Creeks And Golf. Birthdays And Family. Hog Camp And Fireworks.

If I measured our 4th of July fun on a barometer of bone-weary exhaustion, then it would be safe to say that we had one horn-tootin’, flag-wavin’, sparkler-twirlin’, ball of a good time.

Which is probably the reason behind the small fact that everyone in our house slept like Rip Van Winkle on Benadryl shots last night.

July 1st is our anniversary.  On July 2nd, Hubs and I took the boys to the creek with some good friends of ours, where the kids all ran and jumped and splashed and carried on for two-point-five hours, until Thing 2 was too tired to even stand.  July 3rd was my dad’s birthday.  And then Independence Day, of course, popped up, as it usually does, on July 4th.   On July 5th, our church hosted its annual pig roast, thanks to Hubs and some friends who stayed awake all night, cooking the 240 pound beast.

Apparently our family likes to cram as many holidays together as we possibly can.  If one barbecue is good, then four in four days is probably better.

So… I’ll start at the beginning and try to keep the words to a bare minimum.

Our friends, Brian and Sarah, are a genuine hoot.  As in, whenever we get together, I always laugh hard enough to make the muscles in my face ache.  Their twin boys are the only children on the planet with enough stamina to keep up with Thing 2 for an entire afternoon, and I took full advantage of them standing in as babysitters, while the grownups sat at a picnic table and discussed important matters, like the best barbecue sauces available on the market and the benefit of making children save up $29 on their own to buy a Nerf bow and arrow.

image2(And yes.  Sometimes you run so fast, you simply CRASH on the banks of the little creek.)

IMG_4134When our herd of kids was sufficiently sopped and hyped up on white chocolate pretzels, they rode Thing 2’s plasma car around the tennis court.

image1And that’s about the time that our three-year-old tipped over and suffered a full-on, eyes-rolled-to-the-back-of-the-head meltdown, because EXHAUSTION.  It was every bit as lovely as y’all can imagine.

So… we went home for dinner (because man shall not live on white chocolate pretzels alone), and then everyone went to bed early, because we are terribly sophisticated in our nightlife.

The next day, Hubs and I rented a couple of golf carts, and we took the boys golfing for the afternoon.  Thing 2 loves to golf with his big brother, but his game is more of a GOLF-MEETS-HOCKEY-MEETS-SOCCER-MEETS-AGGRESSIVE-WRESTLING-WITH-HEADLOCKS sort of thing.

Also?  Well, we found out that Thing 2 is officially a left-handed golfer, after his Grammy bought him his own set of right-handed clubs.

image3 image5 FullSizeRender image7

IMG_4145And THIS is pretty much what nine holes in the six-hundred-degree heat will do to a fellow:

image6Later on Friday, we all got together to celebrate my dad’s birthday.  Mam had a picnic in the park, right back at the creek.  Mam has taught preschool for a whole-big-lot of years, and she knows that hot kids are cranky kids.  She also knows that playing in creeks keeps kids happy, happy, happy, so that’s where we met up with Mam and Pa and Sister’s family for fried chicken and watermelon and salad.

IMG_3884 IMG_3889 IMG_3891 IMG_3893 IMG_3895 IMG_3899 IMG_3906 IMG_3910 IMG_3913 IMG_3916 IMG_3918 IMG_3921 IMG_3925 IMG_3935On Saturday, we celebrated the 4th by making a big pasta salad and heading out to some friends’ house for a big barbecue.  Melanie and Darrell know how to throw a holiday party when the outside air is exactly the same temperature as the surface of the sun.

It involved a swimming pool for the kids, and some cold drinks for the grownups.

Thing 2 wasted zero-point-zero seconds getting into the water when we arrived.  I had packed his swimming suit, but he couldn’t even be bothered with waiting to change; he just dove into the pool, in his shorts and T-shirt.

IMG_4192 IMG_4197 IMG_4201 IMG_4209And then he found a broken, strapless pair of swim goggles that he just suctioned onto his eyeballs.  He wore them ALL! NIGHT! LONG!, and I nearly peed my pants laughing at him, every time he ran by me in those things.

IMG_4216 IMG_4217 IMG_4218 IMG_4222 IMG_4219 IMG_4224 IMG_4226 IMG_4228 IMG_4229 IMG_4230 IMG_4237We sang a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” to Taylor, because GUESS WHO TURNED THIRTEEN THIS WEEKEND?

IMG_4207And?  THIS BABY?!  Well, all of his cuteness makes my ovaries ache, as I insist that YES!  WE SHOULD HAVE ANOTHER BABY AT OUR HOUSE!  And then I remember that Hubs and I already have one foot in a nursing home and that Thing 2 still doesn’t sleep well at night, and then I come to my senses.

No.  More.  Babies.

But THIS ONE makes me REALLY WANT another one!

IMG_4240 IMG_4241 IMG_4243Eventually, some of us moms coerced (under threats to CUT THE FUN OFF and TEAR Y’ALL UP, if you don’t GET OVER HERE RIGHT NOW!) all the kids to stop their fun for sixty seconds for a group photo.

IMG_4246IMG_4215 IMG_4258 IMG_4259 IMG_4265 IMG_4267 IMG_4272We MAY have broken OSHA’s rules about how many children can safely be on a large trampoline on Saturday evening.

IMG_4274 IMG_4275(And yes!  That really IS a nose pressed against the safety net!)

Because our church was having a big pig roast on Sunday, Hubs and the boy, and Gage and Sister’s Husband, and Scott and Darrell and Brian C. all set up Hog Camp.  They put a 240 pound pig into the giant barbecue.  They added coals and seasoning, and they lit it all up like it was the 4th of July.

Which, you know, it totally was.

And then they circled in the chairs and settled in for THE.  ENTIRE.  NIGHT.  You shouldn’t be worried about the fact that they weren’t going to get any sleep, because this batch of big boys all declared that they wished they could quit their real jobs and smoke hogs for a living.  They insisted that it’s a fine art to get the perfect pulled pork sandwich, and coals have to be added at precise intervals, all night long.

Whatever.

IMG_4270 IMG_4269And yes.  This next snapshot has  Scott in focus… while Hubs is very, VERY blurry.

It’s because Scott’s beard takes up too much of the focusing power on my camera.  That beard is like a third person in this photo!

IMG_4268When it was finally dark enough, the sparklers came out…

… which terrified Thing 2 like they were live nuclear weapons.  He clung to me like a terrified monkey, so I passed my camera to our friend, Sam, who took these next shots of the kiddos.

IMG_4279 IMG_4280 IMG_4281 IMG_4282 IMG_4288 IMG_4293 IMG_4294 IMG_4298 IMG_4305 IMG_4336 IMG_4314At 10:00 on Saturday night, we hauled our lawn chairs to the edge of Darrell and Melanie’s field, so that we could watch Small Town’s enormous, annual fireworks show.

(Psst!  There’s THAT DARLING BABY again!)

IMG_4342 IMG_4344 IMG_4357 IMG_4365 IMG_4366Thing 2 may be scared to death of SIMPLE SPARKLERS, but he loved the big show, with all the loud noises…

… which he watched with Mel and Darrell in the John Deere Mule!

IMG_4373Afterward, we loaded up our exhausted children, and we all went home.  As Thing 2 and I were driving home alone (having left Hubs and the boy behind to cook that giant piglet), he told me, “Mommy?  Melanie is my favorite party!”

Honey, Melanie is EVERYONE’S favorite party!

On Sunday, we met a sleep-deprived Hubs and the boy at church.  They both smelled like campfire smoke and pig grease.  Their hair ‘dos could only be described as EXTREME BEDHEADS, which required ball caps to hide.

And the pig?  Well, apparently that band of brothers knows what they’re doing, because it was cooked to perfection.  It was the hit of the church barbecue.

And then… THEN!

We came home.

Hubs fell asleep lying sideways on our bed, at 2:30 in the afternoon.

The boy fell asleep on the living room floor, with his feet on the sofa.

I’d say that it really WAS a great 4th of July weekend!

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