little hearts out, Troy got to work manning the grill. He made some delicious burgers while our other brother, Drew, set out grilling some planked salmon. Yum and yum!!

Many grilling men
I told Troy that this wasn't a home video and he didn't need to wave ...

so, he gave me this instead. Yeah... that would be my brother! :)
Thank you to everyone who made our July 4th holiday a fun-filled day. We were exhausted by the time we got home  and were fast asleep well before the major fireworks displays, but that is OK. It was a full day spent with loved ones. What more could we ask for??

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