Thursday, July 05, 2012


About ten years ago, I was at a friend of Brayden's birthday party and one of the moms there was telling us all that the Fourth of July was her favorite holiday.   I remember thinking, "hmm, I never would have said that for myself".  We grew up with quite a bit of randomness for the Fourth.  It was always a fun day, but we didn't really create traditions around it.  Since that mom said something, I think it's been my mission to appreciate the holiday that much more and create traditions that stick.  I can't say that we've yet nailed down the ideal perfection to the evening of the Fourth, but we've had a lot of fun over the years making some valiant attempts at that ideal.

Yesterday was no exception.  We have often found that going to a new-release potential blockbuster movie is a good idea during the day, so we took all of our pre-purchased tickets* to Cinemark and watched the 11:25 showing of "The Amazing Spiderman".

I've been a fan of all of the previous Spiderman movies and wondered why another remake was that big of a deal - but gotta admit: IT WAS GREAT!!!  Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone nailed their roles and the chemistry was fun to watch knowing they actually fell in love with each other during the making of the movie.

Following the movie, the Schillings parted ways with us and set off for their annual tradition at Michael's brother's, Brian's, house.  It's his birthday on the Fourth and as long as Michele's known Michael, that's where they've gone to his beautiful property, gathering all of the extended family and friends and culminating the evening with spectacular fireworks courtesy of Brian's pyrotech permit.  They even light floating lanterns like you see in "Tangled".  Now, that's the kind of tradition I'm talking about!

We, on the other hand, lounged for a while then went to Yo My My for fro yo and to see Michael Chase who works there, and then off to pick up the Whites to go to the Emerald's baseball game.  The Emerald's are our local minor league team - and I haven't been a game of theirs in maybe ten years?  Certainly not since they moved to the new PK Park adjacent to Autzen Stadium where the Ducks also play their baseball games.  It is a great venue and it felt very "All-Americana" to be at a baseball game on the Fourth of July with fireworks following.

The fireworks were great, especially cool to be able to lay a blanket out on the field to watch them.  Honestly though, I would have gladly traded the second half of the very long baseball game for more time of pretty fireworks.  The Em's did win though!

 Big gorgeous yellow full moon on the Fourth!

All in all, a very well spent Fourth of July!

* This next little segment is of absolutely no interest to any of you readers unless you dig the whole idea of amazing deals/extreme couponing.  This June, our local Safeway supermarket ran a program where you could score a pass for two movie tickets for every $40 spent on participating dairy products.  Knowing what kind of summer movie viewers we are - I went for it, and carefully picked out at least $50 worth of useful and on-sale dairy products.  However, when I went to cash out, the "Catalina Machine" that spits out these kind of coupons wasn't working.  So, I was directed to the customer service counter.  Not a problem, I didn't have any pressing plans for the day, so I had plenty of patience and time to wait.  The kind lady helping me ran my products through three times in attempt to get to the $40 "bingo price" to get my coupon, but no luck.  I let other customers go ahead while we waited for a manager to give it a try.  With no luck, they offered the next best thing - a gift card.  Because the maximum value for the deal was $26 for the two tickets, they bumped it up to a $25 Fandango gift card and a $5 Safeway card just to let me know they were thankful for my patience and apologetic for the hassle.  Seriously?  What a deal!  Most of the time, we go to matinee movies and at Cinemark, they only cost $4 each.  This way, I can get more than 6 admissions (not just the two offered by the "Dairy Deal") - plus money for snacks!

I left the store feeling smug.  You can only imagine how that giddy "oh what a deal" elation continued, when, on the next three visits to Safeway, the Catalina Machine at check out spit out the coupon deal!  (With little or no dairy purchases in my cart).  So, 6 ticket admission passes - and $25 Fandango bucks, and $5 Safeway money - all for buying dairy products I'd use anyway.  (Not to mention all this money spent going to gas rewards, saving us over $50 in the last six weeks at the gas station....).

You'd think this would be it, but on Monday, I went to Cinemark to purchase the advance tickets for 11 of us to see "Spiderman".  I had passes for 7 tickets, but the gal opted to give me the full value of the "Dairy Deal", so I walked away with 11 tickets for well as one of my "Dairy Deal" passes back as she didn't even have to use it.  Are you kidding me?  Needless to say, we made it clear to the whole family that this movie was on us!

That's it....not quite TLC channel worthy, but very cool for me!


Jodi said...

This is more of a comment from the previous post, and more for Steph W. than you (sorry!) but man! That woman looks BEEA-UTIFUL pregnant! Glowing, gorgeousness. Love it! xo

Congrats on the movie deal!

Tiffany said...

What a day of fun! Congrats on the coupons. I wish I could find deals like that, but that would only require looking and I'm not sure I'm ready to dive into the coupon craze just yet, although I really should!!!:)

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comment about trying to create more family traditions around the 4th. We're doing the same thing. It sounds like your family had fun together.