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An Americana Fourth of July

July 5, 2013

We had a lovely Fourth of July yesterday. It was absolutely perfect weather — warm but not overly hot or humid, with a nice breeze.

I started the day with a run. Some years I’ve run a 5k on the 4th of July, but it didn’t work out this year. Still, I got a nice run in before it got too warm.

Gorgeous morning on the bike trail.

Gorgeous morning on the bike trail.

The avenue of flags was out and they looked fantastic against the bright blue sky.

Old Glory

Old Glory

I’d never noticed that there’s a plaque on each flag pole engraved with the name of a service man (or woman) and the war in which they served. What a neat tribute.

The run also allowed me to eat these for breakfast:

Ooey gooey with cream cheese frosting. Yum!

Ooey gooey with cream cheese frosting. Yum!

Homemade quick (no yeast) cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. The kids and I ate these as a late breakfast/brunch. By the time these were out of the oven, cooled and frosted and the hub and kiddo were back from calf chores, it was after 10:30.

That meant we skipped lunch in favor of heading to the pool! (After dropping off some cinnamon rolls and coffee to the hub, who had gone out in the field to get some work done).

Two of my three water babies.

Two of my three water babies.

Kid3 was in need of a nap after the pool, so we went home and the older kiddos occupied themselves with art projects while I worked on desserts for our barbeque supper.

After naptime was over, it was time to go do calf chores again. When we got back, we set the table and got everything ready for a festive meal.

IMG_1774

Even the table settings were in the spirit of the day.

It was a delicious, if somewhat stereotypical, Midwestern Independence Day meal. Smoked pork chops, cheddar brats, watermelon slices, cut fruit, broccoli slaw salad, baked beans and potato chips. Plus beer for the adults and milk for the kiddos.

Delicious!

Delicious!

The Municipal Band always has their final concert of the season on the Fourth of July, so we headed up town to watch and listen.

The band is always a treat to listen to.

The band is always a treat to listen to.

We are fortunate to have such a wonderful group of musicians in our small town.

The older two kiddos found some friends and ran off to play, but the youngest thoroughly enjoyed the concert.

He clapped heartily after each song.

He clapped heartily after each song.

We still had some time to kill before the fireworks, so we went back home and had some red, white and blue dessert.

IMG_1783

Red velvet brownies with cream cheese frosting and blueberry pie bars.

To tell the truth, they weren’t my favorite. The brownies were overbaked and dry (totally my fault for not reading the recipe right) and the blueberry pie bars were a little bland. That still didn’t stop me from eating a piece of each, but I don’t know if they’ll be repeaters.

It was finally time to leave for fireworks around 9. We headed to the local state park lake and picked out a spot to watch. We still had at least a half hour before the actual show would begin, so the kiddos entertained themselves with sparklers and glow bracelets.

What happens if I put two sparklers together?

What happens if I put two sparklers together?

Finally, the fireworks started and we sat back and oohed and aahed over them.

firework

The fireworks in town are done by the local Jaycees and they do a lovely job each year. It is a small production, though, and usually only one or two are set off at a time. You can tell they’re almost to the finale when they start shooting off five or six at a time, and the end is a full barrage of fireworks. The kids loved them and though they should have fireworks every night.

After quick baths to wash off bug spray and sparkler smoke, it was finally time for bed – well after 11 pm.

We had a fantastic Fourth of July celebrating with our family and enjoying the wonderful activities our town has to offer. It may not be as fancy as some celebrations, but we still made some great memories.

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