Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July - 2011

This year the 4th of July was very similar to last years 4th of July, and I'm guessing similar to next years 4th of July.....but one significant piece was missing this year.  Rob.  Rob was out running over his lunch hour with a coworker and pulled a muscle in his back (or something to that affect) that left him in a heap of pain.  When he got home on Friday afternoon for our departure to Iowa he could barely walk.  It's, by far, the grumpiest I've ever seen him so I know he was in some real pain.  He ended up staying behind while the rest of us headed to West Bend.  It was a hard decision for him to make because his 15 year high school reunion was Friday night.  But, his triathlon is less than a week away and a three hour drive (each way), and a foreign bed wouldn't be doing his back any favors, so while we headed to Iowa, he headed to the chiropractor and masseuse.

I hate to rub it in, but he missed a good time.  I actually ended up going to his class reunion without him.  Maybe that is a little odd, but he graduated with only 30 some other people, so I knew most of them, plus one of my good college friends would be there and I wanted to catch up with her.

Saturday is when the real fun begins in West Bend.  We started off with the parade at 11am.  One of Ellie favorite things to do lately at Grandma and Grandpa Runchey's is to try on all Grandma's necklaces.  I'm sure (I hope!) Grandma is selective as to which ones she lets Ellie run around with, but she was very excited about her selections and wore them most of the day.

We picked a spot at the end of the parade route which is either great because all the floats throw out their remaining candy, or awful because all the floats have just thrown out all their remaining candy.  This year it was the former and after some coaching from Uncle Kerry, the kids walked away with quite a loot!


After the parade we headed back for lunch, and followed that up with a trip to the carnival games.  Each kid walked away with a handful of trinkets from their efforts.

After the carnival it was off to free swimming.  Ellie stayed back at Grandma and Grandpa's, but Riley, Austin, and I hit up the pool where Riley showed off her new confidence in the pool.  I didn't sign her up for lessons this year because she has been so timid in the pool, but now I'm second guessing that decision.

After the pool we went home to rest for a bit.  That lasted all of an hour and then we went back to the carnival to try out the inflatable things.

Bounce castle (right before Ellie hurt her back...sympathy pains for her dad):


Slide (where Austin did cannon balls and little flips on the way down):


Obstacle course (where Riley impressed me by beating a kid almost 3 times her age):

We finished off the carnival with snow cones.  Approximately 10 minutes before dinner.  Oops.

The only thing left on the agenda, besides playing with their cousins!!!, was fireworks.  Having been "go go go" all day, with no naps, I wasn't sure the kids were going to make it through the fireworks. 

And they didn't.  At least not Riley.  She was captivated by them at first.  Then she watched a few from a reclining position.  Then about 10 minutes in, she conked out.

We got back to Shakopee on Sunday to find Rob slightly better, but still ailing.  For the actual 4th, we went to the YMCA to do some more swimming and to visit the splash pad.  Then it was off to my parents for a BBQ and croquet.  We followed that up with a trip on the pontoon and lots of snacks.  And finally, more fireworks.  All the kids made it through them this time, but they collapsed when we got home.  Five fun-filled days (the kids and I were at the pool yesterday from 11-4) was too much for them.  Ellie is run down and sick, and neither of the girls protested naps today!  I never thought I'd say it, but we could almost use a rainy day just to force us to stay inside to rest!

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