Monday, July 22, 2013

4th of July 2013

I am finally getting around to posting about the 4th of July this year. For some reason, this holiday is one of my favorites. I don't know if it's because it is really the only holiday in the middle of summer or the fact that it (usually) combines four things that I love...grilling, swimming, ice cream, and fireworks. Whatever the reasons...I love it. This year we spent the holiday at my parents' house again. Another thing I love...this photo of my family....

 photo IMG_9521_zps37a14c92.jpg

My mom and dad served up a fabulous meal for all of us...burgers, hot dogs, sweet potato fries, corn on the cob, baked beans, more dips than I could count, and cupcakes and brownie sundaes for dessert.

 photo IMG_9552_zps910c5397.jpg

We always have some family and/or friends celebrate with us and this year was no different. My brother and sister-in-law were there, of course. And also my cousin, Cassie, and her husband, Andrew. We also had a long-distance friend, Sam Twumasi from Ghana with us.

 photo IMG_9557_zpsc4a8edbb.jpg

This photo is a result of Casey commandeering my camera for about 5 minutes. So, hey...I was there too.

 photo IMG_9562_zps7a7b5583.jpg

The boys chose the colorful blue cupcakes for their dessert treat. I just love dark, colored icing, don't you? Other moms will instantly know what I mean by this.

 photo IMG_9572_zpscfa0e198.jpg

Ethan approves.

 photo IMG_9593_zpsff6d6ed8.jpg

And this photo is equal parts hilarious and terrifying to me. He kind of looks like a junior zombie.

 photo IMG_9589_zpsb9f58f03.jpg

After dinner, it was time to hit the pool. We totally ignore that bogus rule about not swimming for 20 minutes after you eat. (If you look closely, you can see remnants of blue icing on Ethan's teeth.)

 photo IMG_9609_zpsc4ade775.jpg

This cute one stuck around the steps of the pool for a while.

 photo IMG_9605_zpsff5b4e69.jpg

But Ethan took off...

 photo IMG_9750_zps998ca73e.jpg

And did a little jumping, of course.

 photo IMG_9756_zps2c77f7cc.jpg

Equipped for swimming now with his goggles and puddle jumper, Logan can begin to play.

 photo IMG_9616_zpsac2634d1.jpg

He often plays up in the fountain.

 photo IMG_9698_zps7f911ad8.jpg

Or makes someone stand in front of him while he jumps. My sweet, patient cousin, Cassie, obliged his whims (bless her).

 photo IMG_9725_zps5c457756.jpg

And Ethan actually learned a fun skill on this to swim down to the bottom of the pool by himself to get dive sticks/toys. Previously, he could get down there with a little push from us. But, with some coaching from daddy and Cassie, he figured out how to really swim hard straight down. One of the ways he helped his descent was to jump right on top of the target toy.

 photo IMG_9777_zpsb7fe6bcd.jpg

But, he eventually learned to just stick his rear up in the air and get himself down there without having to jump first.

 photo IMG_9799_zps1b16a6b5.jpg

Success! He was so proud and has continued to enjoy this skill this summer.

 photo IMG_9808_zps841c177b.jpg

Logan got out and wrapped up in a towel...but felt that he still needed his goggles.

 photo IMG_9797_zps29c4b53b.jpg

We all got out shortly thereafter and got dressed again. After playing inside for a while (for the kids) and talking (for the adults), I brought out the bubble guns we had just gotten at Sea World the week before. I figured they would give the boys something to do as we passed the time until after the sun set and the fireworks began.

 photo IMG_9814_zps329682ad.jpg

And this is when I should have taken the time to dig out my flash and put it on my camera for these shots. But, I was just too lazy since I knew I didn't want it for firework photos later. It is actually much darker than it looks in these photos and I was pushing the limits of my camera's low-light capabilities. (Lots of grain.)

 photo IMG_9820_zpsa7b94572.jpg

 photo IMG_9857_zpsa1568a64.jpg

Not a lot to be said about the bubbles. They're love them. The boys had a blast.

 photo IMG_9876_zpsa1fdcbdb.jpg

After it was good and dark, we started moving chairs to the street to watch the fireworks. I pulled out the two glow sticks I'd been saving for a while...they were red, white, and blue and sort of looked like mini light sabers.

 photo IMG_9908_zps6334cb39.jpg

And then...the main event. Fireworks! This is one of the only times (if not the only time) that we allow our boys to stay up this late. And this is only their second year to do it. But fireworks are worth it.

 photo IMG_9943_zps36486357.jpg

This year, I changed my settings just slightly and decreased my shutter speed a bit to catch some more "movement" in the fireworks. (In combination with a tripod and remote shutter release.) I liked the results.

 photo IMG_9984_zpsd18fd3f9.jpg

I loved watching the boys faces by the light of the fireworks as they watched the show.

 photo IMG_0017_zps696a42ab.jpg

As I was sorting through my firework photos this year, I couldn't help but start seeing some shapes. This one looks like a bit like a Truffula tree to me...

 photo IMG_9947_zps5e0b948f.jpg

And when I clicked the shutter too early for this shot, my camera caught the firework just as it started to we have a birthday candle....

 photo IMG_9942_zps501a8547.jpg

And finally, I see an ice cream cone in this one. Possibly a scoop of mint chocolate chip on the left and strawberry on the right. Or maybe this is just like those ink blot prints in which you see what you want to see. Very possible. Either way, we had another wonderful 4th of July celebration this year.

 photo IMG_9992_zps2bf0e079.jpg

No comments: