Wednesday, July 4, 2012

God Bless America!

The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the colors, I love the pride, and I like the way we celebrate in similar ways, in small towns all over this great country. The decorations are fun, the food is fun, and the time spent with family is especially fun. Our family enjoyed some time together today, and will continue the celebration tomorrow through the weekend. Bonus fun!!

I mentioned the food, and while I checked out Pinterest for festive food ideas, I stuck with an old stand by. I have been making a version of this dessert every year since I was in high school. Back then, I found the flag design in a magazine as the topping on a cake. I first made it using a strawberry cake recipe, white fluffy frosting, and the fruit flag design on top. In recent years, I have made it as a fruit pizza, using refrigerated cookie dough for the crust, and a cream cheese mixture for the white topping. Very simple, pretty, and delicious. No leftovers today, but I will repeat it for the Saturday crowd!

After making the flag dessert, it was time to head out for the Fourth of July parade. It is a typical small town parade, and as I have written before, was started by a mother who wanted to provide her children with an activity to keep them away from dangerous fireworks. Especially important this year, since the drought has made fireworks illegal in our area!

Andrew drove his 1935 John Deere tractor with Matthew and Haleigh aboard. He thinks his tractor was the oldest one of the dozen or so that participated in the parade this year. We realized that his tractor was the same age as Nana. (But don't tell her we said that.)

Before they got started, we took a few pictures with all three kids, even though Ella was a bit too young to ride this year.

And a couple pictures of the whole family.

Here we go!

It was nice to drive down this shady section of Franklin Street since the temperature topped out at around 100 degrees today!

Haleigh had fun waving her flag. Although you can't really tell by my photos, there really were quite a lot of kids, parents, pets, scooters, wagons, bands, floats, strollers, and big wheels in the parade. I just chose to focus on my favorite participants. Grannys can do that.

Aunt Fer and Uncle Bryan came for the parade, and Ella and Jennifer enjoyed watching together.

Love Ella's sweet face in this one.

One of our friends built this awesome Thomas train for his grandchildren. While I like Thomas and all, we think it should eventually be painted black and gold, with "Hail Purdue" coming from the speakers. It would definitely be a hit in the tailgate lot! I'm pretty sure they will go for the idea since they are a Boilermaker family like we are.

This is our nice little group of parade watchers, just looking for a little shade on this hot hot day. That's Jennifer and Bryan, Ella, Darci, Boomie, and Nana.

Here they come down the home stretch.

Still smiling. Did I mention it was 100 degrees?

Aunt Jennifer holding Ella. I love it when she wants to come to Granny.

After a hot parade, there's nothing better than cooling off in Nana's pool. Haleigh loves the water!

Ella enjoyed playing on the steps.

Sweet baby girl.

Big Jon even took a dip after his morning golf game. Thanks for smiling, Jon!

Haleigh and her daddy relax after a busy day of celebrating America's birthday!

One last note, if you would, please say an extra prayer for Darci's sister Molly, who I wrote about here and here. She had to have a second surgery today, after the 12+ hours she spent in the OR on Monday. You can read about on her blog, which is being updated by her husband Nick.
 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 
Isaiah 41:10

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