Thursday, July 5, 2007

What a Happy Fourth!

We had a great 4th of July! It was also my brother Tim's 27th birthday. He let us carpool with him in his roomy Honda Accord, since the A/C broke in our Civic a few weeks ago. He also let us listen to a Disney CD and didn't get the least bit angry when melted crayon got all over his floor mat (it came off, hallelujah).

That's Timmy on the left. Not the far left.
That's Cath's dog, Cody.
mily is on the right.

We arrived mid-morning and were quickly put to work. The kids and I picking cherries, and the boys edging the lilac bushes that border the South side of the house. My parents have a cherry tree that is literally dripping with cherries. They are on there like bunches of grapes! We tried to pick as many as we could, but there were still huge bunches we just had to leave behind. Jane called them jellybeans. I don't really see the resemblance, do you?

Look at those beautiful cherries!

Yaks and cousin Owen couldn't get enough.

JB is a champ. He's always put to work when we visit. There is just always so much to do! He's started just bringing a pair of work shoes and clothes that he changes into, once he learns of the job he's been assigned. He works so fast, too...he always does in two hours what it takes my parents days to complete. Love that guy.

JB taking a well-deserved gatorade break. Check out my parents' view!

After the work was done, it was time to focus on the food. Mom said that since it was so hot out, we were going to have a "very simple meal". This translated into the following menu: Hot dogs, watermelon, avocado salsa & chips, potato salad, coleslaw, fruity frogeye salad (this was the experiment this year...there's one every year), baked beans, brownies and homemade ice cream as well as a variety of beverages (mom remembering each of our favorites). Yeah. We helped her with some food prep while the kids played with toys.

Yaks keeping constant look-out for the D-O-G-S.
Poor kid was terrified of them.

Then it was down to some serious business:

Water balloons.

I didn't know that there was a science to filling water balloons, but according to JB, there is. He put a splitter on the garden hose, so as to facilitate multiple balloons being filled at the same time. Some of the siblings didn't quite catch on to his assembly-line production and slowed him down. They were either reprimanded with a warning to "hurry up" or fired on the spot. Cath took an extended union break -- she couldn't handle the pressure. We were all friends in the end, after mom reminded us that this is "just for fun." We were only able to fill about 300 by the time we quit. "My fingers hurt. I'm tired! I'm hungry."

Following lunch (oh, the kids slept through first sit-down lunch at my parent's house), we set up the volleyball net and filled up the pool for the kids. We started playing blanket volleyball w/ the balloons, but that wasn't very challenging. We broke ranks a few times and started pelting one another with balloons, but we were reminded that we only filled 300 and fell back in line. We then started lobbing them over the net and tried catching them bare-handed without popping them. It was fun. It was almost 100 degrees yesterday, so even getting wet wasn't so bad. Boo even got into the fun, crushing the balloon in her hands so the water showered all over her.

Peter and Dad enjoying the shade

Marie and Cody

My mom got a hand-crank ice cream machine for her birthday, which we tried out by making raspberry ice cream. We each took 100 turns, in order to truly work for our food! We sat around in the shade, enjoying our ice cream while Yaks came around to soak our feet with the garden hose.

Cath taking her 100 turns

Mom enjoying her birthday present

Mom sent us home (lest you think we didn't get sent home with food) with a grocery bag filled with cherries, brownie squares and a new Ralph Lauren skirt that she "found on sale" for me.

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