I got this face a lot while we waited:
Our friends had some cowbells and the kids had a great time taking turns ringing them. What age is it when the constant ringing becomes less enjoyable? We did end up asking them to only ring the bells when there were really large crowds, the first male/female runner, and other such times. It helped, a little.
Jim came about when we expected, of course I had used the Find my Friends app to keep tabs on him.
After the dads came by, Ellie and the friends decided this clapping for good luck thing was pretty fun and kept it up. It started out pretty slow-going, but once the ultra-competitive runners had all passed, the average-Joe runners were pretty supportive of their efforts. Several people went out of their way to come clap hands with the kids.
They loved it.
Then Lady Liberty made her appearance, which was pretty awesome, even though I can't imagine running in that getup.
She stopped and let Ellie and Page hold the torch while she lit it before heading on her way. How many of you can say you saw Lady Liberty running down the street with a burning torch on the Fourth?
Actually, I'm sure quite a few of you did with all the parades, races, and other festivities going on.
Soon after that the girls tired of standing there and we all headed to our respectful abodes to await the return of our sweaty runners. On the way, there were enormous squeals of excitement over this duck and her chicks making their way up the creek near our apartment.
We spent the evening in a pretty typical fashion, hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill and fireworks with friends.
The only thing Ellie claimed to want was sparklers, until other things entered the picture and then she wanted a turn with everything. Sometimes she really struggles to realize she's not an adult yet. When Jim lit this one she took off running straight for him yelling "I want a turn, I want a turn!!"
It was a really fun evening. We had so much fun visiting with our friends and seeing their new home. At one point I mentioned that the fourth had been my least favorite holiday for years and then found myself having to explain why... when I delved into pollution and carelessnes and just plain environmental impact, Jim replied "You really are a hippie, aren't you?" Why yes, yes I am, or was. I'm really not a hippie at all compared to what I've seen here in Oregon.
It was a fantastic day.