Independence Day

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*Please note: With an awareness of my family’s safety and privacy, I do not refer to our children by name on this public blog or its Facebook page. They are being referred as Spock, Stitch, and Jack-Jack (listed by birth order from oldest to youngest). Though I may post pictures, I intentionally keep their faces hidden.  Family and friends, please help me keep their privacy by refraining from using their real names in comments. Thank you for understanding!

This past weekend was Independence Day! It was extra special for us because my parents treated us with a visit! We always look forward to their trips as it is a time when we can share a bit of our life here with them.

We have a local farmer’s market near our home and my mom and I went on their first morning here.  She loves markets and it was fun to watch her excitement mount as we walked through ours. There was a band picking strings, a hundred incredible smells, and gorgeous colors at every table. She and I shared a delicious Michigan Pasty (a meat pastry from the Upper Peninsula).

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Biking has become one of our favorite family pastimes.  Since my parents enjoy it too, the boys have been looking forward to taking their Papa and Gigi on a ride for weeks. Spock (8) recently broke his wrist and the doctor forbade bike rides.  So he and Gigi enjoyed a special craft and ice cream together instead while the rest of us went on a ride.

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My dad is a pastor and weekend visits are not as convenient for him.  We were thrilled that he and mom were able to visit our church during this trip.  Our church family is a big part of our lives and a major support system to us.  They have loved, encouraged, and carried us through some tough times over the last year – especially as two of the boys underwent some health issues. We were happy to introduce my parents to the friends we have come to love there.

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Mom and Dad insisted that Eric and I go on a date to enjoy some time together without the kids (thank you, thank you)! While we were gone, they took the boys to Chick-fil-a and the pet store (the boys love going). We had forbidden any animals being brought home, but the boys managed to come back with brochures on how to care for your corn snake, fire-bellied toad, tropical lizard, and hermit crab (thanks for planting those seeds, Dad)!

Evenings together were the most fun as we were able to take it easy, go for walks, play games, and catch up over good conversation.  We really miss those simple kinds of moment together.

Since they needed to be back at work on Wednesday morning, my parents headed out on the 4th of July.  Goodbyes are hard so, right after they left, Eric and I took the boys to a nearby parade in a small town. There are a few things I have learned about small town parades over the years: 1) They are a fun way of appreciating small-town America, (2) Your children will leave with more candy than they know what to do with, and (3) the parades never cease to amaze me with their length! We found a new family tradition during the 4th of July as long as the boys enjoy it!

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Some friends called yesterday afternoon and invited us to their home for the evening. We have been so thankful for the sweet friendships that we have developed here!  I plan to begin introducing you to our friends throughout the remainder of the year so I’ll just start here!  We met Luke and Shauna at church and got to know each other more last summer when we went to the same home for a Bible study.  Their friendship has been a blessing in so many ways.

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They are a fun family and they had the great idea of decorating bikes with glow sticks and then going on a night ride to watch fireworks!  To say that we all had a good time would be a huge understatement!  I don’t know what the kids like best – riding their decorated bikes or playing with the glow sticks afterwards!

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The Fourth of July festivities are over, but the memories we made will last for a lifetime!

 

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