Whitney, Dustin, Leyland and Mary spent the day tubing in Helen. This meant I had The Little Man all to myself. I really enjoyed spending the day with him. We listened to the music tv channels. First we tried out the Sounds of the Season channel, where we enjoyed patriotic Sousa marches, then on to Toddler MTV. (Seriously... there is a cable channel with toddler music!), danced,clapped to the beat (sorta). We played Lucky, Lucky, Ride A Little Horsey, Peek-A-Boo, Hide-Under-The-Blanket, and all manner of Grandma games and silliness. I found a new tickle spot behind his ear, and reveled in his sweetness. After his bath, I put on his little USA outfit, and he was gracious enough to pose for some photos. What a sweet little man!Shortly after he went to sleep, the rest of the family arrived home... totally worn out, after a full day of tubing. Leyland took the airborne route through the swift water that runs right through town... fortunately straight into the arms of an attendant, who quickly restored her back onto the tube with her mommy. I think it scared Whitney more than Leyland!
Obviously, we didn't make it to any of the fireworks festivities this evening. That's my favorite part of the holiday tradition, and I missed going. We watched it in HD on TV, though. I must say, once it was all over, I was really glad I didn't go, and be stuck in traffic somewhere for hours. There will be pictures, though... I took photos of the television! Seriously silly, but you know I gotta have a picture of fireworks for the scrapbook! Even if I had to take photos of the TV!! Once it was all over, we went outside to finish off the sparklers left over from last night.
And speaking of last night... Whitney and Dustin invited some friends over to grill some burgers and try out the pool they have put up in the back yard. Oh, yes, it was a veritable children's playground. Two kiddie pools, a sand box, and a climbing thingy with a sliding board. Having company is a good thing... the house gets a good cleaning. My patio has been in disarray far longer than I intended. The freezer has been on the patio since construction began on my new room. That was in January. We've been trying to get it indoors for months now, and finally got it done this week. I established a new little flower bed. It still looks "newly planted", but when the plants relax a little and get some new growth, I think it will be pretty. I sure hope so. My muscles keep reminding me of how hard I worked. Have you ever planted flowers by moonlight? Yep, we worked far into the morning with preparations. Party or not... it felt really good to complete some long overdue chores. The pool was a big hit with the children, and there were some tired little boys and girls when bedtime rolled around.
I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. Don't buy the 2 for $5.00 tiki torches. You know, the ones made out of straw. I have two nicer resin-like ones that I've had for several years. Trying to be budget-minded, I opted for the cheap versions. Because I lost a can of pork-n-beans, I had to run to the store and pick up another can. Upon my return, I notice a big cloud of smoke in the yard. Assuming Dustin had lit the grill, I saw no cause for alarm. However, I soon discovered that one of the tiki torches suddenly went up in flames, and burned the entire holder thingy. Plus, a small circle of grass at the base of the torch. At least there was plenty of water handy to douse the blaze before it became a problem. So. No more cheapo tiki torches for me!
July 4th always has been one of my favorite holidays. I'm such a nerd that I get teary-eyed listening to the Sousa music, watching the fireworks, seeing the service men and women on tv sending messages back home to loved ones. Even throughout the year, saying the Pledge to the Flag (on those rare occations when we are called to do so), or singing "America The Beautiful" in church, standing with my hand over my heart when The Star-Spangled Banner" is played... Oh yes, these are major teary-eyed/lumpy-throat events. A few years ago, while at the airport, I walked past a group of soldiers on their way to a deployment. I mouthed the words "thank you" to as many as I could make eye contact with. The lump in my throat prevented me from saying the words aloud. Regardless of the myriad of things wrong in our nation today, it is these men and women who sacrifice their families, careers, and blood... these soldiers, who make up much of what is right in our nation. Just as those men on the North Bridge in Concord and those Minutemen in Lexington. Just doing the right thing. The birth of a nation, as well as the birth of a Savior, is certainly worth celebrating. We just need to be careful, on both occasions, not to get so terribly caught up in the hooplah that we forget what is truly important. I love the quote "Freedom is not free". Never was, never will be. Happy Birthday, America! God Bless America!!