Thursday, July 17, 2014

My 4 on the 4th. Errr....7th.

Once upon a time there was a mom named Jamie and she liked to take pictures.  It just so happened that she had four kids that she liked to practice on.  One day, she had an idea for her "4 on the 4th" to go along with the 4th of July.  She would use her newly painted chairs and the banner from her kitchen to make a backdrop on the white fence and have all her kiddos wear red, white and blue.

This, Jamie quickly learned, was all good in theory, but reality was a different story...

So, after sweating through her attempt at getting any cute photos of her kids, Jamie called it quits.  She then downloaded the pictures and realized there weren't many good ones, but she did get a few.  Like these...


So, the moral of the story is that even though these photos are far from perfect, they made Jamie smile, laugh and shake her head at all the antics.  Someday, when looking back on these, she will truly be able to see how her kids were at this stage in their lives.  And that was just fine with her.  THE END. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

4th of July Weekend!

On Thursday afternoon we headed to Cherokee to spend the long 4th of July weekend with my sister, brother, mom and families.  It was a fairly uneventful trip on the way up, minus some road side stops.  The joy of having boys!  Or a mom that can pop-a-squat about anywhere. ;)

Thursday night was pretty relaxed.  We ordered pizza, had a crazy dodge ball fight in the basement, which somebody declared the worst idea ever and Justin said it was, "the best idea ever!"  It was crazy with balls flying everywhere, but hilarious and nobody got hurt, so always a good thing.
Friday we got the troops out the door and headed to Storm Lake for their parade.  If you grow up in Armstrong, Iowa, you HAVE to go to a parade on the 4th of July.  It just feels incredibly wrong if you don't.  It's my favorite of all 4th of July traditions.  A nice lady sitting next to us offered to take this group photo. 
Team sparkle: Aunt Mandy and Jenna
There were so many people at the parade!  We had a hard time snagging a good spot.  The boys waited pretty (im)patiently.  On a sidenote:  if anyone would like to purchase Mandy or myself any of those old, beautiful houses by the lake, we'd take you up on that. ;)  We had so much fun walking through the houses and picking out our faves. 

Mr. McCoy, proudly waving his flag during the parade. 
On our way out of town we had to stop at Walgreens for some Blake supplies.  Aaron spotted a kid selling sweet corn.  The conversation went like this:
Aaron:  Is that sweet corn for sale over there?
Me: looks like it.
Aaron:  We have to go buy some.  It is un-American to not buy sweet corn on the 4th of July if sweet corn is available.  
Me: Ok, then. :)
The guys (Aaron, Justin, Mitch) went to Quimby for some golfing on Thursday afternoon while we held down the fort with the kids.  Brody on the slip 'n slide.
Maddox liked it too.  That face...haha.
 We were outside pretty much the whole entire weekend.  Jess and Mitch have this rope in their tree and Mitch was doing flips.
Then Justin gave it a try.  Jess, Mandy and I all did too.  Although we couldn't do it.  UGH.  I will spare you the pictures of that!!
How about this kid?  Blakers has had his abdominal muscles cut through about 152 times and look at him working the abs!  Amazing. 
Fireworks to end the 4th...
 Saturday it was the girls' turn (Mandy, Jess, Jenna and me) to have a little time to themselves.  We hit up Cherokee's Main Street for some shopping and breakfast.  Have you ever been to Main Street in Cherokee?  They have some super cute shops!  We had to stop at a bakery.  I love that smell of a bakery, there's just nothing like it!
After lunch, it was time to hit up the Cherokee Aquatic Center.  I didn't bring my good camera and am totally kicking myself about it.  I took a couple photos with my phone.
Bowen is an absolute fish and loves the water!  Jenna conquered her fears of going down the big slide. did her mom, along with going off the high dive (10 feet, but STILL).  I'm not sure who had more fun...the kids or the adults?!

Mitch smoked some pork tenderloin for supper in his smoker that was amazing!!!  Seriously, the best I've ever had.  We ate our sweet corn too.  Soooo...yummy.

If you know our family, you know we love our music. music.  We were listening to Classic Country on Pandora.  Waylon Jennings.  Willy Nelson.  Conway Twitty.  The best.  Justin and I said it reminded us of being in Grandma and Grandpa Beadle's kitchen back-in-the day.  Grandma and Carter dancing.
And...Justin and Mitch.  We don't ask... ;)
Group photo time:
And, a goofy one because why not?!
We opted to hold off on the sparklers on the 4th because it was so late, so we did them on Saturday night.

We wanted to do a cool photo where you spell words out.  I looked up how to set your camera, Aaron read through it and figured it out.  Here's what we got:
How cool are these?!
Every night ended up with us by the fire pit.  We played the game heads-up (from the Ellen Show).  Look it up.  It's a blast!
Saying our good-byes on Sunday.
It was such a good weekend full of lots of fUn and FaMiLy!!  We can't remember the last time all three of us kids stayed under the same roof and got to see each other for longer than about 36 hours.  It was awesome. :)