Saturday, July 3, 2010

I love Michigan...Happy 3rd of July!

I finally arrived at Mom and Dad's on July 1st after a pretty easy drive. Thankfully, my 'wonder van' came well equipped to handle a pair of crazy boys with DVD's, games and cushion seating,  while Cassie and I road in style up front.

The first few days here have been so peaceful and just plain what I needed. We were looking forward to our big holiday weekend coming up. Imagine my surprise when I learned the that town of Fenton, was actually holding their 4th of July celebration a day early - July 3rd. Apparently to their backwards way of thinking is that since the celebration is actually called a 'Freedom Festival' that they can hold it on any ol' day they seem fit and we have no choice in the matter. I don't know if this has to do with the fact that the 4th falls on a Sunday this year or that they couldn't get all the politicians to walk in the parade on a holiday but for whatever reason, we found ourselves waking up bright and early (6:10am for me) on July 3rd.

It's been a yearly tradition for my family to head down to the community center here in the heart of Fenton and enjoy a pancake breakfast, put on by the American Legion.  Before hand though, we check out the parade route and stake our place along the sidewalks with our lawn chairs, blankets and coolers. After breakfast, there's always tons of time to kill before the parade (I told you, we get there EARLY) but luckily there also happens to be a craft fair that goes on while the parade and other events take place. We usually always walk along the vendors and check out the various crafts and wears.

Downtown Fenton area is very quaint. There's the fire and police station, and behind that sits a beautiful gazebo surrounded by a park, playground and a creek that runs through town.

 There have been plenty of times we've just walked along this area. You can even take the dogs down here and just relax. Pack a picnic, take the kids to the park which is a little bit behind this picture. It's just lovely. All the older stores and shops also run along this road, giving this area a very family oriented feel.

So usually after we've walked the craft show, we make our way over to the gazebo and check out the water, take some pictures and just enjoy life.

It's been two years since I was home last for the 4th. I have to say, I have NEVER been anywhere else that makes the day as special as this town does. (Even when they throw the party on the 3rd.) This year was no exception. Unfortunately as you know, my awesome hubby is deployed. Everyone has been missing him being here with us to enjoy our Michigan Summer. So I devised a way to bring Jon along for the ride while we head out on our adventures. This is what I came up with.....


It's our very own Daddy on a stick! Now, I cannot take full credit for this awesome idea. In fact, my friend Jill thought of this for herself when we went out to celebrate our friends Renee's birthday a few months back and she was unable to attend because she was sick. So she put her head on a stick and gave it to Gia to take with us. If you'd like, you can read about that here----> Jill's Big Head.

We ended up taking him with us every where that day. From the pancake breakfast, to the parade and then to the fireworks that night. Jon got into so much trouble! He really is a naughty boy! Here are our adventures with Jon on a stick....ENJOY!


Here the boys are, up bright and early, ready to take Daddy to the pancake breakfast!
(Oh, I also made us all yellow ribbons to wear and Jon's stick says, "Our Hero".)


Jon getting ready to enjoy his pancakes! YUMMY!!!


He's such a messy eater I had to feed him. I swear, it's a good thing I love him.


We had someone take a picture of the whole family...



As we were getting ready to leave, I ran into these crazy characters that were going to be part of the parade. So of course Jon being MY superhero, I had to have him take a picture with them.


He is SUCH a camera hog making me take all these pictures of him. Here he is with the Rubber Ducky ticket booth...



On the other side of this trailer was a vendor that sold many items that helped pay for postage to send boxes to troops overseas. I wish I would of known of this sooner....


Jack posing with a bear that one of the vendors gave him...

Jason posing with his...


Jon and I playing peek-a-boo behind a tree...


My brother Kurtiss...just so excited to be wearing his patriotic hat while waiting for the parade to start...


The kids waiting....


Cassie giving me the typical 'teenager' look...


Happy 4th of July!



The kids with their Daddy...

Poor Jon was always getting picked on. Here he is waiting quietly in his spot and Jack and Kurtiss had to go and give him rabbit ears...


The fam...minus me and my Mom....

Of course I had a lot of people who would stop along the parade route and point out how cute he is. I even had a few veterens come up to me and ask me about him. In fact, that's how the boys got their bears. A vendor overheard us talking and told the boys that they needed those bears and to pick out which one they wanted. It truly amazes me the kindness of a lot of people who found out about my husband being deployed.


Jack chill'n out....


Jon got tired of sitting in the traffic cone...



After the parade we walked around downtown by the gazebo and the river...












Again Jon putting himself in awkward situations...Geez! That man!!!


Jon trying to scare us by hiding in the bushes...


The fam posing by the new clock tower that was revealed that day...


After we got home from the festivities, we all decided to chill out and get things started for our cookout. Mom and I putzed around in the kitchen for a little bit, getting our potatoe salad, watermelon and spare ribs ready to chow down on. At one point I needed to head to the ladies room, but as I walked in I was greeted by this.....


I SWEAR! You'd think he'd learn to shut the door and I really hope he used the air freshener! 


The spare ribs were YUMMY! Jon and Jason couldn't get enough of them!



After dinner, we headed back into town to claim our spot to watch the fireworks. There's a big field right in front of the Walmart which is part of the Silver Parkway shopping center.  We layed down blankets, popped up chairs and settled in for some lazy family time before the big show started.


Jack and Daddy chilling out, waiting to see the fireworks...


After a while, Jon started getting cold...

The kids decided to start a game of Frisbee-ball...













My brother. He's 'special'...


The kids playing a good ol' game of a Barrel of Monkey's...



Jon rocking the aviator shades. He looks pretty good in them.



At around 10pm, the show got started. Jon and I really loved them!
Oooh.... Ahhhh....Ohhhh....

And of course because it's not the 4th unless you see a bazillion pictures of fireworks, I thought I'd share with you two of my favorites that were surprisingly enough taken with my iPhone.


It was a GREAT 4th of July. Even if it was on the 3rd. Stay tuned for our very own fireworks show that we put on for the 4th....


2 comments:

  1. Ok, that was hysterical. Thanks for the shout out and I loved the title "Jill's Big Head". Too funny! Fenton looks quaint and gorgeous! I love little towns like this! You got some great pictures of Jon. Has he seen this yet? Love love love it! And I miss you too! What day are you getting back?

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  2. I loved the entire day! But mostly, I had to yell out loud with jealousy... "Jack has Faygo Creme Soda!" And as soon as I scrolled down, it was followed by, "Jason has Faygo Creme Soda, too!" I miss Faygo Creme Soda! :) And I miss Michigan, and I miss your family!

    Megan

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