I LOVE 4th of July weekend!!! I mean I REALLY LOVE 4th of July weekend!! This time of year has always been the best for our family since my Dad was born on the 4th and because we always get together for a bit of unruly shenanigans and patriotic celebrations:) We love our country and love to celebrate our freedoms! This year was ,shall we say, especially special because we got to enjoy having ALL of Rob's family HERE and some of my family including my adorable grandparents. Why the large number you may ask? It happened to be Claire's blessing weekend...which was a great excuse to play Montana style!
Rob's family came first and we went hiking. Not just any hike but a hike with a backhoe for Ashton and Dylan to drool over, wildflowers galore for the girls to pick, a beautiful waterfall at the top and even a big ol' toad for everyone to pass around. The weather was just right and it was only 30 minutes from our house. Claire did great in the baby carrier. One of the twins wasn't feeling well so Russ took off his shirt to cover him up and Ella was NOT okay with him walking around without a shirt on. She just could not stop talking to me about it. One other casualty of the hike was that I was allergic to SOMETHING up there and lost my voice. This was a first for me (I am sure Rob enjoyed it) and I hope the last. Every time I tried to talk I am pretty sure Mikelle or Kristen started laughing. The really lame part was that I was in charge of everything and REALLY needed to talk so after the second day I just sounded like I was really angry because I was trying so hard to be heard. Poor Brooke and Ella kept asking me if I was mad at them. Sorry children if you have to go to counseling for the way I was talking to you.
At the house we played backyard baseball, played badminton and the Child family tradition---HAND STAND CONTESTS!!! I don't know how they start but they always do. If there is grass to be felt what better way than to do it upside down? Of course we can't forget about the guys always running around with the BB gun shooting gofers and magpies. And we also were able to get in some swimming at the hotel! I am now officially admitting to all my city friends how bumpkin I have become. Yes, I have shot at them as well. Don't hate me--they are major pests around here. And what would a 4th of July weekend be without a BBQ and fireworks? Lame, that's what, and this weekend certainly was not!!
The boys left for some outdoor fishing fun and Rob won the plaque for the year. The girls attempted to enjoy the farmer's market but I think everyone was worn out. Annie had both of the boys (one was still sick) carrying them around trying to stop them from crying and I was trying to console all three of my kids as well when my friend walked by and said "Isn't it crazy that we do this to ourselves? I just saw some lady walk by with screaming twins!"
My family, (Mom, Dad, grandma, Grandpa, and my niece and nephew) came the night before the blessing and we had a big BBQ and played Rollick. SO FUNNY!!! It was great to see my grandparents. Claire's middle name is Valoy after my grandma and it was "especially special" to have them here. Blessing day arrived and I was scrambling, like I always do, before church but we all got there alive and her blessing was beautiful. What a special little girl. Rob's family left after church and my family was able to stay for the next couple of days.
On the 4th, we went on a different hike. It was also very pretty. When we came back the guys went out to get some fireworks. While they were gone, the girls and I "decorated' the house for his birthday which means that I give the girls streamers and tape and we end up with some intense rooms. I think the banisters get it the best. While they did that I taped up reasons why we love Dad all over the house. He spent a good while going over the house trying to find them all. By the time they left he only missed one (he still doesn't know where it is). We got his cheesecake and celebrated with fireworks that night. What a great day! Happy birthday Dad!
Everything went so well the first time we ended up doing it again except we swapped the hand stand contests for a big water fight which ended with Brooke grabbing the hose and drenching my dad. Good girl. Rob also took my dad out on a mountain bike and fishing adventure. Dad even came back saying Rob didn't try to kill him this time and he had a blast. Rob took the kids all out to the river and Thomas caught some minnows and we put them in our fish tank. We played video games and badminton. Thomas got to be a pretty good shot and Madeline enjoyed having some little girls around to take care of:)
We had 25 people here at one time and it was fast and furious but SO MUCH FUN!!! I would do it every year if I could. Thanks to everyone for coming up. We love you all and can't wait to see you again!