Archive for July, 2009

Jul 07 2009

Doing the 4th – Kelsey Style

Published by under Slice of Life

Here is how we like to celebrate Independence Day. This is a little tradition brought about by necessity. Since we’ve had small children for over a decade, it seems that someone is always uncomfortable with the loud fireworks displays. But fireworks beyond what you can light in your yard have been a part of my 4th since the Music Man band and VP fair of the mid 80’s. So we’ve found a compromise. We normally head out around 9:20 or 9:30 for Steak-N-Shake. We order milkshakes and sit on a hill and watch 3-4 different displays: Hazelwood, Florissant, and Maryland Heights. All from a kid friendly distance. We get there just in time for the big finally. Forget the warm-ups, we just want to be dazzled. (Hannah discovered this year that we weren’t there from the beginning and was complaining that Mommy and Daddy had been tricking the kids!  The jig is up!)  That’s just about enough time to finish off the shake and get in the car and go home. Mission accomplished: total celebration in about 1 hour. You couldn’t do better if you produced it for reality TV!

This year was a little different. We were invited to visit with some friends who happened to live about a mile from a Steak-N-Shake… how convenient! So we parked at the destination and headed out on foot.

Here’s a view from the back of the pack.

Notice that Dad wore a long sleeve shirt? Some folks just don’t know how to check the weather…
Hmm – looks like Mommy and Hannah were lallygagging.

As we were passing by the school, we noticed that they had buses running as shuttles down to the fireworks display. Being homeschooled, our kids have never been on “the big yellow bus” that I’ve personally logged the equivalent of more than a few months on. Gotta capture this for posterity.

Hannah just looks like one of the kids from Jr. high (or middle school these days).

Unfortunately the bus couldn’t go down the street we needed so we drove past our destination and had to walk back. When we got out, there were about 20 people waiting to get on. But Dad had to take pictures anyway, what a dork.

Hannah said, “No press!” and Nathan couldn’t quite make that big step at the bottom.

Caleb is always ready to contemplate the significance of the moment though.

We got to our friends’ house and spent some time visiting and eating some of the food that was piled up around the place.  There was plenty for all.  I had a big heap of cherries that were yummy. When it was dark and fireworks were getting ready, we walked back and ordered our shakes. By the time we laid out our blanket, some rain started to sprinkle down. “It’s only a sprinkle, Dad.” Hannah informed me. I said, “When it’s coming down pretty good, I’ll remind you that you said ‘just a sprinkle’.” By the time the fireworks started a decent rain was coming down. Hannah volunteered to slip down to the van and get the cool golf umbrella that Laura got me for my birthday a year or two ago. The hill was so wet that she could barely walk back up with flip flops in the mud.

Laura and Nathan had retreated to the van. Joshua was melting as his legs were getting soaked – but with Daddy’s big umbrella we could mostly stay under it.

I tried to get an arms length shot while laying along the side of the blanket. Who needs fireworks pictures when you can see fireworks observers!

Hey, I just found a post from last year’s 4th of July! The more things change, the more they stay the same. I guess we’re pretty boring after all.

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