Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Independence Revisited

In the midst of planning for VBS and a speaking engagement for my business, I let the 4th of July slip by without posting on it. I think Independence Day is my favorite holiday of the whole year because it's fairly inexpensive, we're not bogged down with gift-giving and figuring out where we're going to fit all of the new stuff, it's usually pretty nice out, I love the colors and all things Americana, and I'm proud to live in a country that was founded on certain values and opportunities. (Notice I said "founded on"; some days I am not sure if we haven't strayed from those values a bit...) Oh, and Mark proposed to me on the 4th of July fifteen years ago! Very cool memories.

We celebrated the 4th with Mark's side of the family, traveling over to the Darlington/Shullsburg countryside to visit at his sister's new home. It's a beautifully renovated farmhouse with a grand view of the gentle hills of southwest Wisconsin. Corn fields, pastures, and red barns. Scenery that we take for granted. The kids enjoyed playing with their cats next to the cornfield.

A 4th of July picnic is not complete without at least one red, white, and blue food. I made my first attempt at fruit pizza this year. I was so proud of myself!

We got to see our little niece Mady Boots. (It's actually Madyson Ruth, but Great-Grandma Ruth was called Boots long before any of us can remember.) Isn't she adorable?

Ally talks her dad into catching her pitches at every family get-together. She is practicing her softball pitch. ALL. THE. TIME. I tell you, the kid's got an arm on her.

Here's a rare shot of her batting. She loves to hit the ball hard, but usually she prefers to play catch or pitch. Definitely takes after her dad and her godmother Aunt Marla in this area. Growing up, my sister Julie and I would irritate Marla because she would beg us to play ball with her. We would both hit off her pitches in a game of 500, but then when it was Marla's turn to bat, we would be too tired/bored to play anymore and abandon her! Poor thing. I just had no desire to play softball very much. I have a black eye story to prove it. But AllyGirl...well, she just never stops playing sports. She's amazing. Uncle Ryan calls her a "freak" -- in a good way.

Wynne and her cousin Trevin (a year older than her) spent some time reading and drawing in the upstairs hallway. How cool is this "reading nook" area? Give me a sunlight, soft carpeting, and a cozy space and I'll read anyday. Or sleep.

Did you catch Wynne's Oreo mustache-beard? She inhaled those things. We don't have Oreos at our house, so she was all over them!

Gotta have the sparklers. The magic of Independence Day is that for one day a year, we let kids independently play with fire. I'm sure that's what our founding fathers were hoping for in 1776, right?

Uncle Glenn bought some major home fireworks for our own personal light show. And I mean MAJOR. They were really big and quite impressive! Let me just sum it up by saying that every family has at least one family member who has a bit of a crazy, reckless side to them, someone who will risk life and limb (and many times, significant dollars) to provide quality entertainment for the whole family. On my side, it's my brother Brian. On Mark's side, it's Glenn.

During the fireworks, he kept saying, "Keep an eye out for the cops!" Nuff said.

The next evening, my husband had his own daredevil scene when we were trying to find the "perfect" spot for our new barn star. Back up the story: We went out for our anniversary and saw this gigantic barn star in a Galena shop. Well, it wasn't this exact star. The first one we saw didn't have a circle around it. We didn't buy anything the night of our "date", but we thought about it, researched (ebay price checked) it and decided to get one as an anniversary gift to ourselves. We found a much cheaper one (even though it has a circle, I can live with that)on the morning of the 4th at Red's Auction House. Mark's favorite gift shop now! (Not that he had a favorite before; okay it was probably Hobby Lobby, but overall Mark is not a "gift shop" kind of guy.) Anyway, we bought this ginormous barn star and put it up in a big blank space on the back of our house, overlooking the patio. I wanted it up near the top of the roof (What do you call that part where the two roofs join, the top of the triangle? I'm illiterate), but that was about 10 feet higher than Mark's comfort zone. Since I am not physically able to hoist a large tin star and drill it into the siding 20 feet above a stone patio, I agreed that the spot above the patio doors was perfect. Looks great, honey!

Because you see, kids, Independence Day is really all about freedom. The freedom to choose life!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.--Galatians 5:1


Blogger Astrid said...

Looks like you had a fun 4th! Love Wynne's oreo mustache. We don't keep them around either...I'm sure the girls (okay all of us) would inhale them too!

Love that barn star! Can't wait to see it in person.

July 14, 2009 at 7:32 AM  

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