2009 Fourth of July Fireworks

We had an awesome time yesterday celebrating Independence Day with family and friends. This has become and annual event with us and I look forward to it all year. This year was our seventh year in a row hosting a party and fireworks show!

Today we’re dealing with the aftermath: lots of cleanup. 🙂 We’ll be finding firework debris in our yard for another year or so. (Thanks to those who helped last night!) I uploaded a photo and video sampling of our two-hour show. Here’s a slideshow:

To those that weren’t able to make it this year: You were missed and we hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Trout Lake 2009

Last weekend we crammed the kids and dogs into our minivan like sardines and took off for Cathy’s house in Trout Lake, WA. The kids pitched a tent in her front yard so it was like camping for them.

I’ve missed my Cathy-friend so it was awesome to see her. And the scenery. OMG the scenery. I took 439 pictures. I’ve uploaded 39 of them here: Cathy’s House, Trout Lake, WA Most of the mountains, grass, and animal pictures I took were views from Cathy’s back porch.

Here’s a small sample:

Cathy's House, Trout Lake 006

Cathy's House, Trout Lake 093

Cathy's House, Trout Lake 129

We discovered on this trip that we have really really outgrown our minivan. I haven’t mentioned it on here yet but we’re moving from fostering to adopting my niece. So our family has “officially” grown by one. (She’s legally free to be adopted now, we’re just awaiting the finalization … which could take a long time.)

Whenever we travel to family or a friend’s house, we try to bring food. At the very least some snacks and drinks so we’re not putting anyone out. We couldn’t even fit one small cooler in our van with the two dogs all the seats taken. In the past whenever we took *all* the kids, we’d rent a passenger van. We figured we were saving a lot of money by doing that. But we realized that it limits us way too much to depend on renting whenever we want to take the whole, or even just most, of our tribe anywhere.

R&D recently got a big SUV and that was also part of our inspiration to actually look into this. We’d love to be able to toss the kids, the dogs, and some gear and take off on a weekend here or there and not be limited by the miles, time, money, etc. that comes with renting a vehicle.

And I really want to be able to steal away to Cathy’s house any time it’s possible and not have to worry about which kids get to go with us.

California here I come…

Just a quick bullet-style update as we’re insanely busy getting all of us ready to go to Disneyland!

  • Weather madness – in the last five days we went from days of 97 to over 100 degree weather to thunderstorms and rain and now a storm rolling in that may bring snow into the high elevations. SNOW. In August. Crazy.
  • “Is this water sanitary? It looks questionable to me.” That is a Disney’s Tarzan quote we use all the time. Sunday we took the kids to Klineline Pond and I just had a hard time with the disgusting-looking water and the billions of children in diapers in it. Pond/River/Lake water never used to bother me, but for some reason it heebs me out now. We still had fun and I still swam, until the thunder and lightning came and they closed the water.
  • Speaking of water – remember our neat new pool and all the hassle to get it installed? Yesterday morning it sprung a leak. And not just an easy patchable leak… but a tear in the seam. And not just on ONE seam, but where a bottom seam and a side seam met and it kept growing. So it was structurally unsound and had to be removed. I was kinda ticked about this. But I’m glad to have my yard back, even if there is a big ugly circle of mud in the center of it.
  • Family – my brother is back to living with us again and hoping to put his life back together. Please keep him in your thoughts as he doesn’t have an easy battle ahead of him.
  • More family – my sister moved to the coast. I’m bummed about that (since she’s no longer a quick drive away) but happy they are doing what they have always wanted to do.
  • More family again – my mom has been stressed out lately due to her mom being very sick. I would call her my grandmother but she disowned me when I was a teenager so she’s just my mom’s mom. I feel bad for my mom, though and she could use some positive vibes.
  • Walking – Jack and I were starting to take walks every night. We were doing great till it turned 100 degrees. We’ll be walking a LOT in California so I’m not too worried about that.
  • Awkward – I saw an old friend I haven’t seen in years due to too many differences of opinion (primarily about how friends treat each other) at our garage sale last week. That was quite a surprise. And awkward. I rambled a lot. I do that when I’m nervous.
  • Money – 0h yeah we had a garage sale and our garage is clean almost cleaned out. I’m happy about that.
  • Health – things are about the same. I still need to call my doctor and ask him WTF though. ‘Cause seriously, even though it’s been over two weeks I’m still going WTF!?!

So. Yeah. There’s my crazy life in a nutshell the last couple weeks. I plan to post updates from Disneyland and hopefully pictures too!