Today my nieces were the first awake. They were quietly cautious not to wake up the people who they were sharing a bedroom with as well as the boys who were still asleep down stairs. Essentially they had the choice to hang out in my room or the hallway. Shortly after 10:00 Nicole woke up. And she took it upon herself to wake up everyone else in the house that was still sleeping.
My parents went off to run some errands downtown while I prepared breakfast/lunch for the crew around 11:30.
It was a strange assortment of fruit pastries, salami, cereal, cherries, and left over fried chicken... but it worked.
After breakfast they busied themselves with the wii for a bit and then we all headed over to Color Me Mine. There each kid chose an item to paint and then the colors they wished to use. All eight started to paint at about the same time but four finished much faster than the other four. Rather than have them sit through the joy of watching others paint these faster four left with my mom and dad to return home for more wii-time.
I stayed, happily, with the meticulous. In the end, they took a little over two hours and only finished after the studio closed at 4:00. I was impressed with their work ethic. This is summer after all. Once our whole group of eleven met up again, back at home, it was time to head over to the DeVous's home.
Nicole DeVous has been a friend of mine for over 20 years. She was in fact my best friend through high school. Her parents generously opened their home to us for Fourth of July celebrations. Seven of the eight kids essentially entered the DeVous pool at about 4:30 and didn't get out again until fireworks lighting at 9:15pm (save for a quick BBQ meal). They really are a pretty easy group to make happy. I bet if we spend the next 3 weeks doing nothing but playing wii and swimming they would still go home feeling like "California" is the coolest place ever. They don't even take up much room, as you can see from the photo below).Once the sun set we all moved our party from the backyard swimming pool to the front yard street where we could safely light fireworks. The Ovillers explained that while the Fourth of July is celebrated with carnivals and fireworks in the surrounding villages, the fireworks are the up-in-the-sky ones not the light 'em yourself variety. They were beaming with excitement to light even the smallest ones themselves.
In typical teacher fashion we took turns with the crowd watching and not lighting waiting patiently in a line on the sidewalk as the lucky lighter ran out to make the wick sparkle. We were in fact so cautious at the beginning that Steph and Shay took shelter from the hazardous entertainment in Shay's car. I jokes.
Shay is pregnant and a full day at the pool followed by the sights (purple rain!), sounds (piccolo petes!) and smells (smoke bombs!) of the fireworks was really better appreciated while sitting in the comfortable car seats.
As the night grew on we all started to get more and more lax on the whole "safety" issue and we ended up doing a little of this kind of stuff.Good thing I had those parents all sign releases, huh?
So aside from the story I don't want to tell about our van breaking down again (suspected reason? alternator) it was a really complete, active, and fun day all around. Lots of happy smiles are hitting pillows in our house here at 1:51am.