The rest of the fourth...

 After the parade we headed back to the Taylor's for a BBQ.

Perry and Rosa found a bucket of water.

Paisley and Cosette found a bunch of PVC pipe and connectors (better than Legos).

And Fielding and Cana found Grandpa Taylor's homemade ice cream.

 Perry desperately needed a good nap. So after the feast, we headed home to put him down. The older kids watched a show and then we had craft time while we waited for a special surprise.

A craft which Fielding totally got into (and YEA! - I convinced him into a boy's shirt).

The special surprise arrived in the form of my sister Kara and two of her kids. We scarfed down some quesadillas and then we all loaded up in the van and headed to Ann Morrison for the big show. 

We played some Frisbee while we waited.

 But Blake and Brenden weren't very good at sharing so Kara and I took the kids on a field trip to go look for the professional chalk art that was rumored to be around. We didn't find it but we did find a bucket of chalk...

 ...so we made our own.

Fielding was being an ornery bear until Kara "traced him" and when he stood up he found out he was a robot. My sisters could out-due Mary Poppins with their hands tied behind their backs.

Then we went back and busted out the glowsticks.

And waited for the main event.

Blake and I now agree that the only way (for us) to watch fireworks is laying on the grass at the place with the biggest show in town. It doesn't matter if it means crowds, or traffic, or tired kids - it is so worth it. Hearing those first rockets fly into the air, then watching the colors appear, then quickly turning to see my children's faces in awe as they are bathed in the afterglow of a multicolored explosion that is so close you felt the blast - it was magical.

 And then my sister starts blasting Proud to be an American on her phone and I am a goner. The tears start to form and all I can think is, "I am so blessed. We are so blessed. Our lives, here in this land, are so good. How am I this lucky?"

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