The plan was to have the Schillings, Whites, and Rileys out on the boat all day, and then settle in to our house for our annual Third of July festivities.
The first snag of the day began when John went to take a shower. Eek! No hot water. Well, that would have to be put on hold until after a day on the lake (and thank goodness for a hot water dispenser in the meantime to take care of small batches of dishes and food prep - like this triple batch of Rice Krispie Treats and two bans of brownies!). (Footnote, it was later fixed with a good clean out of the filter).
The second snag, not so easy to overcome. John had noticed on the way home that the trailer for the boat was not traveling correctly, and took Ellie and Mikayla with him first thing in the morning to Les Schwab to get what was needed to repaired. Actually, not such an easy fix. We didn't get the boat/trailer back until about 3pm. Fortunately, it was an "under warranty" relatively inexpensive fix, and we are uber thankful that it didn't result in a major crash as it was an axle issue that could have been disastrous if it broke completely in transit. However, there went the plans for the lake.
We were hopeful in the morning that we would have it back in time, so the Whites and Schillings made their way to our house - and then, we all ended up just chilling. With temps in the high 90's - if you did end up outside, it necessitated water splashing on you. Which, actually, we all took turns doing with Whitley on the trampoline - and the girls prepared water balloons on the court.
There was lots of this going on too...
Right around 6:00, the Quigleys arrived, and it was time to get the bar-b-q started...
As I spill forth the dozens of pics, I ought to point out this beautiful bouquet. John and the girls brought it home for me after going to Les Schwab together - however, instead of the sweet peas, it had some weedy looking yellow filler...that I wasn't a fan of. Since we had an abundance of time, I asked Traig to drive the girls near Camp Harlow where I'd see the sweet peas growing on the side of the road, and they were happy to oblige. HOWEVER, poor MIKAYLA! She got stung by a wasp - about ten days after being stung previously. I felt so bad, but the flowers looked beautiful!
As we neared "go time", the kids are all told to pitch in to clean and set up - I was running out of jobs, so I handed Ellie my camera and told her to grab pics of the food, decor, and people....
Whitley and "her Traig"....sometimes it's cuddles, sometimes it's attack mode ;)
Hey Quigleys! Good to have you! Party start time!!!!!!
The girls spent a good chunk of time just taste testing and sharing the bottled pop we'd picked up from World Market. My favorite was the "Dang It's Good!" Butterscotch Root Beer - that they all said tasted a lot like the "Butterbeer" the Schillings and Whites had in Harry Potter World at Universal. I can see why they all couldn't stop talking about it.
Without Brayden and Andrew around yet, Whitley got a little extra time with Traig.
Brayden ended up returning shortly after the Meyers arrived (after dinner). Brayden had been invited to join some guys from his Bible Study/Harlow out at a cabin one of their family's owned on Foster Lake - one of those offers where when he asks, you get the "yes" out before the question is fully out. Awesome people, great influences, keeping him busy....yes, yes, yes.
I titled this pic on Instagram: "The Bad Boys of Summer" ;)
The girls all chose (for whatever reason) to hang out in Traig's pick-up. You can only imagine how giddy Whitley was to get to go sit out with them.
Soon after that picture was taken, the boys, from the roof, launched some water balloons onto the girls and then chased them down the street. Good, clean, fun! (And, yes, Whitley stayed protected!)
We are still trying to perfect the harmony aspect of setting off the fireworks on the street. Traig tends to be a bit methodical and safety-conscious, while Brayden wants to fly by the seat of his pants when lighting them off. And, then they clash, and poor Andrew ends up in the middle trying to avoid conflict. We might just leave the job to the girls next year!!!
Eventually they got it worked out, and we got some dazzling lights before us.
This little one started out a bit freaked out. She asked Steph to take her inside because it was too loud and scary. :( I was really hoping the "my people" element would prevent her from leaving it all - and sure enough, she hung out with Steph just up the driveway by my car for a bit. Eventually, she asked to sit with me - and the Whites were happy to oblige just to have her out there and content. Ultimately, she was very bummed when it all ended and wished we had more to light off. =)
For the first time in several years, we actually had plans we were looking forward to in terms of celebrating Independence Day beyond just the night of the third. So, it wasn't a downer to go to bed, knowing there was still more fun to come!