Thursday, July 29, 2010

Taking The Plunge

“Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced…” 1 Chronicles 16:12

Sometimes our memories of things just aren’t quite what they should be. Sometimes our memories are worse. Sometimes time has softened what was once reality. So it was at Silver Dollar City last week.

I wrote before about our last trip to SDC and our forcing the boys to ride the Lost River of the Ozarks ride and their horror and distrust resulting thereafter. On our visit last week, I decided to continue on with the tradition (albeit only a few months old) of making the kids ride one new age-appropriate ride per visit to the park. Hey, if we’re going to pay the big bucks to get in, we might as well ride at least a few of the rides. And I really think they might like the rides once they are over their initial shock.

On Thursday, our designated water day, we entered the park early and headed straight for the Lost River of the Ozarks ride. Everything went off without a hitch. We rode with a grandma and grandpa from Dallas who had brought their pre-teen granddaughter on the trip and my kids seemed to enjoy their second consecutive survival of the giant tube.

Since I was on a roll now, I thought we should go ahead and try the American Plunge. It is a good old-fashioned log ride, and it was one of my favorite rides growing up. I had no reservations that it was to be enjoyable for the kids. We stood on the bridge and watched several of the logs come down the giant slide into the splashdown area, and then we got in line ourselves.

The three of us rode with an older sister and her little brother who apparently was quite a ride rider himself. He was all of about 4, so my boys should have been bolstered by his confidence. So there we were, little brother, older sister, 7YO, 5YO, and me in the very back of the giant log. Things were going swimmingly as they released us out into the open waters. We went through a little cave and saw some kind of statue being drown in a whirlpool while a fake dog tried to pull the spinning head out of the water. The kids thought he was being flushed down the toilet. Then we rounded the corner and met up with the giant conveyer belt that was to take us to our destiny.

This is where reality began to set in and I realized that this was not going to be the happy little ride I remembered from childhood. I hadn’t ridden this ride since I was a teenager and was probably more desensitized to thrilling experiences at that age. It became evident to my 33YO brain that all hell was about to break loose once we made it over the top of the conveyor belt. I grabbed hold of my 5YO and braced my feet along the sides in an attempt to keep him firmly planted in the log. I left the 7YO to fend for himself and hoped he had sufficiently sandwiched himself in between the 5YO and the older sister in front of him. I made last minute attempts to have my sons brace their feet on the sides as well, just as we topped the veritable peak of doom.

And then we surrendered to gravity and were all hurled 9 million miles per hour down the 20 foot drop to the splashdown area. My teeth loosened in their sockets and I did what I’ve always done on thrill rides – closed my eyes and screamed. Only this time, my scream was at least partly genuine, as I knew then that I was the cause of what could have been one of the more frightening experiences of my children’s lives. And that they would probably never trust me to be the judge of a ride for them again. And they were probably wondering if we were all going to die, since their mother was screaming like a banshee.

Nevertheless, we all survived the log ride. The kids used words like horrible, terrible and awful to describe their ride and my 7YO said his eyes almost popped out. I kind of would have liked to have had a picture of that. They used to take your picture coming down the big slide. Not sure if they still do or not, since my children weren’t hanging around that place any longer than they had to.

And I was soaked. I looked like I had taken a bath with my clothes on. I remembered a time when I would have been ecstatic to have been the wettest on a ride. I remember a time when I used to ride any roller coaster in the park, so long as I could scream and close my eyes. I remember a time when the log ride didn’t scare me, and I realized I’m all washed up!

We spent the rest of the day in the ball house and riding the butterflies, tea cups, and flying elephants.

And I didn’t scream once!

“Look to the Lord and his strength; see his face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weary Travelers

Then they said to him: “Please inquire of God to learn whether our journey will be successful.” The priest answered them, “Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord’s approval.” Judges 18:5-6

Ok, I’ve been busy again. I’ll blame it all on the children, but they go to school two weeks from tomorrow and my excuses will be gone all day, so we’ll see what I come up with then.

Today, however, I’ll catch you up on last week. On Tuesday, Tulsa County Fair Entry Day, the kids had their Lego ships built to enter into the Cloverbud exhibits and I had 15 pictures that I thought I would enter just for fun. Entry time was 4:00 pm and sometime during the day, I got the itch to go somewhere. So I decided we would run our entries into Tulsa to the fair and then promptly head home, pack, and take off to my dad’s where we would spend the night, and head over to Branson, MO in the morning. Hub had to work, so I was on my own with the kids. I was so brave!

Our 2 ½ hour drive on Wednesday was uneventful and the kids hardly spoke as we had stopped by the library and stocked up on comic books before the whole fair thing on Tuesday. They were engrossed in Batman and Superman, and luckily do not get car sick from reading. We rolled into Silver Dollar City about 11:00 am and ate PB&J sandwiches in the car before heading in. It was nearly 100 that day, and the kids didn’t want to wear their sandals to do any water rides because they didn’t have the full bathing suit wardrobe on. What were we thinking??

KidsFest was going on, which means there were lots of extra kid activities to be done around the park, all of which are my children’s favorites. We hit the colored sand tubs, the indoor play area in the a/c’d barn (break from the heat) and the magic show (break from the heat). We walked miles and miles, and made it until almost 5:00 pm that evening at the park. I noticed people staring at me on our way out. When I got to the car, my face was as red as a beet and looked like I was about to pop.

Then we cooled off at the motel pool, ate pizza, and then headed over to the Branson Landing area to see the fire and water fountain at 8:30 pm. As we sat there, the fog rolled in over the river and the temperature immediately dropped probably 20 degrees. My kids obviously don’t get out much and were just amazed at the lightposts that played music and had different color-changing lights, as well as the lit up trees. They likened the trees to Moses’ burning bush.

Then it was back to the motel where I was sure we would all pass out from exhaustion, but we ended up staying up until 11:00 pm watching Billy the Exterminator. It was the only remotely appropriate show I could find on and the kids loved it so much, they are looking forward to tonight when it is on again. I would secretly like them to dress like Billy, but my luck they would want his hairstyle too, and I’m not sure I could handle it.

Thursday, we were back at the park about 9:30 am, bathing suits on, and intended to stay only until noon or so. We rode two majorly wet rides right off the bat (one of which I will tell you of our experiences on tomorrow) and were soaked for the rest of the day. Noon turned into one, then two, then three, and we ended up staying until almost 5:00 pm that day too. Countless miles were walked once again.

That evening the oldest had a special request for onion rings, so I took them to the A&W restaurant where I like to consume gallons of root beer from the tap. My Nanna had an A&W back when I was a baby, and I attribute my affinity to the stuff to having a baby bottle full of it on a regular basis.

I don’t know if that’s true or not.

Who would give a baby pop?

I’m thinking the answer may be – my family!

It would also account for all my childhood cavities too.

Anyway, just as the onion rings were served up, the kids began to fall asleep in the booth. As they slowly ate away at their food, their eyes rolled around in their heads that were slowly nodding to the table. I almost had to carry them out of there.

Friday morning, we got up, saw our friends from home who just happened to be staying at our hotel too at breakfast, and then headed home. We took an hour break at my dad’s house, even though no one was there, and then headed homeward again. Then at 5:00 pm that evening, it was back to the Tulsa County Fair for an ice cream fundraiser, and to see how we made out while we were away. The kids both got blue ribbons (everyone gets the same in Cloverbuds) and I got a first, a second, and two thirds with my pictures, once beating out someone I know who has a MUCH more expensive camera than I do.

All in all, a wild week for us!

Then we all went home and slept like dead people. The end.

[Jesus said] “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Homekeeper Journal 7/20/10


Something new I would like to attempt in my kitchen ………..finishing my backsplash. It is metal and has been a real booger to install. We’re using galvanized roofing metal and the little bumps always seem to be over an outlet or something.

When the newness wears off a relationship you find ………. out if you’re really as interesting to the other person as you thought you were.

The new school year starts around here on ……. August 12th. Second grade and Kindergarten for us. I hope my children get patient teachers who really like their job.

I need to start …….. figuring out what to do with myself after the children go back to school. I intend to redo the floor in my bathroom (and finish the backsplash), but I doubt that will take me nine months.

God’s mercies are new every morning so ……….. maybe I should remember that and be more patient with my own children.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bite Your Lip


“For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty destroyed.” James 1:11

I’ve seen enough tabloid magazines to know that a pouty pucker is all the rage as far as beauty standards go. Full lips are a desired trait, so much so that women are willing to go the route of having them injected with collagen and who knows what other substances to achieve this beautiful trait. I, personally, have never had any collagen treatments, but I can tell you an alternative method.

Because it was a scorcher yesterday, the boys and I were in the pool. As it is with most boys, they desire action in the swimming pool as opposed to my calmly floating around on my blow-up version of a chaise lounge. They want splashing and jumping and waves and water up their noses. All the things I am against while floating around peacefully.

Most of the time, they realize that I am no fun for them in the pool and quickly enlist Daddy to fill the role. Daddy was off doing something involving a ladder on the front of the house. So after practicing our newly learned swim lesson moves, I caved. First I picked the 5YO up and threw him back first into the water. Then the 7YO. Then the 5YO wanted to go belly first into the water, so I obliged. And this is where I should have stopped. Laughing and smiling and having a good time clouded my better judgment. As with all good times, it is always fun until somebody gets hurt. And that somebody is usually me.

I lifted my 7YO out of the water by his armpits (he weighs 60 pounds and is getting hard to maneuver), and flung him into the air. Just as I was letting go, he threw his rock-hard-basketball-shaped head that he inherited from his mother back, slamming it into my mouth. I thought he’d knocked my two front teeth out and that I’d bit completely through what was once known as my lower lip. My top teeth got the outside of it and my lower teeth got the inside. Then I tasted blood. I covered my wound, expecting blood to be running down my face any minute, and excused myself to cry without a child audience.

I went into the house to examine my wounds, and found it was merely a flesh wound. Barely noticeable, except for the additional heartbeat added to my lip. It hurt really bad, but I would live. Then, about thirty minutes later, I tried to tell my husband what happened and noticed I couldn’t talk right. I went to the mirror, and there it was – my FAT LIP. The first one I’ve had since adolescence.

And, of course, my fat lip lasted through the night. So today, if I look a little sad, if I seem a little pouty, or if I look like I’ve had a bad trip to the collagen doctor, remember I AM BEAUTIFUL! Fat lip and all.

Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about the paparazzi finding me and making fun of my bad lip job!

“May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees.” Psalm 119:171

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Excessive Heat Warning

“(The sun) rises at one end of the heavens and makes it circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.” Psalm 19:6

Today's forecast is HOT.  In fact, it will be EXCESSIVELY HOT.  Great.

Today: Mostly sunny, hot, and humid.

Winds: South 10-15 mph

Afternoon High: 96(Heat Index: Near 112)

Drink plenty of fluids. Stay in air-conditioned rooms. Dress in light colored, light weight clothing. Take frequent breaks from the heat. Check on your neighbors and relatives.

Also, be aware that pets need extra protection from the heat, and a lot of cool fresh water.

Since the heat is so prevalent, I thought that I would share with you some heat-related childhood memories from the good old days today.

As I’ve said before, I stayed with my Nanna a lot as a kid. Nanna’s trailer didn’t have air conditioning. Her trailer had small roll out windows under bigger plate glass windows that allowed plenty of light and heat to come in, with little hopes of getting it out. We put aluminum foil on the big windows to try to reflect the sun away from us. I remember peeking through the foil to see if my mom had come to pick me up. And that aluminum foil got HOT.

Nanna also had a screen door for a while that we would leave open as more of a symbolic gesture. You see, when it is 100 degrees outside, any breeze feels like a hairdryer.

My summers were filled with the whir of box fans that probably kept us from overheating during the day, and made it a little more possible to sleep when it was still too hot even at night. I would sit right in front of the fan and I remember talking into it to make my voice sound funny. Nanna was always worried that my long hair would get sucked into the fan, but it never did.

Then one summer, when I was 10 or so, some of the elders from church came over and cut a hole in the side of my Nanna’s trailer and installed a window unit air conditioner. We thought we’d died and gone to heaven! My Nanna was probably about 75 at this time and that a/c could have been a life extender for her. Summer is hard on old folks. See above about checking on your neighbors and relatives.

These days, I couldn’t live without air conditioning and my children should be thankful they’ve not had to experience the true heat of an Oklahoma summer. Our respite inside or in the shade or in the pool is awesome in this kind of weather.

So if you come across a stubborn old woman who lives in a trailer that is much too hot because she’s always lived without air conditioning, and her windows are much too small, and she thinks the fans work just fine, remember you may have to make a window where only a wall was before. And that she’ll eventually thank you. And that it is for her own good.

Stay cool! 
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Homekeeper Journal 7/13/10


Prompts provided by Sylvia at the Christian Homekeeper Network at
Try them on your blog!

In my kitchen this week ………. Pickles. Made them today. No word yet on whether they are comparable to last year’s fire-breathing vinegar version I made. We ate them just the same, but I felt like had serious heartburn for two days afterwards.

I think we do/do not eat healthily because …….. We eat as healthy as can be expected with two small children and a mother who considers Little Debbie her long lost sister. I really like sugar, and I’m trying to do better so I won’t eventually weigh 300 lbs. But at the end of the day, sometimes you just NEED a bowl of ice cream. Or cereal. Or a brownie.

Dear Lord, please let my metabolism hold out. Amen.

My family is/is not resistant to healthy eating because …….. We’re pretty open to trying new foods since I have a pretty good track record with the family in the whole cooking arena. I can usually read through a recipe though and know whether or not it is something we will all eat. I try to make dishes that the four of us all will consume, so that the kitchen doesn’t become my short-order diner.

I do have a garden ………. although technically it really isn’t much of one. We do have raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, jalapeƱos, bell peppers, corn, peas (done now), potatoes, onion, gourds and squash, just not a lot of any one of these things. I also have big giant sunflowers this year that will provide some winter entertainment for the wild birds, and the pumpkins out in the pasture are coming along nicely. I’m trying out elderberries this year, and we’ve rediscovered mulberries. Wow! Sounds like I’ve had more gardening success than I gave myself credit for.

The hardest part about eating healthily for me and my family is ……….. my own love of junk food! I used to eat a bag of chips for lunch with a big bottle of pop when I was a teenager. I’ve been off the pop and chips for years, only imbibing occasionally, but sometimes they still call my name. I also love bread, cake, desserts, donuts – anything with sugar really. I would never think of eating a piece of fruit as a snack. The truth is I probably eat healthier right now than I ever have in my life, yet I could fall off the wagon at any moment.

Dear Lord, please let my metabolism hold out. Amen.

My favorite thing about preparing and serving healthy foods is …… that I can’t feel it immediately going to my spare tire. Some foods, I swear, I can literally feel clinging to their sister fat cells around my abdomen.

Well, time to do sit ups or something. Maybe I’ll have a brownie to comfort me instead.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Prodigal Son

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:22-24

Two Christmases ago, my step-mother bought the kids a couple of stuffed animals from the dollar store. One was a panda, who never really found his place in life; the other a stuffed tiger, to whom my 7YO firmly attached himself. He named him Baby Jaguar, and nearly wore the hide clean off that poor stuffed animal. We took him everywhere with us – the zoo, to church, in the car, on trips – and he slept with him under his pillow every night. He also loved spinning him around by his tail and I had to stitch up Baby Jaguar at least once from some over-loving.

And then that fateful day that every parent with a child with a favorite small toy dreads came, and it was said at bedtime, “I can’t find my Baby Jaguar.” We looked around, but told him he’d just have to find him in the morning. But he didn’t. That was over six months ago.

Several reconnaissance missions have been deployed to find the missing Baby Jaguar. We first started with all the usual hiding places, but no Baby Jaguar was to be found. Then we cleaned the whole house, looking in the not-so-usual hiding spaces, but found nothing. Tears and moans and worries went on for months until we’d finally resolved ourselves to the fact that we were not going to find Baby Jaguar.

In April, our church had a garage sale (read all about our fun here: Rummage Sale) where I found a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit. We read that book, and even though I didn’t initially tie the story back to the loss of Baby Jaguar, the kids immediately thought that my 7YO had surely loved him too much and that he’d became real and ran away. The odds of us seeing a Jaguar in our yard were extremely low!

The kids finally stopped asking about him regularly and we kind of forgot about him.

Then one day, my 7YO decided that he must have left him at the church where he liked to throw him up into the air. He made up the story that he must have fallen into one of the lights and that we needed to look there. My husband took a ladder to all the church lights in the gym. Several balls, some partially melted and potential fire hazards, were found, but no Baby Jaguar.

And then he stopped asking about him for quite some time again.

Late in June, we were on the way to my dad’s when he asked about him again. He said maybe we could look for him when we got there. By this time, I knew we would probably never find his Baby Jaguar, so I told him that if we didn’t find him at Pa Pa’s house, that we would stop by the zoo on the way home and see if they had one like Baby Jaguar in the gift shop. We looked at Pa Pa’s house, but, of course, no Baby Jaguar.

I didn’t even know if they would have any stuffed tigers in the zoo gift shop, since all I’d ever seen in there were larger animals that ran about $15.00. Surely, though, $15.00 was a small price to pay for the angst of Baby Jaguar to heal. Plus, I knew in the back of my head that if we bought a replacement, we would surely find the old one! Isn’t that the way it always works?

I made good on my promise on June 25th. We stopped by the zoo gift shop and looked through all the animals. There weren’t any small ones where we usually looked, but as I rounded the corner, I spotted some smaller animals on a shelf. I called the kids over and they quickly located a stuffed tiger that didn’t really look like Baby Jaguar, but felt the same and was the same size. And only $7.00! What a bargain for therapy.

For two weeks, new Baby Jaguar has been tied to my 7YO’s hip, traveling in the car with us, sleeping under his pillow. Even though the kids note how he looks a little different from the old Baby Jaguar, he’s been a suitable replacement.

This morning, I hear screams from the bedroom.

“We found Baby Jaguar!”

What did I tell you?? He was in a Spiderman tool box… safe and sound… for six months!

You’ve never experienced a more joyful reunion between children and a stuffed animal!

Or a happier Mommy.

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:4-7

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Laps with the Cat

“When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.” Proverbs 4:12

Last Saturday morning was a rainy one, and we were trying to get our bags packed to head out to my dad’s for the weekend. My 5YO was not listening and would not get his stuff together, so my hub sent him out to run laps in the backyard. I’d heard the door shut, and couldn’t locate the 5YO, so I asked my hub where he was.

“Running laps in the backyard,” he confidently says.

I say, “Are you sure about that?”

“Yes,” he says, as I open the blinds and see our 5YO standing down under our bedroom window, fish umbrella in hand, petting and talking to the cat. I knocked on the window and he proceeded to run his lap, with cat following behind. She fell behind at one point and he waited for her to catch back up, so the cat ended up taking a lap with him.

When my 5YO returned indoors, I asked him “What were you and the kitty talking about?”

He said, “She asked me, ‘Are you running to the barn?’” in an excited voice.

I said, “What did you say?”

He said, “I said, ‘Kitty, I don’t have time for this!’” in his most serious voice.

And my husband and I almost died laughing!

Thank God for friends who support us through thick and thin, punishment or not, even if they are not at fault, and when we seem to have no time for them. And for make-believe conversations between pets and children that make us laugh.

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Homekeeper Journal 7/06/10


In my summer kitchen …….. Last night I was really crazy and bought a couple of steaks and a jug of marinade. I’m not really a fan of beef, unless it is roast with potatoes, onions, and carrots, all with butter and ranch dressing, but I don’t think we’ve had steak in a long, long time, so I’m trying it again.

In my summer yard ………. My sunflowers bloomed this week, and I’ve got more tomatoes than I can eat. I have some kind of very persistent grass that loves heat and rainy weather and only dies in the very hottest part of the summer. I’m not sure if it is fescue or what, but it is definitely not Bermuda. Anyway, it grows faster than the rest of the grass, and after I mow it looks like I need to bale it. Oh, and I found where the majority of my ant problem resides the other day while I was watering my flowers. They were carrying their babies over their heads and heading for higher ground – namely, my kitchen. Last night, I stocked up on ant bait and an ant block spray that promises to kill on contact. I look forward to a lot of gratification over insect death later on today.

On my summer reading list ….. I’ve been reading a lot of different books from the library this summer. Right now I’ve got the Beader’s Bible, and Positive Discipline. Both are very entertaining. I’ve also read books about sewing, Egypt, yoga, gardening, traveling, painting, and photography, but sometimes I just look at the pictures. I like non-fiction. More pictures.

In my summer plans ……. One more trip to the amusement park three hours from home for us in a couple of weeks. I’ll be going it alone since the hub has to work. I’m so brave. The kids are in swim lessons this week and next so that keeps us around home until they are over. I would also like to take them to Jet, Oklahoma to dig up selenite crystals before the summer is over, but I’m not sure we’re going to make it. We’re running out of summer!!

On my summer To-Do List ……… Get rid of the ants! Cause as much havoc in their little ant lives that the relocate further out in the yard and rethink their move into the house. I may have to enlist professional help – psychological or exterminatorical – by the time it is all over. I also want to get my Christmas shopping done by September, as last year I noticed the prices went up in October for toys and just about everything else as the holiday season approached. One toy I kept my eye on went up a full five dollars. Then in February toys and such went back down to September prices. Not sure if this was an “economy” inflation kind of thing or if it truly is a tactic that the retailers use every year, but listen up: “I noticed!”

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Fourth!

Everyone all together now -

“God Bless America, Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America! My home sweet home.”

– God Bless America, Irving Berlin, 1938

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

When I was a kid, we would go down to the local plywood stand with flip-up doors to select from maybe 100 different kinds of fireworks. I had to stick to low budget items like chickens, turtles, jumping jacks and actual Black Cat firecrackers. One year we bought some chrysanthemums, which turned out to be three color, giant jumping jacks. I remember how cool it was to see those for the first time. Another favorite of mine were the black snakes that you lit and they grew and grew until they left a giant black stain on the concrete. I had to have those every year. My Nanna’s concrete could prove it. Oh, and sparklers! One year I lit the grass on fire around my Nanna’s trailer by sticking them in the ground and we carried out coffee cans of water to put the fire out.

Nanna would always take me down to the swimming pool for a free swim on the Fourth too. I would stay all day and come out looking like a lobster with freckles. Then I would go to Riverview Park for the city fireworks show. There was always something going on at the park for the entire afternoon and evening of the 4th of July. There were local church groups singing “gosful” music, as my dad calls it, turtle races, other local bands, hot dog and cotton candy carts, and playing on all the park equipment. Every hour or so, they would shoot up a huge cannon missile and I would hold my ears for the impending BOOM! We also used to go fishing at my Grandpa’s pond and shoot bottle rockets under the water. They make a funny sound when they explode under water. Probably not good for the fishing, but fun to watch.

These days, we go down to the giant fireworks tent and pick out whatever we know we like, usually not straying from the familiar: fountains, party balls, parachutes, chickens, frogs, smoke bombs, and dragon snaps. The kids get more and more demanding as they see the tents opening and beg to go buy fireworks earlier and earlier. We have to ration the supply to last us until the actual holiday.

One of my favorite things about living where we live is that we are able to shoot off fireworks. Our neighbors all shoot them off too. The first year we lived here, the kids were little, and had been afraid of the giant city fireworks display, so we put them to bed. Then my husband and I sat out in our pasture in our lawn chairs and watched all the neighbors’ fireworks from afar. For the past three years, we’ve gone to one of our neighbor’s house where they have a huge picnic and numerous teenage boys who keep the fireworks shooting off for half the night. Between keeping the little kids safe, braving the heat, and dousing ourselves with OFF! mosquito repellant, a good time is had by all.

This year, we’ll be having a retro Fourth and going back to Miami for the weekend. I’ll be taking my kids swimming in the city pool, and meandering around the Riverview Park for the Fourth’s festivities, although I doubt we’ll be staying for the fireworks since we’ll have an hour and a half drive home after. We do intend to take in the Commerce, OK (home of Mickey Mantle and a new statue of him) fireworks display on Saturday night with my uncle.

I hope you all have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend and some happy memories without burns or maiming from fireworks! Might want to get some burn cream, just in case!

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.”

-Battle Hymn of the Republic, Julia Howe, 1861