Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July

The Woodlands really knows how to celebrate the 4th of July and we love having the Smiths come to celebrate with us!  Between our two families, we now have 8 children!  How crazy is that?  And how did that happen?  Well, it is certainly fun getting the kids together and we now have the "routine" down for all the festivities.  On July 3rd, we go and listen to the symphony at the Pavillion.  This year, it rained all day on the 3rd and we really considered skipping it.  However, the kids were getting really cooped up at the house and the rain stopped, so we decided to go ahead and go.  It ended up being beautiful weather and no crowds... which NEVER happens!  We strolled in at the beginning of the show and were able to grab seats in the covered section.  The kids still decided to sit on blankets in the grass but we were able to keep an eye on them and everyone really enjoyed it.  We got a group shot too!  Look at the empty grassy area... hard to believe.

Early on the morning of the 4th of July, we get everyone out of bed and pack it up to see the parade!  This is difficult because we stay up late for the symphony but I'm always glad we do it once we get there.  The kids get all kinds of freebies and I always love to see all the school marching bands.  It is usually HOT... but this year wasn't too bad.  Another group picture of our 8 kiddos too!

This year, Emily enjoyed saluting all our military folks.  The tanks are always a big hit.

So if you are paying attention at this point, you may be thinking, how do you transport 8 children and their parents around this great town of ours?  Well, it just so happened that this weekend, Chris had a rental 12 passenger van so that he could entertain the Chinese visiting his office.  Well that worked our well for us!  And yes, the kids LOVED the 12 passenger van.  So fun!!!  Isaac, as you can see in the video, was also well entertained.

The Woodlands pools are open to the public on the 4th of July and have lots of fun activities planned for the kids.  Everyone voted to go to the water park and brave the crowds.  We got really lucky and scored some chairs in the shade as someone was leaving so we had a great home base for everyone to come and go from.  Our oldest children were able to enjoy a little freedom to come and go as they please and I think everyone had a really fun time.  Isaac was cool in his sailor suit and partied as much as he could... and passed out in the pool chair when he couldn't take it anymore.  What a trooper.

And finally, we headed to the Waterway for the fireworks on the night of the 4th.  We thought we had a great spot staked out and really enjoyed running around the koi ponds near Chris's office.  I love these pictures of our kids hanging out together.  Unfortunately, we picked a viewing location in the fall out zone.  The fireworks were literally right above us but due to the way the wind was blowing all kinds of ash and debris fell on us during the show.  It was not the best... but we managed to find shelter and stick it out.  Lesson learned though.... we'll do better next year!

And of course like most visits, some of the best times are had just relaxing at the house.  Baby Isaac provided quite a bit of the entertainment.  The children LOVED him and he really enjoyed all the attention.  Babies are so much fun.  Till next year!

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