We spent the fourth of July in Idaho – something that has become a tradition over the past five years. It beats the heat of summer in Arizona. Last summer we were up in Rexburg for our family reunion the same exact week and we had lofty goals of going to the Melaleuca firework show in Idaho Falls. As it drew closer, we all agreed we didn’t want to fight the crowds and try to find parking – so we changed plans.
This year the Melaleuca firework show went back on our schedule and I kept expecting it to get knocked off the list like the previous year. But this year the idea stuck and we found ourselves driving down to Idaho Falls at 5pm to find a place to watch the fireworks. This Freedom Festival is quite the production and we were surprised at all they had to offer as people waited for the big show. The inflatables area was entertaining. It’s fun to watch a large log knock your child off a pedestal or get knocked off a bull. We watched it time and time again and it never failed to make me laugh.
My brother was drawn to the Archery contests and we enjoyed watching him win. He won more than once – he could’ve stayed there all night and cashed in. I guess it’s a skill set not held by many!
As they sun started to fade on the horizon, we ate our picnic dinner and celebrated my nieces birthday with cake. The kids played football, corn hole and card games while the other’s played spike ball.
Evidently, the kids didn’t get enough sparklers the night before and we used the dusk hour to light up the night. I’m now beginning to wonder if there’s ever enough sparklers. I think not. Luckily we had the longer sparklers this night – less lighting more sparkling.
The Melaleuca fireworks show was…amazing, just as everyone told us it would be. By this point it was 10 o’clock, Briggs had fallen asleep in the stroller and was sporting noise cancelling headphones. And I sat with a permanent grin on my face. So many fireworks. So many booms. It was just as I had hoped. The 31 minutes went by way too fast. I could’ve sat for another hour enjoying that moment. But it ended with the largest bang. And as expected there was the biggest rush to the parking lot. We looked at each other and realized we were going to be sitting in a parking lot for a while, or we could sit where we were just a little longer. So we sat. The kids watched movies, we played night games (with glow in the dark balls and glow in the dark necklaces) and waited for the crowd to clear. The kids were rockstars. Over two hours after the show ended we finally got in our cars and made it home after 1am. Even with my 5 young children, who refuse to sleep-in regardless of what time they go to bed…it was totally worth it.
The boy scouts place a flag in our yard 11 times a year – most the people in our neighborhood pay for the service which means we get to enjoy the view of flags waving in the breeze. I love it. My kids love it.
This morning Hallie was asking about the fourth of July and why we celebrate – so we had a nice history lesson. We learned about the star spangled banner and how it came to be. Google helped fill in the details that have somehow escaped my memory since my high school US history class. It was good to have a little refresher.
We live in a great country and we had a great day celebrating our freedom. Happy Independence Day.
We were in Idaho over the 4th of July celebrating our country with my family (second year in a row). We spent the afternoon in the park with at my parents ward gathering. It was all-american. Fried chicken. Watermelon. Snow Cones. Cotton Candy. Dunk tank. Face painting. And a whole lot of red, white and blue.
My mom got ready that morning and walked out of her room in an orange shirt. Hallie insisted she be more patriotic and even went as far as to go to her closet to pick something out. She was relentless and finally wore her down which led my mom to change to a red/white sweater. The power of persuasion.
Hunter waited patiently at the face painting station – far longer than it was worth. He asked Steve what was a football team that had red, white and blue in their logo – he ended up with the Patriots without knowing the team whatsoever, he was just happy to be patriotic!
I’m pretty sure Bennett giggled the whole time they painted the fireworks on his face. Hallie and Bennett were face painting twinsies with their matching fireworks.
Every time we turned around this kid had more food in his mouth. He was in heaven.
Cannon got too close to Hunter’s cotton candy with his wet sucker. After getting sufficiently frustrated trying to get it off he stuck the whole thing in his mouth.
The potato sack races might have been my favorite to watch. They got laughing so hard it was hard to jump.
Pure bliss on that girl’s face.
That evening we met up with two of my brother’s families at the park. The kids rode scooters and we played frisbee and spike ball until the sun started to set and we made our way to a firework show.
Armed with glow-in-the-dark necklaces, sparklers and licorice we watched a great show where fireworks went off just in front of us and the boom of the firework vibrated in our bodies (my favorite part).
We got home late and the kids were filthy from being outside all day and had maxed out on their sugar intake – which by most accounts made for a pretty successful Fourth of July.
However, it was painful to have to wake them up the next morning for early church.
I love a day to celebrate the fathers in my life. I live too far away to give my dad a big fat hug – but a Skype call is second best. He’s amazing and he comes and helps me with my building projects which has strengthened my relationship with him more than anything else. I enjoy learning from him and take advantage of our time together.
My father-in-law lives close and I was able to give him a big fat hug. He’s loving and generous in more ways than one.
And then there’s Steve. He is a great dad. I don’t talk much about him on this blog because he doesn’t particularly like me complimenting him so publicly – but he goes above and beyond. The minute he gets home from work, he’s with us – he’s present.
He has made it clear that his family is his hobby. That’s how he chooses to spend his time. And I emphasize choose because it’s a deliberate choice he makes. We’ve had some stressful periods with school, work and church and yet those kids know that when dad walks in the door he’s there to wrestle, swim, bike and play games with them until he helps tuck them into bed at night. He is actively fathering.
They adore him. And he adores them.
And he is everything to me.
The kids showered him with homemade treasures. I showed him how much I loved him by giving him noise canceling headphones with the agreement he can’t put them on when I’m trying to talk with him!
Happy Father’s day.
Here’s my latest post at HowDoesShe.com – it’s not too late to make some 4th of July decorations!
One of the easiest decorations that is in my holiday arsenal is the pennant banner. I use them for holidays, birthday parties, wedding and baby showers and more – I’ve got a lot sitting in my closet. And I think I’ve used just about every material to make them: Wood, paper and fabric. Wood is heavy and hard to hang. Paper is the easiest – but buying cute scrapbooking paper isn’t always cheap. Fabric is my favorite because of the durability – but its also the most time consuming because you have to finish edges (unless you’re going with burlap and frayed edges is expected.)
But here’s my secret weapon- use oilcloth fabric and you don’t have to finish the edges and they don’t fray. You get the best of both worlds. Here’s a decoration you can hammer out in 20 mins.
Buy some festive oilcloth – think washable tablecloth material. I’ve seen some fabric stores with great selection but it’s hit or miss. I usually buy oil-cloth online – even then selection is not near what it is for fabric.
Easy Pennant Banner Tutorial
Cut strips of fabric (mine were 6″) and then cut out the shapes of your choice. Triangles are always a safe route. Squares are fun. Sometimes I mix it up like I did for this patriotic banner and mix shapes.
The next secret weapon to make this project a breeze: extra wide double fold bias tape. It’s double fold which means all the edges are finished.
I like to lay the tape out and line them all up so I can adjust what needs to be adjusted. Then slip your fabric in the tape and sew from one edge of the tape to the other. I’ve done enough of these that I usually pin the first flag and eyeball the rest.
You’re done. I wasn’t kidding about this being a 20 min project. 15 minutes of cutting. 5 minutes of sewing. It took me longer to get a step stool and hang it than it did to make it.
Easy Pennant Banner TutorialI had some scraps and made a miniature pennant for our chalkboard. I didn’t have extra bias tape so I ran the sewing machine from one piece of fabric to the other with a half inch gap and it worked great.