Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fourth of July Fun

Along with our 8-day long heat wave (yes, temperatures in the upper-90's coupled with tropical humidity most definitely constitutes a heat wave for us here in Minnesota), our extended Fourth of July weekend fun is drawing to a close. 

Ben has had off work since Wednesday, so we have had plenty of time to play hooky from our normal day-to-day responsibilities and enjoy time together as a family despite the insane heat. 

We began our patriotic celebrations with fireworks on Tuesday evening.  I was incredibly thankful that, by some miracle, I was able to get all three kids to take a 2-hour long nap before we kept them awake until practically midnight to see our county's firework display.  Because the kids were incredibly excited, we ended up leaving the house far too early.  Since we weren't too keen on spending over 3 hours in almost 100-degree weather, we decided to stop for some ice cream before heading over to snag our seats on the lawn. 

We still arrived far too early, but managed to keep ourselves occupied until the 10:00 pm start time.

The kids' patriotic popcorn snack

We opted for the caramel and cheese popcorn variety

Zach was thrilled to discover I also brought licorice to snack on

Racing back from the port-a-potty

Someone is getting sleepy

The kids were pumped to break out the dollar store glow sticks!

And this is when we looked like we were melting...probably because we were melting

This is Zach's "pirate" face

The kids did amazingly well despite being exhausted by the time we got home.  Everyone loved the fireworks display, especially Olivia who declared, "OOOO....Soooo PRETTY!" every time she saw a firework in the sky. 

Granted, we payed dearly for the lack of sleep the next day (pretty much crabby kids and parents all around), but all in all, I'd say it was pretty worth it.  We spent the actual 4th of July at home resting in the A/C.  And, just because Ben and I are gluttons for punishment, after a dinner of grilled steak and ice cream cones for dessert (the initial plan was smores over a campfire, but really, who wants to sit around a campfire when it is 100-degrees outside?!), Ben planned his very own backyard fireworks display for us to enjoy!

The kids and Ben enjoying some Pop-Its while we wait for it to get dark enough for Ben's fireworks

Olivia got the hang of stomping on those Pop-Its!

Let me introduce you to my husband...apparently he really likes to blow things up!

Don't worry, all of the fireworks were Minnesota Legal...

And no one was hurt...

Ben only had to put out one minor fire...

A small price to pay for the joy of explosives.
Another late night left us all a little bleary eyed the next morning.  So, what do we do?  Head to the mall and then out to see Madagascar 3 as a family!  And, of course, no family date would be complete without dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. 

We've also had lots of fun beating the heat by grocery shopping (ooohhh...the thrill!!), running errands (yippeee...TARGET!), spending time at the pool (now that is definitely more up the kids' alley) followed by a trip to Dairy Queen, and by doing crafts at home. 

Finally, with the heat-wave breaking on Saturday, we enjoyed a morning bike ride and a trip to our favorite park by the river.

We've also been able to catch up on some yard work since it hasn't been so terribly oppressive outside.  And...Ben and I also got a chance to go on a real-live-adult-only date on Saturday night thanks to our babysitter being available at the last minute.  Granted, our adult date consisted of seeing the new Spiderman movie in 3D and hitting up Cherry-Berry (a yogurt bar that the kids would absolutely love) that just opened in Coon Rapids, but that's kind of took us back to to the good ole' days in high school when we'd see a movie and hit up Oscar's for frozen custard. 

Overall, we've had a fun extended break from the day-to-day and it is always sad to see it come to an end.  Thankfully, our official summer vacation is right around the corner.....

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