Sunday, July 5, 2020

Happy Independence Day!

July arrived with monsoons!  These might not be true monsoons, but they are a nice warm up for the real thing.  We enjoyed some overcast skies and high winds. 
 When we took our game outside to enjoy the cooler weather while the sun was blocked by clouds, a few raindrops fell. 
 It was a huge relief to be able to be outside for a little while without being afflicted by the oppressive heat.  Until the mosquitoes arrived. We aren't accustomed to the humidity, either, so it feels alarmingly clammy when our sweat doesn't evaporate instantly.  Thank heavens for central air conditioning. 
 Jared thought this view of the night sky and neighborhood lights out our front window was amazing. 
 The fourth of July is one of our favorite holidays.  For the most of the past eight years we have gone to our ward's pancake breakfast on the 4th.  That isn't happening this year, but we managed to get a significant amount of partying in with our isolation group.  We started on the evening of the 3rd with a cousin sleepover.  The girls were at the Campbells', and the boys were at our house. All of the kids slept in sleeping bags on the floor (it's waaaay too hot for a real campout).  Eloise and McKenzie somehow switched places in their sleep, which was weird.  They stayed up late and woke up early, so we anticipated this being an emotional and short Independence Day. 
We were at Grandma's house before 7 a.m. getting set up for our own small pancake breakfast. 
 We had sausage, bacon, watermelon, cherries, orange juice, and chocolate chip pancakes.  The fourth of July is a holiday, but it is also Megan's birthday, so we needed to make it special.  This shirt, while festive, was not a good choice for July in Tucson.  I was sweltering. 
 Eloise lives for her girl nights.  I think Ryan feels similarly about the boy nights. 
 Happy birthday, Megs!  Already six years old!
 B demolished a plate of cherries and wore cherry blood around for the rest of the morning. 
 Pretty soon the day was warm enough that the only way to be outside was with water.  Todd ordered a canopy that fits over the pool this week because the kids had been complaining about the water being too warm.  I don't know that this will help that much, since it's still over 100 degrees for the better part of every day, and low temperatures are hovering around 80. Ugh. I miss Washington. 
 Because this pool is rather small for ten kids to play in at once, pool games are usually elaborate dramas.  For the 4th of July, appropriately, the kids founded a country called Swimarea.  They didn't have a president, they had a grand lifeguard.  Their new society was complete with a national anthem and traditional Swimarean games, like Marco Polo.  My favorite moment was when Rachel said, "And now, a traditional Swimarean greeting!" And all of the kids dove under water so they could wave with their feet.  Ryan and B founded Trampolinia when the pool started to feel too crowded. 
 After a while we went inside and fulfilled Megan's birthday wish of having "candy games." Much candy was enjoyed by all.  Since everyone was still around after a few hours, we went ahead and had our barbecue for lunch.  The heat was miserable, but the food was delicious. 
 After all of the candy and birthday cupcakes, no one touched the icebox cake Eloise and I made.  We even experimented with adding a strawberry jello layer to the middle.  Todd was skeptical about this, thinking that the jello would clash with the graham crackers, but it turned out great.  The jello did destabilize the cake a little bit, so it had to be propped up with graham crackers on the side, but the end result was delicious. 
 After lunch the kids all went to the Campbells' to watch a movie, and Todd, Colette, and I watched Hamilton.  The Broadway musical was just released as a film of the stage version by Disney.  Tickets have been impossible to get since the musical was released, so it was really cool to get to see what the hype was about.  And eat icebox cake, since we hadn't been chowing down on candy with the kids. 
We decided that we would do our small number of fireworks before it got too late, since everyone was tired after a long day in the heat.  Colette brought smoke bombs, and we set off poppers and sparklers and a few fireworks before 7 p.m. 
 Somehow the sparkler has disappeared from this picture, and B just has fire on his forehead. 
 Ryan was standing really close to this "grand finale" firework.  It started with a little flame, and Ryan inched closer.  All of a sudden it started snapping and popping really loud, and he leapt backward with his hands over his ears. 
We had the earliest fireworks in the neighborhood, and we were okay with that.  Happy exhausting Independence Day!

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