Happy 4th of July

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The 4th of July fell on a Monday this year, making for a lovely long weekend. It was a much needed reprieve in the midst of two busy weeks.

The girls and I arrived home from Young Women Camp on Saturday afternoon. After a needed afternoon nap we began the process of transferring things like flashlights and camp chairs from our camp pile to Rusty’s packing pile. He was headed to Boy Scout camp, so the evening was spent getting him packed to go.

Unfortunately he had to be dropped off at 5:30 am on the morning of the 4th so he had to miss watching fireworks with the family, but he was so excited for his week at Scout camp that we didn’t feel too bad for him!

He left with his troop early Monday morning and will return home on Saturday.

After dropping off Russ the bulk of the day on Monday was spent preparing Toby to leave for Michigan. He was hired by my sister and her husband to replace their roof and add an addition onto their home. This means he will be living with them for most of the summer and returning home just days before we leave on our cross country road trip, so we spent most of the 4th of July packing him up to leave, loading his truck with his tools, finishing the last of our planning for the trip and nailing down our itinerary so that we can finish making reservations, and making a list of what work we still need to get done on the bus before we leave.

He will come home on Tuesday for one or two weeks while he waits on building permits and will use that week at home to finish up the bus. Whatever doesn’t get completed in that time just won’t be done for our road trip. The good news is that most of what is left to be done are the “extras” and finishing touches.

Then he will head back North with Molly and Rusty (they are going to spend the remainder of the summer working with him as his laborers) and they will all return for the first day of school. The kids are looking forward to spending their summer with the Kirks and learning some valuable skills as laborers for Daddy.

Grace and I will stay behind with the two little boys and hold down the fort here.

After Toby and I  felt we had a handle on planning out the next 3 months then our “planning” turned to the evening as we decided what to do for the 4th of July.

For the last few years we have gone down to the Point in Pittsburgh for their epic fireworks show. Pittsburgh does it BIG and it is always awe-inspiring and stunningly beautiful. This year we were uncertain as to whether we would venture downtown because of heavy rainstorms. We waited to make the call until the last minute and finally at 8:00 pm the sun began to breakthrough the clouds and we decided to go for it.

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The sky stayed  dry for the remainder of the evening and the added benefit of late afternoon rain was smaller crowds. There were only a small fraction of the people that normally gather at the Point for the fireworks display.

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We arrive 30 minutes before the show began and enjoyed walking along the river down to the Point.

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We found seats without any effort and enjoyed a late evening picnic as we waited for the show to start.

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The energy was palpable and the combination of sights and sounds made the 4th of July come alive.

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It makes me proud to be an American!

Playing in the background as we watched the show was this classic, patriotic tribute:

“If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘ Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there’s pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I’m proud to be and American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.”

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Happy Fourth of July from our family to yours!

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